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Westsider Rider

Friday, December 30, 2005

End of the Year

Damn, another year has come and gone, just doesn't feel right since the past two years all my friends from Michigan have been at my house for the Rose Bowl and I didn't have to cry myself to sleep until after the new year. I was planning on doing a good review on the stuff that I pay attention to the most sports and hip-hop/R&B but I just can't really think that far back to the beginning of the year so first I'll start with my top 3 albums of the year which for me, in the following order was: 1. The Game - The Documentary, 2. Common - Be, and 3. Chamillionaire - The Sound of Revenge. Those are the three that stand out to me right now so I'll go with that, don't feel like looking up what else dropped this year so I'll leave it at that.

Regarding some new music I picked up the Jamie Foxx and the Mary J. Blige CD's a week or two ago and I'd have to say the Jamie Foxx CD is very average, it's ok but I wouldn't recommend purchasing it, it has its moments but then other times just degenerates into different ways of saying "I wanna sex you up" music. The Mary J. Blige CD on the other hand is great and highly recommended. From start to finish it's a great CD that you can listen to and I'm sure most of you have heard the first single which is the jam.

UCLA just finished a wild game with Northwestern which we had to worry about covering the over, fortunately they did, the crazy part was Brandon Breazell returned two onside kicks for TD's. Missouri came back to beat South Carolina and now we're waiting on the Peach Bowl which was the non-BCS bowl I was looking most forward to watching but I'm here at work so I'll have to do with the DVR'd version.

I was going to go into my favorite sports moments of the year but I just can't think that far back right now and don't want to look up shit either so off the top of my head I will remember Vince Young running all over us, ND weekend with the boys back at Michigan, 4th of July weekend parties at our house, Super Mario Manningham's GW TD against Penn State while I was up north for that weekend, Ohio State weekend (even though we lost) as Steven woke up and found Rick's by himself, Mike Hart's performance against Michigan State, more parties at my house and Kobe's 62 in 3 quarters. There's a lot that I'm missing but this list will have to do.

Here's to a Happy and Healthy and Prosperous New Year for my friends, family and to you people who actually take the time to read what goes inside my crazy, sports obsessed mind. I'll be back next year.

That's what happens to me when we lose

Earl says I'm "on edge" this morning as I talked with him on IM after I bantered back and forth with him and some other people on our Fantasy basketball message board this morning. I guess that's what takes place when I become bitter due to our inadequacies as a football team, and I don't even play on this team. When I played I was always extremely emotional about what had happened and I guess it's just carried over.

So while I'll have some other year end stuff I'll discuss later in the afternoon since we don't have too much work, come on cross your fingers I might not have to work tomorrow then, I'm going to discuss an article I came across on Slate via EDSBS. This article is entitled "Trojan Farce - Why USC is overrated." Now this current SC team of 2005 is a very good team, there's no denying that, however to call them one of the greatest of all time before they've even played their bowl game is ludicrous. I've stated before that I think the previous two teams would definitely beat this team, I even had a conversation with another USC alum yesterday who would take the 2002 team ahead of them as well. I'm sure this is beating a dead horse but just to hear it from someone else is great to read especially when they mention things about 97 Michigan and 91 Washington which I believe would both have been extremely close games, not as one sided as that idiot Mark May and the Bucknut Kirk Herbstreit said. So it's good to see someone else notice that as well:

For instance, the ESPN crew discussed a hypothetical game between USC and
the 1997 Michigan Wolverines. That Michigan team had a spotty offense, but its defense was phenomenal, allowing less than nine points a game. The Wolverines had probably the best pass defense in college history, with 23 interceptions and just five touchdown passes allowed. It had Charles Woodson, who bucked history by winning the Heisman Trophy as a defensive player, along with three other future NFL cornerbacks. They held what was then the highest-scoring team in the history of the Pac 10 to 16 points.

What did ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit predict as the final score? 34-17, Trojans.
ESPN's Mark May? USC, 49-14. Will the reader please note that mediocre defenses
like Arizona State and Notre Dame held USC well below 49 points this year?

Can't forget LB's Ian Gold and Dhani Jones who are now in the NFL as well. And also:
My favorite, though, was the matchup with the 1991 Washington Huskies. That team outscored its opponents by a staggering average margin of 42-9. Herbstreit's conclusion? "There's no way that that defense could stop SC." May: "It wouldn't even be close."

In other college football last night Utah destroyed Georgia Tech, I'm still upset at myself I forgot to check the line again before the game cause I was so ready to take Utah on the ML and then Oregon continued the tradition of the Holiday Bowl by getting beat by a supposed inferior team because the higher ranked team was too pissed off about being screwed out of the BCS. This happened last year with Cal and a couple years ago with Texas as well. at least I got that bet in. Now the meat of the bowl games start and tomorrow's LSU-Miami game will still be good but without Jamarcus Russell so I'm taking the Canes tomorrow. As much as our bowl game sucked I'm still looking forward to the rest of bowl season, hopefully there'll be some good games to take my mind off this debacle of a season that was Michgian football and maybe our basketball team can help me out with that as well.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Two More Stats

Schembechler Hall posted this great stat:

  • 2005 Halftime Leads Blown: 5
  • 2005 Fourth-Quarter Leads Blown: 6


So much running through my mind

I was about to completely melt down last night but I stopped to compose myself, step back, take a deep breath before I came back. In between I also just cried myself to sleep considering not only did we blow another 11 point lead to an inferior team, just gone 7-7 in the past 14 games, the only other positive that could've happened to me, the Lakers blew another game they shouldn't have, what is up with my teams and no defense, underachievers? Sure some may say I need to get another hobby, a girlfriend, maybe a whole new life, but I am what I am and I can't stop feeling this pain from a horrible Michigan football season.

Others will get into how horrible the officiating was, I only know second hand since I was at work the entire game, and how Tyler Ecker could have pitched to Steve Breaston and he could've scored, should not have even come down to that, but I'm not because this game was supposed to be over when we got the ball back with 10 mins to play with an 11 point lead and we could have nullified any of this complaining about those things. All I had read about coming into the game was "we worked on finishing games" whether it was on offense or defense I read the same shit and shame on me for actually believing it because if these years at Michigan have taught me anything, never believe anything the football coaches say will happen. Finish games? Didn't happen. Preseason offense saying we're going to spread the ball around? Nope. Defense much improved? Not really.

An interesting stat I read on one of the message boards is that we are now 7-7 in our last 14 games. 7-7, .500, sure that'd be great for the Lions but in college football for a program like ours that is completely unacceptable. I initially made the statement that Coach Carr was turning into Mack Brown and that Michigan was turning into the Texas of the Big 10 2 seasons ago after our loss to Iowa when we were up 20-10 and just blew a game that we shouldn't have. It was actually my away message for the weekend but then we won some games and made it to the Rose Bowl. However, that team was good enough to play for a national championship but we didn't. Chris Perry along with John Navarre as a senior, Braylon Edwards as a junior and we still lost 3 games. Then we went to the Rose Bowl again last year and lost again when we shouldn't have, if we could just contain a mobile QB for once but hey, we made the Rose Bowl and won the Big 10 for the 2nd year in ar ow everything is ok right? Definitely not. Then comes the disaster of this year, we were definitely overrated to start the year at #4 and anyone that followed Michigan closely knew that was the case but to fall this far? Oh yeah our coaches are still in place so there was no reason to believe we could actually meet expectations. We had another great chance in 2000, my sophomore year when we had 5 NFL picks in the top 35 selections, the entire offensive line was starting somewhere in the NFL on opening day the next year and somehow we managed to lose 3 games. I can't fault the road game to UCLA, although we should have won that one, since John Navarre had to play in place of an injured Henson but the losses to Northwestern and Purdue were just ridiculous. Once again another chapter of Michigan doing less with more.

The other question being posed is was 1997 worth it? One of my friends claims that 1997 was the worst thing that could have happened to us. We went undefeated, got screwed out of a full national championship so we've got half but that is what is keeping Coach Carr's job today. Coach Carr inherited a team of Coach Moeller's players and won a national championship which what his supporters point to when defending him, but we haven't even contended for a championship since then. Every year we blow a game in September, then we blow another one halfway through the year so at the very least LLLoyd if not LLLLoyd is becoming the norm considering we cannot win a bowl game ever, the only one we've one in the past 5 years is thanks to Ron Zook.

I feared halfway through the season that we were taking the fall like Penn State did a few years back and with a few wins that went away but it's back now. With our coaches and athletic department stuck in the past, not willing to make any changes we will be stuck in this crap for years to come. I've got two metaphors for how to look at this, one I read on one of the message boards somewhere a month or two ago where someone posted that Michigan was like an inbreeding family where they just kept on inbreeding (coaches always coming from within) and now you've got a fucked up kid which is what Michigan football is now. The other coming from my brother who said: "Watching Michigan Football, Is like Being a Parent And Watching Your Child, Stupidly fall down over and over again. Yet, patiently waiting for him to learn its lesson." Except that are still waiting for him to learn his lesson and we wonder if he ever will because he never wants to change.

