Monday, December 31, 2007

Hey Tom,

Stop giving relationship advice to guys who don't have kids out of wedlock!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

16-0



Not surprisingly, the dudes did not recognize the historic achievement by the Patriots on this blog, so I guess it's up to me. But instead of saying what you already know, we'll simply repost a YouTube classic saluting the Golden Boy.

Four Days...

In spite of Obama's command performance on Meet the Press this morning, I'm concerned with four days remaining until Iowa voters meet up in civic centers across the state. Not just because today's fresh votes show either Clinton or Edwards in the lead, because those polls are extremely tight and put Obama in not much worse a situation than Kerry was in four years ago at this time.

The bigger concerns are this: (1) Older voters are tilting strongly towards Clinton, and they show up to caucus much more than younger votes, who overwhelmingly support Obama; (2) In every poll over the last few months, Iowans second choice is consistently Edwards, which is significant because under the arcane caucus rules, if your first choice gets less than 15% of the vote in a room, you have to switch to your second choice; and (3) The polls are showing that the intensity of those who support Edwards and Clinton is greater than Obama.

Not that any of this creates certainties -- perhaps young voters will turn out in high numbers, but I'm concerned that even though he's a much more credible candidate, Obama's supporters are looking a little too much like Dean's, and just like Dean, Obama has to win the caucus realistically to have a chance. Many pundits say even if Edwards wins and Clinton finishes third, she'd bounce back much better than Obama.

So I'm still very hopeful, perhaps even audaciously so, but in spite of shifting comfortably back into the Obama camp the last month, I'm not sure how long the campsite will stay around.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Brush With (Semi) Celebrity

Fresh off the heels of Izzy's encounter with Michael Irvin, I have my own tale to report. A much smaller celebrity, though perhaps more important to DudeSpin.

On a lazy end of year Friday afternoon, I found some time to check out the Journey (sans G) in their first post-Christmas game in Houston against the University of Houston Cougars. I walked up to the ticket window (stunningly, no line) and face a dilemma - pay $5 for regular seats or $10 for floor seats. Figuring that I only live once, I ponied up for a pair of floor seats for me and a UH alum I dragged out to the game. Turns out, it wasn't a bad decision.

We found our way to the floor and wound up sitting directly behind Lindsey Harding and (presumably) her parents. As with Joel, I like to leave celebrities (and former Journey legends) alone, so I quietly sat back and caught bits and pieces of their conversation for the entire game.

The Journey hadn't played in a while, and looked as rusty as one would expect. One bright spot, however, was the play of posts Carrem Gay and Chante Black. They controlled the boards and was Journey's only consistent source of offense. Another cause for optmism was the play of freshman Jasmine Thomas. As one would expect of a freshman, she was a bit unsure with the ball at times, but showed glimpses offensively and defensively that she could develop into every bit the player and leader that Lindsey was.

For her part, Lindsey was vocal and cheered on her teammates the entire game. She made a couple of observations: McCallie makes more substitutions than G; and the Journey did not exploit their advantage in the post. The front row of the floor was also filled with other former Journeyers, includng Mistie Bass and someone whose name escapes me.

All in all, a nice Friday afternoon; and here's hoping the Journey makes more trips to Houston!

G Wins 400th

A belated link about Coach G winning her 400th game and her mixed feelings about being honored at Texas when all the work was done in Durham.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Mile High With the Playmaker

The obvious sign should've been when I saw three young boys in #88 Cowboy jerseys walk by me at Fort Lauderdale Aiport this afternoon, but it wasn't until I was about to board the plane and saw a familiar profile signing autographs, that I realized none other than Michael Irvin was on my flight back to Dallas. At which point I quickly emailed the Dude to relish in the irony.

And wouldn't you know it, Irvin and his younger brother or oldest son (could've been either) seated themselves a row right in front of me. The three younger sons in uniform headed to the back of the plane. Irvin ordered a Grey Goose (I think but couldn't be sure if I heard right) and then slept for most of the flight. In the very few encounters I've had around celebrities, I prefer to ignore them and let them be in peace, but Irvin delivered a special message to all the dudes, and his #1 Fan Weitao in particular, upon arrival at DFW: Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The NBA Season at the One-Third Mark

Interesting signs abound since Franchise last checked in with an update, and while we don't expect the Dude to weigh in for obvious reasons, perhaps others have thoughts...

1) The Big 3 in the West seem to be back to the Big 3, with records of 18-7, 18-8, and 18-9. Dallas entered its latest stretch against Utah/Houston/Orlando/Phoenix just trying to stay in the top half of the conference, and ended up beating all 4. The Hornets and Jazz have cooled off and the Nuggets are as unpredictable as ever, great on their best nights, and frustratingly average on their worst. As for the Rockets...is there a pulse out there? Houston? Dude?

2) The Pistons served notice tonight that while Boston may win 65+ if its big three stays healthy, a trip to the Finals is no sure thing. At least if Boston has to play Detroit, because really who else in the East could beat them?

So at this point, is there any reason to think that other than adding Boston to the elite, this season is any different than the last one?

Right On TO!!

You gotta love a guy like TO - saying what all of us Cowboys fans were thinking after watching the game last Sunday. It's one thing for me to say it as a fan, but for TO to say it to the co-worker that has the most impact on his work - well, that's just TO!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Call From Barack to the Dudes

I got this email below from Barack today. Tempting, to say the least:

Want to ring in the New Year in Las Vegas or Reno?
We need you to build
on the momentum we've got in Iowa and New Hampshire and keep it going through
the primary season.
We're building a rock-solid organization in Nevada, the
third state in the nominating process, and we're looking for our best volunteers
to get right in the middle of the action. Can you commit to spending a few days
or up to 2 weeks in Nevada this January?
Sign up to join us in Nevada:
http://nevada.barackobama.com/cometonv
The entire nation
will be focused on the January 19th Nevada Caucus, and you can make a huge
difference in this historic event. This is the first time that Nevada has
participated as a critical early state in the nominating process, and we need
all hands on deck to prepare potential caucus-goers and let them know about
Barack Obama.
We've got great supporters here in Nevada and many of them have
offered space in their homes for out of state volunteers who are willing to
help. We've also identified affordable housing throughout Nevada that we can
share with you.
Sign up to help out our Nevada team and someone from our
staff will call you to discuss your availability and possible housing
options:
http://nevada.barackobama.com/cometonv
We're looking for
people to help out during the following time frames, but we're happy to
accommodate your schedule.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Coach Cutcliffe: Welcome to Duke?

I have to admit, I'm still a little skeptical about this hire. I recognize that he won at Ole Miss, and recognize that he's developed two pretty good quarterbacks, but what about the fact those quarterbacks were both sons of an all-time legend, and probably had a little bit of talent to work with? Will he be able to recruit the same to Duke?

I'm just wondering, given that Duke apparently didn't see money as an obstacle (which is amazing, in and of itself), why names like Bowden (Tommy), Holtz (Skip), and Neuheisel didn't become more prominent. I can see why concerns over Dorrell being a West-Coast guy and not having many recruiting contacts in the East would factor in, but was this really the second-best candidate out there after Johnson? Part of the disappointment is that national names actually seemed to find appeal in the Duke job, and yet they never got a close look.

Now, of course, that's not to say that those guys would have been any better than Cutcliffe, but given Alleva's abyssmal hiring record, I would've felt a little more secure with a guy who has shown the ability to succeed at a school that has any parallels to Duke, which it's hard to say that Ole Miss has.

Thoughts?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gettin' Juicey with Miggy!

It's just a shame former Astros heroes Clemens and Pettite couldn't have been in Houston to welcome their fellow brother in crime to town. I think we all now know that it was fate that Enron collapsed and created an opening for Minute Maid to take over Houston's ballpark. Now when they call it The Juice, we'll know why!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Welcome to H-Town, Tejada!

I know only half of the committee cares, but I couldn't pass up a chance to mention that Miguel Tejada is on his way to the Astros. Yes, he's coming off of a less than impressive season, so here's hoping that it was really due to disinterest playing for the Triple-A team masquerading as a Major League team in Baltimore. I figure he'll give us at least two good seasons before he gets disenchanted in Houston!

All joking aside, I didn't mind trading for a guy who's fourth all-time in homers as a shortstop, even if he's a big defensive downgrade from Adam Everett. He's only 31, so if he actually, you know, tries, I'd bet he's not quite ready for the fork to be stuck in his back. I'm happy Ed Wade is at least trying to do something, and the lineup is likely to look a lot different with Michael Bourn and Kaz Matsui batting 1-2 and Tejada in an RBI slot (fifth?).

Now the question is, will we have any pitching? Dude, what say you?

Duke's next coach is... you?

Vandy's Bobby Johnson dropped out of the race, which is fine with me.

