Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Year in Review




  • The most lucrative NFL free agency signing period kicks off, with most teams having tens of millions of dollars to throw at players under the new collective bargaining agreement and high salary cap.


  • The Florida Gators defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship...again. This time in basketball, of course.
  • Looking back on the NFL Draft, the biggest move had nothing to do with any rookie as it was the Patriots trading a fourth round pick for Randy Moss in the steal of the century.


  • The Golden State Warriors stun the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, as a number 8 seed upsets a number one seed in the NBA Playoffs for the first time in a seven game series.
  • The Chicago Bulls sweep the Miami Heat in the first round.
  • Portland and Seattle win the top two picks (Greg Oden and Kevin Durant) in the NBA Draft lottery.
  • Steve Nash's bloody nose became the perfect image to represent an intense playoff series between the Suns and Spurs. In a later game, Robert Horry's hard foul on Nash caused Stoudemire and Diaw to run off the bench, resulting in costly suspensions that may have cost them the series and championship.
  • Kobe Bryant goes on ESPN radio and demands a trade from the Lakers.


  • LeBron James singlehandedly beats the Detroit Pistons in another stunning playoff series upset, bringing his Cavs to the NBA Finals.
  • The San Antonio Spurs sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers in route to their fourth NBA championship.
  • The Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup. I live in Orange County, and no one seemed to really notice, let alone care.
  • The NBA Draft is also highlighted by a couple of superstar trades, as the Boston Celtics acquire Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the same week.


  • Tim Donaghy betting scandal.
  • Michael Vick dogfighting scandal.
  • Steroids in baseball scandal.


  • Harry Potter lives!
  • Barry Bonds sets the home run record with number 756


  • Spygate: The Patriots are exposed and punished as cheaters as they begin to route opponents every week.


  • The Boston Red Sox sweep the Colorado Rockies to win the World Series.


  • Super Bowl 41.5: Patriots 41, Colts 31. The talk of the Pats going undefeated suddenly gets serious.


  • The New England Patriots become the first to finish the NFL season 16-0.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


It has been a while, and there is a ton of newsworthy topics I could address on my return home.

I choose to focus on a particular portion of my trip to Orlando, Florida at Epcot Center in Disney World. It was while walking by a Mickey Christmas show in which I heard the lyric "a savior is born" in concert. I must admit that I was quite surprised to hear these great words that are synonymous with the upcoming Christmas holiday. It has become a old cliche, but the true meaning of Christmas has gotten lost in the midst of the commercialism, materialism, and overall business of the holiday season. And yet I was to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas at Disney World, of all places. Well now, that is really something.

On a side note, if you have not been to Disney World, you need to go. Everyone, no matter what their age, must someday shell out and experience it.

I was not going to pass up a chance to see the up and coming Orlando Magic while there, so a couple of notes on their game against Utah:
  • The most overheard statement in the NBA is "Dwight Howard is a beast!" The thing is that he really is one, and you appreciate that a lot more in person up close. The guy can literally go up and grab the ball 13 feet in the air without breaking a sweat.
  • Carlos Boozer is also a beast. I mean, he is one strong man who you do not want to bump into in a dark alley. He just has that look, like "you do not want to mess with me, or even give me the wrong look or else I am going to kick your ass." The guy who I wisely picked No.1 in my fantasy league has not disappointed, and impressed me with his aggressiveness and strength in bullying defenders on his way to the basket, leading the Utah Jazz to a big road victory.
  • Carlos BOOZEr and Ronnie BREWER are on the same team. And they live and play in Salt Lake City, Utah. You cannot make this stuff up.
  • Reason #620 why NBA games are so much better in person: Dwight Howard did the Soldier Boy dance during pregame warmups.
  • J.J. Redick got a loud ovation from the crowd when he finally entered the game in the fourth quarter. Then you could sense the anticipation as he made a sweet play for a layup and spotted up for a three. The rookie is such a fan favorite, it is a wonder why he does not get more playing time.
  • The Magic are a good team, and will likely remain at the top of the East. This is not just because they are so good, but rather because there is no one else. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkulo are good scorers, but they should not be anyone's primary playmakers like they are currently in Orlando. They both were ineffective in the fourth quarter, and until the Magic develop some type of go-to playmaker guy who can take over in pressure situations in crunch times, they will fall in the intense playoffs.
  • For $118 million, Rashard Lewis cannot play defense and should not disappear in the fourth quarter.
  • No one can stop Dwight Howard, just like no one could stop Shaq in his prime. Howard has yet to learn how to pass out of double and triple teams, and his jump shot is still developing. But he is on pace to become a future hall of famer and finish as one of the greatest big men of all time.
This is the point in which I am supposed to crack some corny/hilarious (depending on your mood/) jokes regarding the whole Jessica Simpson with Tony Romo and Terrell Owens (!?) love debacle before launching into a classic tirade about the sadness of Jamie Lynn Spears' teenage pregnancy and how it is representative of the overall decline in America's moral standards. But you already knew that.

So I was sorting through my batch of e-mails over the past week, and decided that these few great links sent from a couple even greater friends were too hilarious to pass up.

Paul Brogan Video Log #2
- Suggestions for President

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Scandalous Sonics

Sam Smith writes a column for MSNBC blasting Seattle Sonics management. Essentially, the new ownership group blew up the franchise, trading away its top two star players in the hopes of cutting costs and investing for a better team in the years to come, when the team will probably be in Oklahoma by then. Mean, but brilliant.

