Saturday, November 20, 2004


David posted a photo of the god-awful Dallas Mavericks P-Diddy jerseys earlier today.

Well, when I think of these jerseys, I think of "Let's Make A Deal".

More specifically, Door #3.

I'm talking about Door #3 from the 1980s version of "Let's Make A Deal". So what's behind Door #3, you ask?

---"The Benefactor" DVD set

---A VHS tape from Don Nelson titled "How To Play Defense The Nellie Way!"

---Leftover "Run TMC" shirts (from Nelson's attic)

"Let's Make A Deal", what a great game show from back in the day. But the newer version they tried to bring back a year ago on NBC with Billy Bush? Not so great.


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I've watched a lot of college football this season, but I haven't commented on it too much here at Sports and Bremertonians as much as I've wanted to. No reason for it, it just turned out that way. What can you do?

Anyways, I love Rivalry Saturday. Hell, I love every Saturday of the college football season. I'm sad that it's going to end soon. That's life.

What a Rivalry Saturday it was! Ohio State upsetting Michigan in the Horseshoe, Washington State winning their first Apple Cup since 1997, and Ron Zook's Florida Gators beating Florida State in Tallahassee. Good stuff.

So here's my broke-ass trick college football post. Seriously, I should have done more of these. Dammit.

---I don't care for Ohio State and Michigan, although if I had to choose which team I don't like more, it's the Wolverines. So when the Buckeyes upset the Wolverines in Columbus 37-21 to deny Michigan the opportunity to clinch a Rose Bowl berth, I was giddy. Unfortunately, the giddyness ended when Wisconsin decided not to show up in Iowa City, getting their asses handed to them by the Hawkeyes 30-7. Michigan is the Big Ten, I mean Big Eleven, representative in the Rose Bowl. Even though Iowa lost to Michigan earlier this season, I think the Hawkeyes should be in the Rose Bowl, not Michigan. Their fans deserve to travel somewhere other than Florida this holiday season. But it is what it is.

---Washington State can lay claim to the Apple Cup once again, defeating Washington 28-25 in Pullman. Unfortunately, the Cougars aren't going bowling for the first time since 2000. Chew on this. The Cougs won the Apple Cup with Alex Brink at quarterback. Alex Brink! Yet, Jason Gesser could never win the Apple Cup. (He should have won it in 2002, but he got hurt. Then Matt Kegel decided to suck ass for the remainder of the night. It was to be Rick Neuheisel's last hurrah as Huskies head coach.)

Speaking of Neuheisel, the Huskies failed in their attempt to win the Northwest Championship in 2004. Not only did they fail to do that, they finished the 2004 season at 1-10. Winless in the Pac-10. A program in turmoil, that's what the Washington football program can best be described as. Heaven doesn't need to help the foes of Washington. Heaven needs to help the Huskies find a decent quarterback. And a decent coach. Keith Gilbertson simply wasn't head coach material. It's too bad that he had to go out this way. But those are the breaks.

---Not too much to say about the Florida-Florida State game, except two things:

1. Chris Rix sucks.
2. Where was this fire a few weeks ago in Starkville, MS from Florida?

---The Utah Utes are a tremendous story. They're 11-0 and they're probably headed to the Fiesta Bowl. Urban Meyer has proven to be one of the best coaches in American. No, I don't see him leaving Utah to go to Washington. He's probably going to Florida. But we shall see.

As for the Utes being in a BCS bowl, I love it. If you had to ask me right now which two at-large teams should be in the BCS, they should be Utah and California. Cal gets the nod over Texas simply because the Rose Bowl will gladly take a West Coast team over a team from the Southwest. And look at their lone losses. Cal lost by 6 to USC while Texas was shutout by Oklahoma. This shouldn't be a debate in my opinion. Cal deserves a BCS bowl bid over Texas. Any questions?

---Speaking of the Golden Bears, they own the Axe for the 3rd straight season, destroying Stanford 41-6. This was a penalty-filled game, but the Cal defense stepped it up in Berkeley. They sacked Cardinal quarterback T.C. Ostrander 6 times.

Cal still has one more game to play, in Hattiesburg, MS against Southern Miss on Dec. 4. It's a makeup game from September because of Hurricane Ivan. It's not going to be an easy game for the Golden Bears. I remember back to 1998 when UCLA was undefeated but had to travel to Miami for a game in December. They lost that one. Now, I don't think Cal will suffer that same fate. Let's hope not, anyway.

---I don't want to talk about the South Carolina-Clemson game at all. Just scroll down to my Pacers-Pistons post from last night and interject some thoughts about the Cocks-Tigers game in there and call it a day. Or check out the video from Yahoo Sports (Jefferson Pilot feed, it's around the 3 hour mark).

---I realized that Alabama's offense sucked, but I didn't know that they were this terrible. I called for the upset this week of the Crimson Tide over the Auburn Tigers, but again, I was wrong. But the Auburn folks can have fun now. Sure they can. Because come Dec. 5, they will be on the short end of the stick when the Orange Bowl matchup will be USC vs Oklahoma. Too bad, so sad, SEC folks.

---Arkansas fell behind 14-0 in the 1st quarter against Mississippi State, but came back to win 24-21. Thank God that they did. Or else the entire state of Arkansas would be in full meltdown mode right now. The Razorbacks can become bowl-eligible with a win over LSU in Little Rock on Friday afternoon. Houston Nutt is undefeated in War Memorial Stadium in his career as Razorbacks head coach. The streak is in jeopardy, but there's always a little bit of magic in the Rock. That's some folks tell me anyway.

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College football rules.

It just does, despite all of the BCS mess.

Again, I should have done more of these posts.

Oh well.

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Well, Jeremy took care of the ugly events at the Palace earlier in the night, lightening the load for me here on Saturday morning. The ugliest thing I'm talking about here is the Dallas Mavericks' alternate jerseys, designed by SeanJohn (P Diddy).
AP photo -- Tony Gutierrez
Yup, they're crap. Mark Cuban obviously must be chomping at the bit to get a marketable third jersey, after the failed hefty-bag black-sheen uniforms from early last year.

Anyway, it took me a long time to write this up, and I've got stuff from all the sports, with a good deal of space given to basketball and hockey. There's even Tomahawk game notes, which may or may not happen again, who knows. And as an added bonus, because I was so late getting this up, I worked in a couple of the Tribune links, since I was late enough to where they posted their stuff when I could get to it.

They've got a name now. Jose Vidro and friends can now call themselves the Washington Nationals. I'd laugh if the logo just ended up being a play on the M that was on the Montreal caps. Just replace the thing with an N. As the Guinness guys in the commercial would say: Brilliant! The now-Nationals also worked a trade to get Jose Guillen in their strive to win 60 games or so next year. That's a totally off-the-wall prediction that I just pulled right out of thin air.

Lefty Randy Williams, a 29-year-old September call-up from last season who didn't have a chance in hell of staying on the Mariners' 40-man roster, was dealt to San Diego to keep the Seattle/San Diego pipeline up and running. The Mariners got 21-year-old minor league infield Billy Hogan in return. Michael Morse, Shin-Soo Choo, and Wladimir Balentien were added to the 40-man, which now sits at 39 players, with the Rule 5 Draft coming on December 13th.

Before I go Seahawk here, let me remind everyone that the Grey Cup is tomorrow, and the BC Lions have a chance to be on top of the Canadian football world after it all.

Is there more than just the opportunity to beat up on patsies over the next three games (Miami, Buffalo, Dallas)? Well, the Seahawks will have Bobby Engram and Grant Wistrom finally back on the field tomorrow. Here's to hoping this team just plays better than Miami tomorrow, and keeps taking care of business so that a healthy Engram and Wistrom can be reassimilated into the play on both sides of the ball. If the team coalesces better over the next few weeks and hits their stride when the schedule starts to get tougher, there just might still be a morsel of hope left for a home playoff game. But...

The charley horse from hell is certainly worse than I thought. Matt Hasselbeck is questionable to start tomorrow, and Trent Dilfer will most likely be at the helm for the Seahawks against Miami. Hasselbeck has a bruised right thigh, and tender ribs on his throwing side. Dilfer also said some glowing things pertaining to Hasselbeck's tolerance of pain in the last game against the Rams. Also, Chad Brown didn't practice all week with a sore left knee and will be a gametime decision. Ken Hamlin and Bobby Taylor will also play tomorrow after resting a sore toe and sore knee, respectively. Solomon Bates will also be seeing a good deal of playing time thanks to the injuries of Chad Brown, Anthony Simmons, and Tracy White.

The Huskies opened the season with an 89-71 win against Seattle Pacific. This came despite the Huskies being shorthanded four players (Will Conroy, Bobby Jones, Tre Simmons, Jamaal Williams) serving a suspension for playing in an unsanctioned Sea-Tac league game last spring. Said Nate Robinson: "We're a good team without those guys. We're a great team with them." The Huskies were down 11-10 in the first half, but then it was unsurpisingly all Huskies. Brandon Roy scored 23, Nate Robinson had 22, and Mike Jensen had 14 and 13 boards.

The Marvin Williams Watch
In North Carolina's 77-66 upset loss to the Broncos of Santa Clara, Marvin Williams scored 7 points, grabbed 6 boards, and had an assist in 21 minutes of play.

For my take on the game, scroll to the post below this one or click here.

They just keep winning. The Sonics missed nine of their first ten shots. A couple of Rashard Lewis threes put the momentum in the Seattle column toward the end of the third quarter and the 9-0 run in the fourth quarter put the game away. They've trailed in the third quarter in every game on this road trip. Antonio Daniels scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half.

The Sonics won for their second time against the Raptors, the first team which they've beaten twice this year. The Raptors have lost five straight, and rumors of a Vince Carter trade are still swirling. The Sonics had a little trouble finishing the Raptors off, due to Danny Fortson missing a free throw and Daniels and Nick Collison missing four straight free throws collectively. The climbed to within five with 47.3 seconds remaining before the Sonics hit their next six free throws to ice the win.

Corey Brock points out that the Sonics went with a big lineup of Daniels/Allen/Fortson/Collison/Radmanovic and managed to pull away. Sans Allen, that group of players combined for 39 points and 21 boards. Collison also played the entire fourth quarter and got five rebounds in his 14 minutes of play. The Sonics nailed six of their three-balls in the third quarter. Brock also elaborates on something I mentioned the other night, a hypothetical morphed point guard which I named Lukonio Ridniels. One big key to the platoon, they know their roles (and shut their mouths...not complain, that is).

Sadly, the revolution will not be televised tomorrow, one of the few Sonic games this year that won't be on the tube. It's radio only this time from Boston.

Upcoming for the Sonics...
Sunday at Boston
Wednesday at Minnesota
Thursday at Memphis

Seattle beat Spokane, 6-4. Three goals by the T-Birds within a three-minute span in the third period sealed the deal in this one. Spokane had the early 1-0 lead, but that lasted all of 40 seconds. Mitch Fadden tied the game, and Tyler Metcalfe put Seattle in the lead on the power play with three seconds remaining in the period. The two teams traded goals until the score was tied at 3-3 (Ryan Gibbons had the Seattle goal). But in a span of 2:38 in the latter half of the third period, the Thunderbirds opened up a 6-3 lead thanks to goals by Aaron Gagnon, Ladislav Scurko, and Ryan Gibbons (second of the night). Aaron Grabner scored the fourth Spokane goal with 2:58 left in the game, but it was obviously too little, too late. Bryan Bridges stopped 22 of 26 for Seattle.

