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The 96 Team Tourney: Bad For Basketball

April 17, 2010 2 comments

We’ve heard the same phrase from all angles: If it’s not broke, why fix it?  If, in a little under two weeks, the NCAA decides to expand its Men’s basketball tournament to a 96 team field, it won’t be fixing it, it will be breaking it.

Ask anyone who’s taken the time to project the field of 65: there’s barely enough worthy teams as it is, so now we’re going to include more?  The Old Dominions, Ohios and Murray States showed that teams from small conference’s can play with the big boys, but with a 96 team field, that’s not what we’ll get.  Unless strict guidelines are put in place to determine a team’s eligibility, we may get a small handful of Northern Iowas, but will get a large dosage of Northwesterns, South Floridas, and Virginias.  The field will be flooded with sub-standard big conference schools, dimming the magic on this countries greatest sporting event.

That feeling you get late in the afternoon on Selection Sunday in March?  Gone.  With nearly a third of the field, and about 90% of major conference team, guaranteed a spot in the dance, the prestige of qualifying for the right to experience March Madness will be lost.  Think college football’s regular season would be left meaningless if the season ended with an 8 team tournament?  Well, many people who will soon cast their votes for a 96 team field while not even listening to proposals for a football tournament are instituting the equivalent of a 32 team playoff.

With no real need to make an impression on committee members, what incentive is there for top teams to take it to the court against one another?  If coasting against a slew of bottom feeders can earn you a 13 seed, why bother making it tougher on yourself.  College basketball’s regular season will be devalued to amounts you can only imagine.

At the end, this all boils back to one key issue: Money.  Sure, at the same meeting the NCAA will likely accept an $847 million/year contract from CBS and Turner Sports, btu these money hungry fools are out to grab every penny they can.  Currently, college basketball tickets are a hot commodity come March.  With expansion, they fail to take into account that attendance will fall, as attending a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday site on two days notice is impossible for most.  Plus, where’s the intrigue in locals snatching tickets to watch two 13-18 teams battle for the right to get smoked by a #1 seed?   It’s long gone, replaced by a greedy committee who have made it known they will easily put a price tag on the integrity of this so called “amateur” sport.

Ramping Up For 2010-11

I announced a little over a week ago that I would be re-launching the in the not so distant future.  With the decision to focus on college basketball, and this season coming to a close,. I’ve decided to allocate all resources into building the most indepth. complete preview of the 2010-2011 season that one man can provide.  I may check in periodically before then, but I’ll likely begin releasing my 40-part season preview in late September.

Required Reading 9-11-09

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Every weekday, the staffers at MFDC gather some of the best links around the intraweb in an effort to make you the most well informed fan in your office.  Enjoy!

John Madden to serve as “Advisor of All Things Obvious” to Roger Goddell.  Boom! (I believe I’m legally obligated to say that…)- CBS

Hall of Fame coach John Madden will serve as a special adviser to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league said Thursday that as part of his unpaid position Madden will chair the coaches group in the competition committee. Madden will also participate in meetings of a general managers committee and be part of a weekly call with Goodell or another NFL official to discuss issues from the previous week’s games.

Madden retired from broadcasting in April. He says the new role allows him to stay active in football. Goodell says that when Madden suggested helping out, “it was an offer we couldn’t refuse

No more blackouts!  (Kinda) –

NFL games that are blacked out in home team markets this season will be shown on in their entirety on a delayed basis, the NFL announced Thursday.

The league’s new NFL Game Rewind package on will make all games available on an on-demand, subscription basis throughout the 2009 regular and postseason. However, games blacked out locally for failing to sell out 72 hours in advance will be available on at no cost in the affected home markets.

These free “re-broadcasts” locally of blacked-out games will be available at beginning at midnight on the day of the game and remain available for 72 hours (except during ESPN Monday Night Football telecasts).

“We understand that the economy is limiting some families and corporations from buying as many game tickets as they had previously,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “These free re-broadcasts on will allow our fans that can’t get to a blacked-out game an opportunity to see the entire game.”

Good Things to Come

September 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A couple quick things regarding the website.  The month of September will be focused on revamping the website in several ways.   The occasional column will appear, and I’ll continue to publish “Required Reading”throughout the month.

