Thursday, May 31, 2007

WOW

I've only watched one game in the conference finals, but thank goodness I picked tonight. There may be a team to root for in the Finals after all!

History Tonight at Minute Maid Park?


This one just snuck up on me, but tonight could be a historic one in Houston -- the Astros attempt to match their franchise-long losing streak when they go for No. 11 against the equally hapless Reds.
Good luck Astros! I'm sure with 1-7 Woody Williams on the mound, you'll be in great shape.

Mark Cuban - Done Lost His Mind!!

DudeSpin favorite Mark Cuban is undoubtedly much smarter than any of us, but boy, even smart people have their moments of absurdity - to wit, Cubester's foray into starting a second professional football league to compete with the NFL.

I knew it was painful to lose to Baron Davis, I didn't know it would drive a man into insanity!

Monday, May 28, 2007

The brooms at night, are big and bright...


It's been quite some time since Texas has seen a beating like that...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Copying Colbert

After Head Dude's recent touting of "Seven Seconds of Less," I feel somewhat less daring in writing the second and third edition of DudeSpin's yet-to-be-determined part series - "Better Know a Book or Movie!"

The book on my list is Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion." Dawkins' prose does a terrific job of explaining the roots and rationale of the atheist belief without the rage of Christopher Hitchens or the fanaticism of Sam Harris. After reading the book, I thought why practitioners of so many religions proselytize to save another from eternal banishment to hell, yet virtually no atheists ever "proselytize" to save another from an entire life believing in a lie (as an atheist would believe).

The movie on my list is Daniel Gordon's outstanding documentary "A State of Mind." On a surface level, Gordon profiles two North Korean gymnasts preparing for the Mass Games; but what permeates the entire movie is the Orwellian construct of contemporary North Korea society. As a person whose entire Netflix que is taken up by documentaries, "A State of Mind" is the best one I've seen in quite some time. I'd actually recommend that Undude show the film to his class if/when the class reads 1984. I wouldn't make the same suggestion for "The God Delusion" - I just don't see rural North Carolinians being ready for that book.

On that vein, I'd be interested to hear what the other Dudes and DudeSpin readers are reading/watching presently. I'm currently reading Jonothan Kozol's "The Shame of a Nation" and an uninspiring work about minor league baseball - Brett Mandel's "Minor Players, Major Dreams"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Somewhere up North, Grizzly is distraught

The women's lacrosse team led 13-4 with 20 minutes left - a nearly unsurmountable margin in the sport - and promptedly surrendered 10 unanswered goals to Virginia in the biggest comeback in NCAA lacrosse history.

Grizzly, you still with us?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sun Rises in the East...


While the Dudes have mostly moved on from the world of non-rev sports, it's important to return to our roots every once in awhile. So congrats to Dan Brooks and the women's golf team for their three-peat!

I guess LeBron gets less respect than Wade


Oh the aggravation of watching three refs swallow their whistle at the end of the Cavs/Pistons game last night. If only those refs had been with us in Games 3, 5, and 6 of the Finals last year. Chris Sheridan said it best:
"Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but where the heck is the indignation? By my count Hamilton slapped James on the arms three or four times when he was making his drive to the hoop, and that's not even counting the contact he took on the shot. If you wanted to be totally technical, there were probably five different instances of contact on which fouls could have been called.
"Compared to Dirk Nowitzki's touch foul against Dwyane Wade in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year, this was an absolute mugging. "

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

T-minus Four Days to Vegas for the Franchise and Family!

Naturally it won't be the same with my family as it would be with the Committee, but that doesn't stop the gambling juices from flowing - I am half-Asian after all! Know that you will be with me in spirit, so every time I talk about going in my wallet for another Statesman or defend my A4 offsuit in the big blind because The Dude would have wanted it that way, the Dudes will be in my thoughts.

Also I will hit DudeSpin with some updates if I can figure out how to blog from my phone...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ducks in the Stanley Pond!



Look at all the happy Ducks!! Teemu, Niedermeyer, Todd Marchant!! Lord Stanley's Cup awaits.

