Thursday, April 28, 2011


How the heck are the Spurs still playing? They hit an apparent game tying 3 with 2 seconds left, it's ruled a 2 and on the other end, Zach Randolph does his job dropping both free throws. Enter Gary Neal. Seriously, unless you're a die hard NBA junkie, he's probably not high on your San Antonio rotation list. The rookie is a heck of a sniper knocking down 42% of his threes on the season. He becomes the 1st player in 7 years to hit a game tying playoff three pointer with a second or less left in regulation. Last guy was Chauncey Billups of Detroit versus Jersey. San Antone takes it in overtime and send this thing back to Memphis for a game 6. With the Oklahoma City win, the Thunder can now lie in wait for the winner.
Words alone are not worth of describing Kevin Durant's show last night to put a wrap on the Denver series. He simply decided to take matters into his own hands and the Nuggets had no answer. It's cliche, but the kid was in that "Zone". This also appeared to be a game ticketed for the visitor as Denver piled up a 91-82 lead with 3 1/2 to go. K.D splashed a 25 footer, then the defense took over. Caused a missed dunk and flat out blocked a jumper by Aaron Afflalo. Throw in a free throw and another Durant bucket and it's a 3 point game with 2 1/2 left. Denver had a better chance stopping the ocean from rushing the shore than slowing down K.D. What do Blazer fans think when they see this young fella become the best player in the game? If I'm an NFL GM...right NFL...I look at Durant/Oden and say screw need and just take the top stud on the board.
Obviously on today's shows big focus on Portland/Dallas, the games last night, and the NFL draft. Should be fun.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It looms for sure, but the anticipated changing of the guard in the NBA has not quite come full circle. The Lakers saw to that last night by dismissing upstart New Orleans. With Kobe limping, no answer for Chris Paul, the buzz was both top seeds in the West might fall and the face of the playoffs would be altered. The issue is we went down this road a year ago when LA split the 1st four with Oklahoma City then put the thing on ice. The champs applied the defensive pressure and destroyed them on the glass 42-25 and they used a lethal balanced offense which produced 6 scorers in double figures. Kobe had his flashback moment dunks but he played smart, only took 13 shots, got his mates involved and they won it easy. Remember, if San Antonio in fact falls to Memphis the Lakers own home court edge through the rest of the West playoffs.
If you're a fan of the Magic don't you wonder where the heck they were keeping that performance? They live to play a 6th game, at Atlanta. The top gun in the East, Chicago rolled Indy to advance. They lie in wait for the winner of that Orlando/Hawks set. The Heat, Griz and Thunder all go for the clinchers this evening. Think about that! For some of the older fans, those are the newer kids on the block who all could grab a spot in the Association's Elite 8.
I know Eugene isn't hockey central, but it was quite the Tuesday which gives way to an amazing Wednesday. Vancouver avoids "that" list. Teams who have blown 3 nothing series leads by beating the defending Cup champion Blackhawks in overtime of game 7. Philly blewout Buffalo in a game 7 while Montreal forced a game 7 at Boston with a scintillating 2-1 win. Tonight, it's dueling game sevens from Beantown and that fantastic Tampa Bay/Pittsburg set. Sweet!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I'm pretty superstitious when it comes to sports watching. I like to have that good feeling. I get ticked sometimes when they show an off angle shot before a field goal or foul shot. Upon arriving home after SportsTalk last night I flipped on NBA TV and got this obnoxious message about contractual obligations and the feed blacked out in our community. That meant KEVU. No high def and even worse, Mike Rice. Both he and that yo yo Barrett just stink. They're like the blindly loyal parent who makes excuses for a child always on the wrong side of the law. Never their fault. It's the cops, the company he keeps, or society. Check out the piece by Steve Duin of The Oregonian on Echoes those sentiments exactly. Complete and total bush league. On Crunchtime today, we ask "Do you prefer the homer angle while watching your favorite team"?
With at least a day off between playoff games, I don't know that momentum plays a role beyond the actually game in an NBA series. In baseball you could get a couple of hot pitchers or cold hitters, but in hoops you can work around some of those issues. A good strategy can lead to easy buckets via layup or dunk and free throws. Portland did not carry over any of the Rose Garden magic from Saturday.
This morning was one of those days when you log onto the ESPN site and the lead stories had nothing to do with scores, stats or stuff that occurs in between the white lines. The trio of top headlines were about the ruling in the NFL lockout, the NBA players union possibly decertifying and colleges distorting information to seem compliant for Title IX.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Sixth Man by Aubrey Wieber

Game 4 was special. Blazer fans got to witness one of the most improbable come backs of NBA playoff history and they got to watch their resurrected hero, Brandon Roy, pull of the incredible feat. There was however another hero in the Rose Garden on Saturday afternoon that deserves a thanking; the fans.

I have been in attendance at many Blazer playoff games and big regular season matches, as well as Duck football home games against OSU, USC, ect. Nothing compared to the crowd on Saturday at the Rose Garden. The atmosphere was so electric that I frequently caught myself taking notes on the crowd rather than the game.

