Friday, October 24, 2008

The New Basketball Season is Almost Here!!!!


Told you it was Puppy Friday

So, we're just under a week away from tipping off the new Mavericks season. I'll be honest, I'm not holding onto the greatest amount of hope that the Mavericks can do a lot of damage. The West is still more powerful than the East, and the Mavs's division is RIDICULOUS.

Shit, New Orleans, San Antonio, Houston in the same god damned division. Then you look at the rest of the West and you've got the LA teams, New Orleans, Denver, Golden State, Phoenix, and my "team to fear this year", Portland. You can only pick 8 of those to go playoffs and contend? Yeesh.



The Roster (projected starters)

Guards

Jason Kidd
Well, here we go again. He's another year older, and he's coming off an Olympic summer where he couldn't spend the entire time resting his styrofoam knees. He's also sponsored by a Chinese shoe company. He showed that he is a great mentor, and a great teacher...but look who he's teaching

J.J. Barea
Oh. Dear. God. No. If you haven't been reading us, then I'm going to let you know this fact. Juan Jose Barea is the personal whipping boy of The Big and The Brown.

Jason Terry
Personally, I don't see JET finishing the season a Dallas Maverick. I like Terry, I do, but I think that he's not going to fit in the Carlisle mentality and system. That being said, he's the only legitimate number 2 scorer on this team if Howard doesn't find himself, so here's to hoping Terry has "that" season.

Gerald Green
Darling number 2 of the preseason, and offseason move de jour. Green has openly said that he still has a lot to learn and he can't depend on his insane hops to be a formidable player in this league. He's been fantastic in the preseason, but that's the preseason. Show us you can do it for real, because with Barea and Kidd at point, you're going to see a lot of Terry slipping to the 1 and Green playing for the 2 if a combo isn't available.

Combos

Josh Howard
All hail, Captain Controversy! After a terrible season last year, the end of last season's pot admissions and this summer's anti-Star Spangled Banner stance, Josh Howard is going to be the most scrutinized player on the entire roster. Period. At his best, Howard is the most tenacious defender on the team and the legit second scorer behind Dirk in the front court. At his worst, he's Antoine Carter. This is our only hope to match the crazy of Ron Artest a few hours south on 45.

Devean George
I hate this guy. Avery brought him in because he was supposed to be a "defensive specialist". I call him, waste of court and bench. The Mavs were able to unload Eddie Jones, now let's focus on pushing George out the door like I was ousted from our softball team.

Jerry Stackhouse
Just like Jason Kidd, here's another guy who's got A LOT of miles on his tires. I don't know many people who don't like Stack. He's a gamer and he's the only guy on this team, at times, who shows any energy and drive to slash in the paint. That being said, he's old and frail and can't do it anymore.

Antoine Wright
Darling number 1 of the preseason, and an Aggie to boot. Acquired in the Jersey trade, Wright raised a few eyebrows last year and has been THE guy this preseason. I find Wright to be a very curious case, and I think this could be another one of those Donnie Nelson diamonds in the rough kind of players.

Forwards

Dirk Nowitzki
Not much else to say, but to quote Simmons: This is going to be the "EFF YOU AVERY" season. As long as Dirk is healthy, this team has a chance to win any game.

Brandon Bass
Bass is one of those guys that we're not sure of. I mean that. He reminds me of Joaquin Benoit and the Rangers. He's too good to sit or let go, and he shows flashes of greatness, but he hasn't consistently been the guy you need him to be. Beacuse of that, teams want Bass and the Mavs are always toying with the idea of packaging him. I say, don't move this guy. Let him learn under Dirk. Bass can be a solid off the bench guy and eventual starter when Dirk reaches Jason Kidd's age.

James Singleton
Signed with the Mavs this summer for the veteran minimum. The way the Mavs like to flush out the roster every offseason. Make no mistake, Singleton is going to be the black Austin Croshere.

Shawne Williams
This was who the Mavs got back from Indiana for Eddie Jones. Williams is a young guy from Memphis who was suspended for the first few games of last year for not adhering to standards of behavior for the Pacers. That's the Marquis Daniels Pacers. Shit. Williams isn't a dazzling scorer, but he's got range and has gone on hot streaks. He's not a crash the boards forward and he's a shoot first, drive later kind of guy. He fits the Mavericks, but I dont know if that's saying much.

