Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tyler Hansbrough's Pro Potential

I wanted to get in a quick post after reading this great article from a favorite writer (John Hollinger) of mine on the pro potential of top college players. There will be more on the state rankings when I get back to Minneapolis. Below is the link to the article:

Below is his ranking of the top 20 rising major college basketball players (excluding freshmen) of 2007-2008 based on stats:

Player School Rate

  1. Chase Budinger Arizona 688.37
  2. Ty Lawson North Carolina 627.02
  3. Roy Hibbert Georgetown 615.39
  4. Ryan Anderson California 608.03
  5. Darrell Arthur Kansas 588.19
  6. Lawrence Hill Stanford 578.01
  7. Chris Lofton Tennessee 566.91
  8. Patrick Beverley Arkansas 546.71
  9. Darren Collison UCLA 545.07
  10. K.C. Rivers Clemson 540.85
  11. D.J. White Indiana 531.81
  12. Wayne Ellington North Carolina 530.73
  13. Jamont Gordon Mississippi St. 522.97
  14. Tyrese Rice Boston College 515.87
  15. Wayne Chism Tennessee 510.45
  16. Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga 510.31
  17. Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina 500.11
  18. Jodie Meeks Kentucky 494.64
  19. Luke Harangody Notre Dame 494.2
  20. Danny Green North Carolina 489.96

As you can see Tyler Hansbrough isn't one of the top 2 pro prospects on his own team. I have always said/wrote that Ty Lawson was a much better player than Hansbrough and the above rankings confirms that not only is Lawson a better pro prospect but so is Wayne Ellington. However, both Lawson and Ellington combined get about 1/10th the press than Psycho T gets. As a Duke fan I would much rather see UNC without Lawson than without Hansbrough. Anyway you slice and dice it, Tyler Hansbrough isn't a good basketball player and has very little pro potential. The media love him because he is white, plays for a good team, and is scrappy. In fact if you google (fans of should get this) Tyler Hansbrough and scrappy you get back 1320 hits in only 0.29 seconds. (Side note I googled Tyler Hansbrough is awful and got 7680 hits in only 0.28 seconds).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ranking of the 50 states

Sorry for the delay in between posts. First I was busy with work and preparing for my Christmas vacation. Now, I am relaxing and enjoying the vacation. Here are some quick hits before I get to the ranking of the states.
  • On my plane trip home I don't know what was more concerning: 1) Seeing one of the copilots yawn or 2) Seeing a guy in the bathroom pick up and talk on his phone while he was hmm occupied.

  • The Alumni basketball game that I was in training for went well. I made two 3s, a layup, and had a few assists for the team that ended up winning by 20.

  • The Vikings provided my brother-in-law with a great Christmas gift in rolling over for the now in control Redskins.

  • I finished 1st, 3rd, and 3rd in my three fantasy leagues. Now I am debating what to do with my winnings. The top 3 choices are half of a big screen tv, a Playstation 3, or saving most of it. The crazy thing was that I was a total of 6 points away from finishing 1st in all 3 of my leagues.

  • I finished Season 4 of 24 and thought that it was the best season I have seen. If I had to rate the seasons in order (I haven't seen all of 6 yet) this would be ranking from best to worst: Season 4, Season 1, Season 3, and Season 2.

  • I saw the movie Juno yesterday with some friends and can definitely recommend it to people who are interested in seeing a clever, low budget film. The only problem with it was that it got my friend to continually repeat "As far as (blank) goes she/he is totally boss." The lines in the movie are hilarious, so I guess I can't fault my friend for repeating it so much.

Anyway, on to the meat of the post. I have been discussing with my friends for awhile about a "ranking of the states" post. The original idea came from a discussion with one of my friends from North Dakota. I always like to comment on how North Dakota is kind of like the cold Mississippi and I have no clue why anyone would live there. It seems like there is nothing to do there, no jobs, no sports, and on top of that is freezing cold. If you are going to be in a cold state at least live in a city like Minneapolis where there are things to do, plenty of jobs, and a relatively nice sports scene.

If anybody needs a reason why they should live in Mississippi over North Dakota all one needs to do is check the weather at any given point. For instance I just checked and it is 20 degrees with a wind chill of 10 degrees in Bismarck, North Dakota. In Jackson, MS it is 50 degrees with a wind chill of 48 degrees. Now there isn't much to do, not many jobs, and no professional sports teams in Mississippi, but at least there is the fact that it is warm. With that being written here are 10 states worse off than North Dakota on my ranking of the 50 states.

*Ranking is based off subjective stats like people (2), vacation (1), weather (1), attractions (1/2), sports (1/2), and state's identity (1/2) and objective stats like jobs (1), intelligence (1/2), disposable income (2), and cost of living (2). The ranking is based on a 10 point scale with 10 points being the best and 1 point being the worst. The ranking is then multiplied by the number in parenthesis and added together to give a total grade. Obviously this ranking should be taken for what it is worth.

50. Vermont: "The Green Mountain State" What is the state known for: Maple Syrup

There isn't much going for this state outside of syrup and intelligence. While both of those are important things I would rather live in state that wasn't as cold, had at least one professional sports team , and also had at least one Fortune 1000 companies. Another thing that isn't in favor of this small state that easily gets confused with New Hampshire is that the disposable income rank is only 22nd while it is 10th most expensive place to live. If only I would have given more weight to intelligence then Vermont with a 34.4% the adult population being college graduates would definitely be higher than a state like West Virginia. Unfortunately for Vermont though I rate weather more important than the intelligence of a state.

49. Maine: "The Pine Tree State" What is the state known for: Lobster

This state was kind of a shock for me since I loved the one and only day I spent in the state. The food was excellent and if I could ever find a way of incorporating the ranking of food in the state then this state would definitely be higher. The problem with Maine is that the weather is awful, there isn't much of a sports scene (minus hockey and who cares about hockey), and it is expensive to live there (14th most expensive) compared to how much you make (35th in disposable income). I am willing to reconsider the ranking of this state though because of the fact that I did really like being there and think it would be a great state for a vacation.

48. West Virginia: "The Mountain State": What is the state known for: Outdoor Activities

While this state was above average in cost of living (7), vacation (6), and weather (7), it was way below average when it comes to sports (2), jobs (1), intelligence (3), and disposable income (1). There are no professional sports teams, a high unemployment rate of 5% with only 1 Fortune 100o company (Wheeling Pittsburgh). and the lowest % of people over 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher at only 15.1%. As much as I enjoyed whitewater rafting on the new river I think this state is better served as an outdoor vacation destination than a place to consider living.

47. Rhode Island: "The Ocean State": What is the state known for: Being the smallest state.

There isn't much to write about the smallest in size (not population where is ranked 43rd) state. According to the Ocean State's motto is "Hope", so I guess one can only hope that there is something worthwhile about Maude Read Farnum's native state.

46. Oregon: "The Beaver State": What is the state known for: Crater Lake

I have heard good things about both Oregon and more specifically Portland, but this state still managed to find itself in the bottom 10% of the states. The reason for this was high unemployment (5.5%), a high cost of living (12th highest), and a low disposable income (33rd ranked). The gap between disposable income and cost of living (minus 21) was the largest negative gap with the exception of the state ranked at 46.

45. New Mexico: "Land of Enchantment": What is the state known for: Aliens

This state easily could be rated as the worst state and you would find no complaints from me. There isn't much of an identify with the state and there is little to no sports scene. Also, on top of that it has an average cost of living index (ranked 23rd), but the disposable income rank is an awful ranking of 46th out of the 50 states. The strange thing is that the state has a low unemployment rate (3.1%) as well as two Fortune 1000 companies, which would seem to suggest a higher disposable income rank. Apparently though, the land of enchantment whose motto is "It grows as it goes" hasn't done enough of growing the wages of its employees.

