Friday, November 30, 2007

Please...Just Go Away Now...

On what planet can a guy get hit with a sexual harassment suit, lose it fabulously, costing his employers hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the embarrassment, and keep his job? Must be that great coaching record that kept Isaiah Thomas Head Coach of the Knicks, right? Remember the title....or, no, maybe last year's playoff...maybe not that either. Does getting whacked by 45 points to Boston count for anything? The Knicks played and entire 48 minute basketball game last night and scored 59 points! How, you ask? BY HITTING A 3 POINTER AT THE BUZZER! Surely, this will finish the "Zeke years" in the Garden.

The problem now for the Dolans is how silly do you look for firing the guy for sucking as a coach, when you didn't fire him for being an obnoxious sexual predator in the office? Scumbags need not apply...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pokes have that look...

The Dallas Cowboys were methodical in taking out the Green Bay Packers Thursday night, and forget using Brett Favre's injury as a excuse. The Packers played well for Aaron Rodgers as the cheeseheads got a glimpse of the future, and things don't look so bad. The kid from Cal can play, but tonight was about undrafted Tony Romo, UT-Chattanoga's Terrell Owens and UT-Knoxville's Jason Witten. This Cowboys team is going to the Super Bowl for an almost certain re-match with the New England Patriots in Glendale, Arizona. After that...all bets are off...

Nice comeback for Brian Brohm Louisville. Down 18 points in the 3rd quarter against Rutgers, the Cardinals rallied for a 41-38 win and a .500 finish at 6-6. Steve Kragthorpe can take that on the recruiting trail with him...

Finally, how bout them Predators! In the past week they've knocked off the top two teams in the NHL; the Red Wings last Thursday and now the Sens is Ottawa. On the day the NHL approved the sale of the team to David Freeman's group, the Preds come up with 6 goals in their first of 3 games in Canada (that's 4 goals, American). Now let's park the egos downtown and finish off this lease deal so we can settle into some serious hockey!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Thom Abraham Show Cast

I wanted to take a minute to formally introduce you to The Thom Abraham Show team. The show is truly a team effort and I couldn't do it without the crew. To the far left is Jeff Diamond, former GM of the Minnesota Vikings and President of the Tennessee Titans (Back when they were winning playoff games and going to the Super Bowl). Jeff is a tremendous resource for us and a better guy. He has taken the abstract show reference to a new height and has made me seemed focused!


In the middle is Jonathan Shaffer. Shaff is a very talented guy with a bright future who truly seems intent on making me sound good! He books the show, selects the music and cares for the show as if his name were on it. That is a rare find in this business. Shaff also has a passion for the Minutia, which I really appreciate, being the neurotic type-A personality I am. He has bought into what I've tried to bring here, and although we are at opposite ends of the political and sports spectrum (He's Red Sox/Steelers, I'm Yankees/Browns) I have a great deal of respect for him. Shaff is 26 and acts like he's 36, I'm 47 and act like I'm 12, so it seems to work...


In Huntsville, I rely on John Boy Dewey McGough (Magoo), shown on the field with me at the Alabama-Georgia game. He's better than I think he is, and not as good as he thinks he is, so that seems to work out. He is a true friend, however, and tries to keep everything moving along for me. He's good people, which is about the best thing I say about anyone...



And then there's Crazy Charlie...he's security....and about anything else we ask him to do. He's not quite right, but he does handle all the in-show research and soon will be bringing us traffic reports. If you see him out there, don't make eye contact...






Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is Ole Miss Nutts?

What's that old saying about "Another man's garbage"? Houston Nutt, out at Arkansas, in at Ole Miss? Really, not a bad deal for Ole Miss! They'd take 75 wins over the next 10 years. They'd take an occasional run at the SEC West Division crown; something they've never done. But was this Nutt's best option? What about the Bayou? Oh, Les is still there. Nebraska? Pitt? Oh, Wannstadt's still there. The pressure is on now at Arkansas to come up with someone to give them a better shot than Nutt did after they insulted Nutt with a 2 year deal. I hear Ed Orgeron is available...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Officially Time to PANIC!