Centers

Erick Dampier
Ahh yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I could probably cut and paste the phrase "it depends on which Dampier we get tonight" from any number of posts and text messages over the past couple of years. I stand by that. When Dampier is on, then he is one of the best fives in the league...oh yeah, he has to put up with Shaq ribbing him again, so let's see what that does.

DeSagana Diop
What did you learn in New Jersey, my large African friend? Probably nothing, but at the least, we know the center tandem of Diop and Dampier was enough to win the West a few years ago. Diop needs more size to really bang down under with the big guys, but he does have a better defensive skill set than Dampier. I'd expect Diop to develop a rapport with Kidd and advance his offensive skills as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see Diop starting over Damp in mid-season.

Coach

Rick Carlisle
Well, well, well. I wasn't a big fan of this, and I believe I had a post about it. I was never a big believer in the "Avery is the reason we failed" theory, but maybe Rick Carlisle is the breathe of fresh air this team needs. I don't really know. Maybe Carlisle is the Maverick's version of Wade Phillips, and we're really just dancing with disaster...I can't get a bead on him, that's for damn sure.

The Team

The Mavericks aren't in an enviable position this year. Come to think of it, the "traditional" Western Conference powers are in danger of getting pushed out by the younger teams like New Orleans, Utah and Portland. Everyone on this team is going to have to bring it all 82 games because this is a division and a conference where no one can recover from too bad or long of a slump. Everyone else made moves to get stronger, and the Mavs seems to go lateral. Here's to homerism trumping pragmatism!

Try not to laugh at that....


Introducing, PUPPY FRIDAY!

There's a lot of stuff happening this week and into this weekend.

-Cowboys attempting to save their season
-Big college football games
-North Texas's homecoming (Big goes for drunk fame, I go for drunk infamy)
-World Series games
-Cold front in the area
-I test the new air filter registers I just installed at the house
-And a whole slew of other activities...

HOWEVER, the thing I want to bring to attention is a little move known as "High School Musical 3". I have my own set of thoughts on this, but I came across this entry at FilmDrunk.com, and all I could do was stand up, salute and wipe the tear from my eye.

"This movie is going to make a billion dollars. You know what I call that? Poetic justice. This is exactly what all of you sex and violence-hating pussies deserve: a nation full of gay kids. Because you know what you get when you take nudity and gun fights out of movies? You get a bunch of f-cking kids doing a big musical number about basketball on the basketball court. Then you hand your son a basketball and tell him to go play and wonder why he just stares at it like it’s a stage prop. Look at that f-cking picture! I gazed at it a little too long and all of a sudden I was French-kissing a man. Just imagine your kid sitting through two hours of that. That would make a lumberjack love cock.

But I’m sure it’s fine. Just make sure you send him to one of those camps that cures gay people, where they make him bunk with 20 other gay kids and all the counselors are guys who were gay until they learned how to conquer their queer with Jesus."

God bless you, sir. God bless you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

college football round up week 8 - ho hum sat

Why Mike Leach? Why not? He makes me giggle.
I was listening to Mike and Mike a little bit this morning on ESPN radio (the ticket, live 105, the edge and even kidd kradic were all on break), and they had the ever fun "email the show with your questions" segment.

First off i hate how nationally syndicated shows do this. They are scared to take calls because either they don't have the want, or they don't want to sound partial to one area of the country. Both of which are bullshit. If they don't have the want, how are we to know that bill from Washington isn't a made up name that they give out there so they can talk about something they want to talk about under the guise of "listener email." Did he really want to here what you guys think about the throwing ability of Jason Campell, or did you just want to give your opinion on it?
I'll end that tangent there.

Here is what they were talking about, and I'm sure the "real" email read like this:

Dear Mike and Mike.

I love your show! You guys are the best show ever! I listen every morning and think golic is stupid, and greenberg is gay. JK JK JK!! ha ha, you guys are awesome. My question for you guys is, Do you think any college teams will finish the season undefeated? If so, what two have the best shot? Thanks a bunch!

-Dave, Hillsbourgh Texas.

