Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Answering Phones For Dan Snyder Sucks

The new hotness is here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week 3

Skins lose to Detroit. Delivery of poop burgers for everyone.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ummmmmm.... Incredible. Give a listen and a watching but do it at the same time. God bless the interwebs!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We're Back!

It's been too long friends and readers and other people that search for things online and are randomly taken here. It's mostly our fault and here at Gus Johnson's Whisper, we promise anew to bring you things to read and comment on.

Here's some stuff on our minds:

Look, we played sports at a pretty high level for a lot of years. We have argued, seemingly to no one, that teams should not interact after the game ends. We're a big believer in shaking hands before the game. Once the game starts, we are not your friend. Asking a young man to 'shut it off', especially in a sport that requires as much aggression as football, is a much harder task that non-athletic media members realize. Players should shake hands before the game and then retire to separate quarters. We're amazed there aren't more of these incidents in sports. 'WTF do you mean good game? You beat me and now I have to look at you and shake your hand and pretend it isn't eating at my soul?'
We learned our lesson the hard way when, after a regional game as a 14 year old, a 15 year old from Macon, GA punched our mouth after we told him 'great game' (we won 13-2). Pre-game shake people.

-Football is back.
We said football, but really meant absurdly large breasts... no, we meant football. Here's our quick hitting NFL preview so that you won't have to waste the next 26 weeks:

NFC Playoff teams: Giants, Eagles, Carolina, Minnesota, Green Bay, Seattle.
NFC Championship Game: Eagles/Green Bay - Eagles Win (we throw up on repeat)

AFC Playoff teams: New England, Indianapolis, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tennessee
AFC Championship Game: New England/Baltimore - Baltimore Win

Superbowl: Eagles/Ravens - Ravens win and a crisis is averted.

-MLB Pennant Races
The Yankees are running away with the division. Their playoff rotation seems solid (Sabathia, Burnett, and Petite) but there are still some questions. They don't seem to know what to do about a 4th and 5th starter. No one notices because they score 46 runs per game right now but that's not how the playoffs go. Seems to us, the best chance they have to win this year is to make Joba the Hutt a reliever again. We think that's the secret behind the 3 inning performances of late. He turns into a weapon in a series. You can use him for 2-3 innings to get to Riviera. It shortens the game and he can just go out and pitch instead of trying to economize and pace himself. Who knows if that's what they do, but it's what we would do if we actually wanted to win the World Series.

The Angels and Tigers are both a little bit nasty but also flawed right now. Who knows who gets hot? (Cardinals '06 for example)but right now, we'd be nervous both as fans of these squads or as fans opposing them.

Short series with Detroit? It's cold and I have to see Verlander and Jackson twice? You might also get one of those 'rookie with huge sack' outings from Rick Porcello. Then again, you can pitch to most of their bats. Bunch of strikeout guys and spare parts around Miguel Cabrera so their offense is as scary as a Lifetime movie.

The Angels have a complete lineup that wears pitching down. The whole lineup is above .300 and they can all do it against good pitching because they don't muscle up. Their problem? What pitchers scare you? Lackey and Weaver are not the kind of power arms that usually rule the post season. After that? We went 2/2 vs Joe Saunders and hit a line drive so hard, he hurt his neck spinning around (no he didn't).

In the NL, Philly looks old all of a sudden don't they? Rollins isn't the same and Ibanez realized that he is, in fact, Raul Ibanez and stopped the fantasy ruining nonsense. The Dodgers have a different lineup every day and their pitching is kind of breaking down. The Cards look great but that's just it. When was the last time the team that was 'supposed to' won the NL? It's always a wild card team or some forgotten division winner. Go back and look. The Cards are complete but you still see a weakness or 2 in there (bullpen has been a little shaky of late, someone between Ankiel/Duncan/Rasmus/DeRosa has to hit).

Still, the prediction is...

Yankees vs Cardinals - Yanks win. Annoying.

More to come.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top This!

We cannot believe how amazing this video is. Absolute genius in a time of non genius. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

USA World Cup Qualifier Running Diary

The US hasn't won in Costa Rica since... ever. They don't win there. That bodes well.


10PM - GJW is in his underwear. Mrs. GJW is out of town.

10 PM and 4 seconds: Costa Rica has already scored. It was off a terrible touch by Demarcus Beasley. It's time to recognize that Beasley plays soccer like he hates the soccer ball. He is fast. That's cool. But that guy kills us. The experiment needs to end.

10:05 - John Harkes is doing the color with John Paul Delcamera. JPD has called every soccer game that we can remember. John Harkes is like a judge on a fashion show.

