Thursday, December 31, 2009


Mike Leach sticks a kid in a shed, Urban Meyer says he's not feeling well but it turns out he was rushed to the hospital with chest pains, the Ducks win the Pac 10, the Yankees add another ring to their collection. It goes on and on what pops into my head looking back at the year. Nothing remotely touches the tumble of Tiger. Seriously, if on 1-1-2009 someone told you North Carolina would win the Big Dance, Wazzou would stink in football, Brett Farve would be an attention whore, the Lakers would win the NBA title, politicians would cause scandal, Wall Street big wigs were lying, greedy scumbags or Rush Limbaugh would eat a big meal and take a pain killer you wouldn't be surprised. But Tiger Woods ending 2009 as a punchline for comedians and fodder for the tabloids? Yeah right! The more I think about it, the more I realize it's a collapse for the ages. To quote one of my all time favorite beings, Bugs Bunny, "WHAT A MAROON"!
After speaking with Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch I'm more convinced than ever that the Rose Bowl is going to be a gritty, down to the wire, last minute, get out the antacid battle. Can't escape the fact this Ohio State defense is better than some of those that got smoked by faster SEC schools(LSU & FLA) 2 and 3 years ago. They have a killer 6-7 man rotation on their line and a 1st round NFL pick at safety in Kurt Coleman. I don't see the Buckeyes locking down on the Duck attack, but I don't anticipate Oregon having it's way like in the Cal or USC romps. On the other side, OSU doesn't have the overwhelming beef up front like many would assume with a Big 10 power. The guards are more than 300 pounds, while the center and tackles are a more svelte 290-295 pounds. I think the Ducks speed on that side of the ball will be huge and hopefully limit their rush and force Terrell Pryor to do damage from the pocket which is not the strength of his game. It's gonna be a doozy.
If you saw last night's dismantling of Arizona by Nebraska, take note. Lot of people see the Huskers as a Big 12 team who might struggle to keep up with SEC or Pac 10 tempo. Not quite the case. Of course in defensive tackle Ndamukong Sue they have a wrecking crew to set the pace, but they chewed up and spit out the Cats version of the spread. I take note of the numbers & statistics but don't always think they tell the entire story. Shutting out West Central Tech A & M then giving up 40 to Georgia means you average surrendering 20 points which is nice but meaningless. No back has rushed for 100 yds in a game vs Ohio State this year. They really did a number on two excellent backs, John Clay of Wisconsin and Evan Royster of Penn State. We'll have much more on today's version of SportsTalk and on the KUGN pregame live from Sam's Place starting at 10am tomorrow, then after we'll hear your thoughts on the post game, also at Sam's on Wilson Street in West Eugene.
Enjoy it and GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A digression and some Rose Bowl by ST

Was reading in this morning's paper that Tiger Woods turns 34. I'm guessing his wife didn't greet him with a smile and a negligee? What a putz. How many figured he'd be at this point in his life after he walked off the 18th green at Medinah, victorious in the 2006 PGA championship. He was 31 and had just captured his 12 major win & was just 6 shy of Jack Nicklaus and well ahead of the Golden Bear's pace at that age. In the 3 plus season's since Woods has won the PGA once more and the US Open. We don't know if we'll even see him on this year's tour.
I've been hearing from many of you a tad too cocky about Friday's game in Pasadena. You do realize the opponent is Ohio State and not Ohio University or Washington. Since Jim Tressell took over they've regained their status as one of college football's elite. They have a few dozen athletes on their team, many on defense, most programs would love to have. I understand the Big 11 is down a bit, but they're the best that fairly prestigious conference has to offer the last few years. Just last January in the Fiesta Bowl, they appeared to be on the verge of getting blown out by Texas but rallied to take a 4th quarter lead before falling short 24-21. This is not the same group who failed so miserably in their previous 2 trips to a major, getting waxed by LSU & Florida in the National Title game.
Personally I don't believe there is a defense out there capable of dominating this Oregon offense. A quality unit can certainly figure out a way to slow them down, but a complete shutdown doesn't seem possible. We'll have much more on this the next 2 days on SportsTalk, tomorrow morning on our KUGN show at IHOP and from 10am until noon Friday at Sam's Place in West Eugene as part of our pre-game.
Since dropping their first two, the Pac 10 has rallied to take their last 2 Bowl games. USC crammed it down the throats of the national knuckleheads who said they would fall to Boston College because the Trojans didn't want to be in the Emerald. Same yo-yo's who each post season sing the praises of Pete Carrol and his staff for their bowl game preparation. The national spotlight starts to shine a bit brighter tonight at 5pm with Arizona and Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. The Cornhuskers might feel a bit of a letdown as they were 1 click of the clock or a missed field goal away from winning the Big 12 championship and playing in the Fiesta Bowl. The Wildcats obviously feel a level of frustration. Let's not forget the Ducks tied them with under 10 seconds left, forced overtime and eventually pulled it out. The U of A followed with victories against Arizona State and USC so the loss to Oregon cost them the Rose Bowl. I'd imagine this will be more of a defensive battle. Nebraska coach Bo Pellini made his bones on defense and has a great reputation for slowing down spread style offenses like they run in Tucson. I look for this to be one of the lowest scoring games all post season.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I just read that Rich Brooks is likely retiring from the coaching profession after his Kentucky team fell short in last night's Music City Bowl against Clemson. On SportsTalk I often hear people who question the field at Autzen Stadium being named after a coach with a "losing" record. These folks can't see the forest through the trees and completely miss the big picture & significant contribution this man made. When he took over as Duck boss in 1977, the sport was still 8 seasons away from a move that would allow programs like Oregon, Virginia Tech and Florida State to compete with the big boys at the top. In 1985 the NCAA instituted the 85 scholarship limit meaning Nebraska could no longer have 12 great backs waiting in line. Some of those guys would depart places like Alabama, Southern Cal and other monsters and head for Eugene, Blacksburg & Miami. Brooks took over a program that had not won more than 4 games 5 consecutive years and he won just 2 games his 1st two seasons before carving out a 6 & 5 mark his 3rd year running the show. I think many of you know the way things progressed from there. Oregon would look like a contender in 1988 with a 6 & 1 record before Bill Musgrave got busted up against Arizona State, lost out and didn't make the post season. In 89 they would land in the Independence Bowl. They've missed the post season just 4 times since. With then A.D Bill Byrne and some staunch financial support they decided to make their move, upgraded facilities and look where Oregon football is now! I personally don't feel it's in such great shape without the significant contribution of Rich Brooks. Let's not forget who hired Mike Bellotti as offensive coordinator when Mike's experience was limited to Chico State, Cal State-Hayward, Weber State and other such legendary launching pads. A decade and a half later, Mr. Bellotti would bring in an offensive coordinator from a little known New Hampshire program. All turned out to be pretty sound decisions as the Ducks prepare for the Rose Bowl against Ohio State.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


