Thursday, September 29, 2011


In a poll on today's Dan Patrick show they asked which team you'd have preferred to root for this season the Red Sox or the Orioles. I almost fell over when 60% voted for Baltimore. Are you kidding me?? On Memorial Day the Birds were playing around .500 ball and just 4 1/2 behind in the East. By July 4th, 13 1/2 behind, pretty much dead in the water, but just 2 weeks later they're toast, 19 1/2 back. Season over! So 60% of people who are supposed to be sports fans actually like no shot? I don't buy it! Same poll, after letting a few days pass, it's gotta be 95% Bosox.
By the way, does anyone have the art of losing mastered quite like the Red Sox from an historical point of view? We've seen collapses and horrifying losses from half court heaves to hail mary's, but no one does it quite like them Bosox!
Interesting question to ponder for Duck football fans. What are your thoughts on the wide receivers? We knew coming in there were big shoes to fill with the departures of Jeff Maehl and D.J Davis. Most felt the burden would start with Lavasier Tuinei and Josh Huff then a bunch of unprovens had to capitalize on opportunity. Have they? Will they? Or, with the innovative offensive minds running the show, will they simply distribute the ball to pass catchers who don't necessarily carry the title "wide out"? Look forward to your thoughts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Sometimes folks can be dismissive. Because of where my passions and loyalities lie when the subject of the Red Sox or perhaps Huskies surfaces, some who listen think I'm just rattling the cage. It's been the case as I love rivalries and good old theraputic sports hate. It doesn't mean that when I offer up an honest opinion you shouldn't listen. I've been harping for years that an element of those who are 'suddenly' huge Bosox supporters have set the bar at it's lowest point for fanaticism that I can recall. There are people who couldn't tell you the difference between a splitter and a curve that act like they were there when Yaz won the Triple Crown in 67 or still feel the pain of the 1978 collapse. It's the single biggest bandwagon in my 40+ years following sports and it's not even close. These clown have become arrogant, entitled and just because they've experienced a championship or two now consider it a birthright. You hear them burning up the Beantown airwaves with a flood of negativity, completely missing the point that they can still make the playoffs. Sound familiar? I'm calling out Oregon fans because you are following the same path. For years Red Sox fans detested the Yankees and their supporters who in their opinion had no appreciation for the consistent success that was enjoyed. 20 years ago Duck fans singled out Washington fans for many of the same traits they now put on display on a national level. Nothing worse than becoming what you despise. Be careful Oregon fans!
Lot of talk about Michael Vick and his treatment by defenders and officials. Gotta put aside your personal feelings and I'm nauseated by his mere existence much less knowing he still plays in the NFL. That said, he got hurt on a play that should have drawn a flag on tackle Chris Canty. His complaint he isn't protected like other quarterbacks is pure sour grapes. He doesn't act like other QB's. When he leaves the pocket, it's not in a protective mode. He's like a back carring the rock or a receiver on an end around. He's looking to make yards and not slide like just about every other quarterback we've seen since Steve Young retired. Defenders can not take a chance he's gonna pull it down and keep running. The guy is unique and must be defended differently.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I'd love to see Denard Robinson transfer from Michigan to Notre Dame. Then we'd have the most overhyped, overrated player on the most overhyped, overrated team. Heck of a talent and a terrific runner, but he's an awful passer. They will never win big with this guy.
Does Arizona football ever come up big? Still the only team never to win the conference and play in the Rose Bowl. Any supporter of that program is crazy if they think Mike Stoops will put an end to that. He's a freaking clown act at this time and a mega-buffoon! His antics are downright disturbing. Seriously, would you send your child to play and learn from him at such a critical point in their life? That Cat defense is not good, particularly up front where they lost 3 via the NFL draft.
What a night for LeMichael James. Not only set some individual program records but has begun the climb up the historic conference charts. Charles White of USC is the leader well up ahead. With his 288 yard show in Tucson, LMJ now stands at 3890 with 8 games remaining this season, plus perhaps a Pac 12 title game and obviously a bowl game. I don't anticipate James being a Duck next year but a Sunday player. LeMike is now 6th on the all time league rushing list. Next in the cross hairs is Washington's Nap Kaufman at just over 41-hundred yards.
Hard to believe we have just tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday left in the MLB regular season. Right now I'm leaning towards Justin Verlander and Jacoby Ellsbury for AL MVP. I think Ryan Braun has it locked in the NL. The Cy Young awards should also be no brainers with Verlander and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
Michael Vick was whining after yesterday's loss to the Giants. Says the refs don't afford him the same protection as other QB's. He doesn't run like anyone else at the postion. He never slides and has to be treated as a running back or other out of pocket ball carrier. Plus he lacks the size of Ben Roethlisberger or Jay Cutler who take some serious hits but are built to handle the pounding. Plus...well, you know!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Did my memory fail? Don't you recall after the 9-1-1 attacks there was a kind of unwritten deal in the sports media that we'd stop referring to ballplayers as brave or courageous for what they do on the field? Emergency responders were properly lauded. Then we went to war and it became more emphatic that soldiers showed real courage, not a QB standing in the pocket. Single moms and dads who bust their tails on a daily basis to raise children can be considered courageous. If I hear another knucklehead use that term in reference to Cowboy QB Tony Romo, I'm gonna lose it! The guy is tough, I'll give him that, but he's paid handsomely to be a football player. It's fun. It's entertaining. It's not life and death.
You guys hear the injury faking has now graduated to the next level? Now an uproar exists in the NFL for defensive player going down to hault an up tempo offense. Where have I heard this before? I'll be interested to see if the leauge issues some kind of mandate. Already today on national radio there are calls for keeping an "injured" guy out for at least that series.
Lot of talk about possible concerns regarding the Duck defense. I wouldn't use the term "concern" because I never felt the 2011 edition would measure up to last year's group this early in the season. I think the talent is there, but like the offensive line, it's gonna take time for guys to grow into and succeed in new roles with so much talent gone, in particular up front and at the linebacker position. We will learn much this week against the top passing attack Oregon will have faced to date by far in Tucson.

