Thursday, July 31, 2008

2 comments Mark Kriegel Explains Why We Play Football Games Instead of Simulate Them

First off, I have a problem with the title of this column. Wait until December to believe in the Cowboys? The playoffs don't start until January. He spends this entire column warning us against handing them a place in the Super Bowl as the NFC representative, then says wait until the end of the regular season to crown them but they still have to make it all the way through the playoffs? Not good.

Second, if anyone can look at the picture of Tony Romo throwing the ball and look at his face and say he does not look like he is retarded, then you are lying.

Here in a town best known for producing strawberries, lima beans and gangbangers, the Dallas Cowboys are endeavoring to transform training camp into a theme park.

You mean the Cowboys franchise is better at marketing the franchise than actually winning football games? I don't believe it. You don't hear any stories of Cowboy players from the 70's-90's and their off the field activities, so I would never believe they would treat training camp as a side show. I hate the Cowboys, I will reveal this now. If you don't hate the Cowboys, then you hate America. They have not won a playoff game since 1996 and every single one of their fans is a bandwagon fan or a redneck. There I said it.

The makeshift complex boasts enough corporate sponsorships to qualify as a NASCAR site. Cowboys merchandise seems a mandatory purchase for the fans who throng the practice field. They chant and cheer for the quarterback and their new corner.

No other team does this. Little known fact, but in Indianapolis the pensive fans boo and throw glass bottles at Peyton Manning every year and slash the tires on Bob Sanders' car. One year in San Francisco, the fans who showed up for mini camp kidnapped Joe Montana's daughter while she was at day care, until Joe could prove he knew how to throw a complete pass. Ronnie Lott actually lost his little finger when it was bitten off by an angry female fan who showed up at mini camp to specifically attack him.

It's good to be a Cowboy.

Maybe too good.

Read that first sentence. Now read the second sentence with a quizzical look on your face as if something is awry like the Cowboys are actually robots or the fans are clones. Is it possible a team could have such a good time. It is...not...possible, what has Mark Kriegel discovered?

But their popularity is unwarranted when considered in relation to the last decade. For all the talk of a Cowboys renaissance — you've heard it since 2003 when Bill Parcells signed on as coach — this team still hasn't won a playoff game since 1996.

I 110% agree with this statement. Unfortunately it leads to this question for Mark Kriegel. That question is this. Do you think the reason they are so popular may have something to do with sportswriters who write columns about them? Do you think, like I do, it is stupid for you to write an entire article specifically about a team, their Super Bowl chances, and their cast of characters that also happen to be good football players, and then complain you don't know why they are popular? The Dallas Cowboys are famous because they are not a football team, they are traditionally a cast of characters that can also play football. You already know this don't you though Mark.

Maybe you know it too well.

I asked coach Wade Phillips what could be learned from the disappointing way last year's team finished, or rather, did not.

Try not to let your QB and TE go on a vacation the week before the game, the playoffs are often unpredictable, they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion who defeated an undefeated team which also happens to be the same undefeated team that defeated the Cowboys at home during the season, or the team may not have been as talented as they got credit for?
All of those are acceptable answers. Wade?

"Besides I can't coach very good?"

He don't speak good either.
"Last year was last year and it's over with."
Wade Phillips new philosophy! "Those who don't learn from the past are smart because there is really no reason to learn anything from mistakes you made."
This is what makes Wade the mediocre coach he is.
But he was more intent on emphasizing that the inevitable turnover on a roster meant that this year's team was not last year's.
"We'll have a new team," he said.

I know anytime a team has massive roster turnover, that does nothing but bode well for their immediate ability to win football games. I am kidding of course. I think it is great Wade Phillips thinks that the #1 team in the NFC should have roster turnover because they lost a one game playoff. They should have won the game, and Tony Romo is still a choking piece of shit, but I don't know if going back to the drawing board is what should have been done.
The funny part is that they do not have a new team. Maybe some new players but not quite an entire new team. Do you think Wade Phillips can even name 10 people on the roster currently? Me neither.
What's more, his job depends on an entirely different outcome, something in line with what the Cowboys are, which is to say the most talented team in the conference.
I like how Mark writes an entire column about how the Cowboys need to prove themselves until December and you should not believe in them right now because no games have been played, and then he feels the need to call them the most talented team in the conference. Based on the paper roster and the talent contained within, which he says you should avoid judging the team by. It is a clusterfuck of a point.
"The Giants made 52 yards in the second half," owner Jerry Jones said, "and we still didn't finish it."
This was all Wade Phillips' fault. It had nothing to do with your Sling Blade Quarterback who can't seem to win a playoff game at home.
"If you change four, six, seven plays it's a different game," said the tight end, Jason Witten.
If you change 4-7 plays in every single game that has ever existed in every single sport that has ever existed, then it would be a different game. Except the 2004 Red Sox because any game they played in was destiny. This could perhaps be the worst point ever made in the history of football players, or any sports athlete as the case may be. In a game where there may be 100 overall plays, to change 5% of them that did not go your way would dramatically change the outcome of the game. I know he went to Tennessee but this is still not that hard to figure out.

Leonard Davis, the veteran guard, spoke of not playing "like you already got it made into the playoffs."

Was that the problem, I asked, playing like you already had it made?

"It could have been," he said. "I don't know. I didn't take a survey."

Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you, the single least informative conversation ever recorded.

"We can't let this man jump off the building because his belt is armed with nuclear explosives!"

"Is that what he is wearing around his waist? I can't see."

"I have no idea. I have not looked up at him yet, it could just be a belt."

Someone should have reminded them that the plaudits were premature, and the team itself, immature.

Boom! The man who just said you were the most talented team in the NFC said you may not be the best team in the NFC, so don't even think about calling yourself that, and called you a little baby. I am sure the maturity level of the team has increased with Pacman Jones on the roster. So no problems there.

Jones told me after practice. "You gotta finish everything. Finish every drill. Finish every practice hard. The place to start is right here." Still, the Cowboys should know: either they finish the season or they finish their coach.

This sounds like a very dramatic way to end the column. It also sounds like Kriegel is going to kill Wade Phillips if the Cowboys do not win the Super Bowl. You be the judge though.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

0 comments I Was Wrong About the Angels

Here is a draft of a side note I wrote earlier today and was going to post:

If you can't do better than Chad Tracy and Micah Owings, then maybe you should not trade Mark Texiera. Also the Angels want everyone to know Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana are not available either. The Dodgers want to keep Loney as well. What is it with West Coast teams that they don't seem to understand you have to trade something to get something? Do they want to make the playoffs or win the World Series? Regardless, if Chad Tracy and Micah Owings are involved in a trade to the East Coast in the state of Georgia, I am going to write a 10,000 word essay at this web address with 1/10 of the words being R rated. I can't stay neutral if that happens.

Other than the bitching, you notice I mocked the Angels for not wanting to give up anything for a power hitter. Then I see this:

Sorry for showing my colors on this one but I think this is a trade that may allow the Angels to beat the Red Sox if they meet in the playoffs and actually gave the Braves a decent return. The Angels are no longer wimps.

2 comments King Peter King Teaches and His Minions Learn Something

Because J.S. and I are producing posts at a rate only Shawn Kemp or Travis Henry could keep up with, I am actually holding back on feebly tearing apart Internet columnists, so some of my posts may be FJMorgan-like late. I don't know why I am doing this, I think everyone has learned to scroll down at this point in life, and really if you miss some snarky comment J.S. or I have made, the world will not end. We just put our blood and sweat into these posts and I feel like I have to give the poor reading audience a chance to read a post before shitting out more nonsense.

I have dispensed with the drama and now on to Peter King.

I will sum up the first two pages of Peter King's MMQB column for you.

1. I know where Brett Favre lives

2. I know Deanna and Brett Favre

3. The Packers do not want to trade Brett Favre

4. I am an NFL insider

I am completely ignoring the Brett Favre dissertation in his MMQB column this week and focusing on the rest of his useless bullshit and starting on page 2, so just get prepared to jump in mid column.

What was Jerry Rice's last team? Seriously: What team was he with last in the NFL? You don't know. (Well, OK, all you Bronco fans know.) He was in Denver's camp trying to make that team on his way out of the NFL. And the media was all atwitter with stuff like: "You're ruining your legacy, Jerry!''

God, curse the stupid media that gets all "atwitter" over dumb shit. You know what I think about when Jerry Rice comes to mind now?

Dancing With the Stars. I have never watched that show but I think he ruined his legacy when he decided to go on national television and go ball room dancing. I don't want to piss of any ball room dancing enthusiasts but that would ruin a football player's legacy much quicker than trying to play the game he loves even when he is too old to do so.

Today, few people remember that. People remember Rice as a revered 49er.

I bet everyone else does remember his feeble attempts to play for Seattle the year before though...and Dancing With the Stars. What was up with that? I think he would have earned more respect from me if he had done a cameo in the Lifetime Movie "To Be Fat Like Me" or as it is better known around these parts, "Fat Like Me." And yes, I just wanted to use the Fat Like Me tag.

