Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nikki Giavasis loosely connected with Chris Benoit

Nikki Giavasis sure gets around....last week I wrote how she had a child with alleged murderer Bobby Cutts, Jr.....and how she had a child also with former Cleveland Cavalier Shawn Kemp.....well now Giavasis is loosely connected to wrestler Chris Benoit.....according to the Hollywood Gossip blog, Giavasis was one of the "hot girls" who took part in Wrestlemania XX in which Benoit won the WWE title.....
  • Hollywood Gossip

  • Friday, June 29, 2007

    Rating the College Football Preview Magazines

    By the end of May, I am thirsting to read a football me, Memorial Day is not the unofficial kick-off to summer, but the un-official kick-off to football....the college preview magazines start hitting the about a month, all the magazines are out on the today I am going to give my ratings of the various college football preview magazines - believe me, I am one of those whackos who buys all of them.....

    Lindy's - this is always the first magazine to hit the stands, so I always pick it feels great just to get a college football magazine in my hands....most of the times Lindy's disappoints in their coverage, but this year's edition has improved....there are depth charts of all the teams....they also added the rankings of all the different positions which was nice...there are no cheerleader shots though this year....if Lindy ever decides to move back the publication date, his magazine will get eaten alive by the big boys of Street and Smith and The Sporting News....for $6.99 the magazine serves its purpose....overall I give the magazine a C.....

    Athlon Sports - Athlon puts together a quality magazine year-in and year-out....what is nice about Athlon, they sell magazines specific to the various if you want to read more about the Mountain West teams, Athlon is the magazine for you....Athlon always includes its 6-8 pages of cheerleader photos with its obligatory shot of the Southern Cal Song Girls.....(boy do I love those Song Girls).....anyway, Athlon is solid for $6.99.....overall I give them a B-.....

    The Sporting News - I love TSN previews....they always do a quality job in its analysis and make the magazine reader friendly.....there are never any cheerleader shots though.....but I guess, if you want that, just pick up a Playboy....this year though, their analysis was more fast and to the point instead of they don't give any rundown on the I-AA teams - which too is $6.99.....overall I give them a B.....

    Street and Smith's - I love what they did by going back to the "old school" covers with the players wearing facemask-less helmets....I felt like I was 7-years-old again reading my dad's Street and Smith with Ken McAfee on the cover....Street and Smith gives you a rundown on I-AA, Division II, and Division III teams....everything is easy to read.....the only thing that keeps it from being an A+ is that they focus more on the big named teams....for instance, if you want to read about the UAB Blazers, there is only a half page rundown.....overall, for $6.99 it is the best.....I give it an A....

    Phil Steele - this is the freakin bible of have to pay a few shillings more at $8.95, but it is worth it....Phil gives detailed previews of all I-A teams.....he also provides betting trends and newsworthy articles....the only drawback is that there is so much information he uses a small point size so it is not reader-friendly for some people with bad eyes - but who cares!!....if you have a wife or girlfriend who allows you to buy only 1 college football preview magazine a year, this is the book to buy....I give Phil an A+....

    A couple of links to check out - Orlando Sentinel's Sarah Talalay has a blog called "The Business of Sports".....on Thursday, she interviewed Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga....Huizenga talked about various topics including his new coach Cam Cameron bypassing Brady Quinn in the draft...."I knew on Wednesday [before the draft] he wasn't going to take Brady Quinn. He told me why he wasn't going to take him, but he said, 'if you tell me to take him, I will.' I said, 'No I'd never do that. You guys pick the guys.'"....

  • Sarah Talalay

  • Former Ohio State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith did not back down when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not fully answer Smith's question...."The question-answer session at the NFL rookie symposium got a little testy when Troy Smith pressed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about why Goodell doesn't talk about the league's positives"....
  • USA Today

  • Coming Monday - Through the "Izes" of a Legend
    Earlier this week I had the pleasure to interview Newark Star Ledger sports columnist Jerry Izenberg...our interview focused on his personal experiences with legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince check back Monday for part one of a two part series...

