Monday, July 31, 2006


Defending OZ- something that will surely get me ostracized from most ASU circles

I can't believe I'm doing this but for the sake of conversation I'm actually going to defend ASU special teams coach Tom Osborne.

Yes, I'm fully aware of the punting “issues.” Several blocks –too many to count for most- and then the coaches blamed punter Chris MacDonald for his form and technique. It certainly wouldn’t be the coach’s fault that the player doesn’t know what he was doing or that he was offered a scholarship in the first place. Even when MacDonald got them off, he wasn't exactly immune to the occasional shank and the coverage was far from spectacular- something that could be the fault of the unit or a low-trajectory kick...I'd guess the latter based on ASU’s overall athleticism. Grade: F
Even the braniacs from the Farm look like world beaters against this wretched unit.

Can anyone really say anything bad about the Sun Devil kickoff unit? I'm not sure where Jesse Ainsworth stands in touchbacks, but he can't be far from Mason Crosby. If anyone feels like doing the legwork (get it, legwork) and actually researching this nugget, I'm a lot more interested in touchbacks per kick rather than a raw number...I'm pretty sure we scored a few more times than the Buffs last year. My only criticism would be that Ainsworth's kicks seem a bit low and line-drive-esque, which could be a factor with the new 1" tee. I can't recall anyone ripping off huge yards against us in return situations, either. Grade:A

I think the punt return unit speaks for itself, taking two back this past year. While I'd love to heap praise on to Terry Richardson, his comments in the Arizona Republic speak volumes about the strength of the unit, particularly when he notes that many of the skill players on the current roster could have had the same success at the return spot. Grade:A

The kickoff return unit hasn't taken one to the house since God knows when but this is a rarity in football, especially at the collegiate level for some reason. I don't recall being inside of the 20 too often to start drives, but I'd welcome others' observations here. My lasting memory of kickoff returns in the Oz era was having front row seats in the end zone at the Coliseum two years ago and watching Rudy B. drop the opening kick. Thank God they sell beer there, or that could have been an even longer day. Grade: B

So... A, A, B, F- a 2.75 GPA. I left ASU in good standing with a worse GPA than that. I don't think the punt unit has been as bad under Oz over the course of his time in Tempe as it was in 2005; here's to hoping the urgency is there and that strides are being made to improve our weakest areas.
Contrary to popular opinion, there were no defenders photoshopped out of this picture- the Arizona Wildcat coverage was just that bad.

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The Art of Art

Here in Richmond, VA there is a thoroughfare called Monument Avenue. It is a four lane road through a predominantly residential neighborhood. It features a very wide median and, you guessed it, monuments to local historic figures dotted along the two mile or so stretch. These include historic figures such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and tennis great Arthur Ashe. The Ashe statue, erected (hehe) in the mid 1990’s, stands more for his contributions to the civil rights movement and literacy rate than for his accomplishments with a racquet. While this tribute was being planned the local white supremacists, er “history buffs,” came out of the woodwork in strong opposition to the memorial, claiming Ashe’s accomplishments were not on par with the other figureheads who fought so that people like Ashe would not be allowed to breathe the sweet air of freedom. For those of you not up to speed, Arthur was a “brutha,” and he’s the only one with a Monument Avenue address.
The true beauty of the statue is the design. Ashe stands, with a tennis racquet held high in one hand and a book in the other, surrounded by children reaching for him. This was, at least, the intent. While driving down Monument at any time of day one can look at the statue and see Ashe beating a bunch of zombies into submission. The children have an eager look on their faces that represent a hunger and lust for only one thing: human brains.

Arthur Ashe, star of the new Resident Evil picture, defends himself against the youth of the dead.

Okay, maybe they’re not zombies. It could be a tribute to another Southern tradition: child abuse. They say that the victims just ask for it, hence the eager faces. Give ‘er a solid forehand, Artie! That bitch shouldn’t have spilled your beer in the first place!

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And so it begins...

I don’t have cable yet since college football hasn’t started. TV isn’t really useful unless the screen is filled with well trained behemoths beating the snot out of each other in a scientifically organized manner. Just for kicks and shits I turned the set on this hungover Saturday afternoon and was greeted by the first inning of the Braves and Mets. I haven’t been much of a baseball fan since the end of the 2003 NLCS, the heartbreaking collapse by my beloved Cubbies that most of you remember for the infamous “Bartman ball.” Since it’s baseball you probably wouldn’t even remember it without ESPN replaying it over and over and over and over and over… in reading this blog you’ll find I have a noticeable distaste for the worldwide leader in sports, but I’ll leave my personal comments aside for now and let the boys at EDSBS and MGoBlog enlighten you. Not that Fox Sports is any better, unless of course your name is Tom Hansen. Where was I? Ah, baseball. A game that is unbelievably hard to follow without cable. Since when is El Duke (pronounced (DOO-kay, hehe) a Met? Oh, I guess since he doesn’t consistently throw in the mid 90’s anymore. Nice to see the team in Queens is still getting the leftover crap from the Bronx. Some things never change, which is why I’ve pretty much given up on professional sports. College sports, however, rule the day, especially in the fall. That sentence has to many commas.
You, sir, are the spawn of satan.

This blog was inspired by a few things, most notably pure boredom. It took me eight -yes eight- years to complete my undergraduate degree, so I’ve become used to having very little free time since I had a full time job all throughout college. Now that I’ve been relegated to 45-hour work week/weekend warrior/boring-ass loser status I seem to lack hobbies and activities that don’t involve kegstands. I was also enough of a dork in college (like I’m so damn cool now) that I actually enjoyed writing research papers, and I think I kind of miss it as a creative release. It doesn’t help that I have to work in Staunton, VA during the week. If you’ve never been to Staunton (and chances are you haven’t) it is home to the birthplace of former president Woodrow Wilson, the mullet haircut, and not much else. I’ll be covering a wide array of topics, but few of them will stray very far from college football and basketball. Welcome to the sick and twisted world that is my mind. Sit back and make yourself comfortable.

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