Saturday, January 15, 2005


Congrats to Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim Mora, Jr. for finally lifting the playoff victory monkey off of his family's back.

His father, Jim, was 0-6 in the playoffs during his career in New Orleans (0-4) and Indianapolis (0-2). How ironic would it be to see the Falcons and Colts meet in the Super Bowl February 6? At this point, that may just be the best Super Bowl matchup. Peyton Manning and Michael Vick in the same game? You don't think the NFL wants that matchup?

You don't think I'd let a Mora-related post go by without giving you this classic quote, don't you?

Oh, and I hope Leonard Little enjoys the offseason.

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Thanks to Chris Lynch for providing me with this new timewaster. If you haven't done so already, you need to read Chris' work. He's one of the best bloggers out there IMO.

Need your questions answered? Then who better to answer those questions than actor and German music superstar David Hasselhoff! That's right, the "Knight Rider" and "Baywatch" star will answer your most intimate questions.

Ask David Hasselhoff

For example:

Nicole Eggert or Pamela Anderson?
"It's all down to the size of your belt buckle."


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I had first heard the news of Bob Whitsitt being fired by the Seahawks on ESPN News' Bottom Line. Let's just say that I was pleasantly surprised by this news. I'm not only a Seahawks fan but a Portland Trail Blazers fan as well. There's a reason why we have the Blazers link on the basketball sidebar.

I grew up as a Blazers fan, since my family was from Oregon. They were a fun team to watch in the early 1990s, with Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter, and Buck Williams. Not only were they a fun team, they were also a classy team as well. A far cry from what was to come in the later years.

In the later years, i.e. post-1994, Bob Whitsitt ruined what was once a team that Blazers fans would be proud of on and off the court. Now, I don't expect athletes to be choirboys. But I do expect athletes to at least represent their cities of employment with a little class and decency. The Portland Trail Blazers have been anything but classy since 1994.

Even during their back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances in 1999 and 2000, it was hard to really support the Blazers, because of the cast of characters. In other words, the Blazers were the "Jailblazers". How embarassing. The good people of Portland deserved better. There's just one pro sports team in Portland and that one team couldn't give their fans a reason to be proud of them. Thanks, Bob.

If it wasn't Isaiah Rider's soda can marijuana pipe, it was Rasheed Wallace's conduct against referees. Not to mention the infamous I-5 Damon Stoudamire/Wallace traffic stop for possessing marijuana. Who can forget Stoudamire illegally possessing drugs inside foil at an airport? I could go on, but you get the picture.

That's why I was afraid of Whitsitt running the Seahawks. I don't want to see my football team being run like the Blazers. Similar to the Blazers of the past, the Seahawks' past have included classy players as well, such as Steve Largent and Jacob Green.

Remember when the Seahawks decided not to bring back Brian Davis for the 2004 season? It reminded me of the time when Bill Schonely left the Blazers. Just imagine if Whitsitt were running the Seahawks in the 1980s. He probably would have fired Pete Gross as well.

As a matter of fact, Whitsitt was one of my bosses while I worked in the Seahawks Pro Shop during the 2002 season. I never dealt with the man directly. But if I ever had the chance to talk to him, I would have risked my job and told him my true feelings. I'll never forgive Whitsitt for ruining my basketball team. The Blazers are trying to reinvent themselves, but there's still plenty of work to be done. I could have sworn that it was Whitsitt who gave Zach Randolph a new 7-year deal before this season. I wouldn't have done that, because while he's a good player, is he really deserving of it? Judging by his off-the-court conduct, no.

Whitsitt can say whatever he wants, but I can too. Name one man who has been involved in two of the worst collapses in NBA history. You know, the Sonics losing in the first round in 1994 to the Nuggets and the Blazers blowing a 15-point lead to the Lakers in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference FInals. Yeah, that was Mr. Whitsitt.

Oh, and the situation that the Seahawks find themselves in this offseason, with having to worry about 16 free agents?

That's Whitsitt's deal as well.

If you ever want to see Seahawks, Sonics, and Blazers fans agreeing on one thing, it's the fact that the hatred for Bob Whitsitt is mutual.

Screw you, Bob. You won't get the chance to ruin my football team.

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I look at uniforms a lot, and notice weird little details. Did you notice when the Mariners changed their uniforms in 1993 that the piping wasn't going down the sides of the pant legs anymore? That's the kind of weird crap I notice.

But today, I notice this...

Take Syracuse's uniforms last year (technically this one's from two years ago, since it's Carmelo)...
AP photo

...and compare them to the uniforms of this year.
AP photo -- Joe Raymond

What the frick was wrong with last year's uniforms? They were at least tasteful, the numbers stood out pretty well, and that bodes well on television.

This year, that black or navy blue just goes horrible over that orange, and worse yet, it looks brutal on television during game action. White on orange stands out a lot better than black/navy on orange. Worst of all, it's bland and the font is dorky. If they just added some white outlining to the lettering on the uniforms, it'd add a lot more and I'd bitch about it less.

The last time I was this stirred by a dumbing-down of a uniform, it was when the Padres took all of the color and pinstripes out of their home tops when they were still playing at the Murph.

In related news, I have no life.

[Edit ~8:47p -- Get this; Nike did TWO YEARS' worth of research to come up with the new uniform and lettering scheme that I've bitched about in this entire post.]

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Crap, I actually got a good start on this one too, but then I zonked out in front of the keyboard again. Routines are hard to break.

(final content posted ~11:46a)

(final FINAL content, the Tomahawk recap, posted ~1:47p)

***On TV today -- Pepperdine at Gonzaga (5p, FSNNW), Oregon State at Washington (7p, FSNNW)

Yep, the ABC Sports regional map says that we get stuck with UCLA/Arizona instead of getting the INFINITELY better North Carolina/Wake Forest game. Too bad I didn't know that until the damn game started. So if you're in the northwest and you're seeing That's So Raven instead of UNC/Wake, that's why. At least with this ABC decision, it's a Pac10 game. If it were Syracuse and Boston College or something, I'd be really ticked.

There's a month left until pitchers and catchers report. Giddiness and anticipation are ensuing. I'm also contemplating having Richie Sexson sign my number 11 Brewers shirt at FanFest, provided that I actually go to it, and assuming I'll still in the region at that point.

Later, Trader. I've said here many times that I was afraid of what Bob Whitsitt might do to this team in the offseason. On that front, problem solved. I'm surprised Paul Allen fired a guy that's been working for him for quite a long time -- when Allen bought the Seahawks, he wasn't just going to have just any person be the president of the Seahawks, right? But now, this move is in the best interest of the organization, according to Allen. It sure defuses any possible Holmgren/Whitsitt beef, that's for sure. Said Holmgren in a statement: "The roar of our fans at Qwest Field last week was both a powerful reminder of what football means to this community, and a prelude to what we can achieve as a more focused and unified organization in the future." [emphasis added by David]

Both of those articles rattle off some names of possible replacements. I'd be okay with Randy Mueller coming back (not overly enthused though), but I'm more high on the idea of Mike Reinfeldt coming back, because I didn't see any reason for him to be pushed out (he resigned) in the first place, and I'm highly sure that his force-out ticked off Holmgren. Bring back Holmgren's salary cap guy? BRILLIANT!! You know, I want to see Reinfeldt's resume just to see if "salary cap expert" really does show up on it. In a quote that will make regular reader Morgan a little less happy, Ron Wolf said he would turn down any offer to take over for Whitsitt, saying he likes retirement and has no desire to work full-time.

But what about Bob? He's recovering from colon surgery, so I'm sure the timing of the firing isn't too great (let's hope he recovers nicely). Obviously, he's without a job. After 18 years as a GM or higher in northwest professional sports, "Trader" Bob Whitsitt is now looking for work. I'm not sure how he pulled off having a hand simultaneously in the operations of the Seahawks and the Trailblazers, but he did. But before all that, I remember him as "Trader Bob," GM of the Seattle SuperSonics. I guess for me, the one incident where Whitsitt lived up to his moniker the most was for a trade he didn't make -- when Shawn Kemp-for-Scottie Pippen almost went down. This wasn't just a feature on the sports segments on local TV here, no sir. There were entire man-on-the-street segments asking how people would have felt if Shawn Kemp was traded for Pippen. Interestingly enough, Whitsitt eventually had Pippen play for him, but as a member of the Blazers. I remember following the Sonics in those where they were a high playoff seed year in and year out, and during those Whitsitt years there always seemed to be this on-the-edge feeling knowing that Whitsitt was the GM of the team. He almost traded away*** Shawn Kemp, pre-huge weight gain, and in his prime, for goodness' sakes!! And yes, lest we forget, Shawn Kemp also played for Whitsitt as a Portland Trailblazer. Jeremy and I and two friends saw a game a couple years ago at the Rose Garden between the T'Wolves and Blazers, and friend Steve noted that Kemp still had that one shot going where he was almost falling down after he was fouled but he hit the shot, or something like that. I need some old Shawn Kemp footage to really be able to describe it well.

[***Kevin Pelton informs me that the Kemp-for-Pippen almost-trade was Whitsitt-like, but wasn't Whitsitt's doing, and it was Karl/Walker that were behind that, as Whitsitt had already been gone. Yes, my memory is fading away. Sadly, I don't think my argument looks too bad up until that point. Thanks to Kevin for keeping me on my toes. Everybody go visit his site.]

And hey, I just spouted off that last paragraph without reading Steve Kelley's column. There's some good Holmgren quotes about the situation that allude to Bob Whitsitt, or at least a dislike to some of the inner happenings, i.e., the "resignation" of Mike Reinfeldt.

Of course, a situation like this one always begs for an Art Thiel piece. Thiel says that Paul Allen's sister and a longtime friend (both on the Seahawks' board of directors) never got along with Whitsitt, and that this firing was a long time coming. I've got to say that thank goodness the Whitsitt-era Sonics never stumbled into the Jailblazer model that had so hobbled the Portland teams up until the trades of Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells. Allen's sister was quite sour on the Blazers' image under Whitsitt. Basically, Whitsitt's stint with the Sonics is obviously his best, and his doings took a slow downward turn after he left the Sonics.

