Friday, December 29, 2006

It's Bowlin' Season

I figured since I am such a huge sports fan, I should try my hand at predicting bowl games. Obviously there have already been several games played, but let's be honest with ourselves here, most of those games were about as exciting as watching Forest Hills Central lose in its annual battle with East Grand Rapids. I mean, when Peter Krauss is your star player you know you are in trouble. I'm aiming for getting 75 percent of these picks right. I'm going to predict scores in the game, but in reality I probably don't know enough about each team to correctly pick a score...but I'm 100 percent sure my game winners will be correct...atleast 75 percent of the time.

Here's a recap of the bowl games that have already occurred:
Poinsettia Bowl: TCU 37, Northern Illinois 7
Las Vegas Bowl: BYU 38, Oregon 8
New Orleans Bowl: Troy 41, Rice 17
Papa Bowl: South Florida 24, East Carolina 7
New Mexico Bowl: San Jose St. 20, New Mexico 12
Armed Forces Bowl: Utah 25, Tulsa 13
Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii 41, Arizona State 24
Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan 31, Middle Tennessee St. 14
Emerald Bowl: Florida St. 44, UCLA 27
Independence Bowl: Oklahoma St. 34, Alabama 31
Texas Bowl: Rutgers 37, Kansas St. 10
Holiday Bowl: Cal 45, Texas A&M 10

Again, I want to repeat that I didn't pick any of these games because the teams in fact blow...well, except for Cal and Texas A&M, which I can't believe was such a blowout.

Friday, 1 p.m: Music City Bowl
Clemson vs. Kentucky
This is a game of contrasting offenses. Kentucky, as usual, relies on their passing game and QB Andre Woodson. Clemson relies on its two-headed rushing attack of CJ Spiller and James Davis. I've seen Clemson play a couple times this season and have been thoroughly impressed with their athleticism. It also helps that both the Rios' younger brother and Andrew McElroy (a fellow pool manager go there). My instincts tell me to go with Clemson, but Andre Woodson just sounds like a name of a player that will just go off in a bowl game. But you gotta love the pool karma Clemson has going for it. And just to let you know, this prediction was made at 12:50 -- before the game started.

Prediction: Clemson 35, Kentucky 24

Friday, 2 p.m: Sun Bowl
Oregon State vs. Missouri
This is an easy one to pick. It's a game feturing teams heading in opposite directions. They have similar records with Missouri at 8-4 and Oregon State at 9-4 (they got to play 13 games because the NCAA allows a team to play an extra home game if they are willing to travel to Hawaii for a game). But if you remember from earlier in the year, Missouri started the season 6-0. That means they are just 2-4 since then. Oregon State started the year 2-3, and promptly won 7 of their last 8 including wins over USC, Hawaii, and Oregon. Missouri runs the spread offense, but it makes no difference to me, because I always side with Mr. Momentum.

Prediction: Oregon State 27, Missouri 10

Friday, 4:30 p.m: Liberty Bowl
South Carolina vs. Houston
I think the key to predicting bowl games is identifying players who are just going to go off in games, whether it's a preview for next season or a way to show off to the pro scouts. Well, this game has Gamecock sophomore wide receiver Sidney Rice. He had 64 catches this season, and may be the best sophomore wide receiver in the nation (although I would take Mario Manningham over him any day of the week). I've got a hunch that he is just going to have one of those unreal bowl games and propel himself to elite status heading into next season. Not to mention, they are facing a Houston team that I doubt has the talent to match up with a Steve Spurrier offense.

Prediction: South Carolina 41, Houston 21

Friday, 7:30 p.m: Insight Bowl
Texas Tech vs. Minnesota
This is one of those who gives a fuck bowl games. Because let's be honest with ourselves, who gives a fuck about this game outside the state of Minnesota and the town of Lubbock, Texas. The Gophers are a running team from the Big Ten, while we all know Texas Tech can pass with the best of them. Seriously though, Minnesota went 6-6 and Texas Tech went 7-5...those aren't good seasons.

Prediction: Texas Tech 45, Minnesota 31

Friday, 8 p.m: Champs Sports Bowl
Maryland vs. Purdue
Purdue is literally the quietest 8-4 Big Ten team I have ever seen. I go to school at Michigan, and I don't know a thing about Purdue football. They simply beat all the bad teams and lost to all the good teams. They apparently have a 'high-flying offense' according to, but so did our Mudbowl team. That doesn't mean we can beat a Maryland team that should have gone to the ACC Championship Game this year. I like this Terp team as long as QB Sam Hollenbach doesn't try to force things and throw INTs. And you gotta support Terps football because who knows how much longer they will be good. The Fridge could die at any moment in time with the amount of weight he's carrying around these days.

Prediction: Maryland 24, Purdue 17

Saturday, 1 p.m: Meineke Car Care Bowl
Navy vs. Boston College
This is one of those awkward games for BC, since Tom O'Brien left to go coach at NC State. If I were a player on that team I would feel pretty embarassed that my coach just left for another team in your own conference. Did I mention that the guy coaching the Eagles in the bowl game is a lame duck coach. See, BC hired the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, but obviously he's still got an NFL team to coach. That makes Frank Spaziani a lame duck. And who doesn't like Navy. You can't go wrong with the armed forces in a bowl game. Oh wait, Navy lost its star running back to injury in the Army-Navy game...I'm off the bandwagon.

Prediction: BC 24, Navy 7

Saturday, 4:30 p.m: Alamo Bowl
Texas vs. Iowa
Ah, the Alamo Bowl...the game for the big disappointments in the Big Ten and the Big 12. The good ol' Wolverines were in this one last year, and it was viewed as an embarassment to the program (although I see the players still wear the stupid backpacks they got from it around campus all the time). This year, Iowa, led by QB Drew Tate, takes on Texas, who really faltered to end the season. For Iowa, it has been a hard season, especially on Tate, who was plagued by a terrible team en rout to a 6-6 record. I like Tate because he called Michigan's 'D' the best he'd seen all season. But I like Texas more because Mack Brown is an SAE. Oh yeah, I forgot to ask: why the hell is Iowa in a bowl game?

Prediction: Texas 31, Iowa 14

Saturday, 8 p.m: Chick Fil-A Bowl
Georgia vs. Virginia Tech
This is going to be a good football game. Va Tech is 10-2, and finished the season on a 7-game winning streak. Georgia was real streaky, but finished the year off with impressive wins against Auburn and Georgia Tech. Now, imagine if Marcus Vick, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, was still playing for the Hokies. This team would most certainly be in the BCS, and would have challneged for the title game. Both teams have terrible QBs, but the difference is that Va Tech's Sean Glennon is just a little bit better than the Bulldogs combo of Joe Tereshinski and Matt Stafford. Plus, you gotta support anyone who has a kick ass growth on the side of their neck.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 21, Georgia 17

Sunday, 7:30 p.m: MPC Computers Bowl
Miami(Fl) vs. Nevada
The fact that I put the (Fl) after Miami should indicate how sorry the Hurricanes are these days. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that this was the Miami in Florida and not the one in Ohio. In the past, the MPC Computers Bowl would be something the mighty RedHawks would have participated in. This is Larry Coker's final game as coach of Miami, and he's hoping to go out with a bang. But I don't think he'll be able to replicate the melee that ensued in last year's Peach Bowl between the Hurricanes and LSU. But I think the bigger question heading into this highly anticipated matchup is: do you think any players on Miami know the what the capital of Nevada is?

Prediction: Miami 24, Nevada 14

Jan. 1, 11 a.m: Outback Bowl
Penn St. vs. Tennessee
I'm going to say this upfront: I would take Peter Krauss as quarterback over Anthony Morelli any day of the week. Now, Eric Ainge...I wouldn't mind him leading us into the next year's Mudbowl. Add on the fact that Penn State hasn't beaten a good team yet this year (and that Jeremy is going to the game), and it spells a Vols victory.

Prediction: Tennessee 31, Penn St. 14

Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m: Cotton Bowl
Auburn vs. Nebraska
The justification for Florida going to the National Championship game over Michigan was that it played in such a tough conference, that their loss to Auburn was understandable. I'm going to be honest, I want Nebraska to win this game so badly because I hate everything SEC related right now. That conference is simply full of good ol' boys who think their football is the greatest in the world. And the leader of these whiners is Tommy Tuberville. What kind of name is that anyways? Now Bill Callahan, that's a name you bring home to the parents.

Prediction: Nebraska 20, Auburn 17

Jan. 1, 1 p.m: Capital One Bowl
Arkansas vs. Wisconsin
This is going to be one of those grind it out on the ground type of games. The Badgers rely on a sick offensive line and sophomore standout running back P.J. Hill. But against the one elite team they faced this season (Michigan) that running game was halted. Arkansas relies on next year's Heisman favorite Darren McFadden, who sometimes plays QB in the Razorbacks' Wildcat formation. I think the Badgers only chance to win is if QB John Stocco can make a few big plays along with the running of P.J. Hill. But can the Badgers keep up with Arkansas' team speed?

Prediction: Arkansas 34, Wisconsin 20

Jan. 1, 1 p.m: Gator Bowl
West Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
This is your last chance to watch WR Calvin Johnson in action, as it is 99 percent guaranteed he is going to go pro after the game. The Jackets will be without QB Reggie Ball, which probably isn't that bad considering how terrible he was all year. I bet if we stuck him in a yard with one of those tires hanging from a tree, he would get a football through maybe 50 percent of the time. That's how inaccurate he is. WVU has Pat White and Steve Slaton, both of whom will have big games. I wonder if White will do the Yellow Jacker buzz just like he did the Pittsburgh Panther growl.

