Friday, January 29, 2010


Remember the movie "Bull Durham". Kevin Costner's Crash character is playing mentor to Tim Robbin's Nuke LaLoosh. The team is on a roll. On the bus trip after a victory, Nuke tells Crash something to the effect of winning is way better than losing. It was my first reaction once the Ducks put away UCLA in overtime last night. Not a very deep or thoughtful analysis, but dead on. After the misery of the past 5 games, getting that big, beautiful "W" was tremendous. Can't say enough about Matt Humphrey. Guy was sidelined for more than 2 months until a brief return at Cal last week. He's draining critical threes and dropping a couple of money free throws like he's in a mid-season groove. That's the kind of brass this team needs to get this mess turned around. Heading into the UCLA game, he'd played a total of 50 minutes and scored 16 points. In the victory he cranked out 15 in 21 minutes. Well done young man! I hate to harp, especially in the aftermath of an important win, but the Ducks need Tajuan Porter to accept his limitations. I know he made one nice drive and dish for a bucket, but for the most part, when he takes it inside, disaster looms. Blocked shots or terrible shots. This guy has tremendous value because he's an old school sniper who can shoot the lights out. He's just got to stay out of the paint and await his opportunities on the perimeter. The bottom line is a sweet, sweet victory.
How crazy is the Pac 10? Oregon is 3 & 5, tied for last place with Oregon State. Yet they're just 2 games behind Arizona who is in 2nd place! Nuts!
USC visits after turning in a horrible performance at Gill Colesium in a 51-45 defeat. Game time tomorrow afternoon is 3pm. I have a pair of tickets for the listener among you whose name we pick if you correctly email me the answer to the following at
And don't be cute with the Cheryl Miller stuff, I'm talking men's hoops.
But who is the all time leading scorer in Trojan history?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I've written here about the Oregon men's hoop team and "must" win situations. It's not like a loss tonight at home to UCLA ends earth as we know it. But if the fans are to begin accumulating reasons to remain interested and passionate about this program, sure, they MUST win this game. That said, if you're a fan of baby steps, at least they MUST be in this thing at crunch time because 2 horrible, non-competetive defeats to the So-Cal schools would send an element of folks to the exits for the remainder of the season. Since the great run of 3 consecutive Final 4's from 2006 through 2008, the Bruins made the 2nd round of the Dance last year and have been very Un-UCLA like thus far this season. From Thanksgiving until Mid December they dropped 5 straight to teams like Portland, Long Beach State and by double digits to Kansas(forgiveable) and Mississippi State. Recently they lost by double digits as well in back to back games against Southern Cal and Stanford but rebounded last week with home victories against the Washington schools. They sit a game below .500 and at this point are not even in the Tournament conversation for the first time since Ben Howland's first season in Westwood. Obviously this is a special night as we get to see the greatest program in the history of college basketball make their farewell appearance at beloved Mac Court.
For a $50 gift certificate to Poppi's Anatolia, who have become a downtown legend for their Greek and Indian cuisine, e-mail the correct answer to the following to
UCLA lost 2 players who were taken in the first round of last June's NBA draft. Who were they, and what team selected them? Good luck.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


It's a Tuesday in late January. Championship Sunday in the NFL is over. We have 2 weeks until the Super Bowl. It's still more than a week away from college football's Letter of Intent signing day for lunatics who are into that. We have another month until March Madness. Heck, even the start of the Winter Olympics is 2 weeks off. Yet, we had one of those nights in the world of sports you just love. South Carolina knocks off the top ranked Wildcats of Kentucky, Michigan State by one over the hated Wolverines at Ann Arbor and #11 Kansas State sneaks by a game Baylor team at Waco by a deuce. That's just college basketball. Venus Williams knocked off at the Australian Open, naked pictures of Greg Oden, certainly not your average Tuesday.
Gotta comment on the Oden situation. I cracked up when he called a press conference to apologize. At this point, anyone who sends a text, a picture or leaves a Tiger-like voice mail is a complete and total idiot. Haven't these people watched CSI or Law & Order? Don't leave a techno-trail. David Caruso would have a field day with this kind of evidence. Then again, it gives the anti-Duck, whiny Portland be-yotch media something to talk about.
