I know this is supposed to be a powerful statement against sexism and such, but aside from that, I just couldn't stop laughing at this hilarious video.
It was quite the eventful week in college football and it really began last Saturday when former USC star LenDale White went on Twitter to blast AD Pat Haden after White got kicked out of the stadium. Reading the news article, White makes a case for why ex-players should never be allowed around a program once they leave the school.
It's been three years since the Jerry Sandusky scandal erupted at Penn State. SI.com's Tim Layden went to Happy Valley to see how things have changed since then. You can read the story HERE.
The University of North Carolina has long had a strong academic reputation. But that reputation is not only tarnished now, it is in tatters. A report released this week revealed a massive cheating scandal over years that included over 3,100 students. That figure includes 1,500 athletes. While football players aren't the only sport indicted, they do seem to be a large part of it along with men's and women's basketball as well. You can read the story HERE.
Because athletes are involved, that is the angle most stories will carry. It is hard to argue with that notion, but it would be nice to see the 1600 "regular" students get their turn in the harsh media glare as well. As for the athletic department, you do have to ask why in the world they would do this. Okay, yes they need players to pass so they can play but there's two glaring problems with this school of thought. The first is that they aren't doing any real service to the students by letting them cheat. The constant handwringing about giving athletes a chance to change their lives by attending college kind of goes by the boards when it turns they didn't actually do any work in the first place. These same athletes that were being helped to stay eligible will be utterly bereft of further life opportunities that the top notch education they were SUPPOSED to be getting would have given them when their athletic careers end. It's like they want to turn out a generation of idiots who don't know how to do anything.
The second problem is that SECRETS ALWAYS FIND THEIR WAY OUT! Yes, it may take a long time but eventually all these scandals find the spotlight. You may get away with it in the short term, but the hammer is going to come down on your and yours HARD when you do get caught.
I know that the NFL doesn't allow players into the league until three years after high school, but they might want to change that rule. If only so that colleges stop letting people into the school that can't possibly do the work. Social promotion is a horrible excuse for turning out one moron after another. Either teach like you are supposed to do, or get out of the business of education. If that affects the won-loss record of your football team, so be it. You are the ones responsible for the bed you made, now lay down in it.
Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde had a great piece on the scandal. Check it out via this link.
Boston College - Before talking about the Eagles on the road vs. Wake Forest yesterday, I thought you might want to check out this article on quarterback Tyler Murphy.
The game against the Demon Deacons started out in the first half as an exercise in total domination by the Eagles. Boston College was up 17-0 at halftime with a total of 213 yards of total offense. 147 of those yards came via the run game. Conversely, Wake Forest had MINUS 3 yards rushing (6 yards total offense) for the half.
In the second half, Wake Forest didn't improve all that much on the ground (19 total yards rushing for the game), but their passing game took off and finished with 242 yards through the air as they pushed BC's seeming inability to get much going offensively. The Eagles held on to win 23-17 but some might say that the Eagles kind of rested on their first half laurels and almost paid a dear price for it.
In moving to 5-3, the Eagles got a superlative rushing defense (see below) that also saw them sack Wake Forest QB John Wolford 4 times. While the secondary did give up yardage in the air, it was DB Justin Simmons picking off Wolford that sealed the victory for the Eagles.
QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was an economical 11-15 passing for 165 yards, including a 37 yard TD pass to Shakim Phillips. Murphy also ran for 77 yards.
Freshman sensation Jon Hilliman (pictured below twice) ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles are now one win away from becoming bowl eligible
You can check out the game highlight reel below.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide rolled to a 7-1 record with their 34-20 victory over Tennessee last night. While Bama seemed to be in full control as they built a 27-0 lead, the Volunteers did eventually make it a game with their ability to run against the Crimson Tide defense. The Volunteers finished with 181 yards on the ground, which was just 2 yards less than what Alabama finished with.
The edge in the game came via the arm of quarterback Blake Sims (pictured below). He threw for 286 yards including two big scoring strikes (80 and 41 yards) to Amari Cooper in the first quarter. He also ran for another score.
Amari Cooper (pictured below) caught 9 passes for a school record 224 yards to go with those 2 TDs.
Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon (pictured below) each ran for a score.
The defense had a rough day in giving up a total of 383 yards. They managed to pick off Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs once and had two sacks.
Mass Maritime - The Buccaneers went on the road this week to play UMass-Dartmouth. I went to this game last year when Maritime hosted (brutally freaking cold that day). One of the coaches for UMD is a former basketball player I coached, which always makes me chuckle.
