Archive for May, 2007

Who would’ve thought…
Thursday, May 31, 2007

… that it would be more surprising to see Nebraska make it to the College World Series than it would be to see Creighton get there. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I Like Creighton’s Chances

In my opinion, Creighton has a better chance to get out of the Arkansas regional than the Huskers do. That’s because the Huskers are not playing in the Arkansas regional.

The Huskers are once again limping into the post-season, while there may be no hotter team in the country than the Bluejays.

The problem: The Razorbacks have decent bats, but an even more impressive pitching staff. They’re throwing their #3 starter out there on Friday against Albany. That’s a testament to their depth (and perhaps a lack of respect for Albany).

This weekend will come down to Creighton’s starting pitching. We saw the Bluejays pull out all the stops in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (read: giving Pat Venditte his first collegiate start). They need 5+ innings out of each starter… but especially Marc Lewis. He will set the tone for the weekend. That bullpen can’t be taxed in that first game. The starters did a tremendous job in Springfield. An encore is in order.

You say Creighton can’t get to the College World Series. After watching the Jays against Wichita State, I’m left saying “Why not?” They’ve got the pitching, the chemistry and quite possibly the best coach in the state (regardless of sport).

Going with my heart, Creighton comes out of this weekend with a few one and two-run wins. My brain says Arkansas.

But my close friends will be the first to tell you: I’m not that bright.

Thanks to the Hit Man

Creighton center fielder Robbie Knight is on the verge of leaving his name is the record books. If he gets plunked twice this weekend, he’ll set a new NCAA single-season hit-by-pitch record. He’s at 32 right now.

Robbie took part in a fun story earlier this week, taking a few pitches to the shoulder in the process (if he can’t play this weekend, we take no responsibility). We had a good time and Robbie was a good sport. Check it out if you haven’t, and let’s hope Robbie gets another dose of pain this weekend.

Knight Hurts So Good

Mike Anderson Makes a Bold, Wise Move

The Husker head coach announced on that right-hander Luke Wertz will starts Friday’s regional opener for Nebraska. In doing so, Anderson has thrown UC-Riverside a curveball, while possibly giving his own team a shot in the arm. Wertz has been the biggest surprise for Nebraska this season, coming out of nowhere with an ERA of 1.65, averaging just under a strikeout per inning. If Wertz can get the job done against UC-Riverside, the Huskers will have their ace ready for a potential winners’ bracket matchup with Arkansas on Saturday.

If, of course, Wertz struggles in the high-pressure situation that is the opening game of the regional, Anderson will once again be under the microscope.


Nebraska and Creighton Back in the Post-Season
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Huskers and Bluejays are both in the field of 64, heading in different directions… both geographically and momentumically.

Yes, I just made that word up.

Creighton to Arkansas… Oh, the Storylines

Winning the Missouri Valley Championship earned Creighton a #2-seed in the Fayetteville, Arkansas regional. They’ll face #3-seed Oklahoma State on Friday. And if they get a chance to face the host school…. how juicy would that be?

Eight weeks ago Monday, Dana Altman was introduced as Arkansas’ head basketball coach. You know the rest. And so do the Jays.

” We were just joking about that, how many times we’ll hear about Altman, especially if we play Arkansas,” said catcher Chris Gradoville. “But I just hope we don’t get lured into doing the Pig Sooie thing like Coach Altman did.”

How Good a Year Has it Been for Creighton University?

Only four schools advanced to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, men’s soccer tournament and baseball tournament this season: Creighton, North Carolina, UCLA and Virginia. And of those four schools, only Creighton won the conference tournament in all three sports.

Giddy-up for the little guy.

The Venditte Love Keeps Pouring In

On Monday, Pat Venditte was named Collegiate Baseball’s Louisville Slugger Player of the Week for his efforts at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

A first-team all-MVC reliever, Venditte is 8-2 with four saves and leads the team with 88.1 innings pitched and 90 strikeouts. He ranks among the national leaders in appearances, ERA and batting average against. Venditte’s incredible streak of 43.2 scoreless innings was snapped in the Valley title tilt against Wichita State when he allowed a sixth-inning sacrifice fly.

As for more media love, Creighton’s ambidextrous pitcher will be featured in Tuesday’s USA Today. There will also be a giant photo of him in the “Leading Off” section of this week’s Sports Illustrated.

