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Monday, November 30, 2009

Blunder Losses Mount, Drop Eighth Game

The Blunder continue to pad the loss column as they fell to the short-handed Rockets on Sunday, 100-91. Houston used the adversity of Etan Thomas eye gouging of Luis Scola's to fuel the comeback that put the Blunder in their place - the loss column. After Etan "Bill Romanowki" Thomas's eye-gouge/assault, which knocked Scola out of the game, Aaron Brooks and Chris Landry rallied the Rockets with 21 points a piece to lead Houston, despite having Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and now Luis Scola out.

Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant led OKC, as always, with 25 points on 10 for 19 shooting in 45 minutes, while hauling in nine boards. Jeff Green, 0 for 5 from three-point land, and Serge Ibaka led the Blunder with 4 fouls apiece. Kevin Durant had six turnovers, and Toshe Sefaloshi went 2 for 7 from the field and 0 for 3 from three-point range to finish with six points in 38 minutes to lead the low lights.

The Blunder committed 20 turnovers and were a sizzling 1 for 15 from 3-point range.
The Rockets used a 29-14 advantage on the boards, sans Ming, to rally back from a 54-45 halftime deficit.

And speaking of deficits, there was a noticable fan deficit at the Furd Center. The game was announced as another non-sell out. Damn shame that is. Probably time to rebuild the arena (at taxpayer/suckers expense, undoubtedly).

Blunder: 9-8
Next Loss: Wednesday vs. Philadelphia
Tornado watch: Hazerdous Weather Watch in effect

More Corndogs! More Losses! More Blunder!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holmgren Returning to Seattle?

From what I am hearing, it's happening. Rumors are running wild Mike Holmgren is about to be reunited with the Seattle Seahawks. Holmgren, who guided Green Bay to the Super Bowl and Seattle to it's only Super Bowl, has been itching to get back into the game and will reportedly return to lead Seattle as its GM.

So, where does that leave Tom Ruskell? Out. Waaaaay out.

The much maligned GM has come under heavy fire recently as the Seahawks, a disappointing 3-7 this season, have spiraled downward under his watch. He's been blamed for the Steve Hutchinson debacle and his failure to address the huge void it left on the offensive line. That botched deal, where he refused to sign Hutch early in the season and instead 'transition' tagged him (the difference being Seattle would've received two first-round picks as compensation) may be his lasting legacy. Many bitter fans believe that line got the team to the Super Bowl and it's subsequent disintegration has doomed the team. Truth be told, it wasn't entirely up to him, but he'll always own the legacy of the poison pill debacle.

Ruskell's drafting legacy is a mixed bag. While this season he scored high on most boards, his previous drafts have produced only a minimum of impact players, most notable were several busts in the secondary. The linbacking core has been a strength but get's little help up front or behind it. The hiring of Mora while Holmgren was said to be an effort to 'ease the transition' but it was widely reported the team was split in it's allegiances between Mora and Holmgren supperters during the tumultous final year of Holmgren coaching.

Not all the problems are Ruskell's fault. The team has endured staggering injuries the past two seasons and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has gone into decline.

All signs point to Holmgren returning to Seattle and reuniting with Paul Allen. He has had his year off to re-energize and now can tackle the GM job he had to give up while coaching. He'd likely be highly motivated to prove his superior skills over the much-maligned Ruskell's, whom he feuded with over personnel decisions.

Will Jim Zorn be the next Seahawk to return to Seattle is he is fired in DC as is widely expected? Zorn made a name for himself as Seahawk's quarterbacks coach and was whisked away to be the Redskins head coach, a position clearly above him at the time. But that was Snyder's error. The lessons Zorn's learned, at Snyder's expense, could be used back in Seattle. Especially as this franchise rebuilds its offensive line and finds a new quarterback.

What happends with Mora? I imagine he gets another year or so before any decisions would be made. You don't want a revolving door head coaching situation. While his first season is a disaster, I am not sure you pull the trigger yet. Although with well-respected Holmgren as GM, it makes you wonder who he could lure to Seattle should Mora be canned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Presto! Blunder Bumble to Magical Loss!

Former Supersonic Rashard Lewis had 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in three quarters to lead the short-handed Magic over the Blunder in Orlando on Tuesday, 108-94. The Magic led by as many as 30 points before Magic starters went to the bench early, allowing the Blunder to make it appear respectable.

Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant was held to 12 points, far below his 32.8 average. He also contributed to the lowlights with a game high 4 turnovers! Tosha Sefalosha poured in 2 points on a scorching 1-4 shooting clinic in 25 minutes of 'playing' time. That's two points more than I scored. The Blunder also managed to give up 40 points in the paint. Solid!

