Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Wow, what a fun filled week. Baseball is finally over. Hooray! Football is in mid-season meaning it's time for Pro-Bowl rosters to be filled out and second-half runs and collapses. And it's time for what used to be my favorite sport as a teenager - NBA basketball!!!

Alright, well I won't focus on too much of what is going on around the league, because honestly basketball is really easy to pick. Everyone who did good last year will probably do well this year, unless they made a major free agent signing or lost someone significant to free agency or injury.

See, NFL "experts" pick this way and end up looking like morons. At the beginning of the year, everyone picked the Bears, Saints (myself included), Chargers, etc. But with how the NFL is created, it doesn't happen that way.

In basketball it does. The Suns will be great. The Spurs should win it all barring a fluke, and Dallas will be great, but choke in the playoffs because their "MVP" is European.

Cleveland won't repeat last year's success, and Boston should win their division and quite possibly the East because they picked up Kevin Garnett.

One team that won't repeat last year's success: our hometown Utah Jazz.

The Jazz way over-exceeded any expectations last year, and we found out we have the best point guard in the league under the age of 30 (behind two-time MVP Steve Nash and Jason Kidd). But we got lucky to face Mr. Choke T-Mac in game seven of the first round against the Rockets. And were lucky that AK-47 shut down Stephen Jackson in Round 2. Had Stephen Jackson not selfishly taken so many stupid shots against AK-47, and let Jason Richardson dominate the shot selection, the Jazz may have lost that round.

Anyway, we lost Derek Fisher. I am not a big fan of Fisher and I am actually glad to get rid of his contract, but we lose his leadership and that's what took us to the next level last season, not to mention him adequately filling our biggest weakness last year.

We also lost glue players Dee Brown and Rafael Araujo. These guys didn't contribute on the court but they worked their butts off in practice and helped set the Jerry Sloan style in between games. The Jazz let both these players go when they could have had them back for cheap. Sure the Russian rookie (second round draft pick Fez) has more upside than the clumsy Brazilian, but the Brazilian brought experience and toughness.

Dee Brown and Derek Fisher were replaced by Jason Hart and Ronnie Price. I like Ronnie Price because he is a local UVSC prospect, but Hart hasn't brought anything to the table yet. He's just a cheaper Derek Fisher without the leadership.

Dee Brown could have easily been the backup point guard (D-Will will get 40 minutes a game this season) and played an up-tempo 8-10 minutes a game. He brings an energy to the court that is much needed for the second unit in spelling Deron Williams.

Hart and Price will be too busy trying to appease coach Jerry Sloan's style and they will play like robots all year long.

Harpring isn't healthy and AK47 wants to lay somewhere else and the Jazz should have tried to three-team trade in a Shawn Marion - Lamar Odom deal. We are lucky to have AK's talents back, and he'll play more with Matt Harpring recovering from surgery.

We are forgetting one major probability in the Jazz near future. Carlos Boozer has over a 50% chance of getting injured this year. He's been injured in two of his three seasons here, and he enters the season out of shape. If he could down for 10-30 games, our regular season is screwed and we barely make the playoffs as a 6, 7, or 8 seed and we get tossed in the first round by Phoenix, Dallas, or San Antonio.

The unrealistic optimism for this year will wear on coach Sloan and will force him to retire after the "unfulfilled" season. This is actually a good thing though because if Jerry Sloan's old school butt retires, then point guard Deron Williams will want to sign his contract extension with a younger, more up-tempo coach that will replace coach Sloan.

Then the following season (2008-09) will be the year of the Utah Jazz. The Suns will either get their title this year or dismantle if they don't. The Spurs will be in a rebuilding year if they don't repeat this year, and Mark Cuban will blow up Dallas if they don't win it all also.

Deron Williams will direct the team under a new coach. Okur will be in a contract year (along with Boozer I believe) and the Jazz will know by then if Ronnie Brewer is the answer at the two guard. AK47 will probably be traded or rejuvinated when Sloan leaves, and Milsap will be playing for a huge contract. It's the Jazz golden opportunity to bring us years of playoff years to come if we get rid of AK47 and Okur and build around a new coach, Deron and Boozer.

Yeah. I might end up liking the NBA more than the NFL just like I used to :)

WARNING: Endangered Quaterback Epidemic Strikes the Nation!

