Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Blogging Hard

Today, I will post plenty of stuff from yesterday’s show. But, first, what is quick becoming a non factor on this blog and in the North Texas Sports Universe: Baseball talk.

First, Jamey Newberg’s essay on Buck and his future …I would advise you to read it all, but here is a small highlight:

Even the best managers have a shelf life. Circumstances inevitably lead to a breakup, sometimes by the manager's choice and other times anything but. But that's only the second most interesting thing about the SI poll.

What's most interesting to me is who was polled. We don't know which players SI questioned, and what criteria the publication used to determine which players to ask. Did they have to have played for more than one club? Did they have to vote within their own league? Could they vote for their own skipper?

Which players were polled is really not very important. But the fact that the survey exclusively involved big league players is significant, I think. Doesn't the fact that nearly two-thirds of the players in the major leagues were asked to weigh in mean something, when free agency is a bigger factor in baseball than in any sport?

Likeability certainly isn't on the list of prerequisites for a big league manager or coach, but isn't any reason that a marquis player may not want to play in Texas a reason that needs to be considered?

It was a players' poll. Four hundred seventy baseball players who are, by definition, current or potential Texas Rangers.

Here's what I think, and let me reiterate that I'm just a fan, entitled to an opinion because it's my team but not entitled, in this case, to assume my opinion has any basis in fact.

I think Showalter has proven that he is among the best in baseball at taking a bad baseball team and making it better. At taking a collection of young baseball players and teaching them how to prepare and how to manage the grind. At getting a team on the right track. But then what?

Meanwhile, someone whose opinion I respect far less than Jamey’s, Tom Hicks on the pitching

As usual, that meant that a lot of talk centered on pitching. With less than 30 games to go in the season, only one spot in the 2007 starting rotation is guaranteed. That goes to Kevin Millwood.

Hicks said the team remains interested in all three of its potential free-agent starters: Vicente Padilla, Adam Eaton and Kip Wells. Padilla stands to command the most money and longest commitment. Hicks said the club does not view off-the-field issues as a problem with Padilla. Padilla was charged with DWI after a July 7 traffic stop, but those charges have been dropped.

"I think [Padilla] has responded well to [pitching coach] Mark Connor and to Buck [Showalter]," Hicks said. "He comes from a different place than the rest of us. I'm fine with his off-the-field behavior. He had one incident, but everything worked out fine."

Hicks said he also is interested in watching Robinson Tejeda and Edinson Volquez pitch in September but that he has made no request for top pitching prospect John Danks to be called up.

The rest of the answers will have to come during the winter trading and free-agent bazaar.

"We're going to wait and see how people pitch the rest of the year," Hicks said. "But we're going to have another busy off-season."

Galloway on the Guy Morriss – Gary Patterson fun

So, here's Morriss, talking smack at Baylor alum functions about Patterson.

"Walk past him, and the hair on the back of my neck stands up."

"When he's around, my skin crawls."

"He likes to hear himself talk. And he talks a lot."

Yo, baybee.

My personal mission for this week was to stir this pot some more.

TCU-Baylor is an old Southwest Conference rivalry revived, and that receives my highest approval. Plus, we could also be in for a good game Sunday. And now the head coach at Baylor was throwing in some verbal jalapenos.

When bad blood is spilled in sports, I immediately go CSI.

Coach Patterson, what's this all about?

"Truthfully, I don't know," he said. "I've probably only talked to Guy three times ever. But some members of his staff are good friends of mine, have been for a long time, and will continue to be."

Are you mad, coach?

"Not really. More like puzzled. Don't know where it all came from. I know I'm a young coach, and I talk a lot, but if I don't talk about TCU, and promote us, who will?"

Gary, uh, would you like to fire back at Guy?

"Early in the summer, I put a gag order on our players for this opening game. I didn't want them calling friends who are Baylor players, or text-messaging, with any smack talk.

"I'd just say if Guy doesn't want to like me, then he doesn't have to like me. It's OK."

I admit I know nothing about writing. But has Galloway ever constructed an entire paragraph? Why not combine sentences into a paragraph sometimes?

The Barnhouse top 25

5 Texas The Longhorns should make a good run at defending their title, but Job One
is getting effective quarterback play.

13 Oklahoma If the Sooners can squeeze something out of the passing game, OU will be OK with RB Adrian Peterson aiming for 2,200 yards.

20 TCU The Frogs have outstanding depth at running back but QB Jeff Ballard must keep playing as he did last season.

22 Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach gets to prove his pass-happy attack can succeed with a non-senior at quarterback.

25 Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense is finally producing as QB Zac Taylor has improved.

Here is a great link that shows you the television schedule for college football …nicely done…

Wow. The DMN with another blog! How original. Here is there college football blog ..

OK. Yesterday on the show we covered many things. Here are some items to follow up on those:

#1 – The blood letting UFC fight discussed during “What’s on my Tivo” – Watch at your own risk.

#2 – The great Nascar Audio from “Wally’s World” can be found Here …Gold, Jerry.

And #3 – The controversial Don Nelson segments yesterday generated a huge amount of feedback. Here is a sampling of my email. Some like me, some don’t:

Bob, I could not have agreed with you more on your comments about Don Nelson. While I give him a lot of credit for rebuilding the Mavs, his antics over the last couple of years have made me lose all respect for him.

The four reasons for being pissed were right on, but let me add a fifth - his refusal to even try to coach defense. One of the things that led to their breakup was Cuban's OUTRAGEOUS demand that Nelson try to coach some defense. When asked about it on Norm's show, Nellie responded that if a player wasn't a defensive player, he couldn't be taught to be one.

Excuse me, but isn't a coach's job to teach players what they don't already know? Avery has proven that while the Mavs will never be the Pistons, they can at least be respectable defensively.

I say good riddance to Nellie. I'm sick of him laughing all the way to the bank around here. Let him take his act to Golden State, where he can get back with his old drinking buddy, Chris Mullin.

Keep speaking the truth.

Larry in Garland


I didn't get a chance to tell you what made me believe the Dampier deal went down the way I said it did. You have to understand , Nellie to me is like the bretts to you, I read every interview and follow every story about him. Soon after the Dampier trade went down and the team was preparing for training camp and the 03-04 season , Nellie was asked in an interview about his team and he said "it's Mark's vision now". Nobody paid any attention to this quote , except me of course. I knew then that this was Nellie's way of letting people know that he didn't make all the personell decisions anymore and I think it was his way of telling people that he didn't pull the strings on the Dampier deal. Remember it was only after the Dampier deal that Cuban put a muzzle on his announcers and told them not to talk about contracts anymore on the air.

Even if I'm wrong about the details , it's no secret that the realtionship was getting bad and it was only a matter of time before he left anyways.

Your behavior in all of this has been horrible. Instead of focusing on the big picture and all of Nellie's contributions while he was here you decide to rip him on his way out of town. You ripped him while he was coaching , you ripped for how he resigned, and now you rip him when he takes another job. The most ridiculous part of all of this is you ego driven stance on the media reaction to his new coaching job. Everyone else is sucking up to nellie , while you alone, the great Bob Sturm, is being objective, What crap. The rest of the media is doing the right thing, they are thanking him for his work here.

Has it ever occurred to you that you are the one who is not objective ? I fully admit my bias , maybe you should to. Go warriors ! Keith


I was ecstatic to hear your point of view on Don Nelson today (8/30) at lunch. I am one of the biggest Maverick fans in Dallas. I am a 5 year season ticket holder (thanks to Don Nelson and Mark Cuban) and I have more time and money invested in them than anything else in my life (except my house and marriage)

I was one of Nellie’s biggest supporters for 5 years. And while I agree he is/was a “good guy” a likeable guy I contended 2 years ago that he QUIT on his team and organization. No one can convince me otherwise. When I first heard he was letting Avery run practices I thought to myself that this was Nellie’s way of taking some time off to perhaps spend with his Ailing wife who had cancer or perhaps to ease the riggers of coaching and thereby improving his own Health!

And that might have been the case at first. However, then I heard him say that he had actually planned to “miss” a few games and let Avery do the coaching.HuH? So he got kicked out of a few games (on purpose) so Avery could coach the team. Remember when he kicked the ball in the stands? Remember when he got kicked out of a San Antonio Spurs game in the first quarter!?!?! That was intentional too.

If Bill Parcell’s said “hey I’m going to take a few games off and let my assistants coach the game people would have flipped out! Double Standard.

Then to top it off Nellie got his feelings hurt when little Stevie Cash took the money and went to Phoenix. Boo Hoo. So Nellie decided to QUIT on his team mid way through the 2004 season. Thank god Avery was around to help pick up the peaces.
Plus I have heard Nellie actually try and take credit for hiring Avery and grooming him to be the next coach. That’s crap. I don’t buy that. But it was better that Avery was the coach and he is exactly what we needed.

So Nellie sits around doing nothing for a year and a half collecting a big fat check from Cuban and now that the money is drying up all of the sudden he is ready to coach again . . . . . how convenient.

Nellie is great at making a bad team into a good team but he can’t make a good team into a Great Team. So for Golden State he is perfect. For the Mavs it was time for him to go and Avery is perfect. So it all worked out. But I don’t think Nellie deserves a send off party or a pass.

