Sunday, September 30, 2007
You can't "write" a book, and start a book tour based on the lessons you've learned about AIDS in Africa, without harshly condemning the current administration for their "abstinence only" education funds.
AP Writer Ben Nuckols may be willing to suck your dick, Jenna, but until you criticize your daddy's bullshit, unpragmatic, borderline-evil take on stopping AIDS, you and your book, that you totally wrote yourself, are worthless.
So, tell us, Jenna, where do you fall on condoms? Philosophically, not physically (the answer there would be, "Conkers deep, with gusto")
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Great article on Joseph Addai. As a fantasy owner of Joe, this makes me so proud of him. It also makes me worry that he may have Anxiety Disorder issues. But he seems like a great guy. I tend to read self-deprecating profile articles about major athletes with a jaundiced eye, but Addai seems like the real deal here. The fact that Dominic Rhodes can't stop talking about how great the guy is, even though it meant Rhodes was exiled to the suck of Oakland is impressive.
On to the Bloggers
Double-Nickel, which hasn't updated recently, dug up a classic Mike Piazza card that really has to be seen to be believed. Mike Piazza isn't just "not" gay, he's also totally "not" into rough trade.
Over at the also rather infrequently updated City Pages BALLS! blog, Paul Demko gives us some things to think about as the MLS regular season wraps. I like Paul and I love his passionate interest in the MLS, which is something that I've not yet been able to quite muster. I do agree with him that this season was the best season of the MLS yet. I admit I watch much less MLS than Demko, who watches way too much MLS; regardless we have come to the same conclusion:
Alexi Lalas should never have another job in MLS: His ineptitude is staggering. I love the fact that Lalas isn’t afraid to court controversy, but his track record is simply atrocious.
It is important to note that the City Pages dedicated their cover story this week to the Metrodome, somehow only 25 years old this week. G.R. Anderson wrote a very nice tribute/summary of the Dome here. Anderson also provides us with the Top 10 Best and Top 10 Worst Moments in Metrodome history. One beef with the Best list--really, no room for Cal Ripken Jr's 3000th hit? But there was room for High School Football? Harumph!
We just realized that Pacifist Viking isn't on our blogroll. That is our bad. Go read what a nuanced, relatively sane Viking fan thinks. It will be a welcome change from some of the nutjobs on this site, or in the local press. (Contributor miwacar told me that he agreed that the Vikings are only a consistent QB away from the playoffs, because the defense is just that good. Which is laughable).
Doberman on the Diamond has Ryan Braun exactly right. Wisconsin native and sometime contributor Barnyard said something very similar to me just this past week. Braun's defense can be rightfully categorized as awful, and may explain why his phenomenal bat was left in the clubhouse for so long. Hey, Milwaukee, the Minnesota Twins have a fantastically great defensive 3rd baseman. Would you care to trade Ryan Braun for Nick Punto? We'd think about it.
Athletes have made good to great guest hosts on SNL, from Peyton last year to Derek Jeter a few years back, to Joe Montana's appearance a long time ago, back when they got him to say "I'm going upstairs to masturbate."
I don't know what was going on with this episode, but they seemed to have trouble figuring out ways to use LeBron. I can understand LeBron being careful with his image, and not wanting to be a part of anything that could possibly offend. But that leads to some pretty boring comedy.
The monologue was predictable enough, with LeBron getting to reprise his roles from his very funny commercials in which he plays his own family. I'm sure it was those commercials that made SNL think he could be successful on the show.
So, why did we get 3 skits in which he was playing himself? And another where he was playing a basketball player? Aside from one pretty odd moment, in which James was playing a Solid Gold dancer, there was very little here that suggested much of anything beyond "LeBron is a tall, good-natured young man."
Musical guest Kanye West's predictable "Look I'm OK, I Can Poke Fun At Myself" skit in which Kanye disrupts Awards ceremonies ranging from a county fair pumpkin contest to the Nobel Prizes was still more daring than anything written for LeBron.
Next week promises to be good though, as Seth Rogen is starring, and will probably help write a good chunk of the show.
I'd say the single funniest thing on the show this was Andy Samberg's digitial short expressing his love for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with a great cameo from Jake Gyllenhaal, and some loser Top 40 guy I'm sure I was supposed to recognize. If NBC were smart, it would be up on the Internets already.
Oh well. Instead, here's something from the upcoming premiere of 30 Rock. I would totally watch "Are You Stronger Than A Dog" and "MILF Island". Though Jerry Seinfeld seems to have forgotten that he guest-starred on NewsRadio.
How would the women fare against these teams? Not to get ahead of ourselves, but we'll reveal right now that the women's match against the hated Hamline Pipers was postponed due to some of the crazy ass rain we've had this week.
But they played Luther, and they destroyed them, 5-2. This actually marks the first time since the opening season loss that the Fightin' Scots have given up more than 1 goal in a game. They've been tough on defense, and punishing on offense, and this game was no different.
The most shocking thing about the game was that Scot Bad Ass Grace King didn't score. Five goals, no Grace King goals (two assists, though). And another assist from the perfectly named Maddie Mette.
Three underclassmen netted their first career goals for Macalester--Freshmen Emily Hall & Martha Coe, and Sophomore Katie Dittman.
I've watched Emily Hall's goal five times, and I still can't determine what the Luther goalie was thinking.
Coe's goal is a perfect example of Head Coach Leaney's philosphy--defense builds the offense, look for the easy pass out of the back, let your star make a play, and then PUT IT IN THE MIXER. Coe's finish in traffic is nice, but the quick counter is what makes this Mac Soccer.
And if Grace King didn't have any goals, then you know who had to have a couple. Bad-ass In Training Rose Betzler, who, as a sophomore, is compiling a pretty damn good season. 5 goals in 9 games is awesome. This duo have another year after this one to play together. Between Grace and Rose you have 14 goals. Her second goal is similar to the one above. Again, off a throw-in from the other team, you send a ball long to your best player, who makes a play on the ball that puts in the mixer for Grace King, and Rose finishes.
No video yet, and not much reporting even, but the Women also beat the laughable Bethel squad 2-0. Grace King assisted both goals.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I did not expect the men to take that to heart. I was offering analysis, not attempting to curse The Fightin' Scots.
I should also note that when I said, "incredibly improved Hamline", I meant in the large sweep of time. When I was a Mac player, Hamline was a joke. They could barely find 11 players who knew how to player soccer, and their coach was the hockey coach, pulling double duty. They are much improved from that, in that they now have a coach who knows soccer, and they have players who are familiar with all the rules. (Seriously, 10 years ago, you could go to a Hamline game knowing that you would see at least two whistles for Bad Throw-ins)
OK, so the stage is set now, yeah?
