Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Just Not Fair

Written By Tom DeRiggi

Allow me to read to you guys a quote that was texted to me by my Uncle Kenny, an avid sports fan and golf fanatic on Sunday, after I told him what Tiger did on the 18th hole...

"I'm home. Just saw it. Relatively speaking the greatest sports figure/athlete in history of sports. Michael Jordan just went to 2."

Immediately I defended Jordan because he's my idol and still in my mind the greatest athlete to ever play a professional sport. But my uncle brings up a good question in reference to Tiger Woods... just how great is he really?

Well Sunday afternoon he proved it. I wasn't able to watch every hole as we were at my cousin's surprise party because he won this little competition in Atlantic City, I think it was the New Jersey State Wrestling Championships or something. Apparently it's a big deal, but he's won it twice though so it must not be that big. I Digress. Anyway, I tuned in for the last 4 holes once the party settled down to watch my man Tiger completely just prove that he may be the most ridiculous current athlete in professional sports. You can't even measure how talented he is because he keeps out-doing himself. This was only his 3rd tournament back from arthroscopic knee surgery, and I feel that people don't understand the severity of his injury in terms of the sport that he plays.

I had this conversation with my uncle yesterday about the recovery time and the amount of playing he missed. Golf is such a technical game and requires patience and the discipline of an Asian school boy. (Ok Bad example) But seriously the amount of time to get your complete game back is astronomical compared to other sports. So what did Tiger do after his injury?

Nothing that special, just over came a 5 SHOT one round, and hit a 16 foot putt sloping down and to the right...on the 18th hole...ohhh no big deal. Every tournament that Tiger plays in ends up having some kind of suspense. People forget that before he got hurt he was on an absolute tear; I don't have the exact statistic but he had won like 7 tournaments in a row and then got hurt and then STILL won the US Open in 5 rounds.

Tiger makes us appreciate a sport that, If I'm being honest, no one would give a damn about otherwise. So I'm telling you now If you haven't watched Tiger on a Sunday, you should really consider it because its consistently the most exciting thing in sports, and Tiger, as much as it pains me to say, may be the best athlete in terms of recognition and accomplishments we have ever seen.


A little round up of the weekend's NCAA Tournament.

Best game of the tournament happene Saturday night. Check me off the, "Officially on the Villanova Bandwagon" list. Scotty Reynolds made one of those Christian Laettner/Brice Drew type of game winners. Granted they're going to have a tough time against UNC, I'm pulling for them.

I can't even begin to express my frustrations with Louisville. For once I can't agree with what Rick Pitino did. Usually an up-tempo type of team like Louisville SETS the tempo. But Rick Pitino dropped back into a 2-3 zone allowing Michigan State to take 25 seconds off the shot clock every time, and you combine that with high shooting percentage from Michigan St and lower shooting percentage from Lousiville, you got one hell of a recipe for a garbage game. Louisville's inability to make shots didn't allow them to set up their press and therefore they dropped into a 2-3 zone which was exactly what Michigan State wanted. I don't know what you were thinking Rick but that was probably the worst game you ever coached. 52 POINTS???? Thats disgraceful. Can you tell I picked them to win the whole thing??

Back In a few days to give you the Final four and Championship predictions.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Got a SWEET Tooth for March

Written By Tom DeRiggi

Disclaimer: I have no idea who those girls are in that picture, but I figured it was fitting for the round we're in, in the NCAA tournament. ;)


I couldn't possibly think of another topic to write on other than the NCAA tournament, it's basically too impossible to talk about anything else, although I am impressed with the Phoenix Suns 6 game win streak, WBC's lack of public appeal/the US sucking again, this notion that Derek Jeter can't play shortstop anymore because he made 1 error in 1 game, Alex Ovechkin trying to make hockey interesting with his WACK celebration, Shaq and Lebron's ongoing pre-game theatrics, or even my Crush on Obama (<<--That video is hysterical. HaHaha). But instead of feasting on those tidbits....I'll just stick with the Sweet 16. K? K.

