Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Bored at Work

There is always a lull in Tempe after a game against UofA, so here's a few links to keep you entertained while your boss is in that meeting.

* Insomniac's Lounge has it's nominees for the proposed Cheerleader Hall Of Fame. Why yes, of course Courtney Simpson is in it.

* My boy Newspaper Hack over at Journorock is so desperate for college football content that he has engulfed himself in The College Football Data Warehouse looking for odd South Carolina or Alabama scores. Help the poor bastard out and leave anything you can think of regarding ASU in his comments section. The one that pops out is 19-0, but a little research never hurt anyone.
Hello? Is there anybody there?

* EDSBS is reporting a new espn college football show in the style of Baseball Tonight or NFL Live. Please espn, more analysis and less Lou Holtz. I have this horrible feeing that awfulness will surround this steaming pile of sob stories and puff pieces, while Trev Alberts will mock us all from afar.

* This guy is really, really sad. A "gent" calling himself B_Dog (the handle screams intelligence, no?) has taken a stand against ASU for having their player profile pictures depict the Sun Devil student athletes in jackets and neckties. Be sure to read all of the comments and weep for the future of Tucson. Further proof that it's not just me, UA fans really are douchebags.
The double-windsor: sick, misrepresentative, and just plain wrong.

* Finally, Gaddabout at Wired Devils has written a story defending Phil Snow, Bruce Snyder, and the supposed "prevent D" that doomed ASU in the 1997 Rose Bowl. If you've been hating them since 1/1/97 like I have, it's a tough read but valid points are made. To my friend Patrick, if you can hear me, don't read the article-your head may explode.
Damn you David Boston. Damn you all to hell.

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Monday, February 26, 2007



No fluff or BS, last night's loss to U of A hurt. In the last decade of the ASU men's basketball program, whether it be under the regime of Herb Sendek, Rob Evans, or Don Newman, (how 'bout that reference?) the Sun Devils know the art of making a win seem so easily attainable before launching it away from themselves in such choke-job fashion that Marty Schottenheimer would take notice. I'll admit, I was overly giddy regarding the halftime lead, but reality set in shortly thereafter. We are still the bastard stepchild of Pac-10 hoops, no matter how many prized recruits are coming.

Despite the Republic's multitude of sob stories about how the gap is closing and that "there is hope for this rivalry," ASU still looks like the team that has been locked in the cycle of losing close heartbreakers to the Kitties roughly one out of every four attempts. The last one, as you may remember, ended with the no-call on a travel before Salim Stoudamire's last second shot at Wells Fargo Arena.

Moral victories? Hope for the future? Leave that for the football fans in Tucson. I want another crack at the Cats, and the Pac-10 Tournament is the only possibility. Here's the bracket setup and the current standings/conference records (as of February 26, 2007):

1. UCLA (14-2)
2.Washington State (12-4)
3. USC (11-5)
4. Oregon (10-7)
5. Arizona (9-7)
6. Stanford (9-7)
7. Washington (6-10)
8. Cal (6-10)
9. Oregon State (3-14)
10. Arizona State (1-15)

Sooo... as the English say, not bloody likely. The only mathematical and logical hope is that UA drops to the #6 seed and ASU wins the play-in vs. Washington/Cal and then upsets the #2 seed, most likely Washington State or possibly of USC. I'm not going to hold my breath on it, but the only solace that could be taken from this season is if the Devils can screw up the standings by upsetting a few teams, most notably UofA. For all of this to happen, Stanford needs to sweep the Arizona schools and U of A will have to be swept by the Bay Area schools, but crazier things have happened. Otherwise, both teams will have to make the final, and I think UCLA (among others) may have something to say about that. Herb Sendek had his share of successful runs in the ACC tournament with undermanned NC State teams, so it's not a completely lost cause.

This sucks. When does spring practice start?

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Is there fungus among us?

Ahhh, college. Grow your hair long, dabble in the experimentation of hallucinogenic mushrooms, be the starting center for a sweet sixteen contender. Well, I did two of those things myself, but it seems that (former?) Gonzaga center Josh Heytvelt went for the sweep and won't be playing anytime soon due to an indefinite suspension following an arrest.