Everett shut out Portland, 3-0. Mike Wall turned away all 30 shots by the Winter Hawks for his fourth shutout of the season. Portland was shut out for the third time this season. Goals for the 'Tips were scored by Kyle Annesley, Ivan Baranka, and Brady Calla. The Winter Hawks were shut out for their second straight game, with the last one being a scoreless tie last Saturday. They have gone 126:50 without scoring. The third period featured three fights within a 30-second span, as the Winter Hawks let the frustration boil over a bit.

Vancouver beat Prince George, 4-3. Mercifully, the Vancouver Giants ended their five-game losing streak against the Cougars thanks to two goals each by Tim Kraus (deflections of two point shots by the Giants' blueliners) and Gilbert Brule. Mitch Bartley and Ty Morris also had two assists each. Marek Schwarz stopped 16 of 19, and the Giants outshot Prince George 26-19. Tyrel Lucas of the Cougars opened the scoring in the first period, but Brule scored on a power play with four minutes remaining in the first period. He scored again 2:37 later.

Saint John's beat Manitoba, 5-3. The Moose lost their first game at the MTS Centre, allowing three goals en route to the loss. The Moose tied the game at 1-1 in the first period on a goal by Jason King, but that was as close as they got. Worse yet, he tie game only lasted 35 seconds. They went to the dressing room down 3-1 after 20 minutes. The remaining goals on the night were scored by Jason King (two on the night for him) and Lee Goren. Wade Flaherty stopped 20 of 25 for the Moose, but Mikael Tellqvist stopped 33 of 36 for the Baby Leaf win.

Puget Sound beat River City, 6-2. Nineteen wins. Two losses. This team is amazing. Luke Winkelman had two goals, and Iggy Slepokourev stopped 31 of 33 in this fight-filled affair. The Jaguars actually led the Tomahawks 1-0 early in the first period, but that turned around thanks to three goals in the second period. Puget Sound outshot the Jaguars 43-33. The Tomahawks broke in a couple of new players. There were tons of fights in the second period, and new Tomahawk Maciej Michalik had his presence felt, pummeling the Jaguar he scrapped with and getting ejected. This won't happen every game, but I was able to take some game notes, and here they are.

1st period
~13:00 Puget Sound goalie Iggy Slepokourev stands tall on ~3 scoring chances
***11:00 Michael Roughton of River City scores (RC 1-0)
***9:47 Ryan Osterheldt scores for Puget Sound to tie the game (assist Mike Truex, 1-1)
9:29 River City brings some offensive pressure, and Puget Sound goes on the penalty kill thanks to a cross-check
8:37 Iggy puts a pad save on a shot from the left side
7:39 the puck looked like it went through for Puget Sound, and there was some raising of arms, and some cheering, but there was no shorthanded goal (disallowed?) on the play, and instead there was a penalty on the Tomahawks' Corey Coxon, the Jaguars got 10 seconds on the 2-man advantage
5:39 the Tomahawks kill off the two-man advantage, as well as the minor penalty
4:34 Iggy makes a glove save
***2:02 the Tomahawks score as Carl Horten goes top shelf from the right side (from Truex) on a rush
1:38 Iggy makes a nice stop with his left pad
0:40.7 Puget Sound has traffic on the Jags' doorstep but can't find the back of the net
0:20 Jeff Alexander of the Tomahawks is stopped on a breakaway

After 20 minutes, Puget Sound 2, River City 1...PS had some trouble moving the puck out of their own end, but the penalties against them didn't help either. The first two minutes of the period were spent entirely in the Jags' zone, as were most of the first five minutes of the period, which were marked with a couple of bone-jarring hits delivered by the Tomahawks.

2nd period
***17:18 Corey Coxon scores for the Tomahawks, now leading 3-1 (assists Eric Casebeer, Jeff Alexander)
***16:32 Luke Winkelman scores off the rebound for Puget Sound (assists Kyle Stoumbaugh and Coxon)
15:58 fight, Nick Clay of River City against Steve Shapley (Shapley wins the fight)
14:03 Puget Sound's Whit Garey upends Ian McDougall
13:57 five-minute high-stick on Jackson Wiegers of the Tomahawks (I didn't know that five-minute high-stick penalties even existed, I thought it was just two minutes and four if you drew blood)
10:44 Puget Sound's Mike Truex off the post on a wide-open shot from the right circle
9:14 another Puget Sound penalty
8:55 Iggy stops with the glove and chest as first penalty ends
8:22 Iggy with a glove save
8:16 Iggy puts the pad on a shot from the right side
7:26 another scrum for Wiegers (another four minutes, high-sticking)
6:57 Iggy lays down for a save
***5:41 shorthanded, Truex goes low and scores, and the Jags pull their goalie
5:36 Maciej Michalik of Puget Sound makes his mark in his first game, pulverizing Reed Fuller and earning himself an ejection
5:31 another fight as Carey Enoch of the Tomahawks got a ton of headshots in on Reed Fuller (offsetting penalties...a bunch of penalties going on)
***5:01 Mitch Radakovich finally scores for the Jags on the power play
4:40 the Tomahawks land a centering pass on the tape, but the shot is wide
3:08 Iggy smothers the puck
3:06 yet another fight, Keith Riley of the Jags went to the dressing room...on-ice minor to Russell Anderson of River City...first Tomahawk power play
1:32 nearly another fight...Jags' penalty (2:00)
0:23.3 penalty on Shapley

After 40 minutes, Tomahawks 5, Jaguars 2. The Tomahawks spent forever and a day on the penalty kill, but most of that time was spent in the River City end of the ice.

3rd period
17:10 a Puget Sound centering pass doesn't get redirected into the net
15:56 Iggy smothers
15:05 Puget Sound centering pass ... unsuccessful shot
14:22 another Tomahawk scoring chance
13:58 Puget Sound on a breakaway had a high shot glove saved
13:37 Nic Ballinger went to the dressing room with a bloodied hand
12:39 Iggy pad save
11:45 shot off Iggy's face mask, I think
***9:33 Tomahawk goal (6-2)...traffic in front of the net...Winkelman scores his second of the night (assisted by Horten and Truex)
7:03 interference minor on Horten
6:14 Iggy gloves a slapshot
3:27 Stoumbaugh gets in a scrum after the whistle...4-minute penalty, he went to the dressing room...someone else served two minutes
2:42 Wiegers threw a nice hit along the boards
1:26 Iggy gloves a slapshot from outside the blue line

Here's tonight in hockeyland. After tonight, there aren't any games until Wednesday...
Tonight: Tri-City at Everett, Portland at Seattle, Kamloops at Vancouver, River City at Puget Sound

Well, that was a long one. Have a great Saturday and a great weekend, though I'll be hitting you with another post tomorrow morning.

[Edit ~10:23a -- Added Grey Cup note.]

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SuperSonics 101, Raptors 94
Folks, I sit here sometimes toward the end of these games when the Sonics are behind, and I keep waiting for them to lose. They never do. And when the Sonics take the lead back, it usually happens pretty fast, and I'm not just talking about going from one basket down to one basket ahead. This team could be down seven and erase it with three trips down the floor. It's nine straight wins for the green and gold (yellow). Before this six-game road trip started, I said that I'd consider a .500 road trip a success, and they've already won three games on the trip with three more remaining. This team will come back home with a record of no worse than 9-4.

Peek at the boxscore: Rashard Lewis 27 pt (10-18 FG, 4-4 3pt), Ray Allen 24 pt (7-16 FG, 7-7 free throws), Luke Ridnour 10 pt, Reggie Evans 1 pt/11 rebs; bench: Antonio Daniels 19 pt/5 ast, Danny Fortson 7 pt/10 rebs (20 minutes); Jerome James watch: 14 minutes, five rebounds, missed the only shot he took

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Friday, November 19, 2004


Speaking of rivalries, the events that took place in Auburn Hills earlier tonight were disgraceful. There's nothing left to be said about it, other than the fact that the fans and players who were involved should be ashamed of themselves. I may have more on this later, but who knows.

(Link to the Pacers-Pistons incident. It's a large file, so I'm just warning y'all on that.)

If you're a regular visitor to Sports and Bremertonians, you know that I wouldn't let this issue go untouched. Besides, it's something to do on another bored-as-hell Friday night. To echo Remy Zero, somebody saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave me.

Anyways, the incident in Auburn Hills, Mich. tonight was disgraceful. It reminded me of the incident at the Oakland Coliseum two months ago. This was part of my aftermath post of the Oakland incident:

Let's hope that nothing like this ever happens again. There's no room in sports for this type of stuff. Play ball and behave like adults.

What do you know? Just two months later, I'm feeling the same way again as a sports fan. I love to talk about the events that I see on the field, court, rink, track, etc. I hate to talk about the events that happen off of those locations. But here we are, lamenting yet another blackeye for the world of sports.

This week in sports has been anything but fun. This past Monday, controversy erupted over the intro to ABC's "Monday Night Football". I'm not one to tell anybody what to do with their lives, but I ask everybody who reads this post one question:

What would you rather see, Nicolette Sheridan's bare back or the events that took place in Auburn Hills earlier tonight?

This shouldn't be a hard question. What took place tonight disgusted me as a sports fan. Everyone that was involved is at fault here. It wasn't Ron Artest's fault. It wasn't Ben Wallace's fault. It wasn't Stephen Jackson's fault. It wasn't the fans' fault. It is the fault of everybody that was involved.

When Artest fouled Wallace, it was just a hard foul. But Wallace thought otherwise and shoved Artest hard. Look, I've made light of Artest's rap career here at Sports and B's. However, Artest did what he could to stay out of the mess, laying on the press row table at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Until some fan threw a bottle of beer at him.

JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A TICKET DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACT LIKE A MORON! The ticket gives you the right to your seat for the designated game and that's it. I've been to more than my fair share of games in my life. You can ask each and every one of my family members and friends, and they will tell you while I've been loud at games, I've never crossed the line. The line was severely crossed tonight in Auburn Hills.

It was ugly to say the least in Auburn Hills. Fans throwing stuff, some of the Pacers going into the stands (Artest and Jackson), it was just ugly. I will not call the Pistons fanbase any names, because the majority of them were not involved. It was just a few folks who decided to make a name for themselves, to be perfectly honest with you. And thankfully, the game was called. The Pacers won 97-82 when the game was called with just 45 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Too bad that this victory for Indiana won't be remembered, but the ugly incident will be for a long time.

The cliche "players cannot go into the stands no matter what the circumstances are" is still true. But at the same time, a fan doesn't have the right to act like a moron either. Both sides are at fault. Hopefully the police and the NBA take care of this issue in a swift and responsible manner.

Artest has been crucified, for lack of a better word, throughout his entire NBA career. But he's not the only one at fault here. If anything, I think he will get a big suspension and fine, along with Ben Wallace and Stephen Jackson. And the fans that were involved in the incident will be charged and rightfully so.

I'll go ahead and say it again, there's no place for this type of stuff in sports. Hopefully another two months from now, I won't have to see another incident like this. In the fall of 2004 alone, we've seen similar incidents of player/fan misconduct at a baseball game and a basketball game. We certainly don't need this at a football game anytime soon. I would say hockey, but you all know the deal with the NHL right now.

Play ball and act like adults. Is it that hard to comprehend?

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Washington-Washington State

Oregon-Oregon State


Michigan-Ohio State



Florida-Florida State

South Carolina-Clemson



That's just 10 of the rivalry games that will be played tomorrow. Rivalry games are one of the big reasons why I love college football. I'm just mad that I won't get to watch Washington-Washington State tomorrow on ABC (it's a West Coast-only game).