10 1st downs? Against that defense? I know Albert Hayneswoth's loss has hurt the defense, but he doesn't line up on Vince's side of the ball. And, speaking of Big Al, NO defensive tackle is worth 20 points a game! The Titans are giving up gobs of yards and points against .500 teams now, and as good as they looked for two months, they look that bad now. All of these "Win-able" games are being lost and the Titans have now put themselves in a tenuous position. While teams like the Jags and Browns seem to be improving as the season wears on the Titans have back-slid. They can't run the ball; can't stop the run; really can't do much at all. This is where Vince Young's leadership, his meal ticket, is needed most. And there's no one to lead when he's sulking on the bench by himself.

This is all new to Young. He always won at Texas and was an immediate winner with the Titans. But now is the time to rise up. Now is the time for him to make his mark with both performance and by picking up his teammates. If you look like you quit on them, they'll quit on you. This team needs to go 4-1 down the stretch to make the playoffs. They looked like that team in September and October. They don't now. Would the real Tennessee Titans please stand up?

What a Diference a Month Makes...

On the 3rd Saturday in October, Philip Fulmer and the Vols looked lost, and the Crimson Tide had justified the $32 mil it spent ripping Nick Saban from the NFL. Since then, the Vols haven't lost, and the Tide haven't won....at all. Alabama woke up on October 21st 6-2, with a bye to get ready for LSU. Tennessee was 4-3, and ready to wave bye to Phil.

The Vols are now on the way to Atlanta and Alabama is hoping for a trip to Tennessee...maybe Memphis or Nashville for one of the "Appetiser Bowls".
Vols fans are left to wonder, "What now? Keep the course with Coach Fulmer and maybe win one of these titles?" Or, is it a false sense of security? And in Tuscaloosa, fans are wondering, "Is this year's 6-6, with now wins in November and a 7 point loss to Auburn better than last year's 6-6 with no wins in November and a 7 point loss to Auburn?"
One thing is for certain...nothing in the SEC is for certain. When I walked out of Bryant-Denny Stadium one month ago, having witnessed Alabama's 41-17 beating of a heartless Vols team, the furthest thing from my mind was...UT will be playing in the Championship game, one win away from the Sugar Bowl and Bama just won there final game if the season...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

When Les is....Less...

LSU's loss is devastating on a number of levels for the SEC. While SEC fans can expect to see a steady decline in the Bayou Bengals as the post Saban years continue, and post Miles for that matter, the effects of this one is far reaching. First, the dollars. No second BCS game takes $15 mil out of the conference coffers. It also pushes every other SEC team down a notch on the Bowl pecking order, further reducing the money in the mix.

Secondly, one less team is sure to go bowling, and even the lowliest of bowls brings additional practice time...Call it "Winter Practice" to set up "Spring Practice".

But, most importantly, its a prestige thing. Sure the SEC is deep, but championships is what people remember. The SEC lost a shot at another National Title, and has given fuel to those who dog the conference as over rated. But that's OK for ole Les...he probably thinks the Big Ten is better anyway....

Dawgnote: Keep in mind, it's not out of the realm of possibility for the SEC to get two BCS games. The SEC Championship Game winner will get the Sugar Bowl, and, assuming Tennessee beats Kentucky and loses to LSU in Atlanta, and assuming a Georgia win over Georgia Tech and a 10-2 finish, the Bulldogs could still be an "At-large" pick for a BCS game.

For the Record...

My "Beat the Big Dog" picks went a pedestrian 3-3 last week to remain 11 games over .500 at 57% against the spread. After winning with Dallas and USC, and a loss with Detroit on Turkey Day, 3 selections remain. Today, I like UT +2', Bama +6, and the Seminoles +13', and on Sunday, I've got the Titans -1'...enjoy the games!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Not Even Close!!!

