Thursday, November 30, 2006
His newsletter tipped me off to Wizards forward Etan Thomas's new column on Slam: http://slamonline.com/online/2006/11/type-casting/. It provokes a very animated debate about racism, classism and ismism. Worth checking out, so long as you can handle the indifferent spelling, logic and grammar of most commenters.
Peter King at Sports Illustrated, one of the six at-large reps (out of 39 total voters) who contribute to voting for the Hall of Fame, has reconsidered his ill-advised hostility towards one of the very greatest WRs in NFL history: "In some ways I've been part of the problem. Even though Monk retired with the all-time receptions record, I've historically been anti-Monk for several reasons. He played 16 seasons and led his own team in receiving six times; only once was he voted first-team All-Pro. I questioned his impact on a team where the running game and Gary Clark, for many years, were the prime targets to stop by opposing defensive coordinators ... The leadership, the selflessness, the durable productivity ... I decided I should re-think my position."
Those are the arguments against Monk? Very weak. He has more catches than all but the top 4 WRs of all time
King continues: "As I made my rounds of training camps this year, I asked veteran coaches about Monk and the one word that kept coming up was 'unselfish' ... But when I talked to Joe Gibbs on Friday, the one thing that stood out was the body of work we don't see -- the downfield blocking, the quiet leadership, and this: Unlike his louder receiving mates Clark and Ricky Sanders, Monk, according to Gibbs, never once said he wanted the ball more. 'We used him almost as a tight end a lot,' said Gibbs, 'and not only did he do it willingly, he was a great blocker for us. If he'd been a squeaky wheel, who knows how many catches Art would have had. But he cared about one thing -- the team' ."
emphasis mine. A team-first WR? Hunted to extinction.
King admits: "I'd say over the last five years, receiver-wrangling has taken up more than its fair share of time in the meetings. We just can't agree on who belongs. I forget which year it was, but we spent 46 minutes debating the merits of Monk in one meeting. That's the longest debate I recall in my decade-and-a-half at this post ... We've enshrined most of the great eligible quarterbacks from 1980 and on -- Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Troy Aikman. We've enshrined exactly one of the receivers who played his way into the Hall for what he did after 1980, James Lofton. Eight quarterbacks, one receiver. Isn't that unjust?"
As injust as a toothless man let loose in a peanut brittle warehouse.
King concludes: "Not only did he lead the NFL in all-time receptions when he retired, but he blocked superbly and was the most important locker-room influence on a three-time Super Bowl champion. I'm voting for him ... Add up the total catches of Swann and Stallworth, 873, and you still don't get to [Monk]."
Case closed, right? I just hope King's flip-flop convinces the other Sportsjacks. Or I'll find him, whip him with my belt and steal his tacos.
Notice that he did not explicitly mention that the articulate arguments on Monk's behalf which have appeared regularly on I Dislike Your Favorite Team were not responsible for his Grinch-like change of heart. However, seeing justice done is all the reward I need. Art Monk: 940 receptions, 12,721 yards, 68 TDs, 3 Superbowls. Final votes are cast the day before the Superbowl.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
While in poor taste, Vick's actions did not affect the game, did not cause an injury and was not illegal.
By comparison, Bucs WR Keenan McCardell was fined $12,500 for an illegal chop block on Panther's DL Kavika Pittman. The block destroyed the rookie DL's ALC & MCL. Pittman will never be the same.
Referee Tom White was fined $2,600 for failing to restart the clock at the end of the Seattle-Baltimore game. His error gave Baltimore an extra 40 seconds and allowed them to save their final timeout. The Ravens won 44-41 in OT.
Mike Ditka was fined $20,000 by the league when he gave Saints fans the finger while grabbing his crotch while he was "coaching" the Aints.
In 1999, San Diego Chargers DL Mims was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery, petty theft and urinating in public. The victim said that he was attacked after he made a comment about Mims getting out of a limousine and then urinating in the parking lot of a taco stand. The 300-pound Mims shoved his face into a wall, stole his tacos and struck him twice with a belt.
I have yet to uncover the NFL fine levied against Mims, but it's a funny story.
Anyway, Vick handled the heavy fine with class: "I broke a rule and now I'm paying the price. The good thing is I get to donate a portion of it to charity ... I can't really say whether it's fair or not. But the league makes the rules and I broke the rules. It is what it is - 20 Gs. I shouldn't have done what I did."
What upset Vick so much? Did someone try to steal his tacos? Vick said that it was a particularly offensive insult that made him lose his temper. "He just said certain things I won't say in front of this camera."
In related news ...
President Bush had the following exchange with senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA), a former Marine whose son is a Marine serving in Iraq.
Bush: "How's your boy?"
Webb: "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."
Bush: "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?"
Webb: "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."
Now that's what I call sangfroid, French for "fuck you, clown."
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
San Diego WR Vincent Jackson's 'forward pass' Sunday against the Raiders is just another example of the inane state of officiating in the National Football League. People make a big fuss over whether or not replay is good or bad for the game, when the real question should be why the NFL continues micromanage the rulebook to such an extent that the fabric of the game is altered to conform to some legalistic bullshit scheme that is solely intended to protect the investments of the charlatans that own NFL clubs.
Yet another outcome determining example of the bastardization of the game occurred Sunday as well, when NY Giant end Mathias Kiwanuka pulled up short of tackling Vincent Young, thus allowing to scramble twenty yards for a crucial first down. The play was obviously integral to the outcome of the game, and would have never come about if the NFL hadn't gone to such pathetic extremes to 'protect' the QB from being touched anywhere besides the left nipple, and only then if said contact is in a gentle circular motion. Anyone whose watched the NFL lately has seen ticky tack calls for roughing the passer give teams a free fifteen yards and a first down. Then the viewer is forced to endure fuck wits like Joe Theisman attempt to justify the ruling by saying that the defender needs to know the rule, or the manner in which way the officials are calling the games, or that the team should of overcome the incompetence of the idiotic officiating and won anyway because that's what champions do. Fuck you, Theisman, you cunt. (By the way, I think it reasonable that Monk is being kept out of the hall solely based on the fact that he caught passes from that pantie waste. And yes I do know that he doesn't spell his name that way. Fuck him and fuck you too.) What was I talking about?.... Oh yeah, Fuck you NFL. Give us back a game that is compelling, and has some kind of sensible continuity, rather force feeding us segments of Jimmy Kimmel awkwardly pimping his lame show to the house slaves that happen to call Monday Night Football games nowadays.
(Note:I know that this next part isn't true, but it makes me feel better to write it.)
If the NFL doesn't wise up and start respecting the consumer a bit more, the nation is going to someday realize, "Hey, I'm listening to Tony 'fucking' Siragusa 'analyze' yet another 19 - 3 blowout between two ball control, defensive minded teams. At no point, has there been anything close to compelling on my T.V. screen, and the only reason I'm watching is mindless habit. Wait a minute, maybe the NFL isn't clearly the most entertaining sport, and that it maintains its lofty status mostly through incessant marketing, and the happy fact that its only on once a week, so that crappy game between Jacksonville and Houston must be important....right?"
Are you ready for some football, a Monday night party? Me too. Having said all that, next Sunday I'll be ignoring my wife and child, getting drunk by three and watching the Lions slug it out with some crap bag team I don't care about. Thank you Gambling. Is there nothing you can't fix?
Hey Joe, why didn't you finish the game? That's what a champion would've done.
Monday, November 27, 2006
The playoffs will be down the drain if they lose to the Cowboys. What's more, their hilarious meltdown vs. TN (24 points in under 10 minutes to the 27th ranked offense in the NFL) has destroyed the facade of respect and trust between coach, ownership and players.
According to NFL.com, an unnamed "high ranking" Giants official (Costanza?) was thus quoted: "As far as Tom [Coughlin] goes, if we keep losing, if it spirals downward, you will have a mutiny here with the players. A lot of men can lead. Very few can inspire. He can't inspire these guys." [emphasis added].
