Sunday, January 30, 2011


I don't play the fuddy duddy card about when I was a kid. I think anyone who works in this industry and ignores Twitter, Facebook or the other wonders of the technology & information era is a knucklehead. It also doesn't mean we can't point out shortcomings and problems. Athletes who tweet every mundane, let the cat out, brushed my teeth moment are sad. Those who care are worse. I also find those who use tweeting to express immediate anger are childish. We went through this when Jay Cutler went to the sidelines in the Bears NFC title game loss to the Packers. Current and former players, coaches, and broadcasters passed judgment on the guy with absolutely zero info or knowledge. Of course we have an industry(political talk radio), based on that mentality. Last week, Green Bay was going to take it's team photo for the Super Bowl, but some players who'd been injured and are not rehabbing with the club tweeted their displeasure. So they couldn't pick up the phone and talk with the coach or GM? Is it me or does that wreak of high school gossip and pettiness. Makes these supposed tough guy football players come off like drama queen divas! I love all the social networking. I've made connections and keep in touch with longtime friends & family plus I set up most of my interviews via text or e-mail. That said, as usual I find a tad of moderation helps. Unless we're under attack and it's the president, there is not another being in the solar system who needs to share their every thought. Some of these clowns need to get a grip and grow up. Okay, I'm off to tweet something critical about a game I'm watching.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I recall growing up, I'm talking really young and my dad would tell me about November 22nd, 1963. I was taking a nap(3 yrs old) when the word came down that JFK had been shot. The phrase that was most often turned was America lost her innocence that day. I see the point, but it was a grown up thing. The Challenger disaster a quarter century was truly shared grief that included kids because, as we all know, a school teacher was on board and classrooms across the U.S were tuned it. Obviously things were jacked up a billion fold when we watched the events of 9-11-2001 on our screens for pure TV horror. And yes, I do remember where I was when I heard the news as I did not watch the launch. Always a tad jaded, I was part of that generation in the 1960's when rocket launches with Walter Cronkite was can't miss TV. By the time we'd made it to the moon and stopped, I lost interest. I was driving from my residence at 42 Pancake Hollow Drive in Wayne, New Jersey to my place of employment, the Kids R Us store on the route 10 circle in Livingston. I arrived, parked, walked in and just about everyone was in hysterics. Won't forget that day. Regardless of any political beliefs, I'll always hold President Reagan in esteem for in essence soothing our nation that night and properly cancelling his State of the Union speech but taking the stage to address the tragedy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Western Conference by Aubrey Wieber

The Western Conference is always very competitive, but this year it seems to be even more compact than the last two. The last three years the Lakers basically were guaranteed the top spot with the other seven teams finishing several games back with records that were all very similar. This year, however, the long seasons have taken their toll on the defending champs who are currently sitting six games back from the league best San Antonio Spurs who show no signs of slowing down. As of now the post season match ups would be San Antonio/Portland, Los Angeles/ Denver, New Orleans/Utah, and Oklahoma City/ Dallas. It will be a tight race between the 3-7 seeds till the end with the only X-factor being Melo. If he is traded, a trade that would likely include Billups as well as other role players, Denver would drop out of playoff contention and allow Memphis to move up. That is unless Denver trades Melo to Houston, who’s GM Daryl Morey has been very aggressive in his pursuits for the perennial All Star. Right now, Houston is four games back from the 8 seed, and if they land Anthony they could definitely make a late season push for the playoffs. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that Denver is willing to gamble on convincing Anthony to re-sign.

San Antonio vs. Portland:

Portland has zero chance of an upset here, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, they should be demolishing and rebuilding their team anyway. The Spurs are too disciplined and polished this year to slip out in the first round.

Los Angeles vs. Denver:

This match up could definitely involve a team besides Denver, but again, there will be no upset. The Lakers have their eyes on the prize.

