Sports From the Couch-Views From the Couch by jshowal2

By Jeff Showalter

It’s time to take a look back and then look ahead at what’s going on in this crazy little world of sports.

Bad news for Colts fans as Melvin Bullitt is gone for the year with a broken bone in the shoulder. I’m amazed Bullitt has lasted as long as he has considering the dude ways a buck ninety at most. I don’t care what the Colts say he ways. The Couch has stood beside Bullitt and there is no way he is over 2 bills. With Silva out, Bullitt out and Sanders out (like that was a shock), it looks like the Colts are going to be looking for a safety. You can only take “next man up” so far and Safety is too big a deal in the cover 2 defense. Tampa Bay is also looking so I would guess the Bucs list would be similar to the Colts since they play the same D.

Look Hoosier football fans, I wanted my alma mater to win as much as the rest of you but let us be honest for a minute. Bill Lynch isn’t going to win you a lot of football games with his coaching expertise. If the dude could coach, he wouldn’t be at Indiana. You can not have “co-defensive coordinators”. All that means is both guys suck and what you get is a defense that is SLOW, unprepared and incapable. Chappell threw for 480, but when you know your defense is jello, you have to have a QB that is perfect. Not many QB’s are perfect. IU does need to throw downfield more because good defensive teams are going to keep 8 back and bust the wide receivers up on these short routes.  IU has to stretch the defense. Of course after OSU hangs forty on the Cream and Crimson Saturday, it will begin to look more and more like another 4-8 season in B’Town.

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Bob Knight Gives Speech in Indy on Same Night as Tom Crean’s in Bloomington by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

Former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight gave a speech benefitting a charity last night in Indianapolis.  Tom Crean addressed Hoosier fans at the IU Auditorium last night.  Coincidence?

My guess is that it is.  As arrogant and bitter as Knight can be, I doubt he asked the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Indiana to make sure the event featuring his presence was held on the same night Crean spoke.

It’s unlikely that Crean decided it would help his attendance and hurt Knight’s if both presentations were held simultaneously.

The media coverage for the events gave a clear edge to the old man, who hasn’t deposited a check as an employee of Indiana University in over a decade.  TV news stations covered Knight in their newscasts last night and this morning.  The Indianapolis Star put Knight on the front page, and the top item on the online sports page.  Crean?  I’m still looking in the Star for any mention.  Would it have killed the Star’s IU beat writer Terry Hutchens to attend the Crean speech and get quotes from fans afterward if nothing else?

The reason for the edge to Knight is obvious.  Of the two, who is likely to say something newsworthy?  I’ve neverread an inflammatory quote from Crean.  I’ve never heard Knight speak when he didn’t say something brutally honest, angry, intolerant, and/or crazy.  He’s also incredibly entertaining.  Crean?  He has the discretion Knight continues to lack.

At the Knight events I attended as a student, there was always an air of drama.  No one knew who he would bludgeon, or what hopeless dumbass would ask him the wrong question and prompt the typical hilarious scorn of the beast.  Poking the bear in the red sweater was always a losing play.

I can’t imagine Crean attacking anyone.

Crean’s speech featured a lot of rah-rah stuff about how the Hoosiers are improving, and will be tougher.  Knight blasted the NCAA and Notre Dame.

Going to a Crean speech is like attending a Journey concert.  He is going to play the hits in a very predictable way.  Knight is like Judy Garland back in the 1960s.  Is going to show up at all, and if so will she be trashed?  If present and sober, she might be magical.  Knight is as thoroughly unpredictable as any performer since Garland.  People might not know who he’s going to blast, but it’s likely to be some agency or person who bloviates with regard only to hear himself speak.

Last night, Knight busted the NCAA and Notre Dame, according to Jeff Rabjohn’s account in the Star.  Knight chided the NCAA for allowing one-and-done kids to pass six hours in the first semester and never attend a class in the second semester, yet play a full season and win a national championship.  The NCAA tries to penalize schools who might engage in that kind of work without reward scenario for kids with the Academic Progress Rate scores and penalties attached for poor performance, but as long as the APR penalties attach to the schools and not the coach, what the hell does he care?

The Notre Dame shots were earned by not joining the Big Ten, which Knight strongly advocates.  He said there are some dumb “Catholic boys up there”, who don’t understand how their recruiting would change if they affiliated.

Crean spoke about the Hoosiers being more fit and tougher.

That Knight wins that battle for the media spotlight isn’t hard to understand.  Crean joins a list of speakers a mile long who don’t rival Knight for creating drama and tension.  The list of men more interesting and entertaining for sports fans to listen to for 90 minutes is very short.



