Midwest Bloggers

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This whole NBA Ref Thing

Ok, so this has me thinking.

Rick Bucher was on the other day and was talking about how overblown this is. How the ref can’t REALLY change the game because it’s still dependent upon the players making shots, etc. Thus, why is everyone really making this big of a deal. He should have been fired, he should be in trouble, but it’s not like he REALLY messed up any of the games. He brought up a game where Jamaal Crawford of the Knicks got fouled with like 2 seconds left and he made the freethrows thus covering the spread for the Knicks. Rick’s point was that Crawford still had to make the freethrows, and if he didn’t, then the ref still loses. So it’s not like any ref can score points themselves.


That’s not really the point. The point is that he has the opportunity to leverage his power towards the side he did/didn’t want to score. I absolutely agree that Crawford still has to make the shots, but without that foul call, the clock runs out and the Knicks don’t cover. So the foul had to be called in order for there to be even a chance of covering. What is the ref supposed to do? Just admit that you sometimes lose and not try to do something about it? Come on. The ref makes the call so at least he can say, “I did all I could”. That’s all the matters. If Crawford misses, the Knicks don’t cover and maybe that was a game that Donaghy wagered on. So are we just supposed to go, “oh well, the outcome wasn’t really affected. No real harm done”. Of course not.

Rick Bucher is a freaking idiot. Yet another case of ESPN playing both sides so that their talking heads can ramble on and then potentially “argue” with each other. For more playing of both sides, please see Michael Vick and how the guys at ESPN jump from side to side trying to help you decide if he should be suspended.

As for my thoughts on the NBA Ref Scandal. This isn’t really a major blackeye for the league itself unless the league is found to be aware or involved of this during its operation. Sure the conspiracy theorists are going to have more ammo in their guns against the NBA and the “fixing” of situations (games, playoffs, drafts, etc.). But all in all, the NBA will “investigate” and then have an opportunity to make changes to evaluating refs to try to prevent this in the future. That’s all they can really do I think. But at the end of the day, I still hate the NBA and they seemingly can't fix their problem with poor officiating. Even I can admit that poor officiating is a far cry from rigged officiating.

Monday, June 18, 2007

US Open Thoughts

NBC executives might be the only people waking up this morning happier than Angel Cabrera. After an exciting finish which included Tiger Woods needing a birdie on the 72nd hole of the tournament to force a playoff, NBC can forget about their 4th place standing in prime time ratings for a day. With a Father’s Day finish on a very hot afternoon for much of the country, Sunday’s ratings for the latest installment of the US Open should embarrass the pathetic numbers the NBA Finals produced for ABC. Meanwhile, David Stern is too busy finding the next exhibition game in Germany to notice that very few Americans are paying attention to his game. And no one should be surprised. There was great theater yesterday as the world’s most recognizable sports figure could not catch a pudgy, chain-smoking Argentinian versus the grabbing, flopping, non-shooting of what the NBA has become.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are we back?

After a ridiculous delay, midwestbloggers should be returning shortly. Blame Louis Winthorpe, but don't ask to hear his pathetic list of excuses.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What's REALLY Killing the NBA

Stop blaming the high school kids. Stop blaming the “thugs”. Stop blaming lack of fundamentals. Here is a partial list of the true problems in the NBA, in no particular order.

Isiah Thomas
Chris Mullin
Billy King
Donnie Nelson
Larry Bird
Elgin Baylor
Kiki Vandeweghe
Billy Knight
Bryan Colangelo
John Nash
John Weisbrod
Randy Pfund
Jerry West
Mitch Kupchack
Joe Dumars
Danny Ainge

Who are these guys? This is a partial list of men who thought it was a good idea to give the likes of Adonal Foyle a 5 year, $41.6 million contract extension. Or Allan Houston a 6 year, $100 million contract extension before his current contract was even up. Or Austin Croshere a 7 year, $51 million contract after a couple of good playoff games. Or Chris Webber a 7 year, $123 million contract when everyone knew he only had one good leg.

To further illustrate the point, let’s take a look at the list of top 25 salaries in the NBA for 2005-2006. Look at how many of these guys are role players or out of the league completely.

Shaquille O’Neal $20,000,000
Chris Webber $19,130,000
Michael Finley $18,612,000
Kevin Garnett $18,000,000
Allen Iverson $16,450,000
Stephon Marbury $16,450,000
Jason Kidd $16,440,000
Jermaine O’Neal $16,430,000
Kobe Bryant $15,950,000
Tim Duncan $15,850,000
Keith Van Horn $15,700,000
Jalen Rose $15,694,000
Grant Hill $15,690,000
Tracy McGrady $15,690,000
Eddie Jones $14,560,000
Tim Thomas $13,975,000
Paul Pierce $13,843,157
Vince Carter $13,840,000
Antawn Jamison $13,840,000
Dirk Nowitzki $13,840,000
Baron Davis $13,770,000
Steve Francis $13,770,000
Shawn Marion $13,770,000
Ray Allen $13,220,000
Elton Brand $13,150,000

So the next time you want to complain about the NBA, thank all the NBA general managers that have paralyzed their teams due to these multi-year guaranteed contracts. After all, how do you give young men millions of dollars guaranteed and then tell them they are doing everything wrong?

Monday, December 04, 2006

BCS: Why is this so difficult?

I know this horse has already died three times it has been beaten so much, but here is my two cents to fix the BCS. Only six schools "miss class time" and the five current major bowls are still used. I know six is an odd number for a tournament, but it best utilizes the current bowl system. Currently, the BCS Championship game floats between Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New Orleans a week after the other major bowl in that city. This system could still be used under this format. The final BCS standings determine seedings. One qualifier I would add is if any team is undefeated and in the top 10 of the final BCS standings, they automatically qualify for the #6 seed. Call this the Boise State rule to give the little guys a chance. This also gets the college football season completed before the second semester as well as before the NFL playoffs begin. Depending on the calendar, the final game could easily be moved to New Year's Day as well.

December 16
Fiesta Bowl
#4 LSU
#5 USC

Orange Bowl
#3 Michigan
#6 Louisville

December 23
Rose Bowl
#1 Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl winner

Sugar Bowl
#2 Florida
Orange Bowl winner

December 30 or January 1
BCS Championship
Rose Bowl winner
Sugar Bowl winner

I know...I know....it's too easy

I know that everyone today will be talking about the BCS and that it's too easy to just simply complain about the "system" anymore. But I want to specifically talk about the latest bunch of crap I keep hearing from the BCS apologists. They want you to believe that it's GOOD for college football that people are even having this debate and dealing with the controversy.

Now maybe I'm just too far set in my ways to see this any other way, but seriously, can someone remind me again why it's good that just about everyone in the country is complaining about this (outside of Columbus and Gainesville)? This isn't E! or Access Hollywood where "even bad press is good press".

Are people really going to try and convince me that if we had a playoff system that no one would care? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Right now we would be looking at this format (assuming top 8 from BCS standings only, meaning no automatic conference champs and no Notre Dame unless they crack the top 8):

Ohio State vs. Boise State
Florida vs. Wisconsin
Michigan vs. Louisville

Florida/Wisconsin vs. Michigan/Lousiville

and then the winners face off. So OSU/Florida OR OSU/Michigan could still happen. And at that time there would be nothing to be said other than how the teams got there and how there really was no debate on whether they DESERVED to be there.

Talk about a really nice lineup. And for those of you wanting controversy and bad press, I'm sure there are a whole bunch of delusional Domers out there thinking they deserve to be in this group. And maybe OU does deserve to be there also, but again...we are talking about teams fighting for a chance to be one of the last teams in...not the team to be in the national championship game.

I just can't take college football seriously until this happens.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A BCS Debate


While I agree long-term the only way the BCS agrees to a playoff system is utter chaos, I cannot find it in me to root for a team to get screwed in the short-term. I am still trying to figure out how the undefeated Penn State squad from 1994 featuring Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter, Bobby Engram, and Kyle Brady got nothing more than a pat on the back for going 12-0 because the media played the sympathy card to give Tom Osborne a national championship before he retired. Much like Ron Dayne's Heisman Trophy, these titles and awards should not be a lifetime achievement award.

If what you say is true

Gentlemen of Midwest Bloggers, I beg of your forgiveness in advance, but I am taking issue with your thoughts on the BCS. I agree that ESPN is an over-hyping machine driven by “the ears” and co-piloted by Donald Duck.

My issue is with the fact that we all can’t stand the current system for college football, I mean how many “what if’s” and scenarios do we need to put together to agree or accept who is in the National Championship game. No matter what team plays Ohio State this year, we will have a debate about who should have, or is playing them. There is no way to avoid this!

I, as a Midwest born man, Toledo, directly in the middle of the UM-OSU battleground, I have been witness to this rivalry for years. I watched every play of that game, and hoped at some point it would go to overtime, because I didn’t get enough. A rematch, hell yes I want a rematch!

Please hear me out on this first. I want a rematch because I want that game on a neutral site; I want the Big Ten and the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry to be in the forefront of college football. I mean wouldn’t we all love to see a Duke-North Carolina National Title game in basketball? OK, maybe that’s just me, but I think you all would watch even if Indiana or Notre Dame didn’t make it.

The one thing I want more than anything in this scenario is Michigan to beat Ohio State by 3 points. Yes I said it, 3 points! Why? Well then it all comes to fruition baby!! An entire college football season becomes MEANINGLESS!! Think about it. If Notre Dame beats USC this weekend and LSU takes care of Arkansas, we will probably have rematch. ESPN can hype it all they want, and then Michigan wins by a field goal. The ONLY thing it will do is prove that the system didn’t work, and reform is needed. Will ESPN debate after the fact that, what they just hyped for 4 weeks meant nothing? Gents, this is what we should all want! Our proof that a change is needed, status quo will not do!!

So, after the turkey is gone, the tryptophen has worn off, let’s all get together and don our four leaf clovers, and our mardis gras beads and root the hell out of our beloved Irish and Tigers so we can be the closest to busting this thing wide open as we’ve ever been. HAIL TO THE VICTORS, VALIANT, HAIL, TO THE CONQUERING HEROES HAIL, HAIL, TO MICHIGAN THE CHAMPIONS OF nothing!!

The Dude Abides

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


So the BCS wants to give us a rematch of Ohio State and Michigan. I say BS. What happened to the regular season meaning something? I thought that was why college football was so much better than college basketball. If Ohio State had beaten Michigan in September or October and the prevailing thought was Michigan is a “different” team since then, I would have no problem with the Big Ten schools squaring off again. I am a firm believer that teams grow and mature as a season progresses. But if Michigan does in fact get a rematch, these two teams will play each other in back-to-back games. So what if Michigan is the second best team in the nation, they just proved they are not better than Ohio State. Give someone else an opportunity, and put a rule in the BCS that the title game cannot be a rematch of a game played after a certain date, say October 15.

Those in favor of a rematch will make the argument that Kansas in 1988 or Villanova in 1985 didn’t win their conference in college basketball, what is the difference? The difference is there were games in between. Kansas didn’t lose to Oklahoma in the Big 8 Tournament and two weeks later play them again for the National Championship without earning their way into the title game by winning five games in a row over three weekends, and even then it was no certainty they would face Oklahoma.

And to all the idiots that make the argument that the BCS is doing exactly what it wants to do, creating attention for college football. To that I say not all publicity is good publicity, ask Rupert Murdoch and Michael Richards.