Call him for what he is:

Good Coach
Fun Guy
Exciting style of play
The more I listen to you Bob the more I find that we have similar opinions.
Except for I hate Dan!

Perry Hood


Hey Bob,

I love you, i love Dan, i love your show but you're sounding like Dale Hansen when he's talking about the Boys. But seriously, you are losing your cred points here.

We know that what he did, by switching teams just when his checks from Cuban started drying out, is absolutely absurd. But this is also the fact about Nelly, he's a nice guy but do we really know that he didnt get pushed out by Mark Cuban? Mark Cuban had a lot to do with this, Why dont we list the last few years of his stay with the Mavs, we start with his demotion, Donnie's promotion, Dirk's benching in the series against the Spurs, Free-Agent players that Nelly wanted that Cuban ignored, to FA players that Cuban signed-off that Nelly didnt like, the hiring of Avery, and the final straw, the let go of MVP Steve Nash. Of course he also made bone-headed deals, like Bradley, Wang, that Euro player, but nobody's perfect.

There's a similar scenario happening now, the Parcells and Jerry Jones relationship. The only difference is that Parcells has more cred, and has more pull in his team than Nelly with Cuban. Also the fact that Jerry Jones wanted the Tuna while Cuban came in into Nelly's team. I think thats a big difference. Just think about all the Jones signings versus the Parcells signings. Its very interesting.

The truth could be, Nelly just squeeked out all the money he can squeeze out of Cuban as a sort of payback. Because the way he left the Mavs was more like a buy-out than anything else. I think he's just going where he is needed, which is exactly the opposite of his final seasons here with the Mavs.

If you do read this, Thanks man.

Love the Show!... Love everything!... though tell Donovan to put his ego aside a lil bit. I think he needs to know that the Ticket is about the little guy. The little guy that gets beat the hell out by punks. Remind him that the Ticket's history does say alot about Big Ego guys that used to work there. Shoot, even Big Dick got canned. I guess if your name is BIG DICK, that would explain it all.


Noone saying anything should be a slap in the face to Nelly. I think people around here feel that we are better off without him, we’re winning. If we would have struggled since his departure, people would have a problem. Golden State can have him…

Chris T. Lee

So there you have it. Those who agree with me think I am smart. Those who disagree think I am dumb. Welcome to Sportsradio.

Today’s Youtube:

Genius in so many ways.

I don’t care where you go to school, dorks are everywhere. Here are some from Baylor:

Well, the final preseason Cowboys game is upon us. Do you like me or hate me for going an entire blog without any mention of Owens?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nelson is Back At It

Nellie wants to coach again. Well, it is a free country. But, I am just curious. If Bill Parcells or even Buck Showalter pulled Nelson’s routine: Not run his own practices, openly pout about losing a player that management decided against, leave the team with weeks to go before the playoffs (claiming he was exhausted), and then take another job as soon as his free money from Mark Cuban stopped rolling in, would the media give them the free pass?

I am amazed and impressed that Nelson conducted himself in the ways that he did at the end, and almost no member of the media thinks anything of it. Parcells would be burned at the stake if he tried that!

Nellie is remembered by Gil Lebreton

As head coach, he turned a league laughingstock into a 60-win contender. There was method in Nellie's madness, as it turned out. Yet, it was his method that drove old-school NBA types to shake their heads at him.

In a way, it was a surprise to hear Tuesday that Nellie is going to be coaching in the NBA again. On the other hand, the job pays more than sitting under the banyan tree on Maui, and nobody ever accused Nellie of not liking money.

Cuban honored Nelson's contract and paid him $5 million last season -- just to watch, inconspicuously. Nellie's annual consultant salary was about to be reduced to $200,000. Sure, he began telling people, he'd entertain the notion of coaching again.
The shock, if anything, is that it's Golden State that wants him. Nelson's first term on the Warriors' bench ended with owner Chris Cohan firing him, then suing him when he went to the Knicks.

The Nelsons, however, reportedly are close friends of Golden State general manager Chris Mullin. Nellie was the last head coach to be successful there. Nelson and his wife, Joy, were actually married on the court where the Warriors play. And Joy has grandkids who live in the Bay Area.

What goes around comes around, especially if you offer to pay it $5 million or $6 million a year.

To a part of the NBA, Don Nelson has been an unconventional coach whose defensive philosophy borders on afterthought. Don't forget that he once announced that Bradley was the missing piece in the team's playoff puzzle.

Richie Whitt has his own theory …which makes sense for sure…

So now we know exactly how much Don Nelson disliked Mark Cuban. After quitting the Mavericks and saying he was just tired of the travel and ready to settle down with his wife on a beach, the former Dallas coach is apparently ready to return to the grind of the NBA as the Golden State Warriors’ coach. The crappy Warriors haven’t been to the playoffs since 1994, when Nelson was their coach.

Nellie, 66, ought to be perfectly content. He’s got a house in Maui. A new bar in Dallas. And he’s flitting around with the rich and famous like George Clooney at the Oscars, Owen Wilson at King’s X and Willie Nelson at the biodiesel ranch. But the truth is, Nellie loathed Cuban more than he loved basketball.

Perhaps the real story of training camp: Mark Colombo = Cowboys Right Tackle

In 2002, the Chicago Bears made the former Boston College player the 29th pick overall. He was supposed to be their answer at left tackle (sound familiar), but a gruesome knee injury derailed his career.

Colombo was set up in pass protection when a safety for the St. Louis Rams rolled onto the back of his leg. When the trainers arrived, Colombo's left kneecap was on the wrong side of his knee.

"They popped it back in there on the field," said Colombo with a sadistic grin. "And I can remember that being a great feeling."

After surgery, doctors told him he would be out for six months.

Turns out they were being a bit optimistic.

His femoral nerve had been damaged, which limited his ability to build strength in his quadriceps. (If you're like me and have never located your quadriceps, it's somewhere above the knee).

"I did everything they asked me to do thinking I would be back the next year," Colombo said. "But six months turned into two years."

The Bears thought Colombo might retire, but he said he never considered that option.
He began the 2004 season on the physically unable to perform list and wasn't activated until Week 9. His first extended action at offensive tackle came against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

He started the final two games of that season and was the Bears' third tackle heading into the 2005 season. Colombo was attending a charity event the night after the team's first game when he received a phone call from head coach Lovie Smith.
He'd been cut.

Smith replaced Colombo with a player he'd coached in St. Louis named John St. Clair.
"I don't remember saying anything," Colombo said. "I was just shocked. After all I'd been through, to have it end that way, was pretty bad."

Colombo had tryouts with several teams before signing with the Cowboys. Bill
Parcells viewed him as more of a long-term project.

Owens returns! Hurray! …life returns to a sense of normalcy…

Terrell Owens returned to practice Tuesday, a day after the star receiver said his strained left hamstring was improving.

Owens, who was unavailable for comment, did not practice Tuesday morning but did participate in the team's afternoon practice. Owens has missed 21 of 33 practices since the start of training camp.

He had not practiced since participating in a morning session two days before the Cowboys' second preseason game against New Orleans.

While it's unlikely Owens will play Thursday against Minnesota, if he can stay on the practice field, it increases the odds that he'll be ready for the opener against Jacksonville on Sept. 10.

The last time Owens practiced, he said he had too many repetitions, which caused him to aggravate the injury. Passing game coordinator and receivers coach Todd Haley is normally responsible for overseeing how many practice repetitions each player receives.

The 2nd Richie Whitt link of the day! Kevin Scott leaves us …My favorite co-worker gets his big chance…go get em, K-Scott…

It’s not quite as big a deal as when Dale Hansen jumped ship, but there’s another on-air change at KTCK-AM (1310, The Ticket). RIP, “The Throwdown.” Kevin Scott, who earned his extremely modest fame and fortune doing sports update “tickers” on “The Hardline” afternoon show and teaming with Rich Phillips on “The Throwdown” fill-in show, is leaving The Ticket for ESPN Radio in Austin. The 34-year-old Scott, at The Ticket since 1997 and a member of the extremely exclusive Max Miller alumni tree, will join Austin’s ESPN-AM (1530), which already has a decided Dallas flava with regular appearances from Dallas Morning News University of Texas beat writer Chip Brown and longtime metroplex radio voice Wally Lynn. Scott will co-host a 3-7 p.m. weekday show in Austin with former Denver Broncos lineman Dan Neal.

Scott ends his Ticket career Friday afternoon and will be on the air at his new gig Saturday at 8 a.m. for the UT pre-game show. “I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ll miss ‘The Throwdown,’” Scott says sarcastically. “Maybe Rich and I will do some podcasts, allowing it to live on through iTunes.” Somehow, Ticket listeners must trudge on without Scott’s wit, which was on display during last Thursday’s final “Throwdown.” Pondered Scott to morning host George Dunham, “In space, does Uranus contract when it’s cold?”–Richie Whitt

Thanks to Adam Morris, Here is an interesting deal from Cowlishaw

freddyk: Will Mark Teixiera sign up here for the long term?

Tim Cowlishaw: That's a real good question. The Rangers still control him for a couple more seasons, but he's got to see things getting better to sign a long-term deal here. And I think that would mean among other things a new manager in place. Now let's be fair, Teixeira's price on a long-term deal went down this year. His numbers are not where they should be. But he will still command some hefty dollars and deservedly so.

