Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yahoo NFL Pick 'Em. You Should Know the Deal By Now

Simple enough.  Pick all the games in the NFL on a week-to-week basis.  Yes, you will have to take the spread into account.  We are professional gamblers, not your doddering Grandma.  (No offense to your doddering Grandma.  I'm sure she's sweet.  Oh so sweet.)

Anyway, you pick the games, with the spread, and the winner at the end of the season is awarded with a Jesus Playin' Football Statue.  Couldn't be simpler, or more important to your spiritual life.  Save your soul, sinners.  Gamble!  No stakes gambling, the way the Good Lord would want.

Here's how you do it.  Click Here.  Be prepared to have a Yahoo ID. Use the information below to Join a Private Group.

Group ID#: 34188
Password: blackmanta

Good Luck, jerks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Affirmation

Washington's starters led at the half and the team beat the Jets in the penultimate preseason game. The game affirmed many of the troubles the team has, but the defensive emphasis on causing turnovers is a bright spot: it's working.

Gross Rexman, it has been affirmed, is a boner-puller of historic proportions. Add two more fumbles to his stat line, and an INT that was called back. One was on a sack by LB Calvin Pace (who abused rookie Trent Williams the entire half), the other was a shotgun snap that hit him in the hands ... on their own goal line ... leading to an unforced safety. That's some nasty old runny mayonnaise you're trying to put on my tasty sandwich.

Willie Parker was not effective. The line was not able to open holes against the Jets starters. Washington will be eating a steady diet of run-stuffing teams right away. The running game has simply not been good enough. Clinton Portis sprained his ankle on his only run, but it's not supposed to be serious. Larry Johnson did very well against the Jets backups, and likely cemented his role as the #2 RB. This position is expected to catch a lot of passes out of the backfield.

#2 WR
Washington forced the ball to Galloway, who caught half of them to go 3-29. Better was rookie Terence Austin catching 3 for 3 and a modest 34 yards against the backups. Lil' Brandon Banks had some catches but also fumbled a punt return. Boof.

With Grossman forcing passes into Moss and Galloway (of his 8-16 night, he was 5-12 to them) it's going to be hard for another WR to make a move. It would take great practicing and dominance in the final preseason game. The WRs fall into two camps: known value and unknown value. Galloway, Roydell Williams & Bobby Wade are known values and it's pretty obvious what kind of production they will bring: some. All the youngsters have shown tantalizing potential but don't have the veterans' consistency. This position will again be in focus next week, with Devin Thomas especially slated to see some balls.

Washington continues to cause turnovers, a delightful change. The defensive backfield especially seems to be hungry. The D also recorded four sacks in the game.

However, our starting run defense is a major problem. Our LBs are getting blocked and are not making tackles. Good running teams have a lot to take advantage of right now. This must improve, or Washington is in for a depressing season.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Three More Spots Left in Our IDYFT Fantasy League

First come, first served:

DC Skins Preseason Preview: Jets

The third preseason game is typically the dress rehearsal for the season. Most teams emphasize the top of the depth chart and play them as much as three quarters. Next week's final preseason game will be focused on the bottom of the depth chart as teams cut down to 53 players.

Washington's offense has a rocky row to how this week. The Jets have the best defense in the league, particularly against the run. They also have a strong ground game and the carry themselves like winners. Tonight's game (7 pm EST) will be the hardest-fought of Washington's preseason.

Gross Rexman will start due to McNabb's sprained ankle. Rexman's performance won't affect the depth chart at the position, but it could nail down just how much we should fear giving Rexman a start this season. The Jets have a very good secondary even without Revis, and they can get after the QB with a vengeance. Behind a still-developing offensive line, Rexman will have every opportunity to turn a bad play into a worse play, his career M.O.

Willie Parker will start. This is his last, best chance to make the team. I don't think the odds are good. He has always struggled in pass protection, something Shanahan simply won't abide.
Larry Johnson may get more carries. Despite a strong camp, Johnson could accomplish nothing in his start versus the Ravens last week. He is less likely to get cut than Parker, but Washington's running game hasn't shown anything yet. It's been assumed that it will be fine, but a new scheme and new blockers against the Jets will likely struggle.

