Tag:Mid-Week Mini-Rants
Posted on: February 17, 2010 11:57 am

Mid-Week Mini-Rants - A Tale of Two UConn's

Here in the state of Connecticut, sports fans value our UConn Huskies over everything else. Yes, even our new UFL team that will play in Hartford next year. So how many people were suprised that the UConn Men, a very enigmatic team, won a decisive game at No. 3 Villanova? Probably a few, but that win still put the Connecticut Huskies back onto the bubble with a host of other Big East schools. The men now have two wins over Top 5 teams, a true road win and again, the number one schedule in the country. What it has going against it is it's conference record in the Big East, where it has lost to several of those bubble teams. Are the men in? No, but winning 4 out of thier last 5 and a good Big East tournament wouldn't hurt.

The normally dominant UConn Women found themselves in a rare position against Oklahoma on Monday: losing in the 2nd half. Okay, so it was for like maybe 30 seconds and they won by 16 increasing their winning streak to 65 games (all by double-digits). I don't know who is capable of beating the UConn women, but they do play at Notre Dame later in the season. I think in order for Geno Auriemma's team to lose, they're going to have to beat themselves, and for a team that strives for perfection on every possesion, that's going to be tough. Strange Monday night though, the UConn Men had one of their best games and the Women well, didn't. Was there a full moon Monday night? Where's my almanac...

Two quick things from that UConn-Oklahoma game. One, when Rebecca Lobo (former UConn player, Nat. Champ in '95) asked Geno a standard post-game interview question, Geno looked at Lobo sideways before answering. I turned to my Dad and said, "How long is it going to take Lobo to change up her questions, Geno knows them all." My Dad's answer, "What else is there to ask?" Sigh, good point. It's a shame Geno knows it too. Two, Oklahoma, UConn and scores of other women's teams across the country breaking out pink jerseys in memory of NC State's Kay Yow. For those oblivious to the situation, Coach Yow is a former Wolfpack coach who lost her battle with cancer recently, and much like another Wolfpack coach, Jim Valvano, both coaches have left a legacy both on and off the court and it's always nice to see the rest of the country salute these two coaching greats.

Memo to NBC: Not everyone in the country wants to watch figure skating in primetime. Please find one of your secondary networks and put something else on for the rest of us. And it's more people than you think. I'm not knocking figure skating or pairs dancing or whatever it is, I just don't care for it. Where's the curling or hockey replays? Anything for the love of my sanity please.

Memo to Gary Parrish: I am a big fan of yours. I love your Poll Attacks entries where you rip AP writers for being idiots. Can you find out who wrote the Rider-St. Peter's recap on Monday and rip their ballot (or their newspaper's ballot) for not knowing which Thompson scored 21 points to lead the Broncs to victory. Would it be the senior Ryan Thompson (who is now 5th all-time at Rider in scoring) or the freshman Jonathan Thompson (might be related but didn't score in the St. Peter's game)? Also find out why no one from CBS bothered to care about the MAAC and correct it. I would be forever grateful and could count you as the second professional sports person to read and react to my blog. The first, Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid (unconfirmed but I'm counting it anyway) read my letter/entry to him and then ran the ball to victory over the Bears.
Posted on: February 10, 2010 11:44 am

Mid-Week Mini-Rants: All-Blizzard Edition

Unlike most of the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast did not get hit with last week's big snowstorm. Now, everyone from Boston to D.C. to Chicago is getting hammered with another heavy dose of the white stuff. So, in between shoveling out your cars, driveways and walkways, here are some events to watch for the rest of the week to get your mind off of winter. Well, sort of...

Wednesday: NCAA MBB -- UConn vs. Syracuse 7 PM / Duke vs. UNC 9 PM

How about two of college basketball's biggest rivalry games back-to-back tonight? With the Super Bowl over that means it's all about college basketball right now, and UConn and North Carolina are two teams that are desperate for a big win. The Huskies resume is better than UNC's right now, but UConn's best win, over then No. 1 Texas, doesn't look as good right now. UNC, well, they just need a win.

(And don't fret Connecticut fans, the UConn Women are on at 8 PM on CPTV if this gets ugly.)

And by the way, if you aren't following dantheman4250's NCAA tournament blogs and threads, start now.

Thursday: NBA -- Magic vs. Cavs 8PM / Spurs vs. Nuggets 10:30 PM -- NCAA MBB -- St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga 11 PM

There are still more good college games on earlier than this, but passing up a solid NBA doubleheader is hard. With the Celtics struggling the Magic and Cavs could be playing in the Eastern Conference Finals and Spurs also find themselves in need of a good NBA All-Star break. Two of the WCC's best for a nightcap makes this a pretty good night.

Friday: Winter Olympics 7:30 PM -- NCAA MBB -- Fairfield at Rider 7 PM / Siena at Niagara 8 PM

Okay, so the opening ceremonies in Vancouver won't exactly get your mind off winter, but it's still a great show. And yes, I am a huge homer throwing out some love for a Metro Atlantic (MAAC) basketball doubleheader. Odds of myself making the trek back to the old stomping grounds in Lawrenceville, moderately high. And would someone please beat Siena already.

Saturday: NASCAR Nationwide at Daytona 1:15 PM -- NBA All-Star Weekend 7 PM -- Winter Olympics 2 & 8 PM

Still more college basketball to be found, but Danica Patrick's debut at Daytona should draw a crowd. NASCAR has also scaled back some of its rules to improve racing with the Car of Tomorrow. That means bump-drafting and multi-groove racing is back this year. It never left Daytona, but other tracks suffered greatly. Throw it the NBA Skills Contests and Slam Dunk contests with some Olympics and this isn't a bad start to the weekend.

Sunday: NASCAR Daytona 500, 12 PM -- Winter Olympics (USA Women's Hockey) 3 PM -- NBA All-Star Game 8:30 PM

The Super Bowl of NASCAR kicks off a new racing season the week after the Super Bowl. Fantastic job by NASCAR to put the Daytona 500 the week after the Super Bowl and at noon. First Olympic Hockey game for Team USA and just in time for me to look up the international rules for hockey. No more goalies playing the puck in that stupid trapezoid. And of course, the NBA All-Star Game will grace us with its presence and immense lack of defense.

Well, I hope this helps keep your mind off of the 4 feet of snow that is piling up on the ground. Now excuse me, I have to go shovel again. As I typed this 15 inches fell on my front walk.

Posted on: February 3, 2010 12:07 pm

Mid-Week Mini-Rants - 24/7 Coverage of...Not Much

I understand that ESPN and other sports networks need to fill some time with coverage of important events. However, the following things are not important events that need to be covered from every angle or with every little detail. But that's just me. Perhaps I don't care for the following events or don't recognize their importance. Either way, I couldn't care less about it, but I will be forced to listen to it for the next several days.

Ahh...Super Bowl Media day. Where anyone with a sports credential can get admittance to the biggest (and most useless), over-hyped media event of the month. I don't need 24/7 coverage of Dwight Freeney's ankle or exactly what is wrong with it. If he and the Colts say that he could play, that's fine with me. Be done with it. Also, I don't need more stories on Archie Manning and who he is rooting for, however, knowing that their is a prop bet in Vegas on the number of camera shots he gets during the Super Bowl, is interesting.

The one good thing to come from Super Bowl media day, the OchoCinco News Network. The OCNN featured the one and only Chad Ochocinco along with Redskins TE Chris Cooley and other NFL players. Normally you get bloggers and random journalists who ask random questions, but the OCNN at least tried to give due process as a respectable network. Ochocinco and Cooley are two of the NFL's great characters and at least I got one good story out of media day.

ESPNU is currently airing 1,000 straight hours of HS football recruiting news. Since I am a fan of the UConn Huskies and the Big East, very little of their prospecting news will be about either. So personally, I don't care how many recruits that weasel of a coach Lane Kiffin gets at USC. Nor do I care how many 5-star players Florida or Notre Dame gets. Tell me graduation rates for all the schools and the academics for each player then, and only then, will I care.

Forget all of the nice things I said about the UConn Men's basketball team after their win over Texas last week. UConn, still playing without head coach Jim Calhoun, is still a team that lacks an identity as a team on the offensive side. They are not a good outside shooting team, the don't attempt a lot of threes, but they don't make a lot either, ranking in the bottom 10 in 3-pt FG makes per game in the NCAA last I checked. UConn still plays great defense and will likely lead the nation in blocks for a 10th straight year, but to make the NCAA tournament, they will need a strong finish in the Big East regular season and tourney. Otherwise, I get my UNC-UConn championship game from last year a little late and in the NIT.

For those of you who don't know, Wendell Millbrook is the star of the Miller High Life commercials. And yesterday he did appearances on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike and WFAN's Mike Francesa. He's a great interview and mentioned to both shows that Miller is giving away their Super Bowl commercial spots to some small businesses who need the time. This is a great promotion from a great company that should be getting more attention. At least more than Tim Tebow's ad. And I love Tebow and I have nothing against him or his message. But this is just a better story and, well, no one cares.

