Thursday, March 27, 2008

Top 50 Hottest Female College Populations!

Maybe one of the greatest links ever, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Big Dance - Final Picks

I know Erin Andrews has nothing to do with the NCAA Tournament. All of the games are on CBS, so the event has a decidedly unsavory Erin-less feel. That said, it is the greatest two week-plus period in sports all year, and puts a hop in my step that can only be matched by Erin Andrews holding a microphone, hence the picture to the left. (And let's face it, there's never a BAD time to post a picture of the lovely EA.)

All right, now that the EA disclaimer is out of the way, here are my final picks, just under the wire. I know a couple of them fly in the face a little bit when juxtaposed to my "live" seeds below (not much, just a tiny bit). Most notably I'm going with 7 seed Gonzaga over "live" 10 seed Davidson. Just doing a little bit more analysis on it, Gonzaga is so deep and has played such a tough schedule, I just can't go against the law offices of Pendergraft, Pargo and Daye (even if there's a decent chance Josh Heytvelt did 'shrooms before the game).

All right, here goes:


1 North Carolina, 9 Arkansas, 5 Notre Dame, 4 Washington State
6 Oklahoma, 3 Louisville, 7 Butler, 2 Tennessee

1 Kansas, 9 Kent State, 5 Clemson, 13 Siena
6 USC, 3 Wisconsin, 7 Gonzaga, 2 Georgetown

1 Memphis, 8 Mississippi State, 12 Temple, 4 Pittsburgh
6 Marquette, 3 Stanford, 10 St Mary's, 2 Texas

1 UCLA, 8 BYU, 12 Western Kentucky, 4 Connecticut
11 Baylor, 3 Xavier, 7 West Virginia, 2 Duke


1 North Carolina, 5 Notre Dame, 3 Louisville, 2 Tennessee
1 Kansas, 5 Clemson, 6 USC, 2 Georgetown
1 Memphis, 4 Pittsburgh, 6 Marquette, 2 Texas
1 UCLA, 4 Connecticut, 11 Baylor, 7 West Virginia


1 North Carolina, 3 Louisville
1 Kansas, 6 USC
4 Pittsburgh, 2 Texas
1 UCLA, 7 West Virginia

Louisville, Kansas, Texas, UCLA

FINAL FOUR - Kansas over Louisville, UCLA over Texas

CHAMPIONSHIP ........ [dramatic Kige Ramsey pause] .......
UCLA 72, Kansas 67!! Russell Westbrook, Most Outstanding Player

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Big Dance - Initial thoughts

Christmas morning is over, we've opened the presents and we now know who the lucky 65 dancers are starting with the annual play-in game in Dayton, where Coppin State and Mount St. Mary's will battle it out for the right to get devoured by North Carolina by 50 on Friday. Let's get it on!!

All right, now these are my initial gut reactions, predictions, and observations. I do reserve the right to change my predictions between now and Wednesday night as these are knee jerk, no analysis picks. And, yes, I will post my final bracket predictions here on Wednesday night.

First, let me say that none of the "snubbed" teams left on the outside looking in have a gripe. The closest team to a true "snub" would be Arizona State who actually beat Arizona twice and had a better record in the same conference. But even Arizona State was a "one and done" waiting to happen. As for the rest of the jilted -- Ohio State, Dayton, Illinois State, Virginia Tech (Seth Greenberg, nice try on the lobbying. Too bad they count the whole season, not just one close loss to UNC), et al -- you all had chances to seize the day. You didn't. Have a New York slice for me when you get to MSG for the NIT Final Four.

As for the teams that did make it, while last year gave us all kinds of chalk advancing (Gambling tidbit - favorites were a torrid 22-10 against the spread in the first round alone), including two #1's and two #2's going to the Final Four, I think we'll see some lower seeds make more noise this year. So with that said, here are my "live" teams for each numbered seed -- in other words, the team at that seed that has the best chance to make some noise and plunder brackets everywhere.

MOST LIVE 16 SEED - NONE. A 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed in the history of the tournament. Don't waste your time trying to find one this year that will. Predicted average margin of victory for the 1 seeds in the first round: 38 points.

