Sports Goggles

Archive for January 2008

Spotes Notes, 1.31.08: Super Bowl XLII Edition

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plax.jpgThis is the final day we’ll be hearing anything at all from players. Friday and Saturday things shut down and everybody begins to get their games faces on – players and press. So, all day long I’ll be trolling for pertinent Super Bowl news to bring to you. Check back often….

Brady on Moss, Palantonio on Brady; Hoops break; Best line of the week?; Super Bowl news of the weird; You knew race had to come into all this sometime; Speaking of saying the wrong thing…; Who’s the key to the Giants winning the game again?

During yesterday’s round of interviews, Randy Moss, who will be a free agent after the season, indicated that he would like to play out the remainder of his days with the New England Patriots:

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Michael Wilbon Update

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wilbon1.jpgMichael Wilbon is back at his home in Scottsdale and is planning on playing golf this weekend. The effect of the angioplasty apparently gave Wilbon an energy surge and Mr. Wilbon wanted to return to work as early as today. However, he was convinced by his doctors, wife, and friends to follow doctor’s orders and relax until his doctors give him clearance to resume his duties as a columnist at the Washington Post and a co-host with Tony Kornheiser on the ESPN-produced afternoon television show, Pardon the Interruption.

Early Monday morning Mr. Wilbon complained to his wife of chest pains and was taken to the hospital where is was found that he had suffered a mild heart attack.

Written by dwil

January 30, 2008 at 5:47 pm

The Death of Keith Ryan: More Condolences and a Mystery

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ryans.jpgOn Monday Michael Wilbon suffered a heart attack. Throughout the sports world sorrow and relief was expressed. That same day another, even more tragic event occurred. Keith Ryan, son of Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan, was killed in Islamabad. I am personally sorry that I did not cover this event the same day I reported on Mr. Wilbon and would like to apologize for failing to do so.

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Reports around the world, including the Boston Globe and ESPN (reported by Mike Greenberg Wednesday morning on the Mike and Mike in the Morning show), said Keith Ryan, 37, a Homeland Security attache to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad and son of noted longtime Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The “suicide” occurred Monday morning, just hours before he was to fly home after serving the U.S. government for a year in the unstable country.

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Written by dwil

January 30, 2008 at 9:18 am

Seven Reasons Why the New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl XLII

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sbxlii.jpgToday is Super Bowl XLII Media Day. This is the day that officially kicks off the six-day run up the the big game. As this is being written various members of the New England Patriots team are being interviewed by hundreds of representatives from all forms of media. Every manner of question will be asked. Every manner of answer will be given. Media Day for the Super Bowl is a singular event in sports; nothing else approximates it.

Because today acts as the first day that you can feel the Super Bowl is close at hand, that after today the time will go by quickly and suddenly it will be Sunday, I feel this is also a great time to lay out my initial thoughts on the game. What I came up with are seven reasons why the New England Patriots will win Super Bowl XLII.

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*Breaking News* Michael Wilbon Suffers Heart Attack

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wilbon.jpgMichael Wilbon acclaimed longtime colunmist at the Washington Post and Pardon the Interruption (PTI) co-host suffered a minor heart attack this morning. It was reported that at 3 a.m. he complained of chest pains to his wife who took him to the hospital. Doctors found minor blockage in his heart and performed an angioplasty, which successfully removed the blockage.

Though he is weary he is expected tom be back at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona tomorrow.

Our thoughts and for those who pray – prayers – are with you.

Spotes Notes, 1.28.08: New Clemens Site – by Clemens, for Clemens, of Clemens; SOMM Vid Widget; Last Words on Tiger-Tilghman, et al.; It’s a Nelson-Webber Reunion; the Writers of His-Story; George Martin Is Walking; Cavs Benefit from NBA Largesse

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dharrison.jpgLeBron-Kobe: and it happened in front of the nation

All over sports websites people are talking about how the Cavs and LeBron James got the best of Kobe and the Lakers, Sunday. I though, have one question: did anyone other than me notice that the Los Angeles Lakers on their home court were the recipients of exactly zero foul calls at the end of the game yesterday. No call when Larry Hughes clearly hit Kobe Bryant’s forearm on a made jumper (to tie the score at 92) from the right wing. No call on Lamar Odom’s drive on the right baseline when he was smacked by Ira Newble (score, 94-93 Cleveland). No foul call again on Hughes when Kobe went up for the layin (96-95 Cavs) after the steal at the end of the game. And no foul call when Daniel Gibson took a full swing and chopped Kobe Bryant’s arms to hack the ball away from Bryant (still 96-95 Cavs). Zero calls on your home court? Only when James is involved does this happen.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga-Novak Djokavic Show Us the Future of Men’s Tennis

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tsongafinal.jpgRoger Federer will, at some point, break Pete Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam wins. Rafael Nadal has a couple of French Open wins left on his racket.

But Federer has been had. And Nadal looks closer in the rearview mirror than he actually is. It is 2008 and there is new tennis to be played; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokavic are playing it.

Armed with new hybrid synthetic and natural gut strings and 21-century rackets these two can do things with a tennis ball that could not be imagined only 10 years ago. But Tsonga’s body looks more like an NFL running back’s than a tennis player’s and Djokavic is built like a wideout. As hard as Djokavic hits his shots, Tsonga hits them harder – and more effortlessly. As quick as Djokavic is, Tsonga is as quick.

Tsonga, 22, is a black man of the Congo – his father, Didier – and his French mother. He favors a young Mohammed Ali. His father actually saw the Ali-George Foreman fight in Zaire. Djokavic, 20, and his family barely escaped the bombing of his former neighborhood, moved to Germany and began to invest their time into their son’s future.

Tsonga won the first set of the Australian Open Finals (6-4) against Djokavic, the heavy favorite, by hitting a topspin lob from 10 feet behind the baseline on the dead run. Tsonga comes to net and shortens points with crisp, precise volleys like a player from a time gone by; when coming to net to win points was actually part of the game, not a place to be feared and run from. Djokavic relies on his groundstrokes more, but volleys adequately.

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Written by dwil

January 27, 2008 at 7:24 am

Three Thoughts for Friday: Deron Washington and Duke; The Australian Open and the State of Tennis; Mantan Finally Hits the Airwaves

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Did anyone see Lomas Brown and Ray Buchannon “RayLo” on ESPN’s First Take today! These two ex NFL players dressed in all-white and all-cream- colored suits reminiscent of some Bizarro World Uncle Ben’ Converted Rice uniforms, proceeded to do a “Mantan: The New Millenium Minstrel Show” with their “Do Over” awards.

Buchannon: I LUVS HIS GUNS WHEN HE OUT DARE HAVIN’FUN(??!!)

Brown: WOOOOOO!

Brown: Less see it one mo’ time for da big fella!

Buchannon: WOOOOOOOO!

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Spotes Notes, 1.24-25.08: Kelly Tilghman’s Apology; Something New-Old from MLB’s Steroid Frontier; Dirty, Dirty Seymour; Tilghman Speaks – from the 18th at the Buick; Knoblauch Disappears; Jo-Wilfred, Jo-Wilfred (more to come)

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Tilghman’s apology

Kelly Tilghman issued this new apology:

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The NASCARification of America: 2008

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marcdavis.jpgOn February 17, the 2008 NASCAR season will open in celebration of the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in Daytona, Fl. If you visit the official website for the race you will find an Internet space intended to trigger images of a past full of glory in an effort to pay homage to the men made the race what it is today. Upon opening, the site presents us with majestic music reminiscent of the NFL Films era of John Facenda, the voice all men who narrate sports attempt to emulate. Old cars with fins and monstrosities from the 1970s slide around various permutations of the Daytona Speedway forming a continuum of time that leads us to the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow that is very much here today.

From the website, the visitor unfamiliar with Daytona, Florida or NASCAR would never know that denizens of that city can still remember days when black people were once “gator bait” for whites, as this author was told. From the website one would never know that just last year NASCAR fans heckled 17-year old wunderkind black driver, Marc Davis with the words, “Go home nigger!” From the website a visitor would never know that once NASCAR and Craftsman Truck Series driver, Bill Lester (a black man) said of the Talladega Speedway – outside of Atlanta, Ga. – infield party scene, “I would never spend the night there.”

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