Let's start off with last week's article I posted. Hopefully I saved many of you from making inexplicable picks, hopefully you all got the memo about Western Kentucky, Siena, Arizona, and Cleveland State in time. Yea....I'll give my self a pat on the back for Cleveland State....Yea. Anyway, I'm not doing too bad in my brackets but considering I had VCU in the elite 8, it doesn't bode well for my chances in the long run. Anyhow, let's get to the Sweet 16...

In the Midwest we have Louisville against Arizona and Kansas against Michigan State. I hate Michigan State. I'll just go on record and saying it, I don't know how they win....It's really mind bottling (you know, when your mind is juggled up like in a bottle....Comon' people, Blades of Glory). I really like Kansas in that game, they seem to be coming on later in the season and their young guys are producing, so Kansas over Michigan State. As far as the Louisville game, I don't see how Arizona wins, even though they have loads of talent, Louisville just brings too much pressure.

In the West we have Uconn vs Purdue and Missouri vs Memphis. Does this new Uconn recruiting probe affect the game? Coaching Staff? Players? We'll see but I don't think Purdue wins this, when in doubt go by this rule....Big East vs Big Ten...always take a Big East team because the Big Ten is so horrible to watch, it makes me want to quit basketball. Memphis and Missouri is going to be the game of the tournament, just mark it down right now. It's going to be awesome in so many ways,...Fast Break, Press and Trap, Dunks,'s got everything you can possibly want. I think Memphis just has an edge in talent and they're going to squeak by Missouri in this game 145-144. (Just kidding but we seriously might see 100s in this game)

I'll run down the East and South pretty quick considering I should've left for class after the Obama video.

The East has Pitt/Xavier and Villanova/Duke. I think Pitt is too much for Xavier and Xavier's guards don't impress me at all, and I'm a Big East homer. Villanova/Duke is probably the toughest call of all these games. Duke seems like they have a formula for winning now with Scheyer at the point but you just don't know when Scotty Reynolds will go off for 30...AHHH I'm going Duke. They seem more complete to me.

And lastly, the South. UNC /Gonzaga and Syracuse/Oklahoma. Sorry Zags but Ty Lawson is healthy, and when he's healthy they're the best team in basketball. UNC over the Zags big. Like possibly 25 points big. Syracuse/Oklahoma is the other game I wanted to peep because I love Jonny Flynn ad Syracuse. They're just fun to watch. No one can guard Blake Griffin, but then no one can guard Jonny Flynn. I'll take Syracuse by the hair on their chinny chin chin.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time, Of the Year!!

Written By Tom DeRiggi

I'm sure your all wondering where I have been the past week, considering it's the most popular basketball week of the year, and yours truly's favorite week of the year...BY FAR. Well I'd like to thank my college education of getting in the way of me being able to come on here and give you all of my pre-tournament analysis. We're just going to pull a Jamie Foxx and....

Blame it on the A-a-a-a-a-a-a-academics...(thanks professors!)

Instead I'll just have to give you what I had on my brackets as interesting match-ups (trust me I don't cheat). I wanted to come on and save all of your brackets from picking inexplicable teams to advance, much like how everyone sees Oklahoma or Gonzaga going far. PLEASE....STOP... Your savior is here.

Let's start in the Midwest (otherwise known as the top left part of your bracket).
You're an idiot if: You have USC, Wake, OSU, or Morehead State winning. There's not a shot in hell that Morehead wins, i just threw that in for kicks, USC to inconsistent, Wake Forest has to be the most overrated team in the field of 65, and don't underestimate Siena, they can play.

You're a Genius if: You have Louisville, AZ, Siena, Cleve St, WV, BC, MSU winning. Everyone sleeping on AZ and BC, both teams are veteran and disciplined, and when it comes down to it, the cardinal rule of a lower seeded team: Trust the senior PG star. AKA Tyrese Rice. UPSET ALERT: Watch Robert Morris against MSU, I picked MSU because I don't have the testicular fortitude to take a 15 over a 2, but MSU does not impress me at all, hence their second round exit.

