• Shreveporttimes.com • Weather • Calendar • Jobs • Cars • Real Estate • Apartments • Shopping • Classifieds • Dating

Monday, March 31, 2008

Worst tourney ever?

Being on vacation last week, I had the chance to watch a lot of the NCAA Tournament. And let me say, I wasn't impressed.

I was hoping for some good basketball games. I got a couple of close games and a bunch of blowouts.

In fact, with all four No. 1 seeds making it to the Final Four, you could make a case that this is the worst tournament ever since the team we expected to still be playing are still playing.

I know there is a sentiment that this champion will be the strongest because it will have to go through two No. 1 seeds.

But for a viewer with the rare opportunity to watch last week, the tournament fizzled.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chad McDowell makes wise decision

I've been flipping through one of my Christmas gifts in the last couple of weeks, reading about some of former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler's coaching philosophies. The book mostly details Bo's experiences in building the Wolverines program in the late 60s and early 70s.

In one chapter, Bo talks about when to recognize the right opportunity for you. Just because a higher paying job is offered doesn't mean it's the right place for you. Several athletic directors approached him when he was an assistant at Miami-Ohio about heading up their football programs, but he turned them down. Then Michigan came calling.

Why do I mention Bo? Because LSUS men's basketball coach Chad McDowell faced one of those decisions this week. Centenary athletic director Tom Tallach approached McDowell this week about the Gents' available position. The two talked for five hours on Tuesday, and McDowell was considered one of the candidates for the job.

Instead, McDowell decided to remain at LSUS instead of pursuing the Gents job further.

Sure, jumping to a Division I program from the NAIA would be a fantastic move, but Centenary has been a program in flux for years. McDowell's decision came down to one factor - where did he and his family feel most at home? Using that criteria, there was only one logical selection.

It was the right one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yo beerman!

Lost in the fervor of Opening Day in Japan comes this amazing discovery from Tokyo. This AP photo shows a beer vendor in the upper deck of Tokyo Stadium serving customers with a mini-keg strapped to her back.

The Japanese beat Americans in making electronics, cars and now lead the way in developing beer distribution. How come no major league parks in America have this technology?

I'm sure there are some LSU fans out there that would love one of these.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

LeBron's Vogue cover drawing criticism

The Associated Press had a story today, reporting that the recent Vogue magazine cover of LeBron James with supermodel Gisele Bundchen is drawing criticism from some that say it is racially insensitive.

I don't see it from glancing at the cover, but opponents argue that the photo reinforces racial stereotypes. Their argument is the photo features a young, athletic black male in an aggressive manner, clutching a young, beautiful white female.

In the AP story, magazine analyst Samir Husni says the photo "screams King Kong".

Did that image cross anyone else's mind?

Jemele Hill of ESPN.com wrote:

In case you haven't seen the cover, LeBron has Gisele in one hand and a basketball in the other. LeBron is dressed in basketball gear, with his muscles flexing, tattoos showing and bared teeth. Gisele, on the other hand, is wearing a gorgeous slim-fitting dress, and smiling.

She looks like she's on her way to something fashionable and exciting. He looks like he's on his way to a pickup game for serial killers.

Pickup game for serial killers? Really? I know Hill is trying to make a point, but come on. What part of his appearance gives the impression he's going to a pickup game for serial killers? The tattoos? His scowl and yell? How is LeBron's appearance/outfit different from what he'd be wearing at an NBA game?

To make the quantum leap that this photo is a reminder of King Kong climbing the Empire State Building with Fay Wray clutched in his hand is ludicrous.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Proof that the WAC is a bad women's league

Got any guess how bad the WAC is as a women's basketball league?

Fresno State, which was clearly the best team in the conference and which hammered the Lady Techsters three times this season, got blown out 88-67 by Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

You can listen to the rhetoric about how much improved the WAC is, but the facts don't back up the talk. There are at least 19 conferences ranked ahead of the league that the Techsters finished fourth in.

Enough said.

Let's see more of these sights

It was a scene that you probably won't see in any other NCAA sport in any other league around the country.

Following their 3-0 sweep of the Oakland Grizzlies on Saturday afternoon, the Centenary Ladies and their vanquished opponents were treated to a barbecue at the Centenary softball complex by a group of Centenary parents. Sure, there wasn't a lot of intermingling between the two squads, but it was refreshing to see the opponents sitting around in close quarters on a beautiful afternoon enjoying a great meal.

It seems that the Summit League has asked the home team to provide a meal at the game site after each conference series to save the visiting team the time and money it takes to go to a restaurant. It's a great idea that should promote relationships between the squads.

