Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Culpepper to the Raiders!?

That's right, as JaMarcus has yet to sign a contract and now Dante Culpepper is working out with the Raiders. Could two ex-Viking stars in a row work out so poorly for the silver and black? Will he be benched for his own safety like Aaron Brooks? Will Porter applaud when he's sacked and the ball drops from his small girlish hands? Only time can tell...

Ode to a Break Up

Good…go! I never liked you anyway. Even when you were a string bean 19 year-old with enormous potential and cute as a puppy, I didn’t like you. Nor did I like you when you quickly became the face of the organization, taken from who Pooh Richardson or the Velvet Glove? And I sure as hell didn’t like you when you became one of the top three big men in the game, taking the Timberwolves as far as you could carry them on your 7 foot frame, that can as easily dribble the ball baseline to baseline, or block 10 shots in a game, or lead the league in triple-doubles. No I never liked you, especially the you that did tons of community work and proved that being charitable can be cool. I think you stink and I hope you have a hard time understanding the Boston accent.

Now on to the youth movement: Randy Foye, Rashaad McCants, Corey Brewer, Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair…

Oh shit! What have we done? I miss you so much already KG, Da Kid, Da Ticket, won’t you please reconsider? I don’t care if we never win another playoff game I need you to stay, this state needs you to stay, even if most of us are too reserved to show our true feelings.

Ah hell, if you love someone you must set them free. Go Kg…go and win that title you deserve. You have a great opportunity with Paul and Ray. Go and win it all for Danny and Red.

Here come the waterworks.

Hail to Thee and Thy Warpath

The Washington Redskins

The 2006 Redskins were a resounding belly-flop of disappointment. The formerly dominant defense was blown off the ball, yielding the most big plays & the lowest 3rd down efficiency while forcing the fewest takeaways in NFL history. The offense did not get anything out of passing the ball, and while they were able to run very effectively, they couldn't sustain and finish drives. The special teams units were not special, though the coverage units have improved.

Many otherwise clever people, my own self included, thought that the Redskins (a 2005 playoff team with true grit who beat the Bucs in the Wildcard Round and lost to the eventual NFC Champ Seahawks) would build on their growth. I hitched my wagon to their star, and was shamed for it. The Redskins stumbled backwards to a 5-11 record. The season's lone highlight was the Nov 5 victory over Dallas. Tied at nineteen with five seconds left, Dallas lined up for a chip shot FG to win. Troy Vincent came around the protection and blocked the kick. Sean Taylor recovered and returned the ball 35 yards despite a flagrant facemask, as time expired. As a half can't end on a defensive penalty, and the personal foul was worth 15 yards, the Redskins were able to go for the kick. K Suisham nailed it.

That was it. The other sixteen weeks (yes, including bye week) was as disappointing as any Redskins team I've seen in my 33 years. Once again, the expensive free agents were busts. Once again, stupid deals hamstringed us up against the salary cap ceiling. Once again, I had to talk about "next year" before Thanksgiving.

Well it's Next Year now, and there are good reasons to believe that the Redskins have the potential to surprise the pundits who are projecting them to finish below .500. The NFC East is in transition and the division title is not out of the question.

However, an enormous amount of improvement must happen, particularly with the defense. The Redsksins were refreshingly flaccid in free agency, but upgraded their talent at a number of positions. The offense must learn how to win, especially the close games (eight of their 11 losses were by six points or less). The Redskins must commit fewer penalties, especially the stupid personal fouls which helped them rack up the third most penalty yards in the NFL.

We'll learn if the team has made these improvements during the second game of the season, a MNF grudge match in Philly on 9/17. If the Redskins win that game, they'll take the division: I guarantee it!

And now, your Three Time World Champion Washington Redskins:


The Al Saunders offense, intended to take the Redskins over the top, was ineffective at scoring TDs. Whatever the relationship between Gibbs and Saunders, it didn't click last year. Another year in the system ought to improve the playcalling. The Redskins were limited first by Brunnell's arm weakness, then by Campbell's inexperience. The only thing that went right was the rushing attack which was 4th in the league but only generated 13 TDs.

The Redskins have not had an NFL-caliber QB since Mark Rypien stood tall behind the Hogs to win the Superbowl in 1992. Jason Campbell, quietly groomed until the 11th game of his second season, shows the potential to be a winner for many years. The Sportsjacks have no faith in the young gun from Auburn, but none of them watched him play last year. I did, and I can tell you the kid has some great qualities: he is calm, he is big & strong (6-4, 230), he has a cannon and he leads by example. I saw him do two things that I haven't seen a Redskins QB do in a very long time: he shrugged off pressure and threw fireballs. A full year in the system and much more time with his WRs should make this a breakthrough season for Campbell.

The Redskins OL played well through injuries. They lost massive OG Derrick Dockery and depth behind the starters is a worry. Last year they opened big holes, particularly on the right side. They only gave up nineteen sacks, despite Brunnell's immobility for the first 11 games. They must establish their dominance against a number of good D-Lines this year.

RB is a strength of the Redskins. The Redskins have two 1,000 yard rushers with Clinton Portis returning from injury to join Betts, who came within eight yards of breaking Portis's record for most consecutive 100 yard games (five). Portis is the starter, blessed with a great motor, high knees and a lot of wriggle. Betts chose to stay with the Redskins after his breakout year. He is stout, with great body-lean and plenty of pop on impact; he also demonstrated good hands by snagging 53 passes. The FBs Rock Cartwright & Mike Sellers contributed well both in lead-blocking and the passing game.

WR is a strength on paper, but the Redskins didn't get much out of free agents Brandon Lloyd or Antwaan Randle El. Santana Moss and H-Back Chris Cooley had decent years with a handful of big plays, but teams could double-team them both with impunity. This unit must improve its desire, precision and team pride.


Gregg Williams's D was stale, weak and out-of-position in 2006. A lack of pass rush forced predictable blitzes that never seemed to beat the protection. This allowed an assload of big plays last year, the most in the league. When opportunities were present, the unit failed to seize them. The lack of heart was alarmingly obvious. The Redskins couldn't stop anybody on 3rd down or at the end of the game. This unit is largely the same as the 2005 & 2006 models, so it isn't clear which version is going to show up.

The D-Line is my main concern for 2007. They added no personnel in the draft or free agency, despite some available options. They were blown off the ball by physical O-Lines and were unable to generate any pressure whatsoever. Very little penetration against run or pass. Injuries and age mean that this corps must overachieve in order for the schemes to work.

LB is suddenly a strength with the addition of stout MLB London Fletcher-Baker. He joins team leader Marcus Washington and blossoming second-year SLB Rocky McIntosh to form a fast, destructive corps. The backups are raw after former starter Lamar Marshall.

The defensive secondary is suddenly a strength with the drafting of S LaRon Landry and return of CB Smoot. They are counting on a healthy season from Shawn Springs and continued improvement from youngster Carlos Rogers. Sean Taylor made the Pro Bowl on a few strong hits, but was sometimes caught out of position trying to do too much. Paired with Landry, the Redskins have a safety duo as intimidating as any in the league. They have good depth, and shouldn't be the liability they were last year.


The Redskins are hoping K Suisham provides some stability at a position which has been crap for many years. P Derrick Frost had his best year, and the coverage units were among the best in the league. The return units were nothing special. This unit's performance could tip the scales for the season -- positively or negatively.