This is after blasts from Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey in the national media. Reportedly, they are merely representing all the other players who are frightened to publicly speak out. Coughlin has angrily responded (in the media) that players shouldn't air their greivances in the media, for his "door is always open."
Don't let it hit you on the way out, coach.
Meanwhile, Horseface Junior's passer rating has plummeted to 52.9 for the month of November (following a steady decline: September he was rated 95.5, October was 82.6). Overrall he is ranked 24th in passer rating but you can expect that number to drop. He had 3 TDs and 7 INTs in November. He can see his breath but not cornerbacks: Manning leads the NFC in interceptions. That's hot!
The Giants held a players-only meeting on Monday. Perhaps they were discussing the further remarks of the unnamed Giants official: "There is an uprising here, lot of heat now ... I believe [Manning] is regressing. He has a coordinator (John Hufnagel) who just calls plays but does not have a feel for the game. He does not set things up with his play-calling. He has no scheme in his play-calling. Tom [Coughlin] is supposed to be an offensive coach. Tom has to be the head coach in some of these situations and take over the calls. He is not doing that. Sure, there is pressure that goes with Eli being the first pick. It's warranted. But, geez, help him out. That goes back to the coaching staff. So does starting a game 21-0, being on a mission and then being relaxed. We definitely relaxed. That is coaching."
I believe U.S. Poet Laureate Axl Rose sang it best:
"When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain."
Tough Guy Coughlin was hired to whip the Giants (a bunch of lazy prima donnas) into shape, old-school style. Looks like he failed. Dress warmly, old fella. Gonna be a cold and lonely winter.
And yes, that really is a picture of Axl Rose.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
You know what was a Most Obscene Gesture? San Diego WR Vincent Jackson caught a 13 yard pass on 4th and 2. At the time, the Chargers were losing at home to the Lowly Worm Raiders. He hit the ground untouched and spiked the ball. I know it's only his second year in the pros, but the play was still live, actually, and the Raiders recovered.
Luckily for the Chargers, the refs ruled it an illegal forward pass. Four plays later, LaDainian Tomlinson threw a beauty 19-yard touchdown pass to (yet again wide-open in the endzone) Antonio Gates to tie the game at 14 and hasten victory.
Gesture of futility During the Giants hysterical 4th quarter meltdown (nice decision making there, Eli Manning. It's like having a coach on the field), Giants rookie DE Kiwanuka had Titans QB Young wrapped up for a sack on 4th and 10, then let him go. Young ran 19 yards for a first down. Young said, "Thank God for letting me loose."
I would thank Coach Meltdown, too: "I don't have the words to talk about it right now, and I probably won't when I see it. We're going to be sick about this one forever," Coughlin said.
I hope you are sick about this one forever. And nice job not airing your disappointment in the media. Way to lead by example.
Divine Intervention, or good football? Late in the fourth quarter versus the tenacious Panthers defense and tied 10-10, Jason Campbell had to shake off his first-ever INT.
It was third down. Campbell took command of the huddle and called ... nothing. Because his helmet transmitter was dead. Campbell called his own play (as every QB used to do). He hit H-Back Cooley on an In route for the first down and Cooley broke two tackles and scored on the 66 yard game-winning reception that more than doubled Campbell's pass yardage.
"I didn't hear the play that was called," Campbell said. "I just tried to call one of the plays that we worked on all week that would give us an opportunity to make a first down. Fortunately, God was with me when I made that call, and Cooley did a great job of running after the catch."
The Bears defense continues to impress, forcing 5 turnovers. A fine combination of knocking the ball loose and being around to recover it. CB Manning (the rookie) stepped in admirably for suspended CB Manning (the guy who beats up people in Denny's). Bernard Barrian is a gifted receiver; his clutch catches led to 75 yards in interference penalties. Charles "Peanut" Tillman continues to shine (except for starting that brawl and his late-hit penalty).
However, several major gaffs point to how far this team needs to go. QB Grossman's 4th quarter QB rating is the lowest in the NFL. He is a turnover machine. Urlacher whiffed on QB Brady, giving up a huge 3rd down conversion in the 4th quarter. Coach Smith opted to kick a pointless fieldgoal when down 17-10 late in the fourth.
The Bears defense is a very good equalizer, but they won't beat good teams with that offense. Patriots special teams was a decisive factor, and they were in command the entire game.
Who in the NFC will be beating the Bears in the playoffs?
Look out for the surging Washington Redskins, still mathematically alive and riding high on an inspirational one-game winning streak.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Keep in mind, this is the same team that lost to Oral Roberts University a little earlier in the season. They looked good in this game, though, and got some key players on Florida's side in early foul trouble--which seemed to hurt Florida's chemistry a good deal. This game marks the first time Kansas has beaten the #1 country in like 12 years--as much as I think Kansas has a tendency to be overrated, that's still a rather shocking statistic. All the same, this Kansas team, if they can play like they did tonight, should start moving back up the rankings in pretty quick order--they had a balanced offense, with four guys scoring 13 points or more--they hit their free throws at the end, and just look better than they have all year.
#24 Wichita State beats #6 LSU, 57-53
This game surprised the hell out of me, as I had no idea that LSU was in the top 10. Or that they still have Glen Davis shuffling his fat ass around the court. The result does not surprise me. When will people realize the power of the Shockers? They had 5 players score double digits, including my favorite, P.J. Cousinard, who had 12. 5 players in double digits in a extremely low-scoring game--the Shockers may not be particularly deep, but their starting 5 can play with just about anybody.
One quick about a game between two teams just out of the Top 25--Creighton beat George Mason 58-56. Once Creighton's awesomely named guard, Nate Funk is back to 100%, and consistent, this team will be in the Top 25. They've had a relatively slow start, but they are considered the class of the Missouri Valley Conference, and that perception is justified. If Wichita State is in the Top 25, then the Bluejays can't be too far behind.
One more thing--Seth Davis, College Basketball Nerd Extraordinaire has reported that classic (and dearly missed) Washington DC sports broadcaster Glenn Brenner (who passed away in 1991) has been YouTubed. This is truly great news for Badcock and myself. For the rest of you, expect the random Glenn Brenner clip to show up soon.
Missouri State 66, Wisconsin (#7 in the Whole Damn Country!) 64
Blake Ahearn could not be stopped! Wisconsin, despite having a guy who reminds me of Billy Dee Williams in Star Wars (Alando!) and a guy who looks like a young Chris Rock (Kammron!) could not fend off the mighty Missouri State Bears.
There are stories in nature in which Badgers fend off bears, and even attack them. This was not the case tonight, as the two stars of Wisconsin I mentioned in the previous paragraph missed free throws in the closing minutes. Wisconsin will be fine in the long run--The Big 10 always sends 4 to 6 teams to the Big Dance, and Wisconsin still stinks like a a top 2 Big 10 team (Minnesota lost to Marist, and then got their doors blown off by the Salukis of Southern Illinois. It seems only people in the Big 10 know this, but I'm going to admit it now: The Big 10 has 11 teams, and only 5 of them deserve to be considered Big. It's a Big 5 conference, with a small to middlin' 6 tagging along for ride).
Butler 79, Gonzaga (21) 71
This game proved that Protestant Bulldogs are tougher than Jesuit Bulldogs. Which is saying something. Bulldogs are tough regardless of religious inclination of course. Except Taoist Bulldogs--those bulldogs are pussies. Bullpussies, if you will. But that's a whole other thing. Butler has played a tougher schedule than about half of the Big Ten, or half of the Big East, for that matter, and they are undefeated. Not only should they be in the Top 25, they now have to be considered a very, very dangerous team. They beat the team that beat North Carolina! Clearly, they are better than North Carolina. Or maybe, (just maybe) North Carolina is a touch overrated, because the folks who vote on the top 25 can't stop fantasizing about Tyler Hansborough's magical penis. Or maybe, rankings this year are more meaningless than ever; what with the new Stern rule in place, it is very difficult to evaluate talent in the early going. There may have been anywhere from 6-12 players who would have skipped college to go pro who are now playing in the NCAA. What will their impact be? Who the fuck can say this soon? (Though GA Tech's youngsters look good).
