Friday, August 31, 2007

Blogger Round-Up: Wasteland of Sports Edition

We hate this time of year. Baseball is losing our interest, as the Twins fall further and further back. Pre-Season football is nice and all, but it's not really football. I saw Brooks Bollinger throwing a pass in Prime Time tonight. QED, bitches. Fellow Blog Rumors and Rants knows what I'm talkin' about.

No basketball to speak of, aside from the Celtics signing James Posey. Soccer is just getting warmed up. Macalester Soccer starts later on this week, and we'll be there, ready to root against the hated Duluthian bitchcaked Saints of St. Scholastica. Anticipation a plenty, sure, but in terms of shit to talk about, we're fresh out.

Hey, speaking of other blogs, and Macalester. one of our more famous recent alumni, Dave Zirin, got interviewed by Deadspin. We rarely link to Deadspin, because it feels rather like Adam breathing life into God (only less hyperbolic than that). But, fuck it, a Fightin' Scot who is now considered the preeminent lefty writer on sports got some national blog-attention. Read it! Andrew would at this point like to remind everyone that he saw Zirin pull a chicken leg out of his pants pocket in the middle of a class and go to town on it.

We'd like to point out that if heavy irony and oddly juxtaposed photos counted as journalism, we might be considered preeminent lefty writers on sports, too. Apparently, people expect you to write intelligently. Which seems unfair, considering the "talent" that gets published in my local paper.

Perennial blog-crush This Suit Is Not Black has discovered that David Beckham is not what you would call "book smart". What TSINB doesn't know is that Beckham is chock full of street smarts. She may be suffering from what I call (just coined) American Soccer Expectation disease. Because soccer is generally an overwhelmingly white and middle-to-upper class sport in America, the assumption could be that is true in the rest of world. Beckham comes from working class parents, and signed his first soccer contract when he was 14. He is Miss Teen South Carolina, with a more girly voice, and a talent that is actually worth something. Of course he isn't particularly bright--since he was 12 he was told his future lay in soccer.

Sports Coach Potato is reporting that the Jacksonville Jaguars may have their first home game of the season blacked out in local markets. That was happening to the Vikings when I first made Minnesota my home, and as a Washington Incredibly Offensive Nickname fan, I couldn't understand it. In DC, sons sue mothers over season tickets. In Minnesota, no one was going to the game. And now it is happening in Jacksonville. All the more shocking--Jacksonville isn't putting a really, really crap product out on the field. Do they know something about Maurice Jones-Drew that we don't?

It feels like every time we link to Leave the Man Alone we do so for multiple reasons. Well that stops right now, or at least right after this post. The Head Chick at Leave the Man Alone is a lawyer, and yet we still like her. We have a lawyer on our roster here at IDYFT, but the difference is that The Head Chick knows what she is talking about. Her take on the job the US Attorneys did on handling Vick is therefore worth reading. Keep in mind that she is a huge Falcons fan--she praises the prosecuting attorneys for not making themselves part of the story. Leave the Man Alone also covers the completely uncovered story of Althea Gibson finally getting her due at Flushing Meadow.

Evil Ladies.... have the news about an awful somewhat sports related reality program.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Headline You Don't See Everyday

Thanks, Olympic qualifying!

Showdown with Puerto Rico looming large for Canada

Also, Denham Brown is Canadian? Really?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From the AP game notes of the Twins/Indians game last night...

"The sixth-inning Hot Dog Race ended with the Ketchup contestant splattering a young girl who was holding the finish tape. She got up and appeared to be uninjured."

Can anyone tell me what 'splattering' means in this context? I'm a sick, sick man and even I'm disturbed by my mental picture.

Monday, August 27, 2007

May we have your liver, then?

Preseason injuries are a frustrating phenomena, and there is still one more preseason game to go. The balance between playing time in game conditions versus danger of injury is equivocal; with the invisible hand of CA$H MONEY tipping the scales, we should not expect the NFL to drop back down to three (or less) exhibition games. The sad roster of the wounded continues:

Arizona Cardinals won't be helped by losing OT Oliver Ross for the season. Although the backup was commonly referred to as "struggling," line depth for this Fudgefest outfit is perilous.

Atlanta Falcons are desperate at QB. Bet they wish they had kept QB Matt Schaub. With Mike Vick set to for prison (artistically rendered in Gingerbread-O-Vision) and DJ Shockley gone with a blown knee, the Falcons are left with Jojo Harrington (lifetime QB rating a poopy 68.1), brittle Chris Redman and whatever undisclosed veteran they can scoop out of the garbage can at the last possible moment.

Cleveland Browns would already be vying with the Cardinals for the #1 2008 draft pick, even without the chronic injuries that haunt its starters. CB Gary Baxter seems unlikely to recover from 2006's double-blown pattellar tendons. TE Kellen Winslow Jr. will have major knee troubles for the rest of his career and LB Andra Davis will miss at least the rest of preseason with an ankle injury.

Dallas Cowboys have a serious problem at CB. #1 CB Terence Newman has a chronic foot injury, and will miss at least the rest of preseason. With him ailing, the Cowboys pass defense is suddenly very, very vulnerable. LB Greg Ellis is making a very slow recover from the Achilles tendon injury that nearly made him retire. WR Terry Glenn is rushing back from arthroscopic surgery to make the season opener.

Miami Dolphins lost their top backup OT, Mike Rosenthal for the year. LB Joey Porter is still recovering from knee surgery, but "hopes" to make the season opener.

New Orleans Saints may be even more vulnerable against the run (31st in avg. gain per rush) with DT Bryan Young missing at least the end of preseason with a foot injury.

New England Patriots could be without All-Pro DT Richard Seymour, who has been slow to recover from offseason knee surgery. However, CB Asante Samuel has finally ended his stupid holdout.

New York Giants are still hoping that DT Mike Strahan decides to play football, but even if he does, Strahan is unlikely to be much of a factor any more. They are very thin at WR, with backups David Tyree and Michael Jennings out for 6 weeks and the season, respectively.

New York Jets have waived injured Caucasian-American WR Tim Dwight.

Philly Eagles are strangely confident that McNabb will stay healthy, and are expected to trade backup QB Kelly Holcomb.

SF 49ers are hoping that RB Frank Gore will recover from a broken hand by the season opener.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Blogger Round Up: Soccer Edition

The NFL is about to take over the American sports world, and probably this blog, too. So before that happens, let's celebrate what's going in some true Football Blogs, yeah?

Over at the City Pages, Paul Demko is evaluating the Minnesota Thunder's recent road trip. For Minnesotans, there is a "Hey, Watch Soccer, get some free beer" offer on the table, too.

Sniffing the Touchline evaluates some of the recent talent/hotness to rush into ugly urban jungle that is Manchester. We've got our hearts set on Nani. We think him dreamy, and nasty on the ball. Also, our fantasy Premiership team is counting on him.

Over at super-cute crush blog You'll Never Blog Alone, Amanda has some issues with American soccer broadcaster who can't pronounce weird foreign names. Which seems somewhat unfair, but then again, one of those hard to pronounce foreigner names was an American. "FILE-habber" That simple, stupid ESPN people. Amanda also reported that TV people managed to mispronounce "Ballack", which I find hard to believe.

