Friday, September 22, 2006

Short and Sweet on Friday

Morrow is locked in through 2013

Morrow signed a six-year contract extension Thursday for $24.6 million. Starting next season, he will earn $4.1 million a season through 2012-13. The deal also includes a no-trade clause.

Morrow will earn $2.2 million this season with a salary cap hit of $2.05 million.
"I was probably 90-10 with 10 percent interested in looking at the free-agent market," said Morrow, 27. "But, you know what? I just decided that this is where I want to be, and this is the team I want to play for."

Morrow's agent, Brad Devine, said his client's talks always seemed to come back to one thing.

"He wants to win a Stanley Cup more than anything, and he is convinced this is the best place for him to do that," Devine said.

Morrow said the two-year, $8 million contract recently signed by teammate Jere Lehtinen sent the message that the Stars' core skaters are at about the same pay level. Mike Modano signed a long-term deal that allows the Stars to carry a salary cap hit of $3.45 million, while Sergei Zubov is at $4 million a year in salary cap cost.

Excellent capology from Andrew’s Page

At Thursday's news conference on the Morrow signing Armstrong said the team is operating under a philosophy that ideally no fewer than five players should get about 50 percent of the team's cap costs.

"The rule of thumb that we are working with is 50 percent of the cap goes on how many players," he said. "We felt comfortable that about five players will consume about 50 percent of your cap and then you are going to have to build the rest."
His five players for 2007-08 are Morrow, Marty Turco, Sergei Zubov, Jere Lehtinen and Mike Modano. Those five total about $21.25 million in cap costs.

Armstrong said some teams have gone with as few as three players taking up 50 percent of the cap, but he thinks that is too risky.

Armstrong said he has also tried to structure the five big contracts so that they expire at different times to give the team some flexibility in the free agent market. But he said the Stars may not be major players in next summer's free agent market.

"What we have now is we have continuity with five players. Four of the five players' contracts expire at different times," he said. "We are always going to be able to play in the free agent market, probably except for next summer. All the five core players have contracts through at the least the following season. But we are going to have some flexibility. I think Brenden and everyone is hoping that [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman is correct that this pie is going to get bigger and we'll be able to take advantage of that moving forward."

Rangers and their finances

The Rangers will finish at approximately 2.38 million fans in home attendance this season, a drop of about 140,000 from 2005. Club president Jeff Cogen said Thursday the team will effectively break even financially though the possibility for a statistically insignificant loss remains. Any loss would probably be less than $1 million.

Nevertheless, Cogen said, the Rangers will be graded on attendance. And that has declined measurably.

"I wouldn't characterize this year as successful for us," Cogen said. "The benchmark we are measured by is attendance, and I can't just ignore a drop of 140,000 people. I'm mad about it, but I'm absolutely and fully accountable for it."

The Rangers' payroll jumped from $55 million in 2005 to approximately $68 million for this season after owner Tom Hicks showed a profit for the second consecutive year. Hicks, who asked Cogen to speak for the organization, has said that future payroll will be player specific without going into details. Cogen said the 2007 payroll will probably be affected more by revenue projections for the year than by the 2006 bottom line.


The decline in walk-up sales seems to suggest a lack of buzz about the club.

"Our core fans, I think, are excited about us," Cogen said. "I think as you go out from that core, I still think our secondary group has buzz. It's the outer part of that circle. I don't think fans are alienated, but it has been reported that way. I think we're making some steps towards bringing them back. We're going to build a plan this winter that is poised for success."

Does it take a genius to figure out why fewer people bought tickets?

Longhorn Mailbag

Is Texas still the frontrunner to play Nebraska for the Big 12 title?
– Josh, San Antonio

Sure. Especially if the Longhorns can finagle Pac-10 referees for the Oklahoma game. The big test for UT is still going to be back-to-back trips to Nebraska and Texas Tech in October. If the Longhorns can at least split those games, they can probably book Kansas City.

That said, we're not sure Nebraska is a mortal lock to meet the Longhorns there. Almost everyone in the Big 12 North has a shot to win the division. Everybody's a frontrunner. Except Colorado, which at this point wouldn't even be the frontrunner in the Big Sky.

When does Major Applewhite take over as Tampa Bay's quarterback?
– Bret, El Paso

Easy now. Chris Simms is due for a big, breakout game someday soon. When do the Buccaneers play Baylor?