How about the first half of my Sunday? Went to bed at 1:25 a.m. CT after writing a Favre story in southern Mississippi. Up at 3:15 to shower and drive 95 minutes to the Jackson airport. Flight at 6 to Atlanta. Change planes. Flight at 9:15 to Detroit. Change planes. Flight at 12:15 to Green Bay. Add this to the fun: There was not an empty seat on any of the planes.
You've got to love the airlines. On the Northwest plane to Green Bay, we were handed three-ounce containers of water. I mean, why bother?

15 years from now King Peter is going to be telling everyone what color his latest bowel movement was and how parking spaces have decreased in size since he was younger. I just want to prepare everyone for this. I would like to have a poll to see who actually reads the Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Notes every week. Somebody must.

I like to think every week there is some silver haired man in Graniteville, North Dakota (assuming they have Internet and all up there) nodding his head in approval and agreement with what King Peter is writing about traveling. Then that silver haired man, named Bernard by the way, shuffles down the hall to his study where he shoots off an email to King Peter about how he is exactly correct and loves to hear about his travels. Then Bernard most likely puts his slip on loafers on his feet, heads to the Walgreens for some medicine, and then meets his elderly friends at local doughnut shop and discusses their grandchildren.

No one gives a shit about Peter's travels who is under the age of 55.

I've decided to add between two and five new column items each week for the upcoming season, and probably forever. Here are the ones we at (well, me, mostly) are putting up for the vote:

Now think of the dumbest ideas that could every exist for a column item and then watch me magically write in big, black letters that King Peter thinks these exact stupid ideas are great ideas.

1. Interior Lineman of the Week. And why he deserves it, to educate you about offensive and defensive line play, which so often goes unnoticed. Either that or something like recognizing the best play or block of Sunday on the offensive line.

Please educate me, Peter, about the offensive/defensive line. I am just a normal person who has no idea what is going on and thinks the offensive line is just a collection of fat guys trying to protect a skinny guy with a football.

I genuinely think King Peter thinks everyone is fucking stupid. I have never played a day of organized football in my life but I am guessing I could tell him more about the defensive/offensive line than he could tell me. I don't even have to interview the coaches like he does to understand what is happening to pass it along to us, his idiot readers. Interior Lineman of the Week sucks as an idea and theory.

2. Reminds Me Of ... Comparing past and present stars who have some similarities to their games -- Don Hutson vs. Marvin Harrison, Otto Graham vs. Tom Brady -- and picking the one I think is better historically.

The winner every week........Tom Brady. I am kidding of course. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Chris Long will rotate this column item every week. I would like to take another poll to see if anyone in the reading audience really cares who is better or even what Peter King thinks.

3. What I Learned This Week About Football That I Didn't Know Last Week.

The first week it will be: "I did not realize there were other teams in the NFL other than the Patriots, Chris Long, the Packers and the Giants. Did anyone know that a small city in Florida, Tampa Bay, has a team?"

4. Why I Love Football. An event in a game, or something from the post-game locker room, that reminded me why it's such a great game.

If implemented, this would be an example of why I hate football columnists.

5. The Toughest Thing About Playing the Game. An inside-the-game aspect from one position, illustrating why it's such a tough spot to play. For instance, how does a good running back become a three-down running back, and what's important in learning how to pick up the hot pass-rusher.

Sit down Peter. Not on my lap, over there on the couch. Can I be honest with you? This could be a good idea but you will fuck it up. Please send this idea over to a different columnist, or if you would like to make a profit, even sell the idea for 3 zebra cakes, so it will educate and not frustrate me. Thank you.

6. Hobby of the Week. Chad Brown and his reptile-raising, or Braylon Edwards and his desire to visit every major city in the world, or someone with a classic-car fetish.

If I wanted to know what a football player did as a hobby, I would send him a handwritten letter with a caramel inside asking him this question then spend every day looking out my window waiting for the mail woman (yep, and she is a real bitch, trust me) to come around the corner in her mini mail woman car hoping with an innocent smile on my face that football player has sent me back an answer.

Also, this would only serve to alienate the reader further if combined with your yuppie travel and coffee bitch fest. Some people who read your column have a hobby like working long hours to afford cable television, trying to make enough money to put money away for retirement at 65, and saving up for a family vacation to Disney World. On second thought though, Braylon Edwards wants to visit EVERY major city? That is not rubbing his wealth in my face at all. Tell me more!

Any yes, I just went all "there are people out in the world who don't have it as good as we do" on my readers. Rick Reilly can kiss my ass, I think I do it better.

7. Behind the Scenes at NBC. What does Bob Costas read? What does Cris Collinsworth eat? What makes Jerome Bettis laugh? I'm with those guys 11 hours each Sunday. I should be able to cull one note from all that time.

I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. It seems as if Peter has Simmonsitis where he thinks we give a shit about his day and his life. I realize this is his "angle" but the only thing anyone should care about these "celebrities" is who really gives them the information they read on air and why athletes sound like they are Sling Blade when they are forced to think on their feet.

8. Player in Another Sport an NFL Guy Really Loves. Excluding Tiger Woods, because everyone would pick him.

Do you think Peter looks at himself naked in the mirror like Christian Bale in "American Psycho" and gets himself aroused talking about how many sports shows he has been on and how many famous people he knows? If not, is it just a picture of Chris Long that does it? I don't need to know this, I would like a second opinion though.

9. Good Guy of the Week. Many players spend their off days doing service in the community. I want to tell you about them.

This one sounds good actually. I know this was probably your first week's idea but Tom Brady getting Gisele tampons at the store does not count. Sorry....

10. Which NFL starting quarterback has the cutest ass?

I am kidding but you can see this happening, right?

1. I think I am smitten with Jason Campbell.

See? I swear to God he wrote this.

Brett Favre silently weeps in a corner, realizing he has been forgotten so quickly. "I un-retired Peter, I un-retired dammit!"

2. I think the greatest thing I heard in my early spin around camps was from Pro Bowl Cleveland tackle Joe Thomas. when I saw him in Berea the other day, he said to me: "Hey, I read your stuff online from Afghanistan, from the USO trip. I'd love to go. How do I do it?'' Music to my ears.

2 years from now Joe Thomas will go to Afghanistan for the USO trip, join the insurgency, behead several journalists, lead the revolution to end democracy in the Middle East, and finally, enslave the entire world. Thanks Peter.

3. I think it's patently absurd the United States Army allowed Army safety Caleb Campbell to go through the draft process, be a billboard for the Armed Service at the NFL Draft in New York City, get drafted, go to Lions mini-camp in the offseason, sign a contract with Detroit ... then pull the rug out from under him by telling him on the eve of training camp that the government has changed its mind and now wants him to be in service to his country for the next two years. Fine. Why was the kid allowed to go so far down the road toward his dream before the military changed its mind?

I actually did some research on this and found a web site that could be useful for Peter. Here is the link.

It has some good information on it and helps explain to Peter how Caleb was so misled all those years thinking he was going to Army to be a pro football player and could perhaps get a cameo in the new G.I. Joe movie if he became famous enough. He went to a college called "Army." I have a gut feeling Caleb had a thought this could happen.

5. I think, by the way, Shockey the teacher is a pretty valuable guy. Watching the Saints practice Saturday, I frequently saw Shockey pull a linebacker, DB or tight end aside and give him tips on something. GM Mickey Loomis noticed and said, "Look at Shockey teaching.''

As those who read my Shockey post from last week know, this was not Shockey, but Shockey's massive ego pulling defensive players aside. He was not giving tips but threatening to murder the defensive players with a splork if they did not make him look good in practice. What an asshole!

7. I think from what I hear, Leonard Little is going to have a big year coming back from his foot injury. He and Chris Long could be a top-five pass-rush tandem this year.

I would like to be known as the first person who noticed Peter King has a huge crush on Chris Long. He mentions him in every column. I need to be known as the first to notice and comment on this. That is all I ask. Also, I am slowly turning into Bill Simmons.

I think the only thing Leonard Little could really teach anyone at this stage of his career is how to drunkenly drive your car into someone else's and not be in jail for 20 years for manslaughter.,80784

I want you all to know that is sorry. He really is. That's why he did it again six years later but did not kill anyone. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Chris Long and Little are going to be a terrific combo.

a. I found out how little the rest of the country thinks of Red Sox-Yankees (which at this point of the year always is a megaseries). I was changing planes in Charlotte (traveling from Dulles to Jackson, Miss.) Friday night and stopped in a sports bar at the airport with a bunch of TVs. I looked around. No baseball. I looked at the sports ticker. Racing news. No baseball. There was Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a few screens. Baseball, schmaseball.

(the sound of angels singing and harps playing begins) Finally, someone from the Boston area gets some type of a clue that not everyone gives two shits about Boston-New York. (Neither team is even leading the division this year by the way) Maybe after realizing this, he will realize that the entire reason he hears all this hype for the series is because the Boston fans (ESPN) and the New York fans (the United States media) talk about it constantly. Just like in some parts of the world Duke-UNC in men's basketball is not a big deal, this series is not a big deal in 75% of the country. Unfortunately, those parts don't have large buildings that have newspaper companies and ESPN located near them.

c. Dustin Pedroia might be Wade Boggs with a little speed.

