Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dr. Martzenstein

I'll finish grading the Pistons starters in another post, because today the big story out of Detroit is that the Lions are close to hiring Mike Martz, the most delusional coach in the NFL who also happens to double as an innovative offensive mastermind. A couple of weeks ago I buried Rod Marinelli, the new head coach, and wondered, along with everybody else, who this guy would hire as his assistants because God knows he's gonna need them. Now as we are about to close out the first month of the New Year we may finally have the answer to our question and it turns out the Lions two new co-ordinators are more qualified to be head coaches then the actual head coach is, only with the Lions could this happen. Anyways here is my quick breakdown of the Lion's new coaches, and this is assuming Martz will be hired as all the preliminary reports indicate he will be. Once again these opinions are backed up by no legitimate facts whatsoever and are gleaned from little/no actual knowledge just observations.

1: Donnie Henderson, previously the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets. I really don't know much about Henderson other then the fact that he was responsible for some pretty solid if not spectacular defenses by the New York Jets over the past three years or so. It seems like he had been mentioned as a possible head coaching candidate during this time as well. However since most NFL owners are white 70 plus year old billionaires and Henderson is black he has a 1 in....ohhhh....10 billion chance of landing a job as a head coach. Actually I'm going to open the line on when William Clay Ford first accidentally mistakes Henderson for his chauffeur at two days ago. Anyways Henderson made his mark as a defensive backs coach with the Ravens team that won the Super Bowl and helped develop Chris McAllister and Ed Reed into top flight players. He also took a young defense in 2004 and turned it into one of the best, fastest, most opportunistic ones in the league. So between Marinelli's expertise on the D-line and Henderson's experience I'm looking forward to the fact that the Lions may actually blitz next season and not allow crappy qbs, see Kyle Orton and CHRIS WEINKE!!, sit back and pick the defense apart.

2: Mike Martz: Personally I was secretly hoping that the Lions would hire him as the head coach, just because they had invested so much into the offense through the draft over the past few years, blah, blah, blah. However the thing I'm most excited about is the possibility that Martz could finally coax some production out of the quaterback spot. Look at what he did In St. Louis with Warner, although Satan may have played a large part in that, and most recently Bulger. Now I know your going to say, but Andy you hate Harrington, now you think he could be the savior, you sellout/bastard/hypocrite. Well you'd be wrong I still hate Harrington and I think they should give him a one way ticket to play for the Grand Rapids Rampage. So is the answer Garcia? No. Do they draft Cutler? No. The answer to the quarterback problem is Dan Orlovsky. I think he has the potential to be turned into the next Bulger. He's big, immobile, goony, and possibly has the precision and timing to run the intricate offense Martz employs. The person who can't be happy about this is Kevin Jones as he now gets to look forward to 12 carries a game, which means he's going to have to find a way to get hurt even faster.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Pistons Mid-Season Report card

The Pistons just played their 42nd game tonight which just puts them past the halway mark on their season. Currently their record stands at 37-5, which is an incredible .881 winning percentage. But more important then their blistering start is the fact that it's time for my favorite gimmick article in the history of sportswriting. That's right, its time to grade the Pistons, starting today with the reserves. I must note that because of their record (37-5!!!) almost all of these guys will be getting A's, which kind of sucks the fun out of writing this, but we'll see how it goes.

Alex Acker: I know nothing about Alex Acker, he has yet to appear in a game this season for Detroit so I can't talk about his game. At least he gets to look forward to playing with the
Fayetteville Patriots in about two weeks, where I'm sure he will replace former Piston great Mateen Cleaves who was just recalled by the Sonics because they needed an emergency towel waver. So instead of wearing a borrowed suit at the end of the Pistons bench Alex will now get to play in front of dozens of people against teams with names like Roanoke Dazzle. Yikes.
Grade: I

Dale Davis: He's appeared in nine games so far and has yet to score a basket for the Pistons. However I did run into D squared ( I cant believe I just typed that) at the Coach store in Somerset around Christmas time. He seemed absolutely frightened that I recognized him and proceeded to buy over $5000 worth of women's purses. I think he'll do an excellent job of replacing what the Big Easy gave us.....whatever that was.......oh right 6 fouls...... come playoff time.
Grade: A. He seemed like a nice guy

