Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I truly don't know what to say about this

One of the craziest stories I've heard in a while. Seriously, almost Mike Tyson crazy. I'm not even sure what to think about it, much less how to poke fun at it. In fact, I can't poke fun at it. We're talking serious shit here. People are coming out now saying that the whole thing is some conspiracy or a publicity stunt. I don't understand that. Who's gaining what from this?

I think T.O. clearly has an anti-social personality, and he's a guy who went from an insecure kid (sobbing in the post-season against Green Bay), to a superstar, to an egomaniacal team-wrecker almost overnight. That's a pretty severe swing. Hell, for two years we've all just been waiting for whatever crazy thing T.O. will do next. Well, there you go. The more I think about all the factors involved here and over the last several years, the more I tend to think this was actually a suicide attempt. Truly, I hope it wasn't, but I'll say this. With what we know of Terrell Owens, can we really put it past him? I hope the guy gets some help.

Lastly, Deadspin did an amazing job following all the developments throughout the day. I highly suggest you read Will's final post of the day, in which he tries to make sense out of a crazy situation. Great read.

The Human Being Vs. The Publicist (Deadspin)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bill Doba has low expectations

I really like Bill Doba. I've interviewed him 1-on-1 twice, and both times he was nothing but friendly, insightful, and honest. It's hard to really ask for much more. As for that honesty, this is a guy who, at halftime of his team's 55-13 annihilation at the hands of USC last year, was asked what he thought of the first half. His reply was vintage Doba.

"They've got my vote for number-one."

Doba's WSU Cougs host the Trojans this Saturday. Tuesday he held his weekly presser, and after a few quick answers about the merits of his own team, he was again asked about USC.

"I see too much...There's a reason they're ranked #2 in the nation, and I'm not so sure they shouldn't be ranked #1."

Trust me, I'm leaving a ton out. Between those two clauses was about 250 words of praise for just about every aspect of the Trojan team. Some other highlights:

"We watch their offensive line, and it looks like a chorus line. They all step on a zone play on the same step."

"Rey Maualuga has got my vote for All-American right now."

"The linebacking corps is scary to be honest with you."

It's safe to say Doba isn't exactly confident his team has a chance.

Pete Carroll, Bill Doba Discuss Saturday's Game at Washington State (

Monday, September 25, 2006

NFL Week 3: Open

Getty Images

Emotional night in New Orleans, and the Saints came up big right from the start. A heck of a start for this team. I don't think anybody thought they would start 3-0, and I think the entire city deserves to see it continue. I hope the Saints continue to find ways to win games. Oh, and Michael Vick is garbage.

Carolina 26, Tampa Bay 24: The Panthers literally mashed Chris Simms' innards. Jesus Christ! The guy had to have his spleen removed! If I would've written that last week, everyone would have thought it was just a figure of speech. They smashed his fucking spleen!

Chicago 19, Minnesota 16: Rex Grossman just threw his first career 4th quarter touchdown. I have nothing to say. I don't understand how Chicago keeps winning.

Cincinnati 28, Pittsburgh 20: Wild win for Cincy. They got dominated early, and then suddenly the Steelers started making boneheaded plays. Two Carson Palmer passed later the game was locked up. The Bengal offense is scary when it clicks. A win that big deserves a similar celebration.

Green Bay 31, Detroit 24: Forget the 400th career TD. It's impressive, but we knew it was coming eventually. I'm more blown away by the fact Brett Favre remembered how to play quarterback long enough to actually win a game. I'll be damned.

Indianapolis 21, Jacksonville 14: Ok, so the Jags aren't THAT good just yet. They are going to have to be able to score more than 14 points to beat most of the top teams in the league.

Buffalo 20, NY Jets 28: What the hell happened to the real Chad Pennington? Somebody should organize a search party or something.

Miami 13, Tennessee 10: Congrats to the Dolphins. It's very hard to win a game and still prove to the world that you suck.

Washington 31, Houston 14: Coach Janky Spanky is back with a vengeance...although it was just Houston. Still nice to see Portis impact the game. The good news for the Texans...Mario Williams had two tackles.

Cleveland 14, Baltimore 15: The Browns dominated most of the game, but in the end, they still sucked just slightly more than the Ravens. Since when is McNair vs Frye an even QB match-up?

Seattle 42, NY Giants 30: This game was 42 to freakin' 3. Hey at least Eli had another comeback in him. Also, the Madden Curse lives on. It really is a crazy phenomenon.

San Francisco 24, Philadelphia 38: Something tells me Alex Smith may want to invest in some spleen pads.

New England 7, Denver 17: Said Jay Cutler, "Fuck!"

Arizona 14, St. Louis 16: Who had Week 4 in the "Kurt Warner gets benched" pool?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

U.S. Golf is trying to take a club out of its butt

Well, Tiger finally played well at the Ryder Cup. Nice of the rest of the team to shit the bed. Phil Mickelson just went 0-4-1. What a bitch. Meanwhile, the Europeans were playing out of their minds. They all get up for this event, they all love playing together, and consequently, they'll all have a great time drinking themselves into oblivion during the celebration tonight. Well deserved. They just stuck a 3-iron up the collective U.S. colon.

An aside, why the hell can't Sergio Garcia win a major Tour event to save his life? The guy has suddenly become the most effective Ryder Cup player in history. I'm not even joking. He's now 13-1-2 in his career. Ridiculous.

Lastly, moving stuff from Darren Clarke. I imagine it would be tough to do anything six weeks after the death of your wife much less play solid tournament golf in front of the world. His effort really galvanized the Euro team. Maybe The Dubliner can print an article about it.

NCAA Hangover: Pass the pills

Well, the first TDS live blog is in the books. A great time was had by all on this end. Thanks to those of you that stopped by. Mallard wins the "Most Valuable Refresher" award for going well over 200 refreshes during the course of the game. Good stuff, sir!

