The Memphis/Tennessee contest last Saturday lived up to the hype, with a truly wide open tempo for nearly the entire game. Both teams are averaging over 80 points per game for the season and while the game's 66-62 result might have cost some bettors on the over/under, it did nothing to detract from the intensity and drama of the contest itself. The Tigers began with a flurry of 3-point shots that refused to stay away from the bottom of the net and both teams ran up and down the floor like the Phoenix Suns on key bumps. Tennessee has to be elated that while Chris Lofton didn't have a huge game, Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince both picked up the slack and wouldn't let the Vols leave Memphis without the win. The Tigers' Derrick Rose (a Freshman phenom that will continue to impress) held Memphis aloft as they began to flounder a bit down the stretch.

I still say Memphis's (man that doesn't look right, should it be Memphis'? No, that's right. Anyways...) free throw shooting is going to end up costing them in the tournament, and I think it will happen sooner rather than later. They will assuredly be one of the top four seeds, but I smell an upset when it comes to the Tigers. Coach Calipari continues to assert that his guys will make free throws when they need them, but against Tennessee, a 1 v. 2 game that early on presented itself as a contest where every point mattered, they still didn't manage to crack 50% made on their attempts from the line. I can see an early round opponent playing them closer than they expected and a free throw to seal the game caroming out and leading to a breathtaking last second loss. The field of 64 is built on the early round upset and I think Memphis is on its way towards such a fate.

As a side note, Coach Cal is one of my favorite coaches to watch on the sideline, the dood runs the gamut of emotions like no other from sheer exasperation to fuming rage to laughable disgust. Even though it is quite difficult to look sillier than the guy that coached against him on Saturday. I don't think I will ever get this image fully removed from my head Bruce Pearl. You haunt my dreams.

The game was a perfect example of what has been a great college basketball season thus far, and does little for me to clear up who the number one through four seeds in the NCAA tournament are going to be. Tennessee seemed to have solidified itself as the number one overall with the victory over Memphis, but after their loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday and with the parity among the other top-tier teams, it's sort of a crap shoot for who gets the No. 1 seeds. I think a lot of teams can make the case they deserve a number one, with the four most likely to come from a field of North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee and UCLA. In fact, three or four of the aforementioned squads are vying for the overall No. 1. It should be a great tournament, can't wait to fill out my ONE AND ONLY bracket. (I'll speak more on that in March)


As an Ohio guy, I'm stoked that Lebron James finally got the Cavaliers' brass to shake things up a bit with a three team deal that landed them Wally Szczerbiak, Joe Smith, Big Ben Wallace and Delonte West. I think West will be a more apt court general than Booby Gibson and will free the latter up to be more of a shooter and scorer, a role he is much better suited for. Szczerbiak is the kind of knock-down three point shooter that Lebron has been waiting to kick out to and Wallace and Ilgauskas are a pretty formidable interior. The Cavs look a lot better inside and out now and while the West is still stacked to the hilt with better teams than the East, Cleveland has at least brought its chances at making a run for the Finals up a bit. The Celtics and Pistons should be concerned about where they end up as far as seeding now, because neither wants to run into the Cavs in the second round. Especially Detroit, who felt the Cavs' wrath last year and will probably have unending nightmares about the one man show King James can put on when he gets in the zone.

A quick comment that it's a damn shame that Yao Ming will be out the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his foot, because he was having a career year and is one of my favorite guys in the NBA. He's as classy as he is good and the Rockets have to be wondering what the hell is in the Houston air, because neither Yao nor T-Mac can seem to stay healthy for an entire season. I titled my blog Bo Jackson's Hip as a comment on the uncertain nature of life as a pro athlete and a human being in general and Yao is yet another example of how quickly things can turn around in sports and in life. I think the Rockets are out of the West playoff picture, with a small chance to hang on to the eighth spot. Tough luck for a team that I had meeting up with the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Now I have to worry about watching the Spurs make a finals run again. Bo-ring.


Can't really hold in my excitement about Barack Obama anymore. I don't think Clinton can catch him at this point and he is headed towards a general election that he has a great chance at winning. It's incredible how far he has come so quickly and how comfortable he is with being the front-runner now. I guess I could make this sort of sports related with an analogy, because Obama reminds me of a high-school star athlete. Surrounded by hype at a young age, ascending quickly to the top of his draft class, cashing in on his hype and honing his talent very quickly, and now poised to dominate his lane before any of the old guard saw him coming. He's making the veterans of his game look old and slow, with the Democratic debates becoming a forum for him to show off his style and oratory prowess against the continually flailing Hillary. He has revitalized a party and a country from the roots up in a way that I have never witnessed. I think this is how our parents felt about the Kennedys, Jack and Bobby alike, and I can't believe that he's moved from that bright-eyed prospect at the '04 DNC to a possibility at the presidency in just 3 years. Amazing.



