Daily Blog 2.0
Musings From The Hoodwood 4-8
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NBA NCAA NHL PGA

Yeah put that national champion trophy over there with the other three...

Shabazz Napier leads the Huskies to the 2014 National title

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the patrons are trying to get over the college basketball season being over…I cant listen to One Shining Moment, it just means that another great season is history and the next time we’ll see good college basketball it will be cold again.

The Winnahs! The Huskies are top dog in college basketball

The National Championship trophy will head back to Storrs Connecticut for the 4th time in the last 15 years, Most Outstanding player Shabazz Napier leads the Huskies to a 60-54 win over the Kentucky Wildcats. The veteran laden Huskies of the neophyte American Conference got the best of the precocious band of freshman of Kentucky who many didn’t think were going to make it this far. The Huskies weren’t even eligible to make the tourney last year due to academic restrictions and this year got hammered at the end of the regular season by 33 points and again in the American conference title game both times by Louisville but the Huskies took their 7 seed fended off an upset minded St. Joes team and proceeded to knock off 3 straight higher seeded teams to win the East regional. The Huskies were decided underdogs in the national semifinals against the tourney #1 seed the Florida Gators. But they held the SEC champs to a single 3 pointer and a season low 53 points to advance to the national title game. The Wildcats, whom I was not very fond of, just seemed to be like a horror movie monster that wouldn’t die seemed to dodge one team after another as they knocked off Kansas State, unbeaten Wichita State, in-state rival Louisville and Big Ten heavy Michigan to get to North Texas then won a thrilling semifinal against Wisconsin but unlike all the other teams that faced UK. UConn didn’t wilt under a heavy charge by the Wildcats. All the teams they faced had sizeable leads. Louisville jumped out to an 18-5 lead in the regional semis. But Calipari’s freshmen phenoms ran out of gas in the finale where they made repeated charges by never took the lead. It was a thrilling game nonetheless and give the Huskies their due they are the best team in the land, the last team standing. Kevin Ollie at 41 (three months and one week younger than your humble scribe) is one the youngest coaches to ever win the title and won his first six tourney games (matching Steve Fisher’s 1989 feat at Michigan) The UConn ladies will try to match their male counterparts as they try to complete their 5th undefeated season in their storied history as they take on equally undefeated Notre Dame Irish in the national title tilt, Tuesday night. 

PGA: Does no Tiger mean the Masters is less relevant?

The focus of the golf world turns to Augusta and the famed course the holds the PGA’s first major the Masters. The focus though may not really on defending champ Aussie Adam Scott, but on a former champ who wont be there. Tiger Woods. THe Masters will not have Tiger prowling the hallowed grounds for the first time since 1996, but Woods was still an amateur then. This time Woods will miss his first Masters in his career as he recovers from back surgery. THe question begs itself will the media hype machine really be pumped up without Woods in the mix. Even last year with Woods more or less out of contention last year, the Masters still had the sheen and shine of must see golf. Now you wonder is this must watch or will it just another major with that Woods guy...

NHL/NBA: The drive to the playoffs

Im a Red Wings fan and all my adult life, Ive never not known the Wings to not be in the playoffs. The Wings last missed the playoffs in the 1989-90 season. Your humble scribe was getting ready to graduate from Mt. Healthy High school and the Wings were stumbling to 28-38-14…they still had tie games back then. The playoff miss broke a three year run of making the playoffs. But after that the Wings have made the playoff every season since that there have been a chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup. In 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 the Wings have claimed the silver chalice but have made the playoffs year in and year out. That streak is in danger as the Wings are still trying to claim one of the last two playoff wild cards in their first year in the Eastern conference. The Wings played mediocre for a large part of the season and still have a negative goal differential but the Wings have seemingly put a late run together and are on the cusp of claiming a playoff berth for the 23 year in a row. No team in the four major pro sports have a streak that long. But the playoff picture overall is a wild one to be sure. In the Western conference five teams already have 100 points and the LA Kings are at 97 points with four games still to play a six seed with 100+ points? Whoa. In the east, the Bruins and Penguins have better than 110 points each and look to be the bullies in that conference.

