Saturday, December 16, 2006


There seems to always be an ugly, out-of-the-norm uniform on SportsCenter, seemingly every night. Last night was no exception, as they showed highlights of the Warriors and the Suns.

The Golden State Warriors have a red jersey this year. I did not know red was one of their colors. They were always a blue and gold team. They have some classic unis with the circle and the cable car on the front. These red things, though, just aren't the ticket.

Maybe this is the real reason we rarely see the Warriors on national television.

At least Don Nelson is getting a lot of money to go back there and coach.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I was flipping channels last night, and there was a Fathead commercial, with Ocho Cinco, also known as Chad Johnson. They showed some action, and The Wife said: "Who is that? Those uniforms are ugly." It's the striped uniforms of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals have several different combinations, most of which are pretty repelling, in my opinion. This is one of the worst ones, modeled by Carson Palmer. Coincidentally, this is the play where he was injured in last year's playoff game. The orange and black tiger-striped helmet, the black jersey/black pants, and the tiger stripes on the shoulders and pants are an awful combination. It is a little better with white pants, but the black pants are a no-go in my book.

The Bengals have come a long way from the uniforms that founder/former head coach Paul Brown brought to the team. Brown wanted to mimic the look of his Cleveland teams, so he had a black jersey with an orange helmet. The orange helmet had no stripe, and said "Bengals" on the side. Simple, but classic. However, I don't think that would fly in the 2000's.

I Learned Something Today

Syracuse blogger MariusJanulisForThree, in his blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, calls attention to the Syracuse appearance in UUOTD. I appreciate his comments, and his link.

I did not know that Orangemen was an Indian nickname. I can appreciate, though, the difficulty in calling a women's team the Lady Orangemen, and in having a ton of different logos.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

UUOTD (Ugly Uniform of the Day)

A special shout out to Zee for pointing me in this direction.

This is an alternate jersey worn by one of the worst franchises in the NBA, the New York Knicks. What is up with the horizontal trim? Yeehhh! What is Isiah Thomas thinking? This is similar to that Syracuse football uniform featured yesterday.

Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis are shown wearing these for the Knicks. Interestingly, Jason Kidd is wearing the Nets' classic ABA threads in the background.

Back to the Knicks. This is a bad jersey for a bad team.

It's better, though, than the green jersey. I had never seen it before I saw it on the Knicks' website. Nate Robinson is wearing it here. This was worn on St. Patrick's Day. St. Patty's Day is a really big deal in New York. It's still really ugly, though.

Remember: The center of fashion in the civilized world has given us these threads.

A Giant Is Gone

The NFL has lost a giant. Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, passed away in a Dallas hospital today, from complications due to prostate cancer. He was 74.

Lamar Hunt was a founder of the American Football League, and was the key figure in its merger with the NFL. He was owner of the Dallas Texans, and moved them to Kansas City after winning the AFL championship in 1962. The Texans and the Cowboys shared the Cotton Bowl, and Hunt chose to move the team for the good of the AFL, rather than continue to fight the Cowboys for status in Dallas. His wisdom paid off later with the merger. A little-known fact is that the Texans outdrew the Cowboys two of the three years they both played in Dallas. The AFC championship trophy is named after him, and he came up with the name "Super Bowl" for the AFL-NFL championship game.

Hunt was also a founder of Major League Soccer, and owned FC Dallas, the Columbus Crew, and the Kansas City Wizards. He was instrumental in the rise of soccer as a spectator sport in the United States.

Another little-known fact is that Hunt was an original investor in the Chicago Bulls, and owned 11 percent of the franchise when he died. He attended games, but is said to have never met Michael Jordan.

The Dallas Morning News has more on this story. It is a sad day in Dallas and in Kansas City.