Prediction: West Virginia 45, Georgia Tech 17

Jan. 1, 5 p.m: The Rose Bowl
Michigan vs. USC
This one is simple. The winner is going to be preseason No. 1 heading into next season. USC has some beastly receivers in Steve SMith and Dwayne Jarrett, and I really don't think Leon Hall, let alone Morgan Trent can handle them. Michigan needs to be able to get consistent pressure on John David Booty with just its front four. This shouldn't be an issue given how flimsy USC's O-line has been this season. Michigan needs to control the clock with Mike Hart and its run game, and Chad Henne must avoid turnovers. USC's corners have to avoid allowing Mario Manningham to get any sort of big plays. That being said, this one is really a coin flip and my pick is rightfully biased considering I am a Wolverine fan myself.

Prediction: Michigan 31, USC 27

Jan. 1, 8 p.m: Fiesta Bowl, 8 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. Boise St.
What a great story Boise St. has been all season. The Mid-major that could. Thye feature a great running back in Ian Johnson, and they play on a blue field. They also killed an Oregon State team that is now one of the hottest teams in the country. Too bad it doesn't mean anything now that Adrian Peterson is back. This is going to be one of those tour de force performances by the junior running back. See if he goes off like I think he will, his draft stock will once again skyrocket. The scouts want to see if Peterson is healthy again, and I don't think he will disappoint.

Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Boise St. 17

Jan. 2, 8 p.m: Orange Bowl
Louisville vs. Wake Forest
I'm sorry, but I just don't think either of these teams would stand a chance against an elite team like Ohio State, Michigan, LSU, or Florida. So why are they in a BCS game? Wake Forest is a nice story, but it's the kind of nice story you expect to see in the Gator Bowl or something like that. Louisville has superior talent, offense and coaching which would lead me to believe...

Prediction: Louisville 27, Wake Forest 13

Jan. 3, 8 p.m: Sugar Bowl
Notre Dame vs. LSU
Notre Dame has two losses this year -- aganist the two good teams on its schedule. LSU has lost two games as well this season, while maneuvering its way through the 'tough' SEC. Both teams have great QBs in Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell. Both teams have good coaches in Charlie Weis and Michigan alum Les Miles. Both teams should have sizable cheering sections at the Superdome because Notre Dame is Notre Dame and LSU is playing in its home state. All the prognosticators are predicting a blowout by LSU over a Notre Dame that simply doesn't have the speed to keep up with the Tigers. But I'm going against the grain on this one. Something tells me that if you give Charlie Weis a month to prepare for a team, he will more often than not win. The bowl losing streak will end for the Irish.

Prediction: Notre Dame 34, LSU 30

Jan. 6, Noon: International Bowl
Cincinnati vs. Western Michigan
Brooks Bunbury, a cousin of Peter Krauss, plays for Western, so I think it's obvious who the pick in this one is going to be. Not to mention that Cincy's coach did career suicide and took the job at Michigan State.

Prediction: Western Michigan 24, Cincinnati 20

Jan. 7, 8 p.m: GMAC Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Ohio
I didn't mention this but I think that it is a brilliant idea by these shitty bowl games to move their dates in between the BCS games. They can't get lost in the shuffle with all of the other bowl games that don't really matter to more than 2,000 people. Does the new date mean I am going to watch the game? Hell no!
Prediction: Ohio 27, Southern Miss 13

Jan. 8, 8 p.m: BCS National Championship Game
Ohio State vs. Florida
First of all just to make this clear: if this were a legitimate national championship game it would be a rematch between Ohio State and Michigan. Florida does not deserve to be in this game given its loss to Auburn, and they way it narrowly defeated every team it faced. The Buckeyes are the clear number one team in the nation. They have proven it all season with their dynamic offense which absolutely torced Michigan a month and a half ago. Florida's offense features the two-headed monster of Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. They are good, but I don't know if they are good enough to beat James Laurinitis and the Buckeye defense. Matt Brown mentioned to me that this game could end up like the Miami-Ohio State national championship game from 2001, where the BUckeyes -- led by Maurice Clarett -- pulled off the improbable upset. The similarities are definitely there. Just like Ohio State in '01, the Gators come in as decided underdogs. And just like the '01 Bucks, they have a playmaker freshman in Tim Tebow, who could be a huge difference maker if Ohio State has trouble with the spread offense. This game also pits two elite coaches against each other. The experts say that if you give Urban Meyer a month to prepare for a team, you are in trouble. On the other hand -- when was the last time a Jim Tressel team lost a big game? It just doesn't seem to happen. I think this one will be closer than people expect, but the big plays will be made by the Buckeyes down the stretch. As much as this pains me to say...
Prediction: Ohio State 41, Florida 28

Expect more goofy-ass grins come January 8th

Sitcom Awesomeness

I've been home for winter break for about a week now, and there really hasn't been much to do. I've been keeping myself occupied with lot of King of the Hill. See, Battey got seasons four and five from his brother for Christmas, and naturally, I wanted to watch. There is a certain appreciation that one gets with King of the Hill. It's like a fine wine -- it gets better with age. When I was younger, King of the Hill was simply just a filler in the Fox Sunday night lineup between The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle. But now I find it hilarious how realistic the protrayal of Texas is in the show. It is a show that has been on for over 10 years now, and has remained funny. It doesn't have a huge audience, but it is a niche audience -- a core fan base.

And speaking of sitcoms, I have definitely gotten into them big time recently. For some reason, in the past month I've been watching a shitload of reruns and current shows. I don't know what it is, but I've rekindled my love for them. I am definitely hooked on these following shows (atleast for the time being):

1. Scrubs

2. King of the Hill

3. 30 Rock

4. South Park

5. Entourage

Honorable Mentions: Still Standing, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Home Improvement, Spin City

Sunday, December 24, 2006

That thud you heard was Michigan basketball

Yesterday marked a new low in the Tommy Amaker era of Michigan basketball. The Wolverines were throttled by No. 1 ranked UCLA by a margin of 37 points. Unfortunately I was unable to actually watch the game because it wasn't on in the DC area. But thinking back, it was probably a good thing that I didn't watch because I would have come to the painful realization that Michigan basketball is headed nowhere under the guidance of Amaker. It showed on the court that Michigan had played just two teams with records above .500 heading into this game. Personally, I thought we were going to lose to UCLA, but by 37? I did not see that coming from a team that starts 4 seniors and a junior. It's not like the Wolverines are going to learn and grow from this loss like that young Ohio State team that got blindsided by Florida. This team has supposedly spent the last three seasons learning from losing and should have already grown. But not only did the team not play up to its capabilities, the team just didn't look prepared. Here's an excerpt from the La Daily News story on the game. Pay particular attention to Mbah Moute's quote:

The key to the game was UCLA’s double-team on 6-foot-10 center Courtney Sims, although Michigan coach Tommy Amaker didn’t think so. Mbah a Moute got his two steals out of it in the game’s first minute. Sims was held to two shots and two points in the first half and finished with 13. UCLA beat Michigan in Ann Arbor with the same game plan last year.
"I was surprised because we did it last year," Mbah a Moute said. “I felt they would be ready for it.”

The talent is there for a NCAA Tournament bid. I just don't know if the coaching is there. He's not a particularly good recruiter and he certainly isn't a good game coach, so why does he still have a job? The guy has been a head coach for nine seasons if you include his time at Seton Hall, and has made the tournament just once (with the Pirates). It's time for a change in Ann Arbor, but you know it's not going to happen anytime soon. Unless Michigan loses the remainder of its games, Tommy Amaker is, for better or worse, here to stay.

So that's what a terrible coach looks like

Friday, December 22, 2006

Doug Collins did what?

I'm back in Maryland for winter break after crushing the Ann Arbor-Potomac drive in just 7 hours 15 minutes. That's a new record for me. Last night, the board met in the basement for several hours. While down there, we got to catch a majority of the Wizards big win over the Kings. Since the game was on TNT we also got the distinct privelege of hearing Doug Collins' call of the game. But it was nearly impossible to listen to him after you caught a glimpse of his unsightly hair dye job. Literally, the man's hair is the same color as a school bus now. It's that yellow. So now, not only is Dougie a terrible basketball coach, he now looks like a human banana. Whoever told him he looked good with the yellow dye job should not be working for TNT anymore. I mean, seriously, how is let on the air looking like that?

You need to be more confident in the aging process, Dougie

As for the actual game, the Wizards were the typical Wizards: Dynamic on offense and subpar on defense. But against a team like the Kings that works. The Wiz kids were actually down by 6 at halftime, but then put up 44 in the third quarter and put the game away essentially. When Gilbert, Antawn, and Caron are hitting shots, there isn't a defense in the league that can shut them down. The team is now 13-12 and sitting in a nice position within the weak Eastern Conference. I really think this team has a shot at going places this season. If the Wiz somehow beat the Suns tonight and go 3-1 on this little western road trip, it'll be time to start getting excited about this team.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Redskins future has a lot to do with the past

As a diehard, lifelong Redskins fan I should have expected a season like this. Let's be honest, the Skins haven't strung together consecutive playoff appearances since 1991 and 1992. That's 15 years. And in those 15 years they have been to the playoffs twice, advancing to the NFC Divisional game both times. I don't know if you remember my post from preseason, but I made the prediction that this team could either be 12-4 or 13-3, or they could just as easily be 7-9 or 8-8. Unfortunately, my latter prediction came true. But frankly I truly believe this team is not that far away from becoming a playoff contender again. You saw the way they played against the Saints this past Sunday. They dominated a division winner in their own building. And they did it playing Redskins football. The defense was solid, but not spectacular, and the offense controlled the line of scrimmage with a lot of running. As much as people want to anoint Al Saunders a geniue, the bottom line is that every game the Skins have won this season has been through playing the way Gibbs wants to play. The Redskins have three solid running backs for next year (Portis, Betts, and Duckett) and I see no reason why they can't run the ball atleast 35 times a game every game.

