Monthly Archives: October 2009

Edition 47 “Big Ten Doormat”

So I personally did not get to watch the entire game.  I did catch the highlights and parts when the University of Cincinnati was done dismantling the Syracuse Orangemen.  But I have one major question.  How do you let a team beat you that committed 6 turnovers!?

Iowa’s storybook season continues as they escaped against an abysmal Hoosier football team today.  In the third quarter, Indiana was up by 14 with the ball on the two..rather than scoring and going up 21 the ball was taken the other way for a pick 6.  I am just mystified at how Indiana continues to struggle and stay at the bottom of the Big Ten in football every year.  Eventually they will rise up and students will attend the games rather than staying outside the stadium and tailgating until the 4th quarter every game.

I realize that Btown is a big party school.  But when are they going to get good at football?  I know the basketball team will surprise some people this year and be a thousand times better than last year.  But eventually will the football team catch on?

This Iowa team definitely has some guts and destiny seems to be on their side.  They remind me of another Big Ten team that won the National Title 7 years ago.  That team, who plays out of the Horseshoe, seemed to come back and win ugly every week.  But they got the job done and completed a perfect undefeated season including a thrilling overtime upset of the heavily favored Miami Hurricanes.

So what if Iowa has been down in the 4th quarter in 4 of their 9 games this year.  The only number that matters is those 9 victories.  My honest opinion, this is a strong Iowa team, but their clock strikes midnight when they take on the Buckeyes in the Horseshoe November 14th.  Sorry Hawkeyes.  Continue to enjoy this magical season but committing 6 turnovers at home against the lowly Hoosiers is not a good sign.

Iowa escapes this week.  They will escape next week against Northwestern.  Then they will be defeated by Pryor and the Buckeyes come the 14th.  Another unbeaten will go down..

So my question for you.  When did the Big Ten stop becoming a powerhouse at football or even basketball for that matter?  And when will they rise up again if ever?  Please give me more insight than all the speed that the recruits from the Southern schools get.  There is more to it than raw speed of players..

Stay tuned for Edition 48.



Edition 46 “Give the Pistol his due!”

So in Andre Agassi’s new autobiography, the tennis megastar comes clean on taking crystal meth during 1997, the low point of his career.  All I have to say is, I am not surprised at all.  This will not tarnish his legacy or take anything away from his career and his 8 grand slams..if anything it may make fans like him more sadly..

I mean think about what Agassi was like as a pro.  He once sported the ridiculous long hair.  He once refused to wear white at Wimbledon and skipped the biggest tournament in the world.  He had some inconsistency midway through his career and dramatically dropped in the rankings.  Then all the sudden, he shaved his head, got married and became a good family man?

Honestly, I have never understood the infatuation with Andre Agassi.  Most people who do not really understand the game of tennis love Agassi because they love his entertainment value.  They love the old antics he used to pull on and off the court and his many women.  From somebody who really follows tennis, sure the man completed some amazing feats in his career, but he should not even be put on the same playing field as Pete Sampras who recently defeated Agassi again in another charity exhibition match.

Sampras had it all.  He was clean on and off the court.  He won at the time a record 14 grand slam titles.  He was number 1 for 6 consecutive years.  He was the model of consistency who almost always checked his emotions, minus the time his coach passed.  It is Sampras who deserved all the hype and hoopla.  Not only did he have a much better career than Agassi from a raw winning perspective, he also always showed a very modest, and reserved demeanor and handled the glory in stride.  He never was flamboyant or ostentatious.  Sampras acted as a great tennis champion in my eyes should act.

I guess Agassi just has that likeability factor that Sampras may have been lacking.  Either way, Pistol Pete should have been a overwelming fan favorite over Agassi all along and Agassi’s use of crystal meth does not surprise me one bit.  Remember the man slipped to #141 in the rankings in 1997..he was a model of inconsistency at times.

So please do not applaud Agassi for coming out about this.  People should just be neutral and think nothing of it.  Now Agassi was one of the best tennis players of our generation, but he definitely should not be thought of as an emblem of this past generation of tennis..that my friends is the Pistol Pete Sampras..please give Pete his due for once..

Stay tuned for Edition 47.


