Saturday, November 27, 2004


It's two days after Thanksgiving and I'm just about resigned to the fact that there won't be an NHL season.

Sadly, so are the Nashville Predators.

There are many reasons as to why I wish the lockout would end. One of them is so I can see the Predators play. Last season, they were finally able to make the postseason for the first time in their history. Now if they could only mothball those piss-colored third jerseys.

Hopefully when the NHL returns, I'll be able to make it to Nashville for a game. Nashville was finally starting to gain some momentum as a hockey town in last year's postseason. But with the lockout, you have to wonder whether the city can regain that momentum. The same can be said for some other cities in North America that have an NHL team.

I miss hockey, because playing my NHL 2K5 game simply isn't getting it done, dammit.

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As you all have heard by now, Ron Artest has a new album out.

Actually, it isn't "his" album. He's just responsible for producing Allure's new album, "Chapter III", which has been released on his record label TruWarier. He co-wrote one song on Allure's album, "I Feel So". I have listened to it and well, I feel so...crappy for taking time out of my day to listen to it.

But that's not the real story here. Have any of you seen the actual album cover?

That's right, it does indeed say "Executive Producer Ron Artest" at the bottom of the cover. I've listened to a ton of music over the years and I can't honestly remember an album that has the producer's name on the front of it. Just chalk this up as a another mark on Artest's resume.

So I've taken matters into my own hands.

Just in time for the holidays, it's the kick-ass, take no prisoners "THE MALICE IN THE PALACE", produced by who else, Mr. Ron Artest! Featuring 18 smashing tracks, including "Dumbass Honkey Threw A Cup At Me, So I Had To Say WHAASSSSSUP!", "That Ain't No Fro, Ben!", "F**k you, Bill Walton!" and the very personal "Red Storm's a' Risin'!".

Artest won't have the Pointer Sisters, excuse me, Allure, to hide behind for this new album. It's all #23, I mean #91.

"Happy Holidays, TruWariers!"

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Here's the stuff for Saturday morning. Let it be known that the Marvin Williams Watch (though not in the piece this morning) is held in much higher regard than the Jerome James Watch. With James, I'm just waiting and waiting for him to actually do something. Of course, I could be waiting for a long time, and I know that. So it's kind of a sarcastic thing, really.

Finnigan. Apparently Bob says that multiyear offers have been made by the Mariners to both Carlos Delgado and Richie Sexson. Why get both of them? Apparently their rationale is to ask Sexson to play some left field "much of the time." I like Sexson and everything, but is it just me or is this just about the worst idea I've heard in a long time? Sexson hasn't played leftfield with any regularity since the 2000 season before the Bob Wickman trade sent him to Milwaukee, which makes this almost reek of the Scott Spiezio situation, sans the "clutch" factor. Also at issue is the fact that Finnigan says the Mariners have $16M available to spend on free agents, a figure which I know other blogs will be blasting in the morning.

Hey, it's time to be afraid! The Buffalo Bills have the NFL's 4th-best defense, and the Seahawks might start a gimpy quarterback who isn't confident in his receivers. Granted, one of them is serving a suspension for the next four weeks, but there's still Darrell Jackson who has some drops in his past. Still, if the Seahawks manage to roll when Koren's out, I imagine the effect of Koren coming back after the suspension will be eerily like Joey Galloway coming back to that Jon Kitna team after they'd gotten off to the hot start without him. Clare Farnsworth says that the Seahawks won't be able to make Shaun Alexander run wild since the Bills have the tape of the Miami game (agreed), and that the Seahawks will have to hit Jackson and Rice on quick slants, and will have to brush up on the screen passes again. It's Week 12 in the NFL season...why is the ability to get off a screen play even an issue? This team is infuriating sometimes, it really is.

Somehow, though, like the Farnsworth article on Hasselbeck says, there's a real possibility the Rams could lose in Green Bay on Monday night. If the Seahawks pull off the win like they should, they could have a two-game lead in the division again. In a way, the fact that the Seahawks even have a chance to do this right now almost isn't fair, considering their state.

One non-Sonic note here, and that's the 96-91 win over Oklahoma to advance to the final of the Great Alaska Shootout. They will face Alabama. Great nights all around for Jamaal Williams and Nate Robinson, the latter of whom has a highlight-reel dunk that managed to get on the ESPN highlight reel.

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

Danny Fortson's effort held Alonzo Mourning to eight points and helped the Sonics fill the void created by Ray Allen's horrible night from the floor. The Sonics are now 12-2 on the season and are undefeated at home. Also, thank goodness the Nets are a crappy team. They've lost eight straight for a reason, and it's still good to see the Sonics take care of business. Once again, I'm hoping the Sonics don't get Joey Galloway'd if and when Ron Murray comes back.

Lastly, Les Carpenter chimes in. It's not Gary Payton's team anymore. Ray Allen has learned a thing or two about leadership, and it seems to be working so far this year. As Les says in the article, Ray's bringing more than just a jump shot these days.

Repercussions were levied in reaction to an unplanned full moon in the hockey world early this month. Dan Sullivan of the Reading Royals will be out 12 games and a sum of money.

Now, the games...

Everett beat Medicine Hat, 4-2. The Silvertips doubled up the defending WHL champs thanks to goals by Zach Hamill, Karel Hromas, Ryan Blatchford, and Mitch Love. Hamill's goal came in the first period, Hromas and Blatchford scored in the second, and Love scored in the third. Brady Calla set a team record by having a plus-8 night, and goalie Mike Wall turned away 32 of 34 shots by the Tigers. Calla and Shaun Heshka had two assists each.

Tri-City beat Portland, 6-5 in overtime. The Americans and Winter Hawks were shut out a combined five times in their last seven games (against other teams), setting the stage for this offensive explosion. Portland rallied from down 5-2 to tie the game and force overtime. The Winter Hawks rattled off the first 12 shots of the game, with none finding the back of the net thanks to possible NHL-bound goalie Carey Price. Alex Aldred scored the game's first goal to give Portland an early 1-0 lead. Tri-City reeled off the next three goals in the second period, though, and Portland had to regroup, but not before giving up another goal to make it 4-1. Brandon Dubinsky and Cody McLeod sandwiched another Tri-City goal to make it 5-3 after 40 minutes. Cameron Cepek and Brian Woolger (with :31 left in regulation) scored to tie it before the Americans' Juraj Gracik banged home the rebound to win the game in overtime.

Vancouver beat Regina, 5-2. Adam Courchaine scored twice and had an assist en route to a fairly dominating Vancouver victory over the Pats. Andrej Meszaros, Matt Robinson, and Ty Morris had two assists each for the Giants, who peppered Regina's netminders for 40 shots. Meanwhile, Vancouver goalie Marek Schwarz pulled out the Barcalounger in front of his net, and found time to stop 8 of the total 10 shots he faced. Check out that boxscore for the penalty summary, because it's 225 minutes' worth, culminating when Regina goalie Dustin Slade slashed Triston Grant one too many times, and Grant went after the goalie. Don't look now, but the Giants have won three straight after their stretch of hell earlier in the month.

Tonight: Medicine Hat at Seattle, Calgary at Portland, Milwaukee at Manitoba
Sunday: Calgary at Everett, Medicine Hat at Vancouver, Milwaukee at Manitoba

Have a great Saturday everyone. Finish that pumpkin pie.

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SuperSonics 92, Nets 79
Here's some notes that I was putting together after every quarter.
After one quarter, the Nets were building a mansion with all their bricks and the Sonics held them down, leading by a 21-8 margin. Jerome James hit his first three shots, and the Sonics were great on the glass.
At half, Sonics 48-27. Ray Allen only hitting two shots of nine from the field at half. Nets seeking to really slow the game down, but they're bricking like there's no tomorrow. Collison looked good with his playing time and had a couple of real nice moves that led to baskets. Ridnour also able to cut apart Nets multiple times on the pick-and-roll.
After three quarters, Sonics lead 63-51. The tables turn almost completely, as the Nets got within six by going straight to the rack, and the Sonics weren't covering the glass too well, settling for the perimeter jumpers, and not hitting any of said jumpers. Amazingly, they had only turned the ball over nine times through three quarters. Equally amazing was that Antonio Daniels (third-leading scorer on the team) had only taken two shots in three quarters of play. Rashard Lewis now able to flex shoulder, though has had it sprained. Sonics end quarter on 8-2 run, however.
POSTGAME: Sonics 92, Nets 79. A familiar sequence -- Sonics miss a shot, Danny Fortson grabs the rebound and puts it back for a basket. Danny had 20 points and 8 boards off the bench on a night where Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Antonio Daniels all didn't shoot that well, if at all (Daniels didn't have many shots).

starters: Ray Allen 19 pts/4 rebs/3 ast/3 stl (5-19 FG, 8-9 free throws, 5 turnovers), Reggie Evans 3 pts/11 rebs, Ridnour (8 pts and 5 ast) and Lewis (9 pts) combined 6-22 FG
bench: Danny Fortson 20 pts/8 rebs (6-7 FG, 8-9 free throws), Vlad Radmanovic 14 pts/6 rebs/2 stl (4 turnovers)...Daniels was only 1-for-5 from the field
Jerome James Watch: 6 pts/3 rebs (11 minutes)
team: outrebounded Nets 43-40, shot 39.5% from floor, had 23 second-chance pts

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Friday, November 26, 2004


Well, I'll take care of the randomizing. You can take care of the accessorizing with whatever it is you prefer to accessorize with. That just came off as an offbeat Mitch Hedberg joke, and that's saying something.

Just a few random notes before I starting hacking away at the normal post...

-- In the latest ESPN Magazine, you can read about why Carl Pavano regrets dating Alyssa Milano. You can also see right away that writer Jeff Bradley immediately says Pavano is "likely to sign a three-year deal for at least $27M with the Red Sox or Yankees..." Since it's early in the article, I have red flags go up in my mind saying the mention of the Yanks and Sox are just a copout, but there is some ammo later in the article for Pavano wanting to be close to his Connecticut home. He also seems to stress that he wants to learn from a veteran pitcher rather than be on young teams like he has been. Of course, the article aligns right away with those two teams I mentioned, and name-drops Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina. Seriously, though. How many of us really want Carl Pavano in a uniform of the Seattle Mariners? I don't.

-- I'm not sure how this Washington/Oklahoma hoops game is going to end up, but one thing's for sure: I bet Nate Robinson is glad he hasn't been playing football. I think it's safe to say that would have been a waste of time.

-- It's interesting to see the Sonics win games in any number of ways. They did it again tonight, with Ray Allen having a crappy night from the floor, Rashard Lewis spraining his shoulder (the same one that was giving him problems before), and with Antonio Daniels barely taking any shots. The three guys I just named are their top three scorers. They had footage of Lewis on the floor with an ice pack on his shoulder, but later he had the pack removed and was pedaling away on the stationary bike. We'll see what his fate is when the articles roll in tonight.

-- Why on earth are Circuit City's receipts two feet long? Is this really necessary? Also, this year's $11.99 storewide CD price-slashing was nowhere near as cool as the $9.99 bonanza they had last year. Or maybe it was two years ago.

