Monday, March 1, 2010

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

1. Georgia Thoughts

Another 1-1 week for the Men's Hoops team, we lost a heart breaker Thursday night in Music City USA to the Commodores of Vanderbilt but were able to rally the troops and win a tight one against the Gators Saturday night at the Stegasorous. This basketball team is a point guard away from possibly being a tournament team and I thought that was not even possible when we began the season. I have bought in and will probably own Season Tickets next year to Georgia Basketball.

A couple of things about Coach Mark Fox that I absolutely enjoy. The first is his twitter page which is a must read. You can visit his twitter page at This is his tweet on Sunday morning; My 9yr old was asked if he had  2 go to college @ Florida or GaTech where would he go. His answer: "I'd become a fireman & not go to college. In addition to the great tweets, Coach is quite the trick shot artist. I think I could try this shot all day and not make it.

I will talk football next week as Spring Practice gets into gear this week. Should be fun.

2. Combine Thoughts
a. One thing I always hear at the combine is teams complaining about QB's who do not participate in throwing drills. The one thing I say, it does not seem to affect these QB's come draft day.
b. I know Tim Tebow did not throw but I have to give him credit for his 38.5 inch vertical jump which is the best by a QB in combine history. Just as an FYI Mike Vick's vertical was 38 inches.
c. Former Clemson WR Jacoby Ford ran a 4.28. Respectable 4.42 for former ND WR Golden Tate. The question becomes can this speed translate onto the football field with pads and WR's needing to read coverage not run with their head down?
d. I heard Brian Billick on Saturday say he always looked a vertical jump for offensive lineman as a way to determine how fluid they were in the hips...I had not thought about this before but it makes a lot of sense.

e. A week ago it looked like Ndamukong Suh was going to be the number 1 draft pick. Now it looks like it could be Suh, Gerald McCoy, Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen or left tackle Russell Okung.
f. Peter King's MMQB was tremendous as always last week as he got this quote from a well respected personnel director; "He (personnel director) told me (Peter King) his team had changed its way of doing business in the scouting realm this year, and his team's draft board is 90 percent set."
g. I loved this second part; "You know why it's 90 percent set now? Because guys go to the Scouting Combine and they change their grade on a player based on things that have nothing to do with playing football. I'm convinced if you took the stopwatches away from a lot of these guys, most of 'em would not be able to tell you whether they liked a player or not."
h.This idea brought a lot of discussion between co-worker Dan and myself questioning why teams would canvass the country on fall Saturdays watching games, spending the rest of the week watching film just to have their idea change on a player because he was able to do 30 bench presses or run a 40 .05 seconds better than the next guy.
i. Nonetheless, the combine is pretty fun to watch on television and pretty much anyone that is NFL related converges on INDY every February and it has to be a pretty good scene with the different agents, media members, players, and team personnel in attendance.
j. I think if I ran a team I would use the combine to see get to know players better personally, etc than how they ran the 40.
k. Also mentioned at every combine is the wonderlic test, click the link to take the test.
l.By the way the wonderlic is not an ends all to future success in the NFL. Vince Young scored a 6. Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a 50. Who would you rather have play QB?

3. College Hoops Thoughts
a. Purdue might have had one of the worst weeks of any team in losing Robbie Hummel their best player for the season.
b. It is also not good when you score 16 points in the second half as Purdue did on Sunday. Thank goodness the Big Ten now plays a Tournament as they will get an opportunity to play a couple of extra games to see how life is without Robbie Humel.
c. How about Marquette. They have won three games in a row, all in overtime and might have played there way into The Big Dance.
d. Saturday was a really bad loss for the Gators. They now have to play the two best teams in the SEC to finish the regular season. While they are probably in right now, they are not a lock.
e. Another SEC team that is officially on the bubble is the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Win two of the following games and you might be a lock right now, at Alabama, at Arkansas, at Western Kentucky, vs. Rider.
f. Big news in Atlanta this week was GaTech coach Paul Hewitt calling out fans and media for a percieved lack of support and respect. Hey Paul do not recruit one of the best classes in the country and go 7-7 in an average conference and your fans and the 'really smart' Atlanta media would sing your praises.
g. In all seriousness how is this team 7-7 in conference.
h. Can the Big East get 10 teams in the tourney?
i. Cuse, Nova, West Virginia, Pitt, and Georgetown are locks. Marquette, Louisville and Notre Dame should be in. UCONN and Seton Hall sit right on the bubble.
j. I have to tip my hat to Steve Alford and his New Mexico team for winning the Mountain West conference. His team and BYU might have a run in them come tourney time. By the way Alford's former team Iowa is 10-19 this season.
k. Speaking of the Big Ten, they have four really good teams in Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Illinois probably gets in while Minnesota still has some work to do.
l. If you have not looked at The Captains breakdown of the brackets that was posted about ten days ago, one question....why the hell not? You get better info here than anywhere else I have found. Lots of good stuff in here.
m. I will probably have a Captain and Coach bracket challenge up in the next few weeks. All can participate and the winner will get two tickets to an agreed upon Atlanta Braves game. Who knows I might throw in a Buddy Carlyle autographed baseball.
n.Since it is now March we will have a weekly clip of the great Bill Raftery. A little early ONIONS!!!
o. Just as a friendly reminder for those in the Atlanta area on Monday March 15th we will be holding out annual NCAA tournament auction at 12:00 noon at The Bullpen Bar and gotta be there!!!

