Monday, April 29, 2013


So Jason Collins becomes the first active team athlete to come out.  In a perfect world the reaction would be, oh!  Then we'd move on.  Considering it's the off season and lot's is happening with the recently completed NFL Draft, NBA playoffs rolling, NHL post season about to start, MLB off and running the true test has yet to begin.  For openers, Collins is a free agent who played a mere 38 games this season for Boston & Washington.  Over the last 6 years he's been an end of the bench center averaging about 15 minutes per game.  It's no lock he's on a roster next season.  Then I suspect we'd see the vile and ignorance from fans.  Another key question is will this open the door for those closeted who are truly active, well known players?  I've heard and read about fans who say "I'd never root for a gay athlete".  You already do!  I was encouraged by the support via twitter sent Collins way by Kobe, Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Kurt Rambis and Martina Navratilova.  Martina came out in 1981.  She never landed those endorsement deals or benefits worthy of perhaps the greatest the game has known because of the gutlessness of corporate America at the time.  We shall see how much has changed or if we've evolved as a society!

Can I get a "HALLELUJAH"!  2 annoying items that ESPN has repeatedly crammed down our throats are gone for now.  The 2013 Lakers and Tim Tebow.  Jets cut the QB.  The proof jumps off the page.  I thought Jim Rome nailed it.  When a player or coach is asked about Tebow, you NEVER EVER hear what a great or even good quarterback he is.  It's always about his work ethic or the type of teammate he is which has never been a debate.  The harsh fact is he's completely incapable of being a successful NFL quarterback.  End of story.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Somehow another high level celeb has skated away from facts and history.  Every I see Barry Sanders recently, he is being revered.  What a joke.  Make no mistake, the dude was as electrifying.  Sweep to the right side for a 4 yard's a 66 yard TD.  Granted.  Now he's making the rounds pitching the new Madden game.  This is the same guy who toured schools and did public service ads preaching abstinence to kids.  Was the A.C Green of football.  Except Green is a high character guy and honest.  When it was discovered Sanders had a child out of wedlock in 1994 he was confronted.  His response?  "I don't talk about that subject any more".  Then we focus on his retirement.  If you can call it that.  In 1998 he rushed for more than 14-hundred yards and the talk was perhaps he could be the all time leader in rush yards.  The franchise was expecting their superstar back for the 1999 season.  He did not announce his retirement before the free agent period, or the draft.  They were awaiting his arrival at camp in July when he disappeared.  The backs available in the draft that year were Edgerrin James, Ricky Williams or even Kevin Faulk had Sanders clued them in on his plans.  Instead he hung it up with no warning.  So this Saint Barry routine is garbage.
Really disappointed in the Russell Westbrook injury.  I thought the Thunder had a real chance to give the Heat a run for their championship money.  This guy is unique and from my chair, one of the true elite players in the NBA.  Been in the league 5 years.  This will be the 1st game he's missed.  He is a lethal 1-2 punch with Kevin Durant.  It's possible he could return of OKC reaches the finals, but with a knee injury like this, it's not logical he would simply return at the level we've grown accustomed to watching him operate. 
Lot of NFL draft talk and coverage today.  Look forward to your input as always.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We did 3 hours of radio from 3-6pm on the West Coast.  Felt obligated in and out each break to say it's our job to bring Crunchtime & SportsTalk but don't mistake it for thinking The Masters, Kobe, NBA playoffs and the rest was important after the news from Boston.  I appreciate those of you who took part and got what we were trying to do.  It's a cliche, but I've gone on the air in the wake of Columbine, 911, Virginia Tech and most recently Newtown and tried to provide that much needed diversion or distraction.  After 24 hours the level of disgust and that awful feeling in the pit of one's stomach hasn't altered much. 
Late last night the investigation into the Oregon/Will Lyles/recruiting mess got some run which carried into today.  Here's my take.  Deluded Duck fans are trying to blow it off to validate this incredible 4 year run.  Duck haters are trying to draw a parallel between this and the SMU scandal or some of the renegade programs like Miami.  Wrong & Wrong!  I've always felt this money for recruiting services was a large gray area & hopefully the rocket scientists at the NCAA will offer some clarity for the future.  My question will always be about the level of competitive edge Oregon might have gained.  We know Lache Seastrunk never saw the field, but if he ended in Eugene outside the rules, there should be a punishment.  I don't want to delve into the details of the 515 page report or speculate on how heavy the hammer will be.  Another question is to Oregon fans.  Does this put a taint on the accomplishments of the Kelly era?
No shows today due to Oregon baseball.  Catch up with you tomorrow.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Last week began with a tremendous NCAA Final as Louisville and Michigan put on a magnificent display of young guys in pursuit of their sport's ultimate prize.  It was an "A" performance.  Then we got the 2013 Masters which in my opinion equaled Cardinals over Wolverines for terrific sports theater.  Sudden death.  The class in defeat displayed by "El Gato" Angel Cabrera.  The clutch performance of our champion, Adam Scott.  The Tiger Woods drama where he signed an incorrect scorecard due to a 2 shot penalty that dropped the morning after the infraction.  By the letter of the rules he was within his rights to continue to play.  Some felt a true sportsman would have disqualified themselves.  In what world would Woods do the honorable thing?  I think it was fine he continued to play.  The rules were altered a couple of years back to allow a player to stay in the tournament under these circumstances.  But Tiger is the same guy who played musical bimbo chairs while his young wife and babies were home without dad!  So now when he tees it up Merion for the US Open it will be exactly 5 years since his last major championship which has covered 15 events.  He remains stuck on 14 in pursuit of the Jack Nicklaus standard of 18 Grand Slam victories.  It's far from etched in stone he ever catches up.
The Kobe Bryant season ending injury has an historic impact as it's a Hall of Famer nearing the end of his career.  I can't imagine Kobe going out like this and he's already set the surgery so he can begin rehab.  This might sound cold, but basketball wise for the remainder of the 2013 season and playoffs, it's simply not that big a deal.  The Lakers might not have made the post season with Kobe and in what fantasy world would they have survived round one against Oklahoma City who demolished them in 5 games last spring.  A better LA team! 
With timing being everything we get Padres at Dodgers a few days after the drama surrounding the plunking of Carlos Quinton by LA's overpaid free agent Zack Greinke.  It led to a brawl that busted up Greinke's collarbone and will cost him 6 weeks on the sidelines.  I'm hearing about how this will heat up the San Diego/Los Angeles rivalry.  Really?  Didn't know that existed from the LA side.  The Padres are one of the biggest joke franchises in American professional sports.  No titles and 2 Series appearances in 45 years of existence.  Save 1984 & 1998 when they made the Fall Classic but lost in 5 to the Tigers, then were swept by the Yankees, this team has never won a playoff series.  They're the Lions, Jets, Clippers, Hawks or any other annual failures we follow in sports.  Believe me, this is another one way rivalry.  Oh by the way,  the Pads are 2 & 10.  Scintillating. 
If you are a true sports fan and not just some honk for your home team, take a moment to acknowledge what happened 66 years ago today.  Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Talk about a game changer.  Question for today's radio shows.  Is this the single most impactful event, beyond the invention of the games in our world of sports??