What was my point? Oh, Butler is 6-0, and 3-0 against the Big East, the Big Ten and the SEC. And they knocked off Gonzaga. Come Monday, they'll crack the top 25, but just barely.
Friday, November 24, 2006
In soccer over in the Old World, if you make a move on a player that is playing for another team, you owe that team money. It's known as a transfer fee, and in some cases, they are quite substantial.
For example, in 2001 Real Madrid paid Italian club Juventus some 45 million pounds just for the right to sign Zidane.
US sports don't have anything that is similar. But I'm guessing the Texas Rangers wish MLB did. In the past couple of weeks, they've lost Mark DeRosa, Gary Matthews Jr, and now Carlos Lee. I very rarely sympathize with the owners of teams, but it does seem to me that a way that small market teams (like the Twins!) could get fair market value on a guy is if transfer fees were a way of doing business. The player can veto any move, of course (we don't need to relive Curt Flood). But let's say, for example, that some Twins rightfielder is having a breakout season in his second year of a 3-year contract. As it stands now, teams maybe wait out that last year, knowing that the Twins won't be able to sign him. At the end of his contract year, the bidding goes fast and furious, and usually, the team with bigger pocketbook wins.
But let's say teams could approach the Twins in the middle of that breakout year, offer them money for the chance to write a new contract with the breakout outfielder. That way, there's an actual transfer of wealth from big team to small team. And the player still gets paid, and has just as many options as he did at the end of his contract year.
Who would be against such a system? Well, the Yankees, Red Sox, and all of the other teams that have a habit of snapping up great players for the short term in exchange for prospects. The losing team with one great player knows it probably won't get a better deal, and won't be able to afford to resign the player in question. Everyone wants to play for a winner, after all. Imagine the power for a smaller market if they could say to the New York Yankees, "Yes, you could sign this guy out from under us in a year, but we've been talking to the Red Sox, and they are going to give us $20 million dollars to sign him right now."
Oh, and is it just me, or does this Carlos Lee deal seem like it will be a good deal for one, maybe two years, tops? Don't get me wrong, I think Carlos Lee is a hell of a player. But expecting him to hit over .300 with power when he's 34 seems like a bad deal. And that's clearly what the Astros are expecting.
I will revisit my August column (http://scuffedballs.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-bad-is-nfc-north-so-bad-that.html), and we'll see who's "incorrect."
"How bad is the NFC North? So bad that ...
the Chicago Bears will be your divisional champion ... The Bears have the EASIEST schedule in the NFL next year, even though they were the #2 seed in last year's playoffs ... This schedule spices up the meat-grinder loaf of NFC North patsies with San Francisco, the Jets and Buffalo. Brutal.
The defense, of course, is very good. The DL and LB may be hiding some holes in the pass defense -- look for teams to catch them over-pursuing and then hit them with the big, deep raunchy gash. They desperately need a quality place kicker because their offense is going to have trouble scoring against the NBA-style D's of Green Bay, Detroit and Arizona ...
Rex Grossman, your starting QB, has a mucho caliente 4-3 record ... over the last three years. His personal record is 3 consecutive starts before breaking in half like a piece of dry shit. Rex "the Delicate Labia" Grossman brings all the class and charisma a 7-time starter should, plus all the intangibles, such as knowing the trainers by name.
When he breaks, the Bears will turn to Brian "the Minor Labia" Griese, a QB so weak he couldn't wrestle the starting job from Jay "the Redundant Labia" Fiedler in Miami.
The O-line is run-block only, and can't be counted on to get the important yards. I GUARANTEE another season of 2,000 plus yards team rushing, yet single-digit rushing TDs [note: as of 11/24, the Bears are tied for 28th in the league with 7 rush TDs].
Hey loyal Bears fans, expect a lot of sacks, INTs and boofball passes from your "passing game." JUST TO MAKE IT CLEAR ONCE MORE: 31st in passing last year and ownership brought in Nobody to improve it. Expect that only your defense will keep you from being laughed out of every game. Expect lots of field goal attempts. Expect to lose to every team over .500 that you face. Expect to win your pathetic division again, because of your yellow-diarrhea schedule and admittedly strong D. You can even expect a first-round buy, again. As soon as you have to play against a team in the playoffs, expect to lose."
I amended my remarks regarding the passing game which has improved under Rex Grossman (18 TD, 11 INT & rating of 83.5 -- just below JP Losman & Mark Fucking Brunnell). But I'm still convinced he will get broken, some time soon.
What am I incorrect about? The Bears have a patsy schedule. They are clearly the best team in their crappy division. But their offense is still middle-of-the-road and it will bite them in the ass come the playoffs.
So enjoy the rest of your "schedule" (easiest in the NFL). After the big game versus the Patriots on November 26th, the Bears face MN, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Detroit & Green Bay. Wow.
I have only been incorrect about one thing this year -- my firm belief in the Washington Redskins. That was obviously some sort of delusion brought on by eating cactus buttons.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
For some mysterious reason, you decided that Jones couldn't run in the one yard run. Fair enough. But then you decided that to effectively run a bullshit goalline play-action play, MBIII had to be in the backfield. That's bullshit.
Marion Barber the Third doesn't do a damn thing that Julius Jones couldn't do. Ask anyone to run six inches behind your fat, stupid line, and they could probably do it. How about you ask Julius to do it, just once this season, you fat, overrated, asslicking son of a wet towel with lubricant?
I Dislike The Big Fat, Overrated Tuna.
And then you decided, with the game out of reach, you need the stolid, steady hands of MBIII, despite the fact that he has fumbled more than Julius Jones this year. You are worse than Belichek and Shanahan combined, and in terms of Fantasy Football, that's like being worse than Hitler. You are worse than Hitler, Bill Parcells. Fuck you!
And by the by, nice work from Fox, managing to use nothing but American Idol talent in the Thanksgiving Game. Who hasn't yet had enough of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood? I want more! Also, more of the Buck and Aikman daughters! More of all the shit that makes me think it isn't a football game, but just a celebration of what makes America and Fox great! More of that! Where's Justin Guarini? Paula Abdul? Should they have been in the box, hugging the Aikman brood?
It pales in comparison to the time I was there for the Redskins incredible season of 1991. I was there for theie one home loss, to the dreaded Dallas Cowboys. It drove me batshit insane, knowing that the one Redskins game I was ever going to be able to go to was a rather ugly loss in the midst of a Super Bowl season.
But the single best moment I ever had at RFK was the 1994 World Cup, Belgium vs. Saudi Arabia. My parents had bought tickets to the first round of World Cup games at RFK, and they gave me what they thought were the stinkers. And I got to see this goal, live:
That's a pretty fucking stupid thing to say. And to annoy Badcock, and Phil, and to delight soccer fans such as myself, Miwacar, Barnyard, Muumuuman, Norwood, and Garwood*, I'm going to post great soccer goals throughout history, quite randomly. Here's the first one.
Garrincha, for Brazil, stroking a fucking nasty free kick as fucking Pele looks on.
And then there's Leave the Man Alone, a blog run by someone who calls themselves the Head Chick in Charge. All signs point to that being not a pun on oral sex. Which makes us a little sad, but the fact is, the blog is funny, pointed, and most important, willing to link to us, and give us credit when it does so. Shocking, that! So, we are big fans. We'd like to to think we would be big fans regardless of whether it was run by a woman or not. But who can say?
So, you miserable fat bastards, go swing by Leave the Man Alone. Enjoy our cameo there.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
On a human level, almost every single suicide is a tragedy. Not every single one--Hitler's for example--the tragedy there lay in that he wasn't just another failed artist in 1920 who committed suicide. Some are wonderfully, horrifically acts of rebellion--see the Jews at Masada, for example. But those types of suicides are few and far between. A man with wealth, success, and at a realtively young age, like Andre Waters, that's a tragedy.
