Friday, February 29, 2008

Skol Free Agency

The Minnesota Vikings are shopping, and even though they will probably overspend on some players, I am as pleased as punch. Last year they did nothing, that’s right Vishante, but the year before was a very productive free agent class, so it is my hope that they will go 2 for 3 and fill some holes (you can stop chuckling Wice and Barnyard).

They have begun the spree with Thomas Tapeh, a local kid who has turned into a hell of a full-back. He is further proof that the full-back position is not dying out, but rather is seeing a certain renaissance. Tapeh is smart, agile, and as strong as they come, and he already knows the system. I liked Tony Richardson but Tapeh is about half his age and an upgrade as a receiver. I like this pick up.

They continue their purchases with Madieu Mohamed Williams ($35 Million) a safety, who I have read good things about, but know little, except for the fact that he played on a porous Bengals defense. They needed an upgrade at that position, especially after the Purple released Pal-O-Mine and underperforming defensive back Dwight Smith (now a Motor City Kitty). Williams is younger, bigger and I am sure faster than Smith, Tank, and Mike Doss combined. He has 9 picks in his four year career. Mohamed, damned terrorist, was a teammate of Vikings LB E.J. Henderson at Maryland. And like Tapeh, he is a West African by birth.

So, the push to lose another Superbowl is on. Now we await the arrival of the meteor Bernard Berrian for the price of a small country’s GDP and maybe several other ex-Eagles. Skol!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pros vs. Joes, Season 3, Episode 6

An exciting episode (in theory) for a Minnesota-based blogger, as this was some sort of half-assed Northern/Midwestern/Mountain/East Coast bracket. And of course, it is being held in the most iconographic of great northern stadiums, The Orange Bowl(?).

But first, the obligatory run off of two Joes. Football field (so our Joes are in helmets, so we won't feel the same sense of outrage when we see two strangers booted off a reality show in the first two minutes. I still think is a Dirty Pool move from the PvJ crew, and I've yet to get an explanation, despite the many times I've thought about emailing the PvJ production staff and asking. There are a total of 6 footballs, 3 at a time, sitting on the 50 yard line; our Joes line up on the 30 and sprint to pick them up. Whoever ends up in the end zone gets to advance. This is a variation of the "Smear the Queer" game from a few weeks ago. Whatever. Two Joes get eliminated, one done in by what looks like a ripped ACL.

Let's meet our Pros!

Christian Okoye, aka the Nigerian Nightmare. Making his second reality TV appearance in the last 12 months, (never forget, he was on that Pirate Show that everyone has forgotten about). Okoye was certainly a Pro, but we should never forget he was dominant for all of one year.

Dan Majerle, aka Thunder Dan. Phoenix Sun legend who apparently once dunked a lot. By the time I was paying attention, he had become a 3-point shootin' legend, though this show would suggest otherwise (foreshadowing!)

Paul Coffey, aka The Coffey Can, or The Coffeyinator. I made those nicknames up. Paul Coffey has no use for nicknames. He's Paul fuckin' Coffey. Everything I know about Paul Coffey I learned from Sega Hockey 1994. He's a big hitter, and he's a threat to score inside the blue line about 75% of the time.

I should note that Joe Clayton Monte talks shit to every single pro. Clayton is a airport SWAT cop, who proudly brags about his short temper and the fact that his friends think he's nuts (they call him Cashew Lou, because he is nuts, and his name is not Lou, but Clayton. Cops are stupid.). Regardless, knowing this bonedaddy is protecting our airports makes me think that the terrorists will probably win. He talks an ungodly amount of shit.

But he's not the #1 seed. White Bear Lake native Brian Peters is. White Bear Lake gets its name from a supposed Native American legend, that Mark Twain said of, "A dead man could get up a better legend than this one. I don't mean a fresh dead man either; I mean a man that's been dead weeks and weeks." Brian Peters is a good Minnesota man, and he doesn't talk shit to the pros, but he knows ice hockey, so he picks Paul Coffey. The #6, Mark Kilibarda is also Minnesotan, and so we've got two skaters going against Coffey.

Our #2 seed, the previously mentioned loud fatass Clayton Monte (I know its not his fault, but I can't help wondering if his ridiculous name helped make Clayton Monte the prick that he is. It should be noted that Clayton Monte proudly identified himself as a prick, so I'm not making any judgement when I call him a prick) picks Christian Okoye, in part because he's drawn at #5 Greg Macaluso, a Joe who is about 100 pounds lighter than Okoye. Greg is from Hawthorne, NY. Does he know Rahul?

That leaves Thunder Dan to compete against the #3 and #4 seeds, Devon Tilly and Arthur Miller. I'm rooting for Arthur Miller, purely because of his name, and all the jokes I get to make if he makes it through The Crucible of Round 1. (see? ) Though to be honest, it shouldn't be too hard to generate jokes out of a name like Devon Tilly, either (foreshadowing!).

The first challenge is the #2 and #5 against Christian Okoye. Each Joe gets 3 downs to stop Christian Okoye. Whoever gives up the least yardage wins. The Pro vs. Joe researchers seem to have dropped the ball on this one, as both Joes find Okoye eminently stoppable. In a total of 6 downs, the Joes give up a combined yardage of under 30 yards. Okoye doesn't break one tackle. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that on PvJ in all 3 years. Usually someone gets dogged pretty hard. Even in Season 1, when they had Pros compete in odd circumstances, someone usually got worked over. I remember Clyde Drexler lighting up someone in hockey, for example. Okoye seems pretty determined to prove that his 2 good seasons were borderline flukes. Loud, abrasive, Proud to be a Prick (and again, surprise! A Cop!) Clayton Monte wins by a total of 4 yards or so.

The second challenge pits Devon Tilley and Arthur Miller against Dan Majerle in a 3 point shooting contest, which should be a walk in the park for ol' Thunder Dan. But apparently (we learn this after the challenge) the outdoor conditions threw off Dan's game. Which is a pretty weak excuse, Thunder Dan. I'm pretty sure the Joes were shooting in the exact same conditions you were. As a Pro, do you demand indoor heated facilities to hit your shots? Punk-ass. Regardless, Dan did manage to beat both Joes, but just barely (and the editing was a little too quick for me to tell for certain, but it did look like Dan might have cheated a little, grabbing more of the Money Balls than the Joes got.) Regardless, Devon lost to Dan 5-4. Arthur Miller, just like Willy Loman, came up a little short, and lost 4 to 3. What these guys were doing in this bracket is confusing. Devon is from Colorado, and Arthur is from Smyrna, GA. Was this a wild card bracket? Devon advances in not very impressive fashion. Second disappointing performance from a pro. Who can turn this not very impressive episode around?

How about motherfuckin' Paul Coffey, who is only just one of the biggest badasses that the NHL has ever produced? Sure, he now looks a lot like a high school football coach, and talks like one, too. But he's still Paul Coffey. Surely he can put some winds in the sails of this episode, stuck in the Doldrums? The guys who have to find out are our Minnesotans, Brian Peters and Mark Kilibrada.

The third challenge is to skate and score with two pucks. Coffey can only hit the Joes between the blue lines, and the Joes have to bring the puck inside one pylon that brings them dangerously close to the boards. Once they clear the pylon, they can go anywhere. Whoever takes the least amount of time to score both pucks wins.

Brian Peters, 40! 40 years old! is up first, and he's clearly a Minnesota boy. Comfy on the skates, unlike, say, Jermaine Reid. All the same, it's Paul fucking Coffey, and possibly because the first two Pros looked so impressive, Paul seems determined to put some hurt on. Brian gets the shit kicked out of him for about 2 and a half minutes, which is an eternity on the ice. But Brian skates well, and once he gets past Coffey, he can score pretty quickly. So the question left is, is Mark Kilibarda a better skater than Brian Peters? The answer is no. Brian Kilibarda is a better skater than me or the previously mentioned Jermaine Reid, but he's got no chance against Coffey. Paul beats him up for a bit, and let's him fall a couple of times, and finally, when the contest is basically decided, lets Kilibarda out of the center ice to go score a goal. It's a PvJ pity-fuck.

So for overtime we've got a fatass annoying cop, a guy who hit a total of 3(three!) 3-pointers in 25 tries, and a Minnesotan who skated well against Paul Coffey. It is like Spike is forcing me to root for Brian Peters.

Overtime--as always 1 minute is the Max-Out
1. Score in the lane against Dan Majerle
2. Grab a puck at center ice, and score against Paul Coffey
3. Knock footballs velcroed to two tackling dummies (QB's) with Okoye blocking.

