Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blog that should actually be called: In Deep Depression over Minnesota Sports

Let me rant...

* I can't wait until Ralph Sampson III graduates. I've disliked other Gophers for various reasons in the past. For example: I was frustrated with Lawerence Westbrook being selfish and all, but at least he actually cared and played hard every game. But, to be honest...Tubby has created this monster himself. The no-nonsense coach that makes players "earn" minutes, didn't use this philosophy for Ralph. Nope, Ralph was locked in at starter from day one. Who cares if he's never had a legitimately good game against a big time opponent that ended up in a Gophers win. Who cares if he plays like a Nancy and has never boxed out a single defender for a potential rebound in his career. Who cares if there are more deserving options on the bench to start over Ralph. The only one that has ever benched Ralph are his own injuries. I went down to the Old Spice Classic in Orlando and I thought Tubby was benching him because of poor play (he was getting worked in all three games: DePaul, Indiana State and Dayton). I find out after coming back in town that Ralph wasn't 100%...no shit, when does he ever play like he's 100%.

* Fred Pagac...wasn't he just a dead man walking once Singletary was hired on the staff before the year even started. So, do you blame Frazier for sticking with Pagac or adding Singletary to the staff? And if the reports are true that players quit on Pagac...what does that say about Leslie's leadership?

* Rick Adelman won't live long having to start every game watching Ridnour, Johnson, Beasley, Love and Darko attempting to play basketball. I'm not crying for Rubio to start, but watching this starting five play actually makes me want my son to play hockey. No ball movement once it hits Beasley. No defense. Piss poor team rebounding, even though we apparently have the "best rebounder" in the league on the floor. Wes Johnson resembles Rodney Williams timidness and absolutley no confidence with the ball on the perimeter.

* Build a GOD DAMN football stadium for the Vikings already! How can the state fumble away at maybe losing our most identified sports team in the state? Especially, coming off the heels of: 1. The Twins success off their new dig and the business they jump started in that district. 2. The roof collapsing last winter being the MOST depressing moment in the most depressing sports year ever for Minnesota. What is the hold-up? Has a stadium deal publicly financed or not ever turned into a debbie downer deal? I can't recall one...I mean the Vikings still pack the ugly, depressing dome every Sunday...with a horseshit product and all.

* Teams/players I purposely root against because the local teams suck so far into irrelevance that they don't really matter in the big picture anymore. Miami Heat (I hate LeBron and Bosh), Alabama basketball (do they have to air every one of their games on an ESPN channel), Matt Ryan (can we drop the "Matty Ice" nickname due to his playoff record), Indiana Hoosiers basketball (Tom Crean claps too much on the sideline), Northwestern basketball (I enjoy them failing to make NCAA...it boosts my morale of Gopher program), Kentucky basketball (John Calipari and that crazed fan base will hopefully never win that imaginary title, because obviously cheating will take said title away a few years down the line after Calipari leaves the program)...

* Attempting to build a man cave in our basement. My dream list to "honor" our local teams: Timberwolves - old school logo is the shit. But, you know what else was dope?? Stanley Roberts "Thug Love" tattoo. Twins - A Nick Punto fathead would do the trick, or maybe I could just honor them by having John Olerud's fielding helmet that Morneau and Span could wear next year. Vikings - maybe a mural on the wall of water covering two-thirds of the world and then Fred Smoot covering the other third..but then have Steve Smith getting wide open in whatever Carolina state they play in. Gopher hoops - Team photo that include Royce, Trevor, Devoe, Al, Blake, Colton, Rodney, Ralph...so, sad. Gopher football - uniforms under Jim Wacker that didn't represent school colors, also the grass from Pasadena that Brewster brought in.


Friday, June 3, 2011

It's been awhile...

I apologize for my lack of posting to my one reader out there, but I've been recovering from bilateral brain weakness due to all Minnesota sports sucking it up in the past two months (actually, we're going on a little over a year). Well, our high school basketball coach used to say, "things can always be better, and things can always be worse"...which gets me thinking that we should be stomping on other people, sports, fanbases that are down at this point of time:

* Ohio State football: I'm pretty much amazed that this isn't Ohio State basketball that ran into NCAA violations. I mean besides being the biggest University in all of America...why would anyone (football or basketball or general student population) in their right mind want to spend at least four years of their precious life in Columbus, Ohio? Also, how is Ohio State the biggest university in America...while Ohio University is a middle of the road mid-major school...how does that work? Anyways, I'm glad Ohio State ran into this mess...maybe we won't have to hear THE Ohio State from their once proud alum on Monday Night Football introductions.

* Penn State basketball: You lose your head coach to Navy...while most of the vacancies have already been filled with the "hot", "emerging" candidates. Good luck!

