Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Gana Diop was one of the only halfway decent things to come out of last night’s tedious basketball game at the AAC. In the first 3 quarters, the Nuggets and Mavericks waged a war of who could drive more fans away from the sport. Horrendous offense with horrible shooting and careless ball handling helped make the 1st half almost unwatchable. The Mavericks had 18 turnovers mid-way through the third quarter.


But, Diop was playing a game that was so good, some of us were wondering if his upside might propel him past Erick Dam-spare. Dam-spare put on a foul exhibition last night that was amazing, all the while without any production . 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 4 fouls and 4 turnovers. Nice. Meanwhile, Gana was grabbing every rebound close, blocking shots, and showing some level of care.

And then, when Carmelo Anthony tried to win the game in the final seconds, there was Diop, an actual shot-blocking Mavericks center, to save the day. Well done. 37 minutes for the big fella, and they all were well spent.with 16 rebounds and 6 blocks.

He may develop into something.

Diop and Dirk save the day

Nowitzki took charge offensively with 35 points. He had 11 in the fourth quarter – one fewer than the Nuggets.

"You saw a great player get better and take responsibility," Denver coach George Karl said.

Diop, meanwhile, anchored a defense that came alive after a complete meltdown at the start of the second half. He had 16 rebounds and altered many shots besides the six he rejected.

Congress does something worthwhile! under pressure, the player’s union caves to actual steroid penalties

Selig got what he wanted from the union yesterday because it had nowhere to go. He and it knew that Congress was waiting with a death penalty for players who tested positive for steroids. No matter what the union proposed short of the commissioner's position, he rejected it, knowing the Congressional sword hovered over the players' heads.

Given his choice, an angry union or a threatening Congress, Selig chose to follow the representatives and senators who battered him like a punching bag at past hearings. He didn't like the blows he endured, and he was prepared to do what he thought necessary to ward off more blows.

Unlike his predecessors, who had always discouraged Congressional inroads into the game, Selig invited Congress into Major League Baseball. He would rather negotiate an agreement with the union, Selig said, but if no agreement were forthcoming, he would endorse Congressional action.

You might not want your politicians involved in sports, but in this case, I don’t think there is any question it is the only way this gets done.

Here are the actual new roid penalties

• First positive test -- 50-game suspension, up from 10 days.

• Second positive test -- 100-game suspension, up from 30 days.

• Third positive test -- Lifetime ban, with player having right to apply for reinstatement after two years and an arbitrator being able to review reinstatement decision. Under the previous agreement, the earliest a player could be suspended for life was for a fifth positive test.

• In addition, a conviction for possession carries a 60-to-80 game penalty, while a second offense carries a 120-game to one-year penalty. A third offense nets the offender a lifetime ban. If a player is convicted for distribution, he will be suspended 80-to-100 games, while a second offense equals a lifetime ban.

Meanwhile, Ducks trade Federov in a salary dump….

…the clear objective was to shed Fedorov's $6.08-million annual salary and free up significant space under the $39-million cap.

General Manager Brian Burke didn't hide this fact during a conference call. The team had little flexibility, and Wright's salary of $947,333 and Beauchemin's salary of $500,000 will drop the Ducks' cap figure to about $34 million.

"I can't sell this as a stand-alone hockey deal, and I won't," Burke said.

Federov is another example of a supporting player in one city being brought over to lead a new team and failing miserably. Very similar to when Pippen was brought to Portland to lead a team, when he was never the leader in Chicago. Doesn’t work.

FWST Soccer Insider looks back at MLS Cup …And ways to continue to insure growth in the league…

The MLS board of governors couldn't come to a decision on the "David Beckham rule." The notion is that each club could break the bank to bring in one marquee player, such as Beckham, as long as the club paid the player's salary rather than using the league salary pool.

One day after coming off life-support is hardly the time to try and pull off a "Triple Lindy." MLS growth is inherent on single-entity, all-for-one financing.

MLS at Year 10 can ill afford to get into bidding wars on the world market, much less the big market/small market dilemma that could befall the teams. If AEG spends $10 million to get Roberto Carlos to Los Angeles, wouldn't that force Salt Lake to go spend equally as much on Michael Owen? At this point, MLS is far better served by investing in stadiums such as Pizza Hut Park rather than players who might bring short-term hype. This league was designed to give American players an opportunity. I'd rather see 100 local boys earn $100,000 each than one guy making $10,000,000.

Honestly, I cannot imagine David Beckham or Roberto Carlos would ever swallow enough pride to play here. I don’t care how old they are, they will never need the cash. I understand Becks likes the USA, but then I would advise him to buy a place in NYC…

Michael Redd buys his dad a church

throwing in the towel ….


