Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, April 21, 2006 at 1:14 PM

A little Piston this, a little Red Wing that...

Well it is Friday and the “other” playoffs begin tonight, if you ask me and most folks out there the real playoffs don’t begin until Sunday. However to be fair to all of the people out there I took the time today to honor not only our Pistons but the Red Wings as well. Don’t get me wrong, I hope the Wings win, but believe me I won’t be watching; hockey is way too boring for me. So in honor of the teams here is a little comparison the sports dude came up with in my spare time here today at work – sorry boss!

The Wings have “The Joe”, a parking garage with seats.
The Pistons have the Palace, one of the premiere arenas in the league.

The Wings have cheesy ass slogans for the playoffs like “bring it” and “put your red on” or “turn that light off” or whatever.
The Pistons don’t need any extra slogans to draw people in and sell new t-shirts every year at playoff time, their greatness speaks for itself.

The Wings have Al Sabota (the zamboni guy’s name right?) and Mo’ Cheese.
The Pistons have Automotion, is it even a contest there people?

The Wings have stinky, slimy, rotten smelling octopus the fans throw on the ice.
The Pistons have Hooper, enough said.

The Wings have a recycled cup that has been god knows where with god knows who and had god knows what done to it. Do they ever sanitize the damn thing?
The Pistons have a nice, shiny, germ free and brand spanking new trophy at their disposal to win every year.

The Wings wear pads to protect them from the mean nasty boards and boo-boos.
The Pistons don’t need no stinkin’ pads! Ben simply wears a wrist band to protect himself from Shaq… but I bet Ben wouldn’t mind some pads if the Wings are offering!

The Wings grow playoff beards that they can’t wait to shave off when it is all over.
The Pistons have “Nappy ‘Sheed” whom is a fixture most of the year, playoffs or not.

The Wings have visors and some goalies that get creative and creepy with their masks.
The Pistons have Rip and his mask.

The Wings have fans that put embarrassing things on their heads like aluminum foil Stanley Cups & lug nuts from car tires that they claim transforms them into “Wingnuts.”
The Pistons have fans that put afros on their heads which are much more acceptable in today’s society and less likely to get you arrested or put into an institution.

The Wings play with a frozen urinal cake.
The Pistons play with a ball.

The Wings play a “sport” called hockey that’s name sounds more like something that comes up from my lungs when I have the flu than a name of a game.
The Pistons play basketball which is an obvious choice to name their sport.

The Wings have a mythical thing called “Hockeytown” which in turn they coined; marketed, ripped us all off and opened a café downtown in its honor.
The Pistons don’t need a marketing ploy like that although I am still trying to cash in myself and open up a bar called “Afrotown Café”, what do you think?

There it is, go Wings, go Pistons and have a nice weekend – the sports dude.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 at 11:47 AM

The sports dude and his NBA playoff madness.

Well the playoffs are upon us and quite frankly they started about a month too late if you ask me. The Pistons were ready a month ago, I was ready a month ago and I think most of the fan base here in Detroit was ready a month ago. A record breaking regular season for the Pistons ended last night by setting a franchise record for overall wins, home wins and road wins. They also set an NBA record for fewest turnovers in a season total as well as lowest average per game, which I suppose is obvious when you put the two together. The Pistons open against the Bucks which, if memory serves me correctly, was the same team they opened against in 2004 when they won the title. Fate? Coincidence? Whatever it is I am just glad it was not Indiana, not because I fear Indy, but rather I think that would have been too emotional of a first round series. Anyway, here is my playoff preview and I also, at the end, will refer back to my preseason picks and see how close I was.

Eastern Conference Playoffs – Round One:

Pistons vs. Bucks = Pistons in five
Miami vs. Chicago = Miami in five
New Jersey vs. Indiana = NJ in six
Cleveland vs. Washington = Cleveland in six, not surprised to see seven

Most intriguing match up to me will be Gilbert Arenas and Lebron James going head to head for six or seven games. I almost wanted to pick Washington, but something tells me the league wants King James to go on and wants a Pistons/Cavs Round Two.

Western Conference Playoffs – Round One:

San Antonio vs. Sacramento = Spurs in six
Phoenix vs. Lakers = Suns in five
Denver vs. Clippers = Clippers in six
Dallas vs. Memphis = Dallas in four or five

Most intriguing match up, to me, is my one and only first round upset at all and that is the Clippers over the Nuggets. The Clippers have the better overall record and won the season series over the Nuggets, whom I think are an overrated bunch as it is.

Well, that is my first round and I am going to take it a step further and give my second round picks and whom I think will make the Final Four.

East – Round Two:

Pistons vs. Cleveland = Pistons in about six most likely.
Miami vs. New Jersey = New Jersey in six or seven.

West – Round Two:

San Antonio vs. Dallas = Dallas in a tough six or seven game series.
Phoenix vs. Clippers = Suns in five.

That is right folks, the sports dude is predicting the much anticipated Detroit/Miami Conference Final will not even take place and the Mavs will take care of business and eliminate the Spurs. The sports dude is predicting a Detroit/NJ and a Dallas/Phoenix final four and that is as far as I go, except to say I am sure you all know I am picking the Pistons in the East. I just don’t think the Heat will get past NJ for some reason, some strange lack of quality play, old age catching up to Shaq and just good old ball hogging self implosion. Besides man they still got Antoine Walker, a.k.a. Mister Disappear in the Playoffs. I also was not expecting the Mavs to be this good this year and historically the Spurs have never done well going for the back to back.

