Sunday, August 31, 2008
Welcome to YouTube, Mrs. Vice President
John McCain's super carefully vetted pick for Vice President, Sarah Pallin was a former Sportsreader for a TV station in Alaska, before she moved on to the glory of Mayor of Wasilla. Some loyal Deadspinner found it.
If you haven't seen your presumptive Republican VP choice discussing important sports issues of Alaska yet, here you go:
Saturday, August 30, 2008
2008 NFL Preview: AFC North
This division faces the toughest schedule in the NFL, playing against the NFC East and AFC South. Except for the Steelers they are all unbalanced, incomplete teams which will struggle this year.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers are the filet of this division. However, they face the toughest schedule in the league and could lose playoff seeding in the final 5 weeks of the season (minus the divisional Ravens grudge match, the remaining opponents won over 75% of their games).
The offense is good but the O-line that gave up forty-seven sacks lost its best player. The defense remains a strength but is slowly depleting. Besides the K, special teams are rotten. Last year, Dr. Badcock said: "Expect an Early Exit from the Playoffs" which was bang-on (1st round loss -- they gave up a 96 yard kick return and lost 31-29). The Steelers will run out of ammunition in the playoffs.
2. Cleveland Browns were able to take advantage of a woeful schedule to win ten games (of 10 wins, only 1 playoff team and that was the Seahawks; remaining "wins" were vs. a 30% win percentage). A very lousy defense is outshined by special teams led by Cribbs.
The offense has potential with the line and WRs, but QB and RB show potential for instability. They also avoided injuries which doesn't usually happen two years in a row. Upgrades on the D line should help but the Browns are going to come crashing down into the brown dirt. Last year, Dr. Badcock said: "Expect to Win 5+ Games" and they won 10. No Browns in the playoffs.
3. Cincinnati Bengals still don't have a defense, but now their once-great offense is broken like so many Indian treaties. If they can overcome their pre-season injuries to all of their skill players, they could hover around .500 if they're lucky. Special teams aren't bad but they lack returners.
Last year, Dr. Badcock said: "Expect a Disappointment" and was damn right. Expect yet another disappointment, Bengals.
4. Baltimore Ravens will again follow their mandate to field a strong defense, a tough RB and no passing game. This might be the weakest QB stable in the league if not for Chicago. Special teams features strong kicking.
Meanwhile, the defense is only getting older and injuries are mounting; they are suddenly quite vulnerable to the pass (only thirty-two sacks, 27 TD:17 INT). Last year, Dr. Badcock said: "Expect them to Just Miss the playoffs" and they missed the playoffs by a mile. It's going to be some ugly, field-goal oriented junk in Baltimore.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Billy Bragg Moment
Football Coming; Are You Not Yet Overly Invested?
In order to join the league, go to game front page, click the "Sign Up Now" or "Get Another Team" button and follow the links to "Join a Custom League". When prompted, enter the League ID# and password below.
League ID#: 361951
If that fills up, we still have plenty of space in our Pick'em Game.
Tell your friends, if you have any. Oh, SNAP!
NFL 2008 Preview: AFC East
Professor Badcock has made numerous improvements to his out-dated Forecasters of yesteryear. All shareholders of Badcock Corporation can remain confident that the all-new Badcock Instamaniac machine is the most sophisticated calculatron ever soldered together. And it's portable!
AFC EAST: The Guido Division
Only the cream of the cheese is any good: the rest of this division won 25% of their games yesteryear.
1. New England Patriots will experience a Superbowl loss hangover made that much more throbbing by the tiny bubbles of their perfect regular season. Nevertheless, this team is returning all starters on a record-setting offense which averaged 37 ppg. League MVP Brady threw 50 TDs and 8 INTs.
Special teams remain excellent in all phases. The defense is yet another year older and more depleted by free agency, but with one of the easiest schedules in the league (only 4 playoff teams) they should cruise to a first round bye. Last year, Dr. Badcock said, "Expect a wild card" and they certainly appear capable of doing more than that. The Pats aging defense will keep them from the title.
2. NY Jets were really bad last year. The problems stemmed from an offensive line that gave up fifty-three sacks and a defense that ranked 29th against the run. The Jets grabbed up some big bodies for their lines and also some QB named Favre. Special teams remain decent, not special. The hardest part of their schedule is early in the year. If they can survive that, the Jets can hang around the middle of the pack and try to push at the end.
