Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rick Bozich Likes the Orange

Louisville Courier-Journal basketball columnist Rick Bozich gives his top college college basketball teams, and the unit at the top of his list wears Orange - even if they do have that odd silver strip of duct tape looking material on the back of the jersey.

Meanwhile, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports and the Faux Hawk Hall of Fame has the Orange at number 3 and Andy Katz leans towards Syracuse as the number 2 team in the country. These are good times to be an Orange fan.

The Great Escape - Syracuse Survives Against DePaul

Syracuse v DePaul

I was at a party at the in-laws on Saturday and only caught parts of the Syracuse-DePaul on a small TV - so I'm going to forego the usual post-game observations post. Besides, it's not like you're interested in knowing the weird guy in the flannel shirt was hovering around the dip for far too long. However, the parts of the game I did see -- which included almost all of the second half, Syracuse took a lot of shots that looked like this:

While it was unquestionably the team's worst performance of the year - against a team that has lost to American and Florida Gulf Coast -- the Orange did do one thing right - they won the game. It's something a lot of other teams in college basketball didn't do this weekend.

North Carolina got pasted by Virginia, Duke got slapped around by Georgetown, after a hot start Pitt has come crashing down to earth, losing to a suddenly hot South Florida team. Notre Dame got into the action by losing to lowly Rutgers - yes Rutgers. So in a weird college basketball weekend, the Orange did something many other teams did not do -- they survived.

I don't care that the team needed improbable three point shots from Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine down the stretch, as Herm Edwards says - you play to win the game. Now, we hope SU avoids any repeat performances, because playing that poorly will not result in many more wins this year. Look at this way, they picked the right team to come out and play like crap against - this one had the greatest margin for error built in.

Of course, when you have Wes Johnson on your team, and Wes Johnson can fly, your team always has a chance. I found the video below at Axe's game recap.

We Believe In: Helmet Sundaes

Next up in our series of things we believe in: ballpark helmet sundaes. Why does soft-serve taste so much better in an upside down batting helmet? We're not sure, but one thing we do know....these things are tremendous ballpark fare.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dion Waiters Can Fly

Picked up this video of Syracuse recruit Dion Waiters while trolling the message boad. It is abundantly clear why SU offered this kid a scholarship when he was in the 10th grade.

Waiters is having a strong senior season for Life Center Academy in New Jersey, has an impressive array of videos on YouTube, let's check another.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We Believe In: Hawk Harrelson's Homerun Call

One of the few redeeming qualities of the movie Bull Durham is Kevin Costner's "I believe" speech, that along with the giggles from watching Tim Robbins' attempt to throw a baseball. To say he throws like a girl is an insult to females everywhere.

What does this have to to with us? Well Robin Hood's speech has inspired us here at T3I to roll out a new series. Here's the first of things we believe in. In other words, just some random junk we think is cool.

Ken "Hawk" Harrelson's Homerun Call

For those of you unfamiliar with Hawk, he's the color man for Chicago White Sox broadcasts. His "You can put it on the booooooaaaaaarrrrdd......YESSSSSS!" cracks us up every time. Next time SportsCenter flashes a ChiSox highlight, listen caerfully. Enjoy, and Hawk...we believe in you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ebay Item of the Week: Trashed

We love the world that is Ebay. There are treasures and then there are REAL treasures like this week's Ebay Item of the Week. With bids starting at $3.99, you can own some dude's old "trashed" Syracuse tshirt and bonus mesh gym shorts. You have to click on the link just to see the Jersey Shore-esque pictures of this guy.

If you're like me, nothng says bargain like old, used gym clothes.

Cliche alert

"Syracuse focusing on one game at a time." ~

We at T3I just want to thank God for letting the #4 Syracuse Chevy run a good race. We just think the best team should win, and that we have to worry about ourselves since no one is giving us any respect. Defense wins championships and it will all come down to guard play in March. Also, a 12 seed always beats a 5.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Confused Dog - Coaching Contract Edition

Being an idiot, there are many, many things I don't understand. There are complex things like calculus (I'm a math retard). Bewildering things like Brad Childress' beard. And things that seem to defy common sense like using a teleprompter to talk to a 6th grade class. These things bewilder me.

When man's best friend is confused, it is displayed via a simple, yet effective look. The confused dog expression says so much more than words ever could.

Here are a few things giving me the confused dog look in the world of sports.

- How could Rutgers have given Fred Hill a contract extension in the Spring of 2008? At the time he was 6-28 in the Big East. And he had THREE YEARS left on his original deal. Since the extension he's gone 2-24 in conference, including a blow-out loss to Marquette tonight. The guy has won 8 Big East games in 3 plus years. The guy he replaced, Gary Waters, won 7 Big East games in his last year before being shown the door. He then went to Cleveland State and managed to not only make the NCAA tournament, but pull an upset in last year's tournament.

The extension will cost Rutgers $1.8 million if/when they fire him after this season. If they hadn't extended him, they'd only be out $600,00, because he certainly isn't hitting many of these incentives.

- South Carolina upset Kentucky tonight, but I'm confused as to why South Carolina and the University of Southern California can't decide who actually gets to be known as USC. I know those are the initials of both schools, but this has to stop. It's too damn confusing. They even occasionally use similar logos. Check this out this South Carolina logo and this common Southern Cal logo. Enough already - these two need to flip a coin or arm wrestle to decide this, or just see who can last longer underneath this woman. The first school not to die gets to keep the name.

Mr. Kruger would never allow two Kokos - I wonder why we allow two USCs?

- I'm confused as to how a man can play football, and help a team win a mythical national championship, with a pair of tits like this? Does he wear a bra? A bro? Do his shoulder pads cause chaffing? I'm very confused. Those flapjacks are horrendous. It's disturbing that we have too think about such things.

Jim Boeheim - Master of Stand Up

The folks at SU Athletics cut up Jim Boeheim's post-Georgetown presser which is great news for those of us who possess short attention spans (I am certainly one of these people). Now we don't have to sit through all 9 minutes of the press conference for the jokes. All the funnies are packed into this 1 minute, 2 second video.

