Thursday, March 31, 2011


After watching the HBO program Real Sports last night my head is swimming. The focus was the joke the NCAA has become with as much pay for play scandal apparently happening now as ever. That's key for me. Those who think this kind of stuff is new or worse rather than a matter of us simply knowing more because in the information age, paper trails exist and that old mafia "omerta" or secrecy is a thing of the past. Can't wait to get your thoughts on this when we roll through Crunchtime and SportsTalk today. Obviously as baseball begins, more discussion about what to expect for the 2011 season. Watching Yanks/Tigers on ESPN and Jeter went in the hole to make a sweet play to get a force at 2nd to limit the damage a Tiger rally did. I really think he'll bounce back from a mediocre 2010. Some have painted it as falling off a cliff, but as usual the hysterical clowns miss the point. The #'s were not up to his Hall of Fame standards, but at .270 with 10 homers, 70 ribby's, 111 runs scored and 18 steals he was among the most productive shortstops in the AL. Better yet, Jobba Chamberlain, who the powers that be have tried to ruin with their idiotic head games, buzzed through a 1-2-3 7th inning with a kay. New setup guy, Raffy Soriano duplicated that to get to Rivera in the 9th. I laughed my tail off reading about the amazing pro day Jake Locker of the Huskies had yesterday. Big Freaking Whoop. Understand this, any of us who ever picked up a football and were in decent shape could pretty much duplicate completing 90% of your throws against NO ONE! If this guy wins 5 NFL games, I'm buying. If he goes in the 1st two rounds, I'm stunned. Nice win by the Ducks last night at the Matt. More great coaching. Went to the man because Altman was not pleased with the crispness and effort Monday in the zone. Creighton turns it over about a dozen times a night but had 16 with 15 minutes left in the game. I love coach Altman's angle after the game. Not kidding themselves about where they're at because of success in a very secondary event like this. It's fun, there is value, but the guy just has a level head and view of things.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Another, let's call it intriguing, off season for the Oregon football season. A year ago it was Masoli and the criminal patrol. This year we learned what a recruiting service is and got a ballpark on cost. Now it's time to concern ourselves with critical items like depth charts, catchable balls, route running, make up speed and all those things that come out of spring practice. On today's show we'll go through each spot on the offense and see who departed, who returns and who might fill those big shoes. It's less than 48 hours until the start of baseball season. ESPN has a triple header. Looks like the the series champion Giants will begin without closer Brian Wilson. Pulled a muscle on his left side 12 days ago on top of some back issues that surfaced earlier in camp. The good news is if you picture the throwing motion of a righty not much pressure is placed on that left side so he should be able to heal up 100%. Look for Jeremy Affeldt or Javier Lopez to share the 9th inning duties until the Beach Boy is ready. They're both lefties so right hander Sergio Romo, perhaps the most unsung key setup guy in the bigs, might close some games. Odd night in the NBA with the 76ers taking out Boston and the Pacers snapping the Bulls 14 game home win streak. Keeps the Chicago edge for the top seed in the East playoffs at 2 games and pushed the Heat into a tie with the Celtics for 2nd in the race.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Not sure what the overwhelming emotion is, my hatred of my brackets or my love of VCU & Butler making the Final 4. As of Saturday afternoon, with Florida leading Butler by 9 with 7 1/2 minutes left, I had the Gators, Kansas and North Carolina alive from my Final 4. None made it. Not sure I recall ever getting completely skunked even at my worst. The past 2 years I only had one correct but in each case, Duke & North Carolina, I had the winner of the Natty. Best stat that's reared it's head, this is the 1st time we have not had a 1 or 2 seed reach the National Semi's since they began seeding back in 1979. I'll go you one better, as a rule at least half the field consists of 1 & 2 seeds. In 2006 it was one with #2 UCLA advancing. Back to 2000, a #1 Michigan State was joined by a #5(Fla) and a couple of 8's(UNC & Wisc). Before that it was 1990 when UNLV rolled everyone, then another 10 years to Louisville the lone one or two in 1980. This is historic stuff. Probably the most humorous aspect of the Dance are the posters and banners hanging all around Richmond. Picture of the legendary ESPN analyst who nearly had an aneurysm when VCU got their at large bid, with the phrase "Eat Crow Baby" over the image of Vitale. Was reading that some among the Creighton faithful were chanting "We Want Altman" as they put the wraps on their CBI semi final blowout win. Guy put his heart and soul into that program for 16 years, had a lot of success and represented the university with a ton of class and dignity. It would be very disappointing if he were not welcomed in a proper manner. I know fans can be idiots and I cite the local abuse of Kevin Love at the Pit, but I'm betting the decency and intellect surface in Omaha when Coach Altman is introduced this evening. I'm sure there will be a smattering of negativity, but he deserves a warm reception. Here's hoping!