Meanwhile, sources are saying that former Washington front man and current Baltimore Raven coordinator Rick Neuheisel is very interested in the job, but Alleva has not interviewed him. Neuheisel once had a No. 3 ranking and Rose Bowl with Washington, but has had a few sketchy incidents in his past that this article write off as misunderstandings. Seems like a pretty interesting pick, and very worthy of our consideration.

Of course, he would have to beat out the readers of DudeSpin. Follow this link to the second page of jobs, and you too can submit your resume to become Airborne's next head coach. Having watched five straight years of Duke football, I feel like I must know the team better than any outsider that they can bring in. Surely that counts for something, right?

Wave of Obamentum!!

And they are tied in New Hampshire!!

No surprise that Barack continues to prove Head Dude and other doubters wrong by surging in the polls as we get closer to election day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Meeee-Yao!

There's a catfight breaking lose in Houston! Yao Ming, on trailing the 76ers last night by 31 before finally losing by 12.

"When you are soft yourself, everything will feel tough," Yao said. "It's not because they are so tough. It's because of how soft we are.

"It's weird that we changed that quick. I never had that feeling. I feel like they traded me to another team, a new team I've never been on before."

Where have all the championship dreams gone?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dude News and Notes

1. So now Alleva appears to be casting his net towards a comparable football program and a coach with a 20-50 career record. Now going 5-7 in the SEC isn't bad, especially for Vandy, but does this make sense for either Johnson or Duke? Methinks not really. I do gather though that by searching further, Alleva must not be sold on Broadway.

2. While Broadway was out searching for a new coach, South Carolina was out to see Oprah. Now I don't know the total population of the Palmetto State, but 30,000 has to be a significant percentage. I must say, after originally starting in favor of Obama, and then infamously shifting to Hillary for a few months, the tide is starting to pull me back to Obama a little bit. You hear too many independents and Republicans say they'd never vote for Hillary, but would consider Obama, and maybe that needs to mean something more.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Still Perfect!


The Cowboys stayed perfect against the NFC with a scintilating last second strike from Tony Romo to Jason Witten. Mazel Tov Tony!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Something new is Bruin...

Although this seems to me like a pretty big fall in terms of coaching gigs, especially when you read about his pals in the NFL, SI reports that Duke is now looking at Karl Dorrell, UCLA's former coach.

From 10-2 and knocking off USC to taking over Airborne? I guess we'll see...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Back to the drawing board

Johnson gives Broadway the Heisman. Hey Broadway, I'm available, interview me!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Broadway Fires up the Charter to Meet Johnson

These are strange times at Wallace Wade -- not only is Duke apparently willing to offer Johnson $2 million a year (which far exceeds what they're paying K), but thanks to Chronicle crack reporting, they also are blowing 25K a pop to charter private jets.

Broadway meets Broadway

I think I still favor hiring Johnson, but you have to be intrigued by Broadway.

The Return of Rambo???



Oh how the Mighty have fallen!! Just a few months ago, Head Dude was mocking the Astros for relying on Mike "Lambo" Lamb for production in the line-up. But what is that I read today when I logged on to trusty mlbtraderumors.com?? The Rangers are going to offer Lambo their starting 1B job!! - that is, if the Red Sox don't get him first!!!

Of course, Lamb isn't a bad offensive option - he had a park adjusted OPS of +.112 last season (OPS was .112 higher than the league average adjusted for Lamb's home park - excluding pitchers). That number is lower than Mark Texeira's +.150, but comparably better than, say, Brad Wilkerson's +.104. So Head Dude, will you be a Lambo fan again?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dude News and Notes From Today

1) Alleva's search for a new coach has finally led him to contact Paul Johnson, and others appear to be in the works.

2) They've been ignored on this site so far this season (perhaps because the Dude never seems to post anymore), but it's of note that TAFKAJ (The Artist Formerly Known as Journey) has lost three straight.

3) And finally, it may be early, but it says here that a certain of NHL teams are atop the NHL. Will it last?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dude NBA Info Worth Mentioning

Far be it from me to suggest that there are other teams in the NBA besides the Mavs and Rockets, but...

Denver's win last night brings the Nuggets to 11-7, just half a game behind Dallas. And unless I'm mistaken, they are two games ahead of the 9-9 Rockets.

Then there is Undude's team - if indeed the Celtics' hot start has convinced him to get behind them again. Surely I don't need to mention that the C's are 14-2, and owner of the best record in the NBA...

Yes, there is a ton of basketball yet to be played. I don't have League Pass like The Dude, so I have no way of knowing what, if anything, this all means. Just thought it was interesting to take note of how it stands as of Dec. 3.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Obamentum!!

The Des Moines Register's latest poll confirms what ABC News polls showed last week: Barack Obama has pulled ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely caucus voters. The shift repeats what has been a familiar trend in Obama elections since his loss to Bobby Rush in 2000 - as the calendar flips forward toward election day, Obamentum picks up!! Significantly, in the latest DMR poll, Obama has surged ahead of Clinton among female voters.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Duke Hiring Updates

WRAL, which brags about its accuracy in nailing UNC and N.C. State's choices the last few years, says Duke's highest target is Paul Johnson.

The little Chronicle does some solid reporting and throws out a number of possibilities, which once you move beyond Mike Shula and Cowher, looks to be a reasonable list.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bryant Gumbel + NFL Network = High School Football Quality Coverage

I assume not everyone saw the NFL Network spectacular last night, but if you did, I think it can best be summed up by a co-worker who said on the elevator this morning -- "I really missed the national network -- the local station doing the game was pretty bad." Which was an insult to the local station. Among the highlights:

1) Bryant Gumbel pretending this was the PGA's Phoenix Open, and calling the game with similar excitement. I didn't think Anthony Fasano had caught the first touchdown because Gumbel announced it like a PBS Nova special. And perhaps it was made worse by the fact the broadcast chose to entirely block out what was described as the loudest crowd noise in Texas Stadium in 12 years. I don't say this as a homer, I say it as someone who enjoys hearing the crowd because it adds excitement.

2) Gumbel's referring to Romo as "Rick Romo".

3) NFL Network advertising several times for the Indianapolis/Atlanta game ... which was played a week ago.

4) The camera shaking like a Woody Allen movie during sideline takes with Deion Sanders.

5) Deion not having his mic on the first time, and then the vision of his production woman running around trying to hide behind him the second time.

If you saw it, you know there are plenty more examples. Let's just say it wasn't the best enticement for TimeWarner and Comcast to pay for TV rights -- midway thru the second quarter, I switched over to the local radio broadcast, and even though it was 2 seconds behind, was much more satisfied.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fred Weighs In...

No offense to DudeSpin bloggers and their analysis of the Duke football coaching vacancy, but we need to hear from someone who has been in the trenches. Hell, this man practically invented the trenches. Fred Goldsmith shared his thoughts on Duke's woes with the News and Observer.

But he's not the only former coach making headlines. Steve Spurrier was seen on campus today shaking hands with Broadway Joe.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Who's Got Next?

As we mourn the end of the Roof era, we must bravely look ahead. Here are some early lists of potential replacements, with a few names that seem a little out there.

News & Observer

WRAL

Thoughts?

The Day You Knew Was Coming...

Even though some of us were hoping it wouldn't.

ESPN and the AP are reporting that as of 2 pm, Ted Roof will no longer be coaching Duke football. It's pretty amazing when you read the stats even though we all know them: three consecutive winless ACC seasons, a 22-game losing streak followed by a nine-game skid after the win at Northwestern.

Hopefully Roof will get another chance to coach somewhere, but let's face it: it's going to take a long time to even get his career coaching record back to .500 after going 6-45 with the Blue Devils.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Guess We Now Know

Three missed field goals can overcome an advantage of: outgaining the opponent in total yards by a third, outpassing them 3-to-1, winning the turnover battle 2-0, and winning the possession battle by close to 13 minutes.

I thought the biggest failure was getting the ball at UNC's 35 up 14-7, going three and out, and then giving UNC the ball back at its 28 with plenty of time left in the fourth quarter. We had all the momentum in the world, and I liked the first deep ball attempt to Riley, but that could've finished off the game.

In the end, not being able to recruit someone who can kick a 40 yard field goal at least one out of three times is perhaps another reason why the Roof era is likely over.

Where have you gone Sims?

Another heartbreaking loss; Another loss that could have been prevented by decent FG kicking. 3 missed FGs, including a potential 41-yd game winner at the end of regulation

As one Duke coach leaves, can Roof be next?

Yesterday the Duke sports community bid a fond farewell to John Rennie, who ended his long soccer coaching career with a 1-0 playoff loss. And while the Dudes are unlikely to shed many tears over that one, rumors are swirling around the future of Ted Roof.