But I'll get to watch Stanford-Cal, Michigan-Ohio State, Auburn-Alabama, Oregon-Oregon State, and BYU-Utah tomorrow afternoon. No, Louisiana Tech-Boise State is not a rivalry game.

As I said the other day, Alabama will upset Auburn. I hope Ohio State upsets Michigan to ruin their Rose Bowl hopes. I want Utah to beat BYU so they can be in a BCS bowl (most likely the Fiesta Bowl). And I'll root for the Beavers to eliminate the Ducks from bowl contention (both teams are 5-5 and need a win to be bowl-eligible).

Speaking of rivalries, the events that took place in Auburn Hills earlier tonight were disgraceful. There's nothing left to be said about it, other than the fact that the fans and players who were involved should be ashamed of themselves. I may have more on this later, but who knows.

Anyways, get ready for a big day in college football tomorrow!

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Last week, I was 6-8. Again, thank God I don't gamble on sports.

It's a new week, however.

Here are my Week 11 picks...


Dallas at Baltimore (FOX, televised in Arkansas)
(I love it when the Cowboys are mediocre)

St. Louis at Buffalo
(Willis McGahee will bounce back this week)

Arizona at Carolina

Indianapolis at Chicago
(I'm not entirely sold on the Colts here, but I'll pick them anyway)

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
(A very close game in Paul Brown Stadium, but the Steelers should prevail)

New York Jets at Cleveland

Tennessee at Jacksonville
(UPSET OF THE WEEK. Just one of those tricky divisional games.)

Detroit at Minnesota
(And the Vikings yell, "THANK YOU, DETROIT!!!")

Denver at New Orleans (CBS, televised in Arkansas)
(Trap Game Alert!)

San Francisco at Tampa Bay
(Who gives a damn?)


San Diego at Oakland
(Antonio Gates, money)

Miami at Seattle
(A.J. Feeley did beat the Seahawks when he started for the Eagles in 2002)

Atlanta at New York Giants
(Have fun, Eli)

Washington at Philadelphia (FOX, televised in Arkansas)
(Eva Longoria is smokin')


Green Bay at Houston
(LOCK OF THE WEEK. Andre Johnson will have a huge game.)


New England at Kansas City
(The Patriots may put up 45 on the sorry-ass Chiefs defense)

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What is there to say about the Dolphins-Seahawks game?

Not a whole hell of a lot.

Matt Hasselbeck may not play Sunday due to a bruised thigh. But I don't think it will matter if he plays or not. Just give the damn ball to Shaun Alexander and the 'Hawks should win.

The Seahawks must win their next 3 games. Miami, Buffalo, and Dallas are teams that the Seahawks should beat. But with this team, who knows at this point.

It didn't have to be this way.

However, it is what it is.

Enjoy the games this weekend.

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Well, here we are.

The Mariners are interested in 3B Corey Koskie.

In my my 2005 offseason plan, I predicted that Corey Koskie would become a Mariner. It hasn't happened yet, but I expect it to. Why? These are the Seattle Mariners we're talking about here.

In better news, here's a link to Anna Benson's FHM pictures. No, the Mariners have no chance in hell of signing Kris Benson. Besides, the Mariners wouldn't approve of his wife. But I'm sure they would sell a lot more Mariner Wives cookbooks with Mrs. Benson in the house.

My Week 11 Pick Me Up, comin' 'atcha live, next!

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Hey, everyone, it's Friday. That's a good thing. We've got two Sonic games ahead of us this weekend, the Seahawks facing a terrible team, and the start of college basketball, with Washington, Gonzaga, and North Carolina (Marvin Williams) as the teams I'll be watching somewhat closely.

Also, if anyone near the Kitsap County area has no plans tonight (other than being bored), I encourage you to go see the 18-2 Puget Sound Tomahawks play the River City Jaguars from Beaverton. Gametime is 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night at the Bremerton Ice Arena, just across from the YMCA in East Bremerton. I believe admission is $7.50. Concessions are well below Safeco Field prices.

[Add ~10:58a -- Annette Griffus wrote a Sun piece on the Tomahawks that ran today.]

It doesn't usually fit the four-sport format I've been going with, so I have to bring it up now. It's mildly sad to see the city of Vancouver lose their annual Indycar race. On the other hand, they are preparing for those Winter Olympics that are inching closer and closer.

Now to the rest of the headlines...

It appears the Mariners will be making an offer to Corey Koskie in the very near future. Would a Koskie signing surprise me? Not really. To me, it seems like their type of near risk-free move in terms of money, and they'll be able to bait some of the fans into thinking he's a cheaper choice with a decent bat and glove. This move wouldn't surprise me one bit. Though I'd have a fairly lukewarm reaction if I saw Koskie introduced as the newest Mariner at a press conference, lukewarm would be a much better reaction than the one I had when Scott Spiezio signed with the Mariners last offseason. It'd be better than when I heard Bill Bavasi tell Mitch Levy that he expected Spiezio to be able to play 150 games at third last year, though he'd played only 144 games there his entire Major League career.

In a somewhat unfair note, Corey Koskie immediately reminds me of Shawn Boskie, but only by name. Shawn Boskie was on much worse teams than Koskie was, and he also pitched for the Mariners in 1994. Does anyone else believe that a sub-.500 team could have won the AL West in 1994 if the season had been played out? I sure do.

So baseball's owners didn't approve the Expos' move right away yesterday as was expected. The vote has been moved back to the 6th of next month. There's little doubt that the move will actually happen. However, I'm just hoping for some reason that Bud Selig somehow gets egg on his face from this whole deal.

One tiny other note here before the bulk of the Seahawks' stuff, and that is that BC Lions quarterback Casey Printers has won the CFL's MVP award. The Lions are in the Grey Cup game for the CFL title on Sunday, with gametime at 1pm against the Toronto Argonauts. I also saw a story on the CBC a few days ago regarding Saskatchewan kicker Paul McCallum, who missed an 18-yard field goal that may have won the game for the Riders. It turns out that ne'er-do-wells had egged his house and his wife has answered the phone to death threats on him. Needless to say, the family was scared, and I think the report might have said that they had fled the house. Be civil, people.

The Rams had a crappy run defense going into last Sunday, and Shaun Alexander exploited that weakness. This Sunday, we'll see if a Seahawk team can run the ball enough against a 29th-ranked run defense and win the game this time.

As crappy as it's going for Seahawk Nation right now, at least the Seahawks and their fans aren't still feeling the aftereffects from Ricky Williams' pre-camp decision to roll up doobies instead of yardage.

By one Romero on another, here's Jose Miguel (and/or Greg Bishop) on Dario, an ex-Eastern Washington Eagle, ex-Edmonton Eskimo, and current Miami Dolphin, who's come a very long way from doing security at Seahawk training camps.

It's the Huskies' preview article. First off, you read the reason why it's called Hec Edmundson Pavilion (not using the corporate name in this instance) and how long ago the Edmundson era was. Then the article has some bits on recruiting, and on keeping the local kids at home. Coach Lorenzo Romar has said on occasion that losing Marvin Williams to North Carolina hurts, but I think Romar and the Huskies will get by. It should be a fun season for Husky basketball, one whose anticipation is providing hope for some of the football fans to wipe away the abhorrent action on they've been seeing on the gridiron.

Also, as a Bremertonian and former competitive opponent, I can't let Curtis Allen, who was the only notable Husky lost to graduation, be forgotten. Allen came out of Wilson High in Tacoma and tore up the Kitsap County Pee Wees up until I was in 5th grade (1992-93). I had to face him once and he was throwing from 45 feet (no mound, it's all flat ground at that age). He could pitch at the time, and I couldn't with for beans at the time, I just walked or struck out. I took three balls, then two strikes, then whiffed on the third pitch. On the flipside, this was a time when I was told I could cover a lot of ground in the outfield. This just about flipped in high school. The hitting for me came along better when Babe Ruth ball came along when I was 13 and the mound was moved back to Major League distance (waaaay more time to see the ball).

Danny O'Neil says the Sonics are combatting their lack of having a dominant post scorer/rebounder with a platoon attack of Evans/Fortson. Also, Ridnour and Daniels are splitting time at the point. If you morph the two platoons into two players, Dangie Fortvans is averaging 15.3 points and 16.1 rebounds a game (the 8.2 fouls would be impossible though) and Lukonio Ridniels is averaging 22.4 points and 9.9 assists. If Coach McMillan can keep this platoon thing going and somehow go the whole year without anyone complaining about playing time, he's Coach of the Year.

The O'Neil article has a couple of references to plus-minus in the article. On is indirect, and one is direct. In the notes section, he points out that in the past two games, opposing teams have scored 18 more points than the Sonics when Jerome James is on the floor. In the big long table that has the Sonic players' plus-minus numbers (which I'm sure David Locke is loving right now because he loves this stat), Vlad Radmanovic is leading with a plus-122 rating.

So why the great start? Some of it can be explained. In short, it's defense, rebounding, and great shooting, especially from beyond the arc. Having those three thing is always a winning combination. That's the "duh" moment of the post, brought to you by the Naturium, our county's answer to the Discovery Channel store and the Channel 9 store. It'd be damn cool if the Naturium would put up that marble tower again.

Three short hockey bits...

Canuck forward and NHLPA president Trevor Linden says that it's the owners' turn to come to the table, partly since the players provided the last proposal. In a related story, Movie Night in Canada is nowhere near as good as Hockey Night in Canada.

Speaking of Hockey Night in Canada, the composer of the theme, Dolores Claman, has filed a $2.5M lawsuit against the CBC for breach of copyright and damages, basically for using the theme too much, namely in other countries and programming. She claims that the theme was only supposed to be used on HNIC telecasts within Canada. I hope there's no way they can get Comcast to mute the HNIC theme in the States if it ever plays again, if it indeed came to that. In any event, thank goodness for Jeremy finding this link at the beginning of last season.

Also, the P-I has a little Q&A with Ryan Gibbons of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Add the fact that the WHL plays a 72-game season to the long list of things I didn't previously know.

Hockey weekend...
Friday: Portland at Everett, Spokane at Seattle, Prince George at Vancouver, Saint John's at Manitoba, River City at Puget Sound
Saturday: Tri-City at Everett, Portland at Seattle, Kamloops at Vancouver, River City at Puget Sound

Enjoy your Friday, everyone.

[Edit ~9:43a -- The missing link for the HNIC paragraph was added when I finally realized it was missing.]

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Thursday, November 18, 2004


The Sonics win a game that makes you shake your head, and the Seahawks suffer a loss that makes you shake your head in disbelief.

Such are the events covered in the Seattle daily newspapers today.

...And I threw in a little look at the league leaders in some hockey leagues.

Yes, I've been shaking my head over the signings (term-wise) of Omar Vizquel (SF), Cristian Guzman (DC), Vinny Castilla (DC), and Cory Lidle (PHI). Needless to say, player agents are loving the market so far. There's another mention of a possible Sammy Sosa rumor (denied by Bill Bavasi, vehemently denied by Sosa's agent) involving the Mariners, Cubs, and Rockies. Now imagine for a second that it was the Rockies who came out with Sammy in that deal. Could you imagine who the Mariners would get on the back burner (i.e., some hack)? Yeah, it makes me sick as well.

F&#@!! Anthony Simmons is done for the year. It's not just a breaking of the wrist; there's some ligaments that have been shredded and some bones that have been dislocated. Some people before the season said it was a given that the Seahawks for any number of reasons would miss Anthony Simmons or Chad Brown for a prolonged amount of time (that's what happens every year). But this is getting crazy. Simmons' injury rap sheet for the past three years: ankle sprain (9 games/2002), neck strain (3 games/2003), bone spur in left shoulder (2 games/2004), messed-up wrist (9 games/2004).

