the score

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

Bulldogs Grab Dragons by the Throat

The Bowie high school Bulldogs mowed down the visiting Round Rock Dragons 59-42 Saturday night at the Convention Center as a prelude to the Toros NBDL home opener. Jeremy Green from Bowie had a Tracy McGrady-esque game – hitting from outside, penetrating, impressively blocking shots; he did it all. I'd give you his line but I don't have a box score and I'm going by the PA announcer as far as names go. So, maybe his name is spelled Greene. It really doesn't matter. He's an exceptional player.

Bowie confidently moved the ball and hit their shots while the Dragons never found their game and eventually reverted to the three-pointer – unsuccessfully. Other players of note: Bowie's big man Patrick Moore and the Dragons John Henson and No. 52 Dax something or other.

[Update: Green scored 17 for the Bulldogs whose offense was more well-rounded than the Dragons with Henson scoring a game-high 24 for Round Rock and Dax Kill contributing 4.] Read More | Comment »

High School Basketball 9:49PM Sat. Nov. 25, 2006, Mark Fagan

Aggies Hook Horns, Astros Land Lee

So the Fightin' Farmers from College Station - who, according to a front-page article in the Houston Chronicle, are now every bit as suburban, SAT-savvy, and middle class as their despised Teasip arch rivals, albeit still less apt to grow dreadlocks and major in things like Postmodern Film Theory - waltzed into DKR this morning and played Temple of Doom with Longhorn Nation, ripping out Bevo's heart, which still beat with hopes of at least taking the Big 12 South, and taking a juicy 12-7 bite. (So what if the Ags missed both extra points? That's why they call them "extra" points.) Barring a monumental fuckup by Oklahoma in today's Bedlam scrum, not at all out of the question considering the way Boone Pickens' boys manhandled Nebraska a few weeks back, the defending national champions will be spending their 2007 bowl season picking Cotton. As Adam Sandler once said, "Whoopity doo!" At least they'll be in the proper position: bent over. Adding insult to obviously-not-healed shoulder injury, Texas can't even count on possible revenge for LSU's 2000 Fair Park Filleting because of how the Tigers muddied the SEC waters with today's win over Arkansas. But today's game should lead to interesting offseason fishing trips for Colt McCoy and Burnet best buds Jordan Shipley and Stephen McGee. McCoy, suddenly evoking Major Applewhite's injury-prone side as well as his baby-faced sangfroid under pressure, should have plenty to talk about with UT's invisible wideout and A&M's big hero while he learns to cast his line with his left arm. Start with the bullshit offensive pass interference penalty that took a touchdown away from Limas Sweed just before halftime, continue with the Horns' run defense deciding that since it's Thanksgiving, they'd take a holiday from tackling (Rashad Bobino excepted), and finish up with supposed human tank Henry Melton's continuing inability to convert critical short-yardage situations. But, really, who cares? In case you hadn't noticed, and no one beyond the 281 area code probably has, one Division I-A Texas school has already sewn up a spot in its conference championship game, and in fact will host that game next Friday at Robertson Stadium. That's the University of Houston, y'all.. the reigning Major League Soccer champion Houston Dynamo gets most of the headlines these days, but they still play American football there too. And because poker players need a night off once in a while, ESPN2 is even televising this game, to decide the Conference USA champion, Friday, Dec. 1, 7pm. Go Coogs!

For news on the Astros and the signing of Carlos Lee ... Read More | Comment »

MLB 1:38PM Sat. Nov. 25, 2006, Christopher Gray

Toros Lose Season-Opener, Host First Home Game Tonight!

The Toros got their second season off to a rough start with a 101-77 loss to the Thunderbirds in Albuquerque that coach Dennis Johnson described as "way beyond a bad game" and "embarrassing." The Toros were felled by horrible free-throw shooting, turnover after turnover, and overall poor play. Even with their sloppiness, they managed to hang on through the third but couldn't keep up with the NBDL defending champions and were thoroughly blown out in the fourth.

The start of the game was delayed 45 minutes due to technical issues at the press table and in the fourth there was another delay due to a fluorescent light bulb falling from the ceiling and shattering in front of the Albuquerque press table. No one was hurt, luckily. The game finally came to its conclusion at 11:20pm central standard time with the Toros taking a 7am flight to Dallas and then catching a bus to Austin. They definitely need a raucous home crowd tonight to fight off the fatigue and the bad taste in their mouth from last night's cringeworthy defeat.

The Toros face the Fort Worth Flyers tonight at 7pm at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. The game will also be broadcast on 1300 AM, the Zone. Included in the price of admission tonight is a little high school b-ball action with the Round Rock Dragons taking on Bowie High School previous to the Toros game. JV gets started at 3:30pm and varsity follows at 5. Three games for the price of one. Not bad. Read More | Comment »

Austin Toros 12:52PM Sat. Nov. 25, 2006, Mark Fagan

Texas-Sized Basketball: The Houston Rockets and Why I Moved to Texas

Coming as I do from the mid-Atlantic, I’ve experienced no end of questions from people back home as to why exactly I would move to Texas. People from Maryland don’t move to Texas, they argue; they move into D.C. or up to New York or Philadelphia. Maybe, maybe, if opportunity calls, they go as far north as Boston, to suffer through endless winters and an overabundance of fleece vests. Or to California, the other coast, to try to make it in the pictures or join a cult. But anything in between the coasts? Why bother?

And especially Texas. Texas is unimaginable heat and cowboys and guns; cultural conservatives, the death penalty, and Tom DeLay. Texas is George W. Bush, for chrissakes. Why would you move there of all places? Why not just move to Tehran? Fair points all. Texas is hot as all hell, its summers lasting for what seems like endless centuries, its cockroaches the size of small dogs. There are too many guns in Texas, too many trucks that take up two spots in parking lots. And Texas is constantly passing legislation that makes it difficult to be gay or poor or Mexican. Moreover, Texans believe that the best way to keep high school kids from having unprotected sex is to teach them to get a good night’s sleep because you make better decisions when you’re well-rested. (I’ve always found the opposite to be true: If I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, chances are I won’t have the energy for sex, unprotected or not. Get me eight hours, though, and it’s all I think about.) And Texans revel in putting criminals to death on scanty evidence. Underage criminals. Mentally retarded criminals. Unjustly convicted criminals. (I’m getting depressed.) So why, the question remains, why Texas? Read More | Comment »

NBA 11:05PM Thu. Nov. 23, 2006, Josh Rosenblatt

'Friday Night Lights': AISD Teams Choke, 14-5A Flies

Because class 5A added another playoff team this year, bringing the grand total to four per district, last weekend's opening round was the busiest Texas high school football playoff weekend ever. Unfortunately, Austin schools didn't fare so well: AISD's Austin, McCallum, and LBJ racked up a big goose egg, going 0-for-3 (albeit in generally close games) against teams from San Antonio and the Conroe area. Only Westlake advanced, and barely, in a 42-40 squeaker over San Antonio Churchill. The Chaps earned a trip to the Alamodome Friday night to face San Antonio Jay, who thumped Corpus Christi Carroll 60-20. 8pm kick. And congratulations to the San Marcos Rattlers, who knocked out powerful Smithson Valley in Smithson Valley 35-34. For their troubles they get San Antonio Marshall noon Friday, also in the Alamodome. By the way, tickets for this year's 5A state championship games, which just happen to be in the Alamodome (nice that they're using it for something), are on sale now. Read More | Comment »

High School Football 11:59AM Thu. Nov. 23, 2006, Christopher Gray

A Three-Goal Second Period From the Sundogs Dooms the Ice Bats

The Arizona Sundogs scored the rare team hat trick of picking up an even-strength, powerplay, and shorthanded goal all in the second period of their 4-2 victory over the Ice Bats Wednesday night. Austin's feeble powerplay squad was zero for eight including four opportunities to get back in the game with a PP goal in the third period. All Austin could muster after the first period was a meaningless score from Michael Tucciarone with 1:36 remaining in the game. Bats goalie Miguel Beaudry picked up the loss, surrendering four goals on 36 shots. After taking Turkey Day off, the Bats resume play Friday, Nov. 24 (8:35pm) and Saturday, Nov. 25 (8:05pm) on the road against the New Mexico Scorpions. Listen to Glen Norman's broadcast on 1530 AM. Their next home games are Friday, Dec. 1 vs. the Laredo Bucks and Saturday, Dec. 2 vs. the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Read More | Comment »

Austin Ice Bats 11:51AM Thu. Nov. 23, 2006, Mark Fagan

Sometimes I get the visions, but it's not what you think. No drugs are involved, and my visions require looking backward, not forward. Which brings us to an Aggie I once knew with a photographic memory. Nothing is more annoying than a sports fan who knows too much. There's no arguing with a guy who has the facts, and an Aggie with a bushel of facts is a dangerous thing.

