Wednesday, February 28

Extension on Upcoming AL Predictions...

Ahhhh I love March...arguably my favorite sporting month of the year. March Madness, yes. But superceding that, Spring Training. The time when the little guys have hopes of being this year's Next Big Thing. Tampa, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and the like, rejoice. This may be the year.

There's nothing I can think of that exceeds being in Florida in March for a little ST Americana. The intimate surroundings, $5.00 seats where you don't need NASA-devolped scopes to be in the game, the bright Florida sunshine and and a good-ole laidback day at the park...soaking it all up.

But I digress, onto my sole prediction (for the moment)...aside from my obligatory Tribe in '07 all the way rant.

Tampa Freaking Bay...oh yeah, I said it.

Now lets not get it twisted, I'm not calling World Series...hell, with that division I'm not even really calling playoffs -- (easy Mora, another day friend, another day) -- which may have you questioning what kind of half-assed prediction this is. But even without calling for late-autumn ball, these are the kinda hopes only a lover of small money clubs in a big market game can appreciate and pass off as substantial.

Lets start with last year. 101 in the "L" column. Needless to say, not good. But consider the fact that the D-Rays at least had the lead in over SIXTY games last year that they subsequently let slip through their grasp like a greasy fingered Bears Superfan grappling for the last succulent Polish Kielbasa.

Point Two: The young talent is blooming. Carl Crawford and a healthy Rocco Baldelli give the Rays one of the best defensive outfields around and their bats and speed are equally as good. Add a young Delmon Young who may be ready to break out in RF with Jonny Gomes's ability to add some pop in the lineup...looking pretty good so far.

Point Three: Scott Kazmir. Arguably the best young starting southpaw in the game right now. If he continues to grow from the last two years (20-17 combined, mid 3.00 ERA), they've got a bonafide anchor. Follow him up with a couple other young arms in Tim Corcoran, James Shields and Casey Fossum, with a little run support that was sporadic at the very best last year they could put something together.

Now obviously there are plenty of other things to consider...shaky bullpen, offensive production from the IF,'s going to be an obvious uphill battle. I guess I just have a feeling...perhaps its just the Spring talking. Either way, I like it, and to any Yankee fan, don't be getting your hopes up. AARP called, a quarter of your pitching staff is eligible.

Anyway...Three Cheers for the upcoming Spring Training revelries and regular season. GO TRIBE!!!


"He has all these cats surrounding him like he's the Buddha or somebody. And a lot of people around him don't have his best interest at heart...he just thinks the dollar bill can get you out of everything. Well, the dollar bill isn't always going to get you out of this shit."

-- Robert Jones, on nephew Pacman Jones' latest behavior

Jon Bon Jovi: Bandwagoneer

I was watching an infomercial tonight, actually it was ESPN Duece's wall-to-wall Arena League coverage, but really it was one gianormous promo. Cha-freaking-ching.

At one point Bon Jovi did an interview about his ownership of the Philly Soul, yadda, yadda, and they wrapped it up asking who his football heros were growing up.

Jon said something like "I'm a Giants fan, always been a Giants fan and always gonna be a Giants fan. You know, guy like Simms and Bavaro, those are the guys I watched growing up."

Now I'm a grade-A asshole to even notice this stuff but I thought to myself, man, Jon BJ is like 84 and he could only say two guys that played in the 80's?

I double checked and sure enough Jon BJ was born in '62, Simms really started playing in '84 and Bavara started in '85. That means Jon BJ began "growing up" at age 22.

Whatever. The Giants were losers Jovi's entire childhood, and he missed out on the Huff and Gifford years. Still, his fandom oddly coincides with a little thing I like to call winning 2 Super Bowls.

Jon Bon Jovi: Bandwagoneer.

Tuesday, February 27

Psst, Gary, Witches Aren't Real

Gary Sheffield has announced his intention not to cooperate with the Senate investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball.

Gary dropped science like so:

"The [players'] association told us this is just a witch hunt, they don't want us to talk to them. This is all about getting [Bonds]. If this was legitimate and they did it the right way, it would be different. But this a witch hunt. They're just trying to collect a lot of stuff that doesn't
make any sense and throw the shit against the wall."
Without touching on the merits of the investigation, or lack thereof, let's break that quote down.
  • That the players association is telling players not to talk with investigators directly contradicts their previous statement; "We will give [the players] whatever our best advice is under the circumstances, and then players make their individual decisions."

  • "If they did it the right way" - I'm not sure what Sheffield means by the "right way", like catching the needle still stuck in Bonds' quivering ass? Or maybe The Clear, err, massage cream still glistening on his pectorals? Maybe Sheff could explain to us what the right way to go about this is, though I'd imagine that the right way for him is no way at all.

  • "This is a witch hunt" -- I'm trying to nitpick a widely used phrase but a 'witch hunt' implies that the charges are dubious at best and 'hunters' are taking extreme measures to make the charges gain validity. In this case the steroid usage did indeed occur and the investigation is trying to determine where and when, hence, it asking players who are shrouded in suspicion to help clarify their role.

IN TOTALLY UNRELATED NEWS here are two completely random pictures of Barry Bonds.

Blooper Day, Why Not?

AND WHO COULD FORGET these great bloopers (note: the video is only mildly amusing but cool in a "hey that's a funny idea" sort of way -- until the boxing at the very end which is great) (also during the track race notice that the black guy is SMOKING the white guy)

Monday, February 26

File Under: Tough Mofos

We're experiencing a sporting news drought, which is a perfect time to point out this story:

Three ultra-endurance athletes have just done something most would consider insane: They ran the equivalent of two marathons a day for 111 days to become the first modern runners to cross the Sahara Desert's grueling 4,000 miles.

The trek is one of extremes. The relentless sun can push temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, but at night it sometimes dips below freezing. Strong winds can abruptly send sand swooping in every direction, making it difficult to see and breathe.
So they were crapping themselves, battling sand storms, getting sun-burnt and frozen in the same day and probably fist-fighting lions and AIDs; all while running over 46 miles a day?

Steroids anyone?

AL Predictions

With the much anticipated MLB season just around the corner, its must be that time of year which baseball fans young and old begin to make irrational and usually offbase early season predictions.

AL East

1.NY Yankees - (suprise,suprise....jerks). It wouldnt shock me if they did have a bad year but who bets against the Yankees? I would love to but you have to always consider them the favorite with the amount of money they spend.
2. Boston- why not? They should be right in the thick of it come playoffs. Get Wily Mo Pena involved for christ sake! The guy can play ball.
3. Toronto- Here is an interesting team. I think with a respectful start, a productive Frank Thomas, Toronto has a chance to seriously suprise some people this year and even win the division ( yea, I said it..).
4. D-RAYS! - Could it be? Maybe its just wishful thinking but with Baltimore looking worse and worse, this could be the season in which the rays get out of that last spot.
5.Baltimore- Listen, I love Cal Ripken as muchas the next guy but lets face it, they dont have the steampower to compete with anyone in this division. If thier young rotation has a good year though, the best they will do is fourth place.

AL Central
1. Tigers- They havent changed much since last year and if anything, they got better by getting Sheffield. They have arguably one of the best young pitching staff in baseball, and they have enough offense to back it up. Possibly the most dangerous team in the AL.

2. Indians- Very talented team that if ever gets its chemistry problems together can make a serious run in probably the toughest division in baseball. Travis hafner one of the best in the biz.

3. White Sox- I like their pitching staff despite some problems last year and they have an impressive young lineup. However, I think this is another year they take a step back, they simply have to keep improving

4. Twins- No. 4? Probably the worst decision to predict them at NO.4 seeing that they pratically always finish well. Probably one of the better teams in here and could very well win the division, but, with Liriano injured this staff is put on the shoulder's of Johan Santano.

5. Royals- Though they are definitely getting better, they are in for another long season.

AL West

1. Rangers- If the pitching ever stays consistent and healthy we could be looking at the Rangers winning the division.

2. Mariners- Can Beltre and Sexson produce? If they do watch out for the mariners after their busy offseason.

3. Angels- I love their rotation, but the lineup is too young and inexperienced to do much damage here.

4. Athletics- Dont give me that look. Yes, they always close it out in August but I think this is the year the A's take a serious step back. Their pitching is a joke and nobody hit over .300 or had more than 100 Rbis last year. I have been wrong before though.

Sunday, February 25

Which Two At The Ballgame?