44. Montana: "The Big Sky State" What is the state known for: The big sky

This state looks like a perfect example of a state that would be great to vacation at (Glacier National Park), but not the best state to live. There doesn't seem like there is much to do in this cold, large (4th largest state), and poor state.

43. Wyoming: "The Equality State" What is the state known for: Yellowstone

The disposable income rank of 9th (37K, which is between Virginia and Delaware) was surprising for the state with 1/36th population of metro New York City, but I guess when then aren't many people (only 500K) then it only takes a few rich ones to increase your ranking.

42. Idaho: "The Gem State" What is the state known for: Potatoes

The song of Idaho is "Here We have Idaho", but really it should be "Here we have jobs in Idaho." The state has the lowest unemployment % of any states as 97.5% of people in Idaho have jobs. Also, 3 Fortune 1000 companies have their headquarters in the Gem State. Now if only this resulted in a better disposable income (ranked 44th) then we would see Idaho ranked higher.

41. Michigan: "Wolverine State" What is the state known for: Cars

As the domestic car market has gone, so has the economy in the state known for cars. Unemployment in Michigan is at a staggering 7.7%, which makes it 1.6% points worse than the next state. The weather is bad and now that I have a few more Ohio St. connections I can't say many nice things about the people either. I guess if I don't have anything nice to write, I will just end this post on the worst 10 states by writing nothing at all.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mailbag Part 3

I just got word that my high school is having an alumni basketball game in 10 days. That means I have 10 days to get back in shape. Anyway, here are a 6 more questions that I received.

Do the television writers really deserve a union? - LM

Yes, they deserve a union. The fact of the matter is unions are legal in the United States and if the TV writers think they deserve a union then they are legally able to set one up. Whether or not they “deserve” it is almost pointless. A question about whether or not someone seems to deserve something seems like it would be better reserved for a legal case such as “Does Michael Vick deserve 23 months for dog fighting?”

Can Sex in the City the Movie can compare with Sex in the City the TV show - or should they have left on a high note? - LM

It depends on if you thought the series finale was a high note. I personally found it a little disappointing that all four females ended up with a guy. The entire show was about these close, independent female friends who didn’t need the approval of males (except for Charlotte ) to complete them. It was almost if the male species was just another topic of conversation along with shoes, friends, and drinks. To end up so traditional with every girl getting her knight in shining armor was in my mind somewhat disappointing.

That being written, I definitely think they can do a Sex in the City movie. It would be tough cramming so much into a movie, but the good news is that the character development would already be accomplished through the TV show. The key point would obviously be the main plot line. You wouldn’t want to be as cheesy as Big and Carrie getting married (a la the Saved by the Bell movie), so you would have to pick something that would have some legs. As long as the writers could come up with a one or many conflicts then I think a movie would be a great idea and a huge box office draw.

Why does Randy Moss seem like such a jovial, nice guy now that he's playing for the Patriots? - LM

They are winning, he respects Brady and Bellichek, and he is playing for a contract. Never underestimate the power of the paycheck.

Why is health insurance such a scam? - LM

Not only is health insurance a scam, but all insurance is a scam. I have car insurance that I pay $1400 a year on despite the fact that I have never gotten in wreck. If I were to get in a wreck then my car insurance would go up. If I were to get into another wreck it would go up even more. Insurance companies are there to make money and will set there rates so that they can make money. The overall net of that if the insurance companies are making money and the general populace is losing money. This doesn’t even touch on the fact that health insurance is something that is so much more serious than something like car insurance. I don’t know why the government can control our roads, our police, etc and people are fine with that, but once you start talking about health care some people get upset. I think the government should control health insurance and make it as easy as possible for Americans to get the type of health service they need.

Why do I like bands so much less once they become popular? - LM

The reason being is that you want the band to be 100% committed to the music. Just like I love it when basketball players say that they would play the game for free, you would probably equally like it if a musician said the same thing about strumming a guitar. When a band isn’t popular then they are only possibly making enough money to get by, but hardly enough to go buy a sports car. Therefore you can better assume that they are playing music for their love of music. Once they become popular some people (like you) think that they sold out and that all along they weren’t interested in the music, but rather the pot of gold and the end of the rainbow. That taints your appreciate of their music because you think of it less like an art and more like a commercial entity.

Also, you are snobbish when it comes to bands and you like to like bands that the general public (like me) have never heard of because that reinforces your own personal image of being an elite music connoisseur.

Are you a liberal? - LM

No, I am progressive.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mailbag part 2

I am pleased with how the first Mailbag went and how after it was posted I saw a 500% increase in questions within 24 hours. Since, it seemed to go over so well I will answer 4 of the 10 questions I received today below. As always keep the questions coming and I will be writing in to give you my best answers:

Can I hate Tom Brady and the Patriots and still be considered a good American? For awhile there I thought that President Bush was planning to send them to the Middle East to win the War on Terror? – BC

First off, I didn’t know President Bush was still in charge of the country. I like to think I follow up on national news (I read, the New York times, Time magazine, and other news sources when I get a chance), and I could have sworn that Hillary, Obama, Rudy, Romney, or Huckabee was the current president. (Yes, I am referring to all the presidential candidates with one name as if they were Nene or Madonna.)

However, I should get to the real meat of the question. It is a simple question with a simple answer of yes you can hate both the Pats and Tom Brady. Tom Brady is starting to reach a Michael Jordan type level of love from the media no matter what he does. Watch the games and don’t listen to the announcers. You will see Brady cursing his offense line on a play against the Redskins when they were up 38 in the 4th quarter after they jumped the snap. You will see Brady going out of his way to talk trash to Anthony Smith after Moss scored his first TD against the Steelers. Mike Ditka thought that Brady shouldn’t have lowered himself to Smith’s level and would have been better served just ignoring the comments. I agree with him.

(By the way how has this “guarantee” story gotten so much airplay lately. A reporter asked if he expected to win and he said yes. He said he could guarantee a win if "we do what we got to do" and "if our special teams come through for us." What was he supposed to say? What professional athlete not playing for the Miami Dolphins doesn’t expect to win every week? This whole story was ridiculous and should never be one of the lead stories for Sportscenter).

The main reasons to hate Brady are:

  1. He is a Yankees fan as evidenced by him wearing a Yankees hat around town.

    Why is a New England icon wearing a Yankees hat? Isn’t that the equivalent of Eric Montross walking around Chapel Hill with a 2001 Duke NCAA champion sweatshirt? I would give him a free pass if he grew up in New York and was a childhood Yankees fan. The only problem with this is that he grew up in California . He grew up in a place that was closer to Juneau, Alaska than New York City . You can definitely dislike Brady for being a Yankees fan.
  2. Brady left actress Bridget Moynahan when she was pregnant with his child. This is not okay where I come from because a child out of wedlock is not an option. If he was in the south then Bridget Moynahan's father would come by Brady’s house one night with a shotgun and tell Brady that he better “do right” and propose to her.
  3. He is the most superficial athlete since Jordan . For one he left his pregnant actress girlfriend for a Brazilian supermodel. And tell me the picture below isn't of a superficial person:

  4. He is a jerk to refs. He gets in their face and yells at them in a way that Bob Knight would get crucified over. However, since Brady is a great player, media friendly, and good looking he gets a free pass for acting like an out of control idiot whenever one a call doesn’t go in his favor.