Isaiah Kacyvenski will get Simmons' playing time. Also, Josh Brown is pleased with his kickoffs, suggesting that people neglect to factor in the wind.

Art Thiel and Steve Kelley tee off on Matt Hasselbeck. Kelley talks about the unfulfilled expectations of Hasselbeck, while Thiel elaborates on a Hasselbeck/Holmgren relationship showing signs of strain. Both of these articles seem to give the vibe that maybe after how hard Holmgren has been on him (as he was with Favre), Hasselbeck just might be turning into a headcase. Not quite Jeff Cirillo proportions, but there may be some degree of headcaseness going on.

Before we go Sonic, here's a short article on this year's edition of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Their schedule before league play is pretty tough. Also, they open the new McCarthey Athletic Center, and up their seating capacity by about 2800 in the process.

For my take on the game, scroll down to the post below or click here.

To the dailies...
Danny O'Neil's first order of business was to bring up Danny Fortson playing with his arms up (no flinging elbows) to keep the refs from calling him for elbow throws. Good thing, too, because Fortson shot 10-of-12 from the free-throw line, points which proved very valuable in this game. His game-long battle with Alonzo Mourning underscored a game in which the Sonics never would have won last year. Also, if Fortson keeps his foul rate up (once every three minutes), he has a chance to break Darryl Dawkins' record from 1982-83 (4:40).

The Sonics have found quite a few ways to win this year. They've done the blowout, the down-to-the-wire win, and the huge run from way back to win. Tonight, we had the ugly win. The 13-11 first quarter was the third-lowest-scoring first quarter in NBA history. Rashard Lewis scored 7 of his 17 points during a 10-0 Sonic run in the third quarter that pretty much sealed the win. But as Percy Allen says, the Sonics have a bunch statistics that make you shake your head, but in the end, it's a W. Throw all the other numbers out -- they got the one that mattered.

With a long winning streak comes inevitable speculation on the status of coach Nate McMillan's contract talks with the team. Also in that notebook article, another factor figuring into the Sonics' grossness last night (other than it being the back end of a bkac-to-back) was the malfunction of the charter plane. The result: a 90-minute bus ride from Philly to the swamp. I bet that was endless fun.

A couple of notes before moving on with what I originally had planned...

Twenty-five NHL players will tour Europe in a seven-city tour next month. Joe Thornton and Mats Sundin will be involved. The same people behind this tour were behind Wayne Gretzky's 99 All-Stars during the last lockout.

John McCaw has sold a 50% stake of the Vancouver Canucks to Vancouver-area real estate mogul Francesco Aquilini, head of Aquilini Investment Group (not the AIG you've heard of). The one-sided perspective basically says that Aquilini will be half-owner, but will leave the sports end of it to Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, as has been the case.

Aw hell, I forgot there were two games tonight. Oh well, I'll recap those and give you what I'd planned for what I thought was another off day (turns out that's Thursday night instead).

Spokane shut out Everett, 3-0. The Silvertips reverted back to their terrible ways on the power play, going 0-for-5 and making good on none of their 25 shots. Mike Wall stopped 29 of 31 in the Everett net, while Jim Watt pitched the shutout for the Chiefs.

Manitoba doubled up Saint John's, 4-2. The Moose christened the brand-new MTS Centre in Winnipeg with a win over the Maple Leafs. The crowd was into it after a scuffle involving Kevin Bieska of the Moose and Ben Ondrus, and also after a Jason King goal that was disallowed. The first goal in the new arena was held back a second time in the second period, when Kirill Koltsov had a goal wiped off thanks to Clarke Wilm knocking his own net off its moorings before the puck went through. But the resulting power play got the Moose and the new arena their first goal, a one-timer off the stick of Nolan Baumgartner. Alexandre Burrows scored later in the second period. Just out of the dressing room for the third period, Bieksa scored on his own rebound. Lee Goren scored on a four-on-four to get the Moose's final goal. Wade Flaherty stopped 36 of 38 shots in the Manitoba net. The Moose managed 42 shots.

I've been tracking six hockey teams lately. I'll show where some top scorers of the teams are ranking in their respective leagues.
(league rank, player, team, goals-assists-points)

Western Hockey League
3 Gilbert Brule, Vancouver Giants, 11-19-30
18 Dan Da Silva, Portland Winter Hawks, 9-12-21
25 Aaron Gagnon, Seattle Thunderbirds, 12-7-19
27 Torrie Wheat, Everett Silvertips, 9-10-19
28 Brian Woolger, Portland Winter Hawks, 7-12-19
30 Andrej Meszaros, Vancouver Giants, 6-13-19
35 Adam Courchaine, Vancouver Giants, 8-10-18
36 Garrett Festerling, Portland Winter Hawks, 7-11-18
38 Tyler Metcalfe, Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-12-18
39 Darrell May, Portland Winter Hawks, 6-12-18

American Hockey League
1 Peter Sarno, Manitoba Moose, 5-18-23
4 Jason King, Manitoba Moose, 13-7-20
T-13 Lee Goren, Manitoba Moose, 9-6-15
T-15 Ryan Kesler, Manitoba Moose, 6-8-14
T-15 Nolan Baumgartner, Manitoba Moose, 4-10-14

Northern Pacific Hockey League (Junior B)
1 Mike Truex, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 14-39-53
2 Carl Horten, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 17-20-37
4 Kyle Stombaugh, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 18-11-29
6 Jeff Alexander, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 11-15-26
9 Corey Coxon, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 8-16-24
11 Chase Ambuter, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 14-9-23
17 Whit Garey, Puget Sound Tomahawks, 11-6-17

Upcoming, it's your hockey weekend...
Friday: Portland at Everett, Spokane at Seattle, Prince George at Vancouver, Saint John's at Manitoba, River City at Puget Sound
Saturday: Tri-City at Everett, Portland at Seattle, Kamloops at Vancouver, River City at Puget Sound

It's Thursday, and that means Friday is tomorrow. Not only is this good because it'll be the weekend, it's good for me because counting wire (running long lengths through a machine with an odometer-like counter) SUCKS. I like the pay I'm getting for it, but man, it's not as fulfilling as, say, blogging.

See you tomorrow, all.

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SuperSonics 79, Nets 68
Eight straight wins, would you believe it? Other than the result, this game sucked. It's exactly the kind of game I hate watching -- little scoring, sparse shots, no open space on the floor, the ball getting stripped left and right, hard fouls everywhere, ugh. In a related story, Knicks/Heat was one of my least favorite rivalries of recent memory. There's only one game that I can imagine would be worse than this one, and that'd be a Rockets/Nets matchup. The two teams might combine to score 100 points.

Still, despite opening the game 0-for-10 from the field and opening the second half by missing their first eight shots, the Sonics managed to win this ugly, sloppy ballgame. The Sonics sucked but shot just well enough to win and made their run midway through the fourth quarter, when they cashed in on seven straight trips down the floor. The halftime score: Sonics led 36-29. The Nets didn't break 50 until a few minutes into the fourth quarter. Lastly, Ray Allen was finally cooled off thanks to Reggie Jefferson and his defensive prowess.

Let's face it though. If the Nets weren't so crappy on offense (let's not forget that the absence of Jason Kidd has a lot to do with this), the Sonics probably would have had no business shooting this badly and taking the second game of a back-to-back set.

Peek at the boxscore: Rashard Lewis 17 pt (6-of-14 FG, 3-of-4 3pt), Ray Allen 14 pt/4 reb (5-of-15 FG), Luke Ridnour 10 pt; bench -- Vlad Radmanovic 14 pt (5-of-11 FG, 2-of-6 3pt), Danny Fortson 14 pt/6 reb (10-of-12 free throws)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004


For those of you who haven't seen it.

Nicolette Sheridan/Terrell Owens "Monday Night Football" video

Ms. Sheridan should be lucky that it wasn't Koren Robinson trying to catch her...

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So I worked a long day at work yesterday (bare stranded copper wire is the devil). After I got off work at 5, I jetted straight for Best Buy as somewhat of a reward to myself and because I knew exactly what I wanted on the new-release rack. I came away with Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Three and the first season of Home Movies; both series are stalwarts on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. I immediately watched four of the ATHF episodes: Frat Aliens, The Cubing, The Shaving, and Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary (featuring Zakk Wylde and a hilarious voice-over caricature of Geddy Lee of Rush). The first season of Home Movies features Paula Poundstone as Brendon Small's mother, and of course this is before Poundstone went to the slammer. The gal they got to replace her is great.

But enough about cartoons on DVD, let's see what happened on the day where Vlad Guerrero took the AL MVP award. I really thought David Ortiz would sweep up some sentimental hype and get a lot more votes thanks to all that Red Sox magic and hoopla that bombarded us through the national media. What does he care, though. He's got a ring.

Looks like someone may have tried to extort Gary Sheffield via "embarrassing sexual videotapes" of his wife and a musician (a past relationship of Sheffield's wife). There's stuff here involving a man threatening to go to the tabloids if he didn't get what he wanted out of the Sheffield camp. It's dicey, no doubt about it.

Looks like the Seahawks have at least one more game with Koren Robinson at wide receiver. Reports from yesterday indicating that the receiver would have been suspended didn't end up panning out. Yes, it's all part of a plan by the NFL to keep the Seahawks out of the playoffs, but I think the Seahawks can blow their playoff chances themselves, and therefore really don't need the NFL's help in doing that. I love how in quite a few of Clare Farnsworth's articles, he'll attach the phrase "depending on your definition of a drop." Here, Koren Robinson has nine to 13 dropped passes, then the preceding quoted phrase is attached.

Whenever Robinson finally gets suspended, he will not be barred from working out at the Kirkland facilities, as per results of an offseason policy change toward players suspended for less than a year, in part to enable suspended players to get support and counseling (etc.) from their respective teams. Mike Holmgren had been burned by the previous policy of no facility use by and no team contact at all with the suspended player (Shawn Springs, Chris Terry).

John Levesque has a little fun with the always-unavailable-to-media Seahawk defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes. Levesque asks all the questions he'd want to ask to a fake Rhodes, and also uses the terms "fabulous" and "asterisk" a lot (explanation in article). Many not-so-veiled shots are taken.

Jerheme Urban is all about hard work. He used to watch tapes of opposing wide receivers when on the practice squad to run routes similar to the Seahawks' opponents. Now, he sometimes sits in on the quarterbacks' meetings to get more of a hold on the offense. At least he's not taking it all for granted. I wish there was a way that Urban and Ryan Hannam could get more catches, but an injury would probably be the only thing that would necessitate that.

I had the television muted and the radio turned up on Sunday, so I didn't get to hear Stockton, Moose, and Goose going off on what they thought was Chike Okeafor tackling with intent to injure Marshall Faulk's ankle. Okeafor denies all reports about having intent to injure, and even (I think this is somewhat bizarre) went through a physical representation (I'll call it an interpretive dance) of what happened on the play. Okeafor also said his neck roll (to aid his sore neck) played a part in what happened on the play, as his head was down.

For my take on the game, scroll down or click here.

I've suggested it here before, but if there's one thing different about this particular hot start for the Sonics, it's how they're doing it, namely, their defense. For a stretch of 11:45, they held Philly to four points. Ray Allen suggests that Vlad Rad on a mismatch was a big key to the Sonics' success, and Vlad says the 76ers were biting on the pick-and-roll. Yes, the Sonics went on an insane 29-6 run from the latter part of the third quarter to the first portion of the fourth quarter.