Meanwhile in the NBA, the playoff situation is quite messy. In the west there is a distinct possibility that there will be a team that will win 50 games and miss the playoffs meanwhile in the east there could be two teams that make the playoffs with a losing record. I think the Knicks and Hawks neither of which will finish anywhere close to .500 will see playoff basketball while entertaining teams like the Suns and Grizzlies may miss out. I was arguing with a colleague at work who thought that the number of 50 win teams in the west meant a lower standard of pro ball out west. I think that the best basketball is being played out west.

Phat Dap/Head Slap

 

Phat Dap

To the newest members of the Basketball Hall of Fame class which includes Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond, NBA Mafioso don David Stern and longtime college coach Nolan Richardson. As much as I knocked Stern he made the NBA what it is now and he brought hoops to the world masses.

Head Slap

To two lunkheads and a QB I usually think highly of.  Mets 2B David Murphy took paternity leave last week to be with his wife in Florida for the birth of their first child. Baby Noah was born last Monday and by all reports mother and baby were fine. Murphy missed the season opener and Wednesday’s game but drew flak from some media sources for “abandoning his team” loudest of the critics were Mike Francesa of WFAN a notorious loudmouth whos braying about Murphy sounded like pitiful whining by someone who you figure that his kids probably hate him anyway. But the other potshots were coming from the new sports morning duo of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton of the WFAN/CBS Sports Network Boomer and Carton morning show. These nutjobs who are trying in vain to unseat the long time dominance of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike took various potshots at Murphy. Esiason going so far as to openly wonder why Murphy’s wife didn’t plan better to have the child during the offseason.  And also suggested that she have a c-section earlier so as to not inconvience her husband. Francesa also chimed in asking what good would Murphy be present at the hospital. Now as a proud father of two daughters, I was present at the birth of each and would not have traded that experience for anything in the world. I was fortunate to be working at jobs that let me have the time off and I was grateful but I would not have missed the birth of my kids for anything. Murphy did the right thing and shame on these lunkheads especially Esiason who is well known for being a parent.

Random Thoughts

Wonder if the goober that got the tat proclaiming the UK Wildcats the national champs is regretting his decision yet

Julie Hermann, Rutgers AD who just is an idiot for wishing a paper to go under but says that she doesnt want to make headlines but makes comments like that??? What...were......you...thinking...

I went to charity fight and a hockey game broke out...did the NYPD and FDNY think that it was supposed to be the boxing matches but got misdirected to the hockey rink???

Finally repeated birthday wishes to my Grampy. Who celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday. Hes a big time Cincinnati Reds fans and though he knows that the Dodgers moved to LA in 1958 (the year my namesake uncle was born) but still refers to them as the Brooklyn Dodgers. My Grampy is still sharp as a tack and when not watching baseball or his favorite animal shows on NatGeo still keeps up on the politics of the day. My Grampy is still the man to me, someone who taught me a lot about being a man and someone I still look up to and revere.

Until next post fellow sports fans. 

Labor Unions and Odds and Ends
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Northwestern Tiger Woods Red Sox

 

Ah, spring.  Good grief, this winter took forever to end.  I’m not usually one to wish away time, but damn between ice storms and “Polar Vortices,” I’m soooo ready for any sign spring has “sprung.”  It was 50 degrees today, I had the sunroof open and was wearing flip flops...with my jeans and long sleeve t-shirt.  The world has started to show signs that the long ass winter is FINALLY on it’s way out and who am I to not to celebrate that.

 

Now, I’m not a big college sports guy, but the National Labor Relations Board kind of affect my profession so I pay attention when the two things intersect.  A recent NLRB decision ruled that the Northwestern University footballs players were “employees” of the University for purposes of the act, and as such were entitled to a vote on whether they should be represented by a union.  