Not to mention a story on Tuesday night’s KETV sportscast.

Nebraska Back in the Fold

For the first time since 2000 (following five Lincoln Regionals in six years) the Huskers are faced with a road regional. #3-seeded Nebraska will face #2-seeded UC-Riverside Friday at 4pm central time in Tempe, Arizona.

While the Huskers have the fourth-worst winning percentage of all the teams in the NCAA Tournament, they do have one thing going for them: it doesn’t matter. Nebraska has a clean slate.

That’s a good thing, because the slate got pretty dirty this season.

Creighton Wins a Wild One
Sunday, May 27, 2007

It was one of the craziest games I’ve ever seen. Creighton’s ambidextrous pitcher gets the start, the Jays get a big lead, then blow that big lead, then fall behind in extra innings, then rally with two outs to tie the game, then win it as the clock strikes midnight to claim their first-ever Valley Tournament Title.

In a word: wow.

Venditte is Masterful

Pat Venditte got the starting nod in the second championship game. Seeing as how Marc Lewis, Ben Mancuso and Zak Moore were virtually unusable, it only made sense. Coach Ed Servais could’ve gone with Casey Schmidt, but in a must-win game you want experience on the mound.

The ambidextrous one put on a show, going six and a third innings, striking out ten while giving up only one run. While his consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 43.2 innings, his amazing journey continued. His first collegiate start was a gem… it was just too bad that his bullpen (which he’s usually apart of) couldn’t give him his first career win as a starter.

But he pitched well enough to earn the Most Outstanding Player award for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. What a special player.
Jays Collapse Late, Rally Late, Win Even Later

In the seventh inning, Ed Servais pulled Venditte. His lh/rh pitcher had shown signs of fatigue, having allowed a run in the 6th while fighting out of a jam. Andy Masten (who had a 0.98 ERA entering the game) gave up four runs in the 8th, while Scott Reese gave up a run in the 9th, allowing Wichita State to tie the game and send it to extras.

Then in the 11th, that’s when the real fun began. Wichita State rocked Scott Reese for three runs. You could stick a fork in the Jays, because they looked done.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, Chad Ogden led off with a single. Andrew Small and Michael Lam then struck out. Robbie Knight then reached on a fielding error. With two outs (and two strikes) Ross Sinclair ripped a double down the line, scoring Ogden and advancing Knight to third. Still with two outs, Chris Gradoville ripped a double of his own down the left-field line, scoring Knight and Sinclair, tying the game at nine. It was one of the most improbable comebacks you will ever see. It was Game Six ’86 Mets-esque (it was another Knight that scores the winning run against Red Sox).

In the 12th inning, after TJ Roemmich drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Ogden, Andrew Small (the pride of Hastings, Nebraska) crushed a double off the left-center field wall, scoring Brandon Knox (who pinch-ran for Roemmich). The game ended with Knox being mobbed at home plate, and the Bluejays capturing their first tournament championship.
The Heroes

Ross Sinclair and Chris Gradoville came up huge in the 11th, with back-to-back two-out doubles to score three runs. That, my friends, is clutch hitting.
A game that started roughly 100 minutes late Saturday night because of weather, ended even later… Sunday morning… but it was so worth it.

And I’m glad they won, too… because I stayed at the KETV studios until it was over. I was thoroughly entertained, however, watching it on television via satellite while also listening to the Creighton radio broadcast on “1620 The Zone”. There is nothing better than hearing John Bishop dejectedly call a Wichita State go-ahead run, followed by him chastizing an umpire with every fiber of his being, followed by a coronary on live radio as the Jays tie the game up. And, of course, Kevin Kugler announcing the winning run just as the clock strikes midnight.
Moving On

At 44-14 on the year, the Jays are onto the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years under Ed Servais. You’d better believe that this Creighton team is better equipped to accomplish a lot more in this year’s regional. It’s all about where they get sent. We’ll find out on Monday during the NCAA selection show at 11:30AM. You can celebrate with the team at DJ’s Dugout in Bellevue.
The Venditte Mystique Grows

The Fox Sports telecast (which was only seen on a tape-delay basis in Omaha) hyped up Venditte’s performance before he even set foot on the mound… and rightfully so. From the CBS Evening News, to the NY Times, to Rogers Sports Net in Canada, to an upcoming feature in Sports Illustrated (and while we’re at it, an upcoming KETV Tuesday night feature) Venditte is getting incredible exposure. One of the smallest division one baseball schools is getting world-wide attention.