But they won't do it with Favre: in a new offense with new players and a bright Broadway stage, he's going to get pissy and frustrated and hurt. I'm so fucking weary of Brett fucking Favre. Last year, Dr. Badcock said, "Expect the Division Title" but he was only kidding. The Jets won't be as good as their record and won't make the playoffs.
3. Buffalo Bills were crap in every statistical category yet nearly backed into last year's playoffs. The offense can only hope promising RB Lynch runs better than he drives. The D-line has potential but the rest of the D smells funny.
This team lacks an identity. Special teams is the best unit, elite in every category. Last year, Dr. Badcock said, "expect more wins on the road than at home" which was nearly right. This 2008 Bills team has "7-9 for the third year in a row" written all over them.
4. Miami Dolphins grabbed at QB Pennington like a drowning man for a porpoise. He's got the heart of a champion but a broken arm. But as the Guidos say, "One man's trash is another man's lunch." Pennington gets to play for a team without proven linemen, RBs or receivers (E. Wilford likely the best).
The defense was dead last vs. the run and lost their team leaders to free agency. Special teams were bad yesteryear, but could improve. Chad's best game will be vs. his old Jets in the season opener. He won't finish the season. Last year, Dr. Badcock predicted a losing record and The Badcock Instamaniac confirms it: expect a losing record, Dolphins.
Yankees Demonstrate Love of America By Crushing Everything Good About America
Campeau-Laurion says that he only had two beers during the game, which he attended with a Yankees season ticket holder who says the police are – make sure you're sitting down – lying! He tells CBS 2: "That's ridiculous. That's completely false." But until some videotape surfaces, it's their word against the NYPD.
Daunte Culpepper Shyly Drags Foots in Dirt, Bats Eyelashes at Packers
Says Culpepper, "My ears are definitely opened to listen if they need a proven backup for Aaron [Rodgers]."
Before you scoff at that quote, keep in mind that Daunte doesn't say what he is "proven" at doing. Proven tiny hands fumbler? Proven to be replaced by rookies at his last 2 NFL stops? He doesn't say. But imagine for a moment, what it would do to the confidence of those rookie back-up QBs in Green Bay when they beat out Daunte Culpepper, who once upon a time, had 2 really good years in the league.
Other offers that Daunte is willing to listen to:
If Randy Moss wants to put in a good word for him in New England, Daunte certainly could not stop him, but he isn't asking Randy to do anything of the sort. But Daunte wonders whether Tom Brady can ever make Randy as happy as Daunte made Randy.
If his girlfriend wants to cook him a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies, Daunte would be willing to eat them.
Daunte realizes that he may be moving soon, and if you want to help him pack, he would be cool with that. But Daunte does think it is weird you haven't offered yet. I mean, you haven't helped anyone move in months.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Dan Wetzel Attacks China!
Until yesterday, when he connected with his inner Dave Zirin.
Dan took some umbrage with the Olympic Committee Chairman bitching about Usain Bolt's "attitude" in the 100M final.
I found it an enjoyable shocking read, as all the major media had agreed not to talk about China.
Dan said "fuck that."
All the promises made to get these Games — on Tibet, Darfur, pollution, worker safety, freedom of expression, dissident rights — turned out to be phony, perhaps as phony as the Chinese gymnasts’ birthdates Rogge was way too slow to investigate.
One of the most powerful men in sports turned the world away from his complicity. Instead, he has flexed his muscles by unloading on a powerless sprinter from a small island nation.
Read it, as Dan kicks the Olympics in the Ass, and basically asks China to drive a tank over him.
Barnyard, Labor Lawyer on Gene Upshaw
And who was there to defend him? Our own Labor Law-Talking Guy, who happened to do some research on not just unions, but the historical struggle of athletes to form unions. And his take on Gene Upshaw, a full year ago, suggests that Upshaw was a pretty good guy in a pretty impossible situation.
Can't recommend it enough: Read it. I don't agree with everything there, but I do recognize contributor Barnyard to know something about Labor/Ownership relations in sports.
It's totally possible you heard it here first.
Friday, August 22, 2008
R.I.P. Gene Upshaw
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
TV vs. Theater, Point for TV
I do love a quality play. I've read more than I've seen, mainly because no one puts on Ugo Betti or even the simple pleasures of a "Butley". I've got the book smarts, you see. But here's an argument for TV, right here.
