Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Colonel Sanders Finger Lickin Picks - Super Bowl Edition

I don't know if this is late. It seems that talk about the Super Bowl starts way too early (the second after Peyton Manning chokes or divine intervention thrusts him into the Super Bowl). All I know is that Ole' Man Winter is thrusting his nether regions into the clouds around Denver.

Now onto my locks that even MacGyver couldn't pick:

Bears (+7) at Indy: Bears. I don't see the Colts getting anywhere near the 7 points that they are being given. The Bears defense is too good and they can actually run the ball...getting it out of the hands of the Colts.

O/U: 48 points. Gotta love the over. Even though the Bears defense will hold the Colts, I don't see this game under 48 points. My prediction is 38-28 Bears (yes MJ, this one is for you)

As a final aside, here is a picture from a recent photo shoot in the tundra of the Rockies. Two Ohioans, a former Ohioan and a California Swede all are on top of the mountain...are they a) former OSU fans (in red and gray) trying to freeze themselves at 12600 feet in the middle of winter for choking b) in need of some serious Chap Stick and Gold Bond c) really ugly Midwesterners or d) all of the above

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Super Bowl Preview: Welcome to McDowell’s

After the smashing success during last year’s Super Bowl preview of the discovery that Mike Holmgren is indeed Col. Mustard, I thought I’d try to replicate the same kind of formula. You see, for the longest time, I’ve really believed that Lovie Smith is actually Mr. Cleo McDowell, owner of McDowell’s restaurant in Coming to America (or the military guy from Die Hard 2 who pretends to be a good guy, but actually is a bad guy. If you hadn’t seen Die Hard 2 yet, I apologize).

For those who need a little refresher, McDowell is the one that gave a priceless quote in Coming to America: “Look... me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's... I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.”

Similar to Mr. McDowell, Lovie Smith/Coach McDowell has tried to re-create the Bears in a similar fashion to the 1985 Bears. The 1985 Bears had one of the best defenses ever. So what does Coach McDowell do? He helps create one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2006, but with a deficient and injury-riddled secondary (it’s like losing the sesame seeds). The 1985 Bears had a hall-of-fame RB on their roster. So what does Coach McDowell do? He uses two RBs, which together almost equaled what Walter Payton did in 1985. The 1985 Bears had a white QB, drafted in the 1st round, who was in his 4th year, with a 1-syllable name of “Jim.” So what does Coach McDowell do? He gets a white QB, drafted in the 1st round, who is in his 4th year but calls him “Rex,” which just happens to also be a 1-syllable name!

This blatant copying by Coach McDowell of the 1985 Bears just makes my stomach turn, and I’m not even from Chicago. I even sent a photographer over to some of the Bears practices, and then sent the pictures to Buddy Ryan and Refrigerator Perry, just to prove that Coach McDowell is copying them!

The only problem is, Coach McDowell has been unable to get much of a consistency on offense or from his QB. It must be pointed out, as CBS/Fox did in their stats two weeks ago, that Rex Grossman has the 2nd-most amount of games this season where he achieved a passer rating mark of over 100, but he also has the most amount of games this season below the passer rating mark of 40. Rex is very reliant on the homerun play, and there really is no explanation for how he can be so terrible one week, and so proficient in other weeks. It’s like trying to open a McDonald’s, and you don’t know on any day if you will have any French Fries available. I mean, sometimes the customers are happy eating just hamburgers, but eventually, you need to be certain that French Fries will be available in addition to the hamburgers. What if the hamburger doesn’t fill up the customer? You can’t always rely on customers getting “special” desserts to fill them up! In addition, some customers only will be satisfied by eating French Fries!

Ultimately, Rex is someone not to be trusted, which really makes McDowell’s a restaurant that you can’t rely on. Consumers don’t ever know if they will be getting French Fries with their meals. So, it really is inevitable that I have to pick the Colts to win this game.

In my football preview for this year, I actually picked the Colts over the Giants, in a sick, twisted Manning Brother Bowl. So, while I continually refused to believe in the Colts during the playoffs (I picked against them every week), my intuition back in August proved to be superior. And it’s this same intuition from August that I will follow at this point. Of course it’s possible that Coach McDowell and the Bears serve up enough defense/hamburgers to not even need to worry about the inconsistent availability of any offense/French Fries. Or maybe the special treat of a special team touchdown from Hester will save the Bears. Look, for the Bears to succeed, not only do they need to create turnovers, but they also have to deal with the roller coaster ride that is Rex Grossman. Take a look at what happened this season, each week, with a turnover ratio:

Week 1.....+2..... beat Packers by 26 (Grossman = 1 TO)
Week 2.....+2..... beat Lions by 27 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 3..... 0...... beat Vikings by 3 (Grossman = 2 TO)
Week 4.....+2..... beat Seahawks by 31 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 5.....+4..... beat Bills by 33 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 6.....-4..... beat Cardinals by 1 (Grossman = 6 TO)
Week 8.....+5..... beat 49ers by 31 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 9.....-4..... lost to Dolphins by 18 (Grossman = 4 TO)
Week 10....0..... beat Giants by 18 (Grossman = 1 TO)
Week 11....+2..... beat Jets by 10 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 12....+1..... lost to Patriots by 4 (Grossman = 4 TO)
Week 13....0...... beat Vikings by 10 (Grossman = 3 TO)
Week 14....+1.... beat Rams by 15 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 15....+1.... beat Tampa by 3 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 16....+1.... beat Lions by 5 (Grossman = 0 TO)
Week 17....-5.... lost to Packers by 19 (Grossman = 4 TO)
Divisional rd.... -1... beat Seahawks by 3 (Grossman = 1 TO)
NFC Champ.... +4... beat Saints by 25 (Grossman = 0 TO)

Which means by my unofficial count, Grossman makes 1.44 TO per game. Ultimately, the Bears defense then needs to create (probably) at least 3 turnovers for Coach McDowell to win, and the odds are that they will not get it. I don’t believe that the Colts will turn it over that many times, in fact, the odds are that they won’t, because 3 turnovers is A LOT. Furthermore, since when does a copycat ever become #1 in anything? Coach McDowell has a large mountain to climb.

Suddenly, if you thought you saw a lot of Peyton Manning commercials in 2006, just wait until 2007 plays out! Peyton’s going to be pitching everything from cars, to microwave dinners, to male enhancement products!

Pick: Indy 27, Chicago 20

Last week: 0-2 (I have no idea what I’m doing, and actually, it’s my 2nd straight year of going 0-2 on the Final 4 weekend)
Playoffs: 4-6 (even worse than terrible).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cheers and Jeers: Hurricane, New Orleans Style

Cheers and Jeers: Hurricane, New Orleans Style
• 1 oz White rum
• 1 oz Jamaican Rum
• 1 oz Bacardi 151 proof rum
• 3 oz Orange juice with pulp
• 3 oz unsweetened Pineapple juice
• 1/2 oz Grenadine
• Crushed Ice
Mixing instructions:
Combine all ingredients, mix well (shake or stir). Pour over crushed ice in Hurricane glass. Best enjoyed through small straw… Garnish with fruit wedge if desired.

Cheers: To Mighty Mike. It is a privilege to be called from the bullpen to assume operational control of Cheers and Jeers for the next few months. Thank you and safe journey. In the power vacuum left by the lack of sandwich, beware of your mortal enemy ham.

Jeers: To a slow week in sports. The Superbowl pre-game hype is the main item on the agenda.

The match-up is curious one. Mighty and I have gone back and forth on the details and here is the result:
Total Offense: Advantage = Colts
Running Attack: Advantage = Da Bears
Passing: Advantage = Colts

Defense: Advantage = Da Bears
Special Teams: Advantage = Da Bears.

Pick???? Da Bears. This is the year of the National League (Go Cards) and the NFC.

Cheers: To two African-American NFL coaches in the Superbowl. BSD has discussed the lack of diversity amongst NFL head coaches. Both coaches provide fantastic role models, and both are well spoken, classy individuals.

Cheers and Jeers: To the City of New Orleans. Never in my life have I seen a city ripe with contradiction. Today I saw the devastation inside a US city that I never hope to witness again in my lifetime. The tourism industry has re-opened along brokwn windows, FEMA trailers, and scars of a proud city. Residents of this city were smiling while picking up the pieces of their mangled homes and neighborhoods. New Orleans is a ghost town. It waits to see if residents will return and rebuild the community.

