Recent Comments by PublicUrinal

NCAA Hockey Brackets Revealed

As a Gopher, I'm quite sad MSU didn't make it either. The UM-MSU series two weekends ago was some of the most fun hockey I had watched in ages. Both goalies simply played well out of their minds, and every shift was marked by intensity. A rematch in the NCAAs would have been phenomenal. Despite the Pairwise, I'd definitely argue MSU deserved the spot more than the Badgers -- and they probably would have had it if it wasn't for a guy named Alex Kangas.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:24 AM on March 24, 2008

Baseball Doesn't Need Saving

The media latches onto steroids scandals, cheating, etc., but outside of the hardcore fans, the vast majority of people are willing to overlook it and live life blissfully apathetic as they sip their beer and enjoy the game. Simply put, most people just want to be entertained, regardless of what happens in the backstage.

posted by PublicUrinal at 05:57 PM on December 28, 2007

For all of you talking about coaching loyalty, an interesting development ...

It never ceases to amaze me how a coach can bolt a school with little to no repercussions, but when a school sacks a coach, they have to pay huge buyouts. To those saying Rodriguez is a bastard for leaving before a BCS game, I offer that he now has a duty to Michigan, and has to begin recruiting right away in order to live up to the expectations set for him. I'm just offering the other side of the coin, and not arguing his actions are correct. As for comparing tiers, I would use the metric of getting a top-rated player and, without consideration to coaching, situation, etc., asking him which school he would rather go to; my guess would be Michigan. I'm curious to see how Rodriguez ends up performing in Michigan. His style is incredibly different than what the Wolverines have had in place for as far back as I can remember. It wouldn't surprise me if next year is a bust for Michigan and Rodriguez catches a little heat, but they then go back to dominating the Big 10 soon after. A last quip: the Big 10 has had a huge talent drop-off. Yes, they keep making good bowl games, but more because of reputation and weak conference play than anything else. Perhaps they'll surprise me this bowl season, but I'm not expecting much more than a series of crushing defeats.

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:25 PM on December 28, 2007

Patriots/Giants Game to be simulcast on NBC, CBS and NFL Network.

"Fixing" a nation's education system is a far bigger endeavor (not merely infrastructural, but also in having different congressmen fight to bring as much "bacon" home as possible and quipping over ideological differences) than telling a sports league that already receives plenty of perks that they have to broadcast one game nationwide. Again, not arguing priorities are right here, nor that their actions are not self-serving, but simply that it is a much easier endeavor to accomplish in a short span of time that will please a fair number of constituents. As for public servants making six-figure salaries, there are actually plenty of them. But since you only require one example, the Supreme Court Chief Justice made roughly $208,000 in 2004. High-ranking military officers, district judges, and members of the President's cabinet are all among public servants making six figures.

posted by PublicUrinal at 03:39 PM on December 27, 2007

Patriots/Giants Game to be simulcast on NBC, CBS and NFL Network.

I would hope my congressmen would have more to worry about than what I am able to watch on TV. This I can agree with wholeheartedly. However, it is the Congressperson's job to listen to their constituents, and their action was within the scope of their duty -- and that is my point.

posted by PublicUrinal at 03:03 PM on December 27, 2007

Patriots/Giants Game to be simulcast on NBC, CBS and NFL Network.

Again, this is not an unfettered democracy. Congress has been pressuring both cable companies and the NFL to get an agreement done. The reason the NFL was given the exemption status is because Congress decided (right or wrong) that the NFL could operate more effectively without having Congress look over their shoulders. The arrangement has worked alright, but when constituents start to complain, then Congress needs to re-assess whether that exemption continues to serve its purpose. Beyond ideological discussions, I would instead argue that Congress has more leverage against the NFL than cable companies, given the present leanings of the FCC. In the present political climate, I would offer that constituents are generally easy to appease, and giving them this one game was probably deemed to be enough. Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider (Comcast and Time Warner have been among the top-3 Broadcast Media contributors for the present and past two federal election cycles), so there are plenty of self-serving interests floating about, but I would characterize this as a motion to swiftly appease constituents above a self-serving move to punish the NFL (the fight between cable companies and the NFL Network continues; it is this one game that the NFL Network has been forced to sacrifice). Without getting overly political, how often have you really seen Congress bend big commerce of late -- really? Lastly, I maintain that linking to USA Today to help one digest complex legislation is hardly encroaching on poor resource management.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:57 PM on December 27, 2007

Patriots/Giants Game to be simulcast on NBC, CBS and NFL Network.

I do believe that anti-trust provisions come foremost from the Sherman Act. If you need it to be tied to the Constitution, Congress' role is established to be that of legislation, and Section 8 of the Constitution allows them "to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution" the powers enumerated in Section 8 (most relevant to this case, the power to regulate commerce). This means that items legislated do not need to be explicitly defined in the Constitution. Considering the fact that the Sherman Act has not been ruled unconstitutional by the Judiciary (see System of Checks and Balances), despite it pissing a lot of people off and having been enacted in 1890, it is fair to assume that anti-trust legislation is within the realm of Congress without having to break out law texts. Their threat to remove the NFL's exemption status is also within the scope of duty of congresspeople, as their constituents likely clamored and rose attention to the issue. I'm not going to perpetuate the notion that America is an unfettered democracy, but if you want your Congress representatives to be focusing on other issues, start calling them and getting people behind you. Regardless, Congress is well within their rights to meddle here. Hopefully that will settle the question of the constitutionality of Congress' action. And hellapuckboy, regarding the USA Today comment, there were three other sources that were linked to as well. And no, reporters don't know everything, but those in well-regarded publications tend to know a thing or two and aren't a poor source from which to begin research.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:14 PM on December 27, 2007

Chicago Bulls fire coach.

