A series of unrelated items for your enjoyment
A hugely quiet day, interrupted only by a torrential downpour, Texas-size replete with thunder and lightning, and a throng of zany Baylor and Illinois college football fanatics that turned my lobby into a frat house for a couple of hours.
And more of the same today, I imagine. Except that the Baylor people have skulked back to Dallas and the Illini are whooping it up going home.
You get your help wherever you can.
And it’s nice to know people in different cities.
With a couple of Raptors having back woes – Sonny Weems and Amir Johnson are really troubled these days – getting treatment is a huge part of their day.
And while the Raptors training staff is a good one, and fully capable of doing what’s necessary to get guys healthy, they got some help in Dallas from an unlikely source.
Seem one guy knows a guy who knows a guy and suddenly an ex-Texas Longhorn lineman, NFL draft pick and practicing chiropractor Jay Humphrey was there to work on Johnson enough so that Amir could play against the Mavs while also trying to work on the kinks that have left Sonny on the sidelines for more than a week.
Must have been a rather intimidating therapy session, too. Am told Humphrey goes about 6-6, 300 pounds and having that kind of bulk work on back must have been something.
That’s kind of how things work in the world of pro sports. A guy knows someone in some city who knows someone else and services are offered an accepted.
Remember Peja Stojakovic?
Guy they got in the Jarrett Jack trade, likely just a rental until the February trade deadline?
Well, I’m told his knee’s better – he’s spent some time in New Orleans with doctors and therapists there – and there is a chance he’ll be back on the practice court next week.
Now, I don’t think for a second he’s here long-term – if he shows he’s fit, some contender will want him down the stretch – but in these days with the injuries killing the HOTH, there are sure some minutes available for him.
I also don’t know what they could possibly turn him and his expiring, $15 million contract into but I do think he’ll be gone by the end of February.
But it’s nice that he might be back for a bit before that.
DFW’s American Airlines terminal might be the least efficient place in the transportation world.
At one security point, as the line grows longer and longer, the lone TSA agent checking Ids (dude who bears a striking resemblance to Barney Fife) is so slow he doesn’t even notice the dude shutting down one of two X-ray machines because, well, apparently because he just wanted to since there were about six colleagues sitting around lollgagging while our line extended down a hallway.
I swear, it’s not the consistent diet of bad basketball or the ravages of age or the whims of a boss that’s going to drive me out of this business. It’s going to be when I suffer a bout of travel rage, make some inappropriate comment to some TSA buffoon and get banned from travelling.
End o’ rant.
Hey, you gals and guys did a tremendous job filling the mailbag yesterday and I’m going to have a lot of time to maybe sit on a stool later today and Saturday when I get back and bluff answers.
You’ve still got some time to click, write, send and here’s one plucked from the pile:
Q: Hey Doug. Love the blog. I read it every chance I get. One of my pet peeves is when sports channels are reporting the scores and comment something along the lines of "Raptors blow a 10 point lead". In my opinion, a 10-point lead in the first quarter is much different than a 10-point lead, say with 3 minutes left in the fourth. My question is how big does a team's lead have to be before you would consider it "blown" if they ultimately lose the game? Maybe you could give a number for each quarter?
Derek L, Mississauga
A: If there’s one thing we all should have come to realize over the years is that no first-half “lead” should be considered blown unless it’s more than 20 points. It’s a game of runs and if you’re up 18 with four minutes until the half, it doesn’t mean squat.
If I had to put numbers on what’s considered “blown” let’s go with this for now:
10 with three minutes to go.
15 with five minutes to go.
18 with eight minutes to go.
And 20 to start the fourth quarter.
You cough those up and you’ve blown it. Of course, that’s all subjective but you asked.
A 10-point lead in the first or second quarter? Yawn.
There is no news on the various Raptors ills, sorry to say.
The lads had yesterday off to laze around the Dallas area – and for the first time in seven years a trip there didn’t include a team dinner put on by Chris Bosh’s mom – and they won’t practice until late this afternoon.
But it won’t matter anyway.
I know these guys and I know how they think and they’ll wait until tomorrow night to find out which, if any, of them can go.
So we’re in the cab going to the airport in Dallas and there’s a directional highway sign that says:
President George Bush Turnpike.
And a guy wonders:
So I mentioned the HOTH are practicing in Dallas today, right?
Well, they were supposed to work at SMU (they practice there any time they have an extra day in Dallas) but had to move to the arena after the Mavs and Spurs have their game-day shootarounds because of some big bowl game in Dallas today involving the Mustangs and some service academy.
Hey, thanks for the Houston tips, I’ll get to check out a lot of them today at some point since it’s a hotel/writing/sticking close to home day around here.
And as I look out over the Galleria malls and see signs for Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, I figure there’s not a whole lot of shopping I can afford on my measly pittance.