Through three of the worst quarters of basketball that I’ve ever seen, I witnessed a fan base that refused to give up. During an offensively abysmal first quarter the cheering never subsided. During a 3rd quarter when the Blazers went 0-14 and scoreless during the first 9:03 of the second half, the crowd still chanted “Defense!” on almost every Mavs possession. When a Blazer would get fouled, the crowd erupted. This scenario would be repeated when that same player went to the line and hit a free throw. I remember thinking that if by some miraculous long shot the Blazers turn this around, it will be because of the fans.

After the game I asked Andre Miller if the crowd was a factor in them not giving up on themselves. “It was definitely a factor, it was big,” he replied, “The energy in the building just kind of took over for us.”

In a post-game conference after the game Roy said that he has never in his life been in that sort of zone. No one could have predicted this after game two when he admitted to being near tears due to only 8 minutes of playing time in the game and going 1-8 from the floor in the series. Roy has had some big moments during his career, but that was by far his best quarter. In the final 12:45 of the game his player efficiency rating was an incredible 89.68. How could such an unpredictable turn around happen so rapidly? Roy has played well in high pressure situations and has been fueled by rowdy crowds his entire career, but didn’t have a chance to experience that this season. I think he was a little starved for those big moments with his loyal fan base cheering him on. When he saw those first buckets go down during a 5-0 Blazer run to close out the third, I believe Roy felt something he hadn’t in a long time. And he liked it. When he started making shots at the beginning of the fourth and the crowd went wild even though the Blazers were still in a huge hole, it sparked something in Brandon Roy.

Had fans left at half time and not given their team something to rally for, I believe it would be a much different series. When asked about the crowd, veteran Marcus Camby responded, “The crowd was as advertised, I think we have the best fan base in the league. We needed that, being down they could have easily kicked us while we were down but true Trail Blazer fans always seem to rise to the occasion. They definitely willed us to a win tonight.”

As I was leaving the arena I heard screams permeate through the Rose Garden doors from the player’s parking lot. A group of loyal and patient fans were waiting over an hour after the game to catch a sighting of their hero, Brandon Roy. When he came through the doors, the fans showered him with praise.

Walking back to my car I passed a house with a red jersey hanging with pride from the roof of the front porch. It was a Brandon Roy jersey fluttering in the wind for all to see. The blazermaniacs are a special breed, and their devout loyalty was definitely on display Saturday, as it will be again for game 6.


Friday, April 22, 2011


Ever notice how it's way easier to induct someone to the iIiot Hall of Fame than the Football Hall of Fame? Baseball has become too easy! Some putz blogger in Dallas took Rangers starter Colby Lewis to task. He had the audacity to utilize baseball's paternity leave rule to be with his wife for the birth of their 2nd child. Then the moron drew the parallel of asking if Cowboy TE Jason Witten had missed a game under similar circumstances what would happen. Comparing football with baseball is just stupid. The sense of immediacy is different. I'm guessing if this were Game 7 of the World Series Lewis would probably get the green light from his wife. Yes, I understand the size of the paycheck sometimes makes you wonder about the proper sacrifice and you don't want to let your mates down. FYI...Lewis earns 3 mil in salary for this 2011 season. I'll get into this and former ESPN writer Rob Neyer's take later on. I've lost all respect for this clown.
Huge win for the Blazers, but I remain unconvinced. This team is awful at shutting the door. They'd be a terrible baseball closer. You'd get a lot of walks, guys on base and a bunch of antacid moments. Portland caught a bit of a break that Dallas was bricking from the foul line. They went just 13 of 23. The Blazers shot a better percentage from 3 point land than the Mavs did on free throws. Gotta be pleased with the defense which allowed just 20 points in both the 3rd and 4th quarters. Obviously we'll focus big time on this during our shows.
Way too much being made of the Laker struggles thus far in the New Orleans series. For the billionth time over the last 3 full years and all of this when LA has gone unbeaten in the Western Conference playoffs. It's not about sweeps or blowouts, rather taking 4. That's what they do. Last season the Thunder pushed them to 6 in round one and after dusting the Jazz, it took 6 versus the Suns. The year before the 1st rounder against Utah went 5, then 7 vs the Rockets, and after splitting the 1st four with Denver took that series in 6. The champs are about the end result, not the path. We shall see.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


