Friday, February 29, 2008

Please God No

The ultra reliable mock draft experts over at SI have Connor going 28 to, somehow, the Patriots.

There are about three teams in the NFL that I couldn't root for under any circumstances. Belidush coaches one of those teams.

The writer has some type of compliated trade projected, one where the Pats make some kind of trade with the Cowboys for two late first round picks. Keep in mind they also forfit their 'normal' selection at 31 because they are a bunch of cheating mother fuckers.

On a lighter note, Connor was asked "What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?" His answer? This guy:

Penn State To Play In 24th Best Game

Out of conference game, that is. Scouts is doing some type of vodo math countdown of the "20 Big Questions", with question #1 being what are the 40 best out of conference games. But there are actually 41 games on this list. I'm not going to try and figure out why.

24. Oregon State at Penn State, Sept. 6
It's the first ever meeting between the two as the Beavers visit Beaver Stadium (sorry about that). It's a weird start for OSU going on the road to face Stanford, Penn State and Utah, to go along with home dates with Hawaii and USC in the first five games, but an upset win would likely mean a 3-0 start before dealing with the Trojans. Penn State will coast to 4-0 with a win.

Just ahead of Michigan State v Cal, just behind Louie v Kentucky. The whole concept of ranking these things is retarded but I think it's a fun list to look at. Not sure how Illinois v Missouri snuck all the way up to #2, but I don't think anyone can argue that Ohio State v Southern Cal is going to be an important game.

It's also interesting to point out that there are three Notre Dame games on this list. I suppose they are out of conference but so are the other 9 games ND plays. I also don't know how they are even considered relevant at this point, or how you can rank their game against Top 5 USC as less important than probably unranked Michigan.

But that's the beauty of these lists, they don't have to make any sense.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Stupid Pryor Speculation

The Detroit Free Press has attempted an objective look at the four remaining finalists for the Pryor sweepstakes. Interesting considering Michigan probably is not really in the running anymore, but whatever.

Regarding Penn State, the Pros:

• Penn State seems to be Pryor’s father Craig’s top choice.

• Penn State is the closest school to Jeannette, Pa. If Pryor became a Nittany Lion, many of his family, friends and coaches could watch him play.

• Pryor and his advisors seem very impressed with Joe Paterno. The legendary coach personally visited Pryor at school when other schools were oftentimes sending assistants to talk to the five-star recruit.

• With Anthony Morelli graduating, the Nittany Lions have a Michigan-like gap in their depth chart, opening the door for a recruit like Pryor to get an immediate starting job.

Well, I wont totally hate because you nailed the obvious ones like "it is close to home" (although not that close) and "Joe is a great guy", but the last one shows a total lack of knowing what the hell is going on. The depth chart at QB is actually very strong, with two candidates who could end up being very good at what they do. Both have at least two years of eligibility. Now if Pryor is the real deal, at this point, it's not that far fetched for me to believe that he could start his sophomore season, but this year? Probably not.

Back to the story, the cons:
• Penn State runs a rather traditional offense that may not suit an athlete like Pryor as much as other schools’ systems would.

• Penn State’s last No. 1 overall recruit to commit, WR Derrick Williams, has essentially been a bust. There’s been very little development from when he entered college to where he’s at now entering his senior year.

• Pryor has never taken an official visit there, despite living so close to the school.

Spread HD baby! Spread HD! This guy obviously doesn't read blogs. Or look at them: (Glorious Photoshop HT to Nittany Line)

Williams might not have won any Heismans yet, but that doesn't mean he's a total "bust". The guy is a wide receiver, first of all, and played that position during the Morelli era. I also don't see what the development of Williams has to do with the development of a dual threat QB.

Finally, I thought the point of this story was to look at the four schools from Pryor's perspective. How does pointing out his lack of an official visit qualify? If he want to go on another visit (yes, he's been there), he will. He isn't going to cross off Penn State because he didn't take an official, that's backwards logic...

I'm going to once again end a Pryor post with a "what the hell's the point" comment. I guess I just wanted to point out how shitty this story is. The guy did zero research and obviously had a deadline the morning after a long night of drinking. I'm ok with that, of course. I've been there.

Lesser Of Two Evils

Thanks to BHGP for informing me that there was a Penn State basketball game last night. I don't know if that's a sad commentary on my fandom or the state of the basketball team...either way it's kind of pathetic.

Anyway, Penn State won a close one...but no one cared. ESPN didn't bother to proof read the game re-cap:

Penn State led 31-30 at the half but trailed for much of the second period after the Hawkeyes went on an early 17-0 run to grab a 42-31 lead with 17:18 left. Dan Bohall made four straight free throws to give Iowa a 64-57 lead with 2:40 remaining.

I actually stopped listening after the 9-0 run to start the half, but I really regret turning off the feed because listening to how Iowa could go on a 17-0 run but only score 12 points would have been awesome.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Thought The Strike Was Over?

When the writers strike was began, I was warned that two undesirable things were about to happen: (1) The Office would shut down production, and (2) reality shows would spread like wildfire on a gasoline covered planet. Both thing happened. I mean holy shit did they happen. (And people wonder why no one respects the Academy Awards)

Anyway, the strike ended yet the crap keeps rolling in. Nothing says we need programming like bringing back an idea that everyone already decided was shitty. (Although I have to admit this video is kind of cool, at least the first two minutes of it are, that's when I got board and found something else to do).

(HT: With Leather)

ESPN Pre-Spring Top 25, Bring On The Nonsense!

Giving bullshit predictions since 1792

The interesting thing about Pre-Spring Top 25s is that they are actually a fairly good indicator of what the pre-season rankings will look like. Spring games are a great excuse to get drunk but they really don't tell us much when it comes to comparing different teams.

It's also interesting to note which programs will get the ultra-hype this summer and therefore have the chance to really screw an equally deserving team later in the year because of media bias.

The Big Ten on Schlabach's list follow. I already did a three sentence what's good/what’s bad last week, so instead of doing the exact same thing I’ll take a different approach. Are they better than the team directly above them?:

(1. UGA 2. Oklahoma)

3. Ohio State: Are they better than Oklahoma? - I think so. Oklahoma looked like garbage in their BCS game against a coachless team and also somehow lost to Colorado and TTU. To end up in the top 3 you need to beat crappy teams; OSU has done this for several years now, OU has not.

The Buckeyes are getting punished here for losing in the MNC (again), but when you take an objective look, it's hard to deny how good they are. They return an average yet efficient quarterback, have a Heisman candidate in the backfield, and their defense is solid. Main concern: Can they stop the spread offense? Illinois beat them with it last year, but Michigan and Penn State are both going to be attacking with it in 2008 and probably will show up with more talent than Zook did.

(4. USC 5. Missu 6. Texas 7. Florida 8. LSU 9. Clemson 10. Az St (?!) 11. VT 12. Texas Tech)

13. Wisconsin: Are they better than Texas Tech? - Probably not, although it's hard to say, but I'll go with no. TT brings back 18 starters (although this is the most overused argument in sports...and ask UCLA about how much correlation it has). The thing TT does bring to the table is a very good passing game, one that means they are in striking distance even when several scores behind.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, is looking to have another "mea" yet efficient season. They aren't much of a threat to every win it all, but they manage to be solid enough at every position to compete with just about everyone on the schedule. The Badgers are bringing in a rookie qb, however, and Hill always seem to be hurt.

(14. Tenn 15. Kansas 16. Auburn)

17. Penn State: Are they better than Auburn? - There aren't very many reference points here, but because I'm a pretty big homer I'm going to say yes.

