Saturday, April 28, 2007

NFL Draft Day!

Will the Texans pass on Reggie Bush again?? Will the Cowboys draft a holder to fill their most glaring need?? Will the Patriots draft a quarterback who's not fathering children out of wedlock?? Tune in Franchise's draft blog for the latest and greatest in NFL draft coverage today!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another Problem I Have with ESPN

Besides the relentless self-promotion, ESPN seems to have quietly negotiated a new provision in its contract with the NBA for TV rights -- the requirement that every former player in the league spend at least a year as an "analyst" after retiring. Every day, the Daily Dime has someone different -- Jamal Mashburn, Allan Houston, Greg Anthony, Tim Legler, Kiki Vandeweigh, David Thorpe, etc. That's not to mention the one-a-day theories from John Hollinger, the rantings of Stephen A. Smith, and the stylings of Scoop Jackson equating Dwayne Wade with Jesus. And you know what? They're all crappy!

Does it not occur to them that perhaps the reason TNT is so universally loved is because they found three guys in the studio that had great chemistry together (e.g., when Kenny got two Devins (Harris and George) confused last night, Barkley blurted out "that's because we all look alike, right Ernie?"), and have stuck with them for years? Sure, they bring in a legend here and there like Magic and Reggie Miller, and have a few random guests in the studio at times, but never at the exclusion of Kenny and Charles.

ESPN has started doing the same thing with baseball -- long gone are the days when you'd just see Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian on Baseball Tonight -- as well as football, and seems to think it's better to show they can bring in all sorts of former players who instantly are going to be respected.

But there's a reason I like Marc Stein. He's been doing this for a while now, seems to have inside access to a lot of teams, and has earned the respect. Jamal Mashburn? His proclamation that the Cavs won't go anywhere or the Jazz still have a chance down 0-2 against the Rockets doesn't really carry much weight.

It's why I rarely watch SportsCenter now after a big game -- outside of knowing you'll get Barry Melrose to talk about hockey, with the other sports, you don't know who the "expert" will be, and if it's even someone you care to listen to.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bucs in 16!


Has anyone else noticed that more than half of the Pirates' total wins this season have come courtesy of the Astros? Just sayin...

If I'm the Nuggets, I'm Feeling Pretty Decent Right Now

Sure, you could argue that any game they're close against the Spurs, they need to win. But how many teams made a run late in the fourth-quarter against the vintage Spurs like Denver did tonight? Not many!

That's a Dude Ticket!!

Agent Zero was hawking these on his blog, and you know what? I might just have to get one!! It is an infinite improvement over Bush-Cheney!!

John Hollinger - Backpedalling Faster Than Don Imus

Just a week after giving Golden State less than a 4% chance of beating Dallas, Hollinger has revised his odds. Drawing data just from the last 17 games for the Warriors (starting with the return of a healthy Baron Davis to a lineup that already included a healthy Jason Richardson), but the full season for the Mavericks, Hollinger's recrunched numbers indicate that GS now has a 59.6% chance to beat the Mavericks. Is it accurate? I'll say it's much more accurate than the 4%. But then again, Hollinger's numbers don't reflect my scouting of both teams' tendencies. Nevertheless, it is interesting fodder for discussion.

Hollinger did the same thing for the Denver series, using the 19 games where Camby, Iverson and Anthony all played, and again, the full season for the Spurs. His revised numbers indicate Denver's odds have increased to 42.2%. Is it accurate? I think so.

Both numbers reflect for the most part what I've said: the Mavericks are in trouble, the Spurs will be fine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is There Another Dude Committee Out There?

Not on this planet, surely. But what about other planets? Impossible, you say. Maybe not...

Apparently, scientists have discovered the first planet other than Earth that could have liquid water and support life. The planet dubbed Gliese 581 C is 50 percent larger than Earth and 15 times closer to its star - a year there would last only 13 Earth days - but because it orbits a red dwarf, it's exactly the right distance to have a mean temperature between 32 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. That means water would be liquid, and our definition of life would be possible.

Computers are predicting Gliese 581 C is either rocky like Earth or completely covered with oceans like, um, the Earth in Kevin Costner's Waterworld. So place your bets Committee members! Do the first extraterrestrial Dudes have gills, or are they lawyers like Head Dude and The Dude?

Mazel Tov Rachel!

