Thursday, January 31, 2008
1. Kansas State (5-0)- Do I expect the Cats will win the Big 12? No. Do I think they'll win in Lawrence? No. But right now, there is no denying that Michael Beasley and company are the number one team in the league. If Jacob Pullen and the K-State guards play like they did last night, they may continue to prove me wrong.
2. Kansas (5-1)- I would not want to be Colorado on Saturday...or worse yet, what's left of the Mizzou team on Monday night. Regardless of how many poundings these Jayhawks give the lesser teams in the league, they need to find some toughness by March.
3. Baylor (4-1)- The Bears finally lost a game, but no one was ready to supplant them as the #3 team in the league. Their next three games are at Texas, Tech at home and at Kansas, if they win two of those we'll know they're in this race to stay.
4. Texas A&M (3-3)- Surprise, surprise, the Aggies are back. How did they do it? Mostly by destroying Texas last night. This team shouldn't lose again until they face Texas on February 18th. Then again, they shouldn't have 3 losses in the first place.
5. Texas (3-2)- Just when you thought Texas had straightened things out they don't even compete against A&M. What will happen against Baylor Saturday? I'm done guessing.
6. Oklahoma (3-2)- Blake Griffin's 'miraculous' recovery is either heroic or a crock...we're trying to be optimistic so we'll say it was heroic. Sooners look to be getting back on track for an NCAA bid.
7. Texas Tech (2-3)- I can feel everyone getting their "I told you so" ready. Not so fast. Tech has some winnable games coming up and a week's worth of practice. Never count out a Bobby Knight team.
8. Iowa State (3-3)- Blown out by KSU and then blowing out Colorado, the Cyclones are living up to their ranking. Could be playing for an NIT bid if they can stay around .500
9. Oklahoma State (1-5)- How does a team lose twice and move up two spots in the rankings? Lose by 3 to A&M and Oklahoma, that's how...and this didn't hurt...
10. Nebraska (1-4)- They were embarrassing in Lawrence...but maybe even more so in beating the depleted Tigers by 4 in Columbia. Gross is the only way to explain this team right now.
11. Missouri (2-4)- I can only take 'indefinite' at it's face value. Until we know how long half the team is suspended they can only be ranked ahead of...
12. Colorado (1-5)- Blew another double digit 2nd half lead against Mizzou, then put up 41 against the Cyclones...yuck.
Can we just call the player of the week award the Michael Beasley award?
Kansas #1 seed
A&M, Texas #4 seed
KSU #5 seed
Baylor #6 seed
Oklahoma #11 seed
Texas Tech, Iowa State NIT
- That crowd last night was amazing. They pushed their own team while scaring both the Jayhawks and the refs into submission.
- Darrell Arthur looked like a high school player compared to Beasley...he also looked scared.
- If Kansas State shoots like that in March we may have two teams from Kansas in the Final Four.
- I used to call Brandon Rush 'Casper' for his propensity to disappear in the clutch...after last night I may start again.
Like I said, more in the Big 12 Report this afternoon, but for now...congrats to the Cats and their fans.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Yeah, the whole streak angle has been beaten into the ground, right? Maybe. One thing everyone seems to agree on is that the streak won't have any effect on tonight's game. The most common things you hear is "These kids weren't even born when this streak started"...to me that's pretty shortsighted. With everyone talking about Beasley's guarantee filling the Jayhawks' bulletin board, how can we not analyze the other side of it? These Wildcats have heard about "The Streak" since before they stepped on Kansas, you don't think they're motivated by that? You don't think they'll play harder tonight than any other? Of course they will.
So, we have the veteran Jayhawks trying to silence the confident (if not arrogant) Wildcats on one side. On the other you have the young Wildcats, tired of hearing about 24 years of disappointment, wanting to prove themselves. To me, that sounds like a recipe for one of the best games of the season...at first glance.
The problem with that theory is it doesn't take in to account the disparity in talent. All year long I've told you how Michael Beasley was this year's Kevin Durant, and I stand by that. And Bill Walker is a great young player as well...maybe the 2nd most talented player on the floor but after that there is no comparison here. Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson, Brandon Rush, Sherron Collins...The Wildcats have noanswer for them. The guards will be the difference and I expect Mario Chalmers to have a field day.
Kansas State is a good team no doubt, a tournament team for sure, but not the kind of team that beats an inspired Kansas team. No, their only hope was to catch this team sleeping and Mr. Beasley made sure that didn't happen. Everyone has given Beasley a free pass because he's "good enough to back it up". Everyone seems to think that great players can make guarantees...I agree...IF they're on a great team. Beasley didn't write a check that he couldn't cover, he wrote one that his team has to try and cover...and cost them any chance at a victory.
Last odds I saw had Kansas as a 7 point favorite and I'd be amazed if they don't cover that. Expect 20+ turnovers from the Wildcats, as well as a lot of frustration. The Streak continues...
Kansas 79, Kansas State 66
I'm aware there are some people who think it's wrong of Anderson to ban his players from the clubs. What's sad is that he has to. You'd like to think someone that's mature and talented enough to play Division 1 college basketball could be trusted to make those kinds of choices. Unfortunately, the current players at Mizzou have proven time and time again that they are not. Kudos to Mike Anderson for recognizing this and putting the integrity of the program ahead of wins.
Monday, January 28, 2008
- The Tigers lose even when they win. Arguably the best player on the team, Stefhon Hannah ended up in the hospital after an altercation at a Columbia night club Saturday night. I'm not one to chastise college kids for going clubbing, or celebrating. But these incidents are becoming far too common for Mike Anderson's team. Without Hannah the Tigers may challenge Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma State for the cellar in the Big 12.
- Michael Beasley keeps talking trash about Wednesday's match up with Kansas. I'll have more on this Wednesday in the Sunflower Showdown preview, but I'll say this now: Beasley is making it fun, and adding to the excitement...but I'd be nervous if I were A Wildcat fan.
