Friday, May 1, 2009


Last week Dikembe Mutombo announced his retirement ending his 18 year career as one of the best all-time shot blockers (Mutombo is 2nd in career blocks). This annoncement officially is an end of an era to me. What has happened to the true classic center? The 7 footer who would block shots, play down low with his back to the basket and took pride in intimidation. The Chamberlain's, the Olajuwon's, the Ewings and the Mournings. Mutombo represents the last of a breed of true "old school" centers (except for Shaq, who should retire). I will miss Mutombo's finger wave, his love of the block shot and his passion for the game. He made opposing teams think twice about driving to the hoop and would say "don't bring that weak stuff in here". The modern 7'0 center is not a shot blocker and is not intimidating. How can you be intimidating if you are out at the 3 point line most of the game? Mutombo is in fact the last 7 footer to make the NBA's All-Defensive team and lead the league in blocks. Dikembe Mutombo represents everything good about the past and brings an era of the "True" center to an end.

Top 5 True NBA Centers

1) Wilt Chamberlain
2) Hakeem Olajuwon
3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4) Shaquille O'Neill
5) Patrick Ewing

Short History of the Center

Thursday, April 30, 2009


According to retirement means withdrawal from service, office, or business and into privacy or seclusion. We can only hope that the one of the all-time great announcers, John Madden doesn't use After John Madden announced his retirement last week, I began hoping that he would take after Brett Farve and find out that seclusion is way overrated. Wouldn't it be great if Madden changed his mind and did his best Farve impression? Wouldn't it be great if Madden did the his version of the "untire" and once again broadcast NFL games? We need Madden's old school mentality in the booth. We need his "Booms" and "Bams" as much as we need his "Turkey Awards". Madden is an icon from the days of the tough nosed NFL. We need him in the booth to keep our perspective that football is not all about the slick spread offenses or the flashy superstars. Madden is the epitome of smash mouth, getting dirty in the trenches football. You have to love Madden's family first attitude but I can't help but to hurt as a little bit of my retro heart has been retired. Please Madden come back.

Top 10 Broadcasters We Would Love To See In Booth ONE Last Time

1) John Madden
2) Harry Caray
3) Howard Cosell
4) Vin Scully
5) Keith Jackson
6) Mel Allen
7) Jim McKay
8) Al McGuire
9) Don Meridith
10) Curt Gowdy

Who are your favorite sports broadcasters

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MODERN DRIBBLE DRIVE - Bad for the game

The Memphis Tigers have perfected a new modern version of basketball's motion offense which was so important to the game in the early 80's. Bobby Knight, one of the most well know retro coaches used the motion offense and its passing and screening to open up scoring opportunities for his players at Indiana. Now, John Calipari has now taken it step further by eliminating the screens and replacing them with more dribble penetration. This "Dribble Drive Motion" offense is bad for the game of basketball. Not only does it teach players to become more selfish by driving instead of passing and screening but it also creates more standing around and one of one basketball. Calipari's dribble drive offense is creating more individualized players and the old school ideas of teamwork, passing and screening are going to be forgotten.

Top 10 Reason The Dribble Drive Motion is Bad For The Game

1) Less passing and teamwork
2) Less physical game
3) Takes more talented athletes to run it (you need to be able to drive around the defender)
4) Less emphasis on becoming a good shooter
5) More fouls, meaning more watching players shoot free throws (BORING)
6) More standing around (not really a lot of motion involved)
7) Creates defensive problems as point gaurd may be under the hoop
8) Fewer post up opportunies (big players may disappear)
9) It may be just a fad (like the run and shoot in football or
10) May make teams play more zone defenses

Lets get back to the old school game that we all love in which players set screens, pass the ball to teammates and become great shooters.

Dribble Drive Diagrams

GREAT RETRO CUSTOMS - Bring back the hand raise on fouls

Referees are bad...they are the necessary evil that players, coaches and fans have to deal with. In fact they are so bad that a third one was added to help the other two out. So lets help them out...on all fouls the perpetrator should raise his or her hand and let the official know that they are guilty. Why try to confuse the already confused? Players should raise their hand and admit what they have done. That way the players can come clean, the refs can get it right and we can bring back the old school feel of the game.

Top 5 Retro Customs We Need Back
1) Shaking the home run hitters hand as he rounds the bases
2) Quarterbacks getting down on one knee in the huddle
3) Running through the banner before the game
4) Goons and fights in NHL hockey
5) Football coaches wearing suits for games

Top 5 Customs We Need To Get Rid Of
1) Giving the referee a "Fist Pound" (see Bring Back the High Five) before the game
2) The "First Down" signal after guessed it...a first down.
3) Stepping out of the batters box to adjust glove, shirt, pants, etc..
4) The two-back system in the NFL (Its driving the fantasy football junkies crazy)
5) Pre-game introduction routines

What are your favorite retro customs?

