Tag Archive | "Basketball"

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Random Thoughts Before Chicken Box Friday

Posted on 18 December 2008 by KZ

1. Teixiera: Would I like him to come here…sure…will he make the O’s better…think so, will he make them into a playoff team instantly…NO WAY. If the O’s offered 7 years at $150 million…this is from Buster Olney’s Column:

“The only way the Orioles can be considered a serious player for Teixeira now, sources say, would be if the Maryland native were to take their offer, which is believed to be for seven years and about $150 million. 

“The Orioles are out of it, unless Teixeira really, really wants to play there,” said one source. 

According to MLB.com, the Nationals’ offer stands at $160 million for eight years. During last week’s winter meetings in Las Vegas, the Angels made an eight-year pitch to Teixeira’s camp. “

SO THE O’s are OFFERING MORE PER YEAR (21.4mil vs 20 mil)…BUT 1 LESS YEAR? HOW IS THIS NOT A COMPETITIVE OFFER?
I want the O’s to sign him, but enough is enough…they made a good offer and seem serious in trying to sign him…if he does not want to sign here so ge it…continue the youth movement! No one really knows who has offered what…so relax and let’s see how it turns out.
2. Ravens vs Pittsburgh: I do not care if it was a TD or not…What I care about that twice this season the Ravens have let opposing teams drive 80 yards ir more in the last 4 minutes to score TD to beat them. And even more diturbing is they stop playing defense they way they had been all game long…Stop the prevent stuff and get after it like you did the first 56 minutes and the rest would not even matter. Control the game! Don’t let the other team or the refs determine your outcome.
3. NY Giants: I don’t know if its the injuries ir the Burress situation but the GMEN are in a bit of trouble…Maybe Eli can pull them out of this funk?
4. Pro Bowl: Rogers should not be their over Ngata…simple…same way Farve and Cutler should not be there over Rivers…or Eli over Ryan…and how does John Abraham not get an invite with 15 sacks?
5. Park yourself in a comfy seat this weekend: Start Saturday night! Ravens at Cowboys…Sunday 1pm Steelers at the Titans, 4:15pm Atlanta at Minnesota and then 8:15 The Giants host the Panthers…what a weekend the NFL will be this weekend!
6. Now that the Celtics have won a Championship, I think they now want to be the best team ever…can anyone stop them? The Lakers? New Orleans?…anyone in the East?
7. The BCS has ruined the bowl cycle for me…I use to love New Years Day…get up and watch football from 11am til Midnight or so with 8 games on the sked for the day….now we only get 5 games on New Years Day with 7 games to be played afterwards, ending a week later with the National Championship game….WHY is that game so far after New Years Day, they ruined one of the best sports days of the year!
8. Bowl game not to miss…December 23rd…Poinsettia Bowl…TCU vs Boise State…if you are going to watch one…that one should be entertaining…
9. If the University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team does not win their next 6 games…its NIT BOUND for sure!
10. Tune into Chicken Box Friday tomorrow….give Rob a call!

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Great Tight Ends

Posted on 15 November 2008 by Brian Billick

Tomorrow we may see a substantial achievement by one of the great tight ends to play this game. With one more TD reception Antonio Gates can get to 50 TD receptions in a career faster than any other tight end in NFL history. Not withstanding injury, Gates may well be on the way to the first of many feats to establish himself as one of the great tight ends of all time.

The year 1963 saw the beginning of a major shift in the NFL with the use of the tight end. The evolution of the tight end position has been constant since Mike Ditka changed the definition of the position as the 5th selection overall in the NFL Draft that year by the Chicago Bears when he caught 56 passes for 1076 yards and a still-record 12 TD’s by a tight end (tied by Todd Christensen twenty years later). Ditka, Baltimore’s John Mackey and St. Louis Cardinals Jackie Smith (all drafted in I963) began to shift the tight end position to one from primarily as a blocker to one who could be a major part of an offensive passing attack. All three would go on to have Hall of Fame careers.

These great players were followed by the likes of Charlie Sanders (Detroit) and Raymond Chester (Oakland) in 1968 and 1970, respectively. Dave Casper (Oakland) followed in 1974, our own Ozzie Newsome then came along in Cleveland in 1978, Kellen Winslow (San Diego) and Todd Christensen (Oakland) in 1979. Christensen was actually drafted as a running back by the Dallas Cowboys, moved on to the New York Giants before settling in Oakland and igniting his career as a tight end.

In the mid-1980’s Mark Bavaro (New York Giants) and Jay Novacek (Dallas) came along to prove invaluable parts of Super Bowl winning teams.

Shannon Sharpe started the 90’s off right with the Denver Broncos followed by Tony Gonzales (Kansas City Chiefs) in the later part of the decade.

Looking at this group one thing become readily apparent. If you want a great one you will probably have to use a high draft choice to do it. The chart below shows that you will probably have to expend a first day pick to get a TE of this caliber.

Mike Ditka

1963

Chi

1961, 1st round (5th overall) by Chicago

Kellen Winslow

1980

SD

1979, 1st Round (13th Pick) by San Diego Chargers

Tony Gonzales

1998

KC

1997, 1st Round (13th Pick) by Kansas City Chiefs

Ozzie Newsome

1979

Cle

1978, 1st Round (23rd Pick) by Cleveland Browns

Raymond Chester

1972

Oak

1970, 1st Round (24th Pick) by Oakland Raiders

John Mackey

1964

Bal

1963, 2nd round (19th pick) Baltimore

Dave Casper

1975

Oak

1974, 2nd Round (19th Pick) by Oakland Raiders

Todd Christensen

1980

Oak

1978, 2nd Round (28th Pick) by Dallas Cowboys

Charlie Sanders

1970

Det

1968, 3rd rond (74th pick) By Detroit

Shannon Sharpe

1991

Den

1990, 7th Round (27th Pick) by Denver Broncos

Jackie Smith

1965

StL

1963, 10th round (129 pick) St. Louis

Antonio Gates

2004

SD

2003, Not drafted

Obviously, Antonio Gates may end up as one of the great-undrafted free agent stories of all time. A basketball player at Kent State in Ohio, Gates, if he can stay healthy may break virtually every TE record.

Having said that it is hard to not recognize the accomplishments of Tony Gonzales: (those in RED are current Hall of Fame players. The only HOF missing from this list is John Mackey whose numbers don’t rate in the top ten).

RK

NAME

Year

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lg

TD

1

Tony Gonzales

12

870

10426

12.1

73t

71

2

Shannon Sharpe

14

815

10060

12.3

82t

62

3

Ozzie Newsome

13

662

7980

12.1

74

47

4

Kellen Winslow

9

541

6741

12.5

67t

45

5

Jackie Smith

16

480

7918

16.5

81

40

6

Todd Christensen

10

461

5872

12.7

50

41

7

Mike Ditka

12

427

5812

13.6

76t

43

8

Jay Novacek

11

422

4630

11

49

30

9

Dave Casper

11

378

5216

13.8

52t

52

10

Antonio Gates

6

378

4831

12.8

72t

49

Kellen Winslow is considered by many to be the best based on the numbers he generated even though he was a part of an offense with such great receivers as Charlie Joiner, Wes Chandler and John Jefferson. With all this talent outside, it is truly amazing that he was able to generate this much offense.

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Flacco’s blog: Bring on the road atmosphere!

Posted on 30 October 2008 by joeflacco

I’ll be making my first trip to Cleveland this Sunday and I’m hearing from some of the guys that the fans are pretty loud and crazy.  That’s good.  I really liked playing in that kind of atmosphere in Pittsburgh earlier this year.  Obviously our fans in Baltimore are great to us and they’re really loud — but they’re also rooting for us when we’re at home.  I have a feeling they won’t be rooting for us in Cleveland but we’ll go in there and play hard like always.

I keep on getting great protection from the line and the running backs and tight ends who are doing the blocking up front.  I know I say it every week but they are one of the biggest reasons why I’ve played the first seven weeks without any serious bumps or bruises.

We know this is a big game because it’s a division rival and we’ve won a couple in a row now so we want to keep building on that momentum.  We’ll be ready.  Who knows, we might even have a few more fun plays to throw out there on Sunday.

I hope my alma mater, Delaware, can turn it around and finish their football season on a good note.  They play Towson next weekend, which is always fun at UD because Towson brings some fans and the game has developed into a pretty good rivalry.  The CAA is turning out a lot of good teams these days.  It looks like 4 or maybe even 5 teams might make it into the playoffs from the CAA this year.  Maybe I’ll check out Delaware when they play basketball at Towson this winter.  I went to a handful of the men’s games when I was in school at UD and attended a lot of the women’s games.

I was glad to see the Phillies win the World Series in Philadelphia.  It’s good to win the championship anywhere, obviously, but since there hasn’t been a title in Philly since 1980, it was good that the home fans got to experience the whole thing there last night.

Have a great weekend and I’ll check in with Drew on Tuesday morning at 8:30 am.

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USC/Ohio State (Hail, Hail the BCS!)

