While thoroughly enjoying the new person that has come into my life...
BOSTON RED SOX
If you want to know what I thought of the flurry of Red Sox moves before this past Thursday's trade deadline, you can check out my blog post about it HERE.
One final trade that wasn't made before I did that blog post was the Stephen Drew and cash considerations to the Yankees for Kelly Johnson. This trade made me laugh. I know Drew wasn't hitting but the guy they traded for is on the disabled list so neither is he.
The Liberty ended up getting blown out by the Phoenix Mercury 78-63 to start off their week and then lost to the Chicago Sky 87-74 to drop to 10-15.
Two blowout losses do nothing to inspire confidence that the Liberty will indeed turn things around and make a run to a playoff berth. If this keeps up the two teams I follow during the summer months will both be providing other teams with a playing out the string opponent until the season's merciful end.
I would really hate for that to happen here, bad enough it happened with the Red Sox. But if it does, that will mean my only continued hope for summer sports excellence will be coming out of the Little League World Series.
I'm glad ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for his idiotic comments about how women shouldn't do anything to upset their pro athlete significant other and get beat up. The comment was stupid and the lame apology as he tried to say he meant something else and just didn't convey his actual thoughts was preposterous. You mean to tell me a guy who uses words for a living can't put together a coherent word blurb that doesn't make it sound like NFL players beating up their significant other is the fault of anyone but the player?
But can I start a petition to extend the ban a few more decades? I can't stand listening to the blowhard on Sportscenter and anything that keeps him off the air is fine by me.
The problem with ESPN is that they let these types of blowhards get facetime on the network and turn them into across the platform "experts". And Smith and others begin to believe their crap doesn't stink. So they pontificate and pontificate louder and longer and invariably think that whatever they say is the gospel of truth since they said it. And then they get stupid.
ESPN is their co-conspirator by not refusing to make their talking heads behave less like incompetent in your face know it alls and instead focus on providing solid based in reality commentary.
ESPN should return their focus to being the "Worldwide Leader In Sports" and stop with all the caterwauling nonsense of their "Look at Me!" roster of ranters and ravers. Give me substance over style...PLEASE!
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Here's an interview with 5th year senior Shayra Brown as she prepares to comeback from last season's foot injury. It's not often I can say I was there when a player suffered an injury, but in this case, the injury came in the first game of the season when the Eagles played Stanford and I was at the game.
I don't think anyone realized when the injury occured that Brown was not going to be back on the court the rest of the year.
And her loss did affect the Eagles. While her presence wouldn't have changed the fact that BC wouldn't have made post season play, Brown's play would've likely made them more competitive in games.
Movies - I introduced a special someone to the movie Galaxy Quest this past week and surprisingly she really liked it. The next day I found MTV had published a 15th anniversary oral history article about the film. You can check it out HERE.
And in even better news, a couple of days after I found that article came the news that IDW Publishing is resurrecting the "franchise" and will be publishing a new Galaxy Quest comic book. You can read some details via this link.
By the way, with the release of the new Marvel Comics movie Guardians of the Galaxy, I would've gone to see it yesterday and had something to say about it here. But I am holding off a week and will see it next Saturday.
Depressing Story of the Week That Demonstrates We Are Doomed - It seems the head of an English language learning center fired a blogger that works for the school because the blogger wrote a post for the school's website about homophones.
It seems the HEAD OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING CENTER doesn't actually understand English...because he cited the reason the guy was fired was because by writing about homophones, the school would now be associated with homosexuals.
You can read more about this dizzying downward spiral of homo sapiens HERE.
TV - A trio of programming notes you might want to be aware of this week. Up first is the news that the fourth season of the AMC series Hell on Wheels started last night. You can see a brief teaser trailer below.
Next is a reminder that the fourth and final season of The Killing premiered on Netflix as of Friday August 1st. I haven't watched it yet but actually do have a means to do so instead of waiting for DVD. The trailer for the season is below.
Finally, the Starz network will premiere the series adaptation of the Diana Gabaldon book series Outlander on August 9th. But the first episode has reportedly hit On Demand a week early. I'm not familiar with the books myself but they do seem to be rather popular. I'm interested in checking out the series and will likely take a peak at the first episode sometime this week.
