Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wasn't His 15 Minutes Up 4 Years Ago?

Not too often is someone who all of the dudes know is featured in a post on a widely-read blog. But today is one of those days.

Former Recess writer Jonas Blank earned some unwanted fame a few years ago for a breach of email etiquette - today, he graces the front page of Above The Law, a blog read by a substantial number of lawyers and law students of this generation.

The comments deliberating Jonas's attractiveness are awkward... Makes me quite happy that no one's ever discussed my appearance in a blog.

Speaking of Recess, anyone know what happened to Kevin Pride?

Voepel Weighs in On Goestenkors; Fans Rally On Campus

Alas, I got so caught up in providing DudeSpin with its reader-attracting dose of Pokey Chatman yesterday that I missed this well-written column on the choice facing Gail Goestenkors by Mechelle Voepel, women's hoops writer extraordinaire. She basically breaks the decision down to money and tradition versus something you built from the ground up, and in that respect, I can see why it's not something you take lightly. I just get stuck on one of Voepel's observations - that Texas is a name that was synonymous with progress for women's athletics in the 80's - and wonder if that's still as true today.

Meanwhile, I'd like to think that at least The Dude and I were there in spirit when 200 fans rallied behind Cameron to try to convince Gail to stay. It's interesting that the AP story names Greg Paulus and Martynas Pocius as two of the fans in attendance. No word on whether Paulus committed any turnovers while he was in the crowd.

Warning Shot Fired?

This Dude rivalry gets far less attention, but after posting winning records against every other elite Western team, the Stars finally got the monkey off the back in dramatic fashion last night in Detroit. 3 goals in the last 9 minutes force OT, and a top shelf move by Zubie over Haseks wins it in the shootout. It's a shame DudeSpin isn't more into hockey, because the absolute madness of the top 7 seeds in the West still playing for spots 1-7 makes the last few weeks of the NHL season a wild dash, and makes certain that any team could make a run for the Cup. Could the fans be rewarded with a Stars/Wings clash at the same time the Mavs and Rockets threaten to do battle?!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Obligatory Pokey Chatman Post!

Since our readers can't seem to get enough of the Pokey Chatman saga, Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com files the latest this afternoon. And the latest is... not very much apparently. Pokey has gone underground, and the identity of the player (or players) who were involved in the inappropriate relationship is still unknown.

The article does go into some interesting territory on how female sports teams are often split among pink and blue lines and how former teammates thought Pokey was on the pink side. There's also an interesting quote from an anonymous Division I coach on how the gay issue is one they can't really address. Finally, there's some speculation on the future prospects of LSU assistant coach Carla Berry, a.k.a. the person who turned Chatman in.

Click the link above or this one here to read more. I know you want to...

Is LeBron a Dude?

Definitively not. But he's building a house that's definitively a fantasy-house for dudes. LeBron's 35,000 foot monstrosity includes a bowling alley, a sports bar, and . . .

wait for it . . . wait for it . . .

a casino....

Which brings to mind a question, when you gamble in your own casino?? are you happy when the house wins??

Thursday, March 29, 2007

And Fans of Defense in the NBA Quietly Wept

(A.K.A. maybe this is why the Suns will have trouble winning it all this season...)

Just thought I'd share this: I'm watching the second half of TNT's NBA doubleheader, and after a thrilling finish to the Bulls-Pistons game, the score after three minutes of the Suns-Warriors game is... Warriors 18, Suns 6!

The lesson, of course, is that if you have a loser team like Golden State, at least make it fun to watch!

CBA Suspends Coach for Praising Head Dude!

Michael Ray Richardson - of whom I must confess I had not heard of prior to reading this story- plays fast and loose with his lips with a couple of reporters and a heckler. Unfortunately, this is the second time a minor league basketball coach has gotten mainstream sports press - the 1st time was Dennis Johnson dying; and now this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Franchise Ver. 2.0 Has a Personal Message for Coach Goestenkors


(As told to The Franchise, Ver. 1.0...)

Please don't go Coach G! I want to play for you at Duke in about 18 years!

There's still hope in G-Land

Click on the title -- it's 50-50. This reminds of K's flirtation with the Lakers a few summers ago, when students and Brodhead rallied next to Cameron. You wonder if students will do anything today.

Athlete of the Week: Kay Yow


Against steep odds, Kay Yow is still fighting; still coaching... Here's to seeing more of the same for years to come...

Either UT is cocky, or G is Gone

We know the former certainly is true, as this article only confirms (they're making an offer and assume it will be accepted. But, well, click on the title above for the article.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Should ESPN Cover Something Just Because It's Popular?

Just to prove that we occasionally post about something other than women's hoops (not that there's anything wrong with that) around here...

ESPN devoted one of their top headlines today to the big story from the MMA world (that's Mixed Martial Arts for those of you who don't know), namely the owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship buying their Japan-based rival, Pride Fighting Championships. It was interesting to check out the reader comments attached to the story (I hate that ESPN.com does that, but that's an entirely different issue) and see dozens of people clamoring for ESPN to cover MMA.

I can already sense the rest of the Committee getting ready to complain about this topic, but hear me out. Even though the UFC has yet to completely shake the negative stigma it earned during its formative years and mainstream press coverage of it has been mixed, to say the least, there's no denying its popularity. UFC pay-per-views easily outpace boxing, and all indications are that they have caught and passed the WWE as well.

There's also no question that UFC is a sport, albeit a violent one, and that its competitors are skilled, highly trained athletes. Even though I have never watched a UFC event and know very little about it, I'd say that as a popular sport, it should be almost mandatory for ESPN to cover it.

I'm too lazy to get numbers to back this up, but I'm going to take an educated guess and bet that more people watch televised MMA programs than the X-Games, WNBA, MLS and Arena Football. Yet ESPN devotes time and coverage to all of these sports. It even sets aside many, many hours of TV programming to poker, which last time I checked (and despite the fact that I am a huge poker afficianado) is not a sport.

It all adds up to yet another example of how ESPN's coverage is increasingly and shamelessly driven by its own self-interests. It's easy to pretend that the AFL and the X-Games are a big deal when you have an ownership stake in them; no problem to promote the MLS and the World Series of Poker when you have the broadcast rights. ESPN continues to cover boxing even though it has clearly slipped behind MMA in terms of popularity because... wait for it... the network shows boxing on its various cable channels.

Again, I'm not a big MMA fan, but I am big on matters of principle. The so-called Worldwide Leader has expanded its own definition of "sport" to suit itself on several occasions, and it's now so wide that MMA easily fits in. If ESPN even wants to pretend it has any journalistic integrity, it needs to cover whatever sports the fans are following.

I expect a UFC section to show up on ESPN.com, but maybe not until we've heard they've signed a contract to be the new home for "The Ultimate Fighter"...

Athlete of the Week Candidates

As a preliminary note, I'm not doing an Athlete of the Week just to avoid nominating Lindsey Harding as an Unathlete. I've been alternating for the entire history of the blog, it's the athletes' turn to shine. Here goes:

(1) Sylvia Fowles: With her program surrounded by the spectre of silence and scandal since Pokey Chapman's resignation, Fowles and the rest of her Tigers teammates have been busy - winning. Fowles led her Tigers to the Final Four last night with a resounding 73-50 win against everybody's favorite villain - Geno Auriemma and the UConn Huskies. Fowles averaged 21.5 pts, 12 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks a game in the West Regional and dominated in their win against the Huskies.

(2) Luol Deng: The former Visionary averaged 24.7 ppg on 56% shooting from the floor and pulled down 8.7 rebounds per game in leading the Bulls to 3 straight wins this week. The super-efficient Deng capped off his week with a career best 38 points on 18 of 25 shooting against the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night.

(3) Carlos Boozer: When he's not busy stabbing blind people in the back and suing Prince, C-Booz is busy getting buckets. Boozer poured in a career high 41 points to lift the Jazz over Agent Zero and the Wizards last night. The performance headlined a week in which Boozer averaged 27.3 ppg while shooting an absurd 66.7% and pulled down 13.3 rpg.

(4) Kay Yow: The long-time NC State coach waged a war for the ages against both stage 4 breast cancer and uber-villain Auriemma this week. While the scoreboard may not show it in the end, Yow emerged victorious. She raised awareness for the constant need for funds in the medical and research battle against cancer, and demonstrated what resolve and conviction really means in an era when this administration is busy trying to redefine "resolve" and "conviction" as meaning delusional and obstinate. Before Satan Auriemma ended the women's basketball world's favorite Cinderella story, Coach Yow led her team to three stirring wins that will long be remembered around Raleigh - the win against UNC on the night that the court was renamed Kay Yow Court, handing No. 1 Journey its first loss of the season, and the overtime win against Baylor to get to the Sweet 16.

My vote goes to Kay Yow.

Monday, March 26, 2007

ESPN's PTI Crew Debates Lindsey Harding

Not to pry the giant can of worms that's been plaguing DudeSpin unity over the past day or so back open, but...

On tonight's epsiode of "Pardon the Interruption," the guys answered an e-mail from a viewer that posed the question of whether or not Lindsey Harding would be getting ripped right now if she was a man. It sparked the most debate of the evening, with Michael Wilbon saying no college player would be criticized for missing those two free throws and Tony Kornheiser arguing that former Dukie J.J. Redick or current UCLA star Arron Afflalo would have torn apart by everyone for coming up short in a similar situation.

With no resolution coming either here or on PTI, I propose a tag team match! In this corner, representing sentimental romantic sports fans everywhere, The Dude and Wilbon! And in the other corner, fighting for coldly logical sports nuts who think really good players should make clutch foul shots, Head Dude and Kornheiser! All we need is Team Handsome (a.k.a. Undude and The Franchise) to round up some hit ring card girls for between rounds and we've got ourselves a pay-per-view spectacular...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Something you probably didn't know about Shelden

So I'm flipping through me latest issue of ESPN the Magazine (my guilty pleasure reading material at home that doesn't require reading skills beyond a second grade level) when I stumble on a regular feature called For Love or the Game, where they test who knows an athlete-celebrity the best, his/her s.o (usually also a recognizable figure), or some other person (usually a teammate). This issue's featured athlete is Candace Parker, whose boyfriend is ... the Vision's very own Shelden Williams. I'm not going to say Shelden is playing over his head, but he's playing over his head. Nice job Landlord.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Journey Stunned


Against a team they had beaten by 40 earlier in the year, the Journey wilted late against Rutgers, who seemingly made every single shot down the stretch. Still, Lindsey Harding made a steal with 5 seconds left, and had 2 FTs with 0.1 seconds left on the clock and her team down by a point. Harding missed both off the back iron - a heartbreaking end to a breathtaking career.

Thanks to Alison and Lindsey for four terrific years as stewards of the Journey; and let's hope this isn't G's swan song at Duke.

Bummer

Uh, can someone fill me in on what just happened? ESPN realtime didn't exactly do the last minute of the game justice.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Some Speculation on G to Texas

Taking the Franchise's advice, I've incorporated my comment on Head Dude's previous post into its own post and added some more of my own commentary in parenthesis.

A well-informed DudeSpin tipster has dropped the following two cents on why
G may actually leave Duke for Texas:

1. G makes roughly $200,000 or so - about half what Johnny Dawkins makes (I understand why Duke is paying Johnny what it's paying him; Duke realizes that he could get a major head coaching gig elsewhere if he wants - Dawkins is being paid to stay in Durham and be groomed as the heir apparent to K; but there is still no reason why G's salary should be the same as Head Dude's; Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma both make around $1 million a year; there's no reason why G shouldn't make at least $750k)

2. G has been frustrated with a lack of support from Duke on certain things - no full-time promotions director, no chartered planes for road trips, etc. (I would be frustrated as well. I understand that the Journey isn't a cash cow like the Vision; but why isn't Duke paying $70k [I'm assuming that's how much it's going to take] to hire Yak2 to be the full-time women's promotions director?? In fact, with the Franchise's permission, I might nominate him to Richard Brodhead as a candidate. The Franchise has the requisite background in women's basketball, Duke basketball, an keen understanding of the women's basketball fanbase from his work covering ACC women's basketball and managing Hershey Park. Of course, the Franchise taking the job might be contingent on his not making 6 figures from his about.com gig. The Athletics Department should also make sure that the Journey receives the same treatment as the women's programs at Tennessee and/or Connecticutt. If the Journey aspires to be at that level on a permanent basis; it must start treating the program like it's already there).