I've still got so much running through my head, yes I know I have problems, but I can't put it down right now, I think I've covered most of what I want to, I'm sure I'll probably find some other shit to write later. On a brighter note at least there's basketball season as the team won again pushing our record to 9-1 and from EDSBS, at least in their eyes, we're the best 7-5 team ever!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I cannot believe it has come to this, once again with a double digit lead in the 4th quarter the team disappears and we lose another close game, a trademark of the LLLLLoyd regime. I really just am at a loss of words because even though I've been stuck at work all game long I can already tell what happened just by listening to it on audio and watching on gamecast, I don't need to see the tivo'd version when I get home. All the coordinators talked about before the game was "finishing out games," even the radio guys said it when we got the ball back with 10 mins to play with a 11 point lead and said let's see if we can close it out and once again we have failed to do so. To do it to a shitty team like Nebraska and a team that I can't stand as much as them just makes me sick. Sure this may be a little overboard since I am extremely emotional at this moment but it's the truth, we consistently do less with more. No need to worry about Carlos Brown, or Greg Mathews or whoever else we end up signing in this recruiting class, they won't develop much at Michigan, the coaches will find ways for them to lose games a few times a year then once they get to the NFL they'll tear it up making it seem like it was their college but in reality it's not. How many times did Braylon Edwards bail us out of games last year, our athletes will make plays because we get athletes since we're Michigan but we don't do much with them. I don't know what else to say and I'll stop before it gets really ugly and I have to start retracting statements tomorrow. Basketball or Hockey has to come through this year because I just can't believe what has transpired this season and there's no sign of the underachieving to stop anytime soon at Michigan.

Live from San Antonio

Damn, bowl game is here, work which was not busy as of yesterday just got swamped this morning so I can't put up as much as I'd like to regarding the game considering it's starting in less than an hour. Mike Hart is supposed to be close to full strength and hopefully so because we're a completely different team with him. In a disappointing year this will be a disappointing end to the season as the guys at the M Zone posted, regardless of outcome. This game should be an easy victory as the bookmakers in Vegas have predicted with the line opening at 13 but now dropping down to 10.5. We need to win this game, obviously because we hate to lose, but it's one thing for me to have to cry post game after the previous two bowl losses at the Rose Bowl against USC and Texas but it'd be another thing to lose to a bad Nebraska team that we should handle.

The other part that is upsetting is this will be Jason Avant's last game as a Michigan Wolverine. I remember when we were recruiting him and he was one of the recruits I really wanted to suit up in Maize and Blue, granted most of the kids we recruit I'd like for us to sign but for some reason following his recruitment I thought he would be a great fit in Ann Arbor and was my must have recruit of that season and we eventually got him. He's proven me correct on every bit, even my boy Mike who went to Cal but remembers watching the one handed grab against Northwestern two years ago will say that he is his favorite Michigan player. He catches everything in sight and has bailed us out on many occasion on 3rd down. Avant has been a great role model on and off the field and is a true Michigan man. Since it's almost game time and I've got more work to do still I'll leave you with a part of his speech at the team banquet after the season:

"I am so happy that I get one more chance to go out there and play in this uniform. I just cannot describe the feeling I have. I have one more shot to play in this game, and I take it with pride, and I am going to give everything I have just to play for my teammates and just to play for all you fans. God Bless you."

Thanks Jason for all that you've done and the fans definitely appreciate it, you will go down in my book as one of my favorite Michigan players ever.

Finally some real analysis

Over at iBlog For Cookies, Vijay has done some actual analysis regarding the greatest teams in the past 50 years and stacked them up against USC. It is nice to see something of substance being discussed as opposed to Mark May and Kirk Herbstreit say "USC wins easily" or "No chance that team could keep up with USC." As much as I hate them I think this team is the worst of the bunch as I think the 2003 and 2004 teams would beat this current team and I'm sure there are many out there that would agree with me.

Moving onto College Basketball Adam Morrison is a monster, he just continues to put up ridiculous numbers as shown by his 34 points last night. Granted he didn't finish strong, as he was held scoreless the last 9 minutes of the game, but still he's averaging 28 ppg in college, that's just unheard of. Gonzaga dropped a tough one to Memphis last night but I still expect them to do big things this season.

Michigan basketball has a game tonight against Coppin State which they're trying to get more people out the game by showing the Alamo Bowl on the Jumbotron after the game, we'll see how well that works out. There was actually a decent turnout for Miami (OH) last week as the attendance was reported at over 10,000 which is that much more impressive considering the students are off for break. Should be another W tonight and we should roll into Bloomington on January 3rd with a 10-1 mark. I'll put up thoughts on the bowl a little later.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Didn't really go quite as planned

My first long weekend in a while was pretty good minus the Lakers going 1-2 on the road trip. Although after the tough loss on Sunday I expected them to come out and blow the game on Monday. Going off the 2nd night of a back to back on the road along with all the energy they put into Sunday's game and losing I figured would take the wind out of their sails and cause a let down, which is pretty much what happened. The Lakers played pretty well and had their chances to win but going 3-21 from behind the arc and missing a lot of key FT's isn't going to get many W's, much less against a good team on the road.

Kobe played the typical Kobe game, aside from the missed FT's can't really complain, although the 0-8 from 3 point land didn't help. One thing you can notice from watching Kobe lately is at the end of quarters instead of trying to drive to the hoop, or even drive and pull up for his mid-range jumper, which is ridiculously accurate, he will try to shake the defender and just hoist a 3. He did this on at least two occasions on Sunday when he had plenty of time to try and drive to get a deuce instead of trying to put a dagger in when there was no need to even attempt it.

Brian Cook played very well going 6-9 from the field and he was on fire in the 3rd quarter. I don't know why he didn't play more down the stretch because he was hitting everything and stretching the D which we could've used. Kwame Brown played pretty well on the defensive end on Shaq at times, but once again was nonexistent on the offensive end. He still shows flashes of brilliance while just completely frustrating you at other times. Lamar played a pretty good game going for 14 points and 16 boards but he needs to stop shooting the 3 ball. He was once again an 0-fer with 5 attempts.

The main problem though was on defense, as always. The D is definitely improved this season compared to last but come on we let Gary Payton torch us for 21 points, mostly on uncontested layups, same with Jason "White Chocolate" Williams. I cannot remember a game where the opposing teams PG was so easily able to drive and easily lay a ball in. Whether it was Smush or Sasha the D was horrendous and must be worked on. There's no way we're winning too many games allowing other PG's to do that to us all game long.

As a side note Joey at Straight Bangin posted on a very important topic that I've constantly thought about after the NBA telecast switch was made from NBC to ABC. Just this weekend alone I had at least 3 different conversations with people about how the NBA just doesn't seen the same without "Roundball Magic" and Joey agrees. When cell phone ringtones first came out I tried everywhere to get this song for my phone but was unsuccessful, even if I could get it today I would but I've given up, anyone out there that can help me would be greatly appreciated. Although it isn't the same Nelly recently sampled the song on his album, they were playing it pregame at the USC-UCLA game it's titled "Heart of a Champion" if you want to check it out. I also remember listening to a freestyle by some random rapper on XM Radio driving back from Michigan where someone sampled "Roundball Magic" that was dope as hell but I was unsuccessful in finding that song as well.

Backtracking on Saturday gathered at home with a group of friends and started drinking some good shit as my dad was in a good mood and handed me a bottle of Blue Label and El Charro. Before we got started I caught the end of the Sheraton Bowl or whatever it was between Nevada and Central Florida. Like I've stated before I love watching these random obscure games not only because I love college football but also because most likely these sort of games will have an impact on my run at the College Fantasy Football National Championship as I have led my Michigan Wolverines against the University of Alabama Birmingham Blazers. This game was for my team as I started Nevada's QB Jeff Rowe and their WR Nichiren Flowers. But besides that point, it was a fun game to watch as both teams made plays, UCF came back from 10 down in the last few minutes of the game to bring overtime and there's nothing I love more than college football overtime. Nevada went down and scored first and then UCF followed suit except their kicker decided to follow in the steps of Ryan Pflugner and blow the extra point and the game for his team. Granted since I was on the winning side it was great, but damn it must really suck to lose a game like that. For those that don't remember Pflugner was the Alabama kicker that missed the extra point in the 2000 Orange Bowl giving Michigan the win. After the game we drank a lot but I didn't really get that drunk so it was disappointing. However it was a good time with a group of friends and similar to what we did last year, drinking Blue Label with friends and that's always a good thing. Sunday was just the Lakers and dinner with some relatives and drinking with my pops.

