Saturday, June 30, 2007

Here Comes Garza

La Velle Neal of the Star Trib talked to Matt Garza on his call up from Rochester.

Garza is saying all the right things now. But there is little doubt that he considers himself more talented than some of the other AAA call-ups. He's probably right.

Garza is being given a golden opportunity, likely starting the second game of the double-header against the floundering White Sox a week from now.

By the end of the year, the Twins could be looking at a very tough rotation, with Santana, Liriano, Silva, Slowey and Garza/Baker.

The veteran pitchers the Twins thought they needed? Ponson is not in the league, and Ramon Ortiz is coming out of the bullpen, and used rarely.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Wikipedia Did It

So it goes that life truly is stranger than fiction. The WWE, well known crafters of the latter, now find themselves embroiled in a real mystery of the former. No longer do they need the bogus “Vince McMahon was killed in a car bomb” storyline. They now have a true to life murder mystery that involves their very own WWE headquarters.

The tragedy is obvious and very sad, however all the shenanigans that surround the terrible events are somehow very fitting of pro wrastlin’.

I am still waiting for there to be a "very touching" episode of Piper's Corner to follow up on the eerie and just plain weird memorial show earlier this week. I mean who could do sorrow better than Rowdy Roddy Piper?

Update: Apparently, it was all a terrible coincidence?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

US vs. Argentina--US Wins 1-0 For Four Minutes

And then they get worked like whores inside the Vatican during the Banquet of Chestnuts.

Very few Americans got to watch this game, it being on the 2nd or 3rd Mexican-American television channel, Telefutura. I should note, that includes me. My dad watched the game, and he told me that "this Messi guy you told me to watch makes a lot of good runs, and Oh! Oh! OH! That Tevez guy just scored."

We will very quickly note that occasional contributor Garwood B. Jones predicted this score exactly right. Be glad you don't know him, because those of us who do will be forced to watch him blow smoke up his own ass.

So, to recap...the Americans had two starters from their impressive Gold Cup squad--revelation Benny Feilhaber, and defensive but dangerous Jonathan Bornstein. This angers me greatly. Finally, a chance to take what looks like a good young team into hostile territory outside the CONCACAF, and Coach Bradley goes yet younger, more inexperienced, except in the defense, where we see such retreads like Jimmy Conrad and Danny Califf. Ugh.

No surprise, I guess, that the US' one goal came from a nasty through ball from Feilhaber. American Engima Eddie Johnson gets knocked ass over teakettle in the box, and then slots the penalty home. It was the 8th minute. The US would do no better.

The next four goals were Argentinian in origin. Hernan Crespo (off the chaos of a Riquelme free kick) tied it four minutes later. The score remained tied until the 64th minute, when Crespo again scored. Hell, let's just save ourselves the pain of recounting these goals, and just go with soccernet's last paragraph about the game:

Crespo scored his second goal off a pass from Messi, speeding unmarked into the penalty area and beating Keller from 8 yards. Aimar scored on a header from 12 yards off a cross from Heinze, who bent the ball back from near the corner. Tevez then collected a through ball from Riquelme on a failed offside trap, touched it ahead to himself and slotted the ball just inside the post to Keller's right.

Hey, young US team--mark Crespo. Hey US defense--offside traps are for suckers. Hey, Coach Bradley--field a real team, because this paragraph bugs the fuck out of me:

The loss was the first for the United States since a 2-1 defeat to Ghana on June 22 last year in Germany, which eliminated the Americans from the World Cup. They had been 10-0-1 under Bob Bradley, who coached his first road game since replacing Bruce Arena as coach late last year.

In other words, this was the first loss the US team has suffered since the last they played a real team outside the US. Hiding behind a bunch of punk rookies who are 3 spots down in the depth chart does us a disservice, Bob. When we play one of the best teams in the world, we should bring our best team. Mexico did. Argentina did. Chile did. If we get worked 4-1 by Argentina, I should have a sense of what that means for the US team. I have no idea, because there was no Beasley, no Donovan, no Dempsey, no Bocanegra, no Spector.

This was the best team we've played since our disastrous World Cup, and we basically decided not to show up. Not cool, in my book.

You Got Gators in My Wolves; You Got Wolves in My Gators

The Timberwolves did better than some in the draft, and have apparently held onto to Kevin Garnett in the short term.

I'll be linking to a bunch of Star Tribunal reactions to the draft, but first my own, as I've had some time to react.

My love of Corey Brewer is well documented. I felt he was being somewhat underrated, especially in terms of his offensive skills. Yes, they need work, but he dropped assists for that Florida team that I never saw supposed point guard Taureen Green drop; he hit 3 pointers with defenders in his face. He drove the basket when he needed to. And his defense was sublime. He's 6'8", with the arm span of a man several inches taller than that. He anticipates passes well, and runs the break well. I imagine he very well may remind both Wolves fans and KG of a young Malik Sealy. The only problem with that is that Sealy was a polished professional by the time he latched onto the Wolves. The Twin Cities media looks at Brewer and sees Trenton Hassell, but that's only because their memory sucks shit, and they are lazy, and fat, and kind of stupid. I see young Malik in Brewer.

The Wolves weren't done picking Gators who remind me of Wolves. In the second round, they picked up 6th man Chris Richard, who is just one inch taller than Brewer, but his game is very, very different indeed. He's more of a Craig Smith type. On another team, Richard may have been a star, ala Big Baby at LSU. In Florida's frenetic pace, he simply didn't match. He still was a key player off the bench, but he didn't run the floor like Noah or Horford. But his body may be better suited for the NBA than either of his more highly esteemed collegiate teammates. We'll see. I thought the Wolves were taking a flyer on Smith last year, and they showed they knew what were they doing with that pick; regardless, Richard does resemble what the Wolves need--a banger under the net who doesn't care about scoring.

Sid Hartman would like you to know that 50 years ago, when he was drafting for the Minneapolis Lakers, the draft was quite different. Back then, there was no TV or internet coverage. No shit, Sid? Keep phoning it in old man.

Very favorite moment of the draft: Spencer Hawes gets drafted, and Mike Tirico, helping to flesh out the human side of the big goofy giant, mentions that Spencer has a bumper sticker that reads, "God Bless George Bush". The New York audience, presumably full of Jews and Blacks, and Terrorists, Loudly Boo. Awesome.

I Want To Be A Sports Agent has put together the winner and loser agents of this draft.