I'm pretty sure media inquiries into his firing kept him just as busy as game planning, and probably more annoyed. But again, given the money the man made (and could very well continue to make depending on the language of his contract), he's probably got enough wealth stashed to weather something like this. And even if he doesn't, there will be plenty of jobs awaiting him. Seems like a poor decision in the eyes of PR, but people will get over it pretty soon, especially if the new coach strings a couple of victories together.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:39 AM on December 26, 2007

Records in sight after Patriots move to 15-0

Eli will probably have given the Patriots a 14-0 lead before Brady even takes the field.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:11 PM on December 24, 2007

Playoffs? Playoffs!?

I reiterate: the Vikings pass defense is nothing short of atrocious, even when healthy. They're opportunistic, there's no doubt about that, but their coverage skills aren't even marginal. I'm happy they made this a season, but I don't think they belong in the playoffs. At least they're on the way up thanks to shrewd drafting (5 of our draft picks this year, and 5 from last year, made substantial contributions to the team this season), but they still need another year or two to develop those players and draft a few new key pieces. Couple that with the fact the Vikes have locked up a lot of core talent for the next few years, and the Vikings are on their way to becoming a team that will be able to fight among the top of the league.

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:03 PM on December 24, 2007

Playoffs? Playoffs!?

The Vikings pass defense is absolutely atrocious. It really amazes me that more teams don't choose to simply just air it out against them. With the best Vikings CB out (Winfield), any team, including the Redskins, can have a field day through the air. Just look at the Packers-Vikings games this season and you will see how easily the Vikings defense can be picked apart. The incredible Minnesota run defense can also be gutted by simply running to the outside (especially once a passing game is established and the corners pull back). I'm a Vikings fan, but I'm also a realist -- this team makes the playoffs because of a soft schedule and luck, but there is no way they make it past the first round. Minnesota simply has too many flaws, and teams are learning how to contain Peterson (stack the box, don't overpursue, tackle low -- and since Peterson can't block yet, Minnesota plays him almost exclusively on rushing plays).

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:35 AM on December 23, 2007

New Hockeytown USA

I don't know if Minnesota is prepared to take over as Hockeytown USA, but even after losses, jerseys are still worn proudly and the fan fervor is fairly big (although with every other team performing terribly, it's easy to cheer for the only team that wins). The loss of the North Stars really left a dent (retro gear is still quite popular, too), and the fan base wants to make certain they won't lose their hockey team again. However, in terms of history, it's quite hard to go against Detroit.

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:23 PM on November 04, 2007

When Mascots Attack: Oregon Duck Assaults Houston Cougar

Another video of the encounter:

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:50 PM on September 13, 2007

CONMEBOL not pleased with U.S.

Familyman: To clarify, I said "bigot-sounding remarks" because you appear to be a long-time member and I cannot recall you ever acting in a manner classifiable as a bigot, and will thus not assess you so. But a statement lumping an entire continent into a baseless argument generally fits the criteria. As such, I'm hoping your position can be substantiated and we can have a sound discussion, sans name calling.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:25 PM on July 05, 2007

CONMEBOL not pleased with U.S.

Familyman: First and foremost, there isn't an football league in any of the South American countries, as far as I'm aware -- nor is there an international tournament that can serve as a meter. In terms of the NBA, the best parallel would be the FIBA Americas Championship, played every two years. The last championship (2005) saw Brazil get the gold and Argentina the silver; Venezuela beat the USA team for the bronze. Thus all of the top honors were given South American countries. In baseball, the closest I could find was the World Baseball Classic, where there was only one South American invitee -- Venezuela. And it fell in the same stage as the United States. Before you make such bigot-sounding remarks, I would encourage you to check the facts. As for the argument that the U.S. wanted to try new talent, I can subscribe to that and understand. But as such, CONMEBOL should still feel disrespected that their tourney was selected for the experiment. And if I'm CONMEBOL, I consider inviting another country in the future to make the disappointment apparent. This isn't about the U.S. playing poorly -- it is about the U.S. truly fielding an inept team. On the comment of the Argentina game, Argentina played very uninspired footy. It had nothing to do with the United States' stifling defense or powerful attack. And their subsequent play has been marred by a lack of ability, period. While not having a lot of time to practice together certainly holds a large cloud over their heads, they have simply been unable to string anything better than three touch passes for a missed shot.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:11 PM on July 05, 2007

CONMEBOL not pleased with U.S.

