Update 6/9: Linked to article in which GA DE Jermaine Cunningham names a trio of SEC schools as leaders. Added CA QB Jake Locker, who appears to be the first quarterback after the Big Four to get offered. Added note that Taylor Mays is making an August decision. Linked to War & Peace-sized Myron Rolle article.
The AP has withdrawn from the BCS. ESPN has dropped its name from the coaches poll. College football casts about for an authoritative, 100% correct ranking system.
Enter The BlogPoll.
That's right, a poll! Compiled by bloggers! Feel a strange tingly sensation in the parts of your body your grandmother told you didn't really exist? I thought so!
To apply and be accepted to the blogpoll, you must have a regularly-updated blog that focuses on college football. This site can either be shamelessly partisan (like mgoblog) or studiously neutral (like College Football Resource). Multisport blogs dedicated to the sporting exploits of one school are welcome, as are blogs that split time between sports and other things. Blogs dedicated to lower divisions are okay, too, as long as you watch your share of the big boys.
Blogs should be updated regularly with actual content. If half your posts are "sorry for not posting for the last two weeks, here's a link to this newspaper article," that doesn't count.
One blog, one vote. Sorry, Blue-Gray Sky.
Bloggers from neutral sources must disclose alma mater (or, lacking a DI-A alma mater, a favorite team) so their ballots can be attacked just like anyone else's.
Friday night a post will show up on mgoblog declaring itself to be that week's ballot box. Participating voters should post a comment on the post with a link to their ballot. Ballots must be posted by the end of Monday for the poll's official posting on Tuesday.
The preseason BlogPoll will be posted August 23rd.
The BlogPoll strives to function rationally and thoughtfully, removing inequities in the current poll system that drive fans nuts.
The poll is a power poll, meaning that future schedules should not be a factor in the ranking process--no henious overrating of WVU last year or Purdue this year, please. The main consideration should be "team A would beat team B on a neutral field." (This ideal is impossible to maintain across multiple teams, as matchups obviously play a major role, but something close as possible is desired.)
Voters are encouraged to look dimly upon schools that schedule exclusively cupcakes for non-conference games and reward schools that take on challenges and aquit themselves well, even in defeat.
Blogs will all disclose their ballots and be rated on Shameless Bias via a formula that calculates how overrated alma mater and local conference schools are relative to the blogpoll at large in the hopes of shaming flagrant homers into reasonability.
Voters are also encouraged to snipe at each other's ballots, because there's no such thing as bad publicity.
To be included, please email mgoblog.
If the whole football thing doesn't work out, it looks like Braylon Edwards has a future as a cult leader. In that IGN interview he also gives props to Techmo Bowl and Super Techmo Bowl. mgoblog, of course, thinks that Super Techmo Bowl is the most revolutionary sports video game of all time and at one point had memorized the name, team, position, and relative suckiness of every non-offensive lineman in the game, including fifth-string wide receivers.
On second thought, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that.
Boy, does Every Day Should Be Saturday know how to suck up to a newly-exposed fanbase. They're all over Tressel hiring Butch Reynolds as OSU's S&C coach. Reynolds was banned from track and field events for two years for steroid use, so he'll fit right in.
Miami (Florida) is Michigan's opponent in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge this year.
Update: Reynolds' positive test was apparently the subject of much controversy. (HT: Ufer's Spirt via adam on WH.)
Update II: dillonpgp has the transcript of Lloyd's BEAT UCLA!!! memo on the Wolverine Den. One "outstanding," one "excited," no "tremendous."
7:30: Yo yo yo. Intro stuff now. I predict pain.
7:32: Jennie Ritter has turned into a black UCLA pitcher! We're screwed! Oh. That graphic was wrong. So, the NBA finals start tomorrow at "8:30." I bet that turns out to be more like "9:18." Quickie mgoblog prediction: pain. Ho ho ho. A prediction would be useless from me. I'm too emotionally involved to pick against the Pistons, so what's the point?
7:36: Lloyd Carr faxed the softball team! The fax title: "BEAT UCLA!!!" Wow!!!
7:40: If Darrin Walls goes to Notre Dame I'm blaming that memo. UCLA hasn't chanted anything annoying yet. One batter, one strikeout. Softball: "It's like baseball without hitters."