Now let this be a lesson to everyone, if you're lazy enough, someone else will do work for you - and then you can cut and paste that work into a blog and take credit for it. Good Bless America. And if you are one of the people that actually does this work and want to see posted in this space, email us (contact info is to your right). As for Coach Boeheim, he'll be here all week - remember to tip the wait staff and try the veal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Orange Hammer the Hoyas - Casually

Image -Gloria Wright,

Syracuse University spotted the hated Georgetown Hoyas two touchdowns over the first three minutes of their game tonight in the Carrier Dome and found themselves trailing 14-0. The Orange then spent the next 37 minutes beating the Hoyas senseless, outscoring the hated rivals 73-42 the rest of the way.

After the bumpy start, Orange fans were treated to a glorious display of team basketball. The vaunted 2-3 zone became extremely active, trapping along the sidelines, forcing turnovers, and making Georgetown settle for long jump shots.

Scoop Jardine came off the bench and almost immediately tallied 9 points. Andy Rautins started reining jumpers and Kris Joseph and Wes Johnson started controlling the baseline and doing damage in the open floor. The Orange closed the half on a 34-15 run to lead by five.

In the second half, the Orange kept their collective foot on the gas - extended a lead and dominated the paint. Georgetown drives were met with blocked shots. Long-range Hoya jumpers clanged harmlessly off the rim, and Georgetown had empty possession after empty possession.

On the offensive end, the Orange shared the ball brilliantly, constantly making the extra pass and almost always making Georgetown pay. When the smoke had cleared, Brandon Reese was on the floor, and the Orange won a game going away. Dancing ensued. Glorious, glorious dancing.

So while the Glaude danced, the folks at Casual Hoya, so smug earlier in the day, melted down like butter on a hot plate -- which coincidently, Austin Freeman really loves. But seriously, go ahead and scan the comments on the Casual Hoya game thread, it's beyond enjoyable. Once you're done with that, watch the ESPN highlight package again - because it's fun.

Georgetown has some limitations, but they are a very good basketball team. To see Syracuse beat them so convincingly is another confirmation that we are watching a special season on the hill. The play of Kris Joseph is a big part of that success - so let's take a second, or 3 minutes, and watch the man go to work.

While the Orange were clearly the better team, Georgetown coach John Thompson III said Syracuse hadn't seen the Hoyas at their best. The team also refused to make players available to the media because they had "a tough loss." Waaaah...poor little Hoyas. The teams meet again in three weeks - we'll see how they are feeling then. Something tells me the Orange will be ready.

Beat Gtown Chat

Giant Heads Are EVERYWHERE

For those of you not on the twitter bandwagon - get there. In the meantime, we here at T3I will give you a hand. Giant SU heads were all over the student section for the SU-Georgetown game, and the credit has to go to Pat Manley for spearheading this revolution. Now let's check out some photos of the pre-game scene courtesy of Jameson Fleming. Check out all of his game photos here.

Wes Johnson, small ego - big head - huge player.

Bernie Fine, literally larger than life.

A big student crowd close to an hour before tip.

Yes Georgetown, this is your lineage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jeff Goodman Knows What He's Talking About

This video is more than a month old, but when it comes to who is better, Syracuse or Georgetown, Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports knows what he is talking about.

Syracuse Marquette Observations

There was a sizable crowd in the Dome for this one

Syracuse turned a big second half lead into a "closer than it should have been" victory over Marquette yesterday, winning 76-71. I got to attend this one in person, which is always nice. Getting to the Dome for basketball games is always more difficult since I'm two hours away and have a pesky little thing called a job.

Here are a few quick, random observations on the game.

* Marquette really has no size along the front line. It's amazing that a Division I program -- a pretty good one at that -- has no viable big men. Obviously the Orange took advantage, crushing the school formerly known as the Golden Avalanche on the boards, 46-21.

* Andy Rautins didn't score and only took two shots, but the interesting thing is he COULD have scored if he wanted too -- or at least forced up 5 or 6 more shots. In the second half he consistently passed up shots to find open team mates for better shots. A more selfish player would have hoisted a few -- but Andy could care less. He just wants to win.

* Although I mention him every game - Kris Joseph just keeps getting better. He added 14 points and 11 rebounds yesterday. He's athletic enough to hold his own along the back line of the zone and skilled enough to attack opponents with the dribble on offense. Joseph gives the Orange so much flexibility. He's invaluable to this team.

* 15 boards for Wes Johnson and more importantly, he was very aggressive offensively in the first half when the Orange needed someone to counter Marquette's hot outside shooting. Wes was determined not to let Marquette run away with this one.

* 29,000 + in the Dome is a lot of people. It took me all of halftime to go from my seat to take a leak and back. In other words, its the exact opposite of football.

* Syracuse now has 5 guys averaging 10 or more points a game. All 7 of the players in the regular rotation are averaging at least 8.6 points per game.

* I really like Lazar Hayward. It would be interesting to see what he could do if he didn't have to play out of position at the 4 all the time.

* The officiating was a mess. The first 10 minutes of the game, nothing was a foul. Then everything was a foul. And of course the block/charge call is always a toss up. Plus Jim Burr always looks like he's on the verge of a heart attack out there.

* As I said above, this was the first game I got to see in person. I forget how much fun it is watch Boeheim on the sideline. If they can put a camera on Brett Favre all the time, they why can't we get one on Jimmy B? Oh right, the nose picking thing. Never mind.

* After the game we waited two hours for a table at the Dinosaur. Was it worth it? Hell and yes. The Dinosaur is always worth it. I devoured the Tres Hombres.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beat Marquette Chat

Stop on by

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Catch Up With SU Stars From Days Gone By

Do you read Cuse Country's periodic updates of former Syracuse players in the pros? If not, you should. Seriously, get over there and read it now. It's always fascinating. There's no place else on the internet you're going to get information on Elvir Ovcina, Josh Pace, Preston Shumpert and the North Texas Fresh all in one place. And they unearth videos like this:

Ebay Item of the Week: NFL Playoff Edition

We're celebrating NFL Conference Championship Sunday by raiding the walls of Poncho's bedroom for this week's Ebay Item of the Week.