Amir Johnson: I just wrote about this guy a couple of days ago and the good folks at Deadspin.com linked to my blog, a move that single handedly spiked my readership from about 4 to nearly a thousand, if only for a day. For this I'm eternally grateful to Amir.
Grade: A

Lindsey Hunter: Has been injured all year, but did provide ok color commentary for one half of a Pistons game this season, also his favorite movie is New Jack City.......wait I mean Office Space. What?!?
Grade: I

Jason Maxiell: He's appeared in 16 games and has been a pretty exciting player in the limited action he's seen. I love how aggresive he is, as he's always trying to throw it down on someone or sprinting towards the basket looking for an alley oop. It's also amazing how such a fat guy can have such crazy hops. He's like the anti-
Tractor Traylor. Speaking of Tractor I remember going to a game a few years ago with my room mate and his girlfriend who wasnt a really big basketball fan. She was enjoying her self until the Tractor came in and was, how should I say this, laboring up and down the court, when she said "Awww, who's that fat man he's making me feel sad." So I guess my point, if I even have one, is nothing take a crowd out of a game like the Tractor.
Grade: A

Carlos Arroyo: My old room mate could never say his name and always ended up saying something to the effect of Carlos Errorrrorroorro, which was always good comedy. I also like the fact that he's a stereotypical hot blooded Latino, (headbutting a ref, wanting to fight Dirk) like if he played on the playground he'd look like
this. Oh wait that is him. He also has the most ridiculous backup point guard site on the web at CarlosArroyo.com, with over 57 wallpapers. For this I give him my first...........
Grade: B

Carlos Delfino: I love Delfino and think he will be a great player someday in the same mold as Manu Ginobilli. He plays with a ton of energy and does all the little things like diving for loose balls and tons of other scrappy stuff. What I don't like is how he looks like
Gael Garcia Bernal from the Motorcycle Diaries in drag.
Grade: A

Darko Milicic: Before the season my friends and I argued about his stats for the season, which ranged from the low of more personal fouls than points (my guess) to 15 minutes 6 points and four boards a game. It goes without saying that the friend who guessed the latter was heavily involved in drugs.
Grade: F-

Antonio McDyess: He got off to a slow start but has turned it on as of late, even though his numbers are still down quite a bit across the board from last season. It's nice to know that we have a big man coming off of our bench who could probably start for half of the teams in the league. He's so solid in fact that I have nothing to add....that and Im starting to get really freakin' tired.
Grade B+

Maurice Evans: I like Mo Evans because I don't think Ive ever seen him miss a shot. Honestly I can't remember watching a game where he missed, but yet it says on his player page that his shooting percentage is below 50%. Hmmm, anyways Mo is a definite improvement over both Darvin Ham and Ronald Dupree the two guys he essentially replaced. Speaking of which does anyone know what happened to Darvin Ham, did he roll out of bed and fall off the face of the Earth. Did he get left behind in Africa after his tour with the NBA cares program and no one has noticed?......or cared?
Grade: A.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Detroit Tiger's Off-season

I know, I know, baseball's off season has been going on for nearly three months and the only free agents still kicking around are Sammy Sosa, a heterosexual catcher who dates women, Bobby Higginson and Frank Tanana. The first two may end up splitting time with Cecil Fielder and Bill Gulickson in Japan,
The third guy can GO STRAIGHT TO HELL with his .077 batting average.
And Tanana may be younger than the two guys the Tigers signed this off season.

Which nicely segues into the Tigers two key off season acquisitions, Matt Mantei and Bobby Seay, errr....I mean Todd Jones and Kenny Rogers two pitchers who are a combined 80 years old. So even though its the middle of winter I thought it was time to check in with the happenings of arguably my favorite Detroit team, (no not the Lions they are about team no. 21 somewhere below the Wayne State Law School softball team.)

