Thursday, July 9, 2009

Xavier Guard Jordan Crawford Dunks On....

Well, I'd be remiss not to at least mention this story.

I always said that Jordan Crawford would make IU regret letting him go.

PS- I HATE HATE HATE Skip Bayless. Hate. His cerebral hemmhorage five years from now will leave me feeling slightly guilty but not all that sad.

Major Trade Rumor!

According to's mysterious sources, there is a three-way trade in the works between Portland, Utah, and the Bulls.

This deal would allegedly send Carlos Boozer (pictured) to Chicago, while Kirk Hinrich would head to Portland and the starting PG job and Tyrus Thomas would move to Utah.

Frankly, I don't want to lose either of those guys and although Boozer is a nice player, I don't think he would offset the losses. I guess we'll see what happens in the coming hours.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BCS Haters, it is not time to rejoice

Found this good read on from my favorite SI writer Stewart Mandel.

The story is a commentary on the up coming anti-trust case against the BCS.

I highly recommend reading his book. Fodor and I have both read it, and if you want to borrow it, let me know I can give you my copy (If I ever get it back from my sister)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Retro Diary: Classic College Football on BTN Illinois at Indiana 1999

It was Indiana day on the Big Ten Network so I recorded a bunch of stuff. One of the things I recorded was a classic college football game from 1999. Illinois at Indiana to celebrate the awesomness that was Randel El. So I’m stealing from Bill Simmons and doing a retro running diary.

Hello All. We are live from La Casa de Steve in Chicago. We are joined by the legendary Hester and Halas while Jamie is giving me dirty looks for watching this.
Interesting note from the pre-game hype from the Big Ten Network, they were showing IU playing PSU in the Hoosier Dome (RCA dome, I don’t know when the name changed). Did IU play there a lot? Did they really anticipate that many PSU fans? If they were trying to get more money, then why don’t they go up there for Ohio State or Michigan? Anybody know?
On to the game
1st Qtr.
11:47: Have to say the first thing I notice is Indiana’s fantastic Jersey’s that Cam Cameron decided to use because they are sooooooo frigging cool. If you don’t remember, just google “Randle El Indiana” and it will come up (the links haven’t been working otherwise I would link it) They are fire engine red, with lots of black all over, Black helmets with a red oval with IU separated inside it. Kind of 49er esk. Just fantastic, why’d we ever change?

11:33: Also noticing the field at IU’s Memorial Stadium. It’s grass! In Anthony Thompson’s day it was Astroturf and in 2003 it was Astroplay or field turf. Just found it a little odd to look at.

11:02: For a game featuring two traditionally sub standard football teams there are a lot of NFL personnel, especially Chicago connections. Lets see who we’ve seen/heard so far.
• IU coach Cam Cameron. Head Coach 1 year in Miami and is currently O-Coordinator in Baltimore
• U of I coach Ron Turner: Current Bears O-Coordinator
• U of I QB Kurt Kittner: Bounced around the league awhile, I believe he spent a season or two third stringing for the Bears
• I believe U of I’s center is Dick Butkus’ kid, Luke or Lucas Butkus. I didn’t get a starting line-up so can’t confirm, I will keep my eye out for this.
• U of I WR Brendan Lloyd: Former Bears WR no in Denver
• IU DE Adewale Ogunleye: Current Bears starting DE and Defensive Captain
• IU QB Antwaan Randle El: Superbowl winner in Pittsburgh current Washington WR. From Thorton in Chicagoland.

10:30 : Adewale Just got his 31st career sack and here’s what the announcer just said about him. “Pre-Season All-American, already graduated from college, coming back and working on his graduate degree.” He’s awesome, but you all knew I am already overly obsessed with him
9:56: Another NFL sighting, Neil Rackers!!!! But, he just missed a 27 yard field goal so we are tied at 0-0 with the man of the show coming on RANDLE EL!

9:56: Randle El, first play, runs the option for 10 yards.

