We've been talking about it for a number of weeks, and we are finally ready to jump to our new site:
We'd like to thank the 60,000 people who have checked out this blog over the past 8 months and hope you can all bookmark the new site. And please, cotinue to add your comments, post in the forums, and make the Strap a good place to read sports opinions. Thanks for everything.
Monday, January 26, 2009
We've been talking about it for a number of weeks, and we are finally ready to jump to our new site:
Posted by Boyd at 12:58 PM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
If you ever read national basketball columnists, experts, and bloggers, they all seem to agree that Jazz Fan is one of the most rabid around the NBA. Energy Solutions Arena is consistently one of the loudest, most difficult places for other teams to play. The basketball writers all seem to agree on another thing: that Jazz Fan isn't very knowledgeable. How they come to that conclusion, I don't know. I only know that they go to games around the whole league in many different arenas and all seem to agree that Jazz Fan doesn't know his shit. In knowing and interacting with Jazz Fan on a day to day basis, I would have to agree. But you know what bugs me most about Jazz Fan? The Persecution Complex they all seem to have. Here are a few major themes of that Complex:
1. The Refs Hate Us: Most fans probably think this, but Jazz Fan takes it to a whole other level. I can't even go to the Energy Solutions Arena anymore because all it consists of is me listening to the fans bitch the ENTIRE GAME about the officiating. This seems more important to them than the score or really any other factor in the arena that night. This is especially true when facing Kobe Bryant. See, the NBA has a conspiracy to keep the Jazz out of the finals because it wants Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the finals. Or something like that.
Anyway deep down inside I love Jazz Fan. He may say insane things and be delusional about the Jazz' chances year in-year out, but he is true blue, and for that I salute him.
Posted by Boyd at 9:58 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
That we haven't been updating this week. We are making the jump to our new website and don't want to use our ideas up so that the new site can get started on the right foot. Anyway, please keep checking this site to get info about the new site.
Posted by Boyd at 3:06 PM
Friday, January 16, 2009
Shaquille O'Neal is at it again. After showing some improvement in the area of freethrow shooting (he actually hit 11 in a row over the course of two games and is shooting like 69% over his last 100 chucks [which for him is a molten lava hot streak]) Shaquille gave himself yet another nickname, Shaqovic. His reasoning for his latest nickname is that all of the best shooters in the NBA have a last name that ends with "vich"(Stojakovic, Radmanovic, Vujacic, etc.).
I have to admit that the big fella is funny and often times very creative when it comes to giving himself nicknames. Over the years he has dubbed himself "Shaq," "The Diesel," "Shaq Fu," "The Big Aristotle," "The Big Daddy," "Superman," "The Big Agave," "The Big Cactus," "The Big Shaqtus," "The Big Galactus," "Wilt Chamberneezy," "The Big Baryshnikov," "The Real Deal," and "Dr. Shaq" (after earning his MBA). His back yard at his Miami mansion had a water slide and a tiki-bar and so he named it Shaqapulco.
SportsCenter ran a story on this last week and asked viewers to come up with their own nicknames for Shaq. All I can say is that the list was lame as lame can be and for this reason I started thinking of my own nicknames for the great Shaquille O'Neal.
Posted by Jim at 2:53 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Who is the best NFL player you've ever seen? I ask this question because every national radio show I listen to this week is debating whether or not Larry Fitzgerald is now the best receiver in the NFL. I say yes, but it got me thinking about who would be the best NFL player I have ever seen. I'm relatively young, so my history doesn't go back to guys like Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Roger Staubach, etc., but I have seen Joe Montana, John Elway, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor, and Ronnie Lott. But none of those guys would get my vote because Barry Sanders is the best football player I have ever seen. As icing on the cake, he was also the best player I ever used on Tecmo Super Bowl too (with apologies to Bo Jackson and QB-Eagles, who both contend for that crown). If anyone reading this has seen Jim Brown, please post who you think is better and why, because I can't imagine a better back than Barry.
I used to look forward to Thanksgiving day just so I could watch Barry Sanders play football. The Lions weren't on television too often (especially since the market I live in plays mostly the Broncos and 49ers) and I always expected something amazing. Barry had a way of making people look stupid that I've never seen anyone else come close to, other than maybe Reggie Bush in college. Barry never rushed for under 1,100 yards in a season and averaged over 1,500 yards per season. His lowest season total (1,115) came when he missed the last 5 games with an injury.