Off season move No.1 Signing Todd Jones. I was never a big Todd Jones fan during his first tour in Detroit, not because of anything he did necessarily, but because I loved Matt Anderson and I thought Jones was holding this guy back from being one of the top closers in baseball. Well that didn't really go as planned and now five years later we're back with Todd again, a guy who the Tigers traded five years ago because they thought he was washed up. Well after putting up one good season in those five years with at least 15 different teams, including one with the
Homestead Grays if I remember correctly, he's back in Detroit to help pin down the closers job. Wait, didn't we bring Troy Percival in for this reason last year, What happened? Oh yeah, this, along with a career ending injury. Of course this signing was met with yawns and "What the hell's?" from around the state and the only person remotely excited was Adam Duritz who can look forward to monthly $3 royalty checks for "Mr. Jones." Anyways the thing this most reminds me of is when Norm McDonald came back to host SNL after he was fired and said, and I'm paraphrasing, "It's not that I've gotten funnier since I left, it's that this show is so bad now I'm funnier then the people on here." And he was right, so we'll see how this goes, I'm saying he has a 3.90 ERA and 28 saves this season.

Off-season move No. 2: Signing Kenny Rogers. I liked this signing, Rogers is the kind of pitcher who can junk his way to 14-16 wins, a la Jaime Moyer especially at the cavern known as Comerica Park, and if things start to go bad we can always look forward to him tossing cameramen, sportwriters, fans, children, etc. to the deck when they dare take a picture of him. Hopefully he can teach Maroth and Robertson something about being junkballing lefty's and cheating on their wives.

Off-season move No. 3: Hiring Jim Leyland. Some of my favorite people in sports are chain smokers, Mark Grace, Vlade Divac, and now Jim Leyland. What I don't like are those Jim Leyland Tiger commercials, and if you live in Michigan you know what I mean. The first time I saw one I thought it was a preview for the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, there are all kinds of screeching and scratchy noises, and its designed to look like a movie preview, with quotes from Detroit sportswriters, like Mitch Albom, (ugh.) and at the end they just flash up a picture of Jim Leyland. What? Jim Leyland? There is nothing badass or scary about a 60 year old man who weighs about 160 pounds. He looks like a friendly high school janitor who would look the other way if you ducked out of class, which leads me to believe that off-season move number 4 should be hire a new ad agency, and please god, please, no more of those ridiculous Who's your Tiger ads. Please.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Amir Johnson

I just watched another Pistons beatdown tonight, this time they took out the T-Wolves by about 745 points after being down two at the break. At the end of the game Amir Johnson came in and challenged Darko for the title of Human Victory Cigar. See I like Darko, I don't think hes gonna bust and I think his biggest problem is that he is just too young right now. I'm having a hard time adjusting to law school at age 22, and I don't have to study in front of 19,000 fans, huge expectations, in a foreign country where I hardly know the language, and with little cotton swabs taped to my earlobes, but I digress.

Anyways I, like everyone else, always looked forward to Darko coming in to finish off Pistons blowouts. I liked the way the crowd got fired up whenever he stood up and made his way to the scorers table. It often was enough to make me put off studying for another 20 minutes or so, although this really isn't saying much because I'd put off studying for just about anything, change a light bulb, rearrange my bookshelf, because I'm having stinky farts.......pretty much anything. Anyways I always found Darko Time to be interesting, because it was like a glimpse at what it would be like if I played professional basketball, a tall skinny semi-athletic white guy who prefers to play twenty feet from the basket even though he's the tallest guy on the court. It was also interesting to see him going after rebounds with one hand, getting offensive fouls for moving screens, and watching the guys on the other team just lining up for a chance to dunk all over his face like one massive basketball, (I put a joke in here that was so filthy and out of character I had to delete it myself after facing a big moral dilemma, like in case my kids or parents were to read this one day, anyways if you want to know the magic missing word e-mail me.)

However tonight things changed with me, probably forever, as a younger, faster, super athletic-er(?) blacker kid (not me) named Amir Johnson came in for some major Darko Time minutes. He looked nervous at first and it seemed as though Amir Johnson's debut would go down as a non-descript beginning to what will probably be a non-descript career. But in the final minute a flurry of action started by a Darko steal (who else) led to a pass to Amir Johnson for a thunderous windmill dunk. Amazing, when was the last time someone windmilled for the Pistons? Stackhouse? Maybe. Darvin Ham? Possibly. Terry Mills? Never. I immediately grabbed the phone to call my friend T.J., who you may remember from waaaayyyyyyy back from the Macker tournament post, when at the other end Amir Johnson denies a shot, which leads to another jam this time by Mo Evans. By now the Pistons bench is going crazy, Im fumbling my phone and mashing the numbers on the keypad, and when I finally get through to T.J. it goes to his voicemail because we were both frantically calling each other at the same time, and I'm thinking when was the last time I did this in a game that had been decided an hour ago?