Some will call this "a stupid decision" by Heytvelt, but basic economics teaches us the principles of opportunity cost, where choosing one path leads to inevitible sacrifices that could be gained by following another path. Do the costs outweigh the benefits here? Let's compare, shall we?

Hoops: Rarely more than two hours.
Shrooms: anywhere from 3-5 hours, depending on quality and quantity.
Advantage: shrooms

Hoops: +/- 32 games, figuring in conference and NCAA tournaments
Shrooms: any time you can find them, which in the Pacific Northwest means you're limited to days ending in "Y."
Advantage: Shrooms

Hoops: Even in a weak conference, expecting a winning percentage over 80% is pushing it. Bad trips are possible, like driving to Oklahoma City and meeting a Kansas juggernaut.
Shrooms: There is a chance of a bad trip, but a success rate of 95%+ is normal for most folks.
Advantage: Shrooms

Hoops upgrade: college football- longer, more intense, known to cause withdrawls.
Shrooms upgrade: acid- longer, more intense, known to cause withdrawls, but there are plenty of times when you want it to be over with.
Advantage: Hoops

So there you have it, with scientific proof: psychadelic mushrooms are three times better than college basketball. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Seriously though, felony possession? The kid plays in Spokane, Washington for chrissakes. It's not like he's smuggling them up from Mexico or anything. They grow wild all over the place up there...allegedly.

And on a side note, HERB!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Devils Bust Trojans! (my God, she's pregnant)

I was able to watch the Sun Devil hoops squad for the first time this season thanks to Sunday's national broadcast, and what a game to watch. In seeing box scores and reading write-ups along with message board rants, I still didn't have a good feel for this year's team. The concensus has been that ASU is better than their record and opponents have been leaving Tempe with respect for the Devils. The scores have been close, but I have been wondering how close they are to being a good team.

The truth is, they're really not that close. The effort is there, but the physical skills aren't. There is some talent on the team, but the youth combined with the new system has been too much to overcome. The upsides:

* The Sun Devils play harder than any team I've ever seen. These guys hadn't won since Christmas and the are giving a Final Four effort against a team that ought to be pounding them as they did once already this year. Imagine if they really were playing for something other than pride.

* The defense is there. They still don't have the horses to beat teams with man-to-man coverage and well-coached teams will find ways to attack the zone over time, but good defense is played with heart- something that is firmly in place.

* The confidence is rising. The kids know how close they've been coming to making some serious noise and they're determined to correct the little things that have been keeping them from succeeding. They also pay with great focus. Herb keeps telling the media that this "is a group of winners," even though that hasn't translated into many victories.

* They have 100% bought in to Sendek's system. The players trust Herb, they look up to him, and they have confidence in him- I can't say any of these things about any Rob Evans team.

And, of course, there is a flip side:

* Sunday was the best game they've played all year. Solid, timely shooting can make a poor team look good, especially when three pointers start falling late in the game as they did against USC. This team has been plagued all year by offensive lapses known to stretch entire halves, and there weren't any noticible gaps on Sunday. This won't happen all the time for such a young team.

* No one on this team can dribble-drive the lane. Antwi is the closest thing ASU has to a slasher, but he's not a finisher. Most, if not all, of the clock-winding-down points came off of assists.

* The shooting is scary. Really frightful stuff. When Serge Angounou and Allen Morrill are chucking up threes, bad things will happen. The desert sky was filled with atrocious bricks, and the worst part is that ASU's players are charging the rim for rebounds as these missile shots carom over their heads. Heady rebounding is a skill that isn't easily learned, and ASU hasn't gotten it just yet.

* This team relies too much on the three-pointer. That's really my gripe with Herb's system, but slashers like Harden and McMillan and post players like Boateng will create better and higher quality looks for everybody next year.

* This still isn't a Pac-10 quality team. This fact can't be overstated enough, that no one on the Sun Devils' roster was offered a scholarship by any other conference school. Upsets may happen, but can consistency really be expected yet? Recruiting and time will fix that, though.

