Thursday, January 29, 2009

Colonel Link

Last night was a good night. Not only did Villanova win, but Pittsburgh lost. And when Pittsburgh loses, the rest of the world wins. You can quote me on that. It's a Reverend Paul Revere special.

Anyway, the Sixers won as well. So did St. Joe's. And North Carolina. Temple ... not so much. But still, it was a nice little Wednesday. A Wednesday, some might say (me), worthy of some links today.

-So how's that Elton Brand signing working out? Uh, apparently not that good. Rumor has it the Sixers are willing to trade Brand if anyone is interested.

Something tells me that $82 million contract, gimpy knee and, you know, complete failure on the court this season may deter any potential trade partners. Just a guess.

-Seriously, these people have the chance to enjoy a sixth Super Bowl victory? Really?

There is no God. Oh wait, yes there is.

-Apparently, China loves the Mavericks.

-Andrew Bynum fucked up Gerald Wallace last night.

Wallace suffered a broken rib and collapsed lung as a result. Not good.

-My boy Brandon Jennings tops SLAM's point guard draft prospects for 2009.

-Jameer helps Dwight Howard prepare for the dunk contest:

-Oh yeah, Duke lost, and Al-Farouq Aminu did this:

-Yao, meet Andre:

-Awesome buzzer-beater. Oddly, no reactions from the players.

And seriously, Pittsburgh is trash.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What a Way to Go Out

When I got word that Villanova was taking on Pitt at the Spectrum for the last college basketball ever in the building, I jumped all over the chance to get tickets, and boy am I ever glad I did.

First off, I'd like to start out by saying, if ever I had any doubt, my hatred for Pittsburgh is still quite alive and well. For some ungodly reason, the person in charge of hooking Toonces, silver fox and I up for tickets decided to put us in the Pitt section upstairs behind the basket. And let me tell you, Pitt fans are the worst people alive, and one jackass in particular got on our nerves.

I called this "man" twinkle toes because every time Pitt made a basket, this horrendously huge douchebag would stand up, do a little dance that involved flailing his wrists in a very dainty way, and gloat as though it was the game-winning bucket in the National Title game. What. A. Scrote. He was the embodiment of why I hate Pittsburgh, and we completely abused this jokester. At one point, he asked what school we went to, and Toonces told him Penn State. He then told us he never heard of it, as if that was some sort of a mock. Honestly, they're smart out west. They're in Philadelphia, 5 hours away, but they've never heard of Penn State, which is two hours away? Good one.

Anyway, the game started off on the wrong foot. No. 3 Pitt scored the first basket and jumped out to a 19-9 lead. Needless to say, it was infuriating in our section, being surrounded by the inbred scum from that horrid, horrid city. Scottie Reynolds was playing like he has the past few games, which is to say, not very well. He was awful.

Thankfully, Reggie Redding, Corey Fisher and Dante Cunningham picked up the slack, and Nova fought back to make a game of it. When the Wildcats took their first lead late in the first half, the place was going nuts. It was a great atmosphere.

And then in the second, Nova came to play for real. In a back and forth battle, Dante asserted himself, coming up with two huge, insane blocks in the first and then getting DeJuan Blair and the rest of the Panthers in foul trouble early in the second.

Dante was a beast, but Pitt hung tough. Lavance Fields and Sam Young kept the Panthers in it, and our aggravation with the Pittsburgh fans continued. Then, Scottie Reynolds decided to show up. He hit a big three, then another and really started to play under control. After making terrible decisions forcing the issue in the first, he slowed things down and took care of the ball. As a result, Nova looked more competent on offense and more in control. And Redding, who had a very good first half, continued his fine play in the second, providing a strong lift with Reynolds in the second half.

In the closing minutes, Villanova really amped up the D and shut down Pitt to pull out the 67-57 upset. And while Dante was the most dominant player on the floor and Redding the most consistent, Dwayne Anderson and Shane Clark were the unsung heroes of the game. Anderson, I shit you not, came out at the halftime shootaround and just stood at the three-point line, behind the pro line, and didn't miss a single shot. Then, when called upon early in the second, he buried a three that really swung the momentum. He played his usual strong defense and really was integral in the win.