A lot of random people have stumbled across the blog lately, but have stumbled out just as fast -- as if they'd walked in on Rosanne Barr changing her week old undies. Faster even because, admit it, you'd steal a second glance at Rosanne, I know I would.

So in an attempt to foster discussion and keep people a few minutes, after which they'll be overcome with a strange urge to cheer for a certain football team from Washington D.C., I ask this:

You're at a ballgame and can only buy two items from concessions; which two do you choose and in what innings?

Assuming temperature (too hot or cold) isn't a factor I'd have to go with a mondo beer in the top of the third and a foot long at the bottom of the 4th. Or maybe another mondo beer. OK I'm officially changing it to two mondo beers coupled with a secret stash of peanuts. And I can do that because I made up the rules.

A GOOD STORY relating to secret stashes happened on a trip to FedEx field. My brother and I each put a ration of pistachio nuts in the small of our backs. Bro-hon went first through the always rigorous security and he almost made it undiscovered, but the yellow shirt curled his pat-down around to include the back, finding and pulling out the pistachios. The security guy held the bag up in front of my brother's face, and my brother said straight faced "I didn't know we weren't allowed to bring those in."

SCOTT POINTS OUT in the comments that I put the pistachios in my shoes to sneak in. That didn't feel so hot for walking to the seats but once there it was foot flavored deliciousness!

Quotable: Depressing Redskins Edition

"We've got so many superstars on the team … almost too many. I actually think college is a little harder because you've got guys out there that are real hungry and wanting to play. In the NFL, you got some guys that are just collecting paychecks -- that may have affected our team a little bit."

-- LB Rocky McIntosh, on his first season in Washington

Notes On Bass

While repeatedly pulling a plastic worm in and out of a pond today in honor of the Bassmaster Classic, I thought of two things:

1. When people ask which sports records may never be broken, why doesn't the world's largest bass ever get any love?

The record setting bass was caught in 1932, tipping the scales at 22 pounds 4 ounces. Just some Joe Shmoe 19 year old out to catch some grub in Georgia.

For those math deficient souls, let me grab my TI-82 --- that's 75 years as a record.

It's not for lack of trying, either. People are fishing all the time and with $1 million on the line for whoever lands the new record, some of those people are trying really, really hard.

There was, recently, a Barry Bonds of bass -- a record with an asterisk -- caught in California. It weighed in at 25 lbs but was hooked on it's side -- which is considered foul hook -- and it was caught by some sketchball who let it go without an official measurement. So the 1932 record still stands.

I guess it comes down to basic bass genetics. It's rare that bass grow that large and when they do it's still a matter of finding and catching. It's the human equivalent of sending a bird out with hopes that it shit on Yao Ming's head.

If I ever get my day on Sportscenter to be asked what records will never be broken, I'll be a maverick and say the bass record, then I'll say "Wait, Stu, you have a lazy eye? Huh, it's barely even noticeable on TV."

2. A Fishing Report: If you toss a 4" pumpkin seed Powerworm w/ purple tail around for a few hours in a pond you won't catch anything. Then, if you yell "BITE THIS YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!", you will catch two tiny bass. It worked for me.

Friday, February 23

SI Swimsuit Issue

Apparently unsatisfied with the already tenuous link between women in bikinis and sports, Sports Illustrated's 2007 swimsuit issue will make an even larger stretch, parlaying their annual softcore porn guised as fashion to include music.

Yes, the SI Swimsuit Music Issue.

Undoubtedly this issue will contain a screed that proclaims music and sports as being inexorably linked. Surely, they'll say, what would a trip to a sporting event be without music? It will also mention that athletes use music to prepare for their contests. It's even a question MNF frequently asks when interviewing players. Musicians also like sports. They're connected to the point of inseparability, at least that's what SI will tell you. Hey, and considering the greatness of Jock Jams I - IIXX (excluding XI, which was poor to fair) they may have a point

Insofar as sports are entertainment and music, too, is entertainment, there is a connection. But does that mean all forms of entertainment are linked? Can we expect the SI Swimsuit Comedy Issue or SI Swimsuit Riverdance Issue?

And it's not like sporting events or locker rooms are the only place you'll find music. In fact, music is fairly omnipresent -- where there are people you can generally find music.

Once you get past wanting to strangle the person who came up with this ridiculous and pointless theme, you start to realize there's a big upside. Shakira, Beyonce, Enya, Shinad O'Conner; there are some hot musicians I wouldn't mind seeing mostly nude -- except SI is such a joke of a publication that they even managed to screw that up:

The inside of the magazine features scantily clad models posing with Kanye West, Aerosmith, Kenny Chesney, Gnarls Barkley and Panic! At the Disco. A five-page spread featuring model Anne Vyalitsyna was shot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
Kenny Chesney? I'm going to buy a magazine to look at Kenny Chesney posing with a model? Panic! At the Disco? PANIC AT THE FREAKING DISCO GETS TO BE WITH THE GIRLS WE'RE SUPPOSED TO FANTASIZE ABOUT?!!! And I'm supposed to watch?

But, SI have no fear, I'm here to save your wretched publication, with a great idea for your 2008 Swimsuit issue -- and this time there is true connection with sports.

The SI Swimsuit Law & Order DA Issue. With such beauties as:

This one chick.

This other girl. She used to be a 007 girl. On the show she let McCoy do his job, always acted suprised at his mad prosecuting genius.

She's married to former Rams/Giants DB Jason Sehorn, who proved to the NFL world that one good year and good looks can make you famous. Jason Sehorn also was in an SI issue with Jason Taylor. Not with JT, but in the same issue

I always liked this one a lot. She seemed friendly but was good at the job. You got the feeling that her and McCoy were shagging despite the age difference.

Wikipedia tells me she's on the show now. Whatever, she's smoking hot so in the issue she goes.

She was a mean chick, but she's on SVU so it comes with the turf. On her first show she almost ruined the case by being a nosey-nanny. Tough gal.

I always liked this one a lot despite the quasi-Rebecca Lobo length face. Casey, I think her name was. Icy demeanor, played by the rules, always had a smug grin on her face -- until one show she got shot.

And SI, I give you your 2008 Swimsuit cover.

Guest Blogger

We'd like to welcome back guest-blogger and friend of the Mini-Grilling, Floyd Landis:

Glad to be back, Eric.

Floyd Landogg again, I'll be brief;

Kiss my naturally-high-testosterone-sweat covered ass: "Lapse may jeopardize case against Landis"

The French dropped the ball? No, not the French, anyone but the French, they seem so competent and on the ball.

Lab Tech #1: Pierre, wheech sampul is zee Landis?

Pierre: Lab Tech #1, dus mah hat luook good tiltud like so?

Lab Tech #1: Oui. AH NO PIERRE! Zee sampul is not zee wine!!! Zootalo!!!

I gotta run folks, but when you hear that car horn echoing through the Champs Elysees, it means my bare ass hanging out the window is not far behind.

-Floyd Lanids,

Chief Illiniwek, We Bid You Adieu

Ok ok ok...I think we've heard this "You stole, raped, and murdered our land and people" bit for quite long enough. Come on Natives, it's played out. Think of it this way...we didn't "take" your land, we "gave" you some great reservations! No, not reservations, resorts. Seriously, you really think we wanted to just give up the prime real estate in hotbeds like South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada...? So the government wants to give you new neighbors sometimes, like nuclear waste. See it as an investment.

Seriously though, while I do definitely understand the argument given the history of our country and then being used as a mascot, perhaps it can be seen as a case of "any publicity is good publicity." A stretch? Massively. But the heritages of these different tribes and peoples are being recognized at least, albeit in a very small way. If it weren't for schools/teams with mascots like the Illini, Chippawas, Seminoles, etc. millions of people would most likely not even know these tribes existed. Again, a strong argument it is not. But is it something positive? I think a little.

This may not be very P.C., but when are all the relatives of Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers and the like going to rise up and bemoan the deameaning portrayal brought on from years of mascotdom?

Oh well...good night and good luck fellow Big Ten'ers, I'm sure another mascot will suit you and your state well...perhaps the Fighting Butkus's

Best Sports Related Quotes of All-Time....GO!

"Because I couldn't go for three..." -- Woody Hayes on why he went for 2 at the end of a 50-14 cockslapping of Michigan in 1968 (We don't give a damn about the WHOLE state of Michigan, the WHOLE state of Michigan, the....)