 

In a case like this, the totality of the circumstances matter, so not every NCAA football program is now at the whim of an organizing effort, but it does send a shot across the bow.  The fact of the matter is that the NCAA is not considered to be an “employer,” but rather the University is, which means that there’s really no likelihood there would be an NFL style master agreement negotiated, it does mean certain things.  

 

First, this ruling only affects those athletes who receive a scholarship.  Now to be an academic, there would have to be a high degree of influence from academics, as opposed to be spending more time with football coaches than on academics.  What you should likely see, then, is a greater emphasis on the college aspect of the “student athlete’s” education.

 

The second thing to consider is what exactly could be mandatory subjects of collective bargaining.  In this case it’s likely insurance, and liability for injury.  It’s not likely to be around scholarship dollars.

 

So the fact of the matter is that this is about one school, which may or may not work their student athletes to the point that they’re no longer students.  You will likely see more schools placing a greater emphasis on their student athlete’s academics.  The real roadblock for the unionization attempt is that these monies the NLRB is considering “wages,” would actually become “wages,” and therefore taxable, would would likely be resisted when the players really DO vote.  The message has been sent though,and going forward you’re likely to see a greater emphasis on the well being of player athletes, or put another way, players will be more demonstrably students.  

 

So, it turns out Florida State’s new logo was leaked from...wait for it...Walmart. So that happened, but really is there a difference?  I mean gone is the “Florida State” written down the feather, but other than that is there really some thing not to like about the logo?  But, Damn, there’s all kinds of crap to be taken after having modified the logo.  Seriously?  Grow up.

 

Rule one of mascot club: Don’t talk about mascot club.

 

Somethings are just too good not to have SOMETHING to say.

 

This past week, after the Red Sox were finished losing to the Orioles, they headed to the White House to be welcomed as the World Champions.  Johnny Gomes didn’t fail to impress, with his red and white striped jacket.  But there’s just a touch of controversy around it - David Ortiz asked the President for a “selfie.”  Now there some controversy about it because there’s a question about whether Samsung paid him for the selfie - a la Ellen’s famous “groupie.”  Look, it’s a great shot, and whatever Samsung could’ve compensated the guy, wouldn’t have been worth the opportunity to meet the President.  How much would they have had to pay a guy who’s worth north of $45-Million?  It just seems so unlikely.  That said, it probably was a bad move only because of the hub bub around it.  Too many questions just waiting to be asked.  It was a great shot, but maybe one left on his own photostream.

Sometimes I wish I were Johnny Gomes.

Have a great week gabbers.




 

NASCAR Update And Other Fast Stuff 4-6-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Texas Martinsville Keselowski Ku Bu Goodyear tires

                              

HAPPY SUNDAY!!!! Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. We need to say a big Happy Birthday to Grumpy Cat. She's 2 now. She looks like she must've went through the winter in the northeast. Actually I look just like that right now. My ears aren't quite as pointy but that expression is mine. Here's hoping for better weather.

So David Letterman has announced his retirement some where off in the distance. I think he said 2015 and no date. A place for Conan? That would be cool.

I've been browsing You Tube a lot lately. Love the concerts and documentaries. Found some cool stuff to share but I still haven't learnt the moving of a video to here but I think they're worth taking a look see. There's a guy named Kyle Myers AKA FPS Russia. Fake Russian accent but that's not a big deal. Don't know where this dude gets all the money but he buys everything from tanks to hand guns to AK-47's to everything in between. I love wailing guitars and screaming motors and things that go BAAAAAAAA-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!! This guy does that. If you have the time, go to You Tube and type in FPS Russia Almost Dies. Just 8 inches standing to the right would've killed this guy. Shrapnel flies. He's also young and dumb. Good videos though.

Ever have some dumbass doing his road rage thing, cut you off and you wish God would strike them? The next video is just that. It's called Redneck Road Rage/ instant karma. After the video was taken police arrested the guy for no seat belt, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Righteous.

