Monday, January 21, 2008

Above the Fold - Detroit weekend in review

Michigan and Michigan State basketball - I heard a rumor that Michigan State and Michigan both played over the weekend. But it's an unconfirmed rumor, as their games were nowhere to be found on my TV. Head to Spartans Weblog and UMHoops for their views on the rumored games I don't even know were being played.

Thanks a shitload, Big 10 Network...

Terrelle Pryor - Did you hear the the nation's number 1 QB recruit was in A2 this weekend?! That the future of Wolverines football hangs in the balance?! If you believe the hype, Pryor's committing to Michigan will allow Rich Rodriguez's offense to hit the ground running. (Pun intended)

MGoBlog has the latest on the Pryor visit, and opines what most fans are thinking...

Pryor obviously wants maximum drama and is going to get it on Signing Day.

The kid definitely knows what he's doing, and is milking his recruiting for all that it's worth. Miking it to the point of annoyance, actually...

Helping with the mega hype, Angelique Chengelis at the News says Pryor was "impressed."

"I went to a basketball game, and they chanted my name and all that," Pryor said. "The fans were real nice, and the players I met seemed cool. And coach Rodriguez has brought his entire staff with him from West Virginia, so nothing is going to change. That's the offense he wants to run and he'd like me to run it."

He said he was impressed by Mike Barwis, the new strength and conditioning coach.

"I liked how they do their lifting and conditioning," Pryor said. "That impressed me."


Christ, recruiting has to be a soul-sucking endeavor. How hard must it be for a 40 something year old man to cozy up to a snot-nosed, no-nothing 18 year old kid, in order to do their job? No wonder big time college coaches are paid insane amounts of money. You can stand quite a bit of humiliation caused by the whims of a teenager for $2.5 million a year.

Detroit Pistons - The Pistons are in the dog days of the season, and playing like it. With their playoff spot practically assured (Book it now, 1st in the Central, 2nd in the East), the games don't mean much of anything.

So I'm not going to get all up in arms over the Pistons losing to the awful Bulls on Saturday night, and their 5-5 record for January. Neither is the the News' beat writer, the blog hating Chris McCosky.

Despite a 5-5 lull this month, the Pistons' 29-12 record at the mid-point indeed is second only to Boston in the NBA and it's the third-best 41-game mark in team history. They had an 11-game winning streak, are 14-4 at The Palace and posted impressive road victories at Boston and San Antonio.

As for the Chris Webber saga? Conventional wisdom says the Pistons are still thinking seriously about adding the older physically than his actual years Webber. Matt at Detroit Bad Boys say not so fast, the Pistons would need to clear a roster spot. That's not as easy as it sounds...

I’ve kind of held a simplistic view that as soon as a team offered a pair of second-round picks, Murray would be out the door. But who’d make that deal? Not a team looking for cap relief (duh, you only get cap relief by dumping a bad contract, not trading picks that don’t actually cost anything), and probably not an actual contender (since Dumars most likely wouldn’t trade with an Eastern team and nobody in the West seems to be interested). I suppose Brezec has a touch more value simply because of his size/position, but it’s basically the same conundrum.

At this point, why even bother with Webber? He's got less tread left on his legs than the rear tires on the car I drove in high school. (Big V8 power is a wonderful thing, but rough as Hell on the rubber...) I'd hate to see Joe Dumars break up the bench, just for the sake of adding a bad kneed big man who's going to bitch about playing time.

Detroit Red Wings - Much like the NBA, the NHL is in their dog days. For the Red Wings, who are, just like the Pistons, assured of their playoff spot (Book it now, 1st in the Central, 1st in the West), it's the same old same old. They continue winning.

The Wings shook off their own mid season malaise, and last week's 3 game losing streak, by beating Vancouver Friday, and San Jose on Saturday. Inspired by the Sharks putting up little resistance, the snarky A2Y is already looking at playoff matchups...
Four months ago, if you’d told me our first round opponent could be any of the following six, I’d have been mass producing stress train tickets at a discount price: San Jose, Vancouver, Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, Calgary.

Now? Only one team presents an opportunity for pain, in my opinion. And if the Wings can somehow beat Luongo, they’ll fall too. I’m thinking the first round brings with it a team that wouldn’t be there if the playoffs started today: Phoenix.