As for hating the Patriots you will get nothing but agreement from this Dolphins fan. Check out Gregg Easterbook’s column a month and a half ago about the Good vs. Evil game between the Colts and Patriots:

If Santana goes to Boston , how do the Twins fill the void, especially in a division where teams like the Tigers make epic trades that show that they mean it? –BC

Bill Smith and the Twins are in a dangerous situation. I don’t want to sound callous, but the best thing to happen to the Twins would be if there was a new owner. A new owner hopefully would be willing to pay the team's top players, and therefore Twins fans would be looking forward to the day when Santana starts on opening day for the new stadium in 2010. The reason that is callous is because the only way there will be a new owner is if Carl Pohlad passes away.

Since the above paragraph isn’t an option here is how the Twins should fill the void and keep pace with the Tigers and Indians in the Central Division. They need to trade Santana for Jacoby Ellsbury and some young pictures. Ellsbury would hopefully be the type of hitter who would make this year’s lineup (along with Delmon Young, but minus Torri Hunter) a much better lineup than last year. The reason the Twins were not competitive last year was not because of Santana (who was only 15-13), but was because they couldn’t score any runs. The Twins scored 718 runs all of last year, which was 25th out of the 30 teams. In order to compete with the Tigers (who scored 169 more runs) and the Indians (who scored 93 more runs) they need to get more people on base (.330 OBP%, which was 19th out of the 30 teams) and hit more home runs (118 HRs, which was 29th out of 30 teams). There OPS (on base plus slugging) was ranked 27th out of the 30 teams. Any way you slice and dice it they need to score more runs.

If the bad side of things is the batting, then the optimist would look at the Twins pitching. Even with the failures of Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz at the beginning of the year the entire pitching staff gave up only 725 runs, which was only beaten by 6 teams. (The awful news is that the Red Sox gave up the fewest runs without Santana). The pitching should still be in good shape with the unbelievable bullpen, Boof Bonser, Kevin Slowly, Scott Baker, and Francisco Liriano. All of the their young pitchers should be better this year and hopefully collectively make up for the loss of the great Santana.

Adding a few decent bats to the lineup and hoping the young pitchers improve their performance is the best way for the Twins to fill the void and make it back to the playoffs.

Who will be the first ACC player to slap Taylor King just for living? – BC

Tyler Hansbrough. I saw the replays of the NC State game from a year ago and could see Hansbrough being really frustrated after Taylor King hacks him across the face when he is going up for a shot. Just in case you don’t know who Taylor King is I will let you in on someone who is becoming one of my favorite Duke players on this team. He is 6-6 freshmen forward from California , who jacks up threes as if he was Kyle Korver. To give you some perspective on King over 67% of his made field goals this year have been 3 pointers. Kyle Korver’s career 3 point to field goal % (from now on I will refer to it as 3PT2FG %) was 66%. The entire Duke team’s 3PT2FG % is 31% and they are a 3 point shooting team. The national average of 3PT2FG% is 29.5%. Therefore Taylor King’s 3PT2FG % is over 2 times the national average. It is cliché but he shoots with no conscience and still makes 47% of his 3 point attempts.

Do you think it's appropriate for Cornhusker fans to get the word Nebraska tattoo'd on their back? And did these people even go to UNL? - LM

Yes, it is definitely appropriate to get the word Nebraska tatto’d on their back. First off, I have a rule in life that if it doesn’t hurt me or others then I usually have no problem with what someone does. If someone wants to get a Nebraska , butterfly, or Chinese symbol tattoo then more power to them. Second, it is good for these people to show so much pride in their state/university. There are so many people who just coast through life without really caring about anything. At least these people have something to care and be passionate about.

As for your 2nd question, no most of them probably did not go to UNL. If you (or others) want to read a great book about extreme fandom then you should read Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer by Warren St. John. In the book St. John asks a bunch of fans why they are such big fans of Alabama football despite never taking a class there. Their response surprised him and me because he said that these fans think that attending the school somehow dilutes your ability to root for the football team. Anyway, below is the breakdown on the probability that they went to school at UNL:

  • The majority of the 1.7M residents in Nebraska are Cornhusker fans. I would say close to 90% even though that is just a guess.
  • There are only around 17,000 undergrads curently at UNL.
  • Therefore if you took those 17,000 undergrads and generously (due to the fact that number of undergrads has risen over time) multiplied the average number of undergrads per year (4,250) by the average number of years an American lives (77) and you would get 327,250 possibly undergrads at UNL out there in America.
  • If you took the total number of possibly undergrads (which is an inflated number, but helps provide a ceiling) and divided it by the state’s population you would get 19%. That 19% represents the highest number of past or present undergraduates of UNL that live in Nebraska .
  • There are other factors (grad school, dropouts, people who move away from Nebraska, etc) that are not taken into account, so I will concede that the 19% is definitely not the best number you can use, but it will serve the purpose of this argument.

I think that at most if only 1 out of every 5 people you meet in Nebraska took classes at UNL there is a great probability that most of the Cornhusker fans (which we guessed as 90% of 1.7M or about 1.5M fans) you meet probably did not go to school there.

Tomorrow, there will be 6 more questions I will get to.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Al Jefferson, the Twolves, and my first Mailbag

Today was another depressing day watching the dreadful Dolphins lose to the Bills. My fellow Dolphins fan and I went to Nba City Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis to watch the game. The food, service, and game was not good, but overall it was an enjoyable experience. The reason being was that 6 Timberwolves players showed up to eat and watch the games. First there was the 6-11 Theo Ratiliff and his $11.6M expiring contract. After that came in my least favorite player in the Nba Rashad McCants (McCan't play in the Nba) from the University of North Carolina. I wanted to ask him about what it was like that he was no longer in the "jail" that was UNC. (For those of you who don't know Rashad McCants once said this about UNC "You're not allowed to say certain things, but once you get out of jail, you're free. (I'm) in my sentence, and I'm doing my time.") Thankfully I refrained from saying anything to him.

After McCants , Ryan Games came in and was followed shortly by Antoine Walker, Gerald Green, and Mississippi's own Al Jefferson. After McCants, Ratliff, and Gomes left I went over and congratulated Walker, Green, and Jefferson for their big win over the Phoenix Suns last night. They were all very appreciative. I told Big Al that I was also from Mississippi and watched him play high school basketball when he was at Prentiss High School. He responded with a "for real" accompanied by a fist pound. After I was finished fawning over the best low post player in the Nba he shock my hand (he initiated it) and thanked me for coming over. He (and Antoine Walker and Gerald Green) handled the situation (a fan randomly coming up to them) exactly how I would have handled the situation if I was in their shoes. They were all gracious and very polite. I am now officially deeming Al Jefferson as my favorite non-Utah Jazz player in the league.

Anyway, in the tradition of one of my favorite college football writers Stewart Mandel I will be doing my inaugural mailbag. My mailbag will be a combination of sports and personal questions, so if you have anything you wanted answered let me know. Overall I don't think Mandel has anything to worry about since the questions my readership is somewhat limited compared to his, but anyway here it goes:

Why does everyone wear Yankees hats? - M

Answer: There are a few reasons why no matter where you are in America and even to a lesser extent the world you see so many hats with the unmistakable NY logo:
  1. New York City is the largest city in the United States and also just happens to double as the media capital of America. New York teams therefore get more attention and thus have more fans. The Yankees even have their own TV channel (the YES Network) devoted entirely to the Yankees and New Jersey Nets.
  2. The Yankees win. For all the talk about people disliking frontrunners, it isn't true. People like winning teams. The Yankees have won 26 World Series titles and will continue to add to that number as the continually spend more and more money on their team.
  3. People tend to idolize New York City. Whether or not it was Seinfield, Sex and the City, or whatever it is portrayed as the best (and only) place to be in the world.
  4. America is from all statistics a fat country. The most famous Yankee player of all time was a fat player, who according to the 100% injury rate blog "claimed his daily breakfast was a pint of whiskey mixed with a pint of ginger ale in a pitcher of ice, followed by a porterhouse steak, four fried eggs, fried potatoes, and a pot of coffee." ( I am not writing that there is a correlation, but it was a good excuse to bring up that story.

