The NBA Draft

We go balls-to-the-walls here at BartCopSports for the NFL Draft, but
we completely ignored the NBA Draft. And here's our excuse: I don't
know any of the players. Neither do you, and really, neither do th
analysts, who just learned how to pronounce some of the foreign players'
names on Monday. With this many high schoolers in the draft, I just have
no idea whether a team made a quality pick or not. No one did. The NBA
Draft is now the world's most expensive guessing game. It's no
coincidence they have a lottery to determine the order. Because that's all
this draft is, a big gamble.

I'm not gonna sit here a pretend I have any idea whether Tellfair will
become a great player. He may, he may not. If I had a pick, I think i
would have wanted Livingston, a 6'7" point guard who is supposedly a
complete stick figure. Once again, I don't know. but tall point guards
with good court vision are tough to find. Hell, decent point guards of
any size are tough to find. Get him in a weight room and hope he fills
out. Seems like a decent gamble to me. Or take Jameer Nelson.

I'm not among the Chicken Little Chorus who believes that high
schoolers should be banned from pro sports. Heck, if you're good enough, go
forth and sign a pro contract. Let's stop the sham that is the NBA's
free minor league, the NCAA. No one really complains about high schoolers
signing baseball contracts, but that's because baseball has a
development system for them called the minor leagues. Players aren't rushed
into the top league right away, they are given some time to develop away
from the public spotlight. Both the player and the team benefit, as the
player gets professional instruction and the team can hold on to a
player a little bit longer. As the NBA exists now, drafting a high school
player is like training a player for another team.

Get off your cheap butts and create a minor league system.

posted by Poseur 6/25/2004 05:12:00 PM

England got hosed.

I'm not English soccer's biggest fan. Beckham is an extraordinarily
overrated player, perhaps the most overrated athlete in any sport ever.
Every soccer fan on earth is thankful they finally chucked their
outdated long ball attack and have focused on a little more creativty and
flair. They are making strides. The thing is, English football just
isn't as good as they like to think it is. They simply are not an elite
team, as much as they like to think of themselves as a power. They are a
level below the truly dominant teams, and are in that group of really
good squads, but not the elite. You know, the same circle the United
states travels in. Yeah, I daid it. US soccer is just as good as
English soccer. Now, their domestic league is worlds better, but that's
because they get players from across Europe.

But I digress.

So, it is from this decidedly non-English standpoint that I say,
without equivocation, England got royally screwed. They got screwed like an
Enron executive in a maximum security prison. They got screwed so hard,
I was waiting for Jenna Jamison to show up. I'm not talking the
Italian conspiracy theory level of whining, I'm talking about a legitimate
hose-job. England scored the go-ahead goal. It was in the net, yet it
was called back due to interference.

Are they kidding? It was a mad scramble in front of the net. If
anyone was fouled, it was Campbell, the goal scorer. To wipe out the
potential game winner on such a questionable call is the hieght of poor
officiating. Even on slo-mo replays, I didn't see the foul on England.
And I wanted them to lose! Even as someone (tepidly) supporting
Portugal, I was outraged by the call, which would eventually give us the
dreaded penalty kick shootout. In this game's defense, it was pretty cool to
see the goaltender score the game-winning goal for Portugal.

All right, let me say nice things about Portugal right now. Their
coach, Scolari, has got guts. Down by a goal, he took out his team's best
player and captain, Luis Figo. Even better, the move worked, as the
sub scored the tying goal. He even left Rui Costa on his bench for most
of the game, putting the midfielder in late to wreak havoc without
worrying about playing with the incompatible Figo. His fresh legs scored a
goal in OT, though the lead didn't hold up. What I like, aside from
his moves working so well, is that Scolari took big chances. Had those
moves backfired, he'd be uneployed right now. The biggest problem in
international soccer is teams playing not to lose, but on his home soil
in a pressure-filled match, Scolari played to win. Sure, he got help
from the officials, but it's nice to see a team rewarded for throwing
caution to the wind.

posted by Poseur 6/25/2004 05:11:00 PM



Golf is in a hugh surge of popularity while tennis is sinking. americans just don't care about the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club like they do about the US Open. So, here's a few reasons why tennis is better.

1. It's more athletic. I'm sorry, the most athletic thing in golf is carrying the bag, which they make the caddies do. the second most athletic thing is attacking the spectators when they take Tiger's photo, which also, the caddies take care of.