That's On Point has some thoughts on Brazilian Denilson getting signed by Dallas. As That's On Point points out, he could be their Beckham, and he's 2 years younger. Of course, this is Dallas' one big signing, because of the way the MLS worked the Beckham Rule. The rule is still stupid, as LA used their "Beckham Exemption" to get David Beckham, and Dallas used theirs to get a Brazilian who was playing in Saudi Arabia last year. Too bad they couldn't spend that money getting young and fast.

Via the Beautiful Game, we saw this post from For The Love of Sports, wherein the Arsenal play the Crossbar challenge. I mention this because this is one of the few skill-related challenges that I excelled at. I can hit post like you dream about. I'm no Josh Timberlake, mind you, but I can hit posts.

Here's the Video.

Interesting Rappers

One of miwacar's co-workers asked him for some guidance to smart, independent rappers. Miwacar mentioned that in passing to me, as I was kicking his ass in a game of Winning Eleven.

I don't think I'm being a total homer when I say some a lot of the smartest hip-hop is coming out of the Twin Cities, from either the Doomtree or Rhymesayers. Don't get me wrong, I do love the Coasts (though if I had to pick, I'd go with the East, disregarding Puffy's attempt to wreck hip-hop.) I say that, even as I realize that my Top 5 Rappers are either from Minnesota, California, or Latveria.

5. Brother Ali--Brilliant writer, and apparently just a demon on stage. He's a Twin Cities guy, by way of Wisconsin. If you haven't heard him, and you like hip-hop, you need to. His ode to his albinoism, "Forest Whittaker" is at once a celebration of ego, and rejection of mass media's idea of beauty.

4. P.O.S--Another rapper, who unless you live in the Midwest, you may not have heard of. Angry political screeds, set to a combination of old school samples and live band backing. Having Craig Finn from Lifter Puller/The Hold Steady cameo to sing about the failing of the movie Predator is good fun; rapping the line "I warm my hands by burning the Patriot Act" is fucking ballsy and awesome.

3. Boots Riley, from The Coup. Oakland group, who have been pushing buttons since 1991, at least. Criminally underrated. Smooth flow, radical politics. The closest they came to being famous was when their album cover art featured Boots blowing up the Twin Towers in NYC. The art had been produced before 9/11, and the label yanked the album until they could replace the art. The Coup, with Boots as the leader/writer of the group have crafted angry polemics on top of incredible beats and samples.

2. MF Doom--Perhaps the weirdest rapper out there right now. He's conspired with MadLib, and DangerMouse on albums that celebrate cartoon culture. He grabs samples from 70's cartoons, and wears a Dr. Doom mask when he performs. MMM Food is one the funniest, strangest and yet accessible albums I've ever heard. One of the few rappers who rewards listeners who watched 70's and 80's cartoons.

1. Deltron 3030--I don't fully understand where this album came from. Del the Funkee Homosapien, who got some brief fame as being the light-hearted relative of Dr. Dre back in the day crafted this album with Dan the Automater. Del went from a slack stoner rapper to writing this album, which is essentially a paranoid sci-fi novel in rap record form. I like Del, but I love Deltron, and the difference is a willingness to push sonic boundaries, and yet, stay close enough to the structure of classic rap to be immediately accessible. Deltron 3030 is now almost a decade old, but I still find it revolutionary. I keep waiting for Deltron's next album.

Speaking of Deltron, when you plumb YouTube, you find weird stuff. Here's Deltron 3030 mixed with The Worst Movie Ever Made, "Plan 9 From Outer Space"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Reporter as Hero, or "Spell Retarded"

So we kind of suspect/know that Brett Myers is a wife-beating dick, and doesn't even have the kind of charm that makes that sort of thing appealing, ala Andy Capp. And then Philly moved him from starter to closer.

Tonight, Brett had a pretty bad game. Coming into a tied ballgame in the 9th inning (where closers ply their trade, in theory), he gave up 2 homeruns. Phllies end up losing 4-3. Bad night for a closer, certainly. But Myers found a way to make it worse.

I feel the best way to show Myers going off the tracks is done in dialogue form. I'm filling in the blanks here, but I don't think I'm fictionalizing much from the AP article. In fact, quotes taken from said article are in bold.

Scene: [A post-game press conference in Philadelphia.]
Actors: Brett Myers (BM), Pat Burrell (PB), Phily Inky reporter (PIR)

BM: Any questions?
PIR: I'm wondering if you could talk about the 2 homeruns in the 9th?
BM: They were just pop-up flys, but in this park, those kind of outs turn into homeruns.
PIR: Really? You would call those homeruns pop-up flys?
BM: [angry] Who are you? You're not even a real beat reporter! You're just a fill-in. You don't know anything about baseball! You're retarded.
PIR: Spell 'retarded' for me.
BM: Why, how dare you! I'll slap you around like you were my wife! [gets up]
PB: [gets up, grabs BM, shuffles BM off stage] This press conference is over!

[Exeunt PB and BM]

Brilliant! Thank you, unnamed Inky reporter! Way to stick it to the wife-beating loser (for losing a game).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Danny Ainge is "This Close" to Suiting Up Again

Danny Ainge seems determined to destroy all the good will he has built up putting together the all Super Veteran Squad. People murmured when he traded Jeff Green to get Ray Allen. But then it seemed like genius because that trade helped get Garnett into the fold (Presence of Ray Allen a Plus--Disappearance of Wally Sczerbiak a Double Plus).

So now, Ainge apparently thinks that the key to building good will is to sign old 3-point shooters.

How else to explain this pursuit of Reggie fucking Miller? How many things are wrong with this idea?

1. Reggie is 42. Basketball isn't baseball or golf. 42 year olds, no matter how in shape they are can keep up with 20 year olds on the perimeter. Even if Reggie can stroke his shot (which I have no doubt he can) how is going to keep up on defense?

2. Reggie has been retired for 2 years. Playing horse with his sister at the Miller Compound hasn't keep him in NBA form.

3. Reggie is a fucking Pacer. The Idea of him wearing Celtic Green is just sick.

4. The Celtics now have a chucker Head Coach, a chucker Older Veteran in Ray "Jesus, Jesus!" Allen, and a younger chucker in Paul Pierce. On what planet is the missing piece of that team a chucker old enough to be a rookie's father?

To summarize, Celtics fans, get ready, because clearly Danny Ainge is bent on destroying this franchise. He's come so close before. If Kevin McHale hadn't helped him out, he would have done it this year. He's still looking for ways to do so. And Danny Ainge gets what he wants. Reggie may have had the sense to say no, but will Chuck Person?

This Knowledge Made Me Happy

"Crambo" is a word, according to Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day. I don't particularly care for real meaning, "a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players."

But wait, there's more!