-- There have been some stupid fouls both ways at the end of this Kings/Lakers game, including a mind-numbing flagrant foul by Doug Christie, who of course is forever enshrined in Bill Simmons' Hall of Infamy. Well, he'll be in that Hall if Simmons ever draws one up. Remember, Simmons has already defined the Unintentional Comedy Rating scale. The official ESPN-hosted version of the scale is now under the lock and key of ESPN Insider, which is evil.

-- I've had an okay time with Best Buy since their inception into the cast retail landscape in Silverdale, but this Kevin Kringle ad campaign is horrible. However, the two best ads on television have to be the one Geico commercial that totally rips off the Old Navy commercials, and the commercial where this guy is reading a magazine, his wife comes in and asks if what she's wearing makes her look fat, then the husband (only halfway paying attention) says "you betcha." Hilarious.

[Edit Sun ~8:12p -- That last commercial is also a Geico commercial. "In the time that it takes you to pull out the sleeper sofa," you can save money on car insurance.]

-- I just learned from SportsCenter that the Lakers have lost in both games where Kobe Bryant has scored 40 points. Good stuff. It's slightly less satisfying now that the Lakers aren't in the same division anymore.

-- Do any of you out there miss those cheesy "take me fishing" commercials that ran during the Mariner telecasts? Me neither.

-- Remember when the Lotto was running those weird ads for the Gold Ball? They've since gone back to a straight pick six, though I'm not sure when the Gold Ball was axed and whether it had anything to do with Mega Millions coming in (basically the same format). But man, those Gold Ball commercials were weeeeiiiiiird. The song was outwardly cheesy as well.

-- If you're in some sort of crowded shopping center or just a crowd in general, and you're trying to get somewhere quicker, do you ever pretend you're a point guard splitting an endless barrage of defenders? I've sucked at basketball all my life but I still do this.

Okay, I'm going to watch the rest of this Husky game and start fishing for junior hockey recaps. A post will be coming in the morning.

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The Masters, a tradition unlike any other?

Hell, the day after Thanksgiving always features two overrated traditions:

1) The Colorado-Nebraska game
2) The day after Thanksgiving shopping sales

---Well, the Nebraska Cornhuskers won't be going bowling this year. They lost to Colorado in Lincoln, 26-20. Running the West Coast offense in Lincoln is fine and dandy. But Joe Dailey is horrible. Too bad, so sad, Husker fans.

---The Big 8, I mean, Big 12 North is a horrible division. Since Colorado has won today, an Iowa State loss to Missouri tomorrow puts the Buffaloes in the Big 12 Championship Game next Saturday against Oklahoma. Again, what a horrible division.

---I'm currently watching the LSU-Arkansas game on CBS. It's in Little Rock, not Fayetteville, the home of the University of Arkansas. Being down here in Arkansas, I always hear from Razorback fans how great the atmosphere at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium is. Yeah, it's loud. But the place looks like a dump. Speaking of "dumps", I don't even need to get into what happens on the adjacent golf courses.

---LSU is leading Arkansas 20-14 with less than a minute left in the 1st half. Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones is nursing a sore hamstring, so he isn't the same player that he has proven to be in the past. The Hogs have to win today in order to play in the prestigious Independence Bowl in lovely Shreveport, Louisiana. Hooray for crappy bowls in crappy cities!

---Freshman running back Peyton Hillis is a player. He was responsible for the Hogs' first scoring drive, all of 2 plays and 48 yards. Again, he's only a freshman. But if you're a cliche-driven person, "so-and-so is no longer a freshman, since it's late in the season". I'm not a cliche-driven person, however.

---This is my second college football season in the South. There's always been this aura of how great college football is in the South. While it is great, don't discount college football in other areas of the country. Unfortunately, this line of thinking always falls on deaf ears in the South, where it is "their game". I digress.

---For all the talk of how good the SEC is, the officials are absolutely horrible. This has to be rectified in the near future.

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As for shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, it's the most overrated event of the year. Since I'm a guy, I really don't need to explain this.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch the rest of the LSU-Arkansas game, where Houston Nutt may call for another fake punt.

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It's the day after Thanksgiving. Have you saved on something at your local retail outlet? Me neither. I'm typing this in the wee hours of the morning, though, so I haven't really had the chance.

On to the headlines...

Hiroshi Yamauchi has sold his stake in the Seattle Mariners to Nintendo of America, making the latter the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners. I'm not sure how or if this will affect the secret Japanese players' secret-stash fund they had (it figured into the Mariners' fuzzy math somehow), and I'm not sure whether the Mariners will have more nights like Nintendo Ichiro vs. Mario Baseball DS Trial Version Night at the Safe, or whether they'll come out with both guns blazing and have PS2/Xbox Demolition Night. Can we say with a straight face that Nintendo has been playing catchup in the videogame realm since about four months after the first PlayStation came out? Sony and Microsoft are the videogame world right now, and Nintendo's just living in it.

No surprise. The Seahawks are a better team with Grant Wistrom on the field. However, the statistical correlations between his being on the field and the Seahawks' success are pretty sickening. They've given up a touchdown more when Wistrom has been out, and have given up 56.3 more yards with Wistrom out. Considering how crappy the special teams unit has been this year, that's at least an extra field goal for the other team in itself every game (the prior one-more-touchdown stat notwithstanding). Notice how the number of big plays by the defense seems to skyrocket with Grant Wistrom on the field.

You know what? Drew Bledsoe has had one weird career. He was around for the big uniform change in New England (you remember the first incarnation of the new uniforms, right?), and he seemed like he was the cornerstone of those teams. Then the Mo Lewis hit comes, Bledsoe's put in one tough situation (it was grisly, and the article reminds me of that), and then Tom Brady goes and wins the Super Bowl. Drew Bledsoe, meet Trent Green. Trent Green, Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe had the Pro Bowl year his first year in Buffalo, but the team hasn't really gotten too far post-Jim Kelly, which is a shame because their fans are great. At least when they were losing four Super Bowls in a row, they were still getting there. It's just that the NFC was too good in that era. Yes, Bledsoe had the one good non-Pat season, but the rest of the team hasn't turned the corner. That and Bledsoe's always been hounded for his propensity to get picked.

Matt Hasselbeck practiced!! That's the first step to getting him back, anyway. I doubt he'll start on Sunday, though he says he'll find out for sure today whether he will start against the Bills. In the same article, there is a little bit made of Buffalo's special teams unit, though no direct numbers are given. You know how the Seahawks' special teams unit has been, and knowing they're going to go toe-to-toe with Buffalo's special teams, well, it scares me. Also, Chris Terry returned to practice from Florida, and Bobby Engram also returned.

This is quite the article by Les Carpenter on what's eating Mike Holmgren. Sure, the one article linking Holmgren to the to-be-vacant Miami job was mostly wiped away, but not a seemingly corroborating article in the SF Chronicle (one which I've dug up for you). At possible issue is the fact that Holmgren lost his chief contract negotiator and salary cap guru last winter, who was supposedly at odds with Bob Whitsitt. Yes, it's possible Bob Whitsitt could be driving his second big-name coach out of Seattle. The other issue is the fact that Hasselbeck, Walter Jones, Shaun Alexander, and Ken Lucas all do not have contract extensions, leaving the core of the team with an uncertain status for next year. Hey, if Holmgren's axed because the team is getting off to slow starts and doesn't seem to be adequately prepared for that, then great. If he's given the boot because Whitsitt wants to meet Holmgren head-on in a power struggle, then that's no good at all.

Just one tidbit before the Sonics here. Michael Olowokandi went to the club, was having so much fun he didn't want to leave, and then was stunned. Really, just read the article. The Kandi Man can! Also, Rodrick Stewart is going to transfer to Kansas. I followed Kansas basketball a lot in my junior high years and into high school, and I have a feeling this Rodrick Stewart has Lester Earl written all over it. Earl was an LSU transfer who was supposed to be freakin' good. He came to Kansas, didn't really fit into the team, and didn't do jack. Sure, the jury's out on Rodrick, but I had to get that Earl thing off my chest.

To the Sonics...
Percy Allen chronicled the 90-minute bus ride that may be a watershed moment in this season for the Sonics. The whole thing is quite interesting. People were railing Rick Sund for not making a bunch of changes in this team, but look at them now (hindsight, I know); they're winning and that as well as the fact that most were holdovers from last year have bred camaraderie and chemistry (we heard a lot about chemistry when George Karl was still here). Percy Allen says "they seem to genuinely care about each other." I got a little chuckle from the article when Antonio Daniels took a small jab at last year's "Five as One" ad campaign.

Man, this team is going to be totally different next year. Three of the four Sonics averaging double figures in scoring can become free agents next offseason (Ray Allen, Antonio Daniels, Vlad Radmanovic). Ron Murray (remember him?), Reggie Evans, and Coach Nate McMillan are also nearing the ends of their respective contracts. Let's hope the Sonics parlay this into one mother of a season, because who knows what the heck's gonig to happen next season and who's going to be presiding over said heck.

You knew the article was going to come concerning the Sonics and the situation of arena security following last week's Indiana/Detroit ruckus. I did security at a Sonic game once. It was a game against the then-Charlotte Hornets that ended with a buzzer-beating Vin Baker shot that hit the base of the rim, banked off the front of the shot clock, and went in for the Sonic win. I'm not sure why, but a few minutes before that shot, one of the supervisors told me to go to the tunnel were the players come back to the locker room. So I went down there, and saw the Hornets come into what I guess is the vomitorium. In the hallway to my left were the players' entourages. Keep in mind this is little 5'7" me being counted on for security at this point. To answer your question, no, I don't plan on doing security in post-9/11 America. I also did security at Bumbershoot and a Deck the Hall Ball.

Tonight vs. New Jersey
Sunday vs. Indiana
Tuesday at Portland
Wednesday vs. Utah

Ed Belfour has been medically cleared by the Toronto Maple Leafs. What does this mean? The Maple Leafs don't have to pay his salary during the lockout. In a related story, the NHLPA is handing out lockout pay, $10k for Nov-Dec, and $5-10k in months thereafter. You know, I'm glad that whole World Cup of Hockey thing happened, because it's held off my NHL hockey withdrawal for just that much longer. I'm going to be sitting here in about a month, though, and just be going nuts. Once I fully realize how into the Canucks I was a year ago at this time, I'm going to just lose it.

Aaron Gagnon of the Seattle Thunderbirds has gotten some press. Gagnon can score, but he's gotten some praise for his faceoff wins and his grunt work in the corners. Gagnon was an eighth-round pick (240th overall) in last year's NHL entry draft by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Tonight: Medicine Hat at Everett, Tri-City at Portland, Regina at Vancouver
Saturday: Medicine Hat at Seattle, Calgary at Portland, Milwaukee at Manitoba
Sunday: Calgary at Everett, Medicine Hat at Vancouver, Milwaukee at Manitoba

Have a good after Thanksgiving day, all. If you're going shopping, just keep cool in traffic and in those parking lots and stuff. It can get crazy out there, even here in Kitsap County (believe it or not).

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Thursday, November 25, 2004


Washington 78, Utah 71

Tonight's Utah-Washington game is the best game I've seen so far in the young college basketball season. If there's one word to describe this game, it would be runs, because there were a lot of runs. These are two very good teams that could very well win their respective conferences. Utah, the Mountain West, and Washington, the Pac-10. How strange is it that the Huskies basketball program is in better shape than the football program? Vexing.

Some thoughts on this first-round matchup of the Great Alaska Shootout:

---Thank goodness Nate Robinson decided to stay at Washington for his junior season. He wasn't ready for the NBA after last season. He needs another season to polish his game. So far, so good.

---Utah center Andrew Bogut is ready for the NBA. But new Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti is glad to have him in Salt Lake City, no doubt about it. Bogut is one of the few true centers in college basketball right now, along with Georgia Tech's Luke Schenscher.

---Giacoletti is very deserving of the Utah job. Rick Majerus had a good run in Salt Lake City, but it was time for a change. The Utah basketball program couldn't ask for a better man to take over for Majerus than Giacoletti. While some experts are picking UNLV to win the Mountain West Conference, I'm picking the Utes. I won't bet against Giacoletti. And I sure as hell won't bet against Bogut, who's one of my top 5 players in all of college basketball.

---As far as fun teams go in college basketball, Washington may just have the most "fun" team. I love run-and-gun style teams. The Huskies love to run, especially Robinson. Lorenzo Romar has done a very good job trying to ressurect the Huskies program. The talent is there to win the Pac-10 in 2004-2005. As I said earlier, how strange is it that the basketball program is in better shape than the football program?

---Washington will face the winner of the High Point-Oklahoma game later tonight, most likely the Sooners. Alabama will face Minnesota on the other side of the bracket tomorrow. The Crimson Tide were arguably the biggest surprise of last year's NCAA Tournament, advancing all the way to the Elite Eight before losing to UConn.

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In NBA news, Hubie Brown has retired as Grizzlies head coach. His last game was last night's loss to the Sonics. Brown was the NBA's Coach of the Year last season, leading the Grizzlies to a 50-32 record and their first postseason appearance in their history. Good luck, Hubie. The Grizzlies have more upside now than they did before Hubie came to Memphis. Upside!

Finally, I think Casey Paus could play better than Jonathan Quinn at this point.

Turkey! Turkey!

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I had told myself I wasn't going to post on Thanksgiving Day.

Well, after watching most of this god-awful Chicago-Detroit game, I have no other choice.

---Jonathan Quinn is the worst quarterback in the history of the NFL. Yes, he's even worse than Spurgeon Wynn. If I'm the Bears, I start Chad Hutchinson next week. Hutchinson is terrible, I know. But he's definitely better than Jonathan Quinn. As a Seahawks fan, I've had to put up with some pretty bad quarterbacks. However, they aren't as bad as Quinn.

---The Bears orange jerseys are terrible. My eyes are still trying to recover.

---Drew Henson didn't play well in the 1st half, but I at least expected him to play the entire game. That wasn't the case, as Bill Parcells put Vinny Testaverde in during the 2nd half. Expect Vinny to start against the Seahawks on Dec. 6. I just hope that the "Monday Night Football" promo for that game doesn't focus on the Cowboys. But you know that it will. After all, they are "America's Team" (vomit).

---Somebody give Cris Collinsworth a hug. The poor guy is almost near-death having to call this game today. Hell, I'm almost near-death after watching Jonathan Quinn play today.

---Julius Jones had a good day on the ground, carrying the ball 33 times for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. I still believe that Steven Jackson would have been a better fit for the Cowboys. But if Jones can have more days like this, then the Cowboys will come out looking good in the end.

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Oh, Peyton Manning is awesome.

6 touchdown passes from the former Tennessee Vol. He's the MVP at this point. There shouldn't be any debate about this.

Cut that meat!

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Yay to Annette Griffus and the Sun for giving some front-page ink to the Puget Sound Tomahawks, and namely the billet families that house some of the players on their hockey quests. Hooray for billet families, hooray for hockey, and hooray for Thanksgiving.

Yes, what a fall it's been. The Sonics are 11-2, and these Tomahawks are 20-2.

Just came to mind here -- something greatly underrated about Thanksgiving: ham. Ham rules. Honey ham is slightly better. Honey-roasted peanuts, though not a Thanksgiving item, are also great.

Now I'm just rambling. I'd better go.

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I always thought the stuffing was the best part of the meal.

Kendall for Redman and Rhodes, huh? Between Rhodes and Mesa, that's too many members of the 2000 Mariner bullpen on one team. If they can bring Jose Paniagua into the mix, they'll be way too close to that old bullpen.

Yes, there's a whole other way to think of Hugh Millen whenever you see him on TV or hear him on KJR: he cost the Seahawks a chance at Drew Bledsoe. Well, it's kind of a stretch that Clare Farnsworth is making, but the Seahawks' win over the Patriots was their first win of the year and exactly 50% of their win output for that year. Drew Bledsoe likes playing on the east coast though, knowing that he can come back to the Northwest and not be under scrutiny. Having Bledsoe in Seattle would have made at least a couple of those years a little more tolerable than what everyone actually saw out of the Seahawks.

Ken Walter is officially a Seahawk (the Times article below says he specializes in hang time) and Donnie Jones cleared through waivers and was signed once again to the practice squad. Also, Chris Terry's whereabouts were finally known, as he is seeing his mother in a hospital in Florida. Also, don't bet on the Charley Horse From Hell healing up anytime soon. I doubt Matt Hasselbeck will start on Sunday, though others think he might be able to play.

It's former Seahawk time. Why did Rian Lindell leave? Money. But hey, when kickers get offered a ton of money, they might as well take it. As for Sam Adams, it still ticks me off that the Seahawks went nowhere when he was here, but the Ravens won a freakin' Super Bowl with him. The Seahawks had Adams AND Cortez Kennedy at the same time and couldn't do jack. I blame Ken Behring. Anyway, Adams owns the Epicenter health club, as well as the Eastside and Everett Hawks.

The Marvin Williams Watch
In North Carolina's 106-92 stomping Of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the final of the Maui Invitational, Marvin Williams accumulated 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, a block, and an assist in 21 minutes of play. Double-digit points for Marvin. Movin' on up!

Sunday vs. USC
Wednesday at Indiana

Former Eastern coach Ray Giacoletti is now the coach at Utah, and tonight they play the Huskies in the Great Alaska Shootout. The road to Utah went through Fargo, which is hilarious when read with the rest of the article. Here's to hoping Giacoletti figuratively avoids the whir of the woodchipper.

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

Luckily it doesn't sound like Ray Allen will be sidelined for any long length of time due to the left ankle (non-surgery) being injured twice during last night's game. The Sonics almost lost the lead in the fourth quarter, but Ridnour and Collison were key to keeping the Sonics ahead. The Sonics are also lucky that James and Fortson weren't having this kind of trouble on the floor with Stromile Swift and Pau Gasol healthy.

Oh, the spin move and the lefty hook. That was a nifty move by Nick Collison down the stretch last night. I haven't imagined him as having enough size to play center, but it appears that's where they're using him, and he's been doing a solid job in the minutes he's gotten. I'm not trying to say he should start or anything, but his defense has been really great in some key situations.

Danny O'Neil breaks down the Sonics' road trip.

Friday vs. New Jersey
Sunday vs. Indiana
Tuesday at Portland
Wednesday vs. Utah

Calgary beat Seattle, 4-2. Calgary and their four first-round NHL draft picks doubled up the Thunderbirds, who had Chris Durand and Nate Thompson account for their scoring. Seattle outshot the Hitmen 37-28. Gavin McHale stopped 24 for Seattle, and had an assist on one goal. The T-Birds fell down 2-0 in this game and never recovered.

Portland beat Medicine Hat, 3-1. Goals from Brian Woolger, Kyle Bailey, and Darrell May helped the Winter Hawks upset the defending league champions. To top it off, Woolger scored only six seconds into the game, ending the Winter Hawks' scoring drought at a grand total of (hold your seats, everyone) 186 minutes and 6 seconds, or 186:06 over a span of three games. What a team to end it against though. That's some moxie from what their boosters call The Hardest-Working Team in Portland. Braydon Coburn's power-play goal got Portland up 2-0 in the first period, and they led by one after 20 minutes. Darrell May got the final goal of the game 7:41 into the second period. What followed was a fun scoreless third period, according to the Portland website's recap.

Friday: Medicine Hat at Everett, Tri-City at Portland, Regina at Vancouver
Saturday: Medicine Hat at Seattle, Calgary at Portland, Milwaukee at Manitoba
Sunday: Calgary at Everett, Medicine Hat at Vancouver, Milwaukee at Manitoba

Once again, have a great Thanksgiving. What you're doing reading our posts on Thanksgiving is anyone's guess (what I'm doing posting on Thanksgiving morning is another thing in itself), but we hope you have a good day with friends/family/significant others.

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SuperSonics 93, Grizzlies 82
My short notes after the game: the Sonics shot like crap in the first half, but were able to get to the free-throw line a gazillion times to somehow crawl to within two points of the Grizzlies at half. In the third quarter, the shots finally started falling in a big way, and the Sonics opened up double-digit leads, and went into the 4th quarter up by 10. Ray Allen appeared to have sprained his left ankle (non-surgery ankle) for the second time in the game and went to the locker room with 9:35 left in the game, but he eventually came back in, though all he did was try to bomb threes (missing) upon his return. The Grizzlies did manage to crawl within two points of the Sonics in the 4th quarter, but the Sonics were able to come through with a couple of key defensive stops (and a few key blown Grizzly layups), and the play of Nick Collison down the stretch was also great, especially considering Danny Fortson wasn't really able to do a lot in this game. Collison came in after Jerome James (who had a pretty good third quarter) had fouled out.

Good gracious, Batman! This team is 11-2. They just reeled off a 5-1 road trip. I said I'd pass judgment on whether I thought this was just a fast start that would end with them nosediving, but they came out after that throttling in Boston and handcuffed Kevin Garnett two days later. I'm not going to jump out and say this is a 50-win team or anything like that, but I feel pretty good about this team right now. Their wins have come in many different ways, and tonight they really had no business being in the game at halftime because of how crappy they shot. However, they'd gotten to the line a bunch of times; Allen (he had most of his scoring from the line tonight) sank quite a few free throws in that first half to keep the Sonics within reach.

Peek at the boxscore
starters: Rashard Lewis 27 pts/11 rebs (11-23 FG, 4-4 free throws, 1-7 3pt), Ray Allen 20 pts/5 rebs/5 ast (4-15 FG, 11-11 free throws, 1-6 3pt), Luke Ridnour 14 pts/5 ast, Reggie Evans 6 pts/7 rebs
bench: Antonio Daniels 8 pts/5 rebs/3 ast, Vlad Radmanovic 4 pts (2-9 FG, 0-3 3pt), Nick Collison 4 pts/6 rebs/13 mins, Danny Fortson 5 pts/4 rebs/11 minutes
Jerome James watch: 6 pts/4 rebs/2 ast/19 mins
team: shot 31-for-76 (40.8%) from the floor, but shot 27-for-32 from the line (84.4%), helping them overcome the 4-for-21 night (19%) from downtown. Outrebounded Memphis 45-38.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Let's just say that my Week 11 Pick Me Up was a success.

I was 13-3, with my upset of the week, Tennessee, coming through big time at Jacksonville.

It's Week 12 and the games start tomorrow since it's Thanksgiving. Indianapolis at Detroit, followed by Chicago at Dallas. Cut that meat!

