Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Salt Lake Serge

I've been all caught up in Matt Hasselbeck throwing for 300+ yards with a broken wrist (ouch!) in an impressive divisional road victory, but then something more unexpected happened...

The StolenSonics upset the Jazz last night in Utah!
(Prior to the game, the always witty Scott Brooks joked to the media, “We’re going to go down 10 and we’re going to see how good Jerry is coaching with a lead.” How prophetic that was. If you’re unaware, Utah has come back from double-digit second half deficits in five consecutive games to win.)

Well, the Thunder did go down by 10 in the first quarter, but then KD busted a Mike Vick and dropped his usual 30. But the real story was Serge Ibaka, who started in place for the hobbled Jeff Green at PF, and put up a career high 22pts/11reb/4blk statline. We already know Ibaka is a freak athlete who is still learning the game and improving at an exponential rate (recall OKC was an rookie Ibaka boxout/Gasol putback away from taking the Lakers to seven games last year), but last night he threw everyone off by knocking down a couple midrange jumpers without hesitation (in response to Paul Millsap's 3's... speaking of which, isn't Millsap better than Boozer if he's consistently knocking down 3's off pick and pops with Deron?)

Suddenly, the StolenSonics don't just have a raw big athlete who is already improving at rebounding, blocking shots, setting screens, and converting incredible alley-oops once a game, but if he can step out and nail a jumper every now and then, that will suddenly open up the floor for Durant and Westbrook and make this team all the more dangerous.

I'm not going to be too blinded by fanaticism, so I still say that the StolenSonics need another consistent clutch player to go alongside the NBA's highest scoring pair of players in KD and Russ. That being said, they just beat one of the best teams in the league in probably the most difficult place to play on the second night of a back to back with Ibaka playing that role, if only for one night.

Sergeballu LaMu Sayonga Loom Walahas Jonas Hugo Ibaka. Remember the name.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh, Matt you so funny 14

Matt Hasselbeck does it again, this time to the Boston Herald:

“I think a lot of times when things get reported (nationally) on the Seahawks in Seattle are sort of a little off-base,” Hasselbeck told me. “We’re very far away from the rest of the world. When we get a day off, a lot of our guys go to Vancouver, British Columbia. In the offseason, a lot of guys hit up Alaska. I mean, we’re pretty far off.”

That sounds pretty cool.

“Oh, it's cool, but when there are national stories about our team, they are rarely very accurate or rarely do they tell the full story of what’s going on,” the former Boston College star said, laughing, too. “If we start winning games again, maybe we’ll get on TV again, maybe we’ll get a Sunday night game one of these days, it’s been a long time. I’m not even going to ask for a Monday Night game… But it’s like being in the Witness Protection Program.”

Oh, he had an example of what he means.

“Probably the loudest guy I knew, great player, Pete Kendall,” Hasselbeck continued. “I played with him in college, probably the loudest guy I know. Got drafted by the Seahawks, never heard from him for like six years. Never heard about him, never heard from him. It’s just, the Witness Protection Program.”

At this point, I was cracking up. You never expect a guy to go into a comedy routine. But Hasselbeck was hilarious.

So, I told him, you’ll work for ESPN when you get done with your career like your brother and people will say, “Where you been all this time?”

“Well, either that or do the Jeff Feagles,” he offered. “Jeff Feagles was a great punter for us for a long, long time. He goes and plays one year for the Giants and all of the sudden, NFL Films does a special on him and then he’s in the Pro Bowl and now he’s probably in the Hall of Fame… you gotta get one year with the Giants and you’re good.”

The NFL needs to change...

With the National Football League peaking in popularity while staring at a potential labor lockout within the next year, let's throw out some ideas with the potential to help improve and sustain the league's constantly growing popularity...

A completely different television angle. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently told the owners during their summer meetings that they must reevaluate fans' in-stadium experience, in lieu of the recent realization that fans are opting for a more cost effective Sunday to watch multiple games from the comfort of their own home or sports bar. However, the reason why football games are so exciting to see in person is simply that those who are present can actually see all the players throughout the entire field. On television, we usually only see the quarterback drop back in the pocket on passing plays, and are left with no choice but to watch the pass rush while wondering what's happening beyond the line of scrimmage downfield. The receivers and secondary are not on camera until the ball is thrown, and by then it's too late to figure out what was the play, how the receiver broke open, or how well the defenders were in position until we are shown replays. The television networks should adapt a camera hanging from behind the offense showing viewers a baseline or up field angle, similar to the view many are already used to in the beloved Madden video game series. This way, all 22 players are on camera at all times. Let's see Rex Ryan have all his defenders moving around prior to the snap, disguising different fronts and rushers. Let's see what Chris Johnson sees as he presses the hole and bounces it to the outside for another long run. Let's see what Peyton Manning looks at in as he makes his reads before audibling to hot routes and choreographing his receiver to an open space. Show us the entire field, NFL!

Cooperate with and establish the United Football League as the NFL's minor/developmental league. Like MLB and the NBA, the NFL should should establish a farm system for its teams to call up and/or demote players, while testing out new rules and developing coaches, referees, and front office officials. NFL Europe may have folded, but the UFL can succeed with the backing of other deep pocketed and powerful owners like Marc Cuban, Nancy Pelosi, and T. Boone Pickens who don't fail.