On a football level, I have to say--this guy wasn't just a hard hitter. He was a fucking sociopath on the field. He collected Buddy Ryan's bounties more often than any other player on that dirty, dirty Eagles team of the 80's. I will not miss that part of the man one iota.
And that's the rub, isn't it, with sports stars. Some are brutal, borderline criminals in their workplace. The NFL is rife with men like Andre Waters. He wasn't special in his cruelty; he was just more honest (and blatant) than most.
But I don't recall him getting charged for rape, or murder, or drug trafficking. Off the field, he was apparently a very good guy. One more good guy gone, despite whatever he did when he was 23, and offered bonus money for hurting players on the other team.
RIP, Andre Waters, you dirty, dirty NFL player, and until I know different, Good Man.
Manning's agent said, "It's a somewhat bitter pill to swallow." Although probably not as bitter as having Manning, Ebell and Jones-Drew punch & kick you unconscious after an "argument."
Suspension of the Bears INT leader (4) will cause him to miss the upcoming game versus the Patriots. The Bears secondary will have to lean harder on sturdy young Charles "Peanut" Tillman.
Urlacher, commenting on the suspension: "It stinks! I don't know why they did it this week. That's the NFL for you."
Yeah, that's the NFL for you.
And next time Manning's Moons over My Hammy better not take 45 minutes to arrive at his table.
I said doubled, smothered and covered, bitch!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Much is being made over the fact that the Vikings run defense is #1 in the league. Commentators would rather turn over the old adage about stopping the run = victory rather than examine these statistics a little more cleverly. That's why I get paid the big pesos.
And you know what? I didn't turn up much to indicate the fucked-upedness of this 4-6 team. Is the run D that good, or is the pass D that bad? They rank 26th in pass yards allowed and are dead last in opponents pass attempts per game. But again, is it because teams can't or won't run, or because the pass D is there to be exploited? Clearly, the Patriots knew what they were doing. The defense TD-INT ratio is solid. Special Teams are middle of the pack across the board.
That leaves the offense, which for most people means Brad Johnson. His 7 TDs-11 INTs is obviously a big problem, and largely responsible for their -5 turnover differential (bottom 25% of league). Rush TDs? 31st in the league. Red Zone TDs? 31st in the league.
So we're starting to get a picture of a middle-pack team, which is reflected in their 4-6 (and falling) record. But why are they so bad, as my gut insists? Oh, now I remember. They have amassed their good run defense & misfiring offense against the chum-bucket of the NFL. The only teams with winning records the Vikes have beaten were the Panthers (reeling and w/out Steve Smith, et al) and the Seahawks (reeling w/out 2005 MVP Alexander).
Their four wins have been against opponents with a combined record (minus loss vs. Vikings) of 17-19 (47%).
Their six losses have been against opponents with a combined record (minus win vs. Vikings) of 23-27 (46%).
Their final six games are against opponents with a combined record of 26-35 (42%).
What does all this prove? The Vikings suck, and not even their easy-cheese schedule can cover that fact.
They are still spending too much time with Proud American strippers (see image).
And now I have a powerful craving for some Kenny Rogers Roasters because ...
In separate news, former "Kramer" actor Michael Richards was being heckled by African-Americans in a comdy club, and responded, "Shut up! Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass ... Throw his ass out! He's a nigger!" He then dropped the n-bomb a dozen more times. This is probably old news to all of you in the USA, but out here in New Mexico, I think it's funny. But this is my point: clearly, the Jews are losing control of the media.
Maryland also cracked the top 25, on the strength of Daryl Strawberry's kid. DJ Strawberry had been playing lights out. Of course, the other team had no heart, skip.
Jim Hendry is awfully optimistic for a Cubs' fan (but not for someone on the Cub's payroll):
General manager Jim Hendry isn't worried that Soriano, who turns 31 in January, will tail off drastically by the end of the deal.
"He's lean. He's like a greyhound, this guy. He's some kind of an athlete, and that's a very, very young body for his age," Hendry said. "Who knows if somebody is going to be as productive at 38 as they are at 30 or 31. But, like I said, there's a lot of guys in this game right now swinging the bat at a very high level in their late 30s or even early 40s."
What wasn't said, but could have been--"What this organization needs, more than anything else, is another guy who will strikeout well over 100 times, and play shoddy defense.">
Congrats, Cubbies! You are well on your way to being neurotic for another 10 years. Also, there should have been some giggling when suggesting that Soriano would be productive in his late 30's. Excellent investment, Chicago. Next thing to do: Convert the Fields Museum into a Dirigible Museum--no, not in the sense that it houses old dirigibles. In the sense that you tie lots of hot air balloons to it, until it rises ten feet off the ground. Then you can charge people Balloon rides to see the treasures of Sumeria. It's a winner!
Enjoy the King of the Solo Homer, the Prince of not hitting RBI's, and the Earl of Fielding Errors that is Alfonso Soriano.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
1) Anyone hear of this Ladanian Tomlinson guy? He seems pretty good. Beating Emmitt Smith and Jim Brown to 100 TDs (and then adding two more to the total) has to be some kind of record, right?
2) Illegal Mustache: Charlie Frye, you are in violation. I can't find an image of it, but if you were watching today's collapse vs. those darn Steelers, you know what I'm talking about: you & Adam Morrison & all you other boners sporting the "I hang out in front of 7-11" mustaches better buy either a razor, or a magic marker.
3) Jason Campbell's first pass of the day actually went farther than all of Brunnell's passes combined.
4) The #1 passing (yards) QB in the league is out for the season. Not you, Horseface. I mean McNabb.
5) The #17 passing (rating) QB in the league (and, yawn, future Hall of Famer) Brett Favre was forced out of the game with nerve damage to his throwing hand, which (unless he's a selfish ass who cares more about his "QB start record" than the well-being of his team) should likely mean the end of his start streak. He'll probably fight through, what with his "gunslinger mentality" and all, and chuck INTs all over Seattle. Rodgers can play as well as Favre, although of course he lacks the future Hall of Famer's grit, determination and "playing like a kid out there." Statistically, Favre was 5-15 for 73 yards. Rodgers was 4-12 for 32 yards. Close enough.
Not that I want Favre injured (you can tell this is all in fun, right? Helluva QB, that Favre), but he clearly should have read my prescient August "No More Tears" column (http://scuffedballs.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_scuffedballs_archive.html). I wouldn't have to quote myself if you folks paid more attention:
"At long last, Packer-haters may get to see what they've been waiting a long time to see: Brett Farver suffering a season-ending injury. Badcock will now tell you why. The Packers O-Line has steadily eroded to the point where one has to assume the ownership WANTS Fraver to die. The best lineman on last year's shitty, shitty line (31st in the league in yards-per-rush), C Mike Flanagan, skipped town....Favrer will get hurt because his team will always be behind in points and time of possession. He'll be chucking desperate haymakers by halftime."
Check fucking mate, bitches.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Around the same time I realized that the presumably smart, into-pasty-white-guys women of Leave the Man Alone are posting fashion photos, I got an email* from a reader with this photo of David Beckham and His Mannequin Wife arriving for the TomKat wedding.
Now, I love Beckham, and not just because he's pretty, or because he strikes a mean free kick. The guy actually seems to give a shit about youth in poverty, and I am loathe to pile on the guy when's he having a pretty shitty year. I am also not eager to tramp in Leave the Man Alone's territory.
But seriously, Becks, you CAN NOT DRESS LIKE THIS. You need to stop acting as though fashion is this contest in which you prove that you are cool enough to wear absolutely anything. Remember in 2002, when you did the weird mohawk, and Japanese women were dying and shaving their pubic hair to match it? You can NOT TOP THAT. Stop trying.
You also need to dump your rather plasticky, shallow-as-spit wife, and hook up with someone with merit. I know quite a few women who are healthy, good looking women, who would do you proud, if you gave them a chance. Stop with the Posh Spicebot 3000 already.
*You can always email us at . Did you know that? Probably not.
