Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The "Ping" of the Bat

First off, since I didn't get to post on Memorial Day, I just want to give a big thank you to anyone in our military that happens to read Cheap Seats. Thanks for defending our rights over there.

I've always admired our military. They sacrifice just about everything to do what they do to go to the worst places on the face of the earth. All so we can sit here and blog.

Texas advances to Women's CWS

with Cat Osterman getting the day off, blitzed upstart Bethune-Cookman 6-1 to advance to the Women's College World Series. The Longhorns pitched well in her absence, though, with an ERA of 0.00 (the one run came on a sacrifice fly) and a WHIP of 0.85.

Some have questioned whether or not the Longhorns have the pitching depth behind Osterman to win it all. I think those questions have been answered. The offense however, hasn't shown up at times, and that could be this team's achilles heel.

As for the rest of the Big XII,
Oklahoma lost on a walk-off homer by Arizona's Jennifer Martinez, and Baylor and A&M both lost at home, making Texas the lone conference representative in Oklahoma City.

Complete Women's CWS Bracket

NCAA Baseball Tournament Field Announced

Not too many surprises from the announcement of the NCAA Baseball Tournament field of 64. As expected, Baylor and Nebraska (
who beat Baylor yesterday for the Big XII Championship) were top 8 national seeds, which gave them the right to host super regionals if they get that far.

Texas got a top seed and is hosting a regional, but not one of the top 8, which drew the ire of Longhorn fans and talk show hosts. However, Texas could have helped its case with better play in the month of May and a strong showing at the Big XII Tournament.

Oklahoma will go out to Ole Miss for it's regional, while Missouri plays in the regional hosted by defending national champion Cal State-Fullerton.

Also making the field: Rice, a former national champion; TCU, who have one of the best pitching staffs in the Nation; and UT-San Antonio, suprise winners of the Southland Conference.

Complete Bracket

Tommy John Surgery

While we're talking baseball, Ben Shpigel of the Dallas Morning News wrote
an article about Tommy John surgery, which has become more commonplace in the major leagues and has saved a lot of careers.

Tomorrow: Catching up

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Most Extreme Double Elimination Challenge (part 2)

Friday's Painful Eliminations

Texas 6, Ok. State 1 - Bye bye defending tournament champs!
Nebraska 2, Texas Tech 1 - Texas Tech's magical ride is over. (*sniff*)

Saturday's Painful Eliminations

Baylor 9, Texas 8 - Texas will probably make the tournament, but a #1 regional seed is probably not likely.
Game 1: Nebraska 5, Missouri 4 - Huskers stay alive....
Game 2: Nebraska 17, Missouri 9 - ... and pound the Tigers into submission

Sunday's Championship

Baylor vs. Nebraska - 1:00 PM Central on FSN Southwest

The two teams that split the regular season title battle it out.

Note: No Cheap Seats until Tuesday. Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Most Extreme Double-Elimination Challenge

(For those who have never seen MXC: Official Spike TV Page/MXC fan club)

Our Hosts, Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano.(TV Tokyo/Spike TV) Posted by Hello

Painful Eliminations of the Day
(going home)
  • Kansas Jayhawks, boulder dashed by Texas 9-0. That deserves an MXC Impact Replay!
  • Oklahoma Sooners, wall banged 6-3 by Nebraska. Thanks to Joba "The Hutt" Chamberlain, and Alex Gordon, The Sooners must now wait on the selection committee, who may painfully eliminate them again. (This in the season where the Sooners coach was also painfully eliminated)

Landed in the safety fluid, but still alive.
(first loss)

Today's games
Elimination Bracket:

  • Oklahoma State vs. Texas 4:00 PM Central
  • Texas Tech vs. Nebraska 7:00 PM Central

Tomorrow: More Big XII Tournament.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The one word to describe the Big XII: You never know

A very Joaquin Andujar start to the Big XII baseball tournament.

Texas, my pick to win the whole thing, found itself in the losers bracket right away when they got outslugged by Oklahoma State 10-4. But then again, when you leave the bases loaded twice and leave 12 runners on base total, losses are inevitable.

The biggest upset of the day, however, was pulled off by the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who took on Nebraska and won 5-3. Now, Nebraska has the best pitching staff in the conference, and Texas Tech has one of the worst. Not only that, Nebraska took 2 of 3 from the Raiders in Lubbock earlier this year. Wow!

Thankfully for these two, it's double-elimination up to the final, but they are walking a fine line. Especially Nebraska, who now faces a dangerous Oklahoma team that has rallied since the Cochell resignation.

Yesterday's Games
#6 Oklahoma State 10, #3 Texas 4
#2 Baylor 2, #7 Kansas 1 (10 innings)
#4 Missouri 8, #5 Oklahoma 7

#8 Texas Tech 5, #1 Nebraska 3

Today's games
Eliminaton Bracket:
#3 Texas vs. #7 Kansas - 11:00 AM Central
#1 Nebraska vs. #5 Oklahoma - 2:00 PM Central or 30 min. after Texas-Kansas
Winner's Bracket:
#2 Baylor vs #6 Oklahoma State - 5:00 PM Central
#4 Missouri vs. #8 Texas Tech - 7:00 PM Central

Softball Super Regionals

Bethune-Cookman at Texas

This is not as cut-and-dried as it looks. Bethune-Cookman could be the Gonzaga of the softball ranks. They knocked off several nationally ranked teams over the course of the season, including Florida Gators, the seeded team in their region. That said, they still have to win at least one, possibly 2 games against Cat Osterman, who is absolutely unhittable.