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    College Football at its Best - Nebraska Cornhusker Football

    Stiles Points features the Nebraska Cornhuskers as its second team in the College Football at its Best Series....writing about the Huskers is 45-year-old Jon Johnston of Corn Nation blog....Jon is known as "Corn Blight" and is a native Nebraskan and University of Nebraska-Lincoln alum ('87)....Jon wrote "I'm at the upper end of demographics in the blogosphere . Age gives me a unique perspective not found in most other sports blogs. I've written in the computer industry for 18 years and have been blogging about the Huskers for three. Corn Nation will turn one year old in August."....make sure you visit Corn Nation
  • Corn Nation

  • Q1. Oklahoma used to be the Huskers big rivalry. Now that those two schools don't play every year, who is Nebraska's hated rival? What are your feelings about the rivalry?
    Colorado is our biggest rival, although I wish it were still Oklahoma. There was a level of mutual respect with Oklahoma that doesn't exist with Colorado. With regards to my feelings about the rivalry - Colorado has the beautiful Rocky mountains which makes it one of the most beautiful states in the US. Nebraska is geographically uninteresting to most people - the I-80 interstate stretch that people drive through Nebraska is on the Platte River Valley, possibly the flattest and most boring stretches of land in the US. Buffalo fans stand on their mountains looking down on Nebraskans as if the people in Boulder were personally responsible for the creation of all that natural beauty. They see us as boring as the land on which we live and we are continually reminded of such.

    Yet when it comes to football, Buffalo fans barely support their team even in winning seasons. Even then, their behavior is boorish as was evident in the 2005 game when two full student sections were ejected from the game for continuing to throw stuff onto the field after being asked several times to stop. So, for us and Colorado, it isn't just about a football game. It's about a way of life. We see ourselves as having a high level of pride, a good work ethic, and an honest streak. Colorado fans? Well, they have the Rockies.

    Q2. What is the greatest Nebraska football game that you have seen - whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    Ouch. If I were 20, this would be easy, but I'm not. I'm also not one of those people who makes a list of favorite things - it's too restrictive, but I know the Internet loves lists. There are a lot of different reasons for great games - I suppose most people would pick a blow-out like Nebraska over Florida in the '96 Fiesta Bowl, but the close games are the most memorable. The Texas loss in '98 was one of the best game I ever saw in person because Texas had Ricky Williams, who was one of the greatest college backs ever. It'd look like we'd stop him for three yards, and it would be five. And he'd pound, and drive, and then they'd throw over the top. It was a 20-16 loss for the Huskers, ending a 47 home game winning streak, but it was a great game.

    The 1982 Nebraska-Oklahoma was another great one in person. Scott Strasburger intercepting a pass with 26 seconds left to seal our 28-24 win. I was on the field for that one when the goal posts came down. Nearly got killed when I fell down underneath them as they were being torn down, but that's a whole huge story in itself.

    The '97 Nebraska-Missouri game was incredible - most people remember the 'flea-kicker' play at the end when the ball was kicked up into the air and caught for a touchdown on the last play of regulation. What struck me about that game was the last minute of regulation. Nebraska won that game solely because of the will of quarterback Scott Frost. It's the most gorgeous single minute of Husker football ever. I wasn't there, but a good friend was. He said that when we scored at the end of regulation, a Mizzou fan looked at him and asked "Don't you have some cows to tend to or something?"

    Q3. If you had to start an all-time Nebraska football team, who would be your first pick and why?
    This one is easy. It's Tommie Frazier (photo). Without hesitation, he is the greatest college quarterback to ever play the game. He finished with a 33-3 record as a four-year starter. He played in three national title games, winning the MVP of two of them. He won back-to-back national titles 1994 and '95 for the Huskers as they beat Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl 24-17, and then crushed #2-ranked Florida 62-24 in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. The 75-yard touchdown run he made in the '96 Fiesta Bowl is symbolic of Frazier's career (you can find it on youtube). When you thought you had him stopped, you didn't. He remains the greatest Husker player in school history.

