Thursday, July 31, 2008
Hey! I'm good at doing nothing!
Favre rumors: Yahoo Sports
Farm Subsidies: Washington Post
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A.J. Pierzynski Desperate Plea for Attention
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Blogger Round-Up: Quizzes and Errata Edition
Last Blogger Round-up, I mentioned that I knew of one Green Bay Blog. I did so, anticipating that lots of Green Bay bloggers would put down their bongs filled with battery acid long enough to say, "Hey, Man, I have a Green Bay blog." One blog responded in that way, so we are going to link to them now. Cheesehead TV digs into the nitty gritty, even responding to a retired Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal columnist who compared Favre's situtation with washed-up dudes who asked for releases. I have to agree with the lads at Cheesehead TV--comparing William Henderson to Brett Favre is ridiculous, and would have been ridiculous at any stage in their respective careers.
I mentioned above that The Sports Couch Potato is a place we like to link to, but we actually haven't linked to them in awhile. But they do cover an interesting niche in the sports world, and little stories like this are the reason why. How do retired players end up becoming commentators? They go through commentator boot camp.
Rumor and Rants have been linking to us pretty regularly, and they are good guys, and more importantly, they have one of those "I got worked by a future pro" stories that I love reading. In this case, it is a new Cub reliever, by the name of Jeff Samardzija, from Rumor and Rants contributor "The Riot". It is an entertaining, self-deprecating read.
Czech defender/badass Tomas Ujfalusi has tiny nipples. I learned that via Sniffing the Touchline, who found photos of Ujfalusi and his dirty, dirty wife posing in photos that are just barely safe for work. There is no nudity, but there is a certain low-budget porn aspect to the photos that makes me
Aside from my occasional reference to Star Wars or comic books or video games, I do try to keep the nerdiness down to an acceptable level around here. Miwacar has suggested, more than once, that I need to start a new blog all about my more nerdy pursuits. He may just be cockblocking me, though. All of that said, I do love reading the new Gaming News, which I get from Kotaku (part of the same media empire as Deadspin, which I'm sorry, isn't the same since Will left). So I'm nerdily excited about a couple of things that probably don't matter at all to your average sports fan--1) That Jordan Mechner, the guy who designed the original Prince of Persia is working on a new version of one my favorite games of all-time, Karateka 2) Via Kotaku, via GamersReports, that Soul Calibur 4 will allow, via DLC, the opportunity to fight with Yoda against Darth Vader. (You see, initial reports were that one character would be exclusive to the Playstation3, the other exclusive to Xbox 360.) The video suggests otherwise! I can't wait to kick Miwacar's ass with Yoda!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Hug the Panda: Favre vs Packers
Clearly, some entity that has spent time in Green Bay will be hugging the panda. Let's lay some odds, shall we?
I say that 8 times out of 10 it is Brett Favre who has hugged the Panda. He made a stink, he made it the wrong way, and he's probably looking at retirement. One can't help thinking that if he quietly asked for reinstatement and offered himself up to the Packers as trade bait, he had a good chance of getting his wish of playing for a winner. It is not as if the Falcons are deluding themselves into thinking they are one 38 year old QB from being successful--quick--name a moderately successful Atlanta WR!
Major Media is also got an 8 out of 10 Hugging the Panda level. I keep hearing about the Jets, like Favre would go there, and Tampa Bay (Gruden! Garcia unsigned!). No one seems to have noted yet that Tampa Bay plays Green Bay in the regular season. That's a dead-end road, friends.
If the idea of Favre playing for Minnesota twice is anathema, why is playing for Tampa Bay once, late in the season Okey-Dokey? It isn't? The sports media (Peter King!) is jerking off to some panda-hugging here.
The Packers have a very low Hugging the Panda quotient. I think they can evaulate talent, and I think Aaron Rodgers has had 3 years to learn, and show himself a putz, if he were one. I'm guessing he isn't, or the Packers would not be making all this noise. There's a good chance that Aaron Rodgers will be the best QB is the Central North this year.
Does that mean that Kitna, Tavaris Jackson, Orton/Rex are all hugging the Panda? Yeah, it kinda does. Watch out for Detroit GM Matt Millen--he make hug the panda, and then Rape it, and then claim the Panda wanted it.
(my metaphor is spinning away from me, here)
Simply put--With or without Favre, the Packers have the Best QB is their Division. They will not trade Favre to a team in their division, and they will not trade him to a team they play, on the off chance he makes that team great.
There is really only one team that is willing to risk to ug the panda, and Favre, and not play the Green Bay Packers in the regular season. I expect Favre to be wearing Burgundy and Gold, or to be re-retired by September
The Watchmen Will Never Be a Movie Worth Seeing
Mein Gott in Himmel!: NKOTB Edition
In the 80's, when I was a kid, the mainstream comic writers could have never used the English Phrase "My God in Heaven!", so it made perfect sense to have the German yell that in untranslated Deutsch--it was a way of getting around sensitive censors and parents. It is still what I think when something surprises me--whether that is because my formative years were formed by goofy comic books, or because I took German in high school, or because I'm secretly a henchmen of the Red Skull, I'll never say. (It could be all three, I suppose).
Anyway, when I was rising and shining Thursday morning, and decided that I didn't want to watch Mike Golic talk about an anal abcess (hard to turn down) or watch MSNBC fluff their dumbass reporter who got stuck in Hurricane Dolly, I flipped the switch to VH1. And this is what I saw. And I thought, "Mein Gott in Himmel!"
(Let me answer the two-part question that hit me halfway through this video--1) Yes, Donnie Wahlberg does have a respected acting career going. 2) He's 38 years old.
Monday, July 21, 2008
A Poor Man's Who?
It comes courtesy of Britt Robson, of the "On the Ball" blog we've praised mightily before. Britt was discussing the lack of any real potential point guards coming out of the Las Vegas clusterfuck when he said, "Pooh Jeter and Brian Ahearn are not the answer as back-up point guards. For that matter, not a single Wolves players registered an assist coming off the bench. Jeter was really the only "true" point on the roster. and he's undersized. Drew Neitzel was strictly a heat-check gunner, a poor man's Ricky Frahm. "
A poor man's Ricky Frahm.
Jesus Christ, that is unkindly. And awesome. (Technically, Ricky is actually Richie. But I don't think that lessens the burn any.)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Twins Fans are Kind of Stupid
But I also blame the idiocy about the fanbase. Consider this comment on a Star Trib article about the probable failure of a trade to bring Adrian Beltre to Minnesota. From the accidently appropriately monikered "loonman", we get this bit of wisdom:
[Twins GM] "Nibblenuts Smith can deal Hernandez and his 5 mil salary and his ten wins already to orioles who need pitching and [Aubrey] Huff a power hitting3B is perfect for Twins...he also can play first of and DH.This way we keep all young arms and call up Liriano who is red hot(7-0) in triple A and than he can replaced Hernandez and the starting 5 remains intact."
And um, the Orioles are going to trade a quality 3rd baseman for a veteran pitcher when they already have absolutely nothing to play for this year? Why would the Orioles be looking for veteran pitchers now? "Loonman" and a good chunk of the Twins Nation (I'm sure it is true for every other team's fan base as well) seem to never think twice about the fact that the trade has to be good for the other team, too. Hence, Seattle wanting at least one of the younger arms on the Twins--they too are out of it this year, and are looking for young, but at least somewhat tested talent, which is what the Twins rotation is all about. Again, aside from Hernandez, this is a ridiculously young rotation--outside of Scotty Baker, did any of these guys have more than 5 starts for the Twins last year? Blackburn, Slowey, and Perkins are hardly established guys. They are practically rookies. You simply can not watch a Twins game on Fox Sports North and not have Bert Blyleven discussing how important it is to have a crafty veteran like Hernandez on the team. So trade him now, while his value is high, for young offensive power? The only team that is going to want him is a team in a situation like the Twins--which should tell you everything about how stupid the idea is. And, just a reminder, the Twins are in the Top 5 teams in the league for runs scored. Do they need power that badly?
But just to be clear, Livan Hernandez isn't a true "ace" on this squad. No one is--for most of the other pitchers it is more of "not yet" situation, and obviously, for Livan it is, "not any more", but let's be reasonable here, people. Throw away, for argument's sake, his disastrous last start before the All-Star break against Boston, where he gave up 6 runs in under 5 innings.
A start previous to that, against Cleveland, he gave up earned 3 runs in 6 innings--the baseball dictionary definition of a quality start.
Against Milwaukee, he gave up 4 earned runs in 7 innings, but the Twins only scored 1 run, so that loss hangs on the offense, really.
Against the Diamondbacks and the Nationals, he pitched 7 innings and gave up one Earned run each game.
Essentially, for the past month, the guy has been the inning eater that the Twins were hoping for--which what makes Fox Sports "senior" writer Ken Rosenthal's hit job all the more galling: "The most vulnerable member of that group is Hernandez, who has a 7.28 ERA in the past 10 starts. Hernandez, 33, is owed the balance of his $5 million salary. The Twins could trade him, but his recent performance has not helped his value."
Nevermind that his ERA, taken over his last 5 starts is about half of that 7.28. Nevermind that he is 8-1 at the Metrodome. Nevermind he's the only guy to win 15 games in a season in the entire rotation. Nevermind he's pitched at least 200 innings every year for the last 10 years (aside from that one year when he pitched 199 2/3rd innings). TRADE HIS ASS!
Here's a crazy idea--take a reliever, like Brian Bass, with his well over 5.0 ERA, and send him down to Rochester, move Nick Blackburn to the bullpen, and bring in Liriano whilst keeping the only savvy veteran who is producing at all on the active roster. (yeah, I'm looking at you, Craig Monroe and Mike Lamb)
Friday, July 18, 2008
The Brand New, Pretty Bullshit Liriano Controversy
Apparently, Francisco Liriano has hit some sort of critical mass at Triple AAA Rochester, because both Fox Sports "senior" baseball writer Ken Rosenthal and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune are reporting about Liriano's agent's knickers in a bunch.
Honest bloggery: I found the Fox story via the kindly lads at Rumors and Rants.
Regardless, stats are stats, and Liriano's lately have been damn impressive. To quote Rosenthal (who was almost certainly quoting the crib sheet given to him by Liriano's agent): "Liriano, demonstrating that he is fully recovered from elbow-ligament transplant surgery, is 7-0 with a 2.73 ERA in his last nine starts at Rochester, averaging 9.6 strikeouts and 1.8 walks per nine innings. His fastball is consistently in the mid-90s and touching 97 mph, scouts say."
Which is all well and good. We love Liriano here. We were touting Liriano before the Senior Baseball Writer at Fox Sports.Com had ever heard of him.
But, as both articles are rather hesitant to mention, the Twins have been playing incredibly well of late, and it is only natural for managers and General Managers to be unwilling to tamper with success. Who has a better record over the last 30 games than the Twins do? No one does, and that includes a couple of 1 run losses in Boston.
Livan Hernandez has been pretty sketchy of late, but he is the only Twins Starter over the age of 27, and even if he isn't pitching well lately, he has already got more wins than the Twins were expecting from him, and he's the Classic Veteran Pitcher, and the Twins organization feels like their other young starters learn from him, even when he is losing, and gobbling up 6 or 7 or 8 innings in a losing cause.
Update: Hernandez gave up just 2 runs to the Rangers in the 2nd inning Saturday evening, and didn't look back--Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune noted the, "strong performance by righthander Livan Hernandez, who held the Rangers to two runs on five hits over seven innings and improved to 10-6 on the season and 8-1 at the Metrodome."