I will also be devoting a lot of time into an in-depth college basketball blitz that will begin October 1st.  The preseason blitz will include Preseason All-Americans, Games to Watch, Storylines to Look for, Coaches on the hot seat, a “31 Conferences in 31 Days” feature that will preview all 347 D1 teams, and finally, a preseason best guess bracket and the season debut of “Bracketology 2010”.

Until then, check back daily for the always entertaining “Required Reading”, and look for more announcements as we get ready to go full steam ahead into the 2010 College Basketball season.

Required Reading 9-10-09

September 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Every weekday, the staffers at MFDC gather some of the best links around the intraweb in an effort to make you the most well informed fan in your office.  Enjoy!

Not good… – KHOG

Three University of Arkansas basketball players are under investigation after an alleged rape at a campus fraternity house, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Dustin Roberts told Rogers television station KHOG that charges could be filed as early as Wednesday afternoon. Roberts did not name the players and did not return a call from the Associated Press.

University police Lt. Gary Crane told the AP that a female student filed a complaint claiming she was raped on Aug. 27 at the Phi Gamma Delta house. Crane said the alleged attack happened between 1:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. at the house, which is a block away from Bud Walton Arena where the basketball team plays.

It was “an acquaintance-type situation” that involved alcohol, Crane said. The campus police agency declined to file charges after its own investigation.

“The University of Arkansas Police Department did not feel at the time that there was probable cause to make an arrest, and it was sent to the prosecutor’s office for essentially a warrant review to see if there’s enough evidence that we believe sufficient to issue a warrant,” Roberts told KHOG.

Big Ben’s attorney says “get that sh*t outta here!” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The attorney for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is rejecting a settlement offer by a former Nevada casino worker who claims the Super Bowl winner sexually assaulted her.

Attorney David Cornwell says the woman’s offer is bizarre.

The woman wants Mr. Roethlisberger to admit to the allegations, apologize and donate $100,000 to the Committee to Aid Abused Women, a Reno nonprofit organization that offers support to domestic violence victims.

Two years too late, Billy Gillispie seeks help –

Former UK coach Billy Gillispie has fought plenty of battles in the game of basketball, but now his biggest may come off the court.

27 SportsFirst confirmed Tuesday evening that Gillispie checked himself in the John Lucas After Care Program in Houston, Texas. It’s a substance abuse recovery program that has two treatment centers, a phys

cial fitness program and an aftercare program with counselors.
John Lucas is a former NBA coach and player who had a well documented battle with drugs and alcohol, his rehab program is the model the NBA uses to helps its players.

All of this is coming after Billy Gillispie was arrested for DUI during the early morning hours on August 27th in the Anderson County. In the hours to follow Gillispie has his right to drive in Kentucky revoked before being bailed out of jail. Reportedly Gillispie was in town then to work out a settlement in his lawsuit against the UK Athletic Association.

Brandon Marshall, Broncos hug it out – ESPN

Despite their stormy relationship, the Denver Broncos are now exploring the possibility of giving a contract extension to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, two league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

The potential new deal would put Marshall’s salary more in line with some of the game’s other highly paid receivers.

Daily Laugh – Ray Allen likes face paint…

Boston Celtic Ray Allen sports a different look in the offseason...

Boston Celtic Ray Allen sports a different look in the offseason...

Required Reading 9-9-09

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Every weekday, the staffers at MFDC gather some of the best links around the intraweb in an effort to make you the most well informed fan in your office.  Enjoy!

Good news for Ole Miss fans: You team doesn’t suck as bad as they seemed to on Sunday.  Bad news: they may have swine flu.  ESPN

Shannon Singletary, Ole Miss’ senior associate athletic director for sports medicine, says more than a dozen Rebels football players are sick with flu symptoms, including fevers as high as 103 degrees. Tests to confirm the presence of swine flu take two weeks to complete, but officials aren’t taking any chances.

“From what we understand the standard protocol across the country is to treat all the symptoms as if they are swine flu,” Singletary said.