Jonathan Coachman Leaves WWE, Still Surrounded by Fat "Athletes"
So, imagine my surprise when this morning, during a "Sportscenter Now" break in Mike & Mike In the Morning on ESPN2, the newsreader was none other than Jonathan Coachman. He's traded in a job hanging around with sweaty fat men like JBL for a job hanging around sweaty fat men like Mike Golic. (Mike Golic says he is skinny now. My god man--you're the fattest thing I've ever seen, and I've been on Safari!)
Still, until Mike Greenberg knees Coachman in the balls, I guess it is a step up from this (am I suggesting that losing a fight to Greenberg would be more humiliating than losing a fight to an "Irish" little-person? Yes I am. And that dumb bastard has it coming)
As Obama spaketh, so it cameth to pass.
"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Elitist pablum? I think not.
Packers fans, you are now Children of a Lesser God.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Favre vs. Washington Redbeasts
Favre looked good in very limited action. Handed a short field, he zipped a TD to his rookie TE. He was also crushed in a blitz. Last year, the Packers line only gave up 19 sacks while the Jets gave up (are you ready?) 53 sacks.
Jets backup WRs can't catch. QB Clemens will be playing a lot this year, either as the designated starter or coming in to replace Favre (see above). He showed his escapability and arm but ended up 5-12 for 63 yards. He was victimized by dropped passes on 6 of 7 incompletions, including one in the end zone.
Redbeasts can run. The line opened up huge holes, FB Mike Sellers (6-3, 284) is a big scary monster lead-blocker and the Redbeasts have a lot of horses in their stable. The rushing attack will continue to be the strength & identity of this team. I like that.
Redbeasts QBs are developing. Campbell got yanked without finding his rhythm, but Todd Collins and Colt Brennan continue to impress.
Redbeasts backup D can't tackle. There were some awful attempts late in the game, nearly allowing a last-minute Jets TD.
and finally, if you go for the tie in a preseason game, you will lose. The Jets sent Mike Nugent onto the field to send the game into overtime. The Jets were on the 6 yard line. He blasted it off the post.
Favre will have a hard time lasting a season in NYC, physically and emotionally.
The Redbeasts are still a work in progress. They've been winning preseason games (3-0) but always with their scrubs. This illustrates that both starters and backups are moving along at an even pace, but the 1st Team isn't totally clicking yet. With a very demanding schedule right out of the gates, the Redskins are looking like a team that might struggle in the first quarter of the season.
Go Washington Redbeasts Go!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Misty May Distracts President Bush From Making Any Decisions
Sunday, August 10, 2008
IDYFT NFL Pick 'Em: Extra Ham, Hold the Spread
Rather than agonize over the 3 1/2 point spread in the Dolphins v. 49ers, how about we pile up some extra ham?
Introducing the IDYFT NFL Pick 'Em, devoted solely to the important wins of the NFL season. How does it work? Glad you asked.
Every week, all readers of IDYFT are welcome to enter their picks for a few select categories. Points are won or lost on the way to the end of the regular season.
The winner will receive 1 (one) To The Last Drop t-shirt, printed on cruelty-free 100% cotton and available in all men's and women's sizes. Note: some Midwestern sizes not available.
These will be the categories. If anyone has any really swell ideas for additional categories please leave a comment. Or eat your own ass with melted muenster and hot sauce, I don't care.
Pick one team that will definitely win. Lace it up for +3 points or step in big poo for -7 points.
Pick the longshot underdog of the week, drawing from a weekly Underdog List. Speak truth to power for +7 points or face the reality of the situation for -3 points. Note: this is in no way an endorsement of Ron Paul.
I Dislike Your Favorite Team
You may either pick your favorite team to win or you may pick your most disliked team to lose. 'Tis upon your honor, mon liege, for +/- 3 points. *
Clash of the Titans
A different featured Game Of The Week, every week, for seventeen weeks for +/- 7 points! That is bad-muthafuckin-ass, like Perseus!
The IDYFT NFL Pick 'Em features full transparency with both mocking and mockable commentary. All results tabulated by Professor Badcock's Portable Calculator.
* you can only have one "most disliked" team, and you can't all pick the Raiders as your "most disliked" team just because they suck.