Hot Actresses of All-Time - Everyone has their favorite smoking hot actresses of choice. But my buddy J.D. has compiled his choices for the Top 15 hottest actresses of all-time. You can check out the list and agree or disagree via this Pop-topia.com link.
Books - I'll be receiving a new mystery/thriller book from Atria Books in the next week or so. I had gotten forwarded an email from the guy who owns Pop-topia.com. The company was offering the chance to download four books. Because I'm having problems with my computer I didn't want to download anything. So I took a chance and fired off an email to the publicity person for the book The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar. I asked if a hard copy of the book was available for a review and got a positive response. So when it gets here, I'll read it and then do up a review.
I also picked up a couple new books this week as well. The new Sue Grafton mystery W is for Wasted is now a part of my large "to be read" pile as is the new Dick Wolf thriller The Execution.
Music - My Pop-topia.com review of the new Winger CD Better Days Comin' can be viewed HERE!
Three more in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown...
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where we're just grinding away...
Rice Gets 2 games…seriously?
Ray Rice, has been a steady dependable running back for the Ravens and has been so going back to his days at Rutgers, I was seriously disappointed in his actions where he was in a physically abusive altercation with his then fiancé now wife. Rice, to his credit owned up to the deed. But the NFL gave him a two game suspension, consider that Albert Haynesworth got 5 games for stomping on an opponent during a game, a coach got 6 games for his involvement in Bountygate, Odell Thurman was out multiple seasons. The most suspect of suspensions was the 5 game dock that was given to Terrelle Pryor for his involvement in the tattoos for memorabilia that ultimately brought down the reign of Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Sheriff Goodell has hand a long history of being heavy on those miscreants that he feel has violated the conduct standard that the NFL holds strict to. The phrase “Protect the Shield” has rung long and often by officials and former players. But this suspension is a joke, and NFL VP Adolpho Birch went on Mike & Mike Monday Morning in a feeble attempt to defend and justify their actions. Greenberg and Golic lit in to him and repeatedly tried to pin him down on giving a justifiable reason for such a puny disciplinary action. He couldn’t and I applauded Mike Greenberg for his sharp criticism of the suspension and the words of Mike Golic who pointed out that had either of his football playing sons had been the focus of the suspensions for those actions, that they would face a lot worse discipline from him than a coach or league.
Hall of Fame gets a classy class
Cooperstown got a real class group this year. Four I thought were no doubters and two I was never big fans of but the numbers are just too good to ignore. The four no-doubters are Tom Glavine, long time ace of the Braves, Greg Maddux the Clark Kent clone who seemed to crank out wins and strikeouts as the years went by. Managers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox who managed lots of places but were most famed for winning with powerhouse teams in the Yankees and Braves respectively. The two I shrugged on were Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa.
In depth: Glavine won 20 or more games 5 times and netted 2 Cy Youngs, never an overpowering pitcher, he always was on point with his control and was a reliable pitcher. Starting in 1991 he had 13 consecutive winning seasons. Glavine was nothing if not consistent and he won. He passed the 300 win threshold in 2007 and might be the last pitcher to win 300 games.
I wanted to despise Greg Maddux, because he was so good and I detested the Braves. But Maddux looked more like Clark Kent or an accountant than a beastly pitcher. Like Glavine, Maddux took a couple years to get his sea legs then became a model of consistency. Look at his season by season numbers and you might not be impressed until you see that they cross 23 years spanning 3 decades. He only won 20 games twice once as he was hitting his free agent year with the Cubs and the first with the Braves where he spent the bulk of his career. He won four Cy Youngs in a row from 92-95. Maddux won 15 or more games each season from 1988-2004 and struck out 100 or more batter for 21 consecutive seasons from 1987-2007, that’s the hallmark of consistency. He was an innings eater and workhorse stopper. Don’t let the specs fool ya, he was a game competitor who took pride in his craft, fielding (he won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves, missed a year then won 5 more) and batting.