Yesterday had a family friend come in from out of town so grabbed dinner with them followed by an sort of high school reunion at Marcus' house. Since Mike's back down from up north, Nima's back from med school, Prem is actually hanging out in F town and Richie actually being let out by the Mrs. so we gathered to play some poker and just chill out. Nima went to USC and one of his old roommates came by and hung out as well. Nima's old roommate Jung, asks us if he knew if USC beat the latest team in the greatest teams of the last half century. I could have gone off and started a huge argument but I didn't, I held my tongue and tried to act as civil as possible. They did agree with me that last years team was better than this years team but then they started going off about how much they don't like Vince Young and how they are going to win easily, no contest. This is the type of shit I'm talking about, when I started college, no one here watched or cared about college football, most of my friends all watched NFL and college was secondary. Now with USC being the dominant team out there I've got other people that have no affiliation with the school or know next to nothing about the team, much less watch other teams in other conferences run their mouth to me which is the main reason I cannot stand USC. I hope they get killed and I know there are plenty of others out there with me, as the newly formed Texas fan club of Southern California will be meeting at my house for the game since we all can't stand USC. Another person I know that does not want to see USC win is Ian over at Sexy Results, although he doesn't dislike USC as much as I do, he wants them to fail so ESPN can look like retards for trying to anoint this team as the greatest of all time before they've even played their bowl game. Definitely a great line that I couldn't agree with more:

"At this point, if you find any way to root for USC, it's obvious you need to reassess your priorities in life."

For real though, check it out, I was trying to say something similar to what Ian posted but I can't so just go read it and that pretty much sums up how I feel about it as well.

And now I'm back at work but it's not that bad so far, hopefully this week stays like this but looks like we will have to be at work on Saturday, we just better not have to stay too late then. I haven't done anything on New Years Eve the past two years since I've had to get up at 5 am and start driving to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl so I was looking forward to the drunkenfest that is New Years Eve this year but we will have to wait and see if I can partake. At least I do have the 2nd off which means college football day will be uninterrupted for once since all our family stuff we have to take care of on the 1st. Bowl game is tomorrow but like most of the other Michigan bloggers have posted, this game just doesn't really excite me either. Sure we're playing Nebraska who I want to beat the crap out of just because of that fucking crybaby Scott Frost but aside from that it's just a disappointment considering what happened this season, I'll probably write something about it tomorrow.

Friday, December 23, 2005

What I want for Christmas

My family doesn't operate the normal Christmas routine, we have a tree and everything but its fake and I don't mean just artificial, our tree that we've used the past few years is white metal with lights attached throughout, sort of like those outdoor display trees. We used to get real trees but my brother and I would never do much with it and my mom got sick of cleaning it up so we've gone to a fake tree. Because of this we don't do the traditional gifts under the tree and what not, not sure if it's just us, maybe a cultural thing or what but I haven't woken up to gifts under the tree since I was probably in elementary school.

The progression went like this, in elementary school we would actually have a tree and get gifts under the tree, then in junior high while my brother was still in elementary school my dad pulled the "weather was too bad for Santa to make it." This would work in most parts of the country but don't think it holds water in Southern California where we don't get anything under 45 degrees ever. So I remember that year my dad told us Santa couldn't get here with the weather so he gave us $100 each and that was it. Then eventually as I got into high school Christmas then became, "Hey son, what do you want for Christmas?" This one year I needed a new putter so I just told him I wanted a putter and then on the 22nd or 23rd, whatever it was my dad just pulls out the putter and says "Merry Christmas!" Now it's just degenerated into me and my brother buy my parents gifts and that's about it. Maybe we might get a gift, maybe not, but it's all good, they've given us plenty so I'm not really complaining.

You might wonder why the hell all that background information was needed but that's because I wanted to get show that since I really won't be getting anything for Christmas all I can ask for is this wishlist to be filled, as nice as all of it would be I'll take anything I can get. So here it is:

A healthy Mike Hart along with a Michigan blowout of the Cornhuskers

Vince Young and the Horns to destroy those condoms from the University of Second Choice

Kobe to posterize Shaq and get the big W in Miami

Christina Milian, I can dream can't I?

While I'm dreaming, A Michigan National Championship

Also, commitments to Michigan from Jonas Mouton, Sam Young, Daron Rose, Steven Schilling for football and Kalin Lucas and big man on the basketball side, see I obsess about recruiting daily.

Finally I want good health and prosperity for all my friends and family this upcoming year.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and have a great time with your families this weekend. I can't believe even I'm getting a 3 day weekend!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Next year I will attend the University of...

Welcome to Michigan Carlos and thanks for making our week

It's amazing how a high school athlete can finish that phrase and hundreds if not thousands of people across the country are affected by it. When Carlos Brown committed to Michigan earlier this week it brought about numerous reactions across the country from Michigan to Georgia to South Carolina. The message boards at all three schools immediately went crazy when the announcement was made. For the school that misses out on the kid there are always the sour grapes fans that will immediately start talking shit on the choice that he made, then there are the calm ones that will say good luck to the player and remind everyone else on the message board that their school will eventually get the players they need. There's a wide range of how the fans of the school that doesn't get the athlete will react and I've seen plenty of it. For the school that is gaining the commitment there are the "Holy Crap we got _______" or the "Welcome to ________" while some others start talking about how great the recruit is and how they will impact the team the next season.

What is it that causes us so much excitement, anticipation, anger and sadness from one athlete's decision of where to attend school? I know I'm not the only one out there that's been affected by this and I won't be the last as recruiting becomes bigger across the country as top recruits are now holding press conferences and announcing live on TV. I've spent ridiculous amounts of time following recruiting and I doubt that will stop. The biggest thing though in the emergence of recruiting is the internet. There are numerous sites for major programs where hundreds, if not thousands of fans pay money for premium content and it just keeps growing.

A big reason why I've followed so much recruiting is because it turns my favorite sport into a year round event. The season doesn't end when the games end as there's recruiting and signing day, then come the juniors which turns into spring ball then summer camp visits and then the season will start and the cycle continues. I've been through my share of joy and pain following Michigan recruiting, more pain since we seem to finish 2nd for a large number of recruits every year. But the Carlos Brown commitment this week brought me back to why insane fans like us follow recruiting. In a year where we've had our disappointments in missing out on some kids we thought we had a great shot at such as Darrin Walls or Justin King last year, out of nowhere we get a huge commitment and it brings back the fun of obsessing over where the future stars of our program will come from.

You can just see this from posts from other Michigan blogs Schembechler Hall and MGoBlog along with the comments received after Brown's commitment. I remember the first time I followed recruiting was during my senior year of high school after I had been accepted to Michigan and I found The Wolverine and followed along for the Lavell Blanchard recruitment then I became hooked. Yes I admit it I pay money for information on where high school kids are going to end up playing their college ball, I love sports enough to do it. I spend a large amount of my time on the internet on message boards following this information. When Justin King last year, after having Michigan has his leader for much of his recruitment, and considering he was a definite position of need where the depth chart was wide open decide to go to Penn State I was devastated and it definitely ruined my day. When Matt Gutierrez was down to Michigan and Oregon and decided to come to Michigan it made my week, I love it especially more when Michigan can get California kids out there to play as was the case with him. There are countless recruiting stories I've been following throughout these years so there's not enough time for me to get into but all these recruiting battles are another game, you chalk them up into wins and losses and helps you when you're having football or basketball withdrawal during the offseason. Sure I may be "one sick son of a bitch" as some of my friends call me but you can know one thing when another big time recruit that Michigan is recruiting is making his announcement as he says "I am going to the University of..." I'll be on pins and needles waiting for that last word to be Michigan.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I can see the hate in your eyes

Keep hatin, you still can't stop him

End of 3rd Quarter: Kobe Bryant 62 - Dallas Mavericks 61

Kobe was just on fire last night puttin up 62 points in 3 quarters as the Lakers cruised to an easy victory against the allas Mavericks, that's not a typo, I'll continue to call them allas because they have no D. After the pitiful performance of 74 points on Sunday against Houston the Lakers, well actually Kobe, decided to come out and just kill em. The underlying theme of his postgame press conference was how he was going to constantly attack the Mavs and also how he was going to will the team to victory. Wish he could do that more often but I doubt he could go all 82 games of a season plus playoffs doing that because it would drain him probably by the all star break.

The downside to all of this was everyone else on the team just stood around and watched Kobe. There were no other Lakers in double figures and Kobe had no assists. But on a game like this I can't really complain too much about it, you have to defer to your superstar when he is on a tear. Other positives included getting all the end of the bench some run as Andrew Bynum and Devin Green both got to play.

The Lakers now embark on a 3 game road trip with games at Orlando, Miami and Washington. We should go 2-1 on this trip but as we all know we want the big one on Christmas Day against the Heat. I am sick and tired of hearing Snaq complain and bitch like a baby about the move to trade him, grow the fuck up. You showed up most of the time to camp, overweight and out of shape and then as you keep getting older you wanted a bigger contract? I don't think I've ever gone from liking someone so much to hating them so much in a shorter amount of time. You love it when he does it for your team but will hate it when he's gone. Ask the people in Orlando and Los Angeles about that, and either he will end up getting some nagging injury to end his career in Miami or he's going to start complaining about D Wade getting too many touches and what not and then want to be moved again. The Lakers made the right business move in trading him and we are doing what's good for the organization.