Aggie Mailbag

I was wondering when someone was going to go to him, and it finally happened: Bob Knight was asked about what he thought of Duck/Sooner

On Jan.20, 2003, the Sooners won 69-64 in overtime after two clock controversies in the final seconds of regulation. The clock paused for about a second at the 6.7-second mark even though play continued. After a foul call stopped it legitimately at 0:04.5, it was an estimated half-second late starting on the inbounds play, enabling Oklahoma to get off the tying shot.

Knight call for the Sooners to forfeit, but to no avail.

"Maybe now those people at Oklahoma understand what I was talking about," he told The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. "Had Oklahoma forfeited that game against us like I suggested, they would have gotten far more positive publicity out of that than if they had gone to the Final Four that year. Now I guess the 'duck' is swimming in the other pond."

After two blown calls went against Oklahoma in its 34-33 loss to Oregon on Saturday, school President David Boren asked Big 12 Conference commissioner Kevin Weiberg to pursue having the game stricken from the record book. Weiberg said it would stand.

In other Sooner news, a fan of justice emailed me that controversial call from the UAB game that could have led to a major upset in Norman in week 1. Of course, the outrage from the North was not heard on this play, but please review:

So, I guess blown calls occasionally benefit your team, too, Sooner. That is why on this blog I always say, “The Calls even out”.

Email from Sooner:

Victory is yours Bob Sturm.

I promised (after last football season) that I wouldn't be drawn offsides by your swigging of the Sooner hatorade. But I'm back like a miserable mutt asking to be kicked again (expecting my "thanks for listening chump" response directly).

I can admit that the Sooner nation has a large share of ignorant, redneck fans that've never set foot on a college campus. I've been embarrased many times at road games by other Sooner road warriors. But having been to road games in every Big 12 South city, OU/TX and varous bowl games I can say that it's the same thing in Lubbock and College Station (and the cotton bowl is notoriously out of control), etc.

But to the point; I admit that Boren asking for the records to be changed is rediculous. I completely agree that (alleged) death threats to a referree is way over the line. I agree with you on these points.

Likewise I would very much like for Bob to just consider the possibility that last weekend's game was so far from a run-of-the-mill 'bad call'. This really is akin to the 5th down incedent. I don't even see how anybody can disagree (I mean you know it's bad when legions of Longhorn fans are weighing in on the side of Sooners).

Let's get beyond the onside kick which you can't even deny was a bad call twice (OU recovered the ball!) But the Ducks don't even score that go ahead touchdown if the refs don't call pass interference on the tipped ball. Even you can't deny that Bob.

And there it is. This is what's driving me crazy. In Bob's zeal to kick all his Sooner listeners while we're down, he harps on the yards put up against OU's defence. Never mind that OU's defensive troubles were the big story going into the game. Never mind that Oregon's defence was also terrible or that OUs offence played very well.

And now Bob is all about "but they still had to score a touchdown". Enter the refs and ANOTHER bad call. On top of the phantom illegal formation (that cost OU a legit touchdown), on top of the onside debacle. Then add in the tipped ball/pass interference which put the Ducks in the red zone. And finally during the blocked field goal, Ducks were standing on each other! That's not legal in college football either but at that point the rules really didn't matter anymore. That officaiating crew did everything in their power to ensure the Ducks victory.

Sure you're going to discount what I say because I'm a Sooner but do you think it would be any different if it were UT or A&M? It would be worse and I think you know it. And I'm trying to just get plast last weekend myself but Bob keeps rubbing salt in the wound.

And sure I admit that I'm too emotionally wrapped up in college football. I can admit that. After this week-long dog pile I'm a little disappointed that sports-bully-Bob can't see past his obvious dislike for the OU program and see that this is so far beyond bitching about one (so obviously bad) call. What's the point of playing organized sports if rules are interpreted differently for each team?

It's like saying "if the scoreboard says you lost, you lost" but is that true if the score keeper can't count?

Anyway I doubt this even gets read but in the narrow event that it does; Bob, man, myself and many like me have been loyal listeners for a long time (I used to call your night time show for frigs sake). I'm not asking you to pick up a crimson pom pom (far from it) but could you just ease off the hate a little? If this has happend to the Aggies, Horns, Frogs, Mustangs, Cowboys, or any team in the area besides OU you would take a different stance on this game. Do you deny it?

Yeah probably. Of course had this exact same thing happened to the Packers or somebody Bob gives a shite about we'd likely be hearing why it's the biggest travesty in sports history.

Young Andrew in Fort Worth.

My Response:

I disagree about your conclusion, brother- No one was cheering harder for the Mavericks than me. But you did not hear me cry one time in the NBA Finals about all of the shite calls for D-Wade, did you?