He had 14 straight games of 100+ yards in 1997, an NFL record. He fumbled only 41 times in his career - only once per 83 touches (for a reference point, Jim Brown fumbled once every 43 touches). Barry played on a crappy team and he was the only weapon; he didn't have an Aikman or Irvin to distract the defense. And he still did stuff like this:
The quality isn't great, but you get the point. If you want more check this one out (notice the crazy juke on 51 in the second one). He could stop on a dime, break ankles, and spin at full speed. He had defenders looking foolish and leaving their straps on the field on a regular basis. I'm not saying Barry Sanders is the best football player of all time, but he is the best I've ever seen. What's your take?
Posted by Taylor at 11:48 AM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sometimes life gives you a glimpse into the secret chambers of another man's heart, and that glimpse is usually one which makes you glad to be yourself. I have recently had one such experience.
There is a new guy who started working at my office a few weeks ago. He is a jolly soul, and while not pushing 3 bills like myself, is quite stout and girthy with a big laugh and a quirky sense of humor. He has come by my office several times to discuss "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (which I strongly recommend) and other comedies of that ilk. Needless to say, I've taken a wee bit of a shine to him and dare say that he has done the same with me.
Anyway, the other day I went over to his office to see what he was doing and I noticed that he had a number of oddities hanging on his wall and sitting on his shelves, namely: Action figures of Optimus Prime, He-Man and Battle Cat in full armour, several GI Joe figurines as well as a tank or some sort of vehicle, and a poster with Sergeant Slaughter. Initially I thought this was pretty cool and asked him why he had these relics of childhood. He replied that he likes to collect 80's toys and memorabilia.
This lead to a 3 hour discussion where I came to learn that my friend has every Star Wars toy from the original series, something like 80% of the GI Joe toys, and several other toys from that time period. Indeed, he has taken his toys up to the mountains and taken action photography with them and posted them on a website, this website, in fact. Now, we looked around and found that my friend was just the tip of the iceberg for GI Joe photography, with some even photo shopping fake missiles and fire and such coming from the toy planes.
At this point, I asked my friend if he owned any swords and if so did he know that the next logical step would be for him to go to the park, dress up in chain mail armor, get some 20 sided dice and act some shit out. He couldn't even believe that I would suggest that as a course of action, letting me know that what he did and what the people who dress up in chain mail do aren't even remotely comparable. He claims it is like comparing apples and oranges. They are "totally different levels of Geekdom." Are they, friend? Are they? He offered some explanation about how collecting Military Toys is nothing like getting dressed up in Knights armor and chanting in Latin, but to me, they are quite similar. Not in theme, but in obsession and mania.
After some good natured ribbing, a trip to my Mom's house to get my old toys, and a back rub with scented oils, minus the back rub with scented oils, my friend went home and left me thinking. I have a few beliefs in life, (one of them being that every man craps his pants at least once a year. Now, it might not be a full-on crapping, but he at least sharts once per year and if he denies it, he's lying.) And now, after my discussion with my cohort, I've decided that I have a new belief: Everyone has at least a little geek in them. But not everyone is prepared to learn Elf languages or Klingon and not all Geeks are dangerous, so to help you sort out who is who, here is a brief run-down of my 3 Levels Of Geekdom:
Level 1: General Geek
Most people fall into this level. Level One includes any of your basically acceptable nerdiness: lower level collections, obsessions with video games/sports/fashion/television, basically anything that you don't want other people to find out about unless you trust them. This may include the eating of boogers, making an NBA Live Team out of all Old Testament Characters (i.e. Habakkuk and Moses) having pictures of cars or half-naked women on your garage walls, really just the usual things that are geeky, but overall socially acceptable. It is important to know that there are sub-levels included in the major levels, but I'll let some geek with more time than I have fill you in on what those are. Derek. Level 1 Geeks can generally be trusted, and are not dangerous.
Level 2: Fantasy Geek
Level Two is really just the taking of a healthy enjoyment of a hobby and raising it to a whole other, scarier level. Collecting baseball cards is one thing, and is certainly geeky, but then pulling the cards out, getting 6 dice and trying to come up with a formula that will, in tandem with said cards, calculate how many strikeouts Ed Johnson had in his eighth season, and then having debates with yourself over if he would make the Hall of Fame after his career ends (Yes, he would), is an entirely different thing. Level 2's collect things and never remove them from the original packaging, buy special computers to run their video games they play for hours on end, and have thought about going to a Star Trek Convention, but have never done so. Level 2's are usually safe, but when they are on the verge of becoming Level 3 or are displaying Level 3 type behaviors, they should be avoided as they may have just bought a Ninja Star and are certainly on the edge of using it.