7:44: Giampalo's favorite actress is Jennifer Garner. (Excellent choice.) Jessica Merchant has a lucky poker chip. There's a woman in the stands with a monkey in a Michigan hat. Why? (It's a stuffed monkey, I feel I should point out. A live monkey would probably get italics.) Michigan goes 1-2-3 in the first, like, again.
7:47: Aaaand Ritter hits the first batter. Annoying cheers in full force. UCLA's second batter just popped up a bunt, and when she went to the bench people high-fived her! You can't high-five someone after they screw up.
7:54: Ritter started off very inaccurately, but the announcers are not allowed to reference the intentional walk handed out as evidence of wildness. End of one. No score, but one of these annoying NCAA PSAs. If you go to the Frozen Four or regionals or whatever they play them incessantly at deafening volume levels--in Buffalo the crowd actually started booing them.
7:58: Do they ever have bench-clearing softball brawls? If not, they totally should. And I just noticed that they don't have to wear hats! How can you play a baseball-like game without hats! I'm outraged by this. And why can't the umps just use normal baseball motions for "out" or "strike"? Why do they have to raise their arm like someone who doesn't quite understand how to disco dance? Right, thanks for showing that stat about UCLA having 10 national championships to our none. Make sure you show that eight or ten more times... that volatile stat could change AT ANY MOMENT.
8:02: Bercaw gets ahold of a pitch but it's just a flyout. Middle of the first. For a moment I thought it had the distance. Some UCLA player has a clutch 3.4 GPA in sociology! She can be found fielding ground balls or eating the souls of orphans.
That's not what sociology majors do? The hell you say.
Ritter plays the violin. SWEET! HER FAVORITE TV SHOW IS MACGUYVER! She also has "FTAA" inscriped on her glove, a "private phrase with her dad she uses to keep her focused." What could it stand for?
8:06: I'm seriously still excited about this MacGuyver thing. "Sports psychology, to me, is like the final frontier." I haven't really been paying attention to the announcers and now they remind me why. Lisa Dodd rips a home run... and I'm trying really hard to be angry. You'll have to settle for grumpy. 1-0 BruiWins.
8:10: Benefit of home run: constant shots of Dodd in the dugout. Is this announcer STILL talking about that damn bracelet? Ritter gets the last out of the inning and it's 1-0 UCLA after two. Dodd's homer is the only hit of the game so far.
Do it for Richard Dean Anderson!
8:15: Marx takes a mighty cut but hits nothing, alas. Replays of last night's home run. Marx rips one about a foot foul. She strikes out; finally a single but the next batter is retired, still 1-0 harpies after two.
8:22: They're hitting Ritter pretty hard tonight. Leadoff single in the third. I don't think she has any strikeouts... is she finally burned out after five games in four days? Another popped up bunt, and the UCLA coach makes a mental note to put a scorpion in that girl's bed. They're doing the a capella "Thunderstruck" again. Holy crap! Weird call going on. Attempted steal looks to be successful but the batter is called out for interfering with the throw. Looks legit to me.
SHUT UP YOU BRACELET FREAK.
Zaplatosch gets ahold of another Ritter pitch but it's just another flyout. I'm not feeling very confident here. They're getting ahold of a lot of Ritter's pitches and Michigan hasn't had anything approaching a base hit save for a ball that went just foul. Come on, youse! Do it for MacGuyver!!!
8:28: I can't imagine what my life would be like without Google Image Search. The UCLA bench just burst into the Arsenio Hall woofing thing. I don't understand. Terrible strike call by Disco Ump on Findlay. She blasts a 3-1 pitch into the gap and slides into second for a double. That's right mofos! It's MacGuyver magic! Selden's last seven pitches: 6 balls, one questionable strike, one double. 2-1 to Motyka at the moment after she fouls one off.
8:34: I knew a girl on the softball team when I was in school. I think she was just a walk-on, little used, but I cared not a whit. Motyka strikes out for the ninth straight time. Disco Ump's really pushing it with the edges of that strike zone. Leutele does a decent job staying up but grounds out weakly, through three and a half.