The kitties come to town for senior day on Sunday having lost 5 of their last 8 and facing a Sun Devils team with confidence for the first time since long before Ike Diogu left town. It has been said that ASU can't match up with superior athletic teams due to an ineffectiveness against the dribble drive, but the same things were said before the upset of #22 USC. The upper deck will most likely be all red, which will be a daunting environment for this young team. U of A has had problems with self motivation all year, but make no mistake that this ASU team will still be treated as a rival and Lute will have his boys up for it, especially after getting swept last weekend. ASU has earned a spot on the radar of any good team as a trap game, now they just have to set the bait.

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Friday, February 16, 2007


Rudy F'ing Burgess! Woo!

The people's MVP, one Rudolph Donnavon Burgess, will be premanently moved back to slot receiver for his senior season by Dennis Erickson. Coach E points out in the article that it is best for Rudy and the team that he plays receiver, and that moving him around so much has limited his productivity. No shit, Sherlock. Let the NFL turn him into a corner when the time comes.

Last year's neck injury/concussion problems played a large factor, but removing Burgess from the WR corps was a disaster for the 2006 offense, who desperately needed someone downfield to catch the ball (not to mention run the proper route and get open, but I digress). Few probably remember the opener against NAU, when Burgess torched their secondary on the game's opening drive for 50 yards on two catches. He ended the game with 7 catches for 112 yards, and even though it was against NAU that kind of production could have helped a great deal against Oregon, USC, and the other 4 teams that whipped the snot out of us.

Enough despair about 2006, this is the time for a celebration! This news, combined with rule 3-2-5 E being repealed, is a call for a toast! Drinks on the house!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007


Thank God That's Over With

Recruiting is dirty, dirty, dirty. Like the stuff under your toenails. Like Christina Aguilera's pap smear. Dirrrty. Icky. F'ing gross. The recruiting trail is full of coaches that swell the egos of 18-year olds to grand proportions, pumping up aspects of the school that the coach probably doesn't even really care about, and talking down every aspect of every other school.coach/team out there. Kids commit to one school, get surprise visits along with a slew of text messages, and then dick over their previous school, making everyone involved look really bad. ASU had quite a few of these this year from both sides, more than usual due to the coaching change. You win some and you lose some, I guess.

Yesterday's national letter of intent day yielded 23 signees for the Sun Devils, all of whom can be scrutinized in great deal at the official site. Needs were addressed, and most will say that Coach Erickson did a great job considering that after the JuCo signing period and the recruiting dead period, he only really had about 3 1/2 weeks to put this class together. You can read the transcript of yesterday's presser here, or if you're illiterate or just plain lazy you can listen to it at the link on the same page. Some highlights, if you will:

* 5 offensive linemen were taken in this class. This was the greatest area of need for the Devils going into the 06-07 recruiting year, especially after signing only one Hell Hog last year. This year was supposed to be an exceptional crop of O-line talent, particularly in the state of Arizona, but while ASU was handling the Koetter departure USC and Nebraska managed to swoop in and steal a lot of the Grand Canyon State's talent. While none of the local kids on the board stayed, Garth Gerhart is considered one of the top high school centers in the country and his HS teammate Adam Tello is a more than solid guard/tackle. One of the jewels of the class is Po'u Palelei, an offensive tackle from Las Vegas that is considered top 10 in the country on the line. Matt Hustad won player of the year in Montana, and before you make a joke regarding the low population in the M-T, realize this: he was the state's player of the year as an offensive lineman.

* There were several versatile athletes taken. Most of them are on the defensive side of the ball and will be placed where they fit best once they start playing. Some of the guys that will fit in somewhere are Oliver Aaron and Derrall Anderson from Florida, Jonathan Clark from Texas, and local boys Colin Parker and Jarrell Holman. This addresses immediate needs immediately.

