Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Archive for March, 2008

Brandon Jennings: Hero of the McDonalds All-American Game

Posted by Mike on March 27, 2008

Not because of his performance (which was impressive in itself), but because of this:

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¬†That’s right, one future college point guard is determined to bring back the high fade. Brandon Jennings, a 6-2 point guard who will play for Arizona next season, showed up to the McDonald’s all American game with the eraser hair you see in the picture above. This phenomenon was remarkable in that it is the first time I actually remember something that happened at a McDonald’s All-American game. Sure, he’s phenomenal player. Sure, he’s a youtube idol from the powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. Sure, he had 12 points, nine assists, and could have had more if the rest of his team were paying attention. But who cares! He’s bringing back the hi-top! If he keeps this look and if someone can talk Jerryd Bayless to stay in Tuscon a little longer, the Wildcats will be one of my favorite teams to watch next season.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Bad Sports Fashion, Brandon Jennings, College Basketball | 9 Comments »

NCAA Tournament Live Blog on Storming The Floor

Posted by Mike on March 21, 2008

Just to let you know, I’ll be live-blogging the 7:00 and 9:30 sessions of NCAA Tournament Day 2 action over on Storming the Floor. See you there.

Posted in Tar Heel posts | Leave a Comment »

Simplifying the Madness: Last Minute NCAA Tournament Bracket Ideas for 2008

Posted by Mike on March 19, 2008

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THE NIGHTMARE SITUATION: It’s 11:00 am on Thursday. You’re in an NCAA Tournament pool, but you haven’t had the time to even look at the bracket, much less fill it out. And you have less than an hour to make sense of a sheet of paper and condense an entire season of college basketball you haven’t watched into 63 decisions. And did we mention you have less than an hour?

Fret not. We’re here to help. Just ask yourself this question:

What do you want to do in relation to your bracket pool?

Seems very easy to answer, doesn’t it? Not so fast. While your conscious reaction is “I wanna win!”, something deep inside you may tell you something else. Perhaps you want your bracket to be unique. Perhaps you want to call the upset that no one dared to predict. Just a little something to inflate your ego. Or, maybe you’re just in the pool to have a little fun, and watch the faces of your co-workers squirm, as they, who care deeply about college basketball, have their brackets trumped by someone who put something together in the eleventh hour.

Whatever the case may be, there’s a bracket for you.

1. “I just want to win”

You have pure capitalism or bragging rights in mind. You just need to win your office pool.

Solution: Go Chalk.

Most of the other members of your pool are likely to try some crazy method of predicting every last upset. When all of the crazy methods are taken, most of what usually remains is rational. Those top seeds are at the top for a reason. Since the expansion of the tournament to 64 teams, at least one #1 seed has reached the final four every year. Usually, it’s around two.

Strategy: Pick the two #1 seeds you think are the strongest and let them pass to the Final Four. From the two other regions, pick one top seed to exit in the Sweet 16 and one to exit in the Elite 8, and allow a seed between #2 and #5 to win the region. Then pick one or two upsets in the 5/12 and 6/11 matchups, flip a coin for the 7/10s and the 8/9s, and take the favorites in the remaining first round matchups, and fill the rest of the bracket at your whim. Chances are that you won’t be far off.

2. “I want to call the upset”

You need to show off some basketball “knowledge”. You need to predict the upset that no one saw coming.

Solution: Calculate your Upset.

Let us first make one thing clear 8/9 and 7/10 matchups are far too close to be considered upsets. At the same time, 2/15 and 1/16 upsets are too statistically implausible. However, you can typically count on the underdog to win 3-5 of the 3/14, 4/13, 5/12, and 6/11 matchups. For the latter rounds, one of the 6 seeds will always beat a 3, and at least one 2 seed usually gets taken down by a 7 or 10 seed every year.

Strategy: Take from this pool…

#11 Kansas State: Michael Beasley may be the best player in college basketball.

#11 St. Joseph’s: Their coach is experienced, and they had to beat #3 seeded Xavier twice in 2 weeks to earn an at-large bid.

#11 Baylor: Their opponent, Purdue, is inexperienced and from a weaker conference.

#12 Villanova: See Baylor. Their point guard, Scottie Reynolds, is crucial to success.

#12 Western Kentucky: talented team going up against high-seeded mid-major.

#12 Temple: Atlantic 10 Champions, and Michigan State has underachieved in recent tournaments.

#13 Winthrop: Both Winthrop and their opponents play slow; this game will be close no matter what.

#13 Oral Roberts: ORU is not new to this stage, and Pitt may let down after the Big East tournament.

#13 San Diego: Won the West Coast Conference, who brought 3 teams to the tourney.

#14 Georgia: Hey, they’ve come this far.

Choose 3-4 of these Cinderellas and season to taste in the first round. After that, pick a couple of #2 seeds to go down in the second round.

3. “I want to have fun”.

The tournament is a roller coaster. You just want to be along for the ride.

Solution: Get creative.

Or in the case of time limitations, let other people be creative for you. Take a cue from Storming the Floor, and decide by which mascot would win in a fight. You can pick completely at random for all that anyone cares. No one can ever truly predict these things; it has largely to do with luck. However, remember to keep luck on your side. In almost all brackets, all of the 1 seeds and half of the 2 and 3 seeds should make the Sweet 16. After that, go crazy. Who knows, you might even win.

Strategy: There is no strategy. Just wing it, have fun, sit back, and enjoy the four most chaotic days in sports.

Posted in Bracket, College Basketball, Get Pumped!, NCAA Tournament, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | 1 Comment »

Manu Ginobili Combover Watch

Posted by Mike on March 9, 2008

I haven’t watched much of the NBA this year. My knowledge only goes as far as this: The Celtics are back, there are only two good teams in the east, the top 9 teams in the west are within about 6 games of each other, the Bobcats are still “too young” to be any good, and the Shaq trade to Phoenix was terrible. And really, that’s all I would really need to know.

However, watching a bit of a Spurs-Nuggets game made something abundantly clear to me: Manu Ginobili is going to get a combover before he retires.

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The writing is on the wall. It has now become painfully obvious that Ginobili has male-pattern baldness. During the Nuggets game, one could see it from space. Here’s a sample of what he’s up against, and trust me, this picture is kind:

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Photo: AP/Eric Gay

Right now we’re looking at a man in denial. Manu seems to have no intention of embracing the inevitable and shaving his head. He is far too proud of his locks, or rather the locks he once had, to do that.

But there will come a day when that spot on his head becomes far too big to ignore. On that day he must choose between accepting his fate…and making one last desperate move. I have almost no doubt that he will choose the latter.

Now that we’ve established that the combover is going to happen, all that’s left do do is speculate. What’s the over/under on when we will see it? What will it look like? How long will he try to keep it up? The possibilities could be endless.

hype it up!

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Bad Sports Fashion, Manu Ginobili, NBA, San Antonio Spurs | 6 Comments »

We Have Found Benny Lava

Posted by Mike on March 5, 2008

He was apparently a composer for the Mickey Mouse Club. Which, when you watch the video, kind of makes sense.

Posted in Am I going to hell for this?, Benny Lava, Great Moments in Stupidity, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell? | 1 Comment »

UEFA Champions League Knockout Stage Storylines

Posted by Mike on March 4, 2008

As we hit the second leg of the UEFA Champions League knockout stage this week, let’s look at a few of the “storylines” on the road to Moscow.

1. The defending champion, AC Milan, is owned by Italian business tycoon/politician/controller of all media/midget Silvio Berlusconi. He cares so much about the knockout stage of the Champions League, he’s going to reanimate the cryogenically frozen body of Paolo Maldini just for the occasion.

So many different and funny ways that you could have made fun of AC Milan. You had Ronaldo…you had Gilardino…you had at least two players whose names had some variation of “ca-ca”…and yet you chose the “Paolo Maldini is old” joke. I am so disappointed.

2. In the history of UEFA Champions League, only two teams not from Western Europe have won. This year, two such teams made it to the knockout stages: Olympiacos FC (Greece) and Fenerbahce (Turkey). To see either of these teams advance and loosen the death grip that Western Europe has on futbol would be fantastic.

In a completely unrelated story, the bettors have Chelsea and Sevilla winning 6-0 and 8-3 on aggregate “based on a hunch.” The G-14 lives!

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Above, members of the “defunct” G-14 football confederation hold an emergency meeting about the growing threat of Slavia Prague.

3. There is only one reason, I repeat, one reason why I know anything about Celtic. And that is because my mom has had a crush on their goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, after seeing him play for Poland in the World Cup.

4. Rumor has it that Rafa Benitez might be leaving Liverpool after a disappointing Premiership season and fallout with the team’s American ownership (and in turn, the ownership’s fallout with fans). The reality is that Rafa already left during the summer, and Bizarro Rafa Benitez has been coaching the Mersysiders this entire season. Haven’t they taught you anything about goatees and evil parallel universes?

One of the tell-tale signs that the goateed Rafa is a fraud: he no longer has the ability to control your television.

 

5. For all the fuss about AC Milan, it is actuallly Inter at the top of the Serie A table right now. Inter has the Champions League’s inly two Colombian players, Ivan Cordoba and Nelson Rivas. They have earned a spot on their roster in part due to their talent, but mostly to help support owner Massimo Moratti’s massive cocaine habit.

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I mean, look at him. If that’s not the most coked-up old Italian man you’ve ever seen in your life, then I’d like to know who is.

6. Barcelona’s primary sponsor is UNICEF. In the true spirit of the UN, the team is going to make a ridiculously frivolous purchase and blame Fulham for their early Champions League exit.

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The scary part: Brain McBride actually looks like a marionette.

7. Lyon plays in Stade Gerland, the stadium where team USA famously ended their dead-last 1998World Cup finish with a loss to Iran. Little known fact: Ahmadinejad has this game on a continuous loop in every TV of the Presidential Palace.

8. Much like the American presidential system, there’s an unwritten rule that says that any player must be at least 35 years of age to be a goalkeeper for Arsenal. Dammit, that’s the second old joke you’ve made today! That’s not funny!

9. Manchester United has the Champions League’s only Chinese player, Dong Fangzhou. Yeah, United likes Dong. They simply can’t get enough Dong. They…wait…you didn’t think I meant…you’re sick, you know that?!?

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Dong.

10. In the event that Chelsea is involved in an aggregate tie, the match will not go to penalty kicks. Instead, Israeli manager Avram Grant will challenge his rival manager to a Krav Maga deathmatch in the middle of the pitch. Or maybe he’ll concede if you just, you know, let him suck your blood.

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Let me get my fang dentures. 

 

11. Germans have actually come a long way culturally since World War II. Just look at who the knockout stage’s only remaining German team, Schalke 04, just signed during the January transfer window:

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Enjoy this week’s second leg of the Round of 16.

Posted in AC Milan, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Avram Grant, Barcelona, Chelsea, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Manchester United, Roman Abramovich, Schalke 04, Silvio Berlusconi, UEFA Champions League | 4 Comments »

 
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