And Shane was simply a rebounding machine, especially in the second half. The lanky senior was crashing the boards hard, coming up with a few huge offensive rebounds, giving Villanova precious extra possessions.

After struggling to hit their free throws throughout the game, bringing back memories of the loss to Louisville, Nova--specifically Reynolds and Redding--hit their freebies down the stretch and held on for the win. It was desperately needed for Nova, who sat at 3-3 in the Big East before the victory and had lost all four of its games against ranked opponents. Well, not anymore.

Nova finally got a defining win that hopefully it can build on. But more importantly, they closed college basketball at the Spectrum with a win for Philadelphia. And best of all, it was against those cretins from the retarded side of the state.

I truly, honestly despise Pittsburgh and everyone in it. Man, that was a satisfying win.

BallHype: hype it up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't Look Andre

Check out some of the top plays in the NBA thus far, highlighted by a nice Allen Iverson pass and Derek Rose completely abusing Andre Miller.

Sorry to do that to you, Andre. That Rose character is nice though.

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Everybody Hits (Late), Woohoo!

Check out this collection of cheap shots and late hits:

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I'd Buy This Poster

Yeah, I guess that Brandon Roy fella is pretty good.

Good God!

But that's not all folks. Check out my recent fantasy pickup, Tyrus Thomas:

I wonder what it feels like to do that.

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Remembering Why I Love Video Games

In my younger days, I was a video game addict, especially when it came to sports video games. In high school, I must spent exponentially more time playing Madden and NBA Live than doing schoolwork or even sleeping. I'd often stay up until 1, 2 or even 3 in morning getting through the long and arduous seasons. And it was glorious.

Yeah, Daunte Culpepper really was on the cover.

Man, Stevie Franchise too? 2002 was an odd year.

Anyway, my video game skills hit an all-time high in college. Day in and day out, I would play hours upon hours of Madden, NBA Live, NHL and MLB. Shit, my roommates and I would play full 162-game seasons in baseball … numerous ones at that. I was a dominant Madden star back in the day, rarely succumbing to any foe. And let me tell you something, Toonces and I cannot be beat in NHL Hitz 2002. We are the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.

Well, once graduation rolled around, my days of playing video games quickly fell by the wayside. I started working a lot more, sleeping more regular hours and becoming a slave to the grind. Video games were quickly phased out of my life. And I missed them. I truly did. But I had lost my touch.

In an attempt a year or so ago to play Madden, a game I used to be nearly invincible at, I was destroyed by a foe I would have considered vastly inferior back in college. But he embarrassed me, and I haven't played video games very often since.

Well, that has all recently changed. With the addition of a new roommate to start the new year, another person wasn't the only thing that moved in. You see, he brought along his Playstation 3, and more importantly, NHL '09.

In the past week, my love of video games has been restored, but I have to admit, I completely suck at them now. NHL '09 is absolutely nothing like the older editions I had grown to love. No, there is no buttons to shoot, the right analog stick controls everything you do with the puck. Let me tell you something, that shit is hard to master. But I'm determined to do just that.

Adam EatShit and I have had some heated games in the past few days, and each game, I seem to gain a little better feeling for the controls. Hopefully, in short time, I'll be back to a dominant force. Right now, I suck. But I can assure you, my already pathetic social life is about to get that much more sad. My addiction is back. Video games have re-entered my life, and I have a feeling they may just take over.

If you've let your love of video games go unfulfilled like I had, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of NHL '09. Mastering the new variation is addictive and insanely fun. Welcome back to my life, video games. I've missed you so very, very much.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Wearing the White Helmet One Last Time

On Saturday, Derrick Williams strapped on his Penn State helmet for the final time in impressive fashion. Williams led everyone with 124 all-purpose yards. Here's the video:

Good luck in the NFL, D-Will. You will be missed.

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Cry, Crybaby

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with what I can only assume is a typical New York Giants fan:

I could watch that all day.

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cameron crazy

thanks to the diligence of these fine journalists on this site derek/cameron wake was revisited after years of neglect. so, without further ado, another journalists' tribute to a basketball player who played penn state football...

"i know you ain't takin no picture of me when i'm with my gir"

"now dammmmmmmn"

"yo, who dis mo' fo' three folks over tryin' to get up in my biznass?"

canadian bacon

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to the Future

Finally, the Sixers have come to senses and are returning to their 1982-83 uniforms.