As for the game is strange getting used to a USC team that doesn't have to rely on 40 points each week, but truth be told, I like this better. I continue to be thrilled with the way the Trojan defense is coming along, and I think they are one of the best units in the nation. Just great that Booty and the offense don't have to force the issue in order to give SC a chance to win. I am surprised by how tough it's been for the offense, but I still think they will keep getting better each week, and one week soon...we'll see that 6oo-yard explosion. Until then, who can argue with what we're seeing so far.

As for the rest of real surprises. Kind of a lackluster week schedule-wise but all the good teams were able to avoid a slip-up no matter how narrowly (I'm looking at you Georgia!). Would've loved to see Penn State not lose their minds late and blow their chance at an upset, but when your coach has explosive diarhhea, what can you do? Also, as much as I hate to admit...ND's comeback was remarkable. Still looks like that November match-up at the Coliseum will be huge.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pop two advil so I can get to the bar for NFL kickoff.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

USC at Arizona, 4th Quarter

8:46- Geez. A 19-point 4th quarter for the Irish in a major comeback. Wild INT to ice it. Shit, give them the win. They earned that one.

8:32- Holy Fucking Shit! Pick-6 for the Irish. ND takes the lead...40-37. Absolutely nuts. Giv'em credit folks. Wild comeback for the Irish if it lasts.

8:30- We go to MSU-ND- Spartans lead 37-33. M-S-U! M-S-U!

HOLY SHIT: Bonus Coverage!!

8:25- That'll do it. SC brings in Mark Sanchez to run out the clock. Final score: USC 20, Arizona 3. A win is a win is a win. USC is still undefeated. Life is good, and the O still hasn't clicked. Big things on the horizon folks!

8:18- Touchdown Moody! He deserved that. Hell of a game for the frosh. Give him his six. USC 20, Arizona 3.

8:17- Wow. 3rd and 16. Run up the middle. Time to punt...Holy shit!!!! Dallas Sartz recovers the muff on the 4! That's the clearest example yet of how different a SC team this is. Just trust your talent and, don't get cocky.

8:14- Gotta love the old fumble recovery for a first down play. Beer me.

8:07- Like I said, the SC defense is a group of stars. Seriously, learn their names. They are that good. SC gets the rock back.

8:05- Stoops looked like he was on the verge of committing murder during that replay. It's like the refs had beef with his family or something...oh, wait.

7:56- It truly is a differant Trojan team this year. The defense is the star unit, and the offense is playing it conservative...not vice versa. Danelo makes it USC 13, Arizona 3. Beer me.

7:51- Moooooody. 30-yard run. Look, Pete, there's your starter. Give up the 4-man rotation. He's your starter. Done.

7:50- Still no word on Jarrett's shoulder. I truly don't like the sound of that. Wanna hear some good news? MSU 37-ND 21. Sweet.

7:46- 43 yard FG...and...nicely done. Cats on the board. It's like bizarro SC. USC 10, Arizona 3.

7:42- Rey Maualuuuuuga...big stop in the backfield on 2nd and long. No dice on 3rd either. Then Nick Holt just looked like a madman calling timeout. I love that SC is trying to ice the Arizona kicker to start the 4th. Good stuff.

USC at Arizona, 3rd Quarter

7:37- After a 28-yard gain on 3rd and 15...Maualuuuuuuuga! Sack to end the 3rd quarter. Hey, a lead is a me.

7:32- Hey! A 3rd down conversion for Arizona! Baby steps.

7:29- First miss in 15 FG tries for Danelo. What the hell is going on? Still 10-0. I smell a pick-6.

7:21- Arizona has 55 total yards. Just thought I'd mention that. Beer me.

7:17- Here's the thing...if this was last year's team, I'd be worried at 10-0. This year's team...I feel like that's 28-0. The defense is so damn quick, I just can't be worried going against Baby Seal Tuitama.

7:14- Arizona still hasn't converted a third down. Maualuuuuuuuuuuga! Also...another good exchange. Fouts and Co. just said this about Rey: "So quick, so strong. (pause) So big."
Mrs. Dar: "Be more gay!"

7:12- Jarrett just went to the locker room to get his shoulder looked at. Fingers crossed.

7:07:15- Beer me!

7:07- Two plays later...Touchdown Dwayne Jarrett. USC 10, Arizona 0...and......

7:04- Just like that...Touchdown Steve Smith! Easy drive, big score. Replay review...that was a hell of a catch...wha?!?! Incomplete?!?! Wow...that's Oregon backlash right there...whatever give it a play or two.

7:00- Emmanuel Moooooooody....big run up the middle. It's about time this focus on the run paid off. That'll loosen up the D for a pass.

6:55- Just about ready for kickoff...SC offense with the ball first. This will be a big statement drive. With the way the D's playing, any points could put the game away, but with as bad as the offense has looked, don't expect Carroll to call of the dogs.

USC at Arizona, 2nd Quarter

6:35- Really an ugly first half and a sac-less finish by SC. The offense looks terrible right now. Not that it matters because the D is winning the game by itself, but still. Lane Kiffin and Sark need to work it out at the break. Halftime: USC 3, Arizona 0. See ya'll in 15 me.

6:34: We just had this exchange.
Fouts: "These refs are so scrutanized."
Mrs. Dar: "Yeah, so talk more fuckin' shit in the booth you piece of shit."
Marriage is sweet.

6:26- Another 3-and-out for the SC D, and as a big bonus...Brady Quinn just threw a pick-6...24-7 MSU. Heisman wha?

6:25- Shit, man. Fumble by Washington. SC offense is really looking average far.

6:21- Sweet pick by my favorite current Trojan...Rey Maualuuuuuuuuga. BTW, I missed a "beer me" in there, so beer me twice.

6:16- Mario Danelo right down the pipe for 3. Hey points are points. The deluge is still to come. USC 3, Arizona 0.

6:15- And just like's Desmond Reed in for a carry.

6:14- Nice run by Moody. This kid is gonna be a stud eventually. Also, very happy to see Carroll going with a slightly smaller bevy of RBs today.