"Don't give up, don't ever give up" -- Jim Valvano ESPY speech (I still get a little choked up seeing that)

Anything from Yogi

"If winning isn't everything, then why do the keep score?" ++ "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up" -- Vince Lambardi

"I always tell people I want to live to be 150 and they say why would you want to do that. I say, well there's a few people I haven't made mad yet, I want to get them. " ++ "If God had wanted man to play soccer, He wouldn't have given us arms. " -- Mike Ditka (Alright. Ditka vs. God in a golf match. Now, he's a good golfer.......Ditka!)

"All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things." --Bobby Knight speaking rather directly to his press conference audience. ++ "When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass!" Bobby Knight again

"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." -- No Attribution Necessary

And to finish up...the greatest journalistic pre-Super Bowl question ever OR WAS IT?...The Scene: SB XXII 1988....Washington v. Denver

"So, how long have you been a black quarterback?" -- reporter Butch John to 'Skins QB Doug Williams.....BUT!!

Judge for yourself...,1,6000583.story?coll=chi-sportsnew-hed

Thursday, February 22

Dumb Redskins

I saw this link on the dumbest sports quotes and couldn't help but notice that there was two redskins on there...Coincidence? I think not.

"I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl."

Joe Jacoby, NFL Football player, of the Washington Redskins

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
(Can someone tell me, who the hack is Norman Einstein?)

Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann

I aint no dawdor but that aint smaht!

Mystery Pitch That Dives Straight Ahead

We're talking gyroball -- the big mystery pitch imported from Japan.

The New York Times devotes some space to this much inquired about phenomenon and ruins the collective hopes of millions of baseball fans:

The pitch started on the same course as a changeup, but it barely dipped. It looked like a slider, but it did not break. The gyroball, despite its zany name, is supposed to stay perfectly straight.

“That’s it!” Tezuka said, laughing hysterically on the mound. “That’s the gyro!”
The gyroball stays straight, steady and sure? Gyro? And you're laughing about it, Tezuka?

I declare rip off of unprecedented scale.

Worse than advertising at carnivals.

Worse than Super Bowl XLI.

Worse than Anna Kournikova But Not Anna Kournikova Penthouse photos.

Worse, even, than the time I had to call Gatorade to ask if Gatorade Rain contained any extra 'Is it in you?' only to find out I'd just been duped into buying watered down Gatorade.
Lady: Thank you for calling Gatorade, how can I help you?

Me outside 7/11: Hi, does this Gatorade Rain contain anything other than watered-down Gatorade ?

Lady: Well, it has a crisp taster with less after...

Me: Yeah, I see all that on the bottle. What I'm asking is if I took normal Gatorade and added water, is that the same thing as Rain?

Lady: Like the same formula?

Me: Yes.

Yes it is.


This sucks.

Though, maybe I'm overreacting.

An off-speed pitch that resembled a slider would not only throw the hitter's timing off, but make him swing under the ball due to it's spin and, if used properly, could be extremely effective. The only problem being, that would be an Off-SpeedPitchThatResemblesASliderButTravelsStraightBall -- which may be a mouthful but is sure as hell more honest than gyroball.

Either way, MLB beware; I'm working on a TotallyEpicUpsideDownball that will blow the laces off every ball in the league. And guess what, liars?

It really travels upside down.

Was it; the chimp, in the library, with the spear?

As cool as the news of chimps seen fashioning their own weapons to catch prey is; I see problems. Remember that ape who could communicate via sign language? Well, they just learned a better way to chat -- war. We're talking about the possibility of a chimpanzee army, in of all places, Africa. The last thing Africa needs is another species arming itself.

Though, if and when I go, I do hope it's chimp-thrown spear through the jugular.

Also, I remain unconvinced that this is an upgrade from previous hunting methods:

"standard chimpanzee hunting practice...involves chasing a monkey or other prey, grabbing it by the tail and then slamming its head against the ground."

Why The Redskins Will Win

Because my lucky new shirt arrived today.

The burgundy one. Happy days are now here to stay.

In the comments: lucky gear; what do you wear?

Why Your Team Beat My Team Or Why My Team Beat Your Team

With the awesome power of hindsight you can mold NFL stats into whatever shape you'd like, and today I did just that.

In this case I was trying to find a stat that accurately measured how well a team performed last season. Common sense says that the average PPG against the average of P-Allowed PG would be a good indicator. Turns out it's a very good indicator.

I was actually shocked at how well it corresponded with the playoff team's records. Check it (teams listed in order of finish at end of regular season):

{{I have no idea why this white space is here. I can't fix it. So gets scrolling, dammit.}}

{{Let's just call it a Michael Irvin coke break}}

San Diego30.818.9+11.9
New England24.114.8+9.3
New Orleans25.820.1+5.7
NY Jets19.818.4+1.4
NY Giants22.222.6-0.4

As you can see Seattle over-performed again and squeaked bye in a crappy division.

Jacksonville had some tough breaks this year. Sure, they didn't man-up when it counted, but they managed to man-up enough o compile a pretty healthy scoring differential, just not the W's that usually accompany it.

Their line:
23.2     17.1     +6.1
Which is better than half the playoff teams.

AS FOR the Redskins:
19.2     23.5     -4.3

It could've been worse though,
14.9     22.2     -7.3
I could be a Browns fan.


Wednesday, February 21

How to take it like a champ...Cleveland-style

Team signs star, homegrown center gets hurt before season begins...more surgery now required that may end not only star center's next season, but possibly entire career.

The fans of the (insert team) by now are raging in unison; a smoldering caulderon of cheated feelings and 'what the fuck's?!?' burn well into the upcoming season, lamenting on the disaster at every possible moment a discussion arises.

Yeah...maybe...but not in Cleveland.

LeCharles Bentley's blown up knee and pending disaster is just another pothole fallen through on the tattered road the Browns' ass-pulled rickshaw has been traversing in, oh, the past four decades. Better yet, not only have we inertly accepted this latest news, we've basically already concluded his career is smoked. Well, unless he gets let go, then we will all witness a resurrection tantamount to that of Jesus Christ.

The Boulevard of Broken Dreams stretches not through the glitz and glamour of southern California my friends, that treacherous pass resides along the Lake Erie shore. Beaten yet again, yes, though defeated, never.

What doesn't kill (again) you makes you stronger(right?)...GO BROWNS!!!

Those Rapscallions And Their Orange Ball

NBA All-Star Game = Crime. This is the new meme. Or, for some, it's just another case of 'nothing to see here, move right along.'

Once again, it's just the sports media overreacting and non-reacting and creating a vast gulf between opinion and truth.

I wasn't there, so I don't actually know what happened -- but neither were most people who will read lurid accounts in the news and pass judgment upon the league and it's players. I'm just trying to use this crazy thing called reading comprehension, which may be nuts, but I'm willing to try it this once, instead of just mindlessly reacting.

For the overreacting we have AOL's Jason Whitlock who hopes that David Stern considers "moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize." Like Russia, that'd be cool.

I was there. Walking The Strip this weekend must be what it feels like to walk the yard at a maximum security prison. You couldn't relax. You avoided eye contact. The heavy police presence only reminded you of the danger.
So, because Jason Whitlock was tense and looked at his shoes it felt like prison must feel (though 'tense' and 'looking at your shoes' may amply describe some prison activites), and the heavy police presence reminded him of the ever-present danger. I thought heavy police presence reminded you that danger will be taken care of, but I'm white so maybe I just don't get it.

Again, I wasn't there, he was.

His piece is littered with such fact based phrases like 'word spread', 'reports of' and even the word 'gossip', which means we don't have to question the veracity of it. Hell, if it made it's way around thousands of drunken, gambling, tourists it must be true.

Don't get me wrong, it sure doesn't sound like a great place to be but it wasn't 'Nam either.

Funny guy Bill Simmons also adds his account of the madness in Hip-Hop Woodstock:
There were barely any cops along the Strip,
Not the good kind at least, only the ones that were there to remind you of the danger.
even though tens of thousands of people were walking around at all hours, even though there were tons of legitimately sketchy people cruising around who seemed to be sizing everyone up and didn't seem to be heading in any specific direction (reminiscent of the shady guys who walk around during Mardi Gras looking everyone over), even though cab lines and gridlock were forcing everyone to walk more than they expected to walk. Again, this was a free-for-all: Walk around at your own risk.

