Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This Post Insures That I Can Never Work for ESPN

Thanks to JSon for the story, and thanks to Microsoft for creating the ctrl-c and ctrl-v shortcuts:

In an article describing a prospective Israeli baseball league there is this quote from one of the organizers:

"Baseball is a hard game to learn, but it's not unlike studying Talmud,"

Well, now I'm on board! I can imagine the ad campaign now - "all the fun of homework, but with $8 beers"

But if you pay retail for the beers, you're crazy. I'll get you a deal....

There's also this line:

"Baseball was always the sport played most often among Jewish kids -- in part because they weren't tall enough to play basketball, and their mothers would never let them play football."

I think the recruitment angle is "baseball? well, if that's the best you can do..." Luckily Israel is too small to build golf courses, so they can't lower the athleticism bar any further. Oy vey.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hurry Up Offense

One downside to the internet age is that since news and their subsequent reactions are available as soon as they happen, once twelve hours have passed since a story became public, it already feels like old news. But if the immediacy of the internet also means that as soon as a behind the scenes pic of Dukes of Hazzard 2 is taken, it's available on the web...well, then I'm willing to make that tradeoff, even if it makes my blog seem outdated.

So, catching up w/ some old news:

Three former New Mexico State football players are suing head coach Hal Mumme for allegedly discriminating against them for being Muslim. Part of the claim is that Mumme had the team recite the Lord's Prayer after each practice and before each game. That sounds pretty much like standard practice in college football- at least at any school coached by an associate of Bobby Bowden. However, the claim gets a little more entertaining when the players accuse Mumme of interrogating halfback Mu'Ammar Ali about his feelings towards Al-Qaeda. I can just imagine those practice sessions. Ok now Moooomar, you want to follow the pulling guard and...WHERE AND WHEN IS THE NEXT ATTACK GOING TO BE? I KNOW YOU'RE IN A SLEEPER CELL MOOOMAR! I'M ONTO YOU!!
Later on, there's this gem: "During a news conference last summer, Mumme said he had apologized to his team for any unintentional actions that might have offended anyone."
As for the intentional actions...well, repent or burn in eternal hell, heathen...

In more secular news...

A federal judge has sent Greg Anderson back to jail for refusing to testify in whichever witchhunting trial is currently underway. I realize that sending someone to jail for contempt is a normal course of action in a courtroom, however is that really the best decision in this case? That's all we need is a bunch of prisoners juiced up on HGH after 16 months w/ Anderson. Perfect...

Brett Favre is in midseason form already, turning the ball over twice in last night's game against the Bengals and risking turnovers countless other times by throwing the ball late and into traffic. Watching Favre now is kind of like watching Britney Spears these days. They're both such trainwrecks that it's hard to remember there was a time when they were the hottest things around...

Another bad sign during last night's MNF broadcast. At one point, Mike Tirico brought up the fact that the Packers' offensive line is switching to a zone blocking scheme. He then apologized to the audience for introducing a technical football subject. Actually, Mike, it's OK to talk about football during a football broadcast. I'd much rather hear about that then listen to Kornheiser compare the Packers to Pluto or hear Theesman praise a player in the midst of his failings. But I guess since I'm a football fan, I'm not actually in the target audience for MNF.

The Chargers cut AJ Feely today. This move means that the Chargers roster now contains no QBs who have started a regular season game in the NFL. Now the Raiders move to sign Jeff George makes sense. They were just trying to block the Chargers from adding a veteran QB to their roster. That Al Davis is a genius....

Monday, August 28, 2006

Adios Mi Ivon

Tonight's Nightcap is brought to you by NyQuil. Not because I'm sick, but because I just can't fall asleep...

This weekend, Japan shutout Mexico to advance to the finals of the Little League world series. This was a very disappointing outcome for males 12 and up, as it most likely signals the end of Ivon Gaete as an on the field reporter. For those that didn't watch the LLWS this weekend, Gaete would conduct interviews with beaming pubescent Mexican boys while wearing a tight little sweater and then translate it for the rest of the crew with the enthusiasm and overacting that's unique to Spanish language television. It truly was a joy to behold. But now that Japan has sent the distracted Mexico team back home, ESPN will likely send Ms. Guillen back to ESPN Deportes and call up Asian reporter, Tricia Takanawa.
Que lastima...

The first roster cuts in the NFL are this Tuesday, and some teams are ahead of schedule. The Detroit Lions spared Charles Rogers for at least another week, however neither Rogers nor fellow first rounder Mike Williams received any playing time in the latest exhibition game. In Denver, 2001 first round draft pick David Terrell is reportedly on the brink of being cut. Despite being in jeopardy of soon being out of the league, these WRs still have a bright future as Drew Henson has invited them to be on his flag football team which according to him will be "kick-ass"...

Dallas Mavs guard Jerry Stackhouse recently paid to have his pastor mother's church refurbished. The North Carolina church will be run by Minnie Stackhouse, and will serve people in need in the community of Kinston.
"I don't know what the future here will be," Minnie said. "But God does."
Well, except for the Mavs winning a championship. Nobody knows when that might happen...