9:40: What I love about watching this replay it the cut all the boring commentary between plays between the two announcers, and leave in all the good conversations, speeds the game along.

7:43: FUMBLE! Illinois recovers, IU ran I think 6 plays all the option, Love it!

6:28: Just saw the old Chief Illinwik image next to Illinois’ stats, as much as I make fun of the school, I still really like that logo.

4:32: Illinois, a heavy passing team with Kittner, is just killing Indiana with running the ball, just slowly methodically marching down the field

3:50. Micheal DEAN! Wow U of I scores first on an amazing TD pass. Dean went around the IU player and grabbed the ball with just 1 hand. Wow. 7-0 U of I

2nd Qtr:

15:00 No idea what happened to the last 3 minutes of the 1st qtr, just started the 2nd quarter with Havard from Illinois going 20+ yards on a rush.

13:05: After more of Ron Turner playing smash mouth (wasn’t he supposed to be a pass happy coordinator in college?) Neil Rackers hits a field goal 10-0 U of I

13:05 Randle El Option again!

12:37: Randle El completes his first pass, a beautiful fake run and then released a bullet.

11:27: 100% of IU’s offense is Randle El. I don’t think I’ve seen a run the wasn’t an option.

10:30: 1 first down, followed by a 3 and out. So Randle El hasn’t rushed for more then 10 yards since the opening play, completed his first pass in the second quarter, wasn’t this supposed to be a highlight game for IU?

9:25: “A lot of people said Adawale would have been a 1st round draft pick in the NFL had he come out last year, he would have been, he was rated very high, very stable. He said he came to IU for an education not for the NFL so he decided to stay.” HOW DID HE GO UNDRAFTED THEN?

9:00 CHRIS DIELMAN!!!! PRO BOWL GUARD for the Chargers just caught a 30 yard wide open pass playing TE for the Hoosiers! Man I completely forgot he was on this team. This leads to Jamie (still giving evil looks) asking if Dave Diehl (NYG OT) is playing for Illinois at this point. I think he is, I will keep looking.

7:00 4th and 1. Everyone knows its going to Randle El and he gets it.

6:13: Coolest stat of the night so far, ESPN is showing stats about how awesome this Sophomore QB is, here’s what it shows:
• TD Accountability*: 92.9% (Leads I-A)
• Rush TD: 6 (T-1st)
• Rush Yards: 362 (2nd)
o *13 of 14 IU touchdowns.

Talk about a 1 man show. 92.9% of IU’s touchdowns came from Randle El!

5:22: Facemask saves IU and gives them a second life on the goal line going in. U of I’s linebacker Clark gets called for it. Apparently he is a Butkus Award candidate. Just showed the replay, a Gift for IU. It was 4th and 5, now 1st and 3. First play, Randle El 3 yard run for a TD on a 3rd effort. Touchdown Accountability is now 93.3%. 10-7 U of I leading

3:46: Randle El comes in on defense! No, they just announced it was Curtis Randle El, Antwaan’s brother. Dang, WHY DIDN’T THE YOUNGER ONE COME TO IU! I’m bitter. I know he didn’t do much, but I’m still bitter.

3:16: Jamie on Google, Dave Diehl is in the game, only for Field Goal unit.

1:45: 3rd and long, 39% on 3rd down, not promising. They don’t get it

1:00: 4th and 3 they go for it and get it, U of I getting a personal foul facemask, IU was all over the U of I player to protect Mr. EL

0:31: IU is in field goal range, IU tries to do a double pass, but the first 1 is incomplete but behind line of scrimmage so fumble, picked it up and runs backwards, then fumbles again and IU is out of Football range.

0:00: Pretty dull first half for a classic game. I have faith. Just found out IU FB Jeremy Johnson (I’ve never heard of him either) goes on to play for the Cincinnati Bengals

Indianapolis Star Reporter commenting on IU Football Fans: “If you can’t get 40,000 fans to come see this guy play, what’s it going to take?” I want to argue, but it’s kind of true.

