Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why Does Twix Hate Women?

During last year's Poker Championship thingy, I blasted into shitty beer maker Milwaukee's Best, for making it seem unmanly for men to do such ridiculously unmanly things like "Check in with the Wife."

But lucky you, I've meant to blog about a new round of commercials that strikes me as much more offensive, to much less point, and I'm confused by them.

Let's face it--very,very few women drink Milwaukee's Best. Really, very few men do, either. It's a beer for high schoolers with a good fake ID. Like Mad Dog 20/20, or Boone's. These things exist for kids looking for cheap legal highs (aside from the whole 21 years old thing).

Which makes this whole new marketing direction by Twix all the more confusing. Did they do some market research and find out that 90% of all Twix eaters are male and date rapists? What does loving chocolate, caramel and cookie have to do with depicting opionated women as jittery idiots? Watch the progression of this commercial (the TV version, by the way, leaves out the man's response of "mainstream media"--in the TV version he never gets that far, before being cut off by the "too smart for her own good" Media Theorist, who is off to get date-raped, based on the promise of "blogging". Women who read this blog, how do you read this commercial?

My read is this: Twix decided to write commercials like they were a beer company and not a maker of cheap chocolate. They decided to try to become the Frat Chocolate Bar of Choice. And what better way to do that then to depict a Dumb Man outwitting a much Smarter Woman (who actually isn't) by using a Twix Bar. In the Twix Universe, Intelligent Women are 1. Scary and Intimindating and Hard to Trick into Bed. 2. Easy to Trick Into Bed.

I Come Not to Bury the Twins, But to Praise Them

Friends, Minnesotans, Whatevers--

I'm sure a lot of ink will be spilled about how this play-in game that the Twins lost 1-0 to the Chicago White Sox typified the problems with the team throughout the year. And it did typify a lot of them--squandering a great start from a young pitcher, who made one mistake his defense couldn't fix all game, giving up a homerun to stupid fat old jerk nice person Jim Thome. There may even be some who question the decision to send Cuddyer on the shallow fly to center that tested Ken Griffey's old arm, and found that arm to be up to the task.

But I'm not going to autopsy this game a whole lot; we've seen this game before, and it has been post-mortemified to death.

I just want to remind all the Twins fans out there that this team had no business being where they were tonight--tied for first place in the AL Central. Neither were the White Sox, but most national inkers were much less surprised by them--they are a team defined by the "One More Year" mantra--Thome, Griffey, Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, AJ Pierszinski--you are talking about cagey veterans who are very much on the downslope, which means that Chicago was built for now or never. (I imagine that when they tangle with the Rays, it will be never. Rays in 4!)

But this Twins team was not meant to challenge now because they are too young to challenge. The starting rotation started off without Liriano, the closest person they had to an ace on the team, and when he did first come up, he didn't stick around for long. Scotty Baker, after Livan Hernandez (who didn't finish with the team, after all), was the oldest pitcher in the rotation all year long, and he's all of 26. Nick Blackburn (0) (who pitched a gem tonight), Kevin Slowey (11) , and Glen Perkins (0) had between them less than 12 MLB starts prior to this year.

None of them hit 15 wins this year, but they all got close--Slowey (12), Perkins (12), Baker (11), Blackburn (11). Liriano came in (again) late and looked good at first, but sagged off in his last two starts, but we all know what he is capable of becoming if he can start locating his fastball. Baker was probably the closest thing to an ace this rotation had this year for good chunks of the year, and there's a good chance he's going to be lapped by a couple of his younger compatriots next year. Add to that rotation their most regular battery-mate, a young man in Joe Mauer, who was challenging for the batting title late into the season this year, yet again. He's all of 25 years old.

The rest of the hitting isn't much older. Cuddyer was going to be the relatively elder statesman of this line-up, at age 29, after cheap redemption free agents/trades inevitably washed out. This year's edition of washouts include Craig Monroe, Adam Everett, and Mike Lamb. They all had moments, but couldn't consistently perform well enough to hold off 23 year or 24 year olds. Really, neither could Cuddyer. His return to the line-up wasn't at the expense of the man who replaced him in right field, young, incredibly fast and talented Denard Span. Span, Gomez, and Delmon Young might make up one of the youngest regular Outfielding corps ever to take the field for the majority of the season in the modern era. Not a one has yet seen their 25th Birthday.

Add to that mix the surprising maturity of Alexi Casilla, the rather quiet but solid utility work of Brendan Harris, the resurgence of Nick Punto, and the MVP quality play of Justin Morneau (and forget transplanting his stats onto a NY team--put this whole team in Baltimore, Morneau is your MVP), you've got a very dangerous team for 2009, which it was always built to be in the first place.

So again, I come to praise the Twins, not to bury them. This was never meant to be their year. The fact that it was almost was--that's just gravy dammit. Even stupid fat fuck Tom Powers agrees with me, though his column is pretty much the work of someone using half their ass.

(still-a little power at third base might be nice)

IDYFT Pick 'Em: The Kansas City Shockers!

Denver has been winning by hook and crook, and they paid the price for lacking a run defense by getting blown out by the Kansas City Shockers ("Minor League Football ... Major League Attitude").

Everyone in this contest picked Denver as their Shoe-In. The damage was spread evenly, like stepping firmly in a tall pile of warm dog poo. I like the fact that it is proving difficult to pick a Shoe-In. Who needs a point spread? On any given Sunday ...

The Standings
1. Miwacar: 14 (this week +4)
2. Adw: 10 (this week 0)
3. Big BM: 4 (this week 0), Karah: 4
4. Jess: 3 (this week +3)*
5. Lbutler36: 2
6. MMMan: -20
(this week -4)

Thanks to Professor Badcock's Negative Scoring Capability, it's still open season on the Grand (only) Prize, an official To The Last Drop t-shirt. So if you've missed a week or haven't yet entered the fracas, chances are you'll still do better than Muumuuman.

