Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dick Vitale's Throat Sounds Like He's Been Sucking Too Much D

Dick Vitale is always a man of emotion, but he needs to leave the analysis to the experts. He covered play by play for the IU/MSU game tonight (which the Hoosiers dominated) and sounded like a hoarse retard. I realize he just got throat surgery, but that doesn't excuse his outlandish and ridiculous comments all game long. No joke, 90 percent of the time he was talking was about how Kelvin Sampson is an embarrassment and needs to be fired tommorow. Whether that's true or not, he sounded like a broken record and refused to acknowledge the outstanding performance by IU and Sampson in the game. With all the distractions surrounding the contest with Sampson's recruiting violations, why did we need to hear about it the entire game. I realize that it's important, but wasn't there a fucking game going on? It made it nearly impossible to watch. Shut the fuck up old man river before I break your hip. Go HOOSIERS. Boiler Up Yours.

San Francisco Giants Preview

2007 Season Finish: 71-91, Last Place in NL West

Key Acquisitions: Aaron Rowand
Key Losses: Barry Bonds, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Klesko

Probable Opening Day Lineup
1) Dave Roberts- LF
2) Kevin Frandsen- 3B
3) Randy Winn- RF
4) Bengie Molina- C
5) Aaron Rowand- CF
6) Ray Durham- 2B
7) Dan Ortmeier- 1B
8) Omar Vizquel- SS
9) Pitcher

Lineup Grade: F....You will very seldom see me give out a failing grade in these previews, but the fact is, this is probably the worst lineup in all of baseball. The Barry Bonds show is gone and so is any resemblance of power in this lineup. It's a pretty disgusting mix of babies and dinosaurs. The best hitter on the Giants is Aaron Rowand by a landslide. This guy was the 5th or 6th best hitter on Philadelphia last year. Rowand should have a solid season, but he's really the only bright spot. Winn is the best of a bunch of worn down vets that include Durham, Vizquel, Molina, and Roberts and the other members of the lineup have no more than 2 years of Major League experience. I can't even talk about this anymore, it makes me sick.

Probable Rotation
1) Matt Cain
2) Barry Zito
3) Tim Lincecum
4) Noah Lowry
5) Kevin Correia
Closer) Brian Wilson

Rotation Grade: B...It's a good thing this rotation is solid, because otherwise there'd really be no reason for anyone to go to AT&T Park. Zito was massively overpaid last year and the Giants are already regretting their investment in him. He can still pitch at a mediocre rate, so right now it's not a total waste, but two years from now this is going to start looking like the Rockies signing of Mike Hampton a couple of years ago. Cain ran into some tough luck in the first half of last year starting 2-9, but put together a nice run after the all-star break and finished at 7-16 (still good for the second most losses in the NL). He still didn't get any run support, but he was able to shut down opposing offenses enough to where he could pull out close wins. It appears that he will be able to carry some momentum in 2008 and he'll need to for the Giants to not embarrass themselves. We can't forget about young Timmy Lincecum. One of the most hyped pitching prospects in baseball last year had an up and down 2007. The kid looks no older than 18, but he showed maturity in many games and it's evident that he has a nasty array of pitches in his arsenal. If he can control his wicked fastball, he could be in for a breakout year.

2008 Season Outlook
Not only will the Giants most likely finish in the cellar of the National League West Division, they should contend for one of the worst records in baseball. Management in San Francisco left the cupboard completely bare and it looks like this team is going to suck large amounts of nuts for the next couple of years. Without Barry Bonds home run chase, there's really no reason to watch this team at all. The above average pitching staff should be able to carry this team to many wins, but without any legit hitters, it's going to be a long season by the bay.
Predicted Finish: 62-100, Last Place in NL West