Of all the email that probably gets sent to these guys, this is the one they pick to talk about? I'm pretty sure they could of just asked each other during a segment "hey golic, yes greeny, what two teams have the best shot at going undefeated?" Do we really have to pretend people listen to your show and email in about that crap? That's like the whole Barry vs. Emmit stock shit you find on the WWL these days. I guess i shouldn't be surprised, and to be honest, its not a bad discussion, but to play it off in a an email segment doesn't do it any justice does it?

Thats just me, and I've kinda lost my train of thought. Lets get to the rankings.

Main Eventers.

No. 1 Texas (win 56-31 No. 11 Missouri) - Sunday was my birthday, and the older you get the less of a "lets get fucked up beyond all belief" birthday you want. That said I still like celebrating my birthday, so I tried to think of something fun to do that was a little different, and yet not "go to strip club." Then I remembered that not only was Texas plays Missou sat night, but the free UFC card was going to be on spike, so what ever I did i wanted to make it where I could watch both these things. We decide on Hooters for dinner and then a local sports bar afterward.

My local UT die hard and buddy Brown wasn't with us that night, because apparently he's an alcoholic, so there were no UT grads with our party, but the bar made up for all that stuff as it was decked with UT fans. About 30 min into the game I stoped watching the UT game and focused on the UFC fight. It was that bad, that quick. So much for that whole idea "Texas defense wasn't as good as their numbers" bit.

No. 3 Penn State (win 46-17, Michigan) - Holy crap I can't believe I have a Big Ten team in the top 2. I'm not saying Michigan is that great, but its still a nice win, and it looked like they would hang with and possible even upset the Nitty Lions during the first half, where they were up 17-14 going in. But then JoPa gave one of those half time speeches, pooped himself, and they team was ready to roll again.

Daryll Clark is the teams best player at QB, but this game was won on the offensive line, and by the RB Evan Royster, who netted 174 yards on 18 rushes.

No. 2 Alabama (win 24-20, Mississippi) - A lot of people are saying this Tide team is going to have to play a second half at some point this year to win a game. I thought was kinda silly to say, so i went back and looked at the numbers. Second Half Scoring, Bamma first then opponents: VS Ole Miss 0-17, vs UK 7-14, vs Georgia 10-30, vs Ark 14-7 and blowouts before that. That's a little scary no?

Granted they outscored opps in the first half by like a billion or something, but its something to keep an eye on.

No. 10 Georgia (win 24-14, No. 22 Vanderbilt) - I might be the only person that still thinks Georgia deserves a top 5 spot, but I still set back on the fact they have only one loss, to a top 5 team, and if they can win out, they will have 4 wins over top 25 teams, and another over Auburn. They have the talent, but its their, how you say, marbles that need to be checked.

This week they beat a good Vandy team, and Knowshawn had 172 on 23 carries. Nice.

No. 8 Oklahoma State (win 34-6, Baylor) - In the conference of top notch QB's and passing games, Okla light is built around a stout running game, and defense. In what a lot of people were calling a trap game, after a big win over Missou, and before a showdown in Austin, the lowly Baylor Bears are a better team than your average (Baylor) Bears. Didn't happen. Baylor had 204 total yards, only 42 on the ground, and couldn't put up points after the first quarter.

Mid Card Guys.

No. 4 Oklahoma (win 45-31, No. 16 Kansas) - I think when all is said and done, Oklahoma will be a top 3 team again this year, and if I were ranking on teams I don't want to play, they most def are in the top 3. Kansas may not be as good record wise as they were last year, but when they pulled it to within a touch at 24-31, i thought they were on the way back, but a couple of big drives by the Sooners put that idea to bed.

Sam Bradford has to be the front runner for the Heisman right now. Against Kansas he went 36-53, 468 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Toss in two guys who rushed for over 80 yards, and you have a staggering total offensive yardage of 674!

No. 7 Texas Tech (win 43-25, Texas A&M) - Kinda scary first half against the Aggies, as the Raiders were down three at half, then they realized they are playing the Aggies, and rolled in the second. Graham Harrell threw the ball 56 times, and only had 12 incompletions. Most staggering stat though, Tech was 10-12 on third downs.