I'm just midway through a whole week of blogging. Tommorow I write my first NBA entry in, um, a while, then turn my attention to that game on Sunday. I think it's the called Super Bowl 44. Or something like that.

Category: General
Posted on: January 27, 2010 9:42 am
Edited on: January 27, 2010 9:43 am

Mid-Week Mini-Rants - SB44 Coverage Begins

We're coming to you live from the new and improved version of JEagle's laptop. Finally I am free of desktops and hardwire internet connections and back into the portable WiFi world. Anyway, who cares, we're just 11 days away from Super Bowl XLIV (that's 44 for those that don't know Roman Numerals) and the football coverage has already begun. So let's highlight the non-stories from the first few days.

First, Eli Manning was shown cheering for the Colts in Indy during their win over the Jets in the AFC Championship Game. And you'd be amazed at how many Jets fans thought this was insulting on the sports radio shows. Really? Eli is a New York Giant, yes, but he has no affiliation to the Jets other than they play in the same stadium. Of course he's going to root for his brother. Just like his father, Archie, a former QB for the Saints, will root for Peyton in the Super Bowl. Biggest non-story of the pre-Super Bowl coverage. Except for this one...

Brett Favre thinks it is "highly unlikely" that he will play next year. And the talking heads think we actually care. We don't. Brett Favre was thrown around like a rag doll against the Saints in the NFC Championship Game. Much like Kurt Warner (also mulling retirement), right now these guys are older, beat-up and tired. Who knows in August if they feel better and they have the competitive edge. I think that they are both the best QBs on their respective teams and both are playoff teams with them running the offense. But I don't care about any of this until maybe, um, late July. At the earliest. Not late January.

I hear Tim Tebow is doing a pro-life Super Bowl commericial and playing in the Senior Bowl this weekend. That's great for him. Really, I'm glad to see him put his mind to something that he wants. He wants to be an NFL QB and use his celebrity status to express his views. Great. I don't need 24/7, Brett Favre-esque coverage of it. Sorry Tim, but you're out of college and no one thinks you're an NFL QB. This means we shouldn't care what your workout at Senior Bowl practice went.

I documented the UConn-Texas game in my last entry, but I intentionally left out UConn storming the court for this entry. C'mon guys. You beat the "No. 1" ranked team in the country for just the second time in school history without your Hall of Fame coach after sucking offensively for the entire first half. You have 2 National Championship banners hanging in Gampel (a lot more if you count the women's), so act like you've been there before. You're team has underachieved all year and only after beating Texas did you finally prove to me that you are a Top 25 team. Yes, it's a good win and one that you desperately needed and maybe the UConn student body was also relieved to not be in North Carolina's situation. But you can't rush the court there. Inexcusable.

Staying with college basketball, Kentucky is the latest victim of the No. 1 curse losing to South Carolina yesterday. Yes, Calipari's young team has bone well, but if this was their first big pressure game and they choked. What's going to happen when these guys get into the SEC and NCAA tourneys? I think this was the first indicator that this team is going to need more than talent come March.

Here's to the speedy recover of Paraguay's Salvador Cabanas. Cabanas was the leading scorer for his country's international football (soccer) team that qualified for the World Cup that will be played this summer. Cabanas was shot in the head at a bar in Mexico, where he plays his club soccer.

Category: General
Posted on: January 21, 2010 2:29 pm

Mid-Week Mini-Rants - NFL Coaches

With the NFL Playoffs winding down and coaching searches being finalized, there is still a lot of interesting news regarding NFL coaches. First, good for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys for giving Wade Phillips an extension. He's deserved it and he didn't need a playoff win in my opinion to earn it, but he crushed my Eagles anyway before getting waxed by the Minnesota Favres. The Cowboys appear in prime position for continued success in the NFL and should be regular contenders in the NFC East with Romo and Phillips leading the way.

Note to Keith Brooking, Cowboys LB -- Yes, Minnesota probably shouldn't have thrown it on 4th and 2 into the endzone. But you're not allowed to go over to the sidelines and complain about it. If you don't want them to score, keep them out of the endzone. Heed the mantra of the great Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game."

Another strange development in San Diego, where Norv Turner recieved an extension from the Charges after a dismal game loss against the upstart Jets. This is the same organization that fired Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 regular season and a playoff loss to the Patriots. While I don't have any problems with the actual extension, San Diego has many more questions to answer this offseason, as they have many players up for free agency and have to endure another off-season after playoff failure.

