Archives for May 2007

Would someone on the Cavs please drive the lane?

CavaliersIn the third quarter?

I’ve been watching the Cavs all season, listening to the critics knock The King as the Cavs stumbled through the regular season. They could never find an identity and it could be painful at times to watch them play. Then things seemed to come together near the end of the season and I was optimistic going into the playoffs. I kept thinking, “just wait for the playoffs. LeBron will silence all the critics and go NUTS.” He really didn’t need to do anything special against the Wizards and, against the Nets, Vince Carter helped out the Cavs’ cause plenty. So finally, LeBron has been given his chance to shine against Detroit. The final seconds of the first two games looked shakey. Should he have passed in Game 1? (Probably. Marshall was open, afterall.) Was he fouled in Game 2? (Yes, he was). Down 0-2, things were getting ugly.

Then Games 3 and 4 happened and The King has taken over, especially in the fourth quarter. He has gotten to the rim whenever he wants (that dunk over ‘Sheed was NASTY). Players are stepping up when they’ve had to: Drew Gooden has been big when it counts and Daniel Gibson is turning into an excellent player before our eyes (just like they pointed out over at Burnt Orange Nation). I get nervous when they have Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall (Old Man Donyell, if you will) in the lineup at the same time, but the Cavs have managed not to blow it when the “shooter lineup” is in the game. It still makes me nervous, but it isn’t not working, so I’ll go with the flow.

On the Detroit side, Chauncey has been playing unChauncey-like and Tayshaun Prince has been a scrub. Rasheed has been unstoppable and I don’t know why they haven’t been feeding him in the post with regularity, but I still don’t see him as a threat. He’s still got three games to get kicked out of, so I still have faith he’ll do it. And when is Chris Webber going to quit it with the faux snarl? Just let it go, man. Your wheels are getting old and it doesn’t scare anyone any more.

It really boils down to this: if the Cavs can play a competitive third quarter, they can steal Game 5. It’s no secret what the Pistons have been doing — bottle up LeBron at all costs and let the other four beat you. Unfortunately the Cavs have gone cold in the third and the Pistons’ third quarter gameplan is working. If Z can find his jumper or Sasha can hit a perimeter shot or someone other than LeBron can get into the paint, I think the Cavs can shock everyone and win Game 5. Someone just needs to drive the lane!

LeBron over Rasheed

Kinda like this

(Bonus points to the first reader to name the song with the reworded lyrics I used for the title of this post)

These guys are good (usually)

GolfThis week brings my favorite sporting event here in Columbus, outside of Saturdays in the Horseshoe — The Memorial Tournament. Like most sports fans, I’m a fan of playing the game of golf, regardless of my handicap (don’t ask, it’s not pretty). So I always get excited about the best of the best coming to play in Dublin at Muirfield Village Golf Club. This field once again sports the best golfers in the world (from 15 different countries, in fact), including the top ten players on this year’s money list.

I try to make it to at least one of the rounds, usually on Saturday. Watching these guys play is amazing. They really “are good.” But the first Memorial I attended left a different impression.

I don’t remember who it was, but the first person I watched tee off that day (about 8-9 years ago) completely shanked his tee shot into the trees left of the fairway. It wasn’t a hook or a slice, it was a horrible shank. For those few brief moments, I thought to myself that even I had never shanked something that badly. Of course, his second shot was a beautiful recovery shot and was up and down to par the hole, but for those few minutes, I felt superior. It was fleeting, but it was glorious.

So I’ll be there once again this year (accompanied by my buddy Zeke) hoping to see another drive go flying into the trees, rooting for my homeboy, Baby Blue Sergio Garcia (I root for anyone Spanish, having lived in Spain for two years) and hoping to get a glimpse of the great ones. Maybe my being close to them will somehow allow me to absorb some of that golfing karma.

Run, block, pass, tackle, and MOP

FootballLast spring, six Penn State football players were arrested for crimes relating to an off-campus fight.

As a result, during the 2007 season, Joe Paterno will be punishing the entire football team by – I’m not making this up – making them clean up Beaver Stadium after each home game. After their Saturday afternoon game, the players will be required to report to the stadium first thing Sunday morning for cleaning detail.

“We’re all going to do it, everybody…” [said coach Paterno]. “Not just the kids that were involved. ‘Cause we’re all in it together. This is a team embarrassment. I wouldn’t call it anything much other than that.”

And he’s not through yet. The team will also have to build a house for Habitat for Humanity and volunteer for the Special Olympics this summer.

What do you think? Is Joe Pa being too rough? Or is this the type of thing that college football desperately needs more of?


Dodger fan taunts Griffey, gets jock

RedsThe Reds played a pathetic series on the Left Coast last week against the Dodgers. Aside from having to deal with the humiliation of losing three in a row and dropping to the bottom of the Central, the Reds’ fielders had to deal with some pretty rough heckling from the LA fans.

At some point, Ken Griffey, Jr. had enough, and responded to a fan’s heckling with a present of his own (sic):

I was going to try and get in Ken Griffey Jr’s head a little bit. He had to walk right by us to get to the dugout and I just couldn’t help myself. So I started with the basics: YOU SUCK..SHOULDN’T YOU BE ON THE D.L…TOO OLD FOR CENTER….that kind of stuff… He called me some fat references which was hilarious and then he told me I couldnt touch the threads on his jock…

…After the 6th inning he walks out and stops to talk to me holding a brown paper bag in his hand. He motions to throw it to me and I told him no, I know that trick. He laughs and says catch it, so I put up my hands and he tosses it over. He wouldn’t leave until I opened it and when I finally did, the whole place erupted with laughter. Griffey throws me his jock…

…He shot me a grin. When he came out in the 8th he shot me another smile, and I told him he still has the greatest swing in baseball. I hope he heard me, I think he did. I love Griffey. In fact, some of my first Dodger games were because Griffey was playing and my boy was a huge fan of his in Seattle. He may be the greatest fielder of all time, but when you come to my stadium, you’re fair game.

