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December 15, 2008

sorry, this blog hasn’t been updated in a while. check out my other blog

http://www.searchingbutnotlost.tumblr.com

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It has been a minute since my last post. I apologize to the 3 people that read my blog. However, I return at just the right time to give my two cents on what looks to be a very interesting football season.

In college, Georgia is ranked atop both major polls. This is a problem for Georgia. Can the Dawgs handle the pressure? I don’t care if they can handle the pressure of being number one, because I don’t think that they can handle the schedule. There won’t be a repeat of 2004 Auburn–Georgia will not go undefeated in the SEC.

In the Big 12, it looks like Texas Tech could win the conference. A team that throws the ball incessantly  could win one of college football’s best conferences? It is going to be a crazy year people. 

In the NFL, we have a chance to perhaps see a Super Bowl champion that won’t make the playoffs. I strongly believe that. The Giants are in no position to repeat as champs, and are going to struggle in the NFC East. The Cowboys are better than they are, so are the improving Redskins. Even the Eagles could potentially be better than the Giants if Mcnabb and Westbrook stay healthy.

The Patriots will still be good and will win that terrible division easily, although look for the Dolphins to be better. The Colts and Chargers will win their divisions as well. However, the Colts’ division will be the craziest division in the league, imho. The Titans and Texans are now wanting a piece of the playoff pie. The Jaguars got a piece last year and will also be looking to improve. Every game in that division could go to the home team. I still feel the Colts are the class of the division, but I am excited to see how crazy it will get. 

I don’t think that this will be as crazy of a season as last year’s was, but I do foresee an entertaining ride. It is an exciting time in sports with one of the best NBA regular seasons ever ending last year, a crazy college football season, a team going 18-0 and then losing in the Super Bowl. What could happen next? Pay attention to this website, my faithful few followers, and I will keep you updated on my opinions concerning sports….as if you care.

We have reached that point in the sports year that I refer to as “no-man’s-land.” Baseball is the only sport left worth watching. Soccer doesn’t count. Basketball is done (and what a magnificent finals we had this year!). Football is in optional workouts. Even college sports are done. 

The question is, what is a sports fan to do? Well, this year we are in luck. With the olympics coming up and with the parity shown so far in baseball, we may be in for an exciting sports summer.

The Yankees are hovering dangerously close to the bottom of their division, and certain young teams (read: the Rays and the Rangers) are not as bad as expected. They are at the point where the construction guys in Major League would say “These guys ain’t so @#%^ing bad.” (By the way, one of my favorite scenes in any movie, with the team on the rise, it shows all the naysayers starting to come around, thus reinforcing to the audience the team’s improvement)

America’s Olympic basketball team is about to start full-fledged practices. I believe that this is the best team the USA has had since the ’92 Dream Team. As weighty as that statement is, I believe it. Lebron, Melo, Kobe, Kidd….this team is going to dominate. One thing that the Americans have lacked in the past is a great low post presence, and with Dwight Howard, they more than make up for it. What will other countries do with a 7-foot-1 guy with a 40-inch vertical? 

As you can tell, I am really excited about this summer. Do not worry about what you are going to watch, sports fans, just sit back and relax. It is going to be a summer to remember.

You HAVE to watch this season’s Western Conference playoffs. HAVE to. Even if you haven’t watched a second of an NBA game since Jordan hit his shot against the Jazz–you still need to watch this season’s NBA Western Conference playoffs.

There are more good teams this year than there have ever been in the league. You could also make the case that there are more superstars this season than any other in league history. It is really unbelievable.

I think the Lakers have what it takes to win the whole thing, and a first-round series between them and the Nuggets would be as exciting as any first-round series.

Even the Mavericks, who clinched the 7-seed yesterday, are looking strong. Luckily my blog that I wrote last week worked. That was really just a reverse jinx, no way do I really want the Mavs to lose…. And if they play the Hornets in the first-round, the Mavericks could win. Even a series against the Spurs looks almost winnable.

I suggest drawing up a bracket, march madness style, and bet money on it. That will make it even more exciting.

Before I tell you why I am a terrible Mavs fan, let me explain something. I have followed this team my entire life. I went to games back when Jason Kidd played for the Mavs. Wait, I mean back when Jason Kidd originally played for the Mavs. However, with the Mavericks dangling on the edge of not making the playoffs, I find myself doing something I never thought I would ever do: I am cheering for them to lose.