This Week's Picks
1. Your Shoe-In?
2. This Week's Underdog List:
Seattle, Miami, Cincy, Atlanta, Kansas City Shockers
3. Your Favorite/Disliked Team?
4. Clash of the Titans: Tampa Bay Bucs at Denver Broncos

* Jess picked the Jags as her favorite team to win, then also the Jets as her most disliked team to lose. The penalties were off-setting, resulting in no score.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

6,000+ words on beating Dallas

Assuming that a picture is truly worth 1,000 words:

Jason Campbell had an outstanding game against a fierce pass rash. He was 20/31 for 231 yards and 2 TDs. He was poised and in control throughout the contest, shrugging off tacklers and making plays.

He is the only QB who hasn't thrown an INT this year and this smart, tough young QB is enjoying a rating of 102.2. That's the best in the division, fourth-best in the league. In this photo, he escapes from a Dallas fatty and throws a deep ball to ...

Santana Moss, certified platinum-plated badass. He has been an assassin against Dallas.

Clinton Portis is awesome. He slips through unstable holes and hammers the poor sap on the other side. He's not the home run hitter he used to be, but a rugged and dependable 4th Quarter Horse (get it?).

The run defense was exceptional. They allowed no holes and the LBs made solid tackles. If you take away RB Barber's anomalous 15-yard run, he averaged 1.5 yards per carry. Dallas gave up on their highly-lauded rushing because our run defense whipped their candy asses.

S Chris Horton ended a Dallas drive with a clutch INT in the late third quarter. While he didn't start, this promising rookie got a lot of quality playing time. Caucasian-American Doughty was a target in the passing game and will drop to the second team.

Horton is too good to keep off the field. He's an early front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He broke on the WR's route at the snap of the ball for this INT: that's doing your film work, rookie. Keep it up.

CB Shawn Springs locked down BO until an injury forced Springs out. The young and depleted defensive backfield was stretched thin without Springs and CB Smoot yet they prevailed. BO whined like a little bitch that he wasn't getting the ball enough. Dallas passed to him seventeen times; he caught seven. I sure am glad this bitch who can't handle physical corners isn't on my awesome team.

Special teams broke about even until the game went down to an onside kick. I've been waiting for ST to lose a game for us and they nearly did, but the Dallas goon couldn't hang on. It was far closer than it should have been: when the receiving team knows an onside kick is coming they recover 90% of them.

Coach Zorn is the first Washington rookie coach since the legendary George Allen to beat Dallas in his first try. This provides Zorn with stable job security as we continue the 2008 campaign. Not many other young coaches in the league have that.

As hoped, Washington is improving every week. Traveling to Philly, the team still needs to get better and I believe they will. The offensive line needs to protect Campbell better. The defensive needs to generate a pass rush. Special teams return units have done nothing this year.

But I feel damn good about my football team.


White Sox Bullpen Sucks!

Thanks for that, sucky White Sox Bullpen.

Also, it should be noted that beloved smalltown morning show DJs, AJ and the Hawk (who somehow ended up on national cable TV) complimented the General Management and Player Management of the Twins.

"Thank God", they said, "that Carl Pohlad won't give the Twins any real money to play with."

Imagine one real power-hitting 3rd baseman on this Twins team. It wouldn't even be close.

Here's hoping the Twins can beat the fucking Kansas City Royals 1 out of 3 times with a ticket to the goddamn postseason in the balance. Is that so much to ask? Beating the worst team in your division just once out of 3 times? C'mon Twins!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

RIP, Paul Newman

Paul Newman did life like it is supposed to be done. Parlay your skills and luck and hard work into big money--use that money to explore your other skills, and raise money for those who weren't born with incredibly good looks. Or luck.

Paul Newman is one of my favorite actors. If in 50 years hence, I'm lucky enough to live to 83, as he did, I can't imagine he won't be one of my favorite actors then as well.

If one of the following: The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, or The Hustler aren't amongst your Top 10, then I don't know what to tell you, pal--you've got shitty taste in movies.

Fare thee well, Paul--thanks for all the social justice, all the movies, and just proving that being a cool young actor did not mean that one had to die young, or get ridiculously fat and self-parodying. Thanks for proving that marriage in Hollywood doesn't have to be a easy laugh for tabloids. Thanks for loving sports. Thanks for being Paul Fucking Newman. So it goes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Washington Blindsnakes to Use Mandibular Raking on The Dallas Pupae.

I trust that releasing the gameplan versus Dallas won't compromise victory. There is simply nothing the overrated Dallas Pupae can do about it. video

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


That "yay" is only in part for Miami's drubbing of Belacheat's Patriots. Looks like if he doesn't get the other teams plays before hand his team is helpless to adjust to a college football play. What was that, 5 times, 5 touchdowns? Four of them by rushing up the middle? How tricky! Genius my ass.
Speaking of NFL geniuses, it has been reported that MATT MILLEN IS FINANALLY FIRED!
(Thanks to AFK Football for the image)
Hen in a Hat! Hooray! Hooray! Looks like the reign of terror is over. William Clay Ford Sr. has finally come to his senses and fired the leagues worst GM/CEO. So good luck to the next GM, who has to figure out what to do with a defense that averages 208 yards rushing/game, 228 yards passing/game and 38 points allowed/game. Those are some fantastic stats! But wait here's more!

Fun Kitna stats for 2008!

Lets say Kitna drops back for a pass... odds are he will:
-throw an interception: 4%
-throw a TD: also 4%
-get sacked: 10%
-throw a complete pass: 52%

And for you fantasy players, lets make a team of back-ups or players very unlikely to start in any 10 team format from the first 3 Lions games.

QB (average of O'Sullivan and Ryan): 10 Points
RB: J. Norwood: 10 points
RB: Brandon Jackson: 9 Points
WR: Michael Jenkins: 9 Points
WR: Jordy Nelson: 7 Points
TE: Delanie Walker: 8 Points
Ave all K: 10
Ave all D: 12

Total points: 75

I won't go into the details of the scoring, but for the league I'm in 75 points for three weeks would give you 225 points total, which would be just below the league highest of 254 (BBM's score- congrats!).