I make it my mission in life to not blame the refs. I am just trying to be consistent. But, I will admit, the Sooner has annoyed me in the past. That being said, I still think the refs do not decide games. Players do. Even when Refs really screw up. And they did this time.

Youtube to leave you:

The New Elmo 1:14


DrewJ said...

In response to the Sooner email, A&M doesn't have ignorant non-student fans. We ran all of those off with years of losing.

Now ignorant student/alumni fans....

Anonymous said...

Young Andrew,

Don't sit there and say that Bob's attitude would be different if it happened to a team he roots for, when OU's attitude would be different if it was Oregon that got hosed.

If the roles were reversed, OU would have cleared the field, jumped on the plane in 2 minutes and giggled all the way back to Norman.

It's true that one basketball game is different than one football game, but Bob Knight's point is perfect. When OU got the benefit of horrible clock management, their attitude was "sucks to be you." Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they're suddenly the most mistreated fan base on earth.

Joe the policman from the whats going down episode of "Thats My Momma" said...

a comment from a Sooner:
I dont care about the referees, I want a defensive coordinator who knows what he is doing. Things have been slowly going downhill since Mike Stoops left.
And someone needs to tell President Boren to stop raising the tuition every year.

Sturm, you are still my leader.

Brandon at GSR said...

Bob Knight openly accused OU of cheating and demanded they forfeit the game.

David Boren didn't even go that far.

Now can we move on from this? Bob insists he's beaten down by this. Yet, he keeps dredging it back up.

Anonymous said...

Give it up for Mr. Randy Watson.

Give yo self a hand.

Brandon at GSR said...

What Joe said.

Brandon at GSR said...

Also, we enter Week 2 of the Chase which, unlike last year, includes Bob's favorite driver and my favorite driver, Jeff Gordon.

Somehow, this little sports item (if you consider NASCAR a sport) has flown under the Sports Bully's radar.

Can the 24 make it five titles this year?

Can his teammate in the 48 bounce back from a terrible wreck at New Hampshire?

Who will get eaten by the Monster Mile this week?

eric in keller said...

Young Andrew, I'm not sure how you can say that Oregon wouldn't have scored if the PI call hadn't been made. What exactly did you see in OU's defense that led you to this conclusion?

Also, I keep hearing Sooners talk about the "phantom illigal formation" call. Just because you don't know the rules doesn't make it phantom. It was a legit call....get over it. And the Oregon players were not standing on each other to block the kick. Good Lord, you wonder why Bob equates you guys with Spurs fans.

Anonymous said...

maybe its just me but I think I keep hearing a broken record. Are we allowed to move on yet??


Brandon at GSR said...

Hate to say it,

But Young Andrew could have acquitted himself better. Especially on the illegal formation call.

So here's a lesson my friend.

The guards on either side cannot be left uncovered. That is, either a tight end needs to line up right next to them on the outside or the wide receiver needs to be right up on the line of scrimmage.

On the TD that was called back, the left guard was left uncovered because he did not have a tight end to his outside and the WR that was lined up was a yard off the line of scrimmage.

In other words, it was an easy call for the refs to make and one of many mistakes the Sooners made that day.

I've seen many a last second field attempt in my day as a football fan. One thing I can say is the refs grant the defense the same kind of latitude that basketball refs usually grant to the defense on a last second shot in a game (save for Game 5 of the NBA Finals). I've only seen the defense get called for a penalty once in my lifetime in that kind of a situation.

Anonymous said...

Ricky Bobby!!!

Nascar is such a cartoon.

Brandon at GSR said...

"maybe its just me but I think I keep hearing a broken record. Are we allowed to move on yet??"

Only when Bob tells us it's OK.

He's our leader you know.

Fake Sturm said...

Wheres sooner mailbag Bob, huh, you homer?
Dang man, this is BS.

p1dean said...

Football, blah, blah....what about that Elmo?!? That's freakin' hilarious!!

This whole blown call BS illustrates what is wrong with college's all about money. College sports is pro sports, with cheap labor. If the whole thing wasn't about getting a bowl bid and bringing in the money, then I guarantee you that Oregon would have done the right thing and refused to accept a ill-gotten victory. (just like Oklahoma would've with the the Tech basketball thing).'s win at any cost and screw the idea of teaching character. It makes me SICK when these coaches get on their high horses and talk about how they deserve more respect because they're "changing lives" and "teaching values" and all that crap. They're teaching love of money and love of winning...nothing else. F'em all.


Matt in Valley Ranch said...

