Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Violent Vegas

It seems that All-Star Weekend was not as much of a success as the biased media are leading us to believe. Remember, Vegas is trying to get attract an NBA team, so covering violence is simply not in their interest. Similarly, the NBA's media partners are trying to rid of the hip-hop thug culture that has been plaguing the league the past few years.

Jason Whitlock, a well known national columnist frequently seen on the wonderful Pardon the Interruption, writes that Las Vegas was filled with brawls and shootings last weekend.'s Bill Simmons wrote yet another ridiculously lengthy but hilarious Page 2 column that, among many other things, described Vegas streets as a free-for-all danger zone.

UPDATE: Scoop Jackson has wrote another good column about this subject as well.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

NBA All-Stars

  • Kobe Bryant had 31 points and 6 assists as the Western All-Stars cruised to an entertaining 153-132 blowout of the Eastern All-Stars.
  • The West set a couple of All-Star game records with 69 field goal and 52 assists.
  • Dwight Howard is the next Shaq. In a game where the big men rarely dominate, Howard had 20 points and 12 rebounds.
  • The NBA's All-Star game is the best of its kind at any sport. Heck, even their halftime shows have surpassed the NFL's Super Bowl's.
  • Good tickets were supposedly going for over $20,000 with the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Diddy, Prince, Eva Longeria and Adam Sandler being caught on camera often.
  • While having All-Star weekend in Vegas turned out to be a great idea, having an NBA team there is completely different. The chances of the NBA adding an expansion team are slim, so look for Vegas to join Oklahoma City, Anaheim, and Kansas City as the top candidates for a franchise to move to.
  • Is there any player more fun than Shaq?
  • Charles Barkeley comes to mind, and the race against referee Dick Bavetta was the best event of the weekend.

Dwight Howard

My favorite part of the wonderful All-Star Saturday Night was Man-Child Dwight Howard's slapping a sticker on the backboard glass TWELVE AND A HALF FEET HIGH with his left hand while dunking the ball with his right. I have yet to find a picture of this online, but the sticker was a picture of himself with the wonderful following words written on it:

All things through Christ - Phil 4:13

which refers to:

Phillippians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

It is a shame TNT did not recognize this and give more coverage to this divine intervention.
It is a shame Howard did not go on to win the contest, not only because the dunk was deserving, but because he had the conviction to use the grand stage he was blessed with as an outlet to proclaim his faith. Agree or disagree, one must respect that.

Kudos and much respect to Dwight Howard, a man of God.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

NBA Midseason Report

Even though the NBA is ten games into its second half of the season, this weekend is the All-Star Break, the perfect time to catch up as we turn our eyes to the playoff race...
  • The Dallas Mavericks are the hottest team in the league, winning their last nine going into the break, standing atop the league at 44-9. It seems that they are set on a collusion course with the second seeded Phoenix Suns once again...
  • Sacre bleu! What about the Frenchman Tony Parker and Timmy D in San Antonio? It is amazing how the Spurs could be a dark horse after consistently being a contender for so many years. Take this to the bank: if Parker, Duncan, and Ginobli are all healthy, the Spurs will come out of the West.
  • The Utah Jazz are back folks. Remember, Jerry Sloan is one of the best playoff coaches because he can adjust during a series brilliantly, and would easily have two championships under his belts if it were not for some fellow named Mike.
  • Can Tracy McGrady finally get out of the first round? The team has been coping well without Yao Ming thanks to Dikembe Mutumbo (yes, he is still alive and well). Unfortunately, it will be terribly difficult to break the top four in the west, so the Houston Rockets will have to pull up an upset on the road.
  • The Denver Nuggets were expected to make a huge push with the offensive combination of A.I. and Melo, but they are still hovering around the bottom of the west because of their lack of defense under George Karl.
  • The two Los Angeles teams have a problem playing away from Staples Center. The Clippers and Lakers are a combined 16 games under .500 on the road which will prevent either from doing anything but giving a top seeded a team an entertaining first round series.
  • Greg Oden / Kevin Durant Sweepstakes Watch: Boston, Memphis, Philly, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Seattle!
  • We know the West is superior to the East, but check this out: Detroit, No.1 in the East, would be No.5 in the West with the same record. The Lakers, No.6 in the West, would be No.2 in the East with the same record.
  • The Eastern Conference will come down to the Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat. As good as Washington's and Cleveland's records are, they each do not have enough firepower behind their respective superstar to make it past the second round. Look for the Orlando Magic, led by Dwight Howard (beast!), to give a top seeded team a run for their money in the first round. Ditto for New Jersey if they make the cut, especially if they make a beneficial trade. Other than that, the remaining six teams stand no chance against the top two
  • Detroit is on a roll with the acquistion of Chris Webber. The Pistons will most probably hold on to the top spot in the East, making them the favorites to go to the Finals.
  • The Miami Heat won seven of their last eight going into the break. The Big Fella is back and is beginning to get in shape while Pat Riley is scheduled to return to the bench as well.
  • Without Ben Wallace, Detroit will have a difficult time defending Shaq in the conference finals. Throw in the fact that the veteran Miami team will turn up the Heat come playoff time, look for D-Wade and company to return to the Finals.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

