Friday, March 27, 2009

Bracket = Busted

It's official. My bracket is done.

With Memphis losing the battle of the Tigers to Missouri, I can pretty much make kindling out of it and focus on watching some great basketball down the stretch.

Unless, UNLESS Mizzou beats UConn, in which case all bets are off, I suppose.

The fact that it's Mizzou makes it even worse. As a Texas fan, seeing a normally dirty Big 12 team (especially one from the Big 12 North) advance really stings.

Oh well, at least Duke lost.

Good luck to those of you still in it. If you need me, I'll be making a bonfire.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday! You're A Deadbeat Dad!

And the 2008-2009 Toronto Raptors season hits rock bottom.

Raptor Bosh a deadbeat dad, lawsuit says

Raptors star Bosh says he'll 'take care of responsibilities'

This adds further weight to my belief that superstar athletes and celebrities should never get married.

The story also serves as the worst hangover ever, since it comes on the heels of Bosh's 25th birthday and a mega-party at Maro on Sunday night.

It's safe to say that the days of fun-loving, goofy Chris Bosh are over, and perhaps so are his days as a Raptor. Hard to have a deadbeat franchise player, unless you're the former Seattle Sonics with Shawn Kemp; I'm thinking they were just trying to set some kind of crazy record.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Well, That Sucked

The Longhorns couldn't get it done against Duke, and the frustrating part is that they essentially beat themselves.

You don't win an NCAA tournament game (much less one against Duke) when:

1) You can't shoot free throws to save your life (16 of 25 on the night).
2) You turn the ball over a ton (15 to the Blue Devils' 9).
3) Your best clutch performer isn't clutch (17 PTS on 5 of 13 shooting for A.J. Abrams).

And even with all that, they had a chance to win at the end, but couldn't get a rebound after Duke missed two free throws. That just can't happen.

What's worse is I got every other game right today...except the Texas game. Makes it sting even more.

The only silver lining here is that Duke barely beat Texas, which means they'll get crushed by Villanova next round. Meh.

*listening to The Eyes of Texas*


A Maddening End to Day 2

Two overtime games to close out Friday night, upsets galore, plus a few busted brackets...that's the good stuff!

And kindly move over, WVU: you've got company on the shit list.

Florida State and Wake Forest were bounced in the first round, sending two more of my Sweet 16 teams home.

Many people had the Demon Deacons going much further (to the Final Four and beyond in some cases), so they're understandably more devastated than I am.

Next up, the round of 32. This weekend's games determine the Sweet 16 and pretty much dictate whether you've got a shot in hell at winning your office pool.

Until tomorrow, may your brackets remain merely dinged up, and may all your games be called by either Gus Johnson or Bill Raftery. TO THE TIN!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cockbag Of The Week: The West Virginia Mountaineers

Thanks to you clowns, I lost an Elite 8 team on Day 2.

That's right, hide your face in shame. Fuckos.

It's Not An Upset If Everybody Picks Them...

...but a shout-out to Western Kentucky for the win over Illinois tonight. If your pool's like ours, that means a big seven points (the difference in their seeding) as opposed to just one for picking the favourite.

Sadly almost everyone had the Hilltoppers topping the not-so-Fightin' Illini, so it won't be as huge a pickup as it would be otherwise.

And of course, kudos to Texas for Gopher-stomping Tubby and Minnesota.

I'll take my 12-4 Day 1 record and hope for at least the same amount of success tomorrow, if not more (I'm looking at you, USC, Arizona, and Temple).

And we got Gus tomorrow!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Midway through Day 1 of the Madness...

And I'm not totally out of it yet! (Though Cal St. Northridge tried to make that happen.)

Just two missteps so far: The Butler did it (if by "did it" you mean let me down again) and Mississippi State (never trusting those hillbillies again).

Hoping my Longhorns don't embarrass me by going out to Tubby & the Gophers tonight.

The dudes who make the NCAA schedule are to be commended for leaving the two best upset candidate games for last (UCLA/VCU & Illinois/Western Kentucky).

It's gonna get crazy around The Score studios come 9:50 PM!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Madness (n): the state of being mad; insanity.

*crumpling up paper, filling out bracket for 87th time*

*looking up*

Oh, hey, Didn't see you there.

So, you may have heard there's this big basketball tournament starting this week. And the rumour is that it gets a little crazy. MAD, even.

This is the one time of the year where pro sports takes a back-seat to the college game, and with good reason.

It's arguably the most exciting few weeks of the sports calendar year and certainly the best time to be working at The Score; we have exclusive Canadian rights, we hype the hell out of it, and deservedly so.

So unless something monumental happens in the Big 4 pro sports scene, don't expect to read anything non-March Madness related till about April. Deal with it.

As for predictions? Well, as communicated above, I really have no idea. This projects to be one of the most unpredictable tourneys in NCAA history, and it's anyone's guess as to who will come out of it.

