Saturday, October 31, 2009

A-Rod Has Slash Fiction Paintings of Himself

Thanks ex-girlfriend of Alex Rodriguez for this tidbit: "He was so vain," his ex tells Us Weekly. "He had not one, but two painted portraits of himself as a centaur. You know, the half man, half horse figure?"

via HuffPost

The Fining Structure in the NFL

If you haven't listened to our 1.75 hour radio appearance on Fins Radio, then you don't know that one of the things we touched on was the questionable priorities demonstrated by the NFL via their fines.

Barnyard and I talked at length about the fact that fans have overlooked the small problems in the NFL because the product has been so good, but we both feel the NFL ownership is about to fuck things up. We also talked about the fact that the legend of the No Fun League has been around since the USFL, back in the early 80's.

Sports Illustrated illustrates the point well with a couple of fines from last week.

SI, in the Go Figure column from the November 2 issue had these two fines listed back to back:

$7500--Larry English was fined that much for a horse-collar tackle on October 19th.
$10,000--Chad Ochocino was fined that much for wearing a black chinstrap instead of a white one on Oct 18th.

So, to be clear--potentially career-ending tackle that has been illegal for a couple of years now is only 75% as bad as a slight costume change that no one would have noticed. That's NFL priorities, right there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey College Basketball Top 25 Rankings!

I'm not going to do any real in-depth analysis at the moment, except to say that starting Butler in the Top 10 seems unfair to them Bulldogs. They will only fall, perhaps out of the Top 25, under the weight of those expectations, and then climb back to where they belong (low teens, early 20's) by the time the Tournament starts up, and still get a shitty seed in the Tournament come March. (Yeah, I'm talking about March already. If you know who my favorite NFL team is, you'll understand why I'm so geeked for College Hoops)

But anyway--more later. Here's the AP, Here's the Coaches Poll.

Consensus Top 3 teams:

1. Kansas
2. Michigan St (that ranking might be underrating the absence of Goran Suton a bit)
3. Texas ?!

Melky Cabrera, Watch out!

The Yankee Stadium Goblin has appeared behind you, poorly disguised as a Yankee fan from 2001! It will undoubtedly leap out of its hidey hole and attempt to eviscerate you where you stand! For the LOVE OF GOD, Melky! Get the Hell Out of There!!!

Oops, sorry, Mr. Guiliani. Honest mistake.

Soccer + Guitar Hero = Happy

This is just a perfect meeting of my worlds. I wanna play! I'd suck at it, but I do not care.

(via Kotaku)

Proposed LA Stadium Deal Shadier Than Reported

From Dirty Sports Communist David Zirin, writing in the the LA Times, we learn more about the goings on of the LA NFL Stadium project, and just what an interesting place the City of Industry is.

If you were scratching your head about the NFL Stadium project before, you may wish to avert your eyes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Huge Game 1 Victory!

I speak of course, of the Timberwolves rallying back from 19 points down to win their first game of the season. What else could I be talking about?

Jonny Flynn was super clutch in the 4th quarter, and showed an attacking the hoop attitude that we haven't seen from a point guard in quite awhile. It was great fun to see.

( World Series note: Cliff Lee--you are a badass. I'm rooting for you to start every game the rest of the way)

J.E.B Stuart Raiders!

The Washingtonian has the start of a promising article about my alma mater available online. Why just the start? I don't know. I guess those 150 pages of ad revenue need some insulating from the Great Wilds of the Internets.

But at least they did include a neat little mini-documentary that they decided to share. The school seems to have somehow gotten a smidge more diverse since I graduated from it back in 1992. Back then, educators were saying that the demographics of Stuart were providing a window into how schools across the nation would look. I've got a buddy who is coaching football in the Twin Cities, and I think he'd agree that there are some minorities playing football now that he didn't see a whole of lot in his playing days. Which is cool--football is the new American past time and the New American past time, if you get me.

Sexy Talking on the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement

Bitchin' Dave of the Fins Radio Blog Radio network asked Barnyard and me to sit down and talk management issues in the NFL and sports in general. It was shockingly fun. And sexy, by the very nature of Barnyard and I speaking.

I haven't listened to the entire finished product, but because Barnyard has as many words for "fuck" as southerners have for snow (one), the interview is not particularly safe for work, unless you work in a place where everyone uses obscenities (which is most workplaces, really). You can hit the play button to enjoy our takes on stuff.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Washington Generals

The Washington DC professional football team has been accused of lacking an identity this year. In fact, their identity is very apparent.

In 1952, the Harlem Globetrotters commissioned a foil for their antics: the Washington Generals were born to lose. They were the faceless chumps who so earnestly failed, showcasing the Globetrotters' sweet skills.

It sounds exactly like my favorite team.

Anyone in need of a win, a jumpstart to their season, schedule my favorite team right away.

Every player, from first-time starting QBs to old rusty vets looking for a final hurrah, should have an opportunity to play against my favorite team.

