Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Truth be told, I haven't had anything to say about sports in some time. The only sport I can give my heart to is professional football, and it fucked me in my prognosticoidal mortal coil. Forever I shall stand firm that neither the Colts nor the Bears QBs deserve to win this XLI Superbowl. And yet here we are. Horseface versus Captain Boner.
I'll get back to that, at some point (June, probably, when even this crap-flavored ice cream cone of a Superbowl will provoke me). But the point of this post is to discuss the term "Junkers" as a euphemism for women's breasts.
Before we get to it, as a graduate of a liberal arts college, the Harvard of the Mississippi (as stated by their promotional literature), I feel like I need to preverificate something. My mom has a PhD. And I am a leg man.
But that doesn't mean that I don't love women's breasts (oh, and their personalities and stuff). Here's the glorious truth about breasts: straight men love breasts, gay men love breasts, all women love breasts, children love breasts. It's pretty unanimous (except for the whacky Muslims and kooky Christians) that all humans love them boobies.
For the entirety of our mammalian heritage, breasts have provided the antibiotic, energetic, nutritional and emotional needs of every living mammal. During the 20th century, they invented Formula, and somehow convinced Americans that breast feeding is dirty. Because they want you to buy Formula. If you want to learn more about the incredibly obvious (and free) nourishment option of breastfeeding (practiced around the world since true mammals arrived in the early Triassic [following pre-apocalypto dinosauar-laden Jurassic & Cretaceous] which was about 225 million years ago), please go here and check out fellow blogspotters Breasts Not Bombs.
The point I'm belaboring is that the Christians and the Muslims are wrong, but they'll keep fighting over it. Breasts are great and universally beloved. While it's true that they have sometimes caused me to make decisions in my private life that were ill-conceived (yet brilliantly executed), each and every breast is a wonderous example of the truth that, with nature bestowing such beautiful virtue, who needs some cranky God casting lightning and molesting altar boys? Prove me wrong, God-folk: what color are that young woman's eyes? Or are you too enamored of your God's creation: glorious Junkers.
Sometimes I am inspired. Like tonight, commiserating about Team Madrid's loss in basketball (I was your #4, 1-3 from 3 point land ... sweet), I came up with "pork tourniquet" to describe, well you know.
But I was much more fiercely inspired when I came up with "Junkers." That word, derived from the Nazi airplane manufacturer, is welcomely pronounced in English or the German ("Yunkers") variant.
This photo is of the famous Junkers 87 "Stuka" dive bomber, equipped with screaming sirens to strike fear into the about-to-be-dive-bombed. It worked very well against the Polish. By the time the Battle of Britain rolled around, not so much. The Hawker Hurricane sent many Stukas, with full bomb-loads, into the Channel during that summer. Stukas remained fearsome in the African tank campaigns until 1943 or so.
I don't know about you, but I've known ladies with huge Junkers. And while things didn't work out, by god, there's more Junkers in the sea.
#1 Florida 74, #24 Vanderbilt 64--This game was closer then it looks in the final tally. And yet it also underplays how good Florida can be. Vanderbilt was up 11 points at the start of the second half. And then gym rat honky, stop and pop shooter Lee Humphrey was left open a few times, hitting big 3's all over the place. Lee Humphrey makes Trajan Langdon look like Mark Madsen. Humphrey went 5-8 (62%) behind the arc tonight, bringing his SEC-play 3-pointer percentage down to 70%. That's just fucking sick. And one of these days, he's only going to hit 48% in a game, and it will be trouble for Florida. But tonight, his 3-pointers loosened up a game Vandy defense, and Florida's annoying but good big men got to work. It should be noted that with Vandy leading by 4 they got called for two technicals, helping, I'm sure, to get the Florida crowd all the more excited. Hey assistant coaches, save the motivational technicals for home games against teams that aren't #1 in the country. Just a thought. Don't take anything away from Florida, though: erasing a double digit second half deficit is one thing. Going on to win by double digits is another. Important note: this game was played in Gainesville.
(Derrick Byars lived up to his billing--21 points, 4 Boards, 3 assists).
Some guy* at CBS Sportsline says that Vanderbilt is the second best team in the SEC, despite an early season loss to Furman. I think that says more about the SEC than Vanderbilt. It's like talking about the 3rd best team in the ACC, or the Big 10. The SEC may be more top heavy than the Big 10, and that's fucking terrifying to think of. Honestly, when is the last time Kentucky didn't figure into SEC talk at all? It's a paradigm shift, people.
*Said writer is a little less trustworthy when his teeth are dyed/photoshopped to a painful white, whilst surrounded by cheeks that look like, upon first inspection, cherry red tomatoes.
#2 Wisconsin 65, #25 Indiana 71--Thus ends the longest active winning streak in Division I basketball. Wisconsin never put together the run that I thought they would, and said they would need. Despite Indiana being Foreigner quality Cold as Ice at the begininng of the game, Wisconsin never led by more than six. Assembly Hall is a tough place to win if the game is an ugly mush, and this game was exactly that. This will be touted as a huge upset, but I don't give it much creedence. I don't think anyone thought Wisconsin was going to go through the entire Big 10 season without a loss. On a neutral floor, the Badgers win this game 9 out of 10 times. But they were the only big hitter tonight to lose, so this will be considered a big deal, up until Wisconsin wins their next 4 games.
#3 UNC 105, Miami Florida 64--The expected asskicking. Hey, Arizona, now you don't have to feel so bad about getting your asses kicked! The unmitigated, ESPN lubricated handjobbing of Tyler Hansborough will continue unabated. To the point where either CBS or UNC or someone has taken upon themselves to Photoshop Tyler from goofy gangly white guy into Casear/Male Model. Here's the photo on CBS's website, you tell me. Ave, Biggus Dickus!
#4 Ohio State 78, Purdue 60--I wouldn't call the first half compelling exactly, but it was close (Ohio State led by two 33-31). And then Ohio State remembered they were playing Purdue, and played good enough basketball to blow apart Purdue on their own floor. Mike Conley Jr had a very nice game (he would be the Buckeye's most heralded freshman recruit if it weren't for that Oden guy.) But Oden was a factor, to be sure. Matt Painter, head coach of Purdue summed it up nicely:
"These guys are getting looks off of Greg Oden getting the ball, or they're beating us off the dribble off of Greg Oden getting the ball, and that leads to baskets."
Poorly articulated, coach! But we get the idea.
The ESPN crew interviewed former Purdue coach Gene Keady during the first half and he expressed concern that Purdue was single teaming Oden, and also that he, Gene Keady was somehow still alive. "For Christ's sake," he said, "I'm not dying, I'm fossilizing. My skin is turning into stone in front of my eyes, painfully slowly. Please, someone, anyone kill me, before I turn into some sort of Golem."
It is entirely possible I made that up. But I bet he was thinking it.
Other games I highlighted:
Texas decided that Texas Tech was not a worthy rival, and worked them pretty well, 76-64. The teams might be very evenly matched, except for young Kevin Durant, who is again, in terms of total game, probably the best freshman in the NCAA right now (Greg Oden, once he has two functional hands, still won't be the shooter Durant is). Durant finished with (this is sick) 40 minutes played, 37 points on 15-29 shooting, and 23 rebounds. Durant was the first player in Big 12 history (which is pretty storied) to finish a game with more than 30 points and 20 boards. In the second half, he, by himself, outscored Texas Tech as a team. Take that, Bobby Knight. Clearly you aren't hitting your players hard enough.