Alabama at Texas A&M

Two teams that seem fairly even on paper, but I gotta go with A&M because it's really tough to win on the road in college softball. Plus,
A&M has a team blogger. Gotta like that.

Oklahoma at Arizona

This is a tough draw for Oklahoma because Arizona is one of the dominant programs in softball. As in 10 Pac-10 titles, 6 national championships, and Jennie Finch's alma mater dominant. Plus, Arizona coach Mike Candrea was the U.S. Olympic Softball Team coach in Athens. However, the Sooners beat the Wildcats in last year's playoffs.

California at Baylor

California was #1 for most of the year, and they are the higher seed in this Super Regional, which makes it a little weird that they are travelling to Baylor for this round. Still, Cal should emerge here.

(By the way, to those Cal fans that still think they got cheated out of the BCS:

Tomorrow: Don't! Get! Eliminated!

(Tokyo TV/Spike TV) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Big XII Baseball preview

Vernon Grant 1982-2005

OSU safety Vernon Grant (George Bullard/Gensee Photo Sytems/Oklahoma State University)
Posted by Hello

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and teammates of Oklahoma State safety and Duncanville, Texas standout Vernon Grant, who died in a car wreck Monday night.

May Madness in NCAA Men's Tennis Final

Unfortunately, Baylor's attempt to capture 2 national titles in one year fell short when their top-ranked men's tennis team lost 4-3 to UCLA.

Big XII Baseball Preview

This is probably one of the deepest fields of any conference. The top 3 all could wind up as top 8 seeds nationally (which gives them the right to host a Super Regional should they make it that far) and the top 6 could get at large bids.

The Teams
#1 Nebraska - Huskers lead just about every statistical category.
#2 Baylor - Backed in after losing 2 of 3 to Missouri
#3 Texas - #1 in the nation most of the year, Horns have the talent to challenge the top 2
#4 Missouri - 3rd in team ERA, 8th in team batting average.
#5 Oklahoma - 10-2 in the month of May. Larry who?
#6 Oklahoma State - Defending tournament champs lost 6 of 7 down the stretch and their last 3 conference series.
#7 Kansas - Inconsistent play plagues team
#8 Texas Tech - Will have to slug their way to tournament title. Pitching almost non-existent.

TV Schedule
(All games on FSN Southwest, Check here for times on your FSN)
Semifinal #1 - Saturday 5/28 10:00 AM Central
Semifinal #2 - Saturday 5/28 1:00 PM Central
Championship - Sunday 5/29 1:00 PM Central
Complete Schedule
Bracket (.pdf)

Pick: Texas
Texas is really the strongest team talent-wise in this field, and they beat Nebraska in their regular season series. The Longhorns may have it tough with Baylor, but they should emerge with the trophy.

Tomorrow: El Super Regional Bla-Blazo

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Baylor Wins Again?

Don't look now, but Baylor may just get it's second national title this year.

Almost a month and a half after Baylor won it all at the Women's Final Four, it's top-ranked Men's tennis team is on the verge of a national title, after
waxing Florida.

And it's baseball team may end up hosting a regional and getting a top 8 national seed, which means Baylor would host a super-regional if it wins the regional and have an easier road to the College World Series.

Not bad when you consider that in 1994 there were some who wondered why Baylor and not the University of Houston was going to be included in the Big XII.

See what happens when you finish behind Texas Tech, Mark?

Sunday, the Texas A&M Aggies baseball team, who were picked to finished second in the conference in pre-season polls, lost to Texas in an 11-1 mercy-rule rout. The loss meant A&M would finish a game behind 8th place Texas Tech and out of the Big XII tournament for the first time since the conference's formation.

A&M fired skipper Mark Johnson, who compiled an 876-433-3 in 21 seasons in College Station.

While, as a Red Raider fan, I take some pleasure in the struggles of the Aggies (who finished 9th out of the 10 baseball-playing schools of the Big XII), I can't help but wonder why they would treat someone who coaches a non-revenue sport with that career record so harshly. A football or basketball coach with a winning record who has a next-to-last finish might get the ax, or at least be on the hotseat, but an AD will usually let a non-revenue sport coach with a career record like Johnson's to slide.

Looks like with Fox College Sports, CSTV, and ESPNU, now televising more sports, the stakes are getting higher for everyone.

Oh well, I hear the Astros' may be looking for a new skipper, Mark.

I'll have an article on
Spur of the Moment later today.
Tomorrow: Big XII Baseball Preview.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cat and Mouse Game

... and Mississippi State was the mouse

Cat Osterman Celebrates the final out of Texas's 2-0 win over Miss. State, which sends them onto the super-regional (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman)
(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman)

Cat Osterman pitched another shutout as the Longhorns beat Mississippi State 2-0 to advance to the Super Regional of the NCAA Softball Tournament. Not that that's really news, Has anyone ever gotten a run off of Cat? Or a hit?

Anyway, the Longhorns are now 2 wins against Bethune-Cookman away from returning to Oklahoma City (site of their Big XII championship win) for the Women's CWS.

Also representing the Big XII in the Super Regionals are the Texas A&M Aggies,
who beat Penn State to advance, the Baylor Bears, who beat Florida State, and the Oklahoma Sooners, who beat Oregon. Oklahoma State is going home, however, after losing to Arizona in it's regional final.

Now, on to the other diamond

In the final weekend of the Big XII baseball season, The Texas Longhorn baseball team
eliminated the A&M Aggies from the conference tournament with a 11-1 mercy-rule win.

