Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: Even More Politically Incorrect Syracuse Memorabillia

I know we've gone here before, however here's another look at some vintage Syracuse memorabilia that, let's just say, is from an era long gone by.

We think Superfriend Apache Chief sums it up best,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Football Preseason Cliche Primer

Graphic via The Pentultimate Word

As July rolls to a close and sweet, sweet football season creeps ever closer, we enter the dreaded period known as the preseason. For college football fans this means a month of reading mainstream media articles about intra-squad scrimmages and listening to platitudes from position coaches about how every player is now bigger, stronger, faster and in "the best shape of his life." Ultimately it leads to rummaging through blogs and message boards that will surely convince you that last year's third string tight end is going to be this year's game-breaker.

As far as the NFL is concerned, its five weeks watching of preseason games featuring a lot of guys who will be applying for temp jobs in September at the local podiastrist's office. Every year your favorite team will have some unknown guy that dominates these games, only to end up on the practice squad by week three.

The common thread through all of this is hope. Let's face it, there are nearly 100 Division I football teams that finished last year outside the top 25 and 20 of the 32 NFL teams didn't make the playoffs. There's a very good chance the team you root for wasn't very good last year, and might not be very good this year. As Syracuse fans it is a concept we are intimately familiar with.

Coaches know this as well - which leads them to spout miles upon miles of endless bullshit about how your crappy team will somehow be great this year. Since reporters don't have actual games to report on, they are forced to rely on these cliched soundbites, thereby giving the fans of the teams they cover a glimmer of hope that this is the year the misery will end.

The following guide breaks down the most common terms you'll be hearing until meaningful football games kick off in a month. Let's face it, for most us, this is the best our team will be all year.

Common Offensive Cliches

Every year teams that were putrid on offense make changes that will most assuredly turn things around. Coaches describe these changes thusly:

"Physical" or "Power" Running Game: You'll hear every coach talk about how THIS YEAR their team will be a physical or power running team. As if the concept of running through 11 large men clad in full football pads could somehow NOT be physical.

What it's supposed to mean: We weren't tough last year, but this year, it's going to change.

What it really means: We couldn't pick up a yard on third and one last year if our lives depended on it.

Explosive or Vertical Passing Game: Coaches love to tell you this is the year they will complete some long bombs down the field - as if throwing the ball deep down the field is a revelation on the scale of discovering plutonium.

What its supposed to mean: The scheme this year will be so full of trickeration our receivers will run unfettered through the opponents secondary and we will complete more long bombs than the last decade of Adam Sandler movies.

What it really means: Last year our receivers were slow as crap and our QB had a an erratic noodle arm. By using adjectives like explosive and vertical we hope you forget this fact.

A "Multiple" Offensive Scheme: If you can find a coach -- other than Mike Leach -- that will claim his offensive philosophy is anything other a varied masterpiece, let us know. Coaches give more lip service to  being "balanced", "multiple" and unpredictable, than politicians do about making this country a better place to live, work and raise a family. Let's face it, no matter what he says, Andy Reid is still going to throw the ball 923 times a game.

What it's supposed to mean: Our offensive concept will be varied and more unpredictable than Rex Ryan's dinner plate at an all you can eat buffet.

What it really means: We don't think we can do anything really well, so we're going to throw some stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

Common Defensive Cliches:

An Attacking Defense: Every year teams change defensive coordinators and the new guy ALWAYS has a philosophy that emphasizes pressure and attacking the quarterback -- as if the meat head that came before him purposefully let opposing QBs have picnics in the pocket (noted exception - Greg Robinson).

What it is supposed to mean: This year we will actually TRY to sack the QB.

What it really means: We hope our new scheme results in the guard stepping on the QB's foot during his drop back and we can get a few cheap sacks because last year we Brian Cashman's stalker got closer to the quarterbacks than our defensive ends did. Also, please ignore the fact that our corners are playing 8 yards off the line of scrimmage.

A Simplified Defense: Almost universally that same new coordinator whose philosophy is to "attack" brings a "simplified approach" that lets players "play faster" and "make plays." This is meant to imply the last guy was trying to make the players do organic chemistry in every presnap read.

What it's supposed to mean: This year are guys don't have to think, they just have to kill the man with the ball.

What it really means:  Our guys are really dumb. The chances of any halftime adjustments are slight, since none of them can comprehend what's on the back of a box of Frosted Flakes.

Conditioning Cliches

In August, every team is filled with guys that are in the best shape of their lives. This includes NFL teams loaded with guys in their 30s who have lost two steps and college teams filled with skinny guys no one wanted (pretty much the entire Big East). According to every coach at every level, their team is filled with guys that make Jean Claude Van Damme of the late 1980s look fat. These players have spent the entire off-season training (notable exception, the Detroit Lions).

So rest assured long suffering football fans - in August your team will undoubtedly have a power running attack, mixed with a multiple, explosive, vertical passing game. On defense you'll play fast, aggressive and attack the quarterback and you'll certainly own the fourth quarter, since every member of the team, including the long snapper is in the best shape of his life.....

Drop some of your favorite preseason cliches in the comments below.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What if Daryl Gross put ads on SU's jerseys?

The NBA this week announced they are moving ahead with their plans to add advertising patches to their game jerseys.   Sports business reporter Darren Rovell offered up a collection of mock jerseys via his Twitter feed yesterday.  While we doubt this trend will find its way to universities, we couldn't help but think what a forward-thinking athletic director might do with this opportunity.

On going efforts to make us NYC's college team

This one's for our buddy Syracuse blogger Orange Chuck.

A couple of things I learned from the '80s: "Just Say No", and this patch wouldn't be a good idea.

Huge, Doc.  Huge.

The 21yo drinking age might be an issue here, but we're NY's team darn't!

You never know when you might need two cell phone plans.

Let's be honest, if you're going to advertise a CNY business, you can't beat the Dinosaur.

If Chico's Bail Bonds is unavailable, the Doc can always turn to the Heavy Hitters

Thursday, July 19, 2012

T3I Book Recommendation: Dream Team


If you're coming to a blog p brought to you by a bunch of idiots looking for reading recommendations, well you might want to question who you turn to for literary advice.

However for the loyal readers of this blog looking for a good read to get you ready for the Olympics, check out Jack McCallum's  Dream Team.   NBA TV recently commemorated the 20th anniversary of this team's romp through Barcelona with a great two-hour documentary which if you haven't seen yet, you need to.

Writing about the NBA certainly isn't something I feel comfortable doing.  To set the stage, I'm pushing 40 years old and my current view of professional basketball is shaped by these tenets (insert a grumpy old man voice for added effect):

* The NBA peaked in terms of talent, watchability, and it's general level of being FANtastic, in the late '80s and early '90s.

* The debate over the '92 vs. '12 team doesn't exist.  The '92 team wins, every time.

* I find the current NBA product generally unwatchable.

For those fellow hoops fans who grew up with '80s basketball, this book is for you.  Jack gives a great background on the political play the led to inclusion of NBA professionals in the Olympics.  Further  drama plays out in the story of the selection process which included the passing over of Isaiah Thomas.

The most enjoyable takeaway for me was the blow by blow account of "The Greatest Game Ever Played", a split squad scrimmage featuring Michael Jordan's white team versus Magic Johnson's blue squad.  Zapruder-quality footage of the scrimmage is shown in the NBA TV documentary.  McCallum's account takes me back to the trash-talking and the heated intensity that anyone who has played the game knows so well.  That chapter in itself is worth the price alone.

Some other points of interest:

*  How close a certain Detroit Piston, other than Isaiah, was to making that team

*  How the Dream Team lost to a group of college all-stars

* The hilariousness that George Karl campaigned for the head coaching gig

Fans of '80s basketball, give this a read.  

(Another Old Man Alert) To the kids who think Lebron is better than MJ:

About Those Limited Supplies....

How limited are they?  Another week, another email from the Dome folks drumming up interest for season tickets.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: An $800 Rick Cerone Jersey

Photo: wikipedia

No seriously, $800 will buy you this autographed, game worn jersey of former Yankee backstop Rick Cerone. 

That kind of cash would've bought me quite a few tickets to see Rick at his Watertown, NY appearance.

Friday, July 13, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Dominican Republic Placed on Probation

Team USA put a thumping on the John Calipari coached Dominican Republic team tonight.  FIBA promptly placed the Caribbean nation on probation.

Some other Olympic related items to cross the T3I news desk:

*  T3I Editorial:  We are more furious that U.S. athletes will be wearing berets than the fact they are made in China.  Berets?  Really?

*  Chocolate milk a sports drink?  We love you Carmelo:

* Things an idiot says:  Tyler Clary

*  Things an idiot says 2.0:  Kobe

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: What the Heck Is This?

Cute or terrifying?

I'm not sure who would be in the market for a Syracuse sock monkey.  If this is up your alley, then you're in luck with this week's Ebay Item of the Week.

Sleep lightly whoever buys this thing.  I have a feeling it comes to life after dark.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

John Kruk + Ribs + Chariots of Fire = Gold

From the the Big Lead we bring you something that is absolutely fantastic -- John Kruk eating ribs to the Chariots of Fire theme song. We hope you enjoy it as much as Big John enjoyed his ribs.

We know for a fact that John enjoyed the ribs more than he enjoyed facing Randy Johnson in the All Star game.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cano Traded to Seattle for Ken Phelps

That'll happen when you pull a goose egg in the HR Derby.  Big Stein thought it was a real heartbreaker.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dome Operators are Standing By

This week my inbox has received several of these offers from the good folks at the Carrier Dome Box Office.   I think it's a decent deal, buy three season tickets, get one free.  However, something struck me about that fine print, specifically "while supplies last."

Really?  If the Russianator's photo below from last year's Toledo game is any indication, I don't think we're in any danger of running out of available tickets anytime soon.

The last time I fell for a sales pitch like that I ended up with one of these in my living room:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday America

What better way to celebrate America's birthday then with some wise words from one of our favorites,  former 1980s WWF Superstar and the pride of Glens Falls, NY Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

R.I.P. Ben

Photo: AP

As a Raiders fan, no really we do exist, I was saddened to learn of today's news of former great Ben Davidson's passing.   Known for his hard hits and facial hair that made Rollie Fingers jealous, Ben's best work may have been his role in one of the greatest advertising campaigns of all-time.

Less filling or tastes great...Ben this weekend I'll be having a Miller Lite for you.

Video Breakdown: The One Handed Baby Holding Catch

There was a fantastic catch in last night's Braves - Cubs game, by a fan in the stands who was also holding a baby. As the father of a super-squirmy 6 month old, to me this feat is more impressive than Paula Deen willingly steaming broccoli. Check it out:

Five things really stand out about the grab:

1) You'll notice is the baby is firmly secured in his right hand, so clearly he's a lefty. I almost always hold my son in my left hand because you need to keep that dominant hand free at all times for bottle making, picking things off the ground, adjusting your balls, etc....

2) He gets excellent extension he gets on the ball, going back up over his head to haul it in without leaving his feet. I'd be willing to bet his suit size ends in an L.

3) I presume that has to be the baby's mother standing next to him (they are all wearing Cubs gear) cheering happily has be brings in the ball. This woman is clearly nuts, if I did that with our kid in my other arm my wife would beat the living crap out me and then stuff the ball down my throat.

4) Raising a kid to be a Cubs fan is clearly child abuse. Someone needs to call child protective services.

5) A nice show of respect from Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons with the clap afterwards.......and yes his name is Andrelton.

So there you have it people. The lesson we learned from this video is pretty simple -- if you're going to catch a ball at a game with your kid in your arm, you better not drop either....and don't raise your kid to be a Cubs fan, that's just mean.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Don't Be That Guy: Summer Festival Edition

"What's this? You're wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see? Don't be that guy." ~ Jeremy Piven (Droz) P.C.U.

June was a busy month for me and the family.  Back to back weekends of Taste of Syracuse and Balloonfest made for some fantastic people watching.  Combine that with a recent week long vacation to the Delaware Beaches and I've been vividly reminded about the guy you don't want to be during the summer festival season.

Acoustic Guitar Guy:  I'll let Belushi handle this one.

Shirtless Guy:  I get it, summer weather is precious in CNY.  But still, is it too much to ask to put something on?  Something maybe like...

Guy Who Wears Jersey of a Player No Longer on the Team:  I love this guy.  It's 2012 and he's strolling around in his tattered Shaq Lakers jersey, his Johnny Damon Yankee jersey (bonus penalty for having a Yankee jersey with a name on the back), or his faded Carmelo Nuggets jersey.  Actually, I've got issues with grown men wearing jerseys outside of attending a live sporting event, but that's another story.

Wine Slushie Guy:  Not that there's anything wrong with a grown man drinking a wine slushie.

Fanny Pack Guy: Not. A. Good. Look.

Cliff Clavin: This is the the guy who knows everything about the festival you are at. Whether its balloons  or food he's always talking loudly and spouting info that is wrong.  "You know the first hot air balloon was invented when a fat woman's underwear drifted out over a campfire."

Parents Who Let Their Kids Go Absolutely Crazy:  This always makes for a fun time for everyone...little kids running around screaming, out of times.  I'd like to tell this guy that if I wanted to experience this, I'd stay at home with my kids and tell them Disney On-Demand is no longer working. 

Enjoy the summer festival scene boys and girls.  

Previously on Don't Be That Guy:

Youth Sports Edition

March Madness Bracket Edition

Super Bowl Party Edition

Carrier Dome Edition

Fantasy Football Edition

Dear Fab,

Congrats on being picked by Boston in the first round of last week's NBA Draft.  We hope all works out well for you in Beantown which would have been a great city for you to visit in March.