Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Premier Sugar Bowl Prediction

Courtesy of the Sporting Blog, here is the best prediction I've seen about who will win the Sugar "Interim Coaches" Bowl featuring Florida v. Cincinnati.

Sorry, couldn't get the video to embed - click here to watch.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Syracuse - Seton Hall Observations

The Syracuse Orange moved to 13-0 with a hard fought, sometimes ugly win over the Seton Hall Pirates, prevailing 80-73. The Orange survived despite 20 turnovers (it seemed like a ton more) and 38 points from Jeremy Hazell to earn their first conference win of the year and they did it on the road. Let's get to the observations.

* Any discussion of the game has to start with Wes 'the helicopter' Johnson. With apologies to Herman Harried, Wes doesn't jump, he levitates. Johnson was absolutely huge tonight, especially in the second half when the team desperately needed him. How's this for a stat line - 20 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocks.

* Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports thinks Wes is the stiffest competition to John Wall for national player of the year. I'm biased, but I certainly agree.

* This was a game this team would have lost in the past. The difference this year is Wes Johnson and the quantum leap (insert your own Scott Bakula joke here) Kris Joseph has made from last year. I vastly underestimated Joseph's athletic ability, which he pairs with a solid all around floor game. The Orange's most athletic line up has Rick Jackson at the 5, with Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph at the forward spots. Joseph actually played 2 more minutes that Arinze Onuaku in this one.

* Joseph also made 8-9 free throws, which were huge.

* Syracuse doesn't win this game if they don't go on a 14-2 run to end the first half. Scoop Jardine played a big role in that run.

* After a week off, SU was sloppy and seemed to lack energy at times. Many of the 20 turnovers were unforced, coming from lazy or errant passes.

* Brandon Triche had a rough welcome to the Big East, turning it over 4 times and looking shaky at various points. He'll bounce back and be better for it, but tonight wasn't a good game for him.

* Let's give credit to Seton Hall, this is a dangerous team that hasn't broke through yet - they'll get a few teams this year. How many, I'm not sure.

* Jeremy Hazell can score on any one. His range caused a ton of problems for the SU zone, because they had to extend out so far to find him. That left huge gaps at the foul line, where the defense is most vulnerable.

* That being said, he scored 38 points, but needed 31 shots to do it. I'm not sure a team can win relying that heavily on one guy.

* Hey Herb Pope, going for the ball is one thing, shoving a guy in the back while he's in the air is another. Pope dominated on the boards tonight, but he also had two blatant cheap shots. Granted, I'd be an angry man too if I my parents had named me Herbert, but that's no excuse for thuggery.

* Rebounding was a huge issue for the Orange tonight. Some of that was a result of having to extend the zone to defend shooters, some of it was the fact that the Orange were not boxing out. Instead they chose to rely on athletic ability and out-leap Seton Hall. While SU actually out-rebounded SHU by one (seems hard to believe) but they did give up 23 offensive rebounds. That's got to improve.

* Syracuse can be a good three point shooting team. Tonight they were only 3-10. It's nice to win games on nights when they aren't going crazy from behind the stripe. This is a multi-dimensional team.

* Andy Rautins is the best guy on the team in terms of making entry passes into the post, and that is a needed skill. However, he needs to value the ball a little more. 6 turnovers tonight were tough. They also need more scoring from him as the season progresses.

* Mookie Jones got some minutes in the first half and acquitted himself nicely, scoring on a put back and making a couple of free throws. Stay patient Mr. Jones, more playing time is ahead.

* Arinze was lethal and efficient in the post, but only managed to pull down 6 rebounds in 23 minutes of play. Also, he fell asleep on the defensive end a couple of times.

* Overall, any win on the road in the Big East is a good win, so we'll gladly take this one. SU didn't play it's best game and still came out of a hostile road environment with a W. That's good enough for me.

2009 Idiot Quotes of the Year

It's that time of year again. Instead of a Dick Enberg narrated nostalgic look at the inspirational and moving images of the past year in sports, we at T3I will stick to something we know quite a bit about: saying dumb things.

So just as we've done in 2007 and 2008, here's a look at some really dumb stuff said this year.

"I'm telling your right now, it's going to be hard to say goodbye to this place." ~USC quarterback Mark Sanchez on why he's likely to stay in school.

"It's almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground." ~Terrell Owens, on the NFL suspending Mike Vick

"It's clearly not what my mom wanted." ~Michael Phelps, explaining his photo seen 'round the world.

"I don't know anything about cars." ~ new GM CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr., upon taking his new position.

"It felt like a playoff game, for a minute." ~ Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard on January loss to the Celtics.

"Why did I sign with the Nationals? When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you're just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It's 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me." Pitcher Julian Tavarez, on signing with the Washington Nationals.

"I blame it on the lightning." ~Dodger Matt Kemp explaining a 6-0 loss to Texas.

"The Governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail." ~Spokesman for South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. Apparently the Appalachian Trail now stretches to Argentina.

"Hey, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. Just have it as a number on the voicemail, just have it as your telephone number. You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye. " ~Tiger Woods, apparently forgetting that voicemails last FOREVER.

“We don't want to stop playing basketball, and we sure enough don't want to go back to school right now. We know that if we keep winning, we'll most likely miss this entire week of school. That's huge motivation right there.” ~University of Kentucky star Patrick Patterson on his team's NIT motivation.

“We definitely needed this one. This gets the chip off our back.” ~Orange guard Eric Devendorf, on a big win over Georgetown.

"I'm like Jesus--- I love all of you!" ~T3I favorite John Daly on his love for the fans at the Scottish Open.

The coach asked me if I knew how to get into a 3-point stance. I said, no, but I know how to steal a Buick Regal." ~Darnell Dockett, Cardinals defensive tackle, describing his troubled youth.

"You think we've never arrested somebody that made national media? We deal with the Bengals all the time." ~ Unidentified Cincinnati police officer, while arresting Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy.

"We won out there. They just had more points than us." ~Pitt center DeJuan Blair on his East Regional loss to Villanova.

