Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, January 07, 2005 at 2:36 PM

Wild Card Weekend / Bold Cinderella Super Bowl Pick!

Well, here we go - the playoffs begin! While my hometown Lions prepare for their annual playoff run, or as some people call it the scouting combine and NFL Draft, there still is some actual meaningful football left to be played. So let the countdown to Jacksonville begin - here are my picks:

St. Louis .vs. Seattle - well, can't we just flip a coin and decide that way? Seriously, could there be a crappier match up this weekend? I think this game should just be called the "Who Really Cares" game of the week. Neither team deserves to be here, but someone has to win right? I give my nod to Seattle because they got a former Wolverine on the offensive line named Steve Hutchinson.
My pick Seattle - 42-38.

Minnesota .vs. Green Bay - well, here is my Cinderella story - but I will get to that at the end of the post! Favre will find the Lambeau magic again just in time for the playoffs to begin and the Packers will prevail. Crap, the Vikings are frauds anyway, right?
My pick is Green Bay running away - 31-13.

NY Jets .vs. San Diego - if you would have told me San Diego was going to make the playoffs at the beginning of the year I would have laughed in your face. Well, Drew Brees gets the last laugh now. He will get the better of the QB matchup on this day, and the Jets will be sent packing once again.
My pick is San Diego 27-19.

Denver .vs. Indianapolis - well, can anyone really stop Peyton Manning? Yes, but his name is also Peyton Manning, because he can only stop himself. He will continue his amazing season by ripping the Broncos secondary a new a-hole all day long, sending them away feeling dirty like a fifty cent whore! No chance in hell for the Broncos in this one, maybe Jake Plummer will flip me off too for writing this!
My pick is the Colts - 48-20.

Now, here we go - my bold Super Bowl pick:

Green Bay against New England.

Cinderella story in the making, Brett Favre riding off into the sunset. The NFC is weak this year, sad but true. Even with Terrell Owens, I was never sold on Philly. Now, he is either out or will not be at 100%. I think the opportunity is there for Favre to seize the moment and truly make this his swan song! It would be a nice story, and a fitting end to an amazing career for Favre. This is definitely his last shot, maybe even his last year. I just have this feeling in my gut that he is going to get his team into the big dance, call me crazy but I feel it.

As far as New England is concerned, I can never bet against my boy Brady. He got the shaft in college when Carr was pressured by boosters to play Henson and do that two QB system crap, even though Brady was clearly the better of the two that year! But he swallowed his pride and became a better QB because of it. I love the dude, and as long as he is in the playoffs I will pull for him. The only real competition I see for them in the AFC is the Colts, and I think the Patriots secondary will rough up the receivers again this year just like last! Sorry, not sold on Pittsburgh and their rookie yet, Rothlessberger ( spelling? ), just don't think he has got it yet to beat the veteran teams in the playoffs. Maybe in the regular season, but come playoff time it is a whole different story. His time will come, just not yet.

There you go, those are my predictions! Now, go to the store, get a case of beer and some chips, and plant your ass on the couch and watch some football! I know I will, as long as the wife says it is okay! Until Monday, when I will recap the weekend games and give my next round picks, eat, drink and watch football responsibly - the sports dude.

at 9:27 AM

Laimbeer to be next Pistons coach.

The title of this post says it all. I have said it before, it may be in another post on this site in my archives but I am too lazy to look. I have called radio shows around here and talked on the air about it. In fact, I said it as soon as Rick Carlisle was fired and we hired Larry Brown - Dumars is setting the team up to hand over the reigns to his buddy Laimbeer someday. Now that Laimbeer has hired Mahorn, I think that solidifies my theory a little bit more - let me explain.

We all knew that Carlisle was not well liked, you could tell it all along in that second season. The players didn't like his system, the front office didn't like his aloofness and Dumars didn't like the fact that Memo and Tayshaun were rotting on the bench. I really think Dumars asked Laimbeer at that time if he wanted to coach, I guarantee that is when they started talking about it. So what do they do? They have Laimbeer go and coach the Shock, get his feet wet, see if he really wants to coach. He does and they have some real success, winning a championship and all. But Dumars was not ready to just give the Pistons to Bill, he needed some more time to practice coaching with the Shock.

So what does Dumars do - he decides to let Carlisle be the famous "lame duck" coach - just coach your third year, the final year of your contract, and whatever happens happens. If I need to fire you half way thru season three, oh well, I got Bill in my back pocket or I will give an assistant the "interim" tag. But something happened that Dumars did not expect - Larry Brown became available. Larry Brown, the best coach in the business, the best teacher in the NBA was without a team. So this is what Dumars does - he gets him!

I really think Larry Brown was brought here for one reason - to teach the young roster, to develop them and get them ready for Bill Laimbeer. I am not saying Joe used LB, all I am saying is that Joe and LB used each other a little. Joe told LB that we have some youth, we have some experience, help us get over that hump. You need a championship and this is a team that, for once, you don't have to build from scratch. Use us and just teach us, that is all. Joe used LB to help show them "the right way" and LB used Joe because there was no "start from scratch" here - he knew this probably was his best shot at getting a ring, probably his last. Only problem was that it all happened sooner than we all expected - they got the ring in their first year together!

I really think Joe just told Laimbeer to stay happy with the Shock, learn with the Shock and prepare yourself for the Pistons someday. We all know Larry won't honor the whole contract, he is a gypsy in the coaching world! I truly think this will be his last year, maybe one more max. He is burnt out, you can see it, and I think the end is near. I think Laimbeer has been told, I think that Mahorn is now on his staff so that the two of them can work together and get used to each other as coaches, and I think the reigns will be handed over soon. Just think about it - Laimbeer, Mahorn and maybe - the Microwave? Pretty interesting, if you ask me!