In more baseball moves the Dodgers have re-signed Hee Seop Choi to a 1 year deal and avoided arbitration with him. Not sure if Nomar is going to play 1B and OF or just 1B, making Hee Seop just the backup 1B and as a PH but at least we'll hear the chants of Hee Seop Choi! Hee Seop Choi! sometimes this season.

Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees yesterday as well which brings me to the topic of fans and loyalty which I want to get more into but right now there's too much at work and other stuff going on for me to get into it but it's definitely something I want to discuss at length, probably next week sometime.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Keep Up the Good Work

Lost in the madness of my disappointment of the Michigan loss to UCLA over the weekend there was the news that Nomar Garciaparra signed a one year deal to play first base for the Dodgers. This means that the fans at Dodger Stadium won't be able to chant Hee Seop Choi! Hee Seop Choi! as they did last year.

In addition today it was announced that Kenny Lofton has agreed to a one year deal with the Dodgers. Outfield was definitely a need after trading away Milton Bradley and Lofton will fill his spot in center field. For some reason Kenny Lofton was one of my favorite players when I was younger while he was with the Indians, partly due to the dope ass shoes he had the Air Zoom something and the other reason being he had the same name as me and there weren't many other athletes named Kenny. Amazing how stupid that sounds but it's true. Lofton is up there in age now at 38 but for one year I can't really complain. I like the moves that new GM Ned Coletti has made so far and I definitely expect us to make the playoffs this upcoming season. I haven't disagreed with any of the moves so far this offseason, maybe except for the length/amount of Furcal's contract but it can be argued that it is good for the organization as it leaves them an out in a few years dependent upon what happens with Izturis.

Dodger Thoughts has a good post up on the recent signing as well as their look at the potential lineup this season. Great job with these signings so far, if we can just add another pitcher for the rotation, or two, and I think we'll be in it this year.

Bowl Season is here

It's about that time when every other commercial on ESPN is the "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the year" song playing and talking about bowl week presented by whichever sponsor it is this year. Although College Football is my favorite sport I'm going to have to admit nothing beats March Madness, but to me bowl season is next. It all kicks off with the New Orleans Bowl of Lafayette between the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles and the Arkansas State Indians. For once this game does not feature the Mean Green of North Texas and I for one am glad, not beacuse I'm going to miss out on the best two back combo most people have never heard about in Patrick Cobbs and Jamario Thomas, but because Antonio Warren gets to play in another game. Antonio Warren is the starting RB for Arkansas State and he is on my college fantasy football team, yes I am that insane I play college fantasy football. This year I am fortunate to have led the Michigan Wolverines to the Rose Bowl and I am playing the UAB Blazers for the national championship so I will actually be following this game very closely.

People who will watch this game: College Fantasy Football freaks like myself, action junkies who really need to bet on the New Orleans bowl to keep them going until the real bowl games start and other college football fanatics who will watch any game at any time, which I also fall into the category of.

Speaking of bowl games EDSBS has 3 bowl games they would like to see as well as their preview of the Las Vegas Bowl.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Great start to the week

Unbelievable news as Carlos Brown, #32 overall, #5 RB in the country has given his commitment to Michigan. He officially visited during the Ohio State game but I never really thought we would get him because of the problems we have always had in getting kids from the south. It seemed that was the case as of Friday when it was announced he was down to Georgia and South Carolina and had eliminated Michigan. He is a speed back that will be a great complement to Hart and Grady and I am very excited with this pickup. We have been missing out on these commitments in the past as whenever a top recruit comes down to some school and Michigan it always seems we finish second. Brian from MGoBlog has his take on this commitment as well.

Nothing but disappointment

Well, sports wise that is, I surprisingly had another full weekend off and I was ready for it to be a great one but of course one or more of my teams had to bring me back to earth. Woke up early Saturday ready for the basketball game against UCLA, as an added bonus it was on ESPNHD. To say I was disappointed with the loss would be an understatement. It was a game we could have and should have won but we didn't.

We let Arron Afflalo get off early and he and the rest of the Bruins killed us with all their 3's while we couldn't hit a 3 to save our life. 10 of 21 for UCLA while we only got 5 of 23 for Michigan. Afflalo hit 6 out of 9 and was just on fire as he and Farmar stepped up when they needed it while no one stepped up on our end. We had too many turnovers, a constant problem this season and we could get no inside presence when that was supposed to be one of advantages going into this game. I thought an adjustment would be made at halftime but none was made. None of the big men knew what to do once the Bruins came into double team whenever the ball came into the post. You'd think that if the coaches would have prepared for something as simple as a double team in the post or at the very least made some sort of change at halftime so the reigning Big Ten player of the week Courtney Sims was held to 6 points on 1-2 shooting from the field.

Dick Vitale was the commentator and did mention the Maize Rage a few times but decided to call them Amaker's Army on more than one occasion. For those that don't know the story when Coach Amaker was first hired there was an idea to change the Maize Rage to Tommy's Troops but Coach shot that idea down because he wanted the group to be centered around Michigan and not himself. Another thing that Vitale brought up was the lack of facilities at Michigan and how the alums needed to step up and donate to make it happen. He is right in that regard the facilities we have are definitely lacking compared to most other programs and until we take care of that it will be difficult for us to compete to make it back to the elite programs in the country.

After this went to my company Christmas party and just got trashed as all company holiday parties are supposed to go. Had a good time while drinking Johnnie Walker on the rocks the whole time. Then headed out on Sunday to Staples Center to watch the Lakers and the Rockets. An hour before gametime listening to the radio it was announced Yao was not playing so I decided to double my bet I already made on the Lakers, we looked great in the first half, then proceeded to blow another Sunday night game that we shouldn't have. Off the top of my head I can already recall one close win against a bad team Charlotte, on a sunday night as well as losses to Houston, New Jersey and Chicago, all games we should have won but we just screwed them up at the end. For some reason the white jerseys are a curse and must go.

The only positive to the day at Staples was my spending spree which was probably aided by my drinking a 40 of Mickey's in the Staples parking lot along with a few other beers during the game. At the auction booth they were selling for $25 Lakers Christmas ornaments that were signed by the players and Phil Jackson. Each player and Coach Jackson signed 10 ornaments so there were 150 total and they were being sold for the Lakers youth foundation. You drew a popsicle stick out of a stocking and whoever it said on the stick you got that autograph. I initially decided on 2 but then almost went to 4 because I wanted to increase my chances at pulling a Kobe autograph but decided to show restraint by getting 3. First pull I picked out Devean George, not bad, but not great, probably the best of the 2nd tier that I would have wanted from the pull. Second was Coach Jackson, definitely a big score, I'd call it the #2 prize after Kobe. So with my third and final pick I was dreaming big if I could pull out the Kobe then it would have been a great haul, I searched around for a while and pulled out... Von Wafer. Damn I was disappointed but it's not that bad picked out 2 out of 3 good ones. I really felt bad for the kids behind me who took two pulls na d got Luke Walton and Devin Green, so I definitely could've done worse. Not only that, since I had just gotten my bonus I decided I could finally purchase another piece of Lakers history that I had been waiting for two years. A signed picture of Robert Horry from the shot against Sacramento in 2002, a game which I was fortunate to be in attendance at.

That shit looks so sweet especially signed and I've got it with my ticket stub so it's even better. The Lakers have big games this upcoming week with Dallas tomorrow and then the big one against Miami in South Beach on Christmas Day, a W then would be sweet.

Friday, December 16, 2005

At least our team is getting the best gift package

From BWI, via Bleed Blue 'n White who goes over the BCS game gift packages in detail, comes the list of which bowls are giving away to the players in their NCAA mandated maximum $500 gift package for particpants in their bowl game. I had always noticed players coming back from bowl season with new backpacks and sling bags but in the past few years its become crazy what kind of stuff the players are getting from the bowls.

You expect the lower tier bowls to giveaway some bad stuff, but damn come on New Orleans Bowl you can do better than giving away just a New Orleans Bowl Ring and Watch. The GMAC Bowl and Motor City Bowl pretty much giving away the same package with a watch, football and some luggage. The big loser out of the major bowls would have to be Georgia and West Virginia, participants of the Sugar Bowl, they'll get a MP3 Player and a mountain bike, how many of those do you expect to see up on Ebay?

Then there are the winners in the gift packages which include the Ducks and the Sooners as the Holiday Bowl is giving a 30GB Ipod Video. Most other bowls are giving away one electronic item such as a portable DVD player or a digital camcorder and a lot of the bowls are giving away PSP's this year. Although the Fiesta Bowl isn't giving the players a game like other bowls are to go with their PSP they are getting a Bulova watch along with a Fiesta Bowl Dartboard. But as this post is titled the winner of the gift packages is going to the Alamo Bowl which is giving to the players from Michigan and Nebraska, a Fossil Watch, commemorative mini-helmet, sling bag and the hottest item that no one can get their hands on the Xbox 360. Maybe some of the guys will sell just the box for $600 like some people did when it first came out.

