Saturday, April 14, 2007

UUOTD-Steel City Edition

Last night, I was watching SportsCenter, and I immediately wanted to post this. However, there was already an ugly uniform yesterday, so it gave me something to post later.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have began wearing a red alternate jersey on Friday nights. Red can be a pirate color, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it work well. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates' colors are black and gold, just as the other Pittsburgh teams are.

I couldn't find any decent pictures from last night's game, as the Pirates lost to the Giants, and Barry Bonds hit two home runs, so the coverage was all about Bonds and the Giants. They are wearing this red jersey with their black caps and white pants. Not only is the jersey ugly, but it doesn't match the rest of their uniform.

I can't begin to describe how ugly this is. I was ready to gouge two eyes out. This red made it look like they were trying to bleed the normal white home uniforms. They are ruining a good look.

This uniform is like this franchise for the last decade and a half: bad, really bad. Ugh!

Dominoes Falling Down, or The Coaching Carousel

We are on the back end of college basketball coach hiring season. Coaches get fired, jobs open up, and coaches move up the proverbial ladder.

In December, Minnesota fired Dan Monson as head coach. He has since landed on his feet at Long Beach State. This set off the following set of moves:

Tubby Smith left Kentucky for Minnesota
Billy Gillispie left Texas A&M for Kentucky
Mark Turgeon left Wichita State for Texas A&M
Gregg Marshall left Winthrop for Wichita State

Winthrop is now on the clock.

By the way, Marshall agreed to a contract with a $750,000 base salary at Wichita State. WICHITA STATE! They are spending some serious cash. Marshall has been holding out for a bigger job for a while, and I thought he was holding out for a job in the SEC or ACC.

The coaching carousel is always interesting.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ugly Uniform Of The Day-Hockey Retro Edition

The Vancouver Canucks have a legacy of ugly uniforms. None are worse than their home jerseys, worn from 1978-1985.

These are the infamous "V" jerseys. There is a multi-colored "V" coming down from the neck, with no logo. The road version is not quite as bad, since it was a black jersey. The home version, however, was hideous. There was no white, only a mustard yellow that would fit well in the German Bundesliga.

Any uniform is an improvement over this one. This is one of the worst uniforms in the history of sports, and probably the worst one in the history of the NHL.

At least Wayne Gretzky was dominating the NHL at that time, and the Canucks didn't even smell a Stanley Cup with those uniforms.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hockey and Bets

I totally forgot that the Dallas Stars were playing the Vancouver Canucks last night in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Being in Houston, we got the Rockets' game on our version of Fox Sports Net, and I'm not sure if the game was on Versus (why did the NHL leave ESPN?).

The Stars have always been good for at least one multiple overtime game during the playoffs in a Western city. I've stayed up numerous times watching those things. There is nothing like playoff overtime hockey, especially when the game runs past midnight.

Last night took the cake. The Stars played in Vancouver, and the game started at 9 PM Central Time. When the Canucks won in the fourth overtime, it was 2:30 AM in Dallas. Wow.

Also on the subject of hockey: the Premier of British Columbia (similar to a governor in the States) has bet Texas governor Rick Perry 20.10 pounds of B.C. beef on the outcome of the series. Premier Gordon Campbell said: "I'm betting Gov. Perry 20.10 pounds of B.C. beef that we'll defeat the Stars and advance to the Western Conference semifinals, and also to remind him that B.C. is hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games." I have not seen word from Governor Perry as of yet. I'm thinking his reaction is: "What's hockey? Do they play it at Texas A&M?" and, "Where's British Columbia?"

Perry was challenged to a similar bet a few years ago by the governor of New Jersey, when the San Antonio Spurs and New Jersey Nets played for the NBA title. He responded: "There is nothing in New Jersey that we'd want." Perry does, however, participate in friendly bets with the Oklahoma governor over the annual Oklahoma-Texas football game. This is in spite of his affiliation with UT's archrival, Texas A&M.