Level 3: Get Out and Do It Geek
This is by far the most disturbing and subsequently most humorous level of Geekdom. This is when you decide that just knowing all the facts about the French and Indian War aren't enough, no, you need to collect some black powder muskets, the pelts of animals, and go to a re-enactment of said war. And when you are out roughing it, you certainly can't use toilet paper, pussy. You need to use leaves and shrubs to get your arse clean. Of course there is a lot of variation in this level, with your Low-Level 3's being Trekkies and people who dress up as Albus Dumbledore for the premier of the new Harry Potter movies, and your Upper-Level 3's who are usually just multiple offenders or Double Dippers in Geekdom(trekkies mixed with civil-war re-enactment, World of Warcraft players who also actually like the last 2 hours of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy etc.) Be very cautious when speaking to and especially mocking Upper-Level 3's as you must remember they probably have a Katana and iron breastplate at home and they are definitely closer to using them in real life than you would imagine.
Well, now that you are armed with this knowledge, I hope you can diagnose yourself honestly, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harm.
Live Long and Prosper.
Posted by Boyd at 9:19 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
I mean it. I know Boyd says poo on the BCS, but come on, it's awesome. What other sport has you pissing and moaning about who deserves to be called the best days (and probably weeks) after the final game was played? I don't remember anyone talking about how the Patriots should have actually been the NFL champs, or the Lakers as the NBA champs. This is what makes the BCS so great: it is consistently debated and no one ever stops talking about it.
Utah and Texas fans are up in arms right now because they got "screwed by the BCS." If college football had a plus-1 (as everyone seems to be pimping right now) the Utes wouldn't have even gotten in. So, a full playoff would be great. But how many teams? 8? 12? 16? There is always going to be some complaint in college football, so why not let the complaining be about the BCS and who gets hosed every year? It makes for great debate. I can sit around with my friends and debate the BCS for hours. With a playoff, it would be something like this: Well, I figured Florida would win and they did. Captivating. I'd rather debate what would happen if Utah played Florida or USC than discuss who just won a playoff. For my money, the BCS gives us something extra to talk about, something to get irate about.
Everyone wants some kind of a playoff, but how often does the best team win a single-elimination playoff? Was Kansas truly the best team in college basketball last year? Were the Giants really the best team in the NFL? Does anyone really think the Cardinals, Eagles, Ravens or Steelers is the best team in the league this season? Mostly just their own fans. The NBA and MLB both do it right - a series. You can't really make the argument that the Celtics weren't the best team in the NBA last year because they had to go through 4 series' in order to win the trophy. But, the Giants as the best team in the NFL last year after the season the Patriots had? No - the sun shines on every dog's a$ at least once. The G men played their best game of the season when it mattered. It doesn't mean they were the best team in the NFL, but they were crowned champions. In a 7-game series, the Pats win in 6 max. But without it, the 10-6 Giants get the crown. But at least they had to go through a playoff, right?
If a college football playoff could be done that included at least 8 teams, it would be awesome. I can only assume the ratings would be through the roof. But how do you decide who gets in? Each of the BCS conferences get one team in and the other two are at-large? If that's the case this year, then eligible for the two at-large spots would be Utah (12-0), Alabama (12-1), Texas (11-1), The Ohio State (10-2), Boise State (12-0), and Texas Tech (11-1). Who do you leave out? Or do you just put in the top 8 teams regardless (not irregardless) of conference affiliation? Personally, I think that would be awesome, but current BCS conferences would throw a hissy fit and Notre Dame would find some way to buy themselves a guaranteed spot using NBC's money. But would a playoff like this (or any kind) put a damper on the regular season? That's what all these college football experts keep saying - the BCS makes the regular season mean something. Would a playoff change that? Would it become like college basketball, where only the die-hard fans pay attention before the tourney starts, or would it increase in popularity and build on the already growing fan base?
The point is, nothing in college football is ever going to work. Maybe they should go half an NCAA basketball tournament - a 32 (.5) team playoff. At least that way the only team whining would be #33, and no one gives a deuce about them. The BCS allows the controversy that is college football to be put on display all season long, most especially for one week in early January for everyone to watch. It's not perfect, but it sure makes for some good debate. The BCS is awesome.