The Dallas Cowboys fined Terrell Owens $9,500 for missing a team meeting. Most reporters are running wild with "Here we go again/I told you so" articles regarding TO's effect on the team. But I'm sure when Parcells was at the wide receivers' meeting and saw that aside from Terry Glenn, the participants were Patrick Crayton, Terrance Copper, Sam Hurd, and Jamaica Rector, he realized that the team needs Owens more than Owens needs the team. And since Parcells wants to make one last run before retiring, I think Parcells and Owens will find a way to coexist once the season starts. If Parcells could ignore Lawrence Taylor's coke binges between games, I'm sure he can handle Owens babying his hamstring until the opener...

The New York Jets have still not made an announcement on who the starting quarterback will be once the regular season begins. When reached for comment, Jets fans asked, "Does it really even matter???"

While the Jets may still be uncertain who will be behind center in September of 2006, they have gone ahead and announced that their starting QB in 2007 will be #1 pick Brady Quinn...

An early candidate for quote of the season comes from an injured player in Cowboys camp, but it's not Terrell Owens. Mike Vanderjagt had this to say when reporters asked him about Parcells' response to an injury that's sidelined him throughout camp: "He doesn't know my groin as well as I do." Thank god for that. It's unknown whether the self declared Greatest Kicker of All Time's latest groin injury is self-inflicted or not...

Maybe it's a good thing Mexico didn't advance to the Finals. My guess is that most of their squad would have bene forced to miss the game with groin pulls too after dreaming about 'taking the field' with Ms. Ivon.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Premature Speculations

You can't ever make too much of a preseason performance in the NFL, but one thing that has become apparant over the last few weeks is that the Detroit Lions really, really stink. They're so bad that they actually made Aaron Brooks look like a legitimate QB this evening. That just shouldn't happen. Ever.

One of the things that makes the NFL so fan-friendly is its parity. Every team seems to have a shot at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, Lions fans (are there still Lions fans?) know that there only experience with parity will be in their equal footing with the Buffalo Bills to land the #1 pick in the 2007 draft. Given the Lions' recent history with first round draft picks, that isn't much of a consolation.

Other observations, courtesy of the NFL Network:

-In the Bears/Cardinals game, the hometown Arizona announcers mentioned that in the offseason, the Cardinals new stadium will be the site of eight proms. That's just perfect. Every spring, teenagers will be losing their virginity in Pink Taco stadium. And yes, I know it makes me old that I would even consider the notion that these days there are actually some teenagers who were still virgins by their senior prom. But if nothing else, they could break into the locker room and do it on Kurt Warner's bible. That would be a first...

-Chester Taylor and Edgerrin James look to be in a tight competition for biggest free agent flop this season. While Taylor has been trudging along at around two yards a carry, James currently has the "edge" (get it?) in this battle, having carried the ball 7 times so far this preseason for a grand total of one yard. Vikings and Cardinals management might want to see if they can put a stop payment on those signing bonus checks.

-In news that noone cares about but me, undrafted rookie QB Drew Olson (UCLA) saw his first action in an NFL game, going 1/2 for 18 yards. He'll likely be cut next week, but at least he'll have that training camp of development with "offensive genius" Brian Billick to fall back on...

-Lastly, the Patriots have given Deion Branch one week to negotiate a contract and trade with other teams. The Vikings and Eagles may be interested, however it's doubtful that they'll meet either Branch's contract demands or the Patriots' trade requirements (likely a first round pick). So while on the surface, this might look like the Patriots are trying to get rid of Branch, in reality they're just trying to force Branch to get a reality check on his actual value around the league. I expect him to be in a Patriots uniform by the season opener once he realizes that just because Tom Jackson loves him, it doesn't mean every GM in the league is clamoring for him.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Night Cap...Sorta

I haven't had a chance to update in a few days because I've been on fire over at Hollywood Poker (link on upper right if you're interested). I won't bore anyone w/ any sort of hand by hand replays; however, as a service to you, I can advise you that if you see either "sowong" or "dawnadd2005" sitting at a table, it would be in your best financial interest to sit at that table all day with either of them and collect your share of their losses. They are a wonderful combination of extremely loose and very easy to read whether they are on a draw, have a piece of the board, or have a monster. As long as you aren't one of their occasional victims when they do hit their miracle card when they are on one of those draws, it should be easy pickings.

As for "real" sports, I'll be watching preseason football tonight to scout for my fantasy team, so I should have some updates this evening. Oh wait...that isn't real, is it? Damn.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oblivious, Desperate, or Just Unimaginably Stupid?

Some basketball coaches over at the Big 12 are upset over the "negative recruiting" tactic being employed by Baylor University. It seems that when Baylor coaches visit a potential recruit, one of the things they bring with them is a packet which highlights the negative aspects of rival schools. Some of the items listed within this article include:

Baylor telling the family of prep phenom Dwight Lewis that Kansas has the lowest graduation rate in the big 12 (which as it turns out is a false accusation). While Baylor didn't land the recruit, he didn't sign within the Big 12 either. He instead opted to go play at Southern Cal. It's unclear whether the graduation rate misinformation was a factor, as the USC athletics department isn't exactly known for its academic reputation.

Baylor staff reprinted a series of stories detailing off the court problems at Memphis University and gave it to the family of one of Calipari's recruits. The recruit has since taken Memphis off of his list of schools that he is considering.

Another flyer asks, "SINCE 2004, WHICH OF THESE BIG 12 COACHES HAS SIGNED A MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICAN?" and depicts Bob Knight's and Billy Gillispie's circled faces with a line crossing through them. Scott Drew, the Baylor head coach is circled as the correct answer.