It’s easy to become numb to Venditte’s ability, seeing as how we watch him in person and see his highlights regularly. I, for one, am never short of amazed every time I watch him switch his glove and throw a pitch. It is the most incredibile thing I’ve ever witnessed in sports.

Let’s hope we get one more year out of him in Omaha.

Meanwhile… in Lincoln

The Huskers are left to play the waiting game. After losing to Texas 5-to-4 on Saturday, Nebraska has to hope that they’re still regional-bound even after going 1-and-2 in Oklahoma City. The Huskers don’t have much to worry about, although they might start biting their nails if Baylor wins the Big XII Championship on Sunday.
Texas A&M finished the regular season with the same number of conference losses (13) and advanced to the Big 12 Championship Game. Baylor finished sixth in the league, but a championship gives them the automatic bid. Will A&M get the nod before Nebraska? Will the Huskers, who played one of the five toughest schedules in the country, get the benefit of the doubt despite finishing 30-25? Will the third-toughest conference get six bids? I doubt it.

If Baylor wins the tournament, the Huskers may want to start praying.

Props to Jon Schuetz for Finally Getting His Name in the Paper

In an article about Ed Servais, in Sunday’s edition of the Omaha World-Herald:

Through it all, Servais goes about the business of raising his family and coaching his team. That he remains nearly anonymous in Omaha and even on the Creighton campus doesn’t bother him.

Example: Servais and his wife are good friends with local television sportscaster Jon Schuetz and his wife. When the couples go out together, say for dinner, it’s Schuetz who gets recognized.

“Nobody knows me,” Servais said. “And that’s OK.”

It’s true. Whenever Schuetz and I go out for dinner, he does get recognized a lot. Usually it’s someone asking, “Hey, aren’t you Rob McCartney?”

Good Knight and Good Luck
Thursday, May 24, 2007

After more than a week of speculation, the Omaha Knights made it official on Thursday: they’re leaving for the Quad Cities.

Calgary Flames President and CEO Ken King said in a statement: “There was a great number of relocation opportunities presented to our team in recent months and while consideration of these was not our priority given our level of involvement in Omaha, in recent discussions it became evident to us that the Quad Cities market, The MARK of the Quad Cities venue, the enthusiastic local ownership group and their existing fan base are ideally suited for our AHL franchise.”

It’s unfortunate that the Knights were only given two seasons to succeed. It’s even more unfortunate that the organization is
leaving for the Quad Cities. That is a slap in the face to the city of Omaha. That’s like leaving Upstream for McDonald’s. Of course, when McDonald’s is selling more entrees than Upstream, it may be time to re-evaluate.

Were there too many hockey teams in Omaha? Absolutely. Is it even more difficult when you’re the third man in? Yes. Especially when you’re a professional franchise going up against long-time tenants. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t’ve worked in the Big O. It just would’ve taken a lot more time.

You feel terrible for those employees that believed enough in the organization to leave good jobs. Hopefully they’ll be able to find their footing in a more stable work environment.

It’s interesting,
though: Omaha can’t support a professional team… but at the same time it is fighting other big cities for the Big 12 Basketball Tournament. That, to me, underscores what Omaha is all about… and may always will be.

Idol Worship

I watched the season finale of American Idol Wednesday night. Jordin Sparks was by far the best singer in the competition. I’m so Idol-savvy that I predicted her win at least three seconds before it was announced. But what’s more impressive: the fact that Sparks is now a multi-millionaire? Or the fact that she’s already got her own wikipedia page. That didn’t take long.

Here’s hoping “American Beat Box Idol” isn’t too far off.

Lost Finale: Why Do I Bother?

Charlie is dead… Jack and Kate are eventually off the island… and I am left to put it all together in the comfort of my couch.

The bad news: I have to wait 8 months for the next season. The good news: That is plenty of time for therapy.

Back from a Mini-Vacation
Sunday, May 20, 2007

I spent a few restful days in Colorado with my family. With my golf score consistenly in the mid-80s, I’m ready to take on the world. Or, at least the 5:30 sportscast.