We've called the game "crambo" since at least 1660, but it was originally dubbed "crambe." The now-obsolete word "crambe" literally meant "cabbage," but it was rarely used for the leafy plant. Instead, it was used figuratively (in reference to a Latin phrase meaning "cabbage repeated or served up again") for things that were overused or repeated. The game, which was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, began with one player picking a word. A second player then tried to guess it by asking questions. For example: "I know a word that rhymes with 'bird.'" "Is it ridiculous?" "No, it is not absurd." "Is it a part of speech?" "No, it is not a word." And so on, until the word was guessed.

That is not a game I'll be playing too soon, as my friends couldn't rhyme their way out of a paper bag. Oh, SNAP! But the word, for which their are clearly more fun (if archaic) definitions is going into my arsenal.


Just in the Nippon Time


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Aaron Rodgers has Succumbed to Green Bay

Here's Aaron Rodgers on the day he was drafted. (photo from AP)

Look at him--kind of goofy in that "I'm young, I'm wearing a suit too nice for me, and I'm going to be fucking rich" way that any kid should have on his face when he gets drafted into the NFL

No real issues here, you know. Good lookin' kid. And hey, if he wanted to grow his hair out long, and get a mountain man beard, I'd be cool with that. If he wanted to pretend he was in baseball and grow a shitty goatee, I'd mock it, but I'd hardly bother to call public attention to it.

But here he is from tonight's game (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images), with the kind of facial hair only a city councilman from Appleton could enjoy unironically. Some of you hip with-it kids may think that facial hair is somehow Aaron's way of announcing to the world that he is gay. I would agree with you if he were playing in New York or San Francisco, back in the early 90's. But he's playing in Green Bay in 2007. That moustache signifies, "I too would like to dress in camo print and hang out in deer blinds more often. I too don't care for all that rap music, and that Toby Keith is an underrated political singer. Truck commercials give me an erection. I also laugh at the Milwaukee's Best Light advertisements because they are so true. In short, I too think growing facial hair like this connotes super manly toughness."

That kind of shit may work for AJ Hawk, Dan Fouts, or the Village People, but not for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, don't let Green Bay infect your brain, man!

Update: Apparently Rodgers justs likes to grow a funny moustache once a year. He did the exact same thing last year, and explained it thusly: "a tribute to all the great people in history that had mustaches -- guys like Tom Selleck and Chuck Norris and Jesus and Ron Burgundy." So Rodgers isn't try to fit in at Green Bay--he's actively mocking the people who love their moustache. Much cooler.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vick! Vick! Vick! - but lets not talk about this-

This is a so called "special needs school" that hooks children, as young as 9, up to electrodes fueled by a 10 pound battery backpack they have to carry all day. If they act up they are shocked. Sounds like a clockwork orange kind of a place, but only six children have died over it's 36 year history - not bad eh? But that Vick - suspend him he's some kind of monster!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just a wee little touch of the Black Death

After two preseason games, the dark clouds of major injuries have already gathered 'round several NFL teams. With two more preseason games to go, how many more teams will lose starters?

However, as bad as a dislocated elbow (e.g.) might hamper a player, at least no one on an NFL roster can be expected to get the Plague. One major reason is that New Mexico does not have an NFL franchise.

Cindy Roper became the fourth person to get the Plague in New Mexico this year. Likely infected by a flea bite from an infected rodent on her property, she was lucky to survive thanks to antibiotics and a relatively early diagnosis (after inconclusive spinal taps, tomography scans, MRIs and X-rays).

Over half of Plague cases in the U.S. occur in New Mexico, such as the recent case of the three-year-old who died from the Plague the same day she became sick and Mr. Tull in 2002 who had both his legs amputated at the knee because of the Plague.

Oh, by the by? Cindy Roper lives less than three miles from me.

Ring around the rosey
a pocket full of posies
ashes, ashes
we all fall down.

Nevertheless, here's some frightening news from the meat-grinder that is today's NFL preseason:

Denver Broncos have lost starting DE Ebenezer Ekuban to a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon. Traded-for RB Travis Henry sprained his left knee in the Broncos' 31-20 loss to the Cowboys, but is expected to recover.

New England Patriots have lost DB Chad Scott for the year, gaping open their secondary and increasing CB Asante Samuel's bargaining power (he wants the moon and the stars). They addressed this issue by signing 83-year-old QB Vinnie Testaverde (no shit).

Baltimore Colts have lost DT Booger McFarland for the year (at least) with a blown kneecap.

Washington Redskins watched their starting QB Jason Campbell leave the game with a bruised knee.

Tennessee Titans won't have their bottom-feeding pass defense bolstered by losing CB Pacman Jones to a suspension for mad thuggery and CB Andre Woolfolk to a busted hamstring.

Philly Eagles have taken some major hits. DT Jerome McDougle is done for the year and All-Pro guard Shawn Andrews has an unspecified ankle injury which puts his season in question.

Arizona Cardinals LB Chike Okeafo will miss the season, likely a gesture of mercy.

There are certainly more injuries to starters on the way. However, none of these injuries is as bad as a visit from the Black Death. I may have to pull up my welcome mat.

Friday, August 17, 2007

MLS Representin' Ya'll

As mentioned previously, Adidas has a nifty new promotion wherein they have contracted a bunch of "underground" acts in MLS cities to write and perform fight songs for the MLS franchises. The results are positively mindblowing. You can download the songs your ownselves from here.

Akwid: Chivas Explosivas (Chivas USA). All things being equal, not a bad little tune. Driving rhythm, chants that a crowd could get behind. The song itself is a pretty straight-forward hip-hop/rock song with some Mexicali highlights (dig them horns). There's even some rappin' in Messican! How exciting! The Guys running for President on the Republican ticket are presumably shitting in their pants over this clear double-sided attack on American values.

Download worthy?: Sure.

Bad Brains: DC United (DC United). It's very Bad Brainsy. Under 2 minutes long, with a backing track that sounds like every other Bad Brains filler track on every album they've ever made. Don't get me wrong, I like the Bad Brains, but you do know what you are getting, right? Scratches, metal guitars, with a hint of a reggae rhythm every now and again. Bonus points to Bad Brains for using the word "pitch", though. It could be perfect for a rowdy crowd looking to start trouble.

Download worthy?: Under 2 minutes of song doesn't take too long to download. Yeah.

The Rapture: Whoo..Alright, Yeah Uh-huh (New York Red Bulls Remix) (NYC Red Bulls). Maybe this band is a hot dance club band in NYC (and places beyond). But I'm not crazy about them or their remixed track (Despite the catchy "Go New York" digital cowbell chorus). Dance bands getting played in soccer stadiums seems wrong, unless that dance band is New Order.

Download worthy?: I don't know, man. It's your time. As time goes by, and I listen to this song more, I dislike it more. Surely, there were cooler bands in New York that could have done this thing? The Hold Steady are Minnesotan at heart, but they could have done this song, with the exact same lyrics, and come up with something cool sounding (though I bet you could never get Finn to pronounce "whine" as "whinge"). Download at your own peril.