4. College Power 5
1. Syracuse - The most unselfish team in America is also #1 right now.
2. Kansas - While they lost on Saturday the Jayhawks have won 57 straight at home. K-State pays a visit Wednesday night.
3. Kentucky - Cats come calling to Athens this week. They might press us out the gym.
4. Duke - Clearly the best team in a bad ACC. Can they make run in March?
5. Kansas St - They visit Lawrence this week in what is the game of the week.

5. Olympic Thoughts

a. I watched a lot of the 50K Cross Country race on Sunday and I constantly asked myself why would anyone wake up and say I want to be a 50K cross country skier? Just as an fyi 50K=31.0685596 miles.
b.I think I would rather job 26.2 miles than cross country ski 31.0685596 miles...who else agrees or disagrees with me.
c. I thought it was crazy that the media made a big deal about Team Canada's Women celebrating their hockey win. For one the arena was empty. Second, the drinking age is 19 in Vancouver (18 in other provinces) so underage drinking may have only came into play in one circumstance. Third this was a Canadien arena so who cares what they do in their house.
d. I wonder how much of the reaction from the media came from the fact that these were women not men.
e. The USA won an over-all 37 medals which was the most of any country. Of the 37 medals, 9 were gold, 15 were silver and 13 were bronze.
f. This is the most medals anyone has won at the Winter Olympics...Yes America is still the best. It has to be mentioned that the last time the Winter Olympics were in Canada we won 6 total medals. That was Calgary in 1988. How well have we improved our discipline in the winter games the past twenty plus years?
g. Germany finished second with 30 total medals. 10 Gold, 13 silver and 7 Bronze.
h. Our neighbors to the north won the third most medals with 26 total. However, they won the most Gold with 14.
i. I have to be honest with you, I did not watch one minute of the figure skating/ice dancing.
j. Can anyone tell me the difference between figure skating and ice dancing?
k. How much fun was the Olympic Hockey the past two weeks? No way we get this level of excitement without the professionals. I see no problem with sending the professionals as it is only once every for seasons. I do know we will see, hear, and read a lot about this issue the next few seasons.
l. Ryan Miller is now my favorite NHL player. How can you not like someone who has starred in a commercial that features Yo Mama Jokes. Miller was also named MVP for the hockey tournament.
m. I love this quote from US Olympic forward Chris Drury. "No one knew our names. People know our names now." Damn right we do.
n. Another reason the NHL should want to send its players to Russia in four years, what is majority of our country talking about right now? You guessed it hockey. When does this ever happen? The real question becomes how many people are going to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
o. The greatest nickname from the Olympics came from the Sports Guy who calls Canadian Curler hottie Cheryl Bernard the "Curlgar"
p. The Coach's Top 5 Olympic Moments
1. The two battles on ice between Canada and USA - One Sunday was exhilarating, the next Sunday was heartbreak city.
2. Apollo Anton Ohno - America's most decorated winter Olympic athlete ever. What a joy to watch
3  Lindsey Vonn winning gold despite a bruised shin. While she did not win a bunch of golds that the media thought she would win, she still had a great Olympics. By the way she looks good in a bathing suit.
4. Shaun White - Brings new tricks and was absolutely dominating. I wish I had the tenth of fearlessness that he has.
5. USA winning gold in bobsled.- Not only did we win a gold in the sport for the first time since the 40's. Our coaches were these ugly jackets that I thought were awesome. (I apologize as this is the best picture I could find.)