MOST LIVE 15 SEED - BELMONT (West) Picking a 15 seed to win a first round game is almost as big a suicide mission as picking a 16 seed. But I guess if you're looking for one who might stand a chance of keeping it interesting for a while in the first round, check out Belmont against Duke. The Bruins are not a very big team, but Duke is certainly not big enough themselves to totally exploit that. Also, the Bruins beat Cincinnati and Alabama on the road this season so they've competed against and beaten legit big conference teams. Neither of them are Duke, but hey, what the hell do you want from me? It's a 15 seed, for crying out loud.

MOST LIVE 14 SEED - GEORGIA (West) This is an easy one. How would you like to be Xavier? Just a week ago you were in the mix for a two seed, then one bad night later you are sitting at a 3 seed opposite one of the hottest teams in the country in 14 seed Georgia. Ouch. The Bulldogs' Sundiata Gaines is a solid point guard who can neutralize Drew Lavender (who's battling an ankle injury), and the Bulldogs also have some size inside with Dave Bliss and Albert Jackson. More than anything else, after a season where they endured everything from players being suspended to guys quitting over playing time, Georgia is going to come in loose and playing like they have nothing to lose -- which is exactly what Xavier didn't need to see. If you are ever going to pick a 14 seed over a 3 seed, this is the time to do it.

MOST LIVE 13 SEED - WINTHROP (East) After knocking off Notre Dame last year for its first ever tournament win, Winthrop is looking to build on that success in 2008. It was widely assumed they would be ceding the Big South throne after going through a coaching change with Gregg Marshall leaving for Wichita State, but here they are again. The Eagles knocked off Georgia Tech and Miami this year, the latter on the road, and played one of the nation's toughest non-conference schedules. They will not be intimidated by a Washington State team that plays a similar style and is a little overrated, in my opinion. This will be a tight game, and if Winthrop pulls off the upset, guess who's likely waiting in round 2? Notre Dame.

MOST LIVE 12 SEED - TEMPLE (South) Sticking with the theme of hot teams winning conference tournaments, the Temple Owls were on fire down the stretch, winning their last four regular season games to finish second in the Atlantic 10 and then chasing that with an A-10 tourney win to get the automatic bid. If you're looking for a 12 seed that has the March Madness formula covered, the Owls are it -- great guard play (Dionte Christmas and Mark Tyndale), protect the ball well, good foul shooting. Combine that with the fact that they are facing a very inconsistent Michigan State team, and I think there's a decent chance we could see two of the hottest teams in the tourney (Pitt and Temple) battling in round 2.

MOST LIVE 11 SEED - BAYLOR (West) I'm actually not crazy about any of the 11 seeds. Kentucky is a "one and done" waiting to happen, Kansas State has ranged anywhere from enigmatic to awful during the last month, and St. Joe's is just all right. Which brings us to Baylor. They play a Purdue team in the first round that overachieved all year and can be had. The truth of the matter is that if Curtis Jerrells and company are knocking down shots, they have a very real chance at the Sweet 16, with the Xavier-Georgia winner awaiting them in the second round.

MOST LIVE 10 SEED - DAVIDSON (Midwest) Again, I'm not crazy about the 10 seeds in this tournament. Davidson is led by Stephen Curry, son of former NBAer Dell Curry. He'll be following in dad's footsteps someday. The Wildcats played Duke and UCLA tough this season and went undefeated in their conference. The Gonzaga-Davidson game will be one of the best of the first round.

MOST LIVE 9 SEED - KENT STATE (Midwest) One of the hottest teams in the country coming into the tournament, the Golden Flashes jumped into the public consciousness with a Bracket Buster win at St. Mary's a few weeks ago. They are a versatile, athletic team that could hang around with Kansas in the second round for a while.

MOST LIVE 8 SEED - MISSISSIPPI STATE (South) There might not be a more quietly consistent big conference program than Mississippi State as they won the SEC West for the fourth time in six seasons. Led by All-SEC performers Jamont Gordon and Charles Rhodes, the Bulldogs are one of the top defensive teams in the tournament and are athletic enough to give Memphis trouble in the second round.

