Monday, April 28, 2008

Duke Wins; Somewhere a Fairy Dies

Duke is tops again in the Harris Poll, which ranks the Nation's most popular college basketball programs. In a completely unrelated story my roommate's Duke warmup jersey was stolen and burned last night.

How is this possible? Look at these douchebags from a few years ago.

To be honest, I'm too upset to even think about this anymore. I'm logging off and going to find some more stuff to burn.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dallas Trades Fourth Round Pick in Exchange for Pacman and Lots of Funny Stories to Be Told Later

Pacman Jones is a Cowboy. Elaine Benes may tell you that the previous sentence required an exclamation mark. I disagree. I get that it’s a roll of the dice and could pan out for the Cowboys, but I think regardless of when he is reinstated, he’s not the impact player he’s made out to be. Pacman is a starter on the Luc Richard Mbah Moute All-Star team of players who get incredibly overrated because of their cool names or background stories. A reasonable man might add Dre Bly to that list, but I have a soft spot in my hear for Dre. In high school I used to roll my knee pads up and wear really long dark socks and try to emulate Bly’s tenacious coverage techniques (I only did that when I was playing football, if I did that all the time it would have looked crazy!). I was never more certain that a player was destined for NFL greatness than when I watched Dre Bly in man coverage when he played for UNC. Obviously my eye for talent is infallible, but I digress.

What Dallas really got is a very solid kick/punt returner with ability to play some nickel corner. He won’t play over Terrence Newman or Anthony Henry, and Dallas is still very likely to take a corner in the first round on Saturday. I just read an ESPN poll that 60% of the voters ranked Pacman as one of the top ten corners in the league. Seriously? They can’t think of ten corners better than Pac, so I have to do it for them. Champ Bailey, Terrence Newman, Nmadi Asamugha, Asante Samuel, Nate Clements, Mike McKenzie, Antonio Cromartie, Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Charles Tillman, and Chris McCallister all easily surpass Pacman’s abilities as a corner. I’d even put Anthony Henry, DeAngelo Hall, Dunta Robinson, Rashean Mathis, Ronde Barber and Marcus Trufant as firmly above Pacman. So Pacman is more like one of the top 30 corners in the league, i.e., he is a starting quality corner. As far as sheer corner skill, that's about as generous as I'm willing to be with him. When T.O. smoked him for about 150 yards two years ago, Pac asked T.O. to sign his shoes for him after the game, that's the kind of competitor we're dealing with here. But seriously, what a great nickname!

This is the fifth picture that came up in a Google image search for Dre Bly. Sadly, I've probably done a better job at emulating this guy than I ever did in my endeavors to cover like Dre

I’ve also heard that the strip club scene in Dallas is insane, so there should be an awesome story involving Pacman within a couple of months. Give it time, it’s going to be worth it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 NFL Mock Draft

Unfortunately I am one of those idiots who gets all psyched up about the NFL draft. I watch all the combine stuff, check out all the mock drafts, and last year I even grew my hair out like Mel Kiper, Jr. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know who a bunch of these guys were until after the season ended. Is that going to stop me from prognosticating where they will go and how good they’ll be? Of course not. I’ll guarantee you that at least six of these are dead on.

1. Dolphins – Jake Long, Michigan

Just seems like Jake Long is willing to be the next Parcells guy. I think the Big Tuna wants Vernon Gholston, but knows that he’s not a great value at the top pick. The NFL basically has a value attached to every pick for all seven rounds of the draft. Using that formulation, teams can figure out how much they would have to sacrifice to move from the 20th pick to the 6th pick. What I don’t get is that that system is outdated. Teams seem to value quantity over quality these days, so the idea of giving up a first, second, and a third to move up 15 spots in the first round is just absurd. The Giants gave up what amounted to Philip Rivers, Shawn Merriman, Roman Oben (who started at left tackle for San Diego before they got Marcus McNeil) and some low round pick, for Eli Manning. Obviously, just like when the Pistons won a championship with Darko instead of D. Wade, Melo, or Bosh, you can’t question the end result, but I still think that’s giving up way too much to move up a couple of spots. What Parcells really wants to do here is get Gholston, Long, or Long, and get them for as cheap as possible. So why not trade down to the Raiders spot for like a fourth round pick? It would get them a huge amount of cap relief, allow them to get Gholston, and everyone knows Al Davis wouldn’t be able to resist it, even though it would go against everything the Raiders need to do right now. I think Jake Long becomes the guy. Gholston doesn’t deserve to be the top pick, and Parcells must have doubts about Chris Long’s ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4.

