This is going to be more of a quick hits, since the damn computer chose to log me off just as I was submitting the first run of my blog. As much as I know I should type this up on Word and then copy and paste, I never do. Thus, this sort of thing happens. More than I want to admit.....
If I were to ask you to name one thing that symbolizes Detroit, what would that be? How about one thing to symbolize Detroit sports? Well, I doubt either of them were anywhere near this...
This as of yet un-named mascot is the symbol for the Detroit Sports Commission, a division of our convention and tourism bureau. The design and suit were made by a firm out of Toronto, the same firm that made Tommy Titan the mascot for the University of Detroit Mercy. I don't know how many times this company is going to sell Detroit the same costume. (Of course, any literature nerd could tell you a titan was a giant being of unimaginable power that rivaled and proceeded the Olympians and not a guy in a Roman Centurion outfit. Clearly no one at this company has seen Wrath of the Titans, studied myths, or even read a Percy Jackson novel.)
Of course, aside from just being as generic as possible, this mascot in no way identifies the city. Detroit, hell any American city, is a diverse place. This is some smiling white guy in a jersey looking like any generic Royal Oak douche (see video). I don't get this. Why not go the animal route? Get a wolverine or a trout or something. Go for a talking car. This might be the worse thing in the mascot world since Steely McBeam.
As the Lions started their OTAs, most people have been in a positive mood. We've got all of our guys back and healthy. Even Ryan Broyles was able to suit up and run a few drills with the receivers. Yet, it is the absent player who has caught the most attention. Second-year wideout Titus Young has been unofficially banned from attending any Lions OTAs. The move comes after Young reportedly got into a fight with third-year safety Louis Delmas at a voluntary workout. Teammates are trying to down play the situation, saying that this sort of thing happens. I've seen it happen on both the college and high school level, but when it's a certain kind of guy, you take notice.
Young might just be that guy.
Remember that Lions-Saints game on December 4? Just two weeks after Suh got suspended for his stomp on Thanksgiving, the Lions went out and racked up 11 penalties (several of the personal fouls) and gave up nearly 100 yards as a result. The game got down right ugly after the third quarter. Young was in on the action. As the Lions finished a play that would have set up a third-and-one from the Saints three, Young was flagged for unnecessary roughness and pushed the team back 15 yards. They got a field goal. Young was being screamed at on the field. Coach Schwartz pulled him, berated him and then sent him off to be bawled out by more teammates. Dominick Riola was even reported to have gotten in Young's face and told him (as nicely as you'd imagine in the situation) to grow up.
Now, in the midst of that you figure Young would do what he could to keep his nose clean. The fact that the Lions are holding him out of OTAs should tell him a lot. The fact that the team acquired about 9 wide receivers through the draft or undrafted free agency should tell him a lot. Now is not that time to show yourself to be a potential problem. This guy should really take Riola's advice if he gets the chance with the Lions (or any other team).
Speaking of guys who don't seem to get it, the Orlando Magic released their head coach and GM on Monday. Dwight Howard has gotten his wish. Van Gundy has famously already told the media that Howard wanted him gone leading to the most awkward presser in recent memory. The team also reportedly gave Howard the option to choose a coach and GM if he'd stay. He's got both. Will he stay?
I really like Howard's game. He's a rebound and block machine and while his offensive production has been a flaw, he's worked hard to fix this. He's the last of what a true center used to be. Unfortunately, I think the time when an NBA team could win a championship with a center as their best player has passed. Howard needs to go to a team with an established and dominant point guard that he can run the floor with and get scraps from. What's worse, is that I used to like Howard a lot more as a person. He was just fun to watch. He, with the game, has changed. He's been allowed to run the team, given power. Ultimate power has corrupted ultimately and Howard is in danger of becoming what he fought so hard not to be: hated. If he leaves, he'll be hated in Orlando. He might be hated nationally. As much as he tried to avoid being like LeBron, these moves are beginning to look a lot like James' exodus from Cleveland.
