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Archive : June 2011

June 29, 2011

66 DAYS

According to a tweet by Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown...we are officially 66 days away from the start of the college football season.

Seems like only yesterday the Auburn Tigers were hoisting the trophy.

  • mark rogers
  • June 29, 2011 11:29 PM

AN INTERESTING RUMOR

How about this idea that's floating out there:

If the two, 5A Amarillo schools drop in enrollment and drop down to 4A, combining District 3-5A and 2-5A with Lubbock High, Coronado, Monterey and SA Central and creating a mega, 10-team disctrict.

THAT would be awesome.

  • mark rogers
  • June 29, 2011 11:22 PM

THE TRUTH BEHIND AHS' TOUGH SCHEDULE...FEAR.

That's right. Fear.

The Abilene High Eagles would much rather play teams in the area. Teams like SA Central, Lubbock High, Lubbock Coronado, Amarillo High and Tascosa. It makes a lot of fiscal and logistical sense. But you know what?

No one wants any part of it. No one wants any part of the Eagles. They've beaten too many teams from too many parts of the state (and country for that matter).

Two years ago when the districts realigned, the Eagles needed three teams to agree to play them. Big Country or Amarillo schools? Um..."we already have games scheduled...sorry...we SO would have played you if you had called us YESterday."

OK...what about the Dallas schools. Yeah, sure "we'd play you, but that three hour drive is a killer. We're gonna keep it closer to home. Good luck!"

So two things were working against the Eagles. Location...and dominance.

After the big Dallas meeting with 200 high schools mixing and matching and figuring out schedules for the 2010 season, the Eagles were left with three holes in their schedule.

Coach Steve Warren got the word out and that word traveled fast.

They solidified a game with one of the best teams in Lousiana (a "one-and-done" agreement), ESPN got them a game with Plant in Florida (which, we all remember, was televised...also a one-time shot, not a typical home-and-home, two-year agreement), and another event pitting Texas and Florida teams together found them a matchup with another Florida team - that one was supposed to be a multi-year agreement but when the eight schools went to deposit their checks from the event...they all bounced.

The investor who had set the event up had gone under. Perfect.

So, after another deep run in the state playoffs, the Eagles found themselves in a very atypical situation...in the second year of the realignment with three holes in their schedule...again.

And guess what...no one wants to play them...again.

That's why Abilene High is playing an Oklahoma powerhouse (Booker T. Washington out of Tulsa), EulessTrinity (a perennial championship contender), and Harlingen.

Harlingen is an interesting story. They're one of the dominant schools in the valley. But the stigma down there is that none of those schools can compete with anyone outside of the valley.

So to prove that stigma is a misnomer, they've agreed to meet the Eagles in San Antonio to see how they measure up.

All these scheduling woes and it's no wonder that recently turned 50-year-old Steve Warren is missing all but about 10 hairs on his head (I can say that because I have fewer hairs than him and I'm 20 years younger).

He does have an iPhone which actually makes him about 42 in young people's eyes.

In conclusion, it makes a lot of sense to the Abilene High coaches to play teams closer to home or some Fort Worth teams, but the fact of the matter is that NO ONE will agree to play them.

So we're left with Abilene High playing teams you've never heard of in some pretty irregular places. It's not a matter of AHS bravado, thinking they can beat any body in the state. No. they just play teams from other states in the same position they are...a position where teams want to avoid getting their heads knocked in.

A great problem for HS football fans because it creates some pretty great match-ups.

We're lucky that HS football in America has gained so much attention the last few years. If there weren't hundreds of websites and magazines dedicated to HS recruiting, games of the week televised on ESPN and FoxSports, and large corporations paying to send their local teams anywhere and everywhere, Abilene High might only be playing seven game regular seasons.

This will be Coach Warren's 18th year with the Eagles. It's been about 20 years since he joined Gary Gaines' staff in Abilene. He's been recruited by other schools (HS and college) but has stayed the course and been loyal and dedicated to the Gold and Black since I was in the 5th grade (and I just turned 30).

One thing he's learned the last few years is that how good your team is and how easy it is to fill up your schedule are inversely proportional.

A good problem to have.

And the problem facing other teams that Coach Warren calls to get on the schedule? One thing...pure, unadulterated...fear.

  • mark rogers
  • June 29, 2011 10:48 PM

June 27, 2011

ACTION OF AMBIGUITY

So what does an undrafted, hopeful, rookie free-agent do when he doesn't have any tryouts planned and is not sure if there's even going to be an NFL season?

Well, for Taylor Potts...the action of ambiguity calls for a lot of working out and skill work. He's been throwing to his favorite collegiate WR, Lyle Leong, this summer and spending lots of time keeping his physical tools sharp.

On the side, he's working at a physician's office gaining experience for his "life after football" occupation.

I think it's safe to say that either way, Taylor Potts is going to be a success in whatever he chooses (or GETS chosen) to do.

  • mark rogers
  • June 27, 2011 11:33 AM

June 9, 2011

DON'T TELL ME DIRK ISN'T CLUTCH

Disclaimer - this is a basketball post on a football blog. That's what happens when the only news is Plaxico Burress is out of jail

I have had some ridiculously ridiculous friends in the last few days tell me that Dirk Nowitzki isn't clutch...that he still lives up to the old nickname "Choke-witzki."

Whatever.

Are you not clutch if you average...AVERAGE...10 points per 4TH QUARTER in 19 playoff games? (9.8 in the wins, 10.8 in the losses...trust me, I looked at every playoff game's play-by-play myself and calculated it).

He scored 18 in Game1 against Portland. He scored the final nine points in the Finals Game2 15-point comeback. He scored 14 in the 4th and overtime in the Western Finals Game4 15-point comeback. He scored 9 in the Game3 7-point 4th quarter comeback against LA. He scored 10 on Tuesday in a 9-point 4th quarter comeback.

He scored 15 in the Game 3 loss in Dallas versus the Heat.

Let's talk about that game. He turned it over one time and some people (one person namely, Shaun) says that he choked. He scored 15 points in the 4th (as many or more points than 83% of the players on the court scored in the entire game including everyone on his team), was 4 of 7 from the field and barely missed a shot at the buzzer that would have tied it.

On a night that his teammates contributed 52 points, made 5 of 16 three-pointers (31%), missed 32 of 49 of their shots, and missed five free-throws. Dirk single-handedly raised the team's FG percentage by five points.

Yeah...and that one turnover means he choked. Whatever Shaun.

Dirk is clutch, and he's the reason that Mavs are going to win this series in 7 games. Win tonight. Lose Sunday. Win game 7.

Epic.

  • mark rogers
  • June 9, 2011 10:12 AM

BARBER III COULD BE CHOPPED

Some early reports from Dallas are claiming that Marion Barber is the most likely player to be cut from the Dallas Cowboys roster for the 2011 season.

Of course, all is still hinging on the lockout situation, but Barber is a huge weight on the salary cap (signed a 6-year extension in 2008) and hasn't had a 10-touchdown season since 2007 (he's only had two).

Despite being a fan favorite and an automatic energy creator, Barber's productivity has severely waned the last few seasons. There could be something said about his leadership skills and what he means to the locker room...but Barber is no Ray Lewis or Brett Favre when it comes to that type of thing. The guy hardly talks. He leads with his example and his helmet. Only problem is, when the example isn't that compelling, neither are the reasons to keep paying him millions.

Over the course of his career, Barber has carried 1,042 times for 4,358 yards for an average of 4.2 yards per carry ... not too shabby.

His most productive years were 2006 and 2007 when he set personal bests in TDs (14 in '06) and yards (975 in '07).

Since 2007 his rush yards have gone 885, 932, and only 374 last year...most of that time as the starter. His TDs have gone 7, 7 and 4 in that time.

Seems like getting rid of Julius Jones and giving Barber the lead dog role was the worst thing that ever happened to him.

In '07 he played all 16 games (as a backup), was named to the Pro Bowl, had career high in TDs and tied for third in the league in average yards per carry.

The next year he was highly sought after in Fantasy Football drafts, named a captain and started 12 games before dislocating his toe on Thanksgiving. He missed most of the next four games.

The next year he started 15 games...missed one due to a bruised thigh...but only scored 7 touchdowns. He hurt his knee the final game of the year and was ineffective in two playoff games.

Last year he played 13 games due to a calf injury late in the year and only carried more than 10 times in five of those games. His "high-yardage" game was 58 against Arizona.

I love me some Marion Barber, but the more I look at the numbers, the more I'm ready to let him go.

One reporter in Dallas has predicted that freshly drafted DeMarco Murray will win the starting job this year with Felix Jones coming in as the "change of pace" back.

That would be interesting.

We won't know anything until the owners and players can agree on something, but if there's anything we can all agree on, it's that Marion Barber's time in Dallas may be cut short.

  • mark rogers
  • June 9, 2011 9:49 AM