First & foremost, a very, Merry Christmas. The anal, self centered knuckleheads drive me nuts. December 25th is Christmas. Period. You wish a Merry Christmas for your friends, co-workers and the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who celebrate. If you don't, that's your right, but it's not about you. On May 15th, I will make a big deal out of my wife's birthday. It's not a slight for those of you born on one of the other 364 days of the year.
I believe one of the reasons Oregon football has risen to the stature it now holds is it's become a viable path to the NFL. I took the time to see how the former Ducks are doing at the professional level. I won't get into each guy, but for those who care, this is for you.
Let's begin with Jairus Byrd. Left early for the pros and was a 2nd round pick by the Bills. Was wise enough to acknowledge the scouts who felt he'd be better off as a safety instead of a cover corner. All he's done is lead the league in interceptions with 9. Too bad it's happening in relative obscurity in Buffalo.
Pat Chung was a guy who looked like he belonged in the Pac 10 about an hour into his Oregon career. He went in round 2 last draft to the Patriots. Began as a special teams demon, then morphed into a regular rotation in their secondary. Making a nice contribution for a team who looks playoff bound.
Maurice Morris was a terrific young guy who had a great quality about him. Played the 1st seven seasons as a supplemental back to guys like Shaun Alexander in Seattle and got to the Super Bowl following the 2005 season. Moved to Detroit this year because he's obviously did something wrong in a former life. Had a career high 126 yards including a 64 yard TD romp last Sunday.
Nick Reed is another Oregon rookie. He's with the Seahawks. Exploded onto the scene and overwhelmed the coaches with his motor, attitude and ability to wreak havoc on special teams at first, then earned a roster spot by excelling on the defensive line. One of the easiest guys to root for.
I'll catch you up on the trio of Panthers(Jonathan Stewart, Dante Rosario & Geoff Schwarz), Dennis Dixon, Kellen Clemens and the others when we rally the troops for SportsTalk at 3 today.
I'm also going to need a first hand report on last nite's game at Mac Court which was surprisingly close between the Ducks and Idaho State. I stayed home to watch the Vegas Bowl. What an idiot!
E-mail me at if you want in on our drawing for Ducks Hoop tickets for Monday's game against Arkansas Pine Bluff, their final tilt before Pac 10 play begins one the 1st day of 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Living in a university town I get fans who tell me they much prefer the college game to the NFL. Certainly your right, but yesterday(SUN) was pro football at it's finest. Here is what was accomplished between 10am & 4:45pm. Steelers 37 Packers 36. The first ever game that ended in that exact score and the league began play in 1920. In the game, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 383 yards and 3 TD's. His counterpart, Ben Roethlisberger beat him in yardage by 120, for a franchise record 503! The game ended on the final play when Big Ben hit Mike Wallace for the TD. UNREAL! We also witnessed the 3rd most prolific single game rushing performance ever as the Brown's Jerome Harrison piled up 286 on the ground as Cleveland beat KC. In the same game, Harrison's teammate Josh Cribbs returned 2 kicks for touchdowns. 100 and 103 yards, just the 2nd time in history that's happened. He also broke the career kick return for a score mark with 8. Normally the 154 yard rushing by the Chief's Jamaal Charles would have been noteworthy or the 331 yards passing by QB Matt Cassell. All this & I've only hit on 2 games. In the Houston victory versus the Lambs, Matt Shaub lit the St Looey secondary up for 367, with robo receiver Andre Johnson hauling in 9 for just a shade under 200 yards. Arizona was leading Detroit 17-nil in the 3rd quarter on the Lions 20 yard line when Kurt Warner was picked off by Louis Delmas at the goal line. He took it 100 yards for a TD! How about former Duck Maurice Morris busting loose for a 64 yard touchdown run. Miami's quarterback, Chad Henne had almost 350 throwing it in their damaging loss to Tennessee. Numbers, numbers and more numbers. It was a fantasy geeks delight. Then we had another incredible finish. This one from San Diego. The Bengals, playing with heavy hearts dealing with the death of teammate Chris Henry during the week, gutted it out. Carson Palmer took his team 80 yards for a game tying field goal with :52 left but that was enough as Bolt QB Phillip Rivers hit throws of 11, 20 then a monster 15 yard out to Michael Floyd to the Cincy 35 with :07 left. Nate Kaeding absolutely drilled the 52 yard field goal that clinched the AFC west & pretty much assured the Chargers of a 1st round bye and the #2 seed in the playoffs. Not enough drama & entertainment? Okay, how about Raiders 20 Broncos 19. Jamarcus Russell, Oakland's top overall draft pick in 2007, has been so awful he had been dropped to 3rd string. New starter Bruce Gradkowski tore his knee up last week so this week, the new starter was Charlie Frye. He went down in the 4th quarter. Enter Russell who throws the game winning TD pass to Chaz Shillens with about a half minute left in regulation. I'm still too ticked to even discuss the idiot Jet defense shutting down Atlanta for 58 1/2 minutes before Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez with the game winner with 1 1/2 minutes left in the game. That was the downside of my Sunday. Okay, for a killer golf prize. 18 holes at 4 layouts. Elkhorn Valley, Hidden Valley, Middlefield and Springfield Country Club. Get in the drawing by emailing the correct answer to
I mentioned earlier that former Wazzou Coug Jerome Harrison rolled up 286 on the ground against the Chiefs. That was the 3rd best single game total in NFL history. Who had the other two and how many yards did they rush for??? Good Luck.
We'll also discuss a very, very nice win & performance by the Oregon Men hoopers Saturday night at Mac Court.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Tomorrow night at Mac Court the Oregon men square off with Oakland. They turned in a solid performance in beating Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday despite the continued absence of Tajuan Porter. The Grizzlies play out of the Summit League and in recent years have put together some nice teams and won 23 games last season. They play a heck of an out of conference schedule which this year has included Memphis, Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan State. After this visit to Eugene, they'll head for Syracuse. This is a good test to see how much Oregon has improved since the bad outing at Missouri. I'm a believer that this Duck team is much more talented and deep compared with last season's disaster. Look for the coaches to continue to experiment with different lineups so they can have a better gauge of how they want to run things once Pac 10 play begins in the New Year.
With the Colts rallying to beat Jacksonville last night, playoff doors have been opened. The Jags are now on the outside looking in at 7 & 7 a game behind the Ravens, Jets & Dolphins. Intriguing game between Tennessee and Miami. The Titans, once and 0 & 6 laughing stock, have rallied behind Vince Young and the remarkable running of Chris Johnson to sneak into the picture at 6 & 7. Johnson reminds me of Barry Sanders or Reggie Bush at USC. When the ball is in his hands, you must watch. He will have to average 161 yards per game over the final 3 to break Eric Dickerson's single season rushing mark of 2105 set a quarter century ago with the Los Angeles Rams. We also get a nice Saturday night game on the NFL Network with Dallas in the Big Easy to try to not only derail the Saint's perfect season, but maintain their wild card lead. The Cowboys have been a horrifying December team and it's been well documented. I expect a heavy duty dose of Marion Barber because if New Orleans has a weakness, it's stopping the run. Enjoy the weekend! Go Ducks. Go Jets.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I'm beyond livid over some of the coverage surrounding the death of Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry. Some media outlets using terms like shocking. Really? For openers, sad or tragic are far more applicable. Stunning or surprising don't even remotely come into play. The guy's entire adult life in the spotlight since being called an embarassment to the West Virginia program by then coach Rich Rodriguez has been about his inability to live within the rules of decency. He was arrested 5 times in just over a 3 year period beginning with his entry into the NFL in 2005. Did you read the 9-1-1 tapes released and learn how he suffered the injuries that would kill him? Ran out of the house after his fiance. Jumped into the back of the pickup truck she was driving away in. Wasn't wearing a shirt. Was banging on the back of the cab like a crazy man, then fell out and killed himself. I hear Cincy coach Marvin Lewis, President Mike Brown and some players talking about how he turned his life around and it's a total crock of B.S. I've had people in my life like Henry. It's like the next confrontation or argument is their freaking life's blood and it's dispicable. You have to walk on eggs, watch every comment you make for fear of setting these a-holes off. Anger, fighting and just a basic disprespect for anything, any situation or anyone but their own petty, pathetic temper. Sorry to be so cruel, but if one person out there sees themselves and actually takes the step of growing up and getting help, it might be worth it.
Okay, let's give a way another $50 gift certificate to Roaring Rapids Pizza on Franklin in Eugene. Good stuff! E-mail your correct answer to get in the drawing to
Chad Ochocinco Johnson is the Bengal's career leader for catches with 677. But among Cincy receivers with at least 200 catches, who has the highest yards per catch average? Good luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


No SportsTalk today as we bring you the smooth melodies of Terry Jonz calling the Oregon Women's hoop team at Georgia Tech. New guy Paul Westhead has really got things buzzing with his off the charts push it pace. Enjoy the game.
Lot of talk the past 24 hours among baseball fans about the best 1-2 punch in the game with Roy Halladay landing in Philly, Cliff Lee to Seattle and John Lackey signing with the Bosox. I'm getting a tad tired of all the stats being regurgitated in defense of a particular choice. Numbers only tell a part of the story. I don't care if a pitcher eats up the Royals or Padres in July to pad his resume. Let me see the guy lockdown the Philadelphia lineup in the heat of a September pennant race. The Sabermetrics is getting a bit annoying. My question is simple. Heading into the 2010 season. What combo would you prefer at the head of your rotation. I'll take the gamers. Give me Chris Carpenter & Adam Wainright of the Cardinals in the NL and Josh Beckett and Lackey of the Boston's in the American League. It's also interesting how the World Champion Yankees don't really qualify. You might also consider Seattle's Cliff Lee & Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels & Halladay of the Phillies, Tim Lincecum & Matt Cain of the Giants(though Cain's era doubled in September). We will address this in more detail when we rally the troops for the Thursday edition of SportsTalk. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


They've announced the AP All-American team for 2009. Colt McCoy was 1st tm @ QB with Tim Tebow 2nd & Boise State's Kellen Moore 3rd. Whatever! No quarterback in the land had a BETTER season than Moore. I think he has a real shot at walking away with the 2010 Heisman. 39 TD's vs just 3 interceptions and the highest rating of anyone. How about a pair of brothers being honored? James Rodgers of Oregon State is a 2nd team all purpose player with Jacquizz a 3rd team running back. Offensive lineman Mike and Maurkice Pouncey of Florida were both second teamers. Pretty cool stuff.
How about a doctor in Canada who has a direct connection to Tiger Woods getting popped with human growth hormone and Actovegin, a drug illegal in the U.S that's extracted from calf's blood. The name you'll hear is Dr. Anthony Galea. Also treated Dara Torres the remarkable American swimmer who has raised many a furrowed brow by continuing to knock them dead into her 40's. I heard Colin Cowerd this morning and he made an excellent point. High level athletes have lost the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty still exists in courtrooms, but not the sporting court of public opinion. Not when the best of the best have repeatedly failed in this area. Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
I'm loving all this Hot Stove activity. Cliff Lee to Seattle giving them a sweet 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation with Felix Hernandez. I think the Red Sox made a nice moving if the John Lackey deal goes through. Signing Mike Cameron to play left is questionable. He's a walking strikeout machine which goes against their Sabremetrics theory, but he's a heck of a glove. The Phillies landing Roy Halladay is brilliant. I believe he will be a master in the lesser hitting National League after spending a chunk of his starts facing Boston & New York in the American League East.
Okay, let's give away some loot. I have a $50 gift certificate to Roaring Rapids Pizza. Take a break from the holiday rush and visit them on Franklin in Eugene. E-mail your correct answer to and get in the drawing. I'll announce the winner late in the 5 o'clock hour of today's show.
Jamie Moyer and Randy Johnson are the winningest starting pitchers in Seattle Mariner history. Both are lefties. Which righty has won the most games in franchise history? Good Luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009


I attended Oregon's loss to St. Mary's in men's hoops on Saturday afternoon and came away with mixed reviews. Certainly the offense was hurt by the absence of Tajuan Porter with a bum ankle. We're so used to this team launching a bunch of 3's but they were just 2 of 5 from downtown and Drew Wiley hit one at the buzzer that did not impact the outcome of the game. While Joevan Caetron joined TP on the sidelines, it's key to note the Gaels were without their starting point guard Wayne Hunter. This St. Mary's team can really shoot and made some clutch 3-pointers at crunch time and were a perfect 10 of 10 from the line with the game still in doubt. The Ducks were weak from the free throw stripe, hitting just 12 of 21. The offense is at best a work in progress and at times the ball movement is a bit frustrating as they dished out a mere 6 assists for the contest. That said, there was some upside and the Gaels are a pretty good team. Juco transfer Malcolm Armstead looks like the best point guard the program has had since Aaron Brooks was drafted into the NBA. True freshman Jamil Wilson will get there but he's experiencing growing pains you'd expect from a newbie and at times seems a tad overwhelmed. Another true frosh, E.J Singler has game and along with Armstead was Oregon's best player. In the post game, the coach said they have to work hard to get better and that's a dead on, accurate statement. The Pac-10 is not as cutthroat as we're used to so with 4 non-league games left before the opener at Wazzou, they can heal up, make progress and hopefully make some kind of splash to create optimism heading into the new arena next autumn.
I know much is being made of Phil Knight coming out in support of Tiger Woods saying Nike is sticking with Eldrick as an endorser. Look, I've lost all respect for Woods as a man. He has no credibility because he presented a complete lie. Was messing around on his wife while she was pregnant with his two children. No way around it, he's a pig. That said, Nike golf is now a significant force in the golf equipment world. We're talking hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. It doesn't exist without Tiger Woods. Golfers, think about it. Before 1997 how many of you played a ball, used irons or woods with the swoosh on them. We all used Calloway, Taylor Made, Titleist, Ping and the like. Now I see a ton of Nike in your bags. It's unreasonable for this company to turn their back on Woods now, despite his dispicable behavior. This is the classic case of the lesser of various evils. He didn't kill anyone, no abuse of Ellin is suspected and physical harm is not a factor. Nike can not ignore what Tiger has done for their product. Period.