So here they are, my Week 12 picks!


Indianapolis at Detroit

Chicago at Dallas
(Krenzel! Henson! Buckeye! Wolverine! Vomit!)


Tampa Bay at Carolina
(It's a shame that the Panthers haven't been able to defend their NFC Championship the right way. Too many injuries to too many key players. Too bad.)

Cleveland at Cincinnati
(Butch Davis has to go)

Tennessee at Houston
(David Carr is turning into a solid quarterback)

San Diego at Kansas City
(Short week for the Chiefs, but I think they pull this one out)

Jacksonville at Minnesota
(Still no Randy Moss, but the Vikings should still win this one)

Philadelphia at New York Giants
(UPSET OF THE WEEK. Eli Manning gets his first career win against a very good Eagles squad. CUT THAT MEAT!)

Washington at Pittsburgh
(Joe Gibbs had a good life in NASCAR. He's probably wondering why he came back to the NFL. He really doesn't need this torture at this point of his life.)


New Orleans at Atlanta
(The Saints are the most "schizo" team in the NFL. So naturally, they should win in Atlanta. At least I think they will, anyway.)

Baltimore at New England
(Jamal Lewis won't play Sunday. Like it matters.)

New York Jets at Arizona
(Even with Quincy freaking Carter at QB, the Jets should take care of business in the Valley of the Sun)

Miami at San Francisco
(The Dolphins probably should have beaten the Seahawks last week. So, to make up for that loss, they'll rout the 49ers.)

Buffalo at Seattle
(Be afraid, be very afraid)


Oakland at Denver
(Just another AFC West rivalry game...)


St. Louis at Green Bay
(LOCK OF THE WEEK. The Rams on the almost-frozen tundra? Trouble.)

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Watch the Colts-Lions if you can, but it's quite alright if you decide to skip the Bears-Cowboys in the afternoon. Although Beyonce and the Supremes, I mean, Destiny's Child, will be performing at halftime in Texas Stadium. And as all male music fans know, Beyonce is, well, en fuego.

Enjoy the games, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Before the logo at the top of our page was changed, we originally had the following in mind...

Okay, maybe not.

However, you can mess around with what a couple of college-mates and I called the Tim Burtonizer. It's actual name, the Scribbler. At the Scribbler's parent site, there's tons of simple yet highly addictive games (try "everysecond").

Not that anyone would find time for that inbetween turkey bites.

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Holy crap, tomorrow's Thanksgiving. Travel safely if you're traveling at all, everyone. Get to the airport really early, and all that good stuff, or just make sure you've got snow chains and extra jackets if you're going over the Pass, stuff like that.

And for anyone that was wondering over the past two days, the new title tag at the top of the page as well as the tags on the sidebar are still Denmark font as they were before, but now it's a beveled silverish design with a mild soft-edged shadow effect. It was designed thanks to Ulead PhotoImpact 10, currently available for a free 30-day trial download. Of course, if you have Photoshop or anything like that, there's probably no reason to download this, but if you don't (i.e., me), then give it a shot if you've got a bunch of spare time.

Headlines (bonus Tacoma News Tribune headlines since I fell asleep in front of the keyboard)!

No press clippings coming out of the Mariners' camp today.

Time for some Rice pilaf. Less Koren, more Rice. Hopefully this will correlate with a decrease in dropped passes. I know Jerry Rice isn't what he used to be, but man, I liked what I saw on that 56-yard play last Sunday. Of course, in his prime he might have taken that to the house, but I'll settle for 56 yards right now, especially when other receivers seem to have their hands coated with motor oil or something.

If you weren't a fan of the Donnie Jones experience, then get ready for the Ken Walter Thrill Ride. Pending a physical, Walter will be the Seahawks' new punter. He spent most of last year with New England. Jones was waived and will be signed once again to the practice squad if he clears waivers. A weird thing about that article is seeing how many times the words "Walter" and "Jones" appear without any of them actually referring to Walter Jones.

Antonio Cochran is good, and has really stepped it up this season. Good enough, in fact, to earn him a Q&A article with Greg Bishop.

Mike Sando points out that the Seahawks are second-best in the league at recovering their own fumbles. Also, he reminds us of the surprising touchback that Josh Brown had in Sunday's game. I know it surprised the hell out of me.

The Marvin Williams Watch
In 11th-ranked North Carolina's 94-81 win over Tennessee in the Maui Invitational, Marvin Williams had 7 points on 2-for-8 shooting from the floor and hit 3 of 4 from the line. He added four rebounds, an assist, and a block in 24 minutes of play off the bench.

Tonight against Iowa (final of Maui invite)
Sunday vs. Southern California (can't confuse them with South Carolina by saying USC)
Wednesday (1 Dec) at Indiana

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

How good is Kevin Garnett? He had an off night last night (5-of-16 from the field) and still managed 16 points (though a season low) and 14 rebounds. Danny Fortson even sat on him at one point (think "pancake block"). But the Sonics sent any number of bodies (Collison, James, Fortson, Radmanovic, Evans) at Garnett, and KG had quite a time trying to get good shots. The Sonic D had him settle for fadeaway jumpers from outside the paint a lot of the time; as long as he's not driving to the paint. As Danny O'Neil said, the four players that guarded Garnett totalled 14 points and 21 rebounds. Flip Saunders has another fun quote: "At one point we were shooting 52 percent and outrebounding them and were still down 13."

If Antonio Daniels keeps up his play, could be 6th man of the year. He's perfected the play where he moves off a pick, drives toward the lane, and hits a running jumper from the free-throw line.

It's time for some numbers with David Locke. After a Mariner season sprinkled with number analysis from Locke, he applies his stat geekdom to the world of basketball. Of course, the Sonic blogosphere isn't that big or stat-centered to the point where anyone can or will check his stats to see if they're correct or meaningful, but I digress. He uses the statistic of point differential, as well as other per-game differentials (rebounding, possessions). The Sonics are actually receiving about four less possessions per game than last year, but since they're rebounding like there's no tomorrow, the opposing team is in turn getting less possessions with which to score. Simple, yes, but usually you don't see any stats about it. Now you do.

Oh no. Not alternate tops. Well, it looks the jerseys themselves don't look as bad as I thought they might. I was fearing a full-on Oregon meltdown. Did Luke Ridnour lobby for these jerseys, trying to get a little bit of nostalgia going?

If Ray Allen's shooting is off, it's because of a bad cold, which I think one of the Seattle articles said was a mild case of bronchitis. Anyway, his shooting is a bit off, and he can't get his legs under him as well.

They'd been starting slow. They would eventually pick things up, but this finally caught up to the Sonics in the Boston game, but in last night's game they were scoring right out of the gate. What the Sonics have been able to do against Tim Duncan and now Kevin Garnett is just amazing. Who could have dreamed of this before the season?

Upcoming for the Sonics...
Tonight at Memphis
Friday vs. New Jersey

No games take place until tonight (so no recaps here yet). In this post, I give you league scoring leaders.

That is, after I link you to a few articles on the Thunderbirds (one on Nate Thompson, one on the team) and the Silvertips.

The article about Nate Thompson focuses on his drive and his diversions to get away from hockey and fill his mind with something else when he gets injured for long periods of time. Time's a-wastin' for him because he's 20 years old, the age limit for WHL players. He's got to get noticed by NHL scouts fast, or else his future in puckdom will be in severe doubt. As a team, the Thunderbirds solid defense and rock-solid goaltending will go up against Calgary and their four NHL first-round draft picks -- Ryan Getzlaf (ANA), Andrew Ladd (CAR), Jeff Schultz (WSH), Andy Rogers (TB) -- tonight at KeyArena.

The 'Tips got much younger since last year's WHL Finals team, and they're even better at this point recordwise than they were last year. Why? Solid backup goaltending and defense defense defense. Below, we see that the 'Tips sure aren't doing it with offense, since leading scorer and captain Torrie Wheat is 37th in the league in scoring and is the only 'Tip in the top 50. Compare that to the Vancouver team who has four of their players in the top 50. Needless to say, the 'Tips are a way better defensive team.

Now, the scorers.

Western Hockey League (rank_player, team, goals-assists-points)
4 Gilbert Brule, Vancouver Giants, 13-20-33
14 Aaron Gagnon, Seattle Thunderbirds, 15-9-24
23 Dan Da Silva, Portland Winter Hawks, 9-12-21
24 Adam Courchaine, Vancouver, 9-12-21
30 Tyler Metcalfe, Seattle, 7-13-20
37 Torrie Wheat, Everett Silvertips, 9-10-19
40 Brian Woolger, Portland, 7-12-19
42 Andrej Meszaros, Vancouver, 6-13-19
45 Garrett Festerling, Portland, 7-11-18
46 Ladislav Scurko, Seattle, 6-12-18
47 Darrell May, Portland, 6-12-18
49 Mitch Bartley, Vancouver, 6-12-18

American Hockey League
3-t Peter Sarno, Manitoba Moose, 5-19-24
5-t Jason King, Manitoba, 15-7-22
19-t Lee Goren, Manitoba, 10-6-16
25-t Nolan Baumgartner, Manitoba, 4-11-15
31-t Ryan Kesler, Manitoba, 6-8-14
44-t Kirill Koltsov, Manitoba Moose, 2-11-13

Northern Pacific Hockey League (point ties given to goal leaders)
1 Mike Truex, Puget Sound, 16-43-59
2 Carl Horten, Puget Sound, 19-24-43
5 Kyle Stoumbaugh, Puget Sound, 18-13-31
8 Jeff Alexander, Puget Sound, 12-16-28
10 Corey Coxon, Puget Sound, 10-18-28
13 Chase Ambuter, Puget Sound, 14-10-24

Tonight: Calgary at Seattle, Medicine Hat at Portland
Friday: Medicine Hat at Everett, Tri-City at Portland, Regina at Vancouver
Saturday: Medicine Hat at Seattle, Calgary at Portland, Milwaukee at Manitoba

Have a great Wednesday, everyone, and don't go too heavy on the turkey. It's got tryptophan, you know.

[Edit ~8:31a -- Added introductory site design paragraph.]

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SuperSonics 103, Timberwolves 92
Here's what I had at halftime...SEA 63, MIN 50. Sonics close half with 15-5 run. Antonio Daniels 12 pt/9 ast at half. When the Sonics played for the last shot of the half, I knew Daniels was driving to the hoop. He just waited for a pick to be set and he drove and hit the layup. Great play by the Sonic bench, and Vlad Radmanovic hit his first 6 shots off the bench.

A couple things that helped the Sonics in this game: not turning the ball over much, missing only one shot from the free-throw line, holding Kevin Garnett down really well, and the fact that Minnesota played the night before

I even heard Greg Anthony (incidentally, a short-term former Sonic) start to come around on the Sonics in tonight's episode of NBA Fastbreak on ESPN2. He complimented Nate McMillan's coaching, said that Luke Ridnour and Antonio Daniels are extensions of Coach McMillan, and said that the Sonics keep proving him wrong. Amazing.