New Orleans vs. Utah:

Now we are getting into the more competitive series. Utah always looks good come post season and they have a rowdy crowd that can intimidate a team on the road. D-Will is having another excellent season as always and Al Jefferson is showing glimpses of the production he had before he blew out his knee. Also, no one likes going against a Jerry Sloan team in the playoffs. That being said, what Monty Williams has done with this New Orleans team in his first year as a head coach is remarkable and he should be a front runner for Coach of the Year. Many people were skeptical of how they would perform this season with Paul having knee surgery and the lack of size with Okafor at center, but they started out as the hottest team in the league at 8-0. They dipped a little after that but are now back and on a 9-0 run. The main key to their success has been stifling defense and if they can keep that up, they will defeat Utah.

Oklahoma City vs. Dallas:

This series is kind of hard to predict right now with Dallas playing as poor as they are. Cuban is always a big player right around the trade deadline and I think possible moves by the Mavs could be the winning factor. OKC is young and relatively inexperienced, but for a team that won only 23 games the year prior, they were ridiculously competitive last year against the Lakers in a first round series. Durant is having an underwhelming season, but Westbrook has more than made up for it with efforts that merit him part of the MVP conversation. I think this could go either way, but I have to give the edge to the Mavericks due to how clutch Dirk is.

San Antonio vs. Dallas/OKC:

Barring injury, San Antonio is going straight to the Western Conference Finals, nothing else to be said.

Los Angeles vs. New Orleans:

I think this will be a tougher series on LA than most people think. Remember, last year they had a few really big breaks to get to the finals. They struggled against the Thunder, and more than struggled against Phoenix. They won game five on an Artest buzzer beater which was obviously not what Phil Jackson had in mind. Let’s be honest, they got lucky on that one. Game six, the clinching game, was a lot less luck and a lot more skill as Kobe single handedly demolished the Suns late in the fourth. As good as I think the Hornets are I believe that the Lakers will once again prove that Kobe and Phil aren’t done yet.

San Antonio vs. Los Angeles:

If it does indeed play out this way, this would be an incredible series. I think there are two main factors in figuring out the outcome though. The first is that so far, San Antonio is playing better than they did in their last two championship years (05, 07), and they are doing it with Tim Duncan playing only 29 minutes due to very productive play by Dejuan Blair. Manu is playing out of his mind and has gone from contending with Jason Terry for the 6th man of the year award to someone who can’t be left out of the MVP conversation. It’s not all star power though, as San Antonio has been the best in the league at finding new young talent late in the draft throughout the R.C. Buford/Popovich era.

The second factor is the miles on the Lakers. They have had three straight years of 100 game seasons, and on top of that, they aren’t exactly spring chickens. This would be their fourth straight shot at a title, something that has only been done four times in the history of the NBA. FOUR TIMES! Twice it was done by Bill Russell’s Celtics who were far superior to anything else in the league at the time, once with Magic’s Lakers, and once with Bird’s Celtics. In the 80’s when Magic and Bird were going to the finals four straight times the league’s competition was lower. There was less middle to upper class tier teams than there are today, which allowed for an easier regular season. I really can’t imagine it happening in this era. I realize that that is not a popular notion and that Kobe is a great competitor and will always play through injuries, but that’s just it, he has been playing through injuries for years. He is worn down. He did a great job in the 2009 offseason on reinventing his game to a more midrange/post up style, but that hasn’t stopped him from having multiple week stretches this year where he is averaging more shot attempts than points.

I see this as an extremely competitive series filled with fantastic basketball, but I think the Spurs will reach the finals where they will meet Boston. If you are a fan of basketball fundamentals and defense like me, this should be a dream matchup.