I do have one admittedly biased pick for you: Texas will beat Minnesota, and then beat Duke. Why? Because fuck Duke, that's why.

Also, what other team's cheerleaders wear chaps? Answer: none.

Enjoy the Madness, hope your brackets don't get busted and good luck in your pools.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ready For March Madness Yet?

Syracuse beat UConn tonight 127-117 in SIX OVERTIMES (!) to advance to the semis in the Big East tournament.

Remarkably the Orange never led in any of the overtimes until the final one. Jeez.

The game lasted almost four hours, or to put it another way, about as long as an average West Coast baseball game (anybody who's had to wait for a 10 PM Giants/Padres game to end knows what I'm talking about).

It's the longest game in Big East history and the second longest Division I game ever.

Imagine if this happened in the actual tournament? How would you top that?

And Syracuse has to play tomorrow/later tonight!

*channelling Gus Johnson*

College basketball! THIS is March Madness!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Jonathan Papelbon: Awesome! I'm doing an interview for Esquire! I am FIRED UP!!!

*doing Riverdance in seat*

Esquire: OK, Jon, thanks for doing this.

JP: No problem! I'm always looking for something to do during the offseason. I get so bored! I constantly need an outlet to release my RAGE!

E: Uh, right. Anyway, let's talk about Manny Ramirez. What was it...

JP: Hold on a sec.

*pointing at dog*

Boss! No! Put down that baseball! Stop eating championship baseballs! Bad dog!

I'm sorry, where were we?

E: I was asking about Manny. Were his antics overblown, or was he a real problem in the clubhouse?

JP: Ah Manny! He was on a different train!

*banging on kitchen table for emphasis*

For him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go.

E: Wait. Are you comparing Manny Ramirez to cancer?

JP: Yeah man! We got Jason Bay — Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball — and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome!

E: Hold on a sec. Are you sure you want to use the word "cancer"? You're aware that a teammate of yours, Jon Lester, recently beat cancer?

JP: Whatever man! If Lester has a problem, he can come talk to me! I’ll tell him what’s up! I’m not afraid to do that. I’m not afraid to put him in his place, because I think everybody needs that. I understand that. I most certainly understand that. Varitek tells me all the time, 'Just shut up. Do what you’re supposed to do.'

E: Perhaps you should heed that advice. Anyway, if you're not comfortable with us printing that, we can skip it...

JP: No! Print that! I want you to! Also, print this: "I will never start a baseball game in my life, ever." And use that slanty type, to show that I'm really serious!

E: You mean italics?

JP: Yeah! That's it! And use lots of exclamation points in my quotes! Cause that's how I talk! With lots of exclamation!

E: Well, we really don't use exclamation points in journalism all that much...

JP: Come on, magazine man! Use em! That's why you magazine guys are losing your shirts! You're not fired up when you write, like I am when I pitch!

E: Fair enough.

JP: We done here? I gotta go duck hunting. Love duck hunting!

E: Um, yeah, OK. I think we've got enough here. Thanks again, Jonathan.

JP: Anytime! See you in the World Series, baby! Let's go, Boss, we got some ducks to shoot! Yeah!!!

*runs through screen door*

*two months later, Esquire HQ*

E: (to editor) Oh, and make sure you print that part about cancer. With lots of exclamation points.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Get Your Popcorn Ready, Buffalo

Terrell Owens is a Bill

WTF Is Going On With The Golden State Warriors?

Something is fishy in Oakland, and it's not the smell off the Bay.

Last night Warriors head coach/crazy old coot Don Nelson sat regular starters Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette and Andris Biedrins, citing various injuries.

One problem: all three players were healthy enough to play on Wednesday.

Last night's starting lineup vs. the Pistons looked like this:

G Jamal Crawford
G Marco Belinelli
F Anthony Randolph
F Rob Kurz
C Ronny Turiaf

Gross. Almost as gross as that picture.

Anyway, the Warriors had just three dudes available off the bench (C.J. Watson, Anthony Morrow, and Jermareo Davidson). Not surprisingly, Detroit beat them easily. Sure the Pistons are hot right now, but it's not like they were facing the best possible lineup that G-State could have put out there.

Now there's controversy surrounding Crawford, arguably the only legitimate Friday starter. Crawford was apparently told by Nelson that if he doesn't opt out of his contract at the end of the year, that he would be traded.

Nelson also told Crawford that he would be benched for a few games in order to keep his statistics high.

Um, thanks?

When you add in that Monta Ellis has basically given up on the team and didn't even show up for the team photo, it makes for a pretty rotten team environment.

Nelson's defense is that he's trying to give the young guys a chance to play, but it's hard to believe him given what's been coming out in the press.

Aren't we getting to the point where the league has to step in and investigate this?

The NBA might be known for poorly-disguised tank jobs better than any other league, but this is ridiculous.