Tonight, I found a new reason to dislike the Wings - Todd Bertuzzi. I had no idea the NHL allowed him to play again after he tried to kill Steve Moore. Obviously, I don't root for Bertuzzi for the same reason I don't root for O.J. Simpson.

Franchise must've known that things weren't looking up when Niedermeyer scored the first goal of the game with his back to the goal. Maybe next year, Franchise.

Pulling for the Undude in the Draft Lottery!

In the spirit of reversing some of the harsh words between Dudes over the past week or so, I hope the whole Committee will join me in pulling for the Celtics in the world's most exciting event that utilizes ping pong balls and envelopes. Undude, we would love to have you join us in our NBA debates, but we understand you need Oden or Durant to have a chance to do so. Go Celtics!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Joy of Sox

Ahh... Nothing like eliminating the Yankees by end of May. If the BoSox can sweep this upcoming 3 game series against the Yanks, the division race is over (the Yanks would be 13.5 games out).

The pitching matchups: Wakefield v. Wang; Tavarez v. Moose; GOP Turd v. Roger's boyfriend. The Yanks catch a break in missing Dice K, but should be an interesting series nonetheless. Well, about as interesting as May baseball can be.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Silver Booted!

Well, this may not be the Rangers' year, but for one weekend in Houston, you might have suspected otherwise. After this afternoon's 14-1 shellacking, Houston's going to need a sweep in Arlington next month or the Silver Boot is returning to the metroplex after a few years' absence.

Touchdown for Teemu!


Amid the blistering boos raining down upon teammate Scott Pronger from the Red Wings faithful, Teemu Selanne, the long-time face of the Ducks franchise, created some truly wonderous symphony with this beautiful shot past a sprawling Dom Hasek in OT!! One lifeline left Franchise!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Five-Part ESPN analysis

I don't agree with everything this dude says, but Jason Whitlock's chat session (good stuff) led me to this pretty decent five-part analysis of what's wrong with ESPN. What the writer suggests it boils down to is the Disney takeover of ABC. I've talked about this issue with my sports editor predecessor (i'll avoid names since he works with them now), and there seems to be a good deal of truth to that.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Marchant is Money!!


In a convergence of everything good about hockey, Todd Marchant joined the Ducks and played a big part in a dispatching the Red Wings 5-3 in a must win Game 4 to knot the series at 2 apiece. Even without unjustly suspended Chris Pronger, the Ducks prevailed on the strength of a goal and 2 assists from Teemu Selanne. Unfortunately, Teemu was robbed of the No. 1 star of the game by some guy I've never heard of. Take that Franchise!!

Public Service Announcement

DudeSpin favorite Paul Shirley is chatting at 1 p.m. (Eastern time) today on washingtonpost.com. Also, to add to your NBA discussion, I don't think I've watched a game, live or on TV, since a couple dudes and I welcomed the NBA back from the lockout by sitting so high in the Georgia Dome that we couldn't even see the numbers on the jerseys.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/05/14/DI2007051400831.html?hpid=discussions

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Duke Offered G $1 million for life...

and it still didn't work!

A DudeSpin Rebuttal (Or, The NBA is Not Soaring!)

Intrigued by the Dude's comment on my last post that interest in the NBA is actually up despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, I decided to try to find some stats to support one side or the other. I was able to dig up the league's TV ratings, and while those numbers aren't the be-all and end-all of fan interest, they can help illuminate trends.

ABC entered this season coming off back-to-back record low ratings for regular season games on network TV. Three of the last four NBA Finals have placed in the lowest six Finals of all time, and since the smart money seems to be on the Spurs and Pistons meeting for the championship this year, it's worth noting that those same two teams played to the fifth-lowest audience for the Finals ever two years ago. I suppose it's possible that more people will want to watch them in 2007, which would support The Dude's claim, but we'll have to wait and see. My gut feeling is that the ratings will be lower.