Badcock Says: The Redskins take the NFC East with a 9-7 record.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Flash--Friend of Flash-Fried Foods

I mentioned earlier that it was a Big Nerd Holiday Week last week, and I completely forgot about Comic-Con 2007. Cory Doctorow, author and blogger over at boingboing did not forget, as he was in attendance, camera in hand.

This may be my favorite picture from the event. Barry Allen is spinning (very quickly) in his grave. You can see the rest of Cory's photos here.

NFL 2007: The IDYFT Cup

This is the most glorious time of year for NFL fans. All the promise of free agency & the draft have been brewed and tightly bottled. For most of the contributors to IDYFT, the best time to savor the delightful barley pop is before we open it. Because when the season starts, the Summit Extra Pale Ale (for example) we thought we had shall quickly sour to warm Hamm's in a can.

All of our teams were shitty last year and there is little hope for most of us. If one of our teams has a record above .500 next year, all the rest of us are going to have to get drunk on the fumes. It's called Joxygen.

Something delightful about this year's schedule is that almost all of these teams will compete head-to-head. No big whoop for those in the dreadful NFC North, but Oakland and Washington will play everyone but each other. If you want to make a hilariously misguided prediction for your team's chances in the 2007 NFL season, now is the time. The IDYFT contributor(s) whose team finishes with the best record is eligible for a prize: the IDYFT Cup.

Green Bay Packers: the Pack is Whack!
This team is obviously crap, yet some sportjacks are actually talking playoffs for the Whack Pack. Last year, the Packers limped to 8-8 and second place in the dreadful NFC North. Take away their four wins against fudgefests DET and MN and you have a better sense of how competitive the Packers actually were. And they've done absolutely nothing to get better, they've lost key players and Favre is a year older, playing in his seventeenth season. The Packers 2006 campaign, with its "furious finish" to claw up to 8-8 was facilitated by home games against fudgefests SF, DET, MN and CHI in the last game of the season, with the Bears not even pretending to care. Consider: the week before their incredible comeback, they were dominated (at home) by the Jets, 38-10. You're not going to see many people on the bandwagon after their bye week (Week 7): I guarantee it!

OFF: This is the year Favre gets broken and ends his Hall of Fame career being driven out on a cart. Favre did throw for nearly 4,000 yards, but at the expense of an 18-18 TD-INT rating. Much of his yardage was compiled while losing to bad teams. The Pack ranked 23rd in rushing last year, and fixed the problem by letting Ahman Green go to the Houston Tar Pit. Green, breaking down, ran for 1,000 yards behind a creaky line. Green will be replaced by an unknown RB -- none of the others had 100 rushes in 2006. After Driver, the WR corps is wicked lame. The OL is young, and must strive to escape mediocrity. Favre's fading star and Driver's spunk are the only talent, and that won't be enough.

DEF: The Packers D isn't bad, but it isn't good enough to win any games for the Packers. They generated sacks and turnovers, yet ranked 25th in most points allowed. They are fairly strong at DT, and DE Aaron Kampman ranked second in the NFL's sack attack. The LB corps has some promise. The starting DBs are good but the rest of the secondary is very thin and suspicion must abound. Get the Packers in a Nickel and you'll have some mismatches.

ST: The Packers are ranked dead last in overrall special teams for the second year in a row. Every aspect is whack.

Badcock says: Whack it, man!

Detroit Lions: Silver Boners!

The Lions have surpassed the Bucs and Redskins (at last) in front office incompetence. They don't seem to understand that a football team is only as good as its lines. Drafting a WR in the 1st round 76 consecutive times hasn't produced many wins, but maybe #77 will work out. Guess what, boners: WRs are directly involved in plays the least of any position. Detroit will suck, and deservedly so. It is no accident the Lions have been the worst team in the NFL over the last five years (22-68). The Lions start the season with Fudgefests OAK and MN, and will lose both games: I guarantee it!

OFF: Kitna barfed up 22 INTs and 11 fumbles last year, which is a more telling stat than all the yards he threw for when his team was losing by forty points. Kitna is not an NFL starter, but there is no one else. It hardly matters: the OL is a sweatbox of friendly retards. They gave up sixty-three sacks while ranking dead last in rushing. Boof. The WR corps isn't bad on paper, but they won't ever be in a position to win. Street & Smith's voices an opinion which is as widespread as it is absolutely bloody wrong: "This time, everybody agrees they got it right because [G.T. WR] Calvin Johnson was the consensus best player in the draft regardless of position." I do not agree, and they did NOT get it right. Adding Jonson is like buying bullets for a squirt gun.

DEF: This unit was almost as bad as the offense. They ranked 30th in points allowed. They were equally vulnerable to the run and the pass. The D's best player, Pro-Bowl DT Rogers, is coming off knee surgery that ended his 2006 season. Their secondary is going to give up a lot of big plays and the Lion will likely have the worst time of possession in the NFC, again.

ST: The coverage and return teams were decent, but K Hanson's leg strength is failing, even in the dome. The longtime ST coach has retired, which won't do much to help this unit win games for the Lions.

Badcock says: Silver Boners, Away!

Minnesota Vikings: the Flaming Bi-Queens!

Just about everyone is ranking the Vikes below the Lions, which is pretty damn brutal. Childress & his Bi-queens figured out how to have a dominant run D and rank #5 in time of possession while dropping ten games against one of the NFL's easiest schedules. The Vikings are definitely still rebuilding, and won't be good for years. Losing their D coordinator won't help them win any games. The Vikes have an easy schedule but will be embarrassing themselves in public: I guarantee it!

OFF: The Vikes low-wattage offense ranked in the cellar in scoring, efficiency, 1st downs and passing. Bringing in raw prospect QB Jackson or Boobs Bollinger won't do much to improve the unit. The OL isn't terrible, but struggled in pass protection. They should be solid at RB, especially with the addition of Adrian Peterson, but they'll be facing 8-man fronts all the time. The WRs are underachieving douchebags. The Bi-queens are not going to be able to put the ball in the air at all.

DEF: As good as the run D was, the pass D was atrocious. Worst in the league, despite talent on the DL. After CB Winfield, the secondary is an enormous liability. LB is a joke. This unit is going to give up a lot of pass yards and big play TDs, especially with the new D coordinator a CB coach from the Colts -- not a particularly noteworthy unit in their own right.

ST: There is nothing special about this unit whatsoever. K Longwell is not aging well. The return game isn't bad, and they'll definitely be earning their money this year.

Badcock says: Bi-Queens can't handle balls in the air.

Oakland Raiders: the Suckiest Bunch of Sucks who ever Sucked

Man do they suck: 15-49 the last four seasons. They are handing the keys of their rotten jalopy to thirty-one year old Lane (Lane?) Kiffin. They are a very bad team in a very good division, so expect 8 losses right there. Luckily for them, they play against the worst division in the NFL (the dreadful NFC North), so the Oakland Sucks probably won't go winless. Al Davis continues to sacrifice head coaches and team morale sucks. The Nov. 11 clash hosting the Bears will be the lowest-scoring game of the year: I guarantee it!.

OFF: Oh my god, what's that smell? Oh, it's the worst offense in the NFL! Last year, the offense scored twelve TDs. Twelve. They do not have an NFL QB on their team, their RB corps is second-string, their WRs are whiny bitches that suck. But their biggest problem (duh) is that instead of an OL they have a rusted suckbucket. In typical Sucks fashion (also see Lions & Cardinals), they did nothing to address the fact that the OL sucks. They really, really suck. They gave up 72 sacks.