US versus Argentina: Uh... let's hope Alexi Lalas is right

When Alexi Lalas made headlines favorably comparing MLS to the English Premiership, I can't imagine that I was alone in cringing. A little parochial crowing for your home league is important and Lalas has been one of the primary ambassadors for the sport so I'll grant him a little hyperbole but seriously, an MLS all-star team in the premiership would get no better than 3-1 odds to beat the drop.

And the roster for today's match versus a full-strength Argentina side? That's an MLS all-star team minus Landon Donovan and the foreign talent (I'm sorry, I forgot Danny Califf's tenure in the Danish league...).

Drew Moor? Marvell Wynne? Sasha Kljestan? Get ready boys. Mascherano, Riquelme, Crespo, and Messi are better than you. Carlos Tevez who starts on the bench? Also better than you.

Frank Dell'Apa, a booster and fan, says that the US needs to approach Copa America with low expectations, take some lumps, and learn some lessons. I understand that winning the Gold Cup was Bradley's goal but I would have argued for a reverse in rosters. I'd really like to see what Dempsey and Donovan could do against Argentina. Onyewu and Beasley too for that matter.

Here are the starting lineups courtesy of Soccernet.

1 Roberto Abbondanzieri (G)
(G) Kasey Keller 18

2 Roberto Ayala (D), 6 Gabriel Heinze (D), 15 Gabriel Milito (D), 8 Javier Aldemar Zanetti (D)
(D) Danny Califf 7, (D) Jimmy Conrad 12, (D) Drew Moor 15, (D) Marvell Wynne 2

19 Esteban Cambiasso (M), 14 Javier Mascherano (M), 10 Juan Riquelme (M), 20 Juan Sebastian Verón (M)
(M) Ricardo Clark 19, (M) Benny Feilhaber 5, (M) Sacha Kljestan 16, (M) Justin Mapp 21

9 Hernán Crespo (F), 18 Lionel Andrés Messi (F)
(F) Herculez Gomez 8, (F) Eddie Johnson 9

A young Mexican squad shocked Brazil 2-0 in Dunga's first match in charge so I guess anything is possible. I think scoring a goal and keeping it a one-goal game for 60 minutes should be considered a moral victory. I'm predicting 4-1 Argentina and hoping that Feilhaber, Justin Mapp and Herculez Gomez combine to look good. I think Feilhaber and Mapp are going to be part of this squad for a while and while I have no such faith in the Colorado striker, Herculez Gomez is a name we can write songs about. And US soccer needs more songs.
Good luck lads, you're going to need it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nothing Says "Cadillac" Like "A Lust for Vomit"

I'm entirely confused by new Cadillac ads featuring the Pogues' "Sunnyside of the Street". Yes, it is a bouncy, even joyful tune.

But why does Cadillac insist on using snippets of the lyrics? The commercial I saw had the lyrics (I kid you not):

"With a heartful of hate
And a lust for vomit"

Congrats, Cadillac, for not using "I'd take my life as I would a whore." Kudos on your restraint!

Apparently this commercial has been around for awhile (since the Oscars--but that matters not when it comes to my confusion and bemusement). Here it is can see the 60 second version here. (Update 6/28: I should mention that the full minute version uses the entire first verse, which goes a little something like this:

"Seen the carnival at rome
Had the women I had the booze
All I can remember now
Is little kids without no shoes
So I saw that train
And I got on it
With a heartful of hate
And a lust for vomit
Now Im walking on the sunnyside of the street"

Kobayashi Rides Off Into Sunset, Eats Sun

Legendary speed-eater Kobayashi has been all but forced to retire, just when the weird niche sport he helped get onto ESPN is getting far more coverage than it could possibly deserve.

Sure, while it seems grotesque that food would be wasted in such competitions, I don't find it any more offensive than the entire enterprise of say, NASCAR (talk about wasting resources for no good reason). Comparisons to vomitariums may be fair, too. Still, there's something oddly enjoyable about watching a wiry Japanese man consume more hotdogs than big fat Americans (except for one very special American).

So it seems somewhat sad to me that Kobayashi found something he was great at and will now likely have to quit, due to arthritis of the jaw. He's apparently been suffering for a couple of years now.

For those curious as to what makes an eating champion, here's a money quote:

Mr Kobayashi’s hotdog eating prowess is attributed both to his natural ability to push the stomach below the ribcage to accommodate more food and to his famous “solomon” method of splitting a hotdog and then dipping the bun in water to make it more edible.

Yet in an emotional entry on his blog, Mr Kobayashi revealed that his rigorous training regime, which involves stretching his stomach with large quantities of cabbage and water, had left his mouth all but paralysed.

And finally, we'll salute Kobayashi with video of the one American who ever truly crushed him. We're so happy Michael Buffer was there!

Ask a Joe--Who Would You Draft #3 Tonight?

Simple concept: We asked our friends from Season 2 of Pro vs. Joes who they would take #3 in the draft, and if it would matter if it was their own team at #3. Apparently the Joes are very busy this time of year, because we only heard back from two of them.

Rodney weighs in, with interesting speculation about trading the pick. (on the Wizards side, I feel his pain, especially if Agent Zero really leaves). I'll let Rodney tell it:

Atlanta: If I was the GM for Atlanta if I had to select someone I select Mike Conley Jr. But if I could trade with Portland and get Jarret Jack and Randolph it would be a win win situation. Jarrett gets to come back to Atl and Atlanta would have a proven scorer that [Portland] wants to get rid of anyway. And Portland (OM goodness) will have Oden and Conley jr...

Favorite Team: My favorite team is the Wizards and do we ever need help. I would trade the pick and try to get some front court help or pick Horford because he is NBA ready now! I can't wait to see what happens in the draft because no one is going to be right for their mock draft. Any thing can happen after the 2nd pick!

Our next contributor, Jackson, would like you to know that his Phoenix Suns should have the 3rd pick.

Atlanta: The Atlanta Hawks need to pick Brandan Wright for a few reasons. #1-They need a big athletic Shot blocker. There are enough point guards in the draft that they can wait until #11 to get their hands on someone good at the point guard position #2-The fans want him there. #3-He plays taller than he really is, and he handles the ball really well and knows how to find the open man. He could help the Hawks get more assists, something they are lacking with Joe Johnson who likes the glory.

Favorite Team: (Phoenix Suns) If my team had the #3 Pick, I go Asian all the way. Yi Jianlian is a quick 7 Ft force. He can score, he can pass, he’s young, he’s getting stronger each year, and he has more experience than most of the other big men in the draft. I would probably play him at a Power forward position, and use him in certain situations and to guard the likes of Duncan. As a Draftee, you could lock him up for the next 4-5 years and get him in the Prime. Years 3-5 would be dominant. But he is ready to play now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tiger Poses Like he's on the Cover of Parade Magazine

I know you play golf, buddy, but this is pretty wussed-out--even for a pro golfer. Michelle Wie wouldn't let herself get photographed in such a fashion. Valerie Bertinelli would think twice.
Also, nice work keeping the wife partially obscured in the shot. What does she have to do with it anyway? Get the attractive woman who didn't do anything but birth the baby out of the shot! She's fucking with Tiger's light!

