Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I know we all remember Tampa Bay's original uniform, which goes to show that wealth and sound decision making do not go hand in hand.
If the logo isn't queer enough for you, his nickname is "Bucco Bruce." I believe the franchise had a hard time focusing on winning because they were distracted by their quest to find the six fingered man:
The uniform was changed in 1997, the team went 10-6 (previous season 6-10), made the play-offs, and defeated Barry Sanders and the Lions (Lost to Green Bay). The team has had numerous playoff appearances and won the Superbowl in 2002.
In 1989 the "orange crush" were the Vikings of the AFC. Four Superbowl appearances, four Superbowl losses - three for Elway. Let us look at the losses: 27-10, 39-20, 42-10, and 55-10. Sum those scores up and you get 163-50. I guess it's easy to tackle a player who is wearing bright orange. The Broncos unvieled their new uniforms in 1997 - and immediately won the next two Superbowls. Take that 11.5 point favorites Green Bay!
New England Patriots
Look! It's Pat Patriot! Hey Pat? Who are you hiking the ball to? Or is this Jim Plunkett working a Historic Williamsburg?
(Oddly enough, Plunkett was a Patriot from 1971-1975) With this awe inspiring uniform the Patriots did manage to find their way into Superbowl XX, which they lost to the shuffling Bears 46-10. Thier new uniform came out in 1993. Since they have made the play-offs 10 out of 16 years and have 3 Superbowl titles.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams, who had one Superbowl appearence in 1979 (loss 31-19) did win a Superbowl in 1999, the last game they wore thier old uniform. Perhaps it was the prospect of getting a new uniform that changed thier ways, or perhaps it was the magic powers of Brenda Warner.
The Indianapolis Colts
"The Dolts" - that's what I remember of the Colts from my childhood. Next to Tampa they were the laughing stock of the NFL. They changed their helmet, slightly albeit, in 1995 and 2004. Since the change the Colts have 11 play-off appearances for 14 seasons (previous 14 seasons - 1 play-off) and a Superbowl title for the 2006 season.
The Houston Oilers - Tennessee Oilers - Tennessee Titans
Now what the hell was this? "I think I'll go powder blue, with an oil rig on the brain!" Lovely. They are number two in the record books for the most consecuative road losses with 23 (Lions got to 24 in 2003!). The Oilers experienced both a uniform and name change for 1999 - where they lost in the Superbowl to the Rams - by about 1 yard. Again - they should have won but that Brenda Warner.... I digress. The Titans have made the play-offs 6 out of 10 since the change. In the previous 29 seasons they had only 10 dissapointing appearences.
Look at that, it says "Bengals" right on the helmet so you don't confuse them with the Browns. Now a bengal is a cool looking animal - don't you think you could design something to go allong with that? They did, some wiked stripes were added in 1981. 1978, 4-12; 1979, 4-12; 1980, 6-10; 1981, 12-4 and a Superbowl appearance! They added another for the 1988 season. Then a horrible streak without a play-off appearance from 1991-2004. In 2004 they added a new tiger stripe pattern and reached the play-offs again in 2005. Perhaps they need a bigger change to get a ring.
The Cleveland Browns...
...have not changed thier uniform, and have not appeared in a Superbowl. And here's a nice tidbit - the teams old mascot, Brownie Elf!
The team did away with Brownie Elf in 1965. Thier last championship was 1964. Obviously, Brownie liked being a mascot more than he liked making cookies for Keebler, and has cursed the team.
New Orleans Saints
Uniform basically the same, team basically the same. The fleur-de-lis did have a minor change in 2000, the year they beat the Rams in the play-offs. New Orleans, you need make-over. Perhaps the Hurricanes? What? Too soon?
The Detroit Lions
After winning three championships in the 1950's, the Lions debut the leaping lion logo in 1960 nicknamed, I kid you not, "Bubbles"!! We know what has happened since. Coincidentally enough, the Lions did win their only play-off game in 1991; a year they slightly modified the uniform.
Well, this list just goes on and on, so I'll stop here and make some bold predictions. If the Lions make changes - like giving"Bubbles" some balls, maybe some eyes to see with, or get rid of him all together - I will guarantee a Superbowl appearance within 4 years. MARK MY WORDS!
Thanks to the all knowing Wikipedia for the majority of the information presented here.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This monument stands in Tikrit, Iraq to honor the journalist who threw his shoes at our beloved president George Bush. Huzzah!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Far from innocuous, invisible injuries, concussions confer tremendous brain damage. That damage has a name: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).---CTE has thus far been found in the brains of six out of six former NFL players.
