I interview the stars... well... close enough.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bob Stelton is the host of The Bob Stelton Show on 101 ESPN in St. Louis.

Me: Do you think Albert Pujols will spend his entire career with the Cardinals?

Bob: I think Albert will spend his entire career with The Cardinals. I think as far as the Cardinals go, it's a no-brainer. He's the face of the franchise, if he's not the best, he's one of the best players in the league. He brings tremendous value not only on the field but, in off the field marketing, ticket sales, merchandise, etc... he's a brand.

I get the feeling from listening to him that he realizes what a great baseball town St. Louis is and there is a level of pride that he attaches to being one of those guys like Ripken or Jeter who spend their entire career in one uniform.

Me: Would you be mad at him if he left for, say, New York?

Bob: The only way I would be mad at him if he left, is if he left for a comparable deal somewhere else. If somebody blows him away with a deal that The Cards can't come close to (like the Rangers did for A-Rod when he left Seattle), then I don't blame him. At some point it would be ridiculous to turn down a deal like that. If it's close though, I would expect he would stay.

Me: What do you make of the Big Three with the Miami Heat?

Bob: The "New" big three in Miami are going to be fun to watch and will win a lot of games, no doubt, once they learn how to play together. But, I don't think they'll win the title this year. In fact, I don't see them beating the old big three in Boston (if KG, Pierce and Allen stay healthy). The Heat don't have anything down low to compete so, if the jumpers aren't falling and teams like Boston and Orlando with good defense keep them from driving to the hoop, they're going to have some trouble.

Me: Is Sam Bradford going to lead the Rams to the Super Bowl?

Bob: I'm not sure if Sam Bradford will lead The Rams to the Super Bowl or not. So much of that depends on the teams ability to surround him with enough talent to get there. And right now, they don't have Super Bowl talent. Eight games in to his pro career, he is showing that there is very little that he can't do. And he's as cool and composed as most veteran QB's in the league. There is no doubt that he is the real deal and, if he stays healthy in his career and the Rams don't get to the big game, it won't be because of Bradford, that is for sure.

Me: How is he going to compare to former Rams QB Kurt Warner?

Bob: I think Bradford has the chance to exceed what Warner did as far as career numbers go because, Kurt got a later start to his NFL career. But Kurt was surrounded with great talent, hall of fame talent in Faulk, Bruce, Holt, Pace, etc...those Rams teams were as explosive as any I've ever seen. And Warner as special during those years as any QB I've ever seen. Bradford definitely has all of the tools that Warner had and then some. He's more mobile and has a stronger arm. Warner was just so accurate and fearless though. It's a tough comparison but again, Bradford definitely has the ability. We'll see if he can develop it to the "Warner level."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bill Dwyre

Bill Dwyre is a baseball writer for the LA Times.

Me: Who has the best pitching rotation in baseball?
Bill: Rangers

Me: Where will Cliff Lee sign this off-season?
Bill: Yankees

Me: Will Kansas City trade Greinke? Where might he land?
Bill: I think he will stay.

Me: If Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford leave town, how long will it take for Tampa Bay to return to prominence?
Bill: It certainly will cost them a couple of rebuilding years.

Me: Will Bobby Valentine be managing next season?
Bill: I love Valentine... I heard him doing one of the playoff telecasts and in three minutes he told me five new things about baseball I never knew before. If I was an owner, I'd hire him in a New York second.

Me: Which LA team is better? The Dodgers or the Angels?
Bill: Angels, right now.

Me: What will happen to Rihanna's boyfriend, Matt Kemp?
Bill: If somebody offers the McCourts big money as part of a trade, he's gone.

Me: Can Kobe Bryant hit a home run?
Bill: Give Kobe Bryant three weeks of spring training and yes, you bet. He has the hands and eyes. All great athletes do. He would just need the repetition of practice to get comfortable.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NFL Rapid Fire with Sam Farmer

Sam Farmer is an NFL writer for the LA Times. This interview was conducted on Monday November 1st.

Me: Who is the best team in the AFC?
Sam: New England

Me: How about the NFC?
Sam: New York Giants

Me: Who is the early favorite for MVP?
Sam: Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews

Me: Who should be the Eagles' starting quarterback when they come back from the bye?
Sam: Should be Kevin Kolb. Will be Michael Vick.

Me: How many starting NFL quarterbacks would you take in a draft before Chad Henne?
Sam: At least a dozen.

Me: Is Tony Romo the long-term answer in Dallas?
Sam: He's good enough to be. The Cowboys have more pressing problems than quarterback.

Me: Over/under: 2 more MVP's for Peyton Manning
Sam: Under

Me: What are the chances that LA has an NFL team in 5 years?
Sam: Decent. Certainly not a lock. I would have told you the same thing five years ago.

Me: What football position would be suit Kobe Bryant?
Sam: Holder on kicks.

Me: What will Bill Parcells do next?
Sam: Survivor.