...Now, I realize that Baylor is at a significant disadvantage when it comes to recruiting, so maybe they need to use unsavory tactics in their visits to students. However this seems like a dangerous strategy to me. While thus far, no rival Big 12 coaches have opted to engage in a mudslinging battle, it wouldn't take too much research for a graduate assistant to come up with a flyer that asks:

I'm pretty sure that by comparision, that graduation stat wouldn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Who Do We Appreciate?

Staten Island Little League president Bob Johnson led a campaign to get corporate sponsors to assist with the team's travel expenses to Connecticut where they were playing in the Little League World Series. As part of that effort, he solicited the New York Mets and Yankees for money. He didn't hear from the Mets office, however he did receive a $5,000 donation from George Steinbrenner. So how did Johnson express his gratitude? By running to the NY Post and whining that it wasn't a large enough donation:

"For Steinbrenner, $5,000 is throwing dollar bills in the air," Johnson said. "Everything counts, don't get me wrong, but it's disappointing. And A-Rod, he plays $1,000 a hand in poker, he might as well throw $1,000 in our dugout. I don't want Steinbrenner's money. I want A-Rod's money. He's making $20 million a year."

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that 5k is more than little league teams are used to receiving from their neighborhood Jamba Juice, bail bondsman, or funeral home. I'm guessing that should have been enough for the team and their families to stay in a hotel in Connecticut for a weekend. What was Johnson expecting- for Steinbrenner to offer his private jet to fly the team to and from the games? These are 13 year-old American little leaguers who can't even score one f*cking run. Now if these were Cuban teens on the verge of defecting, it would be a different story.

As for A-Rod...well, first of all, I seriously doubt that he plays $1,000 a hand in poker. He strikes me more as a $3-$6 limit player who won't raise with anything but aces. But aside from that, he has motivation to be a little reserved about giving away his money. While his salary may be $20+ mil this year, if the Yankees' kangaroo court fines him for every clutch situation double play he grounds into or every error in the field, then he's gotta be running pretty low on funds by now. At this point, I don't even know if he could afford to take the little leaguers to a postgame pizza party at Round Table. So let's cut #13 some slack.

Cheap and Fun

Today marks the launch of Madden '07, which is unfortunately the only football video game licensed by the NFL thanks to their exclusive agreement with EA Sports. I think they are doing gamers a disservice as I personally preferred the NFL2k series and think competition would drive companies towards producing a better, more innovative product.

As an example of the innovation that competition in the industry can promote, check out this "apple-style" ad for the upcoming Wii and how it stacks up against the rival PS3 (ok, it's a parody from G4, not a real ad..but it's still worth a click):

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Curse of Peter King

I had planned on doing an update this morning, but I just read Peter King's Monday Morning QB column, and I've now lost the will to read about, write about, or even sit on the can and think about sports. He just sucks all the joy out of being a sports fan. He's a pleasure leech. A triple grande hazelnut latte drinking leech, and I don't know why I still subject myself to his columns.

So I'm going to take a break from sports for a little bit. Hopefully, I'll have my mojo back this evening.

...In the meantime, did you know that the Saudi Arabia little league team has a "12" year old player who is 6 foot 8? The headline for the link to the story said, "Saudi Arabia player towers over LLWS." I'm trying to decide if that wording is insensitive because of 9/11 connotations. Not so sure on that one...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bill Simmons Can Sit at My Table Anytime

I was going to post a breakdown of Bill Simmons' whiny, ignorant column about his bad beat on a hand that he "played perfectly" at the WSOP main event. However, Mean Gene, Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, beat me to the punch with a very thorough analysis that reveals just how poor Simmons' understanding of poker really is. If you want to actually learn from Simmons mistakes, I highly recommend giving the article a read.

If you'd prefer instead to just mock Simmons for his outright hypocrisy (another fun alternative), then check out this gem from the Hater Nation.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ah, The Power of Ellipses

From this article about Bill Laimbeer's prospects of becoming an NBA head coach, comes the following extracted quote from the hopeful coach:

"With the ladies, I can ride them a little more....On the men's side, they don't take too kindly to that."

You may choose your own joke to this. Possible suggestions include: WNBA players' resemblance to horses; Dennis Rodman, Vince Carter or JJ Redick as exceptions to the generalization that men don't take kindly to being ridden; the theory that Bill Laimbeer is actually an old biker lesbian. Really, the possibilities are endless.

As an aside, if you do a Google Image search for "WNBA," Google first comes back with "Did you mean NBA?" Even the search engines wonder, "do you really want to look at pictures of female basketball players? Are you sure??"

Going Camping

Yesterday, I made the trek out to the Dallas Cowboys' training camp facility in Oxnard to see if I could gain any insight on the team before the season starts. The main piece of insight I acquired was that if you really want to watch a team practice, don't bring a four year-old with you. However in between trips to the pro shop and the "Dallas Cowboys experience" (an area with a bunch of inflatable structures with giant stars on them), I did make it to the field from time to time. Here were some observations from Thursday's sessions:

Bill Parcells was in a lousy mood in the morning. When Julius Jones wouldn't hit the hole, Parcells told him to "take the f*cking high heels off." Later, he took Drew Bledsoe to task, telling him "needed a commander in the there." He then proceeded to give Tony Romo a lot of work.