I'm not pleased with having wasted 4 hours of my life watching two embarrassing matches brought by USA. Really, that alternate team can be beaten by most Ecuadorian D-II squads. Familyman: That is one of the most backwards arguments I have ever seen; please do mention some instance of a South American team being invited to those playoffs.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:47 AM on July 05, 2007

USA 2-1 Mexico

I'm not sure why the U.S. is getting ripped on so hard in this thread. I wasn't even cheering for them, but over the course of the tournament, they were easily the strongest team (I felt Panama was also up there, but they shot themselves in the foot by red-carding too often and had luck go against them in several shots that should have gone in, but didn't quite make it so). Canada did not outplay the Americans in the semi-finals game, but rather mounted a very strong charge when the U.S. started playing not to lose; that's not to say Canada couldn't have won it, but rather that it's not a sure-shot they would have. (Disclaimer: I was rooting for Canada.) Mexico played surprisingly well in the finals -- and really suffered with the loss of Borgetti -- but had until then mounted a very weak campaign. If the Americans head into Copa America with the same team they had through Copa Oro (I believe someone said they weren't), I'd give them a good shot of getting out of the group stage second to Argentina.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:32 PM on June 25, 2007

'Pacman' Jones sought for questioning.

For AP haters, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. And for Pacman lovers, a funny.

posted by PublicUrinal at 03:08 PM on June 18, 2007

"Once a player hits a home run, that's a fact. It's on TV. Everybody sees it. (The NCAA) can't copyright that fact. The blog wasn't a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis."

A written account of a sporting event as it is occurring while attending the event is against the NCAA's terms of access to the press box (and maybe to the stadium at large). I can understand the press box issue -- though by no means agree with it -- as it is generally a privilege afforded to news agencies (which generate interest/demand through their reporting). But kicking a paying individual out of the stadium for liveblogging should become a free speech issue, especially if the arena is primarily, or exclusively, funded through tax money (subsidies, credits, etc.), at which point I consider it more akin to a public setting. Legally speaking, I doubt that holds any weight, but (with no intention of thread hijacking) I wonder aloud: do stadiums primarily, or exclusively, funded through tax money generally receive any special perks over their privately-funded counterparts?

posted by PublicUrinal at 08:18 AM on June 12, 2007

Magic Hire Billy Donovan's Successor

Honestly, I fully expect all of this to blow over after two weeks, be referenced to in the beginning of both the NCAA/NBA seasons, and die again, only to return occasionally in the color commentary of Gator games being nationally televised, if the Magic make the playoffs, and on the recycled yearly articles about NCAA coaches and their not panning out in the NBA. It won't affect recruiting, it won't change fan support, and all will go on just as it was. Now, I can see his actions being worthy of the title "douchebagish," but why is everyone coming down on him so hard? I was out of the country for a few weeks and may have missed this, but I never heard him declare he was forever staying at UF. He turned down Kentucky because he likes his place in college hoops, turned down (potentially) a few NBA offers because they weren't the right fit, and at last found one he thought he liked. His lack of research and preparation sure is stunning for a man so often described as extremely thorough and unrelentless, but I've seen several places say he was forced into making a quick decision (which would be unsurprising given Sacramento's wooing of Van Gundy). In the end, I see it as a shot to the very solid reputation he had built, but nothing that makes him an inherently bad person or some selfish asshole that nobody would want to play for.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:35 PM on June 07, 2007

Pronger elbows way to Game Four suspension

On topic, this is Chris Pronger's 7th suspension by the NHL. He has missed a total of 13 games. That sums it all up. What Fisher showed in class when he refused to punch a defenseless Duck, Pronger showed in utter disrespect for fair play. While the ruling is something die-hards and the more avid fans will look at with disgust, I think most viewers will appreciate seeing Pronger's physical play on the ice -- and that is the motivating factor for the NHL's decision, especially since NBC is picking up the rest of the series, giving more casual fans exposure. On a side note, that hit really felt like watching O.J. Simpson in Naked Gun. After the elbow to the face, Mcammond hit the back of his head on the ice, and then slid head-first into the boards. Talk about the triple whammy.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:46 PM on June 03, 2007

Time to blow up the Rockets

Yahoo! reports that Van Gundy may be on his way out.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:58 PM on May 06, 2007

Pistons 4

Dirk may have just lost himself that MVP. Kobe couldn't will his team past the first round. Nash, meanwhile...

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:50 AM on May 04, 2007

Pistons 4

GSW may force me to eat some humble pie. Not that I talked shit about them, but I certainly gave them no credit when I thought they had no chance to beat the Mavs in a seven-game series. Both conference champs from last year going down in the first round was certainly not something most people saw happening -- even if one was a Heat team that simply could not get it straight all season. The Raptors have also been disappointing. Where's Bosh this series? I haven't watched much of it, and when he has touched the ball, defenses collapse on him. But if you're going to be treated as a superstar, you have to elevate your game, Mr. Bosh. Shame the Suns-Lakers series hasn't matched last year's intensity. Now that was some great basketball.

posted by PublicUrinal at 04:53 PM on April 30, 2007

Warriors Beat Mavericks in Series Opener

Dallas shot 35%, and I really don't think that was because of a stifling Warriors defense. The shooting was beyond horrendous. It's a seven-game series, and plenty of time for the Mavs to get their shot together. I would be beyond shock if the Warriors actually won this series.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:34 AM on April 24, 2007

