SportsCrack Blog

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


With all the rumors and innuendo going around the college football landscape about conference realignment it's hard to distinguish what is actually got validity and what is bull shit. This report from the seems to have an element of truth...

An executive at a Big 12 school relayed to The World-Herald on Tuesday that he expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday.
NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman has declined all interviews about conference realignment and expansion. He is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.

Direct confirmation from Nebraska of a conference change for the Huskers wasn't immediately available. Sources at two other Big 12 schools told The World-Herald that their athletic directors have instructed them to be ready by week's end for a briefing on probable Big 12 changes.
Nebraska A.D. Tom Osborne offered implicit confirmation Tuesday night that the timetable on national conference realignment has been accelerated.

On his monthly appearance on the Husker Sports Network, Osborne said:

“I think before too long — I don't know exactly what that time frame is — we'll be able to put this to bed,'' then he jokingly added, “because I'm getting tired of it.''

Fuck yeah! I'm excited about change in the college football world. The Big 10/11 will now have 12 teams and will surely look to add 4 more after Nebraska switches. My hope is Notre Dame follows suit and switches to the conference. Give it up ND folks. It's beyond time to join a conference because the schedule will get watered down with shit opponents. Then every conference goes bat shit crazy and looks to swoop in and get schools before they fall like Roman Empire. The SEC should get Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12. Make it happen. The PAC 10 should try to get Texas A&M, Utah, BYU, Boise State, TCU and Colorado. The Big 10 can go after Kansas and Pittsburgh among others.

Nebraska will get the ball rolling on Friday...hopefully. Everything else will fall in place. Now we just need a playoff system.


With keeping in the theme we got this week this story was sent in to us by loyal reader John McPeters. I thought it was worth the read. Check it out....

OK, look, maybe President is ridiculous, but I wouldn’t put it past ESPN to endorse it. Call me a cynic, but let’s get one thing straight, Stephen Strasburg’s debut was impressive to say the least, but come one, how much hype can one kid live up to. Yes, his fastball topped at 103 MPH and he was consistently clocked at 95 MPH and above. Strasburg’s change up was clocked as high as 91 MPH and his “slurve” (slow curve for those of you who are not hip to the baseball lingo) dropped another 10 MPH to 81 MPH. Simply stated… sick. Here’s my issue, the kid has had 11 professional appearances before being promoted to the Majors. He’s had 1 start. Let me repeat this, 1 start which was his first time pitching past the 6th inning as a professional. His first major league start was against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the perennial cellar team in the NL Central, known more for trading franchise players than hitting above the Mendoza Line. Even before his start, ESPN was practically giving away the Rookie of the Year award when he got drafted. I’m all about giving credit where credit is due, but dubbing this kid the future of baseball before his first start is a bit much. Let’s be realistic for a minute, barring injury, Strasburg no doubt has the tools to become one of the greatest pitchers of all time, but what if he doesn’t. I can think of quite a few “busts” with all the hype in the world who have seemingly fizzled out of the limelight.

How about “the Natural” Jeff Francouer. Atlanta’s own beloved “Frenchy” was a high school legend in both football and baseball, the hometown kid tore up the minor leagues. After a big league call up, Jeff batted .300 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in his first 70 games. Not bad for a 21 year old, actually, not bad for anyone. In his first full year, “Frenchy” played in 162 games, batting .260 with 29 homers and 103 RBIs. In his second full year, Jeff hit .293 with 19 homers and 105 RBIs seemingly cementing the hype surrounding his nickname and proving his high school legend was all but a fluke. In 2008, Jeff was sent back to the minors by his beloved hometown team to get his head right and finished the season batting .239 with 11 home runs and 79 RBIs. His poor plate discipline got him traded to the New York Mets where he has seemingly had somewhat of a resurgence, the “future face of the Braves organization” was quickly “shaved clean” after not living up to his enormous billing.

“King” Felix Hernandez was dubbed the Lebron James of baseball. Called up in 2005 after being billed as unhittable, went 4-4 with a respectable 2.67 ERA. Since then he’s had one, I repeat, one dominant season. In 2008, Felix went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA and 217 Ks in 238 innings. His combined record in just over 5 major league seasons is 61-46 with a lifetime ERA of 3.48. Not bad numbers, but my definition of unhittable would not include 3 losing seasons with ERAs in each of his season hovering around 4.00. I’m not faulting Hernandez at all, he’s definitely become a solid pro pitcher, but his career numbers do not live up to the hype that was.

If you want to cross sports, let’s talk football, Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Lawrence Phillips and Brian Bosworth, just to name a few consensus busts with all the hype in the world. How about Alexandre Daigle, the #1 overall pick in the NHL draft in 1993 who tallied a whopping 74 goals in 200 games before being traded to a less than stellar career. How’s that for the next “Great One”? Darko Milicic was the #2 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. I’d be willing to bet a lot more than my life that the Pistons wish they wouldn’t have passed on Carmello Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, or Josh Howard, instead of taking Milicic who rode the bench for an incredible career span of 3 years. I would go into Tennis and talk about how Anna Kournikova was the #1 Women’s Junior player and has never reached further than the semi-finals in any grand slam event, but she’s so hot that no one really cares about her athletic ability. Besides, I bought a Cannon, and I can assure you, it wasn’t because of the talking dog in the commercials.