DudeSpin would like to send a special congratulatory message to one of its loyal readers - Rachel Cohen. After a few years in the Dallas Metroplex and College Station, Rachel, one of the two "great" sportswriters at the Chronicle during the Adam Ganz era, is moving up to the big time. Ms. Cohen has accepted a position as a writer with the Associated Press in its New York sports bureau. DudeSpin is confident that Ms. Cohen will shatter all standards of excellence once set by Dave Droschak once she arrives in the Big Apple.

Mazel Tov Rachel!! And how about some free Yankees tickets??

[EDIT: Changed "good" to "great"]

No Tommy Point for You!!

The Celtics cut ties with Sebastian Telfair today, less than a year after trading their 1st round pick for him - that pick turned into Brandon Roy for the Trailblazers.

Nice job Cs. Nothing like passing on the Rookie of the Year for a dimunitive 3rd string point guard who can't beat out Delonte West or Rajon Rondo for minutes. I hope they get the second pick and pass on Kevin Durant - that would be very Celtics of them.

Athlete of the Week Candidates

Another week, another slate of candidates.

(1) Alex Rodriguez: Yes, I know the Yanks are in the midst of a four game losing streak, but there is no one in baseball swinging the sticks any better than this guy. A-Rod is on a collision course with history, and when he breaks Bonds's career HR record in a few years, there will be much more fanfare and celebration than that which will await Bonds's record breaker this fall.

(2) Baron Davis: With GS needing a win to clinch a playoff spot in its last regular season game, Baron posted a triple double with 12 pts, 10 boards and 14 assists. In GS's 1st playoff game, Baron was a man amongst boys - going 33-14-8 to lift GS to a shocking upset, in the eyes of many, over the Dallas Mavericks.

(3) Liviu Librescu: The 76 year-old Holocaust survivor was responsible for perhaps the most celebrated act of heroism out of the many emerging from the Virginia Tech shootings. Dr. Librescu used his body to barricade the door, allowing nearly all of his students to escape through the windows. While Dr. Librescu died with a reported five bullet wounds as the gunman attempted to shoot his way in, only one of Librescu's 23 registered students suffered the same fate.

Although A-Rod has been smoking and B-Diddy is playing lights out, this week's decision isn't exactly difficult.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Denied Again

Nine years ago, the Red Wings and Stars staged an epic (to some) six-game battle in which Chris Osgood overcame the demons of a 60-foot Jamie Langenbrunner overtime winner to lead the Wings past the Stars and on to an eventual Stanley Cup. Since then, both teams have hoisted Lord Stanley, but have somehow avoided a rematch. Tonight, destiny seemed to be in the cards, but a 5-on-3 changed the moment, and even though the Canucks couldn't score then, they eventually got the puck past Marty Turco twice, and when a Modano slap shot hit the cross bar with three minutes left, I knew the battle we've long awaited would have to wait at least another year. Farewell NHL, see you in October!

Texas Two-Step: Spurs, Mavs Fall at Home

John Hollinger is in a daze after the opening weekend of the NBA playoffs! Mere days after declaring that the Spurs - who Hollinger had a man-crush on all season - and the Mavs were the teams with the best chances of winning it all, the ESPN.com analyst now has to explain why and how both teams gave away home court advantage by honking Game 1 to the Nuggets and Warriors respectively.

I'll give it a shot for him. There's a pretty simple rule of thumb for the NBA that goes like this: when your team's star players outplay the star players on the other team, your team is probably going to win. Thus, while Duncan was looking old and Manu was looking more bald than ever, Carmelo and A.I. were superb for Denver, and that was pretty much the story of Game 1. Even an unusually valiant effort for a Frenchman (Tony Parker) wasn't enough.

Meanwhile, I'll admit to not seeing most of the Warriors-Mavs contest because I was watching the Detroit Red Wings eliminate the pesky Calgary Flames, but when Baron Davis' line looks like this:

33 pts, 14 reb, 8 assists

And Dirk Nowitski's looks like this:

14 pts, 12 reb, 4 assists

And Steven Jackson outscores all of Dirk's running mates and Matt Barnes easily outscores Dallas' entire bench, let's just say it doesn't look good.

Note that my rule doesn't hold true for team's with a star that plays well but has no supporting cast, so Kobe can score 60 a game against the Suns and it isn't going to make any difference.

I don't think anyone except The Dude really thinks the Mavs are in danger of losing this series, but they sure made things difficult for themselves. If this loss lights a fire under Dirk I'll be much more okay with him winning the MVP award.

