jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
On 04/08/2013 01:24 PM in NCAA Basketball

THE WELCOMING RETURN OF SPOOKY AND RYAN FROM THE FINAL FOUR MARCH MADNESS IN ATLANTA EXPRESS

So there's just one more game for all the marbles at the Georgia Dome. The 2013 CBB NCAA Championship goes this evening between Louisville and Michigan! It will be awesome to welcome back Marc and Ryan who spend quite a few days away from the forum, but behind the scenes if you follow Spooky on facebook there were some interesting stops and pictures along the way. Saturday night's final 4 action came down to the wire in both games and we feel that Monday will be no diifferent!

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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 01:29 PM

Oh by the way did I mention they also took in a game or three at Fulton County Stadium? Forget about the fact that the Cubbies were swept. Atlanta at 5-1 has certainly gotten off to the start most expected and will likely challenge or perhaps overtake Washington come season's end in the NL East.



Thumbs up to the Nebraska Cornhuskers:
An early candidate for most heartwarming sports moment of the year occurred during Nebraska's spring football game on Saturday.

Wearing a Nebraska jersey and helmet, 7-year-old brain cancer patient Jack Hoffman took a handoff from quarterback Taylor Martinez and left every Cornhusker player in his tracks. Hoffman ran 69 yards for the touchdown, the game's final score, and celebrated with the entire Nebraska team in the end zone.

A crowd of over 60,000 at Memorial Stadium cheered him on, the Washington Post reported.

"It was awesome," Hoffman said afterwards, via Omaha.com.

Back in April 2011, Hoffman was diagnosed with a brain tumor, according to The Daily Nebraskan. He has had two surgeries since and is now on a break for two weeks from a 60-week chemotherapy course, per ESPN.com.

As the video of his touchdown began to make its away around the internet, several reacted to the special moment on Twitter.

@dennisdoddcbs
Dennis Dodd
That Jack Hoffman TD run at Nebraska made it the best spring game ever.
April 7, 2013 6:32 pm via TweetDeck Reply Retweet Favorite

@KNegandhiESPN
Kevin Negandhi
Jack Hoffman. 7 yrs old. Nebraska running back. Touchdown run. Dear Cancer, you will not take away life's great moments. Never give up Jack.
April 7, 2013 4:53 am via Echofon Reply Retweet Favorite

@schadjoe
Joe Schad
Beautiful moment in Nebraska spring game as pediatric cancer patient Jack Hoffman, 7, RUNS FOR TD after handoff from Taylor Martinez
April 6, 2013 9:21 pm via Twitter for iPhone Reply Retweet Favorite

@hajekjames
James Hajek
Wow seeing Jack Hoffman get to run for a touchdown in the spring game is without a doubt the coolest thing I've ever seen #teamjack
April 6, 2013 9:07 pm via Twitter for iPhone Reply Retweet Favorite

@Blake_Lawrence
Blake Lawrence
The run by Jack Hoffman was the absolute best thing I've seen in a long time. I love being a Husker. Wow.
April 6, 2013 9:06 pm via Twitter for iPhone Reply Retweet Favorite

@YorkDukeSB
York Duke Softball
That was the coolest Husker touch down i have ever seen by Jack Hoffman. #teamjack
April 6, 2013 9:10 pm via Twitter for Android Reply Retweet Favorite
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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 01:54 PM

Monday's top ten:
10) The front and rear of a Honus Wagner card, one of 44 released by the American Tobacco company sold for $2,105,770.50 in an online Goldin Auctions sale released April 6, 2013. While the company said the price was a record for a baseball card sold at an auction, a similar card in mint condition was purchased for $2.8M at a private sale in 2007.




9) Clayton Kershaw the first $200M man?
People around the game predict the brilliant left-hander will become the first $200 million pitcher, and there's no reason to think that won't be the case ("I hear they're already over $200 million," one baseball official said, passing along the latest scuttlebutt). Even before Kershaw began this season like the best pitcher in the National League, which he is, the case to top $200 million was strong.

Kershaw, 25, has everything going for him in this negotiation -- terrific credentials, an impeccable rep off the field as well as on (he was the Roberto Clemente Award winner in 2012), and an ultra-deep-pocketed owner. But of course, the price tag also can't be hurt by Kershaw's solid start, which includes a 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA. In 16 innings over two outings so far, he has given up only six hits and a walk while striking out 16. It's almost unfair -- to his opponents on the field and at the negotiating table.

