Black Hawk Down- It took 7 physical games to do it but finally the Boston Celtics can move past Atlanta. Props go out to an Atlanta team that realized its' potential and exceeded anything we could have hoped out of a 37 win team. World, meet Joe Johnson. He is one of the bext kept secrets in the NBA.
Somehow I doubt the Celtics are excited about facing Lebron James and the James-ettes. It will be intriguing to watch how Allen, Pierce, and Garnett (all over 30 years of age) come back from a physical series to face one of the strongest stars in the game. It was still impressive how they handled a young and enthusiastic Hawks team in game 7. Still, they should have been out of that series long before. One has to wonder how they will fare if they end up playing the Pistons, which it seems we are all waiting for.
He Laughed, He Cried...- He went Harry Potter all over the Washington Wizards' asses. Now Papa Johns, the national pizza chain, owes Lebron an apology. The pizza chain made "crybaby" shirts for game 6 between the Cavs and Wizards in response to Wizards center Brendan Haywood's comment that Lebron should stop crying. To save face Papa Johns will offer large, one topping pizzas to Cleveland Residents for 23 cents. The 23 cent offer is a tribute to James' jersey number. They also will give 10,000 dollars to the Cavaliers Youth Fund. Message to Brendan Haywood: You are no longer playing at North Carolina. This is the NBA, where you can't beat up on players from North Carolina State anymore. Take your own advice, quit crying and hogging the limelight, and pray that Gilbert Arenas gets his shot back, or you will never see past the first round.
Much Ado About Nothing- For all the fuss about Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens' departure from the MLB, it sure seems like baseball is flourishing. We've seen brilliant pitching from Brandon Webb, underachieving from the Padres, and a Chicago Cubs squad that can actually hit. Surprise! Combine this with some early season success of the Tampa Bay Rays, an exciting LA Angels squad (who have been fantastic in spite of John Lackey's absence. Joe Saunders as an early Cy Young candidate is awesome), and maybe the sleeper of the season, St. Louis Cards, and you have a recipe for another great season. (Those who know me as a huge Red Sox and Astros fan can take solace in the fact that I will not harp on them this time.) Also, Yankees fans need not be worried about A-Rod, Posada, or their team's early struggles with pitching. If there is one team that is always there at the end of the regular season, it is the Yankees.
Bad News Bears- Chicago RB Cedric Benson was charged with failing a sobriety test while operating a 30-foot boat, then resisted arrest before being pepper sprayed and dragged ashore by officers. Head Coach Lovie Smith said if Benson can break tacklers on the field as well then the Bears' running game will be in good shape.
Real Men of Genius- Former Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith has some profound words to offer newly aqcuired Cowboy, Pacman Jones. Stay out of trouble. "As long as you're not killing anybody, getting anybody shot at or going to jail, then I don't have any issues," Smith said. He also offered other nuggets of wisdom such as "Water will get you wet, fire is hot, and the Cowboys have had some trouble winning a playoff game in the past decade."
Jerry Jones is no stranger to rolling the dice on controversial players. Tank Johnson and Terrell Owens seem to come to mind. But it may be worth the risk considering they only gave up a 4th round pick, as well as having the luxury of Pacman taking a pay cut. I seem to recall another team last year that gave up a 4th round pick for a player with unlimited potential and unlimited character issues. That worked out pretty decently for the Patriots, now didn't it? Also, if there is one area of concern for the Cowboys, it is at the cornerback position. They seem to have solved that with a first round steal of South Florida's Mike Jenkins and Pacman.
Taming the Tiger- Bravo to LSU for getting rid of troubled QB Ryan Perrilloux. Les Miles finally realized what UT fans knew a few years ago after he bailed out on them to go to Baton Rouge, that he is not worth the trouble. Perrilloux seemed to be the perfect fit for an LSU team that lost Jemarcus Russell to the NFL. But his rocket arm and highlight reel moves were not enough to cover up his blatant disrespect for rules. As SI's Stewart Mandel said before, the Tigers will be far better off getting rid of him 4 months before the season starts.
More to come, but now it is time to study for finals this week. It's great to be back and I look forward to TDing with all of you, as well as catching up with both the old and new members. Have a great night!