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Posted by TopOfTheThread on May 25, 2015
Posted by TopOfTheThread on January 27, 2015
I was able to call the New England Patriots office and arrange a faux interview with Bill Belichick. Belichick (BB) would speak with me only on the condition that I gave him my old, cut-up ESPN The Magazine sweatshirt.
I asked him a series of questions trying to get insight into his peculiar personality.
Based upon your recent press conference, it seems obvious you like the movie My Cousin Vinny. What are some of your other favorite movies?
BB: Eight Men Out, 21, The Sting
Who is your favorite U.S. President?
BB: Richard Nixon
Who is your favorite Wall Street personality?
BB: Bernie Madoff
What is your favorite quote?
BB: Rules are made to be broken.
What is your favorite quote by a celebrity?
BB: Bill Clinton “…I did not have sexual relations with that woman …”
Who is your favorite baseball player(s)?
BB: Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire
Who is your favorite non-football athlete?
BB: Lance Armstrong
Who is your favorite female athlete?
BB: Rosie Ruiz
Who is your favorite youth athlete?
BB: Danny Almonte
What is yout favorite song:
BB: Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul, later remade by others, including Michael Bublé.
What is your favorite color:?
BB: Anything opaque, maybe black
Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
BB: When do I get my ESPN The Magazine Sweatshirt?
Ahhh! Now I understand!
(Obviously a fake interview but it was fun to think about 😉 )
Posted in Football, sports | Tagged: Bill Belichick, espn, ESPN The Magazine, Fake Interview, Faux Interview, football, New England Patriots, NFL, Seattle Seahawks, super bowl, Tom Brady | Leave a Comment »
Posted by TopOfTheThread on December 20, 2014
Continuing the Knicks post (rant) from Nov 8th… (https://topofthethread.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/a-realistic-ny-knicks-assessment/ )
How long should we wait for a contending New York Knicks team?
Oh yeah… how many years ago were we ‘tanking’ the season and playing the ‘salary cap game’? 4 years ago?
Oh yeah we were going to get Lebron James! Are now we’re AGAIN ‘tanking’ to get Duke’s Jahlil Okafor? Are we? Is that the plan?
Two Bright Spots.
Amar’e Stoudemire seems “healthier” than in previous seasons but it would be a major accomplishment if he makes it through the season… I hope so, but really doubt it. If smart, the Knicks will keep him at 20 – 25 minutes per game. He’s having a good year and it’s one of the few bright spots in a dismal season. The other bright spot? Jason Smith. It’s a shame no one notices it. See his stats. Give him 25 minutes. If you are going to run The Triangle Offense and need someone to hit an open ‘J’ (other than Melo), give it to Jason Smith.
The Triangle Offense. The Triangle Offense. The Triangle Offense.
That will save us! You can have a triangle, parallelogram, or octagon offense… if you do not have talent you won’t win! The Knicks have one player who would start on a GOOD NBA team; Carmelo Anthony. Many of the other players are nice second team players but certainly not starters for a contending team. (Even Amar’e should come off the bench.)
And Carmelo Anthony is not the prototypical team player. He’s a great shooter and, on this team, one of the better passers. He is, by no means, a leader who makes the players around him better. When the shot clock is down to 5, give it to Melo and there’s a good chance he’ll bail you out and score. As far as the triangle, IMHO, it seems the offense may ruin his career.
Backward Logic and Strategy
Does everyone listen to ESPN Radio or other sports radio? Recently there has been a lot of discussion about (football) quarterbacks and offensive schemes. A good quarterback is an incredible asset and the scheme needs to meet his strengths. The quarterback and team will not be successful if you do not leverage the strengths of the QB. You need to put him in a position to be successful.
The same hold true for basketball and the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony is one of the top 5 – 10 players in the NBA. Does The Triangle Offense fit his skill set? The Triangle is a read-and-react offense. Melo is a great scorer but does he have the basketball IQ to work in this scheme and raise himself and his teammates to the next level. I won’t pretend to know but he’s the Knicks $124 million asset and he’s not getting any younger. How long do you wait before implementing an offense that fits Melo’s skill set?