And they’d be easily dispatched just like Denver or Dallas would be. Calgary? Not so easily. Minnesota? Mildly more difficult than the Dive or Stars.

San Jose? You thought the Wings were dancing in Marty Turco’s head? Yeah, but he’s only one guy. The Sharks entire organization is now officially...affected.

Baroque at Hockeytown Todd
says it's not just the NHL dog days, but dog days for hockey bloggers as well. Thus, a rant on bickering hockey fans!

Because your team is worse doesn’t make you a better fan – it just makes you a fan of a worse team (for this season, anyway).

Associated pet peeve: Arguments about whether a fan who boycotts a team with poor management is a “truer” fan than a fan who keeps attending games and supporting the team because he wants to support the players and doesn’t really care about the front office machinations. If you care about the team, you are both fans – stop bitching about who is purer of devotion. It’s a waste of energy when you can both be making up trade rumors to bring the missing piece to your team for a bag of pucks, four broken sticks, and a gimpy minor-league winger.

God damn straight! Couldn't have said it better myself. There isn't a more inane argument than "Who is a better fan?" A better discussion to have is "How do we save the NHL from itself, and from total irrelevancy?"

Detroit Tigers - The closest thing to a story regarding the spendy Tigers was Brandon Inge's personal appearance to sign autographs, and do a meet and greet, at a Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game Friday night. The media showed up, hoping to get Inge's thoughts on his current status, and why he wants to be traded, but he smartly refused to talk. I'll let Bless You Boys fill in the details...

If there was a bitter note to last night's appearance, it's that Inge didn't speak with the media last night. David Mayo criticizes him for that in today's Grand Rapids Press, and was far too harsh about it, if you ask me. I'm not really sure what he was expecting.

What could Inge really have said? We already know what his preferences are. He wants to be a starting third baseman in the major leagues. Would it have been nice if he talked about possibly playing a super-sub role or maybe even moving back to catcher? Sure. But what if he hasn't even worked that out in his own mind yet?

I don't blame Inge for not talking. Truthfully, no good could come of it. The Tigers are trying their best to unload Inge, as per his request, but they aren't going to give him away for pennies on the dollar, either. Inge could play a very valuable role off the Tigers' bench. In fact, he has more value to the Tigers as a super-sub, than he would as a below average hitting 3rd baseman for any other team.

As Ian says, the time for Inge to speak will be in Lakeland. There will be no avoiding the media in spring training.

Detroit Lions - There's not much to report with the Leo's. When it comes to the Lions, no news is the best news of all.

After the strangely scheduled presser last week, called nearly 3 weeks after kicking Mike Martz to the curb, introducing Jim Colletto as offensive coordinator and KIPPY! as the passing game coordinator, the Lions have gone quiet. Especially Matt Millen, who's in stealth mode, becoming as reclusive as Howard Hughes. His not appearing at the presser says volumes, that he's scared to death of facing the media. His public crucifixion will have to wait for the NFL combine at the earliest, as Millen has to show up in order to scout wide receivers...

That's "Above the Fold" for Monday, 1-21-08!


  1. Al, dammit, your e-mail is broken again. Query, if, as the Freep reports, that RR hasn't signed that 2.5 million contract (with a 4 million buy-out, and we've seen how that works), with a base of 300 thousand per, why doesn't Barnacle Bill the Sailor just tell him thanks for the thought, here's your pro-rated 25K, hope you have a way to pay back WVU, and good luck with that D-line job with the Vikings? This just keeps getting more and more embarrassing to the whole damned state.

  2. If Pryor does not come to Michigan then I blame RR for taking him and the rest to watch that disturbing specatcle known as UofM basketball. How can a team with such a lack of enthusiasm and talent possibly motivate or inspire Pryor? I'd rather him watch the women's doubles tennis squad or even intramural bowling..

    Great stuff today Big Al.

  3. I'm not sure what's up with the email, Unc. I'll look into it. I bet Captain Billy is thinking the same thing...

    They should have taken Pryor to see Cloverfield, has to be more entertaining than UM hoops!

    Thanks Jon!