Posted on 12 September 2008 by Mark Mussina

Remember; when you sit down to watch the Ohio State/USC game Saturday night, along with every other red-blooded man in America, that this game would not be a big deal if it wasn’t for the BCS. LONG LIVE THE BCS! A playoff system….phoey!
I heard a national radio guy make this analogy when comparing college basketball with college football. If college basketball was a movie, it would essentially be pretty boring right up until the end. The first four months of the season are essentially meaningless, and everything is decided in the last three weeks. Football, on the other hand, has plot twists at every turn.  It’s suspenseful from start to finish, and the ending, while not being perfect, is almost always very good.
Each week, every contender  holds their national championship hopes in the balance. How about last year when Stanford beat USC? And of course Appalachian State beating Michigan. These games change the landscape of the sport for the entire season. In basketball, when Michigan State loses to Gardner Webb, or whoever the heck it was, it really doesn’t affect them at all in the long term, other than the embarrassment.
College football is the one sport remaining in America where every week matters. Last season, college basketball had a high powered, non-conference game like this. It was Memphis and Tennessee. It was a great game to watch, other than the fact that neither team could shoot that night. Fans gathered in bars, everyone watched it, but it didn’t matter. Essentially, it was nothing more than a glorified exhibition.
Saturday night in Los Angeles ain’t gonna to be no exhibition. Remember that in November when you’re whining about there being no playoff.

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Random Sunday evening thoughts

Posted on 14 April 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some thoughts from the weekend:
  • The Orioles bullpen let them down a couple of times this road trip. It is hard to stay competitive when you go 2-4 on a road trip. This is the same bullpen that one of the veterans was verbally attacking a member of the media last week.
 
  • This week will be a tall task for the Orioles at home with the Blue Jays, White Sox, and Yankees coming to town, enjoy first place while it last.
 
 
  • If you do not have the baseball package on Comcast you need to call them and get it. I enjoy watching baseball and have followed the Diamondbacks this year as I think they have a very good chance of making the World Series. One of the other reasons I enjoy the D-Back game is because Mark Grace calls the games for them and he is absolutely a joy to listen to. He is a guy that you can tell is just having fun and enjoys the game; he does not have to tell a personal story about every single pitch during the game.
 
  • Speaking of Mark Grace, he is eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame this year. I am partial because he was my baseball idol growing up, but look at these numbers and tell me he is not a serious candidate for the Hall of Fame. He has the most hits of the 90’s and doubles of the 90’s. I think because of all the problems and questions that have become of the “Steroid Era” that will greatly help the chances of a guy like Grace getting in.
 
 
  • While spending my usual hour a day on myspace, I came across a video of Art Donovan on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I have always enjoyed the couple of times that I have gotten to speak with Art Donovan, he is a guy that always makes you laugh and have a smile on your face.
 
  • I will not link to it, but there is a video making its rounds on the internet of a comment David Cone made during the Yankees vs Royals game. Just search youtube for David Cone, and I am pretty sure you will find it.
 
 
  • There have been some amazing dunks in basketball, but I saw a video of this dunk and can honestly say I have never seen it before.
 
  • This week draft talk will pick up as the Ravens have their pre draft luncheon this week. You can usually get some tidbits of information, but don’t hold your breathe if you are expecting Ozzie Newsome to come out and say who they are drafting.
 
 
  • What number do you think Matt Ryan will take?
 
  • Ravens also will have a camp the end of this week as they start to prepare for the upcoming season.
 
 
  • Back with more tomorrow and this week as the Orioles are at home all week, the Ravens draft luncheon, Ravens practice, and most important, my son’s first t-ball practice.
 
  • Real quick, congratulation to my friend Brian and all of the guys and girl, who competed this week in the Renzo Gracie Invitational up in New York. I know Brian took home 1st place in his division, I guess it is all those days of roughing me up paying off for him. I think this speaks volumes for the type of competitors that John Rallo and his instructors turn out over at Ground Control.

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Random Weekend thoughts

Posted on 07 April 2008 by KZ

As Ray Bachman is stating on the air right now…the O’s are fun to watch…Markakis, Jones, Scott…and all are giving 100% and its fun to watch…will it last…probably not, but if they try like they are right now all year…I will love this team no matter what they do.

OK QUESTION OF THE DAY…ITS JUNE 15th the ORIOLES are 500…what do you do? continue the rebuilding or go for the playoffs? Come on its fun!

Kansas vs Memphis…could be a great game…I had UCLA and Kansas as my final 2, so Kansas is no surprise here…but Memphis with their 1 loss all year was a slight surprise to me…I just felt their Free Throw shooting or lach there of would catch up to them. To Memphis’s credit they have shot over 70% in the last 2 games. With their talent if they do that tonight…they will be your champion!

