the score

'NBA 2K7' for the PlayStation2

While 2K7 sports an impressive soundtrack lorded over by Dan the Automator and the difficult-at-first yet eventually rewarding Shot Stick Pro gameplay style, the poor graphics and the difficult learning curve leave 2K7 with a little work to do (although they are definitely gaining some ground) before they surpass NBA Live as my basketball game of choice. Read More | Comment »

Basketball 5:14PM Fri. Dec. 8, 2006, Mark Fagan

'Friday Night Lights': Snakes. Why Does It Always Have to Be Snakes? Edition

It's not even Christmas yet, and Santa Claus has already been good to San Marcos, giving the Rattlers victories over Smithson Valley, San Antonio Marshall, and Harlingen South after a 5-5 regular season to put them in the 5A Division II state quarterfinals. This week Saint Nick has been extra generous and given San Marcos a home gamemore or lessagainst MacArthur from the north side of San Antonio. 7:30pm tonight in Bobcat Stadium, the Rattlers will try to do what 25-5A champ Austin High couldn't do in the first round. But the Brahmas will be ready: not only is MacArthur coming off an emotional 35-34 win over McAllen Memorial, but the school had "Hunt Down the Rattlers" day yesterday, with students encouraged to wear camouflage.

Tonight's other playoff game, a 3A quarterfinal down in San Antone, is a little further south, but Wimberley probably doesn't mind; the Alamodome might be their lucky field after last week's 55-33 win over one of Texas' top 3A teams all season, Cuero. Trailing at halftime, the Texans stormed back with one of the best halves of football in a long time to send the Gobblers back to the turkey patch. Hondo whipped Orange Grove last week, 40-3. UT student radio station KVRX 91.7 FM will give Decemberists and the Knife a rest and carry the game live.

Tomorrow Westlake gets the afternoon under way at noon with their 5A Division I quarterfinal against San Antonio Reagan at the Alamodome. As usual, the Chaps followed a sometimes shaky regular season with playoff poise, and rolled to a 45-19 win over Los Fresnos last week. However, they're facing a hostile crowd and a Rattler team that hung 72 points on Laredo United in their regional semifinal victory. Tune into 1530 AM KZNX to listen. The 4pm Alamodome nightcap is a rematch from 26-4A, as the Hays Rebels, who convinced their coaches to shave their heads (not that they had a whole lot of hair to begin with), try to avenge their 21-7 Oct. 27 loss to the eventual district champ Buffs. Read More | Comment »

High School Football 4:13PM Fri. Dec. 8, 2006, Christopher Gray

'WWE Smackdown vs. Raw' for the Xbox 360

Finally the WWE admits they are "sports entertainment," but both the sport and entertainment aspects of this game are sorely lacking. All the superstars are rendered well as they pummel a path to their signature finishing moves. The overly complicated controls are frustrating and the limited soundtrack and loading times made me want to put myself in a sleeper hold. All in all the game plays like one long advertisement for the WWE: all posture and no play. Read More | Comment »

Wrestling 3:59PM Fri. Dec. 8, 2006, James Renovitch

Ice Bats Win Five Straight!

After getting off to a shaky start the Bats have netted five straight and look for number six this Friday in Laredo versus the Bucks. Laredo is atop the Bats' Southwest Division and the entire Southern Conference but with Austin's run of five consecutive victories they are a mere four points behind the Bucks making Friday's road game an important early-season matchup. You can listen to all road games on ESPN 1530AM. Austin returns home Saturday at 7:30pm to face the Corpus Christi Rayz who are tied with the Bats with 20 points. Saturday's game will also benefit the APD's Blue Santa Program and there will also be a postgame jersey auction to benefit Ice Bats Children's Charities.

Austin's star right winger John McNabb is tied for 10th in the CHL with 22 points and is tied for fifth in the league with 12 goals. Newcomer John Ronan is off to a great start with six points in six games. Miguel Beaudry was named the CHL Goalie of the Week and had his first shutout of the season. His record for the season stands at 5-3-4 with a 3.02 GAA. Read More | Comment »

Austin Ice Bats 2:04PM Fri. Dec. 8, 2006, Mark Fagan

Dickens Does Dallas: A Christmastime Visit From the Ghosts of Henny Youngman, Rodney Dangerfield, and Andrew Dice Clay Teaches Me the True Meaning of Cowboys Football

I'll admit I'd gotten burned out on my Dallas Cowboys blog. It seemed like I've been making the same lame jokes and obvious observations all season.

But last night, just like Ebenezer Scrooge, I was visited by three ghosts, but these spirits weren't concerned with the Christmas spirit. They were here to give me enough one-liners to fulfill the word count for my blog entry this week.

The following interview taught me two meaningful lessons: 1) Making obvious observations and lame jokes is what sports writing is all about and 2) They put the expiration date on cough syrup for a very good reason.

Read More | Comment »

NFL 11:33AM Fri. Dec. 8, 2006, Jeremy Martin

'Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07' for the Xbox 360

This year's Tiger achieves EA Sports' goals like no game before it. When I say this, however, I'm assuming that EA Sports' ultimate goal is to destroy my marriage.

In a brilliant move to trick me into playing this game with my wife, this year's model includes more multiplayer options than ever before. In addition to the usual tournaments, skins games, and Tiger Challenges you find in online and single-player modes, Tiger 07 offers several home-wrecking games apparently designed by divorce lawyers. The new One Ball mode requires you and your life partner to alternate shots on the same ball, pitting you in a hateful struggle to land the love of your life in a sand trap, so you can be the first to sink the putt. Read More | Comment »

Golf 11:41AM Thu. Dec. 7, 2006, Jeremy Martin

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Pound Deuce McAllister between the tackles 26 times for 136 yards. Sprint Reggie Bush around the ends for 168 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. Allow Drew Brees to relax into an efficient passing groove. Limit one of the league's top rushers, Frank Gore, to 40 ground yards and no touchdowns. Force an opposing quarterback into ill-advised throws, two of which are picked off by cornerback Mike McKenzie. Kick long and accurately, rack up return yards, and eat clock like popcorn shrimp in a runaway 34-10 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. It might be difficult for the New Orleans Saints to best the Dallas Cowboys this coming Sunday short the injured WR Joe Horn and the suspended DT Hollis Thomas, but best believe that all hired hands available will be gunning for that damned blue star. Read More | Comment »

NFL 10:34PM Wed. Dec. 6, 2006, Robert Gabriel

No Surprises in Euro Champs League

No big surprises in the finales in the European Champions League group stage. Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Roma punched their tickets for the final 16, and there’s arguably not a single surprise team left in the field. The tourney resumes in February with knockout rounds. Full results below.

So, here's the Final 16:
Top seeds: Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Valencia, Lyon, Manchester United, Arsenal, AC Milan
Second seeds: Lille, Inter Milan, Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven, Roma, Real Madrid, Celtic Glasgow, FC Porto

Read More | Comment »

Champions League 6:00PM Wed. Dec. 6, 2006

NCAA Finals Report

Top-ranked North Carolina won the NCAA women’s championship on Sunday, beating Notre Dame, 2-1. It’s the Tar Heels’ 18th title in the 25-year history of the sport. And here’s the scary part: This is the youngest UNC team ever.

Unseeded UC-Santa Barbara won the men’s title, upsetting UCLA in the final, 2-1. It was only the Gauchos' second NCAA championship in any sport.

Read More | Comment »

U.S. 5:45PM Wed. Dec. 6, 2006

More Than 60,000 Tickets Already Sold for Alamo Bowl

Our own Texas Longhorns (who are the defending national champs in case you may have forgotten) will face the Iowa Hawkeyes in this year's Alamo Bowl being held in nearby San Antonio at the Alamodome on Saturday, December 30 at 3:30pm. Sixty thousand tickets have already been sold with the remaining tickets available from Eddie Vedder's favorite ticket vendor, Ticketmaster. They can also be purchased over the telephone at 210/224-9600 or at the Alamodome box office from 10am to 5pm. Ticket prices range from $30 to $50. Read More | Comment »

UT Football 12:46PM Wed. Dec. 6, 2006, Mark Fagan

UT Hosts Volleyball Regionals

It would really be a shame to not show up for your own party. Thankfully, the Texas Longhorns avoided that possible embarrassment by whipping Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin in last weekend's NCAA volleyball playoffs – both in 3-0 decisions – to advance to this weekend's Sweet 16 regionals, which were scheduled to be held in Gregory Gym whether the Longhorns won or not. The No. 7 Horns will get a stiffer challenge in this round: On Friday at 5pm, No. 2 Stanford faces California, and Texas must dispatch No. 10 Wisconsin at 7pm. The winners of those matches will then meet at 5:30pm Saturday to determine who advances to the Final Four in Omaha, Neb. Get your tickets at Read More | Comment »

UT Volleyball 12:44PM Wed. Dec. 6, 2006, Lee Nichols

Horns Having Success in the NFL

Yes, Longhorn fans, it’s cringe-worthy indeed to see the very same Oklahoma Sooners that your team so soundly thrashed this year waltz into a BCS bowl game against mighty mighty Boise State. Can we only dream of a potato-lover’s upset? Take heart. In the back of his mind, Bob Stoops, when not obsessing over the Oregon win the refs robbed him of, has a festering sore that is Mack Brown. Two losses in a row, Bob. Just pretend it doesn’t bother you. We believe you. Honest, we do. Yes, the Okies topped Nebraska, another loser to Texas, in the just-doesn't-matter Big 12 Championship game. Neither team looked like a contender.