Friday, December 11, 2009


It's amazing where being a fan leads you. I remember the only year I played fantasy, then rotisserie, baseball. 1991. Back in those prehistoric times we had to set up a conference call between Eugene, New York City, New Jersey, Palo Alto and North Carolina to do the draft. It was late in the season and we were in the hunt for the big cash that came with first or second place. We had picked up Mike Gardiner to add to our rotation. He was pitching for the Boston Red Sox. As you may have noticed, they're not my favorite team. We desperately needed a win from one of our staff members. I distinctly recall thinking my soul was at risk and I could do this no more. Rooting for the Bosox is like many of you rooting for the Beavers or the Axis Powers in World War II. It was my last year playing that insane game. Last night's Thursday NFL game had the Steelers at Cleveland. Pittsburgh was 6 & 6 heading in, a game behind Jacksonville for the final AFC Wild Card spot, tied with my Jets and a couple of others. It's 13-6 Brownies in the 4th quarter. 4th & 6 from the Cleveland 39 with time winding down. Last chance for Pitt. As the last pass fell to the ground incomplete, I jumped off the couch and cheered. Really? Yes. I love sports.
I think tomorrow we might see the closest vote in Heisman Trophy history. As I'm writing this I must admit, despite that fact, I'm not riveted by the outcome. This is the ultimate popularity contest among players from high profile programs, not about who the best player in college football is. CJ Spiller of Clemson didn't make the finals. That pretty much renders the balloting insignificant. How can anyone possibly be a BETTER player than this guy? He runs, catches, blocks, returns punts and kicks for touchdowns. Duh! We've seen a lot of late support for Nebraska's terrorizing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The last D-lineman to finish in the Top 5 of the voting was Warren Sapp of Miami 15 years ago. Here's another bit of history. If in fact Alabama running back Mark Ingram wins, he'd be the 3rd sophomore in a row following Tim Tebow of Florida and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma last season. They are the only 3 soph's ever to take home the award. The closest vote ever was 1985 when Bo Jackson narrowly outpointed Iowa's Chuck Long. I think we'll see that challenged, but it's certainly not "must see" tv.
Here's a question that could win you some loot. I will let you know the prize on today's show. In this decade, what was the closest Heisman vote & who won & what year? Email your response to
Enjoy the weekend

Thursday, December 10, 2009


If you got a chuckle out of the title of this blog, you're on board with the "Stripes" reference. It's intro time with Sgt Hulka after the bus has landed at boot camp and they're going around talking up whey they joined the Army. A guy who refers to himself as "Psycho" pretty much threatens anyone in the company with death if they touch him, his stuff or call him by his given first name, "Francis". The Seargent tells him to "lighten up Francis". This is good advice for the powers that be in the NFL. I heard a great interview with former Beav & current Bengal stud wide out Chad Johnson(I don't do Ochocinco). This year he's received a 20-thousand dollar fine for flashing a dollar at an official during a challenge then most recently for donning a sombrero on the sidelines AFTER scoring a touchdown, 30-grand. Seriously? Did the NFL front office actually think this guy was going to bribe a ref, on camera, with a buck? How about the sombrero? Why is that a serious offense? I'm all about acting like a professional, but CJ isn't a doctor or leader of the military. He's paid a bundle to play a game for crying all night and actually has the audacity to enjoy himself! Oh the horror. Look, if the guy is showing up opponents, or rubbing it in their face or causing the game to be delayed, throw a flag. This whole hitting him in the wallet for absolutely nothing is embarassing. Johnson is approaching 32 years old, has played at a pro-bowl level since coming out of Oregon State, has never run afoul of the law and is a model citizen. He's a consummate pro who happens to add a great flair to the NFL, but the fuddy duddy's want to keep him under their thumb. With all the embarassing, illegal and sometimes tragic circumstances that have recently surrounded their players, you'd think they'd embrace Chad for providing the constant smile. It's 2009, the world is seen in high def color, not the stoic black and white of yesteryear. The NFL needs to get over itself.
Alright, time to give a way another of those $50 gift certificates to Divinity Salon in Springfield, the perfect gift for your wife, daughter, girlfriend, co-worker, or self. E-mail the correct response to
Chad Johnson has had a heck of a career. Nearly 700 catches over his 9 years, ton of TD's and he's closing in on 10-thousand yards in receptions. How many catches did he have his one season at Oregon State?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'm hearing a ton of Oregon fans doing a tad much boasting about taking apart Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Gotta admit, in the heat of the moment after the dazzling victory in the Civil War with my negative feelings towards what the Big 10 has become, I was of that mentality. After doing some initial research, I'm thinking this might be a pretty solid Buckeye defense. I'm not huge on the rankings because it incorporates what they did against patsies, holding Toledo to 13 rush yards and New Mexico State just 40. A closer look reveals an extremely experienced & talented group. They did march into Happy Valley and shut down an excellent back like Evan Royster limiting to his lowest total and yards per carry of his 2 1/2 year career. But again, what did they do against the top running attacks they faced. Navy puts up about 280 running it per game and OSU held them to 186, not quite a lockdown. USC went into Columbus with a true freshman quarterback and ultra-vanilla game plan and didn't exactly explode with 40 carries for 118 yards. Iowa, who is BCS Bowl bound didn't crack the 70 yard mark. Granted, none of these teams is in Oregon's league as far as a killer rush attack, but don't sell this Buckeye defense too, too short. We will get into their very conservative offense with Terrelle Pryor at the helm in the not to distant future, but I'm not a fan of his inaccuracy throwing it.
Not a pleasant situation in Portland with the Trailblazers. First, starter and defensive stalwart, Nicolas Batum had shoulder surgery in the pre-season and might, might be back in March. Then Travis Outlaw, who formed a terrific crunch time 1-2 punch with Brandon Roy was lost for the year(most likely) with a broken foot. Saturday they were hit with another disastrous Greg Oden injury meaning he misses most of his 3rd season after sitting out all of his first and the early part of his second. It's time to suck it up and realize the big fella is not a franchise cornerstone. Now the news comes down that Rudy Fernandez has a nerve problem in his back. The recently completed procedure will cost him a month and a half. I'm a huge fan of team boss Kevin Pritchard, but he's gonna have to go David Copperfield to fix this.
Okay guys, chance for you to win something for that special lady. It's a $50 gift certificate to the Divinity Salon in Springfield. Trust me, she'll love it. E-mail the correct answer to the following question to
The Ducks ended up with the 6th most potent rushing attack in Division-1 as far as yards per game. Who were the 5 teams ahead of them?? Good luck.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I know it's become something that's transcended the sports pages and is now tabloid fodder, but to ignore what's happening with Tiger Woods is too ostrich like for me. He turned pro in 1996, but from his 1st U.S Amateur title in 1994, many who follow sports were aware of his existence & potential. By the time he re-wrote the Master's record book in the spring of 1997 he was a household word. It was the tail end of the Jordan-era in the NBA, Farve & the Pac ruled the NFL, another Yankee dynasty was rising in the South Bronx but Tiger-mania had taken root. I think most saw him as a pretty well educated, nice guy with a ridiculous talent. Over the years some tired of the obsession with the networks or golf channel showing every move he made. The fact was, it's what the public wanted. TV ratings sky-rocketed when Woods teed it up and moved further into the stratosphere when he was in contention on a weekend. We'd get the occasional peek into perhaps a not-so-sweet side with his impatience with photographers and members of the media. But I don't recall anyone, fan, fellow golfer, reporter, ANYONE offering up this sleazy T.W.
We've known forever high level pro athletes have women throw themselves at them. But Tiger sidestepped that reputation with a knockout wife who had given him two beautiful children. Turns out while Mrs. Woods was with child, Mr. Woods was hopping from foreign bed to bed with a series of tarts. We always hear about golfers holding down one of the last bastions of sportsmanship by calling penalties on themselves and the like. That's on the course. Perhaps it's time we used this Eldrick mess as a teaching lesson for our kids. Feel free to watch these ballplayers and enjoy their magnificent talent. But! It's critical to understand that it's not a window into their character. It might offer a glimpse if they carry themselves properly during a competition, but at the end of the day if you don't know them personally, you don't know them. It's a great opportunity. Being a great golfer means one thing and only one thing. You're a great golfer. Period!
Okay, let's give away more loot. Tiger the Cheater has won the Masters 4 times. Collectively, how many strokes under par is he for those 4 victories combined.
E-mail the correct answer to for a $50 gift certificate to the Learning Palace in Eugene. Great holiday gift and congrats to Jason for yesterday's victory. It was Washington 46 Iowa 34 in January of 1991. Highest Scoring Rose Bowl ever.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Wondering if any of you experienced this either Sunday morning or this(Mon) A.M. You've woken from a roll. Since either attending or watching the Civil War Thursday night, you've kind of gone through the motions at work on Friday and perhaps hunkered down Saturday to see how the rest of the regular season played out. Then upon arising, realized the dishes had piled up, the laundry basket was overflowing, empty beer bottles and take out receipts all over the place. Since my friends and I made most of the mess, I was up an hour earlier than usual today to cut my lovely wife a break. After taking out the garbage, the recycling, taking the clean dishes out of the washer and re-filling, cleaning the kitchen, balancing the check book and feeding the dogs, I finally got caught up. It's officially Monday, the NFL is boss for the next 3 weeks, then it's bowl season. Sure, I'll throw an eye on Baseball's Hot Stove, plus NBA & college hoops and a tad of NHL, but it's time to figure out who makes the Super Bowl tournament.
I was really pleased the B.C.S idiots extended a bid to Boise State with TCU earning the automatic Non-Traditional BCS league qualifier but to pit them against each other is nothing shy of gutless. If these self righteous dummies are so sure their precious conferences are so superior to the rest of the planet, why not take this opportunity to prove it. Have Florida, who didn't even win their league play Boise State and a Conference champion knock heads with TCU. They are such a bunch of Chicken (guess what follows), it's pathetic.
I have no problem with the BCS title game despite Texas nearly blowing it against Nebraska, but they went in under the premise of needing a win to get in against the SEC game winner and got the "W". I was also okay with Iowa getting the final at large invite over Penn State as the Hawkeyes had beaten the Nittany's head to head.
Let's talk irony. All we've heard from the national honks since summer is how magnificent the SEC is and what a joy it will be to see Florida & Alabama play for a right to advance to the big one. Turns out that was the only conference championship settled with zero drama. The Pac 10 was clinched with a sensational Civil War, Cincinnatti beat Pitt to win the Big East 45-44. The ACC title game wasn't settled until the final minute and Texas survived Nebraska after getting a second tacked on to kick the game winning field goal at the buzzer. And don't forget Ohio State took the Big 10 trophy with an overtime win against Iowa a couple of weeks back. It was a heck of a regular season but we've been denied a chance to see history and prove what a joke the BCS is because they don't have the stones to roll the dice.
Let's give away a really cool prize. I have a $50 gift certificate to the Learning Palace in Eugene. This would be a terrific holiday present. Lot of people expect this Rose Bowl to be pretty high octane. What two teams played in the highest scoring Rose Bowl in history and what was the score? E-mail your correct answer to