As for the Spurs, maybe it's the homer in me but I think they now have a fight on their hands. Yes, I think Duncan and Manu will play better as the series goes on, but they had zero answer for Iverson off the dribble, and Denver made most of the hustle plays with guys like Nene, Najera and Kleiza beating the Spurs' old legs to loose balls and rebounds. Hollinger has to be at least a little nervous now!

In less exciting news, nice win by the Rockets over the Jazz, Dude.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Certainty of Airborne Win Cemented

Although many pundits are all but handing the game next fall between Airborne and Notre Dame to Roof's Roughriders, some held out hope that the Brady-less Irish will be rescued by freshman phenom Jimmy Clausen.

Those Irish hopes for a rescue from doom against Duke were dashed Saturday, as Clausen looked inept in going a very blah 3 for 7 for 23 yards in the Notre Dame spring game.

Dudes, what was once a possibility is now all but a certainty - Duke WILL beat Notre Dame next fall!!

Spring Practice Report


Spring is here, and with it, a young boy’s fancy turns to love and baseball. But in Durham, NC, a young boy can’t help but get caught up in the excitement that is Duke Football Spring Practice. Unfortunately, I backed off this weekend and missed the Spring Game, but I have been compiling spring practice information for DudeSpin readers.

OFFENSE – Last month Duke hired its fourth offensive coordinator in as many years. A former head coach in NFL Europe, Peter Vaas has spent the past two seasons mentoring Brady Quinn. While he’s never been an offensive coordinator, I think this is a great hire. He’s spent the last two years worth of practices working with Quinn to pick apart the Notre Dame defense. I think this hire was made solely with Nov. 17 in mind. He can now use this knowledge to lead us into South Bend and help pull of an historic upset. An upset that will forever change our program. An upset we will witness live.

Vaas and Roof are talking about playing more aggressively on the offensive side, saying that throwing the ball downfield is the only way we’ll win. Similar jargon that Carl Franks shoved down our throats, but we will have to wait and see.

Essentially, everyone is back. All 11 starters return, and while these starters went 0-12 last year, I naively believe there is reason to hope. The offensive line should be better. Everyone returns, and several kids who redshirted last year are currently competing for starting gigs. Roof says last year’s line recruiting class is the best he’s ever been associated with, and he was able to redshirt all but one last year. This has to be a good sign, right? Last year this unit was pushed around, and struggled protecting the QB. We also could never count on 1-2 yard surges when we needed them. That has to get better.

At QB, Thad took every single snap this spring, and players and coaches are saying he’s improved a lot. He has no backup. Last year’s Day One starter, Marcus Jones, has been moved to outside linebacker, where he recorded two tackles for loss on Saturday. Jones is small, but the coaches think his speed and athleticism will make up for that. But I digress… After the spring game, Roof first told reporters that Thad will be our starter. But a few questions later acknowledged that returning cheater Zach Asack will compete for the job. I think it is obviously Thad’s job to lose, but should he struggle, we do have another guy who has also started for the bulk of a season. And looking down the next three years, well, this has the potential to be another Campbell vs. Romine. Dudes, we must be vigilant and remain a united front in support of Thad. Anyway, in a scrimmage two weeks ago Thad was 22-of-28 for 252 yards and four TDs. If only he could play the Duke D every week…

We remain deep at WR, led by coach Scottie Montgomery. We add two 2006 redshirts who are both over 6-5, which will be nice to see. Jomar Wright and Eron Riley are back, as is Raphael Chestnut. I really like Riley and think he has the potential to have a breakout season. Unfortunately, Chestnut was responsible for a fatal car accident this off-season and had a court date April 16. He’s charged with a misdemeanor vehicle death. He played all spring and I have not seen anything about his court date, so I guess that is still undetermined.

Ninety-eight percent of our rushing returns, led by Re'quan Boyette and Justin Boyle. Meanwhile, Clifford Harris has emerged as Duke’s leading rusher in two different scrimmages and the spring game. He didn’t play last year, so I don’t know anything about him.