The game ended up resembling a Wild West shootout as the four game losing streak for Mass Maritime came to an end. The final score was 46-41. Maritime is now 2-5 on the season.
The game featured almost 1000 yards in total offense between the two teams, and Maritime's defense tallied 6 sacks on the afternoon. E.J. caught 2 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
By the way, you can read a brief article about E.J. that was published in the Cape Cod Times on 10/23/14 HERE.
THE BASEBALL HOT STOVE
While it isn't OFFICIALLY the hot stove season in baseball yet, there were a couple of moves off the field that caught my interest.
Try as I might, the World Series isn't really holding my interest. I don't have anything against either team, but with the Boston Red Sox out of things, the largest part of my rooting interest ended at their game 162.
Speaking of the Red Sox, the team announced the hiring of Chili Davis as their new hitting coach. The former All-Star player was been the hitting coach with the Oakland A's the last three seasons, but worked as the Red Sox instructor at the Triple A level before that. He seemed to have a pretty good run of success with the A's, so let's hope he can get Yoenis Cespedes to have a better OBP next season. And it would also help if he could get some of the younger guys to at least look like they can hit major league pitching.
The far bigger news came on Friday when Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays. He had a year left on the contract but decided to exercise that clause. After the Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman left to join the Dodgers organization, this latest departure could be the harbinger of the Rays going back to being a non-competitive laughingstock. And it likely gives Maddon a chance to find a new managerial job with a club that actually spends money on players rather than solely draft players and hope for the best. You can read more about Maddon's departure HERE.
Yes, it is really me writing about the topic of golf. However, given my longstanding aversion to the activity, it won't come as too much of a shock when you see that I'm writing about something outside of the actual playing of the game.
On Friday, Ted Bishop, the president of the PGA, was impeached from his position (a month before his term was up anyway) because of comments he made first on Twitter and then expanded upon on Facebook. He was defending Nick Faldo against Ian Poulter (two players feuding with each other) and Bishop referred to Poulter as a "little girl" and then later "like a little girl squealing at recess".
As you might expect, the sexism card was played and though he was offered the chance to resign, he declined. The PGA's board of governors then voted him out anyway. He's losing his job, he won't be recognized as an honorary president and won't be referred to by the PGA as a past president.
Seriously? All this over him acting like a two year old and throwing around relatively tame (or should I say lame ass) insults? I'm more offended that he couldn't come up with anything more creative to use to insult Poulter.
But I guess in this day and age, you can't say anything to anyone or about anyone without someone acting like you've just made a sin against all mankind.
You can read more (including some really pathetic cover your ass apologies from both Bishop and the PGA) HERE.
I'm nothing if not mediocre. Another week of splitting the two leagues I'm in with a 1-1 record for yet another week.
Mount Saint Joseph University - Last week's mention of Lauren Hill, the terminally ill player determined to play "One More Game" brought about a request to provide updates as the game gets closer. News about the game being moved to Xavier University's Cintas Center was followed by more news that the tickets were sold out in 30 minutes. It is a 10,000 plus seat arena! You can read the most recent report HERE.
Boston College Men - The season is still a couple weeks away but you can check out this brief interview with Olivier Hanlan. He talks about his work in the summer and why he came back for another season with the Eagles.
Missouri State - You can learn more about Lady Bear Tyonna Snow in this video piece. You can check out a shot of the Lady Bears basketball team from their Media Day event below.
Boston College Women - Nicole Boudreau and Kelly Hughes were the two players from the team that went to the ACC media day event in Greensboro, NC this past week. Along with coach Erik Johnson they met the media for season previews etc. You can see some shots of the two players from the event below.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
There was a ton of rain to deal with in the area this week but some game action did make it in.
Wareham Boys Soccer - The Vikings lost to Apponequet 8-1.
Wareham Girls Soccer - The team lost to Apponequet 3-0. They also had Senior Night this week. My former player Brianna is the only senior on the team so congratulations to her for battling through all her various injuries to make it back to the field this season.
Upper Cape Girls JV Soccer - Against Old Colony, the jayvees opened up a can of whoopass and beat the Cougars 9-0. Ann Marie had 2 assists in the game.
Wareham Field Hockey - The Vikings got knocked off twice this week with a 3-0 loss to Westport and a 4-0 loss to ORR. They are 2-14 on the season.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team got swept 3-0 in their match against Apponequet. The team held a free clinic for younger potential players. You can read about that HERE.