Oakland coach Glenn MacDonald walked over and hugged Melody Montgomery, wife of Centenary coach Mark Montgomery, and stood around visiting with the Montgomery family. It was a scene that you don't see every day in college athletics, but it's one we should see more of.

Strong bond between LSUS coach, AD

On Monday, LSUS athletic director Doug Robinson granted Centenary athletic director Tom Tallach permission to talk with LSUS coach Chad McDowell about the Gents' men's basketball coaching position.

Robinson doesn't know when Tallach plans on contacting McDowell, but he expects it some time this week. Tallach better be ready to make a good presentation because Robinson is ready to ensure McDowell's future at LSUS.

"He’s going to come back to me, and we may not have the last say, but we want Chad at our university," Robinson told me on Monday.

Robinson said he had relationship with McDowell that's very much like a father-son one and was on the verge of tears when talking about his coach.

It's evident the two have a bond that extends beyond the traditional employer-employee relationship. The Centenary offer is going to have to be very, very enticing to lure McDowell away from LSUS.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What the heck is the CBI?

Wasn't it enough to have the NIT as Loserville?

Now we have something called the CBI for Loserville's losers. Heck, I'm surprised some of our loser state school teams didn't get invited to that.

Seriously, the NCAA has already dwarfed the NIT to the point of irrelevance. Why would anyone want to add to it?

And I understand people wanting to make money and coaches and players wanting to play games. But they shouldn't expect to ever be more than an off-Broadway production.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

'Tis the season

After Barack Obama and John McCain put their March Madness picks on their Web sites (you know, you've got to look like the common man to be voted president), Bill Clinton went on XM radio to talk hoops with James Carville and Luke Russert on 60/20.

(Shameless plug, we love us some James Carville here at The Times. You may notice that Carville wrote the foreword to "Bayou Bliss.'')

Anyway, Bill Clinton, who as best I can tell seems like he's running for president too, told the guys at 60/20, he likes North Carolina, Memphis, UCLA and Georgetown for his Final Four. Clinton still has all four of his teams alive, although UCLA struggled with Texas A&M. He also said his heart is with Georgtown but he figures Carolina or Memphis will win it all.

Obama's Final Four picks were North Carolina, Kansas, Pittsburgh and UCLA. He lost Pitt today. He has Carolina winning it all.

McCain's Final Four picks were North Carolina, Kansas, Memphis and UConn. He lost UConn on Friday. He also has Carolina winning it all.

Don't know what that's worth.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Best. Web site. Ever

In the immortal words of Comic Book Guy, one of the greatest Simpsons characters, www.hulu.com may be the best Web site ever.

The site has 50 networks and film studios contributing TV and movie clips and even entire episodes and films - all free of charge.

Want to watch last night's episode of The Simpsons or The Office? Check them out at hulu.

What does this mean to sports fans? Try this. Classic NHL or NBA games, like....

"But, Brian," you say. "This is SEC country. There ain't no way I'm watching the 1977 Stanley Cup Finals."

Fine. Try this instead...

Happy now?

So long, Pilots

LSUS may have been the No. 4 seed in the national NAIA Tournament, but the Pilots won't get past the second round -- again.

A team that was supposed to be built for Kansas City faltered just like all of the rest.

The defense wasn't as bad as it has been in some years. LSUS allowed 83 points to Azusa Pacific this morning.

It was just the offense never got going in scoring 69 points.

It's enough to make you wonder if LSUS will ever break through in Kansas City.

I know the Theo Epstein theory of just wanting to get into the tournament/playoffs enough that sooner or later you win one.

But after yet-another LSUS letdown, you're certainly allowed your doubts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Techster foe ousted from Arizona

Surprising women's baksetball news came out of Arizona today when Joan Bonvicini, one of the most recognizable faces in the women's game, was fired after 17 seasons at the school.

Lady Techsters fans will remember Bonvicini from her Long Beach State coaching days, when she took that team to two NCAA Final Fours. The veteran coach was one of just three coaches to defeat Leon Barmore's Techsters during that club's 30-3, National Finalist season of 1986-87. Bonvicini defeated the Techster 99-95 in overtime that year.

Bonvicini got Arizona in the NCAA Tournament seven times, but her last three teams were a combined 29-63.

Arizona's opening is one of nine women's division I openings currently listed. Other vacancies are at Nicholls State, North Texas and UCLA.

Josh Porter getting national attention

LSUS guard Josh Porter has been an amazing story, recovering from a near-fatal accident during a game last season.