Aubrey Wieber

Twitter: @aubreywieber


By now you might have heard about John Stone, the Chicago area car salesman who got canned for wearing a Packer's tie to work on Monday. Obviously it was the day after Green Bay took out the Bears for the NFC title. Turns out his grandmother was a huge Pack fan and her funeral was the Friday before the game. He's new to the dealership and was not aware they had some kind of working deal with the Bear's franchise. It appears his boss, Jerry Roberts, didn't pull him aside and explain the situation, but rather went off on him with certain charming cuss words, threatened his job, then fired him. I see the point of the company until the moron boss, Mr. Roberts said he would have had no trouble with Stone's neckwear on Saturday. So what you're saying is a guys liveliehood was worth risking because some team lost a stupid game? I wish I were a "wrongful termination" lawyer in that city.
Very happy to hear Charles Barkley rip into the knucklehead players who lit up Jay Cutler via Twitter during Sunday's NFC title game. Of course it's become downright American to run one's yap based on nothing but opinion while avoiding the facts. Then again you have a bonehead on the radio in Eugene who late in yesterday's show referred to Oregon linebacker Casey and Packer linebacker Clay as cousins. Really Steve? Follow the Ducks much? Follow the NFL much? Perhaps I left my brain in the Valley of the Sun. Guess between those two and the 1st generation, Bruce and the elder Clay, I got confused.
I'd recommend the Lance Armstrong story from the latest Sports Illustrated. It's long and involved and a lot of "he said she said", but tells us alot about what some are willing to overlook or do in the name of winning big and banking big dollars. It's not enlightening and you don't come away with that feeling of redemtion like "Shawshank Redemption", but if you have an interest in steroids or performance enhancers, it's good stuff.

Monday, January 24, 2011


So the Jets and Steelers squared off for the AFC title and the Steelers won. Stunning no?? What else would you expect? One is a franchise that for just about 40 years has represented true excellence, stability and success. The other is a one hit wonder. A January miracle 42 years ago, but mostly an also ran. I will credit Rex Ryan for getting New York into the Final 4 in back to back seasons for the 1st time ever, but when push came to shove, his big mouth and defense did not cut the mustard. Their supposed power running game had all of a yard in the 1st half. On the other side, you had a Pittsburgh team who needed a couple of first downs to book their passage to the Super Bowl. Did they run, run, run and hope the defense held? In essence playing "NOT" to lose? No! With 2:50 left in the game, they throw on 2nd down and complete a pass to Heath Miller. Then after forcing the Jets to burn their remaining time outs, they still don't go max conservative and throw the ball on 3rd down. Ben Roethlisberger buys time like no one else, hits the rookie for the conference championship. While as a lifelong NYJ fan, had to doff my cap to the greatest football franchise of my generation.
Here's a thought we'll hit on today. Has the NFL become the ultimate "Whose Best Now" league? It's partially true in major league baseball, but look at recent champions and the lack of drama. Lakers, Duke, Auburn, the Blackhawks in the NHL last spring. They weren't complete locks, but once the season took form, it was obvious they were one of the 2-3 teams to beat and finished the deal. Call it parity, watered down, free agent impacted, all of it. The NFL makes you change your mind week to week about who might win on Super Sunday.