Cy Young Award winner Zach Greinke of the Royals was in the audience. Greinke is from Apopka, a suburb of Orlando. Like the rest of America, Greinke was not wearing any Blunder merchandise.

No Tornado Warnings were issued in OKC, nor were there any ZombieSonics sell out warnings issued. In fact, no sellouts this season. I thought OKC 'supported the team'? I suppose a couple more arena rebuilds and an upgraded corndog stand, at OKC taxpayer expense of course, and I'm sure they'll come runnin' to the games! They may have to walk though, because according to Forbes, Oklahoma has the second highest obesity rate in the US.

More Corndogs (literally!) More Losses! More Blunder!

Blunder: 6-6
Next Loss:
Season Outlook: Dry and Dusty. 90% chance of failure.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blake-less Clippers Beat Down the Blunder!

Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant's 40 points weren't enough as the NBA's poster child for horrible franchise relocation, lost to the NBA's poster child for horrible underachievement, the Clippers, 101 - 93.

Rookie first-round pick James Harden led the lowlights going 0-8 from the field and 0-5 from 3 point range while Thabo Sefalolsho went 1-9 from the field and 0-5 from three point land. Time to talk contract extension for these sharpshooters? Nick Collison had six fouls in 27 minutes.

The Blunder locker room was abuzz before the game at the team's chances to finally get Blake Griffin's autograph. Sadly, the night was deemed a total bust for OKC when it was discovered he did not make the trip due to knee rehabilitation and his total lack of desire to ever see OKC. Unable to regroup from the devastating news, the Blunder quickly gave in. Chris "The Layman" Kaman went off for 25 points to lead the Clippers who snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Blunder showed off their throwback uniforms tonight...throwbacks to last season, that is. Time to start the "where will Durant go" chant. New York? Dallas? Lakers?

Blunder: 5-5
Next Loss: Tuesday at Miami
Tumbleweed forecast: 100% chance or tumbleweeds.

The game was played before another non-sell out crowd in OKC. The local John Deere's truck and tractor pull out drew the NBA again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

ESPN's Bill Simmons gets us: He hates Clay Bennett, too

This is a re-posting of Steve Kelley's article from his Friday the 13th column in the Seattle Times. An appropriate date to rekindle the evil that was Clay Bennett and the duplicity the sporting community showed towards Seattle fans towards the plight of the Sonics. I have edited some out of the content for brevity and highlighted particularly poignant points.

Throughout the painful, insulting process of losing the Sonics, it always bothered me how little the national media seemed to care.

The same people who always said they loved coming to Seattle, the people who remembered the KeyArena crowds from the 1996 Finals against Chicago as among the most electric they'd ever felt, practically ignored this grand theft.

Almost no one challenged NBA commissioner David Stern's motives. The same people who professed love for this city ignored it when Seattle needed their help the most.

The one loud, insistent exception was columnist Bill Simmons. He took up the cause when too few others would. He did his homework. He was the noise in the midst of the media silence.

"It was really a hijacking," Simmons said of the Seattle franchise's move to Oklahoma City.

Simmons is one of the best in our business. He's funny. He's informed. He's prolific. He's a basketball fan who cared about what was happening in Seattle.

"I was kind of dismissive of it initially," Simmons said, "but I got a lot of e-mails from Sonics fans asking me to 'actually look at what's happening out here.' "

Simmons paid attention and called the move "the biggest blemish on Stern's legacy."

"Maybe he didn't willingly conspire," Simmons said by telephone Thursday morning, "but by not doing anything, it made him a conspirator. He's the commissioner and he's supposed to stop stuff like this and didn't.

"It was a case of a guy [Clay Bennett] who bought the team and never really wanted to keep it there and stole the team. I love basketball and I felt like Seattle had really good fans. It just didn't seem fair to me that somebody bought this team with no intention of keeping it in Seattle and the rules were in place so that nobody could stop him. I continue to feel bad for the fans."

Simmons is coming to town Tuesday to sign copies of his new 697-page book, "The Book of Basketball." When he was planning this book tour, the No. 1 city Simmons wanted to visit was Boston, home of his beloved Celtics. But, he said, Seattle was the second city on his list.

"It's hard for me to believe that Seattle's not one of the 30 cities that has a team," he said. "I think there are maybe six, seven, eight cities in the NBA that really got the NBA and really understood the history and it resonated. And I think Seattle was one of those cities."