10:10 - The US defense looks atrocious. Costa Rica just scored again. This time the Marvel Wynne/Mastroeni side was at fault. Wow. It's only World Cup qualifying. Way to bring your A game and then leave it in the hotel.

10:16 - Is it a rule that Latin American countries have to play games on sh*tty fields? This field looks like the kind of green carpet over asphalt they put down for awkward sales at stadium armories.

10:18 - Is it also a rule that every Costa Rican player has to have aggressively sweaty and matted down hair?

10:22 - The US hates offense.

10:26 - The US is possessing the ball a lot in the midfield. Harkes and JPD are bantering about a questionable call in a recent MLS matchup. We'll defer to them because we somehow missed it.

10:30 - Beasley, Mastroeni, Wynne, and Dempsey are not good. That hurts a team's chances.

10:33 - Costa Rica has 3 goals on 2 shots on goal. The US does not have a shot on goal or a corner kick. It's about strategy.

10:36 - Harkes reminds us that the US is without Frankie Hejduk. If you need Frankie Hejduk, you're not the 14th best soccer team in the world.

10:37 - On cue, Harkes says he doesn't buy the world rankings from FIFA. We are forced to agree. The US is 14th which means that according to the governing body of soccer, there are only 13 teams better. Watch us name 13 off the top of our head: Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, England, Russia, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Greece. There have to be some more teams besides them right?

10:42: The ball is bouncing all over the place and the US just got their first shot but it was not on net. The US hasn't scored in this country since the year 2000. We went through some slumps too... but those were like a couple months.

10:43 - Why does it always look like the other team always has 3 more players on the field when they play the US in soccer? That's the thing that always makes us anxious when we watch the US; they look outnumbered on both sides of the field.

10:45 - There will be 1 minute of stoppage time. This is one of the 4 reasons why soccer will never really catch on in the US; there was way more than 1 minute of 'non-play'. Just stop the clock and get rid of the extra layer of subjectivity. Stoppage time is just another way for the referee to feel important.

10:46 - Halftime. 2-0 Costa Rica. Hey Landon, where's my bag? I left it right here... I packed it up before the game started and now I can't find it...

11:00 - 2nd half adjustments... none. The US throws in a guy that plays in the MLS. US soccer is in trouble. We mean it. Not just this game, which is bad, but in general. Here's what happens:

- Some guys play in the MLS. This league doesn't resemble anything like the better leagues around the world. It's choppy and gross. This doesn't help guys get better.

- The guys that play in the good leagues in Europe sit on the bench for months at a time. This doesn't help them get better.

- The MLS guys all want to get European deals. Again, not good.

11:15 - The US still doesn't have a shot on goal. Jozy Altidore, the team's best scorer looks rusty. He hasn't played in months or something. He looks awkward like a chick in football pads.

11:25 - We just checked to see what was up with Randy Johnson. Game is a rainout.

11:30 - Again, banter about the MLS. It's not gonna happen JPD. We are not going to tune in to see the Metro Stars and/or New England Revolution.

11:32 - Marvel Wynne should never be allowed to play again.

11:34 - The entire US team stands still and watches the 3rd goal. Everyone looks tired. The amount of space the guy had to work with was like the ball was radioactive. Embarrassing.

11:36 - 3-0. What a gong show. Harkes is upset. Like really upset. 'Get these designs out of here!'

11:38 - They keep saying that Tim Howard never had a chance on any of those goals. Sure he did. He was 10 yards off his line on the 1st goal. It was a great shot but he could have saved it if he was in position. He anticipated a cross. Whatevs.

11:44 - Harkes was comparing this team to some of the past years of US soccer. He makes it sound like the 'old guys' were warriors. Umm broseph? You guys went 0-3 in 1990. We remember that because we were excited about it. Your squad was the dinner party fart.

And yes, that is a picture of Toto Schillacci from the 1990 World Cup.

11:46 - Here is reason #2 why soccer will never really catch on in the US. A CR player pretended to get hit in the junk and rolled around hoping to get a card on the offending US player. Several points here:

- US fans hate flops. That's why everyone who didn't go to Duke hates Duke basketball.

-The 'card' is such a big deal. In other sports, penalties are more in proportion with the way the game is played. 6 fouls, 5 (or 15) yards, 2 minutes etc. 1 yellow is huge. A player that gets a yellow cannot play aggressively at all for fear of a 2nd card. 2 yellows means an ejection. 2 straight games with a yellow means you are suspended for the following game! Imagine that: Orlando Pace committed holding penalties in 2 straight games so he will sit out week 3.