If you want to get in our drawing for tickets to tomorrow night's UCLA game at the Pit, e-mail the correct answer to the following to
There are currently 14 former Bruins in the NBA. Which one has the highest scoring average this season? Good luck!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Was please but not surprised that Mike Bellotti came out publicly and said he's not making a decision on Ernie Kent until after the season. Smart is as smart does and this is the proper path from my chair. The team has looked flat out awful since beating Washington. If anyone thinks canning the most successful coach in program history mid-season is the answer, they're entitled to that opinion, but it makes zero sense. Bellotti has always been a big picture guy and he's incorporating all the great things coach Kent has accomplished which includes the tremendous graduation rate. We've all acknowledged hoops at this level is big business but the "student" aspect of scholar athlete can not be overlooked. No question, if the misery continues and the crowds at Mac court continue to dwindle, a change will be made. I hate that fact, but to deny it is pretty naive. Here's hoping for that monster turnaround.
Say what you want about Brett Farve, but the guy provides compelling drama. The TV rating for Vikings/Saints in the key 18 to 49 year old adult demographic was the 2nd highest NFC title game rating ever. Jets/Colts also did CBS proud. Highest rated AFC championship game in 16 years. Considering it involved Peyton Manning and the New York market, not that big a surprise.
Tough loss for the Blazers last night at home against the Hornets. Had things pretty well in hand up 8 with just under 3 1/2 to go but went into a minor coma the rest of the way home. I know they're playing shorthanded and certainly this team is displaying heart and grit beyond the call of duty. That said, this was a tough defeat. Over that final 3 1/2 minute stretch they managed one foul shot, committed a 24 second violation and lost Chris Paul on defense prior to his game winning bucket with just over 3 seconds left. They have tonight off before Utah visits Wednesday.
Earlier I mentioned Minnesota & New Orleans pulling the 2nd highest rated NFC title game ever. For a $50 gift certificate to a really cool new downtown eatery featuring African food, Cafe Maroc, e-mail me the teams who played in the most watched NFC championship game.
Good luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010


If I hear another fan or broadcaster talk about how the Jets had a great season, I'm coming after them like Lawrence Taylor. I know, I know. Off a losing year, to make the Final 4 is a terrific accomplishment. But, like I harped on last week, opportunity was banging on the door and while early on they got off the couch to answer, in the end, let the knocking continue until it left with the Colts for Miami. The drive at the end of the 1st half for a TD by Indy was inexcusable. The New York defense was great by the numbers, but not necessarily when it mattered. Remember, I'm a certifiable lunatic who watches every snap of every Jets game. I have a theory about defenders in big games. It's on the coaches to drill it into their head the value of knocking down passes and recovering fumbles. Down 17-6, Manning & the Colts took over with just over 2 minutes left in the half. From his own 38, Peyton chucked one deep down the middle which Austin Collie hauled in for a 46 yard gain. On the play, New York safety Erik Coleman had the pass defended really well. Except, instead of just jumping up to swat it away, he tried to time his jump and reaching with both hands for an interception, whiffed. This turned momentum completely and Indy cruised to the Super Bowl. Sorry, that's stupid, selfish football by Coleman. We saw the same exact thing in the NFC title game. Early in the 2nd half, the Saints had taken their first lead, 21-14 against the Vikings. It's 1st and 10 after Minny had moved into New Orleans territory. Adrian Peterson fumbled, and instead of falling on the ball, Saint linebacker Scott Shanlee tried to be a hero by picking the ball up and running. He lost control and the Vikings recovered. Brett Farve made them pay leading a TD drive to tie the game. Obviously New Orleans recovered and stole the game, but that is stupid, selfish football. He just falls on it, they have the ball at midfield with a 7 point lead. It's the defensive player's equal of the reach. When an idiotic ballcarrier decides to reach the ball for an extra 2 feet, showing zero value for posession. In the playoffs, or 4th quarter of close games, it's on the defensive coaches to preach smart play. If the ball is within your natural reach, go for an interception, otherwise knock the freaking thing down. If a fumble bounces up into your gut, fine, otherwise just fall on the freaking thing. Dumb, dumb, dumb. More on this as we get into Sportstalk.