Galloway will again start opposite Moss. But to what end? Galloway hasn't caught a pass this preseason, starting all the while. Anthony Armstrong is making a strong push, but Roydell Williams, Bobby Wade and Devin Thomas are in the mix. Rookies Brandon Banks and Terence Austin are pushing for a roster spot via special teams. Something's got to give: the Jets have very good coverage skills and getting open will be a true test of a receiver's potential.

With Kareem Moore out for a few weeks, this is really a battle for the backup position. But Moore, who has impressed in camp, has a long history of injuries. Reed Doughty and Chris Horton, who also back up SS Laron Landry in this flexible scheme, are fighting for this position. Doughty is more disciplined and scheme-savvy but lacks Horton's athleticism and nose for the ball. I'd like to see Horton re-emerge, but Doughty gets the start.

The assumption all along has been that, despite the dramedy, Haynesworth will start during the regular season. The play of starters Carriker and Golston will be in the spotlight early, but Haynesworth is expected to get reps at this position. How these blocker-eating bookends fare against the Jets massive line will pace the defense.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Larry Weisman Is Literally Killing Our Language

Frequent NFL blogger (on this site--of his recent work, I particularly enjoy his take on Tony Dungy) and Novelist Andrew Wice sent me an email in which he complained about the use of the word "ironic".  Ladies and Gentlemen, there's probably not a day on this God's Green Earth that has gone by without an Andrew Wice complaint about the use of the word "ironic" since, I'll wager, 1993.  So that is nothing special.

But then he highlighted this sentence, and it almost killed me, at least in part, because the sentence wasn't coming from a 15 year old boy, logging into his Bleacher Report account for the first time.  It's coming from "Larry Weisman, an award-winning journalist during 25 years with USA TODAY".  His bio is in italics, and he's won awards, and he's been writing for a very long time.  I remember when USA Today debuted, and I'm thinking he must have been there at the beginning.  And hey, let's not pretend that the USA Today was ever looked upon as a great literary paper.  It wasn't, and isn't.  But that's beside the point.  After 25 years of writing, with a copy editor over his shoulder for at least 20 of those years (before USA Today just totally gave up) you might expect a certain level of knowledge about the English language.  Here's the sentence that sent Andrew and myself into a tailspin:

"[Rex] Ryan, literally larger than life, sets a raucous tone for his team."

Ladies and Gentlemen, What the fuck?  Haven't we been through enough misuse of the language already?  Do we all have to do David Cross style rants before this gets fixed in our culture?

Dear Larry Weisman, award winning Journalist of 25 years with USA Today--someone can not be "literally" larger than life.  The phrase "Larger than life" is a metaphorical exaggeration; just like someone can not actually be, "faster than greased lightning" or "dumber than a box of hair" or "as sharp as a sack of wet kittens".  Those are metaphors, you see.  Larry Weisman, despite your horrible misuse, you are not "literally" dumber than a box of hair, because you presumably have autonomous functions, like blinking, and breathing.  In theory, you write words.  A box of hair would not be able to do that.  So I wouldn't say that "Larry Weisman is literally dumber than a box of hair."  Because that would be fucking stupid.  I could say, however, "Man, that Larry Weisman, and his inability to use the English language that he's been using for at least four decades now..he's about as sharp as a bowling ball."

"Literally" is not short-hand for, "I know this is a phrase that gets used a lot, but I REALLY MEAN IT" as much as you might want it to be.  Literally means, "This is fact, not literary exaggeration".  When Brett Favre, last year, threw a last-second touchdown to beat the very mediocre San Francisco 49'ers, you could very easily say, "He threw a (literally) last-second touchdown."  Thus, you would separate it from touchdowns thrown with 30 seconds on the clock that are sometimes called "last-second" even though they were not, literally, last second.