The SEC Clown Car of a Game, LSU vs. Alabama ended in unpredictable (and thus quite predictable fashion). Alabama needed free throws to take the lead in the final seconds, and then stole an inbounds pass to seal it. There was a time, long ago (last year) when this game would have been rife with implications. I love Alonzo Gee, I kind of like Big Baby Glen Davis, but on the whole I don't like either of teams doing anything in the SEC tournament, much less the NCAA tournament. Talk about reflected glory--Alabama is now 7 games into the SEC season, and needed to beat LSU (now on a 4 game skid) to get within one game of .500 in the conference, and they are somehow in the Top 25 in the country? Do yourself a favor in your office pool, and talk about how Alabama is the 2nd or 3rd best team in the SEC. Do it loudly. Then, come March, pick against them.
That said, Alabama's Jermareo Davidson is one of my favorite bad-ass names in the NCAA this year. Right now, he and Virginia Tech's Zabian Dowdell are at the top of my list. Incidentally, VA Tech, ranked as high as 16, lost to the Wolfpack of NC State tonight. All the same--Zabian? Dowdell? He's just adjectives waiting to happen. That's fucking badass right there. Zabianally, it is without a dowdellian doubt in my mind, badass.
Late Result: #23/25 Stanford 86, Gonzaga 90 (Double Overtime)
Game of the night. Jeremy Pargo was clearly pacing himself, as he scored 11 points in the second overtime to help Gonzaga beat a Major Conference Team. Anthony Goods of Stanford may be good enough to beat any team at any time. And yes, for those wondering, Stanford has twin brothers playing in the front court, AGAIN. It was cute the first time, Stanford. Now it just seems like a weird, liberal fetish. Derek Ravio had 21 for Gonzaga, and I'm not going to make a joke about he looks like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta again. But I will link to it. Watch for this game to not be discussed as an upset at all--and it shouldn't. This was basically #25 vs. #26. And it looked it. Fabulously competitive. Zabianally Dowdellian competitive.
All four of the Top 4 teams are playing tonight (those teams being Wisconsin, UNC, and Ohio State). Wisconsin is playing Indiana, who has been palying some decent ball of late, but they rely heavily on their big men, which against a touch Wisconsin interior defense will probably not help them here. If I were to watch to this game, I'd look for one big streak, early in the second half that puts this away from the Badgers. It is in Indiana, so if the game stays close, you can look for Hoosier pride and home-cookin' to have an effect. Wisconsin needs to put it away early.
UNC and Ohio State have pretty weak competition tonight in Miami (Fl) & Purdue respectively. A loss for either would embarrassing. You may look at Purdue's 14-7 record and think I'm being harsh, but they are 2-5 in the Big 10 (and the Big 10 is having a down year).
There are some other intriguing match-ups outside of the Top 5, of course--lots of teams that just exited the Top 25 playing teams that just entered it.
You've got a Big 12 Game of the Week type affair with Texas Tech and Texas going at it. Worth watching, particularly if you haven't seen Kevin Durant play yet. Greg Oden at Ohio St. as the Second Coming of Patrick Ewing is getting a lot of play this year, but fellow freshman Durant is the more complete player right now. He's lean, rangy, tall (6' 9") with great smarts on the court, and leads Texas in Scoring and Rebounds. He's like the Second Coming of Kevin Garnett (minus a couple of inches + time in college).
Some of the SEC teams with Questions to Be Addressed are playing tonight--LSU and Alabama. Both have been streaky at best of late, and both show signs of being "solved" by particular defensive schemes. Alabama got housed by Auburn earlier, and it was in no small part because they couldn't rebound against Auburn, and couldn't get the 3 point shot going (something they rely upon). LSU needs to figure out who can help them besides Glen Davis. Should be an intriguing game, if not the prettiest of sights.
Finally, the West Coast game is probably Stanford and Gonzaga. Gonzaga's out of the 25, and Stanford is in. This doesn't seem right to me--maybe 10 years ago, this would have made sense. It doesn't now. Stanford is enjoying some of that reflected Pac-10 glory, and Gonzaga has stumbled in their own lightly respected conference. Both teams are winning of late--Stanford with impressive win on paper over USC, and truly impressive win over UCLA. Gonzaga is back to slapping around the rest of the WCC. Gonzaga is highly motivated to beat a team from a major conference, and Stanford is highly motivated to show that their recent success isn't a fluke. Stay up late and drink beer and watch this game.
Other notable vaginal euphemisms I have never encountered in all my travels until I chanced upon this: Bacon Strip, Box Lunch at the Y, Clamato Fountain, Fluffy Sausage Wallet, Hairy Manilow, Meat Napkin, Pork Danglies, Rooster Fish, Sagging Bacon Cones, Slickety Squid, Spam Castanet, Two-Fingered Fish Mitten.
I have recently been trying to make "Junkers" a new euphemism for a lady's breasts. It can be prounounced in English or German.
Meanwhile, George Burns and Gracie Allen were a comedy duo a very, very long time ago. Gracie actually got all the good lines, but George lived to be 347 years old so he's better remembered by our Generation X(treme). Here's a classic bit:
Gracie Allen's Recipe for Roast Beef
1 large beef roast
1 small beef roast
First, take the two roasts and put them in the oven.
When the little one burns, the big one is done.
Thanks, Jumbo Joke!
After all this non-sports related nonsense, I'm hungry.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
P.S. I never knew that by euthanized they meant forcibly drowned.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Lets get straight to the important stuff.
UNC, easily hateable, baby eating, dirty UNC handed Arizona an embarrassing loss. Huge loss. like almost 30 points, and UNC was without freshman sensation Brandon Wright. 92-64! Ouch. Perhaps that might quell the talk of the Pac-10 being so fucking awesome. Perhaps not. Arizona was ranked #17 in the country before this game. Will they be in the top 25 after getting routed by UNC, without their 2nd best player, on their home floor? They probably shouldn't be.
In an all Pac-10 match-up, we saw the team that should move up, despite losing. #7 Oregon needed overtime to beat #20 Washington State. However, we've seen this before. The Big 10 is usually the beneficiary of "This Conference is So Tough" argument, but now it may be the Pac-10 that gets that kind of love. It is conceivable that both of these teams move up the rankings, and UNC doesn't move up at all (admittedly, they don't have much room to grow--both Florida and Wisconsin certainly deserve to be above them). But I've witnessed Big 10 years when they have 3-6 teams in the top 25--it is usually based on the concept that the conference is so tough that losses don't mean that much. Come tournament time, those teams that lost to the top 3 teams in their conference usually get booted by a much less heralded team. We'll see with the Pac-10. There is talk that they will get anywhere from 6-8 teams into the Dance. If they get 8 teams in, I guarantee that 3 of them don't make it past their first round game.
Speaking of overrated, #23 Indiana knocked off Michigan today. That ranking is a product of a huge overestimation of the Big 10. The Big Ten is more like the Big 3. The Big 10 is a shadow of its former self. I remember when Minnesota made to the Final Four on the strength of Booby Jackson and Miles Tarver. I remember when Purdue was full of great athletes, and then when it was a scrappy Brian Cardinal team. I remember when Michigan attracted great players. I remember when Illinois was sickening stacked. I remember when Drew Neitzel was the 4th best player on the court for Michigan State. I remember when Northwestern had Evan Eschmeyer, and he was enough to power a shitty team into a win or 2. I remember when Indiana had Bracey Wright! Most of these rememberances weren't that long ago. D.J. White is going to wreak havoc on other teams with talented big men? I doubt it. The Big 10 is Ohio State and Wisconsin. That's it. No other team in the Big Ten should even get invited to the NIT, much less March Madness. I can't remember the last time the Big Ten was so top heavy. It's like Nell Carter with Breast Augmentation surgery. That top heavy.
Alabama does their Annual Losing to Teams not Ranked. We've discussed Alabama before, and last year's Elite 8 appearance was a fluke. How does a team with 5 losses end up in the Top 15? Especially a team with such sketchy history as the Tide? I don't know. I do know that they'll make a good run towards the end of the regular year to get a decent seed, only to lose to Creighton, or Vermont, or some such thing.
other stuff happened, too.