They're even going back to the old logo.

This is wonderful news.

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Woody Harrelson Ain't Got a Thing on Alex Ruoff

I watched some of West Virginia's huge 75-58 victory at Georgetown last night, and this was definitely the highlight:

Ruoff did all he could to put racist movie titles to rest.

And while Ruoff was playing Woody, Da'Sean Butler played the part of Wesley Snipes, looking good with his game-high 27 points. The Big East, where no one is safe.

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Swagger-Jacking Lendale

Do yourself a favor and watch this debate on who the real "Smash and Dash" are:

I have absolutely nothing to add to that.

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It's Friday, Time to Dance

Seeing as tomorrow night is Phillies Night at the Sixers game, let's give a reminder to romanwarhelmet—With Manny, they are the best in the National League. Or at least right up there with the Cubs—who the World Fucking Champions are:

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This Has to be a Good Sign

Remember this guy?

Well, his high school teammate, Mike Wallace, committed to Penn State. Let's hope Wallace, a cornerback, is tight with his fellow high school defensive teammate, stud linebacker Jelani Jenkins, and can convince Jenkins that State College in December is so much nicer than Gainesville.

Oh, and seriously, go to Black Shoes Diaries and read up on some of the recruits. They're doing a hell of a job keeping up with all of them over there.

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That Wasn't Necessary

I'm not sure if any of you caught the little segment on Comcast's SportsNite about how Elton Brand will be coming off the bench in his return tomorrow. If you did, you may know where this is going. If you didn't, let me just say it was irresponsible journalism at its finest. And guess who was narrating the segment?

Yep, good old Dei Lynam. Well, Ms. Lynam decided to take it upon herself to portray Elton Brand as the ultimate unselfish teammate, taking his soundbites about how he's happy to come off the bench to do anything to help the team.

Then, Dei flashed back to another one of Allen Iverson's infamous interviews, this one from when he was returning from injury and interim coach Chris Ford asked Allen to come off the bench. Iverson rightly questioned Ford's decision:

"A lot of people might look at it like it's a selfish thing or something like that," Iverson said. "Why wouldn't I start? I'm the franchise player here. I don't know any franchise players that come off the bench. I don't know any Olympian that comes off the bench. I don't know any All-Star that comes off the bench. I don't know any former MVP that comes off the bench. I don't know any three-time scoring champion that comes off the bench.

"I don't know any first team All-NBA (player) that comes off the bench. Why Allen Iverson? Why should I come off the bench? ... I think it is an insult to me. Who I am as a player, who I am to this organization, who I've been to this organization, that's an insult to me to come off the bench if I'm a starter."

Then Dei made a snide remark about how maybe Brand isn't as accomplished as Iverson was, but he is a two-time All-Star and still had no problems coming off the bench, unlike the stubborn, selfish (she never said stubborn or selfish, but certainly implied it) Iverson. Well you know what, Dei Lynam—and Comcast for that matter—fuck you. Comparing Allen Iverson and Elton Brand on any level is downright ridiculous.

Iverson is a surefire Hall of Famer, the former face of the franchise and undisputedly the best player on every team he was on in Philadelphia. When Ford was in town, he had no supporting cast around him. And the Sixers weren't winning. They were losing. A lot. So how would sitting your best player improve that exactly?

It wouldn't. Meanwhile, Brand doesn't have nearly the credentials or credibility as Iverson. Brand is a two-time All-Star, true. Well guess what, Tyrone Hill made half as many All-Star appearances. Oh, and Elton Brand has made exactly zero teams he's been on better. When he was with the Bulls, they stunk. And we all know how good the Clippers have been. Lest you forget, Allen Iverson carried a team all the way to the NBA Finals and made the playoffs routinely with Larry Brown manning the sidelines.

Add to the fact that the Sixers, this year, completely sucked with Brand on the court and suddenly have come to life during his absence, and it makes sense to bring him off the bench and ease him into game shape. The team has played better without him. The Sixers weren't playing better without Iverson back then. They were playing worse.

And then, to portray Brand as such a good, nice guy … please. Maybe you should ask Mike Dunleavy just how great of a guy Brand is.