My Sports Highlight of the Weekend:

Man U going into Madejski to take on Reading. Go Royals!

(probably the biggest Reading fan in the city... probably the only Reading fan in the city)

Brad said...

Thanks for the hockey Bob.

Some people care.

Some of us were not born in Texas

Some of us did not "get here as fast as we could"

Im so tired of people talking about college football....

Fake Sturm said...

Yeah Dean...I'm sure if it were the pros, the team would have refused the "ill-gotten" victory. Moron

Brandon at GSR said...

Something Fake Sturm and I can agree on.

I'm 30 years old. I have yet to see a team willingly surrender a win because it benefited from a bad call.

It has nothing to do with money or an insatiable greed to win at all costs. It's because it's not their fault the bad call was made.

p1dean said...

That's my point, assmunch...the pros are's all about the money there (unless you're taking the role-model approach), but these college coaches are constantly trying to brag about what an important duty they have to mold these kids, blah, blah, blah....when in reality all they're doing is trying to make the school money so they can justify their own contracts.

I'm just tired of the double standard...Either admit that College Sports is about money and TV and everything else (which would be fine), or actually start proving that you give a damn about character...and that getting a "W" isn't always the most important thing.

sorry about the assmunch thing Fake Sturm...I enjoy your comments on the blog.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, new elmo is the creepiest thing I've ever seen. That thing could take over the world one day, I am thoroughly convinced.

Brandon at GSR said...

Coming soon to a Mickey D's near you.

Breakfast All Day

Mulv said...

yes, Go Royals!
please break the fake ronaldo's leg

Anonymous said...

Hockey is soccer with worse athletes.

Anonymous said...

[whistle] trying to draw Bob offside...

RBC said...

Hockey and Soccer have one other thing in common, they're both boring as hell. Now, on to more college football talk...

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

I'm pretty sure I cheared for the Mavericks harder than you did...just sayin'.

Dear Sooner,

Please flush your tampon and move on already.

Brad said...

They say that your parents political party is a 80% correct indicator of what your party of choice will be.

I fear the same is true with sports.

Just because your ignorant southern parents didnt encourage you to watch or play hockey or soccer doesnt mean you have to be so obtuse as to say these are "boring sports"

Hockey is anything but boring.

I love football just saying. You want to jump on the boring sports dogpile... see baseball and nascar.


TheDude said...

Bob, nice touch with the length of time on the YouTube videos. As the officially designated rule-creator of the blog, I give my Stamp of Approval. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

That train is never late. The "I'm a smarter sports fan than you because I like soccer." I've never heard hockey lumped into that argument before though.

Facts are facts. Hockey and Soccer lag behind the big three.

I used to like hockey quite a bit but it's been "pussified". Too many swedes and finns for my taste. I just don't give a crap what Janni van Oeriegfag does or doesn't do.

I can watch soccer but unless it's a premier league or world cup game, I couldn't care less. Anybody who cares about soccer at all knows that what the MSL throws out there sucks ball.

Oh and Nascar is most definitely NOT a sport.

Anonymous said...

"Dear Sooner,
Please flush your tampon and move on already."

oooooooohhhh. You told them.

Rick Bentley said...

Angriest. Blog. Ever.

Anonymous said...

"....and Brad stepped on the balllll."

jolly good bit of fun I say.

Brad said...

"Oh and Nascar is most definitely NOT a sport."

At least we can agree on something.

"Facts are facts. Hockey and Soccer lag behind the big three."

That I disagree with. You should prefaced it with "in this particular country." Which by the way is only 1 out of 193 contries.

I'd wager that there are more kids playing hockey around the world than there are playing basketball.

And Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Period. end of arguement there.

So to sit here and say things like that is insulting to all those people who love those sports. Are you saying that they're all ignorant?

Your MLS point is well taken. That's not quality soccer....

Cheers. it's friday

Brandon at GSR said...

I've never understood why people feel the need to bash sports that are followed by a small group of diehard fans. I guess it's to legitimize their favorite sports.

To each their own, dammit.

I like the big 3 sports.

I also like hockey and NASCAR. I don't care if you think it's a sport or not.

I like it. You don't have to like it.

It is Friday.

And I go home in about two hours.

Anonymous said...

I didn't bash any sport.

Soccer has better athletes than hockey. Disagree?

I don't care for hockey anymore. I explained my reason for not liking it. Not bashing the sport. Play on boys, eh?

I will bash Nascar it is not a sport.

p1dean said...

You people are silly. Brandon at GSR is reason to hate! There's enough room (and channels) for everyone's sport.