Meg & Dia: Mighty REAL (Real Salt Lake) I was feelin' trepidatious over the idea of a Salt Lake City underground band, but I gotta say this song rocks pretty well. The sisters Meg and Dia were clearly channelling great stadium hits--big guitars, big chant-along-vocals. Imagine a world in which Gary Glitter liked grown women, and let them sing his songs. In an odd twist of my nerdy pursuits, I find myself wanting to play this song on Guitar Hero.

Download worthy?: I just said that I wanted to play it on the GH. Download worthy, indeed! Bonus credit for reinventing "real" from a stupid thing to import from Europe into a chant-worthy R-E-A-L.

Rose Hill Drive: Goal! (Colorado Rapids) Very guitar-rocky, and not very Rapid-oriented, as far as I can tell. I don't hear shout outs to Justin Mapp, for example. This seems to be more a song about being from Colorado than about the Rapids. These chaps have proven themselves to know enough about soccer to know that is about kicking and running, and that a point is called a goal.

Download worthy?: Despite the lack of real soccer knowledge, or the lack of stadium anthemness, it is still a pretty enjoyable song--there are handclaps, after all. I say yeah.

Mike Jones: Houston Dynamo (Houston Dynamo) Old school hip-hop. It reminds me of the Geto Boys. Sparse samples, simple beats. It isn't a stadium anthem at first blush. But Mike Jones didn't just throw together a beat and then run. He seems like he loves his team. He knows their colors. He's got their jersey. He knows they won the championship last year (no mention on the crazy way they won, but I can't "hate on him" for that).

Download worthy?: I think so. The beats are solid, if nothing else.

Polyphonic Spree: HOOPS Yes! (FC Dallas) Fun song, as all Spree songs are. But the soccer connection is tenuous, the FC Dallas connection even more so. Until the last 30 seconds, you wouldn't know that this song had anything to do with the former Burn. Perhaps a Dallas fan can explain the significance of HOOPS.

Download worthy?: Sure, I guess, especially if you are a Polyphonic Spree fan. If you are somehow, someway, a Dallas fan, than I guess you could do worse than this song. It just isn't very stadiumy, you know?

Barenaked Ladies: TFC (Toronoto FC): Another band that gets what stadium rock is about. Chants, sing-along choruses, and some power chords. It's a little wussy, but what do you expect? It is, after all, the Barenaked Ladies.

Download Worthy?: Yep.

Blackpool Nights: Ain't Nobody Gonna Stop Us Now (Kansas City Wizards): The elements are there, I guess. The city name gets some background yells, there's a chorus that people could sing along to. But the song as a whole sounds like less like an homage, and more like a parody to stadium rock.

Download Worthy?: Only if you live in Kansas City, or in general, really love the Wizards.

Damone: Revolution! (New England Revolution): Big dumb guitars, background vocals chanting "revolution". Sing-along vocals. Lots of the same elements I highlighted in the previous song, but this one I love. Why I can't exactly say. It sounds more authentic, I guess. Like this band actually digs the Revolution.

Download worthy?: Hell yes!

Kinky: We Are the Galaxy (LA Galaxy): The soccer connection is somewhat tenuous. Galaxy is clearly the subject of the song, but would you know it was the LA Galaxy if it didn't show up in the midst of all these other songs? I don't know. In general, it is kind of a pussy anthem.

Download worthy?: It is your time. I give it a shrug.

OK GO!: Here Comes the Fire (Chicago Fire): This song succeeds on one level. It's a great song, with snappy percussion, "Fire" getting yelled on the choruses, loud, dumb guitar, and a great tag line: "The Fire Will Burn This Whole Place Down." But you really have to pay attention to know that the song isn't about the historical Chicago Fire. You won't hear a mention of soccer or football in it at all.

Download worthy?: It is probably one of the top 3 tracks available. Yep.

RJD2: It's Your Crew (Columbus Crew): RJD2 is one of the best hip-hop producers in the game, and he knows what a stadium anthem is all about. But then, being an experimentalist, he throws some things in there that don't belong. And hey, do we really need to mention the fucking Ohio State Buckeyes twice in the first 30 seconds?

Download worthy?: I'd lean towards no.

Bad Brains Recorded A What For Who Now?

Via indescribably cool music blog You Ain't No Picasso, I learned that the Dallas Burn of the mighty MLS had a song written for them by those weird culty nerds, The Polyphonic Spree.

Turns out, it is part of a strange, strange promotion over at Adidas, wherein they recruit some well-known undergroundy acts to record fight songs for MLS teams in their locale.

For example, my home away from home team, DC United has a lovely song called "DC United" by fucking legendary Bad Brains.

Suck on that Jay DeMerit.

Anyway, I'll be downloading these new 'underground' anthems and passing my thoughts on them on to you, and then you'll know which ones to download. That's how this whole thing works, you see.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Buddy Cop Quotient 2007: NFC South

Wherein we boil down NFL backfields based on the compatibility/wackiness partnering a la Buddy Cop Movies, and try to determine how watchable said act is.

Previously: NFC West, NFC North

Well let's get this out of the way:

Atlanta Falcons: Turner and Hooch! If Turner forced Hooch to fight to the death, and Turner ended up in jail. But seriously, folks, this team went from fascinating buddy cop movie to Joey Harrington and Warrick Dunn. Warrick Dunn was too old for this shit 2 years ago. Joey Harrington has no business being in a Buddy Cop movie. This chemistry is strained, and not in a fun way. Is there a way to make a backfield consisting of Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood, with absolutely no quarterback? That would be worth watching.

Four Stars. This is not worth watching, unless you enjoy the irony of felonious ghosts hovering on the edge of frame. Think Naked Gun: 33 1/3rd.

Carolina Panthers: Last year, we thought Delhomme was just a family tragedy or two away from being the next great White Action Star (a la Brett Favre). Steve Smith is speedy and crazy and would be awesome to have in a Buddy Cop Time-Traveling Film, but Smith, regrettably, is not part of the backfield. Which is a shame. Because he's the real star. D'Angelo Williams? What? Who? Why? Where? Who? This team, relative to their competition in the division, may be considered good. But can you get excited about Delhomme and Williams? Both are young, in their prime, and yet, I couldn't care less.

6 Stars. Workmanlike performances, boring script. Succesful all the same. Men in Black II, without the Biz Markie cameo.

New Orleans Saints: Last year, we gave them a probationary 6 stars. We were concerned with a crowded backfield making the hype of up and comer Reggie Bush deflate on arrival. We were wrong. This year, we look at Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, and Reggie Bush, and we see 3 ninjas, one older than the rest, but all still possessing great striking power.

9 Stars: What seemed questionable last year now looks like a bad-ass combo of tough old, tough young, and a kick-ass good time. Reggie Bush is Jet Li, and we'll let everyone else involved pick their own roles from Hero. But if we were picking, then Deuce would be Tony Cheung, and pretty, shy Drew Brees would be Zhang Ziyi. (Drew, rumor has it, covers his mouth when he giggles)

Tampa Bay Bucs: Still in development. Not ready to be watched by anybody.

0 Stars, but hey, they said these are just the dailies. This film isn't ready to be watched by anybody. That potent charismatic coupling of Cadillac Williams and [Not Yet Cast] will be fantastic come sweeps. Comparing this team to QVC is apt.