Scrap all these overtime rules and variations. Let's make it simple so the Donovan McNabbs will understand. If tied at the end of regulation, play one five minute period in its entirety. If still tied, a second five minute overtime period. If still tied, go home with a tie. This way we'll see more aggressive play calling and intense two point conversion attempts. You play to win the game!

Scrap the coin toss. Take a cue from the XFL, and let each team elect a player to run the 40-yard dash.

Scrap all restrictions on touchdown celebrations. I want to see group dances. I want to see props. If it's a problem, let teams sponsor their celebrations so the owners will I want to see Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens come up with Michael Bay like stunts. The NFL is, before anything else, entertainment.

Monday Night Football Doubleheaders. Kickoff Weekend is great not only because everyone is excited and hungry for football, but because it features a Thursday night game to wet our appetite and closes the weekend strong with a Monday night doubleheader. Why not continue this throughout the season?

Combine the Pro Bowl with the Senior Bowl. Moving it to a week before the Super Bowl helps, but the NFL still desperately needs to shake up its all-star game that is the least interesting among all the major sports. Let's allow future NFL rookies to get a chance to shine against the best. The Pro Bowlers will finally be motivated to play well as they won't want to get shown up by a bunch of 18-year olds looking to improve their draft stock. Sure, it might not be a very competitive game, but can anyone recall a memorable Pro Bowl? Imagine the draft hype generated if some young kid jacks up Ray Lewis, beats Darrell Revis for a touchdown catch, or tackles Adrian Peterson one on one...

International regular season games. The only clear cut advantage David Stern's NBA has over the NFL is in international markets, as basketball's popularity has been rapidly growing throughout Asia, Europe, and South America for decades now. If the NFL must add regular season games, then send a pair of teams to a neutral site in another country every week before their bye.

Rid of the measuring sticks with microchips in the football to measure first downs and touchdowns. It's 2010. If a satellite in outer space can give us driving directions, I'm sure the NFL can afford to modernize one of their most inaccurate and dated processes.

Make pass interference reviewable and the maximum penalty 15 yards. So everyone will quit whining about incedental contact on incomplete passes.

Allow the NFL Network and NFL Sunday Ticket to move to basic cable for all providers. The financial loss would be regained by the massive influx of advertising dollars.

Personalized NFL Redzone Channel for subscribers. NFL.com is already hinting at this, so it's certainly possible on television as well. Allow fans to program their own personalized television channel with their fantasy team's players and opponent's. The channel would then swing from game to game showing those selected players as they rack up yards and score.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


I always look back and fondly recall memories of how Mike Holmgren's Seahawks of the early 2000s had such great team camraderie, to the point where even barf and poop were acceptable.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh Matt, you so funny 13

Later, Hasselbeck was asked if he has ever dealt with problems getting calls on the headset in his helmet. He has, but he also admitted that he has, on one occasion, pretended he didn't get the call in order to call his own play.

There was one problem with that, however, that got him caught:"What I failed to realize is that the other quarterbacks on the sideline have the headset, so you have to get in unison on that one."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Madden Tournament Heartbreak

I finally entered a Madden tournament over the weekend. After talking football with most of the guys, I realized that they all were just as geeky as I am when it comes to the NFL, and most had more time on their hands to play and master this year's version and were more experienced in competitive tournaments such as this one. Because I insist on remaining loyal to my rightfully low rated Seahawks, I figured I didn't have much of a shot at making any noise, so I lowered my expectations and just decided to go have some fun out there a la Brett Favre. Somehow, I managed to dink and dunk my way to a shocking 17-0 shutout in the first round.

My second round matchup was against a guy who was supposedly so good that he went on ESPN's Madden Nation bus last year. So once again, I figured I had no shot and started the game pretty loose. Then I win again, 14-0, and Mr. ESPN2 storms out in anger making excuses. At this point, the room starts to notice, and maybe even fear me. I mean, who wants to play the guy who rolled through the first two rounds having not allowed a single score, all while using those garbage Seahawks?

Semifinals. I’m starting to believe I have a shot at winning thousands of dollars. On the third play from scrimmage, DeMarcus Ware sacks Matt Hasselbeck. Injury timeout. Carted off the field. Seattle’s backup Charlie Whitehurst (who!?) enters the game having never thrown a pass in the NFL, gets picked off twice, and the guy I lose to goes on to win the tournament.

You cannot make this stuff up. The worst part is that this is exactly the type of thing that WOULD happen to Seattle. Did I mention our new $48.5 million left tackle, fourth overall pick Russell Okung got injured on the first drive of last night’s preseason game?


Monday, July 05, 2010


The blog is done. I figured if the year long Clippers internship, tons of interaction with well known and popular sports figures, trips to Vegas, New York, France, Italy, and Spain full of amazing eye opening experiences, and all the other big time stories that have come and gone while I myself have gone through other many adventures into the real world, all couldn't make me muster some words in here, then it's definitely time to call it quits. As well as the fact that last sentence was grammatically incorrect.