Hopefully, someone will try to Save Our Sonics, like Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Balmer.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Everett Walks

This is such a great story to hear:

Kevin Everett is walking on his own at a Houston rehab center, the latest significant progress by the Buffalo Bills tight end in his remarkable recovery from a serious spinal cord injury.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

MNF: Patriots 27, Ravens 24

What was Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan trying to do, ice the snapper? Baltimore led New England 24-20 with 1:48 remaining, and the Patriots were facing fourth-and-1; New England rushed up to the line to quick-snap, as the Patriots often do on fourth-and-1; the Ravens' defense expected a quick snap, was in position, and stopped the runner for a loss. Game over, Baltimore wins! But seemingly one second before the snap, Ryan called a timeout, so the play didn't count. Why did Ryan call a timeout? Beats me, the Ravens were in perfect position. New England ran another fourth-and-1 play and again lost yardage -- again it appeared as though Baltimore had won the game. But the zebras called a false start, a penalty that cannot be declined. (The whistle sounds on a false start, and the whistle ends the play.) New England converted on fourth-and-6. Then, four snaps later, Tom Brady threw incomplete on fourth down, and for the third time it appeared Baltimore had won! But the zebras called defensive holding, and you know what happened after that.

After the game, several Ravens complained that the officials -- who called 13 penalties against Baltimore, four against New England -- favored the Patriots. Losing teams often claim that the officials favored the winners; was there favoritism here? The defensive holding on fourth down with 55 seconds remaining was inarguable; the officials had to flag it. Ravens nickelback Jamaine Winborne theatrically removed his helmet after the call, and the officials could have flagged him for that, but they did not. But after Jabar Gaffney caught the touchdown pass that put the Flying Elvii in the lead with 44 seconds left, the zebras flagged Ravens linebacker Bart Scott twice for unsportsmanlike conduct -- once when he said something to an official and a second time when he picked up the flag and hurled it into the crowd. This was a stupid, stupid move. The very rare double-unsportsmanlike conduct penalty essentially awarded the game to New England; adding the encroachment penalty on the PAT, the Patriots kicked off from the Baltimore 35, drilling an easy touchback and preventing Baltimore's strong return game from creating good field position for the Ravens' final drive. The officials are not unaware of New England's record, and the widespread belief -- regardless whether this belief is grounded in fact -- is that the league wants the Patriots to finish undefeated. Excessively penalizing Baltimore in the final minute, in a manner that strongly aided New England, was at best a lapse by the officiating crew and at worst strange.

Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle said after the game that head linesman Phil McKinnely repeatedly called him "boy" in the game's closing minutes, a racial insult when spoken by a white person to an African-American. From the sound of things, Rolle was jawing with McKinnely, which even a veteran player such as Rolle should not do. But officials should never jaw with or insult players, either. If McKinnely did use a racial insult against Rolle, during the same game-deciding moments when the officials were favoring New England (so far, McKinnely has not commented on this), that would have been highly unprofessional and would call into question whether the officiating crew was neutral.

These things said, Baltimore has itself to blame for the loss -- or perhaps, New England has its superior line play to credit for the win.

Plus, add in that Baltimore was outcoached in this game, which has happened a lot this season. In the high-pressure final two minutes, three Ravens (Scott, Rolle and Winborne) lost their cool, while no Patriot lost his cool; that's good coaching by New England and bad coaching by Baltimore. Not only did Baltimore defensive coordinator Ryan call the strange timeout that erased what would have been the game-winning down, but New England moved 73 yards in 15 plays on its final drive, and on 12 of those 15 plays, Baltimore rushed only three. Three-man rushes can work if they are a change-up tactic; if you rush three for down after down, a good quarterback like Brady will eat your defense for lunch. In effect, the Ravens went into the prevent defense at the 3:30 mark, and it's well-established that the only thing the prevent defense prevents is punts. This bad tactical decision by Ryan was doubly vexing because New England's touchdown to tie the score at 17 in the third quarter also came against a three-man rush, so it's not as though the look was working.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Week 13: Lofa Tatupu!

Seattle Seahawks 28, Philadelphia 24 - Lofa Tatupu intercepted A.J. Feely THREE times, including one to end the Eagles potentially game winning drive to finish the game in the final seconds. The USC alum has been the best defensive player for the Hawks, who have quietly won four consecutive games.

UPDATE: Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren was asked what did he say to Tatupu after the game saving interception:

“I said I think you are our leading receiver today. He asked if he could take another week off, because he did not practice this week because of an injury. I said 'No, I love you and thank you for the win but you are practicing next week.'”

Paul Allen

Sports Illustrated has a great feature of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. We often read about Bill Gates and his wealth, so it is quite a nice change to see how fellow billionaire Paul Allen handles his cash, most notably with the purchases of the NBA's Portland TrailBlazers and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Leno Writers Fired?

Everyone who knows anything about me knows about my love for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, with its comedic approach in updating its viewers about what is going on in the mainstream world of politics and pop culture. We finally found out what is going on with Leno and the writers' strike here, but as usual be advised that as with most news now a days, the actual truth is skewed and unknown. The way I interpret the details of the strike, it seems the writers are justified in going after a bigger piece of the pie that they are so heavily involved in producing anyway. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that the writers strike is eventually going to start hurting everyone, from those without jobs to the corporations losing ratings, down to the viewers as we lose our shows in the next month or so. Late night television was the first to go, and soon big time shows such as 24 are going to have to be postponed or canceled all together.