Finally, with a quarter of the season in the books, the MLB has already given us a lot of memorable moments. It's also given us our traditional underdogs whom we all hope to see hanging on come September. We've also seen a lot of disappointments in the standings. The Tigers, who so many had given the AL Central after they signed Prince Fielder, now sit third in the division. They are down 2.5 games to the White Sox (who I was scared of coming in) and 3 games to those always scrappy Indians. As for me, the Tigers have shocked me a little, but not too much. I figured we'd get more trouble from the Royals, but we've done surprisingly well against them and they've had some rotten luck with the injury bug.
The Tigers opened up a three game visit to Cleveland with a loss. With a final of 5-3, the Tigers fell to the Tribe and two of the Beeze's favorite Tribesmen, Jimenez and Perez, picked up the win and the save respectively. It's far too early to panic and the game of baseball does not allow for that kind of sensationalism, but a win in this series would be nice. The next two games have Dough Fister and JV pitching for the Tigers, which gives us our best chance.
I've been having a great time this week helping the young men at East Detroit High School get stronger for next season. The kids have been great and I'm pleased by the numbers and dedication. I really hope that we as coaches can help these guys out since last year was a season no one wants to remember. Thanks as always for stopping by and giving my blog a read. I leave you as always with the word of the week.
A measurement of time totaling 72 days. Became popular after Kim Kardashian's highly-publicized marriage, which ended after 72 days. Listed as one of the up-and-coming words of 2012.
Last week we did the old Hump Day Survey...This week we're switching it up, because I don't have too many questions to ask...But I do have a couple topics I want to hit...Yep, the kid has some shit to rant about...(SHOCKER!)
First, Monday I was bitching about Indians closer Chris Perez ripping Clevelanders for not packing the stadium for Indians games...Oh, and he ripped them for booing him, after blowing a game, and booing him when he put two runners on base his next time out...Asshole needs to grow up...Pro athletes get booed when they fuck up...Stupid fucking child! Asshole making $5 million a year telling me how to spend my money...I've been working since I was 13 years old, and I'll never come close to making $5 million in my life...Unless my writing career some how takes off! So Perez can still lick my ass!
Then today, I hear this douche on Cleveland sports talk, Chuck Booms, bitching at the fans, saying they better fill the seats for this series against the Tigers...After he bitches for a few minutes, his partner Kevin Kiley, who often annoys me, called him out, and asked Booms, "How many tickets have you bought?" Booms starts yelling, "I don't have to, I'm in the media, we get in free!"
So this little, shit is going to scream at Clevelanders to spend their money on the Tribe, but are you crazy? Why would he? He's in the Media...Bitching on the radio makes him part of the media and gives him free tickets whenever he wants...Well shit, I bitch on my blog, where the fuck are my free tickets? Here's another fucking asshole, telling the regular folks what to do with their money...These cock suckers have some balls...And if you ever listen to Booms, you can here he is a closet case, boner smoker...
If I go to a Tribe game, I gotta pay $20 to park my car...Then the cheapest seats in the house are $10...And let me tell you, I don't feel like sitting in the bleachers or nose-bleeds...Then if I want a beer, that's $8...A fucking hot dog is $6...Everything there food wise is grossly overpriced...Then if it's just me and the wife, we have to pay a baby-sitter...And when you're talking 3 kids, that shit gets expensive...If we bring the kids, that costs, and gives us a fucking headache...
But this little asshole who goes to games free, is going to tell me what to do with my money...He really needs to choke on a cock and die!
The next thing pissing me off is the Phoenix Coyotes management...More than a few years ago, the NHL switched what jersey was worn at home...It use to be the white...But they switched it to the dark jersey...So the Coyotes look really stupid when they tell their fans to do the old "white out" thing, and all wear white...The LA Kings are skating around the ice wearing their whites, and the Coyotes are in all maroon...The league has let teams wear white at home at times...So if the Coyotes wanted to do a "white out" why not get the team on board too...Way to make people think they are watching the kings play in front of their home crowd...Stupid fucking Phoenix...They could have broken out their old black jerseys, and done a "Black out." Maybe this seems gay, but it just looks stupid...