Overall, let's just say I like the possibilities of this offseason a lot more than I did 24 hours ago.

The Marvin Williams Watch
The Tar Heels are on the road against Wake Forest today and Clemson on Wednesday.

My goodness, it's the one-year anniversary of the Huskies' 0-5 start in the Pac10. That seems like many many moons ago. In that year of time, the Huskies have gone 28-6. As for the Beavers, they got

The Huskies are home against Oregon State tonight and Washington State two Sundays from now on the 23rd (FSNNW).

The Waves of Pepperdine will be coming to the McCarthey Center to face Gonzaga tonight before the Zags go to the Bay Area to face the Dons of USF on Thursday (KONG 6/16 broadcast).

For my take on the game, scroll down a post or click here if you're in the archive.

Make no mistake, it was Ron Murray's night. He'd scored in double digits twice before this, but he hadn't really gotten any steady minutes and he'd floundered with his shot in the minutes that he did get. Last night, he shot 8-for-13 and I liked that I didn't always see him trying to force a drive when the defense wasn't giving him much to work with. Murray passing the ball didn't seem like a stretch to me last night, when on other nights it has seemed that way. Still, any contribution from Murray is a good way to pick up for some of the Rashard Lewis void until he can get back into form. As for the Speedy Claxton explosion, he had 15 of the Warriors' 19 third-quarter points and had 19 of their 32 second-half points. Luckily the Sonics held down everybody else.

From Jayda Evans' perspective, it was also a great night for the defense as well as Antonio Daniels. The defense put the clamps down in the second half and allowed 20 less points than they did in the first half. Daniels had a few very timely jumpers to the tune of 11 third-quarter points.

Tomorrow vs. Cleveland
Tuesday vs. Denver
Friday vs. Minnesota

Seattle beat Tri-City 3-1. It's 30 wins for the T-Birds. They have emerged victorious in all seven games against Tri-City this season. Seattle still has not lost consecutive games on the season. Amazingly, all of the scoring in this game came in the third period. Zack FitzGerald scored the first goal of the game and got the T-Birds a lead which lasted for all of 66 seconds. They got the lead back thanks to a goal by Matthew Hansen. Derek Couture eventually put the game on ice with an empty-netter. Tri-City outshot Seattle 25-24, and Bryan Bridges stopped 24 in net for the Thunderbirds.

Vancouver beat Everett 4-2. It was Mr. Hockey Night in Vancouver, as the Giants once again celebrated the great Gordie Howe, one of their co-owners. The Silvertips have lost all four games against the Giants this year, and they failed to keep pace with Seattle, who won. Power-play goals by Cam Cunning and Triston Grant in the first two periods staked the Giants to a 2-0 lead before Everett tied it up with two goals in 1:43 in the second period thanks to Torrie Wheat on the power play and Mike Wuchterl off a rebound. Jason Reese came away with the game-winner about seven minutes into the third period, and Gilbert Brule sealed it with an empty-netter. Vancouver outshot the Silvertips 27-23. Leland Irving stopped 24 for Everett, and Marek Schwarz stopped 21 for Vancouver.

Portland and Moose Jaw skated to a 4-4 overtime tie. The Warriors aren't too high in the standings, but the Winter Hawks will take the single point after being down 3-0 in the first period. Dustin Butler was nursing a hamstring pull and had started 25 straight games before resting one game while Blake Grenier returned from injury. The Winter Hawks had 15-year-old Kurtis Mucha in net last night. Mucha was welcomed rudely late in the first period on two goals in 68 seconds by the Warriors. The Warriors tallied again early in the second period for a 3-0 lead. The Winter Hawks eventually tied it in the second period on a deflection (Cody McLeod), a loose puck (Dan Da Silva), and a rebound (McLeod again). McLeod finished off a hat trick in the third period to get Portland the lead (four straight goals for Portland) before Moose Jaw netter the equalizer about four minutes later. Portland outshot Moose Jaw 40-37. Kurtis Mucha stopped 37 in the Portland net.

Manitoba beat Houston 3-2. The Moose won their third straight on the Texas trip and have reeled off a franchise record 13-game road unbeaten streak. The Moose scored on their first shot of the game, on a powerplay goal by Jeff Heerema. The Aeros answered back, but the Moose were quick to take the lead 18 seconds later on a Brandon Nolan goal which may or may not have been deflected in via a high stick. Josh Green scored the winning goal about six minutes into the final period after some conferring by the officials. Houston badly outshot the Moose 40-21, and Alex Auld was huge, stopped 38 in the Manitoba net.

Portland beat Puget Sound 5-1. The game was 1-1 after two periods. The Tomahawks had tied the game in the second period, and ended up holding the Pioneers scoreless for nearly 40 straight minutes. However, giving up four third-period goals usually isn't a very good recipe for winning. One of the Portland goals came early in the third period, and the Tomahawks had about eight minutes to net the equalizer until the Pioneers scored two quick ones to put it away. The Pioneers now lead the NorPac West division by one point over the Tomahawks with a game in hand. The two teams square off again tonight.

Tonight: Vancouver at Everett, Portland at Kootenay, Puget Sound at Portland
Tomorrow: Seattle at Vancouver, Spokane at Everett, Manitoba at Houston

Let's see here. Part of Whitsitt piece was correctly debunked. I'd said a couple times this week that the UNC/Wake game was an ABC game, which was also wrong because I failed to check the freakin' regional map beforehand. Then there was that whole thing where I fell asleep in front of the computer.

[Edit ~1:47p -- ...and I forgot the recap for the Tomahawks. Shame on me.]

To take a page from Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, I'll do better next time.

Have a great Saturday and a great weekend, everybody.

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Friday, January 14, 2005


SuperSonics 103, Warriors 84

(final content posted ~10:45p)

Here's what I have for tonight's game. Postgame stuff will follow the game stuff as per usual.

1st qtr
11:47 Ridnour drives lane for first basket of game. 9:13 Sonics timeout; they don't know what to do with the spawn of Dunleavy, who has scored all eight Golden State points as they lead 8-2, extended to 10-2 by Claxton free throws. 4:18 Allen drive to contact, layup with foul SG 22-16. 3:53 Allen to Radmanovic driving dunk GS 22-18, followed by a stop and a Daniels to Allen transition layup GS 22-20, 7-0 SEA run. 2:14 Daniels right side from 18 gets Sonics the lead SEA 24-22 (answered). 1:33 Murray three left corner SEA 27-24.

After one quarter -- Golden State 28, Seattle 27

2nd qtr
10:36 Murray beside the top of the key again SEA 31-30. 10:01 Murray explosive move left side for driving layup SEA 33-32. 9:02 Fortson picks up a loose ball on a broken play, lays it in SEA 35-32. 8:10 Daniels baseline drive layup SEA 37-34. 7:28 Fortson draws charge on Derek Fisher. 7:07 Collison gets nice rebound off Murray miss, eventual Fortson basket down low SEA 41-34. 4:35 Allen lays in on nice third-chance play (Collison key board) SEA 45-41. 3:08 great ball movement leads to Ridnour in the left corner SEA 48-43. 2:23 Potapenko gets nice quick layup down low SEA 50-46. 0:58.2 Radmanovic long range right side SEA 52-48, answered.

At halftime -- Golden State 52, Seattle 52

Well, the Sonics shot 57% in the first half, but they obviously aren't defending too well. Keep in mind that Rashard Lewis isn't playing, and therefore isn't drawing any defense toward himself to free up anyone else on the offense.

The game started out weirdly enough. The Sonics got the first basket on a nice Ridnour layup before the Warriors reeled off a 10-0 run, the first eight points of which were scored by Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (12 1st-quarter points), who usually was unguarded as the Sonics couldn't figure out who to put on him. The Sonics played from behind for much of the first quarter before getting on a 7-0 run to eventually get the lead before the end of the first quarter.

The Sonics played in the lead for most of the second quarter before the Warriors were able to tie it before halftime.

The Warriors have gotten 10 offensive boards at the half, and the Sonics have turned the ball over seven times.

Ray Allen leads the Sonics at half with 11 points. Luke Ridnour (who got two quick fouls and sat out for a good length of time) and Ron Murray have 7 (Murray's getting Rashard's minutes). Vlad Radmanovic, Antonio Daniels, and Danny Fortson have six points each. Reggie Evans leads the team in rebounding with 5 to go with his 4 points.

3rd qtr
11:31 Allen three left side to open half SEA 55-52, Allen transition layup off turnover for next possession. 9:36 Troy Murphy called for elbow bringing ball up (he's having a great game though). 9:24 Daniels three right SEA 60-54. 7:59 Speedy Claxton able to slice through the lane on the Sonics at will. 6:58 nice Allen pass down low to Collison for easy layup SEA 62-59. 6:31 Allen three left SEA 65-62. 5:07 Collison in the key pivots, beats the shot clock SEA 68-65, Claxton answers. 4:27 high layup off glass driving for Daniels SEA 70-67. 3:24 Vlad Rad wide-open three SEA 74-67, nice ball movement. 2:43 Daniels straightaway three SEA 77-69, sixth straight Sonic basket. 1:00 Daniels stepback long jumper SEA 79-71. 0:31.7 Murray baseline SEA 81-71, largest lead of game.

After three quarters -- Seattle 81, Golden State 71

The Sonics opened the half really nicely, though the Warriors were still able to claw back since no one was able to stop Speedy Claxton. Luckily the Warriors turned the ball a couple of times and the Sonics managed to hit six straight baskets at one point in the quarter, which got them the bulk of the lead that they carry into the 4th quarter.