Upper Cape Varsity Football - Last Saturday, the Rams blew out Holbrook/Avon 38-14 and my girlfriend's son Connor (who is usually on the JV team) was able to make his varsity debut for a few plays. Way to go Connor!
Wareham Football - Despite talk of how the Wareham defense had been improving over the last couple of weeks, the Vikings were completely annihilated by Apponequet on Friday night. They lost 61-6. Apponequet had 502 yards of total offense while Wareham managed just 84 yards.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Soccer - I mentioned last week that UCT soccer player Krystle found herself 1 goal shy of the 100 goal plateau after scoring a career high six goals in a game. You can read about that game in this Wareham Courier article. (All photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier.)
On Monday of this past week, the Lady Rams faced Bishop Connolly and Krystle did indeed get her 100th goal (plus one more for good measure). Unfortunately they lost the game 4-2. The loss eliminated the team from postseason contention. A 7-0 loss to Norfolk Aggie left them with a 6-10-1 record.
You can can see Krystle's 100th goal on a PK, along with brief comments from her and her coach in this video link.
Some photos from the Bishop Connolly game as well.
The 100th goal kick:
With her team:
Books - I picked up the new Jon Land thriller Strong Darkness this week. It is the latest in his Caitlin Strong series. I can't wait to dig into it.
TV - Here's the Pop-topia.com recaps at this week's new episodes of The Flash and Arrow.
Movies - The trailer for the new Avengers movie "Age of Ultron" was "accidentally" leaked a week early. And as expected, it set the Internet ablaze. You can check it out for yourself below.
A lot has happened since I last posted up here, fellow Gabbers and the reason deserves some explanation. Frankly speaking, all of the non-sports sports news put me into a bit of a writing funk. Every day it was another athlete or coach making news for all of the wrong reasons. Whether it was Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice or some other maroon (in Bugs Bunny speak) claiming the talking points for the day's sports news. Well, I had enough...it was depressing. And what better way to snap out of that sports malaise than a sports event binge! I went to the 18 inning game 2 Nationals - Giants game followed up by the Monday Night Redskins - Seahawks game...nothing like some good sound defeats at the ballpark to bring things back into perspective! We are fans because we love our teams, win or lose. And it is the teams we love...not really the individual players who in reality (and most definitely proven lately) we barely know. Yes, the players make it happen and we want the best players on our teams and hope they are good people who take care of the families, help out in the community and such, but as far as we as fans are concerned, we want them to be great when they step into the arena.
So with that perspective in mind, and with the air cleared for me...I'm back. Go Redskins, Let's go Caps, Yesss Wizards and as for the Nationals, well, they still will be the favorites to win the NL in 2015 - and I will be there, God willing, to root them on. I will just have to admire those World Series tickets as a happy, wishful thought.
A few things happened that I think are worth mentioning....
Over the last 20 years, the Euros have won 7 of the 10 Ryder Cups, golfs best international event. (as a note, this spans the Tiger Woods era). After this event, the US team embarrasingly took to public bickering, lamblasting team captain and golf icon, Tom Watson. Watson eventually came forward and said the loss was his fault - not true by the way - and tried to put the matter to bed. The bottom line for U.S. golf is that the Euros have passed us by, just like they have in tennis. Good heavens, what's next?! basketball?! They better figure out how to get along and play like a team or it may be a long time before the Ryder Cup (or maybe any international sports trophy) routinely resides in the ol' US of A.
I can't let the MLB playoffs go unnoticed...part of being a fan is the agony of defeat. I felt confident that I would at least have an NLCS game to go to tonight, little did I know that if I wanted that, I would have to have scalped a ticket in Baltimore! The Nationals pitching was again excellent but a team can't win when its lead off man and 3 & 4 hitters are hitting less than 50% BELOW the Mendoza line. That is hard to believe...Werth & Roche hitting below .100! At least Harper and Rendon showed that the youthful core of the team can hit in October.
Of the 4 teams left standing, I am picking Baltimore and St. Louis to meet in the World Series. That would be a special match up!
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...see you next week (from Tokyo)...sayanora!
In loving memory of my dear friend Toni Rodriguez (1974-2014) gone way too young taken by cancer
This pic was 20 years ago at the University of Cincinnati Black Caucus Ball
Greetings from the Hoodwood where your humble scribe is balancing joy with sadness...
NBA: The best four on the floor?