So going into Friday's Aggie invasion of Memorial Stadium, here are my visions of facts:

The Horns will win 52-14. This will not be a contest. Yes, the Texas secondary is more porous than a bag of chicken wings at a dog fight (whatever that means). But the Horns are pissed, and they aren't a team that should have lost to lowly Kansas State. That was merely one of those games meant to slap some sense into teams that rely too heavily on luck and inspiration. The Horns had neither against KSU. Read More | Comment »

UT Football 5:52PM Wed. Nov. 22, 2006, Joe O'Connell

Champs League Stunner in Glasgow

Glasgow Celtic, on the defensive most of the game, got a dramatic late goal on a picture-perfect curling free kick by Shunsuke Nakamura to shock mighty Manchester United Tuesday night at Celtic Park.

That, and Real Madrid's two-goal comeback to tie Lyon, were the highlights of Tuesday's Champions League action, as teams fought for spots in the final 16, on the next-to-last game day of the group stage. Four of the eight groups were in action Tuesday; the rest will play tomorrow. Read More | Comment »

World 5:42PM Tue. Nov. 21, 2006, Nick Barbaro

It's All Over for the Lady Longhorns

The Portland Pilots lost their best player, Megan Rapinoe, to a torn ACL halfway through the season. So they settled for a goal-of-the-year from big sister Rachel Rapinoe to knock the UT Lady Longhorns out of the NCAA tourney. Rapinoe nailed a 20-yard stunner just three minutes into the game – UT coach Chris Petrucelli later said it might have been the best goal ever scored on this field – and the Horns never could make it up. They outshot Portland, and outplayed them for most of the game, but couldn't quite find the equalizer, and by the second half, they were chasing the game all over the field, and the Pilots got a late insurance goal to make the final margin 2-0. Read More | Comment »

UT Soccer 5:13PM Tue. Nov. 21, 2006, Nick Barbaro

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

   Despite falling behind 14-0 early in the first quarter due to two 83-yard TD receptions by the Bills No. 83, Lee Evans, the Texans played solid football for three-plus quarters and were one first down or one defensive stop from victory in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The win would have given the Texans two straight victories, three in a row at home, and a 4-3 record over their past seven games. This would have a been a huge step toward respectability for a franchise that desperately needs some. Read More | Comment »

NFL 4:56PM Tue. Nov. 21, 2006, Mark Fagan

Help Me to Pretend

Please tell me that New Orleans Saints cornerback Fred Thomas, who just last week I had hoped to return quickly from injury, didn’t allow Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson to torch him for six catches, 190 yards, and three touchdowns. Please follow that up by telling me that Saints running back Deuce McAllister didn’t carry the ball a measly 10 times for 40 yards in a 31-16 home loss. I really don’t want to know that rookie sensation Marques Colston had to be carted off of the field with a high ankle sprain. And please spare me the news that the Saints are no longer the sole leaders of the NFC South.

For more on the Saints and the LSU Tigers ... Read More | Comment »

NFL 4:36PM Tue. Nov. 21, 2006, Robert Gabriel

Durant Named Big 12 Rookie of the Week, Again

Freshman and future lottery pick Kevin Durant continues his stellar play (unless you ask Rick Barnes) earning his second consecutive Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week honors. Durant is almost averaging a double-double for the season with 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He could have gone pro instead of choosing to play for UT this year and will most certainly enlist in the NBA draft following this season. Enjoy his stay here in Austin while you can.

Spartans junior guard Drew Neitzel scored with 2.4 seconds on the clock and Michigan State upset UT 63-61 last Thursday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic held in Madison Square Garden. UT rebounded by narrowly defeating St. John's 77-76 in the consolation game with Anthony Mason Jr.'s last-second three-point attempt bouncing off the rim. The Longhorns' next matchup is against Nicholls State this Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7pm here in the Erwin Center. Read More | Comment »

UT Basketball 3:55PM Mon. Nov. 20, 2006, Mark Fagan

Tastes Like Victory

NFL 10:26PM Sun. Nov. 19, 2006, Jeremy Martin

Bats Lose Another Close One at Home

Last night the Ice Bats suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Corpus Christi Rayz. Austin's Henry Kuster opened up the scoring with a powerplay goal 1:24 into the first period with John McNabb adding the Bats only other score of the evening during the second period. The Bats' Michael Tucciarone was called for hooking 1:51 into the overtime period and the Rayz Derrick McIver took advantage by driving a shot past the Bats goalie Miguel Beaudry for the OT win. This loss puts the 3-4-3 Ice Bats home record at a disappointing 1-4-2 for the season. The Bats face the Mud Bugs tonight in Bossier-Shreveport and then return home Saturday night to face the 3-5-1 Odessa Jackalopes (Sat., Nov. 18, 7:30pm; Chaparral Ice Arena, 14200 N. I-35, 252-8500; $15-35). Read More | Comment »

Austin Ice Bats 4:45PM Fri. Nov. 17, 2006, Mark Fagan

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