Or he could be 1.5 years into his career and the pitchers will catch up with him and his massive swing. I remember a short guy with a massive swing who played 2B for my favorite team and now he is out of baseball. Don't get too big of an erection over him quite yet. Remember the Jacoby Ellsbury orgasmic orgy of love earlier in the year? Didn't take long for Coco Crisp to get CF back. Some things just take more time King Peter.

d. It's way, way too early to call Xavier Nady Ed Whitson. But some guys start gripping the bat a little tight in the big city. Nady spent the weekend looking like one of those.

He got traded Friday night and played in Boston Saturday afternoon. Let's not be too harsh. He had 7 total at bats. I am not a Yankees fan by any stretch of the imagination, but who won the 3 game series again?

I miss Bill Simmons.

0 comments Tek Check

Couldn't let this slide, in reference to my commentary on Varitek about a week ago. Et tu Francona?

Francona said before Sunday's game that he wasn't aware of the ESPNdeportes interview. And he didn't know whether Ramirez was in a good mood.

"I'm not sure that matters," Francona said. "I'd take a guy that's hitting .500 that's miserable as opposed to a guy that hands out bouquets to his teammates and is hitting a buck 45. ... You move on. The goal is to get better from it. I think we've done a good job of that here."

Francona woke up in a cold sweat 14 hours later at 2am and yelled "FUCK! I made it too obvious!"

Jason Varitek .218/.302/.358. Still in bouquet saving territory, but only just.

Monday, July 28, 2008

0 comments I'm Really, Really Sorry

I am not going to talk about Brett Favre anymore...after this. I will be pithy, I promise, simply because I want to use the "one sentence pithy replies" tag. Also, Brett Favre is now holding out of training camp and demanding a trade, let's cut through the shit and just call it like it is.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Packers quarterback Brett Favre has signed a letter requesting reinstatement, but that Favre might not send it until Monday or Tuesday.
Per Mort, Favre says that G.M. Ted Thompson “pleaded” with Favre to give the team more time to figure out the situation.

Go away, for God's sake, go away.

I told him I’m not trying to get anybody fired. So Ted asked me to let the guys report and let’s try to resolve this over the next two or three days.

Of course not, you are just asking Thompson to choose between what is best for the football team in the long run that will cause some immediate pain and what is best for the team in the short run, which will cause the team pain later.

"Deanna, Bus, everyone here [in Mississippi] says, ‘You’re so stupid, letting [the Packers] play you like this,” Favre said.

Deanna is a bitch, Bus wants to get paid, and you are fucking clueless.

“I said, ‘Let me compete, you’ll know I’ll win this job’

That's not the issue Brett, the issue is that you lied and said you were retired and put everyone in this situation.

It’s pretty clear — and this is what I told the commissioner — that they want me to go away, stay retired.

It took him over a month to figure this out.

They would much rather see me in a Packers’ uniform, paying me $12 million to be a backup

No, they would rather you have kept your teary eyed word and stay fucking retired and pay you $0 to mow the grass at home.

— which you know they really don’t want — rather than see in another uniform, no matter what they say.

They don't want you to get pissed off and go to a division rival and beat them twice this year and once in the playoffs and this is understandable.

They’ll drag this out, asking a king’s ransom [in a trade], hoping it all goes away.”

They have the rights to you, they can ask for Al Davis' 15 year old great grandchild's virginity if they would like to, it's their right, you signed a contract.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Packers quarterback Brett Favre has signed a letter requesting reinstatement, but that Favre might not send it until Monday or Tuesday.

Doesn't this sound like he is trying to hold the franchise for ransom?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

1 comments Drama Queen

Already, if you have read some of my posts here, you have probably realised I hate sensationalism. I mean, I understand these guys are selling papers, webspace, advertising, whatever, I understand there's a level of competition in the marketplace that demands they seek out attention. I'm fine with that really - to a point. It's when we get to the "Who's Now" level that I become physically ill. It also is, to me, deeply ironic that the media is now belittling blogs for being marginalised and extreme, when so much of sportswriting is commercially motivated. It is being painted by it's advocates (in this faux war with blogs) as being somehow pure, unadulterated and "old school", and yet it is appropriated by many different people. The gap between actual reporting and what you see on your computer or television screen is very great indeed. It seems to take a lot of gall, from that position to take a shot at people like myself and tens of thousands like me for not having insight, when we write simply for the love of the game. I assure you, there is no grandstanding going on.

Anyway, no sport is more susceptible to this dramatisation than the NFL. The two most overhyped events in the sporting universe in my opinion are the Superbowl and, especially, the NFL draft. But not too far behind is the NFL season in general, when sportswriters go to great pains to tell us how irrelevant the pre-season is and we all get frustrated waiting for the action to start, to see how teams will use their new toys. How Jonathan Vilma will work in the 4-3, what cool stuff Jim Johnson will do now he has Asante Samuel and Lito Sheppard (IMO the 2nd and 3rd best CB's in the league) in the backfield, he could blitz every down! These and many more, would make great pre-season articles.

This, by Alex Marvez, does not.

America's Team has become Hollywood's team

OXNARD, Calif. - There's just one problem with the Dallas Cowboys bringing their training camp back to California.

The locale is 55 miles too far west.

Hollywood should be the spot for what is a ready-made soap opera. Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones describes his roster as a "great cast of characters."

I'm pretty sure he means "great bunch of guys that should work well together as a team" and not "combustable, smouldering loose cannons ready to lock horns over social supremacy and engaging in intricate power battles - with sexy results" but who knows, fine, go on.

This version of "Dallas" features the handsome quarterback (Tony Romo) and the starlet girlfriend (Jessica Simpson) who recently wrote a song about her squeeze called, "You're My Sunday."

*yawn* you're about 18 months late dude.

Terrell Owens is the flamboyant wide receiver who adores the spotlight.

alright, let's deal with this once and for all and I will try not to dwell on it over the course of the upcoming NFL season. Simply being Terrell Owens is not grounds for drama. OK? He's been FINE the last two years, seriously, aside from one hospital incident, basically nothing at all is happened. I know you guys are dying for him to cover himself in goats blood or something, but I can literally go through every team in the NFL and pick out an example of a player causing way more trouble for his team and attracting "the spotlight" (ie. you guys, the media), or at least trying to. In fact, I fucking will;

Arizona Cardinals - Matt Leinart partying with underage girls and the subsequent time share with Warner, Anquan Boldin throwing a hissy fit.
Atlanta Falcons - seriously?
Baltimore Ravens - Brian Billick is self appointed offensive genius and how dare you imply otherwise.
Buffalo Bills - they are so fucking beige as a team, I suppose I could do some Losman joke, but it's like shooting fish in a barrel at this stage.
Carolina Panthers - honestly, can't do this one...
Chicago Bears - This guy or this guy or this guy. They all work.
Cincinnati Bengals - Ocho Cinco, the human trade demand.
Cleveland Browns - besides the whole Brady Quinn is gay bit there's nothing to see here folks, move along.
Denver Broncos - I'm not gonna go there with that poor kid and the drive by, and I don't need to, because Travis Henry is a stoner.
Detroit Lions - let's just say when you type in "Matt Millen" into google, this is the second most clicked on result.
Green Bay Packers - see Falcons, Atlanta.
Houston Texans - kept their noses clean, I got nothing here.
Indianapolis Colts - this was all very unexpected.
Jacksonville Jaguars - generally pretty cruisy, but this was, to say the least, a bit awkward for a while.
Kansas City - I know he was awesome but still, total distraction.
Miami Dolphins - I'll get abstract for a moment and just reference the entire 2007-2008 season.
Minnesota Vikings - either the boat thing or Koren Robinson. You decide.
New England Patriots - yyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeah, I'm gonna assume you're all caught up on this one.
New Orleans - that flood stuff obviously has kept everyone feeling bad for releasing their inner total fuckwit, but for how long?
New York Giants - Michael Strahan is kinda a dick and this wasn't exactly ideal either.
New York Jets - who cares really? But Pete Kendall didn't make things easy last year.
Oakland Raiders - him or him
Philadelphia Eagles - again, I won't touch the Andy Reid thing, but there's always enough Donovan McNabb hating to go around.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Alan Faneca threatened a hold out
San Francisco 49ers - this guy.
San Diego Chargers - patron saint of stupid dances and steroids.
Seattle Seahawks - he is no longer, but Jerramy Stevens wiki entry lists no fewer than seven legal incidents. And that doesn't even include his recent "extreme DUI"
St.Louis Rams - like two day ago would have gotten a pass, but what's this?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - were going to cause a fuss but they were too busy playing canasta and taking mid afternoon naps.
Tennessee Titans - now that they've gotten rid of Pacman, they are really quite nice...when Albert Haynesworth isn't trying to kill people.
Washington Redskins - it fucking sucks, but I'm just saying, it caused drama and turmoil and that's what happens in the NFL.