Peek at the boxscore (Rashard Lewis had the only missed Sonic free throw of the night)
starters: Rashard Lewis 27 pts/3 rebs (10-18 FG, 4-5 3pt, 3-4 free throws), Ray Allen 24 pts (7-19 FG, 2-5 3pt, 8-8 free throws), Reggie Evans 2 pts/9 rebs, Luke Ridnour 9 pts/4 rebs/3 ast
bench: Vlad Radmanovic 17 pts/4 rebs, Antonio Daniels 12 pts/11 ast/4 stl/2 rebs, Danny Fortson 10 pts/7 rebs
team: were outrebounded 44-36 by Minnesota (17-11 on offensive glass), shot 52.6% (10-for-19) from 3pt range compared to Minnesota's 36%, turned ball over 9 times and forced 17 Minnesota turnovers, held Kevin Garnett to 5-of-16 shooting from the floor (he ended up with 16 pts/14 rebs/6 ast)

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004


No school for me until next Tuesday.

I love it.

With that, I like to free ramble.

---Krenzel! Henson! Buckeye! Wolverine! It's the Bears and Cowboys, Thanksgiving afternoon on FOX! I don't have a serious beef with the Cowboys and Lions hosting Thanksgiving games, because it is tradition for them to do so. But can we at least get a halfway decent team playing the Cowboys? At least the Colts are playing the Lions.

---CUT THAT MEAT! Peyton Manning's Mastercard commercial is the funniest commercial on television right now. Another great line from that commercial is when Peyton is at the gas station. He raises his arms in a field goal motion as he says "and it's full!".


---Peyton's daddy (not Archie) is now the ballcoach at South Carolina. That's right, Steve Spurrier is back in the college game. Thank God. He simply couldn't cut it in the pros. It happens. Spurrier was great for the college game and now that he's back, the college game will be much better off. When hearing of the news, Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt wept.

---I was watching the Tennessee-North Carolina off and on tonight, and I'm impressed by Marvin Williams already. Granted, he only scored 7 points going 2-for-7 from the field. But he's a freshman. He will only get better. Yes, I think it's safe to say that he's the best athlete to ever come out of Bremerton High School. The Tar Heels beat Tennessee 94-81 and will play Iowa tomorrow night in the Maui Invitational championship game.

---Go Knights!

---Auburn's 2004 non-conference schedule? Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, and The Citadel. Give me a break. As I've said, USC-Oklahoma would be a much better game than USC-Auburn.

---Please, for the love of God, I hope Cal beats Southern Miss Dec. 4. Cal deserves to go to the Rose Bowl. But if Boise State creeps up into the Top 6 of the BCS, Cal may get left out of the BCS picture. Sorry Broncos fans, but I'd much rather see Aaron Rodgers in the Rose Bowl than to see your very solid team in a BCS game. Hell, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis isn't so bad. Chances are that we could have a Boise State-Louisville Liberty Bowl this year. That potential Liberty Bowl matchup could be the best non-BCS game of the bowl season.

---SEC homers crack me up, they really do. I'll just leave it at that.

---"Cold Pizza" sucks. So does the Stat Boy version of "Around The Horn". And "I, Max" has slipped big time. However, I do like "The Sports List". One reason and one reason only: Summer Sanders.

---Nirvana's box set "With The Lights Out" came out today. Cool. But as I've told David many times, they weren't the best band of the "Seattle scene". Not even close. Give me Soundgarden and Alice In Chains anyday. Speaking of box sets, I still need to get AIC's "Music Bank" box set. I'll get that before I get the Nirvana box set, no doubt about it.

---BTW, I'm listening to "Superunknown" as we speak. What a great album. I can't express this enough. Soundgarden was a great band. Yet they never got the recognition that they rightfully deserved.

---Scot Pollard is David Duchovny as Jeff Goldblum reincarnated. "The letter two, my friend!"


---David says he misses Ellensburg. Well, I miss Washington. I miss it simply because when it rains in Washington, you don't have to worry about thunder or anything of that sort. It's freaking November 23 and we had a tornado watch today. That's not to say I don't like Arkansas, because I do. I just don't like dealing with a freaking tornado watch in November, that's all.

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I'll have my NFL picks up tomorrow, since the NFL action will start up on Thanksgiving this week.

Later, everybody. If you're traveling tomorrow, be safe.

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I don't normally take the chance to just go nuts here at Sports and B's, but here I am taking such a chance...

-- I'm glad I'm not pulling all-nighters for schoolwork with the TV on ESPN2 like I used to back in the day, because at 4am the Cold Pizza show would come on, and I'd have to hustle and get some last-minute work done on some hacked-up project. But what have they turned the show into? I remember Jay Crawford and Kit Hoover being the main two, with Thea Andrews and Leslie Maxie being the others. I know Maxie is gone (we've been Google-searched for that countless times), and I tune in lately, and the promos have Skip Bayless and Woody Paige? Those two are in print media for a reason.

-- Another ESPN show that now sucks (one of the many): Around the Horn. From the first time I saw this show, I hated Max Kellerman. But for some reason, if I wasn't watching or doing anything else at 2pm, I turned this show on and it was at least somewhat redeemable. Then Kellerman's contract with ESPN ran out. The Stat Boy (Tony Reali) took over. I gave him a chance, but man, the show is just brutal now. Not just because of no Kellerman, not just because ESPN doesn't ever want to get columnists from cities other than LA, Denver, Chicago, and Boston, but the Disembodied Voice left with Kellerman as well, and went to...

-- The I, Max show. I found this show to actually be somewhat entertaining, and Max might have even had a better show in the beginning. What happened? I turn it on a couple weeks ago, and the scoring system is no more. As an added blow to the gut, the two non-Max people (Michael Holley and former Disembodied Voice Bill Wolff) are never on the show at the same time anymore. It's frustrating. They took all the nuance out of the show.

-- I've just seen Marvin Williams hit a couple of shots from the line in this game at Maui against Tennessee, which I didn't know was happening until the third quarter of the Sonic game. He's shooting 1-for-6 from the floor as I type this, but he'll come around.

-- At the Circuit City in Silverdale, there is a non-handicapped parking spot right next to the front door, and the handicapped spots are further away than this one spot. Granted, the two handicapped spots do have the wheelchair ramps built into the sidewalk closer to them, but wouldn't you want the closest spot to be the handicapped spot?

-- I think I can sum up my problems as a hitter. I either thought too much or thought too little. I'd think about throwing the bat at the ball, but then I'd forget to watch the ball all the way until it hits the bat. I'd try to concentrate on staying balanced, and then I'd miss the ball altogether. It'd probably be even worse right now if I ever got any live-arm thrown at me.

-- One thing I feared during those first couple weeks of baseball practice in high school were the curveball JUGS machines. Sure, the tires can look like they're angled a certain way and everything, but those freakin' JUGS balls don't have seams. Hence, I never was picking up any rotation on the balls, and this led to either swinging horrificly and missing or waiting on a curve and getting one of those weird knucklers that comes up every once in a while out of those machines. In junior high ball, one of our first basemen actually got plunked (in the head, I think) by one of those machines. Not good times.

-- Donnie Jones is no Rick Tuten, but I really didn't expect him to be. Who ever thought we'd be longing for Tom Rouen?

-- This Tennessee/North Carolina game right now features two of the most obnoxious colors in sports: obnoxious orange and obnoxious baby blue.

-- Every pickup basketball team I've ever been on has sucked at make it/take it basketball.

-- The West Bremerton Taco Bell raised the base price of their Grilled Stuft burritos from $2.19 to $2.29. This triggers a slow burn from me. I can't roll up to the drive-thru with an exact $2.38 anymore. It's $2.49 now.

-- I was on a doubles team that won towels as a grand prize for beating everyone else in that pickleball class. However, there are countless people from high school that could have been in that class and steamrolled everyone else, including me.

-- What I miss about Ellensburg: my own place, the snow, coming home at 4am and having nobody care because I lived alone, etc.

-- Victory for Sonics! I miss Fred Flintstone.

Well, the daily post is already brewing, and unless you stay up until 3am or so in anticipation for it (might be earlier tonight), you'll probably wake up with it in the morning.

Until the next time...

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A couple things before launching into the regular output...

So, anyone that saw the ABC Monday Night Football intro this week was clearly told that it was 9pm on the east coast, surely a veiled shot at everyone complaining about last week's Towel Drop. I'm not surprised by the arguments by either side in this whole spat, but was ABC for some reason completely oblivious to the fact that it was 6pm on the west coast when their MNF intro was rolling? Of course you're going to get some sort of reaction if you're showing something like that at 6pm on the west coast. No ABC affiliate in this time zone is showing Monday Night Football at 9pm (KOMO/KATU came closest with tape-delayed MNF at 7p back in the day), and nobody's putting their kids to bed at 6. Call me stupid, but not a lot of parents are expecting Desperate Housewives-type stuff on their televisions at 6pm with the kids still awake and perceivably watching a football game on network television. Stuff yet another one into the "east coast bias" file.

No, I did not have anything to do with nor did I have knowledge of the supposedly real-life Wisteria Lane (another Desperate Housewives reference) that apparently exists in Bremerton. In a related story, KOMO needs to give John Sharify something worthwhile to do. I just checked the phone book, and Wisteria Lane is north of Riddell Road and is therefore not within Bremerton City Limits. Although they do get to put "Bremerton" on their outgoing letters, all kids residing on or near Wisteria Lane that end up graduating from high school will be graduates of Olympic High School, not Bremerton High School. Just had to clear that up for the 0.25 people that cared about it.

In what is no surprise to me, the NASCAR track in Marysville is dead. I remember Mike Gastineau (race fan from Indiana) talked about this on his show at the end of last summer, and I knew when even race fans were calling in saying that either they didn't like this or they thought it would be really tough, that this was going down. From everything I heard, the highways around there were nowhere near sufficient for the kind of traffic NASCAR races (and other lower-tiered races on race weekends) would have brought.

The NASCAR article linked above also mentions that the International Speedway Corporation is still looking for other sites, with a spot near the Bremerton National Airport as a possibility. Good luck with that. The existing Bremerton Raceway (there are signs for it, anyway) is basically a drag strip next to the airport that I don't know much else about. Though there is some space around the airport (lots of trees too), the only way in and out of that place right now is State Route 3, and that thing definitely doesn't need any more congestion. It's one of those roads that you can find congested at any odd time you could think of. If they widened that part of Highway 3 (not just the hills) to two lanes both ways, I think the drive-in theater, the skeet shooting range, and a few other property owners might have something to say about that too. Also, I don't think there's anywhere close to the amount of hotels necessary in this area to accommodate the 90000-plus race fans that would come in. Also, race fans would have to create their own nightlife if they didn't want to sleep or be bored, because not a lot of it actually exists in these parts.

But enough about Bremerton, here's the headlines...

Bob Finnigan (insert warning here) says that Carlos Delgado is most likely the guy at the top of the Mariners' free-agent list.

I'll post my immediate thoughts as I'm reading the Finnigan article. What the hell are Jaret Wright and Jon Lieber doing in this article? Negotiations with Dan Wilson are stuck? Seeya, Dan. The thought of Wilson backing up Ben Davis in Chicago is a funny one, but it's also one that's being brought to us by Bob Finnigan. Dammit, Bob, you had to put Wiki Gonzalez' name back in my mind again. Why? And he's the backup if Wilson bolts? Yikes. I'd also like to know who in the organization actually thinks Wiki is a "sleeper." The thought of using Mike Hargrove's hookups to land Jaret Wright is a scary one. Mike, stick with the good players, for instance, Manny or Jim Thome (yeah, I know, contracts). Oh man, Pavano rejected $7M/yr? Presuming that's real and isn't Finnigan math, I would say Pavano and his agent is nuts, or I'd say they're trying to take advantage of the idiotic contracts that have been signed already, as well they should.