When the NFL altered it's method of deciding games tied at the end of regulation I was not pleased. I heard all the arguments about having a coin toss decide the outcome of the game. I'm guessing there is a direct connection between those who whine about officiating and sudden death. Last night I was watching and switching back and forth between a couple of NHL playoff games. The Penguins beat the Lightning and Washington beat New York, each going to sudden death. Nothing like it in sports. One mistake, one great play and it's a post season victory. And it is sudden. What actually happened is the NFL switched from sudden death to overtime. I think it sucks!
D.O.D time for the Blazers this evening. Lose and the questions pile up. Why did they extend Nate McMillian? Why did they give Brandon Roy the max out deal? Will B.R be able to come to grips with the kind of player he is now versus what he was when the guy was considered among the game's elite. I know fans are brimming with optimism but I just think too many questions exist for them to sweep in the Rose Garden. They're going to need more of an etched in stone scheme to lean on the final minutes of a close game. It's not over, but the fat lady is drinking warm tea and exercising her vocal chords.
Kind of an odd but telling victory for LA over New Orleans. Defense suffocated the shorthanded Hornet offense in the 87-78 win. Kobe made just 3 field goals on his way to 11 points, Pau Gasol was 2 of 10 with just 8 points yet they won it pretty easily. Big night for Bynam. Big fella with 17 pts and 11 boards....swatted a few as well. Lamar Odom celebrated his 6th Man of the Year trophy with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
What do you guys think about the NFL draft on a Thursday night in prime time? More of a fan of the Saturday morning routine? Be interested in your thoughts when we roll with Crunchtime this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've just returned from City Hall, had my middle name changed to Harpo cause I ain't letting up on this. The amount of crybaby fans pointing fingers at the officials in the NBA playoffs is beyond nauseating. In particular because of where we reside, I'm hearing it from Blazer fans. Right! Those dad gum refs made Aldridge and Miller brick those key foul shots. Completely responsible for that 24 second shot clock violation. They messed up the defense allowing Dirk to run amok with mismatch after mismatch down the stretch. How dare they? Sorry, but Nate McMillian is getting completely outfoxed by Rick Carlisle. We'll get into the Brandon Roy drama with you and Jason Quick of the Oregonian during the show today but you've got to be kidding me. He's trying to avoid making waves or complaining but he's going right to the teams beat writer? I've lost a ton of respect for this guy. Read his quotes. I, me, I'll. Never once mentions the team or being in a two nothing hole. It's actually embarassing. His star has crashed and burned and I don't see it coming back.
Portland fans can take solace in myself and fellow Knicks fans being equally miserable. They lose Chauney Billups in the opener, then Amare Stoudamire last night yet had the lead with inside of 30 seconds left in both. The familiar angle? Both times head coach Mike D'Antoni was totally outcoached by Doc Rivers. Play calls, defensive lapses, poor communication. When push comes to shove, Carlisle and Rivers have been generals, rallying their troops in a victorious manner. D'Antoni and McMillian have kind of poked and hoped things turn out well. They didn't.
You know it's gonna be a tough night for Big Apple fans when Mariano Rivera blows a 2 run save situation. Oh the horror. Remember, 1st SportsTalk watch party is tonight at the Black Forrest Tavern on 11th in Eugene between Oak & Willamette. Hope to see you there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

NBA playoffs, best ever? by Aubrey Wieber

With every game one already in the books for the 2011 NBA playoffs, many believe that we are on the verge of seeing something historically great. I can't remember ever seeing every game come down to the wire the way they did on Saturday and Sunday. There is always at least one blow out, especially in the east, and so many home teams losing their home court advantage is quite rare. Fans witnessed some spectacular finishes from Boston, Chicago, and Miami along with incredible individual performances from Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, and Kevin Durant. So what does this mean? Is this trend going to continue and deliver the greatest NBA playoffs of all time?

Bulls v. Pacers:
Indiana seemed poised to do the unthinkable. They came into the playoffs with the worst regular season record facing the number one over all seed in Chicago, and lead for the majority of game one. They did it by playing team ball and with a nothing to lose attitude, while Chicago played an opposite style.
Down the stretch, Bulls players seemed extremely reluctant to even touch the ball, seeming more comfortable with depending on Rose to take over like he has so many times. This inevitably worked, as the future MVP pulled out an array of jaw dropping moves to cement the win, but Chi town fans should be far from happy with the win. Korver did eventually hit a big shot after Rose drove and collapsed the Indiana D, but that came after missing open jumpers and taking low percentage shots in traffic.
I actually expected game two to be a route before they go to Indiana and further struggle, but it was also close. If they plan on getting to the finals, they will need a game plan that doesn't consist of 1 on 5 offense during the last 3 minutes of play. Game 3 will belong to the Pacers, who are giving the Bulls just enough competition to warm them up for a big second round.

Heat v. 76ers
Many people thought that this would be a breeze for Miami after they swept the sixers during the regular season, but as Philly coach Doug Collins pointed out, the last two meetings were very competitive.
Miami seemed a bit shocked by the caliber of play Philly came at them with, but after Wade sank the game winner Miami fans surely slept better. The heats Achilles heel all season was choosing who would take the final shot on a team overflowing with ego. Most spectators knew it should be Wade, but often that wasn't the case. After Saturday's finish in South Beach I think we know who will get those final looks. I expect the Sixers will steal at least one at home.

Magic v. Hawks
After last years complete failure to put up any sort of resemblance of competition in the playoffs, the Hawks were considered definite underdogs in this match up despite going 3-1 against Orlando in the regular season. Both teams have under performed the last couple years when you look at the star power they posses, but with Orlando having a perennial MVP candidate in Dwight Howard, this was expected to be some what of a cake walk. Not the case.
Last week on the B.S. Report John Hollinger, who spends half of the season in Atlanta, called Jason Collins kryptonite and claimed he was in the NBA for one reason; to bother Dwight Howard and Shaq. Collins was one of the many bodies thrown at the big guy, but that didn't stop him from having a monster of a game, boasting 46-19. Jameer Nelson chipped in 27, but the rest of the team failed to sport double digits in a single category and the only players with a positive +/- were Ryan Anderson (zero points) and J.J. Redick( 4 points).
Atlanta just played more of a team game and gutted out a win, and proving that this series will be more intriguing than most thought.

