Friday, March 30, 2007

Live Blog Monday...Enjoy the Weekend!

You ready for baseball? I know I am!

Well that's it for me for this week, unless something strikes my fancy over the weekend. Big weekend with the Final Four, WrestleMania (yep, I watch wrestling), and the American Gladiators marathon on ESPN Classic. Busy, busy, busy.

It doesn't end there though. Monday is OPENING DAY! I will be returning Monday with a liveblog of the Tigers opening day game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Please feel free to come back and enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Paging Andrew Miller....

Well at least he'll be fresh for the second half....

In case you haven't already heard, ESPN is reporting on the Tigers/Yankees broadcast today that Kenny Rogers underwent surgery on his shoulder to remove a blood clot and repair some arteries and will miss the first three months of the season. Dave Dombrowski says that Rogers will be throwing in 6-8 weeks, but that we shouldn't expect him back until, "July."

With the Rogers situation now stretching from 15 days to July you have to think the Tigers are going to take a hard look at bringing Andrew Miller up from the minors MUCH sooner than originally expected. Right now Chad Durbin is going to start in Rogers' place but you have to think that's not going to be the long term answer. Miller is a future stud by all accounts and the Tigers already have had serious discussions about bringing him up to replace Rogers while he's hurt. I don't see Miller staying in the minors past the end of April at the latest, especially if Durbin falters.

Obviously I'm as bummed as anyone at this Rogers injury, but I am happy to hear that we'll get him back this year instead of losing the whole season. The Tigers staff is good enough to stem the tide without Kenny, and maybe this turn of events helps Miller progress faster than originally planned. Either way this is a loss for the Tigers, but not as big as it could have been.

God Smiles Upon College Football!

Pop the champagne everyone! Our nightmare is over!

I have only two words I can say right now, THANK GOD! In today's Miami Herald (scroll down to the second item in the story) they report that Joe Theismann has turned down ESPN's offer to be an analyst on college football. Apparently all of our collective prayers have been answered. WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY!

Not on that but it also reports that apparently Theismann is being banished to the land of wind and ghosts that is ESPN Radio, with perhaps a spot here and there on some ESPN NFL programming. So in the end we all get what we wanted and that's no Joe Theismann on any game broadcast this year! I don't even know how to celebrate adequately. For now I'll just settle for a celebratory WOOOOO!!!!! NO JOE THEISMANN!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Plea to Joe Theismann

Oh, dear God no....

As I'm sure you're already keenly aware of, it was announced this week that Joe Theismann will be replaced on Monday Night Football by Ron Jaworski next season. This was met with a collective roar of approval from pretty much everyone who enjoys watching football on Monday Nights, including yours truly. Then came the news that made my heart sink...

"Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for studio and remote production, said Monday that ESPN had great respect for Theismann as an analyst and would offer him another job."

You know what that "other job" is? Well according to Theismann it's the analyst job on Saturday Night College Football. To that I say, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Currently Theismann is weighing his options before making a decision. Here is a quote from him about the entire situation that pretty much sums up why he'd be horrible on college football.

"I've been an NFL guy since 1974, so for 33 years now that's been my life," Theismann said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Now you are faced with the prospect of that not being in your future. It would be like training to be a doctor or a lawyer and having them say, 'we would like you to change to another profession.' I need some time to think about it."

Okay. First of all why the hell are you comparing yourself to a doctor or lawyer, Joe? You talk about football for a living. Is there some specialized training required for this, and if so, then how the hell did Michael Irvin get a job? And how is this changing a profession? Is talking about football different when it's pro and college? I know that white stripe on the football can be tricky and scary but I think you'd be able to manage. Apparently Joe forgot he played college football (you changed your name to rhyme with "Heisman" remember? Savy marketing at the Golden Dome).

You can obviously see that Theismann's heart isn't going to be in this, so why offer him the job? How can you replace Kirk Herbstreit and, um, Bob Davie (I guess) with a guy who obviously doesn't want to be analyzing college football? Let's not forget that Theismann has always been a horrible analyst anyway, but it's going to be worse when he's covering a sport that he's not as interested in. For those of us who care about college football (in my case, more so than the NFL) this would be a horrible move. I really enjoyed the Saturday Night Football package last year (though I could do with less Notre Dame thanks) and this would just make me cringe. We already have to deal with freaking Paul McGuire doing college football, please don't force Joe Theismann down our throats too! I suppose the only true justice would be taking both of them and throwing them with Pam Ward on Tuesday night MAC games. I'd be okay with that.

I'm down to one last resort, so I'm addressing the end of this to Joe Theismann himself. You don't want to take this job, Joe. You're an NFL guy, you should stick to the sport you are already terrible at instead of branching out and tainting the broadcast of another sport. Please, for the good of everyone, DON'T DO COLLEGE FOOTBALL! PLEASE! A nation of college football fans await your response.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rasheed Calls Glass

Just amazing....