Badcock's last post and an email I received for our designer combined into a veritable Tropical Depression of reminders that our angry snark is not just for adult-sized babies. It is also for baby-sized babies.
Remember, your baby is pretty stupid, and needs all the help it can get to look cool. After all, stupid babies need the most attention.
Our Shop is always open, and staffed by robots from the not too distant future.
Friday, November 17, 2006
The California Court threw out a jury's $34.2 million award to the Oakland Raiders. It seemed that the Raiders had finally won something, but it was all for naught. Why were the Raiders suing their own stadium?
They claimed that the Oakland Coliseum falsely promised a sold-out stadium to lure the team back to the Bay Area from Los Angeles. If you recall, Al Davis moved his team to LA out of spite and then, in 1995, moved them back to Oakland ... out of spite.
The Coliseum gave the Raiders a $53 million loan, $10 million for a training complex and $100 million for renovations. When ticket sales -- shockingly -- dropped over the last few years, Davis sued for fraud. In front of a jury of his "peers" [see blurry image of peers to right], Davis was awarded the $34.2 million.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento maintained that lack of ticket sales could be attributed to how hilariously badly the Raiders have sucked since they were blown out in Superbowl XXXVII 48-21 (which featured NFL MVP Richy Gannon tossing 5 INTs, a Superbowl Record). Since then, the Raiders have accumulated a 11-30 record (.366).
Raiders general counsel Jeff Birren said the team was considering an appeal to the California Supreme Court. Unfortunately they can't appeal having the worst offense in the NFL. Hey Raider Fans, SUCK ON IT!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
It seems to be almost an annual tradition--Michigan State makes a great run towards the end of year, key players graduate or go pro, and Tom Izzo is left holding with a bunch of unproven underclassmen. They look streaky at the beginning of the year, people doubt them, and then they make their great run towards the end of the season. It's getting a bit tiresome, frankly. They will probably finish in the top 3 of the Big 10 (Wisconsin being the prohibitive #1) and they aren't in the top 25.
For whatever reason, the folks at ESPN are much more excited about Michigan than Michigan State. I'm not sure why, aside from the fact that Michigan is a bit older, and that Tommy Amaker's job may be on the line this year.
Texas has one of those phenom freshman who people are saying would have skipped college if it were not for the new rule in the NBA about 18 year olds. And certainly, Kevin Durant is worth keeping one's eyes on.
I have to assume that Georgia State is a rival to Georgia Tech in name only. Tech blew their doors off, 103-74. The Ramblin' Wreck of GA Tech has been reborn, and figures to makes lots and lots of noise in the ACC. They have incredible underclassmen players, with super cool names. Freshmen Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton, with Sophomore Lewis Clinch, combined for 57 points. Somewhere, IDYFT contributor Barnyard is rubbing one out to the re-emergence of the Hornets.
We are also silently celebrating the presumed early exit of Kansas from the Top 5, losing to a team that lost to Loyola Marymount. Usually Kansas waits until the NCAA tournament to fuck up. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come, and no one will be unjustly burnt by buying into Kansas hype. They haven't lived up to it since Danny Manning had only one bad knee.
Oh, and the 3-0 Zags, who I said deserved to be in the top 25? They'll be playing North Carolina tonight in what should be a great game, if one can get past the near constant handjobbery of Tyler Hansborough. Tyler will have his hands full with the equally white Josh Heytvelt.
"I hope Art Modell doesn't win. I hope he never feels the joy of holding a Super Bowl trophy. I just don't think someone who rips a football team away from a whole city should get away with it." -- Drew Carrey, before Modell's Ravens beat the Giants in Superbowl XXXV.
Former Browns/Ravens owner Art Modell's bid for the Hall of Fame (rare enough for a non-player/non-coach) is based on the revenue sharing system he devised which allowed the NFL to blow up with 12+ hours of quality televised football every week. This is widely credited with helping the NFL become the most popular sport in the country. According to Modell, he himself is appalled at the greed in today's NFL and tried to negotiate a deal to keep MNF on ABC but was kicked out of the chairmanship of the commission.
The case against him is much more daunting. So long as Cleveland Plain Dealer NFL beat writer Tony Grossi breathes, he will vote Moddell down. Grossi, author of Tales From the Browns Sideline, is the most powerful of Modell's bitter enemies because he holds a Hall of Fame vote. But the entire depressing Cleveland region (watch Paul Giametti in American Splendor) would descend and raze the Hall of Fame to the ground if a bust de la Modell were to be ensconced. The Hall is located, of course, in nearby Canton, OH.
A brief recap of Modell's history: He bought the Browns in 1961 and after one season, fired legendary head coach Paul Brown (who had founded the team as part of the All-American Football Conference in 1946 and had only had one losing season in seventeen years of coaching the Browns). Understand, the Browns played in "Paul Brown Stadium" and Modell dumped him like a bucket of Man-glue at a peepshow after closing time. The fans were no doubt completely mollified, however, when the Browns won the NFL title the very next year.
The Browns slid into hard-nosed mediocrity with some glimmers of near-brilliance stomped out by the Broncos: "The Drive" followed by "The Fumble" the following year. In the meantime, Modell kept himself busy by being a controversial landlord to the hapless Cleveland Indians. The lease led to several lawsuits. Indians GM Gabe Paul called Modell "a crook."
Modell went into debt in the 80s, borrowing an eventual $70 million to upgrade the stadium. The Indians left for a better deal and Modell upped the ante: the city had to build him a new stadium or he would leave. The city called his bluff and he took the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Once again Modell was rewarded for his questionable ethics by immediately winning Superbowl XXXV. Think that stuck in the craw of Browns fans? Since the new Cleveland Browns began "playing" again in 1999, their average record has been 6-10, with zero playoff appearances. Currently the Ravens are 7-2 and in first place of the division, with the Browns wallowing at 3-6, tied for last place.
Modell's greed & lying have been the most damning condemnations by his opponents. In defense of his decision to move the Browns from their ancestral home to a foreign land (like I said, he was the landlord for the Indians, and made a killing in blankets) Modell said, "I had to avoid bankruptcy, and in our league, if you file for bankruptcy, it's an automatic revocation of your license. They yank it, they pull it from you. And I was on the verge of bankruptcy."
So Modell was running a business and, despite having a beloved (if not championsihp) franchise, was unable to stay in the red. Seems like the honorable thing to do would be to sell it, not put it on flatbeds chasing a quick rebate. As far as raping the innocence of this nation's love for sports, his greed lacks the originality to secure a Legion of Doom nomination.*
Over 100 lawsuits were filed against Modell. Congress held hearings on the matter. City-wide protests were held. All of the team's sponsors pulled their ads from Cleveland Municipal Stadium during the team's final weeks in 1995. In response, Modell allegedly demanded that the Cleveland Plain Dealer fire or suspend beat writer Tony Grossi, outspoken & influential critic of Modell.
I am a Washington Redskins fan. I've always liked the Browns, from afar. I enjoyed Earnest Byner (thank god our current RB coach never fumbled like that for us), Kevin Mack, lil' Eric Metcalf et al. I am ready for some empathy for the beatdown Cleveland football fans. I don't think that Modell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, ever, because he crapped on the loyal heads of the fans that makes the NFL what it is. I'll leave the final word on the matter to former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue: "I think Art Modell made a tremendous contribution to the league in 35 years, and to this Cleveland Browns franchise. And that's going to be dramatically reassessed by people in the future as a result of his taking his franchise -- not the Browns franchise, but his individual franchise -- to Baltimore."
Why should much-hated Fart Modell get into the Hall of Fame, while class-act Heart Monk languishes outside?
Fart Modell no!
Heart Monk si!
*[footnote] Perhaps moving the NY Giants & Dodgers to California in 1957 was this nation's first realization that typing "innocent" into a search engine yields shocking results. Horace Stoneham (Giants owner) and Walter O'Malley (Dodgers owner) wanted better stadiums and a better revenue deal. O'Malley, who needed a second team on the West Coast in order to make the Dodgers move to LA feasible, pushed Stoneham toward relocation. The golden shower of innocent youth had trickled away.