Mavericks v. Blazers
Portland really struggled in the first half of this game, especially defensively. They didn't have the gritty play on defense that fueled them all year. They were not jumping out in the passing lanes and taking charges. Also, the leader of that gritty play, Gerald Wallace, was scoreless in the first half.
They started off the third quarter down ten, but came out aggressive. Wallace got active, but Jason Kidd put on a clinic. He had his best statistical game of the season, which included a career playoff best 6 triples.
Aldridge played excellent D on Dirk as he has all season, forcing him to shoot 7-20, but he still finished with 28. 18 came in the fourth quarter, 13 of which came from the line, equaling the amount of trips Portland took to the foul line through out the whole game. Despite having 42 points in the paint, Portland struggled to get calls, especially down the stretch. The free-throw discrepancy in the fourth was 18-2, which allowed Dallas to over come the Blazers late game efforts. This however is not why Portland lost. Many favored Portland in this series due to their depth at virtually every position, but players like Rudy and Wes Matthews seemed terrified to touch the ball. Brandon Roy seemed physically able to have a huge game but had an obvious mental block. He consistently beat his man off the dribble, but instead of pulling up for an easy jumper or taking it all the way to the cup, he repeatedly passed out to teammates that weren't expecting the ball, usually either forcing a bad shot to beat the clock or causing the need to reset the offense.
It wasn't all bad though, as Aldridge had a huge game, scoring at will anytime he got position on the left block, proving that Dallas has no one to guard him. Dre played well but had the burden of offensively making up for his teammates which resulted in several ill-advised shots.
I believe that Roy will have at least one big game in this series which the blazers definitely need, and that combined with the Gerald Wallace we are used to seeing will help turn things around.
Hopefully they got their playoff nerves under control and are ready for game two, because if they come back to Portland winless they can all but guarantee another first round exit.

Grizzlies v. Spurs
During the first half of the season I thought the Spurs were unstoppable. I felt they had far too much experience and talent to fall short of the Finals. Then I did a little more research and realized that this team is actually built for the regular season as opposed to the team that dominated the 2000's. They are middle of the pack in terms of defense (this was shocking to me), and they survived this long due to their young players that allowed Duncan to rest up, playing a career low in minutes and their ability to shoot the 3, but as the Magic have shown us every year for the past four years, having a dominant center and a bunch of shooters doesn't win a title. The leader of your team does not play 25 minutes a game in the playoffs.
If the Spurs want to advance, they need Manu back, and they need him to be effective. He led the team in points, assists, and minutes played during the season, and with out him they are much easier to defend.
Their is a reason why the Grizz tanked to get this match up. The rest of the series will depend on continued brilliant play from Gasol and Randolph (who were the best players on the floor in game one), and how effective Manu is when he returns.

Hornets v. Lakers
The Lakers destroyed New Orleans during the regular season, but all of those wins came before the late season slump. They look old and tired, which they are.
The Hornets are not the better team, but could have the best player in this series. LA gives up .775 points per possession. On the 20 pick and rolls where Chris Paul was the ball handler, New Orleans 1.45 points per possession. How will LA reduce that number? Surely it will not be with the great defense of Derek Fisher, and they can't have Kobe playing that hard on both ends and not expect him to tire out.
CP3 destroyed the Lakers, picking apart their defense, and scoring at will. Paul either scored or assisted on 25 of the 34 made field goals for New Orleans, who as a team only turned the ball over 3 times. Obviously those stats cannot persist through out a 7 game series, and the Laker's should bounce back.
After Kobe called out Pau's lackadaisical play (a page out of Phil's book), I would expect a bigger game from him and better team defense from the Lakers, but for a team that limped into the post season with their age being very apparent, a game one loss could be a bigger deal than most think.

Celtics v. Knicks
New York did the worst thing they possibly could in this game, they woke Boston up from their regular season slumber.
The Knicks could have easily won this game, and maybe the series, but they changed the tempo and got physical and chippy with Boston. Thats how the Celts are built to play. Don't piss them off.
Now with Billups out for at least the next game, New York seems like a much bigger underdog than before game one. If I were a Knicks fan I would hope that D'antoni won't freeze out A'mare again during the last 7 possessions while he's having a monster game to have everything run through an ice cold Melo, but you never know. If this tough play continues for Boston, Miami will be glued to the TV in fear.

Thunder v. Nuggets
Perhaps the best game of the weekend, and possibly the best series of the first round. Durant and Westbrook put on an incredible show that in the end was too much for Denver.
I think this will end up going at least 6 games, but Felton will need to gain some composure. Denver has some big advantages going into the next few games; they dominated points in the paint (46-28) while taking Ibaka completely out of his game. If they can be competitive in game two and steal one on the road before taking it back to Denver they are in good shape. No one wants to go into mile high tied up in a series.


