Saturday, June 5, 2010

I Know, I Know, Lakers vs. Celtics, But...

Props to Send Lebron to Chicago for this.

At this point, let's do the math. Nets, Knicks, Heat, Bulls, Clippers. I pretty much think that's it.

The Nets have a core of Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, and the #3 pick. They are also coming off just a godawful season.

The Knicks are terrible.

The Heat would give Bron a great sidekick in D-Wade, but not a whole lot else.

The Clippers' have a nice supporting cast, not too bad -- Kaman, an aging but still effective Baron Davis, Eric Gordon.

And then we have the Bulls. As this video points out, LeBron James and Derrick Rose may be the two most athletic stars in the game today. Rose is only 21. James still has, what, eight good years left (if we use the Garnett model for high school sustainability)?

Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng are rock solid in their roles. This is a team that could become a dynasty with one simple move. No reaching for Bosh or Joe Johnson, or Amare. No complications.

Call it 'Just Add LeBron,' because unlike every other suitor, that is all the Bulls have to do to become instant championship favorites. Of course, we knew this already. But hey, cool video right?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Da Bears at Da Flags

While working my job at Six Flags Great America I had a unique experience. I was operating the Giant Drop when the VIP tours people came by and said they needed all 12 seat on the next cycle. The guys walked in and I was like, that guy looks really familiar. Then as he sat down I said to myself, "Holy crap that's Devin Hester!" Upon further review, I see the other "better" Devin that being Aromashodu. One guy was super hesitant about riding and asked me how tall the ride was and then ended up chickening out. I tried to tell him it wasn't bad but he said it was OK he would sit out anyway. The gentleman was none other than our star halfback Matt Forte. I have operated rides for other celebrities such as Jordin Sparks and the group Danity Kane, but by far this one ranks at the top of the list for me.

Here is the link for the Six Flags facebook page where they have some pictures posted of the Bears during their day.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Finally Found a Reason to Watch Hockey!

As a Chicagoan, it has been my duty to root for the Blackhawks through this great playoff run of theirs, but I gotta admit, hockey still just isn't my game.

It ranks comfortably behind basketball, football, baseball, and soccer on my list of personal favorites. Dodgeball would leapfrog it as well, if there were a professional dodgeball league, but then I wouldn't be stuck doing this for a living now, would I?

Anyway, thanks to the thorough douchiness of Chris Pronger (man, that's an easy guy to dislike! See his "bush league" puck stealing for exhibits A and B.), I started exploring the wonderful world of hockey fights today. My last experience with hockey fights was probably in NHL '95 for the Nintendo 64, where it involved a health bar and wannabe Street Fighter action. Good times.

Allow me to direct you, via the mysterious rabbit hole of YouTube, to one of my new favorite sites:

It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Only more so. There's a page specific to every team and every player, and even a 'top 25 fights of 2009-2010' section.

Blackhawks Fights

This one is probably the best, starring Adam Burish and Derek Dorsett (it rated a 6.8):

And, what's that you say? You'd like to see Flyers captain Mike Richards get his a** handed to him? Okay!

It's not that I love violence, but hockey is the only sport I can think of where the game happily transforms from one thing (hockey) to quite another (amateur boxing/flailing) and nobody minds. Can you imagine this happening in football? Somebody would die within a week! They sure as hell wouldn't be putting up a Tale of the Tape as the helmets dropped.

So yeah, go Hawks. And if somebody decides to take on Pronger, I wish them the best. Paging Dustin Byfuglien...

EDIT: Deadspin is on it. Ohhhh yes.

Bears, Hoosiers Will Represent in UFL

Whoever wrote this article was kind of lazy, because they mention Dewayne White and Frank Walker (??) being NFL vets, but if you scroll down, there is at least one name I find much more notable:

With the 42nd pick in the Ultimate Football League draft (that's the ninth round), Las Vegas selected former Bears safety (more recently, he was a 49er) Tony Parrish! No kidding! The Las Vegas Locomotives are coached by none other than former Giant coach Jim Fassel. They won the UFL championship last season, just for the record.

Humorously enough, Parrish was drafted 35th overall, in the second round, by the NFL in 1995. That's seven spots higher than the UFL took him.

The clearly clueless author of that article also mentions Parrish as a safety out of Washington, which is technically true, although he graduated, uh, fifteen years ago.

Indiana's Greg Middleton, who you may remember for his one great season -- he had sixteen sacks and was first-team All Big Ten as a sophomore -- went 52nd to Florida.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jim Joyce Better Buy Armando Galarraga Something Nice

It's unbelievable that we could have had THREE perfect games in one season, let alone three in one month!

First base umpire Jim Joyce blew a call during today's Tigers-Indians game (the Tigers ended up winning 3-0) to deny pitcher Armando Galarraga what would have been a perfecto, the 21st in history, and the third this year after Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay notched their own.

Oh, and he did it with two outs, in the ninth inning. And then Galarraga calmly went and retired the next batter on a routine grounder. So props to him on that.

The ump, afterward, admitted that "I just cost that kid a perfect game... it was the biggest call of my career." (from ESPN)

If I'm Joyce, I'm calling Armando to apologize, and I'm taking him (and his interpreter) someplace real nice for dinner. It's the least he can do. Really he should get him a freakin' car or something. I will say this; It was classy of him to admit his mistake right away.

Also, somewhere Joe West is crazy jealous that he couldn't blow that call to promote his country album.

Story at ESPN, with commentary from Tim Kurkjian, quotes from Joyce.

Kurkjian makes an interesting point on this story and instant replay.

Safe or Out has always been one of those judgement calls, like Ball or Strike - I know when I was a little league ump, I would have hated to have a camera behind my back 24/7, but maybe if you allow one or two challenges a game, you avoid stories like this.

IU Football Recruiting Update

A few weeks backed I mentioned the fast start that "Wild" Bill Lynch was having on the 2011 recruiting trail, and while there have been no more commitments since then, there is a bit of news on the recruiting front today:
IU officially has a 4 star and top 250 in the nation recruit committed - At least according to (One important thing to note is that signing day isn't until next February...and IU has seen their fair share of 4 star recruits burn them in the past...but it is still news-worthy today.)
The only info that I have on the kid (his name is Zach Shaw) is that he is a 6'3" 218 pound OLB from Coshocton, OH. According to his only offers to date are from MAC teams which would make him an "under the radar" type prospect...but the numbers don't lie.

His profile on Rivals lists him with some remarkable stats as a Junior this past season: 228 tackles (228!) and 8 interceptions - he definitely fits the mold of athletic linebackers with incredible ball skills (4.84 40 yard dash, 4.47 short shuttle).

Mark me down as someone who doesn't completely buy into stars and their translation to college success (part of that stems from being an IU fan and convincing myself that there is reason for optomism each year), but this is still a nice development. Seeing this early recruiting success is good for the program.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Accidental Site Access?

So I was reading a story about Roy Halladay's perfect game, and came across a link to "Online Edge," ESPN's in-depth reports on MLB players including an incredibly detailed array of stats.

You can check it out here.

We all know ESPN doesn't like to give this sort of information for free... is it possible that this access was accidental? In that case, check out those report cards while ya can.