Friday, February 11, 2005

Four to Love This Valentine's Weekend

Dispatches from Red Raider Nation

Some people say baseball season doesn't officially start until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. They forget college baseball is already in full swing.

The Red Raider baseball team
will host Northern Illinois for a 3-game series this weekend after drubbing New Mexico in their season opener. Texas Tech finished last season short of the NCAA Tournament, here's hoping the Red Raiders will make it this year.

Meanwhile, Bobby Knight's basketball Raiders are playing Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum. This is a dangerous spot for Tech since these same Cyclones knocked off OU last week at the same venue, then turned around an beat the Longhorns, still a formidable team even with 6 scholarship players, at their barn. Plus, Hilton's always a tough place to play regardless of whether or not the Cyclones are any good. Fortunately, Iowa State is a primary man-to-man team and Texas Tech is coming into this game with some momentum of it's own.

Maybe Pete Rose can get a soccer ref job

Reports are coming out of Germany that
a German soccer ref threw some lower division games on behalf of some Croatian bookies. Those reports also say that more referees are likely to be arrested.

Never good to see someone in a sport involved with gambling on that sport. Especially since it's a German ref and Germany is hosting next year's World Cup.

More from the Steroid front

I don't care if Giambi's sorry for what he did or not. He should be apologizing to the parents of all the high schoolers who are following his lead.

Around the Horn's Tim Cowlishaw sounds off about steroids in baseball and it's impact:

The damage done to baseball's hallowed records is, of course, only of secondary importance to the real danger here. That can be found on the front page this week with the detailed use of steroids in our high schools.

What began with the confessions of nine athletes from Colleyville-Heritage has grown, and if you think this is a problem confined to the Grapevine area, you are badly misinformed.

That's the ultimate danger here. No matter what ultimately results from the BALCO investigation in the Bay Area, no matter the fallout from Canseco's tell-all book, we can't change one thing.

We can't change the fact that so many tainted baseball sluggers have been not only idolized but given guaranteed multi-million dollar contracts, that steroid use has been and will continue to be encouraged in this country.

We aren't talking about major leaguers or minor leaguers deciding to try a little "juice" or "cream" to get that extra 15 feet on those home runs. We are talking about middle school and high school athletes just wanting a little something extra to make the team in order to gain the attention and earn respect or admiration from their peers.

Four to watch (Valentine's Edition)
Rest assured that this blog will never, ever recommend you watch the Pro Bowl. You have better things to do with your time.
  1. Wisconsin at Illinois (Saturday, noon Central, CBS) - The last real test for Illinois before the Big 10 tournament.
  2. Duke at Maryland (Saturday, 8:00 Central, ESPN) - Revenge games are always fun.
  3. Oklahoma at Missouri (Saturday, 12:30 Central, ABC) - A closer game than might be expected because Oklahoma is in a bit of a slump, but if Missouri loses badly at home , it could grease the skids for Quin Snyder.
  4. North Carolina at UConn (Sunday, noon Central, CBS) - Carolina has to rebound from a heartbreaking rivalry loss against the talented, albeit underperforming, defending champs.
Monday: What you missed while you took your girlfriend out

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