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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The $35 Million Dollar Man

Whenever I am offered an 8 year, $35 million dollar contract I always like to sleep on it and then hit up my favorite doughnut shop the next morning to think about it.

Coincidentally, so does John Calipari!


Tuesday, John Calipari inked up a contract that made him the highest paid coach in college basketball.

Welcome to Kentucky
13 Final Four Appearances
100-45 NCAA Tournament Record
7 National Titles (Second only to UCLA)

Think You're Up For It, Cal?

Calipari, a year from leading the Memphis Tigers to the national title game, is now taking the reigns of the winningest college basketball program of all time. Only, the Wildcats haven't gotten the wiff of a Final Four game in over a decade.

The Wildcats are coming off a season in which they only had 22 wins. That may seem like a lot to the average college basketball team, but does 22 million dollars seem like a lot of money to Bill Gates?

This past season, the Cats failed to make it to the NCAA Tournament under coach Billy Gillispie for the first time since 1991. The Cats then went on to lose to Notre Dame in the NIT Quarterfinals.

Billy Gillispie proved to be as good of a fit at Kentucky as the Green Lantern at a Superhero Convention. Sure he seems like he will be able to save your program, but after a while you realize that his super powers are worthless!

And right about now, Calipari compares to Obi Won Kenobi as Kentucky's only hope succeeding Darth Vader Gillispie.

In this photo: Calipari is yelling, "My ass is killing me from my new HUGE wallet!"

So congratulations John Calipari on your new job. Enjoy your doughnut, but when you wake up tomorrow, you have as much work to do for Kentucky Basketball as Barack Obama has to do for our economy. Best of luck...

But like another Cal I know, this Cal makes his own luck.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saint Nick



As you come down I-59 south from Birmingham, Alabama, you begin to smell the sweet nector of Saint Nicholas. From within 15 miles of Tuscaloosa, if you know how to properly "waft", your daily performance is increased tenfold. However, if you go about 861 more miles to the southeast, you'll begin to taste that taste that Luby's Macarooni and Cheese used to give the roof of my mouth (i.e. life changing).

So why is there such a distinct difference in the opinion of Ssssssaban?

I just got back from the University of Alabama's coaching clinic for high school coaches. On Thursday night, Sssssaban walked into "The Cave", which is where we ate our food. Safe to say, you could feel everyone clinchin' the old sphincter and making sure their napkin was in their lap. The man has an attitude that exudes business - check check - first class. A demeanor that gave him the entire room. He later spoke to the entire clinic for around 45 minutes.



This man is world class. On top of that, he is an outstanding and unbelievable coach. Just because he isn't as social as Lane Kiffin or as nerdy as Jim Tressel doesn't mean that he is the donkey everyone thinks he is.



Would you rather him be like this?

• • •

For you Miami Dolphin fans (I'm a closet fan), I understand your anger and your thoughts of being betrayed. However, he did it much better than if you would have done it your way.

• • •

Take 5 minutes to watch this.




For those of you who are straining your neck in an effort to understand this, he told the Miami press he was not considering the Alabama coaching job. Then, a few days after the season, he was placing his scent in Tuscaloosa.

• • •

Moral of this Post:
Much like you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, don't judge Nick Saban by the "Talking Heads" on ESPN.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Calling On The Zebra-Caped Crusader

I just purchased a spotlight with a custom light-cover-template thingy. The design? It's a dollar sign, except the two lines that go down vertically through the sign are actually the connector string to a referee's whistle.

Think of it as the bat signal- but we're not calling batman.

No, my hero's version of the bat cave is a prison cell with Bruno and a guy that goes by "Switchblade."

His version of Robin is a bookie.

His idea of a scandal isn't going ballistic on a movie set, but affecting the outcome of an NBA playoff game.

His villain for this case isn't the Riddler, but a giant.

Our hero's greatest fear isn't bats, but the idea of dropping his bar of Irish Spring.

The hero? Tim Donaghy.


The giant? Hasheem Thabeet.

UConn is favored in tomorrow night's Elite 8 match-up in Glendale, Arizona against MU by +5.5, and the over/under is 149.5.

Tim, I know you're reading. I know that laying money on shirts vs. skins games in a Florida pen isn't giving you that high you need. I know you love a national spotlight. I know it's been a few years since you really just effed some things up. Here's your chance.

Mizzou is a dribble-drive team that struggles on the defensive glass. Hasheem Thabeet controls the lane and has grabbed at least four offensive rebounds in 7 of his last 8 games. IF Thabeet stays out of foul trouble, Mizzou stands almost no chance.

Here's where you come in.

Foul out Thabeet, Tim. I know you can do it. Not only will Mizzou cover, but they'll ensure that the over is reached.

Can't you imagine it, Tim? Shaving points on national TV again? Sending Mizzou to their very first Final Four?

You hear that sound? That's the sound of people helping people, Tim. I get you your fix. You get me a trip to Detroit. I scratch your back, you scratch Hasheem Thabeet.

All of Columbia is counting on you Tim.

I trust you'll make the wrong decision.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Korked Bats Look Alikes - Huckleberry Roy

Huckleberry Hound and UNC Head Coach Roy Williams.

Does anyone else see it?


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The No Fun League Strikes Again

Just when you thought it was safe to start enjoying pro football again, the No Fun League rears it's ugly head into the lives of the American people.

The NFL Franchise Owners Meetings took place this week. As always, they discussed and approved some rule changes for the upcoming 2009 season. And as always, the rules will make the game more frustrating to watch and less entertaining than a Meg Ryan movie. It seems like The OC's Dean Hess is now the commissioner and is as strict as he is in Season 3.