For a bargain starting bid of $0.98, you can own Brett Favre Wrangler Jeans Poster Ad.

Real, comfortable jorts:

Rob Murphy's Head -- Naturally Shiny

There's no special substances on that dome

The internet is changing the way fans interact with athletes and coaches. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, or sites like Formspring - there are more opportunities than ever for fans to chat with the people who play the games. Or in the case of our good friend Matt McClusky, there are more chances to argue with Warren Sapp in 140 character chunks.

As Sean pointed out the other day, the Syracuse basketball team has gotten into the act -- with several players and coaches answering questions posed to them over the great series of tubes that is the internet. One of them, SU assistant coach Rob Murphy has finally answered the burning question we've been wanting to know for some time -- how does he keep his head so shiny? Well, it's all natural people. No carnuaba wax, no baby oil, it's just 100 percent Murphy skull. And if you're wondering, no I didn't ask the question, but sort of wish I had.

Did the Champagne Room Beat the Chargers

Not sure how valid this is, but there are reports some San Diego Chargers were hanging out in a strip club a mere 36 hours before they went out and choked against the Jets. Chris Rock, what goes on in the Champagne Room?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Deadspin Mailbag

Deadspin isn't everyone's cup of tea -- and the author of the Deadpsin Mailbag, Drew Magary, could be described as "slightly off-color." If by slightly off-color you mean wildly profane.

However, being the degenerate I am, I find the man hilarious. I loved his book (it can be read in a day) and I'm a fan of his weekly mailbag column. I'm proud to say, I made this week's edition, all thanks to a delicious snack called the chocodile. Sometimes it's the little things in life.

1984 Was a Good Year

The Syracuse Orange have won three straight conference road games. According to Mike Waters, the last time that happened was the 1983-84 season. When the subject of the 80s is brought up, we here at T3I perk up immediately. Allow us to educate our younger readers on the wonders of that year -- and refresh the memories of the older demographic and alcoholics whose memories are shot.

The 1983-84 team featured players like Pearl Washington, Wendell Alexis and the graceful Andre Hawkins. Here's a look at that team in action.

1984 was also the year Pearl famously beat Boston College with a half court heave at the buzzer. You have to love the tartan floor and Gary Williams on the BC bench.

And to give you a little perspective on what a fantastic train wreck 1984 really was, here's a solid gold hit from that year. They don't make dancers like that anymore.......

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ralph Wilson Hates Bills Fans, Fans Notice

While I could care less about the Buffalo Bills, I really feel for their fans. Hiring Chan Gailey, a guy who couldn't make it through the pre-season as the offensive coordinator in Kansas City this year, is one colossal kick in the balls. At this point having Ralph Wilson call the shots for this organization is like hiring Lane Kiffin as your driver, or hanging out in a limo with Jayson Williams.

The latest proof -- there are now reports Marty Schottenheimer really, really wanted the job, but Wilson scuttled the move. Take it away Bills fans.....

Listen to an Idiot

I was a guest today on Matt Mc's Sports Fix on WNER 1410 in Watertown. If you want to hear me babble incoherently for 12 minutes or so, click here. I am on in the second hour of the show, but give the whole thing a listen, Matt's a good dude.

Syracuse Powers Past the Irish

The Syracuse Orange concluded a three game road trip last night with a strong victory over Notre Dame 84-71. The win, coming just 2 days after a hard-fought road victory against West Virginia, highlighted why this year's team is so dangerous - versatility. In the first half the Orange beat the Irish from the perimeter, with Andy Rautins and Wes Johnson leading the way. In the second half, the big fellas, lead by Arinze "free throws are easy" Onuaku, established an inside presence that Notre Dame, and their cabbage patch kid look-alike star forward Luke Harangody could not match.

Here are some quick observations on the game.

* The game was called by my favorite announcing crew of Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery, but let's just say it wasn't their strongest night. McDonough started off the game by calling Arinze "Rick Jackson" on two separate trips down the floor. Then in the middle of the first half, they "switched" and had Bilas/Raftery doing play by play and McDonough doing color. Let's just say it wasn't their best night. However, it still beats listening to Duke Vitale and Mike "ACC" Patrick any day of the week.

* As noted above, the first half was the Andy and Wes show (sorry Scoop). Coming into the WVA game Rautins had been struggling a little from distance, but after these last two game it's clear his shot is back on track. Likewise, Wes Johnson hit some mid-range and deep shots that forced Notre Dame to play SU honest. A couple of the threes Rautins made were from Syracuse. Range has never been an issue for him.

* Notre Dame really took seats out of the remodelled Joyce Center? That seems crazy in this day and age.

* The Orange came down with a severe case of Abromaitis, as Tim made 5 three pointers and had a couple of others rattle out. Coincidentally, the form on his shot eerily similar to the now departed Kyle McAlarney. Those are not good memories. I do not wish to see Tim Abromaitis again.

* I was a little surprised Mookie Jones didn't get into this one. Unlike West Virginia, Notre Dame doesn't play constant pressure, man to man defense and he certainly could have squeezed off a few shots. Then again, the way Rautins was playing, it would have been insane to take him out.

* While I criticized Arinze for his play against West Virginia, he was a completely different player against Notre Dame. Especially in the second half, both Onuaku and Jackson really asserted themselves. Most teams in the country cannot match up physically with the size and bulk these two bring on any given night. I'm going out on a limb here, but I suspect at halftime Boeheim made it a point to get these guys more involved - and boy or boy did they ever respond. Hell, Arinze even made some free throws.

* Let's give credit where credit is due -- Tory Jackson can pass the damn ball. Some of the looks he had in traffic last night were outstanding. Harangody should walk around campus protecting him, because he feeds the big fella like workers in a zoo feed an elephant.

* The thing I'll enjoy most about Tim Higgins will be his retirement. I'll bake him a cake and everything -- or at least give him some candy.

