Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Panthers/Rams: Unfortunately, I missed this classic to go to a high school basketball game. The good news is, Lorain Catholic was able to hold off the larger Huron High School 44-42. Am I surprised with the outcome? Not overly. The Rams were on the decline for the second half of the season, and Mike Martz is definitely the Larry Coker of the NFL right now. With Stephen Davis likely out (or is that just a tactic?) can Jake Delhomme prove he's a Super Bowl QB? Or can he prove that his coach has a Super Bowl system?
Pats/Titans: Eskimo Up! The Pats did just enough to win, but that's all that matters. My buddy Matt quipped that maybe Drew Bennett deserved to have the Gatorade dumped on him (due to the 4 degree weather), but, on the same token, he did have two key catches to keep that drive alive. Once again, Steve McNair can only carry his team so far. And is there a more clutch guy out there than Adam Vinatieri? When the Pats had the ball late, I had no doubt they'd be getting a sure 3 from the drive. (and with that, watch for a key miss from him or Mike Vanderjagdt next week)
Colts/Chiefs: Kansas City was also a team on the decline (or did the media just stop covering them after the 9-0 start and after Dante Hall cooled off?). This game featured little defense, go figure, and that's how I figured that KC had a chance in this one. However, the Indianapolis offensive machine just kept marching, and they'll try to keep it going next week.
Packers/Eagles: The Packers, like the Rams, were a "good enough because there's nobody better" team to this point. But, Philadelphia silenced the critics once again, playing a full 60 minutes (and even more). I thought that the winner of this game would be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Carolina would come in tired, but with two overtime teams going into the NFC championships, this could be interesting.

ND Alumni in the Playoffs Report
The comprehensive list.
Javin Hunter: DNP, injured
Gerome Sapp:
Tony Weaver: 1 Game, 3 Tackles
Bert Berry: 1 Game, 1 Tackle, 1 Assist
Steve Beuerlein: DNP, injured
Jarious Jackson: DNP
Tom Lopienski: 2 Games, 1 Catch, 2 yrds Rec, 1 TD
Hunter Smith: 2 Games, 0 Punts, several nice holds
New England
David Givens: 1 Game, 4 Catches, 26 yrds Rec
Kansas City
Jordan Black: 1 Game?
Rocky Boiman: 2 Games, 1 Tackle, 1 Assist
Craig Hentrich: 10 Punts, 40.4 Average, 63 Long, 6 Inside 20
no players
Kurt Vollers: 1 Game
Green Bay
Brennan Curtin: 2 Games?
Tony Fisher: 2 Games, 2 Rushes, 9 yrds Rush, 4 Catches, 25 yrds Rec. Unfortunately, his hold cost Green Bay crucial field position late in the game.
Jim Flanigan: ?
Paul Grasmanis: 1 Game
Tyreo Harrison: DNP?
Bobby Taylor: 1 Game, 3 Tackles
no players
St Louis
Jeremy Akers: 1 Game?
Joey Goodspeed: 1 Game, 1 Catch, 9 yrds Rec
Shane Walton: DNP?

ND Men's Basketball
After a solid showing against Nova, the Irish came out strong against a flat Pitt team. However, things started to fall apart towards the end of the first half, as a 31-24 advantage became a 31-30 halftime lead. Then, the team started playing Breyball. I'm not criticizing Mike Brey as a whole, I'm just saying that Mormon Bachelor Party could out-rebound the team just because we know how to box out. OK, maybe not MBP, but at least UBUF. I'm just getting a little sick of us being "the only finesse team in the Big East." Our 3's almost got us back in it, but poor free throw shooting combined with Pitt remembering that they're a physical team spelled doom for the Irish. Thomas started well, and Quinn had a hot streak at the end, but where was Francis? Was it just Pitt's size? Tough loss. The men need to start winning these ones.
Random notes I scribbled into my new Palm Pilot during the 1st half:
Which team are we? Are we trying to blend in with the Pitt students?
Bill Rafferty on Tom Timmermans: "Good screener, capable rebounder." A good description. I especially liked the word choice of "capable." Nice booty screen in the second half, too.
When did Torrian Jones get good? Oh, 3 games ago. Play like this for 4 years, and you may find yourself at the end of the bench in a place like Atlanta or Golden State (speaking of Golden State, see below).
My favorite play of the night: Thomas races up the court, then pump fakes like he's about to airball another stupid three. Then, to everyone's amazement, he passes! Way to know your tendencies and use them to your advantage.
Taft - cocky freshman. Good good. He's a little on the skinny side, so hopefully the big bodies will knock him around in league play.
At least Zvackas is gone, but I guess that Demetris is his replacement.
That Brown guy was 35 years old last year! Is he in his 18th year of eligibilty now?

ND Women's Basketball
Trailing VPI (that's VaTech for the newcomers) 20-16 at the half, the Irish went on a 22-7 spurt and outmuscled the Hokies to a 53-40. Leading the way were Jackie Batteast and Theresa Borton, with help from Katy Flecky, Le'Tania Severe, and Megan Duffy. The Irish currently are leading the UConn Huskies 33-26 at the half, let's see if they can hold on.

Warriors: Remember Brian Cardinal, the balding 40something guy from Purdue? Well, apparently Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy weren't enough to make up for the loss of Bob Sura, so now Cardinal plays for the Warriors. Who knew?
cavs/Lakers: Shaq and Malone out + Kobe gets hurt + 11 point first quarter lead = 10 point loss. Dah. If Austin Carr (now one of the local color commentators) wants to start talking playoffs, the Cavs need to win games like this.

That's it for today. Join us tomorrow for the Transaction Wire - Rocket and Vlad and Raffy oh my! Later, we'll look at my book report on Leahy's Lads, and that NDNation thing I promised, which turned out to be not as big as I originally thought.
Don't forget to keep the HOF discussion alive, and if you have any ideas for 2003 year end awards, let me know.