Halftime...this weeks halftime jam from the 90's that Smoak and I used to rock out to is Let's Ride with Montell Jordan and Master P. Your Welcome. This weeks trivia, congrats to Nabil who knew that Alabama had Bart Star, Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler win Super Bowls. He also knew Purdue had Lynn Dawson, Bob Griese and Drew Brees win Super Bowls. I am a little dissapointed by the lack of effort. We only had two participants and they were Nabil (who went to Purdue) and the Captain who is not eligible to win. We need better participation this week. Now onto the Trivia: In 2012 London will host the Summer Olympics, what municipality came in second in the voting to London?

6. Baseball Thoughts
a. I was talking with a couple of baseball guys this weekend and I mentioned how I thought the Braves and Phillies were probably the teams to beat in the NL East. I also realized the Phillies have been National League champions the past two years and I began to wonder when was the last team to win the league three years in a row?
b. We have to go back to the 40's to find our answer. The 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals won the National League three times in a row. Just as an fyi this was a quarter-century before the LCS era. Back when they just played one postseason series, the World Series.
c. The American League has had a couple of teams accomplish this feat, the A's have done it twice once from 72-74 and from 88-90. The Yankees have also accomplished this feat twice and they have done it from 76-78 and from 98-01.
d. The Braves have won the pennant back to back times twice. The first time 91-92 and the second time was 9 and 96.
e. Here is reason 7563 why the MLB Network is AWESOME, last week they announced their spring training game schedule and includes 78 games featuring 45 live games and all 30 Major League clubs at least three times.
f. Safe to say I will probably email the roomdawg about 10 times the next month to DVR a game.
g. Am I the only one to not know about Kevin Millar being one of the players to cross the picket line and play as a replacement player 15 years ago?
h. I was also dumbfounded to know that along with Millar that Brendan Donnelly, Matt Herges, Ron Mahay and Jamie Walker are the 5 active players that were replacement players five years ago.
i. I also find this intriguing, for many years the replacement players’ petitions for reinstatement to the union were declined, and the players have since passed a motion to no longer hear petitions. While replacement players do not receive group licensing money and do not vote, they do receive a full pension and would be supported on grievances.
j. Gene Wojcieowski has pretty good article on where he gets a season preview from an unidentified scout. Click here to read it.
k. The Scout picks his playoff teams in the NL as Phillies, Cards, Rockies, and Dodgers. The AL playoff teams are Yankees, Red Sox, Twins and Angels. If my memory serves me right these were the 8 playoff teams last season and something tells me all 8 will not find a way to play in October.
l. Something to look at this season, the Braves inter-league schedule includes games at Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox. We play Tampa, Detroit and KC at home.
m. The Phillies play at Boston, NYY, and Toronto. They play Boston, Minnesota, and Cleveland at home.
n. The Mets play the Yankees six times, 3 in each ballpark as well as Detroit and Minnesota at home. They also travel to Baltimore and Cleveland.
o. Looks like the Braves got the better end of that deal.
p. The Over/Unders for games won during the 2010 season have been posted.
q. A couple of locks include Twins over 82 wins, Mets under 81, and Seattle over 83.
r. Interesting that Derek Lowe gets the Opening Day start in 2010 for the Braves. This is why Bobby Cox has won over 2,000 games and I LOVE IT.
s. Last year D. Lowe went 8 scoreless against the Phillies...hopefully he does that in 5 weeks against the northsiders from the Windy City.
t. One last baseball nugget. Here's a thought that ought to warm you up out there. This was the last Sunday without a baseball game to watch until Nov. 7. Hopefully on November 7th my fantasy football team and survivor teams are still in contention. Even better would be two plus months of football loss free by the Dawgs. Just sayin.

7. JJ's Top Catchers - From now onto the start of the season I will break down the top players by position. This is how I rank each individual player if I were drafting a team. Defense will come into play so this will be more than just fantasy rankings. This week we look at Catchers and First Basemen.