8:46: Dodd's back up, two out, man... er, woman on third. She hits .212? WTF? How can a 1B who hits .212 play on a good team? Ritter throws her three straight balls... er, four. Don't mess with her. Ritter finally blows one by a Bruin... still no strikeouts! She gets a ground out to end the fourth, still 1-0.
Good job, Ritter. Here you go:
That is one sexy Richard Dean Anderson.
8:53: Goddammit. That should have been a hit. Look, fine, great defensive play. Now please talk about your bracelet again. Let it go. 1-2-3 in the fifth. We be losin'! You are not following Lloyd Carr's instructions, softball team!
9:00: I think my favorite part of this liveblogging experience is imaging someone looking at the Arbor Blogs picture aggregator, finding sexy MacGuyver, and wondering what the hell is going on. My least favorite part is every UCLA leadoff hitter getting on base. Also getting SCREWED by the ump.
Now first and second with two outs after another intentional walk to Zaplatosch. First pitch popup to from the next batter and we're through five. Fire up!
9:10: I think that women's sports are even more cliche-ridden than men's sports. A chopper leadoff single for Haas. Big opportunity. 100% chance of a bunt coming up. 3-0 to Giampalo now... yow! Walked her on four pitches! How do you walk someone who's going to bunt? Another ball to Merchant, and they're talking to Seldon.
COACH: "You should throw strikes."
LISA DODD: "I am wonderful."
Merchant drills a base hit! But they hold the runner at third. Bas
es are loaded, nobody out. YOW YOW YOW YOW. Hutchinson correctly held the runner up. Hard to believe that, but softball diamonds are muy small. Findlay swung at a ball way out of the strike zone... Merchant's hit was way out of the strike zone... two consecutive balls. Seldon CANNOT throw a strike!
9:16: Wrong time to throw a strike. Findlay lances it into the outfield, 1-1! Bases still loaded! No outs! That's what Lloyd Carr is talking about!!!
9:17: GODDAMMIT. Motyka hit a line drive right at the third base...er, woman for a double play. Lucky stupid flipping goddammit.
9:20: Ths ump is seriously asking to get an asskicking. UCLA manages to squeak out of that inning tied. Ugh. That double play is the kind of thing that you remember for years as a "what could have been" if they lose. And the announcers keep praising the 3B like she's Willie Mays. The ball was hit RIGHT AT HER.
9:25: Finally a strikeout for Ritter. Two down in the sixth. We're through six, no danger in that inning.
I think I've identified the thing that bugs me about softball: since the pitcher basically goes every game, they're just as important as the rest of the team put together. Given how dominant the pitchers can be, they may be even more important. Texas was a bad team this year that couldn't score a run to save their lives but because they had Osterman all that nonsense didn't matter.
9:29: Shocking! Michigan still has no national championships!
9:32: Dude, that ball looked like Charlie Sheen in "Major League." Why doesn't anyone at least glare at the ump? Infield single leads to nothing, bottom of seventh coming.
9:38: Shut up about the DP already. If we lose this game that'll be the HWMNBN timeout of Michigan softball. Two down now for pinch hitter Danielle Peterson, nicknamed "Peanut." Average: .182. HR: 0. WTF?
9:43: Whoah. The pinch hitter just ripped a home run... five feet foul. Now 3-2. Peterson pops up and we head to the 8th. You want my advice? Never eat at TGI Friday's.
9:45: All right. I saved the best for last...
9:47: Leadoff single for Giampalo. That's right, photoshopped dog MacGuyver! Merchant flies out. Dagnabit. Finley follows suit. Announcers are bitching incessantly about the fact that Michigan isn't bunting. I have this to say: you are ugly, announcers. Motyka grounds out and it's to the bottom of the inning. Balls.
9:53: Ritter Ks the leadoff batter. Zaplatosch pops to short. Muttering going on between Legaspi and UCLA's coach. Could we pay Lisa Fernandez to NOT talk? That way everybody's happy.
10:00: Ritter Ks the final batter of the inning, top of 9th coming up. DO NOT BUY DASANI.
10:05: I predict this game ends in the 15th inning. Strikeout, popup bunt, two down. "We have all been following your exciting success in the World Series" reads the first line of the BEAT UCLA!!! memo. Strikeout. Exactly three things have happened in this game: the Dodd home run, the should-have-been Michigan inning, and then one jam Ritter got out of. The rest? Bupkis.