I’ve been out of commission for the past few days, battling a cold and cough, so I haven’t been into posting. Here’s my version of catching up.


The Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night was a lot of fun to watch. I haven’t seen that level of creativity and flat-out athletic ability at the contest in a few years. Dwight Howard proved that a big man can win this event, with four dunks that were as impressive as they were original. The Superman cape was a cool idea, even though I don’t know if I would call what he did on that particular run an according to Hoyle “dunk”. Dood kind of threw it into the basket from up above; impressive, but not really a dunk. It still looks unbelievable though.

I actually thought his first dunk of the night from behind the backboard was the best of the contest, with Gerald Green’s birthday cake dunk being the second best. A lot of creativity in the Green dunk and Howard’s move was the most impressive slam dunk I think I’ve ever seen someone do. Howard obviously deserved the win, I guess my only beef with the contest would be Kenny Smith yelling the entire time on the play by play. Relax Kenny, we know that Howard’s dunks were out of this world. I shouldn’t have to adjust the volume on my TV while you yell the same shit you were saying years ago when Vince Carter had a similarly dominating performance at the dunk contest. Chill and let Charles talk more, if you say “IT’S OVER” or “LEAVE THE BUILDING” again, there won’t be enough Barkley to make up for your screaming.

By the way, there was a video floating around on YouTube before the contest even aired that was sponsored by Vitamin Water where Dwight Howard does a couple of the dunks he did Saturday night and a bit of clowning with his boys. Track it down for more impressive stuff.

The All-Star game itself, to which the Dunk Contest was only a prelude, was equally impressive. I said before that I think it’s the single most entertaining All-Star game, and I think my opinion was vindicated on Sunday. The game came down to the last minute of play, with Ray Allen burying three triples and driving the lane for an easy lay-up down the stretch to seal the win for the Eastern Conference. I think he deserved the MVP, even though by the numbers Lebron’s performance was a bit better. I’m splitting hairs though, the game was entertaining and fun and I wish every sport could bring this level of competition and style to their All-Star festivities.

Also, it was great to see New Orleans rally around the event as well. The level of grief and devastation that the city continues to endure is heartbreaking to say the least and even though it’s just a sporting event, the All-Star game brought some revenue and tourists to a city that’s having trouble holding on to its NBA franchise because of the economic situation in the area. I still say that while Iraq is a debacle of the highest order, the most enduring scar that George W. Bush will leave on this planet is the post-Katrina landscape in New Orleans and other areas of the south. Can you imagine what those areas might look like if we spent a quarter of the war budget on rebuilding after Katrina? It makes me sick to my stomach that our military was being misused and so much money was thrown away into the desert, when both could have been used to increase our efforts exponentially in helping the country rebound after such a terrible disaster.

I digress. Back to the NBA.

While I mentioned in my previous post that Kobe would miss the All-Star game and perhaps have surgery, an obscure NBA rule made it necessary that Kobe start the game, even though he only ended up playing three minutes. Kobe has also decided not to have surgery, which is a good decision for the franchise and a truly gutsy move by 24. He has to be in pretty much constant pain on the court and he has made an amazing decision to suck it up and continue to be the leader on that young team. He dropped 41 on the Suns tonight and shows no signs of such a significant problem with his shooting hand. He is for lack of a better term: the man.

I also mentioned that the Jason Kidd deal would get done, despite some stumbling in the logistics of the trade. It did go through, but with a slightly different configuration that allowed the Mavs to keep Devean George (who was initially blocking the deal) and Jerry Stackhouse and pull a quick sign and trade with the semi-retired Keith Van Horn. Van Horn by the way, gets the sweetest deal of all, making around $4 million to come back for about 2 months worth of work. Professional sports salaries continue to baffle me. Van Horn has to feel like he just won the lotto.


Quick comment that I'm pretty hyped about the Memphis/Tennessee game this weekend. It will be cool to watch a 1 v. 2 game this late in the season, with both teams from the same state no less. The stat of the season has to be that while Memphis hasn't lost a single game thus far (they're 26-0), they are DEAD LAST in free-throw percentage. That is a ranking of 341st. How is this possible? Anyways, should be a great game with a lot of scoring, can't wait to watch.