4th qtr
8:51 Ridnour finds Murray driving, gets dunk SEA 87-74. 6:16 Sonics leading in pts off turnovers 21-10. 4:25 Murray one-man show nice baseline drive layup under basket SEA 94-80. 3:38 Daniels pull-up midrange SEA 96-80. 2:24 Allen three SEA 101-83 after a loose-ball scramble. 1:10 Fortson outlet for Radmanovic fast-break slam SEA 103-83, it's over.

Rashard Lewis was out for the game to begin with, so the Sonics started the three-guard lineup with Luke Ridnour, Antonio Daniels, and Ray Allen. Who got Rashard's minutes? Ron "Flip" Murray got a good share of his minutes, and made up for a good share of the absence of Lewis' production, scoring 17 in 32 minutes of play on 8-for-13 shooting. If Rashard can't come back full-bore whenever he's able to play again, Ron Murray has at least earned himself a good chance for some steady minutes if Rashard Lewis needs to be eased back into the flow of the games here.

You know, one weird thing is that Lewis has been hobbled with the quad bruise and the knee tendinitis -- remember the plantar fasciitis he had in the preseason? That must have healed up really well, because everyone forgot about that pretty quickly. It didn't even pop into my mind tonight until Kevin Calabro talked about one of the Warriors had some sort of plantar fascia injury, and that reminded me of Rashard.

The problem off the bat was that Mike Dunleavy wasn't being guarded, a fire which the Sonics eventually put out -- Dunleavy only scored 2 points after the 12-point outburst in the fourth quarter.

The Sonics didn't have a good first half in terms of taking care of the ball, and they weren't defending too well either. Some of this carried into the second half, as Speedy Claxton was driving into the lane at will and scoring way too much. When the Sonics were finally able to quell the Claxton ruckus, they finally pulled away. Of course, the Sonics hitting six straight baskets at one point in the third quarter also helped. They built up a double-digit lead and the Warriors really never threatened after that.

But it wasn't just quieting down Claxton (or holding down Troy Murphy just enough) that sealed this win for the Sonics. They played their best game defensively in a while, probably since either of the Miami games. They just weren't clicking at all against the Clippers. The Sonics held the Warriors to 84 points tonight, the lowest since they held Atlanta to 79 on December 30th. For the defense, it was a tale of two halves. The Warriors hung in there for the entire first half and the first part of the third quarter. In the first half, the Sonics allowed 52 points. In the second half, they allowed only 32. The Sonics put down the clamps on defense for the first time in a while.

Offensively, the Sonics did well without Rashard Lewis and managed to sink more than half of their shots, with the numbers at the free-throw line being the only slight blemish, as there were a few scattered misses (and fairly sparse attempts).

I'll get to the numbers more in depth after the peek...

Ray Allen 22 pts/4 ast (9-20 FG, 3-9 3pt), Antonio Daniels 19 pts/5 reb/6 ast (8-14 FG, 2-3 3pt), Luke Ridnour 9 pts/4 reb/6 ast (4-6 FG, 24 min), Reggie Evans 4 pts/10 reb (2-5 FG, 25 min)

Ron Murray 17 pts/6 reb/2 ast (8-13 FG, 32 min), Danny Fortson 13 pts/11 reb (6 offensive rebounds, 3-5 FG, 7-8 free throws, 20 min), Vlad Radmanovic 10 pts/3 reb/2 ast (5-12 FG, 0-4 3pt, 36 min), Nick Collison 5 pts/3 reb (2-4 FG, 15 min), Vitaly Potapenko 2 pts (nice layup, 3 min)

Jerome James Watch
2 pts/1 reb/1 blk (1-3 FG, 6 min)

shot 43-for-84 from the field (51.2%), shot 7-for-19 from downtown (36.8%), shot 10-for-15 from the line (66.7%, two of the bricks were Evans'), outrebounded the Warriors 45-34 (and got 15 offensive boards), bench outscored Warrior bench 47-9 (outrebounded their bench 24-8)

I guess I forgot to mention before I looked deep into the boxscore that the Sonics outrebounded the Warriors by 11 tonight. Even if your team has a crappy shooting night, just the fact that you rebounded the ball 11 more times than the other team could probably save you. Of course, the Sonics shot very well tonight, and the rebounding average helped very much.

Sure, Stan Van Gundy was sarcastic in his comment about the Sonics' bench, but they laid a whuppin' on the Golden State bench tonight, and that was even with Antonio Daniels starting and with a so-so night from Radmanovic.

If you look at the Sonics' scoring, it's fairly balanced. Actually, it looks VERY balanced when you compare it to Golden State's scoring. Of course, it goes back to that whole bench thing. The Warriors got next to nothing from their bench, save three blocks from Adonal Foyle (and the Colgate alums rejoiced).

Overall, it started ominously, but the Sonics eventually got their groove and clobbered the Warriors like they should have. They took care of business, they made adjustments, and they got more flow and steadiness from both sides of the ball.

Their reward? Now they get to host LeBron James on Sunday.

I asked Jinkies what he thought the biggest key was in tonight's Sonic win. His reply: "What the MEOW are you talking about?!"

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The Seahawks have fired president Bob Whitsitt, just a few hours after I was lamenting the fact that he was going to ruin the Seahawks just like he ruined the Blazers.

"I decided to take a change of direction and bring in somebody with a deep background in football to run the football side of the organization," Seahawks owner Paul Allen said. "I didn't take it lightly at all, but felt it's what is needed for the franchise."

The Seahawks are 2-for-2 this offseason. I hope this is just the start of what should be a productive offseason for the Seahawks. Firing Bob Whitsitt sure makes me more excited about this offseason, that's for damn sure.

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If you're like me and are into future schedules, then this is the place for you.

Check out the 2005 NFL future opponents at CBS Sportsline. I posted the 2005 opponents for the Seahawks on Tuesday. So I figured that I should post a link to the rest of the league's 2005 future opponents.

My team's season is over. So I'm looking ahead to the future. Here's a few non-divisional games to look forward to for the 2005 season.

Dates to be announced in April.

---Indianapolis at New England (Once again, they play in Foxboro)
---Pittsburgh at Green Bay (Ben Roethlisberger visits Lambeau Field)
---New York Giants at San Diego (Eli Manning visits San Diego. Boo!)
---Philadelphia at Atlanta (Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick)
---St. Louis at Minnesota (You want offense?)

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

If I had to take a stab at which one of those 5 games will be on "Monday Night Football", I'll say Pittsburgh at Green Bay, because of Roethlisberger and Brett Favre. Of course, Favre may retire soon. But I think he sticks around Green Bay for a another season.

Speaking of the Packers, Seahawks vice president of football operations Ted Thompson has accepted the general manager position in Green Bay, according to ESPN.com. And the Seahawks are stuck with a basketball man running the show (Bob Whitsitt). Whitsitt already ruined the Blazers, so he better not ruin my football team either.

Life as a Seahawks fan. It isn't easy.

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Yes, it's Friday, and that means you've earned the privilege to waste your time not only at Sports and B's, but you can also do so here, here, here, here, here (ONE f-word on that page), here, and maybe even here. Seriously, you've earned it. Now go play.

On TV tonight -- Warriors at Sonics, 7:30p (FSNNW)

So I picked up a couple of non-TV pocket schedules for the Mariners' season at the Winter Tour stop and noticed there weren't any hokey or ridiculous promotional nights listed yet. There's an Ichiro 262 Bobblehead Night, Ichiro 262 Bat Night, a few Grand Slam Family Pack nights, the customary Little League Weekend, etc., nothing surprising. That's all fine and dandy as long as we don't ever have to see the likes of Hamtaro Night again. Little hamsters, big adventures. As for a better Cartoon Network show with bubbly drawings, Super Milk Chan late on Sunday nights is 1000000 times better than anything Hamtaro ever could be, though it's considerably less family-friendly (i.e., it wouldn't fly for a Safeco Field promotion). That's how it is when the main character's recurring phrase is "YOU DUMBASS!!" It's weird hearing that phrase and the inherently weird off-beat humor coming out of a cartoon that's drawn so happily and bubbly (really, it may be the weirdest show I've seen in my life). Sorry I used the word "bubbly" again. Maybe I'll bust out the thesaurus next time.

Both today (Thiel) and yesterday (Stone), Buck O'Neil rules. I think the first time I heard him speak at length was on the Fabulous Sports Babe's show, so I learned of the mystique and the brilliance of Buck in my semi-formative years. The man's 93 years young.

I saw an interview that aired last night on NorthWest Cable News -- it was Paul Silvi sitting down with Shaun Alexander. Shaun pretty much said all the right things. Silvi asked him whether he'd rather be in a running offense than a passing offense, and Shaun came back saying a running offense might sound good, but questioned whether it'd necessarily mean a better chance at a Super Bowl. Keep in mind he ran for a mere 1696 yards in a passing-oriented offense. Though I didn't hear it in the interview itself, Silvi said in the intro that Shaun was "80% sure" he would remain a Seahawk.

Ted Thompson, Seahawks VP of football operations, is a candidate for the Packers' GM position, which may or may not be vacant depending on Mike Sherman's fate as coach/GM. He has run the draft for the Seahawks. All I know is that whoever's in charge this year needs to draft linebackers, a kick returner, and a running back if Shaun bolts. If anyone of the main three free-agents bolt, the Seahawks better get a sure-handed #1 receiver with the leftover money.

Unfortunately I won't remember Chike Okeafor flapping arms (wings) like a bird, a Seahawk, on his way off the field last Saturday in seemingly a tribute to the fans. I'll remember Marshall Faulk mocking every single one of us by flapping his arms after Matt Hasselbeck's pass to Bobby Engram fell to the turf.

I hate the Rams. And Nelly.

The Marvin Williams Watch
Bremerton 2004 grad Marvin Williams is averaging 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game off the bench as a freshman for North Carolina. If you carry out the averages to 40 minutes (knowing full well he won't be playing 40 minutes a game this year), he would be getting 18.9 points and 11.8 rebounds a game. That's called "fun with Excel."