As far as the NFC title game, I can't believe how many idiots are questioning Jay Cutler. We're hearing about body language and attitude. I think it's a big, giant bowl of crapola! Either he's in or out. Period! End of list. Have you not watched this guy for 5 years now??? The fiery, heart on sleeve personality isn't his thing. The big question is why did Chicago have a "deer in headlight's" clown like Todd Collins as their back-up? It was obvious Caleb Hanie was more mobile against the Packer rush that was killing Cutler, plus the kid can throw. In a game like this, the coaches must be ready at the snap of a finger to implement Plan B. Awful. Plus it was obvious Cutler didn't have it early on. Kudos to the Packer defense. I mentioned last week how they were the overlooked factor Championship Sunday. Lot of talk obviously about the Pitt, Jet and Chi defense, but no way Green Bay makes it this far without that very athletic, diverse group. Well done. This is an awesome Super Bowl matchup. From my chair, the most intriguing since the Cowboys of Staubach and Steelers following the 1978 season.
We will also hit on the Oregon win at Corvallis on Saturday. Way too many Beaver fans getting way too ahead of themselves about a fair to poor team just because the Ducks are struggling on the hardwood. This was a bad slap of reality to one of the worst D-1 programs in America the past 20+ years.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I already know how obnoxious this is. I listen to the gazillionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets speak and try to clown a bit with the media and I cringe. Sorry, I hear a woman with a British or Latino accent and I think "sexy". I hear a guy speaking Italian and I think "player". A guy comes at me with that Eastern Bloc accent and I think "prison guard". It's freaking scary. Mikhail Prokhorov trying to be snarky with references to carrier pigeons and telling us we "might" have heard of Michael Jordan is awful sounding. Let's face it, we can all name the one Russian comedian and when was the last time you heard from Yakov Smirnoff?
On today's show we'll speak with Jason Quick of the Oregonian. He covers the Blazer's beat which is intrigue central these days for many reasons, most of which you'd prefer avoiding. This should be quite the interesting talk with lot's of angles to cover.
I know a bunch of people think LeMarcus Aldridge is all star worthy, but I disagree!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Do you know the names Bob Medina and Todd Forcier? They are the head and assistant strength and conditioning coaches for the Portland Trailblazers. The announcement came down today(Mon) that Marcus Camby is the latest team member who needs surgery on a knee. He partially tore a meniscus. He joins the familiar list of Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Jeff Pendergraph and Elliot Williams with knee injuries. We're not medically qualified and can take the time to view each situation individually, but this is just plain odd and a bit disturbing. Portland is locked into NBA purgatory. They're not nearly good enough to contend for the Western Conference title and not nearly bad enough to fall into the lottery. The trade deadline is 5 weeks off. This is a franchise who needs to make some very difficult decisions. Move those with value, lose a bunch of games the rest of the way home and perhaps make the lottery or stay put, grind out an 8 seed, get run in the 1st round of the playoffs, then hit the off-season drawing board. Good luck with all that. We will hear from ace beat writer Jason Quick of the Oregonian about this tomorrow(Thur) just past 5pm.
Was anyone else pained at watching Al Davis during the Oakland press conference to announce Hue Jackson as their 83rd coach the past 6 years? I know the guy once set the standard for forward thinking and on field success. Not any more. He comes off as barely coherent and remarkably bitter considering his wealth and 3 Super Bowl trophies. It's not enough to just fire another coach for a situation that's not entirely their fault, but the bad mouthing is classless just as Big Al appears clueless. I actually like Jackson and think his offensive mind is the best in the organization since Jon Gruden left for Tampa after the 2001 season. I just seriously question if Davis will interefere in the damaging manner that has become his recent legacy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eastern Conference by Aubrey Wieber