Here is a list of the new rule changes:
  • If a receiver is in the act of catching a ball, a defender may not touch the receiver's helmet when leading with a shoulder or forearm.
  • Offensive players are no longer allowed to deliver "blindside" blocks when leading with a helmet, shoulder or forearm to deliver a blow to a defensive player's head.
  • On kickoffs, the kicking team is not allowed to bunch too many players in the middle of the field or to one single side of the field. That involves too many people bunched up on dangerous scrambles during onside kicks.
  • Also on kickoffs, the receiving team may not use a blocking "wedge" of more than two players.
  • The "Tom Brady" rule - If a player is on the ground, he may not use a second effort to try and take down a quarterback below the knees.
Think those are bad? The teams also met and approved a couple other rules for next season.
  • No tackling is allowed anymore. The NFL is going to be two hand touch this season with the possibility of reducing it to one hand touch for the 2010 season.
  • Offensive linemen are no longer allowed to block with their hands unless they engage in a friendly game of paddy cake with the defender.
  • Quarterbacks are no longer required to wear helmets or shoulder pads. The League agreed that since rules are so strict about hitting the QB, that they should no longer be required to wear pads.
  • The coin toss is now reviewable for instant replay.
  • After taking away every touchdown celebration in the book, the League still decided to crack down on the rule by installing a new rule that states: Players are no longer allowed to show any excitement after scoring a touchdown. This includes, cheering, jumping, putting either or both hands in the air, smiling, or saying the word, "Woooo!" All acts will be charged with a 15 yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff.
  • If a game is too entertaining, then both teams will forfeit the game and will be issued a loss to their record.
  • All teams with fierce animal logos must change them to something less offensive. The Broncos must change their name to the Ponies, the Seahawks to the SeaGulls, the Jaguars to the Little Kittens, the Rams to the Nudges, the Dolphins... well, they will stay the Dolphins, the Bears to the Care Bears, etc.
  • Instant replay is now reviewable for instant replay.
  • The League is considering doing away with kicking and punting in games. They feel that this action is too violent toward the ball and is not sending the right message to the League's fans.
  • Overtime was also on the agenda and Franchise Owners have decided that they want to change the format. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, both teams will partake in a game of freeze tag. In playoff games, if the game is still tied after freeze tag, then a a game of Connect Four will take place and the winner of that will advance.

The NFL now has more cupcake rules than pee-wee football.

The next NFL season is right around the corner and with these new rules every year, it makes me more and more excited for it.

And by it, I mean basketball season.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Txt Msg Drama

LOL, wow.

This Laguna Beach episode between Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels is getting pretty funny.


You all should know by now about the bad blood between Cutler and pretty much everyone involved with the Denver Broncos organization... Especially newly hired head coach, Josh McDaniels. You remember, Davis covered it briefly a few weeks ago. Anyway, McDaniel apparently texted Cutler a few days ago and Cutler never responded.

Are you surprised, Josh?

The man who you have blatantly stated to the media as "our quarterback" won't respond to a text message you sent him? Things are far from being patched up. You guys are not on texting grounds right now. That's like telling a girl you want to start seeing other people and then a couple days later TEXTING her and saying, "We r cool, rite?"

You don't do that. What did you think was going to happen?
This?:
(Keep in mind this conversation would be happening through text messaging)
McDaniels: Yo J! Wats up bro? Jst wnted 2 let u no dat ur r guy dis czun! Cant w8!
Cutler: WTF, Josh? U xpect me 2 jus 4get evrything from b4?
McDaniels: IDK, I wuz kinda hopin u wuld. Juss LOL it all off?
Cutler: OMG, u r such a pig! Mandi told me evrything u sed. U wuld trade me if u culd.
McDaniels: I wuz JK. Ur r QB. Dis czun wont b da same w/o u!
Cutler: K. Fine. Wanna get cheez fries @ Diner wit Connie n Chuck?
McDaniels: Sounds gr8! Meet u there?
Cuter: Deal. TTYL!
NO! (Or at least it shouldn't.)

I feel like I am witnessing 7th grade girls argue back and forth using ESPN and the NFL Network as their platforms. I'm almost as sick about hearing about this dilemma then I am hearing about Obama's March Madness Bracket!

Just call Cutler. I'm sure he'd like that better!

I know technology is all around us and times are changing, but text messaging is still a lame way to get in contact with someone. A.G. Bell would be PISSED if he knew we had portable cellular phones and we used them to type messages instead of talking. Is it too much to have a short convo over the phone?

Now I am not against text messaging. In fact, I LOVE to text. Who doesn't? But only in certain instances. People today are relying too much on it. Josh McDaniels, case in point.

Now that he didn't respond, are you going to try and AOL Instant Message him? Maybe Skype him? Write on his Facebook wall? Constantly check his Twitter feed?


You look stupid when you try and make important contacts through technology.

Prime example:
In 8th grade, my first girlfriend, Sarah Jones, broke up with me through AOL Instant Messenger. How lame...
(Yes, I'm still bitter.)
• • •
Or how about in 9th grade? I had a friend who's girlfriend broke up with him through an e-mail.

And that's not the worst part...

He didn't check his e-mail until 3 days later.
• • •
I wouldn't doubt that at the rate we are going, in the near future, someone will propose to someone through a text message:
"Will U mar-e me, plz?"


So if you truly want to make things better, then pick up the dang phone and talk to the man, like a man.

I know Cutler is being pretty childish too. I know he is acting pretty spoiled, but when it comes to being the bigger man and making ammends, use the phone, or fly to where he is and do it face to face. Nashville is nice this time of year! (Or so I hear.)

Sack up and make this better or else you may be looking at picking up free agent quarterbacks like an Aaron Brooks, a Charlie Batch, or even a Jon Kitna to salvage your '09 season. Or you could maybe give Bubby Brister a call, or excuse me, text and see what he is up to? You could ask him if he is busy at all next fall. I'm sure he would come back for one more go around. At least then you could use Cutler's jersey and just change the name on the back.

So let's all start to act like adults. Better yet, let's start to act like our parents acted before all technology was introduced. Anything would be better. Why not write a letter? You know how much that would mean to someone today? A handwritten letter. Jay would want to retire as a Bronco if you did that, Josh. Heck, smoke signals would even probably be better. Morse code. ANYTHING!

However...

If neither of you are going to change, please someone call MTV so we can start recording this and get it on the air. I would much rather watch some drama filled reality show than another rerun of Parental Control.

Anyway, I g2g. I'll ttyl.

Re: It's Gonna Be A Sore de France


Due to an unfortunate incident prior to Lance Armstrong's last race, he was forced to use his back-up bike. We are still unsure as to whether this was the cause of the crash.