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I've long preached the term "sports hate". I don't imagine in comes into play more than when the likes of Duke explode your hopeful bracket in the Sweet 16. I was encouraged by the Florida victory over the BYU Jimmer's as I have the Gators winning that region in one of my money brackets. Still have my finalists with Kansas and Carolina still standing(temporarily). When the Blue Devils/Arizona game went to halftime, I committed the mistake of channel surfing on my Comcast and came across the movie "Good Will Hunting". Got lost during the bar scene where Matt Damon's character destroys the obnoxious Harvard student that culimates with the classic "how you like them apples" line. Unfortunately by the time I snapped out of it and put the game back on, it was an 8 point Wildcat lead and I don't recall if they missed the first 7-8 minutes to blow it wide open. Think the U of A's NBA stock has jumped. At 6'8, 240 I wonder if he has the size to be a pro power forward. I don't wonder if he has the skill and heart.
I mentioned at the end of CrunchTime on Wednesday that I will not pick against Butler, when it comes to the point spread until they lose. Hasn't happened since the 2009 Dance. They took a 9 point lead into the lockerroom versus Wisconsin, expanded to double digits early in the 2nd half and were never seriously challenged. I love that team and that program. Terrific stuff!
Tall order for Marquette this evening against the Tar Heels. They got this far and survived the Big East because of their ability to get up and down the court and put the ball in the hole. They try to run with or outgun North Carolina, they might hang for a bit, but it will be fatal. I'm thinking the play here is the over 150 1/2.
I can't imagine Kansas losing this game to Richmond especially because the Jayhawks rebound like maniacs while the Spiders really lack size. Yet I can't get last year's loss to to Northern Iowa out of my mind. The Panthers had one big guy and used an all to the glass mentality to do some damage on the glass, only turned it over 9 times and benefitted from a KU brick-a-thon from the 3 pt line! Richmond has a strong board man and one of the more underrated players in America, Justin Harper who is 6'10. The issue is he's not a banger, but an athlete who fills lanes, scores on the wing, and hits the 3. We might see more minutes for Darrius Garrett their other big at 6'9. He averages about 13 minutes per game, but saw 19 in the Vandy win and could be a key if they're to keep playing.
Just read that a 22 year old who stabbed and killed that UConn football player back in the autumn of 2009 was sentenced to 18 years in prison as part of a plea deal. He plead guilty to 1st degree manslaughter instead of murder, the original charge. The defendant, John Lomax had no prior record. I don't care. If that my kid who were victimized, I'd have a real issue with the prosecutor, a real issue. Kid didn't drink for the 1st time or light up a joint or just get into a scuffle. He murdered someone. Sometimes I'm saddened by our judicial system.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So after sidestepping serious jail time in a plea bargain, Lawrence Taylor will have to register as a sex offender. You'd think he'd be learning how to do back handsprings considering what a screw up and lowlife he's become. In a word, NO! Instead he goes on the offensive and defends having sex with a 16 year old who he thought was 19. Says he doesn't card hookers and cited the times he's used their kind of "service" insisting it mostly took place when he was not married. This time he was. Prior to the next NFL season, whenever that is, I'm holding a #56 jersey burning to exorcise the demons of this piece of garbage!
So UCONN women's coach Gino Auriemma is ticked the faithful only filled half of the arena for last night's NCAA tournament game against Purdue. They won 64-40. This is the 18th time in a row they've at least reached the Sweet 16. He says the fans are spoiled. DUH! We witnessed a similar situation with the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees as they put together a consecutive playoff streak that went well past a decade. Uconn has won 112 of their last 113 games. Why would the casual fan shell out dollars and time for something so anticlimatic? And I get it, Miracle on Ice, Nova over Georgetown and David versus Goliath. Different circumstances. US/USSR was in the medal round of the Olympics at the height of the Cold War. Wildcats/Hoyas was the title game pitting teams from the same league. When David took down Goliath, no one had cable so only the live gate existed. Gino needs to get over himself or lose some games!
