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!