However, my personal favorite is when he reacts to Cindy's voice by turning completely wrong way, and then corrects himself. ("Oh Shit, the script said turn right!" Only high people trust their memory of a script to react to a voice, as opposed to actually just reacting to the voice.) Barry has admitted he was high for this scene. Good on him.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Bubblicious' LeBron's Lightning Lemonade!
To my rather jaded eyes, the caricature isn't particularly James specific (I say that even as I credit Gray/Blackwell, the creators of the image for the photo to the left). It's just a smiley black guy with a headband.
Is the demand so high for LeBron related material that kids will actually buy Lemonade Gum, if his cartoony face on it? Or was this designed to appeal to weird, 30-something instant kitsch lovers like myself? If so, it worked. I bought a pack so I could taste test the Gum So Good that the Savior of the NBA put his face on it (kind of).
Ladies and Gentlemen (or more appropiately for this blog, Skanks and Boozehounds) I have to say that this gum is not Savior of the NBA Quality. Admittedly, I tasted it immediately following a delicious, equivalent of 2 Fruit servings and a touch of Xanthan Gum Tropicana Smoothie (we'll get a sponsor yet!) . But it seemed to me that the first few chews weren't any sort of identifiable flavor (perhaps that was the Lightning). This was followed by about 5-10 chews that were definitively not the complete opposite of Lemonade flavoring. The rest of the experience was essentially what gum always tastes like after a short while--chewing one of those wax bottles full of liquid sugar that the weird family on your block passed out on Halloween. Is it me? Did the years of smoking kill the important Gum Taste Buds? I refuse to believe the product that made me look cool in college, distracted me during my three years as a pizza driver, and made my voice so cool sounding had a hand in ruining LeBron's Gum.
On the other hand, I only tasted a little Lemonade, very little Lightning, and absolutely no LeBron. In the future, if I want to combine short-flavored gum, LeBron James, and and questionable marketing, I think I'll combine some Fruit Stripes (with free Yipes the Zebra doing sports tattoos) and those ads that pissed off China.
We here at IDYFT like to think of ourselves as hip coiners of phrases. We are neologists, dammit! So, let's define Labrubblicious--a product that has a Krusty the Klown Kwality endorsement. And, Yes, now every NASCAR driver endorsed product is suddenly Labrubblicious.
Well now actually, New Mexico has exactly zero professional sports teams. Our most popular team is the Albuquerque Isotopes, a minor league baseball franchise that owes all of its niche to the Simpsons. Which is reason enough to buy their gear.
I like minor league ball. The St. Paul Saints (part owner = Bill Murray = fan of El Vez, the Mexican Elvis impersonator) really got the ball rolling: promotions, "fun," baseball. The Newark Bears have busted some gusto. But no minor league team in the history of baseball has had such built-in product recognition as the Albuquerque Isotopes. If you recall, Springfield's Isotopes (owned by C. Montgomery Burns, nuclear power magnate) moves (a la the Colts midnight run to Indiannapolis -- you douchebags better not win) to Albuqueque.
Homer goes on an ill-executed hunger strike, hilarity ensues. You know.
When Albuquerque was given a second chance at a minor league team, the team name was put to a directly-democratic vote. Text messages or some shit. Point is, about three people voted for the old name ("The Dukes" -- yeah, hate to give that up) and everyone else, obviously, voted for hilarity and big merchandise sales. Duh.
But This Post Isn't About Any of That.
note: this post was inspired by Muumuuman, who apparently lived in Espanola, New Mexico (how do you tilde on this fucking internet, bro?) for some unknown reason.
Since we don't have a professional sports team to rally around, people have an opportunity to cheer on one of the most retardestly funny ongoing stories on el Mundo. The lackluster Santa Fe New Mexican provides my knowledge of this case, and I would link to the article, but their site is typically fucked up. Maybe tomorrow. From the January 25, 2007 issue front page (below fold): "Espanola Man: Gunshot led him to flee police" [sic = nice capitalization after colon: What?]. Only the sub headline gives a hint ... "Atencio says he sees himself as victim in shooting melee."
So, MMMan, and all you lazy sports "fans" in comfortable, cable-ready cities ... how about some real life demolition derby? With cops?
Earlier this month, a woman called police claiming that a car that had been stolen from her relative (well, statistically, it's a slam-dunk) was parked in the parking lot of Santa Fe's TJ Maxx. This is the very Big Box parking lot where I go to purchase my food, animal food and DVDs.
Anyway, police arrived to discover Ivan Atencio (aged 31 and representing Espanola, just like MMMan) who did not respond to verbal commands. Something happened. And then Atencio tried to run over some cops, who fired at him.
Atencio crashed into traffic stopped at a red light a few blocks away. There, police opened fire into rush hour traffic. The 19 handgun shots all missed Atencio; a shotgun blast brought him to the ground with minor injuries. One of the handgun bullets did find a mark: a police officer's life was saved by his Kevlar vest. Atencio was found to be unarmed. Efforts to locate a gun he might have tossed proved fruitless.
Atencio has been charged with four counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony on a police officer, four counts of aggravated battery, embezzlement (huh?), aggravated fleeing from police, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphenalia and driving while intoxicated. His defense? As Priceless as a ball of Black Tar.
Atencio was nodding out after shooting up, waiting for his girlfriend to finish shopping. Thus no response to verbal commands, thus a sudden slumping as-if-reaching-for-a-gun.
Atencio pulls off the extremely rare and elusive triple negative to plead his case: "I never had no intention to run over no police officers." Please note that the meaning of this sentence ends up being correct, though the syntax is somewhat unorthodox, bro.
He claims the police surprised him and opened fire, causing him to panic and drive away. While he admits to being high for three days, Atencio adamently asserts his innocence of trying to run cops over: "That never took place. I was just trying to be a law-abiding citizen ... I nodded out in the car and that's why he thought I was reaching for a gun. I was so high on heroin. I've never carried a gun in my life."
Well, case closed, right? Furthermore, Atencio denies that the 2000 Mercury Cougar with which he accomplished the alleged demolition derby was stolen. He claims that he was renting the car from its owner in exchange for an unspecified amount of crack cocaine.
The good news? Atencio is planning a lawsuit (presumably following his acquittal, QED) against the police department. His logic is bulletproof: "Why were they shooting at me so many times? It's very unprofessional of the city police to do that ... As I see it, I was the victim."
Friday, January 26, 2007
Off the Baggie provides a Jon Edward-like look into the key happenings in sports in 2007. My personal favorite is his prediction for May, when Kerry Wood is coddled like a stupid little baby. That could be simply because I have idiot Cubs fans writing on this blog.
The Loss Column is scary prolific. In one post, they've provided me with new, weird mastubatory material, unveiled some of the ugliest baseball uniforms since the early 80's Astros, and talks (brags?) about doing real journalism. The Loss Column gets pigeonholed as a Baltimore blog, which it is, but clearly, they are working on other stuff as well.
The Big Picture has a story about a NBDL game going all crazy because of a mascot who decided to partake in the game. Saddest part about the story? The fact that all the players mentioned were Timberwolves draft picks. Fuckin' awesome, Kevin McHale. You are building one hell of a D League franchise.
You'll Never Blog Alone felt the need to defend herself from charges that she was just girlfriend of a fan, and not a real soccer fan herself (Um, doubters--she has her own fucking blog--that points to real fandom, dummies). Our crush grows a little more.Scarlet and Gray Matter celebrate Andy Roddick's sense of humor after getting his ass handed to him by Roger Federer. It should be noted that SG Matter have yet to see fit to link to us lovely folks at IDYFT. We don't take offense. But we know what will get him on board. Hey, Aaron, check this out! Nobody Bodders Me, Eeder!