Now that the Pilots are in Kansas City for the NAIA Tournament, he's getting recognition from the national media too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Panella plays blind man's bluff

Newly arrived Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings quarterback Steve Panella might want to get his eyes checked before taking the field and looking for defensive backs.

According to Wings' General Manager Butch Bellah, Panella stopped by the Battle Wings office on Wednesday and asked where the (CenturyTel) arena was.

"Look out that window there. See that big building across the field. That's it," Bellah said.

Granted, Panella's Amarillo Dusters didn't play in the arena during the 2007 season, but the CTC is a lot easier to find than is the Battle Wings office.

Sign of the Apocalypse

Is it just me or does New Jersey legislator Sen. Robert Singer have very little to do?

Singer has introduced legislation asking the NCAA to look into the clock management situation in a Feb. 11 game in Knoxville won 59-58 by Tennessee amid a dispute over whether the clock expired.

According to the Associated Press, Singer's non-binding legislation calls upon the NCAA to investigate the game at the Thompson-Boling Arena in which the game clock seemed to pause for more than a second just before reaching zero, giving Tennessee time to make two foul shots to win.

Game and SEC officials reviewed tape of the incident and found nothing amiss. But that hasn't stopped Singer, whose legislature is reportedly battling severe budget woes.

"Some can say there's a lot more important things," Singer told the AP. "You're right. This is not the most pressing issue, but it's something to me that's an issue that we can take care of and we can send a resolution. Not a big deal to do, but it sends a message the state would like to take a look at it."

Hopefully, the NCAA will tell Singer take a hike.

Two more Centenary candidates emerge

In addition to LSU-Shreveport's Chad McDowell, a couple of other names have surfaced as potential candidates for Centenary's vacant men's baskeball coaching position.

Northwood High School coach Larry Bagley, who was Tommy Canterbury's second assistant during a time when the Gents went 36-49, apparently has his name in the hopper, as does Northwestern State assistant coach Mark Slessinger. An Indiana native, Slessinger has been on coach Mike McConathy's staff for nine seasons.

Also in the running are coaches at Tarleton State and Texas A&M Commerce, both schools where Centenary Athletic Director Tom Tallach served in the athletic administration.

Other names will undoubtedly surface in the search. Coach Rob Flaska came out of the blue as an Arkansas assistant coach three years ago when he took the job.

Whomever gets the Centenary job, will have a bevy of talent to build around. Leading scorers Ty Hamilton and Nick Stallings return, along with contributing freshmen Justin Glenn, Anthony Gatlin and Tim Price. Steady point guard Chase Adams will be back for two more seasons.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No excuses at NSU

The Northwestern State Demons announced their 2008 football schedule today.

This is a schedule that leaves no excuses for the Demons next season.

They have seven home games for only the second time in school history.

They play only one BCS team and even that is not a powerhouse. Baylor is much closer to NSU's level than Texas Tech, Kansas and Ole Miss have been in recent years.

And there is the open date before the start of SLC play that will give NSU two weeks to get ready for Nicholls State.

This is a schedule designed for success.

The only drawback is three of four games on the road to end conference play, but that's a small price to pay for that kind of schedule.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Centenary talk

His name has been ciruclating all weekend in regards to the Centenary men's basketball coaching job. Now comes word that Centenary has asked permission to speak with LSUS coach Chad McDowell.

McDowell is on the Gents' candidate list. But he doesn't figure to talk to the school until after LSUS' run in the NAIA national tournament.

It's easy to see why Centenary would be interested in McDowell. He has ties here. He has built a successful program at LSUS.

While Centenary is a Division I job and would be considered a move up, there is more to that job than meets the eye. Funding has always been an issue. Fan support is lacking. Academic standards are, we're told, higher. So it could be more of a challenge than the next Gents coach realizes.

Don’t count Rockets out

As the Houston Rockets’ winning streak gets longer, so does the list of naysayers who say they can’t win it all this year.

Jeff Van Gundy, who preceded Rick Adelman as Houston’s head coach, said Sunday the Rockets couldn’t win an NBA title this year without Yao because of the grind of the playoffs.

But Jeff, they’ve done well under the grind of a playoff-like atmosphere, haven’t they? Like in the playoffs, the Rockets get the opposing team’s best shot every night. Each team wants to be the one to end the streak.

“Will this team win the West?” asked ESPN’s Jalen Rose. “No, because the regular season is about health, chemistry, and the discipline to get it done over an 82-game schedule. The playoffs is about matchups and four-out-of-sevens. And I don’t think they can match up very well with a handful of teams.”

