Friday, June 19, 2009


I wake up to Howard Cosell and Mel Allen discussing my blog on the top 5 bad boys gone bad. I sit up to see my wife and my little 8 month old son in their throwback "Ice Man" jerseys ready to serve me breakfast in bed. As I wipe the gravy from my chin (biscuits and gravy can be messy), I glance at the sports section of the newspaper to see the following headline: "Larsen pitches perfect game in world series while Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points." I turn to the box scores and scan at the amazing feats:

Philadelphia Warriors 169, New York Knickerbockers 147
Wilt Chamberlain C 36 63 28 32 100

New York Yankees
Larsen W (1-0) 9 0 0 0 0 7

I put the paper down, take my shower and get into my 1989 George Brett throwback jersey and prepare for the rest of my day.

My wife has set up a tee time for 9:00 so I have plenty of time to get my golf bag together. As I dig through the pockets of my Al Czervik Caddyshack golf bag I find a near-mint 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner card.

Cool, just what I have always wanted.

So I put the card in the spokes of my vintage Diamondback bike and head off to the course.

I reach the course at about 8:30 and have time to hit a bucket of balls and get a little putting in because I know that Augusta National will most likely play to about a 75 today so I better be on top of my game. When I get to the first tee, I find out that my playing partners have already foot the bill for my round, caddie and cart so the day is off to a good start. Tiger tees off first and hits it about 320 down the right side while Arnie and Jack take the left approach. I choose to play a slight draw and poke it out about 300. I shoot 69 on the day and Tiger and I take the old guys in our Nassua for $100. I then make sure to have my scorers sign my card (which I find out is the low for the day and I win a pair of Air Jordans).

I head back home to play catch with my boy which soon turns into a classic wiffle ball game. I beat my son by a run (since he is only 8 months) but I am more proud when my son pulls out his APBA football game. We play a couple of quick games, replicating the great Super Bowls of 1980's. After a couple of rounds of NFL Strategy and Electric Football we pack it up for dinner.

For dinner my wife has reserved a spot in the Clubhouse at Churchill Downs. It seems that the Kentucky Derby has been pushed back to Father's Day to accommodate me of all people. I put $100 to win on Alysheba and watch one of the greatest Kentucky Derbys of all time.

After dinner my buddies and I have just enough time to catch the last 2 minutes game 7 of the 1984 NBA finals between the Lakers and Celtics. We sneak down to center court and watch:

We join in the celebration and I pat Bird and Magic on the back before heading home.

As my ideal Father's Day winds down, we sit down as a family to watch some classic movies. We lead off with "Rudy" so my son can see that you can achieve anything through hard work. Then we follow it up with "Hoosiers" so my son can see that coaches are jerks and parents are overbearing. And we end the evening by watching "The Bad News Bears" where my son learns his most important lesson of all; a man is only as good as the women around him.

I fall asleep at about midnight on the couch while Retro Sports Talk radio's Chris Berman does his fastest 2 minutes in the history of sports and discusses my ideal retro Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


With the NBA finals behind us..congrats to the Lakers, we can now turn our attention to a draft that should be interesting. Interesting in the fact that it just might be one of the worst draft classes ever. If the top 3 players taken in a draft are any indication of the success of the class, then 2009 will be one for the ages.

Let us analyze the most likely top 3 picks with similar players from the past (we will use only players taken in the top 5 picks and I have also included a scouting report on each 2009 player to help with the comparison):

Blake Griffen C-F 6'10 251 lbs Scouting Report
Low End
2000 Michael Fizer 6'9 - 4th pick in the draft, Fizer was a 20 point scorer in college but ALL of the offense was run through him. Very physical but needed a lot of work on his face to the basket game. Good rebounder but needed a slow down game to be effective. Fizer played just 6 seasons in the NBA, averaging only 9 points 4 rebounds a game.

1989 J.R Reid 6'9 - As the 5th pick in the draft out of North Carolina, Reid had high expectations placed on him which he never lived up to. He was a banger who could finish around the rim but he just didn't pan out in the NBA. His 8.5 career average was just good enough to keep him bouncing around the league.

High End
1988 Charles Smith 6'10 - Charles had some very productive years early in his career averaging over 20 points one season. But it soon caught up with him and his scoring and rebounding dropped off dramatically (Ewing had some to do with this). He would finish his career as a 14 and 6 guy. This would be the best case scenario for Griffen.