The beneficiary of the Aggies' misfortune is Texas Tech, who squeaked into the tournament as the 8th seed
despite losing to Oklahoma.

Nebraska and Baylor ended up tied for the regular season title, but Nebraska will get the #1 seed based on head-to-head record. The tournament starts May 25 at "The Brick" (a.k.a Bricktown Ballpark) in Oklahoma. (Complete Bracket in PDF format)

Rangers sweep Astros

Not like we needed to drive the point home that the Astros stunk, but the Rangers swept them over the weekend.

How many weeks until NFL Training Camps open?

More commentary:
John P. Lopez, Houston Chronicle
Lisa Gray, The Dugout

Spurs take Game 1

San Antonio, the lone Texas team left in the NBA playoffs, ripped game 1 from Phoenix at America West Arena. and in the process ripped home court as well. It may not matter because of Phoenix's road record, but it's nice for the Spurs to get a road win under their belt after going 1-2 on the road in the Seattle series.

More Commentary:
Spur of the Moment

Tomorrow: TBA

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lies and the Lying League that tells them.

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, The NBA and it's Players' Union broke off negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement today, which reduces the chance of a deal being resolved by June 1, and increases the chances that the league will lock out the players once the finals are over.

Looks like the NBA and the union have been lying to us all this time about labor talks.

Ever since the NHL locked it's players out, we have been "assured" by league executives and players that no such thing would happen in the NBA and that a deal would get done. Even when the suspensions resulted from the Brawl at the Palace caused conflict between the union and league, we were "assured" by both sides that the labor negotiations were going forward. At the All-Star Game, both sides "assured" us a deal would get done. During the age-limit discussions, we were "assured" that the union and league were on the same page. During the playoffs, while David Stern downgraded his stance to "hopeful", he "assured" us a deal would be done.

Now negotiations have broken off.

So much for assurances.

Now, why this happened depends on who you ask. The league says, through Chad Ford, that
agents have hijacked the process. ESPN's Marc Stein said on last night's NBA Fastbreak that some owners have become emboldened by the NHL lockout and want to take a harder line. Billy Hunter thinks that race is involved.

I keep hearing that cooler heads will prevail, the sides will come to an agreement, and we will see basketball next season, and I'd like to think that's what will happen. I'd like to believe that the NBA owners and players are seeing the NHL destroy itself and want to avoid those circumstances. I'd like to believe the ownership and players are smarter than that.

However, when that much money is at stake, people suddenly turn stupid.

And liars.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cheap Seats' Believe it or Not.

Believe it or not: The Astros are on a 3 game win streak.
Actually, I checked and it's true. Checked the Astros' schedule, double checked the game posts on the Lisa Gray's blog and the Astros are actually on a win streak. It doesn't mean that all is right with the Astros, but it's a start.

Believe it or not:
The Spurs won game 5 last night by a comfortable margin
It's tough to believe after the shellacking they took in the press, pundits, and talk show callers. But the Spurs put forth a great defensive effort and Manu looked every bit like the Iceman.
Right down to the finger roll.

Believe it or not:
Dallas has a chance to take the lead in Game 5.
I have a tough time believing this one. They haven't shown that they can defend Amare Stoudamire in consecutive games.

Believe it or not:
The Cowboys are the 12th best team in the NFL (according to ESPN)
I believe that sounds about right, mainly because they improved and the rest of the NFC didn't.

Believe it or not:
Star Wars Episode III kicks off tonight
And I believe I will be skipping it. I'm not standing in line for opening week tickets. (Besides, why the heck would you stand in line when you can go to
Fandango or Cinemark and get tickets?)

Tomorrow: Colonial-ism

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Quck Hits - 5/17/2005

Slow news day yesterday with no playoffs, so here's a few items:
  1. Happy Retirement to Jack Nickalus. The Man Whom Tiger Woods Will Eventually Chase Down is going to play his last competitive tournament at this year's British Open at St. Andrews.
  2. In contrast to the Astros, the Texas Rangers are getting back on the winning track. They beat Chicago at Comiskey yesterday after taking 2 of 3 from Minnesota at the Metrodome this weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid.

I've always thought that male coaches of girls' youth and high school athletics was a disaster waiting to happen. Especially since schools don't do background checks and often allegations that are never investigated don't show up on these checks.

So it really wasn't that big of a surprise when
allegations of sexual harrassment caused the reassignment of the women's baskteball coach and the resignatons of other basketball coaches in Merkel, Texas (a gas-stop town in between Sweetwater and Ablilene on I-20). It was sad, however, to hear that another young girl's life was entrusted to a sexual predator by a district that hasn't done it's homework.

The Albuquerque Tribune did a series a while back on sexual harassment and girls' basketball. Yeah, it's from January, and yeah, it's from Albuquerque, but it's worth a read to get a handle on the problem.

Crossing the Line: A tainted record. (a coach that keeps getting hired despite allegations)
Crossing the Line: Blank checks. (the difficulty of background checks)
Summer Ball adds risks to girls. (lack of supervision on AAU travel teams)
Crossing the Line: Shades of grey (how coach-player interaction can be misconstrued)
Coaches more cautious about interaction with players (what male coaches are forced to do to avoid allegations)
(special thanks to
Women's Hoops Blog, without which I would have never found the articles)

Now, onto happier moments in women's athletics.

(Jerry Laizure/AP)

Congratulations to Cat Osterman and the University of Texas women's softball team
on their Big XII Championship.