Channel 5 Snake attack

And now, a cause that means something to me – explained by Laura:

the event is going to be held on the morning of September 23rd. That night is an FC Dallas soccer game where they are honoring police and fire fighters.

We will have a public stair climb around the stadium steps of Pizza Hut Park. People bring pledges to climb the stairs.

We will have a fire fighter competition where teams of 4 firefighters from around the metroplex will compete on another set of stairs (the ones around the stage) in full gear for time.

We will have a Red Cross Blood drive.

Our money goes to the State Firemen's and Fire Marshall's Assoc of Texas JC Swadley Fund. It supports the families of FF killed in the line of duty by giving grief counseling, college scholarships and bill paying. This fund was started by the will of JC Swadley as Grand Prairie Fire Chief.

What I would like from you guys is just to help me tell people about it. I believe that if I can get the word out, people will want to come. If you guys will talk about it on the air, send people to my website or to a link on yours, encourage them to participate it would be great! If you could also help us get PSAs run on your sister stations that would be great.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. You can also go to our website at The creation of that has also been donated by a friend of mine.

Thanks for working on this!

Today’s Youtube:

U2 does the Godfather…I think.

Hook Mitchell

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Longest Blog of the Month

NY Times On the Case

Owens, who may need to spend some of his three-year, $25 million contract on a better alarm clock, smiled for the cameras, apologized for his tardiness and maintained that he was not trying to cause a stir.

But Owens draws attention whether he tries to or not, whether riding an exercise bike, or simply walking through the locker room. His controversial aura is a challenge for the Cowboys, a team with Super Bowl aspirations led by an intense coach and an aggressive owner, Jerry Jones, who gambled that Owens could help the team reach that goal. Three games into the preseason, Parcells has found answering questions about Owens more troublesome than coaching him.

“At the end of the day, I knew when we acquired this player that I was going to be the one that had to deal,” Parcells said. “What anybody else thinks, present company included, anywhere nationwide, all those chatterboxes, I don’t care. I’m going to do what I think is best for the Dallas Cowboys. Whatever opinion anyone else has is totally irrelevant to my line of thinking, because they don’t have all the facts and I do. I consider things that you people don’t even think of. The only thing that’s tedious to me is having to talk about it all the time.”

Revo on Parcells

The CliffsNotes version of what's going on at Valley Ranch, according to Parcells, is absolutely nothing.

Everything is hunky-dory. Move along people. There's no story here.

Maybe somebody got fined. Maybe they didn't. Parcells won't say, though eventually t.o. did finally 'fess up to the sin of sleeping through a rehab session, a team meeting and showing up late for an offensive team meeting Friday.

Personally, I'm less concerned about t.o.'s tardiness than I am about Parcells' state of mind.

I want to know that he still has control of his football team; that he has his gnarly old heel on t.o.'s larynx; that in any battle of wills with any player, but especially this one, Big Bill's grip is as tight as it ever has been.

But I don't have that answer for you today.

"He hasn't been a problem at all," Parcells said with a straight face, which is strange because normally this coach can find a problem with almost anything.

Parcells obviously has a problem with kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who was jumped by the coach when he told him he couldn't kick Saturday night. He had a problem with Terry Glenn nursing blisters and not practicing at Oxnard.

But t.o., to hear Big Bill tell it, is Mother Teresa in cleats.

Owens continues to miss practice with a tender hamstring, gets his wallet lightened by $9,500 for basically taking Friday off and that's not a problem?

What concerns me is that this might be Parcells taking the easy way out. If he doesn't acknowledge a problem, he doesn't really have to deal with it, now does he?

What does Deion think? …I swear, Deion and Irvin are amazing when it comes to TO…

Deion Sanders, former Cowboys star, appearing as guest with Andrew Siciliano and Nate Newton on FOX SPORTS RADIO, was asked about the media coverage of Terrell Owens not practicing: "First of all, if he's hurt, how could he practice?! Has anybody said anything about Steve Smith? Has anybody said anything about Hines Ward really not practicing or playing? Has anybody said anything about those two individuals? No, because you know what you're gonna get, when it's time to put-up."

"Now, I would be concerned about who's gonna throw to T.O. because I know T.O. is gonna catch and he's gonna give an all-pro performance.

"I'm not worried about what T.O.'s gonna do, I'm worried about what Drew Bledsoe, the Statue of Liberty back there in the park is gonna do or the new guy Tony Romo what he's gonna do and he's never performed under pressure. That is what I'm concerned about not T.O."

Texas decides (and desides) on Colt over Jevan

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy has impressed enough coaches and teammates during fall drills to earn the starting job in Saturday's season opener against North Texas.
Depending on what happens in that game, McCoy could be the only Longhorns quarterback to take a snap against the Mean Green, coach Mack Brown said Monday.

That's a departure from previous statements, when Brown said he anticipated early playing time for both McCoy and Jevan Snead, the two freshmen vying to replace Vince Young in the Longhorns' lineup.

It's also a departure from past seasons, when Texas coaches scripted playing time in September games when quarterback duties were shared by Major Applewhite and Chris Simms or Chance Mock and Young.

"Colt deserves the right to start," Brown said Monday. "He's really improved since spring. Every scrimmage, he's done well and he's been consistent."

As for Snead, a Stephenville High School product who enrolled in January, Brown said: "We do not have a plan for how we're going to play Jevan."

Ideally, Brown wants Snead to make his college debut Saturday. But he said coaches learned a lesson about the dangers of assigned playing time from past quarterback situations.

Meanwhile, by popular demand yesterday, we now include Sooner

The Sooners have conceded none of their lofty expectations. Should they lose a game early, regrets of missed opportunity could crash in on the quarterback position. OU fans are particularly harsh on their QBs. Teammates maintain standards as well.

With the offensive focus sure to shift even more reliant on Adrian Peterson, what are his chances at making a run at OU's fifth Heisman Trophy?

If healthy, Peterson will be back at the party in The Big Apple. He's too good. And he'll carry a load full of opportunity, with an increased role in the passing game also in the works.

Defenses will dog Peterson like never before, until Thompson and the passing game command respect. And an unproven offensive line must do its part.

But Peterson's main hurdle may be the media machine that will inevitably carry the candidacy of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, should the Irish star get it going.
So can an offensive line with just one returning full-time starter be good enough to protect Thompson and plow for Peterson?

OU coaches don't dismiss the danger of inexperience. But they also believe there's talent on this young unit. And they'd rather have talented youngsters than experienced mediocrity.

Wednesday Morning: Dirk versus the USA

The bracket says the United States will be facing Germany in the quarterfinals of the FIBA world championships Wednesday.

In truth, the U.S. is facing Dirk.

"Man, they have Dirk," U.S. point guard Chris Paul said. "He's one of the best players in the NBA and one of the best players in international ball as well."
Everyone here is on a first-name basis with Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks' star forward who has joined the ranks of the one-name basketball stars.

There's Kobe, Shaq, LeBron and Yao. And Dirk.

"He's an amazing player," U.S. guard Kirk Hinrich said. "He poses unbelievable matchup problems for any team, either in the NBA or here. He is used to playing internationally and with his German teammates. He poses a real challenge."

The World Championship Brackets

Evan Grant attempts to explain the Rangers situation

The offense has played tight. The acquisition of Lee was supposed to give the Rangers an indomitable offense for the stretch run. Instead, the hitters have swung as if sensing the outcome depends solely on them.

The result: a team that looks like it is pressing, evidenced by the club's inability to score runs late. Since Lee arrived, the offense has been outscored 32-15 in the eighth and ninth innings. The Rangers did not score a run in the final two innings on their recent trip through Detroit and Tampa Bay.

The result: No come-from-behind wins.

Since the All-Star break, the Rangers are 0-21 when tied or trailing after eight innings, 2-20 when tied or trailing after seven and 3-20 when tied or trailing after six.

Comeback wins are the kind that most energize a team and have the most potential for carryover.

Hicks explains everything

"Underachieved? Yes," Hicks said. "I don't want to call them underachievers, [but] I think they would say it about themselves. We've never been able to have a consistent streak of playing good baseball. If you look at the teams that have really good records, they do it in spurts. And we haven't been able to do that."

Hicks, wearing a white Augusta National golf shirt, khaki pants and sunglasses, held an impromptu news conference in front of the Rangers dugout before Friday's series opener, just hours after he had arrived back in Texas. He said he had followed the Rangers on his computer while in South America, rejoicing when they took three of four from the Tigers and sulking when they followed by losing three of four at Tampa Bay.

"To lose three to Tampa Bay is frustrating anyway, but to be that far away, it ruined a couple of dinners," he said. "I had a lot more fun following the Detroit games."


Hicks did not waver when asked to evaluate Showalter, who has been criticized recently by some in the local media.

"That's the nature of talk radio. Buck's our manager," Hicks said. "Buck doesn't swing the bat or throw the ball. He just needs to manage. Buck's a great manager. ... He's our manager."

Hicks said he plans to thoroughly evaluate the organization after the season as he does every year to "figure out how to get better."

At the moment, Hicks said, he knows the Rangers are close to where they need to be as they chase the red-hot A's, who have gone 16-5 in August.