"I kinda miss having Miss USA around." ~Joe Mauer's dad, on his son's ex-girlfriend.

"It's not all going to be roses and flowers." ~David Ortiz, after a loss to Texas.

"I worked in Canada. It's a great city." ~Former Major Leaguer Tony Kubek

"I think they are all going for the carrot at the end of the rainbow." ~Charles Barkley, previewing the NBA playoffs.

"After we warm up before a game, I gotta take a dump. It's a huge benefit to release that gas you don't need. The facilities are beautiful. We're spoiled. If I get a good one, I know I'm gonna score two touchdowns." ~Jets running back Leon Washington

And ladies and gentlemen....your 2009 Idiot Quote of the Year:

"A versatile guy is a guy who can be very versatile." Brian Orakpo, Texas defensive end, describing his style.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Syracuse Basketball By the Numbers

The Big East season starts Tuesday night for the Syracuse Orange in what could be a very tough game against the Seton Hall Pirates. As you can see from the screen grab above, the game is "sold out" because they only sell tickets for the lower half of the Prudential Center for Seton Hall games. Way to shoot for the moon there Pirates...remember, if you build it, then only sell tickets for half of it, fans will come. Or at least it will look like fans will come.

Before conference play starts, I thought it would be interesting to see where Syracuse stands statistically in relation to it's conference foes. Given the fact that the team is ranked 5th in the nation, it makes sense that they are dominating statistically. Just how dominant? Take a look.

Team Stats


Syracuse is 1st in the conference in team scoring at 88.3 ppg. Right behind them is Seton Hall at 88.1. Expect a track meet Tuesday night.


The Orange rank 8th in rebounding at 42.9 boards per game.


Everyone I talk to about this version of the Orange remarks on the fact that the team is incredibly unselfish. Well, the stats back this up, as the Orange is 1st in the Big East (and first in the nation) with 22.7 assists per game.


Syracuse is 1st in steals at 13.4 per game, but what is crazy is the margin by which they lead the conference. The Orange are averaging over 4 steals per game more than their closest competitor. By comparison, Rutgers is only averaging 5.5 thefts per game. I'm sure Fred Hill will devise a brilliant scheme to remedy that problem.

Field Goal Percentage

When it comes to field goal percentage, the Orange 1st in the conference (and the nation) at 55.3 percent, they are 2nd in three point percentage at 41.4 percent and a rather horrific 14th in free throw percentage at 61.6 percent.

Individual Stats

When it comes to individual stats, the Orange are equally as impressive. This team's willingness to share the ball and the fact that they've won the majority of their games in convincing fashion don't lead to gaudy individual numbers, but this team has put them up anyway.


Wes Johnson is tied for 10th in the league at 16.8 points per game.


Johnson is 7th in the league at 8.2 boards per game.

Rick Jackson tied for 7th in offensive rebounds with 35.

Field Goal Percentage

Wes Johnson is 2nd in field goal percentage (AO didn't qualify using these stats) and in terms of 3 point percentage, Johnson is 2nd, Mookie Jones is 7th and Andy Rautins is 9th in the conference in terms of percentage.


Two of the top 4 assist men in the Big East currently wear Orange. Scoop Jardine is 3rd and Andy Rautins is 4th and averaging 5.8 andf 5.5 assists per game respectively.


Andy Rautins is 1st in the conference at 2.7 steals per game and Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph are tied for 9th at 1.8 per game.

So far this season, the numbers back up the great success experienced by the Orange. How they will fare in the Big East remains to be seen, but SU fans should be feeling pretty good right now.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Ramblings

Photo from Fail Blog

I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday, whatever it is you celebrate. Personally I've got no complaints, other than a lot of time spent in the car, this idiot had a rather enjoyable few days. I also gained 10 pounds and punished my liver a couple of times. It had it coming. I'm going to ease back into this whole blogging thing with some random thoughts, presented in no particular order.

* The Urban Meyer situation at Florida is flat-out bizarre. The only thing we really know for sure is that Billy Donovan certainly approves of Urban's decision-making process.

* Is Jim Zorn the Greg Robinson of pro football or is Greg Robinson the Jim Zorn of college football?

* I was stuck at the in-laws yesterday without much to do - as a result I watched the entire Little Caesar's Bowl. The only thing worse than Little Caesar's pizza was this football game. The fact that a pizza chain sponsored a football game where their pizza wasn't served is a pretty good indication that the entire exercise was a completely irrelevant. Life would certainly be horrible with a playoff instead of these useless games wouldn't it?

* Speaking of college football, I thought I saw somewhere that a MAC team hasn't won a bowl game since 2006. I'm not sure if this is true, but even if it isn't, it's certainly believable.

* The West Virginia - Seton Hall game was a wild one on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how the Hall bounces back from that near miss when they play Syracuse. The two keys to the game in my opinion, how SU handles Seton Hall's full court pressure, and can Syracuse make life difficult for Jeremy Hazell? The dude is going to take shots, the key will be to force him to take a lot of of tough ones to get his points.

* I would love to hear an explanation for why the Washington Redskins ended up on prime time TV two weeks on a row. Speaking of the Deadskins, I heard a couple of talking heads defending Jason Campbell a few days ago, citing the fact that he's had a bunch of different coaches. So what. The fact of the matter is he's simply not good enough to lead a team to post-season success in the NFL. He's a competent back up, that's it. How do we know this? Watch him play.

* He's not the fastest player or the flashiest, but I will take Sheldon Brown on my team any day of the week. The guy is a gamer, he's been playing hurt all year and all he does is play his ass off on every snap. He's sort of like the anti-Randy Moss.

* Only time will tell if he was right, but I don't agree with Jim Caldwell pulling Peyton Manning during the Jets game. The Colts have rested guys before and not been successful. Manning wasn't getting hit. When they won the Super Bowl in 2007 they needed to play their starters all 16 games. The bottom line, these guys are football players, let them play football. Plus we now have to deal with delusional Jet fans for another week. That's not good for anybody.

