Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade list: Top Ten White Role Players from the Big Ten

This is the only blog where you can find this list.  Maybe.
The criteria is that you have to be a role player in the truest sense, the player cannot be very good.  Also the role players on the list must have a very "white" game.   We all know what that means so I won't get into it.

Illinois Vs Northwestern: A Good Game

That is something that I never thought I would say.  In all of my dozen or so years of obsessively following Illini basketball I never enjoyed watching the UI-NW match-up. 

Afterwards I never thought things like "That was a quality game of basketball" or "That was competitive game played by athletic and racially diverse players", instead it was always "Wow, I'm glad that Northwestern succeeded in dumbing the game down to the point that they only lost by 15" or "I now like the sport of basketball less" or "Is it really a good idea to recruit exclusively in the former Soviet Union and Glenbrook North?" and "Teams should be required to have a weight room". 

All told, at 2 games per year, for let's say 12 years, at approx. 2 hours a game, Northwestern owes me 48 hours of good basketball.  They paid back about 2.5 hours of it last night in the 89-83 OT loss to the Illini.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh How the Mighty Has Fallen

Harrison's Ford's upcoming movie Extraordinary Measures is another unfortunate move for the declining legend of the silver screen. It was bad enough that he agreed to do Spielberg's Indiana Jones sequel with George Lucas' hair-brained script. Now he's chosen to co-star alongside Brendan Fraser in a tearjerker about a rare disease. 

I don't consider myself a cynic by any means, but his latest moves seem out of character. This is a man who intentionally botched an entire movie's worth of voice-overs because he thought it was corny. He was the biggest hardass of my generation's childhood, and he owes us more than to go out like this. 

The worst part of it all is that he's not even saving his own family in the movie; he's saving someone else's family. I wonder if the big, dramatic line at the apex of the movie is, [raise right eyebrow and powerfully point index finger] "GET OUT OF MY LAB!" 

Anyway, I forgive Harrison and will never stop quoting his lines form Air Force One. And if he's still hard up for money in the future, I would support his role in a spinoff film of his character in American Graffiti called Bob Falfa: Womanizer. That would definitely get his street cred back up. 

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links Edition

Today feels like a links day to me, so that’s precisely what I’m going to do. Can you remember the last time the mainstream media let a so-called big story run its natural course instead of beating it to death? Those days seem far gone to me, and I think it’s too bad, but oh well. The Tracy McGrady coverage, the Colts’ decisions and the Mike Leach saga fit the bill.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Ten Golf Courses

Once again on account of little professional golf action, here is another top ten list. This week’s edition features my top ten favorite finishing stretches on the PGA Tour’s annual rotation.

Addressing the Obvious College Football BS

As the bowl season is now under way, I figured it was time for someone at Free Keon to address the elephant in the room and talk about our messed up College Football Bowl System. Too often, however, this conversation just addresses how ridiculous the bowl system is without really looking towards plausible solutions that effectively compromise innovation, tradition, and financial concerns.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More than Roses and Buckeyes

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media

Now that we’re in full football fervor mode, known as “Bowl Mania,” I thought I’d hand off to college football.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are slim underdogs going into their Rose Bowl match-up with the Oregon Ducks, but while the results of that game will hold up for anywhere from a few days to some months, history shows that the outcome will not be the primary offshoot for Buckeyes players. Go out and grab a copy of David Lee Morgan, Jr.’s “More Than a Coach,” and you will understand why.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bulls Back on Track?

The Bulls' recent 101-98 home victory over the third place Atlanta Hawks looks may not seem like anything more than a nice win. Although the Hawks are a solid team, the Bulls' problems have not come at home this year. With a 2-12 away record, it's the road that seems to be hampering this relatively young team. However, I had the opportunity to watch them play this game live and have some positive thoughts about why this might be the start of a turnaround for the Bulls (By turnaround I mean that they will play well enough to slide in to the playoffs with no better than a sixth seed). 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Illini Lose to Georgia: Not time to Panic Yet

With a third bad non-conference loss under Illinois' belt, many may be getting ready to hit the panic button for this season. As understandable as this reaction is, let’s take pause and look at a few positives before we tackle the obvious negatives

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Thursday Edition

It’s been two weeks since I set out to do a Tiger-free blog. Two weeks since I said enough was enough. It was time to turn our attentions to something else. Yet today, I survey the sporting landscape and see there are a whole new crop of Tiger stories dominating the headlines.

The Deron Williams Shootout Report

The Mixed Bag
by Nate K

The first game of the day attended by the Free Keon staff was Mt. Carmel vs. Peoria Central.  It was a guard-oriented game featuring D-1 prospects Bobo Drummond of Peoria, and future Illini Tracy Abrams of Mt. Carmel. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 10 Tournaments of the Decade

Not much golf of note is being played this week. Therefore, I have compiled another top ten list. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols, Stan Musial was St. Louis

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media

Recently fellow FK blogger Steve asked me for my thoughts on two Stan Musial biographies – the original 1964 book, “Stan Musial: ‘The Man’s’ Own Story as told to Bob Broeg and a 2001 work, “Musial from Stash to Stan the Man” by James N. Giglio.