Photo by Gretchen Dow Mashkuri, Associated Press

RIP, Rabid Wolverine

I know wrestling is fake and stupid, but I genuinely enjoyed watching Chris Benoit, aka The Rabid Wolverine, aka The Crippler in action. He was a scary, intimidating presence on TV, and by most accounts, a private and quiet man off.

I saw of the amazingly tasteful tribute to him last night for had originally been scheduled a night of sure to be silly, fake tributes to "dead" Vince McMahon. Seeing professional wrestlers, not playing characters and genuinely emotional is a surreal experience.

The state of shock and disbelief these old friends of Benoit's suggested bad news was coming--like they knew something we didn't. And whether they did or not, they had their worries.

Clearly, something was very wrong. We don't know much details yet, but the things coming out thus far sound awful--Benoit killed his wife and child, and then killed himself. Newspapers are reporting that Benoit's closest friends at WWE received what were being called 'cryptic' text messages.

I'm with the folks here--this is a very sad, and I'm not sure how much more I want to know about further details.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Miwacar's Musings: June 25th

I believe it was Dick Bremmer that made the call on Saturday saying that a Twins pitcher would hit a homerun this last weekend of Inter-League play in Florida. As it turns out, he had a very near miss. Johann Santana ripped a triple off the base of the center field wall, after showing bunt. How great is it that the league’s best pitcher over the last 5 years added offensive potency to his already obese repertoire? Santana also made it 106 straight games of pitching at least 5 innings, which is as telling a stat of his dominance as there can be. I mean the guy has never had a game where he had an off day and had to be pulled early, something that happens to all pitchers, except for Cytana of course.

I hope the Twins can continue this improved offensive play and allow their young pitchers some room to attack the strike zone. The series next weekend with Detroit is big, so it is imperative they have all aspects of their game working, in order to make up a little ground before the All-Star break.

Hopefully, Mr. MVP will recover completely from his bruised lung, and that his short lay-off doesn’t affect the hot batting streak he has been on of late.

I don’t know about you (except that I know everything about you) but I am real excited about the Copa America that begins this week. Don’t misunderstand, I was excited to see the USA win its fourth Gold Cup, but come on it was the Concacaf, a JV tournament as international tournaments go. It is always nice to beat Mexico and to do it by coming back in a game in which the USA got out played in the first half, but they are not Argentina or Brazil.

I want to see two of the top teams in the world play their way through a tournament and I also want to see where this Bradley USA squad stacks up to the big dogs of our hemisphere. We will find out in short order when the USA plays Argentina on Thursday for their opening match of the tournament. I have no real expectations, other than Argentina making most teams in their group look like youth squads. However, anything can happen and that is what is exciting.

It will be interesting to see where Brazil is a year after their disappointing showing in the World Cup last year. There is a youth movement going on in Brazil, but I am not sure who will be playing, as Brazil has historically been very loyal to its veteran players, especially come tournament time. Brazil is my first favorite team; they taught me to love the game when I lived there and have always provided good reason to continue paying attention. As Canarias, should easily dispatch of Mexico Wednesday night, which will be fun, stupid Mexico.

P.S.-Wice, blow it out your ass, with the “God, soccer is gay” bullshit. That’s right, preemptive blogging.

Draft- Yeah? I hope we get someone who will help right away, but we are the T-Wolves and that is not what we do. I like Brewer or Greene, so we will take Hawes who will suck.

KG- I love KG, the Ticket, Da Kid and I had always hoped he would finish his career here in Minnesota, winning a couple of championships along the way, but I have come to terms with his departure if that is what God decides should happen. It has been amazing watching him develop into one of the best players of all time, but very difficult to see him excel individually and yet achieve so little with the poor, poor teams that have been put around him. “If you love someone let them go.” Go get your championship KG and be sure to bring us some 1st round picks when you go, because we’ll need them in the next few years, as we give ours away.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Weekend Stuff and Junk

The Washington Capitals are going back to their old sweaters. I would not have thought I cared about this; but having heard the news, I feel unbelievably happy about it.

Sid Hartman wants you to know that the chances of Kevin Garnett being traded are slim. How does he know this? Because he asked the owner, and we know the owner never lies (except that whole Joe Smith thing). Essentially, Sid wants you to know that he thinks his job is to ask one person about what might happen, and then take that person's word as Gospel Truth. And since ownership can never fail, Sid won't even weigh in on whether its a good idea or not. When it comes to metaphorical cock-sucking, we'd like you to know that Sid Hartman is the dirtiest tramp in the Twin Cities. Flash a little bling, he'll get you off. But it will be old and sandpapery feeling.

This Suit Is Not Black has some dirt on Fantasia and Larry Johnson. (TSINB is not nice to Fantasia)

Peter Schilling Junior (Is he the son of THE Peter Schlling? We don't know) is weighing in on the possible Torii "Gates of Shinto" Hunter Trade. We agree with Pete--there are many scenarios for keeping Hunter that just require the Pohlads to not be dicks. The fact is, if the rest of the MLB is willing to believe that Hunter will get paid in MN, his value as trade bait goes up. But I don't think anyone in the MLB really thinks that the Twins will re-sign THunt. Prove us wrong, Pohlads! And then re-sign Cuddyer, Morneau, Maurer, and Santana. Easy!

The Head Chick rarely covers soccer. She is now, but mainly to make fun of Bobby Boswell, who totally deserves it. Regardless, she did it to get our attention, we're pretty sure. We are modest, but we know that the Head Chick digs us.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And That's Why....You Read BoingBoing

If this doesn't bring you joy, you are dead inside, and the only way you know how to live is to make everything dead around you.

(And yeah, whoever You Tubed this doesn't know a chipmunk from a fuckin' hole in the ground. It's a Prairie Dog, I'd wager. But still, this is why I read It is the little things that makes us happy, yeah?

Gold Cup: Mexico Dodges a Bullet; US has Officials Catch Bullet

Friends, there are rules in all sports that cause consternation in all sports. Baseball has its balk; football (and pretty Tom Brady) brought the 'tuck rule' into the lexicon after decades of lying dormant; basketball has a few rules that are so arbitrarily called that one wonders what to do with them. But if you aren't familiar with soccer, you might not know just how fucking confusing and random the Offsides rule is as currently officiated.