Devon Tilly (named after his stripper great-grandmother, Tilly "The Corset" Devon) is up first. Dan Majerle, apparently a little fired up after getting a talking to from coach Paul Coffey, is determined to make up for his shitty 3-point shooting display, and plays tenacious defense. I'm pretty sure Devon never even makes it into the lane. Devon maxes out. If Dan plays like that for every Joe, they are all maxing out. In the second challenge, it becomes clear that Devon hasn't spent a ton of time on the ice. He can barely handle the puck, and Coffey casually pokes it away time and time again. Another max out. Devon has a time of 2:46 going into the last event, which he handles pretty well, as Okoye doesn't seem to know how to block. Devon finishes with a time of 3:27.

Clayton Monte is up next. I will not lie to ya'll--I'm totally rooting against this guy, and I fear my objective reporting will be seen as biased. You can always watch the show yourself, you know (foreshadowing!). Clayton's theory against Dan Majerle is that he can back him up, using his fat, cop ass. Unfortunately for Clayton, he turns his big fat ass to the basket above the 3-point line. Hey Clayton, Shaq doesn't turn back people down from that far out. Clayton maxes out. On to event 2, where maybe Clayton has an advantage--he plays hockey for his police league team. Oh, but he's a goalie, and can't skate for shit. He maxes out there, too. Somehow, he's 3 seconds ahead of Devon after two events: 2:43. He too, makes quick work of Okoye's "blocking" and finishes at 3:13.

Up last, Brian Peters, hero of White Bear Lake, a family man and a teacher. A man helping the youth of America, instead of just sucking down doughnuts at the local airport. Brian gets credit for actually getting into the lane against Majerle. His shot when there was comically bad, but he's the only Joe to actually get a shot off in the lane. He maxes out, though. On to hockey, where he has a decided advantage, wherein he can fucking skate. But Coffey isn't playing favorites, and is maybe even tougher on Peters, and Brian maxes out here, too. But he can skate fast, and comes into the final event with a very slender lead: 2:42. He beats Okoye quickly, too. But! BUT!

Controversy! Okoye had brought Peters down as he was ripping the second football, and he doesn't let Peters get up, even though their challenge is over. He seems to not just be lazy here, but actively choosing to not let Peters up. Okoye may not be able to run or block anymore, but he's still damn good at being a really heavy dead weight, and Peters can't up from under him.

Why is Okoye doing this to Peters? The Pros made it clear that they disliked Clayton from the get-go; if they were going to fuck over a Joe, he was the likely mark. I can only assume that Okoye is embarassed and angry and frustrated at being bested by four different Joes, and having 3 run over him in a row in Overtime has just pissed him off.

The result? Peters finishes in 3:18. Does Okoye cost Peters 5 seconds? I think an argument could be made that he did. Clayton Monte advances to the next round. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but knowing that Monte doesn't have any chance of advancing in the next round makes it a little better.

You can watch the Episode here. Let 'em know that IDYFT sent you there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pros Vs Joes, Season 3, Episode 5

I'm late with this episode recap, and truth be told, I still haven't watched it. Apologies to winner David Ortiz, who proved that you don't have to be at all fit to win the first round. I watched this guy slowly jog down stairs on his way to his win. (host Peter Poopopolis commented on Ortiz's smoking, as if his fat ass could have taken the stairs any faster)

Apologies to Pros Warren Moon, who took time off from allegedly beating his wife, Nick Van Exel, who took time off from allegedly getting high, and Al Leiter, who didn't have anywhere better to be.

Kudos to the Pros Vs. Joes editing team who suggested that Al Leiter got off two pitches in 15 seconds. Outside of the Wachowski Brothers, no one has bent time to such a ridiculous degree. Al Leiter has never gotten off one pitch in 15 seconds. Al Leiter moves so slow that people who enter his field age faster than normal people. That's a Space-Time joke, bitches!

And yet, in a Schroedinger like paradox, Al Leiter has always been an active pitcher, and yet, has always been retired, and has always been 42 years old. He's a Quantum Leap Masterpiece. The concept of a "young Al Leiter" is a rumor based on graffiti inside of workers homes in the "fictional" city of Lemuria.

Another heads up move by the Lions...

This video is the high point of the Lions season last year, so what is Millen going to do? Trade Shaun Rogers. How could you trade this guy? Plays like this are why we watch football. What you gonna get Millen? A third round pick? Looking for another WR?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Big BM!

Ladies and gents, for your consideration, Wednesday February 27th is the birthday of our own Big Blue Monkey. He is the creator of I Dislike Your Favorite Team, an original Grand Dame of sardonically irreverent sports blogs. Love ya, buddy. This one is for you:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gross Rexman

The Chicago Bears have defied the hopes and dreams of their fans by yet again re-signing QB Gross Rexman. I am so glad I'm not a fan of the Bears.

Two years ago, Rexman's mediocre performance was enough to sink the Bears' Superbowl season. Last year, Rexman wasn't able to hold off challengers Griese and Orton. With the defense plummeting from injuries, age and free agency, the Bears only chance for improving on their disappointing 7-9 season is being left up to this boner. In his last 24 regular season games (which includes the 2006 Superbowl run, his best season), he has thrown 27 TDs and 27 INTs and committed 14 fumbles. Good luck with that.

There are reports that the Bears are seeking to re-sign Orton to a long term deal. It's not clear if he's expected to "compete" in training camp for the starting job or if he'll be the designated backup. In his 18-game career, Orton has 12 TDs, 15 INTs and 14 fumbles.

Rexman has been in the NFL since 2003 and there isn't much reason to believe he'll turn into a good quarterback. There isn't even much reason to believe that he can be a decent caretaker in the Trent Dilfer mode.

What have the Bears purchased for $3 million? A high draft pick in 2009, I'd wager.

Gazza: A Plea

In the past, we've had our fun with Paul Gascoigne, but we are truly worried about this most recent incident. If you haven't heard, Gazza was arrested for his own safety after having people in the hotel he was staying in complain about the wicked noise he was making.

Gazza has been going down this road a while. Known for his antics off the pitch, and his heart on the sleeve genius on the pitch, he's been a goldmine for sportswriters and tabloidists alike. No one has summarized better than our new friends at Unprofessional Foul.

He was a fighter on the pitch, and unfortunately, off the pitch, too. Please, Paul, don't just be an object lesson for the likes of Wayne Rooney. Get yourself right.

Make no mistake, Gazza was a genius on the pitch, and if he can get himself together, and not be the next Georgie Best, he could be a sideline genius, too. But good Lord, everything points to him getting sicker and sicker. If we were the praying sort, we would pray for Paul Gascoigne. 40 years old is too damn young to be sliding into the kind of irretrievable morass Gazza seems to be sliding right into (cleats up, no doubt). Get yourself right, Paul. No one else is going to do it for you, and I don't want to put you in my 2009 Deadpool.

I Think You've Got an Ankle In Your Sock

Thanks to the fine lads at Fan's Attic and Unprofessional Foul, we have a nice photo of Birmingham City's Martin Taylor's open-field assault on Eduardo da Silva of Arsenal.

Here's the before:

Click here for the after. Show this picture to anyone who claims soccer is for pussies. Fair warning, the photo looks like da Silva's ankle is exploding out of his sock. The video, which doesn't really capture the carnage, is available, though in French, here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Beg to Differ With The Gentleman From Houston

Via Deadspin, I happened upon this blog, which had great fun with the Gerald Green for Kirk Snyder trade.

It is a funny piece, if you think ripping, over and over again, Kevin McHale, and then ripping off, for no good reason, over and over again, South Park.

Look, no one on the planet has more enmity for Kevin McHale than I do. It is documented, and fucking well at that.

But the writer of that blog mocking Kevin McHale for trading Gerald Green for Kirk Snyder seems to be missing many many parts of the equation.

1. Gerald Green was part of the trade that brought Al Jefferson to Minnesota. Hence, Minnesota got Gerald Green for free. At the end of this year, there's a very good chance that Al Jefferson will have more points, more rebounds, and more assists than Kevin Garnett. Kevin is 30; Al is 23, and is a Timberwolf for the next 4 years. That's the definition of a good deal. Gerald Green was a freebie to the Wolves.

1.5. Kirk Snyder hasn't done anything for the Rockets, and Gerald Green hasn't done anything for the Wolves, or the Celtics. Enjoy his mental instability, Rockets fans. He doesn't get friends on ladders to set up his dunks in-game, you know.

2. I've watched a lot more Timberwolves than our blogger in Houston has , and I know why Gerald Green is underused. Our blogger in Houston is right when he mentions Green's 10 cent head. The Wolves gave up a head case they couldn't use. In return, Houston gave up a guy they don't use, and a draft pick. How is Kevin McHale the loser in that trade?

3. The Timberwolves, thanks to Kevin McHale, have the completely unloadable Marko Jaric. They also have Theo Ratliff's huge expiring contract; they have Corey Brewer, Randy Foye, Al Jefferson, and a bunch of first and second round picks in one of the deepest draft years in recent memory. Houston worked Minnesota getting Gerald Green? That's silly, and kind of stupid, and suggests that the person who thought that was a good deal has only seen Gerald Green in Dunk Contests.

