Friday, January 06, 2006

New Year's Bloviation

I'm feeling kind of venomous today for some reason, and I feel like venting just a little bit. Hope you'll indulge me. Before I start, though, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year -- all the best to you and yours in 2006.

The Grizzlies

First of all, just to put in written words what I've been saying for the last few days: some of these potential offers for a point guard replacing Damon Stoudamire are just ridiculous. My favorite dumbass offer is a proposed Dahntay Jones + 2nd rd pick to Charlotte for Brevin Knight. Do you realize how bad Charlotte would look for taking that deal? They would give up a leader on that team, a guy who's averaging a career-high 12.8 points per game, a guy who is the NBA's leader in steals and 5th best in assists per-game for DAHNTAY JONES and a worthless second?

While Dahntay may end up being a valuable player somewhere down the road, he isn't now. He cannot be guaranteed any time whatsoever in Mike Fratello's system, he has struggled offensively (especially from the outside), and is already 25, which means it's time for him to start perfoming soon. Charlotte would have to be crazy to take
that deal.

Here are a couple of other moves that would work under the salary cap restrictions (these are all just my ideas, mind you, not necessarily actual offers or offers to come):

Brian Cardinal for Chucky Atkins (Washington) -- you get a skilled PG who has averaged over 13 ppg when he gets starter's minutes; he's on the last year of his contract, and you get rid of Cardinal's long-term deal. It is likely the Grizzlies would have to throw in a pick or somethng else of value to make this work.

Jake Tsakalidis/Dahntay Jones for Jeff McInnis/Linton Johnson (New Jersey) -- Bye, bye Jake. With the lack of bigs in NJ, the Nets might be able to use Jake a bit. Dahntay would go as well, but you'd get an underrated PG in McInnis and a untested SF in Johnson.

Just a couple of ideas there, but those are more in line with reality, I think. I'd also love to see a move made for Speedy Claxton of NOOCH, but I think Byron Scott values him a lot more than people might realize.

Grizzlies take on Utah tonight in the Forum, and you have to know that the craptactular loss to the Jazz in Salt Lake City on December 26th is on the back of the Grizzlies' minds. It was the only thing separating them from a 4-0 road trip, and it was a disastrous performance all the way around (blew an 18 point 3rd quarter lead by allowing the Jazz a 20-0 run). Expect a win tonight.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Andrei Kirilenko had one of the most remarkable stat lines I've ever seen in Utah's 90-80 win over the Lakers this past Tuesday night: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 6 steals, and 7 blocks! That is as close to a quintuple-double as I think you'll ever see. He's a really unique player.

NFL Playoffs

I love the NFL Playoffs, especially when my Redskins manage to make it into the party. I'll talk about them in a moment. First, though, I have to make a few comments about the New England Patriots. Three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was quoted earlier this week as saying, "I think we've probably been disrespected more than any team in the league this year."

Allow me to repeat the quote from the man who received 10 votes for NFL MVP this season: "I think we've probably been disrespected more than any team in the league this year."

WHAT? Here are a couple of recent related media quotes:

John Clayton, ESPN: "The Patriots may not have linebacker Tedy Bruschi, but they are relatively healthy coming into this game. Tom Brady is almost unstoppable in home playoff games. Heck, he's been unstoppable in the postseason (9-0), period. Of all the playoffs (sic) games, this is one that could be very one-sided."

Just look at that disrespect!

Peter King, Tom Brady sycophant, (King has the Patriots ranked second in the NFL right now, despite their 10-6 record) "The Associated Press polls 50 media people for their All-Pro team and awards. I'm a voter. The AP asks for one MVP. Why Brady? Basically because he refused to let this team die in the wake of all the injuries."


The Patriots will win this weekend against Jacksonville, but it really ought to be pointed out that no playoff team has been more overlooked than Jacksonville -- has anyone, anywhere picked Jacksonville to beat New England? Anyone? Isn't that
somewhat, I don't know, disrespectful of a team with a better record than New England?

Complete playoff picks:

Panthers 23, Giants 21
Redskins 17, Bucs 10
Patriots 24, Jaguars 13
Bengals 31, Steelers 21

I know I'm a Redskins homer, and I don't deny that. But all of you need to go to the Redskins' official site and check out Clinton Portis' Thursday press conferences. If you haven't been following them, he does the press conferences entirely in characters. Weird characters. But it's incredibly entertaining and very creative -- a complete and total change from every other press conference out there. He's had characters named "Dollah Bill", "Sheriff Gonna Getcha", "Southeast Jerome", "Inspector Two Two", and "Dr. I Don't Know". Click here for more details, including pictures of the characters.