I'm pretty sure you've already seen this, but it's worth seeing again. Last night with the Pistons down three to the Nuggets with 1.5 seconds left, Tayshaun Prince got his head on the inbound pass and Rasheed Wallace picked up the loose ball and sent it 60 feet off glass and in to tie it up and send it to overtime. The Nuggets were obviously demoralized and kind of slept walk through overtime en route to a Pistons victory, but that shot was just amazing. George Karl says it was pure luck, but having been to Pistons practice a few times in my old job, I have seen Sheed and various other Pistons practicing shots like those all the time. The blog Need4Sheed has a video that shows Sheed practicing shots like the one from last night. Seeing this also makes me think of another similar shot from 2004...

That shot was from Game Five against the Nets in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. That also sent the game to overtime, but the Pistons would lose that game after Brian Scalabrine went out of his mind and started drilling three pointers. The Pistons did go on to win the NBA Title in 2004, so hopefully this shot is also a sign of things to come. Either way it was pretty incredible.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tigers Can Play Disrespect Card

Go ahead and disrespect the Tigers. That's how we like it....

Today I'm sitting and watching some spring training baseball (Red Sox vs. Reds on ESPN) and the topic turned to the American League playoff race and both John Sciambi and Rick Sutcliffe proceeded to hate on the Tigers chances to make the playoffs this year. The reasons you ask? Well obviously well thought out baseball reasons like...

  • The Tigers made a big leap last year and since other teams that made big leaps fell off the next year, then the Tigers are due for this as well
  • They were healthy last year and apparently that means they'll be a walking M.A.S.H. unit this season

I love how there really isn't a factual baseball reason included in there. Probably because you can't really come up with one. They are the same team that went to the World Series last year and they just got better by adding Gary Sheffield. So instead of finding legit baseball reasons why the Tigers won't make the playoffs, you get people who grasp at straws in trying to explain it. Now that's just the reasons the Tigers won't make it. They then went on to talk about the other teams in the AL Central and why they will make it instead of the Tigers. Here's what they had to say about the Twins...

  • They have the best pitcher in baseball (Johan Santana), the AL MVP (Justin Morneau) and a great closer so if they are in the lead after five innings they will win.

Apparently having one good starting pitcher is all you need in baseball now. I mean if Johan Santana can win 20 games then the Twins should be set right? You only need 20 wins to take a division right? Excuse me if I don't think the Twins are going to be any better this year, in fact I think they'll be worse. Let's not forget that they were HORRIBLE at the beginning of the season until Liriano came up from the minors and saved that season. This year they are missing both Liriano (arm fell off) and Brad Radke (retired) and they replaced them with Sidney Ponson (!) and Ramon Ortiz. The problem with the Twins it that after Santana the rest of their starting pitching is either suspect or terrible. I guess if they just canceled the games between Santana starts they'd be set but I don't know if MLB will allow that.

Oh, and the White Sox?

  • "I just like the White Sox" - Sutcliffe

Um, okay. Thanks for that thought provoking analysis. Is there a paticular reason you like the White Sox? Remember, this was a team that faded last season and all they really did this offseason was trade AWAY one of their better pitchers (Freddy Garcia).

In the end the Tigers are the only team in the AL Central (beyond possibly the Indians) who did anything to make themselves better in the offseason so I'm having trouble figuring out why no one is picking them to do anything. I guess I can be happy though for the Tigers to prove them all wrong again and make the playoffs. GO TIGERS!

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Almost Baseball Season! WOOOOO!!!

Just awesome. Gives me chills!

Well baseball season starts up next weekend, and with that I think it's time to take a look back at last season's magical run for the Detroit Tigers. For a person who had spent half of his life dealing with the Tigers as a laughing stock, it was pretty unbelievable to see them go to the World Series.

I followed them all the way there. Went to Game 2 of the ALDS (in Yankee Stadium...and didn't get stabbed!), Game 4 of the ALCS (for Magg's walk off), and Game 2 of the World Series (sadly the Tigers only win of the Series), and it was unbelievable. Magg's walk off home run was the happiest single moment I've been apart of as a sports fan. I will never forget that night in downtown Detroit and hopefully there are many more memories to come.

Thank God baseball is almost back! GO TIGERS!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Matt Millen's NFL Draft Tomfoolery (tm)

I'm a fucking genius. BOW AND KNEEL BEFORE MILLEN!

Well the NFL Draft is fast approaching, which is what we Lions fans like to call "Our Super Bowl," so what better time to check in and see what our fearless leader Matt Millen* has to think about some of the top prospects whose careers could be wasted in the Honolulu Blue and Silver.

Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame

Millen's Take: "Well this kid is a little pretty, you know? I like that. You know Joey Harrington was like a son to me, and he was a kind pretty too. I know I'm a badass former NFL linebacker but I have a soft spot in my heart for the cute guys. He really is shitty in big games which is fine for us because we don't play any big games anyway. Can't really deal with a pass rush, but he'll get better at it from all the practice he'd have here in Detroit. I think getting smashed to bits builds character which is why I've decided not to upgrade the offensive line since I've been here. Makes the game more interesting. Also Brady doesn't help our team immediately which is great because they I can tell Mr. Ford to give me more time since he needs that to develop. Should get me another contract extension. SCORE!"

Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin

Millen's Take: "This is a big fucking kid. He may have even had a chance to block me if he had any testicles. He went to Wisconsin where he probably just sat around in the snow eating cheese and having sex with overweight women in Brett Favre jerseys. I fucking hate the Packers. Why can't we beat them? If I were still young and playing at Penn State I would have beat the shit out of this kid. He may have quick feet but I'm MATT MILLEN. You don't block Matt Millen if you are from some pussy school like Wisconsin. I also don't even need this kid. I traded for some guy from Denver who can fuck up pass blocking better then any offensive tackle I've seen in awhile so I wouldn't want to risk drafting someone who may play the position well. I have a reputation to protect."

Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma

Millen's Take: "Now here's a kid who's got it all. He's got an injury history like Chuck Rogers, which puts him near the top of my list. Our doctors already have a lot of experience dealing with broken collarbones so we wouldn't have to learn anything new to deal with AP. We also have a loaded depth chart at running back, which means at the press conference I can say, "Well I was looking at the board and I took the best athlete available," which always makes me sound so fucking smart. Problem is I got Marinelli over here telling me he doesn't need this kid. You know what? Fuck need! Maybe I'll fire Marinelli and get some other coach whose last name starts with M. Maybe I can get that crazy bastard Jim Mora Sr. to come out of retirement. That guy always cracks me up."

Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech

Millen's Take: "Now I know all you funny assholes would think that I would jump at this guy because he's a receiver. Well you guys are stupid jackasses who just sit in your mom's basement writing things in your underwear and you just don't know anything about football. Do I like to draft wide receivers? Absolutely. Do I like to draft good wide receivers? Hell no. No way I take Calvin Johnson. Not only is he freaky good but he's also a pretty good guy and when I'm looking for a franchise wide receiver I'm looking for an arrogant douchebag, not some guy who goes and works in impoverished countries in his spare time."

Gaines Adams, DL, Clemson

Millen's Take: "Marinelli is all over me to take this kid. He keeps rambling on about "getting better" and that "defense wins championships." I'm sorry but I blew last year's gimme Matt Leinart pick to take some defensive guy named Edward or Ernie or something. You think I'm doing that shit two years in a row? The NFL Draft isn't about taking players to make your team better, it's about making an impact by taking players that are sexy. You know how many people have talked about last year's first round pick? No one that's who, but think about two years ago when I took that asshole Mike Williams. BIG time press. That's an impact folks."

Millen's Final Analysis: "In the end you idiots are never going to know what exactly I'm going to do. I'm batshit crazy folks. Not only do I know more about football than anyone else I also have the balls to go out on a limb where pussies like Scott Pioli and AJ Smith don't. You should all be thanking me for making your little draft that much more exciting each year. Now if you'll excuse me I have another shitty free agent to sign. Fuck off."

*obvious satire but anyone with half a brain probably already knew this

Going Legit!

Straight cash homey!

In the pursuit of all things material (HDTV's don't pay for themselves) I've taken a couple of writing positions at and, the former being a football blog and the latter being one that focus on hoops. Is this me selling out? Absolutely. As the great Eric Cartman once said,

"Selling out is sweet because when you sell out, you get to make a lot of money, and when you have a lot of money you don't have to hang out with a bunch of poor asses, like you guys."

Now replace the part where he says "a lot of money" and you pretty much have what's going on here. I'm obviously still going to write this blog with the same fervor I have before, but I'm also going to lend my considerable talent to those other two fine websites as well. It's more of me folks, and what more could you really want? So visit this site and those as well. Oh and Lions NFL Draft buzz coming up later today. Matt Millen with a high pick? Good times.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Michigan Tells Amaker to Hit the Bricks

I don't even know what to say. I'm so happy!

Today is one of those days you don't expect to come and then when it finally does you just don't have the right words to express your happiness. Michigan (finally) has ended the Tommy Amaker era that was marked with the word "mediocrity."

Apparently the final nail in the coffin for Amaker was the drubbing Michigan suffered at the hands of Florida State in the NIT. It was a typical Amaker lead Michigan performance where the Wolverines looked horrible on the road against a good opponent. It almost looked like they decided to quit in the second half and were just resigned to their fate. Michigan had a lead in the first half but after the 'Noles came back and took the lead going into halftime, they just decided to stop trying. If that's not an indictment of your head coach, I don't know what is.

What Amaker will be remembered for is taking over a Michigan team that was destroyed by NCAA sanctions (thanks Chris Webber) and turned it into a clean program that was on the cusp of making the NCAA tournament but was never good enough to get over the hump. Amaker's teams were always terrible on the road and also had a habit of playing well at the start of the season and then fading down the stretch (The last two years they've started 16-4 and failed to make the NCAA tournament after a late season swoon)

I also can't name a player who has come to Michigan the past six years who has gotten much better as a player under Amaker's guidance. Most guys come in as a freshman with the normal array of pluses and minues and leave with essentially the same skills they came in with. Nobody seems to get better at all. At times, actually, some look worse then when they were underclassman (Courtney Sims) Just shows that Amaker was not the one to lead Michigan back to being a program that actually matters on the national landscape.