Stay tuned kids, later in the week I will file a report on the rest of the squad…

Friday, April 20, 2007

NBA Western Conference Power Rankings

All season long, Head Dude has mocked my version of the Power Rankings... So I thought I'd unveil my rankings heading into the Playoffs for the Western Conference:
1) San Antonio
2) Phoenix
3) Golden State
4) Houston
5) Dallas
6) Utah
7) Denver
8) L.A. Lakers

Obviously, the outlier in my rankings is Golden State; but keep in mind that this is a team with a healthy Baron Davis who essentially improved its roster by adding 3 all-stars in the middle of the season, while giving up no one of any value. It stole Stephen Jackson & Al Harrington from the Pacers, and added a healthy Jason Richardson to its roster. With Baron Davis playing as well as he's ever played, I have the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio before losing in 6 games.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Wager is On! Head Dude Can't Back Out Now!

With Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming all healthy, Head Dude is now locked into the bet with me. With Houston the slight favorite against Utah and the red hot Golden State Warriors a slight favorite against the Dallas Mavericks (who have yet to beat Golden State this season), I must say I like my chances!!

Clerical Error Means Duke Erases Bitterness of Winless Seasons in 96, 01, 02, 06

I know some of you thought that Airborne went winless four times in the last decade. Not true!! At least, not according to the math practiced by those in College Station, TX below.

Evidently, the Aggies added a win to the season ledger based on the results of the annual Spring football game. Obviously, based on that tactic, Fred Goldsmith, Carl Franks and Ted Roof can erase the bitterness of winless seasons from their collective palates, unless, of course, the Spring game ended in a tie.

Welcome to the McCallie Journey



According to ESPN, after a few weeks of anxiety, the Journey appears to have found a replacement for Gail - current MSU head coach Joanne McCallie. The unexpected Joanne led the Spartans to the 2005 NCAA Championship game against Baylor and, if the reports are true, would bring a seven year record of 149-75 to Duke.

Coach McCallie, welcome to the Journey!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Clean Out Your Desk Pokey: Chatman Reportedly Given Two Hours to Resign

And the Pokey Chatman show continues! The AP is reporting that Chatman's attorney claims the former LSU coach was given two hours to resign or be fired. The article goes on to say that if the situation can't be resolved amicably, Chatman will sue the university.

I don't pretend to be an expert on the inner workings of the LSU athletic department, but given what we've already heard about athletic director Skip Bertman, can there be any doubt that this story is at least partially true? Making matters even murkier, it appears LSU has no formal policy forbidding relationships between coaches and players, so it's questionable whether there was just cause for Chatman's allegedly forced resignation. Perhaps this is an issue that can be investigated by the lawyer types on the DudeSpin staff!

Stay tuned...

Unathlete of the Week Candidates

This week's slate of unathletes:

(1) Alfonso Soriano - In the two weeks since the ex-Ranger signed the biggest deal of the season, Soriano has been busy justifying that as the WORST deal of the off season; and that's difficult to do considering the Brinks truck the Giants delivered to their mediocre lefty Barry Zito. For the season, Soriano is slugging a Brad Ausmus-like .365, with no homers, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base. For added affect, Soriano strained a hamstring yesterday trying to make a play in centerfield.

(2) Ryan Gomes: After a recent loss that clinched the worst record in the East for the Celts, Mr. Gomes had this to say about why he wasn't out there for the fourth quarter: "I probably (would have played), but since we were in the hunt for a high draft pick, of course things are different. I understand that. Hopefully things get better. Now that we clinched at least having the second-most balls in the lottery, the last three games we'll see what happens. We'll see if we can go out and finish some games." Nice job Ryan, tanking was a lot more fun when players aren't outright admitting to it... Now you've blown Doc's cover!

My vote? Ryan Gomes

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thoughts on Blacksburg

Eight years ago, I traveled to Blacksburg to cover the Journey with Big Play Ray. As with all trips with Big Play Ray, I tried to distract myself with all things other than conversation with Big Play. But this time, Blacksburg made it easy - I marveled at the scenary surrounding us during our drive through the Appalachians; and I smiled at the quaint beauty of the Virginia Tech campus. This morning, the beauty of the Blacksburg campus became a truly haunting one as grainy, cell-phone images and videos of the campus in the midst of its biggest nightmare streamed across CNN and MSNBC. Back then, my heart fell a little for the campus of Virginia Tech; today, it remains with those in Blacksburg.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Exodus Begins?

No, not Moses leading the Israelites; but Gail Goestenkors leading her recruits away from Durham. Elena DelleDonne, the top high school junior prospect in the country, is still considering six schools in her search, albeit with a minor subtraction and addition. DelleDonne has dropped Duke and added Texas.

Should Imus blame Harding?

Of course not, but anyone think of the irony that if Lindsey Harding had hit two free throws, or probably at least one, Don Imus would still be on TV and radio right now living his regularly scheduled life? I'm sure the Dude doesn't appreciate that suggestion!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Exoneration



I do find it somewhat surprising on the day after the exoneration of the three Duke athletes involved in the biggest Duke sports story ever, no DudeSpin contributor has thought fit to comment on the story. While the dropping of the charges was fully anticipated at this point, yesterday still marked the resolution of a year-long nightmare for the campus in which there were no winners, a chock-full of losers, and one (apparently) vindictive liar - Crystal Gail Mangum.

While it is refreshing to know that, at least this time, the legal system wound its way to the right result, the legacy of the Duke lacrosse case will, of course, be the railroading of justice and the rush to judgment by most observers. Nevertheless, I certainly hope that the exoneration of the Messrs. Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty does not (1) end the conversation concerning the strained relations between classes, genders, and races in and around the Duke campus, or (2) signal to Duke athletes that the culture of anything goes will be back. But, most significantly, I hope the exonerations DO teach all of us a lesson in reserving judgment, regardless of the race, class, or gender of the principal actors involved.

I wonder what Mike Pressler is thinking right now.

Another Dudemania Dallas?

The NFL schedule was released yesterday and features this nugget: New England at Dallas, October 14, ironically within a week of last year's Houston/Dallas showdown. Could the gods smile upon another trip to the Oklahoma casino, more adventure with the two-ton pig at the state fair, and another 35-6 Cowboys win?

Last One Off The Journey Please Turn Off The Lights!

Don't know how I missed this last week but I saw that former Duke assistant and ace recruiter Tia Jackson left to continue Duke's takeover of Pac-10 women's basketball by accepting the head coaching job at Washington. Talk about a resume: played at Iowa for C. Vivian Stringer, played in the WNBA for Cheryl Miller, was an assistant at Stanford under Tara VanDerveer, and, of course, at Duke for Goestenkors. Sounds like she would have made a good replacement for Coach G. Oh well, Joe Alleva promises he'll get someone to keep the good times rolling. Any day now Joe!

Also of interest:
  • Van Chancellor officially named to succeed Pokey Chatman at LSU: As The Dude pointed out, he's not likely to have affairs with any of his players! Oh yeah, plus he can coach. The ESPN article says he will keep assistant Bob Starkey, but it will be intriguing to see what happens with Carla Berry, a.k.a. The Whistleblower.

Stars-Canucks Wage Four-OT Thriller in Front of TV Audience of Hundreds

What a game, apparently. As Head Dude hasn't checked in here at DudeSpin today, I can only guess that he is physically and emotionally drained by the Dallas Stars falling 5-4 to the Vancouver Canucks in four OTs last night. I can verify that this game actually took place, because as one of about 0.5 percent of Americans who gets Versus, I was watching, though I fell asleep long before twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin teamed up to end the marathon.

Since the goal of DudeSpin is to educate as well as entertain and we don't talk much hockey, here's a name to remember: Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. Stuck with the sorry Florida Panthers for the first years of his career, Luongo played in his first playoff game last night and merely made 72 saves to get the win. Yes, the Stars set a modern record with 76 shots on goal and lost, which can't make Head Dude too pleased.

Athlete of the Week: Drew Bledsoe


After receiving no consensus in the Athlete of the Week voting this past week, I will again usurp AOTW naming powers and give this week's honor to DudeSpin legend and potential Dude Committee HOF honoree Drew Bledsoe, who announced his retirement today.


Bledsoe played for both the Patriots and the Cowboys, thereby allowing 3 of the 4 dudes to marvel in his greatness; he also shared his wits with the world in one of the best four week blogs of all time. Drew, for leading the Patriots to their first Super Bowl win (hey, in my mind, you led them to the glory land!) and allowing for the glorious ending to the Cowboys season last year , you are this week's Athlete of the Week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Joe-for-Two... Boyle Stays

Tylwalk-stopper and G-successor Joanne Boyle has agreed to an extension with Cal. Joe Alleva failed to land the best candidate (surprise!) and will surely now find a personal friend of his from some no-name school in western North Carolina. In sadder news, Boyle used the journey against us, saying, "It wasn't that I didn't feel like I could be at Duke. I feel my journey is at Cal. You've got to follow your heart."