Think about it. There are 32 professional football teams right now. How many current all-stars can you name off the top of your head? Three? Four? Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Farve, and flash in the pan Tony Romo (mainly because he plays for the Cowboys, and he's just as famous for his Scott Norwood-esque blunder in the playoffs last year as he is for dating American Idol country superstar Carrie Underwood).

Wow, with over 100 college teams and 10,000 high school teams each year, why we can't produce more NFL-quality starters? Just look at the situations in Minnesota, Jacksonville, Arizona, etc. It's unbelievable!

I think I may have found the reason for this dramatic decline of superstars in the most important position in all of sports - the Quarterback. Why isn't there just a flow of dozens of future stars waiting in the mix. It's not like basketball where you need to be tall, or baseball where you have to be a genetic freak from the age of four. The average QB in the NFL needs to be about 6' 3'' 235 pounds and have a good arm, which can be taught from a young age like baseball pitchers. And trust me, there are plenty of good baseball pictures around.

It's not coaching. High school football coaches are as advanced as ever. It's not complicated offensive systems, because most offenses copy one another with a few changes, especially what BYU, Texas Tech and Hawaii have implemented in college. Nor is it the lack of quality places to learn how to play the quarterback. There are plenty of top quality camps put on during the summers and Peyton Manning even has his own camp. The real diagnosis to the pathetic QB epidemic It's Revenge of the Nerds.

It's quite simple. Movies have been falsely promoting that the Nerd wins for almost 20 years and this generation of false hope has finally caught up to us. There have been too many Revenge of the Nerds, Angus, Benchwarmers, The New Guys, and other "nerds win" movies giving the impossible and unrealistic glory and the nerd steals the hot chick from the preppy QB at the end.

Sha, right, and I'm rich and famous and dating a cheerleader. I was a nerd. I played the viola in the orchestra. My only sports glory was writing stories about the real QBs getting chicks after the games.

This needs to be glorified more. Some quick examples. Tom Brady dates Giselle, after he hooked up with Bridget Moynahan. Brett Favre's wife is gorgeous. I'm sure Peyton is married to some hottie from Tennessee. Backup QB Kyle Boller dated Tara Reid and probably got enough girls at Cal to last a lifetime. Matt Leinhart hung out with Paris Hilton in college. And heck, even well-traveled veteran Jeff Garcia ended up marrying a Playmate of the Year when he played in Cleveland.

We need Hollywood to get back to producing movies with real endings. The hot chick doesn't pick the nerd, but the jock. Even if that jock doesn't go to college and works construction, he still ends up with the high school babe. The nerd may become an engineer or accountant with a bigger bank account, but not a hotter wife. So now we need to let people know that the jock everybody hates in high school really does make it to the pros once in a while.

I mean c'mon, 25% of the good QBs currently in the NFL came from one family - the Mannings (and poor Peyton and Eli's mission was already in place because daddy played pro football).

I once tried out for QB in high school my junior year because I watched one too many movies, but reality set in - FAST. It lasted one day. I wasn't QB material, and went back to being the benchwarmer.

We need more masochism and bravado back in Hollywood pre-teen high school movies -- not High School Musical. And then, just then, maybe our children will be able to watch quality quarterbacks on NFL Sunday 20 years from now. We will be able to gamble in peace, knowing that a crap QB like a David Carr or Joey Harrington isn't going to lose our money. It's for our future.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Ok, my favorite sports writer "Sports Guy" is from Boston. He's a die-hard Boston sports nut, to the point where he is the most read and most important writer that ESPN has to offer. I've been reading him since he first started writing on ESPN.com back in 2000 (the same year I got home from my mission).

I have read his 20-40 minute articles religiously for the past seven years, except for the Red Sox ones because I really think baseball is boring. Over the years, I was neutral on the woe-is-us drama queens we called the Red Sox fans and their whole "Curse of the Bambino: 1918 thing."

Girls: if you don't know what I am talking about, then go back to the Drew Barrymore chick flick Fever Pitch, starring the biggest disappointment of Saturday Night Live history Mr. Jimmy Fallon.

When the Red Sox finally snapped the curse, and did it against the hated Yankees in 2004, I was happy for all the starving life-long fans of Boston. Sports Guy (we will call him BS from here on out because those are his initials) even wrote a book called Now I Can Die In Peace.