Edition 45 “October Fun”

What a time of year the end of October is.  College Football and the NFL are both in full effect.  The MLB playoffs are at the final Series.  The NBA season has tipped off.    College basketball scrimmages are going on as the teams prep for their first games in November.  The NHL is twenty games in.  I mean really, as a sports fan, what else could you want? 

The hardest part of this time of the year can at times be deciding what to watch.  So how do you decide on what to watch?  There are definitely going to be conflicts.  Well really it just comes down to simply prioritizing.  Here is the Kraze method on how to determine what to watch in late October:

1.  Throw out the NHL right away.  Though it can be very entertaining, the majority of the regular season, unless you are a die-hard fan, just goes on with too much else taking place that is important.  So the NHL goes at the bottom of the list right away.

2.  College basketball scrimmages are fun, but they cannot be watched on television.  So this eliminates them immediately.

3.  Though the glamour and lights of the NBA are awesome, it is a long season that will have the playoffs going on in June.  So be patient to watch the Kobe and Lebron show.  This is destined to be an awesome season in the NBA as all the top teams got stronger.

3.  This is where things start getting tough.  College Football has gotten to the point where the BCS standings have been going on for a couple of weeks and the National Title race is really heating up.  The NFL is nearly halfway through their season.  And obviously the MLB, is down to the Fall Classic.  So really the way I look at it is, if your team for College Football is not playing, then definitely watch the World Series.  Same goes for the NFL.

4.  The World Series is the culmination of a grueling 6 month season and nearly month-long postseason.  These guys are playing for their lives and struggling through the cold in cities like New York and Philadelphia.  Now many say well baseball games take too long.  College Football games and NFL games go just as long ranging from 3 to 4 hours.  So thumbs up to watching the World Series over anything else, unless your favorite College Football team or NFL team is playing.  And even if these teams are playing, if they are out of contention already, put on the fall classic.  It is sure to be phenomenal series.

I mean really, what could be better than watching a game go to the bottom of the 9th, two outs, with Derek Jeter up having a chance to win the game for the Yankees in the new Yankee stadium?

So enjoy the October fun..

Stay tuned for Edition 46.




Edition 44 “The Most Competitive League?”

So yesterday was just another typical week on the 17 week NFL schedule.  Except there were some dominating performances and some abysmal performances put on.  I do not have direct facts on this, but there seemed to be more lopsided games yesterday, than in any week that I can remember.  Lets run through these:

Bengals thrash the Bears 45-10..Cowboys whoop the Falcons 37-21..Jets fly over the Raiders 38-0..Packers mollywopped the Brown 31-3..Chargers obliterate the Chiefs 37-7..Colts Peyton Manning the Rams 42-6..Patriots destroy the Buccaneers 35-7..and the Eagles looked be on their way to another very lopsided game with a 17-0 lead over the Skins..

I thought this was a League built on parity and hotly contested games each week?  Yesterday did not live up to the supposed most competitive professional sports league.  Teams just got slaughtered and TKO’d.  Going into yesterday, I was one of those people who really thought the NFL was the league with the most parity.  Each week you could count on most of the games to be decided by 10 or less points.

Maybe they should start calling the League, the most competitive league “sometimes.”  Now I am not saying the NFL is not full of parity.  I mean look at teams like the Cardinals, the Jets, and Dolphins who came out of nowhere last year to have solid seasons.  But it appears some teams did not prepare for yesterday while others overprepared and boy did it show..

Hopefully next week the teams will all come ready to play and we will be able to watch some nail biters.  I am hoping this was just an off week for the League.  Live up to your name NFL, the most unpredictable professional sports league in the world..

Stay tuned for Edition 45.


Edition 43 “All is Right”

The Yankees finally closed out the Angels tonight in an entertaining game 6.  It is hard to believe that it has been 6 years since the Yankees last played in the Series.  Ironically, they were defeated in that Championship by the low salaried Marlins.

This year the average Yankee raked in a salary of 7 million.  The average Marlin brought in a salary of 700 thousand.  So all is right.  The Yankees are playing in the Series and the Marlins are at home preparing for next year.

