Friday, January 11, 2013

Lovie, We Hardly Knew Ye (WE WILL DROWN YOU WITH NEW CONTENT)

As the dust settles over the post-Lovie-Smith Chicago landscape, the new coaching situation is still very much in the air. As we said in last week’s For the Record, our pick would be either McCoy or Arians. I’d also be okay with Trestman, who Jimmy Johnson apparently thinks already got the job. How do you know that? Hey, I’m asking you a question. Answer me, thing in the mouth-face.






But despite the fact that they interviewed Mike Singletary (which I’m choosing to believe was only because this city can’t wipe its ass without first asking the opinion of an ’85 Bear instead of the horrifying alternative that they actually might hire Mike Singletary to be their head coach) and a handful of Special Teams guys, including Toub, I think it’s obvious that an offense-minded, decidedly not-Lovie-Smith Chicago coaching staff is on its way in.

Now, despite what Iggins! would have you believe, I was the only one of our merry band whose surety that Lovie would get the axe never wavered. Red called me that Sunday night and explained for like a half hour all the reasons he was certain Lovie was safe, a sentiment that was echoed around the Internet by people who like Lovie Smith. We’ve always been pretty firmly in Lovie’s camp, and I still don’t think he necessarily deserved to get fired, but I understand why he did.

That needlessly long introduction aside, what I wanted to do here was break down a couple of the arguments people had for keeping Lovie around and why, sadly, they weren’t enough to save his job. Because I hate things that are different, the arguments will be in italics and my responses will be in regular ol’ Times.

Friday Hoopyball Recap, 01-11-2013

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-The Bulls went 2-1 since last Friday.

First, Friday night, they put on a show, in Miami, and beat the Heat by 7. Big kudos to Carlos Boozer (!?), boy do I hate typing that, who put up 27 and 12. The Heat got dominated inside, which is a great sign for the Bulls. The Heat have been on a slide of their own, but that shouldn't take away from this win. Beating the Heat will eventually pay dividends, especially doing it without Derrick Rose.

Then, Monday night, the Bulls came back home and waxed the Cavaliers, 118-92. Hard to single out a specific performance that really won this game, but Boozer did dominate again. His turn-around jumper has been going in, and when it does he becomes the most dangerous weapon the Bulls have on offense. Beating the Cavs at home should be a given, so no big deal here, but it was good to get to 19-13.

Unfortunately, Wednesday night the Bulls dropped to 19-14 by losing to the Milwaukee Bucks, who apparently have their number in Chicago. Last time, and the only other time these two have played this year, the Bulls went up by 27 and lost. This time the Bulls went up big again in the first, but Brandon Jennings, again, started shooting lights out, and the Bulls went down, 104-96. The comedy of errors that is Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings playing together brings me joy, and it was working exactly as one might think early on. Ellis shot every time he touched the ball, Jennings had to do the same to get his own shots in, and the Bulls just sat and rebounded. Unfortunately, Ellis got into foul trouble, sat down, and Brandon Jennings started to dominate. The Bulls had trouble deciding how to shift a few times down the stretch, which is unforgivable at this point in the season, but the biggest reason they took this loss is Brandon Jennings, When he's on, he's unstoppable. When he's off, the Bucks are awful.

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Saturday:

Purdue 61 - #18 Michigan State 84

Purdue couldn't quite capitalize on the momentum they gained from their surprising season-opening win over Illinois. Winning on the road at Sparty is always tough, but the bottom line is that Purdue isn't a great team this year. Bad teams can sneak up on people, and that was surely the case against an Illinois team not yet used to success. MSU may not be contending for a B1G title this year, but they can handle the Boilers at home.

#8 Ohio State 55 - #11 Illinois 74

This was a disaster nearly from the start. I covered it earlier in the week. Suffice it to say, Illinois is pretty good.

Sunday:

Iowa 67 - #2 Michigan 95

Iowa was in control for about 15 minutes of this game. They had the Wolverines out of rhythm, had led the entire first half, and were knocking down open looks. But after that, Michigan asserted itself in a big way. The Hawks clearly aren't up to Michigan's level, but really, there may be 4 other teams in the nation who are.

Wisconsin 47 - Nebraska 41

Covered this already as well. Two mediocre-to-bad teams going at it here.

Northwestern 51 - #9 Minnesota 69

Nevermind about the Tubby Smith crack I made last week. Minnesota is very good, and they don't seem to know it yet, which is great. The game against Indiana tonight will be huge.

Monday:

#5 Indiana 74 - Penn State 51

Nothing to see here.

Tuesday:

#15 Ohio State 74 - Purdue 64

You know, Ohio State may not be as good as once thought. Illinois and Minnesota seem to be the top 10 team OSU was supposed to be.

Wednesday:

Nebraska 47 - #2 Michigan 62

Yup.

#8 Minnesota 84 - #12 Illinois 67

This was in Illinois, by the way. Total Gopher domination. Tubby Smith really has this team working on all cylinders. Trevor Mbakwe coming back is making more sense every day. Don't take this as meaning Illinois isn't as good as they seem, either. Minnesota may just be a top 5 team nationally.

Thursday:

Northwestern 70 - Penn State 54

Yeah.

#22 Michigan State 62 - Iowa 59

Iowa's best player, Roy Devyn Marble, was revealed to be out for this game about an hour before tip. Despite this, Iowa led for the entire game until 8 minutes were left in the second half. They were even up 4 with a minute to go! But a foolish turnover from Mike Gesell doomed them, a final 3 fell short, and the clock ran out on the Hawks again. This game and the 4 point loss at home to Indiana really sting. If those two had just fallen the other way, iowa would be 2-1 with two huge quality wins. Instead, Iowa is 0-3 in the B1G, though they now enter a much easier stretch. Though their next nine games do include trips to Ohio State and Minnesota, the other seven are against Wisconsin twice, Penn State twice, Northwestern twice, and at Purdue. Iowa needs to go 7-2, at the very least, to stay in the bubble conversation, and a win at OSU or Minnesota would certainly help.

Upcoming:

This week the Bulls play four games. Tonight they're at the Knicks, then they're home Saturday to play Phoenix, home Monday for the Hawks, and get back on the road Wednesday to play the Raptors. Hopefully they can go 3-1 there and maybe we hear more good Rose news? The B1G slate is highlighted by #8 Minnesota at #5 Indiana tomorrow, #12 Illinois at Wisconsin tomorrow, #2 Michigan at #15 OSU on Sunday, and #2 Michigan at #8 Minnesota on Thursday. See you back here in a week!

For the Record: Man We Hate The Life of Pi Edition

Iggins!

So, nobody gets into the baseball HoF. One of a myriad reasons that I hate baseball, I swear that article will happen eventually, is the old, meathead curmudgeons that vote for their stuff. Ron Santo couldn't get in alive. But dead? GET THAT CORPSE IN HERE. I hate these people. And now they won't put in Barry Bonds because he did roids, or Clemens because he did roids. What do y'all think of it? I'll save my full opinion because I want to hear what the both of you think first.

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You cheated. Yes, you could argue that it's negated by the fact that everyone else was cheating, too, but you still cheated. The "steroid era" thing just encourages more people to do it.

Barry Bonds is a great hitter, there can be no doubt there. He still hit the baseball better than anyone else who was using steroids at the time. But he cheated. If Pete Rose can't get in for gambling on his own team to win, you should not be able to get in despite actual cheating.

Iggins!
The Pete Rose thing is a different conversation, but suffice it to say I think he needs to be in the Hall. I have two streams of thought here:

1) I don't think steroids should be illegal. Much as I don't think you deserve to be babied or that the rules of football need to be changed just because you could get concussions, I don't think steroids are cheating. Everyone who does them knows the risks. You get ragey, your testes shrink, you get gross acne, potentially you grow boobs, and you shorten your life. If you do them you accept this. These guys are sacrificing a lot to get even a tiny edge. I just don't have an issue with that. If you're willing to accept the consequences, more power to you. HOWEVAH...

2) It is against the rules. Whether steroids should be illegal or not, it is clearly written down that you can't do them. So you cheated, dick, and you're a bad person for cheating. Rules suck sometimes, but if there were no rules life would be BS. Ever play a board game "just for fun"? It sucks! Because there's no point. Same here. So I understand why someone might not vote for them.

Of course, on the other hand, baseball has punishments in place for this type of deal. 50 games-150 games-Go find a new job. At the time, they did not have those kinds of punishments in place. And there is no steroid punishment that says CAN'T BE IN THE HALL OF FAME. So, I feel like you have to vote on everyone eligible and vote for the best guys. Bonds is eligible. Clemens is eligible. Sosa is eligible. If you can tell yourself they were worse than Craig Biggio, vote for Biggio. But if you can't you have to vote for them.

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I think he should, too, but the rules are the rules and have to be enforced equally.
I don't think that last bit is entirely fair. If you don't think anybody that year is worthy of being down the hall from Ernie Banks, you shouldn't have to vote in a subpar candidate while you're there just because voting was open. The HoF thing isn't about it being a rule that you can't get in if you did steroids. It's that you didn't turn in a Hall of Fame performance, your PEDs did. Sure, a guy like Barry Bonds probably has the natural talent to get there with slightly less impressive numbers, but we'll never know because that's not what happened. You can't vote based on what probably would have happened had he not been using for the better part of his career