And what a pleasant surprise I received in my inbox… an email from Creighton Sports Information’s Rob Anderson, in response to a blog-posting from last Wednesday.

My post:

“I’m too lazy to do the research, but someone find me a divison one baseball team with a winning percentage of .760 without a guy with more than 7 homeruns at this point in the season.”

Rob’s email:

“With a win today [Wednesday], the University of Virginia improved to 40-13 (.755) and has a HR leader with 7 homers. They are the only other with a .750 win pct and HR leader with 7 or less besides Creighton.”

If you ever have a question about sports, or life in general… send it to me, and I’ll forward it along to Rob.

Oh, the troubles of being a professional athlete
Friday, May 18, 2007

From’s John Clayton:

Nebraska running back Brandon Jackson felt as if he were on top of the world when the Packers drafted him in the second round in April.

As a second-round pick, Jackson had an immediate opportunity to compete for a starting job in Green Bay’s backfield. And, as a first-day drafted offensive player at a skill position, he received an invitation to participate in this weekend’s Premiere event in Los Angeles, where top selected skill players attend photo card shoots, contend for endorsements and receive television exposure. Even better, players receive $12,000 for attending.

Yet Jackson’s good fortune, however, has turned sour in recent days.

The Premiere event was scheduled for the same weekend as the Packers’ minicamp — and Jackson couldn’t choose. The NFL Players Association and the Management Council ruled this week that Jackson was required to attend the Premiere event and not the minicamp.

“I’m being held out against my will,” Jackson said Thursday. “I was told I either have to go home and do nothing or go to Los Angeles. They are locking me out against my will.”

Once Jackson received the invitation to L.A., he sensed a problem. He knew the shoot conflicted with his Packers schedule. Through his agent, Gary Wichard, Jackson notified the league of the conflict and informed officials he wanted to attend the minicamp. He showed up this week and started to work on training and learning the playbook.

Reports of Brett Favre’s now-expected attendance in minicamp made Jackson feel even better about picking camp over the Premiere event. Jackson was going to try to show Favre that the Packers’ backfield problems, with him now on the roster, would not be as pronounced.

“I feel like I need to learn the plays so I can come back and try to win a starting job in the fall,” Jackson said. “I’ve only had four or five practices with the veterans, but my agent told me the collective bargaining agreement couldn’t let me go to the minicamp.”

Jackson’s time commitment in Los Angeles will be from Thursday night through Sunday. He’s worried his new teammates might not understand his absence.

“I don’t want them to think I’m some kind of a prima donna,” Jackson said. “I want to show them I want to work and get a feel for the game. I’m real disappointed. I want to be in camp.”


Give credit to Brandon — at least he’s being upfront about it to the Packers. It’s gotta be an awkward situation for him. It’d be like a rookie actor attending the Academy Awards the same weekend as his first movie shoot. Oh, those blasted scheduling conflicts.

But you can bet he’ll be all smiles in those photo shoots.

Another Post… Finally
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A co-worker came up to me today and said, “Schick, you haven’t updated your blog in more than a week…” I was flattered that he read it. I was embarrassed that he was right.

Creighton: The Best Team Money Can Buy

If the Creighton baseball team was sold publicly on Wall Street, brokers would be telling their clients to “buy-buy-buy.” The Jays are rising faster than your mother’s home-baked bread. Okay, maybe not as far as the rankings are concerned… but there is no question now that Creighton is heading to the NCAA Tournament, and will do it as Nebraska’s champion.

Has any team done more with less? Creighton senior Ross Sinclair said earlier this week that he knows the Jays aren’t stacked with talent. He even conceded that the Huskers had more talent. Talent alone won’t win you anything (the Huskers learned that in last year’s regional). The Jays play some of the best fundamental baseball I’ve seen, and it was on full display Tuesday night at Rosenblatt Stadium, defeating Nebraska 9-to-2.

While the Huskers are just about ready to pack it in, the Jays are set to make a run at a conference championship this weekend.

A Servais to Society

Is Ed Servais the best coach in this state? I’m not sure that’s ever been discussed, but it should. And it doesn’t matter what sport. When has a coach done this much with this little? That’s not to say that Creighton isn’t a talented team. But it takes a good coach to manage it properly, to press the right buttons, to know how each player responds to certain situations.