Which brings me to Jason Campbell. I have been impressed with him so far. He doesn't make too many mistakes and he throws a nice deep ball, but he isn't a Peyton Manning either. He's not going to single handedly win you a football game in the same way Tom Brady or Donovan McNabb will. But he does remind me of quarterbacks in the past. We all need to remember that Gibbs doesn't need a great quarterback to win a Super Bowl. All three Super Bowl wins came with quarterbacks of the same nature as Campbell. Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien were not Hall of Famers. Heck, even in their Super Bowl-winning years they barely made the Pro Bowl. But they all made few mistakes and threw a nice deep ball. That's all the Redskins need to be successful. I see no reason why the Redskins shouldn't win out and finish 7-9.

And if you've been reading anything online, you'll know that Daniel Snyder is apparently ready to splurge on some new free agents. Rumor has it that the Skins have already targeted Nate Clements and Dwight Freeney as potential signees. And for the team's sake I hope this does not happen. As I've said before, I'd like to see the Skins build through the draft. The infusion of young players helps a team. Rather than having a veteran who signed a fat deal, you have a rookie who's willing to put it all on the line because he has to prove himself. I think it's obvious that right now Carlos Rogers is not ready to take on being a No. 1 cornerback in this league, so I believe the Skins need to use their first round pick on something secondary-oriented. Whether that's a CB, safety, or even a D-lineman to create more pressure on the QB, I don't know. But remember this: The Redskins revival under Joe Gibbs didn't start until after Gibbs' first season when they selected a small cornerback out of Texas A&I in the first round. His name was Darrell Green, and he only went down as one of the greatest players of the 1980s-1990s. Who's gonna be the next Darrell Green?

Did you know Jason Campbell's
initials are the same as Jesus Christ's

Monday, December 18, 2006

Gil's Big Night

I was going to include this in my previous post about Carmelo, but I thought Gilbert deserved his own post after putting up 60 against Kobe and the Lakers last night. I didn't actually catch the game — I wish I was in the DC the past days because of Ovechkin and Arenas — but I did see the highlights and the aftermath. Gilbert simply put the Wiz on his back in front of the team he dreamed of playing for as a child. It didn't matter if Kobe was covering him or that Kobe was equally hot from the floor. Gilbert was not going to lose this game. Gilbert has really elevated himself into the upper echelon of NBA players. Frankly, besides DWade and Lebron, what other guard in the east is better than Gilbert? And while on the subject of Kobe Bryant, he lost a lot of respect in my book with his comments after the game:

"You tip your hat and say, 'See you next time.' "I don't think he has a conscience. I really don't. He was chucking out there. He took some horrible shots and he made some big ones. I don't get a chance to play him much. I'll be ready next time."

So wait, Kobe is criticizing Gilbert's shot selection. Just think about that for a second. An interesting stat from the aftermath is that Arenas was just the second player ever to put up 60 against the Lakers. The other: Wilt Chamberlain. And speaking of the Wizards, they've now won 8 of 10 and are two games over .500. The way they are playing right now, they can beat anyone in the east. Obviously they don't play enough defense to compete with the best teams in the west. That Lakers team they beat last night at Staples is a damn good squad, so that should be chalked up as another quality win from a team that has recently beaten the Nuggets, Mavs, Pistons, and Heat. They have three more games to go in this short, 4-game western road trip. Next up is the Nuggets in a couple days. That game looks real winnable now considering the Nugs will lmost certainly be without Carmelo, and possibly J.R. Smith and Marcus Camby as well. I'll have more later on how impressed I am with the job Ernie Grunfeld has done as Wizards general manager.

Gilbert might be the best guard in the league besides DWade and Lebron

Carmelo's Baltimore roots come out

I thought I would first address the best boxing match to hit Madison Square Garden in years. The little brawl between the Knicks and the Nuggets was highly entertaining. I actually didn't see the thing live, but was at the bar here in Ann Arbor when it came on Sportscenter. Since I couldn't hear the anchors, I just figured it was your regular boring Knicks game. Then it all started to unfold. Hard foul by Mardy Collins, the Nate Robinson form tackle into the crowd, and the capper of course...the Carmelo sucker punch. I think it's pretty obvious 'Melo has lost any street cred he ever had. He ran away from Mardy Collins like he had stolen something. The last thing he wanted was to get involved with big ol' Jared Jeffries. Personally, I think Jared would be a money boxer, those arms are just so long. For Melo it just confirmed to me what a terrible city Baltimore is. Only a native of BMore, like Carmelo, would first sucker punch someone, and then run away like he was getting chased by the dog from Sandlot.

I'm feeling a 10-game suspension for Carmelo, although David Stern will probably make it more like 20. Let's be honest here, Carmelo probably lost a boatload of potential endorsements, a ton of respect, and a possible MVP trophy all because he's a "thug". And all this talk about Isaiah Thomas's role in the brawl is hilarious to me. I think it's pretty obvious that Isaiah called for the hard foul. Notice that Mardy Collins did the dirty work. You didn't see any KNicks regulars like Stevie Franchise, Stephon, or David Lee sprinting down the court after J.R. Smith. But I like that fire from Isaiah. He felt his team was getting disrespected by George Karl, and he got mean and nasty. He should get suspended for a couple games, but I think this could be a turning point for the Knicks. We'll see.

Let's be honest: Jared would have owned 'Melo

Friday, December 15, 2006

The brilliance of Snoop Dogg

There's a man in the spotlight who simply fascinates me. He has been arrested countless times for crimes as simple as possession of marijuana and as gruesome as first degree murder. Yet he remains one of the most prolific people in America. He is Snoop Dogg. Is there anyone else who could get arrested and it would raise their profile. Literally everytime the man gets caught with pot, it only makes him more money. It only adds to the image that he sells. And this is all just 10 years after he was oh so close to being thrown in jail for life. Whoever gives him career advice is a genius. The man simply sells records, smokes weed, and has a good time, not to mention he makes millions. Rolling Stone recently profiled the greatness that is Snoop Dogg, and it produced this gem of a quote from one of the single-funniest human beings alive. It all has to do with his 2003 red carpet appearance at the MTV VMA Awards in which he had two prostitutes follow him on leashes (like dogs). Here is an exerpt from the article:

"I was flexin my pimp muscle and lettin' people see how real pimps do it. If you really a pimp, you should be able to get two bitches to walk on a leash with you down the red carpet and be yo ho's for the night. And when I did it, it really was pimpin'." I had thought it was all for show, metaphorical pimpin', but Snoop says it really was pimpin' with so much feeling, I can't help but think that he was a professional pimp. Indeed, for two years, he was. "I wouldn't even say a real pimp," he says. "I'd just say I had it like that. See, that shit was my natural calling and once I got involved in it, it became fun. It was like shootin' layups for me. I was makin' 'em every time. Cuz pimpin' ain't a job, it's a sport. I had a bitch on every exit from the 10 freeway to the 101 freeway, cuz bitches would recruit for me. I had barricudas — seven or eight of 'em. When a bitch recruits for you, she goes out into the club or the environment and brings back other bitches and makes 'em my ho's. That's pimpin'"
A true God amongst men

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Braylon Edwards sighting

I just got back from the epic clash between Michigan and Delaware State in basketball. The game really lived up to all the hype the media gave it, with the Wolverines barely edging the Hornets 70-49. But in all seriousness, the game was boring as hell except for a couple sweet dunks by Air Georgia, Brent Petway. However, the highlight of the game for me was interviewing Braylon Edwards at halftime. Braylon was at CRisler because the Browns played on Thursday night. And I asked him the question that seems to be on every Michigan football fans mind right now: What does he think about the BCS and specifically the debate between Michigan and Florida? And here was his response...

"It's bullshit. Until the BCS gets a playoff system, the BCS will always be a joke. The team that always gets left out will always have a problem with it. I don't agree with the whole make-up of it. I think over half the population of the country would agree with me that it doesn't work. I believe Michigan is the best team in the country with the exception of Ohio State. "

Seeing as I am still in awe of some of the catches Braylon made during my freshman year, I attempted to keep our conversation going for as long as possible. That meant asking him about the Browns.

"Obviously, we aren't a playoff team this year, so my goal is to finish the year with a 1,000 yards (receiving). And next year, we just have to be better than we were this year. The team has to get on the same page."

From my standpoint it looks like Braylon is dedicated to this whole team thing over in Cleveland. Clearly, when he shoved Charlie Frye on the sideline, in front of all the cameras a couple weeks ago, he was doing it for the team. But actually I think Braylon is awesome even if he used to stand outside Touchdowns after wins and fish for compliments.