Since we were just talking Hockey, let close with some hockey hotties...On this Hump Day, which of these Hockey wives would you must like to do some stick-handling with!?!
A. As seen at the top of this post, Willa Ford (Mike Modano)
B. Hilary Duff (Mike Comrie)
And just remember how she handled getting engaged...
So here's Uncle B.O.B. looking forward to the trip to South Florida and what do I get? Stinkin' Rain. I'd rant on that stuff, but I know some of you are trapped in Cleveland and Detroit. Sorry. What I will say is that as of the release of this post, I will be sitting at the Miami Marlin game in that beautiful new stadium.
Rant #1 - Miami Heat. Hey Dwayne Wade, going off on your puppet coach because you couldn't get the job done in Game Three? Yeah, that's manly.
Oh yeah, that groan you heard wasn't the Heat losing Game Three, it was Miami getting upset because the Wizard of Oz (Ozzie Guillen) was at it again, saying that if Wade pulled that on him as a coach, there would have been a fight because he wouldn't put up with that disrespect.
Rant #2 - NBA Playoffs. Big time talk about lack of scoring, so the refs must have taken it to heart because during Game Three of Lakers/Thunder, they sent both teams to the charity stripe 70 times, 42 for LA! Need proof the Lakers need help? Look there. If the refs call a "normal" game, OKC wins this game going away. Now that doesn't mean that Durant, Westbrook of the boys should have allowed the Fakers to stay in the game though...
OK look, I'm a closet San Antonio fan, I admit it. But if they spot 24 to the Clips at their joint, and the Spurs still win? The Clips have talent and can will their way to a grind it out win when they want and the Spurs just won't let 'em do it!
Kids are driving down to see Game 5 today!
Rant #3 - Kobe Bryant. I'm the first to admit I don't like Kobe Bryant, but what he said recently made me smile in approval. In case you missed it, here's what the Black Mamba had to say...
"I don't give a (bleep) what you say, if I go out there and miss game winners and people say 'Kobe choked, or Kobe is seven for whatever in pressure situations' well (bleep) you."
"Because I don't play for your (bleeping) approval. I play for my own love and enjoyment of the game. And to win. That's what I play for. Most of the time, when guys feel the pressure, they're worried about what people might say about them. I don't have that fear and it enables me to forget bad plays and take shots and play my game."
Well Done Kobe!
Also well done for getting eliminated in five.
Rant #4 - Kerry Wood. I love when players go out the way this guy did - he earned my respect, the same way John Kruk did. He got his "K" and that was it. His body may have failed in him on the bump, but I suspect that Wood can have a major impact within the organization somehow in another capacity.
Rant #5 - Reggie Bush. This didn't get a lot of play in the press that I say, but Reggie Bush tweeted where he said some English Soccer player might "hit a Nazi chick tonight." He went on to call those who took offense, crybabies.
Look, we all post stuff we regret, but saying you'd personally FedEx some tissue paper? Not a good move. Oh and by the way, the Nazi thing, Germans are very offended by that.
Rant #6 - Marlins Park. Holy Crap, this place is something else. I'll add more when I get back home. Unbelievably modern and very similar to Miller Park. Roof was closed, but they keep the stadium open for two hours so people can explore after the game. They also open the roof after the game. Beautiful stadium that is well organized. It will undoubtedly help the local economy in a depressed area.
Rant #7 - Dwight Howard. OK clown, you got what you wanted, SVG and Otis Smith are both gone. If I'm the owner, I get rid of Howard too. At this point, his presence is diminishing returns - he's just not worth it. But don't trade him to where he wants!
Just finishing the last full day of vacation. I'll have better stuff (including pics) next week.
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where your scribe is making preparations for the Big Move…more details as they come.
NBA: Who’s taking the Heat?