What do I think of Bo Pelini being brought in for Nebraska? -Johnny

Answer: I love the move for Nebraska football. It is tough for me not to trust Tom Osborne on this decision since he is one of the greatest football minds of the past 100 years. Osborne could have brought in Pelini, Turner Gill, or anyone short of Cam Cameron and I would have thought he made the right move.

I am excited for next year because Pelini should come in and immediately help a defense that was embarrasing this year. I might even have to make a trip down to Memorial stadium next year to go see the Cornhuskers in person.

That is it for now (I know it is a short mailbag, but I will need to get more questions) as I need to go dream about Roddy White and Marques Colston getting at least 6 points tomorrow, so that I can win in fantasy. Yes, I just had "dream","fantasy", and two football players in one sentance.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stop the presses

They called a foul on Tyler Hansbrough. I saw it. It was during the 1st half of the Kentucky game. I thought everyone would like to know that it is possible for the refs to call a foul against Hansbrough. In another note so far in the game Tyler Hansbrough has shot 6 free throws (which is 6 more than every player from Kentucky combined).

Other quick hits:
  • M made a good catch when she saw Patrick Paterson pick his nose in front of the espn camera. This wasn't that bad until we saw him eat what he picked. He seems like a great player, but because of that I am glad he didn't pick Duke.
  • Miami U played a disappointing MAC championship game. Maybe next year.
  • Miami U's basketball team (this is a big day for Miami sports) is up 1 point over Louisville though. Go Redhawks.
  • Tim Pollitz has scored 81% of the Redhawks points today against Lousiville. If you haven't seen this guy play you have been missing out. He is a 6-6 post player from Canada who is unstoppable.
  • M just asked if UNC were the Yankees of college basketball.

I have never been a bigger Kentucky fan.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Roy Williams is a Yankees fan

Here is what we learned about the Tar Heels tonight besides the title of this post:

  • They aren't very good right now. Mind you that they can eventually be good, but right now they aren't a top team in the country. I am looking forward to the Duke-UNC games.
  • Tyler Hansbrough as you are reading this just thought he got fouled.
  • Wayne Ellington has to be thinking to himself that he is a better player than Hansbrough.
  • Ty Lawson has to know right now that he is a better player than Hansbrough.
  • Just wondering, but do you think "weight management" was part of the training that Sean May gave Deon Thompson this summer.

For those of you who don't know or care about Roy Williams or the Tar Heels don't worry about it. Here are some pictures from the wedding:

From the Bachelor party

After the females joined us at the bar:

After the wedding

A slighlty embarassing picture of me:

I hope you like the pictures Brooke.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Always a Bridesman

I heard the line "Always a Bridesman" about me twice in the past two days, so I thought it was an appropriate title for a blog post.

Anyway, M and I got back to Minneapolis at a decent time last night and my roommate was nice enough to pick us up. After checking out all the sports scores I could and watching the Eagles almost pull off what would have been a great upset I was able to get to sleep around 11pm. Unfortunately, I still haven't adjusted my time clock completely since I woke up at 5am (noon Austrian time) without the hint of ability to go back to sleep.

Anyway here are some random thoughts of what I learned in Austria:

1. Nicholas looks damn good in Lederhosen.
2. Eyes Wide Shut is an even more weird, more angry, and more unwatchable movie in German.
3. If I didn’t care about sports or modern conveniences there would be no better place to live than the countryside of Austria. The trip through the wine coutnry was almost as nice as the Lake District outside Salzburg. Here is a picture from the wine tour trip:

4. When you are in a foreign country it is best to eat first and then ask questions later.
5. There isn’t much better food in the world than Austria food.
6. Nancy was the perfect Austrian bride. Maybe M can write in sometime to desribe her dress (beautiful), and other important wedding day facts.
7. If a waiter asks you for an after dinner schnapps type drink, you should say no unless you want what Dr. Winklemann calls “Austrian fire water.”
8. If you are only to know one thing about Austrian history the best thing to know is the history of the Hapsburg family.
9. Vienna > Budapest. M and I were glad to see Budapest, but we definitely wished we had more time in Vienna.
10. I have been reading part of Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe and I thought he described Vienna best: “Vienna is certainly the grandest city I have ever seen. All along the Ringstrasse colossal buildings proclaim an imperial past – the Parliament, the Palace of Justice, the Natural History Museuem, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Opera House, the Burgtheater, and above all the Hofburg Palace, with its 2,600 rooms. They all look much the same – mighty piles of granite and sandstone with warlike statuary crowded along the roofs and pediments. A Martian coming to earth would unhesitatingly land at Vienna, thinking it the capital of the world.” Here is an example of Vienna:

11. Elk steak (the main course at the wedding) is excellent.
12. There is an Austrian tradition where the bridesmaids "steal" the bride and take her to a local bar, where the bridesmaids and bridge have a few drinks. The groom has to go and look for the bridge and ask every bar he goes to "Have you seen my bride." Once he reaches the bar that the bridge is in he then has to pay off the bar tab before he gets his bridge back. Of course we did this after the wedding cake and no I am not kidding.
13. SIDE NOTE: DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT SPORTS: What happened in the world of sports when I was gone? It seems like mos of what I wanted to happen did. My fantasy teams did well. Miami University finished 3rd in the Anaheim basketball classic after barely losing to USC by 3 points and then beating Mississippi St. I now have bragging rights on all my friends who went to Mississippi St since the MAC school from Oxford, OH beat what is supposed to be one of the better SEC basketball teams. Duke is 6-0 and have won the Maui Invitational again. Also, the Jazz are a top team in the Nba. END OF SPORTS RANT
14. Graz is a beautiful city. One of the nice things about it is that it isn't swimming with tourists and that gives the city a better feel of authenticity.
15. You could spend 500 Euros in 50 minutes and not think twice about it in Graz during the time of their Christmas market. Everywhere I looked I saw something that I wanted to buy for either myself of someone else.
16. I have already gotten Hank two Christmas gifts. Why do I feel like I am not alone?
17. The appetizers at the wedding and rehearshel dinner were out of this world. I had many plates full of cheese quiches, chicken skewers, shrimp tempura, etc.
18. All the servers at our functions where female and became my fast friends with the above mentioned appetizer plates.
19. I felt like I was back at St. John's College in Annapolis because everyone in Europe smokes. My jacket (which I will be wearing to work in a little bit) still smells like somke.
20. It was great spending time with the Winklemann family, Clark family, and all the friends of Nicholas and Nancy that were able to make it to the wedding in Graz.

I am going to get ready for work.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Countdown till the wedding

Only two more hours till the bus picks us up to go to the church to see Nancy and Nicholas get married. I saw Nicholas this morning at breakfast and he looked like a combination of excited, anxious, and sleep deprived. Overall I know that both him and Nancy are excited to start their married lives together and get to the honeymoon in St. Thomas. It will probably be weird for them after the wedding is over for them to go more than 1 minute without having their picture taken. Believe it or not I am actually one of the people taking the least amount of pictures. Hopefully, I can get copies of from people. Speaking of I have included a picture that Peter Clark took of M and I on the wine tour on Thursday:

Anyway, last night's rehearsal dinner hosted by the Clarks was excellent. We had unbelievable appetizers, pumpkin soup, a beef or fish dinner option, and then for desert both Sachetorte and Apple Strudel. M and I sat next to a nice couple from Seattle that had met Nicholas at Cornell. We are hoping to give our friend (Candice) who moved to Seattle their contact information.