Sweet 16-Region winner: Louisville is the best team in the tournament right now, hands down. If you don't have them reaching the final four then you might need to drop out of every Face book Bracket Group that your in. AZ over Cleve St, WV will beat Kansas and BC takes out MSU, Louisville and WV regional final: Result: Louisville

Down to the West bracket (that makes no geographical sense when you read it)

You're an idiot if: You have California, Cornell, or Utah State. Weakest quarter of the bracket. Now most of this bracket played today so it's hard to call you an idiot when I know the results, so I'll call myself an idiot on BYU.
You're a Genius if: You have UCONN, A&M, Purdue, Wash, Marquette, Mizzou, Maryland, and Memphis. I had Maryland as the first upset of the day, so obvious. Memphis gave us quite a scare but Calipari chewed them out at halftime and they rallied. Purdue and Washington look solid, boring, but solid.

Sweet 16-Region Winner: Game of the tournament is going to be Missouri vs Memphis. OMG can you say Fast-Break. Seriously we might see 90 from both teams. Ultimately I think Memphis has more play makers. Uconn vs Purdue was my toughest call of the tournament but I went with my Big East bias until the region championship. Region Winner: Memphis

Now we're going North to the East (I got you allllllllll F'ed up with these directions)

You're an idiot if: You have Wisconsin, UCLA, or Minnesota winning. The Upset Du jour of the tournament is VCU, and its getting me worried because EVERYONE has them, and that may motivate UCLA. But I'm sticking to my cardinal rule of the first round, trust the Senior star PG, Eric Maynor.
You're a Genius if: You have Pitt, OKST, FlA ST, X, Nova, TX, and Duke. Pretty standard bracket. Only one upset. Please people do NOT take Wisconsin, they couldn't score 40 on my Summer league team.

Sweet 16-Regional Championship: I think Pitt skates into the elite 8 but a sneaky VCU team finds a way to get by Nova and then Duke. Much like the George Mason run, however this ones ending a round too early, Pitt beats VCU. Region Winner: Pitt

The Final Region (actually in the proper location, the South-Bottom of the bracket)

You're an Idiot If: You have Radford, Illinois, Temple, or Michigan winning. I just threw Radford in their for S&G's (totally stole that from my professor). I'm telling you people please cross out your bracket before it's too late, and pencil in W Kentucky. Or don't so i can say I told you so. Clemson LOOKED like a lock until they lost today, so yes I'm an idiot.
You're a Genius If: You have UNC, WK, Zags, Cuse, AZ ST, and OK winning. AND if you have W Kentucky in the sweet 16, sorry Zags.

Sweet 16-Regional Championship: I think Lawson gets healthy by this point, and they go up against a feisty W Kentucky team but UNC is too much, and then Syracuse guard play gets them by Oklahoma, but not by Psycho T and the gang. Region Winner: UNC

So now the Final Four:
Louisville vs. Memphis. Another exciting game, going to be press, traps, fast breaks, layups, dunks, everything exciting in basketball. But in the end I think Louisville's pressure is too much for the young guards of Memphis. AND Louisville is in the championship game.

Pitt vs. UNC. Time for the Big East to flex their muscles (I'm talking to you Dajuan Blair). But I just think that Tyler Hansboroughogouhgruougrhough is on a mission and Pitt seems down lately, UNC advances

ANNNDDDDD Your Championship:
Louisville meets UNC. Pressure D meets High Octane Offense. On Paper, UNC wins this game 9 out of 10 times. But that's why they play the game. The key to the entire tournament is Louisville's full court pressure defense. I really don't think I could get the ball across half court against them. It's really just insane. Louisville pulls out a nail biter, me on this one. Rick Pitino is due.