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I have a tendency to put sporting events into historical perspective as they happen.  I took the night but still can't recall many, if any recent games to determine a champion like we witnessed between Louisville and Michigan.  We've seen a last second three by Mario Chalmers push Kansas into overtime against Memphis 5 years ago with the Jayhawks capturing the crown, but the finish was a car wreck with the Tigers missing 3 of 4 foul shots the final :16 sec to keep the door open.  Butler almost stole it from Duke in 2010 when Gordon Hayward's half court heave almost banked home in a 61-59 game that was certainly exciting at the finish.  In that one the shooting was off and the Blue Devils managed one basket the final 5 minutes.  The entertainment value wasn't even close to what we witnessed last night in Atlanta. 
A decade ago when Carmello Anthony guided Syracuse to their lone title, the final against Kansas was pretty fun.  It ended with Hakeem Warrick blocking a potential game tying 3 at the gun by Michael Lee.  But again, Melo was held scoreless the final 13 minutes and Warrick bricked a pair of free throws with :14 seconds left. 
With partial credit to Matt Prehm, I think you have to go back to the 1999 Final with UConn sneaking past Duke 77-74.  The Blue Devils had Tray Langdon, Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Corey Maggette.  They'd won 31 straight and were a big time 9 1/2 point favorite.  The Huskies countered with Rip Hamilton, the portly Khalid El-Amin running the point, a quality big in Jake Voskuhl plus a tremendous defensive guard who could sting it from outside in Ricky Moore.  Last night was about young guys willing to do any and everything to win a championship.  The unyielding effort on defense, chasing loose balls and attacking rebounds.  My lasting memory will be Louisville's 6'6" sophomore forward Chane Behanan grabbing 4 offensive rebounds the final 2:47, tipping one in and just refusing to allow Michigan what could have been a game altering defensive rebound and possession.
The short history of the BCS title game peaked with Vince Young's scramble past the gassed USC defense to win the '05 championship.  Sure, Oregon & Auburn played a down to the wire tight game but it was not nearly as crisp and electrifying as last night.
I believe history will view this among the all timers.  Up there with NC State's Lo Charles buzzer beating dunk of a Derrick Whittenburg airball to take down Houston & Phi Slamma Jamma 30 years ago, Keith Smart from the baseline in '87 as Indiana beats the Cuse, Carolina with Worthy & Jordan in 82 over  Ewing and Georgetown by one.  You get my point.  This is locked into the Top 10.