"A lot of things have happened that, had they gone the other way, we would have won 10 or 15 more games," he said. "It just didn't happen. There's no reason we couldn't do what Oakland's done this month. The good news is we still mathematically have a chance to contend because our division hasn't been very strong this year.

Adam Morris looks at the issue: Is Gary Matthews a good defensive CF or are we fooled by the highlights?

GMJ ranked next to last in CF, ahead of only Coco Crisp.

Yeah, I is heresy to suggest that GMJ is anything other than a gold glove caliber centerfielder this year.

But is there maybe some truth to that ranking? Or should it just be dismissed as nonsense, proof that your eyes tell you more than the stats do when it comes to defense?

I don't really know. I do know, though, that BP's rankings have GMJ as a well below average defensive centerfielder. And he ranks below the majority of A.L. centerfielders in defensive Win Shares, as well.

Historically, Gary Matthews Jr. has been viewed as something of a tweener, a great defensive corner outfielder who didn't hit enough to play everyday at the position, or a decent hitting centerfielder whose bat wasn't enough to justify his glove out there.

So the question becomes, are the numbers lying, and is GMJ really an elite defensive centerfielder this year?

Or have some acrobatic catches and great throws deluded folks into thinking that GMJ is a better defensive centerfielder than he really is?

I am not sure what to think on this issue. I think he is great, but why do the numbers disagree?

Reggie Jackson on A-Rod

"New York's stuck with him and he's stuck with New York," former Yankee great Reggie Jackson said. "He's not going to get traded and he's not going to go anywhere. We're stuck with each other."

Proof that you can’t make this crap up: Jeff George is back!

Jeff George is back. No, really.

The quarterback hasn't played in the NFL since Sept. 24, 2001, but the Raiders just signed him to a veteran's-minimum $810,000 contract Monday morning.

He worked out for team officials Sunday, passed a physical and practiced Monday afternoon in a No. 3 jersey, the same number he wore for Oakland in 1997 and '98.
"It feels like I never left," George said. "I've always said when that call comes, I want to make sure I'm ready, and I've kept myself in pretty good shape."

George, who turns 39 in December, spent last year dabbling in real estate and running a run-and-shoot offense for a fourth-grade football team in his hometown of Indianapolis.

The Raiders and George have been in contact since coach Art Shell was hired in February. When backup quarterback Andrew Walter sat last week with shoulder trouble, the Raiders decided this was a good time to bring in George.

George was fourth in line for quarterback snaps during practice behind Aaron Brooks, Walter -- he's better now -- and Marques Tuiasosopo. The 53-man roster must be finalized Sunday, and Shell isn't against carrying a fourth quarterback as "insurance."

"I've always been intrigued by the guy and couldn't figure out why a talent like him doesn't spend his years in one place," Shell said.

For starters, George's career has been potholed by arguments with his head coaches. He got into a shouting match with June Jones in Atlanta midway through the 1996 season and was unceremoniously dumped.

George also got into a sideline run-in with Washington's Marty Schottenheimer in 2001, and was cut loose after two games. George had brief roster stints with Seattle in 2002 and Chicago in 2004, but did not play.

Peter King MMQB

Baby Fart

How to lose an Election in 30 seconds

The Real Men of Genius Archive Page …wow. Genius!

Where can you buy $34 popcorn? At …Seriously!

And now, Email:

This whole QB me to thinking:

If diehard Mavs/Dirk fans are considered Nowitznesses, then when Tony Romo is dominating the NFL in a couple years, and people are feeing the same way about him as they used to feel about Troy and Roger, will the die-hards be referred to as "Romosexuals"?

-Good P1 Nick in Austin


Sports Sturm:

If you get an opportunity, please check out the amazing links on You tube below. This story is of an amazing father and the even more amazing spirit of his son. It is the story of Team Hoyt. Watch, view and be reduced to tears as I consistently am. As a result of this story, I am training to push my 4 year and 1 year old daughters in our double stroller at this year's White Rock Marathon on 12/10/06. My oldest girl has Autism and she gets great pleasure out of taking rides with me when I go running. I know have any trouble viewing this links just go to and google Team Hoyt. Please watch the "Can" video. It will hit you in the gut and make you feel like a peanut of a man compared to Dick Hoyt and his son Rick.

Perhaps you guys could mention this site and story this week if you have not already done so in the past.

Thanks for making my days as a generic businessman pass by with some good
laughs and great HSOs. You boys from 0530 to 1900 hrs are first rate.
Great work by all of you.


Someday my blog while be as good as yours!!

enjoy if you ever have some free time.

Phil Tripp



I've been reading your blog and I thought you would like to check out mine.

I cover all DFW sports

and my squidoo is on the cowboys. all the cowboys news in one place. it's a pretty cool deal.

If you like them feel free to put a link on your page. I'm going to link your blog. it might be there by the time you see this.


Today’s Youtube:

Greatest Card trick Ever?

Aggie reminds us of Stephen McGee

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Morning T.O.

I know this may be the world’s biggest example of burying the lead, but before we get down to the story of the day, can I quickly offer one item of frustration? Good.

The two local papers have the worst websites in the world. But, for purposes of today’s discussion, allow me to complain more about the Dallas Morning News. I just want a Cowboys story on the latest on Terrell Owens. That is all. So, I click on and I see a story on Padilla, a story on Wilkerson, a story on FC Dallas, a story on SMU, a column on the Rangers, a column on Oklahoma, a column on the Oakland A’s, and an offering to check out Matt Mosely’s blog.

Now, I may have Cowboys myopia, but isn’t Owens the top story of interest in Dallas this morning? So, why do I require a 10 minute process to find what is the feature story in the print edition of the newspaper? Or, did the Morning News not believe that this is a story of substance?

So, I go over to the Star-Telegram’s website. And despite my views that their website is horrendous, at least they have 3 major stories on Owens at the very top. Well done.

Since they won the derby, Here is Clarence Hill on The Story

when Owens missed a rehabilitation session, a team meeting and was late for a meeting of the offensive unit Friday, the Cowboys finally had enough, fining the sidelined receiver $9,500, according to team sources.

Owens, who was unavailable for comment, has missed the first three preseason games and is doubtful for Thursday's preseason finale against Minnesota.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also was unavailable for comment Sunday.

According to a source, it wasn't the first time Owens had been fined by the Cowboys. He was fined in training camp for repeatedly being late to rehab, which ran from 6:30-8 a.m. Owens would routinely show up at 7:15 or 7:30, not understanding he had to be there at 6:30, a source said.

According to another source, it would be wrong to use these incidents as evidence of Owens not taking his rehab seriously. He has been at the Cowboys' facility nightly receiving treatment and has continued to work with his own trainers throughout the process, the source said.

Owens remains day-to-day, and it isn't known if he will practice today. But there is growing optimism inside the locker room that he could return to practice this week.
But given Owens' past and coach Bill Parcells' usually intolerant attitude, the incidents can't be ignored.

The question now is where does this relationship -- which was labeled a gamble by Jones when the Cowboys signed Owens to a three-year, $25 million contract in March -- go from here?

After a tumultuous and controversial two-season tenure with Philadelphia, Owens said he wanted a fresh start in Dallas. He promised to be a better person and better teammate.

One reason the Cowboys believed they could make it work is because they felt Owens was eager to prove his critics wrong. A big season on the field, void of any controversy, was the best way for Owens to make that happen.

"There's no question our best thing to do is get him well," Jones said Saturday night. "I want him out there and would've wanted him to make every practice. I understand that, and everyone else does, too. I know this: When he's healthy, he's going to help us win these ballgames."

Obviously, this is the first development of actual substance on the Owens front. It certainly bears watching very closely. Owens doesn’t appear to be acting as the model citizen that many of us (including me) had anticipated. This is a big week.

But let us not forget the bottom line that made this signing appeal to me from day 1. There are absolutely no reasons why the Cowboys are bound to keep him. Anytime they want they may release him and only sustain the $5 million bonus. No problem. I am not calling for his release now (nor am I close to it) but keep in mind that anytime they want to make him unemployed, they may. And all parties know this.

Jen Floyd on the case …Question: Why does Jen Floyd now write columns as if she is doing a Randy Galloway impersonation? I have always liked her work, but since they gave her a column, it is like she is either trying to get Galloway’s approval or flat out trying to copy all of his tired bits. Come back to us, Jen. I have seen your work and liked it for 8 years. But, this isn’t your old writing style.

Apparently some wily media member snuck into Mr. Initials' abode recently and prevented him from attending a team meeting and multiple rehab sessions.
What other explanation could there be?

How else would the Cowboys have reason to fine him $9,500, as my S-T colleague Clarence E. Hill Jr. reported?

Seriously, I keep getting e-mails about how T.O. has not been a real problem for this team but a media-created distraction. My handiwork especially.

So exactly how are you people going to explain away this latest bit of self-absorbed

Don't bother e-mailing. I'll answer for you. You can't.

Whatever his explanation for skipping rehab sessions, he looks like neither a "better teammate" nor a "better man."

If his sore hammy is a legit injury, skipping rehab is a sign that he is not taking his recovery seriously. And if this rehab session was not really that important, he is not really that hurt.

See what I mean? Neither exactly paints the picture Mr. Initials and his people, his blind fans and even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have been trying to sell -- of T.O. as a victim of trumped-up media you know what.