The main clause is simple enough--on offense, a player receiving the ball must have, at the time of the pass, two defenders equal or ahead of him. One of those defenders is almost always the goalkeeper. So, essentially, if a striker can time his or her run so that s/he is equal with the last defender as the ball is played, he's onsides.

But there are exceptions, and one of the biggest is that the player has to be active in the play. If you are sitting by a corner flag, having a smoke and pissing on one knee out the bottom of your shorts, you can be totally offsides--you aren't participating in the play. One of the other biggest exceptions is this: if you knock a ball forward, and it bounces off a defender, and then rolls to a teammate, that player is offsides only if he was offsides when the ball was played. If he was onside when the ball was kicked, but offisides when the defender stupidly knocked it to him, it is considered a defensive backpass, and he's onside. And his goal counts.

So, when this exact scenario played out in the last fucking seconds of the US win against Canada, the game should have been tied, and it should have gone to Overtime, where the Americans would have been in trouble--losing Coach's Son Michael Bradley to a pretty bullshit Red Card, they would have played a man down after giving up 2 straight goals.

You can tell that the Americans know they got lucky, and the Canadians know they were screwed. Compare the quotes:

"If one of their players played the ball back, it's a back pass and it cannot be offsides. That's how I saw it."
"It was definitely a goal. No question,"

"I don't think it matters what I thought...The call was offsides."
"The linesman made the call, so it's offsides."

Hear the difference? Oneywu, the physically impressive defender for the US who still manages to confound and anger those of us who have played the position with basic fuck-ups, continued his streak, being the man who headed the ball right to the Canadian striker. The goal didn't count, but the fuck up did. I'm getting close to petitioning for the return of either: Eddie Pope, Carlos Llamosa, or Thomas Dooley.

It should be noted that the US goals weren't super impressive. Hejduk form's was screwy and it was his first goal in 6 years. Beasley's penalty wasn't very penalty ish and Donovan's kick was even less so. Nevertheless, the US has beaten the team I now have to consider the 2nd best team in the Cup.

Why? Because Mexico has fucking sucked the root. Mexico couldn't finish a taco. Mexico couldn't score in a bucket of fannies. Steve Ralston looks at Mexico and says, "Those guys need lessons from me on how to finish."

Mexico, throughout this tournament has looked at times too old, too young, too ragged, too cheap, too pussified to win a game. They've won, but only barely. They needed to fake a red card offense against Costa Rica to get a 3 man advantage, against a team that had already shown itself to be quite dirty. And tonight, they barely squeaked by Guadelope, a country that isn't even a country!

I've seen enough of Mexico and the US to say that if both teams bring their best games, US wins 3-nil. Don't be surprised if Dempsey has a brace. The Canadians that the US barely beat would have buried this Mexico team. The Final should highlight the fact that the best teams in the CONCACAF are north of the Rio Grande.

And for those wondering why Kasey Keller was playing this game, when the torch in net has been passed to Timmy! Howard--the answer is simple. 100 Caps!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Twins Win Again; Bert Blyleven a Man of His Word

Scotty Baker didn't suck, and the bullpen did its job (Pat Neshek, who is The SubMariner and right-handed, is awesome having given up his 5th hit to left handers in 46 at bats. Have a seat Juan Rincon).

Bert Blyleven appeared on TV with his newly shaved head, per his promise to Johan Santana (who just got a nice write up in the City Pages last week). It should also be noted that Santana is a good looking man.

I have yet to find the video of the shaving, or even photos. I saw the shaving and the aftermath, and Trust me, dear reader(s) when I say these two things:

1. Santana was almost disturbingly gleeful as he shaved Bert's head. Did Bert wrong a young Johan in his Venezuelan village back in the mid-80's? Why so much joy in Bert's de-hairing?

2. Bert without his trademark 3/4" head stubble looks more intimidating. He looks like some 18th century Dutch pirate, who might drink rum with you, or kill you, fuck your eyeballs, and then use your skull to drink rum out of. Short hair Bert looked avuncular. No Hair Bert looks fucking dangerous.

(In researching Bert's new do, I found this blog, in which a couple of overly intelligent idiots liveblog Twins games. I like it!)

Until the Bert getting his head shaved shows up on YouTube, let us enjoy this clip that just recently showed up, in which Bert kids broadcast partner Dick Bremer about his bowling shirts.

Take That, Representatives of Peace!

Real Madrid just won one of the most competitive La Liga titles in recent memory. Shortly after doing so, they decided to prove that they could also crush the dreams and aspirations of peace in the Middle East. (No longer your fault, GW!)

Real Madrid routed a mixed Israeli-Palestinian team 8-0 Tuesday night in a charity "Peace Match."

Don't get me wrong--I think the gesture here is awesome. In many places around the world, violence gets turned off like a bathroom fixture when there is great football nearby. Brazil visited Haiti a few years back and gave everybody a day off from being in the middle of Haiti. Back in the day Pele's league team practically stopped a war:

[S]occer great Pele is credited with bringing a temporary halt to fighting in Africa when his club, Santos, played there. When Pele and Santos visited Kinshasa and Brazzaville in the former Belgian Congo in 1969, rebels put down their weapons and suspended fighting to attend the game. Kinshasa is now the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Brazzaville is the capital of the Republic of Congo.

So the idea is in place. You can be a great soccer team, and visit places that are stressed out and ready to burst at the seams, and maybe do some good.

Now, I'm sure the fans want to see the high octane offense of Real Madrid, and not some watered down version, but did Real Madrid really have to absolutely paste the Peace Team? I find it symbolically dispiriting. Though again, I'm sure the folks at the game had a blast.

Next up, Real Madrid will be playing the puppies from Puppy Bowl to raise money for the Humane Society, and they will destory those stupid fucking puppies! Watch your shins, Puppy Bowl III MVP "Bomber"!

Monday, June 18, 2007

They're not saying LEW!

When I heard the words Prince Fielder and inside-the-park home run in the same sentence, it was pretty clear that Lew Ford had something to do with it.

"I'm a little quicker than people think," said Fielder, listed at 6-0 feet, 262 pounds (Eyeballing it I'd say 5-10, 280 but...).

Ford, who went 2-3 with a career high 4 RBIs in the game may not be a very good fielder but he totally makes up for it with his .628 OPS.

Hurry back, Torii.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Don't Shoot Until You See the Whites of Their ...

Redskins #1 rookie safety Laron Landry (#6 overrall in the 2007 draft from LSU) managed to get blasted in the groin playing paintball.