MOST LIVE 7 SEED - WEST VIRGINIA (West) For the record, this now makes four "live" seeds out of eight teams total coming out of the Washington, DC subregional. So if you're looking for a spot on the bracket to try some upsets, you know where I stand on this topic. As for the Mountaineers, Bob Huggins has transformed them into a very efficient hybrid of what they were under John Beilien (three point gunners) and classic Huggy Bear Ball (hard nosed and scrappy). Joe Alexander has quietly put together one of the best post seasons of any player in the country, averaging around 30 a game in the Big East tournament. The coaching matchup in the first round (Huggins vs Kevin O'Neill) is a total mismatch, and WVU will give Duke all they can handle in the second round. I'm taking Duke right now, but reserve the right to change my mind before Thursday.

MOST LIVE 6 SEED - USC (Midwest) Most people when they think of USC immediately think of OJ Mayo, but the fact of the matter is this is a pretty balanced, talented bunch that is playing its best basketball heading into March. Also, Tim Floyd is a very good game coach with his various defensive schemes; all you have to do is watch the Memphis game from earlier this season when the Trojans took the Tigers to overtime before losing to understand that Floyd is an equalizer in matchups where the Trojans have less talent. Mayo is a star in the making who can put a team on his back. This team can go to the Elite Eight and can absolutely give Kansas all it can handle in the regional final.

MOST LIVE 5 SEED - CLEMSON (Midwest) Clemson spent the entire season as the clear third dog on the ACC, which is fine. Good enough for a five seed. They took UNC to overtime twice in the regular season before losing in the ACC finals to the Heels. Clemson is deep, athletic and balanced. The Achilles heel is foul shooting, where they barely crack 60% as a team. That will cost them in a close game.

MOST LIVE 4 SEED - PITTSBURGH (South) This is a typical Jamie Dixon Pittsburgh team - a bunch of athletic, mentally tough street brawlers. We saw that in spades in the Big East tournament where they won four games in four days in arguably the toughest conference in the country. Sam Young is an all-Big East performer but the x factor on this team is point guard Levance Fields, who missed a large portion of the season with a broken foot. When he's healthy, Pitt is one of the top 10 teams in the country. Memphis has faced maybe one other team this year that busted them in the mouth the way Pitt will in the Sweet Sixteen, and that was USC who took the Tigers to overtime.

MOST LIVE 3 SEED - LOUISVILLE (East) Forget about losing to Pitt in overtime in the Big East tournament. Louisville heads into the tournament playing its best basketball of the season, winning 11 of 13 down the stretch in the regular season. Rick Pitino has this team playing his style of ball, especially defensively where they combine full court pressing with a 2-3 zone in the half court to make life very uncomfortable for their opponents. I am picking Slick Rick and the Cards to go to the Final Four.

MOST LIVE 2 SEED - TEXAS (South) Admittedly, once you get into 2 seeds and 1 seeds, they all better be "live". Texas gets the nod here because they have two things going for them -- (1) DJ Augustin, who is the best player on any of the #2 seeds, and (2) a de facto home court advantage in the regional final. They also have as many quality wins over elite competition as any team in the country with wins over UCLA, Kansas, and Tennessee.

MOST LIVE 1 SEED - UCLA (West) The best, most versatile team in the country (my opinion) combined with the weakest of the four regions equals a high probability of three Final Fours in a row for Ben Howland and his crew. Kevin Love's back spasms are a little concerning, but if he's right, UCLA is the best team in the country in a tournament format.

My thoughts on each of the four regions (in order of how difficult the region is, purely my opinion):


The pundits all seem to think that the East Region is the toughest of the four, but I disagree. I think a key component of the difficulty of a region lies with how strong the middle seeds are. The top three seeds in each region are always going to be strong, but it's how tough the seeds 4 thru 12 are that swing the vote. (I will say that I'm not crazy about Wisconsin at the 3 seed, though.) I think 5 Clemson, 6 USC, and 7 Gonzaga are all talented enough to make runs to the Elite Eight. 9 Kent and 10 Davidson are the strongest of the 9 and 10 seeds in the tournament, and 11 Kansas State has the best player in the country in Michael Beasley.