Why? Auburn doesn't know who their QB will be (neither does PSU). Auburn had several key losses on defense (so does PSU). Auburn has a hard time competing with the top teams in their conference (um, ya). PSU wins, hands down.

(18. Oregon 19. BYU 20. WVU 21. UVA 22. Pitt)

23. Illinois: Are they better than Pitt? - Yes, Yes, one thousand times Yes. Pitt lost to Navy last year, everyone realized that, right? At home? How one ESPN talking head has justified Pitt at 22 in the nation, while another has them as the 6th best team in their conference (out of 8, mind you) is beyond me.

(24. South Carolina 25. Fresno)

All in all, that's four Big Ten schools, compared to the leaders, the SEC, with six. The Big XII has three of the top six spots. The highest ACC member is at #9, the highest Big East program at #20. Two non-BCS programs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fish And Sunshine Are Not The Same Thing

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are now the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays officials announced Monday that the team will be shortening its name to the "Tampa Bay Rays," that their updated uniforms will feature a blue-and-white color scheme accented by orange rays of sunshine, and that they are now a minor-league hockey team in the Florida Panthers system.

Wait, that's the Onion, but seriously:
After months of speculation about coming changes, the Rays spilled the beans about the subtraction of "Devil" from the name, their new team colors -- navy blue and light blue -- and a new icon, a bright yellow sunburst invoking the magnificence of life in the Sunshine State.

"It feels like a fresh start," left fielder Carl Crawford said. "It's like that feeling of going to school on the first day. You get to wear the new uniforms. It feels good. You know what they say, 'You play like you feel.' We feel good, we look good, so hopefully, we'll play good."

Who says "You play like you feel"? I've never heard that before. If that's true, than anyone who has played on this franchise for more than a couple of years would have died of depression by now. Also, if you are going to get away from the fish reference of "Devil Rays" you should probably take that tail thing out of the "R". Finally, if you are now essentially a knockoff of the Suns, why are your colors blue and blue? Oh, and you play in a dome. Sun, Blue, Fish, Dome....I'm confused.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Morelli Has Big Hands, Slow Feet

You know what they say about guys with big hands...they can't read defenses.

From SMQ:

Kudos to Chad Henne and Sam Keller on cracking the 5.0 barrier in the 40, a mark cohorts Erik Ainge, Alex Brink, Paul Smith and Anthony Morelli juuuuust missed. Morelli, however, was at least a finalist for the positional award for "Monster Appendage" of the weekend, lugging in a hand measuring one-eighth of an inch shy of a ten full inches, best of his group.

The Morelli hand was second in freakishness only to the arm of Dennis Dixon, which measured a truly orangutanian 36 and one-quarter inches. No other quarterback had even comparable lank attached to them; the only other limb measuring longer than 34 inches was that of San Diego State's Kevin O'Connell, which still put him a good two inches behind Dixon's unseemly catapult.

Really? Are we really measuring the exact length of every limb of each quarterback?

This begs, I mean beeeggsss, for an apporpriate dick joke but I'm taking the high road.

Random Acts of Enforcement

Some Monday morning ranting for you...

Last week Duke somehow lost to Miami. I don't care much about college basketball teams that I haven't bet on, so I'm not going to take about the game, but I am going to talk about this:

My first reaction: What the fuck? There are literally hundreds of people storming the court and you choke slam one kid? Really?

I've had this reaction before. Flashback a couple seasons to PSU's defeat of OSU. I'd give you the year but there's only been one win in recent memory. Anyway the clock runs out, thousands of kids rush the field, the battle was lost yet a few douch bags brave officers decided to fight on, macing random kids for no apparent reason.

You know people can die from that shit, right? You also know that you macing 25 kids out of tens of thousands isn't actually stopping people from getting to the field?

If schools think rushing the playing area is dangerous or damaging, that is fine. But don't be dumbasses about it. Either get enough security to stop the fans in a safe way or don't. This one man choke slam stuff doesn't help anyone. Lose-Lose, Lose.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thank God For Power Rankings

Who Has The Power?

Especially in February, when we haven't learned anything about anyone yet because all the players have been, you know, getting in fights actually going to class.

Anyway, we're all addicts so lets look anyway. ESPN's Pre-Spring (I know) Power Rankings:

1. OSU - Laurinaitis always comes up in these discussions despite the fact that he is probably the reason they were hammered by LSU in January. The middle was very soft in that game yet no one seems to want to learn the names of any other players. That being said they are solid, again, and in addition have everyone at home except Wiscy and Zook. (Note: they do have USC on the road, but that's obviously not going to stop them from winning the league.)

2. Wisconsin - Why? Because "The Badgers are ridiculously deep at running back." So what? They do get PSU, OSU and Illinois at home, which is nice. But what did they do last year that makes anyone think they are that good?

3. Penn State - Defense will be solid, of course, everyone is back on the offensive line. Royster looked great. All the receivers are back. Need a QB though. It's impossible to tell how good the starter will be, but I have to think whoever has been doing these rankings doesn't think much of the Big Ten when teams 2 and 3 are both starting rookies under center. PSU also plays OSU on the road, and it's going to be tough to beat them when Paterno is committed to punting the ball unless we get inside their 25 yard line.

4. Illinois - Yes, Juice is back. And no Brent, he is not "The Juice", that's a different guy. Their defense was pretty terrible last year, but they are aggressive and that pays off against conservative coaches. Again, the Big Ten doesn't look that strong next year so it's not that hard to believe that a team like Illinois could win it.

5. Michigan - I doubt this. There are going to be serious growing pains and they play at Penn State and at Ohio State with what will probably be a rookie QB not named Terrelle Pryor.

6. Purdue - I'm having one of my "why the hell am I doing this" moments, but it's too late to turn back now. Painter is back for his 7th year, but loses Dorien Bryant, Dustin Keller and Fulmer Cup extraordinaire Selwyn Lymon. Look for a lot of average football from Purdue in 2008.

7. Michigan State - They are recruiting well but will still probably lose to Michigan, meaning their season is a failure. And no, the Land Grant trophy doesn't mean anything.

8. Northwestern - Not sure how they ended up ranked this high. Write this down because you won't hear it ever again: "The Wildcats are stocked with skill players." Um, ok. I'll believe that when I see it.

9. Indiana - I don't care who they have coming back, they lose Hardy, who absolutely owned King last season. Without him Indiana might have been shutout. Until they replace him with another 1st round type player I'm not ready to call their offense "exciting".

10. Iowa - BHGP is pissed. This is classic: "How the Hawkeyes can win the league title: Kidnap Terrelle Pryor." That reeks of a reporter not wanting to actually do any research...which I'm sure is the case when you get down to #10. I know the feeling.

11. Minnesota - Losing to North Dakota State will do that to you. They had, supposedly, the nations worst defense and, according to the ultra thorough ESPN report, "They can't" win the league.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why I Keep Doing This I Don't Know - Pryor

Yesterday, Dennis Dodd wrote a story filled with fluff and nonsense. Grass grew also. I'd love to give you a link but I declared a while back not to link MSM if it is bullshit and everything Dodd writes qualifies under that declaration.

One interesting line from his story:

Reitz also said that if Tom Bradley were named Penn State coach today, Pryor would be headed to Penn State. Bradley, the Lions defensive coordinator, has recruited Pryor intensely but fairly. One thing keeping Pryor from signing with Penn State is the uncertain future of Joe Paterno.

Reitz is Terrelle Pryor's football coach. Shout out to Dodd for telling us his interpretation of the comment instead of simply quoting the guy. No offense, Denis, but I trust your judgment like I trust the guy who told me olestra doesn't give people the shits.

Lets forget this is a Dodd story for a second , assume it is true (big assumption IMO), and figure out what it means.