1. Joe Mauer - Not only is the best catcher in baseball today, if he stays healthy he will be the greatest catcher to ever play the game of baseball. Last year he hit .365, had an OBP of .444 and slugging percentage of .587. Plus he made these play defensively...the play against Brett Gardner is probably the best play I have seen any catcher make.
2. Brian McCann - How many other players have made the All-Star team in each of their first four full seasons in the Major Leagues? He also has won the Silver Slugger three of his four full seasons.
3. Victor Martinez - Has drove in 100 men three out of the last four years and has hit .300 or better 4 of the last 5 years.
4. Matt Wieters - One of the top prospects in all of baseball last season Wieters hit .301 with six homers and 33 RBIs after the All-Star break, surging to a .333 average with 17 RBIs and a .486 slugging percentage over his final 29 games behind the plate.
5. Yadier Molina - All he does is win Gold Gloves behind the dish. In fact no one in the NL is close to him defensively. Quietly he has turned into a decent hitter and is no longer the automatic out that he once was.

8. JJ's Top Firstbasemen

1. Albert Pujols - Only the best player in baseball today. In my opinion he has the best right handed swing in baseball, even better than Manny Ramirez's
2. Mark Texeira - The only bad thing I can say about Teixeira is that he went to GaTech so will probably never reach his full potential. In all seriousness Mark is probably the best defensive first basemen in the game and last season hit .292 with 39 bombs and 122 rbi's. How many more runs did he save with his glove.
3.Justin Morneau - Three time All-Star and two time winner of the silver slugger while playing a premiere offensive position. Playing in Minnesota we hear nothing about him but somehow beat out Derek Jeter to win the AL MVP in 06. Before each home game, Morneau stops by the same Jimmy John's Gourmet Subs, on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota and orders the same sandwich from the menu: Turkey Tom with no sprouts. Later, he drinks a slurpee from a slurpee machine in the Twins' clubhouse made of one-half Mountain Dew, one-half red or orange flavor. AWESOME.
4. Miguel Cabrera - He probably should be higher on this list but I trust Morneau a lot more than I will ever trust Cabrera. All he does is hit in the .320's with 30 plus bombs and over 120 rbi's every year. Thank goodness he is no longer in the same Marlins lineup as Hanley Ramirez. How scary would that be?
5. Kevin Youkilis - He does not do anything pretty but he gets the job done and he gets in done by playing the game the right way.
6. Adrian Gonzalez - He hits a lot of home runs playing in a graveyard of a ballpark It is probably easier playing in San Diego than any city in baseball.

9. What I Have Read The Past Few Weeks

The first article comes from Joe Posnanski and ran in Sports Illustrated two weeks ago. Posnanski profiles Bob Costas and Al Michaels and here is one thing that I learned about each broadcaster.
Al Michaels: When he was 21, Michaels and his wife worked for game show titan Chuck Barris. (Al would cold-call people to get them to go on The Dating Game; Linda would set up the travel and on occasion serve as date chaperone.)
Bob Costas When Bob was a senior in high school, John (Bob's father) was struck by a heart attack while walking through Kennedy Airport. He died before he hit the ground. At the funeral Bob was given an envelope by one of his father's cronies. The man only said, "Your father was up when he died. Give this to your mother." Inside the envelope was $6,000 in hundreds. That was his father's estate.

In addition to the article for SI, Posnanski added a couple of stories on his blog that did not make the magazine. The first must read is 10 Things About the Miracle On Ice. I did not know about any of these.

Furthermore Posnanski was able to get a baseball story from Michaels that shows how great of an announcer and perfectionist that is Al Michaels.

The next article was Esquire's look at Roger Ebert. I give this read two thumbs up. I am probably better than that line but it is getting late. I am the only one who did not know that he had major cancer surgery and has not talked for four years?

Here is Ebert's response that he wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times.