I have to go now and get ready for the wedding. Thankfully I was only bridesperson not to have to wake up 8am and get their hair done. All I have to do is put on my tux and think about what I am going to say during my toast.

Can someone explain to me how LSU lost? Or how about why none of the German tv stations have reported what sounds like a dramatic Egg Bowl win for Mississippi St? What about the possibility (and yes Brian it is coming true) that Ohio St. makes it back to the title game? I am excited to get caught up on sports on Monday as I prepare for the Dolphins losing to the Steelers on MNF.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I am sitting here in at Erzherzog Johann Hotel in Graz, Austria to write a quick post before our rehearsal dinner hosted by the Clarks. We aren´t having an actual rehearsal (which means I still don't know if I will be walking down the aisle with a guy), but that doesn't mean we can't have the dinner.

Anyway, M and I have been continuing the good vibes from Vienna all the way to Graz. Our hotel is right in the center of the town and is very nice. Everyone from the wedding besides the Winklemann's are staying in the hotel. That makes meeting up and doing things a lot easier. Here is a quick recap of what M and I have done since the last post:

  • We toured Vienna on Wednesday morning, which I don't think I mentioned during the post from the Denny's of Vienna.
  • We took one of the afternoon trains from Vienna to Graz. The train system in Europe is pretty cheap (about $45 each) and a very relaxing way to travel. Usually one of us could sleep with the other one on the watch to make sure our stuff did not get stolen.
  • We got into Graz on Wednesday night and went out to dinner with Peter Clark, Alexander Clark, and Alexander's girlfriend. Par for the course the dinner was excellent.
  • Thursday was the day of the wine country excursion. The Winklemann's rented a bus and drove us on a 2 hour scenic tour of the mountains and wine country in southern Austria. Once I have access to my computer I will post pictures from this ride. The tour ended at this wine restaurant on the top of a mountain where we had many glasses of wine and many plates of food. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. That and seeing Nicholas in Lederhosen.
  • After the day long adventure we went home and the young people prepared for the evening out. The evening out was to say the least eventful. There were a few young people who decided against coming out and I am definitely glad I wasn't one of those people.
  • Today was a day of recovery and shopping. Graz is an unbelievable city with tons of shopping. Everyone is out on the street enjoying themselves, eating, drinking, and buying things from street vendors. I would definitely recommend Graz or Vienna during the Christmas season.

I need to go right now to get ready for the dinner. I want to make a post later on about the top 10 things I have learned in Austria.

Also, real quick here are the answers to the questions on the comments;

M and I went to Mozart's house in Salzburg and also saw a few things from the Sound of Music. We were more concerned about the food though. Also, the person on the top of of sphere was a statue and not a real person. Yes, Buck you were right on the Budapest/Prague thing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vienna is Vonderful

I write this now from the Denny's of Vienna. We decided to stop by a place called Wienerwald in the center of Vienna. The food is so-so (which is shocking for a place like Vienna where all the food is beyond good), but the good news is that they have free internet access. That combined with the fact that I have been carrying around my laptop means I could write a new post and better yet put up some pictures. Here are some pictures:

The Budapest Parliament:

View of the Danube River in Budapest from the Fisherman's Bastion:

Hot Chololate and Sachetorte in Vienna:

View of Lake District on the tour bus from Vienna to Salzburg (This is M's favorite part of the trip so far):

Us in Salzburg with the fortress in the background:

The trip is going very well and we are excited to take the train to Graz. Tomorrow we have a wine tour with the wedding party and also a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Clarks. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have some turkey and watch some football for me. I will eat some weiner schnitzel and more chocolate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things are looking up

Since the last blog things have definitely taken a turn for the better. The baths were amazing, we made the train on time, and Vienna has been more than we expected. Both M and I agree that Budapest was a disappointment, but so far we could spend all the time in the world in Austria. I will have to go into details later, but right now I am literally on a time crunch because of the paid internet access. I of course had to check fantasy football (I won 2 out of 3 which is good) and my email (my roommate found my long lost Ipod, which was excellent) before getting to this blog. Here are the quick highlights

  • The baths were amazing and after seeing the changing room I was glad it was a family friendly bath.
  • The food in Austria is absolutely incredible. I can't believe everyone is skinny here.
  • We went on a day trip to Salzburg today and had a great time.
  • Tomorrow we are going on a tour of Vienna before our train to Graz and the wedding festivities.

I promise I will write more and include pictures when I get a chance. I wanted to make a quick post to let everyone know that Austria is so much better than Budapest. I hope everyone is doing well and I will try to write again from Graz tomorrow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blue Jean Blues in Budapest

I am sitting in the hotel lobby writing this since the outlets in our hotel room have decided to only work sporadically. Unfortunately that means no pictures. Anyway here is a quick recap of the day:

  • M and I left breakfast at the hotel by around 9:30am to make the 10am city tour we had researched. We got to the place (the Chain Bridge) where the tour began by 10:02. The good news is that we did pretty well consideing we have never been to Budapest and only had a general idea of where we were going. The bad news is that we got there in time to see the bus leaving. We couldn't stop the bus despite our efforts of waving our hands and running down the street in order to get the attention of the driver.
  • Now that we were no longer burdened by the tour we could do our own tour. That started with us walking across the Chain Bridge to the Buda side of town. The best part of the Chain Bridge are the Lions at the entrance. Legend has it though that the sculptor of the Lions jumped off the bridge into the Danube after a boy remarked that the sculptor forgot to carve out the tongues.
  • We then went to Mathias Church (C: under construction) and the Fisherman's Bastion (A-) in the Castle District. Both of us bought soevniers in the surrounding area.
  • Also, we passed the House of Hungarian Wines (a place we wanted to go that was written up in the NY Times) at 11am, but decided to come back since it didn't open till noon.
  • After the Castle District we meander down the street and across a bridge to to the Parliament for the noon tour. When we got there we found out that all the tickets to the tour were sold out.
  • The next plan of action was to go to the Ethnographical Museum across the street. This musuem was so bad it was funny. They had a Blue Jean exhibit. Basically it was like walking through a weird European department store. M even got in trouble for touching one of the jeans. A guard took exception to her touching such a piece of art and scolded her in Hungarian.
  • After a few rounds of successive disappointment the weather decided to match our thoughts by starting a constant light rain.
  • We grabed a cab and went to the other side of Buda to the Gelert Hill. Gelert Hill has an amazing view of Budapest. We ate lunch there at the Citadel and had a nice meal of Chicken Paprakia (Hungarians love Paprakia) and Pasta for me and Fried Veal something or another (the Hungarian version of Chicken Fried Steak).
  • The sights we saw in the Gelert Hill were the Liberation Monument (B), Cave Church (A-), and St. Gelert (C-).
  • We then had to walked (lots of walking today) to the Budapest National Museum (A). This place was pretty cool. I never thought a Musuem would be the highlight of the day, but at last I was surprised.
  • After that we went back to the House of Hungarian Wines for our much needed 2 hour wine sampling. This was not to be as the House of Hungarian Wines decided to close at 5:30 instead of the normal 8 pm closing time. Of course we got there at 5:24.
  • We then cabbed back to the hotel and promised that tomorrow is going to be a better day.

Anyway, tomorrow we are off to the bath in the morning and then to Vienna in the afternoon. M didn't want to do one of the authentic Turkish baths, so we are going to a family friendly one tomorrow.