MLB Team Previews

And so it begins.  The Brew Barons of Gimme Dat Brew have decided to break down the 2008 MLB Season with an inside look at all 30 teams.  We will give you the low down on Key Acquisitions and Losses, grade the lineup and rotation, and predict the fates of each squad.  Check in with GDB every day to see a new preview, all the way up until the beginning of the season.  The Countdown begins to the first game between the Red Sox and Athletics in Japan on March 25 and the Brew Barons will be with you every step of the way.  Our first week will feature teams from the NL West and from there we will lock in on every division in baseball.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Congress is the opposite of Progress

I'm fucking sick of the government getting involved in sports.  These are games of entertainment.  While I realize the NBA, MLB, NFL, and other sports associations are businesses, what makes the US government think that they can get involved?   They are ruining the sports that I love and live for.  I want to watch my favorite players blast homers, pull off ridiculous dunks, and make crazy helmet catches.  Today was one of the most depressing days of sports that I can ever remember.  Forget the fact that the IU basketball team took a miserable home loss to Wisconsin.  The major story was the recruiting violations that Kelvin Sampson is experiencing outside of the court.  This makes me sick to my stomach and I wish we could focus on the basketball games and not the bullshit that goes on outside of the game.  After watching Sportscenter, I wanted to throw my TV out the window.  The three stories that I saw in a 30 minute viewing period were the Hoosier Recruiting Scandel, the Roger Clemens Steroid Incident, and the Spygate saga.  Now, I realize steroids are illegal in baseball, but why the fuck does this need to involve US Senators?  Stop wasting our tax dollars on this shit and focus on things that really matter, like crime, immigration, and war.  I saw Roger Clemens and some spectacled jamoke named McNamee blab on my screen for 20 minutes too long.  I can't wait for the games to begin.  This is already a weak time of the year for sports, so why does ESPN have to bog it down with bullshit that doesn't have anything to do with the games being played.  Even more absurd than the Roger Clemens trial is the Spygate shit.  Ok, we had to be subjected to this enough in September, but now it should be in the same place as the 2007 Patriots...history.  Why does some douchebag named Arlen Spector think that this tired old story need to be brought up again.  Does he have an election coming up?  Or does he just want his 15 minutes.  Clearly, he just doesn't want to do real make our country better.  Stop wasting out time and money and do your job you worthless piece of shit.  Fuck you, and fuck the government for getting involved in the sports I love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"I shall return..."

I know many people are against this, and it has been suggested so many times in the last half-decade that this would otherwise be considered beating a dead horse, but in light of the actions of Kelvin Sampson, it almost seems to me like Divine Intervention has created the perfect scenario for the return of Robert Montgomery Knight.

When Sampson was hired, his resume of Final Four appearances, numerous 20-win seasons, Big 12 winning history, and Coach of the Year awards, not to mention taking us to the tournament, led many to believe that the possibility of Knight's return was dead.

However, this has turned into yet another example of why you should never say never. I truly believe rehiring Knight is the best, and possibly the only, way for IU to avert a serious crisis.

Sampson would never be fired or dismissed for anything other than breaking rules. He is simply too good a coach and gets too good of results. But now he is really, really in deep. Even if he is innocent of the alleged violations, trying to finish out the season under this cloud of doubt is futile.

And because the source of all of these problems is the one thing that Knight had a sterling reputation on: following the rules, dismissing Sampson and bringing in the most untouchable coach in NCAA history in terms of NCAA rules violations would be a step in the right direction.

Not to mention The General isn't coaching anymore, thanks to a well-timed mid-season exit. And he already knows there is some excellent fishing in Southern Indiana. Plus I hear the HPER is looking for some extra people to teach H105: Bass Fishing next fall.

He could come in to replace both Greenspan and Sampson, a la Tom Osborne.

In the immortal words of Princess Leia: "Help us Bobby Knight, you're our only hope!"


There will be a 5p.m. (eastern time) press conference where IU Athletic Director Rick Greenspan will address the controversy of the day.