Potential Sweet 16 Matchup that could rock - USC vs Georgetown. The most hyped freshman coming into the season (OJ Mayo), who has at times lived up to the hype, taking on one of the most storied programs of the last thirty years. Watching Tim Floyd's athletes D up against the Princeton offense would be fascinating to watch. Would Roy Hibbert finally establish himself as a premier big man?

Predicted Regional Final - 1 Kansas over 2 Georgetown


See! I don't even have the East as the second toughest region in the tournament. The committee sure didn't do 1 Memphis any favors, placing them in the same region as 2 Texas with the likelihood that they will clash in Houston (advantage Horns) for the right to drive down I-10 to San Antonio. Also, the committee placed two of the hottest teams of the post season in this region in 4 Pitt and 12 Temple. 3 Stanford could cause problems for 6 Marquette and Texas with all of their size inside, and 7 Miami came on strong down the stretch to lock up a 7 seed. Memphis' potential path to the Final Four of 8 Mississippi State, Pitt, and Texas is pretty daunting considering the various styles of play and the games being played in Houston (if Texas gets to the regional final).

Potential Sweet 16 Matchup that could rock - Texas and Marquette would be a good one on the one side of the bracket, but the one I really want to see is Memphis and Pitt. Memphis with it's "40 minutes of hell" circa 2008 versus Pitt with it's street brawling, classic Big East style would be a mind blowing contrast in styles. Watching these two team try to impose their respective wills on the other would be some sweet March deliciousness.

Predicted Regional Final - 2 Texas over 4 Pitt


Why am I ranking the Eastern region third when everyone else (Digger, Bilas, Vitale, etc) are conceding it's easily the hardest? Well, frankly, I'm just not overly impressed with the "meat" (i.e. 4 thru 12) of this bracket compared to the Midwest and the South. But before I get to the "meat", let's start at the top. I think 1 UNC can be had. I know their style of play is not conducive to putting up great defensive numbers, but they had way too many average teams put up big scoring nights on them this year. Also, they're extremely careless with the ball. Maybe that will change with more focus come tourney time, but I tend to think that you are what you are, and UNC turns the ball over too much against athletic teams to think that it can't hurt them in a "one and done" scenario. I'm not wild about 2 Tennessee either. Ever since they knocked off Tennessee (and Bruce Pearl started texting Erin Andrews on a regular basis), they've looked sloppy. They also don't shoot free throws well which will bite them at some point. I actually like 3 Louisville a lot in this region. I think their full court pressing and athleticism matches up well with UNC and Tennessee and I like David Padgett as a very underrated big (and a perfect fit in Pitino's offense). As for the aforementioned "meat" of the region, 4 Washington State is a bit overrated to me, 5 Notre Dame struggles away from home against athletic teams (which this region is full of), and 6 Oklahoma is a decent Big 12 team, nothing more. I think 7 Butler couldn't have asked for a worse region to land in given their limitations size-wise and athletically. And 8 Indiana looks like they've cashed in their chips on interim coach Dan Dakich. Just nothing here to really scare the big boys. Of the four, this region is the most likely to send the chalk to the Sweet 16.

Potential Sweet 16 Matchup that could rock - Notre Dame vs North Carolina. While UNC is plenty athletic, I don't know that they play the in-your-face, extend-to-the-perimeter defense that has given ND trouble so many times this year (see Louisville and Marquette), and ND can run with the Heels. Take the over, because it would be an absolute scoring-fest. And watching Harangody and Hansbrough slug it out for forty minutes would be like watching the last two rounds of Rocky on a continuous loop. Seriously, if you're a college hoops fan, root for this matchup to happen.