After watching another SEC classic, this time between top ranked and poorly coached LSU and the schizophrenic Arkansas Razorbacks, I settled in to take in the WAC Championship game between #15 Hawai'i and #19 Boise St. 10 minutes into the game I was watching Rocky IV (can't believe Rocky didn't throw that towel in!) with the National Dog Show as my back up. I kept going back to the football game, feeling some sort of obligation, but finally gave up on this wacky WAC stuff. You mean to tell me that these are top 25 football teams? PLEASE!!!! Arkansas, Mississippi St., Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama and maybe even Vandy are middle of the pack SEC teams that would have a field day with these frauds. And LSU, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee? Forgetaboutit! Leave these people where they belong....mid week games and mid December bowls. Yeah, I know what Boise St. and Utah did in BCS games past...against suspect BCS conference foes in Oklahoma and Pitt...but that was the exception; the rare upset. And it wasn't the SEC.

A "Dynastic" Day!

Thanksgiving Day '07 was not one for pretenders. The Packers, Cowboys, Colts and Trojans of USC all showed there mettle. And, once again, Turkey Bowl '07 went to the team headed by the lovely Junkyard Babe and the Big Dog. Our annual exercise (and, in my case, MY annual exercise) in backyard football turned out as so many have in the past. After getting the Turkey in the oven, and before the early NFL game begins, two teams head into the back yard. Mine, and the one headed up by my 20 year old son (far right, on the sidelines with the Tide at A-Day '07).

Down a score late in the game, my son in law evens the score on a bootleg run, aided by a devastating block by yours truly on my 10 year old son that also sealed off the 9 year old and my 21 year old daughter...After a defensive hold, we took the ball again, with my wife and son in law alternating at QB. Finally, on 4th down, Clay heaves a ball deep into the corner of the endzone, just past the downspout on the house and inside the imaginary line from the end of the deck...a slight push off my 23 year old daughter gives me the separation I need to make a toe-tapping catch to secure the victory!

Editor's note: The rules in this game typically state the game is over once MY team secures a lead...To the victors......



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Everyone's Pinata...

Look, no one should feel sorry for Nick Saban. He's the highest paid college coach in the land, at one of the highest profile jobs in the country, and he got there after saying he wasn't going there. And if you want to hold his feet to the fire for not having his team ready against Mississippi St. and something called Louisiana-Monroe, then have at it. To the victor goes the spoils, to the loser, the ire of SportsNation...fair enough. But this firestorm over Saban's use of historical events to make a point is a bit much.

Saban NEVER said his teams pitiful loss to La-Monroe was LIKE 9/11 or Pearl Harbour. He used those events to illustrate galvanizing events. He spoke of his team hitting rock bottom. It was the same speech he gave the team in the locker room. They got it. Just like they, and every other football team, get the analogies that coaches often use. These men study history, war and the great Generals of all time. It is something that is passed down from the coaching tree. Learn how to lead men from the greatest leaders of men. But this is not even that! This is Saban making a historical reference to how people rally from tough times. More than 15,000 people have responded to a national poll asking if the comments were offensive. 61% have said no. But media blowhards like Dan LeBatard, he of the MIAMI radio show and MIAMI newspaper column couldn't wait to use his bully pulpit to push his pathetic, pandering efforts in his hometown.

The great irony in all of this is that Saban has provided cover for Charlie Wies, who has single handily brought Notre Dame to it's knees. And who do these guys count as there mentor and former boss? Bill Bellichick....good thing he hasn't done anything controversial this year!

(Dawgnote: In the interest of full disclosure, I note that my son does work in the Alabama Football office as a Sophomore student assistant. However, this is not a pathetic, pandering attempt to improve his lot there...Facts are stubborn things!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Formula for Failure...

Five dropped passes, one drive killing fumble, 4 big play penalties, 4 big play touchdowns allowed and two interceptions down the stretch. That will get you beat, say.....10 out of 10 times! Vince Young showed he's got the game to win last night, as did Jay Cutler. But Cutler's got a couple of things Young doesn't...a couple of Brandons. That would be Stokely and Marshall, playmakers at wide receiver. As for VY v. JC, it was a solid, effecient performance from Cutler, but the guy whos taking risks, trying to bring his team back, will always have the lower rating. Cutler got a punt return for a TD and a 62 yard TD run and rode the lead all night. Young should sue for non-support.
Two things I know for sure....this was a catch...









And this guy should get a lot more touches...

Monday, November 19, 2007

OK! We give! Can we have the NFL back now...?