10:13: Leadoff double for UCLA... ugh. And they pinch-run for Dedmon since she's the size of a small car. Television has finally been muted. Ritter looks exhausted. UCLA looks like they sound annoying. Bunt is laid down and the winning run is on third with one out.
10:18: It's Dodd at the plate. Ritter throws three straight balls, looks like she's just staying away from anything she could possibly get into the outfield. Walked her on four pitches. Sets up a potential inning-ending DP, that was probably as close to an intentional walk as you'll see without actually getting one.
10:21: Infield pop fly for the huuuuge second out. UCLA needs a hit now. OMG WTG!!!
10:23: They be intentionally walking Duran for the force at any plate. Tara Henry is the make or break batter here.
10:26: Strike one. Strike two. And a ground out. WE WIN THE NATIONAL CHANCE TO KEEP PLAYINGSHIP.
10:32: That ump thinks Dwyane Wade is pitching. Dodd makes a nice play on a bunt that it looked like Seldon would have to field, which she can't do, because, amazingly, she throws like a girl, but just overhand. Error by the shortstop puts Haas on base and everyone's stereotype of a downriver Michigan fan from a trailer park (except hairier) shows up on the screen. Thanks ESPN.
10:35: Giampolo slaps a little dribbler that turns into an infield single. First and second, one out, on a second consectuive poor play by the shortstop.
10:38: Merchant and Findlay up here. Gotta have it here or it's going to be tough to fend UCLA off and score with the bottom of the order. Merchant strikes out. It's down to Findlay.
10:40: FINDLAY LAUNCHES IT!
THAT'S GODDAMN RIGHT.
10:42: 4-1, three outs away. What can you say about Findlay? One pitch, one out. Aw, Leutele just pulled a Buckner. One on one out.
10:46: Ritter's next two pitches after the error are strikes painted right on the corner. Foul off. Strike out, best pitch of the night from Ritter. One more and it's time to tell a corny joke and freeze frame.
10:50: WTF? They pinch-ran for Dedmon and she's back. Popup! It's over! It's time to do the dance of joy!
Balki says NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. Woot.
I think they should show that graphic one last time.
The NHL will play again next year... probably. I'm not sure who caved on what here or exactly what's going on, but the end result looks weird. There will be a salary cap linked to team revenues, not league revenues like the NBA and NFL. Essentially, each team's revenue will create a range of acceptable player compensation levels. The Globe and Mail suggests that the first year caps will range from 36 to 34 million dollars and floors will range from 24 to 22 million dollars. Any team exceeding the midpoint of their range will pay a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax to be distributed to low-income teams.
Who won? Looks like the owners. Brendan Morrison says so, anyway. There's still a lot to be hammered out but NHL salaries will be drastically cut under every scenario out there. Good for me I guess... go Oilers and all. Not so good for Ken Holland.
This constitutes Day 1 of the Adios Montoya Watch, by the way. We should get a pool going.
Update: Bob McKenzie explores the strangeness of that Globe And Mail story. I agree with him. Something's fishy here.
ESPN has withdrawn its name from the coaches poll. What to make of it? I hope this is another sign that the country is turning on the travishamockery of the BCS and is only a couple years from tearing it to shreds like rabid weasels, taking the tattered bits of fur from its corpse, and building a playoff system that will please all far and wide except the team ranked ninth. But it probably isn't.
SDWolvFan saw '06 basketball recruit Tom Herzog in action at a basketball tournament in, well, San Diego. Here's his report.
Five Wolverines went in the MLB draft over the last couple days and there was good news and bad news about next year's team. Relief pitcher (and ex-quarterback) Clayton Richard and second baseman Chris Getz both went relatively high and are likely to sign contracts. Pitcher Derek Feldkamp may also depart. The good news is that recruit Zach Putnam, reputed to be the best player Michigan has signed in a long time, was not drafted at all due to excessive contract demands. Michigan will get at least a year out of him.
Programming Note II: Having given short shrift to the softball team with my all-caps officiating liveblog rants, I feel compelled to correct my mistakes by liveblogging the climactic championship game tonight. The ogling, er, Serious Professional Analysis starts at 7:30. (A note: is it sad that I noticed that softball had come a long way because people started trashing them on message boards when they were down 0-2 last night? Yes.)