Predicted Regional Final - 3 Louisville over 1 North Carolina


As you can see from all of my "live" seeds above, I think there are major chances for upheaval in the West Region. Unfortunately, I think it has less to do with how powerful the lower seeds are (relatively speaking) and more to do with how flawed the big dogs in this region are, save 1 UCLA who I think is going to win the whole tournament. Looking at the West, I think you could make a case that all of the following are the weakest of their four respective seeds in the tournament (i.e. Duke is the weakest of the four 2 seeds):

2 Duke (no inside game, way too reliant on three point shooting)
3 Xavier (playing mediocre down the stretch, best player is playing on bum ankle)
5 Drake (a nice story but would they be favored against ND, Clemson, or Michigan State?)
6 Purdue (overachieved all year, and again would they be favored vs USC, Marquette, or Oklahoma?)

The worst matchup on the board for UCLA in this region is 4 Connecticut with all of their size and athleticism, but they're so Jekyll and Hyde, I could see them going to the Final Four or losing by 15 to 13 San Diego in the first round. At the end of the day, I think UCLA is the one team in this tournament that can play multiple styles of basketball and feel comfortable. The rest of the big dogs all seem to have areas of discomfort whereby if their opponent is able to dictate tempo, they're less proficient. Of course, this is all predicated on Kevin Love's back being 100%. If it's not, then Connecticut will beat UCLA.

Potential Sweet 16 Matchup that could rock -
This region honestly doesn't have that many potential matchups that get me jazzed up, but UCLA against Connecticut is very intriguing. Even with some of the good bigs UCLA has seen (Lopez's 1 and 2, Jeff Pendergraph), they haven't seen anything like Hasheem Thabeet. And Jeff Adrien is a beast at the power forward. Connecticut can match up with UCLA athletically, it would come down to how well Craig Austrie and A.J. Price protect the basketball.

Predicted Regional Final - 1 UCLA over 2 Duke


UCLA over Texas, Kansas over Louisville
UCLA over Kansas for the whole shebang

The Greatness That is Kige Ramsey

If you don't know who Kige Ramsey is, learn the name. He's the new face in sports commentary, rocking his opinions for about a year now for Youtube Sports, the one man media conglomerate that Kige founded right around the same time he found out how to upload video from his camera. Headquartered in his parents' basement, here is an example of the no-nonsense greatness that is Kige Ramsey ....

Notice the 9 second dramatic pause! Awesome. I was totally on the edge of my seat. His prediction turned out to be wrong, but still the drama was amazing.

And Kige is about so much more than just sports. Check out his spring break advice, courtesy of Youtube Travel, which I can only assume is a wholly owned subsidiary of Youtube sports ....

Does it stop at travel tips? Hell no! Having problems with acne? Kige is right there to help you clear up that pizza face ....

I agree, Kige! I "don't think none of them work neither". So good.

Staying with the medical theme, Kige takes us on a journey back to where it all started -- the hospital in which he was born!

Diet tips ....

Exercise tips ....

There's nothing he can't do!

All hail, the KIGE-STER!!!

Move over, Duke! Dickie V has a BRAND NEW LOVER!

Let me preface what I am about to post by saying that I like Tyler Hansbrough. I don't mean personally, I mean as a basketball player. I don't know him personally. For all I know he could be a typical 20-something frat boy jerk, although admittedly he comes across as very likable in interviews. But as far as what he does on the court, it certainly works at the collegiate level. He scraps, he draws fouls (and then actually hits foul shots! Novel concept), he brings energy that his team feeds off of, and he's a decent athlete for a big guy.

I issue that preface because what I am about to say will sound like I am hating on Tyler Hansbrough. I am not. I am merely sharing with all of you the nausea that was inflicted upon me by Mike Patrick and Dick Vitale on Saturday during the UNC-Virginia Tech game. Anybody who has watched a game called by Patrick and Vitale knows that they can latch onto something and then proceed to beat us over the head for the next two hours with their overly glowing opinions on said subject matter (which are delivered from each of them as the gospel truth), oftentimes to the detriment of the broadcast. Now for Vitale and Patrick, this was hallowed ground previously reserved for all things Duke (interspersed with the occasional "Indiana is clinically insane if they don't re-hire Bobby Knight" rant from Vitale), but with the Blue Devils turning into a rich man's version of a run and gun, bombs away mid-major this season, it appears Dukie V and Patrick have found a new play toy and it's Psycho T.

Now circling back to my preface, I like Tyler Hansbrough. He is certainly deserving of All American mention and even Player of the Year accolades. (Myself, I would go with Michael Beasley, but Hansbrough's had a great year.) But the Virgina Tech game on Saturday was essentially a two hour infomercial for Tyler Hansbrough with Vitale and Patrick taking turns playing Ron Popeil. (The last second jumper by Psycho T to win the game was basically the equivalent of the perfectly cooked meal coming out of the Turbo Cooker at the end of the infomercial.)

Hansbrough is a very good college player, but to hear Vitale and Patrick gush about him for two hours consecutively, you'd think that science found a way to create a Larry Bird/Moses Malone cyborg and they named him Tyler Hansbrough. Put it this way -- they spent the first two minutes of the game talking entirely about Hansbrough. I got a phone call and muted the TV. When I hung up the phone ten minutes later and came back, guess who they were talking about. Right.

Here are a few of the gems (in bold, and admittedly, I am paraphrasing from memory) with my thoughts, and be warned -- this is where I will start to sound like a Psycho T hater when in fact, I see myself merely as a Psycho T realist:

"He is really fast!" (Patrick after watching Hansbrough knock a ball away from one of Virginia Tech's guards from behind)

Not really, Mike. He just happens to be one of the few bigs in the country who would make the effort to chase down a guard from behind. He is a decent athlete. Energetic? Yes. Fast? No.

"Oh he gives sooooo much effort! He plays with more passion than anyone I've seen in my 29 years in this business!!! He's AWESOME, BABYYYYYYY!!!" (Vitale stroking out about Hansbrough's passion. This happened no fewer than 412 times during the broadcast, including on a play where Hansbrough got a dunk off of a "look what I found" rebound with no Virginia Tech player within ten feet of him.)

Vitale is constantly beating us over the head with the whole "most passionate player I've ever seen in 29 years" opinion. I don't know exactly how he measures this? Floor burns? Horrible white guy dances after buzzer beaters? Glazed psychotic look after getting bloodied by Gerald Henderson? Diameter of eyeballs? It has to be a combination of these elements because these are the only areas I can see where Hansbrough has truly distinguished himself from other "passionate" players. Psycho T brings it every night, I just don't know why Vitale has decided he is the most passionate player ever, other than the obvious ESPN-induced groupthink which states that anything happening right now is "the best ever!!".

"Hey, why not throw that shot up there? It actually goes in for him sometimes." (Vitale after Hansbrough threw up one of his patented off balance, fadeaway, below the rim, baseline heaves that barely caught rim)

Yeah, it goes in 10% of the time. They should try it every time down the floor. Huh?

"He's the type of kid who would come back for his senior year" (Patrick after a brief interplay with Vitale where they discussed Hansbrough leaving UNC after this season for the NBA Draft)

I think this was meant to be a "the kid is so infectious and just loves college" comment. The fact of the matter is that Patrick and Vitale are ignoring the 800 LB gorilla in the room -- Hansbrough is a marginal NBA prospect, at best. Anyone who follows mock drafts knows that Hansbrough would have probably been at best a late first round pick after his freshman year. Ditto his sophomore year. Now go to some of the mock draft sites and where do they have the great Psycho T? Same thing. Late first round, early second round. Hell, has him as a late first round pick ... in 2009! In other words, he is what he is, and the people who scout NBA talent for a living see him as having reached his ceiling. And it's a ceiling where if he were to come out, he'd be at serious risk of being a second round pick and not getting the guaranteed pay day that comes with being a first rounder. Unless he just hates college, of course he should come back to school for his senior year!

