Saturday, September 8, 2007

Louisiana Fried Chicken & Chinese Food: 9/7

Yesterday's show was our first and we covered a lot of ground. College football, NFL, Rick Ankiel, and the entire Manning Family. If you missed it I'm including a few links so you can download it. If you are wondering why I posted the Jim Mora video below, well, check out the show and it will give you context.

To Download Click Here

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Fantasy

Frank Gore, on his way to breaking every bone in his body and fucking up my fantasy season.

This season marks the first time I've ever dabbled in the mystical world of fantasy football. Despite being an NFL fanatic for pretty much all of my life, the cyber aspect of fandom never reached me until I started joining NCAA pick 'em leagues and filling out March Madness brackets last year. At that point, I figured I may as well get a fantasy league together with my friends for this season.

Fast-forward to this season, and that became a reality when 13 friends and I joined forces and formed the Bropartment Lives On (don't ask) league. I gotta say, I'm pretty excited. With the luck of landing the 5th pick in the draft and the blissful stupidity of my former roommate picking Maurice Jones-Drew with the 2nd overall pick, I was able to land my boy Frank Gore with my first pick.

Rounding out the roster of Real Bropartment (again, don't ask) includes the likes of Donovan McNabb, Hines Ward, Edgerrin James (rebound year!), and the roided-up, Lights-Out defense of the city of San Diego. Hopefully my top two picks (Gore and McNabb) don't both end up breaking their legs like they usually do and send my season into a tailspin. Regardless, I'm looking at a top 5 finish for my team.

With the 7th overall pick, Glenn was a total homer like me and went with LSU alum Joseph "Joey, Live and Let" Addai. The rest of The Judges include Clinton "Coach Janky Broken Right Hand" Portis, Marc Bulger (who has a really funny name to me), Plaxico Burress, and Vincent Jackson.

Objectively, I'd give my team the slight edge. The Judges have reliable points in the high scoring offenses of the the Rams (Bulger), Colts (Addai), and Chargers (Jackson), but Real Bropartment has star power with Frank Gore, McNabb and Edgerrin James. The conventional wisdom is go for the stats, not the name, but these names have the numbers to back up the stature and I expect a return to form for Edgerrin James this year. If not for my sake, then at least for the Cardinals' sake.

Week 8 is the scheduled matchup of these two superpowers, and Yahoo!'s projection shows a 4 point advantage to Glenn's crew... with Edgerrin James on a bye week. With the cronies on Real Bropartment playing cupcake teams and the weak New Orleans defense, I expect large returns and, of course, the win.

May the best (fantasy) team win.

- Carman

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Crunching Numbers : Sept 4

The first installment of Crunching Numbers features the Notre Dame quarterback crew and Georgia Tech d-linemen.

Irish quarterbacks were sacked 9 times this weekend.

LSU #1 in Week 2 ESPNU (Fan) Poll

Why not?

As I struggle with accepting the possibility that my school might not be the #1 team in the nation tomorrow when the AP and USA Today polls are released, I have already accepted the fact that LSU is viewed as the best team in the nation by the most vocal fans. The ESPNU Allstate Standings have already come out for Week 2 and USC is #2. No, it's not because USC let the Vandals of Idaho hang around until the 4th quarter (they didn't). It's also not because USC's keystone players underperformed (Booty looked pretty good). It's an entirely different reason not having to do with USC at all.

LSU just looked really good.

It's what I saw and it's what all college football fans saw on Thursday night. LSU looked great. Sure Miss St. turned the ball over 7 times but that shouldn't take away from the fact that LSU pitched a shutout. Yes, you can make the case that the offense wasn't all that impressive, but I would argue they did what their coaches asked for and then some. 45 points against a SEC team (away) deserves a pat on the back. The opening game of every season is bound to bring butterflies to even the strongest stomachs on the field and we probably saw that with above-average (although not outstanding) performance of the LSU offense. You may have forgotten but Flynn did lead LSU to the stomping of Miami in a recent Peach Bowl so we know he can perform under pressure. He's a veteran so we know he has a firm hold on the offense. And the talent surrounding him is more than enough to spread the attention around. Hester, Holliday, and Doucet are going to put up big numbers this season. I'd say the offense is in good hands.