Macalester played Luther here in St. Paul on the 23rd, and the teams came to a scoreless draw despite 14 shots on net combined. It should be mentioned that Luther, after this tie, is now 3-3-2, which just doesn't sound like the Luther of old to me. Mac vs. Luther used to be games of two undefeated teams.
Also of note, quoting the article linked to above: "On the season, [Macalester keeper Evan] Mitchell is unbeaten and has allowed just one goal in 517 minutes in front of the net. His goals against average is down to 0.17."
So with such a dominant goalie, why is Macalester only 4-2-3? Time for the goalie experiment to end, I'd say.
But perhaps I'm being unfair to the other netminder for the Scots, as Ryan Palmer was in goal for the game against Hamline, and it doesn't sound like he was a slouch back there, even though Mac did lose the game 2-0. The first goal came off an early PK, and the second was scored with 5 seconds left in regulation.
This coming week becomes crucial. If the Scots want to be contention for post-season, it must start against Wartburg, and then inside the MIAC, they simply must beat perennial doormats Bethel. Over 200 minutes without a goal is long enough.
Let's move on to the ladies, shall we?
The Packers need talent and Randy Moss needs someone to gently warm up his cervix and convince him to play. Moss & the Packers would be a terrible match. Moss is a small risk for the Pats, who have a good team. The Packers do not have a good team, and the likelihood of Moss imploding them like anti-matter was very high.
You had an enabler in Dan Gladow (who? what?) of NFL.com, who you quoted as saying:
My advice to the Packers? Do something to address a crumbling offense before it reaches Raider-levels of ineptitude.
Explain yourself Wice! And see if you can get Gladow to admit to failing you.
Take it away, 300 year old Bill Safire:
Word-blending is big in campuspeak. “He’s sort of a nerd, but he’s just so adorkable” combines adorable with dork, the amalgam defined as “endearing though socially inept” by Prof. Connie Eble of the department of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Another blend is fauxhawk, combining faux, “artificial,” and Mohawk, defined as a “hairstyle achieved by combing all of the hair to the center to give the appearance of a Mohawk without shaving the head.”
Apparently, Bill has been working on this thing for quite awhile, because while the information is accurate I'd say there are some issues in terms of the usage of the phrase "recently emerged" or the word "new", for that matter:
The most frequently used new term at Chapel Hill is sketchy, “of dubious character; shady, potentially dangerous.” Usage: “Those middle-aged men are so sketchy. They creep me out.” It is being substituted for the long-lasting ninja of the 1980s, from the Japanese for “stealthy, secretive.” Yesteryear’s in your face has been replaced by all up in your grill. Sources elsewhere tell me that the adjective crunchy applied to health-conscious, environmentally correct types is being overtaken by the attributive noun granola. Anyhoo (nobody says “anyhow” anymoo), at Rice University the blended compound adultalescence has for the past few years been defined as “the state of moving back in with one’s parents after college graduation.”
Man, take it from me, and the many many women I creeped out in college that "sketchy" has been around for at least 10 years, and I swear it has been around longer than that. And by the by, nothing replaces "ninja", man. Nothing. That's like saying "bumpin'" has been replaced. And it hasn't, dammit. It hasn't.
via Best Week Ever
The Twins are so determined to bolster their lineup for next season, there were indications Thursday they would even consider signing Barry Bonds.
Ugh. I'm unsure how to feel about this. On the one hand, yes, the Twins need to get some pop in their line-up, but going after the game's most famous suspected cheater doesn't sit well. On the other hand, if they get a Barry Bonds that quits the "alleged" cheating, then how much pop will they be getting?
Deadspin and Boing Boing have already posted about this, so I am behind a bit, certainly.
Nike is designing shoes specficially for Native Americans. They did a study that showed that Native Americans tend to have wider feet than us honkies. So they've made the Air Native N7, which is wider, has fewer seams, and softer lining.
They are also turning profits from the sale of the shoe back towards health programs on tribal lands, which is at worst, a nice gesture, and at best, possibly a big deal. Those health programs need all the help that they can get, as diabetes is running rampant these days.
I am a bit skeptical, but people who understand the issues seem more than happy with the arrangement.
From the article:
Jerry Bread, outreach coordinator for the Native American Studies program at University of Oklahoma, said the idea was "fantastic" and addressed a core issue for tribes, though he was skeptical that the feet of people from so many tribes could be so similar.
"It's an excellent gesture and I know it will get a lot of support from tribal people," Bread said. "We stand to profit from it in our physical health and well being."
Dr. Kelly Acton, director of the national diabetes program for Indian Health Services, said she was dubious of working with a corporation at first but said she was delighted with the result, saying Nike "bent over backwards" to design a shoe and respect public health needs.
So that's cool.
For those of you who don't remember your Jonny Quest, here is the classic opening sequence.
Below, for those stoked by that, and the promise of bloodthirsty savages, I give you: Pursuit of the Po-Ho. Enjoy.
But Alex was a special parrot indeed. Some researchers think he understood the concept of zero, which the Romans never quite worked out. A couple of my fellow bloggers here struggle with it.
Here's Alex in action. Fare thee well, you disturbingly intelligent parrot.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
How very fitting that Brett Favre, the uber-everything for the state of Wisconsin, is poised to break Dan Marino's TD record against the Minnesota Vikings. I am no researcher, nor do I want to be, but Brett has had to have thrown at least 1 Million touchdown passes against the Vikings over the years. For a time there he almost kept pace with his interceptions thrown against the Vikings, however in later years as the veteran QB cleaned up his act, he could throw a few TD's a game against the Vikes without throwing two or more picks.
The deepest, darkest center of my Viking fandome still holds on to the possibility that Brett gets crunched between the Williams Twins early in the game, leaving him with a broken torso, scabies and a cleft palate, making it impossible for him to ever throw a pass again. It is a stretch to hope for such beautiful Jesus miracles, so I am mostly resigned to the seeming inevitability of Brett Favre throwing at least one touchdown pass in Sunday's game against the Vikings and breaking Marino's long held record. I am just happy as a baby tiger on its surrogate mother dog's teat that John and Big Gay Al won't be covering the game. I would probably have to either watch the game with the sound off or kill myself if they were calling it.
Suck it Favre! The record ain't gonna feel so good when you are 3-1.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The stupids in the media in the Twin Cities reacted with confusion at the time: "Here's a billionaire so liberal that he'll fuck Jane Fonda and raise money for the Democrats, but simply because he won't rid his baseball franchise of racist iconography, a bunch of rich white liberal kids don't want him to speak at their graduation."
Seeing as I got Takaki, I can understand their disappointment.
According to some people, the term Redskin was an honorific as early as 1930, and certainly not laced with ethnic cleansing. Those ideas came later, they argue. Redskin, when it was first applied, was not insulting. "We honor their legacy," some people say. We honor elements of The Native American tradition, while we sadly lament that they couldn't be assimiliated. You sometimes hear that argument today, even. "We honor the legacy of the Native Americans, we apologize for taking their land, and occasional success story/casino shows we are righting wrongs."
It is an old, old, argument.
In fact, it was made, back in 1890, by an obscure editorialist working out of what was then the Far Western border of the United States. See if he doesn't capture, way back when, the duality of racism/respect for Native Americans way back when. With the death of Sitting Bull, he argues that:
With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroism.
We cannot honestly regret their extermination, but we at least do justice to the manly characteristics possessed, according to their lights and education, by the early Redskins of America.
That's What Redskin means. According to L. Frank Baum. Yes, that L Frank Baum. Manly, tough, but slowly, surely, lesser than Whites.
It meant that in 1890, it meant that in 1930, certainly. Proud Warriors who would fight, fight, fight, thus. their extermination is necessary.
End of Story, as to what Redskin meant, and means.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Is it not obvious yet that Rex Grossman totally deserves the criticism he gets? He's just not a very good QB, and Dallas' sketchy defense drove the point home tonight. That Dallas defense isn't great, but they forced (or if you prefer, were handed) turnover after turnover.
Jay Mariotti sees all the fair criticism that Grossman is getting, and (unfair, though he doesn't acknowledge that it is unfair) criticism that McNabb has been getting as signs that maybe McNabb could end up the Bears QB in 2008.
Mariotti thinks that Philly is already done with McNabb: "Once they start booing in that town, it's time for a new address, especially with McNabb looking slow and tentative after knee surgery."
That sentence got dated pretty quickly, as McNabb and Philly in general got healthy against Detroit.
But Mariotti, despite basically opening wishing the slow and tenative McNabb to play for his home team, still got into the McNabb debate, and did so in spectacularly stupid fashion:
We're generally beyond the point in society where quarterbacks are viewed as black or white. In the most pressurized position in team sports, results are the issue, not race. Just ask Grossman. Or Eli Manning. Or even Peyton Manning, who was broiled nationally until he won a Super Bowl. Or Joey Harrington, who received death threats and had to remove family members from the stands in Detroit. Or Hall of Famer and four-time champion Terry Bradshaw, an early pariah in Pittsburgh.
Yep, racism in America is fixed. Done deal. I remember when that happened. WHA?
Ummm, Jay, how many black quarterbacks were playing when Terry Bradshaw was an early pariah in Pittsburgh? Zero? Huh. I guess, back in 1976, there were no black men who could throw a spiral. Or maybe they were too dumb to read defenses, way back in 1976. Or maybe the NFL was fucking racist, back in the 1970's (and 80's, and 90's, but not now!)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Grossman is a bad QB, and comparing McNabb to him is an insult, and proving McNabb's point. Joey Harrington is also rather sucky. Comparing McNabb to unsuccessful white quarterbacks is borderline racist, in my book. Compare him to other QB's who have done things like this:
five Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl appearance in 2004, 106 games with passing numbers of 1941 completions (a 58% completion rate for all you haters), 22,504 yards, 153 TDs, and an additional 2,750 yards rushing with 24 TDs,
To me, that sounds like John Elway prior to Terrell Davis. There's your white quarterback comparison. Not losers like Harrington and Grossman. Does McNabb stack up against Elway? Not completely, of course, but Elway is one of the best QB's the league has ever seen. And McNabb is closer to him than he is to the assholes Mariotti compares him to.
The idea that Peyton Manning "was broiled" is laughable. There wasn't a team in the country that wouldn't have loved to have him as their QB. I've been hearing a lot about how much shit Peyton took, and I gotta say, I don't remember it. Indianapolis had a shitty defense, for years, everyone knew that, and no one blamed Peyton for not stopping opposing team's running backs. I remember the occasional article about whether Peyton could win the big game. That was it. No one has ever pushed for Jim Sorgi to start ahead of him. No one has ever argued that Peyton should be traded. Comparing McNabb to the "broiling" Peyton got is crazy stupid.
Hoping for the backlash from Philly drives McNabb to Chicago, while discounting the motivation of the backlash is borderline evil. We expect no less from you, Jay "Evil Cunt" Mariotti.
A source with knowledge of the situation says Boras knows which group is most likely to be awarded the team," New York Magazine reported on its Web site this weekend. "The source says Boras has already been in touch with that group about the possibility of a contract that could reach $30 million a year over the next 10 years while deferring a certain portion of money toward an eventual stake in the franchise."
Scott Boras denies it, of course. He's almost certainly lying through his bleached teeth. I say this because this rumor is awfully well articulated for something made up from whole cloth, as Boras suggests it is.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"Attention Ronnie" was the headline in the La Vanguardia, with the catalan daily recalling the fates of the late George Best and Paul Gascoigne who were unable to resist "the easy life" and a drink.
The paper revealed on Friday that the Brazil striker, below par since the start of the season, had been seen in a night club until the early hours two days before Barcelona's mediocre goalless draw with Osasuna.
Dear Ronaldinho: That's not how beer goggles work. You do not actually become more attractive if you drink more.
Equal Time: The "Ladies" are engaging in a frank assessment of a head coaches in the NFL. Specifically, who's hotter--Mike Nolan or Mike Tomlin? I say someone has Daddy issues to even suggest this a contest. SNAP!
Sniffing the Touchline has an excellent round-up of the very early goings-on of the Champions League. We are only going to steal one of the highlights he's got. Go read the post, he's got lots more where this came from. (This would be Glasgow Ranger Charlie Adam with a very nice finish indeed)
Our black lady friend at Leave the Man Alone has her thoughts on Donovan McNabb, and they are (unsurprisingly) worth reading. Also, we never link to Leave the Man Alone's fashion round-up, but her most recent one is stunning. Curtis Martin looks great in a cream suit jacket; Carson Palmer looks like he stole his cream suit jacket off a bum. I think the key is the tie. Martin went dark; Palmer went with 70's flea market. We don't like her making fun of Sage Steele, though, who is dreamy, and has a porn name all set to go.