14:17: IU ran a few promising plays during the first drive, but Randle El and Jeremy Johnson exchange on the option is botched and fumbled. Good to know they both made the NFL.

13:15: The commentator just said “There have been a couple of questionable calls made by Ron Turner.” Does that not summarize his career? Glad to see the Bears brought him back. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m not a Turner fan, and I still blame him more then Sexy Rexy for the Super Bowl.

12:42: Randle El has not had an explosive play yet, kind of bummed, lots of small chunks

12:14: “They really are the Fighting Illini this year; they weren’t fighting the past two years, no fighting in them. They went 0-11 two years ago and only won 3 last year.” That made me smile.

11:25: 30 yard pass completed. Somehow IU is still not passed mid-field.

11:09: Randle El just got sacked which leads to us finding out Randle El had only been sacked two times coming into this ball game. Please tell me how we went to 0 Bowl games with someone this good on our team. I’m now going to pour boiling water down my throat. (Yes I am taking more then just the running diary from Simmons now: I LOVE YOU SPORTS GUY! Please don’t sue. I’m not making any money off this)

10:40: Randle El sacked back to back plays. Even better, HE FUMBLES! If this game was live, remotes would be flying around the room.

9:15: Kittner just scrambled for 10, so what does Turner do on 3rd and 4 from the 4? QB draw! Let me guess what he was thinking. “Their QB could do it, just cause he’s athletic and fast, and mine is slow and white, doesn’t mean that he can’t do the same thing.

8:23: U of I goes for it on 4th and 1 and punches it in, then goes for 2 and gets it. 21-7 U of I over IU

8:23: Jamie chimes in, “If we were watching this game live, we would have turned it off by now.” Yes she said this less the 2 minutes after I would have thrown my remote.

EVEN BETTER the preview guy goes. Down 21-7 things go from bad to worse for Coach Cameron and the Hoosiers!” What is going on? This is IU’s day, make me feel better!

6:10: IU goes 3 and out, or so I guess, IU had then ball then we just skipped to 6:10 and U of I has the ball

6:06: For the betting public, IU was favored in this game. That’s good at least.

5:32: Kurt Kittner has just completed 3 fantastic passes. He has had all day, not even my love for Adawale can blind me from the fact that IU’s D-line looks like garbage.

4:58: Harris scores on a 10 yard run. Announcer: “Illinois is starting to blow IU out!” Jamie “How do we come Back!” Steve just started taking shots to make himself feel better. 28-7 U of I

4:49: Randle El completes a pass to an IU WR who promptly falls down, don’t worry it’s negated from an illegal formation penalty.

4:16: Jamie starts singing the IU fight song with the band, she thinks it’s attractive. I can’t disagree.

3:43: Randle EL just ran 28 yards inside the 30, FINALLY making a play on a broken play.

2::59: The game gets even better, just inside the red zone, IU gets called for Offensive Pass interference! 15 yard penalty.

2:30: Next play Randle El throws a beautiful pass to Dorsey at the 3 yard line. He rolled right, stopped, and threw the ball across his body and across the field and could not have placed it better. Pretty play.
2:09: IU runs the option, Randle El keeps it and punches it in. 28-14 U of I. Randle El’s TD Accountability is now 93.75%.

:56 3 and out for U of I. Announcers start debating which conference is better, SEC, ACC or Big Ten. Announcers decided the ACC has best team, (FSU) but doesn’t mean they are best conference, SEC is top heavy, and Big Ten, top to bottom can give anybody a run for their money. Glad to see a decade later we are still debating this.

0:00 End of 3rd Qtr. 28-14.

8:46: No I did not get lazy, this is the time we rejoin the game. I assume nothing happened cause the scores the same. I think I’m going to give BTN the benefit of the doubt on this one.

8:15: U of I Fumbles! IU BALL! Adawale forces the fumble! I’m sorry Wale, I’ll never doubt you again. IU ball on the 40 going in!