Me: Who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl?
Sam: Baltimore

Me: NFC?
Sam: Green Bay

Me: Who will win the Super Bowl?
Sam: Baltimore

Travis Demers

Travis Demers works at 1080 The Fan in Portland, OR as well as Comcast SportsNet Channel 37.

Me: How many players on the Blazers will make the All-Star team this year?
Travis: At this point, you can pencil in Brandon Roy to the All-Star team. LaMarcus Aldridge has the potential to get there if he can be consistent, which is easier said then done.

Me: Will Greg Oden ever make it in this league?
Travis: It's hard to handicap that. He clearly has the talent, and when he is in there, he is a very good player, with all star potential. Obviously injuries are holding him back, and you can't predict those things. I do think he will make it, but he has to prove that he can play more than 40 games in a season before he can prove his worth in the NBA.

Me: Rank the top 8 teams in the West
1. Lakers
2. Mavs
3. Blazers
4. Thunder
5. Spurs
6. Nuggets (they fall out of top 8 if Carmelo Anthony is traded)
7. Jazz
8. Warriors (call me crazy, I think Monta Ellis is extremely under rated and can make this a playoff team)
Me: Okay, you're crazy. Just kidding, the Warriors are a young team who do have a shot at the 8th seed.

Me: Rank the top 8 teams in the East
1. Heat
2. Celtics
3. Magic
4. Hawks
5. Bulls
6. Knicks
7. Bucks
8. Nets

Me: Who will beat who in the NBA Finals?
Travis: Lakers over Heat in 6 games. Until someone beats them, I can't pick against the Lakers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dustin Watson

Dustin Watson is an artist who creates a Phoenix Suns comic strip for brightsideofthesun.com. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Me: How many wins do you forecast for the Suns this season? Will they make
the playoffs?

Dustin: I predicted that the Suns will win 46 games this season and finish 9th
in the West. I think they have enough talented players to surprise not
only myself but most people but I think the blow of losing Amare is
really going to hurt them. In the first game of the season against the
Portland Trailblazers we played them close the whole game but down the
stretch in the 4th quarter we didn't have any go-to scorer to get easy
buckets. For the Suns to have any chance they're going to need somebody
to step up and fill that hole that was left when Stoudemire packed his
bags for NY. That plus it's hard to win on a roster filled with 1 PG, 1 C
and 11 wing players.

Me: Do you think Steve Nash will stay in Phoenix after his deal expires?

Dustin: Right now the question is will he be here long enough for his deal to
expire. As constituted this team doesn't look like it is going to be able
to contend and Nash is A) getting older and B) the Suns' best trade
asset. There are many who believe that Goran Dragic is ready to step up
and be a starting PG (I am not one of these people) and while it would be
almost blasphemous I would be surprised if the higher-ups didn't at least
listen to offers. That being said, The Suns have always been loyal to
Steve and Steve to the Suns. It would not surprise me at all if he ended
his career here in Phoenix.

Me: What about the idea that he might join his former coach and center/forward in New York?

Dustin: That's probably the most interesting scenario if Nash were to reunite
with both Amare and D'Antoni in NY. It would certainly be a good move for
him from a basketball standpoint given that he and Amare play extremely
well together, he knows the system and they have a lot of GOOD young

Me: How hard is it to draw the fear of finishing 14th in the West on Suns
players faces?

Dustin: ; )

Me: Have you ever drawn the Suns Gorilla?

Dustin: The Gorilla did appear in the second edition of my PHX Suns comic strip as Steve Kerr's Chief Advisor.

Me: Who is your favorite Sun ever?

Dustin: That's a tough one - obviously Nash and Barkley are probably the 2
players that have meant the most to the franchise but for me personally I
loved Shawn Marion. He brought so much to the table in terms of his
rebounding and defensive ability. He was able to play at an All-Star
level despite not having plays run for him in the offense and I loved

Monday, November 1, 2010

John Rohde

John Rohde is a sports writer for The Oklahoman. His blog can be found here.

Me: Where does Kevin Durant rank among the best players in the NBA?
John: I'd put him third, behind Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, or behind LeBron and Kobe -- depending on Kobe's health and LeBron's attitude.

Me: What are the chances he wins MVP?
John: I think very good, because Kobe and LeBron have stronger supporting casts.

Me: What seed will the Thunder be this postseason?
John: I'm thinking OKC will win the Northwest and probably will be a No. 3 seed behind the Lakers and Mavericks.

Me: Where will Carmelo Anthony land?
John: New York
Me: Where would New York finish in the East with Carmelo and Chris Paul?
John: Second, behind Boston

Me: Do you like LeBron less or more than you did 4-6 months ago? Why?
John: Little less; should have told Cleveland of his decision before going on TV.

Me: Who is the best mascot in the NBA?
John: Don't really pay that much attention, but I've always liked the Gorilla in Phoenix.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

T.J. Carpenter

T.J. Carpenter hosts the T.J. Carpenter show on 92.1 The Ticket in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is also a contributor to arkansassports360.com.

