Monday, February 07, 2005

365 Days Later

Well, it's been a whole year since I started this blog, and in that time I've written about my disdain for Chris Duhon (my very first post), why I thought the Steelers would be foolish to take a quarterback with their first round pick in last year's draft (I was very Bayless-esque on that one), how the Steelers might manage to eke out nine wins in 2004, insight into why Sox fans hate Derek Jeter (and also why Kevin Millar is a nerd), and circumstantial evidence showing that Manny Ramirez is really from Mars and Rashad McCants is actually a robot (OK, I made the last sentence up).

If I had to make a top-10 list of my favorite topics the last 12 months, I'm guessing it would look something like this:

1. Mark Madden. I've spent wasted more time disputing Madden's inane rants than I have on probably any other topic. I think part of the reason I do it is because it's easy; Madden seldom writes something that make sense. It's also fun coming up with chubby-like nicknames for Madden (I'm taking suggestions).

2. Mark Madden. see above.

3. Chris Duhon. Since the 2003-04 season ended, I've tempered my distaste for Duhon. And in fact, I don't really dislike him. What I really disliked was all the media types who were hailing him as one of the best players in college basketball last season. In fact, things got so bad, that I actually wrote a post predicting what an NBA team could expect if they were desperate enough to draft him. And while most of what I write can kindly be described as misguided, this little mini-study from February 11, 2004 wasn't that far off the mark.
As an NBA player, Chris Duhon's three year averages are predicted to be:

*Points per game: 7.1

*Assists per game: 5.0

*Assists to turnover ratio: 2.7

*Field goal percentage: 42%
And when you consider Duhon's numbers with the Bulls through 44 games this season, I actually look like I know what I'm talking about:
*Points per game: 4.6

*Assists per game: 4.8

*Assists to turnover ratio: 2.8

*Field goal percentage: 32%
Not bad. Almost 400 posts and I actually get one right.

4. Chad Scott. Much of what I wrote about Scott was prior to the 2004 season. When he wasn't injured, he had his best year in quite a while. And unless he's willing to take a big paycut, I might not get to talk about Scott in 2005.

5. Manny Ramirez. Here's one guy you never run out of things to write about. Whether it's the fact that he's best buddies with Millar, or speculation on his upbringing on Mars, there's seemingly always material.

6. Kevin Millar. You knew this was coming, right? Millar has made a career out being a buffoon and hitting 20-odd homers a year down the left field line.

7. Plaxico Burress. Almost everything I've written about Plax has been laudatory -- primarily because almost everyone else has been criticizing his play since he arrived in 2000. Well, that and I want him to re-sign with the Steelers.

8. Rashad McCants. McCants is another guy that has gotten a bad wrap for his on/off court antics (and some of it is well-deserved); still, other than spreading rumors about him being a robot, I've tried to accentuate the positive with McCants too. Of course mimicking the throat slash makes it a little harder, but hey, it's my burden to bear.

9. Jeter & A-Rod. My very first post was about why the Red Sox didn't need A-Rod, and given how things turned out, I'm actually glad he ended up in New York. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected A-Rod to supplant Jeter at the top of the "Yankees I hate the most" list. But as the season unfolded, that's exactly what happened. Thanks for the memories A-Rod. Of course the only thing to sully the A-Rod spectacle, was the Schilling-calling-out-A-Rod spectacle. But hey, like Steven Wright said, "you can't have everything, where would you put it?"

10. Mark Madden. Just for completeness.

Here are some other random stats from the last year of this blog:
# of posts: 374

# of words written: 193,714

# of rational points: 1
OK, the first two are true, but the last one might be a slight exaggeration. Anyway, one of the things you find out when you stare writing things down, is that often times (a lot of times, actually) what you thought might happen, doesn't. The funny thing is, real sportswriters are wrong virtually all the time, but they seldom (or never if you're talking about guys named Bayless or Madden) admit as much. Of course, if it weren't for all the myopic media guys changing their minds, I'd have nothing to write about. So, as long as they keep penning ridiculous columns, I guess I'll keep writing stuff too. And who knows, maybe in the next year, I'll string together two or three posts that actually make cogent points ... but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Finally, I'll leave you with this comment someone left just the other day:
For your sake, it's a good thing the Steelers lost. If the Steelers had won, then after UNC took care of the formality of winning the NCAA Championship, you'd have had FBI agents crawling all over you.

What, do you control the weather too from your secret lab in the center of your mountain?

"Why am I still in solitary confinement, 53 days after being pulled over for a 'busted taillight'?"
Good point -- and one I've considered. But if the Heels, Sox and Steelers did indeed pull off the trifecta, I probably would have instead started a blog called "I win a billion dollars, buy the Yankees and Pats, turn them into the Cleveland Indians from 'Major League', and retire to a tropical island." I know it's kind of wordy, but I'm sure it'd be worth it.