WRAL reports that Duke is going to launch a massive change to "everything" associated with how they do football (including admissions), and that means saying goodbye to Roof, and presumably his rough riders.
http://www.wral.com/sports/blogpost/2078902/

Of course, as the news and observer notes, Duke tried a similar "relaunch of everything" back in 2003, and well, that hasn't quite worked out.

Personally, this dude would like to see Roof get 2008, but I don't anticipate a massive turnaround. But we all know what happened when they fired Goldsmith one year too early.

Perhaps a Victory Bell can change his destiny...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ring Around the Yao

Yao may be tall, but a Great Wall he is not. Devin Harris' driving layup around Yao, and foul shot, with 34 seconds left gave the Mavericks their first lead of the second half, and had them on their way to handing Houston a pair of 5s -- 5 straight losses on the season and 5 straight losses to the Mavs. We'll see what Round 3 brings next month!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Dynamo Dynasty!

It may not have been on everyone's radar, but congratulations to the Houston Dynamo for taking down the Revolution of New England and showing that Boston better think twice about adding any more titles alongside the Red Sox crown. Houston, we have a championship!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In South Bend!!

A live post at 6 00 in the morning from a darkened hotel room in Gary, IN. We're about 7.5 hours from kick off but we couldn't be more excited. We're desperately hoping someone will Tivo it and burn it on a DVD since a Duke appearance on National TV is about as rare as a Franchise appearance at a DudeMania!

Further updates as the day progresses.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What the Heck is That, Dude?


If the Notre Dame fight song is getting you pumped up, then clearly someone has BACKED OFF at just the wrong time. All I need to do is look at this helmet, and it gives me all the motivation I need.

Get Pumped Up!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Duke Super Bowl




A very dude website offers up coverage of the showdown.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Congratulations Undude!

2006-07 DudeSpin Hightlight of the Year!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Borat on the Democratic Primary

“I cannot believe that it possible a woman can become Premier of US and A - in Kazakhstan, we say that to give a woman power, is like to give a monkey a gun - very dangerous. We do not give monkeys guns any more in Kazakhstan ever since the Astana Zoo massacre of 2003 when Torkin the orang-utan shoot 17 schoolchildrens. I personal would like the basketball player, Barak Obamas to be Premier.”

America's Greatest!

Now America's all-time leading scorer, captain of Team USA, and sure to be a first-ballot Dude Committee Hall of Famer.
All together now...

Modanoooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

We Have Liftoff!

Nice to have a good early-season game to get the NBA season off and running. When you're missing your starting point guard, you never expect to put up 107 points against a Jeff Van Gundy defense. But against Rick Adelman? No surprise there. I saw an interesting statistic in the Dallas paper yesterday that the Mavs are much better when McGrady is Houston's leading scorer than when Yao is, and I guess that logic was carried out again. Round 1 goes to Dallas!

Monday, November 05, 2007

What You Won't See When Duke Takes on Notre Dame...

... is many people running the ball for big gains, apparently. Even after racking up 200-plus yards on the ground in the triple-OT loss to Navy, Notre Dame just barely moved out of last place in the nation in rushing, still averaging less than 60 yards per game.

The new last-place team? Why, our very own Blue Devils, of course!

Paging Adrian Peterson...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Wade Report

At the one year anniversary of DudeSpin, the site has hit a low point. Last week the World Series divided the dudes, created bitterness and hostility, and what's worse, the website made absolutely no mention of Airborne's trip to Florida State. Desperate for a rallying point, all dude eyes turned to Wallace Wade Stadium, desperately needing some magic. It didn't happen.

Time Warner Cable (from whom I legally receive cable) was a special sponsor of the game, and as we walked in, Big Daddy and I saw a costumed Fred Flintstone walking around. I took it as a good omen that we would knock Clemson back into the stone ages. Instead, it just meant we would be rocked. (Rimshot). Anyway, Scooby Doo was also there, but we never saw him. Scooby, Dooby Doo, where are you? Apparently hiding where Duke's offense went. Right off the bat, Thad had his patented first-drive deep strike to Riley. He made a spectacular one-handed grab down the left sideline, setting up an easy touchdown and 7-0 lead. **At this point I might as well mention that today I openly wondered if Thad is as Rad as advertised, or is it more Eron Riley is a true stud.**

Things were stable for awhile, and with about three minutes to go, we were down 10-7 with the ball. Unfortunately we had a 3-and-out and ate up no clock, giving Clemson a chance to extend its halftime lead. A deep strike set up a touchdown, and we're down 17-7 with a minute left. Two lame runs, and two Clemson timeouts later, we're third and 10. Thad gets sacked for a safety and it's 19-7. I tell Big Daddy, "Well, at least it's a lot tougher for them to score the quick touchdown." Oops. They return the kickoff to cap a 39 second stretch in which they score 16 points. Amazing.

Things pretty much progressed that way after the half, and when all was said and done, Duke lost 47-10. No phase of the game went well for Duke, but special teams stood out as especially horrid (though we managed to kick a field goal!) Were the Devils looking ahead to South Bend? Almost certainly. On a side note, there was an army of Tiger chlldren sitting behind us, and they began playing "Would you rather?" You know the game, where you ask things like, "Would you rather have an unwashed Bea Arthur lick honey off your chest or drink Weitao's urine?" But these kids played the game to insult Duke. The two best ones were, "Would you rather be a Duke fan or play golf?" and then "Would you rather go to GoDuke.com or ?"

Oh, and if you needed more reason to hate the Bowden family, here's what Tommy said about our beloved Wallace Wade Stadium after the game... "This place will lull you to sleep a little bit, and history indicates that. We made them real aware of the history up here, and how tough it is to play."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Duke's biggest recruit in a few years?

Having lost out on Greg Monroe, the importance of getting Eliot Williams grew, as otherwise Duke was left with unheralded Olek Czyz to comprise its class of 2012...and absent a McDonald's All-American for the first time since the Dude was still shopping for a sturdy boat to cross the Pacific. Fortunately, Williams committed to Duke yesterday, and as Big Daddy reminded, he's a throwback to Ricky Price. Without Monroe, and only Zoubek in the middle, further comparisons to 1997 abound! But at least with Williams, the program doesn't appear headed to '96 depths.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Birthday DudeSpin!!

One year ago today, the Dudes embarked on a new journey of an entirely different sort - the terrifying world of blogging. Several LiveBlogs, 463 posts, and eight Hall of Fame inductions later, DudeSpin has announced its presence into all corners of the globe - from Asia to Pennsylvania, from Israel to Durham.

Of course, DudeSpin would like to thank its contributors - the Dude, Head Dude, the Undude, the Franchise, the Cooler Sportsgal, and its more infrequent commenters. All of you have made DudeSpin quite a joyful experience for the past year.

Just a partial listing of highlights of DudeSpin from the past year include:
- Pictures of the little Franchisette;
- Announcement of the next Head Dude;
- High stakes wagering on Rockets - Mavericks;
- Internal dissention over who gets the DudeSpin endorsement for President;
- Polls!
- Unsuccessful attempts to dissaude Coach G from joining the Evil Empire.

It goes without saying, but let's hope that next year brings more of the same.

Mazel Tov, DudeSpin!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who's Your Daddy?!?!


After a furious Lakers' rally from 12 down with less than 2 minutes to go to tie the game; the always-clutch Shane Battier drilled a long triple with 2.5 seconds left from Phil Jackson's lap to nail down a season opening 95-92 win for the Houston Rockets. The three, coming on the heels of chasing Kobe around for 40 minutes, was the 1st game winning shot of Shane's career since his first season in Memphis.
Your move Mavericks!

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Time to Show Some Class, Dude

Maybe it's because the only other team to win last night was the Rangers, when A-Rod decided to opt out, or maybe it's because for one game I enjoyed watching the Patriots beat the crap out of the Redskins, or maybe it's just the recognition that the Red Sox proved themselves the best team, but in the end, Boston winning again didn't bother me as much as I thought -- they're really sticking it to the Yankees, which I don't mind, and at least Curt Limbaugh Schilling didn't play as big a role as '04. So Congratulations, Undude. With Indy coming up next week, these are heady times in Massachusetts.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Evil Empire Steals Title From Colorado


Better Than the Famous Cal-Stanford Play?

You be the judge! I'd say it's the single most amazing play I've ever seen on a football field...


Monday, October 22, 2007

A Very Dude Blog Indeed!

This is an army we all stand together on!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm guessing Duke Doesn't Use Savings Accounts

Apparently our alma mater is pretty good at investing its money, to the tune of a $6 billion endowment.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interesting Jason Whitlock column

Not sure whether I agree with his prediction, but his opinions are thought-provoking.

Booooooooooooooo Obama!