    Q4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to wear a Nebraska uniform and why?
    That's a hard list to compile as there are a lot of great ones in that time frame. I'll go with the following:
    Turner Gill - Watching Turner Gill play football was like watching poetry in motion. Whether he was running, throwing or getting hit -, everything he did was with agrace and poise that was magical. Mike Rozier and Irving Fryar were bigger names, but Gill was pure beauty to watch as a player. He spent many years in the Nebraska program and I never, ever heard a bad word said about him.
    Dave Rimington - Rimgington (photo) was so good at center they named the award for the best college center for him. He won the Outland Trophy in '81 and '82, and in 1982 also won the Lombardi. All-American in '81, '82 and was named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year in 1981 - the only time a lineman was ever given the award.
    Tommie Frazier - I've already explained Tommie above.
    Johnny Rodgers - Rodgers played on the '70 and '71 Nebraska national title teams - the 1971 team is widely recognized as one of the top teams in college football history. Rodgers won the Heisman Trophy in 1972, and was an All-American in '71 and '72. Rodgers 72-yard punt return in the 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma Game of the Century is a highlight that every Husker fan knows. Rodgers is known as one of the greatest returners in college football history.
    Rich Glover - Glover played on the '70 and '71 national title teams as a defensive lineman. Glover won the Lombardi and Outland in '72, was All-American in '71 and '72. He was the Big Eight defensive player of the year in '72, and in the 'Game of the Century' he made 22 tackles. My favorite story about Glover is that he was playing so well that coach Bob Devaney stormed over to his defense and said "Would one of you SOB's like to give Rich Glover some help?"

    Q5. Make your case why Nebraska football, as a whole, is the best football program in the country?
    Nebraska's Memorial Stadium has a phrase that fans see when they walk into the stadium - "Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football". Maybe a cliche, but what is serves as a reminder to Nebraskan fans who they are and sets a high standard of behavior that Huskers fans try to uphold. One tradition is to applaud the opponent, no matter the outcome. I was there in 1982 when Florida State beat us in Lincoln and we gave them a standing ovation.

    Success on the field is well-known as Nebraska is one of only four schools to have won 800 games, the other three being Michigan, Texas, and Notre Dame. In terms of an overall program, Nebraska is known for student-athletes' academic success. Nebraska leads the nation in Academic All-Americans (243) over Notre Dame (185), and leads the Big 12 (243) over Texas (96). Nebraska is a leader in student athlete graduation rates. Fan support is better than anywhere in the nation as Nebraska's home sell-out streak started on November 3rd, 1962 and will reach a span of over 45 years this coming season!

    There is no place like Nebraska!....

    I want to thank Jon for his time - it is much appreciated....Oklahoma will be the next team that will be previewed...

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Tossup - Biggio or Thomas? -- Pacman or Tank?

    Today Stiles Points takes a different twist....while watching Pardon the Interruption (PTI) last night on ESPN, I decided write down the questions for the Tossup segment and give my take.....Tony Kornheiser and guest host Dan LeBatard took their shot, now it is my turn....

    Tossup - Who has the brighter NFL future - Pacman Jones or Tank Johnson?
    Pacman is by far the better athlete and had a bigger impact on his team.....but he is in a lot more hot water than Tank.....I don't expect neither knucklehead to change their ways, but at least Johnson is only suspended for eight games and could get a new beginning since being cut by Chicago....

    Tossup - What's a bigger milestone - Frank Thomas hitting 500 homers or Craig Biggio (photo) getting 3,000 hits?
    I have never been a big fan of Frank Thomas....he was always moody and sullen during his prime....then he switched to designated hitter the last part of his, Thomas is basically a mercenary who sales his services each year to a new team....if he stayed with the White Sox his whole career, I think more people would be paying attention....but he is up in Toronto - no one cares....Biggio is the dirt-dog type player I love....he came in as a catcher, moved to second base, then to centerfield, and is now back at second base....he is a hard-nosed player who is a definite first ballot Hall of Famer.....Biggio gets the nod here......

    Tossup - Who will play better golf this weekend - Michelle Wie or 12-year-old Alexis Thompson?
    I never heard of this Thompson kid, so I have to go with Wie.....Wie oozes with talent, but right now she is a head case with two bad wrists....she needs to clear her head and heal properly if she wants to finally win a women's tournament let alone a men's tourney.....

    Tossup - What is the bigger boast - New York Knick David Lee saying the Knicks will make the playoffs or Detroit Lion quarterback Jon Kitna (photo) saying the Lions will win 10 games?
    They both made big boasts, but realistically there is a better chance of Kitna being NFL team can turn it around faster than any other team in other sports....a 4-12 NFL team could win 10 games the next, the Lions now have Calvin Johnson and a stable of running backs to go along with second year offensive coordinator Mike Martz....the Knicks however, are stuck in a salary cap quagmire under the hot spotlight of New York is possible the Lions could meet that lofty goal put forth by their quarterback...