DEF: The Raiders D is not bad, especially considering how bad the offense was. But their #1 ranking against the pass is also a testimony to being behind by thirty points in the first ten minutes. The DL might be past their prime. The LBs are decent but not spectacular, and struggled in run support. The secondary is talented, but are going to be forced into the box early and often.

ST: Seabass sucked some serious suckage, finishing dead last in FG %. Coverage and return teams are bad. It's rather telling that the best player on the Sucks is P Shane Lechler.

Badcock says: Suck on it, Sucks!

Three-Time World Champion Washington Redskins

In the interest of fairness, I'll let the fine lads of IDYFT offer their lame predictions for the Skins before I unveil my moving testimony. One thing is clear, however. The Redskins will have the best record out of this sorry bunch and will claim the IDYFT Cup for 2007: I guarantee it!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Play NFL Pick 'em, Jerks

Readers of I Dislike Your Favorite Team are Hereby Invited to Play in our NFL Pick 'em. First place gets a Jesus playing Football statue. Second place gets a handsome IDYFT t-shirt. Third place gets something cheaper, but pretty awesome. I reserve the right to hold onto prize depending on my whims. But eventually, you will receive said prize. And hey, you aren't paying anything to participate, so quite complaining, and sign up!

To Sign Up, you'll need a Yahoo account, which is pretty painless.

Step 1: Go Here.

Step 2: Sign in with your own name and password and junk.

Step 3: Join Private Group.

Step 4: Group ID # is 6820

Step 5: Password is spiderpig.

You've joined! Welcome. I will destroy you. In NFL pick 'em, I mean. In general, I'm quite content to let you live. For now.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Big Ups, J-Tyne!

My mother used to tell me that good things came to those who wait. Which I regarded as bullshit. I want my Atari now!

But Jason Tyner, or "j-tyne" clearly believes in my mom's lies. He waited for at bat #1220 before he finally hit a home run. Something not mentioned in any account I've read thus far is that Tyner celebrated his home run with a little homage/satire of Sammy Sosa's homerun celebration, which I found to be a delightful touch.

In turns out that the Twin Clubhouse is a bit like the guys who write here--they are kind of dicks, they will mock you, they will make you accept embarrassing bets, but deep down they maybe kind of rooting for you:

"We had a bet going earlier in the season that I was supposed to hit a homer before him with our Interleague games," Santana said with a laugh. "I was going to have the least chances to hit one, but I was going to try."

Santana's bet wasn't the only one that involved Tyner's drought. A wager took place between Tyner and Gardenhire earlier in the year regarding the elusive homer. Gardenhire, a proud University of Texas alum, had told Tyner, a Texas A&M alum, that he would wear an Aggies shirt should Tyner blast one.

So with Tyner finally hitting a homerun, who has the next longest streak of at-bats without a Homer? Teammate Luis Castillo, who's gone more than 600 plate appearances without a homer.

That is not a 1-2 stat combo you want on your home team, let me tell you.

Blogger Round Up

It's been awhile since I've done one of these. I have my reasons, and I owe you nothing in terms of explanation.

Look at me, I'm playing the Dick Cheney Game. Fuck you!

On to the linkage, which will certainly result in us getting linked in kind, thus growing our base of readers beyond horny losers who end up because they Googled Vanessa Minillo (seriously-like 95% of our traffic right now is dudes looking to see who is fucking Nick Lachey. Lame.)

The Big Picture, dirty mansluts that they are, are looking for confirmation that we all still find Ice from American Gladiators attractive. We find this to be weird and incredibly dated. And also very fun. I'm willing to bet one of those assholes over there at the TBP ends up nailing Ice.

Over at A Price Above Bip Roberts, Ted is busy interviewing people about their prized sports memorabilia. Maybe he'll rememeber that we let him blog here, and ask us about our favorite sports possession. If not, we'll call Ted a dick. We're petty that way.

At Doberman on the Diamond, Kyle doesn't care for Rob Lowe making fun of his Cardinals. The post is living proof that even 20 years later, Rob Lowe will never run away completely from his misdeeds. Kyle--just because Rob boned a 17 year old back in the day doesn't make his rip on your team any less true. Your team stinks like poop.

The Fan's Attic is weighing in, somewhat belatedly on Beckham. But his point is sound--Beckham can neither sink nor save the MLS. I do think the lads there need to get some history on the Cosmos, though. We do tend to forget that for a glorious year or two, soccer was quite popular in the US--it only took Pele and Cruyff, and assorted other super stars to make it happen. And when they retired, the NASL collapsed. That's what we call an object lesson, folks.

Holy Shit! Rumors and Rants has a Big 10 College Football Preview! While we Minnesotans aren't happy with seeing ourselves 11th in the Big 10, I do have to thank R&R for not mentioning the whole Date Gang Rape thing. College boys, remember--passed out drunk does not count as assent. Also, here's a Red Flag: "We all fucked her--take your turn!" That's a red flag, assholes.

Speaking of the Big 10, The Postmen think the Big 10 is about to become 12. As they point out, there is already a Big 12. Maybe they could be The Middlin' 12, or The Big 10 + 2, or Big 12, Northland Edition.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How Would You Like To Be Higher Than You've Ever Been Before?

There are good headlines, and then there are headlines that make you giggle a little every time you read them.

This is simply Fantastic.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's Like Some Magical Nerd Holiday Time

Man vs. Wild is back; Survivorman is returning soon. Pros vs. Joes and Ninja Warrior are casting. Harry Potter came out. I'm 13 songs into Guitar Hero: Encore, and I'm loving it.

"Hang On Loosely" is a brilliant, brilliant cut. I see that now.

And, now, the capstone on the entire thing. boingboing links to a dude who stumbled on a Spider-Man/Planned Parenthood Team-Up. Fucking Awesome.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Two Awesome Shows Looking For Contestants

Two of the "sport" shows that I find myself watching obsessively are casting. I thought one of these shows was cancelled, and the other I thought existed in another universe, so I'm quite amped that I can help get the message out.

I've sung the Praises of Pros Vs. Joes enough that most of the Season 2 guys emailed me at some point to say, "Hey, I wasn't as big of a dick as you made me sound." I love those Season 2 guys, but they were often huge dicks.

So I can't wait to mock and then befriend the Season 3 guys. But if I am to do that, we need a Season 3.

People willing to rebound against Kevin Willis, or think having never played a minute of soccer in their lives that they can handle slide tackles from Alexi Lalas, or think they can cover Andre Rison because he's old, should check out this link right here: Spike TV is casting for Season 3.

The other show, that I've only mentioned once, is Ninja Warrior, as it is called on G4. I believe it is called Sasuke in Japan. But who cares? Because G4 is now having a contest to fill out an All-American version of Ninja Warrior. Contestants will be flown to Japan, with their very different view on personal liability lawsuits, and given an opporunity to compete.

American Ninja Warriors, read the details here, and remember, this is the sort of thing that could happen to you.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Camels Are Extreme

I'm sure local tout and man-about-town Garwood B. Jones will be weighing in later, but I wanted to point out that local hippodrome Canterbury Park is highlighting an "extreme" weekend promotion that I'm saddened I will miss.

Is it coincidence that a day featuring extreme animals would be sponsored by an extreme "meat" product Spam? Hell, no.

Get out to Canterbury this Sunday, and watch the Turf vs. Grass race; "Hundred in a Heartbeat", the shortest race ever at Canterbury, and special races featuring camels and ostriches (not together, that would be stupid). Is is Extreme Day!

