Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Random Stuff

First off, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the southeast US. I can't even believe what we've seen happen there the last few days. On one happy note, as I was watching the storm, I was thinking about Brett Favre's family everytime they showed scenes from Gulfport--as I know he's from around there. Turns out that everyone in his family is ok, despite not evacuating (honestly can't believe people would hang around if there was any way possible to get out), though his childhood home is destroyed. Could've been a lot worse.

One last note about Katrina, according the New York Daily News, the NFL has not ruled out playing the Saints home opener on Sept. 18 as scheduled. No words here. The mayor says it's going to probably be 2 months before power is back on at least, but they think there's some way that they can fix the roof, put in new turf, and have the stadium ready in 3 weeks? That doesn't even address the question "Who would be there to watch it?" Granted football isn't the biggest concern right now, but it will be interesting to see how the NFL handles this situation.

Alright happier stuff now...As mentioned first pretty much everywhere before here (been helping the chica move in the last few days), Michigan got yet another commit for the incoming class of 2008, in David Wohlberg, another center from Honeybaked. Tbarr from The Wolverine says it's not a certainty that any of these players will accelerate but I have to believe that if all 3 of them make it to Michigan, we won't have to wait til 2008 to see at least one of them, especially if Wohlberg and Czarnik play for the NTDP next year as MaizeOut said they might. That'd give them 3 years in the USA system before they come in to Michigan, and as Peter Mueller decided, that might be too many. But, the fact that at least two of the three might be good enough to play for the NTDP as 15 year old is a promising sign for Michigan's future (not that I was worried) if they ever make it to school.

Erica Lucero is a sophomore at USC and is writing articles throughout the season for ESPN Page 2 about the Trojans' run at a third straight national title. A couple of things from her article about Matt Leinart's status as Big Man on Campus.

It is in this adoring display that we find the true answer to the question about why Matt Leinart gave up going to the NFL for another year: The guy is royalty at the most fanatical football school in the world.

USC fans are hard core. By some teams' standards, you're a faithful fan if you attend a few games a year. That just doesn't cut it here in South Central. We love our football, and missing a game is sacrilegious.

Now, I'm not going to do something silly like say that it is actually Michigan that is "the most fanatical football school in the world", but USC? Weren't they all Cal fans until a few years ago? Whatever, it's cool. Just don't forget to cut the tag off your jersey, Erica.
One other thing that made me laugh in that article:
In the end, it comes down to this: Who would want to give up his superstar status? Leinart would have gone to the 49ers, a mediocre -- at best -- team that is not in immediate need of a quarterback.
#1) The 49ers are not and were not mediocre at best. They won 2 games last season, both in overtime against Arizona. That's about as close to 0-fer as you can get.
#2) Not in immediate need of a quarterback? Looks like they front office disagreed when they, ya know, drafted Alex Smith #1 overall. I'm not sure in what universe having Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey makes you "not in immediate need of a quarterback".

Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg as still no closer to signing with Detroit according to the Detroit News. Datsyuk may have a self-imposed deadline of...well....tomorrow, or he'll sign with a Russian team. Datsyuk told a Russian newspaper that the length of the deal is the holdup--the Wings want him to sign a 5 year deal and he wants a 2 year deal so he can be a UFA. Holland says the Wings have offered him contracts ranging from 1-5 years. But apparently they're also not close on money either. Reports have Datsyuk seeking close to $5 million a season, even after Milan Hejdrunk signed with the Avs for less than $4 million per. Under no circumstance, if I'm Ken Holland, do I sign him to a $5 million a year deal. That's the type of deal that could cripple the team, especially if he doesn't keep improving. I'm sorry, but 1 30 goal season and 1 all-star apperance does not warrant a $5 mill per deal. Especially when Hejduk has 4 30 goal years and a Rocket Richard Trophy and he got less than 4. Try and get him signed short-term for something reasonable and let him go become a UFA if necessary. He ain't going to find $5 million on the open market unless he improves substantially, and gets away from disappearing in the playoffs.

As far as Zetterberg goes, the Detroit News article says he's looking for $2 million+ on a long term deal. If that "+" keeps it anywhere close to 2 million, they're crazy to not go ahead and lock him up. If they can get Z signed for 5 years and $12 million or somewhere around there, that's going to look real smart in a couple years. Kid's a player.

Even though neither of the Detroit papers have mentioned it, at least not that I could find, I believe that Maurice Evans officially became a Piston yesterday, since the Kings didn't match Dumars' offer to him. Good signing for cheap. Could be another steal for Joe D. They also landed Dale Davis while I was on vacation. Good signing there too, and an upgrade over Elden Campbell. Plus they took him away from Indiana, so that's an even bigger relative gain, with respect to the Pacers. He averaged 7 and 9 for the Pacers down the stretch...could be a big help off the bench, especially if Darko keeps looking clueless.

Lastly, in a very funny (to me--and all my friends--at least) incident in Ann Arbor, the house my buddy rents was destroyed when a runaway crane slammed into it. Don't see that everyday.

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