* The D-line depth issue will not be an issue for much longer. Five were signed in last year's class not including the three transfers, and this year Coach E got another five. The most intriguing member of this year is Jonathan "the tank" English, a 6'0" 335 pound DT from River Ridge, Louisiana. I don't know where to go in Tempe for crawfish and gumbo, but wherever it is they need to start stocking up NOW. If there's not a cajun restaurant there, this may be a good business opportunity. Defensive end is one of the hardest to recruit out of high school, and Bo Moos and James Brooks may end up s tight ends if they can't put on the necessary weight. JuCo DE's Eric Tanner and Luis Vazquez are hopefully solid enough to challenge the depth chart immediately, which is not an easy task with Dexter Davis, Trannell Morant, and 6th year senior Loren Howard in front of them.

* This class is incredibly balanced. Eleven on offense, including 2 QB's, 1 RB, 1 TE, 2 WR's, and 5 OL's. There are twelve on defense, including 5 DL's, 4 LB's, 2 CB's, and 1 S. This balance won't show for several years (much like everything else regarding these kids), but having this balance makes for senior-laden teams in the future. It also helps avoid huge holes in the depth charts, like the one we had at DL and CB. Speaking of which...

* ASU only got 2 CB's, but they could both challenge to play right away. The aforementioned
Holman is a JuCo, and the other is Omar Bolden, a highly recruited kid from California. Bolden waited until a last second tv show to announce his committment to the Sun Devils, and he's one of these stud guys who did the stunt with the team hats. Definitely a big last-second addition.

Kinda makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, don't it?

* Two quarterbacks were taken, getting the number of scholarship QB's back up to four following the exodus of Max Hall, Derek Shaw, and 2007 Big 12 Player of the Year Sam Keller. (it's all but his.) The two we got- Chasen Stengel and Samson Szakacsy- are good ones, listed as the #4 and #7 QB's in California by Scout.com. Samson (get out your Half Baked quotes) was thought by many to be rated even higher, but a leg injury early in his senior season limited his playing time. He had verballed to USC but opted for the Sun Devils in the end after a strong recruiting push by Erickson. The recruitment of a third QB forced out Nick Foles, a strong-armed Texas recruit who commited to ASU back in July of last year and was loyal to the school after Koetter's departure. Best of luck to him, wherever he lands. Stangel was not recruited heavily (only other offer was from UTEP) but after a strong senior season many of the big boys are left wondering why they passed on him. By the way, it's supposedly pronounced "Sue-kay-chee."

Yes! Cuban B!

* Fast playmakers at wide receiver are an Erickson specialty, and this year was no different. This is the one area in which ASU was able to defend the recruiting home turf, landing AZ sprint champ TJ Simpson ans uber-pedigree Kerry Taylor, both Arizona high school products. Simpson (we have a Samson and a Simpson!) was the state champ in the 100m, 200m, and 400m, and Scout lists his biggest strengths as "speed" and "downfield threat." If there's one thing ASU's offense lacked this season (sans any Rudy Carpenter consistency jokes) it was a downfield threat, and WR is a position where one can make an immeadiate impact. You may recognize Taylor's name being the son of NFL safety Keith Taylor and nephew of former 49ers WR John Taylor, which you may remember from some clutch catches as the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XXIII. More of that, please. Both guys commited early to Koetter, wavered when he was let go, and recommitted to Erickson. Credit where credit is due to Koetter for getting these guys to stay home.

* A running back was taken, although I'm not sure why. Oh wait, I remember the last time ASU was supposedly super-deep at RB. Where are those guys now? Jail, injured, jail, injured. Jarrell Woods was taken as JuCo transfer, and to paraphrase Coach Erickson he must be good if he's going to come in here and play right away, a nice shout out to Keegan Herring and Ryan Torain.

For more info on the new pledges check out the commit list at Scout.com. As always, hope springs eternal and GO DEVILS.

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Monday, February 12, 2007


"HooverDam" is a culinary GOD

I have a review of this year's recruiting class in the works, but there has been a lot more real life than usual and thus it's not finished, but I'll be sure to post it when I have some real time. In it's absence, here's a link to a fantastic off-season thread on the Devil's Digest Message Boards. Without football, this is what we turn to. The first six posts constitute a typical, run-of-the-mill off-season thread- no football and lots of sarcasm. The seventh will blow your fucking mind.