I have always loathed the White Sox, though for some reason I’ve always liked their colorful play by play guy Hawk Harrelson, he was the one that gave the quiet slugger Frank Thomas his nickname “The Big Hurt” Lord, that man could hurt ya. He swung like he was trying to hit the ball into Lake Michigan when the Sox played at Comiskey and more often than not hit he’d hit it hard. Say what you want about the so-called steroid era, Thomas was legitimately strong. My relatives down south used to call it country strong. Made his debut in 1990 and everyone knew he was gonna be special, from 1991-1998 he knocked in 100 or more RBI’s every year; he hit .300 better in all but one season from 1991-2000. He won 2 MVP’s and was a consistent long ball threat. I wasn’t a fan of his, and didn’t think much of his numbers till I looked at them over the course of his career. He was good and where 500 homers is shrugged at now as no big deal, he still had 521 homers and few every doubted that he earned them, he was always a home run hitter and for a while was the frightening combo of power and average
On the Managerial side, all three skippers have won World Series rings. Bobby Cox managed like forever for the Braves and cranked out divisional titles in assembly line style. Though his career started forgettable with Braves in the late 70s and was replaced by some guy named Torre (but we’ll get to that forgettable guy later) He resurfaced with the Blue Jays and made them steadily better but was haunted by his team blowing a 3-1 lead in the ALCS to the Royals, he returned to the Braves as GM and then returned to the bench in 1990 and after a rough 40-57 conclusion to that season began to win and win and win. From 1991-2005 the Braves never had a losing season and made the postseason every year. Read that last part again… Every year that there were playoffs from 1991-2005, the Braves were there they won 100+ games 6 times, 4 NL Pennants and the 1995 World Series. Cox was seemingly always getting tossed from games, but his players loved his straightforward style and played hard for him consistently.
Cox got replaced in his first stint as Braves Manager by Joe Torre. Torre won a division title with those Braves in 1982, but not much else his first three managerial gigs with the Mets and Cards and when he was hired by the Yanks in 1996, the papers derided the decision with one paper blaring the headline “Clueless Joe” But Torre instead proved to be the perfect buffer between the players and the Boss, he could parry with the media who held him in high regards and backed with Yankee money skillfully managed the Bombers to 12 consecutive playoff appearances and Five AL pennants and four World Series titles, rings that eluded him as player he got as a skipper and the call from Cooperstown that also was just out of his grasp as a player was a no brainer as a manager.
Finally there is LaRussa, whom I was no fan of. I thought he was egotistical and the media always lauded over how great and smart he was. Yeah I get that he managed 33 years and won better than 2700 games, 6 pennant and with Sparky Anderson was one of two managers to win World Series in both leagues but I look at the fact that his teams won 100 or games 4 times and never won a World Series. I remember how he got outcoached in the 88 and 90 World Series and was cannon fodder for the 2004 Red Sox. He did go out with a bang, retiring after his Cards won a thrilling 2011 Series but I never was a fan of his.
McGwire: Too good for Canseco
Mark McGwire was a protégé of LaRussa and played almost all of his career under his stewardship, I find it humorous that the overly pious McGwire is um bashing Jose Canseco for his expose into the tawdry world of PEDs McGwire says that he will never speak to Canseco again and refused to do so during a 25th anniversary fete for the 1989 World Series champ A’s. I find it funny that McGwire acts like he was so pure and Canseco was the cheater when it seemed that he has that PEDs taint on himself too. Canseco who never came close to making the Hall of Fame looks like his usual hustlin’ for a buck self while the pious McGwire is the hitting coach for the Dodgers which I always found funny a .260 hitter teaching hitting.
Can Scott return the Lake Show to primetime?
The Lake Show finally has a coach. After 3 long years of Kobe running the team, he has finally decided to let an established coach with real playing credentials take the helm. I’m sorry, the pair of Mikes in the seemingly petrified Mike Brown who seemed frightened to even correct Kobe and the clueless Mike D’Antoni whose offensive style was ill-suited for the Lake Show and seemingly was getting more and more ignored by the player as their disastrous 27-55 death march season ground on, don’t count. Byron Scott was named head coach of the Lakers over the weekend. Scott is well traveled as a coach having had stints in Cleveland, New Orleans and most successfully in New Jersey where he lead the Nets to their only Finals appearances where they were sacrificial lambs to the Lakers and Spurs respectively. Scott would at least have the attention of Kobe who was a briefly a teammate of his for a season when Kobe was a rookie and Scott was at the end of solid career where he garnered 3 rings as a member of the Showtime Lakers. The Lake Show might have he first coach since Phil Jax that has the street cred and playing weight to put and keep Kobe in his place. Will the Lake Show be anything more than 3rd best in their building for a while? No, but I still think that Scott is a decent choice and gives the team a decent credibility bridge from its halcyon days of the 80s Scott is the 6th former Laker to coach the team (Mikan, West, Riley, Johnson, Rambis.)