Give me more hockey.

Message Board Thread of the Day

Actually, it's an entire message board.

The TCU site at is lightly visited. The message boards there get very little traffic, as the best TCU internet coverage and discussion is at

The TCU basketball program has been mediocre at best in the last few years. Thus, bad basketball team + little fan interest + lightly visited site = dead message board. Enter the Big Blue Nation.

Kentucky fans have taken over the TCU board at This is priceless:

Kentucky Horned Frogs

Strange things happen when you have basketball fans from a basketball school take over the hoops board of a football school.

I spent 14 years in Fort Worth. I like TCU. I have several friends that went there. But, this is funny.

In spite of all that, Go Frogs!

(special thanks to Truzenzuzex at A Sea Of Blue for the mention in the blog today..)

Update, 10:10 pm CDT: Thanks to the guys at The Cats' Pause, this blog experienced a record day of traffic. With two hours left in the day, this blog has had 1,550 visits. This is a record, breaking the record set by Arkansas fans in January when I posted the email sent by a friend of Hog football coach Houston Nutt to QB Mitch Mustain. The Big Blue Nation has been a lot of fun today. Thank you, Kentucky!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Palace?

I am going to take a few minutes and write on something that matters to very few people outside a few square miles in Oklahoma.

My high school alma mater, Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, is in the process of building a new football stadium. A bond issue was passed last year, and they are building a 3,000 seat stadium immediately north of the high school. This stadium is sorely needed, as they are currently playing on a 70-year old field that now holds maybe 1500 people, and has very little parking, forcing fans to park in the surrounding neighborhood. The current field also only has a small dressing room, barely big enough for one team. The home team buses from the practice field at the school, where they dress for games. The teams cram into the small building at halftime for adjustments. I apologize for not having pictures, but it's really just three square blocks in a neighborhood with a football field on it.

The school has been on the cusp of moving to a higher classification for years, and now expects to move up in the next realignment. Therefore, the urgency has been demonstrated for a new facility, 30 years in the making/dreaming.

This isn't a really huge deal to most, but they are doing some things right with this stadium. First, some of the bleachers on the home side will have chairbacks. This is standard fare at a lot of high schools, but is something foreign to Tecumseh. Also, there will be Field Turf at the new stadium, as purchased by the school board last night. That is somewhat normal for a lot of schools in Texas (even some one-high school towns in classes 3A & 4A), but it is still unusual in Oklahoma. Schools there don't spend quite the bucks on football like they do in Texas. There are probably only a handful of schools in Oklahoma with artificial turf, and probably none of Tecumseh's size. Initially, I don't see the use, as they don't have a soccer team, nor do they have a second high school with which to share the stadium. But, it's a nice feature, well-deserved for a school which has had sub-par facilities for so long. And, the coach or maintenance workers will be glad to not have to mow grass in the summer.

My hat is off to them. They are building a facility they can be proud of. It is long-awaited and well-deserved.

Update: A video preview of the new facility is posted above.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wacca, Wacca, Wacca....

...was the noise as Pac-man ate the dots on the classic video game played for hours by those of us that are children of the 80's.

Today, Pacman is a suspended NFL cornerback. Adam "Pacman" Jones of the Tennessee Titans was suspended for an entire season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Jones has been arrested 10 times in the last two years for various offenses.

