Monday, June 29, 2009

15 comments MMQB Review: Non-Peter King Edition 1

I miss Peter King. I started this blog to make fun of bad journalism and journalism that I find to be plain wrong and Peter's MMQB is one of my favorite topics. I am a little bit torn about doing MMQB this morning because Trent Green is not a "professional" sports columnist, though I am starting to question the existence of "professional" columnists anyway, but I love the format of MMQB and love making fun of it so I will carry on regardless if Peter writes the column or not.

As always, I want to digress first before I get to this week's MMQB. I went to an Atlanta Braves-Boston Red Sox game in Atlanta this weekend and I think it is generally agreed though we had fun, it is just too frustrating. I was prepared for Red Sox fans, but I wasn't prepared for the whole experience and I wanted to share some of my frustrations in list form with you all...since you don't care. It is a story of pathetic bandwagonism for both teams.

First the rules I was given before the tickets were purchased for me for my birthday:

1. I can not make statements out loud that I know other people are listening to me say, so they will engage me in conversation on said topic. This is one of my favorite ways to start a conversation in public.

2. I can't yell anything obscure and random no one understands (i.e. "The last thing Julio Lugo hit hard was his wife.")

3. No openly pissing off Red Sox fans.

4. No random chanting. (I don't know what this means, but agreed to it because I did not know what it meant.)

5. I can not boo Jeff Francouer (He comes up to the plate to the tune of Kenny Chesney's "Summertime," I should boo him just for that).

These were easy rules because I was looking forward to the game and I really am not a confrontational person...but I do need ground rules. My personality requires it.

Here are the things that pissed me off and made me worry about Atlanta and Boston fans:

1. When I got to the ball park there were some Braves fans wearing red jerseys with a Braves player's name on the back. The Braves wear red jerseys on Sundays. Come on, the Red Sox also have red jerseys they wear hence the name RED Sox, you have to pick out a different color shirt for the Saturday game you dumbasses. That's inexcusable. Choose a different color because if the Red Sox fans wear red and the Braves fan wear red, it will look like there are more Red Sox fans there. This is the first part in a series of just absolute pathetic and clueless acts on the part of the Braves fans.

2. There was not one Red Sox Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe, Wade Boggs, Mo Vaughn, or Varitek jersey that I saw. There was one Ramirez jersey and one Luis Tiant jersey I saw. I also saw one 2004 World Champions hat, with the 2007 World Championship shirts and hats being the only ones I saw. That should tell you something about the makeup of the Red Sox fans that attended the game.

3. When we sat down, there were 6 Red Sox fans behind us, three beside me, one Red Sox and one Yankee fans beside my loved one, and 7 Red Sox fans in front of us. I am not kidding. Out of these 18 people, there was one annoying person and the others were really cool. Out of these 17 Red Sox fans, 9 of these people said they cheer for the Braves when they are not playing the Red Sox. That infuritated me. I don't give a shit if you are a Red Sox fan, it's no big deal, but don't you dare cheer for the Braves against other teams and then show up wearing a fucking Ortiz jersey when the Red Sox are in town. That is grounds for being punched in the face. Two guys said they are "Red Sox all the way though, but cheer for the Braves second." I should have punched them, but did not want to spill my nachos. I would have had my fiance hold my nachos but she would not have not done so because she would know I was about to openly violate Rule #3.

4. The same two guys that openly said they are Red Sox all the way but the Braves are second also looked like they had come from what I call the Dale Earnhardt Jr. School of Grooming (bizarre facial hair on the face including a mustache that is barely there, rolling up the sleeves of their shirts, small amount of gel in their hair to make it sit down in the front, and singing along to country songs that played every once in a while), opined the Red Sox should trade for Hanley Ramirez for Clay Bucholtz straight up. That annoyed me. That would not happen.