Friday, December 4, 2009


What began as a college football version of a bad horror movie ended with fans storming the field celebrating the 2nd trip to Pasadena since the Eisenhower administration. The irony was the young fella at the center of the early September controversy provided a terrific spark last night. LeGarrette Blount had a sweet TD run and a critical 30 yard jaunt to begin the final clock killing, Rose Bowl clinching drive. I found it odd he was in there in the 2nd half of such an important game. Oregon had already lost 2 fumbles and Blount had barely touched the ball all season. Then again, I'm still working on training myself not to doubt Chip Kelly who has been a Pac 10 coach for one year and has won the conference title each season on the job. We will obviously get into this in more detail when SportsTalk kicks in later today. I will say this. We sit behind the Oregon bench in section 11 and always enjoy the performance of the marching band. At halftime of the Duck's demolition of USC on Halloween night the U of O performed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" complete with an absolutely hysterical version of the dance that accompanied the video. The OSU band's version last night paled in comparision. Not sure what that has to do with football, but it's worth noting.
Anyone else find this whole Tiger Woods circumstance odd? Officials now say he was found with no shoes on and snoring in the aftermath of his 1 car crash. Did he decide, let's see, I've run over some shrubbery, drilled a fire hydrant and a tree, sounds like time for a nap. This certainly falls into the category of a 'sordid' incident. At the bottom line he cheated on his young wife, primarily while she was pregnant or home with their babies. Classy!
In this weekend's championship games I see Texas handling Nebraska, though perhaps not as easily as some might lead you to believe. I think Tebow will find a way to get Florida past Alabama setting up Gators & Longhorns for all the marbles. The ACC title game between Georgia Tech and Clemson is the only one that is a 2009 rematch. The Techsters took a 30-27 decision in week 2, blowing a 24 point lead, then stealing it with a field goal in the final minute. Paul Johnson's run, run, run scheme piled up just over 300 yards on the Tiger defense. Should be a tight game again. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


With all the national and local coverage over this game, the analysis has been a tad overwhelming. We see these big games and sometimes you have one team on the come with another who has been sidestepping land mines on their way to playing for a conference title. That is NOT the case here. Both Oregon and Oregon State have just one loss since September ended. The Beavs fell at USC by a score to 42-36. OSU played them dead even, but made a couple of costly penalties and their one turnover gave the Trojans the ball inside the Beav 25 leading to a short field TD. State has won 6 of their last 7 with each victory by at least double digits save the 7 point win vs. UCLA. Sean Canfield has provided impeccable play at the quarterback position. Through the first five games of the season he was intercepted 4 times. Just two since against 12 TD throws and his efficiency has been the best in the Pac-10.
I don't see either defense shutting down the opposition. The Ducks have kicked it into high gear reeling off at least 42 points in 5 consecutive games. Even in the lone defeat, at Stanford, Oregon scored with 2 1/2 minutes to go cutting the Cardinal lead to 6 points. The onsides kick failed or they very well might have pulled out the game Down on the Farm. We saw what the Ducks did against a more experienced OSU defense last year and I think this unit may even have the edge on the 2008 version. Jeremiah Masoli is the ultimate crap shooter at QB. He never gives up on a play, loves to buy time and try to make something happen. You must admire that attitude, but with everything on the line this evening, he must value possession above everything. In particular on 1st or 2nd down, he's got to be willing to throw the ball away, or accept lesser gains rather than risk a turnover. At this point I defy any defense in America to hault the Duck assault. They are the only ones that can stop themselves. I'm not big on predictions, but I see the shootout many predict with both teams putting up at least 35 points. The over/under in this game is a sky high 62 points, but I think it gets dusted. As for laying all those 9 1/2 points. Not gonna touch it with a 10-yard set of 1st down markers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Lot of talk about the possible replacement for Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame. I have news, it's a much bigger story that Bobby Bowden is stepping down at Florida State. The Seminoles are a far better bet to reach college football's elite before the Fighting Irish. I've said it before, until Notre Dame joins a conference, be it the Big East where they compete in just about every other sport or the Big 11, it's a no brainer. Sure, ND has added a few more patsies on the schedule with Western Michigan, Tulse and Army, but otherwise it remains filled with landmines. Even the ultimate Irish basher(like me) has to admit they've been willing to take on most comers. Next year they continue with USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Pitt, BC, Stanford and a newbie, Utah. In the next couple of years they take on South Florida, Oklahoma State and Arizona State. In what world are they improving to the point where they only lose 2 games? There, literally is no chance they can contend for a national championship in the next 5 years. Florida State plays in the weak ACC and despite the troubles this year that led to the Bowden departure, they only finished 2 games behind Clemson in the Atlantic Division. Even next year the offense should be productive with Christian Ponder returning for his senior season, along with top target Bert Reed and leading rusher Jermaine Thomas.
As for the Civil War, the oddsmakers say Ducks by 9 1/2. Seems like a big number. On the Monday after the Ducks survived Arizona and OSU waxed the Cougs setting up this historic game, I figured Oregon by 4 points plus the field goal for playing at Autzen. Not a huge difference, but the way the Beavs are playing did cause this line to raise a few eyebrows. Of course there is the logic that last year's OSU defense might have been a bit better and the Ducks went bezerk on the scoreboard. That said, the Beavers offense in 2009 is a far superior unit from my chair. Okay, I'm taking 7 of you to get in the Wednesday drawing for Civil War tickets. E-mail the correct answer to this question to
From 2004 through the 2007 game, Oregon State beat Oregon 3 out of 4 times. Find the last 4 year period where the Beavs beat the Ducks 3 of 4! Good Luck.
I should also point out we have another pair of tickets that I'll be giving away in the 5 o'clock hour today(Tue), but you have to be at Sam's Place where I'll be doing SportsTalk to enter & win.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Not sure what to make of this whole Tiger Woods thing. I know until the facts come out something smells funny. Leaving at 2:30 in the morning then running into a fire hydrant & a neighbor's tree? Was he headed to a nearby 7-11 for an mounds bar? Doesn't he have people who handle this kind of thing? I know his yacht is name "Privacy" for a reason, but this stonewalling by he and his people is making him look guilty of something. What's he hiding? What was his wife doing with a golf club at that hour in the first place? Practicing her high cut? We know the math regarding smoke and fire. Come on Eldrick, come clean. We know you're not perfect because no one aside from Sophia Loren circa 1966 is.
So Notre Dame fired Charlie Weiss after 5 seasons that produced a very un-Fighting Irish like 27 losses. It was an interesting hire from the get go because he was never a head coach and came directly from the NFL where he was a coordinator. Then they made a questionable hire worse by giving him a big dollar extension after a loss. Following the infamous "Bush Push" defeat in South Bend against USC people in South Bend went nuts and thought they were in the brink of rejoining the elite of college football. I don't see that happening in the near future because the defense stinks and they'll likely lose most of their firepower with the QB Claussen leaving with stud wideout Golden Tate and 4 of the 5 starters up front. I don't see any kind of resurrection at ND until they suck it up and join a conference.
Things are getting a might interesting in the NFL. The Colts spotted the Texans a 17 nothing first half lead then ran past them like they were standing still. Houston is 5 & 6 after going 8 & 8 the past 2 seasons. They are what you'd call mired in mediocrity and seem to find ways to lose when a big game surfaces. Yesterday it was 3 second half turnovers along with the defense taking a nap. I know many were radar locked on Dennis Dixon of the Steelers getting his first pro start and it was a heck of a game with the Ravens taking it in overtime. Dennis played well at times but the Baltimore defense eventually adjusted and played a zone pass defense which confused the guy with limited experience. He threw a fatal interception in overtime which led to a very short field goal drive. All in all, he was under 50% throwing it and only had 6 first down completions. In the 2nd half he led 2 scoring drives. The first was after Pittsburgh took over at midfield. Dixon hit a dumpoff to Rashard Mendenhall for 20 yards before they stalled. His 24 yard scramble for the touchdown was a thing of beauty and a very familiar sight for Duck fans. All in all, it was great to see him out there despite the unflattering end to the evening.
Obviously it's go time with the big game set for Autzen on Thursday night. Something tells me this issue will surface the next few shows. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm hearing from fans and reading alot of stuff about football, the NFL front & center right now, and the concussion issue. Ben Rothlisberger suffered one after getting drilled in last week's loss to Kansas City. Arizona's Kurt Warner is listed as questionable, though he practiced today after getting concussed last week in a win against the Rams. Some of the faithful have their hearts in the right place with their concerns, but how many in that group stand up and scream when they see a teeth rattling hit of an opponent. Obviously the technology, equipment and awareness have been upgraded over the years, but at the same time we have machines who are 275-300 pounds who run like the wind and hit like a tank. It's always been a high contact, big time collision game, but 25-30 years ago, the 300 pounders were simply big, not very skilled and athletic. They didn't chase running backs 25-30 yards downfield and bury them into the turf. In case you didn't catch on, the 2 quarterbacks I just mentioned happened to square off in the last Super Bowl. Teams want their guys out there. They're big time commodoties getting paid to produce. At the bottom line, how could you trust a medical professional getting paid by a team who views a player in this manner? I know it's skeptical, but with a basic understanding of how much of a blow you need to take for it to be diagnosed as a concussion, imagine getting back out on the field to play the next week? Yikes!
This topic is not going away. The fact is it's growing legs as the NFL commissioner today announced two doctors who've led the committe on concussions and related problems for 2 years have resigned. One of them, Dr. Casson, is taking heat from the players association and some members of congress for attacking an independent and league sponsored study that connected the lines between an NFL career and a higher risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Came off sounding like a league honk, kind of like Lou Holtz or Beano Cook butt kissing Notre Dame. FYI, I had to do some research to learn what cognitive decline is. Generally associated with aging, it deals with how people remember unrelated things, make comparisons and overall memory strength.
It's rivalry weekend in college football, but you'd hardly know it considering what's NOT at stake. In the Pac 10, we've already had The Big Game with Cal & Stanford. Arizona/Arizona State, The Apple Cup and the So Cal duel with USC & UCLA has no bearing on the conference championship with the Civil War next Thursday holding all the value. In the SEC, the traditional Iron Bowl between Alabama & Auburn was rendered meaningless because the Tide locked up the west weeks ago. In the Big East, it's going to be Cincinatti and Pitt for the conference title and automatic BCS Bowl birth....NEXT WEEK! The Big 10 was settled in Ohio State's favor the Saturday before last against Iowa. Texas had it's spot in the Big 12 championship game iced pretty much when they beat Oklahoma State on Halloween. Clemson's victory against Virginia last week cemented the ACC title matchup between the Tigers & Georgia Tech. Even the Mountain West has been locked down with TCU wiping the floor with Utah 2 Saturdays ago. Okay, one conference title is on the line, but it's not even a game being played on Saturday. If Boise State can handle Nevada on Friday, it's over. Incredible that the Saturday after Thanksgiving has lost so much lustre.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Could not be happier with Oregon's matchup in football this weekend. The bye is nothing shy of magnificent. To be truthful, it's just past noon on Tuesday and I'm finally feeling like I snapped out of a mini daze brought on by Saturday's incredible come from behind win at Arizona. By the time I got home after Justin & I had wrapped our post game show from the studio, it was getting closer to midnight than 11pm. We had some friends over and after settling in for a few celebratory cocktials and winding down, it was about 2:30am when I hit the hay. I don't miss NFL Sunday's so after less than 6 hours of sleep it was time to hit the coffee, online betting account and setting up the multi TV's in the Tannen den. After pushing through a Monday I collapsed onto the couch last night. I don't know I could get the necessary mental mindset rolling for a Civil War for all the marbles this Saturday. Be great to hunker down with the family, enjoy the holiday, then kick it back into high gear beginning Monday morning for the big one on Thursday night.
I was quite pleased to see Albert Pujols, not only win the NL MVP award, but capture it in unanimous fashion. It's the 3rd time A.P has been honored with this prestigious trophy. Only the consummate arrogant cheater has won more and we all know the final 4 of the 7 Barry Bonds won were completely and totally tainted. I have a $100 gift certificate to Harry Ritchie's Jewelers on the line here. E-mail the correct response to and get in the drawing for this sweet prize. During the decade of the 1990's, 4 players won the MVP in a unanimous vote. Who were they? Good luck!