A string of emails I've received in the last two days have convinced me to unsubscribe from the Obama email list serve. I had already shifted fairly comfortably to the Hillary camp a month or so ago, but now that he's decided to attack Hillary head on, it's coming up short. Email 1 is lame because the numbers show Hillary actually has gotten contributions from as many individuals, and Email 2 is lame because Hillary hasn't even hinted at being the presumptive nominee, but Obama's trying to put those words in her mouth. Booooooooo.

Email 1:
Hi,
They asked me to send this note to you because I just made my first donation to the Obama campaign.
I read Barack's message about closing the gap and made up my mind to give because I believe we have to participate in the political process again. That's what this campaign is about -- regular people getting involved.
I want to see a change in politics. Barack's refusal to accept money from Washington lobbyist bigwigs appeals to me. It shows that he wants to make decisions with ordinary people in mind.
But it also means he is relying on people like us to close the gap with Hillary Clinton.
Please make a $25 donation now:
https://donate.barackobama.com/closethegap
Thank you,
Kristina WhitakerLeawood, Kansas

Email 2:
Joel,
I'm leaving the Tonight Show studio and I wanted to share something.
Jay Leno just asked if it bothers me that some of the Washington pundits are declaring Hillary Clinton the winner of this election before a single vote has been cast.
I'll tell you what I told him: Hillary is not the first politician in Washington to declare "Mission Accomplished" a little too soon.
We started this week $2.1 million behind the Clinton campaign -- a lead they built in large part with contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs.
We don't accept money from federal lobbyists or PACs. But we've already cut that advantage in half with small donations from people like you.
Let's close the rest of that gap now. Please make a donation of $25:
https://donate.barackobama.com/closethegap
Thank you,
Barack

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

America's Team returns?

At least in the ratings game...

Sunday's Dallas Cowboys-New England Patriots game was the highest-rated regular-season game on CBS since the network reacquired NFL rights in 1998, according to preliminary ratings released Monday.
The game scored an 18.5 rating in the 56 largest TV markets across the country. Final national ratings will be available Tuesday.
The previous record for a CBS game was a 16.9 on Dec. 6, 1998, when the Denver Broncos extended their unbeaten record to 13-0 by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-31.
Thus far this season, the Cowboys have played in the highest-rated game on CBS, NBC and ESPN. Their victory over the Bills on ESPN last Monday night was the highest-rated program on cable all season.
Dallas-Fort Worth produced the highest ratings for the Cowboys-Patriots, narrowly topping the Boston market, 37.0 to 36.5.
In Houston, the Cowboys-Patriots pulled a 17.5 rating in the second game of a doubleheader, topping the hometown Texans-Jacksonville Jaguars noon game, which earned a 16.7.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Lane Report


This week's Wade Report is renamed after Virginia Tech's stadium, as the Hokies essentially played a home game in Durham. The crowd was orange and purple from the start, and as Duke fans soon fled for the exits, things only got worse.

This is a game where there were no positives. After scoring to cut the lead to 13-7, Duke fell apart, simply outmatched by a much better football team. They got a pick off of the 3rd string QB, but that's the only positive over a two hour stretch in the middle of the game. It was homecoming weekend, alums were outnumbered and disappointed, and it was the type of game where it took a lot of will power to not leave early.

This is not me backing off. This is just a report of the game. I'll be back Nov. 3 when we beat Clemson.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

LiveBlog 8: Romo v. Evil




Enough Chit-Chat. Let's get it on!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Duel in Dallas -- Overhyped?

Though we all have rooting interests in this one, can we all agree that something about the media coverage for Sunday's game feels a tad bit over the top? The whole "Duel in Dallas" moniker seems to be universally in place, whereas if any of a number of plays had gone wrong in the last two minutes this past Monday, all of this would have been for naught. I recognize that this is only the fifth time 5-0 teams have ever met, and I recognize that the game pits the best team of this decade against what many consider the most glamorous NFL franchise, but maybe it's the part of me still not entirely sold on how good the Cowboys are and the acknowledgment that this is a nice game for the Patriots, but they'll probably look to the game against the Colts in a few weeks with more anticipation, when both may still be undefeated. As Troy Aikman said on his radio show this morning, interconference regular season games usually aren't as big of a deal to the players. That's not to say I'm not excited about the game, because let's face it, the Cowboys haven't had this big of a game in years, but I guess I look at it, and realize that a loss to a nonconference opponent means very little, especially in the NFC, and just figure they can lose this one, beat the Vikings next week, and head into a bye week sitting pretty at 6-1.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dude Committee Hall of Fame Inductee: A.J. Carr

Amid the bluster of AP's David Droschak, the outsized presence of Al Featherston, and the general buffonery of Chronicle writers, there was one quiet presence that demanded everyone's respect during our time - the wise News and Observer's former Duke beatwriter A.J. Carr.

When the dudes needed a wise reporter to chat with about a particular topic, or just someone to share in the amusement of a certain situation, A.J. was always there, providing the comradery, advice, and laughter that you'd expect from the irreplaceable A.J. Carr.

Although A.J. has sinced moved on to the NC State and the Durham Bulls beat, the Dudes will always remember A.J.'s calming presence in the Wally Wade and Cameron press areas. A.J., we know you're busy tracking down the evils of flaxseed oil these days, but we wanted to take at least a moment to honor you as an inaugural inductee into the Dude Committee Hall of Fame.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Folk Legend!

Next week's mega-matchup is miraculously, improbably, unmistakably intact!

Better Know a Movie: the Staircase



Sundance awards aside, this film brings added significance to the Dude Committee as it's probably the only documentary that covers the murder trial of a former Duke Chronicle editor. Suffice it to say, I do not anticipate that Kate Stroup will be showing up on Court TV anytime soon.

In any case, "covering" is the approprone term here, as this 8 episode (6 hours, as each episode covers about 45 minutes - equal to an hour minus commercials) exhaustively blankets Michael Peterson's life following the discovery of his dead wife Kathleen. The filmmaker is granted extraordinary access to preparations of the defense team, led by a charismatic David Rudolf, and the result is a stunning behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for a murder trial where no expense is spared. In the end, the viewer is left with many questions, and not the least of which is the amount of uncertainty in the meting of justice.

The initial episode and a half is somewhat slow to develop - but once the trial preparation starts, I was at the edge of my couch for the remainder of the film. With the caveat that selling folks on watching a 6 hour documentary is the tallest of tall tasks, I do highly recommend the Staircase if you're interested in any of the following: criminal intrigue, law, Durham, or an intense movie.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Wade Report

I have been a Duke football fans for 12 seasons now, and Saturday’s fourth quarter featured one of the most classic “That’s Duke football” moments of my career. After a furious rally, the Blue Devils were down a score with all the momentum in the world behind them. Their offensive drive stalled largely due to four bad Thad passes, and it was up to the defense to make a stop.

The same D that had completely stifled Wake over the last several drives needed one more three-and-out. On the first play, with 2:24 left, the Deacs run right, a Duke safety doesn’t shift in time, and Wake scores on a 53–yard TD run. A guy sitting in my section says, “That’s what they call a stadium clearer” as throngs of fans hit the exits. It was so typical of Duke Football. So close, yet so far.

“They made one more play than we did, and I’m tired of saying that,” Ted Roof said later.
I’m tired of hearing it, coach.

Of course, those fans that left early missed one last charge and touchdown, but the Devils’ could not recover an onside kick, and Wake was able to run out the clock. We had burned two timeouts on an earlier drive when Thad took a pair of sacks when he needed to get rid of the ball.

My game report features no video this week. My seats are technically for behind the end zone, but because Wally Wade usually has a few empty seats available, I always just walk into the more expensive sideline seats. No one has ever said anything in these last five years, but as I made my way down to my regular section, my brother, decked out in gold and black was stopped, forced to show his ticket, and we were booted too far for good video.

After the 9-0 start (a safety and another deep strike to Riley), the first 2 ½ quarters are a blur of unpleasantness. Thad threw two interceptions (one not his fault) within our own 20, one returned for a TD. Bad defense, bad passes, no running game. They converted on every 3rd down; we converted on none (note: that is not an official stat, just an impression). The low point came in the third when down 34-9 the large Wake section began chanting, “Waaaaaake! Foressssssst!” and the Duke faithful were too beaten to try to drown them out. Luckily, Thad’s arm was the silencer.

After another Riley TD cut the lead to 34-15, I told my brother, “All we need is 8-8-3.” The cocky bastard thought I was joking. Meanwhile, Duke finally said, “Screw it, let’s just keep chucking it around.” It worked. Riley’s stats (143 yards and 2 TDs) don’t even cover the numerous pass interference calls he drew as the DBs decided to just start hitting him for the 15 yard penalty than actually cover him. Next thing you know, I’m chanting “8-3.”

