Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Smorbgasbord 2-25

  • No, I won't let this whole Tim Hardaway-John Amaechi thing go away. Why? Remember Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf? He's the NBA player who refused to stand for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner calling the U.S. Flag a "symbol of oppression" and stating that the U.S. had a long "history of tyranny." Abdul-Rauf was only suspended for one game. So speaking out against homosexuals gets you booted from the NBA for life but speaking out against the U.S. only one game. I'm all for free speech and while I think both Hardaway and Abdul-Rauf are idiots, it is glaring how different these two have been treated for their transgressions.
  • So much for that San Diego Charger dynasty. For reasons only known to the higher ups in the Chargers' organization, they went ahead and hired former Redskins Head Coach Norv Turner. While Norv's record in Oakland can be forgiven for working for maniac Al Davis, he had only a season and three quarters in Washington under Dan Snyder and it was a season and three quarters more than what Danny Boy wanted to give him. Taking out his last four seasons (two in Oakland and the one and three quarters in Washington) Norv is 32-47-1 in 5 seasons with no playoff appearances. His predecessor, Ritchie Pettibon, said that if a new NFL coach doesn't get in done in three years, he isn't going to get it done. Of course the firing of Marty Schottenheimer had more to do with Marty not playing well with others in the organization. After Michael Westbrook attacked Steven Davis in practice in front of the TV cameras, Norv Turner wanted to severely punish Westbrook for the incident. He was overruled by then owner John Kent Cooke and then GM Charlie Casserly. Turner just went along to get along. What does it say about Norv Turner that Dan Snyder was completely right to fire him?
  • D.C. United has an interesting marketing idea... They're turning one of their players into a blogger. Of course, let's hope that D.C. United doesn't decide for one reason or another to trade or let Bobby Boswell go. Especially between now and the launch date of that blog on March 20th. But what also makes it interesting is that apparently the first visitor to that blog will get tickets to the D.C. United-L.A. Galaxy match at RFK. You-know-who will be playing for the Galaxy at that point and I don't mean Landon Donovan. Considering the type of crowd that has been showing up at United-Galaxy matches in recent years, I'm avoiding that game like the plague.
  • The NBA took Las Vegas by storm, literally, last weekend with their All-Star Game. Opinions differ wildly about the success of the event even by some of people who were there. As some of you may know, my parents are spending their retirement (among other things) in Las Vegas. And like most locals, they avoid The Strip on the weekends and let the tourists (mostly Los Angelinos) have their way. In new information, my mother tells me that on Friday night it was reported for the first time that the Rape Crisis center handled more reported rapes over All-Star Weekend than they normally do on New Year's Eve which is the busiest time of year for them. But taking a closer look at the Jason Whitlock second (AOL) column, I am surprised at the venom being directed at the NBA from a writer such as him. I rank Whitlock right up there with Michael Wilbon and it speaks volumes that guys like Whitlock and Wilbon see how the NBA's close association with the inner-city street thug life is dragging the league down. Bill Cosby gave stronger more direct comments about the thug culture and the black community whole and he was branded as an Uncle Tom. Whitlock however, isn't even making much in the way of waves with his comments while Wilbon is ducking the issue altogether (Whitlock however, isn't even making much in the way of waves with his comments while Wilbon is ducking the issue). Give NBA Commissioner David Stern credit though, he fought long and hard to shed the NBA's old image as yet another thug sport (fights on the court were commonplace in the 1970's when it was as popular as the NHL was, look up Kermit Washington-Rudy Tomjonovich if you don't believe me) and continues to do so today. However, hearing about the mayhem in Vegas, Stern looks to be losing ground in that fight. How much of the mayhem has to do with Vegas being Vegas is open for debate, but who wants to chronicle the NBA All-Star Game Mayhem in New Orleans next year? Yeah, that's what I thought.
  • No you're not getting away from the whole Buffaslugs-Ottawa nonsense here either. J.A. Adande on ESPN's "Around The Horn" said when the incident was brought up on the show "if this was the NBA, it would be leading the show, but it is just another night in the NHL." This mind you was said well after the first commercial break. It just goes to show how bad the NHL's reputation is that "business as usual" (which the Ultimate Fighting on Ice Fans tell us is vital to sell the game) such as that is not even worthy of leading a show anymore.
  • Two weeks now until Selection Sunday and the Terp Men should have sewn up an NCAA bid after today's thrilling 89-87 victory over North Carolina. The Terps were down by double digits in the second half and never lead until there was less than three minutes to go in the game. Now at 8-6 in the ACC and 22-7 overall, Maryland cannot finish with a sub .500 record in the conference and since they are clearly playing their best basketball right now, the NCAA Selection Committee would have to be downright corrupt to leave Maryland out of the Tournament this year.
  • Finally this week, the Caps are home for games against the Panthers on Tuesday, the Ning on Thursday, and the Islanders on Saturday. All three games at the Phone Booth start at 7 pm. The Terp Men head down to Durham to face Dook again on Wednesday night at 9 pm on ESPN (which means the insufferable tandem of Mike Patrick and Dookie Vitale). The Men close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon at the Cable Box against N.C. State at 3:30 pm which for some reason is on ABC. The Terp women head down to Greensboro, NC for the ACC Women's Tournament. The Terp women are the three seed again (which gives them a first round bye) and will play the winner of the Georgia Tech/Miami game on Friday night at 8 pm. The Nats start Spring Training games this week when they face the L.A. Dodgers on Friday and then the B.O.'s next Saturday.
  • As always, please send all comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms, corrections, and Vanilla Ice parody videos to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.



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