Posts tagged The Roots
Posts tagged The Roots
• Minnesota Golden Gopher football will have new jerseys next year and the athletic department is releasing them to the public “Major League” style, by stripping away a glimpse of the new threads each day much like the Cleveland Indians did with the cardboard cutout of owner Rachel Phelps.
Today, they released the picture on the far right, which I’m guessing to be directly above the middle of he helmet. A few people are saying it looks like a Michigan M, which at this point, I would agree with. Matt from FBT theorized that it will be part of “Ski-U-Mah” across the front of the helmet, which would be pretty cool.
Follow the official Gopher Football Twitter feed for updates, at least until a photo officially leaks. The helmet will be released in full on Monday, with the full jerseys coming in January.
Rumors online say that the helmets will have a matte maroon finish (no sparkle helmets!), with the helmet logos separated on each side with numbers and the traditional “M” on the other. While the “43” picture lends credibility to that, the numbers also wouldn’t be raised quite like they are usually if they are on the side of a helmet. I would guess that is a picture of the back of the helmet.
In looking back over the year, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg grades the Gophers at a “D” for 2011. I’d argue, but the team lost to both New Mexico State and North Dakota State, in addition to getting beat 58-doughnut at The Big House. I wrote about my feelings of the season for FBT here.
Looking to 2012, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune writes that the Gophers will be looking to the junior college ranks for help. Also, let’s put the “Gopher football can’t compete because the athletic standards are too difficult” supposition officially to bed. The U of M is a great university, but it isn’t Stanford and it isn’t an Ivy league school. It’s not even Baylor, as this blog post from Miller finds, as the Gophers welcome Martez Shabazz, a junior college recruit from Texas who wanted to attend by Baylor, but “they wouldn’t take (his) Ds.”
I obviously wanted Sumlin for the Gophers way back when (last year), but now I wonder how well Sumlin will do in a packed SEC West. As CBTN writes, “the Aggies will be joining the SEC West, which includes Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas,Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. To say the very least, football life is about to get much harder for A&M (three of these teams have won National Championships since 2001).”
Meanwhile, Auburn’s Gene Chizik accepted a job at Arkansas State. Yes, Arkansas State is a real thing and not a southern re-boot of the sitcom “Coach.” Somehow, Chizik passed on a $3 million per year contract at Vanderbilt last year and then took this small school job, which was actually a pay cut from his Auburn gig as offensive coordinator. Oh, and he was seen as the mastermind behind the Cam Newton-led National Champion Tigers in 2010.
I’m going out on a limb that Auburn coaches are running from that program as soon as they can for fear of NCAA impropriety, but I’m really basing that on nothing. The move, coupled with defensive coordinator’s Ted Roof’s exodus, makes me think that something else has to be going on.
What a difference a year makes. For a round up of all major coaching moves in college football, check out Coaches By the Numbers’ analysis table.
• The Minnesota Twins are apparently ready to move on from Michael Cuddyer, as they signed a poor man’s version of Cuddy, Josh Willingham, to a three-year, $21 million deal. Aaron Gleeman writes that Willingham has been generally a better player than Cuddyer, and with letting Cuddyer go to the Rockies, the Twins secure a draft pick and save more than $10 million over the life of both three-year deals.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Twins will take the money saved in the Willingham signing to possibly add a pitcher.
Elsewhere, Parker Hageman at Over the Baggy wrote on Tuesday about how Willingham was built for Target Field, in that being a dead pull hitter his power numbers will stand up at spacious Target Field better than Cuddyer’s did.
Want to see how the Twins’ salary numbers are looking for the upcoming year and how close they are to dropping the payroll closer to $100 million? Check out Cot’s Baseball Contracts for all of the updated numbers, and also see how much of a bonus Scott Baker would receive for finishing third place in the AL Cy Young race. (It’s a $50,000 bonus.)
• Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov has announced he’s going to challenge Vladimir Putin in Russia’s next presidential election.
I’m just going to go out on a limb and say this will end badly. Just for some background, read Bill Simmons of Grantland’s old ESPN column about how Prokhorov got his money. I didn’t use “earned” there, because he apparently used bribes years ago to gain controlling interests of certain companies, which led to him becoming a billionaire several times over.
Now, the NBA apparently did due diligence to make sure he was legit and wouldn’t land the basketball owners in a worldwide scandal. That said, presidential candidates tend to have a higher amount of scrutiny that the regular Joe Public. Especially in Russia. When you’re trying to unseat Putin.
You might be better off trying to stage a military coup than willing a supposedly honest election against Putin. And I wouldn’t recommend that, either. This isn’t going to end well.
• Writer Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday and this piece from Slate’s Matt Labash, “Sneaking into Iraq with Hitchens” does as good a job as eulogizing him as any.