* Don't mess with Brent Celek's wife. She'll knock you out.

* Both my mother and my mother-in-law to be bought Christmas gifts for our pets. I find this strange. I hope they don't get offended when the cat doesn't send them thank you notes. The lack of opposable thumbs makes writing a chore for him.

* Even Georgetown fans would have to approve of the Syracuse men's team adopting a 5 year old kid who has a brain tumor. Bravo to Donna Ditota for the fantastic piece. Good luck Nick, we're pulling for ya.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Festivus

It's December 23rd, which means one thing, it's Festivus. Clearly the most joyous of all the Holiday celebrations, we here at T3I want to wish all our loyal readers, and those of you that find this site through a google image search for care bears (a shockingly high number of people arrive here this way) a Happy Festivus. If time permits, stop back and we'll have an airing of grievances, but for now, take it away Frank:

George doesn't exactly share his father's feelings on Festivus, although he should.

And finally, it's about time Congress recognized this great holiday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Triche Leads Gang Assault on Oakland

Someone tell Oakland that the name is in the wrong place on the jersey

See what I did with that headline? Oakland has long been notorious for gang violence, so I played off's really too bad the Oakland I'm referring to is located in California and Syracuse played a team from Michigan. One of these days I'll nail a clever headline. Today isn't it.

However, Syracuse moved to 12-0 with a 92-60 thrashing of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the Carrier Dome. Brandon Triche lead the way and was helped by a veritable gang of Orange teammates, who now have a week off before opening Big East play against Seton Hall next week. Here are some post-game observations.

* It goes without saying Brandon Triche was a man among boys tonight. He managed to score a career high 27 points in 20 minutes of play. The most amazing thing about his performance, he only took 11 shots. Donte Greene sometimes had 11 shots up before he got out of the locker room.

* It's easy to take double-doubles from Wes Johnson for granted - he had another one tonight with 19 points and 11 boards. He was also more active defensively, chalking up 2 blocks, 2 steals and being a general menace along the baseline.

* Likewise, Rick Jackson is quiet, efficient and lethal on the floor. It's easy to over look how consistent he has become. He added 14 points, playing most of the night at center.

* One of things I really, really, love about this team is that NO ONE is in love with the dribble. Prepare for an old guy rant here - but in a day and age where players grew up watching the And 1 Mixtape Tour, many players think if you can dribble past all 5 guys on the other team, you're a good player. That's not the case with this team. A couple of times they moved the ball the entire length of the court without the ball hitting the floor. That's beautiful.

* A corollary to the point above, only a team as unselfish this current SU team is willing to do that. It's a joy to watch.

* Something that wasn't a joy to watch - Oakland Coach Greg Kampe. I'm not sure what look he's going for, but if you add in a mustache, Ron Jeremy would probably think his look is being ripped off.

* Another thing, Oakland wear jerseys with the player's names BELOW the number. I have no idea who thinks this is a good idea, since it most assuredly is not. Here's the thing with uniforms - people try and get too cute with them. Memo to the world (and especially Oregon) you CANNOT re-invent uniforms. It does not work. Uniforms have certain basic elements. One of which is that if there is a name on the jersey, it goes ABOVE the number. When people try to get cute, awful things happen. Don't believe me? Ask the 1976 White Sox. Or the Evansville basketball team.

* While they only allowed 60 points, the Orange did have a few defensive lapses, including giving up 18 points to a guy named Drew Maynard. I haven't seen a white guy dunk that many times in a game since Tom Chambers was playing.

* Mookie Jones got in the game in the first half and continues to light it up in limited playing time. He scored 13 and is now shooting 46% from three point range. He even put the ball on the floor and got to the rim in this one. His defense needs to improve, but if SU has nights where they aren't shooting it well, Mookie can provide some instant offense off the bench.

* Andy Rautins had 9 assists, while only taking four shots. I love how he can assess what the team needs adjust his game accordingly.

* Arinze Onuaku was limited due to a leg bruise tonight, which allowed DaShonte Riley some playing time. In limited time he showed a couple of nice offensive moves, however, like Mookie, the key to him getting on the floor will be defensive improvement. Right now he's not a factor defensively.

* Scoop had a rough first half, but bounced back to play much better in the second. The best thing about Scoop, he doesn't get down or hang his head.

* This has nothing to do with this game, but UConn was tied at the half with Maine tonight. Their fans booed -- don't tell Larry Elin. When Syracuse played Maine the half time score was 60-12. Bring on the Big East baby.

Ebay Items of the Week: Heisman Greats

T3I tips our hat to Mark Ingram on last week's Heisman trophy victory. To pay respect, we'd like to honor some true Heisman greats.

For $1200 and change you can own a game worn jersye of 1994 Heisman winner and noted Bears legend Rashaan Salaam.

Fans of "The U" will want to add a Gino Toretta signed mini helmet to their fireplace mantles.

I'll match your Gino Toretta and raise you an Andre Ware autographed mini helmet.

Anyone else have $0.99 and need 5 newspapers commemorating Eric Crouch's 2001 triumph?

Jason White really won the Heisman. I'm serious. Here's proof.

Party like it's 1999 and throw a "Got Ron Dayne" sticker on the back of your car.

** For a great time killer at work, check out the official list of winners here. The real fun is to click on each winner to see the voting results for that year. Some tremendous names on those lists. ***

Stalking is a Crime Bud

So, did you hear Greg Paulus is preparing for the NFL Draft? Did you hear this one? You did? You know who else heard about this? Greg's number one fan - Bud Poliquin. Bud likes Greg more than Mel likes Flight of the Conchords. I fully expect Greg to be at the family home opening Christmas presents on Friday morning and Bud will be peering in the window taking photos. It's getting creepy at this point.

Now let me by perfectly clear - we here at T3I harbor no ill-will towards Paulus and we hope he finds his way onto an NFL roster. We appreciate his effort this past year and want nothing but the best for the guy. By all accounts, he's a great person and has been a positive influence on two collegiate programs. Even if he doesn't make it in the NFL, there's no doubt he's going to be successful in life.