Oh, and I'll give you one name on defense: Glenn Dorsey. Wouldn't be surprised to see him paralyze one or two QBs before the season's over.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Shot Heard 'Round the... Gulf?

The following is some detailed context to one of the greatest moments in college sports history.

So growing up in Baton Rouge I didn't get all that much exposure to things outside the realm of food (damn good) and sports (also good). It's no coincidence Louisiana is prime pickin's for high school athletes... there's nothing else to do. But it's not altogether a bad thing. Watching a college baseball team with 5 national championships in 10 years is certainly rare. Well between 1991 and 2000, the LSU Tigers did just that. 1996 was a special year. The Tigers went 43-13 in the regular season including a 20-10 SEC conference record. Even thought I was only 10, I'll always have vivid memories of LSU feeling like the underdog that year. Florida swept the Tigers in the regular season and again beat them in SEC Tournament play. Disappointed with a poor SEC tourny showing, The Tigers bounced back in the first stage of the post-season, regional play. They hosted UNLV, Austin Peay, and Georgia Tech coming out on top after all was said and done. On to Omaha...

After a win against CWS-rival Wichita St. the Tigers again had to face SEC foe Florida Gators. No one thought they had a chance. Florida had beaten them all of the 4 times they faced each other that year. I think it's something in the water because LSU always seems to rise to the occasion in Omaha. They won 9-4. The Tigers then had to wait a day to see who they would play out of the losers bracket. Guess who? Florida. This one was a pitchers' duel but the Tigers again won 2-1. Although Florida had beaten the Tigers 4 our of 6 games that year, LSU won when it counted. After those two games I'm sure Coach Bertman and his crew felt on top of the world sending UF back to the Florida heat. The task was not done, though.

Regulars to Omaha, UMiami Hurricanes, had also sweep their bracket. While LSU would eventually send a handful of their players to the pros, so would Miami. Most notably, Alex Cora and Pat Burrell. Their line-up terrorized pitchers all year and batted in 8 against the Tigers to pull ahead 8-7 in the 9th inning. After batting catcher Tim Lanier around to 3rd base, Bertman opted to pitch-hit. He decided to put in Warren Morris. A year before and no one would have second guessed the decision, but Morris had sat out the entire year with a lingering wrist injury: he didn't have one recorded at-bat in 1996. Call it it... nevermind it was luck... Either way, first pitch: walk-off homerun. HOLY SHIT.

I can't stress how amazing and unlikely that outcome is in that situation. The ball cleared the right-field fence by a few inches but it cleared it. No one could believe what just happened. I was in New Jersey with my family and ran out the door and down the street screaming at the top of my lungs "Hurray!" or some other corny exclamation followed closely by my dad who was doing the same, probably with his shirt off. Miami shortstop Cora was not only amazed... he was devastated. I used to laugh and remember how just laid there, face down in the infield dirt, crying into his hat. I still kinda chuckle, but I do feel sorry for him. The odds are better to come home to Carmen Electra in your bed. To this day, his homer is the only walk-off championship-winning home run in College World Series history. In addition, it is the only 2-out, ninth inning, walk-off home run in a championship of any collegiate or professional level. It had such an impact on my dad that he decided to bring me to the CWS the next two year and skip the family vacations altogether (where I saw LSU win in '97 and, ironically, two Pac-10 teams slug it out as USC beat ASU 21-14 in '98).

I still get pumped up about the CWS even if LSU or USC aren't playing. This I have to credit to Warren Morris's one hit in 1996.

Monday, August 27, 2007

He's the Bruin

Carman hails from the concrete suburban jungles of the East Bay suburb of Castro Valley where he grew up spending Sundays (and the occaisional Monday nights) with his dad watching 49ers games on TV.

While he hardly remembers the end of Joe Montana's tenure with the team, he still holds a resentment against the Chiefs for snatching away their hometown hero but was fortunate to catch all of Steve Young's career, including a blowout of the Chargers in the Super Bowl. Also during that time was the glorious ending of John Elway's career which made Carman an instant Denver Broncos fan.