Don't Forget to Play NFL Pick'em With IDYFT

Just a couple of weeks left to sign up. Stop procrastinatin, yo!

For the last fucking time, you fucking cocksuckers*

Go here.

click the "Sign Up" button (or "Join Group" if you are a returning Yahoo user). From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 6820
Password: spiderpig

*I Miss Deadwood

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Manchester United and England football blow as Wayne Rooney breaks left foot

You have to like that headline, unless your a Man U or England Fan. Rooney needs to stop kicking people so hard.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Professor Badcock's Hyperbolic Highly-Speculative NFL Forecast Machine

(Updated) With NFL coverage available in some format every moment of every day, there are a lot of hours to fill with wild speculation. This speculation is what sustains the NFL fan during the seven months without the NFL season, as he crosses his fingers against arthroscopic surgeries, coke/AK-47/Humvee arrests and visits from the Grim Reaper of Free Agency.portrait of sports agent Leigh Steinberg by Anonymous

The 2007 NFL season doesn't begin until September 6th, when the Saints visit the defending champ Colts. That means that there are three weeks until all the candyfloss forecasts, lavender predictions and fuzz-ducklin' prognostications get crushed under Size 17 cleats. But until the season starts, we have nothing but our irrational rationalizations.

That's why Professor Badcock, who first used the expression "Jump the Shark" in his U.S. Senate race in 1960, is de-shrouding his most wondrous, salabracious, ingenuous and uncanny Hyperbolic Highly-Speculative NFL Forecast Machine.
artists rendering

As Mabel and Fran enter the data, we can sit back and let the vacuum tubes do their thing. Professor Badcock hopes to update his machine and incorporate the latest in reel-to-reel technology. Be in awe of what wild speculations the machine is able to spit out, using only preseason mags (Street & Smith's, Pro Football Weekly) and this clever post balanced by one single preseason game in which starters played a quarter or two. And the results are in. Teams are in the order of their usually predicted finish, before the Machine got involved.

AFC East
New England Patriots were excessively Spastic in free agency, and their loss to the Bucs shows that what they've gained in talent, they've lost in discipline. Expect a Quick Exit from the Playoffs.

NY Jets were Flaccid in the offseason, looking to build momentum patiently. Their rout of the Falcons shows that they are ready to peak this year. Expect a Division Title.

Buffalo Bills were Flaccid, building up their offensive line. Their defeat of the Saints means that they are moving in the right direction. Expect a Winning Record.

Miami Dolphins were Flaccid during the offseason, but their few dealings were potent as evidenced by their close victory over the Jags. Expect a Winning Record.

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens were Flaccid in free agency because of their obvious superiority. Their thrashing of the Eagles bears this out. Expect them in the AFC Championship Game.

Cincinnati Bengals Flaccidly did not address their troubled and felonious defense. They should have, giving up 27 points in a loss to the Lions. Expect No Playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers were Flaccid this offseason and show every sign of laying down for the start of the post-Cowher rebuilding era, losing to the Packers. Expect a Losing Record.

Cleveland Browns were Spastic, overpaying players to join their wretched journey. They beat the Chiefs, and may claw their way into contention. Expect a Winning Record.

AFC South
Indy Colts rested on their Flaccid laurels this offseason, and the window has closed. They were defeated by the Cowboys and have no more belly-fire. Expect a Quick Exit from the playoffs.

Jax Jags were Right on the Money in free agency, but aren't ready for the next step. Expect No Playoffs.

Tenn Titans were limply Flaccid this offseason and it shows. Getting spanked by the Redskins is only the beginning. Expect a Losing Record.

Houston Texans were Flaccid in free agency, hoping to build through the draft. Their loss to Chicago shows that they haven't done enough to improve, but will be competitive. Expect an Even Record.

AFC West
San Diego Chargers were Flaccid in the offseason, picking up Nerfneck Turner to lead their talented team into oblivion. They lost to the Seahawks and will long for Schottenheimer by week 3. Expect a Quick Exit from the Playoffs.

Denver Broncos were unusually Spastic in free agency, looking for some key additions to take them over the top. They smited the 49ers; Expect them in the AFC Championship game.

Kansas City Chiefs were Flaccid in free agency and are swan-diving into Herm's retirement. They lost to the Browns and don't really care anymore. Expect a Losing Record.

Oakland Raiders were very Spastic this offseason. Hell, they have nowhere to go but up. They beat the Cardinals! Expect an Even Record.

NFC East
Philly Eagles were Flaccid, as if they believed the hype. Don't Believe the Hype. They were creamed by the Ravens. Expect No Playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys were Flaccid in the offseason, looking to build their momentum by crushing the Colts. Expect a Division Title.

Washington Redskins were refreshingly Flaccid in free agency and it paid off in their victory over the lowly Titans. Expect Playoffs.

NY Giants were as Flaccid as Rumsfeld's prostate. They knew the season was hopeless even before their loss to Carolina. Expect a Losing Record.

NFC North
Chicago Bears were typically Flaccid in the offseason, and their close victory over the Texans means that they'll win some games. Expect a Division Title.

Green Bay Packers were Flaccid yet easily handled the fading Steelers. Expect a Winning Record.

Detroit Lions were Spastic as usual in the offseason. Matt Millen is looking like the GM of the Year after beating the Bengals in a shootout. Expect a Winning Record!

Minnesota Vikings were Flaccid in free agency and were picked to be a lousy team by most. Their effort against the Rams bears this out. Expect a Losing Record.

NFC South
New Orleans Saints were Best in the NFC this offseason, yet lost to Buffalo. Could this be the sophomore slump? Expect a Quick Exit from the Playoffs.

Carolina Panthers were Flaccid during free agency, believing in themselves. They beat a hapless Giants team. Expect Playoffs.

Tampa Bay Bucs were Spastic this offseason, clutching at straws. They might just save themselves, proven by their defeat of the Patriots. Expect a Winning Record.

Atlanta Falcons were Flaccid in free agency and then lost Vick to the pound. The Jets blew them up. Expect a Losing Record.

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks were Spastic this offseason, trying to keep ahead of the NFC. They polished off the Chargers and look poised for their best shot. Expect the NFC Championship Game.

SF 49ers were scramblingly Spastic in free agency, all for naught as they lost to the Broncos. What they had going for them has been lost. Expect a Losing Record.

St. Louis Rams were Spastic in the offseason, perhaps sensing that their QB/RB/WR dominance is the best it will be. They beat the Vikes, big whup. Expect a Winning Record.

Arizona Cardinals were both Spastic and ineffectual. They lost to the Raiders. Expect Last Place.

And there you have it. While Professor Badcock's Hyperbolic Highly-Speculative NFL Forecast Machine produces answers that may defy "conventional wisdom," be assured that these wild speculations are absolutely, positively 100% guaranteed.* You just can't stop Science.

* not a guarantee
Updated to reflect that not every single Division is in the NFC

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Buddy Cop Quotient 2007: NFC West

Wherein we boil down NFL backfields based on the compatibility/wackiness partnering a la Buddy Cop Movies, and try to determine how watchable said act is.

Seattle Seahawks: Christ, aren't both Hasselback and Alexander a little too old for shit? As we said last year, "Though I think this movie was better the last time around. Can they find compelling story lines that they haven't already done to death?" I think this time around, it has been done to death. Unwatchable, aside from the most die hard fans. Two old men + years of partnership + last legs of franchise = My Fellow Americans.

4 Stars. Do you really want to see two former greats phone it in for a paycheck? I don't.

San Francisco 49'ers: On the other side of the spectrum, we've got two super young guys. Alex Smith and Frank Gore, who I'm sure have a lot in common. Just for the sake of argument, thought, let's pretend that they are as different as different can be. Oil and Water, and so on. We find ourselves unsure as to what to make of this coupling. Brilliant? A Year Away From Brilliant? Awful? Gore, as long as he stays healthy, will be fun to watch. Alex Smith could be fun to watch--he hasn't been yet, but he's young, dammit.

7 Stars: You won't make it appointment television, but you'll watch when it comes on. Like when TNT shows Chill Factor. And much like Chill Factor, in a couple of years, you'll be shocked that Alex Smith (Skeet Ulrich) was part of this team, and you won't be shocked at all by the awful career choices Frank Gore (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) makes. But for a dumb fun couple of hours this year, this team is something you watch.

Arizona Cardinals: Now, the Buzzsaw is a perfectly classic mix. Surely, The Edge is getting too old for this shit. Leinart, meanwhile, is still exploring just how many chicks he can have unprotected sex with. These two are a crazy duo--who knows what might happen? But then, you have to think about who is directing the show. And Ken Whisenhunt is running this show, the man behind Pittsburgh's "Running Every Down" scheme. And while no one can deny the eccentric chemistry between the lead actors, the director has a great chance of ruining this picture. We miss Denny Green--he would have fucked this up in spectacular and exciting fashion.

5/10 Stars--Will this be Lethal Weapon I, or will it be Lethal Weapon I as directed by Hal Hartley? Time will tell.

St. Louis Rams: Marc Bulger isn't Buddy Cop material. He's more like Ed Harris; he shows up, he does his job, but he's completely forgettable. Steven Jackson, on the other hand, is totally watchable. However, Jackson is taking the kind of punishment that will age him awfully quickly. So, using our hindsight and foresight at the same time, we take Bulger's workmanlike, uncharismatic performance, and combine it with the scintallating, but preternaturally aging work of Jackson, and we think we get something very much like the forgotten TV Buddy Cop work of Karl Malden and Michael Douglas in "the Streets of San Francisco" (another NFC West city!).

8 Stars: Totally watchable. You'll marvel how old Bulger looks, even as young man; in 5 years, you'll marvel that you ever thought of Jackson as a young man.

Previously: BCQ: NFC North/Central
Next: BCQ: NFC South

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Beckham's MLS Debut--Get Used to It, Becks!

So David Beckham hit the pitch on a rainy Thursday evening in Washington DC, in front of over 45,000 patrons, who hit the right balance of mocking the star, and giving in to their excitement that he was playing.

There were banners mocking Posh ("We Sing Better Than Your Wife". Ouch, DC! Way to go for the jugular! Did Harry Reid come up with that line?); there were mixed boos when Beckham started to warm up with five minutes left in the first half. But when he came onto the pitch with a little more than 20 minutes left in the game, the crowd acknowledged the fact that he was the best man on the pitch with a very respectful and loud ovation. Were they cheering him, or were they cheering the fact that they were there when Becks hit the pitch? Good question.

After watching 60 minutes of some of the inconsistent play that marks the MLS (Luciano Emilio scoring a goal with a strong shot that hit LA keeper Joe Cannon in the hands; DC Legend Jaime Moreno soaring a gift over the crossbar; the physical comedy of Edson Buddle), Beckham came on and went to work.

We will leave for some other apologist for why the Galaxy decided that one of the best crossers of the ball was forced to play the sagging middle of the midfield. Perhaps it is the same braintrust that somehow coaches the Galaxy to play like they didn't have Landon Donovan on their side. (Seriously, though, one of the best attacking players in the USA, and you wouldn't even know he was on the pitch, if the commentators didn't mention that he was).

The fact is, Beckham in his 20 minutes, launched more dangerous attacks than the Galaxy had had in the 70 minutes previous. After one rather optimistic ball from midfield that landed within the 6 yard box, and the United keeper's hands, Beckham played a series of dangerous balls.

Starting with a free kick that Beckham put, from 40 yards out, right on the head of striker Pavon at near post (which Pavon headed safely over the bar), Beckham, to those who know soccer, showed the class he can bring to any pitch. After 70 minutes of looking like the a team who didn't know how to string passes, the Galaxy became a team that simply couldn't Finish. And there's a world of difference there, my friends.

Instead of straight through balls that roll quickly, harmlessly into the goalkeepers arms, Beckham slotted a nasty through ball to a streaking Donovan at the edge of the penalty area. There was a wonderful collision betweeen Donovan and the DC goalkeeper, which left many on the Galaxy looking for the foul on Donovan. I don't think there was a foul, but I do believe there was an uncalled handball outside the box by DC United netminder Troy Perkins. Which should have led to a direct kick at the top of the 18, and let me ask you, who might have taken that kick?

Beckham later lofted a beautiful ball to Pavon, who misplayed it awfully. Edson Buddle had a chance to clean up the mess, but fired a shot so weak that it looked like a pass to the keeper. Cameras cut to Beckham, who was raking both hands through his magnificent scalp in frustration. After 20 minutes.

Dear Becks: Get used to it! Get used to lacing nasty balls that end up, after a shoddy touch from Edson Buddle, Goal Kicks instead of goals. Get used to Donovan being either just a step slower or a bit less brave than Ryan Giggs. Get used to not having a Stamm or Ferdinand to drive home headers. Get used to an entire league counting on you to sell out stadiums even though your game isn't flashy, or even impressive, for those that don't know the game well. Prepare to be mocked by know-nothing American columnists, like Tony Kornheiser and Stupid Fat Fuck Tom Powers and others. At some point, you may think, "I could be playing with DeMarcus Beasley in Scotland." To our credit, here in America, we don't make monkey noises at black people. On that score, we're ahead of parts of Europe.

(oh, and it should be mentioned that Michael Wilbon stopped by and gave a quick 5 minute discourse on everything that the MLS needs to fix. After he left, Wynalda said, "I think I found a new friend. I don't disagree with anything he said." Most of us think Wynalda is a bit of a dick, but we'd be his friend, all the same, because he's a handsome man, and I bet he attracts hot soccer chicks wherever he goes. We aren't proud. Also, we actually do agree with the main points of Wilbon, who absolutely does not pull hot soccer chicks wherever he goes.)

So Hello To Our New Obsession

Gimme Friction Baby is a nasty little online puzzle game that uses some familiar rules of online "casual" games and recombines them into a New Beast that steals your free time like an expert pickpocket. One second, you had free time; the next second, you're standing around going, "Hey, where'd my time go?"

I discovered the game via Jayisgames, a compedium of timewasters of varying quality. Jayisgames goes further than most sites, though, and actually offers prizes on a fairly regular basis for games designed around a certain theme. The prizes are not insignificant either--goodly amount of cash, and professional Adobe CS3 licenses. Gimme Friction Baby is the most recent winner. Rules for play can be found at that last link as well.

The last time I checked the scores amongst the jerks here, they stood something like this:

Miwacar: 17
Big Blue Monkey: 17
Muu Muu Man: 23
Barnyard: 24
Garwood B. Jones: 32

Yes, we all hate Garwood. But really, I hate them all. Go ahead and play, and let us know how you did.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

RIP, Lee Hazlewood

Dammit. I just discovered the Classic Works of Lee just a few years ago, and have enjoyed his kind of cowboy/lounge/weirdness for a while, and now he's gone, after a long struggle with cancer.

Lee, sadly, is best known for writing "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'". Which is a fine song, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying there was a lot more to the man than writing a hit for Nancy Sinatra.

The Giant Sand/Calexico/Lisa Germano one-off project OP8 did a wonderful cover of Lee's "Sand", for example. I can't find that particular song online, but here's another blog that saw fit to post a couple of Lee's tunes. Go and check them out, and enjoy the man posthumously if you didn't previously.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hall of Fame, my ass.

Another wave of nostalgia has broken over the NFL. Hall of Fame inductions highlighted a weekend in Canton culminating in the first NFL preseason game of 2007. Two particular players were "given the bust" (as they say in Canton), while a third was "given the finger" (as they say in Scranton). Art Monk was too busy coaching youth sports in inner-city DC to be reached for comment.

Among the Class of 2007, Michael "Coketits" Irvin pleaded guilty during his arraignment -- I mean, induction. Irvin's multiple arrests on "Possession of Blow and Hos" charges kept the WR out of the HOF club for, what, two years? His stats put him in the Hall, but what does the Hall of Fame stand for? He earned entrance with his statistics and four Rings. He also earned censure with his hardcore coke and hooker addictions. I can firmly say that Coketits is lucky digital cameras hadn't been invented yet.

Irvin's numbers are strong, but Monk's are better. Irvin's 750 rec vs. Monk's 940, 11,904 yards vs. 12,721 yards, 65 TDs vs. 68 TDs. Irvin has four Rings. Monk has Three.

Detroit's Charlie Sanders got in under the wire. By most accounts, he's an affable chap. He went to the Pro Bowl seven times and has nine children, so obviously he likes having sex with his wife. While it isn't fair to compare a WR to a TE in terms of receptions and yardage (Monk has him 3:1 in both categories), and Sanders is lauded for his blocking, TDs remain a useful indicator of an offensive player's importance. Here, Monk has him 68 to 31.

By the way, Monk is credited as an outstanding blocker and an integral part of the dominating Counter-Trey which cracked so many skulls, so many years ago.

To the 2008 Selection Committee, I say: in the name of truth, justice and the American Way, do what is honorable and enshrine Art Monk.

Monk has a blimp filled with TDs, but maintains his humility: "I'm more and more amazed each time I come to this type event. I think back to my youth in New York when we'd play street ball, stickball, whatever. Guys always talked about what they're going to become. I never did that. I was never one to talk much, and that hasn't changed. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my career would get to this point."

Buddy Cop Quotient 2007: NFC Central

This is the conference nearest and dearest to most IDYFT contributors--we've got Vikings, Packers, and even Lions fans contributing to this here site. Happily, I am not one of those sad sacks.

Wondering what this is all about? Quick explanation here.

Detroit Lions: Unlike most rational humans wandering on the face of the Earth, I'm a Kitna fan. I think he's a solid veteran stuck on some lousy projects, and now that's he had a year of getting used to the Career Purgatory that is Detroit, he's excited and ready to continue working. Beating struggling-to-survive-ghosts of great NFC Teams like Green Bay and Minnesota will work just fine with Kitna. Kevin Jones, I'm not such a fan of. He's been around long enough now that we can't really call him young. We can't call him old, either. Given the talent he is purported to have, one must start wondering whether his poor performance is due to some much larger plan to keep the Lions down. I think what we may be witnessing here is the X-Files, with Kitna as the oddly confident Fox Mulder, and Kevin Jones as the occasionally helpful, but untrustworthy Alex Krycek . Is Kevin Jones on the same side as Kitna? Who knows, but it will be entertaining to watch this time confront the impossible--the 10 wins that Kitna is sure Exists Out There.

7 Stars out of 10, as long as we don't get too bogged down in backstory.

Green Bay Packers: Brett Favre is too old for this shit. Who does he think he is? Some sort of superhero, for whom disasters prove his strength? As if to prove how badass he can be, he's, at age 50, saddled himself with may be his most questionable backfield ever. Vernand Morency? What's a Vernand? Some sort of Eastern European currency? Brandon Jackson? Ugh. I liken this squad to Unbreakable. Favre can't be hurt (though he can be intercepted) and his Buddy is unlikely to be much help, even with a Zone-Blocking scheme directed by M. Night himself.

6 stars. With a Surprise Ending (like, say, success) it could go to 7 stars.

Minnesota Vikings: Oh ye Gods. Tavaris Jackson and the combo of Chester Taylor/Adrian Peterson? Actually, you've got a pretty potent young cop in that running back spot--Chris Tucker, maybe. But oh, man, do you have a problem at QB. Tavaris simply isn't ready for this role. He may be a fine young man, but this is not where he's supposed to be. His presence as a starting QB is as unlikely and wrong-headed as seeing Michael Cera in a buddy cop movie. Think Rush Hour with Jackie Chan's role being played by the geeky son from Arrested Development.

4 Stars, unless you like your Buddy Cop Movies to have less ass-kicking, and more cringe-worthy moments. In that case, 9 stars.

Chicago Bears: Somehow, Rex Grossman became a franchise. No one knows how; he seems to fail as often as he succeeds. Yet, he is the leading man of a team that went to the Super Bowl (and yeah, got their dog walked, but still--Super Bowl!). His co-star from last year is gone, but has been replaced by the rather anonymous figure of Cedric Benson. Can Benson handle a leading role? No one knows. This a shaky time for a very successful franchise. We've updated Jim McMahon with Grossman, and Walter Payton with Cedric Benson. It reminds me of the great underrated comedy, "Dragnet". If you are watching the Bears expecting to see the greatness of past Bears' offensive efforts, you'll be very disappointed. If looking for an ugly spoof of those players, you'll be very happy.

4 or 8 stars depending on your perspective.

Up Next: the NFC West!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Buddy Cop Quotient 2007: An Introduction

One of the first things we did when we started this blog, all those many year ago (seriously, we're only a year and some change old. We feel like we've been doing this much longer than that) was what was initially called The Lethal Weapon Index, which became The Buddy Cop Quotient.

The idea is simple enough. NFL backfields are often comprised of rather comically mismatched pairs, just like a good buddy cop movie. So why not try to relate one to the other, and determine watchability of said fictional Buddy Cop Movie. There may seem to be no real point to it, but I, much like Dirk Gently, am holistic in my approach to fact-finding.

Hopefully, we'll get to all the NFL teams before the season starts--that's the plan. First up: NFC Central.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Blogger Round-Up

Some of you regular visitors who read our comments may be familiar with Jess, who is a local Twin Cities gal. She's been one of our most regular visitors for awhile. Some people may not know that's she got a blog of her own, with one of the top blog names in existence, I Was Told There Would Be Bacon. Am I throwing a shout-out because she won our first public contest, and I have yet to deliver the winning Jesus statue? Possibly. Also, after the 35-W bridge collapsed, I thought she wrote a very simple, heartfelt little piece on it. I must say, she handles the prospect of riding by the wreckage every day, while one another bridge right next to it, better than I would. Of course, I didn't particularly care for or trust bridges before this event, so there you go. Anywho...

In the course of an email discussion about something or another, it was revealed that one of Jess' friends did not care for Two Stupid Dogs. This is crazy talk. And I realized after that exchange that Two Stupid Dogs was on the air regularly almost 10 years ago, and many of you young pups maybe have never seen Two Stupid Dogs. So, before we get to our Sports Blogger Round Up, an episode of Two Stupid Dogs, titled simply, and brilliantly, "Red".

On to the Round-Up!

From Ladies..., we get an interesting discussion amongst the ladies about what it means that some men seem to think they can't possibly be 'real' football fans. We hold no gender-bias here, Ladies (or, as I prefer, Womyn). Come watch football with us; we'll cook omelettes for you, and brew Earl Grey tea, and respect your opinions. And you will probably find a way to complain about that. We're looking squarely at you, GordonShumway.

This Suit is Not Black is reporting on a Beckham Imposter. Awesome. Anyone who can fake that voice without giggling deserves to cheat people. It's a working class British Paul Lynde, and that's not easy, people. (Alternatively: Beckham's voice is more incongruous with his body and ability than Tony Gwynn's, but less than Mike Tyson's)

It is possible that we don't check in with We Are the Postmen often enough. First news that most Chinese women living in Milwaukee are thugly. That bit of deliciousness is followed quickly by news that one of the dim bulbs who stars on one of MTV's "reality" shows went on a date with Josh McRoberts, and found him not worthy of a second date. Good instinct, Golddigger!

From the City Pages BALLS blog, a simple metaphor using Kevin McHale and the character of the director from The Player.

According the Beautiful Game, sneaky Brazilian waterbug & Das Assistmacher Kaka is down with the Adidas "Impossible Is Nothing" marketing plan.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

In Praise of: Human Weapon

I'm guessing that the success of Discovery Channel's "extreme" travel shows like Survivorman and Man vs. Wild (both of which have been praised by those who know their TV, aka "me" ) helped lead to the creation of The Documentary Rerun Channel History Channel's new series, "Human Weapon."

Whatever the genesis, the show is definitely a unique twist on history, travel, and sports programming, and certainly a welcome reprieve from the usual fare of the History Channel.

The idea is simple enough--your hosts (Jason Chambers, a mixed martial artist & Bill Duff, former wrestler and pro footballer) travel the world, with each episode dedicated to a particular fight discipline unique to a certain region of the world. The first episode, for example, had them in Thailand, learning about muay thai*, which I know from other martial arts programs, is one of the deadliest of them all, if not properly regulated (a knee to the chest can stop your heart, after all). So Jason and Bill travel Thailand, interviewing various masters of different segments of muay thai, train with these folks for a few weeks, and then one of them gets in the ring with a skilled practioner of that art.

I've also seen the episode on Phillipine Stick Fighting, or Eskrima, which featured Jason getting one of his fingers broken, maybe.

What makes the show so entertaining is that while both of these guys are clearly good fighters (Jason having the upperhand in terms of number of different skills in his arsenal, Bill being just a big tough scary dude) they are also very Western, and having them travel the backwoods of Asian countries to find local masters makes for some interesting moments. These guys are not Bear Grylls or Les Stroud, and they are often put in situations that they find uncomfortable and that they have no easy answer to. And they are often getting their asses kicked. If you dislike white dudes who say things like, "Dude, I know Karate" as much as I do, you will enjoy watching this show.

From what I've seen each episode will dedicate some time to the legends/history of the origin of the general fighting technique, and then some unique regional moves within each discipline, some that will work within a modern fighting ring, some that won't.

Regardless, much praise for The History Channel coming up with [gasp!] a novel concept, and a damn cool one at that. Oh, and since the folks at the History Channel aren't complete idiots; they've allowed a ton of preview videos up at YouTube. Here's one:

*Tony Jaa is the Jackie Chan of Muay Thai. If you enjoy martial arts films, and haven't seen either Ong-Bak or The Protector, get thee to a rental store/website post-haste.

Dead Ringer

In suburban Chicago, the man who stole the Rings of Sweetness received two and a half years after pleading guilty. Payton's Hall of Fame ring and a replica of his Super Bowl ring were the victims of a smash-and-grab at the Walter Payton Museum in Walter Payton's Roundhouse. The Roundhouse is a complex in Aurora (and incidentally, the oldest existing limestone roundhouse in the country) which features a comedy club, cognac bar, brewpub and museum. The brewpub makes the award-winning Payton Pilsner and Sweetness Stout beers. Really.

Anyway, dude (Mr. Graham) got 30 months for the rings (valued at $4,100) and drug possession and probation violation. Oops. Next time, he should steal things that are both more valuable and less unique. Although the theft of the rings was all over the news and actually have Payton's name on them, Mr. Graham sold them to a pawn shop for $150. Oops.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Santana Spouts Off

I am ok with the fact that many of the Twins are disappointed by the absence of any acquisitions by the non-waiver deadline, it would be troubling if they weren’t, but it is a bit unsettling to have Johann Santana saying some of the things he’s said.

In defense of Terry Ryan, he has done a fine job with the limited resources he has been forced to work with, the Twins don’t have a team this year that can win it all. So, it doesn’t make much sense to blow a ton of money on a hitter who may not be here next year, a year when the Twins should have a better chance to win it all. Think of the Twins rotation with Santana, Liriano, Garza, Bonzer, Baker. Now that is a rotation that you feel good about spending some money to bolster the run support. As much as it pains me, the Twins have done the right thing in doing nothing.

The Castillo trade is still a bit of a mystery, not because they traded him, but because of what the got for him. Is Mauer going to be moved soon? I don’t think so. Anyway, the youth movement that Santana compliments and bemoans at the same time is and will always be vital to an organization whose ownership can’t come to terms with the fact that they are no longer a small market team. Johann is right in one area for sure, cultivating one’s own talent can only take you so far. At some point and time you will need to add veterans who can perform and win in big games. With a team like the Twins it is important to pick the right opportunities to acquire that talent, because they are not going to have many chances to do it.

Last season for example, if Liriano hadn’t gotten hurt, the Twins probably would have considered going out and getting some offense, but without the pitching…? I mean who wants to be the Texas Rangers?
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