My favorite football team is the Washington Generals.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shudra Shutouts

A hardened caste system, much like that of India or feudal Japan, has ossified the NFL. The upper caste continues to shut out the smelly untouchables. There have been seven shutouts in seven weeks, well above the norm.

Professor Badcock, as you know, toils endlessly in his cavernous underground labs to provide the best Computationally-Consistent pleasure in the IDYFT NFL Pick'em. The shutout question hasn't really worked yet, so this question is going to be simplified. A bit.

Do You Smell A Shutout? is now a Yes/No question. The odds are skewed: "Yes" yields +2/-1 and "No" yields +/- 1. We certainly hope that is clear, easy 'n' breezy enough for all you Alfred Einsteins out there.

1. Big BM: 18 points (this week +4)
2. Mwcar: 17 points
3. MMan: 16 points
Jess: 16 points (this week +6)
4. Bnyrd: 13 points (this week +7)
5. Adw: 11 points (this week +3)
6. Grwd: 6 points
7. lfnut: 4 points

Week Eight
1. Big Shoe-in? +2/-4

2. Little Shoe-in? +1/-2

3. Surprise! +3 Underdog list:

Browns, Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, Falcons, Carolina

4. Favorite/Disliked Team? +/-1

5. Do You Smell A Shutout? Yes (+2/-1) or No (+/-1)

6. Clash of the Titans: +/-2

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prognosticating Tots, Week 7

As promised, the tots return for thier week seven predictions. Fiona is clearly a Bengals fan, wooed by the tiger striped helmet. Makayla gives Barnyard a smile predicting a win for Green Bay. Fiona takes the safe bet that Seattle will not win this week (as they don't play) and Makayla predicts another rough week for the niners. In the match-up of the week the tots split, one for Vikings, and one for the Steelers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ha Ha Tonka!

God Is Apparently a Southern Methodist

How else to explain this strike from SMU freshman Ryan Rosenbaum (a name that screams Methodist) and his purported 95 yard strike?

Also enjoyable: comments on the video blaming the goalie for being out of position. yeah! How dare he be off his line, when the ball is 25 yards deep on the other team's side?

Regardless, please enjoy God striking down Tulsa via a lucky goal from a Jewish fella.

Friday, October 23, 2009

KLOVE Commercial

Kevin Love having fun with Blake Griffin. I would find this a lot more entertaining if KLove were healthy and ready to contribute to what is going to be a fun, entertaining, but ultimately not very good Timberwolves team.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

LA Football: Stadium, Ibsen and Shopping

Why are California State Representatives, and the Governator weighing in on a dispute between two cities, one of whom wants to host a massive building project, while a neighboring city is concerned that a real environmental review wasn't done?

Because the building project is an $800 million NFL Stadium.

You might think that with California handing out IOU's instead of paychecks that they have bigger fish to fry than mediating an environmental studies dispute between two cities. But apparently, they feel like announcing no state roadblocks to an NFL stadium is important.

Building shit so other shit comes and hangs out works in movies, but it is hard to believe that even Schwarzenegger's California (a national joke when it comes to financial management) would build a stadium that might have no tenants.

So who do the builders think it could be? A new team? Probably not. They are looking at a few existing franchises: "the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders, the Rams, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers."

First off, those builders (Majestic Realty) are either purposefully inflating the ranks of eligible teams or they are possibly just straight up high. The following teams on their list are nonstarters: Chargers, Raiders, Rams, Bills, and 49ers. No way any of those teams leave where they are for the reservoired, irrigated green grass of Industry City.

The Vikings? Maybe. Enough that the Star Tribune pricked up its ears and delved into it a bit: "Though the Southern California stadium still faces significant financial hurdles, Thursday's developments were being watched intently in Minnesota, where the Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season. With the Legislature facing a significant state budget deficit and a governor's race in 2010 -- and with most of the state's leading politicians shying away from the issue -- the team will face an uphill political struggle next year."

The Strib also points out an obvious, weird aspect of this--Viking Ownership seems convinced the only way to build a new stadium is with public money. California is attempting to prove them wrong; says the Governator: "It won't cost the taxpayers a dime...In California, we don't build stadiums with public money."

So I think every right-thinking taxpayer and legislator in Minnesota will be asking the Vikings the same question--why is it cheaper for you to move and reestablish your brand in LA, where NFL franchises last, on average, half a decade, than it would be to put in the work and get a stadium built with private money here?

That's a good question, and I don't see a particularly sensible answer coming, should the question ever be asked.

Back to LA (OK, Industry City)--What goes best with football? Orthopedic care, Ibsen, and shopping: "[The plans include a] 75,000-seat, 3 million-square-foot stadium complex that would also feature an orthopedic hospital, a movie and live performance theater and office and retail space."