Monday, November 23, 2009


After the incredible season saving win at Tucson, Duck quarterback Jeremiah Masoli claimed he never had a doubt they'd come back to win this game using the "had it in the bag" angle. Really? I wish the folks watching the game at my place were brimming with such optimism. There were 5 of us standing around my plasma with nervous wreck looks on our faces until JM took it in to ice the thing in the 2nd overtime. A great clutch moment in football took place in January of 1989 with the 49ers down 16-13 in Super Bowl 23 to Cincy. With the ball at their own 8 yard line the mood in the huddle was pretty loud & anxious. Joe Montana, aka Joe Cool got everyone's attention by pointing out the late comic actor John Candy in the crowd. The laughter apparently settled the guys who marched down the field and won the championship when Montana hit John Taylor with the game winning TD. I believe the phrase "keep your head while others around you lose theirs" applies. Masoli made a ton of mistakes against Arizona, but this young man never lets what happened get him down. He's always hitting that delete button and focusing on what he needs to do in the NOW! The thing about a game like this is as exciting and critical a victory as it was, the true value and where it will stand in Duck football history is to be determined. Win the Civil War, win the Pac 10 and get to the Rose Bowl and it's a masterpiece. Fall to the Beavs and while it will always send that tingle down the spines of Oregon fans, it lands as a build up to a major let down. So while we've seen a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line when these two have squared off in 1994, 2000 and last year, no one born since the Eisenhower administration has seen a "winner punches ticket to Pasadena" matchup. I haven't seen a number and assume we won't until after the weekend, but I'm making the Ducks a 6 1/2 to 7 point favorite. I make them a few points better and throw in another 3 for home field edge. This is a heck of an Oregon State team whose quarterback, Sean Canfield is playing better than anyone in the Pac 10 at the position. He's having one of those senior season's that pushes a guy with his size and gun into the NFL draft picture for sure.
I'm not a big NASCAR fan, but I do have a ton of admiration for athletes who put their tails on the line. Jimmie Johnson won the driver's title for the 4th consecutive season. That's unprecedented. Not Dale Earnhart, the King Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, no one. I think he's very much in the mix for that Sports Illustrated Sportsman/woman of the year. We've seen great accomplishments but I don't know you ignore history if it comes down to it. Be interested to see who else you'd put on the list.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I've decided we need to incorporate bad teams into our system of doling out punishment. Not for major crimes. I'm still on board with needles and life sentences for things like murder. But for certain lesser criminal acts we must force people to watch terrible sporting events. This came to me when I was reading about the Lions & Browns being blacked out this week in Detroit because they failed to sell 7 thousand tickets. What's amazing is they sold nearly 41-thousand chairs for this piece of garbage game! Here's how my theory works. Friday afternoon in municipal courts around the country a judge has the weekend list of games. Say someone who vandalized a school is before them. They will sentence the offender to watch the Knicks and Nets on Saturday, strapped into a chair, forced to watch these horrible teams destroy the game of basketball. It might sound nuts, but we've got nothing to lose. I have more which I'll share during today's version of SportsTalk.
Is it me or can we drop the word "must see" for most of this Saturday's college football games. As Oregon fans we're lucky because Ducks/Cats is the marquee matchup. It's always great to watch your team, especially when they're in the conference race, but with this BCS mentality, what is generally rivalry weekend is not very scintilating. For openers Ohio State & Michigan is worthless unless you gamble, bleed maize & blue or scarlet and silver. This one has seemingly meant the Big 10 or a national title shot for like 40 years. Not so much any more. Because of the way we settle the national championship teams like Florida & Alabama are placing a tuneup game in late November which I find disgraceful.
Quick thought on the Trailblazers. The news that Travis Outlaw broke his foot and is out at least 3 months didn't cause folks to head for the Morrison Bridge, but trust me this is a significant development. We mentioned it on the show yesterday, but in that 4th quarter, he has successfully played Sundance to Brandon Roy's Butch for a couple of years. Certainly you have guys who can score, but Rudy Fernandez, Blake and most of the others, need to get fed the rock. Roy & Outlaw can create a shot at crunch time. I'm thinking Andre Miller might be in line for some late game heroics because he's a physical guard who drives it hard to the rack. It's something to keep an eye on because the last 2 games, at Atlanta(loss) and home for the Pistons(narrow win), they had a ton of trouble in the 4th and did not finish strong. Enjoy your weekend! Go Ducks!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Based on recommendations from friends whose taste I trust, my wife and I discovered a new source of laughter. It's an ABC sitcom called "Modern Family" starring Ed O'Neil of "Married with Children" fame. It's really clever. He plays the grandfather whose wife has passed & he's remarried to a younger woman. She's played by the Columbian born Sofia Vergara and on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being high, she's an 11. His daughter and grandkids live locally and the casting is great. It's on Wednesday nights. One of the creators is Steve Levitan who had a hand in Frasier, Wings and the Larry Sanders show from the early 90's on HBO.
Okay, on yesterday's program I went through my Heisman candidates. I'm making the case that Kellen Moore of Boise State should be the blue leader as we speak. Leads the nation in QB efficiency and his TD to pick ratio at 32-3 is spectacular, plus the Broncos are going to a major bowl. I don't buy Colt McCoy of Texas. Not this season. His accuracy is outstanding at 72% but his numbers don't jump off the page with 19 TD's versus 9 INT's. Tim Tebow is as valuable as any player in America, but productivity must be considered and his is at it's lowest in 3 seasons. For pure stats, Case Keenum has over 41-hundred yards and a bunch of TD's but in that Houston offense, they throw it like 55 times a game. Toby Gearhart of Stanford is having the top season of any running back with the 3rd most yards and the most TD's. We're also hearing about Eric Berry, the all universe safety from Tennessee. He's a junior and as a sophomore last season became the Vols 1st unanimous All American since 1990. He was the SEC freshman of the year in 2007. He really might be the best football player at the Division 1 level. For pure defensive statistics, Carmen Messina, the outstanding linebacker for New Mexico is tops in tackles with 134 to go with 3 sacks and an interception. You like all purpose? How about CJ Spiller of Clemson. More than 800 yards running it, 24 catches out of the backfield, and he's taken 3 kicks and one punt back for TD's. As great as LeMichael James and Quizz Rodgers are, I'm thinking they're setting themselves up for a run next year or 2011. Your thoughts? Candidates? Post it here or e-mail me

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


On yesterday's program we talked about how the mighty have fallen. Looking at our world of sports, who held the role of king but got the guillotine? In college football we settled on Notre Dame while Michigan is getting dangerously close. Another losing season and it's time to sound the bell because the king is dead. No question the Raiders fit into this category as far as the NFL. The heyday of this franchise was more like a hey-quarter century. They were in the contention picture from the late 1960's until making the AFC championship game in 1990. Some mediocrity followed but the committment to excellent was alive and well. They got "tucked" by Brady and the zebras in 2001 and won the AFC in 2002. Since then it's been beyond embarassing. They're garbage and the end is nowhere in sight. From MLB I give you the Orioles. The once proud Pirates and Royals certainly deserve consideration, but Baltimore takes the cake. Peter Angelos has proven to be one of the most intrusive, clueless owners in the games we follow. Starting in the mid 1960's with all that great pitching through the 70's with Hall guys like Frank Robinson into the Eddie Murray/Cal Ripken era in the early 80's, they were a force. Zero losing seasons from 1968 thru 1985. They skidded a bit but rebounded to make the playoffs in 1996 & 97. Haven't had a winning season since. They're awful.
Gotta throw my Knicks under the bus in the NBA. 10 years ago they made the NBA finals. This will be their 9th consecutive losing season. This was once a model franchise loaded with quality players who were smart, team oriented and represented the best pro sports had to offer. I'm talking Senator Bill Bradley, Doctor Dick Barnett and guys like Willis Reed who would become a successfull front office guy and class acts like Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe and Dave Debuschere. Then came the great run taking on Michael's Bulls in the 90's. They always rank among the highest payrolls, but have become a hardwood punchline.
The NHL version is the Montreal Canadians. Prior to 1996 they held the mark for most titles won by a North American professional sports franchise. They last hoisted the Cup in 1993. Since that victory against the Gretzky led Kings, they've never put together a post season where they've won 2 series. They've escaped the first round just four times. They've become the Yankees of the 80's. Knee jerk morons running the franchise, coaching changes and a roster filled with overpaid underachievers. Are we missing anything? Do we need to make more fun of Notre Dame? Check in today at 3pm or e-mail your thoughts to