But Jalen, they’ve adjusted pretty well over the last 22 games, with and WITHOUT Yao Ming, haven’t they?

There’s something extraordinary about a team that can win 22 straight games – no matter whom or where they play. Only once in the history of the NBA has a team won more consecutive games than the Rockets.

And now, few give the Rockets a chance of even winning the Western Conference, which they lead after knocking off the West’s previous No. 1 team, the Los Angeles Lakers, on Sunday.

After all the Rockets have accomplished this season, I’m not about to write them off. Never underestimate the role of confidence; I’ve talked to these players, and they genuinely believe they can win each time they walk onto the court.

And over the last 22 games, who could argue with them?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Demons' time? Not

No matter how you want to look at it, Sunday's SLC Tournament outcome was a disappointing one for the Northwestern State Demons.

You can talk about how they team fought its way into the tournament finals. But the bottom line is the 82-79 loss to UTA is disappointing.

It's disappointing because this was supposed to be a tournament type of team for NSU.The Demons weren't. It's disappointing because NSU was a better seed than UTA. And it's disappointing because it's three losses in the tournament title game in the last four years.

It's not time to panic. But it might be time to re-evaluate the way these championship games have gone.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Demons' time?

Northwestern State will find itself in a rare position on Sunday.

The Demons will be carrying the banner for Louisiana. That's right, NSU is the only hope for the state to have a team playing in March Madness.

And to do that, NSU must defeat Texas-Arlington today in the Southland Conference Tournament championship.

Even with a win, the road figures to be tough for NSU. You've got to figure that with a sub-.500 record, NSU would be in the play-in game. And even with a win in that game, the Demons' reward would be going up against a No. 1.

But that worry can wait. For now, NSU is Louisiana's hope.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Quick on the trigger

Centenary athletic director Tom Tallach has been on the job less than a year, but apparently he saw enough to let men's head basketball coach Rob Flaska go.

Flaska coached at Centenary for only three seasons and never saw a recruiting class go through a full four-year cycle.

On the surface, that seems a bit unfair.

But here is the real issue for Centenary: Who wants this job?

Oh, you'll hear the Centenary folks talk on and on about candidates wanting to coach Division I basketball. But if you don't fund the program at the same level as the teams you compete against and if you start demanding progress in,oh let's say three years, then your pool of candidates isn't going to be nearly as good as you might think.

Centenary is on the clock.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Don't forget your mace

Nothing says soccer, er football, like a massive riot breaking out in the stands. This happened earlier this month in Colombia between two rival clubs.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might want to retabulate its votes in the best actor category after one club's coach elbows the other team's, sending the coach "flying" backward.

And, as far as the injury report, how about more than 80 people injured, including 18 with stab wounds. Makes going to Yankee Stadium seem like a day at the park.

Can someone explain to me what makes soccer fans the biggest lunatics? The sport is a kindergarten class compared to the on-field aggression in football and hockey. Yet, throngs of fans don't start slugging the other during a Cowboys-Giants game.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

LSUS has great chance at playoff run

Pilots head coach Chad McDowell points out that his 2005-06 squad that advanced to the NAIA Tournament was probably his most talented from top to bottom in five seasons. The 2006 Pilots were upset in the first round though.

This year's Pilots are seeded No. 4 for the NAIA Tournament that begins next week. They are a talented group too, but lately, they've been a more balanced group. In a word, it's about defense.

The 2005-06 squad had the talent (i.e. Fredericko Payne) to drill 25-footers from around the court. It's hard to do it when you're constantly working to get open looks and there's a hand in your face however.

The 2008 Pilots have a collection of senior talent that doesn't rely on one scorer. One night, it's Josh Porter. The next night it could be Jamon Morris or Travis Cash or J'Quincy Jones.

If there's one stat the Pilots need to improve on, it's free throws. Amazingly, they're shooting 64 percent from the line. That's an incredible stat for a team that's 30-2. If a game comes down to the free throws, LSUS may be in trouble and looking at another early exit.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A lot at stake

Several area college basketball teams have a lot at stake this weekend.

-- Lady Techsters coach Chris Long needs a strong showing in the WAC Tournament to take some of the sting away from what it has been a 15-14 season.

-- LSU men's coach Butch Pierre needs a strong SEC Tournament showing to help him either get the Tigers' job or position himself for his next job.

-- NSU needs to win the SLC Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament. This was a team with high hopes to begin the season and never really reached the heights it was hoping for in 2007-08.