America Loves the NFL

  • Super Bowl XLI attracted the third largest audience in American history (93.1 million viewers on average), behind Super Bowl XXX (Dallas Cowboys 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 17) and the M*A*S*H* series finale in 1983.

  • The Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game earned a whopping 28.1 rating. This means that nearly a third of the country's televisions were on CBS.

  • FOX's doubleheaders on Sundays was the most watched program in all of television, beating the likes of American Idol and the Academy Awards.

  • As great as the playoffs and Super Bowl are, they do mean the season is over, and American will miss its football.

  • Then again, the Pro Bowl is Saturday, the Scouting Combine begins the following weekend, free agency kicks off in March, the Draft is in April, then blink your eyes and it will be August and the preseason hype will begin.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Chicago Bears 17
Indianapolis Colts 29

Miami, Florida

  • Perhaps the best storyline of the entire NFL season by far: “More than anything – and I’ve said it before --Lovie Smith and I not only the first two African-Americans, but Christian coaches, showing that you can win doing it the Lord’s way, and we’re more proud of that.” - Tony Dungy, head coach of the Super Bowl XLI Champion Indianapolis Colts.

  • Check that, the best thing to come out of sports. Ever.

  • Peyton Manning won the MVP by default, but Dominoc Rhodes and Joseph Addai deserve credit for their combined 40 carries, 190 rushing yards (4.75yards/carry) and 11 catches for 74 yards. With the Bears playing conservative and dropping back into coverage, Manning checkout down and was able to dink and dunk his way down the field. I love to say I told you so.

  • When the Bears blitzed, Manning was able to make big plays under pressure, most notably the 53 yard touchdown to Reggie Wayne while being pulled down.

  • Rookie phenom Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown and Chris Harris picked off Peyton Manning on his first drive. Throw in the rain and a couple of fumbles and the Bears had the Colts right where they wanted them early on.
  • SI's Peter King: I think that was the strangest five-play sequence I've seen in a game in a long time. Maybe ever. Weird touchdown pass by Peyton Manning to a wide-open Reggie Wayne. Flubbed extra point on a Romo-type miss by Colts holder Hunter Smith. Lost fumble on the ensuing kickoff by Bears tight end/returner Gabe Reid. Lost fumble on the next play by Joseph Addai. Thomas Jones off left guard for 52 yards. Yow. What action.

  • Colts' backup safety Kelvin Hayden (who?) made a name for himself picking off Rex Grossman and returning it for a 56 yard score to seal the win. I am interested to see what happens to this fellow...

  • Adam Vinitieri missed half of his kicks in the Super Bowl. Yes, you read that right. One field goal and one extra point. Can you imagine the sad ironic story if those 4 points mattered?

  • Tony Dungy is returning next season for the final year of his contract, and I would be in shock if the Colts organization does not break the bank in trying to extend it. With Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and that tight coaching staff that has been together for so many years, the Colts are the favorites to win it all again next year.

  • Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher: 23 total tackles. Yikes.

  • Alright Rex Grossman, here we go. After all the attention and overhype: 20/28 for 165 yards and a short touchdown. However, two costly interceptions and two drive killing fumbled snaps is what everyone is going to remember. The Bears rarely took their signature shots downfield, and even when they did, Rex's passes were off target. Nevertheless, look for Rex to remain Chicago's starter for 2007.

  • The Bears defense is still so good, great when fully healthy, that they should be in the mix for the NFC again next year. They will have to contend with the dreaded Super Bowl Loser Curse though...