Posted Thursday, December 16, 2010 11:55 AM
It didn't matter to Bucks bettors who were happy to see Manu Ginobili's shot drop at the final buzzer Wednesday night. It prevented an overtime and assured that Milwaukee -- which was getting 7 points -- would cover the number. Spurs bettors would have loved to see the shot miss and take their chances in overtime.
But what sucked so much about Ginobili's shot was that referees Scott Foster, Eric Dalen and David Guthrie all refused to call an obvious travel call on Ginobili just before he got off the game-winner.
No shock there. Despite what referees tell you about calling the game the same in the final minute as they do in the first 47, everyone knows it's a lie. No referee wants to be the one to make a call to decide a game, so the no blood/no foul/no travel/no northing edict goes into effect with the games on the line.
The interesting question to ask is if Ginobili gets the same no-call if the game was in Milwaukee. Jordan would have. Bird. Bryant too. James probably. If the NBA really believed in calling the game fairly, Jordan would have gotten called for a pushoff on Craig Ehlo.
So Ginobili gets the call at home, Spurs fans go delirious, the Bucks get screwed over and life goes on in the NBA, where bad calls -- and bad no-calls -- happen. Especially in the final seconds.
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:02 AM
We may never know the real reason – Instinct? Instructions from the head coach? Brain fart? -- that Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi decided to stick his leg out and take down Miami’s Nolan Carroll in Sunday’s game.
There’s speculation that Alosi was part of a line of Jets non-playing personnel stacked shoulder to shoulder just out of bounds to prevent Carroll from getting back on the field quickly if Jets players were able to knock him OB as Carroll was covering the punt. Whatever. The only thing certain is that Alosi inadvertently wrote the first paragraph of his obituary when he impulsively decided to impersonate a member of the Rockettes just when Carroll was running by him.
The Jets suspended and fined Alosi on Monday, shortly after Alosi admitted everything, apologized and served himself up on a platter. No doubt the Jets hope that Alosi’s contrition and their quick action dampens any enthusiasm the NFL has to look any further into things. Rex Ryan also said that he personally was not involved in any coordinated effort to stack personnel on the sidelines during punt returns. And Ronald Regan never knew about Iran/Contra, either.
Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the northeast, Patriot Nation is smiling as SpyGate becomes a little smaller in the rear view mirror.Bet the NFL at Betjamaica.com
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010 02:09 PM
A few years back the great satirical website Onion.com posted a spoof which stated that the New York Yankees had guaranteed another championship simply by buying every single major league player.
Satire and truth, it turns out, are tighter than mating bedbugs. If they haven't already, the Yankees figure to soon sign Cliff Lee to a contract limited in the amount of zeroes only by the width of the 8 1/2-inch paper it is signed on.
But even with Lee, the Yanks look like only the second-best team in their division. Boston, whose boss Larry Lucchino once called the Yankees the "Evil Empire," is tossing around money like Pacman Jones at a Vegas strip club.
Carl Crawford will be cashing about $20 million a year in checks for the next seven years, and for those that have a calculator handy, that shakes down to about $40,000 per at bat and about $100,000 for every hit.
And don't forget that the president and Republicans are about to lessen the tax burden on the rich, so even less of Crawford's cash will be headed to Washington.
A decade and a half ago major league players went on strike in order to protect the value of their portfolios. Some teams went so far as to field replacement teams, but in the end the owners, as they always do, caved in to the players. One of the teams that was the first to give in was the then-Big Market Baltimore Orioles, who in fact refused to assemble a group on non-strikers for the sham games.
Posted Wednesday, December 08, 2010 01:54 PM
Now that bravado and smack talk have been replaced by soul-searching and finger-pointing, there is some good news for Jets fans today.
And the good news comes in the form of precedent.
Here it is:
In 2009 the planes came to Foxboro and got their landing gears handed to them in the form of a 31-14 loss to the Patriots. It was the worst loss of the year for the NYJ, and was their worst defeat until Monday night's 45-3 turkey-carving.
But while fans and bettors wonder if Rex Ryan is a legitimate NFL coach or just the man behind the curtain, and if Mark Sanchez is a star-in-the-making or just the reincarnation of Spergon Wynn, bear in mind that after last year's loss to the Pats, the Jets suffered no apparent emotional scars. In fact, they won three straight games following the defeat in New England (four Sanchez INTs in that one) and five of the final six, then won a couple of playoff games etc etc etc. They covered the number in all of those wins, too.
Contrast that to the pre-Ryan/Sanchez 2008 Jets, when Brett Favre and Eric Mangini came to Foxboro, beat New England, then went 2-4 on the way to a non-playoff season.
So don't despair, Jets fans. Looks like easy wins coming up against Miami and Pittsburgh. Then Chicago and Buffalo figure to lay down in the last two games. Plan on a return trip to Foxboro in mid- to late-January.
Posted Friday, December 03, 2010 08:05 AM
As we all know, nothing much matters in the NBA until mid-April, and that's the main reason David Stern needs to put on a show rather than real basketball in order to keep fans occupied between late October and late March.
So what we see now is probably no more than a reasonable facsimile to what will be on stage when the weather warms and the playoffs finally start.
It's good to keep that in mind in figuring out what the Miami Heat are all about. Predictions of 73-74 wins proved greatly exaggerated, but in true narcissistic fashion they have shown that they have the ability and desire to absolutely crush crappy teams. And the NBA has its share of crappy teams, starting with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The problem for the Heat is not beating bad teams -- James, Wade and on occasion the Big Chill Bosh seem to have no trouble in stat-stuffing games against the likes of the Cavs, Pistons, Wizards, Pacers. But do you like the Heat beating Orlando in a 7-game series? Boston, with the Celtics veterans getting a few days between games and Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank devising defensive schemes? The Lakers, with a Kobe Bryant motivated through the roof and Pau Gasol dominating a week Heat front line?
With all of Miami's problems the Heat are now 12-8, and to put that in persepctive, no major league team won 60 percent of its games during the regular season.But beating lousy teams solves nothing. There are enough of them to guarantee the Heat 55 t... [More]