Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, September 15, 2006 at 9:40 AM

Weekend Warrior - 09/15/06

That’s right folks it is that time again for your weekly dose of the all knowing of the know nothings, the wacky, zany, off the wall laugh out loud hilarity and head salesmen for the new line of Drive Thru Attendant Eye Cleaner, the Weekend Warrior.

Cincinnati at Ohio State

After an extremely impressive win last week in Texas the Buckeyes get to take a week off and play an easy opponent in Cincy. The sweater vest himself can even be seen smiling not once but twice and with one of his buttons undone as well.

OSU 31, Cincy 10

Iowa State at Iowa

This interstate rivalry has gone to Iowa State more lately than not but I look for Iowa to rebound this week nicely. The Hawkeyes had a close scare last week against an unranked Syracuse team but expect QB Drew Tate back this week at full strength.

Iowa 24, Iowa State 17

Michigan State at Pittsburgh

After two extremely tough games against quality opponents in Idaho and Eastern Michigan John L. finally feels like his boys are ready for some football. Unfortunately for him his team forgets that it needs to play good to win, especially against a quality opponent on the road. Sorry Sparty and Sports Pig, MSU falls on this day.

Pitt 30, MSU 23

U of M at Notre Dame

Mr. Lord All Mighty and Super Brilliant Genius Sir (or you can just call him Coach Weis) and the Golden Boy of all things Golden (or you can just call him Brady Quinn) are all saying the right things this week, that it is just another game… BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!! The point is this is not just another game and if you don’t get excited for a match up like this than there ain’t no blood flowing in your veins! This is a game that puts the two most winningest programs in college football against each other and it is the highest the two have been ranked when playing in years. The sports dude will not make a prediction here, I don’t like to play jinx for my Wolverines when the stakes are high, but I will repeat what I said in my preview… this game is the key! If they win this game then I really think they have something special here but if they lose all bets are off and it could be a huge deflating experience for these guys. The game will be close much like last years, I truly expect that.

Charlie Weis 1, Tom Brady 0

Now for the feature of all features, the moment that you have all been waiting for, it’s the:


Eastern Michigan at Northwestern

Well, Northwestern lost last week to the power house of college football, New Hampshire, and looks to rebound this week against my alma mater – Eastern. Problem is guys if you can’t handle a I-AA school like NH then how the hell are you gonna handle my Eagles there baby! That’s right, the sports dude is going with this green and white, which by the way is the only time you will here me root for the green and white openly.

Eastern 27, NW 24


Eastern over Northwestern, Pitt over MSU, LSU over Auburn, Louisville over Miami, and someone is going to win the ND-UM game I promise you that!


Lions at Chicago

After reading the newest best seller on the New York Times list, “Guaran-Sheeding For Dummies” Roy Williams now feels like he himself is a master and says that the Lions will win this weekend. When asked about the bulletin board material Bears LB Brian Urlacher quickly punches out the reporter who asks it and then says “next question”. Guess it didn’t really bother him too much did it? I had this as a win/loss in my preview, what is the sports dude going to do now that he is on the spot and has to pick the win or the loss? I am going for it…

Detroit 17, Chicago 14

That is it folks, have a safe weekend footballing, tail gating and always remember to football responsibly, we don’t need any pulled hamstrings from getting off the coach too quickly! Later – the sports dude.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 1:00 PM

Tiger Talk

When the Tigers and the Yankees played a while back Big Al and I both thought the same thing about Craig Monroe’s winning HR in the ninth that night… could that be the hit that propels them to the Division Title? Unfortunately as we have seen since that time it was clearly not the impact maker we or many of the rest of us, thought or even hoped it would be. Now the question arises once again as we witnessed last night could it be this time Guillen’s HR is the one that lifts them the rest of the way this season? Only time will tell but I think in every Tiger fans heart and stomach we are hoping that this time this HR will be the one.

As this season winds down I think it is clear that the Tigers not only miss “small ball” Polanco at the top of the order but the Tigers need a big bat, a true big bat, in that #4 spot to do what a #4 hitter is supposed to do… clean things up on the base path. Maggs was suppose to be that guy but it is clear that he has not only hit the wall in this, his first full season in two years, but his knee may be healthy enough to play but not healthy enough to help him generate power with the bat the way he once did. But imagine with me if you will next year a line up that has a #3 in Guillen followed by a #4 that Illitch either buys or Dombroski trades for followed by Maggs at #5 where I think he is better suited. Shoot, you could even put Monroe at #3 and place Guillen at #6 and to me that would be a killer stretch for any pitcher to get through. I think it is clear that Mr. Illitch will spend now because he clearly believes (FINALLY) in this organization and I think with the pitching depth the Tigers have that one Jeremy Bonderman would be great trade bait this off season to get a strong clean up hitter away from someone.

Think about it, the Tigers have Rogers for another year and unless some strange drop off occurs it looks like Verlander is finally the Jack Morris the Tigers farm system has long needed. Couple that with a healthy Maroth and a steady Robertson (seriously, has there ever been a more unlucky guy than Nate) and the Tigers still have a great 1-4 rotation intact. The #5 guy could come from anywhere in the organization, either Ledezma or maybe another shot for Zach Miner or maybe even another free agent acquisition this off season. The point is I think Bonderman would be great trade bait for the Tigers to use and get that big #4 bat that they clearly lack and need.