One: That Penn State is NOT telling recruits that Bradley is the next coach

Some have speculated that this is being said to recruits, maybe it is, but from this non-quote it doesn't appear that's the case. If it was, Pryor would have already committed to PSU.

Two: Bradley is a kick ass recruiter

Everyone already knew this. Moving on...

Three: Paterno may be hurting recruiting

This seems to be contradictory, as Penn State was out until Paterno showed up at Pryor's house. Maybe Paterno shed some light on the post-Paterno era during that visit, but if we are going to assume the non-quote is true then we have to assume Paterno refuses to name the successor. Fair considering, technically, it's not his call.

Again, I can't stress enough how misguided this statement probably is. If Dodd was actually doing his job he would simply tell us what the coach said instead of paraphrasing. However, it makes you wonder if Penn State really should get moving on the post 2008 thing.

Goalie Fight!

Let's get one thing straight here: goalie slashes are dirty as fuck. No one likes them, they are cheap, pansy like and often brutal as a goalie twig carries about 4 times the mass of the regular player's tool. (I dick joke should probably go here).

However, part of what makes goalie slashes so dirty is the fact that goalies almost never back it up. If a defenseman wants to play that game, they are going to be dropping the gloves. But all too often a goalie pulls this crap and then watches his defensemen take five minute majors because someone has to answer for their nonsense.

If a goalie wants to back it up, that's an entirely different thing.

Enter Ron Hextall.

This is all in response to Nick's call out from yesterday, which is well taken. I was simply on a different wave length. When I thought of goalie fight, I immediately thought of the greatest hockey brawl of all time, that between the Red Wings and Avalanche during the 1997 season (for those of you impatient, skip to the 1:54 mark).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Still Not As Cool As A Goalie Fight

There is a fairly entertaining blog fight between MGoBlog and the ever defiant Bama blogosphere. In the spirit of the off season, I will herein narrate other people's work.

It all started at AOL Fanhouse, the all-star team of once independent blogers. Brian Cook of MGoBlog wrote this little story/rant on the practice of oversigning:
Jesus. That's truly filthy. When this happens a kid who manages to get qualified is shuffled off to a JUCO or prep school because there's not enough room for him. The school who signed him to a letter of intent is screwing him out of a chance to play at an actual D-I school for purely selfish motives.

All programs are allowed to carry 85 scholarships. Some coaches, like Saban, sign way more players then they can possibly carry under this rule. So what happens? Well many of them are asked to transfer to JUCO. Some are given medical scholarships. Players that were recruited in previous seasons and not 'contributing' are simply not given a renewed scholarship (scholarships are given year to year, the school is never bound to renew).

Brian makes one very big mistake here: criticizing the Bama program.

Several long and drawn out posts from Bama Nation followed. Choose the response that best fits your taste:

  • Are you a civil fan of polite prose? I suggest this. (Remember: We are still talking about Bama fans)
  • Prefer vulgarity? Here.
  • Won't read a blog unless they imbed good looking women? I've got that too.
  • More Bama-Bashing from Brian? Comes in two flavors! Profanity and Realization.
  • Remember when no one would throw the ball to the fat kid, so he'd shout out "I swear I'll take my ball and go home"? Ya, that happened.
  • A calm post involving deflection and rationalization? Of course.
  • A somewhat informative discussion between two foes.

The cage match appears to be winding down, so outside of a couple of rouge vigilantly posters the good stuff may be behind us. It was fun while it lasted. Hooray off-season!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mark May Is A Clown, Pryor Agrees

Mark May: Making Lou Holtz Sound Competent Since 2005

I think Mark May is a total douchbag. I know Mark May is a total douch bag, but now even 18 year old kids are figuring it out (from
"That day was tough because I was being criticized by everyone for not making up my mind and signing," [Pryor] said. "Mark May from ESPN is criticizing me on national television and he doesn't even know me. That kind of stuff really bothers me, when people who know nothing about me are talking about me like they know anything." [emphasis NOT added]

Um, Terrelle, you don't say it elegantly, but you sure do hit the nail on the head: "people who know nothing about [anything] are talking about [anything] like they know anything" pretty much sums up every single talking head at ESPN.

So let's see, Pryor puts off his signing day. May decided to engage in one of his random acts of richeousness. Said kid calls him out. Guess who looks like the asshole, Mark? You see what happens? You see what happens when you talk trash to the most heavily recruited kid in football history?

A google search for (and in quotes, meaning all words must be consecutive) "Mark May is an idiot" renders 517 results. I'm doing my part to make it 518.

In actual worthwhile news, Pryor confesses what everyone except the MGoBots already knew:
Pryor admits he was set to sign with Ohio State the day before Feb. 6, but a conversation with his father, Craig, made him think twice. His father wanted him to take another look at Penn State and take an official visit.

"I'm really interested," he said. "This isn't just being respectful of my father, this is thinking things through and making sure I have all the info I need before I make a big decision. I really like Coach Bradley at Penn State and they could end up being the right fit for me, I'm not sure."

You don't love JayPa? Sounds like your textbook case of Playstation bitterness.

Mass Mailing Is Fun! Productive, Too.

The Wrong Guy: Australian Cricket Phenom Michael Clark

I was all set to write a post about the reply* NCAA Rules Committee chairman Michael Clark sent me last week but EDSBS beat me to it. Below is the email Orson discusses:
NFL studies showed that adding the 25-40 clock will actually add 4 to 5 plays per game based on consistent pace of play. BCS Football and officials themselves were for this change. With the ready for play, live ball out of bounds rules, (This happens about 12 times per game, with on average 3 of those in last 2 minutes) we should get the same amount of plays in a time span that is a few minutes shorter. For the record it is BCS football, TV, Conference Commissioners with lengthy seasons and television that leads the push for faster games. The Committee’s stance is that the game has given about all it can give back without a negative influence on product. Next move will have to be from Administrators or Television themselves. It is still a great game. MC

I don't know much about the original message sent to Mr. Clark, but this is the response I received after I called him a sellout:
NFL studies showed that adding the 25-40 clock will actually add 4 to 5 plays per game based on consistent pace of play. BCS Football and officials themselves were for this change. With the ready for play, live ball out of bounds rules, (This happens about 12 times per game, with on average 3 of those in last 2 minutes) we should get the same amount of plays in a time span that is a few minutes shorter. For the record it is BCS football, TV, Conference Commissioners with lengthy seasons and television that leads the push for faster games. The Committee’s stance is that the game has given about all it can give back without a negative influence on product. Next move will have to be from Administrators or Television themselves. It is still a great game. MC

Not surprisingly, the same exact thing.

I emailed him back*, questioning what these "NFL Studies" are, and also feeding him some of my favorite quotes from my post here. At which time I received this:
Although the most visible BCS represent the minority of college playing football teams. I will be writing a statement to the TV people expressing our concerns that the time problems can’t always be expected to be solved by the product itself. It sells well on its own. MC

Try not to read that too many times because, well, it doesn't make any sense. Back to the original email...

I love this part: "For the record it is BCS football, TV, Conference Commissioners with lengthy seasons and television that leads the push for faster games."

For the record, it is interesting that you mentioned TV two different times in the same sentence. Really, three if you consider that the BCS is all about TV ratings. This makes me think you aren't very intelligent, especially considering you sent this exact same message out to probably thousands of people.

Also for the record, it is interesting that you make is sound as if the rule changes will increase the number of plays, but then in the same paragraph try to explain that you've done all you can to appease the TV execs' demand for shorter games and starting now they will have to act on their own. (Imagine that, TV networks having to cut commercials instead of force changes to the actual rules of the game.)