Schumacher is experiencing moments of consciousness and awakening since his skiing accident 3 months ago. The longer this goes the more I think he's just not going to wake up and be anything near his former self. Here's hoping against hope.

It's week #2 of my cut back on sugar and eat more vegies & fruits and drink more water. It's a work in progress as I have more than one sweet tooth. Reining them in is going to be tough but I am feeling slightly better. Didn't eat any snacks at work out of the machines, drank lots of water and ate my celery, grapes and pretzels. Didn't buy any Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies either. Another reason I look like Grumpy Cat. 

MARTINSVILLE RECAP

Well, I said there'd be tire issues and there were. Lots and lots of them. The tires just weren't lasting past 20 laps before they got slippery. Didn't help that the guys weren't very patient. Kligerman was over the curb and in the grass with a crunched in front end in just the first lap. So when I said they should change the call to the starting of the engines to Drivers, start your tempers, It really does fit.

During the competition caution on lap 40 the pits were crazy. Kahne was hit in the rear by Keselowski who was hit by KuBu. They took the nose of Keselowski's car right off. Aerodynamics isn't important here. The paint swapping and door slamming on the track between Ku Bu & Keselowski was a good show. Of course there was verbal sparring after the race with comments like punk ass move and such. Showing the love.

Kenseth slid up into the wall trying to pass these 2 while they were sparring.. Nobody wants to get caught up in others messes but he couldn't get away. And Johnson leads.

Logano and Biffle challenge and get the lead for a bit as does Ambrose. Hello Ambrose. Good to see ya.

Then Dale Jr sort of put McMurray in the wall. I'm sure he didn't try it. Drivers took turns spinning by themselves and off others bumpers. It's a common theme at Martinsville.

So Johnson is back out front near the end of the race and here comes the outlaw KuBu. That's Mr Busch and he's hungry for a win. With 27 laps to go he steals the lead and the win from Johnson.

Top 15 Finishers - Ku Bu - Johnson - Dale Jr - Logano - Ambrose - Kenseth - Harvick - Almirola - Bowyer - Menard - Allmendinger - Gordon - Edwards - Ky Bu - Dillon

Johnson led the most laps with 296.....Bonus point

                        

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PREVIEW

We're at a 1.5 mile track that eats motors and tires. Now that NASCAR said there's no ride height, rear camber adjustments are allowed and gave them higher rear spoilers that means there will be even more tire issues. Kurt wrecked his car and had to go to a back up when he lost a right rear tire during practice and slammed the wall head on right where the safer barrier starts. Said he was trying to get through 20 laps to then get his tires checked and gauge wear issues but never made it to 20 laps before it blew. 

NASCAR says there will be no more blaming Goodyear for the tires being bad. They sighted teams not using the recommended air pressures in the tires and using aggressive set ups that caused the tires to blow out due to excessive speeds and loads on those tires. What's a crew chief to do? NASCAR says they expect the drivers to give it their all and they are. 

Last year Kurt had fuel pressure issues, Edwards had his belts jump off, Stewart had adjustment issues, Bowyer told his crew chief that you killed my car, and Dale Jr had battery issues. Truex Jr led 142 laps but Ky Bu led 171 and the last lap.

So with all the changes to the cars, the rules and the tires being compromised because of the changes to the rules, I'm having even more issues this year trying to predict who's on first. I mean who will be first. It's 6 races in and Johnson hasn't won yet. Unpredictability has been worked into the races. But I'll give it a go.

                      

Johnson has 13 Top 5's & 16 Top 10's for a 8.3 finishing average. I gotta say top 10

Kenseth is next best at this track with 10 Top 5's & 16 Top 10's for a finishing average of 8.7.......Top 10

Biffle starts 4th on the grid and finished 4th here last year. He was 4th fastest in practice too. Gotta say Top 10

Stewarts on the pole but no consistency. Last year he was screaming that he didn't care how many times he came down pit road just fix it. Just can't give him a Top 10 rating.

Ky Bu won here last year, led the most laps and came in 2nd in the Nationwide race this  Friday night. Top 10.