5. The Atlanta Braves fans at the game were just flat a bunch of quiet little wimps. There would start a chant of "Let's go Red Sox!" and me and this lady behind me (who got to guess the answer to a question between innings on the JumboTron and yes I was jealous) would start chanting "Let's Go Braves!" Meanwhile the rest of the stadium would allow the chant to continue and then start booing. Booing? It's not a fucking library, the Red Sox fans should not have to be quiet. Why don't you stop booing and start cheering? The Red Sox fans can chant if they want to and if you don't chant to support the Braves maybe you should leave the stadium. Atlanta has the worst baseball fans. The worst. I have known this for a while but it just absolutely sealed the deal for me this weekend.

6. I booed Jeff Francouer (in direct violation of Rule #5 but it was very quick) and a Braves fan asked me why I was doing that. I almost threw up.

7. There was a 9 year old boy with a Boston Celtics 2008 NBA Champions shirt on and a 2007 Boston Red Sox 2007 World Champions hat on with green Sno-cone stain around his mouth talking shit about how great the Red Sox were and stuff like that. Is there any test of a man's will than to hear a young child talking shit at a sporting event? You know you can beat the crap out of him, it's a guarantee, but then again it is a 9 year old child and society tends to frown on things like that. Not to mention then his dad would probably get mad if his pumpkin faced son (his head was shaped like the kid on MAD magazine, so I called him a pumpkin face for some reason) got his ass beat by a sweaty guy in a Brian McCann jersey. I smartly let it go.

8. I have never met so many Red Sox fans who had deep Southern accents. I found it disconcerting to hear someone with a deep Southern accent cheering for Papelbon. The lady beside me was from Hickory, North Carolina and was born in Hickory so I have no idea how the Red Sox fan-thing happened for her, but she made it very clear she still liked the Braves...which annoyed me.

9. The Red Sox fans are awesome. Regardless of the bandwagonism or the non-bandwagonism of the fans they cheered loudly, they chanted when they needed to, and just overall did all of the shit I wish the Braves fans would do but won't because they are fucking wimps. It pains me to say how good they were because the game was in Atlanta but it is true. It also started my Overcompensation Theory which not only is very Simmons-esque but I think is true. I think some Red Sox fans are so worried they will be considered they are bandwagon fans they buy all kinds of Red Sox shit and cheer loudly to prove they are real fans (even though this does not really prove anything, anyone with money and lungs can do either of these things). Basically they overcompensate which means the fans there were great, regardless of how much they liked the Red Sox or when they started liking the Red Sox. This stupid theory is not just for Red Sox fans but I have seen it with many of my other favorite teams. It's like when you talk to a person and it is clear they are just becoming a fan of a team, but they are all decked out in gear. They try to blend in by overcompensating.

10. The Atlanta Braves fans are too quiet, too apathetic, and every other negative thing I can think of. I thought they may step up with 60% of the crowd being pro-Red Sox. I was completely and utterly wrong. They stepped down. It was great though, because the Red Sox fans let me yell during the game, which I don't usually get to do in Atlanta. Usually I get a mother covering her child's ears or looking at me when I cheer at a normal Braves game. I probably cheered "Let's Go Javy" or "Come on Javy, don't let the fact our entire team stinks stop you from pitching well" 50 times each.

11. Bobby Cox is done as a manager. He's horrible strategically. Late in the game, when the Red Sox thankfully pulled Wakefield they brought in Manny Delcarmen to pitch. Bobby Cox had Matt Diaz a RH hitter in the on deck circle and then let him bat against the RH pitcher. Why did he not have Diaz come in the game, let the Red Sox make the change to Delcarmen and then bring in Kelly Johnson off the bench, who is a LH hitter? I don't remember what happened but I think Diaz got a walk and got to third, so it worked out for Cox. Despite the fact it worked for him this time, it makes more sense to have a LH guy facing a RH pitcher, especially since the next hitter was also LH. There is a chance Francona may pull Delcarmen for a LH pitcher, which considering he was throwing gas was a good thing.