Seeya, Koren. Thankfully, Clare Farnsworth clears up the fact that the three violations leading to the suspension don't have to be failed tests; they can also be missed tests, kinda like the two Greek sprinters in the Olympics. So Koren didn't necessarily get caught for pot three times. Still, this is inexcusable. Of course, given how many passes he's dropped, the effect of his absence on the Seahawk offense is arguably negligible or possibly even positive. So what does Koren do yesterday at Kirkland HQ? Jump and touch the overhead water pipe (both articles reference this). Romero likens it to stress release, whereas Farnsworth sort of leaves it open to interpretation.

Well, Chad Brown, it was nice having you. Go rehab for a while. He had surgery to repair torn knee cartilage yesterday. The Seahawks kept this all under wraps pretty well (at least to the dailies), but probably because they actually played him on Sunday. Solomon Bates, Orlando Huff, and Isaiah Kacyvenski will most likely be the starting linebackers. Injuries suck. In the same article is another injury that sucks. I've twice called Matt Hasselbeck's injury the "charley horse from hell" and Mike Holmgren now calls it the "most serious charley horse in the history of charley horses."

The Marvin Williams Watch
In North Carolina's 86-50 thumping of BYU at Maui, Marvin played 20 minutes off the bench and had 8 points (perfect in 6 shots from the line), 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Upcoming for the Tar Heels...
Sunday vs. Southern California (can't confuse them with South Carolina by saying USC)
Wednesday (1 Dec) at Indiana

It's Danny Fortson time in the Seattle press. It's obvious that Fortson is being targeted by the league officials, but I really wish he wouldn't actually acknowledge this. I wish he'd just let Coach McMillan and Rick Sund handle it, but it's probably not Fortson's personality to do that. It's weird because in those first couple Sonic wins, it seems like he was just nuts, and then there was the Chris Bosh foul, which he later got suspended for, and now Fortson is getting called left and right for illegal screens. It seemed like the pace really picked up. He is now averaging a foul every 3.21 minutes, according to the O'Neil article, which also says the calls might have something to do with the defamation suit against Jerry Colangelo for calling Fortson a "thug."

Upcoming for the Sonics...
Tonight at Minnesota
Wednesday at Memphis
Friday vs. New Jersey

(I mistakenly had the Sonics not playing until Wednesday in my Sunday post.)

Tonight, if you get the CBC, the Making the Cut show is on at 8pm. Two teams' worth of players remain. Here's the promo for it.

No big ceremony in front of 20000 fans or anything like that; fifteen of the Tampa Bay Lightning visited the St. Pete Times Forum and got their commemorative Stanley Cup rings last week. I think it might finally be hitting me that there won't be an NHL season. How could they all be so stupid?

None of the six teams I've been tracking take the ice until Wednesday. Hence, I need to come up with stuff for the next three of these posts.

Tonight it's the standings of the super six teams in their respective divisions...

Western Hockey League
Western Conference -- US Division
(rank_team, games played, record[points], last 10, streak)
1 Seattle Thunderbirds, 21, 16-5-0-0[32], 8-2-0, W3
2 Everett Silvertips, 24, 13-7-2-2[30], 7-3-0, W2
3 Portland Winter Hawks, 22, 10-10-1-1[22], 4-5-1, L2
4 Tri-City Americans, 22, 8-11-3-0[19], 4-5-1, L2
5 Spokane Chiefs, 21, 7-12-1-1[16], 2-7-1, L2

Western Conference -- BC Division
1 Kootenay Ice, 25, 16-7-2-0[34], 8-2-0, W7
2 Kelowna Rockets, 24, 15-6-3-0[33], 7-1-2, W2
3 Vancouver Giants, 25, 12-11-0-2[26], 4-6-0, W2
4 Prince George Cougars, 24, 9-12-2-1[21], 5-5-0, L2
5 Kamloops Blazers, 25, 7-15-2-1[17], 3-6-1, L3

American Hockey League -- North Division
(rank_team, games played, record[points])
1 Edmonton Road Runners, 18, 11-3-2-2[26]
2 Manitoba Moose, 18, 11-5-0-2[24]
3 St. John's Maple Leafs, 16, 9-6-0-1[19]
4 Rochester Americans, 16, 8-5-2-1[19]
5 Cleveland Barons, 17, 7-8-1-1[16]
6 Hamilton Bulldogs, 19, 6-9-3-1[16]
7 Syracuse Crunch 17, 5-7-2-3[15]

Northern Pacific Hockey League -- West Division
(rank_team, games played, record[points])
1 Puget Sound Tomahawks, 22, 20-2-0[40]
2 Portland Pioneers, 16, 15-1-0[30]
3 Tri-City Titans, 20, 6-14-0[12]
4 River City Jaguars, 18, 2-16-0[4]

Tomorrow's post: league-leading scorers
Wednesday: Calgary at Seattle, Medicine Hat at Portland
Friday: Medicine Hat at Everett, Tri-City at Portland, Regina at Vancouver
Saturday: Medicine Hat at Seattle, Calgary at Portland, Milwaukee at Manitoba

Enjoy your Tuesday. If you're making any musical purchases, remember there are three different versions of the new U2 album today, so find out which version is which if you make a purchase.

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Monday, November 22, 2004


Our long national nightmare is over as Seahawks wide receiver Koren Robinson has been suspended for the next 4 games due to violating the NFL's anti-substance abuse policy.

Robinson will miss this Sunday's game against Buffalo, the Monday Night game against Dallas Dec. 6, road games at Minnesota and in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, respectively. He didn't play in yesterday's 24-17 win over Miami due to violating a team rule.

I'm done with Koren. He's been dead to me for weeks. If he reaches his so-called potential somewhere else, so be it. I'm tired of waiting for him to break out.

What you know about Mary Jane?

Ask Koren.

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Washington Nationals, it is.

"Washington Nationals Baseball, brought to you by Natural Light Beer, as light as Cristian Guzman's on-base percentage!"

Go Nats!

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If only baseball had a commissioner like David Stern.

Stern commenting on the suspensions resulting from Friday's Indiana-Detroit incident:

"It was unanimous, one to nothing," Stern said. "I did not strike from my mind the fact that Ron Artest had been suspended on previous conditions for loss of self-control."

Way to go, David.

Indiana Pacers
---Ron Artest, suspended for the rest of the season (73 games)
---Stephen Jackson, 30 games
---Jermaine O'Neal, 25 games
---Anthony Johnson, 5 games
---Reggie Miller, 1 game (leaving the bench)

Detroit Pistons
---Ben Wallace, 6 games
---Chauncey Billups, 1 game (leaving the bench)
---Elden Campbell, 1 game (leaving the bench)
---Derrick Coleman, 1 game (leaving the bench)

For my thoughts on the situation, check out my post from Friday night.

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What an odd Sunday it was.

Before I go on, I'm about to bring to you something the Sun lost in Saturday's edition amidst all the Apple Cup hype, and didn't report in the Sunday edition either (or they hid it really well). Bremerton 2002 grad Dana Kirk won the 100-meter butterfly on Friday at the Speedo Cup in Long Beach last Friday with a final time of 54.51 seconds. The Stanford team won the tournament on Saturday. Congrats to Dana and the Cardinal.

Here come the headlines, with a ton of Seahawk infotainment...

I've used this bailout before, but I guess no news is good news here.

Before I get to the Seahawks here, the BC Lions lost the Grey Cup to the Toronto Argonauts, 27-19. BC went with Dave Dickenson instead of the CFL MVP Casey Printers at quarterback. They didn't pull it off. Also, you may know that the Seahawks used ageless wonder Jerry Rice to score a touchdown, which is one thing. But to get beat by a 41-year-old quarterback is quite another. Damon Allen was the Grey Cup MVP yesterday.

Now for the normal Seahawkage...
It's a win. This we know. Michael Boulware got the Seahawks back into sole possession of first place. I don't want to curse anything, and it's stupid to look this far ahead, but if the Seahawks manage to win this division despite losing twice to the Rams, it'll be hilarious. As was my suspicion in my game post, it sure did seem like the Dolphins started having their way with Shaun Alexander; they tackled him six times for minus yardage. But as Clare Farnsworth says, an ugly win against the Miami Dolphins is way better than a loss. Farnsworth also gives some ink to Jerry Rice, who got in the end zone for the 206th time (195th through the air) and to Marcus Tubbs, who forced a fumble from AJ Feeley.

Yes, Boulware saved the day. Of course, it did help that the Bills throttled the Rams at Rich Stadium (going nostalgic here). Greg Bishop also reminds me of the horribly ill-timed Mack Strong fumble. Bishop also gives us the horrific stat that the Seahawks converted on exactly zero third downs in the second half. That means extra work for Donnie Jones. Oh yeah, Koren Robinson and Chris Terry didn't play because they missed a team meeting. Way to be, guys.

The inevitable Trent Dilfer article. The first half was decent for Seattle, but let's not kid ourserlves here. This team needs a healthy Matt Hasselbeck back if they want to get to where they want to be. Dilfer was pretty decent in the first half, but his second half was God-awful. In addition to the passes that didn't connect, he had a propensity to take idiotic sacks on third down. Let's not forget the delay of game when the Seahawks were going for it on fourth-and-1, which drove them out of field-goal range and had me cursing at the television.

The Times notebook says that Rice still has something left in the tank, Donnie Jones was crap in the punting department yesterday, there were lineup changes, Grant Wistrom feels great and plays well, and Dilfer admits his delay of game penalty on 4th-and-1 was "bush league."

Rice started in place of Koren Robinson, benched for missing a team meeting, something that happened to him last year at Arizona as well. Jeremy had a great line when he said Nicolette Sheridan was lucky she didn't jump into Koren Robinson's arms. We try here at Sports and Bremertonians. At Avis, they try harder. That means we're the guy doing the Robot in the one commercial.

Let's hope Hasselbeck/the receivers can get his/their groove back when he/they play(s) again, because if other teams do what Miami did and run eight-man fronts, Shaun Alexander is going to have some trouble (35 second-half yards) and the air game is going to have to step up. Buffalo's going to get the game tape for this game and they'll probably be licking their chops; the scary thing is that their defense is leaps and bounds better than this Miami defense.

Art Thiel cranks up the blooper reel, bringing up the delay of game penalty on 4th-and-1, as well as Kris Richard plowing Wes Walker after a fair catch was called. As with all Thiel articles, odd metaphors/cliches are used.

Steve Kelley places importance on the message Mike Holmgren sent with all the benchings he handed out. He also says that the Seahawks need to take more chances down the field, similar to the 56-yard run after the catch by Rice. I think one of the earlier columns brought this up, but only two NFC teams have a better record than the Seahawks, and the Seahawks are atop their division. Does this not seem like the worst 6-4 team you've ever seen in your life?