"Fight Money":

Japan - You're just another mediocre person until you prove otherwise. U.S. - You're unique, and here's your medal for participating. Holden is absolutely correct. There's a huge cultural difference in the way people feel rewarded. The money is more recognition than anything.

posted by PublicUrinal at 04:40 PM on April 17, 2007

Referee Suspended Indefinitely

Even IF , Tim Duncan whines a lot ... it's part of the game Statements like these make me wonder if the direction the league is going is the right one, then. I have an issue with a ref tech-ing for an isolated outburst -- it's part of the emotion of the game -- but I don't share the feeling if it is for a short bitching session that follows several others throughout the game. Getting into the ref's head is like flopping: there should be no place for it, and a tech should be assessed. That said, I agree with most here that Crawford is at fault in this instance, but the tape makes me think Duncan is mocking Crawford in the laughter. I wish I was able to tell the line of sight (if Duncan was staring at Crawford during his giggle loop), but if it was directed at Crawford, it is mockery, and Duncan should know he's on shaky ground, especially if he has already argued enough calls earlier in the game (again, did not watch the game and am merely offering a scenario). Crawford should have been able to ignore it, but he burst like many players have at some point in their careers. Except players get one-game bans, while Crawford will get the whole year. However, if he's one of the best officiators in the league, and considering the league is still reeling from calls of bad officiating in the playoffs last year, I cannot help but wonder if Stern's move was the best one to be made.

posted by PublicUrinal at 04:31 PM on April 17, 2007

Referee Suspended Indefinitely

Not speaking in relation to this particular offense since I didn't watch the game, but Duncan sure annoys me with his crying and moaning over EVERY call. Then again, so do the rest of the Spurs. Spurs-Pistons in the finals would certainly make me want to shoot myself. Refs these days... First Dick Bavetta races Charles Barkley (hilarious finish by Barkley, landing on his ass), now Joey C against Duncan in a fight. I can't wait for whatever is next.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:53 PM on April 17, 2007

Florida 84, Ohio State 75

ucla: Your arguments about required eligibility would be much stronger if you could provide some proof. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm far from convinced and see no reason to take your arguments seriously given your obvious bias. That said, the sort information you speak of can be provided by a school as long as it is anonymous and there is no way to link a grade to a player, protecting their privacy. I don't understand how the APR fails to measure whether programs "make the grade," especially given that that is the primary purpose of the meter. Unless you're saying that nobody is qualified to determine if they're failing to "make the grade," in which case one way to meter it is how the program fares against most other similar programs and NCAA averages. UCLA does exceed Florida in many of the programs' Multiyear APR. But not enough to call their standards stringent. From programs with statistics available, UCLA has no programs that rank among the top 90% within their sport. See the public report for yourself: Says the website: "... [The] APR awards two points each term to student-athletes who meet academic-eligibility standards and who remain with the institution. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible." Academic-eligibility standards are also set by the NCAA, so the measure is constant among all Universities. Next time you're on campus, stop by your athletics office or office of information and ask if they have any reports on GPAs per sport or other statistical analyses (i.e. SAT/ACT averages, modes, distributions, etc.). They may choose not to give it to you - in which case you can choose to appeal to whatever legislative system UCLA employs - but it would not be unfathomable for them to help you out.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:59 AM on April 04, 2007

"It's not drunken driving in New Jersey if it involves a Zamboni."

I do remember when this story first came out. Time has not changed my opinion: he's still a dumbass.

posted by PublicUrinal at 03:02 PM on April 03, 2007

Florida 84, Ohio State 75

ucla512: According to ( who puts these rankings out every year, UCLA is the 27th best college and Florida is #47 among all National colleges based on several different criteria. Not a terrible disparity. Your argument is moot, however, when you consider that several athletes are still able to enter both of these programs when their application would be laughed at if it were included in the general pool. I say this with all due respect, Mr. Noah.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:48 PM on April 03, 2007

Florida 84, Ohio State 75

Actually, as winded as Oden may have been, he could have still shot at least 33%. That's twice the OSU average in three-point shooting. OSU was really outright stupid in that regard, and while Thad has done a phenomenal job getting them there, he did a shit job coaching that game. Florida was getting manhandled inside. Even though they were trying not to foul, all FOUR of their bigs were in foul trouble throughout the game. Keep pounding Oden and they can't do anything to stop him. They hardly tried. It seems as though the OSU guards simply felt they would eventually heat up, and while that could easily be true, the game showed that the risk was too great -- as opposed to sticking to the tried and true strategy of "Feed Oden." As for Florida, I highly doubt that the core returns. Humphrey is definitely gone (and he is easily their most underrated player -- there's a reason there's so much space to work with inside the three-point line) because of he is a senior. Brewer's family is going through some serious financial issues (although there's some questionable help coming from a "long time family friend"). And Horford/Noah/Green may just realize that repeating next year will be far more challenging (North Carolina could well dominate the shit out of the field next year -- or OSU, with Oden back and another very solid class coming in). I would be blown away if they did return. But then again, I'll be damn surprised if Donovan moves on to Kentucky too.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:51 AM on April 03, 2007

Incident With Daughter Could Get Ukranian Swim Coach Lifetime Ban:

Regarding the video itself, the lack of audio (I did play it on mute, but assuming the video is so from earlier in this post) leaves a certain degree of ambiguity that is made worse by conflicting context clues. Having watched the video, I would not condemn the father as being violent or a menace, though perhaps heavy-handed -- and even that is something I am not entirely willing to hold against him not knowing the proper context. It seems like people were too quick to judge that either this is just some immature teenager or a poor victim of her father's insanity. Thanks to TBH, we get a slightly better picture of what's going on. The Geelong Advertiser link freezes up my browser, but at the end of the article, she says something along the lines of "I disobeyed him and he got angry." This implies to me that the context is a bit more than just controlling a teenager's tantrum. Based on this allegation, the father's heavy-handed approach may thus be more than a means of control and instead it may be best to review the tape with deference to the camp that views him as a menace to the teenager. Though it is key to note that the video still does not offer clear evidence of any striking. If anything, it may suggest an unfit parent, but let us be clear that the individual is 18 years of age* (*based on previous comments and not fact-checked) and, to my understanding, capable of exerting her own legal force. While there are psychological deprivation aspects to this conversation that may make her unfit to make such assertions (psychological damage from constant manipulative efforts on the part of the parent), there is no evidence (i.e. knowledge of similar prior events) to warrant it being a factor. The ABC article mentions the lawyer's argument that it is a private matter and not a swimming matter, which to a degree suggests the FINA has no business involving itself. Regardless of what basis rooted the altercation, it involved a coach and a swimmer that are both members of (and indirectly represent) FINA. If the body has any reason to believe that it gives membership to a menace, it is within its right to revoke membership. Somebody mentioned that they likely have more evidence than we do, which is likely correct, but is negated by the pressures they face from the publicity of the incident, with people likely calling for heads as evidenced earlier in the comments. Whether they are correct in their judgment is something they will hopefully reconsider with careful deliberation, though I personally think a lifetime ban for this offense (ambiguous video, first offense) is too much. Regardless, the coach must be aware that it was a public altercation, presumably in grounds being managed (rented/in agreement with) by FINA. Lastly, the issue of damage control is probably something key here. The swimmer has likely long shared a close history with the father and that is a psychological factor to consider. Even victims of kidnapping usually tend to eventually accept their captor's behaviors and identify with them. Following such theory, it is not unreasonable to consider that she may be minimizing the actual damage and that the coach may be a bigger menace than the current evidence suggests. However, that is mere speculation. Ultimately, we get back to where we started: too much interpretation, not enough concrete evidence. But an interesting topic regardless. That said: wow, I woke up too early today.

posted by PublicUrinal at 08:08 AM on March 29, 2007

Tubby Fills A Gopher Hole...

There seems to be a lot of talk about Donovan, but I can't see him leaving Florida. He's made Gainesville home for eleven years and has established a solid fan base. He seems to have solid ties with the athletics department and is in a very comfortable situation with great incoming classes. Furthermore, a school like Florida would likely not be afraid to open up the checkbook to make sure he sticks around. Lastly, it does not strike me as his character to dump Florida for a rival. Given the security he has at UF and the fact that the program has become a success because of him (it was so only briefly under Lon Kruger), it just doesn't make sense.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:29 PM on March 23, 2007

Tubby Fills A Gopher Hole...

I can see the argument of Tubby being a bad recruiter, but coach? Despite not having a top-25 recruit for some time (or even a top-125 recruit in his last class), Tubby still coached his teams to a 263-83 record during his years in Kentucky, landing 20+ victories for every team he's coached in the past 14 years. What that tells me is that he knows how to take advantage of what "little" he's got, even in a tough SEC. For Minnesota that's excellent since nobody is expecting great recruits to go to the tundra. Instead, he'll take a damaged roster and make them middle-of-the-pack while the rest of Gopher Nation prays all of those players burglarize a dorm room to free up scholarships. Hopefully it will be up from there.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:22 PM on March 22, 2007

Tubby Fills A Gopher Hole...

Boy did this hiring come out of left field for anyone else? With all of the names circulating this job, never once did I see Tubby even in passing. For Tubby, this is a perfect situation: even if you can't win, your big name should recruit enough talent to get the program into the NCAA Tournament, which will keep the fan base happy for another few years, and when disappointment begins to set in, it simply means you have another few years left on the job. For the Gophers, it's a solid hire that will finaly give the athletics department a breather from the heat they've [deservedly] been taking of late. Hell, it might just save Maturi's job (Athletics Director, Minnesota). For Kentucky: It will certainly make their fan base happy, but what candidates are there to replace Tubby? Down the road, however, Tubby hasn't proven the ability to recruit exceptionally well. Minnesota's previous coach, Dan Monson, was not a terrible coach, he simply lacked any talent to really work with because of his recruiting (and that violations ordeal from the previous regime). I am mildly troubled the same will be said of Tubby in six years. His name alone will get him a little talent, but if he can't turn the program around in a few years, will the name be enough? Regardless, a very solid hire for a program (and school) that undoubtedly needed it.

