Category Archives: Beyond Seattle

Beyond Seattle: Individual Power Rankings

Our second installment of the week’s five most powerful individuals. Enjoy.

5. Michigan football fans. Nearly a year ago you managed to persuade the administration to go out and get West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez and bring him to Ann Arbor. Now, 11 months later, you’ve managed to effectively punch Rodriguez’s ticket out of town by provoking him with personal attacks. When asked how he felt about the intense online scrutiny he’d been receiving in blogs and on message boards, Rodriguez responded by telling Michigan fans to”get a life.”

Bad move, Rich. It’d be one thing if a) you were playing at a smaller school b) you weren’t making a ridiculous amount of money c) the Rich Rodriguez era hadn’t kicked off with a $4 million settlement between your current and former employer d) you were winning e) you were improving f) you hadn’t sent your most talented players to other schools on transfers g) you had a quarterback who was, you know, good h) you weren’t a little shady to begin with i) you actually looked like a guy with the last name “Rodriguez,” but no, it’s none of those things, and we’re only halfway through the alphabet.

Of course, Rodriguez is only in his first year, so he still has a decent chance at finding success. But things are looking fairly grim and he’ll have to deal with a large group of powerful, impatient, victory-starved fans in the process. I’d say Rich Rodriguez’s days in the Big House are all but numbered.

4) Donnie Walsh. Despite his resemblance to a dead guy, Walsh, in his first year as president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, managed to unload two of the team’s biggest headaches in separate deals when he traded forward Zach Randolph and guard Jamal Crawford on Friday. This can essentially be equated to getting all the women and children off the sinking Titanic: it may not fix the entire problem, but it’s a decent start.

Walsh kicked off the whirlwind day by sending the underachieving Crawford off to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for talented forward Al Harrington. Harrington became an expendable part for the Warriors when he fell out of favor with head coach Don Nelson and found his way to the bench. A good deal for both sides, as each player should thrive in his new environment.

Next, Walsh managed to find a taker for Randolph’s fat ass and contract by packaging him with the epitome of an unwise decision in Mardy Collins (unwise in that he was a 2006 first-round draft pick of the Knicks, when his value equates to that of an undrafted free agent). Like trout to metallic spinners, the Los Angeles Clippers were the ones to foolishly bite on an inanimate object when they opted to take the chance on Randolph and his salary. Perhaps they were seduced by the one-time first-round pick Collins, or more likely, maybe they were hoping to get rid of expiring food from the team kitchen. In any event, they didn’t give up much in the gamble, sending the most rapidly aging man in the world (Tim Thomas), and the number one guy you wouldn’t expect to be starting for an NBA team but in fact is (Cuttino Mobley) to play in Madison Square Garden.

Walsh has a good shot at working himself up to the top of this list next week if he can just find a solution to the whole Eddy Curry-Stephon Marbury-Jerome James-Jared Jeffries-Quentin Richardson-Malik Rose problem.

3. Roger Goodell. The commissioner of the NFL can seemingly ban and reinstate players in his sleep. This week, he chose to reinstate oft-banned Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones. Not that you’ll hear any complaining from Jones after this turn of events, but it seems like these days if you so much as appear in public off the gridiron, Goodell will be watching you.

Seriously, tabloids can’t even cover NFL players anymore. The last thing I can remember making major headlines is the whole Tom Brady boot incident in the weeks leading up to the Superbowl last year, and that was way back in January.

I guess we can say that Goodell is doing a good job cleaning up the league, but it’s almost overkill at this point. The NFL is starting to lose its bad-boy edge and is beginning to gain a Bill Belichick-esque shroud of eerie mystique instead. I don’t like it. I can understand trying to rid the game of repeat offenders and guys that really don’t get it, but Goodell has an unlimited standard for what qualifies as grounds for suspension. Amongst the group of very insecure individuals that NFL players truly are, the one thing not needed is one more thing to fear.