Don’t sleep on the Womans Championship game on Tuesday night…Stanford who ran through MD last week…did the same to UCONN the number 1 over all seed…and they get to play TENNESSEE, (who played a tough game against LSU and got a last second tap in for the win)…and their upset that she lost the player of the year Ms. Parker…Now…Candice Parker is the best player in Womens NCAA…and should be upset that she lost the award…but this is simple in my book….STANFORD wins this game…they have a deeper more talented overall team and WIGGINS is playing better right now then anyone else…plus Ms. Parker is hurt…no matter what she says…this may not be close…

NFL draft is 19 days away…I can’t wait…Ravens will take Matt Ryan or Ryan Clady in my opinion today!

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America, what a country…I love it

Posted on 13 March 2008 by KZ

I am a football guy. I love the NFL…the upcoming draft is like Christmas come early for me, but last night I was reminded why I love College Basketball and how they pick a Champion.

MT ST MARY’s vs SACRED HEART

I knew no player on either team. Didn’t even know what conference they were in before the game started. No clue where Sacred Heart is located or even knew they were in D1 before this year. But from the tip, this was a great basketball game. Not the smoothest, prettiest game…but great. You could feel through the TV how much those kids cared about the game. Every possession was crucial and it showed.

It’s why college basketball is great and why every team has a chance to dance! For those that say it’s unfair the way the tourney is selected or will be upset that your team is left out of the dance when they may have deserved to get into the tourney, well look at the MOUNT!

The MOUNT a four seed, is now going to the tourney…the dream is alive. Want to go to the NCAA tourney…its simple folks…win your conference tourney and you are in. Play your best basketball in March and off you go to the dance.

Don’t complain to me that this team deserved to go or that team got the shaft. If they played better when it mattered, then they would be in just like the MOUNT. It’s that simple…it’s why they have the conference tourney. It’s not to make the regular season pointless. It’s to give every team the same chance to dance. I love it!

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I am a supporter of Gary Williams but…

Posted on 10 March 2008 by KZ

I am done. I can’t defend him anymore. I have given all the arguements…bad luck…bad kids…unfair decisions, but here is the reality.

Unless they make a run to the finals of the ACC tourney…its 3 out of 4 years not in the NCAA tourney.

Since the two final four seasons (with 1 championship) MD has yet to capitalize on that success. In my view they should be a national power after those years and instead they are a constant bubble team.

We see promise in some players for a year or two just to see then regress…that list grows every year.

I am tired of hearing Garyland tell me that MD is judged unfairly because they play with UNC and DUKE….I am tired of blowing leads, I am tired of not making the NCAA tourney…basically I am tired of GARY’s act…its worn thin on me and I am sure on the players and potential recruits…

Time for a change…time to bring the program a breath of fresh air…

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How to make the NBA regular season exciting

Posted on 22 November 2007 by russletra

NBA regular season games are for the most part meaningless. Last year, every team that won as little as 41 of their 82 games made the playoffs. The Celtics have already won 9 games. Going by last year’s standards, they only need to win 31 of the next 75 to make postseason. They could wear their jocks on backwards and still win 31 more games this year.

We all know the good teams will qualify. We all know the bad teams don’t have a chance. That leaves just a few mediocre teams to play games that will determine their chances of playing in May.

So, in order to make those regular season games worth the $51.02 average ticket price, I’ve come up with an innovation which will make the games more exciting for even those with a slight interest in basketball. I call it “The Tank”.

You know those two concentric circles at center court. They’re barely visible on TV anymore. That’s because they’re only used once in a game. After the initial jump ball, those circles are needed. So here’s what I propose. Make the circles a removable lid. After the first stoppage in play, the lid is removed. Underneath is a six-and-a-half-foot water tank. Over the top, connected to the bottom of the scoreboard, is a harness, similar to those used on Coast Guard rescue helicopters.

As the game progresses, a player wrapped up in the flow of the contest might fall in the tank. In such a situation, the harness will be timed to slowly lower to rescue the sopping player. The contraption will be timed to reach him in 24 seconds. Meanwhile, the game continues under normal conditions except for the one team being shorthanded by one player.

It gets better. The tank will be filled with some type of sea life. I think jellyfish would be the perfect choice in most arenas, but creative PR men can spice things up with local flavor. How about lobsters at the Boston Garden? Adolescent gators in Miami. Crawdads in New Orleans. Maybe the Wizards can pay homage to their Baltimore roots and put live blue crabs in their tank. The crabs would be steamed and served as crab cakes at the concession stands at the next game. (It would be a sin to waste them.

You might think this is a foolish idea, but can you imagine the delight of Knick fans when Stephon Marbury falls in the tank and has to avoid water moccasin snakes freshly brought in from the East River. The place would go nuts!

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