Phil Jackson is New York’s Messiah
Before the season started everyone was excited about Phil Jackson coming to NY. Well… it seems he’s come to NY at least part time ;). All those championships! The Zen Master! Blah blah blah… The Triangle Offense… Oh come on…
As a Knick fan, I hope he has what it takes to be a general manager. He’s never been a GM.
He has shown he can coach teams to NBA Championships with rosters stacked with 2-way Hall of Fame players. Michael Jordan. Scottie Pippen. Kobe Bryant. Shaquille O’Neal.
Does it take a certain type of personality to manage these stars’ personalities? Absolutely yes. Props to him.
Is Phil in the same situation here in NY? No. Does he have the talent to convert a bottom dweller to a championship team? Maybe. Who knows? But he has no track record in these conditions.
I hope he can do it.
Frankly, I am not sure why any star player would want to come to the Knicks. It would seem the only reason Melo stayed is because he could sign for more money on his current team.
Sorry for all the gloom and doom. Deep down I’m hopeful for a Knicks turnaround. It’s just hard being both a New York Knicks and Jets fan.
Posted in basketball, sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: carmelo anthony, Duke, espn, espnradio, Jahlil Okafor, Knickerbockers, Knicks, lebron james, mike and mike, mikeandmike, NBA, nba draft, Okafor, Phil Jackson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by TopOfTheThread on December 7, 2014
… Regarding the teams competing for the last spot in the college football playoff – TCU, The Ohio State, and Baylor.
What is significant today? Games against ranked opponents at that time… and now.
* Rankings used are the College Football Playoff Rankings listed on ESPN on 12/7/2014 @ 7:56 AM ET *
To be ranked high early in the season is insignificant. There is a lot of fluff mixed in. Let’s look at TCU, The Ohio State, and Baylor’s games versus ranked opponents then and whether those games should be significant talking-points in relation to the College Football Final Four selection process.
- TCU – Beats #4 Oklahoma 37-33 (@Home). Oklahoma is now #20.
- TCU – Loses to #5 Baylor 61-58 (@Baylor) – Baylor is now #6 (Not a significant difference.) – Note: This was a shootout. Seemed like an NBA All Star game where no one plays defense. All Offense. I would not heavily weigh this game.
- TCU – Beats #15 Oklahoma State 42-9 (@Home) – Oklahoma State has been dropped from the rankings.
- TCU – Beat #20 West Virginia 31-30 (@WV) WV has been dropped from the rankings.
- TCU – Beats #7 Kansas State 42-20 (@Home) KS is now #9
TCU has 3 wins against currently ranked opponents (#6, #9, #20) Their most dominant win versus a ranked opponent is beating #9 Kansas State 42-20.
- Ohio State – Beats #8 Michigan State 49-37 (@Michigan State). Michigan State is now #8
- Ohio State – Beats #25 Minnesota 31-24 (@Minnesota). Minnesota has been dropped from the rankings.
- Ohio State – Beats #13 Wisconsin 59-0 (@Neutral site) Wisconsin is now #13.
The Ohio State has 2 wins against currently ranked opponents (#8, #13) Their most dominant win versus a ranked opponent is beating #13 Wisconsin 59-0.
- Baylor – Beats #9 TCU 61-58 (@Home) TCU is now #3. Please see note above for opinion on this shootout.
- Baylor – Beats #15 Oklahoma 48-14 (@Oklahoma). Oklahoma is now #20
- Baylor – Beats #9 Kansas State 42-20 (@Home) Kansas State is now #9
Baylor has 3 wins against currently ranked opponents (#3, #9, #20) Their most dominant win versus a ranked opponent is beating #20 Oklahoma 48-14.
If you take out the Baylor-TCU “shootout” they each have 2 wins versus currently ranked teams.
Personally, I see Ohio State being the team with the best chance of beating any of the 3 biggies (Alabama, Oregon, and FSU). Who knows? That’s the beauty of it….
We’ll know the selection in 3.50 hours!
Posted by TopOfTheThread on November 16, 2014
Lots of College Football to go… and it’s getting exciting to see who’ll be the four teams to make it the first college playoffs.
Here are some (a) quick and dirty comments on this week’s play and (b) my predictions for Tuesday’s committee rankings.