Burger King strikes college

William Hung sings and perhaps mispronounces a key word

The Napoleon Dance again

Borat angers Kazakhstan

Let’s entertain some mid-week email:

Being the hockey authority on the ticket wanted to let you know of several Mexico Hockey teams traveling to Dallas for a local Thanksgiving tournament. There will be a Bantam, Midget and the Mexico National Hockey team.

The web site for the Mexico hockey association is listed below: Mexico . The web site for the tournament is Here . The Bantam and Midget team will be playing in the local tournament while the Mexico National team will scrimmage the several Midget AAA teams in the area the same weekend.

While it may not be the greatest hockey it could be some great sound bytes. Please let me know if you want to get in contact with Mexico hockey teams.

Carl Choate

Nice. Thanks, Carl.

Hey, Bob

Wanted to share a great youth football story with you. I coached a 5th & 6th grade team for a local catholic gradeschool for 10 years. My Q-back called a timeout, came over to me and said that my tailback wouldn't be quiet in the huddle. I gave him the old one about how he's the boss on the field. The "field general". That he had to take charge when the situation got out of hand. He gives me the thumbs up and heads back to the huddle.

Normally there's a din of chatter at most of these games but I swear the entire field fell dead silent for one of those rare moments just in time to hear my fifth grade QB holler at the top of his lungs for my tailback to "SHUT TH' F--- UP!!!

About 80 sets of eyes immediately fell om my shocked beyond belief if I'd instructed this child to say that.

What made this so funny is that this kid weighed about 55 lbs. and wore a Vince McMahon mask on a helmet that tilted funny because he was always losing an ear pad. Looked like that Norman Rockwell painting . I'll never forget that game as long as I live.

Needless to say the refs called a timeout to help my Q-back understand on-field-propriety a little better.

Thanks for the read,
Long time P1, Bill DeOre

That is a wonderful story! Awesome.

And then this, in response to Last Thursday’s Coach Fran Rant

I agree that the blame for this mess does not fall entirely at RC's feet. However, there are a couple of items I'd point out about your blog stats.

1) Out of the 10 Aggies drafted from '03-05, 6 of them never played for Fran. They were drafted in 2003, and 5 of those guys were first day picks. So that is 10 picks down to 4. And I won't dwell on the fact that RC took a buttload of quality NFL prospects and went 6-6 with them.

2) RC didn't recruit Montgomery (as you mentioned), reducing 4 down to 3 in RC's tally.

3) Of the remaining 3, one was a 6th rounder (J. Taylor) in 2004 that hasn't caught a ball this year and only caught 6 last year, and another is a 5th round (Hangartner) that hasn't played at all. T-Murphy was the only quality NFL pick that was recruited by RC and played for Fran so far.

4) From 1990 to 2003, there was an average of 4.5 Aggies drafted in the first 7 rounds each year, and we averaged 2.6 first day picks (first 3 rounds) during that time. During that span, we always had at least 1 player go in the first 3 rounds and we always had at least 2 players drafted in the first 7. Those streaks magically stopped in 2004 when a 6th rounder was the only thing we contributed to the draft.

Just a little Norm stats for you, but I do think we have a talent problem with our upperclassman along - and we've got a coach that hasn't shown the ability to "coach 'em up" either.



Thank you- your points are well taken, and my math was faulty- But, it does beg the eternal question that I believe does not have a sure answer, and yet so many assume it does. Just because the upper classmen are spares, how do we know they would not be stars in some cases with the proper coaching? Did R.C. suddenly and conveniently forget how to recruit in 2001 or did the quality of the 4-5 years of college coaching those recruits should receive suddenly disappear? Again, we will never know the full answer, but I have a hard time believing that a guy with his talent track record would go in the opposite direction so suddenly-


Anonymous said...

Great blog-email on the RC/Fran debate. As for 2001 recruiting, I think it is important to consider the changing landscape of the state of Texas football. Previously, RC had to only compete with an average Tech program and average (by UT standards) TExas program. As it stands in 2001 RC was now competing for recruits against Leach, the Tabacco Rd Conman, and Stoops. It wasn't so much RC failing to recruit as the other new coaches simply doing a better job and Rc not staying up with the curve. Fran will likely turn things around and all will be well in Aggieland but its going to take some time (which will run out in 1-2 yrs). If in 2007 the Ags are looking up at UT, Tech, and TCU in status in the state then there will be some serious issues. Until then lets stop all the knee jerking and let Fran try to put it together. And to get things really rolling on the comments this morning...

Dampier- Diop is the best thing to happen for the big spare. He will play well and make up for Damp not showing up and possibly make him care and play with some passion.

Texas Tech- Losing to OSU... Second best program in the state! Sorry Tech Sucks. TCU is the second best in the state, just look at the numbers.