Beats the Camcorder that the Outback Bowl is giving away.

Updating the fan loyalty of the former Tennessee Volunteers fan, the high bid is no longer owned by the Golden Palace Casino and the bids are, as of the time of this posting, up to $1275. Not only that, but due to the success of this Vol there are a number of auctioneers copying this but with very little success. These sellouts include former "fans" of the Vikings, Falcons, Lions, Yankees and Michigan State, how pathetic.

Gettin ready for tomorrow morning against UCLA which will be in ESPNHD. I know we can do it, time to show the nation that we are back! Go Blue!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

USC "Fan" Application

From the guys at Burnt Orange Nation comes the USC "Fan" Application, I tried posting it here as a picture as well but it just doesn't come out right so go over there to take a look.

For those sick of your team go sell your soul on ebay! Check out this former Tennessee fan who is selling his team loyalty. It's funny, yet sad at the same time.

Also from EDSBS is "Who we're pulling for in bowls" complete with Ying Yang Twins and Office Space references. Some highlights include:

Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Cal.
Orson: Caffeine, sex outside of marriage, pornography, and booze: four reasons we’re rooting like hell for Cal.

Vitalis Sun Bowl: Northwestern vs. UCLA.
Orson: When you couldn’t care two shits for a game, you resort to the lessons of nature.

Bear vs wildcat= dead wildcat, pissed-off, lacerated bear.
…and thus we pull for UCLA!

Stranko: I was on the fence for this one but Orson makes a pursuasive argument. Go Bruins!

In closing, I'm gonna give mad props to the Lakers for finishing off their 6 game road trip 5-1, which is definitely more than I expected with big wins at Dallas and Memphis yesterday, considering we haven't won there in a few years it was big. Now we've got a three game homestand starting with Washington tomorrow and then T-Mac and Yao come to town on Sunday at a game which I'll be attending. Hopefully we can keep this roll going because as much of the lovable losers the Clippers are, it just doesn't look right with the Lakers in 4th behind them and the Golden State Warriors.

It's about time

The Basketball team is starting to get some props as we are now the highest vote getting team not ranked in the AP and Coaches Polls. Daniel Horton was even on the front page of ESPN's College Basketball Section yesterday. There's a good article on the team that can be read here. Although we're not quite back to where we once were this beginning of the re-emergence of Michigan basketball has been long awaited. It's been a difficult time as the team consistently failed to meet expectations whether it was due to sanctions, injuries, suspensions and anything else that could have gone wrong which it did. We still have a long way to go but Saturday can be a nice springboard to that start.

I grew up with the Fab Five, the baggy shorts, the black socks and that was one of my first images of Michigan that I remember. When I first arrived at Michigan the downward trend was already in effect but there was hope on the horizon. Incoming as freshman the same class as I was were five highly touted recruits that were supposed to help bring Michigan to prominence. Headed by Gatorade National Player of the Year Lavell Blanchard along with Jamal Crawford, Kevin Gaines, Gavin Groninger and Leland Anderson. As soon as basketball tickets went on sale that year I immediately bought my seats and was ready for the return of Michigan basketball back to where it belonged. The season started out good, couldn't really complain about the loss to Duke, we played them tough, although they did get a very questionable intentional foul call at the end of the game. Then kept rolling along until the battle with Michigan State was to take place except when Jamal Crawford came out not in uniform and the season just went down from there. Ended the season 15-14 with a loss to Notre Dame in the NIT and just adds to the reasons why I can't stand the domers along with Troy Murphy. This is what Crisler looked like that year, I can actually point myself out in this picture.

Then came another disappointing 10-18 season but the positive was Brian Ellerbee was gone as coach. Change was definitely needed and I still can't believe that I used to walk from 1700 Geddes all the way down to Crisler for all the home games, over 3 miles round trip in the cold Michigan winter to watch a 10 win ballclub. In came Tommy Amaker, and although I hate Duke, I thought it was a great hire. He didn't really show it to us his first year but what can you do when we had to dismissal or transfer of Josh Moore, Maurice Searight, Kevin Gaines and Avery Queen come to the top of my head. We just didn't have much talent and it definitely showed with an 11-18 record . At this downtime the Maize Rage was formally created as a student organization. There wasn't that much enthusiasm for basketball at the time but we knew that could change and we wanted to help turn it around.

Things were getting slightly better as I headed into my senior year with another highly touted recruiting class coming in headed by McDonald's All-American Daniel Horton along with Lester Abram, Chris Hunter and Graham Brown. Then came the bomb, the NCAA was giving us a postseason ban due to the fallout from the Ed Martin scandal. What a way to end college, with a team that wouldn't even get to play in a postseason tournament, I was devasted, I can't even imagine what the players went through. The team didn't react to it very well and it showed with an 0-6 start in what looked like a season that was going down the tubes. But then it happened, a 13 game winning streak with big wins at UCLA, definitely a big one for me, the win against Wisconsin where we overcame a 15 point lead in the last 5:36 and capped by the win over Michigan State. The season didn't end as well as we would've liked but it was still a memorable one.

The following year after I graduated we were a bubble team that didn't make it but ended up winning the NIT which was ok but it still wasn't the big dance. Last year was the year the big jump was finally supposed to occur but with the numerous injuries/suspensions we couldn't get much done. Which leads us to this year where we're currently 7-0 and ready take on the #14 UCLA Bruins on Saturday. It will definitely be our toughest test to date but I think we can get it done and would be very disappointed if we walked away with a L. The team has shown it can win on the road and is beating teams easily that they should, two things that have been missing in recent seasons. But now we have our first big time opponent of the year and we need to make the statement that we are coming back, the Michigan Wolverines will be a team to be reckoned with this season and in the future. From my freshman year picture above, there has been a great turnaround from the team and also from the atmosphere at Crisler which was always so lacking. Now Crisler looks like this:

It's great to know I was part of the beginning when we barely had any fan support or anything. I know we still can do better and we're well on our way, it starts on Saturday with a big win over UCLA. Let's Go Blue!

Update: Look who's in the ESPN Power 16. Now we need to back it up.

Album Reviews

Since I spend so much time at work and have nothing else to do I've been buying a lot of stuff online, a lot of this being new CD's to listen to. Yeah I know I could download and all that stuff but A, my brother has messed up our home computer so I can't do anything on it and B, I just don't have the time to do that stuff anymore especially with all the fake files that are on the internet now which don't even contain the song so I have to end up downloading a song 5-6 times before I finally get a good version. Found a good site Your Music which sort of works like those Columbia House deals except its $5.99 per CD with no contract. The catch is they send you one CD a month at 5.99 but you have to have a CD in your queue. If you have a CD in your queue they'll send you that CD and charge you, if you don't have one in there and still are subscribing they'll charge you $5.99 for nothing. You can also at anytime purchase CD's for 5.99 each free shipping and it came pretty quick too.

So armed with a new batch from your music I picked up the Bobby Valentino, Trey Songz along with some old school greatest hits of Stevie Wonder and Tevin Campbell, don't deny it we all used to jam to Tevin. I'm definitely a big fan of good R&B music but it's hard to find nowadays. There's no one out there right now that I can say I have to pick up that album because I know it's gonna be great. Last very good R&B CD I picked up was Babyface's last joint, I don't know what it is but it seems like when I was in High School there was a lot more better R&B out. I'm talkin about the Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, Dru Hill, KC & JoJo type stuff. Stuff that made you want to sing along and then made you depressed cause of all the girls you couldn't get with.

I expected more out of both the Bobby V and Trey Songz albums but they both disappointed. I didn't really feel "Slow Down " but I'm definitely feeling the "Tell Me" jam, although Lil Weezy really doesn't need to be in it. The rest of the album just doesn't cut it, I can't really explain it but for some reason I just kept skipping over tracks cause they were just bad, when I can only listen to one song on the CD in its entirety it just doesn't do it. I'm the type of person that doesn't really go back over CD's again for a 2nd and 3rd listen, maybe I need to start doing it but right now this CD is gonna be Trapped in the Closet with R. Kelly. I know some people listen multiple times to CD's but I just can't do it, for instance when Outkast Speakerboxx/The Love Below came out I gave it a listen and most of it was just too weird for me. My favorite Outkast CD has to be ATLiens so I'm not that big of a fan of most of their recent stuff. Most people said I had to go back and give it a second/third listen but I just never got around to it, partly since Randy still hasn't given me back my CD since the day I bought it. I'm giving the Bobby Valentino CD 1.5 stars out of 5.

All I knew about Trey Songz before I got his CD was that he was on the hook for Twista's song that's getting a lot of radio play now. I first popped it in while I was just chillin in my room playing some video games and it sounded great. Then I put it in my car for while I was driving to work and I heard a completely different album. I guess its cause I was listening to it as background music at home compared to just strictly listening to it in the car. The CD does have its moments but definitely falls short in a lot of places, I can listen to it more than Bobby Valentino's but not much, this gets 2 out of 5. Disappointing to say the least on both CD's but at least I didn't pay full price on them.