It was an activity with the rest of the Redskins defense, probably designed to build togetherness.

But Landry is missing minicamp because of one well-aimed buffalo-blast.

Quips LB Marcus Washington, "I didn't know paintball was that dangerous. I hope it wasn't friendly fire."

By the way, Landry hasn't given up a TD reception in four years. Go Redskins!

In Praise Of: Minnesota RollerGirls

Minnesota has a lot to be proud of, aside from all the lakes and loons and shit. There's the music (Dylan, The 'Mats, Prince, Husker Du, The Geardaddies, P.O.S, Brother Ali), there is the whole liberal conscience of a nation thing: Humphrey, Wellstone, Mondale.

Plus, the most bestest thing ever, Swedish Doughnuts are available to us, if we drive to Stockholm, WI, and visit Bogus Creek Bakery. The last time I was there, I idly wondered whether I could somehow marry the owner of the Bakery, Colleen Flynn, and spend the rest of my life eating sugary, flaky pastries.

Which is my way of saying, here in Minnesota, Weird kind-of sports abound.

Sure, we invented Water-Skiing. We are home to many an ex-Pro Wrestler, some lived in the Governor's mansion. I live within 3 miles of a fully functional Curling Club.

But Why Live In the Pabst (I mean Past)? Why haven't we celebrated the MN RollerGirls? Yeah, that's right--the Twin Cities have brought back Roller Derby. And it is hot, and alternative, and a little ironic. But mainly hot.

And so we mention, quite happily, to our woman readers that the RollerGirls are holding auditions.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Afternoon Stuff n' Junk

Star Tribune Deep Thinker Patrick Reusse has been pondering this issue for quite some time, and he's now ready to let you know that he thinks that last year's AL MVP is pretty important to his team's success. Thanks, Pat! Way to not phone it in, buddy.

The Wolves made a quiet but possibly not-completely-wrongheaded move, trading Justin Reed and Mike James to Houston for Juwan Howard, who is somehow only 34 years old. Obviously, this is nothing to get too excited about (though Juwan sounds over the fucking moon about it) but even a Reasonably Good Day can be brought to a quick and scary stop. You'll have to forgive us long-suffering Wolves fans when we hear Kevin McHale utter the words: "We have more stuff we're planning on doing." Sweet. Does Will Avery have a brother or something?

It appears you have lost your chance to see the famous Dancing Bears of the Balkans. Mima, Misho, and Svetla were released from what sounds like a pretty awful fucking life, and will be joining a community for retired dancing bears. The spokesperson of the refuge said, "Our aim is to make their life more bearable in their remaining years," I'm not kidding. They said bearable. You know, I think you can make puns about bears without having to save them. Colbert would be pissed. Also, I'd like to note that even as the world gets smaller or flatter, or whatever its doing, Eastern Europe is still a pretty strange place.

Antonio Freeman is retiring. Presumably, there is a place where volunteers can make his life more Packerable.

Out and Loving It!

Upon the Big BM's intelligent counsel, I've decided to drop my incredibly witty moniker (nee Badcock) and offer up my real name. I wanted to go for "The Artist Formerly Known As Badcock" but Big BM said :(

In case all y'all hadn't heard, my smokin' hot novel To the Last Drop has just been accepted for publication. It's a small press and I need to hustle my sweet, sweet can to promote this baby. Using my real name (and for some reason, Big BM wanted me to link everyone to my checking account as well) is a really low-cost way of getting my weird beard out there.

So please check out (though it's still under construction) for updates and your chance to have a free all-weather vinyl sticker of your very own.

Here's a photo of me, for all you pervs out there:

Here's a published haiku:

The moon is
a fingernail clipped too close,
tent a-whipcrack in the wind

Here's a photo of a tiny baby Japanese monkey:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spurs Win! Spurs Win! Spurs Win!

That's What I Call One Exciting Dynasty!

When You Have Tiny Hands, You Can't Risk Injuries Like This

From the Fanhouse:

Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper injured his non-throwing hand in a car crash Wednesday night, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting. No details are available about the severity of the injury, but the injury is to Culpepper's non-throwing hand. So Culpepper might not need to miss any practice time at all.

Both the Fanhouse and the Sun-Sentinel seem to ignore how important Daunte's nonthrowing hand is. We are talking 84 fumbles in 85 games with a HEALTHY left and right hand. While the sportsmonkeys may overlook this injury, every GM in the NFL is adding it to a tally of reasons why Culpepper isn't worth more than 6th round pick. Edmonton beckons; so does Jacksonville, it appears. I'd take Edmonton. And so would Tony Kornheiser.

In more enlightened news, Jonathan Vilma did a worse job of separating himself from the fightin' dogs of Michael Vick than CLIN-TON Portis did.

New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said his recent comments comparing dogfighting to horse racing were misunderstood. Vilma insisted “my comments that were misinterpreted were that I am not for or against dogfighting or Michael Vick.”

Yes, that sort of clear statement will clear all confusion.

Snuh? Vilma, buddy--you (or your publicist) need an editor.

No Fear in This Dojo, Sensei

Adam Everett got done in by his own left outfielder, Carlos Lee. But to hear beat writer Alyson Footer tell it, "Everett collided with left fielder Carlos Lee as each attempted to catch a Jason Kendall fly ball in shallow left field." And while, yes, both players said that is was no man's land, it was clear in the video who was going to catch this ball, I think. Everett collided with Lee? I don't think so. Everett swept the leg in a way that Martin Kove would have approved of.

Lee also says he called for the ball, but a little too late. I'm not sure how that was his ball to call, seeing as he was having to make a diving grab for it, while Everett was there in time, and would have had the out, had his leg not been broken by Lee.

Speaking of leg sweeps, MLS and potential US Soccer Team player Kenny Cooper got rocked a couple of days ago. Tyrone Marshall put in a vicious hit from behind on Cooper, and broke his leg--he's out for quite a while. I don't have a lot of love for Cooper in terms of the international game, but I don't have much love for any of the current US strikers in their ability to play with their back to the goal. Cooper wasn't amazing at it, but he was better than a lot of the waterbugs currently tasked to the job.

Quick side Note: Tyrone Marshall's Intertubes go different places than mine do: "You go on the Internet, Fox Soccer Channel - everything is Kenny Cooper broke his leg and Tyrone Marshall."
Yep, on Earth-2, the internet is abuzz about a cheap shot in a MLS game. Here on Earth-Prime, not so much.

