Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hot Dancers Make For Good TV

I spent the other night watching the finale of Dancing With the Stars. Luckily I am married so I can pass it off as having to watch what my wife wanted. Whether or not that’s true, one will never know. Since IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves was victorious this certainly is an appropriate forum to congratulate him on the victory. I did not, I repeat did not, watch every episode. In fact, I don’t think I watched one in its entirety so I can’t speak to whether or not Helio should have won. What I can say is that the young lady that is his partner, Julianne Hough, certainly could not have hurt his chances of winning. If I’m not mistaken she won the previous season with Apolo Anton Ohno (speed skater) so she must be a great dancer. It is also pretty apparent that she’s very good looking and to be honest nearly all of the female professional dancers are. That fact alone is the reason why I find the show bearable. My wife knows that’s why I watch the show and it doesn’t bother her, which makes her the coolest girl ever. Congratulations to Helio and I hope he is able to bounce back from the news that his engagement has been called off. Something tells me he’ll be just fine.

(Photo from

Pre Is Smiling

If I’m going to be crazy enough to congratulate the Beavers on their back-to-back college baseball championships I need to acknowledge the men’s cross country team at Oregon. Last week the Ducks regained their rightful place on the podium at the NCAA Division I Championships. Additionally, the very young and inexperienced women’s team finished 2nd, which leaves the rest of Division I wondering if they can ever win again. Oregon had not won a national championship in any sport since the late 1980s so it was time a trophy came back to Eugene. The men’s team will likely return every scoring runner (though Galen Rupp could go pro) and the women’s team only loses one scoring runner so the future is very bright.

(Photo from Geoff Thurner/UO Media Services.)

Investigation Is Over

You come to this blog for unprecedented investigative work. After a couple of weeks of sleuthing I have found out that the actual number of people that attended the Oregon women’s basketball game on the night of the football battle against Arizona was about 400. As I understand it two people took it upon themselves to try and count every fanny in the house so I believe this number to be fairly accurate. Now, 400 is certainly greater than the 150 I guessed so it looks like Eugene will be missing me in a few years. Of course, I came up with this idea without talking to my wife so I may not be able to keep my word. I do commend Eugene on keeping the number below 500 but it still worries me. Given the boredom of women’s basketball this should be a seasonal average for attendance and not the attendance on a night when no people should be present.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Boras Has Last Laugh

Ripping on Scott Boras has been the chic thing to do this offseason. He announces that A-Rod is going to be a free agent in the 4th game of the World Series so everyone gets their panties in a bunch. Everyone seems to have forgotten his announcement was the highlight of the most boring World Series ever. Additionally, the media is to blame for the whole thing. Boras did not force them to announce it during the game, Fox just knew the World Series sucked and they needed some reason for people to watch. But I think I have already gone over this so I'll move on.

For about a week the press and all of baseball wanted to rip Boras for having A-Rod opt out of a contract that guaranteed him $27M+ per year. At that point the 'rebuilding' Yankees, Hank Steinbrenner's words not mine, were not going to negotiate with A-Rod. They were offended that a player would want to become a free agent. I mean who could blame them, they've built their team on homegrown talent and routinely lose their best young players to other teams that pay them more.

It was repeated over and over, "Boras has overestimated the market for A-Rod." The thought was if the Yankees aren't one of the bidders there is no way A-Rod was going to get his $300M. Well, guess who was the genius after all and called the Yankees' bluff? Why it was none other than the horrible agent himself, Scott Boras. It doesn't matter at all that the Yankees asked that Boras need not be present at the negotiations. I suppose they were mad about having to deal with Boras and not that A-Rod wanted to get paid after all. As far as I'm concerned Boras did a great job of handling the opt out for A-Rod. Whether Boras was at the bargaining table or not, his client appears to be getting the $300M contract he promised.

My last point on the rumored A-Rod deal is that because the Yankees are the team he signed with nobody is talking about how this will ruin baseball. No one is talking about the foolishness of the Yankees for bidding against themselves for A-Rod. These are things that were said about the Rangers when they signed A-Rod seven years ago. I suppose it's a double standard when the media's favorite team is the one being duped by Boras and the greatest hitter of this generation. I'm not sure signing with the Yankees for so much will get A-Rod his World Series ring since the team is keeping everybody that has melted down in the playoffs. It will get him a lot of notoriety and an excellent chance to break Bonds' record though, which is all we could ask for.

(Picture of Scott Boras from Jamie Rector/New York Times.)