The fans are getting into it and we scored again when Wright made a sweet move on a wide receiver screen; alas, we failed on the conversion. (This is just as well… do we really want to be in the situation where we need a field goal to send the game to OT? No, I’d rather just keep chucking it into the end zone than see Joe Surgan’s ugly foot again.) Alas, we never covered that last score, and I was left broken-hearted yet again.

A lot of what-ifs… Thad missed a lot of open guys, and we had a drop in the end zone and a drop inside the five (in fairness, both were tough catches). Down five with 6 minutes left we punted on 4th and 1. We did get the ball right back, but I still don’t agree with the call. Another coaching issue… on an earlier 4th and 1 we line up to go for it, do a funky shift and the refs blow the whistle. They discuss and realize it was not an illegal shift, but the refs did halt our attempt to take Wake off guard. But then we send our punting unit and try a fake. C’mon! You just showed you wanted to go for it… Line up man-to-man and take the yard.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Flight Plan: Lewis Nears Legend


Prior to last season's game against Wake Forest, Thad Lewis's stomach was a verifiable butterfly colony as the freshman awaited his first career start as Airborne's QB (mind you, Lewis would throw for over 300 yards in that start).


Just one year later, Lewis is fluttering toward history.


With only 212 yards through the air in tomorrow's noon kickoff against the Demon Deacons, Lewis will surpass Airborne legend Spencer Romine in career passing yardage. Suffice it to say, such an honor would leave anyone awed.


"I grew up with a poster of Spencer Romine on my bedroom door," Lewis would probably say if DudeSpin interviewed him. "As a kid growing up in Miami, my friends in the neighborhood all had Dan Marino or Jay Fiedler posters - not me, Duke's No. 14 was on my door, poised to fire a rocket into the arms of Richmond Flowers, thank you Jesus."


And probably sometime during the second half Saturday afternoon, Lewis will surpass his childhood hero with a flick of the wrist that's becoming familiar to Airborne fans everywhere. A flick of the wrist that will surely adorn the walls of the next generation of Airborne signal callers.

This Week's Sign of Hockey's Demise

I always thought Hockeytown was merely a self-proclamation worth little merit, but taking it at face value, it's worth pointing out that the Red Wings opened the NHL season Wednesday. So you would assume they played to a sellout crowd loaded with octopus and good cheer, right? Not quite. There were more than 2,500 empty seats. Similarly, Colorado didn't sell out in its opener against the Stars, and Dallas likewise is expected to have empty seats in its home opener against the Bruins tonight. The former trifecta that dominated the Western Conference, and in part the NHL, in the late '90s, can't seem to attract 18,000 fans at the start of the season.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dude Committee Hall of Fame Inductee: Fred Goldsmith



Others may disparage Fred Goldsmith's play-calling; certain DudeSpin Hall of Shame Soon-to-be Inductees may terminate his contract way too prematurely, but DudeSpin would be proud to sprint onto the field at Wally Wade under the guidance of this former Airborne coach and icon.

Indeed, no one more personified Airborne's grit and pluck (a necessity when competing with lesser talent) than the methodical teacher and a builder of defenses and programs. Goldsmith twice won national coach of the year honors at schools that are more associated with Mr. Rhodes than Mr. Heisman.

Indeed, perhaps the best gift ever exchanged between Dude Committee members was the miniature Duke football helmet signed with love by Coach Goldsmith.

Coach, that evil Mr. Alleva may not have allowed you to coach the most talented group of players you've ever had in their senior season - but DudeSpin will. You finished the 2000 season 7-4, and played in the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu.

Congratulations Coach Goldsmith, DudeSpin will create Wikipedia entries for you, and we will honor you as a member of the initial class inducted into the Dude Committee Hall of Fame.

Journey on Airborne!

Congratulations to Airborne and the Journey for scoring high marks in the newly-released NCAA graduation numbers. Airborne graduated 93% of its players over the study period and was one of only 20 NCAA programs (I could not figure out how many of those programs were BCS Conference, or even Division IA programs) to score higher than 90%. The Journey recorded similar high marks with a 90% graduation rate.

At the other end of the spectrum: Maryland men's basketball was the only NCAA school to achieve a perfect score in that sport - graduating 0% of its players. Congratulations Gary Williams - you're the new Bob Huggins.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Duke Cheating News

Unfortunately it seems as if Ted Roof resembles the hooded sweatshirt in the one way we don't want him to. That's right, Duke now finds itself in a little video tape controversey of its own. Of course, this would never be news if a) the Terps weren't a bunch of cry-babies and b) the Pats hadn't made video cheating so trendy for the liberal media.

Dukie Named in Steroid Probe

I guess it was bound to happen at some point given the scope of the current steroid investigation, but I was still a little surprised to see ESPN reporting that Scott Schoeneweis received six steroid shipments while he was a member of the White Sox in 2003 and 2004.

Or maybe it's not THAT surprising. Even though Schoeneweis is generously listed at 6-feet, 190 pounds in his official MLB profile, I'd say that having seen him up close back in the day, he's actually smaller than all of the Committee members except for The Dude.

The sad thing is that as a survivor of testicular cancer, Schoeneweis would make for a sympathetic figure if he 'fessed up. Since he's taking the opposite approach, let's hope he's innocent as he claims.

Oh, and if he is taking performance-enhancing drugs of any type, they sure didn't help him during the stretch run of the Mets season...

Flight Log: No Finishing Kick

Unfortunately, no DudeSpin staff were able to make Airborne's matchup against Miami this week as: (1) it wasn't in Durham; (2) it wasn't on TV; and (3) Mike Cragg has not set us up with season press passes as of yet.

Such that being the case, we have little to add to the boxscore. Airborne was down by 3 with 3 minutes to go, but surrendered a late touchdown. Such are the Growing Pains of a young squad trying to get to the Head of the Class I suppose.

Life goes on.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thanks for the memories No. 7!


Your last AB said everything anyone ever needed to know about your career - one hopper to third, you hustled all the way down the line and was beaten by a step... Houston will never see anyone else like you; but fortunately, Cooperstown will.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I guess the days of throwback jerseys are gone...


Better Know a Sport: Baseball



While this blog has not mentioned the sport of baseball in many moons, I thought it would be an appropriate time to mention that next week the MLB playoffs begin. On a related note, DudeSpin (well, 1/4 of the editorial board) sends its heartiest congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for winning the AL East for the first time since 1995. Back then I spent every day going to a high school cheering for Tim Wakefield. Oh how things have changed! Other great names from that '95 team? Mo Vaughn, Aaron Sele, Mike Greenwell, Jose Canseco, and Roger Clemens!

Today is Airborne's day, so the next several posts will be about a shocking upset in Florida (Duke's first of the year--it's last will be in Jacksonville), but I thought it important to remind our readers that other sports do indeed exist.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Flight Plan: Airborne Lands at the OB

Lamar Thomas might not think Airborne belongs in the OB this weekend; but nevertheless, that's exactly where Heisman candidate Thad Lewis will lead his mates this weekend. Brought in a few years ago to beef up the ACC's football bona fides, Miami has been barely adequate on the field, and an utter embarassment to the conference off (and on it).

First year coach Randy Shannon, the subject of a profound piece in Sports Illustrated, was introduced to this season with an epic butt-whooping at the hands of Big 12 stalwart Oklahoma. Since that debacle, Shannon has turned the season in the right direction with a convincing home victory over then-ranked, but nevertheless overrated, Texas A&M.

In previous years, this would have been a non-conference mismatch where Duke would go into the game knowing it would get two things: a royal spanking; and a royal check. This year, Airborne won't get a check, but they will shock the OB, and Lamar Thomas: Airborne 35, Miami 31 (Multiples of 7 again, as Airborne relieved Joe Surgan of his kicking duties last week).

Ask the Franchise: Dude's Fantasy Journey - Week 4

As I said in an email last Sunday, I needed T.O. to have a better fantasy game than LenDale White to continue my undefeated season in the Duke league (he didn't); and Drews Brees to outpoint Jason Witten and Cedric Benson in in the AK league(Brees didn't outpoint me). So after three weeks, my record stands at 2-1 in the Duke league; 0-3 in the AK league. Of course, the real lesson last week was that I should have listened to the Franchise and started Romo instead of Roethlisberger - had I done that, I would have won. In any case, as is plainly obvious, I need to start turning things around in the AK league.

And for this week's roster decisions:
Duke League: No difficult decisions this week.
AK League: Dwayne Bowe at SD, or Lee Evans v. NYJ. (Of course, Mr. Evans' weekly 1 point performances is a big reason why I'm at 0-3 in this league; as well as Drew Brees' now weekly meltdowns behind center)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Flight Log: Agony in Anapolis

As DudeSpin predicted last week, a missed PAT would cost Airborne dearly in this contest. As Eron Riley waltzed into the end zone after coming in from out of bounds - ala Don Beebe in the Bills' comeback from 35-3 in the playoffs against the Oilers (I'm not bitter) - for the 1st of his four touchdowns on the afternoon, Airborne spirits were high. But alas, a missed PAT signalled what was to come for the rest of the day - an inability to finish.

Thanks to my paid-for cable (including DVR), I was able to watch all four quarters of Airborne's epic clash against Navy. Thad Lewis looked sensational at times, but Airborne kept shooting itself in the foot. Whether it was an ill-advised penalty here, or a missed FG there, or letting a backup QB run wild against you, Airborne could never put the game out of reach. Despite being down 11 points midway through the 4th quarter, and running a wishbone offense, the Midshipmen never gave up and eventually drove down the field to set up for the game winning 40+ yard FG boot. As a sidenote, Airborne fans must weep at the news that other teams had FG kickers who could make FGs longer than 30 yards.

Nevertheless, the game showed that Airborne has heart; Airborne has talent; but Airborne has to put it all together. As one of my favorite coaches (Dick Vermeil) is apt to say: focus and finish gentlemen. Focus and finish.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ah-ma-din-e-jad!

This is outside the world of sports, but here's my favorite response from Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad at a Q&A session today at Columbia:

Asked about widely documented government abuse of women and homosexuals in his country, Ahmadinejad said, "We don't have homosexuals" in Iran. "I don't know who told you we had it," he said.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Don't Look Now...





I hate to put the cart before the proverbial horse, but there's a pretty good chance that Week 6 in the NFL is going to feature a pair of 5-0 teams battling it out at Texas Stadium.

If You Would Have Told Me Before the Navy Game...

...that Eron Riley would have six catches for 235 yards and four touchdowns, and that Thad would throw for over 400 yards and account for five touchdowns, I would have assumed we won.

Um, but obviously we didn't. Did anyone from DudeSpin see or hear the game?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Flight Plan: the Attack of Seaman!

If Airborne's win against Northwestern got DudeSpin and Duke students excited, it didn't have the same effect on Las Vegas. The lines this week opened with Navy favored by 10 points and climbed higher and higher as the week went along. As of midnight CDT Thursday evening, the line stood at Navy by 2 touchdowns.

Perhaps those 400+ yards of rushing Navy hung on Airborne at Wally Wade last year had something to do with the movement; or perhaps it's because Navy's quarterback is named Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. If that's not a Heisman trophy worthy name, I just don't know what is.

Obviously, Airborne has got its worked cut out for them a week after its season-defining victory. But alas, the ascent upward must continue. As one wise man once said: keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars. This is Casey Kasem.

DudeSpin's Prediction: Airborne 36, Navy 35. (36? a weird number you say! My new policy is that until Joe Surgan proves otherwise, I will assume that Airborne will miss every PAT and every FG attempt - lost in the euphoria of the win against NW was another missed PAT).

Ask the Franchise: the Dude's Fantasy Journey

Now that the Franchise has returned to the blog, I thought I'd try to keep this going for one more week.

I slipped to 0-2 in the AK league after another whipping; but won for the second straight week in the Duke league behind another Romo to TO connection.

This week's Roster Decisions (Leanings in Bold)

Duke League:
QB: Romo @ CHI; Roethlisberger v. SF
WR: Evans @ NE; S. Moss v. NYG

Franchise Plays His Way to Vegas - Rd. 2, Day 2

A little step backwards today, and that's going to happen from time to time. Played some more 1-2 limit hold 'em and could not get anything going. A wise man - ah yes, it was Howard Lederer - once said that you should walk away from a limit cash game after losing 30 big bets, so that was that.

I switched over to playing Sit-N-Go's, and though I played way too loose at first while I was getting used to playing them again, I managed to turn a tiny profit from that part of my morning. The bonus started kicking in too, so that gives me a few extra bucks every so often.

Daily loss: - $38.50
Weekly profit: $18.20

Overall profit: $186.05

Back to What's Important



"Thad is just the man. There’s nothing else to say about that. He works as hard, if not harder, as any guy on this team. He is just the man, is the only way to put it." -Cameron Goldberg

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Franchise Plays His Way to Vegas - The Return!

By popular demand (well, by demand of a couple of the Dudes anyway), my online poker chronicles have returned. The plan was to begin playing again right after Labor Day, but because I had taken my money out when it became apparent that I wouldn't have enough time to play regularly during the summer - what with the two jobs, the baby, the wife and all - it took me about two weeks to get some money back into my Full Tilt account. Thanks Congress!

Nevertheless, I finally got some money deposited, and armed with a $75 bonus for being away so long, I set back out on my quest to make poker pay for the December Vegas trip. I decided on a 1-2 limit cash game so as to not risk too much of my brand new deposit on one night, and also because cash games clear the bonus faster than tournaments.

I felt rusty but did alright, making $56.70 in less than five hours. No really interesting hands to report, just picked my spots well and was lucky to pick up some strong hands early, which allowed me to play some lesser hands later on while still getting respect from most of the table. One thing I forgot about low stakes limit games is a bunch of people jumping in for $10 a pop, then just trying to get all-in with a good hand. Folks, if you want to do that, no limit is a lot easier!

Daily profit: $56.70
Weekly profit: $56.70

Overall profit: $224.55

Public to Decide Fate of Bonds' 756 ball

I thought this was great. I think I'd vote for the asterisk option, over blasting it into space.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Dallas Conboys are back!

Could Tank have found a better home?

(Also, no need to point out that as a Pats fan I am being a giant hypocrite right now. I'm aware of the situation.)

Happy Birthday Sportsgal!

DudeSpin would like to wish a special happy birthday on this day, September 18th, 2007, to its very own Sportsgal!
L'chaim!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

More Good Football News for the Dude Committee

It's been overlooked in favor of the Airborne triumph - and rightly so - but it occurred to me that the favorite NFL teams of the Dudes are a combined 6-0 after two weeks.

And we've got the whole gamut of fun. We've got one team everyone expected to be 2-0 (Pats) and one team we hoped would be but still weren't absolutely sure about (Cowboys). And the final team? Well, let's just say I don't think anyone except Matt Schaub, Mario Williams and The Dude himself thought the Texans would be 2-0.

So can the next poll be which Dude team will lose first?

Flight Log: Airborne!!!

After 22 disappointing weeks; 22 miserable post-game locker rooms; and 22 weeks of being the butt of college football jokes, Duke football stands on top of the world.

Well, at least on top of Notre Dame!

After week 3, Airborne has more wins than Notre Dame has:
(1) Wins
(2) Offensive Touchdowns
(3) RUSHING YARDS!!

Tis a bitter season in South Bend I know. But nevertheless - NBC, Airborne awaits your offer of a 10 year National Television Contract!!

Many thanks to Head Dude, Big Daddy and the Undude for covering the details of Airborne's triumph and subsequent mishap on the quad with a falling goalpost.

All together now: AIRBORNE!!

Better Know a Book: Heaven is a Playground



I chanced upon this book in my Amazon browsing a while ago and actually finished this book a few weeks ago. Telander, who is now a nationally-renowned author with the likes of Sports Illustrated et al., crafted this seminal work on New York playground hoops during the summer of 1974, a scant few months after he was cut from the Kansas City Chiefs out of college. Tracking a group of regulars (mostly folks in their teens and twenties), a future NBA player in Albert King, and one wunderkind agent/savant named Rodney Parker, Telander's superb prose lends insight into the dynamics of inner city playground hoops.

More than anything, the prose captures the rhythms of the game, the staccato verbal fracases, and the dissonance and disillution that serve as a constant companion of young blacks playing the game in the inner city. Although this book was written in 1974, it could have just as easily been written in 2007. The only difference, sadly, being that there would be more agents on the prowl for meat. In short, this book is to playground hoops, what Friday Night Lights is to Texas high school football - in that while on the surface, it's a book about sports, but in reality, it's a book about life - and the degree that sport acts to both calm, and inflame, the trappings of societal pressure in a place void of hope.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

THE THRILL OF VICTORY



"Today we made one more play than Northwestern did, and it felt better than making one less play." - Ted Roof

"It is an adrenaline rush. You come out here and you play hard, and your defense plays hard for four quarters, so to see the clock go to 0:00 and you are the winners is a great feeling.... I feel very good about this, and I’m going to enjoy the moment. I want there to be many more, so I’m going to get ready and get focused on Navy." - Thad Lewis

Saturday, September 15, 2007

WE DON'T BACK OFF

JUBILATION!!!

Duke wins, Duke wins!!!