Drew Henson is so deep in Parcells' doghouse, he might as well wear a collar instead of a helmet out on the field. Even undrafted rookie Matt Baker got more work in with the offense than Henson. If Henson is ever going to make something of his football career, he needs either to be traded or he'll have to wait until Parcells retires.

Terrell Owens participated in both practices, and I have to acknowledge that he definitely has a presence. Love him or hate him, you can't help but notice that he's the most impressive athlete on the field. He and Bledsoe hooked up on an out and up that gave a glimpse of what the offense can be...if the O-line holds up and Owens doesn't sabotage the team. Two big "if"s.

There were a handful of people requesting autographs from Mickey Spagnola. Know this: if your obsession with a team runs so deep that you'll seek out the team's beat writer for his signature, then it's time to seek help.

ESPN reporter Ed Werder walked by, and while he doesn't look like the biggest guy on tv, he's especially small in person. It makes me wonder if John Clayton is in reality a Keebler elf.

For a mere $100 at the Cowboys pro shop, you can buy a velcro shower towel with a blue stripe and the #81 down the side. If that isn't gay enough for you, the purchase also comes with an autographed 8x10 photo of Terrell Owens wearing the towel- and nothing else.

The strangest moment of the day came after practice when a few players came over to the fans to sign autographs. One guy gave reserve linebacker Junior Glymph some items to sign, and then proceeded to introduce Glymph to his daughter (who at the time I would have guessed was in her early twenties) in a manner which basically said, "you can have her if you want her." Glymph initially had a look of confusion which quickly turned to shock when the father revealed with bouncing eyebrows that "she's only 14." Glymph then took a step back and said, "I just watched Maury Povich this morning," and then moved down to another section of fans. The whole incident left me bewildered. I mean, if you are going to pimp out your underage daughter to a 275 pound linebacker, wouldn't you at least want to pick out a guy that was definitely going to make the team? The last thing you want to do is waste your jailbait progeny on a guy that ends up on the practice squad, right? That's not just bad parenting. That's bad scouting.

It was then that I decided to leave fast as humanly possible.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nose Tackled

Here's a familar storyline: police get a call in the middle of the night to investigate a domestic violence claim at the home of a football player.

Here's where the story takes a twist: It's the player's wife that's being accused of abuse.

King County sheriffs were called to the home of former Patriots/Seahawks/Cowboys defensive tackle Chad Eaton Sunday night after the 6'5" lineman called 911 and reported that his wife had punched him in the nose, causing it to bleed. When deputies arrived, Eaton's wife confirmed that she did indeed punch her husband because she suspected him of cheating on her. Deputies then hauled her off to jail.

Dialing 911 because your wife punched you? I'm not sure how I feel about that. I thought that was a move reserved for David Gest, not a retired NFL tackle. I suppose if the alternatives were calling the police or punching her back, he did the right thing. But still, I can't imagine actually filing that police report. "Yeah officers, I know I'm a foot taller and outweigh her by more than 100 pounds. And yes, I used to get paid millions of dollars to absorb blows from 300 pound men. But look, I have an owie on my nose." I think I'd rather say that I fell and hit my nose on the door.

The only justification I can think of is maybe Eaton was calling police to remove his wife because he had a booty call showing up in an hour. I can only hope.

And since I have nothing else to add, here's a 3 am limerick:

There once was a man named Chad Eaton,
whose wife accused him of cheatin'.
He can't beat a block,
Or keep tabs on his cock.
So onto his nose, she went beatin'.

Thank you. Now where do I pick up my Pulitzer?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Renaldo Balkman is Going to be Just Fine

One of the biggest challenges with being a New York sports figure is dealing with the New York media. It's a task with which few people have had success. Bill Parcells and Derek Jeter have. ARod and Randy Johnson have not. Now the chore falls upon Renaldo Balkman, the "only Isiah Thomas would possibly do this" 1st round draft pick of the Knicks. Since he was projected to go late in the 2nd round, if drafted at all, there will be pressure for Balkman to justify being picked 20th overall. With that pressure will come incessant scrutiny from the New York media. So just how does Balkman plan on dealing with that pressure? Well, he's already put Newsday in their place:

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," he said.

Oh yeah. He's definitely ready for the New York spotlight. If that doesn't work, he might go with "I know you are, but what am I." He's also got a great retort that includes rubber and glue, but he's saving that one for the regular season.

Monday, August 14, 2006

And So It Begins

On a very special Monday Night Countdown, Ron Jaworski was talking about Reggie Bush's highlight run when Chris Berman broke in over him by giving a falsetto "Woooooop!"

I'd post it to YouTube to prove it, but I'd never subject my readers to such cruelty. Besides it's not that difficult to believe that Berman could be an obnoxious blowhard right out of the gates.

Playing Catchup

No time for a real intro, so here are some observations from the weekend:

On July 22, the San Francisco Giants were in 1st place in the NL West with a record of 51-47. Needing another bat for the final push in the season, GM Brian Sabean traded for 1B/ motivational speaker/ boat inspector Shea Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand has hit .230 as a Giant and the team has been a dismal 3-16 since the trade and now finds themselves in last place, 7.5 games out. The ship may have been sinking in Toronto, but the rat aboard has fled to San Francisco and infected his new team with the plague.