More on the three-point madness. Ray Allen says it best: ""My plan wasn't to get 12 attempts up. But I wasn't going to try to do anything else if that's what they were giving me." Says Rashard Lewis: "They were leaving the wing wide open. You have to take open shots." Daniels added praise to the Radmanovic file: "When he steps in and shoots the ball, he adds a completely different dimension to our game. He's 6-10, so who are you going to put on him? What's crazy is he has no idea the dimension that he adds to this team when he comes to play both ends of the floor." The Sonics' 7-1 start is their best since the 10-0 start in the 1993-94 season, which I do remember, and quite well. I think it might have been the year the Cleveland Cavaliers went to the bright blue lightning streak across their uniforms. Not good times for them.

Fortson, who will have a bullseye on him all year in the officials' eyes, is trying to appeal his one-game suspension which he already served. That might not make sense in itself, but he's trying to get that game check back.

I've heard David Locke on his radio show saying "when does it start being too early?" This of course applies in a totally opposite fashion compared to what happened with the Mariners last April. In this article, Locke says the crazy three-point shooting and the crazy rebounding rate probably won't hold up over the course of a season. What can hold up, however, are the frontcourt depth, the picks they're setting, and the play at point guard from Luke Ridnour and Antonio Daniels. As for whether it's too early or not, I'll have a much better idea to gauge what I think about these Sonics after this six-game road swing is over with.

Tonight: Seattle at New Jersey
Friday: Seattle at Toronto
Sunday: Seattle at Boston

Again, there's no junior hockey (at least with the teams I care about) until Wednesday, so tonight I watched the last half of Making the Cut on CBC after I read our webpage and realized it was on and I was missing it (great game by the Black Aces against the elite squad). Four cuts were made off the elite squad after the game, and a cut player by the name of Billy McGillivray wasn't too sad, saying he'd be able to tell everyone he was cut by Mike Keenan.

Until the play starts back up, I'll have to think of various things to put in this spot. Tonight, a couple of WHL headlines before some NHL-related headlines.

The Seattle Thunderbirds are rolling at 14-5-0-0 but are looking to avenge an icky loss to last-place Spokane. The T-Birds are 6-1 at KeyArena and have the second game of their six-game homestand on Friday against the Chiefs. Also, goalie Bryan Bridges is 12-3 and is second in the WHL in save percentage and goals-against average.

There's been a trade. The Everett Silvertips sent Barry Horman (the guy who slashed the finger of Portland's Brandon Dubinsky, who nearly needed to amputate) and Marc Desloges to Swift Current for Kyle Annesley and scorer Alex Leavitt. Everett likes the trade; although Leavitt will have to fit into the defensive scheme, he'll give the 'Tips an established scorer for when the chips are down.

Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau made some remarks saying the NHL players hadn't made enough concessions in the labor dispute, and predictably, he faced immediate rebuttal from union leaders and some players (Martin Brodeur, Vincent Damphousse, and Sheldon Souray are quoted in the article). Nothing unpredictable here. Moving along...

The NHL reported that they lost $224M last year. Forbes estimates something more along the lines of $96M. Can you guess on which sides of the argument the owners and players lie? Owners basically think the Forbes report is bunk, while the players say Forbes is a respected business magazine, so it has to be somewhat right here.

Curtis Brown becomes the second NHLer to join the East Coast Hockey League, suiting up with the San Diego Gulls. Scott Gomez is currently playing for his hometown Alaska (Anchorage) Aces. Many of the west coast teams who are in the ECHL were once part of the West Coast Hockey League, who sported the Tacoma Sabercats as one of its teams.

Mike Danton's agent has been banned by the Central Junior A Hockey League. According to the league, David Frost entered an off-limits arena and harassed an official. Frost comes off as a crooked dude, and I saw a report once where Danton's parents (the Jeffersons) claimed that Frost had brainwashed Danton to basically turn on them. Pretty much everything out of this Danton story is scary and weird.

Screw the luxury tax, says NHL executive VP Bill Daly. The favorite owners' phrase is "cost certainty," which the players basically think is code for "salary cap," no form of which they will accept. You know, the owners are trying to define what in their view is "cost certainty" and not a salary cap. I'm not sure if the players are doing it, but they should try the deception game too. Make a proposal and say it has a salary cap, but if you get someone really slick to design it, maybe there isn't a salary cap in there after all. Or maybe the owners wouldn't know they'd gotten somewhat duped until three years into a new collective bargaining agreement. Who knows?

Friends, readers, we have appproached the middle of the work week. So in celebration, take a piece of used paper (or something crumplable), crumple it up into a ball, get a coworker, and play wastebasket H-O-R-S-E. By the way, I wonder if Bill Simmons' campaign to make H-O-R-S-E an NBA All-Star Game event will be successful one day. It should be.

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I didn't get to see much of this one, considering it was an early start and I worked until 5, and also that I was out buying DVDs and didn't get home until the beginning of the fourth quarter. That said, the Sonics pulled one out again tonight. Apparently they've told Vlad Radmanovic that he's such a good shooter and should always look to shoot first and drive to the basket second. It seemed like he heeded that advice tonight, and was hitting quite a few outside shots. Speaking of outside shots, the Sonics better not be turning to the offensive philosophy of raining threes like mad, because that'll only work so much. However, the Sonics had enough gumption once again to put together a massive run in the second half, able to turn a double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead of their own. Of course, the fact that Allen Iverson was held scoreless in the third quarter was a big help.

Before we go on here, a look at the boxscore: The Sonics outrebounded their opponents again, but this time only by a margin of 39-38. The Sonics shot 39 out of their 77 shots from three-point range. They made 18 threes, one short of tying the NBA record. Ray Allen shot 12-for-24 from the field (7-of-12 from downtown) and had a line of (season-high) 37 pts/5 reb/5 ast. Rashard Lewis had 21 pts/6 reb, Vlad Radmanovic 20 pts/5 reb (6-of-11 from 3), and Antonio Daniels 19 pts/5 ast. The one-sided lines of the night were from Reggie Evans (2 pts/11 reb) and Luke Ridnour (2 pts/10 ast). Danny Fortson used all six fouls up in his 13 minutes, getting called once again for setting an illegal screen. Craig Ehlo says Fortson is now a marked man throughout the NBA, and won't ever get the benefit of the doubt on any calls. As a result, I think the last two games could be (I hope not) what we see out of Danny Fortson for the rest of the year, unless he finds some way to adjust to this. The good news is that Reggie Evans is rebounding like a mofo (Kevin Calabro has already dubbed him The Collector). In the Jerome James Watch, he played 11 minutes, missed the only shot he took, fouled twice, but had two offensive rebounds.

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If you haven't done so already, go vote for Mariners play-by-play broadcaster Dave Niehaus, who is on the nomination list for the 2005 Ford C. Frick Award.

The top three vote-getters are then placed on the final ballot for consideration for the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually to the baseball broadcaster for major contributions to the game of baseball. Past winners include Lon Simmons, Harry Kalas, Marty Brennaman, Jack Buck, and Vin Scully.

So go vote for Niehaus. He's a Hall of Famer in my book.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004


It's only Tuesday. I'm tired, and I have to work at 7am, which is quite early. Usually I try to get to all of these before everybody gets to work, but it looks like I'm going to be a zombie when I actually get to work today. Oh well, I think I'll be rewarded at the end of the day somehow.

What we heard about a few days ago is now becoming a formality. Jeff Newman is the new Mariners' third base coach, and Carlos Garcia is the new Mariners' first base coach. Nothing major here. The only true effect between last year's team and next year's is that there's no Dave Myers, and that's always a good thing. Of course, the more interesting part of the article is the part where somebody could infer that the Mariners had the decision made to hire Mike Hargrove and just gave Jerry Manuel some lip service, and also that the fact that the Mariners weren't conducting formal interviews -- it's just a little too contentious toward the Bud Selig-imposed one-minority-interview-per-open-high-profile-position edict. I doubt this opens up a big powderkeg for the Mariner brass, but you never know.

It's Finnigan time. Ol' Bob says that the Mariners and Carlos Delgado are interested in each other. A Toronto Sun article is cited as saying the Mariners are after Carl Pavano and Corey Koskie. How many of these three guys would I want on the Mariners next year, given the current pool of players available? Zero.

Well, it's a charley horse from hell, I guess. Coach Holmgren says Matt Hasselbeck might not practice much this week. Read the rest of the article for Holmgren's attempts at answering questions.

Here's more of the same, and Tracy White won't be playing for a couple of weeks.

The Sonics are in a weird spot. They're playing extremely well, but is it still too early? Fast starts the last two years have fizzled out before the "real" Sonic teams would come in over the course of the year. But for some reason, this season feels a tiny bit different, and I'm not sure whether it really is different or if fans just badly want it to be different.

No bones about it, Antonio Daniels has been a big key to the Sonics' fast start. The word of the article: aggressive. Mine: clutch. Also, this may leave Ron Murray as the odd man out if Daniels keeps this up.

Well, there aren't any games for the teams that I usually cover in this space until Wednesday. I'll have to fill the space with any NHL scraps I can find, and maybe say a few things about the Making the Cut show that's on the CBC tonight at 8.

But for now, let's see how the teams I'm tracking are doing in the standings...

WHL B.C. Division -- games, record (points), streak, last 10 games
1 Kootenay Ice 23, 14-7-2-0 (30), W5, 7-3-0
2 Kelowna Rockets 22, 13-6-3-0 (29), T1, 6-2-2
3 Vancouver Giants 23, 10-11-0-2 (22), L5, 3-7-0
4 Prince George Cougars 21, 8-10-2-1 (19), W1, 6-3-1
5 Kamloops Blazers 22, 7-13-2-0 (16), T1, 4-5-1

WHL U.S. Division
1 Seattle Thunderbirds 19, 14-5-0-0 (28), W1, 8-2-0
2 Everett Silvertips 21, 11-6-2-2 (26), W2, 6-4-0
3 Portland Winter Hawks 20, 10-8-1-1 (22), T1, 5-4-1
4 Tri-City Americans 21, 8-10-3-0 (19), L1, 5-4-1
5 Spokane Chiefs 18, 6-10-1-1 (14), T1 2-7-1

AHL Western Conference >> Northern Division -- games, record, points
1 Edmonton Road Runners 16, 10-3-2-1, 23
2 Manitoba Moose 16, 10-4-0-2, 22
3 Rochester Americans 15, 7-4-2-1, 17
4 Hamilton Bulldogs 15, 6-5-3-1, 16
5 Saint John's Maple Leafs 13, 7-5-0-1, 15
6 Cleveland Barons 14, 6-6-1-1, 14
7 Syracuse Crunch 15, 4-6-2-3, 13

NorPac Junior B, Western Division -- games, record, points
1 Puget Sound Tomahawks (Bremerton) 20, 18-2-0, 36
2 Portland Pioneers 14, 13-1-0, 26
3 Tri-City Titans 18, 6-12-0, 12
4 River City Jaguars (Beaverton) 2-14-0, 4

Have a great Tuesday out there. If you've got money to burn and have a twisted sense of humor, go and pick up volume 3 of Aqua Teen Hunger Force on DVD, and if you've got even more, you might want to get the first season of Home Movies on DVD. Both cartoons are part of the Cartoon Network Adult Swim.

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Monday, November 15, 2004


It's been approximately 30 hours since Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren made the dumbest decision I've ever seen in my years of watching football.