A Lad Puts His Finger in A Dyke

When I was a very young man, moving from pre-teen to teen status, there wasn't a better team in the world than the Dutch National Team. Ruud Gullit! Marco Van Basten! Etc! They never actually won anything of course.

It was a time when the premier Dutch League (the Eredivisie) had teams that could challenge the powers, and even beckoned back to a time when the Amsterdam team of choice, Ajax (pronounced Eye-yaks) was the premier club of Europe. If you asked my 15 year old self what my favorite soccer club was, I would have said Ajax, without a moment's hesitation.

So I am very excited to see Marco Van Basten getting a four year deal to turn around this once proud franchise. Also exciting, unofficial Van Basten confidante Johann Cruyff promising to do whatever he can to help the turn around.

Why is it exciting? Because if Cruyff can teach people to do what he did, then that team gets black magic on their side. And because Marco Van Basten is fucking Marco Van Basten:

Friday, February 22, 2008


This fucking scumbag got nailed for recruiting violations for the second time. His penalty? $750,000.

No, that's what Indiana University is going to pay him to buy out his contract.

Indiana wants to cut off this boil before it becomes gangrenous and the NCAA punishes the entire program. This fucking scumbag will be rewarded for IU's cowardice to the mournful tune of three quarters of a million dollars.


Die from dysentery, Sampson.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama Practically Cheating in Texas

From the AP:

"The Obama campaign is trying to simplify the [Texas primary/caucus] process by calling it the 'Texas Two-Step,' and used former 'Dancing with the Stars' and Dallas Cowboy standout Emmitt Smith to promote it Wednesday."

I know that ABC/ESPN likes to give equal billing to Smith's bullshit DwtS victory (Smith stole that victory, and America knows it), but I expect better both from the AP and from Obama.

C'mon, Barack! This is our new America? Using Smith's "fame" from a show that only shut-ins watch? This might be the most uninspiring thing the Obama campaign has come up with. A mush-mouthed former athlete who won a silly dance contest?

And I don't want to question the judgement of our new President, when there is still so much question of judgement to be done of the current one (i.e.: That satellite had to be shot down? No one who knows what they are talking about seems to think so). But mister future President Obama, you are trying to make the Texan Primary/Caucus system easier to understand, yes? You aren't being super clever, and trying to make it more confusing for Dallas Cowboy fans, right? Because really, if you are looking for help in the realm of "Making Something Somewhat Tricky to Understand Into Something Reasonably Easy to Understand", I'm pretty sure there are better choices than Emmitt. Hell, even if you put it through a Dallas Cowboy filter, I think the new super mellow Deion Sanders could handle it a bit better. Please peruse your guy's work and reconsider:

I have yet to verify the rumor that Hillary, looking to overcome the famous athlete/dancer/mushmouth (FADM) gap will soon announce Shaquille O'Neal as her running mate. (From '07 All Star Game)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daniel Snyder: Chicken Torturer

The Washington Redskins are owned by Daniel "The Schneider" Snyder. Snyder has an aggressive and acquisitive business sense, clearing a million bucks at age twenty. That business -- chartering jets for college students going to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break -- exemplifies Snyder's business career: sort of youthful, sort of fun, kind of weird, kind of nerdy.

He made his fortune with a marketing company that specialized in sponsorships in prime locations (e.g. FedEx field). Upon such a FedEx Field (naming writes = $207 million) play the Washington Football Redskins, which he bought in 1999. His ownership of the Redskins has been financially successful, but frustrating for fans who chafe at his spastic spending and philistine meddling in football affairs. Indeed, the financial success for the Redskins (second-highest grossing franchise in the NFL) owes much more to the loyal devotion of the fans than anything Snyder has done.

Snyder's main business venture beyond the Redskins is a share of Six Flags, Inc. The nationwide amusement park chain has been financially troubled since 1998 after a decade of over-expansion. As Six Flags hemorrhaged assets, Snyder wrested control of the board in 2005. They have continued to sell off properties, down to twenty theme parks after nearly fifty at their peak.

Stock in Six Flags, which was over eleven dollars per share when Snyder bought it, has fallen near the Mendoza Line of two dollars. In the marketing attempts to save Six Flags, Tyson Foods became the exclusive purveyor of chicken products. Six Flags VP Lou Koskovolis explains, "Now when they dine in our restaurants, they'll immediately identify the Tyson brand for its own superior qualities."

Unfortunately, Tyson Foods has been accused of a superior quality of chicken torture by PETA. A hidden camera in a chicken plant revealed the superior qualities of Tyson chicken: "The video appeared to show workers throwing chickens and urinating on the plant floor."

One worker explained, "Fucking chickens made me mad."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Paulo Maldini: 1000 appearances for AC Milan

No matter what sport you are talking about, 1000 appearances is a rare thing. In the NFL, assuming that your team made it into the playoffs, just barely, every year of your career, and thus you played 20 games, you would have to play for 50 years. So that just doesn't happen. NBA basketball would require about eleven years without missing a game to hit 1000 games.

Paulo Maldini just hit 1000 appearances for AC Milan. Not only is he the indisputable best left back ever in the game, a very good case could be made for him to be the best Marking Back of all time. We've made that case before.

Paulo Maldini is 39 years old. He's almost 40! 40 years old!

He played his first game for AC Milan back in 1985. That's 21 years by my count. And he's been Paulo Maldini every single step of the way. I watched his 1000th game against Parma, and the game undeniably changed when he stepped on the pitch as a second half substitute. There was Maldini, making overlapping runs, and serving dangerous crosses into the box. By all rights, he should have had two assists in his 15 minutes of play.

That's what Maldini so great--he was the impossible man to defend; defenders hate having to keep track of defenders who overlap and serve balls into the box. He was also quite excellent with the ball at his feet. If you took Maldini, and took all of skills, and made him American, he would probably be the most celebrated American striker of all time. Or Center Mid. He's that fucking good. How he ended up being a left marking back is beyond me, frankly. But there's no doubt that when the Soccer Gods put together their Starting 11, Maldini will be holding down the left side.

You couple that with Maldini's righteous defensive abilities--he shut down entire sections of play on a soccer pitch. That doesn't happen in soccer, like it does in American Football. In soccer, you move the ball around, you probe for a weakness, you hope to catch a guy out of position. Attempting a pass against Maldini meant that you might be launching AC Milan's counter-attack. His slide tackles were works of genius. No one has ever slid and popped up with the ball at their feet more often than Paulo Maldini.

So we say, congratulations to Paulo Maldini, and his 1000th game for AC Milan, and for simply being, along with Beckenbauer, one of the two best defenders who ever played the game. We love you so much we're going to take you behind the Junior high and get you pregnant.

Blogger Round-Up

10,000 Takes had a Valentine Day /Timberwolf post that we would have found annoying, if it were not so well done and accurate: Randy Wittman's Candy Sampler. Gentlemen, we doff our caps, and share your frustration.

The Fanhouse is not impressed with Tim Hardaway's new found tolerance towards homosexuals. In response to Hardaway's year of therapy in which he's realized that homosexuals are people, and citizens of the United States, the FanHouse says, "Thanks for going on the radio and telling us all something that we already knew, without having to go to counseling for a year to realize it." We're guessing the FanHouse hasn't lived in Alabama.

The Pacifist Viking wants the Minnesota Vikings to note that Alge Crumpler might be available.

Ouch. The Postmen take the Big Lead to task for "breaking" the news of IU's Kelvin Sampson's firing, which turned out to be premature. If you fancy yourself a breaking news blog, being compared to Perez Hilton has got to smart a bit.

What Did Mike Bibby Do to Deserve This?

After his father gave him nothing but a name, Mike Bibby ends his Sacramento career by getting traded to one of the most comically mismanaged professional franchises in America? The Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Hawks are quick to point out, are just one spot away from a playoff berth. They are not quite as quick to point out that they are seven games under .500.

Bibby goes to Atlanta--Tyronn Lue, Anthony Johnson, Lorenzen Wright, Shelden Williams and a second-round draft pick in the June draft go to Sacramento.

Bibby is 29 years old, and probably has a few years left in the tank. I get that part of the deal. But The Hawks, even if they make the playoffs are clearly not advancing past the first round. They just aren't a very good team. Name an Atlanta Hawk right now! Can you? They aren't necessarily awful, but they are very very young. In theory, they have a nucleus building in Al Horford and Acie Law. So why would they trade away Shelden Williams, who I figured to be part of that nucleus, too? To get a point guard, to help make a playoff run, when they've got a young point guard in Acie Law? I don't understand this trade from the Atlanta point of view at all.