Your closing line is my favorite: "It is still a great game." This reads as if you believed it was a great game before the most recent rule changes, which, of course, begs the question: why the hell did you fuck with it so much? Oh, that's right, because of TV. Not just TV, though, TV and television.

Now to the fuzzy math in your second response: yes BCS programs represent, technically, the 'minority' of football, but they also represent the vast majority of interest in football...approximately 99.4% if I'm reading these NFL Studies I have on my desk accurately.

Plagiarism seems to be trendy these days, and since I can't ever write a decent conclusion, I'm simply going to steal one from EDSBS, from the link above. And for the record, I agree. A shorter work day would simply mean shorter blog posts.
So Michael Clark’s reply is honest in that it admits TV and the BCS are the prime movers, but it’s less than honest with the suggestion that there will be more plays with the rule change. Suggesting this ignores how the game is actually played, and what teams’ incentives are on the field of play. We could suggest that we shorten our work day in order to “be more productive,” but realistically, there’s little incentive for that to happen–in most cases, you’ll simply get less done, which is precisely what will happen in college football. Thanks to the pressures of television and a lack of ingenuity on the part of sponsors, you’ll see exactly what you feared: less football, period.


* Yes, I emailed him. It's not so much that it was a slow day at work, but rather I read his email address in a post somewhere and thought it would fun to flood his mailbox. You would call me a loser here until you realized I write a football blog, so you kinda should have known that already.

Buying Time

No this isn't a post about Joe Paterno's contract situation, I'm in a bit of a transition today and probably won't be able to post my usual nonsense until this afternoon.

In the meantime, enjoy this bit on the hottest wives in baseball.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Putting Fans First the Web Site!!! No Spin, At All, We Swear!!1!!1!

I stumbled across, a website dedicated to fans who paint up, wear cargo shorts and love to jump around in flip flops*. Sounds like your typical fan, right? I know, I couldn't wait to join either. I mean, who doesn't want to put fans first, you know? I sure do. Fans should be first.

But like so many of it's 'org' predecessors, there seems to me something a little misleading about the title 'for the people'. I'm going FJM on this mother (web site quotes in bold):

Putting Fans First is a new coalition of sports superfans and consumers uniting to address the soaring cost of sports programming.

Superfans? I haven't heard that term since high school...which explains why the three guys on the front page of PFF (can I call it that?) are wearing cargo shorts and flip flops. As for consumers, aren't we all consumers, really? You know, capitalism and that whole thing?

Right off the bat I'd like to know exactly who registered and funded this whole operation for "superfans and consumers". A website for everyone isn't for anyone except the people who created it, so lets find out who that is.

Search at told me the domain was registered by "Domain by Proxy". Guess what they do? Assure that (per the web site) "you identity is nobody's business but ours." By "ours" they mean not mine.

That's not suspicious at all, registering a dot org through a lock and key identity protection service. Mean's you probably don't have any hidden agenda or anything.

The new Big Ten Network (BTN) is Exhibit A. Having sold its best games to ABC and ESPN, the Big Ten now wants to charge all of us – fans and consumers alike – hundreds of millions of dollars a year for games that are either “fifth tier,” according to sports columnists....

So we get to the meat of the argument, that fans are going to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for "fifth tier" games. What the fuck is "fifth tier"? Let's google it. Quoted below is the only relevant hit I was able to find; it involves an interview between TV Week and the president of Fox Cable Sports Networks, Bob Thompson:

TVWeek: There are obviously two sides to every argument, but from your point of view, what’s wrong with this sentence: “Sports fans will have to pay $1.10 per person to watch fifth-tier football games and women’s volleyball.”
Mr. Thompson: Well, the $1.10 has been probably the most oft-quoted figure, which is just not true....It’s like the analogy that nobody pays sticker price on a car unless you’re an idiot.
The part of the fifth-tier game, I don’t understand that. I mean I think we never pick fifth, there’s no scenario where we pick fifth. There’s scenarios where we pick second, third, and you know we’ve made the decision to not only pick in those days second or third, but we also take all the rest of the games because these games—there’s no such thing as a fifth-tier game if it’s your school and your team.

Ok PFF, so by "sports columnists" (note: plural) you mean one writer at TVWeek. By "calling it fifth-tier" you mean above mentioned TVWeek writer (note: not sports) exaggerated something he thought Comcast those at PFF would say to let Thompson answer critics. Good work fellas.

[programming] that we used to be able to see for free. In fact, BTN would be the second most expensive national network!

This is where you guys blew it. If you wouldn't have misquoted a TV programming columnist, I would have never found the interview where Thompson calls bullshit on your very claim:
TVWeek: Reports had you demanding $1.10 in the Big Ten states and a dime through the rest of the country. Would that really make it one of the most expensive national channels?
Mr. Thompson: I can tell you this much, it’s significantly less than ESPN. It’s significantly less than a lot of regional sports networks. Especially if you amortize the cost over the entire U.S....All these guys used to carry these exact same games on pay-per-view around the country. These games were all a part of ESPN’s plan. People were paying 20 bucks a pop for them.

So by "used to get for free" you mean used to have to pay $20 a game on pay-per-view for. I actually remember games on ESPN+ being pay-per-view regionally so this is not bullshit.

As for the "second most expensive national network", I don't feel like going into it but lets just say, based on reading the interview above and other sources, that simply isn't true.

Leading cable companies reportedly want to carry the network in a way that lets sports fans pay for it without imposing the costs on all consumers.

Again, if you are going to lie you have to be consistent. You told me this site was for both superfans and consumers, now you are saying us "sports fans" can pay for it without imposing the costs on all consumers. Well, and I'm no Greenspan, but isn't imposing the cost on all consumers good for me? If I eat more mozzarella sticks than anyone else at the table, but we split the price of the mozzarella sticks evenly onto everyone's bill, how is that not good for me, the "Super-Mozzarella-Sticks-Fan"?

Whether you're a superfan or a budget-conscious consumer, this is a bad idea. And it may be only the beginning ... so we're united to tell BTN and others to give us the games and not the hustle.

While your "give us the games and not the hustle" thing is cute, until someone tells me what is wrong with my mozzarella stick analogy I'm going to stick to calling you bullshit.

* Update: Between the time I started this bit and the time I published it, PFF has decided to replace their signature picture, one of three guys painted up and jumping around in flip-flops, with a tamer but equally stupid picture of a kid holding a basketball and sporting yellow shoelaces. I assure you the original photo was much more fun, but you'll have to take my word for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Please Stop F*cking With My Game

**Note: BW Roundtable Is Below**

Seriously. Every single one of these ideas is utter dogshit*. Among the stupidity (HT: WoO):

-The 40/25-second play clock, which was approved last year, will go into effect. After every play is whistled dead, the 40-second clock will start. When there is a stoppage of play, a 25-second play clock will be used. Previously, only a 25-second play clock was used and it did not start until the ball was marked ready for play.
-A coach gets an extra replay challenge if his first one is upheld. But he will be granted only the one extra challenge.
-The incidental five-yard facemask penalty has been eliminated. It's now strictly a 15-yard penalty. This eliminates a judgment call on the part of the officials and it appears that only when there is a pulling, twisting or turning of the head will a penalty be called.
-Horse collar tackles are now illegal and classified as a personal foul and 15-yard penalty.
-The receiving team will have the option of taking the ball on its 40-yard line on kickoffs that go out of bounds. Previously it was the 35.
-Sideline or bench warnings to coaches and players who crowd the field have been eliminated. It's now strictly a penalty.

I was going to get into a whole long drawn out rant but I'm going to save everyone the trouble of getting through something like that (or just ignoring it). Instead I'm just going to put up some quotes from the Rules Committee that I think tell the story.