Just a few days ago, I was listening to the wonks rail on and on about how LeBron James of the Miami Heat was pissing his legacy away in so many words. With his team seemingly falling apart against a young hungry but otherwise non descript Indiana Pacers squad in the East Semis, the sky was falling. Skip Bayless about nutted on himself in glee talking about how “Prince” James as he loves to deridingly call him was choking and the Heat despite a solid season and quick dismissal of the New York Knicks was being exposed for the sham and fraud he really was. Just as fast with the near triple double Sunday, the wonks who were so quick to bury Lebron were just that fast lionizing his 40 point, 18 point 9 dime performance. I think that Lebron while still having yet to prove to me that he is a money on the line clutch player, is taking a little too much…ummm…heat for having to take on so much. With Chris Bosh sidelined with an abdominal pull, James has had to do extra duty. James played nearly 44 minutes and people who knocked Bosh as a hanger on the ½ of the so called big three have had their eyes opened as to the real dirty work that Bosh is doing. James has had to do the alley fights under the boards with Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger and David West cause everyone knows that butter soft players like Udonis Haslem and Rony Turiaf sure the fuck aint. Shane Battier? Don’t make me laugh, he’s more apt to play the perimeter and harass on the ball than mix it up underneath. People realize what Bosh brought to the Heat and James is absorbing and ungodly pounding because of it. The real focus should be on Dwayne Wade, as he goes so go the Heat and people who want to bash James are missing the real rudder of the Heat. Wade scored 5 point in the game 3 loss…5. That is 20 points below his career playoff average. His plus minus in game three was a stomach turning -25…for comparison four of the five Pacer starters were +20 or better. He was literally making his team worse while he was on the court that night. Say all you want about Bron Bron all you want good or bad, but DWade is the real reason that the Heat will ultimately win or lose.
NBA: Lake Show on its last legs?
The Lake Show got cancelled last night in OKC. The Thunder pulled away in the 2nd half and whomped the Lakers 106-90. Take a good look, cause this version of the Lakers you might not see for long, the Lakers were running on empty against a hungrier younger meaner Oklahoma City team that took the Lakers best shot in Game 3 and hit back with a thrilling rally to win game 4 Saturday Night the 16 point win last night was just an expected coda for an aging Laker team that might not be the top banana in its own building next year with the rise of the young Clippers.
Kobe has tried to channel his inner Jordan and wants so bad to be like Mike, he has regressed into the Jordan of the late 80s shoot shoot shoot and shoot some more. Teammates? They’ll get the crumbs if anything is left. Pau Ga-Soft...errrr. Gasol more than likely played his last game as a Laker, dogged all season by trade rumors he played like a man with other things on his mind all season. Bynum? Well lets put it this way, the supersoft big man was virtually non-existant. How the fuck you gonna be a 7 foot big man and get only 4 rebounds. 4??? You stand on the court for a quarter being that big and should accidently get 5. Kobe was defiant when asked if this was more or less the end saying that “he didn’t want to hear that shit.” They bleeped out the expletive of course but Kobe is living in a fantasy world if he thinks that he alone can carry the Lakers to anything more than a token playoff appearance by himself.
Lets face fact gang, the Lakers are old and they simply cant trade haymakers with a tougher opponent like the Thunder. Kevin Durant does as he wants and the Lakers didn't have the horses to stay with this deep team. Oh they have the names you know but Gasoft…errr Gasol has been MIA more or less the whole postseason and please don’t get me started on Andrew Bynum. Kobe Bryant’s bleating over Gasol needing to step up, but it seems that Bryant was pouting when the innocuous Steve Blake was jacking up a potential game winning three in winnable game 2. Bryant wants others to step up only if they are either deferring to him or making shots. Laker caddy....errrr coach Mike Brown seems to have really lost this team, not that I even think that he even had it at any time. Im thinking he may very well be getting the gate which leads me to…
NBA: Stan out on his rear
This came as no real big surprise. The Orlando Magic gave coach Stan Van Gundy and clueless GM Otis Smith the gate today in the aftermath of the disastrous finish to a fairly promising season. The whole Dwight Howard fiasco whether to trade or not to trade him and then his very public spat with the whiny Van Gundy was just another part of unfulfilling season. Howard was long rumored to have wanted Van Gundy fired and I for one was never a big fan of a coach who I labeled as one of the stupidest in the NBA, his abject failure to make the Magic a potent force with the young Howard magnifies that point so much more. Howard to be sure has some culpability in this matter, his airing of his grievences in public comes off more and more like a spoiled child, it just seems like Howard who wanted out of Orlando might be felina non grata (Cat not welcome) in too many circles. Who might be someone that could keep Howard in the Magic Kingdom? Don’t snicker it could be Patrick Ewing…as head coach.