Where do the Wolverines go from here? That's a topic or another day. Today we should just celebrate the fact that the athletic department has finally taken their heads out of the sand and decided that the basketball program should strive for better things, instead of settling for the mediocrity that the Amaker era represented. Goodbye Tommy! Don't let the door hit on you the ass on the way out!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jay Mariotti is an Arrogant Prick

Coach K struggles with Jay Mariotti defending him

Like most American sports fans, I got up this morning with a generally happy feeling since our good friends from Duke were eliminated last night by VCU in the NCAA Tournament. Being a Michigan fan I will always sting a bit from losing to Duke in the 1992 NCAA Final, so seeing them go down is always a joy, and a little schandefreude never hurt anyone. I then made the horrible decision of reading Jay Mariotti's column today in the Chicago Sun-Times, and now my happiness has turned to anger.

You probably know Jay as the idiot spouting off random garbage on Around the Horn. He's generally regarded as a douche by pretty much everyone in sports and even has a great blog, Jay the Joke, dedicated to showing on a daily basis how much of a ignorant prick this guy is. Normally he sticks to talking about Chicago sports so in general just draws little disgust from yours truly, but today he decided to delve into a national story, with predictable results.

In today's column, Jay scolds us all for hating Duke. Apparently since Jay is such an enlightened individual who couldn't possibly hate ANY team (*cough*White Sox*cough*) that he's disgusted with the fact that people hate such a great program. Let's take a look at some of knowledge he attempts to give us.

"It probably isn't healthy to hate a college basketball team, given all the terrorists and real blowhards out there. But somehow, for reasons the creeps might struggle to explain in their dark attics, Duke has become Dreck. In truth, Krzyzewski has been as vital as any college coach over the last 20 years, conducting a clean program with class and high academia while winning enough to draw comparisons to John Wooden."

You have to love the first argument here. Thank you for putting perspective into my life Jay. There's something more important than hating a college basketball team? Really? I think we all grasp the concept that there are things in life more important than sports. This is what I call a "crutch" argument that people make who really don't have much of a base for criticism. Why is that? Because it works for EVERYTHING! Is there really anything that could top terrorists on things to hate for a rational person? Exactly. It's a shallow argument. Moving on Jay decides to show us that he's so high above us fans by calling us "creeps." Cute. If you were really that high and mighty then you wouldn't need to resort to childish name calling. Since you called me a name (since I have a severe dislike for Duke) let me retort Jay by calling you a pompous blowhard. Ah, that felt good. Also Jay decides to bust out a cute nickname for Duke saying that we've turned them into "Dreck." Wow, really insightful writing. I'm impressed. Did it take you a bit to think of that witty moniker? Let's keep going in the column.

"Allow me to play shrink and guess that people loathe Duke for the same reasons they loathe privileged families and silver spoons. They see an elite, private school that has had a consistent pipeline to the best and brightest players. They see a program that doesn't have to cheat because talent comes to it. They see affluence, snobbery and a lacrosse scandal that widened the divide between the university and a racially mixed community in Durham, N.C. They see, in Krzyzewski, a disingenuous hypocrite who is supposed to represent amateur athletics but gets more ad time than the Geico cavemen -- and who recently defended Henderson after a dirty shot that bloodied and broke the nose of Hansbrough, the North Carolina star. "

Wow. Thank you so much Jay for explaining why I hate Duke. You are so smart! It's funny because that's really not the reason I have a severe dislike (the word hate makes Jay's ears burn) for Duke. I don't like Duke because they beat Michigan in the 1992 NCAA Final, and jackasses like you continually cram this program down my throat. I could care less about them being rich kids with trust funds. I don't give a damn. Anyone who went to a big University ran with some of these privileged kids. It's the same everywhere. The reason people hate Duke is because we're fans and fans hate some teams. Simple. People tend to hate teams that are good for a really long time and are jammed down our throats by the media. Jay compares Duke to Notre Dame and the Yankees earlier in the column and that just proves my point. All three of those teams are consistently good (except Notre Dame...ZING~!) and are universally loved the media, therefore making them easy to hate. It's really that simple. Jay, though, tries to take a simple explanation and turn it into a larger social commentary. Not really surprised he tries to make something out of nothing.

"It has been a trying experience for Krzyzewski, but not so hellish that he didn't keep perspective. At one point, he told his players, ''We're playing the game of basketball. As hard as it is, it's not like having cancer or anything. We don't have something bad happening to us.'' You only wish some of the haters had that worldly depth. ''No one is ever going to pay attention to the age of my team -- they're only going to pay attention to the age of me and my program,'' he said. ''That dynamic creates amazing things.''

So Jay sums things up by again telling us that we need some perspective on life. Why pay any attention to sports at all with so much more important stuff going on? The irony is that this is all coming from a man who made the biggest deal possible of Ozzie Guillen calling him a gay slur. Aren't there more important things going on in the world Jay? Do we really need to care about what some guy called you when there are terrorists out there? See how easy it is to make that argument?

In the end Jay Mariotti is just a pompous jackass who thinks he is above all of us fans and makes horrible arguments to "prove" his point. Seriously Jay, just shut the hell up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This is NOT a Good Start

What is it this time Adrian?

I know it's March and that's usually the time to think about college basketball, but it's also a time to think about college football as spring practice starts to heat up. Unfortunately, things have not started well for the Wolverines.

As you can read about here, starting receiver Adrian Arrington, starting tight end Carson Butler, and reserve defensive end Eugene Germany are not participating in spring practice. Lloyd Carr explained the absence in the way you'd expect.

"They are not practicing, and they are not injured. I have issues that have to
be dealt with."

Well isn't that just nice. Are these players going to be back in the fall Lloyd?

"That is possible, maybe not probable."

Just great. This is EXACTLY the way to start spring practice for a team looking to win a National Championship. What these players "issues" are were not made public (as is usual with Michigan) but they better get this stuff fixed. Arrington is Michigan's number two option at receiver and Butler looks to be the main tight end this season.

This is actually starting to become a bit of a habit with Arrington. You may remember that Adrian got into a bit of trouble over a domestic disturbance with his girlfriend just before the Ohio State game. Most would think he learned his lesson from going through that situation and would decide to get his act together, apparently that's not the case. It would be a pretty big loss for Michigan to lose Arrington, since he has shown a lot of talent, but if he's going to keep acting like an idiot then I suppose it's for the best. Good news is that the Wolverines recruited some heavy receiver talent this year so hopefully one of the freshman would step up to fill the void.

Not a good start for spring practice though....

Michigan Played Last Night? Really?

Nice to see Michigan fans are excited for the NIT

Apparently Michigan played last night in the NIT. Don't know if you could feel the excitement, but most Wolverine fans last night didn't come dressed in bags like the happy fellow above, they came dressed as empty seats. In front of the smallest crowd in 23 years, wait, let me say that again. In front of the smallest crowd in 23 YEARS, Michigan put on a heroic effort and beat Utah State to advance to the second round on the NIT. Let me be the first to say...

Um, great?

Apparently I'm not in the minority here when I say I could really care less about this year's NIT run. Are you kidding me with this crowd? The smallest in 23 years? You do realize that Michigan went 10-18 in 2001 and they still drew better then this. It actually makes me happy that the fans are pist off enough about not making the NCAA's that they aren't showing up for the NIT. Perhaps the sight of all those empty seats will make some of the power brokers see that a change is necessary.

Personally I can't say I watched much of this game. I flipped over as Michigan was blowing the lead (they were only up one in the later stages of the game) and figured they were going to blow it and the season would be over. Flipped back to see they actually played well down the stretch to get the victory. Hooray! Now it's on to Florida State Thursday....on ESPNU. If that doesn't tell you how "great" the NIT is I don't know what does. FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lions Continue Quest to Sign Every Rams Receiver

At least he knows how to get tackled

Apparently the Lions, dead set on acquiring every Rams player possible, have signed receiver Shaun McDonald to a two year deal. This does not mean they aren't still trying to get Rams receiver Kevin Curtis as well, as they are said to still be hot on his trail. If they do manage to sign Curtis that would mean that three of the four starting receivers for the Lions would be former Rams. I guess the question I have is, what happens when Mike Martz leaves?

You have to think it's only a matter of time before Martz gets another head coaching position, especially if the Lions offense plays well. He got a bunch of interviews this offseason and another year could bring more and more. I understand that the Lions are trying to bring in receivers who know Martz's system, but are we going to keep this system in place when he eventually leaves? What happens when a new offensive coordinator comes in and the talent at receiver doesn't match the system he runs? And why the hell are we not looking at Calvin Johnson?

I think that last question is the one that perplexes me the most. During the offseason the Lions have filled needs at defensive end, offensive tackle, and running back. This means, generally speaking, that they probably won't be looking that way when it comes to the number two pick in the draft (though trading down and drafting defensive end Gaines Adams from Clemson seems like a possibility). So what I don't understand is why not take a guy like Johnson there if you still need help at wide receiver? The kid is a FREAK! He's tall, he's fast, and he's even got his head on straight. Hell, he even played with a horrible quarterback in college so he'll fit right in with the Lions.

I understand that Matt Millen is afraid to draft another receiver as the public relations fall out will be pretty big. Message boards will light up with, "ANoTHER REcIEvER? WTF?!? MILLEN IS THE SUXORS~!" and newspaper columnists (Drew Sharp I'm looking your way) will call for his head, but to that I ask, what else is new? Should the public backlash that would follow drafting another receiver really be enough to scare the Lions away from what could be a superstar player? When teams start worrying about fan reaction to moves, that's when things go wrong.

I for one say the Lions forget Kevin Curtis and just draft Calvin Johnson. For the long term future of the Lions it's probably the best move because Martz isn't going to be here forever and Johnson has superstar written all over him.

Just Shut Up

Someone needs to tell Lester to just shut up

I was looking over at mlive today and found this story on Michigan's trip to the NIT and was struck by the headline.

Abram on NIT: We have to play it
I decide to read a bit further to see what Lester had to say and found this quote....

"You're always happy to keep playing, but nobody wants to play in the NIT,'' senior Lester Abram said. "It's just something you have to do.''

What struck me is how basically Abram sounds like he's just going through the motions since they are going to the NIT and not the NCAA tournament. Well here's a small tip for you Lester, shut up. You guys had ample opportunity to make the NCAA tournament and blew every chance you had. Maybe I'd feel sorry for you if you had a great season and were snubbed by the committee, but you weren't. This team didn't win a big game all season and continually failed to live up to expectations. Maybe if you guys had actually played harder and closed out some games (*cough*OHIO STATE*cough*) you would be planning a trip to the NCAA's instead of bitching about going to the NIT.

It's stuff like this that makes it frustrating as a fan. If you don't like playing in the NIT every year then maybe you should win some big games! Don't bitch about not making the NCAA tournament after blowing chance after chance at making it. No one feels sorry for you.

Life is full of small disappointments, Lester, going to the NIT is just one of them.

Also in the article Tommy Amaker calls making the NIT "an honor." I don't even have the words to adequately describe my feelings at that answer. Just another reason this guy needs to be shown the door.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This Is Getting Old

What if this was Lloyd Carr?

I can't say I'm surprised. Yesterday, for the ninth straight year, Michigan was left out of the NCAA Tournament. They are headed to the NIT for the third time in four years and host Utah State tomorrow night. Excuse me if I don't think that's good enough anymore. This was a senior rich team that was supposed to be ready to take the next step. This was THE year. The Big Ten was weak, the Wolverines had experience, this was it, but it ended the same way.

For the second year in a row, Michigan got off to a great start and faded when it counted the most. This team has had every chance to succeed and return to the NCAA Tournament, but instead they've let every opportunity slip through their fingers. Take a look at the Ohio State game. They had the number one team in the country down, at home, and they couldn't hold on when they needed that win WAY more than the Buckeyes did. When the chips are down and your backs are against the wall that's when you're supposed to step up and close teams out, Michigan could never do that. This has to fall on the coach.

I got up this morning and asked myself why there's even a discussion of Amaker getting another year. What has he done to deserve this except perpetuate a state of mediocrity. What the athletic department has to ask themselves is a very simple question. What if this was the football team?

Do you honestly think that if this were the football team we'd even be having a discussion about whether or not Lloyd Carr would be coming back? Lloyd takes heat for last season and the team went 11-2, with both losses coming basically on the road (the Rose Bowl is pretty much a home game for USC) against two top ten teams. I suppose the football equivalent of Amaker's run at Michigan would be six straight four or five loss seasons. If you even think Lloyd would last HALF that run you're crazy. He probably would have been fired after the third or fourth season.

Now I realize Amaker had to rebuild a program coming out of NCAA sanctions, but those sanctions ended a couple seasons ago so they shouldn't be used as a crutch anymore. He's brought in the same amount of players as everyone else and has failed time and again to get this team back to the tournament. It's frustrating to see schools like Ohio State get hit with NCAA sanctions (though decidedly not as bad as Michigan) rise up from them to prominence very quickly while Michigan continues to just be on the cusp. I'm just sick of it.

Amaker has had his chance. It's time for Michigan to go in a different direction. We need to treat this team like we would the football team. We should care just as much. If not we're always going to be a second tier basketball school in the Big Ten. Doomed to mediocrity, and from this Michigan fan's perspective that's just not good enough.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Big Ten Tournament Live Blog: Michigan vs. Ohio State 2nd Half

My hopes are officially up for an upset. I'm assuming I'll get kicked in the balls

1:05 PM - We're about to tip off the second half. Wolverines down five and I'm emotionally invested in an upset now. Odds are by the end of this blog though I'll be pulling out my hair.

1:07 PM - Smith just makes a great hustle play that gives Courtney Simms a dunk. Fantastic stuff!

1:08 PM - Simms just gets blocked twice by Oden right under the basket. Dear freaking God. Somebody needs to check Oden's birth certificate by the way. No way he's 19.

1:10 PM - Oden hits a pretty jump hook over Simms to put Ohio State up eight. Even though he seems like a nice guy, I'm going to hate him for the rest of his career.

1:11 PM - Harris just airballs a three from the corner and Ohio State immediately goes back down the court and gets a short jumper to go up ten. Petway then misses a dunk put back to send us to the ad break. This game is slipping away folks. Could be an eye gouging blow out in a matter of minutes.

1:17 PM - Cook nails a three from the corner after a great pass. Michigan is down 12 now as Steve Lavin talks about the Buckeyes's trademark "runs." Abram comes down and hits a three on the next possession though to stem the tide and keep them in this.