Anyway, I'm not writing this to shit on Elton, although it may seem that way. This is to admonish Dei Lynam and Comcast for taking yet another shot at Iverson, a player who hasn't been a Sixer for a few years now. It was so pathetic and unnecessary. Move on. Remember the good times. And stop digging up old skeletons when there is absolutely no reason to. Comcast and Lynam should be ashamed of themselves.

Also, Duke sucks.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

That Doesn't Seem Fair

I'm not sure if I've ever seen a double alley-oop before.

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Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Last night was not bad. Not bad at all. Two of the three teams I was rooting for won, with the Flyers topping Atlanta 5-3 and North Carolina rolling past Clemson 94-70.

Unfortunately, Villanova lost another close one to a good team, losing 89-83 up in Connecticut.

First off, I'd like to say just how soft my roommates are. I, being a man and all, was all set to watch the Flyers and Villanova at the same time, using the wonderful split screen action on our humongous TV. And I did just that for the first period of the Flyers and the first half of the Nova game. But then my roommates decided "Lost" was more important, forcing me upstairs to my bedroom, flipping back and forth like a caveman. Bullshit.

Well, seeing as the Flyers were up 3-0 thanks to a dominating first period-plus with goals by Scott Hartnell, Darroll Powe and Randy Jones—and some tremendous play by Scottie Upshall—I decided to settle in on the very close Nova-UConn game.

That was one hell of a game. Nova played a tremendous first half, going into the break with a 48-48 tie, even with leading scorer Dante Cunningham saddled on the bench with foul trouble. Corey Fisher and Antonio Pena lead the way in an up-and-down first half. And the game remained close for the first 10 minutes or so of the second half, but then Dante picked up another foul, and UConn made its run.

First off, I'd like to state, A.J. Price is scary good. Last night, he was hands down the best player on the floor. The senior point guard scored a career-high 29 points on a ridiculous 10 of 13 shooting, including 4-6 from three and 5-6 from the line. He and Jerome Dyson completely owned Nova, doing whatever they pleased.

The play that really seemed to turn things around was when Nova threw an ill-advised pass that Dyson intercepted with a clear path to the basket. He raced to the hoop with Corey Stokes trailing, thundered home a dunk and was pushed slightly in the back by Stokes for the intentional foul. Two points and two at the line. That's where the game turned.

Cunningham fouled out early, but his absence was negated by an ineffective Hasheem Thabeet, who also wound up fouling out. Nova looked like they were dead when suddenly, unexpectedly, they got a spark from Reggie Redding, who had a tremendous second half. Nova fought all the way back to make a game of it, but in the end, UConn was too much for Villanova.

So once again, Villanova played a good team, and once again, they lost. Nova is now 0-4 against the four good teams they've played. Not good. And speaking of not good, Scottie Reynolds again showed me he just isn't quite the player he should be by now. With Cunningham out, Villanova needed its junior point guard to be the guy. But he wasn't. Reynolds showed no aggression, no desire to take over, even as his counterpart, A.J. Price, was doing exactly that for UConn.

These are the kind of games that a three-year starter is supposed to rise to the challenge, take it upon his shoulders and carry his team. Reynolds did none of that, and he didn't look like he wanted to. At times, Scottie can be the best player on the court. When he's aggressive, assertive and demanding the ball. But too often, that Scottie is nowhere to be found. And again last night, he was absent when the Wildcats needed him the most. Now Villanova is 2-3 in Big East play with quite an uphill battle to climb. Hopefully the good Scottie will resurface before it's too late.

After Nova failed to get a statement win, I flipped back over to the Flyers. The Thrashers had scored while I was away, making it a 3-1 game in the third. And what I saw next was embarrassing. The Flyers seemingly quit playing, allowing Atlanta to score two more to tie it—3 unanswered goals in all—with 9 minutes left in regulation. And I was pissed.

I just watched Villanova lose another game, and now the Flyers were choking away a three-goal lead in their final game before the All-Star break. And just when it seemed like all the momentum was in Atlanta's favor, Mike Knuble came to the rescue.