"I hope the third time we got it right," said committee chair Michael Clark

Ya Mike, me too. Because I'm not still pissed off about this, or anything**.

He added:
"We wanted to find something the TV people are looking for without taking away plays from the game. The hope is we got it right."

Is anyone else totally blown away that the Rules Committee, the chair of the Rules Committee, is openly acknowledging that they are CHANGING THE RULES OF FOOTBALL BECAUSE IT'S WHAT "THE TV PEOPLE" WANT!?! There are two things that happen during a football broadcast: football and commercials. Unless you want to shorten the play clock to 20 seconds (which is not one of the proposed rule changes), the only way you are going to shorted the games without taking away plays is to cut commercials. But that's not one of the proposed rule changes either.

This is a far cry from the statement two years ago when the original clock rule changes were made:
"We weren't looking to take plays away from the game. We were looking to ... get away from some of these 3-hour, 45-minute games in hot weather or cold weather," said Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, who is on the rules committee.

This implies that the rules are about the player and the fans. About their comfort. About how sitting outside for an extra 15 minutes is somehow bad for us...even though most of us drove hours and hours to get to our seats. Anyway, the point is this isn't an issue anymore. Or, more likely, this was never an issue but they gave up trying to convince us it was.

Delany, in the same story, continues to prove to me how big of a fucking idiot he is:
"In a perfect world, the games should be in the three-hour range, not the 3:30 range. If you look at the listening and viewing habits of the next generation, 3½ minutes is long; forget about 3½ hours," Delany said.

Let's get something straight: in a perfect world you would be unemployed and/or exiled to a shitty, uninhabited island. This doesn't even make any sense. You aren't running MTV, jerkoff, you are in charge of a football conference.

Regarding the facemask penalty:
"That's not a dangerous play when a player grabs and releases (the face mask) with no impact on the runner and no impact on the safety of the player. That's a non-entity," Redding [SEC coordinator of officials] said. "We feel like the real issue is grasping, pulling, turning and twisting. That is retained, but we felt the incidental contact (penalty) was nothing and decided to get rid of it."

So someone's really going to have to be fucked up for you to call this? Is that what you are saying? I'm no scientist, but I've watched a lot of football and I will tell you that every single time a player "grabs and releases the face mask" it has an impact on the run, so what you are saying doesn't make any sense. Instead of discouraging any hands to the face action, like the original rules do, you are opening up a huge can of worms where coaches and officials will be arguing about weather it has an impact on the runner, which is subjective as hell. Also, you are putting refs in a terrible situation where they have to decide, every time, weather it is a 15 yard personal foul or not a penalty at all. Stupid.

*Actually, there is one I don't mind, but because it will have not impact on the game I'm going to stick with the more dramatic line above. If a coach challenges a call, and is successful, he gets another challenge. The problem with this rule is that no one ever challenges anything. Instead, they just call a timeout, hope the replay booth decides to "take a look", and then they get their timeout back no matter what the outcome. That's why giving coaches another challenge, when they never used the first one anyway, is stupid.

**While digging, it turns out Joe actually called this whole thing the summer before:
Penn State coach Joe Paterno brought out another perhaps unintended effect of the new rule: "When you kick the ball, [the clock] starts. Kick it out of bounds with 8-10 seconds to go, the game's over," Paterno said to USA Today. "We've got to expose our kids to it in preseason practice."

Blue and White Round Table?

After reading several of my posts involving extreme bias and unnecessary cursing, the highly regarded BWRT has invited me to add my two cents.

Yes, it's very class

If you are reading this blog you've probably been to most of these places already, but as a sign of gratitude and in what appears to be the custom, make sure to check out the following for their takes:

Black Shoe Diaries
Run Up The Score
The Nittany Line
There Is No Name On My Jersey
William F. Yurasko
The Nittany Notebook
Tangled Up In White and Blue

How well did Penn State address their needs with this recruiting class?

Well, with so few scholarships to give it changes the game a little bit. Our needs were obviously wide receiver and defensive back. We bombed here except for Lynn and Price. We did pick up some "meat and potatoes", as all the experts like to say. The four linebackers we brought in are, of course, solid. (I'm very much looking forward to the first time I hear "that's Yancich and Zordich on the sack!") In addition, you can never haven enough linemen and the three we picked up appear to be nice additions. To answer the question, not that great. But I'm not as pessimistic as some appear to be. Pryor is still on the table and we still have one more year at these need positions before it's panic time.

Who was the big fish that got away? The kid you really really wish we had landed?

Well everyone is going to be talking about Shaw here, and he probably qualifies. There aren't very many fish as big as Pryor, so we'll wait and see on that one. My answer is Deion Walker.

You’re NCAA President Miles Brand. Take a break from counting your BCS cash for a minute. What would you do to improve the recruiting process?

This is a rip off of an idea I read a couple of weeks ago. I'll post a link if and when I remember where the hell it came from [edit: from IBFC, thanks to RUTS for helping me out], but for now here is the deal: Every recruit registers with the NCAA. Instead of a verbal commitment, the recruit will have the option to 'declare', or notify the NCAA in a non-binding way that they intend to sign with school XSU. Once the NCAA gets this notification, they publish said intention on some kind of database that all schools have access to. Once declared, no one but XSU will be allowed to contact said recruit. The recruit would also not be allowed to take any visits to other programs. If the recruit has second thoughts about his decision, he can simply remove his declaration from the data base, at which time he is fair game for all programs again.

The two benefits: (1) if a kid wants to stop being harassed via text message by 45 year old men, he can simply declare, (2) the schools get some kind of idea how committed a player really is.

Now you’re Joe Paterno. So I guess prepare to dodge the question. What would you change about Penn State’s recruiting strategy?

This is really simple: If I'm Joe Paterno I need to get the hell out of the house every once in a while. I understand he was sick close to signing day, which warrants staying home that week, but what about before that? Pryor, the number one recruit in the nation, is the only player to get an in-house visit from Paterno, and look what happened! Had Joe visited all of our targets, who knows what this class could have looked like.

Lightning Round!

Where will Terrelle Pryor go to school? Or should he just live off the hype for the next few years and directly enter the NFL draft in 2010?

What hype?

Ok, seriously: I really have no idea, I tried following this thing during December and January and ended up utterly confused, so I gave up.

I'm going to say PSU simply because I'm a huge homer, but if you put a gun to my head I'd insist its 50/50 between us and OSU.

Which member of this class stands the best chance to make an immediate impact?

I like Lynn here. Our secondary is suspect at best, and besides that DB is not a position that requires a lot of bulking up. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how a kid recruited by USC, Ohio State and Florida ends up a three star on Rivals. I'm obviously guessing here but I would bet he's a lot better than that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Paterno's Last Stand!

Talking about Paterno and Spanier's final dual is all the rage this morning. It all started yesterday after this story was put out by the Patriot News (HT: RUTS). BSD got over his cold and commented this morning.

Several of the 'general' blogs felt compelled to talk about it also. Here and here.

Basic consensus: Paterno's long held control of the program, and his job security, are fading faster than Clemen's credibility (zing!). Joe used to make his own rules; in part because he is Joe Paterno, but also because he is/was backed by several large and powerful donors. Spanier and his white collar army in Old Main were helpless to fight back against his tyranny. Based on the story from the Patriot, it appears Joe has lost support of these philanthropy giants, and with the power invested in Spanier via his new 5 year deal, there are many who think there is a new Most Powerful Man in State College.

This is all very dramatic but I'm not buying it yet.

Most of the made up comments sources from the Patriot News are described as, quote, "persons of influence". While they may very well be people in the know and with some kind of decision making clout, why are they speaking unanimously. These kinds of sources have the credibility of an anonymous message board poster and should be treated as such until someone wants to grow a pair and identify themselves before they talk shit about one of the greatest coaches of all time.

Said one "a trustee":

"But you also have to remember his ego is as big as New Jersey."

Are you serious? Trying to run a clean program. Living in a ranch house. Making $500,000 year despite being the most influential fundraiser in the nation. Donating $5 million back to his employer to build a library. Turning down a job with the NY Giants that would have made him the highest paid coach of the era. How do you get 'ego as big as New Jersey' out of this?

Said same "a trustee":
"Now, the question is, will Joe do the classy thing or will he fight it?"
Classy, my friend, would be not talking shit about a legend under an anonymous name through a local sports beat reporter. But thanks for playing, asshole.

I'm fully aware everything in this post is blue blood homerish, but I'm ok with that. Joe is old, he needs to retire, but this cowardly bullshit speak from "persons of influence" and "a trustee" needs to stop.

Pitt Realizes They Don't Have Fans, Acts

Heinz Field 5 Minutes Before Kickoff

One of the biggest mysteries in all of sport has to be Pitt's ability to recruit somewhat talented players. They haven't finished over .500 in three years. They don't have their own stadium. The one they play in never sells out. Their coach's most notable achievement is his mustache.

"Pitt sold a little less than 30,000 season tickets last season but is hoping to increase that number to 50,000, which would be a sellout (not including student tickets and tickets reserved for visiting teams)."

Again, we are talking about a half full stadium, and besides that, just because you sold 30k seats doesn't mean they all show up....look at PSU Basketball.

Maybe that's why they gave up on grooming the field this year.

I'm embarrassed to admit, despite not being a Steelers or Dolphins fan, that I actually watched that game start to finish. It was that whole "it's so ugly I can't look away" thing.

Anyway, Pitt is shooting for the glory days, when the popularity of other teams drove up ticket sales:

Pederson recalled the 2003 season when he and former associate athletic director Jim Earle came up with a ticket pricing plan that enabled the Panthers to sell out all of their season tickets. The team averaged 59,197 fans that year and had more than 60,000 for four of the six home games.

Guess why?

The funny thing about this whole plan is that the majority of the tickets are going to be bought by ND fans. According to the article, one third of season ticket packages cost less than $100. Considering I paid an average of $200 a ticket the last four times I made the treak to Beaver Stadium, it's not hard to imagine there being more Notre Dame faithful with Pitt season tickets than, you know, Pitt fans.

So what looks like a great effort to fill seats is really going to have the benefit of increasing ticket sales, but is it really going to affect actual attendance at all? Doubt it, but then again football programs don't see to have a problem with situations like this anymore.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

USA Today: A Model For Journalistic Insight

Two People Who Care Too Much About Image

You know what sucks about traveling? Having to read the USA Today. I can't think of another situation in which I might actually sit down and read one of these things, yet for some time now I've been picking this coloring book up every morning and getting through the headlines.

You know what's great about traveling? Getting to read the USA Today. It's stupidity and lack of actual journalism make it a great blog resource.

Exhibit One Million: The Big Ten Image Takes A Tumble:

"The Big Ten Conference is fighting a perception that it's taking a big dive this season, a blow for a conference that has had nine Final Four teams in the last nine years, more than any other conference."

What great about this story is that it's talking about fighting an 'image', not results or stats or actual trends. So how is an image about an entire conference created? Anyone who has followed football for the last couple of years has no doubt been involved in one of these moronic arguments. There are too many ways to measure. Do you look at the best teams? The worst? How many teams don't suck? How many teams make bowls? The always circular logic of who beat who? It's mind bogglingly (a word?) moronic.

Well now that argument is bleeding into basketball, for no other reason than to try and exclude teams from the NCAA tourney because "their conference sucks".

However, basketball attempted, and to some degree succeeded, in solving this problem before the conference freaks turned up the last couple of years. It's called RPI. It's not perfect, but it includes SOS and, for the most part, it's a nice objective tool to use when evaluating each individual team based on their own accomplishments.

But, never mind all that, this is about image, because that's important. There is no better justification for including or excluding a team from the bracket than the public image of their entire 10 to 12 (to 16!) team conference. That's fair.

Of course this entire bit is pointless because image is driving primarily by non-factually based headlines that are published on free newspaper. Free newspapers that are handed out at airports, hotels and offices all over the nation.

So, in effect, the USA Today is arguing with itself.

But, since we should probably talk about something relatively interesting, let's actually look at USA Today's own conference rankings (well Sagarin's, brought to you by the USA Today):


1 PACIFIC-10 84.48
2 BIG 12 82.49
3 BIG EAST 81.86
5 BIG TEN 81.00


3 PACIFIC-10 83.05
4 BIG TEN 82.35
5 BIG EAST 81.64
6 BIG 12 80.35


2 BIG EAST 3.36
3 BIG TEN 82.49
5 PACIFIC-10 80.53
7 BIG 12 80.03


2 BIG EAST 82.77
3 BIG 12 82.46
5 BIG TEN 81.82
6 PACIFIC-10 80.23

So what the hell was the USA Today talking about? The Big Ten has always had crappy teams. I know this because I am a Penn State fan and sometimes we beat Northwestern. That's two right there.

But even still, when was the Big Ten that good that they warrant a front page headline talking about how tarnished their image has become? Finishes since 2004: 5th, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

It sucks that I do more research than profession writers. But then again I suck at writing, so I guess that tells you something about the industry.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beer Me The Office

Horey Proletariat!

I know this isn't sports related, but on a day of back to back angry posts it's time for some good news. The Writers Strike is over, I think. This means two things. One: this onslaught of horrible reality shows, which apparently was going to include an 'American Idol' knockoff about curling (seriously), will end. Two: The only show actually worth watching, 'The Office', will return.

Per ABC:
Good news for Dunder Mifflin fans: Michael Scott will resume mismanaging his troops in Scranton soon enough. The half-hour comedy is one of the easiest types of shows to get up and running in a short amount of time. "'The Office' you'll see back before the spring season," Szalai said. "I would assume that NBC could bring it back sometime in April, and they'll still have April and May to run new episodes."

Bowden Sell Out, No One Is Surprised

All Time Wins Fraud Bobby Bowden Sleeping On The Job

Bobby Bowden. Joe Paterno. The "Record". Bowden is up one win with a huge fucking asterick next to his number.

Per Wiki:
However, 49 of Bowden's 373 coaching victories came against schools that are not currently in Division I-FBS[7], while only 5 of Paterno's victories came against non-Division I-FBS schools[8], so that Paterno has 368 wins against teams currently in Division I-FBS while Bowden has only 324. Following a 3-overtime victory over FSU in the 2006 Orange Bowl, Paterno has a 7-1 all-time record against Bowden (6-0 against Bowden's West Virginia teams and 1-1 against Bowden's Florida State teams).

So guess what the good 'ol southern boy is doing now that 20 to 30 of his players are ineligible for allowing a football coach to read them answers during a test? Ya, I bet you'd never guess...he's dropping ranked teams from his schedule and filling the spots with A-aa. TWO OF THEM!
But Bowden acknowledged that wasn't an option this season because of FSU's investigation into academic fraud, which will leave his team without several starters for the first three games of 2008.
"We had to give up a Monday night game, which I hated to give up because of the [lost] exposure," Bowden said this week. "But there's no way we would be ready to play a ranked team at that time."