On a lighter note... please enjoy this picture.

Friday, January 26, 2007

So long and thanks for all the fish

Dear Friends,
For over two and half years now I have had the pleasure to write at least one column a week for the BSD. That's certainly more effort that I think most columnists do at their papers. There have been high points: UNC winning a championship, Carthon being fired, threat down lists and more. There have also been lowlights: picking the Dolphins in the playoffs, watching the Badgers play basketball, all things Florida, etc. Along the way this site has gone from a lonely outpost to one thriving with debate, one that has search engine for its copious archives and one that has not gotten me sued. However as any good writer knows, new experiences are needed to fuel the fires of creativity. As such I will be taking a sabbatical from my desk here in America and spreading my wings in Europe for the next 4 to 5 months. I will occasionally be writing a bit called "Notes from the Periphery" for the blog but otherwise I'll be taking a well deserved break. Thank you all for making this blog a refuge for the damned I mean Sports Fan.


Mighty Mike

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A moment of seriousness....

While we kid and joke, this blog really is apart of a phenomenon that has changed how news is delivered. Stories that might be buried (whether true or not) tend to fly across the internet at the speed of light. Typically I'm fairly loathe to report on rumors and innuedos as we all have cable news to handle that for us. However in this case its a topic thats a senstitive and important one for me and has been discussed in the Chicago Tribune (meaning its a least important enough to discuss) so I'll pull a pseudo-impersonation of Fox News and do a "I report, You Decide".

The story centers around the question as to if Sean Salisbury on Sunday while discussing Peyton Manning made an anti-semetic comment. In particular the incident played out as reported in the Tribune (see above link)
Describing Manning's calmness in the second half, Salisbury said, "No need to panic. We'll nip. We'll tuck. We'll go. We'll crunch."

Salisbury maintains he next said, "We'll chew. We'll do it all and they nickel and dimed them and Peyton made the plays when it mattered."

However, some bloggers allege instead of saying, "We'll chew," Salisbury said, "We'll Jew."

Fortunately for the truth, these bloggers actually have a recording of the incident at Deadspin here. Listen to the clip and decide for yourself and then decide if ESPN's non-action on this story is ok. Also feedback on the proper role of the internet on stories like this is cool too. As I said a moment of seriousness...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Athletes who Change their Names

For those who didn’t hear, Houston Texan RB Domanick Davis has decided to change his name to Domanick Williams. Domanick is crazy, because he’s also changing his uniform number, is running on a new knee, and odds are, he’ll even be wearing new shoes, socks, and underwear. Only time will tell if the name change was a wise decision, at least on-the-field.

With his upcoming name change, I started to wonder, are there any trends in terms of players performing better or worse after changing their names??? This is an important question, at least from the perspective of whether any of us should consider drafting Domanick Williams on fantasy draft day.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 athletes who changed their name, and if you ask why it’s a top 10, it’s because I couldn’t think of any more. Of course, I’m sure someone else visiting BSD or reading this article will think of another, and I hope everyone will help contribute.

Top 10 Athletes Who Changed Their Name

1) – Muhammad Ali who was Cassius Clay – No need for me to write anything here. He was good before, and a legend after the name change.

2) – Kareem Abdul Jabbar who was Lew Alcindor – No introduction needed here either.
Before the name change: 3 NCAA Championships, 3 All-American First Teams, 3 Most Outstanding Player in the Tourney, 1st Ever Naismith winner; 1 NBA Championship and 1 NBA Finals MVP; says he changed his name before the 1971-1972 NBA Season.
After the name change: 5 more NBA MVPs, 5 more NBA Championships

3) – Amahd Rashad who was Bobby Moore – Changed his name in 1971, before his NFL career began.
Before the name change: 2-time All-American
After the name change: played from 1972-1982, 44 TDs, and became host of NBA’s Inside Stuff.

4) Hakeem Olajuwon who was Akeem Olajuwon
Changed his name on March 9, 1991, right in the middle of the season! (I’m just going to include the 1990-1991 season as being with his original name):
Before the name change: Back-to-back 2nd place finishes in NCAA Tourney
NBA – 23 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 3.43 blocks/game (wow!), 51.4% FG%
After the name change: 2 NBA Championships, 20.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.85 blocks/game, 51.1% FG%

5) World B. Free who was Lloyd Free (Shooting guard)
Not sure if this really counts, because it sounds like he already had the nickname of “World”, and he just legally changed his name in 1980.
Before the name change: 19.8 ppg, 46.8% FG% (leading scorer in 1979-1980 season, averaging 30.2 ppg)
After the name change: 21.0 ppg, 44.9% FG% (NO playoff appearances!) ; Dick Vitale uses his name in college basketball season previews to give the award for best name.

6) Chad Johnson who was Ocho Cinco who was Chad Johnson
I love Ocho Cinco, even though he only practiced once as Ocho Cinco, and then became Chad Johnson once again. However, I believe it was the spirit of Ocho Cinco that danced the touchdown celebration that day in celebration of NFL Hispanic month.

7) Albert Belle who was Joey Belle
Albert changed his name after battling alcoholism. Battling alcoholism did not affect his rage though, as he still threw a ball at a fan, corked his bat, chased kids away by driving his SUV at them, and then, after retirement, got thrown in jail for stalking his x-girlfriend. Good times!
Personally, the way he stalked his girlfriend was smart. I mean, he basically copied Batman’s M.O. and used his ideas for evil (or is it sketchiness?), by placing electrical tracking devices on his girlfriend’s car.
Before the name change: BA .225, 7HR, 37 RBI (part of 1 season)
After the name change: BA .295, 374 HR, 1202 RBI (11 seasons)
On a random note, I found this fun quote about Belle:
''In the end, he only had two teammates who'd talk to him. But Kenny Lofton gave up on him and began blasting him to the press. And Wayne Kirby gave up about halfway through his last season. What was truly scary about Belle is that he was smart. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was a rational thug."
And here’s another good quote, from the same article… “Mike Hargrove told me last year that he might not want to invite Albert over to the house, but he belonged in the Hall of Fame."

8) Mahmoud Abdul-Raouf who was Chris Jackson (guard for the Denver Nuggets)
It appears that he changed his name in 1991, 1 year after getting drafted.
Before the name change: teammate of Shaq’s at LSU, 2 NCAA tourney appearances (made the 2nd round once); First-team All-American
After the name change: 9 NBA Seasons, 14.6ppg, 3.5 apg, 35.4% 3pointers, 90.5% FT%, 1 controversy involving Mahmoud’s refusal to stand during the national anthem.

9) Bison Dele who was Brian Williams (forward for the Bulls, Pistons, Magic, Nuggets, and Clippers)
Changed his name in 1998.
Before the name change: 9.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 54.2% FG%, 1 NBA Championship
After the name change: 14.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 50.8% FG%, 1 Tragedy (killed or lost at sea, wikipedia cites sources claim that Bison’s brother probably killed him)

10) Michael Jackson who was Michael Dyson who was Michael Jackson – (Browns receiver)
He changed his name to his mom’s maiden name for all of 1 week in 1993, causing mass confusion in many fantasy leagues, including the following description of the problem: (“Browell searched the paperlooking for any activity by Cleveland receiver Michael Jackson, their 6th round pick. The reason that they did not find any was that he changed his name to Michael Dyson.”) (“They drafted him as "Michael Jackson", but he changed his name to "Michael Dyson". He scored in week 1 and all the necessary corrections were made to all league records. In week 2, B/B needed a touchdown from "Michael Dyson" to win going into Monday's game with JONES/KLINGMAN. Instead, "Michael Jackson" scored the touchdown and B/B got his 24-17 win. Jackson/Dyson is not sure what name he will play under next week.”)
Before the name change: (approximately, can’t find boxscores from 1993) – 64 rec., 1023 yards, 9 TDs
After the name change to Dyson (for 1 game!): can’t find the boxscores, but we know Jackson got at least 1 TD.
After the name change back to Jackson: approximately – 284 rec., 4250 yards, 36 TDs

Final Conclusion:
It seems like each of the players that I could think of, certainly maintained the same level of play, and in a lot of situations, they even played better with the new name. So, this means that I will at least consider drafting Domanick Williams this summer! Of course, he still plays for the Texans, so it's not necessarily a good pick anyway!