Look, Bill, you can have the tapes back...do whatever you want...put a coach on the opponents sideline if you want...just stop the scorched earth hell you've unleashed on the NFL. 10-0 is one thing, destroying everything in you path is a bit much!

Good to see the Cleveland Browns get un-screwed for once. I'd love to know what was said in referee Pete Morelli's ears when he put those headsets on and was told he couldn't review Phil Dawson's game tying field goal. Browns have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL...even Romeo can't screw this up....can he?

We've all assumed Dallas is the class of the NFC, but it may be time to take another look at the Packers. Assuming Ryan Grant can get healthy, the Pack have enough of a running game to compliment Brett Favre's renaissance season. We'll find out in Dallas a week from Thursday on the NFL Network....which means most of you will be reading about it the next day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kernals from the Kennel...

To the gallows or the locker room? What was Nick Saban thinking about his team's effort in Saturday's stunning loss to ULM? What he inherited was a soft program, with a culture of not being able to finish the deal. Call it a mental thing...call it a toughness thing...but call it what it is...weak. This team has come up with big efforts from time to time over the past several years, only to ultimately lay an egg. Saban's been through this before; remember his LSU Tigers losing to UAB in his first year in Red Stick. Now, regardless of what happens on the Plain Saturday, he will rip this apart and begin rebuilding in his image, with new players, and new grit. One only has to look to the current bunch at LSU to what what kind of team Tuscaloosa will field. Next year will lay the foundation for what could be a huge year when the schedule flips again in '09....but right now, the Tide pretty much has ebbed...

UT showed some stones with a huge 4th quarter o save there SEC East title hopes against a Vandy team that once again shut it down after 3 quarters. You'd think the 'Dores might have learned something from the Georgia loss, but three 4th quarter possessions produced Run, Run, Pass, Punt. As predictable as my boy's bedroom looking like a tornado swept through the house after there little buddies came over...As for UT; they better be ready to play there best road game of the season in Lexington or they'll be watching Georgia play LSU on Dec. 2nd in Atlanta...

And finally, who's got West Virginia ahead of Ohio St.? This is about the Big Ten v. the Big East. Both played a crap non-conference schedule, but the Big Ten is less crap than the Big East. And one of these teams is going to New Orleans because the end of the perfect storm is when Oklahoma dumps Kansas or Missouri in the Big 12 title game....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Daily Dog Droppings...

Everyone with two eyes and a brain assumed Barry Bonds had somehow chemically altered his body, so how are we to react once it becomes a fact, proven in court? One thing to remember here is that Bonds is not getting jammed for using performance enhancing drugs...this is about perjury and obstruction of justice. What he was lying about and what justice he was obstructing is of no matter...check today's poll question as to what baseball should do about the Homerun King's record now...

My record against the spread in "Beat the Big Dog" now stands at 39-28, 58%, which will buy you a cup of coffee and a donut and leave you enough for the tip, so here are my selections this week:
On Saturday I've got Vandy +12' in Knoxville; I think they'll keep it close, Georgia -8' at home against Kentucky and I don't feel great about it, and, although I can't believe I'm saying it, I'll take Michigan at home, with the 4', against Ohio St. Not to save Lloyd Carr's gig, but for one big push to save a lost season...More on Ohio St. in a moment. Sunday, I've got Dallas-10' at home against the Skins, Cleveland -2' in Baltimore (Matty B LOVES B'more in this one) Monday night I'm taking the Titans and the 1' in Denver...

With Oregon losing last night, and don't talk to me about QB Dennis Dixon being hurt, they gave up 34 to an unranked team, can Ohio St. climb back into title game consideration? Not likely with the Big 12's big 3 going round robin....BUT....If Oklahoma gets dumped by Okie St., Kansas beats Missouri and then Oklahoma takes out Kansas in the Big 12 Championship game now you have to pick 2 from the one loss teams including OSU, LSU, and, of course, West Virginia. Now if LSU loses, the title game could come down to West Virginia and Ohio St.! Big 10 v. Big East. Conferences with no Title game. Just doesn't seem right...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Mr. Steinbrenner, I've come to my senses..."