After initial reports that the weekend was relatively quiet, more and more information about shootings, arrests and brawls keeps trickling out. I know for a fact that the Strip was closed twice on Friday night because of shooting incidents (saw it myself), that there was a 20-person brawl outside the Mirage's cab line at 5 a.m. that same night (my friend Marty saw it), that paramedics were covering up something that looked to be a corpse in front of the MGM Grand on Saturday morning (Sully saw it), and that I threw myself into the spirit of the weekend and shot somebody outside of Treasure Island because they were wearing a Yankees cap (fortunately, no witnesses). Who knows what else happened? Was it in Vegas' best interest to report every unflattering crime or brawl that happened? Probably not.
So legitimately sketchy people (read: black) were walking about (which should be illegal, am I right?) and Bill saw the strip closed twice and somehow managed to witness the cause of both, that being multiple shooting incidents which, I mean what are the odds! And one friend saw a massive brawl and figured he should count how many people were involved instead of getting help, and it's a good thing he did because we now know conclusively that it was twenty. And another friend saw something get covered up by paramedics and it looked like a corpse (although, no homicides were reported) so it probably was. Sure, everyone was half drunk on Red Bull vodkas but, hey it looked like a freaking corpse man!

I know Bill writes with exaggerations and facetiousness and that's why he's funny but it still leaves the reader thinking that the weekend was a juiced up south central LA.

For the non-reacting we have Michael Wilbon in this week's Washington Post chat house. Whether to protect the image of the league (which supplies some of his pay) or to protect the already tarnished image of a sport played by young black men, it's quite clear he's on the defensive.
Manassas, Va.: [...]the NBA All-Star festivities were a fun time, but what's with the mass brawling, shootings and hundreds of arrests? That should be addressed as well.

Michael Wilbon: There are brawlings and shootings in Las Vegas every night. You want to blame the NBA All-Star weekend for that? Did you blame the Super Bowl weekend for the shootings and brawling in Miami a few weeks ago?
Do I want to blame the brawling and shootings that happen every night on the All-Star game?

Nope. I'm cool with those, Mike.

I want to blame the increase in brawling and shootings on the All-Star game. And, other than dissimulation, what the hell does the NFL in Miami have to do with the NBA in Vegas? NFL/Miami, NBA/Vegas -- those are different things right? Am I wrong about that? Totally different places and leagues, right? Nothing at all to do with each other? Because, assuming I'm right about that, it's really odd that Mike would try to compare such unlike events.

The important thing to note is that Mike apparently doesn't think the game had anything to do with an increase in crime, which, does in fact happen daily with or without the All-Star game.

Really? Is he serious?

That's funny, because I put together this handy chart (Yes, I made a handy chart) using data from the Las Vegas police department website (using The Strip zip code, 89109) and it seems that the weekend of the game saw more crime reported to police per day than the 8 days prior.

As you can see the game had a definite impact on reported crime. No shootings in the beginning of the week, shootings at game time. A slight increase in fights and narcotics.

Another important thing to note is that other than A & B's and throw back jersey sightings, crime didn't really sky rocket, at least, not anymore than any influx of people to any festival in any town. And it was Vegas. Tens of thousands of people decended upon The Strip and only 23 measly assault and battery's on game day? That's it? Chuck Norris has battered more people in 5 minutes. Pathetic.

And that's what Wilbon, or any of these writers, should say; when people come from out of town to a party, things go down.

A close approximation to the truth wasn't melee or mayhem but rudeness, bad attitudes and a lack of tipping (I AM SHOCKED!) that left people in sour mood. From that paragon of truth, the Casino City News:
From Thursday through Monday, 403 arrests were made of people attending NBA All-Star events or in town for NBA-related activities, Gillespie said. Of those arrested, 172 were residents, and 231 were from outside Southern Nevada.

A majority of the arrests, 239, were for prostitution-related crimes. During an average week, the department makes about 175 vice-related arrests. Gillespie said vice arrests increased because the number of squads dealing with such crimes was doubled.

The second-largest number of arrests, 63, was for trespassing. The remaining arrests were for disorderly conduct, battery, burglary, petty larceny and outstanding warrants.

There was an average of 81 arrests every 24 hours during All-Star Weekend. By comparison, on New Year's Eve more than 130 people were arrested during a 12-hour period, Gillespie said.

It's no surprise that an event billed for weeks as 'crazy' ended up being rowdy, in of all places, Sin City. But it's not an indictment of young black men or the league as much as it is of Vegas and big parties.

Don't want this to happen again? Don't make sporting events into extravaganzas.

Tuesday, February 20

An Ode To The Greatest Man On Earth

A thought experiment for you:

What would you think of the guy that dates her?

Now, what if I told you that this lucky guy was also the striker for Italy's AC Milan?

And finally, what if I told you that this striker was suspended 3 games for a failed drug test, whereupon his girlfriend stepped forward to take the blame, claiming that a cream used during sex was the cause of his drug infraction?

You would say: Why it must be Marco Borriello, the greatest man on earth.

Pacman Jones To Teach 'Street Logic 101'

Although my co-blooger Absnaz fancies the NBA as a bunch of thugs, it remains clear the NFL is a league with major behavioral problems.

In the last 48 hours: Koren Robinson was sentenced to 90-days for fleeing police, Dominic Rhodes was arrested for drunk driving, and the king of trouble, Pacman Jones, is sought for questioning in a triple-shooting that occurred while Jones was in Vegas for the NBA all-star game. Jones has not been named a suspect in the strip-club shooting. To his credit, Pacman was in the good company of Nobel Peace scholar Nelly.

According to his lawyer:

"I asked him: 'Was anybody in your group involved in the shooting? And he said, "No."

"I said, 'Then why did you leave?' He said, "When there's guns there's always someone else coming with a gun. That's what you do. You get out of there.""

Monday, February 19

Daisuke Mat-chug-zaka


Just a few days into spring training and Dice-K is already running afoul of the US government, specifically the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, whose office parties have won the award for "Worst Parties Ever" six years running.

The problem is that Matsuzaka starred in a beer commercial in Japan and an athlete is prohibited from appearing in beer commercials in the US since 1874 or whenever this archaic law was written. And yes, you read that correctly; he starred in a beer commercial in Japan and starring in beer commercials as an athlete is illegal in the United States. From the article...cue pull quotes:

A slick commercial for Asahi “Super” Dry beer features Matsuzaka donning a Red Sox jersey and throwing in full uniform in front of a simulated frenzied throng (ed: one of these days they'll forget an 'R' and that sentence will be a hell of a lot more funny. And I'm not talking about a fenzied throng, either *). In between those shots, Matsuzaka, in street clothes, is shown first taking a couple of gulps from a large glass of beer. After a quick cut, the shot returns to Matsuzaka downing the beer and, with foam on his lips, smiling and sighing contentedly.
Silly commercial, Japanese people are always smiling and sighing contentedly, it's part of their culture!
According to Arthur Resnick, director of public and media affairs for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in Washington, D.C., Matsuzaka’s Asahi ad may merit punitive action.
“Our jurisdiction runs to false and misleading ads,” said Resnick, who pointed to a 1995 ruling that says the bureau would consider unacceptable any ad “which depicts any individual (famous athlete or otherwise) consuming or about to consume an alcoholic beverage prior to or during an athletic activity or event,” or an ad that states that drinking alcohol “will enhance athletic prowess, performance at athletic activities or events, health or conditioning.”
This is asinine. It's asinine that we pay a bureau that has such a paucity of tasks that they even look into this sort of thing.

The actual commercial in question IS FREAKING AWESOME. And I will only be drinking Asahi from now on or until I become a famous pitcher for the Red Sox, because the commercial makes it abundantly clear that if you drink enough Asahi Super Dry you're pretty much on a one-way train to Fenway Park.

I'm actually drinking two as I type this.

Cue Japanesse announcer: "Asahi: SuperDuurrryyy!"

* While on the subject of editing errors and sex, I've gotta bring up the famous Chicago Tribune error that turned "You Can't Say That" into "You Cunt Say That" -- on the front page of the WomanNews section.


Meet The Dr.

December 30th, 1984, Akron, Ohio -- With only a threadbare blanket between her and the frigged wood floor, Gloria waits. Her sister dabs a lukewarm cloth at her sweating brow telling Gloria, "You doin' fine sweetie, just keep'on breath'n. The midwife'll be here any second."

The living room fills briefly with headlights, a car door shuts outside. The midwife is here.

The front door opens and a surprisingly large figure enters, pulling it's hood off to reveal something equally surprising -- the midwife is a man.

Without speaking the man goes quickly to work. With deft, delicate hands he delivers a healthy baby boy.

The man finally speaks while holding Gloria's newborn, "His name shall be LeBron"

And Gloria James, repeats the name softly to herself, to the world; "Lebron."

That midwife's name: Morgs.


With March madness nearly upon us and basketball entering it's second stretch, we'd like to welcome basketball expert Morgs as a new contributor to Sporting Naz.
Look back at some of Basketball's great moments and you'll find Morgs' fingerprints. Leaping in front of the Bobby Knight thrown chair to save a small child, giving a protective cup to a cameraman before a Bulls game, a game that would find Rodman's foot blocked by the same cup. Morgs knew John Amechi was gay before John Amechi did, he predicted (and relished) the fall of this season's Duke Blue Devils. There are more, indeed, many more.

In short; listen to this man, Morgs.

Sunday, February 18

ESPN: Now With 25% Less Suck

Michael Irvin (snort) has received the ax from ESPN, being replaced by the Tuna. Happy trails, Mike! It's a long a lonely road so pack accordingly, you know, like with foil, a lighter and your friend's crack pipe. I also missed this Irvin gaffe when it happened:

Last season, ESPN did not discipline Irvin after he jokingly suggested that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's strong performance might be attributed to one of his ancestors sleeping with a slave.

IN OTHER NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED...and it's on the internet, so it must be true.
The NFL analyst who took a picture of his penis with a cell phone camera and has shown it to numerous, uncomfortable women, was suspended by his network.

That analyst's name; Sean Salisbury. If you don't believe me just google 'penis' and 'Sean Salisbury' but don't forget the 'Sean Salisbury' part.

ALSO...watching the NBA All-Star game I remembered something funny. Remember when Marv Albert was arrested for biting that lady during sex? That was awesome.


Saturday, February 17

Picks and Chicks

I missed this Page 2 review of the year's worst sports predictions. Some of the NFL ones are great:

Worst Prediction of the Year, First Runner-Up: Mike Florio of "We predict for both the Bears and the Colts a tough time in 2006."

Worst Prediction of the Year: Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times. Oates predicted Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh and Washington would reach the postseason -- all missed -- while Chicago would not make the playoffs. He said the Lions had a realistic chance of advancing to the Super Bowl. And the Indianapolis Colts? They will "flame out" because Peyton Manning "isn't a natural quarterback."

AND BECAUSE the Skins were very much apart of the years bad picks, let's cheer up by looking at a picture of a woman who I predict to be my next girlfriend.

BREAKING NEWS: Pats Finally Pay A Star Player...Sort Of

Asante Samuel has been hit with the 'franchise player' tag. For those unfamiliar with the logistics of the designation, it's good for a one year extension with a payout of the average of the top-5 NFL CB salaries. Which quasi-sucks for Asante, as he may have earned top dollar in the market. Bill Belichick said:

"Asante Samuel is an outstanding player who has been a consistent contributor for us for several years. We hope Asante remains a Patriot for many seasons to come. Unfortunately, hope is not a currency accepted by anyone and it's all Mr. Kraft is ultimately prepared to spend.
IN OTHER NEWS...Dan Snyder is inviting Redskins fans to a bonfire at Redskins park. The fire will be fueled by the hard cash he was preparing to pay Samuel with.

Friday, February 16

Why I hate the NBA...

Before everyone jumps on that old NBA train once again just because their team is doing well and my team not so much..I feel I should bring everyone back to earth on the sad state of affairs for this once exciting league

1. The thugs...

Every couple of weeks we have to hear about some stupid thug who gets either a) gets in a fight b.) is arrested for drugs c.) is beating up his get the picture... There really is a lack of class acts in the leauge these days(....the Stocktons, the Malones, the Reggie Millers of the league have all long since retired) and most of the guys these days are hot headed and uncoachable....Of course, take this with a grain of salt because there are still a few guys like Dwayne Wade who embody a true sense of sportsmanship and "class".But overall, the leauge is primarily a bunch of thugs..

2. It's boring.....
Despite the past few years of playoff basketball(which have been fantastic!), the league is overall very boring. In baseball we get America's pastime, the essence of america...In football we get four quarters of hard hitting fun...But in Pro Basketball we have a bunch of dunks and dump passes to the big man in the middle...Has anyone heard of fucking fundamentals?!?

I decided to examine the problem more carefully this past Christmas when the Lakers played the grizzlies. Rules seem at many times nonexistent, and the worst part is it seems like the more famous the player is, the more lenient the refs are on these overpaid primma donnas. Sure guys like Kobe and Lebron are scoring around 50 points a game lately, but the fact of the matter is, these players are shooting like eighty shots a game making their performance less impressive than it seems on paper.

As I watched the game more, I became disgusted by what I saw in the fourth quarter with Kobe’s foul on Memphis' Mike Miller. In case anybody missed it, Kobe was intentionally fouling Miller; retaliating for a rough, but definitely unintentional foul by Miller in the third quarter. Kobe grabbed Miller and slammed him on the ground. What shocked me even more, was Kobe’s comments regarding the incident, for which he received a two game suspension. "Somebody comes down the lane, you've got to hit him," Bryant said. "You can't let them come down the lane and just finger roll and get easy baskets."

Exactly Kobe. That's just the kind of example guys like you are setting for young NBA players. You heard it here folks, if you are too lazy to shuffle your feet and play real defense, just drive your forearm into the face of the opposing player - you know, to let them know who's the bitch out on that court.

Despite the fact that my hate for pro Basketball gets worse each year, I will always love college basketball. I you ask me, no sporting event is quite like march madness; filling out your brackets and comparing them with friends and family and watching schools like george mason make it to the final four is what makes sports exciting. The NBA, however, has transformed the sport into some sort of soap opera beauty paegant. What about Exhibit B, Mr. Ron Artest. We all remember his attack on an innocent fan and his temporary leave of absence so he cold work on his debut rap album Tru Warier? I miss the good old days where Michael Jordan was king of the league, when classic duels between warriors where the norm for NBA games. You had: Bird and magic, Jordan and Malone, Ewing and Mourning? Alright you get the point.... Who knows, maybe it will get better, I mean maybe this is just a cry from a depressed Celtics fan. The talent is there, but then again, so are the ginormous egos...

Tru Warier out.

Quotable: Non-Sports Edition

Phillip Kerkhof, the Aussie man who caught a shark with his bare hands while drunk --

"He was just thrashing around in the water ... starting to turn around and try to bite me and I thought 'well, it's amazing what vodka does'."

Bears Meet Shank

From the Sun-Times:

The Bears signed kicker Nick Novak and allocated him to NFL Europe. Novak was originally in training camp with the Bears in 2005 and has scored 64 points in two seasons with the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals. He will provide insurance for Robbie Gould and an extra leg for camp.

Bears - Robbie Gould + Shank Novak + Windy City = Shit, we suck again.


Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox new Japanese pitching phenom on what his first pitch may be --

"[I would] love to pitch a fastball [for] my first pitch, and I'd like my first batter, if he's listening, to please try not to hit the ball."

Thursday, February 15

You're Going To Shower With Him, And You're Going To Like It

I caught Tim Hardaway's (relation to the former 'Next MJ' Penny Hardaway?) comments about THE FIRST OPENLY GAY NBA PLAYER EVER John Amechi's gayness.

How do you deal with a gay teammate?

"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. Second of all, if he was on my team, I'd really distance myself from him. I don't think he should be in the locker room when we are in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that. . . . I'd ask for him to get traded. Something has to give. The majority of the players would ask for him to be traded, or they would want to get traded. Or just buy him out of his contract and let him go.''

At this point I was thinking, "Eh, well a little closed minded but it's not that bad of a comment, why all the hoopla?"...and then Tim inserted foot firmly into mouth and I had my answer

But, Tim, you realize that's bigotry and homophobia?

''I hate gay people. Let it be known, I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. There shouldn't be a world for that or [a place] in the United States for it. I don't like it.''

Blunt is an understatement. Blunt to the power of Hate-omatic. Damn.

Hate is bad word. Truly.

But once you get past that word you realize that the man is entitled to his opinion and since the Democrats haven't pushed the thought-police legislation through congress -- YET -- the line for hate is drawn at acting upon it.

There are plenty of types of people that I dislike -- that I would rather not be around -- and I don't get called a bigot for not liking them.

Crackheads; I'm no a big fan of. Ditto for Eagles, Giants and Cowboys fans. Smelly folks, obesse people next o me in airplanes, really trashy white-trash, people who watch 'Lost.' There's a plethora of reasons to not like someone, and one of those reasons could be their sexual preference. As someone surmised on the Miami Herald blog:
"So, now we must LIKE gay people? Now we must agree with the gay lifestyle?...
Personally, believe it or not, I have no problem with someone being gay. BUT, I also sure as hell don't expect people to like it, either. Go ahead and put your **** in some guys *** buddy, but dont expect other people not to be disgusted by it."

The problem with preaching a kumbaya-acceptance of everyone is that it's a complete crock.

Isiah Thomas recently said this about gays in the league:
"We're a diverse society and we preach acceptance. No matter what your sexual preference may be, there's acceptance and a tolerance level that should be accepted everywhere. No one should be excluded."

Which sounds well and good...if it weren't complete BS.

There are PLENTY of sexual preferences that aren't accepted and, hopefully, will never be. I'm not equating homosexuality (which I'm good with "as long as you don't bring your gayness on me") with pedophilia or bestiality or necrophilia but, just like heterosexuality, they are sexual preferences and people don't have to accept or like any of them. Hell, some looney tunes people are even asexual!!! Should we all go around not boofing to appease that group?

The fact that you're not considered pedophobic or beastiaphobic because you refuse to approve of that behavior should hold true for homosexuality. People don't have to like it, and consequently people don't have to like people who don't like it. And so forth.

Defending the Indefensible... least if I was defending Tookie Williams or Mumia Abu-Jamal I'd get some sort of credit in various political circles; but alas, it's Rush Limbaugh and you don't get credit for that sort of thing.

I find it laughable, on the heels of the oft repeated implication that any white owner who hasn't hired a black coach is racist (or at least greatly prejudicial) that Rush Limbaugh's recent comment regarding the whitness of Rex Grossman -- which he claims was a joke -- has generated such an uproar.

Most of the reactions were quite predicable. However, I wasn't prepared for Michael Wilbon's reaction in his weekly Q & A with fans on (which if I take the time to read every week is a good indication that I'm a big fan of Wilbon):

Arlington, Va.: Hey Mike, can we pass a law banning Rush Limbaugh from ever commenting on sports again? Most people who have played sports or are huge fans, know that sports are one of the few things that can bring different races together. It's where I have no problem hugging an African-American teammate or high-fiving a complete stranger when watching a game. Sports brings people in close contact with those they might not normally associate with and idiots like Limbaugh just need to shut up!

Michael Wilbon: Limbaugh is the worst kind of race-bating bigot: one who's smart enough to be very dangerous. His hatred for people different than him is such a sad, sad thing to see and have to put up with.

Serious words and serious accusations, Mr. Wilbon.

(Just a quick note that in Mike's zeal to bash Limbaugh he misses the pretty ironically hilarious racism in the question: "...sports are one of the few things that can bring different races together. It's where I have no problem hugging an African-American teammate or high-fiving a complete stranger when watching a game." "You know, cause, normally I'm not really down with hugging or high-fiving black guys." What?)

I'd imagine that, regardless of Mr. Wilbon's political leanings, he was especially miffed at Limbaugh's previous comments about Donavon McNabb -- a fellow Chicagoan and friend of Wilbon -- comments that some have argued persuasively had merit at the time.

Limbaugh is a provocative media figure, a seller of opinions-- and a very successful salesman at that (though some would bill him as a huckster of highest order). Given that his status and success hinge on the statements he regularly makes, he makes, go figure, provocative statements. Therefore it's surprising to me that Wilbon would be so easily riled at such blatantly irksome trite.

But it's not the outrage over Rush, real or drummed-up, that bugs me, it's the fairly obvious double standard (I know, it's not like I'm documenting some previously unknown and unrecorded phenomenon, but it's still worth noting). This double standard tends to permeate all levels of racial dialog but is much more obvious in sports where the playing field is supposedly level and, thusly, anomalies in the way we talk about race are easily noticeable.

So let's take a look at some people making racial or sexual orientation based remarks, who have yet to have their bigotry so emphatically affirmed by Mr. Wilbon. Hell, one of these guys is a colleague and friend of his.

  • After a playoff game Rodman opined that Bird was “overrated” and received media praise and attention only “because he is white.” (where have I heard similar remarks...hmmm) Teammate Isiah Thomas agreed, "If Bird was Black, he’d be just another good guy."

  • Allen Iverson - "Come to me wit faggot tendacies, you'll be sleepin where the maggots be"

  • Reggie White on Hispanics: "(They) were gifted in family structure ... they can put 20, 30 people in one home." On white people: "Blessed with the gift of structure and organization." On black people: "Very gifted in what we call worship and celebration. A lot of us like to dance. If you go to black churches you see people jumping up and down." On gays: "Homosexuality is a decision." On Asians: "Gifted in creativity ... they can turn a television into a watch." On Native Americans: "(they avoided slavery because they) knew the territory, and the Indians knew how to sneak up on people."

  • But the king of racial generalizations has to be Sir Charles Barkley, whose wife is actually white and who is gainfully employed by TNT along with, one, Michael Wilbon:

  • On Steve Nash - "I’ve only said this two times in my life, but that's a bad white boy."

  • "Man, there's nothing in the world that makes me as nervous as seeing white people dance."

  • "I always say two things: Black people will borrow money and not pay you back and white people cannot dance."

  • "You know the world is off tilt when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest basketball player is Chinese and Germany doesn't want to go to war."

  • "First of all, you don't want the Chinese mad at you: They can fight!"

  • "You're the boss, Ernie. The white guy's always the boss"

  • "You know what (Yao) said? "Whew! Even white guys can play over here!"

  • Kenny: "There's guys who go over to Europe and play overseas from America, and they dominate!"
    Charles: "Those are called 'brothers'"

  • "The NBA's in disarray - a white guy won the slam-dunk competition. We need to have another Million Man March."

  • "It's really wrong for black people to be racists, because two wrongs don't make a right. White people don't know any better, that's the way they were taught, but black people knowhow it feels."

  • I know, I know, Sir Charles is just such a great quote. He's just being Sir Charles! The problem is Limbaugh is not afforded the same leeway in making race based accusations. How can one be different from the other? Without knowing either man's intent or true feelings, how can we so quickly condemn one while promoting and revering another? How does Lane Kiffin's whiteness become a factor in his hiring over black coaching candidates but Mike Tomlin's blackness isn't a factor in his hiring over Russ Grimm? Is there something I'm missing?

    It's hard not to claim a double standard when Rush is forced to resign from ESPN over relatively innocuous, though stupid, comments, or Steve Lyons is fired for pretty much nothing, and the those I quoted stayed gainfully employed and (relatively; their various comments have been noted in various media outlets and White's comments on gays had been the source of much consternation) free of public scorn.

    I wouldn't call any of them 'race-bating bigot(s)' or full of 'hatred for people different than (them)', I'd just call them people making stupid generalizations and until Wilbon bemoans the bigotry of the previous men, I'll have to assume he's just as guilty of that offense.

    Quotable: Belated Editon

    Mark Cuban, via his blog, ripping Converse sponsored Dwayne Wade for criticizing Dirk's leadership skills:

    I guess you have earned the right to criticize Dirk with an obvious display of your own leadership skills...Your coach sat players for being fat. I guess you couldnt lead them away from the buffet.

    Wednesday, February 14

    Quotable: Holiday Edition

    Andre Iguodala, 76ers F/G --

    I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. It's just another day. Women expect too much.

    Tuesday, February 13

    You Want Him? You Can Freaking Have Him

    According to the Chi Trib, Adam Trashuleta may be heading to the windy city next year. I'll provide the kite my friend, happy sailing.

    After what he went through last season in Washington, Archuleta may be willing to pay his way here.

    The Redskins outbid the Bears and a phone-calling, lobbying Lovie Smith with a six-year deal worth $30 million, including $10 million guaranteed.

    It was a disaster.(ed: catastrophe)

    Archuleta, one of Smith's favorites when the two were together in St. Louis, claimed in December he was lied to by Washington coaches. He played perhaps 10 snaps on defense over the last half of the season and is likely to be cut March 1.

    A new rule allows Archuleta to hit the market at the outset of free agency, the Redskins to be rid of early what became a ridiculously expensive fourth-string safety and the Bears to move quickly as Angelo has done in the past on signing targets.

    In other news; Lavar Arrington has been cut by the Giants. Tough break he had, getting hurt and all, and he's a very likable guy; I just wish he'd have opened his playbook every once in a while.

    Lastly, how about that Marty Schotenfire? It's tough to justify that decision at 14-2, it's obviously a feeble attempt to reconcile the losses of Wade Phillips and Cam Cameron, starting a coaching staff from scratch, top down. Where ever Marty lands the team should have an abundance of these placed around the locker room.

    In Other News...

    Digressing from sports for a moment; the infamously tabloid friendly Anna Nicole Smith managed to pass away (the strong money is on an OD at this point, with a parlay suicide) in a county where the chief medical examiner has a skull made for the tabloids -- tabloids of the 'aliens probed my cranium' variety. She somehow managed to look a million times hotter in death by virtue of this Munster family member being the expert on it.

    Josuha Perper, Chief Medical Examiner, Broward County: Are there anymore questions?

    Reporter: Yes, thank you Doctor. What, exactly, can you tell us about that freakishly large bulge on your already hideously misshapen noggin?

    Saturday, February 10

    Excessive?....Not When You Go 5-11

    Sean. Taylor. Is. My. Hero.

    From the AP:
    "...there was no confusion about the game's best play: Sean Taylor, the maverick Washington safety, broke the unwritten rule about hard hits in an exhibition when he viciously leveled Buffalo punter Brian Moorman on an attempted fake in the third quarter.


    Florida center, Joakim Noah --

    "John Lennon, great guy, really held it down in the 60's. To me, John Lennon, New York City, he's a Beatle, just a guy against war...Big-time dude, John Lennon."

    Friday, February 9

    My New Favorite Website

    Drunk Athletes.

    I'm not sure why pictures of pro athletes blitzed are so hilarious to me, maybe it's because they are the pinnacle of human physical achievement. They're dexterous, swift , adroit in mind and reflex; and to see such deftness squandered when faced with the all mighty bottle, well, it's pretty freaking awesome.

    Some examples:
    Nash showing how they get girls in Canada. The site also has some gems of Dirk.

    The savior of Decatur; Kyle Orton. Drip much?

    Oh, Eli actually looks just as inept and hopeless when smashed as when sober. And the now famous parody...

    Friday Link-O-Rama

    Johnny Redskins; fries, shakes, and burgers; just like Riggo used to make! The Danny will buy anything.

    This is cool. Um, I guess?

    With free-agency this is just a bad idea. All he needs now is the Rasham Salam tat to complete the collection!

    What Would Poodge Do? It's no secret that one of our favorite athletes is strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski, otherwise known as Poodge. Look at his official website, I'll wait...
    But, sadly, I've discovered that Poodge is the lead singer of a Polish soft-rock band and they have the gayest song ever.
    Click on this cool picture of Poodge to listen to the gaydom:


    Also, let me be the first to gloat point out that Wade Phillips has a coaching record of 48-42. Let the good times roll.

    Thursday, February 8


    Rapper The Game, on challenging David Beckham in a one-v-one match;

    “I’d kick David Beckham’s ass on any given day. I’d just pick the ball up and kick the shit out of the stadium, game over.”

    Steroids: Misunderstood?

    From Fire Joe Morgan:

    Were I a Major League Baseball player from 1993-2004...and a teammate of mine told me he was taking steroids in an effort to better his performance, I would have said to that teammate: "Thank you for taking steroids. I hope it makes you, and, consequently, our team better. It seems odd that there are no real penalties for taking steroids. I myself would not take these steroids because there seem to be very serious health risks. But seeing as we are not great friends or anything, and you will probably be playing for a different team in a couple of years, and you seem to have made the decision that steroids are right for you, I am really glad that you are taking these steroids because it might help us win a few games. I hope you don't die prematurely."

    Wednesday, February 7


    This guy is a dope.

    DECATUR, Ill. -- He doesn't want to do it, but diehard Chicago Bears fan Scott Wiese is changing his name.

    The 26-year-old Forsyth man told friends that if his beloved team didn't win the Super Bowl, he'd become Peyton Manning after the Indianapolis Colts star quarterback.

    He even signed a petition in front of 200 people last week at Decatur's Katz Piano Bar that he'd do it.

    After the Colts defeated the Bears 29-17 on Sunday, Wiese started the process.

    He trudged to the Macon County Courts Facility yesterday and filed the paperwork. The change still has to be approved by a judge.

    Wiese says he really cares about the team and that his sacrifice represents the true passion of Bears fans.

    Any suggestions for Jon's upcoming name change?

    Monday, February 5

    Character Counts

    Congratulations to Sean Taylor, who was unexpectedly named to the pro bowl today, replacing Philly's Brian Dawkins. Sean will join Chris Samuels as the only Redskins in next week's game. Sean posted career highs in tackles, though mainly due to the Redskins poor line play, with 111 tackles, 86 solo. He was often found woefully out of position and covering for a dumbfounded and dismal Adam Archeleta, who was named a starter to the Toilet Bowl. Sean was also part of the best play of the Redskins' '06 season, returning a blocked Dallas FG 30 yards to set up Shank Novak's game winning 47 yard shot.

    Some highlights of the good guy, Sean Taylor. The guy def lays lumber.

    Maposaurus: Misunderstood?

    The Evil Maposaurus was top notch. Physical humor is back in style I guess, pretty overkill when ever commercial does it. I thought the K-Fed (mark my words, that will be the last time I ever type the word...K-...whoa, almost got me there) was pretty good although I guess there was similar one with Hammer some months ago.

    The full Garmin music video:

    And a hilarious interview with Maposaurus:

    "I'm not a bad guy, I'm certainly not an evil guy, you know, just wherever I go there happens to be a bit of carnage. Everyone has their gifts, mine just happens to be stomping things.

    Super Bowl rehash and reacts coming soon.

    Friday, February 2

    I Blame T.O.

    Any Reid seems like a good guy and great coach, but holy crap he's had some trouble keeping his kids in line. And somewhere T.O. is laughing.

    "Two of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid's sons are under investigation -- one for suspicion of pointing a gun at a motorist, the other for a car accident just hours later, after which police said he admitted using heroin."


    Charles Tillman, Bears CB, spilling his guts on media day-

    "I’m a Pisces and I like long, quiet walks on the beach. That’s what I like to do, me and the wifey. I’ve got a kid, I wear size 12 1/2 shoes. I’m ambidextrous."

    Thursday, February 1

    Steven A. Makes My Day.

    I was going to leave the first black coach thing alone because no one outside of the media really cares. Is it a great accomplishment? Undoubtedly. And it couldn't have happened to better men; two of the classiest, most likable guys in the league, regardless of race. But, to the average NFL viewer, race just simply isn't an issue anymore. It hasn't been for sometime. I highly doubt anybody tuning into the Super Bowl will say, "Look Ma, two Negros are coaching the big game!" So, like I said, I really wasn't going to get sucked into the 'first black coach' hype but after seeing Steven A. Smith on CNN, I feel compelled to write this down so I can stop yelling at my TV.

    The most frequent complaint you hear about the lack of black coaches is the ratio complaint; that 75% of the players are black but less than a fifth of it's head coaches are black. In fact, it's generally the only complaint you hear.

    So what? Blacks were once excluded from the NFL and they no longer are. Hey, our bad, but end of story. Why don't we talk about people who have been completely excluded from the NFL and now have to challenge the established norms, like women broadcasters or coaches? Or midget cheerleaders. Real exclusion.

    If modern sports leagues used this race ratio as their guideline for coaches, it would certainly increase the number of black coaches in the NFL and NBA but would make most other leagues almost exclusively white. Hockey? Nope. Blacks need not apply. Golf executives? No blacks allowed, wouldn't want to, you know, upset the delicate ratio in place. Tennis? Swimming? No and no. But aren't we always hearing that those leagues should be more diverse? Yes we are. So the real issue here isn't a ratio problem, it's that some people want more black coaches. Period. They never say how many black coaches will placate their desire to balance the league, but, you know, just more.

    Steven A. Smith was on Paula "Overbite" Zahn last night, along with Karen Hunter, a black, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the NY Daily News and an author of a LL Cool J book, and some token conservative white chick who looked like one of the gals from SNL. Before the panel debated, CNN showed a monologue clip, replete with soft cuts and inspirational music. The clip ended with, "Some hope Sunday's game will have a lasting impact, that the image of two black men leading teams in America's biggest game will send an inspiring message to anyone who has a dream of playing or coaching in the NFL." Finally, black kids will actually dream of playing the NFL! (The idea that kids need players of the same-race to look up to is also ridiculous. When I was a kid I pretended to be Art Monk or Darell Green or a coked up Dexter Manly, black or white, I pretended to be any Redskin player. Are we to believe that none of the 6 black kids in Indianapolis pretend to be Peyton Manning or Dallas Clark?) After this sanguine video intro the panel, ironically bereft of any white male, began to debate. Some snippets from the show (my comments in bold) below;

    ZAHN: What took so long for blacks to become head coaches on NFL teams?

    SMITH: Well, I think, if you're going to make an argument for racism, this would be the perfect time.

    I mean, it wasn't until the late '80s that the first African- American coach was in the NFL in Art Shell. The reality is, you got that good-old-boy network that didn't have -- that didn't involve inclusion.

    This I completely agree with Steve on. The NFL (like the rest of the country) was a good ol' boy network and it's a shame that it took until 1988 for blacks to be welcomed as coaches. Basically, though people had likely shed their prejudicial inclinations, the people with the most experience were white candidates, by virtue of them being the only coaches for over 50 years, thusly whites continued to be hired. This network extended (and still somewhat exists today) into the college ranks and bred inclusiveness. Finally, that long maintained network is being shed and more minorities are gaining experience as college coaches and as NFL assistants, the stepping stones to a head coaching job.

    HUNTER: This is about affirmative action.

    And, as a person who has benefited from affirmative action, I can tell you, it's absolutely necessary. People will not hire people who don't look like them, who they're not comfortable with, unless they're forced to.

    Wow, Karen Hunter, Pulitzer prize winner and speaker for all mankind. So Karen describes all interracial work relationships as being borne out of force. Interesting viewpoint.

    ZAHN: Let me move on to another question. Do you think blacks have been held to a different standard?

    HUNTER: Absolutely. I have to be twice as good at what I do.

    Stop the freaking race train. Aside from the fact that her own skill as compared to others is a completely arbitrary, unquantifiable amount, it doesn't even make sense. So she's twice as good as the writers at the Daily News, but it equals out because she's black? A new theorem perhaps; black + skill(2) = white + skill.

    ZAHN: ... but specifically when it comes to the NFL?

    HUNTER: Both of these coaches, that they are both in the Super Bowl right now says a lot about...

    SCHLUSSEL (this is that weird looking white girl): If you were twice as good, you wouldn't need affirmative action.

    HUNTER: Really?

    SCHLUSSEL: Yes. You don't need it.

    SMITH: There is not a black person in America that would tell you differently than what she just said.

    Of course we're held to a different standard. We're always held to a different standard. That's why, even more significant than Tony Dungy -- or just as significant as Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith going to the Super Bowl, is the fact that Tomlin was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers, because his resume is not impeccable. Yet, at the age of 34, he was given an opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL.

    That's something that simply never, ever happened in this sport's history.

    SCHLUSSEL: Why should he get that opportunity just because of color?

    SMITH: Because white folks get that opportunity all the time.

    Did Smith just argue against himself? First he's agreeing that black + skill(2) = white + skill, and then he says that Tomlin just got thrown a job based on race over resume? So, normally blacks are at a different, higher standard but (for once) not in Tomlin's case and that proves the league is getting friendlier to blacks? And I do think Kiffin got the job over better black candidates, Earnest Byner for one, but that's Oakland's choice, just as Pittsburgh gave Tomlin a job over the better qualified Russ Grimm (who really exemplifies just how difficult it is to land a head coaching job in the NFL, and throws some salt on the "white folks get that opportunity all the time" argument). But history will tell and one day both men could be Hall of Famers. History is neat like that.

    SMITH: And, if you're talking about fairness, how about being fair and making sure that black people are afforded the same opportunity as white people?

    SCHLUSSEL: OK. Fine. Do you think that there should be -- do you think there should be Samoan and Latino coaches, because there are Samoan and Latino players? And there hasn't been one of those coaches yet.

    SNL Looking White girl 1, Yells At You Smith 0

    SCHLUSSEL: Well, then maybe we should have affirmative action for white players on the field. Why does there need to be a correlation between the 75 percent on the field?

    HUNTER: It is about opportunity. The fact that Smith is the lowest paid coach in the NFL.

    SMITH: $135,000.

    Here, Steve does this angry, huffing laugh, insinuating that the big bad white owners are intentionally paying Lovie a low salary due to race. A viewpoint which I think speaks volumes of Smith's racial objectivity. I actually read that black coaches get paid 3/5ths of a white coach. Some compromise the NFL made a while ago.

    SMITH: I'll give you a perfect example, Lane Kiffin, new coach of the Oakland Raiders. He was at USC. You got a guy like Norm Chow who led USC to two national championships as an offensive coordinator, plus he took them to a third. He did a fantastic job at Tennessee...(Kiffin)is 31 years old with no experience whatsoever coaching on the NFL level, but he was given a head coaching job. That simply does not happen for black people in America.

    SCHLUSSEL: There are 32 jobs, 32. There are a lot of good coaches of all races that want to be coaches.

    SMITH (now yelling, but it's hard to tell if he's mad or just yelling like always): Let me address my issue. The man is 31 years old with no coaching experience, any NFL and got a head coaching job for the Oakland Raiders. Does that happen for a black man in the United States of America?

    Smith has a point in that it's extremely rare for a team to hire a coach with no prior NFL coaching experience. Kiffin could actually be the first. But let's see, Smith's implication is that Kiffin got the job over more qualified blacks merely because he was white and he asks; does that happen for a black man in the United States? Let me see, getting a job over better qualified applicants based on race alone. Let me think. So a black guy would have to get a gig over a white guy with better creds? It sounds familiar, but, no, Steve, you are right, it's never happened. Ever.

    Then the white girl doesn't answer and Steve keeps saying, "are you going to answer?" and right before the show ends Hunter says with a smug, conspiratorial tone, "No Steve, she's not going to answer."

    Like she's saying, "just more institutional racism by the white people. She doesn't think she needs to answer your black ass, Steve."

    The thing is it's very, very difficult to win a Super Bowl. There have only been 22 coaches who've done it; only 22. But the media acts like a bunch of white guys are sitting at the country club, sipping Cognac, with Lombardi trophies all over the place and a sign that says no blacks allowed. Only 42 different coaches in NFL history have ever coached in the Super Bowl. Which means most NFL coaches, white or black, have never made it. This Sunday, Lovie and Dungy will make it so 4.3% of Super Bowls have been coached by blacks.

    This in addition to the fact that just over half of the jobs in the NFL are even in play. Contrary to the quickly changing demographics of the players, coaches have a much slower turnaround because current coaches generally have the best chance of getting head coach openings. Currently there are 13 white coaches (give or take a few) who most likely aren't going to be leaving the league as anything other than a head coaches. They're established head coaches and they happen to be white. That leaves, not counting the current black coaches, 13 possible future openings for black coaches. Only 13. It's a slow process but it's happening. Does anyone think if Ray Rhodes had won with Philly or Green Bay that he wouldn't still be a coach? Or Dennie Green (Gary Anderson had to miss a FG for the big bad white owners, his first miss all year, to keep this black coach out the Super Bowl)? Or Terry Robiski? The truth is, winning is what it takes to stay in the league and black coaches are slowly getting the chance to prove they can win, and as they do (over decades) they will replace the current white staples of NFL coaching and become permanent fixtures, like Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy have already (and Herm is probably close to solidified as a head coach until retirement, however, he is on his 2nd strike in a fierce division).

    I can't help but feel that if Art Shell had only beat the Bills in 1990, we could be simply enjoying the game without this racial sideshow. Like Doug Williams, who 18 years after his "watershed" moment is still the only black QB to win a Super Bowl, quelled cries of discrimination at his position, Shell could have ended this 17 years ago, but, of course, that damn Marv Levy had to go and keep the black man down.

    Smith also picked the Colts, 37 over the Bears 20. The Colts have only scored over 36 twice in 19 weeks, but in the Super Bowl it's just going to click. Just like that. Don't mind the Bears D, nope, don't mind them at all.