This isn't hard to understand.  And I don't browbeat my 15 year old niece over her use of "literally".  But here's the thing--she knows better than to use it in such a stupid ass way.  Larry Weisman is getting paid to write; he's been paid to write for decades.  He shouldn't need help to understand this.  Next time, write what my niece would have:  "Rex Ryan is a very large, fat, loud man, who gets his team excited."  Boom.  No more shitty metaphor/literal intersection.

Larry Weisman, you literally write like an asshole.

Old School Thursday: Scary Muslim Edition

OMG!  LADYBUG MECCA is coming to get you!

What Kind of Reporter Asks Tiger if He Still Loves His Ex-Wife?

Quick answer:  A shitty one.

Longer answer, with some context.  Tiger's ex Elin gave what she says will be her only interview to that bastion of hard news, People Magazine.  That's fine.  That's where embarrassing divorces between celebrity spokesman and model spokeswoman go.  That's all this is.  Twenty years ago, a professional golfer could get divorced without it being news, even if he was a dirty bastard who chased ugly waitresses at his local Waffle House.  Because it wasn't news; it wasn't entertainment news, and it sure as hell wasn't sports news (at least in part because we had our senses back then, and we all knew that golf wasn't really a sport.)

But Tiger isn't really a professional athlete.  He's a professional brand.  He's a walking Nike swoosh (to steal a conceit from the ever-quotable Dave Zirin).  He's also a pretty well-regarded professional ho-bag bagger.  It is one of the ripples just beneath this whole scandal, such as it is--every single man in the United States is looking at the low-down hoodrats that Tiger got down with and thinks, "Jesus, if I was going to cheat on my super-hot model wife, and I were a guy about two dimes away from being able to build Scrooge McDuck's Money Vault, I think I could find a better quality of floozy."  And every man in America is right to think that, by the way.  As I have shown, Tiger Woods ain't pretty.

But hey--you want a great way to make Tiger look like a victim?  Have a female "professional" reporter, who must have seen "Eat Pray Love" five times before the press conference, come in and ask three times--"But Do You Still Love Her?"

According to Press Coverage, it was Andrea Peyser from the New York Post.  I don't care she is a woman; I don't care that she doesn't know shit about sports.  I'm researching her, and it is clear she doesn't shit about anything.  Gawker has been detaling her idiocy for years now.

Here's the thing--asking that question over and over again, and having Tiger stoically ignore it?  Makes him seem like a bigger man, and he doesn't need that help.  Hell, I have been as hard on Tiger as anyone has been, and I was sympathetic, as he ignored the questions of someone I now know is a crazy cat lady who is worried about the sluttiness of Lourdes, Madonna's 13 year old daughter.  

Let me be clear--Tiger is a dirtbag.  That's not Elin's fault.  That's not Andrea Peyser's fault.  That's Tiger's fault.  Making Tiger look somewhat sympathetic by asking questions based on rom-coms?  That's not Tiger's fault.  That's Andrea Peyser's fault.  That's the New York Post's fault.  Sending an obvious idiot to cover a sport press conference?  Well, sure, I get that, but find a different idiot.  "Do you still love her?"  Jesus, Andrea Peyser, how stupid are you? 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wisconsin, Where Even the Ultra-Pious Are Dirtbags

from Channel 3000:

Two Amish brothers are facing a string of sexual assault charges, including committing incest and engaging in bestiality, on a Grant County farm.
The Grant County sheriff said it's one of the strangest and most disturbing cases he has seen.

Minneapolis (and every other city) Should Read This

It is common sense that owners who extract huge deals from the public to build stadiums could probably afford to pay for those stadiums themselves.  The idea that sports franchises are money-losing enterprises is belied every single time a franchise is sold to a new owner--when's the last time you saw a franchise sold at a loss, or even for a not-particularly huge gain?  But Yahoo's Jeff Passan's rip of the Florida Marlins deal gives a cold-eyed assessment to what went down in Florida, and it should be required reading for any locality even pondering the possibility of handing hundreds of millions of dollars to a "cash-strapped" billionaire.  Here's a snip:

The ugliness of the Marlins’ ballpark situation is already apparent, and the building doesn’t open for another 18 months. Somehow a team that listed its operating income as a healthy $37.8 million in 2008 alone swung a deal in which it would pay only $155 million of the $634 million stadium complex. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County agreed – without the consent of taxpayers – to take $409 million in loans loaded with balloon payments and long grace periods. By 2049, when the debt is due, the county will have paid billions.

Any owner looking to get a stadium built has to be hoping this story makes a stir and goes away quickly.  You as a fan should hope that is stays in the collective consciousness from here on out.  

Go read it. 

Monday, August 23, 2010


Fat Albert Haynesworth was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a rare disorder in which the muscles break down and poison the kidneys. As he complained about his playing time on Saturday, the symptoms must have subsided.

Rhabdomyolysis is especially rare among athletes and can be exacerbated by extreme heat. As Dr. Cooper explains, "You see the condition with people who aren't used to working out in the heat."

In an overwhelming number of cases, it is caused by acute trauma or prolonged inactivity. For example, fat ass losers whose "personal trainer" is stool softener.

Get off my favorite team!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DC Skins Preseason Review: End of Training Camp

Heading into training camp, there were several questions regarding both position battles and personality clashes. The positions of RB, WR, FS were particularly mysterious, as was Haynesworth's future in Washington. At the conclusion of training camp, the answers are only a little closer. But we can see their vague outlines on the horizon, and move forward into the final half of preseason.

Position Battles
Starting RB seems to be in Portis's pocket. His familiarity with the scheme has helped, as has his offseason commitment. He is also familiar with trying to make the most of poor blocking.

Rookie Anthony Armstrong continues to impress, and should have the inside line on the WR spot opposite Moss (who is also having a good preseason). Armstrong leads all receivers and has demonstrated wheels, good hands and the ability to adjust to poorly-thrown balls. Roydell Williams is pushing for the #3 spot with Devin Thomas. Joey Galloway, the titular starter, hasn't caught a pass yet.

FS was all sewn up by Kareem Moore, who's been having an excellent camp by all accounts. A sprained knee will set him back several weeks, but this will allow Reed Doughty & Chris Horton some much-needed reps.

Personality Clashes
Haynesworth said blah blah blah. Shanahan said his days of playing without practicing are over. Haynesworth said blah blah blah. I'm sick of this clown.

Good So Far
Starting defense has been decent. The emphasis on turnovers is most assuredly going to pay dividends this year. INTs and FFs have been a welcome addition to generally good play. As feared, the LBs aren't generating much, but this unit is headed in the right direction. Laron Landry is cracking skulls down in the box where he belongs.

Punter Bidwell has shown a strong, accurate leg. For a team starting over on offense, a good punter is extremely important.

Troublesome So Far
The starting offensive line struggles with protection and run-blocking. They are in development, but far from a finished product. The backups lag alarmingly far behind: Washington will be operating without a safety net.

Gross Rexman is going to play this season and he is going to lose games for Washington. Stop me if you've heard this before: he finished with two fumbles lost, a boner INT and a delay of game.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brock Sampson is a Vikings Fan?

I can't tell you how sad I am to learn that.  (From Season 3 episode, ORB)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Belated Coverage of the 2010 Danish Bunny Hopping Championships

enjoy:  (first seen at actinglikeanimals.com)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Old School Thursday: Monie Love

I believe this would be our first European participant of Old School Thursday.  She will not be the last, though.

Brett Favre Knows What We All Know--Childress is Kinda Dumb

As an anti-Viking fan, and as someone who was been mocking Brad Childress' intelligence for more than 3 years now, the new piece from Jason Cole over at Yahoo fills me with delight.  Here's the central point delivered by Cole:
In short, even as Minnesota’s best hope to win a Super Bowl this season was rejoining the team, Childress was losing more ground with his team in the battle for respect. One of the biggest issues playing out behind the scenes in Minnesota is that many players, particularly on offense, have no respect for Childress. Among those players is Favre, who officially returned to the team Wednesday. According to multiple team sources, Favre’s disdain for Childress is deep.