Is it me or is the smart money riding on Bulls/Lakers in the NBA finals. Of course that's this week. I've been adjusting the scale all season long, but with 10-11 games left in the regular season, if LA is the #2 in the West and Chicago the top seed in the East, I'm riding that bandwagon.
Huge stretch coming up for the Blazers after dismantling the Wiz last night. They continue to hold down the #6 slot in the West playoff picture, a game behind Denver in 5th, a game ahead of the Hornets in 7th. More importantly, with just 11 games left, they have a nice cushy 4 game edge on the #9 Rockets. Now the price of poker gets jacked. Here are the next 5 games. Spurs without Duncan on Friday at home, then at OKlahoma City, San Antonio and New Orleans before getting back to Portland for the Thunder and Mavericks. Quite the dangerous gauntlet! Hold up well there and optimism will be brimming for the post season.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Lot of numbers from last night's Oregon win versus Duquesne. The one that serves as a determining factor is obviously 77-75 pushing them into tomorrow's(Wed) Semi Final of this CBI Tournament against Boise State. 20 points from Garrett Sim, a career high. Don't forget, for the past couple of years on my shows I've heard many, many fans question if this guy was a legit Pac 10 player. 11 rebounds from Joevan Catron after the dozen he pulled down in the opener against Weber State, his top 2 board performances of the season. The figure that stopped me dead in my tracks was 5369. The attendance figure. Wow! Talk about a vote of community confidence for what Dana Alman and these guys have done. Will we have to call the folks at Webster and ask them to redefine "irony" if it ends up Ducks against Creighton which in essence is Altman's program??
The Barry Bonds is a D-bag trial began today. We can debate this till we're blue in the face, but one issue that's not negotiable is baloonhead's assertion that he was unaware of the substances he was putting onto or into his body. The Assistant U.S attorney handling this case, Matt Parrella, used words like "ridiculous" and "unbelievable" that Bonds didn't know the cream and clear were steroids. I think the best part about this was if Barry just told the truth during his original grand jury testimony he would have been immune from prosecution. Again we learn, the authorities take lying and wasting their time as a severe slap in the face and use perjury as a means to drop the hammer. If I were in attendance at this trial, I'd bring popcorn, milk duds and junior mints cause this is fun stuff!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Remember way back to Thursday afternoon. Demonte Harper of Morehead State was dropping a "J" to send Louisville packing and Matt Howard followed a miss at the bell to move Butler along in their bracket. Then everyone shut down their brains. Seriously, have you ever seen more idiocy in a major sporting event? Chris Webber's timeout dropped from among the 5 biggest bonehead plays ever to out of the Top 25. Forget the historical incompetence that ended Butler/Pitt. How many fouls have been committed in the final 15-20 seconds of games by the team on the lead who absolultely, under zero circumstances can not committ a foul?? Let's not let the coaches off the hook. I've never witnessed such crippling fear and playing not to lose. So is the new rule that any team leading by 5 points or less physically unable to take a shot with more than 4 seconds left on the shot clock? Is there a "check your stones" at the door rule in the counties that house Cleveland, Charlotte, Tulsa, DC, Denver, Chicago, Tucson and Tampa? Has the layup line gone the way of the dodo bird because no one can make anything outside a dunk in the paint? Did the RPU(Rim Painters Union) threaten a strike due to over work. Those poor guys must be busy fixing all the chips on rims from the array of bricks from the free throw line. I love the tournament as much as the next guy, but this has been the single most atrocious display of basketball I've witnessed outside of day one in the 4th grade league!
Perhaps the best line of the Dance came last night from Ernie Johnson in the TNT/TBS studio. There are as many teams from the city of Richmond in the Sweet 16 as the Big East. It's why my hatred for the BCS and those who buy into their superiority theory. You don't know who plays in the best conference for sure until the post season arrives. Period!