3. Rumors indicate that Texas is willing to pay out 750,000 a year and give G whatever support she wants. (Normally, I would give Texas credit. But this is the University of Texas, and I think I just vomited in my mouth typing that last sentence.)

4. The Tipster, contrary to what we might believe, thinks that Texas is one of the best jobs in the business - dedicated fan base, lots of support, commitment to winning, and the best high school talent in the country. (I disagree - see reasons cited by Head Dude in DudeSpin's first post on Texas's interest in G.)

5. G has a pipeline in Texas with Lindsey Harding this year and Karima Christmas next year, and currently leading for one of the top juniors in the country. (G can get a recruiting pipeline going anywhere; she doesn't need to be in Texas.)

6. Joe Alleva (one of the worst AD in history) is doing his usual in telling people that it's Brodhead's decision, not his. The Tipster comments that, "This is the sort of steely-eyed leadership we're used to from him - passing the buck while putting his foot in his mouth. If Gail leaves and the perception is that there's a glass ceiling at Duke for women's coaches, there's no way Duke would be able to get a top-flight replacement. The obvious successor would be Joanne Boyle, but I'm not sure she'd take the job under those circumstances." (I remain puzzled as to why Joe Alleva still has a job; he has made two terrible hires - Hillier and Franks - oversaw the baseball steroid scandal and allowed the lacrosse program to spin out of control, notwithstanding the imminent dismissal of the sexual assault charges).

In providing some comforting words of reassurance, the Tipster believes that G would "prefer to stay at Duke, and my sense isthat she'd accept a good-faith offer of a raise if Duke would pony up for the other things she wants as well."


Obviously, it seems that much will depend on what the University and the athletics department will do for G. As far as this DudeSpin contributor is concerned, they better make an all-out effort to retain G. Schools simply cannot afford to lose potentially iconic coaches in the middle of their coaching careers. The Tipster suggests that concerned alums should write President Brodhead directly to voice desire to retain one of the top 3 women's basketball coaches in the country. I plan to do just that, and will post the letter on this website. I urge all DudeSpin readers to do likewise.

UT's Top Target? It starts with a G

The Dallas Morning News has confirmed in print that Texas' first choice is Goestenkors and they plan to make a hard push. I like how, being the arrogant school that it is, Texas sources note that the move has Conradt's blessing, as if securing that first is more important than even speaking with one of the top five coaches in the country, which won't happen for another few weeks. To me, the only reason to leave would be money, or a fresh start after the spousal change. Otherwise, it's not like she'll recruit any better or get any more media attention, and probably less. My passion for the women's team is less than for the men, as I've been a fan of the latter for 20 years, but could there be anything worse for the dude and I than seeing her go there?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Doctor Howard -- Prophet

Just thought you'd like to know something very dude:

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader sent a letter to LeBron James – and copied it to media around the country Wednesday – imploring the Cleveland Cavaliers star to pressure Nike to improve working conditions for those employed in the shoe company's factories around the world.
An interesting aside: Nader and his group, League of Fans, listed examples in the letter of athletes who lend their influence or voice to social justice issues. The Mavericks' Josh Howard was one of eight athletes mentioned who, "all raised their voices against the war and occupation of Iraq."
Howard spoke out on the issue while he was in college and received hate mail, telling him an athlete should know his place.
"I said some things in college that all came true," Howard said. "I don't mind speaking out."

Josh McRoberts - Gonzo!!

Apparently deciding that his array of low post moves simply cannot be defended at the college level and that he has otherwise run out of challenges, Josh McRoberts has told Vision coach Mike Krzyzewski that he is taking off his Vision goggles and moving on to the NBA. Josh apparently didn't take Econ 51 at Duke, or he would have learned that buy high, sell low doesn't exactly work as a life principle. Otherwise, why would he return to college when he was just a package of potential and a sure-fire top of the lottery pick, and declare for the draft after having all of his flaws exposed with no guarantees of even being picked in the top half of the 1st round? Puzzling...

To celebrate Josh's departure from the Vision, I have posted one of my favorite videos of Josh - no not the dunk against NC State in the tournament; but a phenomenal move he made that epitomizes his individual offensive game, which lies somewhere between nonexistent and raw.

SportsGal revolutionizes DudeSpin

In a historic movement for DudeSpin, we have added a new contributor - the Cooler SportsGal - to our stable of intelligent (on rare ocassions) and (sometimes) witty contributors. The Cooler SportsGal can now share her thoughts and ramblings with you at all times of the day. To sample the wit of the Cooler SportsGal, read her blog post from following the Vision's first round loss to Virginia Commonwealth (now updated with pictures and captions!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Dude Says Farewell to David Carr AND Brady Quinn

Yes, it appears that The Dude will have to say so long to the Texans long-time signal caller and any chance that he will be watching his personal favorite Brady Quinn wear a Houston jersey next season. NFL.com is reporting that by the end of the day, Houston will send a second round pick to Atlanta for promising QB Matt Schaub.

With The Dude on assignment, I'll have to venture a guess at how he's feeling about the news. He's probably not that upset about saying goodbye to Carr, who may be the first QB in NFL history to spend more time on his backside than upright. I know he loves Quinn, but in typical Texans fashion, the buzz out of Houston was that they weren't going to move up in the draft to get him.

Now maybe we know why. I'm far from an objective viewpoint on this, but let me just add that if Schaub ends up having a better NFL career than Quinn, I'll be very, very surprised.

Oh well, at least you can look forward to many years of enjoying Reggie Bush, Dude. Oh wait...

I never get tired of that joke!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Golden Opportunity Created by The Journey

No, not making the Sweet 16, that always happens.

Though Harding was solid and Smith came up big, Bales had an off night. So if the Chronicle headline isn't some variation on "Proud to be Gay" after her huge double-double, well, there's really no hope for that paper!