As an aside, Parcells must get so pissed when he’s reminded that the Dolphins spent a top ten pick on Ted Ginn last season. I don’t think Parcells would have okayed drafting him in the third round. I also like that everyone basically operates under the assumption that Parcells is actually coaching the team. Nobody mentions Tony Sparano’s preferences in drafting.

2. Rams – Vernon Gholston, Ohio State

They sound like they want to move to a 3-4 at least part of the time, and Gholston is a prototypical outside backer for a 3-4. He also gives the Rams a pass-rusher, and their defense really needs that. Glenn Dorsey makes sense here, but I guess he makes too much sense, so Gholston becomes the guy.

3. Falcons – Matt Ryan, Boston College

Ryan doesn’t deserve to be the third guy taken, but the Falcons desperately need a new face for the franchise. Ryan is probably the whitest QB in the draft (Chad Henne is next, but he has Chinese character tattoos so Ryan keeps his title as whitest), and Atlanta is the blackest franchise. This might not be the face the fans are looking for. We’ll see.

4. Raiders – Darren McFadden, Arkansas

Does anyone have any doubt that the Raiders will take Run DMC? Even Howie Long’s son can’t stop Al Davis from drafting McFadden.

5. Chiefs – Glenn Dorsey, LSU

I hope the Chiefs are smart enough to do this. I know Dorsey has injury concerns, but he was the most dominant defensive tackle that college football has seen since Warren Sapp. Teams are trying too hard to find reasons not to take Dorsey.

6. Jets – Chris Long, Virginia

Pretty good value for Chris Long here, and the Jets get to make an easy pick, and add a pass-rusher.

7. Patriots – Branden Albert, Virginia

Virginia could have two of the top five picks in the draft, no wonder they were so awesome last season! I think the Patriots will trade out of this pick, and they’ll probably get waaaayyy too much for it. If they stand pat (pun intended) I think they take an offensive lineman, and Branden Albert is the hot name right now. I’m confused that he played guard in college, and was originally projected to be picked in the late teens as a guard, but now teams think he can play left tackle, and it’s rumored he’ll go as high as fifth to play a position he didn’t play in college. Curious.

8. Ravens – Leodis McKelvin, Troy

The Ravens almost always get the best value with their high picks, corner is one of their greatest needs, and McKelvin is considered about as good as there is in this draft class. I really wanted the Cowboys to draft him, but McKelvin just looked too good at the Senior Bowl and Combine to slip that far. I’ll go ahead and officially begin my campaign to have him referred to as “McLovin.” It’s a reference about twenty years too current for Berman to anoint him with that nickname, but hopefully someone steps up to the plate and gets the ball rolling. Think McLovin, people, YES WE CAN!

9. Bengals – Sedrick Ellis, USC

If he’s available, the Bengals will sprint to the podium to land this big lug.

10. Saints – Keith Rivers, USC

Rumored to desire a trade up to secure Dorsey or Ellis. If they can’t pull off that feat, they’ll probably go with Rivers. The secondary is weak, but they can’t just keep sinking money in it. Rivers is considered one of the safest picks in the draft

11. Bills – Devin Thomas, Michigan State

The Bills really need more options on offense, and Thomas was a one year wonder last year with excellent combine numbers.

12. Broncos – Ryan Clady, Boise State

Obligatory reference to zone blocking. Aren’t the offensive line picks always boring? They show those highlights and basically the point of the highlight is that there was no highlight so the O-Line did a good job. They should sub in footage of naked women or clips from Wes Anderson movies (Hotel Chevalier…two birds one stone).