There is a touch of concern that the Redskin vote will be split, as Russ Grimm has also made it to the top 25. (I don't know whether there is a touch of concern or not--I made that up for the drama of it all).
Names in the 25 that I recognized and remember liking (which explains why I'm leaving Art Modell, Charles Haley & Michael Irvin off the list): Thurman Thomas, Derrick Thomas, Andre Reed, Ken Stabler & Richard Dent.
List gets cut down to 15 next. Monk should certainly survive that.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
And the commentators, who must have been D-List talent at best (the color commentator spent much of his time making the kind of observations a high school coach might make--"He's got to bend at his knees more when going up for that rebound"; "He's got a little wrinkle in his shooting motion", etc) had one very interesting and odd exchange.
It was about a guard on the Zags, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes who looks to be getting a lot of clock this season. This is most definitely a paraphrase, but the basic idea is pretty much spot-on. Anyone would can find it, let me know.
Color Commentator: Cespy can really move in the open court.
Play-by-Play Guy: You've done a magnificent job coming up with a shortened name for the Gonzaga junior, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes.
CC: I've been tellin' ya, you learn how to pronounce those foreign names, and they aren't going to let you on any more airplanes.
PbP G: [silence]
Now, what is being said here? Is the color commentator suggesting in a wry way that in Bush's America, just knowing how to pronounce a "foreign" name is enough to get your locked up? If so, brilliant commentary. However, using this as a reason to not learn how to say a player's name correctly tarnishes the joke a bit, I'm afraid. It makes you appear as though any name too hard for you to bother learning to pronounce is a name of a potential terrorist. Man, if that were true the NHL would be the Central Front on Terror, yah? I don't know whether this little joke from the bottom rung of ESPN counts are racist, but it sure as hell counts as really fucking stupid.
And for the record, Altidor-Cespedes is a combo last name, and neither are particularly "terrorist" related. Alitdor is his father's last name, who is Haitian, and Cespedes his mother's last name, who is Peruvian (perhaps our color commentator was making a sneaky reference to the Shining Path?)
They met in Montreal, where they married and Pierre Marie (the scariest of all terrorist names) was born.
Oh, and he doesn't care for nicknames:
"I have never had a real nickname that most people used, all those nicknames are fun but they don't mean much to me, I rather people call me Pierre or Pierre-Marie."
Update: Commenters have said, and I believe them, that the rude dumb guy was Rick Majerus. I believe them because it only makes sense that Rick Majerus would say something like that.
bio via Scout.com
Monday, November 13, 2006
Did I get your attention? I'm really writing to report that the Washington Redskins have officially ended the Mark Brunnell era. The 3-6 record is not completely his fault, but something about his 49.4 passer rating against Philly was obviously wrong, like a mustache in a straight bar.
Who's Campbell again? He was drafted in the first round of 2005 after leading the unbeatenAuburn Tigers to ... what, second-and-a-half place? BCS, you sucky suck. Anyway, your 2005 Sugar Bowl MVP has been sitting and learning for two years. We're about to see if Washington will finally have a QB who's got the magic sauce. Our last QB with the sauce was Mark Rypien, and his came in a single-serving pack.
Could be, this move revitalizes the offense, ignites the defense and makes this season meaningful. After all, Campbell's hero is Steve McNair, who (just south of the Beltway) has brought his bellyfire to bolster the brimstoney Baltimore defense and the Ravens lead the AFC North which was predicted by absolutely nobody. I look forward to seeing if this kid can play.
In other NFL news:
TESTAVERDE COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT
the Patriots just signed 43 year old QB Vinny Testaverde. Steve Buerlein, you better start warming up.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Let's try to get to a definitive Top 10 for both genders. We're aren't worried about rankings, but they should have appeared on the TV at least once.
So, who do you dig on the Tennis circuit. Ladies or Men. Let us know!
Insurance Runs can't stand the current playoff system in the MLB. I think he is, without being fully cognizant of this fact, arguing for a system of relegation/promotion.
Sportsocracy has some thoughts on what Rutgers beating Lousiville means vis-a-vis the BCS system. They argue for a 128 team play-off, and I don't disagree. What if the whole season was a One and Done tournament? That'd be awesome!
The Big Picture continues their assault on True Love. They seem to think that the uberhot new wife of Jeff Gordon didn't marry him because he finishes her sentences, or that they both love labradoodles, or they enjoy drinking Coffee and completing the New York Times Sunday Crossword together. These fucking bastards think it was all about the money. Say a prayer for them, as their cynicism will surely lead to an unhappy life.
Free Darko is a scary place, and we have no idea what's going on there.
Friday, November 10, 2006
A perfect storm is rising.
Take a woman who can see into the future...
Add the athleticism, fun-lovingness, and willingness to pull down the pants of a referee (also a life time winning percentage near .1000)...
And what do you get?
Ladies and gentlemen say hello to the greatest QB prospect in the history of the NFL. He'll distract the opposition with a bucket of confetti and see every blitz coming days, if not weeks away. You cannot get fantasy advice like this anywhere else. Pick up 'n start Cleo Lemon now fer ya person'l football team.'
Dolphin head coach Nick Saban refuted an ESPN report that he will start backup QB Cleo Lemon over Joey Harrington this Sunday against the Chiefs. But the cards never lie! He will be the greatest QB in history, my babies!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Bat-Girl: She's got news on Daisuke Matsuzaka. We'd call it snarky news, but since she's a woman, and women aren't allowed to be snarky, we'll say it is bitchy news. God, her funny commentary is so bitchy. It'd be funny if she were a man.
Off the Baggie: Wrote a great send-up of T.O's kids books, and the apparently decided to follow the baseball offseason. Hey, OTB, you're a blogger, not an actual Twin! Get off your ass!
Kissing Suzy Kolber: Can't Deal with women feeding their babies.
The Sports Bastards: They Can't Believe It, and neither can I, but they are singing the praises of the ATL Hawks.
The Fan's Attic: They didn't care for the coverage by Neil Everett on Brian Pata's death.
The two most over-hyped storylines heading in to this NFL season were T.O. & Ben's brain pan.
T.O. has proven he's an overrated jackass who is insidiously detroying another football team (Burn Ft. Worth, Burn! Yay!
The other question was whether or not Ben would regain his form after suffering massive brain trauma. The answer was: yes. And then he received another concussion. And then his coach played him against the Raiders who are exactly the sort of team who, playing for nothing, would rather give your QB permanent brain damage than win some stupid football game. And now the answer is: no.
Your 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year (first QB to win that award since Bill "Who?" Shaw for the Bills in 1970) and the winning QB of your 2005 World Champions was always described as a game-manager: he'll drive the team, make some of those critical third and nine completions and mostly not lose the game for you by panicking, chucking INTs etc. Roethlisberger picked up the NFL game quickly, had an excellent line blocking for him and did everything correctly. He also had enough "bellyfire" to lead his offense into hostile environments and conquer. In short, a winner.
Ben is not a long-ball artist, nor a scrambler, nor an accurate dink-n-dunker, nor a fun 'n' gunner. He's a big strong disciplined QB. And now his brain has been turned into ... well, you must have gotten it by now.
There are two arguments against this very simple, logical proof I have created for you, dear reader.
One is that Ben wasn't that good to begin with, and was overhyped, and his team carried him. The retirement of Bettis is often cited as an example of this, which is both wrong and sentimental. Wee Willie Parker was the workhorse last year, logging in 1200 yards on 255 carries. Bettis had 369 yards. Not that the Steelers wouldn't benefit from a change-of-pace back, but RB Wee Willie Parker is on pace for 1200+ yards 300+ carries and 12 TDs. Lack of a running game is not the problem for the Steelers.
The other argument is something about who retired as the undisputed Macalester College Champion of Sega Hockey 1992-1996 and, while the answer is HURRICANE, it is largely irrelevent here.