Maybe Braylon is a fucking soldier too?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Everyone knows my hate for Philly runs deep

This Sunday the Redskins have the chance to do something that will make me a very happy human being. The Eagles come to Fedex fighting for their playoff lives, while the Redskins are stuck in the all-too-familiar medicrity zone. See, my hate for the Eagles started way back in the days of Heath Shuler/Gus Frerotte. It was Shuler's first season with the Skins and he had been blowing as the starter. I was at my first ever home Skins game, my only Skins game at RFK, and we losing to the Eagles 7-0 in the fourth quarter. Neither team was particularly good, with the Skins being downright awful and the Eagles being average. Our offense had been so woeful, that I did the unthinkable. I joined with the masses in chanting "We want Gus". I still regret this decision to this day. Norv Turner didn't put Gus in that day, but the Skins were shut out by the Eagles. I believe the final score was 13-0. But I will never forget the jackass Eagles fans in RFK that day chanting "E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles! It made me sick.

Flash forward to the year 2000. You know, that magical year where the Skins picked up Primetime, Team Smith, and Mark Carrier among others. Remember how the Skins started the year 7-2? Well, at this point they had lost three in a row and were sitting at 7-5. I arrived at Fedex to see this NFC East battle, as the Eagles were in the playoff chase because of Donovan McNabb. And of course, the Eagles embarassed us. I will never, ever forget the touchdown run by McNabb where he absolutely juked the daylights out of Mark Carrier on a humiliating 50+ yard touchdown run that literally broke the backs of the Redskins. I really don't think the team fully recovered from that season until Gibbs came back.

There's so many reasons to hate the Eagles. And I just want to demoralize their annoying fans so badly. I don't think I take pleasure in a person getting injured, except in the case of Donovan McNabb. That douchebag has taken years off my life with the damage he has done to my Skins. So to see him hurt and unable to play makes me one of the happiest people on the planet. I hope he never returns to being the player he once was. It sounds harsh, but that's just how much I hate the guy. It was probably the biggest reason why I though the one year we had with Marty Schottenheimer was so awesome. We swept the Eagles. I know for the Skins there's nothing but pride left for this season. I realize we need to see Jason Campbell recover from that Falcons game. And what better way is there for him to endear himself to Washington, D.C and me than by sticking a stake through the Eagles' hearts.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Will you hire me?

It's been a rough week up here in Ann Arbor. The common theme seems to be getting screwed. Michigan got screwed out of the national championship because the SEC complains more than any person who ever swam at Mohican/Regency Estates. If you want to know who ahould really be in the national championship ask Vanderbilt's head coach. His team played both the Wolverines and the Gators in their respective home stadiums. In his coaches poll ballot he voted Michigan number 2.

The other screw jobs involve myself. I'm screwed royally in the intership marker. So far I've heard back from 14 newspapers, and I've been rejected by 13. The one yes came from The Modesto Bee in Modesto, California, but I really don't want that to be my only option. And then just today I got screwed out of a promotion at The Daily even though I fimrly believe I was the mot qualified. It seems as if the prejudices against Mark the Frat Boy came back to bite me in the ass. I'm sorry I have more friends, drink more booze, and have more fun than the powers-that-be at the paper.

The only good news is that at least I'm not Peter Krauss.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Fallout from a stunning Sunday

I'm going to sound biased because I'm a Michigan student, but the BCS National Championship decision tonight is a joke. You can't tell me with a straight face that Florida could beat the Wolverines on a neutral field. The same Gator team that lost to Auburn, and nearly lost numerous other games. I dont want to hear this nonsense about the SEC being the better conference. You can't punish this Michigan team simply because the Big Ten was down. They played the consensus number one team in the nation in a hostile, road environment and came damn close to a win. That being said, I will still be rooting for Florida, because the last thing I want is for those people from Ohio State to have another national title. This Florida team looks a lot like that Buckeye national title team from 2001. They keep winning close and they might just sneak up on the Buckeyes come January 8.

Now the Maize and Blue turn its attention to the Rose Bowl where they will face an extremely good USC team. This game is definitely going to be a nailbiter. It really could go either way since both teams are very well balanced. I think USC's receivers will be the best the Michigan defense has seen all season. But I also think that the defensive line of the Wolverines is a whole lot better than anything in the Pac-10.

If we look at this Rose Bowl with some foresight, it could set up as a preview for the 2008 National Championship. Both Michigan and USC should bring back a good number of regulars. Whichever team wins this game will more than likely head into the 2008 season with the number one ranking. What's sad is that pretty much every other bowl game is a bit of a downer. Boise State vs. Oklahoma...blah. Notre vs. LSU...The Tigers are going to crush the Irish...Louisville vs. Wake Forest...Neither is an elite team. And don't get me started on the bush league that is Fox covering the BCS. Let good, old reliable ABC do what they are best at and broadcast the biggest games of the year.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Michigan basketball is sucking

I had one helluva few days there right after Thanksgiving Break. I left Monday afternoon from Potomac to go to Raleigh, NC to cover the Michigan-NC State basketball game. After I wrote my story at the RBC Center, I left Raleigh at like 1130pm, returning to Potomac at 4am. I then left for the airport to catch a plane back to Michigan at 530am. I returned to my room at 10am. Was it worth it? Well I did get to sit courtside at a nice arena, within arms reach of Danny Ainge. That was sweet.

But while at the RBC Center I witnessed a basketball team that I thought was NCAA Tournament-worthy get dissected by an NC State team that wasn't that good. I figure the Wolfpack are going to be a bottom-tier team in the ACC, especially now that Maryland is playing well beyond anybody's expectations. And Michigan just got crushed by them. The final score doesn't indicate it, but Michigan was completely outplayed by a team that had just six scholarship players on its roster. Then Engin Atsur, probably their best player, got hurt before the first TV timeout of the first half. And the Wolverines still lost.

As I sat there below the basket, I came to a realization about Michigan and Tommy Amaker in general. Amaker has this team playing high-pressure man to man defense just like the Duke teams he played and coached for in the past. He also runs basically the same motion offense that Duke plays. The only difference is that he just doesn't have the Duke athletes to pull it off. Time and time again on Monday night, NC State players would just blow by a Michigan defender for an easy layup. And on offense, Michigan's best interior scorer, Courtney Sims, simply couldn't keep up with the pace of the game. Watching him meander down the court, it was so obvious that he's just a big stiff. This game will come back to bite them in the ass because the WOlfpack just aren't that good. But that just means Michigan is worse. I see 18 wins for this Wolverine team. But even that will be misleading since 12 of those wins are going to come before Big Ten season. Michigan's non-conference schedule is a joke this year. They had/have all cupcakes except for NC State, Georgetown at home, and UCLA on the road. And I think it's pretty obvious that the GTown and UCLA games can be chalked up as losses right now. That leaves them at 12-3 heading into Big Ten season, and a 6-10 record in the Big Ten. Tommy Amaker, you are the master of mediocrity.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Seven Locks Showdown

I'm sitting here in the friendly confines of my home basking in the glory of a pretty solid Thanksgiving. This morning we had a pretty sick little 4-on-4 football game at the old stomping grounds, Seven Locks Elementary School. It was lame that more people didn't show up, but it was raining. Teams went like this:

The Giannotto Brothers, The Broonsta, and Willman Lazartay vs.

Chachi, Miller, Bruno Baiao's brother, and Cahill Magic.

The first misstep of the day was Miller wearing this bullshit Ohio State t shirt to the game. Big mistake. The Gods were definitely against his team for that one. I was matched up on Magic for most of the game, and for most of the game he was playing quarterback. So naturally, in honor of Graham Townsend, I tried to do my best Shawne Merriman impression. The key word was tried. After such a dominating performance in the mud about a month ago, I followed it up with a lackluster showing. I was slipping and sliding all over the place, although I did manage a couple TDs and a couple sacks...not to mention a forced fumble and recovery on one of them.

The game started out pretty one-sided. Chachi and Baiao's speed were killing myself, Broon and Willman. Luckily Jeff is in the middle of wrestling season, so he was in the best shape out of all of us. But after falling behind 2-0, we stepped it up. While at first the Broonsta was playing QB, we realized we needed him as a receiving threat. The youngest Giannotto took on the challenge of playing quarterback in the same valiant manner that I took the Mudbowl team on my shoulders against Beta this year. It was a Tony Romoesque performance by Jeff, as he brought us to a 3-3 tie heading into halftime.

The unsung hero throughout was the Broonsta. If Jeff was Romo, Broon was Terry Glenn..i.e damn good receiver who doesn't get enough press because he's overshadowed by a player who talks too much (me). I really think the big mistake for Chachi's team was putting Cahill on Broon for a majority of the game. Well, and the fact that Cahill couldn't hold onto the ball. Magic gave up a sure TD in the first half as he fumbled while trying to reach over the goal plane, and then fumbled again late in the game as I sacked him.

As you can probably tell from the tone of my writing, our team, led by Jeffrey Ross Giannotto came out storming in the second half. The Giannotto-Broonsta connection was apparently passed down through my genes. They ran roughshod over a secondary that simply had too many breakdowns. Throw in some careless turnovers by Patchie's team and a ball hawking secondary (also led by Jeff)and you have a runaway victory for my team.