Turning to baseball, I'm not sure the New York Mets are getting enough grief for the ineptitude of their organization. Prior to 2008 they signed 2B Luis Castillo, already 32 to a big dollar deal. No one was please. They just cut him and ate 6 million dollars. No biggie! Compare that to the disaster known as Oliver Perez. Once in 2004 he had a nice ERA. His career ERA is 4.7. They just absorbed 12 mil to cut him loose. Great organization. Same imbeciles who are now accused of being in bed with Bernie Madoff.
Not sure what direction today's programs will take us but I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I give up. There are no systems. I hear people all the time talk about gambling theories in football, home, away, hoop analysis. You are all full of crap or you'd be living in a Vegas mansion with a hot tub on a hill with a bevy of beauties bringing you mimosa's and shrimp. I've poured over these brackets for hours and I'm riding this theory. Teams who got bounced earlier than expected last year and return basically the same gang are going to make deep runs. It's why I'm picking Kansas to win the whole thing. It's why I like Pitt to win their region for the 1st time in program history. I also like a Duke/Carolina rematch in the Final 4 with the Dukies stealing it late. I know it's not very bold going with three #1's and a #2 but I have a few upsets in there with Missouri making an Elite 8 run as an 11 seed. I also have three regions ending up with the #1 versus #2 so for all the talk about a wide open tourney, I'm taking the rare path(for me) and eating a whole bunch of chalk.
I think all the Pac 10 teams out early with none making even the Sweet 16, just think they face killer matchups in round 2. I really hope Washington beats Georgia and faces North Carolina because the speed and athlete factor could make that a track meet and highly entertaining. If UCLA survives Michigan State, Florida has way too much experience and talent to get taken out by such an erratic group.
You want some possible beauties later in the tourney? How about Purdue and Notre Dame in the Sweet 16. The battle for the hearts of Indiana. What about West Virginia and Kentucky in round 2. Can we call it the Sleaze Bowl with a couple of guys viewed as pretty shady in John Calipari and Bobby Huggins. This is the year I think the #5 versus #12 jinx comes up light. West Virginia, Vandy, Kansas State and Arizona are too talented to get bumped per usual. For the record it was Cornell over Temple last season(I had the Owls in the F4). In 2009 we had Wisky over Florida State, Arizona over Utah & Western KY taking out Illinois. In 08 it was Western KY again dusting Drake along with Villanova sending Clemson packing. Didn't happen in 2007. That year things ran pretty true to form with two #1's and two #2's making the Final 4. I look forward to being wrong as usual. Enjoy the tourney. We'll be live from Sam's Place on Wilson Street in West Eugene this afternoon. Get those brackets in by midnight and take your shot at winning a pair of season tickets for Oregon men's hoops next year, along with some fun other loot. We'll also be giving away two 4-packs to the Monster Truck Jam coming to Matt Knight Arena the weekend after this. Each of those prizes comes with a free pizza as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I have a list of questions and thoughts I'd like your feedback on.
We in the local media are fortunate to be able to attend all Oregon events via a press credential. I wonder how many of us and you would be willing to shell out the dollars to see an opening round game of an event like the CBI Tournament? I fully agree with accepting the bid. New program. They don't want the season to end. Oddly, I had plans for tonight weeks ago thinking it wouldn't interfere with the NCAA's so I won't be there anyway. I don't think I'd pay to attend, but I'm kind of a brat. Maybe if they reach the finals or host Dana Altman's old mates, Creighton.
What do you all think about this proposed boycott of the draft by the NFL Players Association? I feel the union brass is putting the college kids in a very awkward position. Can they in good conscience ignore their future teammates, leaders and fellow union members? Does this move in any way aid the ongoing negotiations in a positive way? My initial reaction was "yuck"!
I know it's not front and center, but we've discussed it. What about the NHL General Managers NOT recommending a ban on head shots? There have been a rash of concussion and related injuries in recent years. Most recently last week's Montreal/Boston game where the Habs Max Pacioretty sustained a severe concussion and cracked vertebrae. The powers that be seem to favor more stringent enforcement on charging and boarding penalties. That's where a player makes a run at another along the boards which can result in the head being smashed into the glass, boards or ice. They also favor bigger suspensions for repeat offenders and illegal head shots. They don't want to eliminate the physical aspect of the game as it's important for the entertainment value, but like football, they must protect their most valuable product.