No, I'm not that old. But if you watched yesterday's Seahawks-Rams game, then you definitely know what I'm talking about.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is right on the money. As much as I hate Rams coach Mike Martz, the man is 5-2 in his career against Holmgren:

Seattle's Shaun Alexander rushed 22 times for 176 yards. Only one man really stopped Alexander: his own coach. What was Holmgren thinking, putting the ball into the hands of incompetent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on numerous trips inside the red zone? Why did Holmgren run the fullback - who was stuffed - on a fourth-and-1 play from the Rams' 39-yard line? Was Holmgren the only person inside The Ed who couldn't see Alexander bruising the Rams for 8.0 yards per carry?

And if I may digress for a moment ... why does Holmgren continue to elude criticism? If Martz screws up a game, or even a timeout, the national media grills him for a week. (Not to mention the hissing in St. Louis.) Let Martz call a stupid play, and every talking head on ESPN pounds him as if he's the cable network's personal pinata.

Meanwhile, Holmgren gets a free pass as he cruises along in his sixth season in Seattle with a mediocre overall record of 46-43. He's winless in his last four playoff games, having lost his last two as coach in Green Bay, plus an 0-2 mark in Seattle. Holmgren's team blew a 27-10 lead in a humiliating loss to the Rams earlier this season. And on Sunday Holmgren got nearly 200 yards from Alexander the Great, saw his defense limit the Rams to nine points over the final 51 minutes, 51 seconds and still couldn't win.

And Holmgren is a genius?


Martz routinely outcoaches him when their teams meet.

Miklasz is so money and I hope that he knows it.

(Shaun Alexander and the offensive line's view of yesterday's events)

For all the hype that has been heaped on the Seattle Seahawks, what exactly have they done to earn it? Absolutely nothing.

What is there to make of the Seahawks 9 games into the 2004 season?

Well, Shaun Alexander is proving to be a great running back. He's by far the best player on the Seahawks roster. Matt Hasselbeck has been awful in two very key games this season (Oct. 24 at Arizona and yesterday at St. Louis). The receivers are still dropping balls. And the defense is still mediocre, although when healthy, Grant Wistrom provides a big boost.

As for Mike Holmgren, I seriously believe that if the Seahawks don't win a playoff game this season, he's going to be fired. The track record speaks for itself. He's been in Seattle since 1999 and what is there to show for it? Over the past 30 hours, I've really wondered about this possible situation, even got the cold chills pouring over my body just thinking about it:

Who would I want to stay in Seattle next season, Holmgren or Alexander?

It's simple. Alexander has to stay. He's a Pro Bowl-caliber running back. If he stays healthy, he will get over 1700 yards this season. You tell me he's not a good running back? Then I tell you you're full of it.

Unfortunately, Holmgren thinks that I would be full of it.

After all, he used Mack Strong on 4th and 1 yesterday.

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Well, one supposedly good team is left picking up the pieces while the other supposedly bad one wins. I tried to do some ridiculous research in the infancy of Sports and B's where I took some past schedules (Sonics and Mariners, I believe) and tried to crunch numbers and try to prove my inference that no two Seattle teams win on the same day. I used to notice this in the '90s when the Sonics were good and they'd lose big games or playoff games and the Mariners would be sucking that year, but they'd win. I think my findings were feeble at best, but today the Seahawks blew a must-win game, and the Sonics won.

It's soul-searching time!! Worse yet, it's Monday!! I challenge any of you with water coolers at work to refrain from talking about the Seahawks as long as possible. I'm not sure if this will help you deal with it easier, or if it will just bottle up your anger. If it's the latter, please talk about the Seahawks at work, because I wouldn't want you bringing that anger back home.

Say you're a fan of the San Francisco Giants. You had Deivi Cruz play shortstop last year, and now you also have Omar Vizquel. I can't say I'd know how to react. I think I'd be bewildered.

Hey, guess what? There's some happy football news after all!!

Duncan O'Mahony kicked a 40-yard field goal in overtime to catapult the BC Lions past the Saskatchewan Rough Riders by a score of 27-25, advancing them to the Grey Cup game against the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday. The Riders had a 24-21 lead with 1:05 left in regulation. On the only Saskatchewan possession of overtime, kicker Paul McCallum missed an 18-yard field goal. Now I know the hash marks are a lot further apart in the CFL and that could have been a sharp angle attempt, but 18 yards?!!?! Congrats to the BC Lions. I've drank out of their water coolers before at baseball camp, so there's somewhat of a personal tie to this.

Now to that other team...
I put in my game post that I was ticked at Hasselbeck for that interception, when in fact Jerramy Stevens had stopped on his route.

Basically, the Rams threw the ball at will on their first two possessions and the game was over. The Rams won this game in the first quarter. I can't believe that in all of the media focus that Shaun Alexander would be able to run roughshod on the Rams' 28th-ranked run defense that a lot of people forgot that the Rams' strength is their passing game and that the Seahawk pass defense sucks!! That was a much more deadly combination yesterday than the Rams' pathetic run defense combined with Shaun Alexander.

Here comes the carnage...

The Seahawks are still waiting for that big turning point. Mike Holmgren is blaming a missed block on the 4th-and-1 play. I'm blaming Holmgren for not even having Shaun Alexander on the field on that play. He can take a breather later because the defense would have been on the field forever anyway.

At first glance, one would look at Shaun Alexander's line of 22 carries for 176 yards (8 yds/carry) and probably presume that the Seahawks won the game. Nope. Too bad he didn't have any touchdowns. Small solace, but Shaun is now the NFL's rushing leader thanks to Priest Holmes not playing yesterday.

I've only read three articles (this Clare Farnsworth article is the third), and if I hear about a charley horse on the first offensive play one more time, I might just paint my room the color of vomit. Look at Farnsworth's article to see where the Seahawks had the ball on all those red-zone drives that didn't find the end zone.

Yes, the Seahawks lost even after Terreal Bierria knocked Torry Holt out of the game after what was the best defensive play of the game. They even lost despite Orlando Pace getting ejected in the third quarter after shoving an official out of the way. During the speculation of whether Grant Wistrom was going to play this week, I thought it wouldn't have mattered because Pace handled Wistrom in the last game up in Seattle, and with Wistrom having a bum knee, he'd probably do it again. But when the Seahawks couldn't muster up any sense of a pass rush all freakin' day, well, it didn't matter much.

"Just another manic Sunday." Well put, Steve Kelley. By the way, Matt Hasselbeck was 15-for-36 with 172 yards. Ick. I guess what makes these two losses to the Rams hurt is that (as Kelley says) the better team didn't win and didn't meet expectations. That is what sucks about all this.

Mike Holmgren is Mike Martz' bitch. That's pretty much what Les Carpenter is getting at. Outcoached by Mike freakin' Martz in a must-win game. I did mention at the end of my game post that I think Mike Holmgren punched his ticket out of Seattle with this loss.

Cliff Brunt has a look at how a decomposing Marshall Faulk ran up and down the field behind a Saint Louis offensive line held together by pipe cleaners, staples, and a pound of human hair.

More is never enough when you're talking about the Seahawks' red zone ineptitude yesterday.

A look ahead at the schedule. One of Farnsworth's sentences is "[t]ake care of business at Qwest Field and the Seahawks will have nine wins." The problem? One, I'm not comfortable with nine wins (remember, they barely got into the playoffs with ten wins last year) and two, the Seahawks actually taking care of business is by no means a given. They'd be at least 7-3 right now if they took just a little bit more care of business.

For my take on the game, scroll down or click here.

Now, the dailies...

Jayda Evans has more on the Danny Fortson suspension, given after Fortson elbowed Chris Bosh of the Raptors in the head (you won't find the head part in the article) on Friday. The foul was upgraded to a flagrant foul, so there's some points on Fortson's flagrant foul record. I think it's five flagrant foul points and you get suspended for a few games. I'd check the rule right now, but it's late (the post time at the bottom of all this will show that)

Another stat in the Sonics' crazy 4th quarter -- they scored on their first five possessions. The two shots that Collison blocked were Pau Gasol's shots. Memphis center Lorenzen Wright has the quote of the season so far: "Ridnour -- or whatever the hell his name is -- he knocked down a lot of shots, too." I guess this is funny because Luke Ridnour was a much bigger star at Oregon than Wright was at Memphis, but that's just my take.

It was the Sonics' nutty shooting combined with the fourth-quarter defense that ultimately gave them a fighting chance to win this game. Jayda also brings up the behind-the-back pass by Collison for a Lewis dunk, which was quite unexpected when I was watching the game. This article disagrees with the last article, saying that one of the Collison blocks was on Shane Battier.

Before the one game tonight gets mention, Team Canada's women won the Four Nations Cup over the USA. The blip says that the Canadians won the gold-medal game, but I don't see why you'd need to hand out gold medals when the tournament is the Four Nations Cup. Give those ladies a Cup, come on.

Kootenay beat Vancouver, 4-3. The Vancouver Giants have lost five straight and are in a tailspin. It's not just that they're losing, it's the way they're doing it. They've led after two periods of play in six of the last eight games and have won only two of those games. Kyle Lamb, Gilbert Brule, and Triston Grant scored the Giants' goals, as they had a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. The Giants were outshot 28-22. Marek Schwarz stopped 24 shots. The Giants' schedule eases up, as they play six games (all at home) between now and the 3rd of December, compared to nine games in the first 14 days of November.

Next week in hockey (it's a light one)...
Wednesday: Everett at Spokane, Saint John's at Manitoba (first game at new MTS Centre)
Friday: Portland at Everett, Spokane at Seattle, Prince George at Vancouver, Saint John's at Manitoba, River City at Puget Sound
Saturday: Tri-City at Everett, Portland at Seattle, Kamloops at Vancouver, River City at Puget Sound

Try to have a decent Monday, everyone. Just because the Seahawks lost yesterday doesn't mean anyone should snap at anyone else if they're even getting slightly agitated by some unwelcome person. If it's for wholly other reasons, fine, but don't let the Seahawks mess with your mind -- it's not worth it. This ends the fake public service announcement by your local insane blogger, David.

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Here's what I had typed into my computer at halftime...
Griz 71-61 at half. Just because Danny Fortson is suspended for one game doesn't mean you can slack on the boards and slack on setting screens. The Sonics got by in the Toronto game without big numbers from Fortson, so why can't they do it tonight? They looked absolutely listless on defense. I know the Sonics shot 60% from the field and got to the line a lot, but you can't let Memphis shoot 62% from the field and expect to win. Just crazy. And Memphis was moving at will in the paint on offense, not to mention Jason Williams and Mike Miller sinking a bunch of threes. No Fortson to bust the chops of Lorenzen Wright and Stromile Swift, but still, the Sonics have still got to play the type of fundamental basketball that got them to where they are so far this season.

It's also inexcusable that the Sonics' first offensive rebound came with 1:10 to go in the half (Reggie Evans). Brutal.

The Memphis Grizzlies played three near-flawless quarters of basketball and were up 100-84 going into the 4th quarter. They drove into the paint at will and were absolutely lights-out. The Sonics had no answer defensively, which is easily surmisable considering they'd given up 100 points in only three quarters of play. They'd scored 84 points in three quarters themselves, which is usually enough of a pace to win most ballgames, but the Grizzlies were in total control.

Antonio Daniels hit a three in the beginning stages of the fourth quarter for the Sonics to bring the Sonics within 13 at 100-87. At the other end of the floor, Nick Collison came up with a key block (he had another one later). Almost like a flip of the switch, the defensive pressure was pumped up, and the Grizzlies were missing shots due in part to the kicked-up D and because of the law of averages. When the Sonics pulled out the lead in the final minutes of a game they had no business winning (they were down by 21 at one point in the third quarter), they managed to surprise everyone watching in the arena and over FSNNW. By the way, the Grizzlies weren't being too smart in the final minutes when they were fouling Ray Allen to send him to the line (great FT shooter in his career; he only missed one free throw all night). The Sonics outscored Memphis 34-13 in the 4th quarter.