8a) MLB bullish stock market watch:
Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke, Dodgers : The pair of friends are pitching like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale so far, with Zack Greinke allowing no runs in 6 2/3 in his initial start. So together they have a 0.00 ERA too.

b). Chris Davis, Orioles, 1B: Chris Davis first showed signs of developing into a bona fide, reliable power hitter starting late last year when he went on a six-game home run streak in the Orioles' run to the playoffs. And with his hot start this year, he had 11 home runs in 11 games, which was last done by Troy Tulowtzki in 2011, but hasn't been done very often, as you'd imagine. And just as remarkable an even rare, he gathered a record 16 RBI in his first four games.

c) Jed Lowrie, A's, INF: It looked like overkill when the A's traded for Jed Lowrie after they'd already signed Hiroyuki Nakashima, but the second move wisely provided extra depth and versatility to a position of question. The Stanford product Lowrie can definitely hit. The question has been whether he can stay healthy. So far, so good. And so necessary, since Nakajima is the one out. That 1.567 OPS of Lowrie's is out of this world, topped only by Davis' .636.

7a) Bearish:
Carlos Marmol, SP Cubs: We try not to pick on folks who've already lost their job here, but Carlos Marmol is the obvious candidate for the top spot. He lost his closer's job within the first week of the season, which isn't easy. Last year it took him a few weeks to lose it! While he regained the closer job last year, this year he made the choice “easy'' (the word of Cubs GM Jed Hoyer) to replace him. Kyuji Fujikawa is in for him. Manager Dale Sveum said he wanted Marmol in “less stressful'' situations. Sveum didn't say if he meant for Marmol, or Sveum.
Marmol entered on shaky turf, thanks to his walk ratio (7.3 per nine innings) last year. But the capper was the back-to-back homers by the Upton brothers, a great moment in Atlanta though not so much in Chicago. He leaves the closer's job with a 4.80 WHIP. That isn't even acceptable for an ERA. The ERA is an even 27.

b) John Axford, Brewers RP: It's been a rough year for closers all around, and 90 miles to the north of Chicago's North Side team, John Axford is again off to an inauspicious beginning. So far he's faced 16 batters and he allowed four home runs, which is not exactly acceptable. The Brewers have been considering ways to bolster their pen at a time when the offense is depleted due to injuries to Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Braun.

c) Luiz Cruz SS/3B LAD: Luis Cruz gained some notoriety by triggering a fight between Mexico and Canada in the WBC when he whispered to pitcher Arnold Leon to hit Canada's Rene Tosoni with a pitch after Canada tried to run up the score. Not knowing the run totals could count, Cruz then threw two punches in the fight. “I lost it,'' Cruz was quoted as telling the LA Times at the time. He might as well have been talking about his hitting stroke, which is temporarily missing as well. Cruz, who surprised with a superb season in 2012, has started 0-for-17, making this list and beating out Jeff Keppinger, who followed his big spring by starting 1-for-21 on Chicago's South Side. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly benched Cruz for one game Sunday. Let's hope he takes that better than the WBC rules.

6) Texas getting the last laugh?: Though Josh Hamilton banged out three hits to another background of heavy boos and “Baseball Town!” chants as his Angels were thumped 7-3 in the series finale here, his 2013 so far has looked like the continuation of his crash landing in 2012. Hamilton was 1 for 20 with 10 strikeouts before going 3 for 4 Sunday. He finished last season in a .245 skid during the season's final month, striking out 37 times in his last 25 games. Then came an embarrassing 0 for 4 in the Rangers' wild-card loss -- during which he saw a total of eight pitches. By late Sunday night, Hamilton mostly seemed relieved to be headed home to Anaheim. Hamilton wound up going 3 for 12 with four strikeouts during his Texas homecoming. What has him in better spirits heading into the Angels' home opener Tuesday against Oakland is his second and third rounds of batting practice before Sunday's game.

“I kind of fixed my own self, I guess you could say,” he said.

The gist: He hasn't been “coiling up” as much as he needs to during his load and swing.

The Rangers, some of whom agreed that he looked as bad this weekend as he did at the end of '12, are just happy he mostly was rendered ineffective.

5) Can the Lakers hold on to the 8th spot?
Kobe will need more out of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol if the Lakers want to see the postseason. Much will be made of the poetry that goes along with the Clippers clinching their first division title in franchise history on Sunday at Staples Center, at the expense of the true owners of that place, the Lakers. And why not? The Clippers have been the most productive tenant all season, and clearly are the only team from Los Angeles with a chance of advancing deep into the playoffs.

With visions of Blake Griffin dunking in (and on) their heads, the Lakers limp into the final five games of this strange, exhausting regular season a half-game behind Utah for the eighth playoff spot in the West. The Jazz, of course, hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series. So the Lakers need to beat them outright for admission to the postseason.