NFL Picks: Week 15

Last Week: 8-8 (again) Overall: 124-84

Dallas at Atlanta: The Cowboys were brought back to earth, way back to earth, last week against the Who Dats. The Falcons are missing their top two running backs, Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood. Atlanta is also still in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Cowboys bounce back here. Pick: Dallas, of course.
San Francisco at Seattle: The 49ers have lost three in a row after breaking even for the first ten games. The Seahawks lost a narrow one last week in Arizona, but return home with Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander back in the lineup. In the Thursday night special, give me Seattle. Pick: Seahawks
Jacksonville at Tennessee: Vince Young is approaching immortal status, and he's just a rookie. Well, not quite, but he's working on it. He's off to an awesome start, including his game-winning 39 yard touchdown run in Houston last week. The Jags are coming off of a butt-kicking of the Colts. The Jags need this one badly for their playoff hopes. The Titans are flying high. Pick: Tennessee
Detroit at Green Bay: Yuck. Detroit is terrible. Green Bay has been terrible at home this season. But, they haven't played the Lions at Lambeau. That will cure some ills for the Pack. Pick: Green Bay
New York Jets at Minnesota: Just when you thought the Jets might be a playoff team, they laid an egg at home against the Bills last week. The Vikings, at 6-7, still have playoff hopes in the NFC. This is the NFL, and weird things happen. So, I'll do the unexplainable. Pick: Jets
Houston at New England: The Texans lost the heartbreaker of all heartbreakers last week against the Vince Youngs. The Pats were skunked in Miami. But, the Pats are still a good team, and the Texans are not. Pick: New England
Cleveland at Baltimore: Do the new Browns have a chance against the old Browns? No. The Ravens are a much better team. Pick: Baltimore
Miami at Buffalo: The Dolphins venture into the Great White North of Buffalo, just in time for Santa Claus. Warm weather team in frozen Buffalo? Not this team, not this time. Pick: Buffalo
Washington at New Orleans: Who Dat Say Gonna Beat Dem Saints? Not the Redskins, that's for sure. The Saints keep marching in. Pick: New Orleans
Pittsburgh at Carolina: Before the season, this was supposed to be a pretty good game. Now, it's just a game between two mediocre teams. Carolina is at home. I'll go with the home field here. Pick: Panthers
Tampa Bay at Chicago: Warm weather team visits Great White North in December. Warm weather team isn't very good. Cold weather team is good. Game won't be pretty at all. Pick: Da Bears
Denver at Arizona: Homecoming game for Jake Plummer. Only thing is, he's no longer the starting QB for the Broncos. The Broncos are unpredictable. The Cardinals are finding their way, finally, with rookie QB Matt Leinart. Pick: Arizona
St. Louis at Oakland: Yuck. The Greatest Show On Turf was so long ago. But, they are playing a team masquerading as the Greatness. There's nothing great about these Raiders, at all. Commitment to Excellence? Yeah, right. Pick: Rams
Philadelphia at New York Giants: Winner gets bragging rights to the Molly Pitcher Travel Plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike. Seriously, this is a huge game in the wild card race. The Giants bounced back with a big win in Carolina. The Eagles are making a run with Jeff Garcia, who is 2-0 as the starting quarterback replacing the injured Donovan McNabb. He is making Andy Reid look like a genius. Pick: Philly
Kansas City at San Diego: The Chargers are looking really special. The Chiefs have a chance for a wild card. But, you can't stop LaDainian Tomlinson. You can only hope to contain him. The Chiefs can't do that. Pick: Sandy Eggo
Cincinnati at Indianapolis: This is going to be a fun one. Whatever the over/under is, take the over. Never go against the Colts in a shootout, especially at home. Pick: Indy

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ugly Uniform of the Day

Today's UUOTD is from college football. Syracuse attempted to go retro this year, by breaking out these Ernie Davis-era uniforms, in blue and orange with no white trim whatsoever.

If it weren't for that swoosh, and that Big East logo, you'd think they got these straight out of an old abandoned locker room. I'm sorry, but only some schools can get away with old school. Penn State can get away with it, because they've never changed. Alabama can get away with a number on the helmet. Syracuse, on the other hand, moved away from this type of uniform, only to go back. Granted, they never had a design on the helmet until they put the numbers on these helmets. But, this is just an attempt to be hip gone awry. Just a little bit (not a lot) of white trim would go a long way. Instead, they have these odd-looking things.

Plus, they made the silliest name change last year, going from the Orangemen to the Orange. Did they think they were offensive to Dutch men? Did they think they were offensive to orange people? I can understand wanting the women's teams to have the same nickname as the men's. I don't know if their women's teams were previously known as the Lady Orange, or the Orangewomen, or the Lady Orangemen, or the Syracuse Orangemen women, or what they were. This is the only possible reason they could have for changing that name. They weren't the Syracuse Senecas, or the Syracuse Fighting Iroquois.