* Kris Joseph is an explosive athlete. The best thing he did last night was grab two offensive rebounds off missed free throws. There are few things more demoralizing than not getting the ball back after your opponent bricks a freebie from the line.

* The win last night moved Jim Boeheim past Jim Calhoun on the NCAA all-time win list. Anytime you can beat Calhoun, that's always fun.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Track Suit Triumph - SU Defeats West Virginia

The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team improved its record to 17-1 over the 9th ranked West Virginia Mountainers with a 72-71 victory on Saturday. As I'm sure you know by now, the Orange lead by as many as 10 points with a little more than a minute left, only to have West Virginia make a barrage of three pointers and almost steal a victory.

Here are some observations on the game.

* Apparently he's been doing it all year - but West Virginia's Bob Huggins coached the game wearing some sort of track suit. It was either a full on "mobster walking around town" get up or a warm up jacket and matching black pants, it definitely wasn't anything made by Armani, tha's for sure. I mean how hard is it to throw on a decent shirt and a sport coat? Even Mike Brey and his smug mock turtleneck look is better. Although, if he sticks with the look, maybe someday he can get his own bobblehead, just like his fashion idol Paulie Walnuts.

* Brandon Triche had an up and down game - he started by making a three, proceeded to struggle through big portions of the first half with turnover and WVA pressure, and then took the game over going down the stretch. Gotta give coach Boeheim a ton of credit for sticking with him -- it would have been easy to put Scoop in there and let Triche sit, but by the end of the game, he was comfortable handling the West Virginia pressure and it paid off big time.

* Wes Johnson was under the weather with a case of the flu and still gutted out a decent performance, ending up with 13 points, 5 rebounds and some important free throws down the stretch.

* When Johnson goes pro after this season, he's going to leave some big shoes to fill, but Kris Joseph is capable of filling them. His improvement from his freshman to sophomore year has been amazing. He's got the most explosive first step on the team and can go by any defender. The missing piece is the mid-range jumper, once he starts hitting that with regularity, watch out Big East. I can see him scoring 18-20 points per game next year.

* Speaking of Johnson, the missed free throw was huge, even if he didn't mean it.

* As this game illustrated, Syracuse's year-long free throw shooting woes very well could cost them at some point this year. They only made 61% of their freebies yesterday, which makes the end of close games more tense than an argument with Gilbert Arenas.

* I try not to bag on individual players too much - but man oh man Arinze Onuaku has to play better for this team to reach its full potential. I didn't like the way he moved his feet yesterday. He fell asleep in the zone a couple of times and just flat out didn't assert himself. West Virginia is a smaller, quicker team, so the match up wasn't ideal, but the big fella just has to get a little meaner -and be more active. I thought Rick Jackson was much more effective.

* I was really pleased with the way the SU guards handled themselves. West Virginia's defensive style is to play tight, physical defense on the ball and overplay the wings. The want to exert maximum pressure on the ball to force turnovers. Brandon Triche is a freshman and Andy Rautins isn't known for taking defenders off the dribble. On paper, this was a tough match up. Even though they had 19 turnovers, many were charges, and at the end of the day, Rautins, Triche and Jardine made enough plays to get a win in a hostile environment. A game like this will better prepare them for March.

* Mookie Jones didn't get much floor time, but as again, this game wasn't a good match up for his skill set. Against opponents that play zone, or don't over play the way West Virginia did, he'll be an asset, which he proved in the Rutgers game.

* After a little bit of a mini-funk, Andy Rautins was Billy Fucillo HUGE in this one. His stat line of 12 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist look average, but when Syracuse needed plays, especially trailing early in the second half, Rautins was taking, and making, very tough shots.

* West Virginia's Joe Mazzulla is annoying. He complained after every call against him, harrassed and chased SU guards when he was in the game and was a general pest. His best move was at the end of the game when he grabbed Rick Jackson and pulled him down on top of him to make it look like a charge. It was a slick bit of trickeration, and given the fact that the officiating was less than consistent, I'm shocked they got the call right. So yeah, this idiot is no fan of Joe Mazzulla - of course if he wore Orange I'd love him and let every one else complain.

Next up, Notre Dame on Big Monday. Here's hoping Wes is feeling better - this one should be fun. And while Huggins' track suit was bad - it was still better than this.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jimmy Kimmel, Late Night TV, and Donovan McNabb

I'm going to tie this altogether in one post, stick with me for a minute. The late night TV fiasco created by the rocket scientists that run last place NBC has to be the best thing to happen to 11:30 pm TV programming since cable appeared and it made these shows largely irrelevant. Watching Leno and Conan snipe at each other during monologues and then having Kimmel and Letterman throw gas on the fire is wildly entertaining. It's like watching two science nerds fight over a bunson burner, while two other nerds throw beakers at them. In other words, it's fan-freaking-tastic.

I don't watch any of the late night shows, frankly they all bore me to tears. By 11:30 each night, I'm usually writing some awful material that appears on this blog while flipping back and forth between SportsCenter, the Colbert Report or reruns of the Family Guy on Adult Swim. Quick aside, did you know those episodes have a additional scenes that didn't air on network TV? I just learned this - usually they are jokes are deemed to edgy or cut for time purposes. Check it out.

Anyway, if I had to rate the late night personalities and their shows, I'd do it in this order- Letterman, Kimmel, Conan, and then Leno. Leno's not my cup of tea. Tired old hacky jokes, the complete lack of any discernible personality, the AWFUL denim shirts he wears when not in a suit. It's vile. He is also pretty damn dense - because last night he had Jimmy Kimmel do a segment on his show. Kimmel is good friends with Howard Stern. Stern hates Leno. Kimmel is a sharp guy. Predictably, the results weren't good for Jay, but were good for people like who like to laugh. Check it out below, and the other late night clips you missed here.

So what does all this have to do with Donovan McNabb? Quite a lot. The Eagles are in the same boat as NBC was five years ago. They have an established veteran who is still playing well in McNabb, and a young up and coming guy in Kevin Kolb who has shown flashes, but no one is sure if he's the solution long-term. Both of their contracts are up after next year. There's not room under center for both.