Hey, everyone’s allowed an opinion 😉
Question: Why are LIEUTENANT GENERAL MIKE GOULD and CONDOLEEZZA RICE on the selection committee?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: ARCHIE MANNING, Arizona State, BARRY ALVAREZ, Baylor, College Football Selection Committee, CONDOLEEZZA RICE, DAN RADAKOVICH, espn, Florida State, FLU, football, FSU, FUS, JEFF LONG, LIEUTENANT GENERAL MIKE GOULD, MIKE TRANGHESE, Mississippi State, ncaa, Ohio State, OLIVER LUCK, Oregon, PAT HADEN, sports, STEVE WIEBERG, TCU, TOM JERNSTEDT, TOM OSBORNE, TYRONE WILLINGHAM, ucla, University of Alabama, video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by TopOfTheThread on November 8, 2014
It’s a new season and this Knicks fan has a realistic assessment of the team. So far, there’s not a lot to be excited about and, as far as “the triangle” offense… well, we’ll see.
Who are the Knicks?
- Carmelo Anthony – Great scorer. Future Hall-of-Famer. Not a particularly good team player. Does not make the players around him better ala Lebron James. The Knicks need 25+ points from him every night with him shooting 45% and higher. The other team needs to drawn to him on defense so other Knicks have a little bit of an easier time on offense.
- Iman Shumpert – Good defensive player. Good athlete. Weak offensively. He’s hit a few 3 pointers early this year which may be a problem. If he starts thinking he’s a shooter, that will be a problem for the team. The best thing he can do is (a) play tough defense and (b) on offense, drive hard to the basket. (That’s like when Charles Oakley was on the Knicks. If he hit his first ‘J’, he would think he was a scorer and take way too many shots.)
- Jose Calderon – He’s so important to the team. If he can distribute the ball and be opportunistic with his scoring, he will be incredibly valuable to the team. If he can produce, 10 points and 5 assists with minimal turnovers, that would be great.
- J.R. Smith – If he can give the Knicks a shot of “instant offense”, and minimize his “stupidity”, he can be an important contributor. It’s hard to count on someone who is so erratic with his play and behavior.
- Amar’e Stoudamire – Needs to stay healthy. If the Knicks can get 15-20 minute from him, it would be great for their offense. He is a liability on the defensive side of the court. The Knicks, in general, are not a great defensive team.
- Jason Smith – The find! He’s been the best new addition to the team. Has been a solid contributor and proven he can hit a jumper. He should get more time on the court. On offense, the Knicks can have him draw the other team’s big man away from the basket, which should open the lane for everyone else.
- Shane Larkin – He can be a good backup PG. He’s quick, pesky, and has quick hands. He can be counted on for a steal or two per game. I really like him in a backup, situational role where he is not counted on for offense. He brings energy to the court.
- Quincy Acy – Reminds me of the old-time Knicks. He can get in there play some ‘D’ and grab some boards.
- Andrea Bargnani – I don’t know what to think about Bargnani. He can put it in the hoop but I don’t believe, if the Knicks turn out being a good team, he should be on the floor for more than 10 minutes. What’s his role? Bring him in to energize the team when they are “flat”?
We have yet to really see the 2014-2015 NY Knicks. We need to reserve judgement until Calderon gets back, and they have a real, experienced PG on the floor.
I’m a little scared that if they do not improve within 5-10 games of Calderon’s return, this may be a horribly painful year for the Knicks.
Posted by TopOfTheThread on March 9, 2014
Love House of Cards! Love Netflix! Thanks for the great post!
Been working on this Think Piece-y essay for awhile. I got a late start watching Season 2 of House of Cards, but after watching it and mulling it over, I think the similarities with West Wing are more striking than many people realize.
Also, thanks to the Twitter-er who pointed out that this needs a SPOILER ALERT for HoC.
House of Cards has already earned its place in history. Even if the series itself were an artistic disaster, the fact that it’s Netflix’s first original series, available for streaming and binging on the viewer’s own terms, signals an important shift in the way we watch and analyze TV. But what’s not new about the show is the way it creates a hermetically sealed D.C. Fantasyland for viewers to lose themselves in. Everything about the show furthers the impression that you’ve stepped into a different universe. The show is heavily…
View original post 1,351 more words
Posted by TopOfTheThread on March 9, 2014
Posted by TopOfTheThread on March 17, 2013
Today is Selection Sunday. In approximately 8 hours, we will see the real brackets and scramble to complete them for our office, friends and online pools.