They've traded millions and millions of dollars of expiring contracts to get Bibby. Are they that desperate for a first round exit from the playoffs? They could have been huge players in the free agent market for the next couple of years with the kind of cash that was coming off the books.

Tyrone Lue thinks it is a good trade, which is very troubling right there. "It's definitely a good trade for the Hawks...If you could trade me and AJ for Bibby, you've definitely upgraded the point-guard position." Tyrone is right about that part of the point guard getting upgraded, but giving up Shelden Williams--I'm don't know. Tyrone Lue sounds like a man getting ready for forced retirement.

Sacramento fans, meanwhile, may be annoyed with the Fire Sale of their team over the past year or two, but this deal puts them in position to make the big free agent splash that Atlanta could have. And they get Shelden Williams, a young, raw talent who could be very very good in this league. And by giving up Bibby, and picking up the crappy point guards that they have, they've also done wonders for their chances as grabbing a top 5 Draft pick--and this years draft is going to just be fucking lousy with young talent. Giving up Bibby for a chance to draft Gordon or Rose or Beasley is pretty good work. Congrats, Maloof Brothers. You played this well.

Atlanta Hawks fans, if you judge success by an 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, congratulations, you have a chance now. If you judge success by winning playoffs, sit tight.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Random Cartoon Break: Chipmunks vs. Gophers

Anyone who knows me knows that cartoons have played an important role in my life. The great, great cartoon shorts of the Studio Age of Hollywood are no longer getting played on Saturday Morning TV. Worse yet, there are some folks who think that their kids shouldn't be exposed to cartoon violence. We call those people mean stupid jerks who have stupid jerkfaces. Worse yet again, there are some people who have given up TV altogether. We call those people deeply suspicious. There is this group, this whole demographic, a wide swath of people who haven't seen some of funniest 7 minute programs ever created. I'd like to do my part to fix that.

Of course, Disney was considered the King of animation for a long stretch of time, and their features were worthy of that praise. Their shorts, in my mind, have not aged as well compared to the brilliance that was regularly being produced by Warner Brothers, or even the MGM/Hanna Barbera studios.

But the short below makes me laugh every single time I watch it. If it doesn't make you laugh, you are dead inside.

I also loved Warners' The Goofy Gophers, even though, as Don Markstein points out, they never broke big, only appearing in less than a dozen shorts. Markstein also says that while the popular theory is that one studio ripped off the other in designing their Rodent Duos, they appeared too close together for one to have inspired the other. So please enjoy the overly polite Gophers, too.

Jesus Christ, Dwight Howard!

From tonight's Slam Dunk contest. People will be talkin'. I think despite the shitty recording off the TV of the video, the quality of the athletics will be obvious enough.

And you know what, Gerald Green had a dunk that people would be talking about in any year that didn't have Dwight Howard in it. Yeah, he's blowing out a candle sitting on the heel of the basket. Ridiculous.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Open Letter to Season 3 Pros Vs. Joes Contestants

Dear Season 3 Pros Vs. Joes Contestants:

When we write about you, we will be cruel. But deep down, we love you guys. Love the confidence, love the heart. We note that in subsequent seasons, the shit-talking has gone down, perhaps because the contestants have watched the show enough to know that their chances of beating even a really old, beat up, ragged Pro is almost nil. (See: Derrick Coleman).

But even though we can't mock you as much as we mocked the Season 1 Joes, we still enjoy the show. We have problems with the format, sure. But if losing two Joes is what is needed to get to watch Jessie Armstead push around The Gurk, we'll live with it.

But Joes--let's be clear. You all are welcome to comment, more than welcome. But you should actually drop us an email, too. () I do believe all of the winners of Season 2 have at one point or another. We are looking to create a Council of Joes; we will ask all sorts of questions, and post the results here. Potential future questions include: Who should be our next President? What is up with the Shaq Trade? Who's a better college hoops team--Kansas or Memphis? We'd love your input on that kind of shit, and on PvJ as the episodes air.

We know that commenters who ID'ed themselves as Rahul and Faheem and Raloo have participated. But we don't really know that those commenters are definitely you. Drop a line. Join Rodney, The Z-Man, Mahlon, Jackson, and John from Season 2, who occasionally contribute here. We'll welcome you with open arms, and some mean one-liners. Like The Gurk is so stupid he sits on his TV and watches his couch. ZING!

BBC's awesome Top Gear

I know that I'm not the only person who has fallen in love with this show. I'm sure if I googled it, "Top Gear" fansites and accolades from major media outlets would come pouring out of the results. But I prefer to think that I'm the first person to sit down and watch a goofy, high-budget BBC car show. And it is goofy. And it high budget (the cars they get to test drive cost more than everything you will own, over the course of your lifetime). It is classic British wit, put in the mode of a talk show, a car show, and sometimes, a bit of Science. It's like Mythbusters, but the guys are cool, they get guest stars, and instead of busting Myths, they drive really fucking awesome cars.

So, nothing like Mythbusters, then.

One of my favorite bits about the show is the celebrity interview and lap. Simple enough--famous guest comes on, talks about their favorite cars, their least favorite cars, etc. And then, they get behind the wheel of a perfectly ordinary car, and drive it as fast as they can around a race track lap. The lads at Top Gear keep track of everybody's time (at last check, fucking Gordon Ramsey was at the top of the list). The celebrities get tips from the unknown racer (aka "The Stig") who also is used to put high performance cars through the same lap. Here's a sample of the show, with the utterly British Hugh Grant, who in this interview shows that in every movie he's ever been in where he is the charming, self-effacing Englishman isn't really acting all that hard. I find him delightful! I would have his babies, if it were at all biologically possible, and if he stopped fooling around with LA Whores and college co-eds. Which he won't, and he shouldn't.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pros vs. Joes Season 3, Episode 4

Hey, we're back in RFK, for the NE Regional of Pros vs. Joes. RFK is now quickly becoming the stadium equivalent of a Ghost Town, and that makes me sad. I saw the Rolling Stones there (opening for them? A band with a big future--Living Color!); I saw the single best goal of World Cup 1994 there, and I watched the Drunken Savages lose (crap) to the Dallas Cowboys in 1991 (their only home loss of that Superbowl Year). It is weird to see the place empty. But it looks much safer than it did when thousands of people were crammed into it and angrily stomping.

Our Stupid Eliminator Joe Challenge is back. We had a commenter who claimed to be on this episode, by the by. His handle is Raloo Jackson, and I don't see an easy fit for that amongst our competitors. Raloo, if this was your episode, let us know who you were. The Elimination challenge to prune our 8 Joes to 6 is probably more about dumb luck than any other previous elimination challenge--The Joes are dressed in football gear, and have to recover an onside kick. The first six to do it are in. Six of them do it. Two anonymous Joes are gone. Such drama. Not to beat a Dead Horse, but I'll wager dollars to doughnuts that this whole eliminator thing to cover for a lack of Pros. During the course of this, host Peter Packapickalopous exclaims, "Who's got the vessel...beatin' in his chest!?" Shut up, Peter. That's just stupid.

Speaking of Pros--Let's meet them!
Jessie Armstead--I don't know that I was fully aware that he had been out of the NFL for as long as he has been. He's still in great shape, and kind of fucking scary. One of the Joes (later to be revealed as John Grkovic) decides to talk a little smack. Jessie don't like it, and dares the Joe to step to him: "Put your helmet on, come over here, and see what happens." This is usually the cue for the Joe to shut the fuck up. Grkovic doesn't. He puts on him helmet, ambles over to Armstead who attacks him, wrestles him to the ground, and generally seems really pissed at this particular Joe. Will it have later ramifications? (foreshadowing!)

Derrick Coleman--Goodness gracious, has there ever been a player more perfectly suited for Pros vs. Joes than Derrick Coleman? College Phenom, Incredible pro talent oft wasted, and a troubled post-retirement? My God, if I were a producer of PvJ, I'd want 11 Derrick Colemans on my team! Nice bit: Coleman comes out, and looks at Grkovic, and says, "What happened to you?" Jessie Armstead happened DC. Jessie Armstead fucking happened.

Marty McSorley--Speaking of a perfect fit. Marty fucking McSorley. One of the few men ever charged with a felony for his actions on his field of play (remember? He took his stick to Donald Brashear?) Host Peter PoppinFreshapolis is too kind to mention that, but he does mention (as if it were a badge of honor, and not a career killer) that Marty was slapped with the longest suspension in NHL history. Stay classy, Spike TV!

So now our Joes pick who they want to compete against. #1 seed, Mike Kotsch of Philly decides he wants Derrick Coleman. #2 Rahul Soni of Hawthorne, NY wants McSorley. That leaves #3 Joe Goodwin with Jessie Armstead. Since the other three Joes are at the mercy of their higher seeds, that means that #4 John Grkovic is going to have to face Armstead. more foreshadowing!