    New York Post’s Pete Vecsey runs through the top 20 players for Thursday’s NBA Draft....”Instead of mucking up a mock draft, Jim Clibanoff, President of ClibHoops, a scouting service subscribed to by most NBA teams, has provided his insights on the Top 20 prospects. He has watched each of these players multiple times throughout their careers.”...

  • Pete Vecsey

  • The Portland Oregonian reports that even the state legislature is giving their opinion about who the Blazers should select in the draft....”It's nice to see 26 members of the "74th Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon recommend that the Portland Trail Blazers choose Greg Oden of Ohio State University as the # 1 pick in the upcoming National Basketball Association draft." .....
  • Portland Oregonian

  • All the talk on the west coast is about the Lakers trying to keep Kobe happy....but the Phoenix Suns may have something up their sleeve.....”The fact that such prized prospects would agree to work out for Phoenix indicates that their agents believe Phoenix is in the mix.”.....
  • Paul Coro - The Arizona Republic

  • The Chris Benoit murder-suicide still has people in disbelief....”But away from the limelight, the 40-year-old Fayette County resident was struggling with family issues he couldn’t defeat.”...
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Chris Benoit Involved in Murder-Suicide - Possible Steroid Use

    It is being reported by the Associated Press that professional wrestler Chris Benoit was involved in a murder-suicide on Monday....allegedly Benoit strangled his wife, then smothered his seven-year-old son before hanging himself....authorities are investigating if steroids were involved in the incident...steroid use can cause an angry outburst called "'roid rage"
  • ESPN - Chris Benoit
  • College Football At Its Best - Ohio State Buckeye Football

    Today is the first in a series of profiles of traditional college football programs throughout the country....I contacted various bloggers who bleed for their favorite school and asked them if they would far over 12 bloggers have agreed...I appreciate all the time and effort all the bloggers put into this series...Our first profile is of Ohio State....Sean Sheehan is a 22 year-old graduate at Ohio State University...he has lived and died with Buckeye football for his entire life, and started blogging about Buckeye sports a little over a year ago...his site, AroundTheOval is a top site...
  • Around The Oval
  • Q1. First question - real simple - Woody or Tressel? And why?
    Woody. Tressel may eventually reach Woody's level, but he's not there yet. In my mind, at least, he's not even that close. Hayes won three national championships; Tressel will have to do at least that much before people start arguing about him vs. Hayes. Just as important to Woody's legacy are his off-field contributions. Outside of the OSU community, people know Hayes mostly for tearing up markers and punching a Clemson player. But OSU fans appreciate him for teaching classes, for visiting hospitalized children every week, and for talking with students. True, Hayes had a temper, and it was endearing in a way (rumor has it that he bought cheap watches just so he could stomp on them in practices to make a point), but underneath that, he was a good person focused on turning good football players into good men. Tressel behaves like a father in a 1950s sitcom: he teaches, he sets a good example, but he's reserved. It's not a bad thing, especially as it seems to have rubbed off on the players and kept them off of police blotters and the front pages of newspapers, but it's not real exciting. Hayes was more like a slightly crazy grandfather: he wanted to be a positive influence, but he was going to do it his way and to hell with anyone that didn't like it. That's more entertaining than Tressel's approach, and combined with Woody's results, it's enough to get him the nod easily over Tressel.

    Q2. What is the greatest Ohio State football game that you have seen - whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    That’s got to be the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the national championship game. The 2002 Ohio State team wasn't much for easy wins, instead preferring to test the hearts of Buckeye fans everywhere. The Fiesta Bowl was more of the same. The thing I remember most from the game was how nervous I was for its entirety. The Buckeyes couldn't (or wouldn't) win easy during the season, and they certainly didn't start in the championship game. Some plays stand out: Craig Krenzel's many runs and subsequent pinata-esque beatings, Maurice Clarett chasing down Sean Taylor to take back an intercepted ball, the defensive pass interference (or defensive holding, depending on which picture of the Miami DB grabbing Chris Gamble you're looking at) that kept OSU alive. Mostly, though, I remember feeling nervous for an entire game, then feeling elated as Ken Dorsey's pass hit the ground. The game, like the season as a whole, proved that things were different from the John Cooper years, and that the Buckeyes weren't going to fold in big games (not a word, Florida fans). Plus, winning a national championship was kind of a big deal.