Lighten up people...just because someone (or maybe the majority of the world) doesn't agree with you, doesn't make your sport gay. I think we all agree that the only gay sport is Sooner football.


cracker1743 said...

I'm laying 10 to 1 Bob keeps baiting Sooner on Monday. But God, I hope I'm wrong. What a beating. Can't we just get back to the name calling? Moron? Assmunch? What else can we call Sports Sturm?

I bojangle for no man.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure he will.

Because as we all know, they're the only A-holes around here.

The people bashing Sooner are classy.

So stay classy Sooner basher.

Wes Mantooth said...

In German, Sooner means "a whales vagina."

Anonymous said...

And in Portugese, "Longhorn fan" means "dickhead"

Anonymous said...

How are you liking that Chris Young trade right about now?!?

Wes Mantooth said...

Some touch sooner anon never saw the greatness that is Anchorman.

The "stay classy" referenced followed by the "whales vagina" reference are all Anchorman.

Nobody even brought up the Longhorns.

Anonymous said...

Who said I was a Sooner?

I'm actually fairly neutral when it comes to Big 12 teams. I just have a bias against Longhorns because...well...most of the ones I know are A-Holes.

Including you, Wes.

Anonymous said...

"You're an a-hole."
"No, you're an a-hole."
"You're an a-hole times infinity."
"You're an a-hole times infinity + one."

You guys are acting like a bunch of jackoffs. Sooner lost. OK. Soonder got screwed. OK. Soccer rules. OK. Soccer blows. OK. This blog is damn near unenjoyable now.

Anonymous said...

Blame Sturm, who seems to be doing a little more than swigging from Sooner Haterade. He's chugging it down by the keg.

And the Horn fans, most of whom show no willingness whatsoever to debate anything on here in a rational and civil manner. That National Championship that they won has made them damn near insufferable.

dallas gooner said...

nice 3-0 wins by liverpool and, let's hope reading pulls off a miracle here against man-u

Wes Mantooth said...

We're all having fun here, no?

Rick Bentley said...

The National Championship the Sooners won 5 years ago, combined with the mullets, general lack of social grace and poor hygiene has made them insufferable for quite a while. If you're an OU fan, there is only 2 outcomes of a game: A) Win; B) "Man, we just got totally screwed!!!!! By the way, I don't even know where Norman is. Let's go get cranked up on meth!!!!"

Robert Bentley said...

1:47 is right. Blame Sturm. He's trying to turn us all against each other!! And I! Won't! Let hiiiiiiiim!

Brandon at GSR said...

BTW Horn fans, tough breaks for Brian Robison and Selvin Young today. Especially since Robison was the victim of a leg whip on the play and Young has had more than his fair share of injury problems from two years ago.

Two weeks from today, the best rivalry in college football gets renewed. I can't wait.

"If you're an OU fan, there is only 2 outcomes of a game"

I hate to play the role of grammar nazi. But if you're going to knock white trailer trash Sooner...

Anonymous said...

ABC/ESPN sucks. Nice job of not televising the entire 4th quarter of the UT game today. God I wish FOX or somebody else would get the entire college football TV contract away from those idiots.

Brandon at GSR said...

Anon at 11:24,

I guess from now on, ABC should tack on an extra hour in the timeslot reserved for televising college football in the off-chance that a lightning storm will delay the game.

It's not like you missed anything.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a damn if we missed anything or not. When an MLB game gets delayed by rain, they always rejoin the game when the delay is over. College or pro football should be no different. I can only imagine the reaction you'd hear if they ever did that during a Cowboys game and failed to show the 4th quarter.

ABCs football coverage has definitely taken a step down this year and the game in Austin yesterday was just another example. Imagine if we hadn't seen the 4th quarter of the Notre Dame game last night!

Brandon at GSR said...

"Who gives a damn if we missed anything or not."

Apparently you do since you won't let this meaningless crap go.

ABC's been televising college football for how long? And how many games can you remember that they didn't show the end because of a weather delay?

BTW, your other examples are irrelevant.

DrewJ said...

I actually can't remember any games being postponed. My folks called me from Austin telling me that the stadium was being evacuated. And then the A&M game was delayed. I couldn't really believe it was happening.

I've sat through some pretty awful and scary weather in the stands before (the 97 Texas @ A&M game comes to mind) and the thought never entered my mind that it was irresponsible to keep players and fans in the stands.

Brandon at GSR said...

BTW, best wishes to Chris Simms and his family. Scary news to hear, indeed.

Here's hoping for a full recovery first and foremost.