- There are too few officials. The game happens so fast and any insinuation that you need more people to cover the action is treated like an insult against refs. The fact is, players get rewarded for taking dives (Italy won the world cup this way).
11:48 Freddy Adu looks decent. How did that go so wrong? You've got to play that kid. He's 20 and we get that he isn't going to save the world but you need him. You need the symbol that kids can follow so they want to play the game and play it in the US.

11:54: Penalty shot. Donovan scores. 3-1. Too little too late.

12:00 - Yuck. 3-1. Just a butt salad.

Honduras on Saturday. Hopefully, they bounce back like the 14th best team in the world should.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Rise and Fall of Cities

Sports are built on cycles. The seasons, the ups and downs, dominance and rebuilding, and steroid cycles also...

Lots of cities have gone through really sucky periods in their sports history. Being in a losing city is like getting punched by a boxer in the stomach when you least expect it every day. Since no one watches boxing anymore, we'll go through each city's 'downtime' and give you a boxer.

Washington, DC: Bernard Hopkins.
It's happening right now people. We are DC guys and it sucks to be a fan of DC sports these days. We picked Hopkins because he is annoying strategist kind of fighter that might hit you in the nutsos when the official has his head turned. The Caps just lost to the Pittsburgh Voldemorts, the Nationals spent $9 on their payroll and their pitching would not win prizes at fairgrounds where you have to knock things over with a ball, the Wizards just got a Superfly Snooka Elbow with the 5th pick in the draft and are locked into the same perennial 6 seed roster for the next several years... and the Redskins... ugh. At least the ownership doesn't get it. Every offseason there is a yardsale and a gongshow outside Redskins Park. Trading Campbell, the Cutler shabingus, the Haynesworth contract, and the general unwillingness to actually build a team through the draft like... ALL THE OTHER SUCCESSFUL TEAMS EVER.

Philadelphia: George Foreman.
This is the angry George Foreman who used to be a baddass and punched really hard. Before the Phillies title last year, the went 25 years without a major sports title and just a few whiffs of success. For us, we like it when they don't get stuff because we hate that city like we hate tapas. Order your own food bruh. We're gonna order what we want and no I don't want to share your kelp. Think about Vinny Derucci with his McNabb jersey leaving the Vet after a playoff collapse. That's a George Forman 1973 gut punch.

Cleveland: Mike Tyson.
Now, this is Cleveland's entire sports history before Lebron. Now, a pro sports title is plausible as long as he's in town and allowed to travel in crunch time and have anyone that fouls him fined by the league. But before Lebron (BL)? They were famous for 'being on the court/field while another team had a great moment'. From Ehlo to Renteria, these fans were getting Mike Tyson in his prime drilled in the gut. Also, Cleveland is in Cleveland.

Seattle: Mohammed Ali.
They LOST A BASKETBALL TEAM! The Mariners have 1 meaningful playoff series win in their history (that great series vs the Yankees when Jr. scored from first on Edgar's double). This town of angst is getting punched all the time from all different angles like Ali used to drop on his opponents. Why does the side of my face hurt? Who hit me? Who hit me just then and where is my tooth?

Detroit: The Angry Mob in the movie Police Academy.
0-16, the Pistons wilting, the Tigers kind of treading water. Things are not awesome in Rock City these days. We actually saw an ad on tv with Kid Rock trying to get people to come to Detroit. That's like having one of those prostitutes from that HBO show about prostitutes in Atlantic City trying to get you to visit Atlantic City and to bring your whole family.

Kansas City: Ricardo Mayorga.
No one talks about him and he is nasty. He is like a quiet assassin. Similarly, no one talks about how crappy it is a Kansas City fan. The Royals were good almost 30 years ago. They are now a glorified developmental program for future stars. They're off to a nice start this year. How many of you out there see that lasting? They are one Grienke anxiety attack away from winning 9 games the rest of the year. The fans are getting punched in the tummy everyday with their 2nd class citizenship. No other teams to root for either. It's a... what's that? The Chiefs are still there? Really? You just don't hear about them for so long... well anyway, the Chiefs suck too.

Oakland: Evander Holyfield.
Evander was one of the hardest working men ever. And Oakland works hard to tag their fans with speed bag punches to the bread basket. For all the 'Moneyball' hype, the As never won squat. They have made a huge number of terrible deals for prospects that have worked out like a turd sandwhich social. And the Raiders? How about the worst owner in pro sports outworking every other owner to shaft the fans of a once storied franchise?

There you have it, the fans of these cities are or were getting gut punched on the regular. Sucks to be a fan these days.