He is exactly what he has been and continues to be -- selfish, incorrigible, immature, boorish and, most importantly, unlikely to change his ways just because Cowboys fans really, really want him to, or because Jones thinks he will.
Nor is the media responsible.

We did not make him skip off-season workouts in favor of NBA playoff games or dress up like Lance Armstrong or verbally challenge coach Bill Parcells with his "If he wants to see something, he has 10 years of film" nonsense from a couple of days ago.
And unless you have proof that S-T columnist Randy Galloway went to Mr. Initials' house and held him down, delaying his arrival at Friday's team meeting, he is totally to blame for this as well.

Wow. She even worked Galloway in to her work today. That has to get her bonus points with her leader.

And now, under the fairness in blogging act, I offer all 3 significant Texas schools some reading material for the preseason of college football:


Despite a 20-game winning streak and most starters returning, one news conference back in January dropped the Longhorns from national title favorite into the pack of contenders at No. 3.

That's because Brown, who traded the derogatory label of "Coach February" for the exclusive "National Champion," must try to repeat the title with a pair of freshman quarterbacks in Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead.

"After Vince left, it changed our position nationally because if he had returned, people would have thought we would have had a great chance to repeat," Brown said.
"Repeating is very hard to do, but winning a national championship is very hard to do. There's been no complacency. In fact, there's been more urgency to see if they can do it again."

Doing it with a freshman quarterback will take more than willpower and hard work. Texas will need some lucky breaks and bounces - the Longhorns lost only nine of 35 fumbles last season - and someone else will have to take over Young's role as a 6-foot-5, 230-pound playmaker.

Brown said Texas will use the same spread offense that Young ran to perfection even if McCoy and Snead don't scare defenses the way he did running the ball.

"We probably won't have the third-down-and-30 scrambles we had for first downs,"
Brown said.


Adding to the angst is the Aggies' 1-11 combined record against Oklahoma and Texas since 1999, including 0-6 under Franchione.

A&M has lost six in a row to the hated Longhorns, and even Texas Tech and Baylor have closed the gap. The Red Raiders beat A&M 56-17 last season, their fourth series win in five years and the Bears won 35-34 in overtime in 2004, an unthinkable result during A&M's glory years.

"He needs to pick up his game or pack up his bags," said A&M sophomore Caelyn Bradley.

This season, many of Franchione's first recruits will have more significant roles, starting with quarterback Stephen McGee. The sophomore from Burnet sparked optimism - and eased some pressure on Franchione - with his gutsy performance against Texas in last season's finale. The Longhorns won 40-29, but McGee gathered 191 yards of total offense and helped make the game more competitive than most expected.

"If that season would've ended with a dismal loss to Texas, that would've been a disaster," Booth said. "That gave everyone some hope."

A favorable schedule this season should also help. The Aggies play five of their first seven games at imposing Kyle Field and one of the other two is a pseudo-home game against Army in San Antonio. A&M leaves the state only twice, going to Kansas and Oklahoma State in October.

Red Raider

When Leach arrived in 2000, the Red Raiders were stuck on a plateau. Tech had managed seasons of more than six victories only three times since 1990.

Since then, Tech has won at least seven games every season and has advanced to six-straight bowl games. Last year's 9-3 finish capped a string of four consecutive eight-victory seasons, a school record.

Now, the key is avoiding another plateau.

"Just make sure you get all (your players are capable of)," Leach said. "If you do, then you put yourself in the best position, and hopefully you do quite a bit of the time. Hopefully you do all the time."

To that end, Leach used his mad-scientist-meets-accountant brain to hatch an offensive system that has led the nation in passing four years in a row.

Last year's quarterback, Cody Hodges, joined Kliff Kingsbury as the two Leach era signal-callers to post nine-victory seasons. Graham Harrell, this season's heir/air apparent, wouldn't mind joining that group, if not adding a few more.

"I think it's a good thing," Harrell said of the position's tradition. "The guys have high expectations and won't accept anything but greatness. So, it can only help on the field."

The Raiders have used a new quarterback in each of the past four seasons, and, as expected, Leach kept this year's battle wide open throughout spring and early preseason workouts.

Through it all, Harrell seemed to hold an edge over redshirt freshman Chris Todd, but Leach never budged.

"You try to put them in the best position to improve, between spring and when you have camp," Leach said. "You make the situation as competitive as you possibly can. From there, you just go back to picking the one you feel best about."

Madden Player Ranking Humor

44 -- Drew Bledsoe's agility rating. Proof that the people at EA Sports are kind, generous souls. And that their rating system does not include negative numbers.

25 -- The player morale rating for Terrell Owens, far and away the lowest in the game. So apparently to get lower than 25 in this category a player has to be coming off of a season in which he actually murdered a teammate. (Maybe that's something the Bengals can try to achieve for Madden 2008.)

Meanwhile, Bill Simmons goes to Wisconsin …with an amazing column, including this wonderful Bob Ryan reference:

7:48 -- Not to sound like legendary Hollywood producer Bob Ryan, but what if I told you that Gabe Gross uses a Christian song for his at-bat music that includes lyrics like "help me Jesus!" and "Hallelujah!" Is that something you'd be interested in?

Bob Evans is mad at Entourage

The Ultimate Fighter 4 – Episode 2 Recap …bloody, bloody, bloody…

Treadmills rock , don’t they?

Is Deadwood authentic?


Hey Bob,

I composed a Bob and Dan Sudoku, and was hoping you might consider it blogworthy. Link

Plus, a link in your blog to the forums can't hurt. 100,000 post milestone achieved today, pretty special.

Sorry for overlaughing during my visit to the roadshow today. Dan does make me seriously amused. Which is an oxymoron, no?

Still no Survivor 13 cast announcement. Kinda worrisome. Remember when Danni was on and we knew it like 6 weeks ahead? S13 starts September 14. Just 3 weeks from Thursday.

Take care,

The Popsicle Stick Chick

Thanks, Terry. I don’t know Sudoku, but congrats to our forum for 100,000 posts! That is many bored humans…


Holley Mangold big little sister of Nick

The Great Mike Leach

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Sports Blogging

To the surprise of only the stupid, The Cowboys are unable to trade Henson; must waive him

The Cowboys made official on Thursday what Bill Parcells announced Wednesday: that Drew Henson was no longer with the team. The club waived the third-year quarterback after it found no takers for a possible trade.

Because Parcells revealed that Henson would not be with the team in 2006, the Cowboys did not have leverage for a trade. The remaining six years of Henson's contract are guaranteed, which also made trading him difficult.

If a team claims Henson on waivers, it would have to pick up the contract. The Cowboys are on the hook for at least $2.6 million if Henson chooses to take his pay in a lump sum. He could earn more if he chooses to be paid yearly by the club through 2011 based on minimum base salary increases.

If a team traded for Henson, they would have to assume the contract of Henson. No one was going to do that. He will be signed once he clears waivers, but at a much more reasonable deal…

Think the Parcells’ Boys can’t draft? Rafeal Vela looks harder

It we take the first four rounds into account, the rounds where contenders are built, Dallas has hit on an impressive 14 out of 18 selections in the Parcells/Lacewell/Ireland Era. By hits, I mean players that are starting or making contributions to the team. Let’s take Dallas’ selections round-by-round:

1st round — Terence Newman, Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Bobby Carpenter.

Four for four. The first three are starters. Carpenter won’t start against Jacksonville, but he’ll be getting significant reps sooner rather than later.

2nd round — Al Johnson, Julius Jones, Jacob Rogers, Kevin Burnett, Anthony Fasano

Four for five with this group. Jones and Fasano start. Johnson has started and could get a lot more starts this year, with Dallas playing sixteen games against 4-3s. Burnett missed much of last year with injury problems but will get on the field in situational packages. He has speed to burn and was part of Dallas’ 3rd down group last week.

3rd round — Jason Witten, Stephen Peterman, Drew Henson, Jason Hatcher

Two for four. Hatcher should get an incomplete, since he’s an unproven rookie. He will make the team and could get some third down reps at DE.

4th round — Bradie James, Bruce Thornton, Marion Barber, Chris Canty, Skyler Green

Four of five. Green, like Hatcher, should also get an I. He’s not the sure bet Hatcher is to make the team. Nevertheless, I’d be surprised if he didn’t make the final roster and contribute on special teams. Canty and James are mainstays of the defense. Barber’s role in the offense continues to grow.
If Dallas’ misses were not at the critical offensive line spots, these drafts would be getting more positive attention. They may in time, if the Cowboys have a successful season. As for the O-line, maybe somebody can send Bill to the buffet line when the Cowboys picks come up next April.

Meanwhile, we are upon pre-season game #3 tomorrow night. Here is the plan from San Francisco

Like all NFL teams, the 49ers consider the third exhibition to be the most significant: It's when starters play the longest. Seeing the team play well is so important to Coach Mike Nolan that he is treating the schedule as if it were the regular season. That includes the practice and meeting times, as well as piping in simulated crowd noise through speakers placed along the sideline.

``The more we face those conditions and get used to them the better we will be,'' Nolan said.

Against the Cowboys, most of the starters, including quarterback Alex Smith, will play into the third quarter.