Leave the Man Alone is on a bit of a hot streak. She's writing about how the signs are out there that McNabb is done in Philly (much like IDYFT contributor Muumuuman is arguing for). LTMA also has time to defend crazy crazy Tyra Banks. (My official position is that Tyra Banks will be hot, no matter how "chubby" she gets--she'll also be fucking crazy.) She's also a Michael Vick fan, but she smells something about how quickly Ron Mexico was cleared of charges regarding his marijuana bottle. Talk about crushes--everyone here just loves Leave the Man Alone.
What to do when lady sportsbloggers deliver the funk as well as Leave the Man Alone does? Or Bat-Girl, or YNBA? We just profess our crush, and leave it at that.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Anywho. Tonight was the premiere of the second season of Pros vs. Joes and they fucking tweaked the format, just as I was becoming the nation's leading expert on the first season format. It appears the weird contests (like outshooting Muggsey Bogues whilst standing on a slow spinning platform, or outshooting Clyde Drexler on a fucking Ice Hockey rink) are gone. That's a shame. Seeing Drexler on skates changed my life for the better. They've also reduced the number of pro athletes taking part, reducing the jock count from 5 to 4. I have no opinion as of yet as to what I think of these changes.
The important elements are still there--and that is three undeservedly cocky dudes from somewhere who think they can fuck up old retired athletes. That's what makes the show. It wouldn't be the same show if you dug up guys like me, who on their audition tape said things like, "Look, I was a halfway decent athlete in college, but that was Division III, and I was only halfway decent, and no way I can hang with pros, I don't care how long they've been retired." That would not do at all. Pros vs. Joes is still digging up guys who say things like, "I'm 34 years old, and I know I can take some washed up professional athlete. I'm great at all sports."
What I like to call douchebags. And just like last year, there were three of them--Dawan (a stand-up "comic" who did nothing intentionally funny in the hour), Jay who could have been a pro, and Aaron, who promised to "fuck you guys up!"
The pros were Jose Canseco, Ultimate Fighter Legend Randy Couture, Kevin Willis (whose career NBA numbers are shockingly impressive), and Michael Irvin.
Challenge 1: Defend Michael Irvin
Simple enough--there's a quarterback throwing passes to Irvin--keep him from scoring a touchdown on the play (I think they were about 20 yards out). Each "Joe" has 3 chances to defend Irvin. "Joe" Jay wins this challenge because the QB throws a bad pass, even though Irvin is open by about 10 yards, and Irvin then stumbles on another of his routes.
Best Moment: Irvin beats Aaron badly over the middle--he could easily continue his run to the far sideline and waltz into the end zone. Instead, he stops, spins, and runs in the other direction, just for the chance to make Aaron look stupid. Aaron tackles him well after Irvin scores the TD. Irvin gets up, laughs, and then pats Aaron on the ass. And keeps his hand on Aaron's ass for an amount of time that would definitely have to be considered uncomfortable. Hilarious.
It should be noted that Irvin isn't any more intelligible on this show than he is on NFL pregame work.
Challenge 2: Don't Tap Out to Randy Couture
Again, a pretty straightforward challenge. 5 minutes in the Octogan. Person who taps out to Randy the least wins. Randy is apparently the dude all the Joes were least happy to see when the Pros were introduced at the beginning of the show. He's 43 years old, retired from the UFC for awhile now, but he's still built like a brick shithouse. Even the other Pros look a little apprehensive about what he might do to the Joes.
What he does, over the course of 15 minutes, is get them all to tap out a lot. Aaron gets fucked up the most (and possibly not coincidentally, he had to go first, assuming Spike isn't editing the shit out of this shit). Aaron taps 8 times in 5 minutes. Jay taps 6 times, and it looks like Dawan is going to win this thing, with only 5 taps in 4 minutes, but surrenders two in the final minute, including one with only 6 seconds left. Couture's arsenal of holds and submissions are impressive--the guillotine, the arm bar, the ankle lock, shoulder locks (Dawan's shoulder pops audibly). When the competition is over, Randy informs the other pros that he was never really a submission guy. Scary! Randy also seems to be quite insistent that viewers at home get a good look at his super cauliflower ear. Come on Randy! Wear a knit cap, son!
It should be noted that Jay is a trainer in close combat for the Army Reserve. Perhaps that's what gets him through this event, though it certainly suggests that Randy has some things to teach our Reservists.
Jay has won Two Events, so he guaranteed a spot in the final round, aka Overtime. Challenge 3 will be between Dawan and Aaron (who was "going to fuck these guys up")
Challenge 3: Homerun Derby
This challenge, frankly, makes little sense. Perhaps the producers were at a loss as to how to use Canseco, and this is all they could come up with (except for his Overtime challenge, which was awesome). So Canseco gets to do the typical Homerun Derby thing--he has 5 outs. To tweak it a little bit, the show has set up low walls at various distances; a 250 ft homerun might only count 1 point, but a 300 ft homerun will count as 4 points. Canseco is still roiding, and in his 5 outs, puts up 70 points, almost all of it coming from 4 point HR's. Now clearly, the Joes aren't going to get anywhere near that.
Dawan, perhaps still smarting from his shoulder being popped in loud ways by Randy, hits for 20 points. The winner, Aaron, hits for 24 points. Dawan, hit the bricks, funny man!
Overtime--which still works the same way as last season--the Joes get a minute to complete a task--if they fail to complete it after a minute, they "max out". The final competition is one featuring four mini-games, with each pro in their element.
First challenge is to grab two boards from Kevin Willis. Both competitors wait for a ball to skid off the rim in a way that doesn't produce much of a bounce. Jay builds a lead here.
Second challenge to get a hit off of Canseco pitching. I love that challenge! I also love that both guys take all of 15 seconds to get a solid hit off of him. Jay adds a couple of seconds to his lead here.
Third challenge is to throw a ball into a box that is being defended by Michael Irvin. Aaron maxes out, Jay gets a ball through at the :59 second mark.
Fourth challenge is get Randy to touch the ground outside of a 12 foot circle. Aaron gets lucky, and gets Randy's elbow to touch outside at the 12 second mark. It appears that Jay may be in some trouble, but he too, (after desperately clutching Randy's muscle Tee so hard that he rips it off Randy) gets Randy to touch ground at about the 25 second mark.
Jay wins! He gets to collect the Pro's jerseys (a new prize this season) and 20 grand. He also no doubt knows that he didn't really beat an old beat up pro in anything. To which I say, awesome!
All things being equal, though, this opener was just OK. Next week's show, which appears to feature a guy who hits Kordell Stewart hard, pokes Timmy Hardaway in the eye, and then raises the ire of Claude Lemeiux, looks to be much more fun. Don't piss off Claude, son!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
So it must mean something special when a Sid Hartman quote keeps jumping out at me:
"The players had so much respect for Tomlin because he was so smart and so knowledgeable and was super at handling people. "
I think it jumps out at me because it is such lazy writing. Three "so's", and one "super" in one sentence? Lazy, that is.
So I say, when some Lazy Sportswriter give you lemons, you take those lemons, make lemonade and throw that lemonade in the face of that lazy sportwriter who gave you lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for. (to paraphrase Bill McNeil)
I for one see Madlib potential all over this sentence. Let's make it this:
"The (noun, plural form) had so much (emotional noun) for (Proper Noun) because he was so (adjective) and so (adjective) and was super at (verb)(noun)."
Let me give an example:
The chairs had so much love for Richard Gere because he was so pretty and pink and was super at rustling cattle.
The ladies had so much hate for Neil Patrick Harris because he was so famous and gay and was super at tickling box.
Join the Sid Hartman Madlib Game.
The Raiders are currently the #1 team to be rooted for by assholes that don't know anything about football, surpassing the Cowboys surge of the 1990s with a steaming brown surge of their own. And ever since getting blown the fuck up by Chucky Part 2: Electric Boogaloo in the Superbowl, they have sucked.
