On this episode of The Slant, host Brad Stein talks about the Ducks' current BCS ranking, the Pac-12, women in the UFC, and week eight of the NFL season.
If you have followed the Trail Blazers during the pre-season, you know that expectations are not high for the 2012-13 season. Let’s be honest, it’s going to be a long season. Despite the pessimism that surrounds this team there are a number of bright spots.
For starters they have a full-time general manager in Neil Olshey, who Blazers owner Paul Allen hired over the summer. This in itself is an upgrade, as last season they operated without one. In Olshey’s limited time with the team he selected two promising prospects in point guard Damian Lillard and center Meyers Leonard. Both players have exhibited potential and could become corner stones of the franchise for years to come. Olshey also went head-to-head with the Minnesota Timberwolves to sign Blazers free agent small forward Nicolas Batum. If Batum lives up to his potential and the riches of a 4-year $44 million contract, this will prove to be a shrewd move by Olshey.
In addition to adding and retaining players, Olshey also hired a new head coach. He selected former Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks head coach and recent assistant coach of the Dallas Mavericks, Terry Stotts. What Stotts will bring to the table is a more exciting brand of basketball, a motion oriented offense and hustle defense. This should be a welcome change from Nate McMillan’s lethargic isolation basketball.
Halloween is a holiday that is surrounded by sights and sounds that are inherently spooky. People dress in scary costumes and haunted house activities everywhere make a killing. But this Halloween may be a little more frightening as a Blazer fan.
Superman is coming to town in a Laker's uniform for the first time. Dwight Howard and company come in after one of the most successful off-seasons in NBA history for any franchise. They brought in future hall of famers Steve Nash and Howard. Pairing those two with Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant and they will scare teams all year long.
But for the Blazers, starting their season with the Lakers is a little more scary then most.
The youth of this Blazer team will make it fun to watch at times this year but the inexperience that comes along with youth is extremely dangerous facing an veteran team like the Lakers.
Coming into a season there are so many thoughts, emotions and nerves that can affect a team in the early games. The Blazers have five rookies that should see playing time, and one of those rookies will be starting day one. The Lakers on the other hand will be starting four future hall of famers.
The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
I had the good fortune to spend the weekend in a house near the beach in Manzanita. A couple days of R & R was just what the doctor ordered. The downside was that the house didn’t have a television, so no college football. It was all good, though; I was with a couple friends, The Girlfriend, and the rain- lots and lots of rain. It fell sideways, in sheets, and by mid-afternoon I was wondering if I needed to be out collecting two of everything. Turns out it was WAY more entertaining and dramatic than watching Oregon annihilate Colorado.
I hadn’t been worried about how the Ducks would fare against Colorado. The last betting line I saw (which I use strictly for entertainment purposes) declared Oregon a 45.5-point favorite. No rational person would have expected a close game. The only real speculation concerned which of the gazillion uniform combinations the Ducks would wear. The game was over almost before it began…and a merciful person probably found themselves feeling sorry for the Buffaloes.
With the weather in Manzanita going from ugly to “Should we start building the Ark, Dad??,” I decided to follow the Ducks game online. After what they’ve done this season, I figured it wouldn’t take long for matters to be settled. I thought I’d follow the first half and then get on with the business of relaxing and having fun. It didn’t even take that long for things to get completely out of hand.no comments
Eight years. Eight years of building rosters, adjusting lineups, checking the NFL injury report with a paranoia that cannot be healthy, and taking far more interest in the fourth string running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers than I will ever need at any other point in my life ever. All for the competition of people I have never met, will never meet, and will never interact in my life again past the end of the season. Obviously the experience of others may vary.
I thought after eight years that I knew all the constants. This season shot those constants out of cannon towards the moon. Up is down, black is white, Christian Ponder is having a better statistical season than Michael Vick. That is why these midseason awards are going to be a little strange. Yes, I know this is not the NFL midseason, this is the fantasy football midseason, because the playoffs start Week 14. No need to write an angry letter.
Biggest Surprise: Robert Griffin III (22.6 fantasy standard points per game)
This should not have been a surprise. Running quarterbacks always put up prolific numbers (see Newton, Cam last season), but he has done equally well with his arm, throwing for over 300 yards twice. The second half of the season is hard on scrambling quarterbacks, as teams watch the film and make adjustments on defense, but to see the rookie do this work with few offensive weapons in Washington is impressive.