posted by PublicUrinal at 06:02 PM on March 22, 2007

O.J. Mayo: Don't call him, he'll call you

You would be hard-pressed to find many NBA players without an inflated sense of self. Having an inflated sense of self and being humble are two very different things. You can have a player that thinks he is better than any holy power but is still willing to accept both blame and credit. True leaders of a team should call out teammates inside the locker room - while acknowledging their own faults - and accept all blame outside of it. Being humble doesn't require you to not believe you're the greatest, but rather accepting that even the greatest have their occasional faults. My concern really is inside that locker room. A lot of players will feel belittled by O.J.'s "I'll take care of everything" attitude, though I'm sure others could feed off of it ("I can just play my game and if it's not working out one day, O.J. has my back"). And as noted, winning and losing changes lots of things. This notion of holier-than-my-coach could easily become an issue quickly, though. By allowing O.J. to take the sort of control he has, Floyd risks a Pandora's box when he decides to sit O.J. after a bad performance or something of the sort. I don't see Noah as a force in the NBA. I'm a Gator fan and I could not agree any more. His shooting is just way too awful for him to a force, and it's really aggravated by poor technique. If he can turn that around and become stronger, he could do alright. But more likely, he's a doomed to be a Mark Madsen with better hands and defensive intensity.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:45 AM on March 22, 2007

O.J. Mayo: Don't call him, he'll call you

Doc: While you are 100% correct as to my intent, I'll bring out the inner English major and defend my brainfart/diction by reflecting that "exhume" also means to bring to light (even though it most often contextually refers to restoring after a period of neglect -- in O.J.'s case, a bold assertion).

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:06 PM on March 21, 2007

2007 NCAA Hockey Tournament

TheQatarian: Certainly was not familiar with the selection process, so thank you for the enlightenment. Regarding the loss, they were not much better the following night, and while solid against Wisconsin, not impressive; but certainly a huge improvement before their effort against North Dakota. Hopefully they're turning the corner that will allow Minneapolis to set cars on fire and break into liquor stores again.

posted by PublicUrinal at 03:30 PM on March 20, 2007

Why we look the other way.

Just something that intrigued me: over the 4 days of March Madness so far (March 15-18) we had 5 SpoFi front page posts. In the days before and after (March 14, 19), we had 11. Either the world stops for the March tournament, or we do.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:03 AM on March 20, 2007

2007 NCAA Hockey Tournament

I've not seen many of these other teams, but have a lot of firsthand experience with the Gophers, and let me tell you, over recent weeks, they have not played terribly great (save for good efforts in the past two games, both at home). Against Alaska-Anchorage, the team largely looked lethargic and really eeked out a first-round WCHA tournament victory in game 3. Until Wheeler played Superhero this past weekend, he was even being heckled off the ice with his play that seemed to lack any bit of heart (he couldn't control a puck to save his life). If the Gophers can hold up to this weekend's efforts, then they might make it to the Frozen Four, but they'll definitely need a little more effort to push them over the hump and earn the championship. But I'll still argue that their #1 seed this year is largely a product of their name and not their late-season play and really hope they'll prove me wrong.

posted by PublicUrinal at 08:59 AM on March 20, 2007

It's selection Sunday,

Ufez: It's a matter of curiosity, so yes.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:53 AM on March 13, 2007

It's selection Sunday,

Doesn't the #1 overall get the play-in game? If so, why did CBS hail Florida the #1 overall, yet Kansas gets the play-in?

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:40 AM on March 13, 2007

Death Race 2007

I am actually tempted to participate. Sounds like a tough run, but like the ESPN writer said, if so many can do it, it's certainly not impossible.

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:27 AM on March 13, 2007

Joe Buck and Jim Nantz, Sportscasters or corporate shills?

Beyond the Moss incident, Buck just has a tendency to criticize anything outside the norms and seemingly fails to take context into account. And to me, his voice and situational vocal fluctuations are just plain annoying and mistimed. Perhaps it is his undying tendency to simply stick to the status quo and cliche that bothers me. The Moss incident simply happens to be a superb in-a-nutshell example of Buck's style, which is why it is so often referred to. McEnroe and Carillo definitely go along well together, and I wish we could see more of teams like those two. The challenge is simply finding someone with a good knowledge of the game, personality, and ability to not be offensive to the audience. Though personally, I don't often seem to see the "knowledge" factor kick in during most network TV broadcasts anyway. Barkley is a great example (though he's on premium TV) - he can say some damn stupid shit, but he also has a distinct and funny personality that made him be warranted a good announcer in an earlier post. I would love change, but so long as the status quo doesn't interfere with the league's growth, I don't see why there would be change.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:44 AM on February 02, 2007

Think twice before you try to pin these guys

The Minnesota State High School League already runs tests for skin herpes at all meets and the outbreak began after a meet involving schools from Wisconsin and Iowa, which do not require the testing (even if the meet takes place in Minnesota). Thus, there is a great deal of speculation that it sourced from an outstate school. And before people say it's no big deal, the decision affects roughly 7,500 athletes and certainly a parent or two may start asking questions. I doubt any substantial changes will come as a result of this; if any, I would expect outstate teams to be forced to be tested.

posted by PublicUrinal at 04:07 PM on January 31, 2007

Timberwolves Fire Coach Dwane Casey.