Griffey even autographed the jock “3 Jr.” A nice touch.

Read the entire story (with pic goodness).

Bucks to play three night road games

OSU FootballThe schedule for the 2007 season is being finalized, and all of OSU’s away games (except Michigan) will occur at night.

The Buckeyes will visit Minnesota (Sept. 29th), Purdue (Oct 6th), and Penn State (Oct 27th). Each game will have an 8 p.m. kickoff.

I understand that the Buckeyes are a heavy TV draw, hence the increasing number of night games over the past few years. But speaking as a fan, I dislike night games. Granted, if they occur once in a while, it can be an exciting experience. But night games are for high-schoolers, not college football players.

And if having three night games in a season seems excessive; having all three of them on the road borders on unfair.

Still, the season looks exciting. OSU begins a home-and-home with PAC-10 foe Washington, and Tressel’s kryptonite (Wisconsin) is finally back on the OSU schedule.


In case anyone forgot

OSU Football
Vernon Gholston has big arms GIGANTIC PIPES

Vernon Gholston

Am I unhealthily obsessed with #50’s arms? Yes.
Would I marry one of them? If I wasn’t already married, yes.
Which one? The right one. We’d live happily in one of his thighs.

Taken from SI’s Top 25 prospects for the 2008 NFL Draft, which includes two Buckeyes, Gholston at #18 and Laurinaitis #20. It also has Chad Henne at #6, which is… Interesting. He’s going to struggle mightily next year if he doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to.

Update: We have been Everyday’ed. Thanks for the link, Orson.

More Buckeyes going pro

OSU FootballNow that the dust has settled on the 2007 NFL draft, we’ll try to keep track of what undrafted Buckeyes sign as free agents with NFL teams. Three Buckeyes have already signed with teams:

The Indianapolis Buckeyes added another OSU alum, signing a free agent contract with walk-on, feel-good story Antonio Smith.

Brandon Mitchell signed with Houston Texans and T.J. Downing will pack his bags and head to sunny Arizona (a place he’s rather familiar with) to sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

We’ll keep an eye on any more signings.

Reds road games?

RedsSo, the Reds have six road trips lasting ten days or more.

I’ll tell you what: if Cincinnati makes it into the postseason, the team will have definitely earned it.

Has that ever happened before? (I’m asking… I don’t know. Calling all baseball stats wizards: please enlighten us in the comments.)

OMG bradyquinnWTFBBQ?!?!!

OSU FootballI feel bad for Ted Ginn, Jr.

Holy cow. Recruited as a defenseman, then a #3 SR, then a #1 WR. Fastest feet in the Big Ten.

Set the conference record for punt return TDs. Would have set the record for kickoff TDs, had it not been for several controversial calls on some of his kickoff return TDs.

On most occasions… opposing teams kicked toward the sidelines so that he wouldn’t return the ball. And he still beat the Big Ten record.

And those are just his return skills. As a WR… well, the best defenses in CFB (Texas, Fla, Michigan) found it necessary to double him, and even then he managed to come in second in the Big Ten for receiving TDs.

He returns. He runs great routes. He covers. He’s even played QB, with a TD pass (or run) each time he’s taken the snap. The best all-around player and CFB athlete in Big Ten history.

He ran the opening kickoff for a TD in the national championship game, on the nation’s biggest stage. You all saw it.

After college, he works out for the scouts and takes the boot off of his broken foot to run a 4.35!!

So when Cam Cameron takes him in the first round, the bandwagon Dolphin fans boo?!?

To make matters worse, ESPN fans the flames by repeatedly denouncing the pick on ESPNRadio as the worst in the draft?

Here’s the reality, folks: No matter what ND fans, or folks that bow at the altar of Charlie Weis, or SportsCenter groupies think, the people that know about football know that Quinn is a very risky proposition. He’s either the next Peyton Manning or the next Tim Couch. Most NFL teams are getting gunshy about making those types of gambles.

Late last week it became clear that Brady’s people knew he was slipping. Quinn went into “PR mode,” and started showing up with perfectly coiffed hair anywhere there was a camera present. That usually doesn’t happen to players that are going high. Something about Quinn spooked half of the NFL, and his people were in damage control mode all week.

So the Dolphins decide to play the odds, and select the player that has the best odds of impacting the team in a positive manner. They invested in the mutual funds of Ginn, while avoiding the craps tables of Quinn. Who could blame them?

Ginn will be a good NFL player. Will.

Quinn might be a good NFL QB. Might.

The Dolphins did nothing wrong. Even if Quinn turns into the next incarnation of Unitas, Miami will have done nothing wrong. IMO, he wouldn’t have fit into Miami’s scheme that well anyway.

Don’t get me wrong about Quinn: we at MotSaG have been rough on him at times, but we’re all from C-bus, and have been following him since high school here. We’re pleased that he’s coming home to Ohio to be a professional. It will be exciting to see if he can put that mediocre college career at ND behind him.

But back to feeling sorry for Ginn. It’s so sad that so many folks have let ESPN fool them into thinking that he was a bad choice. He’ll never win those fans over. He’ll be booed every time he takes the field, and that’s terrible.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ESPN is doing to sports what MTV did to music.

Miami: Here’s what you’re getting.

(And keep in mind this video only covers his sophomore and first game or two of his junior year.) My favorite part of this clip is around the 4:00 mark (the OSU/IU clip), when Ginn – from a complete stop – slices through and blows by a pack of galloping defenders for the TD. That’s your speed, folks.

Thanks for the memories, Ted(dy). So long, fella.