The Critical Fanatic blog will officially launch Nov. 1st

She’s pumped… We’ll talk to you then.


Greg Oden Portland Trail Blazers First Game: 13 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Blocks

Sometimes it’s not just a preseason game.

Portland Trail Blazers fans and NBA fans alike have been waiting patiently for Greg Oden to play in the NBA and last night was his first live action. It’s more than just Oden we’ve been wanting a look at, but the entire roster that Kevin Pritchard has so cleverly constructed.

Oden and the Blazers didn’t disappoint. Just ask a 2nd-year center who was drafted nine picks behind the former Oden, Spencer Hawes. The former Washington Husky was abused by Oden early and often, victim of his first dunk and block.

You’ll see in the very first highlight above, Oden takes the entry pass on the right block and simply powers his way over Hawes for his first points. In typical Oden fashion, a dunk. His final line: 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 20 minutes.

Truth be told, Oden may not have had the best “rookie” debut. That belonged to Rudy Fernandez who put on his own show according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian.

Don’t look now, but Oden may have some stiff competition for Rookie of the Year from one of his teammates: Fernandez.

In a simply electric performance, Fernandez had the crowd chanting his first name after a series of flashy plays. He dunked off a lob pass from Rodriguez, a longtime friend and countryman, and then later caught another lob from Rodriguez and in a dipsy-do move, drifted under the basket and blindly banked it high off the backboard.

And there was more. Fernandez threaded a pass through the legs of Jason Thompson that Aldridge converted, and later made a sharp bounce pass in traffic that Aldridge dunked. He also lobbed a pass that Martell Webster dunked, putting the finishing touches on a six-point, five-assist night.

Whether I’m allowed or not, I’m going to be a bandwagon jumper to this Blazers run. Even in this despairing stock market, Portland is a must buy.

“176 Punt Retard” – Robert Flores Shares An Interesting Statistic

The Minnesota Vikings deeply regret punting to Reggie Bush in the second half of last night’s Monday Night Football game, but not as much as Robert Flores likely regrets his call of the highlights.

“176 Punt Retard”

Perhaps his mind drifted to Brad Childress, that or Skip Bayless walked through the studio.

Normally announcers can brush of mistakes quickly and move on, but the split second silence after this gaffe was defening.

Boo Weekley On Tonight Show With Jay Leno

I can’t get enough Boo Weekley in my life, but somehow I missed his appearance last Thursday on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

It is not to be missed. You’ll be a better person for having watched this 7:00 interview. In case you’rer lazy, or don’t think you have that amount of time to waste, let me give you a brief preview:

  • Video footage of his Happy Gilmore, ride the donkey celebration during the Ryder Cup.
  • “Like a year in college, one of them long weekends with just nothing but partying.”
  • Dennis Miller asks Boo if he’d rather play for the South or the United States
  • Explanation of “Boo-isms” that we can all relate to… when we’re drunk.
  • Boo shares a story about how he lost his keys in a port-o-potty…
  • … and how he retrieved them.

Seven minutes of Weekley enlightenment. Do enjoy!

Photo Update: Stacy Elizabeth Beshear Is Luke Walton’s Stalker

Timeout! is our daily diversion from real sports news, which is likely to mean an excuse to post pictures of beautiful, partially clothed women, or mere just the bizarre happening of the pop-culture world…

Also news: Luke Walton HAS a stalker. Unbelievable.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward recently reported that he had a stalker, and today the women has been charged. Her name: Stacy Elizabeth Beshear.

Update: Thanks to Deadspin, we have a photo. About what I expected, just as ugly as the Waltons.

His accusation:

Walton said Beshear has been harassing him since late last year. He told the Orange County Register she waited outside his Manhattan Beach home numerous times and wrote on his car with a marker after he refused to sign an autograph.

“When she pulled up to my house and started yelling at me after she fired a fake gun at me, I couldn’t help but to start yelling back at her,” Walton said. “She was in my driveway. But when we were interacting, I could tell by the stuff she was saying that she’s not all there in the head — which makes me feel bad for her.

“At the same time, most people who go on killing sprees are people who aren’t all there in the head.”

