Tuesday, September 29, 2009


From Saturday through last night, despite the glee I personally feel about sports with the Ducks, Jets, Giants & Yankees winning, we've seen those incidents that alter your thoughts. When you see a college ballplayer lying on the turf or carted off or hear about even more frightening incidents, you immediately transform from fan to parent. Imagine being Mrs. & Mrs Tebow watching their talented boy Tim against Kentucky lying motionless after getting blasted in the backfield? USC's Stafon Johnson had a barbell crush his throat requiring 7 hours of emergency surgery late Monday into Tuesday morning. How about getting that phone call. Also Monday evening the California Angels clinched the American League West pennant and as they celebrated, you saw the image of fallen teammate Nick Adenhart's jersey in the madness. Nick was killed by a drunk driver in April at the age of 22. This would have been a shining moment for that family, yet, well you get the picture. On a much lesser level we learned this morning that Oregon's stud cornerback Walter Thurmond III was done for the season with a torn up knee that will require surgery. Still, he's a young guy living a dream with legit NFL aspirations who will need his mom or dad to tell him it will be okay. It's amazing how things can sour in the blink of an eye.

Monday, September 28, 2009


All week long we heard these chuckleheads who somehow land these sweet network or national gigs make these predictions and kick around their opinions like they're hard core facts. Todd McShay of ESPN's read on Oregon/Cal was simple. Javid Best ran all over the Ducks last year and will do the same. Really? In the 08 game at Berkeley Best had 93 yards on 16 carries. Not bad, but not the stuff of Heisman lore. Plus one of those runs was for 50 yards so for most of the game it was just over 3 yards a carry. On Saturday morning, both Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit were so dismissive and riding Cal's bandwagon, it's a joke. Don't get me wrong, I did not sit behind my microphone and call 42-3. I simply mentioned how the Bears had played some awful football teams, the U of O represented their most formidable opponent by far and perhaps they, like Mississippi and Washington were really overrated to this point.
Heck, on Friday afternoon I called Stanford -7 against the Dawgs one of the easiest bets of the weekend. I have this habit. I like to examine facts or actually admit I'm not sure if that's the case. These dingbats think they have to make these big dramatic calls based on nothing more than their opinions. Let's get one thing straight, for the most part, Lou Holtz or Mel Kiper don't get better information than we do. You think a coach is going to tell those bozo's anything that might matter? It's the information age, if you spend the time and do the research, our view is just as valid as theirs and the rankings this early in the season are completely meaningless.
Big weekend for yours truly with the Ducks winning huge, Washington losing, and both the Jets and Giants winning to remain unbeaten. And, oh yeah, the Yankees clinched the East title and home field advantage through the post season. As far as the other pennant situations, the Twins and Tigers play the first of 4 from Motown tonight with Detroit holding onto a 2 game lead for the Central lead. The NL wild card has taken an interesting turn with Atlanta getting red hot and pushing Colorado. The Rockies are ahead by 2 1/2 but you've got to give the scheduling edge the rest of the way to the Bravos. The Braves are home the rest of the way with a decent Florida team early this week, then the laughable Nats. The Rocks have 3 with a .500 Brewer team before ending at Los Angeles. They may catch a break if the Dodgers can lock up the best record in the NL by Friday. You might not see their top guns who you would anticipate Joe Torre would rest for the playoffs.
Let's give away some loot. I have Duck gear and free food certificates. E-mail the answer to the following to:
Javid Best is the active career leader in the Pac 10 for rushing yards. Who is second?