My point - every team on the NFL (or nearly) has amazing levels of drama on a nearly daily basis. When you get 54 high level athlete-testosterone fueled-millionaires and big business, it's gonna happen. To put this all on a few individuals is ridiculous. It's just soundbyte style journalism, it's lazy and it's boring, Foxsports also has a story on Manny this week, enough. Your gay little jokes about T.O. being T.O. and Manny being Manny are played the fuck out.

There's the disgruntled (wideout Terry Glenn)

again, you will find a dissatisfied player on every single team.

the delinquent (still-suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones)

I'll give you this.

the "deer-in-the-headlights" (which is how Cowboys cornerback Terrence Newman has described embattled strong safety Roy Williams' reaction to some pass plays).

yes, the Dallas safety is infamous for bad reads in coverage. Ho-ho-ho! What a colourful bunch they are. Also, how fucking awkward is "the deer-in-the-headlights" and how is that a soap opera caricature? Are we still doing your terrible forced metaphor Alex? I can't really follow.

The ensemble includes 14 other players with Pro Bowl pedigree and the beleaguered head coach who has to massage all these egos for team success.

so they have good players, this is a bad thing? Also, I haven't heard much criticism from Wade Phillips at all, in fact, he's a relatively anonymous head coach compared to Parcells.

There is even the real-life embodiment of J.R. Ewing in Jones. The former oilman has doled out more than $80 million in guaranteed contracts this offseason trying to recapture the prize that has eluded him for the past 12 seasons.

"We wouldn't have committed the money had we not had the expectations that we have a chance to be the best," Jones said at a Thursday news conference. "We all know what 'best' means — the very best."

how controversial! This Jerry Jones character sounds like a hard taskmaster, wanting his highly paid players to play well and enthusiastically backing them with his chequebook. I speak sincerely when I say I think we would all like Jerry Jones running our team. He spends money, he is devoted to the team and is genuinely interested in the sport and not just money (although I'm sure primarily money). He rarely speaks badly of individual players and leaves the coaching to the coach, as far as I can see.

Compare this to the Atlanta Hawks, or the Detroit Lions, or the Seattle Sonics, or the Florida Marlins, or Baltimore Orioles.

But unlike in previous years when predicting his team's fortune, Jones says he won't use the two words that epitomize being the NFL's best.

"Maybe I've lost my credibility in that area about saying we're going to go to the Super Bowl," a laughing Jones said. "We all know if I could just think it and get it done, we wouldn't be sitting here as interested in what we're doing."

I dunno much about J.R., I never watched Dallas, but Jerry Jones has always seemed pretty nice to me, including this article. I did a quick wiki of J.R. and found this;

" J.R. was a covetous, egocentric, and amoral oil baron, who was constantly plotting subterfuges to plunder his foes and their Texas-sized wallets."

I don't think there is much in common except they both deal in oil and are related to the city of Dallas in radically different ways. I understand Jones has had explosive relationships with his staff in the past, but I think in the last ten years he has been pretty reasonable.

This preseason drama began in earnest Thursday when the Cowboys arrived at the nearby Point Mugu naval air station. Of all the football talent on that monstrous charter, who should step out first?

Four Cowboys cheerleaders with pom-poms shaking.

bet that wasn't all that was shaking, if you know what I mean, am I right people? Am I right? This guy...this guy right here knows what I'm talking about (I'm talking about her tits).

"We didn't have anything like this in Miami," said awe-struck linebacker Zach Thomas, who spent the previous 12 seasons playing for the Dolphins.

said focused linebacker Zach

said enthusiastic linebacker Zach

said pumped up linebacker Zach

said wide eyed hick Zach Thomas, a tear rolling down his cheek as he thought of his Pa, a humble corn farmer, and all the folks down in the town, Mary-Jo from the milk bar and Thomas, the stablehand. It was just like old Granny Agnes had said, the big smoke was all a-glowing and a-shimmering, like a greased up pig at the fair...too much

awe-struck, perfect

Thomas and his new teammates spent an hour mingling with roughly 1,000 fans inside the hangar base of the famed VR-55 "Minutemen." Hundreds waited in line for an autograph at the table where Romo and a bouncy blonde cheerleader — no, not Simpson — were stationed.

"look Alex, they aren't gonna let you publish "surgically enhanced, white trash cockwhore", you have to be more subtle in your mysoginy these days. We'll just put "bouncy blonde", don't worry, everyone will get the picture."

Befitting of a team considered the trailblazers in maximizing all revenue streams, Cowboys merchandise was being sold at a small table. One fan, though, found his own way of expressing Cowboys love: A giant homemade red-and-white striped popcorn box that paid homage to Owens and his kernel-inspired touchdown celebration.

"You've got the team, the quarterback, the receiver, the running back. This is what you want," J.J. Jiminez said. "Give me the second round of the playoffs, at least."

it's this kind of unfettered access and insightful writing that makes sports journalism so many thousands of times more valuable than bloggers. On behalf of the blogging community - we surrender.

So why would Jones heap even more attention onto his club by once again giving HBO unlimited training camp access for its "Hard Knocks" show? Jones insists the ancillary benefits — particularly team exposure — far outweigh any behind-the-scenes drama that might unfold on camera.

"I've never thought on the basis that what went on off the field relative to attention, celebrity and that type of thing had one thing to do with how somebody blocks, tackles, throws or runs with the football," Jones said.

is that logic? WITCH! BURN HIM!

Romo should be relieved.

He was publicly savaged...

by who? More misleading over dramatisation, people fucking love this kid.

for having taken a quick getaway with Simpson to a Mexican resort the weekend before the Giants loss. Romo became the symbol of a Cowboys squad that appeared far too laid back entering the playoffs after a 12-1 start.

hindsight is fucking 20-20, seriously, they looked fine. How about those Colts in 2007? Yeah, they looked hunky-dory in the second half of the season.

Coach Wade Phillips still continues to insist that wasn't the case, telling one reporter during a Thursday news conference that he was "making something out of not a whole lot." Phillips grew increasingly irked at questions asking what lessons could be learned from his first season as Cowboys head coach and whether such a collapse was preventable, which infers he wasn't stern enough with his players.

"Everybody comes up with reasons," Phillips said. "It happened. We're going to move on. Hopefully we learn from it.

Alex Marvez is getting visibly irritated that everyone around him is being level-headed and sensible; "why won't this story just write itself dammit!" Yes, Alex, it's much harder to write a story when the facts don't fit what you'd like the story to be.

"This isn't last year's team. It's this year's team. I think that's where you go."

Or else Phillips may go, especially with the NFL's highest paid coordinator (offensive wunderkind Jason Garrett) waiting in the wings. It's yet another storyline for a franchise that Jones proudly touts as the "No. 1 television team in (U.S.) sports."

Whether that's for the right or wrong reasons will be evident soon enough.

I dunno man, I don't think you have much evidence for this "Wade Phillips is on the hot seat" thing. I mean, I guess all non Tony Dungy/Bill Belichick coaches of good teams are one season away from losing their job (see Billick, Brian) but I see no reason why Wade Phillips is on thinner ice than say, Jack Del Rio, or Marvin Lewis, or Andy Reid, or Lovie Smith or whoever. And I'm sure if and when that ice cracks, you, Alex Marvez, will be there, licking your lips to capitalise on all the delicious, juicy, tender drama.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

1 comments NL West Sending Steve Phillips Totally Insane

I feel bad for John Hollinger and Keith Law. They are both really good at analysing sport, do so from a fundamentally statistical standpoint, but are more than willing to override the numbers if there is enough first hand evidence to do so. They seem to really apprieciate statistics, not as the be all and end all, but as the bottom line, and as something worthy of respect, but not to be worshipped for their own sake.

Unfortunately the pair of them have the charisma of a car battery. John Hollinger and his hobbit-like appearance will never see a television camera, and I think I once saw Keith Law on a streaming interview, isolated on the corner of ESPN Insider once, but I couldn't tell. I think he was quickly ushered away and replaced with Mark Grace or Fernando Vina or someone awful but well known.

So when people like Steve Phillips come on TV, you can see exactly why. He's good looking, personable, non threatening, you could totally see him as a news anchor. The problem is, his thoughts on baseball fall into three, and only three, categories.

a) totally, unashamedly wrong
b) unbelievably obvious
c) random, disjointed, abstract and confused

This is an example of both b and c.

West Ain't Best

must have been up all night thinking of that one Stevie boy.

Many people thought the National League West was the best division in baseball early this season, but it has relapsed and become the worst division in baseball. So many major things have gone wrong with these teams, and the result has been some disappointing performances. The parity at the top of the division is due to a lot of bad baseball.

this is going to be a theme in this article - padding, lots of it. It reminds me of when I had to write a paper and was like 400 words short, and would say things in more complicated ways, or explicitly state things that were implicitly obvious. Saying "worst division in baseball" after "best division in baseball" is incredibly clumsly, amatuer writing. Most fourth graders would cringe at this.