Don't forget to get down to Sam's Place on Wilson Street off West 11th in Eugene and fill out those brackets. The contest winner gets season tickets for Oregon Men's hoops next year. Get your brackets in by midnight Wednesday.


Monday, March 14, 2011


I get the whining from coaches who feel their team deserved to make the tournament. There is a direct connection between qualifying and job security. That said, who the heck are they kidding? You don't present a lock case over the course of 30-32 games to clearly be among the now 68 team field and you have no complaint. Colorado finished tied for 5th in a decent conference with an 8 & 8 record. They lost 13 games including to San Francisco, Harvard, New Mexico and a flat out awful Iowa State team. Teams who end up with double digit defeats and 7 or more in their league have no excuses. Be better. Lose less games. If you don't make a tournament that invites nearly 6 dozen teams you don't deserve it.
Good for Oregon keeping the season alive. They'll host Weber State in that 14th tier post season event on Wednesday night at 7pm. I get the benefit. It's sweet that fans get another chance to see Joevan Catron play. Just can't get that excited about it. The value is apparent, but how passionate can you be? I don't see fans storming the court.
Interesting development in the NFL labor situation. The union is telling top college prospects to boycott next month's draft. Imagine Roger Goodell doing the usual routine. "With the 1st pick of the 2011 Draft the Carolina Panthers pick Cameron Newton, quarterback Auburn". Nothing! No hat, no hugging, no cutesy interview with the ESPN guys. The league will offer it's usual invites to the top 15 or 20 prospects, but whether they attend is now another story. Interesting twist in what has become a boring, tedious dispute.
We are live today and Wednesday from Sam's Place on Wilson Street in West Eugene. It's bracket mania time! Get your picks in by midnight on Wednesday with the winner getting a pair of season tickets to men's hoop for next season, the 1st full one at Matt Knight Arena.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I know this is not a hockey hotbed, but this whole circumstance surrounding a penalty in the Canadians/Bruins game earlier this week is aggravating the hell out of me. Boston captain Zdeno Chara is being investigated by Montreal police because of a hit on the Habs Max Pacioretty. It was far from vicious and certainly carried no intent to injure. Because it took place along the boards where the benches are seperated, Pacioretty cracked his head and was pretty seriously injured. He's okay, but suffered a vertebra and major concussion. Chara has played 13 years in the NHL and more than 900 games. He's never been suspended. The fact the refs in the game actually called it a major penalty rather than your typical 2 minute minor for intereference is a bit hysterical. I'm saying this is not a 1 in 100 but a 1 in 1000 case. Bad timing. Bad location. This is not the cheap shots we've seen from slime like Todd Bertuzzi, Dale Hunter or Marty McSorely. We'll elaborate more on today's shows.
HOW BOUT THEM DUCKS??? After putting the clamps on Arizona State, Dana Altman and the boys suffocate that talented UCLA attack, holding them to their lowest shooting percentage in any Pac 10 game this season. We may need to hang the "money" moniker on E.J Singler. Guy never scores 20 points over the course of his first 62 collegiate games. He'd peaked with 19 versus Arizona State and Missouri earlier this year. Then the bell sounds for the league tournament and he goes for 22 in the opener, 24 last night. Sweet! This team has won 16 games. I thought 10 or 11 was likely. No reason to think they can't beat Washington as we've already seen that. Not making the bold call, but why sell the guys short now??
If the conference tourney's a providing a peek into the future of this year's Dance, wow! We've already seen the top seed(Pitt)in the Big East get run. BYU, the #1 in the MWC nearly lost to TCU who had 1 conference victory. Today, Ohio State needed overtime to down Northwestern, a team who went just 7 & 11 in league. ACC regular season champ North Carolina had to rally from a 17 point hole to get past Miami. To quote Flounder in Animal House, "Oh Boy is this Great"!