Oh, and speaking of winning--the other lefty in the Twins camp, Glen Perkins, shut out the Rangers for 6 innings tonight, and the bullpen cleaned it up. The Rangers hadn't been shut out at all this season. Perkins, according to his own pitching coach, wasn't particularly sharp, even though he gave only 3 hits. To quote the article: "[Ian]Kinsler’s 25-game hit streak came to an end with an 0-for-4 night, Hamilton went 0-for-4 and Hank Blalock was 0-for-2 with a walk in his first game since April 25."
Matty Scotty Baker has been pitching well; Kevin Slowey has been a little ragged, but pretty solid. And in Liriano, we aren't talking about an established veteran--we are talking about a phenom who was awesome before he ripped his own ligament throwing his slider two years ago, and who was clearly overmatched in the majors in April. Why would the Twins be cautious about him now?
All of that said, he should be called soon, and probably will be. But this notion that the Twins are pulling some sort of shallow-pocket, Komiskey like move by keeping him in the minors is fucking stupid. They are in the race for the AL Central title. They will call him up when they need him, and when they are confident that they aren't calling him up just to send him back (like they did in April).
Let's not forget how careful the Twins were with a totally healthy Johan Santana, who back in the day, was a set-up man. The Twins developed him, ignored the clamoring of their fans, and made him a starter when they thought he was ready. And then, when he got too expensive to keep, traded him for our new Center Fielder, amongst others.
Liriano's agent is a stupid whiny bitch, and really no one should listen to him.
Maybe they should just listen to Liriano: "It's not frustrating,'' he said. "I've got to be patient and do my job. Just keep on doing what I'm doing now.''
NFL Referees: Handpicked
Ah yes, the National Football League. In contrast to the others, the NFL has the most comprehensive drug testing program, the most intellectually stimulating yet physically exciting action, with no lil' sissy girls or Frenchies are allowed. And no sport scrutinizes their referees as much as the NFL does.
It would be nearly impossible for gamblers to control games through the referees because of the league's intense, weekly evaluation of every single play in every single game. But I was unaware to what degree the NFL juggles a referee's assignments to keep the meritocratic contest beyond suspicion, like Caesar's wife.
Consider Mike Carey, the first black referee in the Superbowl. You know what was more surprising? That Mike Carey was working a game being coached by Tom Coughlin.
Following a 2001 MNF Jaguars-Packers game, Coughlin bitterly blamed the zebras for the loss. And the NFL acknowledged the officiating errors (in contrast to the NBA, which has issued fines up to $500,000 for criticism of their felonious, crooked, dirty, lowdown, lying, malfeasant, ripoff, cheating, gambling, on-the-take referees).
Mike Carey had no assignments involving Jacksonville or Coughlin until 2006. That's seventy-one games, with 142 participating teams, skipping only Jax & Cough.
ESPN.COM deserves credit for crunching an absurd amount of data; the full story is more nuanced than this post (no, really!) and the list of game officials kept separate from certain teams raised my fancy eyebrow. But here are some highlights:
Ed "Big Guns" Hochuli has not worked a Denver Broncos game since 2000. He has worked every other team in the NFL at least three times, and has averaged more than seven appearances for every team besides Denver during this period.
Walt "Wiggy" Coleman did not work a Vikings game between 2002 and 2006. The league admitted to nine officiating errors in the 26-22 Packers victory. That was the postgame wherein Chris Hovan tried to molest Brett Favre in the tunnel because "he's like a kid in there."
Walt "Why Is That Name Familiar?" Coleman has not worked a Raiders game since the 2001 season. For some reason, the NFL wants to keep him away from Raiders fans. Can you remember, Raiders fans, through your fog of malt liquor and glue fumes? If you're playing along at home, say it with me: Tuck Rule.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
We are Big Enough to Get Marketing Assistants to Email Us!
Now, I'm not going to click the link, but if you do, it might encourage the powers that be at Fleishman-Hillard to continue to contact us, and maybe offer us money. And, maybe, eventually, some of that money will see its way to you, dear faithful reader.
Unlikely, I know. But a rising tide lifts all boats and shit!
Brett Favre Corn Maze!
Except to say that I welcome a chance to finally get literally lost in Brett Favre's eyes.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Muumuuman needs your prayers!
Look at that criminal face - a lost snakelike gaze, lip piercings, facial scars, and a neck tatoo. Wait a second. I know this Boulderite - he's almost a famous as Mork! It's Brian Bonsall!
Cute little feather, how could little Andy Keaton have gone so, so wrong....
Oh that's right, his violent Klingon up-bringing. I bet you had no idea Mrs. Keaton knocked boots with Warf. Poor messed up little Brian Bonsall - here's the actual warrant.
As pointed out by one of our loyal readers an awol, delinquent, overdosed, arrested, phychotic ex-childhood star is hardly news worthy. Additionally, this is a sporting blog and not ET. Therefore may I submit a modest proposal? Rather than have the courts issue a silly warrant for arrest which frightens no one may I suggest about more of Connell-esk "Most Dangerous Game" warrant? People of Boulder, hunting season is open!
Disclaimer: I've seen and heard street interviews on TV and radio with the general population. J. Swift didn't really think eating the Irish was a good solution. Bonsall has ruined his life enough - I do not support or propose any vigilantly action.
The Annual Addendum About: The Redskins
I'm tired of proposing my proposition that the "Redskins" remain as such but strip all the imagery and feathers and make the name literal: they wear red. One objection is that you couldn't have a team called the Albuquerque N-Words or the Kansas City Kikes, even after you mothballed "Shylock the Shark" and "Watermelon Day".
I live in New Mexico, with 165,944 Native Americans (2000 census). That's 9.5% of the population, the second highest concentration in the country after Alaska. I play basketball sometimes with fellas from the Santo Domingo Pueblo. Stuart likes the Redskins. But I also don't think he would be offended by a name change.