Let's be real here. Can I be really real? No way the Vikings are going anywhere. Not when they are 6-0, not when they would be leaving for a stadium that didn't have any public dollars (proof that it could be done) and not when they are selling out the Metrodome (as winning Vikings teams always do). The team in the crosshairs is the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2011 or 2012, get ready to cheer or boo the City of Industry Polecats.

Calipari? Eligbility Issues With Star Recruit? WHAT?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

30 in 30: Who Killed the USFL

This is the first of the ESPN documentary series I've seen, but the first two were so well received by the only TV critics that matter (AV Club) that I set my DVR.

All in all, a pretty interesting hour of 1980's era football shenanigans.

Guess who the majority of USFL participants blame for the league folding after three years? I'll give you a hint. Donald Trump was involved in the USFL.

Guess who Donald Trump blames? Everyone else!

All in all, I'll recommend keeping an eye on this series. Next up--the horrific Ali vs. Holmes fight from 1980.

Delicious Pie Anyone?

Mmmmm... who wants some humble pie? Andy? Big Blue? Me? Everyone?

The Denver Bronco's are 6-0, defeating Dallas, New England, and the San Diego Chargers their last three games. And they did so with class, wearing poo-poo brown candy cane striped socks. Can you believe it? Not that their 6-0, that they'd wear something resembling Bronco scat with yellow hay inclusions. Nice.
Guess what, it appears that J. MickyD knows a little more about football than we do. Denver's defense has gone from near worst to first, with 11 points allowed per game. The Bronco's have allowed only 10 points scored in the second half all season. That's good.
It also appears that Danny boy was correct about both Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler being under and over rated respectively. This season Kyle Orton has a career high QB rating of over 100. Jay-Jay the bear's QB rating? 87. Tack on the 7 INTs and a just above 500 record with wins over Detroit and Seattle and I'm not that impressed (Orton only 1 INT). It appears that J. McD's perceived insanity was actually genius. Happens to me all the time.

On the other side of the spectrum, it looks like Kerry Collins contract with Satan was for one year and one year only of average football quarterbackin'. It's expired folks. What I'm seeing for Tennessee this year is what I expected from them last year. Time to give Vince one more chance, and then.. Kitna? (I'm surprised to find out Kitna is not a free agent. Good for him!). Oh, and all you 0-6 teams are worse than the Lions, you can thank Washington and Evil Zorn for that. Save vs poison or die Washington!

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Washington Savage Sadness

If you liked Wice's version of the poem "The Raven" that he named "The Snyder", then you should really head over to the Washington Sports Bog, where they have collected other pieces of Washington Sadness/Anger.

It is a fascinating collection.

Confirmed: Ratboy Says 'No Freaking Way'

A source from the DC Skins has confirmed that Mike Shanahan has refused the head coaching job, citing the difficulty of taking over a team mid-season. Particularly a team with such a be-fudged offensive line.

Whether Shanhan would consider the job after the season remains a possibility. His "genius" status is tainted by Denver's current success, but he's a crafty rat and has consistently put a strong team on the field throughout his long career. But would he jeopardize his mental health, with little hope for success, just for a big payday from Snyder?

Prospective employees of the DC Skins should long and hard at the organization and question the wisdom & commitment thereof. Consider whether ownership seems willing to help or hinder. I predict that only a very hungry or very desperate coach would be willing to work for Dan Snyder.

In the meantime, Coach Zorn won't be calling plays: that honor has been bestowed on "Extra Pair of Eyes" Sherm Lewis.

French Kiss of Death? Bingo!

Dan Snyder is like a man frantically digging for clams at high tide.

Big Shoes Step In Big Eagle Poo

Upsets from Buffaloaf and Oakburg gave us a new leader, while Philly's self-destruction landed some contestants in negative poo.

Two more shutouts this week, by the Patriots anItalicd Packers, remind us that big points are out there. And I offer this stick to accompany my carrot: Do You Smell a Shutout now has the variation that if there is a shutout in any game and you smelled nothing, you will lose a point. Picking a shutout will continue to be +3/-1, and is still not compulsory.

The Suprise! list is pretty short this week, so there are a couple bonus questions to noodle your noggin.

1. Miwacar: 17 points (this week +2)
2. MMMan: 16 points
3. Big BM: 14 points
4. Jess: 10 points
5. Adw: 8 points
6. Brnyrd: 6 points (this week +2)
Garwood: 6 points
7. lefnut: 4 points

Week Six
1. Your Big Shoe-in? +2/-4
2. Your Little Shoe-in? +1/-2
3. Surprise! +3 Underdog list:
St. Louis, Tampon Bay
4. Your Favorite Team Wins/Disliked Loses +/-1
5. Do You Smell A Shutout? +3/-1
6. Clash of the Titans +/- 2
Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers

Bonus Questions
7. Which head coach will be fired first? +7
8. Which of the winless teams (Rams, Bucs, Titans) will be the last to win? +3
9. Yes/No: Will There Be an Overtime Game this week? +1

Target Field Will Be Playable Before It's Playable

interesting (especially for us nerds) article from Kotaku about the work a new stadium means for the developers of MLB The Show.