Andy Pettite stands alone now with 16 career postseason victories and 5 series clinchers.  He pitched outstanding and showed why the Yankees brought him back. Also congratulations to Alex Rodriguez.  You have had a phenomenal 16 year career and it is great to see you finally playing and thriving late in October.   The Yankees really do look primed to win their 27th World Championship and first since 2000. 

It will not be easy though.  The Phillies are a very strong team with solid pitching and hitting.  They are the defending champs for a reason and will definitely make this a great World Series.  But realize the Yankees have home field advantage and are perfect this postseason at home and 18 and 4 in their last 22 at home.

Prediction:  I am going with the Yankees to defeat the defending champion Phillies in 6 games.  It should be a great World Series with hotly contested games and very cold weather.

The Pinstripes are back in the Classic for their 40th time..some things never change and all is right in the MLB again..whether you love or hate the Yankees, you expect them to be playing late in October..

Stay tuned for Edition 44.


Edition 42 “Redemption”

What else is there to say about the Bengals amazing performance today?  I think the commentators today used every superlative possible.  So I am going to keep this short and sweet.  The Bengals offense and defense looked unbelievable today.  Carson looked like the Carson pre knee injury.  Chad OchoCinco kept up his amazing play.  Cedric Benson ran like a machine and looked like the League’s rushing leader.  Marvin Lewis once again proved that he should have spent his entire coaching career in the NFC North as he moved to 6 and 0 against NFC North foes..

But hats off to Mr. Benson.  You got  your revenge on the team that cut you.  And you got them where it hurt the most.  You took care of business on the field..Anyone ever looking for revenge take care of it the way that Mr. Benson did today.  He ran hard and got the job done having the best game of his career.

Why can’t the Bengals play like this every week?  Well okay maybe they will not be able to repeat this performance every week.  But the play calling today on offense seemed more suited for this team.  The Bengals spread the field and really mixed the run and pass perfectly.  So for once I will say good job Bratkowski.  You let Carson and the boys look like the vaunted offensive attack that they should have been for the past 3 years..

So hold your heads up high heading into the Bye Week Who Deys..the Ravens and Steelers will be waiting when you come back..meanwhile the Bengals are atop the AFC North at 5 and 2..did anybody predict that to be the case at the end of week 7?

Stay tuned for Edition 43 coming soon.


Edition 41 “Thugs R Us”

Now I know that most people take no interest in watching preseason basketball, but with no big baseball or major football games on tonight, I took a peek at the Lakers vs Nuggets preseason game.  A rematch of the Western Conference Championship from this past season.  Two very talented teams that will be in the thick of it again this year.

Anyways, in the middle of the 2nd Quarter, Lamar Odom and Chris Anderson picked up a double technical.  Things were getting physical in the paint as Anderson continued to jabber at Odom and get under his skin..well he did.  Lamar shoved him and the madness ensued with Kenyon Martin, a tough guy in his own right breaking things up.

Watching the one they call the “Birdman” tonight made me realize that he has almost no talent.  He has gotten into the League on his raw work ethic and outstanding shot blocking ability.  But there is an intangible that he possesses that will keep him in the League for years to come barring any mishaps off the court.  And it is not his ability to get kicked out of the league for taking banned substances, though he has succeeded in this before.  He is a master of getting under people’s skin. Chris is a master trash talker.  This is what he does on a nightly basis.

I really feel George Karl only keeps the Birdman around to get under the skin of the opposing team’s power forward or center.  How would you like to have your role on a team be inciting frustration from your opponents.  Anderson spends the whole time while he is on the floor jabbering, talking trash, playing with way too much physicality, and smiling.  He loves being the bad guy and embraces this role.  He also looks the part with his mohawk, headband, and body full of tattoos.

Well frankly, I think this is a joke.  The Birdman makes 3.7 million a year to pick up fouls, block shots, and goad opponents into technical fouls.  One of his famous lines has been, “Its time for the Birdman to fly.”  You know it is time for the Birdman to fly.  Fly out of the League…

Stay tuned for edition 42.


Edition 40 “This isn’t Aerospace Engineering Joe”

The Yankees once again failed to clinch a birth in the World Series last evening in a 7 to 6 loss to the Angels.  Time and time again Joe Girardi has over thought situations and not gone with his gut.  Well he is at it again..