No. 6 USC (win 69-0, Washington State)- I really wish USC had another game against a good team this year. This might be the best all round USC team since the Leinart-Bush team. 362 to 88 was the rushing yardage of USC vs Was State. Holy crap. Another crazy stat, in 6 games, they have allowed only 47 points, and 21 came against the Oregon State game. So 5 games, 20 points.

No. 5 Florida (idle) - Is it fair they dropped in my rankings because they didn't play anybody this week? Maybe not, but they did. But they have plenty of chances to move back up in two weeks when they play Georgia.

No. 15 Boise State (win 27-7, Hawaii) - I said I wasn't going to put Ohio State back in my top 10 this year, but if they beat Penn State this weekend, I might have to. Till then, Boise is my 10th team, the BCS buster vets. The blue turf was good to them again, as they picked off Hawaii 5 times in this Friday night game.

Developmental Guys. (not the next best teams, but some teams to watch out for)

No. 23 Pittsburgh (win 42-21, Navy) - The opening season loss to Bowling Green had most people saying Pitt was all hype, but since then they have rattled off 5 straight wins, including a win over South Florida. They stand atop the Big East right now tied with West Virginia, at 2-0 in conference play.

Arizona (win 42-27, No. 25 California) - Came back from down 10 at halftime to rout the Bears, and don't look now, but Zona is 3-1 in the Pac 10. They play USC this weekend, and should they pull off the shocker, they are sitting pretty for a run at the Rose Bowl. Yea, right!

BCS Busters.

No. 15 Boise State (win 27-7, Hawaii) - See Above.

No. 14 Utah (win 49-16, Colorado State) - Still have to play both TCU and BYU.

TCU (win 32-7, No. 9 Brigham Young) - Say goodbye to the Coogers chances of a BCS bid. I don't like to say I told you so, but I told you so.

Tulsa (win 77-35, UTEP) - Hey, they are 7-0, and putting up some points! They haven't scored under 37 all year.

Big Up to all my Haters upset of the week -

No. 12 Ohio State (win 45-7, No. 20 Michigan State) - OK, its not an upset, but the score is upsetting. OSU should beat Michigan State, but to roll them like that was the most surprising thing I saw sat. I really thought State was better than that.

Local Love

TCU (win 32-7, No. 9 Brigham Young) - All ready mentioned it a little earlier, but damn TCU can play defense.

Southern Methodist (loss 38-44, Houston) - I totally agree, just another kick in the crotch for SMU. Houston isn't a bad team at all, but June Jones should start winning these games sooner rather than later.

North Texas (loss 23-35, Louisiana-Monroe) - Hey, they only scored 35 on us! Its not important that it was all in the first half. Vizza went for 360 and 2 TD's, but more importantly, no pics. This weekend is homecoming against Troy. The game might get ugly quick, but i will promise at least one fun story next week from the booze intensive Saturday that homecoming brings this man!

Have good and get give.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Reader Submission: The Bear Growls...

Here at The Big and The Brown, we encourage our sexy readers to submit pieces of their own brain for fodder. Hell, sometimes we dare them...Steve, looking in your direction, buddy. Anyways, here's an entry from our famous friend, The Bear.

As always, this is just cut and paste, so take up your bitching with him.

Ok… so if you’re all like me you’re trying everything that you can do to try and put any sort of positive spin on the Cowboys anemic losses the last couple of weeks. Maybe you have a remote control sticking through the screen of your TV and you’re now having to start bargain shop for a replacement? Either way, the Cowboys that we have been watching the last 2 games are playing like crap and should all get a stiff kick in the groin because they “should” be better than they have been playing. Well, maybe I can give a little ray of hope to this team and the fans out there.

What are we dealing with? In business when you have a problem, the first thing to do is get to the root of the issue and correct it. Hopefully turning things around.

Is it… Injuries?