But I did see the video, and Marshall put in a forceful, clattering hit from behind. You hardly ever actually break a leg doing that. I believe Marshall when he says he wasn't trying to break Cooper's leg. But he was trying to bring Cooper down by fouling him hard. And let's not forget--it was the 89th minute in a 3-1 game. We can't even call it a professional foul gone awry. doesn't. They use adjectives like: 'vicious', 'brutal', & 'reckless'. I'm sure Marshall thought the worst he would do would wreck the ligaments in Cooper's knee. Leg break? No way!

OK--That's High Enough, FIFA.

FIFA has released their newest rankings, and the US has begun to climb out of their nadir following their embarrassing World Cup performance.

Remember, this time last year the US was (rather insanely) ranked #4 in the World by FIFA. This ranking, as I've discussed earlier, was total crap. It elevated expectations to such a degree that the US was considered a failure. Somehow, the fact they were in a true Group of Death was forgotten. The fallout (aside from being the impetus behind Arena getting chucked to the curb only to be replaced by another MLS veteran) was that a few scant weeks ago, the US was ranked #31 in the world. That is insanely low.

They deserve to be somewhere right in the middle between #4 and #31. Which is where they find themselves now, at #16. What worries me greatly is that they've risen 13 spots by beating teams like China, and pumping 4 goals by the likes of El Salvador. Bullies don't get scarier when you start to notice they only beat on kids 10 years younger than them. They just seem mean. Right now, the US is the bully of the CONCACAF (especially as Mexico is getting either too old to care about bullying, or too stupid to handle the teasing (ah, Blanco!), or too young to do any bullying of their own.

Dear FIFA: Please stop rewarding the US for beating the tar out of CONCACAF and teams like China. Let's hold steady at around #15 or 16 until we beat someone impressive, OK? Thanks much! Looking at these new rankings, we can see that the US squad was facing some tough competition--Italy is now ranked #1, the Czech Republic #10, and Ghana at #19. The only reason going winless against this group was a disappointment was because the US chances had been so ridiculously inflated by their ranking. Anyone who thought that the US was better than the Czechs was high.

(Top Ten here. Oh, and I have no idea how England is still holding onto a Top Ten spot. I suppose beating Faroe Islands has its perks. African rankings here. Watch out for the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire. They're badass)

Oh, and in case you missed Blanco getting chucked out of a Gold Cup game because the guy defending him made kissy noises at him, it's right here. Get ready to see a lot of smart play like that, Chicago.

updated for extra linkage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

LeBron, Etched to the Sketch

Brilliant madman George Vlosich III busted out this portrait of LeBron James in about 5 hours. According to his website, that's a pretty quick Sketch--most of his work takes between 50-60 hours. This may be the coolest thing to happen to the Cavs for the rest of the year.

Found at the goodness of boingboing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mean Joe Verde?

As we have been covering the career moves of young Brazilian midfield phenomenon Anderson, I thought it would be fitting to pay our respects to one of his predecessors. Here is footage of probably the greatest Brazilian midfielder ever, and some have argued and continue to argue the greatest Brazilian futeboler ever. Wait, wasn’t Pele the greatest ever and didn’t he play a recessed midfield position at times? It’s not important. Anyway, Zico had tremendous vision and unbelievable ball handling skills. Above all, he might have been the best free kick specialist of all time. Please see for yourself.

As I was looking for Zico footage I ran across these great Coke adds from 1982 (World Cup Year) one featuring Zico and the other Maradona in the role made famous by Mean Joe Green here in the States.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jim Souhan May Be High

Vikings May Regret Trading Culpepper Yet. Oh Jim, we get it, buddy. You're a columnist at a paper firing people right and left, and you've gotta come up with something interesting. But this? Really?

Point 1 That the Possibly High Souhan Makes: "He may not play again until 2008, but if he can regain most of his mobility, it will behoove teams in need of a quarterback to review the 2004 season."

That sentence alone is cause for alarm. We're talking about a quarterback who may not play until next year, and at that time, his last good season will have been 4 years ago. Oh, and the punchline? The Vikings went 8-8 in 2004. Dante averaged 8 yards per pass. Yeah, his TD, Completion %, and Interception numbers were quite good. But that team didn't win more than half their games. Souhan doesn't bother mentioning that. Why? Because it fucks with his thesis.

Point 2 That Possibly High Souhan Makes: "In 1988, Genius Joe Montana threw 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In 1989, Montana, with Mike Holmgren in his first year as an offensive coordinator, threw 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions."

By cherry-picking two years, Souhan makes it clear that Montana sucked before getting an offensive genius, and then rocked the next year. He implicity compares Culpepper to Montana.
Funny that Souhan doesn't mention Montana's FIVE Pro Bowl years prior to 1988. Souhan cherrypicks the one down year in the salad days of Montana's career, and compares it to Culpepper's one Great Year. For example, Souhan forgets to mention that in 1987, Montana threw for 31 touchdowns with 13 touchdowns. Or that in 1985, Montana threw 28 TDs with 10 INTs. Jim Souhan might be high, but he's definitely lying when he compares Culpepper to Montana.

Point 3 That Possibly High Souhan Makes: "If Culpepper can land with another team that can support him the way the 2004 Vikings did, he could become a winning quarterback again."

He WASN'T a winning Quarterback that year. He was an 8-8 quarterback. And it was 4 years, one back injury and two knee injuries ago.

Point 4 That Possibly High Souhan Doesn't Make: Over the course of 8 years, and 85 games, Culpepper has fumbled 84 times. That's an average of a fumble a game, give or take a fumble. Souhan purposefully ignores the fumbling stat when he says that Rex Grossman will never have a year like Culpepper did in 2000, "when he threw 33 touchdowns and 16 interceptions." No mention of the 11 fumbles, six of which were lost? Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying Rex Grossman should be an NFL Quarterback--he shouldn't be. But look at the two QB comparisons Souhan has made--Montana's one bad year in a career that included multiple Pro Bowls on either side of the year Souhan cited, and Rex fucking Grossman.

Jimmy, don't write your column high, buddy. You don't make no goddamned sense.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kiss My Ass, Non-Believers!

I would like to take this time & space to announce that #6 of my novels has been accepted for publication.

After 11 years & 6 novels & 150+ rejections, the door has finally been cracked open just a wee bit. I've been pounding my foaming head against that locked knob for a while.

To the Last Drop is about a war over water between Texas and New Mexico. Set in the present day, Texas invades New Mexico and occupies it for its trickle of water. An insurgency grows in the oppressed territory of "New Texas" and it's all brilliantly executed. If you're interested in learning more about the book, please check out this shit until the new is made up.