- Heard Billy Butler on 810 late last week. The young slugger sounds optimistic (of course) but he did make one bold prediction: Kyle Davies in the starting rotation. With Bannister, Meche and Greinke all assured spots Davies is in a dog fight with several veterans and younger players. Butler apparently saw Davies in the Dominican League this winter and said he really looked sharp. I hope he's right.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
- If your league doesn't have an awards banquet, you should. Just as the draft has turned into an excuse for the guys to get together and drink, now so too has the awards banquet. If for no other reason, doubling the opportunities to get together with friends is good enough.
- The guy who finished last in our league (thus earning the number one overall pick) was already talking about drafting LT next year. Really? The way LT finished the year(injuries and attitude) I'm not so certain.
- There was a big debate between our new commissioner and last year's champ about how much luck has to do with success in fantasy football. My stance? A ton! Anyone that doesn't get this has obviously been extremely lucky and is far too self consumed to recognize it.
Okay, that was scalding enough...on to the videos...
Someone in the comments this week asked for a Kareem Rush write up, how about a video instead? And in the interest of fairness: Brandon....and Jaron.
While I was looking online I found Linas Kleiza dunking on Earl Watson...nice.
As long as Michael Beasley keeps his Wildcats undefeated, I'll keep posting highlight clips...Here's another, this one against France.
And finally, soccer season is right around the corner. Here's a compilation of the Wizards best goals of 2007...
Friday, January 25, 2008
That's because the most recent book I've read "Golf My Own Damn Way" from John Daly will literally make you laugh out loud and help the average golfer cut strokes off. The book starts with a quote from Jimmy Demaret that most golfers have heard "Golf and Sex are about the only things you can have fun doing without being any good at" and the rest of the Introduction is spent analyzing both the quote and the man (Demaret won three Masters titles).
Chapter 1 covers getting ready for your round of golf where Daly *gasp* implores you to skip the beer in the clubhouse and start at the range. This is where I recognized this book is actually written to make your golf game better.
His first tip? When putting, Get the $#$@#@ ball to the $#$@*& hole! Not bad advice so far.
Chapter 5 is titled: "Get your head out of the game", now this sounds like Big John...The prevailing theme is that thinking is for the practice range, don't think on the course. Including this gem "$#!!, with all that thinking going on it's amazing every swing isn't a whiff".
Okay, I don't want to give the whole book away, but other topics include...
- How to line up properly (doesn't involve your feet)
- Things he doesn't like about the PGA Tour
- The "other thing" sex and golf have in common
- Putt how you like, just don't use one of those long putters (equally hilarious and offending the pros that do).
- John's favorite courses, as well as his disdain for par 3s
- Playing golf with Hootie and Blowfish...and Kid Rock
Even if you don't like golf, you'll laugh when you read it. Anyone who knows Daly knows he isn't your traditional golfer and he lets it show here. The downside to that? I'll pretty much guarantee neither the PGA Tour nor several of his fellow golfers enjoyed the book...he pulls no punches. If you do like (or play) golf, you'll love the book and I'd guess it'll improve your game as well.
I wish I was big time enough that someone thought this was a paid plug for Daly's new book. In case someone (most likely a first time reader) does, it's not. It's my attempt to bring something new to the site and maybe something new to your bookshelf.
Let me know what you think of it...should I review the next book I read? Should I do it regularly? Should I never do it again? Let me know below...
Thursday, January 24, 2008
1. Kansas (4-0)- The Tigers gave the Jayhawks their only scare of the conference season so far. The next close game? January 30th in Manhatten. Amazing stat of the week: Kansas is now 83-7 in Big conference home games.
2. Kansas State (3-0)- The A&M win doesn't look quite as impressive as it did, but they've now put two road wins with it. I'll really be impressed if they don't look past the Cyclones on Saturday. In the second half against the Buffs last night Michael Beasley had 26 points and 11 rebounds....that's ridiculous.
3. Baylor (4-0)- What can I say? They're undefeated....they beat my preseason #2...they're ranked in the top 25...and Curtis Jerrells is the man. They face Oklahoma at home this week before getting a week off to prepare for...
4. Texas (2-1)- I don't get this team at all. First they lose to Mizzou, then they beat Colorado and OSU by two each? This team should be crushing opponents like these. They should crush Texas Tech Saturday...we'll see.
5. Texas Tech (2-2)- Everyone keeps telling me this team isn't very good. I think as long as they have Martin Zeno they can be dangerous. I don't expect them to beat Texas this weekend, but I do expect them to finish in the top half of the conference.
6. Texas A&M (1-3)- I know, I know...I said I wouldn't be fickle and drop teams too far. Well, A&M earned this one. Getting pounded on the road is one thing but losing to Baylor at home immediately afterwards is quite another. The bad news for the Aggies? Their next three games: @ OSU, UT, @ OU. Ouch!
7. Iowa State (2-2)- They don't lose any cred for getting blown out by Kansas, almost everyone has.
8. Oklahoma (1-2)- Big win for the Sooners over Texas Tech vaulted them ahead of several teams that are struggling.
9. Missouri (1-3)- They haven't won a road game yet and if they don't Saturday in Boulder they may not all year. Tigers are better than the Buffs and are in desperate need of a parachute to keep this season from going down the toilet. The first step? Not giving up 50 free throws.
10. Nebraska (0-3)- If it weren't for Texas A&M this would be the most disappointing team in the conference. What's worse for Huskers? Their next game is at Kansas.
11. Oklahoma State (1-3)- Almost a big upset on Big Monday against the Horns. Instead, they're toiling at the bottom of the conference where everyone expected them.
12. Colorado (1-3)- The fact that Colorado had a 13 point lead on Texas in the second half is encouraging. The fact that they gave up a 24-2 run at that point is not. This team is really bad.
May as well just give the player of the week award to Michael Beasley again huh? Besides his monster 2nd half against Colorado he put up 21 against A&M. He's averaging 27 and 9 in Big 12 play so far. Not bad for a freshman. Honorable mention to Jerrells who put up 36 last night in the 5 OT win against the Aggies.
