Archive for June, 2010

A reluctant decision

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Stank-0 had to toss and turn on this one.  Admittedly, Stank-0’s resolve has wavered as far as some of his other decisions, but this one will stick.  You ready?

Stank-0 is done with FIFA related futbol.  Stank-0 will not watch another game. Shocked?  Don’t be. FIFA is steadfastly ignoring the obvious signs.  When you have refs making bad call after bad call and then FIFA refusing to correct an easily fixable mistake something must be done.

FIFA head Blatter that this generates controversy which gets eyeballs on the game.  Not this pair.  When you are that arrogant, then you must be checked. Either utilize the technology available or lose fans. Stank-0 realizes he is just one man, but it has to be done.

US fans reamed MLB until they used replay for homeruns and what happened? It fixed home runs. Yet, we still complain because these men are asked to make split second calls without any sort of aid. Jim Joyce anyone? The NFL gets it right most of the time and the NBA has replay for shot clock violations and end of the quarter/game/half shots.  The NBA Finals officiating was spotty at best but on Game 7 they let them boys play. You’ve heard nary a word about the refs in Game 7.

Let me dispel this notion that it would slow down the game.  Um…you have players flailing and rolling around on the pitch every 5 minutes, how does that not slow the game down?  We have to wait for the theatrics to cease before continuing to play. 

It is coincidental that Stank-0 made this decision after Ghana sent USA home, but it was brewing especially after a series of bad calls against the USA beginning with Slovenia.  This one will not be a hard decision to live by as the South Africa World Cup is being marred by bad officiating. 

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The new "Madden Curse?"

Posted: June 29, 2010 in NFL, sports opinion
I’m sure you all know about Kim Kardashian, reality TV starlet.  Well she and Reggie Bush had been together for quite sometime until after the Saints won the Super Bowl.  “What does this have to do with the title?”, you ask.  Well Reggie was largely a non-factor while they were together.  The hope is now he can focus on football and start to produce and live up to his #2 draft status. 

Story photo: Kim Kardashian Has a New Football Beau!

Well, Ms. Kardashian has latched onto yet another NFL player, Dallas Cowboys rising star WR Miles Austin. Last year, absolutely was Austin’s break out season.  He was ballin for real, for real.  I guess it’s his turn to fall under the Kardashian curse.  Poor lil lo Austin.

Which brings me to my point.  NFL fans know about the Madden curse.  Whomever graces the newest addition of Madden will have something go inexplicably wrong with his season.  It has happened without fail.  Well now there may be a new curse brewing the Kardasiahn curse.  Ironically, Reggie won the Super Bowl, however, it wasn’t due to his play. 

Austin could catch a double whammy curse by gracing Madden and dating Kim.  He would lose his season and the Cowboys would inexplicably win the Super some point while they are together. 

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Group G MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts
(matches played, wins, draws, losses, goals for/against, plus/minus, points)
 Brazil 2 2 0 0 5 2 +3 6
 Portugal 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
 Côte d’Ivoire 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2 1
 North Korea 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

The match from the Group of Death, did NOT live up to its billing.  It was all Brasil all day long. Fabiano scored two goals one left footed and one right footed.  Elano added the other. Kaka got his Magic Johnson on out there, servin his teammates (no Master P). Then late in the match Didier Drogba got Ivory Coast’s only goal.

Unfortunately all that will be overshadowed by the end of the match.  After Brasil scored their 3rd goal, the game started to deterioriate.  It got to the point, where Ivorians were floppin so much that Manu Ginobili started to feel bad.  The signature moment was when Kaka threw a chicken wing at a player’s chest and he fell like he got hit with a shotgun and then prompty covered up his face. Really?! Your face?!  At least cover the correct part if you are gonna attempt to garner an Oscar out there. Anyway that got Kaka his second yellow card and an auto ejection from the game.

It wasn’t the Brasil we are used to seeing.  You know the Samba soccer.  It was more efficient and methodical less exciting but they scored 3 goals and are in the knockout stage. 

Brasil next draws Portugal, but, they have nothing to play for.  Also with Kaka out we don’t get to see Kaka vs Cristiano Ronaldo.

UPDATE!: Stank-0 neglected to mention the Brasilians were complaining something serious, especially the coach. There’s also some contention on whether Fabiano’s 2nd goal was a handball.  Also Stank-0 was unfair about the issue of flopping.  It is a constant in high level futbol for some odd reason.  It’s so ubiquitous that you can never be sure if someone is truly injured on the pitch because they all immediately hit the ground like they were shot at close range with a Desert Eagle magnum.