The owner of the Redskins is the only person who can change the name. He isn't hanging onto the name because he hates Native Americans. It is the history wrapped up in the name, from a lifetime of loving the team. Daniel Snyder was seventeen when the Washington Redskins won their first Superbowl. And now he owns them. I might have become just as autocratic if I had not been a tender eight in January of 1983.
I propose a compromise, folks. Change the name, keep the history. Lose all possible reference to Native Americans, but keep them the "Reds" or the "Redsleeves" or the "Red Bones" or something. No one wants to root for the Washington Wizards in large part because that name absolutely sucks, so make it something cool.
Here's more: the ownership is not going to give up the history, so let them have it. Don't touch the old display jerseys and what's written on the three Superbowl trophies.
But move forward with a new name. It's just a new chapter in the heroic saga of the Greatest Team In Professional Sports, the Three-Time World Champion Washington Football Team.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The Annual Screed Against: The Redskins
But there was a rather major news story that flitted right by, unless you happen to Google Search for Indian News.
The Washington Redskins won another battle with Native Americans, in a lawsuit that has been going on for over sixteen years. Sixteen years! The technicality was that the youngest person in the lawsuit had waited too long to be offended. Which seems crazy, but there it is. You have to be offended within a set amount of time. You can't turn 18, do stupid shit for a few years, and then read up on your own history and then realize what the fuck it means to have a team called the Redskins exist in America. You have to be offended right away.
I've written on this topic over and over again. There were the Red-Faced fans in Cleveland, who showed up the same weekend that Vernon Bellecourt died. I've written this screed for the past two years.
Last year, I wrote:
Look, I'm not talking about Indians, or Braves, or the Fighting [Fill in the Blank]. I'm talking about Redskins. It is the most offensive nickname in sports, and if we just shake our heads and do nothing, than we are a bit guilty in allowing this name to continue.
Two years ago, I wrote:
I've known a few Native Americans, and they have never discussed how it became somewhat cool to refer to each other as "redskin". It's too hateful to reclaim, and too basic. It isn't some word of uncertain origin. It's origin is right there in the name. Just as Asian baseball players won't ever happily claim the nickname "The Yellow Peril". Indians, Chiefs, etc, are bad enough. But Redskin is on another level. There simply isn't a metaphor than can do the Awfulness of it All justice. The Washington Dirt-Eating Savages might be more respectful.
So as I write the stuff I'm going to write, you'll notice, possibly that I'm going out of my way to not use the Washington's football squad official nickname. I love the team, I love the way Jack Kent Cooke ran it, and I love a lot of the players. I hate, and I'm embarassed not just by the name, but the fact this country allows it to exist. The reason it exists, of course, is that Native Americans are so marginalized, and were so effectively cleansed back in the day (from 1470-1970) that even when they show up to protest the most hateful public name in sports, they could only muster a handful of protesters. Not that many Native Americans living on the East Coast these days. For some reason, they all live in the deserts of Utah, Arizona and Oklahoma.
I happen to live in the Cities that have the highest population of urban Native Americans in the country. I have visited the Little Earth neighborhood in Minneapolis, where the average yearly salary was, as of 2005, $8000 a year. 8K/year. So when people ask, "Don't Native Americans have bigger problems than what some football team is named in DC?" they are right to ask it.
But let's get some answers from Suzan Shown Harjo, as ripped from an ESPN Q&A that no one ever reported on the ESPN networks.
We dig her straightforward, no bullshit answers:
Kevin S.: Why did you sue the Redskins and not the Braves?
Suzan Shown Harjo: Because the r-word is the most derogatory thing Native Peoples can be called in the English language.
Harry: Don't you think that this is a pretty petty thing to be nagging about? Aren't there bigger issues out there in the world today than name-calling?
Suzan Shown Harjo: Most of the people who ask that question don't do anything about our big issues. The Native American parties to our lawsuit are the ones who are doing something about the big issues, and this is one of them, because it is contextual, atmospheric -- it affects federal Indian law because, for one thing, policymakers don't make good policy for cartoons or for people who are used for others' sport.
Skins fan: I have a lot of sympathy for the injustices your people have faced. I have a family member who is a Native American that was adopted. But I also feel that the nicknames of teams such as the Braves, Seminoles, and even the Redskins were meant to honor your people and not to disgrace them.
Suzan Shown Harjo: Even if that were the case (and I respectfully disagree with that view), they are not considered honorifics today by the vast majority of Native Americans. And, even if it were the case that one team meant well by it, it still would be the job of the other side to mock the image, name, traits of their opponents. The very nature of the context makes it preferable to just make the change and move on. My guess is that the Republic will still stand.
Perfectly said. The Republic will still stand, and Native Americans won't be forced to see their traditions treated as cartoons. We dig Suzan Shown Harjo! And we hope the Court System will finally find some balls, and relegate delete the Trademark of the Washington Redskin. Of all the people that term should belong to, Daniel Snyder ain't at the Top of the List.
Harjo had an editorial that didn't get published in The Washington Post or the Washington Times or anywhere else, but the Nativepeoples.com.
Read her. Know that not every single Native American agrees with her, but that if a large minority of Native Americana weren't worried about running water (the Navajo Nation doesn't have it!) or alcohol or gambling (a mixed blessing if ever there were one) they might agree with her.
Washington Redskins would be less offensive, as we have said, if they changed their name to Washigton Drunken Savages. And Harjo wants to know--what have you done for the original immigrants to this country?
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Blogger Round Up: FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE edition
Should anyone be surprised by these turn of events? Did everyone in the world react to this news the exact opposite way I did? When I heard that Brett Favre was looking to unretire, I thought, "Yep." It seems that a few people thought his decision to retire after one of his best seasons (and easily his best in the past 3 or 4 years) would stick. Dummies!
