Sports Talk

So much to talk about, so little time.

And why so much? Well, considering Portland is pretty much a one-horse town in terms of pro sports franchises, and that horse is trying to lay low for a month or so, there’s still a lot happening on the Portland sports scene that we can discuss, as it were, in passing.

AFTER THE JUMP:
> No more “Primetime with Ian and Big Suke”
> Joey! Joey!
> Where will the Ducks and Beavers end up?
> Rose City Rollers getting ready to close out a successful first season
> Obligatory Storm Large reference

No more “Primetime with Ian and Big Suke”
As reported by John Canzano on his blog today, Ian Furness of 1080 The Fan’s drive-time afternoon show, “Primetime with Ian and Big Suke,” is moving on to greener pastures as he returns to his old stomping grounds, the Emerald City.

Ian’s time in Portland has been interesting. He came to the Fan about four and a half years ago to sidekick with John Lund on the afternoon drive-time show. Eventually Lund moved on to Detroit, and Ian took over the reigns, to be joined by Marc Amazon and, eventually, Jason Scukanek. I’m not the hugest Furness fan; alot of the stances he takes on various issues (for instance, all things Zach Randolph — Furness was the last guy to hop off the Randolph bandwagon, and spent far too long being a Randolph apologist), but he did indeed more or less single-handedly (in my opinion) push The Fan from being a “let’s talk about the news” sports station to “let’s break the news, then discuss” station. I’m betting he’ll be hard to replace, though (if Canzano’s right) Isaac Ropp, an Ian disciple who’s oft-touted by Ian as the best producer in sports radio history, will be a good start. If nothing else, it’ll be nice having a more educated take on baseball-related issues, especially as Portland continues, slowly, to inch towards becoming an MLB town.

Joey! Joey!
Well, tonight was the season opener for Joey Harrington’s Miami Dolphins (Joey, for those of you who are new to the area or completely retarded, is the former U of O quarterback sensation who hit the NFL with a relative thud, being drafted in the top three by the Detroit Lions and then proceeding to be victimized by inept team management and coaching). I was anticipating this game all summer, as Harrington was finally traded to the Lions, then was pretty much guaranteed a start or two at the beginning of the season as Daunte Culpepper, recovering from a severe knee injury and subsequent surgery, was forecast to sit for at least the first four games of the season.

Well, Culpepper pushed himself back, in the most unlikely fashion, and ended up being ready to rock in the first game. Unfortunately for him, he rocked himself into a sub-50% completion rate and threw to interceptions, and no TD’s.

Does this bode well for Joey? Maybe. Culpepper is known for throwing for monstrous yardage, but also showed, without Randy Moss, that he could get frazzled and start making bad decisions. I was able to listen to the first two Miami drives of this game, and Culpepper was getting shut down early, which led to him taking some chances he shouldn’t have. If I were Joey, I’d be looking for a potential start in two to three weeks, if Daunte maintains his current bad mojo.

Where will the Ducks and Beavers end up?
Great question.

WIth the Ducks, we saw something Saturday we hardly ever see out of them: utterly destroying a PAC-10 opponent early in the season, as they routed Stanford 48-10 to show that they mean business this season.

The Beavers, on the other hand, have been found wanting, after first trying to get fired up beating a lackluster Easter Washington team, then getting trounced by a not-as-good-as-the-score-indicates Boise State squad tonight.

This, my friends, is (to me) a sign of what is to come. Oregon has come out of the blocks in a way that we haven’t seen since the beginning of the Mike Belotti era. Sure, they’ve only played one game, but it was against a Stanford squad that has low expectations for the year (at least, if they’re reviewing the Pac-10 Media Poll, which has them picked ninth) and thus has something to prove. And, though they appear lowly to some, other prognosticators have them finishing as high as seventh place in the league this season. And, in the past, where Oregon (heavily favored by most everyone to vie for first place in the conference) has come up against a team they’re expected to throttle, things tend to be close.

So, I’m hopeful.

The Beavers, however, are showing exactly why they are expected to finish in the lower half of the conference. Sure, Boise State is the best team in the WAC, but, uh, Boise State is the best team in the WAC. The WAC can’t carry the Pac-10’s jock, and being pushed around by this team in a game Oregon State was supposed to win (but, strangely, was expected by many to lose) is an embarassment.

I see Oregon finishing first or second in the league this year. I don’t think California will be able to escape the season without at least two more losses (to Oregon and to USC), and I don’t see Oregon losing more than two games this year. OSU, on the other hand, is probably going to lose to USC, Oregon, Washington State, Cal, and UCLA (at least), which should put them in 6th or 7th place in the conference. And, don’t be surprised if Washington beats them as well. Boy, wouldn’t that be embarassing?

Rose City Rollers season coming to a close.
Sure, it’s still 22 days away (per the helpful counter on their webpage), but the season finale is coming. Buy your tickets today. And tell Vominatrix Barely 21 I said hi.

Storm Large
Will soon be storming home. Too bad, so sad. Truth is, I hate reality TV, and never saw her. I understand she performed at a Rose City Rollers event, though, so I guess she must be pretty cool. RIP another Portland shot at fame.

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