Archive for March, 2012

Ray Lewis can and will inspire anyone and everyone
March 29, 2012

Ray Lewis somehow found his way into the Stanford men’s basketball team locker room before the Cardinal’s NIT Semifinal against UMass.  Not surprisingly, Stanford won the game.  Thanks to deadspin for sharing first.

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Mike Mussina: great Orioles talent, but HOF?
March 28, 2012

Mike Mussina, for so many in Baltimore, defines the dawn of a dark era.  The losing seasons had started three years prior, but his bolt north to New York crystallized the reality that the glory days had died.

Picture courtesy: 60ft6in.com

In theory it’s hard to blame Mussina.  He received an extra year and 16 million more from the Yankees (should be noted though, Mussina never enjoyed a World Series Championship in New York despite playing on the team with the highest payroll every one of his 8 seasons in the Bronx.  The homerous cynic in me cries KARMA!)

But when Moose exercised his free agency rights to leave, he trampled on the emotions of Orioles fans.  Going to the Yankees, whom we could still seriously call  our rivals in 200o, was a straight gut shot.  Baltimore hasn’t had anything resembling an ace since, nor a winning season.

11 and a half years later, the club announces Mussina as an Orioles Hall of Famer.

His numbers certainly bear that out. He posted an E.R.A. of 3.53 in his eight Baltimore seasons, finishing at least 6th in the Cy Young Award balloting 9 times. He outpitched Randy Johnson twice in the 1997 Division Series.

If the Hall of Fame is a reward solely for one’s level of play, there can be no debate on Mike Mussina’s inclusion in Baltimore. But if Hall of Fame includes impact on the community, the way a player treats fans, and whether or not he crushed the hopes of a fan base by leaving for an arch rival, then yes debate is warranted.

Again, it was Mussina’s right to leave, but it’s the Orioles right to include whom they want in their Hall of Fame. The club says yes, what say you Orioles fans?

Loyola’s dream journey thanks to Jimmy Patsos
March 15, 2012

After watching Jimmy Patsos navigate the media, supporters, and all manner of well wishers in Pittsburgh, it’s hard to believe they ever had the NCAA Tourney without him.  A relentless, restless connoisseur of life he creates a vacuum the moment he leaves a room.

A quality practice started Thursday followed by a trip to the Andy Warhol Museum.  Patsos saw the parallel.  The Greyhounds currently enjoy their 15 minutes of fame, and his question to his team before they take the court against Ohio State tonight, are your 15 minutes up?  He navigated through the exhibitions like they were trying to trap him, barely pausing, but at the same time offering a running dialogue about Warhol.

This served as a distraction sure, but you have to love that on the day of the biggest game of his career, he focuses on teaching his kids some culture.

Speaking of his commentary, Patsos’ story telling capabilities are legendary, but so full of tangents you really have to focus when he gets going.  Or sometimes, don’t even listen, just watch him go.

His players love it.  They know he knows basketball, but much more he wants to give them a foundation for the future. A 92 percent graduation rate for his players, combined with a 24 win season make him a hot commodity in coaching ranks.  And should he pull an upset tonight against the Buckeyes, you can start printing invitations to his going away party.  They will come for him.

But right now,  all the efforts to build a program from a one win disaster to the MAAC Champions are rewarded.  Jimmy’s 15 minutes I do believe, are just beginning.

(this picture below works perfectly for Patsos.  He doesn’t stand still long enough to get in focus.  Loyola A.D. Jim Paquette enjoys a conversation with the constant motion expert)

Bounty Gate
March 2, 2012

The New Orleans Saints, through encouragement (financial and emotional) intentionally injured other players. Old fashioned bounties prove alive and well in the NFL.

Hey, it’s a violent game.  Despite the league’s sometimes hypocritical desire make the game safer, football comes with pain and injury.  But this goes way too far.  You can imagine the scene directed by Martin Scorcese as Jonathan Vilma drops 10 G’s on the table as the bounty reward for Brett Favre’s pelt.

I am very curious to see Roger Goodell’s punishment. His willingness to suspend players for arguable hits without monetary incentive was huge!  Now you have players, coaches, and front office personnel involved.  Even more curious, Gregg Williams, who apologized for his “terrible mistake” now coaches for the St. Louis Rams.  Will two teams suffer penalties? And if you want, as Gerry Sandusky pointed out to me, you could view this as a salary cap violation.

A monster mess that will no doubt become an example making process for the NFL.  Stay tuned.