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Posts Tagged ‘espn’

New England Patriots – Faux Interview with Bill Belichick

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.

BBbelichick

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  😉 )

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Who’s the rocket-scientist running this dysfunctional New York Knicks organization?

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/ )

Knicks-logo-upside

 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. 

Going Forward

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.

 

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Lots of College Football to go…

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 😉

FootballRankings-PNG

Question: Why are LIEUTENANT GENERAL MIKE GOULD and CONDOLEEZZA RICE on the selection committee?

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IMHO – Jumping the gun on the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Brackets

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.

2013-NCAA Mens Basketball Brackets-east

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?

2013-Brackets- Mens Basketball south

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.

2013-Brackets Mens Basketball-west

West-IMHO:

  • 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.

2013-NCAA Mens Basketball Brackets-midwest

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.

2013-Brackets NCAA Mens Basketball

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

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Sports is an escape – vs – Obama’s invasiveness

Posted by TopOfTheThread on March 21, 2010

Right now the world is pretty tough.  Wars. High unemployment.  Bad economy.  Major government and political decisions (like health care reform) being made behind closed doors which is creating a feeling of helplessness in the US.  Promises being broken to the citizens of the US (such as transparency).

How do we escape this madness for a few minutes?

Some of us watch sports.

Turn off CNN. Turn off MSNBC. Turn off Fox News.

Turn on ESPN. Watch a game. Watch SportsCenter.

The problem is Obama and politics are  now invading that “arena”.

It’s not the orientation. I agree with him on some topics. I disagree with him on other topics.  I resent when he has to stick his nose into sports. He has done it many times. A couple of examples… He inserted himself into a broadcast of a Jets game in September.  He fills out an NCAA Hoops bracket. Millions of people do it. Who cares?

Please cut it out.   Please,  please give us somewhere, a safe-haven, to have a little peace and not think about politics and the economy. Sports was it.

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It’s time for individual sports records to take a backseat…

Posted by TopOfTheThread on February 22, 2009

Regarding team sports such as baseball, football, hockey, soccer — only:

As fans, we have been pushed to say

  • Who cares about Barry Bonds, or Hank Aaron having the most home runs
  • Who cares about Roger Clemens having 350 wins and over 4,000 strikeouts
  • Who cares that Mark McGuire beat out Sammy Sosa in the 1998 Roger Maris home run chase
  • So what — Alex Rodriguez has 500 plus home runs and counting…..

Cheating has taken place and will always take place.

Focusing on team records is, at least, an equal playing field (no pun intended). Think about it.

A-Rod recently admitted using steroids from 2001 – 2003.  Let’s assume that at least 104 players used performance enhancing drugs during that era. Who won the World Series from 2001 – 2003 (Arizona Diamondbacks,   Anaheim Angels, Florida Marlins). Fine.

So we can assume that at LEAST 100 of the 700 major league players “cheated” using performance enhancing drugs.  For round numbers, that’s 14% of the players.  Let’s assume there is an equal distribution of  “cheaters”. 14% of the Diamondbacks cheated. 14% of the Angels cheated. And 14% of the Marlins cheated.

Continuing, 14% of the NY Yankees, NY Mets, and Boston Red Sox also cheated, and did NOT win the World Series.

As a fan, I have no problem with it.  Those seasons were entertaining and fun to watch.  It is an equal playing field because all the teams and players probably had access to the same performance enhancing drugs. Teams made decisions. Individuals made decisions. That was THAT era.

When the rules were set outlawing steriods, the number probably went from 14% to 2% (a guess).  Again, the cheaters were probably evenly distributed amongst the league.

So all the teams and players probably had a representative sample of cheaters.

As new drugs come on the scene, everyone will have access to them. New masking agents come on the scene, everyone will have access to them. It’s illegal but fair.

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The same holds true for football.  As time as gone on, steriods/HGH testing has gotten tougher. People still use then and there is probably an equal distribution amongst the teams and players.

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This may seem like bizarre logic, but it makes sense for the “team results”. Of course it does not help the individual records that are affected by this cheating.

I know it’s not realistic, but perhaps we should come up with an alternative to “individual records”. Perhaps we should discuss using a word like “highlights”.

One of the “highlights” of the 1998 season was McGuire and Sosa competing to hit the most home runs… I know,I know, it’s weak…

(photo nflheadline.com gain-weight-muscle-fast.com)

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Is ESPN so desperate for ratings?

Posted by TopOfTheThread on September 2, 2008

I thought ESPN prided itself on its reporting.david tyree ny giants football

ESPN hyped its E:60 Show (9.2.08)… Giants David Tyree… Comes back from being admitted to a mental institution.. Tyree thinks he’s the Devil… Oh my g-d…

We expect these type of stories from the supermarket rag sheets, not ESPN. Jeremy Schaap should be ashamed being associated with the story. ESPN reported on David Tyree drinking, drugging, playing football, drinking drugging, playing football, and more of the same.