Heard Nate McMillian after the loss to Dallas Saturday night alluding to some of the officiating. Is that a characteristic of Blazer fans or what? When the Bulls won the title in 1992 I'd been an Oregonian for a mere 2 years. I was astounded at the percentage of so-called fans who felt the referees played a major role in the outcome. Right! Keep telling yourself that. When the outcome of the game fails to go your way, gotta blame someone. The networks, the zebras, the BCS, bad luck, anything but the shortcomings of the team you rooted for. It's pretty much the most gutless, cowardly angle to take. Still waiting for the 1st ref to miss a free throw, take a stupid shot, turn their back on defense, fail to box out or blow a lay-up. I can't believe those darned refs forced Brandon Roy to miss 6 of his 7 shots. It was amazing to see them expand the width of the basket Dallas was shooting at so Jason Kidd could make 6 of 10 three pointers. Then the last straw. Up 6 with 5 1/2 minutes left, they made Gerald Wallace throw the ball away, insisted Andre Miller brick that 20 footer, and got a hand in the face of Batum on both of his clanged threes. Looking to the officials is just such a wussified way to live! I forgot how much of a Knicks fan I am. The issue is when your team disappears from relevance for years and years you simply approach things differently. It's hard to get angry or frustrated when you have zero expectations. When Oregon played Utah State early in the 2008 season a moment happened I'll never forget. It was 35-7 Ducks when Jeremiah Masoli fumbled in his own end zone for an Aggie touchdown. The crowd actually booed. Expectations! On a day when the U of O offense would set productivity records the home fans booed. My wife commented late in last night's loss to Boston that she hadn't heard me cuss out the Knicks in many years. Looks like we have a short show today with Oregon baseball taking on San Francisco at 1pm. Catch you after the festivities.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Lakers over the Heat in 6 games to win their 3rd consecutive NBA championship. For Phil Jackson a 4th time winning all the marbles 3 times in a row. Kobe Bryant passes Magic with his 6th title. Miami's roller coaster season wraps in frustration, but they do win the East. I think Portland is going down to Dallas in a 7th game in Big D. It's not always my be all end all, but I'm huge on post season experience and the Blazers are lacking, especially the top guns who've never won a playoff series. Andre Miller has been to the post season 6 times. 3 with Denver, twice with Philly and never made it out of the first round. Marcus Camby last contributed to a playoff series victory with the Knicks 11 years ago. Be very curious to see the performance of LeMarcus Aldridge who in his two post season series has actually posted better numbers than those two regular seasons. As mentioned yesterday, Dallas has a history like Portland, littered with playoff failures, but I just think they're a bit better right now and have home court edge. I also think we'll get a minor upset with Denver over Oklahoma City and I don't beleive how many knuckleheads think New York has a shot versus Boston with a horrible defense like this. Is it me, or does the news we get from Minneapolis about the players versus owners NFL negotiations make your ears bleed? Man is this crap boring. As fans we're trained to take sides in any contest. Can't muster any kind of favor for either of these bratty punks. Just cut a deal, whack up your billions and let me know when kickoff is! Been insisting on sharing some positives to counter Bonds, Manny, those NFL idiots and the negativity patrol and we had a great chat yesterday with Jen Larson, the UO Lacrosse coach. They play national power Stanford at 3pm today, but I'm looking forward to catching their act Sunday at 1pm versus UC Davis. It's Senior Day and Bi Mart family day and after, the team will take part in a meet and greet with fans. If you haven't checked out this sport, it's terrific. Catch ya on the radio.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Didn't get to do the show yesterday due to UO baseball, but we will chime in on Kobe & Bonds for sure. What gets me about Bryant dropping the slur is the ignorance at the outset. Saying something like that in the heat of the moment in a macho setting like pro hoops is not the be all end all statement about how a guy feels about gay people in general. How it gets through the filters of such a high profile jock is astounding. How grown men still resort to the 5th grade playground word is what gets me. The tone of his apology was legit. Kobe knows he pulled a bonehead move and condemning hate crimes was the proper path. The key is wiring yourself beforehand to eliminate the ignorant comments completely from your being. If I get in serious trouble I must request the trial take place in California. The folks in SoCal let OJ walk for a double murder. On a much, much, much, much, much, much, much less severe set of circumstances, they kind of gave Bonds a pass. The home confinement to his mansion for 6 months will really teach this douche a lesson. At least it's consensus he won't make the Hall. The prosecution in this case was weak. They did not have the proverbial ducks in a row. Way too much of the testimony they offered was taken yard by the defense. I don't completely fault the jurors. If taken literally without the testimony of Balloonhead's trainer Greg Anderson, it's tough to prove what the feds claimed. By the way, anyone calling for the Knicks to upset the Celtics in round one is on crack. New York plays no defense. Look at who they lit up with big offensive numbers!!! 110 versus Indy, 116 against that Jersey Juggernaut, 131 versus Toronto and 123 in taking down that powerhouse Cleveland club. What a joke. I do like Portland's shot at advancing against Dallas. For openers, the Mavs are a tank job franchise. On a lesser level, they're the pre 2004 Red Sox. Always there, lot of talent, no rings. Not that the Blazers are a post season success story. They haven't won a series in the post season since beating the Jazz in 5 before losing the West Finals to LA 11 years ago. The oddsmakers say Dallas pretty solid. They set the Mavs at 7 1/2 to one to win the conference with Portland sitting at 33 to 1. Get your thoughts on this later. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