The Red Sox have long had to labor under the immense shadow of their hated neighbors the New York Yankees but the Red Sox can hang their hat on the fact that in this Century they currently have a 3-1 lead on the Bombers in World Series titles. So it would be a bit surprising that a Yankee fan would return a Red Sox World Series ring but Luigi Militello, owner of Luke’s Bar and Grill in NYC, found the ring worth close to $30K belonging to Drew Weber who is the owner of one the Red Sox minor league affiliates. Weber who said that he hardly ever wears the ring left the ring in the men’s washroom and Militello found the precious bauble when Weber who had searched his domicile in vain for the ring called the eatery as a last resort, Militello reported he had found the ring after some good natured razzing. Weber who frequents the restaurant returned the next day. Militello refused any kind of reward money, but Weber did hook him up with tickets to the final games of Yankee Captain Derek Jeter’s career which will be play at Fenway.
ESPN for dropping the ball in the debate and discussion over abuse and the NFL’s handling of such matters. ESPN’s and First Take did a quick though weak repudiation of the loquacious of show debater Stephen A Smith’s comments that were made Friday which came off as sounding like that a woman provoked a fight and deserved the abuse. Smith, to his credit, did apologize and make an attempt to correct his comments while reiterating that he does not condone abuse in anyway. But instead of using that as a springboard for a thought provoking debate and discussion with First Take host Cari Champion or possibly Michelle Beadle who rightfully called Smith to task for his comments as misconstrued as they could have been, instead turned away from the topic to opine about LeBron James’s jersey number switch. ESPN and the powers that be at First Take blew a golden opportunity to take the lead on the discussion of the topic itself, not is so much Smith and his mea culpa which I attribute to poor phrasing and word choice in an attempt to sound more bombastic than his debate partner than braying hack that is Skip Bayless. The show proceeding First Take, Mike & Mike in the Morning were very eloquent in their opinion on the matter and were very clear on their stance as I pointed out. That was the kind of lead in and alley-oop that First Take should have hit 5 miles and slammed home. Bravo to Ms. Beadle who bravely called out a colleague but the Head Slap goes to First Take who missed a perfect opportunity to follow in the words of their show “Embrace Debate”
Sterling’s bid to block the sale of the Clippers has been tossed out…bye Felicia
Kevin Love decides against playing for the national team due to the trade concerns…ummm yeah.
Johnny Football jersey sells for $100k…for real?
Gordon wins the Brickyard…again
Derrick Rose feels good…how long is that going to last?
Thats the View From the Hoodwood, Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!
While still kind of mystified and pleased over a recent development in my life...
The Celtics signed Evan Turner this week bring the total number of players on the roster to 18. Even worse is the fact that Turner comes to a team that is already loaded with players of the same general skill level in both the shooting guard and small forward positions he usually plays.
Something has to break soon with GM Danny Ainge's plans to improve the team because right now, there is just too many good but not great players on the team. The plan to rebuild the team through trading players and/or draft picks to land a big time player to compliment Rajon Rondo looks to be going by the wayside. There has been no movement towards landing Kevin Love from Minnesota (with Cleveland and Chicago leading that chase) and after that, there really isn't a true franchise changing player left on the market.
It is going to take something drastic for the Celtics to improve on 25-57 this coming season if they end up with essentially the same roster they had last year.
In other NBA news, the trial for control of the right to sell the LA Clippers took an interesting turn when the team's CEO testified that coach Doc Rivers would likely quit as coach if Donald Sterling is in charge when the next season begins. You can check that article out HERE.
If Doc Rivers quits or Chris Paul and other players refuse to play for the team because of their racist owner, this would make a rather interesting NBA season would it not? The refusal to play or coach for this particular reason would have to be something never before seen on a professional sports level, no?
And since the players are under a legally binding contract, does it open them up for lawsuits from the team for violating the contract. Now that would be an interesting Catch-22 for the league to find itself in the position of having to take sides in.