Monday, September 19, 2011


With football and baseball's pennant chase, my desire to watch golf these days is barely existent. I did throw an eye at what Lexi Thompson accomplished in Alabama on Sunday. She became the youngest ever to win an LPGA event taking the Navistar Classic. This was a pretty good field with elite players like Paula Creamer, Angela Stanford, Stacey Lewis and other's among the tour's Top 10 money winners. She's 16 years old. I loved her quote saying she'd dreamed of this her entire life. That's like an hour and a half. Brilliant!
As for the Duck romp, this was a lock. No one got hurt. I'm constantly amazed by fans who boo a program like Missouri State as they come out of the runway. Really? Treating the Bears as if they're a century long rival? The offense appears to be coming along with the line starting to gel which is nice. Defensively some have expressed concerns over yards, but as discussed last season and in recent years, it's difficult to gauge teams like Oregon. Texas Tech and others who push the pace so hard on offense leaving the "D" out there an inordinate amount of plays and time. I'll stick with wins and losses.
This time of year I gauge the weekend using certain variables, some constant while others just present themselves. Ducks and Jets win. Check! Yankees extended their lead in the AL East on the reeling Red Sox. Check. Huskies lose? Check. Darn, Notre Dame won. Still I'll grade out my happiness rating with an "A". Lot of NFL and the college picture to hit you up with when we roll with Crunchtime & SportsTalk this afternoon. Have a good one.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Just heard Warren Sapp on the Dan Patrick show. They were discussing the issues surrounding his beloved UUUUU, those Miami Hurricaines who are playing the Violations Bowl this weekend against Ohio State. Sapp made a great point. ESPN forces a dunderhead like Lou Holtz on us. As a coach had sanctions levied against him at Minnesota, Arkansas and South Carolina but somehow sidestepped punishment despite a book written about his cheating at Notre Dame. Then they take the moral highground. What a freaking joke! Count me a member of the Warren Sapp fan club from this point forward.
Missoui State is taking a $440,000.00 haul for making the trip to Eugene. Back in 1979 my buddy's mom paid me $20 bucks and filled my tank with gas to pick up her son from Scranton University before Thanksgiving weekend. It was about a 5 1/2 hour round trip. I think the Bears are getting a much better deal.
Word from the coach is Josh Huff and Kenyon Barner took part in practice. Great news. Still doesn't mean they'll play. With some serious new talent, let's not forget how important having those 2 at full strength will be once conference play begins. Both guys bring an awful lot to the table and were important pieces to reaching the Natty last year. Sometimes fans get a bit enamored with the new toy and take some of the others they've enjoyed for granted.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