Monday, April 8, 2013

COME ON ZEBRAS by Steve Tannen

I do not believe referees or umpires decide who wins or loses.  They don't fail to hit the cutoff man.  Never turn their head on defense, miss a tackle or run the wrong route.  I do think we've seen some horrific officiating in college basketball this post season.  The jump ball called with 6 seconds remaining in the Louisville victory versus Wichita State was obscene.  Refs certainly panic and choke like players.  This was a perfect case.  Why the quick whistle?  Again, the zebras didn't blow the Shocker double digit lead in the second half.  They also didn't go 26 minutes without a turnover before coming unglued and coughing it up 5 times during a critical 3 minute period late in the game.  I don't believe they had much to do with Wichita State point guard Malcolm Armstead hitting 1 of 10 shots.  They just stunk it up at a highly visible moment.  Awful.
I like Michigan to win it this evening.  For the most part on Saturday Louisville was not able to apply the pressure that sent shivers down the spines of so many fallen opponents this season.  When Kevin Ware suffered that gruesome broken leg it was early in the Duke game and the Cardinals were able to ride the emotions and overwhelm the Blue Devils without their fallen teammate.  Once that situation settled down the reality he was not in the rotation and the Rick Pitino bench was shorter and less dangerous, the Shockers almost knocked them off.  I think the Wolverines are better suited with more firepower and multiple options to handle UL.  I see a grinder with Michigan taking their first natty since 1989.
A year ago the Trailblazers pretty much mailed it in down the stretch losing their final 7 games and 9 of the last 10.  They had to deal with the official end of Brandon Roy and Greg Oden with the franchise and the dismissal of Nate McMillan as coach.  Then it appeared owner Paul Allen pulled his head out and cleaned house.  New GM, coach and point guard.  There were times this season when fans got a nice glimpse into a bright new future.  With their youth, bad spells did surface, a roller coaster ride if you will.  Right now they are playing as poorly as anyone in the Association.  They've barely been competitive during this 8 game losing streak.  Last night's loss to Dallas was the 1st that was less than double digits and Portland needed a furious 30-15 4th quarter rally to make a game of it.  Perhaps it's for the best as they simply accumulate more ping pong balls for the lottery.  Perhaps it's just step one of a long rebuilding process.  The bottom line is this extends the streak to 13 years without winning a playoff series.  The remaining schedule is no day at the beach with each opponent very much with a lot to play for.  Home games this Wed & Fri against the Lakers & Thunder followed by trips to Denver and the Clippers before wrapping at the Rose Garden against the Warriors.  Will they win another game?

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Final Weekend, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. With only four teams remaining, tomorrow will decide who will be playing for the National Championship. In Saturday's first match up, it will be a battle between the Cinderella story and the overall #1 seed with an extra incentive to win. The Wichita State Shockers have shocked everybody on their way to the Final Four by defeating the first and second seed in their region. However, they are matched up against a very talented Louisville team who are playing excellent basketball at the moment. And if that isn't already a tough task at hand for the Shockers, the Cardinals are playing with extra passion after the gruesome injury to Kevin Ware in the Elite Eight. If you haven't seen that injury to Ware's leg yet, consider yourself a lucky human being. I just feel fortunate that they didn't show a super close up like they did to Joe Theismann, but I still couldn't stand to watch the replay later that night.
Although it would be great to see another Butler in the National Championship Game, I don't think Wichita State will be able to hang with Louisville for an entire game. But hey, next to no one thought they would even make it this far, so anything could happen.
On  the other side of the bracket, a pair of four seeds take each other on for a shot at playing on Monday. Both Michigan and Syracuse beat their region's #1 seed to get to this point. The Wolverines' Trey Burke put the team on his back against Kansas, and was able to rally Michigan to their first Final Four appearance since the Fab Five days. Burke was named the Wooden Award winner for being the most outstanding player in College Basketball. If I had a vote, I would have had him second behind Indiana's Victor Oladipo, but Burke deserves the award just as much as anybody in the country. The Syracuse Orange are going to have to keep a close eye on Burke if they want to win this game and have a chance at the championship.
I hope to see two very tough games tomorrow evening, and a set up for another great National Championship Game.