The Conference finals are here and after all the grinding in the conference semis, the top two teams in each conference are left. The Thunder outlasted the Clippers in what I thought was a great series, the Spurs toyed with the Blazers in five in much the same way the Heat toyed with the Nets who were just out of their league. The Pacers are probably the most enigmatic team in the NBA, have you ever seen a #1 look so vulnerable? The Wizards pushed the East’s #1 seed as about as hard as a #5 seed should be able to push. The series went 6 but the Pacers seemed to play better on the road than they did in the supposed friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers went a pedestrian 3-5 at home in the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs but they got through and they pointed at getting the #1 seed for the express purpose of getting that 7th game at home. In game 1 the Pacers suddenly looked like…well a #1 seed, flat running the Heat into the ground in a 107-96 win that really wasn’t as close as it looked. Lance Stephenson (a former Bearcat) attacked the goal like a beast repeatedly and when he wasn’t driving and scoring he was kicking out to the wings for three balls and the Pacers were hitting them and hitting them repeatedly. The Heat looked like a team that was more rusty than rested and just never was in the game. I still think that the Heat will win this series but they had better gird themselves for a long seires
Meanwhile in the West, the Spurs look like a team that will grind and grind but have their way with the Thunder, who without Serge Ibaka as a down low enforcer will repeatedly attack the rim, giving up 40 points in the paint in the 1st half. Kevin Durant with all his shiny MVP hardware just doesn’t look comfortable in the post playing with his back to the basket and it looks pretty apparent. Without a reliable 3rd scorer behind Durant and Westbrook the Thunder looked pretty one dimensional. They either play defense and have no reliable scorers or play offense and get run out of the building or exhaust Durant and Westbrook trying to keep up with the balanced attack of the Spurs. The Thunder scored 105 points and still got smoked. I think the Spurs are the team to beat in the West and that a rematch of the Finals from last year is imminent. And with the 2-2-1-1-1 format returning after a 30 year run of a 2-3-2 format the drama will be ratcheted
NHL: A dream final four?
You know the NHL is creaming its pants over the last four teams that are left chasing Lord Stanleys Cup. The three American teams are the three largest media markets and includes the last two defending Cup winners in Chicago and LA, and the lone Canadian market is simply the most hallowed team in the NHL. Lets frame the picture in the East you have the Canadiens and Rangers who last won the Cup 21 and 20 years ago, the former was the last time Lord Stanleys Cup was won by a Canadian team. The latter is the most covered and ballyhooed American team that has went massive time between Cup wins. The Habs have the home ice advantage but the Blue Shirts quickly snatched that away with a 7-2 thrashing in front of a sullen Bell Centre crowd, an equally stunning game 2 win in Montreal. The Habs got to the conference finals with a grueling 7 game series win over their hated rivals the Bruins and the acrimony was obvious all the way to the series ending handshake like where the Bruins Milan Lucic and Habs PK Subban were still sniping at one another as series end. The Rangers fell behind 3-1 and had to win not once but twice in Pittsburgh to rally to win the series and add yet another bitter defeat to the legacy story of Sidney Crosby. In the west the Kings and Blackhawks look like they are girding up for a classic fight but one has to wonder how much gas the Kings have left in the tank after rallying to win another series after being down this time 3-2 and again winning a 7th93 finale which was kind of boring. But I think that might be a minor point, because you have teams that have won the cup recently and teams with so much rich tradition and history and there could be an original six matchup if the Blackhawks win the West. This looks like it will be a May and June that the NHL will long cherish.
NBA: Sterling girds for a fight.
The one thing I have said about Donald Sterling all these years, the man is totally tone deaf. The man has long been an embarrassing owner for the NBA. This team has up until very recently been a joke and they have managed to screw up drafts, signings and coaches more and more and more. This is a team that has made losing an art. But Donald Sterling keeps cashing the checks and doing what he does. But after he malfeasance with his racial comments the NBA finally decided that they have had enough of this clown. NBA Commish Adam Silver dropped a $2.5 Million fine and a lifetime ban. Sterling would have no shortage of suitors for his team which most pundits figure would be north of a billion dollars. That’s 9 zeros, kids. Sterling is being charged with conduct unbecoming, and Sterlings lawyer is demanding 3 months to prepare a case. The NBA is unlikely to grant such a delay, and you have to expect even with Sterling getting the formal boot from the NBA he will fight tooth and nail to keep his team and will spend lots of money in said fight. Sterling just doesn’t get it….no one wants him in the NBA. Hes a relic from a bygone time a time where paternalistic sporting men ponied up money for their “boys” and got the spoils of being the Lords of the Realm. Sterling is 80 and has that mentality of someone who is stuck in the 50s. He needs to get the clue that his paternalistic mentality is seriously out of step.
Cali Chrome won the Preakness and after a ruling about a nasal strip, will run for the Triple Crown
No cold envelope, the draft lottery is tonight, what you bet the Bucks WONT win the drawing…
Robert Mathis got busted for taking a fertility drug…you would think that players would know every drug that goes in their bodies…you would think.
Is it me or do I think that Stephen Strasburg is just a wee bit overrated.
Next weekend is the Indy 500, but it will be interesting to see the race in the morning.
Damn, ManU was so far out of the money they qualified for nothing in the Barclays…they sure aren’t used to being in the middle of the pack
To Lucy Li who with rounds of 74 and 68 qualified for the US Open as an amateur. Oh did I mention that Li is all of 11 YEARS OLD???? I have pictures in my house that are older than her. I would be lucky to shoot 68 on my video game golf.
To the idiots in the NFL that are pushing for expansion of the NFL playoffs. Leave a good thing alone…
A final pair of thoughts: Joy tempered with sadness
First my beloved Princess Katie will be graduating high school this week, she will be graduating with a 3.5 grade point average. Words cant express my pride with my Princess, she will be heading to college in the fall. I will be in Phoenix this week celebrating with her.
Finally, , you will see my leadoff pic you will see my cover pic is of a very youthful Bandit (in a tux no less) standing behind a very lovely Hispanic lady. Believe it or not Im the older one in the pic (My mom says I look like im 12 in this pic but I was 21). I was going to the University of Cincinnati Black Caucus Ball and I was figured to be bold enough to ask this lady to be my date. A memorable night to be sure. That picture was taken 20 years ago. Toni Rodriguez was my friend and for a while the love of my life, t work the way things should but nevertheless we remained friends. I lost my friend Sunday to the fucking scourge of cancer. I got the call early that afternoon and more or less was in shock the whole day trying to process. I lost a friend who I never even got to welcome into Club 40, she passed 4 months shy of it. I will always think of her when ever I see a bunny (bunnie was her nickname), see a Puerto Rican flag (she was fiercely proud of her Puerto Rican heritage), or hear any song from the Rippingtons Weekend in Monaco (long story)
The joy of seeing my baby graduating from high school this week. is sadly balanced with the loss of an old friend…there are just things in life that keep you grounded…
Unless you live in a sports desert, you know the NFL draft spectacle has been running the last few days. Aside from my interest in what the Redskins decided to do with their picks, why does this event attract so much attention? I saw that the ratings for this year's draft had a big spike in TV ratings. If you watch or listen...which even I did for a few minutes to check on the draft scroll to check on the Skins draft...and the audience hoots and hollers with each selection like they know how any of these guys are going to perform as pros. It is easily the most over-hyped sports event of the year.
Now if you want to have some fun, take a look at how scouts score draft prospects by race / word choice at http://www.deadspin.com. You can put in words like "intelligent" or "speedy" and see how the scouts describe the candidates...looks like there is still a bit of old fashioned bias (e.g., leadership 3.21 vs. 1.34 per 10,000 words). I am not sure what it means, but it is interesting.
I've been enjoying the hockey (mostly). We have 4 good series for conference semi-finals. Last night the Rangers rose from the dead to pound Pittsburgh and the Wild got even with the Blackhawks. The Bruins avoided disaster.by pulling out the OT win in Montreal and the Ducks got back in their series with a win in LA. I don't like the scheduling that was imposed on the Rangers...6 games in 9 nights cannot be the recipe for good hockey...not to make excuses, but it's not fair.
In the NBA, the top seeds seem to be rounding into form which is bad news for my Wizards who could not make a shot last night. They may rise back up and play excellent ball Sunday night, but it is a concern that the Pacers have started to play well. Whoever wins that series is going up against the Heat...not an enviable task.
In golf, young Jordan Spieth is staking out his ground as the new young force in golf. There is no doubt that with Tiger on the sidelines, golf misses a star. Everyone seems to be on this young man's bandwagon, so it should be fun to see if this Sunday he can accomplish what he could not do at the Masters - pull off a big win.
Well, it is finally warming up and the honey-do list is calling - have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there...you guys, clean a toilet for your wife...there is no better gift!