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Showing posts from 2011

It's Still Better

It seems like deja vu all over again, doesn't it?

It's been happening for the past three years. We start without a loss, we beat Notre Dame and it's considered a "huge" win, Denard Robinson is viewed as the amazing quarterback athlete...and then we lose to Michigan State.

We've been on this road before...or have we?

There have been major changes to the team since Rich Rodriguez was fired. We have a defense that isn't constructed around a colander. We have an offensive line that has gotten bigger, albeit it's still difficult at times for them to keep the defense back. And we have a quarterback that is learning how to be a complete quarterback - when he's given the right plays.

The biggest objection I have to the game against Michigan State was that Denard Robinson was given too many plays where he had to throw balls over 15 yards. He is still unsure about that, and when he's not consistent, he struggles mentally. When I attended the game agains…

Erasing a Terrible Memory

Let's take a trip in the Wayback Machine, shall we? Strap yourselves in - it's going to be kind of a bumpy ride.

Where are we going, you ask? Well, to the worst sports day of my life: Sunday, October 1, 2006.

Does this day remind you of anything? It always does for me. This was the day I was tuck in a terrible nightmare and had no way to get out of it.

You see, I was, at this time, a co-anchor for a little, tiny (teensy-weensy, microscopic, et al) local sports talk show in my little, tiny (teensy-weensy, microscopic, et al) college town. It was led by two guys - both of whom lived in the state of Minnesota, and I was the third wheel. I didn't mind that at all, especially since they knew far more about sports than I did. I just put in my two cents where needed, and sometimes got into some fun heated debates.

One of the guys, Dan, was able to use his status as "anchor of a sports radio show" to contact the nearest pro sports teams like the Minnesota Twins, Timberw…

A Weekend for the Ages

I went into this weekend of sports with excitement. I am not a big supporter of the fall season, but the one thing that gets me through it is the fact that my weekends are filled with football. This weekend would be the first full weekend of football this season, with college football in its second week and the NFL opening up their season on Sunday (well, Thursday, but whatever).

Not only would there be a plethora of football, but the Detroit Tigers haven't lost a game since September began. They shocked the Chicago White Sox in a weekend series (culminating with an onslaught of Mark Buerhle and the Sox bullpen for all the nation to see on ESPN2), marched into Cleveland and swept the Indians in style, and then were coming back to Detroit to hopefully welcome the Minnesota Twins into the new House of Horrors.

Let's take a look at the weekend and see what happened:

Friday: Twins and Tigers -MLB
After a Verlander game, it's been a bit of a letdown lately with Brad Penny strugg…

The Blurb: Track and Field Worlds

I got cable back. This was quite the wonderful happening for me. I called my large cable conglomerate (who shall remain nameless) to see about getting my Internet and phone moved. When they inquired about my cable, I told them I couldn't afford it. But they said they could get me the basic channels at no extra charge to my bill! So I decided to get it back.

Because I have those core channels back, I get my weekend sports back. College football, the NFL, MLB on Fox, golf, and tennis. Sure, I don't get the 24-hour sports channels, but most of the important events are aired on one of the four major networks.

One of the events that I was fortunate to view was the World Track and Field Championships on NBC. Usually, when NBC airs Olympic events, most people tend to ignore it. After all, it's not an Olympic year. Why should anybody care?

Well, considering I had a boring weekend ahead of me, I cared. The Championships aired from Friday August 26 through Sunday September 4. NBC on…

Sweeps are Sweet, but All You Need Are Series

I spend a lot of time nowadays paying attention to the Tigers and Brewers. It's become a fun obsession - "The Cardinals lost again?!" "They both swept this weekend?!" "They made the cover of Sports Illustrated!" Even the guy at work who spends every moment dogging me about my sports teams has been complimentary!

I am thrilled when it comes to a sweep, but as the great Jim Leyland stated at the beginning of the season, (to paraphrase) "You can't win every game in a season." And that's still the case. So when the Tigers can take a few games and then drop a couple, I tend not to fret.

Sweeps are wonderful, but you can't bet on a team to win them all. All I ask is for them to take 2 out of 3. Or 3 out of 4. Or both of a 2-gamer.

I checked. If the Tigers win all the series for the rest of the season, that will be 20 games. They currently are at 70 wins. In a division that looked as lost as the AL Central for the first half of the …

A Hater's Take on ESPN's New Book

I didn't realize that this had come out until I saw it publicized on an entertainment website. A tell-all book about ESPN? Cool!

Some of the excerpts the website had seemed very juicy, so I knew I had to read it. Was this going to allow everyone else to realize the many reasons why ESPN is so overrated at the moment?

Well, not really. But I did read it, and here are some things I took out of it:

The Start of ESPN is Pretty Boring
A father-son team got the idea to do a 24-hour sports channel on this new thing called cable back in the 1970s. Of course, when the more responsible adults took over, father and son got pushed out of the way.

Much of the beginning of the book is this overview. The book is done in interview form, so you're hearing many sides of the story from all the people that were involved at the time. The man you hate in this section is Stu Evey, who is looked at as the guy that got the gasoline powerhouse Getty Oil to purchase this idea. He gets all the power and …

Media Mayhem

The NFL Lockout is over. Today and tomorrow NFL players will be reporting to training camp and breathing a sigh of relief that their arduous time spent away from their team's facilities is now done.

The NFL Lockout is over. In the next few days owners are selling tickets for meaningless preseason games that had been on the brink of cancellation only a few weeks ago. Sponsors are once again making their pitches to get their signage on various billboards, car doors, and bathroom stalls featuring their team's logo and a sign that says "Official partner of the Houston Texans and the NFL."

The NFL Lockout is over. Today fans are calling into their local radio stations and freely discussing the impact that Matt Hasselbeck will have with Tennessee or how many games Hines Ward will be suspended due to his DUI charge or whether Nnamdi Asomugha will even consider their team in his quest to get more money than he really needs.

The NFL Lockout is over. Today the media smugly sit…

Exercise My Freedom To Run!

My New Favorite Sport

In my personal opinion, a sport is something that gets you moving and makes you sweat. Dancing? That is a sport. Sitting on the couch? Not a sport. Cheerleading? Yes - I believe that is a sport. Playing an instrument? Well, it depends. If you're in a chair in an orchestra hall, no, that is not a sport.

What I saw last night involving instruments definitely would be included as a sport in my book. Last night my friend took my to my first Drum Corp competition. And wow! I think I'll be going to more of those shows!

Drum corps are a summer sport involving teens and college students, roughly ages 13-22 (they "age out" if they are 21 that summer). The "drum AND bugle corps" consist of brass, percussion, and color guard. But if I were to say that was it, I would be missing out on the majority of the corp. There is brass of all shapes and sizes - trumpets, euphoniums, tubas, baritones, and probably more. The percussion section is huge, too. Not only do they have t…

Shhhh...

Last week I went on vacation. Because I got to stay at a hotel for six nights, I embraced the fact that I had cable again. Back at home, I have been cable-less for the past nine months. It was worthwhile to do it, but I still missed waking up in the morning and getting my top stories delivered to me on my high-definition TV. On my vacation, as soon as I was awake, the TV was on.

I was in an area where the ABC family of networks dominated the TV channel lineup. (If you know who owns ABC, you'll know where I was.) And one of these channels was ESPN. Because it was the only sports channel I got, I was obligated to get my sports news from SportsCenter. So I watched it.

As I was on vacation, the Detroit Tigers were on a hot streak. Between May 30 and June 7, the Tigers won 7 of 8, taking series against Minnesota, Chicago, and the reigning AL champion Texas. And because Detroit was playing against higher profile teams, their highlights made it on to SportsCenter amids the 50 minutes the…

Summer Movie Season: Why Should I Care?

Apparently on May 6 the "Summer Motion Picture Extravaganza" began, which unofficially commences the Movie-Tie-Ins-Till-Your-Eyes-Bleed Season as well.

Every year on the first Friday in May THE Major Motion Picture is supposed to resurrect the movie theater industry out of its doldrums and deliver the next big blockbuster that everyone MUST go out to see. This is followed quickly by the Memorial Day Ultrabudget Feature Film, not to be undone by one or two Incredibly Adorable While Hitting the Adult Demo As Well Kids Movie (quickly followed by the Incredibly Stupid Kids Movies With Too Many Fart Jokes). Also in June is the Upstart No One Saw Coming Comedy But Ends Up Making $150 Million, and that film ends up launching the career of a brilliant actor, and also launches the career of the other comedy actors into the Incredibly Stupid Comedy Movie No One Sees (this movie arrives - of course - right after awards season).

July brings us the Fourth of July Special That's Felt …

Baseball - By Ken Burns

The week before baseball season began, I started to watch the Ken Burns documentary called Baseball. It traces the history of America's pastime from it's inception to 1994. Most of its history covers the Major Leagues, but it does also cover much of the Negro Leagues' history, and briefly covers other leagues from history.

I enjoyed watching the documentary, but it did have a few spots that were sour for me. First, the good:

The Height of Baseball is Thoroughly Covered and Very Entertaining
Once the history of baseball reaches 1919 and the Black Sox scandal, the documentary finds its footing and takes off. The histories and recollections by historians and writers really helps you to understand all the sides of the stories that are heard. "Innings" 3-7 are the best innings by far to watch.

Buck O'Neil is Fantastic
Much like Shelby Foote in Burn's other major documentary, The Civil War, Buck O'Neil is a man with very simple words that really keep you ent…

Waiting Till the End to Say My Piece

January 27. I was on my computer when I spotted that the Michigan-Michigan State basketball game was going to be on ESPN3.com. Yes, the game was at East Lansing; yes, the Wolverines hadn't won there in 15 years; yes, they had just lost six straight and were 1-6 in the Big Ten, but I was still excited. It would be the first time I'd really seen them in action since late December - which would make my grand total M basketball viewings for the year go up to 2.

But when I got to the website, I was dismayed to see that there was only two minutes left in the game. My sadness quickly turned to elation when I found out we were winning! I nervously watched the final seconds click down, and just like that, the tide had turned. After hearing for a month on Detroit sports radio that Michigan head coach John Beilein would likely be fired after this season, and that this team was too young and there were no leaders, it was a shock to my system. Sometimes, a good dose of positive energy can …

Baseball...It Can't Come Fast Enough

I sit here in the midst of a giant blizzard pining for baseball.

It didn't take much for me to get into this stupor. On Facebook I noticed that 97.1 The Ticket out of Detroit was having a "Tiger Talk" with Pat Caputo and Dan Dickerson (Tigers radio play-by-play guy) tonight. Since my plans had fallen through thanks to the snow, I found my evening free.

As I continued to listen, I started roaming the Internet for other Tigers information. And as I found more, I eventually crossed leagues and started looking at video for my National League team, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Watching the videos, listening to the radio, and reading the articles made me pine for the day when I can turn on the radio any night - regular radio or Internet radio - and listen to one of my two favorite teams.

I remember last year having that eternal optimism at the end of March - I seriously thought that the Tigers and the Brewers could meet in the World Series. On one of my many lovely spring walks, I a…

Disney Documentaries Divert the Dream and Delves into Depression

I am a big Disney fan, and love many things that come out of that company: the Parks, the movies, the channel, and other things, too. Recently I heard about three documentaries that were coming out that were about topics not usually discussed among Disney: one was about Walt Disney's goodwill trip to South America in the 1940s, another was about the time in Disney Animation between 1984-1994, and the third was about the life of the Sherman brothers. All three of these were hailed by critics, so that interested me even more. A Disney documentary that was receiving good press like that? I had to check it out.

Luckily all three came out on DVD at the same time in December (and also appeared OnDemand with Comcast), so I was able to watch all three. And man, these are not your normal Disney fluff, that's for sure. This is all about the happy times, but also about the sad times too.

I am happy that people thought these were good topics to present, before it got too far out of people…