Doberman On the Diamond has his thoughts on McNabb, too. They are about as far away from Leave the Man Alone's (or our's) as you can get. Normally, we dig the DotD, but here, they are way off, and their point about how there are kids in Africa that are starving seems to me, again, proving McNabb's point. McNabb shouldn't be getting compared to shitty White Quarterbacks, and he certainly shouldn't be getting compared to child soldiers in Africa--what's the connection there? They're both black? Good point. Put it in the ledger as another "stop being uppity, McNabb" opinion, but one that has the balls to go to Africa to prove a point.
We Are The Postmen have a look into what's going on at the head offices of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pranks! Anything that makes Danny Ferry sad is awesome in our book. We bet he cried, because Danny Ferry seems like the crying sort. Fuck you, Danny Ferry!
Finally, the urbane tramp at This Suit Is Not Black has a lovely story about gamer exhaustion. This sort of thing always seems to happen in China.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
They've beaten Carleton 2-0, thanks to Grace King knocking in two goals. Of course, it helps when Carleton decides that the most dangerous striker in the MIAC doesn't need to be marked on a free kick. And let's not overlook Maddie Mette's fantastic free kick. Also, let's not overlook the fact that "Maddie Mette" is a fantastic name for a defender with skills.
The Fightin' Scot women continued to cruise, beating perennial coasters St. Cate's 3-nil. Grace King, as is her wont, netted two of those goals.
They needed double overtime to beat St. Scholastica, but beat them they did, (Grace King scored that goal)
And today, they went up to Northfield, and drubbed St. Olaf 3-1. Guess who had two of the goals? Go ahead and guess! If you guessed the motherfuckin' Grace King, you guessed right.
Since their opening match loss to nationally ranked UW Eau Claire, Macalester women have done nothing but win, and have outscored their opponents 12-1. DAMN! In the MIAC, it is 8-1.
The Fightin' Scots have a big game on Sunday against hated Luther at home. If you are a Twin Citian, perhaps you should think about giving up on your god-awful Vikings, and see what a winning dynasty looks like.
The Men's Schedule has been odd from the beginning of the season. What is Central College? What is Simpson College (was it a funny place 15 years ago, and just kind of entertaining now?). Why is Macalester playing colleges in Iowa that no one, including the parents of the children who attend there, have ever heard of? And why are the Scots tying them?
The Men opened up the MIAC by getting spanked by Carleton, which, while not unheard of, is not happy news. Giving up a hat trick to a kid who grew up 5 miles from Macalester, admires Wayne Rooney, and loves Ender's Game? Indefensible! Why isn't he in the Orange and Blue? (Note: I see that Carleton also played Simpson College. What the fuck?)
The men then went to a tournament in Wilmington, Ohio, for some reason, where they lost to something called Denison. Oops, it looks like Denison is no one to laugh at.
The men today, however, returned to their winning ways, and did so in the MIAC, against the hated "Oles" of St. Olaf. Those fucking fjordlickers got what was coming to them, getting downed 2-0, thanks to Nate Van Wylen and Carson Gorecki. Van Wylen, incidentally, hails from Northfield, so you see the balance here, right? Carleton (of Northfield) spanks Mac using a Twin Cities kid, and Mac spanks a Northfield team using a kid who probably loves Jesse James Days. It is the Circle of Life.
Big game coming up for Macalester against Luther, who are always a tough match. Incredibly improved Hamline after that. This is a big week for the men, both outside and in the conference.
On to the women!
I think Chelada is Spanish for yummy, or mouthwash for removing the taste of last nights vomit - in a CAN! Available at you local alcohol peddler! Can you think of a better beverage to start out with on Sunday? No! Chelada! Chelada! Chelada!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
As promised earlier, special attention is needed to Gregg Doyel's column reacting to Donovan McNabb's interview.
Let's start at that place that always makes sense, the beginning.
Doyel starts his column stating that he clearly thinks that McNabb, by stating that Black Quarterbacks have more to overcome, is calling Gregg Doyel a racist. No really, that's how Gregg Doyel reads that interview, because Gregg Doyel IS JUST THAT IMPORTANT.
Black quarterbacks look the same to me. Every last one looks like a guy who should be playing running back. Or defensive back. Or receiver. They look like anything but a quarterback, which used to be an all-white position and should have stayed that way.
Right, Donovan McNabb? That's what you think I'm thinking.
It should be pointed out that McNabb, at no point in the interview suggests that Gregg Doyel (who?) or any other sportswriter secretly thinks that McNabb should be a running back, or a wide receiver, or a cornerback. McNabb's big statement is that Black Quarterbacks have to prove more in their rising up the ranks. McNabb makes the suggestion Doyel implies exactly Zero times. So, right from the get-go, Doyel is kind of full of shit. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except that he's writing for a big time network (on their website).
But Doyel is willing to cut McNabb a break (one he didn't ask for):
Granted, McNabb has reasons to be bitter. He plays in a vicious sports city where some of the dumber citizens have probably said racist things to him over the years. He was once attacked clumsily by Rush Limbaugh, who said McNabb was overrated but protected by media that "has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well."
Limbaugh is the living, breathing, lying, painkilling proof of the difference between sounding smart and being smart. He talks fast and uses big words and can lead a group of lemmings over a cliff more effectively than George Wallace ever could.
Doyel seems to forget that Limbaugh didn't make those remarks in front of Nazi Germany. He was hired--his dumb, racist ass was hired by ESPN to make comments just like that, only, not quite so obvious. He was hired to be the "fan's voice", if memory serves. Dismissing Limbaugh is easy--dismissing his hire by ESPN/ABC isn't so easy, and Doyel manages never to explicity say where or when exactly Limbaugh made those remarks.
But Limbaugh isn't smart. Can't be. To say what he said about McNabb in 2003, when McNabb was a dominant quarterback, was stupid. Limbaugh paid for it by losing his side gig with ESPN. America -- black America, white America, our America -- didn't tolerate his racial stupidity.
Are you reading the same subtext here than I am? That if Limbaugh had the exact same thing last year, or this year, when McNabb isn't a dominant quarterback, it would not be stupid? Why does it matter that Limbaugh said it in a year that McNabb was a dominant quarterback? Wasn't it always a racist statement? You have to wonder if Doyel understands what racism is. And just when you are wondering, he answers it for you, like magic:
So why are we going to tolerate racial stupidity coming now from McNabb? Toleration in the name of entertainment allowed racist blowhards like Limbaugh and Don Imus to spew invective over the airwaves. But toleration in the name of political correctness has allowed white-bashing demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Sr. to inflame racially sensitive cases like the ones starring Tawana Brawley and Duke lacrosse.