Say what you want about A-Rod, but New York really is his only option. I don't mean financially, though that may be the case, but historically. How can a player who's only desire in the world is to be known as "The Greatest Ever" leave the Yankees without a ring and a plaque in Monument Park? Look, if Alex Rodriguez had never had played in New York, it would be different. But he did, so it's not. If reports of a 10 year, 275 mil deal are true, A-Rod and Scott Boras cost themselves a few bucks by "opting out" in the first place, and the cynic in me would say he did it to let the Texas Rangers off the hook, and make the Yanks pick up the full tab. But in the end, this is about ego and the chance to win. And the biggest winner in this deal may be Hank Steinbrenner.

Steinbrenner basically said, "Bring me the 3rd baseball, not the agent" and the 3rd baseman obliged. The Yankees and there fans were emotionally ready to move on, and now the guy they thought never wanted to be a Yankee says he really does. No really, really does. Please? Mr. Hank....please? "My wife even threw away the 'F-you' t-shirt!" That's all Yankee brass and Yankee nation needed....a little groveling. Welcome back, A-Rod...now go work on those pop-ups and make sure Jeets doesn't have to range to far to his right....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Can Titans gain something in loss?

Although the Tennessee Titans blew a golden opportunity to draw even with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South Sunday, they may have gained something in return; the ability to throw the ball. Oh, I know Vince Young looked scatter armed at times, but you can't gain confidence in the passing game throwing it 14 times a game. Young showed he can throw the hooks and outs as good as anyone, but he still struggles hitting moving receivers in stride, and that type of timing only comes with repetition. Sunday repetition. Running the hurry up and changing the pace was a good move by the Titans on Sunday, and I believe it will pay off down the road.

Once again, I do not understand the fascination with Lendale White. He certainly does some things well, but lacks any sort of explosion. As for Chris Henry; why wait on getting the suspension started? He was little used and Chris Brown is ready to go. And finally, regarding Brown; what has this guy done to deserve the back room treatment he's getting? Certainly we are not aware of every detail that goes on in the locker room or in the coach's meetings, but this guy seems to have more to bring to the table than he's being allowed. Is White's 3.5 yard per carry average that daunting? Jeff Fisher himself could have gone 8 carries for 12 yards yesterday!

Finally, how important is Albert Haynesworth to the defense? Look no further that the 166 yards rushing Jacksonville rolled up; fully 100 yards more than the Titans average allowed. Ryan Fowler was sealed several times on big running plays between the tackles largely because Big Al wasn't there to wreck havoc.

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint and I fully expect the Titans to rebound from this loss. Starting a week from tonight in Denver would be just fine with me!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Perfect Storm a Comin'

Well, look what we have here! Ohio St. trips on the way to Ann Arbor and now almost everyone who matters is a one loss team! Don't talk to me about Kansas and Hawaii, because I'm not buying into that one bit! Right now, LSU and Oklahoma are the two best teams in the country and may be on a collision course. And then there's Oregon. Now a case could be made for the Ducks as the top team in the land and the PAC-10 has been pretty solid this year. However, what bothers me most is that those guys will be sucking on a Latte, or whatever they do up there, while Oklahoma and LSU are beating there brains out in a Conference Title game against another top opponent. That's a problem for me, and I hope it keeps Oregon out if it comes down to those three teams.

In any event, this gaggle of deserving teams can only push us closer to some sort of a playoff down the road.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Welcome to Dawghouse Sports


I'm Thom Abraham, host of The Thom Abraham Show, heard every afternoon from 2p-6p CT on ESPN 106.7 the FAN in Nashville, Tennessee and Sportsradio 730 the UMP ESPN in Huntsville, Alabama. You can listen to the show at 1067thefan.com or 730ump.com. Here at Dawghouse Sports you'll get plenty of opinion on current events in the sports world, plus info on the best places to go and must see sporting events, plus, some solid advice on fantasy football, and my weekly football picks from a handicapping perspective!

I'll also keep you linked to some of the hottest sports links in the business and make sure you are on top of your game at the water cooler at work. We may even figure a way to get you audio links to some of the interviews we do on the show. If you're a sports guy, you need to bookmark this site! Welcome to Dawghouse Sports and feel free to call the show at 615-737-1067 to get in the Dawghouse and be a Junkyard Dawg!