Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Industry that needs a bailout

This just in...from Fox News...

Police in Newark, 30 miles east of Columbus, said that when they responded to a report of a crash with injuries on March 4, they found a man who had wrecked a bar stool powered by a deconstructed lawn mower.

Kile Wygle, 28, was hospitalized for minor injuries. He was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he told an officer at the hospital that he had consumed 15 beers, police said. Wygle told police his motorized bar stool can go up to 38 mph.

Wygle has pleaded not guilty and has requested a jury trial.
There are two signs of an apocalypse on this one...
1) They may be able to find a jury of his peers;
2) If you don't think you can build your own, you can buy one.

Baylor Bears stop shooting 3s

Been meaning to do this for awhile. The Baylor Bears are mowing down opponents toward the NIT championship. A buddy was complaining to me earlier this year that the team was infatuated with the three, and wouldn't take the ball to the hole.

Bill Simmons, aka the Sports Guy, goes on a minor rant about the three pointer, talking about how it doesn't give you a change to make an assist for a higher percentage shot, or to get the defender in foul trouble. All good points.

Baylor men's team record when shooting 22 3 pointers or less: 14-5
Record when shooting 23 3 pointers or more: 9-9

If you pull out the Paul Quinns and UT-Arlingtons from their schedule, the difference is even more.

22 or less: 10-5
23+: 4-9

It wouldn't surprise me if other teams had similar records, but I'm too tired to look it up.

Monday, March 30, 2009

That was depressing

The Sooners played so poorly Sunday I was too bummed to write about it afterwards. Blake outplayed the Italian League Rookie of the Year, but the Sooners had no answer to Denny Green, Ty Lawson, Bobby Frazor, Wayne Ellington and Deon Thompson.

Sooners couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a jumper, and the guards did a fabulous impression of the Feb 09 Baylor Bears, jacking threes with reckless abandon. The Sooners were 2-19 from behind the arc, and 22-35 from closer range. Toss out Blake's 9-12 effort, and the Sooners are still 13-23 on two point shots. Willie Warren had some success at one point in the first half of penetrating and getting shots, but didn't stick with it for long. Why they were so enamored with the three when it wasn't working just frustrates me. Someone needs to be able to penetrate/create their own shot.

I didn't really expect to win this game. I figured it would take a Crocker against Syracuse type of night from Warren, Crocker, or Davis, and it just didn't happen. The Sooner offense became really stagnant. A friend noticed it on Friday night even, the perimeter players aren't really moving, they're just waiting for Blake to dunk it or kick it back out to them. Substitute Kevin Bookout for Blake Griffin, and you have the 2004 Sooners, scoring 50 points per game. Kelvin Sampson woudl have been proud.

You have to give credit where credit is due, however, and that's to the Tarheels. They have better basketlball players, and more depth on their team. This is a team that made the Final Four last year, and all five starters played signficiant minutes during last year's tourney run.

The ILROY dominated Griffin - Taylor, that is - holding him to 4 points and two rebounds. Blake got his 23-16. Hansbrough tried a dunk over Griffin late in the game, but a throwdown over a 6-10 dude when you're 10 feet from the basket just doesn't work.

Next year will be interesting. From what I read, we have some good recruits coming in, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that pans out. Losing the Brothers Griffin is losing a LOT of production, and we're losing court general Austin Johnson.

Capel has some work ahead. If you go into the wayback machine, there was concern 24 years ago when Wayman Tisdale left a year early. However, Tubbs got more production the next year out of Darryl "Choo" Kennedy, Tim McCallister and David Johnson than you would have expected initially, and Ron Roberts and Stacey King got valuable playing time to be a force the following year.

With some development of Ryan Wright, Juan Patillo, and Orlando Wright on the inside, add a point guard (coming) and growth of Willie Warren, and the Sooners are poised to have an outstanding year.

Griffin to Return to Norman

by Rhett Bomar, Automotive Industry Reporter

Blake Griffin shocked Oklahoma Sooner fans today by announcing he would return to the Sooners for his junior year. Griffin did not hold a press conference, but issued a statement through the athletic department. Many were surprised by the move. Coach Jeff Capel said, "I'm as shocked as anyone. Blake was projected to be a top five pick in the NBA draft. He's going to earn millions of dollars in the NBA. But I'm thrilled he's returning."

In a move that many has many Big 12 fans crying foul, the Obama administration announced this afternoon that Tommy Griffin has been named CEO of General Motors. Rumors abound that OU President David Boren used his political connections in the Democratic Party to strong arm the administration into this appointment. Griffin will be able to telecommute from the Marc Heitz Auto Dealership near the Miracle Mile in Norman, Oklahoma. Obama's staff praised the move, "Griffin is a visionary. He's very sure of himself. You have to be to if you're African American and dye your hair red. He's never lost $10 billion dollars before. We think his fresh ideas and leadership will launch GM into uncharted territory."

Kansas State coach Frank Martin was appalled. I've never seen such blatant tactics in keeping compelling a student-athlete to stay at school. Plus, I wish we would have though of this for Michael Beasley. We coulda made him CEO of Boeing."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What do you read

Below you find the top viewed stories from the Daily Oklahoman earlier today. This is about 16 hours after the Sooners advanced to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tourney. Of course, what's driving the readership at NewsOk.com is 1) a football recuruit's arrest on an array of charges, 2) the overhyped weather; 3) finally an article about the Sooners defeat of the Saltine Warriors.

It's those little things that sometimes makes a coach's eyes wander...I'll never get the attention here that I could somewhere else, etc.

For example, if Capel goes to Virginia, how long before he's king of the athletic department and perhaps the state? 2-3 hours and he's light years ahead of Al Groh.

Hopefully Coach doesn't read this blog.

Tarheel Motivational Posters

Since Kommandant Obama has picked the Heels to win the tourney, I thought the UNC motivational posters should have an Obama slant. I didn't rotate them to the left, though.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sooners Revenge Tour Continues

The Sooners finally got payback for a 2003 regional final dismantling by Carmelo Anthony’s national championship squad. The Sooners were impressive tonight. They never trailed in the game, and never led by less than 13 in the second half. The Sooners hit 9 of their first 18 three point shots, went 23-38 on two point FGs. The one weak spot was the 61% free throw shooting.

The vaunted Saltine Warrior zone defense lacked flavor against Crocker’s hot hand from outside and was unable to keep Blake Griffin from getting the ball in the lane. Griffin was 12-15 for the evening from the field. He made three dunks, three tip ins, and six layups while missing three layups. Griffin is now 37-47 from the field with 44 rebounds in the tourney.

The Crimson defense in the first half and first few minutes of the second half was stellar, as the Sooner guards contained Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf to below average shooting. On two separate occasions, Cuse guards lazily offered layups only to have them rejected by Tony Crocker and Austin Johnson. After that, I’m not sure if the Saltine Warriors found their stroke or if the Sooner D just put it in neutral – or both – the Cuse increased their offensive productivity after that.

Griffin ended up with another double-double, and had three outstanding dunks, including one from the baseline that resulted in Blake hitting his head on the side of the backboard. I’ve done that a couple of times myself, but only after lowering the goal to 7”.

I was very surprised that Crocker caught fire and posted a career high 28 points in this game. Most folks, me included, expected Willie Warren to assert himself in the game and be a premier contributor, but Crocker was on fire. At one point, Croker was 6-8 from outside the arc. He also added stellar defense on Rautins and Devendorf throughout the game.

I do have to tip my cap to Warren. For a kid that was an elite high school player just a year ago, he really does a good job of deferring to the hot hand and getting his shots in the flow of the game. As the game was winding down, Warren had the ball in semi-open floor on several occasions, but consistently slowed the tempo down and allowed some clock to wind down.

Capel did his normal outstanding job. He’s particularly good at getting Griffin maximum rest with minimal game time on the bench by maximizing the time around the TV timeouts. The Sooners more than held their own when the Terminator was getting his rest.

The one disappointing part for the game was the sideline coverage. During ESPN coverage throughout the year, the camera crews were overly fascinated with showing the Tommy and Gail Griffin, like they’d never seen an interracial couple before. Anyway, there was a gorgeous blond sitting behind Tommy tonight and the camera crew just didn’t seem to go there enough.
A curious point to me is the disappearance of Juan Patillo in the postseason. He’s played three minutes and scored zero points in the last two games, and Capel has seemed to “go small” with Blake not in the lineup.

Bring on the Tarheels. You have to go a little bit farther back for this revenge matchup, but I still recall the Sooners allowing Rick Fox to go baseline for the winning basket in 1990. The Heels were unranked, and the Sooners were top ranked but didn't make it to the Sweet 16 that year. The bitterness continued, as I had row 6 seats to the Regional finals and semi-finals in Dallas that year, and had to watch the Heels instead of my Sooners.

Sooner Recruit Chaisson arrested

DE Justin Chaisson, a recruit from Las Vegas, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadlyh weapon, coercion with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and three counts of battery with domestic violence.

Holy cow. Here's the article from the Daily Oklahoman.

First of all, if this is all true, I pray the girl is okay and that Chaisson is appropriately disciplined and seeks help. Second, I would imagine part of that discipline is going to be at least a suspension, if not even revocation of scholarship. We'll see what the Sooners do.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ramblings from the vacation

We took the annual trip to SoCal last week. Normally, I rock a Bucknell hat on vacation. It stands out well from afar for the missus. Plus, the Sooner hoops team hasn't been much to write home about until this year. In an effort to change the pace - and in honor of this year's squad - I wore a Sooner hat to guard what's left of my hairline, and a couple of days I was sporting a Sooners pullover to protect my old body from water on Splash Mountain. Anywho, I got lots of crap for wearing my Sooner gear...a lady from Boise, Idaho tried to get her 6 yeard old daughter to sing the BSU fight song...several people flashed Hook 'em signs...a dude wearing a USC hat said, "sooner or later you'll win something".

That would have been funny if it weren't so true.

However. I don't rush around bashing your school when I see you wearing your school gear. I don't say to a person wearing Texas gear, "Congrats on your early release" or shout "39-33" to them. I might nod. I might not. I'm more likely to consider you as big 12 brethren when I'm in a foreign land. I'd even be nice to a Boone State fan.

Furthermore, if the economy is so in the toilet, someone needs to tell that to all the people flying to adn from LA the past two weeks. Every seat was full. Disneyland was packed for the two days I was there. Ditto for Legoland. I played golf at Aviava golf club in California. They said they had a record February.

I know I was operating a bit in a bubble, but plenty of people are out there spending money.

Finally, a family vacation that involves me trying to get NCAA tourney score updates while my family is in the restroom is very hectic.

Syracuse Motivational Poster

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Round 2 - Conference Records

Same drill as two days ago. For selected conferences, here are actual records, and records if they better seeded team won.

ACC - 5-5 (expected 9-4)
Atlantic 10 - 3-2 (2-2)
Big 10 - 6-5 (2-6)
Big 12 - 9-3 (8-3)
Big East - 11-2 (12-2)
Pac 10 - 6-5 (5-5)

We can safely say the Big East has met expectations with the 5 teams in the Sweet 16 and nearly 6. The ACC flopped, but still has standard bearers UNC and Duke.

Here's a breakdown of the sweet 16 by conf

Big East - 5
Big 12 - 3
ACC and Big 10 - 2
Atlantic 10 - 1
CUSA - 1
Pac 10 - 1
WCC - 1

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sooners Avenge 2004 NIT Loss

The Sooners dominated the Wolverines tonight (as far as I know, I was on a plane). Griffin was 14-20 from the field, scoring 33 points and registering 17 boards. A monster dunk in the second half allegedly sparked the Sooners to victory.

In two games in the NCAA tourney, Blake Griffin is 25-32 from the field and has 30 rebounds. If his name were Tyler Hanbsrough, he would be having his way with Dick Vitale right now in some closet in Bristol, CT.

Round 1 - Conference Records

ACC is 3-4. If records followed seeding, they'd be 6-1. On a similar note, here are other notable records and expected records (in parenthesis).

Atlantic 10 2-1 (1-2)
Big 10 4-3 (4-3)
Big 12 6-0 (5-1)
Big East 6-1 (7-0)
Horizon 1-1 (0-2)
MAAC 1-0 (0-1)
MWC 0-2 (2-0)
Pac 10 5-1 (4-2)
SEC 1-2 (1-2)

Random thoughts from this: Cash Machine's win over BYU makes the Big 12 undefeated and steers the Mountain West toward 0-2...the ESPN pundits are slobbering over the Big 12's undefeated round one. All but one of the teams had the more favorable seeding, and TAMU was a 9 over 8 victory....if Texas upends Duke or Okie State upends Pitt and the Big 12 favorites hold server, then there's something to talk about...Bruce Pearl complained about being seeded lower than the Vols deserved, then went out and spit the bit against the surging Pokes. MAAC is the conference of Siena, victor over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Disneyland kills March Madness

A family trip to Disneyland killed my Thursday game viewing. By the time I got home, all games were done, and I couldn't even stay awake to watch coverage on ESPN. The time with the family was worth it nonetheless.

I had about an hour drive from D-land to the place we're staying, so I present to you the results of my thought train during that exhausting drive back.

Top 6 Disney attractions that didn't make it...

6. Say Goodbye to Old Yeller - a touching lesson about pet euthanasia. The short story, performed live in front of an audience in Critter Country, never caught on with guests.
5. Spay your Aristocat - learn responsible pet neutering to reduce unwanted pets in Southern California.
4. Tink’s murderous rage - ride along with Tinker Bell as she devises new ways to kill Wendy.
3. Shooting Bambi’s mother - a traditional midway target shooting game.

2. How to skin a Dalmatian - ever wonder how Cruella De Ville got those coats? Disney cast members show you how in this gruesome hands on demonstration.
1. Pocahontas’ Nickel slots - ride along in a time traveller with Pocahontas as she befriends palefaces and later combines her generosity with powerful lobbyist into favors that lead to a multi-billion dollar gaming enterprise.

Gentlemen Bears win postseason game

The Baylor Bears won their first postseason game since 1950 on Wednesday night, when they defeated the Georgetown Hoyas. To give you a sense of how long 1950 ago was, the federal budget deficit for 1950 was $3.1 billion, and total expenditures were $42.5 billion.

$42.5 billion can’t even get you a good bailout anymore.

Congrats to the Bears.

AIG Pays for Courtney Paris Guarantee

by LandThieves Women's Basketball correspondent Jenna Plumlee
Norman (LTP) – Earlier this month, Courtney Paris received national attention for a guarantee that the Lady Sooners would win the Women’s national championship. Last week, however, the Sooners were bounced out of the Big 12 tourney in the semi-finals.

Today, during AIG CEO Edward Liddy’s testimony before Congress, Liddy stated that the Sooners loss to the Texas A&M in the Big 12 tourney constituted a “technical default” on Paris’ guarantee to the Sooner nation. As a result, the troubled insurance giant has paid the University of Oklahoma approximately $64,000.

Paris was unaware she purchased an insurance policy regarding the guarantee, prompting further calls into oversight of the operations of AIG.

LandThieves Washington, DC bureau chief JC Watts may have contributed to this report.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Join LandThieves Group at espn.com

This may be the only time I agree with President Obama. Perhaps he'll join my group. It could use a bailout.

Join at http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/group?groupID=94450

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sooners to play Morgan State

I didn't even know Morgan was a state. Apparently Morgan State is a historically black college in Baltimore, Maryland. Why can a college be black and a person must be African American? Discuss.

Anywho, here is the Sooners record against teams in the NCAA, by month (unofficial):

Nov 2-0
Dec 3-0
Jan 2-1
Feb 1-2
Mar 1-2

That doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy. The last time we beat a non-agricultural school that made the final 65 was Jan 12 against the Horns.

I hope we get off the schneid and make it to the South finals. I'd love for Blake Griffin to show his stuff against future Italian League Rookie of the Year Tyler Hansbrough.

Finally, I wish the NCAA would make a big school play the Tues play-in game sometime. Make Mississippi State play or some other big school that won a conference but there's not way they get in without winning the conf tourney.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Longhorns to Abandon Football Program

UT Prez William "Austin" Powers said last week that the state's top 10% rule, if not changed, might lead to the universitry having to disband football. Apparently most of the Longhorn FB players were not in the top 10% of their high school academically.

Mack has been quick to respond, partnering with nearby cooking schools and work release programs to develop an alternate curricula for the Horns.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Police thwart Bosworth's fire prevention

The Boz was arrested last night for DUI - on a Harley. Sources familiar with the situation say he was "going to Norman to help Austin Box put a fire out."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We're not that Good

After watching last night's game, and part of the Kansas debacle, I'm inclined to think my Sooners are overrated. I hate saying that.

Austin Johnson's apparently dinged up...he's been pretty ineffective lately.

My fix: Stop doing the Kelvin Sampson tough-it-out routine. Rest AJ until he's healthy. Play Warren at the point, Crocker and Davis at shooting guard, Patillo and Wright at PF, Taylor G at SF and Blake wherever the heck he wants.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Player of the Year?

Last year, Tyler Hansbrough stole the POY award from Michael Beasley. This year, will blake Griffin win the award? Let's take a look at the 2010 Rookie of the year in the Italian League versus Mr. Griffin:

21 ppg
7.8 boards
0.9 assists
0.4 blocks

21.9 ppg
13.9 boards
2.4 assists
1.3 blocks

Others discuss Luke H at the FishEaters or Jodie Meeks at Kentucky, but their numbers aren't good enough to overcome the middle of the road status of their team this year.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Corey Wilson

Corey Wilson's medical condition has been upgraded to serious from critical. Anonymous sources say Corey's paralyzed from the waste down. In case you're wondering, that means you went from definitely unstable health to possibly unstable health. It doesn't sound like much of an upgrade.

Corey was thrown 45 feet from his vehicle during a traffic accident.

First of all, our prayers go out to Corey and his family. I'm praying for a miraculous recovery. I couldn't care less if he plays for the Sooners, but I do pray he has full function of his limbs again.

Second of all, wear a dadgum seat belt, people. They save lives.

Fire Safety with Austin Box

Austin Box put out a small brush fire near a Norman night spot earlier this week. While I believe he should be lauded for his achievements in fire safety and water conservation, the Norman Police were not as amused, and cited him for 'outraging public decency'. I'm not even sure what that means. I think it relates to the raging fire he extinguished.