NBA: Jocking the Spurs
Its no secret that your humble scribe is not a fan of the Spurs whom ESPN and the basketball media in general seem to lovingly fawn over. Yeah, I know the Spurs are riding an 18 game win streak finishing the last ten regular season games and sweeping their first two playoff opponents but really look at the two playoff opponents, A Jazz team grateful to have made the playoffs and Clipper team who blew a 3-1 lead on the Grizzlies and was running on fumes. Yeah I know the Spurs won 50 and had 3 separate 10 or more game winning streaks and the Tim Duncan is still one of the best players in the game, his vanilla boring game seems to get more yawn inducing all the time, mostly because it is so consistently good . I detest the fullback like charges down the lane of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but they are so dangerous around the rim and play so machine like together. I abhor the always grumpy and grumbly no necktie wearing Gregg Popovich who just seems to always be in a bad mood and never suffers questions lightly. The Spurs are the most boring yet arrogant team in the NBA but are the media darlings because we as a sporting public overlook them and discount them, which is the reason why they are getting trumpted. With all my venom, hatred and contempt for them, I would be doing my writing a disservice by not acknowledging that they are simply a great team that could very well be lifting the NBA title trophy next month. That sound you hear is me throwing up in my mouth at the thought.
College Football: Florida State in the Big 12?
Just when you thought the college football world had settled down and the mess that is the BCS was finally getting cleared up here comes Florida State bleating that they would explore moving to the Big 12. The ACC long the raider of other conferences....errrr the Big East might be losing one of its flagship teams, at least in football. Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher has reportedly said that the Noles are stuck in basketball conference. Florida State might also have an eye on the bowl game that the Big 12 and the SEC are inaugurating in 2014, could this be the game that brings the Cotton Bowl back to top tier prominence? Florida State has held its own in ACC Basketball (though it was summarily dismissed from the 2012 NCAA tourney by my beloved Bearcats) but it is the big fish in a really little pond in football as it has dominated the ACC since they joined in the 90s. Though its easy to dream of a Florida State-Texas showdown every year and the Noles-Sooners meeting before New Years is delicious indeed, the geography stretching for the sake of football is way beyond ridiculous.
NHL: Kings last team standing in Staples?
Much ado was made about the numerous changeovers that were needed in the Staples Center as all three occupants were doing battle in the respective playoff series. To many a sports observer, your humble scribe included the team who’s stand will last at least one more game and could have four more appearances are the…Los Angeles Kings??? The Kings were an afterthought in the postseason and were supposed to be a warm up act for the Canucks who were the Presidents Cup winners. Ooops, the Kings won in 5 taking 3 games on the road, this leaves the door wide open for the Blues who were 2nd seeded out west. The Kings simply shrugged and dropped a sweep on the Blues before they even realized what hit them. Now despite a game 4 loss, the Kings are looking at putting the finishing touches on another series win which would send them to the franchises 2nd Stanley Cup final. I know that there are those that disagree but I would love to see a NY-LA Stanley Cup Final. And to see the ultimate underdog Kings bring a title to LA would be an ultimate fairy tale.
PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP
One more soccer tidbit and I’ll trouble you no more with it for awhile. Didier Drogba of Chelsea gets dap for going from hero to possible goat to hero all in the span of an hour. Drogba headed in the equalizer in UEFA Champions League finale in the 88th minute forcing a 30 minute extra time. Drogba then looked to be fitted with horns after he took a senseless penalty that gave Bayern Munich a penalty kick. His horns were reprieved when Chelsea keeper Petr Cech made a brilliant save. Drogba then buried the winning kick in the penalty shootout to give Chelsea the title. Drogba was about as spot on money as you could get this weekend.