Cheers and Jeers: Italian Sunset


For those that are unaware this will be my last cheers and jeers for awhile here at BSD. I will post tomorrow my final thoughts, parting shots, and goodbyes before I go on sabbatical. While I leave the Cheers and Jeers column in the capable hands of Publius starting next week, I thought before I waxed off (and then on) I would do one last cheers and jeers. Luckily the great Mahamikey can peer into the future to determine what will be worthy of cheering and what will be worthy of jeering while I am gone.

Cheers: Both the Colts and Bears will try to convince America to support their cause. The Colts will offer Eli Manning as a human sacrifice and free gatoraid. The Bears will promise not to make any music videos if they win. America without hesitation throws its support behind the Bears.

Jeers: In spite of America's support the Bears will overcome the combined powers of Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders and Jesus. This will be Jesus' first playoff loss since the fall of Constantinople.

Cheers: On the bright side, Tom Brady during a halftime interview will propose to Jake Gyllenhal, who will ecstatically accept. This marriage made in heaven, if it was run out of San Francisco, will usher in a period of tolerance towards celebrity gay marriages (just not the regular kind).

Cheers: Barbaro will finally be released from the hospital much to the joy of his legions of fans. He will go on to be Rookie Stud of the Month for February according to Horse Breeding Weekly.

Jeers: Gutsy (artist rendition of Gutsy at right) will finally discover the secret anti-life equation, which will give him the power to correctly predict the NCAA tournament. Fortunately, Superman will step in to stop Gutsy when the power goes to his head when he picks Butler in the Final 4.

Jeers: Florida will return to the Final 4 of the Maddest of Mad tournaments. This will cause an outbreak of praying over fears that the forces of good have fled the Earth.

Cheers: Hope will be restored when Florida will be tripped up by one of the three other Final Four teams: UCLA, UNC and Wisconsin. Somehow, someway Jesus or possibly Eskimos will find a way to stop Satan Florida. And there will be much rejoicing.

Cheers: Barbaro will sing the national anthem at the start of the NCAA Tournament Championship game, becoming the first non-human since Rosanne Barr to receive this honor.

Cheers: A BSD first will be achieved when the Hitman publishes his investigative journalism piece on Barry Bonds. The article will reveal that Bonds resorted to using gamma radiation to unleash the beast within himself in his attempt to surpass Hank Aaron. Unfortunately, the Giants will void Bonds contract after this news. In retaliation, Bonds announces he will become the scourge of humanity for this insult and will lay waste to San Francisco. For years to come the name Barry Bonds will become synonymous with the boogeyman as parents will tell their children "Eat your vegetables kids or Bonds will get you"

Jeers: After absolutely no forethought what so ever Mighty Mike will predict a (sigh) Subway Series in the World Series between the Mets and the Yankees. Publius will weep openly at this prospect or at the picture his television gives him after he orders the Hi-Def channels or both. It will be unclear which one.

Cheers: Barbaro will become the first animal to sail around the world in a balloon. Steve Fawcett will resort to using oxycontin to contain his bitterness. In an unrelated story Colonel will make millions selling prescription drugs to an unnamed billionaire balloonist. He will immediately lose it all at the racetrack.

Jeers: Having run out of generals that support regime change, Bush will appoint retired Civil War era general Ambrose E. Burnside to lead an American Expeditionary Force to overthrow the government in Montreal and install Youppi as king of this new nation.

Cheers: In his first act as King of Montreal, Youppi will marry Hitman to his lovely bride. In honor of the event MJ will avoid swearing for the first 30 seconds of the ceremony before he remembers Bill Simmons compared a Boston team to the Yankees at which point he will start swearing again. Also juice will be served.

Cheers: To honor the Youppi monarchy and the Hitman's marriage, Barbaro will not only compete in the Kentucky Derby but will win it. He will be the only horse to overcome a broken leg to win the Derby. Later he will briefly serve as Montreal's ambassador to the United Nations.

Jeers: To avoid Steve Nash becoming MVP for the third consecutive season voters will give Dirk Nowitzki the trophy. Dirk will thank David Hasselhouf for the inspiration behind his season causing humanity once again to lose faith in good overcoming evil.

Cheers: In a surprise move the Yankees not only sign Roger Clemens to a deal but also Barbaro. In fact, the Yanks will rely on the pitching rotation of: Pettite, Clemens, Barbaro, Wang and Mussina to propel them to a record number of wins. Barbaro will become the first to win Rookie of the Year awards in both Baseball and Studding in the same year since Derek Jeter.

Jeers: An international manhunt will ensue after David Stern refuses to hand over the Larry O'Brien Trophy to Mark Cuban. After Dallas wins the NBA Championship, Stern will flee the country rather than suffer through the indignity of being in the same room as Cuban. Stern will ask for and receive amnesty in Venezuela under the protection of Hugo Chavez. Cuban will offer a 30 million dollar bounty on Stern, making Stern the most wanted criminal on the planet.

Cheers: Mighty Mike will return to writing Cheers and Jeers, possibly in English. Tom Tancredo will watch his every move to ensure a unilingual BSD.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Simpsons football

In attempt to keep eyes and screen images away from the New England Cheerleaders I thought a little wholesome soccer inspired violence would do the trick. Everyday, but especially after this Sunday's football feast, I wake and I thank the Good Lord that this country has real football.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

MMBSD: Down Goes Frazier!

The first half of the Pats and Colts played out as history would have predicted. An Indy wreckage. Manning scoring touchdowns for the Pats, Asante Samuels doing a great impersonation of Ty Law, Brady building a lead through his perfect hair and Belichick thinking about what kind of hoody he should wear in Miami. However the momentum subtly shifted with an Indy field goal near the end of the half. However the Pats were still well in front. Nothing to worry about if you are Unsufferable ass Pats fan.

New England cheerleader Meghan Vasconcellos (h/t kissmesuzy) apparently nearly lost her top in excitement over New England's first half performance.

However something happened at halftime to cause the laws of thermodynamics to be suspended. Manning was able to stand tall in the face of pressure. He did his best Sexy Rexy impersonation and thrusted into the end zone on three consecutive drives. Still why would one doubt the Patriots? They've been like Walmart: Crushing the hopes and dreams of American cities, mistreating workers and generally winning. It was a close game and Belichick was undefeated in close games in the playoffs(8-0).

While the Colts were up 38-34 a mere 80 odd yards stood between the Golden Boy and his Super Bowl. Whap. Brady pegged Watson for 19 yards. Thwap another 15 yard gain and New England was in Indy territory. However this time would be different as that would be last bit of magic for Brady this season. This time as Brady surveyed the field, the line that had protected him throughout the playoffs buckled. This time Brady made an ill advised throw. And this time a New England opponent actually capitalized on a New England mistake as Marlin Jackson intercepted Brady. Down went the aura of invincibility. Down went the choke title for Manning. Down goes Frazier!

Winning was finally able to quit Tom Brady

Meanwhile over in the NFC land the national audience got to see the two faces of Sexy Rexy. In the first half the gunslinger, while avoiding the interceptions, was only able to connect with players that were standing on the sidelines. It was the second half that the Ladies Man was able to find the right spot and excite the women of Chicago. By the end, New Orleans couldn't withstand the Bears D and the Rexinator. Between the New England and New Orleans loss Peter King is sobbing gently somewhere.

South Beach women prepare for Rextinction

Quick hits:

Apparently Pittsburgh hired Mike Tomlin better known as Omar Epps as their next coach. Then they hired Russ Grimm. Then both. And then finally Tomlin. Man where the hell was ESPN getting its info on that story? I would hope that the sports media covers the fact that two black coaches are facing each other in the Super Bowl as opposed to just two friends. I also hope the media ignores Rush Limbaugh who will be unable to avoid racial slurs. For those aren't paying attention Amare Stoudmaire is back. If he can keep it up the match-up between him and Dirk in the playoffs could be one for the ages. Over here in local news the Cleveland Browns hired an offensive coordinator named "Chud". I'm not sure what a Chud is but it sounds dirty. The conclusion of the Conference Championship games concludes this season of MMBSD. As a parting image, the patron saint of Back Seat Driving, The Princess of Hotness ….Scarlett Johansson.


Thursday, January 18, 2007


1. Concussions and player safety are very serious subjects, so when I read this, I immediately wondered how the NFL will respond and, more importantly, if the NFLPA will press the league for better protection for its members. It’s scary to hear that a 44-year old man had the brain tissue of an 85-year old Alzheimer’s patient. That’s unacceptable and I hope the league and the union come up with a way to improve helmet safety.