The Sox winning the World Series in 2004 was probably the biggest sports story of the decade. But what's happened since is really annoying. The next year the Chicago White Sox (whose losing streak was longer than the beloved lovable loser Sox) broke their 1917 streak that was even more cursed with Shoeless Joe's (Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner) infamous gambling scandal. But nobody wrote about nor watched that series.

Last year, the Detroit Tigers (a team that really stunk over the past 20 years) beat the Sox and Yankees on their way the World Series and nobody cared about them.

Anyway, the point is that the Sox have become the new Yankees, even BS has admitted this. Yankees fans are hated because they have dominated baseball for an entire 100-year span. They are the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Notre Dame of their sport. They dominate the headlines.

But yeah, my biggest beef about these die-hard fans is the way they have acted since the 2004 title. They feel entitled to good karma now. For example, last week after they lost Game 4 and were down 3-1 to the Indians, BS wrote his team off in the classic "This team sucks: pre-2004 fashion." One week later, and three straight impractical victories, BS writes a "This team is clutch total-Yankees fashion." Blah.

I know where he is coming from. I witnessed the Jazz pull it earlier this year when we were down 3-1 to the Rockets. I was hating. I wanted Jerry Sloan gone forever. But I knew that the Jazz karma wouldn't last. They got trounced by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs, who exposed every flaw we had.

But these new Sox fans. They feel entitled. They think they have this swagger (even though they haven't really done jack since 2004). I hate Sox fans because they forget that Boston has the most storied franchise in Basketball (Celtics own 16 titles). I hate Sox fans because the New England Patriots have the football team of the decade but all they care about is their stupid losing baseball team. The Pats can win 10 Superbowls, but the town only cares about 2004. Baseball is America's pastime, and football is America's primetime. Any football town would trade places with the Pats these past few years, yet the Sox could almost sign A-Rod and it would be a bigger story than if the Patriots go undefeated this year. No mention of Boston College being No. 2 in college football right now. No mention of Garnett about to change the Celtics, just plain old Sox, Sox, Sox....


That's why I am rooting for the Rockies this World Series. They have won an amazing 22 of 23 games to get into this World Series and yet the Red Sox are 2-1 favorites. I hope the Sox get swept. And I hope all the people tuned in experience Red Sox Nation watch this Cinderella knock em out.

In fact, I am so sick of Boston right now, I want Boston College to get blown out in the BCS title game. I want an undefeated Patriots team to go down in flames in the Superbowl so that people don't say that Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana. And I want the Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Danny Ainge's Boston Celtics to lose in the NBA Finals to whatever foe awaits them.

Then they can experience what a lifelong BYU and Utah Jazz fan like myself can experience. They can't have this much good karma in that city all at once. It's just not right. Cities like Philly and Seattle could borrow 20% of the sports mojo going on in Boston right now and survive for decades.

Gimme one title, just one. The only team to ever provide joy in my life has been the 49ers (thank you Deion). Now if only Sloan can retire after this season, so the Jazz can win it all in 2009 and I won't spew chowder all over the city of Boston.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guitar Hero 3: It's like Christmas morning!!

So, I was sitting at my desk at work today and my buddy emailed me the set list for the new Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock video game coming out in 8 days. Anyway, once I saw the set list, it was like Christmas morning. Not only has the Guitar Hero tri-fecta conquered some of my favorite bands, but the also pick the favorites songs of my favorite bands. They are in my freakin head!!!!

Without further ado, the magical set list. You may want to sit down before reading on:

Guitar Hero 3 Main Set Song List

3's and 7's - Queens of the Stone Age
Anarchy in the U.K. - Sex Pistols
Barracuda - Heart
Before I Forget - Slipknot
Black Magic Woman - Santana
Black Sunshine - White Zombie
Bulls on Parade - RAGE
Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins
Cities on Flame - Blue Oyster Cult
Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
Cult of Personality - In Living Color
Devil Went Down to Georgia The Charlie Daniels Band
Evenflow - Pearl Jam
Go That Far - Jibbs
Helicopter - Bloc Party
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedy's
Knights of Cydonia - MUSE
Kool Thing - Sonic Youth
La Grange - ZZ Top
Lay Down - O. A. R.
Miss Murder - AFI
Mississippi Queen - Mountain
Monsters - Funeral for a Friend
My Name is Jonas - Weezer
Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
One - Metallica
Paint it Black - Rolling Stones
Paranoid - Black Sabbath
Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Raining Blood - Slayer
Reptillia - The Strokes
Rock N Roll All Nite - KISS
Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
Sabotage - Beastie Boys
Same Old Song and Dance - Aerosmith
School's Out - Alice Cooper
Slowride - Foghat
Story of My Life - Frankie J
Suck My Kiss - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
Talk Dirty To Me - Poison
The Metal - Tenacious D
The Seeker - The Who
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns and Roses
When You Were Young - The Killers