Friday, September 25, 2009


Let's be real. For the most part, Oregon doesn't play for a shot at the national championship, but to be a factor in the Pac 10. Same thing for Cal who visits tomorrow afternoon. The Golden Bears will try to avoid joining Ole Miss in that early season "overrated" category. If Miami loses at Blacksburg against Virginia Tech, they qualify as well. The trouble is making an evaluation based on minimal information or gauging the quality of a team who has played crappy competition. Like Cal. I've harped that Maryland is garbage, Eastern Washington doesn't qualify and the jury will deliberate for weeks until a proper decision on Minnesota can be rendered & the Gophers pushed California to the finish line. It's not a reach to call the Ducks their sternest test by far to this point. On the Ducktalk show this morning we played predict a score and everyone of the 7 callers has the two teams combining to go over 50 points. I don't see it. I think the strength of both teams lies in their defense. The lightning quick, all to the ball linebackers at Oregon and the pass rushing and stout secondary of the Bears.
Oregon State and Arizona square off with an equal amount of questions. The Cats make the change at quarterback with Mike Stoops handing the gig to Michigan State transfer Nic Foles and benching the more mobile Matt Scott. Look for a more vertical passing game with the more prototypical 6'5, 235 pound Foles who has a big arm. The Beavs just have to protect the passer. Great offensive line play as been a staple at OSU but they've allowed Sean Canfield to get dumped 10 times already over the season's first three games. Sean himself must upgrade his decision making or the call for the backup, Lyle Moevao will only get louder. There is a reason this is just a 2 point line for the home team. Each to tough to figure.
I've got a $50 gift certificate to the new Cafe Zenon that has recently re-opened at it's old location on the corner of Pearl & Broadway in Downtown Eugene.
E-mail the correct response to this question to: stevetannen@live.com
Name the years, the last time, that Oregon beat California 2 SEASONS in a row. Not twice in a row. Remember, there was a time not every Pac 10 team played each other every year. Good Luck!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Have read a couple of articles(including local) and heard some national rocket scientists about Andy Ludwig. His bio on the Cal Bears website refers to him as "one of the nation's top offensive minds". Am I missing something? I won't deny the guy was part of a magical 2008 season for Utah, but the Utes ranked 35th nationally in total offense. The defense really carried them and finished 11th. They had three wins by 3 points and another by 2. They beat New Mexico and TCU scoring 13 points. Their senior quarterback Brian Johnson marched them in for game winning scores near the end of regulation three times. Let's not call this guy a genius just yet. He's been around 20 years and just because Cal has beaten up 3 cupcakes he's "anointed". We all saw his work. He's a pretty good coordinator, I'll leave it at that.
Looks like Matt Barkley will be back at quarterback for USC. Is there a team whose shoes you'd LESS like to be in this week than Washington State? Oddsmakers have installed the Trojans as a 44 1/2 point favorite. I also saw that Stanford is a TD pick over Washington despite the big Southern Cal upset.
Saw "Real Sports with Bryan Gumble" on HBO last night. A segment on dog fighting. Some of the pieces of dirt involved kidnap people's dogs to use as practice for the vicious monsters they're creating. They tape their mouths shut so their animal can learn to kill. It was horrifying. There is talk Michael Vick might play for the Eagles this week. I know he's been doing the tour & speaking to young people about how to avoid his trap and that's great. Hopefully some good can come of this. It's still obscene he's already back in the NFL. I remain disgusted.
Remember, we're at Sam's Place on Wilson Street off West 11th doing today's show. They will be giving away a pair of 50 yard line tickets for the Cal game Saturday morning at 9:30.
Okay, let's give away some loot. Will award a $50 gift certificate to Cafe Zenon downtown, plus some Oregon apparel. E-mail your answer to the following to stevetannen@live.com
Was talking on yesterday's show about Tony Romo who has posted some nice numbers, including 36 TD passes in 2007, but has failed miserably in the playoffs and late season crunch time games. Not to mention he blew the big debut of the new Cowboy Stadium in front of the world. Since the merger of the AFL & NFL(1970), there have been 3 quarterbacks to lead the league in touchdown throws three consecutive years. Who are they? Good luck.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