No Crunchtime or Sportstalk today with Oregon at Portland in baseball. Huge win for the Blazers coupled with La beating the Spurs. So now if the Lakers win tonight at Sacremento, Portland will take on Dallas in the 1st round. History doesn't necessarily guaranty what we'll see in the future but the Mavs tanking in the 1st round would raise a few eyebrows, beating LA would stop the presses. Let's face it, they're a semi-one-hit wonder. They've made the league finals the one time back in 2006, the West finals in 03 and back in 1988. All totalled up, they've advanced past the 1st round of the post season 9 times. Of those 9 they've won a second series just 3 times. Any sane Portland fan wants the Mavericks over the Lakers to start the playoffs. I guess not everyone is anti-Lebron since the "Decision". James jersey sales have passed Kobe as the top seller in the NBA this season. First time he's been the top gun marketing wise since his rookie year in 2004. Bryant is second and I was stunned to see Rajon Rondo of Boston up to #3. The NHL playoffs begin this evening. You likely won't notice it on the air, but I become kind of a lunatic on multiple fronts during the NBA & NHL post season. I tap into those New York passions, loyalties and yes, sports hatreds like nobody's business. In hockey all I really care about is the Philadelphia Flyers "NOT" winning and keeping that Cup drought that's existed since they last won it in 1975, alive and well. They enter as the East #2 seed. I'm more of an Islander fan but will climb aboard the Rangers bandwagon. Looking forward to the highlights between the Penguins and Lightning because it features the two most colorful and entertaining play by play guys around, Pittsburgh's Mike Lange and Dave Mishkin of Tampa Bay. My site has Vancouver as the favorite to win it all for the 1st time ever with Washington the favorite in the East. Forget the Caps. They're one of the great choke franchises in sports history. Also, get ready for a few SportsTalk hockey watch parties. We're putting together the details now and will host one each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I was reading about the Bulls erecting a statue of Scottie Pippen in Chicago. I'm torn. Legit or not? Of course this is the same city who decided to put up a statue of Harold Baines and his .289 average. The pickleheads in South Bend also put one up of a liar and a cheat in Lou Holtz so perhaps some have limited parameters when it comes to worthiness. Get your thoughts on this later. I caught a piece about the Heat looking to add some size for the post season and giving Eddy Curry a look. Turns out they couldn't miss him because he was recently given his own zip code having ballooned to about 350 pounds. 4th overall pick in the 2001 draft, he's just 28 years old & hasn't played a real full season since 2007 wrapped. Here's the disgraceful catch, he's earned about 69 mil in salary. He's become such a fat ass excuse of a pro athlete, the stinking TWolves waived him last month. He's pretty high on the list of non-injury busts. Dude, have a salad! The jury in the Barry Balloonhead Bonds case is now deliberating for a 3rd day. Am I the only one getting an OJ vibe? The judge eliminated enough evidence to the point where we know way more than the jurors and this clown might walk scott free. Still doesn't change the fact he juiced, we all know it and he's never getting into Cooperstown. The judge in the Lawrence Taylor statutory rape case was given a Status 1 sex offender lable. It's the lowest available and his name won't appear on an online sex offender registry. It's based on determining if this idiot is a threat to public safety. He's mostly been a menace to himself, but this time he had sex with a 16 year old so the hall of shamer caught a break. He's still a scumbag.