NBA Roundup

While the Spurs continue to slide against Seattle, Dallas has surprised every expectation by making their series with Phoenix competitive.
Dallas tied their series at two with a 119-109 victory yesterday, a victory described by the DMN's Eddie Sefko as "grind it out".

If 119-109 is "grind it out", I'd like to know what Sefko considers a free flowing game.

Last Chance for Jeff Bagwell

Jeff Bagwell is undergoing surgery to repair his shoulder. The surgery is being described by the Houston media as "the last chance" to save the slugger's career.

Even if he does come back, I think we've seen the last of Bagwell as a productive hitter. Which is a shame because he's been a steady force in the middle of the lineup for years, even though he doesn't have the numbers to show for it because he played most of his career in the Astrodome, a notorious pitcher's park. And it's a shame to lose him because he stuck by the Astros, and never went elsewhere, even though the Astros stunk for many years of his career (Which isn't supposed to happen in the post-collusion free agency era). Plus, he's one of the few sluggers that has applied his trade without the allegations of performance enhancing drugs hanging over him.

More Views:
Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle
Lisa Gray at The Dugout
Throws Like A Girl (another Astros' Blog)

Tomorrow: Golden (Bear) Years

Friday, May 13, 2005

We Got (Xbox) Next

Maybe instead of watching the Spurs last night, I should have been watching MTV.

Microsoft unveiled it's new Xbox 360 on MTV last night, and the buzz just tremendous. Here's a description of an NBA game from the AP:

Another game Microsoft demonstrated that featured NBA star LeBron James had details of flexing muscles and a rippling tank top reflecting the light of a street lamp as he dribbled and shot.
The Xbox 360 drops this thanksgiving. Several titles, including the Madden franchise, are expected to drop at the same time.

(Courtesy Microsoft)

XBox 360 specs:

  • 20-gigabyte detachable, upgradable hard drive.
  • Three dual-core processors running at 3.2 gigahertz each.
  • 512 megabytes of memory.
  • Three USB ports that can connect with digital cameras and portable music players.
  • Two ports for 64-megabyte memory cards that can be used to save games.
  • Ability to stand on one end or lie flat.
  • Online gaming service where gamers can buy customized game characters, cars, weapons, 'skins' that let them change the color or texture of their screen and previews of new games.
  • Built-in extender for Windows XP Media Center, a version of Microsoft's flagship operating system.
  • Standard DVD player with remote.
  • Ability to use up to four wireless controllers.

Wireless. That means no tripping over cords, homes.

I can't wait

Four to Watch

  • Byron Nelson Classic Final Round (Sunday, 2:00 PM CBS) - With the top 5 players in the world playing, you have to figure at least 2 will be in contention in the final day.
  • Indy 500 Qualifying (Saturday, 3:00 PM ABC) - Danica Patrick has had the fastest car in qualifying and has a very good shot to be the first woman to claim a Indy 500 pole.
    Oh, by the way, she's also hot enough to be featured in FHM.
  • Detroit at Indiana (Saturday, 7:00 PM ABC) - This series may not be great basketball, but it's great theater.
  • San Antonio at Seattle (Sunday 6:00 PM TNT) - It will be gut check time for the Spurs after not manning up in the waning moment of game 3.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Full Nelson

The Byron Nelson, the closest thing that Texas has to a major championship most years, starts today at the TPC Las Colinas in the Metroplex. (In fact, it's probably already teed off by the time this gets processed by Blogger).

big story of this year's Nelson is that this is the first time the top 5 golfers in the world, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, and first time Byron Nelson player Retief Goosen, have played together since the Masters.

It's also the
60th anniversary of Byron Nelson the golfer's streak of 11 straight PGA tour wins.

Even Tiger, who once put together an impressive streak of his own, stated, "Winning 11 in a row ... do you realize how good you have to play?"

Hey, it's the pot calling the kettle black, but it worked

Dirk Nowitzki, never known for his spectacular defensive play, called out Mavericks teammate Erick Dampier in the media after Monday's Game 1 for, of all things, not playing defense on Amare Stoudamire.

Well, Dampier at least improved his play on the offensive end going for 15 points and 12 rips. And the
Mavericks ripped home court from the Suns.

Oh by the way, Nowitzki also showed up and hit the game winning shot.

Runaway Train

The excellence that is Dontrelle Willis ran roughshot over the Astros last night. Yeah, I know, I know, it's the Astros and they can't hit. But no one else has been able to touch this guy so far. And Willis is 7-0. Even a hardcore Astros fan can appreciate Willis's pitching.

On the flip side,
Astros Blogger Lisa Gray smells something fishy behind Roy Oswalt being left out there in the 8th with the Astros down by one.

Tomorrow: TBA

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Silly Blog Things

A fond welcome to the blogroll to "A Texan Abroad", a blog by Rhianna, a military wife who's somewhere overseas. Thoughts and prayers from Cheap Seats to Rhianna, her husband, and her husband's unit.

Anyway, we found this silly blog thing via A Texan Abroad. And since I had job interviews all day today, I thought I'd post it. With commentary from me in italics.

You Know You're From Austin When...

You never bother looking at the Capital Metro schedule because you know the drivers have never seen it.
Cap Metro actually is actually nice and efficient most days. It's just on those ozone days, where the transit authority lets people ride for free, you have to watch out because all the bums take the bus

You've been to more than one baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
Never been. The law says lesbian marriages are illegal in Texas, but no one in Austin is going to arrest them

You have a very strong opinion where your coffee beans are grown and can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
So long as the coffee is 90% cream and sugar, I don't care if the beans are from Brazil or Bremerton

You know that anyone wearing pants in November is just visiting from Ohio.
Or Lubbock

You are thinking of taking an adult class but you can't decide between yoga, aromatherapy, conversational Mandarin or one on building your own web site.
Where you'll probably rub shoulders with a bored Dell-ionare who cashed out his stock long time ago.

