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2013 Roofball World Championship

Mon, 02/11/2013 - 8:59am
Derek Weber
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We’re one week out from the 15th annual Roofball World Championship.

The World Championship is the first and largest event of the Roofball season. The simplest explanation of Roofball is: a sport where a player throws a football at a target located on a roof.

Now on to the preview. On February 17th 24 players will compete for the 15th annual World Championship. The WCs should see a full 24 player field with many of the usual suspects. Adam Willis, Buddy Emmons and myself have 4 Roofball titles each. While Casey Campbell will bring his 6 wins with him, oh yeah and try to defend his title.

Other competitors include:

Steve Stupey – 2009 US Open Champ

Dale Bernhardt – 2011 RFA Cup Champ

Beth Willis – 11 Woman’s Champ

Rob Saliski – Three third place finishes

Amy Determan – Two time woman champion

If you’re interested in learning more check out www.roofball.org where you can leanr about the rules, players and records. Interested in showing up watching or possibly playing? Email president@roofball.org.

Super duper bowl

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 4:17pm
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Here we are the last game of the season, the Super Bowl. I’ll forgo the conversation about the coaches, did you know they’re brothers!?!??!? What do football games come down too? Running the ball, time of possession, turnovers? Sure all of those items are great a predicting winners, but we’re talking about scoring, you don’t score you don’t win.

Which team has the better chance of scoring? The 49ers. They have a good RB, a QB that can pass and run, WR’s and TE’s who can catch and run oh wait…am I talking about San Francisco or Baltimore? Let’s see Rice, Flacco (say what you want 8TDs and 0INTs in the playoffs), Boldin, Smith, Pitta… yeah I must be writing about the Ravens. Wait what? Gore, Kaepernick, Crabtree, Davis… Ah crap.

Ok, so defense wins championships as they say. Who has the better D, who can keep the other team from scoring? Easy, the Ravens right, they’re a perennial top D team. What’s that you say? I’m living in the past, the Ravens are old and can’t slow down anyone? If you say so I swear they held the Pats to 13 points at home last game, oh well, the 49ers it is! Wait, they were down 17-0 last game and gave up 31 points in one playoff game already? Hmm that doesn’t sound dominate either.

Ok well, how about the coaches! Did you know their brothers?

Either way this should be a good one. I’m stoked. My money’s on the 49ers. I think they have the better team overall and seem to keep it together no matter the situation. Look for Vernon Davis to have a big day, but not as big as Kaepernick, your MVP.

It's the era of specialization

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 12:19am
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Ah, the simpler days of the sports media world. Where did they go?

In this week’s cover feature, coaches of club teams reflect on the state of sports and athletes who play them and it’s not what it used to be. At least in time commitment.

High school kids might put in the same amount of time in practice and games as they used to during a season 10 and 20 years ago, they just don’t play as many sports anymore.

Three-sport athletes are far more rare because they are almost required to focus on one sport if they expect to earn some financial assistance from a college, whether it’s a scholarship or some tuition assistance.

If you want to be good enough to get noticed, you have to be special by focusing on one sport.

It works that way in the media world as well, and has writers of traditional media making the same comments about their profession. It was better the old way, when one publication was able to cover a wide variety of topics for a large audience. Competition wasn’t lacking, but the mix of print, radio and television survived from the advent of TV following World War II right on into the 21st century.

Today, the media world changes almost daily, which is part of social progress. Any sport or activity can get special attention if it has someone to provide it. Usually for free.

The consistent specialization, though, especially in blog form, has  continually sapped the ability of established media to keep tabs on larger issues affecting its community. Those issues would turn into features, the kind that involve some research and a bit of time to write.

Writers of today probably spend more time working their craft, but so much of it involves tweeting and blogging, and doesn’t get delivered to a larger audience, only the specialized one that follows their work through Facebook or Twitter.

That’s the challenge we’re tackling, attracting an audience to a collection of stories and features from a variety of specialized topics, something newspapers do, at least did back when there were still three-sport athletes.

Helfrich has a big hire in replacing himself

Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:42pm
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Now that the University of Oregon has officially signed Mark Helfrich to replace Chip Kelly, the Ducks' cast of thousands can work on the next question for its program - who will replace Helfrich.