Edwards starts 5th. He managed to come back from having his belts fall off during the restart  to finish 3rd. Not sure how your seat belts undo themselves but he recovered. Top 10.

Keselowski has outside pole. He's been on the front row to start 6 times out of 7 races now. Top 10.

Dale Jr has been Steady Eddie of late. He's #1 in the points and a battery issue can't hit twice. Right? Top 10.

Gordon and Kahne are both doing better this year then last. Top 15 for these 2.

Logano is solid right now. Starts 10th and gets a Top 10.

Harvick has a W and a few of failed equipment finishes. He starts 3rd and if his equipment holds up he should get a Top 10. He has the new track qualifying record. 

Hamlin...Top 10...if his luck holds out.

Larson would be my rookie pick to get into the top 10. Dillon is ill this week. His brother Ty is on stand by. Two good C listers. Along with Allgaier and maybe The Danica.....or not.

Ambrose and Almirola have been having flashes of power and brilliance on the track. Both had Top 10's last week. I could see one of these 2 in the Top 10 or at least a Top 15.

Menard has had 2 Top 10's in a row. I'm thinking Top 15 or better. 

Newman is a Top 15.

Bayne is in this week. Good C lister to grab. He starts 7th. Top 20.

So we're off to the races. Well I am any way. If it don't rain it starts at 3 pm. Does it rain in Texas? Last week was my youngest brothers birthday. Another raucously loud celebration. Those grandkids, nieces and nephews can be SO loud. Am secretly hoping not as many show up this week or it's nice out. Gosh it would be nice to have a warm day. Here's hoping all of you have a great day, enjoying your sport of choice or the company of good folks. Be safe in your travels....

And I'm outta here......

 

 

 

Opening Day & Other News
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB Nationals Redskins Jackson

Today was Opening Day at Nationals Park, and despite the best attempts of DC's worst drivers to keep me from arriving to the game in one piece, I was able to get there in time for introductions...from the roof top of the parking garage.  (Not a bad pic for an iPhone).  The Nats opened the season with a nice, but expected, sweep of the Mets and then came home today to play their nemesis, the Braves.  It seems like the team goes into brain lock every time they play Atlanta - even though a 2-1 loss is hardly tragic for the 4th game of the season, it was a frustrating defeat.  It included a bizarre home run by Ian Desmond that was taken away by instant replay...the ball rolls under the pad in left field but is easily retrieved by Upton...it clearly was not "lodged" so I don't get the call.  Here is the video of that play:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10729743

I'm glad baseball is back...it gives me a reason to look at the sports page again.

Jackson is a Redskin

Although there is no shortage of news this week.  The really big sports story here this week is the DeSean Jackson signing by the Redskins preceeded by the strangely engineered release by the Eagles.  First on the release...I think the Eagles have a bit of a screw loose.  Receivers are the biggest divas on any football team, but when they are on the field, an elite receiver is a game changer.  Perhaps Chip still thinks he is at Oregon and can go recruit better talent than everyone else...I think it puts a ding in the Eagles' chances to have another great year in 2014.   On the Redskins side of things, there can be no excuse for RGIII not to deliver this season...he has 3 great targets at the wideouts and an emerging top talent at TE.  To me, it was definitely worth the risk.   You know he is going to be a model & motivated teammate this season - if he blows up in 2015, the Skins burned $8 million of Danny's money.   One angle of this whole affair is to see what role the Eagles had in leaking the "gang association" story to the press.  If they did that to justify their release of Jackson, they really need to pay a stiff penalty.

The news that Tiger Woods is out of the Masters - and maybe most or all of this year's golf season - with back surgery immediately begs the question of whether the "Tiger Era" is officially over.  It has been 5 full years since Tiger won a major and although he can win the second tier tournaments, every player gears their game for the 4 big tournaments each year.  Just like tennis, if you don't win an Open or a Masters or a Wimbledon, you haven't had a great year.  Tiger's quest to catch Jack Nicklaus' career major total of 18 seems like a giant mountain to climb, and even though I am not a Tiger fan, I have to admit that it takes something away when he is not in the field.  