I know, who am I? I am cheering for a team that currently is in the middle of a playoff race to lose enough games that it misses the dance. While this may sound crazy to a lot of people, especially fans of teams that aren’t close to making the playoffs, I do have my reasons for this insane turn of events.

First, there is no way that the Mavericks could win a first-round playoff series against any of the teams they would likely meet. If they face the Hornets, done. Lakers, see ya. Spurs, don’t kid yourself. Even the Rockets would beat the Mavericks in the first round and T-Mac has never won a first-round series in his life. I don’t know if I could handle another early exit by the Mavs, considering last year’s debacle.

The main reason, though, is the future is brighter for this team if it misses the playoffs. One, the only way that the Mavericks would have a first-round pick in the NBA draft is if it is in the lottery because of the Kidd trade. So, if the Mavericks lose in the playoffs, they don’t get a draft pick either. If they don’t make the playoffs, they at least get the 14th pick in the draft. Hello Ty Lawson! Lawson would make a perfect understudy to Jason Kidd and would allow Mavs fans forget about Devin Harris for a while. Furthermore, Mark Cuban would not let his team miss the playoffs and then not make drastic offseason moves. A good shakeup is exactly what the Mavericks need. Whether that is firing Avery Johnson and bringing in a coach who can utilize Kidd and Dirk more effectively in a half-court set, or if it is making another big trade to bring in another scorer, anything now could be an improvement.

Don’t crucify me yet and don’t question my fanhood. I am only saying that the Mavs and their fans may actually be better off missing the playoffs this year. Considering the disappointments that the playoffs have meant for Dallas fans of all sports, maybe taking one off wouldn’t be that bad of an idea. I foresee fewer broken remote controls and healthier marriages in Dallas could also be a byproduct of this situation.

Let me just say thank you to the Celtics, Cavaliers and Pistons. Without you actually playing basketball, the Eastern Conference would be completely devoid of any real teams. The Hawks might make the playoffs this year, and having gone to several Atlanta home games, I know they don’t deserve it.

The Harlem Globetrotters could make the playoffs in the East. I mean if they played NBA teams. With their current record they would be the one seed, but they play the same team every game. If they played NBA teams, and didn’t put confetti in a water bucket and fake out the crowd in the second half, they might win enough games to see post-season action. It really is a basketball wasteland out East.

The Heat, Bobcats and Knicks should be treated like English soccer teams. Whoever finishes last this year has to play next season in the D-league. Relegation works across the pond, so why can’t it work here. Baseball should do the same thing, but that is another blog.

David Stern should do something. He needs to step up and tell the Knicks that if they finish in the lottery, they will be disbanded and have to start over. Or, at least, he will force Isiah Thomas to be fired. Either way, it is a win-win for Knicks fans. Thomas will coach harder and the players will play harder (read: play), or they get all new players, except David Lee and Nate Robinson, who Knick fans love.

The Heat should be ashamed of themselves. Why did they build around a core of aging players and guys that nobody wanted (Ricky Davis, J Williams). You have D-Wade! Give him a three point shooter, a young big man and a decent small forward and you have the East’s version of the Lakers. Marion will help. If they get Michael Beasely, that will help too. If Pat Riley remembers that basketball is a sport that is meant to be played while running, that will help too. Bring Showtime to Miami, Pat.

I’m giving the Bobcats a pass for one more year because they are new. Please draft a player that can play next year. Morrison and Okafor were both average to below average draft picks. If the ‘Cats could swing Rose from MemphisU that would help. 

If you have any more suggestions for the worst conference in the history of American team sports (excluding WAC football), make a comment.

News Flash: Kobe Is MVP

March 5, 2008

I don’t want to hear any more talk about any other player winning the MVP award. After watching Kobe’s 52 against the Mavs, I’m a believer. He is either the best human basketball player in the league, or some kind of space creature teaching us how to play a new type of basketball.

Lebron is the only other player in the conversation, and he is not even in the same building as Bryant. I love Lebron, so don’t call me Skip Bayless or anything. it is just that Lebron is not the defensive player that Kobe is, and Bron Bron makes his living in the Eastern Conference, which means he plays the Bobcats and Knicks a bunch of times.