Comparing genuine racists like Limbaugh and Imus to McNabb is bad enough. Comparing a man who marched with Martin Luther King to Rush Limbaugh is just fucking sick. Bringing up the Duke Lacrosse case, which was prosecuted by a white guy is just fucking stupid. And, really, Gregg Doyel, if you are going to wander into politics, can you give me an example in which Jesse Jackson is a "white-bashing demagogue"? I can think of an instance 20 years ago in which he made an anti-semitic comment. Is that what you are thinking of? Tawana Brawley is equally dated. You have to reach back 20 years to find corollaries to Imus and Rush? You do have an editor, no? Because, you know, that kind of name-calling makes you sound like a fucking idiot. Oops, was that name-calling on my part? Oops. Accurate though. In any case, what do these "points" have to do with Donovan McNabb?
You go ahead -- tolerate McNabb's comments. Or be like my colleague Mike Freeman and embrace McNabb's social commentary. Me, I'm calling McNabb on it. I'm calling it stupid. I'm calling it intellectually lazy. And I'm calling it cowardly.
Well, that would be the White Lazy, Cowardly Pot calling the Black Hardworking Kettle lazy and cowardly, wouldn't it? I think I'll be like Mike, even though I haven't read yet his commentary. "Tolerate" his comments? What kind of crazy world is Gregg Doyel living in when pointing out racist attitudes is in and of itself racist? It's not a fucked up world, it's just a very happy world, created by blinders and an unwillingness to look at things too closely. Your world must be very happy, Gregg Doyel. It just ain't the world that real people live in.
McNabb is myopic. He thinks he has it rough? Try being Rex Grossman, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears, who gets ripped even as he is leading the Bears to the Super Bowl. The next two most critiqued quarterbacks in the NFL are probably the Jets' Chad Pennington and the Giants' Eli Manning. All three are white.
And none of them have numbers like Donovan McNabb. This is an incredibly stupid argument, which I dealt with earlier, when the white quarterbacks in question were Joey Harrington and Ryan Leaf. But comparing McNabb to subpar white quarterbacks who haven't won the big game, Doyel is engaging in a bit of racism himself. Look at McNabb's numbers compared to other great quarterbacks (white or black) who haven't won the Super Bowl, not to commonly regarded drags on their team like Grossman, or perennial losers like Pennington, or youngsters like Manning. It's a bullshit comparison, and if Doyel doesn't know it, he should.
McNabb? He's old and fading, and judging from his HBO appearance, he's not taking it very well. In his own city, columnist John Smallwood called out McNabb in the Philadelphia Daily News on Tuesday. McNabb, Smallwood wrote, "is like a batter with warning-track power." The old McNabb "is gone." This McNabb "looks bad."
Doyel, if he were an honest writer, could point out that McNabb is less than 12 months removed from major knee surgery. As I pointed out previously, Carson Palmer came back in similar fashion, and his numbers were less than stellar his first four games back. The difference was Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, and TJ Houshmanzedah. Oh, and apparently Doyel thinks that getting criticized by your home paper is some how more damning than getting criticized elsewhere. Even though he said earlier that McNabb plays, "in a vicious sports city." And by earlier, I mean earlier in the same column! (Go ahead, and scroll back up--I quoted it before).
Doyel's final explanation as to why everything is OK?
How far has the NFL come? The three cities with the largest redneck population -- I'm from Mississippi; I'm allowed -- employ black quarterbacks: In Jacksonville, the Jaguars had three black quarterbacks until releasing Byron Leftwich a few weeks ago. In Nashville, Vince Young is the franchise. And in Atlanta, the Falcons gave Michael Vick the biggest contract in NFL history and stood by him through several embarrassing off-field mistakes until he was charged with felony dogfighting. Joey Harrington replaced Vick, but on Tuesday the Falcons brought in Leftwich to compete for the starting job.
Good lord, let's unpack this a bit. It's OK to use southern white stereotypes because Doyel is from there. Racism is over because Black Quarterbacks are allowed to ply their trade in the south; Jacksonville had multiple Black QB's, therefore, McNabb's arguments are shit. I live in Minnesota, and I've seen one "athletic" Black QB after another come here and fail for one game, and watched the multitudes and intelligensia start crying for the "steady" White QB to lead them to Salvation.
But not recently, no. No, that never happens anymore. Unless you consider both papers in the Twin Cities arguing that Kelly Holcomb can lead the woeful Vikings offense to the playoffs. Kelly fucking Holcomb! Or that the exact same columnists argued for Brad Johnson or Gus Frerotte over Daunte Culpepper. Or that the exact same columnists expressed distrust over Randall Cunningham running the offense.
But, yeah, Doyel is totally right. Black QB's, if anything, are treated too kindly, and need to be slapped down when they get all uppity, like McNabb has. Thanks Gregg! Way to disprove the racism, by slapping down that uppity Black.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
And I recently pointed out that CSI: Miami sucks.
But this McNabb "controversy" is so stupid, and yet it is still getting media attention. As if this is shocking news that black quarterbacks are treated differently.
A lot of blogs are talking, with tongue firmly in cheek, about McNabb's bad timing. That this interview came out just as he is struggling. But, as apparent voice of reason Sean Salisbury pointed out on NFL Live, we are still talking about a quarterback who is less than 12 months out from major knee surgery. I imagine McNabb knew that he might struggle in the opening of this season.
Just as Carson Palmer did, early in 2006.
And yet, two weeks into the season, Andy Reid is getting peppered with questions about "What's wrong with Donovan?" He had major knee surgery less than 12 months ago. Next question.
The media seems astounded. How could McNabb reach this conclusion? This is crazy talk! Black quarterbacks aren't unfairly judged anymore! Except, um, yes, they are. But the same people who are acting all astonished by this interview.
Trey Wingo, the normally solid point man for ESPN's GameDay, noted that Philly fans boo fucking everybody. And that's true. But it is a bit of a strawman, as McNabb never said that the Eagles faithful treat him worse than they did white quarterbacks. At least, I've never seen that particular quote. Though, really, if we wanted to, he could hark back to when he was drafted, and was booed lustily by idiots from Philly who packed MSG that yar.
What Trey, and every other ESPN anchor failed to mention, as well as the AP, ABC, Comcast Sports (who? Special hate coming there), MSNBC (hate there too) is that ABC/ESPN hired noted racist/reactionary/asshole Rush Limbaugh in 2003 to do their national football broadcast, and he quickly said the type of shit he was hired to say. CNN paraphrases: Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
This isn't ancient history people. This isn't slave owners in antebellum South denigrating the hard work of their slaves; this is 4 years ago, and a mainstream media source giving a known fruitcake airtime to denigrate the work of one Donovan McNabb, whose career numbers are, if not staggering, certainly pretty damn impressive. None of those media sources mentioned it in their critique of Donovan's "ill-timed" interview.