2. The Hot Stove season might be about over – pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training a little less than a month from now – but don’t tell that to the Atlanta Braves who are about to finalize a trade with the Pirates for lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez. In return, the Braves will send first baseman Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh.

I’m torn on this deal. On the one hand, the Braves might have the best late-inning bullpen in their division, and perhaps in all of the NL, by teaming up closer Bob Wickman with a righty/lefty power tandem of Rafael Soriano and Gonzalez. On the other hand, their lineup, nothing special to begin with, got a little bit worse without the 30 homers that LaRoche hit in 2006. There are always ways to replace 30 homers, but given the young makeup of the Braves lineup, save for Andruw and Chipper Jones, Atlanta seems like a team that could go through prolonged slumps with such a young and inexperienced cast.

For the Pirates, LaRoche gives star outfielder Jason Bay some much-needed protection in the lineup. I see no downside for them, other than losing an effective closer. However, since just about anyone can be groomed for the 9th inning role, the Pirates can piece together their bullpen knowing that finally, for the first time in nearly 20 years, they might have a league-average offense.

3. I was thinking the other day how people have praised the Red Sox for their offseason spending spree, improving their rotation and their lineup with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Julio Lugo, and JD Drew. Then I thought about this: the Red Sox are going into 2007 with Mike Timlin, Craig Hansen, and Joel Piniero as their top candidates for the closer’s role. In the case of the latter, they signed Piniero to a one-year, $4M contract. Texas signed Eric Gagne to a one-year, $6M contract. Assuming both stay healthy, who do you think will be the better closer? For a scant $2M less, the Red Sox sure seem pleased with themselves.

The Red Sox have proven to me that they are a schizophrenic organization. Boston’s approach to building a baseball team since the 2004 World Series has revealed that they are far more concerned with how they are perceived vis à vis the Yankees than with the day-to-day rigors of building a great baseball team.

Honestly, when I realize stuff like this, it reminds me of how good it is to be a Yankee fan – Pride, Power, Pinstripes (and making your biggest rival do crazy things).

Letter from the Stars: Bill Belichick Edition

(note from the Editor: Occasionally we get letters from famous athletes, coaches and political figures to correct any errors we have published here at our online maganize. Recently we received one from the coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick. As such we are publishing his letter in its unedited form).

Dear Back Seat Drivers,

Let me let you in on a little secret, I am that good. I'm the smartest man in the NFL. As soon as I off that Hawkings asshole I'll be the smartest man in the world. I can fall asleep in my office after taking one too many bong hits, wander over to the game wearing a trash bag and still out coach Marty the Party. Watching Marty try to coach is like watching Shannon Sharpe try to read the teleprompter. It's just going to end in failure. You know why I dress this way? Because I can. Eat your heart out Jack Del Rio. All the fucking fancy suits in the world won't help your team to beat mine. That's right…I am a football god. Gibbs, Parcells, Brown, Landry….morons next to me. Yeah, I'm talking to you Parcells. Without me you can't even beat Seattle. That's not even a real city. And while I'm at it, get yourself a bra, you're disgracing yourself.

I can create defenses in my sleep. I can make Tom Brady wash my car and make him love doing it. Yeah, he thought when he took a pay cut I'd help re-sign his players. Fuck no. Why'd I screw him over? Because I can. You don't need star players when you have the Billseye (when you're this good you can give yourself nicknames). I could sign a bunch of autistic monkeys and they'd still be a better defense than the shit they role out in San Diego. That's right Tomlinson. I told my players to mock your team, your friends, your coach, and your city. I then applied a tight zone coverage to your wife and banged the hell out of her. Nobody beats the Bill. Nobody.

Hear that Peyton. You can watch all the film you want. You can get a big film party together with you, Eli, Archie and any other Heimlich candidate you can dig up. You can get to the line of scrimmage and dance around like a fairy making your audibles. It won't make a fuck of difference because I own you. Any time I want I can blitz your sorry ass and make you wet yourself with fear. I just have to snap my fingers and one of my players is going to be bouncing his balls off your chin (and they won't have the common courtesy to shave them first either). Why not save whatever remaining dignity you have and go slouch over to the Losers' Corner… I'm sorry I think it's called the CBS pre-game show now. You and Marino and Esiason can count how many Super Bowl rings you have. Then you can all ask yourselves how many fewer you all combined have when compared to me. Here's a hint. It’s a lot. However if you want to take the field and be humiliated by my superior intellect again, go right ahead, it's your funeral. Just remember I am that good.

Kneel Before Zod!

--Bill Belichick

Colonel Sanders Finger Lickin' Picks For All Degenerate Gamblers Out There - Playoff Edition - Round 3

Ok so I haven't really been the best prognosticator about the playoff games, I realize that. But I have not given up hope yet. I realize that even if I get the next three games correct, I still will have the same record as the Bungals of the late 90s. If people can actually believe that sending more troops into a civil war will help and that there is no global warming, then people can believe that I am good with the point spreads. Here is my thoughts on the games for this suggestion, bet against them.

NE (+3) at IND: IND. Once again like last week, all of the indicators are pointing to the Pats winning. The record of years past leans towards the Pats. Indy has a QB that is prone to screwing up in big games. Dan Marino's name has been thrown out left and right. However this year I think that it will come down to a field goal. Adam Vinateri will bite the hand that fed him. I trust Vinateri more than a rookie. I think that this will be a America's team vs. the Colts, and what more could you ask for to have someone from YANKton, South Dakota (The land of America's heads) win the game for you. I understand that the Pats are called the Patriots, but you could be a commie pinko and be patriotic about your country. And Gostkowski sure sounds Russian to me. If 7 teenagers can take on the Russians, the Colts sure can...

I think I hear Lee Greenwood in the background...

NO (+3) at CHI: NO. I just don't trust Rex Grossman. That is enough reason not to pick the Bears. Plus he went to Florida, and Brees went to a Big 10 school. And the Big 10 did better against the SEC this year in the bowls.

Last Week: 1-3
Total Shitfest: 1-7

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why the Cobra Empire Was Defeated

There are many reasons that Cobra Commander, aka Brian Billick, was defeated last week in Baltimore during his quest for world domination. Here are a few that I noticed:

1) Jonathon Ogden was partying the night before – As seen in this picture, Ogden was out late galavanting around the town, and even found some young, impressionable women who were impressed with his membership in Cobra.

2) Cobra Commander Got Greedy - Near the beginning of the 2nd quarter, with the Cobras only down 6-3, Cobra Commander used the ground game on 6 out of 7 plays to get all the way to the Colts’ 4 yard line. With a 3rd and goal, Cobra Commander got greedy, called a passing play, but the Cobras’ QB didn’t see a Colt that was lurking in the shadows, resulting in a costly INT.

3) Empty Promises, Led to Uninspired Ravens - Some people on the Ravens remember all of Cobra Commander’s empty promises from the 2004 election, and were just not as inspired on Saturday. (Editor’s Note: This may be dated, but it does run through a list of some of Cobra Commander’s great ideas, like having ruby-powered satellites that can teleport troops across the world, and unleashing dinosaur clones. I can’t personally remember if each of these things occurred, but if it sounds absurd enough, I believe Cobra Commander would do it.)

4) Over-Annunciating "S" sounds - Steve McNair crumbled from all of the pressure placed on him from Cobra Commander and also grew irritated by Cobra Commander’s over-annunciation of sounds involving “S,” like "Running Backsss", "Avoiding Missssed Field Goals", "Ray Lewisssss isss your leader.”

5) An Early "Retreat!" - Cobra Commander yelled out “retreat” when the Ravens were down 12-3, because Cobra Commander does not have the patience to overcome a 9-point deficit. At that point, Cobra Commander decided it makes more sense to start figuring out a new absurd plan for conquering the world, because absurd plans entail many weeks of intense brainstorming.

Now that the Cobra is finally defeated, we can all breathe easier, well, accept for the poor Ravens who get blamed for last week's loss. As you can see in this picture, Cobra Commander holds everyone except himself accountable for last week's loss.

Enough about Cobra, now, let's focus on this week's games!