While the head coaching position was almost a guarantee that the Ducks would move Helfrich up, the offensive coordinator position is likely to attract many more times the interest as a hire because of its history. Oregon's offensive coordinator almost always moves up to head coach.

Mike Bellotti was offensive coordinator from 1989 to '94, the moved up when Rich Brooks moved to the NFL following taking the Ducks to the 1995 Rose Bowl. Dirk Koetter was the OC two years - '96-97, and then took off to become head coach at Boise State. Chip Kelly was offensive coordinator prior to following Bellotti in 2009.

Whoever lands as offensive coordinator is almost guaranteed to be sought as a head coach in a relatively short time based on the history of the Oregon program and the talent they'll take over. Not to mention Helfrich will be assisting the position.

And, best of all, the Ducks have an extremely competent defense led by Nick Alliotti, who's been there since 1999, giving the offense a big hand in not needing to blow a team out. Not that that's been a problem under Kelly and then Helfrich.

 

 

Championship Week

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 3:18pm
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What a weekend of football. The divisional round of the playoffs should go down as one of the best set of games we’ve had a in a long time. Even the blowout games were close at half time. Enough dwelling on the past, in a what have you done for me lately world, we need to take a look at this week’s games.

NFC Championship

San Francisco at Atlanta:

Well Matt Ryan finally did it, he won a playoff game, much to the chagrin of my co-worker/Saints fan. Let’s not forget that this was the first playoff win for more than a few people on the Falcons, most importantly Tony Gonzalez. Can you believe that? I know he played in KC for a long time, but not a single playoff win in 16 years? Wowzer.

The question here is if the monkey is off Atlanta’s back will they be happy with the win. Sure winning a playoff game is nice, what about winning the NFC championship and moving to the Super Bowl? Well that’s gotta be even better.

The 49ers on the other hand rolled out a new starting QB a few weeks ago and really haven’t looked back. I was one of the many who thought Alex Smith should have gotten his job back once he was back from injury. But if Colin Kaepernick has been playing like that in practice you can see why Coach Harbaugh stuck with him. It remains to be seen if the seemingly new wave of QB’s can keep up this type of play but I don’t think we’ll see any defensive revelations in the next two weeks.

The Pick:

At the beginning of the year I picked Atlanta to play in the Super Bowl, you think I’d feel good about that pick being the #1 seed and hosting the conference championship game…but…well…hmm. I’m not sure we just saw what Seattle was able to do to the Falcons, and I think the 49ers have a better offense. Then again the Falcons just played against a similar styled QB. I think the 49ers will be too explosive on the offensive side of the ball and Vernon Davis will have a field day, heck did you see what Miller, Seattle’s TE did? Oh yeah, how many Oregonians want to see the Jacquizz/LaMichael  theme played out in this one?

AFC Championship

Baltimore at New England:

So far I’ve gone 7 for 8 in the playoffs, my one mistake was the Ravens over the Broncos. Who saw that coming? The Ravens seemed to be out of it the entire game but never really fell behind by much, in fact their biggest deficit was 7 points. Still, their comeback seemed to come from nowhere. Nobody scores a TD with 30 seconds left and 70 yards to go. The big story here is that Ray Lewis has another game left to play and it’s against another future hall of famer in Tom Brady.

The Pats seemed to have the easiest game of the weekend winning by 13 but being up by 25 with 13 mins to go. The question you have to ask about the Pats is if their D can stand up for a solid 60 mins, or 75+ mins if you’re going to play the Ravens. We know that New England can and will score, you just hope to keep them to FGs, take the ball away if they make a mistake and win the special teams battle.

The Pick:

I picked the Pats to play in the Super Bowl this year and I really don’t see why I’d change it now. I think they can score on the Ravens and hold Ray Rice to a minimal game. Since the Pats have incorporated a faster pace on offense they’ve averaged 13 more positions a game, that’s giving Tom Brady 13 more plays to beat you with.

Don't blame the Zebras for a change

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:04am
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Everyone's favorite punching bag during a team sport - officials - got plenty of action during the championship season this fall, as they do for any event.

And, they had an effect on the six championship football games, although not what you might expect.

Five of the six games were won by the team that had either more penalties or more penalty yards, including Oakland, which got pummeled for 16 penalties and 119 yards but still beat Portland Christian 50-27 in the Class 2A final.