1:20 PM - Smith nails a wide open three (making him 1-10 from the field for the game) and we may have a game here as Michigan has cut the lead to six. Please don't get my hopes up just to screw this up again!

1:21 PM - Courtney Simms gets the ball inside and misses a point blank lay up inside. WHY CAN'T HE MAKE THESE DAMN SHOTS!!! He really drives me insane.

1:23 PM - We head to another ad break with Michigan down five. In a completely unrelated note to the game. The first ad is the Bud Light ones where the gorillas talk about robbing the Bud Light delivery man. Now I've already suspended my disbelief that the gorillas can actually talk (and speak English no less) but I'm also suppose to believe that they'd know what Bud Light is and want to steal it? I wish I could have sat in on the meeting where they came up with that...

  • Suit #1 - "Let's do a commercial with talking gorillas who plan to rob a Bud Light guy."
  • Suit #2 - "Wow, that's a GREAT would be SOOOO FUNNY! We're awesome!"

1:27 PM - So we come back from the commercial and after an OSU tip in we get a WAY too rushed 3 which puts the Buckeyes on the break for an easy lay up, and just like that it's a 9 point game again. Amaker needs a timeout to calmly discuss how they are blowing this game. I'm sorry but Michigan is not a good enough shooting team to be taking three's that early in a possession. Probably comes down to coaching, but that probably doesn't even need to be said at this point.

1:31 PM - Harris misses a three off the front of the rim and is now 1 of 11 from the field. Way to show up in the big games Dion. Michigan gets bailed out on the break as Conley gets called for a charge on what would have been an easy lay up. Smith then comes down and hits another big three. 50-44 Bucks with 9:15 left....

1:35 PM - Abram misses the front end of a one and one that could have cut the lead to two. Moments like this are the reason we're probably going to the NIT. Simms then gets called for his fourth foul while defending Oden. Bear in mind that there's still over 8 minutes left in this game and Michigan's best interior defender is now on the bench with four fouls. I'm getting a bad feeling about this.

1:36 PM - After a couple of close misses by OSU, Michigan comes down the court and Abram hits an open three off a nice pass from Harris. Michigan down three with 7:47 to go.

1:41 PM - Smith with a nice baseline drive, and then he decides just to jump in the air inside of a pack of Buckeyes. Amazingly he loses the ball out of bounds. Just fucking great. OSU hits another short jumper to put the lead back to eight.

1:44 PM - Harris drives down the lane and draws the foul. Down ten with 5:47 to go Harris hits both free throws to keep hope alive.

1:45 PM - OSU comes down and Conley hits a wide open three from the corner. Those are the big shots that good teams make when they need to. OSU back up 11.

1:46 PM - After Petway hits a couple of free throws to cut the lead to nine, the Buckeyes come right back with an alley-oop slam from Hunter. For some reason, even after Conley was double teamed Simms felt the need to come off Hunter and triple team him which lead to the slam. UGH!!!

1:48 PM - Down 13 with 4:13 to go, Simms hits an inside double clutch jumper and gets the free throw to cut the lead to ten. Then they get a steal on the other end an they run on the break to cut it to eight but what happens? Harris loses the ball out of bounds as he goes for the lay up. And that, folks, is why we're going to the NIT! FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!

1:52 PM - Oden hits another jump hook which puts the Bucks up 12 with less then four minutes to play. I'm ready to call this game over. You think we can get a one seed in the NIT? or maybe a two?

1:54 PM - After some nice hustle by Smith to get an offensive board, they get it inside to Petway for the slam which cuts the lead to eight with 2:22 to play. I'm still not getting my hopes back up.

1:57 PM - ESPN shows a cutaway of Amaker who is sitting on the bench and "shouting." Thad Matta, on the otherhand, is standing and yelling like a crazed lunatic. Hmmm, which team has the ten point lead?

1:58 PM - Michigan misses a couple of shots, including another from Harris who is playing like absolute shit today. Simms fouls out after Oden gets the rebound. It's over baby. Oden hits one and OSU is up 11 with 1:21 left.

1:59 PM - Last ditch effort from the Wolverines has Smith driving baseline and just throwing the ball at the rim like he was trying to hit that instead of trying to score. Why do I watch this?

2:02 PM - And that's it. Michigan's NCAA tournament hopes are officially dead as they fall to Ohio State 72-62. It's another trip to the NIT and excuse me if I'm not too thrilled. This was supposed to be the year the Wolverines broke through to make the NCAA's. They had a team filled with seniors in a Big Ten that was down. Instead they never stepped up and won a big game and, as usual, lost some games to horrible teams (MINNESOTA!!!) and played their way out of the tournament. Normally I'd say the bright spot is that Amaker would be fired so maybe things would change, but since that's not going to happen (due to his "stud" recruits and his wife having the University President in her back pocket) I really have nothing to be happy about at all. He is just not a good coach. I have yet to see a Michigan player who has improved his game under Amaker's guidance. Look at Dion Harris. He is the same streaky shooter, and shaky ballhandler that he was when he stepped on campus four years ago. His 1-13 performance from the field today in his last meaningful game at Michigan pretty much shows it all. Just another disappointing basketball season to go with the last eight. Well I guess on the brightside, Tigers baseball season is starting up soon....