Monday, April 11, 2011


So much for the Masters catch phrase "A Tradition Like No Other". Sorry folks, ain't never seen nothin like that. What a great tournament. The names became insignificant. The scores, the hole, the situation and the roar of the gallery became the story of the 2011 Masters. Way too much made about Tiger. I know he pulls in the ratings, but I'm going inside my bubble. I'm watching anyway and don't need Woods for intrigue. Plus he was a total D-bag in his post 18 interview. There was a time when Tiger acted above it all. I think we were pulled in because he seemed infallible, led the charmed life and had that aura. When you're hopping in the sack with every bimbo who will roll over, you're not better than anyone. You're every guy, but you happen to have talent and a wad of cash. Tiger has proven he's as comfortable in the gutter as in his yacht. Get over yourself. For the 1st time I'm actually put off by his snottiness. I thought Rory McIlroy at age 21 who just went through a public meltdown, carried himself like the consummate pro with class and humility. He can teach Woods a lesson. Loved the comraderie between the Aussie's paired together, Adam Scott and Jason Day who each landed @-12 and 2 shots off the lead. Nice to see fun and sportsmanship a part of the games we watch. FYI, those like Woods, Geoff Ogilvy, and Luke Donald who shot ten under, that wins a lot! That score takes the green jacket outright in half the last 14 Masters and forces a playoff with Vijay back in 2000. The number Day & Scott posted has only been "bettered" 10 times ever! As for our victor, Charl Schwartzel, I'm calling out the theory that he won't be a one hit wonder. You would think not, but who the heck knows? On today's show we'll run through some of those out of nowhere champs in the majors who flashed then disappeared. Also a bunch to hit on as far as the NBA stretch run like the Laker slippage, the huge victory by Miami and that race in the West for the 6th, 7th and 8th seed. NHL playoffs begin on Wednesday. I've harped on this since my 1st year doing Sportstalk in 1993. Chase for the Stanley Cup provides as much intrigue and entertainment as any of the championship tournaments we witness. Almost had the rarity with the reigning Cup winners, Chicago, missing the post season. They needed to steal a point versus the hated Red Wings but lost 4-3. Caught a break when the Wild beat the Stars to hand them the 8th and final slot. Also gotta hit on baseball. What's with my man Derek Jeter? Who are those Cleveland Indians? Perhaps that Philly starting is all most cracked it up to be!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Never been to Dodger Stadium. The facility at Chavez Ravine is front and center due to the disgusting situation where a pair of lowlife's beat a Giants fan senseless. Though recently upgraded to "stable", Bryan Stow remains in medically induced coma with the LAPD promising a sea of blue to catch the offenders. I've always taken a stand that one group of fans is not superior to another. I get calls and hear from folks who tell me about obnoxious Duck fans at Autzen or Mac Court(now MKA), but it's a ridiculous theory. Think about it, where else do you find fans of a particular team or program but at their stadium? You're gonna have the idiots everywhere. The hope is this is an isolated circumstance but research should be done to see if security is lax. For sure everyone responsible for putting on major events with tens of thousands of people need dilligence after the final gun because that's when the alcohol and more has been consumed and states of mind can be altered by the result of the game. As someone who has attended games in the biggest market in the U.S and here in Eugene which is about 150th, there is absolutely no difference in the overall makeup of the audience if you tune out the respective regional accent. I've run into D-bags and wonderful people galore in the South Bronx and South End of Autzen. It's a crap shoot. You fly the colors of the opposition and risk the lame P.O.S who takes it personally and wants to throw down, especially after a few cordials too many. I don't believe it's a big city thing, but a moron thing and people who attend ballgames in our nutty society may want to consider 'not' drawing attention to themselves in enemy territory. It's a sad commentary, but a fact! Hard to believe the NBA regular season is winding down. Important win for the Blazers in Utah last night. Pushes them back to their season best 13 games above .500 and a half game in front of the Hornets for 6th in the West. That 6 seed should be their goal from my chair and not just because it is above the 7 & 8 but because it means Dallas instead of the champs or Spurs in round one. New Orleans holds the tiebreaker courtesy of their sweeping Portland in the 3 meetings. They host Phoenix tonight. Memphis is 8th, just a game behind the Hornets and those two meet Sunday. The Blazers tangle with the Lakers this evening and it's an odd situation. The can't catch San Antonio atop the West and are 2 in front of the Mavs for the two seed with 4 left. They get this win and take a step closer to being able to rest their key players as they prep for their three-peat run.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I wonder who packs the panic button more frequently, fans or media? Right now in Boston it's being passed around among the masses as the Red Sox entered today's matinee versus Cleveland winless on the season. The trouble was born of expectations as the Bosox are the consensus pick to win the AL. They should be because no doubt they have the deepest and most talented 25 man roster in the big leagues. The problem is the best team doesn't always win. You have to incorporate health, performace, chemistry and a few good bounces to emerge with the championship trophy. In today's edition of the Boston Globe on the front page of the sports section they posed the query "What's going on with the Red Sox"? Get ready for the gloom & doom if they slip up this weekend with the hated Yankees in their 1st series of the year at Fenway. Can't get the old golf saying "you drive for show and you putt for dough" out of my head. Tiger is hitting it well in round one of the Masters. Just can't get one to drop. Had the speed going but was lipping out early. Made the turn -1 but bogeys on 10 & 11 got him into black numbers and you wondered what lied ahead. A bird on the par 5 thirteenth got him back to level par. On today's show we'll keep you updated and talk about what went down out there today. The early story was the 21 year old from Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy who fired a 65 and sits solid at 7 under. This is just his 3rd shot at Augusta. Missed the cut last year after finishing 20th in 2009. He's had some success in majors with 3rd place finishes in the 2009 PGA and last season's British. See how he holds up under the heat of being the leader in an event like this. Blazers back to work tonight on the back end of the TNT double header against the Jazz. We'll discuss what's at stake with you this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I've heard it under various circumstances for years and most are full of bull cookies. I'm sick and tired of Jordan and the Bulls. I'm sick and tired of the Yankees & Red Sox. I'm sick and tired of Tiger Woods. Then when they disappear, most viewers go with them. They're prepping for round one of the Masters. I want Tiger back in the hunt. You might not admit it, but so do you. It's like when Americans are polled about certain topics, try to give an answer that sounds like they have a clue, then vote for their own self interest. Just admit it. Harken back to Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessup. You need him on that wall and we need Woods to be front and center in golf. Actually I don't, because I'm a PGA junkie and will be wired in regardless, but most of the sports world does. Deal with it. Lot of talk surrounding the decision making process of the current crop of potential NFL draft picks. Should they attend the festivities if there is still no labor deal. Really? This is a conversation? They're going to in essence become scabs and bust a picket line before they're even a member, then apply for membership. This is not about taking the side of the union or owner but you can't shake the commissioners hand then show up at a team function and look your mates in the eye. Hang with the family, hug mom and auntie Em and salvage your future relationships. This is a no brainer. Ever try to get out of jury duty? It's doable, but sometimes, regardless of your station in life, it's unavoidable. The owner of the New York Giants, John Mara tried to weasel his way out, but was sacked by District Court judge Jed Rakoff. Claimed prepping for the upcoming draft is not an emergency. Tell me this isn't hysterical?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It's been talked to death. Last night's Natty just plain sucked. I like a defensive battle as much as the next guy, but this was misery. I'll offer up something I bet you haven't heard anywhere from anyone else. When Butler's Andrew Smith blew a layup with about 11 minutes left and the Bulldogs down 9 I switched channels. To baseball? No! Good movie? No! I wanted to go the completely opposite so it was a rerun of "Sex and the City" on my Comcast channel 70. Not even in high def as I was in my office. I did not tune back in until there were about 5 minutes left or 15 minutes of actual time later. Did you hear about the latest and final coaches poll of the season? UConn received all but one of the first place votes. What? Ohio State received the other. Team gets knocked out in the Sweet 16, doesn't even come close to living up to massive expectations, yet some yo yo pulls that. And talk about gutless, all season long the vote is public, until this one. Back to work for the Trailblazers this evening with Golden State in town. Gotta like their chances as the Warriors are a whopping 9 & 30 on the road. I made up a list of the teams they've taken down at their place. Toronto, New York, Minnesota, Sacremento, Charlotte, New Orleans, Utah, Washington, and Cleveland. Oddsmakers like Portland by 10 1/2. One team the Blazers are locked in a battle for playoff position with, Memphis, has a home game against the Clippers. The other LA is 8 & 29 outside Staples. Likely not a night to make up ground for either club. Game of the night is Oklahoma City at Denver. Thunder with the 3 game lead in the division. Win this and it's pretty much a lock.