Below is the bike in question:

• • •

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Gonna Be A Sore de France

Well...

The first weekend of March Madness has come and gone. I'm back to realizing how boring the week is without any basketball games to track. (Note: When you find yourself Googling Ted Danson, you know it's a slow week.) But life must go on. We have to find something to talk about until the sweet sixteen picks up on Thursday.

So let's see here... What can we talk about? The NIT Tournament? Nah. The NBA? Rather not. The World Baseball Classic? USA got beat, not worth it. The NFL? I'll leave that to Davis. The Women's NCAA Tournament? Hahaha, yeah right... Unless of course Don Imus is involved, then maybe.

Wait. I know!

How about bicycle racing!

Yeah, bicycle racing... Let's do it!


Today in a minor 5 day stage race in Spain, Lance Armstrong got caught up in a pileup. Reports say that he has broken his collarbone. Great... just what this country needs. A plummeting economy, a loss to Japan in the World Baseball Classic, and now this?! UGGGH!

Lucky for us, Lance was able to tough out the pain enough to Twitter. Thank the Lord!

On his Twitter page, he tweeted:
"I'm alive! Broken clavicle (right). Hurts like hell for now. Surgery in a couple of days. Thanks for all the well wishes."
Ok. Well, thanks Lance. Glad to know you are alive. Frankly, I'd be a little pissed if you survived cancer but then died from a bicycle pileup in Madrid.

But like Owen Wilson says in You, Me and Dupree, "The man has done more with one testicle then you or I could do with three."

Lance was hoping to make a comeback to the Tour de France this year after a 4 year absence. He was working out and preparing himself to race this July. However, this is all now questionable as we will wait to see the results of his surgery and rehab. Hopefully, for America, Lance will be able to make it back and have a strong showing in the Tour this year, as the U.S. has only had one person finish in the top 3 since Lance retired.

Lance, you gave us that little ray of hope that we once again may have a Tour de France winner. But with this wreck, you make us all want to yell like Rob Schneider:

Blank

So please, tough it out Lance and give us something else to watch this July 4th other than Kobayashi and the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Look at the bright side, at least you didn't break a leg. You wouldn't even be able to pedal if you did that. So beat this like you did with cancer and make it to France this summer. Please!

Livestrong, buddy!

Just A Note: I ride my bike around campus all the time. Now, I will admit, I have crashed a couple times. So I can vouch for Lance. It hurts. Now granted, I ride a BMX bike, while he rides a racing bike, but still... A crash is a crash! I think this officially makes me Korked Bats' bicycle racing analyst.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

What Was I Thinking?!?!


I would first like to apologize to all the faithful out there who believed that I knew what I was talking about.

I made a few promises and now everyone sees that I have no clue what I'm doing.

Sound Familiar?

Anyway let's first congratulate the Vikings of Cleveland State for a big upset of ACC's Wake Forest. Also a shout out goes to Dayton for knocking off my surprise team, West Virginia (Why I Oughta!) My Midwest Bracket is pretty much scratched so far, so don't feel bad... or mad.. Give yourself a pat on the back for the Arizona pick - But let's keep it at that.

Player(s) of the First Round:

Cleveland State's Tandem

J'Nathan Bullock - F - 21 points


Cedric Bullock - G - 19 points


Norris Cole - F - 22 points


(Photo Courtesy: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Nutrasys-dumbs: A Daily, Athlete-Endorsed Diet


Let’s all admit one thing straight up: If Michael Jordan asked ANY of us to do ANYTHING, we would, hands down, no questions asked. The man is like a black Obama. Michael Jordan is the epitome of athletics, marketing, business, and a lack of bat-to-ball ability. The man endorsed entire meals at a time. I once ate Wheaties dowsed in Gatorade with cut-up Ball Park Franks on the top, all the while washing it down with a nice Coca-Cola I bought from McDonald’s. If that Jordan-endorsed meal doesn’t scream athleticism, then I just don’t know what does.

Athletes endorsed food products before Jordan, and they have continued to endorse it since. This got me thinking. Could I go about my day eating purely athlete-endorsed foods? Let us see. I have prepared a meal for the day, and it wasn’t from Nutrasystems. That would be a cop out.



Breakfast:

Wheaties. This one is obvious. But not just any Wheaties: these wheaties.

Top the whole thing off with some milk and I’m ready to go for the day.

This breakfast… it’s making me… feel… stronger. So much stronger. This is going to be a good day.

Also, if you’re out of Wheaties, but still want a killer, athletic breakfast, check out these. They’re enriched!

Pre-Lunch Snack:

If you need that little boost to keep you going through the day, try grabbing one of these chosen snacks:

Crunch Bar or Snickers

Or if you really need some more energy, you can grab a Fred Smoot’s Smack Energy Bar. This is real. I promise. Now it’s on to lunch. These go best with a side of sex-boat scandal.

Lunch:

Here you have a couple of options. I suggest the Bo Jackson’s Soon-to-be Famous BO Burger.

But if you’re looking for more flavor, you can always get some of Boomer’s Ribs.

Wash this all down with a nice Sprite. WAIT. Let’s take a moment to talk about this particular endorsement. Kobe Bryant is so freaking awesome (Jared will agree) that he made Sprite, a soda pop, seem like a sports drink. That’s superhuman right there. But then again, if I could somehow achieve this raping, I’d drink Sprite, too. This very well may be the most effective non-MJ endorsement of all time.

Pre-Dinner Snack:

I understand the Burger or Ribs may have made you drowsy, so just take one of these Pete Rose SuperCharg’r Energy Bars and get back into the game.

Dinner:

For dinner there is only one choice that will satisfy. Tony Siragusa’s Goose’s Barbeque. You can even preorder meat online at gooseribs.com. You’re only a few of the Goose’s dinners away from being an incoherent, washed up sideline reporter. Good luck!



Well mmm mmm mmm that’s a good days eatin’. If you go out later to a movie or something, don’t forget to bring along some of Isiah Thomas’ Dale and Thomas Popcorn. So good, after you’re done being a player, you’ll come back for seconds as a coach (though it may taste much, much worse now).