7:27: Randle El breaks a 30 yard run on 2nd and 2 gets tackled at the 10. Just heard the first down music! I did not know the played it back then. I thought it was started around the 2005 2006 season. I don’t remember hearing it my freshmen or sophomore year (03 and 04). Am I crazy? Please help me out. Also, if Shark was here, he’d be bitter and complaining about the music, “What is this, this is a train? Whatever it is I’m not doing it.”

6:44: Willams scores on a 3 yard run on the option pitch! Here comes the Hoosiers! 28-21 U of I leading. This destroys Randle El’s TD Accountability dropping it all the way to 88.24%.

6:08: Just showed a view of the stadium. There is no one there. I am thinking that A. It never was that full, and B. When we started losing, people headed for the tailgates.

5:35: After 3 and out. IU gets the ball back. Also for all my complaining about Randle El not doing that well, just saw passing stats

• Kittner 156 Yards
• Randle El 226 Yards.

2:58: 4th and 9 at the 30 going in. IU goes for it! But not before getting this close to a delay of game, and calls a timeout

Just found out Cam Cameron played for Lee Corso! And he played basketball for IU, I don’t believe that second 1. Still love Coach Corso.

Randle El splits 3 U of I defenders for a fantastic pass and an Indiana first down.

2:26: Randle El makes half the Illini defense miss, gets 10 yards for the 1st down and gets out of bounds. He just went over 151 yards on the ground. Apparently I’m missing all his great plays while typing. He is having a fantastic game.

2:21: RANDLE EL!!! High snap over his head, he tips it to himself, turns around, and runs 9 yards untouched on a broken play for the game tying Touchdown! 28-28. tie game. TD accountability 88.88%

1:50: I know I haven’t talked too much about IU’s defense, but my boy, Wale, is everywhere, he is taking over this 4th qtr.

1:30: 90 seconds left U of I gets a first down, but is only at the 30.

1:15: GUESS WHO! Ogunleye with another sack! Announcer 1 “Remember the name Adawale Ogunleye, you’ll see it in the first round of the NFL draft next year.” Announcer 2 “You can contain Ogunleye for awhile, but you can’t stop him for 4 quarters.” Again, he went undrafted, why? Did his knee explode? Did the King get sick and he had to do some Prince duties back home? Anyone?

0:00 IU just kneels and we are going to OVERTIME! BTW I would like to thank Neil Rackers for missing a FG on the first drive to allow this game to OT. Still not my favorite Neil Rackers miss, see 2005 Bears vs Cardinals on Monday Night.

IU Captains for the game, Place-kicker, Offensive tackle, Wale and Randle El. IU wins the toss and goes on D. U of I is going to the North Endzone. It takes the Ref 2 tries to explain what happened after the coin flip.

OT Pos 1: U of I Runs the ball for a first down. Kittner avoids a sack, and almost gets a grounding from 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

OT Pos 1: Wide open Screen pass, DROPPED! He catches that, he walks in for the score.

OT Pos 1: Guess Who! Another sack from Wale. Jamie “How did he not get drafted?” EXACTLY!

OT Pos 1: Neil Rackers makes the FG 31-28

OT Pos 2: IU time to respond, FG to tie and extend, TD to win.

OT Pos 2: First play TD! Play Action fake to Williams, Randle El drops back, lofts a fade to the corner to ....Williams! Amazing!

Wale yelling at the camera the IU’s got Heart, he still looks the same. This makes me smile.

Fun Stuff I learned about Randle El while watching: Finished 6th in Heisman Voting, 2001 Big Ten Player of the year, and was the first player ever to pass for and rush for 40 TDs. During this game he is only a sophomore, so after this football season, he’s walking across the parking lot to Assembly Hall to play basketball for Bobby Knight. He is just awesome.

So what have we learned today? Randle El is awesome! I have no idea how Wale didn’t get drafted! And doing a running diary is hard, but it was fun. GO HOOSIERS

Mark Buehrle and Ted Lilly are Chicago's All-Stars

Just in case you didn't hear, Mark Buehrle and Ted Lilly have been named to the All-Star team.