Eagles fans are agitated -- the last title for Philly was in 1960. The birds have been to five NFC Championship games in 10 years and have no titles to show for it. People are getting tired of Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, even though these people conveniently forget that the team was awful before they arrived.

So, what do the Eagles do? Do they keep McNabb and trade Kolb? Do they send the veteran packing and hope the young guy can get the job done? Or do they pull and NBC and ride out next with both guys in the last year of their contracts and totally screw themselves in 2011? I'm biased and still think McNabb is still the guy, but I would understand if they made the move to Kolb. That would be a risky move, given the fact that he played one good game in his carreer, and it was against the KC Chiefs, who were not exactly good this year.

We will find out what the eagles do soon enough - but here are some numbers to chew on in the meantime.

Through 11 seasons:

John Elway: 34,400 yards, 55.7 comp%, 183 TD, 167 INT
Donovan McNabb: 32,873 yards, 59.0 comp%, 216 TD, 100 INT

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Inside the Mind of Fred Hill

I love lamp!!!!!!!!!

Syracuse went into the RAC tonight and took care of business against an inferior Rutgers team, winning 81-65. Rather than offer up the usual post-game observations for you, T3I has a special treat -- a trip inside the mind of embattled Rutgers coach Fred Hill.

Using an advanced mind reading device, we bring to you Fred's inner monologue, in diary form, as the game unfolded.

Pregame: "Tonight's the night we start to turn this ship around. I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner, but our new game plan -- score more than the other team -- is sure fire winner. Wooden's got nothing on the H-man." Hill then giggles maniacally while rubbing his hands together.

Tip off: "Boeheim's sending five men onto the floor???? Well it looks like this chess match is on. Well played JB, well played indeed. It's my move now." Hill sits down stares blankly at the scorers table.

19:50: The game begins: "Syracuse is in a zone???? What. The. Hell. I did not see that coming. I guess it's time to put some new SU tapes in the beta max."

16:42: Mike Rosario misses a jumper. "Jesus Rosario is playing like hell. I wonder if he really doesn't like me? But if he didn't like me, why did offer to re-do the brakes on my car? Plus, I saw him near the coffee this morning with some anti-freeze, so he's obviously winter-proofing the thing too. He's a good kid. I wonder why my coffee tasted so sweet this morning? "

13:22: Rutgers time out. Syracuse leads 15-8. "It's time to turn this around." Hill immediately summons Greg Echenique, demanding he check in. An assistant coach informs Hill Greg has decided to transfer and is no longer on the team. "Huh, I guess he wasn't kidding when he said if I gave him one more surprise jock strap inspection he's out of here."

11:56 Staring blankly into the extremely shiny floor at the RAC: "With designer glasses like these, I can't believe I haven't received a contract extension yet."

8:27 Hamady N'diaye blocks another shot. "Damn that ham-bone can get up. Best thing I ever did giving him the name ham-bone. I think he likes it. Maybe if I had given Echenique I name I could pronounce he'd still be here. Nah."

6:50 Rutgers commits a shot clock violation, Rosario makes a shot after the buzzer sounds: "I guess we should run some sets, but I just can't stop thinking about why Simon is leaving American Idol. It makes no sense. If Boeheim beats me tonight it shouldn't count. I'm just too distracted right now."

5:02 Hill calls a time out. Rutgers trails by 9: "This should turn it around." Hill proceeds to give his team the following speech -- It doesn't matter how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose. And even that doesn't make all that much difference.

4:02 Mookie Jones makes a 3, SU leads by 14: "They have a guy named Mookie? How can we compete with that? If we had a guy named Mookie we'd be top 10. Although I saw a chick named Mookie get knocked out on that Jersey Shore show, so maybe this isn't the best idea. I wonder if their Mookie knows her? I'll ask after the game."

2:02 A loud let's go orange chant breaks out: "I can't believe these people came all the way from Italy to cheer for the Orange."

Halftime SU leads 41-23: "Shit, another halftime speech. This is a crucial time in our year, we need a win. I need a win. If there was ever a time to do it, it's now. I've been saving it, but this like the right spot. It's time to break out the Finstock." Hill proceeds to give the following speech to his players in the locker room -- There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.

Second Half

17:20 SU leads 48-25, Hill calls time out: "I can't believe the Finstock speech didn't work. It's time for plan B, I get Rosario really mad and hope he turns into a wolf."

16:30 Andy Rautins cans yet another 3: "If I could grow hair, I'd definitely grow that Andy Rautins faux-hawk thing. You know who has great hair - my uncle Brian. If I can get fired as many times as he has, my career will be a success."

14:33 Syracuse calls a time out, as Rutgers cuts the lead to 12: "If we get this under ten, I'm breaking out my 1-1-1-1-1 zone."

12:46 A red hot Mike Rosario makes a series of shots and helps cut the SU lead to 10: "If we had more depth Rosario would be sitting next to me. I need to save this performance for the rivalry the whole country watches, our game against Seton Hall. Making shots now is just a waste. I bet Pat Forde agrees with me."

10:30 SU leads by 12. Hill is standing in the coaches box away from the bench, deep in thought: "I don't know why people are all up in arms over Lane Kiffin. I mentioned last week in the cafeteria that I might leave and some dude bought me split pea soup. I bet that a-hole hates split pea soup. He's insane, because split-pea soup is delicious. And oddly erotic."

8:20 Mike Coburn drains a long 3 to cut the SU lead to 9: "That Jamacian really can shoot. I would have started him, but he's late on my weed delivery. He'll thank me later for the discpline he's learning."

6:27 Andy Rautins gets called for a foul on the floor 24 feet from the hoop: "If Tim Higgins was working, that would have been intentional. Higgins is the greatest ref in the history of basketball. And to me, he has the grace and moves of a day-time exotic dancer. I'm calling the league tomorrow to request Tim Higgins work more of our games."

5:41 SU leads by 12 after two Wes Johnson free throws: "I need some new pants. Why are all the Garanimals in the store so damn small."

3:40 Arinze Onuaku scores down low to give SU 15 point lead: "I'd definitely need to come up with a name for that guy if he was on this team. No way I pronounce either his first or last name. Maybe I could call him ham-bone. Crap, that'd be confusing. Artichoke would work - yeah, artichoke. Artichoke and ham-bone on the same team -- that's my dream."

Game concludes, Syracuse wins 81-65. Hill shakes hands with Boeheim and as he walks off the floor wonders: "I wonder if Tim Pernetti knows how to get mayo out of a toaster? I should ask him the next time I see him - if he'd only return one of my calls....."

Ebay Item of the Week: See Ya Lane

This guy is offering a buy 3 get 1 free deal, too good to pass up. This will look great next to my "I'm not tailgating, I'm drafting" bumper sticker.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So It Looks Like Al Davis Was Right

Lane Kiffin bails out on Tennessee after 14 months - really, it was 14 months - just watch the video below, Lane repeats it about 20 times in his minute long "news conference" announcing his departure. In doing so, he leaves a Tennessee program and the young men he recruited twisting in the wind. Lane was so classy he refused to take questions from the media after his statement. All that's left is for Bob Irsay to send some moving vans over and whisk Lane away to the west coast.

Life is all about timing - mature adults, who have worked for their achievements, understand this. They understand responsibilities, commitment and the fact that sometimes there are things you just cannot do because you've made promises to others. Lane Kiffin is not one of these people. Then again, Al Davis seemed to know that before the rest of us.

Here's Lane's farewell.

Rob Moore Comes Home to Syracuse

Former SU great and NFL Pro Bowl wide out Rob Moore is the new receivers coach at Syracuse. On the surface this appears to be a great move - any time you can bring back a former star player who racked up more than 9,000 receiving yards in the NFL, you do it. Besides, if you're ever going to take a flyer on a guy with limited coaching experience, the WR coach is the position to do it with. I dare you to name another wide receivers coach in the country.

Anyway, we're not here to belittle Moore or the hard working guys teaching receivers how to get in and out of breaks and beat press coverage. As our readers know, we have a special affinity for SU stars from the 80s and 90s (don't worry Orange Fizz, we'll get working on that list real soon) and Moore was certainly one of them. I was in building in 1987 when he caught the opening TD from Don McPherson that set the tone for the program-changing win over Penn State.

Here's the famous catch, the video then continues on with Don McPherson highlights.

Another interesting tidbit about Moore - he is SU's all time leader in touchdown receptions -- a record Mike Williams would have destroyed had he been a solid citizen and managed to keep himself in school.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Syracuse South Florida Highlights

I didn't get to see the SU Victory over South Florida, you probably did. I hate you. Here is a highlight package for anyone that was in my boat. Enjoy the moving pictures of Wes Johnson floating through the air.

Mark McGwire is Full of Sh*t

As you know, Mark McGwire publicly admitted using steroids. I'm fine with that. It's good to see he finally came clean. No one is surprised.

What's ridiculous about the whole thing is his delusional notion that steroids didn't help him hit home runs. McGwire claims he took "low doses" of the performance enhancers, didn't take them to gain strength, but rather recover from injuries, and claims his "God given" ability and hard work is what allowed him to hit home runs. Vince McMahon has said more credible things over the course of his career. I'd believe that the Taco Bell drive thru diet actually works before I'd believe that statement. The empirical evidence that steroids led to more home runs is overwhelming.

The tears in McGwire's confession have as much to do with the fact that he knows that the work he put in throughout his career has been rendered irrelevant. He's filled with regret and denial over being lumped into a shameful activity. An activity that masked his natural talent and over shadowed the work he put in throughout his career. The words are those of a man who clearly believes he could have accomplished his staggering late-career statistics without the assistance of drugs that clearly helped him. The numbers aren't legitimate. We'll never know what he would have done without the aid 'roids and HGH, but in his mind he does. Sadly, that doesn't comport to reality.

Mark McGwire was a talented baseball player. If he had said he used steroids and regretted it - I'd accept that. Explaining why he used them - to recover from injuries and stay on the field, I'm fine with too. Saying he used them but they didn't lead to a power surge in his mid 30s destroys his credibility. Mark McGwire doesn't get it - judging by his statements, he never will.

Your 2009 National Champions

T3I officially recognizes Boise State University as our 2009 National Champions. Congratulations Broncos, and we expect to see a banner hanging at Bronco Stadium this fall.

Why do we feel compelled to go head-to-head w/ the BCS? We've spent a week reading some really bad P.R. work by the good old boys in charge of the BCS explaining why their system really is in the best interests of the game. Of course, none of these used car salesmen will just come right out and say "We don't want to give up the money!" Personally I've heard more convincing arguments from the asbestos industry.

So congratulations BSU. Be proud, as you are the first Three Idiots on Sports College Football National Champions.

And Alabama....congratulations on that BCS thing you won. But you are warned.....


Coach P Fired and Other South Florida Musings

Sorry for the lack of action around here lately. I spent a good portion of last week in South Florida and was away from the blog. There's nothing like going 1,400 miles south to pick up a 20 degree gain in temperature - but I did squeeze a round of golf in last Friday. It beat working.

Anyway, it's time to get this blog moving again. I know your life has been incomplete without my bad SU recaps, dopey videos and the intellectually bankrupt ideas that are spewed here daily - so let's get back at it.

Former SU head coach Paul Pasqualoni was surprisingly fired as the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator today. An odd thing happened to me and many others I've spoken to after Pasqualoni was fired at Syracuse - we started rooting for the man. While I still feel like his time at Syracuse was up -- even if the firing itself was clumsy and his replacement was a disaster --as soon as he was gone, I was genuinely happy he found success in the NFL. While I didn't follow the Dolphins at all this season, the firing to me was a bit of a surprise. Something tells me that after a lifetime in coaching and establishing a reputation as a high-character guy, he'll get another gig soon.

Conversely, I wish Greg Robinson would get caught fleeing a Walmart robbery on a scooter and getting locked up forever. That guy shouldn't be allowed within 50 yards of a football field. I will root for Kim Jong-il before I'd ever root for any team that no talent ass-clown is associated with. You'd have to be nuts to give him any responsibility after he single-handedly ruined the Syracuse football program.

Back to the Dolphins for a second, I have a mildly interesting story about a player Pasqualoni coached this year. Joey Porter and I were on the same flight yesterday. While this fact itself isn't very interesting, after all pro athletes have to move around the country too, what I did find a bit odd was that we were both flying Southwest.

Now, if for some crazy reason if you don't know much about Southwest Airlines, let me fill you in. It's a discount carrier. It has open seating. There's no first class. There's no assigned seats. You get on the plane in the order you check in. In other words, it's the place you'd see me, not an athlete with a $32 million deal.

Joey must not have known you can check in 24 hours early on the web, because he had to wait for almost everyone else to board the plane before getting on. Let's just say you never want C level boarding because I'm pretty sure he got stuck in a middle seat. He was farther up in the plane than I was, but it must have seemed weird for the two average schmucks who were sitting on either side of him to be seated next to a guy wearing diamond earrings the size of bowling balls. But hey who knows, maybe Joey's just being smart with his cash. I was going to take a picture of him, but I thought that would be rude, plus I didn't want him to snap me in half. Up close and personal Joey Porter is a large man. He did sign an autograph for the pilot.

Finally, I hit a Primanti Brothers on Saturday - that is one damn fine sandwich. This place is definitely the best thing to come out of Pittsburgh (and I fully recognize this isn't saying much). If it's impossible for you to get to one, just put french fries on everything you eat and you'll see what I'm getting at.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Syracuse Coach to be Replaced by Blogger

Syracuse, NY (Idiot News Service) -- The Three Idiots have learned exclusively that blogger Poncho Sinatra will be added to Syracuse coach Doug Marrone's staff as an assistant coach. Sinatra will replace Stan Drayton, who is leaving the staff to coach at Florida. In one season in Syracuse Drayton established himself as an excellent recruiter and an assistant with a bright future. Sinatra, an Elmira NY native, will have large shoes to fill.

Poncho, best known for his work as the evil genius behind the Sport Hump (remember, it's dot NET) is a former Division III football player and mustache aficionado. While many inside the college football coaching community were surprised when T3I told them of the move, insiders with knowledge of the Syracuse coaching staff felt Marrone wanted to bring a fresh perspective to his staff.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity since the move hasn't formally been announced, a source in the Syracuse athletic department said, "Look, it may be a bit of a reach. After all, Poncho has been out of the game for a while, but Marrone has secretly been a huge fan of the Sport Hump for years now. When it was clear Drayton was leaving, Doug called Poncho in and was blown away by his energy and enthusiasm. Also, Doug is addicted to Panera Bread, where Poncho works, and he knows he will hook the whole team up."

The source continued, "Plus, people don't know this, but money is tight in the Marrone household. In order to get this job he had to secretly agree to kick 90 percent of his salary back to Daryl Gross -- and let's face it, the Bacon Turkey Bravo isn't cheap."

Sinatra is renowned in certain circles for his commitment to fitness, having trained as young man under the tutelage of legendary trainer Izzy Mandelbaum. Here is some exclusive footage of the training Poncho will bring to Delone Carter and his mates.

Marrone is also determined to grow a mustache and after seeing Poncho's vision for how his mug would look covered in an 1800s style face salad, he knew Poncho was the man to mentor him as he grows a sweet stache next year.

In addition to his coaching duties, Sinatra will mentor the Orange players on shitty beer appreciation and will also be responsible for catering all coaching staff barbeques.

T3I attempted to reach Poncho for comment tonight, but he was unavailable. Our best guess as to his whereabouts -- a baking boot camp.

Monday, January 4, 2010

About That Out of Conference Schedule

The two most impressive aspects of the 13-0 start Syracuse put together to start the season was the team's margin of victory in those wins and the quality of the opponents they vanquished - particularly on neutral courts. Three specific victories looked awfully impressive when they occurred, the wins over California, North Carolina and Florida.

Well a funny thing happened since SU beat those teams, they've all suffered some setbacks. The latest, North Carolina's shocking loss to the College of Charleston tonight.

Let's look at what's happened to these three teams pre and post Syracuse games.


Before: Cal was 2-0 coming into the game with wins over Murray State and Detroit.
After: Including the Syracuse loss, the Bears are 7-4 since, but their other three losses have come at the hands of New Mexico (off to a strong start) Ohio State and Kansas. They weren't worthy of being the number 12 team in the country, but there are no cringe-inducing losses on their resume.

North Carolina

Before: UNC was 4-0 coming into the SU game at Madison Square Garden.
Since: Including the SU loss, UNC has gone 7-4. Playing a brutal schedule, the Tar Heels other losses have been to Kansas, Texas and the bizarre loss to Charleston referenced above.


Before: UF was a perfect 8-0 coming into the SU game, although the only decent team they beat in that start was Michigan State State.
After: The Gators have gone 3-3 since, with losses coming to Richmond and South Alabama in addition to losing to the cuse. Of course, that record should be 2-4, as they needed this shot to beat North Carolina State on Sunday.

What's it all mean? Probably not too much. North Carolina and Cal are off to slower starts than some expected and Florida has come back to earth after a hot, and possibly fraudulent, start. If Syracuse continues to play at a high level and puts together a good season in brutal Big East, the team's RPI will be high and a high NCAA tourney seed will be secured.

Besides, North Carolina is a young team that's been nicked up, they'll be pretty good by March. Cal is playing in the PAC 10 which is tur-a-ble, so its not unreasonable to think they can beat up on teams in that conference and put together a respectable season. As for Florida, I wouldn't be shocked if they win the SEC or miss the tournament altogether. I have no read on them right now, but the win certainly doesn't hurt SU.

The most under rated win on SU's resume to date? That's another team from Upstate NY -- Cornell. They could easily upset a team or two in the Big Dance.

Eddie Money Rocks the Liberty Bowl

So did you hear 80s star Eddie Money played at halftime of the Liberty Bowl on Saturday? Me neither -- because I didn't watch the game. For those like me, Arkansas beat East Carolina. In the words of the great Derrick Coleman - whoop de damn do.