Many things have gone wrong and the result is dissapointing performances. You don't say? Things going wrong lead to dissapointment? And things going wrong in baseball has led to bad baseball? Ladies and gentleman, we are about to become very familiar with insultingly obvious statements.

The Diamondbacks got off to such a great start because their young hitters were hitting. But the league made adjustments to their young position players, and those players have not been able to make the adjustment back. So they have really struggled, especially on the road. Arizona is really struggling to score runs. It's one thing to have a deep starting rotation and good arms in the bullpen, but you have to score enough runs to support the good pitching so you can win games. That is where the D-backs have had the most difficulty.

where the hell are the editors at ESPN? OK, dot point version of this paragraph.

  • Arizona's team played well because hitters hit
  • Those hitters then stopped hitting
  • That lack of hitting led to a lack of runs
  • Scoring runs is important to winning baseball games
  • Therefore; Arizona is having difficulty

I'm amazed he didn't add "winning games" to the end of that last statement, it would at least have been consistant with the rest of the piece. I'll give him this, it's logically infallible. I can't believe someone could say so little in so many words, it's a talent really.

It's interesting to me that Arizona acquired reliever Jon Rauch in a trade with the Nationals. I'm all for adding to the bullpen, but offense is the D-backs' biggest problem.

wait, wait, wait Steve, slow down! Don't give me any of this baseball mumbo-jumbo. What is the problem? I know you've told me four times it's the offense, but I need at least five instances of you saying exactly the same thing before it sinks in.

To me, Mark Teixeira sure seems like a good fit for them. They could put Conor Jackson in left. Teixeira would give them that one consistent bat in the lineup.

Teixeira does seem like a good fit. Teixera for nothing, that's your advice? Get on it D'Backs!

The Dodgers, well, they've had so many injuries. Their expectations for Andruw Jones have gone unfulfilled. Jeff Kent hasn't been as productive as I think they would have liked, although he is an older guy and I think on the back end of his career. The injuries have gotten to Nomar Garciaparra. Also, I think they were looking for Matt Kemp to take a big step forward this season. It looks like he's starting to heat up a little bit now, but he hasn't really carried the load offensively. Rafael Furcal going down really wiped them out; Furcal is the glue to that team.

things are about to get rough for Steve. You can just tell he knew his stuff on the Diamondbacks was embarrassing and he's trying his little heart out to say something, anything, that resembles actual analysis. I bet he just slumped on his keyboard, exhausted, after he typed this. But again, isn't the style a long, long way short of what you expect from arguably the biggest sports website in the world? It just devolves into Steve just rambling to himself like Rain Man, going through each player;

"So we're talking about the Dodgers being bad, injuries I guess. What about Andruw Jones, no, he wasn't injured but...not good. Kent, yeah, not great either. What was I talking about? Oh yeah injuries. Nomar, injuries. But then theres Kemp, he wasn't injured at all. I guess he was supposed to be good, I mean, I think they thought that he was. I dunno if he was or not. But he is now right? Sort of. Hasn't "carried the load". Oh right! Injuries! Furcal, he was injured...glue...Phillips sleepy...zzz"

Brad Penny has been hurt, Hiroki Kuroda was hurt for a while and Takashi Saito is hurt now.

something about being hurt?

I had concerns about the Colorado Rockies going into the year, just because you can't count on winning 21 of 22 ever happening again.

true. The Rockies were fools to adopt this strategy.

I had questions about their starting pitching, and whether it was mature enough to be consistent over 162 games, which is what you need to be a playoff team.

but before you told me hitting was important! Now you've flip-flopped and claimed it's pitching! Surely you aren't suggesting you need to be good at hitting and pitching to win baseball games! Your crazy, renegade style of baseball analysis won't fly here Phillips, you're a dangerous maverick.

Then, Manuel Corpas blew up as the closer, and they had to move Brian Fuentes back into that role. Troy Tulowitzki got off to a tough start, and then got hurt.

this column is like a six year old's story. Then I went to school and then we had lunch and then Timmy fell down and cried and then teacher came over and took him to the nurse and then we learnt to add....

I think that the team that's going to win the division is the one that dramatically improves at the trade deadline, gets healthy or turns their young players into more consistent players overnight. Otherwise, it's just going to be the team that just gets hot at the end of the season.

to recap, the team that wins the NL West will either;

a) get better players

b) doesn't lose its current players

c) has its current players play better

or failing that, d) just wins games. Or some combination of any of the above. Your work here is done Steve Phillips.

The Dodgers dabbled in the bidding for CC Sabathia. They've talked like they might make some deals, but pulled back. But there is something there -- if Furcal comes back, if Garciaparra can keep doing what he's doing and play third with Furcal back, if James Loney and Andre Ethier and Kemp can keep going. I know there's a lot of "ifs" there … and they just lost their closer. I thought coming out of the break that the Dodgers would be the ones to take the division, but that was before I knew Saito was down. It seemed like they were just starting to get healthy, and they were starting to hit a little bit.

I give up. This is an absolute mess.

"They might have made some deals, but didn' yeah. But they can be good, like, all this stuff can happen and stuff. Like if players play well. But they probably won't. And they lost their closer. Yeah no. I mean I thought yeah, but now that closer thing. They were looking good, I don't...I just do- *head explodes*

It is such a tough division to predict.

this really is killing him, he's going mad writing this column, he is just incapable of being even a bad sports analyst. I think he's crying now, he just can't do it the poor bastard. He does the same, rambling, confused, walking into walls, circular logic, indecisive, self contradicting thing for the Rockies.

I think a lot of people feel Colorado will be sellers at the trade deadline. Fuentes could be dealt. Matt Holliday could be dealt. But somewhere in the back of the Rockies' minds, they have to be thinking, "Well, we did get really hot last year, maybe we should kind of hold on to things." From what I understand, they've pulled back a little bit on trading Holliday, but might still entertain some thoughts on trading Fuentes because he's on baseball's "Most Wanted" list right now. The Rockies, who are playing a little bit better now, have to believe they have a run left in them. Jeff Francis is due back. They got Tulowitzki back. After the trade deadline -- if they don't trade Holliday and Fuentes -- it may slingshot them a bit. Because when the team starts asking "Are we a contender, or not?" the manager and coaches keep saying "We're going for it! We're going for it!" and then you hear rumors that some guys may be traded, you start getting conflicting messages. It's a big hill to climb, but they could make a run.


The Giants and Padres, in my mind, are not players in this division at all.

what tipped you off? The fact they are 8 and 13 games back? Even now, Steve has to qualify this as just "in his mind". I picture him spending an agonising twenty minues deciding between waffles and pancakes every morning.

Ultimately, with Saito going down, I'd have to give the edge in the division to the D-backs right now, because they fortified the end of their game and there are now questions in the Dodgers bullpen. Is Jonathan Broxton the closer? How will the other guys handle their roles in a bullpen that's already protecting a rotation that has been impacted by injury?

and that's how it ends, with Phillips shuffling off, in robe and slippers, muttering to himself, asking questions to no one in particular.

Friday, July 25, 2008

0 comments Rick Reilly is a Compass With No Magnet

I apparently have become the Rick Reilly guy. I think I have dissected every single thing he has written with ESPN. Of course, when it is only 500 words and comes once a week then I don't have that hard of a job. Whoops...I forgot, it is not my job, just a duty I have to help to convince everyone Rick Reilly is a hack with no skills.

In one stretch this month, Alex Rodriguez's name was on the front page of the New York Post eight days out of twelve. Paparazzi even followed him to Pittsburgh. Who knew life could suck at $27 million a year?

Why did they do this? Anger with A Rod for being the greatest baseball player in Major League Baseball? He had a "kick me" sign on his back and they wanted to see who would do it first? He smells good?

Madonna once said, "I won't be happy until I am more famous than God," but right now A-Rod is probably wishing she wasn't—and that he'd gone into dentistry.
That's right, he was cheating on his wife with one of the most famous, and incredibly overrated, pop stars of all time. I am not sure if this paparazzi invasion is a result of his life sucking or the result of the best baseball player in the the most talented filled major baseball league in the world and one of the most famous pop stars having an affair. I will let the reader decide.

Does anyone get the feeling Reilly has nothing he can write about so he just kills time for a little while and only has one paragraph that has any journalistic credibility in each column, then immediately after that paragraph he gets back to killing time until he can end the column with a snappy one liner? I am on to him.

By the way, what the hell is this column about?

I knew exactly how he felt. People constantly think I'm somebody else.

It is about himself apparently.

I like to imagine the posting for a columnist job at ESPN looks like this:

Major sports news organization looking for talented columnist to write once a week. No sports experience necessary but must think the world revolves around him/her and display no regard for journalistic standards. This includes the following:

-Displaying no knowledge of topic writing about
-Doing zero research to learn more about a topic
-Talking about his/her personal life (making up a life is perfectly fine, just must seem realistic to the readers)
-Must be willing to make an ass of him/her self on television when needed
-Needs to think the reading/viewing audience is as dumb as they are
-Columns must inflame hatred of some group at some point, so columnist must be willing to be controversial in talking about subject matter. Just don't talk about us in a negative manner or you will be fired.