AS AUTUMN STARTS by Steve Tannen

With Oregon's Pac-10 season about to get rolling, 2 full weeks of NFL in the books, plus the feel of baseball's pennant chase, it's my favorite time of year. Always loved having a birthday in early October. Growing up in Jersey we got the mixed bag. Celebrated some in the swimming pool, while others required a coat to keep warm. Regardless, the sports freak in me always viewed things as a tradeoff. Sure summer was over, but my world was buzzing with Yankees, Jets & Giants, and since the move to Eugene in 1990, Oregon, as well as Pac-10 football.
I've mentioned it before, but the members of C.J.A(Conclusion Jumpers Anonymous) has grown out of control. As recently as post Purdue/pre Utah, maniacs claiming Chip Kelly wasn't right for the job. Wonder if they were the same naysayers who didn't see the logic of giving another offensive coordinator from a small school the big gig when Rich Brooks bolted for the NFL's Rams? How'd that turn out? Relax, this team will experience even more growing pains, but the signs are there. With USC obviously down a bit and Cal having played absolutely no one thus far, there are no logical conclusions to leap to.
As for the NFL. Save a moronic decision by Buffalo kick returner Leotis McKelvin the Patriots are 0 & 2. It's key to remember they've taken a monster hit on defense with the retirement of LB Teddy Bruschi, the trade of fellow linebacker Mike Vrabel, the injury to their best young LB Jerrod Mayo, the late summer dealing of Richard Seymour to Oakland and some other changes, this unit is not championship caliber. Plus Tom Brady simply can not be expected to jump in as the best in the game after missing a full season with a serious knee injury.
Some other thoughts include a significant upgrade on the defensive side of the ball by my J.E.T.S, & a much more poised and focused Eli Manning for that other New York team. The New Orleans offense looks unstoppable, NFC South rival Atlanta seems to be proving 08 was no fluke and in Frisco, Shaun Hill is now 9 & 3 as a starter. They have a stout rush attack led by Frank Gore and an athletic, young, attack style defense. It's early, and things will change, but for now, lot of great story lines.
We'll catch up with baseball down the road but suffice to say, the pennant fever has been kept under control with way too many foregone conclusions. The AL is down to seeing if the Twins can catch the Tigers, but will it matter with one of Minny's stud's Justin Morneau done for the year with a vertebrae injury? The best races are for the Cy Young awards. I have Kansas City's Zack Greinke with a short lead over the Mariner's Felix Hernandez in the AL. Tim Lincecum of the Giants is in a tussle with a pair of Red Birds, Adam Wainright and Chris Carpenter. Too close to call right now.
Here's the question for some Oregon gear and a gift certificate to enjoy some eats.
Of all the pitchers currently on an American League roster, New York's Andy "The Juicer" Pettite has the most career wins. Who is 2nd?
E-mail the answer to:
We will announce the winner of the drawing at the bottom of today's 5 o'clock hour..

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Is there anything more pathetic in sports than a sore loser? Or someone who won't let go. Was watching the MLB highlights last nite & they showed Tampa's Carl Crawford screaming across the dugout at teammate Pat Burrel. The defending AL champion Rays have completely tanked, dropping 12 of 13 to fall out of the pennant race. My dad always said when things are going well it's all autographs & sunglasses. You learn a person's true colors when the chips are down. Perfect example. A running back is chirping about an owed "ass whupping" before a game. His team gets waxed, he contributes nothing and walking off the field when an opponent calls him on his crap, cold cocks the other guy. How many times have we seen Terrel Owens yelling at a quarterback or offensive coordinators when things sour a bit. At the extreme low end, you have a young guy who might get cut from his high school team, get disrespected a bit when he joins the professional ranks and perhaps get challenged by opponents during his career. Then after shoving down everyone's throat on his way to the Hall of Fame, let's all his pettiness, resentment and fear get revealed during his induction speech. We learn that great performance between the white lines is not necessarily an indicator of a great human being.
Let's give away a couple of $25 gift certificates to Papa's Pizza, valid at all
Eugene/Springfield locations. E-mail your correct response to
I'll announce the winners at 5 o'clock today.
Name the last Heisman Trophy winning quarterback to start and win an NFL playoff game so Matt Leinart watching Kurt Warner last season doesn't count.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It's been a while. Tom Watson was making his run at the British Open and Oregon had yet to even begin football camp. The Cubs were in the pennant race and Michael Vick was still not in the NFL. But, alas here we are with our sweet looking website, a true ESPN affiliate. Quickie thought on Saturday's Duck win versus Purdue. The defense had some moments but I'm not yet on board with those calling the performances in the 1st two games excellent or outstanding. They came up large with the fumble return for a TD by Javes Lewis and the ensuing 3 & out which gave the offense a chance to take a lead they'd never relinquish. This Utah team may not be the caliber of the 2008 edition that nearly got a shot to play for the BCS title, but they're no slouches. Beware Utes QB Terrence Cain because this young fella is a player. He's mobile and possesses a pinpoint accurate arm. Both lines are solid and coach Kyle Wittingham has a heck of an overall program. I'd also like to express my joy over a 12:30 start because the past 2 weeks Justin Meyers and I have wrapped the post game in the wee hours.
Okay, we have some loot to give away on today's show. E-mail the correct response to the following question to stevetannen@live.com
Utah has beaten Utah State & San Jose State this season. They ran the table last year. In 2007 they took a 7 game winning streak into their finale at BYU but fell short in Provost 17-10. Who was the last team to beat Utah by more than a touchdown. Good luck!