So whenever you just want to give me credit for winning your office pool, I accept MLA format on the citation and Paypal, Debit/Credit Cards. Thank You in Advance!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Love This Game....

Written by Tom DeRiggi

I have been waiting all year/season to get something juicy enough to get me going on college basketball. Now don't let it go unnoticed that I am indeed a HUGE college basketball fan. And I have been waiting all season for something.....just anything to get me going. And tonight it happened at Madison Square Garden. In fact, I started writing this blog at the start of the 4thOT....yes you saw that correctly....and NOW were going into...the 5TH OT!!!!

The setting:

Big East Tournament, Quarterfinal Round

4 UCONN vs 20 Syracuse

When you turned this game on at 9 o clock you thought....OK probably going to be a good game, maybe a classic Big East Battle. But what we got tonight was the most ridiculous game the Big East has ever seen. Now I'm going to be honest, I didn't turn it on until the first OT because I was seriously HOUSING kids in Halo Wars, but of course I was instantly glued.



Sorry I was watching a moment in this game. It's almost too ridiculous to watch. I Digress

Anyway, I honestly can't remember a game like this in my college basketball history. And I've seen plenty of dandies. No one has any gas left, players are fouling out, coaches running out of ideas and strategies, Refs just wanna go home, Jay Bilas is going to rip his eyes out because he has to shamefully admit that the Big East is WAYYYY better then the ACC....Bill Raftery may have already had a heart attack, and probably screamed.."With a little KISSSSSS off the glass," about 40 times tonight. I've gone through 2 Arizona Ice Tea cans, and 4 Poland Spring Water bottles....I'm out of gas and resources.....someone might have to get a crash cart here if this thing goes to 6. It is the perfect game to get anyone in the mood for college basketball, and If you happened to be watching this game then your witnessing one of the greatest games in the history of college basketball...

WAIT....17 seconds left in the 5th OT





Seriously Can Anyone win this game?....I really think my heart rate is at like a Buck-fitty right now. My iPhone has gotten about 4,067 text messages in the past hour. I've woken my dad up at 1 AM ET because I just can't be the only one up right now...

OMGG 3-pointer and then a 3 point play from 'Cuse...this thing could be over, but I also said that 4 OT's ago....I can't wait for Scott Van pelt and Stu Scott to do the highlights for this's going to be hysterical....I'm always digressing...

(Quick actual analysis about this game: Whole game changed when Hasheem Thabeet went out for Uconn. I think UCONN has this game won already with him in the lane in the last two overtimes. Syracuse is driving to the lane at will, and Adrian looks exhausted from UCONN. Also UCONN is just settling for jump shots...they need to take the ball to the rim but everyone is absolutely worked...)

Game looks out of reach now for UCONN....UCONN down 10 now with 1 minute left. Can't even be mad at the Huskies but they just didn't have enough gas in the tank, they virtually played two games back to back....Syracuse just out willed UCONN...

..And just as I say that UCONN cuts it down to 6....figures I open my mouth to early.
Game over, Syracuse wins.....WHAT A GAME...I hope everyone got to watch this...


Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Guess I Never Got My Popcorn Ready

March 5th 2009,

A date which will live in infamy. (Well, maybe not)

In case you live on "The Island" in LOST, and your busy running from "The Others" and that smokey monster thing (seriously what is that?), then you may have missed the reports late last night and early this morning. WR Terrell Owens was released by my beloved Dallas Cowboys. Hold on I need a minute.....


Ok I'm Good.

There had been much speculation that Terrell could be released or traded by the draft, but that was all laid to rest when Jerry Jones (the owner) came out and said that the Cowboys are going to keep Terrell Owens. So all was honky dory until very early this morning when Jerry Jones (the GM) decided to cut the future Hall of Fame wide receiver. Great Jerry, I Swear to god, you are losing your mind. You know how some old people just cant drive anymore? Yet they just continue to drive and put everyone in danger around them on the road. That's Jerry Jones with the Dallas Cowboys. Not only do the Cowboys lose their top offensive play maker, they lose the fear that he imposed on opposing defensive coordinators. People don't understand how much he freed up the rest of the field for guys like Jason Witten and Patrick Crayton, and apparently Jerry is one of those people. But anyway back to Terrell...