Challenge 1, is for some reason, between #2 Rahul Soni and #5 Jermaine Reid against Marty. The idea is simple, if impossible enough. There are four pucks on the ice. Each Joe has to skate to one, whilst shadowed and bullied by Marty, and try to score. If Marty gets the puck, and scores himself, that puck is dead.

Rahul has a trick up his sleeve. Despite his downright tropical name and complexion, he's a suburban New Yorker born and bred, and he can fucking skate. Unfortunately, he's all of 160 pounds, and McSorley is willing to just fucking pound him to keep him from scoring. Rahul loses 0-4, and yet, I like his chances. Because Jermaine Reid clearly hasn't been on ice skates in the last decade or two. He looks like a baby horse with an inner ear disorder. He's barely moving at all. McSorley hits him and laughs and takes the pucks and scores very easily. I feel bad for Reid. He probably didn't think he'd have to prove his mettle on the ice. Too bad for him, he did have to. So it goes to a tie break that Rahul predictably wins. We have our first Overtime participant. (Incidentally, if one were to visit Hawthorne, New York, how hard would it be to find a relative of Rahul? I'm guessing they stick out like sore thumbs. It's a fucking white town, is what I'm saying.)

Challenge 2 features Joes #1 Mike Kotsch and #6 Pablo Healing. I know what you are thinking--"Isn't 'Pablo Healings' that shitty bar/massage parlor in my town's seedy strip mall?" No! He's a person, and he's from Fairfield, CT, which is possibly whiter than Hawthorne, NY. But here's Pablo--you might think he stands out, too. But um, no. His name is Paul, he "goes by" Pablo, presumably in an effort to make himself more interesting. Nice try, Paul. Mike and Paul have to get in the paint and board against Derrick Coleman, which is ridiculous. Whoever has the most boards and outlet passes (into targets) by the time DC gets to 10 boards and outlets wins (they do go one at a time, I should mention). I should also mention that Derrick Coleman refers to himself as being 275 pounds. The other Pros let that slide. I will not. DC, you were 275 in college, my man. If you are under 300 pounds, I'll fucking eat my hat, assuming you don't fly here, snatch my hat from my hands, and eat it first. 275! Who are you fucking kidding, my man?

Anyway, it is clear that neither Joe has much shot at doing better than 3 or 4 rebounds, assuming there are some that bounce away from the rim, and require being run down. Pablo Honey/Paul Healing is up first. He battles valiantly, and hard, and gets his dog walked. Paul puts it all on the line, though, as this is the challenge he has to win if he wants to advance. If he wins, he'll have time to rest (foreshadowing like crazy!). Despite his efforts, he loses 10-2. Mike is up next, and he's seen what he has to do. But on the second board of his challenge, Derrick Coleman tweaks his knee and can't continue. What is this? I've never heard of Derrick Coleman not being able to compete because of injury before!

What to do? The Powers of Pro Vs. Joes decide that the only "fair" thing to do is to make the two Joes go head to head--quickest to 5 boards and successful outlet passing targets hit wins. And on paper, that seems fair. But for poor Pablo Honey, that's really quite unfair. He's going against a guy who's barely had to do anything at all, and he's just been running into a wall of fat for the last 15 minutes. It goes down to the wire, but Mike Kotsch wins. Way to advance, Mike. I hope you're proud, you fucking cheater!

Challenge 3 is simple--the Joes are goal line running backs, Jesse Armstead is the goal linebacker. There is an offensive line and a defensive line made up of real people who don't actually engage each other. Each Joe gets four chances to run into Jessie's waiting arms. If someone scores a touchdown, they win, and angels will descend on the Gaza Strip and tell us all that Shintoism is the one true religion. (That's my way of saying no one is going to score). Joes #3 Joe Goodwin and #4 John Grkovic are the two guys who get to do this, and really, only Grkovic ("call me The Gurk") deserves this. Neither John or Joe get anywhere for 3 downs. The challenge could have easily been to run through a solid wall. On the fourth chance, the rules change, without notice. No longer is it goalline, and there no longer any blockers. It is now 10 yards out, with Jessie Armstead allowed unimpeded access to the running back. Whoever loses the least amount of yardage wins. The winner is basically up to Armstead.

All that foreshadowing is about to come to fruition. Armstead attacks The Gurk quickly, and without remorse, and drops him four yards deep. He attacks Joe Goodwin with much less aggression, and drops him only one yard deep. Joe advances. The Gurk knows he was fucked; it shows on his face. But what can he do? He brought that shitstorm on himself. We will miss The Gurk, for his weird brand of shit-talking. Examples: "I just talked to the weatherman. I just talked to the weatherman. He said the forecast was for pain." and "People compare me to Jesus, because I'm like him, because I'm....awesome?" Peace be with you, The Gurk.

on to OVERTIME. (Remember--each event is no more than one minute long, with extra time added as each Joe runs to the next event)

Event 1: Score once in the paint against Derrick Coleman
Event 2: Take a puck behind the net, where McSorley waits, get by him and then score.
Event 3: Catch two slant pattern catches with Armstead defending.

Joe Goodwin is up first. He manages to score a runner on Derrick Coleman, and finishes the first event in 43 seconds. He also gets by McSorley pretty quickly, and finishes at 1:25. He even manages to catch 2 of the first four passes, and finishes the entire Overtime in 1:55. That's impressive, and my first thought was "Joe got in on a cheat, but no one beats that."

Rahul has the first chance to prove me wrong. He doesn't on the basketball court. He looks like he's never handled a basketball in his life. He's like Brett Favre, in that he looks like a kid out there. But not in the good way. He maxes out. 1:09. He moves to hockey, which is his sport, and he skates quickly, skirts around Marty, and scores. He's back in it at 1:35. But he is tiny, and Jessie Armstead is big, and hitting him hard. After catching one pass, he gets tired of getting hit, and allows the clock to max out. Rahul finishes at 2:40.

That leaves John Kotsch. He actually dribbles off his foot in the challenge, and takes high arc, poorly aimed shots from the very perimeter of the paint. He maxes out at 1:10. I declared him at this point finished. He hits the ice. This is the first time we've seen him on ice. It may be the first time he's seen himself on ice, too. Incredibly slow. He finishes at 1:40. He's really, really done now. Or is he?

Yeah, he's done. He finishes well behind Joe Goodwin. Joe is on to the next round!

Next week: Warren Moon, Nick Van Exel and Al Leiter!

Stupid Shrinking Planet

30 Years ago, foreigners in the English Premier League were considered a novelty and a bit of an aberration. Now, of course, the league is simply stuffed to the gills with speculative young players from all over the world. The EPL, if anything, is getting more speculative--getting players in their late teens after a year or two of success in one of the more crappy leagues in the world (African Leagues, the Brazilian league, or Ligue 1. (snap))

Aside from some rather xenophobic commentary out of England about how this is influx of foreign talent is hurting England's ability to field a quality national side (hey, England, maybe your most talented players are staying in shape. In deference to Frank Lampard, I won't name names), most realize that this is a good thing. Talent from all over the world playing in one place is pretty sweet--see the NBA (well, OK, not the actual NBA, but the idea of the NBA). The problem is that these sorts of young unknowns are the kind I was hoping would end up in the MLS to prove themselves before jumping into English or Spanish league play.

Regardless, I was very interested to read a SoccerNet article that Sanford had highlighted about the lesser-known African players who had acquitted themselves particlarly well in the African Cup of Nations.

And when I read that article, I noticed it highlighted a man who actually seems a little old for being discovered just now--24 year old Angolan striker Manucho. Of course, he's already been snapped up by Manchester United, even though thanks to the weird work permits that govern English soccer, he'll be stuck in the Greek League for the rest of the season. He represents exactly the kind of guy the MLS should be looking for. They should have been looking for him 2 or 3 years ago. But never mind that.

The article piqued my curiosity when they mentioned Manucho's shining moment in the tournament: "The most impressive aspect of Manucho's four goals was the variety of methods he utilised to find the net, while the pick of the quartet came against Egypt in the quarter-final when he rifled a left-footed drive home from all of thirty yards."

I don't know about you, but when I read left-footed drive from 30 yards, I go YouTubin. Here is the Manucho (Gonsalves) goal against Egypt. It's a corker. By my count, he uses two touches to score this thing, and fights off a defender at the very outset. Damn impressive. Enjoy, you Manchester United Red Devil bastards.

Oh no, it begins ...

Much like Barney Gumble, the Redskins' owner Dan Snyder has a tragic lack of self-control. Just a taste of even non-alcoholic champagne and Snyder succumbs to vice: avarice.

New head coach Jim Zorn, with little opportunity to determine his own staff, has convinced the Redskins that what they really need is a new running backs coach. So Snyder flopped open his turgid wallet and bought "Stump" Mitchell from the the depleted Seahawks.