Well the answer, me and T.J. concluded, was never, at least not in the Darko era of garbage time. This was much more exciting. As much as I enjoyed Darko getting stuffed by the rim, seeing the ball actually go through it was so much more gratifying. Darko was a constant reminder to Pistons fans to be humble, because it was possible for someone to adorn the red, white, and blue, and still struggle and suck (at least for now he does, like I said I still have faith in him). But I don't know if I can get excited for that anymore, like how I felt about the Magnum after riding the Millennium Force, o.k. thats the worst analogy Ive ever come up with but if youve ever been to Cedar Point you know where Im coming from. What I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry Darko but your garbage, errr..... I mean, Amir time minutes are dead to me now.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Welcome to the Graveyard, Rod Marinelli

Today the Lions introduced their newest head coach and it is....... some guy named Rod Marinelli. Who? I had never even heard of this guy until about two days ago, and now he is the head coach of the worst franchise in the NFL. I was actually getting excited about the possibility of the Russ Grimm era because if there is one thing that guarantees the success of a football coach its being fat. I mean look at Andy Reid, Mike Holmgren, Charlie Weiss, Romeo Crennell, who I think will be pretty good regardless of the Browns record this season, and that insanely obese coach for the University of Kansas you know this guy.

But now we have Marinelli, a guy who has never been a head coach or coordinator at any level, but is now responsible for an entire football team. Great. By this logic I'm assuming I'm qualified to run for president and lead the nation based on the fact that I was elected to student council and served the most tumultuous two week tenure in student council history. This is a true story, I woke up for the first meeting which was held before school realized it was still dark outside and about 6 A.M. and said forget that (I didnt swear in fifth grade now I'd say "fuck that fucking bullshit, bitches"). This didnt fly over to well with the constituency and I was replaced by Tracy Roby in a Washington D.C.-style power grab. Now Im in law school and shes got like 4 kids and works at a gas station.....so, i guess i won the war, but i digress.

Where was I? Oh yeah I dont know if Marinelli is the answer or another mistake, but given Millen's track record Im expecting the worst, but at least there is always the draft, where I'm expecting to hear,

"With the ninth pick of the 2006 NFL draft the Detroit Lions select Santonio Holmes, Wide Receiver, Ohio State." And it would be the last thing I ever hear because it would lead to a massive rib breaking heart attack.

Moving on to a much better topic the Pistons are just killing The Knicks tonight and I'm loving every second of it. Right before the half the Pistons poured in three three pointers, and were getting all kinds of offensive boards, uncontested layups, and every time little Nate Robinson tried to take it the hole, the Wallace's just threw it back out. In other words this is just another typical Pistons beat down, much like what they did to Atlanta last night. In fact the most interesting thing tonight is Steve Kerr revealing that he lives in the same neighborhood as Jud Buechler, which led me to imagine that all the slow, white, three-point specialists live in the same gated community somewhere in Arizona. Where if you drove through the subdivision you would find Jon Sundvold planting flowers around his mailbox, Jim Les watering his lawn, Tim Legler and Mark Price jogging together down the street, and Craig Hodges on the outside of the gate looking in because of those damn neighborhood associations.

Well thats enough for today, Im going to finish watching the Pistons polish of the Knicks, who may be the most sloppy careless team that Ive seen in a while.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Paper Chase

I havent posted in a long time because I've been, well not so much busy as lazy, supine, shiftless and apathetic all rolled into one. I did however watch the movie from which this post got its title, and which apparently doubles as required viewing for all first year law students. Anyways Ive taken way to much time off and havent wrote enough about how great the pistons are this season. So this blog is officially back in business, and more posts will be coming shortly.