13. Panthers – Derrick Harvey, Florida

Julius Peppers is in a contract year. If Derrick Harvey comes in and can play, the Panthers are going to take out at least one QB this season. Which leaves four to go to break even after last year when they went through Delhomme, Carr, Testaverde, Damon Whiteside, and Matt Moore.

14. Bears – Chris Williams, Vanderbilt

Because last season wasn’t Rex Grossman or Cedric Benson’s fault…maybe.

15. Lions – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, TSU

His combine numbers were just sick, and he’s almost 6’2”. He’s a really intriguing prospect, and his cousin had a decent season last year. I have never seen him play, but I heard that he got beat regularly last year against inferior talent. Maybe he has terrible instincts and he’ll never pan out, but if he can convert the measureables into on-field success, then the Lions will have picked wisely in the first round two years in a row. One more and the planet core explodes.

16. Cardinals – Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois

Edgerrin is getting old, and everyone loves Mendenhall, Detroit and Chicago are threats to take him earlier than this.

17. Chiefs – Brian Brohm, Louisville

If the Vikings trade for Jared Allen, as it appears they will, then they will no longer have such a pressing need for a defensive end...I was assuming that the Vikings were going to keep this year's first round pick, but I was wrong. Brohm could still be such a good find here. He’s probably the most NFL ready of all the QBs (for the Ryan enthusiasts, please note that Matt Ryan threw 19 interceptions last season). I know that the Chiefs have a ton of needs, but when you have two first round picks, you get to play with house money a bit, and why not spend this pick on a QB that probably would have gone in the top five last season, and all he did was come in and have a great year? The run of DEs and top flight tackles is over by here, so the Chiefs should just take the best player available, and that's probably Brohm.

18. Texans – Mike Jenkins, USF

They need help in the secondary, receiver, running back, maybe quarterback (pending injuries), and in the linebacking corps. The defensive line is all set though!

19. Eagles – Jerod Mayo, Tennessee

I just hear so many good things about this guy, and I feel like Andy Reid will dig his heels in and refuse to get a playmaking receiver here. Fortunately, Donovan McNabb will never bring that up later in the season when Eagles can’t move the ball.

20. Buccaneers – DeSean Jackson, Cal

I used to have huge questions about Jackson because of his size (only about 169 pounds). But I’ve read that his route-running is solid, he has good hands, and he’s obviously a very talented returner. He could learn from Gray Beard Galloway, and possibly be a steal. First round receivers have a high bust rate, but with Jackson you know you’re at least getting an outstanding returner.

21. Redskins – Limas Sweed, Texas

They need a receiver that’s bigger than me.

22. Cowboys – Aqib Talib, Kansas

I set this mock up so that Dallas could get Talib. The knock on him is that he smoked weed in college. So have the last two Presidents (and counting). He’s a big-time playmaker who puts pressure on the QB because he’ll go for interceptions. He’ll pay for some of those gambles, but as the nickel corner, that’s certainly something the Cowboys could live with.

23. Steelers – Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh

A steady pick for a franchise that doesn’t like to get too crazy on draft day. The Steelers line was terrible last season, and Otah could help keep Big Ben and Fast Willie in the lineup.

24. Titans – James Hardy, Indiana

I really like Hardy, and I hope Vince Young gets a nice big target like him to improve the Titans pathetic offense. They can’t even move the ball in Madden.

25. Seahawks – Dustin Keller, Purdue

Keller was the ultimate combine warrior. Amongst tight ends he was either first or second in the 40 yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, cone drill and watermelon seed spitting. The Seahawks already signed TJ Duckett and Julius Jones to go with Mo Morris, and they’re still eating Alexander’s salary, so they shouldn’t put any more eggs in the running back basket. I know Alexander is technically still a Seahawk, but by that standard he’s technically still a starting running back in the NFL, and I’m not going to mislead my fine readers.

26. Jaguars – Phillip Merling, Clemson

He’s an enormous defensive end, and the Jaguars like enormous football players. Going back to Madden, Maurice Jones-Drew is the best football player ever in Madden ’08. He’s completely unstoppable. He returns squib kicks for touchdowns, and his little Ewok legs just churn right through any would-be tacklers. It’s mind boggling.