Please notice the super-hot design, which will hopefully be the cover art. This is the "Zia Crossbones," the symbol of the New Mexican resistance. It is the Zia Pueblo sun symbol (the state flag of NM) converged with the classic Jolly Roger which implies "No Mercy."

This handsome all-weather vinyl sticker is available free, just contact me in the comments. T-shirts will be available shortly, please stay tuned while I strong-arm Big BM into letting me rackateer on his watch. And of course, I'll keep my lovely lads and lasses informed as to the course of this publication.

My novel will be published within the next 12 months by a research institute in Boulder, CO. They mostly publish hard science, social science, Native American anthropology etc but, in their well-educated wisdom, they've decided to take a chance on my novel: "We believe that the book has merit and the topic is inventive and pertinent to today's times ... we are excited about working with you and bringing this book into production."

That sure beats the hell out of the form letters that begin "Dear Author," I must say. So pucker up, buttercup, I just wanted to give you one last kiss before I forget all about your boring asses and start eating cheese with them fancy folk.

I love you America!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Homer at the Bat: 15 Years Later

You damn kids out there may think that the Simpsons are only mildly entertaining, unless you are the kind of cool kid who has early season DVD's of said show.
A little more than 15 years ago, one my favorite Simpsons episodes ever showed up on TVs across the country*. It, possibly more than any other episode up until that point showed the cultural pull the show had acquired in just 2 seasons. For this particular third season episode had more voice cameos than Shrek Part 5 will have.

I speak of course, of Homer At The Bat. Mr. Burns decides to make sure his crappy softball team will win in a bet with Shelbyville's nuclear energy park's team, and proceeds to recruit what was at the time, an All-Star team of ringers.

I've mentioned elsewhere that one of the things about baseball is that your childhood idol might still be playing when you graduate from college. Homer At The Bat offers us some of those opportunities. Without further ado, let's review where our cameo players are now. Also, it should be noted that almost every ringer was incapacitated for the Big Game. I will quickly note what kept them out of the game and I'll try to provide examples of their fine work.

Mike Scoiscia--Actually enjoyed working at the power plant, and contracted radiation poisoning as a result. Mike is now managing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who are as of this writing, 16 games above .500. You damn kids may look at Scoiscia now and think that he couldn't have played professional baseball. He did, and he was good. Here he is, describing the radiation sickness.
Ken Griffey, Jr.--As shown by the clip above, Griffey got addicted to Nerve Tonic and suffered from Gigantism. In real life, he's Still Playing! So far, relatively healthy this season, which beats all. I suppose once you are old and slow enough, it becomes harder to break bones by running into walls. Hitting .281 with 13 Homers and 34 RBI, he's having a productive year.
Don Mattingly--Donny Baseball is kicked off by Mr. Burns for having sideburns, even though he doesn't. Mattingly, trying to assuage Burns has shaved off half the hair on his head. As he walks away, he mutters, "I still like him better than Steinbrenner." Which is ironic, as Mattingly is rumored now to be one of the potential replacements when Li'l George loses patience with Joe Torre. Here's that exchange, in the original Spanish:

Steve Sax--Arrested on a traffic violation, Springfield Cops decide to pin every crime ever committed in NYC on Sax. The last we see of him, he's rotting in jail. In real life Steve ran for office in the mid-90's, and is now a financial consultant. YouTube has no clip of Steve's moment on the Simpsons, which isn't surprising, as he ended up with all of 3 lines of dialogue.
Roger Clemens--Hypnotized into thinking he's a chicken. (sidenote: the commentary on the DVD suggests that Roger really didn't see why his lines were funny, and apparently complained). In real life, Roger is about to join the Major Leagues, again, apparently, maybe. Eric Wynalda, MLS commentator (?) predicted during the USA vs. China Friendly that Clemens would pitch two games before tearing his groin. I like that prediction.
Wade Boggs--Beaten up by Barney over the Greatest Prime Minister in England's History. Aside from inducting Mr. Perfect into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, and appearing on a NY Pro vs. Boston Joes of PvJ, Boggs has been pretty quiet.

Ozzie Smith--Disappeared down the Mystery Spot of Springfield. Apparently that isn't YouTube worthy, even though he met famed Time Travelers Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Ozzie hasn't been very public these days. The last time I saw him was during last year's Interleague series between the Twins and the Cardinals. Ozzie stopped by the booth, and totally awesome color guy (and Should Be Hall of Famer) Bert Blyleven repeatedly showed off his 1987 World Series Ring. It was awesome.

Jose Canseco--Too busy saving every bit of a house on fire. As to where Canseco is now; well that's a difficult thing to predict, even 12 hours in advance. Is he about to break back into the bigs? Is he pitching in some minor league? Is he writing a book about how everyone did drugs? Is he fucking someone who was famous in the early 90's? Who knows, who cares, except that is hilarious and entertaining. This I guarantee--wherever Jose is, he's totally willing to fuck your daughter.

Darryl Strawberry--Not disabled for the game at all. In real life, the Straw was spending his time watching his son play hoops for Maryland, and being a Pro in the Pros vs. Joes. Someone put together a Best of Straw On Simpsons montage. We of course, linked to it.

photo: wikipedia

*I watched this episode when it originally aired, and that happened 15 years ago. That makes me ache in a self-referential hipster getting old kind of way. I kind of feel like crawling into a corner, sitting on my heels, and rock back and forth, murmuring, "I'm not getting old. I'm not getting old. I'm not getting old." 15 years. Fuck.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Domo, G4-San, Domo

I have had Digital Cable for awhile now. If one were to date it precisely, it would be just a couple of days before the World Cup of 2006 began. I got cable for that event, and then the Daily Show was back in my house, and Cartoon Network, and reruns of Law & Order. And that made me quite happy. (By the way, TNT--what's up with no L&O rerun older than 1998? I wanna see the DA who looks like an angry version of my dad.)

Then I discovered, a full year after the fact, the beauty and glory of Spike TV's "Pros vs. Joes" It was an accidental discovery, even though I had read Will's discussion of his experiences during the promotion of said program. It was new to me. And if you read this blog, you know what that meant to me, and this blog. It meant that I blogged about it as if I were the first human to encounter this alien program.

I have no idea how far behind the curve I am on brilliant Nipponese import "Ninja Warrior" on G4 TV. G4, the land of snarky video game reviews, followed by 2 hours of Cops followed by 2 hours of Cheaters, followed by Olivia Munn. Olivia is OK in our book. Finding Japanese Game Shows on G4 may seem like a non sequitor (or as Mitt Romney would say, a Null Set. Mitt Romney says that because he's an idiot, and thinks that Jesus preached the New Testament to Injuns. Fuckin' dummy!). I've lost the plot...