A new feature I'm adding this week is the Tourney watch, these are projections based on how I think the season will finish.
Kansas #1 seed
Texas #3 seed
Texas A&M #4 seed
Baylor, Kansas State #6 seed
Texas Tech #11 seed
As always, your comments are appreciated below...
- 8 players fouled out
- 4 players played 50 minutes or more
- 13 players scored in eight points or more
- Curtis Jerrells put up 36 points and 8 assists and went 20/24 from the line
- The teams combined to shoot 191 field goals and 106 free throws
- There were 134 rebounds pulled down
- Baylor Forward Kevin Rogers: 19 points, 18 rebounds in only 43 minutes
- Aggies Forward Brian Davis: 30 points, 14 rebounds in only 45 minutes
- The Aggies had three players that played 10 minutes more than either of the two players above
The worst thing? Thanks to the genius of the Big 12 office no one saw this game except for the 12,234 in attendance. A match up between two ranked Big 12 teams that went 5 overtimes had no television coverage at all. Great work guys.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This whole thing is hilarious (as is the site), but it's starting to make the university look pretty bad. In fact, everything I've heard or read about this seems to take Lozano's side. Why won't Mike Alden and the Tigers just resolve this? How ugly will this get? Mizzou has struggled for many years with PR and the media in Kansas City has feasted on it, leading Mizzou fans to accuse them of being anti-Mizzou. Once again, we're seeing that it isn't a problem with the media, but a problem in Columbia. No one is out there trying to make the University of Missouri look foolish, they're doing a bang up job of that themselves.
Then I thought Carl and Gretz had come up with some plan to shut me down after all I've said about them, but nope...that wasn't it either.
Turns out, when I changed the template I messed something up, so I spent yesterday trying to fix it. The good news is, everything is back up and running. The bad news is I lost all tracking info for a 48 hour span. I'm calling off my one month in blog and I'll just add it to the State of the Blog report on January 31st.
Tomorrow is the Big 12 Report, then something funny on Friday and KC Sports Report TV on Sunday. Besides that, who knows? Links will be updated this afternoon and possibly a new blog then...
Monday, January 21, 2008
The Kansas State Wildcats- "Oh, when I was kid, I got no respect. I was kidnapped; they sent back a piece of my finger. My old man said he wanted more proof."- R.D.
I said on Saturday that I thought the Cats would be ranked in the vicinity of 21st, turns out they aren't ranked at all. Well, I think that's wrong, but that's not what really earns this quote. Last year we spent the entire year hearing about Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now, we have Michael Beasley playing as well as either one of them but because he's in Manhatten, KS we don't hear near as much about him. Beasley will have his chance on a national stage against Kansas on January 30, but ESPN should already be pumping this kid up more than they are.
Carl Peterson-" I don't get no respect. One night I fell asleep with a cigarette in my hand - my wife lit it!"- R.D.
Maybe it isn't his wife, but it seems like the entire organization is turning against Carl. Clark Hunt's statement that the team must be considerably better next year is the kiss of death for Carl. There is no way they can be considerably better next year. What irks me? Hunt has given Carl every excuse he needs to scrap the youth movement and sign a couple of aging veterans like Chad Pennington and Laverneus Coles to try and scrap together a 9-7 team. Why won't Clark just fire him now?
And wouldn't you know it, I can't find anymore good jokes...well it's not really funny anyways, the Memphis Tigers being ranked ahead of Kansas in this week's poll. Sure they're both undefeated and the Tigers played a tough non-con schedule...but we're talking about the Kansas Jayhawks and a Conference USA team...seriously. You want to find out who should be ranked higher? Call your bookie, tell him Memphis and Kansas are playing in St Louis and ask him what the spread would be...
Sunday, January 20, 2008
To hopefully make the Tiger fans feel better, a pretty fantastic Anthony Peeler dunk montage...and for those who thought the refs were bad last night, probably the worst call in Border War history.
Remember when all those Japanese kids were throwing up because of the cartoons? Hope they don't go to Brigade games at the Sprint Center...from the Brigade Open House...that scoreboard is wild.
In case you didn't make it to Royals FanFest, here's new manager Trey Hillman...and Trey from his 2006 Japanese Championship.
Really, it was pretty business like for the Jayhawks, winning a game they should, if not as easily as they should. So were Tigers fans happy with the moral victory? Ha! Not even the damage Quin Snyder did that program could make moral victories in the Border War a reality. Mike Anderson had the team ready and Mizzou Arena was rocking, and the Tigers put a scare in a much more talented Jayhawks team but in the end I doubt anyone was truly happy.
The Jayhawks left satisfied that their record was still perfect on a day where upsets were the norm. The Tigers were left disappointed in the upset that could have been. In this war of a rivalry we've come to expect big upset, big blowouts, something big...and last night was pretty blah...I guess we can look forward to February 4th and hope both teams put on a little better show.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Nothing surprising here, except that the Jayhawks already have a one game cushion over both A&M and Texas in the standings. Rivalry game at Mizzou this week could be one of the few stumbling blocks for KU.
A lot of people might drop the Aggies after the beating they took at Tech last night, but I'm going to try not to be that fickle. Besides, I took a lot of flack for placing the Raiders 4th in my preseason rankings, so for now I'll pretend like that loss isn't that terrible.
Michael Beasley carried the Cats to one of the few road victories in the conference in week one and that's why they made the leap to number 3. A win Saturday against Texas A&M and people may actually start to believe this team could challenge Kansas for first, but it won't happen.
Texas Tech (1-1)
What an enigma Bobby Knight's team was this week. It'll be amazing if Knight doesn't completely blow a gasket in the upcoming 3 game stretch: @ OU, Mizzou at home, @ Texas. The 4th best team in conference would win at least 2 of those...we'll see. Blow up or not, Knight will still have his 900 wins and I'll still enjoy watching him and his teams.
