Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hold the Mayo

Tomorrow night the Minnesota Timberwolves have a crucial decision to make with the third pick in the Nba draft. As a frequent visitor to the Target Center for Twolves games, I have plea for any Timberwolves management team: Forget OJ Mayo.

Here are the arguments for Mayo:
  1. He is the best player available after Beasley and Rose.

  2. He was a top player (maybe the top player) coming into this year's college season. He has a solid jump shot, which is evidenced by his 40% 3 point average and 80% free throw average.

  3. "Can be a lock down defender" - espn.

  4. Is the most desirable (ie. easiest to trade) player (after Beasely and Rose) for potential trade partners.

  5. Received an ACT score (29) that "places him in the 95th percentile nationally." (Side note: This is the same ACT score as a certain anti-Tyler Hansbrough blogger)

I can understand how some people are getting carried away with the hype of OJ Mayo. People who follow basketball have been hearing about this guy since middle school. He almost seems larger than life. I mean who else calls a college (read this great article from the NY Times about his recruitment) out of the blue and tells them that he would like to go to school there. He wanted to play in LA, get media exposure, and make a little money. Only OJ Mayo wouldn't think twice about going to USC despite his first name. On top of that he even picked the same number as the more famous Heisman trophy winning "other" OJ from USC. You might remember the guy below interrupting the 1994 Nba Finals:

I am not writing that he shouldn't have considered USC, but to wear 32 at USC and have the same first name (and it isn't like his name is Dave or anything) takes a lot of gumption. I don't know if I should be taken a back by his audacity or if I should applaud his courage .

The above tangent gets away from the main point about why the Twolves should NOT draft OJ Mayo.

  1. Check out his last high school dunk. For some reason I don't think that display of "sportsmanship" will be appreciated nearly as much in the upper Midwest.
  2. He was suspended "at least three times for fights and other violations." - NY Times
  3. He was suspended for 3 games for allegedly assaulting a referee in high school. (The first three points are all points you might file under character concerns. Note: I am note including the fact that there are allegations that he was paid to go to school at USC by an agent because that should be taken care of in the pros.)
  4. The Twolves already have 6ft 4 inch combo guard Randy Foye (most similar player at age: Anthony Peeler) and 6ft 4 inch shooting guard Rashad McCants (most similar player at age: Keyon Dooling). Do you know what OJ Mayo is? He just happens to be a 6ft 5inch combo guard.
  5. The Twolves have spent the past 3 first round draft picks on wing players. Last year it was Corey Brewer instead of the next set of wings: Thaddeus Young, Julian Wright, Al Thornton, or Rodney Stuckey. The previous year it was Randy Foye instead of Brandon Roy. The year before it was Rashad McCants instead of Danny Granger. Lets just get it out in the open that the Twolves aren't good at drafting wing players. In fact if the Twolves liked OJ Mayo then as another team I would have serious reservations about drafting him.
  6. OJ Mayo averaged more turnovers than assists. Compare that to other top point guards drafted in years past and you will see why that might be concerning. Deron Williams (2.4 assists to turnovers), Chris Paul (2.3 a/t), and Mike Conley Jr. (2.77 a/t) all had worthy numbers to be drafted as a point guard in the top 5.
  7. John Hollinger has OJ Mayo rated below players like D.J. Augustin, Mario Chalmers, Jerryd Bayless, Joe Alexander, and Donte Green. His stat based approach has done better than Nba GMs and is something that would be concerning to me. If you have espn insider check it out.
  8. And as cliche the goes, last but not least: There are better players out there.

Specifically I am jumping on the Kevin Love bandwagon. He is rated high in John Hollinger's scoring system (at the same level as Carlos Boozer and Kevin Durrant) and he would fit in great with the Twolves. Pair him with Al Jefferson and you have formidable front line for the next 10 to 15 years. I can picture his outlet passes to the above-mentioned Twolves combo guards and hopefully elevating their play from below-average to average. He is the complete player who can shoot the ball from the inside and the outside and actually has a better assists to turnover ratio than OJ Mayo.

Why draft a 1st team all Pac-10 team member when you can draft the Pac-1o player of the year? Why draft a selfish combo guard who from all indications would hate Minnesota? Why draft a point guard who isn't a good passer? Kevin McHale, Fred Hoiberg: The front page of the Star Tribune sports section should read: Hold the Mayo. All you need is Love.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I am sure you have heard of Jeff Foxwothy's comedy bits about how "You might be a redneck if." In the same vein I think I might have to start doing a "you know you are a Midwestern when" series. The first installment will come courtesy of the Star Tribune's Travel section.