MVP of the Seven Locks Showdown: Jeff "Future Mudbowl MVP" Giannotto

Goat of the Showdown: Patrick "I don't wanna wear a speedo" Cahill

The Michael George Battey Memorial Award for absolute hilarity: Mark "The Reigning Mudbowl MVP" Giannotto for slipping and falling on his face on a perfectly timed cornerback blitz. Because of the slip the defense was exposed and a touchdown was scored. This will probably be the last time this award is given to someone other than Battey himself because he is currently somewhere in this great world of ours on a big ass boat. Ordinarily, Battey just playing in the game is hilarious by itself.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jerome Update

UCONN had three games this weekend. Jerome started in all three of them. He led the team in scoring on Friday night against Central Arkansas with 20. He had a clunker against Fairfield on Saturday afternoon, shooting 1-for-7 from the field and scoring 7 points, but the Huskies still won. And then Sunday, against Ole Miss, Jerome poured in another 16 points in another UCONN win. UCONN is now 4-0 and Jerome is averaging a little under 15 points a game on the season so far. I heard he's been doing a lot of visualizing after the game to correct some of the mistakes he's made during the actual games. Rumor has it that he picked up the technique from his legendary high school basketball coach at Churchill High School, Mike Dichov

Soriano's Record Deal

The Nationals lost out on the Alfonso Soriano derby as he signed an 8-year 135 million dollar contract with the Chicago Cubs yesterday. And frankly, I can't say I'm upset that the Natties let him go. 135 million is way too much for a player who even in his best season, couldn't get the team out of the NL East basement. I'm still fuming that the Nationals didn't trade Soriano at the trade deadline. I will never understand the logic behind that move. I'm going to enjoy watching the Cubs be a major flop this season. They have way too many guys on their roster who are being overpaid big time. And when it comes down to it, their success has always depended on the health of their pitching. The Sweet Lou blowups should be phenomenal.

And while we're on baseball, Ryan Zimmerman was robbed of the NL rookie of the year award. Not only were his RBI and homerun totals better than Hanley Ramirez, he also played thurd base at a Gold Glove clip. Scott Rolen, who won the Gold Glove again this year, had the same amount of errors as Zimmerman. Does good defense mean nothing anymore? Ramirez showed good range at shortstop but had a lot of errors typical of a rookie in his first Big League season. Zimmerman showed none of that immaturity and is going to be a star in years to come.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


What can you really say? That game was just phenomenal. It had everything a great game should have. And frankly, it was fitting that Ohio State won because they were the better team. The fact that Michigan got three tunrovers and didn't commit any themselves and still lost shows how good the BUckeyes really are. The sad part is that if you had told me on Friday that Michigan would put up 39 points against OSU, I would have told you we would be going to the BCS National Championship. It's a lot like the redskins loss in the playoffs last year against the Seahawks. The Skins managed to knock out Shaun Alexander early, created some turnovers and still lost. The better team won. I have no regrets from that football game...well maybe that overthrow on the second drive by Henne with Mario wide open...oh and that Crable personal foul...but other than that no regrets.

And after bashing Lloyd for the past two years, I'm gonna give him his credit. The guy is a good coach. The way Michgan came out in the second half proved that. It appeared the game was on the verge of a blowout, but Lloyd and his staff made some adjustments and the team came out fired up. You won't hear another anti-Lloyd peep out of me for awhile.

Count me among those who don't want to see a rematch. Michigan had their chance to go to the National Championship and it didn't work out. Michigan-Ohio State is a rivalry that is unparalleled in college football and the game is meant to be played in either The Big House or the Horseshoe, not the Alien Dome in Glendale. It would make this epic game that occurred yesterday meaningless. And as I type this I see that we are still No. 2 in the BCS. I won't lie...I'll still go to the BCS Title game if we get there.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bo Schembechler is an amusing human being

I'm writing this from the upper press row here at Crisler Arena as Michigan and Wisconsin-Milwaukee tip off in an early season non-conference game. Wisc-Mil made the tourny last year, but lost a lot of their studs from that team. So I'm hoping this will be another win for the Wolverines. But enough college basketball, it's time for the mother fucking Big Game.

I thought I'd make fun of Bo Schembechler a little in this post. Seeing as I'm not from the state of Michigan, I don't view good ol' Bo as a living God. I do think he is the single reason why the Big Game is the Big Game. Imagine this rivalry without him and Woody Hayes shooting insults at each other. The sincere disdain they had for each other's programs was remarkable. I found it great when the other day at Bo's press conference (why he had one I don't know) he was still yapping about how much he hates Ohio State today. The guy just had his heart replaced, and yet still stresses over the slights he feels Michigan gets in comparisan to the Buckeyes. He was talking about how the last time the Wolverines visited Columbus, the team had to clear their bus on the way home so the Columbus police could search their bags for bombs. The police were legitimately worried that there were bombs planted by fans, yet Bo took it as a slight. It didn't matter that there could be explosives that would kill players and coaches, all that mattered was that Ohio State is a bunch of jackasses for delaying our trip home.

But deep down inside I love this type of contempt. Bo doesn't like Ohio State University, he doesn't like Woody Hayes, hell, he doesn't like the entire state of Ohio. And that's why he's a legend. He had the foresight as a head coach to realize what Ohio is: The second worst state in America (behind New Jersey). If NJ is the armpit of America, then that makes Ohio the buttcrack.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Too Much?

Well the hype has begun. I noticed during Sportscenter last night that there were exactly eight commercials for Saturday's matchup between Michigan and Ohio State. That means that over the course of one morning there were probably something like 40-50 commercials simply talking about The BIg Game. Not to mention the little feature during Sportscenter talking about how Michigan players have been watching Cinderella Man as motivation all year. Another example of the hype getting out of control is the press conferences. Ordinarily, on the Monday following a game, Michigan holds a one hour presser in which Lloyd Carr talks for a half hour and then three Michigan players talk for another half hour. Today, the press conference went from 930 until nearly 3 o'clock. Chad Henne spioke for an hour, then Bo Schembechler (why I don't know) for an hour, then a lunch break, then a bunch of players for an hour, and finally Lloyd Carr spoke for almost an hour and a half. My question is how can this game live up to the hype?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Portis hurt

I'm sitting here watching the game cast of the SKins-Eagles game and just found out about CPort's broken hand. I had said all week that if the Skins win this game they would have a shot at finally getting on a roll. But now that they are already losing, even if they do come back, how are they gonna run the table without Portis? He's the heart and soul of that offense. And I bet Ladell regrets signing that contract extension this offseason. Now, he's gonna get the opportunity to be the featured back for awhile. And if he plays well, he could have parlaed that into a starting job next year. Hey Snyder, here's an idea. If Ladell plays well, why don't you try to trade him for a high draft pick? Maybe it would be smart to build the team the way other successful NFL franchises do it: Through the draft.

The Big Game

Well it is finally upon us. Ohio State. Michigan. Here in Ann Arbor, we've all been thinking about it since that Iowa win about a month ago. I personally have no idea who is going to win the game either. Both teams are sick. Ohio State's offense is a juggernaut, but Michigan's defense is just as insane. Michigan's defense is going to end up being like that Miami team from a few years know the one with like seven first round draft picks. Because last time I checked, the Wolverine defense had like six guys in Mel Kiper's first round projections. CB Leon Hall is listed at No. 4 overall, DT Allen Branch is the No. 1 defensive tackle and listed as a top-10 prospect, Lamarr Woodley is listed as a top-15 prospect, LB David Harris is now listed ahead of Paul Puzlosny as the No. 1 linebacker according to Mel Kiper, and LB Prescott Burgess and DE Rondell Biggs are considered low first round/high second round prospects. But the amount of talent on Michigan's defense is matched by Ohio State's talent on offense.

But to me, this game is going to come down to two players, one on each team. For the Buckeyes, it is Anthony Gonzales, their No. 2 wideout. I'm pretty sure Leon Hall is going to lock down Ted Ginn, because Hall is the real deal. Some around campus are expecting him to have a Charles Woodson '97 type game (you know the one where he cemented himself as maybe the greatest college football player ever). But I don't think that will happen. Troy Smith is too good of a QB to give Hall a chance to have that type of game. Ted Ginn won't have more than 3 catches. The key will be if Gonzales has a big game. He's showed he is a leit threat in that Texas game, and if you've watched Michigan's defense this season, you'll know that their one glaring weak spot is No. 2 corner Morgan Trent. I'm curios whether Michigan has enough confidence in Hall to just leave him out on an island against Ginn. That will allow them to roll the safeties over to Trent's side. I don't think they do, and I think Gonzales will have a huge impact. If he doesn't that defense will dominate.

For the Wolverines, it is Chad Henne. The bottom line is that when he throws the ball less than 20 times in a game, Michigan wins. But usually when he only throws the ball a limited amount of times, he makes the most of each of those throws. We finally saw the return of the big play in Michigan's offense against Indiana yesterday with Breaston's huge grab. Manningham really opens up the offense whether it be catching the ball or serving as a decoy. If you look at the highlights of that throw, Henne was staring down Manningham, and the safety went right to Mario, but Henne then turned and threw to Breaston. Next Saturday, if Chad gets careless and throws some picks, the Wolverines are in trouble. Michigan is not going to be able to simply rely on Mike Hart pounding the ball every play. While they do need to run the ball, and run it a lot, Henne is goign to need to make some big throws and avoid turnovers in order for Michigan to come out on top.

And since the media is hyping this game more than any other college football game in a long time, I will hype it up all this week as well. So basically, Krauss and Brown should look forward to a lot of blogging this week.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tommy Amaker does something good?