"What's been surprising is that it's so extensive," said [Dr. Ann] McKee. "It's throughout the brain, not just on the superficial aspects of the brain, but it's deep inside."
"I knew what traumatic brain disease looked like in the very end stages, in the most severe cases," said McKee. "To see the kind of changes we're seeing in 45-year-olds is basically unheard of."
The damage affects the parts of the brain that control emotion, rage, hypersexuality, even breathing, and recent studies find that CTE is a progressive disease that eventually kills brain cells.
That is just scary. They've got 100 guys who have pledged to donate their brains, and given that all these guys are dying in their mid-40's, the doctors should have quite a study ahead of them in the next decade or so.
Given the NFL's history with this sort of the thing, you'll probably be unsurprised to learn two things: 1) the players seem a little bit pissed about this information; 2) the NFL is funding their own study.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Attention participants in the postseason pick 'em: you only have a few days left for your final picks. Remember, an autographed copy of my novel is the prize.
Make your picks right here. Reminder: we haven't had two Superbowl-winning QBs competing against each other in a Superbowl in twenty-four years. And it's only the third time it's happened in Superbowl history.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
If you watch closely you notice that Warner is hit as he throws the ball, yet somehow his 37 year old arm still throws a perfect spiral some 60 yards in the air. How is that possible? And you, and many others have noticed the following transformation:
What the? Does she age backwards like people from Ork? Did she get into Snapes Poly-Juice potion? Holy shit! Did you see her? SHE LOOKS LIKE BLOSSOM!
From Madam Hooch to Fluer Delacour. The only logical explanation is magic. The Steelers only have a chance for this Superbowl if they can somehow use the same Voodoo powers that New Orleans used to hand Warner his only non-Belicheating play-off loss.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
As Mark Twain put it, "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."
Miwacar and Black Freighter picked the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals as the Least Deserving team in the playoffs. Miwacar and Black Freighter will likely not be winning an autographed copy of my novel To The Last Drop. But someone else will!
1. Barnyard: 51 (this week +23) [Steelers Champ]
2 Adw: 41 (this week +10)
3. MMMan: 35 (this week +20)
4. Black Freighter: 33 (this week +13)
5. Big BM: 31 (this week +4)
6. Jess: 24 (this week +4)
Miwacar: 24 (this week +10)
7. Lucy: 20 (this week +13) [Steelers Champ]
This Week's Picks
1. Arizona Cardinals versus Pittsburgh Steelers +/- 7
2. Superbowl MVP? +7
3. Highest QB rating? +3
4. Player with most yards rushing? +3
5. Player with most yards receiving? +3
6. Player with most tackles? +3
7. Player with most turnovers forced? +3
8. Final Score? (closest +3; bull's eye +10)
Remember, you have two weeks for these final picks. Make them count.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
It certainly seems that the success of first-time head coaches (see: playoffs) has infused the NFL with the same prescient lightning-strikes-thrice strategy as Hollywood piggyback blockbusters (see: volcanoes, asteroids).
Active Head Coaches with Rings
Coughlin, Giants, 2008
Belicheat, Patriots, 2002, 2004, 2005
At the conclusion of the 2008 season, Holmgren (1997) and Dungy (2007) walked away. Shanahan (1998, 1999) and Gruden (2003) were fired. Outrageous!
Before the season, I predicted the 8-8 Washington Football Team would go 8-8, 9-7 if they were lucky. And I hoped that Zorn would be granted a second year to coach the team. I had no idea what an audacious hope that was. Thanks Dan Snyder!
In other news, in three days a new American President will be taking office in the White House which was built, 215 years ago, by slaves.
It is as if our nation, a powerfully-built adolescent among the toddlers and seniors of the world, has achieved a sudden moment of insight. Like when Teen Wolf learned to control his powers.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
1) Nerfneck Turner fired four assistant coaches yesterday. This is just the most recent instance of Coach Bitch blaming others. Earlier this season, he fired his defensive coordinator Ted Cotrell. This is one of the many, many dishonorable eczema scars that define Nerf Turner. Hey, Coach Bitch: you ran for fifteen yards against the Steelers. You suck!
2) Jake Delhomme's 5 INT against the Cardinals was the worst performance since Rich Gannon upchucked in the 2003 Superbowl. Delhomme's commitment to excellence included a fumble, which has to rank as one of the worst-ever performances by a good* quarterback.