In recent memory, the NBA's Western Conference has always been viewed as far superior to the east. The east was always a little top heavy with a couple dominant teams, but still had many playoff teams below the .500 mark. With Chicago and New York making major off season acquisitions along with Orlando's shocking mid-season blockbuster trade, the east has bulked up.
If the playoffs started now the match ups would go as followed: 1Boston/8Indiana, 2Miami/7Philadelphia, Chicago3/6New York, 4Atlanta/5Orlando. I don't buy Indiana finishing over Milwaukee or Atlanta getting the 4 seed over Orlando due to strength of schedule over the rest of the season. So if I had to predict the final seeding it would be 1Boston, 2Miami, 3Chicago, 4Orlando, 5 Atlanta, 6 New York, 7 Philadelphia, 8 Milwaukee.
I see absolutely no chance for an upset in this first round. New York is better this year and still have a chance of landing Melo before the dead line, but even if that happens I don't see them knocking off any of the top four. That leaves second round matches of Boston vs. Orlando and Miami vs. Chicago. These match ups will blow any Western Conference excitement out of the water.
Boston vs. Orlando:
Its hard for me to say that Boston is going to be as dominant as they should be because their health is so suspect. That being said, if they are healthy I don't think Orlando stands a chance. Dwight Howard is a fantastic player but he has yet to show consistancy in the playoffs and is a liability late in games due to his horrendous free throw percentage. The Celtics can throw Perkins, both O'Neil's, and Big Baby at Howard to cause foul trouble, assuming they are all active come post season. Aside from that, Orlando has no answer for Rondo. It's been said ad nauseum that he has the keys to this championship caliber team but if you watch him enough it becomes very hard to over value his worth. He will pick apart Orlando's lack of perimeter defense. I could easily see this series going to a game seven due to Orlando's superior three point shooting and the expected two to three monster games from Howard, but when it matters Boston will turn it on.
Chicago vs. Miami
I think this might be the one team that can dissect the three kings of South Beach. LeBron and Wade have learned to play with each other and contrary to the beginning of the season, are much better when both are on the floor. Every game they seem to get faster. With every bucket made by the opponent comes the opportunity for LeBron to lob a 3/4's court pass to a streaking Wade for an easy dunk, or vice versa. When one of them is off the court their offense is definitely less potent, but they can afford the dry spells due to the efficiency created when the two play together. The weakness however has been pointed out by analysts across the country; they are built for the regular season. They will not be able to run like that in the playoffs when every possession is of much greater importance, and especially not against a team as good defensively as Chicago. Miami will be forced to play more of a traditional half court style offense, something they struggled with early on.
Besides that, although they are rebounding better lately, Chicago is capable of destroying them on the boards. Joakim Noah can dominate Bosh and make him a non-factor. With the addition of Boozer, he doesn't even have to run the pick and roll anymore, leaving him free to rebound and get tip ins, which he will be able to do easily against Miami.
The biggest advantage for Chicago though is Derrick Rose. He is playing like an MVP and Miami has been hurt by good point guard play all year. He has proven he can play up in big games and if you watched the Heat vs. Bulls last Saturday in the thrilling Chicago victory, then you know the South Side rivalry between Wade and Rose is not overblown. Rose went at him with everything he has, similar to how he went at Rondo in the 2009 series. He has a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove to the league that he is the top point guard and an MVP. Arroyo and Chalmers will have no answer for him and Miami putting Wade on him would inevitably end with Rose wearing him down and favoring Chicago.
The only way I see Miami winning this game is if the big three play can play an overload of minutes and stay healthy, Bosh will have to play better than Noah, and they will have to get production when LeBron and Wade are on the bench. I don't see that as being likely. I predict we will see a replay of one of the best playoff series of all time (Boston/Chicago 2009) but this time it will take place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Aubrey Wieber