By Holy Hell - enough with the love letters already Bud. It's time to give Bud the same treatment Kissing Suzy Kolber gives Peter King. From yesterday's missive:

For reasons beyond my ability to grasp, there was a pack of barking dogs out there who ridiculed the whole Greg-Paulus-as-quarterback project unveiled this past fall by Doug Marrone, the first-year head coach of the Syracuse University football team.

While we were not one of them, you could understand how people would have doubts about a guy who hadn't played football in 5 years. And you could also understand why they didn't put blind faith in a first-year coach of a program that had won 10 games in the past four years. Fans had a right to be skeptical.

Bad idea, they yipped . . . and mostly under the cloak of anonymity.

Yipped? Really? Yipped? My grandfather's 87, he thinks this term is antiquated.

It didn’t matter that Paulus, the imported graduate student from Duke, completed two of every three passes he lofted (admittedly, few of which traveled any length of note).

Of note, he also completed 14 to the other team, many at inopportune times, you know, like overtime. In the end zone.

No, the detractors did their detracting . . . again, for the most part, without the burden of self-identification. And they scalded a young man for having committed the sin of being the best quarterback on campus in the view of the guy who most mattered -- Marrone.

We here never booed Greg. We didn't take any personal shots. At the mid-point in the year, when he was playing poorly, we thought Nassib should play more. So did most of the free world. However, the "cloak of anonymity thing" cracks me up. If you think Paulus should have been benched, what difference does it make if your name is Greg Jones from Syracuse or Jonesy23? It's still a random name on the internet and the internet is a big damn place. Unless you're committing libel it's a pointless argument. My name is Andrew Rush by the way. I doubt that makes my criticisms any more or less valid.

Well, those creatures once more have their rifles to their shoulders and they’re about to shout, “Pull!” because Paulus is back in the news and on the verge of again riling up the naysayers.

They naysayers are being riled up because YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT HIM. You are doing the riling. If a couple of comments on a web site get you this fired up, it might be time to take a few days off and enjoy some egg nog.

Me? I loved the Paulus experiment.

Really? I never would have guessed.....the next thing I know you'll tell me John Daly loves smokes or Tiger loves women.

But still, I wonder about this NFL business. And I wonder how serious either side -- Paulus or the pros -- can possibly be. Knocking around in college and squeezing out one last football fling is one thing; actually thinking that Greg’s arm and Greg’s body translate to Sunday afternoons is something else altogether again.

Wait a minute, Bud's making sense, I'm confused.

Now, the fact of the matter is that nobody is going to get hurt here. Which suggests that there can’t be much harm in Greg’s trying. After all, he has done this tilting-at-windmills bit before, and Marrone ended up giving him the ball. So, why not? What is there to lose?

Exactly, which is why it isn't worth devoting an entire column to the subject. If he succeeds, let's laud him. Until then, let the guy go about his business.

And, sure. Some, while traveling incognito along the internet’s boulevards, will choose again to yip and yip some more. But then, we should all be pretty used to those barking dogs. They've been all around us for a while now.

Well I thought we were - but obviously the 'barking dogs' are being heard, at least by Bud's ears.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not All Mascots Are Built for the Snow

Watching people fall down is hilarious. Watching people dressed in mascot costumes bite it is even MORE hilarious. Check out Eagles mascot Swoop taking a header on the sideline during the Eagles-49ers game yesterday. The best part of the video is when he disappears off camera and all you see is snow flying in the air. It's a good thing Otto works mostly in the Dome, as we know from the Octonion, he's not exactly a badass.....

Video comes via The 700 Level.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Syracuse - St. Bonaventure Observations

Testicle Assaulter Andrew Nicholson

The Syracuse Orange moved to 11-0 with and 85-72 victory over a nattily clad team from St. Bonaventure on Saturday. It wasn't always a pretty affair, but there's no column for pretty in the standings. Here are some observations.

- The best way to stop Andy Rautins? Hit him in nuts. Andy didn't make a thing after getting punched below the belt and honestly, as a man I can tell you if we was OK, that might have been a bigger cause for concern. There's no way to get out of something like that w/out a ton of pain.

- Every time I ever see anyone get hit in the balls I instantly double over. I don't think about it or realize I'm doing it most the time. It has to be genetically programmed into all males - and Chaz Bono.

- St. Bonaventure played a very physical game. It was clear they weren't going to give the Orange anything around the rim. Consider it prep for the Big East.

- Orange fans have to be a little concerned over Arinze's getting banged up. We tend to take the big fella for granted sometimes since he's been so steady, but he provides a physical presence that SU will need against Big East competition. Apparently the injury is just a bruise, but the team will need AO healthy to survive the Big East and make a deep run in March.

- Rick Jackson moved to center and was OUTSTANDING (saw this in your best Jaworski/Gruden voice). However, behind him there isn't much depth. It's clear that while DaShonte Riley has a ton of potential, he's not ready to play substantial minutes yet. On defense he's too easily moved out of the paint and gets himself out of position frequently. However, In time, I think he will be an excellent player.

- It was good to see Brandon Triche hit back to back three pointers. We know he's not afraid to take the ball into the paint, if opponents have to run at his jumper, getting inside will be a lot easier.

- 11 games into the season Kris Joseph is easily the most improved player on the team. He had 17 points and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench. I'd be willing to say he's good enough to start on most teams in the country. However, he's playing behind.....

- Wes Johnson, who chalked up 17 points and 10 rebounds and didn't appear to play that well while doing it. That is a testament to how good this kid is, when 17 and 10 doesn't seem great. Another fun fact, he's gone 2 games without an insane dunk.

- Tim Higgins worked the game. Here's an honest question, how much longer can this guy continue to work? He's about 175 years old and he's got a beer gut. A huge part of being a basketball official is actually moving around the court. I'm in my mid 30s, I play pick up games once a week - the next day I CAN BARELY WALK. You cannot tell me a guy his age is physically capable of doing his job, because I don't believe it.