Finally the best CD that I recently purchased would have to be Chamillionaire's The Sound of Revenge. I had heard the track that was on Madden 06 and I was definitely feelin that joint but I was a bit hesitant to grab the album of the latest from Texas considering the last time I did I ended up with the Paul Wall CD which definitely fell short. But the first single "Turn It Up" is a banger so I decided to give it a chance and am I glad that I did. This CD is straight fire from beginning to the end. It also includes a bonus CD with an additional 5 tracks and the "Turn It Up" Remix. The beats are on point and I definitely like the flow that he brings to the table. I'm giving it a solid 4.25 stars right now, could be upgraded after I listen to it a few more times.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What are you doing Colletti?

Dodgers made a few moves over the past few days that aren't as excitng as the rumor mills have been saying. Over the weekend they signed Sandy Alomar Jr., Jr only in name as he is now 39. Can't really fault this move, its a one year deal and its so he can back up Dioner Navarro, a key part of the Shawn Green trade, and anyone is better as a backup than Paul Bako who signed with the Royals. Olmaedo Saenz was also re-signed to a two year deal which I'm definitely in favor for. He came up with some big hits when we needed them and I'll be glad to have him back.

The other big news was Milton Bradley was traded to the A's, but not in the blockbuster for Barry Zito that was rumored a few weeks ago. Instead Bradley and IF Antonio Perez were shipped for Andre Ethier, last years Texas league Player of the Year. I don't know much about Ethier or the Texas League but he better be damn good if we're giving up 2 Major League players for him. He played last year in AA and is only 23 years old so he could be a building block for the future. But that leads to the question who the hell is going to play in the OF now? JD Drew and Jayson Werth are back but they've had health problems and I don't have much confidence in the other OF's as well. Hope that Colletti has some guy ready to pick up from the free agent market but doesn't look like that's the case either, maybe he'll surprise us all.

Finally once again from the guys at EDSBS, they just keep one upping themselves with great posts and today is no exception as we keep the baseball related post going with the Mustache of the Day.

Update: Bill Mueller has agreed to a 2 year deal with the Dodgers solidifying their infield with an everyday third baseman now. I definitely like the way our infield is shaping up now, even better if Izturis can come back and move to 2nd base putting Kent at 1st, Izturis at 2nd, Furcal at SS and Mueller at 3rd. I've got great reports from my source in Boston about Mueller so he should be a great addition to the team.

Monday, December 12, 2005

And the winner is...

Did anyone really expect them not to call Reggie Bush? My hate for the University of Second Choice is well documented but regardless of my dislike towards the University of Spoiled Children I have to admit watching Reggie Bush is just insane. He does stuff that you only think is possible in video games. That said I've heard a lot of arguments for Vince Young as the Heisman Trophy winner and I can't really deny them that as well. If I really had a ballot I probably would have gone with Young also. The problem with the Heisman is it is up to the voter to determine the interpretation for Most Outstanding Player and every year there are discussions about what determines the M.O.P.

When looking at what Vince Young means to Texas I doubt even the most biased SC "fan" would tell you that Reggie means more to his team than Vince does. I could go all into the stats and all that stuff but I'm not. I think a big factor in this decision is the fact that not all the voters watch every game each guy plays, a lot of times they'll see SportsCenter and then see Reggie's highlight reel and think he's the winner. Now I'm not saying the decision of Bush winning was the wrong one I'm just trying to give a fair shake to Vince. When I walked into my barber shop on Saturday afternoon prior to the presentation this was the running debate of the day. Most of the guys there were actually in agreement that they believed VY should win the Heisman to which I agreed but we all knew that Reggie would win because of his highlights that are on every week. To me the M.O.P. encompasses the best player in the country that is also the most valuable to his team as well. The difference in my thought process is I take into account how would that team look if the player in question was not on the team. Take out Reggie Bush from USC they still have Lendale White along with a number of RB's that are ready to get their touches next year when one if not both of those guys will leave for the NFL. Take Vince off of Texas and they are a completely different team, a team I am not sure would have won in Columbus or Stillwater. I can't fault the selection of Bush but with my definition I would have voted Young 1st, Bush 2nd, and Jerome Harrison 3rd. Heismanpundit has the entire voting tally which I was looking all over for and my question is who the hell gave Drew Olson a first place vote? Now I'm the first to say Olson had a great season but first place Heisman vote, that's definitely not right IMO. The other two surprises looking over the list is AJ Hawk finishing 6th and DeAngelo Williams of Memphis picking up a first place vote. They said that 99% of the ballots had Reggie Bush on them, I'd like to know who is voting for the Heisman and leaving him out of the top 3, that's ridiculous.

Very good weekend on most fronts, can't really complain after my 2nd consecutive full weekend off for the first time in two months. Took full advantage of it starting on Friday night heading out to drink with some friends for the first time in what seemed like forever. After last call at the bar a few of us decided we needed to drink more so headed home for the nightcap while half the group went home. Add another lesson learned from drinking alcohol, after drinking soju and beer for the night, do NOT go home and start drinking a 40 of OE, you're just asking for trouble.

Woke up late with a hangover so I couldn't watch the first half of the Michigan-South Florida game but I guess I didn't miss much. The Bball team continued on its roll going 7-0 heading into the big showdown with UCLA coming up on Saturday at Crisler. Granted we haven't played anyone this year so far so Saturday will be our first real test of the season, with the home crowd I think we can pull it off.

Afterwards headed out to the Gun Range in LA so we could shoot Andy's new shotgun. It's an old school two barrel, its pretty cool. Came home to watch the Winky Wright - Sam Soliman fight, went the distance which was unexpected but Soliman had a crazy style where he just kept punching the whole time, over 1200 for the entire fight but only landed like 10% of them. Winky could have ended it a couple times late but for some reason he just let up. Afterwards he said he wanted to fight Jermain next referring to Jermain Taylor so we'll see if that will get done soon or if there's gonna be a tuneup in between. The Lakers got beat by Minnesota as Wally Szcerbiak continues to be the answer to "Who makes the Lakers my bitch?" Wally World for some reason keeps having big games against the Lakers and it just doesn't make sense, he scores at will on them and hits all his shots its so damn frustrating to watch. Also the CIF Division I championship was on as Loyola played Esperanza and damn that was an entertaining game. Tuned in after the fight to see it was 28-14 Loyola only to have Esperanza come back and rattle off 14 straight to tie the game and it just went back and forth the entire time with Loyola winning 49-42 as they scored two TD's within seconds of each other late in the 4th quarter.

The Raiders blew another game on the road, not surprising, but the McCareins TD should not have counted there is no way he comes in with that pass even if Asomougha was not there covering him. Well Daly's gonna be mad since that makes the Jets draft pick worse with that win.

The hockey team came through with a sweep when they needed it as they were on a 4 game losing streak but this weekends wins put an end to that. Now there's a break until the end of the month for exams then the GLI will take place but with all the players that are going to be gone on their respective national teams I don't know what kind of squad we will put out. Tough first game against Colorado College, the team we blew the lead in the NCAA Tournament last year followed by either Michigan State or Michigan Tech.

Haven't done any music reviews in a while but just picked up some new CD's which I'll go over later in the week. Just need to get through this month with the crazy schedule and hopefully will be back to a more normal schedule starting January. I really need some time off, I'm going crazy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

So much to do so little time

There are a number of different topics I wanted to get to today but work has actually needed me to do something productive on a Friday so I took care of that so this post will almost be like the Big Finish on PTI, and here we go...

  • The World Cup Draw took place earlier today results can be seen here. Granted I don't follow soccer extremely closely outside of the World Cup but from my initial view groups B and C look the toughest. I do know the match I'm most looking forward to would have to be the June 21st match between Argentina and the Netherlands. The World Cup is gonna be awesome, I can't wait for it.

  • From BCEaglesFootball via Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, a funny flow chart on how to be a Notre Dame fan.

  • Last night at the college football awards show JoePa decided to crack a joke and I gotta give it to him it was pretty good.

  • I've been running semi-good on my sports bets recently, considering how little I bet it shouldn't make a difference whether I win or lose but I've been getting most games right. But damn I didn't run as good as these two guys who each won $100,000 by hitting 13 game parlays.

  • It looks like Josh Portis is transferring from Florida. Some were calling for him to take over the job from Chris Leak during the season and now he is going to be heading out of Gainesville. Probably helps in the recruitment of Tim Tebow and there are also rumors floating around that former Tennessee QB Brent Schaeffer might be next in line for the Gators. (Via EDSBS)

  • Finally congratulations to Brian at MGoBlog for his one year anniversary of starting MGoBlog. For those of you that don't read it, which I highly doubt there are many of you since over 90% of my traffic to this site is thanks to him linking me, it is a definite must read. It is the 3rd thing I do once I get online after I check my e-mail and The Wolverine. Sometimes it's even second, the site has taken over ESPN now on my web viewing order though. Thanks for all the reading material you give me while I'm at work and keep it up.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Reason # 3,782,154 why I love Michigan

From the guys at EDSBS, as if I didn't have enough to be proud of about my school... Space, bitches. Space.

Blogpoll Roundtable

I'm not a part of the blogpoll but I do read up on a lot of the sites that are a part of the poll and I definitely enjoy all the college football discussion that takes place on the sites. So when reading the latest entry into the roundtable I thought I'd discuss since I can share why I love Michigan so much being born and raised in California.

Q1. Why your school? Did you go to school there? Were you legacy, did you pick it for academics, for the football team, the party reputation?

This was a question I used to have to answer all the time from the point when I sent in my deposit to attend Michigan and even once I got there as people wondered why I would leave all things great that are in California and attend the always freezing Michigan. To tell you the truth I don't know how it happened but early in elementary school I somehow fell in love with Michigan. Being the sports nut that I was, yes even in elementary school I read the sports section everyday, the hot team at the time was Michigan. There was Desmond Howard and the Catch followed up by the Fab Five and I was in as a Michigan fan. Probably had a lot to do with the colors and the coolest helmet in all of football but either way in elementary school I was sold on Michigan. Sometime near the end of elementary school I asked my mom if Michigan was a good academic school as well, since all I knew was sports, to which she replied yes, it was a great school. At that moment I told her that I would be attending Michigan for college. Ideally, at the time I thought I would become a superstar athlete so I figured I would be attending on a football or hockey scholarship. Hockey was actually my favorite sport at the time because of Wayne Gretzky and the LA Kings.

Fast forward to the end of high school and unfortunately the athletic part didn't work out but the academic side of it did. I applied to a number of schools with the only ones outside of California being UPenn cause I had a good visit there and thought it was cool and Michigan, the dreaded childhood favorite, all you recruiting followers out there know what I'm talking about. In the end I was only accepted to three schools, UC Irvine, backup plan that my parents insisted upon I knew there was no way I would go there, USC, yes I hated them growing up as well but it was a backup plan and heard a lot about all the girls there and Michigan. Faced with these three choices my parents were pushing for USC because it was close to home but being a private school tuition was through the roof. Michigan was also expensive for out of staters, it was at least 3 times as much more than in-state students at the time, but that made cost an even fight with Michigan and USC but when it came down to it at the end there was no way I was going to USC. I grew up hating them and at the time the educational gap was a lot larger than it is today, according to US News. So as sports has a big impact on me, it did play a part in my decision as well since I knew I couldn't turn my back on the team/school that I had grown up rooting for.

Q2. Name a player or two who had "THE GAME" against your school. I'm talking about a guy who simply dominated your team and all you could do was tip your cap and say, "Wow."

Being as I'm still young the two names that come to mind are Plaxico Burress and Vince Young. Plaxico was unstoppable that year as we even tried to put David Terrell out there to cover him only to have him get bitched. At least we have the spiking the ball while it was still live his rookie year in Pittsburgh to laugh at because otherwise I would just continue to have nightmares about him.

Vince Young, we all know we had problems with mobile quarterbacks last year and having to play him in the Rose Bowl didn't help. I don't think I've ever seen a performance like that where he just singlehandedly dominated us and there was nothing we could do. As great as our offense was our D couldn't do a damn thing to slow him down. Countless times defenders had him in their arms only to have him slip away and I have never hated a single player so much after a game. I hated Texas so much at the time I attempted to burn my Texas hat that my mom had gotten for me the year before when she visited a friend that lived in Austin. But right now I love Texas and everyone on that team, I will love them forever if they can beat USC on Janurary 4th.

Q3. There are games that I have no interest in but I watch simply to see a certain guy play. What players from this season do you do the same for?

Due to my work schedule during this football season I really didn't have the time just to watch a player since I barely had any time to watch college football in general. Obviously Reggie Bush is one to always watch and Vince Young as well. I do remember last year I started playing College Fantasy Football and stumbled upon a kid named Ryan Moats from Louisiana Tech. I drafted him because he was a RB which I needed and he was only a Junior, the league being a keeper league I wanted to have him for an extra year. Well he was so exciting I didn't get to have him on my team as a senior but last year he was insane. Thanks to ESPN Gameplan I was able to watch most of Louisiana Tech's games and me and all my friends because the Ryan Moats fan club as this guy ran all over the place all year long singlehandedly turning my team into Conference champions.

Q4. A few weeks ago we were asked who the best player to suit up for our school was. I'm curious who your favorite player to ever suit up for your school is? Certainly doesn't have to be a superstar, or even a starter.

My favorite player would have to be hands down Charles Woodson. He was the man and everyone knows it so I'm not going to get into that. There are two others that I will also mention on this list one being Jason Avant because he catches everything and he has so much heart and passion for Michigan and the other is Kevin Dudley. Most don't know much about Kevin Dudley because he was the FB for Michigan last year opening up holes for Mike Hart. He also kept Derrick Johnson in check as much as he could during the Rose Bowl as well. But he never complained about not getting carries and just blocked the crap out of everyone he could. There is also another reason he is one of my favorite players, it happened last year at Rick's, a bar in Ann Arbor, when after the Ohio State game, which we lost, some douchebag decided to show up in a Andy Katzenmoyer jersey. In Columbus if any Michigan fan tried the same thing he would have already been dead at this point but at Rick's he was walking around enjoying himself. I remember seeing Dudley that night as soon as he noticed this guy and the look on his face was "I can't believe you're wearing that I am going to kill you" and he was ready to just tackle this kid and inflict some pain but none of that ever happened as his friends held him back but I will always remember that look on his face and for that he will always be remembered in my book.

Keepin it Rollin

The basketball team kept its undefeated season alive with a 69-49 win over Delaware State. Courtney Sims had a huge night going for 33 points and 13 rebounds combine that with going 13 of 17 from the floor and that's a pretty good game, granted it was against Delaware State but they were a tourney team last year. Can't really comment much more on what I didn't see, glad to see the team is winning games that they should and not blowing them like we have in years past. Lester Abram got hit in the face and had to get some stitches but came back to play so it probably wasn't that bad. We've got South Florida next on Saturday at their place, doesn't make sense why we would do this but I would have to assume it's because we're getting two home games in return but who knows. I expect another victory considering the Bulls are 4-2 with losses to powerhouses Texas A&M-C.C. and Florida International and gives us good momentum heading into next Saturday's game with UCLA.

My other squad rolling along is the Los Angeles Lakers who picked up their 3rd straight win last night in Toronto. Kobe didn't do much only putting up 11 points but Lamar has been solid these past few games and Smush Parker helped out as well including two highlight reel plays, one his now trademark gettin up Dunk and the other a beautiful drive which he went behind the back and reverse layed it in. With the Chicago minus Kirk Hinrich tomorrow there's our chance to continue on our longest winning streak of the season. It's nice to see both PG's Smush and Sasha stepping up lately and making some plays because we need it. I've never been a big fan of the Sasha pickup but he's making me change my mind with the way he's been playing lately.

In other news, the Downtown Athletic Club only invited three players to the Heisman Trophy presentation. After Reggie Bush's performance last Saturday I told my friends the DAC should just save money by only inviting Bush and showing all his highlights from the season and I guess they sort of heard me as usually 4 or 5 finalists are invited. As I've said before I can't stand the University of Second Choice but damn Reggie Bush is ridiculous, I want to see how Texas' D will handle him and how SC will handle Vince since neither team has faced a player like the other all year long.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Nice to know one team is off to a good start

2005 just has not been a good year for my sports teams. I should've known it was a bad omen once we started with the 2005 Rose Bowl where it looked like Vince Young typed in the no one can tackle me code in college football and ran all over us. The Lakers ended in the lottery and the Dodgers collapsed halfway through the season. Michigan Football had about as bad of a season in recent memory and the hockey team is currently struggling. But there is one squad I do have hope for now and that is the currently undefeated basketball team.

I have been saying "this is the year" for our basketball team since my freshman year at Michigan which was 1999. But it looks like this year really could be it. The team is playing great defense, beating teams they should handily and even pulled off a couple of road victories. Today they'll go for a 6-0 start against Delaware State. Since I've been so busy at work I haven't been able to watch much of what's been going on but I definitely like what I've been reading. I had the Miami and Notre Dame games DVR'd but since I didn't have much time I only watched like half of each game. I've been waiting for years to finally have our basketball team back in March Madness and I fully expect them to get there and win at least 1 game this season. We are a veteran laden team which has been through the lows of our program and now they are ready to bring the program back to where it belongs. The road games at Notre Dame and Boston are ones that we would have lost the past few years but we're starting to win these games which is a great sign. We should surprise some teams in Big Ten play and then we'll make our run in the dance, hopefully, I've been waiting a long time for it.

"Never underestimate how much n----s love R. Kelly."

For those that don't know, that's quote is from the Boondocks, a good cartoon and an even better comic strip. I've only seen the cartoon once, great episode about R. Kelly and that quote was in that show. In the aftermath of the Hopkins-Taylor II Fight I've had a few people ask me about R. Kelly's rendition of the national anthem since I am first a sports fan and I watched the fight and secondly because they know after sports I love my music as well that music being mainly hip-hop and R&B.

When we were getting ready for the fight and then it was announced that R. Kelly was doing the national anthem I got excited. Aside from what he does in his personal life and his pending charges, Kels is a great singer and I am definitely a fan of his music. When that beat first hit I thought to myself, "uh-oh what's goin on here?" The beat was cool and he was doing his own rendition of it, you could call it his remix. At first I was getting into it, partially cause I was starting to get drunk from the Red Bull Vodkas I started pounding after I got home from the SC-LA game.

Then it got a little too over the top even for me. Granted it's not in the Roseanne Barr or Carl Lewis bad performances of the Star Spangled Banner but the way the pied piper of R&B tried to do it just didn't seem right. He had two dancers there dancing in the ring as he was singing and then tried to turn it into his concert by telling everyone to clap their hands. I thought that wasn't right. I understand trying to make his own version to switch it up, Marvin Gaye's rendition at the NBA All-Star Game comes to mind, but I think he went about it the wrong way and now he's got all this controversy surrounding it, doesn't help with his off-stage problems. It's just like there are a group of people at Michigan who raise their fist for when the anthem says "What so proudly we hailed." For those that don't know the Michigan Fight song everytime it says Hail!, you raise your fist so they take it as an extension of that and raise their first during the national anthem. I don't believe that's right and I think most people agree with me as only a small minority of people do it.

So R. Kelly tried to make a legendary performance of the Star Spangled Banner and failed. Regardless of the dancing or the clap your hands I think most would disagree with what he did but that's what put it over the top for me. I will give him credit for having the guts to attempt it and it almost worked but I guess he'll have to cement his legacy by making more chapters to Trapped in the Closet.

Well at least we have a manager now

After the tumultuous offseason in the Dodger front office Grady Little has been hired to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers. I think it's a pretty good hire, can't really find that many problems with it, he was very successful with the Red Sox and almost took them to the World Series. The better news that I am continually hearing is the constant talk of the Dodgers being mentioned with every possible big name out there this offseason. From Manny to Soriano to Abreu to Zito, every time one of these big names is talked about being moved a potential destination is Los Angeles which is great to know. At least the front office is trying and maybe McCrook really is willing to spend the money to bring a winner to LA. If they bring in one of these big names maybe I'll help the cause by buying some stadium seats which I was unwilling to do earlier because I thought the money would go straight to the owner and not to the product on the field. At this rate I'll be glad to buy more $30 hats, as long as they're as dope looking as the Carolina Blue one I got a few months back.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You think he's hilarious now? Nick Cannon just ran off with your school clothes money!

Another great line from one of the best shows on TV ever the Chappelle show, which is now back, sort of. After two extremely successful seasons Dave Chappelle felt too much pressure for the 3rd season and left the country, but not before shooting enough skits for about 4 episodes, those will now be aired sometime next year. If he doesn't come back and do some more episodes, which seems highly unlikely, this will be the last of the greatness that was the Chappelle Show.

The game I've waited 8 years for is here, sort of

Well it wasn't the way I wanted to do it but I am glad that we finally get to play Nebraska this season in the Alamo Bowl, the only silver lining about being passed over by the Outback Bowl.
My brother was in the camp that he wanted to play in a lesser bowl because he didn't want to get embarassed about losing to an SEC team in the Outback Bowl. I say that's BS, we are Michigan and we shouldn't be scared to play anyone.

1997 was a great year, I was a sophomore in High School, I got my drivers license along with all the new dope Michigan gear that I had always wanted but never could find since I was in California, thank you very much Eastbay catalog. At this time I ordered a Jarrett Irons jersey, which I still wear to this day. Michigan wasn't supposed to do much as Corso said we were playing too many teams that were as good or better than us and we couldn't go undefeated. We opened with a big win against Colorado, then demolished Baylor, I wore my Michigan football shirt the following Monday and was told by my Physics teacher that I couldn't wear that shirt, her kids had gone to Baylor and was the regional recruiter or something like that for Baylor. While Michigan was rolling, so was that team in Lincoln, Nebraska. I've always liked Blue and did not like red. Hence my love for Michigan and not for Ohio State, the Dodgers and not the Angels and how I liked UCLA better than USC. Anyways, the Cornhuskers also wore red and the "N" on their helmet stands for (k)nowledge.

Michigan went through the gauntlet of the Big Ten closing with Judgement Day at Happy Valley as the undefeated #2 and #4 teams in the country played, which we completely dominated and ended with #4 Ohio State coming to town and secured our Rose Bowl berth. Nebraska meanwhile needed an illegal kicking by a WR to beat Missouri and also on their side was Tom Osborne was retiring. This is all you need to know about Nebraska, he became a senator for his state after he finished coaching. I guess I really can't say much since Schwartzenegger became California's governor, but still. Scott Frost decided to start campaigning in the media for a split title, the coaches, namely Fat Phil Fulmer agreed and made Michigan 4th in the last poll. Instead of giving him a rocking chair or a rolex, the Coaches gave Tom Osborne a split of the national championship as his retirement gift, fucking bullshit. No other team in the history of college football had gone into their bowl game #1, won the game and dropped a spot in the poll. You know Nebraska sure as hell wasn't campaigning for a split title in 1994 when Penn State finished with an unbeaten record as well. Ever since then, even though I already did not like them much to begin with, I have put Nebraska in that list of teams I can't stand and wish would be wiped off the face of the earth. Yes I am disappointed this season but it would make me feel that much better going into recruiting and Spring Ball if we beat the crap out of Nebraska. I have waited for years to beat Nebraska and the only reason why I am actually looking forward to this bowl game.

Damn Right Charles, we all know it.

There are a lot of other bowl games of note which I definitely need to watch, the first being the Peach Bowl as they matchup Miami against LSU. Although we don't know how long Jamarcus Russell will be hurt by his separated shoulder, it is the type of injury that can constantly come back to cause problems. Even though it contains two of the teams I hate the most on the face of the earth the Ohio State-Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl should be an entertaining one as well with Tressel's defense taking on Weis' offense. For those that want offense the Sun Bowl will be entertaining as Northwestern takes on UCLA in a game where the o/u could be in the 80's.

Found an interesting page from USA Today which shows how all the coaches voted in the last Coaches Poll. I haven't had a chance to look at it carefully but one interesting note is Mack Brown voted USC #1 and Texas #2, wonder if that was done recently knowing that the last vote would be made public?

Final Regular Season Power 16

After a day which was highly anticipated most of the games last week were duds, only close one being the ACC Championship game which was on in the background as I watched the fight.

1. Texas - sure you can blame me for bias, but from what I've seen this season Texas is the more complete team and I hope, please I'm not asking for much, can beat USC.

2. USC - yes I don't like them as a fanbase but their team is very good and fun to watch with Reggie "I thought you could only do that in video games" Bush making play after play. As much as I think Texas can beat USC, who out there can stop Reggie Bush?

3. Penn State - moving up by default due to the LSU and Virginia Tech losses, in what was to be a more highly anticipated matchup with Virginia Tech they now get to play in the "I can't believe those guys are still coaching" Bowl.

4. Ohio State - edges out Auburn for the best two loss team in the country as they lost two close games to two of the three teams ahead of them.

5. Auburn - a team that no one wants to mess with at this point of the season, Kenny Irons is a beast and I expect them to easily handle Wisconsin in the Citrus Bowl.

6. Georgia - impressive showing in the SEC Championship game, their reward is they get to play in Atlanta again for the Sugar Bowl, wish they could play someone other than West Virginia but that's the way the BCS works.

7. Notre Dame - as others have said, anyone else with their resume would not be in the BCS but they're Notre Dame so its something we have to deal with. I have no idea what I'm going to do for the Fiesta Bowl, can't both teams somehow lose?

8. Oregon - once again the Pac-10 gets screwed out of the BCS but I didn't think they were that impressive to begin with and no one will be impressed even if they do win their bowl game since they get to play an Oklahoma team that is very down this year.

9. West Virginia - they have one loss, that's all I can really say, they looked impressive against Pitt but it's Pitt so who knows what they'll do against a real team

10. Miami - I'm sure everyone down in Miami was hoping they could become back to back Peach Bowl Champs coming into the season.

11. LSU - sure Jamarcus got hurt but didn't look like they showed up anyways.

12. Alabama - great turnaround this year, wonder how much difference would Prothro have made? Coach Shula has to be careful of Mike Leach trying to enslave his wife.

13. Virginia Tech - Beamer ball now 0-7 against Coach Bowden, another reason why conference championship games stink.

14. Florida - I don't think the Gator faithful had the Outback Bowl in mind this year when Urban Meyer was hired but they did beat all three of their major rivals.

15. TCU - probably a good thing they lost to SMU because regardless they weren't getting in the BCS regardless, at least they don't feel as let down.

16. Texas Tech - Cotton Bowl it is, we'll see how Basketball on Grass handles the D of the Crimson Tide.