Update: Apparently the draft was still a goin' on. Putnam went in the 38th round to the Tigers. Yet to be seen if they'll actually sign him.
CFN's Tuesday question is "The most overrated team going into 2005 is..."
First of all, that isn't a question. Second of all, Pete Fiutak says it's Michigan. But this is how he starts his article:
"From what I've read in early copies of several preseason publications and from various outside sources I've been talking to, you'd think the 2005 Michigan Wolverines were on the verge of winning the Super Bowl and not just the Rose Bowl."
I would like to see these publications. Lindy's pegged us #3, but other than that most previews seem to have us in the 7-10 range, certainly not Super Bowl striking distance. CFN has a nasty habit of just makin' crap up and then beating the hell out of the strawman they've constructed, and this is a fine example. The lifted quote above would be accurate if the team in question was USC. The nonstop media celebration over the Trojans started a little over two years ago when they waxed an excellent Iowa team and it hasn't stopped since, mostly because USC's given no indication that anyone should do so. But the quote is totally fictional as applies to Michigan.
Not one single preview even has Michigan playing in the Rose Bowl, let alone winning it. So what the hell is Fiutak talking about? Lord knows. Then he goes on to say Michigan's basically guaranteed to win eight games and that winning two of three "question marks"--MSU, OSU, Iowa--"isn't asking for much," capping his incisive thoughts with this:
"Can Michigan really be overrated and finish 10-1? Absolutely."
This is another one of those things that is so obviously retarded that I can't even come up with any arguments against it because it makes as much sense as arguing cheese smells like red. No. No, it doesn't, and if you think it does, it is because you're a loon.
I'll try anyway. Going undefeated in college football is hard. Somewhere between zero and three teams in real conferences accomplish the feat yearly. The next step down from "undefeated" is "10-1", which will probably be good for a top five national ranking and definitely top ten. No one who finishes 10-1 in the regular season can possibly be significantly overrated, not even unanimous #1 USC. And YOU think that Michigan is already 8-0 to start the season and should easily win two of three question marks and that losing the third to finish 10-1 would be an indication of being overrated? So basically, you think that anything short of a NC game appearance is disappointment for Michigan and you think that other people are overrating Michigan?
So Fiutak has A) a delusional view of nationwide Michigan perception, B) a delusional view of his own Michigan perception, and C) no idea what the word "overrated" means. Also, D) a silly last name. CFN's signal to noise ratio, already low, has taken a blow with this self-contradictory bollocks.
7:20: Hello. Sportscenter is currently running down the top 10 Game 7s of all time. I bet one billion dollars the Red Sox are on top. Er. I mean negative one billion dollars. Dan Patrick says that Wade's playing. Like, duh. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson is NOT missing the dead bodies on TNT, because Law & Order is in the hizzouse.
7:32: Yesterday my roommate asked me if Lisa Fernandez was a man. I had to think about it for a couple seconds. Also... look, I don't want men announcing this game, so why does Pam Ward get inflicted on us during football season? I'm just sayin'.
7:36: Holy crap. Lisa Dodd, I, uh. Uh.
7:37: We're underway. UCLA: hot but friggin' annoying. Isn't that always the way it is? I mean, seriously, they're cheering foul balls. Ritter Ks the first batter.
7:40: Tara Henry's favorite movie is Ocean's 11. Why do we get these little Hello Kitty biographical facts? Isn't that vaguely insulting? Tara's doing that weird slap thing where she sort of half-swings, half bunts and takes off for the bag before the ball even gets there. Ritter Ks her too. Holy crap! The UCLA bench is doing this weird horrible a capella version of "Thunderstruck." Yes, THAT "Thunderstruck." The AC/DC one. Ritter Ks the hell out of whoever Ms. Thunderstruck is too. Eat that bitches!
7:50: Dude, this guy on TNT is in deep doodoo. Two down meekly for Michigan so far. Make that three.
7:54: Holly Rowe is about as useful and interesting at televising softball as she is at televising football. UCLA finished 5th in the Pac-10! Emily Zaplatosch's favorite TV show is Baseball Tonight--I wonder if she spends her free time dreamily pondering Bill Mueller in unlikely situations like Sam from Blue Cats and Red Sox.