Monday, April 20, 2009

AL Baseball Bands

Here's an MLB preview after more than a week of games. It's how Gus Johnson's Whisper rolls. AL teams as bands:


Tampa Bay Rays: The Killers. This band was all the rage. They took the world by storm and were in everyone's Ipod rotation. Then, all of a sudden, everyone was bored with them. Young talent! Maybe they overachieved last year, maybe you shouldn't need Jason Bartlett to hit .381, and maybe karma punches your shins because you kept David Price in the minors to avoid paying him money... whatever.

New York Yankees: The Rolling Stones. You have to pay what for a ticket????? Lot of name recognition, just hard to justify the price tag. The SS Sabathia should be striking dudes out on 2 pitches for that kind of money.

Boston Red Sox: The Grateful Dead. The most annoying fans in the world and a band that really isn't that good. Ortiz has a lot of Jerry parallels and their pitching (after a healthy Beckett) scares no one. 'No man, this bootleg is awesome... they go from Magnolia back into John's Cabin back into Ophelia and then into Trucking'. Translation: Pedroia is annoying because of the dumb way he wears his hat.

Toronto Blue Jays: Arcade Fire. Only the awkwardly hardcore fans know about them. Then, these hardcore fans are so over the top about how good they are, the group somehow becomes overrated. Aaron Hill!!!!!!

Baltimore Orioles: The Mickey Mouse Club. There are some stars in the room... you just have to wait until they grow up.

AL Central

Cleveland Indians: The guys that sung that song about walking 1000 miles and then walking another 1000 miles after that so they ended up walking over 2000 miles and have terrible pitching.

Detroit Tigers: Rage Against the Machine. Loud and with something to say. You can't ignore them and Jim Leyland smokes cigarettes.

Kansas City Royals: Bare Naked Ladies. 'I just made you say underwear.'

Minnesota Twins: Creedence Clearwater Revival. They did more with less (3 guys) and they kept it simple. The Twins are gonna pitch, play D, and bunt/hit and run and CCR is gonna kep getting royalties off of Chronicle.

Chicago White Sox: The Clash. A truly nasty band that no one talks about because they are not the first group people think of when they think about their home (London and Chicago). All they do is make good music and rip mediocre pitching.

AL West:

Seattle Mariners: Stone Temple Pilots. A bit obvious but not why you think judgmental jim. It's because the hot start won't translate for the whole season. That's why.

Los Angeles Angels: Jackson Browne. It's because they're 'Running on Empty'. Vlad is 1000 years old in June, pitchers are dropping like heavy objects, and they don't really scare you on offense anymore.

Texas Rangers: Megadeath. They can swing it which is the equivalent of playing really loudly. They pitch like we crochet.

Oakland Athletics: Creed. Would you buy a ticket to see this group? Ladies and gentlemen, it's Dana Eveland and Travis Buck! Can you taaaaaaaaaaake me hiiiiiiii-yer.

We'll rock the NL later this week.

Friday, April 17, 2009


One thing that Gus Johnson's Whisper hates (and by extension, we assume that Gus Johnson must hate as well) is how the NBA MVP is decided. Not so much the voting process, because that is as equitable as the process can be, but rather the 'pack mentality' that develops. It's an interesting phenomenon. At some point during the season, enough analysts, tv personalities, columnists and the like declare '______ is the MVP hands down'. As soon as that tipping point occurs, all the voters rush to line up and cast their ballots for the 'hands down MVP'.

The most glaring example of this occurred last year (repeating this year with Lebron) with Kobe Bryant. Now, Kobe was outstanding last year; this is not up for debate. But, what GJW believes is that the key word in the award is 'Valuable'. The Lakers were a very good team last year (made it to the finals). Do they do that without Kobe? No. But, are they good enough to be a playoff team if you put an average NBA 2 in his place? Absolutely. Especially after the Gasol heist.

2 players last year deserved the NBA MVP more than Kobe Bryant: Lebron James and Chris Paul.

Take either of those 2 guys off their teams, and not only do they not go to the playoffs, but they are in danger of winning the lottery. I won't go into a John Hollinger breakdown as that is not why you are reading. Just know that the same thing happened the year before when Dirk Nowitzki won the award with a season that was not his statistical best (fewer rebounds, pts, blocks, FT attempted per game, steals and somehow, he had a 'transcendent' season.). The award for the '06-'07 year should have gone to either Steve or Kobe Bryant. We could go on and on about this. Email us if you want a further dialogue.

This year's MVP will be Lebron James.

We've past the tipping point and now, much like critics of global warming, any contrarian is shouted down. Lebron is certainly a fine choice as he is the linchpin on the best team in the East and a legit title contender. But again, Valuable is the key word.