Some people who aren’t all there in the head also play in the NBA, but that’s a completely different discussion.

Sadly, not photo of Stacy Elizabeth Beshear can be located, but you can be sure I’ll diligently continue my internet stalking of her.

Woman charged with stalking Lakers forward Walton [ESPN]

Brandon Jennings First Scrimmage In Italy Video

One of the stories I’m most interesting in following this fall and winter will not be taking place on the NFL field, the NBA court, or a college campus. It’s the ever-intriguing Brandon Jennings and his quest to play basketball professionally in Italy.

I love college hoops and would have enjoyed his success at the University of Arizona, but one most also realize that college is not for everyone. His bold decision, one that may very well teach him more than he could ever care to learn in Tucson, is something that should be applauded.

Pete Thamel had a great piece on Jennings in the Sunday New York Times I suggest you read.

Thanks to Dime Magazine, we’ve now got some video footage of Jennings’ first scrimmage for Lottomatica Virtus Roma (must be one hell of jersey).

Check out the move at :50. Wow.

At 19, Plotting New Path to N.B.A., via Europe [NYTimes]

NFL Power Rankings Week 6: NFC East, Then The Rest

I completely agree that Power Rankings can be a little silly, but when it comes to football we have to fill the gap between games with some type of banter. (also featured on FanIQ)

This NFL season has been a mess, a wonderfully unpredictable mess at that, but week five didn’t offer up too many drastic shifts to our power rankings.

The state of the NFC East remains strong, very, very strong. Jim Zorn and the Washington Redskins scored their second straight road divisional win and the New York Giants ship remains steady as she goes, and didn’t need Plaxico Burress to exploit the Seattle Seahawks defense. Dallas had some scary moments against a Bengals team slowly finding their way and Philadelphia is simply the victim of not being as good as the rest, nor as healthy.

The Week 6 Power Rankings are the NFC East, and then the rest…

1. New York Giants

Defending Super Bowl Champs and have won seven straight including the 2007 playoffs. Despite what looks like some holes on paper, the Giants have yet to show any on the field. Until they do, they’ll hold onto my top spot.

2. Washington Redskins

Two straight road wins in the NFC East. That’s good enough for the spot, except their lone loss comes to the Giants. Still no interceptions for Jason Campbell.

3. Dallas Cowboys

I don’t think any less of the ‘Boys, but they’ve fallen from number one simply based on their division mates performances. Perhaps he can’t handle the workload, but wouldn’t you double the amount of touches that Felix Jones receives after another sparkling run? He scores every nine times he gets the football. Unreal.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

So what if they’re 2-3? Kevin Curtis returns this week most likely, Brian Westbrook remains banged up, but don’t count the Eagles out of the playoffs. The sad fact is that one of these four teams will not be a participant in the postseason, despite being one of the Top 10 teams in the NFL.

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Cedric Griffin Big Hit On Saints Billy Miller — NFL Hit of the Year?

Reggie Bush’s punt returns are worth watching over and over, as is the hit of the night courtesy of the Vikings Cedric Griffin.

Griffin completely lays out the much larger Saints tight end Billy Miller. On third look, I think the actual highlight here is Devery Henderson demonstrates what a complete pussy he is stepping out of the way to allow Griffin a clean shot on his teammate. Nice work, Devery. Thank you for your fantasy points, but I doubt your teammates are giving you equal accolades.

Not a bad hit here by Will Smith on Gus Frerotte, who’d have much rather head-butted a wall.

Chad Johnson Changes His Name Again: Cero Cinco

Fine work by the folks at Pro Football Talk: Chad Johnson’s latest name change

The NFL is just a better place when the Bengals are the butt of jokes.

Shaq Calls Himself “The Black Michael Phelps”

Some of you may be looking forward to Shaquille O’Neal’s retirement. I, however, am not.

I’ll be enjoying every minute of the final two years (?) because of sound bites like this. Interviewed yesterday about Phoenix Suns training camp in Tucson, Shaq shares that some members of the University of Arizona women’s swim team challenged him to a race.

“I told her I was the black Michael Phelps.”

No report on whether Shaq won the race, but I’d pay good money to see O’Neal attempting the butterfly.

HT: The Sports Culture