New England @ Indy – It’s kind of ironic that the Pats and the Colts made it into the NFL’s Final 4, when arguably, both teams are probably worse than they were 1 year ago (or at least, they are more inconsistent). It just illustrates how luck, timing, and matchups have a major role in the success of any NFL team. Granted, you could probably use “luck, timing, and matchups” to analyze a lot of other things in life too, like Vegas, meeting Scarlett Johannson, being a 5-time champion on Jeopardy!, etc. (Feel free to make suggestions). As I alluded to in a comment earlier in the week, the Colts D isn’t really fixed, they just have yet to be challenged. The strange thing is though, there’s a 60% chance the Colts will win this rematch from earlier in the season (at least that's what the trends say). In the first game, the Colts somehow got Tom Brady to throw 4 INTs, but I don't see that happening again. Ultimately, you gotta go with the coach more likely to make the right adjustments. Pick: New England

New Orleans @ Chicago – The weather report is currently calling for a 30% chance of precipatiation, but a high of 35 degrees. As long as Brees can grip it and rip it, the Saints should have no problem exploiting the Bears for who they really are… a team without a capable secondary (well, at least without Mike Brown in there). I just hope Brees isn’t too sad that he can’t play the Chargers in the Super Bowl. Pick: New Orleans

Note: It’s been 9 years since both home teams lost in the Final 4 weekend. However, it just makes more sense to me at this point to go with the 2 road teams, though you can certainly make arguments for the home teams.

Last week: 1-3 (Ouch! Only got the Saints.)
Playoffs: 4-4 (terrible, atrocious, etc., etc., etc.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Thoughts… aka The Turnover Machine

Indy at Cobra Commander: Yes, Cobra Commander got jacked up. Watching this game was as exciting manually masturbating caged animals for artificial insemination. At least Indy got their money’s worth on Adam V. The question that popped into mind after the game: Did Cobra Commander forget to run the ball (20 carries for 82 yards) or is Indy’s run defense actually better than we expected? Dungy is a defensive coach but he will get the test against the Pats who will by happy to run the football.

Eagles at New Orleans: This was close during the regular season and it was close during the post-season. I am glad to be rid of the Eagles. They did a fine job of moving into the playoffs without McNabb but the NFC East needs to go. Note to New Orleans, please squib kick.

New England at San Diego: Whale’s vagina crapped the bed. You turn the ball over four times and you will not win the football game. San Diego had much more firepower but damn their wide receivers totally stink.

Seattle at Da Bears: Anyone care to comment on Rexy’s leash? He threw the ball 38 times sure but for an average of 7.4 per catch (meaning he dumped the ball underneath). He made good decisions but damn his wide receivers kept dropping the football (one drop turned into Grossman’s only INT). The Bears will need to score more points against New Orleans to have a chance. Special cheers to the Bears Special Teams… they managed to win the game (forcing a short punt and a 49 yard FG) without a Hester runback.

New Orleans at Chicago: New Orleans
New England at Indy: New England

Last week: 3-1 (got you San Diego)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Re-Evaluating One of the Worst NBA GMs of All Time

The Former GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jim Paxson (whose brother John is currently the GM of the Bulls), made a multitude of terrible decisions while GM for the Cavs, before Lebron arrived (and after he arrived also!). I feel like I’ve spoken about this before, but to sum it up briefly, for every good decision (Boozer as a 2nd round pick), there were many bad decisions (Trajan Langdon, trading for Darius Miles, gaining a 1st rounder, then giving it up immediately, etc. etc.). Anyways, I always hated the guy, because I hardly agreed with anything he ever decided, and the Cavs actually never went to the playoffs during Paxson’s.

In the NBA’s 2002-2003 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers went 17-65, which included a 15-game losing streak at one point. During this whole season, it was presumed that the team may have been intentionally losing. In addition, the Cavs had one of the worst coaches in basketball history, John Lucas. I presume that the Cavs hired Lucas to give themselves the best odds at getting LeBron. If the plan was to fail, then this may have been the only goal of the Paxson era that actually was achieved.

However, the time has come to possibly re-evaluate Jim Paxson as a front-office executive. Why, you ask? Because, the weird thing is, that 4 seasons removed from the awful season, MANY of the players on the 17-65 team are still playing in the NBA, and perhaps even more surprising, is that they are contributing and even EXCELLING in multiple cases. In fact, if you reassembled the team right now, with the way some of them are playing, you would certainly have a starting PG, SG, C, PF, and a couple of injured players who could possibly start at SF.

I think it’s only fitting that we take a look at the players who still are active in the NBA (other than Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is still on the Cavs), and how they would fit if each of them were still together on the Cavs or on one 2006-2007 NBA team:
[Editor’s Note: old stats from]

Re-Mixed 2003 Cavaliers

Starting Lineup
1) PG – Smush Parker
2002-2003 – 6.2 ppg, 2.5 apg, 40.2% FG%, 32.2% 3-pointers (16.7 min/game)
2006-2007 (LA Lakers)– 11.4 ppg, 2.4 apg, 45.4 FG%, 36.7 % 3-pointers (29.8 min/game)
Smush Parker was pretty pathetic, in that first season. He was an undrafted free agent out of Fordham, and it really seemed like he was just happy to somehow make the team. He ended up going to Europe to play for a Greek team, before coming back to the NBA in 2004-2005 for a little bit, and then suddenly became the Lakers starting PG in 2005-2006. While Smush Parker is much better now, since he is a starter, he gets no respect from his franchise (which drafted Jordan Farmar from UCLA last June to replace him), nor does he get respect from opposing teams, even when he does well, as witnessed by Orlando Coach saying, "We can't be giving the Smush Parkers
of the league quarters like that,” after Smush scored 18 in one quarter one night.
The strange thing is, Smush continues to improve!

2) SG – Ricky Davis
2002-2003 – 20.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.9 rpg, 40.9% FG%, 36.2% 3-pointers (39.6 min/game)
2006-2007 (Minnesota) – 15.6 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.7 rpg, 45.6% FG%, 31.3% 3-pointers (37 min/game)
Ricky Davis ruled the Cavs team during the pathetic 2002-2003 season, hoisting up as many shots as possible to get to 20 per game, rarely playing defense, and providing highlight reel dunks. Just to remind everyone, Ricky Davis did try to record a triple double in March 2003, but Ricky needed one extra rebound – so he decided to take a shot at his own basket! Unfortunately for Ricky, he was fouled before he attempted the shot, but even if he had been able to, it’s actually against the rules to shoot at your own basket.
Currently, Ricky plays on Minnesota, and while he certainly learned his lesson to not shoot at his own basket, he still is just as inconsistent and poor defensively as he was 4 years ago. But he still can score a lot of points!

3) C – DeSagna Diop
2002-2003 – 1.5 ppg, 0.5 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.0 block/game, 35.1% FG% (11.8 min/game)
2006-2007 (Dallas) – 2.1 ppg, 0.2 apg, 4.7 rpg, 1.4 block/game, 44.1% FG% (17.1 min/game)
It’s weird how my feelings towards Diop have changed so much since he was drafted in 2001. The buzz surrounding the draft of 2001 was the presence of multiple high school stars (e.g. Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, and Diop)… I was hoping before the draft that the Cavs architect of disaster, Jim Paxson, would NOT draft a high schooler, because the Cavs needed help immediately at the time (as was usual at the time). So, the Cavs chose Diop, and I just held a grudge against Diop the whole time, because he runs goofy, he was lazy and completely out of shape during his time with the Cavs, and he definitely grew some man-boobs.
Now, Diop is only one of the greatest defensive centers in the game today! And I don’t know why, but I’ve really grown to like him since he left the Cavs. It’s almost as if this helps to validate Jim Paxson, and makes me feel good that the goofy Diop is excelling.

And if you weren’t sure how to pronounce his name, or need another reason to like Diop, check out this video involving a rendition of “Jump” by Kriss Kross featuring DeSagana Diop.
When asked about the video, Diop said, "I remember the first time they played the video during a timeout and I was trying to pay attention to what coach [Johnson] was trying to say but I was sneaking looks at the video."

4) SF – Jumaine Jones
2002-2003 – 9.8 ppg, 1.4 apg, 5.1 rpg, 43.4% FG%, 35.3% 3 point% (27.6 min/game)
2006-2007 (Phoenix) (he’s been injured – he’s only appeared in 5 games so far)
Most people probably have never heard of this guy, but I’ve always been a fan. He’s a bigger guy (6-8, and muscular) who can hit some 3s when he gets hot. The Suns picked him up in the off-season to replace Tim Thomas as “big-guy-off-the-bench-to-knock down 3s”. Not many guys can play the role, and it will be interesting to see how he does once he gets healthy.