It's Been A Long 2 Weeks

Not too long ago the Ducks were in prime position to visit the White House. Unfortunately one too many major injuries makes that dream a distant memory. It seems a lot of people (my dad included) are ready to jump off a cliff because Oregon's 5th string quarterback is not very good. Though everyone has the right to feel like the sky is falling and things need to be done one needs to realize that's too harsh a reaction. I believe that no organized football team could win with its 5th string quarterback. The player may be a nice guy but he is 5th string for a reason. It's not like he spent an offseason in a heated battle with others for that coveted 5th string spot. Just ask Oklahoma how good their 2nd string quarterback is.

Another thing I have heard is that the young 4th and 5th string Oregon quarterbacks don't have experience. While that is true, the larger problem is that they aren't good. If you are a good high school quarterback are you going to go somewhere to be 5th string? Of course not. Not even USC has 5 quarterbacks worth putting behind center. The larger question that must be asked is who was the offensive coordinator that recruited these guys? It was Gary Crowton and he is in Baton Rouge as we speak. Certainly he didn't think he would be recruiting these guys to put on the field for a right to play in the Rose Bowl. Before Duck fans start to clamor for major changes be a little realistic. No 5th string quarterback could win a game. If you are a big-time gunslinger worthy of leading a Pac-10 Championship team you're not going to take a scholarship to be 5th string.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Great Parenting

I am still making every effort to get an official number on the number of people that were actually in the building for the women’s basketball game on November 15th. The paper reported 2,008 in attendance but even I know Eugene does not have that many crazy people. With the Thanksgiving weekend upon us I likely won’t get an answer until early next week. I have spoken with one person and that individual guessed the number to be very low but doubts I will be able to stay in Eugene through 2010 if I stay true to my word.

In related news there may actually be some normal parents in town. And of course, it’s how I define normal, which isn’t normal at all! Someone told me they were going to go to women’s basketball games this year because the head coach hands out an iPod to a fan every game. I can neither confirm nor deny that an iPod is actually given but I have no reason not to believe the guy. Well, come to find out this guy told his mom he was going to attend women’s basketball games just to receive an iPod. Her response was, “How much does the iPod cost? I’ll give you the money to buy one so you don’t go to women’s basketball games.” That is an excellent response from mom. Can you imagine showing mom and dad a report card they paid for with subpar grades and explaining it’s because you were watching way too much women’s basketball? That has to be what this mom was thinking when she offered up cash to go buy an iPod.

Professors Love Tenure

I have a friend of a friend that was lucky enough to go the Oregon vs. Arizona football game last week. Lucky enough until the injuries mounted and the true colors of Tucson started to show. He described the place as a lot more like Tijuana than any place in the USA. I wouldn’t know but that’s not the point. My friend of a friend was there on official business so had to miss 1.5 days of school.

A couple of days before he left he sent his math professor an official letter explaining the reason for the absence. Since he was away on official university-related business it was an excused absence and any missed work is supposed to be made-up without incident. Well, that’s the way most people think but not this professor.

Professor Wendy Sullivan (shown above and imagine having to look at her for a couple of hours each week) told my friend of a friend that because he did not give her proper notice she was not going to let him take the midterm he missed. She used e-mail to explain taking the midterm was not going to happen. You may be wondering why my friend of a friend did not contact Wendy (she’s too lame to use her last name or the title of Professor) in person. Well, it’s because Wendy thinks she is MacGyver and has been on the search crew for a missing math professor. It sucks that the guy has gone missing but after he’s been missing for more than 2 weeks it’s time to get back to work and teach class. Leave the people searching to the professionals and make sure the students are getting their money’s worth.

Well, my friend of a friend had class cancelled again today so 2 weeks before finals Wendy decides to cancel class for the week and not respond to e-mail. My friend of a friend has contacted her twice this week via e-mail and attended her office hours (she did not show up) to no avail. As far as I can tell Wendy benefits greatly from the outrageous practice known as tenure in the teaching world. Only a teacher at a public university could be granted the luxury of taking incredible amounts of time off and disregard all forms of communication with students. Another thing to point out is that the UofO is on the quarter system so the class that students pay too much for only lasts 10 weeks, unless of course Wendy is the instructor.

Disclaimer: Knowing my luck with ripping people on this blog someone knows this lady and is bummed I point out the fact that she's not doing her job. I wish I could say sorry to anyone that is offended but I can't so live with it.

