Dear Vancouver Fans,
As some of you may know, I am a pretty big Sharks fan. With the Sharks coming fresh off a first round sweep of the Vancouver Canucks, I am feeling pretty good. Living in the greater Seattle area, I come across a lot of Canucks fans. This has generated a good amount of friendly rivalries with people I know and a bunch I don’t know. Whether it’s watching the games between the two teams here on TV or watching them live in Vancouver, I can always find a Canucks’ fan close by. Let’s all be honest, nothing is better in sports than some good ol’ fashion trash talking between fans. Not the trash talking that escalates into someone getting in a fight, but the kind where you drink beers together despite one team getting swept out of the playoffs. I have never come across a mean Canadian (except on Xbox Live, but who isn’t a total dick on there?). So, getting together with Canucks fans is always a good time, especially when the Sharks are beating the crap out of them.
This year’s series was pretty much the opposite of the last time these teams met in the postseason. That time, I am sure most Canucks’ fans remember well, was an “everything is going Vancouver’s way” type of series. What made it even worse for us Sharks fans, was it was in the Western Conference Finals. Every bounce, call and save went Vancouver’s way. This year it was time for the karma train to pull into the San Jose station. With a late goal in game two and two overtime victories, you couldn’t feel better as a Sharks’ fan and worse as Canucks’ fan. I have to admit, that makes me smile.
I have to admit, I will miss the beers and the constant back and forth of that I have shared with Canuck’s fans this year. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed San Jose advancing, but there is a part of me that wishes it was at another teams expense. Now, you might as well root for the Sharks. I mean, it could be worse, Calgary, Edmonton, Chicago or Detroit didn’t sweep you. Needless to say, it’s been fun. Good luck next season, I know the Sharks will be waiting in the playoffs for you again.
When I sat down to write you this letter, I was going to just have it filled with nothing but trash talk. The truth is, rivalries make sports fun and I enjoyed another season hitting the bars, texting you after the Canucks lost and teaming up to make Red Wings fans feel terrible. I’m looking forward to doing it again next season. Make sure you head down to San Jose to get a look at the Stanley Cup sometime soon.
The guy who likes the better team:
There have recently been reports of both Auburn University and the University of Oregon having major violations with their football teams. This allows us to revisit the punishment of vacated wins and scholarships being lost for sports programs, due to that being the most likely disciplinary action that will be taken with these schools. Both vacated wins and loss of scholarships are the most ridiculous punishments possible. Vacating wins doesn’t do anything, but put an asterisk next to a season in the record books. Let’s take the 2005 National Championship Game for example. USC beat the crap out of Oklahoma 55-19. Now, technically no one won that game. The problem is we all remember that game. To say no one won that game is crazy. Vacated wins does nothing except take a trophy out of a case. All the players, coaches, fans and media know who won.
As for loss of scholarship, all this does is hurt a bunch of kids who had nothing to do with any of the violations. It also creates a trickle down effect that affects a few kids at the bottom of the scholarship offers pool, not the kids that have the talent to play at a Oregon or Auburn. It affects kids who probably wouldn’t even have a chance to play at the large school receiving sanctions. Let’s take a look at that USC example again.
USC lost ten scholarships per year for three years for the violations of the 2004-2005 season. That is ten kids that could have played at the top program in the country. Now, they have to go to elsewhere. That takes ten spots from ten other schools at the same level or just a step down from USC, for example: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State and others.
Those ten spots continue to trickle down and take roster spots for kids who would have ended up at schools like Memphis, UAB, and Central Michigan. This effect will work its way down to the Montanas and Portland States of the world. Moving through all teams, regardless of division, that can offer a full football scholarship.
There is a finite amount of scholarships that can be offered throughout college football. There are under 7,000 scholarships to the 225 FBS and FCS schools and there are over one million high school football players trying to earn that potential financial aid for education. You take ten scholarships away you aren’t taking them from the Andrew Luck and RGIII’s of the world, players of that caliber will receive a scholarship no matter what. This type of punishment is taking a scholarship from the kid who starred at a 2A high school and was going to go to Portland State. His spot was filled by the falling talent that got bumped off the better team and fell to the next best team.
The NCAA says they are punishing the school, but realistically they are punishing future kids. Even with the bowl bans, they are just taking away opportunity for kids that had nothing to do with the violations. If a kid cheated on a test in his first period class, you wouldn’t take it out on the second period class. You need to punish the one responsible. Make players pay back scholarships. Fine coaches, even if they have already left the school. Make the school pay back money. The schools and coaches are the ones who made the millions off the success of the team, not the student-athletes.