Here a snip:
"A new stadium takes up roughly 60 megabytes of space on a game disc, but building one takes nearly four months of work, according to Shawn Robles, the lead environment artist, and Jody Kelsey, the senior producer, for Sony's MLB The Show franchise. Their studio began preparing for an in-game version of Target Field as soon as they knew it was being built - ground was broken in August 2007 - but the bulk of their construction will come in this game's development cycle, as construction on the stadium nears completion. Only, MLB 10 The Show must arrive in March, more than a month before the first pitch is thrown in real-life Minneapolis."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Prognosticating Tots, Week 6

Makayla and Fiona make thier NFL week six predictons. Good news for Bengals fans as the girls predict them as sure fire winners. Bad news for the Cardinal Fans - both girls also predict them as guarenteed to loose this week. And the NYG and NOS game? A tie?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Snyder

Once upon an autumn dreary, while I pondered, stoned and weary
over many a quaint and curious blog of forgotten wins
while I typed, quickly tapping, suddenly there came a crapping
as of someone's sphincter clapping, crapping on my Redskins
'Tis some sportsjack,' I muttered, 'crapping on my Redskins --
only this, once again.'

Open I flung the sash, when, with pocketfuls of cash
in there stepped the Snyder with his pudgy chin.
Not the least football awareness displayed he, without humility behaved he,
but with the means of a billionaire, purchased my Redskins
Purchased the three title trophies of my Redskins --
purchased, promising more such wins.

Thus this owner, easily doping my heart into a-hoping
by the billions of dollars he could hereby spend.
'Though thy wallet is great, 'tis a team we must create.
With offensive lineman we should begin,
under a steady command by coaches to guide our Redskins --
Quoth the Snyder, 'Never again.'

Then, methought, above the hush of so many free agent busts
splurged by Cerrato for whom ignonimy beckons:
dining on free shellfish, paydays for players selfish
has-beens with guaranteed money and injured shins
aren't what we need: draft well and develop from within!
Quoth the Snyder, 'Never again.'

And the Snyder, always hiring, firing and hiring
like a puppeteer of strings always meddling
And his blindness is consuming, and new mistakes are brewing
yet another long catastrophic season,
and so my hopes for a Redskins Superbowl win
Shall be lifted -- never again!

with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

IDYFT Pick'em: Big Shoe, Little Shoe

Badcock Industries, LTD is always on the cutting edge of interactive yet compassionate sports pick'ems. This newest innovation is called Big Shoe, Little Shoe.

This improvement on the old "Shoe-in" places more emphasis on confidence. To whit: the Big Shoe is +2 points if right and -4 points if wrong. Now that's a big shoe!

The Little Shoe is worth +1 if right and -2 if wrong. Certainly, those are smaller shoes!

In the Week Five Surprise, Cincy shocked the world by beating the Ravens. The Bengals now own 1st place in the division. This upset perhaps wasn't so surprising, as it was predicted by nearly every pick'em participant. This week offers the deepest pool of mismatches in some long time. Such a deep pool could reveal hidden gold ... either upsets or shutouts.

In smelly shutout news, there has been a shut-out for three weeks straight, with 4 shutouts in 5 weeks overall. Chances are, there will be a shutout this week. Can you smell the shutout? +3/-1

1. MMMan: 16 points (this week +7)
2. Miwacar: 15 points (this week +7)
3. Big BM: 14 points (this week +5)
4. Jess: 10 points (this week +7)
5. Adw: 8 points (this week +5)
6. Garwood: 6 points
7. Barnyard: 4 points
leftnut: 4 points

Finally, Garwood & Barnyard: go back to the Bonus Question Round-Up for your last chance to plug in some long-range bonus predictions.

Week Six
1. Your Big Shoe-in? +2/-4
2. Your Little Shoe-in? +1/-2
3. Surprise! +3 Underdog list:
Detroit, Cleveland, Rams, Raiders, Titans, Buffaloaf

4. Do You Smell a Shutout? +3/-1
5. Your Favorite Team Wins/Most Disliked Loses +/-1
6. Clash of the Titans: +/-2
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

John Riggins is Not Happy

I assume Riggo cut that wood with his bare hands (by which I mean, without the aid of an axe. He just kept hitting until it crumbled into perfect stacks of kindlin')

seen first at DC Sports Bog (which is reaching Tom Toles status as one of only worthwhile reasons to even check in at the Washington Post)

NFL Players and Owners Come to An Agreement on One Thing.

They don't want Rush Limbaugh in their league.

On October 11, ESPN published the memo the head of the NFL Players Union (DeMaurice Smith) to his executive committee. After saying that he knows the ownership bid is in its early stages, Smith says, "But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred." That's a very clear message--even considering the bid would be an insult to the players of the game.