While I understand that Zorn and Mitchell were colleagues and friends, and Mitchell's running backs have a solid string of 1,000 yard seasons, I see this as an ominous development.

Because the Redskins, who have already changed the head coach, D coordinator, D line coach and O coordinator from their 2008 playoff team, were in full possession of an excellent running backs coach: Ernest Byner.

Not only have Byner's running backs also posted a solid string of 1,000 yard seasons, he is one of the very few people left in the organization with Superbowl-winning experience. And guess what: he won the Superbowl as a member of the Redskins.

Under Snyder, the Redskins "family" is less intact than a 70's supergroup. Jettisoning Ernest Byner is only the most recent of Snyder's disloyal, shameful and embarrassing flap-jobs.

But it lets us know that Snyder's Russian Roulette strategy (spin the cylinder, squeeze the trigger, repeat if necessary) isn't going to change any time soon. Free agency looms. Better strap on your jetpacks.


You may remember that Dwight Smith, safety for the Minnesota Vikings, had a little run-in with Joe Law and it was my fault. But yesterday my man was granted his due process and the law talking guy dropped the weed charge against him and decided only to fine him the $200 for the obstruciton of traffic violation--which was also my fault.

So, we are very relieved that my poor decision making didn't cost Dwight his freedom, or hurt the Purple, even though if you ask me I think Dwight is no longer the safety he once was and that the Vikings could do better. Ah shit, now he will probably be mad at me for being truthful and saying that. Oh well, its a good thing I've got this fat sack of hydro fruity nugs here to make it all better between us.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jason Kidd to Mavericks? Maybe Not?

It looked like the Mavericks had a deal in place until stupid player rights-ist Devean George started talking about exercising his "rights." The former Augsburg* and MIAC standout** is apparently in a magical time in his contract. According to the AP, George was in this position because of "a provision earned by being in his second year and on his second contract with the Mavericks...Under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, a player who has "early Bird rights" at the end of a contract — like George has this year — has veto power over a trade because he'd lose those rights if dealt."

It is a shame, because this would have been one barnburner of a trade (which could still go through in some other form, of course). The Nets were giving up Kidd and Malik Allen. The Mavericks were clearly willing to cut loose a lot of young players (and one old one that they would probably get right back): Devin Harris, Jerry Stackhouse, the expiring contracts of center DeSagana Diop and swingman Devean George and guard Maurice Ager. That's not all: the Nets would also receive the league-maximum $3 million, the Mavs' first-round draft pick this June and a first-rounder in 2010. That's a spicy meatball. (ESPN has it that the Nets would buy out Stackhouse, and he'd go and sign with the Mavs again).

Nothing against Jason Kidd, but I don't know if any player is worth giving up a young point guard in the making in Devin Harris, tons of cap room and 2 draft picks. To be paying off this deal in 2 years seems excessive to me. The Nets may be sad to see to Kidd going, but this is not just a massive kickstart to their future, but it will continue to help in the years to come. I'm not one to question Mark Cuban (mainly because I couldn't handle the kind of flame war he could bring down on us) but speaking of as a Washington Savages fan, be wary of the owner who is mortgaging the future to bring in a veteran presence to win right now, win right this fucking minute. It so rarely pays off.

*Other famous Augsburg graduates include: College Hoops Legend Lute Olson, MMA fighter Roger Huerta, and 2003 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry Peter Agre
**Another MIAC standout is Macalester Soccer legend Matthew Highfield. Give us a wave, Matty!

Random Stuff: We're Late to Everything This Week

I feel we've been a bit behind on everything (though I think we were pretty quick to mock the Jim Zorn hire. But that hits on where we live, so it almost don't count).

If you haven't seen Matt Damon's awesome turn on the Kimmel Birthday Show with Sarah Silverman, that comes pretty highly recommended. Sure, some will say she's just a cute Jewish girl who gets a lot of mileage out of saying "fuck", but she does it well. (we learned about it from uber-Twins geek Aaron Gleeman)

Exhibit W:

Special Thanks(?) to the Comics Curmudgeon for verifying what I thought was a very disturbing sexual Momma the other day:

I know I've made my love of all things nerdy well-known in these here parts, but if you aren't reading the Comics Curmudgeon, you really, really should be. Josh, the creator and purveyor of the site, and his band of web-based researchers, artists, and super-nerds are doing whatever it takes to make the worst of the daily comic strips interesting. Since we are a sportsblog first and foremost, why not start with Josh's obsession with Gil Thorp, which has recently introducted too-cocky-by-far, lanky big man with a spit curl, Andrew Gregory?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chris Bosh--Entertaining? Insane? Neither?

Remember the other day when the Timberwolves were getting destroyed by the Toronto Raptors? Me neither. Regardless, the broadcast team of Tom Hanneman and Jim Peterson took the ass-kicking as a chance to discuss items tangentially related to basketball.

That is a time-honored tradition for games that are going horribly awry for the home side, and I have no problem with it (though, in the midst of this lost, and sometimes very depressing season, one can't help but what wonder how nice it would be to have Kevin Harlan (before he done got big) calling the games again.

Anyway, Jim and Tom were chatting, and Tom mentioned Chris Bosh's side "business" of CBTV, where he produces YouTube videos for those willing to search for Chris Bosh. Tom said some of the stuff was quite funny. Jim expressed interest in looking them up. Apparently, they may be quite the thing in Toronto. I'll give Bosh credit for doing these, and for apparently not getting much outside help, and for being willing to appear to be just a really tall web-nerd. Otherwise, I am not sure what to say. Enjoy, as Chris Bosh portrays himself as a used car salesman looking to get Chris Bosh into the All Star Game. It's fairly Charlie Kaufman-esque in concept, if not execution.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Jim Zorn?

Jim Zorn is the new head coach of the Washington Drunken Savages. There is no way to portray this as the original plan. The original plan, we've heard, was to get Jim Zorn as the offensive coordinator (already a pretty big promotion from Quarterbacks Coach, which what Zorn was doing in Seattle before getting hired away by the Skins).

The reason most people, looking for thoughtful logic in the odd way the Skins have approached this coaching search, was that the table was being set for Jim Fassel, by getting his preferred coordinators hired first.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is why you don't hire your coordinators first. Presumably, someone over at the Skins braintrust stopped getting high and watching the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie long enough to realize that they were seriously getting ready to hire Jim Fassel. An intervention occurred, and that mistake was averted. Oh, but what to do about all the embarrassing promises they had made whilst high and drunk?

They probably realized that no self-respecting coach was going to come in with absolutely no say on his coordinators. They had already fired just about everyone who had been with the organization that they could have promoted from within with any credibility. So they were left with a choice--fire or reassign the guys they had just hired as coordinators, and cop to being woefully disorganized, and start up the entire process all over again. Or they could make a show of confidence, and announce they had a great head coach hired all along. Guess which route made the most sense to Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato?

The Drunken Savages, just 2 months ago, were being guided by a practical Holy Trinity of coaching--Joe Gibbs, Al Saunders, and Gregg Williams. It will now be led by a Quarterbacks coach and a Defensive Line coach (Greg Blanche). Will it work? Maybe--who knows what Zorn is capable of doing. But if he is successful, it will be luck that made the Skins promote him twice in two weeks, not careful planning and thoughtful deliberation.

Expect a large number of editorials like this one.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Novel of Water, Oppression and Rebellion

Our diminishing supply of fresh water is the single greatest threat to health, development and stability in the world. The struggle for water rights has sparked open warfare on every continent. In the United States, fighting over water has incited farmers, ranchers, developers and industrialists to violence. The clashes are only becoming hotter in the South (Georgia vs. Alabama and Florida), North (Wyoming vs. Montana), West (California vs. Oregon) and Southwest (New Mexico vs. Texas vs. Arizona).

As Mark Twain put it, "Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting over."

My new novel dramatizes a water war, and it looks like this:

This is what the back cover says:

"When a slacker biologist accidentally discovers water in the arid borderland between present-day Texas and New Mexico, a violent clash over water rights erupts. The merciless invasion by Texas ignites a desperate New Mexican insurgency, which rages throughout the mountains, cities and deserts of 'New Texas.'

Ripped from today's headlines, To The Last Drop dramatizes an impending global crisis. The novel is narrated by a tragic-comic cast whose stories illuminate the development of the Southwest, the relationship between occupation and terrorism, and our unquenchable thirst for water."

To The Last Drop will be published in April of 2008. I hope to come to a bookstore near YOU and forcibly compel you to accept my signature on your copy.

Please visit my website, You can learn more about the novel and download Part One for free.