Blood in the Water

Right now events surrounding the Kelvin Sampson/Oklahoma/Indiana violations are unfolding too quickly for anything I write to be relovant even twenty minutes from now, but I will quote two very cogent posts from different websites that I have seen today. These are posts from random IU fans and bloggers:

"Alan" in the basketblog says:

"People are overreacting. Let’s put this into perspective. A prestigious football school with a tradition similar to that of IU’s in basketball, Florida State, had a massive cheating scandal in which 30 of the players were ineligible for the bowl game. This was messing with grades; it wasn’t phone calls. Phone calls, a t-shirt, and a backpack are minor compared to messing with grades. Also, let’s look at the Ohio State scandal in 2002. Ohio State got in trouble for a player receiving benefits and commiting academic fraud. The NCAA came down hard, but when you compare academic fraud and benefits to phone calls of POTENTIAL players, it is minor. People are also being too critical of Sampson. He isn’t Bobby Knight; he will never be Bobby Kinght. To paraphrase Rick Pitino, Coach Knight ain’t walking through that door people. Also, if Coach Knight did this, the same people calling for Sampson’s head would be defending the General. Let’s actually unite around our players and team and beat the hell out of Wisconsin tonight.

Also for those interested, there is a handful of successful programs that have been put on probation recently, such as Oklahoma football, Kansas basketball, and Ohio State football. All these probations occured during the current coach’s tenure. Bob Stoops, Jim Tressel, and Bill Self all still have their jobs. People need to relax and chill out."

And "Rikki-tikka-tava" on says:

Allegation analysis: Emphasis on "Allegations".

1. That Sampson, Meyer and Senderoff failed to comply with sanctions imposed on Sampson for impermissible recruiting calls he made while he was a coach at Oklahoma. Those sanctions followed Sampson to IU when he came here in May of 2006. Sampson and Senderoff are alleged to have jointly participated in telephone calls at a time when Sampson was prohibited from being present or taking part when staff members made recruiting calls. Senderoff and Meyer are alleged to have made about 100 calls that exceeded the sanction limits. Senderoff resigned his position Oct. 30.

- We knew all this already, yes? Nothing new here.

2. That Senderoff and Meyer placed "at least 25 telephone calls" to nine potential recruits that exceeded NCAA limits even if no sanctions had been in place.

- Senderoff & Meyer, not Sampson for what that's worth.

3. That Sampson "acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions," and that he "failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics by providing the institution and the NCAA enforcement staff false or misleading information," and that he "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the men's basketball program and failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of one or more of his assistant coaches."

- Absent any specificity it seems like this is a reiteration of Allegation #1.

4. That Senderoff "acted contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions," and that he "failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standard of honesty normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics by providing the institution false or misleading information."

Senderoff again, not Sampson.

5. That Sampson and Meyer engaged in an impermissible recruiting contact during a two-day sports camp held at Assembly Hall on June 30 and July 1, 2007, and that Meyer provided the potential recruit with an impermissible benefit at least one T-shirt and drawstring backpack.

Big whoop. Sounds like if he'd been given the backpack and T-shirt 24 or 48 hours later no violation would have in fact occurred. yawn...

Sorry boys and girls but I can't see what the fuss is all about other than the fact that the NCAA has alleged 5 major violations against IU for the first in 47 years. This is to say that there doesn't seem to be anything in said allegation that represents new evidence of misconduct beyond what was revealed six months ago. There is language about "false and misleading" which can be variously interpreted to indicate willful and malicious prevarication or imperfect memory depending on one's bent (or the available evidence of which we have none), as well as an allegation that at least some of these improprieties took place "knowingly". Aside from that, and in the absence of any specific detail, hardly earth-shaking news.