The most well-known of these offenses occurred during NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. Jones is alleged to have been involved in an altercation with an exotic dancer at a local strip club. According to the club's co-owner, Jones approached the stage with a garbage bag filled with approximately $81,000 in one-dollar bills. Jones proceeded to throw the money into the air over the exotic dancers for a dramatic effect, an act known as "making it rain" or performing a "rain dance". Becoming enraged when one of the dancers began taking the money without his permission, Jones grabbed her by her hair and slammed her head on the stage. A security guard intervened and scuffled with members of Jones' entourage of half a dozen people, during which time Jones allegedly bit the guard on the lower leg. Jones then allegedly threatened the guard's life. After the patrons of the club exited, the club owner says a person in Jones' entourage returned with a gun and fired into a crowd, hitting three people, including the security guard involved in the earlier skirmish. Although the guard was shot twice, one of the people hit, former professional wrestler Tommy Urbanski, was paralyzed from the waist down. Jones maintains that he did not know the shooter, although the club's owner insists that Jones did. On March 26, 2007 the Las Vegas Police recommended to the city's district attorney that Jones be charged with one count of felony coercion and also a misdemeanor count of battery and a misdemeanor count of threat to life. (thanks to Wikipedia for the details)

Also suspended today, for eight games, was Jones' college teammate and Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry. Henry has been arrested four times in the last two years for various offenses.

This is a good move. The league has instituted a tougher personal conduct policy, with encouragement from the players' union. The NFL needs to keep its off-field reputation clean in order to remain the most popular (and only growing) major spectator sport in America.

Props to Commissioner Goodell.

Message Board Thread of the Day

In Kentucky, Big Blue Nation is still abuzz with the hiring of the program's latest high priest, Billy Clyde Gillispie. However, that is not the only change in the Kentucky athletic department. currently has a two page thread on the athletic director's reassignment of the longtime secretary in the basketball office.

Basketball Secretary Reassigned

This is probably good for her. She wouldn't want to try to keep up with a coach that calls up players at 3 A.M. just to chat, and that sends 8,000 text messages per month.

Only in Kentucky would it be a big deal for an athletic department secretary to be reassigned.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Message Board Thread of the Day

Something I spend way too much time doing is reading internet message boards. The Internet has produced a new type of armchair fan. The Web has provided a place where people can go, anonymously, and post their feelings (and schtick) among people of like mind (or of unlike mind). Anybody with a screen name and a password can say whatever they want to, whether it makes sense or not, and whether it makes them look smart or not. Some people look really wise on the Internet. Others look really foolish.

I am entertained by reading the message boards of different universities. I read them more than I should. I get a lot of information from them, as do legitimate journalists. A lot of what is said in these forums turns out to be true. Just like you can't believe everything you hear, you can't believe everything you read on the Internet. However, many of these Internet communities do a good job of keeping fellow posters accountable for truth.

From time to time, I am going to post a thread from an Internet message board that I find interesting. Sometimes, it will be informative. Other times, it will be entertaining. Coaches hate message boards, and the rumors that they can sometimes produce, as well as the pressure they can create. I like them. I enjoy reading them.

Billy Gillispie left Texas A&M for Kentucky last week. According to some, he was looking for a place to go as early as last year. Some are saying that he had agreed to take the Arkansas job, before he decided to wait on Kentucky. There are those that are saying that Frank Broyles was so sure Gillispie was going to Arkansas, that he had made plans in February to fire coach Stan Heath at the end of the season. Once Billy G turned down Arkansas, the Hogs were looking bad. According to others, Gillispie was playing Arkansas and Texas A&M off of each other, while pushing for the Kentucky job all along.

There are two threads from that are enlightening. One discusses a blog entry from this morning by the Houston Chronicle's John P. Lopez. Lopez takes the side of Gillispie in this mess.

Texags on Lopez Blog

Another Texags thread is by a poster with the handle of "Ball Gravy". He throws Gillispie under the bus over the weekend with some of the first information on Gillispie's flirtation with Arkansas. Apparently, Ball Gravy has a source in the athletic department. The thread was locked for a time, then was reopened as the allegations appeared more true.

Ball Gravy on Gillispie and Arkansas

Where there's a soap opera, there you will find Arkansas in the middle of it. Actually, this one belongs more to the Aggies.

Ugly Uniform of the Day

I was watching SportsCenter last night, and they were showing highlights of the Mets-Braves game. There were some loud uniforms being worn, and I thought they were orange jerseys, like the Mets wear on occasion in spring training. I thought these were the most awful things. I looked closer, and the Mets were wearing gray. The game was in Atlanta, and the Braves were wearing red.

