Thursday, June 07, 2007

Declaration of Independence

A big change was made today at my favorite college message board, The site has been part of the network, until today, when the publishers of OU Insider reached the end of their contract with Scout, and broke away from Scout. There was much rejoicing in the Sooner Nation. and are networks of independent websites and magazines, providing premium recruiting content, and both pay and free message boards. Rivals is primarily a college site, while Scout is a network of both college and pro sites, dominated by college ones. Independent publishers partner with Scout to provide content, while Scout hosts the website and message boards. Scout also publishes fan magazines for many schools. Scout is now owned by Fox Interactive Media.

The Scout network has taken some major hits this year. Three of their most popular sites have declared their independence and have broken away from Scout, for various reasons. The leading sites for Ohio State (Bucknuts), Florida (Gator Country), and Oklahoma (OUInsider) have all broken away from Scout, and none have departed on good terms. The USC fan site,, has announced their departure. Word is that sites for Stanford and Texas are soon to follow. There have been differences of opinion on content for each of the sites, as the publishers did not experience the freedom they desired for each of their sites. Furthermore, Scout moved all their sites away from the popular EZboards platform, to their own message board software. This was met with anger from the masses. Currently, the leading site left on Scout is, a North Carolina fan site.

This is a bitter divorce, and Gator Country, Bucknuts, The Bootleg (Stanford), OUInsider, and Inside Texas are now party to a lawsuit against Scout, due to disagreements over the terms and length of contracts, unpaid advertising monies, and major customer service issues. Scout is in danger of losing a large portion of their subscriber base. Ohio State, Florida, USC, and OU represent four of the last seven national football champions.

I applaud today's move by OUInsider. I lurk there every day, but rarely post. I have found a lot of independent sites that I find superior to a lot of what is found on the Scout and Rivals networks. This is purely a matter of opinion, because I don't subscribe to recruiting information, and only peruse message boards. Some good independent sites belong to schools such as TCU (, Baylor (, Texas A&M (, Nebraska (, Arkansas (, and Virginia Tech (

Good luck to the new!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

One Championship Down, Another To Go

The Anaheim Ducks put the Ottawa Senators out of their misery tonight, winning Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, 6-2, and winning the Cup, 4 games to 1. The Ducks kicked the Sens all the way back to Canada. The series really wasn't close. As a result, there are riots in Newport Beach tonight. Not really. The Ducks' players can now shave their Grizzly Adams-style beards, since the playoffs are over.

The hockey finals ended tonight just in time for the beginning of the NBA Finals, which start tomorrow night in San Antonio. The Spurs go for their fourth championship in nine years over the upstart Cleveland Cavaliers, a/k/a LeBron James And A Bunch Of Guys. LeBron will be worth watching, all by himself. But, the Spurs will be too tough for them. The championship will go to a team on I-35. Problem is, it's not the Mavericks (remember them?). Spurs win in six.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Little Cherry On Top

(warning: 7 minute video)

NBC gave those of us in the U.S. a treat on Monday night, as the great Don Cherry was their guest during the second intermission of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Cherry, also known as "Grapes", is known for his "Coach's Corner" segments on the CBC's Hockey Night In Canada. He is known for loud suits and bombastic commentary. He is the king of the hot sports opinion. Cherry once got in hot water for suggesting that most players that wore helmet visors were French-Canadians or Europeans. He is a defender of old-school Canadian hockey. He has also been known to register hot political opinions, coming out in favor of the U.S. war in Iraq, definitely a minority opinion north of the 45th parallel. Nonetheless, he was rated 7th in a poll to determine the Greatest Canadians of all time, for a series broadcast on CBC. Coach's Corner is must-see TV on Saturday nights in Canada during the hockey season. Don Cherry is an icon north of the border.

Last night, Cherry threw down some hot sports opinions in favor of fighting. He made the point that TV ratings would be up in the U.S. if more fighting were allowed. I never thought about it, but he has a point. Hockey's ratings can't be much worse than what they are now. What is the fastest growing sport in the U.S.? Ultimate Fighting Championships. Americans love violence. Hockey can meet that demand. Brett Hull, in this video, went along with him.

I disagree with Grapes on one thing, though: Brett Hull's Stanley Cup-winning goal was legitimate. Here's to the 1999 Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars!


Props go out to some universities for athletic excellence:

Tonight, the Tennessee Lady Vols have the first of two chances to win the NCAA national women's softball championship. They lead Arizona, 1-0, in a best-of-three series. The Lady Vols have already won the women's national championship in basketball. It's not quite what Florida did in football and men's basketball, but it's still quite an achievement, if the Lady Vols take care of business.

There are, in essence, five sports that get the majority of media exposure in college athletics. All five of these get quality airtime on the ESPN family of networks, with football and men's basketball getting the majority of the exposure. Women's basketball, men's baseball, and women's softball have developed their own followings, as well. There are three schools that qualified for post-season play in all five sports: Ohio State (they of the $100,000,000 athletic budget), Louisville, and Texas A&M. Props to the Buckeyes, Cardinals, and Aggies.

Update: Tennessee didn't win the national championship in softball. Arizona won two games in a row over the Lady Vols, to win the national championship.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ugly Uniform of the Day

This, by all means, is one of the most hideous uniforms in the history of football.

The Orlando Thunder played in the World League of American Football, the predecessor of NFL Europe. They lasted all of two seasons, 1991 and 1992. They are best known for these electric green jerseys. Can you say: LOUD? These probably would glow in the dark, if given the chance.

That part of Florida is known for the high amount of lightning strikes. Obviously, someone's brain was struck by lightning when these uniforms were designed.

Lee Corso was the general manager of the team for part of their existence. I don't know if the uniforms were his idea, but he'd be a good person to blame.

Be glad these jerseys never made it to the NFL.