Things have been slightly better on cable, with ESPN and TNT actually posting slight regular season increases from 2004-05 to 2005-06. Again, we'll have to wait and see what the numbers tell us when this season's ratings are released. The playoffs have been a mixed bag, with TNT's conference finals ratings declining for three straight seasons, while ESPN actually made a nice gain from 2005 to 2006. I'm betting the NBA is counting on the Cavs propping up the Eastern Conference ratings, but LeBron and company haven't been the TV draw thus far that one might expect.

For The Dude to be correct in his pronouncement that domestic interest in the NBA is actually on the rise, I'd expect that the TV numbers would be up (at least slightly) across the board. However, the one number we do have for this season doesn't make this look like a promising prospect. Despite a ridiculous amount of promotion for its debut in Las Vegas, the 2007 NBA All-Star Game was the least watched edition ever.

If Americans are more into the NBA, it's either a development so recent that it happened just this year, or they aren't backing up their love of the game by watching it on television.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

David Stern is an Idiot!

So I'm watching the guys on PTI interview Stern right now, and I can't believe that he said with a straight face that he can't see why there is a "spirit versus letter of the rule" debate over the Stoudemire and Diaw suspensions. Really? You don't understand why people might be upset that you stuck to your precious rule so rigidly that you've ruined the last remaining interesting series in this year's NBA playoffs? You're having trouble comprehending that fans may be a tad testy that this decision has basically said that it's okay to be a thug on the court... just don't dare come off the bench in retaliation!

Stern is not a dumb guy, so I think he does actually understand the backlash. But while once upon a time he was the commissioner with all the answers, he has become increasingly clueless and out of step as time goes on.

Yes, I know the league needed to do something after the Artest incident to keep things from getting out of control. So they made up a few more rules, imposed stricter penalties and apparently enforce them with no room for interpretation.

The thing is, I really believe that Stern thought that once law and order was imposed, all of the NBA's problems would be solved. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. When you have Bill Simmons, as big an NBA fan as you'll find anywhere, calling this season boring, you've got yourself a problem. The league should be soaring with LeBron, Wade and other young players yet to hit their primes; instead, most casual fans I talk to can't be bothered to watch until the playoffs.

And now, thanks to rigid enforcement of his precious rule, Stern even has himself an image problem in the postseason. It's your league, commissioner, so you can do whatever you want. If you insist on playing dumb, though, please don't insult our intelligence by acting like you know what the fans want better than they do, because it's become increasingly clear that you don't.

Link of the Day

Wedding photos from the AJ Hawk and Laura Quinn wedding, which includes some interesting wardrobe from both Mr. Hawk and Brady Quinn, former QB of the team that will lose to Duke next season.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Since Someone Else Brought Up Ducks-Red Wings...

... I'd like to thank Anaheim for failing to show up (at home!) for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. Now the Wings stand just two wins away from another chance to play for Lord Stanley's cup.

Alas, Rob Neidermayer tried to do his best Rob Horry imitation with his high cheap shot from behind on Tomas Holmstrom. Not that any of our opponents will shed any tears for the Demolition Man, but be sure the NHL will be watching that tape again.

Change Your Mind, Dude?



What do you think of old Big Shot Bob now?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Epic Dude Battle!


Feel that you were robbed of some histrionics and smack talk when the much-anticipated Rockets-Mavericks matchup failed to materialized? Fear Not! Another Dude Matchup has taken its place - My Mighty Ducks against Tylwalk's Redwings.

I know what you're thinking. "Dude! You probably didn't even realize the Ducks were in the playoffs until you saw the blurb on the TV in your firm's lobby this morning!" You know, you might be right, but've I've also been on the Ducks bandwagon since the line of Kariya-Selanne-Zhao dominated the 1998 NHL season.

In any case, it appears that since 1998, the Ducks have shored up the backline of Ruslai Salei and Fred Olauson with Devils superstar Scott Niedermeyer and Blues uberstar Chris Pronger. I would imagine that a starting five of Pronger, Niedermeyer, Selanne, Kariya and Steve Rucchin would be phenomenal, but for some reason, the Ducks are not starting either Kariya or Rucchin.

Nevertheless, the Ducks dropped the Wings in OT last night and stand just 3 wins from the Stanley Cup Finals.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Amare Stoudemire First Team All-NBA? Really?