These arguments do not account for Roethlisberger's play, which has shown a marked increase in mental mistakes: slow and/or bad decisions. If Cowher had let Roethlisberger rest, perhaps the Steelers might have been dangerous in December. Instead ...
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
In 1996, Marlin Barnes was murdered in a campus apartment. In 2003, Al Blades was killed in a car accident, about a year after linebacker Chris Campbell also died in a crash.
This July, safety Willie Cooper was shot in the ass cheeks and Brandon Meriweather, one of Cooper's teammates and roommates, returned fire at Cooper's assailant. Last month, Miami brawled on the field with Florida International. And let us not forget that Najeh Davenport was caught pooping in his ex-girlfriends closet.
How can you Rudy-loving assholes not root for the Hurricanes?
That's right! Truck Balls! Now men are waxing patriotic - truck AND truck balls that is! What's left to say but USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
So, how did our famous sportsfolks fare? Let's look!
George Allen, Jr., running for Senate in Virginia. He's possibly the most indirectly related to sports, despite the fact he uses more cliched football metaphors than his father use (legendary coach of the Washington Redskins used). He's also the man whose fate is the most in question as of 2:15 AM EST. His opponent has claimed victory, and if there are really 30,000 uncounted ballots in Fairfax County, his opponent, Jim Webb, was right to do so.
In his favor: He wasn't trading on his father's reputation to win this election, despite the constant football cliches and physical football. He used his father's name to get into Virginia politics more than a decade ago. He's been running as his own man ever sense. For example, his dad would have never called an Indian-American "Macaca".
Against him: Having former teammates come out and accuse you of having stuffed dead animal heads in African-American mailboxes may have been a huge help in Virginia in 1970, but not so much now. Also, when a reporter finds out you have Jewish heritage, you should not respond as if you've been slapped in the face with a waffle iron shaped like Hitler.
Projection: His name is George Allen, but he's going to remind Redskin fans of other coaches, like Norv Turner, Joe Bugel, and Steve Spurrier.
Lynn Swann, running for Governor of Pennsylvania, as a Republican. The most famous double "nn" named person in Pennsylvania since Williann Penn. Got his dog walked by incumbent Democrat Ed Rendell, despite the fact that Rendell is a bit sleazy.
In his favor: He made those spectacular catches! But statistically, doesn't belong in Canton. Rumor has it Art Monk was working ferociously to deny him this office. (that may be from a dream I had)
Against Him: Wealthy White Republicans love voting for black men who got rich through sport. White guys working in unions also love voting for millionaires. Poor black people love voting for Black Republicans (see the Reconstruction). Racist white men, who vote Republican love having a Black guy as their chosen candidate. What could go wrong?
Projection: Look for him to get a lot of ribbing when he's on the sideline for the 2007 tilt between OSU and Michigan!
Heath Shuler, running for Congress from North Carolina. After George Allen, the least athletic athlete on our list. Great college QB. Wasted draft pick by the Redskins. We hate him. Hate him. Hate him. Hate him. Chargers fans: how much would you hate Ryan Leaf, if San Diego hadn't had Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers? That kind of hate. (Seriously, since they drafted Heath Schuler, name a good Redskins QB--we dare you)
For Him: Worked the crowd based on his centrist politics: against the war, against abortion, for gun rights and enviromentalist (the new Democrat should combine those two) and is still kind of charismatic, in a puffy way, like Matthew Perry. Also, he ran in North Carolina, where he was successful as a QB, as opposed to Northern Virginia, or DC, or Landover, MD, where they would have run him out on a rail.
Against Him: He's Heath Shuler.
Projection: He will sit in meetings to determine Democratic strategy, but when it comes his turn to vote, he will throw an interception right at Phillippi Sparks, resulting in the bill's defeat.
Jim Ryun, incumbent Republican congressman the 2nd District of Kansas. Famed miler--the first high-schooler in American to run a sub 4 minute mile. Got screwed at many olympics, but always looked good getting screwed. Incumbent Republican in Kansas with a Famous Name! Impossible to beat!
For him: Everything I said above. He's considered a good guy by his comrades in Congress, too.
against him: Just like the Olympics. He got screwed. Bush stepped on his Calf. Much as he struggled in the low oxygen air of Mexico City in 1968, he struggled in the low smarts atmosphere of the Republican Party in 2000-06. He supported the war, he got worked. Hard. Hard like Prefontaine got worked before he decided that it didn't matter if people told him he was too small, Pre, not fast enough, Pre! I have to win! Jim Ryun didn't feel that competitive burn when people tell him he's going to lose like PreFontaine did.
Projection: If all the Republicans in congress had to run home, instead of fly, I'll put money on Ryun to get home first, even if he gave half those fat bastards a two day headstart. Imagine for a money Denny Hastert running home. Just for a second. did you get a little sick in your throat? It's OK. So did Denny.
By the way, if the Raiders had ANY kind of offense... and I mean ANY type, they'd be at least .500. They've got Randy 'fucking' Moss on this team for christ sakes. What the fuck?!? Bring me that senile fool, Tom Walsh's head on a stick. FU all.
Another reason to love the Raiders: their fans. Here's a restrained commentary by a young man named Danny
# Danny Says:
November 7th, 2006 at 11:18 am
I’d like to see Walter fire a bullet into the press box and kill Walsh with a face shot, on accident of course after all Walsh is a smart guy and a great coach just ask his boyfriend Art Shell. Maybe the ricochet will get old Al too or at least knock some sense into him.
Monday, November 06, 2006
It begs the question, though, how do we define sport? Or better put, what attributes must an activity have before we can elevate it to the regal status of "discussion-worthy" on this blog. Since illustrations are often the key to clarity and understading, we'll apply each rule to Mr. Sheehan's activity and determine if he was engaged in a sport worthy of our blog.
Rule No. 1: You Have to Sweat.
I do not mean incidental sweat. I do not mean sweat produced due to heat and humidity. I mean a genuine froth born of kinetic energy. I mean an artificial elevation of the body's core temperature requiring our natural equilibrium to turn on the human air conditioning.
Did Mr. Sheehan sweat? Yep. It was when he inserted a six-inch awl covered in electrical tape into his rectum. Probably every time he moved thereafter, too. So, when Mr. Sheehan had a six inch awl up his rectum and was plopped on a tree-stup gratifying himself, was he engaged in a sport?
While he did sweat, his froth was not born of the proper agitatation. Any sweat from Mr. Sheehan was almost certanly due to the intense pain of lodging a six inch electrical tape covered awl into his rectum. There is no question that would agitate, but it is not sports-based agitation.
Despite it's near contstant coverage on ESPN, Rule No. 1 dictates that the sweat born of pressure due to an "all-in" question at the World Series of Poker eliminates high-stakes card playing from the world of sport. The stink from card playing marathons doesn't get you there either.
Apply this rule liberally to avoid allowing sit-down activities to qualify as sports.
Rule No. 2: The Activity is Organized and/or Created Around a Scoring System.
The first three events in the invention of basketball were as follows: (1) James Naismith hung a peach basket on a wall; (2) James Naismith threw a ball into the basket; (3) James Naismith wondered how many points he scored by performing (1) and (2) (as any basketball historian knows, the hanging of the peach basket was eventually replaced with the three-pointer; hence the oft-heard reference to how players like Steve Kerr really could "hang the peach basket").
Was Mr. Sheehan's activity organized and/or created around a scoring system? Well, based on his decision to masturbate with a six inch awl inserted into his rectum while seated on a tree stump near a major mass transit system, my guess is that it was.
But, you need to look past the individual actor here to consider the base act: masturbation. Don't be fooled by the fact that masturbation can be more fun with a clever scoring system in place (great link here), because masturbation was not organized and/or created around a scoring system.
It gives me great pleasure to report that by failing Rule No. 2, NASCAR is not a sport. NASCAR has a scoring system, but it is not organic and is not even remotely clever (like at the above link). NASCAR is about driving your car with a predilection for left turns. The scoring system was imposed at a later date so we could market cigarettes and boner pills on the hoods of vehicles.