Indiana Basketball Recruit Austin Etherington on Why He Chose Indiana by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

It doesn’t take long after meeting Hamilton Heights senior Austin Etherington to figure out this 6’6″ kid from Cicero, Indiana, is honest and smart.  It takes about as long watching him play basketball to see that he is very competitive and loves the game.

There is something very likable about this kid from the small town part of Hamilton County.  Austin tells the truth, looks a man in the eye when he speaks, and is pretty damn smart.

After I stopped videotaping our talk, I lectured him on using the media to build his brand.  So many athletes have no idea what an opportunity there is for them to craft an image in the minds of the public – many of whom are hiring managers.  I told him, “Every microphone and camera is a portal to thousands of ears, and to sit in a corner avoiding that opportunity is wasteful and lazy.”  He looked at me through the entire speech, and in the end I thought, you just wasted five minutes telling that kid something he already knew.

Not that he tried to spin things to make himself look like a saint, genius, or role model.  He just answered questions and revealed part of who he is, which is exactly the right way to build an image.  It must reflect reality, or the image seems forced and phony.  Etherington is not phony.  He knows it, and was polite enough to listen to stuff he already knows.

Indiana basketball fans are going to love this kid.  He loves challenges, knows and attacks adversity, and believes brotherhood is important in building a team.  Tom Crean has been criticized a little bit for offering Etherington as early as he did, which is nonsense.  After watching him play several times and talking to him, I think anyone who didn’t offer is crazy.  He’s 6’6″, can jump, defends hard enough to frustrate Rivals #2 ranked player L’Bryan Nash into punching him in the back of the head during a tournament last summer, and can flat shoot it.  And more than just being the sum of his parts, he’s a basketball player.

There are a lot of kids who play basketball, but not that many basketball players.  I’m not sure this makes any sense to anyone but me, but Etherington moves and plays inside the game.

This is a kid who’s home burned to the ground a year ago, is proud to be an example to younger teammates and his two younger brothers, and has a burning desire for Hamilton Heights to win their first sectional in nearly a decade.

Here’s what Etherington has to say about choosing Indiana:

Here’s a video with some highlights from Etherington and his team at the Adidas tournament played at North Central High School in July, 2010:



Tom Crean Lecture—What Do We Expect? by The Truth
September 23, 2010, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Indiana Basketball, Indiana University, Kyle Miller | Tags:

By Kyle Miller

September 23 has been marked on my calendar for quite awhile now, but my wait is over and the time has come for Coach Crean to deliever his second pre-season lecture.  The lecture takes place tonight at Indiana University’s Auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m..

Last year Coach Crean marched to the podium in a red fleece that displayed five NCAA National Championships on the back.  The concentrated message revolved around the fact that IU basketball was not back to where it needs to be, but we we’re stepping in the right direction.

Now just a year later, the buzz of Indiana basketball is back.  Indiana is on several top recruits final lists, and some have already decided to wear the cream n’ crimson candy strips like Austin Etherington, Ron Patterson, and Peter Jurkin.  So what do we expect to hear from Coach tonight?

The answer to that question is I don’t know.  No one does.  We know one thing is for sure, some incompetent student will ask Coach Crean about recruits, which of course he can’t answer, but outside of that I am in a labyrinth maze on what Crean will talk about tonight.

We know he will be enthusiatic and excite the audience with his overall presence and deamonor.  We know he will speak on what each player has worked on this offseason and how the team’s chemistry is developing.  I hope we hear of the team’s preseason goals, and I hope one includes participation in a postseason tournament.

Last year the audience attendance was a bit of a dissappointment as we filled about three-fourths of the lower section.  This year, the IDS has promoted the lecture longer and more emphatically with a giant section on the back of the newspaper for about two weeks now.  I expect a much better tournout this year, hopefully stretching to the upper level.

This upcoming season certainly has a lot of questions that won’t be answered until the Hoosiers hit the hardwood.   Crean can’t answer how many triples Jordan Hulls or Maurice Creek are going to drain, or how many rebounds Capobianco is going to pull down, but one thing we know of Coach Crean is that by 7:30 he will have us all feeling assured Indiana is on it’s way back.



Truth’s Tuesday Top Five– 3:30 p.m. Kick-Off is Prime Time for Indiana by The Truth

By Kyle Miller

In my tenure here at Indiana, I have been filled to the brim with Saturday noon kick-offs, but this year has deviated from the norm.  It’s undeniable that the Hoosiers will play their fair share of 12 o’clock games, but their first true test and Big Ten opponent will have to wait till 3:30 to face the mighty Hoosiers.

