Tuesday, September 8, 2009

FSU-Miami Rivalry Goes Old School

This was Miami-Florida State the way we remember. You know, when the 'Canes and 'Noles mattered. When they staged some of the greatest games of the 1980s and '90s. When the winner often played for the national title, and the loser rarely lost to anyone else.

Yep, seemed like old times at Doak Campbell Stadium on Monday night. To make sure, I checked a calender and my waistline. Both assured me it was 2009, not 1989 or 1999.

Miami 38, FSU 34. An instant classic and perhaps the best game of college football's opening weekend. FSU coach Bobby Bowden called it "a great game,'' the third-best game he could remember being a part of behind FSU's 1987 home loss to Miami and a loss at Notre Dame.

(Continue to Seminoles Sports Center)

Boise a Big Boy - For Better or Worse

The new college football rankings will be out sometime Tuesday, but no doubt Boise State will have moved up the polls from its preseason No. 14 spot. Good, because if nothing else was proven in its opener against Oregon on Thursday night (besides what a sharp right jab LeGarrette Blount possesses), these Broncos proved that they’re nobody’s tiny, mid-major, Cinderella outsider anymore.

No, their program can be as bloated, over-entitled, overbearing and devoid of all perspective as any member of the exclusive BCS club it’s trying to crack. Oh, yes, they’re big-time over at Boise State now.

They showed it before the national TV cameras that night, starting from the moment – just before Blount threw the infamous punch – that they threw down the first no-class card.

(Continue to The Steele Drum)

College Football State of the Union

So what did we learn from the first week of college football action in 2009?

BYU proved that Hawaiians and 26-year old white men can still comprise a quality college athletic program, and Boise State now has company at the front of the line to crash the B(C)S party. Casual observers will cite the injury to Oklahoma's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford as the reason for BYU's 14-13 upset Saturday, but the Mormons were already giving the defending national runner-up plenty of trouble before Bradford went down in the second quarter. BYU turnovers were all that kept the Sooners in the game in the first half, with a fumbled punt inside the Cougar 10 setting up Oklahoma's first TD and a fumble inside the Sooner 10 sabotaging a certain BYU scoring drive.

(Continue to Sport Imitates Life)

Oudin Steals the Show at U.S. Open

The Yankees have opened up a season-high nine game lead on the Boston Red Sox in race for the American League East.

The Giants and Jets haven’t started their seasons yet, and the Mets … wait, are the Mets still playing?

So it is against that backdrop that a 17-year-old girl from Marietta, Ga., has seized the September spotlight on the New York scene. She is enjoying her tennis Coming Out Party on the world's biggest stage.

When Melanie Oudin defeated Nadia Petrova in three tough sets in the U.S. Open Monday, she did more than advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. She created a buzz in the New York consciousness, which is difficult to do for a women’s tennis player not named Williams or Sharapova.

(Continue to New York Minute)

Riggo: Voice of Reason on Portis?

The Redskins are marching toward their 2009 season opener Sept. 13 with the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, and the two most productive running backs in franchise history, John Riggins and Clinton Portis, are stoking the flames. Riggins, the Hall of Famer who led the Redskins to the 1983 Super Bowl title, called out Portis as "a headache" who "has the team over a barrel," referring to Portis' favorable contract status and its adverse impact on the team's salary cap.

Not one to shy from dishing back criticism, Portis offered that Riggins surely was a great Redskins running back, but it was "not hard to be a great running back when you've got that talent all around you," referring to the legendary "Hogs" offensive line anchored by Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby during Riggins' era.

The feuding only figures to get worse if the new season falls below Redskins fans' expectations. Many NFL sages are labeling the Skins as an 8-8 contender at best and long shot to make the playoffs competing from the rugged NFC East against the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys.

(Continue to DMA 7-22 Sports)

Cardinals See No Evil, Hear No Evil

The Arizona Cardinals are so focused on the season opener with the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium, that they haven't noticed anything else.

All the causes for concern? Never saw them. The 0-4 preseason? Doesn't matter. It's as if it never happened. Heck, Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson is so focused on picking up a Week One victory that he has forgotten the identity of his opponent.

Arizona is so focused on building upon last year's success--a NFC West Division title and a Super Bowl appearance--that no other outside influences matter. The critics say the Cardinals will be one-year wonders. Flukes of the 2008 season. A team primed for a reality check.

Arizona, on the other hand, claims, well, nothing.

(Continue to Arizona Sportspage)

Memories of Jordan, Stockton, Robinson

On Friday, perhaps the best class ever will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. In tribute to the Class of 2009, here are some jaw-dropping video career highlights of the Big Three honorees, David Robinson, John Stockton and Michael Jordan.

(Continue to All Net)

What's In a Name?

In our last post, we asked if anyone knew why this blog is called 12 trillion.

It is not a reference to the national deficit or the bailout total. This blog is about the NBA, not the GDP.

If you are a true fan, you know that there is a basketball phrase known as "trillion." It is used to describe an empty boxscore line for a player who got in the game.

Years ago, my job responsibilities included taking dictated long-form NBA boxscores over the telephone. There was no automatic field population from a courtside computer or an entry system that input the player's entire name after entering the first two or three characters. You had to know how to spell every player's name and enter every stat using a system that tabbed through the columns.

(Continue to 12trillion)

Say a Prayer for Ernie Harwell

"For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

Each year, before the Detroit Tigers' first spring training broadcast, Ernie Harwell would quote that passage from the Song of Solomon.

Although this isn't really related to Notre Dame or college football, we have to take a moment here to say a prayer for the great Harwell, the legendary Tigers' announcer who is dying.

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)
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