Friday, July 30, 2010

Don Cooper on Stephen Strasburg

CNNSI's Tom Verducci interviewed White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who compared Washington's new ace to Mark Prior in terms of throwing motion and durability concerns.

Strasburg just began his first stint on the DL today with minor shoulder inflammation.

This is not good news for the Nats.

Since 2003, the Sox have gotten 21 200+ inning years from its pitchers, which is seven more than the next best team in baseball. So Coop knows what he's talking about. It doesn't hurt when you've got ironman Mark Buehrle on your team, but he only accounted for 1/3 of the full seasons of quality pitching. The only other guy last year with over 200 innings? Any guesses?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Does Indiana Need a Mascot

As college football nears us again, I wanted to take up the cause again that Indiana needs a Mascot. I know most people hate mascots and relative new comers to the Chicago scene SouthPaw (White Sox) and Tommy Hawk (BlackHawks) have not been welcomed with that much enthusiasm. That’s the pros though. College is way different and Mascots are cool. FSU’s Chief Osceola rides into the stadium an plants a flaming spear into ground. Not to be out down, Southern Cal has Tommy Trojan in full war gear who rides around the stadium on Traveler (who ironically doesn’t go on road games) and plants his sword into the ground before every game. Colorado is led onto the field but a friggin Buffalo for crying out loud, how awesome is that.

Now I know what you’re thinking. The reason Indiana doesn’t have a mascot is because what the heck is a Hoosier? It’s a person from Indiana. Great, so our mascot will basically be Herbie the Husker. While this might be true, let’s look around the College landscape some more. The Alabama Crimson Tide have and Elephant, Alabama’s biggest rival Auburn has a War Eagle to go along with its Tiger. Another SEC team the Tennessee Volunteers have a Coon Hound. Even the Navy Midshipmen have a goat. So clearly there is precedent for Indiana to have a mascot that has nothing to do with anything. Here are my top three choices for IU’s new mascot.

Indiana Jones (Dr Henry Jones Jr, not the dog)

I know what you’re thinking, That is the stupidest suggestion you have ever heard. However, admit it, you laughed when you read it. Also, think of the possibilities with having Indy as the mascot, no more boring halftime shows at assembly hall. Instead we could have Indiana performing various stunts from his various movies.

Plus, you cannot tell me you would look away if you saw Indiana Jones with a basketball running towards a trampoline underneath the basket? His name works perfectly with the school, and he’s a professor. Why wouldn’t a school want to have a professor as a mascot. Academics first right? The biggest setback would obviously be copyright infringement, but I am sure the David Anspaugh can talk to Steven Spielberg and work something out.

Fear the Deer

My number Two entry is a Buck. I think this is a logical choice given the environment around Indiana University. The area is very woodsy and home to many Bucks and Deer. I also cannot think of another school that has a Buck or a Deer as a mascot. In fact the only team I can think of that has a buck as a mascot is the Milwaukee Bucks who’s mascot, Bango, is awesome.

With this you could have the basically the same mascot as the Bucks, but dress him in IU gear as well as have a live Buck on the sideline. I am talking about a big 12 pointer Buck. Yes we’d have to make sure none of the local hunters tried to shoot him and mount them on the wall, but other than that I don’t see the down side. Plus we could use the always fun, “Fear the Deer” phrase. A good name for him would be Bucky, just to piss of Wisconsin.

IU Gorilla

The Gorilla is already the unofficial mascot so this is a solid choice. I would not want this guy, but someone who is part of the band/cheer squad to take over the duties. I know a Gorilla has nothing to do with Indiana or the area around Indiana like me previous two choices, but like the mascots listed in the intro, what does a Gorilla have to do with Phoenix or the Suns

The University could even team up with the Indianapolis Zoo and keep a group of Silverback Gorillas in a habitat somewhere between Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall similar to Mike the Tiger at LSU. As for naming the Gorilla, I am open to suggestions, but right now I am sticking with just calling him the IU Gorilla.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yahoo! Fantasy on the Bears

If you play fantasy football (and hey, who am I kidding, nine out of the ten of us who read this thing do), then you probably are familiar with Yahoo's Juggernaut Index, written by Andy Behrens. If not, you can find all the entries here at Roto Arcade.

Behrens ranks every team in the NFL for the coming season, not by hopes for a good year in the wins column, but by how useful their players will be on your fantasy squad.
The countdown has now reached No. 20, the Chicago Bears. Much of the analysis is based on the new Martz system and how well the Bears' personnel can handle it - one stat I thought was interesting is that in every year with Martz as the OC, his teams have given up a lot of sacks, and thrown a lot of INTs. More details are over at Yahoo.

One Bear who Behrens trashes is Matt Forte:

"Forte was of course a fantasy star in his rookie season, thanks largely to the 379 total touches, but as an actual NFL talent he appears to be just another guy. He still hasn't averaged 4.0 YPC over a full season, and it may not happen this year. He certainly looks like a runner who needs an outstanding O-line and an old school lead-blocking fullback; in Chicago's offense, he'll have neither."

But he does wrap up by noting that, "This was the most difficult JI of all," so maybe there's still hope. Personally I'm looking at drafting at least one of the Bears' WRs, whichever one falls to a convenient position to be my third or fourth option.

ESPN Doesn't want to Upset Lebron

This Article from NBC is very interesting. ESPN apparently pulled an article about Lebron hosting a party in Las Vegas only minutes after it went up.