And if you just started Green Bay in week 2, that is Rodgers, Grant, Jackson, Driver, Jennings, Jordan, Crosby, and Packers D you'd have scored 99 points.   Over the past 3 years that point total would tie for 13th as the highest in any given week.

Hooray Beer!

Don't Bury the Twins Yet

We as a blog haven't talked about the Twins much lately. I think the reason, in part, is that a good chunk of the contributors here don't give two shits about the Twins, and the better chunk of the contributors who do care have been sitting back, rocking on their heels, scared shitless that any praise or condemnation could be the final stumbling block to an over-achieving team.

We haven't called out the bullpen for being the most experienced, and yet, least reliable part of the squad (Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier, we are talking about you!). We were tempted to point out to folks who happily waved Livan Hernandez bye-bye that the starting rotation as a whole has suffered since he left. Lots of tired arms in the starting staff, and no one pitcher looking the stopper the Twins needed coming into tonight's first game in a 3 game series against the White Sox, who lead the Twinkies by 2 1/2 games.

Or they did, before tonight's game, which the Twins won easily, 9-3. Lots of talk in the AP article about how Javier Vazquez failed the Sox (the headline is Vazquez Flops Again)--it could just as easily been a headline about how Jason Kubel is becoming the hitter the Twins thought he would--he's now at 20 HR's, including his 2 tonight, and a triple besides. It could have been about how White Sox reliever Boone Logan came in, got one out, and gave up back-to-back homers that really put the game out of reach.

Or it could have been about Scotty Baker's quality start--7 innings pitched, 5 hits, One Run Earned. It makes the inevitable bullpen (this time around, Matt Guerrier) homerun more acceptable.

we say this with bated breath, crossed fingers, and a bit of hesitation: we think the Twins will sweep the Sox this week, and never relent the lead in the AL Central.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

News Flash: Rodney Harrison Is A Tit

Rodney Harrison cried like a tit about a dirty play during the riotous ass-kicking Miami delivered to the Pats. This guy's twice been voted the NFL's dirtiest player by his peers. Of his own dirty reputation, Harrison is quoted in my Sporting News NFL Preview:
"I don't care what you think about me. I don't care if you like me. I don't care if you shake my hand after the game. You know, there was a point in time when I didn't care if my teammates liked me."
What a tit! His hypocrisy is rich in God's own righteousness when he talks about the Manning to Tyree Superbowl catch. For all of Harrison's violent efforts, he couldn't break up the play. Luckily, it was God's will.
"You could throw that ball a million other times, and it'll ever happen ... Boom. I mean, it never happens. That's when I knew the play was destiny ... When a team or certain person is destined for certain things, when God has something planned for that person, no matter what you try, it's going to happen. So I understand that. I understand that."
What a tit! You know who else is a tit? Every single Pats fan in the world. The team wins 4 Superbowls in 6 years and was running the longest regular season win streak in NFL history. At the first sign of adversity, Pats fans booed their team and emptied out of the stadium by the third quarter. What a bunch of tits!

Monday, September 22, 2008

IDYFT NFL Pick 'Em: Hot Hot Hot!

The Pick 'em is turning into a wild hot tub party! Jump into the fleshy stew and win either a To The Last Drop t-shirt in your size or an exclusive shiatsu massage and rolfing session from Buster Poindexter himself!

Once again the "Shoe-In" provides some major boofs, this time to Mmman and Jess. I originally picked the Patriots to beat Miami but I saw that Maroney and Jordan were out. As it was, the Giants barely beat Cincy. In fact, this week's Shoe-ins (Giants and Buffaloafs) won by a total of four points ... while the Pats lost by 25, which nobody in the world had the balls hot enough to predict.

Hot hot hot!

The Standings
1. Adw = 10 (this week +10), Miwacar = 10 (this week +10)
2. Big BM = 4 (this week - 10), Karah = 4
3. Lbutler36 = 2 (this week - 4)
4. Jess = -4 (this week 0)
5. MMMan = -16 (this week -20, that's hot hot hot!)

As you can see, there's a lot of turbulence. With Professor Badcock's negative scoring capability, the entire world is still eligible to join in the excitement. Speaking of negative scoring, part of what earned MMMan an unprecedented 0/4 was putting all of one's eggs in one's one basket. Of course if he had been right, he'd be on top of the pops right now. Remember the lesson of Spliffs and Bladders (patent pending): "He that is first shall later be last."

This Week's Picks
1. Your Shoe-In?
careful now, it's +3 if you're right but -7 if you're wrong
2. This Week's Underdog List:
Texans, Raiders, Rams, Washington, Chiefs
3. Your Favorite/Disliked Team?
4. Clash of the Titans: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Redfins Gobble the Cardinals' Balls

The Washington Redfins beat Arizona thanks to a ball-hungry defense and sharp play from QB Jason Campbell. This game made me long for yesteryear, when we got to play the Cardinals twice. The Redskins enjoy a 46-18 series advantage at home.

I saw improvement in some areas and can sense that the team is starting to believe in each other. As in the Saints game, the Redfins had the edge on O and D but lost ST. And again, 'twas turnovers that made the difference (10 points).

Campbell had a strong game overall, completing 75% of his passes for almost 200 yards and 2 TDs. He also ran twice for first downs on scoring drives. The rush attack hasn't quite found its feet yet, which is surprising. They don't have much push and inside handoffs aren't finding daylight. Portis continues to run hard and is now third on the Redskins all-time TD list. WR Santana Moss is a diamond-plated certified badass. His seventeen-yard score on a screen pass in the 4th quarter was his second game-winning TD in a row. He has TD passes in six games in a row, tying Bobby Mitchell's record.

Cooley had a solid game. Rookie WR D. Thomas is baby-stepping his way into the lineup. His long TD was called back on a bizarre unnecessary roughness penalty during a live play -- the videotape even shows T Heyer waiting for the DT to face him.