High school came and so did preparation for college so sports took a back seat as girls, music, and school came along and diverted his attention away. A brief foray back into pro sports came with the heartbreaker that was the 2002 World Series as the Giants blew the last 8 outs and lost to the then-Anaheim Angels.

His collegiate calling came when he got into UCLA, but a struggling football team and a down year for the basketball team was hardly enough to spark his interest. Around came the magical seasons of 2005 for both teams, and a resurgence of interest in sports. Call him a fairweather fan if you want, but to be fair he's even following the dismal Giants this season and eagerly anticipating a return to form for the 49ers.

Other teams he follows include the Boston Red Sox (after a visit to Boston this past summer and being a Big Papi and Dice-K fan) and the Indianapolis Colts. The charm of the quarterback easily snags Carman, as he also has high hopes for both Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn in the NFL. Admittedly not a college football fan, he still thinks it's fun to follow, and even while being a Bruin he has nothing but respect and admiration for the program they have across town at USC.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I'm The Trojan

So here's the deal. Carman and I have been working at rival college radio stations for awhile now and wanted to collaborate on a show. We agreed on a sports talk radio show focusing on CFB, NFL, and MLB. We'll also have a "other" time slot for everything else we feel needs to be given attention. Carman had the brilliant idea of trading off broadcast sites every week so we'll be at both campus and broadcasting simultaneously on both streams. Expect special guests with strong biases and even stronger personalities. Oh, and we'll play music if we feel like it.

  • I hail from the swamps of Louisiana where I was raised for my 17 years. Pops started me off playing soccer (goalie), t-ball (utility fielder) and basketball ("post"/4-man) during the school year and swimming (back-stroke) during the summers. I soon dropped soccer for football in 5th grade where I terrorized QB's as a natural DE and one of the catholic school league's finest pass-rusher.
  • After winning the 8th grade city 'ship in basketball and runner-up in football I graduated to Catholic High School (notable alumni: Travis Minor, Warrick Dunn, Major Applewhite). While I didn't set any records, I played two years of baseball honing my skills at catcher and saw moderate time on gridiron as a DE. I really made my mark as the kick-off team's "Wedge-buster". I basically hurled my then 6-foot, 165 lb frame at 3 or more linemen hoping to penetrate the "V" formation most return squads employed. I should really dig up that highlight tape...
  • Junior year I quit sports because of problems at home and I read, wrote and watched a ton of films. Senior year my family moved to The Woodlands, Texas and I was coaxed by a desperate and newly hired baseball coach to come play ball for him. There was a catch... I would be the only senior on a team that had never made it to the playoffs. Well, that year we made it to the playoffs and I found my way onto the all-conference team.
  • It's about now that I should mention my allegiance (up to that point) to the LSU Fightin' Tigers of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. One of my sisters went there, I lived less than a mile from campus, my dad hosted seasonal LSU Baseball radio specials... how could I not be a fan? I've witnessed many memorable events at various LSU fields and courts (will save for a later blog post) and knew more about Tiger Baseball than any other kid in my age group growing up. Even after my transfer into Texas, I still bled purple and gold.
  • So then I went at USC to study film....
  • After the '03 "split" CFB National Championship and my enrollment at USC in '05 none of my hometown friends talked to me for a few months and I felt very alone. Some called me a "turncoat', others "hypocrite" but what could I say? While sports was a very big part of my upbringing, my parents stressed education the most. So when I had the option to study at USC, I jumped.
  • Freshman year did a lot to purge the Tiger bias from my system with Reggie Bush setting records left and right (oh, and he won this heisman thing) but I still couldn't shake my allegiance. It took until the end of sophomore year for myself to realize how truly blessed I was as a Trojan. The football team won the Rose Bowl... basketball made it to the Sweet-16... A WATER POLO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! I finally felt like I was at home. LSU will always be my favorite SEC team, but c'mon... who would you rather have as your coach: Carroll or Miles? Floyd or Brady? I'm going with the Trojans all the way.
  • I don't have any favorite MLB teams but I do love The Saints. It's easy to tell I'm more of a college sports guy, though. If you want the best pro sports analysis on college radio, you're going to have to look elsewhere like to UCLA student Carman Tse. Luckily he's also on the show...