The Sonics are 6-1 heading into a six-game road trip taking them to Philadelphia, New Jersey, Toronto, Boston, Minnesota, and Memphis. So they get Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett all on the road during this trip. I think a realistic good road trip for the Sonics here is .500. They would come back to KeyArena at 9-4, and that's still not too bad.

Boxscore time: Ray Allen with a relatively quiet 34 pts (10-for-16 floor, 12-for-13 free throws), Antonio Daniels 28 pts off the bench (8-for-12 from the floor, 9-for-10 from the line, 3-for-5 downtown), Luke Ridnour 17 pts/8 ast, Rashard Lewis 14 pts/12 reb (6-for-10 from the floor, Shane Battier had him covered most of the night)

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Sunday, November 14, 2004


Shaun: "Man, Mike thinks he's Bill Freaking Walsh"

Walter: "You see why I don't waste my time going to Cheney every summer?"

Shaun: "If I would have known that he wouldn't use me on a 4th and 1, I wouldn't bother making the trip to boring as heck Cheney every darn summer."

Walter: "Hey, you want to go to Houston with me next year?"

Shaun: "Sounds good, bro."

Chris Gray in the background talking to Robbie Tobeck:

Chris: "I need to ask Chad about the pain train, so I can get the hell out of here."

Robbie: "I see you're feeling the pain of the Mack Truck..."

Chris: "Well, at least my Auburn Tigers are doing well. You think Shaun wants to make a bet on the Iron Bowl this Saturday?"

Robbie: "No way, dude. Shaun's a religious man. Hell, he doesn't even say damn or f**king. You should know that by now, Chris."

Chris: "F**k it."

Meanwhile, Chris Terry (way in the background) was able to stay still for 10 seconds. Way to go, Chris.

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"I don't want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day"

This Todd Rundgren tune gets on the nerves of every football fan that doesn't support the St. Louis Rams. Let's just say that it's on my nerves right now. Granted, the Rams only scored 2 touchdowns today. But at the same time, when I think of the Rams, I think of that god-awful Todd Rundgren track.

Oh, and I vomit when I think about them as well. I have no problem saying this, they aren't that great of a football team. But for some reason, the Seattle Seahawks sure love to make them look like one.

As for today's 23-12 loss in the Edward Jones Dome, I'm seriously vexed. It's the 9th game of the season and you mean to tell me that the Seahawks couldn't get up for this game? Dammit, I'm not even playing and I couldn't even sleep last night because I was so fired up for this game. Maybe I need a girlfriend. Check that, I do need one. But that's another story.

Back to the game...

Is it too much to ask for the Seahawks to show up in a key divisional game? Really, is it? If it is, just pack it up right now and don't waste anybody's time. I'm sick and tired of this bullcrap, I really am.

Again, this is not an elite football team. Not even close. Elite football teams win these games. But the Seattle Seahawks as of right now are "pretenders". Sad, but true. If anybody is offended by that, well, that's just too bad. I'm speaking the truth here.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

---HEY MIKE, THERE'S THIS GUY NAMED ALEXANDER. Shaun Alexander. He's a damn good running back. But you don't even use him on 4th and 1 early in the 3rd quarter? It's not like he's the best running back in the NFC or anything of that sort. I mean, it's a fluke. Right.

---No, I will not jump off of the Alexander bandwagon after fumbling on his 35-yard run in the 4th quarter. He was trying to make a play. Hell, he was the only player on offense that played worth a damn today. It's a damn shame how the man can run for 176 yards but can't get into the end zone. It's unacceptable.

---Way to show up, Seahawks defense. Were they too busy exploring the studio space at the Adam's Mark Hotel near the Gateway Arch? Two touchdowns on the first 2 Rams drives, simply unreal. What did they think the Rams were going to do, run the ball? Yes, I know the 2nd Rams touchdown was scored on the ground by Steven Jackson. But for the most part, Marc Bulger was pass-happy. Ugh.

---Since when do the officials look up at the jumbotron and then decide to call a pass incomplete? Well, this scenario took place today, when Darrell Jackson's catch was ruled incomplete. Granted, he didn't really catch the ball, but still. It gave Mike Martz a third challenge.

---Phil Luckett was the back judge today. I have nothing left to say about this.

---Will Mike Holmgren have to "dumb down the offense" even more for Matt Hasselbeck? I don't know. But when the Rams went up 14-0, it basically took the Seahawks out of their element. You're out of your element, Donnie!

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

I just read the tail-end part of David's gamepost and he brings up a very interesting topic: Could Mike Holmgren be gone at the end of the season? Sure, there's still 7 games left to be played. This team can still be in the playoffs. But let's be honest here. If the Seahawks do not make the playoffs, I think Holmgren is gone. He's been in Seattle since 1999 and hasn't lived up to expectations. Now, I'm not going to stir up anything here, because I still think this team can go to the playoffs. However, they just made things a little more difficult for themselves.

The Seahawks are now 5-4, tied with the Rams in the NFC West. But the Rams actually lead the NFC West because of their 2-0 record over the Seahawks. Ouch.

This was a very big game today for the Seahawks. And they blew it. Again, I'm seriously vexed here. What will it take for the Seahawks to live up to expectations? Bring Amber back from Southern California? Go back to the silver helmets? I don't know.

The Seahawks return to Qwest Field next Sunday to play the Miami Dolphins, who are a total mess. I expect that game to be a low-scoring affair. At this point, the Seahawks can't afford to overlook anybody. See Arizona.

What a brutal day this has become. It didn't have to be this way.

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It's 4th and 1 on the Rams' 38.

The Seahawks decide to go for it.

Great, because you have to get some momentum.

But they decide to give the ball to Mack Strong?!?


Shaun Alexander, a Pro Bowl running back.

He's pretty damn good.


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[final update -- 1:17p]

This post will get longer as the game goes on, but here come the notes...

>> 1st Saint Louis possession (STL 29, big return...surprise)
14:43 pass over middle Bruce 50yd line for first down DAMMIT
14:06 Holt sideline right for 15 and first down GRRRRRR SEA 36
13:38 Holt left sideline, Lucas and the safety burned, Holt's feet out of bounds
13:31 Bruce over middle to SEA 18 (22 yd) and first down after Bulger bobbles
12:52 pass right Faulk to SEA 15, runs out of bounds (2nd/6)
***12:23 pass over middle Curtis 15 yds and TD (STL 7-0)

Well, they better have it out of their system right here. What a CRAPPY series (2:37) for the Seattle defense, and I can't stress that enough. No pressure on Bulger, the defensive backs were napping, and Bulger threw the ball at will. If they don't find a way to ratchet up the pressure and at least let the Rams have a little less space, it's going to be a long afternoon.

>> 1st Seattle possession (SEA 27)
12:14 Alexander slips up middle, loss of 2 (GREAT start)
11:37 Hasselbeck right side to defenders hands (tipped, 3rd/12)
11:35 delay of game, Seattle...ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (SEA 14)
11:33 Strong up middle to SEA 21


>> 2nd Saint Louis possession (STL 27...decent punt for once, fair catch)
10:48 over middle to Holt, room everywhere for 17 yards, first down
10:03 Faulk pass right for 6
9:27 pass right Manumaleuna for first down
8:55 Holt over middle JARRED by Bierria, ball comes loose, ruled incomplete...GREAT PLAY, Holt is woozy
8:50 pass incomplete with Bulger pressured....see what happens when you get pressure? (3rd/10)
8:44 Bruce left side for 22 and first down...DAMN YOU, ORLANDO PACE!! (SEA 23)
7:57 pass Goodspeed right for 7
7:26 Stephen Jackson up the middle to the 3 (12 yards), first down
***6:51 Jackson up the middle, easy for TD (STL 14-0)

I hate my life.

In a related story, I need the Seahawks to score on their next two possessions. Just execute and just get the job done. I guess Bobby Engram is playing, so that's good, at least.

>> 2nd Seattle possession (SEA 29...decent return)
6:41 Alexander right side to SEA 41 and first down (11 yards)
6:13 Alexander through the middle, close to 1st down (~9 yards)
5:48 Strong through the line for first down
5:16 Shaun through left side to the STL 41 (5 yd)
4:42 Darrell Jackson to the STL 28 for a first down
4:13 Alexander right side for not much (STL 27)
3:46 Alexander right side to STL 21 (3rd/3)
###3:08 Hasselbeck pass lofty right toward end zone picked off


>> 3rd Saint Louis possession (STL 1, momentum carried the defender into the end zone unsuccessfully challenged by Martz) WE WANT A SAFETY
2:59 Faulk through the left side for four
2:20 Faulk through giant hole for 27 freakin' yards and a first down (STL 33)
1:42 pass McDonald over middle for a ton and first down (SEA 47)
0:53 Jackson right side on a dumpoff just short of first down after Bulger was pressured and never touched...Jackson broke a tackle also which would have bee for a loss (SEA 37)
0:09 Jackson left side to SEA 30

Seriously, I don't know if it's safe for me to watch this game, so if these notes abruptly stopped, I probably left the house to preserve my own sanity, or whatever is left of it.

Right now I don't know whether to curse the Seahawk defense or if I want Ray Rhodes fired. Well, it's probably the players because they brainfart every three plays, but today's it's every single play.

14:57 Faulk through right side for 4 (SEA 25)
14:16 Cleeland quick pass left to SEA 10 and first down
13:37 Bulger throws ball away left...good coverage and decent pressure for once
13:33 Faulk pitchback right for loss of 3 (nowhere to run, 3rd/G)
12:49 false start Dishman (STL, ball on SEA 18)
12:22 ball pops out of McDonald's hands in end zone...I think it was a catch, but that's not the initial ruling. Here comes the red flag though. I bet they're going to rule it a catch. Nothing's gone the Seahawks' way during this game, so why should they start going the Seahawks' way now? RULING STANDS. Thank goodness.
12:18 Wilkins from 36 (STL 17-0)

Okay, there's some baby steps out of the Seahawk defense. The Rams only got three points instead of seven. That's unacceptable most of the time, but I've got to take something out of this since the Rams have been moving the ball up and down the field at will so far. Mike Holmgren better have one bitchin' halftime speech today. The best one of his life.

>> 3rd Seattle possession (SEA 32, nice return and effort by Kerry Carter)
12:04 Jackson wide open over the middle at midfield; he dropped it
11:59 Alexander outside right, into pile for no gain
11:16 officials throw delay of game flag before Hasselbeck calls timeout
10:46 Engram quick pass over middle to midfield and a first down...nice to have you back, Bobby
10:18 Alexander to middle, but no further
9:44 pass Stevens over middle for first down (STL 40)
9:09 Alexander through left side to STL 25, first down
8:33 catch right Jackson for another first down (SEA 15), they wound the clock even though I thought he went out of bounds
8:11 ball thrown over Hannam's head over middle
8:06 Alexander outside left for 2, no blockers in front of Shaun (3rd/8)
7:25 Hasselbeck hurried, dumps off to Alexander, and runs to 10, but is short of chains
***6:51 Brown from 26 (STL 17-3)

Baby steps. After Engram bailed them out, the offense was moving the ball at will until they got into the red zone, which is a bit disturbing. The radio crew seems to think Shaun's run to the left side had a lot of potential, but I didn't see any blockers for him.


