Saturday, April 28, 2007
Nike makes a good shoe. Their influence is worldwide. They didn't become the world's largest athletic shoe manufacturer by accident. They finance college athletic departments to the tune of millions of dollars per year.
As good as their shoes are, they have room for improvement in their uniform designs. The company is based in Oregon, and founder Phil Knight is a benefactor of his alma mater, the University of Oregon. UO has made multiple appearances in this blog for their ugly uniforms. Now, it's their archrival's turn.
Oregon State is rolling out these funky new uniforms next year. They don't have psychedelic helmets, but they have a lot of different combinations of orange and black with these. The orange jersey on the left is particularly glaring. With the stripes and font, these look weird. I read a message board where they were compared with bikinis.
The "Civil War" between UO and OSU-West will be interesting this year. Who knows what kind of uniform combinations will be rolled out that day. Deep within the bowels of Nike headquarters, there is a happy mad scientist.
Today is one of my favorite days, the NFL draft. I purposely do not get into all of the pre-draft hype, as there is just way too much information to process. If I had more time to become a draft "expert", I would blog on it. I do enjoy, though, the wheeling and dealing that comes with draft day, and the spectacle that draft day has become. The draft is one of those things where the bang-to-hype ratio is not out of whack.
I cannot watch the draft without thinking about the late Joel Buchsbaum. I remember him most from his appearances on Norm Hitzges' show on KLIF radio in Dallas. He was a long-time regular on radio shows in St. Louis and Houston, and was a full-time draft analyst for Pro Football Weekly.
Buchsbaum was the unlikeliest of sources. He rarely left his Brooklyn apartment, except to work out at his local gym once per week. Manhattan was a long trip for him, much less Chicago or any other city. He never went to scouting combines, and never traveled out of New York City. He really only met his employers and sources personally at the draft. Nonetheless, many in the pro football community felt close to him. He was constantly on the phone with scouts, and reviewed an endless amount of tape in his apartment. He never married, and lived in an apartment next door to his parents in Brooklyn. He refused to have his picture published with his articles. He was a total recluse, yet was a fountain of information for NFL coaches and management.
He was most known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the NFL draft. Coaches, general managers, and scouts trusted his knowledge of players. If there was a third-string deep snapper from McNeese State, Buchsbaum knew something about him. He would go on radio shows and rattle off endless amounts of information on players and anyone remotely considered a prospect.
The great John McClain of the Houston Chronicle became close to Buchsbaum in his later years. He has some more great comments on him this week, here and here, including a rare photo from his draft lair in Brooklyn.
He passed away in 2002 at the age of 48. At the 2003 scouting combine, a memorial service was held for him, which was attended by a host of NFL coaches, general managers, scouts, and media. Among the speakers at the memorial was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who considered him a close friend, though he never met him personally.
He is still missed. He unknowingly helped make the NFL draft what it is today.
My hat is off to anyone that can make a living from being a draft geek.
Friday, April 27, 2007
The Boston Red Sox have been wearing a green jersey with a green cap on St. Patrick's Day for a few years. This normally falls during spring training. Last week, the Red Sox decided to honor the passing of Celtics great Red Auerbach by wearing the green jerseys against the Yankees. The sentiments are appreciated, but this is just making a mockery of what was once Celtic Pride.
This look is just plain gross. The Celtics are green. The Red Sox are not. At least they didn't wear green socks.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
It's been a while since there's been a UUOTD, as last week was no time to be throwing any team under the bus. But, UUOTD returns with a vengeance today.
The Atlanta Hawks aren't playing right now. They don't play past the middle of April, because they only play in the pre-season and in the regular season. They don't play in the playoffs. We'll hear from them next in the draft lottery, when they hope to get lucky with a ping-pong ball and get one of the top two picks in the draft. The Hawks are one of the worst franchises in professional sports. They have not made the playoffs since the Clinton Administration. Don't totally give up, though, Atlanta. The Dallas Mavericks were once the laughing stock of the NBA.
With that said, the Hawks are gone right now, but not forgotten. Their third jersey is a mixture of Del Monte mustard and Heinz ketchup. That combination fits on a hot dog, but not on a uniform. Ugly, ugly, ugly. The only saving grace to this look is that it is not one of their primary uniforms.
Would you like some chips with that hot dog?
I'm glad I'm not an Oscar Mayer wiener.
Eye gouge rating: two
Monday, April 23, 2007
...you have an Official Automobile.
The NFL Draft is this weekend in New York. Hummer, for at least the second year in a row, is the official automobile. It's not the official car of the league, or of any particular team. It's the official car of the draft.
It fits, as a lot of young men officially become millionaires on that day, and can afford to buy multiple Hummers. Plus, a lot of the type of people that would buy a Hummer are most likely interested in the NFL draft.
The draft has come a long way, when it has an official anything. At one time, the draft was about as exciting as watching paint dry. Now, the draft capitalizes on the popularity of anything connected with the NFL. Plus, people are starved for the NFL, as it has been almost three months since the Super Bowl.
Pictured above is Reggie Bush, who received not one, but two Hummer H2's for becoming the second pick in last year's draft. This was a legal gift, unlike what he has been accused of receiving during his college days at USC. On the Hummers, though: will the #3 pick in Saturday's draft get three Hummer H3's?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Baseball's biggest rivalry has been on stage this weekend, as the hated Yankees have invaded Fenway Park in Boston. Fox and ESPN have been all over this, as would be expected.
Both franchises view themselves as the most popular teams in baseball. The networks definitely view them that way. Both teams do have legions of fans, both in the Northeast, and across the country.
On the other hand, when baseball was attempting geographic realignment a few years ago, there were no volunteers to go to the American League. Only the Milwaukee Brewers changed leagues, and they went to the National League. (I'm too young to remember the Milwaukee Braves in the NL, but it's still unstable to see the Brew Crew in the NL-they belong back in the AL)
An off-the-wall suggestion, that will never see the light of day: Let every team, except Boston and the Yankees, move to the National League. Then, let Boston and the Yankees have the American League to themselves, and play every game against each other. The networks would jump at the chance to show Boston vs. New York every night. Plus, one of them would be guaranteed a spot in the World Series, increasing the value of the major leagues' TV contract.
Most teams would probably rather be in the National League anyway, so this will satisfy some franchises on that end, as well.
I hate both the Red Sox and the Yankees. I've always hated the Yankees, but I'm getting to where I despise the Red Sox even more.
This is a silly idea, but one that some in baseball would probably like. TV executives would love it.
Baseball is a talking sport.