College Football Preview

As I have already stated, I hate pre-season rankings. I think in a sport with such high turnover, it is dumb to try and predict who is going to be good the coming year. The worst part about this, is pre-season rankings can have an impact on the National Title game. I personally don’t think any rankings should be produced until at least week 6. Will this happen? No, because pre-season rankings sell magazines and produce hits on websites. So instead of ranking teams, I am going to discuss teams and players who you should keep an eye on for next season as well as pick my conference champions.


I think the ACC, along with the Pac-10, will be the most competitive Automatic Qualifier (AQ, AKA the improper term BCS) conference this season. I could see any team winning the conference and see any number of teams winning either division. Georgia Tech is the defending champion and my pick to win the conference. Paul Johnson has gotten better each season in Atlanta and has one of the toughest offense to prepare for. UNC is a popular pick to win it as Butch Davis has settled in with some great recruiting classes. Miami, Clemson, Va Tech and FSU (needs a D though) should all be better this year. I could see any of these teams winning it. The one thing I expect from the ACC this year is a lot of close entertaining games, so the real winner (get ready for the lameness) will be the fans.

Champ: Georgia Tech


The last year of the Big XII before it loses two members should be a good one. Nebraska, on its way out to join the Big Ten, is predicted to win the Big XII north based on the strength of the blackshirts even with the loss of Suh. Bo Pelini needs to find more ways to score then last season as the offense was the reason they didn’t win more. Phil Steele (One of College Football’s best prognosticators) has Oklahoma as his #1 team in the year. Who am I to disagree with him. The biggest weakness from last year’s team was O-Line is now one year better. Landry Jones (hopefully he will still be rocking his awesome mustache) also has a year of experience under him in a Bob Stoops offense that has never struggled to score points. Texas should be good again, but will suffer a drop off after losing the QB with the most wins in NCAA history in Colt McCoy. The team is stacked with Texas talent (all but 3 of the top 2 lines on the depth chart are from Texas) but will have to win the Red River Rivalry game if they want to win the South. Baylor will not be competing for the Big XII title but will be a team to watch because they have my personal favorite player in NCAA this year Robert Griffin.

Champs: Oklahoma

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pac-10 Football Promo

I dislike the Pac-10 as much as any good Big Ten fan does. Saying that, I thouroughly enjoyed this new Pac-10 video

I found it in this great article about Pac-10 rebranding by Andy Staples. BTW yes the Pac-10 is invadeing New York and your TVs on ESPN as part of this rebranding.

Was This the Best Football Offseason Ever?

I say Yes! Why was it? Was this the best draft class ever? Was it because the Bears got some of the top free agents? How about USC being suspended from post season play? All good reasons to think it was a good offseason, but no. There has not been a lull in sports since the final seconds ticked off the Saints Super Bowl win over the Colts. Think about it, the Super Bowl was played on February 7th, 2010. Let’s take a look at what’s happened since then.

Just five days after the Super Bowl the Winter Olympics began. The Olympics started February 12th and went all the way through the month of February (normally the most boring sports month of the year). Even if you don’t normally get caught up in the Olympics, it was hard not to follow the USA hockey team on it’s way to the Silver Medal. It was even harder to avoid Olympic hockey if you were a Blackhawks fan who send 6 players, all of whom played in the Gold or Bronze medal games. The USA set the record for medals in a Winter games while their neighbors to the north took home the most Gold Medals in a good showing for the host nation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Top Chef Power Rankings (07/21/10)

After watching this weeks episode there is only one conclusion I can draw. THESE CHEFS HATE EACH OTHER. Yes it might all be strategy, but man, they do not seem to get along. Each confessional discusses strategy and backstabbing. The drama will definitely be there all the way to the end. After a pretty quiet season (but a lot of debate here on ACSS) Tamesha was sent home. There are 10 Chefs left with restaurant wars only two episodes away.

This weeks power rankings didn't have much movement mainly cause we didn't hear what the judges had to say. The only analysis we heard on the dishes were throw them under the bus style critiques from other judges.

Top Shelf

1. Angelo Sosa (Last Week #1)

Angelo had a quiet week cooking wise but was the talk of the episode as the master strategist. I think he is playing the game and not really caring what happens as long as he wins. I could be totally off on this. He still is the best chef on the show regardless, but even if he wasn't the drama he creates will keep him on the show.

Football Is Upon Us

I am not going to try to out do my Ode to College Football (a must read if you haven't already and love college football) but here are some of the things I have been thinking about the past few weeks.

Script Ohio. My personal favorite college football tradition

Howard's Rock (Great Piece on it)

Ralphie running onto the field. I would not want to be one of the four guys that runs with him.

Tailgaiting on Lake Washington

Boise State

Running through the T

And of course, IU FOOTBALL!

I love this clip for various reason. My favorite part is at the 1:12 mark you can see me getting up from a big pile up of people I created after I tripped on my way onto the Field. I am all the way to the left of the screen in a white hoody and have a red whig on.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Orioles Fans Get a Reason to Cheer

This kid is just awesome. What's the over/under on amount of times he would have gotten Tased at a Phillies game? 9? Seriously, way to go dude. I guess this proves that Baltimore cops really do have more important things to do than work security at baseball games. And all this time I thought The Wire was made up.