I don't see any previews of the various fauna racing, but I'm sure Garwood can tell you what to look for when looking for a quick moving camel or ostrich.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Cheating at the Tour de France

We all knew it would happen. The Tour would finally clamp down on the doping and the drug use, and the teams would just find new ways to cheat. A dance not new to any sport, but no sport dances so publicly as our two-wheeled warriors.

And, so perhaps we all knew, deep in our hearts, even as the Pre Tour blood tests all came back negative, that something new would enter the game. Something unholy.

As the sun dawned on Stage 9, the riders from 3 teams, 25 men in all, still tested negative. "Surely," I can hear you readers exclaim, "this Tour that was once saturated with cheating men is finally, much like Chris Elliot's Pipes in Cabin Boy, clean!"

First of all, readers, excellent Cabin Boy reference.

Second of all, readers, you are Pie-In-the-Sky optimists, starry-eyed behind your rose-colored glasses. Yes, the men are clean. But you don't need a man to cheat. I'm blowing this fucking conspiracy out of the fucking water.

Consider for your pleasure (or is it your horror?)

Item 1: In 2004, The US Post Office suddenly realized that maybe spending money on a bicycle team wasn't the best use of its resources. In June of 2004, The Discovery Channel acquired the team. Every jingoistic AmericApe applauds the sinister cable giant for their largess in keeping Tour winner, cancer-beater and star-fucker Lance Armstrong's team alive, simply because the man and the entity are American based, never knowing what terror has been unleashed on the world.

Item 2: Animal Planet is co-owned by BBC Worldwide and The Discovery Channel.

Item 3: Starting in January 2005, a mere 7 months after The Discovery Channel absorbed the US Postal bicycle team, Discovery Channel subsidiary (or puppet?) Animal Planet ran the first Puppy Bowl.

Item 4: The Mainstream Media would have you believe that the Puppy Bowl served only as counter-programming entertainment against the Super Bowl, but is it? What if is a concerted effort by The Discovery Octopus to train puppies to interact with human sporting endeavors? We've already seen long-jumping dogs, obstacle course running dogs, frisbee catching dogs, bowling dogs and who could blame a fat, drunk and complacent America for not seeing a danger in football being added to the list?

Item 5: Dogs can get fat quick, because they will eat anything.

Item 6: Back in 1834, the Illuminati discussed dogs that would be the best to carry out nefarious plots. They were looking for a loyal, pliant dog that would carry orders no matter how evil, but would always be considered too stupid to have evil in its heart. Amongst the Top 3? The Golden Labrador, if my decrypted translation is correct.

Item 7: After a power struggle at the Discovery Channel, the new leadership announced they would discontinue sponsoring the team. Perhaps, insiders postulate, if the team can win the Tour de France, the new Discovery Channel will reconsider their decision. Allegedly, Operation Canis Omega is launched--a plan so secret that Google has no record of it!

We're through the Looking Glass, people.

Watch as the plan of the Illuminati/Discovery Channel/Evil Fattened Labrador is put into action, and please note that the rider is on the payroll of T-Mobile, which has been battling with the scions of Discovery since the days of Amonhotep IV.

The Hammer and the Sicko Part 2: Union Busting

Dave Zirin, respected sportswriter and member of THOTM '96, contributes a new angle to the consideration of the NFL's commitment to retired and disabled players as articulated in Part One of The Hammer and the Sicko.

I will be re-articulating Dave's original article, called High Impact: What Football Owes Its Players.

Dave's article is about the evolving relationship between the NFLPA & its retired players. He notes that concerns about brain damage to players is multiplying for two reasons: an increase in the awareness of the injuries as well as the burgeoning size, strength and speed of the players.

DZ makes a brilliant point here: "Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor weighs 235 pounds and runs forty yards in less than 4.5 seconds. His job as safety is to do more than protect his defensive backs: it's to find people with the ball and with his scary combination of speed and power, remove their senses from their body. So the issue of possible trauma is not just for players who retired long ago."

Although I believe Sean Taylor runs a high 4.3 -- not that there's anything wrong with it.

DZ analyzes the sudden Congressional interest in retired players. This is when things get curious. At the hearings, Hall of Famer Mike Ditka spoke up for the players while taking a swipe at the head of the Players' Union, Gene Upshaw.

DZ, an admitted pinko commie, deducts that "A movement that should be advocating for the rights of retired players is beginning to look like a move to discredit and weaken the union, while the owners kick back and allow the carnage to proceed."

Ditka's crossing of the picket line during the 1987 strike as well as quotations from former players who scoff at Ditka's concern do seem to undermine Iron Mike's sincerity. The bandwagon effect of jumping on the right side of disability lawsuits and covering the stink of steroids investigation (baseball) gets everybody moving in one direction. DZ thinks that Gene Upshaw is being held up as a scapegoat.

Upshaw fired back at criticism like the former Raider he is, saying of Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure that he wanted to "wring his neck."

DeLamielleure's response doesn't extinguish the anti-union hysteria: "At first, I was angry, but then reality sets in. My wife was petrified. We grew up in Detroit. You know what unions are. You hear about it. She goes, 'Hey, this guy is a head of a union, a powerful union, when he makes a threat like that, you'd better take it serious."

Something to consider, as we wait for NFL training camps to open on Friday July 27th. As a published novelist and big fan of Muhammad Ali, I recommend Dave Zirin's Muhammad Ali Handbook. Not a biography, but chock full of interesting interviews, opinion and great photographs. It's great for reading on the can.

Finally, as we wrench our guts and wring our wrists out of worry for all these disabled NFL veterans, I would just like to know: where's my fucking healthcare? I'm a citizen of the richest country in the world, I pay my taxes & vote and I have never been arrested for any crime. I can't afford a doctor or a dentist. That is Fucking Bullshit.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Copa Americas Final Prediction

Argentina 3, Brazil 2.


1. Messi vs Robinho. They won't be playing against each other, but they are the players that the other defense has to figure out. At this moment, no team has done that yet. Great runs & great shots don't necessarily lead to goals, but they do scare the shit out of the defense. Look for the backline of both teams to be obsessing over these players. And if they don't, well then you get goals like this.

2. Defense and Goaltending. Brazil has yet to come up with a great stop this tournament. I don't think they'll get in the final. Argentina's defense is tougher, a bit rougher, and while it may give up a free kick (and possibly a goal in said free kick) it would not let someone wander in unmolested.

3. Central Midfield--Riquelme will be the difference in this game. Look for a perfectly weighted assist, or the pass before the assist, or the goal itself. Riquelme will be the difference.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

May This Clip Haunt your Dreams...

The good folks at Double-Nickel have posted a clip featuring the Chicago Cubs television announcers performing the Summertime Blues. I hate to concentrate on unpleasantness while the Cubbies are playing better baseball than they have in years, but.... there needs to be more public outcry about Len Casper. This guy just sucks. He's such a mealy mouthed wuss. His voice sucks, his banter is purely corporate pablum, and if he knows baseball, you'd never know it from a Cub telecast. He needs to go. He actively makes it less pleasant to watch a telecast... God he sucks.

Blogger Round Up: Girlie Show

Leave the Man Alone, as would be expected, has opinions on the fashions on display at the S-Pees Award Show. LeBron had seven costume changes. No kidding.