27. Chargers – Kentwan Balmer, UNC

Everyone says Balmer is amazing, and the Chargers are loaded at every position, so they really can just pick the best player available. They’ll probably trade out of this pick to get more picks and someone will take Brohm or Flacco here. If not, then I’ll just roll the dice and say Balmer. I hope he likes steroids.

28. Cowboys – Felix Jones, Arkansas

There are like zero mock drafts that don’t have Felix Jones going to Dallas. Are other teams even allowed to draft him? The Cowboys are going to take a corner, WR, and RB with their first three picks, and they can pretty much just see who the best player at one of those positions is available at each of their picks.

29. 49ers – Dan Connor, Penn State

Last season everyone raved about Patrick Willis being so NFL ready and he slipped to the 49ers. The exact same thing is happening with Dan Connor. He and Willis could be cornerstones at MLB for the 49ers 3-4 for the next decade, which is probably a lot longer than Alex Smith and Mike Nolan will be around.

30. Packers – Antoine Cason, Arizona

Woodson and Harris are ancient, and Cason is sort of small, but he’s the same type of physical, ball hawking corner that the old guys are, so he could fit in well with the Packers’ scheme. I hear number 4 is available as a jersey number if he’s looking to make a splash with the fans.

On a side note, I went to Madison, Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. If you ever go, give the Spotted Cow beer a try, and don’t let your friend T.J. talk about how Brett Favre is the most overrated athlete of your generation.

31. Giants – Kenny Phillips, Miami

Almost went the entire first round without drafting a guy from the U. That was too close for comfort…way to make us sweat it out, Calais Campbell.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Derby Classic Basketball Summary

So I went to the Derby Classic All-Star Game last night and came away very impressed. I've been to this game five or six times and the UofL fans always easily outnumber the UK contingency, but this time there really seemed to be more Cats fans in the house. The PA announcer was outstanding, and during player introductions he really singled out the UK targets, and called for the Big Blue Nation to show them some love. You could tell the players were really into the whole thing, and hopefully it ends out being a great recruiting tool that ends out landing some guys.

Ater Majok looked very impressive, especially offensively. In the first five minutes, he hit a free throw line jumper, a three, a driving bank shot from about twelve feet, and had a dunk. He also had two tip slams that were waved off because of offensive goal tending (he probably plays with international rules, so he's not used to having to acknowledge the cylinder). It was still nice to see how springy he is and one of the goal tends waved off a sure basket by Tyler Zeller, so that was pretty much okay with everyone. He did get pushed around when he tried to get rebounding position, and I can see why he wants to play the 3 if possible: he's no banger. In fairness, the refs let UofL signee Terrence Jennings just grab jerseys and foul everyone the whole time without any repercussions. Majok's arms are incredibly long, and he blocked several shots, one of them was an impressive two-handed block where the shooter got him in the air, but he still was able to get back off the ground and deflect the ball. This guy looked way better than I thought he would, and he could bring some immediate scoring help to UK. They should do everything they can to land him. I'm also really hoping he has an Australian accent. How great would that be? He could wear a Crocodile Dundee hat on the bench and everything. It's a good thing Ramel has used up his eligibility though, we know how he'd feel about adding an Aussie.

Maurice Sutton was the surprise of the game. I think he ended out with 19 points. Obviously mostly on unguarded layups, but he hit a nice jumper, knocked down his free throws, and he had a great catch and dunk in transition where most big man would have bobbled the pass. He's very skinny, and there is some accuracy to the Perry Stevenson comparisons, however, when you see him in person, you can tell that he has a much bigger frame than Perry, and the ability to put on more weight is there. He also played his ass off, diving for loose balls and going hard for rebounds. He really endeared himself to the UK fans in attendance, and looks like a guy that would need a year or two, but could end out being very good. It would be a dream scenario to land Majok for the short-term and Sutton for the long-term.

Paul McCoy looked fast, but I really didn't see too much from him that was all that impressive. He took one jumper, and he was pretty far off. In his defense, he looked definitely looked competitive with all the other PGs in the game, but if Deandre Liggins qualifies for UK, then I don't think there is much of a need to spend a scholarship on McCoy too.

Speaking of Liggins, he looked pretty solid. He's a great passer, and he looks a little more comfortable on offense than Jasper. He definitely likes to distribute, but he'll look for his shot from time to time. Not a pretty jumper, but it's not like a Wayne Turner J either. For a big point guard he keeps his dribble pretty low, which should make it harder for guys to get the ball away from him (that always bothers me about Jasper, he dribbles high, and just uses his length as separation when he's being guarded). Comparing Liggins to Jasper is really a pretty solid comparison, but Jasper has that amazing ability to always keep his head up and look for teammates, even when he's in traffic. Because traffic requires defense, there was no way to tell how Liggins does in those situations from last night's game.

For anyone disappointed in Darius Miller's splits (I think he finished with six points) , don't worry. An All-Star game doesn't suit his abilities. He's unselfish to a fault, an Gillispie will need to tease that aggressiveness out of him, but he was every bit as talented as any other player there. He just didn't demand the ball or cherry pick down the court.

Terrence Jennings, the UofL signee that UK recruited, looked really good too. He's explosive around the basket and very coordinated for a young big guy. He also seems to know that his place is near the basket and doesn't want to be a 6'10" small forward (take notes, Majok). I'll qualify that with my personal opinion (because the rest of this write-up has been strictly factual) that the refs let Jennings push guys, grab their jerseys, and do whatever he felt like without calling anything on him. He also coincidentally probably shot more free throws than any other player too, so the home-cooking was nice for Terrence. He kissed the cardinal bird when he was introduced, but he actually kissed it on the mouth, right on its cardinal bird teeth. That was a little unsettling, and I think everyone in attendance felt uncomfortable. Jared Swopshire didn't do anything too terribly impressive, but he has some nice corn rows and he can certainly jump. Because they are going to be playing for UofL, they need to get some cool, original nicknames ASAP. Let's get crazy and go with T-Jenn and J-Swop. The dunk contest was one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen, as the judges continued to give Jennings and Swopshire the same score, forcing an unprecedented double overtime dunk contest. Jennings eventually won, and wouldn't you know it, he escaped the pursuing Swopshire by a mere one point!

Chris Singleton looked very impressive. He's got a chance to win a couple of Most Outstanding Player awards at the NIT during what is sure to be an illustrious career as a Seminole. The Reliford kid who is heading to Kansas looked really good too. He's another high-scoring guard that looked athletic, and he should fit in Bill Self's system from day one.

I've been a big Josh Harrellson guy for a while, but after seeing Sutton and Majok, I hope the Cats are able to land both of those guys, even if it means that the big white St. Louisian takes his game elsewhere.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chad Jr., Chad 3, Chad 4, Chadina, and Chadeci Don't Want to Leave Cincinatti

Okay, let's get one thing straight. I've been an Ocho Cinco supporter since about 2003. I loved his endzone antics when the Bengals were one of the worst franchises in all of sports. Though we were dwelling in the cellar with the likes of the Kansas City Royals and LA Clippers, we had entertainment, and we were grateful. I always defended Ocho against sharp criticism comparing him to T.O. and pre-Patriot Randy Moss. He wasn't a self-serving convict who cared more about himself than the team. He was our little 85. A wide receiver who talked a big game, entertained the fans, but bottom-line was all about winning. He defended his teammates in the media and cried after losses in the locker room, putting the blame on himself. However, I'm sad to say those days are gone. Gone for one reason...