For many years we laughed at his antics. Viewed as perhaps the greatest right handed hitter in the American League since Joe Dimaggio, when he stepped outside logic say taking a quick whiz during a pitching change behind the Green Monster it was only Manny being Manny. Then the Mitchell Report came around, baseball started testing for performance enhancing drugs and suddenly he wasn't cute or quirky. Manny Ramirez was nothing short of a liar and a cheat. Multiple times. More than anyone. To a point where rather than accept a substantial suspension, he quit. Now word comes down he was arrested for domestic violence. Allegedly slapped his wife so hard she hit her head hard on their bed's headboard. She called 9-1-1 fearing the situation would get more dangerous. He was released from the clink this afternoon and ordered by the judge in the case not to contact his wife. Another dirt bag who will join Bonds, Rodriguez, Sosa, Clemens and McGwire with legendary statistics, but who will never, ever get a whiff of the Hall of Fame.
I've been hearing some commentators downplay the 517 yard, 4 touchdown performance of Tom Brady last night. The logic appears to be it was against the Dolphins so is it really a big deal. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It's an NFL defense. The guy was magnificent.
During the lockout, I don't recall one so called expert saying the league will become even more pass happy. We heard about the offense perhaps having an edge over the defense, but not this. Yes, it's week one, but I see a touch of college with teams just spreading the field and slinging it all over the yard to the open man. It's why New England is such a threat to post an elite record. They have a QB who can shoot it out with anyone.
Enjoy your Tuesday.

Monday, September 12, 2011


The heck with national security, the economy or healthcare. Oregon won big and that's all that matters right? No more imbeciles throwing up "Fire Chip Kelly" websites. We no longer have to hear about SEC superiority or how easy it is to figure the Duck offense with lot's of prep time. It's all kisses, autographs and sunglasses. They're in the top 15 with another bunny on the schedule. The joke is, the U of O can possibly sneak back into the top 10 for the start of conference play.
As a player, getting a real kick out of how that USC/Utah game ended and what it meant to the betting line. Trojans were anywhere between a 7 1/2 and 9 1/2 point favorite. It's 17-14 Southern Cal with the Utes lining up for the tying field goal on the final play. SC blocks it and returns it for a TD but get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when the sideline empties onto the field to celebrate. The game temporarily goes in the books as a 3 point Trojan win. Utah backers cash their tickets, game over! Or is it? About 2 hours later the Pac 12 announces that with the game over, the penalty should not have been allowed, the points are good, 23-14 final. Nevada and the illegal books around the country are thrown into turmoil. What if you ripped up that winning ticket? Those who already got their dough certainly are not giving it back. Officials estimate about half a mil was wagered legally but probably 10 times that with bookies around the country. Hysterical!
I guess you have to go back to 1996 to find Oregon State football in such a hopeless state. They'd gone 2 & 9 under Jerry Pettibone and handed the reigns to Mike Riley who brought some hope into 1997. This could get ugly because they don't have the patsy to guarantee a win as their other out of conference game is against a pretty solid BYU team. They have the bye before revving it up against UCLA. This is easily Coach Riley's most difficult situation since he returned from the NFL in 2003. Gonna be rough.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back in the Saddle, by Casey Mitchell

I don't know about you guys, but it's been pretty tough for me for the last week watching Sports Center and hearing about how Oregon could have just been overrated or how we just can't win a big game. We now have Kiko Alonso back at linebacker this week after he was suspended for an alcohol-related offense in late May. Oregon is also welcoming back cornerback and kick-returner, Cliff Harris. The way this season is shaping out is reminding me alot of 2009, with a big loss on a national stage, and tomorrows trap game against Nevada like Purdue in 2009. I think that James will break out tomorrow for a big game and DT will only throw half the attempts he threw last week. Oregon doesn't have to have a great game to win, we just need to be able to manage the game and not waste any opportunities. But when you turn the ball over 4 times in your own territory, it's gonna be tough to win a ball game any day of the week. Prediction -- Ducks 42 Wolfpack 24.