* Basketball analysts comparing and debating about LeBron in relation to Jordan: Shut up! It's ridiculous on so many levels. The only comparison between the two are that they are both black and have highlight reel dunks. But, so did Dominique Wilkins...so maybe that's a better comparison to LeBron. LeBron currently has ZERO rings. It could be argued that he's not even the best player on his own team (Wade). Would Jordan let his team collapse with a fifteen point lead with six minutes and change to go in Game 2 (or any for that matter) of the Finals?

* Houston Rockets hire Kevin McHale: How long do you think this relationship will last? I bet it'll be no more than two years and he'll be complaining about the workload and/or travel by the end of the first year. Why is he jumping back in...?? This is just random, due to his lack of work ethic (by his own admission) and performance under Glen Taylor. The only positive is the possibility of Mark Madsen being an assistant coach under McHale...therefore, he would be the first assistant coach ever to be waving a towel over his head to cheer his players on.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Early Impressions on Twins...

It's hard to get too high or low on an opening series against a talented, but inexperienced Toronto team...but, here's what I took away:

* I like Blackburn and believe he'll have a bounce back year. There are two reasons I love him...he was drilled in the face with a ball and came back without a hitch, or mental lapse. I mean I'm pretty sure Scott Baker and/or Kevin Slowey would be out of the league if that had happened to them. Also, his game 163 performance against the White Sox was clutch even though the Twins ended up losing it 1-0.

* The lineup is overrated. I think it's as good as Gardy can make with what he's got on the roster. But, this lineup makes middle of the road pitchers look like All-Stars more often than not. Quick run down: Span - singles hitter, Nishi - overrated, adjusting to MLB pitching, Mauer - please drive the fucking ball, Morneau - head issues = subpar year at the plate, Young - made strides last year, but he still has crappy, impatient at-bats all the time, Cuddyer - I'm done with him, Valencia - I like this kid, except he's slow as hell on the base paths, Casilla - will he even last the year as a starter?, Kubel/Thome - good pop, but how frequent will they actually produce?

* Drew Butera is growing on me. Twins get spanked in first two games against Jays with Mauer as the catcher. Butera catches the finale of the series and Jays only score three runs compared to the 19 runs combined they scored in the first two games. Now his actual batting prowess is a different story...but, this kid handles all the pitchers on the staff well when he's behind the plate.

* Not a fan of the bullpen. I mean I think Gardy and Rick Anderson will still work miracles with what they have out there, but there is no way in hell this resembles a post-season type bullpen right now. No power arms from either side, even Capps and Nathan pitch more to contact at this stage of their careers. Unless someone emerges through the farm system or via trade I just don't see how this bullpen will not be an achilles heal all season.

* The fielding through three games looks horseshit as well. Nishioka/Casilla combo looks out of whack. The rundown attempt during the opening game was atrocious (Morneau's fault, but Nishi didn't help matters). The outfield is still slow as hell...to the point where either Young or Kubel needs to be traded just to clear up some of the unathleticism they have on their roster. I wouldn't mind trading one of those two and bringing up a youngster (Revere or Hicks) or just playing Repko in place of them. Play either the youngster or Repko in center field and move Span to one of the corner spots so I don't have to see his noodle arm limp it in on two bounces to Nishi on a gapper.


Monday, March 28, 2011

2nd Annual OBBT Review

We hosted our 2nd annual bean bag tournament at our house this year. Here were the highs and lows of the tourney:

* Weather was around 25-30 degrees the whole day. We had two and a half patio heaters going out in the yard that didn't seem to warm up anything unless you were right under it.

* We rented out bleachers (about five rows high...seats 40 maximum). A lot of people seemed to make use of them throughout the day...either to stay warm (two of the heaters were out there initially) or to just to get away from the cigarette smoke.

* We didn't fucking finish the tourney. It was pitch black when we finally threw in the towel and four teams were still left: Garett/Kia, myself/my lovely wife, Dave/Carol and Brad/Laura. We divied up the pot money for what I thought was fair for each of the teams. Garett/Kia were undefeated at the point so they walked away with $300...everyone else was somewhere between $100 and $180. I mean but seriously...not only does every Minnesota sports team suck this year but our very own event has us without an actual winner of our own bean bag tournament. I felt like Bud Selig at the All Star Game debacle.

* All 32 co-ed teams showed up without a hitch. Last year was brutal...I believe we had to get two teams the morning of the tournament to cover all 32 spots.

* Raised $300 for Patrica Quale and her 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer. We toppled last year's amount $240.

* I find it odd that we're raising money for breast cancer and more than half the participants are smoking cigarettes. So we're against breast cancer, but apparently cool with lung cancer.


Friday, March 4, 2011


PMA was a motivational acronym we used at our cellar dweller football program in college. Positive Mental Attitude. I mean doesn't this sound like something that Tim Brewster would say to his troops after getting blasted week in and week out. Well, I'm going to try to put it to use here today and list some of the positives that we have going around here for our Minnesota sports scene.