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Future of the Blazers by Aubrey Wieber

Trail Blazer fans, like most other fan base, have expectations that change every year. Sure, you have teams like the Lakers, Yankees, and Red Wings who expect to win no matter what, but Portland has never had a consistency anywhere close to that. After the "Jail Blazer" era, the fans didn't expect much, as there were not many fans left. Then, in 2006, Portland drafted Brandon Roy and the team improved by 11 games and finally had some hope. They were shedding their bad boy image and regaining some fans do to the incredible play of their new talent in Roy and Aldridge. In 2007 The Blazers got Greg Oden and the city once again started to unite around the team. Even though Oden didn't play that year, the expectations had risen. The teams budding new stars were rapidly improving and the goal of finishing with a .500 record was on every fans mind. Thanks to a 13 game winning streak, that goal had been achieved. Now buzz started forming around the league about the young team from Portland. Many GM's used optimistic descriptions like "future dynasty" and "the next Spurs" when talking about the Blazers. The next year the expectations were raised, of course, to reaching the playoffs. Savvy drafting by then GM Kevin Pritchard improved the team with even more young talent and the team over achieved with 54 wins and a 4th seed in the playoffs. Their quick exit to the Rockets exposed their lack of experience, but for most fans it was understandable as they were still young and rebuilding. In the 09-10 season, Portland was riddled with injuries and was second only to Golden State in games missed. They still reached the playoffs, but were bounced out by a far superior Suns team.
Going into this season, the expectations were higher than I can remember. Roy was coming off his third consecutive All Star bid, Aldridge had improved, Camby was re-signed, and Oden was going to finally come back and have a productive and healthy season. Obviously things didn't work out that way. The Blazers are now at a cross roads that can define how their success for the next five years at least. With Roy being signed to a max contract they will not be a player in the free agent market until 2014. They are now stuck in the most feared void of either high lottery team or low playoff seed. Their are two ways to get out of the most dreaded situation in the NBA. The first is to make major moves through trade and free agency, but due to the situation with Roy, the is not a possibility. The second is a full on rebuilding stage. This can be hard to do, especially in a small market like Portland, and still sell tickets. I, however, feel that the only way to escape from this Limbo is to evaluate who is untouchable, and scrape the rest for draft picks and expiring contracts.
Aldridge: He is right now Portland's MVP by a very wide margin. It might have taken some time, but he added 20 lbs. and is playing in the post like fans have always wanted. His production has surpassed our wildest expectations. His contract is very favorable to the team and could never bring back his worth in a trade.
Matthews: People all around the league mocked this contract, but his production along with the Roy injury quickly shut down all doubters. He is not and never will be Brandon Roy and probably not someone you will regularly go to for a 4th quarter take over, however he will give you a solid 20 a night and plays far superior defense to Roy. Obviously he has way too much value to be traded.
Camby: Camby is averaging 11.6 rebounds per game (5th best) and is the defensive anchor of the team. His trade value is incredibly high, especially with the lack of dominant centers in the league. As much as I enjoy watching Camby's effect on the team, in the grand scheme it will in no way benefit the team to have Camby retire a blazer in three years. Trade him now while teams don't view him as aging and over paid.
Batum: In virtually every possible Blazer trade Batum is the main target. He is still on a rookie contract and shows nothing but improvement. He is the teams best perimeter defender and holds so many intangibles that Jay Bilas could do a full half hour special on him. The only thing that makes me a little shaky on him is the fear that he will be like Travis Outlaw and never reach his potential. That being said, if you traded him you would get nothing close to his value in return.
Miller: Miller will be traded before the dead line if they can get a younger productive point guard in return. His contract is gold from a GM's prospective and that is a crucial chip that management cannot afford to not use. He is one of Portland's most reliable players, but next year is the last year on his contract and its a team option. Fans need to realize that although is dedication to winning is very charismatic, he is not the point guard of the future and the team needs to capitalize on their assets while they have value.
Fernandez: Rudy is a hard player to trade due to his public temper tantrums and poor second season as Rich Cho found out in the off season. However, he now has friends in Mills and Batum and is playing better. Until they offered unprotected first rounder for him from a lottery team or can use him as a chip in a bigger trade, the Blazer brass will probably hold on to him.
Mills: Patty has shown he is incredibly competent at leading the second unit. His modest numbers are perfectly acceptable for a back up and his recent 4th quarter minutes means McMillan has a ton of trust in him, something few Blazers can say.
Cunningham: Dante has an undeniable knack for offensive rebounding and just all out hustles. He has a reliable mid range shot and plays hard on defense. He possesses many qualities that other teams covet.
Przybilla: He will be traded before the deadline. His value is not at all diminished from injuries or lack of playing time because the value he has is his expiring contract. That is not something Cho is just going to let walk out the door. I would not at all be shocked to see him, Miller, and a bench player packaged for a PG, especially after all the Devin Harris/DJ Augustin rumors.
Babbitt: The last of the great "Pritch-slaps" was tricking David Kahn to take Martell Webster for the 16th pick, which was then used on Babbitt. Right now on ESPN's fantasy ranker Babbitt is 432nd out of 432 players, but that doesn't mean he can't be a part of Portland's future. Obviously if he was taken that high the team liked him and he just needs to get more practice time in before he gets real minutes. Portland can really use someone who can shoot lights out like Babbitt, and with no trade value he will wearing red and black in March.
Johnson: With Mills taking all of Johnson's minutes (and some of Miller's) I expect him to be a throw in for a trade if any team wants him.
I know a lot of fans ask about Roy and possible trade scenarios, but that is just unrealistic. It is very sad, but his career is over. Even with the surgery, it will only possibly help pain temporarily. He is not going to have 2-3 surgeries a year. Even with David Kahn and Bryan Colangelo out there, he is 100% untradable. This is now a chance for Cho to show that he can be a cunning GM and get young talent and draft picks, and it's a time for Blazer fans to show the rest of the league who frequently mocks them for being uneducated that they can stand by their franchise through a rebuilding process and keep the bigger picture in mind.