I know he is stud when healthy and the Suns had another great season. But I was a little surprised when I saw Amare on the All-NBA First Team as I don't consider him one of the five best players in the league.

With full knowledge that there is more to it than just stats, Stoudemire finished 18th in the league in scoring at 20.4 points per game, outscored at what I would consider to be his position by five others: Zach Randolph(!), Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett and DudeSpin favorites Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand. Amare did finish ninth in the league in rebounding with 9.8 boards per contest, yet he didn't even lead his team thanks to Shawn Marion.

At 1.3 blocks per game he was easily outside the top 20 and finished with less than Marion there too. He did post a ridiculously high shooting percentage that was basically the equivalent of going better than 7-for-13 from the floor every night, but I'd say playing with some guy named Steve Nash had a little something to do with that.

And yes, the Suns were seven games better this year with Stoudemire playing than they were last year. That's to be expected when you get back one of the better big men in the league. That still doesn't necessarily mean All-NBA First Team.

What am I missing here? Dude, with your time spent with League Pass and penchant for watching West Coast games, perhaps you can enlighten me. It's either that or debate the merits of Dirk's MVP, and I don't Head Dude wants us to go there.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lies!!!

While checking up on our Wikipedia entry for Fred Goldsmith, I thought to look up the entry of another DudeSpin favorite, Scottie Montgomery. Lo and behold, what I discovered instead is a pack of lies about the former Duke great!! Scottie's name simply shall not be besmirched!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Camp with Shav!

Perhaps it was fate that on a rainy night, Big Red broke down next to a sub shop. While licking my wounds and waiting for a ride, I scanned the N&O sports section and discovered an ad for the First Annual Shavlik Randolph Basketball Camp! That's right, for only $200 campers can hone their skills with one of America's best. The ad also included a quote, where Shav insists that with God's help, you can accomplish anything, adding at the end, it's all about the journey. That's right sports fans, Shav has finally understood the Gospel of G.

And while the ad does not explicitly state so, it can be assumed that campers better not bring their gayness on the counselors.

Landlord Secures Lifelong Tenant

Candace Parker said yes to a marriage proposal from her now-fiance Shelden Williams last week. I'm not sure how I feel this. Obviously, this is great for Shelden. But seriously, isn't this a betrayal of the Journey? What about Candace's rival for the POY awards - Lindsey Harding? or Abby Waner? or any of the other Journeyers?

Nevertheless, Congratulations to Mr. Shelden Williams and Ms. Candace Parker!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Athlete of the Week Candidates

(1) Andrei Kirilenko - After disappearing through the 1st few games of the Rockets series, AK-47 showed up in a big way in the last two games. Kirilenko was his usual active self on defense and even found time to hit his only three pointer of the series in the waning moments of Game 7 to give Utah the lead it would hold on to to oust Houston. But the Russian wasn't done. In game 1 against Golden State, Kirilenko stopped many a GS foray to the basket with his presence, not to mention his 7 game-altering blocks. In addition, he was nice to John Amaechi according to John's book, and probably helps disabled people in his spare time.

(2) Carlos Boozer - C Booz played and rebounded like a man amongst boys in the Jazz's final few outings against the Rockets, and followed up with an impressive and necessary 17 pt, 20 rebound outing against the smallish GS front court. Simply put, Carlos has put the Jazz on his back.

(3) Adrian Beltre - Beltre makes the list for a singular act - a go-ahead homer off Mariano Rivera last night to put an end to all this silliness of GOP Clemens's comeback. Alrighty Yanks, let's now go back to being in last place.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Bad News Out of Houston Continues

The man on the left isn't hanging it up, but it appears that this man is.

And neither one is returning to Houston!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Maybe Next Year, T-Mac!



So you say home teams were 79-18 in Game 7s?

So you say that the home team was ranked 4th in the Dude's Power Rankings?

So you say T-Mac was finally due for a taste of the second round?

Wrong on all counts!

Who's the biggest loser tonight besides the Dude?
Barack Obama.
Denied a $500 donation from Texas.