Well, Steve, I’m happy to oblige, and I hope you pick the right book for your grandfather. Speaking of Steve’s request, if any of you has one, please feel free to pass it along, so I can give it the Slammin’ Sam on Sports Media rundown.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Picking up where they left off

It was during the final minutes of Danville's loss to Providence New Lenox Catholic that I began to ponder the Vikings chances in the looming IHSA basketball season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whitey Herzog's Teammate Satchel Paige was Something Else!

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media

For a couple months, I’ve been seeing Larry Tye’s “Satchel” pop up on top book lists everywhere. Now that Winter Meetings have pushed baseball near the front of the sports buffet line again, I thought I’d see if this book was worth reading. It is.

Here’s why:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Golf's Unique Prizes

Many have done stories on the unique trophies and prizes in the game of golf. Recently, both and the Golf Channel highlighted the oddities. However in response to comments on the photo from the latest “This Week in Golf,” I was inspired to produce my own top ten list of favorite golf prizes.

Landon Donovan, your legacy awaits

With a number a Web sites reporting a deal in the works, it sounds like Landon Donovan will be loaned to English Premier League club Everton starting in January.

This is intriguing (read: you should care) for a number of reasons.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bulls lack fight, among other things

In their 32-point home loss to the Raptors on Saturday, the Bulls allowed Toronto guard Jarett Jack to tie his shoes near half court during the run of play in the third quarter.  Not one member of the Bulls thought it would be prudent to go up to Jack and steal the ball instead of honoring his playground time-out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Homage to Gloomy Gus

I'm kind of interested/obsessed with Dick Nixon (perfectly normal), and one of the interesting aspects of his presidency was his "Enemies List".  The best part of the list is the story of CBS news anchor Daniel Schorr, who read the list live on air, and didn't realize he was on the list until he came to his own name, and just moved on without comment.  Just amazing. Thank God for Nixon.
Anyway, I thought it would be cool to come up with my own enemies list.  I try to emulate Tricky Dick whenever possible. 

The List

Milton Bradley
An obvious choice, I've already written plenty about Milton and taken a bunch of pot-shots at his family (I'm not apologizing), but he still deserves to be mentioned.  Milton will definitely be traded in the off-season, but he will always be remembered for his disaster of a season with the Cubs.  The lesson is be bad, it's fine, just keep your head up and your mouth shut and play hard every day.  But don't be bad and be a jackass.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Will Return Thursday

Dear Readers and Fans,

Please be aware that this Free Keon feature will not appear on Tuesday this week as usual. Sam will bring you his latest post on Thursday. Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Miracle on Littlejohn (Stealing Nate's Thunder with another Illini Post)

Maybe it was that the Illini guards decided to stop picking up their dribble in the second half, or perhaps it was that Mike Tisdale finally started to get a feel for the pace of the game and, at the same time, gained a good 100 pounds of physical presence. Whatever it was, Illinois took advantage of what seemed to be a Clemson team drunk off a first-half conquest, and left Littlejohn Coliseum with a victory.

Slammin' Sam on Spors Media Thursday Edition

Happy three weeks before Christmas Eve or one day before Friday, whatever makes you happier.

Before I set out to scour the net for the Slammin’ Sam links, I had to get one thing straight. I would not include anything on the one thing that seems to be consuming the sports world for the last week and will continue to do so for the next while. I would not touch on Tiger … unless I felt the links were going forward rather than proceeding in a back and forth volley. You know, “What’s Tiger’s endorsement situation? What’s Elin going to do? What about these women?” etc. and etc.

Anything is Possible

That's what Dominique Keller said after the Illini's comeback win over Clemson.  Copyright infringement on KG if I have ever heard it. 
It has been a roller coaster of emotion for the Illini fans this season and in that game. 
First the promising blow-out wins to open the season.  Then the Las Vegas debacle.  Now the tale of two halves win against Clemson. 
I just have a couple thoughts on the game. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Week in Golf

Chevron World Challenge - Tiger Woods's annual invitational takes place this week at beautiful Sherwood Country Club just outside of Los Angeles. Sixteen top world players will compete for guaranteed money from the nearly $6 million purse. Unfortunately, the host and defending champion have both withdrawn from the field.

Early Thoughts on Da Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are currently sitting at 6-9 and looking at the 8 seed if the season were to end today.  In the Free Keon NBA prediction post, I picked the Bulls to end up with the 3 seed in the Eastern Conferance.  This was clearly a leap of faith, as my predictions are mostly based off what I would like to see happen.  Upon further review, the Bulls are much more pedestrian, and appear to be headed for a low playoff seed and another early playoff exit.
Any Bulls analysis starts at the top with their wunderkind point guard, the player that seems destined to bring the Bulls to the promised land with his tremendous athletisim, ability to break down a defense, and his D-Will-esque passing ability.  ... Kirk Hinrich.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Bounce Back" with John Calipari

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media

Since we’re talking about basketball and not baseball, I’ll tell you right off the tip I’m not sure if I am convinced by John Calipari’s new book, “Bounce Back.” He’s always struck me as slick. Then again, he has been successful, (Note the two-time college coach of the year distinction among others on his resume) and I don’t know him personally. I just judge the book on its own merits. After all, I was curious to get inside the man’s head a little bit.
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