Please send resumes with cover letters and personal references to human resources.

At this year's U.S. Open in San Diego, for instance, I was minding my own business, walking and eating a ham sandwich, when a thirtysomething man with caterpillar eyebrows suddenly stepped in front of me, clomped two meaty hands on my shoulders and yelped, "Oh … my … God!"

Caterpillar eyebrows and two meaty hands? This must be a middle class citizen who works for a living! I have heard about these before, they pay attention to sports closely, yet don't have the money to go to all sporting events, so when this type person gets to go to an event they get excited. I was not aware these people still existed.

"I can't believe it's you!" he gushed. "Well," I said, "I'm not really all that…"

Modesty does not do Reilly well. You know he was really thinking, "Holy shit, I am so talented and someone knows who I am."

"Your book changed my life!" he roared.

"Really? Because I don't really write the kind…"

Reilly's brain was really wondering which insightful column it was. The one about parachuting, parasailing, riding in a race car, hanging out with athletes, or the one about Charles Barkley's swing.

"Tuesdays with Morrie! Greatest book ever written!"

"Didn't write it pal," I snipped. "Wish I had." (I meant it. It sold more than 12 million copies.)

I think everyone should send book ideas like "Tuesdays with Morrie" to the web site Rick Reilly set up immediately after this conversation.

(Turned out Bill Simmons took the .com site)

At the recent Lake Tahoe golf tournament, I was walking through a gauntlet of autograph seekers—unbothered and unmolested—when a tall, saucer-eared man in his fifties thrust a blue Sharpie and a program in front of me.

As you stated earlier, they did not molest you because no one knows who you fucking are. Saucer-eared man? God, I wish someone would take you outside and just beat the shit out of you with a totem pole, then you can write about it in "Life or Reilly," and get sympathy.

Sigh. I signed my name over Rhoden's face and left it at that.

People call me a different name all day. I am neither famous nor have a difficult name. So you would probably need to excuse this guy when he confuses you with someone else and not mock him.

The other day a blogger wrote the most amazing email to me regarding the column I wrote about the recent passing of my father, Jack Reilly. The piece included a picture of the two of us at my wedding in 1983.

Positive mail? I don't believe it.

"I have good reason to believe," this guy wrote, "that the man in the picture is, in fact, golf commentator Bob Rosburg. What I'm trying to figure out is why you would do this."

The guy is an idiot, I think that is clear. I am not sure if you have been outside at all lately but the earth is full of morons and some of them know how to write. You may need to get used to this if you are going to keep your job.

What I was trying to figure out is how I could find this hairball and pull his spleen out with corn tongs.

What this guy should be doing, now that you have publicly mocked his "amazing email," is find you and puncture every single one of the tires on the Merecedes S Class you most likely drive and spray pain "what the fuck are corn tongs" on the hood. By the way, Rick Reilly just semi-threatened one of his own readers.

I wrote him and suggested that he borrow, steal or purchase a life.

How big of a douchebag is Rick Reilly? Think about this...How many of our 3 readers have written to a national columnist and told them they have written a good column or they enjoyed something he/she had written? I personally have at one time or another. How many of the comments written to the columnist have been answered in an email response? Zero for me. You figure it is because the person is busy, so you excuse it. Not Rick Reilly, he is never too busy to write a loyal reader who enjoyed a personal story of Reilly's to tell him how stupid that person is.
The capper, though, was Katie Couric, late of the Today show. I was in the green room, waiting to go on and plug a book, when she came running up to me like a long-lost sister, 1,000-watt smile and open arms.

I am a little confused as to how the capper happened before the other two events. I am pretty sure Katie Couric was on the Today show before the other two events happened. I guess in the Life of Reilly there is no such thing as time.

"I'm really looking forward to our segment!" she said. "I loved it as a kid! Do you have the recipe?"
"Yes! No. What?"
"The recipe! Which recipe will we be making?"
"Uh, no. I'm a sportswriter. I really don't do, uh, recipes."
"You're not the Easy-Bake oven guy?"
"No, sorry."

Let me get this shit straight. You mean she was going to interview you on national television to give you a forum to make more money for yourself through book sales and had the audacity to not know exactly who you were? What a bitch. I am sure she does not meet that many people in one day, even though she is more famous than you. I bet this pissed Reilly off so much he never even did the show. Actually he did the show, he is just that much of a tool.

Eat your heart out, Alex.

I wish a bear would eat your heart out.

Love the column, hate the column, got a better idea? Go here.

How do you better a column where the columnist talks about how not famous he is, and couches it in terms that people should really know who he is? The answer is, you can't.

Want more Life of Reilly?

I want more Death of Reilly if he is not going to talk about anything other than himself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2 comments Crack=Golf

For all of Jemele Hill's embarrassment regarding her indulging Godwin's Law I think we can all agree Hitlergate was merely a careless slip of the tongue. One of my pet peeves in life is people going out of their way to be offended, and I don't think anyone could truly believe Hill is a closet anti-semite, she's just stupid. But think about what might be genuinely offensive. Maybe like, a whole column instead of just a throwaway line. And maybe not like Hitler, who sure, killed a lot of people, but something that has ruined millions upon millions of lives, and continues to do so to this drug abuse.

Scoop Jackson has made a career out of insulting your intelligence and damaging his credibility with his storied history of predictions;

-L.A. will beat Boston because Kobe is "thirsty" (where his fascination with drug abuse again raises its head)
-Kevin Garnett is not validated by this championship
-TJ Ford and Jose Calderon make a good partnership and shouldn't be split
-Kobe can't win MVP
-fuck you, Cubs and Sox
-and finally, my personal favourite, Shaq will power the Suns to a title, or at least a Finals appearance

But after failing so frequently, Scoop is taking a different tact - being outright offensive.

Why I will never play golf

I've got a friend named Ray. He came up to me the other week and said, "I want you to play in this golf tournament."

Here we go.

the audacious prick!

Now, Ray and I have been friends for years, traveled the world together on assignments. He knows that I don't do golf. Never have, never about to. We've had this conversation before, but still, he asks. The tournament was for a good cause, a fundraiser for someone we both know. He threw in the variable that the tournament wouldn't take place until a year from now, which gave me time to "learn" how to play. He even offered to purchase me a set of irons and pay for driving lessons so that I could at least "every now and then hit the ball close to the green."

The optimism.

this "Ray" character just won't let up, will he? Optimism isn't half of it, it's pure arrogance on his part to assume that you, a longtime friend, would help him out with the promotion of a charity event. I mean, you're a busy man! And helping out a charity is not only very stressful and difficult, but also occupies a tremendous amount of time. It's not like some afternoon of golfing, Jesus Christ, enough Ray!

Everything Ray shot at me I shot down. Even the sentimental aspect of what the tournament is about didn't shift my stance. I will tell you as I told him, "I'll give the foundation $10,000 before I pick up a golf club and try to raise them $200."

no, no, you're not a complete douchebag, not at all.

And when he asked why (for the 28th time) I explained to him (for the 28th time) why I treat the game of golf the same way The New Yorker should satire: I stay away from it. Far, far, far, far … far away.

topical. Perhaps we shouldn't be throwing stones in the glass house that you are about to build here.

There are four things in life I refuse to do: Crack, video games, MySpace and golf. I've seen the damage all can do, how they can destroy people's lives. And of the four of them, golf, in my opinion, is easily the most addictive -- the one that would ruin my life the quickest if I ever touched a 9-iron.

I know what you're thinking "Jimmy, don't do this, he's just poking fun". But first of all, that's all Hill did and she was raked over the coals. Hell, that's all anyone does these days and they pay with their first born's blood. And secondly, he does this through the whole column. This is the first of many references to drug abuse, a very serious issue, maybe the most serious. If you had a son that died of a crack cocaine overdose how do you feel right now? Compared to Myspace, video games and golf. Scoop also says he's more afraid of the ramifications of picking up a 9-iron than a crack pipe. That's offensive, even if it is a joke, and he takes it way, way further.

How it happens, I don't know. But I've seen it. All of us have. We've seen friends or family members reach a certain age, pick up some clubs, and never come back. They're gone, walking zombies. The game gets into their system like meth.

I've seen people, friends of friends, on meth. They look thoroughly unprepared for a gallavant on the front nine, I'll tell you that Scoop. Drug reference #2.

Their eyes, walk and language change. They start talking in handicaps. Closets become full of Callaway caps and Titleist polos. They go to Hilton Head and Scottsdale for vacation instead of Amsterdam and Brazil. They disappear weekends at a time.

hilarious. Just for any readers that have had Scoop's problem of distinguishing between meth addicts and golfers, here's a quick peek.Meth addict...Golfer. One more time? Meth addict...Golfer.