- I'm going to keep an eye on the Bonnies the rest of the year. I was impressed with their athleticism and how hard they played. I think they'll surprise a few people this year.

- I watched Frost/Nixon after the game on DVD. Wow, that was one fine piece of film making. Frank Langella was more compelling than the actual Richard Nixon. What a great movie.

- Holy Hell those St. Bonaventure uniforms are ugly. Even UPS thinks there's to much brown in them.

Pantless Football, Not Always as Bad as it Seems

Today Tommy Kelly helped the Oakland Raiders score an upset victory over the Denver Broncos. The fact that the Raiders won is fairly amazing, when you factor in that JaMarcus Russell lead the comeback, it becomes astounding. To makes things even a little more wacky, Tommy proved that pants on Sundays are purely optional.

As Deadspin said so well, let's all thank God for Tommy's jock strap. Without that important piece of equipment, we could have been facing a Schiancoe-like situation.

However, there are instances where a player losing their pants on the football field isn't a bad thing. Allow me to remind you of the Lingerie Football League. Uniform mishaps in this league certainly are treated in a far different fashion:

And when these malfunctions occur, they are inspected very closely. Something tells me that league doesn't consider this a problem.

You know what they say, pants are constricting.

Please Don't Hit Andy Rautins in the Nads

"I was in pain. I felt nauseous for the rest of the game." ~ Andy Rautins

Andy, ever consider running the steeplechase?

That's Some Serious Range

You don't see this very often, below is a video of Matt LeClair from Albany Academy making a full court shot at the end of the first quarter of a recent game.

His team won 67-61.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Wonder if There Are Betting Windows at Club 4-4?

By now you've heard of the newest club in Syracuse, Club 4-4. If you're an ultra VIP interested in an "opulently designed, Manhattan-style meeting place," conveniently located in the concrete bunker that is the Carrier Dome, and you've got an extra $1,500 burning a hole in your pocket, this is the place for you.

Now I understand the esteemed Syracuse Athletic Director is trying to raise money to compete nationally, and if he thinks he can do it by peddling "an extraordinary atmosphere" filled with ultra VIPS, the tooth fairy, the headless horseman and whatever other load of crap he claims will be in this club, more power to him. You gotta pay the bills somehow.

I also understand there's no money in the Central NY and Turning Stone represents a funding opportunity. Other schools have deals with casinos -- and make no mistake -- first and foremost Turning Stone is a casino, but the association to me is unseemly. For example, on the front page of the Turning Stone web site, you see this:

I'm not naive, but advertising football gambling and sponsoring a club at a college football stadium really isn't really the message you want to be sending, regardless of the bogus claims that Turning Stone is a "resort."

The gambling aspect aside, in the grand scheme of things, this latest fundraising effort doesn't really affect the average fan. It just gives us another thing to mock. Maybe they'll be able to to con enough people into joining this thing to keep my A level seat costs down. I doubt it, but well see.

However, we here at T3I want to help those who are about to experience opulent, ultra-VIP luxury, so we are proud to present you with an exclusive first peek at what your new digs will look like - enjoy the club!

There's No Need to Expand the NCAA Tournament

Jim Boeheim has been a long-time proponent of expanding the NCAA tournament. He's been an advocate of this well before the infamous snub of a few years ago. We here at T3I have the utmost respect for Coach Boeheim. However, on this issue, this idiot disagrees.

Today, Bud Poliquin has a story about the issue, and specifically about Boeheim's reasons for wanting to expand the tournament. According to the story, Boeheim's reasoning for expansion is as follows:

- The tournament has always expanded. There are more good teams now than ever before and they deserve to be in the tournament.

- This is the longest period of time between field expansions.

- A lesser percentage of teams get into the NCAA tournament than in professional sports.

- The tournament would not be 'watered down' because the bad teams that would be let in will lose anyway.

- Doug Gottlieb says JB only wants expansion because Syracuse didn't get into the tournament. Doug Gottlieb is an idiot.

- We should give more college kids the chance to play in the tournament since it's such a great experience.

Let's break down these points and I'll offer my rebuttals.

The tournament has always expanded. There are more good teams than ever before and they should be in the tournament.

In regards to expansion, this is absolutely true and no one disputes it, since it's a historical fact and all. There are certainly more teams playing Division I basketball (which I'll get to), and the balance of power is now spread more evenly across conference lines, but I'm not so sure there are that many more "better" teams playing now that there was 20 years ago.

There are certainly mid-major programs that have established themselves since the tournament last expanded, but that just means they are taking players from schools that play in traditional power conferences. The rise of mid-majors in a way weakens schools in the middle of the pack of these conferences. An expanded tournament means more bids for mid-majors, but it also means more bids will be going to teams that are well under .500 in their own conference. If you can't win half the games in the league you play in, you don't deserve a chance to play for a national title.

This is the longest period of time between field expansions.

The United States hasn't expanded since adding Alaska and Hawaii 50 years ago. Just because time has passed, it doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. Sorry Puerto Rico, you're screwed.

A lesser percentage of teams get into the NCAA tournament than in professional sports.

There are lies, damn lies and statistics. People like to point out that a lesser percentage of teams make the NCAA tournament than they do in playoffs in professional sports. You want to know why? Because the number of Division I NCAA basketball keeps growing.

More and more schools are trying to establish Division I programs with the explicit hope of winning an awful conference tournament, making the big dance and getting obliterated as a 16 seed. You know what that gives the sport? More and more teams like the New Jersey Institute of Technology. I don't have a problem with this at all, but let's not kid ourselves by using this argument.

Does anyone know how many teams that starting playing DI basketball since the tournament last expanded have a shot at actually winning the tournament? How about zero point zero. Expanding because the number of programs is increasing is a boondoggle. NJIT and Longwood aren't being screwed here people.

The tournament would not be 'watered down' because the bad teams that would be let in will lose anyway.