You haven't been to Hippie Hollow since the first month you moved to Austin.
Tourist tip: There are better LCRA and State Parks you can go to on Lake Travis. Windy Point and Pace Bend come to mind. Hippie Hollow is for earthy types who go topless and the pervs that like to watch them

A man walks on The Drag in full leather regalia and crotchless chaps ...You don't notice.

A woman walks on The Drag with live poultry ...You don't notice.
For those not familiar with Austin, "The Drag" is the stretch of Guadelupe in between MLK and 26th across from the University of Texas campus where all kinds of characters can be found. Yeah, it's weird, but that's the image the local C of C tries to project.

You think any guy with a George Clooney haircut must be visiting from the midwest.
Or the suburbs

You know that any woman with a George Clooney haircut is not a tourist.
And is scary to look at

You keep a list of companies to boycott.
Yep, I do. Ben & Jerry's. George Soros' funds, Air France...

Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, the woman who delivers your mail is straight and your Mary Kay Lady is a guy in drag.
My barber is SuperCuts, my plumber is my dad, and I've never met our mail carrier because we have one of those community mailboxes. As for the Mary Kay Lady, I don't know any female in Austin who buys the stuff. Something about animal product testing...

You occasionally see a guy on a unicycle whiz by you in your car and you say to yourself, "Oh yeah, it's that guy again..."
Usually, this happens on the drag

You start to worry when you don't see the cross-dressing, bearded guy in-a-tutu-and- bikini-top-who-has-made-a-statement-with-his-grocery-cart-and-cardboard-box-art/shelter on your way to work in the morning. Scarier yet, you know his name is name is actually Leslie.
"Leslie" is a local legend. She/he has actually run for mayor several times (don't ask me how Leslie paid the entry fee, I don't know.)

You'll make dinner or bar plans around who's got the best margaritas.
They get margaritas, I get Shiner. If I want something that resembles a slurpee, I'll go to 7-Eleven.

You have a tough time deciding on one of Austin's eight 24-hour resaraunts (Katz', Kerbey Lane, Star Seeds, Magnolia Cafe, IHOP, Denny's, the Kettle, or Jim's).
Yeah, if you're an insomniac, Austin is for you. Whoever wrote this forgot about Whataburger, which is also always open

You complain about their prices but still shop at Central Market for the scene.
Actually Central Market's parent, H.E.B., opened a store in my neighborhood with the same stuff at lower prices. Suckers! HAHAHAHA

You don't even think about getting good seats to the Longhorns football games.
I only go to Texas games when Texas Tech is playing in Austin and I can get tickets.

You know the exact locations of three towing yards.
Because people frequently park where they ain't supposed to downtown

Your summer shoes are your Birks and your winter shoes are your Birks w/ socks.
I have a pair of Addidas sandals I like that I wear in summer, but no Birks

Your entire wardrobe consists of: a black tank top, a GAP white T-shirt, second-hand Levi's, second-hand cut-off Levi's, overalls, Longhorns sweats, anything polyester from the 70's, a bikini, Tevas, Birkenstocks, and running shoes.
Not even close, and I will certainly not wear anything Longhorn! I collect shirts from Austin restaurants, though

You often find yourself wondering why magazine editors insist that swimsuit season starts on Memorial Day when it's really the end of February or at the latest, the beginning of March.
Only in La Nina years

You consider chips, salsa, Kerby Queso, and Shiner Bock beer a well balanced meal.
And for most Austinites, the chips must be organic and the salsa must be vegan

You find yourself making beaded necklaces to give away as Christmas gifts.
Or buying them on The Drag

100 degrees for three straight months isn't unreasonable, 110 degrees is. And 90 degrees anywhere
between May and September seems a little chilly.

You figure skin cancer is inevitable b/c it's so DAMN HOT even your sunscreen won't stay on.
It does get hot around here

When you go out, you make sure you've grabbed your water bottle before checking to see if you've got your wallet and keys.
Our tap water is some of the cleanest in the state, yet we Austinites insist on drinking bottled water

You don't mind parking a mile away as long as it's in the shade
And if you're going to 6th Street or the Warehouse District, you are going to be parking a mile away regardless. And paying through the nose for the privlege.

Nobody's aware that Southwestern went out of style.
Hey, what you call "Southwestern" food, we call dinner, comprende?

You ask yourself constantly if that's a cute guy or a butch girl. And you really don't care either way cuz it's fun to wonder.
Whoever wrote this is probably female and played the "cute guy or butch girl" drinking game at a 6th Street establishment once too often

You'd rather ride your bike than get in a car without air conditioning. At least on your bike, you're guaranteed a breeze regardless of traffic.
With the number of bikers in Austin, it's no coincidence that native son Lance Armstrong is a Tour de France champ 6 times over

You see more Texas flags flying than American flags
Unless it's a political rally

You spend so much time at MoJo's Coffee House, you finally start bringing in your own CD's for the staff to play
MoJo's is a home-grown coffee joint on Guadelupe, slightly north of The Drag where students frequently go to study and acoustic guitar players can be found on a stage in the corner. They play CDs of anything on off nights, usually mood music

Your professor decides in the middle of the Government lecture that now's as good of a time as ever to tell his class of 500 he's gay. Like you didn't know. Like you even care.
Probably because most UT students have suspected as much.