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I'd like to preface this blog with the understanding that I'm helping pile on. I don't get the obsession with LeGarrette Blount. George Schroeder made some excellent points in his Guard piece today. I just can't believe this thing has such strong legs. Does anyone actually listen to Chip Kelly? He's made it really clear LB is his 5th string running back. I defy anyone beyond the obsessive recruiting geek fans to name your favorite teams 4th string back! Yet fans and some media members are focused on the deepest member of the depth chart. Obviously the ESPN yo yo's were all over it because they've become more about gossip and drama than sports. I know the easy out is for Kelly to just put Blount on the podium, have him answer the idiotic questions, then have him take a knee at the end of the half. I respect the hell out of him for not caving to this least common denominator mentality. He's got a game plan, a killer road trip, and a conference to win. No time for petty, clueless, can't let go schmucks!
Of course we're now into day 2 of the "Bellicek Bashing" since the Patriots went for it on 4th & 2 from their own 30, failed, and the Colts got a late Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne TD to win the Sunday nighter. This is not so dramatic. From my chair, punt the ball. I don't care about all these statistics that say you make the 1st down 78% of the time. You must incorporate how deep in your own territory you're stuck and who you might turn the ball over to. Peyton isn't exactly Brady Quinn. He's one of the games elite assassins who will make you pay. That said, trusting Tom Brady and that offense to get a couple of yards to put the game on ice is not the insanity many would have you think. Again, it's not a huge extreme, just a case of the cackling hens taking it over the edge.
Speaking of, how about that Ravens win over the Browns. Cleveland may have one of the most inept offenses in the history of this league since the 1970 merger. They simply don't throw the ball more than 12 feet downfield. Against a defense like Baltimore, if the threat of a big play fails to exist, it's setting your quarterback up to get destroyed. in a row. I told you yesterday that Zack Greinke of the Royals would win the AL Cy Young. As for the NL trophy. I think the guy atop the wins list will take the prize. I think it will be Adam Wainright of the Cardinals by a nose over reigning champ, Tim Lincecum of the Giants. Wainright led the league in innings pitched, wins, starts and had over 200 kays and his ERA wasn't much higher than Lincecum's, 2.48 to 2.63. Plus he was the glue who held together this team early when Chris Carpenter was injured and St. Louis did make the playoffs.

Monday, November 16, 2009


By now you've heard about and discussed the Oregon win over Arizona State a few hundred times since the final gun sounded late Saturday night. Unwilling to give up on baseball, I offer up this analysis. Ducks 44 Sun Devils 21 was like a pitcher going the distance and getting the win 7-3, but all the runs were unearned. Think about it. The Oregon defense didn't really allow one legit scoring drive where ASU got the ball and simply marched downfield to paydirt. The first TD was set up by that ridiculous interception where Jeremiah Masoli somehow missed a 6'5", 278 pound lineman. He threw it right to James Brooks setting up a short 18 yard TD drive for the first opponent score. Fast forward to the 3rd quarter where the UO defense stopped the Devils on their 1st drive. Should have been a 3 & out but a clueless unsportsmanlike penalty after the play allowed ASU to sustain that scoring march. Then we got the fumble on the ensuing kickoff that put State in business at the Duck 21. Fortunately the Sun Devil defense had no answers, Oregon got a nice return from Barner and rolled over them nearly unchallenged for a TD to push the lead back to 17 and that was pretty much that.
I think the crowd's heart was in the right place with the "We Want Blount" chant in the 4th quarter. Now they need to invite their head to join the party. I think Chip Kelly has made it clear about this situation having nothing to do with football. Blount is the 5th string running back. He's not taking away time from LeMichael James or Barner so forget that. As a rule, in blowouts, the coaches will run through the depth chart. Why should LeGarrette get in before Andre Crenshaw or Remene Alston who have been with the program 4 & 3 years respectively and been model citizens? The head coach has gone to the wall for Blount, taking on not only the national naysayers, but imbecile Portland media as well in allowing the steps for reinstatement. Saved his scholarship, kept him moving forward academically, and once again made him part of his terrific team. Any playing time is a bonus, period. Kelly owes Blount nothing more!
Anything funnier than USC coach Pete Carrol taking exception to Stanford trying to run up the score? Midway through the 4th quarter, the Cardinal were in complete command, ahead 42-21 and on the march. Toby Gearhart takes it in from 6 yards out and Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh decides to go for two to hit the half century mark and it rubs the SC faithful the wrong way. Really? A team who has been rubbing it in teams faces for 7 straight years can't deal with a taste of their own medicine? Seems pretty hypocritical to me. That said, it's now etched in memory and should the shoe be on the other foot, look for the Trojans to shoot the wounded in any future matchup with Stanford.
My thanks to Pittsburgh. Once and for all we don't have to even think about Notre Dame. I can't believe what a clown Kirk Herbstreit came off like after that game. Was talking about the Irish players not giving up and making a game of it in the 4th quarter. Seriously, of the 120 division one teams in action each week, times 12 games, how many teams really throw in the towel. It's a desperate, pathetic comment to try to save face because of the ESPN butt-kissing of this overrated program. One last time to Notre Dame. Join a conference and get over yourselves because you are years, maybe a half decade away from becoming a top flight, national title caliber factor. Deal with it!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Once football season arrives, I get a ton of calls or e-mails about the betting site I use for my wagers. I know it's a slippery slope to talk about gambling because so many horror stories exist about losing rent money or cash ticketed for more important things. I learned a long, long time ago, seeing others learn harsh lessons, that winning is secondary. Once upon a time, back in the early 80's, before online accounts or trips to Nevada, we used an old fashioned bookie. Call in, get the line. Call back with your special code, mine was YanJet(combo of Yankees & Jets), and make your plays. A "time" equaled five bucks. So if you wanted a $50 straight bet on the Giants - 4 1/2 against Philly, it was "Give me the G-men 10 times". Then you'd have your meeting place. Pay on Monday, collect on Tuesday. That said, unless you live in Reno or Vegas and gamble for a living, it's about the action, not winning or losing. When I sit in my den on a football Sunday or during March Madness, we have a great time betting a bunch of games, but limiting the amount played and just having fun. Anyone who thinks they have a system, or an easy way to pick games is nuts. The deflected or dropped pass, the horrible call, the 3 pointer at the buzzer, the error by the 2nd baseman that costs the run, can not be accounted for. Players who do this to earn their keep don't bet on a game just because it's on TV, they find the key 2 or 3 match-ups each week and lay down their dough. The minute you're not having fun gambling, it's a freaking nightmare.
By the way, if you want to site I use, drop me an e-mail at
If done properly, it's a lot of fun.
I was thinking the other day about my favorite, "non" favorite teams. As fans we obviously have our loyalties, but if you're a junkie like me and many of you about these sports we watch, there are times your team isn't involved and another catches your imagination. That will make for one of today's topics. I've long been in the closet about certain teams. From middle school on, since the Immaculate Reception, I've always had a warm spot for the Steelers. Just seemed to have players easy to root for, the quality of the organization and other factors made them appealing. The Spurs in the NBA qualify. From David Robinson to Tim Duncan, just a team's team with a single goal sans the ego's and dirty laundry we see too often. I think the Angels under Mike Scocia fall into that category. In college football, you have to admire Gary Patterson at TCU, and what Paul Johnson is doing with Georgia Tech since moving south from Annapolis. I'll be very curious to see what you all have to say about this when we rally the troops for Sportstalk.
I'm not calling for the mega-blowout tomorrow night at Autzen. ASU has just enough defense, the weather scares me and historically with Jake Plummer tearing it up in 1995 and Andrew Walter re-writing the Pac 10 record book, the Sun Devils have had their moments in our backyard. I also don't see an upset win. Oregon is the far superior team and a true freshman quarterback like Brock Osweiler should not be able to do too much business at this venue versus this defense. Ducks a 17 point favorite? Big number, but if they're in control, I wouldn't be shocked if they put up a mid to late 4th quarter TD to push it past that number.
Enjoy the weekend & Go Ducks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

GOSSIP GIRLS by Steve Tannen

Was catching some NBA hoops last night and after the Cavs torched the Magic I was embarassed by the questions asked of LeBron James during the post game. You might have heard his response. He's no longer discussing his pending free agency. Good for him! What moron reporter is asking a player 2 weeks into the regular season what his plans are in June? As of now, he's under contract to Cleveland. What do these idiots expect? When I first arrived here at the ESPN radio affiliate in Eugene I mentioned that the once high quality Entertainment, Sports & Programming Network had gotten a bit gossipy(if that's a word). Way too much he said, she said and quotes from people whose opinion doesn't hold much value for those with an IQ above 47.
Along those lines, is there anything more worthless and annoying than sideline reporters who grab coaches at halftime and ask the most pointless questions in broadcast history? The gun sounds, the score is 35-3, the losing coach is asked if he liked how the first half went. Dumb and dumbest. Here's a deal we can strike. If there is an injury or a rules explanation, let's go to the sideline reporter. Otherwise, shut the heck up, you add nothing to the game experience. I hear they're hiring at Borders.
The only occupation more worthless is radio consultant. It's amazing that people in a position of authority in this business actually pay money to incompetent buffoons. You know the old saying, "those who can't do teach, and those who can't teach, teach gym"? I've always felt that was idiotic as teaching is among the more noble professions. But in relation to radio, if you have no talent to be on the air, or program, or sell or run a station, stick a "consultant" sign on your door and sucker major corporations into paying you for completely invalid, useless information. I feel much better and have adequately fed my insecurities.
Okay, I have 2 Oregon baseball caps for one winner. Chance to hook up yourself and a friend with the latest Duck gear from the Duck Shop. E-mail the correct answer to We'll have the drawing at 5:20 today.
We've witnessed 11 BCS championship games since Tennessee beat Florida State in the first one in January of 1999. Which team scored the most points in their title game victory?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MANY ISSUES by Steve Tannen