Ummmm - then why are we letting them in? The purpose of the tournament is to determine a national champion. By adding more teams, were are diluting the chance to see another Cinderella run by a team like George Mason, because another hurdle has been added that they would have to overcome. No one wants to see a team like George Mason eliminated by a Clemson team that went 6-10 in the ACC and will lose in the next round anyway.

Doug Gottlieb says JB only wants expansion because Syracuse didn't get into the tournament recently. These people [Doug Gottlieb] are idiots.

Does Boeheim want tournament expansion because his team got snubbed? Absolutely not, he's been talking about this for years, because he believes it. I disagree with it, but I respect it. Is Doug Gottlieb an idiot? Without a doubt. This one was easy.

We should give more college kids the chance to play in the tournament since it's such a great experience.

So we should give more teams that have no shot at winning the title an NCAA tournament trip because it's a great experience for the players? Not to get all high and mighty here, but how about we cut out all the other bull sh*t post-season tournaments and give these kids a little more time in the classroom, since most won't be playing pro ball anyway. That's a better, and more useful experience.

Besides, expansion means a larger bracket and there's no way you're going to fit one of those on one sheet of paper using a font anyone can see. I'm getting old. I can't see so well. I don't want to carry around two sheets of paper, I'll lose them. Let's keep the tournament as is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rony Seikaly - DJ Extraordinaire

I lifted this straight from the message board, but it's too good not to share. Former Orange legend Rony Seikaly is available to DJ your party. For those too young or who simply don't remember Rony's work on the court, here are some highlights.

And here's an interview Rony did when his jersey was retired in Syracuse a couple of years ago.

Lastly, while Rony averaged 16.3 points per game and 9 rebounds per game as a senior at Syracuse, and 14.7 points and 9.5 rebounds during his pro career - his greatest accomplishment was being married to Elsa Benitez.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ebay Item of the Week: Life's a Bowl of Cherries

Another bowl season is upon us. For Orange fans it marks another month of ESPN hype that does not include our beloved Orangemen.

Our current Ebay Item of the Week is the perfect remedy for those going through bowl withdrawl. For a very reasonable $69.95, you can own the official program from the 1985 Cherry Bowl that pitted (bad pun alert) Maryland against the good guys in orange.

The Cherry Bowl only lasted two years, however thanks to Ebay, you can remember it forever.

Speaking of 1985,'re welcome. Here are your #1 hits from that year:

Christmas Gifts for Syracuse Fans

The Christmas Holiday is less than two weeks away. Hanukkah is already rolling along. That means one thing, it's time to go and get some gifts for the Orange fans in your family. Or better yet, you can buy SU stuff for any Georgetown fans you know and watch them get pissed off. That rules.

With time being short, you need ideas, and you need ideas fast. Luckily, we here at T3I are here to help. When doing some last minute shopping, here are some ideas to consider.

How about a Syracuse garden gnome? Honestly, gardens without creepy little bearded men dressed in SU gear aren't gardens worth having. This gnome is available on Amazon for 23.00.

If the person your shopping for is already at gnome-capacity, then maybe a lufa tube dog toy will do the trick? I'm not even sure what you do with something like this, but it only costs $14.99, so have at it.

While the first two suggestions aren't for everyone, this last item should be. It's the Syracuse University Basketball Vault. Written by the Post Standard's Mike Waters with a forward by Jim Boeheim, the book is a comprehensive history of Orange basketball.

I got a copy for my birthday last week and the thing was so cool I did a little video review of it which is below. Before we get into the video, let me warn you - it's TERRIBLE. It's basically on par with everything Kige Ramsey has ever done, only I'm not in a Walmart. I took my new ipod nano (now shoots video, this might not be a good thing) and flipped through the pages while talking. Hey, at least I didn't work off a script or plan out what I was going to say - that would have at least made sense.

Don't let the video scare you though, the book is worth checking out.

Syracuse Images of the Decade

The folks at Citrus TV put together a great video detailing the images of the decade in Syracuse sports. It is really well done - check it out.

Hat tip to the Axeman.

Monday, December 14, 2009


So, did you hear about Turner Gill getting hired as the head coach of Kansas? I'm sure you did. Did you also know Fire Turner Gill is up and running? By now, you may have heard, if not, feel free to check it out. While the guy who runs the site is apparently mad at the lack of a national search, there is evidence it was started while Gill was at Buffalo. Anyway you cut it, the result is the Internet at it's finest, if you define finest as absurd.

Calling for Gill to be fired before he's coached a game isn't exactly behavior that anyone would call rational, however, it's common place here on this vast series of tubes we call the world wide web. Last year in a fit of rage, I called for Andy Reid to be fired. To be fair, so did John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News. Suffice it to say, that was probably an irrational reaction on both of our parts. I would like to point out that Reid corrected almost every one of the long list of grievances I had - although something tells me it had nothing to do with my rant on this dopey blog.

However, the Fire Insert Coach of phenomenon got me thinking - does every coach have one of these? Would people really start web sites demanding that really successful coaches to be fired? Of course they would.

Let's start with the most the most successful NFL coach of the last decade. Is there a Fire Bill Belichick? There most certainly is.

While the blog hasn't been updated since 2006 (the Pats finished 12-4 that year) I'm sure it won't be long until it's fired back up, or until a competitor emerges, after all the Patriots are merely 8-5 this year.

How about the most successful college football coach of the last decade? I present you with Pete's on the Hot Seat.

This blog was last updated about six months ago, and among their grievances:

- Pete Carroll has not won a National Championship in over four years.
- Pete Carroll has lost a season’s worth of games.
- Pete Carroll is content with just winning the Rose Bowl every year.

Oh the horror.....

What about the coach of the United States basketball team? Take it away Fire Coach K

Now granted, this site appears to have been created by some UNC fans, but the fact that it's there at all is pretty funny.

Andy Reid just got a three year contract extension, but there's still a blog calling for him to be canned.