I love every fucking minute of it.
Raiders offensive statistics? Fewest yards, fewest first downs, fewest points (fifth worst ever), fewest run TDs (5!), fewest pass TDs (7!). The pass offense is 2nd worst across the board, except that the worst pass offense in the NFL had three times as many TDs and nine fewer INTs. Giving up forty-six turnovers netted them a -23 turnover ratio ... yep, worst in the league.
I can't go on. My fingers hurt from writing my caustic laughter onto the internet.
But wait -- help is on the way. In the form of a 31 year old Head Coach with zero head coaching experience at the pro or Division I level, who boasts exactly one year of experience in the NFL ... as "defensive quality control coach" for the 2000 Jaguars (record: 7-9). This is the fourth Raiders head coach in four years. That's a commitment to excellence, Bone-Daddies.
The Raiders have the first pick in the 2007 draft. It's like watching one of those foster homes adopting another mistreated child, and then keeping him chained in the root cellar. Marinating in his own excretions. Speaking to the rats. Screaming in captive, onanistic anguish.
I Dislike the Raiders. And they will suck for a long, long time. It makes me laugh.
I hope the Raiders haven't lost Jeff George's home number. I think he's available for the 2007 season.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Vikings finally lost Mike Tomlin to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Apparently, they were dazzled by his poise, which seems more like a reason to crown a Dairy Princess of Yellow Medicine County than pick a new head coach.
The "dazzled by his poise" line comes from the finely wrinkly puss of Sid Hartman, so who knows how exact that description is. If you've never read any Sid, chew on this sentence for a while. Imagine a 13 year old girl (a JV cheerleader, perhaps) saying it. I think it makes more sense that way:
"The players had so much respect for Tomlin because he was so smart and so knowledgeable and was super at handling people. "
OMG! I know! He was so smart!
The Vikings will no doubt miss Tomlin, who did build a credible defense even when hampered by a pretty sketchy secondary, which was for most of the season.
Dwayne Casey is also out of Minnesota, fired by the Timberwolves, following an 0-4 skid, which followed the best play the Wolves had shown all season. This began to feel pretty inevitable when the Wolves brought back Randy Wittman to be an assistant this season. The Wolves are currently 20-20, and in contention for a playoff spot. I don't know what I think of this move, but I doubt Randy Wittman (or really, anyone) is going to be able to improve this team much above .500 ball. We'll see. It seems clear to me that the frontcourt deficiencies don't get automatically healed by R-Witt's Magic Touch.
And finally, here's a funny/awful story from The Land of Minnesota Nice. A school using a concept created by a national organization, develops a No-Name Calling Week. A few parents go crazy when they learn that the idea of the week was first suggested by GLSEN, a Homosickual Group! Their crazy gay agenda apparently includes trying to protect gay youth from being taunted! How dare they! "We would have never agreed to No-Name Calling Week," the argument seems to be, "if we had known the fags were behind it!"
Awe-inspiring in the accidental, moronic irony.
Monday, January 22, 2007
We rocked them! 3-1! Take that, Denmark!
Obviously, beating a shell Danish team using a US team made up a bunch of youngsters (with veterans like Matt Reis, Landon Donovan, and Pablo Mastroenni and uh, Danny Califf?) is nice and all, but it doesn't count for much, either for good or for ill.
Which is why I'm refusing to get too excited about Justin Mapp's absolutely filthy run right at the Danish defense (you hear that, rest of the US soccer?--you can run AT defenses) before dishing the ball off for an easy goal. The moves here on display, if Mapp can continue to make them, would give the US dangerous flankers on both sides. You'll notice in the video that our commentators (sound like Stone and Wynalda to me) comment that Mapp is a lefty, working on the right side, where Clint "Deuce" Dempsey would normally play. Too soon to get too excited, but regardless--beautiful run from Justin Mapp. Apologies that ESPN went with the smalltown JV Football camera angle for the realtime action. The replays towards the end of the video show the play much more clearly.
So congratulations to Shahar Peer--she is only nineteen years old, and while it does feel at times that the retirement age of women's tennis players is approaching 22 or so, she apparently has the stuff to be around for awhile.
I would send a picture of my penis via text message to (in order of importance): Erin Andrews, Suzy Colber, Mike Golic, Leslie Visser and Linda Cohn. I'd be curious to see the list of others?
Thanks to the gentleman who I sat next to at the Wisconsin-Ohio St. college basketball game a few weeks back for forwarding this photo of Erin during her hard-hitting sideline coverage of that tilt.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I was wrong: I Pulled A Boner.
How does this differ from, say, Pulling a Romo or Hugging the Panda?
The phrase originated from the TV show Growing Pains, in which religious teen hearthrob Kirk Cameron censored shows that were too racy and forced out the show's original creators for being "pornographers." Despite this sad freak's best efforts to keep the show blander than instant grits, he missed the fact that his best friend was named after an erect, sexually aroused priapism, i.e., Kirk Cameron Pulled a Boner
Let's examine what really happened in the NFL, as opposed to my well-reasoned but nevertheless completely wrong predictions.
Bears Defense Devour Saints
Chicago's Special Teams dominated and the Bears took advantage of four turnovers. That Bears Defense is ball-hungry. The momentum shifts kept the Saints D on their heels and they couldn't defend ther middle against RBs Jones and Benson. 2005 Coach of the Year Lovie Smith called a calm patient game plan.
Rex Grossman looks like a puffy tampon and he plays like it too. Yet he didn't turn the ball over in the cold wind & snow of Soldier Field, while Drew Brees fumbled & tossed a poorly timed INT.
The Saints seemed cold & nervous, with early key drops invoking a culture of desperation for the endothermic Southern squad.
They looked like a team without experience in Big Games in hostile environments with harsh football conditions because that's exactly what they were.
Chicago has bested the unimpressive NFC, dominating the #1 offense in the NFL. Can they control a Colts offense that will be playing under ideal conditions? Will the Bears RBs be effective, allowing Grossman to aim no higher than playing boner-free football? Are all Bears fans as classy as the guy who flipped off the camera?
Colts Survive Kryptonite
The Patriots CBs were dominant, Brady was poised and the Pats O-line was run-blocking dominantly. But the Colts rekindled their chi force at half time. And the Patriots, in an effort to keep scoring, abandoned the run.
In the first half, the Patriots ran 18 times. In the second half, the Patriots ran 5 times. This despite the fact that the Colts didn't have the lead in the game until the final 1:17 in the 4th Quarter.
Give credit to Dungy & Manning for not folding. Give rotten tomatoes to Vinny Testicles ala Verde for his self-abasing TV commercial just before kickoff.
In a game where three offensive linemen scored TDs, it was the Colts well-timed running attack that kept them in the game. This was an excellent game, but if the equation for momentum is p = m*v wherein v is velocity and m is mass, than p stands for Horseface. I mean P. Manning, sorry.
Manning won the chess match this time.
Can the Colts D stand up to a Bears team that has no choice but to stick with the run? Can the Colts exploit a Bears secondary that beat the crap out of the Saints WRs? If the Colts win, how many fucking Manning commercials will there be next year?
Can't say I wanted to see these teams. But they have both earned their trip to the Superbowl. Look for my upcoming Lifestyle column Badcock's Predictions Part 2: The Winter of His Discontented Boner Pulling.
I'm coming to praise it.
The Premise is pure brilliance: Take 5 ex-super badasses (Jerry Rice, Kevin Greene, Matt Williams, Dave fucking Stewart!, etc) and then add in to the mix 3 guys who think they can compete in Major League Sports, but don't, because their life didn't turn out the right way.
The three jokers are in competition with each other, but that's not really what the game is about. It's about seeing guys who think they could have played in the NFL getting burned by Jerry Rice, or getting smacked by Bill Romanski. It's about Alexi Lalas telling some guy who bragged about his martial arts skills on his audition tape to "Go Back To your Fucking Dojo."