Lebron's per game #s of 28.4 pts, 7.6 boards, 7.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks are incredible. Especially when you consider that he sat out a lot of 4th quarters or large portions of games because his team was rolling. Know what else was incredible? His #s last year. 30 points, 7.9 boards, 7.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks. Weird. Those numbers look really similar to us. But again, we've had that tipping point occur where there is no doubt in a voter's mind that this year is somehow more special than a better statistical effort from a year ago. The hype has gotten so out of control that Lebron is now being mentioned for the All-Defensive Team. The .1 more blocks per game really were that noticeable?

Cleveland has the exact same team from last year with the exception of Mo Williams. The only possible explanation is that Lebron has a 'special year'. The guy was just as special last year.

As for this season, the MVP should be Dwayne Wade.

Think about Miami's squad. Lottery team last year with Wade hurt. It happened. They were epic bad. This year, a rotating cast of dung surrounded Wade. Literally, without him, this team might have won 10 games. With defenses keying only on him, with no one else capable of getting to the basket to create space, with no post scoring, with a clueless rookie coach, and every other factor working against him, he did this:

30.2, 5 boards, 7.5 assists, 2.2 steals, 1.7 blocks. Give him the Cavs group of shooters, he gets 9 assists per. It's hard to get an assist when you are kicking it out to Joel Anthony.

Again, look at those defensive numbers. 4 blocks and steals per game from a 2 guard. Yet, no All-Defensive mention. He'll finish a distant 2nd in the voting which is OK because it means that he might get a make-up MVP at someone else's expense. We guess that's the pattern, you don't earn the MVP the year you should, you get delayed a year or 2 and earn the right hype.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The April Bama

Josh McDaniels. What a bama. Amazing. We're sure this dude knows offense pretty well and we get it, he's a young gun in a league desperate for some legit coaching talent. Let's go deeper as to why this chooch is a bama of the highest order.

-Is Brian Billick a great offensive mind? Everyone thought so when he coached the offense that (at the time) set the record for points in a season. 2 hall of fame receivers (1, the greatest deep threat ever and the other a 1st down machine), a great O-line, good running backs and a great veteran QB... we could look like a genius too. This is the same sustenad who made first downs look like 11 homeless guys rubbing wet sticks together in the rain when he coached in Baltimore. See our point? Hand a guy Tom Brady, that same greatest deep receiver ever, an incredible O-line and good running backs, and a 1st down making underneath guy... weird that his offense was good.

-The Bill Belichick coaching tree sucks like the dude who asks you what you do for a living in the 1st 30 seconds of a conversation. Wanna know who's successful? Nick Saban as a college coach. That's it and that's all.

Here come the rest of the chooch parade:

-Romeo Crennel: One of the 14 worst NFL head coaches we can name. Makes clock management look like splitting the atom with a pair of reeboks on your hands.
-Charlie Weis: Fat guy in a little coat
-Eric Mangini: Remember the time he didn't deserve his nickname? That's always.
-Al Groh (UVA): He recruits like he hates recruits
-Pat Hill (Fresno Sate): Remember when Reggie Bush had 500 total yards in a game? It was against Fresno State.
-Kirk Ferentz: After Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Purdue, they're the best team in the Big 10!
-Jim Schwartz: The new Detroit Lions coach. We'll see.

Why would anyone anoint a BB underling as next?

-You can tell that this enormous bama believes every word about him. What got lost in all of the Cutler gong show, was the fact that the new coach, alienated the franchise QB. The Broncos GM, had Cutler signed long term as the center of the team. They were going to build around him and have an outstanding young group of offensive players (Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Ryan Clady, Ryan Harris). This was a young team on the way up. A great offense and a D that clearly needed to improve. Here comes the new coach... and he starts making pee pee on the center of it all. Players win games. Even though Cutler is a punk, he was still under contract. Part of coaching is figuring out how to get the most out of your players. Trading them for Kyle Orton is not getting the most out of a guy who threw for 4500 yards and 26TDs as a 25 year old.

-He rocks the same kind of gear as Belichick. This is now hacky. I dress down! Look at me! Hooded sweatshirt, I'm so one of the guys. Accept me! Why are you guys all leaving? Come back!

-His dumb short hair. You can tell it's one of those 'I don't have time for hair maintenance!' haircuts. You're not that important bruh.

-He went to John Carroll University and is the type of dude that sportswriters who sucked at sports always write about because bamas like McDaniels got overlooked and carved out careers for themselves and blah blah blah. Listen, sometimes guys develop late. Sometimes, guys weren't that good coming out of high school. When a small school guy makes it, there should be a ban on ball washing puff pieces from dumb columnists.