Posted by Taylor at 11:12 PM
Just kidding. You thought I was going to write another posting about the BCS and what a horrible thing it is. The best part is that a few of you probably even got a little bit excited about it. I am laughing at you, not with you.
See, this whole BCS thing is so played out that I don't want to hear another damn word about it until next season. And so this is the last sentence I will write about the BCS until next college football season: Poo on the BCS.
Now, on to an observation. I was watching 1st and 10 on ESPN last week when they had Lil' Wayne as their guest for the debate part of the program with the semi-retarded Skip Bayless. Now, I can't say that I like or dislike Mr. Lil' Wayne's music as I frankly haven't heard much of it, but I was a little surprised to see him on the show. He was dressed in a very casual, conservative manner. Of course, one could never overlook the diamond encrusted teeth or the multiple facial tattoos, but otherwise, Lil' Wayne looked like a normal dude.
I have to say I was surprised because this normally audacious, flamboyant rap star was a gentle, quiet, reserved fellow, with a ton of sports knowledge. In fact, he picked all four of this weekend's NFL playoff games correctly. Of course, I was scratching my head when he picked Arizona, but dude got it right. The best was that at one point he said something to the effect that Lendell White is not good and has done nothing impressive and that the Ravens would beat the Titans.
So props to Lil' Wayne. That's it for today. Bye.
Posted by Boyd at 8:49 AM
Friday, January 9, 2009
So the NCAA College Football season is over, the Bowls have been played out, and the Poll votes have been cast. Now that it's all over, I have to tell you, I'm a little disappointed with the results. Florida beat Oklahoma 24-14 in a sloppy, boring BCS Championship game last night, and only 16 voters had the sack to vote Utah #1 in the AP poll this morning after they dominated Alabama, who held the nation's top ranking for most of the season, 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl last week. I find this whole BCS mess very sad and I'll tell you why.
Posted by Jim at 8:11 AM
Monday, January 5, 2009
By the end of the week we should have this site revamped because we are expanding a bit. Of course we want to thank everyone who has kept up with us so far and we hope you keep coming to see what we have to spew at you next.
Everyone seems to make New Year’s resolutions when the calendar flips to January. I made a couple this year, but my prediction is that I won’t accomplish any of them for more than a month. So instead of making a New Year’s resolution post, here are some predictions for 2009. Most of them are predictions, but some of them are things that I just want to happen. As always, feel free to add what you expect to see.
Brett Farve will retire. Please.
Now that I have my required anti-Farve comment out of the way, 2009 will also bring the following:
The BCS will screw someone next year, just like it did to Texas and Utah this year.
Joe Paterno will make it through the entire year. Not just his job, but his life too.
The Utah Utes will finish third in the Mountain West in football, as they are typically accustomed to under Kyle Whittingham.
If Tim Tebow decides to stay in school, the Gators will go undefeated next season and Tebow will win his second Heisman trophy.
An important college football trend will continue: players will continue to hold up four fingers to let people know when the fourth quarter is beginning. We lay people appreciate that.
The Detroit Lions will show marked improvement by going 3-13 next season. Just for the record, I was on the bandwagon for the Lions unblemished season pretty early on this season. I knew they could do it.
Reggie Bush will again not reach 1,000 yards rushing.
The Seattle Seahawks will return to their rightful place as perennial NFC West champs.
The Cowboys will implode and TO will light the fuse.
The New York Yankees will make the playoffs only to lose in the first round.
The New York Mets will make the playoffs only to lose in the first round.
North Carolina will not win the NCAA basketball championship this year. I’m not sure who will win it, but it won’t be UNC. Or Duke.
Stephen Curry will hang 50 on someone.
The Boston Celtics will beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Again. It’ll go 7 this time, but Boston will pull it out. Again. (unlike on Christmas, when the Lakers defeated the Celtics. Jim has mentioned this in past posts, so I'll leave it at that...)
I will finally admit that LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant. I still can’t do it yet.
Jim and Boyd will continue to be firmly planted on Paul Pierce’s jockstrap.
Posted by Taylor at 11:01 PM
Thursday night my Alma Mater Utah rose up and laid a major league smackdown on Alabama in the All-State Sugar Bowl. Immediately, fans of Utah began claiming the NCAA Championship and Number One ranking. This is understandable. Utah finished the season ranked 13-0. The question is, are they really deserving of the Championship? I believe they are, but perhaps only as Co-National Champs. My arguments:
Number of Undefeated Teams: One
Utah is the only undefeated team left. This is very important to note. The way that College Football's post-season is set up lends itself to ambiguity and second guessing, but there is one indisputable fact: Utah didn't lose to anybody. Period.
Strength of Schedule:
Does Utah play in the MWC? Yes. Is the MWC fairly weak? Of course. Utah did, however, defeat quality teams in TCU, BYU and Oregon State, not to mention Alabama. TCU and Oregon State were nail-biters, but still victories. BYU and Alabama were both good, solid beatings of worthy opponents. Utah also beat a decent Air Force team. In fact, the Jeff Sagarin Ratings that the BCS uses to rank strength of schedule had Utah's as the 8th most difficult before the bowl game against Alabama.
Head to Head vs. One Loss Teams:
Now, let's look at the other teams who have a claim at the championship.
First off, we have
USC: USC's record is an impressive 12-1, their only loss coming at Oregon State. Hmmm. I think Utah played Oregon State, didn't they? Oh yeah, and they beat them. So, you have two teams with similar records (13-0 vs 12-1) with similar strengths of schedule (8th vs 5th) who have a common opponent in Oregon State, to whom USC lost and Utah beat. I don't care about arguments of who would win if they played head to head, because that is a part of the equation that the BCS system, of which USC is a willing member and participant, decided to leave out when they failed to create a playoff system. And are you certain, after seeing Utah vs. Alabama, that USC would win that game? I would have my doubts.
Florida: Let's assume, for arguments sake, that Florida beats Oklahoma in the BCS Championship. We'll do the same when arguing for Oklahoma. Ok, that would make Florida 13-1. They would have won the SEC championship and beaten the Big 12 Champs as well. In the end, they do have that blemish on their records from when they lost to an underrated Ol' Miss. So record wise, Utah would still have the edge (13-0 vs 13-1). Florida would have admittedly the better SOS (8th vs 3rd) and the teams would have one common opponent who they both beat in Alabama. In that regard, I saw both games and have to say that Utah was much more impressive vs. the Crimson Tide than Florida was, and have a better margin of victory (14 vs 11) vs Alabama.
Oklahoma: The Sooners have had a wonderful season, losing only to Texas. Assuming they beat Florida, they have had a great run this year. They do however, have that one pesky loss. Utah has them in W/L record (13-0 vs 13-1). Oklahoma does have superior SOS (8th vs 1st), and the teams have one common opponent worth mentioning in TCU, who Oklahoma beat soundly and against whom Utah struggled, but did beat.
Boise State: Say what you will, but Boise State is still a one-loss team that deserves a ton of respect. They however, are obviously the worst team in the discussion, having lost to TCU (who lost also to Oklahoma and Utah).
Texas: Let's assume Texas goes out and beats Ohio State, as I suspect they will. That would leave Texas at 13-1, with their only loss coming on a last second play vs. Texas Tech. Texas got screwed out of the Big 12 Championship, and they too will have a claim at the BCS title if they win. Against Utah, they have an inferior record (13-0 vs 12-1), a higher SOS (8th vs 2nd), and no common opponents. Makes it hard to say who would beat whom, doesn't it?
In conclusion, this is how I see things, not any sort of prediction: Utah should have a piece of the BCS title, regardless of who wins that game. They are undefeated, have a strong SOS, and beat up on Alabama in their bowl game. If Florida wins the title game, then Utah and Florida share the title. If Oklahoma wins, Utah and Oklahoma share it, and I kinda lean towards saying that Texas deserves a piece of the title as well, but if Oklahoma can beat a worthy foe in Florida, I'll give them the nod.
This is all a pipe dream, I'm sure, as the BCS will crown it's champion on Thursday, but that doesn't change the fact that Utah deserves a piece of the crown.
Posted by Boyd at 9:55 AM
Friday, January 2, 2009
Every year at this time people all over the world decide to put their collective foot down and make some changes in their sad lives. The New Year's Resolution is something to which each of us have fallen victim over the years. I myself have purchased the Torso Tiger, the Ab Roller, the Torso Tornado, and that one ab thingy that you attach to your abs and turn on the electricity and it makes your abs contract while you watch TV and eat nachos, which by the way did NOT work (that Bruce Lee was full of shit, man). How many of us have made the resolution to lose 20 or 30 pounds only to reach the end of the next year with an extra 10 pounds to add to our goal? A wise man once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results, so why do we put ourselves through this nonsense year after year? I suppose we all need a little hope in our lives, even if most of the time it is a fool's hope.
Posted by Jim at 10:07 AM