Me: Who is YOUR #1 in the BCS right now?

T.J.: As a general rule, I hate the BCS. I think it is absolutely absurd not to allow margin of victory be used as a factor in computer calculations. Oregon deserves to be number one in the BCS. There are no elite teams in college football this year, but Oregon is the closest. They took USC's best shot over the weekend and was absolutely brilliant in a comeback. Some say Auburn, some say Cam Newton is unstoppable. I think Auburn's offensive line is the best in college football, but in each of the games they've played this year they were remarkably fortunate to win. I don't buy that Auburn is unstoppable because they are doing it in the SEC either. They have one of the easiest conference schedules on the board and all of their major games at home save one, a finale with Alabama to end the season, which they will lose. Auburn doesn't deserve to be number one. But they are a great football team. They are top 5. Boise State is hanging around there, but they probably won't get a shot at the top two. If Bama beats Auburn at the end of the season and goes on to win the SEC Championship, they will be in the National Title against Oregon.

Me: Will Boise State ever make it to a title game?

T.J.: No. But that doesn't mean they don't deserve it. Some people look at this as the last opportunity for Boise State to make it to the national title game. I disagree. I think it will be the last time it will be this easy to keep them out of it. Boise State is probably the most balanced offense and most physical defense that never really gets tested in the country. They beat Virginia Tech, who is well on their way to winning the ACC and an automatic BCS bid. But, people will disrespect Boise St because Virginia Tech lost to James Madison? No one thought VT was a National Title team at the beginning of the season, the same is NOT true of Boise State. Yet, the only loss that really hurts either team is James Madison, and it doesn't hurt VT, it hurts Boise St. It's a royally screwed up system.

Me: Which player is more NFL ready? Denard Robinson, Cam Newton, or Terrell Pryor?

T.J.: Cam Newton. He reminds me of a slightly larger Randall Cunningham. Although I have to say, Newton doesn't have the arm or the accuracy Cunningham did. But there is no doubt, Newton will go as a QB at this point. Pryor will get drafted, but I doubt he plays. Robinson will find a home in the NFL, but it won't be as a QB.

Me: Would you be negligent to the fact you are wearing a Gator hat? (Was it your station that sent that reporter?)

T.J.: I would not. But at the same time, I wouldn't wear garb affiliated with any team, regardless of the sport of the level. There are a ton of reporters in the Arkansas Media who do not abide by that unspoken rule. I see Dodgers hats, So. Miss t-shirts, Green Bay jackets, and (I kid you not) Laker and Celtic Jerseys on a somewhat regular basis. Does that rule change because Florida was in the SEC? It's okay to wear a Louisville or Atlanta hat but not an Ole Miss or a Florida hat?

There are a few of things that must be addressed:

1. If you are Renee Gork (the reporter) don't wear the hat. I didn't think it was a fireable offense, but it isn't smart and other people do similar stuff in the same press room all the time and go unmolested.

2. Petrino was pissed off about practice a heck of a lot more than he was about the hat. She just made the mistake of asking a fair question at the wrong time. Petrino shouldn't have said anything about the hat, but he's probably the sole member in all of this who can be a jerk (because he gets paid to coach football, not be nice to reporters) and get away with it.

3. The radio station that fired her (a mom and pop called the Hog who competes with us in the NWA market) were idiots and bush league for doing so. If your management is so whimsical and afraid to stand up and back their reporter against first off fan outcry on message boards and secondly the university's rebuke you have no business running a radio station. Their inability to have any sort of courage or journalistic fortitude is as sad as it is comical. It should also be noted all of their employees at the time other than Gork were not allowed at practice or to cover games. They were not considered a member of the professional media. So this little thing happened and they panicked. At least that is my conjecture of what happened. Since then they hired Michael Smith (former Arkansas RB) which was a good move, and Renee has gotten a great gig in Florida with a new radio show in a great market. So I think things worked out for everyone.

Me: Is Florida going to rise up again within the next 5 years? And was Tim Tebow the best college QB ever?

T.J.: Yes, but I think Florida fans are witnessing something most of them aren't quite ready to admit yet. Urban Meyer, while still one of the greatest coaches in college football, is someone who runs a very acute and somewhat quirky offense by modern standards. And if he doesn't have the right pieces to run it, the offense won't work. He struggled to make his offense fit his personnel, which is something a lot of younger coordinators and head coaches don't seem to have a problem doing. But I expect Meyer to stay at UF for a long time, win another National Title and go one to be remembered as one of the greatest college coaches of all time. Although I should mention there are many among the media in the South who question Meyer's commitment to football. In the end, Florida's success from here on out hinges upon that.

Tim Tebow is the greatest College Quarterback ever. In this day and age to win the Heisman on a team that ended up with four losses is absolutely amazing. He did a lot of things well, but it was his competitiveness that ultimately set him apart and I think all fans of this great game are forced to respect that.