I was on the internet today, when I suddenly realized that NOvember 8 is the first day high school basketball recruits from the class of 2011 could sign their national letters of intent. So I went over to to see if the players who teams got verbal committments actually signed. And much to my surprise, listed Michigan as having a top-20 recruting class, specifically it was ranked number 18. It's higlighted by star shooting guard Alex Legion, easily the WOlverines best recruit since Daniel Horton. BUt what is significant is the depth of the recruiting class. This is the first time in Tommy's six years as coach at Michigan, that he has gotten a truly "good" class. So congrats to him.

Nationally though, things don't look good for the Wolverines. Four Big Ten teams had top-10 classes. Purdue was the most shocking, as rated them No. 4. Essentially Matt Painter found these three kids on the same AAU team a couple years ago and recruited them extremely aggressively even though they weren't highly rated at the time. But over the past two years all three of their stocks went up to the point to where they were all rated as top-50 prospects. And they rewarded Painter's early recognition by signing on to play in West Lafayette. Ohio State had another strong haul, piggy backing on the success of getting Mike Conley and Greg Oden this year. They actually got a 5-star 7 footer to replace Oden if and when he leaves for the NBA. Michigan State got two of the best three guards in the class of 2011. And Indiana got the number one recruit in the land in Eric Gordon. I believe I mentioned in an earlier post how that sneaky Kelvin Sampson stole him away from Bruce Weber and Illinois.

And in other college basketball news. Jerome Dyson, the man who made gym class triple doubles at Churchill a regularity, has been the STARTING SHOOTING GUARD for UCONN in their two exhibition games. This is the same guy who would go into Dichov's PE class and regularly tell all the ghetto Scotland kids that he could beat them in 3-on-3 with the two whitest kids in the class. He would then proceed to select the one and only Michael Battey for his team everyday.

By the way, if you look at The Michigan Daily's Tipoff issue, I picked Jerome as my National player of the year. I had to have some I-270 basketball pride.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Terps Sports

I know Matt is gonna love this post. I noticed that the Maryland football team has made its way into the AP top 25 this week. They got a huge road win in Clemson against a Tigers team that I watched a few weeks ago look damn good against Georgia Tech. I definitely didn't see the Terps pulling this one out. BUt Hollenbach has really come into his own this season. A totally different QB than a year ago. I believe he made only one really bad throw and that was the interception. And the Terps defense looked pretty damn good. It reminded me a lot of the Terps D from that Orange Bowl year. That 2001 team has Madieu Williams in the secondary, and EJ Henderson at linebacker, and they dominated the football field. This year the Terps D has EJ's little brother, Erin, who looked like a tackling machine against Clemson. And then that cornerback, Josh Wilson, was just ferocious on the edge. He reminds me a lot of a young Champ Bailey, in that he's such a sure tackler. Now the Terps sit at 7-2, and got a shot at the ACC Title.

And what makes all this so weird is that the AP top 25 poll for college basketball came out today. And it seems to me that Terps basketball has reached a recent low for them. The Terps were not only not ranked in the top 25, but they weren't even in the receiving votes section. Didn't Gary Williams just win a national championship in 2002? And honestly, looking at that roster, I'm not really surprised. When Ekene Ibekwe is probably your most reliable offensive weapon you've got issues. Gary WIlliams needs to be held to a higher standard when it comes to recruiting. They haven't had a blue chip recruit since Caner-Medley and DJ Strawberry, and frankly, both of them did not or have not been as good as advertised coming out of high school.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Big Ten Media Day

I told you there would be another post about this weekend and I actually delivered this time. So post-Mudbowl we had our annual Mudbowl party which blew up. So many people, so much booze. Jeff got wasted, and we probably got put on social pro for awhile. But a good time was had by all. So that morning at 5am (I didn't go to sleep, Zac can attest to this as he saw me leave) I drove to Chicago for Big Ten Basketball Media Day. I was going on fumes, I'm really not sure how I did it. But I arrived in Chicago at about 8am central time and ate some free breakfast courtesy of the Big Ten. Basically every top player from every team, along with his coach were there. The format was like roundtable discussions from 9am-noon. Some notables who I actually had one-on-one interviews with were:

Lester Abram, Dion Harris, Courtney Sims, and Tommy Amaker of Michigan: The highlight of these talks was with Courtney Sims. Basically I turned off my recorder and just talked with him for like 25 minutes about nothing. We both agreed that booze needed to be served at stupid media day things like this one. And I forgot to ask lester about his theory on getting more drunk if you take booze up your nose. Also, Amaker told me he was missing the 20th reunion of his 1986 Duke team, to which I gave a look of astonishment. He laughed, I didn't. Go Duke.

Adam Haluska of Iowa: He said Crisler Arena was the toughest place to play in the Big Ten. He lost all credibility with that statement.

Dan Monson, coach of Minnesota: He actually thought his team was overrated when it was ranked 9TH in the preseason BIg Ten poll.

Roderick Wilmont of Indiana: He told me that Michigan was always well-coached. Clearly he hasn't watched Tommy Amaker at work the past six years.

Brian Butch and Kammeron Taylor of Wisconsin: Brian Butch's breath smelled real bad so I tried to avoid talking to him after one question. And then I asked Kammeron Taylor if he gets mistaken for Chris Rock ever. He responded 'No' and that's how the interview ended.

Geary Claxton of Penn State: He didn't know he was voted All Big Ten preseason 1st Team until I told him. He said he was gonna call his mom.

Tom Izzo of Michigan State: I asked him a question and he didn't answer it. My hate for State (haha it rhymes) went up tenfold.

Bruce Weber of Illinois: He said he wasn't going to talk to Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson ever again. Actually he refused to refer to him by name, instead calling him "the Indiana head men's basketball coach". This is all because Illinois had the number one recruit in the nation verballed for next year, but Sampson started recruiting him anyways after he got the Hoosier job. A few weeks ago the recruit bolted Illinois and went to Indiana.

Thad Matta of Ohio State: So to get on his good side I lied and told him that when I was younger I used to go to a lot of GW basketball games, and saw him coach with Xavier. In actuality I've been to one GW game, and he was the coach of Xavier in it. Thad then went on a little five minute rant about how good Xavier is gonna be this year. Now that I was in, I asked if it was fair to compare this year's Ohio State freshman class (with greg Oden and Mike Conley among others) with the Fab Five. He responded, "no because we didn't cheat to get them". ZING! He promptly told me I couldn't print that, but I say fuck you Thad Matta because it will live in eternity on this blog.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mudbowl 2006

Well Mudbowl was this past Saturday, and I'm going to have to say that it ranks up there with any sports moment in my entire life. I exceeded all of the expectations I had for myself going into the game, not to mention we blew out Beta 32-0. I caught the opening touchdown pass from Pete on a nice touch pass over the top of the secondary. It seemed like that ball sailed in the air forever. Did I mention that I was the center and I caught a TD pass. Then, after our unstoppable defense caused a three and out (with Nate giving their QB a concussion) on the next possession, I once again played a role in our TD. Pete broke open a long touchdown run, but the play behind the play was me blocking two Beta defenders at one time. I thought no one had seen my block, but when I looked up at some of the alumni on the sideline, they definitely noticed. And on our third TD, I caught the two point conversion, while also keeping both feet inbounds on a sideline grab. And this was all in the first half. I couldn't have asked for anything more. But then as I walked off the field in the second half (after we were leading 26-0) a large group of the crowd began to chantt 'M V P'. It was surreal. Definitely the biggest natural high I've ever had in my entire life. I'm gonna have another post after other stuff from a truly historic weekend in the life of Mark.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thoughts on Michigan football

Now that the Iowa game is out of the way, I think it's appropriate time to start the countdown to what could be the most anticipated college football game in the last 25 years. No. 1 Ohio State vs No. 2 Michigan. Both team essentially have chumps the rest of the way, so they'll both enter the game 11-0 unless some sort of fluky upset happens. Michigan might have the best defense in the country, but the BUckeyes isn't that much worse. Ohio State's offense definitely trumps Big Blue's right now with Smith, Pittman, Gonzalez and Ginn. But if Michigan gets back Manningham (which will hopefully happen) the Wolverines offense is pretty dynamic as well. I think the key to the game is going to be the Michigan front four. They've got four guys on that D line who will eventually be playing on Sundays, and they've been terrorizing quarterbacks the whole year. Iowa QB Drew Tate called Michigan's D the best he's faced and the Hwakeyes have already played Ohio State. If Michigan's D line can get consistent pressure on Troy Smith, and allow the linebackers to stay back in coverage, Ohio State will be shut down. And I think, with Michigan in a hostile road environment like Ohio Stadium, that Lloyd Carr will simply pund the ball down the BUckeyes throat with Mike Hart. But I think without a healthy Manningham, Michigan's offense will not be able to produce enough points.

So that makes two keys to a Michigan win:
1. The D line has got to produce again
2. Mario manningham needs to be healthy

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fall Break

I'm writing to you from the familiar surrounndings of my computer room in my house in Potomac, MD. It was a pretty eventful weekend so let me break it down for you.

Me and Kovel ventured down to State College, PA on Friday afternoon, so we could watch Big Blue play the Nittany Lions. Matt came up from College Park for the weekend too. On Friday night me, Matt and Jeremy went out on the town. State College is a pretty sweet little college town, but it's a bit too spread out for me. And by the way, this needs to be said: Jeremy, you can do way better than that rebound girl.

The game at Beaver Stadium was awesome especially since Michigan won and went to 7-0. I definitely thought Beaver Stadium was real loud, but I think it shouldn't count because of all the artificial noise in the stadium. A real college football team, like Michigan, and a real college football stadium, like the Big House, only have the noise of the crowd and the marching band. And that roar of the Nittany Lion before every big play is the most redundant stadium noise since Fedex Field used to play 'Who Let the Dogs Out' after every other play.