We'll be joined by Bob Clark to talk Duck hoops at 3:20 on Crunch Time. And of course we wrap by hitting Justin and Grant with our Lightning Round. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The theme of today's shows will be "making pie". We'll try to figure out the percentage of Oregon fans that fit into certain categories regarding the program and this whole recruiting service issue. I'm astonished at the amount of crybabies who are angered by simple questions they'd definitely be asking if the finger were pointed in the direction of a rival. I myself have been accused via text and email of "bashing", being anti-Oregon, a member of my hated CJA(Conclusion Jumpers Annonymous) and more. It's legitimate to question involvement with a reputed sleaze like Will Lyles. It's not a condemnation, it's not taking a stance against the coach, it's a question. It's how we learn, grown and become smarter and better. Again, I think the Ducks are okay and feel the NCAA will use this as a teaching tool to set firmer guidelines on these services. I'm really happy the players are mentally tougher than some of the so-called fans I've heard from cause some roll over and play dead at the first sign of trouble or criticism.
I know the trio of refs from Wednesday's St. John's win over Rutgers are getting hammered for the blown call at the end of a 2 point game. I put this exclusively on the Big East or NCAA. A common theme on both Crunch Time and Sports Talk in recent weeks has been "KEEP UP"! I find the response that the play in the final 2 seconds was not reviewable complete and total crap. Why not? It's 2011, we have 8 trillion different camera angles. Use the freaking technology morons! There should have been an emergency meeting of the powers that be in every league and a revision should be impletmented. Rules change in the final 2 minutes of the half and games in football, why not basketball. In the last 2 minutes officials can check the replay. Too much? How about the last :30 seconds? Still would have taken a perfectly executed inbound and shot for Rutgers to win or force overtime, but not a miracle. The refs all have excellent reps and have worked the Big Dance and in the case of Jim Burr, a Final 4.
We'll hit on the sweet win in the Pac 10 tourney by the Duck men. The latest from the NFL talks, what's happening as baseball season approaches, plus all the March Madness taking place as we speak.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Great scene from "The Sopranos" reminds me of this whole Jim Tressel situation at Ohio State. Tony and Carmella's daughter Meadow gets caught trashing her grandmother's house. She offers a total B.S apology after trying to make a billion excuses. Then she offers up her Master Card for a month. The parents buy it and as she's walking back up the stairs to her bedroom, the camera catches her with an obnoxious smirk cause she in essence got away with it. That's TV. This is reality. If the Buckeye brass thinks the NCAA is going to accept that and offer up their stamp of approval, I have some swampland for sale in Midtown Manhattan. Anyone familiar with the feds, NCAA or even Law & Order knows if you get caught then lie, prosecutors try to drop a more severe hammer. You come clean, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, a more favorable deal might be cut. It's now documented Tressel lied. He's already going to miss their 1st two patsy games against those MAC powers, Toledo and Akron. Here's a prediction. At the low end he joins his players suspended for the first five games which include the Caines at Miami, Colorado and defending league co-champ Michigan State. Or worse!
How bout them Blazers? Or should it be how bout them Heat? Kind of two way street heading in. Miami was either a proud group that would find a way to stop the bleeding, or a free falling bunch of weenies ripe to go down again. I thought it was important that Portland test them all night and they really never allowed a monster Heat run. It was tied after one, when Gerald Wallace and Brandon Roy led a huge 2nd period surge pushing the edge to 6 at halftime. Miami caught them late in the 3rd, but still, a Patty Mills "J" send PDX into the 4th up a deuce. They got the edge out of the gate, opened a 7 point lead about halfway through and though Miami cut the edge back to two, Roy hit a big 3 followed by a nice Miller drive and it was never really in doubt. Terrific performance.
Remember, no Crunchtime or SportsTalk today as we'll bring you the Oregon women in the Pac 10 tourney. Look forward to joining you at 3pm tomorrow(Thur).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


It's the ultimate cliche. Kid gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, in trouble at school, disappeared and caused mom to worry. When confronted, it's time for the re-direction. Well Jimmy and Billy were doing it to! Or maybe, Jeff and Scooter took 5 oreos and I only took 3! Ladies and germs, I give you the joy of the new situation at Ohio State. When held up to a mirror, looks way worse than Oregon overpaying for a questionable recruiting service. At least the Ducks can show an invoice that was on the table rather than a back alley cash transaction. A couple of days before last Christmas OSU coach Jim Tressell announced the suspension of 5 players for selling merchandise and getting improper benefits in return. Okay, he reacted upon hearing the news. Or did he? Now word is out he knew about this around the time of 2010 Spring Football. If he lied to the NCAA, watch out. You run afoul of the rules, come clean and show some remorse, the hammer is less damaging. You lie in their face, they get ticked off to beat the band. So while the NCAA plans to have a chat with Oregon, you can bet their sharpening the claws to a more severe level for the visit to Columbus. Bottom line is it all stinks.