Terrelle Pryor, who is supposed to be suspended the first five games of the year, is appealing the ban. His former coach, Jim Tressel, is suspended for 7 games as the Colts gameday advisor. Only one thing is different.... Tressel can still secretly give Indianapolis advice, but it would be pretty darn tough for Pryor to sneak into the game without anyone realizing. If Pryor gets his appeal passed, wouldn't you think that Tressel could get back into the league. Regardless of what people are saying, getting back Tressel wouldn't be even in the same realm of importance to a football team as getting back Terrelle.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Sometimes a talented young player is tagged with POTENTIAL and it follows them for their entire career. The news of that horrifying plane crash which took the lives of just about the entire Russian hockey team reminded me of another frequently used "p" word, perspective. Folks up in arms because the Ducks lost to LSU, ripping on the coaches, the scheme and all things whiny, spoiled fans dwell on now seem even more petty in the wake of this tragedy. I really hate to fly and when news like this hits, I see the logic of John Madden even more. It's nitpicky for sure, but I was listening to that Cowerd fella working out this morning when the news hit and some names came to light of those who perished. One was Pavol Demitra who played for about a decade and a half in the NHL, scored 300 goals and was a 3 time all star. Cowerd claimed he'd never heard of him though P.D's career ended the season before last. Look, if you spent your entire career in Seattle, Eugene or another non-NHL town, fine. But this goofball has been national for many years now. Just proves he might be the least knowledgeable host of that kind of a show, maybe ever. If it's not the major story, program or franchise, he's got nothing. Makes me even more pleased to know the Cowboys will fall on their face because C.C picked them to have a great season. It was just over 10 years ago 10 people involved with the Oklahoma City basketball team perished in a crash. Makes you feel like you have no problems.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


When I arrived in Eugene during the spring of 1990, I got to speaking with lot's of Oregon football fans. The program was on the rise after that 1st bowl appearance in the 89 Independence Bowl and excitement surrounded that year as Bill Musgrave was a senior. We know how things have progressed since. One common belief among fans was a contempt for those who supported Washington and Notre Dame. Arrogant. Entitled. A sense that having a successful, high level football program was a birthright rather than something earned or enjoyed. Well congratulations as a chunk of Duck fans have become just that. Pick a percentage. If this became a program that won their 8 or 9 games a season how many of those 59-thousand that pack Autzen would disappear and get back to spending Saturday's like they did prior to Oregon joining the nation's elite? I'd say 20% is not an unreasonable call. History shows that following strikes, dips in success and status altering conditions, about 1 in 5 jump off the bandwagon.
Way too much over analysis from the LSU loss. Tigers scored 5 touchdowns. One drive began on their side of the field. Any defense will wear down under those circumstance. Darron Thomas was not sharp and his receivers did not make one above average catch to bail him out. I don't care what the coaches or certain players said, not having Cliff Harris was a factor, especially in the punt return game. I thought Grassu, the new center, held up well but an experienced guy like Darrion Weems was off. In essence, Oregon simply did not put their best foot forward, yet had a shot with 7 1/2 minutes left and the ball. This team remains the favorite to win the Pac 12 and they should be. Don't get nuts over the Stanford route as that San Jose State team might be one of the 2-3 worst at the D1 level. Nevada did not play last week and will be a sacrificial lamb, then Missouri State follows. Those will be back to back romps heading into a bye. Everyone relax!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Quack is Back, by Casey Mitchell

Well it's official, we're only one day away from one of the biggest college football openers in years. All of the hype surrounding the off the field issues by both teams have really overshadowed the actual game on Saturday. It's now clear that Jordan Jefferson is not going to play in the game, but it's been said that his backup, Jarrett Lee, is just as good as Jefferson. They say that the only reason he wasn't already starting is because of his accuracy. In his 3 year career with the Tigers, he has thrown 17 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Makes you think that if we had Cliff Harris for this game, we could really make him pay for a poor mistake. I think that one of the keys to the game is whether or not Darron Thomas can make good decisions when push comes to shove. The Ducks offense saw a tough SEC rush defense last year in the Natty when Auburn held them to only 75 yard on the ground. However, I think that we can manage LSU's defense a little better then we did Auburn's. On the other hand, Oregon's defense will really be tested, only returning 2 of their starting front seven from last year against a very physical Tigers rushing attack. Any way you slice it, it's going to be a great season opener that sets the tone for the rest of the year. Prediction-- Ducks 38 Tigers 34.

Panthers Rookie, Cam Newton, was named the starter after Carolina's loss to the Steelers. Newton was in on one drive and threw his first NFL touchdown pass and also had a 19 yard run. The Panthers ended this preseason at 1-3 and it seems to me that this will probably be another rebuilding year for Carolina. In baseball news, Justin Verlander is really making a case for an MVP run. He is now 20-5 with an ERA at 2.30, and also leads the league in strikeouts. Even when the Detroit Tigers have been struggling this year, Verlander has gone out and gave them a great performance every fifth day. He hasn't lost a game since mid July and went 5-0 in the Dog Days of August. If he continues to pitch this way, it will be hard for the voters to overlook him and all of is success.