* according to the popular unconscious. See: Carl Jung
Ladies and gentlemen, I wrote in a past article my suspicion that Brenda Warner may have fantastic powers over the NFL. I think this season with the return of Kurt Warner to the NFC championship as a Cardinal is in part evidence to that, but other evidence is indeed mounting. Let us look as some teams that have wronged Kurt Warner in the past.
This season the Rams were contending with the Lions for the worst team in the NFL. The Rams allowed 29.1 points per game (31st) and scored only 14.5 points per game (tied 30th) for an average margin of defeat at 14.5 (31st). Since dumping Kurt Warner in 2004, that's right dumping him - not even trading him - the Rams have gone 8-8 (lost in play-offs), 6-10, 8-8, 3-13, and this season 2-14. Kurt Warner is two time NFL MVP. Superbowl MVP. Third in career passer rating behind Steve Young and Payton Manning. Career completion percentage of 65.7% - second all time. Let's cut him, he had a bad season (Favre 3-13 - NOT CUT). Oh how the mighty have fallen under the curse of Brenda Warner. And now Warner returns to the NFC championship game with the city of St. Louis' former team, the Cardinals.
New England Patriots
So you may be thinking this one doesn't make much sense considering the Patriots recent success. But let us recall last season it became known that a certain coach was illegally taping the other team in order to steal thier calls. A report came out just before the last Superbowl that Belicheat also taped the Rams before Superbowl XXXVI. Uh-oh. Brenda angry. Patriots lose to the Giants, lose their perfect season, and then lose Tom Brady. Not bad enough? How about missing the play-offs with a 11-5 record.
The Detroit Lions
The Lions? But Kurt never played for the Lions? Guess what fellows - he tried to. In 2005 after being released from the Giants Warner's first choice was the Detroit Lions! I kid you not. What could be more insulting than being passed up by the Lions? Since that excellent decision by Matt Millen to take Garcia over Warner the Lions have gone 15-49. There is more (you probably forgot); Garcia broke his leg in the preseason. When he returned in late October he played 6 games, threw 6 INTs and only 3 TDs and had an abysmal career low season passer rating of 65.1 - that's even ugly for Garcia.
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay issued Kurt Warner his packing orders in 1994, and did proceed to win the Superbowl in 1997 (1996 season). Then, Kurt and Brenda were married October 1997. In the next Superbowl the packers, 11.5 point favorites, were stifled by the Denver Broncos and they haven't returned, but they have gotten oh so painfully close.
"I'm the franchise quarterback..."
Really Mr. Leinhart? Tread softly young man.... softly. You've already had a high number of injures.
Now I understand if you're still a bit skeptical that Brenda Warner has magic powers, but did you forget her day job as flying instructor at Hogwarts?
Without a doubt she is no muggle.
I hereby predict Warner will have another Superbowl ring - or the Eagles/Ravens/Steelers will have some bad, bad fortune in their future. And I hereby apologize for posting both images of Brenda Warner and Hobgoblin together. That was wrong of me. Please forgive, my life is hard enough without a curse lingering over me. Now I see you more like Saint Louis (above) - helper of the poor. After all, you've turned a bag boy into an NFL MVP.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Fire Nerf Turner! He sucks! Having that wrinkled neck in charge of a team as talented as the Chargers is a fucking crime. 77-95 lifetime record. Four playoff wins in eleven years? Fire Nerf Turner!
Why do I hate Nerf Turner so much? Because Nerf Turner sucks! Fire Nerf Turner!
1. Adw: 31 [this week +14] (
2. Barnyard: 28 [this week +11] (Steelers Champ)
3. Big BM: 27 [this week +10] (
4. MMMan: 25 [this week +11] (
5. Black F: 20 [this week +13] (
Jess: 20 [this week +13] (
6. Miwacar: 14 [this week +7] (
7. Lucy: 7 [this week +4] (Pittsburgh Champ)
This Week's Picks
1. Philly Eagles (6) at Arizona Cardinals (4)
2. Baltimore Ravens (6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
3. Your Shoe-in? +/- 3
4. Closest Game? + 3
5. Highest QB Rating? McNabb, Warner, Flacco, Roethlisberger +3
6. Most Turnovers Created (Defense)? Eagles, Cards, Ravens, Steelers +3
There are only nine hours of football left. And then we'll go seven months without it. Soak up these last few games, ladies and germs. Because after football is over, we won't have anything to cheer for except this girl in the RC Cola Dash held in Bell Buckle, TN.
I'm serious, that really is a girl. WARNING: RC Cola contains testosterone. And fried cheese.
Friday, January 09, 2009
We said not to fuck with Gu-Gu in Gu-Gu's House. We've based an entire term on the stupidy of wandering into a panda enclosure.