He also brought in Eric O' Flaherty (a LH pitcher) to face David Ortiz in the hopes Francona would pull Ortiz for a pinch hitter, which did not happen of course, so he intentionally walked Ortiz to face Mark Kotsay. Again, Mr. Magoo (Cox) had it work out for him, but he's killing me. That doesn't count the fact he insists on platooning Soriano and Gonzalez in the closer role despite the fact Soriano has an era around 1.20, while Gonzalez desperately attempts to get runners on base at every opportunity just to see if he can get out of it.

12. Let's talk about the one annoying Red Sox fan. This guy is the one guy that gives the whole group a bad name. He spent a good portion of the game cheering loudly, which is fine, but when Kevin Youkilis got a triple he started jumping up and down and hitting our seats with his big ass clod feet. Then he started getting up and dancing a chicken dance when Ortiz was intentionally walked and screaming, "bok, bok, bok" while his wife/girlfriend who had 2 pounds of make up on, and she did reapply during the game in 95 degree weather, looked on embarrassed. After the Red Sox won he screamed, "Get out of here you motherfuckers! Go home! We won and you suck! Get out of here assholes and go home!" Really, the game was in Atlanta, so it really was home for most of the people. He could have been a fan of any team really, but he was just one of those people that annoy you. Rules #1 and #3 were almost broken during the game when it came to this guy and it wasn't by me.

13. The annoying Red Sox fan started talking shit about me when I mentioned that the Braves should not walk Ortiz because he isn't on steroids anymore. Yes, I did this in clear violation of Rule #1 and to piss him off...but it made me feel better.

14. There was one last thing, and I took a picture and wanted to post it, but could not because it was too blurry...A college age kid had a shirt that said "Red Sox Nation: Memphis, Tennessee Chapter" on it. I almost felt bad for any real Red Sox fans at that point. It has become a club.

In conclusion, both teams' fans pissed me off and both are bandwagon fans at heart. When the Braves aren't in the playoffs the fans are quiet and the Red Sox fans down a little further south are also Braves fans, so I don't even know if they are fans or not or just bandwagoneers. It was a great game but also a little maddening.

I know we all have little stories like this but I thought I would bore you with mine.

Now on to MMQB.

It's one thing to play football in front of 80,000 fans on Sundays, but it's quite another to write about it knowing 1.5 million of you are used to a pro like Peter King.

Let's just say I am sad today because I would bet Trent Green will have better information and something more interesting to say than Peter King ever does. I may not get to make fun of him that much.

I feel a little like Jim Sorgi stepping in for Peyton Manning. (No offense, Jim.)

No Trent, it's more like Steve Young stepping in for Joe Montana.

With football becoming year round now -- and don't tell me spring camps are "voluntary" -- there needs to be concern for increased injuries. I can hear people now say, "As much as players are paid ..." True, players are well compensated, but there becomes a point of diminishing returns.

I love the idea of diminishing returns. This is one reason why I am not sure an increased NFL schedule is a good idea. I think it could reach the point where many players may just take a week off to help their body, much some players do in baseball, or players will be very injured at the end of the year come playoff time and that could affect the product on the field.

You may have heard I recently decided to retire.

Is it considered "deciding to retire" when no team in the NFL actually wants you on their team?

I can completely understand what Brett Favre is going through.

Do you think Peter King made Trent Green write about Brett Favre? I bet so.

I still feel like I can play and if I was in Brett's shoes, I would play. The Vikings have the potential to be a very good team, on both sides of the ball. He also knows the offensive coordinator and could step in the huddle tomorrow and run the offense.

Everyone is still missing the point. It's not that he can't play anymore, it's just that he keeps retiring and unretiring to stay in the spotlight. I have no problem with him still playing, but just make a damn decision and quit trying to screw over the Packers and still be the good guy. That's all I ask.

1) I think with teams going pass happy, there will be at least 10 quarterbacks to throw for over 4,000 yards this season. Seem like a lot? I see six locks and seven more with potential. Let's break it down:

Guaranteed to do it -- Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers.

These are "guarantees" despite the fact Manning, Rodgers, and Rivers broke the 4,000 yard mark last year by 2, 39, and 9 yards respectively. Green also took the NFL leaders last year, except Jay Cutler, and listed them. Not exactly going out on a limb.