I pity Colorado. Texas, maybe the 2nd most talented team in the league, has had a full week to think about a 13 point loss at Mizzou. If the Horns don't beat the Buffs by 20, there really may be something wrong in Austin.
If there were any Baylor Bear fans that read this, they'd surely complain over this ranking, after all they're tied with Kansas for the conference lead. Single digit wins over OSU and ISU don't impress me.
To quote Dennis Green "They are who we thought were!" Fantastic win for the Tigers followed by a disappointing loss. But that bad taste in Tiger fans mouths? It could be gone by about 9:30 Saturday night. Anderson will have the kids ready for the Border War.
In all honesty, they should maybe be last. 19 point loss at home and then putting up 51 against Colorado? Gross.
Oklahoma State (1-1)
I predicted a terrible year for the Cowboys and they came out and dominated Bob Knight's Red Raiders to start the season before losing a close one to Baylor. Now I have no idea who they are. Games in Ames and at home against UT should tell us.
Iowa St (1-1)
I expect the Cyclones will sneak up and bite a couple more teams like they did the Tigers last night...but not more than 3 or 4 more the rest of the year.
The Sooners were upset after losing the home opener vs. KSU, and then embarrassed by Kansas 2 nights later. I really don't think they're this bad but you can't argue with the results so far.
I still think Colorado is terrible with a capital T.
Michael Beasley has to be the player of the week in the conference even if he only played one game. He's going to have to be player of the week this week as well if he wants to hang with the Aggies. I'd guess he'll hit his first speed bump as the Aggies slow him down. I refuse to speculate on the results of Missouri/Kansas Saturday night except that the crowd is jacked up and the Tigers play exceptionally hard.
After week one it's pretty ridiculous to try to rank these team, so I'm sure everyone has a bone to pick with these rankings... I tried to go off my Preseason Predictions and add in what the team's had done so far, but I'm sure that a lot of you disagree.. That's what the comments section is for. Let me have it...
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
In other disturbing news, according to the Star, if you don't get ESPNU you won't be able to watch MU/KU on Saturday night. This is absurd... I understand ESPN wanting to pump up it's new channel, but why the Big 12 allows it is beyond me...this game should be available to anyone in the area who wants to see it, and the conference's explanation (see Flanagan's article above) for why it isn't is deflating. If our conference leaders don't have any more backbone than that the Big 12 will always take a backseat to the SEC and Big 10.
I've mentioned Steve's blog a lot but the last week deserves mentioning again. His blog on the man tryng to block the Bannister Mall soccer complex is great, as is his Steroids rant. If you haven't been there in the last week you're missing something. I don't agree with him very often, but it's almost always entertaining.
Tomorrow brings the first Big 12 Report of the season and this weekend brings several changes to the face of KC Sports Report...make sure you check back often.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
According to my expectations the blog is doing exceptionally well. We've had over 1500 unique visitors in less than one month and already met most of our January goals. I'm still struggling to get people to comment publicly...no one seems to mind sending me an email or blasting me on a message board, but the comments section has gone largely unused...which isn't really that big a deal I guess. A few exciting facts from the first 3 1/2 weeks...
- We had over 500 visitors on 1/13 to read the KC Sports Report TV blog ( you can count on that as a regular Sunday feature now)
- The search engines are starting to pick us up! Someone googled 610 Sports firings and found us...another person googled Mike Solari firing and found us...and a few of the people that found us actually stuck around for a few minutes
- The Sports Report has been viewed in 10 different countries already
What does all of this mean? It's time to push forward...
More reader interaction... I'd like to see more than 25 votes a week in the polls
The links section will be overhauled in the next two weeks to be easier to read and more relevant.
February will bring major changes to the entire site, including (hopefully) a new writer and more legitimacy.
I'll be back with another report at the end of January to summarize the first full month and set a few more ambitious goals for the site. Hope you keep coming back to read because as George Brett would say "If you live in Kansas City you've got to be a fan of the Sports Report"...or something like that.
You have to wonder if the KU players were tired of hearing about K-State and Mizzou's big wins on Saturday...and if they sent a message to both with one win. First, they made the Wildcats big first win look not near as big. Second, those Tigers that felt the momentum building for their matchup with Kansas on Saturday have to feel a little less excited about the prospects of facing this Jayhawk squad. But as impressed as I was with Kansas, there was something more impressive...
Monica, a 32 year old soccer mom with twins and a football coach husband finished the eliminator in two minutes flat last night. Why is this big? Besides the fact that she beat every other female competitor and clinched a spot in the finals? She broke the record for any gender! Monica beat every male that has competed thus far on American Gladiators. This and 200 pound Hellga flying through the air like Dumbo without the ears were definitely the highlights of the show...
Later today, The State of the Blog Report including an update on our January goals and plans for the future.
Monday, January 14, 2008
First you have Michael Beasley scoring 32 and 11, not to mention the game winner with 2 seconds left, to defeat Oklahoma. Okay, that's big enough, now remember it's his first Big 12 game...his first Big 12 road game...It's games like those that make me look not quite so silly for predicting he'd win player of the year in the conference. Great start to the season for the Cats.
Then yesterday, a former Wildcat on a much bigger stage also put on a show. Former K-State running back Darren Sproles took a Philip Rivers pass 56 yards to the house to end the third quarter. His team the Chargers went on to defeat the Colts and will face New England next week in the AFC Championship. Sproles is the third back on the Chargers and usually nothing more than a kick returner, but with LT out he made the most of his opportunity yesterday.
So the Wildcats pretty much covered it this weekend. Mr. Everything doing everything in his first Big 12 road game, and the little guy that no one thought belonged in the league took his one chance to the house to knock off the favorites. It's a great day to be a Wildcat.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I told you guys before I'm a bigger Joey Gathright fan than most, and if you like him even a little you've probably seen this ...if you haven't...take a look...