Spike TV (ugh) ran a marathon of this shit, and I'm sold, brother. I love this show. I'd like to link their site on SpikeTV's site, but apparently Spike still thinks Flash-based websites are still the shit. Shocking, that. So I have no direct link.
But really, is there anything more fun than seeing guys who talk about their fucking Little League Homeruns, getting lit up by Dave Stewart? I don't think so. Seeing Justin Gatlin catch two dudes in a 60 meter dash, when he spots them 10 meters? Hilarious! I love the show.
I'm recommending it. With my whole heart. It's worth it to see what retired athletes are still capable of--Dave Stewart is still throwing 86 mph heat? Mugsey Bogues can still hit 8 13 foot jumpers in a row? Kevin Greene is still a scary motherfucker?
But the bonus is seeing these dicks who think they could have been pro athletes getting heckled by former badasses. I particularly love Bo Jackson (who knows a little something about bad luck) yelling at a guy, "You were one good break away from being a loser!"
Herschel Walker, by the by, still looks like a fucking badass.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
He threw my post about the Beckham Rule on some lame ass BigSoccer thread, but that's OK
We rock the FC, tight, and I've been exposed to an audience who thinks that if you criticize the MLS, you have an anti-MLS bias. Which is akin to pointing at a retarded puppy, that keeps running into the glass door, and saying, "Man, that puppy is stupid", and then being accused of having a bias against retarded puppies. Umm, that puppy is retarded, whether I have a bias or not.
In any case, everyone, let's welcome Scarlet and Gray Matter. Make them feel at home.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
So here's the thing--Fan's Attic is right, for the most part. Beckham will get asses in the seat. He will get people who enjoy soccer to actually watch the MLS every once in awhile. And his contract isn't actually $250,000,000. That was a bit of showmanship from the MLS that kind of bit them in the ass. It is more like $50,000,000, plus a lot of sponsorship deals paid by 3rd parties. For the intents of this response, let's just talk about that $50 million, which is still several, several times over what even the highest paid American player makes in MLS. Also, it should be mentioned, as it was in the article I linked to above, that Beckham is probably going to drive up the value of the new Galaxy kit, which will have sponsors on it, like in the European leagues.
Ah, and now, finally to my headline--I don't have a problem with signing a big name player on his decline and maybe with something to prove. I don't have a problem with signing him to an incredibly large deal. I have a problem with how the rule that brought Beckham over here is formulated, and what that means for other teams in the MLS.
1. The Beckham rule was an act of impetuousness, not long-term planning
The only reason this rule (and we'll get into the ugly particulars shortly) was passed was because MLS sensed a chance to get Beckham into the fold. Back (way back in '06) when it was being voted on by the MLS leadership (a small and insular bunch) it was called the Beckham Rule. Everyone who voted on the passing of this rule knew what it meant. And it wasn't to pry Claudio Reyna from the rather disinterested hands of Manchester City. My theory is that MLS sensed a moment, and opportunity, to grab a big name player (really, an impossibly big name player) before he proved himself in some second division English squad, or agreed to less money in Spain, or Italy, or even Germany or (ick) France. Plenty of men in Beckham's position would have signed with one of those leagues, even if it meant swallowing some pride. But Beckham is a special beast, and MLS knew it. He's a guy on a downward turn, but not by any means necessarily old, for the type of soccer he plays. And he wanted to be in LA, and LA wanted Beckham there. The rest of the league said, "Beckham could be in our league." That's the single reason this rule passed. That's not long term thinking, and the other aspects of this rule confirm that. Its quite unlike MLS in that regard. They've been very careful to avoid the short-term gain, long-term losses of the NASL. Is there a worse place than LA to build loyalty to a team via players (outside of Atlanta)? Yes, Beckham will sell out seats. But if he is great for 2 years, and then retires, will those fans keep coming to watch the fucking Galaxy? I guarantee you that they will not, unless the Galaxy, and the league as a whole, makes some serious strides. And it seems they've gone out of there way to make sure they can't possibly make those strides.
2. The Beckham Rule Caps players, not money. It punishes savvy GM's.
If I were Houston, I'd be pissed about this. The rule is that MLS, as an entity, will pay any salary up to $400,000. It states as well that no team can have more than 1 player over that salary, no matter how much money the team is willing to spend. It does say that one team can trade its exemption to another team, but no more than once. So, at any time, there will never be an MLS team with more than two players making over $400,000. Now, LA did the smart thing in that rule structure (that they helped define) by signing an audaciously large personality, going far, far over the cap. They have the money to do so, they have the lure, and they they have the fucking money! Would Beckham have signed with Houston, Columbus, Kansas City, or Toronto? Of course not. Who would sign would those teams?
But those GM's who might say to themselves, "You know for $40 million dollars, I could probably sign 20 young and raw but exciting players from South America and Africa" the answer is a solid NO from the Beckham rule. No more than two players over $400,000, and you have to trade the exemption spot to get up to two players!
In what world does that makes sense? If I were the Colorado Rapids, and I wanted to sign fucking Rivaldo and Matt Le Tissier to one year, $500,000 contracts, I couldn't. Because that's somehow more damaging to US soccer than a 5 year, $40 million dollar contract.
How is it? I don't fucking know. That's a crazy situation I've posited there, only because Rivaldo and Le Tissier are sucking back Long Island Ice Teas on the Isle of Corfu and getting their balls tickled by well paid young women who feign interest.
But at this moment, a smart club, sending a scout down to South America or to Africa who discovers two talents worth $500,000 would have to choose between the two, even though the two combined would equal less than 1/40th of Beckham's contract.
Now, many of you might be saying, "Hey, lots of leagues work that way--Turkish basketball leagues limit the number of Americans; Japanese soccer leagues limit the number of Europeans; etc."
Good point, except that none of those leagues limit to One Player. And also (and one of the worst by-products of a poorly worked Beckham rule follows:)
3. The Beckham rule does not exempt American players. Say it again The Beckham rule does NOT exempt American players.
Yes, there are some MLS players who are currently making over $400,000. They will not count as the player over the cap right away--they will be grandfathered in to start, but they will eventually count against the One Player cap. Landon Donovan, for example, would count starting in 2008. And Donovan plays for the Galaxy. This rule isn't about keeping the league American, clearly. The Brains Behind MLS didn't even think to make an exemption for American players; or they did, and decided that if LA was going to sign Beckham, they wanted to pry Donovan from their hands. The more likely effect is that Americans who could have been signed for $600,000 won't be signed, in the hopes of snagging some million dollar player from Europe. And that young American player finds himself on a fucking practice squad in England, getting no real game experience, which is what the MLS was supposed to be all about. Meanwhile, middle of the road players who have garnered absolutely no interest in Europe, like Jason Kreis, Brian Ching, and countless others, will ply their wares in the MLS.
4. This Rule Doesn't Spur American Interest in the Long Run
Yes, Beckham is a special personality, if not player (I happen to think he could be a special player, which is why I say the problem isn't him). But for every team that has $40 million dollars to spend on one player, there is another team that has $5 million dollars to recruit 10 young and talented players that no one has ever heard of. I'll tell you what--if I have a choice to watch an MLS team made up of the most talented youngsters the World over, playing for one year, and $500,000, and a chance to make the Premiership, or a team with one guy who is famous, I'll take the fun, attacking, young team every time. And that team would beat David Beckham's Galaxy almost every time. The MLS, in its infinite wisdom, has made sure that team could never exist.
5. US Talent is at a Nadir
By many accounts, this is the weakest group of NCAA soccer players eligible for the MLS draft in recent memory. Clint Dempsey, the one solidly good US player from the 2006 World Cup is off to the Premiership. Fan's Attic hit this point--the MLS is spectacularly lacking in talent. It is ugly soccer. You are going to have a more enjoyable time going to your local high school or college game than watching MLS on the TV. The answer to that is to limit the ability of teams to recruit talent outside the US, and to push super talented Americans out of the league?
6. Team Loyalty, not Player Loyalty
Look to Real (where Becks came from) or Chelsea (where world class, but over 30 years old Andiry Shevencho is being accused of being a spy for the Russian owner) and the answer is obvious, world over--you can put famous people in your kit, but if you want to build true fan loyalty, you need to be known as a team that finds great young talent. And the Beckham rule hamstrings teams--it forces them to find one great player. It's a fucking stupid rule, and the MLS needs to fix it.
Will they fix it in time? That's the question. Beckham isn't the problem. The Beckham Rule--That's the Problem.
Even fat sportsjack (and former funny guy on some show 15 years ago) Nick Backay, who has the vomitous honesty to admit that a) he "don't even like the Redskins. Don't care about them in the least" and b) is a Bills fan (a Bills fan = mustache-proud asshole), pontificates on Art Monk's status: "Monk was a fantastic player. He played on winners, he played forever, and his stats were great before league rules and philosophies changed and all of a sudden they look merely terrific. Monk should have been put in the Hall years ago."
Bold is all mine, bitches.
Can't wait to hear the great one speak. He's been silent like Rushmore this entire time. He's in, he's in.
Art Monk for President!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The wheat has been separated from the chaff (thanks to a DT-DL twist that let the SS streak in for a concussive sack), the gold has been sifted from the pyrite (thanks to steroid testing and the fact that a football game lasts a full sixty minutes), the cream has risen to the top of the mank (that's man-milk ... yes, I know I predicted the Redskins would win the Superbowl, but go fuck yourself quietly in the corner).
Let's get down to cases, shall we? You want to know what's brilliant about the playoffs? It's all about how well you're playing right now. How well are you playing after seventeen brutal weeks of disappointments, abasements, season-ending injuries, exhausting victories and happy finishes at adult lounges? It has been scientifically proven that the intensity of the regular season is quadrupaplied come playoff time. By the time you get to the Conference Championships, that intensity has doublified.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 6:30 EST
Give credit where credit's due: this is the ninth consecutive year the NFC has proposed an entirely different Conference Champion to attend the Super Bowl (with a whomping 2-6 mark over that time). The Patriots are trying to make it 4 of 6 World Championships for fuck's sake.
Once again, two great QBs square off in the game of the year ... again. If the past is any indication, this game belongs to Brady. His 4-2 record against the Colts includes a 2-0 playoff record mark. However, the Colts have won their last two against the Pats. The Patriots beat a superior Chargers team on the road last week. That was guts & playing hard without looking at the score. The Colts, as talented as they are, still seem as soft as milquetoast. But American Football is a question of matchups.
The last time these teams played (27-20 Colts victory in Foxborough, 11/5/6), Brady was intercepted four times. In the Divisional round, Brady looked as precise as a water weasel in a funhouse mirror. To win, the Pats must play solid, mistake-free, ball-control football. They are built for this, but their reliance on using the passing formations to run (four WRs spread, Kevin Faulk in motion to draw up the middle out of a shotgun) hints at O-Line Power problems. Too bad; every team that has beaten the Colts has done so by power running. The Patriots should attack with Dillon & Boney Maroney, and hit their big TE on play-action. The O-Line can't protect against the Colts speed-rush. They must speak Power to Truth, or else.
If the Colts and Patriots get into a pass-attack frenzy, the Colts will win. Their weapons are significantly better and their pass defense is too (a lot depends on if Rodney Harrison can play and be effective). The Patriots have a solid defense and the edge in coaching, as well as the psychological advantage of having beaten the Colts just like this before. That was when the Colts looked unstoppable. They don't look so unstoppable now. Losing in the regular season is one thing. You need a good reason to bet against Brady and Belicheck in the postseason (12-1). I don't think the Colts are a good enough reason. I hope not, anyway ... don't bet the farm on this. I almost racionated my way backwards, and also my heart's involved. Me no gusto la Manning. The Colts don't deserve shit, according to my predictions. Patriots win.
Manning never, Monk forever!
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT CHICAGO BEARS 3 EST
Anyone else catch this? Rex Grossman is like George W. Bush. He started out under scrutiny, and then his team needed him ready-or-not for the fight of his life ... which he seemed to have accomplished. And then he started to believe the hype. And then the other team figured out how to play against him. Reality & the cold crushing flood of public opinion came crashing down, and everyone will try to forget about him as soon as possible.
The rest of the team is good enough to drag the offense along after them, horny caveman style, but at some point the Bears will have to beat a good team. Let me repeat this for all you sinners: the only teams with winning records that the Bears have beaten were the Seattle Plankton and the New York Jest.
The pace of the game will be very important. If the Bears defense & special teams can force a field position ballgame, they can run well enough to control the game. To win, the Saints must take command of the pace of this game. If they can force the Bears into running with them, Grossman will chuck up some bloated longballs. A fast, high-scoring game obviously favors the Saints, but consider this: temperatures in Chicago will likely be below freezing, with 15-20 mph winds. The Saints must keep their offensive engine revving on the field. You don't want to see Bush or Colston getting cold-muscle leg cramps sitting on the sidelines, on top of the rookie jitters. Look for dropped passes early for the Saints -- that's an indication that somebody needs some Dan Marino-inspired Isotoner Gloves. Creepy.
Neither team has the advantage of Big-Game experience. The Bears crowd is certain to be a factor, but will turn on Grossman when he inevitably turns the ball over.
The Saints are the better team. Their defense and special teams are good. Their offense is very good. Saints win. Enjoy.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Off the Baggie has some post-season College Football awards to offer up. We are officially intrigued by Hawaii QB Colt Brennan.
the boys of The Big Picture have taken it upon themselves to interview successful sports bloggers. It is only a matter of time before we get interviewed, I'm sure. As soon as we are successful. I commented on the Mighty MJD interview, because it was reassuring to know that you can blog for two years before you get an audience. Did I say inspiring? I meant to say fucking soul-crushing.
The Cashbox has much love for an SI Pete Maravich photo gallery. We don't disagree. Dig those too tight shorts, and too loose socks, and the Pistol's ugly-ass yet presumably effective shot in the second photo!
Leave the Man Alone has shocking gossip--Yao Ming finds incredibly attractive black women attractive. And Nia Long may find ridiculously freakish products of Chinese experiments on the pituatary gland attractive in return. Yao Ming + Nia Long? That equals Yao Long, or Nia Ming.
You'll Never Blog Alone is hopeful that Chelsea will self-destruct ala Real, and finds Real being super petty about the Beckham situation. We couldn't agree more. You don't go public with Beckham not playing and then say he'll still practice with the team. It makes Real sound as appealing as a cat fart.
We should note that while everyone here at IDYFT is harboring a pretty serious crush on Leave the Man Alone, You'll Never Blog Alone is quickly rising in my crush status. I think there is only one way to solve this...lingerie tickle fight! Ladies?
The Postmen weigh in on Beckham.
Whisenhunt is the now former offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he helped a very young QB win a Super Bowl (that's how the pundits are describing it).
Not to be a Downie Clownie, but Ken also had, at the time, one of the best defenses in the league, a young shockingily quick running back, coupled with a dependable, productive warhorse running back (Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis, respectively). With a somewhat less reliable quarterback, and with that warhorse running back in the Studio, the Steelers offense wasn't very impressive.
No doubt, Whisenhunt is being given the keys to a possibly dynamic offense, though they have a serious need at running back. Michael Turner may be available, Ken. Then you get your Willie Parker like back, your dependable warhorse in Edge, a young talented quarterback, and what may be the most talented wide receiver duo in the NFC. I mean, shit, anyone could run that offense!
The biggest question is--who's going to run that defense? Because, really--Ewww, Girl, EWWW.
Speaking of EWWW. Dear Pittsburgh Steelers:
Just because Chan Gailey was liked by your outgoing coach doesn't mean you have to hire Chan Gailey. It doesn't mean you have to interview him. Why are you interviewing Chan Gailey? He's been given a shot in the NFL as a head coach, and he was a definitive failure. Remember? He coached the Cowboys. He sucked. 18-14 in two years with Dallas did somehow translate into 2 post-season appearances, but really--you are the Pittsburgh fucking Steelers--you are interviewing a guy who is holding up an average of 9-7 as a success? Boo, Steelers, boo. Russ Grimm is much more your man.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I was only able to see one NFL playoff game this entire weekend. Luckily, it was the late Sunday game: Patriots at the Chargers.
I had high hopes for this one and they were realized. I've been rooting for the Chargers (or rather, LaDanian Tomlinson) all year (all sad Redskins sad year) and the prospect of a Saints-Chargers Superbowl made many neutral fans salivatorial.
4th Quarter, tied at 21. The Chargers had the ball on their own 30 yard line with 4:30 on the clock. LaDanian Tomlinson, who had already run for 117 yards (5.3 yard average) and two TDs (as well as 64 receiving yards, accounting for 64 % of the Chargers offense), was the obvious choice for a gut-busting 40 yard drive to kick the game winning FG with the clock expiring. Tomlinson, the best player in the NFL this year & and a young, passionate, classy, hungry and purely-blessed athlete, took the ball up the churning gut for six yards on first down.
On second down, Martyballs got cute with a play-action call that went to the check-down TE and was incomplete. On third down, Martyballs called a pass that was not delivered accurately by his young QB. Punt to the Patriots with 3 1/2 minutes left? Bad idea.
There were lots of bad ideas and poor playing on exhibit today. Brady was as erratic as a garden sprinkler that had been up all night getting free tea-bags at the "Man Shack." The Patriots have been committing too many penalties all year, and were careless with the ball.
Nevertheless, the Chargers gave the game to the Patriots with dropped passes, fumbles, inattentive play, personal fouls & questionable play calls. That sure smacks of bad coaching. Why go for it on 4th and 11 early in the game, when Nick Kaeding is in the top 5 of the league in FG percentage, with a 40-49 yard percentage of 77.8%? Do you think those three points might have been useful later in the game?
The Chargers looked overwhelmed on offense ... unless LaDanian Tomlinson had the ball. In which case they were unstoppable.
The Chargers had a dynamic defense, a good O-line and the best football player I've seen in a long, long time. With the game in hand, and the full playbook available, Martyball Pulled a Romo.
Should have kept handing the ball off, Martyballs. Ladanian Tomlinson was your lightning. You got to ride the lightning.
How do you not give it to this guy?
I know that my strategy of staying sober at a poker party only works if you don't gamble like a drunk guy, which I completely did tonight. I know as good at it feels to reel off new high scores in Guitar Hero, it feels better when you do it in front of people who have played the game, and appreciate what you are doing. Even if one of those people is tipsy, and chock full of caffeine, and wearing a West German cold weather bodyhugging track suit. I know, and now you do, too, dear reader, that I have some weird fucking friends.
I know many of my friends mock me because I have "too many" favorite college basketball teams. To them, many of whom blog for this very site, at least in theory, I say this: I grew up 8 miles outside of DC. There are lots of Division I programs within a quick drive. Unlike the flyover state of Wisconsin, that has all of four Division I programs. Four! Or Minnesota, which when it comes to basketball probably doesn't have more than two. And really, the University of Minnesota is getting close to having their team revoked, because of the suckage. I grew up around a lot of good teams. When you are 10 years old, how do you pick between the Ralph Sampson led Cavaliers or the Patrick Ewing led Hoyas? You don't dammit!
And today was a good day to be a fan of teams around DC. This was an awfully long build up to some college scores, but I'm excited. Can you feel it? I can feel the excitement. I'm tingly. Let's (finally) get to it. And Good God, is this first one sweet. Apologies to Ed Cone, who supported my Duke Hate, but only because he's a fucking dirty hippie Tarheel.
(1) North Carolina 88, (unranked until Monday) VA Tech 94--This is quite simply, an awesome week to be a Hokie. They beat Duke in Cameron, and beat NC at home. They are the first team to do that since NC State, back during the Julius Hodge era (admittedly, that was about 2 1/2 years ago). I'd like to quickly note that Greg Oden owes a nod to Julius Hodge, for pioneering that whole "I'm 18 years old but look 45" vibe. The score is a disservice to two things--one) how badly the Hokies were kicking the shit out of the Tarheels for about 32 minutes of this game--they were up 23 in the second half. Secondly, the score doesn't reflect how scary and how full of impending doom I was as the Tarheels completely erased that margin. The Hokies were doing odd things in the last 3 minutes of the game, too. Missing free throws, taking quick shots--doing all the things that made a NC comeback seem inevitable. A true nailbiter. Great game, and go Hokies! They will have possibly one of the single biggest jumps in ranking seen in quite awhile. I've become a fan of VT guard Zabian Dowdell, and not just because of his awesome name. I don't think the ACC is going to be talked about in the same breath as the PAC-10 any time soon, but this goes very far in proving how deep this conference really is.
Keeping it in the ACC, (17) Clemson got its undefeated season taken care of, courtesy of the mighty Maryland Terrapins, 87-92. As some insightful blogger suggested, Clemson were not of the quality to be the last undefeated team, and even that Maryland would beat them. Again a game that saw a team up by double digits, the other team claw back furiously, put the result in doubt, before finally folding up the tent. Ekene Ibekwe was the the difference maker for the Terps, along with Daryl Strawberry's kid, who had 14 points and 6 assists. Maryland cracked the top 25 in one poll, was barely unranked in the other--come Monday, they should be right around 22 or so in both major polls.
In general, today was just a fun day of Hoops--you didn't have to be an ACC-focused, DC Metro area biased fan to dig today.
(5) Ohio State 68 (16) Tennessee 66--OK, I'm dubious of Tennessee, which is almost always the right way to go with dealing with the Volunteers. And they did lose this game, but I came away a bit of fan of Tennessee. Tennessein' is Tennebelievin'. They are a bit lacking in front court fire power, but Lofton is a hell of a playmaker. Tennessee will beat some very very good teams. Greg Oden was pretty damn impressive in this game, leading Ohio State in points, boards, and assists. As Seth Davis said, "imagine what this kid will do when he can play with both of his hands." It took a 3 pointer in the closing seconds for the Buckeyes to close this out.
(6) Kansas 68, Iowa State 64 --I'm also super dubious of the Jayhawks, and I should admit that I've never cared for them, dating back to some weird animus for Danny Manning. Frankly, I think some pretty dubious calls decided this game. Brandon Rush got away with at least two offensive fouls in the final minutes. Kansas overcame some really shitty free throw shooting (at least in part, because Iowa State was even shittier). Kansas' big men will need to be better from the line in the future. Especially...Sasha Kaun. Sasha Kaun. Sasha. Sasha Kaun. (That will be kind of funny if you imagine the Chaka Khan song that starts off this way). His name is humorously close to an a completely unrelated and almost forgotten Black Woman's name! Sasha Kaun. All the same, though, fuck Bill Self and fuck the rock, chalk, Jayhawks. #6, my ass.
I'd like to write more, but it appears my internet tubes are all clogged up. So I'll just provide some links to some other really good games.
UCLA beats USC with a last second shot from Affalo.
LSU squeaks by Auburn.
Air Force comes backs on Wyoming to win
Stanford's Anthony Goods beats recent PAC-10 darling Washington State.
Nevada beats Hawaii without Nick Fazekas, but just barely.