In Saturday's game, after the Dodgers scored the go-ahead run, the stadium speakers blared, "Whoomp....There It Is!" I knew Hollywood was out of original ideas, but do they really have to play a song that was tired two weeks after it was released in 1993? Karma will strike them down for this.

In my younger days, I hated any athletes who played for the rival of my favorite team no matter what. Now that I'm older, I find that I'm able to appreciate greatness in sports even if the gifted athlete is wearing the wrong jersey. As such, I've always enjoyed watching Reggie Bush play, even tho I hated that he was contributing to the succes of the Trojans. Ideally, I wanted Matt Leinart and the USC defense to fall apart and nullify Bush's play, but unfortunately that combination rarely occurred. Prior to Reggie Bush, I'd only seen two other college running backs who looked like they were just toying with the defense whenever they touched the ball- Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulk. (LaDanian Tomlinson had a similar presence, but TCU ran the option; and I've always been skeptical of RBs in an option system. It's fair to say that LT has erased that skepticism.) This weekend, Reggie Bush made his NFL debut, and it looks like he's still up to his old tricks. On a play that was designed to go left, Bush stopped, reversed field and ran down the right sidelines for a big gain. It was one of those, "what are you doing? oh..great play!" moves that very few athletes are able to get away with. I am very excited about the Reggie Bush era in the NFL.

The only downside if Bush is in fact the second coming of Barry Sanders? Listening to Chris Berman shriek "woooop" during any Bush highlight where he makes a defender miss. On second thought, I'm a little less excited about the Bush era than I thought I was.

Bill Parcells really, really, really doesn't like Drew Henson. In the first preseason game for the Cowboys, Parcells elected to play Tony Romo at QB for the entire game. Henson looked to be in midseason form as he was forced to hold a clipboard on the sidelines for four quarters. I can't remember ever seeing a team play only one QB in a preseason game- especially week 1. To get an idea of how liberal coaches usually are with playing time in the first exhibition game, here's a list of QBs who you'll never watch play a meaningful NFL game who received more playing time than Drew Henson did over the weekend: Lang Campbell, Bryan Randall, DJ Shockley, Shane Boyd, Chet Lemon, Cody Hodges, Quinton Porter, Ingle Martin, and Brad Gradkowski. At this point, Drew Henson's football career is going so poorly that it's made his stint as a baseball player seem like a success.

As for Brad Gradkowski, he has a pretty interesting pregame ritual- vomiting. Early in the game, Bucs starter Chris Simms looked over on the sidelines and saw Gradkowski on a knee heaving into the grass. His vomiting was far more beneficial to him than it was to Donovan McNabb in the Super Bowl, as when Gradkowski finally entered the game two quarters later, he went 11 for 13 with 104 yards and 2 TDs. After the game, Gradkowski admitted this wasn't the first time he went with the Lohan diet strategy before the game.
"Yeah, my nerves were running a little bit. I hate sitting around waiting. I used to [throw up] in college. And every time I did, I knew it was going to be a good game.''
If Gradkowski does by some miracle ever become a starter, this could make for some great pregame information for gamblers and fantasy players. Finally, there's a use for sideline reporters!

Speaking of which, the NBC broadcast of the Bengals/Redskins game is making me rethink the idea of finally making the leap to HDTV this season. While she's a capable reporter, seeing Andrea Kramer in high def on a big screen might just haunt me for the rest of my life. On behalf of any future erections that I may hope to achieve, I just can't take that risk.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lineup Change

Paul Lo Duca is going though a divorce that has been highly publicized on the east coast. As some of you are probably aware, it's been revealed that LoDuca's ex wife, Sonia Flores, has done some appearances for Playboy magazine in the past. Now, some of those pics are starting to appear on the internet. Always the thorough researcher, I've seen the pics, and I've got to say that she makes Anna Benson look like a common whore. (Ok, Anna does a good job of that on her own.)

I'm not going to post the pics on this site. It's not that I'm opposed to hot naked chicks- by all means I embrace them whenever possiblel It's just that if I started posting all of the nakedness that's on my hard drive, this site would quickly morph into one of the 2 million porn sites on the web, rather than one of the 2 million sports blogs; and I just don't know if I want to make that transition.

Of course, I won't leave you completely high and dry. So if you are curious what Lo Duca is leaving behind you can find a pic here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. All of these pics are not even remotely safe for work. (But if they are safe for your office, let me know if they're hiring.)

One side note: Paul Lo Duca is hitting .410 since Sonia Flores filed for divorce. It's like marriage to her was one of those weighted donuts that hitters use in the ondeck circle. Since he got rid of it, he's been able to swing free and easy.

Spittin Some Game

So earlier this afternoon, I was thinking about Maurice Clarett and was wondering who might be the next football player to completely self-destruct, get kicked out of the NFL, and only appear on tv when he was being arrested or arraigned. My preliminary list looked like this:

Marcus Vick: 3-1
Sean Taylor: 5-1
Chris Henry: 8-1
LenDale White: 10-1

But now after reports surfaced that LenDale White instigated a brawl after he spit on a teammate in practice today, I think I need to readjust those odds. It's pretty easy to see White spraining an ankle in a pileup, then ballooning up to 280 pounds and finding himself out of the league by the end of 2007. Then it will just be a matter of time before he's pulled over at a Fatburger with firearms and a machete. In fact, Jeff Fisher might want to check LenDale's water bottle for Grey Goose next time he hits the field just to be safe...