You know you are a Midwestern when your local newspaper has a Travel series entitled "Islands of the Midwest." This past week they highlighted Isle Royale. For some reason I don't imagine people in Florida or the Caribbean are going to be flocking to any of the islands of the Midwest any time soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I believe

This is the 20th year anniversary of Bull Durham.    For those of you haven't seen this movie it is a classic sports movie with many quotable lines and it also is located in one of my favorite cities.   One of the classic lines is from Crash Davis (played by Kevin Costner).   You can see the clip here.   Anyway, in honor of that scene in the movie I present to you some things that I believe:

I believe
  • In the victory cigar
  • That if your friends or family don't like you significant other than you probably shouldn't either.
  • That the saying "it is more about who you know that what you know" is crap.
  • In removing the bumper sticker of a candidate after the election.  (I saw two John Kerry bumper stickers on the 10 minute drive home today).
  • That Michael Jordan pushed off against Byron Russell, but also that that non-call wasn't the most important or worst call of the game.
  • In the power of the American road trip.
  • In a cold beer and a good hot dog (not a Dome Dog) at a ballpark.
  • Giving hospitality if you expect hospitality in return.
  • That the 1999 Duke team was the best college basketball team I have ever seen.
  • That the 1995 Nebraska team was the best college football team ever.
  • In the beauty of a well executed two on 1 fast break.
  • Coffee and chocolate tastes better in Austria.
  • That walking into a stadium and seeing the field is the 2nd best sight for any self-respecting American male.
  • In the medium-rare steak.
  • In Piccadilly's definition of what is a vegetable.  
  • That SEC is year in and year out the best football conference.
  • The importance of the corner 3, not committing turnovers and taking advantage of any 2 for 1 opportunities in basketball.
There is more that I believe, but I need to go watch Game 5 of the Finals.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Lakers

I don't know what is more ridiculous about the aftermath of Game 2;  The fact that everyone associated with the Lakers complained about the foul disparity or the fact that many media types predicted that Game 3 would be a complete reversal in fouls called.   The first point is ridiculous since the Lakers might not be in the Finals without the help of the officials.  How easy is it for people to forget that the Lakers had a +59 free throws against the Jazz and also got away with fouling Brent Barry at the end of Game 4 against the Spurs.  The second point seems to be coming true as currently the Lakers are enjoying a +14 free throw disparity.

(Side note I hate only using free throw disparity as a way of judging officials.  For example the travel by Vlad Radmanovic at the end of Game 2 was a definite missed call.  Why can't someone create a blog where they judge every call or non-call in a game and grade the officials?   Maybe then we could have some accountability on games like Game 6 of the Lakers-Kings 2002 series.)

Non-sports stuff:

Anyway, I am going to go watch Kobe Bryant shoot what probably won't be his last free throw.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Shawshank Redemption

I like movie posters.   In college I had at one time or another a poster of Happy Gilmore, Rounders, Memento, Magnolia, and The Shawshank Redemption up in my room.   When I finally buy a place and get my man basement I assure you that I will put up some of my favorite movie posters to go along with all my sports memorabilia.   

Anyway, some blog came out with the top 100 movie posters and I recommend you check out the link.  I am excited to see that two of my posters made the list, but what was really great was that my favorite number (14) just happened to be the spot for my favorite movie (The Shawshank Redemption).   

Also, in other blog news I have updated the links to include a list of 31 places you should go to (from the NY Times) as well as a great website for anyone interested in going on a roadtrip anywhere in the US.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Wave

The Good
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get 2 free lower level tickets (11th row) to the Yankees-Twins game. The game was probably the most exciting game I have been to this year with the Twins rallying 3 seperate times to win 6-5 During the game Joe Mauer hit his first home run of the year, Delmon Young hit a surprising 3 doubles and Michael Cuddyer was unbelievable in the field and at the plate. The Twins are now only a half game back on the White Sox in the Central.

The Bad
Top of the 9th inning in a one run game. Joe Nathan pitching against Alex Rodridquez to start the inning. Some idiot fan wearing a Morneau jersey decides this is a great time to star the wave. My disdain for the wave is well known amongst my friends, but still I have learned to tolerate the wave much the way I tolerate the beach balls in the home run porch. I however can't tolerate someone trying to start the wave in the 9th inning of an exciting one run game when the Twins best pitcher is going against possibly the best hitter in baseball. Why would this guy do that? My proposal would be for the Twins to put a promotion around this and label the 3rd inning "The Wave" inning. They could then have Twins officials organize a wave around this inning. While I will still shudder at having to do the wave in the 3rd inning at least then these people will get the wave out of their system before any of the late innings. However, maybe this proposal is just another poor proposal based on the idea of appeasement. Lord knows I don't want to be like Neville Chamberlain. Maybe the wave should just be banned because you are either with baseball (anti-wave) or against baseball (pro-wave).

The Ugly
Buffalo Wild Wings does not publish any nutritional information. Therefore the chili cheese fries I had two weeks ago could be anywhere between 30 grams and 200 grams of fat and I wouldn't know. The reason according to my brother-in-law is "because they cook everything fresh and portions vary that they can't give that information" I have taken it upon myself to ask Buffalo Wild Wings to see if I could fix this problem and I received this response:

"Thank you for your request. We are currently in the process of completing our nutritional information and will have it ready by the end of August. If you could check back in August we will be able to provide you with the nutritional information you are requesting.

Thank you for being a loyal BWW guest!"

I will check back in August and make sure that BW3 is living up to their end of agreement. If not I might have to boycott one of my favorite establishments. After reading the worst foods for you from Men's Health I think it is time to shed light on places like BW3. If I am going to eat something that has 1000+ calories I want to make sure I am least getting enough enjoyment out of it. It is one thing to sit down and really enjoy a Chipotle Burrito (1,179 calories), but it is a completely different thing to kind of like a Ruby Tuesday's Bella Turkey Burger (1,145 calories) or even worse a Taco Salad from On the Border (1,450 calories). And if you wonder why this rant is under the ugly section then please visit Houston, Texas - the fattest large city in America.