Yes we have had some serious problems with injuries this season. Although last year we were blessed with few injuries and rode that to a 13-3 record and a disappointing playoff ousting to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. But it can’t be just the fact that we have Tony Romo (Pinkie Finger), Terrance Newman (Abdomen), Felix Jones (Hamstring), Kyle Kosier (Foot), Matt McBriar (foot), Anthony Spencer (Hamstring), Kevin Burnett (Calf), Pat Watkins (Neck), Roy Williams (Forearm) or Sam Hurd (Ankle) missing games or limited in their play time? Well… when you look at that list… Yes! It doesn’t help to have a laundry list of injuries to a team where after the starters the depth just doesn’t seem to be what we thought it was. Actually, Brown brought up a thought point during last week’s 30-24 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals if our coverage would be any better with Roy in the backfield? Well… anyone notice who was trailing Donnie Avery’s 42 yard TD grab in the 1st quarter? Yes sir… that would be Mr. Williams himself, and guess where he went after that? To the trainer to look at his “arm.” Although the Cowboys are definitely troubled in the injury department with key losses of Romo, the shifty Mexican Felix Jones and a critical part of the secondary with T New I think the root lies somewhere else.

Is it… Locker Room personalities?

This team is definitely full of personalities with T.O., Pacman Jones (well, not really there now), Tank Johnson (though haven’t really heard from him since arriving here) and dare I say Tony ‘Simpson’ Romo (love the guy, respect the guy, despise his glee for the spotlight). But from all accounts there doesn’t seem to be any rifts in the Locker Room. All the media types will cut, and edit tapes from the game to show Romo with his Sad Panda face, or T.O. barking at anyone in ear-shot and complaining he doesn’t get the ball enough, or Pacman making it rain to make us all believe that there’s too many Type A personalities on this team. I again don’t think this is the problem. As Coach Jimmy McGinty once told Shane Falco about wanting the ball “…winners always do.”

Is it… The Coaching?

Let’s admit it… We all Love Wade Phillips. We all feel that he is everyone’s lovable Grandfather and isn’t hard enough on his players, that the Cowboys are able to roll over Wade Phillips and don’t pay attention to anything he says! Well, maybe he is, but again I say we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Maybe we think we do because we felt privied to a peak behind the curtain while watching ‘Hardknocks’ on HBO during the preseason. Or every time something good happens on the field he’s running and jumping down the sideline fist pumping like it’s the first time it’s ever happened (well lately if something good happened I’d probably do the same thing). Maybe it’s that Brian Stewart doesn’t understand what the term “Defensive Packages” are? Or maybe it’s that we have anointed Jason Garrett as the second coming of Norv Turner (Say what you want, but you can’t discredit his offensive numbers during his tenure here)? I do think that the coaching has a lot to blame through this, but I feel like I will need to pinpoint this, and I will because ultimately all the blame should go on the coaches.

So what does the Bear feel is the problem with this team? THE LINE! What? How can it be the line when everyone touted just how big and powerful they are? How they are bruisers beating people up and wearing defenses down? Well just as how the blame falls on the coaches for losses, the effectiveness of the offense and defense falls on the lineman… Offense and Defense! Everything starts with the play at the line of scrimmage. Having played on the line on both sides of the ball before you know that the game is determined there. If the O Line is able to get a push then that creates room for the Running back. If the D Line is able to get a push that clogs the holes for the Running back. If the O Line is able to pick up a blitz then it gives time for the Quarterback to make his reads. If the D Line is able to get pressure then it prevents the Quarterback from making his reads.

How about the Defensive Line first? After watching these seven games I have yet to see this Defensive front to get consistent pressure on the quarterback. Yes, Demarcus Ware has a sack in 10 straight games, and recorded 3 sacks on Bulger, but for the most part… those are coverage sacks. For those who don’t understand what that is… that’s when all the receivers are covered downfield, and the longer the quarterback holds the ball the more time it gives the rushers to get to him. How many times did we just watch Bulger, Warner, Campbell, McNabb just take a 3 step drop and have time to look through their progressions 2 or 3 times? I don’t care if it’s Tarvaris Jackson standing back there, if you have as much time as we’re giving Quarterbacks to throw of course we’re going to get thrown all over. I don’t know what they can do to correct this. Maybe Tank need to bust out his Prison strong mentality and start busting some heads? Maybe we need to start trying out Barbie Carpenter a little more because at least he’s faster than Zach Thomas (Whoa… did I really say that?)? Was the loss of Aiken Ayodele and Jacob Ferguson really that critical to the defensive front? I don’t think so, but we need to play better on the frontline to start pressuring these Quarterbacks, and we can do it. Look at the Cleveland game. The Cowboys did not allow Derek Anderson to get comfortable in the pocket and when you can do that to a Quarterback they will start to force things and that turns into incompletion’s, or possibly interceptions (which we only have 2 on the season).