    Q3. Why do Ohio State fans hate Michigan? Do you think Ohio State takes the rivalry more serious than Michigan?
    There's a bit of the chicken and the egg to this question: are they a bunch of arrogant jerks with a holier-than-thou attitude and the ability to ignore their own faults while eagerly pointing out the faults of others and that's why I hate them, or do I hate them and therefore believe they're a bunch of arrogant jerks? I'm guessing it's more of the latter than I'd like to admit, though both sides have a tendency to apply stereotypes to each other. Wolverines see Buckeyes as a bunch of stupid criminals, while Buckeyes see Wolverines as snobs with an over-inflated sense of their importance. More important to the hatred from the Buckeye side, I think, is John Cooper's abysmal record against that school up north. For thirteen years, otherwise successful season were regularly ruined at the end. The Wolverines nearly ruined my formative sports-watching years, and I've never forgiven them for it.

    I think OSU fans take the rivalry more seriously than Michigan fans, but I’d argue that that’s because they take college football in general more seriously. In my experience, the average Michigan fan has the ability to approach the sport of football, and therefore the rivalry, rationally. There are plenty of hardcore Michigan fans out there that have college football ranked (correctly) as the most important thing in life, but I get the feeling from at least some Michigan fans that they understand that football’s just a game, that one game – even a rivalry game – doesn’t matter that much in the great scheme of things. There are OSU fans like that out there, but I think they make up a smaller percentage of our contingent. Ohio State fans, and Ohioans in general, are obsessed with football. It’s very difficult to be a casual Ohio State fan. Either you don’t follow Buckeye football at all, or your year is made or ruined by the outcome of the Michigan game; there’s not much middle ground. Some Michigan fans seem to be able to say things like “well, at least there’s still the Pistons/Red Wings/Tigers,” while the football team is far and away the most important team to Buckeye fans.

    Q4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to wear an Ohio State uniform and why?
    In alphabetical order:
    Eddie George – He’s a Heisman winner and the OSU record holder for single season rushing yards and touchdowns. His restaurant here in Columbus is pretty good, too.
    Archie Griffin – He’s the only person to win the Heisman twice, which makes him the best college football player ever. And since college football is the greatest thing ever, it stands to reason that Archie Griffin is the greatest person ever.
    Orlando Pace – He made the pancake block popular. He didn’t give up a sack in his last two years at Ohio State. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 1996. He was drafted first overall. That’s pretty good.
    Troy Smith – It’s a little early to know Smith’s place in Buckeye history, but he did win a Heisman trophy, putting him in pretty elite company. More importantly, he is one of only two Ohio State quarterbacks to beat Michigan three times, and he did it with a total of 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns.
    Chris Spielman – He’s Ohio State’s career leader in solo tackles and a Lombardy Trophy winner, but most Buckeye fans will remember the way he did everything: with maniacal intensity. The guy never took a play off; he was the ideal combination of talent and effort.

    Q5. Make your case why Ohio State football, as a whole, is the best football program in the country?
    What sets Ohio State apart from the other programs is consistency. A few schools (like Notre Dame) might have a richer history, and a few schools (like Florida) might be more successful today, but no school in the country can compete with the consistent success the Buckeyes have had. They’ve won at least one conference championship in every decade since the turn of the 20th century, and they’ve been in a national championship race almost as regularly. The Buckeyes have consistently been in the national eye over the past century, and that, coupled with the team’s success under Tressel, makes Ohio State football the best program in the country....

    I want to thank Sean for his time and for participating....Nebraska is the next college football program that will be profiled...

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Five Good Questions with . . . Rob Ward of NBA Draft Blog

    Today’s Five Good Questions is with Rob Ward of NBA Draft Blog.....if you want the latest on the NBA Draft, you have to go check out his site....
  • NBA Draft Blog

  • Q1. What is up with all the talk that Kevin Durant's stock has dropped over the last month? What has he done to merit this?
    Despite the talk, Durant's stock has not dropped. He has been considered a lock to become the second pick in the upcoming draft since the end of the college season and he still is. However, scouts and GMs have been able to evaluate Durant more thoroughly recently and his flaws have become more obvious. Durant desperately needs to gain upper body strength. He was unable to bench press 185 pounds even one time in recent testing of draft prospects. Basketball skills and bench presses are two different things, but the NBA is far more physical than anything Durant has experienced.