And now the Committee turns its eyes from the NBA playoffs, bloodied and disappointed, not sure what the next season will bring.

It's a shame we can't all drown our sorrows in Vegas next week.

I guess perhaps Weitao should've feared more than the Suns and Warriors. You can't forget about the Mighty Mehmet!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Good Fishin' That Way!


Emotional meltdown after blowing a 9 pt leadwith 3 minutes left? No problem!

Baron Davis playing on one leg? No problem!

Jerry Stackhouse starting on fire? No problem!

Say what you will about Dirk's performance or Dallas quitting in the 4th quarter, but you can't say I didn't tell you that this was exactly what was going to happen.

Stayed tuned to see if the last Dude team joins the Nugs and the Mavs on the lakes after Saturday night. This observer doesn't see that happening - after all, all the favorites according to my power rankings have won so far.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Three Months Until Training Camp!



Gone Fishin'!


DudeSpin would like to acknowledge the 1st Dude NBA team (let's be honest here - the Celtics aren't really an NBA team) to pick up their lines and bait for the summer!
Really no surprise here as the Nugs were simply outclassed in its series against the Spurs, notwithstanding its Game 1 victory. In the end, until Allen Iverson learns to trust his teammates with taking shots, the mercurial guard's quest for the west will remain elusive. As expected, the victorious Spurs will meet the Suns in a scintillating second round showdown.
Not surprisingly, the matchups involving the teams with the biggest disparity in the Dude power rankings have been fairly l0psided (Spurs - Nuggets was a 1 v. 7, the Suns - Lakers was a 2 v. 8). The favorites in the remaining matchups look to close out their series tonight. Stay tuned to see if another Dude team joins Allen & Carmelo on the lakes after tonight!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dirk to the Rescue!

With the doctors all but ready to pull the feeding tube and the respirator from the Mavs' season, would-be MVP Dirk Nowitzki suddenly made an appearance in the GS-Dallas series with two huge 3 pters and a critical block on the defensive end - turning a 9 point deficit with under 3 minutes left into a 6 point win. Will Dirk's CPR moment for the underdog Mavs mean anything in the final analysis? This observer deems it unlikely (see previous posts on GS's dominance at home), but nevertheless, Dirk has made this series one of the most entertaining 1st round clashes in recent memory!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sun Rises in East; Big Shot Rob Delivers



For 16 years, he has thrilled us with his uncanny knack for rising to the occasion. Last night, Robert Horry came to the rescue again. Moments after Steve Blake drilled a long two to cut the Spurs lead to one with less than a minute left, Horry was somehow left open in the right corner on the ensuing possession. Predictably, the ball found its way into Horry's hands; even more predictably, Horry's shot, over the outstretched hands of defensive POY Marcus Camby (a questionable selection), found the bottom of the net. By taking two in Denver, the Spurs appear to be on a crash course with the Phoenix Suns in the Western Semi-Finals that will, in this observer's eyes, be the de facto NBA Championship series.

Unathlete of the Week Candidates

(1) The Big Aristotle: After a season's worth of huffing and puffing, Shaq delivered in a big way in the Heat's playoff series - for the Bulls. O'Neal never came close to dominating the paint and turned in a few clunkers en route to being swept by the upstart Bulls: fouling out in 26 minutes in game 1, 7 TOs in game 2, 3-12 on FTs in game 3, and 0-7 on FTs in game 4.

(2) Yankees pitchers: Yes. We know your hitters can mash, but how about turning in a quality start once in a while? For the week, the Yankees multi-multi-million dollar rotation turned in zero quality starts (6 innings or more, 3 earnies or less), and led their team to a 1-5 record despite their offense scoring 23 runs in 6 games.

(3) Curt Schilling: No, not for painting blood onto his sock (whether he did it or not. admit it, you don't put it past Schill for one second that he would. huge ego, check. mindful of his legacy, check. republican hack, check.). But that Schill would stand on his bully pulpit and lay down a $1 million dollar wager when he knows that no one would possibly do it makes him a grandstanding ass.

I vote for Curt Schilling.