There has been talk of possibly reshuffling the pitching rotation to make sure CC is ready to pitch game one in the Series.  Mr. Girardi, you have to get to the World Series first my friend.  Nothing will be given to you by a tough, never say die, Angels team.  Do you remember what happened in 04 against the Sox?  Lets not have a similar breakdown this time around.  This Yankees team has been too dominant all year not to play in the World Series.

But micromanaging has become a reoccurring theme around the league it seems like in today’s day and age.  I wonder why games take so long..maybe it could be because managers bring in 4 or 5 pitchers every game.  The simple math of it is, managers who do not over think situations commonly win.  Prime example in Joe Torre.  The man has won consistently for the past 13 years by keeping it simple.  Managers who keep it simple show confidence in their players which rubs off on how they respect their managers and generally how they perform on the diamond.

So Mr. Girardi, take a chill pill, and let Andy Pettite do what he has been doing his whole career.  He has the most playoff wins for a reason.  Well let him get number 16 and send the Yankees back to the promise land. 

On another note, the ultimate micromanager himself, Tony Larussa is having doubts about his return to the Cardinals.  Tony consistently overthinks situations and is doing the same now.  He is debating whether the fire is still there.  Either it is or it isn’t.  There is not to much to think about Tony.

Girardi needs to take some notes out of Joe Torre’s book and just let his guys play and not turn this into aerospace engineering.  Just keep it simple..

Stay tuned for Edition 41


Edition 39 “Let the Kids Play”

So who is sick of hearing about blue chip college basketball players with eligibility questions?  The most recent cases are regarding Renardo Sidney and John Wall.  I am frankly sick and tired of it.  The kid broke amateurism rules by taking money so now we are not sure if he is allowed to play college ball..even though it was the people around him, a kid, who got him into trouble..

Give me a break.  Just because the people around these stars see dollar bills and take advantage of them does not get rid of the fact that these high school stars are still just kids.  They do not know all the rules and are just enjoying the fame.  The way I look at it, if an adult steers a kid the wrong way then they should be penalized.  Do not take the kid’s College Basketball Career away.  I mean it is already ridiculous that a guy like John Wall even has to play a year in college.  Yet that is a completely different topic for another day.  But seriously, he will be there one year, and then he will go to the League.

Thats it, case closed.  Is it John Wall’s fault that his AAU coach was an agent?  He just played on an AAU team with the hope of developing his game to go to the next level.  So let John Wall and Renardo Sidney play.  They are very strong players that will heighten the level of the College Basketball scope this year.  John is a definite one and done and Sidney is probably an eventual NBA player as well.

Just please let the kids play..

Edition 40 is coming soon.


Edition 38 “Money Talks”

The Yankees dominated the Angels tonight behind another strong performance from CC Sabathia and the continued hot bat of Alex Rodriguez.  This teams seems to be clicking on all cylinders and ready to capture title 27.

So what can stop the Yankees?  Well first of all as we learned with the Sox a few years back, no lead in the playoffs is safe.  Also the Phillies are the defending World Champs and look primed to retain their crown.  All I have to say is welcome to October madness.

This postseason has been for the most part drama filled with intense and exciting games.  Well lets keep the tight games coming and prepare for a very cold World Series between the Yanks and Phillies.

But back to the real story of the Yankees postseason.  Arod seems to be swinging for the fences every night and CC has looked like a Cy Young pitcher in each of his starts.  The large contracts the Yankees gave out to these guys are paying great dividends finally.  It is about time Arod, as you are letting your bat do the talking this postseason rather than the press.

So why is Arod swinging such a hot bat this postseason?  Has he finally decided to not let the pressure of playing in New York get to him in October? Is it the weight of no longer dealing with his former wife after the divorce from over a year ago?  Maybe Kate Hudson is providing him with some extra star power.  Either way, the man is playing phenomenal and really leading the Yankees towards that 27th World Championship.

So my question for you is why is Arod playing so great this postseason as a pose to his abysmal past?

Derek, get ready to finally fill a whole hand with that 5th ring.

Stay tuned for Edition 39.