Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Arizona & Other News

The Tigers moved up a spot in both polls this week, and are sitting at #18 heading into tonight's game at Arizona.

Arizona is favored by 7.5-8 points tonight, and is ranked #9. Coach Cal is quoted in a Tucson paper as saying the Wildcats are better than their ranking. That's a good way to make a loss seem not as harmful and a win even better, I guess.

The game tonight is at 7:30pm Central Time and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net.

On a non-game-related note, the CA is reporting that Darius Washington, Jr. is being sued for child support by his ex-girlfriend. Boy, nothing like the fall from grace. That clip of him crumbling to the floor at the free throw line would still be airing at every game if he was still playing. Who told him to get an agent? Good advice, there.

On another non-game-related note, and a very sad one, from Eyewitness News: "one time Memphis Tigers guard Tanqueray "Tank" Beavers was found dead Sunday night at TGI Friday's on University Drive in Huntsville Alabama. Beavers was one of two patrons shot to death, while two others were injured in the shooting. No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon. The former All-State performer signed with the University of Memphis in 2004. He was the career assists leader at Athens High School. Beavers played sparingly as a freshman for Memphis during the 2004-05 season and ended up quitting the team because of a lack of playing time. The 21 year old had been working construction in Huntsville."

Final Score: Tigers 71- Arizona 79. I was optimistic at halftime, but the Tigers couldn't keep it together to fight off Arizona in the second half. We're running out of opportunities for quality wins...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dicky V loves Dozier

Robert Dozier is one of Dick Vitale's Five "Sophomores to Watch."

The Austin Peay game was bumped back one hour, and will now tip off Thursday night at 8pm instead of 7pm. It will be televised locally on WLMT CW30.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Recovery Update

So I may have finally recovered from the loss at Knoxville last week. Maybe. I couldn't bring myself to blog going into the Ole Miss game, and so I just thought I'd take a break. You can read about our victory over the Rebels. It was a solid win, and I hope that it's an indication of what is to come.

And what IS to come? Our next game is Thursday night against Austin Peay, then we have six days to prepare for the game on the 20th at Arizona.

Today the Tigers dropped 3 spots to #19 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls. I'm actually quite pleasantly surprised, after the Vols rolled over us I thought we'd fall to the bottom, if not completely out of, the top 25.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Cross-State Matchup

Tonight the Tigers travel to Knoxville to play the Vols. Just in the interest of full disclosure, I hate the Vols. And it seems the coaches are already talking a little coach-smack.

Anyway, there's no line yet. I'll update this post with that information. Update: Tigers are favored by 1.0-2.0. Not much.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8pm CT.


Final update: Just read it. I don't wanna talk about it.

Dozier featured in ESPN "Replacements" article


John Calipari's claims that this Memphis team could be as good as last season's were probably a little generous. With all the attrition, it would be a surprise to see another No. 1 seed from the Tigers this season. But one player who has made tremendous use of his increased playing time is Dozier.

In 2005-06 as a freshman, Dozier was a capable defensive replacement when inserted for Williams in the Calipari press, but offensively he was much more timid. Dozier has been more assertive this season, resulting in a mix of results. The big surprise is that he's been much more efficient from the field than he was last season, but not surprisingly he has also had a case of the dropsies more often than Williams did.

It hasn't been all rosy, however. He fouled out in just eight minutes of action against Georgia Tech, which should be enough to cause folks to hesitate about whether he will consistently produce against more athletic opponents. But so far, we can say that Dozier has made progress towards making significant contributions to the Memphis offense.

Dozier vs. Williams

Dozier ('06-07) 14.1 21.7 58.7% 4.4
Williams ('05-06) 15.0 18.9 48.0% 3.2

Monday, December 4, 2006

Monday it's Marshall

Tonight the Tigers play Marshall in the C-USA opener tonight in the FedExForum at 7 pm. The oddsmakers have us favored by 21-22 points. The game will be broadcast in the Memphis area on WLMT CW 30.

It's early for conference play, and we don't have another conference matchup until Jan 11. The early game is the result of the conference expanding the schedule from 14 to 16 games.

Poll News: The ESPN/USA Today poll has kept us at #17. Hopefully when the AP poll is released today the Tigers will not fall from #14. Update: We did. Fall. Down to #16. Which I hate because we didn't lose last week. I guess beating Arkansas State and Manhattan wasn't enough to maintain #14. Whatever.