And sports are involved in the book a wee little bit, so it is relevant to this website after all.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pros vs. Joes: A Commentary

As everyone knows, this blog is the place to go for Pro vs. Joes commentaries. It is also where Joes come to read about their performance. After a bit of cajoling, we've got a Season 2 Joe weighing in on some of the problems we've had with Season 3.

As a Season 2 Joe I am officially voicing my opinion of the pros and Cons of Season 3. It has been mentioned that the new format is better... Better for who? my reply to that is it is better for the PROS, and the viewers. NOT for the Joes.

this new format allows 8 Joes a shot at competing. 2 don't even get to meet, let alone compete with the Pro on any level. 3 more only get one shot at one event with one Pro. and although i do like 3 Joes competing in OT, 5 Joes got royally screwed, and 2 have to return back to their families and tell them that after all they went, through... they MIGHT get their name mentioned once by Petros.

Even the losing Joe in Seaosn 1-2, got to compete in 3 different sports against 3 different Joes... that's what we Joes live for... competiton! Now one thing that season 3 does have going for it is #1 - The $100K prize. #2.. the Pros are going ALL OUT and have no regard for the health, and safety of the Joes, which is as it should be! Season two showed Joy Jones Jr boxing Joes at MAYBE 40%. Arturo Gatti is my freaking HERO for knocking these guys silly in just a few seconds. That was amazing. as was Ricky Williams' disregard for his Crash Test Dummy before, during and after the big hit. yes as a fan of the show... it's more physical, and much more exciting to watch, but as a participant, i have to say hitting against Dibble, (Then tackling him off the mound, gaurding Rison-twice, shooting against Smitz, and trying to return Genepri's Serves, was much for thrilling than simply getting one shot. Let's just hope the finale see much more Pro Vs Joe Action in multiple events. I mean, we don't even know if some of these Joes can hang in multiple sports or if they just got lucky and dominated in their one good event.

I couldn't agree more.

Pros vs. Joes Season 3, Episode 3

The newest and suckiest innovation of Pros vs Joes continues, with the bringing in of 8 Joes, only to eliminate 2 of them in the first minute of the show. Why did they bother with this? Did they invite 64 Joes, and then fuck up their Pros booking? Why not have 48 Joes instead of 64? Why, why, why? Tonight's elimination challenge was simple--8 guys on a basketball court, no more than 3 basketballs in play--First six guys to grab a rebound, drive the court, and hit a basket advance. Six guys make shots, and are therefore more qualified to meet the Pros then the two suckers who didn't.

(oh, by the way, we're in the Superdome for the first Central Bracket. No Minnesota boys, as far as I could tell, but we've got one Wisconsin boy, who won a Division III football championship. Based on his fat, short competition, he's gotta be the favorite despite his Opie with a goatee look).

Let's meet our Pros!
Raghib "Rocket" Ismail. Former NFL player, mainly remembered for being fast. He still looks fast.
Kenny Anderson. Rambling' Wreck of GA Tech legend, damn good NBA guard, and some trouble in his past that we won't dwell on here. He's apparently still the coach of the Atlanta Krunk.
Joe Carter. Hulking former MLBer, best known for betraying his country and helping a Canadian team win the World Series. Fuck You, Joe Carter! Touch 'Em All--of Deze Nuts! Snap!

Our #1 Joe (Jay Williams) picks Joe Carter. Jay was a drafted by the MLB, so he's thinking he could compete. #6 Joe (Mike Martin) was also a pitcher, so this works out for him too.
#2 Joe (Chris Rich) and #5 (Tony Railing) take Kenny Anderson. Chris Rich looks like he is doomed to fail. He can't be more than 5' 8", and Kenny mentions something about getting to post him up. #3 (Derek Schaeffer, the Wisconsinite) and #4 (Will Hunter) get left with Rocket Ismail. My notes after I've seen all the Joes ask the question, "Least athletic bunch of Joes ever?" In cold hard light after the show, I think I may be right.

For some reason, the 3 and 4 seeds are up first.
Challenge 1: Rocket Ismail is going to field a punt and a kick-off. He has tackling dummies on opposite sides of the field he has to run around the outside of, creating a zig-zag return pattern. The Joes have to tackle him one on one, and given the nature of the zig-zagging, they may get two chances to do so in each single attempt.

On his punt return, Will Hunter gets flat out dusted. Raghib puts one spin move and it is over. Derek fares little better. Hunter gets dusted again on the kick-off, and looks like he got gassed about half-way through. His effort is less than spectacular. Derek looks a little better, but does facemask the fuck out of Rocket. It would have been 15 yards in the NFL. But Rocket gets away from it and keeps going. Derek catches up, gets position. Rocket is now the one who looks a little winded. While doing a little slow dance to gain some time, Derek comes in quick on him and tackles him. Derek advances. Roll Wisconsin, motherfuckers!

Challenge 2: This is for our #1 and #6 seed--they gotta throw 10 pitches to Joe Carter. Anything but a called ball counts as a pitch. The field is divided into 3 zones, with each zone going towards the outfield wall getting bigger--single, double, triple. Jay Williams (who claims his arm, when it was live, hit lower 90's) goes first. Honestly, I miss most of his stuff, because I was watching the Daily Show interview about the Teapot Dome scandal. What can I say? I enjoy varied pursuits (on TV). Jay finishes with 11 bases on 10 pitches. Which doesn't sound bad to me. Mike Martin is up next, and he's a big goofy clown, but his arm is all about junk, which is a pretty good strategy. He gives up some pop fouls, a couple of doubles, and even gets Joe to swing over the top of a pretty decent looking sinker. He only gives up 9 bases. Score one for the "Country Bumpkin from Lexington, Kentucky." With this big goofy fucker in OT, Derek's chances of winning skyrocket.

Challenge 3: Hit six shots in marked zones (3 on each end of a fullcourt) before Kenny Anderson hits his six. Simple enough. Tony Railing is up first. Tony's got a pretty decent stroke, and Kenny doesn't look like he warmed up enough. Tony does the impossible, and actually beats the Pro outright. Good for you Tony! He wins 6-5. Chris Rich is up next, and given his cockiness, and aging gym rat appearance, I give him a chance against Kenny. That was wrong of me. Kenny practically laps the fucker, and beats him 6-4, thus ending the run of possibly the goofiest looking Joe in any episode from any season. And yes, I'm including Mike Zimmerman from Season 2. (Take that, Z-Man! That's what you get for not responding to my emails in a timely fashion!)

on to Overtime! (Remember--each event is one minute long, with extra time added as each Joe runs to the next event)

Event 1: Steal the Ball from Kenny Andeson or rebound his shot (Kenny's gotta follow shot clock rules, and put a shot at least every 24 seconds).
Event 2: Make two defensive plays at shortstop with Joe Carter hitting.
Event 3: Tackle Rocket Ismail from 10 yards on a simulated receiver screen pass.

Mike Martin is up first, and good great googly-moogly, does he look like shit on the basketball court. His defense almost looks like breakdancing crossed with interpretative dance ("I call this one the Retarded Octopus"). Arms flailing and legs barely moving, Kenny takes him to about 57 seconds before a ball bounces out of bounds, which counts as a stop. Running off the court, Martin falls twice. His legs are just gone, and he's clearly tweaked a hammy, too. Martin stops the clock at 1:15. Martin does decent work stopping grounders, and finishes the second event at 2:09. He's clearly pretty gassed, and even if he were starting off with the tackle Rocket challenge, he still would be in trouble. He maxes out, and slowly crosses the finish line at 3:38. That simply can't be a winning time.

Tony Railing is up next. He too maxes out on Kenny Anderson, but manages not to fall while running, and finishes at 1:10. He looks worse on the infield, including a throw that takes the first baseman several feet off the bag. He finishes at 2:25. He needs to tackle Rocket pretty early to beat Mike Martin's initially shitty seeming but looking better time. He doesn't, and appears to give up about halfway through. He maxes out and crosses the line at 3:38. Good God, Martin's time can't stand, can it?

Not if Wisconsin's favorite son, Derek Schaeffer has anything to say about it. PvJ Host Peter Snuffalupagus asks Derek if he's ready, and Derek proves his Northern Midwest heritage by answering, "You Betcha!"

Derek seems to have learned from the other two. He stays in front of Kenny Anderson, not going for a steal that will allow Kenny to blow by him for an easy lay-up. Kenny has to fire up an 18 footer, and Derek gets the board. He finishes in thirty seconds. It's all over, really. He can max out on the next two, and still win pretty handily. Mike Martin doesn't seem aware of that, and keeps rooting for the Pros to beat Derek. Derek is pretty slow on the baseball, and but runs to stop the clock quickly at 1:39. Game over. He maxes out on Raghib, but could jog it out to a win. He sprints to finish at 2:51, winning handily.

Least athletic Joes ever, and most lopsided victory ever. Hey, I wonder if those two Joes at the beginning that were eliminated randomly could have done better?