The Tar Heels are on the road against Wake Forest on Saturday (ABC broadcast, according to the UNC athletics website) and Clemson on Wednesday.

The Huskies beat the Ducks 77-56 at home in a game not broadcast in the Pacific Northwest. The Ducks didn't attempt a shot for the first four minutes and turned the ball over four times in that span. The Ducks' second basket made it 21-5. That's some domination, further enhanced by the fact that the Huskies didn't blow the big lead or cough up most of it. Tre Simmons had 15 and 12 for a double-double.

Of all Jim Moore columns, I'm glad I read this one, if for only one passage...

A sign bad-mouthing Oregon center and Aussie native Ian Crosswhite was seized by security and thrown in the garbage because it was too personal, yet amazingly accurate.

"Crosswhite, Australian for suck."

In the first half, he did, committing six of Oregon's 13 turnovers.

The Huskies are home against Oregon State on Saturday (FSNNW telecast) and Washington State two Sundays from now on the 23rd (FSNNW).

The Zags came away with a 76-65 home win over Loyola Marymount last night. JP Batista got 17 in his first start and Ronny Turiaf tallied 16 on his 22nd birthday. Derek Raivio finished with a great line of 13, 8, and 8.

The Waves of Pepperdine will be coming to the McCarthey Center to face Gonzaga on Saturday (FSNNW broadcast) before going to the Bay Area to face USF on Thursday (KONG 6/16 broadcast).

Also coming to the McCarthey Center, Bill Cosby on Sunday. So says a pop-up ad on the Gonzaga athletics site.

Danny Fortson is still mad about not playing much in Golden State. Said Fortson, "I'd be a second late for a flight and they'd leave without me, whereas Gilbert Arenas, they'd wait 20 minutes for him." He blames his not getting significant playing time before this year to that stint with the Warriors, since his stress fracture has been healed the past two years. His role of the last couple years of coming off the bench for not much time has been replaced by the role of providing a spark off the bench with some inside toughness, some presence on the boards, and the ability to rebound missed shots on the offensive end, put the ball back up, get hacked, and shoot free throws. I don't think this team can ever shoot enough free throws.

In the Sonics notebook, Rashard Lewis should play tonight after receiving treatment for right knee tendinitis, and Reggie Evans eats plain potato chips while Jerome James is being a punk and tempting him with fried chicken. This team needs a hunky-dory Reggie Evans stomach, Jerome. In a curious but hopefully aberrational note, Danny Fortson was late on the team bus to the game against the Clippers. Dwane Casey correctly noted that Fortson's tardiness wasn't related to the team's play.

Tonight vs. Golden State
Sunday vs. Cleveland
Tuesday vs. Denver

Manitoba shut out San Antonio 3-0. Jimmy Roy scored once in the first period and twice in the third period for a natural hat trick. The Moose outshot the Rampage 25-21, and Alex Auld stopped all 21 (including 11 in the second period) for his first shutout of the season. Justin Morrison assisted on two of the Roy goals and was a plus-2 skater along with Kevin Bieksa and Wade Brookbank.

Tonight: Everett at Vancouver, Seattle at Tri-City, Portland at Moose Jaw, Manitoba at Houston, Puget Sound at Portland
Tomorrow: Vancouver at Everett, Portland at Kootenay, Puget Sound at Portland

All o' y'all have a great Friday. It's better for you to read the last sentence I typed out rather than to hear me say it, trust me.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005


You want my review of ESPN's new drama "Tilt"?

I didn't watch it.

Thank you and good night.


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Yeah, I'm late. It's a combination of chatting with a high school buddy until 4am and having a telephone job interview at 1pm. Luckily I don't think I missed all too much.

-- On TV tonight: Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga, 7pm (KONG 6/16)

Gil Meche gets one year and $2.535M. This is the part where we hope that Gil Meche has the full arsenal of duct tape and super glue with which to hold his shoulder together.

Both Jim Moore and Blaine Newnham caught up to the Mariners Winter Tour at Breidablik Elementary in Poulsbo for an assembly. This of course means those two writers didn't come to Bremerton. Oh well. Bucky's facial hair didn't look quite as cool as it did last year, but let's just hope he heals up and smashes the crap out of the ball again.

Also, Buck O'Neil is simply the man. I don't think I could ever get tired of this guy. It seems like every time I've heard Buck, I can just sense that he genuinely loves life and loves baseball. My attention never wavers when Buck O'Neil tells a story. Buck O'Neil rules.

Yes, I just played the FOX baseball theme on my computer again. Then I put it on repeat. Just a little more than a month until pitchers and catchers report.

I'm sure we'll have some NFL Draft stuff on this page soon.

The Marvin Williams Watch
Jeremy saw the game on TV last night, a convincing 91-69 win over 8th-ranked Georgia Tech. Marvin Williams had 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in 23 minutes off the bench. He went 3-for-7 from the field and went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. That's some inside presence.

The Tar Heels are at Wake Forest on Saturday and at Clemson on Wednesday.

Finally, two articles not about game-ending punctuation-mark dunks between Washington and Oregon. I'd only read a couple articles about that and I was already tired of it.

The Huskies are home tonight against Oregon and against Oregon State on Saturday.

Ronny Turiaf hasn't picked it up yet after the ankle sprains. He hasn't led the Zags in scoring in the last seven games, yet they're still 11-3.

The Bulldogs are home against Loyola Marymount tonight and against Pepperdine on Saturday.

For my take on the game last night, scroll down two posts or click here if you're in the archive.

I have no idea who John Klima is, but he wrote the game article instead of Percy Allen. I did ask myself late in the fourth quarter, "where did they get this guy?" I'm pretty sure I was referring to Darrick Martin.

Simply put, the shots that the Sonics hit the night before (when I still didn't think they shot too well) they didn't hit last night. Ten-for-20 in Seattle from downtown, and 5-for-25 last night.

Tomorrow vs. Golden State
Sunday vs. Cleveland
Tuesday vs. Denver

Kootenay beat Seattle 4-3. Kootenay dumped the puck in off the glass and Bryan Bridges came out of the net to play it. The puck took a weird bounce off the glass and ended up in the net. That was the game-winner, coming with 7:56 left in the third period. The Ice led 3-1 in the first period, but the T-Birds rallied back with two goals in the second period to tie it. Then that weird goal happened in the third period. Ladislav Scurko, Clayton Barthel, Zack FitzGerald scored for Seattle. The Ice were helped by two members of Team Canada's gold-medal junior team, Nigel Dawes (2 assists) and Jeff Glass (21 saves). The T-Birds outshot Kootenay 24-19, and Bryan Bridges stopped 15.

Brandon beat Portland 2-1. The streak is over. Blake Grenier finally returned from injury, ending Dustin Butler's 25-game streak of starting in net for Portland. Cody McLeod scored a goal on the power play, giving him his eighth goal in nine games and a 5-game point streak. That goal cut Brandon's lead in half, but it was also in the third period, and the Winter Hawks never managed to tie. This was the fourth time this year that Portland has been denied a three-game winning streak. Portland badly outshot the Wheat Kings 31-19. Blake Grenier stopped 17 in the Portland net.

Tonight: Manitoba at San Antonio
Tomorrow: Everett at Vancouver, Seattle at Tri-City, Portland at Moose Jaw, Manitoba at Houston, Puget Sound at Portland
Saturday: Vancouver at Everett, Portland at Kootenay, Puget Sound at Portland

Tomorrow's Friday. You ain't got s&$* to do!! Okay, I just had to quote the movie Friday there because seriously that's the first line that pops into my mind whenever I realize it's Friday.

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This is me yelling at 7:05 in the morning.

For the first time since my cable company picked up ESPN Classic, I'm actually up to watch past episodes of "This Week In Baseball" with the late great Mel Allen.

I'm watching the April 17, 1985 episode right now. I swear, I think the people behind ESPN Classic made this channel for people just like myself. And yet I wasn't able to watch it until 2005. Those are the breaks, though.


One of the few Bristol-related items I'll love in this day of age.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Clippers 103, SuperSonics 92

(final content posted ~11:13p)

Ever get that feeling way before the game is actually over that your team is not going to win? I think I had that feeling somewhere really early in the fourth quarter. Just one of the many times tonight that the Sonics got close and the Clippers managed to widen the lead once again.

It just wasn't meant to be tonight.

Here's what I have for ye olde game...

1st qtr
10:46 Evans lefty layup down low is first basket of game. 3:40 Lewis three right side, first of night for Sonics; they missed the first six. Sonics shooting like crap. 2:58 Fortson ties up Brand on a scramble for a jump ball in front of their own basket. 2:13 Sonics have 5 turnovers. 1:34 Daniels three, LAC 21-18. 1:04 Allen reverse layup miss cleaned up by Fortson, fouled TIE 21-21.

After one quarter -- Clippers 24, SuperSonics 23

Toward the end of the quarter, it seemed like the Sonics had no answer for Corey Maggette, which as I've mentioned makes me sick because he was drafted by the Sonics. Anyway, the Sonics shot 33% in the first quarter (8-for-24) and were 2-for-10 from beyond the arc. The Clippers hit two more baskets than the Sonics, with the same number of attempts. The Clippers had a 9-3 run at one point, but the Sonics fought back with a 6-0 run of their own. Reggie Evans is leading the team with 8 points and 5 rebounds. Ray Allen has four points, three Sonics have 3 points each. The Sonics turned the ball over 5 times in the first quarter, and the Cloppers outscored the Sonics 16-12 in the paint.