2. It doesn't take as long. Watching the final round of the US Open requires a good six hours. Wimbledon's final will take about two, maybe three hours. About as long as a football game. And it has the added bonus of being on the morning, so I can watch in my pajamas.

3. It's actually an international sport. If there's one thing we like here at BartCopSports, it's truly international games. Soccer is the ultimate. Cycling is a slugfest between the Spanish, Italians, and French which an American always wins. Tennis is a truly international game, so much so that the US is just another country that plays. golf has the illusion of being international, but half of the field at least is American so it's really America vs. World not America is just another team. And look at the majors, THREE are on American soil. Tennis? Only one.

4. It's not so damn boring. You've seen one golf shot, you've seen them all. I'm sorry, but bowling is more exciting of a TV sport. The camera angle may be static in tennis, but there is always movement.

5. Martina Navratilova is cooler than Arnold Palmer.

posted by Poseur 6/23/2004 01:40:00 PM

Italian fans claim fix

When Mike Panucci watched the Euro 2004 Italy-Bulgaria match, it wasn't just a soccer game. It was family business.
The 36-year-old said he is related to Italy's central defender Christian Panucci, his second cousin on his dad's side. So when Italy won the game and was still knocked out of the tournament due to a tie in the Denmark-Sweden game, he was understandably depressed.

"I'm sad, pissed off, mad," said Panucci, 36, with tears in his eyes as he sat in Scarfo's on College Street. Like many of Italy's supporters, he believes Sweden and Denmark struck a deal to both stay in the tournament.

"It was fixed. It comes down to politics and I say there's money involved."

Just shut up.

The real lesson so far of EURO2004 is that the best soccer nations on earth aren't that far ahead of the lesser powers. At least in Europe. If any nations have a right to complain about the officiating, it is the smaller nations, particularly Latvia. But the minnows know they don't get the breaks. Such is international football.

But Spain and Italy are going home. Germany or Holland will join them shortly. I don't want to say the Guard is changing, but the smaller nations can't be pushed around. anymore. they are good enough to play on an equal footing, making the Euro Cup the most difficult tournament to win aside from the World Cup itself. Maybe it's even harder, no one gets to play some team like Egypt.

posted by Poseur 6/23/2004 01:35:00 PM

Italy cries foul.

Franco Carraro, president of Italy's soccer federation and an executive EUFA board member had this to say about his team's fortunes...'There is no doubt that the way the Denmark-Sweden game developed shows that the two teams were aiming for a draw. Of course, proof of that is hard to find,' Carraro, 65, told Italian television.

It was bound to happen. After Italy was eliminated from the European Cup yesterday, it was just a matter of time before someone made an ass of himself. Italy failed to advance despite going undefeated in round one. Two draws and a win over Bulgaria were not enough. That's because Sweden and Denmark also had two draws and a win each. The difference is in goals scored. Sweden beat Bulgaria by 5. Denmark beat them by 2. Italy beat them 2-1. So the Italians can cry all they want, but if you want to advance, try scoring more, or even beating your rivals.

Run home and cry to mama!

posted by uberschuck 6/23/2004 10:49:00 AM


Greece & Portugal advance

Perhaps we should call it “Group Choke.” That’s because the Greeks advance to the second round despite losing to Russia 2-1. Portugal beat Spain 1-0 in the battle of underachievers to win the group with 6 points.

Russia runs past Greece, but Greece goes to the second round.

Russia scored in the second minute, and then again in the 17th minute. But Greece did manage a crucial goal later in the half. Meanwhile, Portugal threw everything they had at Spain, Nuno Gomes picking up the lone goal in the 1-0 win. Portugal won the group with six points—wins over Russia and Spain. Greece and Spain each had 4 points on a win, draw, and loss, but the Greeks scored more goals in the tournament and claim second place in the group. Russia can be relieved that they salvaged a win, but the Spaniards go home empty again.

Spaniard fans know their team is #1.

In the quarterfinals Portugal will play the runner up from Group 2 (France, England, Croatia, Switzerland), and Greece will play the winner of that group. With the Greeks losing to Russia, I still don’t have much confidence in them. Of course, the Portuguese still have the reputation of chokers, but they do have one huge advantage. Any team that plays them has to beat them on their own home field.

posted by uberschuck 6/20/2004 07:15:00 PM

Goosen beats Mickelson for US Open title

You didn't really think I'd write about golf in a sports column, did you?

posted by uberschuck 6/20/2004 06:59:00 PM

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