And what kind of player is Nelson looking for? There's no question he's put out more starting lineups than any other NBA coach this season. He's also used and disposed of three different starting point guards, and even deployed Stephen Jackson as a point-forward.

Perhaps he's searching for...the Ulllllllltimate Warrior!

*cue the entrance music*

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Pantheon of Raptors With Hilarious Names...

...just got a new addition. The Raptors have signed British native Pops Mensah-Bonsu to a contract for the rest of the season.

The question you should be asking yourselves is not "Where does this dude fit in to the Raptors' plans?", but "Where does this dude's name fit into The Pantheon of Raptors With Hilarious Names?"

Let's find out...

15) Maceo Baston - It just screams "total scrub". What's in a name? In Baston's case, everything.

14) Kornel David - Sounds like the leader of a cult.

13) Acie Earl - Would have fit in nicely on the Flint Tropics.

12) Zendon Hamilton - This dude failed to reach the minimum score on the SAT nine times. NINE times! To be fair, no rocket scientists are ever named "Zendon".

11) Voshon Lenard - Probably the only man in the history of the universe to be named "Voshon". Seriously, Google that shit.

10) Lindsey Hunter/Tracy McGrady/Tracy Murray/Sharone Wright/Andrea Bargnani - The Pantheon's Wing for Dudes with Girls' Names.

9) Popeye Jones - Dude looked like an alien. Must have been all the spinach.

8) and 7) Pops Mensah-Bonsu/Pape Sow - The Raptors have the market cornered on guys with Pop in their name.

6) Mamadou N'Diaye - 3 Pops and a Mama. We're a goddamn 1960s folk group!

5) Roko Ukić/Uroš Slokar/Primož Brežeć/Rasho Nesterovič/Alex Radojević/Žan Tabak - That's a lot of funny-looking accents!

4) Jamario Moon - A cross between a Harlem Globetrotter and a Nintendo character.

3) Mengke Bateer - The only Chinese-born player in Raptor history. His name in Mongolian means "Eternal Hero." In English, it means the exact opposite.

2) Muggsy Bogues - A name with serious mob potential. Say hello to my little friend, indeed.

Aaaaaand number 1...

Haywoode Workman - The Haywoode Jablome jokes are classic. And he went to Oral Roberts! It writes itself.

Special mention goes to Patrick O'Bryant for having the most Irish sounding name for a 7-foot black guy.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Paging Hank Scorpio

Homer : Aww...the Denver Broncos?!?
Marge : I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good.
Homer : Yeah, yeah.
Marge : Well, explain to me why it isn't.
Homer : You just don't understand football, Marge.


When the dictionary people get around to editing the entry of "tumultuous", they're gonna need to put "The Denver Broncos' 2009 offseason" as an alternate definition.

Let's go on a little journey, shall we?

First, they had a complete coaching overhaul for the first time since Gangsta's Paradise was a #1 hit. A bit surprising, but you could argue that it was time for a change.

Then new coach Josh McDaniels started rebuilding one of the worst defensive units in the league, adding Brian Dawkins, Renaldo Hill and Andre' Goodman. So far, so good.

McDaniels also channeled his inner Shanahan by signing a couple of not-so-great running backs in Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington. Given the "revolving door leading to the infirmary room" situation that was the Denver running game in 2008, probably not a bad plan. You gotta believe that the new coach won't treat his tailbacks like James Bond treats women (ie. like things) and that one guy will emerge as the feature back come Week 1.

OK, so we're good, right? Except for one problem. Okay, two problems.

One, you totally pissed off your starting QB.

Apparently McDaniels, being an ex-Patriot (expatriate?), wanted to implement his offensive system, and so he decided to go after his system quarterback, one Matt Cassel.

And so in the most publicly made quarterback news this side of Brett Favre, Denver tried to ship Jay Cutler to Tampa Bay in a three-way deal that would have brought Cassel to the Mile High City. They even thought about trading Cutler to (gasp!) the Detroit Lions (!) for draft picks.

Cutler, being kind of an emo kid, took the news badly. He's not speaking to the team, and you really can't blame him. Dude had a Pro Bowl year while dealing with diabetes, and they want to ditch you for a dude who knows the playbook? That's cold blooded.

The second issue? Oh yeah, your star wide receiver who said he'd never get in trouble in trouble again.

After getting his 2008 suspension reduced from three games to one with the explicit instructions that he turn his life around and stay out of hot water, Brandon Marshall was arrested for disorderly conduct early Sunday morning, after allegedly getting into a tiff with his fiancé. Good times!

The charges were dropped today, but the NFL doesn't need convictions to suspend a player (which sounds a little Guantanamo Bay to me, but whatever) so it's possible that Marshall will miss a significant portion of the 2009 season.

Enjoy your first season as an NFL head coach, Josh! College football awaits!