Sunday, July 8, 2007

WSN Big Bang Sunday Truth

USC got blasted by the national media for offering an eighth grader a basketball scholarship for when the current middle schooler is ready for college.

Oh, the outrage!

Hey, if the lil' dude is a prodigy, who cares. Think the parents are complaining? The kid?

Hey, the NBA didn't like high schoolers at one time and everyone got their panties in a bunch over that "shortsighted" move, until Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James and others LIT...IT...UP. It's just a new way of thinking.

Yes, it's all about a system out of control but is it as bad as cheating academically or with steroids? Is it as sick as the AAU circuit or recruiting improprieties? So please, all you indignant national voices, look in the rear-view mirror.

And maybe if someone offered those media slugs' child a college scholarship, paying for school, they'd feel, oh, I don't know -- differently.

In the Mail

From Matthew Pucak, who talks about the assertion here that three games will go a long way towards determining CSU's bowl hopes -- Wyoming, Air Force and San Diego State, all winnable but challenging dates for different reasons.
"I will taunt you about CSU. I do think those games will do a lot for CSU. I bet they come in at 4-1, then lead Air Force 21-3 at halftime before losing and going down the drain with 7 straight losses...because it happened last year.

"This year I think the three-game stretch of Utah, at BYU and at New Mexico will show what CSU is about. Win two of three and they are bowling somewhere warm, and maybe in the (conference) championship hunt. Lose two or three, and Sonny's chair will be getting warmer than he has ever dealt with before.

"And don't think I'm hating on you too hard, just giving you a little grief for messing up. This is a great blog and I get disappointed when you don't update. Keep up the good work."

WSN: Matt, Sonny Lubick hasn't forgot to coach but, as you point out, if the wins and bowl berths don't start showing up consistently again, the heat is going to burn him out of the gopher hole in the near future. CSU doesn't have the talent it used to so the margin for error is slimmer. If the Rams play a tight game every week they could and should be bowl bound. No BCS fun but a holiday treat, nonetheless.
The Underground Word on Broncos pig

John Elway
and Denver were pretenders until Terrell Davis showed up, until Gary Zimmerman became that rock at tackle.

Quarterback of the present Jay Cutler has a solid, eager if unspectacular runner to help in Travis Henry, two quality tight ends, a top-notch wide receiver in Javon Walker but also a questionable line. And we all know that holes up front make for happy defenders.

What the Broncos need
as much as anything on that side of the ball is a Zimmerman quality bodyguard to protect Cutler's "6" and a bunch of other guys who take great pride in their work, easily offended at the skill position players being ineffective due to the defense.

Maybe a healthy Matt Lepsis is that leader on the edge to go with the inside guts of center Tom Nalen and feisty Ben Hamilton but the feeling here on Lepsis is that coming off of surgery and aging as well that we're going to see slipping in his play. Add that to the fact he is a dependable but hardly dominant tackle and there are issues.

The wild card? Rookie and reported former steroid user Ryan Harris.

How good will he be and become?

The WSN is optimistic about him. His smarts will determine how much he contributes this season.

Slamma Jamma

Raiders defensive lineman Bryant McNeal, next stop -- jail. The former Broncos draft pick and bust, I might add, was planning for life after football, selling cars. Ones that weren't his. Guess that matters to the police in South Carolina, where McNeal "Motors" got busted. Who knows, maybe that move was in the Oakland playbook.

Current Bronco defensive end Kenny Peterson is also going to jail. NFL jail. Sitting on the sideline for four games for partying with steroids. Guess taking the junk helped him earn a big paycheck but how come he still can't make plays on the field? If you take 'roids and still suck, what does that say?

Funny, isn't it, how some of these guys just don't get it? They words of the league's conduct policy sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown to these chumps --- wa, wa, wa, wa, wa. They just blindly keep acting like fools, keep taking the punishment and embarrassing themselves. No control over their propensity to look and act stupid. Rules don't change most people. If you don't have character, then nothing will save you from yourself.

The NET (National Entitlement League)

The WSN sees that Eric Dickerson is the latest to stand up and throw darts at the NFL, saying the league needs to mama it's former players with a better pension. Does this grandstanding ever end?

Does it look like most of us in this country are moved by the pleas, considering millions of Americans who don't make big pro salaries, sometimes millions, are without any health care for themselves and sometimes their families?

My question is this -- if I pay you hundreds of thousands a dollars a year or even better, funneling nine or 10 zeroes into your bank account, do you think you can try and find a way to save a few bucks for retirement and future health concerns?

In all fairness,
how can you make me the bad guy if you are pulling down more paper than most people could ever dream of?

How can you logically be angry
when you decided to spend your cheese on bling, women, more women, exotic trips, sports cars and dream mansions?

Soldiers, yes, pay their health care, on the house, but former pro athletes, even with a union that served you well while you played, well sit down Joe, you're making a fool of yourself.

Net Effects

Rumors on the NBA trails say that Nuggets free agent point guard Steve Blake is desired by the Heat but that Miami is laughing at Blake's agent who sees his client as a $ 6 million asset. We're laughing here too. Something positive could come down, even if it remains a long shot, for Denver. Word is the Nuggets like Raptors shooter Morris Peterson, who would be a great fit due to his size (6-foot-7) and long-range marksmanship (37 percent), an area where Denver is weak. I'd call the possibility of such an acquisition slim at this point but you know the mile high front office is aggressive. We just have to see how creative it can be to improve the team with a player like Mo-Pete.

Back in the saddle

Venus Williams
ain't done yet. Digging deep into the well for some of that past dominance, she wiped out Frenchy Marion Bartoli to claim her fourth Wimbledon title. Winners never really forget how to win. They might lose the hunger or get injured but if they're right in the head and the body, then they are always dangerous. Williams is just the latest example.

Rockies Rap

Former Colorado Rockies second baseman Eric Young's offspring, E.Y. Jr. is holding his own in the Rockies farm system at High-A ball, hitting .272. Where he is most impressing is 42 steals. But if that average doesn't come up, then the dream of the bright lights go out. Still, keep an eye on him. If he comes around with the bat, he could make NOISE. He might even, one day, make up for the glaring Chone Figgins' mistake (watch that little Angel excel).

Matt Holliday, National League MVP. So says Jayson Stark of For the first half of the season. Holliday has become a star after a mediocre minor league career, which helps the Rockies remain patient with some names you'll read of below. Holliday is special but him ending up with the MVP is going to be a tough sell over names like Cecil Fielder of the Brewers or someone from the Mets. Voters love winners. If Holliday revs up the engine even more in the second of the season, keeps Colorado close in the West, wins the batting title, hits 30 homers and drives in 130-plus runs, then yeah, anything is possible.

Trade bait for the Rockies if they decide to part out the team later this summer? Try on these names for size:
Jeremy Affeldt...been stellar in relief but he's a fluke. Sell high.
Brian Fuentes...if the quality offer comes around, Fed-Ex him.
Brad Hawpe...discussed earlier this week.
Kaz Matsui...ditto.
Rodrigo Lopez...dangling for prospects or power bat.
Aaron this -- he's available, for high-level prospects.
Yorvit Torrealba...if a surprise offer of prospects is made.
Here they are, the latest WSN Elite Picks for the Colorado farm system. Not who the scouts or experts salivate over but who looks good from this seat.


Greg Reynolds...hurt but was dealing before going down
Brandon Hynick...human again but great body of work


Michael McHenry...pop and a good eye, remember him
Daniel Mayora...middle infielder with juice

Usual Suspects

Ian Stewart, Joe Koshansky and Seth Smith are all so close to being ready for the step to Coors Field. If any of them would just find that little extra to get over the hump, they'd be in Denver, but none of them have been able to kick it into that higher gear.
Holding on to the dream

Perseverance is a trait we're all told matters and yet sometimes forget or decide is too difficult. For Cory Sullivan of the Rockies and Jeff Salazar of the Diamondbacks, that's how they live their lives. They are irrepressible.

They likely have Triple-A or the dreaded Four-A talent, that nasty notion that you are better than the best of minor leaguers but can't hack it in the pros, yet because they refuse to take "no" for an answer and keep the pedal to the metal, they are back in the major leagues.

Sullivan flopped last season after having promise because he shows little ability with the bat. He struck out too much, didn't drive the ball and didn't create offensive havoc.

Salazar, a one-time star prospect for the Rockies, is now gone but re-emerged as a major leaguer this week with Arizona.

One other name with Colorado ties that is back in the bigs this season, and crushing, is Jack Cust of the A's, who despite his immense power, once looked like a lost cause; more weekend softball hack than a major league power plant.

This fall look for similar driven souls on the football teams, prep or college, you follow. These guys become great stories.

Who says I don't how to love!

Now there's the some good news to start the week.

Let's hug.

Just because you want to know

Eva Longoria's attractiveness is growing on me.

Of course, how could it not considering her picture and name are flashed all over the internet daily.

Spurs star and NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker better enjoy it all while he can because this Hollywood marriage is doomsday coming.

Dead Man Walking.

Parker's contract likely will last longer than his marital union.

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