I know it may be premature to look too far ahead but the organization is finally bringing up everyday players from the farm system and finally has enough depth to make trades like this and not be hurt. The future finally looks bright for the Tigers and I for one and very damn happy to be able to type that. Later – the sports dude.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 3:03 PM

Monday Morning QB - Tuesday Edition

The sports dude goes to the Big House for the first time in two years and how does Mother Nature welcome me? With the first rain delay in Big House history that’s how! Thanks Mother Nature, gotta love ya! All kidding aside the sports dude stuck it out, got a little wet but still had a helluva good time watching the game, watching the sky and just taking in all the things that are Big House Football.

Just a few quick thoughts on the game and that is about it for today I suppose, I apologize for the one day delay but I just did not feel up to blogging yesterday as my post states. The burning question in everyone’s mind has been the vanilla offense and the lack of a passing attack but again I ask you why are you even asking those questions? For how long have people been bitching that Carr has continually lost the road openers in seasons or bitching that he can not win big games against ranked opponents? Hello people, whom are the Wolverines playing next week? #2 Notre Dame on the road, which to me falls into the category of road opener and big game against a ranked opponent all in the same package. Do you really expect anything but vanilla against Vanderbilt and Central Michigan University? Come on people, I know damn well if Carr and Debord would have opened that play book even a little you same idiots would be screaming at him saying “Oh great, way to show your cards to Notre Dame there Lloyd!” What the hell do you people want? Carr did just enough in these first two games to keep Henne healthy and from falling asleep and that is all he should have done, nothing more and nothing less. I have no problem with the lack of an air attack and if you are a true U of M fan deep down then you should feel the same way as I do; if not you are nothing more than a hypocrite.

As far as the game goes the greatest play, especially live, was kicker Ross Ryan’s punishing hit on Central’s kick returner in the second half. I am telling you Ryan should ask Carr to line up at linebacker sometime if they ever need an extra body because he flat out put a licking on the dude and it was awesome. The replay even got the fans going a little but and Ryan quite frankly saved maybe not a TD but at least another 10-15 yards on the return. The other thing that I liked was the 1997 National Championship staple play on offense returned twice, maybe three, times and that was the naked bootleg to the TE. That play was the bread and butter of the 1997 teams run and it worked again against CMU and I expect it to work again this week in South Bend. With the way teams play U of M for the run that play is successful more often than not and with the return of Debord my dad (whom is responsible for the maize and blue side of me) and I were wondering if he were smart enough to use it again… thank goodness he was! The defense was still quick and aggressive and even though the secondary gave up some questionable TD passes they were not the main guys playing defense when it happened. All in all I like the way U of M is looking, both defensively and yes offensively going into the game at Notre Dame. Does that mean the sports dude is predicting a victory this Saturday in South Bend? Hell no I am not jinxing that game, all I will say is what I said before, IF (yes, I purposely put IF in all caps) the Wolverines win this game then I truly feel this is a special team and there is a chance for a very special season.

MSU looked like MSU, thanks for killing my EMU football team guys and the Lions looked great on defense but confused on offense. So far the sports dude is right on with his Lions prediction, I did say they would lose to the Seahawks didn’t I? Well I guess that really is not cause to brag but I just felt like typing it anyway!

Well there you have it, the sports dude finally has classes underway so I will keep you all up to date on all things “hot chick” related but no news yet, there have been no sightings! Later – the sports dude.

Monday, September 11, 2006 at 10:04 AM

The flags at half mast

The sports dude does not feel like being funny today, he is going to take the day off to respectively mourn and remember the sad and horrific events of fives years ago this morning. The Monday Morning QB will return tomorrow but he is going to stay silent today and instead share my story of this morning from five years past.

I had yet to discover sports talk radio and was still a dedicated listener of 89X and their morning show. I still remember that particular morning quite clear because, although they were typically a goofy bunch, this particular morning they were acting even more off the wall than usual. At the moment the first plane hit they made a small remark about a plane hitting the tower but mentioned there was no news of serious damage, just some small commuter plane. The jokes continued as the DJ's and even myself just thought it was something minor. A couple minutes later another update breaks in again mentioning the "small plane" and then suddenly the update DJ goes silent... Breaking news, the second tower has just been hit and we have just been told that they were commercial planes in both cases and not small commuter planes. Suddenly it is clear to not only the DJ but to all of us that this is no accident this is an attack on the American lifestyle and beliefs. I stand up from my desk in cubicle land and look towards the lunchroom where there is a small TV - I have a clear shot from where I am standing - and see the smoke from the towers. I look at my buddy and tell him this is serious and real, he too had only heard the "minor" reports like I got. From that moment on my eyes are glued to the TV and to AM radio to get more informative reporting than that which I would get from 89X and... Well, you all know how the rest of the day unfolded. I called my wife to wake her up (she had just finished a midnight shift and was at first pissed because I woke her up) and told her that she needed to turn on the TV that we were under attack and she was missing horrific history unfolding. I asked how our son was, he was the only sport dude-ling born at the time, and she said he was okay, he was to young to understand and more upset that mom wouldn't let him watch cartoons. I later talked to my father and he said this will be the day you always remember, just like he still remembers where he was and what he was doing when JFK was shot and now five years later I see what he means.

I went home that night and built a small vigil in my backyard, I live on a corner lot so you can see, and for the next two weeks I kept an oil lamp burning next to some American Flags. To this day it still sticks with me and I know that someday I will be able to share the story with my children when they are old enough to understand or with my future students (I am majoring in education at EMU for history) and tell them first hand what it was like and how it felt. It is our duty as Americans to live our lives to the fullest and to never forget so that those that died did not do so in vain. God Bless, God Speed, the sports dude hopes that your souls are resting somewhere in peace.

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