I'm sticking with Coach Sampson and IU at least until such time as they indicate they're not sticking with each other and/or I see something that reveals more than a formal rehash of what we already knew, and I've had a chance to hear what Coach and the University have to say about it. And I happen to think that most of you calling for Coach's immediate firing are pathetic...sure many of you will say the same or worse about me, but much as I am disappointed by Coach's problems with staying within the lines regarding phone contacts, to characterize his and his staff's transgression's as "major" violations as compared to paying/bribing players, their families or buying them cars and such, forget it. Condone it, no way, but cashier Sampson over it while bewailing the irreparable harm done to the University - no chance, at least not until Coach and the University respond.

Most important three games of the season this week beginning tonight. IU hasn't abandoned Sampson and neither will I. Go Hoosiers, Go IU!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Down with the Sickness

Well Young Swole went to an Atlanta Hawks game, and in the process drank a little too much lean and has been sick ever since. Thankfully this happened on one of the slowest sports weekends of the year, but enough went on that The Swole One still has some observations to make:

1. Nothing is more annoying than the MC guy at basketball games who is in charge of running the contests during timeouts. The guy at the Hawks game was rude and insulting to the contestants all while basically screaming into the microphone, so that people in East Point could probably hear him. Seriously, if the furthest you got in life is a dude in charge of a promotion at a basketball game, don't you think you'd have a little better attitude. The Hawks need to ship him to the NBDL.

2. The highlight of the Hawks game by far was when Harry the Hawk threw a giant cake in some bitches face. While this sort of hijinks has been going on at sporting events for years, what made it priceless was the hoe's reaction to getting lit up by Harry. Since it was her birthday, she was all dressed up and ready to get freaky in Buckhead later that night, and yet now she was covered in various colors of frosting and cake spackle. Too bad for her, too good for the rest of us.

3. Congratulations NHL, you are the new soccer. Swole says this because it seems that the only highlights of hockey that people see anymore are when there is a giant fight, or something disturbing or gruesome happens. We saw this with Richard Zednik having his jugular cut in a game on Sunday. Swole would guess that this is probably the most played highlight from the entire NHL season, at the expense of a great play by someone like Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin. Usually soccer is only treated like this in the states. If there is a hooligan brawl or some other negative event at a soccer game, you best believe it will be shown all across America, yet stellar play is hardly ever shown. Now at least soccer has a friend in the "forgotten and misrepresented" sports discussion.

4. Speaking of US Soccer, it was awesome seeing our future ballers stepping up to play Mexico to a 2-2 tie. In his first start with the national team, phenom Jozy Altidore scored a beautiful goal, and repeatedly torched Mexican Captain and FC Barcelona mainstay Rafa Marquez. Along with Altidore, we also got to see players like Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber and yes Freddy Adu earn valuable experience. Young Swole hopes that these guys will be the foundation for the US World Cup team in 2010 instead of the same old retreads that simply do not have the talent to bother the world's best squads.

5. Young Swole is worried that this ridiculous Roger Clemens story is going to spill into spring training and the start of the regular season. It was one thing to put up with this dickhead while he was playing, but now he's even more insufferable in trying to claim his innocence. Memo to the Rocket, we all know you did the juice so shut the fuck up and let us move on from hearing about you.

6. For my friends in the midwest, Young Swole feels your pain. It has been a brutal winter season across the midwest and it may get worse for 2 reasons. First, that shot of cold air that you've been feeling since Saturday is not even the main thrust of arctic air sitting north of us. Sooner or later that is going to come south, and it could last even longer than this cold blast did. Second of all, with all the cold and snow, the chances for extensive flooding this spring are high. While everyone wants a warmup, you should hope for a gradual one, so that snowmelt does not occur all at once. If it does, you may see ice-jammed rivers block the flow of all that snowmelt, creating severe flooding all across the midwest.

7. You know an event is worthless when it involves superstar NFL players and still nobody gives a crap about it. The Pro Bowl is nothing but a waste of space on the sports landscape.

8. Thank god the writers strike is over. Hopefully this means that shows like "Temptation Island 2" and "Dance War: Team Bruno versus Team Carrie Ann" (a Cicero favorite) will be soon replaced by 24 and the like.