Dice-KOd


Well dudes, the dream of a perfect season is over. It turns out that Latin America also has good baseball players, not just Asia. Who knew?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Losing G No Big Deal?

So says this youngster. In the end, seems to be a pretty vacuous argument. Meanwhile, Boyle visited Durham in the past few days.

A Job Posting Beckoning the Franchise

A friend sent this to me; I've scanned the qualifications; and the Franchise definitely qualifies... What about it Franchise? promoting Lindsey Harding's career doesn't seem that difficult does it? The only downside is that you'll have to live in Minneapolis.

Athlete of the Week Candidates

Here are you candidates for the week of 4/10/2007.

(1) Daisuke Matsuzaka: In a shameless effort to get the Undude to care about the blog again, I salute Dice-K's stellar 1st start in apple pie country, limiting the Royals to 1 run over 7 innings and striking out ten.

(2) Jesus: In another shameless effort to get the Undude to care about the blog again, I salute his Savior. Jesus resurrected himself on Sunday and won the Masters. I know what you're thinking - didn't some guy named Zach Johnson win the Masters??? Not according to Mr. Johnson - "This being Easter, Jesus was with me every step. I felt him. It was awesome."

(3) Devin Hester: The Bears kick returner earned the distinction of being the 1st player ever to earn a 100 for his speed rating. What's even better is what he said about that honor - "That's just about the best thing you could have told me. It's an honor -- I don't know what to say, really." We're in a different era dudes - athletes caring about their virtual representations.

It's tough to go against Jesus, but in another shameless effort to get the Undude to care about the blog again, I vote for Dice-K.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Bridge Has Finally Collapsed

After a 1-5 start to the season, Dude favorite Phil Garner reacted by demoting Committee favorite Brad Lidge to middle relief, in favor of Dan Wheeler. One must now ask: did Lidge ever truly recover from the Pujols moonshot?

My favorite ESPN writer

No. Not the sports guy; but Paul Shirley. The wandering journeyman's occassional diary entries are weekly must-reads for me. Notwithstanding all of my gripes against ESPN, that it sought fit to bring us Shirley's writing talents almost makes up for all of its faults.

Today, he checks in with a running commentary of his most recent adventure to Spain to play for some Spanish league team. I've always hankered for the Rockets to carry Shirley on their roster, for no reason other than the brilliant and witty insight Shirley would bring us. It's hilarious enough to read about his insights on other teams, but to read his takes on my team would just be unreal.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fred Goldsmith - Wiki-fied!!

Taking umbrage at Wikipedia's lack of coverage for our beloved former head coach Fred Goldsmith, I made my 1st edits into Wikipedia this morning. First, I added a link at the top for the football coach we know and love into the page for another Fred Goldsmith. Then I beefed up and umm... editorialized a bit on the entry for our Fred Goldsmith; in addition, I also added an external link to a Head Dude column.

Perhaps the Dudes could be the stewards of this page, and continue to add bits and pieces to it. In researching for the article, I discovered that Fred, as of last November, has returned to college coaching!! Fred is now the head coach of Lenoir-Rhyne College, a division II school, in Hickory, NC. Well, if that's not something straight out of Hoosiers, I don't know what is.

Happy Easter to All DudeSpin Contributors Who Celebrate Easter!

So, um, just Happy Easter to Undude, I guess!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Broom Is Out

And the Rangers are ready to start sweeping tomorrow night!

The Search Begins for Pokey's Successor

and it starts with a grandfather - folksy former Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor. I guess if you want someone who's the least likely to start lesbian relationships with players, Van would be the place to start.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Good News Might Come... But in the Meantime..


Widely-acclaimed Tylwalk-Stopper Joanne Boyle has reportedly been offered the Duke position and is currently contemplating the move. The article does not mention whether Boyle will require Duke to hire her on-court rival, the Franchise, as an assistant.


Nevertheless, the image at right is not for the squeamish of heart... I think I just vomited a little in my mouth there...

DudeSpin Favorite Out 2-3 Months With Torn Knee

Well, he's a favorite of this DudeSpin contributor anyway. Agent Zero himself, Gilbert Arenas, tore his knee last night against the Charlotte Bobcats and is pretty much out for the season. I suppose with Caron Butler already out this is the death knell for the Wizards, and before anyone jumps in and asks what Washington was going to do in the playoffs anyway, I remind you of one thing: they play in the Eastern Conference.