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Boss Day

Yesterday was National Boss Day: Since I don't really know my own boss at Zions super well, I figured I would spotlight my favorite fellow Zions person who is a boss, but not my boss :(

For security purposes, we shall call her Roberta.

Born: Montclair, CA
High School: Millard High in Fillmore
Favorite Dessert: Cherry Pie
Place you'd like to visit: Maine and Hawaii
Dream job situation: Love to own and AIDS home. Place with people with AIDS live to get their medical care (like a nursing home for AIDS sufferers)
What on your I-pod right now: Beethoven
First boy kissed: Jay in 7th grade
Plays: Piano
Favorite team: Duke basketball
Starbucks favorite: White chocolate hot chocolate
Favorite game growing up: Doctor ;)
Next kid's name: Boy - Anthony James (A.J.)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rejuvination Weekend

(Editor's note: The editor for Average Joe's Sports Blog was in Hawaii this past week. So when we say "this past weekend," I guess it was two weekends ago. And I know what you're thinking. "This blog has an editor?" Yeah, well it does. Long story. We'll talk about it sometime.)

This past weekend could very well be labeled Upset Weekend in the land of football.

In college football, defending champion Florida as well as Oklahoma, West Virginia Texas, Rutgers, and Clemson all lost. Some of the losses came at home, and many of them came against unranked opponents.

In pro football, the Packers and Cowboys are now 4-0, while the Chargers and Bears are 1-3, and could be joined by the Bengals after Monday Night Football. Several upsets included the Falcons over the Texans, the Browns over my homeboy Ravens, the Chiefs over the Chargers, and the Cardinals over the undefeated Steelers.

But in wake of it all, instead of calling it Upset Weekend, why not call it Rejuvination Weekend?

Think about it. Do you really want to see Florida win it all again? Not me. Do you wanna see Oklahoma in the title game when they can't take care of woeful Colorado on the road? Not me. Do you wanna see Texas win their second title in three years? Not me. Do you really wanna see the Bears win the Superbowl and do another Superbowl Shuffle re-make from 1985 with Jim McMahon making a cameo? Not me.

So now, there are some fresh faces in college football. Sure, I'd love to see South Florida and Cal go undefeated and play in the national championship game. Why not? In the NFL, is it fun to see Cleveland and Oakland battling it out for the wildcard? Why not? I wouldn't mind seeing the Packers play in another Superbowl so Favre can finally retire in peace. Why not?

Speaking of rejuvination weekend and fresh faces, my new roommates and I threw a killer party on Saturday. Let me tell you, it's been way too long since I've thrown a good party. It's probably been about a year since our last good one.

It was funny, because at 9 o'clock, we had nobody there and a few dudes showed up and they seemed to be a little scared. By 10 o'clock, only a small handful had shown up. Heck, even I was starting to doubt... Had it been too long since I've tried to do something cool? Was I that far out of the loop?

But just as my doubts were starting to increase of my irrelevancy, the party started to boom. From 10:15 on, people started showing up by the car loads. We easily had over 150 people in and out of the house throughout the night. The music was pumpin' out the speakers, the floor was shaking and the drinks flowed like wine (non-alcholic wine that is).

It was an eclectic mix of fresh faces, too! It was the same old party-goers that you see at all the typical parties. The tone was set with the loud music, so people just weren't standing around talking. The ones that wanted to do that went out on the deck in the musk September air. We had Nintendo Wii going on in the basement.

Broken acquaintence-ships were re-acquianted, and the single lady to sweet-bro ratio were fairly even, which is rare for a party in SLC these days. All-in-all, it felt good to feel somewhat socially relevant again... it was, well to re-emphazise my point, re-juvinating. It makes me want to throw another party like it next week, but in the unwritten rules of party throwing, you have to wait at least a three to four months inbetween great parties.

So thank you, all of you that attended. I hope you had fun. And for all of you that didn't: hope to see ya there next time.