2. Barack Obama. The whole eight-team playoff idea is getting out of hand. There’s a good chance that Obama could have based his entire campaign off of bringing down the BCS and probably still won. If you’re part of the BCS, you have to be a little nervous at this point. As former steroid users can attest, the combination of sports and politics is a caustic one with far-reaching repercussions. Can we take down the BCS? Yes we can!

In modern history there has never been a president (president-elect, in this case) with such a distinct tie to sports. Ok, so George W. Bush used to own the Texas Rangers, and a few ex-presidents were college athletes, but beyond that sports talk hasn’t been able to penetrate the White House walls. Obama, meanwhile, is a former high school basketball player that still plays pickup; has a brother-in-law coaching a major Division-I men’s basketball team; is an avid Chicago White Sox fan; has a fantasy football team; and not only knows what the BCS is, but wants to defeat it like the third-cousin of Osama Bin Laden. To top it off, he continued his “Sports in ’08” tour this week by pitching the idea of a 2016 Chicago Olympiad to the IOC. He’s an all-around sports nut.

*On a loosely related side note, I have this idea for an Irish pub called O’Bama’s. I think it could do real well. It’s a catchy name. Just picture that header with a clover inside the ‘O.’ It’s perfect.

1. Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq showed just how powerful he is this week by knocking everyone down that crossed his path. He kicked off the festivities by assisting teammates Matt Barnes and Steve Nash in a game of push-n-shove with the Houston Rockets, toppling Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady in a made-for-YouTube moment last week. Then earlier this week, the Diesel went tractor-trailer on Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, using his flying mass to send Stuckey to the hardwood.

There are really no words to fully explain the development of the actions, so CLICK HERE to see the pushing video, and CLICK HERE for the Stuckey video. Enjoy.

Beyond Seattle: I didn’t know you couldn’t do that.

So Donovan McNabb found out that games can end in a tie over the weekend, and ESPN is trying their hardest to turn this into news. Attention media: this isn’t news. The last NFL tie was six years ago and I guarantee you it’s not on ESPN Classic. Ties are supposed to be relegated to soccer and Europe. Ties should be on Homeland Security’s watchlist under “things that should never penetrate our borders.” And yet in the very sport to top all American sports, we had a tie on Sunday, a “Euro victory,” if you will. Ridiculous.

Does the media hate all black quarterbacks, or is it just McNabb? Keep in mind, McNabb is the guy who raised this issue when ESPN’s Rush Limbaugh Experiment backfired and Rush said some things about black quarterbacks (especially McNabb) that he probably now regrets. It seems like any time McNabb does something that could even remotely be construed as dumb, the media is there to make an example out of him and his actions.

Did you know that Frank Gore couldn’t read when until he got to college? Yeah, it’s true, but you don’t hear the media making a big deal out of it the way they do with McNabb’s blunders. “We’re here reporting live today at The Keg, where Niners running back Frank Gore just had trouble with the word ‘salisbury,’ which probably dates back to his days at Miami when he couldn’t read, yet somehow managed to get through university courses…” It’s things like this we should be covering.

The only time I’ve heard about Gore’s illiteracy was a few years ago (I think it might have been during the ’02 Fiesta Bowl, when Maurice Clarett ran free for the last time) during an in-game halftime special. Whichever network was broadcasting the special turned it into a sentimental, Lifetime-type story, complete with the sad piano playing, sepia camera tones, and interviews with the little people who taught Gore the alphabet. And yet nobody ever questioned how Gore got into a major college and passed a few classes before literacy kicked in. Amazing.

Anyways, McNabb’s ignorance on ties is irrelevant. Everyone should be ignorant about ties. Ties are dumb. If the world revolved around ties, then we’d all be Communist. Think about that the next time you watch soccer.

Beyond Seattle: OSU Basketball, No We Can’t!