I then drove home at 230am and got back to Maryland at 530am. I did all of this in order to catch the Skins game at 1pm on Sunday. And I get rewarded for doing so by getting to watch us lose to the Titans at home. That was a sorry excuse for a football team out there. They had no energy, and they got rightfully booed. They gave up 178 yards to Travis Henry when Vince Young doesn't even know how to throw. Watching the game live, it was apparent how many times Young overthrew receivers. Yet Travis Henry had 178 YARDS! I've always trusted Gibbs, but the defense and offense look out of whack. Because the team's defense is subpar this season, they shouldn't be doing all this passing and cute stuff. They should be pounding the ball down the gut every play and running clock. They have five running backs that can do it. Portis, Betts, Sellers, Duckett, and even Cartwright if necessary.

And don't let this signing of Troy Vincent fool you. He's like an older version of Mike Rumph these days. I know what this secondary needs. They need to get Darrell Green back in uniform. After watching that debacle of a game, something needs to be done.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Should be a sick weekend of football

I will be leaving for State College, PA tomorrow morning, as I follow the now 6-0 Michigan Wolverines on their journey to Penn State. It's definitely going to be a tough game, no doubt about that. But it better be a Michigan win considering I paid 150 bucks for a ticket. It looks like a complete role reversal from last year's Michigan-PSU classic, where the NIttany Lions lost star wide receiever Derrick Williams to injury early on. This year, Michigan's star receiver, Mario Manningham is out. Also, last year the Lions came in undefeated just like Big Blue this year. But the one key difference between this year's game and last year's was that last season, despite how disappointing they were, Michigan had the better talent than PSU. And it's the same this year. Penn State just doesn't have the personnel to compete. Hopefully, Chad Henne will not do anything to lose us the game, because I'm pretty sure the Penn State offense won't be able to move on our D. Michigan is only allowing 40 yards per game rushing, and I expect that to continue. They are going to force Anthony Morelli to win the game himself, and I just don't see that happening.

From Penn State, I will be driving back to Maryland in order to catch the Redskins-Titans game. It's obviously a must win for the 2-3 Skins, seeing as they are facing an 0-5 team at home. A loss here ends any mention of playoff talk. And honestly, I think this team realizes how important this one is, seeing as a trip to Indy looms large next week. I will be sporting the Cooley jersey at the game like I did for the Jacksonville game. For some reason, I switched it up for the Giants game and went with one of my Skins long sleeves, but obviously that was a huge mistake. The goal for the weekend is to go 2-0.

Go Blue
Go Skins

Monday, October 09, 2006

A little more Yankees

I just thought I would add these two links onto my last post about Torre. One by Jon Heyman of pretty much reiterates that Torre has been sucking ass since 2000. And the other talks about possibly trading Jeter.

Joe Torre should be fired

I know I'm in the minority here, but I am putting the blame for the Yankees woes this season squarely on the shoulders of Joe Torre. I realize he's won a whole bunch of World Series with the Yanks, but that was then, this is now. Back then, Torre did a lot with a little. Remember guys like Scott Brosius, Joe Girardi, and Jim Leyritz. They were all heroes back in the day for those great Yankee teams, and they are all bums other than that. And now for the past six seasons Torre has had a lot and done so very little. Yeah they make it to the playoffs every year, but they should with the amount of money they spend. Personally, I think this year's Yankee team had the talent to win the World Series. It's just that Torre didn't utilize the talent properly. Everyone can say how it was A-Rod's fault, but the bottom line is that A Rod felt way too much pressure in the fourth spot to succeed. Rodriguez is clearly the best player on the Yankees, no matter what anyone wants to say about Jeter. The bottom line is that when A Rod is rolling, the Yankees are too. I thought it was ridiculous how Torre moved A Rod down to sixth and then eighth in the order against the Tigers. That's how you reward your best hitter for batting .380 in September? In addition, there's Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano. Wright was a 16 game winner before he came to the Yanks from the Braves. Leo Mazzone clearly did something that worked, and Wright consistently pitched 5 strong innings a game. Yet, somehow he was always unsuccessful. As a manager, it is your job to put your players in the best situation to succeed. And with Wright and A Rod I felt like that never happened. Then there's Pavano, who clearly has been a huge bust. But you still don't call out a player like that to the media. Here's a guy who could be a solid pitcher for you next season, and now he's alienated from the rest of the clubhouse. Not to mention how Torre is notorious for decimating a bullpen. Farnsworth, Procter, Villone and Rivera all missed time over the course of the regular season due to being overworked by Torre.

But, when it came down to it I think this team was just totally mismanaged. This wasn't like thoe teams from the 90's where Torre was mister laid back and the veterans just did their business. From listening to the Yankees, I feel like this is a team that wanted to be challenged by their managers. Intense personalities like Giambi, Sheffield, Johnson and Jeter want to be challenged. They perform better that way. This team clearly had chinks in its armor judging from comments in that SI article a ways back. And by not addressing them directly, Torre let the problem fester. I think getting rid of Torre is the best direction for the Yankees to go in right now. The team they have right now is good enough to win the World Series in 2007. I would pick up Mussina's option, but only if he is willing to sign for 2-3 years. And I would let Sheff go. They have Andy Phillips in the system, who I think would do a lot for their chemistry at first base. This World Series drought has been due to so many different factors. So many players have come through that Yankee clubhouse, so many teams have ended their season, but one thing has remained the same: Joe Torre. In the words of the great Bret Hart, "Enough is enough and it's time for a change."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tigers win game 2

Yesterday, as I watched the Yankees play the Tigers, I made my typical call that as soon as that Yanks lineup got their second ABs that the game would be over. And although Damon did have a huge jack, other than that they really didn't. The Yankees did exactly what they wanted to do in making Verlander throw a lot of pitches, and he was shelved early because of it. But when they got to the bullpen nothing happened. There's a lot to be said about that Tigers pen. Walker, Zumaya, and Jones were lockdown out there. I was thoroughly impressed. You gotta give credit where credit is due. The Yanks just don't look as invincible as they once did. But I do think they are gonna win game 3 tonight for two reasons. 1) Kenny 2) Rogers. As evidenced by Verlander and Zumaya, a lot of the Yankee hitters have trouble with power pitching. Notice that Sheffield, Giambi, ARod, and cano were held hitless in game 2. But Kenny Rogers is anything but a power pitcher. In order to hold down this Yankee lineup he better be perfect. Because if he misses any of his spots it's gonna be a long night. If I were a Tigers fan, I would much rather see Bonderman take the mound tonight. Power pitchers like Bonderman and Verlander can miss sometimes and still get away with it because they are throwing straight gas.

And the Yankees better hope this doesn't go to five games, although it would mean they could throw Wang back out there. And if I were the Tigers, I would tell Verlander right now that they need him to start game 5 on short rest. It was pretty obvious Robertson had no answer for the Yanks.

I'd also like to wish a happy 21st to Greg Goldring. He came, he saw, he hookahed.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stealing music

Like I said, I'm gonna try and blog a little more, so I figured while I'm sitting here in the library stumped on this assignment that I would talk about how much fun it is to take music from other people's itunes. I've literally used this mytunes redux thing the past two days and added about 800 songs to my music library. The things you can get from people are amazing. For instance, I now have most of Saigon's (from Entourage) album. It's not too shabby, but I still haven't found the song from Queen's Boulevard. It's probably the only thing keeping me going what with this terrible Michigan weather. I don't know if I've ever seen it rain so many times in a one month span.

MLB Playoffs: Day One

So I'm pretty much having one of the busiest weeks school wise in a long time. Why I'm telling you this is because I didn't get to watch as much of the 1st day of the MLB playoffs as I would have liked. But here are just some general thoughts I had from seeing highlights/real live action:

1. The Twins, who I thought would fo sure beat the A's in the division series, are in a lot of trouble. They had the best home record in the majors this year and still lost in game 1 at the Metrodome. Not to mention that Johan Santana, who is key to their success, lost. Basically they needed two wins out of him in order to even think about the championship series. A's are going to win this one in 4 games.

2. Speaking of which, where the fuck did Frank Thomas come from? Quietly he had a sick year and then put the A's on his back today. That would be two times now where the Big hurt has re-incarnated himself from the dead. If you watch the A's any more this postseason, make sure to look at Thomas' head. It is seriously the biggest head I've ever laid eyes upon.

3. I don't care what happened in game 1 of St. Louis-San Diego, I'm still sticking with the Padres as my team to make it to the World Series. You know Boomer Wells is going to come out firing tomorrow. He's just a big game pitcher. And after Chris Carpenter the Cards literally have no arms. Fucking Jeff Weaver is going on the hill for game two tomorrow. The same Jeff Weaver who was cut from a non-playoff team (Angels) earlier this year.

4. By the way...memo to Mike Piazza: you are the worst fielding catcher ever.

5. The Tigers do not stand a chance against the Yankees. Every game is going to look like tonight's contest. The Tigers will breeze through the first three innings. I'd even say they might be able to grab an early lead in most of the games. But then, as soon as that Yankees lineup comes through a second time it will be demolition time. Just like tonight when in the third, Damon came to bat again. Instantly, he gets a single, gets moved to third on a nice hustle double by Jeter. Then Abreu drive them in with a bases clearing double. Boom...2-0. And after that Sheff comes up with a nice single and Abreu is in. And then (I love this) Giambi comes up and I turn to Pete and go "Giambi is gonna hit this one into the right field seats because Robertson is gonna throw him a fastball" and what do you know it happened. And there you go 5-0 Yanks...essentially game over.