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Don't want to dwell too much on the bleak performance of the Oregon men at Cal. It was the Pac 10 version of a horror show. There were about 8 minutes to go in the half of an actual basketball game with the Bears ahead 19-15. By the break, California had exploded to the finish line with a 27-6 run that put this thing on ice. Oregon has turned into the gang that can't shoot PERIOD. In the last 4 defeats, none close, they've failed to hit above 38% of their shots. They haven't had more than 11 assists during this inept quartet of losses. They hit 1 of 18 three pointers last night. I know the coaches are very accountable and that's justified, but do these players understand they're likely playing to save the jobs of those coaches? If body language tells a story, some have thrown in the towel. Here's a big concern. Every team must sustain a push or a run during a particular game from the opposition. The goal is to have an answer or be able to limit the damage. When the other team is on a scoring tear, a coach can call time out, but eventually the guys on the floor have to stem the tide. It seems the Ducks have lost the ability to stop the bleeding. Every situation the past 4 games has gone from bad to worse. Yuck!
Let's get to the NFL Conference Championship games. We will hit on this all show long, but I'm already annoyed. If I hear another analyst or broadcaster or writer say the Jets are "playing with house money", I may head for the bell tower. This is pro ball. No moral victories. Ask Dan Marino or Marcus Allen. They made their lone Super Bowl appearance their 2nd season in the league and figured it was the first of many, but never returned. The Jets are just like the Colts, Vikings and Saints. One of 4 teams with a chance to win the championship. The 2 losers on Sunday blow an opportunity that might never pass their way again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


That whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing is really accurate. Google tells me the saying first appeared in the 1832 publication "The Pocket Magazine of Classic and Polite Literature". Well, it applies for sports fans. As jazzed as I get when the Yankees make the post season or win the World Series, it's something I've experienced many times during my lifetime. The Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State was so disappointing because it's far from an every year happening. I've been walking on air all week because the New York Jets have made the AFC championship game. Considering the legendary Namath led upset of the Colts was when they represented the old AFL, this is just the 3rd time I've seen them play for the chance at making the Super Bowl. Do North Carolina or Duke fans go bezerk when they announce the field of 65 for March Madness? Do Steeler fans parade down the street when their team clinches a playoff spot? Of course not, it's old hat. But when that rarity occurs, it's time to celebrate. Much more NFL playoff thoughts on SportsTalk.
Ducks in Berkeley to play Cal tonight. The losing streak at 3 is not the downside, teams hit slides. The fact all 3 were on the home court and they played horrible, horrible basketball and were non-competative against Arizona State and in the Oregon State & Arizona games they barely hung around is the real key. If a team offers it's fan base a glimmer of hope and appear to be headed north rather than south the support will sustain. If they don't begin moving in the right direction, I suspect things will get a tad nasty and no one wants that. They can not afford to get swept on this trip to the Bay Area as things at the Pit against UCLA next Thursday will be most unpleasant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The story about the Ducks taking steps to deny former AD Bill Moos an opportunity to get a similar gig at UNLV is a tad disturbing. It could grow into downright outrage if the University would actually comment on the situation rather than circle the wagons and take the silent approach. For the record, upon his retirement, Moos accepted a 10 year, 2 million dollar deal where he doesn't take a job west of the Mississippi for a BCS conference program. The Duck brass didn't want Moos to use that packed roladex to channel major funds or influence away from Eugene, perhaps to a rival. Would a reasonable person think the Vegas situation applies? It's been 3 full football seasons. Las Vegas is pretty much a suberb of LA. Is there really a big dollar donor who is sitting in their Palm Springs mansion deciding whether to write a check to UNLV or the U of O and Bill Moos will push the decision? I truly hope the Duck administration addresses this because currently, just about noon on Wednesday the 20th of January, they look petty.