Stayed tuned: next week--Warren Moon! Other people! Congrats to Derek, you filthy fucking Cheesesucker.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

USA! USA! USA! vs Mexico

[updated, corrected] USA 2, Mexico 2.

Despite the score, the atmosphere (over 70,000 in Reliant Stadium) and the influx of young players on both squads, this was a tough game to watch. For USA fans, it was frustrating (at least it was for me) to watch a team run around with such little composure. Also frustrating for a USA fan was the waving off of a Clint Dempsey goal that would have put them up 3-1 at the end of the first half. He maybe (maybe!) was offsides, but I don't think so. For Mexican fans (who cares?) it must have been a bit frustrating to so thoroughly out play the US for at least 60 of the 90 minutes, and to have never even had a lead.

The US had an interesting line up in the game--trusty keeper Howard, center back regulars Bocanegra and Onyewu, with wingbacks of Corrales and Moor (both of whom made me say, "Who?"). The midfield was young, and in theory, a glimpse to the future--Convey and Donovan on the wings, Bradley and Rico Clark in the middle. Altidore and Dempsey up top. It was an interesting look, with the midfield particularly fluid, with players exchanging positions, and looking for deficiencies to exploit.

Unfortunately, the midfield was also particularly spastic and uneven. Donovan disappeared for huge chunks of this game, aside from the occasional well-timed ball that he could run underneath to beat the defense. Clark and Bradley were hard to figure out for the 63 minutes they shared the pitch. Passes seemed to be rocketing off their feet, or played so lackadasically as to be begging for them to be picked off. Both made some nice defensive moves, but almost always in a recovery situation, after having a pass picked off, or having the ball taken right off their feet.

I'll not mention the weird golden yellow/red boots that both Donovan and Dempsey were wearing. I hope they were getting paid well for them, though.

Despite Mexico absolutely dominating possession, and running the US defense ragged, the US struck first on a somewhat odd play. In the 29th minute, the US managed to get a throw-in about 18 yards off Mexico's endline, and Onyewu (apparently the only Long-Throw Specialist the US has) hoisted a ball into the box. It was flicked out of danger onto the other side of the pitch, but Donovan caught up to it and lifted a ball, ridiculously high back to the opposite side of the 18. The Gooch jogged in, jumped in, and hit a high arcing header that bounced off the back post and in. USA! 1-0.

Mexico took about 2 minutes to respond, getting a foul called for themselves about 25 yards out on the right side of the US goal. We saw here a common thread for the game--Netminder Howard screaming like crazy to try to position his defensive wall, and no one paying him any heed. Hey, defense--when the stadium is 70,000 souls full, how about you take a glance at your keeper as you set up the wall, and try to communicate visually? Just a thought. The Mexicans sent a very nice ball into the box and US defender Drew Moor found himself on the wrong side of the goal and the ball as his man defender Jonny Magallon slipped past him to head home an easy tying goal. Jonny. Jonny! JONNNNY! 1-1.

The activity picked up at this point, with Mexico looking almost as ragged as the Americans--each side both rocking the endorphins and adrenaline, and not playing the smartest ball. Just as I was beginning to question starting something called Drew Moor, good ole Drew laced a very nasty driving through ball over the defense that allowed super-teen Jozy Altidore to make the game 2-1 in the 35th minute. Seeing big, strong, talented Jozy Altidore finish a header for a goal made me very happy. I don't think we've seen a finish in the air as good since poor Brian McBride was hit by that chunk of the Mir Space Station*

The half ended shortly thereafter (about 10 minutes after, to be accurate), but that left time for Dempsey's really only flashy moment of the game, where he received a deep ball at his feet at the 18 or so, worked his was through traffic, and snaked a low shot to the corner that went right by the Mexican keep. That's the goal that was taken back by a very shaky offsides call.

The second half opened up quickly, with Drew Moor and the rest of the US defense being somehow taken unawares by a corner kick. No only was there no one on the backpost, there was no one even near it. John Harkes, mush-mouthed TV commentator and Captain for Life, circled an area that had to be 10 yards around that had no one in it. Fucking Jonny Magallon came in again, and once again buried an easy header a wide open shot off a flicked header off a dead ball. Let's play goal side and ball side, gentlemen!

Later in the second half, I saw some of the players I had been hoping to see much earlier--including Benny Feilhaber and Maurice Edu, who brought some measure of calmness to the midfield, but not enough to really impact the game. Mexico brought Dos Santoas and Zinha late in the game, and in the 15 minutes they were in they showed that USA defender Corrales can't go 90 minutes (whether he wasn't outplayed all game is a fair question).

Mexico pretty well deserved to win this game. They were better organized, made better decisions with the ball, and created more chances. They also took their cheap shots, including a pretty late slide tackle on Howard after a clearance that the referee managed to not see, somehow. It was the Mexican team you love to hate, but with a lot more talent than usual. Keep in mind, Mexico didn't even have Neri Castillo, who may be their best all-around attacking player. The US, in contrast, minus the few moments which resulted in scores, generated very little offense. They often seemed lost and flailing on defense and spastic in their distribution of the ball. The center midfield in particular--and the midfield as a whole--needs to get their act together. They also need to start looking at switching Dempsey and Donovan. Putting Donovan on the wing seems to negate some of his abilities, and he had trouble getting the ball all night. When he did, things happened, but he simply didn't get the ball nearly enough. Nor did Dempsey. This team needs to show a lot more composure on the ball, and a good deal more patience in building the attack. Time will tell. Tonight, the US should be glad with a draw.

A couple of positive remarks though--Onyewu (despite his yellow card, which was bullshit) and Bocanegra (despite crashing into Howard in the first half) made up a fine center defense, and Jozy Altidore is increasingly looking like a striker for the future, possibly very near future.

*As far as I know, Brian McBride has never actually been struck by outer space debris. Given his luck though, it is almost certainly bound to happen. Someone get me to a London oddsbook, post-haste.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

American Tragedy

As the modern media determines that we enter a Recession (that verb is meant be a double entendre) and major economic institutions crumble like a bobsled made of graham crackers, fear will stalk us. It is the fear of Recession which embiggens the Recession itself.

The stock market is falling, the presidential nominees have shifted the focus of their bullsh -- I mean rhetoric, and people are taking their money out of the banks and converting them to canned food (the currency of the future).

The last refuge of capitalism is the Holy Empire of Las Vegas. Well it was, until Vegas collapsed like Corbin Bernsen's career.

The New England Patriots have destroyed America's faith in itself (again). Not only did they fail to cover the generous 12 point spread, they didn't even win.

Big deal, right? Let's hurry up and hire a coach for the Redskins already, right? Wrong.

The Holy Empire of Las Vegas lost an unprecedented $2.6 million on the game. The Strip is now experiencing rolling blackouts. Siegfried and Roy have euthanized their tigers. Celine Dion is walking the streets (gross).

Meanwhile, Giants fans are humping the gravy train of success. But at what cost?

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm not sure, but I think I almost just felt what most people refer to as "Patriotism"...

How come I don't want to kill Arabs?

Eli! Eli! Eli!

Hey kids, say hello to the Superbowl MVP!

Now I know some of you racebaiter fans have to hate the Giants, but give them and Eli thier due. I remember after the second game of the season one commentator saying that Eli will never be the franchise quaterback the Giants need. He can't make the plays, chokes at the wrong time, looks goofy, blah, blah, blah. If he'd played for the Lions they would have cut him rather than understanding that it may take more than two years for a young QB and team to find thier groove. Kudos to the Giants for developing players, a team mentality, and consistancy in coaching. Wow - you do those things and you might win a Superbowl. Against the Cowboys, Green Bay, and the Pats during the season they went 0-4. In the play-offs 3-0. Pretty boy Tommy Unitas get taken down by dirty dingus Eli Namath who despite his millions of dollars still refuses to purchace a comb for his hair. Take that grandpa Simpson, and a good "Ha-ha" to both Eli and Coughlin bashers Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey. Do you catch balls with your helmet Shockey? I don't think so.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


The NFL has finally seen The Perfect Season, an unprecedented 18-0 championship run by the New England Patriots. By soundly defeating the New Jersey Giants in Superbowl XLII, the Patriots have vouchsafed their oft-touted status as The Greatest Football Team In The History Of The World. Tom Brady was perfect as usual, the experienced defense was perfect and the world's best and most honorable coach, Bill Belichick, devised a gameplan that was pure, perfect genius.

What can one do but offer a heartfelt tip o' the hat? I may not be a Patriots fan, but I certainly respect perfection. NFL films has devoted more film to the 2007 Patriots than any team in the NFL's history, to document this perfection for the rest of time. And I feel honored that I was able to witness the greatest football team in the history of the world achieve Perfection as dignified, humble, undefeated champions.
Newer Posts Older Posts Home