Sunday, April 01, 2007

For a while, I was looking forward to the new season of Mind of Mencia. I saw his stand-up show, Take a Joke, America about 5 years ago. I've been watching his Comedy Central show since it came on the air. But then I saw the commercials for the season premiere. And it reminded me that there's a lot to be said for the cliche that timing is everything.

I think at this point, every joke that can be (and probably should be) made about that astronaut that went on the cross-country spree of insanity. It's too bad for Carlos that his show was on hiatus and he didn't get a chance to beat that to death with the rest of the media when it happened. But it would have been far better to let it go than to cram it into a season opening episode three months after the fact like a little "dee-de-dee" (sorry to steal his catch phrase) trying to force the round peg into the square hole.

I said all that because I'm running the risk of making that same mistake tonight. It's been nearly two weeks since the Falcons traded backup quarterback Matt Schaub to the Houston Texans. I really don't know why I care, but this trade seems like a mistake for both teams.

It seems like the Texans made this move so that they'll never have to hear commentators rip them for passing on Reggie Bush and Vince Young. As bad as the Mario Williams move looks now (I am still not willing to say this was a wasted pick after only one season, give him another year or two before the verdict is delivered), it's still a million times better than giving a guy with 2 career starts a $48 million dollar deal over 6 seasons. Fortunately for the Texans, only $7 million is guaranteed.

I think my favorite line from that link was Schaub's agent referring to this deal as "a real contract." That's the guy I want to represent me. Where did he go to business school? DeVry? I bet he's the type of guy who calls business school "B-school" in casual conversation.

The real problem here is that the Texans have been around now for five full seasons and they show no real signs of improvement as a franchise. It seems like the team faces an either/or decision every year and they choose poorly every time. It's actually kind of amusing, it must be what non-Celtics fans and people who aren't consumed by a bitter hatred of Danny Ainge see when they look at his tenure as the Celtics GM. If the Celtics come out of this draft without landing a franchise savior, it might just be the NBA's version of that Mario Williams pick.

This is a mistake for the Falcons, too. They're rolling into a season with plenty of turmoil (new coach, Vick's trick water bottle and the rest). And they have no reliable backup for Ron Mexico. A wild rumor has them considering bringing in Drew Bledsoe, which has disaster written all over it. So Atlanta is one injury or ill-advised carry-on item away from a lost season. What a shame it would be if they missed the postseason again.

I don't see the logic of this move from the Texans standpoint. I haven't seen a lot of Matt Schaub, but then again who has? After only two starts, who knows what he can deliver in the long run? He seems like a younger David Carr with less mileage on him. Considerably less mileage, what with the fact that David Carr gets hit more than some tackling dummies every week. But if David Carr wasn't the answer in Houston, I don't see how Matt Schaub will make them any better.

As for yesterday's Final Four games, I was right about Ohio State and wrong about Florida. Too bad. I hate Florida even more now than I did yesterday. With any luck Ohio State will beat them by a ludicrous, inconceivable margin. I was right, I think, about the Oden-Hibbert matchup. When the two of them were on the floor together, however brief that time may have been on account of foul trouble, it was very interesting. There might be some hope for the NBA yet.

I don't know if you got a chance to see any of the Detroit-Miami game, but it was very depressing. Miami took a 9 point lead into the fourth quarter and murdered it. Jason Williams is not remotely qualified to run an offense in the NBA. Detroit went to a full-court press, with Richard Hamilton guarding the point. And Miami's offense went into cardiac arrest. Antoine Walker was forced to bring the ball up when Gary Payton was in the game. And I was, in all fairness, disappointed with Toine's performance too, but maybe if Riley played him more he'd be less rusty.

If a full court press by Richard Hamilton destroys your offense, it might be time to consider a new sport. I never would have believed a veteran team would be so mystified by a simple tactic like the full court press. After all, elementary school kids are taught the full court press. And a "coaching legend" like Pat Riley had absolutely no answer. Miami might as well have had four guys on the court, for all the good Williams did there.

God help the Heat in the playoffs. I never thought Dwayne Wade's ability to bring the ball up against the full court press would be the aspect of game the team missed the most. I figured it would be much harder to make up for his scoring and his defense than for a rudimentary skill like handling Richard Hamilton pressuring the ball. Not that I could bring up the ball against Rip Hamilton, but he's not exactly a fearsome defender.

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