Friday, November 30, 2007

Around the Internets in Eighty Minutes

1) SI.com has a interesting round-up of the NFL prospects on display in all the conference championship games this weekend.

2)

Pre-Gaming: Knicks vs. Bucks

Oh, what a night this could be! I'm so glad that I bought tickets to this game the other day. I was just hoping to get a look at Yi. He's more popular than the Super Bowl, you know. But, now....NOW, I'm walking into the Garden on a night where anything is possible. I don't even know if the team will show up. Literally. I wouldn't be surprised if we get there and they've all boarded flights for non-extradition countries. It will just be 15,000 fans. Someone will put on a few pots of coffee and we'll sit around talking about Kenny "Sky" Walker and Sidney Green.

Or, I guess, the Knicks could show up and go forward with the game. And, then, what happens? I have no idea but I can't wait.

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

(The first in a weekly series of complaints and hand-wringing.

You know what really grinds my gears? The selection process for the non-BCS bowls.

We all spend so much time arguing about the BCS system but really most of us see our alma matters relegated to one of the myriad other bowls that proliferate across the country throughout the month of December. Most of those bowls have affiliations with the various conferences across the country. For example the legendary Humanitarian Bowl traditionally pits the champion of the WAC against the 8th choice team from the ACC. Meanwhile, the Gator Bowl pairs the ACC #3 and the Big 12 #4 in most years. In principle this is not an altogether unappealing way of creating inter-conference rivalries. However, everything falls to pieces when you realize that ACC #3 does not mean that the team finished 3rd in the ACC standings. It means that the team was the third school selected by a bowl.

This really grinds my gears because if BC were to lose tomorrow's ACC Championship Game against Va. Tech they could potentially fall from the BCS Orange Bowl all the way to Champ Sports Bowl played on Dec. 28th, being passed over by the Peach Bowl (or the Chick-fi-A Bowl as it is now called) and the Gator Bowl who have the choices of ACC #2 and ACC #3 respectively. In each instance they would be passed over for a lesser team who didn't reach the Championship game and, in the case of Clemson, who BC actually beat. The Gator Bowl committee claims that they do not want the ACC Championship loser in their game because off their game's proximity to Jacksonville while the Peach Bowl folks are very open about the fact that they're just trying to sell tickets and they feel like Clemson might be a safer bet due to geography and the fact that their are twice as many students there as there are in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Boston College could be passed over in spite of having 10 wins, rising as high as #2 in the rankings and boasting a Heisman-candidate QB because the hosts of the Peach Bowl and the Gator Bowl are skittish about Northerners making the trek down to their games. The idea that some schools "travel" better than others puts a premium on the size of a student population rather than the talent of the team. This takes on an extra level of insidiousness because of the fact that monetary awards are given to the schools. Essentially the big schools get supported whether or not they are any good and smaller schools never get the money they actually need to improve facilities and never get the chance to answer questions about their ability to travel. By sending smaller schools with strong football teams (BC) to lesser bowls in backwards places their travel rep becomes self-fulfilling.

Shouldn't the game that will have to be played on the field be more of a determining factor than who the organizers can sell tickets to? After all, the better the matchup the more tickets you'll be able to sell to non-alumnus. With good games you could actually sell tickets to real football fans in your host city. Now, there's a novel idea! But by forgoing the best teams for the biggest student crowd you force yourself to sell tickets only to those two fanbases because no one else in your area wants to see mediocrity.

Of course, none of this will matter once Matty Ice takes the field in Jacksonville and dominates. BC will head to the Orange Bowl and the Peach Bowl won't pass on Virginia Tech and their 25,000 students. But the fact that this sort of thing is even possible really, really grinds my gears.

Omar: "I'm Keith Hernandez"

ESPN and SI websites are both reporting that the New York Mets have dealt outfielder Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church. What?

The folks over at Capitol Punishment (a Nats blog) are understandably excited about this deal:

"More money + potential All-Star outfielder! All for a fourth outfielder and a light-hitting catcher? Sign me up!"

Me? I'm less psyched. Unless this is Part 1 of a multi-part plan that nets us Santana, Haren or Bedard than this looks like a horrendous deal. Not only did we give up our top prospect (since injuries kept L-Milz from playing much last year I still consider him a prospect) to a team in our division but we took back two very average ballplayers. We just gave away the guy who two years ago was as untouchable as Wright and Reyes for an older and less-talented outfielder and a catcher who will be a backup if all goes well with Castro.

Omar has jumped the shark. This is his "I'm Keith Hernandez" moment.

Lupicas, Thomsens & Bermans. Oh My!

(What the Pros are Writing About the Knicks Today)

-Mitch Lawrence's version of the Fire Isiah story in today's News.

-Virtually everyone over at Daily Dime has at the Knicks this morning. I'm pleased and disappointed to see that Marc Spears also noticed the similarity between last night's Knicks performance and the workman-like demeanor of the 0 for life Washington Generals. That was the consensus on my couch too. The Knicks were out there technically playing basketball but without any overt signs that winning or competing were on the docket.

..and, that's all. My eyes are bleeding from reading all of this.

Friday's Starting Five

1) Aaron Rodgers replaced Brett Favre in last night's NFC-uperbowl and while I can't say with any certainty how Rodgers would handle himself playing high stakes poker while on a river boat it is safe to say that he did well last night quaterbacking the Packers. Of course, the Boys still rolled to victory (with a few crucial whistles taking all the drama out of the ending).

2) The Cowboys are officially the NFC Pats. TO is the NFC Moss and Romo is the NFC Brady. And just like the NFC they are not quite as good as their AFC counterpart.

3) Johan to Red Sox? So Beckett would be there 2? That is terrifying if I'm a Yankees fan. Thankfully I'm not and therfore it's not.

4) The GS Warriors are back. With their win over the Rockets last night they've brought their record to 8-7 after their 0-6 start.

5) Louisville comes back from 18 in second half to end Rutgers regular season on a sour note. Ray Rice still got his. Over 100 yards rushing and three tds.

The Bench: The Knicks have been intentionally left out of the starting five. They don't even deserve to crack the lineup on a Knicks blog.

"You don't just come out and quit. You have to have a reason or someone has to make you quit."-Kevin Garnett

"Patrick Ewing is rolling over in his grave."-Charles Barkley

A Game in Quotations
Part 2 of 5


Second Quarter

"You can't make this stuff up...which has to be a first in NBA history."-Marv

"The Big Baby out of nowhere diving on the floor!"-Reggie

"...and the Knicks shooting has been brutal."-Marv

"Oh! Nice move by Allen. The second effort, Balkman thought he had him but Allen kept coming."-Marv

16-32

"That's two free layups off the same play that the Celtics have gotten."-The Czar

18-35

"The Celtics have outscored the Knicks 10 to 2 in the second quarter."-Marv

"When your #1 and #2 options, the Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry, are not going then you start to press and start to shoot outside shots."-Reggie

18-37

"Garnett out hustling two Knicks and it pays off. Eddie House from downtown!"-Marv

18-43

"There is no excuse for this. This is unbelievable."-Reggie

"Fred Jones has come on the floor for the first time."-Marv

22-44

"With the talent we brought in it's like 'wow,' it's like a breath of fresh air."-Paul Pierce in pre-taped interview

"What Pierce just said about a breath of fresh air. Is that what the Knicks have been going through? It has been six seasons since Jeff Van Gundy being the last coach when they won 48 games seven seasons back. Since that time 30, 32, 39, 33, 23, 33 wins, a stretch of futilty that they have to deal with."-The Czar

"Nice move by Robinson!"-Marv

29-48

"Pierce for THREE!"-Marv

29-52

"Right now the effort that the Knicks have given is subpar. I look at the body language on the Knicks bench, I'm looking at Mardy Collins and these guys and I don't even think they're...the body language doesn't look good."-Reggie

"For the Knicks a season low for a half with just 31 points."-Marv

31-54

End of the Second Quarter

"I've never even someone get beat at darts this bad." -Kenny Smith

A Game in Quotations
Part 1 of 5


Pre-Game
"Stephon Marbury and the Knicks have won their last two but are winless on the road. They'll try to change that in Boston where Kevin Garnett and the Celtics haven't lost en route to the NBA's best record. Kevin Garnett and the Celtics are eleven and two. It's time for TNT NBA tipoff presented by autotrader.com"--Ernie Johnson

"And this is a matchup of two teams that are going in opposite directions. This is a Knicks team that is 0-6 on the road while the Celtics at home, 7 and 0...The Knicks have been a team in utter chaos and it's tough to consider this a rivalry if both teams do not excel. As the Celtics control the opening tip..."-Marv Albert

First Quarter

"Rando takes it to the rim."-Marv Albert

0-2

"Right now New York has three possesions, three jump shots. Something Isiah Thomas really did not want to see. They need to establish Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph down low."-Reggie Miller

"That's Richardson for Three!"-Marv Albert

3-4

"Their record really doesn't indicate how good they good be and they're a joke because they should be much better than they have really indicated so far."-Reggie Miller

"This is a team that is very poor at the defensive end and they'll turn the ball over. Their is a lack of chemistry. If you look at it in terms of a fantasy league team, yes."-Marv Albert

"But, Marv, I really like their talent. I think they've got talent. They've got size, uh, they're strong at each position. I really like they're second five. While they miss a layup right there, but I like their size and I think their big problem and question mark is going to be with the Knicks is chemistry."-Reggie Miller

3-8

"Allen pulls up. Yes!"-Marv Albert

3-10

"Since we're jumping on the Knicks right now to start out the game, one of the problems right now is chemistry. Chemistry right now because of all the scorers."-Mike Fratello

"And this is a Boston Celtic team that was horrendous."-Marv

"You can immediately tell that New York is going to have to get back in transition. The Celtics are running the floor hard and pull up and spot up behind the three point line and there is no one there to challenge the shooter."-The Czar

"So, the Knicks are 1 of 9 here at the start."-Marv

3-12

"Right now if I'm Isiah I'm scratching my head because this is a big game and you've won two in a row against Chicago and Utah. This is a chance on national TV to come out and make a statement and right now they're not doing that."-Reggie

"Well, Reggie, this is a very good offensive unit, this, as Curry turns for the turnaround jumper and misses it, it's a very good offensive unit. It's a very bad defensive unit."-The Czar

5-16

"The Knicks open up 2 of 13...and Kevin Garnett already has 7 rebounds."-Marv

"Welcome back to Boston, the Celtics have a 16-7 lead. I'm Craig Sager with the Lincoln Sideline Report. The last few months have been very difficult times for Isiah Thomas...He said last night a personal grudge was renewed between he and Boston and the Celtics fans. He checked into his [hotel] room [last night], went to a spin class and he said that when he went back to his room he was locked out. They had changed the lock."-Craig Sager

7-18

"How about the Knicks now? 3 for 16 from the field and it's not like the Celtics are going at a blistering pace with their shooting."-Marv

"Randolph rarely gives it back once the ball goes down low to him"-Marv

"Their is no ball movement for the Knicks right now on offense. You gotta have some kinda system where the ball moves a little bit from side to side."-Reggie

"Randolph! It is deflected. He is Oh for Six here at the start."-Marv

"Here's Brian Scalabrine who just came on, that's a THREE, off the bench to give the Celtics a 23-98 lead"-Marv

8-23

"The guy who made the play is Scalabrine, who settles, puts it on the floor, dribbles hard and gets a wide open look for Rondo."-The Czar

"Randolph! So Randolph with his first bucket, he had missed his previous seven shots."-Marv

14-25

"So the Celtics with a 27-16 lead after one."-Marv

End of First Quarter