We all down? No, Scoop, you're having difficulty?

I've watched dudes lose $100,000-a-year jobs because they missed too many days and hours at work, stuck on the golf course. I've seen dudes succeed through drug, alcohol, sex and gambling rehab programs, but golfers can't stop golfing.

A friend of mine was fired from his job for habitual tardiness. He couldn't get to work by 9 a.m. but never missed a 5:30 a.m. tee time. Why? He couldn't answer. But with his first unemployment check, he bought a set of TaylorMade clubs.

I asked another friend, whose wife left him because he spent, in her own words, "every waking moment of his life that he wasn't at work on that damn golf course," how he could justify choosing golf over his family (they had two kids). His response: "Golf balls don't talk back." His wife got the house, both cars, custody of the kids, half of his income and 401K, alimony and child support. The last time I talked to him, to see how he was doing, he was screaming with joy into the phone, "I just played Pebble Beach!!!!"

this is the thing about this article. It's relentless, the point is to compare drugs to golf. It's not some silly little bad joke, it's systematic. This is the point of the article, I'm not cherry picking at all. Golf is some horrible ailment that's ruining lives, dividing families, crippling the economy, destroying the very fabric of American society. With these real life, very grave examples, Scoop officially crosses the line and even though this was never funny, it becomes offensive. Like - I lost my job because I compared a sport with the highest participation rate in the world to drug abuse...repeatedly...on a sports website - offensive.

I've seen young, multimillionaire athletes enter professional sports and do nothing with their spare time (outside of hitting the strip clubs) except spend hours upon hours locked up in exquisite hotel rooms in front of wall-mounted flat screens addicted to everything from Madden to Vice City. I've seen older, mega-millionaire athletes put those joysticks down, pick up a set of Honmas and spend more time on golf courses than they did trying to perfect the sport they were born to play.

It seems like every professional athlete gets hooked on golf. It takes over their lives. Even pro golfers are not immune because they seem to be the only pro athletes who don't retire. When I asked Craig Bowen, a former PGA instructor and now sales director for Electric Golf Organizer Inc., what professional golfers do for recreation, he said, "They die."

it's also corrupting our youth.

How morbid. You literally could replace "golf" with "narcotics" everywhere in this article and it would read exactly the same. I know it's supposed to be a joke (at least, I think I do, each passing sentence casts doubt on that assumption), but not only is it not funny, it has such a sombre tone, cites real life, devastating examples, cites not one, but two different specific drugs...I literally cannot believe this got approved by the editorial staff at ESPN.

Don't confuse this with what you might think is the obvious. To the contrary, I love watching golf. Have for decades. Even before Tiger entered the sport, I followed it. Just won't play.

no, no, you're not a complete douchebag, not at all. Part #2.

My best friend, a dude I grew up with, godfather to my youngest, he plays. Serious. He started playing golf with his old man around the age of 8, and over the past 25 years has hit consistently in the low 70s. For 25 years he tried to get me to come out and hit with him. It's never happened. He finally stopped asking five years ago.

Scoop Jackson, in addition to his many, many character flaws, is also a terrible friend.

The attempts continue. My godbrother; my cousin; my college roommate's best friend; Ray. None golfed when they were growing up, but now treat the sport like Tatum O'Neal does street narcotics. They're Pookies, Marion Berrys. They can't stop. They're why I run from golf. They are why I'll never play.

drug reference #3.

In fairness, you are probably asking, "What made me like this?"

no, to repeat, I'm asking how the hell this was published by ESPN.

I once saw this guy in Chicago when I was a kid. It was one of those typically vicious mid-winter afternoons: 10 inches of snow on the ground, temp minus-15, minus-35 with wind chill. He was waiting in his car for his wife to get off work. I was also in the car, waiting for my Moms, who worked with the man's wife. After about 5 minutes, he stepped out of the heated Volvo, dressed in full Eskimo gear with a Bears skullcap pulled down over his ears. He closed the door of his car, left the motor running, took two steps away from the car, put his left hand slightly over his right and began to imaginarily work on his short game. The man didn't even have a club in his hand! That's when I said to myself, "Self, anything that can make a man do that, you need to stay the hell away from."

So far I have. The reality is, how long will the power of golf allow me to continue?

on a personal note, I have done this very thing, the invisible golf swing, basically caught it off my father, and I only play golf about once a year. Usually with my Dad. It's a really nice father/son bonding moment. He's gotten too old to play cricket (our favourite sport) so a net session is out of the question but it's a great, manly thing to do and a great, fun afternoon. To quote Bill Hicks comment on the social evil that is golf...

"I know it’s not a very popular idea, you dont hear it very often anymore, but its the truth! I have played golf before and ah….. I had a real great time. Didn’t murder anybody, didn’t rob anybody, didn’t rape anybody, didn’t beat anybody, didn’t lose one fucking job, laughed my ass off, and went about my day…Sorry!"

2 comments Bad Ego!

I realize I have not been focusing on hard hitting journalism lately but the national sportswriters have been very sneaky as of late and have not written anything I feel the need to attack. Bill Simmons is taking a 10 week vacation to focus on making himself more money through book sales, Jemele Hill wrote a column I agree with as much as I can agree with a column she writes, and Peter King is talking about kids making out under a blanket, so I can't count on any of them. Fire Joe Morgan even attacked the Dave O'Brien column I had bookmarked.

Good thing Mark Kriegel and his mug shot photo tackle an enormous scientific problem. How to separate one's ego from his body so the ego, which as everyone knows is just some asshole hanging out in your body causing you to be an asshole, can not disrupt the football team. It's kind of like Innerspace except the ego is not quite as annoying as Martin Short.

It was often said that Jeremy Shockey possessed the physical skills of a wide receiver. The problem, at least for the defending Super Bowl champions, is that he had a receiver's ego as well.

Ba-da-boom! Good one Mark! I can do it too!

It is often said Bill possessed the demeanor of a little child. The problem, at least for his neighbors two young children, is that he liked little children too much.

It is often said Mark possessed the writing skills to suck an audience in. The problem, at least for his audience, is that he sucked too.

Maybe that one was a little off. What a way to start a column though. I AM sucked in. If this were Grease and I were in a leather jacket, I would be surrounding Mark right now asking him to "tell me more, tell me more." Later I would get a girl who looks like a man pregnant, dance on a car and get knocked out before a big car race.

The position has become the greatest haven for trash-talkers, self-promoters and prima donnas in all of American sports.

Oh hell yes Mark, that is so true. I have never heard this before though. Is ESPN aware of the penchant for receivers to do this? If not, then need to hire some of them for the pre game shows they have, possibly interview them, and cover these gentlemen in training camp. That would make terrific television.

I suspect you need their kind of ego (though not necessarily the mouth) to catch a pass over the middle of the field, to fear not that blow from the blind side.

Marvin Harrison has it, so you are completely correct. Tony Gonzalez has to be the biggest ego tripping star I have ever heard of. Did you know he saved a man from choking recently? What everyone failed to mention is he was beating the shit out of the guy and just happened to knock the food out after he hit the guy in the chest with a tire iron. What an ego!

Despite the imposing physique and all his biker-chic body art, Shockey wasn't unlike that snot-nosed kid you may recall from your touch football days. He was always open.

Yeah....that snot nosed kid was I am going to go ahead and stop you there. This analogy does not make sense. Is it an analogy or a reference to Shockey's ego? Sorry but wouldn't you want your players to feel they are open all the time and how is this a bad thing? Would you prefer Gerald Contrarian, the WR who played for the Idaho Lightning in the old PFL (Pacific Football League), who always insisted he was never open. Great guy, always opened the door for his mother, paid his bills on time. He played one year in the PCL because he never was open. From then on, coaches took players on their team who always claimed to be open. Historians still wonder why.

The great egos are tolerated, even celebrated, as long as they're cost-effective. But Shockey, the 14th pick in the 2002 draft, never developed into the franchise player he was forecast to be, that game-breaking receiver who came off the line.

This was all his fault. Back in 2002 the tight end was actually responsible for throwing the ball to himself. Not many people remember that time.

Ok, enough sarcasm. Can we be honest? Eli Manning was not exactly the model QB for his first couple years. Do you think maybe the fact Eli could not get him the football when he was wide open had anything to do with this? This is like blaming a WR for having a bad Quarterback. No, it is blaming the receiver for having a bad QB. Other than a four week period last year, Eli Manning has been bad.

He'd never play a full 16-game season. Most damning, of course, was the fact that the Giants would go on to win the Super Bowl without him.

Injuries were a problem with Shockey as well. I think it was his ego that would break his leg from the inside of his body because it was just so pissed off that he never got the ball.

Just because they won a Super Bowl without him does not mean he sucks and is no reason why he should not still be on the Giants team. This is the same logic people use when they say Alex Rodriguez sucks because the Yankees won 4 World Series with Scott Brosius at third base.

None of this has anything to do with an ego problem.