Note to Al Davis - Please fire Tom Cable. Stop waiting and interviewing candidates. You're the worst owner in the NFL right now so start living up to your reputation. At least your decision to can Lane Kiffin seems slightly more logical than it does now.

Someone needs to ban Jose Offerman from baseball internationally. All levels, from MLB, to the WBC to Little League. I don't care if his punch didn't land, he still took a swing at an umpire two years after rushing the mound in Bridgeport, CT with a bat, striking two opposing players in an Atlantic League game. One of those players, former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans has a civil suit pended on Offerman. Get Bud Selig on the phone with all the other organizations worldwide and formally ban this man from baseball. If Pete Rose was banned for gambling, and Offerman's offenses are much worse, this should be a no-brainer.

Here's to a swift and speed recovery to UConn Men's Basketball coach Jim Calhoun. The Hall of Fame coach took a medical leave of absence earlier in the week but his condition is not related to his earlier bouts with cancer. It is likely stress related but that is unconfirmed at this time. It's an off year for the UConn Huskies but George Blaney is a more than capable head coach in his own right and while he might not be able to right the ship this season, he should be able to get UConn into the NCAA tournament where they will be a tough out for anyone.

Category: General
Posted on: January 6, 2010 9:50 am

Mid-Week Mini-Rants - Start of 2010

I've heard that NFL Commish Roger Goodell wants to keep late season games competitve and not have top teams rest players. He thinks imposing fines or penalizing teams in other ways, draft picks, playoff seeding, etc., wouldn't be a bad idea. He cites that the fans are paying full price for a preseason game (which fans pay full price for anyways) and wants to keep the competitive balance of the league intact. Basically, he doesn't want a team like the Jets to back-door into the playoffs (this year he allowed it to get one week, maybe two, of New York area media dollars) and he wants to keep Vegas happy (gambling is not a part of the NFL and this statement will be denied). It's a terrible idea for one reason: Wes Welker. The Patriots best wideout (sorry Randy) will miss the rest of the postseason thanks to a severe knee injury sustained in Week 17 against the Houston Texans. Did the Patriots have something to play for? Technically, yes, a win would assure them the number 3 seed in the AFC, a loss and the Bengals could have jumped them. Even after the loss the Bengals still rolled over for the Jets and will play them in Cincinnati this weekend. If teams have clinched a playoff spot and want to rest players, that's their right since they've earned a berth in the postseason. How about getting a labor agreement done Mr. Commish and then worry about stupid things like this.

Everyone knows my stance on the BCS. I hate it. The system sucks. The did get #1 and #2 right with Bama and Texas. That's about it. TCU and Boise shouldn't have played each other. After Brian Kelly bolted Cincy for ND everyone knew that game was a blowout. What's wrong with these matchups?

TCU-Florida, Boise St.-GA Tech, Cincy-Iowa

Not only is this more fair for the BCS busters, but I think all of these would have turned out to be better games. Of course, I'd have to assume that Cincy would show up. I take back my opinion that Iowa wasn't a deserving BCS team. QB Ricky Stanzi makes that team go and he returned from injury to beat GA Tech and their triple-option. Well done Iowa and the Big Ten in general. Maybe now ND wants to join. (Na.)

And shame on the Big East for their New Year's Day bowl preformance. I can understand Cincy going down, but not that badly. And WVU should have crushed the Florida St. Bobby Bowdens. The Big East did boast bowl wins over the ACC and SEC (Pitt-UNC, UConn-S. Car.). but arguably their two best teams got dominated. Give the 'Noles credit though, they wanted that game badly for their coach, who may have to forfeit 14 wins after FSU's appeal to the NCAA failed. Happy retirement Bobby.

The Big Unit, Randy Johnson has also announced his retirement. A surefire first-ballot entry into Cooperstown after a 22-season career. Watching him throw a perfect game against my Atlanta Braves a few years ago still ranks as the one of the greatest things I have ever seen live on TV in sports.

Someone please tell the sideline reporter of the Coll. of Charleston - UNC game to calm down. I know it's a big upset for Charleston, but when you're more excited than the victorious coach your interviewing, that's not good.

The UConn Women's Basketball team is on a 52 game winning streak. Every victory is by double-digits, including a win over #2 Stanford this year. The Cardinal were the last team to beat the Huskies in the 2008 Final Four. And you know Pat Summit wants to call Geno Auriemma and put aside their differences and schedule a game. Pick up the phone Pat, you want to end that streak. Don't wait for March...
Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com