Aubrey Wieber
Twitter: @aubreywieber


Trying to think if there is a football fan in America having more fun than me during this 2010 season. The college team from my hometown makes the BCS title game, I get to go and get paid for doing pre and post game work. My lifelong NFL team has qualified for the Conference Championship. Pretty nice 1-2 punch. Early in Sunday's Jets/Pats tilt, I had that growing feeling of frustration seeing NY blow some golden opportunities to assume control. Seems they spent most of the 1st half in New England territory but had only carved out a small 7-3 edge. Then the very questionable punt fake by NE gave the Jets solid field position and they cashed in to go up 11 heading into the half. The defense lived up to their upside reputation by denying Tom Brady those shots down the field. The longest completion was to Deon Branch for 10 yards. They'll square off with the Steelers who were fortunate to escape with a victory against the Ravens. Neither team could run the ball. Pitt averaged 2.3 a carry but held Baltimore to just 1.9 per. It was obviously Troy Polamalu was far from 100%, nursing a bum ankle all week. He was barely noticable with just 2 tackles, but the rest of the gang more than picked up the slack with 5 sacks and just torturing Joe Flacco all afternoon.
In the NFC. Aaron Rodgers thumbed his nose at those naysayers who slighted him for his lack of post season success. This was one of the best playoff performances in recent memory. With a so-so running game at best, he was dazzling with 366 pass yards, 3 Td's and only 5 incompletions. He's serving carved Falcon for dinner at his place tonight!
Jay Cutler had a very nice playoff debut and saved the league the embarassment of having a .500 team vie for the NFC crown. The 35-24 final is misleading as Seattle scored 21 mostly useless 4th quarter points. Da Bears outgained them 437 to 276 and chewed up the Seacluck rush attack to the tune of 12 carries for 34 yards. If not for a cement head RB option interception thrown by Matt Forte, this thing looks like the lopsided romp it truly was. So Green Bay and Chicago play for just the 2nd time ever in the post season. A week after the attack on Pearl Harbor Chicago's Sid Luckman led the way in a 33-14 home romp on their way to the NFL championship. Great rivalry, on this kind of stage for the first time in the Super Bowl era. Sweet!
The Pack hits the road as a 3 point chalk while the oddsmakers have installed the Steelers as a field goal favorite to reach their 8th Super Sunday.

Friday, January 14, 2011


So Lawrence Taylor, once the guy I tabbed as the best I'd seen play in person on a regular basis. Any sport. Entering a guilty plea and having to register as a sexual offender. This is not one of those cases of a kid seeing his hero take an OJ like fall. When Taylor was drafted by the Giants out of North Carolina in 1981 I was already 20. Plus I'm a bigger Jets fan than Gmen. But watching him week in and week out from section 126 at the Meadowlands made me understand what folks who saw Ruth or Jimmy Brown or Willie Mays do their thing. Taylor admits to having sex with a girl who was 16 at the time. Says she claimed to be 19. Like that matters. For openers, he was a married man spending $300 to have sex with a hooker. Pretty classy from the get go. Let's not forget, at the time of the crime, he was 51 years old. Then to find out her fake age is beyond excusable. Simply because he's supposedly helped out prosecutors in their pursuit of the scum involved in human trafficking he's avoiding jail time. Too bad. He's a pig.
Quite the show last night at the new arena. Was great to see Phil Knight grab the mic and speak from the heart. Really added a terrific element. Place is unreal and in case it you missed it, there actually exists a mid court stripe but it was not visable to TV viewers. Nice win for the early part of the Dana Altman era against a solid USC team. Southern Cal had beaten #20 Texas, #18 Tennessee at their place and nearly knocked off 3rd ranked Kansas. They get back to work at 2pm tomorrow at the sweet MKA.
NFL playoffs...PLAYOFFS? Odd fact. Of the 4 match-ups, all are rematches to the extreme that with 2 divisional rivals, you have 6 games already played between the teams involved in the quartet of Super Bowl Tournament affairs. Love divisional weekend. It's a beautiful thing! Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