2nd qtr
11:41 Kaman shoulders into Fortson, gets called for it. 11:30 Maggette steals ball from Fortson, goes untouched for a slam LAC 26-23. 10:42 Collison hit by Allen with a no-look pass under the basket, score TIE 26-26. 9:20 Daniels driving lane gets pass down low from Collison LAC 30-28, answered by Kittles. 8:31 Collison cleans up down low after Fortson layup miss LAC 32-30. Sonics seem to not be getting their legs into their jumpers. 7:12 Maggette three LAC 38-30, 8-0 run. 3:32 Sonics 5-for-15 from the field in the quarter. 2:01 Daniels transition drives baseline and slams on Brand LAC 46-39. 1:33 transition again, Ridnour found on the side for a jumper, Evans was fouled, hits free throw LAC 46-42, 7-0 run. 0:15.8 Maggette three with 4 on shot clock LAC 51-42.

After one half -- Clippers 51, SuperSonics 42

The Sonics aren't getting beat on the glass, but they did turn the ball over eight times in the first half and shot an absolutely pathetic 15-for-45 (33%) from the field, and 2-for-16 (12%) from downtown. Worse yet, Corey Maggette and Elton Brand are just manhandling them inside. Maggette has 19 to go with 7 boards at the half, and Brand has 13. As for the Sonics, nobody has double figures after one half of play. Reggie Evans is the leading scorer with 9 points and he has 6 rebounds. Ray Allen (5 boards) and Antonio Daniels both have 7 points. Luke Ridnour had 6 points, Danny Fortson had 5 (4 rebounds), and Nick Collison and Rashard Lewis both had four points. The Sonics are getting beat 9-2 on the fast break.

But the telling numbers -- Ray Allen 1-for-7, Rashard Lewis 1-for-7, Vladimir Radmanovic 0-for-6. The trio combined for 11 points, 6 of which were from the free-throw line (5 for Allen).

For one half, it was about an 8.5 on the meltdown scale. I guess a 10 score would have been the Sonics being down 20 or 25 at half and just completely crapping the bed. But it's single digits for now.

3rd qtr
5:43 James called for 5th foul. 4:43 Radmanovic three LAC 62-56. 4:01 Vlad AGAIN three (catch and shoot) LAC 62-59. 3:36 transition Daniels layup and fouled, misses free throw LAC 62-61. 3:15 Clippers hit basket, but technical on Mikki Moore (Ray hits) LAC 64-62. 3:01 Ray Allen pull-up from free-throw line TIE 64-64, answered on other end by Maggette foul and one LAC 67-64. 2:34 Evans jam on a pick-and-roll LAC 67-66. 1:53 Radmanovic fakes three, finger-rolls through lane LAC 69-68. 1:33 Clippers nailed for three seconds. 0:34.7 Murray high bouncer gets lead 70-69 SEA.

After three quarters -- Clippers 70, SuperSonics 70

Rashard Lewis is in street clothes on the bench. Quite frankly, he wasn't doing anything when he was out there anyway. His legs just aren't back yet. I'm hoping the quad bruise or thigh bruise heals itself soon.

4th qtr
10:52 Clippers score first four points of the quarter. 9:23 Fortson called for a T, after getting called for only his first foul. 7:02 Maggette hits first basket of fourth quarter LAC 81-76, answered by Allen three left side.

Clippers 103, SuperSonics 92

So what's the story tonight?

Rashard Lewis is hobbled.

The defense? Nowhere near as good as it's been.


Bad shooting.

Corey f%&$ing Maggette, who was traded for Horace Grant to come to Seattle.

The Sonics propensity lately to break off a run, and then let the opposing team quickly erase most of said run.

I guess I could really be short with this, and I just might be, considering that pretty much sums up most of what I want to say.

I'll try to pump some more out of this though.

Ray Allen 22 pts/7 reb/8 ast (7-20 FG, 1-6 3pt, 7-8 free throws), Luke Ridnour 14 pts/3 reb/2 ast (6-12 FG), Reggie Evans 11 pts/9 reb (4-6 FG, 3-5 free throws), Rashard Lewis 4 pts/5 reb (1-8 FG, 1-5 3pt, 18 min)

Danny Fortson 13 pts/6 reb (4-6 FG, 5-5 free throws), Antonio Daniels 12 pts/3 reb/7 ast (4-10 FG, 1-5 3pt, 3-5 free throws), Vlad Radmanovic 8 pts/4 reb (3-13 FG, 2-7 3pt), Nick Collison 4 pts/1 reb (6 min), Ron Murray 2 pts (8 min)

Jerome James Watch
2 pts/5 reb (1-2 FG, 13 min)

shot 33-for-80 (41.2%) from the field (the Clippers shot 50% from the field), shot 5-for-25 (20%) from downtown, shot 21-for-27 (77.8%) from the line, outrebounded the Clippers 43-36, turned the ball over 14 times, bench outscored Clipper bench 39-31 (outrebounded them 14-10)

When a team shoots 50%, it's either the result of total defensive breakdown or the shooting team being on fire (usually both), and I have more belief tonight that it was more of the former than the latter. The Sonics just aren't playing anywhere close to their vintage form that we've seen them take defensively this year. It's not just no hands in faces of the shooters, which I've gotten on some of the Sonics for at times this season. Now it's other teams being able to move the ball one extra time, which I've seen the last two nights with the Clippers. Someone has always seemed to get open for a pretty easy shot, and it turns out tonight that the Clippers ended up hitting half of all of their shots.

You know, for me the worst part of all this is that Bill Simmons probably saw it and the Sonics aren't going to get a good column out of him. For almost everything that made the Sonics look great in the two games against Miami, they've looked just as crappy in the games against Orlando, Washington, and the Clippers (I'm even counting the win against the Clippers). Except for the stretch run last night, they've just looked incredibly out of sync on the offensive end, and they haven't been able to crank it up defensively to pick up for their offensive woes.

Guess what? I can't complain about the quantity of free throws tonight, although I could complain that driving to the rack is all they should have done down the stretch. They weren't completely lost on this, as Daniels was driving, as he does (including getting hammered by Elton Brand on the one play).

As for the individuals in the boxscore, I wish Vlad Rad was consistent. I really do. Sunday he goes nuts, and by Wednesday it's a complete 180. Luke Ridnour shot well from the field, though the assist numbers were curiously down. By the same token, Ray Allen's assist numbers were curiously high. Reggie Evans had some solid contribution. Danny Fortson managed to have zero fouls on him coming into the fourth quarter, but did get T'd up in the final quarter.

All in all, I guess the only things we can take out of this are that the Sonics have to get their rhythm back and they have to get Rashard Lewis back healthy as well.

And they have to play defense. And offense. And win games and stuff.

I asked Jinkies what the Sonics biggest problem tonight was. His answer: "No, the 9 lives thing is big lie. I had friend who believed this lie and O.D.'d on the cat nip first time and kicked his bucket. Tell HIM about these 9 lives!"

Well put, Jinkies. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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Great column written by ESPN's Gary Thorne at USA Today's site.

Nobody ever seems to think about the workers affected by the NHL lockout. At least Thorne does. It's certainly one of the more chilling pieces related to the NHL lockout that I've read in the past few months.

Way to go, Gary.

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Bremerton's Marvin Williams scored 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 23 minutes of action as North Carolina rolls over Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill 91-69.

The Tar Heels' bench outscored the Yellow Jackets 36-11, led by Williams' 14 points. In the first half alone, North Carolina's bench players scored 21 points compared to zero bench points by Georgia Tech. This was the story of the game. While Georgia Tech was without B.J. Elder, they are still a talented bunch with Jarrett Jack, Will Bynum, and Luke Schenscher. But while the Yellow Jackets are a solid team themselves, ranked in the Top 10, North Carolina may just be the most talented team in the country. And on a night like tonight, it wasn't just the Tar Heels starters who showed up. There's a reason why they're a Top 5 team.

North Carolina is on the road Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest in what should be a huge test for both teams. The game is on ABC, but I won't be able to see it (thanks a lot, Jefferson Pilot!). I'm not sure what the ABC schedule will be like up in the Seattle area, so I won't speculate on that here.

Go Tar Heels.

Go Huskies.

Go Zags.

Hooray for college basketball!

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Thanks first of all to Carlos Guillen for bouncing one short of the track and into the right field stands in batting practice in 2000, and thanks to Bucky Jacobsen and Greg Dobbs for coming out to Bremerton, answering questions, and signing stuff today.

[Edit ~7:54p -- NEW PHOTOS ADDED. The old, and first, photo is a straight scan by me of the ball that I got signed. The two photos after that are from the lens of one Jim Thomsen, who also was there. The mouse-over captions on Jim's photos are also his. Thanks, Jim.]

ball scan by David -- Bucky Jacobsen signature on top, Greg Dobbs signature on bottom

photo by Jim Thomsen -- Bucky wants to be the starting DH so bad, he can almost taste it

photo by Jim Thomsen -- Bucky and Greg Dobbs duet on a favorite from Damn Yankees.

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ESPN.com has their plan for a new NHL up right now.

ESPNHL (click on image at ESPN.com)

As far as I'm concerned, this plan isn't credible, simply because of the fact that San Jose wouldn't have a team in this "new NHL". Yet South Florida would still have the Panthers. How in the hell does that make sense? San Jose is one of the best hockey towns in North America but according to this plan, there wouldn't be a team there anymore?

The plan suggests a 20-team NHL. That's fine and dandy, but I think that's too low. Yes, the NHL was a 21-team league until the Sharks joined in 1991. But we're in 2005 and 20 teams wouldn't be enough. I'm not totally in favor of contraction, but if there was to be contraction, I wouldn't mind a 28-team league. The teams I'd get rid of? Florida and Carolina. Why wouldn't I get rid of Nashville and Atlanta? The Thrashers are building a good fanbase in Nashville and the while the Thrashers are based in a horrible pro sports town, Atlanta has money. The NHL wouldn't contract Atlanta, I can guarantee you that.

The 20-team ESPN NHL would feature four divisions, the Pacific (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver), Midwest (Colorado, Chicago, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis), North (Montreal, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Hartford), and South (Atlanta, Miami, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia).

