Archive for September, 2011

Baseball’s finest day?

September 29th, 2011
By dreardon



Sept. 28, 2011 may go down as the most exciting day in baseball regular-season history. Both wild card spots were determined in thrilling fashion. I was having a drink with a friend before dinner at Champions sports bar watching three TVs at one time, trying to keep up with the action. It had a March Madness feel to it.

When he finally retires someday, MLB Bud Selig’s legacy as commissioner will definitely be a mixed bag. But it should be remembered that the wild card was installed under his watch.

I’m all for the idea of adding another wild card team in each league, even if it is for a one-game playoff to advance to the “final four” of each league.

Vick could learn from Romo … Best baseball movie?

September 28th, 2011
By dreardon



I love to watch Michael Vick play football. And I think he’s doing a good job of redeeming himself as a person after serving time for dogfighting. But the Eagles quarterback should stop complaining about what he thinks are late hits and officials not calling them.

When you play quarterback in the NFL, you’re going to get hit. And when you play the way Vick does, you’re going to get hit more often.

The Cowboys’ Tony Romo played hurt on Monday night, and everyone knew he was injured. He toughed it out and despite not throwing a touchdown pass managed to hang in there and lead a victory over the Redskins. I didn’t hear him complaining about being hit by defenders who were targeting his tender ribs. He just went out there and played, and won.

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Did you ever notice the best sports movies usually aren’t really about sports? “Moneyball,” the topic of today’s column, falls into that category. There’s a lot in the movie about a lot of different things. I didn’t expect much, but after seeing it I think it goes near the top of my list of favorite baseball movies, right below “Major League” and  above “Field of Dreams.”

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I will be appearing (I mean, my voice will be appearing) on the “Manoa Underground” radio show tonight at 7 p.m. on 1420-AM.

AP poll vote … LaTech: A tough place to play at

September 26th, 2011
By dreardon



When the AP college football poll came out Sunday, I looked like a stubborn holdout, since I was one of the 12 voters to cling to Oklahoma as No. 1 and not switch LSU to the top spot.

Yes, LSU has an impressive resume, with three of its four wins against ranked opponents, including that big win against Oregon.

One reason I kept Oklahoma at the top spot (for now) is that I still consider its win at Florida State a quality victory. I think because FSU has now lost two in a row after falling at Clemson on Saturday, many voters have devalued that Sooners win (I have to admit I struggled with keeping a two-loss team in the Top 25 this week, but still think the Seminoles beat the teams I rank below them most the time at a neutral site).

Here’s how the poll came out: 1. LSU (4-0 record, 42 first-place votes). 2. Oklahoma (3-0, 12). 3. Alabama (4-0, 5). 4. Boise State (3-0, 1). 5. Oklahoma State (4-0). 6. Stanford (3-0). 7. Wisconsin (4-0). 8. Nebraska (4-0). 9. Oregon (3-1). 10. South Carolina (4-0). 11. Virginia Tech (4-0). 12. Florida (4-0). 13. Clemson (4-0). 14. Texas A&M (2-1). 15. Baylor (3-0). 16. South Florida (4-0). 17. Texas (3-0). 18. Arkansas (3-1). 19. Michigan (4-0). 20. TCU (3-1). 21. Georgia Tech (4-0). 22. West Virginia (3-1). 23. Florida State (2-2). 24. Illinois (4-0). 25. Arizona State (3-1).

Here’s how I voted:

1. Oklahoma. 2. Alabama. 3. LSU. 4. Boise State. 5. Oklahoma State. 6. Stanford. 7. Wisconsin. 8. VaTech. 9. Nebraska. 10. South Carolina. 11. Oregon. 12. Florida. 13. Clemson. 14. Texas A&M. 15. South Florida. 16. Baylor. 17. Arkansas. 18. Florida State. 19. Texas. 20. Michigan. 21. West Virginia. 22. Georgia Tech. 23. Illinois. 24. TCU. 25. Arizona State.

Knocking on the door: Houston, Penn State, Utah, Washington.

Today’s column is about Georgia Tech’s offense … which is what Hawaii used to run when Tech coach Paul Johnson was UH offensive coordinator.

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Finally. Hawaii plays its last game at Louisiana Tech this Saturday since UH is leaving the WAC. Over the past decade, Hawaii at LaTech and LaTech at Hawaii has established itself as the most ridiculous annual game in the history of college football because of the distance between the schools.

LaTech never won in Hawaii. But UH has pulled off two victories in Ruston, La., — exciting, close games in 2003 and 2007.The Warriors were manhandled there in 2005 and 2009. For Hawaii to win Saturday, it must slow Lennon Creer. Creer is up there with Utah State’s Robert Turbin among the WAC’s best running backs.

What happens in Henderson … All-Hawaii Bowl team

September 23rd, 2011
By dreardon



I was on vacation in Las Vegas last week. Part of it included going to the UH football game at Sam Boyd Stadium in Henderson. It was my first UH game as a paying customer since the Warriors hosted LaTech in 2000. Some of my thoughts about what happened are in columns posted Wednesday and today.

As for Saturday’s game hosting UC-Davis? It’s a good thing the Warriors aren’t playing a stronger team right now, considering the poor play of last week and the injuries UH has suffered recently.

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The Hawaii Bowl folks have come up with a great promotional idea. You can vote for the game’s 10-year anniversary team while winning great prizes. Somehow I think Justin Colbert will have an edge in this first vote.

Patriots=Yankees, Brady=Jeter?

September 13th, 2011
By dreardon



Oooh … sacrilege for a guy who grew up loving the pro teams from Boston to suggest this, right?

But Tom Brady and Derek Jeter have a lot in common and are symbols of their teams. They’re so consistently successful that they, like their teams, tend to annoy some people.

The players themselves don’t bother me at all (even though Brady was briefly less than cordial during a Pro Bowl interview), but I find the organizations they play for irritating.

Of course, New England fans will say the fundamental difference is the Patriots are consistent winners despite dealing with a salary cap while the Yankees can just throw money at whatever players they want (like the Red Sox do). I agree the Patriots have a great organization that is outstanding at player procurement and coaching.

Jealousy? No, for me, just annoyance, since with age I’ve lost interest in being a fan of any specific franchise. Also I perceive a certain smugness around the Yankees and Patriots organizations and more of their fans than those of other teams.

The strange thing about it is the Patriots haven’t won the Super Bowl in a few years and the Yankees aren’t as dominant as they used to be.

Then, of course, there’s the Bill Belichick factor. Brilliant coach, but perceived by many as arrogant.

There are many exceptions, but I just find a lot of Boston and New York fans to be obnoxious about their teams. Some fans are passionate about their favorite teams without that. Is it an East Coast culture thing?

What fans/franchises/players/coaches/college teams — heck, throw media in there, too — get under your skin?