His latest is "Coach Janky Spanky", a stereotypical coach complete with beer gut, inflatable headphones, and white ears (a social commentary on race and coaching, perhaps?). He suggests that he should have been the 'Skins defensive coordinator instead of Gregg Williams, and gives some great ideas about defenses (13 players on the field), blitzing (do it all the time), and personnel (Santana Moss as a CB?).

You have to be rooting for the Redskins to make it to the Super Bowl, just to see how Clinton Portis handles the week of media coverage. It would be extraordinary.

Rose Bowl

How that game lived up to the impossibly huge barrage of hype is beyond me. But it did. It did, and then some. If any team can speak of disrespect in the last month, it would be Texas. ESPN had anointed USC the second-greatest college football team in history over the last month -- their series matching them up against the great teams of the past half-century almost always ended with 2005 USC winning. There was no mention that maybe, just maybe, 2005 Texas might actually have a chance to stop the gilded triangle of Leinart, Bush, and Carroll.

I'm pretty sure 2004 USC beats 2005 USC handily.

There are very few words that can adequately convey just how impressive Vince Young was in the Rose Bowl. He finished with 467 total yards (200 rushing, 267 passing) and three touchdowns, but even those numbers do not tell the full story of how dominating his presence was on the field. He was in complete and total command of that game. I have never seen a better individual performance than that. It was just jaw-dropping in every way.

It is impossible for Vince Young's stock to rise any higher than it already has. He has nothing left to prove at a collegiate level, and it is time for his special talents to be showcased in the NFL. Of course, that begs the following questions: where would he be picked? Should he be picked higher than Matt Leinart? Should he be picked higher than Reggie Bush?

Those that look merely at his weird throwing mechanics overlook the fact that his throws have power and reasonable precision -- most weird throwing motions indicate a lack of strength or accuracy. Not so much with Vince. Furthermore, his running ability is just incredible, and I do think it will translate to the NFL. He's big enough to absorb a lot of punishment (unlike Michael Vick), and is elusive enough to make people miss (unlike Daunte Culpepper). I would take him before Matt Leinart, but not in front of Reggie Bush. He is the greatest player in Rose Bowl history, perhaps the greatest Texas Longhorn in history, and he will be a special player in the NFL.

Random Thoughts

Keith Jackson needs to retire. I love his voice, and he lends an air of gravitas to any game he calls, but he just doesn't have it any more. Here's a nice list of some of his babbling during the Rose Bowl. He was completely silent on the Vince Young TD that gave Texas the win...that's just inexcusable. I love ya, Keith, but it's time to hang it up.

What the hell is the U.S. Postal Service doing raising the price of stamps to 39 cents? I just bought -- JUST FREAKING BOUGHT -- a huge amount of 37 cent stamps, and now I'm going to have to buy one cent stamps to make up the difference. Ridiculous. Oh yeah, and just try to buy only ONE stamp at the post Office. Can't be done. What a scam.

Just a moment for my Newcastle fandom to show here -- Graeme Souness needs to be fired. Right now. Here's the dumbass quote of the year from Souness: "I don't think I've done anything wrong." Other than a complete lack of tactics, building a squad with no depth and no long-term planning, guiding Newcastle to a worst-ever Premiership finish despite spending $80 million, and constantly blaming everything and everyone but himself for the problems, he's right. Get rid.

Note to Tampa Bay: Playing "Rock You Like a Hurricane" at halftime of a game against New Orleans is not recommended. They have, in fact, been rocked like a hurricane by an actual hurricane.

Wedding Crashers is out on DVD, and to celebrate, I've decided to compile a list of what I like to call "The Pantheon of Comedy Movies". These are my absolute must-see comedies. Here's my list (in no particular order), but you can feel free to add yours in the comments below, or via email.

Old School
Wedding Crashers
Tommy Boy
Billy Madison
Happy Gilmore
Fear of a Black Hat (trust me)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
This is Spinal Tap
Best in Show
...And God Spoke (also trust me)
Austin Powers: Int'l Man of Mystery
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Major League
Dr. Strangelove
There's Something About Mary
Animal House
Meet the Parents
Blazing Saddles
Kentucky Fried Movie
Coming to America
A Fish Called Wanda
Uncle Buck
Who's Harry Crumb?
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
The Great Outdoors
Canadian Bacon
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
National Lampoon's Vacation
National Lampoon's European Vacation
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Office Space
Waiting for Guffman
A Christmas Story
Raising Arizona
Groundhog Day
The Big Lebowski
Brewster's Millions
American Pie

The Pantheon of Funny Television Shows is coming soon. Feel free to add your suggestions to that, as well.

Finally, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Chris Mosby, the young man who lost his life last week in a car accident. He was a hero to a lot of people in the CBHS family and throughout this area, and was a shining example of all that's good about high school athletics. Nothing I write could possibly ease this terrible pain. May God bless the Mosby family, and be with those who are struggling with this tragedy.

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