Here's one, what do you make of Cam Newton? I see the following teams and their spot in the draft needing a QB. Carolina 1, Bills 3, Bengals 4, Arizona 5, Frisco 7, Titans 8, Skins 10. If the guy can play, should he go first? No one has his package of elusiveness, and arm strength. I don't compare him with JaMarcus Russell who wrecked the Raiders, but more along the lines of Roethlisberger. Impossible for most guys to bring down single handedly, great elusiveness if by design or on the scramble. Ton of poise. If a GM feels he has that NFL accuracy, a monster question, he's gotta pull the trigger and take this guy if he's available when their turn surfaces.
Let's chat up March Madness, Blazers/Heat, Ducks prep to face ASU in tomorrow night's Pac 10 tourney, maybe some baseball and our typical digression.

Monday, March 7, 2011


As I was watching all the great college hoops this weekend and getting that March flavoring, I could not get one thought out of my head, "I hate the BCS"! I go through this every year at this time. As nuts as we are about college football, think about how it would escalate if teams were working towards even a 4 team playoff! Oh well, maybe another time. Look at how North Carolina handled Duke! 4-5 weeks ago would you have had the Heels on your Final 4 radar? But now, absolutely. They're coming a ton. I was in love with Jordan Taylor and Texas, but now??? Not so much. Maybe another time.
I know it's been played to death but really? Crying? Members of the Miami Heat reportedly were in tears after their loss yesterday to Chicago. I thought Tom Hanks role as Joe Duggan in "League of Their Own" settled that? The only excuse for a grown man crying after a game is if he lost a bet in horrifying fashion and is going to have to duck Guido and Vinny cause he's got no dough! How about that Bulls team? They can win the East. Here's one for today. It's all about the 4's. Give me your thoughts on who you think will be the 4 number one seeds and give me in order your 4 NBA MVP Finalists.
Very pleased to see Joevan Catron named Pac 10 all 2nd team. This young guy has shown some incredible heart and character. Before he broke a sweat in an Oregon uni he went through hip surgery, then missed 99% of last year and was not a lock to play much if at all this season. He might be undersized, but he can play for my team any time. Well done, your contribution to this program will not be forgotten and always appreciated. I know some will express frustration Dana Altman did not win coach of the year in league, but Sean Miller was the right call. On Friday we chatted with Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star and he explained the 'black hole' of recruiting that hit the Cats during the departure of Lute Olson. Miller has now been a conference coach of the year in the Pac 10 as well as the Atlantic 10 with Xavier. Oregon finished poorly, the U of A closed like Secretariat and won the league. No brainer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


We hit on a bunch of topics during Crunch Time & Sports Talk. When games or competitions are reviewed some answers just pop off the page. Turn it over 24 times and dish out 7 assists, you probably lost. Mostly stuff like labor negotiations, trade deadline moves or what to do with certain players as their contracts expire are much more difficult to figure. Take the case of Carson Palmer. He's talking about retiring rather than returning to the Bengals though he's under contract. What to do? This is truly a puzzler. It's easy to be dismissive because they're a joke and never win anything. The facts show the level of difficulty here. The guy just turned 31 in December. He's in his prime. With that garbage team he passed for nearly 4000 yards and 26 TD's. Save 2008 when he missed 12 games injured, the guy has played in 93 of Cincy's last 96 games. Kerry Collins still works. We saw Todd Collins get in the NFC finals. Teams are considering Jake Locker to play the position for their NFL franchise. Tough answer!
What about the NFL labor negotiations. League generated 9 Billion last year. We see numbers like the players getting 57% of some revenue streams. Are they likely to walk if that figure stays the same or goes down? Are the owners really going to lock out the players and whiz in the face of fans by cancelling a season? How about this. Each percentage point equals 90-million dollars. No easy answer here!
One of the ultimate physical specimans in recent memory, Serena Williams is nearly felled by one of those scary medical terms. Embolism, blood clot, hematoma. Absolutely frightening. This magnificent athlete is just 29 years old. Certainly no easy explanation in this case.