You see why this plan isn't credible? I can't support a plan that would see the Penguins being contracted, despite their financial problems. Nor can I support a plan that wouldn't have a team in San Jose.

If I had a say in the new NHL, as far as the divisions go:

PACIFIC: Anaheim, Colorado, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose
NORTHWEST: Calgary, Edmonton, Minnesota, Vancouver
CENTRAL: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis

I'd move the Avalanche to the Pacific Division, the Stars to the Central, and the Predators would move to the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference.

ATLANTIC: New Jersey, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
NORTHEAST: Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto
SOUTHEAST: Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Washington

The Predators are now in the Southeast Division, where they really belong. They would be able to have two very good Southern rivalries with the Thrashers and Lightning.

My league would be 28 teams, 14-team leagues. The Northwest and Southeast Divisions would be four teams instead of five, but I think moving the Preds to the East makes sense, as well as moving the Avs to the Pacific Division in the West.

While I would love to see Winnipeg with a team, I don't see that happening anytime soon. ESPN's plan would have a team in Hartford, but I don't see that happening either.

I'd also be in favor of having hockey on HDTV. I've seen hockey on HDTV on one occasion, when I watched the entire Flames-Coyotes game on HDTV at Magnolia Hi-Fi one day. The game is absolutely incredible on HDTV. You have to see it to believe it.

This is just a short-term version of my plan for the NHL. When I get more time, I may post my entire plan. And since we won't be seeing any NHL hockey until the fall at least, there will definitely be some time.

Did I mention that I miss hockey? I don't have a minor league team to watch in person here in Arkansas, so the void is definitely bigger for me. It's not cool at all.

So in the meantime, I'll keep on watching some of my hockey tapes to fill the void. It's not enough though.

It's just too bad that we're in the minority in this country as far as hockey goes.

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That's what The News Tribune's John McGrath is giving Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren in his column today.

I can't say I disagree with many of McGrath's viewpoints here:

Say goodbye to Koren Robinson. Wish him well – put him in contact with a professional guidance counselor – but consider the four-year effort to groom him into a Pro-Bowl caliber wideout a failure. The mission of an NFL team is not to turn troubled young adults into productive citizens. The mission of an NFL team is to win football games.

I'm already prepared for the Seahawks to give Koren his 5656564th chance while Shaun Alexander walks. It would be typical.

Speaking of the draft: Sell management on the wisdom of selecting, oh, eight linebackers from college. The lightest could be converted into a safety, the biggest could be converted into a defensive end, and the best three of the rest could start for the Seahawks tomorrow.


Remember the Rams. Remember how they carved the heart out of your team in October, how they toyed with your team in November, how they eliminated your team in January. Acknowledge that while all 16 games on the 2005 schedule are important, the two dates against the Rams figure to be, well, more important.

The St. Louis Rams ruined the 2004 season for the Seahawks and their fans. And I'm stuck here in the mid-South where there are a few Rams fans in the sea of Razorback red. I always wondered how the Mariner fans were able to deal with Yankee fans up in the Northeast. Well, dealing with the Rams fans here is a similar deal.

The AFC West days are long gone, folks. The Rams are now what the Raiders and Broncos once were to the Seahawks, hated rivals. I don't want to see Mike Martz dance on the Qwest Field sidelines ever again. That's an embarassment in itself.

Demand that defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes meet the press for a minimum of, say, five minutes, once a week. This is an inconvenience? Hey, so are spring mini-camps. Accountability among players never will be achieved until the team’s most visible assistant coach stands up and faces the music.

Mike Holmgren is no Nick Saban. It's not like he's banning Rhodes from the media. Hey Ray, it's OK to talk to the Seattle media. They're good people. Honest.

Find some constructive work for Seneca Wallace. He’s fast, shifty, resourceful, competitive. There’s got to be a better use for his skills than as a scout-team quarterback called upon to impersonate Michael Vick every two or three years.

See Antwaan Randle El.

Attend the Super Bowl. OK, so it’s in Jacksonville – think Siberia, with a warmer climate and an occasional hurricane – but it couldn’t hurt to sit in the stands and see the fighter-jet flyover and the fireworks and the cavalcade of pop stars and the potential wardrobe malfunction at halftime and think: "I brought a team to this stage twice in my life. What can I do to return for a third time?"

Instead of Paul McCartney performing at halftime, can we get Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boys to perform instead? It would save the world from having to hear Wings songs. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!

Oh, I forgot. Janet's right breast ruined halftime shows forever. Don't worry though, I don't hate Janet. I'll blast the hell out of "When I Think Of You" whenever I hear it. That also goes for "Black Cat" as well.

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

McGrath also brought up the blue-on-blue uniforms. Look, I like the blue-on-blue look. But I've wondered how silver pants would look with the current blue jerseys. A change in the Seahawks uniforms is highly unlikely this offseason, but who knows. All that I ask is that the Seahawks don't come out in lime green jerseys (see the Orlando Thunder of the WLAF)

My advice for the Seahawks for the 2005 season?

Construct a team that will make it to Detroit for Super Bowl XL February 5, 2006.

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For those wondering, this post was powered by the album Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode.

Only thirty-five more days until pitchers and catchers report to Peoria. This is coming fast. I say this knowing full well that we'll all be sitting here on March 24th just bored out of our minds waiting for the regular season to start and being sick of reading all the same fluff pieces from the dailies.

Mike Hargrove is out cruising, but before doing so, he's apparently drawn up quite a few lineups. He says Richie Sexson has been fourth in most of them, though he acknowledges that he has a few options in the fourth slot. He's told Raul Ibanez he hasn't been penciled into the DH slot. Basically, it's all based on brainstorming and pencil-and-paper, because it's not even spring training yet, and there hasn't been any time for Hargrove to be a mad lineup scientist with the batters actually hitting in, well, actuality. But hey, it's the offseason, and it's something for the fans to chew on.

You know how apparently it's bad English to end a sentence with a preposition? That's what I did with that Hargrove blurb. Saying "something on which to chew" just doesn't have the same effect as "something to chew on" does.

Well, it's a Finnigan article, so once again, there's your warning. Good God, Finnigan even used the phrase "training camp." Wrong sport, Bob. When it comes to baseball this time of year, the only word that comes before "training" is "spring," just like how in football, "ensuing" is followed most often by "kickoff" (and in basketball by "possession"). Bavasi apparently says that the Randy Winn to Houston rumors (Beltran's no longer there) don't have legs. So what's the speculation in the article regarding pitching? Pedro Astacio, Aaron Sele, and possibilities of minor-league contracts with invites. Please excuse me while I block this entire paragraph out of my mind.

Yes, it will be weird to have Bucky Jacobsen and Greg Dobbs at my old high school.

By the way, Randy Johnson's new number 41 has been worn by past Yankees such as...Sterling Hitchcock.

Mike Holmgren thought about stepping down, but he decided not to do that. Since Bob Whitsitt didn't fire him, he'll be back. Now we're officially in offseason mode. What to do with the rest of the team? Well, in the article, they point out free agency, healthiness, and just plain getting better. The fourth item? Holmgren had this to say about Koren Robinson: "I was counting on him to have a big year and it didn't happen. It hurt us." The sad thing is, I can't even tell myself that Koren truly knows he hurt this football team.

Yes, after this tough season, Holmgren is beat. Hell, I think even I might be beat after just watching it, covering it, and airing out about in on some piddly little weblog. Holmgren thinks he should have been the difference in the closer games, and that's eaten at him. His wife was worried about his health. I still can't believe the Seahawks didn't lock any of Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones, or Shaun Alexander last offseason. Simply mind-numbing. Was there any rationale behind this at all?

Yes, some Seahawks talked publicly about wishing there were less headcases on the team, that they have to get mentally tougher, etc. By the way, Koren Robinson? Still being held with kid gloves. I really hope whatever the problem with him is is eventually (at the right time) revealed, and it better be a damn good reason as to why he missed 6 games this year. Until then, I'm assuming he's a man who can make his own decisions. Assuming he's fully cognizant of his decisions, he's damn lucky he didn't lose either of those fumbles last Saturday, and if he drops any passes next year at home, the fans should just absolutely let him have it.

In amove surprising absolutely nobody, Mark Michaels was let go as the special teams coach of your Seattle Seahawks. I'm still flabbergasted that Pete Rodriguez left and somehow the special teams got WORSE than they were last year, and I thought they were horrid last year. I think we can all agree that when other coaches were summoned to help Michaels do special teams, the writing was on the wall. Holmgren has wide recievers coach Nolan Cromwell's back, even with the dropped passes situation. As for dropped passes, it definitely wasn't just a 2004 problem, lest we forget about Darrell Jackson's 2003 season. Holmgren also says Ray Rhodes didn't really have too much of a fair shake, what with all the injuries to the defense. As for getting burned in the backfield, though, that also isn't just a problem for this year. Anyone who remembers the games last year in Minnesota and Baltimore know this.

David Locke has a phrase for the Seahawks' state of affairs -- it's the .500 mentality. Judging by the comments that Grant Wistrom and Trent Dilfer made, it seems like they've been holding those thoughts for quite a long time. Though I'm not doubting anything they've said, I wish they'd have been on the field for most of the course of the season so their words would hold a bit more water. If Ken Hamlin, Mack Strong, or Steve Hutchinson come out and rail on the team, then I might look at this differently. I'm not doubting Dilfer and Wistrom at all, as they've done great things in the past. I just wish they'd played 12 games each or something so they'd have more of a perspective on it, that's all.

The Marvin Williams Watch
The Tar Heels have a HUUUUUGE home game against Georgia Tech tonight (ESPN telecast), and are at Wake Forest on Saturday.

The Huskies and Ducks are diffusing any rumors of intersquad animosity. How boring. Come on, guys.