This will likely be the last props I give to the 2007 Giants. But seriously, nice catch.
The 2008 NFL season begins in 3 1/2 weeks. Best to get your shit-talking done now, because the games start being entered in the Permanent Record very soon.
RIP, Bernie Mac
Bernie was probably best known for his stand-up, his Fox TV Show, and his role in the Ocean's Eleven series. But for me, his work in the cult comedy classic, "Who's The Man" was his finest moment. He delivered lines like, "Look at you two, looking like Before and After" and "I was kissin'...on her TITTIES!" with simply brilliant comedic timing. I am in some ways, a simple man.
Fare thee well, Bernie Mac. I hope everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Our Second Or Third Annual NFL Pick 'Em Contest
There are Prizes!
First prize gets his/her choice of a Jesus playing Football statue or a Remote Control farting Teddy Bear.
Second prize gets a handsome IDYFT t-shirt of your choice.
Third prize is you're fired. Just kidding; Alec Baldwin will not show up and swear at you; you'll get something much less cool than that, but you'll get something. Which is more than you deserve, 3rd place finisher!
Sign Up, you'll need a Yahoo account, which is pretty painless
In order to join the group, just go to Pro Football Pick'em, click the "Sign Up" button (or "Create or Join Group" if you are a returning user).
From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information...
Group ID#: 14807
big blue monkey
Friday, August 08, 2008
A Beloved Player Moves Out of the Midwest
At my office, there's a punk kid (I call people in their mid-20's punk kids now. Dammit, I'm getting older quicker than I would like) who basically suggested I had been hit in the head with a hammer when I opined that someone besides Livan should have been moved to make room for Liriano. I tried to explain myself, but I failed spectacularly, because when it comes to speaking presentations, I am kind of crap. I'm not much better when it comes to the written word, so I'll quote extensively from what Britt Robson (we love us our Britt Robson round these parts) wrote on July 31st, which ended up being Livan's last start for the Twins (another bad start for him, giving up 5 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks in all of 4 innings)
Said Britt about Livan:
First of all, through the first six weeks of the season, he went 6-1 with a 3.90 ERA, enabling pitching coach Rick Anderson to sort through his youngsters with a little more patience knowing that he had a veteran stopper on the mound to prevent things from going too far off track. That by itself made Hernandez a better investment than Sidney Ponson and Russ Ortiz combined the previous season. Second, although Hernandez has been increasingly hit harder, he's been eating a lot of innings--he's got 143 and 2/3, with Nick Blackburn's 127 next-most and the rest of the starters not yet at 100. That means if the Twins stay in the pennant race and need to tax their young arms, they may be able to do so (with the possible exception of Blackburn) without worrying about blowing them out. Glen Perkins has never pitched more than 132 innings in a season at any level and Blackburn's career high is 160. Baker has gone 190 and between Rochester and Minnesota last year, Slowey reached 200. With 55 games left to play for the five-man rotation and hopes that they'd average at least six innings per start, that's an extra 66 innings apiece (if they each start 11 times). Baker and Slowey can handle it, Perkins, maybe. But without Livan's 144 (minus 1/3), a bunch of pitchers in their mid-20s get pushed, and the odds of arm injuries rise.
What Britt doesn't say is that those increased innings are also a worry because of the increasingly unreliable bullpen. Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, and Brian Bass have all blown games in recent memory. Hell, even good ole Spazzy Joe Nathan gave up a lead (in a rare 8th inning appearance, which speaks volumes right there) against lowly Seattle. This bullpen used to be clockwork--Guerrier in the 7th, Neshek in the 8th, Nathan in the 9th. Lately, the bullpen has been troubling, and showing up earlier in games. Knowing you had a guy like Hernandez, who yes, might lose you the game in the first two innings, but could still pitch for the next 6, was somewhat of a luxury.
Livan got shellacked by some very good teams in his last few starts, and while I wouldn't want him over Francisco Liriano, I did like the idea of having one pitcher in the rotation over 26 years of age. I don't see him getting more unhittable in Colorado, of all places, but I do wish that old fat bastard the best of luck. He was a key component to this unlikely Twins run, and he should get credit for that.