6:10- Been dying to see Lane Kiffin let JDB air it out a little. Steve Smith was a toe or two away from making one hell of a catch. It's only a matter of time now. Also, nice of the broadcast team to treat a pretty simple replay review as if it were a Congressional hearing.

6:00- Fuck me! Nice 40 second sequence! ND is trailing 17-0, and USC just blocked the Cats' FG try. SC hasn't done a damn thing with the ball yet, and it still feels like the game is over.

5: 58- Wow. That's a surprise. JDB with an ugly INT. Jarrett slipped on his route, but give credit to Arizona. They are obviously emotionally charged.

LIVE BLOG! USC at Arizona, 1st quarter

5:51- Brian Cushing sack to end the first quarter. Tuitama is already feeling slightly concussed.

5:49- SC punting again. Vintage 1st half playcalling...just feeling out the D looking for a weakness. Zona clearly is struggling against the Trojan D. Beer me.

5:48- Kudos to ABC who just took Musburger's audio for the ND game and put it over SC video. See, I knew Brent wouldn't let us down.

5:44- 3rd and 9...Keith Rivers sacks Willie "Baby Seal" Tuitama. SC ball.

5:43- Jack Arute just compared popular thinking about the outcome of this game to "clubbing baby seals." I love being a Trojan fan.

5:40- I just heard the words "decrease in semen" on a Flomax commercial. Where the hell are the limits?

5:39- Ooooh boy. I don't mind the playcall going for it on 4th and 7. That's typical Pete Carroll. But JDB...simma down homie. Lucky that one didn't become a pick-6. No worries...solid field position for the D to take over. Just getting warmed up.

5:36- Well, folks we have our first booth review of the day. Do you think they mention last week's Oregon-Oklahoma game again?

5:32- 6 plays...3 first downs. Decent.

5:28- I really like to see SC getting FB Stanley Havili into the flow early. This freshman is going to get a lot of snaps today taking over for Ryan Powdrell.

5:22- And, that's the drive...kick it away. Beer me.

5:21- Tuitama just checked off and then overthrew his WR by 10 yards. I think he flashed the "hang loose" sign.

5:17- Arizona just returned the kickoff 41 yards. Perhaps more than they will garner over the next 15 minutes.

5:11- Wait...what happened with the Oregon game last week?!?!

5:07- Our announcer for the day...Dan Fouts. I actually think he does a decent job, but I still would've liked to see Brent Musburger.

5:03- As the Trojans kick-off their Pac-10 schedule, we kick-off live blog coverage here at TDS. I'll be adding new sections for each quarter and in the meantime updating each section regularly during said quarter. Get the Refresh button ready. Feel free to holler at me during the game:

The cast of characters joining me today: Mrs. Dar (Oregon fan), Neil (fellow Trojan), a room full of snacks, and 24 ice cold Rolling Rocks to get us through the next three hours. I apologize in advance for the inevitable increase in typos as the game goes on. Let's get it me!

Friday, September 22, 2006


The time has come to take this space to the next level. Therefore, with the help of my good friend, Case O. Rolling Rock, I will be live blogging the USC-Arizona game tomorrow. Kickoff is 5:00 PM Pacific on ABC.

Get your Refresh button ready.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tiger Woods should just buy Ireland

Forget every single thing you've ever read about Tiger's history of mediocre Ryder Cup performances. Ignore the "not a team player" criticism because it does not apply anymore. This year's Cup is no longer about the team. It's about Tiger and nobody else. Some douche bag newspaper editor in Ireland just did the one thing that gives you no hope when you have to go against El Tigre. He made the whole thing personal.

From the September issue of The Dubliner:
"Most American golfers are married to women who cannot keep their clothes on in public. Is it too much to ask that they leave them at home for the Ryder Cup? Consider the evidence. Tiger Woods' wife can be found in a variety of sweaty poses on porn sites."

Oh, and just to really hammer home the point, the paper published this nonsense next to a nude photo that it claimed was of Tiger's wife. It wasn't...gulp.

And Elin wasn't the only wife singled out by name. Half the U.S. team just had their families publicly ridiculed. They are a group of guys who have lost two straight Cups including the largest-ever margin of defeat in '04, and during those losses the main complaint was the Americans lacked the emotion, unity, and motivation of the Europeans. Think that will be a problem this time around?

And then there's Tiger. His wife (who ironically happens to be from Sweden, which does happen to be in Europe) is the centerpiece of the entire controversy, and he is one of the few- Kobe is the only other guy that springs to mind - modern athletes that possess that Jordan-esque will to destroy as soon as a personal challenge has been issued. The Europeans had better pray that the weather postpones this thing, because Tiger is in Ireland looking for the kill.

I can't wait to watch it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Perhaps the shocker will make an appearance

Getty Images

USC has formally complained to ABC about Brent Musburger. First what? I've been informally complaining about him for years. Anyway, during the broadcast Saturday, Musburger sold out John David Booty's "hang loose" hand signal, which Booty uses to warn the receivers that he's picked up on one-on-one coverage. Booty told Musburger about it during a "background only" pre-game prep meeting with the broadcast team.

"John David told us that his signal when he finds one-on-one and they're coming, it's that 'hang loose,' that familiar sign you've seen surfers use," said Musburger.

Now if this meeting was really for background only, as reported, and if the stuff discussed was privileged info not to be mentioned on-air, then yeah, Musburger screwed up...on journalistic principle if nothing else.

But has it really come to this? Let's do a quick roll call of SC's off-season issues. Reggie Bush scandal, Jarrett's NCAA violation, the Sanchez sexual assault accusation...I'm sure I'm leaving some out. Couldn't Booty just use a new signal next week? I am pretty sure Pete Carroll can draw something up. I've met USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone a few times. Great guy, always very helpful. But I just don't understand how this issue could possibly be at the top of his to-do list.

Regardless, I still think Brent Musburger deserves a nice hearty...