So how ‘bout that Offensive Line? They’re Big! They’re Slow! They’re getting out smarted! I was thrilled to see in the offseason when the Cowboys brought back Hudson Houck as the O Line Coach. This is the guy that coached Larry Allen, Eric Williams, Mark Stepnoski, Nate Newton and Mark Tuinei to 22 Pro Bowl appearances among them. But what the hell has happened with this group? This is still a good line, that should be able to do what everyone expects them to… Beat the living crap out of any defensive line they face. Yet time after time they look confused with the different blitz packages teams throw them. They look out hussled on the edge by shiftier, more aggressive Defensive Ends. They look lost! Maybe it is that they hear all the hype about the size, and potential of the line and think they can just show up and pound the line of scrimmage? Maybe the loss of Kosier was more serious than we all thought? Whatever it is this Offensive line is to blame for Romo’s finger. This Offensive Line is to blame for McBriar’s foot! This Offensive line is to blame for TO’s abysmal numbers. I’m sorry if this sounds a little harsh, but Offensive Lineman aren’t supposed to be glamorous attention whores like the drunk girl at the bar who doesn’t care how bad she’s dancing as long as she’s getting attention. Offensive Lineman are the group that is supposed to show up to work before everyone else, leave after everyone else, and at the end of the day when the game is won and all the cameras and reporters are interviewing the Backs they get on the bus and get ready to go back to work for the next week. No Glitz, No Glamour, just Football!

Which would you rather have?

OR

In the ongoing effort to avoid the jinx, let's just pretend that this is a totally hypothetical situation, okay?

Let's say you had your alma mater blazing the college football scene. They're legitimate favorites to win the title this year, and they've passed every test thrown at them this year.

Let's also say that the professional team you follow has spit the bit and is dangerously close to sucking all of the life from its fan base. A fan base, no less, that is threatening mutiny against the coach.

Let's also say, the two are directly related.

Which would you rather have? A National Championship for your alma mater, or a Super Bowl for your professional team.

The college window is extremely small. Given the turnover of students athletes, a team can have a window of maybe one or two years to put together a solid, experienced team to have a legitimate shot to win the whole thing. Even within those one or two years, everything has to go perfect. Every game matters, and a single slip ruins everything. Everyone else's schedules matter. The team is at the mercy of a screwed up polling and computer system.

The professional window is only slightly larger. Free agency has let to a turnover rate of players in the blink of a contract. Games can be lost, as the season allows for recovery, but playoffs are playoffs are playoffs and a single bad game can ruin the fun. The team is at the mercy of it's own set of egos and general jack-assery.

So, sexy reader, which would you rather have for yourself?


Again...this is totally hypothetical...it's not like anyone writing on this site has this situation currently presented to them. Nope, not a single one.

Panic!?! Don't mind if I do!!!


34-14

Ouch.

The Cowboys were every body's darlings at the beginning of the season. Everybody said they were the team to beat in the NFC.

Then comes week one.

A convincing win over a team that last year was a 10 win team.

Tom Brady gets hurt.

Week Two:

Shootout with other "good team" Philly in Dallas has people believing that Dallas now is the best in not just the NFC, but the NFL.

Week Three:

Goes to Green Bay and puts a whoopin on the Packers at Lambau.

Week Four-Six

Gets "upset" by Washington, barley beats a bad Cinncy team, and gets beat by Arizona.

Now 34-14. To the Rams.

Time to panic.

What can they do to turn the ship around?

Answer is simple.

Fire Wade Phillips.

If Jason Garret is the end all be all, let him have the rest of the season to prove it. If he can get this team in the play-offs and make some noise, its his team for the next 5 years. If he can't get this mash up of extremely talented players to the post season, he doesn't need to be here either.

And if he can't. Time to money whip Bill Cower.

These are dark days for the Cowboys, and over the next 3 weeks, we are going to see what this team has for balls.

If the season ended today, Cowboys are out of the playoffs.

Think about that.