Congrats to Josh McDaniels. A true bama for the ages.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


TWO strikes back!

Give it a read. We'll wait.

Welcome back. Now, once your done with the snarky and condescending prose, the links to unrelated material, and the complicated web of deflection, it boils down to this:

TWO prefers upsets by teams that are not normally in the spotlight.

Nothing wrong with this. It's just that it means you cannot win an argument.

Here lies our response which we smacked TWO with across the cheek:

You could have condensed that to: 'I prefer upsets. And because I assume that my opinion speaks for everyone, 'everyone prefers upsets'. Not so much a logical progression as a 'this is what I like'. You prefer little schools to have chances because they are unkown, we prefer the best 64 teams judged on a yearly basis. You prefer a circus sideshow of teams that no one has heard of, we calmly analyze the situation on a yearly basis. You have a kneejerk reaction to include a small school no matter what, we LOVE facts and judging cases based on facts.

Just for your review:

-The top of college hoops is as good or better than it has been in years

-The effects of this includes teams like Maryland competing against the top teams (they played 3 teams that were at one point ranked #1 in the country and beat 2 final four teams) regularly. There is a trickle down when the Big Conferences are dominant.

-Your point against us of 'if the big schools get more chances, of course they'll have more teams' is the same point we made about Boppers. They typically perform in a similar way to big schools (read unpredictable) so automatically giving them bids in some kind of bizarre affirmative bid action cannot be defended beyond your personal preference.

-This year was a special case with upsets in conference tournaments stealing bids and the dominance at the top of the college game.

Thanks! GJW

Monday, March 30, 2009

No Mid Majors? No Problem.

There have been
many who were so upset at this year's selection committee for not including a healthy dose of mid-majors. Writers like Michael Wilbon (he won't ever admit he was wrong about this or anything btw) wrote pieces like this one:

They slammed the selection committee for not giving more at large bids to 'mid-majors' instead of the usual fare from power conferences. They argued that the selection committee tried to turn the magic of march madness into the shabingus of the BCS. These arguments, in other years, might hold water but not this year. This year, college hoops is deep and heavy at the top. Let's get closer and learn about each other:

-The term 'mid-major' is misleading. There are major conferences: The Big East, ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12 and the Pac 10. Then there are a couple conferences with a a few good teams at the top and garbage everywhere else: Conference USA, Atlantic 10 (Teams like Memphis and Xavier compete with anyone). After that, it's piss ant conferences. There is nothing 'mid' about them at all. They are the bottom. Nothing wrong with that, it's just what it is. Take a school like Davidson, they typically go undefeated in their conference (this year was the exception because their 1 player was hurt) because they are solid and their conference is awful. If they don't win their conference tournament, they don't get in (right or wrong), this means they are a member of a small, non-power, non-major, non middle-tier, bottom-dwelling conference.

-Let's call them what they are. We'll make up a term right here... 'Bottom Toppers... Boppers.' These teams are Boppers. Ok, so Boppers have had success in recent tournaments: Davidson, George Mason, and to a lesser degree: Butler, Utah State, Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and so on. Boppers can jump up and compete with the 'big boys' in years when the big boys are down. Lots of things have lead to years like this: Players leaving early for the pros or going directly from high school, a broader talent pool that is evenly spread thanks to AAU and players getting more chances to play, and a lack of elite talent at the top schools. So, in years where the overall level of college basketball is down below a certain level, a school like George Mason can make some 3s, their opponents can get tight and they can win some games and fire dookies right into Billy Packer's face.

-That's not what we had this year. This year in college hoops, the big boys were really, really good. The power conferences deserved every bid they got. Let's learn some more:

Sweet 16: 5 Big East teams, 2 Big 10, 3 Big XII, 2 ACC, and then Memphis, Gonzaga, Arizona, and Xavier. 0 Boppers.

Final 8: 4 Big East teams, 2 Big XII, 1 Big 10, 1 ACC. 0 Boppers

You get the point.

-The response here is something like: 'the Boppers didn't get a chance, so we don't know how they would have done.' There is some truth to that, they didn't get a chance, but we have a pretty good idea of what would have happened.

-Concurrently, this was also a strange year in several conference tournaments. Temple, USC, Mississippi State and some other schools, quite literally, stole spots away from at-large teams. Teams like this, would not have gotten in and when they won their conference tourney's, jumped the que. This forced out some deserving teams.