Then, all of a sudden, after years of alcohol and drug abuse, Tyree experienced some mental issues. What a surprise!

ESPN did nothing to explain the cause of his bizarre behaviour. They perpetuated the hype that Tyree was possessed! Were they trying to generate ratings?

Let’s spell it out… DRUG INDUCED PSYCHOSIS. jeremy schaap espn

ESPN: You should be embarrassed by your reporting. But don’t worry – We still love you and will continue watching.

ESPN staff and Jeremy Schaap please click here.

(photo blog.syracuse.com deadspin.com)

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ESPN (OTL), Penn State Football incidents and elite athletes

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 28, 2008

ESPN (Outside the Lines 7.27.08 ) did a story on Penn State University Football players getting in Cheerleaders Penn State trouble off the field. They have been getting in fights, drinking, and other troublesome activities.

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I don’t have the answers but none of this should be unexpected.

Elite athletes, such as Division 1 football players, are recognized at young ages. By the time they are in Junior high school, people are kissing their butts, telling them how great they are, and at times, are being contacted by colleges.

By the time they are in high school, everyone is kissing their butts, colleges are visiting, and they are constantly being told they are special. They naturally start feeling they are better than others and rules do not apply to them. At practice and on the field they are trained to be aggressive, give 100% effort, protect teammates, and leave it all on the field…

So now they accept a scholarship to a big time Division 1 footbal school. Everyone kisses their butts. Girls want them. They get to “cut the line” on their class schedules so they can make practices and games. They generated press and dollars for the university so the administration kisses their butts. They continue to be treated special and feel the rules don’t apply to them….

… and, realistically, the rules don’t appy to them….

So now you have a 20 year old kid who is getting in trouble or fights? Since he was 13 years old, he has been told is special and (directly or indirectly) that the “rules” don’t apply to him .

Are we surprised? Actually, we should all be surprised this isn’t happening more often on more campuses.

(photo i.a.cnn.net)

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ESPN betrays the Yankees and MLB

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 10, 2008

Over the last year or so, ESPN and other sports carriers have been providing “open- or all-access” to professional sports.

You, the viewer, get to (for example) sit in the locker room and listen to Doc Rivers instruct Paul Piece,hand gripping a baseball tipping pitches Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and the rest of the Boston Celtics on what they should be doing in the second half of the game. Typically the coach has already told the team private, strategic message. By the time the camera is turned on, the viewer usually hears meaningless dribble like “fight over the pick-n-rolls” or “play hard, we have this game.”

In another sports scenario, a hockey player will be mike’d. You hear some of his conversation and banter. The viewer sees and hears a very moderated and edited clip. There is specifically no cursing and “important” interaction with the coaching staff.

We know ESPN (et al) are trying to give the viewers a taste of being behind the scenes at a professional sporting event. Nice try but weak. And now it seems like ESPN may have pulled a “Bill Belichick” and poked the cameras where they don’t belong.

According to Bronx Liason, “(July 7, 2008 ) While Brett Gardner led off the eighth inning, the ESPN cameras peered into the tunnel – which they’re not supposed to do – and caught Bobby Abreu showing Alex Rodriguez how Manny Delcarmen tips his pitches.” ESPN and everyone knew what they (ESPN) were doing was wrong. ESPN announcer Joe Morgan said, “I don’t think we should have showed that…”.

ESPN had been showing the players sharing how the pitcher was tipping off his pitches.

ESPN stepped over the line. Not just the Yankees, but Major League Baseball (MLB) needs to reinforce the rules with them. Obviously this needs to be done in a delicate way in that ESPN pays major fees to MLB, but it needs to be done.

ESPN is given special permission to be invasive. They need to use better judgement and not give up something strategic to the entire viewing public. They knew exactly what they were doing.

(photo pitchingtips.files.wordpress.com)

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Mike Greenberg’s gambling problem and the Broadcaster’s Hall Of Fame (MikeAndMike)

Posted by TopOfTheThread on June 10, 2008

Re: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPNradio. Show MikeAndMike.Mike Greenberg Mike Golic ESPN radio sports
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First it’s Pete Rose. Now it’s Mike “Greeny” Greenberg!

Mike Greenberg announced today that he bet $1500 on Mike Golic to win the HORSE basketball contest of the Mike and Mike Pentathlon.

We believe gambling on sports, especially a contest in which you are participating is deplorable and unnaceptable. What makes it even worse is he bet on his opponent, Mike Golic.

This act will come before the board of the Broadcaster’s Hall Of Fame and will surely prevent a first ballot entry for Mike Greenberg. 😉

(photo media.philly.com)

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