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World cup disarray

Posted: June 20, 2010 in soccer
Group A        MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts
(matches played, wins, draws, loss, goals for/against)

 Uruguay  2 1 1 0 3 0 +3 4
 Mexico 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 4
 France 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
 South Africa 2 0 1 1 1 4 -3 1

New Zealand just drew a 1-1 tie against Italia the winner of the last World Cup.  In their group, the Kiwis and Italy are tied for second place behind Paraguay, winners of a 2 nil game against Slovakia. Italy is now entering into some must-win territory to control their own destiny.  That’s now what Stank-0 wanted to focus on.

The French national team is in full on subordination, mutiny mode.  After a player, striker Nicolas Anelka, was dismissed things fell apart (no Roots).  There’s video of a player arguing with the strength coach and then the team subsequently issuing a statement that they are refusing to practice in protest of Anelka’s dismissal.  Then some officials whom are part of the French team have resigned. 

All this and France has one more game to play to advance to the Knockout stage, against host South Africa. 

Then later on today, the match of the day is Brasil and Ivory Coast, Kaka and Drogba.

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Ghana v Australia at the break

Posted: June 19, 2010 in soccer
Group D   MP W D L Pts
 Germany    2 1 0 1 3
 Ghana        1 1 0 0 3
 Serbia        2 1 0 1 3
 Australia    1 0 0 1 0

Man oh man!  What a game!  In all fairness, the Black Stars of Ghana should be leading 1-0 instead of tied 1-1.  The goalkeeper mishandled a free kick and the Socceroos scored on the rebound.  It kinda of deflated Ghana until they came very close to scoring on some great inside passing. 

An Aussie was called for a handball and given a red card.  Ghana promptly scored on a penalty kick.

Since that goal Ghana was kinda tentative but they did try a last ditch effort near the end of the half. The Aussie goalkeeper just barely got his hands on the ball.

Ghana needs to go on the attack with a man advantage.

Group D is the real group of death. Three way tie for first right now.


UPDATE!: Ghana is on the attack out of the break. A wide shot on goal. Unless something dramatic happens in the next 2 minutes, this game will end in a 1-1 tie. Ghana wasted opportunities with 40-50 ft long shots when they had a man advantage the whole game.

Australia stole some momentum for about 10 minutes largely due to Black Star errors particularly the young defenders on the back line.

Injury!  Ghana lost a man in the final seconds of this match. And that’s the ballgame!

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Posted: June 19, 2010 in soccer
Clockwise from the top: Algeria, England, US, Slovenia

By now, Stank-0 is sure that every futbol fan on the planet saw or heard about the extremely bad call in the Slovenia v US game.  The ref in question, Koman Coulibaly, negated the US’ go-ahead goal. 

Coulibaly cost the US 3 points if they had gone on to win the match.  Well, the outcry must have been heard because now FIFA is expediting Coulibaly’s review and he may not ref another match in this World Cup.

Stank-0 is worried this will appear as though the US is throwing their weight around.  Then Stank-0 watched the clip and couldn’t find a foul on the person who scored the goal and got angry all over again.  This is when Jim Joyce’s example comes into play.  Realize you blew the call and admit it.  Think about it after Joyce apologized everyone moved on.  It quit being a story after 36 hours.

Stank-0 says sit this clown down.

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A very very close call

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

By the hair of our collective chiny chin chins, Big XII residents, fans, and alums (KU!) watched our conference emerge from the brink of destruction. 

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that do the trick.  Word on the street, is that a collection of power brokers gathered to avert conference Armaggeddon for a very simple reason, money.  Some of those power brokers did not like the direction this realignment was going.  Some didn’t see this benefitting anyone.  ABC/ESPN did not want the departure of the Big XII South to the Pac-10, which is a FOX joint.  They also wanted to avoid renegotiating contracts with the Big East and ACC if they should happen to lose member schools in this reshuffling.  

The Frustrated Five: KU, K-State, ISU, Mizzou, and Baylor decided to pony up the exit fees that Nebraska and Colorado will pay to Texas, A&M, and OU as in incentive.  A steep price, however, how much is keeping the conference together worth?

One website was front and center during this whole saga and you can read there posts here, (h/t to Chip Brown).

This post isn’t about saving the Big XII, it’s about what to do next?  Obviously, the member schools lose their conference championship game so two replacement members are needed.  Everyone from TCU, HU, SMU, Missouri St, CSU, Arkansas, to the AZ schools of the Pac-10 has been bandied about as a potential choice. 

Stank-0 doubts the AZ schools nor Arkansas are going to seriously leave their conference to join the Big XII.  In terms of ease of joining, the Texas schools have a clear advantage.  They would add another market, Houston, so that makes financial sense.  Importantly, they would fit in culturally as well, which is why the two departures make sense.  Each fits in with their new respective conference.

To be very upfront, Stank-0 thinks a new member should come from Missouri.  It further cements the Show Me State into the Big XII family, while at the same time letting Mizzou know that anymore Big 10(11) talk is not welcome and you can be replaced.

However, the frustrated five need not be so naive any longer.  If it can happen once, it can happen again.