Pro Wrestlers Taking Steroids! And More Pulitzer-Quality Stuff From Sports Illustrated...

{Note: This blog post is presented to DudeSpin readers in full High Definition Sarcasm. If your computer is not properly equipped to handle HD Sarcasm, this post may agitate pets, wilt office plants and confuse your less intelligent co-workers.}

I don't read Sports Illustrated too often any more, partially because I was turned off by their TV commercials that celebrated the Florida Gators winning the last national championships in basketball and football. No thanks, I don't want any free stuff to commemorate those victories. I'm actually actively trying to forget them.

Now I'm glad I don't check out SI's website either, because a story that has popped up there over the past few days has rocked by world. Apparently, pro wrestlers are taking steroids and HGH.

If I know the DudeSpin contributors and readers as well as I think I do, you're no doubt as shocked as I am at this revelation. I know you, as I did, just assumed that performers who put on 300 or so shows a year and have very little time for proper workout and recovery routines were just magically able to keep physiques similar to Greek gods through all natural means.

Certainly, your unwavering faith that Vince McMahon, that paragon of virtue, would run a completely clean ship is forever shaken. Like me, you'll probably never be able to look at the WWE the same way again.

What's next? A report that wrestling matches are fixed? I may have to rethink my ban of SI, because it's continuing coverage of pro wrestling is sure to be dynamite. I'm not even going to ask readers of the magazine if it has a regular pro wrestling section, because I know it must.

I mean, Sports Illustrated would never report on something it doesn't usually consider a sport just for a juicy sensationalist article, right?

Monday, March 19, 2007

AdSense Kicks DudeSpin While It's Down!

I understand that AdSense serves this blog with ads that go with the content we write, and that the more we write about a particular topic, the more likely we'll see an ad connected with it at the top of the page. That being said, it was a strange mixture of surprise and outrage that I felt when I checked DudeSpin for updates this afternoon and found an ad announcing "Free VCU Jerseys."

First of all, I find it extremely hard to believe that a VCU jersey can be purchased anywhere outside (maybe) the VCU bookstore. Second, while none of the DudeSpin contributors were that depressed about the loss (save for maybe Head Dude because he was out of the country when it happened), I don't think any of us want to celebrate it, nor allow anyone visiting the blog to dress in the colors of the enemy.

Anyway, I'm officially registering my outrage...

Athlete and Unathlete(s) of the Week

I'll leave it to the dude to nominate more candidates, but I have one for each:

Athlete of the Week
Mike Modano: Became the all-time leading American-born goal-scorer in the NHL with his 502nd and 503rd career goals against the Nashville Predators over the weekend. Certainly, Modano is famous (or infamous, depending on your view) amongst the Committee, and a milestone such as this cannot go without mention. In honor of NHL '98...Modanoooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Unathletes of the Week
The Nashville Predator organization: Modano both tied Joe Mullen's record and broke it in Nashville. How did the Predator organization honor the feat -- by doing nothing! Instead, the fans booed each time he scored, most vociferously on the second goal because it came after a Nashville defender named Tootoo (no joke) had just checked Modano. Stars' President Jim Lites said it best:

"Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff – I think they all failed the game," Lites said. "It's because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment ... it's just a horrible thing."

The fact Modano was approaching Joe Mullen's record for goals scored by an American-born player was not mentioned over the arena's public address system Saturday. Nothing was said when Modano tied Mullen at 502 goals nor when Modano broke the record at 503. Instead, the crowd booed Modano for his part in a skirmish that led to Tootoo being penalized and continued to boo him the rest of the night.

"I understand it's a competitive situation, but we're also working together to sell the game," Lites said. "They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I'm sick of it."

Very undude indeed.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vegas Wrap-Up

The last I left you, I was about to head down to a NL tournament with the expectation of running into Jose Canseco at the final table. Unfortunately, Jose wasn't there, and I wasn't anywhere near a final table. I received no playable hands and as the big blind increased to roughly 1/5 of my stack, I went all in with pocket 5s in a 7 handed table, only to run into pocket 10s.

After striking out using Sagarin ratings on day 1, I played hunches the rest of the way and won 7 of 9 sports bets, with still a surefire bet on the Journey winning the NCAAs remaining.

My bets on friends' teams paid off (aggies and rebels), my bets on my teams paid off (rockets and usc against Texas), my bets playing random hunches paid off (Oregon v. Winthrop). But the deities still dealt me a lesson I would not soon forget.

The line was achingly tantalizing, Duke -50 v. Holy Cross. Of course, I've never gambled on the Journey before, and I've certainly never seen a 50 point line before. As I thought about a bet that I was surely going to make, I suddenly realized the element of... well... rooting for some hard working players to get embarrassed any time you take the favorite and lay 50 points. I, of course, have nothing against Holy Cross, except for their nickname invoking episodes of religious fanaticism and warfare. In fact, one of my best friends from law school went to Holy Cross. That being said, I don't get to bet on the Journey too often (or ever).

By Sunday afternoon, when the line had dipped to 47.5 points, I decided to take the Journey (hey, a 48 point loss isn't THAT embarrassing). Obviously, the Journey didn't quite beat the spread, and my wallet is thinner by $10. But the lesson, of course, is that the Journey is sacred - it isn't something trifling that I can commodify and/or leverage as money making tool. It is what it is - something to be enjoyed; something to be a part of; something to cherish.

And this year, it might just end with something much more beautiful than a cover of a 47.5 point spread.

New Tylwalk Mock Draft on New Site

For all two or three DudeSpin readers who enjoy my mock draft, I've updated it to account for the combine and various Pro Days as well as general draft buzz from around the league. But to avoid taking precious space here away from the Mavs-Rockets feud and The Journey, I've given my draft ramblings their very own home.

I invite all DudeSpin contributors and visitors over to TheDraftGeek.com, a blog that mixes as many different expert opinions as I can find on the internets, local draft buzz from all of the NFL cities and my own thoughts into something that is hopefully at least coherent. We'll even mix some NBA draft stuff in there just for good measure.

