Thursday, February 21, 2008

This and That

Sorry about the absence of bracketology this week, work and AG stuff are eating up a lot of time. I will post something after the weekend.

Ok, I know everybody loves trades, but sometimes the best trade are the ones you don't make. In the last couple of weeks, I think a couple of different western conference contenders have made trades that made them weaker in the short and long run. Phoenix traded fantasy superstar Shawn Marion to Miami for The big aristotle, Shaq. Now I realize that the Suns felt like they had to deal Marion who had been fueding with Amare Stoudamire and was making noise about bolting at the end of the year as a free agent. But Shaq? Even in his prime, Shaq wouldn't have fit the Suns run n' gun style. Now, five years past his prime, he is going to grind them to a halt and make them a team with no discernible identity come the playoffs. This is kinda like a Mike Martz offense taking the best blocking fullback in the draft. The palyer the Suns really could have used was Pau Gasol, whose trade to the Lakers seemed to be the catalyst for the Suns panic move.
-It also seems to me that Dallas gave up just a little too much to get an aging point guard, who has been good, but not great in past playoffs. They gave up their best young PG in Devin Harris, and with Desagna Diop gone, they are mighty thin up front, especially when you consider that the defending champs, San Antonio just got deeper by acquiring Kurt Thomas from Seattle.

-The M basketball team has put on a nice little run, with consecutive wins vs Penn State, @ Iowa and vs OSU. Maybe, just maybe Beilein's system is starting to sink in with his very young team. The schedule is favorable the rest of the way (@Minn, Ill, @ PSU, NW, & Purdue) and it looks like they could get some much need momentum towards recruiting season and towards next year.

-I'm glad to see that the UofM AD has finally decided to honor Jalen Rose for the work he's done with his foundation. It's not quite a jersey retirement ceremony, but it's time we realize that the sins of Mr. Webber shouldn't be visited on all of the Fab Five. Those guys represent an important time in the history of Michigan basketball, and they should be recognized for their contributions to the program. If it were up to me, I would raise a banner that just said "Fab Five" on it. Invite Rose, Howard, King and Jackson back, and tell Webber he can come back when he makes a public apology. Enough time has past, we don't have to be embarassed about their success anymore.

-For any sane Penn State fan, the idea that Joe Paterno has out lasted Fidel Castro has to be soul crushing.

-Interesting stat: Road conference record the last three years:
Michigan 6-17
Michigan State 5-17
Hmmmm. For an "elite" team, MSU sure does lose a lot of games.

-The NBA all-star game just doesn't do it for me. I've heard pundits compare it to the Super Bowl in terms of events surrounding the game. I never even realize what weekend it is until I check my fantasy team the friday night before the game and see that no one has played. Even the slam-dunk contest seems kinda boring after a while.

-Speaking of over-hyped events, I was surprised to find out recently that this year was the 50th running of the Daytona 500. I would have sworn it was older than that. I know that NASCAR has seen a big surge in popularity the last decade or two, but it was around prior the WWII, wasn't it? Maybe if NASCAR is only a little more than a generation or two old, there is still time for it to die down, fade back into obscurity and quite taking valuable time on Sportscenter away from real sports, like hockey.

-I wanted to highlight a great piece of writing by SMQ about the relationship between the Big Ten and the SEC. I don't know how terribly accurate it is, but anyone who can include a bob dylan lyric in a college football post deserves props.

-It amazes me how stupid big time athletes are at times, and how much their ego gets in their way when they are not on the playing field. Roger Clemens will probably be on the outside looking in to Cooperstown, instead of being a first ballot Hall of Famer, because he isn't willing to admit that he used enhancements at a time when many other players (maybe even most) were using them and baseball did nothing to officially discourage them. It's real simple. Americans will forgive almost anything if you tell them the truth. Pete Rose would be in the Hall of Fame now if he had told the truth 20 years ago. Same is likely true for Mark Mcgwire. American history in the 20th century is littered with public figures who have sinned but survived because they confessed their transgressions. If Clemens releases a simple statement when the Mitchell report came out (I did it, I was wrong, I'm sorry I let the fans down), this would be a non-story right now, instead of a televised congressional hearing. The more Clemens denies the story, the more he twists the knife in his own back.