This Suit Is Not Black reveals that Marcus Bent's stupid, trashy Page 3 girlfriend was dumped after she bragged about having sex with 50 Cent. Dear Ms. Danielle Lloyd: You are taking the bad boy thing too far. Your old boyfriend was a young man, and in 2 years, will be still making millions and millions of dollars. In that same time frame, 50 Cent will be hosting reality TV programming on MTV4. (Apparently 50 Cent has a big cock, though. Good for him! He should try nailing non Euro-trash.)

You'll Never Blog Alone, when not commenting on Dirty Copa America players, is pondering the Post Modern ESPN production of the Beckham's first game. She says "Better than a Donovan cam. " We agree.

The Dirty Tramps of Ladies... have your All Hottie Copa America team. No Americans, and 1 Mexican. Not only are the ladies not ladies, they are traitors. Also, no Tevez, which suggests that the Ladies do not see inner beauty.

Speaking of the Copa America, did you see Messi's goal in the Semis? Holy fucking shit. This is a chip for the ages. The Final, Argentina vs. Brazil is on Univision on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, July 13, 2007

DeadOn vs. Vanity Fair--Who is S-M-R-T-er? Pt 1

And so we begin taking a couple of well-meaning, separate Greatest Simpsons Episodes Countdowns, and turning them into one big bloodthirstily competitive duel. By making it a competition, we make into a sport, almost. As much as golf is, certainly. Shockingly, there are has been very little overlap between the two lists, which suggests that one of these combatants is going to get the snot kicked out of them. We John Ortved's top 10 in Vanity Fair, and we have the ongoing Top 20 from DeadOn. Let's get it on!

Vanity Fair's #10: The President Wore Pearls. I can't speak for the entire of IDYFT, but I was fucking stunned to these episode listed any where near the top 10. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't crack my top 50. Honestly, after an episode in which Lisa sings, does anyone sit around and say, "I wish I could have gotten more of that singin' Lisa!" If there are people out there like that, this episode is for them. A parody of "Evita" with Lisa rising and falling out of the School Presidency. Before this episode aired, I didn't think the world needed another musical parody. After it was done, I was convinced of it.

Yet Ortved says that "[t]he musical numbers are astoundingly good." Look, if you've got a weakness of for musical parodies, you probably shouldn't be in charge of a Top 10 Simpsons. This prediliction for musical routines will raise its head a few more times, but this is by far the most egregious example of letting music numbers obscure the fact that the episode is at best mildly humorous.

DeadOn's #10: Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk. Now, this is an episode that belongs in a Top 10 list. Burns sells the power plant to some Germans who in their attempt to make the thing work efficiently and well are put in the path of Homer. This episode has one of the strangest little musical moments in Simpsons history, in which Homer imagines The Land of Chocolate, where everything is made of chocolate, and Homer quickly eats infrastructure and pets alike. DeadOn calls it the "50 of the greatest seconds in television history." That hyperbole folks, and that's OK. That's was irrational irresponsible bloggers do. DeadOn also rightfully points out that Burns gets a ton of great work in this episode, and that Phil Hartman as the kindly German Horst has one of his finest one-shot characters.

Who wins: Not even close in my book. Score Round 1 to DeadOn. But go ahead and be heard--poll is on the left.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to Feel Old

Recognize the dude below? That's the baby from the cover of Nevermind. I shit you not.

Top 10 Best Simpsons Episodes Ever?

I ran across this article in Vanity Fair (after reading the article Big BM recommended on Les Elephants) in which a Vanity Fair Editor and other staff writers rated the Top 10 Simpsons episodes of all time. In my humble opinion, as a life long fan, they got it all kinds of wrong . Who cares if the editor who put it together wrote a stupid book on the Simpsons. They are stupid. I mean the episode when the Bush's move in across the street? That one suck-diddley-ucked Flanders. They got maybe 3 or 4 right, maybe.

So, going along with the cash flow coverage of all things Simpson (I hear there is a movie or something) I thought the contributors and readers of this blog could put forth their ideas on the Top 10 Simpsons of all time.

In order to be manageable-I ain't so good at cipherin'-if you could limit your nominations to your top 3-5 episodes, we can assemble the full potential of hipster-nerd power that is IDYFT and its readership and togehter compile a list worthy of being a Simpsons Top 10.
UPDATE: As commenter extraordinaire lbutler points out, the kindly folks at DeadOn are currently in the midst of their Top 20. So why work to create our own list, when we can slag someone else's? We will be comparing the Top 10 of DeadOn against the Top 10 of Vanity Fair. If I can figure out how to do it, we will even allow polls for you, somewhat faithful reader to vote on who picked the better episode. Should be fun, maybe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Homer Simpson is Not a Model of Civic Responsibility

Via BoingBoing comes this story of a man who attempted to be a real life Homer to avoid jury duty:

On a questionnaire that all potential jurors fill out, Ellis wrote that he didn't like homosexuals and blacks. He then echoed those sentiments in an interview with Nickerson.

"You say on your form that you're not a fan of homosexuals," Nickerson said.
"That I'm a racist," Ellis interrupted.
"I'm frequently found to be a liar, too. I can't really help it," Ellis added.

Mr. Ellis is following the Homer plan almost too well.

Quoth Homer: "Getting out of jury duty is easy. The trick is to say you're prejudiced against all races."

les Elephants!

Via Deadspin, just a fantastic article in Vanity Fair about what Didier Drogba and the Ivorian Soccer team has meant to the Ivory Coast as they attempt to end a civil war that's been dragging on for half a decade.

Here's a snip:

For nearly five years, Ivory Coast had been divided in two: rebel-held North, government-loyal South. But on a tour of the country in March, Drogba stunned his fellow Ivorians by proposing that the Madagascar game be played in Bouaké, the capital of the rebellion. North and South, unable to reconcile their differences through battle or peace talks, would set aside their guns and come together for a soccer game. And Drogba, already an international star, would become, in the eyes of Ivorians, something of a deity.

"When I saw Drogba say that on television, I got goose bumps," Christophe Diecket, an official with the Ivory Coast Football Federation, told me. "My wife cried. The people on TV cried. We Ivorians, we had this abscess, a sickness, but we had no way to lance it to get better. It couldn't have been done by anyone else. Only Drogba. He's the one who has cured us of this war."

You go read now. And remember, 8-0 thumpings also advance peace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Blog is Fucked Flatter Than Hammered Shit

Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Nabisco, You Magnificent Bastards

It's like an Oreo fucked a Thin Mint. And that's a good thing.

Job Opportunities

Understanding that I Dislike Your Favorite Team's readership are the sort who probably won't be interested in such prurient fare, I thought I'd pass along this along just in case.

Durex opens job as official condom tester. Qualifications?

"You must have a strong desire to improve your current sex life by bed-testing a number of our passion-enhancing condoms such as Pleasuremax, Extended Pleasure or FetherLite. To apply, simply explain why you think you're right for the position (missionary is acceptable) and you could be eligible for the employee bonus of $1,000."

I exclusively wear Magnum (XL condoms for the delusionally vain) so unfortunately this offer is of no use to me.

"You know how he cut his hand there, Sam? He just reached up and slapped down one of Scott Mitchell's balls!"

It's not quite hugging the panda, and 'hugging the shirtless ocho-cinco' doesn't have quite the ring, but Bill Maas' arrest on gun and drug charges got me thinking about Bill Maas' propensity to say tremendously dumb things. As the poor man's Matt Millen -making him the homeless and drunk on Listerine man's John Madden- Maas always seemed to be good for one sexual (usually homoerotic) double entendre a game.

