Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rivalries Should Not Be About Hate

Respect the Other Fan When You Can

As a Navy fan I do not hate Army.  I respect Army.  I respect their sports programs and I know their players, like Navy and like Air Force, are a group of over achievers who always give the maximum effort on and off the field. 

Why are other rivalries not built this way?  Why can't a Bama fan respect an Auburn fan for being loyal to their own program and no matter whay they think about the other school demonstrate the respect they want in return for being a Bama fan?  Vice Versa also.  Same for Red Sox and Yankees, OSU and Michigan, Georgia and Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Louisville.  Wouldn't be great if the fans respected each other like Borg and Johnny Mc. 

Because somehow, some way their are people that tie your fandom to intellect is the main reason I see this occur.  One group is not smarter then the other or because one resides in a rural area and one is in the city does not mean squat.  Let's face it you are allot of times born a fan of a team and it is rare that a fan evolves although it does happen. 

Take me for example.  I am a die hard St Louis Cardinal Fan.  I was not always.  In 1982 I was for the Brewers because I was a big fan of Robin Yount. 

In the 70's I knew I hated the Yankees, somewhat influenced by my mom but I was not a Reds fan and my mom was for sure a big Reds Fan.  I liked the Dodgers, because my grandfather did but a west coast team was just not for me.  I loved the A's, because who does not like a winner and they A's were all of that in the 70's.  I loved the Red Sox in 75, because of Fred Lynn, Jim Rice and Yaz and I always seemed to follow the Pirates because of Stargell and Dave Parker. 

In 1985 my Lieutenant and one of my buddies I was serving with in the Navy were both Redbird fans and their early season discussion got me in the boat (pardon the pun) as to be honest baseball had become very secondary to me.  Of course the 85 season for St Louis was a good one and even though it did end on a sour note I was now hooked.  I never game the Redbirds any real consideration in the 70's, probably because that was a lost decade for the franchise but now that is my team period!

I was born a Kentucky fan.  My mom and I always listened to both football and basketball games on the radio and of course UK had good teams in both sports in the 70's so it just never left me.  I have to admit there was a time in the mid 80's while being stationed on the East Coast that I had become a big Duke fan but that was more of a dig at UNC then anything.  I also was a U of L fan up until I moved to Louisville and after living here for a couple of years just grew to dislike members of their fan base based on comments and elitism they sometimes displayed.  Of course it is not all of them but the I have reached a level of intellect by being a U of L fan over being a Kentucky fan is just ridiculous.  At the end of the day they are just a bunch of rednecks just like the UK fans and IU fans and all three have their share of people who are completely over the top. 

I of course became a Navy fan because of my service.  No I did not go to the Academy but those people at the Academy represent the Naval Service on and off the field and their are always graduates each year who started out in the ranks for the enlisted men.  I love the football team and I take their wins in ecstasy and losses in against just as I do the other teams I follow. 

Lastly.  Why am I and my brother both Bama Football fans?  You know I have know idea.  When we were kids we watched Bama and I always liked everything I read or heard about Bear Bryant.  They also were winners and of course that never hurts.  Although I do not take their losses as hard I am as into their game when watching or listening as I am UK, St Louis or Navy. 

The point is at the end of the day get rid of the hate and respect that a person is a fan whether they are a fan of your school or not.  Try when you can to take the high road when the fan of another team starts to dig at you because that does demonstrate a level of intelligence that the other fan or fan base may not demonstrate.  If you cannot do that then just pretend the other fan base or team just does not exist.  That seems to work the best for me as you cannot hate on something that does not exist.  ;o)

Sounds good and it works some of the time but like all fans I have my point of no return.  I do tweet some negatives from time to time but that is only after I have usually heard some comment that has set me off or recently read a Pat Forde article that is based on wishes and innuendo.  Allot of the time it is also intended as humor but if you are on the other end that is not the humor you want to hear. 

Every fan base has that guy, or that group and when a person is a fan base denies that they are just completely out of touch with reality.

Joker Phillips

Now that I have taken this all in I think that Joker just never had a chance at UK.  He was to nice a guy, had been the guy the players looked to as a buddy and that is why it always makes it tough to go from the Lieutenant to the Captain. 

Joker's style was just never going to make it at UK.  Coach Brooks had some success playing this style but he had two teams that in my opinion very much underachieved because week in and week out that style for Kentucky is just not going to hold up in the SEC. 

Joker wanted to play smash mouth football where you ran the ball and threw it when you needed and that is the opposite philosophy of what it takes at UK in the SEC.  You must throw it and run the ball off the passing game by getting your skill players spaced properly by spreading the field and making sure you have allot of pace (no huddle, etc).  UK is and was never just going to line up and blow an SEC team off the ball. 

Joker also never established a defensive philosophy.  UK's defense under Joker was bad, really bad and there was not stability on that side of the ball.  This hurt Joker's tenure severely as it seemed to get worse and worse as things wore on through the Vandy game this year when it became obvious it was just over for Joker and hist staff. 

Joker is a good position coach (I question his ability as a play caller based on some of the things I saw him do as OC) and he is in the right place to renew his career.  Being the receivers coach at Florida is a good place to be and with some luck he can work his way into the OC role at some point.  I still think Joker's ultimate destiny is to be and OC in the NFL where the pro style will work. 

I wish the man allot of luck. 
  • Ohio State and Kansas busted my brackets. 
  • Just an awful tragedy with the U of L player who broke his leg.  You never want to see something like that happen to a player ever! 
  • Tubby Smith left UK because he just was not the right type of personality for the program.  Tubby was a good guy and a great coach but he just wanted to coach and it just takes a bit more at UK.  I think Minnesota was a great place for Tubby and I think they made a mistake in firing him.  However where is the media crying racism like they did when he resigned at UK?  Tubby will have a banner hanging in the rafters at UK.   
  • Vitale.  Your time has passed.
  • I just don't get Mike and Mike or what the appeal is but for me that is ESPN in general.  I am not in their target market cause I am old. 
  • I am just not surprised IU lost.  To me Zeller was slow and the guard, #1 just did not look like a guy who was going to help lead that team to a championship.  They were talented but just did not to me have that knock out power.  It is yet to be seen to me as to whether or not Crean is the guy who takes that program back to a championship level.  Cuse = bad match up for any team.  I do feel bad for my boss and one of my buddies who is a big IU fan. 
  • There was supposed to be parity in college basketball and based on the Final Four I would have to say that is accurate statement. 
  • Just make a decision on the Anchored Putter and let's move on!  I really have no opinion but I never feel like an opponent has an advantage with this style of putting. 
  • I may be one of only a few but I loved watching the WBC this time. 
  • Bama has had some off the field issues but I think that Saban has things under control there.  To win three championships would just be amazing. 
  • Still taking in the Stoops thing.  I still cannot believe UK got him and I think he has an aggressive and hungry staff.  I have not been this excited going into a season for football since 2007 and 1977 (yes I knew UK was going to be good then even though I was only 13).  The up tempo is what we need and that is where he is going with this team!  We are not Bama we are Kentucky in football so you have to do something different to compete in the SEC.  
  • Ryan Harrow is making a good call.  UK's program will have some stability in the next three years with their team and I feel pretty strong that Cal will lead UK to another Championship.  Cal may return to the NBA at some point. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Best Putter Ever is not Me


Tiger, Jack or Jones

Paul Azinger recently tweeted out that no doubt that Tiger Woods is the best putter ever period. 

I am in no position to argue with the former Ryder Cup Captain but I will give it a shot.


- Jack won 18 majors coming from behind in 8 of those 18 wins.

- Jack won two US Am.

- One of two players to achieve a "triple career slam" i.e. winning all four major championships three times in a career, the other being Tiger Woods.