Monday, April 4, 2011


You've got to love polarizing figures. Not all of them. Those dictators who kill a few hundred thousand people we can do without. In sports, it creates debate which is always fun. The news that Dennis Rodman was elected for enshrinement into the basketball hall of fame has ignited those sparks. One argument I'm shooting down is since Reggie Miller was left out, Rodman can't get in. So two wrongs make a right? I don' t think so. Reggie should be in and so should The Worm. I'll pose these questions. Is he among the 7-8 top defensive forwards of all time? Is he among the top 7-8 rebounding forwards of all time? How many times was he the NBA Defensive Player of the year? How many times was he 1st or 2nd team all NBA defense? How many times did he lead the league in rebounds? How many rings did he collect? And you can save the comparisons to Robert Horry. Love Big Shot Rob, but for the most part he was a reserve, never made an all star team(Rodman made 2), and was never among the top 50 for a season in any category. Memorable players, key contributor to 7 titles for 3 different teams, but not even close to a Hall of Famer. Had a huge weekend riding UConn and Butler. Mentioned the Wednesday before the Sweet 16 that it appears nuts to bet against Butler until someone beats them in the post season. Not getting off that bandwagon. Take the Bulldogs and the points. Butler seems to be able to handle what ever circumstance surfaces and thrive. I'm not selling the Huskies short. Here's an interesting stat. They've lost 9 games. All during Big East play. No out of conference team has defeated them. Out of league they beat Wichita, Michigan State, Harvard, Texas and now Kentucky twice. It's a tough call, but I just think we get that non BCS champion for the 1st time since UNLV 21 years ago. Got a ton of thoughts on the Oregon victory in the CBI, the 1st weekend in MLB, the upcoming Masters and I'm offering this. If you could design your own personal App with 5 features what would it consist of? The Tannen App will allow you to find the betting line, including over/under and props with the ability to take action, plus a few others I'll share on today's programs. Enjoy your week.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I heard the Warren Moon interview on The Herd today after reading his comments yesterday. At the core is a piece written by Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly. He cited some shortcomings of Cam Newton and used the annoying "sources" regarding leadership, punctuality and how genuine a guy he is. I feel Moon went a bit over the top and took it personal because as a black QB in his day, he heard all the negative stereotypes. Newtown is at the center of an ongoing pay for play scandal, has not been forthright, was involved in a Masoli like computer theivery at Florida and as we speak is a one hit college wonder. As Nawrocki explained, they said similar things about Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen a year ago before JC was drafted. To me that's the conversation ender, but that would be boring. I think racism in disgustingly rampant in our society and that includes football fans. Not in this case. Legit issues exist with Newton. In a rarity, I actually had a chance to be a part of his media day interview prior to the National Championship. He lit up when the cameras were rolling, and turned off when he left the podium. So did most of the other guys, but when your the Heisman winner, you get more attention. I've got to be honest, aside from some fans, I haven't heard one media member or football guy compare Newton to Jamarcus Russell. I'll need to see or hear the file. That would be unfair as Newton appears superior in all aspects save maybe pure arm strength. And for the record, if I'm Carolina, I'm taking Cam with the 1st pick. 2 things are important to know. Moon is acting as an advisor for Newton at the behest of Cam's dad who initially wanted the Hall of Famer to train his kid but the role changed to mentor. He's also, according to his radio interview, not getting paid so there is no financial angle. Cam's has pulled some moves in public I consider a turn off like reading his prepared statement at the NFL combines last month in Indy. That stuff wreaks of phoniness. Moon made some good points about leadership. The guy took the Tigers to the title, but the legit criticisms don't appear racial. Can't wait to hear what you all have to say later today.