And if you don't think I can turn this into a year-round blog, you don't know how truly obsessive I really am...

Nuggets Show Mavs How to Handle Those Annoying Suns

I know that it didn't escape Head Dude's notice even while he was overseas, but this is how you beat the Suns at their own game. Not that I expect the Mavs (or The Dude's Rockets) to be able to duplicate Denver's plan of attack, since Dallas doesn't have a one-two punch like Carmelo and A.I. Let the outrage commence!

Meanwhile, even Undude's beleaguered squad got in on the NBA fun last night, ending 17 years of futility in San Antonio. Hopefully, losing to the Celtics at home will stop John Hollinger from writing that the Spurs are the best team in the NBA!

Friday, March 16, 2007

DudeSpin's Own SportsGal Reports From the Duke-VCU Debacle

We're witty here at DudeSpin, but not always that original. Of course if you believe that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then we've already flattered Deadspin, and we're also paying tribute to Bill Simmons and wife (though somewhat sarcastically) by having our very own SportsGal. As The Dude has already noted, ours is actually a professional journalist, though she seems to have somewhat divided loyalties as you'll see by reading her report from the NCAA first round games in Buffalo:


First of all, I did not promise to be funny and I don't think Bill Simmons' wife is lame. You guys just don't know enough about celebrities to see the genius in her humor. Love her. Let me also add that I was at work today and went out to feed the meter (one quarter per 7.5 minutes) and the meter maid had written me a ticket and had already put it on my car and when I said I was just about to put in a quarter he took the ticket off. What a day!

So yesterday... Jason and I get a bit of a late start, hit traffic and horrible rain on the way, and then had to average approximately 85 miles per hour the rest of the way to make it in time for the 12:20 Maryland tip. Unfortunately, the New York state police didn't think too much of our plan and pulled us over, only making us later. The best part was when she was giving us the ticket (Jason had told her we were speeding to get to the game on time) and she looked in the car at Jason's Maryland jersey (Len Bias) and my Duke sweatshirt and says "What game are you going to?" Anyway, I'm able to drop Jason off in time for the tip and then pay $10 to park deep in the Buffalo housing projects.


(Right: The Cooler SportsGal poses with her partner - who is apparently a younger version of R.E.M. lead vocalist Michael Stipe)


There weren't many Maryland fans near us, and I didn't see a single non-student Davidson fan outside their little section. Sort of weird for Jason to be there watching Maryland but pretty much screaming and yelling just by himself with everyone around us not caring. Don't you worry- I had a Maryland T-shirt on under my Duke sweatshirt. When I took the sweatshirt off, the guy next to me asked if I had all the teams on. Anyway, the Md-Davidson game was really tight. Maryland got pretty much every defensive rebound in the second half, which was the only thing that saved them. The crowd gave Stephen Curry a standing ovation after he fouled out, which was nice.

Then came the most boring 40 minutes of college basketball possibly ever played. Not only do Butler and Old Dominion play super-slow, they missed pretty much every shot. The only suspense was whether either would get to 20 by the end of the first half (yes, Butler, 20 exactly). Half the crowd left before that game was over, partly because they empty the stadium during sessions and they wanted to get a seat somewhere rather than roam the cold streets of Buffalo. We first moved our car and then paid $16 each for a buffet at the bar where you could sit down and be warm, and we couldn't have been happier. People felt free to heckle me on the street for wearing Duke. That said, there were SO many people wearing Duke gear inside the arena. I'd say of the people who had some type of team apparel on, at least 3/4 had Duke stuff. The cheering for Duke was way louder when they introduced the starting lineups. But as Duke started to struggle in the game, the crowd seemed to turn about 3/4 (at least) toward VCU. Which means that either people wearing Duke stuff were also cheering against them or they were extremely quiet (Jason used a word synonymous with cats to describe them). Puzzling, nonetheless.


(Left: The NCAA granted DudeSpin exclusive floor access to cover Duke's opening round tip off against Virginia Commonwealth - an unexpected coup for a 1st year Blog. As self evident, the SportsGal's seats had a floor beneath it)

The Duke student/alumni section was extremely disappointing. Every other school wore their colors, but there were just a few blue shirts in there and they didn't cheer in unison or anything. The ending was exciting but kind of a bummer, though it did validate our decision to go Thursday rather than wait for the Saturday games. Not so much heckling on the way out... people were too damn happy. Our seats were not good, but we could see fine, and my camera is not that good for zooming, so the pictures aren't great. I can't find the camera cord though, so I don't have any yet anway. We left before the Pitt game and got home around 1:30 in the morning. We're still deciding whether to go see Maryland and Pitt tomorrow...


introducing DudeSpin's own SportsGal

After Joel's historic post from Tel Aviv this morning, I'm pleased to produce another DudeSpin first - mobile blogging from the baggage claim at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas while waiting for my friend to show up so we can ride to the hotel (Excalibur). But I have much better news to announce. DudeSpin is thrilled to have on board our own SportsGal, who promises to be much funnier than Bill Simmons's lame wife. The SportsGal, a professional journalist by trade, will present her first contribution - a weekend journal recapping her stay in Buffalo and the experience of bearing witness to the Vision's demise.
Coming Soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blurred Vision


The result wasn't shocking; Vision players coming up short in the clutch, and unable to stop opposing guards from getting whatever they wanted; what was surprising was how quickly I got over this loss. In past years, I would sit there numb after Duke bows out of the tournament for hours, trying to figure out what happened. I remember walked around in a haze after the 2004 loss to UConn for days on end. After this one, however, I moved on after 20 seconds. We would be kidding ourselves to think that the Vision could have come back on Saturday and beaten Pittsburgh after running Paulus and McRoberts ragged for nearly all 80 minutes Thursday night.
On a side note, I took this photo from the front page of ESPN after the game; what in the world is up with cutting off the dude's head in the photo? I know that DudeSpin's favorite photogs Aliza Goldman and/or Kelli Sheran wouldn't have done that.
Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, and Taylor King;
You can see that the Vision needs much for ring;
We look forward to the clarity that you can bring.