Just finished listening to Andre Agassi on the Dan Patrick show. The ridiculous outcry for him to return his money and grand slam titles because he admitted to meth use is typical hysterics. Marat Safin and Martina Navratilova are condemning him. Look, only an idiot would give someone a total pass on abusing a dangerous drug like crystal meth that can lead to violent, criminal behavior. The fact remains is during his admitted use, he stunk. He fell from the rankings and it nearly cost him his career. Since, from about 1998 until his retirement, he was subject to testing and was clean. Meth certainly is not a performance "enhancing" drug. Agassi has been one of the more charitable, high profile athletes of this generation. People need to get over some of this.
Let's steal from another ESPN host, Brian Kenny. Late last week they were having a conversation about the MVP of the past 15 years, all sports included. I don't see those who named Tiger Woods. This really has to be about one of our major team sports. The names being kicked around are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, maybe Jordan as his last 3 championships fell into that window, Kobe, Shaq, Jeter from baseball, and back to the NBA with Tim Duncan. The fact remains I have the real answer. We will share on today's show.
Speaking of, the AL announced their gold glove winners yesterday. Some have whined about Jeter winning, but I have news. This was pretty much his most deserved year. Led the league in fielding percentage by a shortstop and made the fewest errors. And let's face it, no one plays in more pressure games under a bigger microscope.
Let's give away some loot. To get in the drawing for a nice new Oregon hat and T-shirt, email your answer to
How many Grand Slam events did Agassi actually win, and what is the breakdown as far as Australian, US, and French Opens, plus Wimbledon. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


As I rise each morning to grab the paper, my thoughts are focused on what we'll discuss on Sportstalk later that day. Then I logged onto the internet and was struck by the frightening news that Kareem Abdul Jabbar had been diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. Suddenly those defensive issues we saw from Oregon, or Greg Oden evolving into an NBA force, not so critical. I had an interesting run in with Jabbar when he was, I believe a sophomore at UCLA. The new Madison Square Garden had recently opened, so it was either 1968 or 1969 because my dad, a friend of his, my cousin and I were at Penn Station, located under the Garden and there was this 7 foot guy we recognized as Lew Alcindor. We went over to talk with him and he was a complete and total jackass. A member of his crew said we could get his autograph for...wait for it....wait for it....FIFTY BUCKS! I got over it and insist he's the greatest college hooper of all time. For years his aloof, impersonal nature over the course of his career was rumoured to have cost him coaching opportunities in the NBA. That said, you wouldn't wish this on anyone except for the most evil among us. Jabbar is going public to raise awareness about this disease which is usually diagnosed in people in the 60's and men more than women. You can learn more by visiting
I did an interview with Bob Curran of ESPN 1420 radio in Honolulu this morning. He wanted to get the latest from Eugene on the Duck football team and the reinstatement of LeGarrette Blount. I found the host to be pretty well informed, and he offered up a rational, intelligent evaluation from his angle. He and I were on the same page that it actually revealed character on the part of Chip Kelly that he was able to re-evaluate the situation and offer Blount a chance to do some things to get back in the fold. Curran represented a total 180 from the drama queen hysterics we hear and read in the Portland media who've always had a bug up their butts about Oregon sports.
On today's program, a major recap of the weekend that was in the NFL, Pac 10 and national scene. We'll also hit on the MLB free agent list, plus college and pro hoops. Looking forward to your input.

Monday, November 9, 2009

STILL SO MUCH GOOD by Steve Tannen

I know Oregon fans are still a bit down after the defense was demolished by the Cardinal down in Palo Alto(now officially Stanford?). Since becoming my version of a grown up, really don't let my mood sway depending on what a bunch of strangers post on a far away scoreboard. I had a fun Saturday night at dinner with my wife, and I always enjoy NFL Sunday's. Plus, I was so in awe of the game plan Stanford executed, the football fan in me was full of appreciation. Jim Harbaugh is a heck of a football coach. He headed north from the University of San Diego after the Cardinal went 1 & 11 in the last year of the Walt Harris era in 2006. In 2007 they won 4 games, 5 last year and already have posted a 6 & 3 record to date in 2009. From USD Harbaugh took his offensive coordinator David Shaw and line coach Tom Drevno. Those guys came up with a magnificent game plan and the guys level of execution was tremendous. If you can't appreciate their performance, you're just a spoil sport and a miserable cry baby. Oregon wasn't making the BCS title game anyway, so now it's officially about beating the Arizona schools, winning the Civil War and earning the trip to the Rose Bowl.
On the plus side we had Navy beating Notre Dame for the 2nd time in 3 years following a 4-decade drought for the Middies versus the Fighting Irish. With 3 losses, the now laughably overrated Irish are out of the major bowl picture which is good news for Boise State and TCU. Hopefully those teams will run out and earn those big bowl bids.
To take the optimistic angle, turns out I was pleased with the UCLA win at home against Washington. All those Dawg knuckleheads who chirped a bit too loud after their fluke upset of USC become the 1st and only Pac 10 victim for the Bruins thus far in 2009. The fact they did it with their backup Kevin Craft took over for injured starter Kevin Prince. And once again we see what a joke it was too consider Huskie QB Jake Locker a top 5 NFL draft prospect. Guy remains a very inaccurate passer, albeit a great competitor and gritty performer. I don't see the NFL star many deluded UW fans and certain clueless national clowns do.
We'll get to the NFL on today's abbreviated version of SportsTalk as we're bringing you Monday Night Football early & it's a dandy with the Steelers and Broncos squaring off. How about the Packers? Get lit up as Brett Farve returns to Green Bay last week, then become the first team to lose to Tampa this year. Their offensive line is a wreck and QB Aaron Rodgers is about 50/50 to survive 2009 in one piece. How bout them Bengals? A Denver win this evening means they are the outright AFC North leaders at the half pole.
I know many could care less, but the Breeder's Cup was held over the weekend and the Classic, a 5 million dollar race featuring the nation's elite horses was won by Zenyatta. She's the filly, now mare who has been undefeated but taking out that class of boys on Saturday was amazing enough. The fact she broke last and looked like she might come up lame but roared from the back of the pack to storm home first was even more incredible. If you get a chance, you tube this race.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I'm not saying the Yankees need to win every World Series for life as we know it to continue, I'm just saying it makes more sense than having the Red Sox win. I dedicate the 2009 championship to my dad who 1st took me to Yankee Stadium in 1966 to see the Bombers beat the Kansas City Athletics, yes, before they moved to Oakland. It's for true Yankees fans who will celebrate but not try to create some B.S "nation" and act like we actually had a roll beyond rooting on our favorite team. I don't want to see a bunch of NY gear around town worn by bandwagon jumpers who don't even know where the South Bronx is like we've had to deal with the past 5 years with phony Boston fans. For Derek Jeter, who was on base in each and every post season game and was in the middle of every rally last nite and picks up his 5th World Series championship ring. Hideki Matsui had the career defining evening with 6 ribby's. He joined the Yanks prior to the 2003 season, their last Series appearance and has been a class act and terrific producer, very much worthy of wearing the pinstripes. Gotta be happy for the newbies. C.C. Sabathia was a stud during these playoffs. From day one he's been all about earning that monster paycheck. Unlike the selfish, clueless, excuse making losers they gave big bucks to like Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown, he never sidestepped questions and acted like a stand up guy. After games he struggled Sabathia simply stated he needed to do his job better. Mark Texiera didn't hit all that well in the playoffs, but delivered some important rbi's and his defense at 1st base is unparalleled. For Mariano Rivera, the ultimate difference maker. Heading into games 6 & 7 with both pitching staffs a boarderline mess, you know there was Mr. Reliable at the back end to handle matters. Is he the greatest closer ever? He's certainly in the conversation and no one has been more money in the post season. And all around the game of baseball he's revered as the ultimate sportsman and gentleman.
So now we can focus our attention on football. The Ducks at Stanford Saturday is enormous. I don't buy into any 'letdown' talk. That's just plain stupid with a head coach like Chip Kelly. The Cardinal must eat the clock with sustained drives to keep the Oregon assault on the sidelines as much as possible. The Stanford defense is really vulnerable and if their offense struggles this thing is going to be 50-17. More on tomorrow's blog.
As for today, let's give away another Duck hat and $50 gift certificate to Cafe 440 out on Coburg Road. Last year the Phillies Cole Hamels won the MVP of both the NLCS & World Series. Before Hamels, who was the last man to accomplish that feat.
E-mail the correct answer to
Yesterday's correct answer was 1962. Last time the Yankees had won a 7 game World Series. Congrats to Jay.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Blazers are off to a let's say, sluggish, start. After posting a dominating 34-7 mark at the Rose Garden, they've dropped 2 of their first 3 on the home court after Atlanta took em last night. I was really looking forward to seeing Greg Oden play this year. Lot of off-season chat about his being in such great condition, fully healed from that knee micro-fracture that cost him his rookie year. You can over-analyze anything but his productivity will not improve until he can avoid foul trouble. Had 5 in only 16 minutes and has had 5 in every game but one when he was whistled 4 times. I think it's a matter of maturity and discipline because he's committing too many infractions well away from the basket. You want your big fella to be intimidating, but holding a non-perimeter threat 15-18 feet from the hoop is a dumb foul. Look, the season is 5 games in and remember, he's just 21 but it's certainly something to keep on your radar.
Game 6 from the Bronx tonight and I'm astounded by the national media who somehow feel the pressure is on New York to win. Really? They lose and get a game 7, Philly loses and the season is over. Let's not forget, the Yanks have scored 6, 7 & 8 runs off the Phils pitching the past 3 games. The Phillie's stud starter Cliff Lee was not sharp on 3 days rest Monday and none of the others have shown the ability to shut down a good lineup. Certainly New York throwing Andy Pettite tonight on 3 days rest is far from a lock, but at home, under pressure, he's been there many, many times before. The Philly starter, Pedro Martinez, has struggled on the road all season. New York also beat him earlier in the series blasting 2 homers. Let's face it, there is only one pitcher on either roster you feel comfortable with at this point and it's Yankee's closer Mariano Rivera. Both teams have a ton of pressure on them. It's the freaking World Series for crying out loud, but the Yanks remain in the driver's seat. For now.
Okay, for a new Duck hat plus a $50 gift certificate to Cafe 440 on Coburg Road.
The brought us lunch the other day. The stuff is great. Email the correct answer to
When was the last time the Yankees "won" a 7 game World Series. Good Luck.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