As for yours truly, back in January I wrote a little handy guide of new ways to describe Favre's love of the game. This one is beginning to make more and more sense: "Brett Favre Loves Football like a retard in a Steinbeck novel loves his rabbits. Brett Favre will pet the game and name the game "George" and accidently kill the game with his over-enthusiastic hugging."
But this is a round-up, and we should be highlighting other folks works, not our own. (Though we are quite funny and talented)
First there is Peter King, the Sports Illustrated fluffer of all NFL flagging stalwarts. Apparently, my Computer has decided that I am not allowed to read his story, but the main points are there, all nicely bulleted--Don't Expect the Pack to Just Release Favre, because Favre wants to go to the Vikings. Which begs the question--has Favre looked at the receivers on the Vikings? Is he excited to throw to Sidney Rice and no one else? Or does he just want to play the Packers twice?
Quick aside: don't expect the Packers to trade him to ANY team they are playing this year, in conference or outside of it. So the talk of Tampa Bay, Carolina and Atlanta are straight out. I could think of a one team the Packers aren't playing this year, instituting a West Coast Style offense with veteran players and a young quarterback who probably wouldn't mind a year of studying under the Brett-ster. The Redskins! But it won't happen.
Kissing Suzy Kolber uses Jesus as an example of someone who knew how to retire. It would be a fitting comparison, and it is an interesting read. As an atheist with a degree in Religious Studies, I do wonder where KSK's Big Daddy Drew came up with his theological perspective. The idea that Jesus decided to become Divine on the cross is a pretty rare viewpoint amongst Christians these days. I suppose if you were a 4th Century believer in Arianism, you might read BDB's post as not be totally ignorant of basic Christian thought. For everyone else, it must sound like a monologue that Kilgore Trout ditched in the circular file.
The Pacifist Viking is not interested in idle speculation about Favre. The Viking is willing to use their blog to try to get Tom Brady on their Fantasy Football team on the cheap, though.
The only Green Bay sports blog I know of, Green Bay, Booze, and Broads, are on vacation in beautiful Door County, where they are probably enjoying the Apple Orchards, beautiful Lake Michigan, and the like. But they have weighed in a bit. They don't sound angry, but they do sound like Aaron Rodgers supporters at this point.
Brett Favre on a Rampage
It was the culmination of a day long rampage for Favre, who, investigators now say, started slowly and quietly in the early morning hours with what they grudgingly call an "impressive display of stick-to-iveness". Over 9800 cars in Green Bay have been taken in for repairs. Forensics suggest that Favre urinated in the gas tanks of at least 8700 of those cars, and that figure is expected to climb.
Favre's next move, those close to the case say, was to call in to multiple Drive-Time radio shows. Displaying the timing and boldness that made Favre an NFL MVP 3 years in a row, he managed to win every call-in radio promotion in the Midwest. Forensics Police estimate that the average of "$100 An Hour" Promotion multipled by every FM station in the Great Plains means that Favre has made up to $235,00 in this one, concentrated act of Radio Terrorism.
An unnamed source close to Favre, believed to be with him most of the day, says it was during this rush of winning radio call-in shows that he first discussed attacking Chinese Tourists with a nun. According to the source, "He just started cackling, giggling, like a man out of control. And I remember it clearly, he said, 'I wanna wack me a panda with a nun, ya'll.'"
The source admits to being uncomfortable at that point, but didn't think Favre to be serious. Only in the midday action, in which every single Rite-Aid in southern Louisiana was held-up at nunpoint, with the masked attacker demanding only Vicodin, Coors Light, and "Rubbers" did our source begin to realize that Favre was serious.
"When I saw the videotape, and saw the masked man yell, 'I'm like a Fucking Kid in here!" did I know that it was Brett. And when he vomited blood, and kept on running and laughing--well--who else could it be?"
Or at least, that's what I assumed happened to make Brett Favre the lead story the entire day on every sports network known to man. They certainly wouldn't waste all that time if he were just thinking about trying to come out of retirement, right?
(Oh, and Travis Henry is probably out for the entire year on some Herbal Medicine charges)
Friday, July 11, 2008
Dirty A-Robberin' Strikes Again
We raised a bit of a stink, and it was our understanding that the design would not be offered any more. The "fine folks" of Zazzle assured us, that hey, that's not how they do business, and they would dig up this fucking reprobate, and make sure everything was tidy, yeah?
In fact, if you click the link we included in our original screed, you'll find that Zazzle link dead.
But, evil ass licker RubeDogg is back, with a brand new invention--our t-shirt! Again!
Thief! Bastard! Dirty shitstained underpant licker! Way to "create" a shirt that happens on the scene more than a year after ours, for the second time, and LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE OURS. You cock-knocker. You fuckwit. "Booooo", I am yelling at you, "Booooooo!"
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Fox News Targets Uppity Black Woman?
Timberwolves get Final Pieces of the Puzzle
The Wolves gave up their 2.8 Million buckaroo trade exception in return for a couple of low-pay, low-expectation players off the Philly Bench, with Philly still paying most of their salaries. (If that sounds odd, it kind of is, but par for the course when dealing with the eccentricities of the NBA player management rules).
Wolves get Calvin Booth, who sadly, may be one of the best 7 footers (aside from Garnett) that the team has had in the past 5 years or so and Rodney Carney, who McHale really seems to like, telling reporters, "He's a first-rounder. We liked him out of Memphis. He's one of those high-wire act guys. He can really run the wing."
Ummm...OK. No big deal either way, because the Wolves also picked up another 1st round pick, that has some protection to it, but not enough for it to never come to fruition. They gave up a 2010 second round pick that has crazy protection to it (the Wolves will have to be awfully, awfully good in 2010), and will never actually be used by Philly.