    He needs to add more muscle to his 200-lb frame, and he won't reach his potential until that happens. Durant's reputation has been built on his scoring ability, but scoring in the NBA is much harder, especially when you are at a physical disadvantage. That was the case with last years #3 draft pick, Adam Morrison. He was a scoring machine in college, but was bullied in his rookie NBA season and struggled physically. The opinion of most scouts is that Durant is a solid prospect with actual superstar potential, but his physical deficiencies are a concern.

    Q2. What is the lowdown on Yi Jianlian? I have seen him being predicted to go as high as the third overall pick and as low as the 12th.
    International prospects are often afforded the luxury of being evaluated differently than American prospects, especially NCAA prospects. The hype begins for the international player when scouts get excited over grainy video of him dominating inferior competition and continues when they invite him in for a private work-out and get to see him shooting uncontested jump shots in an empty gym. The NCAA player is on display 30-35 times a year against skilled competition. Scouts are able to over-evaluate and become too familiar with a college player's game-time flaws, whereas the international player is too often evaluated with a tape measure.

    That being said, Yi Jianlian is an interesting prospect. He is a legitimate 7'0", runs like a deer, and has an impressive mid-range game. A star on the Chinese national team, he has played very good in international tournaments and has even outplayed many NBA players from around the world. In addition, he has been training in Los Angeles for over a year, specifically to be prepared for the NBA. Like too many big men today, he shies away from contact and plays too far from the basket. This is also a concern because if he wants to play on the wing he must improve his 3-point shooting ability. I like this prospect, but he is a bit risky because he hasn't played against American competition on a high level. Nevertheless, I have him going #4 to the Memphis Grizzlies in my mock draft.

    Q3. Who are some "sleeper" picks? Which players are "under the radar?"
    This draft appears to be very deep, with potential stars at the top, starters in the middle, and contributors throughout the first round. There also appears to be plenty of potential sleepers available. Some have fallen because they have size or athleticism issues, some have come out of school too soon, and some just do not have enough hype at the right time. I prefer sleepers that have been productive in college, or internationally, and are ready to play immediately. There are roughly 450 players in the NBA and only a small number are All-Stars, the rest fill roles. Here are a few sleeper prospects that can contribute now:
    Alando Tucker: 6'6, 210, SG/SF, Wisconsin – Few players have been as productive in NCAA play the past few seasons as Tucker has been. He’s mature, strong, and fundamentally sound, but he's a bit small for his preferred Small Forward position in the NBA and that might knock him out of the first round.
    Taurean Green: 6'0, 180, PG, Florida - Three of his teammate will go in the lottery, but Green is overlooked because he is so small. The team that drafts him will get the starting point guard from the current two-time NCAA championship team. He has leadership and three-point shooting skills, and is the son of a former player. If he was a few inches taller he'd be a top-ten pick.
    Marc Gasol: 7’1, 280, C, Spain – I have Gasol going #20 in my mock, but I seem to be alone in my opinion, as most other scouts do not have him in the first round. The problem for many others is his terribly slow foot speed and lack of athleticism. I am not concerned with that. I like his size (he's huge), strength, and maturity for his age (22). Rarely does a prospect come with this combination of size and solid fundamentals. He’s a different type of player than his brother, the Memphis Grizzlies Pau Gasol, but I think he will be an NBA starter soon.

    Q4. There was talk that Jeff Green was having second thoughts about staying in the draft. In the end, he decided to stay and forgo another year at Georgetown. Did he make the right decision? What type of NBA player do you see him as?
    All players would be better if they stayed in school as long as possible, but that sometimes hurts their draft status. Green is a lottery prospect already so it wouldn’t matter either way. He is one of the most game-ready prospects in the draft. Talented and unselfish, I see him as a contributor that will help on both sides of the court. He's a reliable scorer, a sound rebounder, and a determined defender. He's probably not a future star, but should be a very good starter for a long time.

    Q5. Finally, I have to ask you about Greg Oden. What type of NBA career do you expect from him? Will he be as good as Jabbar and O'Neal? What part of his game is best suited to the NBA?
    As good as Jabbar or ONeal? No, that wouldn't be fair to those two legends that have worked so hard for their lofty places in NBA history. We shouldn’t project anyone past his near future. Oden has all the tools to become an excellent player in the NBA, perhaps even the best center in the league soon. I don't, however, believe that he will become a scoring machine. His game is evolving and I would love him to aspire to become fundamentally dominating like Tim Duncan, rather than an overpowering offensive force like Shaquille O’Neal was in his prime. Oden has great character and has an impressive basketball IQ. He can change the game on defense with his superb shot-blocking and rebounding skills and will keep opponents uncomfortable with his improving low-post offense. I project him as a future All-Star that will make the Portland Trailblazers a formidable team almost immediately, but lets not put him in the Hall-of-Fame just yet.