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Where to from here

Posted: June 10, 2010 in Big 10, Big XII

As Stank-0 stated yesterday, the Big XII is in serious danger.  Nebraska will leave the Big XII for the Big 10(11) according to various reports.  The official announcement is this Friday.  Texas, A&M, Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and Colorado all seem to be Pac-10 bound.  That leaves Baylor, Kansas, K-State, and Iowa State to pick up the pieces.  Mizzou will likely be invited to join the Big 10(11) as well.  Let’s examine all the scenarios.

Where do the forgotten four go to?  ESPN is of the opinion that they will join the Mountain West Conference, MWC.  It is home to Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, and Wyoming.  If the forgotten four should join, from a football standpoint, MWC doesn’t gain that much.  K-State is the best football program and they have fallen on extremely hard times.  As far as basketball, they get Kansas and an on-the-rise Baylor program.  K-State is on the uptick and Iowa State is a work in progress.  The other sports you say?  They don’t matter because they do not GENERATE revenue.

The Pac-10 gets some instant football credibility.  It’s no longer just USC beating up on everyone.  They will have to contend with Texas year in and out.  They’ll likely play each other every other year.  The Pac-10 will likely create a conference championship and a TV network.  That’s heavy cheese, dear readers.   

If the Big XII can keep Texas they can save the Big XII.  That’s the long and short of it. Then they will have to replace Nebraska and likely Mizzou.  In that case, Colorado State should be at the top of the list of invitees.  It creates a natural instant rivalry with Colorado.  The other spot?  Not so sure.

Let’s have a moment of silence for the Big XII, 1996-2010.

The end of the Big XII

Posted: June 9, 2010 in Big XII
This is no more!

According newspapers in the Cornhusker State, Nebraska will leave the Big XII.  Nebraska AD Tom Osborne stated that Nebraska will NOT leave the Big XII without an invitation from the Big 10(11).  That invitation should be arriving in 4,3,2,1…

This effectively spells the end of the Big XII.  The South division will more or less leave for the Pac-10.  Iowa State and Colorado will likely get invitations to join the Big 10(11).  Colorado or Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State will be left in the cold.

Stank-0 will not rail on the transformation of collegiate athletics into a money printing machine.  My blog compadre Ed did so already.  Stank-0 just feels resignation, really.  This beautiful Midwestern conference will just die on the vine.  Rather it will be picked over.  Then spit on.  Then left to rot and finally run over while a new freeway is built.

Let Stank-0 dispel the karma thought process.  Stank-0 spoke with an A&M alum and the Southwest Conference was collapsing prior to the Big 8 grabbing the Texas contingent.  In his words: 

Southwest collapsed because A&M, Texas, and Arkansas were leaving…or tried to.

We the fans may never know the real reason the Texas schools are thinking of leaving, but we have an idea.  C.R.E.A.M. for the Wu-conscious.  It’s kinda surprising really.  The University of Texas is one of the largest revenue producers in collegiate athletics, but there’s always room for cake.

Where to for those left in the cold?  MWC, WAC, or Conference USA. Kansas basketball will raise the profile of whatever conference KU decides to join, immediately. Stank-0 would beg AD Perkins to join Conference USA.  It’s bigger and has better competition (ie Memphis, Louisville).

Hopefully the Pac 10(16) will raise the travel budget for the member schools because travelling from Pullman, Washington to Lubbock, Texas is gonna be tiring and expensive.

This is more than the end of the Big XII.  It is now a free for all.  Expect the Big 10(11) to make a play for a Big East school and vice versa.  Expect the SEC to make a play at a few southern ACC schools (ie Clemson, Miami, Georgia Tech).  Then the mid majors will feast on each other and the power conferences will make plays at some mid majors.  Notre Dame will finally join with the Big 10(11) or get left out in the cold permanently. 

Not to get draped up in hyperbole, but when this is all said and done we may not even recognize any of the mega conferences that emerge. When Stank-0 agreed to become a fan of collegiate athletics, this was not what he signed up for.  Next time, Stank-0 will read the fine print.

The National phenom?

Posted: June 8, 2010 in MLB, Nationals

By now, you’ve heard that Nationals #1 pick from last year, Stephen Strasburg, will start tonight against the Pirates.  That’s not important.  What is important is that the hype/buzz has been building since May 31st.

Stank-0 went looking for tix but they were going for a buck days ago.  Nationals Park is sold out and the subway is in disarray as a result.  When Stank-0 got off work, his subway was packed and it was only 5:15!  Then Stank-0 saw the red shirts and knew that it was about Strasburg’s start tonight.

ESPN Baseball Tonight is doing a special at Nationals Park right now.  Tony Gwynn, Hall of Famer, is effusing about Strasburg.

Stank-0 is a lil worried about Strasburg. Will he live up to the hype/buzz? Will he be overcome by it?  DC, you may have a new sports king, until John Wall gets drafted (hint, hint).