I can barely look

Ever since golden-boy Carson Palmer tore his (three capitol letters of your choice) ligament the Cincinatti Bengals haven't been the same, especially Chad Johnson. Carson has played two seasons since destroying his knee, an injury most football players are unable to return from, and the Bengals have had two subpar seasons without him, finishing 8-8 both seasons I believe. I'd check that information but I'm at work and writing on a blog is bad enough. Plus the porn I'm watching uses up most of the hard drive on these pieces of shit. Carson has played good football, not Pro-Bowl quality, but still good football. A lot of his interceptions have been due to the injuries on the offensive line over the last two seasons and not being afforded the time the Tom Brady's and Peyton Mannings of the league receive. David Pollack suffered a career ending neck injury. Odell Thurman has been suspended two full years for a methamphetamine addiction. Chris Henry has been arrested 17 consecutive weekends for providing alcohol to middle school aged girls. We have had some problems, but I don't think the franchise is solely to blame for the past two seasons. Football is a game of ebb and flow, a rollercoaster ride if you will. The Packers and Giants surprisingly flowed this year. The Browns played well. The Ravens and Bengals stalled. And the Falcons should have just quit half way through. Football success depends on a variety of exigent circumstances outside of the coach and the three or four star players. The Giants were able to topple the invincible Patriots because of a weak ankle and two freakish defensive ends.

I've started to ramble, so let me bring this back to it's original point. When you read this, Chad, know that the Bengal Nation has not lost it's faith in you completely. I don't like the comments you recently made about Carson having no right to speak for you. He's trying to do so damage control before the season. I know you are emotional and just want to win, but let me tell you that the Bengals can win. There aren't four better quarterbacks in the league than Carson Palmer. There aren't three better 2nd option wide-receivers than Who's Ya Momma. The Bengals can succeed, but we want you to be here when it happens. I know you will probably be on this site in the next hour or so, so please hear my cry. If you are unwilling to listen, that's fine too. To be honest, as I've spent this time writing this, I'm getting more and more tired of your shit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This guy is the bane of my existence. His name is Eddie Redmayne, and he sucks. He was cast as the demon offspring of Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon in the Good Shepherd. See the resemblance? Exactly. Apparently the casting session involved lining up ten thousand people and picking the kid with the biggest lips. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but honestly, what’s the over/under on how many kids Matt Damon and Jolie would have to have before one looked like this? Watch the Good Shepherd, and you can sense the disappointment in all the actors when they’re filming. In the backs of their minds they’re all thinking, “Nobody is going to have anything good to say about this movie after seeing this stupid kid.” I’m not so shallow that I would write about him just to make fun of his sallow pigmentation, his girlishly narrow sloping shoulders, engorged lips, and feminine tendencies. Let’s review his highlights in the movie. He peed his pants while sitting on Santa’s lap, he showed off to his dad that he learned how to smoke cigarettes in college, and he pretty much was the leak in the Bay of Pigs invasion after he eavesdropped on his dad’s conversation. Natty would also like to add that there is a scene where he is taking a bath, which was just embarrassing in itself. Now, after looking up his filmography, I’ve learned that he’s in the Other Boleyn Girl. Which means he’s taken a movie with the exquisite Natalie Portman and the voluptuous Scarlett Johansen, and made it so much less than it probably would have been otherwise. In his defense, it takes a whale of a performance, good or bad, to eclipse Damon, Jolie, De Niro, Pesci, Baldwin, etc.

That’s pretty much all that I have going on. I don’t know if you all are aware, but Candace Parker led the Lady Vols to their 83rd National Championship. You might hear a lot of people say that Parker played with a separated shoulder, and not a lot of players, man or woman, would have played through such an injury. My take is that even fewer would have the audacity to wear a long-sleeve t-shirt in the Final Four.

Kevin Love continues to impress, and I recently read that he honed his behemoth strength by doing push-ups on his fingertips when he was in high school. Finger tip push-ups, that sounds pretty impressive, right? Well it is. Go ahead, get on the floor and see how many fingertip pushups you can do, I’ll wait. Now think if you were a big ole meaty hoss cat like Mr. Love. That's a lot of Love that those fingertips are moving. That’s pretty impressive, huh? Slow-footed or not, that guy is strong as an ox and has an unbelievable basketball IQ. I’m just looking forward to seeing which team is going to take Deandre Jordan ahead of Love.