As far as my preview here is the link taking you back to November 1, 2005 and what I thought would happen. I had some of the seedings off in both conferences, the final few go back and forth, but for the most part I was a pretty good guesser. In the East I had Philly in and Chicago out and up until last week it looked like I was going to be right. In the West I had Seattle and Houston in instead of Memphis and the Clippers but can you blame me with the Clips? I didn’t think so!

Well that is all I got for now, I hope you enjoyed the read and I will check back later and we can all talk some more, peace – the sports dude.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 9:20 AM

A spirited compromise.

The front page of today's Detroit Free Press made me think of an interesting predicament that we have here today in the city of Detroit. This is the first time, I believe, that the NHL Playoffs and the NBA Playoffs have started at the same time. Last year there was that dirty little word known as the lockout and this year the Olympics pushed back the hockey season a little bit. So the question today is what to do with the Spirit of Detroit Statue downtown that typically has a Red Wing Jersey on it for the NHL Playoffs but last year, without the hockey playoffs, had a Pistons Jersey on. So my friends what do we do now, does it wear one or the other, whom gets pissed and whom is made happy? Well, in honor of all things being fair and equal I thought that it would be best to make both teams and fan bases happy, put an afro on the statues head and a Red Wing Jersey on its torso, what do you think?

Later - the fair and square sports dude.

Monday, April 17, 2006 at 1:14 PM

It is Monday & I am back...

Yes, the sports dude is still alive and no I did not go into hiding because of my off the wall Lions prediction. Look, I even put the disclaimer in there that it was all on paper didn’t I? Besides, we all know how the Lions have no luck and I am sure something somewhere along the way will end up getting screwed up. That being said I apologize for the absence, I had some things going on in life that took my focus away from this place, but they say absence makes the heart grow fonder so I am back and here is what I got.

Since I already mentioned the Lions I guess I will start there and say what I have heard out of the minicamp and read about everything to me looks like so far, so good. I still have a feeling that Charles Rogers will not be here too much longer and I also get the feeling that Joey will stay on the roster all the way to June. Look, the Lions may as well play hard ball for as long as possible to get the best possible pick for him, I mean why not? Worst case scenario is you cut him and get nothing in return (which is more than they have gotten to this point anyway) because a seventh round pick is going to about amount to nothing anyway. Eventually some team is bound to get nervous and give Detroit that 4, 5, or 6 round pick they are looking for. Oh, one last thing, I really love listening to Henderson and Marinelli talk about football, it makes me want to go and just bash my head into something.

The Tigers started off with a bang but are now playing the type of baseball that should be expected of them, at least in my opinion. Beat the teams they are supposed to beat and steal some from the teams that are still better than them, that is about it right? Look, my expectations for them have not changed, all I want is something above .500 by like 5 to 10 games at the end of the season and I will dance a happy dance! There is finally a farm system with prospects in waiting, there is youth from said farm system in the majors and there finally seems to be some progress there. If you erase the Randy “I have no clue what I am doing” Smith years the Tigers are finally on track, unfortunately you can’t just erase those years and we as fans had to watch Smith make mistake after senseless mistake. Not to jinx it here but is anyone else just waiting for Tigers luck to kick in and Shelton going down with a serious injury or something? Quick, everyone knock on wood now that you read that!

The Red Wings won the President Trophy; let’s just hope that gets them out of the second round! Look, I hate to say it, but that is an old team man and at some point and time a younger and faster team is going to get them, sad but true! I look for Edmonton to take them at least to six games, if not seven, and by the second round you are going to have some tired grandpa’s out there! Remember Calgary two years ago, the Wings just looked slow and old and tired as shit against them and I see little difference now. Look, I would love for there to be two parades downtown this summer, it would be the first time in sports history that such a thing took place, but I think the Pistons have the better chance of bringing home a title than the Wings, but as much as I HATE hockey I would love to be wrong.

Speaking of the Pistons they now have home court locked up for the entire playoffs and show no signs of slowing down. The starters are getting rest, the bench is getting extra time to shake off the rust for the playoff grind, and all we need to know now is who they are playing in round one. Look, I am sorry here folks, I still don’t see any team in the East beating the Pistons in a seven game series when the Pistons have home court, crap even without it! I also am not all that sure Miami will make it to the Conference Finals anymore, something tells me that the Nets-Heat match up that should take place in the second round might go to the Nets; I am not sleeping on those cats anymore! Even so it is all irrelevant because as I stated before the only thing that can stop the Pistons in the East is an injury (knock on wood) or themselves.

Lastly I would like to add my two cents on a couple things I missed in my time off, one being Ben and his tantrum… it was just a message to his team, let it go people! Second is Tiger Woods and his use of the word “spaz”… get over that too people! Damn, I am so tired of people needed to be so freaking “PC” nowadays, stop spazzing out over it!

That is all I got, enjoy your day and we will talk again soon – the sports dude.

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