Five games left for the Lakers: four at home, and one in a place -- Portland -- where they've won only three times in the regular season since 2005 (3-12). In all likelihood -- and to no one's surprise, the way this drama-filled Lakers season has unfolded -- their fate will go down to the wire. With Utah winning at Golden State in the first of its five remaining games, it's quite possible the Lakers will be playing Game 82, at home against Houston in 10 days, needing to play their way into the playoffs.

4) 12 in a row and counting:
Driving to the basket in crunch time, Raymond Felton slipped to the floor and lost the basketball in the process. All he could do was lunge back at it and bat it toward J.R. Smith as the shot clock ticked closer to zero. For the second straight possession, Smith beat the buzzer -- this time with a 3-pointer -- and the Knicks closed out a 125-120 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Smith finished with 22 points, including the two biggest shots of the game. He connected on a 23-foot jumper from the right wing as the 24-second clock expired to put New York up 117-113 with 1:30 to play, then swished a 3-pointer with 56.8 seconds left that all but sealed New York's 50th win of the season. The victory was the Knicks' 12th in a row and put them at 50 wins for the first time in 13 years. They also moved 2½ games ahead of Indiana for second place in the Eastern Conference and moved onto the doorstep of clinching the Atlantic Division title. It was just the 6th home loss for the Thunder, who snapped a string of 21 straight games at Chesapeake Energy Arena that had been decided by double digits 18 wins, three losses.

3) Melting outdoor rink in 2014?
With rumors flying for weeks now that the NHL was looking into a potential game in the hockey hotbed (literally, hot) of Los Angeles between the Kings and Ducks, the smoke is getting thicker. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire -- and in this case, ice. That's because LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen says the possible event is "moving in the direction of happening" and the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott reports that the NHL is very close to finalizing a game at Dodger Stadium and an announcement could come very soon. In addition to a game in LA there would also be a game in New York on Jan. 26, a quasi outdoor double-header. Add that to the actual Winter Classic and a potential return of the Heritage Classic in Canada and we could be talking about four outdoor games next season.

2) Pitino leads the HOF class:
ATLANTA -- Rick Pitino, who will coach Louisville in the NCAA championship game Monday night, is among seven people elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Joining Pitino in the class of 2013, announced Monday, are former NBA stars Bernard King and Gary Payton, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, North Carolina women's coach Sylvia Hatchell, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, former University of Virginia star Dawn Staley.

The inductions will take place in Springfield, Mass. in September.

Inductees announced previously were Edwin E.B. Henderson, a direct elect by the Early African Pioneer Committee, longtime Indiana Pacers guard Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt of Brazil, the leading scorer in Olympic history, Richie Guerin, a star for the New York Knicks in the 1950s, and Russ Granik, the longtime assistant commissioner of the NBA.

1) Louisville or Michigan?
You like offense?

Michigan has the nation's top-rated offense, according to KenPom.com. The Wolverines only turn the ball over on 14.5 percent of their possessions, which ranks first nationally. Their effective field goal percentage is 54.4 percent. That ranks 11th.

You like defense?

Louisville has the nation's top-rated defense, according to KenPom.com. The Cardinals force turnovers on 27.3 percent of opponents' possessions, which ranks second nationally. They steal the ball on 16.0 percent of opponents' possessions. That ranks second, too.

The Michigan star?

That's Trey Burke -- also known as the John R. Wooden Award winner, the Oscar Robertson Trophy winner, the Naismith Award winner and the Associated Press National Player of the Year. The sophomore is widely regarded as the best pure point guard prospect for June's NBA Draft. He's on the verge of solidifying himself as a face forever connected to a team -- like Mateen Cleaves with that Michigan State team in 2000, like Carmelo Anthony with that Syracuse team in 2003.

The Louisville star?

That's Russ Smith -- also known as "Russdiculous" because of a style of play that's sometimes brilliant but often reckless and dumb. When the junior guard is good, almost nobody is better, proof being how he's averaging 25.0 points per game in this NCAA tournament. But when Smith is bad, he's frustrating. Either way, he's undeniably fun.

Just like this matchup is undeniably fun.

No, it's not a matchup most (or even many) projected when this event started nearly three weeks ago. And it probably won't be as hyped as Kansas-Memphis in 2008. And it doesn't have the David vs. Goliath feel of Butler-Duke in 2010. And it won't feature a future No. 1 overall pick like Kentucky-Kansas last season. But it's good. It's really good. It's about as good as this wild and unpredictable season could produce.

Tip-off is set for 9:23 p.m. ET.















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finance Posts:8129 Followers:219
04/08/2013 02:17 PM

Great Stuff JTG! Awesome fill in as usual!

