BaD Radio Curse is Dead! Dirk appears on our show on Wednesday, and on Thursday he is dominant German; Mavs come all the way back from “down a mile” to beat Grizz …
Down by 19 points in the second quarter, they pulled themselves back into the game with a gutsy rally before halftime, then dominated the second half for a 97-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies for their franchise-record 13th consecutive home win.
The Grizzlies were held to 31 points and 27.5 percent shooting in the second half. Only 11 of those points came in the fourth quarter, when they were 4-of-20 (20 percent) from the field.
It tied the ninth-best comeback in Mavericks history.
AAC is becoming a fortress for them. Even when they slipped behind 50-31 in a first half that had onlookers wondering if the Mavericks should petition for an extension to Thursday's trading deadline, fans stuck with them. And when some defensive grit started peeking through the slop, the place came alive.
"The reason why we won this game was one word – fans," coach Avery Johnson said. "Thank you, fans. Our fans stayed with us the whole game.
Working backwards, here is a story where Mike Modano feels bad …
Modano was apologetic for the tone of the interview he gave after the loss to Finland.
“I think the timing was bad,” Modano said. “I was upset at the outcome and mad at what happened to me [being benched in the third period] and you walk right off the ice into the [media] mix zone, and I just let my emotions start talking.”
Modano not only questioned U.S. coach Peter Laviolette’s strategy to take a timeout 10 minutes into the game, but slammed the administration for not taking care of “distractions” for the players, such as travel arrangements and obligations for family members. He said at one point the organization needed “new blood.”
Modano, who scored twice, had no assists and was a minus-1 in his third Olympics, did not back off of the criticism but said he wanted to be more constructive and more proactive in trying to fix things.
“I would like to be a part of helping USA Hockey, but I’d like to do it more behind the scenes, more privately,” Modano said. “I’ve been a part of this program for 20 years, and it means a lot to me. I don’t want to leave it like this.”
Modano said he initially felt anger because he believed it was his last performance in a Team USA uniform. But after a day to think, he feels more sadness.
“We’re probably not going to have a World Cup [in 2008] and who knows about [the Winter Olympics in] 2010, so I pretty much knew at the time this could be it,” he said. “It’s not at all how I would want to go out, and that probably affected me as much as anything. It’s tough to look back and think it might be over.”
And, here is a story Where USA Hockey defends itself against Modano …
on Thursday, Modano packed up his stuff and left Italy on Thursday morning, skipping a final meeting with his Olympic teammates. USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer said Modano was the only member of the 23-player squad not to gather at the arena where the Americans were knocked out by Finland. Modano caught a flight home Thursday. The rest of the team was scheduled to leave Friday morning, before the start of the weekend's medal-round games.
USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean told ESPN.com the organization had received no complaints from any other players regarding the handling of the team.
Modano raised three issues: tickets, housing and air travel.
In terms of housing, USA Hockey officials put together a list of options for players' families (the team stays in the athletes' village), including contact information for housing brokers, tour operators, U.S. Olympic Committee travel partners and Torino organizers' travel partners, Ogrean said.
"Not every athlete wants the same thing," he said. "We didn't get any negative feedback from the players at that time."
As for the tickets to games, Ogrean said USA Hockey asked every player what his needs were going to be, given the size of their respective groups.
"We met their requirements for tickets for every single player's family for every single game," Ogrean said.
The one thing USA Hockey did not do was charter a flight for the players' families. This was no doubt a sore point for some American players, who quietly complained about the cost and hassle of booking flights for their entourages.
Team Canada, for instance, brought its entire team and everyone's families over to Torino on a charter flight, although they now appear to be stuck in Torino for the duration of the games because they can't get the charter to come back early.
"We can't always do what Canada does," Ogrean said. "On the airplane thing, they were on their own."
And here, The idea of Olympic Hockey is questioned …
The consensus appears to be that the NHL will end its relationship with the Olympics after 2010. Bush says that's probably accurate.
"The (NHL) owners are in a business," he said. "I agree that after 2010 the NHL won't be there."
In 2010, Bush said, the U.S. will have a much younger, more dynamic team. He bases that on the quality of players currently on the national junior team. In 2014, with no NHL participation, the U.S. could hit a rough patch.
"There are NHLs (type leagues) in Russia, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia," Bush said. "What I'd really like to see us have is a 25-years-and-younger team. That would be fantastic.
"We don't have senior hockey. What it comes down to is that hockey is not a big sport in the U.S. Baseball, basketball and football pull so many people out of the colleges. The other countries, they take the best players and work down. We take everybody and work up."
Olympic Hockey Today:
Sweden vs. Czech Republic, 9am MSNBC
Finland vs. Russia, 2pm USA
Give me Sweden and Russia in the Finals…
I really don’t understand this, but Vikings are expected to cut Culpepper …
The Dolphins expect Minnesota to release quarterback Daunte Culpepper before the Vikings are scheduled to pay him a $6 million roster bonus on March 17.
Because of that belief, the Dolphins have resisted the offer to trade for Culpepper, who also is scheduled to make $2 million in base salary for the 2006 season.
The Dolphins and Vikings recently discussed a trade for Culpepper. Although no exact compensation was discussed, the Vikings are asking for more than the second-round pick that was reported this month.
Here are the top 10 Free Agents according to Scouts, Inc …
1. Shaun Alexander RB Seattle 6 year pro
2. Edgerrin James RB Indianapolis 7 year pro
3. Julian Peterson LB San Francisco 5 year pro
4. Nate Clements CB Buffalo 5 year pro (franchised)
5. Steve Hutchinson G Seattle 5 year pro
6. John Abraham DE New York Jets 6 year pro
7. Jamal Lewis RB Baltimore 6 year pro
8. Ahman Green RB Green Bay 8 year pro
9. Adam Vinatieri K New England 10 year pro
10. Drew Brees QB San Diego 5 year pro
In Nascar, Crime still pays …
4 or 5 years ago, I thought Sugar Shane was the best fighter in the game. Now I think he is finished, so I expect Nando Vargas will beat him Saturday Night …
Liverpool’s season is now in doubt as key midfielder, Momo Sissoko has major eye injury …
Mohamed Sissoko was making "encouraging" progress last night as eye specialists in London continued to assess the damaged retina in his right eye, though the Liverpool midfielder will have to wait until next week before the extent of the injury becomes clear.
The 21-year-old, who was caught in the face by the Benfica midfielder Beto's boot during Liverpool's 1-0 defeat in Portugal on Tuesday, was examined in the capital yesterday with the specialist confirming an improvement over the last 24 hours. "The progress is encouraging," confirmed a club spokesman. "The player was examined on Thursday morning by a leading eye specialist who remains optimistic. Momo has been instructed to rest completely and will be examined again by the specialist next week."
Today on the show, we are preparing for a potential surprise. I hate to say this is going to happen for sure, because his plane is scheduled to land at 1:30 so that gives him a small window to make our show in Keller by 2:30, but, we are trying all we can to get the great Forrest Griffin (right) on the program today. That may mean little to most, but to me, that is greatness!
Forrest Griffin.net …is where you should go, click on multimedia and watch Griffin vs. Bonnar to see one of the greatest MMA fights EVER!
Why is he here? He is appearing at the Ultimate Texas Showdown … tomorrow in Frisco. I am told this is a pretty good card, but since I know nothing about the local fight scene (and really don’t have the time/interest to learn) I will take their word for it. Go see it. Ticket Chicks are the ring girls…