For Syracuse fans there are no sites currently calling for the dismissal of Jim Boeheim or Doug Marrone - although the folks at the apparently dormant Get Gross Out did start a Fire Doug Marrone site that is no longer around.

And while Joe Girardi may have won the World Series, he shouldn't get too comfortable.

While all those sites are fun, I really expected more out of Fire Wade Phillips, now that's a guy that actually deserves to be fired. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go register Fire Jim Caldwell, he's bound to lose a game at some point, and then we'll look like geniuses.

The Eagles Knock Out the G-men

The Philadelphia Eagles won a wild Sunday night game, beating the Giants 45-38. The game was really entertaining, even if both teams tackled like they were coached by Greg Robinson. The 700 Level has a couple of great GIFs up. Let's steal and enjoy them:

McNabb and Eli go at it Jersey Shore style:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

And there's nothing better than an airborn Andy Reid - well except everything:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Both GIFs done by Johnny Nas.

Syracuse - St. Francis Observations

Syracuse vs St. Francis

Image - Syracuse Media

Syracuse spanked St. Francis Sunday, winning 75-51 in the Carrier Dome. The team wasn't nearly as sharp as they were in the huge win over Florida on Thursday, but they still came out and took care of business against an inferior opponent.

Let's get to the observations:

- 75 points matches SU's lowest point total of the season. They also scored 75 in the opener against Albany.

- The team is 10-0 for the first time since 1999. That year they started 19-0 and ended up losing in the Sweet Sixteen to the eventual national champion Michigan State.

- I really liked the fact that Boeheim played 9 guys in the first half and used full court pressure extensively. It will give opposing coaches something else to think about when preparing for the Orange.

- Of course Mookie Jones is still wondering aloud about his playing time. Make no mistake about it, Mookie can score. He's shooting nearly 50 percent from behind the arc, but his defense at the top of the zone simply isn't good enough right now. Besides, he's playing behind Andy Rautins, who can also shoot it a little and Andy is playing fantastic defense right now. The team is better when Andy is on the floor and both guys play the same position. Hopefully he remains patient and doesn't go all Nick Speller on us.

- The whole game had a little bit of a flat feel to it, which was to be expected. The good news, Jim Boeheim didn't go all Roy Williams on anyone and get them tossed out of the building. If Roy got the guy tossed because he told a player to miss a free throw, that's pretty pathetic - and beyond thin-skinned.

- Scoop Jardine had 9 assists in 24 minutes and only took 2 shots. I love how unselfish he's playing.

- The Terriers had no answers for Big Rick Jackson and AO down low. They did have some spiffy uniforms they stole from the Kansas Jayhawks however.

- The biggest surprise of the game - no highlight reel dunks from Wes Johnson. He did manage to block back to back shots at one point. Mr. Johnson can elevate.

- We've got 6 days until the Orange take on St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies are playing much better this year, but Big East play can't get here soon enough.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gator-Skinned: Syracuse-Florida Observations

They Syracuse Orange men's basketball team passed another big test last night, defeating the Florida Gators on a "neutral" court in Tampa 85-73. The game makes the third top 20 opponent the Orange has vanquished this by double digits. In fact, the 12 point margin of victory is the closest game SU has played all year.

The team looks so good that right now Andy Katz is wondering if the 'Cuse will turn out like the 2005-06 national champion Florida Gators. After nine games I'd say yes - but of course it's a long season and a lot can happen. Injuries could occur, Mookie could lead a revolution from the bench or Jim Boeheim could decide mid-season to quit and become a beet farmer. However, barring any unforeseen disasters, this basketball team has the look of a Final Four team to me.

Here are a couple of quick observations:

* Rick 'Action' Jackson came to play. 21 points and 11 boards, Big Rick was a man among boys. He was especially effective on the offensive glass, scoring on numerous put backs around the rim. I love his footwork and overall, he continues to impress - even if the ESPN headline shorted him 2 points, saying he he only scored 19.

* Speaking of Rick, he seems to have a knack at the free throw line for making 1 of 2 EVERY time. He never makes a couple in a row and misses a couple in a row, it's almost always one of two. However, if he keeps playing like he did last night, it doesn't matter.

* Obviously the three pointer Rautins hit after Florida went on their run was huge. He had another solid game for the Orange in all facets, helping break the press and move the ball. It's hard to believe Andy didn't have a single assist last night, since every time I looked up he was moving the ball effectively.

* The athletic ability of this team is above and beyond what we've seen lately. You combine that with a desire to share the ball and they can get up and down the court as quick as any team in the country. It makes for some fun basketball to watch.

* How many three point attempts did Florida take from beyond 25 feet? It's like they were having their own little contest to see who could take the longest three. Part of that was the zone was pushing them out that far, but still....

* Give Florida credit, they did a good job of moving the ball against the zone and getting the ball to the high post, which is a must if you are going to successfully attack it.

* Wes Johnson had a slow start, but didn't force anything. Then when the game matters he makes a few huge plays down the stretch. Then you check the box score and see he finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds. Yeah, he's player.

* The Orange shot 3-13 from three point range after coming into the game in the top 10 in the country in 3's made per game - and they won by 12. That just goes to show you how well rounded this team is. They don't have to live and die by the three.

* While Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine struggled at times with the Florida pressure, they combined for 15 points and 9 assists last night. Not too shabby fellas, not too shabby at all.

* I've had alligator a couple of times, I'm a fairly adventurous eater, but I can't say I'm impressed. The meat itself is rather flavorless. It does take on the flavor of whatever sauces or seasonings are applied, but if it's not cooked perfectly, it gets very tough. In other words, while it's not bad, there's no compelling reason to eat it.

* A friend of the idiots was at the game with a "Billy Donovan Needs Rogaine" sign last night. Sadly it did not make it on TV, but we applaud the effort.

* I am as giddy and fired up over the prospects for this team as a tramp who slept with Tiger Woods is about the prospect of getting a fat pay off. Strap in and enjoy the ride people, Big East play is going to be fun, fun, fun this year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beat Florida Chat

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1987 Was Special

Syracuse plays Florida on Thursday. Florida is coached by Billy Donovan. Before coaching the Gators to back to back national titles, leaving for the Orlando Magic, and coming back to coach Florida six days later so he could lead them to back to back NIT appearances, Donovan played college basketball for Rick Pitino at Providence.

I always remember Donovan for a couple of things during his playing days - he was an excellent shooter, and his shorts always seemed extra short, even by the standards of the late 1980s. So, thinking it would be hilarious/disturbing to find a couple of videos of Billy playing in shorts like these:

I headed over to YouTube and started searching. Sadly I didn't find much. In retrospect, that's probably a good thing. However, since Syracuse beat Providence in the Final Four that year, I did find a good Orange-related video that doesn't involve Keith Smart. Let's check it out.

It is the CBS intro to the 1987 Syracuse-Indiana title game.

A couple of fun things jump out in the video:

- No one, and I mean no one, wore the feathered butt-cut better than Steve Alford.

- The Dome Ranger managed to make an appearance. Sadly, the movement to bring him back hasn't quite taken off yet.

- I'm pretty sure you can see Rony Seikaly's left nut when they show him dunking.

- Juli Boeheim would not appear in Jim's life for quite some time, the giant glasses that he's wearing make that quite evident.

- CBS really, really liked the Jazz theme that year.

So God only knows how videos of today's players will look in 20 years, remember this when you're watching the game and thinking Billy looks just like Eddie Munster, it's not even the worst look on his resume.

Ebay Item of the Week: Be Jack Clark

A former favorite of the Idiots is '80s slugger Jack Clark. We loved guys who either hit the ball 475 feet or completely wiffed. Jack parlayed some big seasons ('85 and '87) with the Cardinals into a fat contract with the Yankees in '88.

For those of you too young to remember, let's just say the Jack Clark Yankee era wasn't exactly memorable. After one season in the Bronx, Jack was sent to San Diego for such household names as Stan Jefferson, Jimmy Jones, and Lance McCullers.

Where am I headed with this? I really don't know. But for $499, you can own Jack Clark's Texas League Championship Ring.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coach Mac Headed to the Hall of Fame

Tuesday Dick MacPherson gets inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Here is a Citrus TV report on the man that revived the Orange program in the 1980s, complete with a clip of Rob Moore scoring on the first play from scrimmage against Penn State in 1987. Good call Sue Edson, good call indeed.

And here, Don McPherson talks about playing for Coach Mac:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Syracuse Off to an Orange-Hot Start

2K Sports Classic - Championship

Sorry for the headline, it's awful. So awful it's good.....or not. Now, on to the regularly scheduled post. Syracuse played the Maine Black Bears Saturday and to say the game was a blow out would be an understatement. The Orange won 101-55. Mark Mangino versus an all you can eat buffet would have been more competitive. The Orange lead 60-12 at halftime. Custer kept it closer than that at Little Big Horn.

The Orange are playing so well right now, doing any observations on the game would be pointless. We know Wes Johnson is great, Andy Rautins has evolved into the most well rounded player on the team, and the zone defense is smothering.

The Orange are off to one of the best starts in recent years. They've been dominating and the stats back up what we are all witnessing with our own eyes. Consider these numbers for a minute:

* The Orange are 8-0, and the smallest margin of victory has been 15 points, against Cornell.

* They have won 5 of those games by 25 or more points, and three games by more than 30 points.

* Jim Boeheim has traditionally used a short bench. So far this year, no player is averaging 30 minutes per game, and 9 guys are averaging more than 10 minutes per game.

* The Orange are third in the nation in scoring, first in field goal percentage, and 9th in made 3 point field goals.

Syracuse is dominating weaker opponents -- but when you compare how these opponents have fared against SU's Big East brethren, Syracuse is even more impressive.

* Syracuse beat Colgate by 42, UConnbeat them by 14. Rutgers trailed Colgate at half, and eeked out a 9 point win.

* Syracuse beat Columbia by 25, DePaul beat them by 6.

* Syracuse beat Cornell by 15. Seton Hall won by 10.

So sure it's early, but any way you cut it, the Orange are off to a dominating start. We're looking forward to the Florida game on Thursday, it should be fun.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Morning Videos

Welcome to Friday. It's been a long week, so let's not tax ourselves with actually reading anything this morning -- kick back, relax, and enjoy some videos that have been bouncing around the intertubes....

First, let's slow-jam with vocals courtesy of Tiger Woods:

And then we can cry with Allen Iverson:

And finally, let's say goodbye to Mangino the Hut, who is done at Kansas:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ebay Item of the Week: One Glove Wonder

Thanks to the Russianator's reminder, let's offer up another Ebay Item of The Week.

Forget the late Michael Jackson, for $19.99 you can own another Mike's glove.

Doug Marrone Doesn't Talk About the Unemployed

According to Donnie Webb, Doug Marrone was on his weekly radio show and said a whole lotta nothing about the recent firings of his offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, and defensive line coach.

Now, to be fair, there's no way he'd bad mouth any of the the guys he let go. He's also not going to reveal the internal dynamics of the staff. While I'd love to know that he really fired Derrick Jackson because he was a close talker, let Jamie Elizondo go because he was addicted to playing games on Facebook, and couldn't work with Rob Spence because he drank Hennesy with Ron Artest at halftime and only drew up plays using burnt sienna colored crayons, no coach is going to do that. It would be impossible to get people to work for you, and it would be unprofessional.

However, that doesn't mean Marrone should get a pass on this. When you fire a large portion of your staff, that's news. He really should face the actual media and answer a few questions from guys like Donnie, who cover the team for a living. He announced the firings on Monday night and has been laying lower than Tiger Woods since.

Fielding softballs from University employee Matt Park on a radio station with a terrible web site that doesn't even have the interview on-line doesn't really cut it. It's also out of character for a guy who has been very forthcoming with the media all year.

I mean at the very least, give us something. I'd take a Rasheed Wallace presser over this. How did both teams play Sheed?