On the plus side, Arenas is a shoe-in to be the most entertaining player in street clothes in the history of the NBA...

John Kerry Triumphs!!

About two and a half years too late, but better late than never I suppose...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Journeyers Continue WNBA Journey

Congratulations to Journeyers Lindsey Harding & Alison Bales who were selected in the 1st round of the WNBA Draft today.

Harding went 1st overall to the Phoenix Mercury and was then traded to the Minnesota Lynx. The trade allows Harding to avoid competing for playing time with Diana Taurasi and pairs her with bona fide superstar Siemone Augustus.

Bales went 9th overall to the Indiana Fever where she will share the paint with Tamika Whitmore.

But perhaps the biggest story is Ivory Latta, projected to 2nd in Nancy Lieberman's mock draft, slipping all the way to No. 11.

Good luck Journeyers.

This is Very Significant

In 2000, George W. Bush paved his path to the presidency by financially destroying all of his Republican opponents, and creating an aura of invincibility that only was briefly interrupted by John McCain in New Hampshire.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton hoped to do the same -- raise a ton of money ($26 million so far) and squeeze her lesser-funded opposition out of the race. Today, Barack Obama confounded that strategy
with $25 million of his own.
By raising as much money as Hillary in the first quarter, a three-month period which many experts say is the most important financially, he demonstrated it won't be a cakewalk to the convention.

And just wait until Obama gets a $500 check from the Dude in May!

Unathlete of the Week: Joe Alleva


Since taking over the reins of the Athletics Department in 1998, Joe Alleva has contributed to Duke Athletics in the following manner:
- Fired Fred Goldsmith, one of the most beloved head coaches in Duke history while Fred was on the verge of returning Duke football to the glory days of the late 80s. (In the course of writing this article, I discovered that the Fred Goldsmith we know doesn't have a Wikipedia page while Franks and Roof do... The injustice!!! This will become my personal project this weekend!!)
- Hired his crony Carl Franks over more qualified candidates; Franks promptly went 7-45 in the next 5 years, including 2 0-11 seasons, before mercifully receiving his walking papers in the middle of the 2003 season.
- Subsequently hired Ted Roof, who has compiled a similarly uninspiring 5-34 record since taking over in late 2003, including last year's 0-11 season.
- Hired his crony Bill Hillier to run the baseball program, whose tenure ended unceremoniously after 6 years with a 121-214 record and the program awash in allegations of rampant steroid use.
- Allowed the lacrosse program to spin out of control. Setting aside the dubious sexual assault charges, there is still a lacrosse team party, hosted at a team captain's residence, centering around the hiring of escorts, with undisputed allegations of racially-charged venom from the mouths of party attendees. Is that how one represents the University?
- And now the latest, allowing potentially iconic women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors leave for the University of Texas. Granted, the reports state that Alleva matched Texas's offer and address G's other concerns about support for the program, but one can't help but think that the cool relationship between the Journey and the Athletics Department in the past played a part in G's decisionmaking.
For this litany of mistakes over barely a decade as the AD, Joe Alleva is this week's Unathlete of the Week.
(Note: To address the other contributors' concerns, I've made edits to the candidacy post)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

With Goestenkors Gone, Where Do We Go From Here?

I'm sure the speculation will be a big story over the coming weeks, or however long it takes Joe Alleva to replace Goestenkors, but ESPN's experts at the Women's Final Four are already thinking what we've been thinking here: Cal coach Joanne Boyle. The Pac-10 Coach of the Year and former Duke assistant took the Golden Bears from 12 straight losing seasons to 22-7 in just two years, and if she can do that at Cal she'd probably be able to keep the good times going at Duke. Maybe she could even bring Natasha Vital with her...

Edit: The Dude reminded me that Boyle also participated in the infamous Journey vs. Chronicle Sports massacre. She personally guarded me at the beginning of the game and I could barely even get a shot off, which is pretty impressive considering I was the biggest gunner on the team not named Head Dude or Zach Davis!

G Says No to Beth; Yes to Texas

In the latest of a string of miscues from Broadway, Joe Alleva has lost Gail Goestenkors to Texas.

G, best of luck in Texas; Joanne Boyle, rejoin the Journey!!!