Outsports.com captures some of the best items but only when they are homoerotic.

I've always been fascinated by broadcast double entendre language that I can giggle at. I'm not talking about the ubiquitous "he's going out of the game for a blow" or "they've got to stick a finger in the dyke". The titular (tee-hee) quote is one that I've long associated with Maas but I could be mistaken. Another favorite was from the NCAA tournament a few years back when the announcer (and I'll guess that it was Gus Johnson or Billy Packer but I'm not sure) said of the young man calmly sinking free throws to maintain a late lead: "He's just standing there stroking it like he's the only one in the gym."

Now that I have a medium for my immature snickering, I'll try to post any unintentionally hilarious broadcast banter that I hear. If you, fair readers, have any that you'd like to share, send it along to us at and we'll work it into a post.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Best Horse in Animation History

Again, via Neatorama, I learn that "What's Opera, Doc?" is turning 50 Years Old this week.

The Star puts it simply enough:
It is the antithesis of the routine cartoon. In place of snappy one-liners we see Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny singing their parts with complete sincerity and commitment. The backgrounds are beautifully textured paintings. The score is powerful and moving. Bugs cuts a striking figure in a metallic brassiere before Madonna was even born. It's audacious and decadent and beautiful and bold and everything the vast majority of cartoons would never dare to be.

All of that is undeniably true. But when that horse goes bounding down the hill, I laugh every single time, and I don't want to guess actual number of times I've seen this cartoon.

So celebrate with a truly American piece of art. I'd say watch it before they take it down, but Warner Brothers has seemed to be pretty cool about their cartoons going on YouTube. Perhaps because they are smart enough to realize that it will probably only drive traffic to higher quality versions available on DVD, hmm? Enjoy!

The Uusorg Juggernaut Rolls On

While some of my compadres may be fascinated by the likes of Roger Federer and his tennis match winning antics, the Uusorg Brothers are quite dominant in their chosen field: The Annual Wife-Carrying Championships.

Madis won this year (for the second time); following his brother Margo's win last year. And the prize is quite valuable: "plasma televisions and [Madis' wife] Klauson's weight, 49 kilograms, in beer." That's over 100 pounds of beer, people.

Madis summed up the risks of the dangerous course, and the reward well: "'I drowned in that pool, but at least my wig is still in place. Now for beer,' he said."

I have to assume John Kruk has uttered those exact words at least once.

Your winners:

Learned about via the always awesome Neatorama

Roger Federer and local Minneapolis artist Scott Seekins, separated at birth?

Tied 2-2 in the 5th set and facing two break points, Roger Federer thought about how foolish he would look accepting Wimbledon's runner-up serving tray in this outfit and proceeded to kick Rafael Nadal's ass up and down the court.

Federer won 12 of the next 13 points to hold serve, break Nadal at 15, and then fire four straight service winners to crush the grunting Spaniard's considerable spirit. During the stretch of flawless play, Federer ran around his forehand to paint the lines with winners, passing shots, and absolute laser-beam groundstrokes that pulled Nadal all over the court.

I happened to tune into the game exactly at the point this post started and those 20 minutes were the only men's action I watched at Wimbledon this year. Still, those 20 minutes are enough to cement my opinion that Federer a) has the best groundstroke ever; and b) will complete his Grand Slam by winning the French Open before he is 30.

Sidenote #1: Tiger Woods, Thierry Henry, and Roger Federer's Gilette Fusion commercial, while not nearly as homoerotic as the Kevin Bacon/Michael Jordan Hanes commercial, is still pretty hilarious.

Sidenote #2: Now that he's been told his services are no longer needed at NBC, I am for sure putting Bud Collins in all my 2008 dead pools.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's Never Too Soon for Sid Hartman to Kiss a Little Ass

There has barely been a Tubby Smith sighting in the Twin Cities since he was signed to his contract, but Sid Hartman, Apologist for Power, would like you to know that Tubby is a philanthropist.

All I can say is that its a good thing he's paid to coach basketball, because at his salary, raising $300,000 a year in a community that worships you isn't that impressive. One might be tempted to say, "How much are we paying this guy again?", if he were paid for fundraising, I mean.

For the record: I like Tubby; I wish him well in the Big 10, coaching a team that is right now, in a bit of a free-fall. I hope he can fix them, and bring them back to the salad days of Miles Tarver and Sam Jacobson. What I don't care for is all too easy to predict lionizing of incoming power brokers by Hartman.

Troy Hudson's Replacement Older Than You'd Think

Fucking Mateen Cleaves is working out for the Wolves.

It should be noted that Cleaves, while at Michigan State, was compared to Magic Johnson. And yeah, that was as much about the uniform they both wore as anything else.

But I'll take Mateen on my roster before Rapper/3-Point Clanger T-Hud.

Blogger Round Up: Soccer, Weird Soccer, Just Weird

I mentioned earlier that I was unhappy with the US Squad sent down to the Copa Americas. Apparently, some (presumably tartish) friend of the most excellent Amanda of You'll Never Blog Alone said something similar. Amanda lays out her case why it made sense for the US to do what it did. She does so grudgingly. She blames someone named Footie Girl, which I'm going to assume is some filthy nickname she has for me, despite my American Maleness.

I grudgingly admit she has a point, except for this person: Danny Califf!

Moving from Soccer to Weird Soccer, we have our friend at The Beautiful Game, who dug up footage of Britney Spears back when she was hot, and when she could sing about something "burning inside me" without the obvious herpes jokes. It is soccer-related, it is dated, but I don't think it was ever shown on American shores. We've come to the realization that even our online blogging acquaitances are sick fucks with pop culture fixations. Worrisome, that, old bean.

From Weird Soccer, to just fucking odd, we'd like to point out that we've added some links--we've got some music links, and then some links we like to call "The Strange". The connection is the blog that used to be Bat-Girl, who we loved. One of our favorite things to be found at Bat-Girl was the Lego dioramas. Bat-Girl was always worried about current events, and thus her Lego works lacked a certain detail.

But via Neatorama, we see what someone can do if they have just one thing they want to capture in Lego. The result is either hearterning, or disturbing, depending on one's world view. No more what, it is impressive.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Garza Arrives Again, Takes Part in Taking Sox Apart

It was such a nice (read: hot, humid) day that the Twins and the White Sox decided to play two games. The White Sox would have probably preferred to play just one, or maybe none, as they, in the course of two games got outscored 32-14.

Having watched Baseball Tonight, the headlines seem to be sinking towards the first game which the Twins won 20-14. And for those us who may or may not have money on the total number of home runs certain players finish with, maybe Morneau's 3 dingers in the second game are the headline. If you either a) Hate Twins back-up catcher Mike Redmond, or b) love the idea of pitchers batting in the AL, then Redmond getting conked in the by Jim Thomes' errant bat, and the substitution of Maurer, and the subsequent ugly batting of Headline Garza is your cup of tea.

Potentially lost in all of that is that Matt Garza is now 1-0 in the MLB this year, going 6 innings of five-hit, shutout baseball, striking out six. On Baseball Tonight, someone quoted a MLB scout who compared Garza to a young Smoltz. I don't know about that, but it was auspicious that the Twins went 2-0 with young Matty(s) Baker and Garza. Garza got the tired and probably emotionally drained White Sox, but all the same--these young pitchers are getting scary.