Potential to do it -- Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo and Matt Hasselbeck.

Theoretically any QB in the NFL should have the potential to do this. Also, considering McNabb is 32 and has never thrown for 4,000 yards I would say he may not have the potential to do this and the same thing goes for Matt Hasselbeck at the age of 33. I also don't think Matt Schaub or Matt Cassel will be able to hit 4,000 yards this year but I could be wrong. So on his list that leaves Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, and Jay Cutler. Maybe he is right about that, but I am not sure what would give him the idea a quarterback who has played in the league for 10 years could hit 4,000 yards passing when they have never done that and a guy like Matt Ryan who had 3,400 last year in his rookie year and now has Tony Gonzalez on his team could not reach this mark.

2) I think I'm going crazy because I feel like we've been talking about Brett Favre and his retirement since the new millennium. You want to play, Brett? I hope you do. I've always enjoyed watching you play. But please decide by the start of training camp.

Peter King will not appreciate Trent Green giving Bretty Boy a deadline. We'll see if Trent Green ever gets to be near MMQB again.

The start of training camp is also a little late to be deciding whether a person will be playing football for the upcoming year or not. Just announce it now and that way the media can stop talking before the start of the football season and we can all move on.

3) I think I like that Reggie Bush is keeping a low profile this off-season. Don't be surprised if he has a monster year in the Big Easy.

I am not sure what having a low profile means for his production on the football field, but I am not going to be surprised if he has a monster year receiving. Running the ball, that's another story. I don't feel so confident about that.

4) I think there will be no sophomore slump for either Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan. They are both surrounded by good players and good coaching. They also seem to have the right moxy to handle all of the pressure.

Trent Green's keys to success in the NFL: Keeping a low profile and having moxy. I think he left out hustling and being gritty.

6) I think, actually I know, that Mark Brunell is the last quarterback standing from the 1993 draft class. He's outlasted Drew Bledsoe (No. 1 overall), Rick Mirer (No. 2), Billy Joe Hobert (No. 58), Gino Toretta (No. 192), Alex Van Pelt (No. 216), Elvis Grbac (No. 219) and me (No. 222). Keep going, Mark! I'll be pulling for you.

Out of all those elite names and future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, it's amazing Mark Brunell is the last guy standing.

I think Gino Toretta was the first one to go out of the league from that class with Rick Mirer a close second.

b) I was recently in Cooperstown, N.Y., with my son's baseball team for a tournament. My wife and I decided to take the family to Niagara Falls after the tournament because we had never been and didn't know when we would get back to that part of the country. The Falls is truly amazing. If you're going, take the time to get a passport. The views from the Canadian side will literally make you just stand there and stare.

I have to say it is a bad thing for Peter King when a non-professional writer can take Peter's place writing MMQB and still write very closely to how Peter writes.

I've got news for you: The Greens would make for a great reality show to destroy all those Hollywood stereotypes about retirement. Because youth baseball practices and games consume a lot of our evenings, we rarely have time for the five of us to sit down for dinner. We found a rare opportunity last week and about five minutes into the meal, Janelle, 3, says she's not hungry anymore and refuses to sit in her seat. Just then, Derek, 9, reaches for a bowl of fruit and one of his elbows knocks over his glass of milk. TJ, 11, goes into big brother mode and begins the verbal jabs. As my wife Julie hurried for some towels, the boys continue jawing and Janelle starts running around the table singing some song, REALLY LOUD. As Julie returns with the towels, she sees me sitting there, mouth open, watching all of this unfold. She gets my attention and I just begin to laugh. I look at her and say, "If people only knew." Welcome to retirement, Trent!

Yes, if people only knew what it was like to retire at the age of 38 and being set for the rest of their life. I know Trent Green wants to be like everyone else but this little moment he presented to us is not even reality. Imagine going through all of this with your family and having to work for the next 30 years to retire just as your body is starting to deteriorate. That's how it is for a lot of families, Trent Green can't really relate to this. This is a realistic family situation he presents but doesn't end with most families having a parent being retired at 38. You don't get too many brownie points from me in this case if you are Trent Green.