The New York Liberty got back to work after the All-Star break and handed the L.A. Sparks a 66-64 loss.
The team ventured to Seattle the next night and came away with an 84-80 overtime victory. The two wins improve them to 10-13 on the season.
By the way, you can check out an article on New York's Tina Charles HERE.
As for the Sparks, they fired coach Carol Ross (and assistant Gail Goestenkors resigned) and replaced her with the team's GM Penny Toler. This is an interesting move because Toler has never coached before. I mean if they were looking for a coach, I have 25 years of youth league coaching experience, that has to count for something more that ZERO EXPERIENCE at coaching of any kind.
It has been going on for a few years now, but this trend of hiring people with no actual coaching experience is a bit disturbing to me. Maybe it is because I was a coach (though with the way people keep asking me if I'm going back or suggesting coaching jobs that might become available, you'd think I was still an active coach) but every time I see someone with no coaching experience getting hired to run a team, I cringe a little and get a little bit of outrage worked up over what I see as a devaluation of the coaching profession.
Look, I know that I'm not in the same league as professional coaches, but I still believe that someone who has made coaching their vocation is a far better option than picking a neophyte like say, Jason Kidd, off the just retired as a player list and handing him the keys to the kingdom of coaching.
You can argue that a new coach can simply hire an experienced staff or that some newbie coaches have turned out to be really good at their jobs. The latter is certainly true but exceptions don't prove the rule. As for the former, if you expect a new coach to hire an experienced staff to help guide him as he or she learns on the job, why don't you just hire the experience in the first place. I'm sure players don't really care about who coaches them, but if I was a player I would want someone that I believe knows what the hell they are doing and not being more of a figurehead while the ones with actual coaching acumen do all the work.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Tennessee - Ariel Massengale missed the last 16 games of the season last year after suffering a head injury. She's on the comeback trail now and you can read about it HERE.
UCLA - Guard Lauren Holiday announced the end of her playing career this past week due to head injuries. According to this ARTICLE, she suffered 4 head injuries during her freshman season and then 3 more head injuries (and a broken nose) during her sophomore season. She's going to remain on scholarship as an undergraduate assistant while pursuing her degree.
Boston College - The Eagles have signed guard Martina Mosetti, a 5 foot 9 inch guard out of Trieste, Italy. You can check out what they had to say about her addition to the team HERE.
Denver Broncos - My sympathies go out to the Broncos this week after the organization was hit by the body blow of owner Pat Bowlen stepping away from the team due to Alzheimer's Disease. You don't have to be a fan of the team to feel for them. Bowlen has been a great owner and representative of the NFL since taking over as owner 30 years ago.
The press release announcing the move was a bit badly worded in my opinion though. It said he was stepping away to focus on his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. This seems a big disingenuous to me given that it is hardly a battle when you've already lost the war when diagnosed with the disease in the first place. You don't get better, it is a despicably terminal disease and I just thought the way the wording of the statement tried to make it sound like he was actually going to win the battle.
Tony Dungy - The former coach found himself in hot water this week after making comments about Michael Sam. Dungy said he wouldn't have drafted Sam because of all the distraction that Sam being gay would bring to the team.
Now, given Dungy's religious avocation and all the discriminatory things his faith would allow him to feel comfortable getting away with, the comments blew up into a scandal (fueled by ESPN of course).
But as much as I hate being in the position of having to defend anyone of faith, what Dungy said really didn't strike me as coming from a position of Dungy expressing his religious faith. Rather, I thought he was expressing a football coach outlook on the situation.
While Dungy has always been portrayed as a cool, calm and collected opposite of the stereotype of a mad scientist football coach, you don't get to the top of the NFL without a little bit of that 100% focus that comes with being a detail oriented madman.
And that's what I think this is. Yes, making the comments is a bit stupid given the state of the world these days, but last I checked wasn't Dungy answering a question put to him? Asked and answered, no?
And what is so strange about a coach not wanting to deal with someone or something that could serve as a sideshow to the business of putting together a football team to try and compete for the championship.
Jeff Fisher deserves kudos for being willing to at least attempt to take this on. Let's remember that Michael Sam hasn't actually made the Rams yet, shall we? But just because Fisher accepts the challenge of having every question (Did your defense screw up that goal line stand because Michael Sam is on the team?) devolving into a referendum on Sam being gay, doesn't mean every coach would be as willing or open minded. But it doesn't always mean that they are doing it as a form of discrimination.