Should be a fun weekend for hoops fans.

Monday, March 10, 2008

LSUS heading to Kansas City

Chad McDowell has worked wonders down on E. Kings Highway with LSUS.

In the span of five years, he's turned the Pilots into one of the premier NAIA programs in the nation. The Pilots won their third conference tournament title on Monday, getting a solid overall defensive effort to do it.

LSUS is heading back to Kansas City, the site of the NAIA's national tournament, for the fourth time in five seasons.

This year's club may have the best shot of any of McDowell's previous teams of a long run through the tournament for one reason - defense.

The Pilots have concentrated their efforts on shoring up its defense after a couple of games where they allowed 97 and 100 points to Southern-New Orleans and Spring Hill, respectively. Since those games defense has been the Pilots' forte. Monday's win illustrated the point.

The Pilots will need to play even better defense in Kansas City. That's been their one Achilles Heel in seasons' past. LSUS has the talent to win one or two games, but for it to take the next step, the defense will have to come through.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Local MMA rivalry heats up

Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium was abuzz with mixed-martial arts action again Saturday night. Ring Rulers’ 13-fight card featured a little bit of everything -- including some extracurriculars between a couple of rising local fighters.
Shreveport’s Blake Franklin was up against Frank Barragan in the event’s main event. However, it was apparent Franklin had his mind on someone else. Bossier City’s Brandon Rondon was in the house, serving as a judge. The event nearly became the Franklin-Rondon show despite the fact the two weren’t fighting.
Hours before Franklin was to fight Barragan, Rondon stepped into the ring and issued a challenge to Franklin while Franklin and Barragan were brought to center stage for some fight poses.
Franklin ended up suffering a second-round loss to Barragan, who took the fight on two days notice, and clearly didn’t appear on top of his game. He admitted he may have been distracted by the night’s side show.
After the defeat, some trash talking turned into a scuffle ringside.
These two, assuming they stay healthy, will fight some day. It needs to happen. It’s clear neither fighter can mentally further their careers before settling this dispute.
The only problem right now is that Rondon is an amateur and Franklin is a professional. Rondon plans a few more amateur fights before the summer, so expect a Franklin-Rondon showdown to take place in the late summer or early fall.
You’ll want to be there.
Kudos to Ring Rulers regarding that situation. Although allowing Rondon to enter the ring before Franklin fought, the MMA promoters made the correct call by not allowing Rondon to judge the Franklin-Barragan bout – something the fans likely didn’t notice, but in the interest of fairness and with Louisiana Boxing and Wrestling Commission chairman Alvin Topham in attendance, it was a very heads-up move.

For an extensive photo gallery from Saturday’s show, log onto shreveporttimes.com


James Crow (1-0, 143 pounds, Tyler, Texas) def. Jacob Teague (1-7, 150, Nashville, Ark), 2:41 of first round (strikes).
Justin Cassedy (1-0, 145, Dallas) def. Michael Honey (0-1, 147, Hot Springs, Ark.) 1:52 of first round (rear-naked choke).
Quaint Kempf (1-0, 161, Dallas) def. Jamie Driskell (0-1, 153, Longview, Texas) :48 of first round (doctor’s stoppage due to cut).
Dan Melander (2-3, 180, Marshall, Texas) def. Brandon Green (0-1, 180, Dallas) 1:50 of second round (strikes)
Daniel Warrick (1-0, 132, Silsbee, Texas) def. Eric Velasco (1-1, 134, Tyler, Texas) :39 of first round (guillotine choke)
Brian Cox (1-0, 180, Dallas) def. Will Hesler (0-1, 185, Dallas) :42 of second round (strikes)
David Barringer (1-0, 156, Dallas) def. Kaleb Britt (0-1, 157, Silsbee, Texas) by rear-naked choke)
Jeff Hammond (3-0, 152, Tyler, Texas) def. Chad Fullmer (4-2, 156, Conway, Ark.) :22 of first round (guillotine choke)
Mitchell Thelen (5-1, 168, Marshall, Texas) def. Joey Freid (4-2, 170, Shreveport) 1:19 of second round (arm bar)
King Gladney (6-1, 265, Bossier City) def. David Bernal (0-3, 300, Searcy, Ark.) 1:47 of second round (arm bar)
Ring Rulers Texas Middleweight Championship: Roy Spoon (5-2, 169, Dallas) def. Derrick Krantz (12-6, 169, Marshall, Texas) :48 of second round (rear-naked choke)
Mike Wessell (5-1, 250, Little Rock, Ark.) def. Mark Bier (1-2, 257, Fort Smith, Ark.) :45 seconds of first round (KO)
Frank Barragan (1-1, 139, Dallas) def. Blake Franklin (1-2, 141, Shreveport) 2:08 of second round (tapout, strikes).

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rockets continue to soar

Greetings from Toyota Center, where tonight in downtown Houston, the Rockets extended their winning streak to 18 games after knocking off the New Orleans Hornets 106-96.

The Hornets, who trailed by 13 points at halftime, were constantly kept off balance as the Rockets connected on a season-high 14 three-pointers.

Tracy McGrady and Chris Paul were spectacular. McGrady scored 41 and Paul collected 37 and a game-high 11 assists.

“For the most part,” said Rockets forward Shane Battier, “we eliminated what they wanted to do.”

Forget about the Rockets’ winning streak; what they talked about in the locker room after the game was gaining ground in the rough Western Conference.

The Rockets and Hornets now have identical 42-20 records, and they trail the Los Angeles Lakers by two games.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mavs in trouble?

Has it really been two years since the Dallas Mavericks played in the NBA Finals?

It sure doesn't seem that way.

The Mavericks look like they'll be doing good just to make the playoffs. Yet, when you listen to some Metroplex sports talk radio shows, you'd think this team was a contender. Heck, a couple of DFW sports talking heads talked about the Mavericks getting into the top four of the playoffs earlier this week.


The Mavericks are in seventh place in the Western Conference and just two games ahead of the ninth-place team.

Of course, these are the same people talking about what a great deal the Jason Kidd trade was. The Mavs are 4-5 since getting Kidd.

Here's what it looks like from here: The Mavs finish in the bottom half of the top eight and get bounced again in the first round.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Summit League slights Ladies

Centenary women's basketball coach Steve Curtis was steaming on Wednesday night -- and with good reason.

The veteran coach was upset that his fresham forward Anne Farrell wasn't selected as the Summit League Newcomer of the year and that former Loyola standout Ashley Jackson didn't make the team at all.

Western Illinois’ Katy Davenport captured the honor after averaging 10.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Farrell averaged 12.2 points and 6.8 boards despite being the focus of opposing defenses. Farrell also had the best field goal percentage (.445) of anyone who made the Newcomer team.

Jackson didn't make the squad despite having the second best scoring average (10.6 ppg) and the third best rebound mark (5.6) of the 14 nominees.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

So long Favre

Brett Favre is hanging them up.

Favre has a few connections to Shreveport. He played here in the Independence Bowl for Southern Mississippi.

Actually, LSU fans should hold a bit of a grudge against Favre. He not only put USM on the map (unless you're counting Ray Guy) but he also made Curley Hallman a hot coach commodity.

And Favre shared part of his time in Green Bay with Calvary coach Doug Pederson who was Favre's backup.

Area Cowboys fans fondly remember beating Favre in an NFC title game.

But all football fans should remember for the way he played the game -- taking chances and playing with a swagger.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Postseason fever?

Maybe if we had a team from,oh, a three-hour radius, going to the NCAA Tournament I could get jacked up for March Madness (and I'm not including the women in this one).

Instead, we're surrounded by bad basketball.

The only March Madness around here we'll be watching is LSU's coaching search.

Me, I prefer it when there are teams from around here in the NCAA Tournament.It gives you a reason -- outside of your office pool -- for watching. As it is, I've got about two weeks to get fired up for the tournament.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Saints staying busy

The Saints had a busy day Sunday.

Let's see there was the re-signing of running back Aaron Stecker. That's probably a nice insurance policy against a hurt Deuce McAllister or an underachieving Reggie Bush.

They signed a free agent defensive end in Bobby McCray and are set to sign former LSU and New England Patriots cornerback Randall Gay on Monday.

The McCray signing and soon-to-be Gay signing are good signs. Add these players to the Jonathan Vilma trade and the Saints seem to be aggressive in shoring up their defense. Still,it probably wouldn't hurt to use the draft as another means to help improve the defense.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kudos to LSUS

The LSUS Pilots wrapped up the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference basketball championship today. That's three titles in five years for the Pilots under coach Chad McDowell.

You've got to hand it to McDowell and LSUS athletic director Doug Robinson. Not only have they built a men's basketball program from scratch. But they have built the kind of program that is a consistent winner.

While I still have my questions about their free throw shooting and, at times, their defense, tonight is a night when Pilots fans should appreciate what they've got in a men's basketball program.