The easiest way to deal with these situations is to fine the school large amounts. Let them play in bowls still, but don’t let them collect the bowl money. Take their cut and spread it out to other schools in their conference or across the country. This doesn’t take away kids’ educations and opportunity to have the same fortunes as other football players. The fine will also take away the pointless vacating wins thing (which by the way, they should vacate losses too). It will also be determined by how much the school benefited financially off those wins. Money is the main reason these violations happen. Attacking the deep pockets of these programs would definitely get the attention of those in charge.
Start taking away the money and change will happen.
I am sure most of you have heard of The Dance, formally The Bigger Dance, on KJR 950. If you haven’t, it is an NCAA basketball style bracket with the most relevant and beautiful women in the world. We have have started a pool.
Feel free to join the No Fair Weather Fans pool and see how you stack up against the readers of our blog. The prize for first, as always, is a pitcher of beer at any Seattle bar on us and a spot on the podcast (if you plan on winning, you better download Skype). Plus, you can win even better prizes through KJR. The tournament starts at 8:50 am on Thursday, April 18th. So fill out your brackets before then.
Pool #: 657
Brad and I will be dominating the AM radio waves with a 50,000 watt stick. We will be hosting KRKO 1380′s The Locker Room on Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Our good friend Maury Eskenazi can’t do his regular hosting duties, so he was kind enough to let us turn his show into a zoo. We will be attacking all kinds of topics and having a few guests as well.
You can tune in on the regular radio dial at 1380 AM or tune in on the fancy internet.
- Fantasy baseball with Andy Greenberg from Arizona 620 in Phoenix and Fan Ball Weekly. You can find his podcast at ArizonaSports.com, facebook.com/FanBallWeekly, the Podcast Twitter: @FanBallWeekly, iTunes (search Fantasy Baseball Weekly) or his personal twitter: @AndyTheG
- NFL Draft with Josh Deceuster from Draft Breakdown and @DB_JoshD on Twitter
- Entertainment with guitarist Mischa Kianne from the band Witchburn
Other topics that are going to get ran through are Sounders, players committing to the NBA draft, Mariners, Brady Quinn, Peyton Siva, Emerald Downs and the fast food review.
Also, Dimitri Sandeman will be keepin’ real with us the whole show. You can always check out The Locker Room on Facebook.
Man, poop has hit the fan in Piscataway, New Jersey. Head basketball coach, Mike Rice, took his coaching a little to serious and his actions reached the “inappropriate” level (here is the video). Did you watch the video? Good, I don’t want to explain what he did. I want to get into the real reason he was fired. It is really simple math. Here are the numbers .463 and zero. That is his win percentage and a zero representing many things: winning seasons at Rutgers, national titles and NCAA tournament appearances. Those numbers are the real reason Rice got the axe.
We have seen a coach go about things very similarly and he got to keep his job. I am sure you all remember some guy named Bobby Knight. His numbers are a little better. Just looking at his time at Indiana, he had a .731 win percentage, three national titles. The only zero he had was the losses his team had in 1975-76. Yes, Knight eventually got canned, but it wasn’t the chair throwing, the player choking, the fan pushing, the cop punching, the lack of sensitivity toward rape, the cussing at Big Ten commissioners, the shooting of hunting partners or the grabbing of students. It was the losing.
Bobby Knight had quite a few more incidents over a longer period of time and got to keep his job. Why? It’s simple, he won. Winning cures all problems. Mike Rice no longer has a job, because he didn’t win. Losing creates problems that may not even exist, so when the problem does exist, it makes it exponentially worse. The point is when you win, you can get away with murder. My suggestion to everyone is just win a bunch and then go crazy. You’ve earned it!
The headline seems a little confusing doesn’t it? Well, let me clear it up for you. Today is the first game of the 2013 Mariners baseball season. They are playing against the Athletics in Oakland at 7:05p to start the season (weird). The good news is the game will be played on the brand new giant 1080p HD video display above the center field bleachers.
The screen is 201.5 feet long and 56.7 feet tall. That is 2,182 42-inch television screens. You will be able to see pitch, hit, chew spit, cup adjustment, and blade of grass as clear as day.
There is free parking down by Safeco Field starting at 4:00p and doors open at 6:00p. Edgar’s Cantina and other concessions will be open. Oh hey! The fences were moved in! Homers galore! It’s like a whole new Safeco and No Fair Weather Fans will be down there. Come down, have a few beers and talk some sports with us. BYOB to the conversations.
We will also are having a contest. Guess the number of games the Mariners will win this season. The tie-breaker is give us the total number of dongs they hit. The tie-breaker of the tie-breaker is to tell us tonight, in person at the game and you have an extra leg up. The prize will be a free pitcher of beer at your choice of any Seattle bar and you get to spit hot fire on our podcast.
Look forward to seeing you down there. Happy Felix Day!
