Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, July 15, 2005 at 9:36 AM

Random thoughts.

Well, I will be on vacation, yet again, next week with the family here. My family and I are all packing up the old minivan and heading out this evening. So, once again, this site will be lonely for about a week. Hopefully when I get back the Pistons will have their man, the Tigers will still be alive, the Red Wings will finally be old news again and the Lions will be ready to start it up. So, just to take a moment here to talk one last time before I hit the road, here are some random thoughts on the major Detroit sports, and the Red Wings as well.

The Pistons:

The Larry Brown saga continues. Look, all I have to say is let it go already please. Did Brown do anything wrong during the season? I don't know, for me it is hard to say yes or no either way. He has serious health issues, anyone who denies that or doesn't believe that is fooling themselves. To me, I look at his "flirtation" with the Cleveland Caviliers as no big deal, believe it or not. The dude got us to within minutes of winning back to back championships, on the road the second time no less. If anyone truly believes we would have accomplished what we have the last couple years with Rick Carlisle or anyone else I say again, you are fooling yourself. The Pistons are what they are today because of LB, you can not deny that. Did he maybe flirt a little to closely with the Cavs? Maybe, but the guy is a basketball man for life and he saw what may be the end of his coaching career on the horizon. I truly believe him when he says he would only coach the Pistons next year, if healthy, and nowhere else. I look at it like a free agent in any sport in the final year of his contract. Don't tell me that a guy who is a free agent isn't already telling his agent "Man, if I can't be here next year then here is a list of teams that I want to go to.". What is so different for Larry Brown? Granted he still has three years left on his contract, but did any of you actually expect him to stay here for all five years of his contract? I didn't and, once again, if any of you answer yes then you are still fooling yourselves. Look, the man was in pain all year long last year on the bench and was uncertain if he could return and give 100%. He said if he could give 100%, or close to it, he would be back on the bench. If not, so what if he was thinking ahead and looking for what he would do in his retirement from coaching. That is his right and I truly have no problem with it.

Lastly on Brown I would like to echo something I said yesterday in a comment on another sports blog. People have been saying that Flip Saunders would be a down grade from LB. Well, pardon my french here people, but no shit! Really? Look, LB is the greatest coach in the game today - period, point blank, end of story. (And, for the record, if any of you even mention Phil Jackson as a "great coach" and put him in the same breath as LB, go get your head checked, you know less about sports then my friends dog!) Any coach would be a down grade from LB, I mean how do you replace the best in the business? You can't, it is impossible. The Sports Pig had a good analogy on his site, it is like going from Bowman (best in hockey) to Lewis a couple years back for the Wings. There is not a coach in the game that can even carry LB's resume, so of course the next guy will be a down grade. All I am saying with Flip is can you name me a better option? You can't, there are none. He is young, he is a proven winner and I think he would succeed here. If I had my way, of course LB would remain, he is the best at what he does. Would I rather have LB then Flip? Damn right I would! But would I rather have Flip then say Gar Heard or some other assistant coach out there right now? Damn straight! I hope that if Larry can stay they can work it out, but it is just nice to know that Flip really isn't going anywhere fast - that 5.5 million he is owed by the T'Wolves all but guarantees he will wait this out as long as the soap opera continues. All I want, and all that any Pistons fan wants, is closure. Hopefully by the time I return it will all be resolved.

Lastly, here is an interesting take on ESPN by Jason Whitlock looking at the whole thing from the other side. Great article, give her a read.

The Tigers:

Well, let's just hope that last nights return was more rust than signs of things to come. I really have high hopes for the Tigers in the second half, for some strange reason that is! If the surprise of the season, the pitching, keeps it up and the bats get healthy and stay healthy (Guillen, Ordonez mainly) I think they can make some noise. Of course the question is can they or will they? I like Polanco and I hope he does stay after this season. Furthermore, how about that Chris Shelton cat? He is fun to watch and should be a Tiger main stay at either first base or DH for years to come. The Tigers finally have some young talent, in the field and on the mound, something you couldn't even whisper a few years ago. That is all kudos to Dave Dombroski and the fine job a "real" baseball executive can do when given the chance. However, don't you miss Randy Smith trading with the Astros and Padres just about every other week? All right, I really don't either, but I thought I would bring it up anyway.

The Lions:

Well, the countdown to benching Joey Harrington is about to be under way! I still stick to my guns and say three games, but that is just me. Yes the dude put up some impressive numbers the last three games last season, but they didn't transpire to any wins. Look, I just don't think he has that thing everyone always talks about, you know, he just doesn't have "IT". If I am wrong and he leads us to the playoffs, does a little of the Drew Brees thing from last season, I will gladly eat my words on the whole bench Joey subject. I want my Lions to do well, I would love to see them in the playoffs again, and if Joey is the guy to do it then I will gladly choke on all the bad things I have said about him. But, for whatever reason, I just don't see him being anything but a back up QB in this league for life. He has no excuses now, let me tell you that! Even though the three big receivers are all young (Williams, Williams and Rogers), can you name me a three receiver set more potent then that in the NFL? Plus, Kevin Jones looks like a dependable 1300-1500 yard back, Marcus Pollard is a great upgrade at TE and the defense is younger, faster and appears to be healthy going into next year. No excuses now Joey, no excuses now!

The Red Wings:

Well, I guess they are back, except the roster won't look like the Yankees of hockey anymore! I guess they hired a new coach, I hear the news conference on the radio right now. Oh, and lastly, I guess I still don't give a crap - just like the majority of the people out there who didn't even know the NHL was gone!

Well, that is all I got for now, talk to you all when I get back! Later - the sports dude.

Blogger Leelanau Sports Guy said...

As always great post! Couldn't agree more with you about Brown. I was starting to waver last week and say they should get rid of him, but you bring up some good points.

The Tigers are moving in the right direction, the biggest thing with this team is HEALTH. They just can't seem to stay healthy.

Joey has no excuses. He needs to get it done. I hope he does. I like him, he is a class act. I hope he throws for 4,000 and 25 touchdowns and shuts everyone up!

Ah, the Red Wings. I was talking to one of my friends last night and she was very excited about training camp in Traverse City. I don't share all of her excitement, but I think I was wrong on how much people missed hockey.

Have a fun trip! I have always wanted to go there myself, maybe when the kids are older, I will get to!  

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