Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The NBA in OKC - Where Blunder Happens!
The blue/orange thing is fine, but after all these years of pining for an NBA team in OKC, of all the styles, options and choices they could make...this is the best Bennett and his ilk could do? They look like the Knicks, the Hornets, the Nuggets and half of the NBA. They are furiously devoid of creative uniqueness which seems spot-on apropos for a group that has bumbled this at every turn. Not ugly, not awesome...just simply indifferent.
They took a potentially menacing, albeit generic logo, Thunder, and stuck a yellow smiley face on it. Where's the dark, moody colors or intimidating logo? The sky blue is allegedly an homage to Oklahoma's sky blue flag. Isn't the sky cloudy and black when Thunder is rolling through it?
Merchandising is a huge part of the NBA pyramid scheme. With the Blunder's Dorito logo and generic jerseys, it’s hard to imagine anyone outside of OKC jumping on the bandwagon. They will never maximize profit potential this way. With the economy spiraling downward, you have to fight for the consumer dollar. A killer logo and color scheme would've at least made non-fans consider consuming OKC hats and jerseys, simply out of the novelty of a new team. Consumers will consume. There is nothing unique or awesome about this team's uniform or logo to consume. A missed opportunity. Watching the video of the unveiling, you could just see Durant cringing and asking himself "how much longer do I have to be in this disaster movie?"
The failure to create a logo/uniform that satisfies the fans and the team, while maximizing it's potential in the marketplace, is indicative of an ownership group that has a small market mentality in a big market game. It's further proof that this group is unlikely to take this team to the next level. It's a dagger to the OKC fans who've yearned for an opportunity like this, only to watch it bumbled on several levels.
It's ironic that Bennett and Presti’s agenda in Seattle was to decimate the team to ease to move to OKC. They may never be able to build it back up from the same cellar they created. The team, picked dead last in the NBA power rankings, has a good chance of staying there for a long time because of one blunder after another, CBA uniforms and because NBA superstar talent, like Durant, need and deserve a bigger stage than the 45th market can possibly provide. Durant is likely long gone at his first chance. Just like OKC’s chance for a good first impression is long gone.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Getting steamrolled by Stanford used to be an oxymoron. Now the only morons are holding clipboards on the Husky sidelines. This simply goes beyond embarrassment. I've said it before and it's worth repeating; the water is tainted. Saturdays have become a public humiliation offered up by the worst coaching staff in UW history. A total package of incompetence; No athletes. No coaching. No spirit in the players. Another display of fundamental-free football. Ty has to go. For the sake of the future of the program. Even for his own future, coaching at ANY program, which is dimming as the embarrassing losses pile up. At this rate he’ll never get another coaching opportunity. I’m actually starting to feel bad for HIM.
Ok, I am back to my senses.
How many passes were dropped out there today? I watched Georgia/Alabama and those receivers snagged every pass that was even close to them. Countless passes on the numbers were dropped by UW receivers. No effort at all. How many plays does UW have in the play book? Six, tops? How on earth can they not have any imagination on offense? Do they not realize how easy they make it for opposing teams to prepare for them? Stop Jake. Well, that's been done. The new strategy for beating UW: just show up.
Jake Locker could be the best athlete in the Pac 10 and the worst passer. It was like a comedy reel watching his passes repeatedly sail so far off the mark. How is it possible he is not getting better in that department in his second full season? Seems like coaching would address that. Astonishingly, it has not. Had he been properly coached, Locker could be the ultimate weapon. You cannot say enough about his effort.
Once again on display was a team with ZERO in the fundamentals department...cannot pass OR catch, or tackle, or rush the passer or...this is getting tiresome. Tough to win many games that way…simply atrocious coaching.
Fouch looks pretty good for a freshman, have to give him credit, he scored as many points as Jake did and has a far superior accuracy. If Jake comes back, why not have Fouch stay at QB and put Jake in at tailback? The backs they have now don't even look fully grown. Can this team keep it together for the November 22 trip to Pullman for their high school game of the week against WSU? It may be the only win salvageable.
Let’s hope Pinkel is looking north and looking for a new challenge.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tebow certainly puts up impressive stats in a tough conference, although it seems unlikely he'll top last year's Heisman performance. This season Tebow threw for a meager 137 yards against Hawaii, a team that traveled 5,000 miles to play them, 256 yards passing against a young Miami team and s paltry 96 yards against a very average Tennessee team. He has 118 yards rushing for the 3-0 Gators. Certainly not outlandish numbers. By comparison, Jake Locker of the 0-3 Washington Huskies threw for 103 yards against Oregon, 204 against undefeated BYU and 154 against undefeated Oklahoma. Locker has 163 yards rushing. So, with superior stats against superior competition, should Locker be a Heisman candidate and top 5 pick, too?
For Tebow to have a chance he needs to develop the ability to drop back and stay in the pocket, looking to pass. He thrives in the 'broken play' type of offense where he can air it out or run at will. Against today's athletic NFL linebackers he simply will not be able to outrun them and the punishment they inflict is what gives offensive coaches nightmares.
The franchise qb cannot be a runner first in the NFL. Just ask Vince Young, an athlete superior to Tebow who's still struggling to master the NFL passing game. Running quarterbacks can thrive in college but have a short NFL lifespan in the NFL. Michael Vick may be the only exception, but we'll never know. Maybe Tebow's best option will be to switch positions in the NFL, a reciever or tight end. He'd have to bulk up for the latter but he's athletic enough to make it in intriguing option.
Why is life in the NFL so fleeting for UF quarterbacks? Grossman, Leak, Wuerffel, Matthews; it's a who's who of gaudy college stats, but little NFL success. Are they just surrounded by better, faster playmakers in college? Are Florida coaches sacrificing the development of pass-first quarterbacks for the short term success of the broken play scramble? Has parity in the NFL revealed them to be simply average players? I mean, we've all seen Grossman play
The jury is still out on Tebow's NFL prospects. He seems to be a great candidate, but we've seen that before. We know he'll go early, we know he'll be a top pick. What remains to be seen is whether he is another one-trick pony from the Swamp or a Florida QB that finally breaks out of the pack to thrive in the NFL.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Against Oklahoma...where do I even begin? A complete lack of basic NCAA-level fundamentals was on display for a national audience to see; no basic blocking or tackling, ball exchange misery, kicking woes, a lifeless group of players going through the motions. A 265 pound tight end out ran Washington's secondary. Pathetic.
At what point to you assess the damage and move on? We are entering a phase where irreparable damage is now being done to the program. This is not a historically moribund program; they've won 15 PAC-10 titles, 7 Rose Bowls, a National Title. How will the next administration be able to resurrect this team after Tyrone and his staff of utter incompetents have buried it so deeply? This affects recruiting and the ability to bring in a real staff of football coaches. The water here is tainted and it's spreading rapidly and for all to see.
I do wonder if Emmert is afraid to pull the trigger. Is he more afraid of the known or the unknown? I wonder if the hangover from the Don James era still lingers on campus. James had become so powerful within the U-Dub that even Barbara Hedges ego was happy to see him leave. She proved it by her complicity towards the sanctions. Old news? maybe. Is Washington afraid of becoming a football power again? Is this administration happy being simply an academic institution? Whatever the case may be, James set the standard very high...perhaps even unattainable. I feel that you have to try, for the players, fans, school pride and the city.
We all expected Oklahoma to beat Washington. Consistently watching these slow, lifeless drones that cannot compete, play fundamental football or make strides...that's coaching. Coaching is the ability to maximize the potential of a team. Either this entire football team has never played before or the coaching staff has absolutely bumbled this task. Perhaps this team has been over-coached and the players just cannot learn the system. Again, that's a coaches responsibility to analyze and adapt.
Washington is about to embark on a stretch where they can win three games. The wins will be a band-aid and allow some breathing room for Ty. Make no mistake; the wounds are deeper than that. This system, whatever it is, doesn't work. Jake Locker won't last the season in this system. Don’t let the upcoming wins blur the reality of this situation; this team has no fundamental skills, talent, motivation, or a coaching staff that can figure that out.
I think Tyrone Willingham has something to offer the football world, although I am not sure where his skill set applies. Since the days at Stanford he has always been caught on-camera in that stern 'deep thinker' pose, suggesting a superior intellect. I was fooled for a while. But now I believe that look is either his 'asleep at the wheel' look or him simply realizing he has no idea what is going on. He knows he's a dead man walking. His players look just like that, too.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
After WSU’s 66-3 nail-biting loss to Cal, PAC-10 executives have decided enough is enough. In a statement never issued, officials announced they are dropping the Cougar football team from the PAC 10 after the latest on-field embarrassment. Rumors are swirling that Pullman High School will replace WSU in the PAC 10 and will play their home games at Martin Stadium, fulfilling contractual obligations and continuing the tradition of miserable road trips for PAC-10 foes. Pullman High is coming off a convincing 33-6 win over Ellensberg, known mostly for its Angus Beef cattle ranches and full-figured coeds.
WSU’s gridiron expulsion caught many by surprise. Former Cougar star quarterback Drew Bledsoe refused comment, but did manage to mumble “Shame about Brady, huh...?” He then drove away giggling, sticking pins in what appeared to be a crude, Tom Brady look-alike straw doll.
Unconfirmed reports claim much-maligned former WSU quarterback and short-lived San Diego Charger, Ryan Leaf, was even less forthcoming. When asked for comment he only managed to throw a wicked sneer our way. The sneer fell incomplete and immediately divided the locker room, hurting morale and frustrating the coaches.
Pullman players and coaches began boarding buses for the long drive to Waco where a thorough pummeling is expected to take place at the hands of the Baylor Bears. The game will be on FOX Sports. School officials are asking players and parents for gas money and lunchables for the long trip. An extra large supply of Band Aids and ice packs are also being requested.
WSU went into two-a-day practice mode in anticipation of Saturdays game against soon-to-be bitter rival Moscow High School. The game will be webcast compliments of Moscow Radio Shack employee, Marvin Huang.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Jake Locker plunged into the endzone with two seconds left on the clock. A conversion kick away from tying BYU. Locker flips the ball innocently in the air to celebrate with his euphoric teammates. A referee flags him for excessive celebration, moving the ball back fifteen yards. The ensuing P.A.T was blocked and the game was lost. The national media immediately condemned the officials for the moronic call. The outcry was unanimous.
Another blundering example of the NCAA’s over-legislation of the game. Every year new rules are implemented, some good, some bad, but in the end...simply too many unneeded changes. It's overkill. You need an advanced degree to even fathom these changes and an assistant to keep you up-to-date on them.
I checked out the new rule changes for the 2008 season. Aside from the asinine anti-celebration rule, which is among the most ridiculous in all of sports, is the new face-mask penalty. The unintentional 5 yarder is gone - it's now a mandatory 15 yarder regardless of intent or severity. And according to the new rules; When in question it is a foul. (A.R. 9-1-2-XV). That same, inherently-flawed philosophy cost Washington a shot at a simple extra point and a 50% chance of winning the game in overtime.
To say the Husky kicker should have made the kick is a legitimate point of view, but consider this; after the penalty, BYU coach Bronco Mendanhall admittedly changed his defensive strategy, deciding on an all-out rush to block the attempt. From three yards out (vs. the 18 yards out as a result of the penalty) the defense rushes fewer players to safeguard against a fake kick that could result in a two-point conversion. With that threat all but eliminated from the penalty, the strategy changed, directly affecting the outcome.
Washington fought a fierce battle against 15th ranked BYU and appeared to be on the verge of something big. A threshold moment for this much maligned team, and their coach Tyrone Willingham, his job is on the line...and I do not mean metaphorically. To have poor judgment from a bystander decide the outcome is simply unacceptable. This is not the first example, nor will it be the last, of an idiotic interpretation of rules hurting the games by unfairly affecting the outcome. It hurts the players and the fans.
This celebration rule is obnoxious and inappropriate. To ask kids to play an emotional game and not react emotionally is simply stupid. That’s precisely what makes sports great – the outpouring of emotion by players and fans. What’s next? Banning fans cheering? Ludicrous, right? Don’t be so sure that’s not next. Yes, there are scattered acts of players taunting. Penalize them! Don’t penalize the majority because of the mistakes of the few.
This is equivalent to banning smiling after a good orgasm...and another example of a complete lack of common sense.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
What’s surprising is the lack of support. Where was Stern? Where were the local celebrities? Where was Kevin Durant? An unconfirmed reports claims the dog walker for Oklahoma's own prodigal son, Garth Brooks, may have done a walk-by, but that's it.
I read press 'reports' from the local OKC paper, owned by Clay Bennett’s wife. I have to share some gems with you that honestly made me laugh out loud. The link is below with some gems I plucked out... http://newsok.com/thunder-wear-sets-new ... 1220590270
XP Events, the Thunder's merchandising partner, works with six pro franchises. According to XP Events president Alan Fey, non-game day sales records were established for the company at both the team store in downtown Oklahoma City and online.
A record for the company. A company that distributes merchandise for SIX teams. What teams? They could be teams from minor league baseball, CBA, CFL, WNBA, or the WHL. No sales figures or comparisons are presented. What was the previous record? Non game-day sales records? C'mon. If the record or the teams that "XP Events" repped were significant, they'd be mentioned, right? Journalism 101. A very clumsy spin attempt.
The team store "...opened up two hours early." Two hours earlier than what? Wasn't that it's first day?
"The buzz around town has created quite a demand.” Good grief. Statement of the obvious.
Sadly, the most revealing observation may have been this; "Desmond Mason, a veteran NBA forward who played at Oklahoma State, signed autographs...''
Um, excuse me but...WHERE'S KEVIN DURANT? It's a bad sign when your lone star is AWOL because you know they begged him to come so press would show up. The face of the franchise said NO THANKS.
If OKC wants to be a big league city their local media had better mature in a hurry. This kind of desperate and clumsy reporting reeks of beginning collegiate journalism.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Let's compare the two...
The Wonder Years was the story of a family growing up in suburbia. The children faced the pain and wonderment of youth as we watched them grow before our eyes during the 1970's.
The Blunder Years is the story of a league that grew up in the 90's. Then came the new ball blunder, the referee scandal, the talent exodus. The lowlights included the commissioner's grudge against Seattle and his snake-oil salesman BFF, who pained and bewildered the Seattle fans who saw their team exit to the middle of nowhere...right before their eyes
The Wonder Years was a time of lost innocence, lost dreams and the end of the 60's culture.
The Blunder Years is a time of lost talent, lost markets and the end of the NBA's credibility.
The Wonder Years introduced a broad tv audience to our painful teen years.
The Blunder Years introduced a broad audience to a team with a Nacho Cheese Doritos inspired logo.
The Wonder Years made us laugh as we watched Kevin grow up in front of us. It also made us cry.
The Blunder Years made us laugh at painfully bad decisions by Stern, Bennett and Seattle's leadership. It also made us cry.
The Wonder Years inspired awe and excitement at the mystery of the world and for what lies just around the corner...a bright hopeful future.
The Blunder Years inspire sadness, but make us look just around the corner to the future, a bright hoop-filled future, when the Sonics return to Seattle.
Two different eras, one similarity; both had 'buttheads' as central characters.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The colors are blue, yellow and orange, according to the picture. Not at all what I was expecting, which was some kind a black and gold combo, an homage of sorts to the oil business there. It is somewhat retro and the word "Thunder" is ultra generic. Interesting. Average. Lame. Take your pick. Strangely, I have almost no reaction to it, it is so...boring. Although I must admit, that orange triangle center piece makes me want some Doritos. Frito Lay presents the OKC Blunder!
Either way, that logo will look very nice in last place in the division. We all know it'll never be stitched onto a championship banner.