I know what you might be thinking: Kobe’s team is WAY better than Lebron’s. That might be, but Bryant is the glue that keeps it together. He is the reason the Lakers are so good. That team was good before Gasol. Don’t say Bynum and Luke Walton are the keys to Bryant’s success because that’s ridiculous. The man has a different gear than most players. Lebron is starting to get it too. They just come alive in the fourth quarter or when the game is on the line. Kobe still has the edge because he gets crazy stops on defense and can nail cold-blooded threes all day.

The only player I remember that was as ruthless and cold-blooded as Kobe was Jordan. Whether or not Kobe is better is tough to say because it is a different league now. What is eerily similar about the two is the way they get their teammates excited about the game, or maybe they get them scared to not screw it up. Either way, both are master motivators and nobody enjoys making another team lose more. It isn’t that Kobe wants to win, it’s that he wants everyone else to lose. That’s what makes him different, it’s what made Jordan different too. It’s why Kobe is the Most Valuable Player in the league today.

Who is this team? Some games they look like a force with D.Howard being the next Moses Malone. Other games they look like they are just a mediocre Eastern Conference team. Today they beat the Celtics on an improbable last-second three, hit by Hedo Turkoglu — who played like an awesome Tony Kukoc — and looked unstoppable. I wonder how long this will last.

This is one of the streakiest teams in the league, so I will wait and see before I call them a contender, but if they can play like they did today in the playoffs, this team will be scary. Currently, I don’t see them beating the C’s in a seven game series. They could, however, beat any other Eastern conference team other than possibly Detroit.

If Howard continues to play like a man possessed, the Magic will be just that. Look for at least a second-round playoff series with them in it. If they catch the Pistons sleeping, look for them to face the Celtics in the Eastern conference finals. That is, however, if the Magic don’t fall apart in front of us, which I think is also a possibility, given their youth.

Wow! When I miss, I miss big. If you read my NBA preview, you will notice that I did not have many good things to say about the Lakers. Now I would like to take back all the things that I previously said, or thought about the Fighting Kobes.

Andrew Bynum has come on to be a force. He is now one of the top centers in the West. If he continues to play like a young Hakeem, the Lakers will be the team to beat in a few years. This year, I would not be surprised if they make it super far in the playoffs. If they were to make the finals, it would not startle me.

Luke Walton is becoming a vital role player for them and is learning to be more of a passer. His ability to find open cutters makes him useful when playing good defensive teams like the Spurs. Jordan Farmar and Derrick Fisher give Kobe players he can trust at the Point.

There is no chance that we will hear Kobe ask for a trade again any time soon. This young, talented team is exactly what he wanted. They are impressionable enough that he will still be the leader, but he trusts them enough to not have to take every shot. This is the team that could challenge the Spurs for Western dominance.

The Cleveland Cavaliers should be removed already from any discussion of potential Eastern Conference championship teams. They have done nothing this season other than take enormous steps backwards. However, Lebron James has proven to me once again that he is a grown man and a force to be reckoned with.

If the Cavaliers had any other scoring threat, or if Drew Gooden could learn to catch the ball, they might be a good team again this year. People are making ht excuse that they are without one of their starters, Anderson Varejao. That is a moot point because he may be the most overrated player in the league. He doesn’t shoot well, pass well or play good defense and he isn’t as good a rebounder as people think he is. He brings nothing except energy and turnovers to the table. He is also now asking for something like $9 mil. a year. WHAT? He is lucky to not be playing in Spain. If he didn’t have Lebron clearing the lane out and dropping dimes to him, no one would know who he is.

Michael Redd is the player that the Cavs should have traded for a few years ago. His skill-set complements Lebron’s perfectly. Also, Lamar Odom would be a good fit for the Cavs as long as Daniel Gibson continues to improve. If Gibson becomes the outside threat he could be, Lebron will be O so thankful.

At the moment the Cavs really don’t have a deadly three-point shooter off the bench, and don’t talk to me about Damon Jones. He is still surviving on the season he had in Miami when Shaq and D-Wade were creating his shots for him. Now he is an aging, short swingman that can’t create his own open shots.

If the Cavs don’t improve this roster in the next two years, no one could blame Lebron from forcing a trade. If the Celtics can add great players, why can’t the Cavs. James is faced with an impossible task in trying to get this team deep into the playoffs. If they finish anything other than the seven or eight seed, give Lebron the MVP trophy immediately. At the moment he is the basketball version of Benny “the jet” Rodriguez, doing great playing with a bunch of rejects and fat kids.