Daily Archives: Jan. 18, 2013

Friday musings

* Enough Manti Te’o. Enough Lance Armstrong. Get me back to the games, which are the reason I’m a sports fan in the first place.

* Either Te’o is a gullible nitwit or a dirty, rotten scoundrel. I supposed I’d go for what’s behind Door No. 1, but the choices aren’t great.

* Can’t wait for the Creighton-Wichita State game on Saturday afternoon at Koch Arena. This is the first home game of the season that’s carried anything near this kind of excitement. Do the Shockers have a chance? Of course. Any team that plays defense the way WSU does has a chance. But Creighton’s offense is special. Wichita State is a tough, gritty team. But I think the Bluejays eek out a four- or five-point victory.

* Creighton junior forward Doug McDermott is the best Missouri Valley Conference play since . . . ? I’ll go with Hersey Hawkins, who played for Bradley in the late-1980s. Kind of a no-brainer, really.

* Love both of the NFL match-ups this weekend, especially the NFC championship game between Atlanta and San Francisco. If Colin Kaepernick plays like he did last week against Green Bay, there’s no reason for the Falcons to even go on the field at the Georgia Dome. But something tells me Atlanta will have a better plan to at least slow down Kaepernick than did the Packers. I’m not saying the Falcons’ defense is the 1985 Bears, but it has to be better than what the Pack showed last week. Doesn’t it?  And I think the Falcons’ offense will score. So I’m picking Atlanta, 31-28, although without a ton of confidence.

* In the AFC, how can anyone pick against the New England Patriots? Yes, many are. They are caught up in what has been an impressive Ravens run through the playoffs. But how many of those same people wrote off Baltimore as it stumbled during the end of the regular season? Be honest now. And the Ravens were simply lucky to oust Denver in overtime last weekend. I just don’t see Baltimore being able to handle the Pats’ offense inside Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady is hot. And when he gets hot, he usually stays hot for a long time. New England 30, Baltimore 17.

* I have seen five of the nine Oscar-nominated movies. My favorites, in order: 1) Zero Dark Thirty; 2) Lincoln; 3) Silver Linings Playbook; 4) Argo; 5) Life of Pi. I enjoyed them all and plan to add Les Miserables and Beasts of the Southern Wild this weekend.

* Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were great as hosts of the Golden Globes last weekend. G-R-E-A-T. I laughed so hard I cried at their opening segment, and they were just as funny during their bits throughout the show. Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig were also hilarious as presenters, a bit you can see here. Take a look at Tommy Lee Jones’ reaction to their comedy. Priceless. The Globes are the best, even though I’d have to think hard before being able to remember any of the winners. It’s about the schtick.

* If you’re not watching Parks and Recreation on NBC on Thursday nights, you should be. Great comedy ensemble cast.

* Oprah Winfrey showed me something Thursday night during Part I of her interview with Lance Armstrong on her OWN network. She was prepared and was never thrown off of her game. Her questions were fair, but tough. She didn’t back down or patronize, but she was also cordial. It was impressive and I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised. She is, after all, Oprah.

* I love the Gonzaga-Butler college basketball match-up Saturday night on ESPN.

* On radio this morning, I threw it out there that Butler’s Brad Stevens is the best coach in college basketball. OK, that’s perhaps a little off the wall. But not much. I think Stevens belongs in anybody’s top 10. I’m sure Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski would get the top spot on most people’s list, but Kansas’ Bill Self has to be in the top three.

* Let’s take a quick run at a Top 10 of current college basketball coaches. 1) Krzyzewski; 2) Self; 3) Jim Boeheim; 4) Rick Pitino; 5) Roy Williams; 6) Stevens; 7) Thad Matta; 8) Mark Few; 9) Billy Donovan; 10) Bo Ryan. (FYI, I did have VCU’s Shaka Smart on this list, but remembered I hadn’t included North Carolina’s Williams. No John Calipari? That’s right. It’s my list and despite his success, I don’t want to include him. A personal thing. Just missing: Marquette’s Buzz Williams, San Diego State’s Steve Fisher and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith.

* Al Pacino is going to play Joe Paterno in “Happy Valley,” a film directed by Brian De Palma. Great casting, but is that a movie with mass appeal? Or is it a little too soon to be making a movie about Paterno?

* Who plays Lance Armstrong? Manti Te’o? The imaginary dead girlfriend?

* Let’s make a movie about Tim Duncan, can we? Has there even been a more under-appreciated superstar? Is it just because Duncan plans in San Antonio? Here’s a 36-year-old center, who has been around the league longer than Hubie Brown, averaging 17.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for a Spurs team that is in the hunt for another championship. Duncan is having his best season since 2009-10. He currently ranks 24th all-time in NBA history with 23,244 points and is No. 16 in rebounds, with 12,917.

* How much will senior Carl Hall contribute to the Shockers on Saturday afternoon against Creighton? Hall was active in the Shockers’ win over Illinois State on Wednesday night, grabbing 10 rebounds. But he scored only two points, both on free throws. It didn’t appear Hall was in game shape, nor did it appear his teammates were looking for him on the block the way they were before his hand injury. Hall is a big X factor in the game.

* Who guards Doug McDermott? It’ll likely be a combination of WSU defenders, with Tekele Cotton most likely getting the first shot. The Shockers have been somewhat effective in the past, at least slowing down McDermott. Toure Murry and Ben Smith took turns on him last season, but neither is around this time.

* Good to see the Wichita Thunder back in town after a couple of long road trips. The Thunder plays Tulsa tonight at Intrust Bank Arena.

* Wish I was in Park City, Utah, this weekend to see Part I of an Eagles documentary, showing at the Sundance Film Festival, that has been a couple of years in the making. It’s called “History of the Eagles, Part One,” and it’s supposedly a no-holds-barred look at the band its formation until 1980, when the Eagles broke up. Cannot wait to see this one. And cannot wait to see the Eagles in concert again. When it happens, it’ll be No. 27.

* Thanks for reading. Busy, fun weekend of sports ahead. Looking forward to it.