Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back Only to Ramble

  • Notre Dame alumni on the move in the NBA: Troy Murphy was traded from Golden State to Indiana, a move that in a short five games has seen an improvement in minutes, rebounds, and scoring. Meanwhile, Matt Carroll has played his way into the starting lineup for the Charlotte Bobcats, as part of a small lineup that features two guards, two small forwards (including Carroll, unless you count him as a third guard), and Emeka Okafor. Carroll is averaging 11 points per game, and has scored more than 20 points six times since December 29. Carroll is also shooting an impressive 90% from the charity stripe, and 40% even from beyond the arc.

  • Current ND basketball player not going anywhere: Kyle McAlarney was suspended for the semester after a drug-related arrest. A straw poll shows that this punishment seems to be in line with similar offenses by non-athletes, so it is good to see Notre Dame walking the walk. (There was a brief discussion about this on the message board, for those interested.) Despite rumored interest from Michigan State, Xavier, and Virginia, McAlarney will apply for readmittance into ND when his suspension is up at the end of this semester.

  • Senior Bowl: It wasn't quite the Irish-centric spectacle Notre Dame fans had hoped for. Jeff Samardzija didn't play after committing to baseball, and Brady Quinn sat out with a knee. Ryan Harris had a poor showing in one-on-one drills. Rhema McKnight was praised for his hustle, but was said to lack top-end speed. Victor Abiamiri had a VA-like performance, good but not jaw-dropping.

  • Samardzija knows baseball: Jeff Samardzija did give up football for a baseball-only contract with the Cubs. He said he was following his first love, and I certainly admire him for that. The fact that someone is paying him millions of dollars to follow that dream doesn't hurt, either. Samardzija, who is still more potential than polish on the mound, may be added to Chicago's 40 man roster soon. While I'm sure many Notre Dame fans would have loved to see the Shark remain a two sport athlete, the their were certain realities that needed to be faced. At his current weight, he's two wiry to go over the middle in the NFL (even at 6'5). However, if he did put on weight and muscle mass, it could have negatively affected his ability to pitch. (I know, I know, tell that to CC Sabathia....)

  • Back to basketball, this time with brackets: CollegeRPI.com currently has the ND men ranked #44, and a projected 10 seed in the tournament. The women are projected at #33 and an 8 seed. While the men's record is 3.5 games better than the women's, the women have the edge in strength of schedule, 27 to 112. Of course, that number is due to improve for the men in the Big East, while the women are likely to drop with Tennessee and UConn already behind them on the schedule.

  • You can call me "That Guy": The message board had a lively discussion on music video cameos. Feel free to join in, or to vote in the new poll off to the right.

  • On the subject of music: Rodgers and Hammerstein may be a darkhorse for "Best Week Ever," as two of their songs from Sound of Music are being earwormed at every term. They're that car commercial featuring "So Long, Farewell," and of course the Gwen Stefani song featuring "The Lonely Goatherd."

  • The Moondog is rolling in his grave: Are Stefani and Fergie just toying with us? Do they know that they'll get radio and TV play no matter what crap they put out? Perhaps. Pop radio stations need to start taking some chances. Instead of looping the same payola-screaming songs over and over, why not take chances? Alicia Keys? John Legend? Even throw in a little Ted Leo? Is Spoon still cool with the hipsters? Aren't there a million other underground hip artists that I'm not even cool enough to know about?

  • 200+ days til football!: As you can see, the countdown clock is back up. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to set up pictures counting down to my favorite holiday, Pitchers and Molinas. Boy does Yadier look hitterish in that picture. Only two weeks til baseball.