I suppose it is funny that in all the articles and commentary written about this shocking event(!), I had to go to blackathlete.net to get a commentary that included McNabb's career numbers:
After five Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl appearance in 2004, 106 games with passing numbers of 1941 completions (a 58% completion rate for all you haters), 22,504 yards, 153 TDs, and an additional 2,750 yards rushing with 24 TDs, he's earned the right to speak out about the treatment of the black quarterback like Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams and Hall of Famer Warren Moon.
Incidentally, the writer of that piece, Lloyd M. Vance, has written a lengthy, award-winning piece on Black Quarterbacks. Funny, no one in the mainstream media asked him his opinion. Also, King Kaufman, an oasis of intelligence in the swamp of idiot sportswriters reacted much the way I did, with a "No shit."
But while it is good to pat the people who get it right, it is more fun to mock the dumbasses who got it wrong. Let's catalog some of them, shall we?
Ray Didinger wrote for Comcastsportnet the following:
Sorry, Donovan, but you’re wrong.I could cite any number of white quarterbacks who were savaged by the fans and media. Joey Harrington said he received death threats when he failed to live up to his billing as a savior in Detroit. And what player was mocked more widely – or loudly – than the clueless Ryan Leaf when he flopped as a first round pick in San Diego?
Ahem, umm, over here, Ray. did you just compare Joey Harrington and Ryan Leaf to Donovan McNabb? Did you see his numbers up there? You are, unwittingly, or rather, stupidly proving his point. As mentioned before, McNabb has never suggested he's been wronged by fans; his whole point seems about overcoming expectations of college/pro coaches (count the number of black quarterbacks who are now receivers!) and the media. The Media, like you, Ray, you twat, when you compare him to one a white quarterback who was out of league before his rookie contract was over, and Joey fucking Harrington, who is about to replaced by a black quarterback, who was without a team for the first two weeks of the season. You are comparing Donovan McNabb to those asswipes? Fuck you. No wonder you write for a shitty cable company.
Mikie Celizic of MSNBC, who sports a fancy chapeau, writes:
McNabb tells HBO that people didn’t want blacks to play quarterback, which is like telling us that the United States used to be a colony of Great Britain. It’s a historical fact. He also says there aren’t a lot of black quarterbacks in the NFL today, and to tell you the absolute truth, I was grateful the Associated Press story about him listed the six African-Americans starting at quarterback in the NFL today because I had no idea how many there were. It wasn’t anything I ever thought about or cared about because it’s no longer an oddity.
And if African-American quarterbacks are held to different standards, why is Atlanta bringing in Byron Leftwich to replace their white starter? It isn’t because there’s a different standard, I can tell you that. It’s because the standard is winning.
To paraphrase: Because there are more (6 of them!) black quarterbacks, the problem is fixed. This whole racial aspect, which was cited by Rush Limbaugh not 5 years ago about this very quarterback I'm talking about, is as historical as the Revolutionary War. Also career loser Joey Harrington is being replaced by a black quarterback. QED, Donovan is wrong.
Response; Loosen the fancy fedora, Mike. It is cutting off circulation to your brain. To you, 1776 and 2003 may be equally in the past, you old panty sniffer, but for the man ridiculed by a known racist on ESPN, they may not be equally "historical."
Quick Kudos to Brian Billick, who has worked with a lot of Negroes:
Ravens coach Brian Billick has coached several African-American quarterbacks, going back to Warren Moon and Randall Cunningham in Minnesota, then Tony Banks, Cunningham, Jeff Blake and Anthony Wright in Baltimore before [Steve] McNair and [Troy] Smith. When Wright was the starter for the Ravens in 2003, Billick echoed McNabb's current remarks by saying that African-American quarterbacks were scrutinized more than white quarterbacks. Billick said today that he hadn't watched the interview with McNabb."I'd kind of like to think we passed all that, but that's probably a little naive, too," Billick said.
Special Award to Dildo CBS' Online Dildo Gregg Doyel. He gets a post all his own.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
This is significant because, well, unions are not in the business of providing health care to current members or retirees. Instead, they negotiate increases to the employee's wage package, and a portion of the total wage package is diverted into a fund that is used to pay for member and retiree health care. A twist on employer-provided health care, to be sure, but employer-provided health care nonetheless.
So please, please resist the temptation to pile on Gene Upshaw. Why? In addition to negotiating against an uber-powerful and uber-secretive band of NFL owners, the NFL Player's Union ("NFLPA") is NOT in the business of providing health care to current members or retirees. And Gene, to this point, has been slaughtered in the otherwise logical movement to take care of the NFL's untouchables with reasonable NFL retiree health care and pension benefits. However, Upshaw (note: a "union boss") has only a modicum of control over the decision to pay retiree health care and/or disability claims.
The fund dedicated to paying retiree pension and disability claims for former NFLers currently contains approximately $1.1 billion. As we all know, Unions are not to be trusted with such exorbitant sums of money (I'll put away the sarcasm pen as there is a barn full of historical evidence that union leaders have "misappropriated" funds in the past (note: that makes them like every other bastard with access to money without oversight)). By extension, Upshaw (note: a "union boss") cannot be trusted to manage the $1.1 billion retiree fund nor is he the sole decision maker when retirees make claims.
Why? I mean, how? I mean both.
Decision-making power was seized from unions by a piece of legislation that Senator Taft and Representative Hartley put together back in 1947 that echos as the greatest restraint on union power this side of actual violence. Among other things, the Taft-Hartley Act prevents unions from accumulating monies in a fund to pay for health, disability and other benefits unless there is an equal number of management trustees and union trustees with ultimate responsibility for management of the fund.
The NFL fund in question is a Taft-Hartley fund, and the decision to pay disability claims or alter pension determinations is made by a group of six trustees (three labor and three management), none of whom is Gene Upshaw, or, as I understand it, are they even employees of the union. Best I can gather is the three labor trustees are actual NFL retirees.
It is likely the labor trustees are guided by and in agreement with the probable union position to pay as many claims and grant the maximum pension benefit possible. Therein lies the extent of Gene Upshaw's influence over payment of the claims that he has been burned at the stake for not being more concerned about.
Instead of being praised for having such a well-funded trust to pay for retiree needs, the responsible union is chastised for not being able to force management trustees into opening up the fund's coffers. They already spent union capital to establish the fund and burn more every contract negotiation to ensure enough money is dedicated to the fund (even for a bunch of wealthy athletes $1.1 billion in a union trust fund is astonishingly well endowed).