-Note-

For those of you who get the late night “muchies” for whatever reason, see if you can ride along with fellow Muchie-enthusiast Michael Phelps. 24-Hour Drive Thru!

This is only a start, however, on what could be a long road of athlete-driven, off-beat, poorly-guided commercial –whore consumerism, so don’t let me stop you! Live like a pro athlete, vicariously through your favorite candy bar.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Almost A Genius

I stated in my West bracket analysis that Memphis will falter and I came about 5 minutes from looking awesome. Robert Sallie, who averaged 4.5 points per game this year for Memphis pulled the game of his life out of nowhere dropping 35 (10-15 from 3), grabbing 3 steals, and pulling down 4 boards. And then he closed his eyes and yelled.


He therefore gets my "Destiny's Child - Survivor Award".


Give it up for John Salley... err, I mean Robert Sallie everybody!


The Mild Mild West

I just wanted a cool title like everyone else, but they took all the good ones. I personally predict the West region to be a region where the higher seeds prevail, but now that I have come up with a ridiculous title for a tourney region called mild, you know that will blow up in my face.

Disclaimer: I go to Mizzou. Mizzou is in the West. In my own bracket I have Mizzou to the final four and was on record on the news (I got interviewed) saying that anything less than a final four was a disappointment. For the sake of this post I will try to maintain objectivity, but I am only 22 and its a day before spring break so I may just be a little too giddy.


5 To Know About
The West Region:



1. UConn is really good.

So what that they lost in the Big East tournament? This team is for real. No one will finish within 15 points of them until at least the Elite 8. This is a team that lost only 4 games this year, and to be honest, there is a real good chance they don't lose again. I really like Hasheem Thabeet (when he is not being Blair's b****). Watch out for the Huskies.They are scary good. Like as scary as Robin Williams in 'One Hour Photo' good.

*Side Note*: I just want to point out how I miss the incredible UConn teams of the past. Don't get me wrong, this team is good... but the 2003 game against Duke when about 20 NBA players were on the floor was incredible (Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Josh Boone, Charlie Villanueva, etc.). We will never see that again. Stupid 1 and done rule.

2. Washington is overrated.

Yeah I went there. I know they were the regular season champs of the PAC-10, but this team lacks good size. I watched this team earlier in the year get completely manhandled by Kansas at the CBE, and decided that they were not worth my time. Brockman is good but when they hit a team with any decent size (see UConn), they will lose by 20+. They just can't hang in the big boy league.

3. Memphis will falter.

I know Memphis believes that they should have been a number 1 seed, but I think that they are an overrated 2 seed. Last year, their team was incredible. This year may feel that way, but they lack the sheer athleticism (i.e. NBA talent) that last years team had. When you have the best player in the country on your team, life is easy, no matter how bad your conference is. This year, faulty decision making and turnovers will catch up to this team. Look for the MU/Memphis match up, because it could be a fun one.

Also, in my opinion Memphis does not deserve the right to play the "no-respect" card. Remember how this team lost to Georgetown? Georgetown! I don't care how many Conference USA wins you have. Play in a real conference. 25 wins in a row is impressive. Only two of those being over tournament teams (and mediocre teams at that) is not.

4. Utah State is the sexy upset team.

I have heard this all over. I am impartial. Without Dominique James, Marquette is definetly vulnerable, but I am not ready to just count them out. Watch out for Gary Wilkinson of the Aggies though. He is fun to watch.

5. Missouri is a contender.

This is not a homer overstatement. CBSsportsine.com has Mizzou as one of the 10 teams who can win the whole thing. Watch out for the youth and inexperience to hurt. The only people with legitimate tourney experience are coaches, so we could see this team let the atmosphere or pressure really get to them (as it did in both Kansas games).

• • •

First Round Prediction:
  • UConn beats Huff's Chattanooga Mocs
  • Texas A&M defeats BYU (I actually would have gone the other way but I put this post off for so long that the game is going on and last I saw A&M was up)
  • Purdue over Northen Iowa
  • Washington over Mississippi State
  • Utah State over Marquette (why not?)
  • Mizzou over Andy Bernard's Big Red
  • Cal defeats Maryland
  • Memphis over some nerdy Cal school
Second Round Prediction:

  • UConn smokes A&M
  • Purdue edges Washington in a close one
  • Mizzou knocks off the Aggies from Utah
  • Memphis squeaks by Cal

Sweet 16 Prediction:

  • UConn boils down Purdue
  • Mizzou beats Memphis in a great game

Elite Eight Prediction:

  • UConn beats Mizzou in the Elite 8
  • UConn wins the West
• • •

Good Luck with your brackets and have a Happy Madness!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Fundamental Elements of South-town

I don't know how many of you will appreciate the title of my post. But for those P.O.D. fans out there, I'm sure you will enjoy it. Because we are, we are, the Youth of the Nation. But away from hardcore Christian rock music, and moving on toward the NCAA Tournament. More in particular, the South Region. Ahh, yes, the south. It reminds me of home. I think I'm going to like this and I hope you guys will too.



Truths and Lies About
The South Region



North Carolina's point guard, Ty Lawson, will return after the first round and stay healthy for the rest of the NCAA Tournament.

LIE

Yes, Lawson will return after UNC's 30+ point win over Radford, but no, he will not remain healthy as he will re-aggravate his toe in a Sweet 16 victory over Gonzaga.

• • •

Western Kentucky will make it two consecutive years with a first round upset by beating Illinois.

TRUTH

Come on people, it's a 5 vs. 12 matchup. Every year you need to pick at least one. And THIS is the one you need to pick. Western has beaten teams like Louisville, Georgia, and Campbellsville! Ok, I don't know Campbellsville. But a win is a win, right? Western has a legit squad and will shake up some people's brackets this year by not only beating the Fighting Illini but by possibly upsetting Gonzaga as well. Picking Western is a more clear cut decision than picking what the heck their mascot is supposed to be.

• • •

The past two National Player of the Year recipients (Hansbrough in 2008 and Griffin in 2009) will face off in the Elite Eight when North Carolina meets Oklahoma.

LIE

I do believe that one of these teams will be in the Elite Eight, but not both. Like I stated earlier, if Lawson stays healthy, UNC will make a run and probably make it to Detroit. However, I don't feel that Oklahoma will be as lucky. We learned towards the end of the season that Oklahoma is not this perrenial powerhouse like we built them up to be. However, Griffin is still a beast. Don't get me wrong. It's just the Sooners don't get enough production from their bench to go deep in the tournament.

• • •

Syracuse is out of gas from their conference tournament and will not have enough to make it past the Sweet 16.

LIE

What is all this talk? A team not having enough gas in their tank? By the time 'Cuse plays, they will have had about a week off. They showed that they can play in 7 overtimes in 2 games in as many days and still win both games. (And against two of the best teams in the country!) Heck they almost beat Lousiville in the Big East Final. They had a solid lead going into the half. If they didn't shoot sub 30% in the second half, then you are looking at your Big East Champions and a #2 seed in the Big Dance. This team has enough heart and enough energy to hang with everyone they face all the way to the Final Four.

• • •

The Bubble Team, Michigan, should just stay in Ann Arbor as they will have a first round exit to Clemson.

TRUTH

Michigan go into the tournament by the hairs on their chinny-chin-chin. But their house is going to get blown down by the huffin' and puffin' Clemson Tigers. Then again, the Big Bad Tiger will not be able to blow down the brick house that Oklahoma has built this year.

• • •

A 16 seed will not beat a 1 seed this year in any region.

TRUTH

Wouldn't it be nice, for once, if one year they put Duke at 16 and UNC at 1. Or Kentucky vs. Louisville, UConn vs. Pitt, Mizzou vs. Kansas, Oklahoma vs. Texas? Gah, that would bring a little more excitement to those first two days of games.

• • •

This year's National Champion will emerge from the South Region.

LIE

The team from this side of the bracket that will go to the National Championship will be from the East. However, I know for sure that the South will produce at least one team in the Final Four. Book it!

• • •

Well there it is. The future. Pretty crazy, huh? Just consider me your older Biff coming back in time to hand you Gray's Sports Almanac. "Just bet on the winner, and you'll never lose!"

Have fun and be safe. And know the rules at your workplace before betting on an NCAA bracket poll.

Happy March Everyone!

Wild Wild MidWest


Oh let the games begin...




Over the years you've realized that you might as well agree with the pregnant lady in the office. She picks her teams based on which color her son or daughter would like best. Crazy? Sure. But when you think about it, when has an educated bracket ever gotten you to the ring of fire?

A Few Tidbits About

The Midwest


The Upset:
#12 Arizona over #5 Utah

Always include a 12 beating a 5 in any of your brackets. This is the most probable Cinderella seed. So in the Midwest, let your upset lie in the hands of the Arizona Wildcats. They kept their NCAA tournament streak alive and they are playing Utah. Utah is an inconsistent team who only averages 7 points per game better than their opponent. They also have a losing record (6-7) on the road. The 12 seed wins 1/3 of the time.

The Sure-Fire:
#4 Wake Forest over #13 Cleveland State

Although the Vikings out of Cleveland state have gone 10-2 out of their last 12 ballgames, the Demon Deacons out of the ACC will reign victorious. Speedy guard Cedric Jackson will be no match for the second coming of CP3, Jeff Teague. Teague is an explosive player with a phenomenal shot who will lead the Demon Deacons to a second round game. Even though Wake has gone 7-5 in it's last 12, their average of 11 points per game better than their opponents stands tall. The Demon Deacons move forward to round 2.

The Long Shot:
#14 North Dakota State over #3 kansas

The champions of last year have lost a little luster due to a young roster who is turnover happy. They barely eclipse a positive turnover ratio and are sloppy on the boards, picking up only 1 more than their opponent. With a 40% 3 point percentage and a scoring average of +11, this North Dakota State team could be your first round haymaker. If you're in a bracket that rewards upset points, think about this one.

The Surprise Team:
#6 West Virginia Mountaineers

Finishing the regular and championship seasons by toppling Notre Dame and Pitt, these Mountaineers gained a bit of steam. They are a tall bunch that shoots 33% beyond the arc and nearly 70% elsewhere. These good ole boys from WV will come storming for a weak Michigan State team.

• • •

So again, just pick the teams with the coolest colors and go from there. Orrrrr listen to your boy and win that cash. Send 20% of all earning to:

Davis Naish
4794 Jobe Trail
Nolensville, TN 37135.

Thank you and God Bless!

'Easting on Some College Hoops

Did you guys get the pun in the title? It's like "feasting" but since I'm writing about the East Region in the NCAA Men's Hoops Tournament, it's "Easting."

Get it?
The silence can only mean two things: either you're looking at your computer screen with a facial expression reminiscent of Angela's in The Office episode when she finds out that Oscar is gay, or you just ran off to go tell the first person you could find about my awesome wordplay.
If it's the former, I won't apologize, but I do implore you to read on.
If it's the latter, take your time telling everyone you see how awesome Korked Bats is, then come back over here and read on.

At any rate, let's get to it!

• • •

5 predictions for
The East Region:

1. Wisconsin will beat Florida State

You guys know the drill. Every year, a 12 beats a 5 in the first round. Five-seeds have the first major drop-off in winning percentage (One-seeds have a 100% winning percentage in the first round, two-seeds have 96%, three-seeds have 84%, four-seeds have 82%, and five seeds 67%) and a big contributor to this is that twelve-seeds are typically the lowest seed you'll see an at-large team get.

Cue this year.

Here's why I love Wisconsin here. They are a fundamental team. Not sexy. Not fun to watch. But they do Big 10 things. They play great fundamental defense, and run an efficient offense. Again, they're not explosive. They don't scare you. But you don't want to play them.

Florida State is more of a one-man band than D-12. Toney Douglas leads the team in scoring at 21.3 points per game, and the next leading scorer checks in at an intimidating 8.5 ppg. Douglas has played in every game this year and has averaged over 37 mpg throughout ACC play and the ACC tournament.

So you have an undersized, worn-down shooting guard trying to carry a team against a defensively disciplined group of Bo Ryan players that will work tirelessly to contain him.
I couldn't love this match-up any more for the Badgers.