Actual Athlete of the Week: Captain America (Steve Rogers)


Despite some attempts to fix this week's voting by The Dude, Captain America overcame the fraud just like he's been overcoming America's enemies for sixty years - minus a few decades spent in a block of ice.

Cap may have come out on the losing end of Marvel Comics' recent Civil War, but he continued to live up to his ideal of heroism even while he was in the custody of the U.S. government for violating the Super Human Registration Act. Acting selflessly to protect the very U.S. Marshals that had him in handcuffs, Rogers suffered gunshot wounds to the shoulder, chest and stomach, and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

For his service in defense of the American dream and his ultimate act of sacrifice, the Dude Committee posthumously recognizes (in the closest voting ever) Steve Rogers, the original and greatest Captain America, as DudeSpin Athlete of the Week. Rest in peace Cap... until some writer decides to bring you back from the dead!

A Most Troubling Development


DudeSpin tipster Rachel Cohen reports that the University of Texas plans to "go hard" after Journey coach Gail Goestenkors this summer as the replacement for Jody Conradt. Needless to say, this is troubling on many fronts. For this particular DudeSpin contributor, who loves the Journey and, by the same token, hates all things burnt orange, Goestenkors coaching Texas would be like Yao Ming playing center for the Mavericks; or Craig Biggio playing for the Yankees; or Barack Obama being the Prime Minister of Canada.

University of Texas - Keep your dirty little longhorns to yourself, stay away from G...

And Coach G, let me be one of the first to say, please don't go; you are already an icon for Duke, and so much more of a legacy to create. You've always told us to enjoy the journey; I, for one, think the Journey would go just fine without a detour to Austin.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fraudulent Athlete of the Week: Jason Richardson


Congratulations to Jason Richardson on winning Athlete of the Week Honors in the past week. A note on the selection process - I counted Joel's vote as a 1/2 vote for Leandro Barbosa and a 1/2 vote for the Suns team; I counted Tylwalk's vote as a 3/5 vote for the fake person he voted for (under the DudeSpin constitution fake people count as 3/5 of a real person for voting purposes), and I couldn't figure whether Undude had attempted to lodge a vote or not, or for whom he voted.
Under these circumstances, I declare Jason Richardson this week's winner! Congratulations Jason!

(Note: After a recount, voter fraud has been declared in this week's Athlete of the Week and the rightful winner has been recognized. Please see the post above!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Athlete of the Week Candidates

If it's Tuesday, it must be Athlete of the Week candidate announcement time. This week's candidates are:

(1) Jason Richardson: this Golden State Warrior scored 16 points Monday night to help propel his team to a 117-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, ending Dallas's 17 game winning streak.

(2) Al Harrington: this Golden State Warrior scored 16 points Monday night to help propel his team to a 117-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, ending Dallas's 17 game winning streak.

(3) Andris Biedrins: this Golden State Warrior scored 16 points Monday night to help propel his team to a 117-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, ending Dallas's 17 game winning streak.

(4) Stephen Jackson: this Golden State Warrior scored 16 points Monday night to help propel his team to a 117-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, ending Dallas's 17 game winning streak.

(4) Mikael Pietrus: this Golden State Warrior scored 20 points Monday night to help propel his team to a 117-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, ending Dallas's 17 game winning streak.

As usual, vote for your favorite, or better yet, nominate your own. In a particularly light week for sports, my choices were limited... My vote goes to Jason Richardson

A phenomenal Journeyer

I know one topic that we haven't really discussed much on this blog is the Journey's Lindsey Harding. But this USA Today article really drew my attention, as it talks about Lindsey working with special needs children, and the bond that has developed between Lindsey and one special-needs child in particular. Like most USA Today articles, it can be read in roughly 12 seconds, and definitely worth your time ad infinitum.
For reasons cited in this article and many more, Lindsey Harding is definitely an early candidate for the 2007 DudeSpin Person of the Year.

Why the Long Face Dr. Howard?


Is it because you are getting your rear kicked by a team playing on the second night of a back-to-back who just lost to PORTLAND by 20 points the night before??
Yeah, that might have something to do with it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Women in a Walk?

The path for Duke to the Final Four certainly seems paved with gold. Not just because they stay at home, but Vandy and ASU as two and three seeds aren't exactly traditional powers.

As Does Another

So after finishing the last two regular seasons ranked No. 1, Duke finishes this regular season ranked ... well, unranked.

But look at the bright side, at least we're not Knicks fans!
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2795257

Sunday, March 11, 2007

One streak comes to an end


DudeSpin would be remiss not to note that one NCAA postseason streak will, without much doubt, come to an end today - that of UConn men's basketball team's 5 straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies' 2006-07 season began badly and never got on track.


In times like these, I imagine that DudeSpin contributor Undude can only console himself by smiling at the memories of a shared champagne bottle with Khalid El-Amin, or a shared embrace with Richard Hamilton.


But for now, there's only shared disappointment.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Now This is Just Embarrassing...

Regular DudeSpin readers may remember that I made this generous offer to Mark Cuban a while back, offering the services of the Dude Committee to copy edit Blog Maverick. Some of the other DudeSpin contributors seemed to suggest that because Cuban was a billionaire, he shouldn't have to bother with inconveniences like grammar and spelling.

I let it go for a while, but after reading Thursday's post at Blog Maverick I felt the need to share:

This past week I decided to supoena Google to get the names of users that were uploading copies of our movies. I have no intention of pulling an RIAA and suing the users. I do have every attention of sending supoenas early and often to get the names and emails of users uploading our content they have pirated.

Why ? To learn.

I expect that the users will have given fake information, but i want to confirm that is the case. It will be a useful data point. ( I will be interesting to see if when there is ultimately a legal battle, that the courts will allow a company to present itself as a hosting company when it has no idea who ANY of its customers are and it has no business model that creates revenues from hosting.) I suspect that from time to time we will get the emails and actually be able to make contact with users. That is when it could get interesting. I want to ask them some simple questions. The first of which is why ? Sure there are a lot of possible and obvious answers, but maybe the will tell me something new or interesting that I can learn from.

The 2nd question will be whether they were induced by Google in any way to upload the video. Not that I think Google coerced them in any way. I don't. But I want to know if they feel that Google endorses and supports uploading and streaming of pirated content. I want to know why they ignored the warnings that are on the video upload page.

Knowledge comes not just from supoenas.
The "challenge" for DudeSpin readers is to spot the misspelled word. Hints: it's a legal term, and it's used several times.

So I repeat my offer. For just $5 million a year - a pittance for a billionaire, and quite a bit less than the Mavs are paying Austin Croshere - you can have your blog posts edited by two lawyers, a freelance writer and an English teacher, and we'll have your crusade against Google and YouTube looking and sounding sharp.

How about it Mark?

Dirk Nowitzki

A treat for the weekend DudeSpin readers. MVP candidate and all-around goofball Dirk Nowitzki films a Rolling Stones tribute video, seen by 1/2 of DudeSpin in Dallas just two weeks ago!

Jerry Falwell: I Accept Newt's Apology

See Dude, Newt knew exactly what he was doing...and it worked.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Countdown to Beijing

The Beijing Olympics Committee recently posted their guidelines for obtaining media credentials to cover the 2008 Olympics. Do I sense four passes in the offing for DudeSpin correspondents? Latest word from China is that tickets will go on sale starting in April.

This was Disgusting to Read

So news breaks that old Newty was having an extramarital affair at the same time that he was leading the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton for a false statement in grand jury testimony regarding an extramarital affair.

"I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."

Keeping in mind that the legal standard for an impeachable offense is "high crimes and misdemeanors," and that most respectable legal scholars will tell you that garden variety perjury falls far short of that standard, Newt's venom-filled crusade against Clinton during that time, in light of his own transgressions, is just deplorable, on multiple levels

ESPN & Pokey Chatman

I hopped on ESPN just now and the Pokey Chatman story is occupying the second story slot, atop the sidebar, playing second fiddle to a Jayson Stark story about the comeback of Josh Hamilton.

With all due respect to coke addicts & Jayson Stark (who is my favorite ESPN baseball writer), there is no way that the Chatman story should play second fiddle to any other sports story going on right now (until Selection Sunday). You have the biggest rising star young coach in the profession, having led her team to 3 straight Final Fours, resigning right before the NCAAs amid allegations that she had improper sexual relations with multiple former players, including WNBA players.

I get that women's college hoops is still a sport on the margins; and that gay players and coaches are an accepted part of that sport. But, nonetheless, the male analogy would be Billy Donovan quitting because he was sleeping with Mike Miller and David Lee.

So why isn't ESPN giving this story the John Amaechi treatment? or even the Hollinger-Stein treatment??

Did you know?

I just saw this on goduke and immediately wondered why it wasn't a national story, especially given how much attention the first game got. I guess the media's just waiting to see what happens in the postseason now...

On the strength of its 14-7 win over Maryland last week, Duke has ascended to the number one spot in both major men's lacrosse polls released on Monday afternoon. It marks the first time in school history that the Blue Devils have been ranked as the top team in the nation.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A More Embarrassing Side to the Pokey Chatman Resignation

Here's a quote from the New York Times' article on Chatman attributed to LSU athletic director Skip Bertman:

Referring to Chatman, Bertman told the Times-Picayune, "The girl did what she did and L.S.U. had no control over that."


The girl? Hey Skip, please join us here in 2007 whenever you're ready...

Uh....

After a day at work away from the computer, why was I stunned to come home and see no mention yet of Pokey Chatman here?
That one sets the "women's basketball players aren't all gay" movement back about 73 years.

The Vision is Over for 2007!

If you couldn't feel that we were going to lose that game, you haven't been watching Duke at all this season. By the way, no team has ever lost in its first game in a conference tourney and gone on to win the NCAA Tournament, so... let's go Journey!

And oh yeah, I guess UCLA is done too...

The Brady Bunch


This story sounds like a broken record, or perhaps just a broken condom...

As it becomes increasingly apparent that I am the only Dude who actually works at his job, I finally felt the need to return to DudeSpin when I read that Tom Brady might be having another baby with another woman.

I've long argued that Joe Montana's Super Bowl records are in serious danger, but now it seems Shawn Kemp's records might fall as well. According to a Brazilian website, Tom's latest flame is also pregnant, just weeks after it was announced that his old girlfriend will be bringing a little Tom into the world.

Now I don't know if "Brazillian website" is an accurate source, but I do know if Tom keeps up this pace, the future will be populated entirely by incredibly hot people. My unborn children will have plenty of eye-candy in the year 2025!

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6548010

That's a Tommy Point!!

From Bill Simmon's running diary of the Dude matchup between the Rockets and the Celtics last night:
-----
9:42 -- Coming out of commercial, we see a replay of Yao's finger getting bent back on a rebound and Yao screaming in pain, followed by Gorman reporting that Yao went to the locker room to get it checked out, then Tommy joking, "That was his chopstick finger, too, he may not be able to eat anymore!" and Gorman changing the subject as fast as humanly possible.
(The lesson, as always: It's never dull when anyone older than 70 is allowed near a microphone during a sporting event.)
-----
Now if Yao starts losing weight at an alarming rate over the next few weeks, we'll know why

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Finally, Something to Bring the Dude & Head Dude Together

I saw this story about Jewish families adopting unwanted young daughters from China; and a smile immediately appeared on my face...

Although the intersection of religion and childrearing will always trouble me, anything that increases the likelihood of Chinese men and women dancing to the Hava Nagila while floating above the crowd in chairs is okay by me!!

Elias Says...

"The Mavericks made history on Tuesday night -- not just team history, not just NBA history, but major North American pro sports history. With their 102-89 victory over the Nets, the Mavericks became the first team in NBA history to earn 51 wins in a 56-game span within a single season.
"No team in the NHL or in Major League Baseball has done such a thing, either. (And in the NFL, no team has ever amassed 51 wins over any multiple-season stretch of 56 regular-season games.)"

Just thought you'd want to know.

Unathlete of the Week: Tyler Hansbrough

With no votes against, Tyler Hansbrough is the unanimous selection as this past week's Unathlete of the Week. Hansbrough ripped a meaningless rebound away from a Duke walk-on and then did the unthinkable, committing bone-jarring foul against Gerald Henderson, a prone, airborne player unable to defend himself in the closing seconds of the Duke-UNC game - foul that knocked Henderson out of Duke's next game. Shame on you Tyler, you are DudeSpin's Unathlete of the Week

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Unathlete of the Week Candidates

Another week, another slate of candidates:

(1) Josh McRoberts: The lottery pick entering the year has seemingly played himself not just out of the lottery, but back to Duke for his junior year. McRoberts's week began with a sloppy game against Maryland in Cameron that included one memorable low post feed to Brian Zoubek that had two DudeSpin contributors jumping out of their seats, and not in a good way. But McRoberts saved his best unathlete performance for last, commiting 6 turnovers (including one on another *cough* feed inside to Zoubek) in the Vision's loss to UNC, which brings us to our second candidate.

(2) Tyler Hansbrough: Apparently not satisfied with just humiliating Duke with his play, UNC's Tyler Hansbrough took it a step further Sunday afternoon. Some of you may have heard/seen about this already, but it's worth repeating no less. Watch as Hansbrough wrestles the offensive board away from McRoberts, then goes up HARD (and I'm quite sure that he had malicious intent at this point), and (here's where the unathlete move comes in) commits a VICIOUS FOUL against Duke's Gerald Henderson. Watch as Hansbrough brings his nose HARD across Henderson's elbow/forearm area, OUCH, and commits the unnecessary foul.


Needless to say, Hansbrough's cheap shot foul, which knocked Henderson to the sidelines for Duke's next game, was completely unnecessary, and earned him consideration for unathlete of the week honors.

(3) Doc Rivers: Old Doc has apparently lost his focus on the prize: Kevreg Duroden. Doc led his Celtics to four straight wins in the past week!! Doc, where's the tanking?!?!

My vote goes to Hansbrough

Monday, March 05, 2007

Spot the Former Chronicle Staffers...

... in this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here's a hint: there are two of them.

WWE Inks Duke's Henderson

Stamford, CT - A World Wrestling Entertainment official, speaking upon condition of anonymity, confirmed Monday that the company had completed a multi-year deal with Duke men's basketball player Gerald Henderson.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Not much is known about the wrestling background of Henderson, but the official said the promotion considers him a rising star because fans around the country are already familiar with his finishing manuever, the Blue Devil Bash - a combination elbow/forearm smash that can leave his opponents bloody.

The source added that he expects Henderson to be pushed as a face, or good guy, "except when we do shows in Chapel Hill."

Henderson, Schmenderson

I didn't see the Henderson-Hansborough play that apparently has ACC country buzzing today. Frankly, I don't like to watch garbage time in basketball (as an aside, I never understood why the students in our day always buzzed whenever Jay Heaps or Justin Caldbeck got into the game. If I wanted to watch mediocre basketball, I'd go down to the Y, where I might even get to play in a game or two). But after watching the replay, I was impressed that Hansborough was still scrapping and fighting for boards in garbage time, and bounced back up from the hit with the resiliency of a fighter.

And you know who that didn't remind me of? Josh McRoberts.

McRoberts seems content to drift around the perimeter on offense, and make his (largely ineffectual) up-and-under movers in the paint. To his credit, McRoberts gives great effort on defense and cleans the glass. But until he can channel some of Hansborough's disposition to dominate at both ends of the floor, McRoberts will remain an incomplete player who has fallen well short of the (possibly unfair) expectations bestowed upon him at the beginning of the season.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Throwing it down Big Fella!!


Word out of Houston is that the Big Fella will be back Monday night against Cleveland. Yao Ming could not have timed his return any better, as his team is reeling from an embarassing blowout loss at home to a Tony Parker-less San Antonio Spurs squad.
Yao's return is likely to reinvigorate a Rockets squad that has quietly slipped to third in the Dude NBA Power Rankings:
(1) Dallas
(2) Phoenix
(3) Houston
(4) San Antonio
DudeSpin fans, it won't be long before DudeSpin publishes a story on the controversy at the top between the Dude Rankings and the Gold Star Rankings.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Snap is Back; Hold is Down; Kick is Up, and ... It's Wide East

While commuting back from Dallas yesterday, I read the free copy of the N.Y.Times offered by the Fairmont Hotel at Love Field and stumbled upon this story about the NFL's plans to train Chinese FG kickers to use in the exhibition game between the Seahawks and the Patriots next August in Beijing.

I am somewhat flabbergasted that America's most successful professional sports league would stoop to this level to promote its sport in China. As you'll read in the story, the three tryout kickers are having trouble kicking 40 yard field goals.

The Chinese are nothing if not intensely proud of its culture and people. I can almost guarantee that the Chinese reaction to this gimmicky and purely ceremonial use of a Chinese kicker in an exhibition game will be negative, if not outwardly hostile. They know that none of these kickers have any shot of beating out Josh Brown or Stephen Gostowski for a job.

I can't speak for all of China, but I think it's safe to say that the Chinese eagerly await an NFL player to call its own; but that player better be a legitimate player, and not an Eddie Gaedel.

But for the time being, there's always Hines Ward.

Perfection Denied



I guess the round number of 30 seemed like as good of a number as any to call it quits; and truth be told, the Journey could not have picked a better game, or a better coach, to witness the end of its run at perfection.

After a two month leave to undergo cancer treatment, Kay Yow returned to her team in late January and has since led the Wolfpack to 10 wins in 11 games, including an emotional win against No. 2 UNC on the night when NC State renamed its floor Kay Yow Court and the latest victim of the Pack's slingshot - previously unbeaten Duke.

Much has changed since the Dude Committee covered ACC women's hoops - even Jim Davis at Clemson stepped down from his head coaching position to the front office. But Yow, along with Debbie Ryan of Virginia, Sylvia Hatchell from UNC and Gail Goestenkors has remained, and form arguably, the Mount Rushmore of ACC Women's Hoops coaches.

But Yow's return is made even more remarkable by the guiding of her team back from an 8 point deficit with around 6 minutes left against the Journey.

Congratulations Coach Yow. Today, you were better than perfect.