5) PF – Carlos Boozer
2002-2003 – 10.0 ppg, 1.3 apg, 7.5 rpg, 53.6% FG% (25.3 min/game)
2006-2007 (Utah) – 22.2 ppg, 3.1 apg, 11.8 rpg, 55.7% FG% (37 min/game)
I really don’t need to introduce Boozer, but I will say he was a 2nd round pick who wasn’t expected to do much, and was certainly a pleasant surprise.
Certainly, Boozer would be the “star” of the team if this team were assembled today.

Darius Miles (ughh… I know, he’s terrible, injured for the whole 2006-2007 season)
Chris Mihm (also injured for this whole 2006-2007 season)

It’s really rather amazing after going through the list, that there were 5 bona fide players on the 2002-2003 17-win Cavs team, and this isn’t even including Zydruanas Ilgauskas or Tyrone Hill. I have no idea how successful these 7 players would be on an NBA team. If someone has a 2007 NBA video game, maybe they can set up a simulation to see how this “Re-mixed 2003 Cavs” team would perform.

The Re-Evaluation
The question becomes, does the development of these players in the 4 subsequent years change my view of Jim Paxson? No, it really doesn’t change that much. Maybe I thought he was a F, whereas now, I’ll give him a D+. Clearly, you don’t want Paxson in charge of your team because he can’t succeed at making trades, he certainly can’t choose coaches, he doesn’t work with the coaches he chooses to get players to fit the system, he can’t choose players that complement each other, and finally, he chose too many long-term projects. Re-visiting the 2002-2003 Cavaliers has illuminated that Paxson does have one redeeming quality - he may be productive as a scout! However, he would only be productive as a scout if either 1) the team can wait for the player to develop, or 2) the team allows the player to develop in Europe or the NBDL.

Funny thing is, Jim Paxson recently secured a job working as a “consultant” for his brother John, who is GM of the Bulls!
For the Bulls sake (and Hitman’s), let’s just hope Jim Paxson is limited to scouting, because if you let him anywhere near the draft picks, he will flush them down the toilet and trade them away as fast as you can correctly say “Trajan Langdon.”

Good News

Pop openly the bubbly folks.....Quite Frankly, the show that launched a thousand brain hemorages mainly a result of the fundamental paradox of "Why is Steven A. Smith on TV?", was cancelled on Friday. Don't hold you breathe on him being completely off ESPN but this is an important first step in ending his tyrannical rule. No more Quite Frankly!

As reported on deadspin here

MMBSD: Parity Shmarity

Parity shmarity. As the seconds ebbed away from the final playoff game and before CBS could put in their 4 millionth commercial about the perfect truck I needed to purchase I was left with only one thought: "New England v. Colts. Again? Really?" For all the talk and .500 records it'll be another Manning v. Belichek playoff game. Like cockroaches or buttered popcorn flavored jelly beans or Steven A. Smith, this nauseauting matchup won't die. I'd say rivalry but Manning hasn't won a big game since he bested Eli in hop scotch for the last ice cream cone at age 6. So once again Manning and Dungy, side by side, head up futility mountain to face New England. I suppose global warming has taken the teeth out of the dangers of a dome team on the road in the playoffs. Watching Soldier Field in January without snow, ice, tunda or polar bears confirmed my suspicions that the cold weather homefield isn't what it used to be.
Polar Bears, seen here at SoldierField in 1986, didn't make the trip down due to the unseasonably warm weather

I suppose I could have been a little bit more excited if New England or Indy had gotten there as conquering heros but instead they seemed like lucky recipients. San Diego gave away the game through muffed punts, fumbled interceptions and headbutts that gave Brady chances 3, 4 and 9. Perhaps Brady was worried that he was missing the opening episodes of 24 (did you know 24 was starting at 8 on FOX. I barely noticed the promos) but he seemed far from Montana-like on this day. Over in Baltimore, neither of the co-MVPS seemed that sharp. McNair gave the ball away at crucial times and renowned offensive genius (TM) Cobra Commander refused to pound away the undersized Colts d-line with the run. 17 rushes? Yes the Colts run defense is improved via the return of Bob Sanders but they were still give up nearly 4.5 yards a rush. While Peter King can say Manning had a good day it would require a view from one's own ass to come to that conclusion. Luckily my renowned math skills can come to the startling conclusion that if your offense doesn't score any touchdowns it wasn't a great day for the QB. I know, I know hold your applause.

Cobra Commander got jacked up

Luckily the NFC gave a little hope that excitement could still be found in football. Sexy Rexy overcame his sexy learning disability (sexlexia) and avoided making the 6 turnover game. Some bizarre fourth down calls by Holmgren and a secondary that couldn't seem to cover anything that moved faster than a turtle and the Bears are headed to the NFC Championship. The Eagles also came up short in the House of the Rising Sun. America's Team kept up their winning ways mainly by the man they call Deuce and a raucous crowd that really was the 12th man (did anyone else noticed the well endowed woman wearing the Fuck Da Eagles shirt that ended up on tv?). The clincher was Andy Reid's bizarre punt with less than two minutes, only two time outs, and a defense that was more open that Britney Spears legs (thought I wouldn't get a crack in on her did you?). I'm curious if an Andy Reid team played a Dungy team in the playoffs which would choke first? Both?

So in conclusion enjoy the NFC game but the only thing good about another Pats v. Colts playoff game is Pat's cheerleader Ashleigh van Gerven (h/t kissmesuzykolber)

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Debate

Okay, so I was reading Chuck Klosterman's book "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" and in it he analogizes certain bands to 1950s and 60s TV shows, which is entertaining, but nothing inspiring. Then I started to think about how some sports teams compare to rock bands. So, im opening up the floor to make such comparisions. DISCLAIMER: Ivan is probably gonna think this dumb and that my comparisions are completely unfounded, and they, but here's the point, i think this is fun and entertaining and interesting to see how other peeps make these comparisons. Here are a few:
1. The Indianapolis Colts are Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Both are solid groups, the Heartbreakers sell big albums and are great in concert, but Tom Petty's desire to go solo has been critcized over the years. So, I think Peyton Manning is the equal to Tom Petty: Manning is consistent and has lots of talent but his inability to come through in the playoffs. has prevented him from becoming one of the greatest, just like Petty's inability to make stellar solo albums has done the same for him. However, Petty's "Highway Companion" is excellent and i think he may be starting to turn the corner, we'll see if Peyton can do the same this year.
2. The Boston Red Sox are the Rolling Stones. Both have a great history, but the Sox always played second fiddle to the Yankees for decades, just like the Stones were always second fiddle to the Beatles. Now, if the Red Sox were in the National League, they might have won many more pennants ove the decades and who knows how they would be viewed, just like if the Stones debuted in 1975, their rise to glory might have been totally different and could have been the band of that generation. I think Mick Jagger should be equated with Ted Williams, as the icon of their respective groups, however trying to find an equal to Keith Richards seems downright impossible, but i guess it would be Manny Ramirez: both misunderstood and always doing crazy things, and allegations of drugs by both.
3. The Cleveland Browns are Phish. Both have insanely dedicated fans, and fans with obvious substance abuse issues, but amongst the dedication is accompanied by the inevitability of being let down. The Browns, we know that even though we are entertained by their games, we suck and are never gonna get anywhere. With Phish, they are grrrrrrrrreat in concert and always leave you satisfied (and stoned) after a show, but their albums are nothing great and may never eternal recoginition because their albums never sold well or topped the charts. thus, phish is misunderstood just like our beloved Browns.
Okay, I'll think of a few more, but ponder this issue and contribute to its craziness.

Cheers and Jeers: Jameson Edition

-Add Jameson as needed

Well its been a long week for various reasons over here in Cheers and Jeers land. As such sports following has been at a minimum while the Jameson at a maximum. So instead I bring to you for one time only a sports free Cheers and Jeers.

Jeers: To Sopranos being on regular Cable (A&E). I'm a fan of the Sopranos but if you take out the swearing, the violence, the indecency and shots of New Jersey (which are also rated R) you really have nothing left. Would you take the smile off the Mona Lisa? I say leave the good stuff in.

Cheers: To news that Ann Coulter could be charged with two third degree felonies and one misdemeanor. Couldn't happy to a nicer lady.

