Sunday, February 27, 2005The Morning Toast: Super Size Edition
However, I'm going to find the biggest stories in sports since the last time I posted in a lame way to catch up.
Chaney Cracks Under Pressure
Temple basketball coach John Chaney has been all over the news for his usage of the "goon" tactic. Personally I feel bad calling any student-athlete a goon because it's not fair to the kid.
First of all, Chaney didn't break any new ground with this tactic (thank you Marc Jackson). Many coaches in the past have went with a "physical" lineup to deliver hard fouls and slow down a smaller guard. Hell the Detroit Pistons won two titles with such tactics. The problem is more with Chaney's post-game comments where he was almost antagonizing St. Joseph's and of course the injury to John Bryant ending his collegiate career.
"That's what happens. I'm a mean, ornery son of a -----. I see something wrong, I try to right it."
The move was called disgraceful and a miscarriage of justice. Personally I found it disturbing once the injury to John Bryant was revealed and he said the following:
"I grew up watching Chaney, I still admire him, but I don't really understand the situation fully. It was just weird. It didn't really hit me until now. Last night, I was up all night. I couldn't sleep."
Stephen A. Smith says remember Chaney for who he is, while ESPN's Pat Forde says Chaney shouldn't coach in the postseason. Meanwhile, Memphis coach and former rival John Calipari says why bother with it now?
Meanwhile the forgetton victim, Nehemiah Ingram is now and forever classified as a "goon" but the young says he's a nice guy.
"I just want people to know I'm good at heart. I was raised in the church all my life. My mama raised me in the church. She named me and my brothers with biblical names. I'm not what everybody thinks I am. I'm a really nice guy."
As for the way his coach characterized him, Ingram said he knew Chaney didn't mean it.
"I didn't take offense. I know he means well, and he loves me like I'm his son. ... I don't think he really meant it. He's like a father to me, and my father called me worse things than that."
Sometimes we forget that we're dealing with young men here. I hope the A-10 fans go easy on this kid during the road games and the tournament. And I hope Chaney is extremely broken up over the grief he's caused both Bryant and Ingram.
The embattled former Ohio St. stars 40 times: 4.82 and 4.72.
And I thought *I* was slow.
"I thought I was better prepared."
However, it looks like California's J.J. Arrington (4.46), Auburn's Ronnie Brown (4.48) and Michigan State's DeAndra Cobb (4.49) had that category controlled.
Later in the day Brown went all the way down to 4.32. So the top running back in the draft couldn't even start at Auburn.
Bracketology 201: 1 Down, 64 to Go
Congratulations to the Ivy League champions, Pennsylvania, hopefully they will be joined by at least two more teams in the Big 5.
This is the Quakers' fifth Ivy League title since 1999. I would peg them as a 14 or 15 seed with their less-than-gaudy 16-9 record.
Bears Make Free-Agent Splash
Mushin Muhammad couldn't work out an extension with the Carolina Panthers so they released him before being hit with a major cap penalty.
A few hours later the Bears snatched him up with a multi-year deal. Good move for the Bears who didn't have a receiver catch 50 passes for them last season. If Rex Grossman can get healthy and the defense continues to improve, the Bears can emerge from the weak NFC North division (a division without Randy Moss and...Brett Favre??).
Don Pierson of the Chicago Tribune agrees.
Meanwhile Jerome Bettis says he'll stick around for another year and the Redskins deny a swap of Coles-for-Santana Moss with the New York Jets.
NBA Beasts of the East
Two things jumped out of me right away during the second half of the season: Indiana beating Orlando, Cleveland and Miami -- all teams that should be in the playoffs -- and Detroit beating Los Angeles by 21.
Indiana is ready. They didn't make any moves at draft day but in actuality they didn't have too. They are the only team in the East that can go 9-10 deep when necessary and they have a lot of leaders on the floor. Will Ron Artest return? David Stern says you can never say never. If he does will they be a better team? Probably not.
As for the Pistons. They will go as far as Tayshaun Prince decides to take them. When Prince is feeling his game, the Pistons are unbeatable. His height allows him to bring a different dimension on both end of the floor and Kobe Bryant wanted no part of his defense on Friday.
Webber Is a Sixer
Speaking of trades, this was the biggest one. Not surprising that Sacramento traded Webber, they are 53-16 without him in the lineup and the Kings want to re-sign Peja, but the location was surprising.
In the end the Sixers decided that Allen Iverson is playing the best ball of his career. He's turned young guys like Kyle Korver and Samuel Dalembert into solid role players. Now he gets to have a finisher like Webber next to him.
As for Sacramento, it looks like a lopsided deal but Kenny Thomas is a great rebounding presence and the Kings are 2-0 since the trade.
Super Mario Says Players Misled Him
Interesting. He says he and Gretzky wouldn't have gotten involved if they knew nothing was going to come of last week's post-cancelation meetings.
"We were told by some of the players we were talking to that there would be a new proposal on the table at the $45 (million) level."
There wasn't and now Lemieux says he's not sure if it would have married. On the good side I do believe he will return next season, especially with the promise of the new rules.
Silly Red Sox-Yankees Feud
I didn't believe there would be any person or persons that would make Alex Rodriguez seem like a sympathetic figure. But damned if the Red Sox aren't trying.
First there was Curt Schilling, who certainly doesn't need any company in the group of "phony MLB assholes", with the assualt and teammate Trot Nixon jumped in next:
"I'm not going to talk about him. He's a great athlete, he's a great competitor, but ask my opinion, if you look at the Yankees, who am I looking at? It's (Derek) Jeter. I don't know if that rubs him the wrong way, or not. He doesn't care what I think. I know that. "
At least he knows that...I'm sure Kevin Millar knows that too but it didn't stop him.
"I played against him for 20 games. I know one thing. A lot of us in this locker room, when we watch a guy like Derek Jeter play over and over again, he's a winner, I don't know if (A-Rod) grasps for respect, but you don't need to tell people you're an upper-tier player. You don't need to tell people that you work out seven hours a day. That's an article that rubbed guys wrong. When you're a professional, you do your work. Everybody in this game works out in the offseason. Everybody comes in in shape."
It's obvious the Red Sox have made A-Rod a target, they started a brawl with him last summer and they are continuing to play little pyschological games by mentioning how much they respect Jeter. Are they trying to cause a rift between the two? You be the judge.
It's funny how none of the Yankees have jumped to A-Rod's defense.
“It just tells you how classy our organization is."