The defense is finding the ball, something which has eluded them the past few years. They have forced 6 turnovers in 3 games, tied for 3rd in the NFL. They've only lost one ball (on a punt return) which kings them #1 in turnover ratio (+5). WR Fitzgerald gave them trouble all game and RB James was allowed too many yards. The front four got enough pressure to allow the Redfins to limit blitzing (and potential big plays). It was very jolly to watch QB Warner throw his helmet and scream at his teammates and coaches: what would Jebus do? Hidden stat: the defense hasn't allowed a point in the 4th quarter this season. They only allowed the Cardinals 18 yards in this game.

Our punt & kick coverage forced many holds, which was good. Kick & punt returns generated nothing at all. Rookie P Brooks was inconsistent and once again did a poor job of placing the ball on a botched FG. This unit must improve.

Coach Zorn was again aggressive, playing to win with a play-action pass inside two minutes that sealed the game. The beautiful execution fooled the Cardinals, the camera, myself and all the folks I was watching with.

Trust is being built, scoring drives are starting to feel natural. However, the Redfins travel to explosive 3-0 Dallas next Sunday. They cannot go flat in the second quarter again, or Dallas will jump on top of them. The Redfins 2 minute offense is simply not in place: this must improve. The defense cannot get tired and cannot relent. DE Taylor cannot continue to be a liability versus the run. Special teams is an area of grave concern.

In Other News
In a losing effort, S Troy Polamalu made an incredible one-armed diving INT: here's the clip.

The Vikings got fired up by my ridicule; led by CB Winfield they shut down the Panthers passing game and held them to 10 points.

The victorious Eagles had eight brutal sacks on QB Roethlisberger, but lost RB Westbrook to a sprained ankle. The Eagles also managed to get called for Delay of Game while on defense, which I don't understand.

In overtime, the Bears had stopped the Bucs in on their eight yard line ... until DB Peanut Tillman got into some extracurricular activity and gave the Bucs a first down on a personal foul after the play. The pass-whacky Bucs drove down and scored minutes later. The replay showed a Bucs lineman throw two punches at a Bears player on the ground, but the refs only see the retaliation. Better remember that lesson, Peanut.

Next Week: Washington Redfins at the Dallas Cowchunks.

Go Washington Redfins Go!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tip Your Cap to the Australians, But Don't Let Them Touch That Cap

Their sex scandals are filthy, and highly entertaining.

The new Police Minister of New South Wales (NSW for those in the know) Matt Brown was sworn in, and a few days later, having a party, on government property.

Just so you know, the phrase "I'm tittyfucking your mother" is about to be bleeped out from the official, mainstream media account:

A witness told The Australian Mr Brown stripped down to his "very brief" underpants and danced to loud "Oxford Street-style" techno music on a green leather Chesterfield couch he had recently ordered for his office.

The witness said Mr Brown "mounted the chest" of Wollongong MP Noreen Hay.

The witness said Mr Brown called out to Ms Hay's adult daughter during the performance: "Look at this, I'm tittie-f..king your mother!"

Kudos, Australia, Kudos.

found via badass comic guy Warren Ellis.

Suicide Watch: All of Minnesota

We all already know that the Vikings are replacing Tavaris "T-Jack!" Jackson with Gus "Gu-Fre!" Frerotte. Vikings fans are taking it with a mix of bemusement, confusion, and the occasional painful to watch optimism.

But now, the Purple and their Faithful got some more news, of the more clearly troubling kind--Adrian Peterson missed practice today because of a bad hammy. Uh-oh.

I know Minnesota likes to play up their Scandanavian heritage, but that doesn't mean their entire franchise has to have the angst and ennui of a Bergman film.

Here's an idea of a Vikings commercial: Brad Childress playing Chess with Death.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NFC Player of the Week: Chris Horton #48

Redhorns free safety Chris Horton has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week. This is a tremendous honor earned by the rookie in his first start: his three turnovers put the Redhorns in a position to win. Which they did.

While he is still learning the intricacies of a pro defense, Horton's desire and football instincts should cement him as the starter this year.

Not bad for a seventh-rounder who didn't know he was going to start until the morning of the game and isn't even included in my NFL preview magazine.

Here's the Redskins.com post.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Washington Redhorns Stick it to the T'aints

Nothing like a Jeremy Shockey fumble to start off a great day for S Chris Horton, a rookie seventh-rounder and surprise starter due to illness. Horton also had two picks on tipped balls (including the game icer) and assisted on a key third-and-one stop in the fourth quarter. Incidentally, he wears my number (48) as did great Redhorns RB Stephen Davis. Horton had a great training camp and preseason; he'll eventually be the starting safety.

This was exactly the game I was hoping for: steady improvement, learn how to win. Against an under-talented and depleted Saints secondary, QB Campbell looked poised and in control (24/36 321 yards.) His game-winning 67 yard TD to Moss capped a 7-minute span in the 4th quarter when he went 7-7, 157 yards, 1 TD.

All of the skill players stepped up: Campbell, Moss (164 yards), Portis (2 TDs), Cooley.

The run defense was outstanding all game. While the pass defense had their hands full with Bush et al, that phase generated all three turnovers. Starting, of course, with that Shockey fumble. Tee hee! Don't let it get in your head (2 catches, 22 yards), ass face man!

Special teams were very disappointing, and their failure nearly cost the game. The punting game was atrocious: bad kicks, gave up a TD and Randle El fumbled. He might lose his job, but the likely options aren't so likely (Moss, the injured Thrash). Here's a krazy idea: complete my Brian Mitchell fantasy and let Rock Cartwright return punts. Woeful 3-5 FG isn't good enough. This entire unit must improve.

Huzzah to Coach Zorn: he went for it on 4th and 2 on the N.O. 34 with 1:58 remaining. He talked it over at the two minute warning and decided to play for the win rather than play not to lose. Second huzzah: he correctly identified what QB Campbell needed to work on in practice and he coached him to the promised land, i.e. WR Moss in the end zone.

As the Redhorns steadily progress, I would like to see these improvements against the Cardinals: better 3rd down (still only 6/24), better pass D, better kicking. The Cardinals are 2-0 on paper, having defeated only the fudgetastic 49ers and Dolphins. They can't run and haven't yet faced an actual offense.