Of course, Dungy backtracked his statement the next day and the tempest in a teapot died down but now he's been tarred and feathered in the media for expressing his opinion and there is no walking that back.
I hope Michael Sam makes the Rams, I really do. Not because he's a gay football player but rather because the football player making the NFL is the culmination of a path started in pee wee football and that is something anyone should aspire to and others admire their dedication in pursuit of that goal. Sam has repeatedly said he just wants to be a football player. I think it is time every outside party start covering the story that way.
Books - I finished reading the Michael Connelly book The Gods of Guilt. It is the latest in his Lincoln Lawyer series. It was a decent enough read but it took darn near forever for me to really get into the book. Not a whole lot of fireworks.
TV - MTV announced that they will air a series based on the Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara book series. The show will be called Shannara. I was actually kind of excited about this at first, I'm a long time fan of the start of the series (the first trilogy) and a few of the succeeding follow up series.
But when I read the news article saying they plan to skip the first book in the trilogy and start with Book 2 ( The Elfstones of Shannara), my BS alarm started ringing. I'm not going to get down on a series before seeing it, but this does have me feeling a bit cautious now.
I know MTV's target audience is teenagers with little understanding of depth of content but I do not want to see an adaptation of a series I loved turn into little more than a show about horny teenagers with no brains running around with swords. MTV needs to insure that if not exactly the tone of Game of Thrones, that the Shannara series at least aspire to reaching for great dramatic heights and not wallow in the muck and mire of most of their "original content." You can read more about the series HERE.
Sunday October 12th is the premiere date for the fifth season of The Walking Dead. And at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, they unveiled the 3 1/2 minute trailer for the season. It is freaking intensely awesome! You can see it below.
Music - My review of the new Judas Priest album Redeemer of Souls is now available HERE.
Meanwhile, there was a couple of new videos online this week that I thought you might want to check out. The first one is for the Overkill song "Bitter Pill". This is the second video from their new album White Devil Armory (which I received the deluxe edition of in the mail yesterday). I found it much better than the first song released, "The Armorist".
The second video is from blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. It is the title track from his new album Different Shades of Blue (due out September 23rd) and quite honestly this is an amazing song. It was so good that I immediately put the album on my to buy list. I like the song so much I'm already considering adding it as a candidate for my song of the year.
Bride asks Sebastian the Ibis to fill in for her late father...hope the Groom wasnt a FSU or Florida Fan
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where we return to the printed word with the exception of a couple really cool video highlights
The Colbys: Baseball Soap Opera
There are the so-called unwritten rules of baseball, a lot of which I think are pretentious and dumb some make sense sort of. But what went on Saturday between the Rangers and Blue Jays was a bit puzzling, more specifically between Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis and Jays Colby Rasmus. In the 5th inning, Rasmus dropped a two out bunt opposite of a defensive shift that the Rangers had employed. Rasmus beat out the bunt but was the focus of fury from Lewis who could be clearly seen screaming at Rasmus “Swing the bat!” Lewis then went to the press after the game complaining that Rasmus had violated the “unwritten code” Huh? Wait a minute, the Jays were nursing a 2-0 lead and Rasmus was getting a hit by any way he could. Had someone like speedy rookie Billy Hamilton done this, it would have been an expected part of the arsenal but Rasmus doing it was a surprise but it was still a good play. And Lewis came off looking like that much more of a whiny spoiled sport.
5 Foot tall woman bosses American Ninja Warrior qualifying course
Is it cheating?
The football media days for the power conferences in the NCAA are dotted the otherwise sleepy sports months of the summer, the hype and hoopla of the all-powerful SEC, the ACC home of the defending national champs and the imposing presences of the Big Ten and Pac12 conferences. The Big XII (12) conference may be the smallest and weakest of the so-called power five conferences but they have provided some of the bigger headlines. Big XII commish Bob Bowlsby stunned many of the media contiginent by stating that “cheating pays” and that “he doesn’t see it getting any better in the near future” Bowlsby didn’t come right out and name names. But he more or less implied that schools were taking advantage of lax enforcement of NCAA rules. Im not really sure what Bowlsby is trying to prove by making these statements. Anyone that watches college football knows that there is lots and lots of money afoot and that money doesn’t just evaporate. I liken it to the movie Blue Chips where the money and friends of the programs are taking care of players, but the question then gets to who’s getting paid and how much. Im just shocked that someone in Bowlsby’s position would openly speak of “cheating” This may be just another domino to fall in the increasingly shaky house of cards that college football might be in.