Speaking of me being a homer, Aqib had two signature plays this year, a record breaking 102 yard interception return and "the flip"...these are both great...
Here is the Hal McRae rant that I featured earlier this year...my favorite part is the end of the clip when the reporter comes out with the bloody face...nice work Hal...
Speaking of classics, here is a 7Up commercial from the 80s with George Brett.
The play-maker Jeremy Maclin in High School making DBs look silly...
Like I said, there are a ton of these out there and we may make this a semi regular feature...hope you enjoyed it.
I love it, Tiger fans had gotten to the point of apathy over the last few years, accepting their fate as a bottom rung team. I think it's fantastic that Mike Anderson had given them reason to hope again. I didn't watch the entire game yesterday ( I had a full slate, 3rd place in a volleyball tournament, kids birthday party at the bowling alley and my first perfect game on Wii bowling) but I do have some thoughts...
- I told you Texas would lose to a couple of teams they shouldn't in my Big 12 Basketball Preview. This game is as much and indictment of Rick Barnes as anything.
- I compares Mike Anderson to Mark Mangino earlier in the year...maybe I was being unfair to Anderson. Mangino spent his first couple of years almost winning games like this.
- As I watched the end of the game in the bowling alley I kept expecting Texas to come back and the Tigers kept holding them off. I'm not sure there's a team in the league with more heart...can you believe we're saying that about a Missouri team?
- Missouri's bench outscored UT 38-10, that's impressive
- Only one week to MU vs. KU #1 and now the Tigers have proven they can play with top tier teams...it may be a shoot out. Publish Post
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Catcher- Jason "Pabst Larue Ribbon". This was tough, because a lot of people really liked John "Don't Give a" Buck. What put Larue over the top? Midway through last season he was hitting about a buck twenty, I was at the game, he started in place of Buck...a perfect storm for a new nickname really...especially considering I'd had a couple of "sodas" and Larue was 0-3 with a couple of Ks....Hence his award winning nickname Jason "LaBOOOOOOOOOO"
First Base- We've had Grimace (Ken Harvey), and Wally World (Wally Joyner)...and more recently Ross "No Need to Gload". But no one touched Steve Bye Bye Balboni. It may be pathetic that Balboni still holds our home run record with 36, but his legend will live on as long as he does.
Second Base- Way back in Royals history, no one even knew the given name of Cookie Rojas (Octavio Victor Rivas Rojas), which in itself makes it a fantastic nickname. And I was always partial to (Drunk Harry Carey voice) Mark Grudzzuzzzilannika, but the obvious fan favorite here is Esteban "Doesn't look German"
Shortstop- We've had two Angel's (Berroa and Salazar) and an Onix...but not a lot of good nicknames at this position. Last year's effort Tony "Pena in the Assa" and Tony "Pena Colada" were pretty weak in my estimation. So I reached back into my Worst Players in Royals history manual and pulled out Neifi Pop Up Perez...only in Colorado could he have hit 10 home runs in a season.
Third Base- George Brett never needed a nickname...he just didn't. But one player who couldn't help it was the Joker. No one has ever looked happier (or creepier) than Joe Randa at the plate...he mastered the Joker's smile and used it every time he came to the plate.
Outfield- One of these spots was reserved from the start for Bo Jackson...maybe the most recognizable nickname in sports for a while...Bo Knows Nicknames. If initials counted then A.O. would have to make the list as well, but they're initials...not a nickname. David The Jesus is one of my favorites, but I hate to offend the religious right. With that, the winners are Emil Clemente and Daryl Motely Crue (thank you Al Michaels).
DH- This is a sore subject, but easily the winner is The Hammer.
Wacky Zack Greinke
Odalis "el pedazo gordo de la mierda" Perez
Tony "Milk and Cookies" Muser
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Regardless of whether you read those or not, the first thing you must know about the Kool Aid Drinker is that he is universally (often foolishly) optimistic concerning his Royals. If you know the Royals recent history you know that also means he's generally wrong. Hopefully Dayton Moore is ready to help him look a lot smarter though. Other quick facts...
- he almost always refers to himself in the 2nd or third person...and he's trying to figure out how to use the 4th
- George Brett is his hero...followed by Dick Howser, Frank White and Quiz
- Speaking of Frank, he thinks that Frank and Pete Rose are the two most most heinous exclusions from Cooperstown
- He believes Alex Gordon will never leave Kansas City
- He loved the Gil Meche signing...and pretty much every other thing Dayton Moore has done
- He' thinks Joey Gathright is a lot better than everyone else does
- He hates the Yankees...and the Cardinals...and most of their fans he's not fond of either
- He thinks Albert Pujols is 47...and Big Mac injects him before every game
That's enough for now. His thoughts on this offseason?
- Roger Clemens is a fraud. If the Kool Aid Drinker were a black man he'd cry racism over the way baseball has handled Giambi and Clemens vs. the way they've handled Barry. And the Kool Aid Drinker hates it when people cry racism.
- Jose Guillen doesn't seem like the kind of guy that's worth $36 million dollars, but the Kool Aid Drinker trusts Dayton. For that reason alone, the Kool Aid Drinker expects big things out of Jose Guillen.
- It'll be really sad if Mike Sweeney's career ends like this. He's a first ballot Royals Hall of Famer and the first Royal the Kool Aid Drinker's son ever cheered for. If he does retire, expect a long ode from the Kool Aid Drinker. This article from last month in the Star gives the Kool Aid Drinker hope though.
- All of these foreign names are going to make the Kool Aid Drinker's annual nicknaming of the team very difficult. In case you're wondering, he nicknames every player at the start of the year and then tries to make the names household...a few gems from last year... Esteban "Doesn't Look" German.... Jason "Pabst Larue Ribbon"... John "Don't Give A" Buck.