I hope everyone has a great weekend...btw, my last travel experience is another great example of why business travel stinks:  3.5 hours on the tarmac followed by cancelation - I got to my meeting on Monday, but barely.  At least I got to let it run on the autobahn!

Slapshots and Hipchecks 4/4
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Red Sox Opening Day DeSean Jackson David Ortiz Chris Johnson

 

Sorry about posting late Gabber's...last night I had a board meeting for our HOA and what was supposed to be a brief, maybe 30 minute coverage of budget items turned into 2 hours of bullshit, followed by us unwinding on the deck while it was still in the 70's drinking some Jamaican Rum...we all know what happened after that. 

First, do we think we've had enough coverage of David Ortiz taking a selfie with the President yet? Personally I thought it was a pretty funny moment...but then the rumors started flying that it was actually a promo...but in all the articles I read none of them had quoted Ortiz, who said it wasn't. Time to move on media...you've beaten the shit out of this story too, but what else is new? At least it started to move the Malaysian flight off the radar (pun intended) for a few hours...I feel for the families of this tragedy, I really do, but does anyone in this world really believe after all this time the plane will be found? From all appearances the folks who are coordinating the search efforts seem to have no clue to where to begin looking. All I want to know is - How the fuck do you lose a plane? 

So, I understand it's baseball season now...is that correct? Not quite in baseball mode with hockey gearing up for season 2 in a week or so. The Red Sox have opening day this afternoon, and in front of the Brewers they'll get their WS series rings and I'll be tuning in for that. As you see from the above photo, the World Series rings are a thing of beauty. I'm sure that this ceremony will be pretty emotional since a lot of the Marathon bombing victims will be in attendance. I don't know what the Sox have in store for the festivities beyond that, but I'm sure it will be handled with exceptional grace and class! 

 

The other day I was talking to a neighbor about football, he's a Redskin fan and when I said I wasn't surprised the Skins signed DeSean Jackson and they'll probably regret it because one, he's a tool, and another, he can't stay healthy long enough to make a true impact...just the kind of guy Daniel Snyder would hire and guarantee that he gets $16 million guaranteed. He asked me why all the hate for his beloved Skins...I merely [pointed out that since Snyder has taken the helm of the Skins what have they done other than do what the Cowboys do, overpay for guys who turn out to be busts, Dallas seems to do more of the - We'd rather they look good doing it than being good at it...where as Washington simply throws money at every position with no regard for the fact most of the guys they sign were passed over for one reason or another. Jackson has the talent and ability to be a great receiver, and he's shown flashes of brilliance, but that's clearly been overshadowed by his injury issues. Bottom line, Jackson laughs all the way to the bank and he's not going to amount to much in the Beltway. Snyder may think he's got the right guy for RG III to throw too now, but he's forgotten one important fact...they guy has to be on the field to catch the ball.

Just saw on the ticker that Chris Johnson WILL be released today by the Titans. Here's another example of a guy who performed well enough to get huge deal then turned into a bust. He had no rush for over 30 yards last season...when I read that compared to what he had done prior to the contract he signed in 2011 I wasn't shocked. I call this the Shaun Alexander syndrome. Alexander plays every game each season until he signed his new deal for $63 million with $15 million guaranteed, and $15 million the first season of the deal and never played a full season again, and never rushed for more than 800 yards either. Yeah....fuck you pay me, now I'll watch my bank account get larger while my stats go down the toilet...but I got paid and that's all that matters. Again...I'm for base salaries and incentive filled contracts. You know, like how it works in the real world...you show up and perform you get paid, you fuck up, see ya later. So what becomes of Johnson now? Who take a chance on this guy? Hey Snyder, hey Jerry Jones....break out the checkbooks!

That's all I've got today...and again, m apologies for being late and brief...Have a great weekend!!!

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