Hopefully I can write tomorrow. Now it is off for more of Budapest Idol. Kussurnurm.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hooked on a Feeling

Well we made it to Budapest. The flight from Chicago to London was long and cramped (we were in the middle seats in the middle row), but overall it wasn't that bad. After that we had an easy flight from London to Budapest and made it into Budapest at around 5pm today. After getting a bus to our hotel (the Best Western Hotel Hungarian) on the Pest side we decided to head out looking for food. One kind of funny note was that on the bus ride over to our hotel they had some weird random American station on that played Hooked on a Feeling among other American songs. I was kind of upset that being so close to Germany we didn't get to hear David Hasseloff's version, but at least it was nice understanding the words.

Anyway, when we ended up going to a place that was recommended by the hotel staff. M got a cherry duck with mashed potatoes and I got some duck pasta, pea, carrot thing. I would have to look up the offical names, but right now I am on a 30 minute time crunch because I bought a 30 minute internet card.

I have added a few pictures from dinner. Tomorrow there will be more as we are planning on going to the Castle District, Gelhert Hill, the Baths, etc. Now it off to watch tv of this random Budapest girl doing her version of Ironic.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Off to Budapest

I wanted to thank everyone who wrote encouraging emails to me yesterday. From my old mentee to my old mentor at Target there were a lot of people that were A) Surprised I had a blog B) Excited for my trip and C) Wanted to see pictures and hear updates on the trip. I am very excited for the trip and as long as I get Internet access in Eastern Europe I will be posting thoughts and pictures along the way.

I have my passport, 3 books (Moneyball, A Season on The Brink, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe), plenty of magazines, shirts, socks, shoes, a jacket, a sweatshirt, sweaters, a tux, and more than what I thought could fit in my largest piece of luggage. It is definitely a lot more difficult packing for a vacation in the winter than in the summer. Also, for those of you that don't know I am taking the tux because I will be a bridseman in the wedding party. I am excited to be in my first (and possibly only) wedding party.

Now, for some people when I mention that it is a mixed wedding party are a little bit confused. Traditional wedding culture has it that the groom can only have males on his side and the bride can only have females. I can't find the article that I read in the New York Times about 2 years ago, but I think it stated that 10% of all wedding parties now are mixed. If anyone can find that or another statistic on the % of mixed wedding parties then that would be appreciated. Anyway, some people are very traditional especially when it comes to weddings and do not like the idea of the mixed wedding party. I am not as traditional and think it is great that Nicholas and Nancy have agreed on the mixed wedding party.

Speaking of statistics I did find the below website on wedding statistics that I thought was very interesting:

Some things I thought were interesting:
  • The Wedding Industry is a$50 billion dollar industry or basically the size of Target.
  • $22K is the average cost of wedding and $4K is the average cost of honeymoon. If you take into account the average wedding couple is only making a combined $60K a year before taxes then one could see wedding couples that don't come from affluent families being forced to a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a year or two to pay for the wedding/honeymoon.
  • 60% of brides will change their surname. (Props to my sister)
  • More money is spent on the flowers or music then on the rehearsal dinner. Personally I think the rehearsal dinner is one of the best parts of the wedding weekend.
  • Under most popular activities 10% said Golf/Sports vacations. I could definitely see a baseball roadtrip as a great honeymoon possibility.

Anyway, check out the site if you have time and/or interested. I am off to work before leaving Minneapolis at 7:30pm on a flight that goes through Chicago and London before touching down in Budapest at 5:30pm on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Response to the Hansbrough Comments

It was interesting to be listed on the campus links section on I definitely enjoyed the increased traffic even though it looks like from the comments not many people agreed with my “Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Dislike Tyler Hansbrough.” Here is my quick rebuttal:

-Some of the points on the list where jokes. I guess the jokes don’t come as well when someone is fired up about someone insulting their favorite player.

-No, I couldn’t beat Tyler Hansbrough in a 1 on 1 game. Not that I am a sportswriter, but I don’t think many sportswriters are better than the athletes they critique. Just because you can’t throw a football like Brett Farve doesn’t mean you can’t comment on him as a player.

-I shouldn’t have brought up the Gerald Henderson incident. There is no way of rationally bringing that up to a Duke or Carolina fan because both sides have already made up their mind on that point.

-I loved watching JJ Redick play basketball. Most people couldn’t stand him. By just posting his name once I got two responses that challenged his skill level/accomplishments. I think everyone just needs to calm down about Redick.

-To Dan’s comment: I spent less 2 hours coming up with the finding the videos and pictures, coming up with the list, and posting it on my blog. Unfortunately my job doesn’t let me take a month off to work on posts.

-Also, let me guess the 5 that don’t make sense (they were all semi-jokes): Awkwardness, Poor Sportsmanship, Psycho T, Whiteness, and Poor Public Speaking. And the 5 that aren’t true: Constant Flopping, Teary Eyes, Talent Level, Success, and Lack of Class.

-Final rebuttal to Dan’s comment: I do think you make a good point on the “reason why you don’t win games” is because of 1 person. I shouldn’t fault Tyler Hansbrough alone for not succeeding in a tournament that is the definition of a small sample size. I agree with you on that point.

-You can’t argue with the fact that Tyler Hansbrough is not projected to be a good professional player. UNC fans usually hold the lack of success in the Nba (see Christian Laettner, Danny Ferry, etc) against Duke, so I just flipped it around on Hansbrough. The truth of the matter is for better or worse Tyler Hansbrough is a good college basketball player and will be a terrible pro. I think most Duke fans would agree they would rather see more Brandon Wrights (one and done) than Tyler Hansbrough’s (4 years) of the world.

-Don’t post anonymous. If you are a UNC fan you should be proud of your school and your comments.
PBrooks - #1 preseason ranking means nothing. Believe me I like Duke and they have been preseason #1 many times.
I can get tickets the Dean Dome a lot easier than Cameron. Also, why did you put YOU in all upper case letters? All it made me think of was the chorus of “Crank That.”

-I have read many books on Carolina and Duke basketball history. Believe it or not both teams sometimes lose.

-JOKE: Did Carolina steal the old Raiders motto of “Just Win, Baby” and I just didn’t know it?

-I don’t think Michael Jordan is the best player ever. I would rather have Bill Russell if I was starting a team.

Just in case all the posters were curious I have multiple family members who are proud UNC graduates. The posting is all in good fun. I hate writing this, but I respect UNC, the basketball program, and their history. Chapel Hill is one of the best college cities I have ever seen. That being written I am a loyal Duke fan who loves hating UNC

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Top 10 reasons why you should dislike Tyler Hansbrough

I have been reading a lot of college basketball articles touting the merits of a certain junior post player from the University of No Class. I don’t know why the media has such a love affair with this player, but I am here to provide a counterargument. Here are the top 10 reasons (in no particular order) why you should dislike Tyler Hansbrough:

  1. The constant flopping: Just because a player is awkward doesn’t mean you should call a foul every time. Next time you are watching a UNC game look for Hansbrough to power his way to the basket, flail his arms, shoot an awkward shot, and get the foul call.

  2. Teary eyes: Why does it always seem like Tyler Hansbrough is about to cry?There was the infamous bloody nose game from last year. Also there was the time when he got hit in the face against Duke in 2006: or

  3. Awkwardness: With or without the face mask nobody plays or looks more awkward than Tyler Hansbrough. Basketball is a graceful game when played well and Hansbrough's anything but graceful.
  4. Poor Sportsmanship: Why was Tyler Hansbrough in a game with 20 seconds left and the Tar Heels up 12? You could say that it is Roy Williams’ fault for leaving him in and I might agree with that argument. Then the next question comes up is why did Tyler Hansbrough go up for a shot with 20 seconds left in the game that was already over? Most basketball players would get the rebound and then pass it out, run out the clock, and move on to the next game. Tyler Hansbrough wanted to work on his scoring average.