Lake Oswego lost the 6A final, but had just one - yes one - penalty for five yards.

so, what to make of that?

Fans of the Portland Timbers are continually impressed and incredibly loyal to midfielder Diego Charra, who led the MLS in fouls last year and challenged for the title this year, too - a sign fans promote as his heart showing through to his play.

That work for high school football, too?

Coaches in every sport and at every level want their athletes to lose just a little bit of discipline for a moment of passion, as long as it doesn't affect the outcome of a game. And, this year, you could argue that's what happened.

Here's the numbers:

6A: Sheldon 13, Lake Oswego 6

Sheldon 5 penalties for 43 yards, Lake Oswego 1-5

5A: Sherwood 46, Marist 20

Sherwood 3-20, Marist 3-12

4A: Baker 52, North Bend 22

Baker 11-71, Norh Bend 8-54

3A: Dayton 34, Cascade Christian 28

Cascade Christian 9-87, Dayton 7-55

2A: Oakland 50, Portland Christian 27

Oakland 16-119, Portland Christian 9-41

1A: Camas Valley 24, St. Paul 8

Camas Valley 7-46, St. Paul 5-30

 

So, here's the real entertaining thing - it happened that way last year, too. In only one of the games did the team that lost have more penalties, or more penalty yardage than the team that won. The only significant difference in the teams was Class 4A, where Siuslaw had a measurable difference and lost by just five points.

Here's the numbers:

6A: Lake Oswego 47, Sheldon 14

Lake Oswego 7-54 yards, Sheldon 4-47

5A: Mountain View 14, Sherwood 13

Mountain View 8-74, Sherwood 2-15

4A: LaSalle 45, Siuslaw 40

Siuslaw 15-113, LaSalle 7-57

3A: Santiam Christian 31, Dayton 28

Santiam Christian 4-31, Dayton 3-26

2A: Gold Beach 30, Scio 0

Scio 7-66, Gold Beach 7-58

1A: Camas Valley 66, Perrydale 22

Camas Valley 6-44, Perrydale 31

 

Without a lot of penalties the game went quickly, too. The Class 6A final, played Dec. 8, lasted just two hours, 19 minutes, and was held up far more for television timeouts than replaying downs due to penalties.

One penalty for five yards - that's the kind of discipline a coach wants to see at the end of a long season, although ...

 

 

 

 

Are the Hawks their best ever?

Mon, 12/17/2012 - 6:24pm
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It's amazing to think that just five seasons ago, the Portland Winterhawks were the worst team in, well, junior hockey - on their way to 11 wins and only 25 points in a season.

The most memorable part of the season was the 22-game losing streak. Yes, 22 straight games. The team set the league record for saves by a goaltender twice.

Five years later, the Hawks cannot lose, and take care of their goalie better than any team in the Western Hockey League.

It's the kind of turnaround that might inspire some people in the community to think that whatever their circumstances are, they can change for the better.

The Winterhawks have been aided significantly by something like an open checkbook to support their efforts, but money doesn't automatically turn into wins on an athletic surface in any sport. A team still has to work together and perform better than an opponent on a nightly basis.

Portland is having a fantastic season performing better than virtually every opponent this season, having lost just five times in 34 games and been to overtime only once.

They lead the league in most goals scored, and lead the league in fewest goals allowed.

It's not too early to start looking at what the team records are for wins in a season and points scored in a 72-game schedule.

Portland's record for wins is 56 in 1980-81, when they scored 113 points in 72 games.

Amazingly, they finished second in the Western Division to the Victoria Cougars, who won 60 games and beat the Hawks in the division final.

The Hawks have reached the league final the past two seasons with 50 wins two seasons ago and 49 last year.

What's truly amazing about the season is that they were 4-4 after eight games. Since they, they're 25-1-1. At that pace, they headed for at least 60 wins and more than 120 points.

The NHL lockout has a role in this in the return of goalie Mac Carruth from the American Hockey League, but the Hawks were pummeling opponents with shots prior to his return and have finished with the edge in that stat in all but two games this season.

It's a stunning turnaround for Portland's hockey fans. Now, the team just has to keep that domination going through the playoffs and into the Memorial Cup.

 

Life sucks and then you end up in the Fiesta Bowl

Sat, 11/17/2012 - 11:50pm
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Wow, what a crapfest Saturday turned out to be for the University of Oregon football program.