* Twins infield. I'm not even really talking about Morneau either. I'm anxious to see Casilla, Valencia and Nishioka play under Gardenhire. Will Gardy have the quick hook if one or more of these guys are in a slump? Casilla has the shortest leash of them all even though he's been clutch in tight spots for this club. If you throw Morneau back in the mix...we'd be back to the good ol' days with the "League of Nations Infield" (Koskie, Guzman, Rivas and Dougie M...yes, I'm too lazy to look up to see how to spell his last name).

* Blake Hoffarber. What a shitty way to end your college career...but, I hope the The Barn recognizes and appreciates what this kid has done to help this program along. No hatred towards Al Nolen, but this kid has done it on and off the court for all four years while improving his individual game every year.

Also, what's your favorite Gopher basketball moment that wasn't tarnished by academic scandal? I mean does it get any better than a white kid that was hardly recruited by Division I schools going up to grab a 3/4 length court out of bounds pass between taller, more athletic players and then having the wherewithal to spin and shoot a floating sideways one footer jumper that goes in and beats the Hoosiers IN Indianapolis to move on to the next round of the Big Ten Tourney. *My personal story on that game...I had Big Ten Network...my dad didn't have that channel yet (lots of posturing with cable companies)...he stayed on the phone while I was depressed that we blew the game and then Blake goes Christian Laettner on us and all I could say to my dad was a whole bunch of expletives over and over. My dad was confused up until I settled down after the 3rd or 4th replay.

* Kudos to Kevin Love. I think his double-double streak is a little water-downed by playing for a 15 win team currently. However, within that streak he's had some monster games that the T'wolves actually ended up winning (30-30 game against the Knicks and a 20-20 game against the Pistons). I always liked the energy he's brought to the court, now it seems that the "energy" is being validated by this current streak.

Other than what I mentioned above...our sports suck balls right now. But, remember...we have to have PMA.


Friday, February 18, 2011


Gopher basketball is hanging by a thread for their NCAA tourney hopes only because of their Puerto Rico performance (North Carolina and West Virginia) back in November. And to make matters worse...Big Ten Network is showing the 1997-98 Gopher team...our roster was sick. Clem played ten guys and at least three guys (for sure) could create their own shot (Jacobsen, Jackson and Lewis) all on their own. Who can do that on this years squad...maybe Chip Armelin...a guy that Tubby plays maybe a whole ten minutes per game.

* You know what separates the elite Big Ten basketball programs from the rest of the pack? The elite teams year in and year out play man to man defense and play it extremely well. Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin refuse to play zone. Ohio State throws an occasional zone because they only play 6-7 players in their rotation and try to stay away from foul trouble with their own guys. Most of them recruit pretty well...but, how does Wisconsin manage year in and year out when they have their infamous black point guard and four white guys playing every year. I absolutely HATE zone. There is no accountability since they are guarding space...and the rebounding and/or art of blocking out an opponent is thrown out the window. I know Tubby is playing with a short deck...but, I don't think primarily sitting in a zone all game, every game is going to do these guys any good against perimeter oriented teams they'll face the remainder of the year.

* I'm watching The Greatest Games on BTN between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Clem's offense isn't much different than Tubby's. Every time down if Bobby Jackson doesn't try to go one on three in transition, they work the the high/low game with the posts. Which gets me thinking...our guards suck. I mean they were running high/low sets with Winter and Tarver...let me repeat...Trevor Winter and Miles Tarver...and get this...they were getting good shots.

Who had the longer college basketball playing career: Sam Okey or Jess Settles?

Another nugget...Paul Grant is playing...yes, the Timberwolves 1st round draft pick. I wouldn't have drafted him based on his free throw routine. He dribbles (more like slapping at the ball like a grade school kid) 8-9 times before he shoots it. Thanks, Kevin McHale.

* How has Tubby not addressed upgrading his guard (specifically, point guard) positions through recruiting in four years? Al Nolen and Blake Hoffarber were Monson recruits. Justin Cobb and Maverick Ahanmisi were pretty much late editions/leftovers (not exactly rated high) to their respective classes. Devoe Joseph was a shooting guard that was forced to run the point while he was here. It's great that we have a plethora of big men...but, good guard play is what wins you games.

* If everyone comes back...how do rotate bigs next year. You'll have: Iverson, Sampson, Mbakwe, Walker and Eliason...plus, Oto. I only bring this up because through three years...Tubby has babied Ralph Sampson III. Ralph has not progressed thus far...what happens next year when we have legitimate bigs that should be playing over him...or at least comparable minutes to him.

* How sad is it that I just wrote about "next year"...that's how depressing it is watching the Gophers lately.