It was good advice, and a great neologism, but it is too late. Gu-Gu has a taste for human blood. Apparently, you don't even have to try to hug him--you just have to jump the fence into his enclosure, in an attempt to retrieve a toy your stupid, stupid child (or brilliant species-betraying child who is colluding with the pandas) threw over the railing.
But still...you didn't hug the panda, but you did fuck with Gu-Gu. Great. When we are all slaves/snacks for our Panda Overlords, I hope you remember that I warned you.
By the way, a fact I totally just made up right now--Gu-Gu transliterates into English as, "the Baggy Eyed Dominator of the Walking Ape." So it is practically (made-up) prophecy that Gu-Gu would rise up and start the Cute, Cuddly Revolution.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
First up: Josh Grenier and Adam Loavenbruck of The Lee Family Curse. (as usual, most if not all links and photos provided by your faithful editor). Josh and Adam have been playing together in some form or another since their college days, and that happens to be when we first encountered them. You can check out their music just about anywhere that sells music--but of course, Amazon gets some cred for giving you previews of every track.
Adam describes The Lee Family Curse this way: "The Curse is meant to be a musical firehose of sorts for you all to try to drink from. A lot going on, kind of a big catharsis of everything we've heard over the years that got stuck in our craws. The strange, stuff that hits that mark, that you can't quite describe. It's supposed to be a rush of all the musical experiences we can and can't quite remember. It's a stew of odd parts. In that way it falls under "garage" music - it's unfiltered, home-brewed. Some things that come up again and again - calypso/island, classic rock, afro-pop, Philly soul, psychedelia, and depression-era American folk. My next door neighbor is 50-odd year old Scandihoovian Minnesotan. He took one listen and said with full confidence, "Yeah, I get it. It's like a more psychedelic Jimmy Buffet. Right?"
That's perfect, " I said. "Exactly right."
[editors note: I compared them to a fun version of Steely Dan. While Adam didn't overtly call me an idiot for that, it may be implied in his response. That is OK.]
IDYFT: When I initially contacted you all, you said that you were interested in talking sports, but you gave out this warning "Heads up - when we talk about the Spurs or Lakers, we become so angry as to become beet red. Can be awkward socially."
First question: why do the Spurs and Lakers anger you so much?
Adam: Ha. This is honestly a dream come true. I get to talk basketball from within my rock persona? Can I pretend to be interviewing from a mountain village in the Swiss Alps, in a fondue bar staffed by buxom mountaineering milkwomen... Never mind.
Josh, can you weigh in on this first? Thinking back, you were responsible for orienting me to Lakers/Spurs hatred. The flavor of my hatred is very different for each of these teams. What's shared is that bitter resentment of the overdog - both are full of old, established vets who seem satisfied with their NBA royalty treatment.
From there, though, the repulsion I feel toward each of these teams diverges. They represent the dark side of the NBA, but in very different packages - the Lakers with the feather boas, Gucci sunglasses, and venereal diseases, and Spurs with the reaper's cloaks, vapid stares, referees on their payroll, and most of all--Bruce Bowen.
Josh: To be perfectly honest, my dislike for the lakers and the spurs started with jealousy mixed with boredom. I would have loved either of them if they were our team, but they weren't and they kept winning and it got annoying and boring. I don't like watching the same team win over and over again unless it's my team. Duncan is kind of a robot, Bryant is a self absorbed ego maniac, at least that is what the jealous part of me says.
IDYFT: Adam wins for his more magical description of why the Spurs suck, by the way.
Before we delve too much into the Hate and Dislike and the like, let's get back to your innocent days. What sports and which teams did you grow up with? How did you become a fan as a child? And are you still a fan of those teams?
Adam: Booya Josh! My hate is better than your hate!
Before we move on, briefly - Josh, I don't think you should be so reflexive in your loathing of the Spur-kers. Bottom line: they are disgusting. I believe that when Darth Vader removes his mask, it's Tim Duncan in there. The Joker? Ginobli. When Dick Ceney pulls his rubber mask off - it's Shaq circa 2003. Rob Horry, when he's not accidentally breaking Steve Nash's nose, works part-time as a clubber of baby seals.
Getting back - I grew up on the Yankees. Period. Dave Winfield, Ricky Henderson, Craig Nettles, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Bucky Dent, Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly. Mmmm, I love those guys - they're all glossy, smell like freshly printed card stock, and taste like Bazooka gum.