If you haven't received your USC newsletter yet, some bullet points on the Trojans in the NFL this season include: Lendale White's hyperactive salivary glands; Manuel Wright is asking to be traded because Nick Saban is too tough on him; Matt Leinart is still in denial that he wasn't a top 3 pick , much in the same way he was in denial that Texas beat USC; and 1st rounder Mike Williams is currently working with the third string at Detroit. Quite a job Pete Carroll is doing in preparing his kids for the NFL. And yes, I am writing this out of spite of the fact that USC keeps mopping the floor with UCLA, who has had their own problem children (Cade McNown, Freddie Mitchell, Ricky Manning.)

Elsewhere in the NFL...
I watched some of the Colts/Rams game on Fox tonight. Watching preseason football is kind of like watching one of those late night infomercials for "Girls Gone Wild." You know you won't actually be seeing the goods, but there's still just enough of a tease that it's tough to change the channel. Anyway, it looks really, really strange to see Adam Vinatieri in a Colts jersey. A certain ESPN columnist may write that it's like seeing Johnny Damon in a Yankees jersey. But Damon was already a hired gun when he reached the Red Sox, having played with the A's and Royals before that. Vinatieri is such a part of the identity of the Patriots that it's really disorienting seeing him play for someone else. On the flip side, Colts fans have got to be absolutely giddy with the sight of Vinatieri lining up where Vanderjagt used to be. I'll bet Lil' Ronnie is having wet dreams coming up with a 2006-07 version for his Colts anthem. I'm pretty sure he'll rhyme Vinatieri w/ "Now we scary." Just a hunch.

The Colts started the game with an onside kick. Later on NFL Live, Sean Salisbury praised the move saying he "liked the guts" of the move by Tony Dungy. The guts? It was game 1 of the freaking preseason! Dungy could have thrown a Colts cheerleader out to kick the ball off and it wouldn't have mattered.

Lastly, back on the West coast, Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer issued an apology for saying in a prior press conference that Phillip Rivers will be tested "when the bullets start flying." That comment was perceived by some as insensitive during a time of war.

"I've often said if you stand in front of a microphone as many times as I do, you are invariably going to make a mistake and I made a mistake," Schottenheimer said. "But the good thing about it is I will never forget that mistake."

I can understand why he said that, but I really wish he had instead chosen these words for the press: "I know football isn't actually war. It's called a freakin' metaphor. Jesus, I thought you guys were writers- you should be familiar with the term."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bruin Dropout Pride

Before Blogger goes offline for maintenance, let me just give a quick congratulations to Allen Cunningham for making the final table at the WSOP main event. Cunningham was an engineering student at UCLA; however he dropped out of school because he was making so much money playing poker that he opted to turn pro as soon as he was 21.

I, on the other hand, spent my college days going on frequent weekend roadtrips from UCLA to Vegas for some sportsbook action, having not yet discovered the joys of poker. Cunningham is a millionaire. I'm still paying off student loans.

But at least I have my diploma.....somewhere around here. I think.

It's Going to Suck to be a Sports Fan in Bratislava

Today, Bill Simmons posted his ideas for 33 (thank god he found a way to throw in a Bird reference) ways to fix sports. The column was prompted by a reader's email, which is fitting because the Sports Guy totally mailed in his effort this time around. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I mail in my posts all the time. But unless you're a diehard Sports Guy reader (or just really bored at work), you most likely won't make it to #27, which is the only reasonably entertaining item in the list:

27) My bosses won't allow me to say which six announcers I would deport to Eastern Europe, but here are their initials jumbled together backwards: WBMABCMJMTBJ.

Let's see if we can solve this little puzzle:

JB: Joe Buck
TM: Tim McCarver
JM: John Madden
CB: Chris Berman
AM: Al Michaels?? Could he really want to deport the only announcer who acknowledges the betting line during a game?

"BW" has me stumped tho. Maybe it's a local east coast guy that I've never heard of. For some reason, the only person I can think of with the initials BW is Bill Wennington, who as far as I know probably isn't announcing anything other than flight arrivals at the O'Hare airport. Can anyone help me out here?

By the way, I can't believe there's no JT (Joe Theisman), CC (Cris Collinsworth), or SS (Sean Salisbury/Stuart Scott) in the list. After Chris Berman, those would be the first names on my INS list.

(Update: Reader JSon has solved the final monogram. BW=Bill Walton. I agree with JSon's sentiments: "...which goes to show ya Boston guys takes their sports too seriously. Really, how can ya love Hubie Brown for his idiocy and not love Big Red’s lunacy?")

(2nd update 8/14: NFL Adam points out that JM is Joe Morgan. My only explanation for missing that is that I've tried to erase any Joe Morgan experiences from my mind.)

Headline Roundup

With the announcement of Roger Goodell as the new NFL commissioner, it gave every website intern a chance to create their own pun-filled headline. Here's a sampling around the interweb:

ESPN: "In Goodell's Hands"

SI: "It's all Goodell"

Sportsline: "Good n' Steady"

Fox Sports: "It's Goodell to be Commish" "As good as Goodell"

I gotta give the nod to Fox Sports on this one for the Mel Brooks reference. The only downside is that it means that there's a 35+ yr old dude who works as an unpaid intern for Fox Sports. On the flipside, is obviously using a pot-smoking 18 year old, as I have no clue what the hell that headline is supposed to mean...

Mo' Trouble

Wow...Maurice Clarett was just arrested again. This latest arrest occurred after a traffic stop in which a tussle ensued with Columbus, Ohio police. Police used mace on Clarett after a stun gun was ineffective due to the fact that Clarett was wearing a bullet resistant vest. After the arrest, it was discovered that the former 3rd rd. draft pick had four loaded guns in his SUV.

Four loaded guns and he had a bullet proof vest on? This probably isn't going to go over to well in his already pending aggravated robbery charge. Who knows tho- maybe he'd just returned from a late night showing of Miami Vice.

It seems like Clarett just wants to spend the rest of his life in jail. But there is still some hope for Clarett. If somehow a public defender is able to keep him out of a cell, then there just might be a spot for him on the Cincinnati Bengals roster...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Living the Fantasy

Sorry for the lack of updates. I decided that this football season will be the time that I finally upgrade to HDTV, and I've been obsessing over which display will give me the best image of Ed Hochuli's guns. I've been reading home theater message boards non-stop for the last two days, and the more I read, the tougher my decision becomes. If any of my readers have suggestions, shoot me some comments. My absolute max spending cap is $4,000 unless someone buys 100k worth of amazon merchandise after clicking through my site, in which case, I can reevaluate.

I do have to make my decision soon as I'll be hosting my league's fantasy football draft, and it will be to my distinct advantage if I can be playing the Eagles Lingerie DVD on a big screen television while I throw Laurence Maroney's name out for bidding. I'm glad that I'm in a league that has its draft close to the beginning of the season. Hopefully some positions will be better settled by then. If however, you're in a league that drafts this week, you have some tough decisions ahead. Here are my thoughts on a few names that are in the news:

Mike Bell, RB, Denver Broncos. Mike Shanahan has named undrafted rookie Mike Bell as the starter for week 1 of the preseason. Shanahan likes to take unknown players and try to turn them into stars, as he feels it helps build his reputation as an "offensive genius." As a big follower of the Pac-10, I have seen Mike Bell play on quite a few occasions and he does have some ability and is the "one cut and go" style of runner that Shanahan likes. He also put up some big numbers (16 carries, 153 yards, 1TD) in Arizona's upset demoltion of UCLA, but everyone ran crazy over UCLA last year. It wouldn't surprise me too much if this is a legitimate promotion, but nevertheless, this feels to me more like a motivational ploy to get Tatum Bell (and to a lesser degree, Ron Dayne) to focus more and work harder in training camp. For that reason, I think you'll have to use at least two roster spots on Denver backs if you want to capitalize on their rushing attack.

Curtis Martin, RB, New York Jets
. Martin sounds like a guy that is preparing for retirement. There are rumors that the Jets might trade for Chris Brown, but I'm not buying them. I don't think the Titans will trade Brown unless they're given an offer they can't refuse, and I don't see the Jets giving up a high draft pick when they're in major rebuilding mode. If Martin is indeed out, I think the Jets will stick with triumverant of Cedric Houston, Derrick Blaylock, and Leon Washington. Of these three, I think Blaylock has the most value and is worth a flyer if the price is right.

Matt Leinart, QB, Arizona
. Unless you're in a keeper league, I'd avoid Leinart entirely. Even in a keeper league, I'd only take him on the cheap. Sure, Warner is guaranteed to get hurt at some point, but if the Cardinals are anywhere near .500, Dennis Green might go with John Navarre to manage things in Warner's absence. Unless the Cardinals start off 2-6, I don't see Leinart having any value at all until 2007.

I'll have more fantasy football thoughts as the month goes on. That is, unless my big screen tv tactic backfires, and I spend the next few weeks watching a larger than life Jessica Alba.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Nightcap

Tonight's NightCap is brought to you by my last few airline bottles of GlenLivet 12, courtesy of Alaska Airlines= where unfortunately no amount of alcohol will convince you that their flight attendants are even remotely attractive...

Cedric Benson was carted off the field with a shoulder injury after being hit by Brian Urlacher and Mike Brown in practice. I'm really disappointed by this news- not because I have any affinity for the Bears, but rather because I had Aug 16th in my pool for the date that Benson would be carted off the practice field. I wish he'd at least waited until after my keeper fantasy league had its retention date so that I could have laughed at the owner who held on to Cedric. Benson will have X-rays tomorrow. While in the hospital, he can expect a call from Cedric Enis and Cade McNown thanking him for challenging their claim as the biggest Bear bust in recent history...

It wasn't the best day for UCLA alums. First, Chase Utley had his hitting streak end at 35 games. (By the way, I'm shocked that none of the major internet sports outlets used the headline, "The Chase is Over.") Then, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson was eliminated from the main event of the WSOP before reaching the money. But on the plus side for the alumni newsletter, Troy Glaus went deep again today, and Danica McKellar was vintage Winnie Cooper at the Hollywood Reporter's reception...

I know it's not sports related, but if Bill Simmons can link to youtube crap, then so can I. You've got to see this clip of Britney Spears in her home. Even people that actually live in trailers covered with windchimes are calling Britney white trash. But to try to make this remotely sports-related, if Britney does ever figure out that time travel thingy, could she please find a way to go back to the 2001 SuperBowl, and just stay that way? It was a much simpler, happier time.