7:59: Kristen Dedmon's best advice: "Trust Yourself." Ritter's K'd five of six batters. She does not appear tired. Momentary freakout when program guide says there's three hours of Law & Order on TNT tonight. Intro clips on TNT show Kerr nailitating a three. Good on yer, Steve. Oh God--Walton's going to be televising the Finals! This just occurred to me. Goddammit.
8:00: Sweet fancy Moses, a base hit! Can't believe that was just a single, that ball went straight down the left field line. Grace Lutele likes "24" and isn't swinging anywhere near the ball. Next two Wolverines get wasted, scoreless through two.
8:06: Look, I'm not advocating going Artest on Wade, but maybe a hard foul. Or three. Barkley just said "I'm not accusing them of lying, but they're lying." I LOVE YOU CHARLES.
8:10: Ooh, Krista Colburn always dresses in the same order. What a... fascinating fact. Why can softball players go talk ot the coach in the middle of at-bats? For Christ's sake, UCLA, SHUT UP. Finally a hard hit ball by UCLA, but it's just a fly out. Ritter has retired the first nine. Double damn commercial! Alas!
8:16: Is UCLA's pitcher actually named "Jelly"? Doug Collins is a detriment to my precious Marv Albert-Steve Kerr combo, constantly saying uninteresting things I've heard hundreds of times before. 8:20 on TNT and no sign of a tipoff.
8:21: Three innings over in softball after a weird baserunning out. And we have tipoff in Miami! I'll check in later, ladies. Three seconds on Shaq. That's different than the usual dunk after overpowering Ben. First two shots from the Pistons by Ben, and Wade bricks his first shot and falls over, doesn't get back on D. He ain't right.
8:25: Sure, let's just give them open threes. Terrible call #1 on an out of bounds play. Wade hacks the crap out of Prince and there's actually some booing from the crowd. Tayshaun and Hamilton seem on tonight. Billups not so much. Ritter is in a bit of a situation over in softball, with runners on first and second, two down... I guess that qualifies as a jam in softball.
8:32: Ritter gets out of it. Pistons thoughts: look disjointed on offense and defense, need to attack the basket with more authority and get some fouls on Shaq or Wade, who's already got one. Wade does *not* look good.
8:38: Offensive foul on Shaq and absolutely deserved. Horrible call #2 on a clean block for Rasheed. Goddammit! Pistons have to stop turning it over and make the Heat take contested jump shots. Michigan goes down 1-2-3, though they were about a foot from a home run.
8:41: Another awful, awful call on Hamilton. Ball don't lie. Damon Jones appears to have sprained his ankle on that play... maybe allows for more Shaq doubling. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? They just showed Jones heading towards the locker room while the play was still going on. I can't stand that. Show me the game. First quarter ends 23-21 Miami. Foul on Shaq and Wade each, Wade looks very mortal tonight. Feeling okay. One on, one out in the top of the fifth over on ESPN. I need a fajita.
8:51: Hamilton 5/5 after a tough buzzer beater. If Van Gundy leaves Wade out the entire game they're dead. YEHAT MOFO TAYSHAUN PRINCE HIS NAME IS PRINCE AND HE IS FUNKY. REEEP HAMILTON WOOT WOOT.
8:55: Through five and a half innings and no runs in the softball game. This happens all the time in softball. I mean, Ritter's ERA is under 1.00. Softball, eh, is rather boring. Don't tell Lisa Dodd I said that. Ben swishy swishy. Hamilton is killing them with his Hamilton game. Detroit up four at the moment.
9:01: I think the refs just missed a defensive three seconds on Detroit, and Sheed wastifies a three. Yo yo yo. Dice has hit three from his spot on the baseline. Collins makes an great point about how Sheed and Dice are out there against Mourning and Shaq... the pick and roll will be wide open every time. Horrible call #3 on Lindsay. No score through five with the softball. Wade has done basically nothing at this point and has passed up a lot of shots or opportunities to drive the basket. If Miami is going to win they are going to have to get a monster game from Shaq, and Elden hasn't made an appearance yet--he still has a hack-friendly six fouls.