Cheers: To the Transportation Safety Adminstration. Finally they have cleared up the rules of flying with helper monkeys (h/t and

Monkey Helpers

· The monkey handler should carry the monkey through the WTMD while the monkey remains on a leash.

· When the handler and monkey go through the WTMD and the WTMD alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening.

· Since monkeys may likely draw attention, the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on. Only the handler will touch or interact with the monkey.

· TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process.

· TSOs will conduct a visual inspection on the monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection.

· The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.

Cheers: To Oldies but goodies. Check out the original Star Wars trailer. Just remember while you were watching Star Wars, Colonel was fighting in 'Nam. Possibly for freedom but that information is still classified.

Cheers or Jeers: To Global Warming. I'm normally not a praying man but Al Gore please give me good weather for my move. I have left you this clip of futurama discussing global warming as a sacrifice to your weather powers.

A True Hero

If nothing else, here is a great reason to enshrine Mark McGwire into the Baseball Hall of Fame (courtesy of Tim Kurkjian):

Years ago, a man locked his keys in his car down the street from Fenway. Mark McGwire hit a home run off Zane Smith that went way out of the ballpark, down the street and smashed a hole in the windshield of the man's car, allowing him to retrieve his keys. He brought the ball to McGwire, who dutifully signed it.

I’m not trying to make light of McGwire’s Cooperstown situation, I just thought that was a cool story.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Divisional Playoffs - Where Anything Can Happen

The divisional playoff round has historically been more predictable than other rounds (despite the headline for this article). Surprisingly, since 1990, when the NFL went to the current format, home teams have gone a whopping 52-12. Before you start placing bets on all the home teams, it should be pointed out that in the last 3 years, home teams are only 8-4. So, based on the trends, one team could lose this weekend, and hence “anything can happen.” Let’s take a look at what we got…

Indy @ Baltimore – By far, the most intriguing matchup of the weekend. Here are the storylines:
1) Good vs. Evil – No one likes Cobra, Cobra Commander, or the Ravens. No one (well, except maybe people from Baltimore).
2) The Team that Moved Away vs. Its Former City – I could be wrong about this, because I’m too lazy to see if it ever happened, but I don’t believe that a city has ever had its first franchise play its current franchise in the playoffs. Plus, a lot of people in Baltimore associated with the name “Colts” so much, that they even had a minor-league football team named the “Colts”, at least temporarily until the Colts succeeded in a lawsuit against this Baltimore franchise.
3) Offense vs. Defense – Sorry, I still don’t think the Colts have a defense, or the Ravens have an offense. Interestingly enough, as pointed out by, Manning has been surprisingly successful during the season against the Ravens.

No matter which storyline you think is sexiest, it pretty much comes down to whether the Ravens can force turnovers, because that’s the only way they win against anyone. I tend to think Manning likes to choke, so I’m choosing Cobra despite my hatred for Cobra, snakes, Cobra-Kai, and Slytherin. Pick: Baltimore

New England @ San Diego – As I said last week, I think that if the Chargers can play from behind, Marty Schottenheimer will be forced to play aggressively despite the fact that he has no testicles. Pick: San Diego

Philly @ New Orleans – This is another exciting matchup, where both teams are fairly balanced and both have big play capabilities. Plus, it’s Philly WR Donte Stallworth vs. his old team! Nothing at this point is more American than the Saints, other than maybe “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan draping himself in an American flag and throwing and catching a 2 X 4.
Pick: New Orleans

Seattle @ Chicago – I don’t think we’ll really know until this weekend if the Bears’ D will be back in form. I tend to think it won’t matter, and that even the Seattle backup defenders can handle the poor decisions of Rex Grossman. Of course, if the Bears actually play Brian Griese, it could be a different story.
Pick: Seattle

Last week: 3-1 (I went with the Chiefs, and now, I’m never ever picking Herman Edwards in the playoffs.)

Finally, I’d like to give a CONGRATULATIONS to the Hitman, as winner of the “BSD 1000 Posts Spectacular Sweepstakes.” Many have entered, but there could be only one winner. When he posted his “Colts-Chiefs Recap” on 1/7/07, he actually posted BSD's 1000th post! Congratulation to Hitman and everyone else!

Hall of Fame: Class of 2007

I’m working on a lot of different things right now but I couldn’t let the Hall of Fame issue slip too far from the radar.

I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken for making it into Cooperstown. They were two of the most upstanding citizens and two of the greatest ballplayers of my youth. I’ve never rooted for the Padres or Orioles, but I always rooted for Tony and Cal.

With respect to McGwire, there is no need to re-hash the issue. I feel strongly that he belongs in the Hall of Fame and I think it’s a shame that writers with a guilty conscience are trying to expunge their own sullied record on the steroids issue by making someone else pay the price. I have no idea if McGwire will ever make it into the Hall. What I do know, however, is that the Hall is full of cheaters. After all, it’s a part of baseball’s legacy to cheat.

I leave this topic behind (for now) with a quote from a Washington Post sports columnist. I think he sums it up very well:

“Cheating is baseball’s oldest profession. No other game is so rich in skullduggery, so suited to it or so proud of it.” – Thomas Boswell

Colonel Sanders Finger Lickin' Picks For All Degenerate Gamblers Out There - Playoff Edition - Round 2

Ok I think that all this snow and avalanches and everything has clouded my gambling brain. I would have gone with tOSU on Monday and probably would have taken John Kerry in '04. I was going to add my playoffs to my .500 record to see if I could get above .500, but since I sucked it up, I am starting fresh. All I need to do is go perfect in this next round to get back to .500. Ok onto the picks.

Indy (+4) at BAL: BAL...unfortunately Cobra Commander will be able to fight on to another day. However this is a very very tough pick. I kinda wish that SD was playing BAL in SD because I think they have a better chance against Destro and Co.

PHI (+5) at NO: NO. Conventional wisdom says to take the team on the roll, but I gotta think that America's Team will win by 5 points. At least, that is what my wisdom is saying and you saw how crappy that was before.

SEA (+9.5) at CHI: SEA. Does Vegas not realize that the Bears don't have a decent QB and haven't played anybody of decent caliber this year? Even if the Bears can pull this out, 9 1/2 points against Seattle? I can understand them getting 9 1/2 against the Browns but against Seattle???

NE (+5) at SD: SD. I think Simmons said it best with Vegas not having any idea how this game is going to go. An non-experience QB, a coach that normally fails in the playoffs, vs. a Wolverine who has won umpteen SB rings and a "genius of a coach"...yeap i am going with the former. I think that LDT will have all of the TDs...rushing, receiving and passing.

Last Week's atrocious beginning: 0-4
Total Playoffs and Super Bowl: 0-4

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Robots don't say "ye"

Okay, now I know that the one of the main points of this blog is to critique the utter ridiculous nature of some events in sports, but some of the latest media rhetoric regarding the hall of fame really takes the cake. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm cake.
The article found at is written by a writer from MSNBC named Mike Celizic, or as I’ve dubbed him “Lieutenant Douche”. One of the hall of fame voters, Paul Ladewski, turned in a blank ballot for the HOF because he says every player who played from 1993-2005 is a steroid baby and shouldn’t be voted in. Celizic endorses that position and writes a whole article how the baseball hall of fame should be closed until we figure out how to get the right players in. I am dumbfounded as to not only how this guy graduated college, but also as to how he got a job with MSNBC. If you look at his picture on the article, he wears one of those middle-aged man I’m trying to cover my baldspot and show the 28 year old chicks how cool I am hats, and then it all made sense. He’s one of those guys who believes that the game is tainted by steroids and the “sanctity” of the game isn’t what it was when he was a doobie smoking hippie who put down his bong and went to a baseball game because the nachos were “groovy” and the game was “pure”. And since he remembers all those good times in his constant state of euphoria, and the game is no longer like that, he wants to declare that everyone playing now is tainted and to preserve the sanctity of the game, we should close the hall. What a dumbass. First of all, baseball was not “pure and clean” 30 years ago, in fact, I can’t recall a single era in baseball history when there wasn’t scandal and cheating and utter ridiculousness in the game. 1919: Black Sox scandal, 1930s: the red sox owner incurred too many debts so he did a firesale of the whole team, 1940s-50s: rapant racism going on throughout the entire league which eventually spilled over into the 60s and the Curt Flood scandals, 1990: Pete Rose.
What I’m trying to make Lieutenant Douche realize is that baseball is not pure, neither is the NFL or the NBA or golf, or horse racing, or competitive eating. There will always be a scandal, there will always be cheaters, and it is up to the Commissioners to regulate that behavior and weed it out so a cheating player can never rack up the numbers to deserve to be considered for the HOF.
What I really take issue with is that Lieutenant Douche says (and what Ladewski says) that he wouldn’t vote for Big Mac even though he never tested positive but he believes he did. Furthermore, he wouldn’t vote for Ripken or Gwynn even though they never tested positive and he doesn’t believe they used, but he can’t be sure. So, essentially his problem is that there wasn’t enough (if any) testing to ensure who was using and who wasn’t and because of this he has decided to impugn an entire generation of ball players. To make such a blanket statement denouncing an entire generation of baseball players is the equivalent of me saying, “I’m never gonna vote a single New York Yankee into the hall of fame, because everyone who plays for Steinbrenner is possessed by Satan.” Or, “I’m not voting for any player played between 1981 and 1989 because all players who played during the Reagen administration are as guilty of providing arms to the Iran Contras as Ollie North.” Yeah, doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Peace out Lieutenant Douche,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday/Tuesday Thoughts… BCS Edition