This red is louder than a fire truck. It does not fit the Braves. The Braves need to wear white at home, and gray on the road. Red is a minor, complementary color for them.

This franchise went through a phase in the 70's and 80's where they wore both powder and royal blue. They weren't very good then, except for one good year in '82. The Braves' dynasty of the 90's and 2000's coincided with their return to the Milwaukee Braves uniforms.

Apparently, these red jerseys are their Sunday uniform. The Sunday cap, with the "A" and the tomahawk isn't real great, either.

Braves: Go back to basics, quickly.

The Cleveland Indians of Milwaukee (at least for three days)

One of the drawbacks of the 162-game, 162-date schedule is that baseball season starts really, really early. The regular season began last week, on April 2. While that's not a problem in places like southern California, it can raise some issues in other parts of the country.

The Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians attempted to play a four-game series this past weekend in Cleveland. Attempt is the operative word here. The city of Cleveland got hit by a massive snowstorm over the weekend. The teams played Friday night into the top of the 5th inning, but, with Cleveland leading 4-0, but with the bases loaded for Seattle, Mariners manager Mike Hargrove complained to the umpires about visibility in the falling snow. So, the game was wiped away, to be rescheduled for Saturday. They didn't play Saturday, as there were three inches of snow and ice on the field. So, they tried to play a doubleheader on Sunday. No luck. Finally, they had a scheduled doubleheader for today. Still snowed out.

There is no word on make-up dates for this series. This was Seattle's only scheduled trip to Cleveland this season.

To add insult to injury for the fans of CLE, the Indians have moved this week's Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to Milwaukee. It seems Milwaukee has a retractable roof over their park. This is also the only scheduled visit by the Angels to Cleveland this season. On top of that, the fans of CLE lose three opportunities to see their team this season.

Baseball has an absolutely absurd schedule. I understand that both the players' union (due to rest) and the owners (more playing dates=more money) desire to stay away from the scheduled doubleheader. This forces the regular season into early April. Also, the regular season currently ends at the very end of September, with three rounds of playoffs extending through the entire month of October. All of this leads to some crazy weather at both the beginning and end of the season. Baseball games should not be in a position to be snowed out.

There are two simple solutions, neither of which will happen in my lifetime: 1) Go back to the 154-game schedule, and sprinkle a few doubleheaders into the calendar. This will allow for opening day to be held no earlier than mid-April. 2) Play all games in the first two weeks of the season in covered ballparks or warm-weather cities. There is always the possibility of freak weather such as last weekend's snow flurries and freezing weather in Arlington, Texas. However, it is not fair to the players, or even the fans, in places like Cleveland or Chicago to play or watch in almost guaranteed frigid conditions.

To add another lack of sense to the situation, this is the only visit by both the Mariners and Angels to Cleveland this year. I have no problem with the unbalanced schedule, allowing teams to play more games against division rivals. However, the lords of baseball can at least schedule these games at both the beginning and end of the season. Scheduling division games early can at least offer more opportunities for make-up later in the season.

As it is, the Mariners could spend two or as many as four off-days making road trips into Cleveland to make up this series. Good luck working all that out.

And baseball wonders why it is no longer this country's leading sport.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Where Do We Go From Here?

This blog has been up since August of 2006. It's been a lot of fun blogging through the football and college basketball seasons.

We are now in, what is for me, the off-season when it comes to sports. Football season is over, and college basketball season is over.

I'm not going away, but I am refocusing. The NBA playoffs are coming up. Baseball season has began. I can't quite get into baseball yet, and I wouldn't care at all if I didn't have a fantasy team. Baseball is a talking sport, however, and I expect to talk about it some time. Football is just around the corner.

There is always something to blog about. I plan to keep up. I can't promise 5-6 posts per day, but I plan to keep up. This blog isn't going away.