9:07: I was just about to say something nice about Lindsay smartly setting up the pick and rolls and then he absolutely bricks a three he should not have even thought about taking. Ritter has loaded the bases with no one out after hitting two batters. Maybe the workload is getting to her. Huge juncture.
9:16: The refs have really turned on the screw machine now. Miami: first team foul. Detroit has taken one free throw, and that was the defensive-three second call. Michigan is down 2-0 in softball. AAAAAAAARGH. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR BOIL WATER NOTICE!!!!! I'M DRINKING WHISKEY, YOU STUPID WHORE! Looks like another craptastic foul on Prince as we come back. Thanks for making it close, refs! Finally some free throws. And the crowd, completely unaware of what's going on, boos.
9:21: Ah, the refs have now turned the screw machine the other way. A critical offensive foul on Wade, his third. And what were we watching? Stan van Gundy bitching at the refs. Thanks, Mr. Director. Maybe we could get that
overhead cam shot that is completely alien and impossible to see anything from? Ah, thanks. Softball game is now 4-0, first and second, still no one out--basically over in the no-score world of softball. Ritter's been chased. Oh, Jesus. Great. Instead of an eight, maybe ten point lead at the half, a turnover leads to a Jones buzzer-beater three. 45-40 at the half, dammit.
Speaking of Joey Crawford, why do they let breathtakingly ugly people referee things? They're always unbalanced by the cruel fate life has dealt them and go out of their way to royally piss everyone off. Mark Wilkins, who looks like an evil, chain-smoking, french black and white parrot, is both breathtakingly ugly and the worst hockey referee in the history of the Universe.
9:31: I'm trying to figure out which is more annoying: the high-pitched harpy shriek of the UCLA softball team (minus the demure and classy Lisa Dodd) or the minute-long foghorn of the Heat's PA announcer going "Shaquille O'Neal." Probably the latter. Wait, there's a last minute entry: a t-shirt that says "BruiWin attitude." It's going down to the wire.
9:35: I think it's the harpy shriek. Wait! There's one of those goddamned McDonald's commercials! We have a winner! (Which commercial? Any of them. I think each one is the worst one whenever I see it. Couldn't Adbusters do something useful and start burning down McDonalds?)
9:41: Meekly they go in the sixth. Meanwhile, I'm reading this amazing ridiculous verse play over at BC&RS.
9:45: Hey, we get a replay of the offensive foul. Legit, dumb by Wade. I'd be feelin' real good if not for that Eddie Jones three. As is, still feelin' pretty good.
9:47: Goddammit you bastards, THAT'S A GODDAMN FOUL YOU UGLY BASTARDS. Ugly. Bastards. Pistons can't buy a bucket. Miami within one. Stupid half-ending three. Thank you, Tayshaun. You are the best Piston.
9:49: WHAT? ARE YOU GODDAMN KIDDING ME? Shaq just fouled all five Pistons on the floor and FINALLY they call it on SHAQ I HATE YOU YOU UGLY MOTHER... DAMMIT WHY IS THIS BLOG PG-13? Eat it! Eat IIIIIT! (Ben dunk.)
9:51: Nice passing for another Ben dunk, and then a Jones dunk. No more they dunk. More us dunk. Billups hit a tough shot after getting TOTALLY FOULED. JESUS. And another non-foul on Wallace, as one ugly ref with excellent position to see the play didn't call it any the other hideous half-man, half-goat, out of position, decided to go ahead and call it because he hates puppies. Billups destroy! Det 55-50. Sheed. Money. 57.
9:54: Wade is looking much better after the half... an awful non-call on a Prince three attempt followed by an awful call on another out of bounds play. Okay, okay. That's probably not true. I have lost all reason. Probably only half of those were completely inexplicable calls that, in a less-civilized time, would mean the gallows. It's what? 57-52? Yes. All right.
9:58: Wow. A quick review of the last fifteen minutes or so reveals significant anger. Sheed with a cold blooded, critical three. Sheed's yelling at Haslem not to leave him... Haslem knocks down a jumper and yells at Sheed to not leave him.
10:01: Stupid taking a timeout after good D on the sideline. Wade just got knocked to the ground and took a long time to get up. I predict he starts missing his shots in the fourth. Either that or I will fear him for the rest of his career.