Go Washington Redhorns Go!

In other news
A rule change is imminent after Ed Hercules blew a devastating call in the Chargers loss. Next year, expect that play (incomplete pass whistled dead) to be reviewable. The brutal "final straw" couldn't have happened to a better coach.

Bad news for the Vikings: Steve Smith has finished his suspension and will be on hand with his 2-0 Panthers to blast open the Vikes' 24th ranked pass D.

The world has given up on depressed QB Vince Young, and asks us to embrace Kerry "Vodka" Collins yet again.

Washington Redhorns TE Chris Cooley issued an apology for accidentally posting a nude photograph of himself on his entertaining, sometimes explicit blog: "We are very sorry that we showed a penis on our website all day yesterday."

IDYFT NFL Pick 'Em: Coming Out Party

The first annual IDYFT NFL Pick 'em is a late-bloomer. But after her Debut it looks like the South could rise again. Like a cat on a hot tin roof.

The big boof was by Adw, whose "Shoe-In" pick of Seattle over the 49ers was like stepping in size 14 dog poo. Both Lbutler26 and Miwacar both called this upset correctly and will now be eligible to participate in nationally televised debates.

The Standings
1. Big Blue Monkey = 14 (he nailed everything except the upset)
2. Lbutler36 = 6
3. Karah, MMMan = 4
4. Miwacar, Adw = 0
5. Jess = -4

As you can see, the frolic is accessible even if you missed the Debut. Jump in: you can win a To The Last Drop t-shirt in your size.

This Week's Picks
1. Your Shoe-In?
2. Weekly Underdog List
Dolphins, Raiders, Bengals, Rams
3. Your Favorite/Disliked Team?
4. Clash of the Titans: Cowboys at Packers

A point of clarity: you are welcome to pick the same team several times. It's not my business if you want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Wisconsin is the Midwest Florida, Part 80

update: fixed link

I really have to keep track of the weird bad-decison stories that come out of Wisconsin. The sheer volume of them would be worthy of an in-depth study.

The AP has a nice story out about a woman in her 30's living near Green Bay who stole the identity of her own daughter so she could go back to a real high school, and enjoy the things that 15 year old girls get to (like pool parties at the cheerleadering coach's house!)



*(and with a little reflection--incredibly sad. So I'm avoiding the reflection part religiously. I'd recommend the same for you.)

almost forgot--learned of via boingboing

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Soccer Starts Too Soon

I had to go to Deadspin to realize the EPL had ended/begun. Their offseason is ridiculously short.

We made some predictions a little while ago about important signings. We will stick by them for now.

(and like you we assume that Deadspin contributor KOGOD is "taking the piss" when he/she/it calls Manchester vs Chelsea next week a "huge clash". It is clearly too soon for huge clashes, especially when you are dealing with two teams that will be at the top of the table in March.

More About Matt Cassel Than Anyone Could Possibly Want to Know

Yahoo double-first named writer Josh Peter has apparently been stalking Matt Cassel since he was an embryo, and it has finally paid off in this ridiculous puff piece about the quarterback who has made more money doing less work than anyone this side of Jessica Simpson.

Of course, I'm exaggerating the length that Peter has gone to to sketch Cassel. Or am I? I quote:

In 1994, he played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. He was
the starting first baseman and ringleader of the cutups on “The Earthquake
Kids,” so nicknamed because the 12-year-olds were from Northridge, Calif.,
rocked by an earthquake months before the boys staged their improbable run that
ended with a 4-3 loss to Venezuela.

Pillow fights. Pranks. Horseplay. When mischief continued to break out in Williamsport, the team’s assistant coach, George Saul, ordered Cassel out of the barracks occupied by the players and into an adjoining room for the coaches.


Matt Cassel hasn't started a game since he was in fucking high school. According to Josh Peter, this makes him incredibly endearing. And I suppose if he goes out and chucks a couple of bombs to Randy Moss, the rest of the world will agree with that take.

But let's stare facts in the fact shall we? And maybe take a somewhat more critical eye to Matthew Cassel (rhymes with Castle!). It has been nine years since he took an opening snap for a football game. He was a back-up to USC Quarterbacks (Josh Peter is quick to note that they were both Heisman winners) Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He was there for five years.

Josh Peter's headline is that Cassel is finally getting his shot. It looks to me that he was conspicuously avoiding his shot. If he wanted to start, could he not have transferred to another school? Who plays the back-up quarterback position for five years? Why is that an endearing fact?

I will give credit to Josh Peter for this moment of YouTube stupidity. Here's the future of the New England Patriots, doing Karaoke, and picking the Backstreet Boys. I, like rest of the world (Massachusetts and parts of Connecticut excluded) look forward to the Jets absolutely sodomizing the New England Patriots.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Trent Edwards is a Deep Something Or Another

I've read the Yahoo version; I've read the original Buffalo News version. Both have headlines that feature the word play of Edwards being a deep-thinker and a deep-thrower.

Here's my beef--in no place, is the actual deep thinking of Edwards discussed. Is this common knowledge, like old Buffalo Bills skipper Marv Levy's love of Shakespeare? Do we all know that Trent Edwards has always been a deep thinker?

If not, what does it mean to be a deep thinker. It is a maddening headline. It is never explained, not even in football terms. There isn't a single quote about how smart of a QB Edwards is--it is quote after quote about how good he is at slinging the ball.

No less a source than failed NFL QB and now QB coach Alex Van Pelt says that Edwards can huck a ball. He never says he is smart. He doesn't call him dumb, either, mind you. But the whole "Deep Thinker" aspect of the FUCKING HEADLINE is never addressed.

It bothers me, because I care about words, and nothing else important in the world is happening, clearly.

Everything is redeemed though, by this quote out of context. Alex Van Pelt, says, in comparison to other Quarterbacks, that Trent Edwards' "are just as heavy and as hard as anybody else’s.”

RIP David Foster Wallace

Holy Shit. David Foster Wallace apparently committed suicide during one of the busiest news cycle weekends in recent memory. What with the Hurricane and the LA Commuter train, I think it forgiveable that this news wasn't at the top of the news casts (I'm guessing--who watches the nightly news anymore?)