Back in October 2007, McHale, on the heels of dealing Ricky Davis and Mark Blount, said, "We have some other stuff that we're probably going to do inside this deal." We were scared. Just like we were scared when he said it in June. But the big finale in October ended up being getting rid of an unhappy (just traded for in June) Juwan Howard, and getting the roster down to 15, and getting Al Jefferson signed.
So we are not as frightened as we might normally be when we note that after this most recent deal, McHale is saying again, "I don't think we're done,''--which is totally fine, because we really don't have much left to trade away. I mean we trade newly acquired Calvin Booth for a 2nd round pick, maybe?
So, go ahead, McHale--keep dealing. Maybe we can get something for Kevin Love; if you pull that off, I'll honestly and truly tip my cap. (Of course, there's no chance of that, as McHale has been touching himself whilst thinking about some Kevin McHale-Love Love
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Favre: "I got the itch." And other anecdotes.
In other post-Packers news, Raiders WR Javon Walker is recovering from the concussion he sustained while being robbed in Las Vegas. The two suspects have been arrested, but there is no word on Walker's reported $100,000 worth of jewelry. Damn. That must have been a whole armload of Swatches.
In the NFL's continued pursuit of Belichick Arnold's nefarious cache of tapes, they have created a Director of Strategic Security. The former top cop in Pennsylvania has been named to the position. It is probably only a coincidence that Senator Specter, the loudest of Spygate's hagiographers, is from Pennsylvania. The position will also focus on fan behavior. I think they're looking at you, Raiders fans.
Although imprisoned QB Michael Vick isn't scheduled for release until October of 2009, he may enjoy the ignominy of being legally bankrupt. He owes between $10 and $50 million (nice spread -- doesn't he balance his checkbook?) and his assets have been stripped away from him like so many Indian blankets. Still, this is the first step in Vick's avowal to "rebuild his life on a personal and spiritual level, resurrect his image as a public figure, and resolve matters with the NFL such that he can resume his career," according to the bankruptcy filing.
The rich are very different from you or me. The Rooney family, which has owned the 5-time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers since 1933 (for $2,500 and two pickets out of Titsburgh), might lose majority shares. The 91st richest man in the country wants to take advantage of the fact that Pittsburgh's Royal Family (ahem) is tearing apart. The fact that much of the Rooney fortune is tied up in gambling, including "forms of gaming that are inconsistent with NFL gambling policy" according to the NFL.com story, adds burning hot lava to the delicate situation.
In happier news, Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez saved a choking Chargers fan's life in a restaurant. Apparently he always keeps a photo of Nerf Turner with him, just in case he needs to induce gagging. Gross!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Our Favorite Mainstream Soccer Columnists, Family Style
So we thought we would briefly praise the closest thing to mainstream American-based, non-TV commentators in soccer today. Add suggestions, please.
The Grand-Papa--George Vescey. The man has probably written more words in Real Ink Newspapers about soccer than anyone else in America. He was an early champion. He is proof that a traditional American sports guy (Vecsey writes about EVERYTHING) doesn't have to fall into the traditional role old school American sports columnists fall into, like when they decide that only illegal immigrants watch soccer in the US (to be fair, only Tom Powers did that, and Tom Powers is a Fat, Stupid Fuck.) And just to show up the kids, he's now (very) occasionally blogging as well.
Honorary Mention: USA Today. Sure, the somewhat evil Gannett Network isn't famous for their hard-hitting news, but on the soccer front, they were (and are) years ahead of everyone else. As early as 1996, USA Today was where you had to go to get any real soccer news beyond your own local squad. Particularly if you were looking for something beyond the AP one paragraph story, or ESPN's 30 seconds of gently mocking coverage. And as of today, I bet they are still the only print newspaper in the Nation that has a fan friendly soccer webpage.
The Cool Older Brother: Grant Wahl is one of many soccer writers for SI.com, but he is one of the few who reads consistenly as someone who gets the weird merger of cultures that is happening as soccer takes flight in America. He writes intelligently of the Euro Cup, of the USA National team, and even the MLS. When I wrote my explanation of the Beckham Rule that brought Dave to the MLS, and the first commentor was a guy named "Grant", I hoped against hope that it was Grant Wahl. It wasn't, but the point is still worthy--I really hoped it was. You want your cool older brother to dig your shit. Especially since I was using a lot of Grant's research into the contract to build my case. (oh, and he knows his College Hoops, too)
The Weird Uncle: You know the one. Maybe he pushed his hippy free-living years into his 50's. Maybe he swears he can build an engine that runs on water, but the man keeps him down. Maybe he claims to have bonked Bridget Bardot just before she got famous. You roll your eyes, but do you know for sure that he isn't telling the truth? In American soccer reporting, that is Martin Rogers. The official scribe of Yahoo Soccer, he always has a new plan that will bring a new old badass into the MLS. Zidane! Fowler! Henry! Outside of his MLS blindspot, Rogers is an insightful columnist, writing for one of the most visited sports sites in the world. His take on Spain and France and the other fallout from Euro 2008 are spot on. But he's got that blind spot--he really wants the MLS to grab great foreign talent, even if it means arguing that Henry would go to Seattle.
Stupid, Successful Cousin That You Admire and Hate--Perhaps the son of the crazy uncle. Some damn kid, a few years younger than you, who, via bullshit like "Hard Work" and "Insight" is more successful than you. You hate him, but he's the guy you'll get drunk with at the next reunion, and you'll trade stories, and you'll have a great time. And then you read your favorite blog, and there's that stupid fucking successful cousin, writing about your favorite sport. He's researching, he's insightful, he's as good as any of these other guys. He's suddenly broken into the mainstream, because he wrote every day, and had smart things to say. You know, with a certainty, that he will be writing for a major publication way before you are. That's our man, Cardillo, over at That's On Point. Very insightfully pointing out the Spanish youth, and complaining about the US' unwillingness to use their youth? We were totally going to blog about that! But we didn't.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Blogger Round-Up: Backscratching Edition
The Big Lead would call that (quite rightly) a Blog Reach-Around. The boys over there are finding more C-List female talent to rate purely on their sex appeal. We still think that wrong, but we would still probably do Colleen Dominguez. They are also talking best Baseball Cap. Somehow, both the perfect Oriole Bird Cap and the majestic INTERTWINED Letters of the Minnesota Twins got left off the Top 5. We call (homerish) bullshit there.
