Friday, November 03, 2006

ILL-DUI and other sports ramblings

As noted elsewhere to avid readers of FtPx2 it is my own fault for not getting to this sooner, but well, I didn't. These won't be in the best of order, but my editor is on vacation in Columbia looking for better coffee beans.

The season didn't even start yet, and already players were finding ways to be MIA. Basketball players in Chambana are like little walking deities. A simple phone call would bring half the campus to anywhere in a twenty mile range (maybe more) for the ride that was needed. No excuse for doubly stupid behavior. Friends don't let scholarshiped friends drive drunk.

Brian Urlacher is runner-up in trivial poll with like 29 votes! In related news, little Suzy in Mrs. Green's eighth grade class was caught with a note saying Becky was fat. Which isn't really true, Big Becky is tall, not fat, just big-boned. Suzy is soooo mean. As far as the linebacker from Chicago? He will be okay. He is still a multimillionare grown man whose marital issues should probably be of greater concern than being slightly more overrated than Peyton Manning! There are more starting linebackers in the league than votes he got. Even with their vested interests they didn't all vote, essentially, against themselves. These are the voters for the Pro Bowl, so let's not worry until something actually matters. (Is that giving the Pro Bowl to much credit?)

As much as everyone wants to worry about Brian Anderson, remember, it was the inconsistent pitching that brought the White Sox season to the conclusion that it did. Of course A-Rod and M. Young would be a nice (like the understatement?) left side of the infield. Unless one of them can double as a left-handed hurler, it won't really solve the problems at hand.

The Bulls destroyed the Heat on their ring night and than get beat by Shaq's cloned newer model, Dwight Howard. All in all, I prefer when the Bulls were losing on their ring nights.

Kirk Hinrich saw the future and it is Milwaukee. No place else had the cap room and need for a point guard. Plus, it's Milwaukee. What he signed for will buy a lot of odd haircuts.

Tiki Barber wants to walk away from the game while he can walk away from the game. He says he will be happy appearing at the Hall of Fame as a presenter for his brother, Ronde. He gets classier as he gets older. Let's just hope that he gets more work than Robert Smith did when he retired from The Cure, I mean the Vikings a few years ago.

Garrett Wolfe is no longer a Heisman Candidate after not having another blistering performance. It was a nice, um run, though. Too bad, but when you play in the MAC, you cannot have a week off. Some would say the level of competion is not high enough.
Of course, some would say that going 18-25, 295 yards with three td tosses and another running against that perennial football powerhouse NAVY is enough to put you back into consideration. Next up is the stat-padding portion of the show, until the only remaining challenge of the year Not to name names, of course.

The Blackhawks are the Blackandbluehawks. Sure Ruutu is coming back, but as noted elsewhere by this poster, unless he can play goal and center and wing simultaneously the team will most likely continue it's early season death spiral. How 'bout them Wolves?

In an unusual three way trade, the San Francisco Giants will send the Cubs a Manager to be named later if the San Diego Padres hire Dusty Baker as their skipper. (No word on who will fill the role of lil' buddy.) This follows Bruce Bochy leaving San Diego for San Fran earlier this off-season.

How bad is Illinois football? A loss to the Feigning Illini helped cost the MSU coach his job. Even worse, as punishment, he has to coach the rest of this year. Ouch!

Colts play football with the Patriots this week. You know the old saying: The irresistable force against the coach that always schemes the force into a box.

Will Byron Leftwich's old Marshall teammates show up to carry him to the line of...unemployment? Has the David Garrard Era started? Stay tuned true believers.

A final rant of sorts. Too important to leave in comments alone.
Extra thought: If all rosters were equal I wouldn't bet against Briuce Weber, even versus Tom Izzo. Weber might be the best floor coach in the league, if not the country. What I hope he can improve with is recruiting. That will take time though, to establish a pipeline of guys who aren't champing at the bit to leave after a year. Of course, having said that, I believe (from afar, no personal knowledge) Bruce Weber to be one of the more honest, above the boards coach in college sports. Anyone who thinks that isn't a disadvantage in today's recruiting climate is sadly mistaken. I personally would rather be really good with occasional greatness and be legit than frequently great but have a coach with a layer of oil continually dripping from his suit. Anybody with any shred of hope for purity, balance or integrity in college sports should root for the same things. If not, that's fine, but don't be naive. No "great" coach acheived greatness, let alone consistent greatness, without any dirt on his hands. The faster the rise, the more dirt they are standing on. It is hard to do it the way I think Bruce Weber is trying to do it. I will have a little more patience with this program than I would have when I was younger and didn't know better. Go Illinois. Go Orange Krush. ILL-INI!

So there it is. Probably missed somethings. Can't imagine the dear readers of FtPx2 were sleepless at night without this, but if you read this far, well who knows how much your therapy bills are. Thanks for your time.
Until next time, be good.


Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

I'm kinda curious but is the second paragraph a reference to Rich McBride? Cuz if it is, it isn't a very clear one.

And as you know, every college football powerhouse has cupcakes on it's schedule. I mean, Michigan schedules Ball State in the middle of conference play? Chad Henne may break all single game U of M QB records in that one.