Biggest Disappointment: Phillip Rivers (12.2 points per game)
Not a good year to be Rivers. While few would take him at the top of the draft class, he was still a projected starter in many leagues. He was… till he got outscored through seven weeks by Brandon Weeden, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, and Christian Ponder among others. With players like Antonio Gates and Ryan Mathews on his side, his production should not be this low. Only one game with higher than 21 points, and three games below 10. Not good.
I used to play volleyball. Then, I realized that the amount of hand-eye coordination I have is in the negatives. This made running seem pretty ideal.
Winter is here now and that means two things:
- Running in the snow
I don't understand the joy in either of these things. Although I'll probably never really understand the joy runners find while running through northwestern blizzards, hopefully this winter I can at least accomplish my goal of understanding and learning to love basketball.
I've lived extremely close to Portland my whole life but I've yet to get acquainted with the exciting culture of the Trail Blazers.
I have seen the Brandon Roy jerseys fill my high school with students who understand the sport.
And those who don't.
I’ve gone to games. I have worn red and black together...which is really something I wouldn't do for any other occasion. I have won the free Chalupas. I have endured the red plastic clickers throughout half time. I haven’t learned the core of the culture though. I've never really understood the sport.
It’s almost that time of year again. As November approaches, the chase for a championship begins at all levels. On the high school stage, the spotlight lands on the OSAA – an organization that has spent the last two years giving the rankings and playoff format a makeover. This year marks the third postseason in which teams will participate in “play-ins” to help determine who will go onto join the first round of playoffs. While the intentions were perhaps good when this format was enacted, the usefulness of an extra round of postseason play has become questionable.no comments
Halloween is only a few days away. With weekend parties planned this weekend, it seems only necessary to provide a handful of dress-up ideas for the late planner. If you don’t have a costume in mind, feel free to use any of the following ideas. They’ll be met by blank stares by some, but the Oregon sports fans in the group will understand.no comments
At the halfway point of the schedule for the Oregon State Beavers, it is time for my insight of the overall team’s performance so far this season. In addition, as usual, my fearless prediction for the upcoming game against the Washington Huskies.
OFFENSE: On the offensive side, my grade for this unit is a B+. With usual suspects Markus Wheaton, Brandin Cooks, Storm Woods and Sean Mannion fulfilling their roles as hoped, it is the once-quiet-now-heralded players who bring this grade to its standing. Reason being, these players all made contributions to the present memory filled season. Cody Vaz, backup quarterback, stepped up when needed with over 300 yards passing and 3 touchdowns against BYU. In that game, tight end Colby Prince caught a deflected pass in the end zone in a sea of defenders. Sophomore Connor Hamlett’s nine yard touchdown catch with just over a minute to play was the key in a 38-35 win over Arizona. Junior wide receiver Kevin Cummings’ 25-yard catch against Utah (on 1st and 24) came when the Beavers looked to be going backwards and the game hanging in a tenuous position. At the halfway point, these were the plays of the season. Each having monumental impacts on the outcome of their respective games. On the half empty side, three turnovers against Washington State and a flat performance against Utah kept this grade from reaching its peak. A dominating display is still needed to completely justify the Top 10 ranking.no comments
As the leaves continue to fall and blanket the streets and trails, as the temperatures drop and the mornings become crisp and cold, I think about the wonderful summer we've had here in Portland, Oregon. I fondly recall the many adventures that took place, all the miles of running and hiking and the hours of enjoying the temperate mountains under the long-awaited sun. Now we're back on the other side of it all, just settling into the long, wet and grey months ahead. As much as I am excited for embracing the rain and playing in the snow, I also sometimes find myself day dreaming of the good times and blissful weather we had, not so far in the past. Here's one memory from the summer that's been drifting into my mind like a sweet, dewy Portland summer breeze:
A few nights ago, it was announced that the Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes agreed to a home and home football series. The Buckeyes will come to Autzen Stadium in 2020, and Ducks will make the return trip to Columbus in 2021. For Oregon fans, Ohio State fans, and college football fans, this is very good news. We've all grown very tired of non-conference monotony, college football powers scheduling patsy after patsy for their preseason slates, making sure they aren't tripped up before the tough conference play starts. The tactic is old. It strikes us as cheating. The big boys can pay little teams to come to their place and get their brains beat out. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it's not how the game should be played.