By the way, if Tyler Hansbrough has reached his ceiling (and unless he all of a sudden develops three point range on his jumper, I think he has) and if "he is what he is" as an NBA prospect, then what exactly is that? Honestly, I think Tyler Hansbrough is a role player on the NBA level, maybe a rich man's Mark Madsen. I don't think his post up game translates well at all to the NBA. He plays below the rim and his signature back to the basket move is that turnaround shot where he leans into the defender and flips it toward the rim (which gets sent back at him more than Vitale and Patrick would care to admit). Also, he gets a ton of points from the foul line (the last Duke game not withstanding) and he's not going to get "Player of the Year" respect from NBA referees. He's never gonna be a guy you run plays for in the NBA, so he's going to get most of his points by crashing the boards and getting garbage buckets. He is an effort guy, and unlike Madsen he can shoot a little bit, so there's definitely a place for him, but he'll never be a 20-10 (or even a 12-8 guy). I will predict right now that Vitale's head will explode during the NBA Draft when Hansbrough drops to late first round, and he'll scream about how (fill in name of NBA team here) is getting a "great kid, a passionate kid, and an absolute steal at the 29th pick overall, BABYYYYYYY!!!"

So Coach K, you better start sending Dickie V some fruit baskets. His voice is back and he's got a brand new object of his affection. And that play toy's name is Psycho T.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Z Report Draft Show - Episode III

Here is the latest podcast of the Z Report NFL Draft Show; this show ran live on 1560 The Game on Thursday night, March 6. Next show will be live on Thursday, March 13 at 6:00 PM right after the "Sean and John Show".

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chalk up ANOTHER one for Scientology! YAY!

I can list all of the addictions that I've battled in my life fairly easily:

- Pizza nachos
- Youtube
- $10 parlays that pay like $8,342 (lifetime record: 0-712)
- Sopranos DVD's

I will say that I feel fortunate that I've never had to battle drug addictions, especially after watching Jeff Conaway (and others) stumble their way through the Celebrity Rehab series. It's scary to see people who have access to the best care in the world still not even come close to turning the corner.

Until now!

According to Conaway, it wasn't until he found Scientology that he was finally able to cross "getting hopped up on goofballs" off of his daily to-do list for good. From Inside Edition:
"I’ve been doing doctor was like, 'Holy cow,' he says, 'Whatever you’ve been doing keep doing it because it’s really working.' ”

Conaway says his former Grease co-star John Travolta introduced him to the controversial religion. “John and I stayed friends but he couldn’t watch me going down the tubes…he gave me a whole library of Scientology books and he’s given me an auditor who comes almost every day.”

That's right! Chalk another one up for Xenu! Another satisfied customer!

Most heart warming subplot of this whole thing. Thirty some odd years after Thunder Road, Zuko still has Kenickie's back. They go together like ramalamalama kadingygadingydong.....

Z Report Draft Show - Episode II

In case you haven't had a chance to listen yet, I am co-hosting a weekly NFL Draft Preview show with my good friends Lance Zierlein and John Harris called the Z Report NFL Draft Show (named after Lance's Z Report blog, which is linked to this here blog). Below you can find the podcast for last week's show. If you live in the Houston area or stream our station on the internet, you can hear the Z Report NFL Draft Show on 1560 The Game at 6:00 Central Time on Thursdays.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cornell puts on their DANCE shoes! Let the Madness BEGIN!!

Forget pitchers and catchers, this weekend the REAL sign that spring is almost here took place. Every March (sometimes sooner), the Ivy League champion clinches their conference title and thus enters automatic access to the Big Dance, firing the first of 64 Big Dance salvos that will be unleashed in the next two weeks. You see, the Ivy League is the last of the D-1 basketball leagues to crown their regular season champion as their true champion. All of the other conferences crowns their champion with a (sometimes ... ok, rarely) lucrative conference tournament. Ivy Leaguers are too busy with splitting atoms and slicing open cadavers to bother with a conference tournament so they kick it old school and actually have a regular season that matters. Personally, I am a fan of having the student-athletes play as many games as possible for my enjoyment, classwork be damned, but that's just me.

(For the record and for those of you who think I should have referred to "65 Big Dance salvos" above not 64, I don't count the two play-in game participants as part of the field until one of them leaves the court in Dayton on that fateful Tuesday night with a W. Then the 64th salvo is finally fired. On this there can be no debate.)

Oh by the way, major ups to the Cornell Big Red for winning the Ivy League. I can think of one fictitious Cornell graduate who has to be ecstatic ....