I know I am jumping the gun, but let’s take an early look at the tournament using Joe Lunardi’s predictions on Espn.com.
East – IMHO:
- Miami is the type of team that can make a run. Good, quick guard play from Larkin is the key to their success. Their #2 seed is earned and it would not be a surprise if they made it to the Final 4.
- Wisconsin is battle tested having gone through many wars in the Big 10. While somewhat inconsistent at time, they have the tools to make a run.
- Never count out Tom Izzo and Michigan State. Many of their losses in the Big 10 could have gone either way. Yesterday Izzo commented he is ready to play non-Big-10 teams. If he gets this far, he may be facing Miami and then Wisconsin again.
- Louisville has had an up and down year. They seem to be on the upswing. This type of athletic, pressing team is built for this tournament. Throw in Rick Pitino and watch out. I would not want to play them. You need a solid, smart, well-coached team to break their press and force them to back off. Who is that?
South – IMHO:
- This is the most unpredictable bracket. Duke and Michigan are inconsistent.
- Duke. Duke. Duke. Ryan Kelly is back. Now they are supposed to be a great team. They can get to the Final 4. They will try to “out score” you. Defense is not great. The do not box out and give up way too many offensive rebounds. If their offense is hot, they will go far. Of not, they won’t.
- Kansas is strong. McLemore and 7 footer Withey will be tough. They have 4 players averaging in double-figure points. I am unsure of them. I can picture them getting to the Final 4. I can also picture them getting knocked out by the likes of Michigan or Arizona.
- Which Michigan team will show up? That says it all.
- Regional and time-zone advantage to Gonzaga. The #1 ranked team in the country. Olynyk and Harris have good point and rebound numbers. I have not seen them enough to contribute to the “weak schedule” argument. The first few games will really tell the story. If they win this bracket, they will have certainly earned it by facing the likes of The Ohio State, Kansas State, and Syracuse.
- The Ohio State is a tough team that finds ways to win. Thomas and Craft get all the attention. Smith is hot and cold. Watch out for Ross and Thompson. They are long athletes who can put the ball in the hoop. If they play well, they can make it to the Final 4.
- Syracuse is for real. They have 4 players in double-figure points. Long players in a tough zone defense. Syracuse versus The Ohio State could be a great game. I have no idea how that game would end.
Midwest – IMHO:
- Indiana deserves the top seed in this bracket. Zeller and Oladipo, NBA first-rounders, are the leaders of this team. Players like Watford and Sheehey greatly affect games and spread out the court. On paper, I do not see how they lose. But, of late, they have been losing. It seems like Oladipo gets distracted and is not always on the top of his game. If Zeller and Oladipo are on the top of their games, and everyone else plays average games, they will be hard to beat.
- Georgetown is long, lean, and athletic. They are coached well and will be hard to beat. They play good defense. IF they get by UNC, they will get to the Elite 8. An Indiana v. GTown game would be fun to watch. I would venture to say GTown could take Indiana out of their game.
- North Carolina has had 2 seasons; the 1st half and the 2nd half. They have that “Carolina Talent” and, if they play well, can get by GTown and Florida. I doubt they can beat Indiana.
- I have only seen Florida play twice this year. Obviously they are a balanced team on the offensive side of the court. Can they beat a UNC or GTown? Can they beat a well-coached VCU? We’ll know soon enough.
IMHO: Of course this not even using the actual brackets, but…
- Final 4: Louisville. Kansas. The Ohio State. Georgetown.
- Final game: Georgetown. Louisville.
- 2013 NCAA Mens Basketball Champion: Louisville
Posted in basketball, sports | Tagged: Basketball brackets, Butler, College basketball, Duke, espn, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Joe Lunardi, Kansas, Lousiville, Miami, Michigan, NCAA Basketball, North Carolina, notre dame, Syracuse, The Ohio State, VCU | Leave a Comment »