Unprofessional Foul is starting a series that scratches one of our itches--General Management Rules that American sports can learn from European soccer. They start with Player Loans, which is a very fine place to start. I imagine will be seeing Transfers and Relegations (I'm looking at you, Kansas City Royals) in the near future. Preach On, Blogger Brother Man!
Rumors and Rants is predicting that some athlete totally bones some young Country Singer named Taylor Swift. Rumors and Rants wouldn't just predict it, of course--they are helpful lads. So they helpfully give odds, for your weird gambling pleasure. Curiously off the table: Tony Romo, who I'm pretty sure has it in his contract to bone young hot singers.
The Ladies...have always been a little nutty, a little crazy. Zany, madcap, if you will. But apparently they have taken on a Canadian, who cares about the CFL. Which would be ridiculous, and hilarious, but said Canadian dug out a quote from an owner of a CFL franchise that makes him into a huge dick. We agree with you, oh Dame of Extra Time--Football team owners do not need to go out of their way to remind the world they are white
Entertainment Weekly is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
I have little beefs throughout the various listings, which is as it should be. There's no way we can all agree on the 100 Best TV shows of the last 25 years, or Movies, or whatever.
And no, my main problem isn't even with Titanic as the third best movie of the past 25 years (which is fucking silly, too). I mean, name a movie that wins that many awards and isn't even nominated for Best Screenplay. It was a horribly written, dodgy mess! Clearly Die Hard deserves to be ahead of fucking Titanic.
But I digress.
I'm speaking of "Achtung Baby" being named the 3rd best album released in the last 25 years. They put "The Joshua Tree" at #63, behind such important albums as a Greatest Hits collection from Bob Marley (which is fucking cheating, EW!) and Kelly Clarkson's debut record. Listen, I've been alive for all of U2's career. Calling "Achtung Baby" the third best album of the past 25 years, overlooks the fact that it is, at best, the 3rd best album that U2 has put out in 25 years!
"Achtung Baby" better than "The Joshua Tree"? Laughable. Better than "War" (which EW didn't even place on the Top 100--I guess there wasn't room after putting Siamese Dream by the whiny ass Pumpkins on the list)
About "Achtung Baby", the EW tastemeisters opined, "The Irish superstar's seventh studio album made a substantial leap, recognizing the emergence of alt-rock and electronic music in a way that was both ingenious [sic] and organic."
U2 recognized the emergence of alt-rock? What the fuck does that mean? They fucking spear-headed it, with their earlier albums. To me, at least, "Achtung Baby" (aside from a few genuinely affecting songs, like "One") is Bono at his prima donna worst. Does anyone really ever need to hear "The Fly" again?
Meanwhile, "War" announced an edgy pop-punk, with The Edge's guitar making freaky noises, and Bono writing damn good protest lyrics, like New Year's Day, or Sunday Bloody Sunday. Or with "40", a simple, beautiful song that made it onto every mixtape made for a girlfriend between the years of 1983 and 1995.
And the Joshua Tree! The Joshua Tree! Languishing at #63. Take your 3rd best cut on "Achtung"--maybe that's Mysterious Ways, or The Fly, or Even Better than the Real Thing. I'll take anything from The Joshua Tree before those songs. And I'll take one of the most beautiful/disturbing love songs ever before anything else U2 has recorded. Also, Desire is better than any song off of Achtung, aside from maybe One. Dig that Bo Diddley Beat + Edge Guitar Noise!
Also--Really, EW? Madonna's Ray of Light hits the Top 100, but no room for the Pixies' "Doolittle"? Or the Pogues' "If I Should Fall From the Grace of God"? Ano Billy Bragg at all? Are you FUCKING HIGH?
In summary, you wack, EW!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Hoops Back in the Day
[W]e loved their game for the simple fact that you could shatter the
backboard with a slam dunk. You never knew when it was going to happen, but when it did the backboard would turn into a pixelated mess as it fell to the floor,
and a disgruntled janitor would have to come out and sweep it up before the game
could continue. It was actually a very small part of the game, but as far as my
friends and I were concerned, shattering the backboard after a dunk was probably the greatest accomplishment any NBA player could pull off in their career.
I used to play the hell out of that game myself, usually against my dad or one of the other neighborhood kids. But I played it on one of the most rightfully forgotten computers ever, the Atari 130XE. (I was a stupid kid, but I actually enjoyed that computer at the time) And I fucking loved that game. It was right up there with Hardball when it came to sports games. Thanks for the memories OhGizmo.
Important Monkey News
(via boingboing, of course)
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Green (Bay) With Jealousy & A Defense of Fair Weather Fandom
So I certainly knew what to expect when I saw the Star Tribune with a link to a column about how Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Fair Weathered Fans. The auteur of the piece, Mike Vandermause, starts off with a rather clumsy assumption (and in fact, seems to revel in the hamhandness of his argument):
"A trip to the Metrodome last week told me everything I need to know about Minnesota sports fans."
A 3-game, interleague novelty series (without even a cool name yet), during some of the best weather Minnesota has experienced in 7 months, told Mike Vandermouse everything he needed to know? Everything? Highly dubious.
Mike Vandermause does some really stinky thinking in one of his later paragraphs:
"The numbers don't lie. The Brewers (35,000 average attendance) are drawing a whopping 40 percent more fans than the Twins (25,000) this year. Since 2002, the Brewers have finished a combined 104 games under .500, while the Twins have been a combined 104 games over .500. Despite the huge disparity in records over that seven-season span, the Brewers have posted higher attendance figures in all but one year."