For every single Lebron James, there are at least a dozen Kwame Brown’s. I’m not saying Stephen Strasburg isn’t going to have a stellar pro career and be an exception to the rule, simply saying before we dub him the next coming of Jesus Christ, at least let the guy fill every cup in a sold out stadium full of beer for an entire 9 inning game from a single keg, hover to the mound effortlessly without his feet touching the ground, and throw lightning bolts from his finger tips as the ball is released from his hand. Did the Nationals provide baseball with a shot in the arm when signing Strasburg? Of course, and hopefully, “the Phenom” will attract more fans to the sport I’ve come to love. Let’s just hope Strasburg doesn’t give baseball fans everywhere the “Barry Bonds treatment”, opening everyone’s eyes in the immediate future and letting a nation of devoted fans down once reality sinks in. So before we concede the Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year, All Star, and Hall of Fame achievements to Strasburg, all of which he will seemingly accomplish after his second start in the MLB, let’s let the kid enjoy his time and actually earn all of the praise. As a final thought, I’m casting my vote for Bryce Harper on my 2010 Heisman ballot. After all, isn’t Harper’s immense talent the real reason why Tebow was crying during his final game at Florida?

Honestly I could not have said it myself better. Thanks John for the email! Oh yeah, I hope everybody is ready for the "Terrelle Pryor for Heisman" hype that ESPN will be spouting off this college football season. I mean after all he was the #1 prospect out of high school so we have to hype him as the next great phenom right?


First they unleash Bryan Adams on us. Then Celine Dion. And if that wasn't enough now this garbage in regards to sportsmanship...

A Canadian youth soccer league is taking heat after introducing a new rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will actually lose by default.

The rule, intended to foster sportsmanship, replaced the Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s former five-point mercy regulation, which said any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered, the National Post reported.

But some players and parents say the new rule will only keep these children from reaching their full potential as players and coddle sore losers.

“They should be saying anything is possible. If we can get five goals really fast, well, so can the other team,” player Kevin Cappon, 17, told the Post. "People grow in adversity… I think you’ll see more leadership skills being used if a losing team tries to recuperate than if they never got into that situation at all.”

Coppon’s father, Bruce Cappon, agreed.

“Heaven forbid when these kids get into the real world. They won’t be prepared to deal with the competition out there,” he told the Post.

The league has 3,000 children ranging from four to 18 years old.

According to the new rules, coaches are encouraged to take measures like making players kick with their weaker foot, moving players out of their usual positions, or taking players off the field entirely if they have a strong team, the Post reported.

Club director Sean Cale told the Post the league is simply trying to make the game fair and that the new rule will eventually be replaced by a pre-season skill assessment to make fair teams, the Post reported.

I mean come on Canada. This is beyond ridiculous. It's called a sport because you have to compete to win it. There are losers in anything with competition and all you are doing is fostering future pansies. No wonder you guys almost lost to us in hockey. Sack up and give these kids some motivation to excel. I swear to God one kid is going to get hit in the head with a ball and soon all the kids will be wearing bike helmets on the soccer field.

I think it's time for America to take over Canada. Don't worry. They won't fight back. It's unsportsmanlike.

Article HT: Dave


Video courtesy of TheBigLead

Ignore everything I said yesterday about Stephen Strasburg. The kid looks like the real deal. His 14 strikeouts in his major league debut was one short of a Major League record and it set a Nationals team record for K's in a game. His fastball was touching 100 mph. His "slurve" was buckling kneecaps and brought back memories of Kerry Wood in 1997. His changeup was in the low 90's. THE LOW 90'S. Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

I know the Pittsburgh Pirates are about as far away from being a juggernaut hitting club but what Strasburg did was come into a game in which he should have been feeling overwhelmed from all the attention and hype and simply took all that energy and mowed them down with relative ease. The way his pitches moved in the strike zone was similar to Pedro Martinez back in the late 90's. He puts a lot of torque into his motion and gets a ton of movement. If he stays healthy and it appears the Nats are intent on keeping him on a strict pitch count than he can be one of the best. If he stayed in the game last night he might have struck out 20 guys the way he was coasting. I have little doubt he could be up there with the Jimenez, Lincecum, Halladays and Greinkes of the pitching world this year.

But then again it was just one game. Let's see how hitters do against him now that there is some what of a scouting report on him. He will face the Cleveland Indians next which shouldn't be a huge problem but I would love to see how he does against the Braves, Phillies, Dodgers, and so on lineups who have more balance from 1-8 in the order.

In short: Strasburg is fucking legit! Now everyone get on your knees for him.