Simmons promised Seattle's NBA fans he never would mention the Oklahoma City franchise by its NBA-given name. Even now, he calls them the "Zombie Sonics," or "The Team That Shall Not Be Named."

"As I dove into this issue more, I was very surprised that it wasn't a bigger story," he said. "I thought it was the kind of story that should be leading SportsCenter and should be on the cover of S.I. I didn't get it and I still don't get it.

"It's crazy to me, that this wasn't a bigger story, especially when you think of all the stuff we blow out of proportion. This was a story that was at the heart of American sports. The fact that owners can extort fans and get whatever they want."

Zombie Sonics. I love that line.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Seahawk Mid-Season Report Card

“You’re as good as your record says you are” says Bill Parcells.

3-5 ain't very good. There's plenty of 'bad' to go around on this team right now. However, if they can steer clear of the icebergs, there are some good things for the Seahawks and changes are coming. As ugly as Seattle has looked at times, there are positives; Matt is getting healthy, as is the o-line, there are healthy receivers to throw to, the kicking game is stable, and a very possible change in the GM position looms. This team is not a disaster, but they need to get on a hot streak STAT if the playoffs are to be any kind of reality. Truth be told, that reality is fading fast.

Offense: 22nd in total offense (320.8 ypg. & 20th in scoring. (20.9ppg)
Grade: D+ and rising

Passing game: Amid a plethora of injuries, the passing game has shown it can still be a force. Receiving corp of Burleson, Branch and Carlson are a solid core of consistent receivers. They need to step up their effort full-time with intangibles ie; blocking/finishing routes. This is a good unit that makes catches. Matt is still the franchise and as he goes, so go the Seahawk fortunes. He is still a formidable passer, competitor, and proud Seahawk. B-/C+ and rising.

Running game: Very little productivity. Running backs Jones, Forsett and Griffiths running abilities are at the mercy of a very suspect offensive line. However, out of the backfield as receivers they are very effective. It’ll be interesting to see if the bigger, faster, Louis Rankin will start getting carries and if the line can open some holes consistently. D+/C-. Holding steady.

Offensive line: Injuries and a new blocking scheme have hindered this unit. The loss of Jones is significant, but not surprising. They look horrible one week and competitive the next. They could grow into a decent unit with some help and time together. Draft picks will surely be used to shore up this unit on the off season. D+: Holding steady.

RED FLAG: Where's the red zone offense? Too many field goals. Four against the cowaqrdly Lions and toothless Bears? NFL teams win by scoring touchdowns. This team needs to improve red-zone efficiency via play-calling, execution and sheer desire.

Defense. 13th in total defense (322 ypg) & 13th in scoring (20.9 ppg)
C and holding.

A tough unit to analyze. There’s talent here. They look bad at times yet are in the upper half (13) of the league, statistically. They’ve also been victimized by the Seahawk offense ineptness that goes three-and-out far too often, keeping them on the field too much. Regardless, they need to improve and probably will. The line and 'backers are good. If they can develop and hold their own up front, they'll take pressure off the suspect secondary that is 26th in the leagus against the pass. Once the Seattle offense improves, this defense will have a chance to flourish. C and rising.

Linebackers: Solid group even with Hawthorne filling in for Lofa. He’ll be a starter somewhere next year, maybe even Seattle. I would not be surprised if Lofa’s career declines as injuries take a toll. This is the strength of the team. Is it time to make Kerney a linebacker? B and holding steady.

Defensive Line: ability to pressure the quarterback needs more consistency. Sacks are great, but pressure, containment and fundamental play are what hurt offenses most and lead to three-and-outs and turnovers. They have played some very formidable o-lines this season (Arizona, Indy, Dallas) that can make you look bad. Still, there needs to be more accountability and desire up front. It's time for the new acquisitions to start shining.

Secondary: Continues to be abused when up against big receivers and skillful QB’s like Peyton and Warner. Then again, most secondary’s do. Again, part of the problem is up front where the QB has too much time. Trufant needs to get back to playing speed. The biggest flaw here is that this unit is too small for a division that has a tradition of big physical receivers like Fitzgerald, Holt, Bolquin, etc. Need better coaching and a change in strategy to maximize the talent they have. Head coach Mora was the secondary coach before taking over for Holmgren, yet his students are arguably the weakest link on D. Weird. Need bigger, physical, punishing talent here. D and holding steady.

Special Teams: Sadly, Mare is the team MVP for all the field goals he’s made (14 out of 16) due to the inept red zone offense. There is plenty of speedy talent in the return game. Forsett had a huge blunder against Chicago. They need to step up and break some returns for scores to help the offense. Need better coverage. C+. Holding steady.

I am not swayed by Mora or his staff either way yet. 3-5 is not awe inspiring, but growing pains are to be expected, especially with a new staff, this roster and injuries. Seattle has had brutal losses (Arizona, Indy and Dallas) but also two huge shutouts at home. This team falls somewhere in the middle. This is not a championship caliber team, nor is it a cellar-dweller. They have an interesting mix of youth and veterans. Injuries are hampering this team, along with mental toughness and smart strategy. Consistency, execution, and the player's desire to win is questionable at times. Coaching has to step it up and start getting the most out of this team. 9-7 would be a huge achievement for this team, albeit unlikely.

RED FLAG: Ruskell has not been offered an extension and Holmgren is said to covet the job. Is Tim a lame duck keeping Mike’s seat warm for him until next season? Is this good or bad? This would be three straight years of transition. Continuity is a huge part of success. IS there a plan in place or is this a franchise adrift? Ruskell is replaceable, but let’s hope the team takes a step up in that crucial area.

Overall grade: D+
Games out of first: 2
Playoff forecast: Gloomy
Predicted finish: 7-9
First round draft picks: two
Countdown to Ruskell's likely departure and possible Holmgren reunion: Eight Games.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blunder Rocket to Losing Record!

The Houston Rockets extended their winning streak over the Blunder to 11 games with a 105-94 victory on Friday night. Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry had 21 points apiece to lead Houston and Luis Scola added 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Rockets are without injured center Yao Ming.

Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant had 27 points and nine rebounds. DJ White, Nick Collison and Tosha Sefolosha led the lowlights with 3 fouls apiece, Westbrook had 4 turnovers, Nonads Krystac was 1-8 for three points in twenty minutes, and Jeff Green was 0-4 from three-point range.

The Rockets wore red and yellow throwback jerseys ala the uniforms they wore when they won NBA titles in 1994-95. The Blunder wore their Knick tribute uniforms.

Blunder: 2-3, 2.5 games out of first place, five game into the season.
Losing Streak: 3 and counting.
Next Loss: Sunday vs. Orlando.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yankees Win Series: World Yawns

Baseball loves it's cliches; it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings; Juuuust a bit outside; Yank win series.

Yup, the little-engine-that-could Yanks won their 27th World Series over the over-matched Phillies last night with a 7-3 victory in game six to take the series, 4-2. The defending champion Phillies never seemed much of a threat to the Yankees, who were in control of the series from the get-go.

The Yankees now have 27 more championships than the Mariners!

Matsui, deservedly, was the Series MVP. Speculation is swirling that he may not even be back with the club next year. Nonsense. They'll sign him. This championship was ripe for the cliches: A-Rod, fresh off his 'steroid scandal' and his surgery, gets his first ring; the Yanks christen their new $1.5 billion-dollar ballpark; the Matsui speculation, win one for ailing Steinbrenner, yada, yada, yada.

But those aren't even the greatest cliches. I've saved the best for last:

It's good to see that you can still buy a championship in baseball.

The Yanks payroll for 2009 was over $200 million, by far the highest in baseball. Yup, baseball loves it's cliches.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Blunder Blaze Trail to First Loss!

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning." Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore.

"I love that familiar stench of defeat." OKC Blunder fans.

The NBA Season is off and running, and so is the OKCBLUNDER!

OKC enjoyed loss numero uno (that's number one for my OKC fans) thanks to the Portland Trailblazers, 83-74. Portland, the lone NBA franchise in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to Clay Bennett's shenanigans, were sparked by Brandon Roy's 16 points. Roy, one of five Blazers scoring in double-figures, enjoyed a 42-point outburst on Saturday. He toned it down on Sunday, so as not to embarrass the Blunder in front of another non-sellout crowd at the Bored Center.

Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant had 16 points but was 0-5 from three-point land. Nonads Krystic led the lowlights with zero points in 20 minutes. Nick Collision, not to be outdone, pitched in zero points in 17 minutes. Westbrook did his part for the low-light reel with six fouls and nine turnovers. The Blunder went off on a 3-for-14 three-point effort for a sizzling 21%!

More Corndogs! More Losses! More Blunder! More non-sellouts!

Blunder: 2-1.
Next Loss: Tuesday vs World Champion L.A. Lakers.
Admitted non-sellouts so far: 1
Season outlook: Dry and dusty.