6. Terrible decision by Joe Torre in taking Chien Ming Wang out with two outs in the sixth inning. The Tigers got a couple lucky runs because of it.

I realize I've been real inconsistent with these blogs so far this year. I'm hoping now that basketball season is upon us, I'll be around a computer more often due to my newspaper obligations. But something to look forward to is that I'm gonna try and blog a bunch at Big Ten Media Day in a couple weeks. It should be sweet.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tigers, Twins Clinch

So it's crunch time in Major League Baseball these days. The American League is pretty much decided while the National League is just in shambles. Everyone but the Mets still needs to clinch a playoff spot. But I'm gonna stick to the AL in this post because I have a feeling I will be attending a bunch of AL playoff games (yeah Greg). With Liriano, the Twins had the best chance of getting to the World Series. The Yankees lineup is terrific, but with two nearly unhittable aces, the Twins would have been extremely tough to beat. That said, Liriano isn't going to pitch in the playoffs so they become a one pitcher team. And even though the Twins and Tigers have both clinched, there is still a lot to play for. Because whoever wins the AL central gets to face the A's (or maybe the Angels) rather than the Yankees. I've got my money on the A's pulling out the West (I've just got this hunch). And yes, the A's pitching staff is pretty formidable with Zito, Harden and Haren, I would much rather face them than the Yankees. That Yankee lineup is ridiculous. The Tigers NEED to win the central because there is zero chance they beat the Yankees in a series. Maybe they would take one game, but that's it. The Twins have been on such a tear that I really can't count them out aganist anyone, even if I think they don't have the pitching. The Tigers definitely have a shot against the A's considering Oakland always fizzles out come playoff time. But I just don't think the Tigers are going to be able to hold onto the division. As of today they were only up by one game, but they haven't played good baseball since the end of July. The Twins on the other hand have been by far the best team in baseball since the end of May. So, come October I think the matchups will look like this:

Twins v A's
Yanks vs Tigers

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Balco Investigation

I was greatly disturbed last night when I read on the internet that San Francisco Chronicle writers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams were sentenced to up to 18 months in prison pending an appeal. These are the guys who wrote the book Game of Shadows, which uncovered many details about the Balco steroid investigation, including outting numerous athletes who used steroids. The fact that these two reporters are being put in jail for being members of the press disgusts me. As an aspiring journalist myself, I find it unsettling to think that the government no longer wants the press to be watchdogs on society. Don't you think it's kind of ridiculous that guys like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, who used steroids, got no jail time; Greg Anderson, who supplied steroids got 3 months in prison, while these writers are getting up to 18 months for doing their job. Without investigative journalism, crimes against the American people like Watergate would never be uncovered. All you would get is lame press releases from the government stating that everything is going okay. America's Constitution is about the checks and balances, and a free press is one of those checks and balances. These two journalists can't give up their sources because it would essentially end their journalism careers. Even the President of the United States commended these men when their book came out.

These two writers did a better job of uncovering the truth than the actual government and now they are being punished. Think about how much we've actually learned from this Balco grand jury bullshit. We know that Balco existed and that's it. Victor Conte, Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and the other numerous athletes who took steroids were outted by good journalism. Hopefully this decision will be reversed upon appeal, and the bill currently sitting in Congress that will put federal protection on journalists' sources will pass soon. It's the right thing for Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams and it's the right thing for this country of ours.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MIchigan Football

Well as everyone is probably pretty aware of right now, Michigan football got a huge win on Saturday over Notre Dame. It was the first time in a long time that a Lloyd Carr coached team beat a team of equal and maybe better talent. And although there was little chance Lloyd was going to get fired any time soon, this game pretty much cemented his status as a coach who can coach as long as he wants. And I have to eat some of my own words because I have been railing on Carr for almost a year now. He finally got the troops ready for an early season road test. The new coordinators seem to be working out, especialy Ron English, whose defense looks damn good. The running game is solid and Mike Hart is able to grind out good chunks of yardage.

But I am curious to see how the Wolverines come out on Saturday at the Big House against Wisco. Wisco is also undefeated, although their schedule has been weak so far. I think it's almost impossible for the team not to come out with a hangover feeling. If they storm out to an early lead and put the badgers away early, it will tell me that Lloyd is doing great things. A win against Ohio State this season is not a reasonable way to judge his performance this year. The Buckeyes are loaded and the game is at Ohio Stadium. But if the team comes out motivated on Saturday and gives the Badgers a good whoopin, then it will show me something.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Joe Dumars

I know this is gonna sound kind of redundant, considering I just posted about Chipper awhile back, and because Bill Simmons actually just wrote a column about this. But I am just so sick and tired of hearing all this pro-Joe Dumars in the Hall of Fame bullshit in the Metro Detroit area. To begin, no Joe Dumars does not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. He wasn't even the best player on his team during any given season. Whether it be his prime, when Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Pistons, or the twilight when Grant Hill first came to pre-eminence, there is never a period of time in which Dumars was even the go to guy on his team. Not to mention that during those championship years there were times when he was sat in crunch time because he was an offensive liability. He made just one All NBA team during his career, which meant he was only one of the top players in the NBA for one season. I'm sorry, but the Hall of Fame is for great players, not good role players. Because in essence that is what Joe was.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's good to have football back

Had a little mixer at Touchdown's last night, but it took a lot for me to actually show up for it. My face was glued to the Steelers-Dolphins game which was the kickoff for the 2006 season. I think the NFL is the only league in which I could watch any regular season game and be interested, even if it isn't the Redskins. And at TDs I continued to keep an eye on the game. And I also looked at my good friend Dan watching the same game. He happens to be from Pittsburgh and is a legit Steelers fan. And as he watched the Pittsburgh defense bring the Steelers back and eventually take the lead for good, this kid was going nuts. Steeler Dan was yelling, fistpumping, jumping around, and just in general going insane. But that's what makes the NFL and college football what they are. The fans are so passionate, that it's unbelievable. I know my friends from home can talk about how insane I used to look at Battey's house just a few falls ago. You don't see this type of tenacity for, say the Pirates, or the Devil Rays, or the Tigers. I cannot wait for Monday night when the Skins take the field (w/o CPort and Springs) and try to annihilate the Vikes. I'll be sporting my Cooley jersey for opening night. We'll see how it goes because last year when the Skins went on their six-game win streak at the end of the year, I was rockin the Lavar jersey. But I just felt that was totally inappropriate considering he's been lambasting our organization lately. Let's hope the Cooley thing works out.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Welcome Week '06

Clearly I realize that it has been way too long since I've blogged...but I have a legitimate excuse. Those deuchebag alumni don't actually have the internet working here at SAE quite yet. Luckily, I'm stealing some wireless from some random GDIs nearby. I don't know if I'm being stereotypical or not but the wireless name is tsunami so I'm thinking I'm stealing from some Asians. Onto welcome week.

As expected, it has been pretty wild. I mean, what can you expect from a college student who is given a week and a half with nothing to do but get wasted. But it's just good to be back in the college atmosphere, especially during welcome week when even the most nerdy of GDIs go out almost every night. Myself and Peter's room has come along nicely. But, I think the higlight of this gloriousness was the pregame for football. It was the first time since I had been at Michigan that we did it at SAE, rather than at a senior house. And I must say, that it was something to behold. Beer pong tables littered throughout the Mudbowl, girls, beer, liquor, three story beer bong...the list could keep going. Today, I was at a Buddhist Temple's yard sale (which surprisingly had nothing remotely Buddhist for sale) and picked up a cheap slip n slide for next week. Next week is a special pregame, because it will be the last pregame where I will be able to think about Michigan having a shot at the national title. Those dreams will end come week 3 when we travel to South Bend. Tonight brings a rager of epic proportions, as my junior year welcome week comes to a close.

Why can't every week be welcome week?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Steve Miller and the end of an era

I'm all finished up with Carderock now and the countdown is at 2 days until I make my triumphant return to Ann Arbor. 8 grand and a nice suntan later I completed an era of lifeguarding that spanned approximately 6 summers. I think I held my own at the pools, but enough was enough and it's time for a change. Who knows what next summer will bring? I don't even know if I'll be back in Maryland. But if I'm not, I will have ended it with a bang. Last night, myself, Matt, and Battey got to see Steve Miller Band, 10th rowish, at Wolf Trap. I had never been there before, but I must say that it is fucking sweet. The whole structure is made out of wood and almost looks like a giant old time pirate ship. Steve Miller went through all the hits plus a couple covers. Definitely a solid show. But the thing that made the night complete was the sign language people at Wolf Trap. Because it is a national park, I assume Wolf Trap has to have somebody to communicate with deaf people, so they don't get sued. And these sign language people put on another show by themselves. There was the male who was clearly a huge Steve Miller fan because you could tell he didn't even need to look at his sheet of paper with the lyrics. The guy knew them all. And he wasn't just signing, but was actually like dancing along to the music. And then during "The Joker", at the part where Miller talks of himself as a midnight toker in the chorus, the sign language female would switch it up in her signals. One time she did your typical hit a bowl symbol. But then other times she would use the universal symbol for smoking a jay, and point to the sky to symbolize being high. Definitely a show within the show.