Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ultimate Explosion!!

Welcome back, Gavin!

Yes, after a week of work/fun in Orlando I am back and burned to a friggin' crisp. Colin will continue to burn over in the deep south through Friday, so everyone will have to do without his particular brand of acerbic wisdom.

Not that much happened while I was out. The M's played Oakland, which meant they got stomped, and then played other teams, which right now means they were successful. Apparently everyone now realizes Joel Piniero sucks, which is about two years too late, and now we have absolutely nobody to replace him with, unless management decides that Rafael Soriano really should be pitching more than once every three days for an inning. Until then I can be mildly entertained with a ball club that is at least within spitting distance of .500 and laugh at those who believe we will actually threaten for a playoff spot.

The Hawks cut Tom Rouen, who was NEVER a favorite of the Crushed Optimists editorial staff. Rouen could directional-punt fairly well (except in the Super Bowl, when he decided to choke along with the rest of our special teams corps), but couldn't hit the ball for distance worth squat. Now that we have two young punters, including the best college punter in the nation last year (Ryan Plackemeier... hopefully the spelling is correct), it's time to say goodbye to Ol' Reliable. That does mean saying goodbye to a lot of Amy Van Dyken references, but the less Olympic swimming references I see in my Seahawks coverage the better off I am. I'm also really pleased that the Seahawks haven't had to deal with either contract messes or jerks this offseason, like Santonio Holmes with the Steelers or Plaxico Burress and the Giants (note to Giants fans... your "star" wide receiver not even attending a post season meeting and then refusing to apologize for it is probably not a good sign).

Speaking of contract messes, there are a few out there (referenced by SI.com's Jeffry Chadiha) I want to quickly throw my opinions out about.
Deion Branch - Invaluable wide receiver for the Patriots. He is definitely underpaid and the Pats continue to use this offseason to run roughshod over proven performers. While I still think they are the class of the AFC East, their aversion to actually rewarding anyone not named Tom Brady with money is closing the gap on other teams rapidly. Their offseason still sucks and this just makes it worse.
Nathan Vasher - Good cornerbacks who give you 8 picks are probably worth more than 500k. The Bears are more than welcome to stick to their principles, but when Vasher departs for more money later they are going to be mad they didn't get him long term when the price tag was smaller.
Ashley Lelie - He's making a huge mistake on this holdout. He's overrated.
Lance Briggs - Starting to get a bad trend of promising young players from the Bears getting stiffed (including their promising young head coach). Chicago is going to find themselves back in 4-12 hell if they don't make a few of these good talents happy.
Thomas Jones - Here the Bears are making a good decision. Cedric Benson is the future.

The NBA Finals have been a poorly officiated mess, especially the Game 5 debacle. Not like I'm surprised... it just seems to take games like that to open up most fans to the eye-popping mediocrity which is standard in every game and worse in the postseason. I'm still bitter about the San Antonio series last year, in which Manu Ginobili could take four steps, throw up the ball wildly, get hit by air, fall down and cry like Nancy Kerrigan, and get a foul called on the Sonics. I hate Ginobili. Bill Simmons actually has a decent article today (minus the ridiculous Red Sox reference) about that (also continues to disprove his own discussion about the Super Bowl with this refereeing talk... like he cares).

As to the World Cup, I got up at 3 in the morning the day after the Italy game to watch the recast (kept myself from knowing almost anything until then). I was truly impressed with our squad (unimpressed with the idiot ref), who were obviously the better team. A win against Ghana is almost assured, and I think Italy (who still has a lot to play for) beats a Czech team that has exactly zero strikers. Remember, we still needed some terrific saves from Keller to gain that draw. The Italians are savvy attackers. They lose when they quit defending. The Czech team will not challenge their weaknesses. I'd be pretty mad if I was a Czech fan, because this was an older team and this was their one opportunity for WC glory. Too bad injuries had to get in the way, because they showed against the US that they could have challenged all the way to the top.

posted by Gavin @ 2:31 PM  0 comments

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