I’m excited that Rose and Beasley have both officially declared for the NBA Draft. This is going to be a pretty good debate about which guy to take. Remember back in 94 when the Bucks had a similar debate and went with Big Dog over Jason Kidd? Me either, I had to look it up, but I think other people are going to tell you that it’s a similar situation. Well if this is so much like the 1994 Draft, then which Heisman Trophy winner is going to be taken with the 26th pick? I guess history doesn't really repeat itself. But I digress. I’m hoping the Grizzlies get the top pick and take Rose, so he can complement Crittenton, Lowry, and Mike Conley Jr, in Tennessee's legion of point guards. I won’t make any promises to you people, but I’m hoping to have a more substantive piece covering the NFL Draft soon, in the mean time, avoid Eddie Redmayne and the parade of horribles that he brings with him.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boone Pickens Wants Him a B-Ball Coach

If I was going to make up a story about Gillispie leaving, rest assured it would involve an oil tycoon, but Oklahoma State has already done the legwork for me. T. Boone Pickens wants his beloved Cowboys to make a big splash with the basketball coaching vacancy. Word is that Bill Self is their man and that Billy Clyde Gillispie is their number two. Pickens is throwing crazy money around, including way over $200 million he has already given to the university. The fact of the matter is that as much as a UK basketball coach makes, it’s not Lebron money. If a coach has a chance to make enough money so his grandkids will never have to work a day in their lives, then I would never blame him for following the almighty dollar. There is no shame in that, and people suggesting otherwise are fools….damn fools.

I love what Gillispie was able to do this season, and I think UK has a very bright future with him at the helm, but I really think it could be in his best interests to take the OSU job if offered. Gillispie is a tireless worker, but we all know he is a time bomb too. That DUI is coming, and it’s going to be embarrassing for him and the program. OSU doesn’t put coaches in the fishbowl like UK does, and Gillispie likes to have a good time out at the bars, get in a Jacuzzi with a bunch of 19 year old ladies, and walk out on his bar tab without being hassled. You and me both, Billy, but Lexington is a tough place to pull that off. UK has nosy boosters, who like to have a say and be in the know about all things UK. The basketball coach has to be a bit of a media darling to appease them. Someone simultaneously cocky and humble; relentless, yet human; and someone who can withstand everlasting comparisons to Rick Pitino. Gillispie is an outstanding game tactician, and all signs indicate he’s a merciless recruiter, but those off the court issues will continue to haunt him. If the boosters are something that will get in the way of his coaching, then he needs to leave. The man loves to coach, and it’s clear that he’s not comfortable dancing to appease the old farts. He’s shown how human he can be when he calls into radio shows and anonymously donates money, and from that touching scene where he went to a cancer fundraiser and got choked up while giving an impromptu speech and then stunned the audience by donating ten thousand dollars. That's the type of person he is, and that's outstanding. Unfortunately, for him to be fully embraced by the boosters, he needs to donate to the black tie fund raisers that all the rest of the higher ups attend. He could also just win a championship every three years, and quiet all those boosters pretty quickly, but that's a tall task too. At OSU, all Gillispie would have to do is make sure he’s comfortable with Pickens. All the other boosters are worthless compared to that guy, so it’s an easier audience to entertain than UK.

It’s also important to remember that Gillispie does a ton of recruiting out of Texas, so Oklahoma State could be a homecoming of sorts for him. That said, Gillispie often speaks fondly of being at the Mecca of college basketball, and a move back to Big-12 country would not likely result in any championships (let alone fan admiration), so it’s a complete toss-up. I think it’s a 50/50 on whether Self stays or goes so we may never have to find out what Gillispie’s answer to Pickens’ pitch would be. If OSU comes calling though, I think Gillispie will at least pick up the phone.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Where is Chad Johnson?

Anybody hear Chad Johnson's two interviews on ESPN this week? They were excruciating. It was like he was channeling Mike Tyson. Brian Kenney looked like he was simultaneously angry and terrified. There were multiple third person moments, and none of his answers made any sense. Not only did Chad not answer the questions he was asked, his answers didn't answer any question that any person has ever asked. In the second interview, ESPN broke the news to Chad about Chris Henry getting cut. Somehow Chad had no idea that had happened. I guess he doesn't have a cell phone or the internet. He might have been calling ESPN using a tin can with a long string. I thought Chad was on Jupiter, but Natty contended that he was actually calling in from Concussion Land. Unfortunately Leonard is a Bengals fan, so like all other Bengals fans, he just thought Chad was being funny.