10) I think I hope Peter King has a great vacation. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity.

Where are the inane and mindless observations of the baseball? Where is the annoying traveling note? I miss Peter, he is so much more self involved and whiny. It's much easier to make fun of.


RuleBook said...

In honor of Peter King, I found this gem from football outsiders, and thought it would be well received here. It's a list of the 25 most underrated players of the decade. Coming in at number 8 is Keith Bulluck. The comment from FBO:

8. Keith Bulluck: Bulluck is one stable anchor in a Tennessee defense that has had up and down performances because of salary cap constraints. Year after year, Bulluck has led his team among outside linebackers in highest percentage of defensive plays, with numbers similar to inside linebackers on other teams. He might be underrated because he rarely rushes the passer. Aaron Curry, this is your future.

Come to think of it, Peter King never did seem to think much of Keith Bulluck...

ivn said...

somewhere Peter is reading the part about Niagra Falls, shaking his head, and thinking, "sure, Trent, but how is the coffee there?"

and I think Buchholz for Ramirez would be a fantastic trade

Bengoodfella said...

That's great. I like that they acknowledged, sort of, that the rushing the passer thing can be a little overrated in some defensive schemes...or they said something similar.

Actually, I think Peter King doesn't think much of Keith because he was involved with the Terrible Towel stomping. Last week he quoted Bulluck as saying he would not do it again this year, but I think Peter was just pointing out how unprofessional it was. Finally, we learn the real reason Peter doesn't like him has nothing to do with towels, but rushing the passer.

Bengoodfella said...

Hey, hold Ivn...aren't you a Red Sox fan? You can't have Ramirez! I am not quite ready for him to go play for the Yankees or Red Sox quite yet. Give me another year and I will be ready.

The Casey said...

"Like Jim Sorgi stepping in for Peyton Manning"??

More like Byron Leftwich stepping in for Joey Harrington.

KentAllard said...

To be nitpicky, Mirer lasted until at least 2004, so he was one of the last of the class to leave. He started for Oakland in 2003, but nobody noticed since it was Oakland.

Bandwagon fans are the bane of every sports fan's existence. I think they annoy the supporters of the team they jump on more than their opponents.

Bengoodfella said...

Go ahead and be nitpicky on that because in no way did I look up when Mirer left the league. I just thought about when I thought he left and then wrote. He started for Oakland in 2003? I guess they got Rich Gannon the year after that...

I am annoyed by bandwagon fans. Mostly when they start listing the teams they like. I know this person who says they are a Duke fan but also like Maryland and also like another team...I just ignore anything that comes out of their mouth when it comes to that.

I think I am just so protective of my teams I take bandwagoneers much harder than others do. Maybe I am a snob.

ivn said...

hey the Red Sox were kind enough to loan him to the Marlins for a couple of years in the first place and now that he's proven himself maybe it's time for him to come back. the Marlins can have Mike Lowell back if they want.

/baseball imperialism
//the Red Sox and Yankees really are the NATO and former USSR of baseball, aren't they

also, Red Sox fans aren't that great in Fenway Park...not since the first World Series win, when Henry/Lucchino turned Fenway into an amusement park and created "Red Sox Nation". it used to be a much better crowd but now it's reaching Wrigley Field "let's go here to be seen" levels. and I hate the goddamn bandwagoners. I met a girl out here who hadn't even been to Boston until last summer, and claimed she wasn't a fairweather fan because she didn't root for the team in 2004 (the year they won it) but rather in 2005 (the year after they won it), I shit you not.

also, Mariners fans seem to be similar to Braves fans only with a veneer of smug. it's like they think they're too cool to be seen getting into a baseball game. I've stuck out like a sore thumb at every M's game I've been at. the last one I went to, against the Tigers in April, I was actively berating the crowd for starting a fucking wave when Seattle had runners in scoring position. I'm almost surprised I didn't get kicked out, with the lame-ass "text complaints to security" system a lot of ballparks have these days.