I’m too lazy to do the research, but someone find me a divison one baseball team with a winning percentage of .760 without a guy with more than 7 homeruns at this point in the season. The Jays don’t have much pop to speak of, but they’ve scrapped and clawed their way to the top of the Valley. We’ll see if they can be there by themselves after this weekend.

Knights Out?

The Omaha World-Herald reported on Tuesday that the Omaha Knights are leaving town. I spoke with team president Ren Smith on Wednesday, who told me that Calgary (the parent club) hasn’t given him any official word. But reading between the lines, he seems to know what’s coming.

“I would think if anything you would want at least three or four years. It comes down to dollars and cents, and I hope we didn’t let the people of the city down. Would I have liked to have seen it longer? Of course. It’s tough in two years… Maybe our trends weren’t high enough,” said Smith.

If they head to the Quad Cities (as is being reported), it’d be a shame for not only the community, but for the employees who joined the Knights organization (some as recently as a couple of months ago) believing they could turn it around. Now they may be hung out to dry.

In the end, the Knights couldn’t get the fans… and it looks like they’re leaving town.

Off to Colorado

I’m heading home for a few days… I’ll be back on Sunday. I may post from Denver… but until then…

Wehrle Matter Nearly Over
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

We banged the phones a little bit on Monday and found out that Ryan and his parents are supposed to meet with Nebraska Athletic Director Steve Pederson on Tuesday. They’re going to speak with SP about how the entire situation was handled. Needless to say, I would venture to guess that the Wehrles are not a part of the Mike Anderson fan club.

Off-the-Field Issues
Monday, May 7, 2007

Nebraska’s two best sports teams (arguably) were in the news on Sunday, as two of their best players (arguably) were making headlines. And not in a good way.

Mo Trouble for the Huskers

About six weeks ago, Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller was cited for disturbing the peace in an on-campus parking garage. Now, the peace that had fallen on the Husker football program has once again been disturbed, this time by the team’s best receiver in an off-campus incident.

We spoke with Lincoln Police Captain David Beggs on the phone Sunday. Lincoln Police say Purify was “very uncooperative” and ignored repeated commands from police before his arrest late Saturday night.

Purify is accused of two counts of assault, resisting arrest and trespassing. Police and witnesses say Purify confronted a man at a Lincoln bar (“The Alley”) Saturday night — the same man who confiscated an apparent fake I-D last week from a friend of Purify’s at another tavern (“The Brass Rail”). Witnesses say Purify threw the man across the table and repeatedly punched him in the face. Purify is also accused of hitting the man’s girlfriend as she tried to break up the fight. Purify then refused to leave the bar, eventually having to be pushed out by the tavern’s security. Witnesses say Purify then tried to get back in by jumping over a fence, allegedly to continue to fight. Police say it took four officers to arrest Purify. According to the police report, the Husker receiver locked arms and refused to be handcuffed. Police also say Purify had a blood alcohol content of “point-one-two-six” (legally drunk) after a screening at the Lancaster County Jail.

Head Coach Bill Callahan released a statement on Sunday:
“I’m very concerned about this current situation. I am still in the process of gathering all the facts. I will determine the appropriate consequences when due process has transpired. Until such time, I will have no further comment regarding the situation.”

Now what? What does Bill Callahan do with this? The biggest problem for Purify is that he allegedly hit a woman. That alone can jeopardize your career, let alone your reputation. Will Callahan dismiss arguably his best receiver from the team? This will be interesting to watch.

Callahan has had to deal with a handful of disciplinary issues within the team. Who can forget offensive lineman Richie Incognito? Callahan dismissed him from the team in August 2004 for repeated violations of team rules, including three counts of assault stemming from a fight at a party.

Callahan dismissed receiver Grant Mulkey from the team for an unspecified violation of team rules in April 2006. He suspended defensive end Wali Muhammad and receiver Shamus McKoy for the 2005 Alamo Bowl for violations of team rules. Yet, in 2005, Le Kevin Smith allegedly strangled a parking enforcement officer and did not miss a single game.

However, none of those instances involved hitting a woman. In my book, that changes everything.

By all accounts, Maurice Purify is a great guy. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences interviewing him… he always makes time for the media, and is honest to a fault. Unfortunately, he won’t get much of a break from the media masses on this one.