Before I finish up, one last thing, the Kool Aid Drinker loves to make predictions, and they're generally bold. It's January, so I'll hold off for now but expect some serious prognosticating come March. This column will return once in February at the start of Spring Training, twice in March and then weekly once the season begins...hopefully by then Dayton Moore will have one more starter signed.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
1. I watched Ohio State and LSU last night and I'm not certain how anyone can say we definitively found our National Champion. Which leads me to Joe Posnanski's article today in which he picked his own champion based on reader votes. He argues that his champ (Missouri by one vote over Kansas) is every bit as legitimate and it is hard to argue. Could Missouri or Kansas play with LSU and Ohio State? Certainly with Ohio State, probably with LSU. This leads me to the final AP poll with Mizzou 4th, Kansas 7th and Oklahoma 8th. How in the world can you rank those teams? There isn't an argument one that makes any sense at all for any of the three of those teams to be ahead of the other. By the same token, does #2 Georgia or #3 USC deserve to be ranked ahead of Mizzou? What about #5 Ohio State over Kansas? This is why the entire system is absurd. An 8 team playoff would have answered all of these questions and given us a true National Champion.
2. Aqib Talib and Anthony "Mama gotta eat" Collins are going pro. No surprise and I hope they're drafted highly....but I'm worried about Collins. He was not impressive in his last two games as a Jayhawk, hope that doesn't knock him out of the first round.
3. K-State held Savannah State to 25 points last night...and yes, it was a men's game. I've heard a lot already about how terrible Savannah State is...and they are, but still...25 points? One field goal in the second half? This isn't a 1-15 team, they've won 8 games...they've played Wisconsin, Marquette, Nebraska and haven't been held to 25 points below 30....and it's not like this was just a low scoring game, the Wildcats put up 85! Four of the Tigers opponents haven't even scored 60, and that was the Wildcats margin of victory. Even in an exhibition game, you have to be good to beat someone by 60...now if they could just carry this over into Big 12 play my Big 12 Preview may not look so silly.
4. And the best for last, it looks like DA may be heading to Florida...I hope he sticks around long enough to fully recognize how horrible Roger Twibell is on the radio. It's atrociously bad sports talk. It reminds me of listening to the Harrisonville Wildcats football broadcast...which makes me wonder, has 610 Sports realized this yet? As much as we criticize Herm and Carl for the Chiefs failures, whoever is making the personnel decisions at 610 Sports should be canned.
Monday, January 7, 2008
The Race for the Two Seed...
Coming in to this season I would have said A&M is a solid #2, if not in the argument as the best team in the conference. They've pretty much been what I expected and Billy Gillespie may already be regretting his move to Kentucky (although I doubt his bank account is). Still, Texas has been so good (dominating Tennessee and beating UCLA) that you have to put them in this debate. I'd have to say Texas has more talent but I've never been a huge Rick Barnes fan and I think A&M may be the better team. Odds are they split and both lose to Kansas, but I think A&M wins this race because Texas loses a couple of games they shouldn't.
The Battle for the Bye...
Realistically you might be able to make a case for anyone not named Oklahoma State, Colorado or Iowa State for the 4 seed. Mizzou looked solid at the beginning of the year, OU and Nebraska look much improved over last year, even Baylor has looked impressive at times (I really like Junior Curtis Jerrells). In my opinion though, this comes down to two teams, KSU and Texas Tech. Talent vs. coaching...Of course after Knight's latest debacle this is assuming he finishes the year without getting booted. Michael Beasley continues to amaze me and I'm almost certain he'll carry the Wildcats into the NCAA tournament...but I still like the Red Raiders for the 4 seed.
The Tournament Teams...
This being the last paragraph, we have to mention the Jayhawks here as a #1 seed, after that it's pretty murky. I like A&M and Texas to both receive three seeds, and if one of them sweeps the other or wins the Big 12 tournament they may sneak in as a 2. I think Texas Tech and Kansas State both get in, with Tech as an 8/9 seed and the Wildcats as a 10/11. Nebraska, Oklahoma and Baylor will all probably battle it out for the final spot and I'd give the edge to Nebraska right now. I actually think Oklahoma has the better resume, but I could see Nebraska picking up more wins playing in the North and they're already 11-2.
Kansas 14-2, #1 seed
A&M 13-3, #3 seed
Texas 12-4, #3 seed
Tech 10-6, #9 seed
KSU 10-6, #10 seed
Nebraska 9-7, #11 seed
Oklahoma 8-8, NIT
Missouri 6-10, NIT
Iowa St 4-12
Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year (and whatever else you want to give him)- Michael Beasley
Coach of the Year- Doc Sadler
All Big 12 First Team
The Gladitors are a smorgasbord of good and bad. Wolf is going to become a cult hero of epic proportions, especially if he's in every other event like he was last night. Titan, on the other hand, notsomuch. But you know what? He was hilarious.
As far as the girls, most of them aren't quite as scary as the old girls were, except Hellga of course...I had nightmares about her. And Crush? I may have to stop talking about her so much or my photobloggrapher is going to make me stop watching the show.
Besides the Gladiators, we had a blown out knee and bloody forehead in the first episode...not to mention a tattooed skater, an Asian geek (who won), and single mom, a firefighter...a little bit of everything.
Yeah the show is cheesy (the original wasn't?) and the interviews are worse, but overall I'd give it a 9 out of 10. Why? It's fun for the whole family. It's on again tonight at 7 and my kids can't wait to watch...heck, I'm even a little excited...how many shows are on TV today that you can watch with your kids and both get a kick out of?
Sunday, January 6, 2008
For one I think the accusations are probably somewhat accurate as I'm a KU fan and everyone knows it. But I've tried pretty hard to be unbiased, picking the Tigers to destroy Arkansas and writing what I thought was a glowing review of Tony Temple's Cotton Bowl performance. I've even defended Head Coach Mike Anderson against MU fans. But apparently the overtone is still there, sorry.
On the other hand, having lived in KC my entire life, I've always heard Mizzou fans refer to the KU Star, referencing a perceived bias towards the Jayhawks. I also hear people calling in to sports talk radio hosts complaining about more coverage for the Jayhawks. So is it just me? Is it everyone? Or is it Tiger fans' perception?