Ninja Warrior! It is awesome, simple, and completely impossible in America. This show would have been shut down by lawsuits in its first day in America. Say what you will about the Japanese. Call them a bunch of "sandal-wearing goldfish tenders". Regardless, you have to defer to their ability to come up with awesome reality competition TV Shows.

Each Arc of the show starts with 100 competitors. All 100 run through an obstacle course of which I've never seen the like of. It tends to eliminate 80% of the contestants. Because this is Japan, and because it is awesome, they tend to throw in "Big in Japan" celebrities into the mix. Watch 64 year old comedians fall off the first jump. See a 15 year old boy obsessed with the show almost make it to the end! But that's just Obstacle Course #1. There is still numbers #2, 3, and 4.

Again, I thank you G4. You are worth whatever tiny fraction of the huge bill I pay monthly for my Cable. Hell, with this one show alone, you've become more valuable than CBS and CNN combined.

Please enjoy my sample, if you do not find it shameful. Your prefecture will enjoy these antics. Ninja Warrior is on nightly on G4, Monday through Friday at 9:30 EST CST.

We Don't Need Ladies...To Feel Good About Ourselves

Undoubtedly those of you who peruse the sportswebtubes have been made aware that the "ladies" of Ladies... is engaged in some sort of sportsblogger Handsome Off.

I know when I got to my email this morning, I had dozens of messages. Well-wishes, perhaps? A best of luck? Nope. All of those messages were from other bloggers trying to get me to vote for them. And that's not going to happen. Nope. Nice try, random dude I've never met. See, unlike The Ladies, I have to know a person to truly gauge their hotness. Unless they are good at Table Tennis, in which case all bets are off.

I would like to decry not just the gross superficiality of the "Ladies" and their contest, but also the mewling baby kittens who are trolling for votes. Gentlemen--show some self-respect out there. For Christ's Sake, you don't see anyone here at IDYFT begging for the kind of fleeting glory, meaningless validation, and superficial gratification of winning a Hot Blogger contest, do you?

And sure, some of you may point out that none of us were put into the field, and that we are therefore not in the running. That's an excellent point for you. Well done. All the same, surely we can all agree that just because our blog isn't "widely-read" or "particularly well-written" or that we aren't "conventionally handsome"* doesn't mean any one of us here at IDYFT couldn't have gotten deep into this tournament (not to mention deep into some of the voters. Yeah, you know what I'm sayin').

Well screw all ya'll. We are glad we are able rise above this disgusting, pandering spectacle.**
For shame, Ladies...for shame. We don't need you! We don't need anybody!

*Just kiddin'. To a man, we here at IDYFT are almost devastatingly handsome.
**We are also quite upset about not getting a chance to not rise about this disgusting, pandering spectacle. If there's something we do well, it is disgusting spectacle.

Portis' Dog Day Update

I felt it was only proper to post an update on an incident we covered a couple of weeks ago. Clinton Portis (insert any/all a.k.a.’s) has found out the hard way that you do not piss off the animal rights groups of America. He stupidly stated, along with lineman Chris Samuels, that there is nothing wrong with dog fighting. It is quite likely that they were both high at the time of their statements (with all of their giggling and stupidity), but irregardless they were wrong, dead dog wrong.

Clinton, whom this blogger likes a lot, has changed his tune definitively in the face of overwhelming criticism. Does he mean it? Does it really matter? I for one feel it was an egregious offense, equal to that of any off-season exploits of other teams…let’s say the…Vikings or Bengals. Forgiveness is for priests and wieners.

I think we might all change our ideas on the matter if the fights were between dogs like Paris Hilton’s Tinkerbell and any other vacuous bimbo’s purse-toted pups. And of course, the owners would be forced to watch. I think I am going to go make a pitch to Fox for a new reality tv series.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What's Your Wadsworth?

The NY/NJ Jets and Coach Mangenius are continuing their delight in the improbable, the rhymedable, the miraculous. Consider 2006 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Chad Pennington, whose never "strong" arm recovered from two rotator cuff surgeries to lead the Jets to the playoffs.

Already documented is the arrival in the Jets camp of two world-class heavyweight freestyle wrestlers. And now Andre Wadsworth is trying out for the Jets (remember him? Florida State stud, drafted by the Red Hole [AZ Cardinals]. He had knees like Jiffy Pop, apparently). Wadsworth is looking to make a comeback after seven years and thirteen knee operations.

The #3 pick in the draft at DE from Florida State, Andre Wadsworth played in 36 games during his 3 year NFL career with the Red Hole. That's playing 75% of each season. In 36 games (always playing hurt) he racked 119 tackles, eight sacks, three fumble recoveries and one INT -- off "Thunder" Dan Marino. Over slightly more than two seasons, that isn't impressive by itself.

I would be thinking, like you: big deal, he's in competition with 32 youngsters and hasn't played a down of football since Clinton was president. He won't make the team and this is just more filler from Badcock looking for legitimate reasons to titillate the Ministry of Information (Big BM = Big Brother Mother) with images of coketits.

But Andre Wadsworth seems pretty cool. I hope he makes the team. Read his words, quoted from this article.

What has the medical community sworn on Wadsworth's knees? They all said he'd never play again. Wadsworth: "Every doctor said it. I mean, every doctor."

Why would a successful businessman (Wadsworth owns six BMW, Porsche and VW car dealerships in Florida) want to subject himself to the hamburger mill of the NFL ... with their average lifespan a full 17 years below the national male average?

"I love football. Why do people think it's crazy to do this? I know in life you can be a businessman or whatever you want to do after football. You can do it until you die. But in football, you can't do it until you die ... The itch has never left. It's just like a cast, an itch in your cast that you can't scratch. That's what I have. I couldn't scratch it because I was hurt."

Wadsworth was a walk-on at Florida State and became a starter after his first year. He dominated the college ranks and was the unanimously acknowledged best defensive player in the 1998 draft. Is he tenacious? "In life, you can't take no for an answer. Call me stubborn or not, but that's the way I live my life."

Wadsworth is moving to LB for the first time. His position means that he'll have to be faster and more mobile than ever before (Jiffy Pop, anyone?) but for the first time the former lineman has a view of the field, in his two-point stance.

This has all been pretty standard stuff. Besides loving the Jets (everyone needs a fave team in the other conference), why do I want Wadsworth to perpetrate one of the greatest comebacks of all time?

"I take it one day at a time. It's a lot of stuff to absorb. It's like drinking out of a fire hydrant since I've been here, and I'm learning to open my mouth bigger."
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