All these upsets are making this tournament fun! Relax, everyone’s brackets are wrecked. Dunk U. (FGCU) has won everyone’s heart, not Hart. Mike Hart and the Zags are out, much to the pleasure of Ben. The Mariners made a few moves and we are torn on whether they are good or not. Watch out of all the innuendos!
Other topics touched on:
- Hansen swoops another 7% on the Kings.
- Heat streak is stopped at 27.
- USA soccer win in the snow and “win” a point in Mexico.
I heard a lot of chatter from the irrational Gonzaga fans before the NCAA tournament that Mike Hart and the #1 ranked Bulldogs were going to have no problem running through The Big Dance. There was the non-stop “Mike Hart has so much hustle!” or the “Long hair don’t care, Kelly Olynyk can’t be stopped!” Saying a guy has a lot of hustle without mentioning any other part of his game is the same as saying an ugly person is nice (trust me I know, I am really nice). Good players don’t get mentioned with the word hustle, because it goes without saying. All of this, of course, was based on the Zags wrecking the WCC. I know, I know, the WCC is terrible but Gonzaga fans were serious with the WCC talk. I am not even going to get back into how terrible that conference was.
The wheels almost came off in the first game against Southern. As RJ stated in the previous post, that game didn’t have any affect on the next game, which is true. It was merely just a sign of what was to come. Southern exposed Gonzaga for what they were, which is a below the rim team who relied too much on jumpers. That works fine against the crappy WCC, but it doesn’t work against the best teams in the nation. Wichita State put the nails in the coffin on a familiar sight for Gonzaga, putting the Bulldogs out in the Round of 32.
Now that we have seen Gonzaga go do the same ol’, same ol’ in the tourney, all you irrational Zag fans can zip it up with all the “we deserve to be #1″ talk, forever. Gonzaga is a very successful program and what has happened in Spokane fan should be proud of. However, they are only the best of the second tier. Your blind fandom as irrational fans makes for a great atmosphere in The Kennel, but makes it impossible to tell you about the flaws of your team. No matter how many times you were told your team lacks depth, back-court size, they hadn’t played a decent team in almost three months, or the lack of athleticism, you wouldn’t listen to the rational folks of the world. Maybe, you will start to listen after another bad showing on the big boys’ stage.
Irrational Zag fan you have once again been humbled by the poor play of your team against tournament teams. I have used my “Jump to Conclusions” mat to notice that your lack of Facebook, Twitter, texts and other social media mean…
Last week, the Duke Blue Devils took a loss to the unranked Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. The game was an exciting and close game which ended in a five point win for the “good guys.” As soon as the final horn went off, the University of Virginia students rushed the court. Which, in my opinion, happens a little to frequently for my liking and I am 100% against rushing when it isn’t a major upset. However, this was an unranked Virginia team against the number three team in the country. I can see a cause for a ruckus after a win like that. This isn’t two unranked teams who just happen to be playing their rivalry game. This is a pretty good upset, one that warrants an court storming. Well, when Coach K got to the press conference, he wasn’t too happy with how the whole thing went down.
After that mild mannered court rushing, the winningest college basketball coach of all time expressed his views on fans rushing the floor. He spouted off a bunch of hypotheticals about player, coach and fan safety. Now I am paraphrasing here, but it went a little something like this: What if a player punches a fan? What if a fan gets in a players face? What if the coaches get into it with a spectator? Ok, we get it Coach. Crazy things can happen. How often have they happened in the past, Coach? Looking at the video above, as well as a few others, the security staff did a very good job of blocking you and your players from any fan interaction. Not only did they do a good job, it looks like all those fans avoided anyone associated with your program. Pretty sure Cavalier fans were as classy as you can be rushing the court in the faces of your opponent.
Coach K you just lost to a kid that played in one of the lowest levels of high school basketball in the state of Washington. Face it Mike, you just don’t like losing. When you get up on the microphone next time, just tell the truth….
By now, I am sure most of you have heard the Minnesota Golden Gophers beat the #1 Indiana Hoosiers, last night at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. This has fans in Spokane getting really excited at the chance at having that “#1″ next to Gonzaga in Monday’s rankings. I am here to tell you Gonzaga not only doesn’t deserve to have the top ranking, but they won’t be sitting on top come Monday.
Let’s first start with the last time Indiana lost as the top ranked team in the land. They lost at Illinois, 74-72 and won at Ohio State, 81-68, before the next poll came out. At the time they held 58 of the 65 first place Associated Press votes. After the loss, there was a four-way split for the first place votes between Indiana (26), Duke (20), Miami (17) and Gonzaga (2). This will most likely be the case again. With Indiana holding all but one (Gonzaga) of the AP first place votes in the current poll. The votes will again be split between multiple teams come Monday, which will likely include: Indiana, Read the rest of this entry »