The Congressional hearings only made me a little less trusting of Clemens, with his status as a liar and a cheat pretty much confirmed by the things he and others said about him. He’s throwing his wife under the bus about her use of HGH and is now saying that Andy Pettitte’s statement that he and Rog talked about his HGH use was a case of his buddy “misremembering”. He sounds like another Texan with an ego problem with his word choice, although unlike the majority of Bushisms, that is actually a word. Chip’s comment about the Daily Show skewering the party-line questioning from the Republican and Democratic members of Congress is very interesting. It seems that party politics even leak into the way people perceive what the Rocket has been up to.

Clemens even makes that weasel Brian McNamee seem honest and trustworthy, even though keeping dirty needles, gauze and vials of HGH is just downright weird. In his defense, McNamee claims he did so because he mistrusted Clemens, which is something he and I see eye to eye on. The other thing that just blows me away is that Clemens refuses to understand how damning what Andy Pettitte said about him really is. Pettitte and Clemens were tight for years in New York and Houston, and you know it broke Pettitte’s heart to have to give up what his good friend had done wrong. Clemens has decided to insult Pettitte by saying that he misheard him and misremembers their conversations, but it looks like the only people that don’t think Roger used anymore are Republican Congressmen and the Rocket himself.

McNamee actually summed it up pretty well when he said that he injected three people with steroids or HGH, two have confirmed it (Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch) and the third is Roger Clemens, who continues to squirm. That’s this story in a nutshell if you ask me.


I mentioned that I would get to the Jason Kidd to Dallas move a couple days ago, so I thought I would throw that in with a couple more quick hits from the NBA.

Kidd to Dallas seems to make sense for the Mavericks. They obviously don’t feel they're a championship caliber team without him and the truth is they won’t even make it out of the West with their roster as-is. Marc Cuban can’t sit back and watch Pau Gasol and Shaq move to two of the West’s best teams and think that his guys have what it takes to stack up against that, with the talent of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets only adding to his anxiety. I think that the move needs to happen for the Mavericks to contend, but it’s a shame to watch a quality guy like Devin Harris have to move to New Jersey and play with that group. Right now, Devean George continues to block the move with his virtual no-trade clause, but I can’t imagine life in Dallas being any fun for him if he blocks this move. The players, ownership and fans will be at his throat for the rest of the year. The trade deadline is February 21, I say this deal gets done by then.

Kobe Bryant is going to miss the All-Star game this weekend and potentially 6 weeks with a torn ligament in his pinky finger. If you know me, then you know I think Kobe is the best player in the NBA and the most incredible athlete the game has seen since Michael Jordan retired. It’s a shame he won’t be playing in what is probably the only entertaining All-Star game in sports, but what’s more worrisome is that surgery seems to loom on the horizon for 24. The torn ligament would be repaired immediately if he wasn’t the core of that team and if the Lakers didn’t have a championship in their sights. ESPN made a good point that only 4 games separate the top of the West from being out of the playoffs entirely and if Kobe’s gone, the Lakers could slide into that 9 or 10 slot. He says the finger swells up every time it gets knocked, but can the Lake-Show really afford to be without Bynum and Bryant for the next 6 weeks? An interesting story indeed.

I think that Monta Ellis of the Warriors is my new favorite player. If you watched the Suns/Warriors game the other night, the kid is a human dynamo. His pull-up jumper is in seemingly every time and he drives the lane with incredible ease. I know that the Suns don’t exactly have the league’s best D, but Ellis was carving them up without breaking a sweat. He’s only 6’3”, but this high-school-to-the-pros Mississippi kid plays like a man twice that size when he’s in the lane. That team on the whole is just too much fun to watch. Baron Davis had an around the back move in the lane in the same game that was bananas and I love watching Stephen Jackson shoot threes, he’s got a beautiful stroke. I think my boy Jeff VanGundy said something to the effect that he wishes the Suns and Warriors could play 15 times a year, and it’s hard to argue with him. Neither team likes to play defense and they shoot the lights out when they’re not fast-breaking the game away. Very entertaining game and I’d watch for Monta to continue to impress down the stretch.

I think that’s it for now. Keep your eyes focused on the Hip because I’m not slowing down anytime soon.




I’m not sure if that’s what this post should actually be listed under, because I’m going to talk about Roger Clemens. For me, the Rocket isn’t a ball player anymore. I’ve been inundated with too many images of him walking around Washington D.C. in a suit to remember that he actually used to throw a baseball for a living. I could try and express just how tired I am of seeing and hearing about Clemens, but I’m not sure what kind of metaphor or analogy would do the feeling I have inside the proper justice. I guess it would be like searching for your car keys for an hour only to walk outside and find that your car has been stolen.