- Nicklaus made 39 consecutive cuts in major championships starting at the 1969 Masters and ending by being cut at the 1978 PGA Championship. In this span he won eight times, was runner-up seven times, and had 33 top-10 finishes. This record of consecutive cuts made in major championships was equaled by Tiger Woods at the 2006 Masters.

- Nicklaus holds the record for most runner-up finishes in majors with 19.

- Nicklaus holds the record for most top-five finishes in major championships with 56.- One of two players to finish in the top five in all four professional major championships in two different years (1971 and 1973), the other being Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005). Both players finished in the top four in all four majors once (1973 and 2005, respectively). However, it should be noted that Bobby Jones won the "Grand Slam" under the old configuration in 1930 and Ben Hogan won all three of the majors he was able to play in 1953.

- Nicklaus holds the record for most top-10 finishes in major championships with 73. This is 25 and 27 more than the next players Sam Snead (48) and Tom Watson (46), respectively.

- Nicklaus finished in the top-10 in his final three professional major championships as an amateur (second in the 1960 U.S. Open, seventh in the 1961 Masters, and fourth in the 1961 U.S. Open).

I remember a quote from a documentary about his 86 Masters when he was on 17 of the final round that stated, "Here is a guy who has made every big putt he ever faced could he somehow make one more." That was followed by the infamous call of, "Yes Sir" and of course Jack then staring at the heavens.


- Jones is the only player ever to have won the (pre-Masters) Grand Slam, or all four major championships, in the same calendar year (1930). Jones made a bet on himself achieving this extraordinary feat with British bookmakers early in 1930, before the first tournament of the Slam, at odds of 50–1, and collected over $60,000 when he did it.

- Jones represented the United States in the Walker Cup five times, winning nine of his 10 matches, and the U.S. won the trophy all five times.

- He also won two other tournaments against professionals: the 1927 Southern Open and the 1930 Southeastern Open.

- Jones won seven professional major championships, as an Am

- Jones won five US Am and one British Am with his lowest margin of victory being 7 of with 6 to play which is incredible.

- Jones did not spend as much time working on his game as professional then or now and of course played in the era of hickory shafted clubs.

- Jones's four titles in the U.S. Open remain tied for the most ever in that championship

- Jones retired from competitive golf at the age of 28. He would have won many more championships had he played ten more years.

- Jones did return for one last competitive tournament, the 1934 Masters (of course the tournament he founded) and finished T13.

- Jones played in 31 majors, winning 13 and placing among the top ten finishers 27 times.

As for Tiger you cannot argue with what he has done from Junior Am all the way through his major championships record.  Had Tiger not had the personal issues and injuries he would have a few more majors.

To me what puts Jack above Tiger is of course the number of majors won but even if Tiger catches Jack the number of second place finishes by Jack trumps both him and Jones as greatest putter ever.

As for me my top five players of all time considering who they were and their accomplishments:

1. tie, Jones & Jack

3. Woods

4. Hogan

5. Hagan

These five players completly dominate the golfing landscape for periods of time like no other players ever. I think had Greg Norman not been so snake bitten in the majors he could be a person who could crack that list, which some people would really argue but of course ahead of Norman would be Snead, Palmer and Player.

College Basketball

This has nothing to do with John Calipari!

I have to say that I am at a point now where I watch Kentucky play basketball and that is about it for me. I really prefer to listen to the games on the radio.

#1 - On occasion I will have a game on while I am running on the treadmill but I refuse to watch any game where Vitale, Knight or Dykes are part of the telecast. (That is Jimmy Dykes not dykes in general).

#2 – What we are watching today is not basketball. The inside game is completely gone with the three point line. In the Men’s game you have a post player and then four guys running around the perimeter. Denny Crum was right when he said it would ruin the college game and he was right. Move the line in college back to the NBA line.