I think it's a little of all of the above. The fact is, Kansas City is closer to Lawrence than Columbia or Manhatten, and during basketball season there are a lot more positive things to write about the Jayhawks. I'll try to keep my bias in check with the rest of the Kansas City media as long as Tiger fans promise to keep complaining to me about it.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
It's hard to even remember that at one point the Chiefs stood 4-3, in first place in AFC West. What happened? For one, the Brodie Croyle experiment. Honestly, I'm not upset that Croyle was given the chance that he was. I've always wanted the Chiefs to develop a QB and you can't do that without seeing what you have. What's upsetting is that the Chiefs plan on starting Brodie next year as well. I don't think the kid will go winless like he did last year but it does ensure another losing season. When was the last time a reasonable Chiefs fan felt like they had no chance to win? Before Carl got here.
That's what scares me the most - Carl wanting to sell tickets. The worst thing this team can do is try to patch together a wild card team around Brodie Croyle. If we want to start Brodie next year, it needs to be a complete rebuild project. Draft a couple of lineman, a couple of corners, maybe a wide receiver or two. Then start them all year long, take another 3-13 or 4-12 and improve with draft picks again...save all of our free agent money for 2009. If by some chance Brodie improves next year then maybe we can build a playoff team around him but there are very few, if any, teams that could have won with him this year. Adding a couple of free agents to current debacle of a team will not help.
The other bonus of going 3-13 or 4-12 next year? It may give us an opportunity to go a new direction with our GM and head coach. I understand Carl rebuilt this franchise (with help from Marty), but the time has come for him to hand over personnel decisions, if he won't do it then he needs to be fired. My feelings on Herm are well documented, he needs to go.
The other major negative form this year? Larry Johnson is still a Chief. If you read my year in review, you know my thoughts on LJ. If you didn't I'll say it again...he's always been at his best when he has something to prove. At Penn State he felt jilted by not playing as underclassman, with the Chiefs it was first Priest Holmes and then working for a contract. Well, now he has a fat contract and a firm lock on a starting job...all that adds up to him being the most overpaid player in the NFL for as long as he's with the Chiefs in my estimation.
So yeah, that's how bad it is...our best player is a fraud, our quarterback of the future has no future and my plan to save the Chiefs is more losing and lots of it. Seems silly, but if one 4-12 debacle isn't enough for Clark to can Carl and Herm we can only hope that two is. If not, apathy may be the only way for this Chiefs' fan to stay sane.
On a more positive note, my list of the ten players that can help the Chiefs in the future:
1. Jared Allen
2. Dwayne Bowe
3. Tamba Hali
4. Derrick Johnson
5. Benny Sapp
6. Bernard Pollard
7. Jarrad Page
8. Kolby Smith
Okay, so I only go to eight...think I missed someone? Tell me about it in the comments section, just don't tell me I forgot LJ...
Let me try one more time to finish on a high note....Tony Gonzalez. Amidst all of the Chiefs struggles this season, I'm afraid Gonzo's accomplishments went mostly overlooked. 99 catches for 1172 yards and 5 TDs is impressive enough, but that's the least of it. This season he broke the record for all-time touchdowns by a tight end and receptions by a tight end. The one good thing you can say Carl has done is make sure this guy will retire a Chief...maybe the best one ever.
Friday, January 4, 2008
We'll start with Mangino going ape nuts on Raymond Pendelton...
...and I guess now we know where the rumors of Mangino eating the mascot came from. He is actually larger than the mascot...
For non stop Mangino attacks visit here
And here is an article from the Big Red Network on how fat Mangino is
Seriously, the guy is just hilarious too look at, even when he's elated, he's elating us. Mark Mangino is a giver of joy.
And finally, a longer slide show from You Tube of Mangino photo-shopped into some pretty hilarious settings to the tune of Weird Al.
Now for the punch line. Last night the Fat Man got the last laugh. Was it his celebrity created by his obesity that got the Jayhawks in the Orange Bowl? Admittedly that may be a stretch....but it's no stretch at all to say the fat man out-coached Frank Beamer something fierce last night. Everyone that watched the game knew that. So yeah, that was a twinkle in the fat Man's eye on the past game show last night. Make all the jokes you like that he was dreaming of his next meal, he really doesn't seem to mind...especially on night's like last night.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
1. This has to be the greatest day to be a Kansas Jayhawk fan since 1988. Kansas just finished a 12-1 season with a BCS victory in the Orange Bowl. Read that last sentence again....wow. And since football season is officially over now (approximately 4 months later than it usually is in Lawrence), how about the basketball team? 13-0 ain't bad at all.
2. I kind of likes the red jerseys, but only for special occasions. Maybe only for January bowl games.
3. Todd Reesing is going to be nicknamed Sod Reesing before long. He has to learn to slide before next year.
4. Speaking of next year, Mangino must find a good kicker by then. With a much tougher schedule next year the Jayhawks will probably have 3-4 games decided by field goals.
5. And this is the big one. MU and KU fans will argue until next year about who had the better year. MU beat KU, KU won a BCS game, MU won the North, KU only lost one game, etc etc etc I guess that's all fun and everything but let's not forget the big picture here. This is the single greatest college football season in Kansas City history. The game at Arrowhead, the success of both of these teams, all of it combined to make a miserable Chiefs season completely bearable. You know what else? The Big 12 North is back in a big way. Two North teams in the top 6(maybe higher)? College football in this area is alive in a way it never has been.
Congrats to the Tigers and the Jayhawks, let's enjoy it.
- Watching West Virginia dismantle OU really made me want to change my KU/ Va Tech prediction tonight. The Mountaineers played the underdog role perfectly and completely surprised the Sooners....I could see the Jayhawks doing the same thing tonight. But I'm sticking with my instinct, VT 19, KU 17.