A dap also to Kerry Wood the former Cubs pitcher who hung it up after 14 up and down seasons. Wood struck out the final batter he faced (the only one he faced in his penultimate appearance) then walked off to the cheers of the Wrigley Field faithful. I remember being in broadcasting school in 1998 and seeing the report come off the AP wire that heretofore unknown rookie has struck out 20 batters. It made no sense, but Wood was a flamethrower cut from the Ryan, Koufax and Drysdale mold. He only went 86-75 in his career and was plagued by arm troubles. But give him dap for going on on his terms with a flame and flourish.
To the Soccer broadcasters that allowed Al-Jazeera to scoop up the broadcasting rights to the Spanish La Liga and Italy’s Serie A leagues these leagues once broadcast on Fox’s Soccer Net will be broadcast on an arm of the network that has given air time to some of the most despicable terrorists in the world. They really expect anyone in the US to watch anything that comes out of their pie hole they are sadly mistaken.
Thats the view from the Hoodwood, which will actually be relocating here soon (Im moving to Columbus in a few weeks, a Bearcat in Buckeye land...lol) . Until next post fellow Sports Fans!
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and watch a baseball game. I don't have any preference as to who is playing, just as long as the game is on and I have nothing to distract me from the perfect afternoon of enjoying the action on the diamond.
I love the strategy involved in a baseball game. I love the one-on-one matchup between pitcher and batter, the excitement of a triple or a stolen base, the sight of a good defensive play, or a nasty slider to freeze a hitter in the batter's box. I love the fact that baseball isn't timed, that it can go on for hours and no one seems to notice or care. I love the emphasis on statistics in baseball. I may not understand all of them, but I love that you can use a set of numbers to compare as many players as you want, and you can determine that player A is better than player B at any facet of the game with a mathematical formula.
I love baseball because my dad loves baseball, and because his dad loves baseball. My dad introduced me to baseball when I was a kid, just like everyone's dad did when they were children. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood revolve around watching the Atlanta Braves with my brother and my dad on TBS, and watching those games allowed me to forge a special bond with the Braves and with the game of baseball as a whole.
Another pleasure I was able to enjoy as a kid was watching the Chicago Cubs on WGN when the Braves weren't playing. It was because of watching the Cubs play for all those years that I was able to truly appreciate the moment that Kerry Wood had this past Saturday when he suddenly announced he was retiring from the game. It wasn't a complete surprise that he decided to retire, because he hasn't been very good this year (I still blame Dusty Baker for ruining his arm), but I was surprised that he retired during the season. Of course, I will give him credit for being a team player and allowing the Cubs to find someone as a replacement that could help the team more than Wood could at this point in his career.
If you didn't see his final appearance, you missed one of the best moments of the last ten years. Wood came in late in the game and struck out Dayan Viciedo, and was immediately taken out of the game. But, before he could get off the field, he was greeted by his young son whom Wood embraced on the field in front of the screaming fans. It was one of the greatest things I've ever seen because it was so real. Kerry Wood showed what the game of baseball is all about. It's about family. It's about passion. It's about love. Wood demonstrated that Saturday night when he walked away from the game that he gave everything he had.
It's a shame that he was constantly battling injury towards the end of his career (again, I blame Dusty Baker), because I think he would have been on the verge of the Hall of Fame if he would have been able to pitch in the years he was out due to various arm and shoulder problems. But, alas, it just wasn't meant to be. Wood leaves the game with a bunch of what could have been, but he left in a way that very few are able to do: he went out on his own terms.
Thank you, Kerry Wood, for giving me the pleasure of watching you pitch. I will always remember your 20 strike out game against Houston your rookie year (in your fifth start, nonetheless). You were unhittable that day, and it was one of the greatest games I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). So thank you for giving me a story to tell my kids and grandkids one day - a story that begins with "let me tell you about one of the best pitching performances in baseball history". The pleasure was certainly mine, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
That's all I have this week. If you have anything you'd like to add, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.