Big Ten Tournament Live Blog: Michigan vs. Ohio State 1st Half

This picture does not inspire much confidence in Michigan's chances

12:36 PM - Okay so I've been watching the game but not by a computer. Michigan is currently playing their normal sloppy basketball but amazingly are only down 2 with 5 minutes to go in the half.

12:37 PM - Why is it that watching Michigan play offense just makes me cringe? Everyone else seems to be able to run offenses with crisp passing and nice picks, but the Wolverines seem completely out of sorts all the time on offense. Throwing the ball across the court like crazy. Turning the ball over all the time. Looks like they don't practice at all....26-22 Buckeyes

12:39 PM - Dion Harris nails a pretty 3 off a nice pick. Michigan's only down 1...I'm amazed right now.

12:40 PM - Lewis nails a three...Michigan back down 4. Pretty much expected that.

12:44 PM - Deshawn Sims hits a nice long jumper from the top of the circle, I totally didn't expect that to go in. 31-27 Bucks

12:46 PM - Harris misses a three (in and out) but the Wolverines fight and get the offensive board. They get it back to Harris and he drives and draws the foul from Oden. Nice to see Michigan hustle to the ball like that. Dion hits both and the lead's down to 3.

12:47 PM - They just showed a split screen of Amaker and Matta coaching showing their different styles. Matta actually coached while Amaker just stood there with his arms folded. Just shows how Amaker is terrible.

12:49 PM - So we head to halftime with Ohio State up 34-29. Erin Andrews just said Michigan is winning the rebounding battle by 14. And we're losing why? See you in the second half. Hopefully for a big upset!

Live Blog Coming....


So I've decided (against some of my better judgement) that I will be liveblogging the Michigan/Ohio State Big Ten Tourney tilt this afternoon. Probably won't be around for the very start of the game, but at least the backend of the first half and all of the second half will be chronicled in all its glory. Judging from past Michigan performance I'm guessing this will be an exercise is masochism but if you enjoy that kind of thing please feel free to come back and check it out. GO BLUE!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Michigan's NCAA Tournament Zombie Still Alive

Remember kids, a zombie isn't dead until you see it's head rolling on the ground

In a pretty ugly game (and for Michigan that's saying something) the Wolverines shot a blistering 28% from the field to take down Minnesota 49-40 to keep their slim NCAA tournament hopes alive. It was probably the worst shooting game overall I've seen in a long time but against a 9-22 team like Minnesota it was enough to take them down. Thank God Michigan knows how to shoot free throws well. That was the team's saving grace.

So Michigan's zombie, while riddled with bullets, is still slowly moving forward towards tomorrow's matchup with Ohio State, who is standing with the shotgun loaded to finish them off. Michigan has shown that they match up well with the Buckeyes, but after last Saturday's last minute collapse I'm not optimistic on the chances for the upset. Especially given the fact that they blew that game at home and this is on a neutral floor. IF (and that's a big if) they were able to pull off the upset against Ohio State then their NCAA chances would improve greatly and they would also have a favorable matchup in the Big Ten semi's against either Iowa or Indiana. Tomorrow is the make or break game for this season. Either step up and finally get a big win, or it's time to head back to Crisler to host some games in the NIT.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Well That Was Just Freaking Great

A happier moment from Saturday's kick to the groin

Well that's what I get for having hope. Michigan had a chance Saturday to make a statement and possibly make it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since I graduated from high school (which is becoming an increasingly long time ago), and what did they do? They choked it away.

The Wolverines had the number one ranked Buckeyes on the ropes and they let them off the hook. The momentum was on their side with a six point lead heading into the final TV time out (approx. 3:54 left in the game) and then apparently they forgot how to play down the stretch and blew it. Courtney Simms misses a freaking dunk that would have tied it up, and Dion Harris (86% from the line) misses the front end of a one-and-one that could have tied it as well. Michigan didn't score again after that last TV timeout. Sad.

I'm starting to forget how it feels to follow a college basketball team that doesn't constantly kick me in the groin and force me to bash my head against the wall repeatedly. I was to the point where I was almost expecting the collapse. Unfortunately when Michigan took that late lead and the momentum was all in their favor I let down some of the pessimism and really thought they were going to win. I suppose that teaches me for believing in this team.

Now the only way Michigan is getting a whiff of the Big Dance is to beat Minnesota, Ohio State and maybe even ANOTHER opponent in the Big Ten tournament. Maybe Michigan can put together a run and make us all believers, and I'm sure if they beat Minnesota I'll get roped into thinking they could take it to Ohio State and maybe this time come out on top, but in the end until they show they can put a great team away I'll always be waiting for the other shoe to drop.