Final Score: 78-59. Only a 19 point win, that's two games in a row the Tigers didn't cover the spread. But, again, a W is still a W.

The Tigers did shoot 17 out of 20 free throws, which is a near miraculous turn around from the last game...

NEXT: The Vols. Tomorrow night in Knoxville, 8pm CT, live on ESPN2.

Also: DeAngelo Williams had an awesome night on Monday Night Football. Too bad the Panthers couldn't hold on to their lead.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Tigers take on Manhattan

Robert Dozier just took the ball to the hoop, over some little Manhattan player. The announcer actually said, "This is a mismatch." This? This one-on-one? The WHOLE GAME is a mismatch. But whatever.

Of course we're only winning by one point right now. I'll just shut up until it's over.

Halftime Update: Okay, so we're up by 17, which is more like it... But still, it got awfully sloppy there towards the end. Is it wrong that I feel sorta sad for these little teams, that come in to play us in "buy" games? Do they feel bad about themselves? Or are they just excited to see what they can do against a ranked team? Okay... I'm gonna shut up.

Final Score: 77-59. Well. It's a win, but it left a little something to be desired. They weren't sharp, they didn't seem focused, they couldn't buy a three pointer or a free throw. But, I guess a W is a W.

Coming up: The Tigers take on Marshall on Monday night, in the conference opener. That is followed by a trip to Knoxville to play the Vols on Wednesday, and then Ole Miss visits the Forum on Saturday afternoon. A busy week, all in all. Here's hoping the Tigers can finish it 3-0.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Sweet Lord, I was excited.

It was the first half of the game against Georgia Tech last Tuesday night. The Tigers looked incredible. Even when they were sloppy (or even sloopy, right you-know-who-you-are?) they were ass-kickin'. I liked the new unis. I liked the gameplan. I liked the swagger. I loved that they look like they're having FUN. I did wish we'd make more of our free throws. Pierre Niles? He is huge. Enormous. Just... huge. Chris "Buckets" Douglas-Roberts? My new favorite (old favorite being Rodney Carney, gone to the NBA). Jeremy Hunt? Earning redemption. At halftime, the Tigers were up by sixteen and still rolling.

Then came the second half. And I have nothing to say about that.

So the Tigers managed to lose to Georgia Tech. But the next day they did beat Kentucky, and the season is now in full swing. I can't wait for March. I hope whatever job I get (*knock on wood*) will understand that I need to be off for the Madness. It's just the way it is.

To clarify the degree of my Tiger dedication, I give the following information: there was a ten season span between when I started at U of M as a freshman and when I finished law school (yes, ahem, that's longer than usually required). During those ten seasons, I missed maybe five home games. Maybe. I've been waiting a long long time, my friends. I've paid my dues. I am NOT a fair-weather fan. And every year, I think, "this could be the year." But really, this year? This COULD be the year. ;)

Also? The University of Memphis FOOTBALL Tigers won a game. Yes, I'll say it again. They WON A GAME. The last game of the season. It wasn't on TV. I didn't see it happen. But according to, the Tigers beat UTEP last night 38 to 19, and in the process acted the spoiler and prevented UTEP from being bowl eligible. So, I say Go Tigers. And? There's always another season right around the corner. See you in September.

Also also? I hate watching sports not in HD. I've gotten so spoiled that I keep thinking the focus is blurry on regular shows.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Football Misery

I don't know why every weekend I still allow my hopes to spring up. Seriously. The Tigers were playing UCF, a team with a similarly disappointing season. Maybe we could make it happen. Mr. Incredible and I did not make use of our season tickets and instead watched the game on TV, for several reasons, including the cold snap that overtook Memphis yesterday, the fact that the Tigers are Sultans of Suck, neither one of us was feeling particularly good, and the game was conveniently (and unusually) televised which seemed to be a sign from the heavens that we should just stay home (plus, that way we got to switch channels and watch the Vols lose to the Hogs. Sweet!). So anyway. After the game opened with two 3-and-outs for the Tigers and two touchdowns for the Golden Knights, I thought it was going to be another humiliating blowout debacle. But the Tigers pulled it together and we were tied up at 17 at the half. At that point, I allowed it to happen. I allowed that little part of me to take over, the part that can't give up the optimism. And with two minutes left in the game, the Tigers were down by 2 points and had the ball. Right then, I just knew we were going to win. The losing streak was over.