Besides, we're venturing towards a world of Tweeting. Follow me @Vishal620

It's been fun.

And remember, the best is yet to come.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Peter King tweets:
What great fortune for Sproles, IMO: A returner averaging 72 touches from scrimmage per yr making $14m guar over two yrs. What a country.

So Darren Sproles will make an average of $7 million over the next two years.
Factor in about 5 returns a game, and he will be earning $50,000 per touch. If we disregard returning, he will be earning a remarkable average of $100,000 per touch from scrimmage.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jay Leno is Michael Jordan

Just watched Oprah for the first time ever.

She told the story of a celebrity who was the best at what he did, was forced into retirement, tried something new and failed, and so came back at the expense of someone else.

So why are so many against Jay Leno for pulling a Michael Jordan?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pete Carroll

The Seattle Seahawks have been in the headlines this past week (although for not exactly the ideal reasons in January). As the news broke, I tweeted some short bits which you can follow here @Vishal620. I spent the weekend gathering and organizing my many thoughts, so it's about time I chime in already:

The Seahawks were a mess. They forced Mike Holmgren into retirement in favor of phasing in Jim Mora as per general manager Tim Ruskell's choice. After just one year running the show together, Seattle fired Ruskell and Mora, along with most of their staffs. This means the Seahawks have cleaned house and are starting with a somewhat of a blank slate. Recall billionaire owner Paul Allen doing the same with his Portland TrailBlazers a few years back.

The excitement was greater in Seattle when Paul Allen brought in Mike Holmgren to run the show because he was a sure thing who had proved he was an offensive genius in the pros. Holmgren won Super Bowls in San Francisco and Green Bay and had coached up quarterbacks Montana, Young, and Favre. In comparison, Pete Carroll is not a sure thing, although I think he will have success now that owner Paul Allen and CEO Todd Leiweke allowed him to choose new GM John Schneider while seemingly maintaining final say on player personnel decisions.

Pete Carroll does have professional experience with the Jets and Patriots...during the 1990s. Because that was over a decade ago, a large part of me wants to throw it out. Since then he has shown his brilliance in evaluating and recruiting talent, albeit at the collegiate level, in route to a couple national championships while dominating the Pac-10.

When Carroll came to USC nine years ago, critics bashed the hiring on the basis that Carroll was a coach in the pros had no head coaching experience at the collegiate level. I think Seattle is getting a seasoned and experienced Carroll, who has learned from his many experiences at multiple levels.

Mora and Carroll are eerily similar NFL coaches. Mora is 31-33 as an NFL head coach; Carroll is 33-31. Mora is 1-1 in the playoffs; Carroll is 1-2. Mora was fired after one year as head coach in Seattle after three years in Atlanta; Carroll was fired after one year as head coach in New York before coaching three years in New England. They are both are 4-3 defensive guys, players' coaches, and touted as motivational 'rah rah' guys. That being said,when Mora defended himself by saying going 5-11 was a one win improvement over last year's 4-12 disaster, I was ready to fire him too. Of those 11 losses, 7 were by 17+ points. Seattle lost its last four games under Mora by a combined 123-37 points. Instead of the team coming together and finally beginning to gel under its new coaching staff, it was clear that Mora and his staff had lost the players.

The hiring of Pete Carroll is not only great because of Carroll himself, but because he brings along several great coaches from USC. Seattle's new offensive coordinator will be Jeremy Bates, a young and up and coming coach whose value has shot up after working with Jay Cutler in Denver.

The linebackers coach will be Ken Norton, Jr. A UCLA Hall of Famer and Super Bowl winner with the Cowboys, Norton was a great linebacker himself. In his five years coaching linebackers at USC, he recruited and developed the likes of Dallas Sartz, Keith Rivers, Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava, Clay Matthews III, Rey Maualuga, and of course, Seattle's own Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu.

Pete Carroll was once asked something like if there was any one player he ever coached that was the most memorable. Carroll essentially said that Lofa Tatupu was the player who was most like him, who had the same thought process, was like a coach on the field, and was most in tune with Carroll. The Seahawks already have in place a great group of athletic and skilled linebackers alongside Tatupu in Aaron Curry, LeRoy Hill, and backup David Hawthorne. I am getting giddy at imagining how effective the Seattle Seahawks can be now that Pete Carroll and Lofa Tatupu are reuniting to run the defense.

Not surprisingly, former players of Carroll on the Seahawks like Lawrence Jackson and Lawyer Milloy have already more than endorsed the hiring and are rallying the players to support Carroll and buy into his program faster.

There are several NFL players who previously had success under Carroll and could easily be available this offseason. Carson Palmer. LenDale White. Reggie Bush. Matt Leinart. And someday Matt Barkley. I am just tossing out names, but do not be surprised to see Seattle end up going after one of these former USC legends.

Imagine if Seattle drafted Mark Sanchez last year.

In any event, the Seattle Seahawks hiring of Pete Carroll marks a new era to open up a new decade. With Kurt Warner's retirement coming up, looks like Carroll should be able to lead the Seahawks back to dominating the Pac-10...er, NFC West.