Smith said he would treat this game more like the real thing and would be less willing to experiment with risky throws. ``In practice, you try to push yourself. There are times you don't know what throws you can and can't make, so you might try to force something just to see,'' Smith said. ``But I've seen the tape where I throw the ball 20 yards downfield when I could have just checked down to the running back in the flat and picked up the same yardage.''

Former 49er Kevan Barlow calls Nolan “Hitler”

Former 49ers running back Kevan Barlow lashed out at coach Mike Nolan and the direction of the franchise in a series of phone calls to the Times on Tuesday, two days after being dealt to the New York Jets for a 2007 fourth-round draft pick.

"Nolan just doesn't know what he's doing. He's a first-time head coach with too much
power," Barlow said via cell phone from New York. "He has too much power as a first-time head coach. He walks around with a chip on his shoulder, like he's a dictator, like he's Hitler. People are scared of him. If it ain't Nolan's way, it's the highway."

Two phone calls later, Barlow softened his stance and blamed some of his statements on the emotional whirlwind he endured the previous 48 hours.

"I was kind of harsh on him, saying he's a dictator. That's bad. Saddam Hussein is a dictator," Barlow said some three hours after his initial call. "I was speaking on emotion. ... My world's been (upended) in the past (48) hours."


It's safe to assume Oakland wasn't awed by the Rangers' most recent series.
But there is a silver lining as the A's arrive to begin a three-game series tonight (7:35, KDFI/Ch. 27) in Arlington.

The Rangers avoided a sweep by Tampa Bay, winning 4-3 Thursday. And they did it in a rare way, with pitching.

A larger surprise was the pitcher responsible: Robinson Tejeda, who was acquired for David Dellucci in a trade that had seemed like a bust.

But Tejeda followed a masterful performance in Detroit with an effective outing Thursday, pitching a career-high 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs.

Tejeda won two games on the road trip and had a 1.88 ERA. That from a pitcher who began the trip with a 9.78 ERA.

Meanwhile, in England, all of the chatter in the football world is about Ben Thatcher’s cheapshot that reminds those of us over here of Todd Bertuzzi’s big moment.

Mendes and his broken Jaw

After spending a night recovering in a Manchester hospital, Pedro Mendes today described the forearm smash from Ben Thatcher that knocked him unconscious as "the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my career".

Pundits and fans have lined up to condemn Thatcher, who has written to the Portsmouth midfielder apologising for Wednesday's incident, but until now there had been no comment from Mendes, who was taken straight to the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He was released yesterday but will have to undergo further neurological supervision before he can play football again.

See the Video

The Nextel Cup boys reach a critical moment

Three races remain to determine the drivers who make the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The top 10 in the standings make it in the 10-race playoff. The contenders entering the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:

1. Jimmie Johnson: But could fall to No. 2
2. Matt Kenseth: Clinched with his win at Michigan

3. Kevin Harvick: Runner-up at Bristol in March

4. Mark Martin: Three top-fives in the last five races
5. Tony Stewart: He was 11th four races ago
6. Jeff Gordon: Up six spots in six races
7. Kyle Busch: Worst finish of the year at Michigan
8. Denny Hamlin: Five top-10s in a row
9. Jeff Burton: Dropped five spots at Michigan

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Needs Kahne in his rear-view mirror

A driver can make up a maximum of 156 points on another driver in one race. Only one driver is within that number of reaching 10th place:
11. Kasey Kahne: (-49): Has to beat guys in the not-safe-yet zone.

Good Napoleon Fellas

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday's Blog Time

Well, another day in sportstown, USA:

Owens being Owens

"I got to a point where I was feeling a little bit healthier," Owens said. "Obviously, to go out there and practice, I just felt like my reps really weren't monitored as they should've been and got more reps than I should have."
Owens said he takes most of the blame for taking too many reps, but "I don't want to take total blame." Normally, the position coaches monitor how much a rehabbing player works in practice.

"When I play the game, I play the game full speed," Owens said. "I don't really have any doubts about if I'm going to perform or not. Obviously, I need to get on the field to try to get in a rhythm with the offense, and I think that will come with time. I don't think I'm too far off."

Owens has noticed his hamstring injury has received much more scrutiny than those of Carolina's Steve Smith and Pittsburgh's Hines Ward.

"Every hamstring is different," Owens said. "It's not a situation where I tore it. I think this is a severe pull to the point of [it affects] the way I run, the way I practice. I go out and I aggravate it once, [then] I start to feel better ... So, like I said, I'm back to my same words: It's day-to-day."

In case you missed that, he is blaming the Cowboys for using him too much in practice.

Drew Henson’s happy day …he gets away from Bill Parcells

Drew Henson called it a good day, which says about everything one needs to know about his previous days with the Cowboys.

The former Michigan quarterback and New York Yankees third baseman, who came to the Cowboys in 2004 as the latest Next Troy Aikman, will not be on the roster in 2006. The Cowboys are seeking a trade but will likely have to release Henson.

"Today is a good day in my mind," Henson said in a phone interview. "I have a lot to offer teams. I'm healthy and 26, and more motivated than I've ever been....I'm looking forward to what comes next."

Personally, I think that unlike Carter and Hutchinson, Henson will play well in this league at some point.
Ho Hum. Rangers lost again …I wish I was shocked…

Wednesday, however, after they lost to the lowly Devil Rays 7-3, their third consecutive loss against Tampa Bay, the Rangers might have sent an unpleasant message to themselves.

Perhaps they are not serious contenders, having fallen 7 1/2 games behind Oakland.
"The last couple of weeks, we felt that every game was a must win," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "You don't want to put too much pressure on yourself, but, at the same time, when you're five, six, seven games out, you can't say: 'OK, let's wait until tomorrow.'"

Nothing went right for the Rangers. Kevin Millwood, their best pitcher who is having a terrific season on the road, walked four batters and gave up six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

After striking out 13 times Tuesday, Rangers batters struck out 12 times Wednesday, and the offense, again, was limited. Texas has scored three runs in three consecutive games and is averaging only 3.3 runs in the past seven games.

We talked about it yesterday, and I am now really pondering this quite a bit: What does Buck Showalter have to do to get fired? 4 years, 1 marginally decent result, and so far nothing higher than 3rd place in a 4 team division. The players don’t seem to respond this time of year to many of his tactics and despite personnel upgrades its still the same ol’ Rangers. I believe I am close to a full-fledged endorsement of his firing at season’s end.

Richie Whitt blogs about the Ticket’s Cowboys coverage, including the delay dilemma

With the advents of cable and satellite to go along with old-school rabbit ears, there are now three different broadcast methods delivering the game to TVs. If you had three TVs lined up, each with a different method of reception, you’d see the game at three different “speeds.” For example, standard broadcast-TV viewers would’ve seen Glenn’s miraculous catch first; three seconds later, cable subscribers saw it; and six seconds later, satellite subscribers had their belated turn.

“It’s a bit of a frustration point, because it’s impossible to sync with all three,” says Sturm. “We’re trying to work through it. But we can only get in step with one, and the question becomes, which one?”

As it was in the past with flagship stations KVIL-FM (103.7) and KLUV-FM (98.7), the answer will likely be the standard rabbit-ears majority. That’s because the metroplex has the highest percentage of non-cable/satellite homes of any major U.S. city. (Why? I dunno. Why do wheels on cars look as if they’re spinning backward? Some things just defy explanation.) The ultimate goal, obviously, of The Ticket’s broadcasts is to mesh with the most viewers. So dust off your old antennae, or get ready for yet another season of Sham being one step ahead of you. –Richie Whitt

Is it wrong to quote yourself on your own blog? It felt wrong.

Gold Len Pasquarelli audio!

Boro 2, Chelsea 1 …Awesometown…

Here is sports mail:


I don't care about Landon myself but this paragraph from your blog interested me:

This is why I have soured on a kid like Landon Donovan. Donovan tried Europe, got home sick, missed his girl friend, and now is more than happy to dominate in Los Angeles, which would be like Dirk dominating in Berlin. There is no way a soccer player can be the best he can be if he stays in the MLS, but Donovan is more worried about lifestyle than maximizing his career. I find that weak.

Who are we, the sports public, to tell an athlete how and where to spend their life on this Earth. If Landon Donovan chooses to spend the best years of his life in his homeland close to family and loved ones versus year after year in a foreign country, who are we to tell him otherwise? If Dirk wakes up tomorrow and decides that he wants to spend the next 20 years with his family and friends in Germany and taking advantage of all the things he loves about Germany that he can't find in Dallas, TX who could really argue otherwise? I admire athletes making choices on where they perform much more when the decision is based on real life issues rather than just money. Sacrificing your happiness and letting the world pass by you for the sake of your career? I find that weak.

Nigel Lowrie

Nigel, you make a fair point. Many people may agree with you, but I absolutely do not. I believe that some of us are blessed with special gifts. I then find that responsibility goes with that gift. Nothing is more annoying in sports than the ultra talented player who does not wish to fully develop his skills and be the best he could be.

That is what makes Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan so great. It isn’t the talent. It is also the drive to never be happy with taking 2nd place. Never to be happy that you have arrived. They are always trying to be the best they can be, and never settling for the path of least resistance.

So, Landon may find that his girl friend likes Los Angeles and so does he. Maybe he thinks that European weather sucks, and so does the food, and everyone talks weird. But, with each passing day as he plays against inferior competition with inferior methods he wastes his special gift a little more.