Other sports and the student body in general have been hit hard over the last three weeks. Ole Miss spokeswoman Barbara Lago says 368 students have reported flu-like symptoms to campus health services staff and a system that reports absences to faculty has reported twice as many students missing class over the last two weeks than is usual for a full month during the regular fall flu season.

For some reason, perennial Pro-Bowler Richard Seymour has no desire to play for perennial cellar-dweller Oakland, unless you trust a coach who punches his assistants in the face – Oakland Tribune

Defensive lineman Richard Seymour’s failure to make it to Alameda in time for a Monday morning walk-through and afternoon practice fueled speculation that he has no intention of playing for the Raiders.

The Raiders acquired Seymour in a trade Sunday with the New England Patriots that netted the Patriots a 2011 first-round draft pick. But all bets are off until the situation is resolved.

“We know that (Seymour) wants to be here,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said after Monday’s practice, “but we have really no control over those issues.”

Cable said he spoke with Seymour by phone and that Seymour expressed a desire to play for the Raiders this season.

Cable added that the hang-up is a need for Seymour and the Patriots to work out “issues.”

Oklahoma All-Americans are dropping like flies – The Oklahoma Daily

The No. 13 Sooners welcome more bad news to the team with the announcement that senior tight end Jermaine Gresham would miss the entire 2009 season.

The news comes 24 hours after head coach Bob Stoops announced the loss of Heisman winner junior quarterback Sam Bradford for two to four weeks.

“Jermaine’s arthroscopic surgery went well for him in the long run,” Stoops said. “[Doctors] had to repair and stitch together some of the cartilage and carve parts around it.”

Stoops said the surgery requires five months of rehabilitation, which means there would have been on hope for him to return for the end of OU’s Big 12 schedule.

“For his sake the rest of the knee looks good, and this is something that heals really well,” Stoops said. “It’s just unfortunate that he comes back and he’s not able to continue to participate. So we really feel for him.”

The next Percy Harvin starts career like Percy ended it, injured – The Orlando Sentinel

As expected, wide receiver Andre Debose will not have the chance to replace Percy Harvin this year.

The freshman from Sanford Seminole will undergo season-ending surgery on a damaged hamstring tendon, Coach Urban Meyersaid after Tuesday’s practice.

Doctors must re-attach Debose’s tendon muscle to the bone, Meyer said, requiring Debose to miss a “significant time period.” The coaching staff doesn’t have a timetable on Debose’s surgery date or rehabilitation time.

BYU is good at football again.  In other news, parachute pants are back in style, as is the word “bodacious”. – The Daily Universe

As if BYU’s win over Oklahoma wasn’t big enough, the Cougars’ subsequent jump in the rankings has put them at the same level as the country’s elite teams.

BYU leaped eleven spots from No. 20 to No. 9 in Tuesday’s updated AP poll. The Cougars are no strangers to the top 10, having reached as high as No. 8 last season.

The Cougars were also ranked No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

Along with the top-10 ranking, both the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Mountain West Conference named quarterback Max Hall as Offensive Player of the Week.

“We have a lot of talent on this team and the coaches put together a great game plan for Oklahoma,” Hall said in an interview with ESPN about the national award. “This award is a result of a great team effort.”

Just when you thought NBA officiating couldn’t get any worse – ESPN

The prospect of replacement referees calling NBA games for the first time since 1995 is looming larger by the day after the latest negotiating session between the current refs and league executives broke down Tuesday.

The NBA’s most recent contract with its 60-plus referees expired Sept. 1 and Tuesday’s bargaining session in New York was called to an abrupt halt by commissioner David Stern, according to one source with knowledge of the talks.

No further talks are scheduled between the sides with only 22 days before the league’s first scheduled exhibition game Oct. 1. The likelihood that replacement refs will be needed for that game — Denver at Utah — has “increased dramatically,” according to the source. reported Aug. 25 that the league is seeking an across-the-board reduction of 10 percent to a referee budget that costs an estimated $32 million.

Daily Laugh – Ohio State QB Terrell Pyror uses a unique defense of childhood idol Mike Vick, whom he honored on Saturday by writing his name on his eye-black.

That’s right, you heard him. “Not everybody is a perfect person in the world. Everyone kills people, murder people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever.”