Okay. Time to give away another of those super sweet "Duck Season" books that the folks at the Daily Emerald produced. Simply email or text me the answer to the following. stevetannen@live or 653 9058.
Aside from UCLA who are the last 2 other Pac 10 teams to make the Final 4 of the men's hoop tournament.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I was on the exercise bike this morning when I flipped on the tube and was informed Serena Williams had undergone an emergency surgical procedure. Then the details struck me. Hematoma. Pulmonary embolism. Blood clot. Huh? I know the human body remains a mystery at times, but over time you associate certain conditions with various groups of people. Torn ACL's, rotator cuff, and a few others draw you to a particular sport, maybe even a specific position. But blood clots and embolisms are what you read about someone from the world of business who sits at a desk or people who take long distance trips and are immobile for extended periods. Serena Williams? You could make a case she's the greatest female athlete of this generation if not all time. Let's face it, those in her class from the ESPN generation like Flo Jo or Marion Jones have that awful track & field steroid taint. I know I did an extra few miles on the bike and even added a few reps onto my Crossbow workout. Want to get your thoughts on this and her place historically on today's shows.
We'll get into some baseball this afternoon as well. At 5:20 our guest will be Joe Stiglich who covers the Oakland A's for the Bay Area News Group. I like this team and think with some offensive pop they could threaten Texas in the West.
Not sure what to make of the Blazers getting torched at home by the Rockets last night. The defense was AWOL in the 1st quarter, the offense took the 2nd quarter off and in the 3rd, Houston busted them up for 30 points to put the thing away. Obviously the Rockets were radar locked hitting 58% from the floor, but they also had way too many open looks. It's just gonna take time for the new guy Wallace to gel along with the walking wounded, Camby & Roy to get their NBA legs back. Wes Matthews turning in one of his worst performances of the season didn't help. 2 buckets over his 37 minutes with the worst +/- of anyone on the floor was brutal and the Rocket front line held Lemarcus Aldridge to his lowest point total since the game BEFORE Brandon Roy went out in mid December. We'll test the bouncebackability gauge this evening at Sacremento.
Also on tap today, the suspension of BYU big Brandon Davies, the college hoop scene and the NFL labor situation.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I really don't like to be the opener of the proverbial can of worms. Each time the subject surfaces or I read a piece online, the parrots come out in force. Right now we have ongoing labor negotiations between the respective owners and players in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. What is the average response of the guy/gal in the street. Can't these idiots figure out how to split up billions? That's legit. The one that gets me is, "teachers, police and firefighters do important work and should make more than spoiled pro athletes"! Really? So you'd plunk down $75-100 a game to see a high school teacher present their algebra lesson? You'd buy season tickets for a couple grand to witness the probie from the local firehouse learn to hook up the hose to the hydrant and check the tire pressure? Another ridiculous aspect is singling out the jocks. You do realize that even silent film stars like Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Nita Naldi, ect made millions even during the Great Depression. The first actress to make a million for a film? Liz Taylor in 1963's "Cleopatra". The first athlete to sign a contract worth a mil annually? Nolan Ryan in 1980, 17 years after that. Do me a favor, do some reseach, learn a bit about history, then pass your judgement. Anyone blasting ballplayers for what they get paid but watch a bunch of games, pay big bucks for tickets, or purchase team gear are Major League hypocrites.
For the record, according to CNN Money, the NFL generate 9 Billion in income last year with the lion's(not Detroit) share coming from TV at about 4 bil. You really think business saavy owners are going to take whacking up that kind of cash lightly and not put up a severe fight? Think about it. The 325 lineman is valuable. The top guys earn their 5-6-7 million a season. They don't have football, where they gonna earn that kind of living? Each sport is at a financial crossroads, much like the NHL was about 7 years ago. They missed an entire season. Don't think it can't happen to your favorite sport.
Here's one I haven't done in a while. I have one of those terrific publications, "Duck Season", the book put together by the folks at the Daily Emerald. Send me a text to 653-3098, or email with the correct answer to the following. Since the ABA merged with the NBA following the 1976 season, the Lakers have won 10 titles, the Spurs 4. Who are the other 3 Western Conference teams to win the NBA championship title?