I agree that Casey is not the problem, but Casey was by no means a great coach. While I think he has done a decent job in terms of motivation (the team does play hard), his coaching was marginal. His rotations during his rookie year and early this year were extremely questionable (with him often pulling the hot hand for no apparent reason other than to give the sub a shot). The team did not run very efficient sets on offense (it's like the philosophy was "just go get open"). Until there was enough clamor for it, he severely underused his rookies (McCants did not see a lot of time and is a great deal behind in terms of development; Foye did not start seeing PT until some weeks into the season, and I maintain that Craig Smith is STILL underused considering his per 48 figures). Lastly, I believe a great barometer of a coach is how his team performs after a timeout, and the Timberwolves were miserable to watch; when opposing teams called timeouts, it was a sure bucket because of sloppy defending, but when the Wolves came back from a timeout, it seemed like the strategy was to let Ricky Davis take a shot with the shot clock on 3. Casey was also not known for managing his timeouts wisely, often letting a run get out of hand before choosing to take a break and hopefully qualm momentum. Despite all of this criticism, I do think he was a mediocre coach rather than a bad one, and simply had to work with a lot of poor management decisions (though he was a proponent of Marko; not sure how he felt about the cost.). I will agree with the above posters when I say that he was not doing so bad that he should have been replaced mid-season, especially if his contract guarantees him another year and a half. Perhaps this is just giving Whittman a look, and if he underperforms again, a new face may come to town. least I hope for the Timberwolves.

posted by PublicUrinal at 08:21 PM on January 23, 2007

Beckham makes it official.

grum: I am not making the argument that it's not viable (there is too much evidence to the contrary), but rather counterintuitive for soccer to become mainstream for the major networks in the United States. I simply believe that the returns on football, etc. would supersede those of soccer based on the greater amount of space available for advertising and the subsequent marketing versatility, etc. If there is an audience that is willing to accept 30 commercials in 30 minutes, why move to a substance that offers a fraction of that versatility?

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:40 AM on January 14, 2007

Beckham makes it official.

grum: the big difference there is that American football also offers a commercials galore. There is plenty of time between possession changes, end of quarters, timeouts, etc. for sponsors to get their messages across. Hockey, for instance, has TV timeouts to increase breaks since normal stoppage of play does not always allow enough time for a round of commercials to play. Baseball has no shortage of breaks. Basketball, plenty of timeouts and breaks as well. Soccer, meanwhile, would require the station to cut in the middle of the game (risking important plays, goals, etc.). The most advertising possible is a logo in a corner of the screen that will occasionally pop-up with the company's slogan over the audio of the announcers and overloading the half-time show with commercials (which is not at a high premium since that is when the audience drop-off is steepest). Thus, it's not just the factor of audience; with other sports like golf, football, baseball, etc. that draw big audiences and offer ample room for advertisements, TV stations have zero interest in promoting soccer (I would argue it's against their interest to see it thrive by the logic I offered). For the record: I love my futbol.

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:25 AM on January 13, 2007

Davids to bank it like Beckham?

Excellent post title, worldcup2002. Definitely got a chuckle out of me. I wonder if this is going to be a trend over the next few weeks as teams use that one player exception to try and get more attention for their respective markets. To this I say: bring back Carlos Valderrama! At 45 years of youth, I'm sure he's still got plenty in the tank (and according to Wikipedia, has been pursued since retirement three years ago).

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:11 AM on January 12, 2007

Beckham makes it official.

Urall: Great link. I loved Posh. She completely played along and was quite funny. Beckham was just all quiet and mostly boring.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:54 PM on January 11, 2007

Florida 41, Ohio State 14

Clevelander32, you are asking for Florida fans to be respectful, citing the class of Buckeyes fans, but you are truly contradicting this statement in your assertions that "Florida backed doored there way into the game" and only won because of the other team's lack of effort. I beg you to reconsider your position. And I hearing a little to much talk of Florida being the best team that ever played Where did you hear that? Sounds like a bad comedian. A great game and season by this Florida team, but they are nowhere near the best team that ever played. I believe that either team in last year's championship game would have put Florida to the test. Perhaps what you heard was the best team that Ohio State played this year. That, the score shows, may be a fair assessment. And just for the record Chris Leak is no better than Troy Smith it just so happened to be Smith's worst career games and Leak just sat there and looked pretty while Timmy Tebow did all of the dirty work. I believe that Leak is a better passer than Smith, but Smith is a better decision-maker under pressure and a far superior athlete. But to assess that Tebow did "all of the dirty work" while Leak "just sat there and looked pretty" is a woeful assessment that makes me question whether you even watched the game. A near-70% completion rating for over 200 yards and only one sack to go with zero interceptions is more than "looking pretty," especially given his management of the game. Tebow's statline: 1-1, 1 TD and 10 rushes for 39 yards, 1 TD. Sure, Tebow was thrown in there when the team wanted a rusher inside the red zone, but that's his role. It isn't to say that Leak can't get it done, but rather that Tebow is a better fit for the offense intended. thankx to a no-call on a CLEAR hold of Nelson on the kickoff Wow, I was waiting for this comment to assure me that I am not crazy. No flags or mention by the announcers despite the replay CLEARLY showing Nelson being pulled back. That isn't to detract from the return nor to state that Nelson would have eventually caught up, but that was a clear infraction.