The season hasn't even started yet, and there are already offensive factions split between Favre and Childress, and they seem mostly behind Favre.  Good luck with that situation, Minnesota Vikings.  This is the football equivalent of a marriage of convenience, except the husband is old and ineffectual, and the bride is 40 years old and can't even bother to pretend to like the husband.  I don't like pop culture signifiers, but it's like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, if Zeta-Jones were more like a kid out there.  Trouble ahead, I tells ya, last year notwithstanding.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fuck Tony Dungy

I know that he was once a quality player. And I know that he was the first African-American coach to win a Superbowl. And I know that he speaks softly, except when he invokes the Master of the Universe: the God that won the Superbowl for him ("The Lord orchestrated this") that one time out of thirteen seasons.

Fuck Tony Dungy. I'm sick of his self-righteous, soft-pedal messiah complex. I'm sick of the deference the on-air sportsjacks pay him (contractual obligation). I'm sick of Dungy being a confessor/redeemer to every player who raises dogs for bloodsport, beats his wife or loves the purple drank. I'm sick of his self-appointed bullshit maneuvering to become "The Conscience of the NFL."

Fuck Tony Dungy. Fuck his bullshit religion, fuck his bullshit "faith and family" accolades, fuck his bullshit belief that we must alter our Constitution to stop the gays, fuck his bullshit pre-approved handclasp with President Obama.

Tony Dungy says, "I'm on the Lord's side."
If he has any proof, I'd love to see it. If there's no proof, then he's a big fucking asshole. This is the same fucking psycho mentality which has plagued humanity from the beginning: some asshole thinks that he knows God's will. See: persecution, history of. You know who else thinks he knows God's Will? George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden.

Regarding Mike Vick's dog-fighting lifestyle, Dungy regrets that he didn't take Vick fishing and allow Vick to absorb the celestial grace flowing from Dungy's tackle box: "If we had eight hours on the boat, maybe I would've found out about it. Maybe everything would have turned out differently. Maybe it all would've been different."
Yeah, if only your humility hadn't prevented you from saving Vick from the (gay?) Devil.

When asked by Bob Costas about having a gay player on his team, Dungy paused for an uncomfortably long time, crossed his arms. And finally said, "I'm sure I would talk to him about my views on it, what the Bible says about it."
What the Bible says is that gayness bad. Like, really bad. Really, really bad. Almost the worst possible thing. The Bible also says that working on the Sabbath shall be punishable by death (Exodus 35:2). Just checking ... when do they play pro football games? But I guess that's something you can take or leave, as long as you know God's will.

Tony Dungy fucking hates cuss words, such as those which flow from Rex Ryan on Hard Knocks: "I have not watched it. I've gotten the reports. I'm disappointed with all the profanity."
Judging something you've never seen? Priceless. What's really choice is that he says his bumboy Roger Gooddell should take a look into the matter of all those fucking cuss words.

So God's sidekick Dungy will lobby the league on behalf of dog-fighters and against speakers of profanity. What, is he running for political office in the Spanish Inquisition?

Faith? His Faith is a selective reading from bits of his Bible ... you know, only the bits that allow him to judge and condemn other people. Family? I don't see how the results of his family authority could be considered felicitous.

Prior to last year's Saints-Colts Superbowl, Tony Dungy says, "[Manning] is going to have those rings Sunday night. I don't think it's going to be close."
Wrong, you fucking asshole. Perhaps Dungy is wrong about other things as well?

Brett Favre

I'm so stunned that #4 is coming back for the Vikes, I don't know what to say. Except I'd like to bet $20 that, once again, his last pass will be an interception. Any takers?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

RIP, Bobby Thomson

It's a shame his death and his achievements are likely to be overshadowed by the Most Wafflin' QB ever, because Bobby Thomson's importance to baseball is hard to overstate.  Not because of a great career,  though certainly, he had a very good career--one that many ball players would kill to  (3 Time All Star, career .270, etc)

He was also the deciding factor in a pennant race that meant the world to baseball.  And still does.  How many home runs in baseball history have an instantly recognized nickname like Bobby's "Shot Heard Round the World?"  New York Times is as good as a place as any to read about Thomson.  So go do it.