I'm looking at the dates the LA Times puts out there--Wallace was 46; "Infinite Jest" was published in 1996. That means he wrote the majority of that book before his 34th birthday. Holy Shit. It is more than likely that Wallace wrote more words by age 35 than many people have read at that age.

I am not a fan of idle speculation, unless it is my own idle speculation, and I can not imagine was it must of been like to be 46 years old, and to have your masterpiece already a decade in the rear view mirror.

All the same--fare thee well, David Foster Wallace, you footnotin' bastard. Clearly, for you, not everything was beautiful and some things did in fact hurt.

1. (This footnote intentionally left blank.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

IDYFT NFL Pick 'em: Extra Ham, Hold the Spread

Sorry this is starting one week late. Sometimes things get all balled up at the head office. You understand, don't your Barton?

This is a no-spread, "winning is the only thing" Pick 'em. 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.

Big Shoe-In
Pick one team that will definitely win. Lace it up for +3 points or step in big poo for -7 points.

Ron Paul
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!

This Week's Picks
1. your Shoe-In?
2. This week's Underdog List:
49ers, Falcons, Rams, Miami
3. your Favorite/Disliked Team?
4. Clash of The Titans: San Diego at Denver

* 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.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fightin' Joe Biden

Chex Celebrates Celebrations

Seeing Desmond Howard perform the Ickey Shuffle? Sucky. Seeing Billy White Shoes Johnson do the Ickey Shuffle? Spectacular.

Thank you, Chex Mix!

Hey, Rod "He Hate Me" Smart is involved in this? I could have sworn he died.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just a wee little slack in me trousers

The 2008 season has begun and I couldn't even get my NFC East Preview posted in time. You know it must be a busy time around the headquarters of Badcock International LLC when I don't have time to voice my opinion ...

But let's cut to the cheese, which involved the defending world champs gripping an 11 point lead through a moribund second half.

Here's your game: Laron Landry gets run over. Fred Smoot is now a target and he got worked, 1 INT (out of 3 chances, including a freebie in the endzone) notwithstanding. Jason Taylor is a target in the run game.

The Redbeards offense is very obviously a work in progress. Player of the Game is without a doubt Rock Cartwright, whose returns and kick coverage were the very best the Redbeards mustered. I'm beginning to think of him as in the shadow of the great lil' Brian Mitchell. Keep it up, Rock.

Campbell is thinking his way through the offense, rather than just playing. That can only improve with time. His WRs did him some disservice (always a yard short of the first down) but he needs to get on them in the huddle so that it doesn't happen every fucking series.

The lollygagging was absolutely inexcusable. They looked like they haven't practiced their 4 or 2 minute offense yet. Why is Santana Moss running a 3 yard cross when we're down 11 points? Does no one remember the Greatest Four Minutes in Washington History?

If "West Coast Offense" means 3 yard passes in the last two minutes then you can give that shit back to the Japanese. Cooley was underused and it isn't clever that Portis faces 8 or 9 man fronts all the time.

Supplanting RT Jansen is one thing, making tough blocks in a real game proved too tough for second-year RT Heyer. So why did the Redskins run to the right 91% of the time (not an actual statistic, but you get the idea)?

DE Carter, S Landry (as long as he wasn't trying to tackle Brandon Jacobs head-on) and most especially LB Fletcher (pacing the game with 17 tackles, 12 solo) eventually turned in a solid effort and held the Giants to only 16 points (over 28 ppg in the 2007 playoffs). Where the hell was Shawn Springs? Why was Smoot always one-on-one with Burress?

The pass defense looks thin and susceptible again this year, like low-quality soup. Caucasian-American S Doughty is a nice kid with hustle but he'll never be a starting safety. The D Line got their ass kicked in the run game. The Giants physically dominated the Redbeards, and that is a major concern.

But this is what I expected from the early part of the season. What's important is that they keep building, keep improving. Next week we play the talented but enigmatic Saints. I hope to see some drives against a defense that was very poor yesteryear, though they've added personnel.

Go Washington Redbeards Go!

What does GU mean?

Sad that we have received so many hits asking that question.

Agree or Disagree with Gene Upshaw, his monogram probably does belong on NFL players jerseys.

and NFL fans should know.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

John McCain's Plan For Cleaning Up Washington

See this really filthy toilet bowl? I've lived it in for the last 20 years, and I've always thought it was disgusting. I never said anything, but I always thought it was gross. Now, I'm going to scrub this dirty toilet bowl with a hunk of human feces.

Sure, human feces caused the stains, and they are the reason that the bowl is disgusting, but I'm convinced that if I scrub really really hard, feces will clean up feces.

I'm John McCain, and Bullshit cancels bullshit.

Drunken Savages too Tame for Dirty Giants In NJ

The most disappointing Washington Outsider tonight was not John McCain, since he has lived in Washington almost as long as I have been alive. Jim Zorn is a true Washington outsider, and boy, he was just about as grating as Sarah Palin.

First of all, can we sit down and ask for Jason Campbell to be given a real fucking chance at some point? How many different offensives has he been asked to learn? Seven in eight years? Eight in seven years? It is something like that.

Jason Campbell has the skills, clearly, when given a pocket and a target. But he is learning, and the way for him to learn is to do. Jim Zorn, do not dare call only 5 pass plays in an entire first half next game.

Jason Campbell was 1-5 in the first half; a completed pass to Chris Cooley was brought back because of holdling on the line--that pass would have made it 1-5 at the time. It took the closing minutes of the half, on a beautiful thrown ball to Santana Moss on a shallow cross to get it to 2-6.

(Dear Jim Zorn: Please don't listen to Al Michaels whining (even after the half closing TD has been scored) that you are taking too much time and not using your timeouts effectively. Obviously, you were draining clock, and with 20 seconds left, and 3 timeouts, your plan was to throw close to the end zone, and it worked fine in the first half. Fuck Al Michaels. He ain't no coach.)