• Also, Louis CK is selling his “Live at the Beacon Theater” for $5 on his website. He financed everything himself and is trying this out as an experiment. Call him the comedian “Radiohead,” I’d love to see more bands use this exact model as well. It’s a lot harder to download something off of the Internet for free when someone writes you a personal note saying they financed everything themselves and also when they are putting it out for $5.
But seriously, it’s funny. Go buy it.
• So far, The Roots’ “Lighthouse” is my favorite track from unDun. The record is really solid so far, so here’s a link to Lighthouse, which you can listen to while you peruse “Questlove’s Celebrity Stories.”
Years ago, before Twitter and even Facebook, there was Okayplayer, the Roots’ web site. Quest often posted there about his run-ins with people, tracks he was working on, etc. Reading Questo’s Celebrity Stories makes me feel like it’s the winter of 2001 and I’m home from college on Christmas break, listening to Bilal’s “First Born Second” while sitting in my brother’s room (my mother’s basement) reading OKP and downloading new music.
Sigh. Growing up.
In an effort to again blog more on this site with more than just Gopher football-related things, I’m going to bring back the weekly links of interesting stories from throughout the week. We start out in the Toy Department:
• The NBA just became the most uptight fantasy football league ever.
Last night, word leaked that the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets had completed a three-team trade that would ultimately send Chris Paul to LA. The deal would have left the Lakers with enough pieces for then acquire Dwight Howard, thus making a super team, or you know, exactly the kind of thing the lockout was supposed to prevent.
As Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski writes:
“… The Lakers had reached an agreement to acquire Paul in a deal that would have cost them Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Under terms of the deal, the Lakers would have sent Gasol to the Rockets. The Hornets would have received Odom, Rockets guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragicand forward Luis Scola, league sources said.”
But not so fast, my friend! (c) Lee Corso
After owners seemingly complained — and that’s important since the NBA actually owns the New Orleans Hornets — the trade was reversed, killed by NBA Commissioner David Stern. Now, there’s all kinds of blowback about Stern stepping in, especially on a deal that probably was the best one the Hornets could or will receive.
Earlier this year, we had a deal in our fantasy league where an out-of-contention team traded away Ray Rice to the first-place team for four players who were borderline starters. People, well, OK mainly me, thought it was an awful deal and let everyone know. However, as commissioner I didn’t think the deal could be blocked unless there was a thought of collusion going on; if two teams want to make an awful deal, well that’s ultimately their decision. One owner wanted us to block the deal, simply because it was unfair. We ultimately allowed the trade.
No, Cavaliers owner and Comic Sans enthusiast Dan Gilbert is not in my fantasy football league.
Today, Dwight Howard is going to ask for his trade to New Jersey, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
• Minnesota Twins reliever Matt Capps is the party guest who you only invited because you felt obligated to do so — he’s the lonely brother of your wife or something like that — but then he posts up right next to the keg, gets way too drunk and refuses to leave. The Twins gave Capps and his Bob Wells-in-relief routine a one-year, $4.75 million contract; according to Aaron Gleeman, the deal also has a $6 million option or $250,000 buyout for 2013.
Over The Baggy’s Parker Hageman writes a bit more about Capps’s slider and how the arm trouble/pain that Capps experienced might have been the cause of his loss of velocity and movement.
• The Twins also traded away Kevin Slowey to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later, which ended up to be minor league reliever Daniel Turpen. I’d act like I didn’t have to check that name three times to make sure it was correct, but then I’d be lying. Last year, he went 2-4 with 11 saves and a 4.83 ERA in 48 appearances (one start) at Double-A Tulsa. He also walked 35 with 33 strikeouts.
The news of Slowey’s departure pleased Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune, who apparently must have had his dog kicked by Slowey, if not some other beef. The departing pitcher leaves with never fulfilling on his Brad Radke 2.0 promise that many bestowed upon him as a prospect. It’s disappointing to see Slowey on his way out, especially when the Twins’ current pitching rotation seems so unsettled. It’s too bad that Slowey’s legacy will not be as the Twins’ next pitcher to find success through locating his fastball and hitting spots on the corners of the strike zone, but as the only Twins player to score in the 1400s on the SAT or to quote Greek mythology in a post-game presser. Here’s one post-game quote:
• Moving on to players who once used a sports interview cliche in an interview about the birth of his first child (I can’t find the link, but trust me, he did), the Twins continue to be in talks with Michael Cuddyer. The Twins have reportedly offered a $24 million deal, over three years. A rumor broke Thursday night, per Lindsay Guentzel, that Cuddyer was holding out for either $2 million more (not sure if that’s per year or total) or a four-year deal.
• On almost the exact opposite side of transactions, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Burbank, West Hollywood, Pasadena and any other city not named “Compton,” signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million deal. It’s hard to see Pujols, 32 in January, return value in the later years of such a deal, but then again, if the Angels are going to give another huge contract to someone, it might as well be the best hitter in baseball and not another aging outfielder like Gary Matthews, Jr., Torii Hunter or Vernon Wells. (To be fair, the Blue Jays signed Wells to that deal, the Angels just decided to trade for him and pay him.)
Meanwhile, by forsaking Miami, Pujols doesn’t have to question if he sold his soul every time he looked in the mirror at what would have been his ridiculous jersey.
• Using “ridiculous” as a segue to college football, Kansas University football hired to Charlie Weis to become its new football coach, replacing the fired Turner Gill. Coaches By The Numbers hasn’t offered up a full Hiring Analysis yet, but they rated the move a “C.” Earlier in the week, Arizona State was near to completing a deal with current SMU coach June Jones, but it seemingly fell apart upon a tepid booster response. Jones’s $2 million buyout was apparently not what held the deal up.
It sounds like Florida fans, meanwhile, would have likely paid any buyout on their own if it meant getting Weis away from the offense’s controls. I can’t make too much fun of KU; mainly because I thought Gill would be a good hire and also because the memories of a certain tight ends coach being brought in to coach my favorite team are still quite vivid.
Paul Myerberg at Pre-Snap Read brilliantly puts the hiring into context, writing:
“.. (Weis) went 16-21 over three seasons with his own players and his offensive system fully in place. … (His) offense with the Gators finished the regular season ranked 102nd in the nation.
“The Jayhawks needed a builder, not a maintainer. Weis is neither of those. Notre Dame proved this out: he took his predecessor’s players to greater heights, but showed an utter inability to develop his own players. … Weis will need to identify second-tier talent and turn it into first-tier talent to win the Big 12.
Identifying and developing: his Achilles heel in South Bend.”
• About a week ago, I wrote something on my blog about Tim Tebow and then deleted it. The basic gist was that people who hate Tebow are really reacting to ESPN’s coverage of him and not necessarily him as a person of faith or as a quarterback better suited to the option. (One reason I hate the Worldwide Leader: ESPN’s Hannah Storm asked another sportscaster this week on SportsCenter, “Now that they are winning, do you think the Broncos will open it up?!” Sigh. She obviously doesn’t get it.)
I also wrote that I hoped Tebow succeeds, mostly because I enjoy watching option football and offensive styles that are left of center. (Running the option is bread and butter everywhere else, but obviously not in the NFL.)
After all, I’m not a religious person, but I don’t care if someone I don’t know is, that is ultimately his or her business. Eventually, I realized that it was silly to criticize the media for over-covering him and then writing about him on my blog, so I deleted it.
Anyway, one of my favorite writers on the planet, Chuck Klosterman of Grantland, filed a beautiful column on Tebow:
“… he makes blind faith a viable option. His faith in God, his followers’ faith in him — it all defies modernity. This is why people care so much. He is making people wonder if they should try to believe things they don’t actually believe.”
• My wife and I recently moved to North Dakota and one thing continues to fascinate me: The oil boom on the west end of the state. It’s created a bit of an “Old West” environment in certain otherwise sleepy towns and that’s not my hyperbole, that comes from the people who live in these areas. Small towns that previously had 1,000 people have watched their population increase five times in only a few years.
(Yes, that was a subliminal transition from Klosterman to North Dakota.)
To learn more about it, you’d do well to check out “North Dakota: The Rise of an American Petrostate” by Abe Sauer, care of The Awl.
Through processes known as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — I’m really trying not to make a reference to Mr. Burns’s Slant Oil Drilling Company, here — companies are able to reach oil at a fraction of what it would have cost a few years ago. Getting oil at an attractive cost has caused an enormous oil boom - you can even now spot the Bakken oil field from space.
To underscore the immersion of this oil rush, a Hotel 6 in Williston, N.D., had a standing offer from Halliburton to rent the entire hotel months before it was even completed.
On a weeknight two years ago, my wife and I were driving back from Portland, Ore., through North Dakota. We stopped in Dickinson, N.D., late at night to rest our weary eyes and grab a hotel for the night. We stopped at five different hotels and couldn’t find one room. Eventually, I asked a front desk worker if The Who was in town. He replied, “The oil companies rent everything out. Even if they aren’t using the rooms, they rent them so they can have workers around the clock on the rig.”
• The Roots released a new record, unDun. It’s a concept album following the life of a Philadelphia street hustler, told in reverse, from death to birth. I’ve just downloaded it off of Amazon, I’ll have more to say about it later as I get a chance to deconstruct it. Seriously though, Amazon.com has the digital album for $3.99. Get it here.
Also, here’s a video where ?uestlove and Black Thought find out from which African country they are descendants:
• I’ve already posted about the greatness of my friend Aaron Bergstrom’s Top 100 of 2011 list, but I’d like to highlight a song in particular that I can’t stop playing, “Empty Streets” from Ghost Beach. I know absolutely nothing about this band, but I love this track. There are links at Aaron’s site.