What should Callahan do with Purify?

My take: Give Putify some sort of internal discipline while the legal stuff is sorted out. Will Callahan drop Purify from the football team? I’m not sure. Should he? If I’m the coach, I have to consider it. At the very least, he has to miss a game or two in the upcoming season.

Callahan has shown a zero tolerance policy and an iron fist when it comes to off-the-field issues. Purify does not have a track record when it comes to off-the-field issues. This is his first offense. Does that matter to you? What do you think? Should he be suspended, or should be be dismissed?

Where’s Wehrle? Off the Team.

Meanwhile… across I-180…

Nebraska baseball coach Mike Anderson announced Sunday that junior shortstop Ryan Wehrle has been dismissed from the team. The Papillion-La Vista High School graduate returned to Nebraska this past season after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. Not only is his professional career now on hold, he will now have to find a new collegiate home (if he decides to take that route).

In the sixth inning of Friday’s game against Coastal Carolina, Wehrle flew out to right field, leaving two runners on base. He didn’t run full speed to first base, and was thusly benched. A source very close to the situation told me that Wehrle was told to leave the dugout and head to the clubhouse. Saturday morning, Wehrle met with Anderson in the clubhouse. According to my source, the meeting didn’t go very well… Wehrle was ordered to turn in his uniform and leave Anderson’s office. His playing career at Nebraska officially ended Saturday morning. Wehrle was not in the lineup for Saturday’s game.

After sleeping on his decision, Anderson made it public on Sunday. He said he had many other opportunities to dismiss Wehrle. In fact, “many, many, many, many, many times” as Anderson put it. His lack of effort Friday night was the straw that broke the coach’s back.

I spoke with Sue Wehrle (Ryan’s mother) at length Sunday afternoon. She expressed her disappointment over the decision, but added that it will open up better opportunities for her son.

Wehrle’s situation is one of many that Anderson has encountered in the last calendar year. Nick Jaros and Ryan Bohanon were dismissed last year, while Mike Harmelink was dismissed last month. Anderson has suspended four other players for legal issues this season.

Here’s the question: Has Mike Anderson lost control of this team?

A source close to the Wehrle situation tells me that the attitude in the Nebraska clubhouse is becoming increasingly negative. The kids are trying their best, but just aren’t having much success. This person believes that Wehrle’s dismissal is a way for Anderson to take the focus off of himself. While I may not agree with that belief, it doesn’t take a fly on the clubhouse wall to figure out that all is not well at Haymarket Park. The guys look like robots on the field rather than college baseball players, showing minimal emotion and lackluster fundamentals.

Yogi Berra once said that “ninety percent of this game is half mental”. It’s safe to say that mentally, the Huskers are ninety percent half-shot.

How does a guy go from batting .367 and leading the team in four other offensive categories his sophomore year, to hitting .241 his junior year? Is it simply a slump? Or something more?

Wehrle will find another home, either collegiately or professionally speaking. In fact, KETV has learned that at least one other school has inquired about his now-available services.

Was Wehrle the greatest on-field leader? Probably not. Did he make mistakes off the field? Yes. But the most unfortunate thing about this, in my opinion, is the timing. Letting a guy go less than a month away from the end of the regular season… that almost seems too Major League-ish.

Mike Anderson has his reasons for dismissing Wehrle, most of which we will never know. It’s his call. Is this addition by subtraction? Will this move bring the team closer together? For Anderson’s case, let’s hope so.

Ah, What the Heck
Friday, May 4, 2007

I caught the Omaha sneak preview of Spider Man 3 Thursday night (yes, it was a slow day on my social calendar).

A short review from the sports guy:

It had a similar internal struggle of good vs. evil that we saw in Superman III, only with a lot less Margot Kidder in this one. The special effects were fairly spectacular, although the storyline was a little convoluted, with about three or four stories going on at the same time. At times I felt like I was watching an episode of “Heroes.” Venom, Sandman, New Goblin, Black goo… I kept waiting for Thor to show up. Save the cheerleader, save the world.

Above all, the main plot was weak. I mean, seriously… are we supposed to believe that a man can cast webs out of his wrists? Please.

It’s still a summer blockbuster, and will provide kids and adults alike with a 2-hour escape from those evil sun rays. You’ll enjoy it.

On a scale of 1-to-10: