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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bits and Pieces

I used to have a blog called links and lists. I am a little lazy to keep that blog going. Let's be serious— I am barely tending to THIS blog as it is. So on the occasion I put together links and lists it's basically miscellanious; You'll get some links to crap I've found on the net, Random thoughts, I might even rank some stuff. Feel free to let me know if you want something included.

You say White Trash, I say High Class

Look I've been there, we've all lost a good one but seriously...Are you lonely without your dignity?

What are the odds Artest and Kobe fight each other before the preseason is over.

I'm a huge Halloween guy. I love creative costumes. I am not normally into couples costumes but I'd go as that nerdy little harry potter to match this

It's that time again. We have only 65 days until 09/05/09, When USC will face off against San Jose State. As a dedicated reader of this site you know that while I am a passionate Vikings fan I cover all of the NFL. I have decided to take that same approach with college football. Now that I have gotten my obligatory narcissism out of the way let's get to the stuff you care about Ranking the Pac-10. A lot of the lists that you see this early are going to be rankings of schedules. Screw all that, I care how they are going to finish. So here we go.


#1 in your hearts and on this list USC – There are questions at quarterback. Once the who questions are cemented, we will still be left with the how questions. Because of USC’s prolific success in the Pete Carroll era the team has seen more and more of the national spotlight. As we all now sex sells and offense is sexy; you’ll never see the “Chicks dig the well timed stunt by the defensive line” shirt hanging next to the one that references the “long ball”. The point here is the QB isn’t as important as everyone wants us to believe. The defense—Pete Carroll’s specialty—spends a lot of time holding people to scores so low that the offense doesn’t have to do a whole lot to look good. Don’t believe me; look at the performance of SC’s offensive stars once they hit the NFL.

#2 OREGON — This is close. The main reason that USC got the nod at #1 is because it’s my list. The Ducks draw USC at home this year. This game has often been a tough one for the Trojans. That game may be the one that breaks the tie between the two teams. It could also be the game that leaves one of the two teams undefeated and the other one-defeated

One of the reasons that I do stuff like this so early is because it gives me time to rethink it and change my mind on stuff. Like we say at my day job, we do it nice, because we do it twice. Oh quit worrying, I'm not building planes or anything. I quit that job :)


Tomorrow I’ll give you spot #3 and #4. Until then, do good?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

USC's Fall Practice Schedule

As usual USC's practices will be open to the public and Pete Carroll wants you to come on out

Aug. 8 - Practice 3 p.m.
Aug. 9 - Practice 3 p.m.
Aug. 10 - Practice 3 p.m.
Aug. 11 - Practice 3 p.m.
Aug. 12 - Practice 3 p.m.
Aug. 13 - Practice 9 a.m.; Practice 4 p.m. (two-a-day)
Aug. 14 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 15 - Practice 9 a.m.; Practice 4 p.m. (two-a-day)
Aug. 16 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 17 - Practice 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 19 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 20 - Practice 9 a.m.; Practice 4 p.m. (two-a-day)
Aug. 21 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 22 - Practice 9 a.m.; Practice 3 p.m. (two-a-day)
Aug. 23 - OFF
Aug. 24 - OFF (First day of fall semester)
Aug. 25 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 26 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 27 - Practice 4 p.m.
Aug. 28 - Practice 4:15 p.m.
Aug. 29 - Mock game at 12:30 p.m. (Coliseum)
Aug. 30 - OFF
Aug. 31 - Practice 4 p.m. (Normal game week commences)
Sept. 1 - Practice 4 p.m. (Competition Tuesday)
Sept. 2 - Practice 4 p.m. (Turnover Wednesday)
Sept. 3 - Practice 4 p.m. (No Repeat Thursday)
Sept. 4 - Practice 4:15 p.m. (Review Friday - CLOSED to the public)
Sept. 5 - USC vs. SAN JOSE STATE 12:30 p.m. (Coliseum)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Brush With Free Agency

Free agency begins tonight at 12 ET. Let me save you some time. This wont be an in-depth analysis of all the available free agents. I won’t be discussing the needs of teams and drawing the connect-the-dots lines tying the free agents to said teams. If you want something like that— then try google. (Or you could try bing which I already hate, seriously if they decide to advertise one more place it'll have to be the inside of my eyelids. Sleep is pretty much the only place I don't see their annoying ads)

No this brush with free agency is only here to discuss crap that matters to me.