USC complains Musburger gave away team sign (

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Jaguars will kick your ass

The lowest-scoring game in MNF history, and it was still entirely one-sided. The Jags defense just destroyed Pittsburgh. A natsy, nasty unit. The problem is, I'm just not sure the Jags will be able to bring that type of energy to the field every week. They looked like a team that was juiced to play the defending Super Bowl champs, but I'm not sure they get quite so geeked next week. Plus, as much as I like Byron Leftwich, I think the Jacksonville offense is thoroughly mediocre.

In fact, I actually really agree with a statement Steve Young just made on the ESPN post-game coverage, "I think the Jags play to win 14-10, and I think they lose 14-10 as many times as they win; especially in January."

Dominant performance tonight for Jacksonville, no doubt, but I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet.

After review...yeah we fucked that up

Can't say I'm real surprised by this. The Pac-10 not only suspended the officiating crew and the instant replay team from Saturday's Oregon-Oklahoma game, today they also issued a formal apology to the Sooners for basically screwing them out of a win. There was no doubt that two horrible calls were made in the waning moments of that game, and yes, that late in the contest, they did probably cost Oklahoma the win.

Now, I certainly don't think think the suspension of the refs is unjust. They screwed up on a big stage. However, I do still believe Oklahoma had a lot of other chances to put the game away that they let slip away, and they don't have anybody but themselves to blame for that. If I'm Bob Stoops, there is not a single mention of the refs in any of my practices this week. The bottom line is that the Sooners put themselves in the postition to have the game stolen from them. Had they buckled down a little more late, the bad calls wouldn't have made a difference.

An aside: The president of Oklahoma University sent a letter to the head of the Big-12 asking for the game to be stricken from the records books. That dude is a bitch.

Update: The replay official who blew the call has actually been having a pretty tough time, including some health worries and a death threat. I can't say I don't feel bad for this guy either...a very public bad day at the office.

Pac-10 suspends officials for one game (Yahoo! Sports)
Replay official reports death threat; can't eat, sleep (

Sunday, September 17, 2006

There's an editor at who needs a raise

NFL Week 2: Check it to pancakes!

Getty Images

Philadelphia 24, NY Giants 30 F/OT: Well, well. Look at little brother go. Eli led a 17-point 4th quarter comeback on the road against a division rival and THEN threw the game winner late in OT. He finished with 371 yards and 3 TDs. Just a huge win for his confidence, and for the Giants chances.

Indianapolis 43, Houston 24: Even with the huge comback Eli can't totally upstage Peyton, who threw for 400 yards and 3 scores. Screw you, glory hog!

Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 17: Carson Palmer threw his first two TDs of the year, Chad Johnson did the chicken dance, Rudi Johnson is turning into one of the premier backs in the league, and nobody got arrested. All around good day in Cincy.

Miami 6, Buffalo 16: Culpepper had 237 yards. Losman had 83. Wha?

Minnesota 16, Carolina 13 F/OT: Wow. 0-2. Carolina has a ton of work to do. They better hope Steve Smith can get/stay healthy.

Chicago 34, Detroit 7: The Lions defense that bragged about holding Seattle to 9 points in a loss just gave up four TDs to Rex Grossman. Nice.

Green Bay 27, New Orleans 34: Drew Brees had three early turnovers, the Pack jumped out to an early lead, the game was at Lambeau, and the cheeseheads still managed to blow it. Things are getting very ugly in Green Bay. On the plus side, there's a lot of good comedy material coming from it. Check out DJ Gallo's take on Brett Favre...item 8.

Baltimore 28, Oakland 6: Yep, the Raiders really are that bad.

Atlanta 14, Tampa Bay 3: How do you follow up 252 rushing yards? With 306.

Seattle 21, Arizona 10: No real worries for the Seahawks in this one. Alexander has to work harder for his this year, but Seattle is clearly the best team in the NFC West.

San Francisco 20, St. Louis 13: Didn't see that one coming...hence Seattle is clearly the best team in the NFC West.

Denver 9, Kansas City 6 F/OT: Five field goals. Just about what we expected for a Jake Plummer vs. Damon Huard matchup.

NY Jets 17, New England 24: Nice to see Chad Pennington put up back-to-back solid games, but today he was playing from behind the whole game. Pats off to a quiet 2-0 start.

San Diego 40, Tennessee 7: The Titans are really jealous of all the publicity the Raiders are getting. This was a statement game for them.

More NCAA: Charlie Weis needs a drink and a burger

(2) Notre Dame 21, (11) Michigan 47: Man, that just feels so good doesn't it? In South Bend no less. Notre Dame is obviously a dangerous team, but they got absolutely destroyed. They were overconfident, and they underperformed. Ugly combo. Matter of fact, Charlie, go ahead and order the cheese fries too. You've earned it. Michigan on the other hand played a damn-near perfect game.

(18) Oregon 34, (15) Oklahoma 33, No question that this was a shady finish. Two bad calls went against the Sooners late. You know what? Shouldn't matter. They still gave up two TDs in 22 seconds. They still let a sloppy Oregon team hang around long enough to fire up the crowd and make a move. They still let a game-winning kick get blocked. Credit Oregon for making plays late in the game. Big win for the PAC-10. Rough day for the officials.

(3) Auburn 7, (6) LSU 3, Vintage SEC. Two bruising defenses, and a wild finish. LSU will be thinking about those three extra yards for the rest of the season.

(12) Louisville 31, (17) Miami 7, The Canes are out of the Top 25 for the first time since 1999. I wonder who Larry Coker should fire next.

(20) TCU 12, (24) Texas Tech 3, You know, two seasons ago Texas Tech won this game 70-35. I'd say the Horned Frogs got a little revenge with this defensive performance. Solid win.

Finally, congrats to the entire Pac-10, who went 4-0 against the Big 12 this week. SC, UO, ASU, and the Cougs all beat flyover schools. But hey, how about those Huskies? A blocked extra point to beat Fresno State...that is a legit win for a program that hasn't had one in a while. Glad to see some inprovement from Willingham's boys.

"Me and Booty were gettin' together all week."