Today, Colts owner Jim Irsay told ProFootballTalk that he couldn't imagine voting for a Limbaugh bid, and went even further saying it's a topic he wouldn't want to even broach with the African-American people he knows: "I don't think I would even go to the point of talking to Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, Dwight Freeney, talking to those men and seeing what their positions are. I'm very sensitive to know there are scars out there."

Also today, in the New York Times Fifth Down blog, Judy Battista quotes commissioner Roger Goodell as not wanting the sort of controversy machine that Limbaugh is. (Which is hardly surprising, as the NFL doesn't like dudes with markers in their socks, because that's controversial.) Goodell made it clear though, that he doesn't consider Limbaugh just a brash goofball: Goodell referenced Limbaugh's Donovan McNabb bullshit: “It’s a polarizing comment that we don’t think reflect accurately on the N.F.L. or our players. I obviously do not believe those comments are positive and they are divisive. That’s a negative thing for us, obviously.”

So that's players, owners and the commissioner, all pretty dead set against Limbaugh joining their group. That's the end of that for Rush. Sorry, you racist druggie fat-ass, the NFL doesn't want you. Try NASCAR? (awww, SNAP!)

(links found via Media Matters)

Heroes of the Soda Display

First posted on Pixelated Geek. seen by me on Kotaku.

Charlie Davies Not Playing Soccer the Rest of 2009

Charlie Davies got out of surgery this today after a car accident on the George Washington Parkway (just over the river from DC, a roadway I know well) left him with injuries that were called not life-threatening but potentially career ending. This is pretty typical of US soccer luck, and we are all going to be very tempted to talk about how the US, over the past two years or so, hasn't been able to catch a break, or enjoy for very long the successes they have managed.

Beating Honduras in Honduras on Saturday should have been a fun thing to celebrate for a few days, as an example. But now, one of the guys who has helped step in and change the overall nature of the pace of the US attack is out, and who knows for how long.

It has been stated that Davies was not driving the car. Given the circumstances of the accident-single car, 3:15 in the morning, one person dead at the scene--there will be more to come on what exactly happened.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Owen Schmitt Is A Brilliant Man With Well Thought Out Ideas

Fullback Owen Schmitt of the Seattle Seahawks decide to psych himself up during the pre-game introductions by whacking himself in the head with his helmet.

The results speak for themselves:


Coach Zorn has been handed a sandy pickle by the DC Skins ownership.  The speed-dating champions of the NFL conspired to bring Sherm Lewis out of obscurity -- I mean, comfortable retirement -- to eyeball Zorn's admittedly ramshackle offense.

If the DC Skins beat the winless Panthers and perhaps the winless Chiefs to emerge 4-2, Lewis will be given credit for his elder statesmanship and guidance.  If the DC Skins drop either game, the verdict will be that the patient was too fucked up to save.  Either way, Zorn has been handed a sandy pickle.  Damned if you do ...

The DC Skins don't need another set of eyes, they need some lineman who can run block.  End of fucking story, retards.

And yet I can't wait to watch them tomorrow.  

Thursday, October 08, 2009

IDYFT Pick'em: Bonus Question Round-Up

Well it's harvest time out here in the weeds, and I thought I'd twist up the collected bonus questions into one convenient, easy-to-inhale package.  

Additionally, some of our participants missed out on a few bonus q's.  The questions are still eligible, but because time has passed you will receive a FG penalty (-3 points).  

Reminder:  this contest is still open to all readers of this site and it's still a tight race less than one-quarter through the season.  "Kirk Andrew" and "Black Freighter" come on back, there's points waiting for you.  And the prize is this awesome t-shirt in your size.

sucka       #1 seeds SB winner Bret miss start 1st lose last lose
Adw__ AZ/PIT___PIT______wk 8____ DEN ___BAL
Miwcar_MN/SD___MN_____won't_____ DEN ___MN
Baryrd_NE/PHI___PHI_____wk 9_____ DEN ___IND
Jess __ AZ/PIT____AZ_____won't______DEN ___NO
BigBM_BAL/GB____DC_____won't_____ MN ___ BAL
MMan_NE/ATL____ ATL____wk 12_____ DEN___ IND
Lefnut _ ?________ ? ______ ? ______ BAL___ NO
Grwod _ ? _________ ?_____ ? ______ NYJ____NO
KirkA_SD/DAL ____ MN_____ ? ______ xxx _____ ?
BlakFr_MN/NE ____ PHI _____ ? ______ xxx _____?

Sorry about the low-quality spreadsheet ... I lost the manual or something.

Dear NASA: Please Have A Chimp Launch The Rocket

I'm all for NASA blowing up a good chunk of moon to look for water. Why not, dammit?

But it is impossible for those of who grew up in the age of Mr. Show to hear that news and not say, "We are Earthlings. We should blow up Earth Things."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hey, Remember When Donovan McNabb Was a Washed Up Racist?