Here are links to some of the latest mock brackets from around the web. We at the Sports Kolache will be tracking every tiny little tremor in the world of brackets and bubbles over the next couple weeks.

ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi)
ESPN Bubble Watch (Andy Glockner)
CBS Sportsline Field of 65 (Gary Parrish)
CNNSI Hoop Thoughts (Seth Davis)
March Madness All Season

March to Madness

Sporting News (Ryan Fagan)

Stone Cold Bloggin', 3/2/08

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm starting to become a believer in the Yao-less Rockets. The wins over Washington and Memphis were nice (and necessary), but the fact is neither of those teams has a big guy that puts any sort of scare into you. Brendan Haywood? Kwame Brown? Whatever. In other words, a frontcourt of Dikembe for 20 minutes and the dreaded, two-headed Sco-Landrinator is more than enough to get you to the pay window. This Nuggets win is an obvious cut above the first two, for a couple reasons. First and foremost, the Nuggets are in that mix of teams (along with Golden State, Dallas, Phoenix, and New Orleans) that the Rockets will be presumably duking it out with for survival at season's end, so a win against anyone in that group takes on larger importance than beating up on the Grizz or the Wiz. Second, this was another game where the Rockets got a first half lead and proceeded to put their foot on the opposition's esophagus, and in this case an opponent who has the weapons to mount a second half charge. That charge never came.

I probably need to stop waiting for Shane to quit hitting three's, for Rafer to turn into a pumpkin, and for the team to issue a press release saying T-Mac will miss the next ten games with a floor burn, and just enjoy this ride. The seeds are being planted for a pretty sweet NBA story if the Rockets can make a run into the post season. Except for the Lakers, Spurs, and maybe the Jazz, you can make a case for the re-conifigured, post-Yao Rockets being a better team than any of the other teams in the West. Hell, it looks like the Suns (clearly) and Mavericks (possibly) have actually made themselves worse with their big trades. I'm not saying the Rockets are definitively better than these teams, it's too early to tell. I'm just saying there is an argument, which frankly is a lot more than most of us (my hand is raised) were willing to concede a few days ago.

Circle March 6. The Rockets go to Dallas on the tail end of a back-to-back. If we're talking about win #17 in a row in Thursday night, it's on.

Now for some Monday time wasters ...

  • Many a tale from NFL Combines past [The Sports Hernia]
  • Bas Rutten has an e-card for everyone that is interested in the new movie "Never Back Down", a/k/a Karate Kid 2008 [Never Back Down]
  • Rutgers tries to maintain its spot in college football relevancy via the old fashioned way -- new fangled mouthguards. [Wizard of Odds]
  • Pittsburgh's PNC Park, last in baseball, first in eating! Yes, those four magic words -- ALL YOU CAN EAT! [Bugs and Cranks]
  • WWE Action Figure test (sadly, I scored 100%). [Mental Floss]
  • Early gauge on the Coach's Hot Seat -- it's Ty Willingham in the lead! [Coaches Hot Seat]
  • The Koncak League! An idea that is long overdue. [TY Sports]
  • A Boise high school football player is suing Hawaii over revoking a scholarship offer. Believed to be the first time this has happened. What took so long? [Wizard of Odds]
  • Breaking down the Terrelle Pryor sweepstakes [Detroit Free Press]

This one is an oldie but a goodie. Be patient, there is a pay off at the end, and it involves a heavy set reporter wailing like Chewbacca in a bondage rack.

And here is the animated version ...

And the remake ...

How to get ahead in the weatherman universe? Act the fool, like Mark Mathis ....

I love old Sopranos clips. This is one of the greatest scenes in the history of the series. Actually, if you think about the whole Mitchell Report saga, imagine Clemens as Tony, Pettitte as Paulie Walnuts, Chuck Knoblauch as Silvio, and McNamee as Big Pussy. Don't you think there is part of Roger that wishes he found out McNamee had ratted him out to the Feds early enough to take him boat shopping?

Borseth vs Gundy rants. I think rants have now jumped the shark, don't you?