  5. Psycho T: Should we be rooting for someone whose nickname is Psycho T? I am not saying the nickname isn’t appropriate (it is), but should we be encouraging the youth of America to follow the actions of someone who from all account is psycho.

  6. Whiteness: There is JJ Redick white, Powder white, and then there is Tyler Hansbrough. Maybe SI should have picked another background besides white for their cover with Hansbrough on it:

    I have been to Chapel Hill a few times and know for a fact they do have sun there. You couldn’t tell that from looking at Tyler Hansbrough. Does he have some type of skin condition we don’t know about? Does Psycho T lock himself in a gym during the daylight and practice his awkward jump shot? Also, not to go all Spike Lee on you, but do you think that one of the reasons that Tyler Hansbrough is getting so much attention is because he is white? He is not as good of college player as Chris Lofton from Tennessee or even his own teammate Ty Lawson. I can tell you that as Duke fan I am much more worried about Ty Lawson. The reason why is that he is a better player than Tyler Hansbrough. That brings me to the next point:
  7. Talent level. Something that is never mentioned in the articles that I read about Tyler Hansbrough is that he just isn’t very good. The reason he didn’t go pro wasn’t because he loved the college lifestyle or because he wanted to win a National Title. The reason Tyler Hansbrough didn’t go pro was because at best he was a late 1st round draft pick. If he would have been a top 10 pick like Brandon Wright, he wouldn’t be at UNC. Everyone is fawning over him, but Tyler Hansbrough doesn’t have half the skill of JJ Redick. Just in case you forgot here is JJ against UNC:
    In fact Tyler Hansbrough isn’t much different than Nick Collison, Sheldon Williams, or Josh McRoberts. In fact I would say that Tyler Hansbrough is definitely not as good as everyone just listed except for McRoberts. Check out a mock draft to see where Tyler Hansbrough is projected to go in 2009.
  8. Success: Fill in the blank: In 2 years Tyler Hansbrough’s led teams have accomplished (blank). In case you didn’t know Tyler Hansbrough has never been to the Final Four. In both of the last two tournaments his team lost to teams (George Mason and Georgetown ) with less talent than the Tar Heels.

  9. Lack of Class/Dirty Play: Ask Brandon Costner about Tyler trying to slap him during a UNC loss to NC State:

  10. Poor Public Speaking: During an awards banquet Tyler did the following:
    1. Said: "I just want to thank my teammates (pause) for missing so many shots."
    2. Accidentally called his coach the wrong name.
    3. Egotistically announced that he was coming back for his Junior year
    4. Punctuates the announcement with an awkward salute to the audience.
    5. Finishes his speech by suggesting that UNC fire Assistant Coach Haase.

If you want to check out this 40 second clip:
Lets hope Psycho T never decides to become a comedian or a basketball announcer. He is much better suited for awkward white bench post player.

At least he has cool tribute videos like:

If you don't like that you can check out more of the egomaniac at

Friday, November 2, 2007

More of the Dolphins

I know the Dolphins are 0-8 and its a bye week, but I still can't get enough of them. From the story I heard on PTI about them paying celebrities to attend their games to the fact they still haven't named John Beck the starting quarterbacks it keeps getting worse and worse. Thanks to those who commented on the last blog. I definitely want to make a youtube video on the song. I am thinking about using some of the revenue I have received from the blog to pay my friend Johnny to make a video. Until then here are some youtube vidoes I like:

Old School Dolphins rap:

Ted Ginn Jr.

Dan Marino:

Ronnie Brown:

Other random notes of interest:
  • Can calm down with the "upset watch" special that comes on A few weeks ago the UPSET WATCH at the top of the screen alerted me to a potential upset when Florida was beating Kentucky. The defending national champs were beating a basketball school and it was an upset? Today I am being alerted to the fact that there is an upset alret on 23 ranked Virginia beating 24th ranked Wake Forrest 10 to 6. If you check the Vegas odds on the game ( it is actually a pick em game.
  • What kind of college football world do we live in when Kansas is a 19 point favorite over Nebraska? The same world where there is the blog: Oh yeah the mighty Jayhawks have scored 42 points so far in the first half against the Cornhuskers. That might be acceptable for a basketball game.
  • I went to the play the Lion King last night. Good play except that one of our four tickets had limited viewing. That meant that one of us could only see about 30% of the stage.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't Start Cleo Lemon

The Dolphins are 0-8 and have a bye week before playing the Bills. Their starting Qb (Trent Green), starting running back (Ronnie Brown), and starting receiver (Chris Chambers) have either been injured for the year or in the case of Chambers traded. The last glimmer of hope is that their 26 year old rookie quarterback John Beck might be good. This is the same John Beck that the Dolphins used a 2nd round pick on. The same John Beck that was the reason that they passed on Brady Quinn and took Ted Ginn. It is time to give Beck a chance and see what he can do in an actual game.

In honor of that I have redid the lyrics to the song "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey to describe the current state of the Dolphins. To check out the actual lyrics of the song go to

The fake song goes best if you have the actual song playing in the background and you sing over the words with the new words.

Don't Start Cleo Lemon

Just a small minded coordinator, named Malcolm "Cam" Cameron
He came to be the head coach for a team going nowhere fast
Just a country boy born and raised in Greenwood, Mississippi
He came to be a backup qb for a team going nowhere fast

A quarterback drafted in the 2nd round
The season starts and we don't hear a sound
I would smile if Beck was named the starter,
But the wait goes on and on and on

Dolphins fans waiting
Up and down South Beach
The Dolphins have been searching
Since Marino
Season's lost, people
Cameron stands there with no emotion
Refusing to make the move everyone knows is right.

Working hard to get their first win
Too bad against the Giants they could only score ten.
They should just just roll the dice
And start John Beck
The Patriots always win, The Dolphins always lose
But Dolphins fans weren't meant to sing the blues
The losing never ends
It just goes on and on and on and on.

Dolphins fans waiting
Up and down South Beach
The Dolphins have been searching
Since Marino
Season's lost, people
Cameron stands there with no emotion
Refusing to make the move everyone knows is right.

Don't start Cleo Lemon
Cam give Dolphins fans something to believe in.
Season's over, people

Don't start Cleo Lemon
Cam think about next season
Season over, perople

Don't start Cleo Lemon
Think about next season

Sunday, October 28, 2007

TV Listings

Just in case you were ever curious what games are being shown in your market check out this website:

Then all you have to do is click on the early/late games section under CBS and Fox to see the map of what is being shown where.

Off to the bar to go see the Dolphins upset the Giants.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Drive Home/Nba predictions

On my drive home today I happened to see two things that interested me.

  1. There was a Steve Bartman looking guy at the bus stop wearing a Miami Dolphins jacket and a Dolphins hat. He looked cold and unhappy. He was probably upset because in the past 10 days they have traded their #1 receiver, got blown out by New England, saw their star player tear his ACL, watched their linebacker Channing Crowder ( make a fool of himself, and now they get to play a "home" game against the Giants. The Dolphins have hit rock bottom, which means that things can only get better from here. Keep the faith Dolphins fans.
  2. There was a guy riding his bike down a major road in Minneapolis during rush hour using only one hand while talking on his cell phone. What kind of person thinks it is a good idea to talk on his cell phone while riding a bike? Probably the same type of people who use their cell phone when in the bathroom.

Quick Nba predictions:

Eastern Conference Finals: Pistons over Bulls

Western Conference Finals: Suns over Spurs

Nba Finals: Suns over Pistons

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series Prediction

Rockies in 6. Why? I think too many people are predicting the Red Sox and I just don't think that many analysts can be right.