- For those of you wondering what happened to my correspondent in Dallas, Jay Caesar, he became ill and according to rumors missed the game altogether. What caused this illness? I have no idea and wouldn't want to speculate but I'd say Tony Temple cured a lot of it.
- DA is gone, but his website isn't. He said his goodbyes here and it really makes you wonder what happened. Listen, 610 Sports has always been second rate in my opinion but this is absurd. They consistently get dominated by 810 in the ratings and this won't help. First we had Whitlock's on air debacle and now this. Like I said, I've always been an 810 guy but DA was still my favorite on air personality, hopefully the guys at 810 will pick him up soon and continue to mop the floor with 610.
- Thanks to my buddies at Tigerboard for unearthing the Bo Jackson link in the links section on the left. . Always good to read about Bo...really glad to see the guy seems so happy.
- I'm going to try to post some thoughts before, during and after the game tonight...it could be interesting...
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The Tony Temple era got off to a rocky start in 2004 because of what many viewed as a boneheaded decision by head coach Gary Pinkel. Pinkel pulled his redshirt against Nebraska, Temple carried the ball 6 times for 13 yards before getting hurt, and Tony Temple's freshman season was over. Personally, I think Pinkel's decision put a bad taste in many Tiger fans mouths that seemed to only get worse in 2005 when he ran for 437 yards. Half way through his career as a Tiger, Temple had 450 yards rushing, not exactly what he or anyone else envisioned.
Maybe that's why when he ran for 1063 yards last year, no one was jumping up and down singing Temple's praises. Even his 194 yard, 2 TD outburst was overshadowed by Oregon State's comeback in the Sun Bowl.
But this year there would be no overshadowing Temple. No controversial coaching decisions, no late game debacles, just Tony Temple doing what everyone had hoped he always would. Breaking tackles, scoring touchdowns, leading Mizzou to a victory in a New year's Day bowl...this was the dream Tiger fans and Temple had when he agreed to come to Missouri.
Two things stood out to me from this game. The first was Temple's first touchdown run. He flat out looked inspired, as if there would be no stopping him that day. How long had Tiger fans and coaches been waiting for that? The second was him being carried off the field by his teammates after his last touchdown run. Temple had given everything his body could and now his teammates were carrying him off the field to the cheers of Tiger fans after a record breaking day. How long had Tony Temple been waiting for that?
This what the Chiefs should have done: http://www.firehermedwards.com/
I was disappointed the Royals don't have their Spring Training countdown up, but felt better when I found this: http://www.billybutler.com/ . Bet I'm not the only one that's pining for baseball.
According to this site Michael Beasley is the #1 pick over all next year, while Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson both go in the second round. No mention of Brandon Rush or Darrel Arthur.
http://www.maxpreps.com/ is the best free site I've found for High School stats. These guys are really in depth with their free information, and I love free information.
That's all for now. If we're ever able to locate our Tiger correspondent in Dallas (he may still be celebrating) we may have our Trip Blog up this afternoon. If not, then the Tony the Tiger column will be up around 1 PM. Let's just hope 2008 continues as well as it's gone so far.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
- The Jayhawks fall 19-17 in a very tight battle with the Hokies, but it's the last time this month the Jayhawks will have anything to be sad about. That's right, the basketball Hawks go 8-0 in January getting a great head start to the Big 12 season. The Jayhawks sit at 13-0 now and I predict they'll end up with 3 or less losses, a number one seed, and a Final Four appearance. Contrary to popular opinion, Mark Mangino will not eat the Orange Bowl mascot at halftime.
- January won't be as kind to the Tigers who start with a gimme against UMKC but will struggle in Big 12 play this year. As I've said over and over this year, don't expect Mike Anderson to turn this team into something it's not. I predict 9-7 for the Tigers this season with a nice run in the NIT.
- Despite an embarrassing loss to Xavier yesterday, I think K-State basketball finishes 10-6 and sneaks into the tourney on only because everyone wants to see if Michael Beasley can pull a Carmelo Anthony. He can't, but I bet the Wildcats make a Sweet 16 run.
- One final college not for the Spring, the Tigers make a return appearance in the College Word Series after winning the Big 12.
- Jose Guillen "Guillen" makes Dayton look smart again, breaking Bye Bye Balboni's home run record with 38 in 140 games.
- Gil "Monster" Meche, "Wacky" Zack Greinke and Brian Bannister "Mall" combine for 42 wins and a sub 4.00 era.
- The Royals win 84 games and finish in 3rd in the best division in baseball. (Disclaimer: These predictions are subject to change once the Kool Aid Drinker takes over in March, sometimes he's a little more optimistic.)
- Michael Beasley and Bill Walker leave KSU early, Beasley looks smart and goes top 5 while Walker falls to the second round behind Brandon Rush and Darrel Arthur.
- Albert Pujols suffers a major injury, retires and admits that he's really 43.
- The Chiefs pick up Chad Pennington and Laverneus Coles as King Carl tries to convince us that adding two turds to a bowl of turds makes it stop stinking.
- The Chiefs 1st round pick holds out until the third preseason game and then doesn't start more than 3 games all season.
- Kevin Ross leads the Brigade to the AFL Championship game, falling one win shy of the title.
- Brodie Croyle starts the season as the Chiefs quarterback and proves to everyone for once and for all that he is not an NFL caliber QB.
- Herm Edwards has a Hal McRae-like breakdown in a press conference.
- KU/MU at Arrowhead is once again a battle of ranked teams vying for the North title. This time Mizzou is undefeated, and this time the Jayhawks win.
- Neither Kansas or Missouri makes a BCS game, and the Wildcats miss out on the bowls all together again. Ron Prince finds himself squarely on the hot seat.
- The Chiefs miss the playoffs again at 5-11 as Carl and Herm end their reign of terror in Kansas City.
- Missouri and Kansas both start off 10-2, with Kansas State starting 7-6, losing at least three embarrassing games. Bob Huggins continues to receive hate mail from Manhatten.