Crap 1)I like to make predictions. I think if you are going to say you know and love sports, predictions are a part of that. Then again, I said JP Losman was going to be the best QB in his class(See Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger) OOPS. With the humble pie having been consumed, here is my prediction; Marcin Gortat will be a player in this league.
I'd love to tell you I've seen a lot his game time in the league. Then I'd love to follow up by recounting the numerous times I saw him play for the Anaheim Arsenal which play 15 min from my palatial condo.

None of that is true though. The only games I have seen Gortat play were in this years playoffs. But as a religious reader of my blog you know about my A-rod rule. "It's what you do when it counts, not what you do with no outs". Gortat played solid through out. Not only is he a solid player, he is a big man in a league suffering for them. He also brings the fundamentals you'd expect from a European player without the glaring softness you normally associate with those players.

Crap2) This only comes second because it is going to be a bit sweeter and a lot shorter. LAMAR ODOM I love your game. I love the way you played for the Lakers this year. But don't lie to yourself; You like being a #2. You defer, and you do it well. Nothing wrong with that. Johnny needed Ed Mcmahon. Batman needed Robin. And my man, Kobe needs you. Ariza is good, but all this hogwash that he can replace you is ridiculous. Stick around, by the time you all quit this run your hand will look like chandeliers

Friday, June 26, 2009

Even if it's broke it doesn't ALWAYS need fixing

You never find a foam 2-finger hand emblazoned with "We're #2". Nobody wears those silly hats and t-shirts that they give out for conference championships. My 5 year old doesn't even like his participation trophies. I don't expect pro franchises to be any happier. There just isn't any celebrating when you don't win it all.

This kind of dissatisfaction is why you can't blame the Magic. They didn't win the Championship; that joy went to the Lakers. So the knee jerk reaction, which they went with, was change. So they trade away Courtney Lee and they aren't really making offers towards Hedo Turkoglu that he is willing to play for. So what is their new solution: Vince Carter. I know it feels right to go with a big name wing-man to help overcome Kobe. But just because they lost didn't mean they we're broken; it doesn't mean they needed fixing. In fact by trying to improve they likely took a step backward.



A big part of their success, in fact the key to it, was the fact you MUST prepare for Dwight Howard in the middle. His size and athleticism make him a force. The second and more important prong of the Magic's attack is that all that time you spent preparing for superman took away the time you could have spent planning for their perimeter shooting. Because Dwight isn't yet developed enough to be a sole force, or even a primary one.

Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu have acknowledged that they tend to shoot in spurts. One of them will be hitting while the other can't seem to find his touch. While they both make a lot of money to combine for a consistent outside shooting threat, the fact is any single shooter goes through streaks. Without one to fill in for the other the Magic wont have the consistent scoring threat they need to support Howard.

Vince Carter is a scorer, and he will get his. He has gotten his everywhere he has played. But he has also never won it all anywhere he has played. He has also shown that when he is unhappy he will NOT play hard. Vince Carter's surly demeanor aside, he just doesn't fit with the Magic's style of play. As he drives and slashes he will find himself with only half a court to play with. He wont be able to drive on the side that Howard is posted and even if he drives on the off side he will still face Howard's man coming with help.

It's not mine but I have learned to like Colin Cowherd's "don't try to get happier than happy". The Magic should be Happy but they are trying to get happier. They have sacrificed a team with no ME players that got to the mountain top as a cohesive unit. In my first prediction for the 2009-2010 NBA season: The Magic wont make it out of the first round of the playoffs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It comes in 3's

It's a silly little phrase. Most reasonable people know that it is just a saying and not a fact. But like all the adages we surround ourselves with, they seem to come from some where. Early this morning I found myself mocking the numerous people on Twitter who we're noting the passing of Farrah Fawcett by asking "who's next?". Her passing along with that of Ed Mcmahon earlier this week gave us two of the three we have come to expect in a group.

As 1 o'clock rolled around Twitter started to buzz with the news of Michael Jackson's hospitalization; quickly followed by news of his passing. As realization set in that I had been a little hasty mocking the "comes in three's" adage I decided I'd call around and let a few people know about his passing.

I am not an ardent supporter of Jacksons music. I liked Thriller and Beat It. If you grew up in the '80's there is no way you didn't like those two. I felt something with his passing, but it was no more powerful than it would be had I found out anyone that I know of had passed. What little his music did for me had been negated long ago by his actions and choices in his personal life. I mean let's face it, dude was WEIRD.