Now I know what you're thinking - how do I one moment claim undying enmity toward the Spur-kers, then say I grew up a devotee of the Dark Side of baseball? I answer that my love was pure and unthinking - I was watching the Yankees before I could speak a single word, dude! My parents kept the TV right next to the bassinet. As proof of this theory, I can say that the Twins have taken over as my primary team, and I can honestly understand why the rest of the country hates the Yanks. I think I'd feel the same way about the Spurkers if I lived in San Antone or LA.
Josh: WOW!, I can't compete with this! I'm in the middle of writing my architectural manifesto, not kidding, and it's due in 4 hours so don't have time to respond with comedy and wit. I can give you names: George Brett, pine tar, Brett Saberhagen, Willie Wilson, Dr. J, Mike Rozier, Tom Ratheman, Roger Craig, umm... can you guess where I come from? I can tell you I literally cried every year as a young boy when we got our asses pounded in the orange bowl by a team from Florida that used "wide receivers" whatever the hell they were, i didn't understand. There really was a feeling that those people were bad people, that it was somehow immoral to pass the football. But we were vindicated in the mid nineties...the good boys who run the ball, keep it on the ground, they got a little piece.
Adam: Ha! Passing is for cheaters. That's great.
IDYFT: Josh, I'm going to go ahead and guess you're from Kansas City. I never knew that about you. I always assumed you to be a New Yorker.
Do you have a singular fan moment? One that you remember watching? Either highlight or lowlight? For example, I remember watching John Riggins in 1982 carry a Miami Dolphin on his way to the endzone. It helps that it is a moment that is shown all the time, but still. I remember it. Do you have a sports moment that you can close your eyes and still see?
Josh: I looked up that Riggins run, and I remember it too, I was a Riggins fan. Didn't they have an offensive line called the Hogs or something?
I feel like I should choose something that happened a long time ago, but none of my childhood sports memories are that powerful. I'm from Nebraska, you were close, so I was rooting for the Huskers and the KC Royals.
The Royals won the World Series in 1985, a good year overall, with "Back to the Future" being the coolest movie and the Bears recording "The Super Bowl Shuffle" (they won the super bowl in Jan. of 86). But I don't think I cared as much about sports as a kid. I would get all worked up and emotional if my team lost, but would forget about it in 5 minutes.
I have to say the biggest moment for me was when KG got the ring last year. I have been watching KG since the beginning. I didn't even care that he was playing for Boston, I was really happy for him. We were never going to get him a ring in Minnesota. He had this thing following him around for so long, that he would never win it all, and to see him get it, that was great. I really liked the interview at the end:
He's slobbering all over, calling out for his mom, shouting "anything is possible" at the top of his lungs, and then ending it with "whachou gonna say now". It's great, I'm sure you saw it.
IDYFT: I'm still waiting for Adam to explain the Yankees awfulness--spending almost Half A Billion dollars for 3 guys.
Adam: I can't justify the Yankees having the same spending power as most of the nations of South America. I can't spin that in any way to make it seem okay. I can just say that my mother and father are much happier when the Yankees are winning. So, I have 2 outlooks on the Yankees that I keep in separate compartments in my mind. One of them comes from the the pure, unthinking point of view of my family, who don't have the ability to be analytical about the situation, but instead think that the pinstripe uniform turns a guy automatically into a legend, a descendant of Roger Marris or whatever. In the other compartment, I see the Yankees as the ultimate example of pro sports giving big-markets a calossal advantage, and relish in watching the teams full of veteran megastars collapse under their own weight. Don't tell my mom, she wouldn't understand.
IDYFT: Final Question! Who is your intellectual pick for Super Bowl Champion? Who is emotional pick? (editor's note: all picks were made prior to last weekend's games. Also, prior the awesome Timberwolves 4 game winning streak)
Josh: Here are my emotional picks:
The Vikes will play the Giants in the NFC championship game. They will win and go to the super bowl.
In the AFC, I want someone to beat the Colts, preferably the Chargers. In the end the Titans will beat the Steelers in the championship game. The Vikes win the superbowl, of course.
Here are my intellectual picks:
The Panthers beat the Giants in the NFC championship game, setting up a Titans vs. Panthers superbowl, and the Panthers will win. It is hard not to pick both of the Manning teams, so I suppose my intellectual picks still have an emotional component. (I don't want them to get there again, yet)
I actually have no idea. One thing I dislike is the gap between the championship games and the super bowl, it always seems like a buzz kill.
Adam: My brain says "I don't know much about the playoffs yet, have to do some research and formulate strong opinions".
Heart says Vikings will lose in the worst way imaginable.