A lot of people are excited about the opening of the new Matthew Knight Arena. We are all familiar, and in the case of Duck fans, much obliged for the incomperable support by the Nike co-founder and his family. Let's not forget all involved would prefer the young man who died at the young age of 34 would instead be there with dad & mom to celebrate this amazing facility.
It's a very interesting circumstance that leads to the opening tip against USC. The Trojans won a nice game at Tennessee prior to the start of league play, then lost the Pac 10 opener in overtime against a very good Washington team. They beat Wazzou 2 nights later and took down cross town rival UCLA last week. This is a new look SC team who can do damage from downtown. They've already hit 98 threes compared to their conference low 107 all of last year. They feature some balanced scoring and keep an eye out on freshman Maurice Jones. #10 is just 5'7, but lightning quick running the point. I'll personally be looking out for #2 Jio Fontan who went to high school in the city where my mom, sister, 5 cousins and I were born, Paterson, New Jersey. He's a junior and their 2nd leading scorer. I'd anticipate their front line will give the smaller Ducks trouble with both Alex Stepheson and Nikola Vucevic go 6'10". They've outboarded their opponent by an average of about 3 a game while the Ducks have been about even-steven at 35 rebounds a game. The Duck big fellas, Joevan Catron in particular, must avoid foul trouble or risk watching his mates get pounded inside. Looking forward to another unique event involving this university. Looking forward to getting back on the air.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We are now sitting at a truckstop somewhere a few hours south of Sacremento. We will be arriving in Eugene sometime between 10pm & midnight which obviously means no Crunchtime/Sportstalk again on Wednesday but we will be back on Thursday.
Lot's of fun/odd/interesting/unique stories to share. Bit of a frustrating loss. Certainly the officials were way off and I think the pace of both teams contributed. Either way, it was thee GREATEST season on Oregon football history. Lot of fun to follow, cover and from the fans point of view. I think it's a lock the Ducks are the prohibitive favorite to repeat as conference champ and become the first Pac 12 winner ever!
Way too much to catch up on but we'll try and I'm looking for our baseball people to chime in on the laughable decision to elect Bert Blyleven to the Hall of Fame. Roberto Alomar got stiffed last year in his first year of eligibility so he finally got his due.
Hopefully we'll be broadcasting live from the new Matthew Knight Arena in anticipation of a pretty special evening.
Looking forward to speaking with you, drop us a line via e-mail at in the meantime.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I guess they'll eventually play. Barring the end of earth it's set for a week from tonight. How long ago was the 2010 season? For the record, the BCS title has been settled as late as January 8th, but never this late. It's also been played on January 3rd. With all the issues surrounding our favorite alphabet soup organization, how high up there does this one rate? We're hitting the road after our live show from Sam's Place on Tuesday. Loading up the Guaranty RV and heading south. Overnight stops in Phoenix(OR), then Bakersfield before we land in Arizona on Thursday. Thursday afternoon in our usual time slot(Crunchtime @ 3, SportsTalk @4) we'll do the show from Dos Gringos in Scottsdale. Visit and click the Scottsdale link or call 480-423-3800 for directions. Really hope to see some Oregon fans down there on Thursday and Friday. Place looks really cool. Located in what they refer to Old Town Scottsdale it features three patios, one on the roof with 4 full service bars and a loaded food menu. Never took a road trip like this, so I'm looking forward to a unique adventure.
Was really pleased with the TCU victory over Wisconsin. Anything that shines the light of ineptitude on the BCS is alright in my book. Let's face it, by the time kickoff surfaced, most I'd spoken to figured this Badger team would push the Horned Frogs all over the place. Didn't happen. So let's get this straight. Utah beat Pitt and Alabama. Boise State beat Oklahoma and now TCU takes out the big bad boys from the Big 10. They did it with a defense that forced 2 drives to stall and settle for field goals. One was made, the other missed meaning UW needed that two pointer that failed in the waning moments.
It pained me to see such an inspired performance by Washington beating Nebraska. I don't buy the "not wanting to be there" garbage. You really think the Cornhusker players rolled over? The Dawgs just outplayed them and designed a sweet plan that allowed them to run the ball and figured out how to limit the damage done by Husker QB Taylor Martinez. It was the 2nd meeting of the season and in both, Jake Locker just stunk throwing the ball. I can't imagine he's even remotely capable of playing the position at the next level. Pac 10 needed that shot in the arm after the way Arizona was handled easily by Oklahoma State. Is Mike Stoops really going to keep that job? What a knucklehead.