Well, that is all for my conspiracy theories for now. Next I will review who really killed JFK and where Jimmy Hoffa is hidden! No, I really won't, I have been sworn to keep those secrets until death. But, I will give you a clue on Hoffa - he is right behind you! HAH! Made you look, scared yet! Well, until next time, when hopefully my caffeine buzz wears off ( could you tell?!?! ), I must now say good-bye. I will post later on this day about wild card weekend, as well as my picks and why I feel there will be a little cinderella story in the playoffs this year. Good-bye, god bless, god speed - the sports dude!

Thursday, January 06, 2005 at 9:01 AM

Ryne "Sandbag's" his way into the Hall.

I apologize for the sporadic and inconsistent posting as of late, but I am still recovering from my time off. I spent the last two weeks on vacation - no work, just play. And by play I mean drinking and by drinking I mean a lot! There were countless parties to attend and lord knows that the sports dude is not one to turn down some "holiday spirits!". So I apologize for the lack of anything here lately, but I am still nursing a hangover from a two week drinking spree! All right, enough with the apology BS - let us get on to the post!

Look, Wade Boggs I can understand - but dude, Ryne Sandberg?!?! First, what is up with that first name buddy - were your parents on a holiday drinking spree when they named you? Or do they just think that is how you spell Ryan? Either way, your selection to the hall of fame is just as lame as your first name! Seriously, I hope you realize that by him entering the hall, the bar is now very low for second basemen. Voters can now say "Well, we put Ryne in there, so don't we also have to vote ( insert name of any crappy second basemen here ) in there as well?". He is the bottom of the totem pole now, everyone will be compared to him - just in the wrong way. If I was Roberto Alomar, Jeff Kent, shit even Damion Easley I would be thanking the selection committee - they just about gave me a lock now! What a fraudulent sham, what a waste!

The last thing I would like to say about this is one word - defense! Everyone, including Ryne himself, said the only reason why he got selected was on his defense ( The Ozzie Smith Theory if you will! ). Now, let me ask you this - if defense got him in, how can someone not give the nod to Alan Trammell and Lou Whittaker as well? They set the record for double teams, played together longer than any 2B / SS combo in the history of the game, no one will ever come close - EVER - to what those two did together. They set the standard for what a good double play tandem should be. How many times do you hear people mention "Man, Trammell and Whittaker... " when they talk about double teams and the infield? Now, if Ryne Sandbag can get in on his defense and not too impressive offensive numbers I truly think the greatest double team "team" has the right to get selected for the same reasons - defense. Plus, for the record, Trammell and Whittakers numbers offensively are very similar to Ryne, so what gives? Frauds, shams and BS - done.

Now, as far as Jack Morris goes - no argument here, I just don't think he is special enough to be in there. He did some great things, had some very memorable games, but I just don't see it. Sorry, I don't - done.

Well, I promise to try to recover from this hangover soon and get back to being a more interesting and consistent blogger again! Next time I would like to talk about the BCS ( Bull Crap System ) as well as talk a little about the Pistons as they seem to be FINALLY turning the corner. Until then keep reading, keep breathing and I will try to keep posting - the sports dude!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005 at 8:41 AM

The greatest game, with a lousy ending!

For what it is worth, it was by far the greatest Rose Bowl I can ever remember watching. In fact, it quite possibly was the greatest game PERIOD I watched all season long. Someone had to lose, unfortunately, and even more unfortunate was it that it had to be my beloved Wolverines. Bummer, but I still walked away having enjoyed a great game, period.

Can someone please tell Jim Herrmann, U of M's defensive coordinator, that there are things out there called "mobile quarterbacks" and that he should learn how to defend them? How many seasons has this been the beef against this guy and the defensive schemes he comes up with? He needs to work on something during the off season, do his homework, whatever - because if not I think he needs to go or be demoted. Good friends with Lloyd Carr or not, he is not getting the job done and he apparently is not learning either - because for years now mobile QB's have burned us. Figure it out or get a new job - we should never score 37 points in a game and lose - done.

Now, for next season. I am truly excited about next year, believe me. Hart and Henne will be a year older, a year wiser and Henne really looked promising in that Rose Bowl, did he not? He finally showed that he deserved the "blue chipper" status he received last year coming out of high school. Hart, he will only get better now that he has a season under his belt, and there should be some Heisman talk for him next year - even though he is only a sophomore, there will still be talk! Edwards will be missed, but Avant and Breaston ( who was finally healthy and himself in the Rose Bowl - can you imagine that all season next year? It is coming! ) will help fill the void. Plus, doesn't it always seem we have a talented receiver waiting on the bench? Bass will be hard to replace, but U of M always seems to be a factory for offensive lineman, doesn't it? The defense pretty much stays in tack, with Marlin Jackson leaving. I doubt Shazor will leave now, his stock for sure had to drop with his shitty Rose Bowl performance - the guy couldn't tackle for shit all game long! I think otherwise on "D" we are pretty alright. I think, overall, U of M is losing 6 key guys to graduation, that really is promising. Next year will be great, but mark my words - if Henne and Hart stay healthy, when they are juniors, National Championship baby! Then Carr will retire and ride off into the sunset.

But, let us focus on next year and the fact that we have seven homes games out of eleven, and our two toughest road games are the first two big 10 games of the year - at Wisconsin followed by at MSU. Wisconsin is a fraud, so that should be an easy win, but MSU will be a test very early in the season. Whoever wins that game has the inside track on the Big Ten title.

Well, that is enough U of M talk for one post. More to come later, as I say farewell to weekly college football talk and now start to turn my thoughts onto something else - I just don't know what yet! Happy New Year and we will talk to you all later - the sports dude!

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