#3 - Denny’s mentor, John Wooden, once stated that if you want to watch pure basketball watch a women’s college game and he is spot on as I have watched a few this year and it is more the type of basketball I like to watch.

#4 – One and done is just out of control. I hate it period, end of story! College basketball needs the baseball rule that if you go to school you stay three years (meaning a player can go straight to the Pro’s out of high school). Making college a one year stop over is just a complete joke and the NBA needs to change this rule.

#5 – The hate that is cast on the University Kentucky and its fan base by opposing fans (especially two of the local fan bases) is beyond ridiculous.

#6 – The national media’s obvious hatred of the University of Kentucky.

#7 – The national media’s totally unfair and biased portrayal of Coach Adolph Rupp based on innuendo of opinion of Adolph Rupp vs. facts! Many of Rupp’s coaching methods are still used today (I like that Coach Cal grasp this fact and makes an effort to remind the current Kentucky team what Rupp really meant to basketball and University of Kentucky and basketball).

And then there is this From the Masses

From earlier in the year:

- Probally little white kids all over Lex with a flat top.

- Vanderbilt won the SEC Championship, not Kentucky. So, how can Kentucky repeat as SEC Champs?

- i give coach Calicheater another 2 years before he is exposed as he really is...a cheat. kentucky fans are used to being under sanctions..shouldnt be a surprise.

- When Calipari gets caught they have all a been pretty big but when they bust him for Kentucky it will be HUGE . Can't wait to see how he is getting away with it this time .

- it's pretty obvious that the tobacco chewing hillbillies from Fayette County have it all figured out and are keeping it a secret. They are probably discussing what the real punishment should be over their collective breakfasts, consisting of biscuits (from scratch of course) grits, salt bacon, head cheese and mason jars filled with whole milk. Then they will go jump on the scales and scratch their heads in amazment and celebrate that they have only gained 39 pounds since March Madness.

- what happened to Wiltjer? Why he only tried 3 points. He was a 5 star recruit two years ago and he wants to stay at UK at least for another year?


- Chickebutt fan says to IU fan, I hope that our teams are in the final because that will really piss UK fans off even more. #We do not give a shit! Still cannot understand why Chickenbutt fans are as focused on what UK is doing or not doing as they are their own team. The reason that when I moved to Louisville I was somewhat of a fan but now I just pretend as if they do not exist. #Little Brother syndrome.

- UK’s had an off year but I still do not think that the number nine will be as tough to win as number five and six were. Eight was somewhat tough.

- Jack Givens’ overall performance in the Final Four, he played in two, continues to be ignored year after year. Take away Givens 18-27, 41 game performance and look at his other three games. Two would be the dream of any final four players and the third was sub par (Ship in 1975) which is one of the reasons UK does not have nine championships now. As for multiple final four appearances by a non UCLA player, Jack’s is the best. When you throw in the UCLA dynasty Givens is still top five! Another Kentucky media bias fact.

- Pat Forde, The coach after Eddie’s media Boy Toy, has some crazy notion that the UK basketball program as its lowest point since probation which shows how far his head is up the aforementioned coach’s head. Part of his logic has to do with the Chickenbutts starting out in Lexington like it is some big crazy deal to UK fans. He also fails to mention that UK’s run last year started on the aforementioned team’s home floor and that was not big deal either.

- Forde also is talking like because of how UK played this year Cal’s recruiting methods are completely flawed. WOW! Cal is 3 of 4 in his four seasons, 75% is the way I see it and because of winning it all last year I give the coach a pass for this year. Bad group of kids, not bad coaching, bad recruiting or bad philosophy this year. Forde is wishing vs. being objective which is why he no longer works at the Courier Journal or ESPN. #Get your head out of the Coach after Eddie’s Ass Forde!

- Anymore, I think it has to do with time; other interest and a renewed focus on working and earning I keep up with only UK Sports, Navy Football, the St Louis Cardinals and SEC Football.

- Man I miss the Finebaum show!