THE FORMULA by Steve Tannen

There was a 1980 movie called "The Formula" starring George C Scott. The gist was a way existed to eliminate the need for oil. In 2009, Oregon fans are only interested in a method to get their team into the BCS title game. Obviously it all begins with the premise this group can avoid a letdown or terrible performance and win out. Let's start at the top and deal with the 7 teams ahead of the Ducks in the BCS standings and understand they must pass 6. In the SEC, Florida at one and Alabama at two can run the table but eventually would have to square off for their championship shot with the other perhaps accepting an at large for another major bowl. The Gators have a visit to play at South Carolina a week from Saturday. The Gamecocks play much better at home and derailed then #4 Mississippi back in September but the offense has looked awful the past 3 weeks in losses at Alabama & Tennessee with a close home victory against a poor Vandy team. Florida also finishes against Florida State, but it's home in the Swamp and the Noles only a .500 team. Alabama faces LSU on Saturday and the oddsmakers say Tide by 9 but this is not a done deal with Bama's passing problems. Alabama also faces the traditional regular season ender with Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The Tigers have some firepower and nice wins versus Ole Miss and West Virginia. In a perfect world Alabama or Florida would get upset and the other would win the SEC title game knocking both from the Big championship game. I can't imagine Texas isn't a lock to play for the BCS title. They have pushovers against Central Florida and Baylor until a home tilt with fraudulent Kansas who was ranked until the real part of their schedule appeared and they fell apart. Maybe, maybe the trip to College Station for Texas A & M is dangerous. This might be the most heated rivalry and Kyle Field can be intimidating. Unfortunately the Aggies had a recent 3 game stretch where they allowed 145 points. Lock the Longhorns into the Big 12 title game and pretty much the BCS championship game as well. Now we come to the unbeatens. Iowa at number 4 faces the daunting task of keeping their dream alive at Ohio State a week from Saturday. The Hawkeyes have tapdanced in the minefield all year nearly losing to Northern Iowa for the first time since the 1890's. Last week they were in danger of falling behind terrible Indiana at home 28-7 until a fluke deflection led to a 90 yard return to make it 21-14 midway through the 3rd period. They beat the Red Wolves of Arkansas State by 3 and needed a TD on the last play of the game to take down a very mediocre Michigan State team 15-13. They're the most vulnerable of the top teams right now. Big East Beast Cincinatti has survived without stud QB Tony Pike and will likely have him back for their key game against a dangerous West Virginia team a week from Friday. After that, a trip to Pitt lurks to end the regular season. The Panthers are unbeaten in conference and have a very real shot at taking down the Bearcats. TCU's shot at perfection comes down to their battle with Utah at Fort Worth, also a week from Saturday. The Horned Frogs really opened some eyes when they tore apart BYU and stuffed Max Hall & that Cougar offense. As we speak the lone Utah loss was here in the rain to Oregon. They're an excellent football team. They don't overwhelm, they just do enough to win. They may also have a quarterback controversy, but with a great defense, the Utes could win this game. Last, but far from least is Boise State. They nearly stumbled at Tulsa but have responded with back to back massacres by a combined total of 99-16 albeit against garbage teams like Hawaii and San Jose State. Their 2 toughest remaining games are home against Idaho and Nevada. Forget the Vandals as they got torched for 70 by Nevada so let's focus on the Wolfpack. We'll learn more about the Wolfpack when they play Fresno State a week from Saturday. They look sharp and win that game handily, I'll give them a punchers chance in the season ender at Boise State. Until then, Oregon fans need to forget all this craziness and figure on a trip to Pasedena for a Rose Bowl match-up, just their 2nd appearance in the Grandaddy since 1958, nothing to shake a stick at.
Okay, here's the trivia. Once upon a time, TCU was considered a big time football program and regularly played in the Cotton Bowl. When was the last time the Horned Frogs played in the Cotton Bowl, who did they play and what was unique about the final score. This is for a Duck T-Shirt, Duck hat and a $25 gift certificate to Billy Mac's Bar & Grill in Eugene. E-mail the correct answer to get in the drawing to be held at 5:40 today(Tue).

Monday, November 2, 2009


As a rule every fan of every team experiences the misery of a cold streak or a blowout. Fact is, those who support USC football hadn't gone through that for more than a decade. The last time the Trojans had experieced a waxing like this was in 1997. Look it up. All the current powerhouses, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State, every single one, has watched their boys get it handed to them within the last 5 years. What we saw Saturday night at Autzen was historic in a great way for Oregon fans. With Oregon State moving the ball at will the week before, there was a sense the Ducks would put up points, but some hesitation as to whether this unique defense could limit the damage Southern Cal would do. The key for the Ducks was never giving up the lead and forcing SC to play from behind, something they're unfamiliar with. Oregon forced the boys from Troy into unchartered waters and they were unable to navigate through. It reminds me of the head coach of the USA hockey team when they made their Miracle On Ice run past the USSR back in 1980. Herb Brooks felt it was important to push the Soviet machine, and keep it close because they were so used to having their way with any and everyone. As the game moved into the final few minutes with the American's ahead 4-3, the Red Army coach Victor Tikhonov forgot the basics of hockey. In the final minute, he didn't pull his goaltender for an extra attacker because he'd never been in that position before. Interesting food for thought. Now it's onto Stanford and the Cardinal grade out exceptionally well in many areas, but defensively they haven't stopped anyone good. Both the Beavers and Arizona lit them up and neither of those teams has anything resembling the Duck firepower. It's a road game against a pretty good opponent, but barring turnovers or injuries, Oregon will put up points and lot's of them.
As for the World Series, the Phillies Brad Lidge picked a bad time to revert back to his horrible 2009 regular season. Lost his concentration, and a 9 pitch battle to Johnny Damon who then stole 2nd & 3rd base on the same play. Lidge then plunked Mark Texiera who has been just flat awful at the plate. Up comes Alex Rodriguez who broke out of his slump Saturday, then got a fat fastball which he didn't miss. Up one run the odds were against the current champs with Mariano Rivera, after Jorge Posada's 2 run knock, it was all over but the shouting. That said, I think this thing goes back to the South Bronx for game 6 because Cliff Lee has been overwhelming and should extend the series for the Phils. Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I know people always harken back to the tainted home run race of 1998 when Juicer Sosa & Juicer McGwire supposedly saved baseball. To be honest, as a baseball nut I certainly paid attention, but prefer actually baseball to home run derby. It's why this season has been so spectacular and the playoffs in particular. In game 1 of the World Series the Phillies Cliff Lee devoured this high octane New York offense to grab home field edge. Last night it was AJ Burnett's performance that dazzled to square the deal heading to the City of Brotherly Hate. I've said all October that I'm amazed at some of the blatant errors by umpires, managers and players. In Game 2 with 2 on and nobody out in the top of the 8th, Philly skipper Charlie Manuel did not send the runners on a 3-2 count. This despite the fact a control pitcher like Mariano Rivera was on the hill facing a great contact hitter in Chase Utley. Utley hit a hard grounder right at NY second sacker Robinson Cano who turned a sweet DP with Jeter at short. Turns out Utley actually beat the throw to first, but got punched out anyway. Costly strategic error on the manager that killed an inning in a close game. Tomorrow we get the crafty lefties, Cole Hamels who was so brilliant in leading the Phils to last year's title and Andy Pettite. Advantage? I don't see it. Been calling this series dead even from the go and don't see a reason to change.
Interesting piece in the new Sports Illustrated by Austin Murphy about the Oregon Football turnaround. Finally someone has noticed something positive and sort of moved past the Boise State debacle. As for the game, I think it comes down to USC's defense trying to stall the Ducks on the hurry up attack. In the past two weeks that vaunted Trojan "D" has looked vulnerable. It's to be expected, they lost most of their Best in America defense from 2008 to the NFL. You know they're loaded with talent and depth, but it's a work in progress. Notre Dame moved pretty well, particularly in the 2nd half with the game in the balance. Last week Oregon State kind of tore them a new one. Get this! From the time the Beavs took posession with just over 2 minutes left in the first half....they had 5 sustained drives and nearly 300 yards in just over a half of action. Very un-USC like. Unheard of in recent years. I think their true freshman Matt Barkley is developing nicely at quarterback but he's also been prone in those past 2 games to a bad mistake in the 4th quarter. It looks like an even game, but if Oregon treasures the ball and doesn't get burned by a big return via punt or kicks, I truly think they have the edge. Here's hoping the weather holds up because Jeremiah Masoli has not been really good in the rain, think 4 of 16 in the elements against Utah. Should be a heck of a college football game with a lot on the line.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I was quite interested in the revelation that now retired tennis star Andre Agassi has copped to using meth while he was an active player back in 1997. This is not about judgement but about how people take information and tweak it to their needs. Kind of like the basis for right wing radio, but I digress. The apoligists for the modern day cheaters like Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez or Roger Clemens always throw up garbage excuses like "guys in the past used uppers". Anyone who has taken the time to see what medical experts have to say understands what crap that is. Greenies and the like, or even coked out madmen like Lawrence Taylor were able to get through a game but it didn't enhance their overall performance like Human Growth Hormone and the other products being created at labs like BALCO. Agassi didn't win majors and accumulate a quality resume because he used meth. The juicers of this era were able to heal up, build endurance and create a physical being which allowed them to work out at a higher level, and become stronger and faster overall. Popping a speed pill to get you running around for a game isn't even in the same stratosphere.
I've been reading lot's of articles about the upcoming World Series online. We know that once you get to the bottom of these pieces you run into fan postings. I'm again reading about how the Yankees try to 'buy' championships. This is such a crock it's getting funny. Get one thing straight, the Steinbrenner family is not even among the most wealthy owners in the game. David Glass is part of the Kansas City Royal's ownership group and he has Walmart money. Carl Pohlad of the Twins would shoot himself if he ONLY had Steinbrenner money. For years the Chicago Tribune owned the Cubs, Ted Turner the Braves. Any of these compainies or groups could have spent dollar for dollar with New York but decided not to. Certainly with their local cable deal and home attendance, the Yankees take in some extra cash, but don't be suckered in by the easy solutions no nothing imbeciles offer up. It's a lot more complex and you can't deny that the Yankee organization does all it can to put a winner on the field for their fans, as obnoxious as we can be! For the record, the wealthiest owners, according to Forbes magazine are Robert McLane of the Astros, Pohlad and Arturo of the Angels who does a great job with that franchise. Then of course you have the corporate ownership groups with equally deep pockets. If you want to hate the Yankees, I'm on board. The passion for or against teams makes sports great, just do it for the right reasons and ignore the mindless puppets and their clueless reasons. I think at the end of the day, New York has the very, very slight edge in this series with home field advantage and Mariano Rivera to close games. New York in a scintilating 7 games.
Okay, time to give away some loot. A nice new Oregon Duck hat, plus a $25 gift certificate to Jung's Mongolian grill in West Eugene.
The Cincinatti Reds were the last NL team to repeat as Series Champs. Who were the MVP's when the Big Red Machine beat the Red Sox in 1975, then swept the Yankees in 76? E-mail your response to
We will have the drawing early today, at 4:45 as we step aside for our broadcast of game one of the 2009 World Series. Enjoy!