Likewise, the Oregon game will not be televised tomorrow night due to the idiotic Pac10 television contract. Mentioned in the article is that the Pac10 doesn't necessarily want to get on ESPN because the latter wants the former as part of the 9pm Pacific games on Big Monday. So I guess it turns out it might not just be the Pac10's fault. Of course, this all flies in the face of what Mike Gastineau, Jeremy, and I believe in, which would be the bitchin' ESPN Pac10 Basketball Thursday that could be had. They've got two networks to do this with, and there's no hockey. What would Pac10 Thursdays be pushing out? Infinite reruns of Tilt? World Series of Poker? World's Strongest Man reruns from Malaysia and South Africa? As for not biting at having the late game on Big Monday, I guess I can see the Pac10's case in a way, but only if they think it'd be too late for anyone on the east coast to actually pay attention to it. It'd be a midnight game on the east coast.

This week, Gonzaga has home games against Loyola Marymount on Thursday and Pepperdine on Saturday.

For my take on the game, scroll down one post or click here if you're in the archive.

Revenge hath been served. It's almost too bad the teams play again tonight in LA; the Sonics won't have any time to savor this one. In things I didn't previously know, the Sonics held the Clippers without a basket for three minutes late in the fourth quarter. The defensive play I couldn't quite get my head around in the recap to the game was Fortson diving to tip the ball up the court, leading to the Radmanovic dunk. Oh, and there's a detailed description of the ball movement on the play leading to the key Rashard Lewis three, which account for one-third of his scoring tonight, due to the thigh contusion.

Sure, you might not be able to say much about the defense when they allow 99 points, but they clamped down when it mattered. They held the Clippers scoreless on four straight possessions late in that fourth quarter. If you read to the end of Percy Allen's article, you can learn why Ray Allen hated the Bulls back in the day.

Reggie Evans did a solid job last night in 22 minutes, bouncing back from gastroenteritis. The diet of champions? Jell-O, eggs, and sausages. You know, this is weird, but I find it almost enjoyable and funny in the weirdest way when Evans and Fortson react to the referees calling them for loose-ball fouls or moving screens even when it's blatantly obvious.

Dwane Casey will be coaching the Sonics tonight because Nate McMillan will be at his aunt's funeral. McMillan will return to the team on Thursday.

Tonight at LA Clippers
Friday vs. Golden State
Sunday vs. Cleveland
Tuesday vs. Denver

Seattle beat Tri-City 3-1. Thanks to what happened in the game below this one, the Thunderbirds have opened up an 11-point lead on Everett. The T-Birds are now 29-10-0-1 with a sparkling road record of 16-6. Last night, they won while missing three of their regulars (Tyler Metcalfe, Ryan Gibbons, Denis Tolpeko). Early in the second period, Ladislav Scurko tied the game at 1-1. WHL rookie David Linsley scored his first WHL goal with 12:31 to go in the final period for what held up as the game-winner. Aaron Gagnon put the game away with an empty-netter. Seattle outshot Tri-City 32-22. Gavin McHale stopped 21 in the Seattle net. Matt Hansen and Scott Jackson were both plus-2 skaters. Also of note is that the T-Birds along with Port of Seattle employees were able to raise $11449 for Northwest Medical Teams to help tsunami relief efforts in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Kootenay beat Everett 4-2. Everett was missing their top three scorers, and Kootenay had Nigel Dawes and goalie Jeff Glass, both members of Canada's gold medal team at the World Juniors just a week or so ago. The Silvertips managed to give up an even-strength goal, a shorthanded goal, a power play goal, and an empty-netter (in that order). Mitch Love's goal with 9:12 left in the third period brought the 'Tips to within one at 3-2, but Casey Lee's empty-netter sealed the deal 3:59 later. Everett outshot Kootenay 29-24, and Mike Wall stopped 21 for the Silvertips.

Portland beat Regina 5-2. Three games into their eight-game road trip, the Winter Hawks find themselves having won consecutive games for only the fourth time this season. They have an opportunity to post their first three-game win streak of the season with their next game. In this one, two quick goals midway through the second period by Kyle Bailey and Alex Aldred made sure that the Pats' lead was short-lived. Team Canada member Braydon Coburn got a backbreaking goal with three seconds left in the second period to make it 3-1 Winter Hawks. Sasha Golin got his first WHL goal on the power play in the third period, and Cody McLeod iced the game with an empty-netter. Portland outshot Regina 40-32. Dustin Butler stopped 30 for Portland in his 25th straight start in the Portland net. McLeod is now 14th all-time on the Winter Hawks career penalty minutes list, pushing ahead of Andrew Ference. Bailey, Mike Funk, Nick Hotson, and Brian Woolger were all plus-2 for the Winter Hawks.

Vancouver beat Prince George 4-1. Matt Robinson scored on a power play in the first period, and Tim Kraus accounted for the game-winner in the middle of the second period. Marek Schwarz in the Vancouver net held the Cougars out of it the rest of the way, sans one goal. For good measure, Conlan Seder followed up with a one-timer about two minutes after the Kraus goal to stake Portland out to a 3-0 lead. The final goal was accounted for with Mitch Bartley's empty-netter. Portland outshot Prince George 27-23. Marek Schwarz stopped 22 in the Vancouver net.

Manitoba beat San Antonio 6-3. The almost-Canucks put away the almost-Panthers. Jimmy Roy assisted on the game-winner and got the Gordie Howe Hat Trick (goal, assist, fight). The Moose had a 2-0 lead after a dominant first period (they outshot the Rampage 14-5) with goals by Alexandre Burrows and Roy. Ryan Kesler answered a Rampage goal in the second period, putting in a rebound to make it 3-1 about eight minutes into the period. The Moose were able to answer each of San Antonio's goals in the third period thanks to Justin Morrison's game-winner (34 seconds after a San Antonio goal) and Ryan Kesler's empty-netter, with Lee Goren's power-play goal sandwiched in between. Manitoba outshot the Rampage 30-24, and Alex Auld stopped 21 in the Moose net. Manitoba had six skaters who where plus-2.

Tonight: Kootenay at Seattle, Portland at Brandon
Tomorrow: Manitoba at San Antonio
Friday: Everett at Vancouver, Seattle at Tri-City, Portland at Moose Jaw, Manitoba at Houston, Puget Sound at Portland
Saturday: Vancouver at Everett, Portland at Kootenay, Puget Sound at Portland

Have a great middle-of-the-week day, everybody. After all, it's the middle of the week. Go have yourself a mini-solstice parade or something.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005


SuperSonics 104, Clippers 99

(final content posted ~10:30p)

Here's tonight's scrawl.

The FSNNW broadcast was using incredibly slow-motion replay at times tonight, and Kevin Calabro was absolutely digging it.

Reggie Evans started tonight.

1st qtr
Jerome James actually played pretty well in the first quarter (4 points, 4 rebounds, good defensive paint presence). Reggie Evans is actually playing, and it's nice to see him down there raising hell again. Rick Brunson busted a three on Luke Ridnour at the end of the quarter, and hit another when Luke took a nearby defender, leaving Brunson wide open. Ray Allen has 10 after one quarter, Danny Fortson has 6, Antonio Daniels has 5. The Sonics were 10-for-10 at the line in the first quarter.

After one quarter -- SuperSonics 31, Clippers 27

2nd qtr
7:02 Collison had a real nice drive and layup and foul for SEA 40-32. 4:55 Clippers only shooting 32% but holding close...both teams have made 13 shots from the field, but the Clippers have put up 10 more shots. 4:34 Murray sticks a three...nice to see some contribution there; he's seeing some significant time tonight. 3:04 Simmons foul and one puts Clippers within four at 46-42...Sonics had opened a nine-point lead; can't seem to shake the Clippers. Until Ray Allen beat the buzzer with a driving layup, the Sonics had gone 3:39 without hitting a basket.

SuperSonics 51, Clippers 50

Half stats
The Sonics are shooting 41% from the field, the Clippers 40% (LA has taken 8 more shots and hit three more than the Sonics). The Sonics shot 15-for-17 from the line. The Clippers got seven offensive boards (the broadcast says nine). The Sonics have held Elton Brand to six points on six shots, and he hasn't gotten to the line (he's got six rebounds though).

Rashard Lewis went out at about the 7-minute mark in the first quarter with a right thigh contusion. He was being evaluated in the locker room, and Ron Murray is seeing a lot more time as an indirect result. Murray shot 1-for-5 in the first half and bricked a layup from under the basket.

The Sonics really didn't find any semblance of rhythm offensively. From the broadcast, the Sonics are getting beat by the Clippers 24-16 in the paint, 9-5 on second chances, and 8-3 on the fast break.

Ray Allen has 16 at half, Antonio Daniels has 8, Vladimir Radmanovic and Danny Fortson each have 6, Jerome James has 4.

3rd qtr
~10:45 James blocks twice on one possession. 10:36 Clippers take the lead 53-51 on a Maggette jumper, Allen answers with three after Sonic timeout. 9:28 Lewis knocks down first jumper of night SEA 56-55. 8:32 James blocks fifth shot of night. Sonics unable to take advantage of Clipper turnovers. 6:58 Ridnour forces turnover after inbound, gets Lewis for an alleyoop slam TIE 60-60. 5:42 Allen puts in a three from left corner SEA 65-60, answered on the other end by Brunson. 3:53 Ridnour nice drive-and-feed to open Evans under basket for foul and miss SEA 69-65...tempo starting to pick up, Vlad rebounded the free throw, Ridnour hit a basket SEA 71-65. 1:41 Brand foul and one puts Clippers back ahead 72-71. 0:47.3 Radmanovic three ties game at 74.

After three quarters -- Clippers 76, SuperSonics 74

Still, there's absolutely no flow to the offense, and the defense isn't able to make enough consecutive stops. If the Sonics force turnovers, the offense doesn't score on the other end. Also, the Sonics are only shooting 41%. The Clippers seem to be able to drive the lane almost at will at times, and they also seem to be moving the ball fairly well, enough to get to open shooters. The Sonics are now getting beat 40-31 on the boards.