With the top spot in the BCS Rankings just a field goal away, the weakness in the program for years came through and the Ducks lost 17-14 to Stanford in overtime at home.

Forget about the national title game. Maybe even the Pac-12 title game. Hello Fiesta Bowl or one of the other BS games.

Anyone excited about travelling to a game the Ducks haven't been looking forward to all season?

Oregon State fans would be thrilled to be in the Fiesta Bowl, or Orange Bowl, or Sugar Bowl, or any Bowl game played in 2013. Oregon?

This is what the top-level fans get without a playoff system.

Crap.

How often have field goals been the bain of the Oregon football program? Way too often, starting with last year when the difference between a possible win over USC that derailed a spot in the national title game was a field goal.

Saturday, Oregon was 0-2 on field goals, the first one being the real difference in the game.

Maybe the Ducks should start recruiting a place-kicker.

So, now Oregon fans have to pull for another upstart - UCLA - to have a monster game and beat Stanford just to have a shot at the Pac-12 title game.

Wow. If Stanford wins, that would be Stanford vs. UCLA, not Oregon vs. USC, in the conference title game.

Wow. What a season that could have been - for both Oregon and USC, which both started out in the Top 5.

 

Oregon's football drama is on the other sideline

Mon, 11/05/2012 - 5:15pm
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For the University of Oregon football fans who can remember the 1994 season that culminated with a trip to the Rose Bowl, times have certainly changed.

The team wins more - a lot more, and it's expected to win basically every week. Heck, not basically, just flat out. And, it does.

Oregon wins so often that it's sort of moved right out of the Pac-12 and into the nation's BCS title contenders.

Look at the Ducks' schedule this season and is there another game that sparks any real interest like Nov. 3 at USC?

Washington? Saturday's opponent? Maybe the Huskies will hang on for a half, like Washington State did last year.

If there's one down side to the Oregon football team being so good, it's that there are never any real wins anymore. They're all just waiting to happen. They're all supposed to be victories. The only real drama in any of the games nowadays, is if they can prevent a loss. The real drama for every game the Ducks play is on the opposing sideline. That's what will always make the 1994 season special, because Oregon was the other sideline.

And Washington was Oregon's big rival. OSU hadn't done anything in decades other than lose, and Oregon had been to a couple bowl games in the recent past, so they were due for a special run. The best way to know it was going to happen? Washington. Beat Washington.

The 1994 game, played at Autzen, provided the Ducks the opportunity that set the program up for two decades of success. Kenny Wheaton, just a freshman, returned an interception the lentgh of the field for a touchdown and the Ducks won 31-20.

But, that was a long time ago.

In the following decade, OSU started winning and even went to a BCS game, which made the Civil War important again. And, the Huskies just haven't kept pace. They win sporadically and celebrate when they are able to beat Stanford. The Huskies are ranked thie week - wow!!!

Oregon fans will get pumped when they start drawing votes for No. 1 away from Alabama.

So, Saturday, get out the frankenweenies and marshmallows as the Ducks roast the Huskies across Autzen. Again.

Pac-12 goes on trial at Arizona State

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 10:27am
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With the college football season heading for the second half and the BCS Rankings entering every fans' inner man cave, Oregon's game at Arizona State Thursday night carries a lot more weight than just a regular Pac-12 game.

It's an Oregon victory just waiting for the opening kickoff, but the key part most of the nation will be watching isn't the Ducks, but the Sun Devils. The nation won't be looking at how much the Ducks win by, but how the Devils lose - can they make the game interesting for 60 minutes?

How Oregon blows apart the league - other than USC and Stanford last year, is the key reason why Oregon got bumped behind Florida in the BCS even though the Gators have a loss on their record. That's the same deal that happened last year with Alabama and LSU (which ultimately led to the least entertaining championship game in years).

ASU enters the game at 5-1, so it's got the record to promote there's an exciting game waiting to happen. But, the Ducks have gone right through those cases on the way to the conference title the past three seasons.

So, ASU looks like a good team - on paper, but can they put it together on the field and not only play well, but make Oregon have to play really well to win?

What's a good score that'll show that off to the BCS computers?

Oregon 31, ASU 23

The Devils have the ball at the end of the game, but Oregon shuts 'em down at the 25.

 

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