Quite frankly I'm speechless- all I can say is that I wish I had friends like that. Be sure to nominate it for post of the day.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007


You'll be missed...in Eugene

Thank God, some non-recruiting news. LOI's are great, don't get me wrong, but the whole recruiting process has become a sordid, overscrutinized circus that even gives the mob the willies. There are so-called recruiting "experts" bordering on pedophilia that give Memphis a run for it's stolen money in sketchiness.* The emotional investment some fans put into the decisions of 18-year olds is beyond me. Anyhoo, came across this gem on the Scout.com network.

Oregon-Oklahoma official loses replay booth job

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Pacific-10 Conference official who missed a call during the Oklahoma-Oregon game last season has been told he will not return to the job in that capacity.

Gordon Reise said he received death threats after a call on an onside kick near the end of the Sept. 16 game that the Ducks won 34-33. Televised replays showed the Sooners recovered that kick, but Reise did not see that angle in the replay booth.

Conference officials informed Reise last week that he was relieved of his replay duties. He will remain a Pac-10 technical assistant, making about $350 a game.

Reise, who took a leave of absence for the season after the game at Autzen Stadium, told The Oregonian newspaper that his doctors had advised him not to return to the job, anyway.

Death threats. That's the Sooner nation I grew up with, know and love. You know why the doctor thought it would be bad for his health? These people.

Oklahoma is OK, unless you're wearing green, yellow, black, diamond plating, pink, chartruse, or whatever else Phil Knight pukes up.

* Swindle, Orson. The EDSBS Spectrum of Sketch: A Scale. EverydayShouldBeSaturday.com. February 5, 2007: University of Florida Press, Gainesvlle, FL.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


Oh Rexy, you're not so sexy

Sorry Rex, not today. On the other hand, congrats to Peyton Manning for finally beating Florida and making strides for Down's Syndrome sufferers everywhere. In case you were in a P.O.W. camp and missed the game, here's what happened.

* Both head coaches are black.

* Jay-Z has a new album and apparently works for Budweiser.

* Prince and the FAMU Marching 100 are still the shit.

* There's a good Rex Grossman and a bad Rex Grossman. The latter showed up in Miami.

* Valentine's day is coming, and there are plenty of folks selling diamonds. If you don't buy one for your woman, you're a fucking loser with zero hopes of getting laid. Ever again.

* Both head coaches are black.

Manning: Corky in pads.

All in all it was another wonderful Super Sunday and I had too much cheese dip. This rivals St. Patrick's Day as the best holiday of the year and we all ought to have Monday off from work. My worst moment of the day was being awoken by a girlfriend telling me that ASU upset Washington State, only to find out that she saw the women's score. Drat.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007


Proud alumnus Jimmy Kimmel pays tribute to the alma mater

That's how we roll.

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Friday, February 02, 2007



I'd totally take Koetter to the hole, especially in his own back yard.

Former ASU head coach Dirk Koetter has his former home listed on the market at a whopping $1.595 mil. I'll not get into how Valley real estate has swollen to retarded levels, but this McMansion with small-fry back yard depicts exactly what has been wrong with ASU football. Over-priced, too small, drab, uninspiring, and a severe lack of swank. Today's recruits need greased-up stripper poles, fully stocked wet bars, and a pool/hot tub- NAY! pool and hot tub, each in the shape of Courtney Simpson. JoePa is still getting the PA catholic kids to sign using the ping pong table in the garage, but this is Sun Devil country. This is how we roll. The Erickson era has begun, and it's time for the next level. Coach E's wine cellar (and you know he has one) is twice the size of this dump. Somewhere, Pete Carroll is laughing.

Pete Carroll could not be reached at his Malibu home (pictured above) for comment. We couldn't find him, even if we could get past the guards.

The great architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham once wrote:
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably
themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work,
remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long
after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing
He's talking about his famed White City and other monstrous designs like Washington DC's Union Station, but can't we apply this to a football program, specifically the one at ASU? Go after the big name recruits. Schedule and upset power programs. Win a game in California for a change. Win a conference championship. Win a national championship. Doing these things will stir the blood of the fans and will not be forgotten anytime soon, but you have to be able to dream them first. Watch and learn, Dirk.

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