NBA: The Big Deal?
Now we wait. The biggest free agent LeBron James has returned to Cleveland. Carmelo Anthony ad Chris Bosh have returned to the original teams in New York and Miami respectively. The free agent market signings are coming through in dribs and drabs but the biggest deal seems to be just waiting to happen. Kevin Love is looking to get out of Minnesota, and he will either by trade or letting his contract run out at the end of this season. The Timberwolves are trying to get as much as they can for their recalcitrant power forward, and are trying to strike the best deal that they can. They are dickering with the Warriors and have an offer of Harrison Barnes and David Lee but are also trying to pry sharpshooting Klay Thompson from them, the other suitor are the suddenly high rolling high profile Cavaliers who with the return of their homegrown superstar in James and are looking to get another big name to boost their fortunes. The Cavs are pondering trading their recently drafted top pick Andrew Wiggins and former #1 Anthony Bennett, the latter is looking more and more like a bust, for Love. The wheeling and dealing is interesting to watch and the speculation is getting more and more rampant. I think that the deal with the Cavs benefits both, but the Cavs seem reluctant to let go of Wiggins who looks to be a cant miss prospect. Though Love has expressed a positive reaction to playing with his former Olympic teammate and sign a longterm deal with Cleveland, the Cavs are hanging back from consummating the deal and the Wolves keep looking like that they are using the Warriors to drive up the bargaining price. This looks like a fascinating soap opera stay tuned.
Speaking of Wiggins: Check this sick dunk
25-year-old German soccer star Mesut Ozil has donated his World Cup prize money – totaling more than $400,000 for winning the tournament – to various charity projects in Brazil. The hefty sum is reportedly going to fund surgeries for 23 Brazilian children.
Stuart Scott’s heartrending speech at the Espy’s, I know that there are many in this collective that don’t like the four letter sports monolith. I tolerate it more than I used to but the ESPY awards aside from the push for the V Foundation is a useless drill though the award for perserverence going to Scott who has been battling cancer. His fight and his quiet determination is admirable and like him being the father of two, I get the inspiration and motivation that he draws from. Cancer sucks, as you well know I lost a dear friend to this awful disease a couple months ago and have several friends who are fighting this now. I do what I can do to support them but in reality have no idea the fight that they face. Scott’s simple yet eloquent speech was poignant, and heartfelt without being cheesy. Here’s to you Stu, keep fighting the good fight.
To MLB and Fox for not honoring the memory of Tony Gwynn during last weeks All-Star game…if not wanting to slight others why not do like they do at the Oscars and have a segment on those Baseball lost…
Dan Uggla…how far has this guy fallen…
Cancer sucks…best wishes to Atlanta Dream and former Laker Michael Cooper who is battling cancer of the tongue.
Even the best of men can shoot off their mouths, Coach Dungy? Really?
The Ol' Ball Coach cant help but dig at Dabo but how many BCS games have the 'Cocks been too? (Ill give you a hint, my beloved Bearcats who have been to two more than South Carolina...)
If Sterling stays in LA, look for the biggest mass exodus from a team since the old Padres fire sales.
Have you started prepping for your fantasy drafts yet?
That’s the view from the Hoodwood, until next post fellow sports fans!
While ticked off that the car brakes went out on me on Wednesday but tickled pink because the rest of the week was a series of awesomness that I haven't experienced in quite a while. Yes, overall I had a GREAT week...
YOUTH SPORTS FOLLOW UP
My friend Brian attended the wake for our mutual former player Ryan last week. He told me that another player caught up to him after he left the building and told him how much Ryan thought of Brian as a coach and from playing for him. Kind of a nice thing to be told despite the sad circumstances that led to the information being given.
MLB ALL-STAR GAME
While my mother watched the All-Star Game this week, I ended up skipping it. But I caught the highlights. I have to say that if Adam Wainwright grooved the pitches to Derek Jeter, he didn't honor Jeter, he dishonored both the player and the game.