I never thought my opinion on retired players could grow so positively. First former Giants, Cardinals & Yankees slugger Jack Clark tears into Mark McGwire's clown like, self serving, crock of a steroid admission. Now the real Pudge, Carlton Fisk, bashes McJuicer and Roger Clemens for their cheating. Completely pooh poohed the "healing up" theory. Fisk says try catching for 30 years. Dozens of surgeries and he wasn't standing around playing first base.
Okay, I have another $25 certificate for Ratatouille, a great restaurant on Willamette in Eugene. E-mail the answer to the following question to
Fisk hit one of the most memorable home runs in post season history, going yard in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series off the fair pole to force a decisive Game 7 between the Red Sox and Reds. I know it's easy to google the answers, but on your honor, who did Pudge take yard on the fateful October night at Fenway?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


In October of 2008, after a very bleak season, the Seattle Mariners hired a fella by the name of Jack Zduriencik to be their General Manager and oversee this baseball operation. He'd been with the Brewer's organization as the Director of Amateur Scouting and an assistant to the Milwaukee GM. He certainly gets credit for their rise from lot's of losing to the playoffs in 2008. In Seattle he took the reigns of a team who'd just lost 101 games and oversaw a legit contender. Today he resigned their young staff ace Felix Hernandez to a big 5 year contract. Remember, despite all his success, Felix is only 23 and still growing as a big league pitcher. One of his first strokes of genius was hiring Don Wakamatsu as manager. Wakamatsu, for the record, born in Hood River back in 1963. He just seemed to push a lot of good buttons. This team has made some smart moves this off season by acquiring one of the games elite starters, Cliff Lee, from the Phillies. They solidified the top of the order getting Chone Figgins from their main rival, the Angels. I think their defense is as strong as any in the American League. No question they could use some more thump in the middle of the order and the performance of the bullpen in those critical 8th & 9th innings has to be more consistent. But considering the Angels lost their staff ace John Lackey, along with Figgins, the AL West looks dead even heading into the 2010 season.
I just read that Tiger Woods is getting help at a Sex Rehab Clinic in Mississippi. Are you freaking kidding me? This is the card he's playing? What a weenie! This guy is officially a total disgrace. Just admit you got a bit power crazy, were a geek as a kid and now as a big ticket athlete you simply wanted to chalk up the bedpost notches. I don't know if I'll ever be able to root for this clown again. I'll report and acknowledge his accomplishments, but officially count me "OFF" the Eldrick Woods bandwagon.
Hey! If you'd like to see the Oregon Women hoopers in action this Thursday night at the Pit against California, drop me an e-mail to get in the drawing at
Good luck!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Somebody Pinch Me by ST

At 7 & 6, the Jets played the Falcons. They lead just about the whole game until allowing an Atlanta march in the final couple minutes. The loss dropped them to .500 and in the post game, rookie coach Rex Ryan thought his team had been mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration. He later learned that to be false, but it was a long shot. 2 games left and they needed to beat the Colts the next week while Tennessee, Jacksonville, Miami and the Broncos needed to lose, then if they beat the Bengals in the final game, they'd get a wild card. All that happened! Then they went into Cincy then San Diego and won road games. New York plays at Indy Sunday with the AFC title on the line. I may be the most spoiled sports fan on the planet right now. The Yankees won the World Series in November, the Ducks won the Pac 10 in December and the Jets have made the Final 4 in January. What the heck is going to happen on February? USA Olympic hockey gold medal?
I saw that Mark McGwire got a huge ovation from Cardinal fans when he made the first appearance since telling us what only the blind or ignorant didn't know. He used steroids to help him hit home runs. He didn't get paid to get on base, play defense or hit singles, so he used performance enhancing drugs to pop the long ball. You wonder why high level athletes think they're above it all?