10. Non Football Thoughts
a. While I have emencly enjoyed the Olympics the past two weeks, I am excited about the return of new television episodes the next few weeks.
b. We get brand new HIMYM and Big Bangs tonight coupled with another hour of Jack Bauer and I have a pretty good Monday.
c. I watched 60 Minutes Sunday night and the story on espionage was absolutely scary. Why are we selling our secrets to the Chinese or anyone else for that matter? It mkes you wonder how many spies are in Washington collecting secrets for the Chinese?
d. I was also intrigued with the story on movie director Kathryn Bigelowe. How have I not seen the move The Foot Locker?
e. Along with The Foot Locker I need to see Avatar, Inglorious Basterds, A Serious Man and Crazy Heart.
f. By the way I think the fact that Bigelow and James Cameron were once married and now competing against each other is hilarious. By the way they have not been married for 20 years.
g. Very intrigued with the new NBC show Parenthood with Craig T. Nelson or should I say 'Coach.'
h.  I always thought the 'Coach' theme song was awesome. Very underrated show if you ask me.
i. Here are my Top 5 Favorite TV Intros from my Youth
1. Saved By The Bell
2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
3. Baywatch
4. Step By Step
5. Family Matters
j. Jerry Seinfeld leaves us for 12 years and this is all he could come up with?Very dissapointing.
k. It was nice to see Kelly Ripa in primetime.
l. Amazing Race continues to be must see televison every Sunday night. It is safe to say that the team of cowboys have become the favorite of the Captain's, the Roomdawg and The Coach's.
m. In the words of The Captain; "they have such a great disposition: 'oh my gravy.'" Every time they say 'oh my gravy' I can not help but laugh. So far the challenges have been easy for them. How will they respond in a city where they must take mass transit, etc?
n. Next weekend I will be going down to Florida to watch a couple of spring training games. Right now the plan looks like Blue Jays at Yankees on Saturday in Tampa, Florida. On Sunday we will watch the Astros take on the Braves in the happiest place on earth, otherwise known as Disney World. I totally see why Braves beat writer Dave O'Brien calls it Dark Star.
o. Hopefully we get some nice weather and I come back with the starts of a nice farmers tan.
p. We would see the Braves pay Saturday but they play the Astros as well on Saturday and two days off Braves-Astros is not worth a drive to Florida.
q. The softball team under the direction of Coach Mitchell gets started up in two weeks so it will be safe to say the next two weeks will be my own version of spring training. I wonder how many sprints I will skip out on?
r. This past week co-worker and Mr. Commodore Andrew Walters was flying to the big apple and had to make a landing in Atlantic City, I did not hear how the rest of the trip went and I will be sure to post next week how everything went and how the airlines usually stop its customers like human beings once it starts snowing.
q. For those that want a good travel story see letter Z in my non Football Thoughts.
r. New Years Resolution Monthly Review
My Grade    ----   The Resolution  -- Any notes if needed
D - Do not make empty resolutions that last for 2 weeks
F -  Start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier
F -  Lose a lot of the exess pounds
F -  Become more financial responsible and this includes eating out less and eating in more
A - Read two books a month- I read three books this month, The Tipping Point, Freakenomics and The Billion Dollar Game
D -  Improve my softball game
C+  - Become more organized at work
D  -    Become more organized at home
F  -  Attend Church more often
B+ - Continue to be awesome
D  - Actually make good on my resolutions.

After this poor showing I am reminded of the words of a former roomdog...."C's and D's get degrees"

s. Speaking of television show openings, how does this one only have 274,000 views? Sometimes I wonder whether or not I say I enjoyed watching this mid 2000's television show?

Quote of the week I
From BJ to me as we were getting off of snow mountain and walking by a snow blower

"Your mom's a snow blower"

I do not know why a good moma's joke cracks me up.

Quote of the week II
From a client in an email. We were discussing The Bear's Den a solid meat and three in Macon, Ga

"Man if I could put some Bear’s Den collard greens between my cheek and gums right now I would be a happy man."

Quote of the week III
From US Goaltender after the heartbreaking loss Sunday afternoon when asked how it feels.

"It feels like shit"

I absolutely love the honesty.

Text of the week
A convo between the Admiral and the Coach as the Coach was driving to Wendy's to pick up lunch.

Can I get 2 5 piece nuggets w/ honey mustard and a small fry? I have cash on me.

Baconator on side?

Ha, I'll pass

stuck by the train at the light...getting ridiculous

So are the amount of poops I have taken today

The day bathroom humor is not funny is a day I do not want to live.

Tweet of the week

McCann on whether he's lost weight: ''No, I just rearranged it. I'm still 235.''
This morning I watched Remington Steele while eating Sugar Smacks out of a salad bowl. I was naked.

Photo of the week  
A new feature here for the Ten Things, thanks to Brice and The Captain for the are invited to send in your ideas...let's keep them somewhat acceptable...on the other hand that is an awful idea. Credit goes to The Captain for this weeks find, great work, I am proud of him.

Michelle Beadle of SportsNation “fame” used to be a PBR commentator and dated a bullrider for a while.
Who would have thought?

I hope everyone has a tremendous week. I will be out of town next weekend so look for a Ten Things Monday Night next Tuesday morning. I also apologize for the lack of Ten Things last week but if one does not have a computer they are S.O.L. and that was me.

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