Which reminds me--we love Pat Neshek. We love everything about him. We recommended his blog; we attempted to give him a nickname. But you know, we are a bit lazy, and we never put his blog on our bloglinks. We do so now, heartily. Read Pat Neshek!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Hammer and the Sicko Part One: Plausible Deniability

NFL Training Camp has begun and it's just about time to start salivating over the best sport in the world (take that, ice-fishers!). But before we glide into the preseason excitement, it might be worthwile to be haunted by the Ghost of Concussions Past...

Disabled NFL Players to Receive Free Lip Service!
Thusfar, the new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made a name for himself by living by his promise to clean up the league's image. Although the NFL isn't perceived as being as "thuggish" (most left-leaning commentators parenthetically clarify that "thuggish" means black) as the NBA, it has enough membership in the Legion of Doom to warrant the scrutiny of white, upper-class executives.

But now, Goodell has announced a new initiative: helping former players survive their retirement. Consider: the average lifespan of a U.S. male is 75 years. The average lifespan of a retired NFL player is 58. For many of these athletes, the last years before death are spent in debilitating pain ... and poverty-stricken from medical expenses which insurance companies won't cover.

NFL players who are now 58 likely retired at least 25 years ago. The league was different in 1982, with only a handful of millionaires sprinkled among the journeymen. Offensive and defensive linemen, who received the most punishment while carrying the most weight, also received the lowest salaries. These are the players that Goodell is promising to help support, by chatting up an alliance between the NFL, NFL Players Association, NFL Retired Players Association, NFL Alumni Association, NFL Charities and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Goodell says, "All of us in the NFL want to help former players that now find themselves in need of medical care through no fault of their own. Several NFL-related groups have been working independently over the years to provide medical assistance, but now we will work together to identify and help players more effectively in a common effort."

More than 900 former players and/or their families have received financial help in recent years. 284 former players are receiving disability payments which total $19 million this year, including some that receive the max $224,000 annually.

It would seem that everything is copacetic. So why is Goodell making a big deal about some new initiative?

Let's start with George Webster.

George Webster was an All-American LB from Michigan State who played in the NFL from 1967 to 1977. He took the NFL all the way to the Supreme Court to have his disability pension increased ... and lost. He died from heart failure on April 19, 2007 at the age of 61. The last twenty years of his life were spent in agony.

Webster was unable to use a hand, foot, knee and ankle due to football-related injuries, but failed to meet the NFL's definition of totally disabled. His leg was amputated (after four surgeries) in 2002, four years after the Supreme Court smacked him down by finding that Webster's disability was not related to his football career.

If a disablility is football-related, the pension provides $4,000 a month. If it isn't, the pension drops to $750 a month.

Goodell's sudden interest in caring for retired veterans is a consequence of Webster's death, and the indifference with which the league treated him and his colleagues. This indifference shows up like a hive of bloated ticks, once you turn the hound's ear over. Consider Hall of Fame TE John Mackey.

John Mackey, called "the smartest man in the room" by former QB Jack Kemp, now suffers dementia at age 65. The former Colts TE, whose record-breaking 75-yard TD reception led the Baltimore Colts over the Dallas Cowgals in Superbowl V, now requires full-time assisted living. A hard burden to carry, considering he was underpaid in 1970 dollars.

Although UNC, in a study of 2500 former NFL players, showed that NFL players have a 37% higher risk of Alzheimer's, old timers like Mackey cannot scientifically prove that their dementia was caused by the game.

Embarrassed by the efforts of Mackey's wife, the NFL has responded with the "88 plan," named after Mackey's number. It provides $88,000-a-year for nursing home care and up to $50,000 annually for adult day care. Well, that's all well and good.

Former Steelers center Mike Webster is in the Hall of Fame, and considered one of the finest centers to ever play the game. He actually won his lawsuit against the NFL for disability payments. Unfortunately, he was already dead.

Legally disabled since 1996, Webster suffered amnesia, dementia, depression, heart attacks and acute muscle and bone pain. He was homeless for several years due to financial and personal ruin. His Hall of Fame acceptance speech in 1997 was long, rambling and largely incoherent. His wife finally divorced him six months before his death, which was nice of her.

Anybody remember Darryl Stingley (fans of Dave Chapelle/Charlie Murphy included)?

He's dead. Stingley, I mean. The Patriots WR was 26 when he was obliterated (legally) by the Jack "The Assassin" Tatum of the Raiders during an exhibition game. Stingley spent more than half of his life as a quadriplegic and died at age 55.

You don't get that much in golf.

Head of the NFLPA Gene Upshaw, who played for the Raiders in that game, has managed to increase benefits for players like Stingley from $48,000 in Stingley's time to $225,000 now.

Meanwhile, Jack "The Assasssin" Tatum had a leg amputated due to diabetes.

Brent Boyd has been without legal recourse to deal with the clinical depression he has suffered since being knocked out in a 1980 preseason game for the Vikings.

The former LG is quoted in this story: "The hit itself I don't remember. I remember when I came to, I couldn't see out of my right eye and I kind of panicked. This was 1980 and I don't even know if they used the word concussion. You were just trained to stay in the game. … You want this job? They better carry you off in a coffin."

More concussions followed, until he soon had difficulty remembering the names of his teammates, let alone how to play football. Out of the league, Boyd's marriage broke up and he was unable to hold a job.

MLB players Mark Grace, Rick Sutcliffe, Jeff Bagwell and former Bruins quarterback and actor Mark Harmon(!) helped keep Boyd off the street.

Boyd says, "The NFL wouldn't do a damn thing for me. The major league baseball guys were making sure I was surviving and I hope that embarrasses the hell out of the NFL."

Boyd lost a suit against the NFLPA in federal court, and receives a minimal disability payment from league.

Boyd says, "I'm just a guy nobody's heard of. But most of the guys who played in the NFL are like me, guys you've never heard of, and we're hurting bad. We need help."

In a related story, it was originally concluded that former Steelers lineman Terry Long died from brain swelling caused by repeated and chronic head injuries sustained during his professional career ... dementia puglistica, or "punch drunk."

Before his death, Long's life had fallen apart. While impossible to determine, it seems posssible that massive brain trauma could have been a contributing factor in helping him make the poor decisions that led to federal indictments for arson, mail fraud, insurance fraud and writing bad checks. Long had served a four game suspension in 1991 for a positive steroid test.

Long had attempted suicide by ingesting sleeping pills and rat poison. His death at 45 was evenutally determined to be a result of drinking antifreeze, an excruciating death. The NFL felt itself exonerated that Long's death wasn't a result of football-related injuries. Steelers team physician Dr. Joseph Maroon sees no connection between Long's brain injuries and his suicide solution: "I think it's fallacious reasoning, and I don't think it's plausible at all. To go back and say that he was depressed from playing in the NFL and that led to his death 14 years later, I think is purely speculative."

The question of players returning to action too quickly after a concussion -- for example, Ben Roethlisberger -- receives scrutiny in this NIH study.

Objectively classifying the severity of concussions is not an exact science. Loss of consciousness and posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) are used to determine whether a concussion may be considered "severe" and when a player may return to action, but there are no actual guidelines in place. The decision as to when a player may return is usually up to the team doctor, who may be facing pressure from the owner, coach and player to give the green light.

Studies have concluded that after a concussion, the brain is extremely vulnerable to more damage. A slight reduction in blood flow, for example, can permanently destroy injured brain cells. Another concussion at this time can produce massive neurological damage or death -- even if previous concussions did not result in PTA or coma. Multiple concussions ended the careers -- sometimes after it was too late -- for Johny Unitas, Al Toon, Steve Young, Merrill Hodge, Troy Aikman (thanks Lavar!) and many others. None of them experienced coma or measurable PTA.

The cumulative effects of concussions are not well understood. After one concussion, the chances of incurring a second one have been measured as six times greater. Repeated concussions have been blamed for the brain damage which contributed to the suicide of former Eagles safety Andre Waters.

Waters's brain tissue was found to resemble that of an 85 year old man, with signs of early-stage Alzheimer's. He was 44 when he killed himself. He had been suffering from depression for several years, and the pathologist concluded that even if Waters had not committed suicide he would have been a vegetable in ten years.

An NFL spokesman hedged his bet:
"The subject of concussions is complex. We are devoting substantial resources to independent medical research of current and retired players, strict enforcement of enhanced player safety rules, development and testing of better equipment, and comprehensive medical management of this injury. This work over the past decade has contributed significantly to the understanding of concussions and the advancement of player safety."

Who will be the next NFL star whose career and life may be threatened by brain injury? The smart money is on Ben Roethlisberger. He was the 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year (first QB to win that award since Bill "Who?" Shaw for the Bills in 1970) and the winning QB of the 2005 World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. In the offseason, Ben sustained a life-threatening brain injury from a motorcycle accident. He returned to play in 2006 and quickly suffered another concussion. His coach made the very questionable decision to play Roethlisberger the next week against the Raiders where he, yes, sustained yet another concussion.

Coming up next: The Hammer and the Sicko Part 2.

Vince Spadea Rappin' about the streets?

Thanks so much Guardian sportsblog for this little travesty. Moderately famous & successful (which still earns good money), Tennis Pro Vince Spadea decided he just had to get some of his feelings out by spittin' lyrics. I can only imagine that this video will make it that much easier for James Blake to steal Vinny's women at the late night orgies.

To be fair to Vince, judging by the look on his face, one could assume that someone has kidnapped him and is forcing him to rap, possibly holding a gun aimed at his face just off camera. He looks that scared.

Good people can disagree on this, but I have to say the best line comes at the very end:

"I'm like Camm'ron
but I say I'm more like
Cameron Diaz
but I got more ideas."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Forbes Doesn't Know the Difference Between Mexico and Paraguay

Even when the Text of the AP article makes it clear, even when Mexico hasn't beaten the US on neutral ground in a decade, even though Mexico and the US aren't even in the same group at the Copa Americas.

I imagine Forbes will fix this (though it has already been over 24 hours since the US lost to Paraguay, and they still have not fixed it).

Just to be safe, I've saved the image:

USA! USA! USA! Under 20's!

US U-20's demolish Poland, 6-1.

Take that, Poland! Go back and work on your submarines with screen doors!

I should quickly note that Barnyard (who still technically is a contributor on this site) and I were discussing the fact that we are never jingoistic in real life, but somehow soccer makes us so, for those brief moments when the US Soccer team does well. I suppose it is one of the few places where the US is still an underdog, aside from literacy rates, voting acumen, and healthcare.

Should the Polish be mocked? Only when their U-20 team shuts out Brazil and then gets rocked for three goals by Freddy Adu (remember him? He was the future of US Soccer. He's still under 20 years old).

Poland has been a fairly close of analogue of US soccer for the past 15 years or so. They play hard, tough (though not always smart) defense, they have usually one playmaker who makes their team dangerous, and is generally good to enough to beat the teams they are better than, make teams they are slightly worse than work hard, and then look stupid against superior talent. That's the US, to a tee, dammit.

Which is why, this result, though it be only one game, is exciting. Considering the US team currently playing in the Copa Americas has pretty much refused invitations to score, and also opened the door wide open to being scored on (thank you very much, Jimmy Conrad and Danny Califf! Enjoy your farewell tour, for that's what this tournament is. And damn it, off the pitch, we quite like Jimmy Conrad. But at the same time, if there was going to be a player on the US side who makes boneheaded mistakes, and can't keep up with opposition strikers, and writes well, we believe that could be any of us, dammit). That AP article I link to above is at the Forbes website, and I'll bet they have their error fixed by the time anyone reads this. Good thing I saved a copy for posterity.

The thing that the real US team is lacking right now is scoring prowess, and if our U-20's can hang a six spot on Poland, using Adu and Jozy Altidore, and Danny Szetela (his parents are Polish immigrants! Eat it again, Poland!) then maybe we are seeing some folks who can play with Donovan, Dempsey, Beasley, Mapp, and Feilhaber in a few years. Certainly Eddie Johnson hasn't shown himself able to score a hat-trick against anybody trickier than Belize. We need scorers, desperately, and if this U-20 team shows even a hint of ability to finish, we should get excited.

Dear US Team,

When given a sandwich, please don't leave it like this:


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Copa Americas: Sunday Preview

Two Games Available to thus of us with Univision. It's a double header starting at 4 pm EST.

First up:

Brazil vs. Chile--Brazil is coming to this match after gettin' beat by Mexico. Brazil is fielding a young team in this tournament, with lots of players we will probably be gushing over in a year a or two. Robinho is by far the most recognizable name on the pitch thus far for Brazil. Chile is coming off a 3-2 come from behind win against Ecuador.

It is not too soon to call this a must win for Brazil. Mexico and Chile already have 3 points each, and Ecuador, even in the loss to Chile, has proven it can score. And with the Mexico vs. Ecuador match occuring later in the day, Brazil can't even afford a tie. They need to win this game, and win it by as many goals as they can. They know this. I imagine this to be a very entertaining match indeed. If Chile wins this game, Brazil is all but guaranteed an early exit, and young team or no, that will probably lead to the firing of at least one coach.

Prediction: Brazil 3, Chile 1 (Watch out for Robinho and recent ManU acquisition Anderson)

Mexico vs. Ecuador--Mexico took advantage of their chances, and didn't let Brazil score, despite ferocious pressure for about 65 minutes of the 90 they played. Ecuador knows they are still alive in this group because of Mexico's win (Brazil ain't running away with it) despite losing to Chile. If Brazil beats Chile, Ecuador can force a 4 way tie for first, with only goal differential as a tie breaker going into the 3rd round of play. This game will be as hotly contested as the first game, but it may be the more brutal of the two matches. Mexico ain't known for their sportsmanship, and Ecuador isn't known for their beautiful version of the game. Expect hits, and more than a few dives (which could, sadly, decide the match). There may be one or two bits of brilliance in this game (Mexico had two moments of brilliance against Brazil) that may counteract the ugliness I foresee in this game.

Prediction: (I want Ecuador to win this game, I really do) Mexico 2, Ecaudor 1 (Mexico will win without contributions from Borghetti or Blanco, who are too old to do much).

A Timberwolf Demands to be Traded

Oh, no. First the Garnett rumors, and now Troy Hudson?

What will the Timberwolves do without a streaky, undersized, shoot-first, lazy-defensively point guard?

Who will be the guy on the Timberwolves roster who thinks he can rap if T-Hud is no longer here to spit the lyrics? Will the Bow-Wow tour still use his talents?

Hudson, mainly on the basis of one admittedly incredible streak of shooting in the playoffs a few years back, has consistently over-valued his own talents and abilities. A career FG % barely hovering over .400, a 3-pt FG average around .340 (with a tendency to jack them from everywhere), Troy is a 10 year vet quickly running out of career. Wolves, if you dare, bow to his trade demands--maybe you can get a year of car washes for McHale's car if you act quickly.

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