Monday, April 27, 2009


Looks like the San Francisco 49ers have figured out the old school is the new cool by going back to their "fire engine" red color. The difference is subtle but important. Teams are going back to the classic look and feel so to stir up old memories. What San Francisco needs is some old school 49er wins...if only they could bring back Montana and Rice.

San Francisco 49ers new look

Top 5 Old School Football Helmets


Boys high school basketball players in Washington state will have some adjusting to do as the WIAA passed an amendment that would add a
35 second shot clock to the boys game. Washington is only the 7th state in the nation to do so. So why change now? It seems the modern movement in all of sports is for action. With the fast paced text messaging age upon us people want their sports to be action packed. New school fans want lots of scoring and they want it now (its not long before we will see a shot clock in soccer and golf). This is a travesty in the minds of the retro generation.

High school basketball is a great game that is different then the college and NBA game. It is more patient, more based on teamwork and more about discipline. It is not about what the fans want, its about what is best for the athletes. The main reasons for the change seems to contradict this philosophy. The shot clock contingent seem to believe that high school basketball needs to be more like the college game. According to this modern thought it should develop more individual skills in the players so best to prepare them for the college game. But very few high school basketball players will play college basketball (1 in 12) and even fewer will go onto the NBA. The high school game is about teaching players to be disciplined with and without the ball and to be patient. What better way teach discipline and teamwork then to be allowed to work for a good shot by passing the ball. No longer will we see the Princeton style offense of patience till you can get a backdoor. Instead we will see panic as the shot clock gets down too low. "Oh no...12 on the clock...shoot quick...hurry...hurry...shoot. Remember, patience is a virtue, panic is problem.

Another common reason for moving to a shot clock is to avoid the stalling offense. No more holding the ball at the end of the game and making teams foul. Fans are tired of watching a team get ahead and then stall the last 2 minutes. Yes, teams will not be able to hold the ball as long but it will not solve the problem of fouling. Teams will still have to foul down the stretch it will just happen later in the game. By adding the shot clock you may get rid of the stall but you are creating more problems in the process. The rich will get richer as the top athletes will dominate. No longer will you see the "Hoosier" type underdog have a chance against the "Goliaths". Teams will have fewer strategies to go to when they are out manned. The best teams will dominate and you will not have as much parity. Also you will see the top teams beating the weaker teams by more points because now they have to shoot within 35 seconds. No longer can a coach say to his team that is up by 30..."guys lets pass the ball around until we get a layup". Margin of victory will increase and teams will be demoralized.

If we look at the history of the shot clock in college basketball we will see that it has not produced more points but it has produced less. The all time high in points per game in the NCAA pre shot clock was in 1971 at 77.7 points per game. You would think that after the shot clock was introduced in 1986 the average would go up... but it didn't. In fact it went down to 69.4. the same average as the pre shot clock year of 1985. If you throw in the advent of the 3 point line in 1987, you would imagine that the average points would sky rocket but that was not the case either as by 1997 the average was only 70.6. So the shot clock did not help increase scoring. I would go on to say that I think it will actually decrease scoring in the high school game. As more players begin to shoot bad shots as the shot clock winds down, they will also miss more shots. Field goal percentage and scoring will therefore decrease.

So why is Washington introducing the shot clock to boys basketball? I am not really sure but I know that if it isn't broken why fix it. Washington needs to slow down and go retro.

Top 10 Reasons Why I Don't Like The Shot Clock

1) The high school game is a great why mess with it.
2) We will see less teamwork, discipline and patience
3) It will cost more to implement
4) The best teams will dominate and fewer upsets
5) More fouls as teams will drive more when the clock gets low
6) Lower shooting percentages
7) Fewer off ball screens and more on ball screens
8) More NBA 1 on 1
9) No more cool delay games and Princeton offenses
10) Larger margins of victory.

Let me know what you think about the shot clock.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


"Old school is cool" is the promotional motto of the Seattle Mariners Turn Back The Clock Night May 2nd. The game will be played to honor the 1939 Seattle Raniers championship team and the first 20,000 fans will get a free retro hat. The Mariners and A's will play in thier throwback uniforms from the Pacific Coast League. What a great way for fans to enjoy a game and remind us that old school is still cool. Now if they could play the game without the designated hitter it would be a great retro night.

Here are my Top 10 Ways to Turn Back the Clock:

1) $0.10 hotdogs and beverages
2) Fans MUST keep score in a scorebook (giveaway scorebooks and pencils)
3) No cell phones or Twitter machines (if there is such a thing)
4) Must bring your family or a child
5) Must bring a glove
6) Play Harry Caray's version of "Take me out to the ballpark"

7) Give away Cracker Jacks
8) Bring back "The Chicken"
9) Pitchers must bat and must use an old school pitching method (big leg kick or the spit ball)
10) No Steroids !!!

How would you Turn Back the Clock?

Other Turn Back the Clock Nights in MLB:
May 7th - Washington @ LA Dodgers
June 14th - Detroit @ Pittsburgh
August 1st - Detroit @ Cleveland