Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Moving on Up

It's official, The AD Hall has moved. Here's the new address.

The move is necessary to our goals of putting out a decent project and making it so that people can only hate us for who we are and what we say, not because of our somewhat amateur-looking posting system.

It might be a few days before things are totally up and running in their normal fashion on the new location, so bear with us.


Speaking of Carson Palmer...

After making 'inflammatory' remarks about Ohio State fans the other day on an LA radio show, Palmer is now backing off saying he actually respects Buckeye fans and only said what he did in the spirit of a good rivalry.

Really? What rivalry? When do USC and Ohio State ever play these days? The last time they played each other in the Rose Bowl was 1985. I can't remember the last time they played in the regular season, but it was long before Carson Palmer was playing at SC.

I hate when athletes (though this applies to coaches, politicians, etc) make a statement and then the next day retract it as if that will make it go away. If Ohioans are actually offended by Palmer's comments, a next-day retraction is not going to make them forget.

What's really sad here is that what he said wasn't actually anything bad at all. All Palmer said was that he can't stand Ohio State fans and that he can't wait to beat them down in Columbus next season. Is there anyone out there that isn't also really annoyed by how ridiculous, pathetic and overwhelmingly loud Ohio State fans are? They're the worst. So his saying this should come as no surprise.

Palmer's only real problem here is that he's got no guts. He was tough enough to say it on an LA radio show but too dumb to realize that he plays professionally for a team in Ohio. He should stand by his comments, and if he needs a crutch, just say that his alma mater matters more to him than his professional allegiances. People can relate to that, especially in Ohio. But don't say nevermind and that you actually respect Ohio State. If you did, you never would've gone after them in the first place. It's ok for people in the public sphere to have opinions. They don't all have to be total blanks like Michael Jordan. But if you actually have one, don't be afraid to stand behind it.

Daily Dose of Better...

Better Carson: Palmer or Harry?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

MLS Reconstruction

The Stormy Present takes on MLS

On a slightly different note, but still related...MLS teams need to lose their nicknames. No more Columbus Crew, San Jose Earthquakes or Kansas City Wizards. They also need to lose the fake names like Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo (Why didn't they use this one? It would've been a great name and pretty good logo) and Chivas USA. As weird as it might sound, why can't the teams just exist as entities as they do in other places? DC United, FC Dallas (formerly the Burn, GREAT change) and Toronto FC are heading in the right direction.

Why can't we just call them Columbus, Seattle, San Jose or Kansas City? Or use other names to identify them without nicknames. How about Sporting Seattle instead of the Seattle Sounders (though I do really like their logo and shirt prototype)? I actually like the Red Bull New York name, as long as it's not the New York Red Bulls. There are European examples of the sponsorship name like Red Bull Salzburg and Bayer Leverkusen. As long as these don't go overboard (ie, Visa Chicago or Nike LA) it could work to make the names seem less like dorky youth soccer team names.

If the club names can start getting an overhaul as the uniforms and sponsorships have, we could have a much more attractive league visually and nominally. Or we could follow Trey's example and just have the team's in dumb locations move.

Daily Dose of Better...

Better Chamberlain: Joba or Wilt?

Please, no votes for Neville "Peace in Our Time" Chamberlain

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Announcement You've All (three) Been Waiting For

Despite no prior notification and so few people actually looking at this blog that you all probably know already, the writers of this blog have chosen their English football sides to follow for the 2008/2009 season. Our goal (keep in mind, there is no way this will come to fruition, but it's a nice aim at least) is to report on our clubs about once per week with some insight about player moves, match results and prognostication. The allegiances will be as follow:

Prizz - Newcastle United, aka Toon, aka "God must be a Geordie"
Mr. Lee - Liverpool, aka Reds, aka Merseysiders
MAO - Tottenham Hotspur, aka Spurs, aka Cockerels

You might note that none of us have chosen Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal. You might also note that none of us selected Hull City, Stoke City or Bolton. We should be floundering toward the middle of the table hoping to qualify for next year's Champions League. Of course Liverpool will likely be strong in Europe as they always seem to be these days. We haven't yet determined what the blogger with the best finishing side will get, though it is likely enough to be nothing at all. But if there are any ideas, we'd be happy to hear. Or perhaps what the bottom-most team should have to do...

Comments? Questions? If not, feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Where Euro Defections Happen

While Brandon Jennings has gotten most of the attention surrounding his move to Europe this summer (especially on this blog) there's another really interesting story that is emerging out of Atlanta. Josh Childress, former Stanford star, and current average-to-good Hawks forward is seriously considering signing with Olympiakos in Greece. Well known for their soccer prowess, Olympiakos' basketball side is offering Childress a three year twenty million dollar deal. This of course is far more than he could expect to make in the NBA based on his performance to date.

The deal would make sense on both sides as Olympiakos would only actually owe Childress about 12.6 million Euros as the exchange rate currently sits at $1.59 : €1. The possibility exists now for NBA players who are either upset with their contract negotiations or simply past their prime earning years but still want to play at a high level, to opt for European sides and make quite a bit of money. Outside of the world of the NBA salary, a player could earn a good deal of money first in dollars, and eventually, if he stayed on the Continent long enough, could begin to actually earn his pay in Euros.

Former Piston Carlos Delfino also recently signed with Russian side BC Khimki. The argument isn't exactly the same there as rubbles are not a good currency to earn (hopefully he's earning dollars from them) but the idea is the same. Why flounder about in the D-League or fight for 10-day contracts when you could earn millions of dollars playing in Europe?

Who knows if this will become a fad or if it will die down whenever the economy starts to bounce back, but it does make things quite interesting for the league. David Stern has spent two decades trying to expand the NBA across the world and make it as visible as possible. Now, as globalization has taken root across the world, inferior leagues are starting to realize they can increase their exposure by importing an NBA player. This operates much in the same way as MLS does. I'm not sure David Beckham equals Josh Childress, but the goals are much the same.

This is What MLS Needs

More fans like those of the Columbus Crew. Yes, the Crew should have a better name and yes, Columbus is kind of a strange place to have a professional sports franchise, but the fact that they have rowdy fans who were willing to fight with West Ham supporters is just great. I'm not really in favor of violence but it is good to see an MLS team have loyal enough support to pull this kind of thing off. And in a friendly, no less.

Obviously West Ham is a better club than Columbus and showed it in their 3-1 victory. But I'm happy to see a club outside of Toronto or Washington have an engaged fan base. The only gripe I have in this case is that there were only 9000 folks in a 22,000-seat stadium. Against a top flight English side? Come one Columbus. Ohio State's season hasn't even started yet, you have no excuses.

Daily Dose of Better...

Better Taylor: Jason or Marcus?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Too Bad for Norman

While I can't say I watched even a single moment of this year's British Open (and no, it had nothing to do with Tiger Woods not being involved) I feel the need to comment on it. I really wish Greg Norman had been able to hold on and win the tournament. Nothing against Padraig Harrington, in fact I actually like him a lot, but it would've been so great if Norman could've pulled it off. At 53 he would've been the oldest player to win a major (right now, Jack Nicklaus holds the record at 46) but even better he would've been able to salvage his tattered reputation.

I guess he probably has saved his reputation even without winning, but bringing home the Claret Jug would've really done the trick. I'll never forget his complete collapse at Augusta in 1996, it was probably the most awkward I've ever felt watching a sporting event. There's nothing you can do to help a guy who is completely losing it right in front of you, and for that to happen to what seemed to be a good guy, and on that kind of stage, was just awful. This just about sums up what happened that day twelve years ago.

Of course he'd won the British Open twice before, in 1986 and again in 1993, so it's not like he's this lovable loser. In fact he's one of the richest former athletes out there with his stakes in wine making, clothing, real estate and golf course development and construction, just to name a few. Plus he just married Chris Evert.

Still though, it would've been nice. People mention him in the same breath as Jean Van de Velde, and I suppose rightfully so. If there was any way for a guy to get off that list, this was it. He'll probably never contend for a major again, in fact I'm a little surprised he even entered the event to begin with since he's only a few years from qualifying for the Champions Tour, which is the old-guys league.

But I don't care about this for the story's sake. Things like that make me angry listening to sports columnists on tv and radio. It makes sense for them to want a good story because then they have something to write about without doing much work. But for the average fan, can't it be good enough to pull for a guy because he's a good guy?

Bonus Better

Better Harrington: Padraig or Al?

Daily Dose of Better...

Better Thompson: David or Mychal?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

What if He Stays??

Brandon Jennings, of flat-top fame, has now officially signed with Italian side Pallacanestro Virtus Roma in what is being reported as either a two- or three-year contract. Which begs the question, what if stays? What if, instead of playing out the required one year to qualify for NBA age standards, Jennings sticks around in Rome for a few years?

While the financial aspects of the deal haven't yet been disclosed and Jennings won't even go to Rome until next week for a press conference, we've got to imagine he's going to be compensated pretty well. He's also going to be playing in a very competitive league. Andrea Bargniani and Danilo Gallinari have each been drafted in the NBA's top ten in the past few years coming out of the Italian league and coaches like Mike D'Antoni have spent time there (playing and coaching) learning the European game. Even Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant spent seven years in Italy, allowing Kobe to grow up around the Italian game.

Virtus Roma currently employs Allan Ray, former Villanova star, and Ibrahim Jaaber, former Ivy League player of the year at Penn. Those guys should help Jennings get a feel for both Rome and the European style of play. Ultimately this experience will depend on what Jennings wants to get out of it. If he sees it simply as a jumping-off point, he will likely end up wasting his time in Italy. There are no provisions that guarantee he'll get to play so he'll have to earn his playing time accordingly. If he really gets into it, who knows, maybe he'll stick around and establish a bit of a career and legacy in Italy, though I'm sure he'll eventually come back to the States for the mega-money of the NBA.

Obviously Jennings can only be praised so much since he's still not going to college and is making this decision based purely on monetary reasons, but this could be a really interesting experiment. If other kids see him do well (and make money immediately) there could be some interest in European leagues as a plausible alternative to college. As a fan of college hoops I can't say I'd love that but it's better than guys screwing schools by showing up for one year and not really doing the whole class thing.

Daily Dose of Better...

Better Joe: Blanton or Flacco?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


With the news yesterday that the NFL is planning on cracking down on players who show 'gang signs' during games, I think the Big Brother nature of professional sports has hit a new low. How exactly is the league going to determine what a particular hand gesture means? Will they use some sort of a chart to compare known signs and a guy's on-field actions?

The NFL is citing Paul Pierce's alleged gang sign throwing during the Celtics' first round playoff series against the Hawks as the reason for this new crusade against individuality. I don't know if this is really a gang sign or what, but even if it is, who does this hurt? How many people knew it might be gang related until the league told everyone it was?

Currently the NFL prohibits celebrations with teammates after touchdowns, wearing different socks than are league-sanctioned and now is forbidding the use of 'questionable' hand signals. Dennis Northcutt was quoted as saying that the thing Paul Pierce was doing could be a gang sign but it also might be a coach's signal for a different personnel group that needs to be in the game based on formation, play, whatever. That's a great point. How will the league distinguish? Will they ask every team for a detailed explanation of individual hand signals? Isn't it possible too that teams use dummy signals so that cheaters like the Patriots have a harder time breaking the code? And how does the league know a guy isn't giving a tribute to his kids? Or for his fraternity?

Is this a gang sign? Is this? Is this?

This seems like another ridiculous reactionary step by the NFL front office to completely curtail any uniqueness a player might try to exhibit. There are so few outlets for doing that now, especially since the league will even fine you for honoring a fallen teammate for longer than the league sees fit. I realize that gangs can be a real problem in a lot of places and I don't want to play that down, but is the NFL really a breeding ground for the recruitment or celebration of gangs?

Daily Dose of Better...

Better Curtis: Granderson or Enis?