With McNabb ready to come back to the Iggles, and news that Rush Limbaugh is pursuing his own "NFL" franchise (I'm legally required to put NFL in quotes when discussing the current St. Louis Rams), let's take a trip in the Way Back Machine.

This time, kids, we are going all the way back to September 2007--a full four years after Rush Limbaugh went on TV and declared that McNabb was getting accolades not for his numbers (which even way back then were impressive) but because he was black. ESPN was shocked, shocked!, I tell you by the fact that the racist idiot they hired to spout racist idiocy had actually spouted racist idiocy and quickly fired Limbaugh.

So, back to 2007--McNabb was coming off a knee injury. He gave an interview in which he said that black quarterbacks have a harder time staying in their chosen position than white quarterbacks, and they faced greater scrutiny.

Remember that? Remember Gregg Doyel's reaction? I do! And I'd like to remember it with you:

Here's a Doyel quote from back then:
McNabb is myopic. He thinks he has it rough? Try being Rex Grossman, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears, who gets ripped even as he is leading the Bears to the Super Bowl. The next two most critiqued quarterbacks in the NFL are probably the Jets' Chad Pennington and the Giants' Eli Manning. All three are white.

Rex Grossman is still kind of in the NFL. Chad Pennington has had yet another season-ending injury, and Eli Manning is now the highest paid Quarterback in the league. Neat. Just about all of which we could have predicted with some success in 2007. Also neat.

Here's my favorite Doyel quote from 2007, though:
McNabb? He's old and fading

Apparently, Gregg Doyel of 2007 didn't see the season of 2008. Or what I expect to be a very good second 2/3rds of 2009. And 2010.

My point mainly is that Greg Doyel isn't always wrong. He's just so close to "always wrong" that it is too hard to measure the difference. It's like a Quantum State of correctness. Quantum theory states that given enough chances, you could probably push your hand through a wall, without interacting with the molecules in the wall itself. But the odds are so low, that it would probably take you 5 billion years of trying to do it. That's Gregg Doyel.

DC Skins 2009: First Quarter

The DC Skins squeaked by the winless Bucs to achieve a record of 2-2.  One quarter through the 2009 season, this looks like a team which could implode like a galaxy of collapsing stars.  

Their two wins were ugly, ugly games against winless teams.  It's natural that their losses were exponentially uglier.  They have made zero progress since last year, and in several phases look worse.  

In my pre-camp preview, I wrote:  "If the team develops a natural passing game, their running and defense could win some contests."  

Their passing game has not developed, and QB Campbell has regressed.  In his fifth year, he should be entering his prime.  Instead he looks green and nervous, even when he does have protection.  

Their running game simply cannot be relied upon.  The run blocking is terrible; it is impossible to assess the quality of the RBs because they get tackled at the line of scrimmage.  Portis's first run of the season was 34 yards.  Since then, his longest has been 12 yards.

This just in:  DC Skins management commits another classic blunder!  The worst management pair in pro sports, Schneider and the Guido, just brought in long-retired Sherm Lewis to "consult" Zorn about the offense.  The Kiss of Death!  Sixty-eight year old Lewis, who last O-coordinated with the Lions (ugh) in 2004, had to cancel his bingo game when he took the job, I shit you not.  

While Redskins management was crowing over their latest dusty treasure, Coach Zorn had to repeatedly assure the press that "another pair of eyes is helpful." 

Current O-coordinator Smith lamely welcomed Lewis:  "If someone else can come in and help us, I'm not so prideful that I can't say, 'Well, okay, maybe you can help us.' I don't have that much pride."

Well, I was going to run some statistical predictions and make some helpful points about the most critical areas (#1 sign FA offensive linemen right now), but there's obviously no point.  

The 2009 DC Skins are doomed.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Honduran Fuckery

Getting geared up for that
all-important World Cup Qualifier of US vs Honduras? Maybe you've followed the news and learned that Honduras is a "little chaotic" or "on the verge of total social collapse." Maybe you are worrying that you, as a member of a stable country whose internal politics have not been dicked with by the CIA for the past 40 years (as far as you know) will not be able to watch the game if the venue is moved at the last moment because of internal Honduran strife, which is in no way some sort of echoing blowback from decades of American interference in Central America, because the United States is a great country and we don't do that sort of shit? Maybe you are thinking, "Hey, however many pounds of burro feed we have to bribe these fuckers with, let's do it. I wanna see that soccer game."

First of all, that's racist. Secondly, Good News! No matter
what the situation in Honduras, you aren't going to see that game, unless you live near the handful of Irish Chain Taverns that have paid the money to air the game. No ESPN, no Fox Soccer, no Telemundo, no nothing. Honduras sold the rights to a 3rd party closed circuit TV company, who could not in turn sell the rights to a network. How they could not, I can't imagine. This game is huge. And as of this afternoon, wasn't being aired anywhere in the State of Minnesota. There are something like four bars in all of New York that are airing it. Four bars in the DC/Balmer area. This game should be on TV. Not even a replay, at this time, will be aired.