Beyond the 8:22pm start time and endless commercials, the BCS title was far more interesting than the final score indicated.

1) The speed of Florida disrupted the Buckeye offense. The Buckeye offense was plain offensive. They failed to establish a running game, Pitman looked good when he got the ball, and worse Troy Smith thought he was a track star. He danced like Chad Henne and didn’t notice that Florida is faster than any team he has faced this season. Three step drop and release young man if you want to play vs. the NFL blitz.

2) The loss of Teddy Ginn Jr. was not that big of a deal. Ginn is a vertical threat who runs straight fly patterns. Without blocking Florida’s D-line, Smith didn’t have the chance to throw deep. Florida shut down Gonzo. That was a key.

3) I like the call to go for it 4th and 1 on your own 30 yard line late in the first half. It’s time to see if your team can bite down and dig out one tough yard. When they failed to convert, the game was over. Did the call stink of desperation? No. It stank of anger that a team so dominant during the regular season could not convert a 3rd and 1 during a critical moment (24- 14) when the game was still within reach. Should you re-group in the locker room?? Re-Group to what? OSU still stank in the 2nd half. It was not the 4th and 1 call that hurt the most. It was Troy Smith getting stripped deep inside Buckeye territory I like the brass balls call to see if your team has a pulse. They did not.

4) How bad was OSU d-line?? Okay folks, when the large white man plays QB he is going to run the ball RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE.

I give OSU/Michigan red cards for miserable bowl season play. You wasted several hours of my life and I want them back!!
-H. Moleman

Shut Your Piehole! BCS Edition

Lee Corso, why did Ohio State lose tonight?

"I'm convinced - it was the 50-day layoff!"

Um, Lee? First, it was a 51-day layoff. Second, Florida's layoff was a measly 37 days. That's right, buddy. The Gators have been off for over five weeks. When you've been in pads since August, is there such a difference between 37 and 51?

Of course there isn't. I don't know why the Buckeyes lost as they did, but those last two weeks in November did not a champion make. Lee Corso: Shut your piehole, you buffoon!

Monday, January 08, 2007

BCS Championship Preview

Image stolen with pride from the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tonight on center stage is the BCS Championship Game: Florida v. OSU. Somewhere in Glendale Arizona the heart of Central Ohio and the heart of wherever Gainesville is located are getting ready to take the field. Perhaps I can give a little window into what things are like here in Brutus land. First of all it's important to note that when talking about TOSU fans its starts in Central Ohio. These are the true college football fans and a good number of them are in Buckeye, Arizona preparing to trade their children and wives in for tickets. Cleveland fans of the Scarlet and Grey carry with them the baggage of being a fan first of professional teams (if I can call the current Browns organization one) that have suffered the sports soul equivalent of falling on punji sticks repeatedly. As such we treat a national championship game like a man going blind clutches his porn collection (holding on tight because it might be the last good thing he'll ever see). In other words I'm suffering from enough anxiety that would have Woody Allen say "You need to chill out". So here in attempt to allay my fears is your OSU v. Florida BCS Bowl Breakdown

Fate preparing yet another surprise ending to a Cleveland playoff run

1. SEC Speed
Like other tall tales like giant squids, minotaurs and Nancy Pelosi, the myth of the superior speed of the SEC has a basis in reality. OSU is 0-7 in bowl games against the Southernest of Southern conferences in bowl games. The question before us, is Florida today that much faster than OSU today? It's hard to fathom that Ginn Jr. or First and Gonzo are slow relative to anyone and the Big 10 did go 2-0 against the SEC this Bowl season. That said Percy Harvin might be faster than any defensive player OSU has on the roster.

Legend has it that in the mythical city of San Francisco all citizens are required to have gay relations and meatless meatloaf.

2. Troy Smith and the Heisman Trophy
While a nice feather in Troy Smith's college career, Heisman trophy winners have fared less that stellar in the championship game. In fact Heisman winners are 1-4 in the game of games. Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White and Reggie Bush all fell short. Only Carson Palmer has led his team to BCS Championship glory and won the Heisman trophy in the same year. Heisman awards can lead to inflated egos, less practice time and a big bulls eye for opponents. Of course Weinke, Crouch and White are not exactly what we would call NFL grade QBs. Mostly we would call them bums or unemployed or most likely to join K-Fed in asking "Would you like fries with that?" Perhaps this game will shed light on if Smith is deserving of a first round pick like Palmer or a much later round.

Don't break our hearts Troy or you'll be out of the family and you know what that means...

3. OSU as Number 1
Facing the number two team in the country is getting older than Brittany Spears career at this point for OSU. The Buckeyes are going for the hat trick of beating the number two for a third time (this season they have already beaten Texas and M*ch*g*n). Overall the higher ranked team is 6-2 in the BCS Championship game. Of course one of the notable exceptions was a team that had squeaked out wins through great special teams play, tough defense and a second year coach born in Ohio. This description not only fits the 2002 Buckeyes but also perfectly describes Florida this year (Urban Meyer was born in Ashtabula, Ohio in 1998).

Miami never recovered from the '02 loss which revoked its prisoners into football players rehabiliation plan.

4. Defense Wins Championships
Both of these teams have great defenses. OSU surprisingly has the number 1 scoring defense in the country while Florida ranks in the top 10 in both points allowed and yardage allowed. I see two crucial players on the defenses. For Florida safety Reggie "The Eraser" Nelson, hits players so hard they think the King of Queens is funny. He's a ballhawk and enforcer. OSU needs the middle of the field to operate its spread offense so Nelson is crucial to shutting that down. On the OSU side I'm selecting Vernon Gholston, defensive end as the key. Gholston is a terror off the end and if he can get pressure on Leak, turnovers can happen (Leak threw 13 this year). A Tressel team that wins the turnover battle is pretty unlikely to lose.

5. Magic Numbers
Tressel is 4-1 in bowl games while Meyer is 3-0 (both are undefeated in BCS bowl games). Ex-OSU football coach Earl Bruce leads all coaches with most number of assistants that are now head coaches in this game (both Tressel and Meyer coached under him). Jim Tressel owns a magic closet that contains an infinite number of grey sweater vests. Legend has it one of them has arctic cooling powers that he will wear in Arizona. This is in sharp contrast to MJ who owns 1 sweater vest and would burst into flames if he wore it in Arizona. Urban Meyer does not own any sweater vests but has one nickname for his wang: "The Octagon". Freshman QB, Tim Tebow, leads the team with 7 rushing TDs, 14 freshman girls, and most consecutive days without taking a shower (12). OSU leads Florida in number of current players' fathers fired by the Cleveland Browns (1 - Terry Robiskie, father of WR Brian Robiskie). Florida has blocked more punts than it has made field goals 5-4. OSU has been off for 51 days while Florida has only been off for 37 days. OSU leads Florida in the number of offensive lineman that hunt javelinas with cheeseburgers 1-0.

So in conclusion, it’s a tough decision. I don't think OSU will cover the spread (7 at last glance) but will eek out the victory.

I'm going out on a limb and saying OSU doesn't have the mascot advantage

Final Prediction: OSU 24 Florida 21