Feeling too good about the NFL to dwell all that much on the bleak Oregon basketball performance Saturday afternoon at The Pit. They were right in the game, down 7 with just over 14 minutes left. After another defensive lapse led to an easy bucket, they would respond with a foul shot to cut the Arizona lead to 8 but once the deficit reached 10, it never fell below 9 in the final 12 1/2 minutes. Here's the thing to remember about all this. We're here. In the middle of it, seeing the wheels wobble for the 2nd straight season. Personally I believe Ernie Kent has earned the right to be coach when the new arena opens next autumn. That said, if you removed the names and simply heard the facts. Team won just 2 conference games last year. Attendance is shrinking noticeably. The same team has been beaten easily in the last 3 conference games, and has failed to be competitive for a full 40 minutes. If they continue to lose & lose big with lot's of empty seats, what generally happens at the major college level or the big time professional leagues we follow? It's not a pleasant situation and as cold as it sounds, the only remedy is a winning streak. Somehow they must find a way to be playing important games in late February and into March with a full & rocking arena. Maybe the Bay Area trip this week will be the stepping stone!
I have a couple of $25 gift certificates for a terrific new restaurant in Eugene.
Ratatouille on Willamette in Eugene. E-mail me the correct answer to
The Jets have played in just 4 previous AFC/AFL Championship games. The last was following the 1998 season, a loss in Denver. Who scored the only New York touchdown in that defeat against the Broncos in January of 1999??

Friday, January 15, 2010


No one has been more supportive of the Oregon men's hoop program. I think way too many fans and media members have been overly harsh and clueless about what's been accomplished here the past decade plus. A program that couldn't find March Madness from the mid 1960's through the ball falling to ring in Y2K but once had been to the Dance 5 times including those two Elite 8's. That said, the back to back performances against Oregon State and last night versus Arizona State were disheartening. The term perfect storm isn't applicable. I'm changing it to perfectly "miserable" storm. Not only did the Ducks look completely inept, but Murhpy's Law showed up as the Sun Devils shot a whopping 8 of 13 from three point land in the first half to pretty much put this thing away. Oregon was a model of inefficiency. Don't want to drown you in numbers, but in that first 20 minutes the Ducks took 32 field goal attempts with ASU launching 28 shots. The Sun Devils accumulated 40 points to just 23 for the U of O. Yuck! When the dust settles it's possible Arizona State is the best team in the conference. They can shoot it and no one in the Pac 10 is even remotely as good as they are on defense. Coming in, they'd held their opponent to a season low in scoring in 8 of their 15 games. The 57 points Oregon squeazed out was the same as they scored in the Civil War misery, just 2 more than their season low in the defeat against Montana. I don't get what Tajuan Porter is hoping to accomplish driving the ball to the hole against guys a foot bigger than him. He's consistently getting it swatted and turning it over. He must learn to play to his strengths and that's bringing the ball up and hitting from outside. They say the sign of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result. It's sort of early to call a game a must win, but a loss tomorrow against Arizona, especially a route, and the floodgates will be open. No question this team must be playing meaningful games in late February and into March to secure Ernie Kent's job heading into the new facility next season. I continue to ride his bandwagon as the most successful coach in program history and hope he's on the bench when Matthew Knight Arena opens up.
It looks like that might require a pretty substantial turnaround because the sparce crowd at the Pit last night did not seem ignited and on board with what's currently happening. Those are just cold, hard facts which I take zero joy in reporting.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


After Sunday night's dismal performance in losing to Oregon State it might be premature to call this early evening game against Arizona State a MUST win, but it's in the neighborhood. As it appeared these young guys were turning a corner after the nutty win at Wazzou then the domination of the Huskies in Washington, clearly a step was taken back in the Civil War. The most disturbing aspect was the repeated mistakes. Not blocking out on the defensive backboards, the insistence of Tajuan Porter to drive to the bucket like he's 6'7, instead of 5'7, the inability to get Michael Dunningan the ball. It goes on. Now they'll face an Arizona State team that excells defensively and is annoyingly patient on offense. ASU has played 15 games this year, and in just over half, 8 of them, have held the opponent to their season low scoring total. With the Pac 10 obviously way down this year, defending the home court will be critical for teams hoping to finish in the top half and perhaps get consideration for the Big Dance. For the first time in almost 23 years, no conference team is ranked among the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll. That's astonishing! This is the freaking Pac 10. With the ACC and Big East, one of America's elite basketball leagues.