That one great line in Dwayne Jarrett's post-game sound says it all. Jarrett recieved a lot of criticism from the USC coaching staff after a lackluster opener. He responded yesterday; absolutely untouchable. I was actually frustrated the Trojans didn't try and throw to him more in the second half. Their offensive momentum was totally killed in the third quarter, and I think that one or two nice plays from Jarrett during that stretch would've kept everybody rolling and really put the game away. Too bad he didn't get the throws because watching him carve up the Nebraska secondary was truly like Varsity taking on the "C' team. Overpowering. That will be very important moving forward this season. SC will need more days like this from DJ. More power to the Huskers for covering the spread.

I thought Booty looked solid. He had one drive to start the third where two passes could have have gone the other way. He got lucky on those, but I don't think he really had another off-target pass the rest of the game. He made some incredible throws. I also love the way they use him on the rollout. His running ability is much better than Leinart's, and I think having that extra dimension will really help the WRs buy time and get open. When Booty really gets comfortable in the offense, I think they'll be explosive. I do however think Pete Carroll needs to settle on two RBs to take the bulk of the work. I think the five-man rotation is a total rhythm-killer.

Lastly, all the best to fullback Ryan Powdrell. This kid worked his ass off for years to finally get his chance, and in his second game he gets his leg snapped. A gruesome injury and one that could easily end his career. That’s the horrible part. He was going to be a big part of this year’s offense, and now he may not get the chance to ever achieve the big things that were coming to him. I hope he’s able to recover, but seeing that injury I wouldn't bet on it. Just an unfortunate situation.

Bring on Arizona.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Trojan talks himself through it

How do I feel about it? Too complicated a question. Too many layers. Too many thoughts, emotions, and unknowns that prevent me from even being able to form a real opinion, much less voice it. And while I try to think about all the questions and all the doubts, the only things that come racing back during my attempt to actually form an opinion are the touchdowns and trophies. It's during this thought process I realize one thing. It doesn't matter.

I'm a logical sports fan, so I have to try to attack this logically. I'll watch any sport you throw in front of me, but I tend to analyze strategies and admire talents more than I invest myself in the outcome. USC Football is the only team I truly root for. That gets burned into you when you spend four years there, as I'm sure it does at any school. Call me cheesy, but that emotional attachment is truly what makes college sports so captivating.

And that's why we get so worked up when that purity gets sullied. There's a reason people say a fan "bleeds" the color of their team. Your team becomes part of you. You catch yourself referring to them as "we," and thus you feel offended when one of "us" betrays you. That is the first instinct, the stomach punch. Actually, it's the second instinct. The first is a sense that there's no way in Hell that this is all true. No way in Hell that it was a hack like Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson that was going to bring down "my" team. No way that a sure NFL lottery pick and his family could be so dumb. No way anybody in their right mind would jump the gun like this when the millions were as good as guaranteed. But even if all of it is true, in the end do I have the right to be angry? Ah, here comes that logic again.

Why did I go to USC? Simple. I knew that they had one of the best programs in the nation for the discipline I wanted to study. It was purely a career move. Why did Reggie Bush go to USC? Same reason. I went for broadcasting. He went for football. God knows I wouldn't have argued if somebody wanted to pay me even five bucks an hour for all the time I spent working at the college TV station, but nobody did. Reggie had a better career path than I did.

And there's the rub that has me feeling angry and nothing at the same time. Are they really going to take back SC's 2004 title? The one that had zero doubt (Auburn fans excluded)? The one where Leinart threw 5 TDs against Oklahoma? I just can't see it happening, can't imagine a story that big. Can't imagine that the NCAA is willing to take that huge of a step. Not for an offense that has happened countless times before at countless schools. But maybe they are willing. Maybe they'll make Dan Wetzel happy and turn SC into THE example. The warning about what will happen if "your" team gets too big for its own supervision.

It's when I'm faced with those two scenarios that I realize it doesn't matter. Would I like them to keep the title? No doubt. The last three years (and hopefully this one) were likely the best run of success I will ever witness as a true fan. I hope I'm wrong, but let's be real. Streaks like that don't happen often. However, faced with the possibility of hardware being taken away, I have to say, I don't care. The title itself is not validation for all the Saturdays I've spent screaming at the TV or in the Coliseum.

When you get used to watching a team like the one SC fielded over the last several years, you don't get surprised by anything anymore. Not Carson, not Reggie, not Leinart, not Snoop on the sideline, not 4th and 8 in South Bend, and not Vince Young. That's why nothing here will surprise me. It won't shock me to learn that Yahoo! really did jump the gun in their headhunt of Bush and that none of this is accurate. It wouldn't shock me if it was all true and the Trojans do get their feet held to the fire. Afterall, the rules are in place, despite how rediculous they may be (see Jeff Samardzija's Cubs contract). With the current NCAA system, it will continue to happen elsewhere as well. Oklahoma can also attest to the lack of doubt surrounding that.

The bottom line is this. I won't remember anything about Reggie Bush except how amazing he was toting a football. I don't think less of him as I write this, and I think the nation is seeing what a solid human he is in the way he's embraced New Orleans. Or maybe it's all just the brilliant marketing of the man who may or may not have gotten him into this mess in the first place? I don't have the answers. Hopefully, somebody does, and hopefully we all get to hear them. Taking it one step further, hopefully the NCAA will adapt it's rules to better reward the athletes that make it millions, but that's for another time. Right now none of that matters to me. What matters is how Sedrick Ellis will bounce back from his knee scope, which freshman RB will step up to take Reggie's place, how Booty will manage the offense, and how dominant Fred Davis is going to be. The only thing that matters is Nebraska on Saturday.

Afterall, I bleed cardinal and gold.

Reggie Bush Investigation (Yahoo! Sports)
Take Back the Title (Yahoo! Sports)

Apparently now steroids will get you shot...or your DNA jacked

Look, the whole steroid era has me just as cynical as the rest of you. I think guys like McGwire and Bonds are jokes. I think roids are nasty drugs that shouldn't be allowed in sport, and in later life they'll probably kick the crap out of the people that use them. But Jesus Christ! Am I really to believe steroids had anything to do with Steve Foley getting capped three times by the police? That is certainly how this article makes it sound. Personally, I think it had more to do with the erratic driving, his .223 BAC, the aggressive gesturing, the 7-year history of alcoholism, and the multiple incidents of fighting with cops. Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, it looks like having the authorities overreact to suspected steroid users is becoming a pretty common occurrence. Today German authorities successfully raided the house of former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich in order to...wait for it...seize his DNA. Holy shit. I don't think ADT has an alarm to prevent that yet.

Prosecutors seek Foley blood sample, suspect steroids (Yahoo! Sports)
German authorities raid Ullrich's home (Fox Sports)

Man, Hell sure is cold today

Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Holy crap, he lost. Tiger Woods was proven human today, as Shaun Micheel ousted him in the first round of the World Match Play Championship. Micheel beat him 4 and 3, snapping El Tigre's streak of five straight Tour wins. The most impressive thing to me about the streak was the way the wins kept coming. To me is wasn't at all like his crazy run a few years back when he was really bursting onto the scene. This was cold-blooded. Tiger was robotic in every round, just steadily assassinating course after course. It was like the difference between the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" Super Bowl team and the Patriots' workmanlike team that ran onto the field as a group in 2002, focused solely on the task at hand. Tiger just did that for two straight months. Fun stuff to watch.

Tiger tamed: Woods ousted in Match Play (MSNBC)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Stingray murder!

I justify the posting of this item on a sports blog by calling it deepsea fishing. By way of Higher Than Satire, a new game in which you can help Terri Irwin avenge her husband's death by taking out murderous hoardes of killer stingrays. This will be Terri's finest hour.

Click here to play

Dwayne Jarrett will be looking for this guy

Meet Andre Jones. Andre is a starting cornerback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who we've already determined, seem to be a bit masochistic. But Andre appears to be taking it to another level. Confronted with the task of stopping Jarrett, Smith, Booty, Davis, etc, Andre has let his hubris boil over, essentially guaranteeing a Nebraska win on Saturday.

"When we beat this team, we can show the world that we are a great team and we restored the order," Jones said Tuesday, "When we beat USC, its going to slingshot our season."

I don't think I'm in the minority when I say that it's probably not the smartest idea to provide bulletin board material to a Trojan team that is already out to prove doubters wrong this season, especially when the only tests of your own talent have thus far come against Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State. I seem to remember another Big 12 defender, Oklahoma's Larry Birdine talking mess about Matt Leinart and USC before the Orange Bowl a few years back, and we all remember how that turned out.

Again, I'm just not sure the Huskers have any idea what's coming to them. Preach on, Andre.

Update: Jones actually chose to attend Nebraska after turning down a scholarship offer from USC while he was at Fresno City Community College. Something tells me he may be regret that decision come Saturday.

Huskers' Jones all but guarantees win over USC (Yahoo! Sports)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Karl Malone scares me

Karl Malone has been accused in a lawsuit of offering a $25,000 bribe to a friend and former business partner if said buddy took the fall for an illegal hunting trip back in 1998. Apparently, Karl and the boys had been up in Boise trying to blast elk without permits. Malone thought that this little transgression may hamper his contract talks with the Jazz; hence the bribe. Now, if I was Sidney Ray Davis (yes, that's the friend's real name) I'd have been more than a little irritated that Karl eventually signed a $66.5 million dollar deal that year and yet only offered me a measly 25-grand. Regardless, the lawsuit also claims that Karl's brother threatened Davis with physical harm, which I would have been much less willing to accept.

Anyway, my favorite part of the whole story is the reaction from Malone's lawyer, Randall Call, who naturally says the whole thing is false.

"We've dealt with this kind of extortion before," Call said. "It's a little like terrorism, you can't buckle into it at any time or else it will prevail."

Wow, folks. The "T" word, and just in time for the anniversary of 9/11. I gotta tell you, Karl and his lawyer have been studying up. This defense has worked about 764 straight times for the Republican Party. I wouldn't be surprised if Sidney Ray Davis gets shipped to Gitmo over this. Then again, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Malone just shoots the guy.

Malone accused of offering $25K bribe (

Pete Carroll really will mess with your head

From the USC Marshall School of Business comes an interesting look at positive psychology and how it can contribute to leadership success. Not surprisingly, the focus of the piece is SC coach Pete Carroll, who has long been admired or criticized (depending on if you like NCAA or NFL football) for showing the same - if not more - enthusiasm each week as his players. Turns out there's actually some science behind all this.

The gist of the article is that Carroll is essentially "Exhibit A" for a discipline of psychology known as Positive Organizational Scholarship. At first it reads pretty much like a school trying to use their hero football coach as an example of their curriculum. But I was interested to find out that Carroll really does have an almost obsessive root in the discipline. In fact, while getting his Masters in psych at Pacific, the guy wrote his thesis on Abraham Maslow, who is apparently the "father of POS."

As boring as it all may sound, it does actually provide a little insight into the huge winning streak, the national titles, and the constant stream of top recruits. Bonus points for the cheesy "power photo."

USC Marshall School of Business (USC)
Banishing Fear (.pdf)

Tom Jackson hates this kid

My last post about a wild Week 1 in the NFL. We've finally gotten our hands on the highlight of the week. Yes, by way of Dejuiced and The Mighty MJD, it's the clip of Tom Jackson calling Michael Irvin retarded during ESPN's weekend coverage. I take note that Jackson has since apologized for the insensitive remark, but let's be honest, TJ had to feel good laying that one on The Playmaker after all the shite he's had to sit and listen to. Sharing a set for years with Berman and Irvin will slowly make anybody an angrier human being.

So, without further ado, here's the video.

Tom Jackson says what we've all been thinking (Dejuiced)
Jackson Apologizes for "Retarded" Comment (Pro Football Talk)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Said Mandela, "Oh, for Christ's sake!"

Hey remember during the World Cup when Zinedine Zidane butted the bejeezus out of Marco Materazzi? Yeah me too. You know why? Because in their ongoing attempts to make sure everybody forgets about the incident, FIFA keeps reminding everybody about the incident. They're so hung up on it that now FIFA is trying to organize a kumbayah get-together between Zizzou and Marco so that they can put the event behind them. And here's the best part. In an effort to really maximize their misplaced symbolism, FIFA is thinking about having them meet at Robben Island, South Africa, which just so happens to be the place that Nelson Mandela and several other anti-apartheid leaders were imprisoned for many years.

Shhh, you hear that? That's millions of murdered, imprisoned, and disenfranchised South Africans rolling over in their graves. Seriously, enough is enough. I'm pretty sure that neither Zidane nor Materazzi could give a fuck about clearing the air. Marco got chippy, Zidane talked shit, Marco said he wanted to bone Zidane's sister, and Zidane checked him with a dome to the chestplate. It's as simple as that. Sure, it was ugly. Yeah, it was an unfortunate way for the World Cup to end, but you know what? That's sport...beef happens. I refuse to believe that there is some lofty, humanitarian message to be taken from it all. More power to FIFA if they can actually get these guys to agree to this.

FIFA trying to bring together Zidane, Materazzi (FOX Sports)

Peyton Manning looks uncomfortable

I know it was a big game and all. Lots of hype, probably a fair amount of pressure on Peyton to face the media in a timely manner, but couldn't we at least get the man a hand towel? I'm not sure I've ever seen anybody sweat so much during post. It seriously looks like he jumped out of his uniform and just threw on his suit. The guy was going to have to sit there and answer 879 straight questions about playing against his brother. Shouldn't he at least be allowed to be comfortable? Not even a glass of water?

As far as the actual game, I thought it was pretty well-played all around. Both Mannings were solid. Eli had one horrible play on the botched hand-off to Tiki, and he had to just huck up a prayer at the end, but for the most part he looked in control and pretty calm. A few bad calls go the other way, and NYG could have easily won the game.

My only bone to pick is actually with Archie Manning. Why the hell are you so damn grumpy? The guy looked like he was at a funeral in all 27 NBC cutaways. I understand that you don't want to have to see either of your kids lose. It makes sense that you wouldn't want anybody to get embarassed or hurt. But Jesus, it is a football game. Somebody is going to win, and somebody is going to lose. If it was me, at least one time during the game I would've looked down on the field and thought, "Fuck me. Both of my sons are starting quarterbacks in the NFL! And they keep showing our home videos every 20 minutes! We are one hell of a family!"

Confusing. I just would have thought a Manning vs Manning game would have been cause for at least some form of celebration, not the torture that Archie looked to be enduring.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

NFL Week 1: Pass the Vicodin

Cincinnati 23, Kansas City 17: Carson Palmer was workman-like, Rudy Johnson was impressive, and Trent Green got knocked the fuck out. Hey, at least Larry Johnson lived up to the hype...oh, wait.

Seattle 9, Detroit 6: The Lions looked like an inspired bunch, and the Seahawks were lucky to get out with a win. It may be a long season for Shaun Alexander.

New England 19, Buffalo 17: A late, game-winning safety. Ahh, week one.

Atlanta 20, Carolina 6: Wow. Say what you want about the Cats being without Steve Smith. They got absolutely rolled today. 252 rushing yards? Can't very well blame the offense for that one.

Baltimore 27, Tampa Bay 0: Ugly. Three picks for Chris Simms, maybe the experts should all cool off on hyping him for a bit.

Chicago 26, Green Bay 0: First time Brett Favre has EVER been shutout. Fear not, Brett. I think Trent Green may have some Vicodin you can borrow.

Arizona 34, San Fran 27: Tough one to call. Is this actually improvement we're seeing from both teams, or are they really just equally bad? Either way, I get the feeling it's going to be a bizarre year in the NFC West.

St. Louis 19, Denver 10: There's the Jake Plummer we all know and love.

New Orleans 19, Cleveland 14: 141 total yards for Reggie Bush in his debut, and a win on the road. I'd think everybody involved with the Saints is very pleased with this start.

NY Jets 23, Tennessee 16: Vince Young was 3-4 with an INT. The good news, his three completions were on the only three plays he has memorized. Only about 120 to go.

Philadelphia 24, Houston 10: Well, well. McNabb looked very solid, and Stallworth helps Philly a lot. This could be an interesting team going forward. Also, a great debut for Reggie Bush, who went for...huh? What? They drafted who?!?!

Jacksonville 24, Dallas 17: Say what you want about the guy. T.O. is a cartoon of himself, he's selfish, he's annoying. But that TD catch was incredible. Seriously, who needs training camp?

Well, that was easy.

That was a dominating performance by Ohio State. Top to bottom they were simply the better team, and yes, Troy Smith was great. Under control, precise, everything he had to be to win a big game on the road. He didn't dominate the game by any means, but he did control it, and sometimes that's just as fun to watch. I would say that OSU is definitely worthy of their number-one ranking for the time being. The test will be avoiding a slip-up between now and December. There will definitely be some scares, and I still think the Buckeyes look like a team that could end up with a loss somewhere down the road. This really could be the year that the BCS explodes. Can you imagine if OSU, Texas, USC, Auburn, Notre Dame, LSU, and West Virginia all finished with one loss? My fingers are crossed...except for the SC part.

In a side note, nice to see the fans in Columbus rise to the occasion as well. Another very strong performance.

Fan violence mars Ohio State's big win over Texas (

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Cornhuskers seem very excited to get stomped by USC

Congratulations to the Nebraska Cornhuskers who are off to a fantastic 2-0 start to the year. Today they shallacked Division 1-AA Nicholls State 56-7 to follow-up last week's big win over Louisiana Tech. Really, two marvelous wins, guys. Now the Huskers are all juiced about the momentum they have going into next week's game at USC. In fact, some of the guys ran off the field today screaming, "U-S-C! U-S-C!"

Nebraska DE Jay Moore said, "Late at night I couldn't help but picture what it would be like playing USC."

Well, Jay, something tells me it's going to be a lot different than beating up on a 1-AA school. In fact, when Ryan Kalil and Sam Baker are the guys hitting you in the mouth 60 times in an afternoon, my guess is that you're going to miss going against the JV squads. Nebraska's winning streak currently stands at five games. USC is two plays (Vince Young's Rose Bowl winner, and a missed FG in '03) from a 48-game win streak. Oh, and they are making their home debut. Oh, and they are a team of a lot of hungry kids eager to prove themselves in the post-Matt and Reggie era. Oh, and they're coming off a bye week. I could go on.

The five-game streak is nice, the top-25 ranking is cute, but I'm just saying. I'm not sure the Cornhuskers really have a good idea of what they've gotten themselves into.

Taylor (4 TDs), No. 21 Huskers sharp on eve of USC showdown (


$82,000 would buy a lot of dildos.

The long arm of the NFL law has finally reached out and touched Fred Smoot and Bryant McKinnie. The league has announced it will fine each player one game check for their respective roles in Minnetonka Madness. For McKinnie that works out to about $41,000. For Smoot it's $82,000. Hey, if that's the price you pay for being the centerpiece of one of the most lurid pro sports scandals in a while and earning Hall Of Fame status in the meantime, I would think it was well worth it.

Also, I find it charmingly appropriate that Smoot's penalty was twice as much as McKinnie's.

Update: The Vikes just signed McKinnie to a seven-year extension worth $48.5 million. Imagine the possibilites.

Hall of Fame Inductee: Vikings Sex Boat (Deadspin)
Fred Smoot has seen (and likely enjoyed) Requiem for a Dream (The Mighty MJD)

Mack Brown is blowing smoke up Troy Smith's ass.

I am a little troubled by a quote I've seen from Texas coach Mack Brown, "Troy Smith to Ohio State is what Vince [Young] has been to us. He's a leader. He's a senior. He's a guy who can make plays with his feet, but he has a great throwing motion and he's very, very accurate. "

Now I fully understand Brown saying something like this in the me it's pure gamemanship. But this line of thinking has actually been circulating a lot in the media during the build-up to this game. That's what gets me. People can't actually believe this can they? I understand the parallel of Smith being the senior leader on a team with national title hopes. I understand that on a very base level, he has a similar skill set to VY (not to get all Scoop Jackson on you, but so does Drew Tate). But shit, Vince Young? The same Vince Young who became one of the all-time great college QBs by singlehandedly willing his team to wins for two seasons? The same Vince Young whose team ran an offense that bascially gave him the option on every down to do whatever the hell he wanted? Sorry, I just don't buy it.

I've seen a lot of Troy Smith. I think he is a great player. I think he's very important to OSU's chances (isn't any starting quarterback?). Despite his convincing opening-week performance against the gridiron powerhouse that is Northern Illinois, I think Troy Smith is no Vince Young. Maybe today he proves me wrong. Maybe he rolls Texas for three scores in the air and two more on the ground. I'm all for that. I just don't see it coming. That's not to say I don't think OSU will win the game. I think they have a great chance, but I don't see it being solely because of Troy Smith. Smith is a great QB. Vince Young is a college football legend. We shouldn't toss the comparison around so easily...unless of course we're Mack Brown and want to play mind games.

Update: Just in case you want to know the outcome in advance. Solid performance from Smith.

Imagine the crap Stu Scott would say about him if he played today.

In a strange bit of symmetry, I find it fitting that on the day I post my first real blog entry, my all-time favorite athlete goes into the Hall of Fame. Everybody has that one guy that made you always try a little bit harder playing the 3...2...1...BUZZER! game in the driveway as a kid. For me, Dominique Wilkins was THE guy. In fact, as I got older I wore #21 throughout my entire basketball career because of Nique. Also, I just joined a co-ed soccer league with Mrs. Dar...guess my number. Anyway, the guy was amazing, and I never thought he got enough praise for 26,000 points and 9 all-star games. Here's a great column (albeit by the Simmons intern) about this very topic.

My point is now that I'm older I don't think it's possible for any athlete to inspire me that much seeing as I have to work, pay rent, etc. Priorities change, but it's funny how the loyalties you forge when you're young and impressionable stick with you down the road. For instance, I am still bitter that Michael Jordan won the '88 dunk contest just because it was being held in Chicago. His final dunk was a total sham. It was the second time in the contest he did the free-throw line dunk, and his foot was a foot over the line! Did not deserve a 50. Here's a cool recap of the whole thing, but note where MJ's foot is at the 1:54 mark.

Anyway, to sum up, the top spot in my sports conscience will always belong to Dominique Wilkins, and I'm thrilled to see him get into the Hall. Congrats as well to Charles Barkley and Joe Dumars. They hold similar places of reverence in my mind for being some of the best in the world during the period that I truly became a basketball nut.

Oh, way to go, Geno Auriemma too!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Enter The Dar

And with that, we're off. Allow me to embark on a half-assed attempt to rip off the esteemed company that I have now subjugated to my own "Links" section. Truth be told, I have no intention of competing with the nubmer of fantastic sports blogs I visit everyday. Let's be honest here, I'd be dead before I even started. Instead, I am choosing to simply write about stuff that I find interesting for a fleeting second of my day and hope that somebody in the vast internet wasteland wants to roll with me for a few minutes between meetings. So with that, an introduction.

I am The Dar. Hello, and welcome. The focus of this blog is simple, sports. I love them, and while I do consider myself a relatively astute citizen and of a sound moral and political mind, I just think sports are more fun to talk about. So feel free to chime in, but for God's sake, do not feel obligated to stay on topic.

Lastly, on a serious note, a sincere thank you to the aforementioned blogs to the right. I get a lot of good laughs from you guys everyday, and while there is no doubt in my mind that you guys are, how you say, "better" than me, I do hope I can at least return the favor from time to time.