As a Red Sox fan, I fully wrap myself in the sports hatred of the Yankees. But I've always thought Jeter carried himself with a huge degree of class. A role model of the game. So his departure from the game will be a big loss.
And while seeing him get a hit in his final All-Star appearance was something any appreciative baseball fan would want to happen, knowing that it was basically served up to him cheapens those hits in my mind. That's not a knock on Jeter, but rather an insult to Wainwright.
I know he tried to back off his statements, but no one really believes his retraction do they?
Thanks to a Cappie Pondexter (pictured below) game winning shot with 0.4 seconds left in the game, the New York Liberty hit the All-Star break with a 77-75 victory over the Atlanta Dream. They are 8-13 on the season.
By the way, Pondexter was selected as a starter for the All-Star Game while another Liberty player Tina Charles was added to the squad as a reserve.
Oh and no WNBA subsection here at Sunday Musings would be complete without some form of mention of Katie Smith, this week brought another of the WNBA trading cards that she is featured on into my collection. This time it was the 2006 League Leaders in Free Throw Pct%.
The MMQB.com had a lengthy article this past Wednesday on former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren as he finds his way into retirement. You can check it out HERE.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
While the team continues their offseason preparations, which you can get updates from all over their Facebook and Twitter pages, you can get to know soon to be sophomore Emilee Daley (pictured below) via this interview.
COLLEGE BASEBALL SUMMER LEAGUE
This past Monday evening I ended up at the Wareham Gatemen game against the Brewster Whitecaps. It was a home game for Wareham in their Cape Cod Baseball League schedule. Unfortunately, despite a close game, the Gatemen ended up losing 3-2.
I was there because I was having a mini reunion of sorts with a friend of mine from high school. I haven't actually seen Rachael since her graduation party 25 years ago. We reconnected via Facebook and when she told me she'd be here for a week we made plans to meet up. It was great to see her and meet her husband and kids. I also met (or met all over again as the case may be) one of Rachael's best friends, Julie. All in all, just a good way for a week to go where I wasn't totally glued to the TV. It was almost like I had a "real" life or something.
Here's a photo of the group of us at the game:
From R-L: Julie, Rachael, Nick (Rachael's husband) and me. Julie's daughter Sydney is in front of her mother.
TV - The lights out fantastic season finale of 24: Live Another Day aired on Monday night. You can read my rather extensive recap of the episode HERE.
For those of you who might be a fan of the Showtime series Homeland, the first look trailer for Season 4 is below.
And let us not forget that the new season of Doctor Who starts August 23rd. You can check out the first trailer for the new season below.
Comics - The world's largest comic convention, the San Diego Comic Con, is being held next week. There's bound to be a ton of huge announcements in relation to comics, movies, TV and gaming.
Movies - On Thursday, I logged into my Twitter account (don't forget to follow me @TheOneTrueJay) and I had received a message from the guy who sent me that book I Am Pilgrim to review. It turns out they have now signed a deal to make the book into a movie. I'm psyched about that! And the fact that the guy took the time to keep me in the loop about it. You can read the article about the movie announcement HERE.
Also, I watched the documentary film Life Itself last week. It is about the life and career of film critic Roger Ebert. While parts of it were tough to watch, overall this was a fantastic look at the good and bad of Ebert, pretty much the only movie critic I relied on to form at least a basic foundation on whether or not I was going to see a movie.
Books - Speaking of prose storytelling, this week conspired against me in regards to completing any books. But yesterday afternoon as I made my appointed rounds, I ended up picking up the brand new Daniel Silva hardcover The Heist. It is the latest in his Gabriel Allon series. While I typically don't buy hardcovers, when it comes to this series, I tend to grab the book when it hits the shelves because invariably I'lll find myself immersed in a story do deeply I don't want to put the book down.
Music - Ever wonder what became of the woman who played the title role in the video for the Night Ranger song "Sister Christian"? Well, someone tracked her down and you can read this article to find out.
Rat Pak Records will be releasing the first solo album from Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar in August. The CD is called One For The Road. You can check out the video for the song "No Strings" below.
Oh and "Weird Al" Yankovic has a new parody video out called "Word Crimes". You can check it out below.