So how do we define the Terrell Owens Era in Dallas? Say what you want about him blowing up this team, but I refuse to believe it. He literally blew up the 49ers and Eagles locker room, but I don't think that situation applies to the Cowboys. The situation in Dallas was more media driven than anything and I don't think that he was as bad an influence as everyone thinks. Now I do agree that he had a minor influence on the locker room, it would be naive (thanks A-Rod) of me to think otherwise. But you cannot justify what this guy did on the field for 3 years, and basically his whole career. In his 3 years with the Cowboys Terrell Owens had just under 3600 yards receiving and 38 touchdowns. That's almost 1200 yards a year with 13 touchdowns! No one can argue with me that this guy hurt the team more than he helped it. I don't see it.

But Terrell Owens in his press conference 3 years ago told us "Getcha Popcorn Ready!" Well Terrell my question for you is, What did we need the popcorn for? Sure you were great for the regular season, but we're sick of that. The Cowboys haven't won a playoff game in....hold on...I still can't believe this...14 YEARS!!! So Mr. Owens, what did I waste all this popcorn for, the regular season? The fact is that despite all of your success in the regular season, and all of your gaudy numbers you put up, and all of the so called controversy that you brought to our team....we didn't win when it counted. And that's where I have the problem with you Mr. Owens because when things aren't going right you cant look your self in the mirror and blame yourself. It always has to be someone else that you blame. You can't just pick your teammates up when the chips are down, you'd rather dance around with ESPN's Ed Werder, or start your reality show. You had no focus on winning, despite the fact that you said that's all you wanted to do.

So this is the end of the road for you in Dallas, Terrell. So I'm just going to pull a Parcells and call you 'the player' from now on. I have to drop your jersey, my support, and my fan hood towards you. (I'm going to keep the TO tees though, basically because their hilarious.
It's not going to come easy, because I did enjoy watching you on the field. But I guess, I never got my popcorn ready.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Written by Tom DeRiggi

So as you may know (considering no one outside of Jersey reads this blog) we're bombarded with snow right now and I can't find anything else to do other than take NAMES in Call of Duty. So I decided to come on and give you a little snack-blog. If you enjoy watching basketball than you have to enjoy the resurgence of the Diesel, Shaquielle O'Neal. This season truly has been a complete turn around for the Shaqtus, further proving that when healthy hes probably the 2nd best big in the league (Dwight Howard). His PPG UP. Rebounds UP. Minutes UP. And now hes being called in to be the glue that holds the Suns together while they get healthy. Nash and Amare out and Alvin Gentry has made an extremely wise decision to run the offense through him. Don't be fooled by it though, the Suns still run.....and they run well. But if they don't have a good look after the break, they pull it out and literally throw the ball to Shaq and let him go to work. It's probably the most genius thing the Suns have done since letting Joe Johnson leave (Enter Sarcasm here.) On a serious note though, I don't see how the Suns can't make a playoff run using this offense. Let me ask you a question. Who can guard Shaq in the West? He just abused Pau Gasol for 35 minutes last night. No way anyone on Utah, Portland (Greg your always hurt), Dallas, New Orleans can guard him. The only one is Yao, and Shaq has had a history of going to town on Yao.

Now Shaq claims that he never went anywhere and his game was always this good, and he was just hurt the past 2 years. Comon Shaq, you were bunz the past 2 seasons. But now that your the team's main offensive weapon your putting up gaudy numbers.

I played guard so I can't get THAT excited over a big man, but seeing Shaq rejuvenated is definitely a pretty sight for basketball in general. I know one thing, the Suns better make the playoffs, and they better get used to Shaq being the main weapon on that team, if so you could be seeing a late playoff run in Pheonix.