If you are looking for more baseball insight then go to and read up on things. I promise that would be a more productive use of time then reading any predictions on the World Series.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Top 10 reasons why the Dolphins are terrible...and what to do to make them better

I am a Dolphins fan. I have been a Dolphins fan for as long as I can remember. I am not old enough to have ever seen the Dolphins in the Super Bowl (I was only 2 when they played in Super Bowl XIX), but for the longest time the Dolphins have been a consistently fine team. In my early years of following the Dolphins Dan Marino would lead the team to the playoffs before losing to a team like the Bills. After he retired the Dolphins were supposed to be awful, but instead they actually still played well. Thanks to defensive talent like Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Patrick Surtain, and Sam Madison they were always in the game. This Dolphins team was known for quick starts before falling apart in December. Friends used to joke up about how the Counting Crows song “A Long December” was the Dolphins theme song. It was disappointing watching sure-fire playoff teams fade every single year.

I look back fondly on those days. Things were looking up in 2006 as Sports Illustrated in all its infinite wisdom picked the Dolphins to go to the Super Bowl. It has been pointed out by both the Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Gregg Easterbrook: ) and the Monday Morning Quarterback (Peter King: that Dolphins are 6-17 since SI picked them to win the Super Bowl. Most articles I read both locally (the Miami Herald) and nationally are talking about how awful the Dolphins are and how there is a possibility they go 0-16. It is a depressing time for Dolphins fans, but in the NFL there is always hope. With that being written here is my analysis on the top 10 reasons why the Dolphins are terrible and how they can improve each weakness:

  1. Quarterback: The Dolphins have given up a 2nd round pick for AJ Feeley and another 2nd round pick for Daunte Culpepper. They have trotted out names like Ray Lucas, Jay Fiedler (who I actually liked), Brian Griese, Daunte Culpepper, AJ Feeley, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, and Joey Harrington in the past few years. I am somewhat optimistic with the current starter Cleo Lemon, but maybe that is only because I was incensed the Dolphins would trade a draft pick to pick up Trent Green. No offense to Trent Green, but a 37 year old quarterback with a history of multiple concussions is not the answer for a team that needs to rebuild. The fact of the matter is that the Dolphins do not have a starting quarterback right now and that is the number 1 reason they are a losing team. The teams with winning record more often than naught have above-average quarterbacks. Solution: Is it Cleo Lemon? Probably not. From all indications he looks like an adequate backup, but not a starter. Is it John Beck? Dolphins players, coaches, fans, etc will never know until he plays in the regular season. It doesn’t take a genius to know that Cam Cameron should start John Beck. He is already 26 years old and you took him the 2nd round (another 2nd rounder used on a quarterback), so he must have talent. If that isn’t enough the Dolphins management passed on Brady Quinn because of their love John Beck. The great thing about this is that the solution for the Dolphins number 1 problem is the easiest one. Play John Beck for the next year and a half and see if he is any good. If he isn’t then draft a quarterback (Tim Tebow?) in the 2009 draft. Either that or find the next Matt Schwab. Personally, I am blindly optimistic again about this 2nd rounder (Beck) being the answer.
  2. Secondary: Everyone mentions how stupid Little Nicky Saban (who if you check his name in spell-check one of the options is Satan) was for passing on Drew Brees for Daunte Culpepper. That was a dumb decision. Another dumb decision that never gets brought up is Jason Allen. Who is Jason Allen you might ask? Jason Allen is the Dolphins 2006 1st round pick, who has a total of 15 tackles in his entire career. The Dolphins can’t seem to figure out if he is a bad safety or a bad cornerback. He is indicative of a secondary that makes Braylon Edwards look like Jerry Rice in his prime. A secondary that looks like high schoolers trying to compete with Randy Moss. They don’t have quality and they don’t have depth:
    Solution: Address the secondary in the draft. Depending on where they pick they could look at Kenny Phillips from Miami of Florida. If not then the Dolphins should look to use both of their 2nd round picks on a cornerbacks (hopefully Aqib Talib from Kansas) and a safety.
  3. Linebackers: The good news is that Zach Thomas is still very productive and Channing Crowder has the talent to dominate. However, the group on a whole has been very disappointing this year. Joey Porter has been a no-show so far and looks like a wasted free agent signing. Zach Thomas has been hampered with injuries so far this year, and Crowder hasn’t lived up to his talent.
    Solution: The Dolphins should have drafted Patrick Willis from Ole Miss instead of Ted Ginn Jr in the draft. They need to get younger and Willis would have been the perfect talent to learn from Zach Thomas. As the situation stands right now they should look to trade Zach Thomas at the end of the year. Traditionally the Dolphins do a poor job drafting linebackers (Eddie Moore, Morlon Greenwood), etc, so this situation might take a little luck. Since they are so bad I would go with a quantity over quality approach. For the Dolphins I would use late round picks and pick up cheap free agents and see if they can hit the lottery with any of those players. Either that or I would go back in a time machine and draft a decent linebacker like DeMarco Ryans or Pattick Willis.
  4. Defensive Line: The Defensive line is old and as the saying goes they aren’t getting any younger.
    Solution: Defensive tackles are a dime a dozen. Draft some big bodies, sign some big bodies….it doesn’t matter as long as they are young and have some talent. For the defensive ends the Dolphins are fine on one side with Jason Taylor and have a need on the other side with Matt Roth. They should look to trade Jason Taylor for two young defensive ends and hopefully get a little more balance.
  5. The Draft: The Dolphins can’t draft. I wonder if anyone in the Dolphins organization ever plays fantasy football or Madden. If so, do they draft players like Tarvarias Jackson and Bobby Wade in the 2nd or 3rd round because they read a 1999 article on how great the Vikings passing game is?
    Solution: Draft sure things. Don’t draft players with injury concerns or other question marks. Don’t draft players with a ton of upside, but not much production. Draft players that you know will be on your team in 5 years Stop trying to hit the home run and start trying to hit some singles and doubles.
  6. The Coaching Staff: Does anybody thing Cam Cameron is the answer? He doesn't inspire confidence in any aspect of being a coach. He was fired from Indiana University after going 18-37 despite have Antwaan Randle-El as his quarterback.
    Solution: I know it is early, but fire Cameron. Seriously. Get rid of him. Try to get Bill Cowher or someone else to coach the team.
  7. Nick Saban: He messed up with the Drew Brees,/Daunte Culpepper decision Jason Allen, and a ton of other decisions.
    Solution: Thankfully Little Nicky took care of that himself.
  8. The Offensive Line: This has actually been a bright spot this year. They have run blocked pretty well and the quarterback usually looks to have enough time to complete a pass. Solution: Keep the same line in tact, so they can learn to play with each other. Maybe draft someone like Jake Long, but overall this unit needs time to continue to improve.
  9. Wide Receivers: The Dolphins don’t have a true number 1 and from the looks of it they just have a bunch of young slot receivers.
    Solution: Besides getting in a time machine and not trading Chris Chambers, they Dolphins should look to develop the talent they have. Derek Hagan and Ted Ginn Jr. need to be the answers because drafting receivers is usually a crap shoot.
  10. Running Back: This isn’t something I thought I would have to address, but I just read that Ronnie Brown is going to be out of the year. That leaves Jesse Chatman as the Dolphins starting running back. Seriously the Dolphins starting backfield have first names of Jesse, Cleo, and Reagan. If you read those names out loud most people wouldn't know if you were talking about a football team or a girls band. Solution: Ricky Williams.

Things will get better. The Dolphins just need to have a plan. Trade away any old players. Draft sure players (Jake Long, Glenn Dorsey, etc), start John Beck, fire Cam Cameron, keep the offensive line together, get younger and better on defense, and have a little faith.

They just had a Sportcenter promo on MNF that asked the question: What is more likely the Patriots going 16-0 or the Dolphins going 0-16? I am trying my best to be optimistic.