This is evil fuckery, purely and simply. Hey, but maybe your local tavern has the game. Sit through the bullshit Flash Website to find out. Fuck you, Honduras.

That's Mighty Helpful, Matt Berry

ESPN's Fantasy Guru Matthew Berry wants to throw out some crazy names for you to pick up in your Fantasy Football League. And they are mighty helpful, if you are playing in a 6 man league with 5 young children.

1. Rashard Mendenhall--Really? You are recommending a full week after Willy Parker went down, and 2 days after Mendenhall crushed the Chargers? Thanks! I'd look for him in my league, except that he was drafted and hasn't, for a second, been a free agent. Thanks, though.

2. Nate Washington--Another player that was drafted in every 12 man league and had no reason to be dropped simply because of minor injury issues in the early going. "He's available in 60% of ESPN leagues!" Awesome. Also, not a great recommendation. Double boo on that one, Matthew Berry, Fantasy Football Expert.

3. San Francisco Defense--Getting recommended after 3 weeks of good play, and an absolute crushing week against St. Louis. If there wasn't a person who rolled the dice on San Francisco in your league, and picked them up a week ago? Congratulations--you are playing in the exact idiot league that Matthew Berry is speaking to. Also, congrats--you are picking them up the week after their best performance. Thanks Matthew Berry, for being a week late, despite all the signs.

4. Mohammed Moassaquoi--This would have been a true sneaky recommendation last week. This week, it's simply looking at the Top 10 Receivers, and looking for a receiver whose name isn't instantly recognizable. I could do that job, Berry. So could a computer. Don't take this the wrong way, Matthew Berry, but you are entirely useless.

A Game For the Ages

Holy shit. I hope you saw at least some of that game. Sure, the MLB and the powers-that-be tried to keep you from watching it by starting it at 5 pm Eastern. And yes, necessary, in that whoever won is playing early Wednesday evening.

But the Twins and Tigers combined to make it a 12 inning game, that lasted well into the night.

An absolute classic ballgame. The Twins' Orlando Cabrera agreed: “This is the most unbelievable game I’ve ever played or seen." (This quote does not do justice to the way Cabrera delivered it. The video of him, still geeked up, unable to to keep his new Division Champs Cap on or off his melon, stuttering, yelling, is awesome. I think the Twins have to bring him back. next year.) But sure, it's easy for a player on the winning team to say that. How about Detroit Tiger/Goofy Tattoo aficionado/Twins nemesis Brandon Inge, who said, "This is the best game, by far, that I’ve ever played in no matter the outcome."

At the risk of dismantling the nice sportsmanlike tone Inge struck: Suck it, Tigers! But you could look on the bright side--you've become a part of history: " [The Tigers] became the first team in history to blow a three-game lead with four games left."

Fate Favors Fervent Fans of Favre's Follies

The Clash of the Titans broke our little competition wide open.  No game so far this season made the challenge of betting hearts vs. heads more difficult.  We're not even at the one-quarter mark, however, so there's plenty of time to claw back.  Do not despair.  Look at Garwood, roaring out of the gate in Week Four and in the hunt.

In bonus question news, the Jets and the Ravens are no longer undefeated, to the delight of some.  To the shock of many, Denver sits at 4-0.  

1.  Big BM:  9 points
MMMan:  9 points (this week +2)
2.  Miwacar:  8 points (this week +4)
3.  Garwood:  6 points (this week +4, Jets lose +2)
4.  Barnyard:  4 points 
leftnut:  4 points (this week+2, Ravens lose +2)
5.  Adw:  3 points
Jess:  3 points

Week Five
1.  Your Shoe-in?
2.  Surprise!  Underdog list:
Kansas Shitty, Oaktag, Detroit, Cincy
3.  Favorite/Dislike to win/lose
3.  Do you smell a shutout?
4.  Clash of the Titans:
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

Yet Another Reason to Loathe the Rams

Bloated hypocrite Rush Limbaugh is seeking controlling interest in the St. Louis Rams "football team" in a partnership with Mormon billionaire Dave Checketts.  

Goldman Sachs is negotiating the deal, which means that your money is being spent to augment this splurge.  

Monday, October 05, 2009

Mike Tirico is a Historical Revisionist

I will make no attempt to hide the fact that I was rooting for Packers, or that I really, really dislike the Vikings. I will not spend too much time arguing the ridiculous penalty disparity (in particular, the bullshit pass interference on Chuck Woodson at the end of the first half, or the fact that the Vikings apparently didn't hold a single pass rusher once all game long.)

What I want to spend just a few sentences on here is Mike Tirico's repeated, loaded description of the circumstances of Favre leaving the Green Bay Packers.