At the end of the game, Northwestern was down 20-14 and drove the field, holding onto the ball for seven-and-a-half minutes, but Duke knocked away a pass in the endzone on a 4th and 9 with 2:30 to go. According to Bob Harris (who is a tad biased), there were two bad calls that hurt us during the drive and Roof was going crazy. (It should be noted that earlier in the game, Thad was given the first down on a 4th and 1, then was overturned in review. Harris was outraged by the reversal.)

Duke took over on downs, getting the ball back on its 11. Needing some first downs to seal the deal, Duke went three-and-out (though forced the Wildcats to spend their last two timeouts) and was forced to punt.

On the punt, Eron Riley "like a shot out of a cannon" "tatooed" the returner and 77 seconds separated the Devils from Destiny. (NOTE: All quotes courtesy of Bob Harris). Then an incomplete pass (according to Harris) was ruled a completion, again to Ted Roof's dismay. Roof made the challenge, and the call stood with 55 seconds left. On the next play, Vince Oghabasse charged through and Bacher was charged with intentional grounding. 2nd and 21, clock still moving. But the next play he scrambled down to the seven yard line, and we're in trouble. 1st and goal with 38 seconds.

1st down: pass into the endzone caught out of bounds.
2nd down (17 secs): Incomplete pass, Bacher was rushed hard. Fans want pass interference, Harris agrees with no call.
3rd down: Hit as he's thrown, Bacher throws it out of the endzone.
4th down: HERE IT IS KIDS... THE MOMENT WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR. I CAN BARELY BREATHE. HIT AS THROWN, INCOMPLETE!!!!!

DUKE WINS!!!!!!!

Breaking News

Earlier this week two DudeSpin regulars had the nerve to suggest that Duke dump Thad in favor of the Zack Attack. Well my friends, you have awakened the beast that is Thad Lewis.

1st Half Stats:
14-of-15 for 186 yards and 3TDs.

Duke is up 20-7. I just heard a series of police cars race past my house. I can only assume they're heading toward campus to protect the goal posts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Nice YouTube Video in Honor of Our NameSake Film

This tribute to the Big Lebowski is surely something refreshing to kick off your Friday

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ask the Franchise: Dude's Fantasy Journey Week 2

In week 1 in the Duke league, I led the league in points and beat the top-ranked defending champs (who also had Tomlinson on his team) thanks to huge games from both Tony Romo and Terrell Owens. No difficult rostering decisions on that team this week.

In week 1 in the AK league, I was dead last in the league in points and lost by the widest margin, courtesy of outstanding performances I received from Drew Brees, Lee Evans, etc. This week's Ask the Franchise question: Should I start:

Patrick Crayton @ MIA or Brandon Marshall v. Oak

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another Sign They're Not a Dynasty

Two days have gone by and three of us have been remiss to mention, what of the shenanigans of the New England Cheatriots?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kige Ramsey on the Golden Domers

No, I'm not gratuitously promoting my favorite sportscaster, but thought that I'd direct everyone's attention to the second part of the video where Kige spells my last name. The man's comedic genius is unparalleled, really.

Say What??

How can you throw Agent Zero out of your car? (Especially when it's not even your car!!)

Flight Log: Airborne Kicks Itself in the Tail

Where have you gone Sims Lenhardt?!?!

My era of Airborne fans are used to one standard bearer of excellence amid the gloom (of others) that typically surround Airborne football: the kicking game. From Sims Lenhardt to Boomer Morton, Airborne kickers/punters were always above average, and in Sims' case, stellar.

That my friends, is a bygone era. I can imagine that it must be deflating for an offense to drive deep into an opponent's territory and come away with no points because the FG kicker missed a chip-shot. On Saturday against UVa, that became a tired verse as Joe Surgan missed about 26 field goal attempts inside of 20 yards (Note, the numbers may not be entirely accurate). And the misses weren't even close.

It was a tale of woe all around, as the Cavs tried to give the game away (apparently, their long snapper thought Yao Ming was their punter) but Airborne failed to capitalize again and again.

Good high school kickers, please come to Duke. You'll get a phenomenal education for free, and you can hone your craft, just as you would at any other football program.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How embarassing to see this in my own backyard. I won't dare post pictures, but let's just say it's another reason I would rather Hicks sell the Rangers.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

No Joy in Hoo-ville

The next time I chant "Joe Must Go," I won't be talking about Alleva.

As I told Big Daddy last weekend, other than the shadow of Sims Lenhardt, why wouldn't the top high school kickers want to come to Duke for free? Why is this seemingly always an issue? Next year we have Zack Asack's little brother as a kicking recruit, so here's hoping...

A lot of missed opportunities for the Devils. Again.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Flight Plan: Road to an Undefeated ACC Season Begins in Charlottesville

Seasoned Airborne supporters don't let trivial things like 35 unanswered second half points from UConn demoralize them. No sirree! After seeing the drubbings that we've seen over the course of our fandom, 35 unanswered points is just another nice Saturday afternoon at Wally Wade. Besides, Airborne fans rejoice in 2 things after the UConn loss: (1) Airborne did not lose to a 1-AA team that actually has Lenoir-Rhyne on its schedule; and (2) we were only shooting for a perfect ACC season anyways.

So that search for perfection takes Airborne to Charlottesville this weekend, where our Blue Devils will hope to avenge the 37-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Cavs last season in Wally Wade. They will get some help from the return of Michael Tauiiliii (there might be a few too many "i"s, but who's counting anyway). Tauiliii, who hails from right down the street from me (Alief Taylor), should bolster a defensive corp searching for answers.

DudeSpin's Prediction: It took David Hasselhoff a few verses to find freedom, it will take Airborne all of one week to find its defense - Airborne 24, UVa 10.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pilot Notes: Former Airborne Coach in the Cross-Hairs

So what does a football coach at Lenoir-Rhyne have to do get in the New York Times? I would have thought that would require the coach to have OJ'd two people, but apparently, all that person - former Airborne coach Fred Goldsmith - needs to do is to play giant-slayers Appalachian State the week after the Mountaineers took down Michigan!! Yep. Fred Goldsmith made an unexpected appearance on the NY Times website today. Among the more controversial statements? Goldsmith is confident that App. State would beat Airborne. Fred - those are fighting words!!

On the actual Airborne front: the arrestee Michael Tauiliili will return to his starting spot at linebacker this week; no word on whether the Cheater will start at QB over Thad Lewis; and the Chronicle continues a familiar refrain - calling for the firing of Coach Ted Roof. Join us Friday for a preview of Airborne next's mission in Charlottesville!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Flight Log: Duke-UConn Game Report

It was with great optimism that I began the first ever DudeSpin Video Journal Saturday morning. And it was with a heavy heart that I completed it Sunday. But as we walked out of Wally Wade feeling bitter and dejected, we glanced up and noticed a new Duke Athletics sign that lifted the spirits.

"We Believe in Loyalty."

And that is why I'll be back next month when the defending ACC Champs roll into town.

One Year Ago: Andre's Last Stand

DudeSpin would like to take some time to remember what happened one year ago yesterday - Andre Agassi's final competitive tennis match against Benjamin Becker in the US Open. His brief speech at the end ranks as one of the greatest sports speeches of all time in my book. We miss you Andre!

Ask the Franchise: the Dude's Fantasy Journey

Welcome to the 1st installment of "Ask the Franchise" - a weekly feature where I will pose a fantasy football roster question to the Franchise, for the benefit of DudeSpin readers and, mostly, myself. First, an update from last week. Since the Duke league draft, I've dropped David Boston in favor of Troy Williamson, and then quickly dropped Williamson for Selvin Young when he was elevated to Travis Henry's backup.

This week's start'em or sit'em decisions in the Duke league (my current leanings are bolded):
QB: Tony Romo v. NYG or Ben Roethlisberger @ CLE?
WR/RB: Lamont Jordan v. DET or Santana Moss v. MIA?

in the AK league:
WR/TE: Brandon Marshall @ BUF, Greg Jennings v. PHI or Jacoby Jones v. KC

Franchise, DudeSpin awaits your answer!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Here Comes Duke!!!

While we await Undude to work out some glitches, I am going to whet your appetites with the introduction of your 2007 Duke football squad at Wally Wade on Saturday. I believe Airborne lead 14-11 at the half, and I'm not quite sure whether the second half way played. I'll just assume that it wasn't.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Clay-mates celebrate


On a night when sports depression was in the air, a plucky young rookie, Clay Buchholz, threw a no-hitter to end the Red Sox' 4-game losing streak. It was just the second start ever for the 23-year-old, and while The Athlete of the Week has vanished from this blog, it's safe to say he's this week's champ!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Flight Plan: Countdown to Kickoff - 18 Hours!!