But, Dear Jim Zorn: Please let Jason Campbell throw more than 6 times in his next first half. please don't run Clinton Portis right up the middle every first and second down. Please don't do it when you are down two scores with eight minutes left. Because when it fails, and the Giants give you the ball after taking 4 minutes off the clock, they will be looking for the pass that much more.

Show some trust in your QB. If you don't have any faith in Campbell, then throw in Collins. To be clear, I think you should have faith in Campbell. He played, when not in obvious passing down, quite well. He should be throwing the ball more; he should be play faking on the very first down the Skins have. You don't have to "establish" Clinton Portis. He's Clinton Fucking Portis. Defenses will be scared of him, regardless. I promise.

Dear Skins Secondary: Catch fucking interceptions. Smoot, you caught one, but you also dropped one in the endzone that cost the Skins 3 points. Carlos Rogers, you had a tougher one, but one you could have caught. Laron Landry, you had one, too. CATCH INTERCEPTIONS.

Positive notes to the Redskin defense: Nice adjustments. After letting Jacobs and Plaxico run and catch all over you between the 20's in the first half, you shut them both down, respectively in the second half. You held the Giants scoreless. Well done. You were let down by an offense that couldn't score more than 7 points.

It should be noted, though, that if you played a little better, you could have held the Giants to 7 points. To be fair, if you had played a little worse, you could have given 28 points in the first half. I like bend don't break defense. I like stifling defense better.

The Drunken Savages didn't pass enough, and didn't execute well enough, and generally game-planned their way to a loss. I expect more passes to Cooley; fewer 1st and 10 runs up the damn middle, and more inventive play-calling. We will see.

I expect Andrew Wice is writing up his own post-mortem. We will compare notes.

Daily Show Delivers: Don't Trust TV Talkin' Hams

The Daily Show points out that some of the people on your TV extolling Sarah Palin are partisan hacks. (No! Not Karl Rove!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Mystery of the Mysterious Bellhop

Last year, RB Tatum Bell amassed 63 yards for the eternally moribund Detroit Lions and their next-to-last running game. Last year, RB Rudi Johnson humped 497 yards with a 2.9 avg for the fast-sinking Cincy Bengals (24th rush offense).

Cincy cleaned house and the players have been snapped up, including Johnson (who ran for 1,300 yards in 2004, 2005 & 2006 but suffered a hamstring in 2007). Detroit brought in Johnson and named him the starter before he signed a contract. Tatum Bell (who ran for one grand in thirteen games in 2006, Denver) was CUT without ceremony, like bargain-basement plastic surgery.

Looks like little Tatum Bell (5-11, 210) thought better than taking on Johnson (5-11, 260)physically and instead exacted his revenge stone cold Bellhop Style.

Upon his arrival in Cincy, Johnson met with GM Matt Millen (a-hem). During the greet & meet, a mysterious bellhop whisked away all of Johnson's luggage.

The surveillance cameras solved the Mystery of the Mysterious Bellhop rather quickly.

Tatum Bellhop admitted that he'd taken the bags, thinking they belonged to an unnamed associate. He also admitted to depositing the bags at the home of a one-time female associate.

No charges were filed. No tips were offered.

Thanks to Mystery Train which was not compensated for their contribution.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Manchester Makes Some Big Signings

But which will be bigger? I guess that's the question.

The splash and slap across Europe's face would suggest that Brazilian Robinho is the much bigger signing; at least in part because he isn't going to Chelsea or even Manchester United, but Manchester City.

That is somewhat shocking.

But I'll argue that Dimitar Berbatov signing with Manchester United will prove to be the much more important signing.

I'm not arguing that Berbatov is inherently more talented than Robinho. That way insanity lies. Robinho is one of the most talented ball-at-his-feet players of the next half-decade. He attacks defenses with a ferocity and an elan that may be second only to Christiano Ronaldo. But Ronaldo is a much more imposing physical presence on the soccer field. And Robinho isn't as deft as Ronaldo, either.

Make no mistake, Robinho is sneaky with the soccer ball, and given the chance to dance, he'll dazzle Man City fans, opposite fans, and opponents, too. I'm not sure how much chance he'll be given to be sneaky. Ronaldo dives all over the place in international play; in the Premiership, he's learned to take hard tackles, and power through them. Robinho has never done that in his life. He reminds me, in attitude, to use a basketball metaphor, of a Danny Ainge or John Stockton. He's cheap on defense, and willing to use dirty tactics; however, when he gets the slightest touch, he acts as if that it wasn't just him who was viciously violated, but entire generations of his ancestors.

Plus, he's been stuck with Manchester City, which has been a bit of a garbage dump of failed Premiership Experiments over the past decade or so. Sure, they have new, exciting (read: scary) Arab ownership, but it is still Man City. If he does well, he won't be wearing Man City colors long. I have to assume the rest of the Premiership decided that they were willing to wait on this experiment, in part because they don't know that it will succeed.

In the meantime, with much less fanfare or international news, the Red Devils of Manchester United secured Dimitar Berbetov, who has already proven himself in the Premiership, and has the right skill set to succeed. Good in the air, tough in the penalty box, and not without talent at his feet. To me, Man City got the splashier signing; Man United got the guy who will put them at the top of the table (yet again) at the end of year. Giggs has another year of serving a quality finisher in the box.

Check in with That's On Point for a more reasoned take in the days to come.

in the meantime, here's a highlight reel of Robinho--you'll see the moves, the feints, the dodges, the speed. You'll wait 3 minutes to see a finish. After which, you'll see Berbatov, who is all about finishes. [Warning: These are YouTube Soccer Videos. Please expect to hear crappy techno.]

ESPN Totally Not Jumping to Conclusions

[note: shortly after publishing this post, I realized that I had left Collier's status in doubt. As of right now, he is in critical but stable condition.]

Richard Collier was shot; that is not in dispute. According to the AP's Mark Long and Ron Word, he and his ex-teammate Kenneth Petway were sitting in a car waiting for some chicks they met at a bar to drop off their car. It was late at night/early in the morning--a bit after 2am, apparently. The AP went out of their way to mention that the locale of the shooting was a well-to-do neighborhood. (it should be noted that I think just about every contributor of this blog has done something pretty similar at some point, with the notable exception of being shot).