No, maybe the car hasn’t been stolen, but instead your girlfriend is cheating on you with your best friend in the backseat. It’s just got me that disgusted. It’s not so much what the story is all about, but the media’s amazing level of redundancy in its coverage and how this story has become the centerpiece of every sports program on television and the radio. The Clemens saga has been invented by a combination of his ego, the United States Congress and in the end the media, because as a sports fan I can’t believe that this whole situation is actually that big of a deal.

Yes, he is arguably the best pitcher that ever took a mound, but the fact is I don’t give a shit about whether or not he cheated. I don’t care if any Major League Baseball player cheated anymore. The simple fact is that the substances that everyone from Barry Bonds to Rafael Palmeiro to Mark McGwire to Clemens are accused of or have been proven to be using were not tested for when they took them. If they continued to take them after baseball began testing, as in Palmeiro’s case, they got caught and rightly so. But for a large portion of the players exposed in the Mitchell Report they can lean back on the fact that what they did, while cheating and dishonest and in many cases illegal, wasn’t prevented by any statute in the league’s rules.

This is why what Clemens is undergoing and what he has done on his own to try and prove his innocence really gets under my skin. The type of guys that do the wrong thing when they know they can’t get caught are no better than the guys that break the rules and are lucky enough to get away with it. If you’re a cheater, you’re a cheater. If you’re that type of a player or that type of a person, I couldn’t care less about what you want out of the public as far as their perception of your legacy. You sacrificed all of that Roger, when you took what you took. I don’t believe you are innocent, because, well because your trainer and your best friend both say that you used. That’s all this sports fan needs really.

If you think I’m being biased towards Roger simply because I’m sick of seeing this story everywhere I go, you’re a little off. I’m being biased, but it’s because I’ve always suspected that Clemens was using some sort of performance enhancing drug and that I’ve always found him to be a rather scrupulous character on the whole. I have memories from my childhood of him flipping off fans in Boston, I remember vividly watching him throw a piece of broken bat at Mike Piazza, and I am sickened every time some team like the Yankees or Astros throw money at him to pitch and then let him do whatever the hell he pleases, damn what the rest of his “teammates” may think.

The Rocket is always interested in what’s best for the Rocket, plain and simple. I don’t think he gives a shit about the other guys on his team when he signs these mercenary contracts to pitch for a half a season and the playoffs, or only throw at home games or when his son doesn’t have a little league tournament. That makes Roger a “teammate”. He is not to be placed outside of those quotations and the other players on those teams are not his teammates, but simply his coworkers, guys who facilitate him receiving a (unbelievably large) paycheck.

His situation reminds me a lot of what Barry Bonds is going through, and I’m sure that Barry is happy that Roger is here to take away some of the steroid allegation heat. Bonds and Clemens have both enjoyed the most impressive years of their career when players of previous generations have slowed down. I don’t care how much either of them trained more than the great players of the past, if you would have given Hank Aaron and Steve Carlton steroids, I bet they could’ve been great for a lot longer as well. You don’t get better, stronger and faster as you get older; it just doesn’t happen. What Clemens and Bonds have done is gone beyond cheating in their own profession. They are attempting to cheat the American public out of their concept of reality. The average sports fan knows that what both have done on the field is beyond belief, but now they expect us to suspend that belief even further and make us think that they thrived as their age ascended without the help of drugs and substances that were not even tested for by Major League Baseball.

We are not that stupid guys. We do not adore you to that extent. Don’t tell us that you didn’t use steroids or that you only took them because your trainer said it was okay or that “the cream” and “the clear” aren’t really steroids or that your best friend and training partner was using and that you miraculously weren’t. I don’t want to hear anymore about these guys and their innocence or guilt. My common sense tells me that you are a steroid/HGH using, selfish, dim-witted jock Roger and that’s all I need for now. ESPN can give you all the attention that you want, but I’ll probably only pay attention again when you’re being sentenced for perjury in front of a federal judge. That’s the least this do-nothing Congress can get accomplished for me, putting some overgrown jock behind bars and keeping his smug face away from my daily highlights.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, with reactions from the televised hearings along with a few thoughts on the NBA West now that it looks like J-Kidd will be heading to Dallas.




Last night I watched the tail end of two games, nearly simultaneously thanks to my agility on the remote. On the men’s side I saw the Villanova/Georgetown game and on the women’s side I saw Rutgers and Tennessee. The games were on ESPN and ESPN2 respectively and both came down to the wire and were ruined by blown calls and or incorrect time keeping. Now I normally watch women play sports as often as I watch men play golf, but I knew there was history between Rutgers and Tennessee and that any game coming down to a last-second shot makes for good viewing. The end of both games are a good example of the tough calls that officials have to make at times, and in one case the inexplicable errors that still arise when it comes to keeping the time in professional sports.