Les Carpenter reminds about the gamble the Seahawks took in drafting Michael Boulware and trying to convert him into a safety. I'd have to say it's turned out well so far, even though Boulware is the fifth defensive back. He's just making the big plays for whatever reason, and he doesn't even know why. It just happens, and dang it, you need a couple players like that.

Bremerton's Marvin Williams will play tonight at 6 in the Maui Invitational against BYU, televised on ESPN. The Marvin Watch printed in the Sun today otherwise is not associated with our Marvin Williams Watch from two days ago.

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

Combine the bad shooting with playing horrible defense, and it's no wonder why the Sonics lost. They'd been able to pull out a win or two during the streak when their shooting wasn't completely there (not to the degree of last night though), and their rebounding and defense would give them a chance to win the game. Neither was present against the Celtics, as Paul Pierce and Gary Payton had okay games, but Ricky Davis went nuts to the tune of 25 points.

See also this article by Danny O'Neil on the new mellow Gary Payton.

In the bevy of reasons as to why the Sonics lost, Danny Fortson said "...somehow, some kind of way, all the calls went one direction real fast." Come on, Danny. You know you're a marked man already in the officials' eyes. Don't make it worse. Overall, though, it's pretty apparent; the defense and the rebounding have got to show up for the Sonics to have a chance if the shooting goes cold. Simple.

Well, I tried here. There were no games on Sunday night, and there aren't any games until Wednesday. I looked at the CBC page to see if there were any new NHL-related headlines, and there was not a thing. Hence, I have nothing here for tonight. Tomorrow, I'll probably do a standings post, and the day after it'll probably be leading scorers.

Wednesday: Calgary at Seattle, Medicine Hat at Portland
Friday: Medicine Hat at Everett, Tri-City at Portland, Regina at Vancouver
Saturday: Medicine Hat at Seattle, Calgary at Portland, Milwaukee at Manitoba

Enjoy your Monday, everyone, if that's possible. A Seahawk loss would have made that a lot less possible, I'm sure.

[Edit ~8:53a -- Added Marvin Williams part.]

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Celtics 102, SuperSonics 83
Recipe for a Sonic loss: getting badly outrebounded, having Rashard Lewis shoot horribly, shooting bricks from everywhere and beyond the arc, having Danny Fortson get into foul trouble. It just wasn't their night, and it's sad for me to think that a team that's being run into the ground by Danny Ainge just beat the Sonics, but the Celtics were overdue to actually hold a lead in the fourth quarter for once, and the Sonics were way overdue to lose, and shoot crappily in the process.

Peek at the boxscore: Ray Allen 21 pts/6 ast/1 stl (7-16 floor), Rashard Lewis 12 pts/5 reb (4-13 floor, 0-6 3pt), Luke Ridnour 3 pts/5 ast/3 stl (1-5 floor), Reggie Evans 6 pts/8 reb, Antonio Daniels 16 pts/5 ast/2 stl, Nick Collison 8 pts/4 reb, Danny Fortson 6 pts/4 reb

In the Jerome James Watch, JJ played a grand total of 9 minutes, and made one of the two shots he took. He ended up with two points and a rebound, using one foul in the process. Way to go, Jerome. What a great signing that's turning out to be, huh?

Of course, the Sonics, or any team for that matter, aren't going to win many games when they shoot 35.9% (28-for-78) from the field and 5-for-23 (21.7%) from downtown.

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Sunday, November 21, 2004




I'm not happy with the way the Seahawks played today. But a win is a win. And right now, I'll take it.

If the Seahawks would have lost to A.J. Feeley again (remember 12/8/02?), I would have vomited. Hell, I would have vomited anyway since the 'Hawks would have lost to a 1-8 Miami Dolphins team.

Luckily for us, Heather Mitts' bitch threw an interception late in the 4th quarter. And guess who was there to pick it off?


The guy is good. Damn good. He always seems to make a big interception at the right time. And boy, was this ever the right time for one.

For all your statistical needs, just go down to David's post below this one. I'm not in any mood to discuss stats right now. I'm just relieved.

Very relieved.

With the Rams' loss in Buffalo today, which I called in my Pick Me Up, the Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West again at 6-4. Those same Bills come to Seattle next week. One thing's for sure, the Seahawks can't let the Bills hang around. The Bills are much more talented than the Dolphins.

So, with that, I'm going to end this by saying thank God for Michael Boulware. Without him, the Seahawks fanbase may have been in full meltdown mode today.

Boulware is one Florida State Seminole I can appreciate.

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[final post 5:55p]

Here's the notes I have. Like the last couple weeks, this will be updated as the game goes on.

In eyebrow-raising news, Jerry Rice started over Koren Robinson...

>> 1st Seattle possession (SEA 30)
Alexander left to SEA 35
Jackson catch right to MIA 48 (17 yd, first down)
Alexander left for 5 (MIA 43)
13:17 right side catch Rice to MIA 34, first down
12:45 Alexander right side of line for 6
12:13 Alexander through the right side for 4, first down
11:36 Alexander dropped in the backfield, loss of 3 (MIA 28)
10:56 Alexander through middle for 16, first down (MIA 12)
10:24 Alexander bumps into Walter Jones, goes nowhere
9:48 false start on Jerry Rice (2nd/19)
***9:19 TOUCHDOWN over middle to Jerry Rice (SEA 7-0)

Hey, I like how that drive ended. Jerry Rice gets his first TD catch as a Seahawk. In other news, Shaun Alexander runs all over the field, even after getting dropped in the backfield twice.

>> 1st Miami possession (MIA 36, return of 27)
Sam Morris left side to MIA 38
pass to right side dropped (it's not just Seattle?!)
Wistrom applies pressure, nearly gets to AJ Feeley, flags (tripping, declined)

Three and out. Good start for the Seattle defense, but Wistrom almost sacking Feeley was a long time coming.

>> 2nd Seattle possession (SEA 18)
8:12 Alexander outside left and out of bounds for 2, flags (late hit on Jason Taylor, ball at SEA 37)
7:41 pitchback Mo Morris right to SEA 40
7:03 pass right side Engram incomplete (near catch/fumble, 3rd/7)
6:48 false start Seattle (3rd/12)
###6:44 Strong left side goes nowhere, fumbles and Miami recovers

Whatever happened to holding the ball breadbasket-style?

>> 2nd Miami possession (SEA 35)
6:37 Feeley forever to throw, over middle to Marty Booker for 15 and a first down (SEA 20)
6:04 Wistrom drops Sam Morris in the backfield for a loss
5:31 Morris breaks tackle right side for 13 and a first down (SEA 9)
5:07 Morris drilled by Lucas left, 2-yard gain
4:30 Feeley hits as throws right incomplete, flags (illegal formation declined, 3rd/G from SEA 7)
***4:26 Feeley with wide open field runs straight through to the end zone (7-7)

First damn rushing touchdown of the year for AJ Feeley. Wistrom really had the only good play defensively on that drive. Wistrom was the Dolphins themselves (penalties) were the only things preventing the Dolphins from scoring sooner.

>> 3rd Seattle possession (SEA 28, 18-yd return for Kerry Carter)
4:16 Alexander for 3, flags (holding on Chris Gray)
3:49 Dilfer runs forward for 11 yards (SEA 29), drilled as he goes down (2nd/9)
3:15 Alexander right side into pile, gains 4
2:34 Jackson catch right side for first down, gains 14 (SEA 48)
2:08 Dilfer down right sidelines incomplete to Jackson (pass interference/illegal contact, arm pull)...35-yd penalty, MIA 17
2:03 Alexander through left line for 3
1:22 ball incomplete over middle to Engram (good coverage by Pat Surtain, 3rd/8)
1:22 Seattle timeout
1:18 knuckleball pass over middle incomplete to Jackson, Rice doubled on the play
***1:13 Brown from 33 (14 straight for him, SEA 10-7)

Well, that's mildly frustrating at the very least. A huge pass interference penalty, and they go three plays and a field goal after that. They gave the ball to Shaun once, at least.

>> 3rd Miami possession (SEA 36, 32-yd return...UGH)
1:01 pass incomplete, flags (roughing the passer on Chike Okeafor, 15 yards, SEA 49)
0:57 Morris right side for 2
0:24 pass to Conrad right side off his hands (3rd/8)
0:19 a pass rush!! Pass incomplete toward left side

Well, it's a three-and-out. That's always a good thing.

>> 4th Seattle possession (SEA 24, nice Seahawk bounce)
0:01 right side Itula Mili to the SEA 28

Well, it's a decent start except for the Strong fumble, a few too many penalties for my liking, and not being able to cash in after the pass interference penalty. Other than that, the Seahawks are whupping up in the time-of-possession department.

14:57 Dilfer right side to Rice, incomplete (decent coverage, 3rd/6)
14:52 Dilfer overthrows Jackson left side

Three and out the wrong way this time. Shaun Alexander didn't get the ball once in this possession...

>> 4th Miami possession (22-yd return on terrible coverage, flags for face mask, SEA 47)...Miami averaging own 47 for field position
14:31 Chris Chambers catch for 12 right side, first down (SEA 35)
14:00 Travis Minor left side run for 3
13:23 Feeley pressured in backfield, runs out of bounds right for loss of 1 (3rd/8)
###12:58 Feeley pressured, absolutely drilled by Rocky Bernard as he threw, ball picked, Feeley in visible pain, carried off field

Hey, pass rush! Welcome back!! We missed you.

>> 5th Seattle possession (SEA 28)
12:50 Alexander right side for 2
12:07 Dilfer right side to Mili for 11 and a first down (SEA 40)
11:50 Alexander down in backfield for loss of 2 (they read it perfectly)
11:15 pass over middle to Mili to SEA 45 (7-yd gain, 3rd/5)
10:38 over middle dropped by Jackson, fourth Seattle drop today, their 34th of the season (working off the Kevin Harlan stat)

Okay, this is getting frustrating. Almost as frustrating as last night when I discovered that the West Bremerton Taco Bell had upped the price on Grilled Stuft Burritos. They used to be $2.38 after tax, now it's $2.49. Infuriating.

>> 5th Miami possession (MIA 36, downed)
10:23 Randy McMichael catch from Fiedler for 1 yard
9:43 Minor right side for no gain
9:02 Fiedler pressured by a ton of guys, he is eventually dropped, fumbles, and Miami recovers well short of chains

Another three and out. Capitalize, people!!

>> 6th Seattle possession (SEA 38, 31-yd punt, return of 6 after a Miami touch)
Alexander for 9 yards (cable went out for a second)
7:45 Strong for 4 yards through the middle and first down
7:15 flags everywhere on Strong for false start
6:51 Alexander through right side to SEA 47, flags (15-yd face mask on Surtain, MIA 38)
6:29 Alexander dances around for no gain
5:54 Dilfer right side to Jerramy Stevens (MIA 34, 3rd/4)
5:15 Dilfer over middle to Engram, who runs to MIA 4
***4:36 Alexander through middle almost to goal line, red flagged by Coach Holmgren...well, if I'd known about the elbow, I wouldn't have red-flagged this...BUT IT'S A TOUCHDOWN. Referee Mike Carey really does explain these plays and penalties well (SEA 17-7)

Way to cash in. Of course, the big face mask penalty helped, but the big play was the pass to Engram. Let's all pray that Engram stays healthy for the rest of the season.