Cubicles are no longer referred to as "work spaces" but "way out funky left brain meditation depositories."
These are the kind of tricks that Austin-area HR managers have to resort to to get employees in this town to do their jobs

The food at the company holiday party is all vegan, organic, soy free, wheat free, dairy free...
And flavor free

That noontime odor in the breakroom reminds you of your trip to Caracas, but its only somebody's lunch.
I don't want to know what the author did on their trip to Caracas

You're in a band - several of them, in fact
No, but I know a lot of musicians because it seems like half the Austin music scene goes to my church

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Austin.
I'll just settle for putting them on my blog

As a former Red Raider, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that today is the 25th anniversary of the worst tornado in Lubbock and Texas Tech history.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Steve Nash edition

Last night, Dallas did the one thing they shouldn't have done. They could have slowed it down and showed off the defense that everyone said was improved. They instead chose to run with the Suns and got burned.

Third-degree burned.

Leading the Suns was Amare Stoudamire, who cremated Erick Dampier with 40 points and 16 rebounds. Alleged NBA MVP Steve Nash had 11 points and 13 assists.

To the Mavericks credit, Avery Johnson's crew was not making excuses. From the DMN:

"I guess we thought we were on vacation," Johnson said. "It was 88 degrees and
sunny. We were in a resort mood, not a [conference] semifinal mood."

Lil' General has a day to get his troops into semifinal mood.

Miami folks can come up with better reasons than that.

Shaq was robbed of the MVP. There are plenty of good reasons why he should have won.

- He is still the most dominating force in the basketball, even at his advanced basketball age.
- He outscores Steve Nash and is better in several other offensive categories.
- Nash isn't even the best player on his own team and has a better supporting cast

there are many arguments you could use to argue Shaq should have won the MVP

Shaq defenders had plenty of ammunition to work with. They didn't need to inject race into the discussion the way Dan Le Batard did.

Of course it also didn't help Shaq's case that Fox Sports Radio overnight host Jorge Sedano, who is based in Miami and works for the Miami Heat's broadcast team, was interrupting and hanging up on Steve Nash defenders last night and labelling them all as racists.

You're talking about one of the closest MVP votes in history. That means plenty of white basketball media people thought Shaq was the best player in the league. Are they racist? And what about the African-American and other minority folks in the media who voted for Steve Nash? What do the Le Batards and Sedanos of the world make of them?

Besides, Steve Nash had a pretty good case for MVP himself since Phoenix went from lottery to #1 seed with him running the team. (It just wasn't as good as Shaq's case in my opinion)

Also, if Dan Le Batard wanted to make his article about American contemporary racism there are plenty of cases he could have used instead:

Racism is getting pulled over because you're a minority and drive a nice car because, in the mind of the officer, you're dealing drugs. Racism is a black ballplayer getting called a "good black kid" by a white baseball coach while said coach describes the rest of the community with a word that implies the rest of the community isn't inherently good. Racism is getting passed over for a bank loan because the loan officer thinks people with certain skin tones can't pay it back. Racism is getting dragged behind a pickup truck for miles because of your skin color. (Yes, that still happens, ask the people of Jasper for references)

Heck, there's even a good example of institutional racism in the sports world. Check the minority hiring rates for Division I-A football coaches.

Racism isn't losing an MVP vote.

Tomorrow: It all depends on how you define "official".

Monday, May 9, 2005

"I would like to thank my mouth for getting me fired"

Freddie Mitchell, alias "Frex-Ex", alias "The Peoples Champ", alias "Dude who thanks his hands for being great", alias "Dude who allegedly had something for Rodney Harrison", was cut this weekend by the Philadelphia Eagles.

And yes, the entire sports blogosphere has felt great schadenfreude over his release.

(Memo to Parcells and/or Jerry Jones: Don't even think about signing this fraud to a contract.)

Texas NBA Round Up

Jeff Van Gundy tried to tell us the officiating mattered.

As it turns out, the officials didn't matter after all. What mattered was Tracy McGrady missing 16 shots on 26 attempts and no Rockets stepping up to help Yao.

Dallas is moving on to play Phoenix tonight and Jeff Van Gundy and the Rockets face an uncertain future.

San Antonio spanked Seattle in their series opener despite snoozing through the 3rd quarter.

Update: Corey from Sporting Fools has asked Cheap Seats to ascertain why Tracy McGrady disappeared from Game 7. To that end, I've hired the the only band of investigators I could afford on a substitute teacher's salary:

If they find anything, Cheap Seats will be the first to let you know.

NBA Second Round Picks

Western Conference

Phoenix-Dallas: Dallas's defense is improved over previous years, so I expect the Mavericks to push this one to the limit. But Phoenix and Steve Nash will prevail in the end. Phoenix 4-3.

Seattle-San Antonio: Even with last night's blowout, Seattle will push San Antonio to the limit but fall just short to the Spurs. San Antonio 4-3.

Eastern Conference

Miami-Washington: A tired Washington team is no match for a fresh Heat team with Shaq and Dwayne Wade. Miami 4-0.

Detroit-Indiana: The rematch the NBA feared, only this time with out Ron Artest to fan the flames. Without him, the Pacers have no way to defend Rip Hamilton.
Detroit 4-2

100% Supplement-fed Longhorn Beef

A report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram states that
both Texas and Texas A&M purchased more than $120,000 in banned supplements such as ephedra for their players.