AJ said...

Does it really matter how long a QB lasted from that draft class? When was the last time Mark actually played in a game? Just because you are a 3rd string QB doesn't mean you lasted longer, it means you were to stupid to retire. If you go from starter to 2nd or 3rd string, its time to lace them up.

I laughed at your number 13.

Oh, I think the Cubs have a ton of bandwagen fans out there as well...I went to the Tigers-Cubs game last weekend and the place was packed with them. I really hope they never win a WS, I'm afraid they may turn into the Sox or Yankees if that happens.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, in that case I would like to have J.D. Drew back to the Braves. Yes, I realize he was never traded. I never thought I would actually request J.D. Drew back on the Braves team, but that is what the current OF has done to me.

I think cheering for the team in 2005 still counts as bandwagonism. I don't know how to hold a conversation with a person like that. Well if Fenway is anything like what I saw Saturday it has to be 1,000 times better than Turner Field, where enthusiasm goes to die.

The fans used to not be this bad but now it is just dead quite there. Maybe I am just not used to fans like that. The scoreboard even did a whole run down of the Red Sox history before the game and celebrated their win in the 2004 World Series. Are you kidding me? They actually catered to the Red Sox fans, it was insane. I think they are too polite.

Bengoodfella said...

I guess it doesn't really matter how long a QB from a draft class lasts. Maybe they look at it from a source of pride like they outlasted the other players, I am not sure. I think Mark Brunell should take the attitude that Trent Green has where if he becomes a backup or a third stringer it is time to quit collecting a paycheck and let someone else take over. Maybe he loves the game so much.

#13 is an example of when I say something just to piss someone off even though I don't actually believe it. I just wanted to irritate the guy and it worked. He started talking shit about me.

I also forgot to talk about the guy who wore the "Brokeback Jeter" shirt, which was woefully out of place and the four Red Sox fan kids on Peachtree Street who were pretending they could not read my shirt and had not heard of Brian McCann or Chipper Jones. Apparently they thought it would rile me up to hear them call him "Bre-on Mac-Caan," and I don't remember how they mispronounced Chipper's name. I wanted to push them in the street but did not because I can appreciate the irony of having a couple of kids make fun of simple words like Jones and McCann when they have players on their team named Pedroia, Youkilus, Matsuzaka, and Okajima. (I may have misspelled some of those names)

I think the Cubs have a great chance to end up with an even worse attitude than the Yankees and Red Sox. I have been to a Cubs-Braves game and there were not that many Cubs fans there considering how popular they are supposed to be. If they won a World Series it would be another story. I don't think I could stand a Cubs World Series, it would probably be pretty bad with the bandwagonism.

I went to a Yankees game last year and I sort of liked their passion for the game and wished the Braves fans had that. I have been to an Orioles game and there was really nothing of excitement to report. They were like Braves fans really.

Martin said...

Ivn beat me to it. I know that Peter had to be wondering where the coffee report was.

Trent took so many hits to the head he thinks that his family life is somehow reflective of retirement...while Hollywoods is unrealistic. Mind numbing how ignorant he is.

So the trade would be Bucholz, some lefty in AA, and 10 million dollars for the Marlin owners to horde, right?

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know anything about a lefty from AA and money, this guy wanted the trade straight up for Ramirez. I should not make too much fun because it seems like every Braves fan wants to trade Francouer for Jose Guillen...ok, not every fan, but enough of them.

There was no coffee talk. Such a disappointment. I really did miss Peter's elitist attitude throughout the column.

Martin said...

Ha, no the rest after Bukholz was jsut a joke, trying to fill in the other parts that a team like the REd Sox would give the Marlins. You know the Fish would want cashey money upfront, players second.

Bengoodfella said...

I completely have no sense of humor apparently. That's pretty good. Actually if the Marlins were offered just $10 million dollars they may make the trade.