Also, if you want, the ball Thomson hit features large in one of the best novels I've read, Underworld by Don DeLillo.  You should read that, too.

War & Peace & Football

People who don't recognize the intellectual challenge of football aren't welcome in my world. From the overall strategy to the in-game tactics, adjustments and anticipations, football is a chess match. The difference is, a rook doesn't just take a knight -- he has to tackle him.

Still, an NFL player reading a book in 2010 is apparently newsworthy. Especially if the book is the archetypal Thick Lit masterpiece by Tolstoy, War and Peace.*

Titans backup RB Alvin Pearman is reading the book and enjoying it. He is about a third through, though he claims to not be a fast reader.
“You know what? It’s very enjoyable. And that’s the bigger point. It is intimidating, that’s the one thing. But when you’re working your way through it, you can lose yourself in it."
Like Pearman, when I picked up the tome a couple years ago, it was half out of perversity: Yeah, you mugs, I'm reading War and Peace. Gonna make something of it?

Yet I was quickly consumed in the world of Russia in 1804. Napolean, the antichrist, is taking over Europe. Divided against herself, led by incompetents, Russia struggles to fight back.

But it's not just men in war, it's also people in peace. The characters are well-crafted: human, flawed, amusing, inspiring and disappointing. There's love, betrayal and heavy drinking. The book is proof positive that human beings are exactly the same now as they were two hundred years ago. Somehow that's heartening. And I really wanted to sleep with Natasha.

Do yourself a favor if you'd like to immerse yourself in this extremely lucid, engrossing classic: don't buy it from fucking amazon, go down to your local used bookstore and buy the Verestchagin/Eichenberg translation for five bucks. Be like a professional athlete, and read it.

* original title: War: What is it Good For?

Pre-Football is still football

Check out the video at KSK, it's hilarious.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Something To Build On

Whipping the loafing Bills in preseason shouldn't make Washington over-confident. They acknowledge that this is only the first step, but a convincing win is something to build on. I'm happier than after the 23-0 loss to the Ravens in the preseason opener last year. Washington takes on Baltimore at home on 8/21, a much stouter test of the team.

No one did more to help himself than lil' Brandon Banks, who scored on a 77-yard punt return. The diminutive speedster is a WR by trade but isn't getting any reps. Special teams is his only chance to make the roster.

How did those position battles shape up? At WR, Anthony Armstrong and Roydell Williams had good games. Devin Thomas made up for an early drop with a long TD and two blocks to set up PR Brandon Banks's TD punt return.

For backup RB, Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams (2 TDs) ran well. Larry Johnson and Willie Parker will play in the next game.

The starting defense came on slowly, and were aided by Buffalo's incompetence. They managed to get some pressure. The backup defense, particularly LB, had some startling lapses versus the run.

1st round pick OT Trent Williams played well by all accounts. He'll face a more serious test against the Ravens.

Gross Rexman played fairly well, exhibiting both nice touch as well as WTF decision-making. 3rd string QB is wide open for Richard Bartel to take.

Got a Moment for Brian Duensing?

I mean, I know ESPN doesn't have a moment for Brian Duensing--they are very busy covering qualifying rounds in the Little League World Series, mentioning how much Sam Bradford made in guaranteed money before showing pre-season NFL highlights without context at all, and showing every woeful putt of Tiger Woods.  I am also aware that baseball this year has been nothing but a series of no-hitters and perfect games and shit.  But still, I think the pitcher's duel that was the Twins vs. the A's deserves a bit more than the 20 seconds it is getting on ESPNNews.  There's no mention of the game anywhere on the front page of Yahoo Sports, nor on their Baseball Page.  Just a Division leader in a close race, with a young gun going nine innings of 3-hit shutout baseball.  Why would you mention that?  Not when the Foul Ball Couple are breaking up!

If you are looking for a great game of pitching, on both sides, you could do worse than the starts put up by Trevor Cahill and Duensing tonight.  Trevor Cahill is another guy who doesn't get talked about a whole lot on the national networks, so you are forgiven if you did not know that he went into this game against the Twins "with the second lowest ERA in the American League (2.56) while holding opponents to a league-low .192 batting average."  And lived up to that billing in his seven innings.