4th qtr
11:44 Collison called for charge on first play of quarter. 11:19 Fortson fouled on second Sonic offensive play of quarter, hits both three throws, ties game at 76. 10:47 Collison finishes with bucket inside after great ball movement...Collison stole ball on other end SEA 78-76, answered on other end by Brunson. 10:10 Radmanovic three SEA 81-78. 9:36 Daniels layup miss cleaned up by Fortson, who is fouled (Fortson had set multiple screens for Daniels on the possession), hits free throw SEA 84-78, answered by Kittles. 7:47 Radmanovic deep 2, SEA 88-82. 6:27 Allen three left side SEA 91-86, answered by Kittles three. 5:37 Clippers tie it at 91. 5:00 Sonics force turnover, Radmanovic slams on fast break, answered on other end by Kaman. 3:43 Fortson gets two fouls called on him in the span of about 5 seconds...4 fouls to 5. 3:27 Radmanovic drives to basket, fouled (block) by Brand, hits both SEA 95-94. 3:09 Kaman stuffed by Lewis, no one picked up Kaman with the open lane. 2:32 Daniels high bank shot over Kaman SEA 97-94. 1:34 Fortson intercepts pass, 1:16 Lewis three SEA 100-94. 1:06 Fortson "block foul" called on a Brand drive, his sixth. 0:17.0 Allen driving layup with three Clippers in the paint SEA 102-97. 0:15.9 Brand gets a dunk off the inbound, Collison beats everyone down the floor and gets fouled, SEA 104-99.

Ray had a great night (he was the only Sonic in double figures after three quarters), Radmanovic was solid, and Fortson and Daniels off the bench.

But sheesh, what a weird game. The same two teams play in LA tomorrow, and I hope the Sonics can get some more coherent play on both ends of the floor. The Sonics had a couple of 9-point leads in the game, but they went away pretty quickly, and they never were able to pull away. It seriously seemed like the Clippers and Sonics just traded baskets the entire night.

Meanwhile, the Sonics got beat pretty well on the glass tonight even with the return of Reggie Evans. Evans did seem like his usual agitating self though. Still, the Sonics seemed a step slow on defense and sometimes were beaten by the Clippers' ball movement, enabling the Clippers to have a glut of open shots. The Sonics didn't shoot too well from the floor tonight, but they did make up for it at the line and from beyond the arc.

Ray Allen 31 pts/6 reb/7 ast (9-20 FG, 5-10 3pt, 8-8 free throws), Rashard Lewis 9 pts/0 reb/2 stl/1 blk (4-10 FG, 1-3 3pt, 24 min), Reggie Evans 5 pts/9 reb (2-4 FG, 22 min)

Vladimir Radmanovic 18 pts/7 reb (7-13 FG, 2-4 3pt, 30 min), Danny Fortson 11 pts/7 reb/2 blk (1-4 FG, 9-9 free throws, 22 min), Antonio Daniels 10 pts/3 reb/5 ast (4-8 FG, 29 min), Nick Collison 7 pts (15 min), Ron Murray 3 pts (1-5 FG, 10 min)

Jerome James Watch
4 pts/4 reb/5 blk (2-3 FG, 19 min)...solid night for him

shot 35-for-80 from the field (43.8%), shot 10-for-20 from downtown (50%), shot 24-for-27 from the free-throw line (88.9%), were outrebounded 47-40, bench outscored Clippers' bench 49-23 (outrebounded them 19-13)

In a disturbing note, all five of the Clippers' starters scored in double figures, along with Mikki Moore off the bench (10). I thought Bobby Simmons was going to have a better night, but Rick Brunson was left open way too often for my liking. Also, whenever I see Corey Maggette score against the Sonics, I just get a little bit sick because he was originally drafted by the Sonics.

The only two shooters who really were off tonight were Ron Murray and (more importantly) Luke Ridnour. Ridnour missed 8 of 11 shots, but still managed to dish off 11 assists, so he still greatly contributed to the offense.

The Sonics put up 27 free throws tonight and sank 24, which I thought was encouraging. Ray Allen hit all of his eight shots from the line, which I really liked -- I think he should just drive the lane at will, get hacked, and shoot free throws all day when he's not bombing threes. The other main source of free throws was Danny Fortson once again, who was perfect in nine attempts. A big man that can take the ball down low, get hacked, and hit two free throws on a regular basis is just invaluable.

Also with Fortson, he had a couple of really key defensive plays late in the fourth quarter. I think one was a scramble for the ball on the defensive boards, but the one I KNOW I remember is the pass he intercepted which was cashed in by Rashard Lewis for a key three, probably the dagger of the game. He made both plays while playing with 5 fouls.

The main mission tomorrow has to be to make more consistent stops on defense and to be able to rotate in time so the Clippers don't get off as many open shots. That and they could probably stand to shoot a bit better from the field. The free-throw shooting tonight was very encouraging though, and the Sonics have the free-throw shooters to go to the line if they can't manage to sink their shots from the field (I hope I don't come off like I'm preaching this too much, but I vehemently think it's true).

I asked Jinkies what the Sonics had to do to beat the Clippers another time tomorrow night. His reply? "That is funny. I am liking you."

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Seahawks quarterback Trent Dilfer called into KJR-AM Monday afternoon (Jan. 10) to Dave Grosby's show to talk about his thoughts on the 2004 season and what lies ahead for the team.

If you're a Seahawks fan, it's well worth your time to listen to this interview. Not only does this team need more players like Ken Hamlin (who has brought an attitude seen by very few players in the past decade in Seattle) they also need more players like Dilfer, who has tremendous leadership. This offseason is going to be very interesting for the Seahawks, with 16 free agents on the horizon. How in the hell did they let it come to this? Hell if I know. But it is what it is.

I'll have my offseason plan post for the Seahawks in the near future. Free agency starts on March 2 and the NFL Draft is on April 23-24. One thing's for sure, Mark Michaels won't be around in 2005 as the special teams coach. Thank goodness for that. To give you a little sneak peak of my offseason plan, the Seahawks have to find a solid kickoff/punt returner. The last return man to really excite Seahawks fans was Charlie Rogers.

The offseason has only just begun. I wasn't ready for it to start this week, however.

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It's the 11th day of the new year and I need to ramble.

It's been awhile since I've rambled, so what better place than here and what better time than now is there to ramble?

---You have to love the New York headline writers. As posted at Sports and Bremertonians yesterday, Randy Johnson had a little hissy-fit with a WCBS cameraman. Over/under on when Randy blows up in the New York media? I'll say June 24.

---Remember Nina Gordon? She was part of Veruca Salt during the mid-to-late 1990s before starting her solo career. Have you ever listened to N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" and said to yourself, "when will somebody ever cover this track?" I never thought of that happening in my lifetime. Well, the lesson in life is, I'm an idiot. Check this out, Gordon covering "Straight Outta Compton". Who knew hardcore gangsta rap could be so beautiful?

---EA Sports is at it again. First, the exclusive deal with the NFL. Now, EA Sports has signed a deal with the Arena Football League to be the exclusive developer of AFL video games. The first EA Sports AFL game should come out before the 2006 season. In related news, I own "Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed". That game was a pathetic version of "NFL Blitz", so here's to EA Sports improving the Arena Football league product. Here's an idea for EA Sports: How about adding the AF2 teams as well? Maybe use the Arena Football 2 teams as hidden teams? If that were to happen, then more games could be sold in the AF2 markets, such as Little Rock and Huntsville, Alabama. With ideas like this, maybe I should just quit studying to become a writer and go into marketing instead.

---No, I didn't pay full price for the Kurt Warner Playstation game. I paid a grand total of $2.79 at KMart when the Port Orchard KMart had their closeout sale.

---Let's see, there's an offensive coordinator down in Southern California who should be a head coach. But Syracuse decides to hire former NFL and Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson as their head coach? Maybe it's me, but I would think that Chow's offense would be awesome to watch inside a dome, since the Orange play in the Carrier Dome. But in the meantime, Chow stays at USC and the Trojans should win the national championship again next season, barring any unforseen circumstances.

---Doug Christie is now in Orlando. And guess what? Steve Francis isn't happy about the Magic trading away his good buddy Cuttino Mobley. I'm.....SHOCKED! I mean, how could anybody see this coming? We're talking about Stevie Franchise, that wonderful class act!

---Did you know that Christie and his wife could be featured in a new reality show?

---Speaking of reality shows, I don't watch too many of them. But one show I will watch and you should too, is the 4th season of "The Surreal Life". Two words for you:


New episodes are on VH1 every Sunday night and repeats throughout the week. Check your local listings.

---It just hit me while watching the Randy Johnson press conference at MLB.com. Two of the big three superstars of the Mariners in the mid-to-late 1990s are now New York Yankees, Johnson and Alex Rodriguez. Too bad that I'm not stunned by this news.

---Johnson will wear #41 in New York, not #51, as it is already worn by Bernie Williams. Good move by Randy there, because Bernie is more of a Yankee than he ever will be. Bernie is also one of the few classy Yankees.

---Going back to Randy and Alex being Yankees now, it brings up the possibility of Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander and left tackle Walter Jones leaving town. If both of those guys, or one of them, were to leave town, it wouldn't shock me. I'm a Seattle sports fan, nothing shocks me anymore.

---I'm hoping that the Miami Dolphins finish worse than their 4-12 record in 2005 under new head coach Nick Saban. The man is a prick and doesn't deserve to have any success in the NFL. Somehow I don't think the drunk Cajuns down in Baton Rouge miss the guy too much, even though he did bring them an SEC title in 2003.

---No, I don't consider LSU national champions for the 2003 season. That honor belongs to the USC Trojans.

---Dan Marino, Steve Young, and Derrick Thomas are among the 15 finalists for the 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. The official class will be announced on February 5, one day before Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville.

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

I'm done rambling for now.

Bring on the Rams.....


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