Knuble stuck with his own shot, banging home the rebound just a little over a minute after the Thrashers tied it to give the Flyers the lead. Then he iced the game with an empty-netter after a few spectacular saves by Antero Niittymaki. The win brought the Flyers within a point of the Rangers and two points of the Devils in the Atlantic, with two games in hand on New York and a game in hand on New Jersey, thanks to the heroics of Knuble.

When the Flyers signed Knuble back in 2004, I thought it was a solid signing, but never thought he'd turn into a go-to type scorer. In his four years as a Flyer, Knuble has seemingly gotten better each and every season, and really, he's been a mainstay on the top line since coming. His presence with Simon Gagne has been a steady duo of speed and size, with Gagne doing the skating and Knuble playing the role of John LeClair, hovering around the net and pounding home rebounds. Say what you want about Bobby Clarke the GM, but the guy hit a home run by signing Knuble. I'm quite happy he's in Philadelphia, especially last night.

After the Flyers held on for dear life to get the win, I watched UNC dismantle No. 9 Clemson, who hasn't won in Chapel Hill ever. And that streak didn't change last night. Things are simple for the Tar Heels: When they play defense, they are nearly unbeatable; when they don't, they can be beaten. Simple as that.

Well last night, they played defense, and Clemson had no chance. None. And while Tyler Hansbrough was Tyler Hansbrough, two players really took this game over: Philly's own Wayne Ellington and speedy point guard Ty Lawson.

Wayne Ellington simply kills Clemson. Last night, Dickie V. said, I believe, that Ellington was averaging 29 points per game against the Tigers in his career. That's pretty insane, and he was on fire again last night, scoring a game-high 25. Somehow Roy Williams needs to find a way to convince Ellington he's playing against Clemson every game.

And as good as Ellington was, Lawson was the catalyst that got things going. His steal and cruise to the bucket for an easy layup early in the game set the tone and knocked the Tigers out. At that point, the game was close, but that got the Tar Heels out and running. They never looked back.

The victory showed once again that if this team defends, they can easily get to the Final Four and potentially win it all. Now they just have to commit to it each and every night.

All in all, not a bad night. Now if someone would just wake Scottie Reynolds up. And convince my roommates to watch "Lost" somewhere else. Then everything would be perfect.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Lights Are Back On

After two nights of worthless sporting events regarding Philadelphians, tonight, Villanova takes on No. 3 UConn, and the Flyers play their final game before the All-Star break.

No, the Flyers won't have Danny Briere tonight, as the center still isn't fully recovered and the Flyers still need to clear some cap space.

As for the Wildcats, they've played three really good teams so far this season … and lost to all three of them. At 14-3, Villanova is ranked in the top 25, but the Cats lost to Texas on a neutral court, at Marquette and at the Wachovia Center against Louisville. And they've beat exactly nobody. A win tonight against 3rd-ranked UConn would go a long way in giving Nova a legit rep.

As the Big East has proven, Nova won't be getting anymore cupcakes to beat up on. A third league loss this early could make it tortuous for the Wildcats come Big East tourney time.

The Nova game will be broadcast on ESPN, and following, North Carolina will take on Clemson. So there's plenty to watch tonight. Enjoy.

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Seriously, Can We Get Chris Cooley?

I like some Brent Celek. I do. He had a great game on Sunday and looks like Chad Lewis reborn. But man, what I wouldn't give to have Chris Cooley in Eagles green. Here's his take on that final Eagles drive:

Kevin Curtis was mauled by Rodderick Hood to end the Eagles season. Coming out of the break Kev's body is flailing while he is falling down, he awkwardly lunges away from Hood's hands which are all over his back trying to drag him to the ground and as he goes to reach for the ball he can't even extend his arms. Other than a quick comment by Aikman about how interference could have been called, little was said and the game ended. All was well and we're celebrating the Cards in the Super Bowl as it's the greatest thing to happen in the NFL.

I understand that officials get a hard time for making calls, but it is a major advantage for a defender to have his hands all over a receiver. Instead of having to honor a receivers ability to run a great route and make a move they sit and wait at a distance they think they can grab the guy and just figure they wont get called.

I guess that until every receiver starts throwing up their hands like Curtis does after this no-call, defenders will keep getting away with this. Check out the video and tell me this is not a blatant pass interference at the 1:10 mark...

Yeah, that sure looks pass interference. And like Troy said, Curtis still could have caught it. Fuck.

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