Dave Campbell, of The Associated Press, who is paid to care about such things (unlike ESPN anchors), has noticed that Duensing has been good, real good, when asked to be a reliever, and when he's asked to be a starter:  "Duensing posted a 1.67 ERA in 39 appearances as a reliever. He is 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in five starts since the switch, raising his career record as a starter to 8-1."

And in this game, when he knew the bullpen was kind of shagged out, and he was going against a guy in Cahill who hadn't given up a Earned Run in 28 innings, Duensing was dominant.  The phrase "complete game shut-out" certainly suggests dominance, but it doesn't actually give Duensing enough credit.  Between 3 hits, and 2 walks, the A's had five base-runners all night.  Only one got to second, and he got picked off.  Duensing (103) threw fewer pitches than Cahill (107), even though Cahill went seven innings to Duensing's nine.  And the hits Duensing gave up, all three of them, were scattered over the first 3 innings--he threw no-hit baseball for the last six innings of the game.  It was a damn impressive performance.  And you'll barely hear about it on your TV, because it has been nearly 5 minutes since they let you know what Tiger thought of his shitty, shitty putting today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gentle Reminder: Gregg Doyel Is A Respected Sportswriter

Even though he has been proven to be a kind of racist jackass, who doesn't know shit about football.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

DC Skins Preseason Preview: Buffaloaf

The five-month NFL banquet is only a few weeks away. Preseason is like eating popcorn on the way to the banquet hall. However, for a team which has experienced a total regime change -- and no team experienced greater off-season change than Washington -- the first preseason game is the first splintered glimpse of what may be.

Reserves will play roughly three-quarters of the game, and some relevant 2nd & 3rd string position battles are worth acknowledging. But in this first game, I hope to learn more about some of these starting position battles:

#2 WR
Joey Galloway has the surprising lead. Redskins.com says that "He's still got a remarkable portion of his speed, seems to be catching the ball well, and is currently sitting on top of the depth chart." Hardly a ringing endorsement, but having Galloway in contention should drive the youngsters. At 39, Galloway is only a year younger than his position coach ... and eight years older than his offensive coordinator.

I hear more about Roydell Williams (comeback from three years) and rookie Anthony Armstrong than any of the other receivers in camp. Bobby Wade and Devin Campbell are quiet, and Malcolm Kelly will soon be cut if he can't get on the field.

Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander have been splitting reps. Both are converted DE's and neither is especially strong in coverage. Linebacker looks to be the weak link on defense, and this is the weakest spot at LB.

Chris Wilson, another converted DE, deserves mention if only because of his remark about Galloway's old-timer status: "He might have an endorsement with Pony."

I believe that this is the most wide open of all the open positions. Adam Karriker and Kedric Golston are starting against Buffaloaf, but veterans Vonnie Holliday and Philip Daniels as well as youngster Jeremy Jarmon could make a move based on performance. When you figure in that Albert Haynesworth is likely to see time at end, the team is deep with decent talent at this position. But who is going to step up?

Injury Notes
WR Malcolm Kelly, FS Chris Horton and OT Jammal Brown are out for the preseason game. Brown's starter status is unlikely to diminish, but the other two kids from 2007 can't afford to miss playing time.

An Eagles fan wore a McNabb jersey onto the sidelines of a practice ... a jersey in Washington's lustrous burgundy and gold. Allegedly, Andy Reid told security to remove the shirt. Caveat emptor, bitches.

The league-leader in interceptions, Jay Cutler, promised to throw a lot of interceptions in 2010. I'm pretty sure that's a promise he'll be able to keep.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

That's Douche-ey, not Douche-shay

via Jezebel, a fine young man, with a totally awesome way of wearing his ball cap, pussies out on a foul ball at the last minute that hits his gal pal.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Tim Tebow Got Himself a Little Hazing

Take that, Tim Tebow!  You got tonsured!  Generally, I'm against hazing, but I'm all for it when it comes to Tim Tebow and his religious beliefs.