However, I WOULD have watched had I known the Money Man would have been rocking the crowd at halftime. I believe Champ saw him for free a few years ago and if I recall correctly, the reviews were less than stellar. Below is a clip of an old, half-frozen Eddie lip-syncing his way through the performance. It's pretty awesome since his mouth doesn't come close to matching up with the vocals.

Fox Sports Does Not Hire Communication Majors

From Lang Whitacker's twitter feed comes this great screen grab from the Fiesta Bowl. While Jeron Johnson may be studying communications at Boise State, the guys working in the Fox Sports truck could use some remedial classes.

You Had Me at Great Season

In this idiot's humble opinion, arguing for a playoff in college football and against the BCS is pointless. The pro play off arguments are so overwhelming it's akin to trying convince people clean water is good, or that Skip Bayless is a shameless blowhard. It's just common sense.

However, the monied interests that control the current college football BCS system certainly aren't going to give up huge wads of money in the name of fairness, logic or what is good for the fans. Nonetheless, with TCU and Boise going at it tonight, I found this video amusing and well done. Check it out.

The ads are done by a group called Playoff PAC and will air in select markets in the US.

Hat tip - AgentDP009

The Unexplainable Emotions of Being a Fan

Regular readers of this blog know Champ and I aren't young men anymore. We've spent more than three decades living and dying with the fortunes of the teams we love. After all this time, you'd think it would be easy to compartmentalize the success and failures of the teams we devote so much of our time watching and writing about. You'd think.

I've been a Philadelphia Eagles fan since I was three years old and my mom took me to Philly to visit my great grandmother. You don't always make the best decisions at three years of age. But I got hooked early have stuck with the Eagles ever since. To be fair, if I hadn't become a diehard Eagles fan there's a good chance my allegiance would have went to the Bills -- so I was f*cked from birth.

The Eagles got pasted by the Cowboys today. The loss was crushing on a number of levels. First, it was to the hated Cowboys. A team lead by a circus clown named Jerry Jones and coached by a court jester named Wade Phillips. Second, it exposed a whole host of flaws the Eagles had been hiding during their 6 game win streak. And third, it made any road to the SuperBowl 10 times more daunting.

Instead of a bye week, followed by a home game and then a potential NFC Championship game, the Eagles are looking at a road game against a team that just shut them out, a trip to the Superdome to face a rested Saints team, and then most likely a trip to the Metrodome against the Vikings. In other words, there's always next year.

For Eagles fans it's a familiar refrain. 10 years of Andy Reid have brought consistent success, but no titles. The Reid era has delivered heightened expectations and regular season success, but come up empty in bringing home a SuperBowl. Being an Eagle fan feels like being perpetually trapped in the Champagne room - you're excited, but you know there's not going to be any sex. (Note - attempt to have sex with strippers at your own risk, it's not something we're going to endorse here, however strippers and porn stars work great for metaphors)

So after a loss like the one to the Cowboys, a crushing one, what do I do? Why spend hours on the internet, reading a million different accounts of the game for a million different perspectives. I think about the failures. I wallow in the loss. I assign blame. I read other accounts that assign blame. I assign more blame. I punch the family cat. I convince myself the game was a fluke. Only one of these things isn't true.

If the Eagles had won, would I have done this? Of course not. But for some reason, when things go bad, that's when I expend the most mental energy. That's when I spend hours wondering if Sean McDermott knows what he's doing. When SU loses, I wonder why Arinze can't get a little nastier under the boards, or why Andy Rautins is suddenly shooting like a blind paraplegic. I write scathing posts on this site, complaining about everything under the sun.

I don't think I'm alone. Message boards and blogs bustle with activity after losses, yet are relatively quiet after wins. I've spent some time thinking about why, and the only answer I can come up with is that as sports fans, we love pain. We are masochists. Most of us are certifiable. Otherwise we'd spend our weekends watching Ina Garten make profiteroles. If you've ever had a profiterole, you'd know there's no losers when profiteroles are involved. Those things are ridiculously fantastic.

Yet instead we watch sports and get ourselves all twisted doing it. Think about it, there's no rational reason to root for the Cubs, go to Browns game, or spend more than two minutes even thinking about the New Jersey Nets. Yet we do it, every day.

So talk to me idiot readers - why do root for these teams - and what's your reaction to a bad, bad loss?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I'm Wondering: Bowl Edition

A full week of work is staring straight ahead at us. I'd rather spend some time in Mike Leach's shed, but that's besides the point. Being under the weather this holiday season allowed me extra time to soak in the fun and pageantry of college bowl season. After a week and a half of solid sports viewing, here's what I'm left wondering.

* Worse pummeling, Cincinnati-Florida or Creed-Drago?

* Did anyone else have "Madden '94" flashbacks when FOX brought out Pat Summerall to call the Cotton Bowl? I was giddy when he dropped a "Flag on the play."

* Are there that many people in need of towing heavy construction equipment in quarries? If so, Dodge Ram has you covered.

* Who else really misses the "all you can eat" college football buffet that New Year's Day used to be? Enough of this spread-out schedule.

* Is there anything that puts the decline of Syracuse football more into perspective than Temple playing in a bowl game?

* Does Pat Fitzgerald make that same call if his kicker isn't injured?

* How the hell do the International,, GMAC, and Liberty Bowls get post New Year's status?

* Is Chip Kelly going for the Physical Ed. teacher look when he picks out his work attire?

* Did you hear this was Bobby Bowden's last game?

* Did anyone else find it bizarre that Craig James was doing the Alamo Bowl?

* Explain to me again, why is it a good idea to have the SU women play in the Dome? I've seen better turnouts at a Tractor Supply store on the weekend.

SU Loses to Georgetown in Overtime

* Is there a less entertaining brand of football than the Big 10? I had a tremendous nap during the Rose Bowl. Thanks Tressel.

* Did any of Poncho's "Guys he likes" show up at the Carrier Dome for last week's WWF show? (Editor's note, the WWF is now apparently known as WWE).