TO- All the national guys seem to think he's nearly a lock for Dallas. what do you think?

Dick24 said...

Is it possible that Bill meant JIM McMahon or have I just forgotten a line of WWE football helmets that were marketed some years back?

Anonymous said...

Diop is showing signs of being a key contributer this year. And they got him for something like 3 years 8 mil. Damp makes 8 or 9 mil a year for like 6 or 7 years. Diop is much more mobile and athletic and younger. Maybe he's not a starter but he's more fun to watch than Damp.


AttnyDan said...

Dick, I may be showing my age but I'm guessing he meant Vince McMahon, black QB for the Chicago Bears who was one of the first visor dudes in the NFL.

However, I am NOT claiming to be the guy in the cubicle either.

Anonymous said...

rc did not forget how to recruit - stoops and mack were just a step ahead of him. also, even with "nfl talent," rc went 8-4, 7-5, 8-4 and 6-6 his last four years. i think most aggies expected more out of their "nfl talent" than yearly trips to the independence and gallerfurniture bowls (which usually ended in losses).

if losing now means winning big in a few years, then bringing in fran was the right thing to do. if by 2006 and 2007, the aggies are not competing at a high level, then fran clearly was not the answer. bottom line is we all need to be patient. did you see the aggie d on saturday? there were four starters missing due to injury (appell, warren, jack and brown), and four freshmen and three sophomores starting. its going to take some time.

Dick24 said...

AttyDan, I wonder if you are thinking of Vince EVANS, who quarterbacked the Bears many, many moons ago.

big smooth said...

PLEASE, NO T.O. IN DALLAS....We've got a good thing going here in Dallas, and a defense that can make this team contenders for the next several years. We don't need the T.O. curse to screw it up.

big smooth said...

PLEASE, NO T.O. IN DALLAS....We've got a good thing going here in Dallas, and a defense that can make this team contenders for the next several years. We don't need the T.O. curse to screw it up.

SI cover curse avoided! said...

Anyone else think that it's curious that SI would skip over the two Big 12 teams when printing their covers for the college basketball preview?

Sports Illustrated college basketball preview

They picked DUKE (#1) UCONN (#3) Michigan State (#4) and Arizona (#6) for their four cover options while Texas and OU are ranked #2 and #5... oh well, who wants to be a part of that SI cover curse anyway!

Anonymous said...

If TO comes to Dallas, I will never root for the Cowboys again while Jerry Jones owns the team.

Jonathan Brashear

There, I put my name on it so you can hold me to it.

Anonymous said...

Somebody mark that down for Jonathan.

That is some crap about the SI cover, but we do get Daniel Gibson in the top left corner of each. At least nobody on the Horns looks like Sheldon Williams...good god that dude is ugly.

P1 Mike

Anonymous said...

Texas Tech- Losing to OSU... Second best program in the state! Sorry Tech Sucks. TCU is the second best in the state, just look at the numbers.

I'm sorry, but TCU's loss to SMU really spoils your entire argument.

Anonymous said...

Who's been closer to getting a BCS bid: TCU or Tech

How many Conference Championships Does TCU have and how many does Tech have (0).

Who is more likely to get a BCS bid TCU or Tech

TCU has a much better chance than Tech, because if they win out in a year they are in a mid level conf. and would likely get an at large bid. Tech has little chance of winning a Conf championship and will seldom if ever finish a season with less than 2 loses (mark them down for 1 slip up- see OSU and 1 for either UT or OU).

Give me TCU any day, also lets think about who has produced more NFL pro bowl appearences (don't know the numbers but would be curious).

AttnyDan said...

Dick, that's why "I'm not on the Radio"'re 100% right about Vince Evans.

I will go sit in my cubicle now.

Anonymous said...

an atty with a cubicle, must not be doing so well. : ( poor attnydan. : ( poor aggies. : ( poor tech.

Anonymous said...

who is it on the drop that says "go mavericks" but it sounds like he is saying "go rambas"???

Anonymous said...

lil' general avery

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Diop or DJ.

Anonymous said...

It was the Chinese spare Wang-somesuch that they had a few years ago. He doesn't appear to be in the league anymore (cue sad piano music).


Andrew K said...

Dampier just looks a step slow too often. I don't see what about Diop says "not a starter" like an earlier comment said. He looks like more of a starter to me right now than Dampier, if you ignore whose contract is bigger.

Anonymous said...

its Wang XiXi or XuXu or ZuZu or some shit like that and i think he might be somewhere on the roster for the grizzlies or he was last year.

Matt in Dallas said...

It's "Zhi-Zhi." Has anyone else here actually followed the Mavericks? Who could forget Dodger?