Also, remember to hit Britt's blog for his Twins Roundtable with himself, Brad Zellar, and David Brauer--I don't think there is a city in the nation that has 3 smarter, more insightful sportswriters. Of course, none of these guys wrote for "Major" print media in the Twin Cities. But they know their shit, and it is a fascinating read.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Reginald Peterson: American Hero
Peterson, of Jacksonville, Florida (wait, really? Florida? But this sort of thing never happens there!) called 911 twice to complain about the service he received at a local Subway Sandwich Shop.
Click the link to hear his outrage, which sounds to me, partially justified. He's paid $12 for $10 of subs, and they can't even get his order right.
Sure, some of you may be snickering and thinking that Reginald has hugged the panda; I won't necessarily argue that point. But maybe, just maybe, this totally Awesome Country needs a Samwich Hotline, and I'm not just talking about 222-2221. We've got 911, and 411, and I think 811 is something, but shouldn't we have a host of National Phone Numbers, and shouldn't the "I Need A Quality Sandwich" Hotline be right at the top of that list?
Sure Pizza Hut has 488-8888, but that's Pizza, and it's crap. Quality Sandwich Hotline--Make it Happen, President Obama! Get in the pocket of Big Pita.
A Prognostication of Sorts
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Favre to the Jets! Asphalt jungle, my ass.
Merchandisers are scrambling. For example, Madden 2009, which features Favre on the cover as a Packer, might re-release the game with the ol' Gunslinger as a Jet. Hysteria, pandemonium, dogs and cats living together ...
Except that if it's an open competition, Kellen Clemens should be the starter. The Jets were awful last year and Clemens finished with a 3-5 record and a 5-10 TD-INT ratio. However, the Jets have patiently been bringing him along, and he's very much in the mold of Pennington (and Favre, for that matter). Clemens is younger and if properly developed he could have a nice career.
Favre is certainly an upgrade over Pennington in the area of arm strength, but so is my little sister. I'm sorry. That's cruel, the fella has had multiple surgeries and he never had a cannon to begin with. He's a winner. Pennington is very smart and tough; he should begin making his transition to coaching.
The media explosion in New York will die out as the INTs pile up. That will lead to recrimination and a major distraction for the Jets, who have improved their offensive and defensive lines yet have holes elsewhere. With at least another year before they're ready to challenge the Patriots for the division, a one-year disappointment with #4 will set them back unnecessarily.
Meanwhile, what's the over-under that unproven Packers QB Aaron Rodgers gets hurt or just sucks? By Week 3 Packers fans will be screaming for Favre to come back.
The Washington Redbones
Redbones? Just trying out some some less offensive options.
Also, may I direct your attention to H-Back Chris Cooley's entertaining blog? He is clever, interesting, honest enough to admit some unfortunate taste in music, a damn fine football player who epitomizes the Redbones tradition and also he married Christy, a team cheerleader (the Redbone-ettes).
That's right, they're Chris and Christy. So what? President Grover Cleveland's wife was also named Grover.
The Washington Redbones defeated the Colts in the Hall of Fame Game, kicking off the monthlong 2008 preseason. Ah preseason: stepping lightly through the IR minefield. The injuries compiled during training camp will multiply as players fight for the fifty-six roster spots.
The Redbones beat the Colts 30-16, which is meaningless. What is important is that the offense works and that the QB play was particularly efficient (19-of-22 for 216 yards 3 TDs). QB Campbell was 5-5 for 61 yards and a TD. Colt Brennan threw 2 TDs (!).
I certainly am not claiming that this determines success in the regular season, but it is worthwhile to compare other recent first-year offenses. In 2006, with the new Al "Genius" Saunders playbook, they went 0-4 in preseason and averaged less than a TD per game. The offense, particularly passing, was substandard all year and they only scored 19 ppg on their way to a 5-11 record. My point? We're off to better start with a QB-friendly coach. The rest of the schemes and terminology remain intact.
I just looked for images of "Redbones" and I think we have to cross that nickname off the list. Not appropriate for this site.
What about "Redwings?" Shit, that's a hockey team.
"Redclaws?" That sounds kinda badass. The Washington Redclaws? Stay tuned.
Go Greyhound! And leave the ......
Saturday, August 02, 2008
I Dislike Your Favorite Team
Think again, assholes!
Friday, August 01, 2008
Mr. T takes a stand on Diving
But for now, here's Soccer Ambassador to the World, acting exactly as you'd expect the American Representative would.