Bobby, I just saw the movie "We Are Marshall", it pains me to say this but the film thing was a classy move, but this is busch league at it's finest. Dropping BCS teams because they are 'too hard'?!? Playing I-aa teams because you won't be "ready"?

You aren't an all woman's college any more, stop acting like one.

Weak move, Bobby. Weak.

Best State Ever!!11!!1!

You know what's really dumb? Trying to determine the best "In State Tandem" CFB teams. That's something you might be able to get away with in August when the football well is dryer than my mouth the morning after a night of hard liquor and bad decisions, but not 48 hours after Signing Day.

You know what's even more moronic? Using all time MNC's as the metric.

Have you ever been to this site? If not, you should, it's awesome. It explains how ND claims MNC's any time their team doesn't suck and that their status as a fan favorite skewed many year end polls. It's a lot harder to get away with this kind of thing now, but you would be surprised to hear how many schools have been hosed because of the ND bias.

However, not to be outdone, check out Bama's fetish for made up championships.

Penn State has been short changed many times, one such occasion inspired the name of one of my favorite blogs (I think?). However, I've yet to see a coffee mug or license plate cover that claims JoePa has multiple MNC's that he doesn't. The polls suck, I know, but they are the rules we play by. And until the Playoff Revolution we can't all run around pretending we won things we really didn't.

Getting back to the point, what the hell is the point? The state of Alabama has faked more MNC's than any other state? Is that what you are getting at? Also, if MNC's is the only metric you are using to claim who is the best 'Tandem', shouldn't both teams involved be required to win at least once? ND and Indiana(?!) can't qualify if Indiana sucks, sorry.

I'm just going to stop here.

Someone save me, I'm not ready for 8 months of this stuff.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hey Terrelle, Want To Be A 99 In Madden?

You see that balance of power and speed? That's coaching, son.

MRob Owning Souls In Madden (about 30 seconds in)

Who say's Penn State can't send QB's pro.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Big Ten Recruiting Review

Below is the final Pryorless rankings of all Big Ten teams. I also included Pitt to make our class look worse. The way Pitt out recruits us is troubling to say the least, but then again the way Whanstash manages to suck so bad with good recruits is a bit troubling as well. One thing worth pointing out here is that these services rank based on 'points', so a bigger class is going to outscore a smaller class of the same level of talent. Penn State brought in the smallest class of any Big Ten team by far, just 14 players compared to an average of 21. This includes Minnesota with 30 recruits and Illinois with 28. This is a result of Penn State not losing very man scholarships and therefore not having many to's obviously cyclical. So while our class isn't knocking anyone's socks off, keep in mind we are getting punished in these rankings for bringing in so few kids. Per Rivals, number of recruits in quotes:

#9 OSU (19)
#10 Michigan (24)
#17 Minnesota (30)
#23 Illinois (28)
#29 Pitt (19)
#41 Wisconsin (24)
#42 Penn State (14)
#47 MSU (21)
#53 Iowa (24)
#63 Purdue (25)
#73 Northwestern (20)
#78 Indiana (19)

Not to get too bitchy, but really looking at this list makes me wonder why I think college ball is so superior to pro. Indiana's prize recruits are a couple of three star kids, while Ohio State doesn't even bother going after kids that low on the list. Why this is considered "pure" is beyond me, but it doesn't change the fact that I do in fact like NCAA football better than the NFL.

As for Penn State, you never like to see Minnesota that far ahead of you, especially after their one for the ages shitty season.

Let's take a look at how Scouts listed the Big Ten:

#7 OSU
#8 Michigan
#18 Illinois
#25 Pitt
#26 Wisconsin
#28 Minnesota
#41 Penn State
#42 Iowa
#49 Purdue
#56 MSU
#63 Indiana
#69 Northwestern

This site seemed to be a bit more optimistic about the Big Ten, but not really about Penn State. They also didn't buy into the Minnesota class quite like Rivals did. All in all there aren't really any surprises here. Zook really is bringing Illinois up to a respectable level. Northwestern and Indiana still suck. Penn State continues to be mediocre in more ways than we realize, and Ohio State and Michigan continue to dominate recruiting by a large margin.

This year's recruits take 2 or 3 years to really have a full impact, so there's no immediate threat to a team's success. Pryor might be an exception, he will start day one at Michigan and you bet your ass Paterno would play him somewhere if he chooses Penn State.

I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Um, wow. He made the whole thing up?

So this isn't Penn State related, but I put a link up earlier today about a kid in Las Vegas who thought he had received several D-1 football offers from a list of schools that included Oregon and Cal.

There was a press conference and everything, in the school gym. Well then people started saying Cal, the school he 'committed' to, never offered him a scholarship.

So the police got involved and thought that some ass clown who called himself Kevin Riley convinced the high school football player and his family that the scholarship offers for real.

I felt terrible for the kid, I mean to have the whole town at the school, local TV cameras and everything, then to find out that it was all a fucking joke? That's painful.

Turns out the kid made the whole thing up. This is the saddest thing I've heard in a long, long time.

The Legend of Link, Recruiting Is Over Celebration

Now that we don't have to read about 17 year old boys on ESPN any more, I thought I'd celebrate with three of this week's best posts:

Orson is making some life changes. (EDSBS)

Paterno loves brains, lips, Darryl Pryor (BHGP)

A Few Good Men could have been a lot better, even with the SEC homerisms. (YMSWWC, this one's actually a little old)

Random News You've Already Heard

10:33 Thoughts while I should be working:
-I had a feeling Pryor would push his anouncement back. From what I've gathered, Pryor had somewhat made up his mind, but his father might have talked him into reconsidering Penn State. He is headed for an official visit some time this weekend, maybe.
-Lynn has signed a letter, which is a big.
-Shaw may have decided to go to Michigan, but BSD has told us all that he has decided to push his anouncement back to 1 pm.

10:45 MGoBlog says both Shaw and his HS teamate Roy Roundtree are headed to Michigan. Roundtree is WR and had as of yesterday been a soft verbal to Purdon't. Roundtree did not have Penn State on his list, however I don't know if that was because Paterno didn't offer or the kid wasn't interested.

10:50 Rivals and MGoBlog have all redacted their statements about Shaw, they appear to have jumped the gun. Also, Pryor was creeped out by Michigan and their fan's are pretty defensive about it.

11:00 IF Shaw does jump, that means we don't currently have a four star player who is not a linebacker...although I have to wonder how Rivals can rate a player (Lynn) recruited by USC, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State a three star.

11:31 I know this isn't really news, but this is about as embarrassing as it gets.

11:38 So I hear Pryor will be "fielding questions" at his Noon press conference. I would say "who this will be interesting" but I get the feeling whatever he says won't make any sense by Firday...

12:05 The whole thing was suppose to be over this very minute. Also, Shaw has set his press conference for 1:00 pm, he is either headed to Michigan with several of his teammates or signing with the Lions.

12:12 Just kidding! Pryor will visit Oregon, unless of course he doesn't. He also is going to pick between Ohio State and Michigan, according to the 'experts' on ESPNU (is this a contraction of terms?), because that makes for a better news story.

12:30 From what I understand: Pryor wanted to go to OSU, Dad wanted him to go to PSU. They decided to wait. He also actually said this: "Jay [Paterno] is a great guy." I think the jury is still out on JayPa (most don't), Morelli isn't a fair way to judege him in my opinion, but the fact that he even was mentioned is a good sign. The PlayStation thing must have worked.

12:56 In five minutes we will either have a four star running back or we won't.

1:19 Fucking Michigan...

Well, that was fun. Check out BSD for a good wrap up of who signed.

It's Like Waiting For Christmas, Only You Know There Probably Are No Presents

Two child stalkers make small talk at one of Pryor's basetball games

At 12:05 pm everyone will be forced to chill the fuck out. I'm pretty excited about a Pryorless blogosphere, I really am. As least until he, you know, plays football or whatever it is these recruits do.

One final question I want to ask and then I'm done until noon: Why is Penn State still on the list? Not one single 'insider' has predicted, or even suggests possible, a Pryor commit to Penn State. Mike Farrell, of Rivals, went as far as to say "He'd win an Academy Award if he chose Penn State on signing day."

I'm not suggesting anything here because, to be honest, I'm very confused.

Update: H/T to RUTS, but now it looks like Christmas is getting pushed back at least another week. Pryor has been to PSU but never did take his official visit. He apparently wants to do this, and possibly head to Oregon as well. Either way this is all very, very good news.

Let's Keep Updating: Shaw bailed on Penn State and went to Michigan, that hurts. Regarding Pryor, Oregon is out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Give Me Back My Stars! has run a "where are they now" on the list of 5-star recruits from 2004. Penn State did well that year, landing three five star players: Dan Connor (#6), Anthony Morelli (#22) and Greg Harrison (#28). It is worth pointing out that Rivals had them ranked at #24, #12, and #100, respectively (Harrison was actually a 4-star).

From the bottom up:

28. OL Greg Harrison, Penn State – Harrison certainly looked the part coming out of Shenandoah Valley (Penn.) High School, a hulking lineman with good quickness, burst and smarts. However, he injured his foot shortly after arriving in State College, struggled to crack the lineup in 2006, and was not a part of the team last season. For all the hype surrounding Harrison, the jump from high school to college was too much for a player that never even lettered for the Lions.
Revised Rating: No stars

I don't know much about Harrison other than I there is probably a reason I don't know much about him. Sounds like he got hurt and kind of faded away.

22. QB Anthony Morelli, Penn State – Morelli started two seasons in Happy Valley, but never quite lived up to the hype that made him one of the country’s most coveted quarterbacks four years ago. Rarely the reason that the Lions won a big game, he finished his career with modest numbers, including 31 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. A senior season that was supposed to be his breakthrough year wound up being riddled with inconsistent play, and as many picks as touchdowns in Big Ten games.
Revised Rating: 3 starts

This is way off in my opinion...I don't know how anyone who watched him play for two years can say he was a three star QB. I think that, when at his best (Wisconsin game comes to mind, even the Outback Bowl from two years ago) he played like a thee star, but on average? I'd say one and a half. His mobility was not a predicted strong suit, but he showed by his senior year that he was actually better off taking a sack then trying to get back to the line. There were way too many horrible throws and bad decision, right up til the end of this year, to warrant a respectable three star tag.

6. LB Dan Connor, Penn State – At a school that’s been defined by its linebackers, Connor staked his claim over the last four years to being the best ever to play in Happy Valley. An All-American the last two seasons, he won the Bednarik Award given to the nation’s best defensive player and became the Lions’ all-time leading tackler in 2007. A linebacker with unmatched instincts at the position, he should be scooped up long before the end of the first round of this spring’s NFL Draft.
Revised Rating: 5 stars

A no brainer, he was the best linebacker in the nation. Period.

Some other notables that held their ground include Ginn and Hene...the list is pretty interesting and worth taking a read through.

Post-Gazette: Please Shut the Hell Up Already

I'm rather proud of myself, honestly. I called this post my last on the SuperRecruitChild Terrelle Pryor and I held out all the way until Super Tuesday. Not bad, I think.

Besides, this isn't a real Pryor post. Instead of giving you all some late breaking news about what Terrelle's mom packed him for lunch today, I'd like to do something a little more fun. Let's talk about what drives a supposedly 'real' newspaper (one that even Stephen A. Smith would read) to report and act like a bunch of idiots.

These two things happened within a week of each other:

"I'd say it's about 50-50 that I'll push things back," Pryor said.

Earlier this week, it seemed the race was down to Ohio State and Michigan because Pryor wasn't going to visit Oregon. If Pryor visits Oregon, the Ducks will still have a chance at landing him.

Pryor also said yesterday Penn State is not out of the running.

Who said Penn State was out of the running? How does Pryor not going to Oregon eliminate Penn State also? Why not just say, "the race was down to Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State..." instead of leaving out PSU and throwing in that random "they are in but don't have a chance" comment? Pryor has said a lot of nonsense over the past 6 months, even telling Rivals that Duke was on the list, but I don't remember him ever saying "Penn State is out." Great journalism, guys.

Anyway, then a week later:
Pryor, star quarterback at Jeannette High School, said today he is "80 to 90 percent sure" he will announce his choice at a news conference Wednesday.

But Pryor said he will not visit Oregon and the Ducks are out of the picture.

"I have to call them today and tell them," Pryor said.

Pryor said he will decide among Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, although Ohio State and Michigan have been the leaders all along.

Listen Post-Gazette: I know you don't like PSU. Every time there is news in your paper about football, it's always of the negative variety. Maybe Pitt has something to do with it, maybe not, but please stop this bullshit where you quote a kid who changes his mind about thing every 24 hours and then throw in a line like "Although Ohio State and Michigan have been the leaders all along." You make it read like he said this, yet for some reason you don't actually give us a quote, which makes me think you made it up. Why do this? It's not what other people have said*. Are you a recruiting service*? If it is what he said, why not just quote him? Because it's bullshit? Right, ok I get it now.

I'm no journalist (as you can see), but I'm pretty sure one of the things they teach writers is that it's best not to throw made up shit into a 'news' story.

The point of this isn't to argue that PSU is a frontrunner, it's to point out that, if anyone has a clue, it's not some writer at the Post-Gazette. If it is the Post-Gazette, it would be because they have a quote or credible source and would report it by saying something like "sources have reported"...the thing is the Post-Gazette doesn't do any of these things. They just say things like they are fact without telling you why they are saying them. That is what makes them garbage.

*Not that I believe these idiots either.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Jay Alford Makes Tom Brady Human Again

The de facto MVP of the NFC Championship Game, former Nittany Lion Jay Alford, once again was the hero, this time on the biggest stage of all, the Super Bowl.

Jay Alford celebrates stealing immortality from Tom Brady during the 4th quarter of last nights Super Bowl

Alford took down Brady for a ten yard loss with just 25 seconds left in Super Bowl XLII. Congrats to Jay Alford and his Giants.


Michigan State? Really? Awesome.

Mike over at BSD has the BTN, so for a great explanation as to how this happened, head over there.

I was out, passed by a TV showing highlights and instantly began to wonder how I was able to get that drunk off of three beers. Can't be, I thought. I was wrong. Penn State somehow knocked off the the #8 team in the nation.

So what's the basketball version of this thing?

I just miss posting this trophy up on the site, it's ugliness is unrivaled

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Gop Goes Down

This is one of those things where you read the story and say to yourself, "well of course this happened." Mark "The Gop" Regopoulos, owner and operator of Gopper's Pizza, was busted for dealing marijuana.

On Aug. 31, the State College Police Department charged Regopoulos, three of his employees and two other people with selling marijuana from Gopper's Pizza.

Grottini, a Penn State graduate, was charged with four counts of delivery of marijuana and two counts of possession. He pleaded guilty to one count of felony delivery of marijuana and received three to 12 months in Centre County Prison.
Anyone who has ever ordered a late night drunken slice from The Gop isn't shocked. This of course means that I, along with the other 30,000 or so other people who have eaten there, are terrorists.

I'll still never forget the time I was trying to get a pie late one night. The place was packed, then some guy near the register started bitching about how his pizza was taking too long. Regopoulos spit right in the guys face.

Don't fuck with people who make your food.