Plus, how do you send a team called the Orange out in blue jerseys? They're not the Syracuse Blue, or Blues, or Bluemen. They're not Blue Man Group, either. They are the Syracuse Orange, presented by Nike.

Dallas Texans? Houston Mavericks?

The Houston Texans began play five years ago, and assumed the nickname of one of the original AFL teams, the Dallas Texans. The original Texans moved to Kansas City, and became the Chiefs.

Did you know the Mavericks used to play in Houston? Not the current Dallas Mavericks, who came into the NBA in 1980 as an expansion franchise, but a different team.

The Houston Mavericks were one of the original teams in the old ABA, and played two years at the Sam Houston Coliseum. More can be found on the old Houston Mavericks here and here. The Houston Mavericks struggled to gain support, then moved to North Carolina, and became the Carolina Cougars. This franchise later moved to St. Louis, became the Spirits of St. Louis, and disbanded when the ABA merged into the NBA in 1976. On a side note, the owners of the Spirits got a sweet deal, on which they cash in to this day.

What about the Rockets? The San Diego Rockets of the NBA moved to Houston in 1971.

So, Dallas has had a team called the Texans, and Houston has had a team called the Mavericks. Now, Dallas has a team called the Mavericks, and Houston has a team called the Texans. Go figure.

I don’t look for Dallas to have a team called Astros, or for Houston to have a team called Cowboys, any time soon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ugly Uniform of the Day

Today’s ugly uniform comes from the world of baseball. The San Diego Padres have a history of bad uniforms. It’s debatable if they’ve ever had a good uniform. They might take up a whole week of “Retro Ugly Uniform Of the Day” if there ever is one.

Their current road threads are putrid. I don’t like mustard on my burgers, nor do I like it in baseball uniforms. Wear gray, wear powder blue, wear a baseball color, but don’t wear this yellow thing. Blech!

Save king Trevor Hoffman models the current Padres road jersey. Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?

Coaching Carousel Comments

This is the time of year when the real estate agents are active, and the moving companies are busy. It's coaching change season, where coaches and staffs are fired, and others are hired to take their place. Some searches are more public than others. Alabama, for example, has been turned down by Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, and Rich Rodriguez, thus far. The more accurate question is: Who hasn't turned down the Alabama job? The LSU guys at have a running thread on this that is hilarious.

There is no way I can comment on every hiring and firing. There are a couple, though, that come to my attention.

The Mean Green of the University of North Texas announced today the hiring of Todd Dodge as head coach. Dodge has lost one game in the last five years at Southlake Carroll High School, and stands two wins away from a fourth Class 5A state championship. There are those that will laugh at this move. However, if you're North Texas, what do you have to lose? The Mean Green are at the bottom of the worst Division I-A conference in the country. Any publicity they generate is good publicity, and this will generate a lot of buzz in the Metroplex. The hire cannot hurt recruiting, nor will his high-powered passing offense. There is a big difference between high school and college, even at the highest levels of high school football. However, a program like North Texas is well served by thinking outside the box. This move definitely does that. Do you believe in the Mean Green? Todd Dodge does.

Dennis Erickson has taken the job as the new head coach at Arizona State. This is his third stop in the Pac-10, after having coached at Washington State and Oregon State. He's now in his 60's, so it may be too late for him to try to coach at all 10 schools, but he's off to a good start. Erickson won two national championships at Miami, and has also won at other places such as Idaho and Wyoming. He is also a former coach of the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Arizona State is a sleeping giant, located in a major metropolitan area with a large undergraduate enrollment and in reasonable proximity to recruiting in southern California. The area has grown so quickly that there is not the homegrown support for the program that other large schools enjoy, and there are now four professional franchises providing competition. However, the Fighting Sun Devils still have every reason to finish at or near the top of the Pac-10 consistently. This is a good move for both parties.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ugly Uniform of the Day

I trust my wife for fashion advice. She has a good eye for what looks good, what goes together, and what does not look good. From time to time, I'll ask her what she thinks about a particular uniform. I refer to her sometimes as the Uniform Czarina. This weekend, I asked her for some input on some ugly uniforms. The first one she mentioned is the Tennessee Titans' alternate jersey.

The Titans rolled this out a few years ago to honor their history as the Houston Oilers. They wear it once or twice a year. Most recently, they wore them in their home win over the Indianapolis Colts. I'm not a fan of any of the Titans' uniform combinations, though I do like the white helmet. This Columbia blue uniform, though, is the worst of the bunch. And, they wore it with blue pants the last time out. Note to owner Bud Adams: This is the NFL, not powder puff football.

NFL Week In Review-Week 14

There was a little bit of separation in the race for playoff spots yesterday, as the batches of teams in contention for wild card berths were split in both the AFC and the NFC. In addition, there is a new king of the league, and favorite to win Super Bowl XLI.

In the AFC, the San Diego Chargers clinched the West division title, and now have the best record in the league at 11-2. The Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens lead the South and North divisions at 10-3, and the New England Patriots remain on top of the East at 9-4. If the season were to end today, Jacksonville and Cincinnati would have wild card spots, at 8-5. Close behind, at 7-6, are the New York Jets, Denver, and Kansas City.

The NFC is in similar shape. The North division champion Chicago Bears are 10-2 with a game tonight in St. Louis. The New Orleans Saints helped themselves greatly Sunday night, and lead the South at 9-4. Seattle and Dallas lead the West and East divisions at 8-5. Seattle has the tiebreaker over Dallas due to a better conference record. The New York Giants, Philadelphia, and Atlanta are fighting over two wild card spots, all at 7-6.

There is a new king of the regular-season hill, and it resides in San Diego. The Chargers crushed the Denver Broncos, 48-20. LaDainian Tomlinson had two touchdowns, to break the record for touchdowns in one season. Denver attempted a comeback, and closed the margin to 34-20, before two turnovers led to two Chargers touchdowns. At this point, the road to the Super Bowl leads through San Diego. However, Marty Schottenheimer is their coach. Take that either way: either he gets a long-awaited Super Bowl trip, or they follow the pattern of past Schottenheimer teams-an upset loss in the playoffs. However, if the Chargers play the Colts in the AFC championship game, take the Chargers. The reason is to follow…

The Colts are in big trouble. They gave up 375 yards rushing to the Jaguars, as Jacksonville pounded the Colts, 44-17. Maurice Jones-Drew scored three touchdowns, including a 95 yard kickoff return. He helped one of my fantasy teams, but killed one of my others, as my opponent had him. Indianapolis needs to fix that rushing defense, and quickly, before they see L.T. in San Diego in January. The Jaguars improved their wild card chances in a big way.

The Colts may not even see San Diego, as there is another formidable defense in Baltimore. The Ravens sacked Kansas City quarterback Trent Green four times, and the Ravens defeated the Chiefs, 20-10. Baltimore became the first visiting team to win in Kansas City in December since 1995. The Ravens are the real deal, and are setting themselves up for a titanic second-round playoff game with the Colts.

The New England Patriots are in grave danger of becoming a pretender to this throne. The Pats were shut out by the Miami Dolphins, 21-0. Tom Brady was sacked four times, and lost two fumbles while throwing for just 78 yards. The Dolphins are becoming a good team, but their timing is just a couple of weeks off. They will not be able to overcome their slow start.

The Cincinnati Bengals put themselves on the inside track for a playoff spot, with a 27-10 win over the hapless Oakland Raiders. Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes, and Rudi Johnson rushed for two touchdowns for the 8-5 Bengals. Cincinnati will be a tough out for someone in the playoffs.

Out in the desert, the Seattle Seahawks were ambushed, as the Arizona Cardinals held on for a 27-21 victory. Two Seattle fumbles led to 14 Arizona points. The Cardinals are quickly moving down in the draft order, and will most likely not have a top two pick.

The New York Giants overcame their turmoil for one week, and throttled the Carolina Panthers, 27-13. Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes for the Giants. The Panthers lost their second game in a row to playoff contenders, and will now lose playoff tiebreakers to both the Giants and Eagles.

Are you sure Philadelphia wants Donovan McNabb back? Just kidding. However, Jeff Garcia is performing well as a stand-in, throwing two touchdown passes as the Eagles held off Washington, 21-19. This is the first week of the NFL’s revenge on the Eagles, as Philly has three consecutive road games at division opponents. The Iggles next go to New York, before hitting the road for Dallas on Christmas Day.

The Atlanta Falcons are still a player in the playoff picture, as they went to Florida and defeated the sad-sack Bucs, 17-6. Tampa Bay committed two turnovers which led to 10 Atlanta points. The Falcons lost their top two running backs to injury in the third quarter, but were able to hold off the Bucs for the win.

The leader for the top pick in the draft has to be the Detroit Lions. The awful Lions lost at home to the mediocre Vikings, 30-20. The Lions were on the verge of a comeback, but came up short on a 4th and goal play with six minutes to go. Someone named Artose Pinner was the star, gaining 125 yards on the ground with three touchdowns. He was one of the Lions’ final cuts, and was picked up later by Minnesota. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Look for him to be picked up in a ton of fantasy leagues this week. The Vikes maintain slight playoff hopes, at 6-7.

Out on the West Coast, the Green Bay Packers continued to play well on the road, defeating the 49ers, 30-19. Green Bay has won four road games this year, while winning only one at home. Brett Favre threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, showing that he isn’t quite ready to retire just yet.

In New York, the Jets blew a chance to improve their playoff position, as they lost to the visiting Buffalo Bills, 31-13. Willis McGahee overcame a game-time illness to break a 57-yard run for the Bills. The Jets had a post-game illness, as their playoff chances took a serious hit.

In the often-forgotten Thursday night game, the Pittsburgh Steelers rolled over the Cleveland Browns, 27-7. Willie Parker rushed for a team record 223 yards on a cold night in Pittsburgh.

The Power of a Playmaker

This year’s NFL draft was all about two playmakers: Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, and national championship quarterback Vince Young. Both are making their mark in the NFL. Sunday was no exception.

Who Dat? Who dat say gonna beat dem Saints? The Saints are all Dat, that’s who. Not Dat Nguyen, either. The Saints went to the Stadium with the Hole In The Roof and beat the stuffing out of the Dallas Cowboys, 42-17. The Saints went to the no-name offense, as fullback Mike Karney scored three touchdowns, and WR Jamal Jones caught a touchdown pass. Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes for the Saints, including a 61-yard pass to the electrifying Reggie Bush, who keeps making plays. The Saints found themselves sitting on the ball with 1st and goal and more than two minutes left in the game, in order to not embarrass the Cowboys any further. The Saints are the real deal. The Cowboys will still win the NFC East, but face tough playoff road trips to Chicago and/or New Orleans.

Vince Young is the man, not in the future, but right now. Number 10 made the Houston Texans regret not picking him in this year’s draft, as he made a 39-yard touchdown run to help the Tennessee Titans defeat the Texans, 26-20 in overtime. Once the Titans won the coin toss in overtime, it was curtains for the Texans, who led for most of regulation. Vince Young finds ways to win. The Titans are not going anywhere this year, but they are a fun team to watch, and have won six of their last eight. The saying in Houston today is: “We could have drafted a star, but instead we have a Carr”. David Carr is on his way out of Houston, as he will probably be a decent NFL quarterback somewhere else, but not in this town, with this team. The natives are restless in Houston.

More NFL review later…..

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ugly Uniform of the Day

I can't promise an ugly uniform every day, but I have one for today.

The Minnesota Vikings rolled out these threads this year that are just plain ugly. The jersey is the opposite color of the pants, and they have that curse of the 21st century: the wide stripe on the side of both the jersey and the pants.

Uggggly. Gross. What happened to the classic uniforms that Chuck Foreman used to wear?


In an earlier post, I referred to Arkansas running back Darren McFadden as Dwight. That is my mistake.

Dwight McFadden was a star running back in the early 90's at Lawton Eisenhower High School in Oklahoma, and went on to play for USC.

Darren McFadden won the Doak Walker Award as the top running back in the nation this season, and finished second in the voting for the Heisman trophy. Barring injury, he will be playing on Sundays in two years.

My apologies to both DMacs.

Mid-Major Win of the Day

There was one notable win yesterday by a mid-major over a team from a power conference. The Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock went to Minneapolis, and defeated the reeling Minnesota Gophers, 67-66.

Also, the Butler did it. Lost, that is, as the Butler Bulldogs suffered their first defeat, losing 72-65 in Terre Haute to the Sycamores of Indiana State. Ok, these guys beat Indiana and Notre Dame, but lost to Indiana State. Go figure.. It’s college basketball, where most teams can beat most other teams on a given night.

Coming in January: Weekly NCAA Tournament projections..