    I want to thank Rob for his is much appreciated....

    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    The Sunday Baker's Dozen

    The Sunday Fact - The first Japanese-born player to play Major League Baseball was Masanori Murakami who played for the San Francisco Giants in 1964.

    The Portland Oregonian's Jason Quick writes how Kevin Durant wowed the Trail Blazer brass with his recent workout.... "Portland General Manager Kevin Pritchard was so impressed with the 6-foot-9 freshman forward from Texas, he said the workout might have been the best he's watched at the Blazers' practice facility in Tualatin."
  • Jason Quick

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Gary Washburn writes that maybe the Sonics will end up with Greg Oden...."While Greg Oden was wowing the Seattle media with his bright smile, keen sense of humor and engaging personality, the possibility of him becoming a Sonic increased with developments in Portland."
  • Gary Washburn

  • The Washington Post's Ivan Carter writes about the importance of a big-time center in the NBA....."The team with the top pick, the Portland Trail Blazers, hasn't publicly stated its intentions, but basketball history suggests that the franchise would be foolish to pass onGreg Oden, who has been compared to a young Ewing."
  • Ivan Carter

  • Dallas Morning News reporter Chip Brown writes how former Texas star Kevin Durant will hit it big with endorsements.... "At 18 years old and still too antenna thin to bench press 185 pounds, national player of the year Kevin Durant didn't even have a driver's license until two weeks ago. In the world of product placement, however, those story lines can be developed."
  • Chip Brown

  • Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star writes about the funeral of Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner.... "The silent one came after the service as the more than 80 current players -- wearing their IU jerseys -- lined both sides of a passageway through which Hoeppner's funeral procession drove as the IU Marching Hundred played the Indiana fight song. As Hoeppner's hearse drove past, the players raised their helmets in a salute to their coach, who died Tuesday of complications following an 18-month battle with brain cancer."
  • Terry Hutchens

  • Michael Murphy of the Houston Chronicle writes how Houston Cougar basketball player Sam Anderson unselfishly ended his career by donating a kidney to his cousin.... "Sam Anderson never hesitated. Not for a moment. The walk-on forward for the University of Houston knew the decision most likely would end his basketball career, but Anderson knew the man at the other end of the phone — his cousin, Steven Anderson, 46 — was desperate for help, and that's all that mattered."
  • Michael Murphy

  • Chicago Sun-Times reporter Joe Cowley writes that Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle may be switching Sox..... "According to a source close to the situation, negotiations between the Sox and Buehrle's camp have been exhausted, with Williams believing he has no choice but to trade the left-hander, who is the face of the ballclub."
  • Joe Cowley

  • New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica gives his weekly thoughts on various sports topics.... "For a couple of gripping hours last Sunday afternoon, as Tiger Woods was trying to come back against a career golf plodder named Angel Cabrera, we were once again reminded that Woods is the biggest star in sports."
  • Mike Lupica

  • New York Times' John Branch writes about Wimbledon which starts tomorrow... " . . . as Wimbledon begins Monday, the chatter is not so much about whether the top-seeded Federer will win again, but what it really means if he does."
  • John Branch

  • John Maynard of the Miami Herald writes how Shaq is taking on another challenge - childhood obesity..... "O'Neal's mission: to transform the lives of six obese children -- none of whom can run a mile -- into fit, active kids with a healthful outlook on life."
  • John Maynard

  • The Boston Globe begins a seven part series on the life of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney
  • Boston Globe

  • On Friday I wrote about Nikki Giavasis and Shawn Kemp and how their name came up when the pregnant woman from Canton, Ohio went missing....on Saturday, authorities found the body of Jessie Marie Davis....the father to her unborn child - Canton police officer Bobby Cuttts Jr. was arrested and charged.....Cutts is also the father to one of Giavasis' children...
  • Jessie Davis Murder - Akron Beacon Journal

  • The following is a timeline of the case....
  • Jessie Davis Murder - Akron Beacon Journal