Let's put it like this: the 'Noles are 10-1 this season when Douglas shoots 50% or better (4-1 in ACC regular season and tournament play combined). So as Toney goes, so goes Florida State

Considering Toney goes against a team giving up less than 60 points a game, Florida State goes home early.

2. Portland State will beat Xavier

If someone can explain to me how Xavier still nabbed a four-seed after going 5-5 in its last 10 games (all against A-10 teams, mind you), feel free to do so below.

Meanwhile Portland State is 8-2 in their last 10 games- including winning six straight- and they don't have to travel anywhere near as far (the game is in Boise) as the higher-seeded Musketeers. I love their balance (four guys averaging at least 11 ppg) and the fact that they've played against some talented teams this year (non-con games against Gonzaga, Washington, and Baylor).

I feel like I pick against Xavier in the first round every year, and they've made fools of me each of the last two years.

So you know how the saying goes. Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice, and I'll continue to blindly pick against you.

3. Tennessee will scare Pittsburgh

I don't have the cajones to take Tennessee, but I promise that this will be one of those top-seed-takes-a-team-lightly-and-falls-down-by-20-before-coming-back-in-the-last-3-minutes games. Tennessee is a very talented team (I would love them if they didn't draw Pitt in the second round) that is very effective when they get out and run.

Pitt isn't.

My guess is that it'll go like this:
DeJuan Blair will jog up and down the court for the game's first 15 minutes, allowing Wayne Chism to go for 14 quick points and the Vols to jump out to a 20 point lead. At that point, Jamie Dixon will realize that he needs to put Sam Young on Chism, and Pitt will make a methodical, boring-to-watch comeback that will culminate with Pitt going ahead for the first time with 40 seconds left in the game.

4. You won't hear the word "Pittsburgh" in the same sentence as "offensive explosion" at all during this tournament (except the first round)

I hate Pitt. They don't have the ability to score in bunches- nor keep up with a running team (see their losses to Louisville and Villanova).

Look back at the national championship squads over each of the last eight years. All of them could explode for big points when they needed to. Some did it with a collection of good scorers (KU in '08, Florida in '06 & '07, North Carolina in '05) and others with one streaky scorer that could take over whenever he needed (Ben Gordon with UConn in '04, Carmelo Anthony with Syracuse in '03, and Juan Dixon with Maryland in '02). Pitt has neither.

I see you. I can read your lips saying "Sam Young." Not buying it. Sam Young isn't an explosive scorer. He's a consistent scorer, yes, but not explosive. Explosive scorers explode for big games. Sam Young has only scored 25 points or more three times since the start of Big East play. Considering Pitt is a team that relies on him to be their explosive scorer (the team isn't very balanced offensively- only three guys average double digit ppg), you'd like to see him go off more often.

5. Duke will advance to the Final Four

I've spent my last two predictions dogging Pitt, so do you honestly think that I have them advancing to Detroit? I said that Pitt would struggle to get past Tennessee because they are a running team that can force Pitt out of their grinding, methodical, snooze-fest of an offense.

Duke is a better passing (albeit less athletic), more disciplined version of Tennessee. They're the best team in the nation at going small. So as long as Krysceskiviskireskiski doesn't try to match up with Pitt by going big (starting Brian "I Have an 11-Inch Vertical" Zoubek at center, Lance Thomas at power forward, Kyle Singler at small forward, Gerald Henderson at the shooting guard and Jon Scheyer at point), then Duke will win.

Allow me to defend myself first though (so what if I might already be making excuses): if Duke tries to go big, they'll lose by double digits. No one in the nation is better than Pitt at slowing the pace, beating you up, building a lead, and then putting their foot on your throat.

That's exactly what will happen if Duke tries to guard Blair with Zoubek.

Also, allow me to hereby establish the Gerald Henderson Will Be a Lottery Pick After an Incredible NCAA Tournament Bandwagon. Feel free to jump on whenever. Over the last month or two, Henderson has become Duke's crunch-time scorer (even over Singler) and has an unguardable pull-up jumper. He's a superlative athlete and makes very intelligent decisions in the open floor. Think a more offensively skilled Shane Battier.

Having that being said, his most important function- in the Pitt game at least- will be the match-up problems he creates. If Pitt puts Sam Young on Henderson, then Singler will be able to get free looks all night. If they put Young on Singler, then Henderson will dominate the ball and take over in the game's last five minutes.

I promise I have a foundation of fact here. Look at Pitt's loss to Louisville. They couldn't match up with the tandem of Terrance Williams and Earl Clark (my favorite non-Carroll-Lyons duo in the nation).

Henderson and Singler will create a similar match-up, and a similar result.

• • •

I don't want to ramble on, but here are some rapid-fire observations:
  • Texas isn't the same without D.J. Augistin. It forces them to either put A.J. Abrams (a shotty ball-handler) or Dogus Balbay (a 45% free throw shooter) at the point. Don't be surprised if they lose to Tubby and his Gophers.
  • Oklahoma State's best player is 5 foot 11 and weighs 210 pounds (a very generous estimate, might I add). With that, I hereby establish the Byron Eaton Corollary: Always pick against a running team whose sub-6-foot point guard weighs 200+ pounds.
  • As Ohio State 15th man/blogger extraordinaire Mark Titus points out, Wisconsin's team provides a clinic in the buzz-cut. What screams "FUNDAMENTAL!!"more than a bunch of white guys with buzzcuts?!?
  • Don't sleep on UCLA. They aren't the same squad they've been the last few years, but they still have a talented roster with a freshman in Jrue Holliday that could jump into the lottery if his tournament is good enough (a la USC's Demar Derozan). Seems like a good time for him to start trying. I like their chances even better if they sneak Jordan Farmar into the game in Blake Arnet's jersey.
  • I defy you to find me a more phonetically pleasing team name than the Binghampton Bearcats. I've spent the last seven minutes considering changing prediction number 5 just because I want to hear Ian Ealge say "Fit on that glass slipper, Binghampton Bearcats!" all the way into April so badly.
  • The end of this NCAA tournament will be as exciting as the end of this blog post...
(Searching)

(Reaching)

Yeah!!



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Korked Bats Look Alikes


Michael Phelps and Karl the Giant from 'Big Fish'

Does anyone else see it?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

MATT JONES! WHO?!

Today Matt Jones, a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars who was drafted in the first round out of Arkansas in 2005, was released today. Jones was jailed for five days after testing positive for alcohol as part of the diversion program that allowed him to avoid felony cocaine possession charges. Jones failed a drug and alcohol screening and after told a judge that he drank beer while golfing with some buddies.

Smart move Matt. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. The Jaguars wanted nothing more to do with him.

Smart move Jacksonville. The Jaguars had previously released Jerry Porter and opted not to re-sign Reggie Williams. Who are they thinking will play reciever next year? Vince Papale?

We're getting off topic. I'm not here to dawg on the Jags. All I want to say is:

Really, Matt Jones?!

Let's go ahead and have some fun with this situation.
  • How bad of a golf game did you shoot?
  • Matt will always have a future in Hollywood if they ever make a sequel to Requiem for a Dream.
  • We all knew that Matt Jones had speed. However, I bet now that takes on more than one meaning.
  • Matt, now that you are out of football, Michael Phelps wants to know if you want to hang out?
  • Matt, now that you are out of football, Pacman Jones wants to know if you want to hang out?
  • Matt is now looking into his second love, basketball... mainly just to shoot around before games.
  • I guess Matt thought it would be ok to Drink and Drive (and putt).
  • Matt really wasted a good opportunity.
  • Remember that scene from Any Given Sunday - Directors Cut when they are doing cocaine in the bathroom of that banquet? Matt Jones was an extra in that scene.
  • I wonder what his method will be from here on out?
  • And to think, he was just about to crack into the elite group of wideouts
  • At least this will give him a good (free) base to start over with
  • Sorry Mateo but this blows...
  • Matt, just take the Ricky Williams path to success. Retire, regret it, play in the CFL, then everntually hope someone will pick you back up.
  • Just try and keep your nose outta trouble Matt!
  • I think Matt was only in it to get that Coke endorsement.
  • The Jaguars cut Matt. Then Matt cut some cocaine.
  • Odds of Matt Jones getting back into the league soon? I say it's a push (off).
  • Heck, at least he didn't do steroids!
It's hard to believe that such a clean cut guy would be into drugs.


Random Athlete of the Month - March

When you think of random athletes, who is the first person that comes to mind?

Yup, us too...

This month's random athlete is:


DELINO DESHIELDS

That's right, the same Delino Deshields from Seaford, Delaware.


I'll give you a moment to take this one in.


I know this is two consecutive months of our random athlete being a baseball player. But like the Montreal Expos with the 12th pick in the 1987 MLB Draft, how could I NOT take Delino Lamont Deshields?!

Of course, our man, Delino could be considered a multi-sport athlete. Delino was supposed to play point guard for Villanova's basketball team after high school.

However, lucky for us, ole Delino chose to grace us with his presence in Montreal, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Chicago over the course of his illustrious career. Last year was his first year to become eligible for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, he did not get the invite.

But who is to say he won't? All joking aside, he is BY FAR the best Major Leaguer to ever play the game.*


In 13 major league seasons, Delino batted .268 (Not to mention batting .295 and swiping 43 bases in 1993. He is currently 44th all time in stolen bases). He led the National League in triples in 1997. You tell me anyone else who led the NL in triples in 1997? Bet you can't do it!

I mean, come on, the man has made history! In 2001, Deshields was the final out of Hideo Nomo's no hitter. If he doesn't intentionally get out (because we all no he only got out when he WANTED to get out) at that at bat, Hideo Nomo wouldn't be the pitcher he is today. So thank you Delino, for your selflessness.

In 2000, Sports Illustrated named Delino the 3rd best athlete to come from the state of Delaware. That's pretty good considering the amount of profesional athletes they produce in that state every year! (SARCASM) I mean, seriously, it's Delaware.

(Gah, I'm here trying to fight for your case, Delino... But when you're from Delaware and you're not even the best athlete from that state... I mean, you make this really tough on me.)

Delino finished second in voting for the Rookie of the Year Award in 1990. Now, if you ask me, first is the worst and sedond is the best, so TECHNICALLY, Delino Deshields was the best rookie in 1990. So take that, David Justice! Finally Justice has been served! (rim shot)


Ok, before I wrap this up, I must admit one thing. Delino, although he had an amazing career, did have a rough stretch at one point in his career from 1994-1996. During this time he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It probably wouldn't have been that big of a deal. But the man he was traded to the Expos for was none other than 3-time Cy Young winner, Pedro Martinez.

That trade is considered to be the worst transaction the Dodgers made in their 50 year history in Los Angeles.

But who's counting?!

Congratulations Delino Deshields for being honored as Korked Bat's March 2009 Random Athlete of the Month. You delighted us for so many seasons, and now it's our turn to give back to you!

Not to mention, the guy looks like the illegitmate son of Montel Williams and Seal.


* - with a first name of Delino.

Do you have a random athlete idea that you think should be next month's Random Athlete of the Month? Leave a comment below and see if your random athlete will be next month's Korked Bats' Random Athlete of the Month!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No King of the Cassel For You, Mr. McDaniels


Enter Jay Cutler.

A prolific quarterback with great collegiate experience.

Enter Josh McDaniels.

An instinctive offensive coordinator who was Darth Maul to Belichick's Emperor.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've heard nothing but bickering between the Denver Broncos and their franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler. A meeting here. A meeting there. Shannahan leaves and it's like Ward and June got a divorce. But view this - Cutler's numbers have been fine for a 3rd year guy. However, we have uncovered some serious issues.

I mean, did someone piss in Jay's locker?

So the Broncos wanted to slut it up and try and reel in Cassel. Who wouldn't? Heck, I would show a little leg if I was McDaniels. But no go. The Chiefs gave him what he asked for, DONNIE!

Obviously Denver didn't wine and dine the KC Chiefs like they should have. Instead they just gave Cutler the opportunity to j'd up the organization.