10:04: Unbelievable. Wade makes an impossible shot and then flops for the offensive foul on Prince. Pistons really need someone to step up.
10:08: Another good Collins point about Shaq's lack of involvement meaning he's relatively well rested. Every close call right now is going against the Pistons.
10:13: I have a little cheer I like to do with my friends. We go "PEE-STONES, PEE-STONES, WE STICK IT IN YOU" with a staccato rhythm and--this is key--every syllable we alternate one of two positions. Position one is a sort of crouch where your butt sticks out. Position two is a full pelvic thrust. The overall effect is piston-esque and filthy. It is a glorious cheer. We need it now, down two, going into the fourth. I have just performed it. Let it guide us to victory.
10:17: Three team fouls on Miami in 52 seconds. The cheer is with us.
10:25: Joe Dumars is just as visibly pissed about that Zo free throw going in as I am, and now a ridiculous offensive foul... I... I... what the hell? We're going into an offensive funk. Campbell and Ben are out there to gether. We need Billups.
10:31: Beautiful charge taken by Hamilton. Let's go. Campbell annihilated by Shaq, and a timeout down 4, Campbell heading to the line. He needs to stay in the rest of the game. Shaq is not tired, and he's the only Piston who can hope to handle him one-on-one. Ben is only playing for his defense and Campbell is the better defensive option. I love you Ben, but against Shaq now... you need to sit on the bench. Wallace or Dice for the other forward and let's get some double screens for Prince and Hamilton. Both have played well.
10:34: Why does Craig Sager think it's 1973?
10:35: YES I LOVE YOU CHAUNCEY FUCKING BILLUPS.
10:37: Wade's still on the ground. Dude is messed up. Four minutes left, 74-74. We have a timeout and I have reached the "so nervous that all commercials are muted" stage.
10:42: Can you imagine how I am during Michigan football games? YEAH! That was an and one, by the way. (No Wade!) Ben wisely fouls the hell out of Shaq. Line time. Shaq makes both. Jesus.
10:45: What did I say about Elden? Shaq Shaq Shaq Shaq. Ben can't handle him. He's on the line and he bricked one. Miami up one.
10:46: Sheed line down one TWO HUGE FREETHROWS lost ability to coherent think. Swish. Swish. Up one. 1:46. Let's go.
10:47: "Wade has now missed his last four shot attempts." Prescient me. Want hamilton shoot. YES SHEED SHEED SHEED.
10:48: Commercial muted with 54 seconds left, Pistons up three. Bring in Elden, no double on Shaq, and let it play out.
10:50: No Elden. If Shaq gets it, autofoul. Jump ball... Wade and... Hamilton. Let's go. YES.
10:51: Billups accidentally did something good... fouling Jones. He's got two and BRICKED THE FIRST. TOAST BITCHES.
10:52: Billups to the line. He is in the top ten all-time in FT shooting. I place it in your hands, Mr. Big Shot.
10:53: Two of two. Miami's last timeout. 15.5 remaining in regulation. Mute again. Pistons up four. Don't allow a three and this game is over. Sheed: huge. Hamilton: huge. Billups: huge.
10:55: If Steve Smith makes a three I'm burning down East Lansing.
le="font-weight: bold;">10:56: Billups: cold-blooded mofo. Liquid nitrogen blood. Absolute zero blood. Rename "Kelvin scale" "Billups Scale." BAAAAAAALLGAME!
10:58: (After settling down, no referee issues.) Pistons. That's why I love you bastards. I leave you with this:
Update II: One, last thing... Sheed was on TNT post game, WITH THE BELT. And the last thing TNT said this year about the NBA? Sheed said: "One last thing. Now it's time for you to go fishing." I loves ya, Sheed. (Okay, they only fake left and then came back... but it was still totally awesome nonetheless.)
Michigan's softball team has advanced to the championship series against UCLA after defeating Tennessee on the second try oh, about twenty minutes ago. Also, the Pistons roll into Miami tonight for a climactic Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals. mgoblog will simul-liveblog both events, with first priority going to the Pistons (sorry ladies, but... it's the Pistons). Expect at least two or three INFURIATED ALL-CAPS entries! The fun starts at 7:30 PM.