>> 6th Miami possession (touchback, MIA 20)...gimp-ass Feeley put back into the game
4:34 Fiedler pass to McMichael over head right side
4:28 big rush, big pressure for Morris on a 6-yd loss, with flags (MIA illegal formation, declined, 3rd/17)
4:08 Feeley hit by Marcus Tubbs, in pain once again, pass left side to nobody, flags (intentional grounding, MIA 5)

Fourth punt of the day for Miami, and another three-and-out. Good times.

>> 7th Seattle possession (SEA 48, 2-yd return)
3:51 Alexander right side no gain
###3:08 Dilfer picked right side...intended for Jackson, picked by Arturo Freeman

Yup. That was not good. Dilfer threw it into double coverage.

>> 7th Miami possession (MIA 17)
3:05 Morris left side to MIA 22
2:36 Minor handoff right, flags (5-yd face mask on Marcus Trufant, first down, MIA 29)
2:16 pass right side Booker for 5 out of bounds
1:55 Feeley right side for Chambers for first down
1:38 McMichael catch over middle to midfield and gain of six
1:18 McMichael circus catch out of bounds for first down and 15, flags (illegal contact on Seattle, SEA 34))
1:05 pass down right sideline for 27-yd to Chambers, flags (illegal contact on Trufant, declined, SEA 5)
1:00 wide-open pass to Chambers in end zone, flags (illegal shift Miami, 5-yd penalty)
###0:50 Feeley pressured, fumbles, Seattle recovers

Well, the defense saved their own butts there. Feeley and the Dolphins were moving down the field pretty well.

>> 8th Seattle possession (SEA 20)
0:41 Alexander left side for a loss of one
0:32 Dilfer pressured, runs left to SEA 22 out of bounds (3rd/7)
0:27 Engram right side for 12 and first down (SEA 34)
0:24 Seattle timeout
0:18 Dilfer pressured right, throws to nobody
0:11 Alexander through middle to SEA 43 (3rd/1)
0:04 pass left side off Strong's hands, tipped to Surtain, flags (defensive holding on Miami, first down)
0:00 pass in end zone nearly picked by Jason Taylor, right foot stepped out of end zone

Well, it's 17-7 at half. The defense has looked better, and it seems that Grant Wistrom's mere presence makes a world of difference when it comes to the pass rush. Shaun Alexander's had a couple of good runs, but a couple of runs for no gain or less also. It seems that Jim Bates is trying to make Seattle beat his team through the air with Trent Dilfer and any receiver that actually holds on to the ball.

So DLP is a Texas Instruments technology. I wonder if my TI-83 graphing calculator has DLP. Doubtful, but Tetris on that TI-83 killed endless hours when I was in high school.

>> 8th Miami possession (MIA 33)
14:48 pass left side intended for Booker, "caught," stripped, Ken Lucas recovers...challenged and overturned, incomplete pass (ball hit the ground)
14:45 Minor left side for gain of 1
14:13 pass right side broken up by Ken Hamlin

Another three-and-out. This is encouraging.

Ben Wallace only got a six-game suspension? I'm sorry, but that's abhorrent. It should be at least double that. Part of me wants to say it's like a chicken-before-the-egg sort of thing, that if Wallace doesn't shove, none of it happens.

>> 9th Seattle possession (SEA 33)
13:57 Alexander outside left for 4
13:22 Mili right side to 35
12:45 Dilfer pressured, runs backwards, sacked for huge loss of 11

>> 9th Miami possession (MIA 44)
12:09 Feeley right side to Johnson? broken up
12:03 Chambers catch left side for 6 to midfield
11:35 pass over middle to Minor for first down (4 yd)
11:15 McMichael down the sideline right, through the hands
11:10 Feeley right sideline to Chambers, who stays in bounds, 13 yards and a first down (SEA 33)
10:57 Minor through the middle and left for 17 and a first down (SEA 16)
***10:33 pass right side to McMichael, who stays in bounds and gets the pylon, flags on Trufant for a face mask, touchdown (SEA 17-14)

The Seahawk defense does their best Swiss cheese impersonation. I didn't much like it.

>> 10th Seattle possession (SEA 26, 20-yd return)
10:24 catch right side Strong for 1
9:53 Alexander through left side for 3 (3rd/6)
9:14 Dilfer pressured, runs around a bit, sacked at SEA 28

This is not good at all. A three-and-out. Miami having some momentum. A 1-8 team has momentum on the Seahawks' home turf, and they're only down three with a ton of time left in the game. Disturbing, disturbing, disturbing.

In another disturbing note, Dilfer has been sacked on third down on each of the last two possessions.

>> 10th Miami possession (MIA 27, punt nearly blocked)
8:34 Trufant with very close coverage down the right sideline on Booker
8:31 pass left side to Chambers incomplete (3rd/10)
8:26 pass right side to Thompson, but short of first down (SEA 35)

A three-and-out is what they needed right there. Thank goodness. They've got to cash in on the next possession though.

>> 11th Seattle possession (rekicked on Miami illegal touch, SEA 24, fair catch)
7:31 pass right side incomplete, Dilfer throws away before getting drilled
7:26 Alexander through middle for three yards...Randy Cross is noting the predictability of the Seattle offense...
6:43 pass left side to Rice overthrown

Well, if the Seahawks keep going three-and-out, let's just hope that Miami keeps doing the same thing.

>> 11th Miami possession (MIA 42)
6:28 Minor right side for 3 (MIA 45)
5:53 Minor right side for 2 (3rd/5)
5:13 pass down right sideline incomplete to Chambers, drilled by Bierria

Third straight three-and-out for Miami.

>> 12th Seattle possession (SEA 4, bad decision by Morris to let the punt go)
4:59 Alexander right side for 2
4:14 left side pass Rice for big yards after catch to MIA 37 (WOW), first down
3:39 Alexander middle for 2
3:00 Alexander right for loss of 1 (3rd/9)
2:16 Strong over middle 1-yd short of chains (4th/1)
1:33 flags, delay of game Seattle

>> 12th Miami possession (flags, Kris Richard plows the fair catch man, MIA 26)
0:47 pass over middle incomplete
0:40 Chambers left on the end around for 7 (3rd/3)
0:02 pass right to McMichael for 7 and a first down

The Seahawks are letting this team hang around. I have a really bad feeling about this; the Dolphins are only down three with a quarter to go, and the Seahawk offense hasn't done a freakin' thing (other than Rice) in the second half. Sickening.

14:54 Forsey left side run for 2 yards
14:15 pass left Hadnot for nine yards and first down (MIA 49)
13:53 Minor up middle for 2
13:05 Minor left to SEA 47 (gain of 2)
12:22 Rocky Bernard plows Feeley, who throws away to nobody, flags for grounding on Feeley again (MIA 43)

The pass rush picked a good time to come through. Thank goodness they got that stop. AJ Feeley will have nightmares about Rocky Bernard in the very near future.

>> 12th Seattle possession (SEA 18)
###12:07 pass left side in the middle of three defenders, Pat Surtain picks

Yuck. That's infuriating. I'm really worried.

>> 12th Miami possession (SEA 36)
11:55 McMichael left side for 6
11:21 Minor left side for 2 (SEA 28)
10:42 pass left Chambers wide open with Lucas three yards away for first down (SEA 22)
10:04 Minor left for gain of 1
9:21 pass Minor over middle for 2 (3rd/7)
8:38 Minor catch right to 16, short of chains
###8:06 Olindo Mare from 33 WIDE LEFT

Said Randy Cross a few plays before the attempt, "Olindo Mare is automatic" from around that range.

>> 13th Seattle possession (SEA 24)
8:02 Alexander up the middle for 2
7:21 Alexander up the middle to the 41, a 17-yd gain and a first down
6:41 Alexander through the middle again for 7 to the SEA 48
6:03 Strong through the middle for 2 (3rd/1)
5:24 Seattle timeout
5:18 Alexander goes nowhere on the left side

I'm sick. Absolutely sick.

>> 13th Miami possession (holding on Seattle, declined, ball at MIA 32 with three timeouts)
4:29 pass over middle to Minor bobbled and incomplete
4:25 Ken Lucas with great coverage on a pass to the left side, Cochran and Kacyvenski get licks in on Feeley
4:20 Thompson over the middle for 25...YOU MEAN TO TELL ME YOU CAN'T GET A STOP ON A FREAKIN' THIRD-AND-10?!!?!?!!!!?!?!!!
3:47 Minor right side for no gain, staying in bounds
3:08 Thompson over middle, breaks a couple tackles, runs out of bounds with first-down yardage (SEA 25)
3:04 Chambers overthrown left side
2:58 Minor catch over middle for four (3rd/6)
2:25 Feeley overthrows Gilmour, who had a step on Richard
2:29 Mare from 39 doesn't miss this time (17-17)

>> 14th Seattle possession (SEA 30)
2:11 Rice underthrown right side
2:07 Alexander overthrown left side on a screen
2:01 Dilfer sacked

Dilfer's throwing some bad passes, but he's taking some stupid sacks too.

You know what? Screw this game. The Seahawks could pull this off and win, and I wouldn't even care. This team sucks.

Where's the Jim Mora "playoffs?!" speech?


I hate myself.

>> 14th Miami possession (MIA 47, nice field position)
1:48 Minor through the middle to the MIA 48
1:14 McMichael catch, runs out of bounds right to SEA 48
1:09 first-down catch to Chambers, SEA 42
###0:56 pass right intended for Chambers picked by Michael Boulware, who runs it all the way back!! (SEA 24-17)

>> 15th Miami possession (MIA 28)
0:42 Feeley dropped, and fumbles, Chad Brown recovers and runs, down at MIA 15
0:40 knee
0:38 Miami timeout
0:38 knee
0:36 Miami timeout
0:36 knee


It's a win, yes. It's a heavily tarnished win, though. It seems in the second half that the offense would get one big play on a lot of their possessions (the big Rice catch or a big run by Alexander) and then they'd just tank it. Dilfer wasn't the sharpest knife in the cutlery either today, and especially in the second half. I guess the problem in some ways was that Miami wasn't playing like the 31st-ranked run defense in the NFL today. They did have quite a few stops on Shaun Alexander today for measly one-yard gains, no gain, or losses.

How quickly the fortunes turned though. I think Mike Holmgren already punched his ticket out of Seattle with last week's loss in Saint Louis, but if Michael Boulware doesn't run back this interception, then there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Holmgren is gone next year. But the Seahawks escaped with the W.

Where does this leave us? Well, the pass rush looks a lot better, at least, in the fact that it exists again. AJ Feeley is going to be one sore mofo tomorrow morning. But there were some third-down gaffes and stupid penalties (by both sides of the ball) that made it hard on the Seahawks. The delay of game the Seahawk offense had on a 4th-and-1 when they were going for it was memorable, as were a face mask or two on the Seahawks. Offensively, well, there was no offense in the second half, with many three-and-outs and that left the Dolphins within reach to win this game. Michael Boulware saved the Seahawks' butts, because Olindo Mare would have been in field goal range to win the game.

Once again with the Seahawks, we're left with some answers and even more questions.

I shall now return to listening to the Sonics currently losing to the hack-ass Boston Celtics.

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