>> 4th Saint Louis possession (STL 38...DAMMIT, some things never change)
###6:34 catch right side Bruce, ball forced out by Simmons, SEAHAWKS (Huff) RECOVER FUMBLE!!!

Big play by the defense!! Come through, offense!!

>> 4th Seattle possession
6:27 Alexander dumpoff to STL 38, flags for illegal contact on STL (AUTOMATIC FIRST DOWN)
6:10 Alexander handoff right to STL 30, flags for offside on STL, repeat first down
5:50 Alexander left side for a bunch of yards to STL 12 and first down
5:17 high pass almost one-handed by Rice in end zone
5:13 Hasselbeck hurried, dumped off right side incomplete...they didn't buy the play fake (3rd/10)
5:07 Jackson over middle in end zone, incomplete...THAT'S A CATCHABLE BALL, right through his hands
5:03 Brown from 29 (STL 17-6)

They needed to cash in (I'm talking touchdown) on that possession. Go shovel out some paydirt, for goodness' sake!! Notice how they didn't run the ball on their final set of downs.

>> 5th Saint Louis possession (STL 35, Moon says the special teamers are running to a certain point and stopping)
4:50 Jackson right side to STL 43
4:10 Jackson outside left runs into his own man for one-yard gain
3:24 Faulk through left side, takes pile with him to move the chains for first down
2:40 pass intended for Bruce over middle, not even close...Bruce sort of half-asses toward the thrown ball; thanks, Hamlin
2:30 Bulger finally dropped after being pressured for about 20 seconds in the backfield (3rd/11)
1:53 dump over middle to Faulk to midfield (4th/6)
1:48 Seattle timeout

Bust out the drill!

>> 5th Seattle possession (SEA 20, monster leg by geriatric Sean Landeta)
1:37 Morris outside right for 1
1:19 Engram quick pass right side for 1 (3rd/8)
1:13 Stevens over middle for first down (SEA 33)
0:55 Stevens over middle to the SEA 44, first down
0:30 Engram left side, out of bounds (SEA 49)
0:25 Koren Robinson left side, a bit too far to the left of him (3rd/5)...still zero catches today for Koren
0:25 Hasselbeck calls timeout...damn. I thought an Alexander handoff for a first down and a quick timeout would have been nice
0:21 over the head of Darrell Jackson left side

>> 6th Saint Louis possession (STL 20)
0:11 knee

What a freakin' letdown. The defense had one big play, but they sure dug themselves one gigantic hole. Two touchdowns on the first two possessions for Saint Louis is just unacceptable in a game of this magnitude. Just unacceptable. Not to say that the offense is being sharp either. They'll be sharp and get the ball down the field to an extent, and they'll just hit the wall. On the last two possessions, they didn't call Alexander's number once on their final set of downs. This is somewhat excusable for the two-minute drill, but they did have two timeouts going into that drive.

I'd complain more about this, but halftime's supposed to be a bathroom break, especially when you're doing inane crazy game-note posts like this.

Some halftime stats pulled from the radio: Seattle is 2-for-7 on third down at the half. Hasselbeck is 9-for-18 for 88 yards. Bulger is 15-for-21 (unacceptable) for 182 yards. Alexander has 11 carries for 66 yards. Stevens and Engram are Seattle's leading receivers (3 catches). Isaac Bruce has 4catches, Marshall Faulk has 3.

By the way, shouldn't Leonard Little be in jail right now?

>> 6th Seattle possession (SEA 40, great return by Carter)
14:15 Shaun to STL 46
13:42 ball behind Robinson on right side (3rd/10)...why are they still calling audibles at the line?
13:38 Rice right side, probably short of chains (it is)...RUN THE BALL (4th/1)
###13:14 Strong up the middle; he didn't get it. I don't have to wait for the spot.


>> 7th Saint Louis possession (STL 39)
13:09 Faulk up middle to STL 42
12:32 Bruce over middle to SEA 38, first down; just another big play
11:55 Faulk through middle to SEA 35
11:17 Curtis right sideline for first down (SEA 28)
11:00 Faulk right side, hit in backfield for loss (SEA 31)
10:15 Bulger scrambles for three; Seahawks pressured, but couldn't drop Bulger (should have, 3rd/11 at SEA 28)...Dishman limps off
9:37 ball underthrown right (Bulger's arm may have been hit by Okeafor)
9:32 Wilkins from 47 (STL 20-6)

They've got to keep the Rams off the board. Plain and simple. The only solace is that Saint Louis had good field position and didn't get to the end zone.

>> 7th Seattle possession (SEA 31)
9:22 incomplete right side Robinson (no flags on Jerametrius Butler on the coverage)
9:16 Alexander through the left side to SEA 47 (first down), 16 yards
8:43 flags (false start, Chris Gray)...be disciplined, dang it!
8:23 Robinson bobbles, catches for first down (STL 41)
7:54 Robinson open down left sideline, ball overthrown; Matt hasn't done too well on over-the-top passes (says Steve Raible)
7:48 Alexander through right side carries pile past the chains (STL 30)
7:15 Alexander into left side of pile for 1
6:37 Morris right side with blockers for only 2 (STL 27, 3rd/7)
5:59 Rice underthrown right side
***5:54 Brown from 45 (STL 20-9)

Sure, guys. You can keep trading field goals. You might as well hop on the plane right now, head home, and face the media barrage. You've been absolutely choking for 40 minutes. Step it the hell up!!

They NEED a defensive stop right here.

>> 8th Saint Louis possession (STL 15, nice coverage play by Isaiah Kacyvenski)...seven yards a play? This defense sucks
5:44 Bruce right sideline for 18 and a first down...no damn pressure on Bulger; Trufant picked on
###5:11 Faulk big run left side to midfield, may have fumbled? Seahawks recovered possible fumble (forced by Lucas)...flag on Orlando Pace...FUMBLE!!! PACE EJECTED (contact with official)!!! YEEEAAAAHHH!!!! TAKE ADVANTAGE!!!!

>> 8th Seattle possession (STL 35)
5:05 Alexander outside left to STL 18, first down
4:33 Hasselbeck runs into Leonard Little in the backfield for a big loss
4:03 Hasselbeck pressured, dumps off to Alexander, who drops it (3rd/16)
3:59 Robinson underthrown right side
***3:56 Brown from 41 (STL 20-12)

Hey, guess what? The Seahawks are 0-for the red zone today. Way to be clutch, guys. They'd better throw in the kitchen sink on the pass rush now with Orlando Pace out.

>> 9th Saint Louis possession (STL 22, nice tackle again by Kacyvenski)
3:43 Faulk left side for first-down yardage, Brown limps off field
3:12 pitchback Faulk right to STL 37...Okeafor slow to get up
2:34 Faulk moves the chains right (STL 44), first down
1:51 quick pass Bruce, but he drops it (would have been first down)
1:47 Simmons drops Jackson in the backfield (3rd/12)...come on, pass defense
1:06 Bulger overthrows the dumpoff receiver (whew...way to go, defense)

>> 9th Seattle possession (SEA 9...crappy decision by Morris on the return, the ball would have bounced into the end zone)
0:44 Jackson way down the left sideline, fumbled out of bounds, THEY RULED IT AN INCOMPLETE PASS!!!!!! BULL-F%*$ING-S*%$!!!!
0:39 Alexander bounces left, then right for short gain (3rd/6)
0:09 Strong over the middle for first down

I kinda wish Holmgren would have thrown the red flag on that bullcrap incomplete pass call, but at the same time, that third timeout could be very important for later. But DAMMIT though, seriously.

14:56 Shaun through the middle to the 22 (Shaun's got 1000 yards)
14:16 Hasselbeck scrambles for a first down!! (SEA 40)
13:50 flags (SEA false start, Steve Hutchinson...SEA 35)
13:22 pass right side Jackson to SEA 45 (2nd/5)
12:52 Shaun moves left, then through middle, falls forward for the first down (STL 49)
12:17 Robinson catches left, but it's out of bounds...Koren had to wait for the ball to get there
###12:06 THIS GAME IS F#&@ING OVER. Shaun busts out a long run and fumbles (pulls an Ahman Green) around the STL 9-yard line.

It's official. The Seahawks are the Rams' Red Sox, only without the nice ending the Red Sox had last year. This is complete bullcrap.

>> 10th Saint Louis possession (STL 9)
12:02 Bulger underthrows receiver right side
11:53 just another first-down catch to the left side for Curtis (STL 25)
11:16 flags, false start STL
10:58 flags, false start STL
10:36 Jackson to the STL 23, should have been dropped in the backfield (2nd/12)
9:53 Bruce right to STL 28 (3rd/7)
9:11 Curtis right side, first down (surprise, STL 36)
8:29 Jackson through right side, 2 yards
7:51 Seattle timeout, nullifying flags that were thrown
7:48 quick pass left side dropped (3rd/8)
7:41 pass right Faulk stopped at STL 42 (punt forced)

>> 10th Seattle possession (SEA 39...finally a nice return by Morris)
6:54 Jackson right side climbs the ladder, ball in and out of hands. Tough catch, but one of these receivers has got to make a big play one of these days
6:51 Shaun through the middle to the SEA 42 (3rd/7)
6:16 massively underthrown to Jackson right...Hasselbeck has massively sucked today. No question about it. He didn't get it all out of his system in the Arizona game.

Way to pick up the defense. They get a stop, and the offense goes three-and-freakin'-out. Talk about my life as a Seattle sports fan, you've got it right there in the span of about 90 seconds of play.

>> 11th Saint Louis possession (STL 9)
5:56 Faulk left side to STL 22...big surprise, first down
5:12 Faulk through left side for short gain (STL 27, 2nd/5)
4:27 Faulk dumpoff over middle, short of first down (3rd/4)
3:42 THE SEAHAWKS JUST FELL FOR THE END-AROUND. First down, Curtis to the STL 43
2:56 Faulk bounces outside for little gain, but stays in bounds; Seattle calls timeout, then Bulger calls timeout too
2:48 Faulk through middle to STL 47 (3rd/5)
2:46 Seattle uses final timeout
2:38 Faulk through the middle and down the right sideline for about 3748038949 yards (to the SEA 13, anyway) for another first down
2:38 Why does Bulger keep calling timeout?
2:32 Jackson right side to SEA 10
1:52 Jackson up middle to the SEA 8 (3rd/5)
1:10 Faulk to the SEA 5, short of chains
0:30 Saint Louis calls final timeout
***0:26 Wilkins from 23 (STL 23-12)

>> 11th Seattle possession (flags on Rams on block below waist, SEA 45)...it's not going to happen. This one's over. Just take a couple of knees, make sure no one gets injured.
0:15 pass right sideline broken up by Butler on Robinson
0:09 pass over middle to Strong(?), who gets out of bounds, short of the marker
0:03 Hasselbeck throws out of bounds, pressured...just take a knee. Georgia Frontiere is hoogly, by the way.
0:00 Robinson down left sideline to the STL 13


You know what? Fair or unfair (after today there's a lot more ammo to "fair"), I think Mike Holmgren just punched his ticket out of Seattle. He's not coming back next year. I'm not sure what more to say. I might have something to say later, about a couple hours after the game, but I might not, too. Seriously, this one hurts. This team might be 9-7 if they're lucky. They need to run the table, and I think they can't lose more than once. They'll have to pull some victories out of the blue to get into the playoffs.

Way to go, Josh Brown. You're today's MVP. No offense to Brown, but I wish he wasn't the MVP today.

Inflated expectations, deflating results. Just another day in the life of a Seattle sports fan.

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