This whole car wreck of a situation at Rutgers University is certainly disturbing and despicable.  Considering no one was seriously injured or died, it also might qualify as a blessing in disguise.  For openers, let's remember these are kids.  They might be 6'5, 225 with the ability to bench press the rack or jump out of the gym, but at age 21 and under, they are too young to grasp what their idiot coach is doing and how far over the line he is stepping.  Parents should take their young ones, show them the video and leave no doubt should a coach, teacher or anyone else in a position of authority get overly physical or verbally abusive with them, do one thing.  Tell mom and dad.  Or auntie or grandma or whoever is raising you.  The second a situation like this surfaces, tell.  TELL....TELL....TELL....drill it into their heads.  This is unacceptable.  Never stop reminding them.  As always with a negative circumstance, a main goal is future prevention. 
Here are some of the things I'm thinking about.
-My wife and I have to go back and watch the last episode of Mad Men because this hiatus has been so freaking long I forgot what is happening.
-It's not about Oregon being out or my bracket getting a Chernobyl like nuking, but something is NOT grabbing me about this weekend's Final 4.  I'm guessing once Wichita and Louisville tip it off the temp will rise again and I am curious to see how that Syracuse zone will work against those great Michigan guards.
-Out of the gate I'm loving the Tigers in the American League.  Certainly in the division.  Don't buy Cleveland and the White Sox can be anemic at times with the lumber.  Toronto is testing history by throwing money at their issues and that blew up in the faces of Miami a year ago.  Free Agents are a great supplement, but not the be all end all solution.  Still like the Rays in the East.  I'm rooting against the Angels is the West cause I think Josh Hamilton is a self-righteous hypocrite.  The Rangers rescued his career and maybe his life with a personal assistant to make sure he didn't go on one of his booze/drug binges and he showed them very little appreciation.  Texas can rake and if the back end of the rotation becomes stable they're the team to beat in the West.  California has rotation issues and their closer, Ernesto Frieri had one decent year.  Let's see him do it again.  I think New York and Boston are in for long seasons and could run next to last and last in the East.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Back to blogging after several months.  The switch to CBS Radio is complete and it's time to get rolling again.  An issue that annoys the heck out of me in this country whether it's political, social or in sports is no one accepts the obvious.  It's always an argument.  The logic that conceding you are WRONG is a weakness is destructive.  It's the opposite, it's a sign of strength.  It's okay to make an honest mistake.  Admit and move on.  The Rutgers situation is unreal.  An athletic director knows his basketball coach is humiliating his players.  Physical and verbal abuse.  The imbecile(AD Tim Pernetti) is aware it's all being captured on film.  He doles out a minimal punishment based on some kind of rehabilitation.  Only when the video is released does he finally take action and can the piece of garbage(now former coach Mike Rice).  Aside from the obvious(murderers, rapists, ect), nothing worse than a bully.  Rice was a spoiled brat who threw a hissy fit when things didn't go his way.  He is no different than the child in aisle 2 of the supermarket throwing a temper tantrum cause mom or dad wouldn't buy the bag of candy.  Pernetti should be canned by days end and Rice should never be allowed near young men again.  Let him try and pull that in the real workplace and countdown from 10 and see how far you get before someone throws him out a window.  Bullies are abusers.  In the cases of coaches like this, nothing more than a pathetic insecure D-bag who can't feel good about their wit, intelligence, or accomplishments so they have to belittle others to feel better about themselves.  Good riddence.
Look for my National League preview and on Friday we hit the AL.  Liking the Nats, Giants, Reds and Tigers.  Not enamored about anyone else!