Now, all Denver is left with is a pissy quarterback who has already put his house in Denver up for sale, and even worse, no King of the Cassel.

My advice: get him out of there. Ship him to Detroit for the #20 pick. Pick up a Left Tackle. Those are hard to screw up (Oh, and don't pick Andre Smith).


Friday, March 13, 2009

Orange You Glad It's Over(time)?

1.1 seconds remain in regulation.

The score is tied 71-71.

The Syracuse Orange in bound the ball the length of the court. The ball is tipped, starting the clock. Cuse's Eric Devendorf grabs the ball and in one motion just throws the ball up from just behind the arc.

If this were a movie, this scene would have been completely in slow motion.

They would cut to a shot of Jim Boeheim, then Jim Calhoun, then back to the ball floating in the air, then to Eric Devendorf with his follow through hand still in the air, then Hasheem Thabeet, then to the commentators, back to Boheim, ball, Calhoun, ball, Devendorf, the hot dog vendor, ball, people huddled around their TV at home, commentators again, and finally the ball going through the hoop touching nothing but the nylon net.

That is about how long that final shot seemed.

The Syracuse team rushes the court in excitement.

So Syracuse upsets UConn on a last second buzzer beater.

Right?

[insert annoying game show wrong answer sound here]

The referees huddled over their TV monitor and rewatched it over and over to make sure they got this call right. The replay was close. I mean really close. We're talking Phelps 7th gold medal race close. The ball was on the tips of his fingers when the clock struck triple zeroes.

A few minutes later, the referees' announcement was made.

We were set to go into overtime. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into.

Had Devendorf's shot counted, the game still would have had a great finish.

Like Heath Ledger in "A Knight's Tale" great.

But instead we got a finish that was Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" great.


• • •
Quick Tangent:
Before I go on to talk about this epic and legendary game, let me first talk about the Big East Tournament for a second. No doubt that the Big East is the best basketball conference this season. They have been dominant. Up until this week, some people figured that this conference could distribute 3 number one seeds for the Big Dance. They are good, there is no arguing it.

However, for having such a great conference how can they have such a dumb tournament logo? For those of you who haven't seen it, it's the same as last years. And yes, it was just as dumb last year. The event is held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. So, what's the best thing that represents New York? Statue of Liberty? The Empire State Building? That restaurant from Seinfeld? Hmmmm... I know! How about a TAXI! No wait... a Taxi that is family friendly. One that looks like it came straight from the movie "Cars". Are you serious? That is like using a picture of a an L Train for Chicago, an old retired guy for Miami, or Danny Tanner for San Francisco. All of those things do have something to do with the city, but have no place on a logo for a basketball tournament. I mean who is designing the Big East logo? Richard Scarry?

Thank you for allowing me to vent... We can move on.
• • •


Now, back to the game that was more dramatic than an episode of The O.C.

For the first 5 overtimes, UConn seemed like they were the older brother and their younger annoying brother just wouldn't leave them alone.

They would pull ahead by four or six a couple different times, and Syracuse would come back by hitting every BIG shot they took (Not to mention shooting nearly 80% from the free thrown line). It was like they took shooting lessons from Lee Harvey Oswald.

Too soon?

The tension rose so high during the game that every shot seemed to be life or death. When UConn pulled ahead by four points it seemed like it was ten or twelve, but sure enough Syracuse fought back every time.

Eight players (four on each team) fouled out over the course of the game. In the 5th overtime, Syracuse had no other option but to insert their secret weapon, walk-on Justin Thomas, into the game. Thomas has 4 points on the year appearing in the end of 10 games this season. He had only played 21 minutes up until last night's marathon.


Last night, he got a whopping 7 minutes of playing time. Not to mention recording his first rebound of the year.

Luckily for 'Cuse, no one else fouled out. Because the only other guy left on the depth chart was this guy.

Props to SU's Jonny Flynn for playing 67 minutes out of the 70 minute game. He was one of six players who recorded a double-double.

The game was a non-stop thrill ride. Each overtime brought more and more excitement.

The second overtime almost closed the game with a miraculous midcourt shot by Conneticut's Kemba Walker. Unfortunately for the Huskies, it had an ounce too much on it and hit the back of the rim.

Syracuse was down six for most of the third overtime. They managed to get the score to 95-98 inside the final minute. With 11 seconds left, Andy Rautins tied the game up with his three pointer on a nice open look off a screen.

The closing seconds of the fourth overtime had a bunch of good looks at the bucket leaving fans to believe that they better grab their coats and belongings. The only thing that amounted was missed layups and blocked shots and a five more minutes to play in overtime number five.

In the firth overtime, UConn had a look at an NBA range three pointer that fell short. They got the rebound, missed the put back and then missed a jumper as time expired.

Everyone in unison put their hands on their head and sighed, "AHHHHHHH!"

By this point the players and fans were more exhausted then Jon and Kate when they had to take the kids on Oprah.


I tuned into the game for the final play of regulation. I then continued to watch for two more hours until the game ended. As each overtime came and went, I got to thinking of another multiple overtime game that I was at. In 2003, I was at Commonwealth Stadium when Kentucky fell to Matt Jones' Arkansas team in 7 overtimes (tied the NCAA Football record). On a less famous note, my sophomore year of high school, I commentated a basketball game for my schook's public access channel that featured my high school and my high school's rival high school. That game went into 4 overtimes. And yes, I was out past curfew because of it. Sorry, mom.

Back to the Johnny Chase of basketball games.

By the 6th overtime, some people were getting tired. They wanted the game to end because it seemed less like a college basketball game and more like this.

As for me?

I found myself not wanting to see this game end. I needed more overtimes! Like a horrible at spelling drug addict, I wanted to keep OTing. It was like a good war movie. You see guys dropping left and right, but yet you don't want to see it stop. But like Nelly Furtado says, all good things come to an end.


Boheim said following the game, "It would have been a lot better if they just counted Eric's shot and we could have gone home 2 hours ago."

Yeah right, Jim! Your game gave us exactly what we needed:
  1. a great topic to write about on sports blogs across the country (especially this one)
  2. an appetizer for the Big Dance next Thursday!
Let the Madness begin!