Now it bears watching their spring practice to see if anyone keels over.

Tomorrow: TBA

Friday, May 6, 2005

Post time at Cheap Seats Downs.

Recurring case of Hodgkins sidelines Fields

Thoughts and prayers go out to Mark Fields of the Carolina Panthers,
whose Hodgkins disease has returned.

Kentucky Derby

(Disclaimer: I know nothing about horse racing and I am not responsible for any money you lose betting on the race)

Horse racing is cool for this reason: The horse is a bigger star than the humans. Think about it, who was Secretariat's trainer? His Jockey? (OK, without looking it up on the internet, smartass). The horse is the winner, not the humans. The horse gets his name in the lead, not the humans. Hell, they'd interview the horse if they could.

As for the race, it's a tough call on whom to take. Nick Zito's got 5 horses, but he's probably stretched so thin that none of them are going to have a good showing. Steinbrenner's horse, who's probably the favorite, looks really good after that Wood Memorial. But the favorite never wins, so...

That leaves Bandini. I actually saw the Bluegrass Stakes because it was kind of a dead weekend and Bandini pulled away from that field. Plus he's the offspring of Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, which seems to be a big deal in horse racing, so I guess I'd have to pick Bandini.

Four to Watch
  • Kentucky Derby (Saturday, 4:00 PM NBC) - No mint juleps for me, I'm driving.
  • Pacers vs. Celtics (Saturday, 6:00 PM TNT) - The only thing better than a 7th game of a playoff series...
  • Mavericks vs. Rockets (Saturday, 8:30 PM TNT) - is a 7th game where Jeff Van Gundy could be out of the league if he loses.
  • Spurs vs. Sonics (Sunday, 7:00 PM TNT) The only second round series we know about tips off. Funny thing is, this is the only game in this series that has been schedules, according to the NBA website.

This weekend: Second Round picks.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

A horse, the end of a horse, and a bullpen that plays like one.

"Oh Bellamy Road, sit tight, take hold."

His team may stink, but George Steinbrenner still could win something this year. His horse, Bellamy Road,
is the favorite in the upcoming Kentucky Derby. This based on a strong showing in the Wood Memorial, a pre-Derby race in New York that was loaded with Derby hopefuls.

Me? I know nothing about horses, I just watch the Triple Crown and I know Irving's Lone Star Park hosted the Breeder's Cup last year, and not much else. I do know that the pre-race favorite almost never wins at Churchill Downs, so it's equally possible George could be a two-time loser.

Really, Barry's not trying to sit out the season.

Speaking of the end of a horse, Barry Bonds is having his knee scoped for the third time. Performing the surgery: an orthopedic surgeon out of Fremont named Arthur Ting, who according to the
Arizona Republic, is currently on probation for unprofessional conduct. The newspaper has also uncovered 30 pages worth of documents uncovering gross negligence.

This will just add fuel to the conspiracy theorists fire that Bonds is trying to sit out the season so he doesn't have answer steroid questions.

Here's the best part, though:
Arthur Ting is also the San Jose Sharks' Team physician

Astros need to right the ship quick

Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

Astros dropped another game to the Pirates last night after Roger Clemens left with a 3-2 lead and the bullpen blew it. Again. That 4 out of 5 that they have dropped to one of the worst teams in the majors.

There is no polite language I can use to describe this. Check
Lisa at The Dugout for further commentary.

It's going to be a long summer once the
Spurs' playoff run is over. When does Cowboys camp open again?

Tomorrow: Four to Watch.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Dick Pound: MLB, players are dopes.

Some of major league baseball's players are fine with baseball's current drug testing policy.

The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency isn't so sure.

According to
TSN, Canada's ESPN, and the Toronto Globe and Mail, WADA chairman Dick Pound criticized Major League Baseball's current steroid testing policy. Said Pound, "They're in denial and fans are somewhat apathetic about it all, so there's no incentive for them to get tougher on drugs"

And frankly, even though I was in favor of the policy in the beginning, because it was at least less of a joke than the previous policy, the policy still stinks.

The main reason why it's still a joke is the suspension length. Currently a first offender gets 10 games, roughly equivalent to an NFL player getting suspended for 1 game. The NFL policy suspends players for 4 games. The other reason is that they don't test for amphetamines and other potentially performance enhancing substances.

You would think this would give Selig some ammunition to go to the players with, but Pound is equally unimpressed with the new proposed policy.

Quoting Pound from the Globe and Mail:

"If you do the math, the first offence [penalty] is something less than a third of the season, which puts it marginally ahead of the National Football League's four-game suspension, Neither is what is required. Cheating is cheating and the question is whether they want their sports clean enough to ensure that they are."
Speaking of Sports and Canada...

U.S. Hockey team beat Latvia 3-1 to clinch a second round berth at the World Hockey Championships in Innsbruk, Austria. In their final group game, the U.S. will take on Canada, who hung an 8-spot on Slovenia, but since both teams have clinched, this is mainly for seeding.

One more reason to hate the 12th game

John Henderson of the Denver Post reports that you can add one more voice to the chorus protesting the NCAA's decision to expand the season to 12 games:
Coaches who are concerned about injuries.

The funniest part about the article, though, is the quote from Myles Brand about whether or not a 12th game affects academics:

"There is no evidence (a 12th game) is detrimental to academics. Baseball, golf, tennis, basketball teams are all off campus much more than football"
And yet, they won't allow a playoff because they think it will interfere with academics.

More on Larry Cochell

The Kansas City Star's Jason Whitlock supports former coach Larry Cochell's decision to resign over "n-word" usage, but blames in part,
an attitude that it's OK for certain people to use the word.

What to make of Ezequiel Astacio

Ezequiel Astacio, much hyped Houston Astros pitching prospect who had been a hard luck loser 3 times in 5 starts with the Round Rock Express (mainly due to lack of run support), made his big club debut with the Astros yesterday.
The 'Stros lost 7-4 to the Pirates, but Astacio was not involved in the decision (i.e. middle relief blew it again)

The Chronicle's Richard Justice,
preaches patience with this Astro team and Astacio in particular.

That said, I would expect Astros blogger Lisa Gray at
The Dugout to come up with some kind of nasty review of Astacio's debut as soon as she can find PG language to describe it.

And David Stern released the following statement:
"I am not a crook!"

To add to the Watergate atmosphere now surrounding Jeff Van Gundy's charges, The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan has labeled the ref Van Gundy claims told him about NBA officiating policies as "Deep Whistle".

Meanwhile the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Gil LeBreton plays the role of Mark Cuban's mouthpiece. Astros broadcaster and former manager Larry Dierker says he can relate to Van Gundy's situation. And the Chronicle's Johnathan Feigien reports that Rocket's owner Les Alexander is in Van Gundy's corner.

And if you think this battle is tough...

On the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Dallas Mavericks, The Dallas Morning News recounts Donald Carter's struggle to get an NBA franchise for the Metroplex.

Tomorrow on Cheap Seats: Horsing Around
Tomorrow on Spur of the Moment: Game 5 Recap.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Who Censored Jeff Van Gundy?

Marc Stein of the NBA is following the ongoing saga of Jeff Van Gundy and his complaint that Mark Cuban is influencing the officiating. He notes the following:

All teams complain to the league about the way games are officiated, not just Cuban's Mavs. This happens even more than usual in the playoffs, and the league is fine with it. Stern would much rather receive complaints than read about them in the papers.
Which leads to an interesting question. Why fine Jeff Van Gundy for complaining about the officials, and not George Karl since he complained a lot after Game 3 of the Spurs-Nuggets series or Doc Rivers after stating that Reggie Miller gets sympathy calls. Let's see some consistency, NBA.

Another thing, what gives the NBA, or any pro sports league for that matter, the right to fine people for speaking out? Last I checked, you had the right to say whatever you want in this country. Besides, complaining about the officials is a losing mentality, and the complainers will pay on the court eventually. (Witness last night's losses by the Rockets and Nuggets) There's no need to punish them twice.

A Reason to watch American Idol

I think American Idol is the most rigged show in television history, and I refuse to watch it. And I refuse to buy the albums. It's a sad commentary on our society that these manufactured pop stars who sing empty, meaningless tunes are so popular.

Now, however, there might be a reason to watch.

If you are disgusted with the American music industry or hate American Idol, now you have a chance to punk them both.

I give you the website "Vote for the Worst":
http://www.votefortheworst.com/ A website dedicated to bringing down American Idol by voting for the worst possible candidate: Scott Savol, who has no talent, looks nothing like and idol, and apparently has a rap sheet so long that the Portland Trailblazers want to sign him.

I'd love to see Scott win just so that the Fremantle Media folks (the company that runs the Idol shows and owns the record company to which the winner will sign) will have to try and sell this guy, the guy Simon's been pimping the least, to the public.

I don't know if I'll watch American Idol to get the number, but I like the chutzpah of these guys.

Update: For some reason, the site has been blocked. Damn you, American Idol!

Tomorrow: TBA

Monday, May 2, 2005

"No, Larry Cochell, I don't know what you mean"

There's a radio spot that appears on 1300 AM The Zone (a local sports station in Austin), a PSA from from the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where a black guy is giving a speech at a shareholders meeting or some such. Anyway, while he's giving the speech, we overhear 2 white guys talking:

One white guy says to the other, "You know, for a black guy, he's really articulate, you know what I mean?"

The other white guy says, "Umm, no, I don't know what you mean."

Point being, sometimes you have show you disagree with a stereotype.

And as college baseball found out this weekend, those stereotypes still exist, 40 years after the last Voting Rights Act was passed.

Larry Cochell, the manager of the OU baseball team, made the following remarks about Joe Dunigan III, an African-American player for the Sooners.

“There are honkies and white people and there are n——— and black people. Dunigan is a good black kid ... There’s no n——- in him.”

Cochell resigned as manager of the Sooner baseball team.

Yes, I know
Dunigan and his dad have forgiven Larry Cochell. That's a credit to both of them, but it doesn't excuse Cochell.

Yes, I know it's a university environment and universities can be hyper-sensitive. That doesn't excuse the coach either.

Yes, I know the "n-word" is not considered bad in some contexts. That wasn't one of those contexts.

There's more to it than the "n-word", it's the attitude behind it. Cochell's attitude was that Dunigan was a "good black kid" instead of a good kid, as if black people aren't inherently good, or less is expected of them because of their race.

Cochell is the one who resigned, but if you read between the lines of some of Joe Castiglione and David Boren's statements, it's likely he would have been fired anyway. As OU President David Boren noted, "A good and caring man has made a terrible mistake for which he must assume responsibility."

Because sometimes you gotta say, "No I don't know what you mean." Especially at a time when people are concerned about the number of African-Americans partcipating in the game of baseball at all levels.

Later today on Spur of the Moment: Game 4 preview
Tomorrow: I will get back to the Mavs-Rockets series, really.