Numbers don't lie, but they can be shaded through omission to help a writer make their point, and that is certainly happening here. One thing the numbers don't mention is that the Brewers have a relatively new, really nice ballpark. Obviously, it doesn't get all the credit for the 40% difference in attendance during this year, but it could account for the 45,000 person difference for all of the 2002 season. or the less than 200,000 person difference in 2005, or the less than 125,000 person difference for the entire 2006 season.
See--that's one way that paragraph by Mike is kind of a dick-move--by making the argument the way he does, it suggests that The Brewers are routinely outdrawing the Twins by large numbers, which they aren't. But they do regularly outdraw the Twins by a relatively small amount, and have long before the current success of the Twins began. I've gone back 16 years, and Brewers had more total attendence in 11 of those seasons. So what? Maybe that's just how it is.
And hey--why are we comparing cities to cities anyway? The Twins attendance has gone up every year since 2000, except one. Milwaukee has a similar track record since opening up Miller Park. Good for both teams!
But Milwaukee and the Twin Cities are not the exact same environment, and to compare the two baseball attendance records and declare one team's fan base sucks based on one stat seems to be overlooking a lot of other factors.
For example, it is possible that Twins fans have gotten a little jaded by winning the Division as much as they have. They do not view going to the playoffs as a (quite literally) Once-In-A-Generation Event that the Brewers fanbase does. That says a lot less about Twins fans than it says about Brewer front office incompetence.
Or perhaps it says that Milwaukeans enjoy pursuits that involve sitting and drinking beer more than other cities do. ("In terms of obesity, the City of Milwaukee weighs in at the top with 51 percent of us earning obese status.") Hey, see? I can pull a stat and make it into a dickish, sweeping generalization, too!
A defense of Fair Weather Fans
As I've been writing this, I find myself coming back more and more to the idea that I was going to conclude this post with an acknowledgement that Minnesota is indeed a fair-weather fanbase. There can be no doubt about it--The Metrodome does not fill until late in the baseball season (if at all), The Vikings are lauded as Super Bowl Contenders, and torn down as pretenders week-to-week; I watched Timberwolves games this past year that were eerily quiet.
But you know what--what is wrong with that? Why shouldn't Twins fans demand to see something more promising than a first-round exit year after year after year. Why should we be excited about this team? As fun as they are to watch (and they absolutely are) any Twins fan who is watching with just a small chunk of brain power knows that they are too young and too inexperienced to realistically expect anything from. Why should a franchise extorting the public for a new stadium and running on a super-tight budget be rewarded? (I'm not talking about Santana or Hunter when I say super-tight. A team can spend without being profligate).
That said, I don't know a Twins fan who isn't happily surprised by this season, and if they could skip work and enjoy a day outside, they would be there in a heartbeat. We'll see how the Twins attendance changes in 2010. Vandermause predicts--"Fans accustomed to a climate-controlled 70-degree atmosphere will be forced to battle the elements in April and May, and the guess is many will choose to stay home." That's a point that may be true, but it of course overlooks the huge gain of attendance in May, June, July, August, September. It is a boneheaded point.
And here's a question--why do we care about fan attendance? I mean, under a certain number, yes, the stadium is embarrasingly empty. But if they are making noise, and our team is responding, who gives two shits if there are 30,000 or 35,000?
Attendance is a Corporate Statistic
No one else should care about attendance. Only the owners and the marketing department should care about attendance. Not the players, not the coaches, not the stupid-ass sports editors banished to Green Bay, and certainly not the fucking fans.
Only because the Packers are community owned (an option the NFL has made sure will never happen again) is this sentence from Vandermause saved from utterly corporate shilldom: "The Green Bay Packers, in contrast, have sold out every season ticket at Lambeau Field since 1960, in good times and in bad. It speaks to the character of Wisconsin fans that their devotion isn't swayed, no matter the record or weather conditions." [my emphasis]
Think about that--it speaks to the character of an individual that they give their money away for a shitty product. That is the definition of swallowing the corporate line.
A friend of mine, when he was 8 or 9 years old was watching the Vikings on TV when his father walked in, shook his head, and said, "They'll only break your heart," and walked out. That was over 20 years ago, and his dad hasn't been wrong. No one in the history of the world has ever lost money betting against the Vikings to win the Super Bowl. Ever. Why should people get excited, fork over hundreds and hundreds of dollars to watch a team with such a spectacular history of late season failure? Why the hell would you invest in season tickets, or show up to Week 3 games against the equally doomed Detroit Lions?
Fair weather fans are people who have to pay their way to get in the gate, Mike Vandermause, ya dick. You start paying for your tickets, and let's see how many games you go to after the inevitable Ben Sheets injury and Brewer's late season collapse breaks your heart, yet again. I'm sure you'll got a nice bonus from the Brewers for telling all the citizens of Milwaukee that their moral duty is to support the team--Oh wait, YOU DON'T WORK FOR THEM.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Who prognosticates better than vegas? Early superbowl odds!
Green bay 7/1
Longest odds, Miami and Atlanta at 150/1
7/1? Really? Green Bay ranked 4th with a new quarterback? That's surprising to me. Oh, and Chicago with Rex their squad of capable back-up quarterbacks lands ahead of Washington at 25/1. Ouch BBM and Andrew. I guess Dr. Z must be dropping a load of cash on his Superbowl favorite the Vikings with their pretty long odds - good luck. And finally, looks like Vegas predicts another happy, happy fun time year for Mr. Norwood with Oaklands odds at 125/1. Ouch. I guess I can't just ignore the team closest to my place of birth, and I'm happy with the generous 60/1 odds on the Lions. Yay Millen!