Apply this rule mechanically to the bring out the true nature of the underlying activity.
Rule No. 3: The Activity Must Involve Strategy
My dad is a dentist. In fact, he's a really good dentist. His talent, however, comes from pure repetition and a very high tolerance for sticking his hands in other people's mouths. Sure, if he were here he'd tell you that there is a strategy in the treatment of each patient to achieve maximum health. And you'd get bored and we'd start talking about football while he was droning on about calculus build up.
Really boring strategy isn't strategy at all; it's learned protocol. It's having seen everything a particular actor can throw at you and knowing the set of steps most likely to lead to an effective result. It's great organization without the need for innovation. It's responding to an actor without the capacity to present a new challenge.
Did Mr. Sheehan's activity employ a strategy? Uh. Well. Ok. I'll argue...yes. Yes, it did. I don't know what it was, but I will suggest that he lost since he not only got caught by the cops but he somehow managed to get charged with carrying a concealed weapon for having a six inch awl in his rectum.
And finally, due to Rule No. 3, power-lifting and shot-put are not sports (this does not include the constantly evolving challenges presented at the World's Strongest Man Competition, which indeed require strategy). Power-lifting involves the application of pressure to effect the movement of something that gets predictably heavier, and shot-put the effort to increase that application of pressure on a constantly weighted object. Constants. No change. Just get stronger and you win.
Apply this rule creatively to account for challenges evolving slowly over time or that are controlled by non-obvious actors.
Unfortunately, by these strict IDYFT standards, Mr. Sheehan's activity did not elevate to the level of sport. If only he were running in place atop that stump...
Halfway through the season, Roethlisberger appears slow to make decisions and cycle through his reads. While the physical mechanics of his passes are fine -- that's muscle memory, baby -- his split-second reactions & instincts seem dim. Understandably.
He left the game against the Falcon two weeks ago after taking two helmets to his helmet like a Honda in a garbage compacter. Cowher started his concussed QB against the lowly Raiders, one of the worst coachiing decisions I have ever witnessed (the Redskins dropping Hall-of-Famer Brian Mitchell for Deion Spandex is my #1 most-hated). Remember, before that concussion from the Falcons, Ben had just led the Steelers to a 45-7 romp over the Chiefs, completing 16/19 for 2 TDs, 0 INTs. Since leaving the Atlanta game, Ben has thrown 2 TDs and 7 INTs. The cumulative effects of concussions are legion.
Point is, rushing back too early from massive head trauma (both the motorcycle & the Atlanta hit) might have destroyed the young talent's career. Brain injuries don't mend like broken bones.
This year (halfway), Ben has thrown 7 TDs and 14 INTs, with a sour 72.2 rating. Notably, he has been sacked 23 times, tied for sixth most sacks in the NFL. And he was out for three games!
Last year, he finished with 17 TDs and 9 INTs, with a 98.6 rating in the company of the best QBs in the league. Notably, he was only sacked 23 times all of last year.
The line is not so much at fault here. Roethlisberger hesitates and thinks through his progression, rather than the read-and-react that took the Steelers to the Superbowl. This, coupled with an understandable unwillingness to scramble, has led to a lot of the sacks.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have Charlie Batch on the bench, who assuredly would have led the Steelers past the Raiders and given Ben another week to let his brain swelling go down. Batch (on 39 att) has 5 TDs and 0 INTs for a rating of 136.8 -- best in the NFL.
This reminds me of the sad plight of another famous burger forced to retire before he was able to accomplish all that he might have. Mayor McCheese was found to have been plagiarized (along with other McDonalds characters) from HR Pufnstuf, and is now soley used to entertain the dying children who, let's face it, aren't spending lot of money on hamburgers anyway.
I do try to avoid the Star Tribune's gossip columnist C.J. I have no particular problem with her--it's just that pretending that the Twin Cities have a lot of gossip to report seems silly to me.
But the news that Pat Neshek sold his rookie Hazing Outfit (The Kinda Slutty Pink Witch) and had the winner direct their funds to Neshek's favorite Humane Society is certainly news. Neshek's Dress brought in $152.50, which seems low to us. Had we known about the auction, we would have driven that bidding up a good deal. Pets in Distress is where Neshek got his dog Juicy, which is sporting a similar outfit as Pat on the ebay page (I don't know how long this link will last).
Here's the fictional NY Post headline we just made up: Pitcher's Dress Nets Pets in Distress New Assets. That's good headline copy right there, dammit.
Here's hoping Pat kept the fishnet stockings though--Nice gams, Neshek!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
This is the halfway point of the season and this deserves a special celebration, Badcock-style. Let's spin around the league, shall we?
Patriots: Tough losses to good teams may lower their hype, but I guarantee this team will be dangerous in the playoffs
Jets: They sure are playing hard. Too bad they lack talent.
Bills: Cruddy team, bad coaches.
Dolphins: Beating Chicago will be the highight of their season. Nice to see some effort for once.
Ravens: Offense is still a little rickety but they have been putting it all together more regularly.
Bengals: Tough losses to other good teams are threatening to make this team implode.
Browns: By season's end, this team will be fully in the cellar, like next year's potatoes.
Steelers: Roethlisberger rushed back too early from injury. He's an undercooked burger with scrambled eggs on top.
Colts: Hard to argue against them right now. Are they peaking too early? Back-to-back road wins against the best in the AFC is impressive, but they must stay on target, gold leader.
Jaguars: Hot-and-cold Jaguars will doom their season if they let QB drama capsize their leaky craft.
Titans: Not a good team. Monitor Young's progress to see where they'll be next year.
Texans: They live up to their name: Texans Suck!
Broncos: A very good team, but that loss to the Colts could cost them homefield advantage. Mile High in December/January is where Denver wants to be playing ... not in some dome in farm country. Best scoring D in the NFL.
Chargers: Another very good team. Will they be the best team not in the playoffs for the second year in a row? Not if they continue to lead the NFL in scoring.
Chiefs: Showing some consistency, but can they win on the road?
Raiders: Suck it! That's right you dumb dirty bitch, suck it! (signed) Raider-Hater Nation celebrating NFL's worst offense.
Giants: Overacheivers have an "angel" on their side.
Dallas: "I go by the chart," coach Bill Parcells said. Bullshit, Bill. The IRON LAW is: kick early, go for it late. Your chart made the heroic victory by the Redskins possible.
Eagles: Lack the grit to put teams away. Expect consistent inconsistency, but this team can get dangerous.
Redskins: This team is struggling, to put it mildly. The team lacks character and fortitude. Can they turn it all around and run the table like they did in 2005? Murmurs insinuate: not with Brunnell at QB.
Chicago: Everyone is shocked they lost except for Badcock. Losing to a crappy team might be good for them: Know thyself, slapshot. You just got served ... by Joey Harrington. Boof!
Vikings: With an easy schedule, they could be sniffing for a playoff spot despite being distinctly mediocore.
Lions: Caught Atlanta napping, and Roy Williams is wild-sweet. But the team is a dud.
Packers: Speaking of duds, this team is as bad as advertised. Boof!
Saints: Winning at home & on the road, can the Saints avoid another late-season meltdown?
Falcons: This team has explosive talent but must put together complete games to make the playoffs
Panthers: Waiting for signs of life from many people's preseason NFC pick (not mine, obviously)
Bucs: Chuck E. Cheese and company are on the rocks. Shoulda kept Dilfer, what? Worst offense in the NFC.
Seattle: Losing their all-Pro QB & RB has dimmed their prospects like a dying swan.
St. Louis: Not quite ready for the big time, but they could back into the division title
49ers: Totally hilarious that they beat the Vikings, because this is not a good team. Worst defense in the NFL only gave up 3 to Vikes!
Cardinals: Biggest underachievers/disappointers of the year? We shall see.
NHL All-Star Hockey 95
Stanley Cup Champs NJ Devils Grace the Box!