Yesterday, a few members of Congress were suspected of saying "boo" to a group of former NFL players brought in to testify on the general issue of caring for NFL retirees. It was later learned that Daryl Johnston was on hand to testify and the Senators and Representatives were simply chanting "Moose" after he made a sound argument in favor of increased care.
Moose was there with Upshaw, Gale Sayers, Mike Ditka, Roger Goodell and Garret Webster (son of former great Mike Webster). Other than management representative Goodell, present in his primary role as management apologist and blame-deflector, the witnesses stood up to beg Congress for a legislative change that would allow the union more control over decisions to pay disability and pension claims. In effect, a request to overturn the sixty-year old Taft-Hartley Act's mandate that all union trust funds enjoy equal representation of labor and management trustees.
Not bloody likely.
Perhaps another time we can cover the unusual influence of pro sports on labor law (read: a union member with money enough to sue his employer can pose some interesting questions), but for now suffice it to say a labor union is unlikely to receive differential treatment just because it represents a dog pile of millionaires. To expect otherwise would open the door for trade unions across the country to demand control over their respective funds.
Not bloody likely.
Instead, expect the NFLPA to continue to shoulder blame for a health care problem that the rest of America places on employers. Expect to hear how much Upshaw makes and how little he does. Expect the lauding of NFL owners for standing on the precipice of bankruptcy just to put a competitive squad on the field. Expect a continued drive to describe player contracts in fake money instead of guaranteed money. Expect blame for steroid use to fall on reticent union officials.
Expect the domestication of the dog to continue unabated.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I picked almost every game wrong but I don't care because my team is 2-0 and looking like less of a pile of warmed-up olde rubbish than most of my NFC.
How did your favorite team do?
Week Two Recap: What the?
I have to two pour two pints of crude into Professor Badcock's Prognosticator (if you know what I mean) and draw up plans for a new hydrodynamical slurry-sluicer if my pick'em has any chance at all. Injuries laid several teams low, but impressive upsets and ass-kickings made this an enormously enjoyable week of NFL pleasure.
Giants are hilariously bad. I stand by the machine: Coughlin is fired by Xmas. How about Shockey nailing a tough first down catch, then spiking the ball and getting a personal foul? How about QB Jared Sweatpants and his huge, fat ass? This is some funny stuff. I sure am looking forward to taking on the Giants at home next week at 4:15 EST. Favre looked sharp but they can't run the ball. Marzipan schedule will help them, but they are beating the bad teams. Next week is the Superchargers.
Unfortunately for San Diego fans, their ownership decided to fire Coach Schotzie and hired Nerfneck Turner, one of the lamest & most frustrating coaches to ever turn bright red on a sideline. The Patriots came out looking disciplined and focused, while the Chargers looked like a Nerfneck Turner team. FIRE TURNER!
A site called the coach is killing me is dedicated to helping Americans survive the Nerfneck Turner experience. It's a brave and lonely mission. Quoting The Mighty MJD of Deadspin, "Norv’s face should be the international symbol for 'we are about to lose'."
Browns v. Bengals: no one on this planet predicted a Bengals-Browns shootout with the Browns as the victors. This game was fun to watch but it was some garbage-time defense. The ol' Black and Blue Division is looking a lot more like the Two-Hand Touch Division. No wonder the Steelers are pulling away already, and they've got a fatty cheesecake schedule ahead of them.
Raiders almost win in Denver, but instead lose in hilarious fashion as their high-priced ex-con fatass Seabass displays his tight choke collar. Denver looked entirely dominant in this game, and then I felt the sea-change. It was impressive, and the Raiders got a long TD, safety, INT and a 2-point conversion ... before Seabass was iced.
FUDGEFEST OF THE YEAR, FIRST NOMINATION: Vikes at Lions.
This game was absolutely priceless. It featured ten turnovers, including a boofed snap by Boobs Bollinger which lost the game. The teams chipped in for nineteen penalties. Hey Vikings fans, did you notice that TD catch by C. Johnson, with his offensive pass interference which went uncalled? Kind of skewed the game, no? It's too bad someone had to win this one. Hi-larious.
Redskins beat down the Eagles in Philly. The good news is, they use every part of the Eagle when they kill it, and they thank the Great Spirit for the honor. The Redskins out-hit and out-fought the Eagles from the first quarter (when Safety Sean Taylor blasted WR Brown incomplete) until the end of the fourth quarter (when Safety Laron Landry blasted WR Curtis incomplete). The Redskins upcoming schedule looks like camembert on a warm summer afternoon.
I really enjoy the Philly fans booing their 0-2 team. Now that's funny. That's good comedy, right there.
The Redskins went for the kill shot in the 4th quarter on 2nd down. WR Santana Moss was open by thirty yards; QB Jason Campbell saw him running down the middle of the field and his eyes went big like fried eggs and he rocketed off a ball that was long by fifteen yards. It's awful hard to overthrow Santana Moss, and I don't think that will happen again.
Campbell looks like a winner; his clutch 20 yard scramble and 3rd down conversions were exactly what the Eagles lacked. They got down the field in the two-minute offense and Campbell laid in a perfect TD pass for TE Cooley. Redskins pass coverage was excellent and intimidating. Our kick return will bust one soon and our FG kicker is 5/5. Yes, I do enjoy the empanadas of our Saviour.
The bad news is that the right side of the Redskins O-line is out. We're a right-running team, and now we have to go left. But it's ok, we're undefeated and facing the Gigantisms. Whoopee!
In a final note, I do absolutely believe that the Washington Redskins need to change their name. It is offensive on a political, sociological and personal level.
They should be called the District of Columbia Redskins.
Just kidding, folks. Don't forget to buy my novel when it becomes available in a few months.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I sympathized, both because of the commercials, and the series of ads I've seen while watching poker coverage on ESPN.
I'm all for the World Series of Poker (or WSOP, for us educated poker watchers. Yeah, I'm braggin' about that) having a major sponsor, and it makes a certain amount of sense for that sponsor to be a beer company. Absolutely. In the real life poker games played throughout the world, beer consumption plays a major part of who wins and who loses. The last time I played poker, and wasn't distracted by Guitar Hero, I targeted guys who were drunker than I was, and I walked out a couple hundred bucks richer. Every poker game in the nation is like that, so it makes perfect sense that a brand of beer should sponsor the WSOP.