Prediction for Griffen: 13 points 8 rebounds 0 all-star games

Hasheem Thabeet C 7'3 265 lbs Scouting Report
Low End
1998 Michael Olawokandi 7'0 - One of the biggest busts of all-time. This project could block shots and was much better on the defensive end then scoring. He was young and raw when he came into the league and just didn't produce. His best year was 2002 where he averaged 12 points 9 rebounds and 2 blocks a game. He was a stretch pick at number one and never made an impact in the league.

High End
1985 Benoit Benjamin 7'0 - Another huge bust. Seven footers that are not drafted first just don't pan out very often and Benoit was no exception. He was a quality shot blocker but his attitude and work ethic were brought into question (not saying that Thabeet has either of these). Benoit was able to stay in the league 15 years, averaging only 11 points a game, as everyone is willing to give a large 7'0 center a chance.

Prediction for Thabeet: 9 points 6 rebounds 2 blocks 0 all-star games

James Harden G-F 6'5 218 lbs Scouting Report
Low End
1987 Dennis Hopson 6'5 - Hopson was a total bust. He came out of college as a pure scorer, averaging 29 points a game his senior year. The whole offense was patterned to get him shots. When he was drafted 4th in the draft, expectations were high that he would continue to be the scorer he was in college. Off court troubles led to only 5 years in the NBA where he averaged just 10 points a game and shot only 27 percent from the 3 point line.

1988 Chris Morris 6'8 - Morris never really found a position that fit, was he a guard or a forward? He could shoot it from the 3 point line but also had the ability to slash to the hole. He averaged 11 points a game for his career but never made an all-star team.

High End
1991 Billy Owens 6'8 - A little bit taller than Harden, Owens could score and had good handles like Harden. He was a crafty passer who was said to be the next "Magic Johnson". Owens never lived up to the hype and had a solid NBA career. Owens never made an all-star game and played in the NBA for 10 years but on 7 different teams.

Prediction for Harden: 14 points 5 rebounds 1 all-star game

The 2009 top 3 may have solid NBA careers but this class may also be one of the worst ever (at least the first 3 picks). You will not find a true superstar amongst them but I guess time will tell.

Top 5 Worst Draft Classes

1. 2000 Draft: Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer, Mike Miller

2. 1989 Draft: Pervis Ellison, Danny Ferry, Sean Elliott, Glenn Rice, J.R. Reid

3. 1972 Draft: LaRue Martin, Bob McAdoo, Dwight Davis, Corky Calhoun, Fredie Boyd

4. 1973 Draft: Doug Collins, Jim Brewer, Ernie DiGregorio, Mike Green, Kermit Washington

5. 2006 Draft: Andrea Bargnani, LaMarcus Aldridge, Adam Morrison, Tryus Thomas, Shelden Williams (Bradon Roy at #6 helps this class slightly)

Monday, June 15, 2009

FOOTBALL ROAD TRIP - Journey to the heart of college football

Each year my buddies gather around a table full of pizza and begin planning thier annual college football trip. As avid Washington Husky football fans (I know but at least they are not Cougars), they look at the Husky schedule and figure out what away game they want to attend. In the last couple years they have made the trip to see Ohio State and Notre Dame, both Husky losses, but thats okay because it was more about the venue then it was the game for these guys. They love the atmosphere, the excitement and nastalgia of the game. The next great road trip for these guys is not until the 2012 season when they get to travel to the deep south's Death Valley. The 92,000 stadium of the LSU Tigers will provide my buddies the ultimate venue to watch a college football game. That weekend may rank as one of the best ever.

Top 5 Best College Football Weekends

1. LSU (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Two words for you..."Death Valley". Just those two words conjure up some great images and then throw in Mike the Tiger roaming the sideline and you have a great atmosphere for football (or gladiator games).

2. Texas A & M (College Station, Texas)
The midnight yell practice, the 12th man, the Junction Boys and the verbally abused "2 percenters"...very few things compare.

3. Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana)
Tradition, Tradition and more Tradition. From the Knute Rockne to the "Play Like a Champion Today" sign, its all about the nastalgia in South Bend.

4. Army (West Point, New York)(strong>
Seeing everyone dressed up in uniform must be a site to see and then throw in the Corp of Cadets parade and you have great college football.

5. Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio)
Dotting the "I" is one of the most prestigous of all traditions.

Honorable Mention: Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia