Cheer Up Charlies
"...After a weird 66-game season, after an elbow to the back of the dome, after a guy missed a game for being old, after all of this and even more, it's time for the NBA Playoffs to kick off once again. Say what you will about lockout-shortened seasons, the fact is that these teams had less preparation than any of them are accustomed to...."
"...The Austin Aztex announced this morning that they will host the first round of the PDL playoffs, the Southern Conference Final Four, to take place at House Park on Friday and Saturday, July 26-27. The four-team field will be the Panama City Beach Pirates, the Ocala Stampede, and almost certainly the Laredo Heat: Semifinals Friday, Final Saturday...."
"...The Austin Toros enter the NBA D-League playoffs as the No. 3 seed with the second-best record in the league and sporting their best regular-season record ever..."
"...As a result, the slightly weaker Springfield Armor – who have four less wins and four more losses than our Austin team – will be the second seed and Austin will be third. And instead of playing the seventh-seeded Canton Charge, a team Austin has gone 3-1 against this season, the Toros will face off in the first round of the playoffs against the Erie Bayhawks, a club that holds a mysterious aura, with Austin only playing them once this year in an 111-88 victory on January 10..."
"...The Austin Aztex host the PDL Southern Conference Championships this Saturday-Sunday, July 26-27 at House Park, with a semifinal doubleheader Saturday, and the championship Sunday. The Aztex have made the playoffs in each of their three years in PDL, and host them for the second year in a row as the conference's top seed, after finishing the regular season at 11-1-2..."
"...TEXAS ROLLERGIRLS PLAYOFFS It's all cups and coronets this playoff weekend, as the Texas Rollergirls teams jockey for final championship contender position, and veterans and rookies wait to see who is crowned homecoming queen. On the track and on paper, this was supposed to be the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers' year..."
"...1 seed in the Western Conference (also for the first time ever) and will play the No. 8 seeded Milwaukee Admirals in round one of the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs..."
"...Central Texas now boasts three professional minor-league sports franchises that are on the level directly below their big-league big brothers. The San Antonio Spurs affiliate, the Austin Toros, have moved on to the second round of the NBA D-League playoffs this Saturday while the Houston Astros' (for now) AAA Round Rock Express toss out the first pitch of their home schedule on Friday; but the loud rumble coming from Cedar Park is the excitement building for the first-year Dallas Stars-affiliated Texas Stars playoff series with the Rockford Icehogs..."
"...Playing at the Concordia University Fieldhouse, the Austin Toros defeated the Idaho Stampede in overtime 119-116 behind solid performances from Malik Hairston who scored 34 points and Marcus Williams with 33 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. (For more on Williams, see Thomas Hackett's April 10 "Playing Through" column.) This places the Toros in the second round of the NBA D-League playoffs where they will face the Colorado 14ers on Saturday, April 18 in Broomfield, Colo...."
"...State high school playoffs started this week, with a heavy suburban flavor locally. In 5A, the local reps are Bowie, Westlake, and Akins from the Southwest, plus northerners Pflugerville, P'ville Connally, Georgetown, Cedar Park, and four different Round Rock schools..."
"...The Premier Development League has announced that the first round of playoffs for the Aztex U-23s will take place in Orlando, Fla., July 25 and 27. The Aztex, PDL Mid South champions, will take on the Southeast runners-up – probably the Bradenton Academics – in the first round..."
"...High school playoffs continue this weekend. Locally, Dripping Springs plays Hays in the 4A Girls regional final, and Leander Vista Ridge plays New Braunfels Canyon in the Boys 4A regional final on Friday; no local 5A schools made the third round..."
"...The Central Hockey League’s Ray Miron President’s Cup Playoffs drop the puck tonight and the No. 5 seed Austin Ice Bats will take on the No..."
"...For the first time since the 2002-'03 season, the Ice Bats will be participating in the Central Hockey League playoffs – and they did it on a night off. Amarillo lost to the Odessa Jackalopes Tuesday night, excluding the Gorillas from the playoff picture and handing the Bats an invitation to the postseason...."
"...For directions to the pitch, click here. The Division I Women’s Senior Club playoffs will feature teams from Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City, San Diego, Denver, Atlanta, Portland, Berkeley, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and defending champions, New York..."
"...The Hellcats' manager, a tall skeezy sort dressed all in black with the exception of a hot-pink neck tie and a hot-pink handkerchief (the Hellcats' uniforms are hot pink), paced madly about. He seemed to be the only one in the auditorium feeling the heat of the playoffs; then again, he seemed to have drank from the same milk bowl as the mascot...."
"...Good lord, Hooker is intimidating – she hits the ball with such power. If I ever faced her and saw her jumping up and aiming at me, I'd wet my pants. Just a few years ago, the Horns didn't even make the playoffs..."
"...An I-45 series in the MLS playoffs? We'll find out this weekend, as both Dallas and Houston try to advance out of the first round. FC Dallas got a good jump on that in last week's first leg on the road, while the Houston Dynamo got stoned by Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who saved an 86th minute penalty kick from Dwayne De Rosario, to preserve Chivas's first-ever playoff win..."
"...In their next-to-last home game of the season, the Austin Aztex host the West Texas Sockers tonight in a game that could help the Aztex win home-field advantage in the upcoming PDL Southern Conference playoffs. 7:30pm at House Park (13th & Lamar)...."
"...The Round Rock Express start their 2011 playoff campaign against the Omaha Storm Chasers tonight at Dell Diamond. It is the Express’ first trip to the playoffs since 2006..."
"...Quite the rarity. The last time the Ice Bats reached the playoffs 50 Cent's “In da Club” was topping the charts and Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ruled the big screen..."
"...After falling short of the playoffs this year the Austin Aztex have announced that they will not be picking up the 2010 options on 14 players from their '09 squad. See below the jump for coach Adrian Heath's comments and a list of the players released...."
"...The PDL playoffs will begin July 25-27, at a site to be determined. Below: what the Aztex website has to say about the playoff picture...."
"...The Madness is over, and the NBA playoffs take a long while. You want more basketball, but there's none left in Austin..."
"...It's been a rough year for the Bats, having canned their head coach, suffered numerous injuries to crucial players, and endured pathetic power-play performance. Still, heading into the final week of regular-season play, their postseason dreams were still alive and they could've started with a fresh slate in the playoffs under head coach Brent Hughes..."
"...UT softball finished the year at No. 5 and said goodbye to interstellar pitcher Cat Osterman. 3) The Westlake Chaparrals made it to the state football championship game in San Antonio’s Alamodome but lost to the seemingly unbeatable Southlake Carroll Dragons 43-29. 4) The Austin Wranglers reached the Arena Football League playoffs for the first time in their short history only to lose to Jon Bon Jovi’s Philadelphia Soul 52-35 at the Frank Erwin Center...."
"...Here's what the Central Texas playoff picture looks like, district by district. Bear in mind 5A sends four teams per district to the playoffs now, two apiece to Division I and II, while the other classifications continue to send three...."
"...Bonzi Wells, the prize of the late free-agent pool, agreed on Wednesday to a two-year, $5-million deal with the Houston Rockets. Wells, a ninth-year swingman out of Ball State, turned down the Sacramento Kings' five-year, $36-million offer earlier this summer, apparently finding it insufficient compensation for his 23 and 12 performance against the mighty San Antonio Spurs during the first round of last year's playoffs..."
"...Jets (8-7) @ Miami (5-10) Miami has been eliminated (honestly, both of these teams remind me of something that might be eliminated from the business end of your body), but the Jets still have a slim hope. In order to make the playoffs, the Jets must beat Miami and have all of the following occur: 1) The Bengals lose at home to the Ravens..."
"...Who does Detroit play on the Turkey Day classic this year … 2) Green Bay Green Bay is youthful, selecting 34 players in the last three drafts, and could shock the league by winning this division. However, I still see this club as a year or two shy of the playoffs..."
"...In a gaudy 11-6 victory over Central Texas, elder statesman Jim Burton and team co-owner Paul Lawless were the top stars, combining for 3 goals and 8 assists. Burton, who retired after the playoffs, was bothered by his knees all season..."
"...Feb. 22: season opener March 22 April 19 May 10 June 14: Texecutioners travel team home bout July 13: Playoffs August 16: Championship bout..."
"...There's our dirty word for the day: parity. No person in their right mind realistically thinks that every NFL team could finish the season with the same record, but in this, the last season of the 1900s, the NFL seems poised to make Cosell into a would-be soothsayer, as parity has emerged as a striking force in the league. With three weeks left in this (very ir)regular season, the mathematical chances of some team getting unfairly beat out of the playoffs this year by an obscure tiebreaker like Points Allowed are astronomical, as 19 of 31 NFL teams stand at or between 8-5 and 5-8, all clinging to a chance at finishing a perfect 8-8...."
"...The Austin Aztex had a great week, scorching the West Texas Sockers 7-0 in their home finale Friday night. Then they hopped a bus for El Paso, where a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Patriots on Sunday clinched a spot in the Premier Development League playoffs for the first-year franchise – now riding a five-game winning streak into the final game of the regular season, Saturday in New Orleans..."
"...We're 5-6 and fighting for a playoff spot." The source said, "We have two road games in Nebraska and Seattle coming up that are important, important games. Four teams go to the playoffs and both of these teams are right behind us."..."
"...AFC NORTH Ravens John Eisenberg of CSN Baltimore is telling me: After almost making the Super Bowl this season, the Ravens will likely use the draft to address their offensive line, which was pushed around in the playoffs. They also want to add another young receiver who can produce, and GM Ozzie Newsome recently said, "You can never have enough pass rushers." Their offseason path is pretty clear...."
"...But I know one thing, when they do finally make the playoffs, every casual football fan in this state is gonna jump on their bandwagon along with many national sportswriters and talking heads. And that will annoy me to no end (not that it takes much to annoy me, just any of my previous significant others)..."
"...Predicted order of finish, last season's record, and more. Note: Top 7 teams make the playoffs, with the top regular-season record getting a first-round bye...."
"...With the division title wrapped up and little to play for, the Austin Aztex U-23s played like it, losing back-to-back games for the first time this season, 1-0 at New Orleans, and 2-1 at Baton Rouge, to drop to 10-4-1 for the year. This Saturday's regular season finale at the El Paso Patriots should be a little more intense – the Patriots will probably need a win to secure second place and a spot in the Premier Development League playoffs, while the Aztex would love to knock out the only team they haven't beaten this year, and avoid entering the playoffs on a three-game losing streak, with the prospect of facing the Patriots there yet again..."
"...The Outlaws killed New Orleans 42-6 in their home opener this season. But as Baker explains, the Outlaws need big wins in these last few games if they hope to make the playoffs..."
"...As the Dolphins got their first win of the seasons against Baltimore and that teams legendary defense, Cameron started an undrafted quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. I usually pencil in Jeff Fischer as the coach that does more with less, but this fall Cameron gets the vote. Five Easy Pieces (a quintet of other football matters on my mind) 1) Going into the playoffs I have yet to figure out why teams are “scared” of Jacksonville..."
"...I am not sold on Quinn and neither are most teams, but new fins head coach Cam Cameron has hinted he fancies the kid. 10) Houston (from Atlanta) Levi Brown, OT, Penn State The Texans wish to move down. I have been very impressed with the fresh minds in Houston the past year, and these guys know offensive-line help is required to move forward. 11) San Francisco Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas The Razorback is one of the quickest climbers in the draft, and them 49ers are one or maybe two impact players away from making the playoffs..."