Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gimme that jug!

Pencil another one in for Michigan there, sir.

Big win. Biiig win. The Wolverines' 29-6 victory today over Minnesota was huge because not only does it stop their five-game losing streak but it takes out the possibility of a double-digit number in the loss column. And they did it against 7-2 Minnesota, on the road, without their starting quarterback! Crazy. It was nice to see Michigan actually play all 60 minutes consistently. The defense was great and even though the offense had trouble in the red zone, they continued to sustain drives and get the ball moving. I know Minnesota isn't considered a tough rival for Michigan every year but whenever the second-oldest trophy in college football is on the line (the little brown jug you see above), the game carries some importance.

A 3-7 record isn't impressive by any means and still makes me cringe occasionally, but I can see success in the near future. RichRod has brought in some talented offensive players already (Odoms, McGuffie, Shaw) and I think that when they get some more experience and Rodriguez actually starts to get all of his recruits through the system, this Michigan squad will turn heads. Next week they play Northwestern at home in the Big House before heading to the Horseshoe in hopes of upsetting the Hairless Nuts in their final game. With the way the team played today, they certainly are capable of beating Northwestern and maybe giving OSU a game. It will be interesting, at any rate. But anyway, good win today. Makes me happy to see those players keep some of their dignity and raise that little brown jug over their heads. They've played hard this year; they deserve it.

Checkin' In on the Cup Defense...

In other news, the Red Wings are off to a good start to their season, holding an 8-2-2 record at the moment. They've had a few tough losses to some good teams but overall, they've played solidly. Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk are absolutely melting the ice beneath their feet as they have started to develop an incredible chemistry together. I feel sort of bad for Zetterberg, who's been sitting on the second line with less talented guys like Samuelsson and Cleary because of Franzen's injury, but the Mule will be back in action again this Tuesday so that should give him something to smile about.

I thought I'd mention the Wings because they have had a full week off now, after finishing their five-game road trip out West last week, and will take the ice again at home against the Devils. With the new schedule implemented this season by commissioner Gary Bettman, every team plays every other at least once and because of that, the Wings play the Devils, Penguins, Lightning, and Panthers in their next four games. They hardly ever play any Eastern Conference teams in the regular season so that'll be an exciting stretch to watch. It's always good to see new players and jerseys instead of playing a division opponent every other game. Good ol' 1995 Finals rematch tonight...although Brodeur is out with an injury so it will be slightly less exciting. I say 4-1 Wings.

A.I. to Motown and Chauncey B-B-B-B-Billups going back to Mile High

I'm a general fan of professional sports and that includes basketball, so naturally the huge trade involving the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons caught my eye: Allen Iverson was traded to the Pistons for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and a draft pick this week. When I first heard about the trade, I was pretty shocked and shook up. Chauncey has always been my favorite player for the Pistons. He was pretty much the reason why I started rooting for them in 2002-03 when the team actually started to piece things together and win games. So, to see him leave was a major disappointment from a fan's standpoint. But in terms of basketball, this is a positive move for Detroit. Not only does it open up plenty of cap space for the coming years when free agents like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh go on sale, but the trade also opens up a new dynamic for the team. They now have a player, in Iverson, who can take over a game and create his own shot. He's a bonafide superstar, even if he is aging a bit (at 33). They've never had that before; they've just had a complete team. Iverson might mess with the chemistry the Pistons have built for years but after six straight conference finals appearances and only one championship, a change is necessary. I wasn't convinced of this when I first heard about the trade but I think in the long run, this could make the Pistons very difficult to beat in the playoffs this year. And, since the trade happened this early in the season, it gives A.I. some time to acclimate to the Pistons' playing style compared to if the Pistons had made this deal much later in the season around the trade deadline.

But yeah, I know a lot of you don't care about the Pistons so I'm done writing about them. I just wanted to voice my opinions on what might be the biggest trade in the team's history. Pretty interesting move by GM Joe Dumars. We'll see how it pans out.

Hope you've all had a good week. Enjoy the weekend! Go Wings!

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