None of this excuses the Horns’ season-ending collapse, which was a train wreck from which it’s hard to look away, but do look. Look to the future. All the way to the National Football League where former University of Texas players are everywhere and kicking ass:

+ Cedric Benson is starting and scoring for da Chicago Bears, who clinched the NFC North this weekend.

+ Phil Dawson kicked a field goal in overtime to seal the Cleveland Brown’s win over the Chief.

+ Roy Williams became the first Detroit Lions receiver with more than 1,000 yards since Johnnie Morton in 2001. Oh, and he likes to hang with teammates DE Cory Redding, DT Shaun Rogers, and OT Jonathan Scott.

+ Vince Young (oh, we miss you, Vince …) is slowly making believers of Nashville Titans fans with his second straight come-from-behind victory.

+ Chris Simms is the second-best former UT QB in the NFL even when he’s not playing. There are two of them? I still can’t believe it.

+ Vince’s favorite throwing target of late? Ahmad Hall. (Am I the only one who keeps wanting to call him Ahmad Brooks?) Of course, Vince can also aim for tight end Bo Scaife.

+ Quentin Jammer is a tackling machine for the 10-2 San Diego Chargers. Read More | 4 Comments »

NFL 4:30PM Mon. Dec. 4, 2006, Joe O'Connell

'Friday Night Lights': Hangover Edition

Your faithful correspondent has a crushing hangover and is late for the Fun Fun Fun festivities in Waterloo Park, so let's get to it. In 5A Division I, Westlake is battling Los Fresnos in Victoria as we speak. Central Texas' other 5A cardiac kids, Round Rock (Division I) and San Marcos (Division II), soldier on into the regional semis, the Dragons versus Allen 2pm Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, and the Rattlers (who have won their first two playoff games by a single point each) taking on Harlingen South 7:30pm tonight at Laredo's Student Activity Center. Also tonight, 7pm in San Antonio's Alamodome, is probably the weekend's best game anywhere in the state: defending 3A Division II state champs Wimberley against Cuero, who spent most of the season as 3A's top-ranked team. Also tonight, class 1A's Thorndale takes on La Villa, 7:30pm at Jones High School in Beeville.

Tomorrow, Hays gets Corpus Christi Calallen at noon in the Alamodome (4A Division II), Liberty Hill and Sweeny get underway at 2pm at Viking Stadium in Bryan (3A Division II), Lexington and Freer tangle at 6:30pm at Canyon High in New Braunfels (2A Division II), and Leander meets up with Garland 7pm at Waco ISD Stadium.

Travel-averse fans have their choice of three games in the area this weekend: what should be a great one between Spring Westfield and Plano East (5A Division I) 2pm Saturday at Round Rock ISD Stadium; Shiner vs. Iola (1A Division II) 6pm tomorrow at Burger Center; and Chilton vs. Rocksprings (1A Division II), 7:30pm tonight in Dripping Springs. Like Dennis Miller said, "That's the news and I ... am ... outta ... here." Read More | 1 Comment »

High School Football 3:25PM Fri. Dec. 1, 2006, Christopher Gray

'Tip Time': The Freshman 15 & Other Points of Emphasis

My apologies on Tip Time's apparently notable absence. Whoever you are, please stop sending suicide threats: I can tell that you're bluffing just by the fact that you say you're looking forward to the Big 10 conference tournament in March for "Michigan's indirect revenge" (whatever that means) and have been praying to the good lord above in gratefulness for its overdue existence since 1998.

People who look forward to things and pray don't kill themselves, so, let's let bygones be bygones and move on to more pressing – heh ... that one was for you, Mike Andserson and Mizzou – matters. After a paid suspension following my initiating contact with an inattentive writer that fell somewhere on the spectrum between nudge and dry-gulch, I'm back to share some early thoughts on the 2006-07 Div. I Men's Basketball Season, now a few weeks old. Think of it as a tremendous burp after the ESPN-manufactured "Feast Week." Then think of me mumbling "My compliments to the schedule-makers" with a Cheshire cat smile on my face as I chuckle awkwardly. Read More | Comment »

NCAA Basketball 7:43PM Thu. Nov. 30, 2006, Shawn Badgley

Rookies Shine in Disappointing Season

With the previous week's last-second heartwrenching loss to the Buffalo Bills and last Sunday's dismal effort in a 26-11 defeat by the New York Jets; even I, Mr. Superdiehardfan, can safely call this year a bust and start looking toward next year's draft and off-season maneuverings. So, glass-half-full time. The Texans 2006 draft class is the strongest in the league. Straight up. Gary Kubiak's squad currently resides at 3-8, but he did his job when it came to drafting a solid core for Houston's hopefully bright future. In hindsight, not re-signing David Carr and drafting hometown hero Vince Young would have not only made the team a mint in jersey and ticket sales (and I guarantee you all those empty, paid-for seats at Reliant on Sundays would be filled), it would have been the best football decision as well. Read More | Comment »

NFL 4:40PM Thu. Nov. 30, 2006, Mark Fagan

Austin Wranglers Host Open Tryouts, Release '07 Schedule

The Wranglers host their open tryouts this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Round Rock ISD Stadium (10211 Parmer Ln.) beginning at 9am (registration begins at 8am). If you think you've got what it takes to make it in the AFL here's your chance to find out. And, like the NBDL, the AFL has been a stepping stone in the path to the NFL with the most notable graduate being current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner who won a super bowl with the Rams. Wranglers 2006 star wide receiver Derrick Lewis made the jump this year and is currently on the Houston Texans roster.

On Wednesday the Wranglers released their 2007 16-game regular-season schedule with their season-opener being held Sunday, March 4, 3pm when they play host to the Las Vegas Gladiators at the Frank Erwin Center. Austin won last year's matchup with the Gladiators 64-46. On Saturday, April 21 the Wranglers host the New Orleans Voodoo who were forced to take a year off due to the devastation of hurricane Katrina. Welcome back, Voodoo. Season tickets available now. To get yours call 339-3939. Read More | Comment »

Austin Wranglers 3:49PM Thu. Nov. 30, 2006, Mark Fagan

How Sweet It Is

How beautifully righteous it was for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Terrance Copper to haul in a Drew Brees Hail Mary at the close of the first half of a 31-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Take that, Alfred Jenkins! Take that Steve Bartkowski! And to push Falcons quarterback Michael Vick so far into frustration that he would wind up having to catch media heat for flipping off his own disgruntled home crowd is something that makes Saints fandom a pleasure, albeit at times a vengeful pleasure. Yes, we are still indeed paying back punches landed more than 25 years ago, and if you are even thinking that I’m alone on that, please reference a sign held up at the Georgia Dome on Sunday by a visiting Saints fan that read, “Tickets, $100. Hotel, $200. Teaching my kids to hate the Falcons, Priceless.” Read More | Comment »

NFL 10:19PM Wed. Nov. 29, 2006, Robert Gabriel

Week in Review, Week in Preview

The NCAA College Cups – both men's and women's – are this weekend: semifinals on Friday, finals on Sunday, and every game is on ESPN2. Friday is a UCLA doubleheader: the Lady Bruins take on host and top-ranked North Carolina at 2:30pm, and the guys face Virginia at 5pm (the otUher semis – Florida State-Notre Dame women, and Wake Forest vs. UC-Santa Barbara men – will be shown tape-delayed on Saturday).
Sunday, Dec. 3 is the championship doubleheader: women at 11:30am, men at 2pm. Next week, Dec. 5-6, it's the final games of the Champions League group stage. ESPN2's games of the week are Barcelona-Bremen, Tuesday 1:30pm (it's win-or-go-home for defending champ Barca), and Manchester United-Benfica, Wednesday, 1:30pm (a Man U loss would send them packing early yet again). The full schedule is below ... Read More | Comment »

World 4:26PM Wed. Nov. 29, 2006, Nick Barbaro

UT Hosts NCAA Volleyball Playoffs

I'm in agony. An unfortunate scheduling conflict is going to keep me from going to Gregory Gym this weekend to watch the No. 8 Texas Longhorns begin their playoff run in the NCAA volleyball tournament. I haven't seen nearly enough volleyball games this year. But since my seat will be vacant, you should take it – if you've never been, you're missing out on one of the best-kept secrets in UT sports. Read More | Comment »

UT Volleyball 1:06PM Wed. Nov. 29, 2006, Lee Nichols

My Voice Mail Message From Bob Stoops

Hey Joe! Pick up, man. It's Bob, the coach, calling for you, bubba. I got some news for your little sports blog, my man. You know I truly feel the Longhorns' pain. That offensive pass interference call was totally bogus! I'm having flashbacks to my own little tryst with Oregon, my little sports buddy. So, hey, if the refs robbed us then, they robbed the Horns against the Aggies. Fair is fair. Don't get me wrong; Texas played like a bunch of wussies, but what else is new? No, seriously, one of your Austin-based sports scribblers actually wrote that those six points don't matter because the bad call came in the second quarter. What? Points are points, my man. They would've sealed an admittedly lame win for Texas over their arch rivals. Doesn't matter what quarter it happened in. What are they teaching these guys in journalism school? Sure isn't math. The refs blew the game. Final score: Texas 14, Aggies 12. Onward and upward. Read More | Comment »

UT Football 5:35PM Mon. Nov. 27, 2006, Joe O'Connell

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