Incidentally, Dirk would never do that. He has proven he is about basketball. And he is about doing whatever he can to get better and better.

Today’s Youtube:

Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl was just unfair:

Ohio State Dorks

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wednesday Fun

The unbeatable Devil Rays strike again ….

It's impossible to tell the team still in the hunt from the team in last place in Tampa these days.

Pennant-contending teams make the big pitches, get the big hits and deliver the key runs when given late chances to snatch victories. For the second consecutive night, the Rangers failed in the clutch in a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay. They risk dropping from the ranks of contenders to a group of pretenders if they don't get going soon.

Luckily, Texas didn't lose any ground (though still 6 ½ games back) because Oakland lost to Toronto on Tuesday.

The Rangers prepare to deal with their 9 free agents

The Rangers have nine pending free agents on the roster. That list includes three starters and several position players.

The most expensive name on the list is Carlos Lee. He confirmed Monday that he has switched agents from Adam Katz to Scott Boras. Lee didn't want to discuss in detail his reasons for switching to Boras, but he didn't rule out a return to Texas.

"I like Texas, and we've got a good team," said Lee, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $48 million deal from Milwaukee last month. "This is one of the teams that I would look at going to."

Pitching will be an area of focus for Daniels. Adam Eaton, Vicente Padilla and Kip Wells will be free agents. Padilla is the most likely of that group not to re-sign, mainly because of a high price tag.

The Rangers will also look to re-sign Mark DeRosa. He's proved valuable because of his versatility. All-Star center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. is in the market for a raise and multiyear deal. Jerry Hairston Jr. wants a chance to play more for another team but said he wants to come back to Texas if there isn't a starting job out there for him. It is unlikely the Rangers will re-sign catcher Rod Barajas because Gerald Laird is capable of handling the starting job. Matt Stairs also will be a free agent.

Carlos Lee has hired Scott Boras. Here’s a question: Who are the players who are not represented by Scott Boras? Are there 20? 30?

Meanwhile, today must have been Aggie media day or something as both local papers do a feature on Coach Fran and the latest from College Station:

Is Coach Fran’s job safe? ….Now that he has HIS players here, it will be interesting to see where this thing goes…

Speculation about Franchione's job security is going to sound plausible after A&M posted losing records in two of his first three seasons. Franchione dismissed talk about facing extra pressure this year, and athletic director Bill Byrne pledged his support. But if people are buzzing now, the din will only grow louder if the Aggies falter again this fall.

To Byrne, a lack of talent and experience helps explain A&M's struggles.

"Our guys line 'em up right," he said. "It's just sometimes there are people with more talent than we do on the field."

Byrne, who like Franchione was hired in late 2002, praised the coach's recruiting.
"The thing you can't coach is experience," Byrne said. "It's why I have high expectations for our improvement over the years here, because I'm watching us gain experience. I'm also watching an improvement in our athleticism. I'm seeing more team speed, which is something we sadly lacked when we came here."

Byrne said it takes six recruiting classes for a coach to fully rebuild a program. And "rebuild" is the word he uses.

Talking about last season's 5-6 record, Franchione noted that defensive linemen Red Bryant, Jason Jack and Chris Harrington were sophomores. They were among 22 underclassmen who started at least one game for A&M in 2005.

"I'm not trying to sound like I'm making excuses," Franchione said. "I just think there were a lot of young guys out there at times and they made young player mistakes that hopefully we'll be able to alleviate a little bit with a year of experience."

As Franchione, 55, enters his fourth season, the talent suiting up for him is mostly
players he recruited. And no longer are they so inexperienced.

"This is my junior campaign," Bryant said. "I can't say I'm young. I can't say I don't know what I'm doing out there anymore."

Franchione has stressed the importance of veterans on the lines. He now has them on both sides of the ball: Bryant, Jack and Harrington, all redshirt juniors, are returning starters; three more redshirt juniors return as starters on the offensive line.

"Experience is pivotal there. Maturity is pivotal. Strength is pivotal," Franchione said. "Those guys now are to that point."

Franchione signed all but seven of the current players who came to A&M on scholarship.

How about an opinion on the soft schedule from Coach Fran?

"I'm certainly not apologizing for [having to play] Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas in November," Franchione said. "I don't see how anybody can be critical of us with the schedules we've had."

For the first time in his four seasons at A&M, Franchione is on the soft side of the scheduling debate. There's no Utah (2004) or Clemson (2004 and 2005) or Virginia Tech (2003) or Pittsburgh (2003).

Instead, the Aggies play home games against Division I-AA The Citadel, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana Tech, plus a "road" game against Army at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

For a program that lost its last four games, failed to make a bowl, fired its defensive coordinator and whose head coach is under pressure, there's a sense the schedule is just what the doctor ordered.

"I believe so because you're talking to a 5-6 ballclub, and so we can't overlook anybody," junior defensive tackle Red Bryant said. "All of those teams on our preseason schedule are coming in with the mind-set that they're going to beat us, so we have to come in with the mind-set that we have to play extremely hard."

The original 2006 slate didn't always look so fluffy. Florida State was on it, but the Seminoles dropped the home-and-home series when the ACC expanded. Army requested a venue change from West Point to San Antonio, and Louisiana Tech was a late addition after the NCAA approved a 12th game for this season.

The finished product, with seven home games, is arguably A&M's most favorable schedule since the inception of the Big 12. The Aggies get Big 12 foes Texas Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska at Kyle Field. They leave the state just twice, for Kansas and Oklahoma State.

Redskins make a move for a RB

Undoubtedly concerned about how much pounding Clinton Portis' dislocated left shoulder can take in a 16-game season, the Washington Redskins bolstered their running back position last night by acquiring T.J. Duckett from the Atlanta Falcons, according to a league source.

In a three-way trade, the Falcons acquired receiver Ashley Lelie from the Denver Broncos and the Redskins shipped a draft choice -- believed to be a third-round selection -- to the Broncos.

Lelie had been holding out of the Broncos' training camp, upset with the team's acquisition of Javon Walker.

Duckett, a free agent at the end of the season, is a former first-round draft pick but could never beat out Warrick Dunn to become the Falcons' top back. Duckett's best season was 2003, when he rushed 197 times for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has 31 touchdowns, but his production plummeted last year when he averaged a career-low 3.1 yards a carry.

A bruising back, the 6-foot, 254-pound Duckett, 25, would seem to be a fine option in short-yardage situations, saving Portis unnecessary punishment.

Blogging the Boys has been added to the approved blogs, and they looked at the individual performances of the Offensive Line …and the Defensive Unit

Not sure who is up to speed with this story, so let me give you a brief set-up. The MLS is doing its very best to develop young American Soccer players into the type of players that can ultimately allow the US to compete at a very high level on the world soccer stage. They can only do so much, though, and the next step for many of these players is to seek their future in Europe to play on the highest stage and basically do the same thing Dirk Nowitzki did, but go the other direction over the Atlantic Ocean.

This is why I have soured on a kid like Landon Donovan. Donovan tried Europe, got home sick, missed his girl friend, and now is more than happy to dominate in Los Angeles, which would be like Dirk dominating in Berlin. There is no way a soccer player can be the best he can be if he stays in the MLS, but Donovan is more worried about lifestyle than maximizing his career. I find that weak.

Enter the story of Texan Clint Dempsey. He was arguably the best American at the World Cup, and now wants to chase his dream in Europe. The MLS won’t sell him, though, and therefore he waits until he can leave for free this winter. Way to go, Clint. With almost 10 Americans playing in the English Premiership, American Soccer has a long way to go, but is better than it has ever been.

MLS refuses to sell Dempsey …Dempsey is clear that he will go as soon as he can…

No American had a better World Cup than Dempsey, who brought much-needed pace and confidence to the right side of the U.S. midfield starting with the team's 1-1 tie against world champion Italy. Dempsey currently makes only slightly more than $80,000 a year in his deal with MLS, which runs through the end of 2007.

"Clint Dempsey is a valuable player, and we'd like to renegotiate his agreement and keep him in the league," MLS commissioner Don Garber told me last week. "Unless these clubs offer his real value and don't discount the value he has to MLS, we have no interest."

For his part, Dempsey has no interest in renegotiating his MLS contract. "I already told [MLS] if they paid me more than Landon Donovan I still wouldn't stay," he said, referring to Donovan's $900,000 salary. "I just don't want to be in this league anymore. It's not about the money. It's about me getting better and pushing myself to a higher level. I'll be able to live with whatever the consequences may be, but I can't live with never trying to accomplish my dreams, and I can't live with somebody holding me back from that."

Brave Columnist takes on Saint Dale, Jr.

Find me another professional athlete in the Carolinas -- who plays a major sport -- who is as blindly revered. When Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme takes time from his commercials to play football, he's very good. Yet fans criticize his decisions and his arm.

E is insulated. The son of the most popular driver in NASCAR history, he might as well cruise around the track in a soundproof Chevrolet with tinted windows. See no criticism and hear none, either.

Fans in Michigan booed because they had to. Edwards was leading and Earnhardt Jr., who went on to win, spun him. Yet, it was Edwards, who hit Junior after the race, who got in trouble. NASCAR hit him -- no, rubbed him -- with probation and a fine Tuesday.

I would love to have attended the meeting to which NASCAR summoned Junior and Edwards. I suspect it went a little like this.

NASCAR: Mr. Junior, have a seat. Your options include director's chair and swivel chair, contemporary and antique, Barcalounger and La-Z-Boy, leather sofa and $3,799 robotic massage.

EDWARDS: Where do I sit?

NASCAR: Floor.

Saint 8 might be frustrated because, after failing to make the Chase last season, he's on the cusp of failing again.

Or it could be that because of the consistently gentle treatment he's been accorded, Junior believes he can do whatever he wants.

Maybe he can.

Johnny Drama’s Resume

And now, an email:

I constantly hear Mike Rhyner refer to your show as “Sturm and Drong” - ? is that right? What the hey is he referring to? Anywho.

I’m not a yankee, but picked up sayings like, “What the hey” and “Anywho” from a movie and thought you might feel comfortable seeing them in print.

Hehe. Have a GREAT day!

Chris Hartman


Knowing why Rhynes says what he says is anyone’s guess, but here is what I found about the Phrase Sturm and Drang

Sturm und Drang (German for "Storm and Stress") was a German literary movement that emphasized the volatile emotional life of the individual. It is most commonly viewed as occurring in the years 1767-85, but sometimes 1769-86 or 1765-95. The name was derived from a play by Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger. The chief exponents of Sturm und Drang were the young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his friend and collaborator Friedrich von Schiller. Chief Sturm und Drang works are Goethe's play Götz von Berlichingen, his epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, and the poem "Prometheus".

After Goethe's journey to Italy, both he and Schiller effectively ended their Sturm und Drang and started a very different movement, Weimar Classicism.

The Sturm und Drang movement also had influence on music composers of the time. Notable examples are the Sturm und Drang Symphonies from the middle period of Joseph Haydn's work, for example Symphony No. 39, and the Symphony in G minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).

Wow. That is more information than we needed...

Youtube of the Day:

Weird Al does Star Wars

The Hoff

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Can We Play Them Every Week?

I have to keep it a bit short this morning, but the links should provide plenty of reading. Bottom line for the 2nd preseason game last night offered the following:

- Drew Bledsoe can still play a little, despite those who are ready for the Romo era
- The Defense still looks like it can carry this team with its ability to overwhelm its opponent. (of course, not everyone will be the Saints)
- DeMarcus Ware is ready to be a star in this league.
- The Offensive Line still makes me nervous.
- The Saints are really not going to be very good this season.
- The Cowboys need to carry to kickers and Vanderjagt is made of glass.

In preseason, you just try to get people ready and keep them healthy. It looks like the Cowboys are doing ok in each category. This team looks ready to be pretty good this season based on the first 3+ weeks of camp.

Bledsoe and Romo both play well

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe justified his thinking with a flawless performance before a national television audience on Monday Night Football.

Bledsoe, playing the first half, completed 12 of 16 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He led the Cowboys to points on three of four possessions as they pummeled New Orleans, 30-7, before 45,162 at the Independence Bowl.

"Are you ready to anoint a new king or do you want to stay with the old one?" Jones asked rhetorically at halftime, laughing at the thought of a quarterback controversy.

Bledsoe didn't play last week. Tony Romo, playing the entire game, responded by completing 19 of 25 passes for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns, inspiring talk of a controversy.

That's easy to do with Bledsoe because he is no longer considered among the game's elite. He does, however, remain a solid starter.

He still completed 60 percent of his passes last season for 3,639 yards with 23 touchdowns and 17 interceptions behind an offensive line whose tackles – Rob Petitti and Torrin Tucker – finished 1-2 in the league in sacks allowed.

Jones believes the Cowboys have too good a team to entrust it to Romo, who's full of potential but has never thrown a regular-season pass.

"I've never heard it debated by any coach," Jones said of Bledsoe's status, "and I never debated it in my mind.

"To me, he showed the benefit of a veteran quarterback. He made good decisions the entire half, and we got the benefit of his experience. Drew can throw the ball. If we give him time and he plays the whole year, the fans can have a lot of fun this year."

Bledsoe shocked to hear of story

Quarterback controversy? What quarterback controversy? Bledsoe asked.

"Honestly, I haven't seen it," said the 13-year pro. "I haven't heard it. We're locked down in training camp, and I'm not hearing anything."

Romo finished his night with 138 yards passing, completing 6 of 8 against the Saints' second- and third-teamers. He did fumble once, not that anyone noticed.
"I've said it, and I'll continue to say it," Bledsoe remarked. "I'm really happy for Tony. He's been playing very, very well. He's a guy who in his fourth year is demonstrating that he can play in this league."

Bledsoe is right, even if it had nothing to do with Monday night.

One of the more unremarkable additions to the Cowboys this spring, Marcus Coleman, has been rumored to be a cut; and now he adds to his unremarkable tenure here with a nice drug suspension

Safety Marcus Coleman, who was supposed to have an important role in the Cowboys' secondary, has violated the league's substance-abuse policy, several club sources said Monday.

The sources said Coleman, a 10-year veteran, could face a four-game suspension.
"I don't know," Coleman said after the game. "I can't say anything about that."
Citing league policy, he declined further comment.

Rafeal Vela on Demarcus the great

Demarcus Ware abused Saints LT Jamaal Brown with power moves. He almost caused an interception by pushing Brown back into Drew Bree’s lap. Greg Ellis dropped a gimme TD off Brees’ errant throw.

Ware also made the defensive play of the game. With New Orleans facing a third and short in the Dallas red zone, Sean Payton lined up Reggie Bush in the left slot. Dallas, which stubbornly stays in its base as much as possible, moved Ware out into space over Bush. At the snap, Bush ran a flat route, parallel to the line of scrimmage. He caught a quick Brees pass but could not outrun Ware to the sideline.
Ware wrapped the rookie up for no gain when Bush tried to cut back inside him.

Here is the Peter King column from Monday that stirred up Romo v. Bledsoe ….

I think this is probably just something that stuck out to me, but it's something I can't get out of my mind. Count me among those who think Romo has a good chance to be Dallas' starting quarterback at some point sooner rather than later. And deservedly so. At practice Wednesday afternoon Romo was running a two-minute drill and the clock was running way down. Romo was sprinting to the line, exhorting his linemen to hustle so they could get in one last play. Defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman was slow getting back over the line, and Romo thought time might run out before he'd get off this play. With Coleman still two strides from ambling across the line, Romo gave him something between a punch in the back and strong shove, to hustle him over the line. Then he quickly snapped the ball, just in time. And I thought: Here's a guy who's never thrown a pass in a real NFL game and he's got the presence of mind and the savvy to treat a defensive guy on his own team like that. Impressive, really impressive.

Later in the column, he really started a fire of hot sports opinions:

Koren Robinson will almost certainly be suspended for the year after his DWI and high-speed car chase with the cops near the Vikings' training camp in Mankato, Minn. But I reserve my harshest comment for the Vikings. Whoever decided to pay Robinson any significant guaranteed money (in this case $1 million) and make him the team's No. 1 receiver -- owner Zygi Wilf, GM Rob Brzezinski, coach Brad Childress -- ought to have his head examined in the first place.

Next to the word unreliability in my Webster's is a mug shot of Robinson, who broke Mike Holmgren's all-time record for player mischief-making. Robinson is the type of player you invite to training camp and give a contract with a very low base salary, a tiny bonus (if you give him one at all) and a huge backside to the contract. If he won't take that, fine; let him infect some other team. Wilf has a lot to learn as an owner. The first thing is this: When you say over and over that you're going to run a tight ship and have a team the community can be proud of, mean it. If you import turds like Robinson -- and that is a bit harsh, really, because I've met the guy a couple of times and he seems like a decent fellow, but obviously one plagued by an addiction problem and a truth-telling problem -- and hand him a check for $1 million, you do not mean what you say about not employing the troublemakers. A leopard might change his spots, but it's ridiculous, with so little exposure to the guy, to reward said leopard so handsomely before he proves to you for a long time that he has.

Keith asks, Gay or not Gay?

Rangers Lose; …and, A’s win after being behind 8-0 so the Rangers drop to 6.5 games back…Will you please listen to me, Rangers fans? This thing has been over for a few weeks now. Basically, since losing the final 2 in Anaheim and the first 2 in Oakland…

Tech tries to get the Aggies to Dallas

Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said he will resume discussions with Texas A&M counterpart Bill Byrne in the next few days about moving the schools' annual football game to Dallas.

"We're not any closer than we were," Myers said.

Myers said planning would have to begin soon if the game were to move to the Cotton Bowl next season. Tech is interested in playing in the Cotton Bowl, which seats 72,260, or the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium, which will have a seating capacity of 75,000 when it opens in 2009.

State Fair president Errol McKoy said a Tech-A&M game at the Cotton Bowl could generate revenue of close to $10 million in 2008. That's when the Cotton Bowl would expand to 92,000 seats if a November bond package passes.

"We're not hearing much out of A&M's side," McKoy said. "Tech really wants to play in Dallas, because they realize it's a significant opportunity."

And you would think given the Aggies lack of success in Lubbock they would love the chance to avoid it….

Our friend, Dan McGraw writes about the world Of Mixed Martial Arts

Jon Heder’s new film

Feature Youtube:

Derek Harper starts a great fight

Total Eclipse of the Heart