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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 03:01 PM

RIP Annette Funicello:
CNN-Annette Funicello, one of the best-known members of the original 1950s "Mickey Mouse Club" and a star of numerous 1960s "beach party" films, died Monday at a California hospital of complications from multiple sclerosis, the Walt Disney Co. said. She was 70. Funicello was just 12 when she was selected by Walt Disney himself to be one of the original Mouseketeers of the "Mickey Mouse Club," the 1950s television variety show aimed at children.

Funicello, who had a background in dance, quickly became one of the most popular Mouseketeers.

She "was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend," Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said.

"She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney's brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent," Iger said in a statement released Monday. "Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life."

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  • 04/08/2013 08:55 PM
    Delivered newspapers to he grandparents house & met her once. She came from my hometown of Utica, NY............they lived about 7-8 houses away. She was great.
    Never, ever criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes........for at that point they will be a mile away. And you'll have their shoes !
jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 03:30 PM

On the drafting front:
If you're a first-round quarterback hopeful in this year's draft, it wasn't a good week. Not at all. Several teams in the quarterback-desperate top 10 perhaps decided they won't be buyers in this year's first round. No. 3 Oakland went out and wisely traded for Matt Flynn. No. 7 Arizona did Oakland a favor and took Carson Palmer off its hands (for practically nothing). And No. 8 Buffalo agreed to terms with ex-Cardinal starter Kevin Kolb, giving itself a veteran arm/option.
Kolb's deal doesn't preclude the Bills from taking a first-round quarterback, and I'm still projecting Buffalo to do just that by picking West Virginia's Geno Smith. But the Raiders and Cardinals pretty clearly won't be selecting quarterbacks in the first round, and I've come around to thinking the Jaguars aren't quite ready to forsake Blaine Gabbert and take that dive as well. At least not at the first-round level of investment.
Who does that leave? Maybe the No. 4 Eagles, but it's not a given with Michael Vick and Nick Foles both back in Philly. Possibly the No. 9 Jets, but it would be an upset given their crowded QB depth chart, and their many needs elsewhere on the roster. As for the No. 6 Browns, they seem set with Brandon Weeden backed up by newly arrived Jason Campbell, for at least 2013.
So it's Buffalo, and maybe then only in the second round, or trading back into the late first round with Syracuse's Ryan Nassib or USC's Matt Barkley as the object of its desire. After all, we've had a team trade up in the draft to take a first-round quarterback for three years in a row (Washington for RGIII at No. 2 last year; Jacksonville to No. 10 for Gabbert in 2011; and Denver to No. 25 for Tim Tebow in 2010).
With 22 days remaining until the draft begins, the first-round quarterback market looks like it'll be considerably less active than it appeared a week ago.


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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 03:32 PM

Monday Spooky pot luck:
1) Is the clock ticking on Philip Rivers? U-T columnist Kevin Acee created headlines this week, and not only in San Diego. "No one will say it," Acee told the NFL Network, "but I think that 2013 is the final audition of Philip Rivers." NFL.com followed with a story: "Philip Rivers facing last shot with the San Diego Chargers?" ESPN spun off a similar piece. Rivers has been quarterbacking the Chargers for so long, it's odd to think he'd be doing something else as soon as 2014. Only 31, he's not missed a start since opening the 2006 season behind center. I expect Rivers to be quarterbacking the Chargers after this year. But I think Acee is right that it's an urgent time, for Rivers and the team.

2) It wasn't long ago -- last week, in fact -- that Ray Emery was telling everyone that Corey Crawford was the No. 1 guy in Chicago and he was playing the role of a No. 2. But after earning his second shutout in his last three outings Saturday afternoon, Emery again got the start Sunday. ... [Joel Quenneville] hinted last week that Crawford was his No. 1 guy, citing the fact that he's played more games (23 to Emery's 17). But he's been reluctant to flat-out anoint anyone. ... And asked for the umpteenth time this season if he'd be open to playing both goalies in the playoffs, Quenneville again demurred. "You never know," he said. "I don't want to say no. We'll see. I'm not worried about it right now."

3) How does the future look for Byron Scott? Given the opportunity to comment, one of the Cavs' most important players declined. Asked whether he supports his embattled coach and would be disappointed if he were fired, Kyrie Irving said little about the topic before Sunday's game at The Q. "Until that time comes I'm not really worried about it," Irving said. "To even imagine that, I'm not going down that road. I'm focused on finishing the season with him and that's all that matters right now." It's believed [Byron Scott] still has the support of the Cavs' best player despite a brutal stretch. ... Irving often has credited the coach for helping him through a first season that culminated with Rookie of the Year honors.

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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 03:33 PM

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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 03:34 PM

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jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
04/08/2013 03:35 PM

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