I was wrong. Again. We lost. Again. Thank goodness basketball starts on Thursday. Finally.

Favorite football name of the week: Karibi Dede (thanks to Mya Pinyan for finding him)
Favorite combination of football names on the same field (from week one's Ark v. USC game): Nutt, Dick, and Booty

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Sunday Summary

Sorry, DeAngelo. I missed it.

Tonight, the University of Memphis retired DeAngelo Williams' number in a pre-game ceremony. Sunday nights are not for going to college football games. Especially when your team is phenomenally sucktastic like the Tigers. So I didn't go. And from what I could see of the crowd on ESPN, I wasn't the only one. I'm sad that he didn't get a better celebration, but it wasn't enough to get me out of the house tonight. As I type this, the Tigers are losing 21-0 in the first quarter. So I can't say I'm sorry I'm not there.

Favorite Football Names This Week: Sam Olajubutu, Ryan Succop

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I've never seen anything like it. There was no time left on the clock. And the pass flew 52 improbable yards. When the mass of players jumped into the air, I thought surely a Tiger would be able to snag it. Surely, a guy in a blue shirt would come down with the ball and our 23-20 victory would be saved. But fate disagreed, and an Arkansas State player snatched the ball out of the air and killed our hopes of turning around the season with a victory. It was remarkable and amazing and heartbreaking. It was the straw that broke the back of any hope that the Tigers might not suck quite so completely. They do. Suck. Completely.

When does basketball season start?

Friday, September 29, 2006

One Day More

I was just going to let tomorrow come without mentioning it here... But I guess I can't stop myself.

Tomorrow, at a ridiculously early hour (8am isn't THAT early, I know, but it is a Saturday), I will find myself, clad in blue, arriving at Liberty Bowl Stadium. The stadium holds 62,338 people. I predict at least half will not be similarly clad in blue, but rather in Orange. It's that time again.

It has been ten years since a game between the Tigers and the Vols ended on a happy note for Tiger fans. Ten years have passed, but still that night stands as The Best Sports Experience of my life. One of the reasons it was such monumental win was the very fact that we expected a blowout loss. I don't even think I paid much attention for most of the game, because who wants to watch a butt kicking? I went to the game that night with my camera, not expecting to have anything in particular to shoot, but because it was the next to last home game of the season, and I wanted to get some pictures of the marching band (yes, I know, I'm a huge band geek). I did not take either of these photos, by the way. The only one of mine that came out was of the scoreboard, although that's certainly a nice shot.

The crowd was loud and raucous (they even cheered like crazy for the band's halftime show), and though we didn't expect an upset, there was something different and electric in the air. When the game was over, we were as shocked as the Vol fans were. I remember the way they sat there, in stunned silence, while the field flooded with Tiger students and fans. The goal posts came down quickly under the weight of players and fans. Stadium security tried to prevent one group of fraternity boys from taking an entire upright out (six or seven of them carried it on their shoulders), so they marched up to the top of the stadium, intending to DROP IT OVER THE SIDE so they could have their souvenir. Fortunately, security decided to ease up rather than to risk lives, and pieces of goal posts were (safely) taken home by many of the revelers. Of course, since I was in the band, I wasn't able to storm the field. We remained in the stands, and just kept playing until our chops were worn out.

The more time that passes, the sillier it might seem to reminisce about that game. It was, after all, ten years ago. That is a long time, especially in college football (today's players were still in elementary school in 1996). And it didn't mark the beginning of a new era; it wasn't the first in a string of wins over Tennessee-- we have yet to beat the Vols again-- and the Tigers didn't become a powerhouse. Some Tennessee fans scoff and say, "even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while." Maybe that's true, but some things have changed. The more recent games have not been the cakewalk for Tennessee they used to be, and Vol fans (some Vol fans) have become less friendly, more defensive, even sometimes hostile. While they may refuse to acknowledge the existence of an actual rivalry (we're not good enough for that), no longer do they pat us on the head, chuckling over their little brother trying to tag along. The games since that night-- the competition tougher, the scores closer-- have taunted them, but teased us. For us, they have planted seeds of hope, encouraging our faith, egging on our dreams of another victory.

And another victory will come.

Maybe not tomorrow.

But it will come. And I hope I'm there to see it.