Unathletes of the Week Candidates

NCAA Final Four; MLB Opening Day; NBA coming down the wire; an exciting week in sports no doubt, here are this week's unathlete candidates:

(1) Shane McMahon & Umaga: The details were confusing, but it appeared that Shane O Mac and Umaga had a chance to shave Donald Trump's dome at Wrestlemania 23 in Detroit (not so much shave, but probably just "lifting" the tupee) but apparently lost to Lashley. Obviously, the world would have loved to seen the Donald getting humiliated; unfortunately, Umaga and Shane O Mac couldn't get it done (is Shane still recovering from his across-the-ring drop kick from the Astrodome Wrestlemania)? One thing you gotta love from wrestling - if you've tuned out for five years, don't worry, some of the guys who you thought must be getting near 60 years old are still wrestling?! Apparently, Shawn Michaels from the Rockers was the challenger in the main event!! Where is Marty Janetty?

(2) Brad Lidge: New season; same Brad. After Brad's stellar spring, where he carted around an ERA in the 12s, many Astros fans had discarded Lidge's career into the Rocker/Wohlers/Ankiel bin - but not Astros skipper Phil Garner. The Astros' incompetent manager (who for some reason, used 2 hitters with recent OBPs around .300 in the 1st and 2nd slots of the order) installed Lidge as his closer and watched as Lidge coughed up yet another lead by giving up a 2 out homer to the Pirates Xavier Nady in the 9th on Opening Day.

(3) Tracy McGrady: Moments after chucking up a disappointing 9-for-23 effort in which he had 2 late game chances to either tie or put the Rockets ahead, McGrady put the blame squarely on the shoulders of . . . his teammates: "There was miscommunication on a couple of guys' part. They didn't know where to go and they didn't set screens. I couldn't get open and nobody could get open." Uhh, Tracy, how about you stop blaming your teammates, stop going 1-for-8 to start the game, and stop missing important free throws. What did McGrady do on his tie/win chances, passed off to Rafer Alston for a brick on the 1st chance, and bricked the second chance.

(4) Dirk Nowitzki: Fans expected a scintillating rematch of one of the best games of the season and a possible Western Conference Finals preview; fans received a blowout in favor of the Suns, attributable in part to a subpar outing from Dirk. Nowitzki went 6-for-18 from the floor and was otherwise a nonfactor in the Suns' 22 point rout of the Mavericks.

I vote for Brad Lidge
EDIT: Vote changed to Joe Alleva as of the afternoon of 4/3
EDIT2: Quotations removed from references to sports entertainers

Monday, April 02, 2007

Clutch!

Jason Bay homers in the 10th! Might this be it for the Astros season opener? The start of a winning season for the Bucs?

I absolutely refuse to jump on the Penguins bandwagon though. Until the playoffs at least...

Oh, and you guys can fix all the things I'm sure I've done wrong in my first post.

Latest from Durham: No Word on G

DudeSpin's inside Journey tipster relays that even insiders still have no clue as to which way Goestenkors is leaning (is it time for another picture of Beth?). The tipster also discloses it boils down to a battle between G and Broadway Joe. Although Broadway has offered a raise, G is skeptical as to whether the administration will nickel-and-dime her and her team during the remainder of her tenure in Durham. The tipster expresses some hope that G will announce a decision tomorrow.

No Football for The Dude's Pople: NFL Cancels Game in China

Sorry Dude, but I have to give some love to the NFL for putting an end to its dumbest idea in years and calling off the preseason game in China. Now if the league's brass would just reconsider the regular season game in London too, everything would be just peachy.

It's not that I'm against trying to spread the goodness that is the NFL to other lands. Who knows, a shared love of American football may even prevent a big U.S.-China tussle down the road. It's just blatantly unfair to make a couple teams travel all over the world just because the NFL wants to show off its product. It's especially crappy to make the Dolphins give up a home game to play in England, where I'm not certain most of the population gives a crap if Daunte Culpepper is healthy this season.

My take: wait until you have enough infrastructure in place overseas to have all teams play one game abroad each year. That way everyone gets screwed over equally. What would be more democratic, and thus American, than that?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Great Link

The Rabbi sent me this link, with One Shining Moments for the last 10 years. It's great to go back to the late '90s and see some of the crazy plays like Valpo's prayer and Hampton's upset win again. And you can relive the fun of Avery/Carrawell/Wojo et al crying in K's arms.