Look for a first-half NBA Recap on Thursday, and then the start of GDB's baseball team previews this weekend, plus more college hoops analysis as the road to March Madness switches into the fast lane. Back to the meds for Swole.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Basketball Power Ranks: Shit Gets Wierd

Memphis vs. The Field? Maybe.

1. Memphis, 22-0. Are they the best team? Until someone beats them, yes. They are the only squad with a big fat zero in the loss column, but could they sustain that without Dorsey? I say no, but Dorsey isn't going anywhere yet. And neither is Memphis from the #1 spot. However, I retain my suspicions about a team whose conference schedule consists of teams like SMU, Rice, and UA-B. Putting the hurt on a Mike Davis team doesn't say much.

2. Duke, 21-1. Any questions I had about this team being a legit contender were answered when the went into the Dean Dome and dominated. Pardon my alliteration. But seriously, it looks like Greg Paulus has decided to play during Duke's conference schedule, something he barely did for the first part of the season. Shrewed coaching, multiple threats on the floor, the demeanor that comes from having the DUKE target on your back and STILL continuing to win...this team has it all.

3. Kansas, 23-1. Much like Duke, this team has weapons at all positions. Any one (or more) of their players can have career nights during any given game. They Gayhawks sit atop what is arguably the nation's toughest conference this season, and as a result are highly-battle tested and will be formidable deep into march. If they can emerge from their remaining schedule (plenty of road games and three games against Top 25 teams) unscathed they will be tough to beat or to pick against.

4. North Carolina, 21-2. Yeah yeah, they lost at home to Duke. Guess what? So has every other team that has played basketball over the last twenty years. Two things suggest that the Duke victory is no reason to drop this team out of the top five: the TarHeels' floor general Ty Lawson didn't play in the Duke game, and they still have Tyler Hansbrough. He's knarsty.

5. Tennessee, 21-2. A close win against a reeling LSU program gives me more reason to doubt the Vols as a serious contender. That they only scored 47 points against an LSU team which allows an average of 76 points to its opponents is cause for concern, but with the wide open pack of teams trailing the top four, I'm calling the Vols the best of the rest.

6. UCLA, 20-2. Sure they are a great team. Yes Love and Collison are spectacular. But I have watched several of the Bruins' games this season and don't see them as an intense, inspired team that can make the tourney their playground and win the damn thing. Call me a hater. You will be right.

7. Xavier, 18-4. The Musketeers are emerging as the cream of a legit A-10 crop. They have a half-dozen players averaging double-figures per game, and Drew Lavender is a special talent on this very dangerous team. However, great wins over Indiana and K-State are tainted by losses to teams like Miami(OH), Temple, and Arizona St.

8. Texas, 19-4. The Horns continue to roll through the Big 12, as Augustin and Abrams are as good as advertised. A mild scare at Iowa State today is no cause for concern, as road wins in BCS conferences are never easy to come by. Back-to-back losses to quality Big Ten teams Michigan St. and Wisconsin raise questions about how they would fare during the long road to the Final Four, but the most serious concern is the lack of a post presence to compliment Connor Atchley.

9. Indiana, 19-3. Yeah, I said it. So what? Their game at Illinois proves the Hoosiers can win in the most hostile of environments, and no one can deny that they have all the pieces: prolific scorer(Gordon), post presence (DJ White), speedy point guard (Bassett) and a whole host of dangerous, quality supporting cast members (Crawford, Ellis, Stemler, Thomas). Can they put the pieces together to play their best b-ball in the spring? Only time will tell. But upcoming games against Purdue and Michigan State will be very telling.

10. Butler, 21-2. A.J. Graves is the shit. Today's win against Wisconsin-Green Bay isn't. Much like Xavier, Butler has shown they can dominate their lesser-than-worthy competition, but can they do it against the name-brands they are sure to face in the tourney?

Also receiving votes: Georgetown, Stanford, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Purdue