The Oregon State Men’s Basketball team went on the road to Howard last night and dropped a close one, 47-45, to the Bison. After the game, Beaver Head Coach Craig Robinson issued this quote about the state of his program:

“It won’t take me 20 months to turn this program around” Robinson said. “It’s going to take longer than that. This is different. We have to recruit some better players, we have to get better at what we’re doing, and we have to change the culture from losing to winning.” (The full context of this quote can be read here: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recapgameId=283190047)

Continue reading Beyond Seattle: OSU Basketball, No We Can’t!

Beyond Seattle: Individual Power Rankings

As part of our “Beyond Seattle” section, we will be featuring weekly Individual Power Rankings that take the five most powerful people in sports over the past week and rank them accordingly (in descending order, starting with #5). Unlike team power rankings, the IPR’s will feature only individuals. Enjoy.

5. Antonio McDyess. Continuing a trend becoming more and more popular amongst old guys in the NBA, McDyess told the Denver Nuggets he didn’t want to play for them despite being traded to the team along with Chauncey Billups and Cheikh Samb in exchange for Allen Iverson. Rather than force McDyess, a one-time Nugget, to join the team, Denver instead released him, thus allowing him to sign with whomever he wants. Should NBA teams really be encouraging players to act as insubordinate employees? I mean, in what other profession do we see such disobedience rewarded? It’s an unfortunate circumstance that won’t stop until NBA front offices just say no.

Continue reading Beyond Seattle: Individual Power Rankings

Beyond Seattle: Nick Swisher sadly acquired by Yankees

Welcome to Beyond Seattle, SSN’s section of articles devoted to topics of interest that extend beyond our fair city. Here at Beyond Seattle, we will offer opinions on topical sports-related events that are happening right now. As with all our articles, we want you, the fans, to be able to weigh in on the conversation as well. Feel free to voice your opinion in the “Comments” section directly underneath each article. Enjoy!

Former Chicago White Sox Outfielder/First Baseman Nick Swisher was acquired by the New York Yankees today in a trade that sent utility infielder Wilson Betemit and two minor-league prospects to the North side.

While such an obscure trade wouldn’t ordinarily cross our radar, the departure of Swisher–an entertaining, enjoyable goofball who truly loves the game of baseball–to the vortex of somberness that is the New York Yankees organization is a major disappointment for any fan of the game. Swisher may be approaching his 28th birthday on paper, but in spirit he’s a rowdy pre-pubescent kid who approaches his day job the way R. Kelly approaches junior high schools (had to get an R. Kelly crack in there somewhere).

The former Oakland Athletic turned Chicago White Sock has been known for his clubhouse antics, free-flowing hairdo, and unique facial hair designs in his five-year Major League career. In addition to his off the field behavior, Swisher has earned praise on the field for his all-out hustle and patient, studious approach at the plate. A former first-round draft pick of the A’s, Swisher is a guy who has dedicated himself to the fight against cancer in his spare time. He’s been known to shed his trademark locks every few months for Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, an organization that takes hair and turns it into free wigs for cancer patients.

With the shift to the Bronx, all of Swisher’s habitual goofiness is at risk of extinction. If the medieval grooming rules barring facial hair (beyond mustaches) and imposing a maximum length on tresses of the cranial variety don’t subdue the affable lefty, then maybe the funeral-like solemnity surrounding the ballclub will. This is the very same organization that destroyed the career of a once-entertaining Jeff Weaver and removed the raucousness from a pre-Arm and Hammer-endorsing Jason Giambi. This is Steve the Pirate at the end of Dodgeball, cleaned up, mature, and very, very ordinary.

Hopefully the Yankees allow their new acquisition to be an exception to the rule. Let him keep growing his hair for a good cause. Let him carve artwork into his beard. Let him inject some life into a clubhouse of stiffs. Baseball is a game that is losing fans on a daily basis, and having trouble gaining new ones. The Yankees, for all their marketing success, are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Baseball needs more players like Nick Swisher, and the Yankees could use an attitude like his to spread some cheer throughout the team.