posted by PublicUrinal at 03:43 PM on January 09, 2007

Florida 41, Ohio State 14

On a side note about the game and the broadcast, if I would have had to watch that "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot" commerciall one more time, I probably would have wondered into the street looking to punch out a truck myself. I couldn't agree more. I would love to go back and count the number of times that commercial went on. I have never seen anything so ridiculous. Especially because the commercial had already been played another thousand times during the other bowl games. Game ball has got to go to the Gators D-Line. They absolutely owned OSU's O line in a big way. I was hoping for a much better game. I think the early kick-off return by Ginn for a TD hurt OSU by not allowing them to take the field and establish some sort of flow. I actually felt the same way, only I took into account that if Florida did not respond the way they did, it could have been a serious dagger. Excellent play calling by Meyer to make sure his team came out firing on all cylinders to answer that OSU blow. r8rh8r27's first paragraph was right on. Anybody that has watched a few of the Gators' games over the past three years knows that Leak is in the upper echelon on quarterbacks if he has time to pick apart a defense and step into his throw. Zone coverage against him is asking to be burned if your front-four cannot mount a decent rush. Seeing his team get picked apart, one must wonder why Tressell did not choose to bite the bullet at some point and throw a few blitz packages. Make Leak operate under pressure and hope that he throws a bad pass that leads into a turnover. If I recall, Leak only made two questionable decisions the whole game, and both came with a defender in his face. I honestly question the coaching of OSU in this game.

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:52 AM on January 09, 2007

Florida 41, Ohio State 14

With all due respect to the Boise State supporters out there, I can't help but question the logic that was widely in place. If Ohio State won, they should be the only champs; however, a Florida team that tore them apart (this contest wasn't even close) is still relegated to second place? I think this adds more fuel to the fire of a necessary playoff, but seeing as that system is not in place, I really do not feel it's appropriate to detract from the Gators based on the previous logic. Should there really be a split championship here, or should one team be crowned?

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:44 PM on January 08, 2007

Florida 41, Ohio State 14

Troy Smith seems to be getting ripped apart everywhere I look. I personally would not fault him a great deal for his play -- that was some horrendous protection and the Florida secondary shut down the Ohio State receiving corps. However, I do fault the coaches for not telling him to run. With everything stagnant, having Troy Smith take off might have provided a spark, if not at least committing one defender to play contain. Overall, a masterful game plan by Meyer. However, Gator Nation will find their celebration to be cut short by tomorrow morning, when the Boise State crows come out. At least this will hopefully help silence the critics of the SEC, who have dubbed the conference as wildly overrated.

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:30 PM on January 08, 2007

Ownership group buys DC United for $33 million.

Laettner knew his love for wearing soccer scarves was going to socially unacceptable unless he did this. So he did it. All in all, a good purchase in my book. The team, not the scarf.

posted by PublicUrinal at 05:59 PM on January 08, 2007

Players want BCS cut

I'd have to say that while some of these athletes are in many ways exploited (there is far too much money involved in a supposedly recreational activity), their scholarships come with more than enough perks and NCAA regulations make sure they aren't forced into more hours than other college sports. The sport they chose to indulge upon was entirely a matter of their own selection. The argument that "[Us players are] taking years off our lives out here hitting each other, and we're not being compensated for it" is moot because they are receiving a great deal of compensation through education and training for the next level, where the compensation is quite fair. I personally liken the situation to a research student that works 60 hours a week for years before being afforded a chance at a cozy position with good pay. In some professions you simply have to slave yourself to prove you're worthy of the step up.

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:31 PM on January 06, 2007

I'll just ice this one and... oooaugh!

No matter how you slice it the Oilers are the better team, so it's actually fitting that they won. I hate it when the scoreboard lies. All along I thought Dallas won it in shootout.

posted by PublicUrinal at 06:23 PM on January 05, 2007

I'll just ice this one and... oooaugh!

Wow that announcing was way too critical of the poor guy. I'm all for calling out a player when he messes up (something announcers generally do too little of, I think -- even worse for referees), but this was just embarrassing for his so many years at the professional level. And though I agree that ideally you should never let your guard down until it's over, it's safe to say that what happened was a very rare occurrence and it doesn't surprise me that they were so unaware. Though when the boos very quickly change to cheers, I'd think it wise to wake up.

posted by PublicUrinal at 05:46 PM on January 05, 2007

Notre Dame makes history

Curious to see how draft stocks get affected by this game. Russell looked great (though I still think he takes too long to make decisions -- he will half that time in the NFL and probably less if he's an early pick by a team with a woeful line) and his statline blew Quinn's out of the water. Though it is critical to note the defenses that each quarterback faced: Quinn, one of the league's better defenses, while Russell threw against a high school's. While I've seen plenty of Samardzija on the field, I'm not too acquainted with his personality. After this game though, I was left wondering: will Samardzija become a troublemaker for the team that drafts him? It seems that every shot of him had him trash-talking. Emotion is great, but not being able to contain it could spell problems.

posted by PublicUrinal at 05:17 PM on January 04, 2007