This shit happens too much. Even the holiest of all sporting events, the Superbowl, saw end-of-the-game clock missteps this year. The Giants’ final drive against the Patriots featured some spotty starts and stops with the game clock that were “corrected” by the officiating crew. I don’t know how they knew exactly how much time to put back or take off, but I digress. The ladies’ game in question came down to a last second put-back attempt by Tennessee’s Nicky Anosike with the Lady Vols down one. Anosike was grabbed from behind by a Rutgers player as time expired. According to the clock however, the time didn’t expire. It froze at 0.2 seconds left, just before the foul occurred. In reality the game should have been over, but the clock said otherwise. Unlike the NFL, college hoops refs have the luxury (and I believe are under orders) to use video to check on last-second plays. So, they checked the replay on video and said that there were indeed 0.2 seconds left.

Anosike shoots two in from the stripe and the game is over.

The call was legit. Anosike was pulled from behind and I don’t care how much time is left, that call had to be made. It’s just a shame such a close game was decided by what turns out to be a terrible mistake in the time keeping. If you’re going to use the video to double-check this sort of thing, then tell me how the refs get this call wrong. You can see the clock freeze, you know the game should be over, but Rutgers still loses. The Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer was rightly put-out by the whole controversy and I commend her for not blowing her stack and screaming the paint off the walls in the arena. Her squad got hosed, plain and simple.

Now, on to the men (you know, the ones who can dunk and actually make an entire game entertaining). The Villanova/Georgetown contest came down to a final shot to win the game as well, with Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds driving the lane to try and break a tie and give his team the win. Doc Rivers’ kid, Jeremiah, played some lights-out D for the Hoyas and forced Reynolds into a bad pass that ended up in a turnover. The Hoyas’ Jonathan Wallace grabbed the ball and started dribbling up the sideline. I’m thinking the kid is going to just run the clock out, he’s almost the entire length of the court away from a reasonable shot, with ‘Nova defenders giving chase. The teams are tied and he’s running his way into overtime. Well, that’s what should have happened. Like the ladies’ game, this game featured a last-second foul call, one of the worst I can remember seeing watching any level of basketball, from prep to the NBA. Villanova’s Corey Stokes gave Wallace a bump with his hips that wouldn’t have knocked a wine glass off a crooked shelf and was whistled for a foul with 0.1 seconds left.

Wallace shoots two in from the stripe and the game is over.

This play had me thinking the ref had a couple hundo on Georgetown or something. Touch fouls like that are rarely called in the middle of a game, but with 0.1 on the clock, game on the line, that far away from the basket? Absolute bullshit. Once again, a classy coach, the Wildcats’ Jay Wright, didn’t throw the fit I would have, and should be commended much like coach Stringer at Rutgers. Even John Thompson III, the Georgetown coach, looked like he just got a kick in the balls when all was said and done. You could tell even he didn’t want to see the game end like that, though he must have been happy with the victory. Winning games is what sports is all about in the end, but I can’t imagine being satisfied with that type of a W.

I’ve heard the “refs have a tough job” argument a million times, and to some extent I agree with that statement. They are however paid very well to do a job, and if they make bonehead moves like the ones at the end of each of these games, deserve either punishment or at least a tongue-lashing by the media. We’ll see what the four talking heads on Around the Horn and my favorite ebony and ivory team on Pardon the Interruption think about all of this, but from my view this sort of ineptitude is truly depressing when it happens in the college ranks. It’s not like the players on these teams can take some comfort in the fact that they have a fat paycheck for their efforts last night. College kids play for their teammates, the coach and the fans--which include the student body of their university. I can’t believe they have to swallow the pill of poor officiating when both Rutgers and Villanova had a game stolen from them that they could have or should have won.


Hello all. I’ve decided to buckle under what is probably imaginary pressure or merely the weight of sheer boredom and start a blog. This blog is an outlet for me to share my thoughts, frustrations and praises surrounding the world of sports, or at least to mainly do that. Since I’ve moved to Louisville, my love for and attention to sports hasn’t waned, but in many ways my discussions of what I watch and listen to have. I left behind some dedicated sports fan friends in my hometown and I no longer find myself getting into two hour grudge matches with people about controversial calls or heated arguments about how many yards Barry Sanders ended his career with.

That being said, I plan on discussing the sports I have the most knowledge about for the most part, but will of course overreach and voice my opinion on things I know very little about as well. That’s the fun part of writing about sports in the first place if you ask me. The bottom line is I feel like I need to let this stuff out and even if it ends up being simply a one-sided missive into the vacuum of the world wide web, Bo Jackson’s Hip is here and ready for consumption.