I believe I speak for all students when I say 3:30 is a prime time for football and here is why:

5) Pre-gaming for the tailgate is no longer a hassle- The persistent feeling that follows you that can best be described as, HAVING to drink, is a feeling that never ends well.  Lately, this feeling has become way more common than it used to.  Occasionally, I feel as if I am almost supposed to drink rather than wanting to drink.  To all those freshmen and sophomores, you likely think I’m half nuts, but when your a senior drinking is just not as appealing.  However, with all that being said, tailgating is the one college event that I will do until I’m six feet under ground.  And believe it or not parents, pre-gaming for tailgates is part of tailgating.  Just accept it.

4) “Brunch” tailgates- Possibly the most anticipated tailgate of the season for this lone reason.  A college students wallet is paper thin, so free food and beverages are a bright light in a dark room.  Typically, my Uncle Bill marinates brats in beer, onions, and butter–a delightful treat–but this tailgate I expect him to whip up some eggs, bacon, and sausage prior to the brat fest.  Sometimes you publicly have to call out a member of your squad in order for them to step up their game.

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Mark Patrick on Indiana Hoosiers Football and Coach Bill Lynch’s Future by kentsterling
September 21, 2010, 9:16 am
Filed under: College Football, Indiana University, Kent Sterling | Tags: , ,

by Kent Sterling

Each weekday, Mark Patrick talks sports on his WNDE show from 3p-7p.  He’s an Indianapolis sports broadcasting icon who is as well-known for his wit and his extensive knowledge of local teams and players.

Patrick grew up in Indianapolis, and is one of the few people in broadcasting who has managed to spend virtually his entire career in his hometown.  That just doesn’t happen.

There are hosts who grow into broadcasters and then broadcasters who are simply supposed to be hosts, and that’s Mark.

His return to WNDE after some time on XM was good news for radio listeners, providing another excellent local show for sports fan.

In the video, Mark talks about the Indiana Hoosiers football team and the future of the program under head coach Bill Lynch.



Indiana Hoosiers Football–Ben Chappell Awarded Offensive Player of the Week, but Not Without Help by The Truth

By Kyle Miller

My perspective on football is through the eyes of a moronic fan.  Every year I convince myself that my beloved Hoosiers, in some way, shape or form, are destined to slither their way to Pasadena.  Bashing players is not my forte, but if a good verbal lashing is due, I won’t silence my gun.

On Saturday, the Hoosiers took care of business defeating Western Kentucky 38-21.  Ben Chappell, earlier today, was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career, but much of that honor should be credited to IU’s superb receiving core.

Wide receivers play the easiest position in football.  They run routes, catch the ball or block.  Sure they have to shake off a defender, but the corner or safety is usually smaller, plus he has no idea what route a receiver is about to run.  So, while I’m crediting some of Chappell’s success to Indiana’s wideouts, he is still more than deserving of the award he received.

Tandon Doss, if he isn’t already, will be the best wide receiver in the Big Ten before it’s all said and done.  It took Doss all of three seconds–or however long a kick-off remains in the air–to assert himself by returning the opening kick 87 yards to the Western Kentucky 13 yard line.  At the end of the second quarter, Doss snagged a three yard, poorly thrown pass from Chappell to give the Hoosiers a double-digit lead.  He’s 6-3 and runs like a gazelle.  He’s a shorter version of James Hardy, but tougher and more explosive after the catch.

Damario Belcher and Terrance Turner both had more catches last week then Doss, but the hands of Duwyce Wilson, a redshirt freshman, should have Hoosiers optimistic for years to come.

The emergence of a tight end is newsworthy to Hoosier fans.  For the last eight years, I’ve wondered if Indiana even had a tight end. Ted Bolser has caught a total of six balls for 93 yards and two touchdowns.  In just two game, I think Bolser has quadrupled the tight end stats from last year.

With this dynamic and explosive receiving core, look for IU to light up the scoreboard.  I’m disappointed our defense let Bobby Rainey rush for over 100 yards, but after the first series they imposed their will on the Hilltoppers.

More good news struck Bloomington this week.  The Hoosiers will delay playing their first noon kick-off game, at least for another week.  The Hoosiers play Akron at 7:00 p.m. this coming Saturday and it was released today that they will battle Michigan at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.  If your a student, alumni, or just a Hoosier fan, we need to make a conscious effort to pack the rock Oct. 2.

Here’s a video my grandmother sent me a week ago.  Pretty funny: