Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

End of the Patriots 2008 Season Part 1

Ok so we'll do this in four parts:

1) Playoff Format  (adjusatments or division re-alignment)

2) Favre  (and Romo)

3) Cassel

4) 2009 Preview


For the record I am not bitching.  I am not a crybaby.  The season is over.  It sucks but it is how it is.  11-5 and out, 8-8 and in.  Many teams have won their divisions with an 8-8 record, and with eight divisions is it a common occurrence that we are going to have to accept.  The league obviously did not expect it to be as common as it has been.   If the Pats beat the Colts, they'd be the ones left out.  There was the Pittsburgh game and the first Dolphins game.  The Patriots had their chances to prevent this.  So here are some suggestions as to how to make sure no other team gets screwed as hard, or even harder.

1) Ban 7-9 teams from the payoffs.  If no other change is made but this, we will all be better off.  I can promise you, guarantee to you right now, that WHEN a team wins their division at 7-9 there will be at least one team in the league with 10 wins that will be left out of the playoffs.

2) What should the rule be then?  A team that has won 2 more games than a division winner will make the playoffs and the division winner will not.  All seeds will move up to fill the division winners #4 seed and the extra Wild Card team would be the #6 seed.  If this extra Wild Card team has to cross over conferences for the playoffs, then so be it.      2 games better.  No fluke, no luck, no tie-breakers, just a flat out better team making the playoffs.  Let's remove the Patriots from this discussion and ask a question.  Should the Jets be in the playoffs over the Chargers?  YES, and I hate the Jets.  They were 2 games better.  Not 1, not tied, but two full games.

3) An alternative idea is to re-align the divisions.  Cut the number of divisions in half.  Two conferences, with two 8-team divisions each.  Each team would play half their schedule in their division.  (Each team plays each other once with one match-up for each team being a home and away series.)  Then keep the same 6 team per conference format.  Division winners get the bye, the rest seed out by record and tie-breaker.  This removes the 8-8 division winner nonsense.  It does not change the playoffs.  It eliminates most of the tie-breakers by creating more decisions being made based upon head-to-head match-up.

4) Keep the current entrance rules, but seed the teams based upon record.  That way the 8-8 Charges do not get to host the 12-4.  That is wrong.  In fact the Colts have more right to complain about this than the Patriots have about not making the playoffs.   Big deal you won the crappiest division in football.  That should not mean you get to host a team that finished FOUR games ahead of you.  Here is your playoff spot, take it, on the road, shut up and be happy we let you sit at the grown up table.

5) DO NOT EXPAND THE NUMBER OF TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS.  At all.  Ever.  Under any circumstances, until the league has expanded to more than 35 teams.

When I was a kid, eight games of a teams schedule was played in their division, this made it unlikely that a division winner would end up 8-8  because there was more activity within the divisions.  Now with only 6 games, a team can suck, but win their division and end up with an 8-8 record.  It's happened

And trust me, a 7-9 division winner is on the horizon.  Don't believe me?  Just look at what we had last season, 16-0 and then look at this season 0-16.  Then ask yourself how unbelievable a 7-9 division winner is.  This is concern #1 to me: Keeping that crappy team out of the playoffs and letting a FAR more deserving team in.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Misdirection Play 12-26

Inspired by some amazing sports things I've seen in places most sports fans either don't or won't look.

 The only photo I could find in 1 minutes of searching for the $10,000 Snow Angel.  Take it from me ESPN and I'll go find another.

Send this exact cake to any and every Longhorn fan.

Casey at the Bat, told through the use of Baseball Cards.  Awesome.  Photoshop can be used for good kids!

I'm a homer so this top 20 list gets linked here.  I'm not even going to argue over the order.  The guy included Andre Tippet and Bill Buckner, two towering figures from my childhood.  Go read my post about Buckner, not a shameless plug, but because I actually think it is worth reading.

Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaail!

Some English last names came by as a result of people being labelled by the jobs they did.  In the 21st century some people are going back to their roots and letting their names speak for themselves.

In Basketball a Big Man Dance-off is a fun time for all.  Not at all like the point and laugh NFL version.

The Onion gives suggestions on how to save the Lions.  They also have a wonderful poor Eli story.

Only two links per site, that's the rule.  So I'll pass over Inflatable Ben Wallace, a football player accidentally punching his coach, and a 720 slam dunk for........Quidditch!  Spot the geek.

The Pats need that Van Pelt karma to help them make the playoffs!

I did not get the Extreme Ironing calendar I wanted for Xmas this year.  I hate you Santa.

Inappropriate Robot.

Larry Walker and Darren Daulton.  Oh my the 90's truly was a scary time.

A very belated link to what Seattle sports fans have to be thankful for.


See you in a Capital One Bowl Week.  (A length of time that stretches for as long as is conveniently necessary.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Bill Romanowski

And to break ground on the Roid Rage Wing of the SHOF, I would like to present to you, William Thomas Romanowski, football's original Romo.   We'll get back to this though, because I want to start with the standard fare.


Drugs of chocie:  The Cream and The Clear.  Yes, Romo was a BALCO child.

Montana sized ego?  Check!  Which brings up a question.  Does the go drive the drug use or does the drug use drive the ego?  It's the chicken and egg argument for steroids.  I can see both sides easily, but without solid proof on either side I will choose to lean towards the drug drives the ego.

Excuse used:  “I took it (human growth hormone) for a brief period and I didn’t receive any great benefits from it. I compromised my morality to play another two years in the NFL.”  I don't buy it.  His incidents go back to 1989 and they all reek of roid rage.  Again we stand in a place where we will never know the truth so we are forced to speculate if we want to deal with the situation.

What's he doing now?  Selling supplements.  WHY?!?!?  Why do you arrogant jerks not realize how slimly and disgusting that is.  I know you spend your life working out and treating your body like a machine.  I know you have the interest, the knowledge, and the experience to excel in this field.  But if you took steroids then people will think you are selling steroids disguised as supplements.  And that is not just the business you lose by being tainted, but also a driver for your business.  The people who come to you wanting steroids.

The Roid Rage poster boy.  No less than seven times Romo hurt, attacked, or was fined.  Now over 16 years it does not seem that bad, until you realize that two of these incidents were with teammates!  AND these are just what we know of.  How many people just blew off his antics because of his reputation?  I was going to list them all but I can't maintain my composure and have spent too much time looking into this losers life.  He is fascinating, but not in a good way or in a way that makes me want to continue further.

Again we confront the baseball/football steroid double standard.  Romo touched upon it in an interview with Roy Firestone.  He said, "I think this, the game of football, I guarantee you, will cost me more years of my  life than the things I put in my body."  He did go on in that quote to defend all the other of the 100 pills he was taking a day.  Vitamins, anti-oxidants, and the such.  But the part I pulled out hits upon the double standard.  It's about how difficult, violent, physical, and permanent the game of football is.  You can't imagine someone being a cripple for the rest of their lives after a full baseball career, but we see it all the time with football.  Football gets a pass on steroids because of this.

That's enough of Romo, maybe he'll get a second look from me in the future, but I'm done.  This guy has issues and whether his issues lead to his drug use or vice-versa does not matter.  Much has been said about Romo and as one that saw him play  he was one of the hardest hitters I've seen, too bad it wasn't natural.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Patriots Playoff Hopes

It is very simple for them actually.  They need to win out and they need two of three teams to lose one of their last two games.  Those teams are the Raves, Jets and Dolphins.  4 teams, 2 spots and the Pats have no chance of winning any tie-breaker.  I like their chances frankly.  Three teams need to go no better than 4-2 for the Patriots to have a chance.  Add in the fact that the Dolphins and the Jets play each other next week and we are guaranteed one of those loses.  Then it really becomes, if the Ravens lose today and the Pats win out, they are in.  Not a bad situation.  Not the best, but if you can't control your own destiny this is the next best situation.  It means having to root for the Cowboys  :puke: put life sucks, and loyalty is hard work.

Warning to the NFL:  Do not let the Pats make it to the playoffs and find their running game.  If they learn to run, it's over and we get our redemption.  You think I'm crazy, but I am also right.  Yes their D has some major flaws, but if they can run and mix in the big play to Moss they are good enough to beat anyone.  The running game will be part of the defense by controlling the clock, while the big play gives them the ability to come back from a two score deficit at any point.  The running backs are getting healthy at the right moment.  Welker and Faulk will keep any drive alive on 3rd down.  The D will need to step up but it's not as big a step as you think they need.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson, Order of Canada.



Ben is the epitome of Epic Fail.  He was not a wannabe like Jose, or under-rated like Rafael.  No, this guy was on top of the world and fell all the way down.  Fastest man on earth, hero of a nation and inspiration for the Dublin Inquiry.  Yes Canada's Mitchell report was inspired not by the wholesale corruption of an entire sport, but because of one single man.  Let's get to the good stuff.

Drug of choice: Our good friend Stanozolol.  Or, according to his coach, Furazabol.

Excuse: "Everyone else was doing it!"  And sadly four of the top five finishers of 1988 100m in Seoul were found to have used at some point.

Reaction: He did his time, then pulled a Magic Johnson.  Comeback, after comeback, after comeback.  At one point he was so desperate and his reputation was so bad that he had to run a race all by himself.  I would kill for this video.

Delusions: He coached a soccer player and wanted people to assume his athlete was clean.
He was banned for a third time in 1999.  But does not the IAF use a lifetime ban after a second offense?  Yes, but he was so fast that the lifetime ban took 6 years to catch up to him.  No he found a lawyer who found a loophole.
He could design athletic clothes.
Someone was out to get him back in '88.
Thought he'd make a good pitchman for an all natural energy drink.

Poor Ben.  He obviously worked hard, but look at where it got him.  He's poor, living with family, a joke, and think of what he could have been had he done it clean?  Carl Lewis' bitch.  I feel zero pity for this one and he deserves all he's got.  His arrogance tops any I've covered so far, and his insistence on coming back made mocking him redundant.  Funny, but redundant.

Sadly this guy still craves attention so we have not heard the last from him.  I bet he shows up somewhere, if he loves us it'll be on The Surreal Life.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Rafael Palmeiro




Steroids are not funny, and even Jose Canseco could not make then funny.  Thank god we have Rafael Palmeiro.  This guy makes steroids funny.  This guy brings the humor harder than Dane Cook!   Seriosly, if the SHOF had a man of the year award for 2005, it would be Raf.

Don't believe me?  
"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program."
Those were his words after his 10 game suspension in 2005.  Thank god he had Jose Canseco.  See humor.  I won't even make any of the potential jokes.  I will let your mind run wild.    The suspension came on August 1st, 2005 AFTER  the February release of the book in which Jose fingered him.  The suspension ended on August 11, and he did not play again in the 14th, the day the Orioles had previously scheduled as Rafael Palmeiro appreciation day.  The day they were to clebrate his 500hr and 3,000 hit career.   Oops.  Wait, in March of that year was the infamous Congressional Hearing.  So that's funny due to timing, but it is also funny because it was there he said:
   
"Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."
Wait a second there.  So all it takes is to add the word intentionally to escape the rap?  Like someone broke into your house and injected you with steroids in the middle of the night.  So that the next day when you went to work you did not realize that you were working the same muscle groups you had worked the day before?  Now that's comedy.

The punch line (or last punch line) is that he probably avoided a perjury charge by ratting out Miguel Tejada.  The victim of a rat becomes a rat.  Kids, steroids, more than any other drug, fundamentally changes your view on the world.  This more than anything is the danger of steroids.  Screwing with your body is one thing, but once you mess up your head, it is all over.  

Drug of choice for Raf was stanozolol.

His claim to fame, was a great career: 3,000 hits and 500 hrs.  Only 3 other men are in that club.  Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray.  Had Raf earned these numbers clean, he'd be considered not just a great player, but one of the best ever.  

Raf gives us both sides of the equation: Steroids work, they give you the edge needed to win.  But they change you, permanently.  And not just your body is changed.  So it boils down to the question that I'd love to see him answer right now, "Was it worth it?"  Oh but he's still in denial, and will be for a long time.

Welcome to the club Raf!

An NIT for the BCS!

Yes, let's do this! A Tournament for the Screwed!

Texas Tech vs Boise St

This year it'll only be two teams. Some years it'll be four. But this game needs to happen and it needs to by pushed hard to catch the eye of the anti-bcs crowd. Of course even as many as an 8 team playoff would leave one of these teams out. And you'll only a very small minority of anti-BCS outrage defending either of these two teams.

And this points to something I laugh at when I hear people cry about the BCS. Playoffs are more elitist than the BCS. Look at the Big 12 South first.

A) Two teams got the short end of the stick, and playoff people want to give 2 if not all 3 of these teams a chance. Thus giving one division of one BCS conference an even bigger chance to win the title.
B) Texas. Everyone has their panties in a bunch over how Texas beat Oklahoma and got screwed out of playing for the National Title. IT'S NOT FAIR! Everyone has this blind spot about Texas' loss to Tech and how Tech has as good an argument about being left out. Playoff proponnents ignore Tech, and ignore the Texas-Texas Tech game. This is elitism on the highest order. Texas and Oklahoma are bigger names and that's what this is about.
C) How man undefeated teams are there? 2, Utah and Boise St. Watch those magically simple and perfect playoff formats appear over the next month and watch as less than half of them have either team and how less than a quarter of them have both. Yet the BCS is unfair.

Playoffs are nothing more than an excuse to have the big name teams get more of a chance. More teams playing for title means more big name teams playing for the title. More teams playing for the title means more big name teams can lose a game or two and still get to play for the title. That is really the crux of playoff arguments. Watch and look at the playoff formats and watch the teams that people plug in. The three teams I mention get left out repeatedly under formats of 8 teams and less. And 2 out of three get left out at 8 teams. Only formats of 12+ even get close to including all three.

I'm not saying I love the BCS. It is just better than a fixed, inflexible and a just as arbitrary playoff. I want something with flexibility that can handle as many different situations as college football can come up with. I want that beauty and that chaos to play out on the field and during the regular season. I'll plug in my format once the bowl bids are formally announced.

Monday, December 1, 2008

NFL Cthulhu

Let's officially launch this puppy right, shall we?

NFL CTHULHU!


I know why he got shot and lived.
He worships Cthulhu.

Who else in the NFL worships Cthulhu?

How about...
Kris Jenkins from the New York Jets, and...


Detroit Lions cornerback Fernando Bryant, and...

Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald and...

Duece will have the rest of the season to study up on his Lovecraft, and...

Madieu Williams wants in on the occult action.  You may not know his name,but he sure knows his elder gods.


Enjoy!  As I find more I'll post more.  We need to expose the occult underbelly of the NFL.  After-all there is a personal conduct policy to uphold.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Sylvester Stallone

Rocky, Rambo, Cobra, and that dude who's mom might shoot you.  Yes Sly Stallone is a steroid user.

Excuse me, an HGH user.  Because it would be "naive" (his word) for me to lump HGH use in with Steroid use.  Afterall HGH will be legal and OTC in the coming decade.  It is just an amino acid with little to no side effects when used properly.  Yes folks that is the story Sly is selling, and boy can this man sell.  I'm not buying it.  You juiced to get jacked to film the last Rambo/Rocky movies, don't try to color it as anything other than that.  You're old and that does not justify cheating or cutting corners.

Now let's be fair to Sly, he does get it.  Drugs alone don't work, but again I say, "Then just do the work and let nature take care of it.  It will be more realistic, because it's REAL!"   He did work his ass off though, you have to for this shit to work.  I mean look at his moobs, you can tell he worked out to get them that high and tight, and you know the moment he stops he need one of those man-bras.

The other issue the competition one.  Who was he competing against you are wondering?  Daniel Craig and Christian Bale, you know the next generation of action stars.  You can look at Sly as the aging veteran who wants one last time in the spotlight and will do whatever it takes to get it.  Of course he was also the nobody who wanted wanted a shot at the spotlight and would do anything to get it, but that was over  30 years ago!  

He makes the SHOF due to the amount of money he has earned as a direct result of his drug use.  The guy could write, Rocky won an Oscar because it deserved one.  I wonder what we could have had from him if he choose a different path.

And it goes back to that, steroids are all this guy knows and the positive reinforcement America has given him because of his drug use will mean that we are not done with Sly.  I hope he does not end up like Lyle Alzado but I can't see him changing his ways at this point of his life.

You don't do this to your body at age 60 without paying a price for it.

Welcome to the club Sly.

Monday, November 24, 2008

BCS Defender: Conference Tie-breakers

The cluster-F that is the Big 12 south is strickly a problem for the Big 12.  Yes it has BCS implications BUT the same problems would exist in a playoff world.  I won't go into this further because I need to head off to work soon.  What I will do is defend my point by linking you to BCS conference tie-breakers to show that BCS ranking is not nearly as important a tiebreaker, if at all, in the other BCS conferences.

Big 12

SEC   (scroll down)

Pac 10

Big 10

Big East  (PDF file, chrome users Beware!)

ACC

So only the Big East uses the BCS rankings as such a high tiebreaker as the Big 12.  The other 4 conferences use it as the last resort or next to last resort before flipping a coin or drawing lots.  But people still blame this 3 way 1 loss tie on the BCS.  Set up a playoff scenario that does not completely screw 1 if not 2 of these teams.  Then tell me who your precious playoff would handle Missouri winning the Big 12 Championship.

I say it to be snarky, I say it to raise a point:
The Big 12 should have a playoff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Jim Haslett

Yes let's take a nice little turn into obscurity a bit with our return to the Steroids Hall of Fame.  Jim Haslett, the man who implicated the 1970's Steelers in steroid use, was in fact a user himself.  This nice hard nose coach that we all respect despite his record (sub .500), was in fact a user.  Now of course he used the "everyone tried it" line, but he still used.  Here is what he got for his drug use.  Basically a mediocre player who survived through drug use, a classic NFL tale.  As far as his coaching goes, we have to wonder what his stance on steroid use.  Because he obviously gets it:   
"I'll tell you one thing about steroids, if you take them you still have to eat right and work your ass off. If you take them and you don't do anything, that doesn't do anything for you."  via an interview with the AP 

I am not speculating that he is encouraging his players to use, I'm just wondering what his reaction will be when one of his players gets busted.  Especially since we've seen the long term anti-apology attitudes of most other former users.   And add that to his pointing the finger at the Steelers when asked about his own drug use and we see again that Steroid use permanently changes a person in ways only few other drugs can.

Congratulations Jim Haslett you are the first member in the Coaches wing of the Steroids Hall of Fame.  Don't worry, you will not alone for long.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BCS Defender: The Detours to Dreamville

Only a handful of detours remain to the collective wet dream BCS Final of the Big-12 Champ vs the SEC Champ.  It only boils down to two or three ways out.

1) Florida Loses to Citadel or FSU then wins SEC Championship game.

2) Missouri wins the Big-12 Championship Game.

Odds one of these happening?  Pretty darn good.  Only once since 1992 has the Big-12 met the SEC for the National Championship.  Conference Championship games are the reason why.  So if your perfect match-up does not happen do not blame the BCS, blame the conference championship games.

If I had to put money on one it is Missouri winning the Big-12, after-all this is defense free conference, and Chase has been there before.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

BCS Defender: The Perfect Set-Up.

Silly haters, you have yet to realize that the BCS is Chinese Finger Torture,  The more you fight it, the stronger it's grip on you gets.  Let's take a look at few examples:

1) The BCS Buster!  The mythical non-BCS cofnerence school that goes undefeated.  They are supposed to be the poster child for a playoff.  "THEY DESERVE A CHANCE TO PLAY FOR THE TITLE!"  Really?  You would have been happy seeing Hawaii play Ohio St for the National Championship last year?  There are two answers to that question, the honest one and the one you'l say out loud.  The honest one is no.  Same goes for Boise St in '06.  So because you fools don't really want an underdog to play for the title, you play right into the BCS.  You cry foul, create hype, watch the game this "buster" plays in, and you half root for them.  So you increase the TV ratings, increase the interest in the BCS and you give the BCS a  win-win situation.  If they win (Boise St) the BCS gets a historic moment people will never forget, which legitimizes this thing you hate.  And if they lose (Hawaii), then oh well they never were a real threat anyway and there's no way they should have been in the title game, which only destroys your beloved playoff argument.  Stop and think about this.  You do this all by yourself.  It's psychological and marketing Jiu-Jitsu. The BCS takes your "Buster" and makes you support the BCS and work against a playoff.  Congratulations hater, go drink another Bud, eat some Tostitos, and send your complaints via FedEx to the PWND Department of the BCS HQ.

2) The conference Championship game.  Some day, if I right enough of these articles maybe, just maybe, people will see that the Conference Championship Games are a bigger problem than the BCS.  And that getting rid of the BCS will leave us with so many of the same issues that the BCS is not the problem AT ALL.  Let's look at America's Wet Dream: Big-12 Champ vs SEC Champ for the National Title.  It's not going to happen, this year or any year.  Why?  Because the BCS is awesome.  Yes, awesome.  Why? Well because Florida and Alabama each have two games to play before they meet in the SEC Championship game

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things that Piss Me Off: NFL Edition

Thursday Night Football.

Can we make the NFL-N go away?  I'm sure if I had it I'd think differently, but as of right now it seems to be causing more problems than it is worth.  Their exclusive set of games just serve to annoy the hell out me and the vast majority of football loving Americans who do not have this station.  Now this is not a rant about the NFL-N, that is a whole separate beast, but rather a rant about it's Thursday Night games.

Let me first point out that the Thanksgiving Day games are special and accpetable, even the additional one that NFL-N has added that evening.  The games on Saturday once College football is over are cool, the NFL-N broadcasting them not so much.  Saturday is like Monday, a one day shorter week is not too bad.

My gripe is the watering down of the schedule at the end of the season.  Let's face it, out of 13-16 games each week you cannot guarantee that even half will be a compelling match-up on paper or end up competitive.  Those are the two main factors in turning on a game, or at least the factors that will determine if the audience will exceed your ratings average. Second you are causing a legitimate disadvantage to the teams playing.  Having a very short week (teams lose 3 days when playing on thursday) once a season for six teams total is not going to impact the playoff race, but doing it 4-7 times a season will.  Especially when combined with my first point.  The NFL is not dumb, they want people to watch these games so they are going to do their best, within the current TV contract, to get a match-up people will watch.  That means taking teams they think will be in the playoff hunt.  So they actually want to screw with teams trying to make the playoffs!  It's not like Turkey Day at all, where the match-ups are on a rotation to try and give every team a chance to play on that day.

Then this season they have started it two full weeks earlier.  Hooray let's go and make even more games harder to watch.  Let's mess with more teams trying to make the playoffs.  The NFL became a juggernaut because it such a higher percentage of their games were on Network TV as compared to any other team sport.  Now I understand we are in the 21st century and Network TV does not have the power and impact it once did, but it still out draws Cable TV by a considerable margin.  Nevermind a specialty station that not everyone has and not everyone who has Cable or Satelite can even get if they wanted to.  Why is the NHL in such bad shape?  No can find their games on TV beyond their regional cable sports channel.  VS is out there, but even I get it's station number mixed up with Animal Planet.  And I actually watch Animal Planet!  By taking games off the network feed the NFL is hurting it's brand.  People will get to the point that they won't feel the need to see as much football as possible, and that is a dangerous road for the NFL.

So to summarize, Thursday night football sucks because:
There aren't enough good or promising games to begin with.
It's hurts teams trying to make the playoffs.
It hurts the league by allowing people an excuse to not watch a game.  An excuse which never existed before in my lifetime.  (32 years)

We don't need 6 weeks of this crap, we don't even need one.  There isn't even any money in such a narrow focus network, the money is online (See MLB.TV and the money machine that thing is, which they are going to ruin because they too are launching a network).  TV is a medium that is dying, don't start a Network, lock up your online rights and start a subscription based Website.  That is where the money is.  Networks cost too much to start up for what money they can generate.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things that piss me off: Football edition

4th and short.  This situation comes up 3-4 times a game and at least one of those times the coach will cost his team due to his own indecisiveness.  The things that bugs the living hell out of me is when the coach uses a timeout.  Either run a play or kick the ball, it's not hard.  Calling a timeout only wastes the timeout and if you run a play you have given the advantage to the Defense.   What coaches should do is have a quick call already set-up with the QB.   That way when a 4th and short occurs the QB has a play to run and can go no huddle, catch the D off guard and steal a first down.  But yet game after game week after otherwise intelligent men act like frigging insecure babies and make a preventable mental error.

BE THE DECIDER!

This rant inspired by Bill Belichick, who wasted his team's final timeout in an  act of wishy-washy idiocy.  You made a call, let the players run the play.  But no, your balls shrink at the last second and you waste your last timeout with just under 12 minutes left in the game.  That timeout cost you 30 seconds at the end of the game and that was the difference between 3 long passes and actually running a drive to get into field goal position.  Had you missed on the 4th and short you would have had the Colts pinned, one punt (Or even a FG) and you're in good shape with plenty of time left on the clock and a timeout.  

 There were other things that cost the Patriots that game, but this one is one we'll see in almost every game played next week, and the week after that.  It's a simple fix but no coach wants to take the time to do it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Misdirection Play 11-2

We start again this week with the Hock's take on Happy Gilmore  John Daly.  As I said last week about Seattle, fortune's change in the world of sports.  John went from the top to Mc Hammer-ville and the Phillies went from Loserville to winners.  It's a wacky world.  Yes I used the word wacky, you try picking a better word.

A Tri-fecta from the Onion this week!  Big Ben , Isiah Thomas , and a moonlighting Olympic Rifleman.

The Athlist brings us a new take on the idea that Refs need glasses.

My attempt to ignore the World Series mostly worked.  As a result I failed to send you here in a timely manner.  It is still funny though.

Once again congratulations Philly , you'll still always be loserville to me.

Your weekly cheating recap!

Winning new concept in the world of Blogging, the Virtual Book Tour.  Look every blogger wants to have a book published, but none of them are motivated enough to step away from the computer and travel, so why not just guest blog.  BRILLIANT!

The lovely Kelly Ripa will never have a career in sports broadcasting.  She had to have been set up on this, but who cares.  Hot blond chicks swearing will always rule.  Sorry she's teflon, long standing crush.

Speaking of swearing blonds, the Wife (aka The Editor) and I saw Zack and Miri last night.  It was good, if you like Kevin Smith movies.  It was Kevin Smith but more "refined", in terms of film making and story telling, NOT subject matter.  We saw some great old faces, listened to a killer soundtrack, and a fun time was had.  The name is 100% misleading because the lead actress never shows us her breasts.  Yeah it's an Undercover Romantic Comedy.  There are Tits, but not the ones you want to see.  There's saggy balls too, but seriously.  I call false advertising!

That's it, see you next week.  Really, one week I promise.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quick Love Note to the Haters

Brady, Maroney, and Harrison all on the IR, yet the Patriots are in first place.  How much is it going to suck if they win the Super Bowl anyway?  Best football season ever?  Yet the Patriots are right where they belong, FIRST PLACE.  Don't let reality cloud your judgment though, you never have in the past.   Who's laughing now hater?

I am.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Misdirection Play 10-21

Starting off on a depressing note this week we go to Afraid of Ed Hochuli's lament about the Seattle sports scene.  A sadder place does not exist in America right now.

Super Punch shows us that Baseball (which is dead to me right now) is way cooler in Japan.

German blogger Nerdcore (nerdcore.de) brings us this cool page of Star Wars Bowling Balls .  Bowling is too a sport!  The Nintendo Wii told me it was, so it is!

Lee Tunnell totes looks like Weird Al!

Some good stuff in this week's cheating recap.  Someday the MLS may have one of it's own make it into the SHOF .  Who knew that people palying poker online would try to cheat.  I am truly shocked!

The Miami Dolphins are super-excited to not suck anymore!

Pete LaForest better bring the karma in the WS.

We have a winner in the Creepiest Mascot Contest!

Super Punch is not my new favorite blog, but he does find some great stuff!  Move if you see this sign on halloween:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Misdirection Play 10-12

I'll try to dig up the best sports links from non-sports sources on top of stuff that you just can't go wrong with.

Yes folks, that does look just like NERF CRICKET.  I don't know if it is or isn't but it looks cool.

We start with the weekly cheating recap.  I am really liking the Cheat or Beat blog.

Uniforms that are uglier than the Jets throw-backs.  Just do not make fun of them to the players faces!

I promise that if I ever get on a baseball card or a trading card of any type that I will not wear a Hawaiian shirt.  I know that is not a Hawaiian shirt, but that is my standard.  I won't go as low as he did!

One non-sports link, because you need to broaden your horizons a bit.  That and Clerks refernces are awesome.

A classic resurrected by the fail blog.

The onion gives us some very funny but inappropriate charity humor.  Click at your own risk.

X marks the Pitchers mound.

Did you want to see BMX kung-fu?

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Re-poster: When next we meet.... (Pats v Colts AFC Championship Game)

Originally written: November 5, 2007.


Things that WILL be different when the Patriots and Colts play again in the playoffs:
1) Penalties: let's assume the refs were 100% dead on right with every single call. Do you honestly think the Patriots will make that many mistakes against the Colts again? No way. Alter this aspect early in a game and we have a blowout on our hands.
2) Addai: do you think the Patriots will completely forget how to tackle again this season? No way. Again, change this = blow out
3) Harrison: yes this had an impact, but the Pats have won all three super bowls by over coming injuries. Much was made about the changing of roles between the teams. How each had developed the other's style of play. The Colts forgot a key aspect of the Patriot Way: how to handle injuries. Brady, Bruschi, Samuel, and Watson all got their jobs by playing well when someone else got injured. Colvin missed the entire 2003 season. Seymour and Harrison were gone for most of last year, the list goes on and on.
4) Foxborough: yes the style the Colts play will put them in a better position to win in bad weather, but Foxborough is not their home. The crowd noise will be against them and weather is always an issue for a team that plays in a dome. There is a reason the Patriots always volunteer to play that Saturday night game in the post-season.
5) Manning face: he had that look on his face again. That look of defeat, dismay and a total lack of understanding of how this happened AGAIN. The psychological edge for the Patriots has been re-established. The air of invincibility has been restored. Honestly, I saw it on his face on the sidelines during the first quarter of the game. He may have forgotten he's passed this challenge previously. This makes me sad, because I want a championship level rivalry, but instead we have the old beaten-down Manning back.
So the Pats had all these dis-advantages yesterday, even if you call them poor play (tackling and penalties), heck ESPECIALLY if you call them poor play, it goes to show the Colts are not in the same league as the Pats. The only thing they have to hope for is being less injured, and this is the NFL, learn to deal with injuries or learn to lose.
They never did meet again that season.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

BCS Defender: USC loses to Oregon State again.

How does the upset of USC by Oregon State impact the BCS vs Playoff debate?  Well for all of those who want a playoff you are disregarding this game.

I base this argument on a few assumptions, correct me if I am mistaken.

1) Any playoff format I've seen proposed will either allow for every BCS conference champ, every conference champ, or the top 4, 6, or 8 ranked teams.

2A) USC will win the Pac-10 anyway.  I am assuming that one conference loss will not be enough to take the Pac-10 title from USC.  Because they lost to a team that will lose more than one conference game and because USC will either have a better conference record or a better overall record than any other team in the Pac-10.  If they lose again, like in '06, then we'll talk about the impact of this game differently.  But that won't change what the game meant when it was played, nor what it means right now.

2B) USC will finish in the top 4, 6, or 8 in the polls if they end the season with just this one loss.  They beat Ohio St, and if Ohio St wins out and USC wins out there is no way you can drop USC low enough to be out of almost any playoff format.  USC has a cupcake schedule and should win out.  We said that at 7pm last night too, but that does not change anything.  People are also confident that Ohio St will win out and take the Big Ten.  From USC's point of view Ohio St winning the Big Ten is all they need, even if the Buckeyes drop a conference game.

I do not think these 2-3 things are much of a stretch, and if they aren't then what does this game mean if we eliminate the BCS and go to a playoff format?  It removes the meaning from this upset.  I can even safely say that USC could lose a 2nd conference game and still have a 50/50 shot at winning their conference.  That would really only eliminate them from a 4 team playoff format and possibly a 6 team, but it would still keep them in any format of 8 or more teams.

So I ask you to really look at the effect's that a playoff would have in the regular season.  Understand the emphasis that would be placed upon winning the conference and not just having the best season you can.   With the way things are currently set up USC is just looking at the Rose Bowl now, and hoping somebody else loses in an upset bigger than they did.  As of right now the Big 12 and SEC undefeateds are in control of their own destiny.  Even with one loss the winner of either conference can claim a tougher schedule than either USC.

Let's discuss Oregon St for a moment.  This game will be the highlight of their season, even if they make and win a bowl game.  They knocked off USC, and as of right now, ruined their national championship hopes.  How many times will you be able to say to a USC fan, "You got run over by a midget"?  The celebration that occurred on campus last night was one of the things we love about college football.  For those students and those athletes they will always be able to talk about this game with pride.  Under a playoff, what is their joy about?  Sure they beat the bully on their block, but they did not alter that bully's destiny.  That bully gets a black eye, but not a broken leg.  Sure it looks bad, but that bully can still fight tomorrow.  However a broken leg means that the bully needs to have someone else's bully break a leg in order to have a chance.  Big difference.  Huge difference.  It completely alters the meaning and value of last night's upset.

Taking that argument one step further.  Both teams knew what they were playing for last night.  Both knew that USC had little to gain and much to lose, while Oregon St had much to gain and nothing to lose.  Insert the game into a playoff formatted world and that game does not have the impact that it does now.  So we must ask the question, "Does Oregon St step up and play as hard as they did if this game does not ruin USC's season?"  That is a fair question.  The Beavers played their hearts out last night, does that happen if losing this game cost's USC nothing?

One month in, and in their first conference game USC has seriously hurt their chances at playing for the National Championship.  In a playoff based college football world, this would not be case.  Say what you will about the BCS, the "regular season's value" argument cannot be ignored.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Re-poster: The Eyes of Chestnut Hill are upon Thee

Originally written: October 24, 2007.


It does appear that the string of success that Boston area sports have had of recent have caused the once overlooked Boston College Eagles to be lumped into something very special. Special: Anytime the Bruins have a winning record; different rant. On Thursday the Eagles travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to play the #8 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. Hokies: Castrated Roosters; yeah I went there. The only problem with this newfound attention is that they are playing the biggest game in school history opposite game 2 of the World Series. The good news is that people will be flipping back and forth between innings and hopefully the football team’s long tradition of choking in big games will finally come to an end. The Hokies offer the Eagles an opportunity to earn national respect. VaTech’s only loss this season was a 48-7 embarrassment to #3 ranked LSU. So the stakes are very clear for BC: Win and you control your own destiny for the BCS Title game; Lose and your reputation as over-rated choke artists will be etched in stone. I know it may be a stretch saying that BC running the table puts them in the BCS final but this year has been a bit strange and beating a highly ranked conference rival on the road is a real victory that no voter or motherboard can ignore.
Let me go a bit deeper into the history of choking, because that is the plot-line of this game. Can BC step it up and be a big-time program, or will they wallow in bottom of the top 25 as “Lineman-U”. A brief history of choking:
2004: BC was “politely” leaving the Big East for a “better opportunity”, in their last year in the Big East they have a chance to win the Conference title on their way out when, on the last week of the season, they visit a sub .500 Syracuse squad that proceeds to kick their tails up and down the field 43-17, not only losing the Title, but losing to what was until that point your biggest conference rival, and to top it off making them bowl eligible in the process.
2005: BC, in their first year in the ACC, travels to UNC in the first week of November after losing in Blacksburg, with a chance to clinch their division and get a rematch with Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game. The lose a heartbreaker 16-14 that still hurts when I think about it. They finish with a very respectable 9-3 record, but lose the division to a then 7-4 Florida State.
2006: 2 November road losses kill their chances to play for the ACC Championship, one to eventual Champ Wake Forest and another to long time rival and the team that brought them over to the ACC, Miami.
Recent history does not bode well. However there is a new coach in town, with a new system, and a Heisman candidate. Speaking of the Heisman, this is not only a showcase game for the school, but also for quarterback Matt Ryan. While many of the talking heads on ESPN claim a loss will kill his chances to join the Heisman club, a good performance by him (multi-TD 250+yds 0 INT) regardless of the outcome, will serve him well on national television.
So on a big stage, there is a big game, for high stakes and a history of not performing under pressure. I’ll be flipping back and forth between innings, but my heart will be as in it as it is the World Series. Go Eagles, the eyes of Chestnut Hill are upon thee.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dancing with the Stars: First Dance


My first reaction is that they dialed down the scoring a bit.  They did not dial it down enough, we definitely should have seen some 3's last night.  The judges already have their favorites but we'll save that until after tonight.

Let me thank my Editor right now, her notes played a big part in this.  and it's her fault I watch this show.

Robbed:
Cody.  Little Zach is stuck in the middle of the pack and his going first hurt him.  They did a great job and I want to hate him but I can't.  His crush on Julianne humanizes him to a point that it makes me almost tolerate him.  He was better than Maurice, and once he works on his footwork he'll be a real threat to win.

Misty.  Did they even watch her dance?  4th?  Give me a break she had the  best dance of the night.  Slumping shoulders was her biggest crime.  The score was the judges.  She will win this.  She reminds me most of Layla Ali.  Great personality, and once she lets loose she will destroy the competition.


Over Scored:
Warren.  Wow, he moved much better than I thought.  I really didn't think he'd have the foot work needed.  That being said, no way he actually did a Cha-Cha!  Go re-watch it, then watch anyone else's cha-cha, and tell me he actually did the dance.  Not his fault, but the judges should count this against him.

Brooke.  She was very good, but she did look like she kept forgetting the moves.  She was much better than I expected and will play the 40ish mother of 4 card very well.  Toni, Misty, and Lance were all better though.

Ted. I love Ted.  I hope he stay son the show as long as possible, but come on!  He was awkward, stiff, and had the Jason Taylor Hand of Doom.  He's going to poke an eye out with that thing.  (Sorry Jeff.)

Maurice.  Although better than expected he was still slow, stiff, with no real rhythm until out of dance holds.  He  loses his step easily, and had  flat feet (poor heel leads).  He was scored way too high.


Quick Exits: 
Jeff.  He was done before I started typing this.  He is funny, and I'd like to see him next week out of shear comedy value.  I knew he could clean up his act and make us laugh, and he did.


Rocco.  Trying hard to be the Gute (Goot?) and failing.  He was terrible and really belonged in the Over Scored section..  Good attitude, but he'll be gone soon, not soon enough.  He'll be the guy that toward the end you say "I don't even remember him!"


Susan.  Wow, shocker here.  This is her crowd and she tanked it.  Stiff, uncomfortable and counting!  We can see you count people!  She needs to bring the Erica (bitch) or she won't be around long.  Not be mean but attack.  That's one more thing that makes this show a sport, if you don't attack you won't win.

Kim.  Much better than I thought she'd be.  Good posture, good footwork, a few missteps, but very good.  My miscalculation on Brooke means that the "hottie curse" is targeted on Kim.  Sorry KK.  Warren has a bigger but, Cloris has a bigger rack, poor Kim.


Non-Misty Heavy Hitters:
Toni.  She was good, and will play the pity card till my cold heart bleeds.  She was darn good.  She had the footwork, she had the energy, but does she have the fan base?  The internet makes me think she's the "sob story" favorite.  Ick,  I want her to win if she earns it, I'll hate if we go through another Marie Osmond.


Lance.  Wow, his partner is going to take him far.  That girl is mainlining redbull and Lance still has his NSync moves.  I underestimated him badly.  Again Footwork and Energy will take you far.  He has both, plus a fanbase.  Put him in the finals now.


Show Stealer:
Cloris.  Bigger rack than KK? Check.  Sitting on Carri-Ann's Lap? Check.  Seriously teasing Len? Check.  Needing to be *beep*ed? check.  What did this girl not do?  Yeah girl.  she had more vitality than Lacey.  But she isn't a good dancer.  I will not go anywhere near predicting when she'll go.  Just enjoy the ride, Len will.


Mea Culpa:
Wow, I was wrong a bit in my preview.  Let's clear up my mistakes.  


"My money on the other two finalist will be Susan and that chef guy."  WRONG!  It will  be Lance, and most with Toni, Brooke or Warren fighting their way in.

"Warren Sapp gets Kym Johnson. He will make fun of her accent in the first episode. He will last to the second episode."  WRONG!  See above.
"Warren Sapp - Dead duck"  -again, wow was I wrong.

About Jeff: "Or well, we'll enjoy his 3 dances." Did I say 3?  I meant 1. really.

"Moving around a professional kitchen is like dancing..."  hahahahahahahah What moron said that?

"The hottie curse will hit BB." -Yeah 40+ Mother of 4, she ain't going anywhere as long as the kids are in each "practice clip".

"This pair is my call for first dead. Toni has no audience left, her "Q" rating is in the gutter"  Toni is going to be spending lots of quality time in your living room.

About Suasn and Tony: "Unless she sucks badly they go far."  She sucks.

About Maurice and Cheryl: "She can take Maurice to the top, if he has the personality for it."  Although I think he'll come crashing down to earth about halfway through, he has the personality.



The judges, and some fans, don't realize it, but it's Misty's show to lose.

Bye Jeff!  We will miss you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Re-Poster: DWTS Pre-view!

I am reposting this because tonight is the night.  I get to miss Monday night Favreball, thank goodness.  I love football, but I  hate Favre.  Seriously though,  DWTS is the real deal if you are a sports fan.  You get to watch people develop, you get to see teamwork in action, plus you get both intentional and unintentional comedy.  


There will be weekly re-caps.







Yeah, this is a Dancing with the Stars series. I'll be quick with my explanation.
When I was younger, somewhere between the ages of 10-13 my parents had a running joke: I loved watching sports so much that if they sweat and kept score I'd watch. Seriously, rugby, Aussie rules football, almost anything ESPN would show back when they were desperate to show real sporting events and not just the talk-fest it is now. Honestly watch the show and tell me if those people are not getting a real physical work out. Then tell me they are not competing based upon a real number score. Then this is a sport and I'll treat it as such.
Now all sports, especially ones with female competitors, have a distracting appeal. I will not deny that it is higher with DWTS. We are going to keep the distracting elements of the show to a minimum, they cannot be ignored, dancing is sexy. Despite this we are going to take the competition aspect of the show seriously.

The cast:
Lance Bass - Openly gay former NSync member. The gay thing only gets mentioned because I thought an all homosexual season of DWTS would be awesome. It would awkward and funny and the person who won would be the person that really stepped up. But it was never going to happen unless we had some major closet ejections (athletes and ex-athletes).

Toni Braxton - Former VH1 project. She'd have had a reality show if they did those things 10-15 years ago. Supposedly did some Broadway but she has been MIA for a while.
Brooke Burke - Former Wild On host on E! She will fight for the "hottie curse" with Kim Kardashian. The hottest girl on the show usually bites it early on due to the sheer jealousy of the DWTS target audience. Sorry, but it is true.

Rocco Dispirito - Moving around a professional Kitchen is like dancing. I hate saying that, hate it. I already hate this guy due to my hatred of the Food Network. I know he's not on Food Network, but I have still never heard of them, and I almost always root against these people. Despite his graduating from BU, he's out in my book. He'll be that competitor that I hate but always moves on. There is one each season.

Maurice Green - One blog I read and love (AA) claimed, dismissively, that ex-athletes always seem to win. Dancing is about one thing first and foremost: footwork. The athletes that have won have had good footwork going in due to their sport. And those that have come close to winning fall in the same boat. Sprinting may or may not be enough in itself.

Kim Kardashian - As mentioned with Brooke Burke, one of these chicks is going down early. (Done giggling?) And it may not be the worse dancer. Why is she famous again?

Cloris Leachman - She will rock the pity vote hard. Unless she sucks horribly she will make it to the 2 dance portion of the show (past the half-way mark).

Cody Linley - This kid could be dangerous. He is a little Zac Efrom clone (the blonde mimbo from High School Musical) and if he can dance at all the old women will swoon over him in a highly inappropriate but unspoken of way. (What? I just spoke of it? Ooops.)

Susan Lucci - Again with the pity vote, plus the Soap Opera crowd is the target audience of this show. She is a juggernaut going in and can pull off a Marie Osmond type run very easily.

Misty May-Treanor - My early favorite. Again with the footwork, she has it. Moving on sand will translate very well into moving on the dance floor. A fierce competitor with a great personality, she should win. Plus, she is just the right amount of attractive, not too hot, but still beautiful. Guys, she will look better in a dress than she does in her volleyball uni, promise.

Ted McGinley - Awesome! The guys forced to watch this show will love him. He rules. Personality? Check. He may not last but we'll love every second he is there.

Jeffrey Ross - I hope he has the positivity needed for this show. It's corny, but the positive attitude is a big part of the appeal of this show. People are trying to win but they also become friends. If he can turn his jerkiness aside, similar to Adam Carola last season, then he'll do ok. Or well, we'll enjoy his 3 dances.

Warren Sapp - Dead duck. He doesn't have the footwork that Jason Taylor had. He's a "big boned" DL not a speed DL like Taylor. He'll be fun, the guy has a great personality. That and he'll try hard, this counts for a ton on this show.

That is half the story. Their partners matter greatly. And can be the difference between winning and losing.
The partnership is like most 2 person sports as far as chemistry being the most important ingredient. The chemistry has an exponential importance because one partner is doing the teaching, the choreography, and the coaching, while the other person is the one being more closely judged. It is a dynamic unique to DWTS and I like it. Unlike that other dancing show that I do not watch, you get to see the partnerships develop. And not only the partnerships, watching the contestants learn to dance and grow in their skill, knowledge, and ability is something that should be enjoyable to any sports fan.

Lance gets an newcomer, Lacey Schwimmer. No relation to David. She apparently has done very well on So you think you can Dance. I don't watch that dancing show so I'm forced to trust Wikipedia (*crosses fingers*).

Toni gets Alec Marzo, and while he is damn good, you have to be to be married to Edyta. This pair is my call for first dead. Toni has no audience left, her "Q" rating is in the gutter and this show is like the NFL, you can't get into game shape during the season. You can't build an audience during the show large enough to help you win. You need to bring some people in with you. But who knew who Helio was? Helio has 1,000x the charm that Toni does. He's oozes charisma, unless she has it hidden well, she's done.

Brooke gets Derek Hough. this guy is a winner. He could compete successfully at almost anything. He hides it well but he wants to win. That will not be enough. The hottie curse will hit BB.

Rocco gets Karina Smirnoff. This is the wildcard pair. Moving around a professional kitchen is like dancing and he will take to it well because Karina is a damn good teacher. They will surprise most. And I will hate him for no good reason. Agian irrational hatred, any sports fan can understand this.

Maurice gets Cheryl Burke. Cheryl is the Patriots of DWTS, she wins and people love her or hate her. But she is probably the best at this competition. She can take Maurice to the top, if he has the personality for it.

Kim gets Mark Ballas. Mark is also very good and comes from a family of dancers. He can dance and teach.   That combined with KK's reality show will, sadly, bring them past the halfway mark.

Cloris gets Corky Ballas. Corky is Mark's dad. He can teach dance. This is the darling couple and no one will want to see them go, but they are going to leave early. They will be adorable though.

Cody gets Julianne Hough. Ah Julianne, Mormons aren't supposed to dress and dance like that, but that does not stop you? They could surprise people because as I mentioned above he's has potential. Julianne is always very good, almost as good as Cheryl.

Susan gets Tony Dovolani. Tony is smooth as hell and Susan has a large and tailored fan base. This is the power couple. Unless she sucks badly they go far. He's too good and she is too popular. This show is like a home game for her. She's new to the game but she still has home court advantage because the audience all know her and love her.

Misty gets Maksim Chmerkovskiy. He nearly won with Mel B. Add his skill with Misty's competitiveness and her athleticism being the proper type to help her learn to dance and you have the Winners. They will smoke everyone. Oh yeah and Misty has a personality that America has only partially seen and that they will fall in love with.

Ted gets Inna Brayer. One thing people love about DWTS are the contestants that have no chance but will honestly try. They will make you laugh and enjoy them. We always feel bad for the pro dancer that gets stuck with these people. They will have a short but very enjoyable runs It is bittersweet. Imagine playing on the Kansas City Royals, you suck, but then imagine enjoying it, and then having it end quickly.

Jeff gets Edyta Sliwinska. Edyta is awesome and has abs that rival any Olympic athlete. When wondering if this show is a sport, look at her abs and ask yourself if she could do more sit-ups than Michael Phelps, the answer is yes. As for how they will do see, Ted and Inna.

Warren Sapp gets Kym Johnson. He will make fun of her accent in the first episode. He will last to the second episode. Again, see Ted and Inna.

So that's the breakdown. Misty and Maksim win, and everyone is fighting for second place. My money on the other two finalist will be Susan and that chef guy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Hulk Hogan

In 1994 Hulk Hogan, real name who cares he's a wrestler, testified in a trail over steroid use in the then WWF.  He testified that he and several other athletes in the WWF had used several different steroids obtained from several different doctors.  He implicated his former boss Vince McMahon in the drug use but denied repeatedly, under oath, the claim that Vince was distributing them.  Hulk Hogan admitted to using drugs going back to 1976.  He also claimed to only have used steroids for 12 years.  Once his youngest child was born, it was claimed, he stopped.

Now I understand that talking about Hogan opens up many cans of worms.  We could talk about wrestling, Vince McMahon, Chris Benoit, and even Hulk's wife because all have a history steroid use.  I'm not going anywhere near any of them, because none of them were in Rocky III.

Let's break this down.

"On-Field":
The guy was the World Title holder in three different promotions a total of 13 times.  Alright to be honest wrestling is a stunt-show and the wrestlers are highly accomplished stunt men.  They don't wrestle but they put on quite an impressive display of athleticism.  You climb to the top of the third turnbuckle jump onto a guy in the middle of the rink, make it look like you killed him while making sure you killed neither him nor yourself.  I don't watch wrestling anymore, but did as a child and "sampled" it in an ironic way for a bit many years ago.  I'm going to be fair and  give them credit for what it is they actually do.

The Steroids:
In his own words he took "Injectables and orals. Anabol, decagabril, testotosterone."  With deca being his preferred drug.  He uses the "they were legal" excuse, and made sure he had perscriptions for as many of his doses as he could.  Granted he was not covering his ass so much as he was scared of getting ripped off with fake drugs.  And I know what you are thinking, all wrestlers are on steroids what's the big deal?  We'll get to that in a minute.

Cultural Impact:
Hulkamania.  Go up to any 30something squat down a bit, flex your arms downward and scream at them "Whatcha gonna do brother?!?!?!" and they will laugh.  Or at least I would.  This guy was in Rocky III!  The first Rocky I ever saw.  I did not even realize until I was in HS the the first Rocky won an academy award.  I thought they were all as "awesome" as Rocky III.  Everyone knew someone who had one of those red and gold tear-a-way shirts.  He had a Saturday morning cartoon, and I'll go on record right now and say he'll be the only member of this club with that claim to fame.  Shy of Big Mac he could also be the most recognizable member as well.  You can also say that he was the man that put wrestling on the map.  Every person wrestling now owes him, big time.

Hulk further emphasizes the point that in some circles steroid use is just assumed.  No one seemed to care that professional wrestling was awash with steroids.  Honestly do you remember the trial I referenced when it was happening?  Although he did use them to get bigger, he also used them to heal from injuries.  That's a big deal for someone who spends 90% of the year on the road, and is in a physically strenuous job.  When Hulk started using wrestling was not the big industry it is now.  If you were hurt you did not perform, no play = no pay.  That's just how it was, until Hulk changed it all.  He is easy to vilify because without him wrestling would have stayed in the shadows and never would have had the impact on America that it did.  So thanks for cheating you big jerk, you and your 22" guns shoved this "sport" down our throats.  If you had not taken steroids we would have been spared the words "Vince McMahon Billionaire".

Remember kids, say your prayers and take your vitamins!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Re-poster: Bill Buckner

Originally written: April 8, 2008.



The year was 1986. I was an 11 year old youth soccer playing Boston Red Sox fan. I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime to watch something very historic. Instead, a man named Bill Buckner made me cry. I did not realize at the time that it was not at all his fault. I was 11, how was an eleven year old boy supposed to know that a man with 6 broken bones in his ankle should have already been subbed for defensively, right John McNamara? Or that a catcher is supposed to keep the ball in front of him at all costs, ESPECIALLY in extra innings, especially during the World Series, right Rich Gedman? Or that a guy named Bob Stanley was the last man who should have ever touched the ball in that situation? Or that Mike Greenwell should not have pinch hit before DON BAYLOR!?!?! No, I learned these things later, as my love for baseball grew, and my father explained reality to me. The historic highlight was just the end of a series of mistakes and Bill Buckner had the misfortune of being at the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time. It was also explained to me later that he was good for 100 RBI every year like the sun rising in the east. It was then that I realized what that number meant in baseball. Over 20 years, and one Mitchell report later 100 RBI’s is still as important as it was that night. The next day it meant a little less apparently.
So that moment was a turning point for me, when sports stopped being only fun and became very real, and when statistics became more than just numbers in the newspaper. I became a Buckner apologist and was proud of my defense of that man. The pain of that moment as it was continuously replayed changed. It went from the loss of a World Series to the unfair vilification of a man who helped get the Red Sox to the World Series.
Then 2004 came around and my first thought after the Red Sox won was of my grandfather who had died in 1998. The second was for Bill Buckner and the lifting of the curse that was upon him. Nothing can ever replace those 18 years of humiliation but at least it was over. That incident could become something else, and not his defining moment.
Today I’m 32 and Bill Buckner made me cry again. Not the anguished cry-myself-to-sleep-tears of 1986, but the wet eyed “I’m a man and I’m not going to cry over this” tears. Everyone heard there would be a special guest today, opening day at Fenway Park, to throw out the first pitch. And most people realized, “DUH! It’s going to be Buckner.” But that didn’t take away from the moment at all. He cried as he walked to the mound. And watching him throw the ball to Dwight Evans, then shake Johnny Pesky’s hand will be one of those moments I never forget. It was bigger than the World Series celebration that today was. Bigger than the "Curse of the Bambino". It was a chance for people to apologize, forgive and attempt to fix a past wrong. He got what we all want, a moment to shine. He got his long deserved standing ovation at Fenway and nothing can ever take that away from him or those who have defended him all these years. The ball between his legs is sports history, and 100 years from now it will still be shown, but now it’s just a piece of film and not the defining moment of a man who man who hit for .289, with 2715 hits, and 1208 RBI’s over a 20 year career.
If you love baseball try not to cry at the video. This is not about the Red Sox, or Boston, but rather one man and his redemption. The link is to the MLB.com article but I could not get a direct link to the video working, just click on video link within the article.

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