Haynesworth passed his conditioning test with time to spare and is now practicing with his football team. His first practice, incidentally, is also "Fan Appreciation Day."

I appreciate that!

Now we can concern ourselves with the actual football team. Training camp will be dominated by some high-stakes position battles at WR, RB, FS, OLB and the D-line. There are concerns about a few aspects of this team, but Coach Shanahan has already shown his mettle.

Hail to thee, and also to thou.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Weekend Reading: ESPN on the Madden Franchise

ESPN's Patrick Hruby has done every video game geek a huge service, and written up a history of the relationship between Electronic Arts, John Madden, and the video game console.  Hard to believe there was a time in my life when the home video game console was considered 'washed up', but it happened.

I just love anecdotes like this one:

In 1988, "John Madden Football" was released for the Apple II computer and became a modest commercial success. [Programmer Joe] Ybarra had already left the project to make adventure games. Burned out, he didn't watch real-life pro football for an entire season. Meanwhile, a jubilant [Trip] Hawkins approached Madden.
Hawkins: "You stayed with me. EA is about to have an IPO [initial public offering]. You can have as much stock as you want."
Madden: "What do you mean by 'have'?"
Hawkins: "Well, you have to buy it -- at the IPO price."
"Hell, I'm just a football coach," Madden says now. "I pointed with my finger, all knowing, and said, 'I gave you my time. I'm not giving you my money.' I showed him!"
From 1989 to 1999, EA's share price went from $7.50 to $70. Madden laughs. "That was the dumbest thing I ever did in my life."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Old School Thursday: The Jungle Brothers

Haynesworth Needs an MRI: UPDATE

One week into training camp, the Albert Haynesworth saga is still gagging along. He will have an MRI on the knee which has prevented him from attempting the conditioning test for the past five days.

Doctors will use this non-invasive procedure to determine if the knee contains too much caramel and creamy nougat. They may recommend injecting the knee with non-fat plain yogurt as an alternative to surgery.

UPDATE: the MRI revealed that nothing is wrong with Haynesworth's knee. However, he did not take the conditioning test today. I'm beginning to lose my enthusiasm for this.

Ah, Wisconsin

From Anne Jurgen, LaCrosse Tribune:

A pregnant La Crosse woman on probation is accused of trying to rob a South Side restaurant for drug money late Tuesday only to fail when she could not pull her weapon — a hammer — from her shorts.
"I want a soft shell and this is a stickup. Give me all your money," the woman reportedly told the cashier.....[Julie] Bailey, who had a 0.21 blood-alcohol content when arrested, told police her roommate threatened to evict her if she didn't come up with money for crack cocaine. She tried to sell her engagement ring back to Kmart for $150

Pregnant, drunk, and a hammer in her pants; that sums up LaCrosse as well as anything could.
updated to include link.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Opposite of Pride: UPDATE MARK TWO

Albert Haynesworth, in five tries, has not been able to pass a conditioning test. He failed the first two attempts, skipped two attempts due to soreness in his knee, and quit today's test after seventy-five yards due to alleged soreness in his knee.

Tuesday UPDATE: complaining of his knee, Haynesworth skipped the conditioning test yet again. That makes six failures to do what a female reporter, a sixty-one year old reporter and a lineman sixteen years retired all managed to do on camera. Pathetic.

Wednesday UPDATE: still resting the knee. This is moving beyond pathetic, to an unknown frozen hell of shame.

It now seems pretty clear why Haynesworth wanted to work with a private trainer: it was a toilet.

Haynesworth's sole goal was to lose weight in order to be too light to play nose tackle. He obviously didn't lose thirty-five pounds from exercise. He lost thirty-five pounds from diuretics and diarrhea.

Coach Shanahan may actually relent at some point soon. With the test's main goal of worldwide humiliation achieved, there's no reason to keep this story around. His Washington teammates are disgusted. Potential trade partners are spooked. The media is treating this story as a joke. Does Haynesworth have any pride? All evidence indicates that he's flushed it all away.
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