In my opinion, one of the more insightful blogs in the DLeague is "Snide Remarks" by Stampede announcer Mark Snider. Unfortunately, he doesn't post near often enough...and unless he has recently blogged about something you have to have your own personal web crawler to find it on the Stampede site. Snider does not forget who his employer is - but he doesn't hesitate to put the needle to them either which as a fan I very much appreciate.
The address is here and it has commentary all the way back to 2007. Rumble says "bookmark it!"
My reason for bringing this up is that below the jump is part of Mark's latest entry about the wacked out scheduling of the past year. I think I probably knew all this (sometimes I wondered if the Defenders had moved to Boise) but to see it on paper certainly cemented it for me. Just another thing the DLeague has to work on for 2010-2011.
See Mark's post below...
With three games left in the regular season, the Idaho Stampede find themselves in an unfamiliar position: Out of the playoff picture. For the first time since joining the NBA Development League, the Stampede have failed to qualify for the postseason.
Look for my post-season Snide Remarks entry when I break down the reasons why I think this was such a tough season for first-year head coach Bob MacKinnon and his team.
Coach MacKinnon stressed to me many times this season that once this team had a chance to practice, and play, together, they’d get the hang of things and come around. But for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened.
Down the stretch, they’ve lost 7 of 10 games, and the 3-game sweep at the hands of Utah last week really was the kiss of death to their playoff chances. Win 2 games in Orem, and this team would be battling for a playoff spot this final week.
The losses at Utah give me a chance to gripe a minute about the D-League schedule this season. Top league officials told me that the teams decided that travel costs would be the overriding factor in determining the schedule this year. Okay, I understand teams not wanting to fly cross country to play one game in, say, Portland, Maine or Springfield, Massachusetts.
But can anyone explain to me why Idaho played 5 games in Albuquerque, but the Thunderbirds didn’t play one game in Boise? Or, why Los Angeles, who winds up the season here on Friday and Saturday, will have played 5 games in Boise, while the Stampede only played twice in LA, in the fifth and sixth games of the season in early December?
And the one that sticks in my craw the most is the season schedule with Utah. Now remember, that the Flash are the closest team to Boise, just 388 miles. It’s a very easy (and short) plane trip to Salt Lake City, and not even a bad trip by bus. But of the 8 games between Idaho and Utah this season, 6 were in Orem, and only two were in Boise. And both of those were in December! From a competitive balance standpoint, it seems patently unfair to have six games at their place, and only two here, especially when most everyone figured the Idaho-Utah season series would have playoff implications.
I hope for the league’s sake, owners re-evaluate the costs of travel versus the competitive balance and rivalry issue. I talked with players from other teams, and they had complaints about scheduling, too. For example, Iowa and Erie played each other 10 times. Reno and Utah played 10 times, and Maine and Springfield faced each other every week (or so it seemed). They actually played only 9 times.