1:31 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Yes, it is Richard McBride. (Not Brian McBride as I saw elsewhere.)
Don't worry, the Illini Faithful know exactly who the reference was. Plus, since there is no doubt that McBride reads FtPx2 everyday, there can be no doubt that he will be much more careful in the future. (And CALL A CAB!)

Of course all teams try to schedule cupcakes. (By the way, thought mentioning Michigan was taboo...) The problem is that there is too much money to take a chance on an iffy record against all good teams. Can't buy the argument that the schedule is any thing other than what the school's want them to be though. Unlike the pros, most school's have enormous control over most if not all of their schedule, especially non-conference. The difference for ND is all their games are non-conference. They can't say they HAD to play Northwestern because of being in the league. That doesn't excuse Ball State. Ideally there would be fewer Division 1 teams, and no allowing games against Division 2 for Division 1. Again, it only invites speculatiion about what the "B" in BCS stands for. Strip some of the chaff from the wheat to improve the overall quality. "Power conferences" would change year by year for BCS qualification depending on how the whole league did, particularly in non-conference games. Just like weighted grades in classes, a close loss versus a good team might count for more than a blowout against Columbia or Vanderbilt. Doug Henning (dead) could set records against Ball State.
Question: Who wins between Ball State and Navy? Or, if nobody watches a football game is it actually played?

2:31 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Double-U, the idea is to entice non-Chicago/Illinois readers into perusing the site, hence the reference was too obscure.

And remember this about scheduling practices in the NCAA, most of it is done years in advance with no eye for how well one team may be playing at that particular time. While ND has held onto its independent status like John Kerry does his wife's money -- and I won't dispute that money is a major motivating factor in ND remaining lonely -- another reason is ND wants to perserve some of it's tradition as do the cupcakes that play ND. When else would Navy receive the national attention it gets other than the yearly Army/Navy game? USC is as storied a rivalry as there is in college football. and the U of M, MSU, Purdue and NW scheduling are great regional contests without needing a conference for legitimatization. (Is that a word?) ND doesn't shy away from big name teams. In the recent past and near future, ND has played Alabama, Penn State, Boston College, FSU, and Miami. There is no shirking a tough schedule by Notre Dame because most of those are home and away games in consecutive years. I'd argue that conference play is just as flawed and maybe seperating some of that chaff from the wheat is what is really needed in college football. ND never schedules D-II teams if I can remember.

2:58 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Yes it is a word.

It takes two to schedule. If Navy wants to play ND that is fine. Nothing stops ND from saying no, however. Conference schedules are obviously flawed. The hope there is that in a strong league the strength of schedule can help overcome a single loss. Thus SEC teams with one loss are still in the national title hunt until the end of the year. Tradition is a great defense. You know another great tradition? Throwing those fierce Christians to the lions. I know; completely different than throwing the Navy to the Catholics.

National recogntion? You think people join the Navy because they get to get demolished on natioal tv by ND?

Too be clear; I never blame players for the schedules. If Quinn can throw for four hundred yards and five tds against every cupcake, fine. Same for Doug Henning, I mean Chad Henne. But AD's make those schedules and Navy hasn't been great or even very good in years. Probably won't be for years. Notre Dame could break that cycle as of 2020 and safely not be missing out on a tough game from the Midshipmen. Having a tradition of purposely playing really bad teams only means you found a good patsy and weren't stupid enough to let them go.I think it does affect most major college programs, conferenced or not. I do remember though, that one reason (aside from the money) for Penn State joining the now misnomered Big Ten was they were punished for a weak (all)non-conference schedule in the polls. Of course they didn't have the TV contract that SOME schools did. ND is an easy target for some of this, but some of it is somewhat self-inflicted. Remember when ND went like 6-5 or 5-6 under Gerry Faust and still accepted a bid to a bowl game because the network threw sooo much money at the school? That is some tradition. In short, college football is a hideous mess. Not even counting Illini football.

4:51 PM, November 03, 2006  
Anonymous Frank the Tank said...

It's definitely sad that a superior Xs-and-Os coach such as Bruce Weber has to stoop to getting his hands dirty in recruiting 16 and 17-year old kids. Unfortunately, the rewards for getting dirty appear to outweigh any worries of accusations of being sleazy these days. Regardless, as long as the Illini (or anyone else, for that matter) keep winning, people and attention will pay attention.

5:10 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

There's a definite reason Navy is on the sched every year for ND and it goes back to the 20's or something when Navy and Army were the big dogsin College Football and Navy would put ND on THEIR sched. to help them get recog. etc.

Their is some honor still in certain AD offices and ND is living with their pledge to always include Navy on their sched as a payback for those earlier favors. Navy gets those nice ads and exposure going on national TV then .....

It's definitely not for the cupcake victory that probably ends up lowering their BCS standing...

I lit a candle at the ND Grotto today for you SR, so you can hopefully reach the enlightened zone that your mentor - James - has achieved....

1:37 AM, November 05, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

North Carolina is very not good. Yet they still gave ND a scare. Eeek! Look at, say USC's non-conference schedule. If they end up with one loss they can make an argument for a potential Title Game. It will be much harder for ND to do the same.

Seperately, to FtT's point:I guess that is/was my point. I hope/think that Weber will try to stay above the fray. I would rather cheer for a team with a clean roster and success every other or even three years than a dirty team always in contention. Unfortunately I am probably in the minority.

12:26 PM, November 06, 2006  

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