Look, we all know the history of Favre retiring and un-retiring. Favre can go on national TV and make it sound like it was all about the Packers driving him out before he was ready--the natural reaction to that is to remember all the times he retired, dicked around all off season, and then announced at the last minute that he would come back. What management team wouldn't love that? Why, how dare the Packers draft a QB when their starting Quarterback was only 35 years old at the time, and expressing even then a certain fatigue in the game?

It is laughable, until guys like Mike Tirico and John Gruden advance the story as if it is true. Suddenly, it becomes the truth--Brett Favre was driven out of Green Bay by rapacious, vicious ownership and management! Are you fucking kidding me?

Favre retired. The Packers brought him back. He retired again, and then came back. The Packers decided that they had spent a high draft pick in Aaron Rodgers, and they needed to see what they had. They offered Favre a back-up role. He was insulted. He demanded a trade or a release. The Packers looked across the border and saw Tavaris Jackson starting in Minnesota and knew that a release was a horrible idea.

Favre treated that like it was an insult. It was a compliment. The Packers management was saying, "We know that you are a pain in the ass prima donna, but we also know you are very talented. We are going to trade you away to the team furthest away from us." Hence, the Jets.

Let's be clear-=-the Packers didn't fuck over Brett Favre. They were not mean to Brett Favre. They did not force his retirement. They got tired of the offseason question mark, and the easiest way to get rid of that question mark was to simply hold Favre to his own retirement plan.
All of this is easily looked-up, understood, or even simply remembered. It wasn't all that long ago. Mike Tirico, get your facts straight. Just because Brett Favre says the Packers were mean to him, doesn't make it fucking so, alright?

Gay Rights Spokesmen--From the NFL?

Fantastic, and more than a little surprising article from our buddy Dave Zirin.

Writing for The Nation, Zirin asks the question "Can the NFL Tackle Homophobia?"

He finds a couple of active players willing to talk about the importance of fighting homophobia, which is, again, awfully surprising, and good news.

Tip your hats to Brendan Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita. They are both articulate and forceful in their reasoning, but something about Fujita's quote really grabbed me:

"I wish they would realize that it's not a religion issue. It's not a government issue. It's not even a gay/straight issue or a question of your manhood. It's a human issue. And until more people see that, we're stuck arguing with people who don't have an argument."

Go read the whole thing.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Olympics in Chicago in 2016 Jokes

Not to be a dick, but we covered a lot of them, back in in 2006.

Back then, we also pooped on Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Twins of 2014

As the 2008-2009 season winds down (though it's not over yet! Not just yet, anyway) let's take a look at some of the impact signings the Twins have made over the past couple of months.

Much like Neil Bush, the Twins have proven they aren't afraid to spend big money on underage, overseas talent.

Back in August, the Twins signed sixteen year old Max Kepler-Rozycki, and gave him $800,000 to do so. The Twins are not known for splurging on talent, proven or unproven. The Pohlad's "carefulness with a dollar" is legendary, and pretty fair, though not always.

Kepler-Rozycki has lived his entire life in Germany, and is the son of an American woman and Polish man, both ballet dancers. His entry to baseball, obviously, was not the most common road. I highly recommend John W. Miller's Wall Street Journal article that profiles the kid, but this little passage is too good not to share right away:

After [baseball] games, Mr. Rozycki often massaged and stretched out his son. When Max played first base, he showed him how to train to do the splits: Stretch out hard every night and get to the position gradually. Ms. Kepler educated Max about breathing, concentration and the value of footwork. "I told all the scouts I have five-tool feet," she says, lifting a bare foot over a lunch of soup and sushi.

To acquaint himself with an unfamiliar pastime, Mr. Rozycki joined a U.S. embassy softball squad. When a ball flew over the fence in one of his first games, Mr. Rozycki scampered over the fence to get it. His teammates, many of them FBI agents, stared in disbelief. Before long, he was playing shortstop.

You can go here to see some video from the Twins MLB page. Fair warning, you will read a caption written by someone who does not have top notch grammar skills: "Twins prospect Max Kepler-Rozycki is not only from Germany, but he is also turning heads around the league."

But the Twins were not done with some crazy half-American/half-Polack, 100% Ballet progeny. They also signed Miguel Angel Sano, also sixteen years old(?), from the Dominican Republic. He received a signing bonus of over $3 million dollars. The Twins are high on him, obviously. Tyler Mason of quotes the VP of Player Personnel Mike Radcliff as saying, "I think upon his signing, he immediately enters our organization as one of the higher ceiling bats that we have...He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order kind of offensive player. He has strength, a good swing, finish, all the things that potentially add up to average, and he can hit for power."

That may be hyperbole, or it may be wishful thinking. The fact that it took $3 million to secure his rights suggests that if it is, lots of other MLB teams had the same wishful thinking.

Casey Beck and Trevor Martin were following Sano earlier this year for GlobalPost. Here's a look at the kid who might just be the next big thing in the Twin Cities, five years from now. We told you first! Kind of.

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