I called my sister more to see if she knew than out of any need to wax longingly about Michael. Once I told her what had happened she immediately called bull. After a little back and forth and few different swears she made me go through she finally bought it. Her next question though was nice for this avid twitterer. "how do you know already when it's not even on my news page?" I answered her with smug satisfaction "I'm on Twitter" WIN

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why are you asking ME what's cool

A freind of mine, Bud, was recently visiting from Chicago. In order to really grasp this story you have to understand that he is one of those people that is constantly on the move; both mentally and phyically. There is always somthing to be gleaned from every person, environment, and situation.
Just before we left for the airport Bud up and decides he's getting on Twitter. I'd basically given up on talking him into it a while ago. Our discussions basically centered around the fact that I thought Twitter was AWESOME, and might even be more useful than it is a time-vacuum. He couldn't see any productive use for it. (This from a guy who plays scrabble on facebook through his iphone).
With only a standard image up on Twitter, I started pimping @budwierenga5 with a tweet before we headed off to LAX. On our way Bud says half-jokingly "well I guess now that everyone is on Twitter I will get on too" without much thought the words "At this point, I wouldn't have bothered, it'll be something besides Twitter in 6 months"
This banter suddenly became a legitmate discussion of Twitter's groundswell into mainstream. I have been on Twitter since January 2007. Not nearly early enough to count as in from the begining but certainy early enough to count as ahead of the curve. That being said I couldn't answer his simple question as to how Twitter suddenly became this moment's hammer-pants.

I have no idea why so many people use it, I have a hard time quantifying why I use it. But one thing I know for sure I am way to G33K to be deciding what's cool and what isn't.

So; Why do you use Twitter? How did you find it? If you have been on it for a while are you enjoying the influx of new blood or do you find it cumbersome?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I love the Vikings. I was born in Minnesota and my earliest memories are of me and my father watching games together. I will never root for another team or waiver in my love for the purple. But that doesnt exclude me from frustrations. And by frustration I mean "don't talk to me on days we lose" type frustration.

As a reasonable fan I don't need to win a Superbowl every year. But in my life time we (yes WE. I get to say We because I have more time invested in this team than any player.) have never won and we have had one top 5 pick.

It's the mediocrity that kills me. By week 6 of this year there was not a Lion fan that was still holding on to hope. I can't say the same. We all started out the year listening to the talking heads predictions of our superbowl chances. Then we experienced the ups and downs and squeeked into the pllayoffs.

The difference between us and the Lions now. 21, there are 21 spots between there draft selection and ours. So now who's happier; Lions fan or Vikings fan. Ok we're still happier I mean seriously they're the Lions. But did you really savor that first round playoff game, will you be wearing your 2008 NFC North Championship shirt with pride. Not I.

So Vikings I have a simple request. Progress. I want a draft pick that is top 5 or a Superbowl. NOTICE: I did not say TRIP to the Superbowl. I do not want to be a fan of the team that went 0-5.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Way to Start Out Sadness

I have been thinking of re-starting my new blog for a little while now. I no longer write for work so I have found my skills dulling. I do take some pride in writing so I have been waiting for a topic that I really felt would be an entertaining post. Unfortuantely instead I ran into a topic that I couldn't let go by with out sharing a little on. The sad passing of NC State womens basketball coach Kay Yow.



I am not a big fan of womens basketball. For the 12 of you that are, that is an argument for another time. Yow was an incredible woman. Not only did she stay at the same school since 1975, a run that is second only to Pat Summit's at Tennessee, she did it while fighting through multiple battles with breast cancer.



In 1987 she was first diagnosed with cancer. She had already accomplished great things, leading the US to a victory over Russia. It isn't really what she did to that point though. It was jsut a year after her battle with cancer began that she again led the US team to a gold in the 88 Olympics.



Her on the court success continued, resulting in 657 wins at NC State. She did her best work off the court. Promoting awareness and lending her name and time to the V-foundation. The foundation is the legacy of fellow NC state head coach Jim Valvano who fell to cancer several years ago.

Don't call it a... Ok let's try to hold on to my self-respect

So I haven't blogged a post in almost a year. Needless to say I am sure you will be suffering through some rust over the next few posts. Also I am planning on expanding the scope of my posts. I mean I love sports but I am a little more rounded than that so these posts will be as well.