-Bopper supporters would point to examples of some of the bubble teams that did get in. They will say: '_______ didn't make a run in the tournament. This is proof that their spot should have gone to a Bopper.' This is a poor argument. The implication is that if a Bopper had occupied this spot, they would have performed better. We tend to remember the incredible runs of Davidson and George Mason as the rule, rather than the exceptions they really are.

2008 Sweet 16: 3 Pac 10, 3 Big East, 2 Big 10, 2 Big XII, then Tennessee and UNC. 12 Power Conference teams. Then, Memphis and Xavier, 2 middle conference teams. Lastly, Davidson and Wester Kentucky, both Boppers. Here were some of the other Boppers in the tourney: Drake, Oral Roberts, St. Mary's, Sienna, and Kent St. Of that 2nd group, only Sienna won a game. Let it be noted that the targets of this years 'Big Conference Bias' Maryland, Wisconsin, and Arizona all won at least 1 game. Not an apples to apples comparison, just worth noting is all.

2007 Sweet 16: 3 Pac 10, 3 SEC, 2 Big XII, 2 Big East, UNC, Ohio State so again, 12 teams from Power conferences. Then Memphis from the mids. 3 teams here in the round of 16 were Boppers: Butler, UNLV, and Southern Illinois. All 3 lost for the record.
Other boppers: Creighton, Long Beach State, New Mexico St., Oral Roberts, Davidson, Winthrop and VCU. Winthrop and VCU won their first round games which were the only 2 wins for the whole 2nd crew of Boppers.

2007 showed us that when there are lots more Boppers in the tournament, their results are as inconclusive as any one else's. To assume that a Bopper would perform better in the place of another team absurd. 2006 shows us similar data. Besides George Mason's amazing run, the other Boppers in the tourney performed in the same way .

Now, the purpose of this post is not to endorse the idiotic Billy Packer who famously said that George Mason didn't belong in the tournament.

Far from it. This is to educate the casual fan, or even the passionate fan, who has knee jerk reactions and is frothing at the mouth over the lack of 'mid majors' in this year's tournament. It's to bring some calm to a tenuous situation. The vitriolic frustration over the selection committee's perceived slight of 'the little guy' should instead be seen for what it really is, the acknowledgment of the return to prominence of the 'big guy'. This was not a year for Boppers. These things are cyclical though, their time will come again.


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Ultimate Paradox

This is weird you guys.  Gus Johnson, THE Gus Johnson, knows about our blog.  He may have even seen the blog.  Our hero, the inspiration for our entrance into the blogosphere, the best play by play guy alive, he knows about the blog.

The quick back story.  Our boy, The World's Ombudsman, had some great Knicks tickets the other night.  Our other buddy is employed by the team (it is not James Dolan and/or Isaiih Thomas), so TWO got to hang out in the tunnel during halftime.  It happened to be the game where the team honored Knicks legends (including our favorite childhood player Bernard King).  TWO is gazing upon all these legends before they are announced and is quickly introduced to someone... that someone happens to be Gus Johnson.

TWO informs him of our blog.  At first, Gus is a bit perplexed by the title.  TWO explains that it's in deference to his incredible calls and the energy he brings, reversing the trend of smug sportscasters who are too cool for the huge moments in sports (Joe Buck).  They talk for a few minutes, then part ways.  Our Knicks buddy may have even shown Gus our blog.

Are we happy about this?  What if he didn't like it?  What the hell do we do if he doesn't like it?  Can you just walk up to your hero and show him the diorama you made for school?  What if he's like, 'that doesn't look like me'?

There's no one better than him.  We've said it all along.  He's the reason we started this blog.  Keep doing what you're doing Gus.  From all of us at the Gus Johnson's Whisper blog team, thank you for doing what you do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Running Diary Part II

Here is the second part of the running diary.  All the way through the afternoon games.  Gus Johnson's Whisper and The World's Ombudsman.  Giddyup:

3:07-Back to Lundquist (VL)and Raftery.  We get the Pitt East Tennesee State matchup.  Raftery does his ‘mantoman’ thing to start the game.  It’s a kind of ‘welcome to the game.  I’ll be here’ kind of thing.

3:12-We realize the game we are watching is being played at Dayton.  We’re wondering what the reaction is when guys find out they have to go to Dayton to play?  It’s probably the same reaction guys have when they find out they’re going to the dentist.

3:13-TWO wonders if anyone from Dayton left something in their home locker room?  Whoopie cushion?  Turd sandwich?  The possibilities are endless.

3:19-ETSU alley oop dunk.  Tie game.  It looks like Pitt doesn’t like to be pressed.  Wonder if anyone else will notice this?

