I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
"Your pathetic excuse for a major conference sickens me!"
I wish I could disagree. Indiana dropping off the face of the earth has really hurt... Michigan hasn't been any good for years. All it would take is a couple programs picking themselves off the mat to turn things around. Illinois, Wisconsin, and MSU make a good trio but two more teams need to find themselves some consistency before the Big Ten will be respectable again. The good news is that if Michigan gets a clue there are NCAA bids for the taking.
Now, about that clue...
Ok, ok. I'll stop with the alliteration. "The Lamest Dynasty In Sports" declares Robert Weintraub... and also the only one going right now. Unless you want to count USC, but I think we're a year or two off from that. I love it that when a team based around a prima-donna star like Kobe is winning, everyone complains about how blah blah blah individualism is blah blah blah ruining everything. And then when a team concept like the Pats or Pistons takes off everyone is blah blah blah boring.
When you get paid to write, you gotta write something, I guess. But why this instead of an actual Heartwarming Trend: teams built around, you know, being a team winning? The Pistons took out the Lakers. The Pats are a dynasty, lame though they may be. Maybe you could make a case for the Red Sox finally ending the Yankee's daddiosity. Hockey, well... if it existed, Calgary vs. Tampa Bay? Mmmm, that's some good small market. Why isn't anyone screaming "Ding, dong, the witches are dead?"
Maybe it's because most of the people who write these things live in those big markets. So when they suck they claim things are "boring." Boring is 42-10 blowouts. I've seen boring in the Super Bowl, and the last few years? Not boring. So screw you, Weintraub!
A reader forwarded me a link to footballcommentary.com, which, in the parlance of our times, is "the bomb," if you're a huge numbers dork like me. I haven't had time to go over it extensively but it certainly looks like the sort of thing someone should soothingly recite to Lloyd Carr as he peacefully slumbers.
In fact, I'm linking this bad boy on the left.
So, right. Frigging hockey. A critical series against MSU and Michigan blows a 2-0 lead by giving up goals with 2:30 and ONE SECOND left to tie 2-2 Friday, and then lets in a goal with 3:18 left to tie 1-1 at the Joe on Saturday.
What to take from these games? Well... I think it's just bad luck. Total shots on the weekend: Michigan 85, MSU 49. Michigan dominated both games from start to finish. Vicari played out of his mind, and State got very lucky with a lot of pucks. One horrible turnover led to Brandon Graham's goal on Friday. The other two were just pucks that got away. I'm disappointed that Michigan couldn't turn their dominance into four points, but I will take this weekend in a second over their on-again, off-again performances against NMU and OSU. Michigan came to play this weekend and if they keep up a similar effort the rest of the way, they will win the CCHA crown.
Will they do that? Couldn't tell you. Michigan is still suffering from the Ortmeyer hangover. There's no one who can pick up the team when it needs picking up. Effort comes and goes. It's just the way of things. The good news is that, when motivated, Michigan can play like they did this weekend. And they will be motivated for the playoffs. The bad news is, well, sometimes hockey's funny and throws up results like we got against State. Or the BC game last year that we had no business being in.
As to individual players: Dest is playing much, much better. I haven't screamed at him in several games and have even found myself offering grudging respect. The next step is wanting him on the ice, and then a disturbing amount of knowledge about the young man. Tambellini has started performing like he can. I couldn't even follow his goal on Friday. It left his stick and my head was only halfway to the net when the light went on. He's driving people wide again and getting an absolute ton of shots.
Montoya played better. I can't fault him for either tying goal and the Graham shot that beat him was an excellent shot that was unexpected, coming right off of Woodford's stick. Speaking of Woodford, how many glaring errors does he have to have before Red removes his trust in him? There are two and half minutes left in a game you lead 2-0. Just dump it up the boards! Don Cherry is livid! You threw it up your own middle, you... curse you, mgoblog policy against swearing! Foiled again!
Michigan must come out and play the way they did this weekend against a much-improved UNO team. They must sweep. Three split weekends in a row has narrowed the CCHA lead from five points to one. It's time to get serious, now. Or I will... not swear at you.
Folks, mgoblog has a policy against swearing. For the children. But if it did not, I would call out Andy Reid for the most shameless display of bull... uh... stuff I've seen from a flagrantly dumb coach in a long, long time.
This is what Reid said when questioned about this clock management after the game: "Well, we we're trying to hurry up. It was the way things worked out."
WHAT? WHAT? You should get the old Bobby Williams "I can't believe our head coach could ever say something that dumb" heave-ho for that one. You got the ball back with 5:40 do go and managed to score... on a 13 play drive! McNabb was dumping it off to friggin' fullbacks and then going back in the huddle down ten points. Absolutely flagrant clock management, and in the Super Bowl of all places.
It just goes to show you that smart beats dumb even if dumb has an edge in athleticism and talent. Witness Brady vs. McNabb. Not that McNabb is particularly dumb, but a Brady mistake is rarer than a Spartan Rose Bowl. And witness Belichick vs. well, Anyone. Compare and contrast Belichick's team engineering two Super Bowl-winning drives against the abomination foisted upon us by Reid and the Eagles.
If you had to take one play that represented this year's Super Bowl, it's the Eagles with first and ten and about 45 seconds on the clock. McNabb drops back, escapes from a defender, can't find anyone to throw it to, and dumps it off to some big gumpy white dude about two yards past the line of scrimmage. He catches it. He gains three yards. Game over. Dumb, dumb, dumb. McNabb needed to throw it 20 yards downfield and pray. No matter how good the coverage was.
Aaanyway. I think our basketball team is also dumb. But more on that later if I decide I hate myself.