Four days before that championship game, I asked Eli Manning if he had spoken to Shockey since the team's arrival in Arizona.
"I've not spoken to Jeremy this week," said Manning, before adding none too convincingly, "Uh, so, I'll try to talk to him sometime."

I am going to take a deep breath before I write this because I want to stay calmish. There is a litany of reasons that Eli Manning did not talk to Jeremy Shockey before the Super Bowl. I will list them below for your perusal and you can choose which of these make more sense than the fact Shockey is such an asshole Eli did not want to talk to him.

1. Eli was preparing for the fucking Super Bowl and did not have time to to talk to Jeremy Shockey because this was going to be the biggest game of his entire life against a team that had gone undefeated throughout the entire season, so Manning knew it was going to be a difficult chore and he had to be focused, so he did not have time to answer stupid fucking questions about injured players because that certain injured player was not even playing in the game that Manning was preparing for and Eli was also wondering why the stupid writer would ask this question of him when he was obviously preparing for the most important game of his life in front of the biggest audience that any athlete can ever play in front of.

In fact, Manning — who flourished, unadmonished, in Shockey's absence — hadn't even seen him. Nor did he care to.

He did not care to because he was preparing for the Super Bowl.

What's more, outside of a few reporters who could've used the smart-ass quotes, nobody seemed to miss him.

You know why the reporters did not use the quotes? They were smart enough to realize the quote was given four days prior to the Super Bowl when Manning was probably too focused on the game ahead and the players who were actually playing. Basically this quote was a non story, except to Mark Kriegel, who found it so important he put it in an article after the Giants traded Shockey.

And do you know why nobody missed him? Because the bigger story was the game and the Patriots attempting to go perfect throughout the entire season. Is this a hard issue to understand?

Think about it: The Giants actually decided to quarantine him in a luxury box for the duration of Super Bowl XLII.

Think about it: The luxury box has free food, beer and a great view of a historical game. I would not call it quarantine.

The end came Feb. 3 in that luxury box, where Shockey was forced to watch as Manning earned the Super Bowl MVP.

I am sure everyone in the luxury box was holding Shockey's head forward forcing him to watch his team win the biggest game on a national stage that he could not play in because of an injury that had nothing to do with ego.

A receiver like Shockey can endure broken bones, but never a bruised ego.

Ba-da-boom! The Giants are not better off with Kevin Boss as the starting tight end and you are stupid if you think they are better off.

Monday, July 21, 2008

2 comments Being The Gosh-Darn Favorites

I want to thank J.S. for putting up two great posts this weekend. It was nice to have something up on this blog that I actually enjoyed reading. He seems to have a prodigious output of posts like I sometimes tend to do, so this is going to be a lot of fun.

Let me share something with the world here. I hate UNC-Chapel Hill. I hate the people, I hate the attitude they have, and mostly I hate the sports teams. My sister actually went there and I did not speak to her for 4.5 years and we are just getting to know each other again. So just remember that as I mock them mercilessly and just think of it as sour grapes. One of the reasons I hate UNC is the coach, Roy Williams. I don't hate him personally, I hate his "gosh, we just do the best darn things we can to win and if we don't win I am going to buy the whole team some pop and we can talk on the front porch" demeanor. He is really a basketball killing machine but wants to pretend to be down home. He can go to Hell. I also hate how Duke is considered the Yankees of college basketball while the Tar Heels are not universally hated, despite the fact UNC has won more championships and are always a national powerhouse. They are still loved by most people, except Duke fans, it is insane. I want this to change.

Andy Katz has provoked Roy Williams' downhome demeanor and it is going to give me a seizure. Also, watch for a link-o-rama fest.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams made it clear to his Tar Heels that if they don't put the team first in their quest for a national title, they won't play for him next season.

I guess putting the team first means recruiting violations that are never punished?

Sean May was putting the team first even AFTER he left school to sit the bench for the Bobcats.

Of course UNC did an internal "investigation" and found they did not break any rules. They were also putting the team first.

You want more blatant violation of NCAA rules that went unpunished?

I realize every team does things like this, supposedly, but why don't people hate UNC? This bothers me. They commit violations, minor as they are, have an annoying good white player, and get a lot of calls from the refs. I am vexed.

"If I feel that someone is out for themselves, I don't give a darn who it is, they won't play," Williams said last week in Akron, Ohio

I don't give a darn! He does not curse, how high and mighty of him! Golly gee, buddy.

North Carolina is the overwhelming favorite to win the 2009 national title.

As they should be, they lost only one player from the team last year that made the Final Four and have an absolutely loaded bench. I have prepared myself for this fact. This is team is like the 1991 UNLV, 1997 Kansas, and 1999 Duke teams in that if they don't win the National Championship there is really, really something wrong and should be investigated fully.

"I didn't think [there was] any way in Hades that we'd have all three back," Williams said of getting Lawson, Ellington and Green to return on the deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft.

If you don't think "no way in Hades" is something fucking stupid to say then I don't know what to say to you. Just imagine if someone came up to you and said that phrase, and tell me you would not want to punch them in the face and then scream in their ear. You would immediately do it.

I wish Andy Katz would just misquote him and throw the word "hell" in there.

"The '05 team had six or seven guys, but this team has a chance to go much deeper," Williams said. "On the '05 team, we won just 19 games the year before so there was no reason to be fat and happy. None of those guys thought about the NBA and the NBA had no interest in them. They were hungry to show people they were a big-time basketball team.

Gollllllllllllllllllllly, that is a great point Roy. I am sure Marvin Williams the 6th man on that team was not thinking about the NBA when he was ranked the #10 recruit in his class.

Oh and Roy, that team also had 3 of the 10 recruits from the 2002 class as well in Raymond Felton, Sean May, and Rashad McCants. I would say the NBA had their eye on them as well.

Quit with the "little old me, I just get the best players I can and do what I can with them" act. Andy Katz should have included in the article that this quote by Roy Williams was insanely incorrect and pointed out every starter for that team was highly recruited and would have fit in well in the NBA. I would argue that UNC is the premier recruiting factory in the nation and Roy just continues to pretend he gets very few talented players, but mostly just farm boys from East Indiana who shot on peach baskets when they weren't busy working in the fields.

Williams said the "high character" of this Tar Heels team is a reason he's not concerned that he has "too many guys."

Yeah that 2005 National Championship team had no character. Now someone is not being a team player and trying to sell his ring.

What Williams is talking about is the high character of players like Ty Lawson.

How many other UNC players were in the car when he got arrested? If you know Ty Lawson, and know what a high character person he is, then you would know the answer is zero. High motherfucking puppie petting baby kissing character. That's all Ty Lawson is.

The only thing Williams still doesn't have a handle on from last season is the perplexing first half against Kansas in the national semifinal.

You get your ass kicked sometimes, I don't see how this is tough to get a handle on. They got out to a 40-12 lead because your team played poorly. This is why I don't like good ol' Roy Boy, he can't just say, "we got our ass kicked." Google it. You will never see him say it.

"It's the most dumbfounded I've ever been as a coach," Williams said of the Kansas loss. "In the locker room, we prepared like we did every game in the ACC and in the NCAA. They'd all been the same and the kids appeared to have a good focus. I'm just dumbfounded, still dumbfounded. Kansas just came in and hit us in the mouth."

I am dumbfounded too Roy. You didn't have your team practice by riding mules around the gym shooting heads of cabbage into a wooden box, pointing out shiny objects in the stands to your players, or putting your shoes on their hands? I have no idea what happened either. Gosh, Roy, I am dumbfounded also.

Maybe Kansas kicked your ass.

UNC won't back down in scheduling once again.

They are the best team in the country and the odds on favorite to win the National Championship. Why would they back down?

Williams is taking the Tar Heels on the road, too, against lower-level teams that could cause problems, like UC Santa Barbara on the way to Maui and Valparaiso in Chicago

How are you going to write an article about how good this team is and then say UC Santa Barbara and Valparaiso are going to give the Tar Heels problems? Andy Katz is playing perfectly into Roy's aw-shucks persona and it kills me. UNC has no business losing more than 2 games this upcoming year. What problems do UC Santa Barbara and Valparaiso reasonably give them?

"The league is so much better and experienced," Williams said. "And in playing Kentucky, Michigan State and the Maui games, I think those kinds of games will get us ready."

How can you write an entire article about how awesome UNC, including things like this:

With those three back, UNC will return its top six scorers, who combined to score 78.7 points, which is more than 319 Division I teams averaged last season.

Add in returning forwards Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard, guard Bobby Frasor (coming back from a knee injury) and the infusion of even more talent with ready-to-contribute freshman guards Larry Drew and Justin Watts and forwards Tyler Zeller and Ed Davis, and the Tar Heels are as loaded as any team in recent memory to be challenging for the title.

then even pretend there is another team that is in the same class? UNC is the clear favorite and they deserve to be, I just wish someone would start hating on them for the fake modesty and "aw shucks, look at us" mentality.

I will try to write something less angry later today. We'll see how that goes, without Simmons around, I am running on anger fumes right now.