But Milwaukee's Best Light? Really? The light version of the beer I decided was too crappy to drink when I was 19 years old? The light version nicknamed by high-schoolers nationwide as "The Beast" because of its shitty taste and nasty aftereffects on the digestive system? Really? Could they not get Natural Light to pony up the dough?
Not only is The Beast one of the worst beers distributed nationally (clearly, everyone has a favorite worst local beer--in Minnesota, I would argue for Cold Spring, with a special posthumous award to Pfeiffer; in DC, it was Red, White & Blue),* but Milwaukee's Best Light has the possibly the single most demeaning advertising theme I've seen of late. It's demeaning to women, it is insulting to men. It seems Beast Light has decided to focus on getting the biggest idiots in the country to buy their beer.
The Central Theme of the advertisements is that whenever a man engages in "unmanly" behavior, a giant can of Beast Light drops on him, presumably killing him instantly. (It is clear in the commercials, that Beast Light is only for men, and preferably working class/white trash men).
Examples of unmanly behavior include: (and I haven't made a single one of these up)
1. Checking with your wife before you go fishing with your buddies.
2. Being scared of heights/rooftops.
3. Fumbling the catch when a buddy throws you a beer.
4. Getting distracted by the Soap Opera the wife is watching.
5. Enjoying a trampoline. (seriously, that's one of them)
6. In this example, buying Wine Coolers.
Note: In these commercials, it is totally acceptable to be the slimy hick who says things like, "Your waf give you permisshun?" to your one married friend or "Ya'll have a good night." to random women who had the misfortune to shop at the same convience store that you hang out at.
Watch more of the suck here. I was in no danger of buying Beast Light, because it is a suck beer. But I wish I did like it, just so my threat to boycott it would mean something. I assume their marketing department has done its homework, and they know that the WSOP is being watched by a shitload of greasy, fat, insecure teenagers who are scared of the girls in their school, and of their own confusing feelings for the Captain of the football team. How else to explain these overtly, stupidly machismo-driven ads for such a shitty beer, shown during the most unathletic broadcast in the ESPN calendar?
*Red, White & Blue was actually a national brand. Oops.
It has taken this long for anyone to care enough about anything we've written to actually complain in email form to our communications nerve center, aka our email address ().
It strikes me oddly appropriate that the subject that so enraged our first hate-mail wtiter is an entry we wrote no less than 9 months ago, at least. Of course, the writer is furious with our thoughts on... Barbaro!
Let me quote from the email, that was sent with the simple descriptor subject line of "FUCKER"
You may be tempted to think this is a joke, but based on the sender's email address, I think, sadly, that this person is being entirely serious. Which also makes it funny. Bask in the nuttiness:
YOU FUCKHEAD!!! YOU ARE A WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT. IF YOU BROKE YOUR LEG I BET PPL WOULD BE HOPING THAT U GET BETTER. BARBARO WAS A LEADER FOR THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS INCLUDING MYSELF DUMBASS!! I HOPE THAT U BURN IN HELL!!!
Very few things undermine your argument that the subject of your complaint is too callous and unfeeling than name-calling, or casually hoping for an eternity of torment in the afterlife.
Barbaro was a leader of thousands of Americans? Thousands of human Americans? Correct me if I'm wrong, but following a racehorse would just mean running in circles for a half-mile or so.
Man, I wonder what kind of crazy-ass email Will got when he lobbed his shots at Barbaro's fans.
Still, we feel we've kind of arrived. We were blogger-boys before; now we are blogger-men. This is like our bar-mitzvah. L'chaim!
Friday, September 14, 2007
You have to love Minnesota, and that sense that whilst we live in big cultured cities, there is plenty of rural nuttiness just nearby. Don't worry--the donkey is OK.
It also strikes me that "Donkey in a Well" should be a IDYFT neologism. It sounds like it could describe Bill Belichek in some sort of a way.
Photo by Jeffrey Hage, AP Photo/The Daily Journal
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Recently I've been asking myself why soccer hasn't caught on in the U.S. of A.
Its obviously not because of anything that the Soccer hating trogs out there say about the Beautiful Game. They, obviously, don't appreciate the wonderment, and yes beauty, of the most popular sport in world. So it must be something else.
While on the face of it, it does seem reasonable to pay a vapid fairy from across the pond many millions of dollars to come over to the States to brand the sport on the minds of the soon to be Soccer loving American public, I would argue that these aforementioned millions would be better spent in recruiting a band of young Brazilian soccer playing 'ninjas' in order to 'spice' up the level of play of the MLS. While we all can agree that soccer does not hold it rightful place among the preeminent American sporting spectacles, we can't seem to agree as to the reason why.
I say, once the true, unvarnished grandeur of the sport is presented to the noble American public in all its glory, never again will some pedantic fool ask why the ball doesn't appear to be moving very much past midfield... but rather they will come to appreciate the growing anticipation that accompanies the holding of the ball.
Plus, they all iron their jeans. How cool is that?
This took even the beat writers for the local papers by surprise, which is a little worrying on its own. The Star Trib is reporting this is taking people in the organization by surprise, which is more worrying. Regardless of how this thing was rolled out, it is extremely nerve-wracking because of what Ryan represents, and what the Twins have in front of them.
Ryan is one of the finest GM's in the league, with a thankless job. Balancing the desires of the often close-fisted financial approach of Twins ownership with the need to put a winner out on the field has never been easy. And if the Twins don't win, they don't have one of those nice parks that people will still come to in September just to be outside. The Twins have to be good to get anyone into that damned, can-get-gone-quick-enough Metrodome. Ryan managed to put together a good roster, good enough to win the Central Division year after year after year. He's used a great scouting department, unbelievably savvy trades, and an ability to squeeze just a few extra dollars here and there to do it. Does anyone in the Twins organization have the bag of tricks this guy does? There aren't too many in the MLB who do, so it seems unlikely.
The Twins have a tricky offseason to deal with now, too. Possibly one of their trickiest in recent memory. Sign or trade Torii Hunter? Sign or trade Johan Santana? Can this team, with a payroll right in the $70 million area, actually afford even coming close to signing increasing discontent Santana, with what will most likely be more than a $20m/year deal? How will they sign Maurer, Cuddyer and Mourneau, while still fixing the gaping hole in offense at the 3rd base, left field, and DH spots?
This team, which has always managed to brand itself as a plucky group of overachievers, with help of Used Coffin Salesman Bud Selig, is finishing up its first undeniably disappointing season in recent memory. Ryan has always managed to trade cows for magic beans, and it is very difficult to imagine indeed that someone else can just pick up that formula for winning on a budget.
Good luck, Twins and longtime assistant (new GM) Bill Smith. You are going to need it.