3:28-Raftery tells us that Isaiih Brown of ETSU has lots of ‘bounce to the ounce’.  Is that like the formula for slope in geometry?

3:33-Shot of VL and Raftery.  VL looks like a white version of ‘Grimace’.  He also looks like the end boss at the end of Super Mario Brothers 2 on NES.

3:36-Dayton is up 8 on West Virginia.  Looks like we were REALLY wrong about WVU.  Unless they win, then we were right.

3:37-ETSU has entered the 5 guys stand around and 1 guy goes 1 on 1 mode.  This does not bode well for the first 16 over a 1 upset.

3:43-The discussion of the term ‘mid-major’ leads to believe that said term is overused.  It’s being used for any team that makes the tournament.  Stephen F Austin is not a mid major.  We coin the term ‘Minor’ and move on.

3:46-Pitt continues to struggle with the pressure.  They are up 2.  How are you feeling about your brackets right now Pitt fans?

3:55-Some more facebook analysis.  Female pictures examined.  GJW just kind of nods and agrees a lot.

3:57-Pitt has 13 turnovers in the half.  ATTENTION!  ATTENTION! We don’t handle the press well!  Halftime up 1 over East Tennessee State.  Make it 3.  Basket was no good.  Whatever.  Ov-er-Ra-ted, duh duh duh duh duh, Ov-er-Ra-ted…

4:01-Spanarkal joke # 19 comes up as CBS switches back to ASU Temple.  This joke involves spackle and a swing set.  Temple is in the game because of Christmas.  Harden continues to be ‘just a guy’.  Enjoy him whoever picks him.

4:06-The short white guy on ASU pulls up with a back.  We believe this is a flash-forward to his life 25 years later at the local Y.

4:09-Christmas steals the ball from Harden and then outruns him down the other end to draw a foul on a 1 on 2.  We feel this is a microcosm.  We looked up micrcosm to be sure we were right.

4:12-All things considered, CBS is doing a pretty good job of tossing us to the games that are competitive.  We feel this is because Billy Packer is no longer associated with the tournament.

4:17-ETSU 3 to start the half.  Tie game.  This is way too late for a national champ contender to be tied with a 16 seed.

4:18-TWO goes: ‘Wanna see a video of a leopard attacking someone?’  Yes.  Yes we do.

4:20-ETSU misses their 100th free throw.  In the ‘Anatomy of an Upset’, nowhere is it written: ‘The lower seeded team should miss all of its free throws.’  So annoying.  This 16 over a 1 thing could be had.  It’s right there.

4:28-THE ETSU dude screams ‘GET IT OUT!’ on a block.  We rewind this a dozen times.  Incredible.

4:30-The Kiss!  Another Pitt turnover.  ETSU is down 2.  They are teasing us. 

4:32-TWO breaks down the Wild Wings commercial where the flash photographer sends the game into overtime.  Here are the issues he has:

-NYC and Boston fans are acting harmoniously.

-People don’t root for an outcome, rather, for the game to go on indefinitely.  This is not how fans watch games. 

-All the fans in attendance celebrate when the Boston player crashes into the base of the basket.  If this were a real game, people would be rioting.

He is incensed.  Let’s move on.

4:39-We’re now 6 minutes behind live TV because of the above paragraph.  ETSU continues to miss free throws.  They rebound well though.

4:43- VL claims to have had a ‘sports hernia for most of his life.’  No idea how to react to this.

4:48-Previews for ‘Fast & Furious’ air.  Baffling.  Hollywood really sucks sometimes.  This is one of those times.

4:50-Dear everyone, press us and you can win.  Signed, Pitt.

4:52-GJW makes the statement: ‘Levance Fields is the new Kalid El-Amin.’  Everyone agrees to this.

4:58-More ETSU missed free throws.  Dejaun Blair tips in a miss.  Pitt up 5.  Blair is unstoppable.  Pitt will lose when he gets in foul trouble.  They’re just not that good unless he’s on the floor.

5:05-Another TO for Pitt..  2 pt game.  Blair gets an And 1.  If ETSU shoots 70% from the foul line, they’re up 7 at this point.  As it stands, they don’t have enough.

5:14-Ball game.  Stick a fork in ETSU.  The shot 50% from the line, and like 29% from the field and they were STILL in the game until the end.  The Pitt Panthers everyone!

5:18-Back to Gus Johnson.  We were wondering all along how he’s been doing.  He didn’t like that West Virginia turned it over.  GJ doesn’t like turnovers when you need buckets.  Conversely, he loves the Chevrolet Players of the Game.

End of the afternoon games.