(Photo from UO Math Department.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bring In The Moving Van

It has come to my attention that somebody is not smart. The University of Oregon women's basketball team plays on November 15th at 7:00pm. No, the fact that there is a game is not what makes someone stupid. Oddly enough at the exact same time the University of Oregon football team is playing at Arizona on ESPN. Who is the genius that decided it was a good idea to schedule a women's basketball game at the same time as a football game involving the #2 team in the nation? Granted, saying the Ducks would be #2 at the beginning of the season would have been laughed at but still, football is king. Maybe I'm the only one that thinks it takes an extraordinary lack of intelligence to schedule a women's basketball game at the same time as a football game. Given this stroke of brilliance from the scheduler folks I'm convinced the U of O would schedule a women's basketball game on Super Bowl Sunday if the Pac-10 would allow. For once being a part of the Pac-10 is a good thing I suppose.

How this whole thing applies to me is that I want to know if where I live is a place I could feel comfortable raising a family. After thinking about it for a couple of days I have concluded that if more than 150 people show up to watch the women's basketball game on November 15th I have no other choice but to rent a U-Haul and move before the 2010 calendar year is complete. Don't ask why I chose 2010, there really is no reason. Initially I was going to go with 50 people in attendance but decided to raise it a little bit after consulting with people that have lived their entire lives here. If someone has lived here for more than 25 years they deserve some type of reward by the way. From my vantage point I see no reason for anyone to choose watching women's basketball over seeing the #2 football team try to earn a trip to the BCS Championship game. It's the performance of the football team that allows all other sports to function so don't think you are hating on the women's basketball team by staying at home and watching football.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Upset Special: Week 10

This week's pick is a dangerous one. I see this game as either being very close or a major blowout in favor of the wrong team. The big pick for this week is Alabama (+7) over LSU. Both teams are coming off bye weeks so I'm not sure who that favors if it favors anyone. I suppose if Glenn Dorsey plays then it favors LSU initially since he is dominant and was injured in LSU's last game. The game is being played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama so that has to favor Alabama. The deciding factor in this game is that I befriended an Alabama booster on our cruise this summer and I told him I would root for the Crimson Tide when given the chance. He agreed he would do the same for the Ducks so let's hope he returns the favor. In the end, if you pay a coach $4M per year to coach your team the least he could do is beat his former team in his new home stadium. Nick Saban (pictured above) receives a lot of publicity and if Alabama wins the media lovefest for Saban will only get worse. However, it will all be worth it if Oregon is able to claw out a tough victory and hopefully move up the rankings.

Season to Date: Last week was an unmitigated disaster with Stanford showing why they are known for academics and not athletics. At least in sports that matter to the average college fan. The step-brother was able to hold serve on his home field so my record has dipped below .500 yet again (4-5). I'm starting to get sick of being around .500 but would certainly love to be at that point at the end of the day today.

(Photo from Robert Sutton/AP Photo.)

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Genius Of Weis

First things first, it has taken me a while to admit it but I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan. In fact, I am still a Notre Dame fan but not nearly as much of one as I was growing up. Now the Duck faithful that are fortunate enough to read this have permanently blocked this blog from their browser as a result of my liking Notre Dame but that's okay. Growing up I lived in 3 different time zones and 5 different states. In none of those places did I feel the pure hatred for Notre Dame I feel here in Oregon. I don't know what the deal is with Oregon fans hating Notre Dame but they do. It could be jealousy since Notre Dame is always the talk of the nation no matter how bad they are. Or it could be that Notre Dame is a private, Catholic school. I've learned that religion, God and the state of Oregon do not mix well at all.

Now that I've let the dirty secret out of the bag the people that are still reading this (very few I would imagine) get to actually read the true point of this post. Last week Portland State lost to Weber State by the score of 73-68. PSU's freshman quarterback, Drew Hubel, threw 9 touchdowns in his first collegiate start. After reading this today for the umpteenth time I decided to do what everyone else has been doing; check out how a player or team's stats for one game compare to those of the entire Notre Dame team over the course of the season. It should come as a surprise to no one that Notre Dame as a team has 4 touchdown passes this year in 8 games. That Charlie Weis sure is a genius! To think that this late into the season a player had more than twice as many passing touchdowns in one game than a team during the entire season is astounding. Times as a Golden Domer have not been good this year but in reality I could care less with the Ducks doing so well.

(Photo of Drew Hubel from Steve Brenner/PSU Athletics.)