This weekend's NFL playoff games are interesting beyond the obvious. Super Bowl implications with the winners Saturday & Sunday making up the pro football version of the Final 4. It really appears most teams are very healthy which is unusual this time of year. It also renders all those who felt the Colts and Saints should play their regulars for a meaningless unbeaten record as knuckleheads. As the Cardinals prep for New Orleans, they're hopeful stud wideout Anquan Boldin's ankle will heal enough for him to go. He sat out the shootout overtime victory over the Packers. The thing is with Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and newcomer, Early Doucett, they're loaded at that position anyway. One key ding to keep an eye on in that Saint secondary is corner Malcolm Jenkins, their rookie from Ohio State. He's been limited in practice and while not a starter, is a key cover guy in obvious passing downs as a nickel back.
Of more concern is the Viking defense as they host the red hot Cowboys. Run stopping tackle Pat Williams is nursing an elbow injury and has not been practicing full tilt. The leader of their secondary, Antoine Winfield, is also far from 100% with a foot problem. I'm really leaning towards Dallas in this one.
Much more as we rally the troops for a shorty edition of SportsTalk today from 3-5pm before we break out early to bring you Oregon women's hoops. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


You see the insanity happening at USC, Tennessee, the NFL and truly appreciate NOT having to deal with all that. I'd imagine covering the Yankees in the late 70's thru the mid 90's there was a fear of checking your messages. Who is the manager today? Billy Martin, Bob Lemon, Stick Michael, Stump Merrill(not made up), Yogi or some other Steinbrenner flunky of the day. My high school graduation is nearly 32 years in the rear view mirror and the Ducks have had 2 different coaches from the guy who was at the helm in 1978. Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since hiring Chuck Knoll in 1969, they've made just 2 coaching changes, all on a voluntary basis. They're also one of the truly elite professional franchises in any sport. I know there is an element of fans who would like to run the U of O's men's basketball coach. Be careful. This is not yet a destination program. You don't know if the new guy is an automatic fix. That includes Mark Few.
Speaking of. I have 3 pair of tickets to see Oregon hoops tomorrow night at the Pit against Arizona State. After bricking twice to open conference play at the Southern California schools, the Sun Devils bounced back by thumping both Washington schools at their place. Tough defense, well coached by Herb Sendek, this is a critical early Pac 10 weekend as teams try to rise above the mediocrity that has defined the season to date. E-mail me your thoughts on this to
I'll keep these on file for a later contest, but for now, all responses will simply get you in this afternoon's drawing. This year's men's Final Four is set for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianappolis. Give me your Final Four teams. Good luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010


If I hear another commentator say Mark McGwire "came clean", I'm not responsible for my actions. The guy has been in denial, hiding out like Dillinger since his humiliating testimony on Capitol Hill back in March of 2005. Now that he needs a gig and will be the Cardinal's hitting coach he knows it's impossible to side step the questions about steroid use. It's like that final court scene in "My Cousin Vinny", where Marisa Tomei gives that killer explanation about why the boys car could not have been the vehicle used in the murder. Joe Pesci says to the so called auto expert on the stand, "Come on...they can say it". What this all exactly means remains to be seen as far as Big Mac someday landing in the Hall of Fame. Not one player has come clean. They've admitted once they either got caught or were about to be revealed as a juicer.
The Oregon men looked just awful last night in losing to OSU in the final Civil War at Mac Court(for the guys). I know some focus will land on the coaches and they're not without fault in a flat, uninspired performance like this, but if you were at the game and watched the Duck bench you'll understand what I mean. Ernie Kent and his assistants at times were actually flabbergasted or flummoxed. I saw Ernie mouth "why" on at least 5-6 occasions to players who committed bad fouls, took horrible shots, failed to box out on the glass and more. A golden opportunity passed to really stake a claim as a legit threat in this conference. By the way, what is with the Pac 10? This is as weak as I've seen it, ever! Right now I'll guarantee you the team who wins the Pac 10 tournament will make the Big Dance. That's as far as I'm willing to go right now. Arizona State has a nice 12 & 5 record, but they've beaten no one as that LSU victory in the preseason has lost it's luster because the Tigers are no good. Wazzou has a sweet 12 & 4 overall mark but they also don't have a quality win to hang their hat on in an at large bid situation. Not one Pac 10 teams is ranked. I'll go you one better. Not one Pac 10 team garnered a single vote from anyone in the AP poll. Yikes!
Obviously pleased with my Jets victory over Cincy. Dallas was impressive in busting up Philly for the 2nd straight week. Arizona/Green Bay was off the charts nuts. I'm not a huge fan, but not many have slung it much better than Kurt Warner when he's on. The performance of Aaron Rogers bringing the Pack back was impressive and he deserved better than that nightmarish ending. Lot of NFL coming your way. Big focus on the insane decision by Pete Carrol to leave Troy for a bush league NFL town like Seattle. I could not be happier.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I was ticked off to beat the band when Colt McCoy went down injured very early in last night's BCS title game. Sure I bet Texas and had some cash on the line. But beyond the action, I'm all about hoping for the legendary performance or finish, especially in a game of this magnitude. As things rolled into the 2nd half and we learned Colt was done & his college career was over, I couldn't help but be heartbroken for this young guy. Remember, he was on the sideline with Texas 4 years earlier as a redshirt freshman watching Vince Young work his magic in leading UT to that unreal victory over USC. This was his time to shine. The reason he chose the University of Texas. That is the main thing I'll always remember about Alabama's victory in this one. I also don't want to take anything away from the Crimson Tide. No taint on this title. They ran through the best conference in football unbeaten and beat a very good Virginia Tech out of conference. No player had run for 100 yards in any game on Texas all season. Bama had two guys bust the 100 yard barrier. I think both coaches made bonehead decisions from Nick Saban's fake punt on their 1st possession to the shovel pass UT tried as time was winding down in the 1st half.
Really pumped for the NFL playoffs. It begins with my J.E.T.S tomorrow afternoon at Cincy. This way if they win, I'm locked into the Elite 8. They lose, I can shelve it and just enjoy the rest of the weekend. It's a dead even game as neither team is strong offensively, but both can run it and "D" up.
The weekend wraps with the Civil War at Mac Court Sunday night at 7:30. Oregon State is coming off arguably the worst performance in program history getting waxed by Seattle on Tuesday by 51 points. Seattle is now an independent as they've just moved to the Division 1 level. The Beavs were viewed as possibly a first division Pac 10 team in a season when the conference is down. They'll be borderline desperate so the Ducks best be ready.
Word just hit the wire that the Seahawks have fired head coach Jim Mora Jr. It appears Pete Carroll of USC has emerged as the 1st big name they will pursue. I know there are 9 sets of fans in our league on board with that move. I'm also betting there are 31 sets of NFL fans(the rest), on board because I don't believe Pete is an NFL guy. We've been down this road before and he was not close to winning big with the Patriots or Jets. And don't forget, in 1997 he took over a Patriots team from Bill Parcells who had just been to the Super Bowl. They got progressively worse each season from 10 wins his 1st, to 9 to 8. I see him as a Dennis Erickson. Heck of a college coach. Mediocre as a pro coach. We shall see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Nice to see the faithful getting jazzed about Sunday night's Civil War at Mac Court. The sweep at the Washington schools certainly put Oregon men's hoops back near the front of people's minds. OSU presents an interesting case. They're certainly experienced with most of their contributors either juniors or seniors. I'm really impressed with the Duck depth. Certainly they have their high level guys in key places like Malcolm Armstead running the show & a nice inside force named Dunnigan. They'll go as far as the supporting cast will take them and it seems like they have a guy to fill out the needed checklist. Tajuan Porter is the zone busting terror from outside, E.J Singler is a forward who helps break the press and is an excellent passer. Jamil Wilson appears to be that long defender who can disrupt passing lanes. Each guy seems to bring a critical aspect of basketball to the table. As it's the last season of Mac Court we've been hearing about retired numbers, honorary captains and all the elements that go with this kind of sendoff.
With that in mind, to get in the drawing for a pair of tickets to Sunday night's game, 7:30 tip off from the Pit, e-mail me the following at
Give me your all time Oregon Men's basketball starting 5. I'll give you lot's of leeway. We will have the drawing in the 5 o'clock hour on Thursday & give away 3 pair of tickets. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Last night the defending March Madness champions, North Carolina lost. No, it wasn't to Duke to begin ACC play or UConn. They fell in overtime to the College of Charlston. I'll give you 8 bucks if without google or the internet you could even name their mascot! And understand this, we're not talking about one of those mid major teams who is in the midst of a magical season. Charleston was 7 & 6 coming with with a 39 point loss at Clemson, 27 at Tennessee plus defeats at the hands of Coastal Carolina and East Tennessee State. UNC was ranked 9th in the nation. This is why I'd like to individually, then as a group, smack around the powers that be who run the Bowl Championship Series. Part of the charm & character of sports is seeing the little guy take their shot at the perennial power. It's why many would have preferred to see TCU take on Florida and Boise State square off with Iowa or Georgia Tech. Though with last night's performance on offense in BSU's Fiesta Bowl victory, that might not have turned out so well. By the way, it's the College of Charleston Cougars. They play in the Southern League. Now you know.
I read this morning that the University of Michigan has hired Domino's Pizza CEO David Brandon as their Athletic Director. He's a Wolverine, graduated in 1974 & played football under the legendary coach, Bo Schembechler. We know that Pat Kilkenny recently completed a 2 year stint as AD here at Oregon. Similar situations. 2 high level universities, understanding what a massive business major collegiate athletics have become, looking into the corporate world for guidance and a chance to put some dollars in the coffers. I anticipate these will not be unique situations.
Here's some food for thought. With the Duck football season over after the Rose Bowl defeat, gotta love the timing of the men marching through Washington with 2 victories. Be honest, if they'd looked flat and gotten smoked twice, how much interest would you currently have for this Sunday's Civil War match-up on the hardwood? Thought so.
Got to cover a ton of NFL on today's show. Plus it might be time to light up baseball's hot stove, along with an Orange Bowl preview and Fiesta Bowl review.

Monday, January 4, 2010


So the Rose Bowl is a memory. Disappointing for sure, but if you don't doff your cap to the Buckeyes coaches, defense & Terrell Pryor you're a sore loser and we have no need for you. I see this one as pretty clear. Two really even teams played a pretty even game. The difference is Ohio State's offense converted 3rd down all day as the Duck defense could not get them off the field. Oregon's 2 turnovers were costly with the pick near the end of the half leading directly to an OSU field goal and the Blount/Masoli fumble taking away a likely TD for the U of O. When the Ducks got their take-a-way it was harmless as they were forced to punt. Do the math and I'm sure you can find 9 points in there easy. That said, it's time to once again get excited about men's hoops. After getting one gift wrapped on Thursday in Pullman Ernie's guys turned in a dominating performance at Seattle to chew up the Dawgs. It was the program's top performance since beating tournament bound Arizona to end the 2008 regular season. Oregon has not had a big fella finish off dishes or follows like Michael Dunnigan since I've been a Eugenean(1990). Malcolm Armstead is a terrific point guard who can score. I loved the way E.J Singler helped bust up the Washington pressure with his ball handling. Tajuan Porter can make a huge contribution but he must make better decisions. He dribbles to much and launched ill advised shots. He took a 3 pointer after the Ducks got a sweet offensive rebound ahead by 15 points with over :30 left on the shot clock. Another key to victory was only turning it over a season low 8 times. For the record, I have a list of those of you who have done nothing but bash this program & the head coach in particular. Do not come calling like you're a fan. You're a crybaby, fair weather pest!
As for the NFL, I'm obviously beaming over my Jets tearing up the Bengals to ice the final playoff spot. That sets up one of 3 rematches. Unreal! 3 games from yesterday will be replayed next weekend. Jets/Cincy, Arizona/Green Bay & Philly/Dallas. Much more on this when we rally the troops this afternoon at 3pm.
Enjoy your 2010.