Police aren't releasing any details at the moment.

So we are left with some questions that we can speculate all day long about, but ESPN wants you to know that the police haven't said whether the attack was random or was sparked from something earlier in the night.

Positing that as the two choices is a false choice, of course. Jealous boyfriend, for example, doesn't necessarily figure into either of those. Angry dad, even.

My point isn't to come up with other variants, actually; my point is that ESPN shouldn't be offering up options for the motives when no motive has been ascribed, unless they have something to report. If they have something to report (like, "witnesses say Collier got in the face of some dude, who promised payback") than they should fucking report it.

Otherwise, they shouldn't make it sound like it had to be one or the other. There are a myriad of options between "totally random" and "this NFL player should have known better." Ask Sean Taylor. He was targeted because of his wealth and because he wasn't supposed to be home. We don't know what happened here yet.

Jack Del Rio isn't too happy with how this is being covered either.

To quote the AP's article again, quoting Jack:

“He was out last night, enjoying himself, having a good time, being responsible,” the coach said. “I take offense to people that insinuate and call that a lack of discipline or a lack of responsibility. There are no rules about being out on a Monday night before your day off the following day.

“Listen, a person got shot. The guy who shot the gun is the problem, not the guy who got shot. He’s the victim. He was victimized. You ought to be able to go out and have a good time and go back home and not be worried about being killed or being put in the hospital with bullet holes."

Jack was too pissed to note that you should also be able to follow some ladies home so they can drop off their car, and ya'll can continue the party elsewhere (again, something everyone has done at some point) without getting shot and without getting reamed in the media.

Let's hope the media doesn't jump to conclusions, or worse, do so whilst pretending that they aren't. ESPN has set a pretty low bar to jump over. I bet some folks manage to limbo underneath it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Case Against "Insider" Sports Columns--Twin Cities Edition

That title suggests that we'll be digging into every hometown media outlet's "sports insider", but we won't be. We know the Twin Cities. Yeah, we know all about Mary Tyler Moore and Profane Existence.

There are two "writers" who specialize in inside knowledge in the sports world. One we have denigrated repeatedly, but have never really put together his multiple missteps; the other, we have never really talked about.

Let's talk the about the latter first. Charlie "Shooter" Walters, who prides himself on his inside stuff. Every column has a special section titled, "Don't Print That", suggesting inside controversial information.

Here's the fun bit about Don't Print That--it is almost never anything controversial, or surprising in the least. It should be titled, "If You Want To Print That, Go Ahead, But Good God, It Is A Boring Thing to Print."

Recent first stories under the Banner of Don't Print That include such exciting tidbits as:

If Vikings center Matt Birk, who is Harvard-educated, were not still playing, he would be the perfect successor to Gene Upshaw, who died Thursday at age 63, as head of the NFL Players Association.

Don't be surprised if Matt Tolbert is the Twins' 2009 Opening Day shortstop.

Word in baseball circles is that ex-Twins pitcher Carlos Silva, left, placed on the disabled list by the Seattle Mariners, has been lost without pal Johan Santana, traded to the New York Mets. Silva has won just once in his past 21 starts. Don't think the Mariners wouldn't love to unload the right-hander, who has a $48 million, four-year guaranteed contract, on the Mets so he could rejoin Santana.

Those are the three successive "Don't Print That" lead items. Do any of them make you at all interested in sports, Minnesota sports, or controversy in the least? Or do they make you cock your head and think, "Why did I waste 10 seconds of my life reading that?"

Charley Peters is not the sole reason that the Pioneer Press won't be in existence in 5 years, but he is certainly one of the reasons they won't be. The only reason anyone reads him is because he comes free in the paper some stupid bastard already paid 25 cents for. Can you imagine getting online and googling such information? Who, besides Matt Tolbert, is Googling information about Matt Tolbert being the starting shortstop next fucking year? The Twins are in the middle of a pennant run, for fuck's sake.

But poor inoffensive, unsightful Shooter Peters is actually a step above his opposite number across the river. Legendary sportswriter, Sid Hartman. "Legendary" is a nice way of saying "too fucking old to do the job, and too entrenched to fire." Because, really, Hartman's "scoops" in the past year would have been firable offenses for a young reporter.

Let's count them off:

There is the insanely obvious: The Vikings pull off a free agent coup, and get Jared Allen. Sid reports that the Defensive Coaches are happy about it. No fucking shit. Not a big deal--reporters have to report the obvious as well as the hard research, digging into sources stories.

It is when Hartman reports on the hard stories that the shit hits the fans.

There was the time he was told that KG wouldn't be traded by the Timberwolves. Sid bragged about his inside pipe to ownership, not realizing that Glen Taylor might bullshit him: "If you listened to Taylor, you too would be convinced there is zero chance that Garnett will be traded."

That's not a one time thing, of course. Let us quote Sid Hartman on the chances of the Twins resigning Torii "Gates of Shinto" Hunter: "While there might not be any specific negotiations with Hunter and his agent during the season, I'm 100 percent convinced that Carl Pohlad, the Twins owner, will make sure that Hunter plays in the new ballpark when it opens in 2010."

Just to be clear, Sid Hartman got the status of two of the three biggest free agents, beloved Icons in Minnesota completely, totally wrong. Why did that happen? Because Sid is an old, lazy man, and he thinks "reporting" means "Ask the Ownership what they are going to do and accepting what they say as Gospel Truth, regardless of the obvious facts on the ground."

The next time you are discussing reasons why newspapers are dying, and people throw out reasons like "Blogs" or "Internet Reporting", please do mention the fact that Newspapers are still actually giving column inches to the likes of Charlie Waters, Sid Hartman, and Stupid Fat Fuck Tom Powers and Bob Sansavere.

Women Don't Vote With the Big Head

The Daily Show offers up what really should be the last word on McCain's VP pick:

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