As we sit less than a day away from a new dawning of Duke football, DudeSpin proudly rolls out the initial installment of its Airborne coverage. Every week this season, DudeSpin will aim (though we may sometimes fail) to bring you the latest and greatest in Airborne news and notes. Our schedule:





Friday: Flight Plan - A witty DudeSpin preview of the next Airborne mission.


Monday: Flight Log - A equally hilarious review of last Saturday's Airborne mission.


Wednesday: Pilot notes - some insightful commentary on the state of Airborne.

The Launch: Airborne comes into its 2007 campaign saddled with a 20 game losing streak. Some would call that a monkey on its back, but for a sleek airliner like Airborne, a mere mortal monkey does not stand in the way of lift-off. There is little doubt that the UConn defense will be no match for the run-pass attack led by senior running back Justin Boyle and Duke's trio of outstanding receivers. As Duke's talented trio become household names to fans around the country, DudeSpin will introduce them to you now by comparing them to one of the more well-known receiving trio in the professional ranks - that of the Detroit Lions. Leading the corps is Jomar Wright, or Duke's version of Roy Williams - fast, agile, and experienced. Duke's home run hitter is Eron Riley, Airborne's Calvin Johnson, who led the team in YPC last season and is tall enough to Moss balls away from defenders. Last but not least is Raphael Chestnut, a poor man's Mike Furrey who is a wizard on the short to intermediate routes. Look for Duke's air attack, led by its Trio, to dominate against UConn on Saturday.

Rip Hamilton is not walking through that door.

DudeSpin's Prediction: Duke 49, UConn 3

"N" is for Nancy?


The signs are spreading all over town...

If you've seen the billboard near American Airlines Center, you might think the Stars should be sent to the penalty box for slashing another sport when it's down.

Or you could soak in the message – "The only thing our refs shave is the ice" – and do what Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did.

Laugh.

"I think it's hysterical," Cuban said. "Good for them. It's a fun ad."

NBA commissioner David Stern isn't laughing. But then, how many Stars home games was he going to attend anyway?

Most of the billboards use clever phrases to focus on the aggressive nature of the sport. A billboard by Central Expressway and I-635 states, "One game a week? Is the N in NFL for Nancy?" The club takes a jab at major league baseball, a passion of Stars and Rangers owner Tom Hicks, at I-635 and Old Denton with a sign that reads, "Maybe baseball should stop using the word sacrifice."

Lites said Hicks laughed louder than anyone at that billboard.

And Stern? The NBA commissioner was made aware of the Stars' campaign Thursday afternoon but relayed through a league spokesman that he had no comment.

Did the Stars have any reservations about referring to the NBA's officiating/gambling scandal?

"The answer would be yes," Lites said. "It's edgy. But we're really good friends with the Mavs. They're our partners in the building. I think we thought it would be taken the right way.

"It's not a slap at them. It's more of a snip. I think the same goes for the Cowboys. The NFL is the big daddy."

The most irreverent and outrageous stuff in the campaign hit the cutting room floor. Most of those had to do with dog fighting.

"We avoided taking a swipe at Michael Vick," Lites said.

Should the Stars be applauded for their restraint?

"Well, yeah, but it's a long life," Lites said. "We can take these billboards down and start over."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kige Ramsey on Ryan Fowler

So I sent in a request to my favorite YouTube anchor Kige Ramsey this morning asking for his take on whether former Airborne captain Ryan Fowler will win the Titans starting linebacker spot. And lo and behold!!

It's Official: Cuban Going Dancing!

Can Mark Cuban follow in the footsteps of Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno? I doubt it, but in an announcement that Mrs. Franchise has been eagerly awaiting, the cast of the fifth season of Dancing With the Stars was revealed this morning. And, as was rumored, the Mavs owner will be competing for the disco ball trophy against people like Vegas legend Wayne Newton, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Scary Spice herself, Melanie Brown.

Mrs. Franchise informs me that Cuban's partner, Kym Johnson, is a champion from the Australian version of the show and was runner-up with Joey Fatone last season. Perhaps Cuban can simply buy the show to avoid being voted off!

To the Rafters!


From the pages of Blue Devil Weekly usually come the wisdom of Bill Brill, Johnny Moore and John Roth. But this week's edition, featuring All-America candidate (in my mind) Jomar Wright on the cover, also brought news that the Journey will retire the jersey of DudeSpin favorite Lindsey Harding. Mazel Tov Lindsey - tis a great honor indeed!

In other nuggets of interest from this week's BDW:
- Men's Soccer icon John Rennie announced that he will retire as head coach at the end of this season
- Former Airborne great Ryan Fowler is meshed in a battle with Stephen Tulloch to be the Titans' starting middle linebacker. I'll keep updated on this position battle through my favorite YouTube Sports anchor, and Titans fan, Kige Ramsey.
- Former Airborne QB Marcus Jones has been converted to outside linebacker and now gets second helpings at the team buffet to bulk up. Watch out opposing RBs, QBs and TEs, a beefed-up Marcus is on the prowl!!
- Jomar Wright, Raphael Chestnut, and Eron Riley form the best receiving trio in the nation. Tell me something I don't know BDW.
That's all the news of that the Dudes need to know from this week's edition of the BDW.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In 87 hours...



I'll be walking through the gates of Wallace Wade Stadium, ready to see the start of the program's turnaround. I better take it all in, because Wally Wade is getting a makeover!

Silence from the Houston contingent?

Has fantasy football analysis distracted you from the rare and unceremonious dumping of a manager and GM in the same day, just two years after reaching the World Series? Did the men who brought Mike Lamb in to lead them to playoff glory deserve such treatment? Or were they lucky to last this long with the smoke and mirrors of Clemens and Pettite allowing everyone to overlook a constantly-weak offense?

Monday, August 27, 2007

DudeSpin's Fantasy Football Draft Guru Comments on The Dude's Draft

Well, I spent a little time with the numbers and here's what I think:

Rd. 1 - I would have gone with Peyton here. Yes, I know the common perception is that you must go RB in the first round. Some people also think taking Manning with your first pick makes you too weak at RB to win your league, which is bull - two of the leagues I'm in were won by Peyton-led teams in 2006. The scoring system in your league makes Manning more valuable than in most, as the 6-pt. passing TDs more than make up for the low passing yardage points. In my projections Manning rates as the highest-scoring player in your league, and given the choice between the tenth-best RB and Peyton, I'd have gone with everyone's favorite SNL host.

Rd. 2 - McGahee makes sense here - your scoring system has me ranking him pretty much even with Henry so your backs look solid.

Rd. 3 - Nice pick with T.O., who I have projected to score about 20 more points than Edge in your system and was probably the top WR left when you took him. I have Jacobs rated only one spot above Edge, so don't feel that bad about missing him.

Rd. 4 - Like you, I'm very suprised Evans lasted this long, and he's done some nice things even with J.P. throwing him the ball. Good pick.

Rd. 5 - Jordan looks slightly undervalued this year, but don't forget that the Raiders scored only 12(!) TDs all last season. I had Jordan in a virtual dead heat with Cadillac Williams and Chester Taylor in your scoring system, for what it's worth.

Rd. 6 - Moss is a perfectly reasonable pick here, but I would have taken Shockey, despite my personal dislike for him. I'm surprised he was still around at this spot.

Rd. 7 and 8 - Having passed on Shockey, Davis was a good value pick in the 7th but Romo was a fantastic value in the 8th. On ESPN he has been going toward the top of the 7th round on average in 12-team leagues. Yes, you have quite a bit tied into the Romo-T.O. connection, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

Rd. 9 - Both Dunn and Glenn look like good values at this spot, but quality RB help is usually harder to find. Watch Warrick's injury status though - many people are jumping on the Jerious Norwood bandwagon with both feet.

Rd. 10 - I have Big Ben rated several spots higher than Alex Smith, so I would have done the same here.

Rd. 11 - Another good value pick with Droughns, who I had rated a round higher. Jacobs is far from a sure thing, so this could end up becoming a steal depending on how things play out in New York.

Rd. 12 - Nothing wrong with taking a shot at a sleeper in the late rounds, though I think you could have waited and still nabbed him before the end of the draft.

Rd. 13 - A little bit of a stretch, but not a severe one. Draft theory is slowly moving away from the school of thought that the kicker should be your very last pick, though you still don't want to take one too early. This is fine.

Rd. 1 4 - I'm going to assume this was a joke. I would have rather spent this pick on a rookie or a young receiver who may see significant playing time this season (say, Maurice Stovall of the Bucs or Malcolm Floyd of the Chargers) than Old Man Boston.

All in all, very solid Dude. Except for Manning over Henry in Round 1, I don't disagree with your thinking at any point, and the Romo-Ben combo seems more than sufficient at QB. You appear to have some depth issues beyond the top-two RBs and you need to hope Vernon Davis is ready to step it up this season, but I think your team can contend.