Speaking of Bill Simmons, The Hater Nation does a great job in calling him out in Friday's "Weak Ender." Oh, and there's a freakin' smoking pic of an Eagles cheerleader too. You will not be disappointed...

Finally in late news, Floyd Landis' "B" test also showed to have an abnormally elevated testosterone to epitestosterone ratio, meaning that Landis will likely make history by being the first rider to be stripped of his title for drug related reasons in the history of the Tour de France. Of course, there's still the possibility that these results are all part of the well known worldwide conspiracy against cycling Mennonites. Landis is reported to be somewhere in the San Diego area, which is code for a Tijuana pharmacy. His lawyers say that Landis will be unavailable for comment until he can think of an excuse that is even remotely believable...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Traditions of Excellence

I gotta say, these big time college football programs sure are competitive. Even when the season hasn't even started yet, they find a way to battle each other off the field. This week, the challenge has been to see which storied program has the most publicized corruption before a ball is snapped.

The University of Miami started things off by suspending four players for their big week 1 matchup against Florida State. Since the suspension is for a big rivalry game, it's reasonable to assume that the infraction must have been rather significant. Unfortunately, Larry Coker wouldn't elaborate on the incident, leaving others to come up with their own creative speculations.

USC then found their way into the local papers with their very own steroid scandal. (reg required). Pete Carroll initially tried to bury the story by saying the guilty player (Brandon Ting) had left the program to concentrate on his pursuit of medical school. Reporters immediately doubted the credibility of the story (perhaps Carroll should have said he left to pursue a ballroom dancing career) and did some digging, where they found that Brandon had tested positive for steroids. The story didn't make national headlines initially since Brandon and his brother Ryan are backup players and their dismissal doesn't really affect the team. However, it's now being reported that Arthur Ting, orthopedic surgeon and father of Brandon and Ryan, is a physician for Barry Bonds and has testified before a grand jury considering possible perjury charges against Bonds. Corruption within a top tier program, an attempted cover-up from the coach, and a connection to the Barry Bonds steroid/hgh/thg scandal....this one's got it all!

Not to be left out, Oklahoma has dismissed starting QB Rhett Bomar from the team for taking "payment over an extended period of time in excess of time actually worked." I'm sure this happens every summer at every program, but Bomar's main offense was greed. He reportedly collected as much as $18,000 for his summer at an auto dealership where he claimed to be working 40 hour weeks. An investigation revealed that he had actually been working five hours per week. To make the story better, the dealership is part of the Sooner Schooner Car Program, which supplies vehicles to coaches, athletic department officials, and briefly, to running back Adrian Peterson. Now the team is left without an experienced starting QB and many Sooners are suddenly going to have actually pay for their Ford F-350s.

I should at least give some credit to Bob Stoops and Larry Coker. Although these infractions did occur under their watch, both coaches were very proactive in meting out appropriate sanctions. This is in direct opposition to Coach Carroll who, rather than investigating the extent of the steroid problem within his program, instead coerced the guilty player to leave the school "voluntarily" and began fabricating stories to conceal the problem.

All of this makes the gay orgy (man I'm going to get spammed like crazy for including that phrase) at Troy State seem pretty tame by comparison. Now, it's up to some of the other schools around the nation to show that they're indeed bigtime. If Notre Dame truly is back, then I expect to read about Brady Quinn blowing a .18 while driving back from his sister and AJ Hawk's wedding reception. Ted Ginn Jr. could go on a crime spree with Maurice Clarett, robbing night club partiers in attempt to fund Clarett's defense fund. And of course West Virginia will have a few handgun/alcohol/robbery charges whenever Chris Henry comes into town to watch a game.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

September is just a month away, and now is the time for gamblers, fantasy football players, and general football fanatics to begin getting ready for the upcoming NFL season. Here are some of the first few stories trickling out of training camps...

Michael Vick is way ahead of schedule this season, having already tweaked a hamstring that will force him to the sidelines for a few days...

Also in midseason form is Brett Favre, who threw five interceptions in a single practice...

Reggie Bush showed up to camp wearing gold rimmed shoes with gold tipped cleats. He loves gooooold. De schmell of it. De taschte of it. De texchture. Next, Tom Benson would like to paint his winky gold. It's kind of his thing, you know...

Once Bush showed up to camp, the Saints traded Michael Bennett to Kansas City for a conditional draft pick. If you're in a fantasy football league that has an 'auction-style' draft and you are unable to acquire Larry Johnson, you can exact a little revenge by bidding up Michael Bennett and forcing LJ's owner to pay a ridiculous amount for his backup...

Former 1st round pick, WR Rashaun Woods was waived by the Chargers in his first week of camp with his new team. In explaining the move, Chargers GM AJ Smith reported that "“We all came to a very early decision on his ability to help us." Ouch. Smith didn't even give the standard line of "We wanted to give him an opportunity to catch on with another team." Just said he sucks and they wanted to stop wasting time on him as soon as possible. At least he has that Oklahoma State education (and $4 mil) to fall back on...

Sources indicate that Tedy Bruschi might have a broken wrist. This shouldn't really affect Tedy much at all, as Peter King has already volunteered to jerk Bruschi off anytime he needs some relief.