Sunday, April 30, 2006

Nash, Who's Your Daddy?

The NBA playoffs have finally become compelling and it is not because of a looming Clippers/Lakers showdown in the next round, or Kobe Bryant’s heroics at the end of game 4. Instead it is the complete and utter meltdown of Suns point guard and two-time MVP Steve Nash.

Nash has inexplicably been selected as the league’s most valuable player in each of the past two seasons, but has failed to deliver when it counts the most. It’s hard to imagine a bigger meltdown by a league MVP since, well, you know who.

The Suns meltdown was so pronounced on Sunday, you had to sneak a peak over to the team’s bench to make sure Mike Kryhngbgswawsjiwski wasn’t calling the plays. The Suns were so bad down the stretch, former Duke guard J.J. Manning is already looking for homes in Scottsdale, figuring that his ticket has been punched for Phoenix in the upcoming draft. The Suns come-from-ahead debacle was so explicit, Peyton Manning had to cancel an appearance at a Kenny Chesney concert because it caused too many Vietnam-style flash backs.

Speaking of the Manning family, you have to wonder how far Archie’s seed has reached. The world was shocked to find out that Archie was the father of Duke forward J.J. Manning. What about Nash? There are court documents show that Archie did have a Canadian nanny who disappeared for unknown reasons in 1973. Could it be?

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Friday, April 28, 2006

The Weak Ender!

We are just mere hours away from one of the most anticipated television events of the season. A time to turn off the phone, shut down the computer, kick the dog off the couch, and prepare for hours of sheer genius.

Yep, the Daytime Emmy Awards are set for Friday night, to be hosted by The Hater Nation favorite, Kelly Monaco.

You didn't think we were talking about the NFL Draft, did you? Monaco or Chris Berman, that isn't even a contest. The NFL Draft is one of the worst television events of the year. It is going to take around two hours to see how badly the Raiders are going to jeopardize the future of the franchise with a misguided selection. Speaking of the Raiders, the sincere hope is that the Raiders are saddled with Vince Young, who tested just above "sea urchin" in his Wonderlic test. The fear is that the Raiders land Matt Leinart. The hope is that Mr. Heisman lands with the Birds down at No. 10. Could you imagine, Leinart apprenticing under future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner?

Needless to say, we’ll read all about it Sunday morning because there is no way that you can blow a perfect Southern California Saturday watching this nonsense. Seriously. And we love the NFL. But there is no need to apologize that the NFL Draft is the biggest non-event in the history of sports.


  • Tampa Bay prospect Delmon Young was suspended for tossing a bat at an umpire during a minor league game. Unfortunately, that umpire was not Doug Eddings. It seems the sporting world is getting a little too worked up over Young tossing a bat at a "scab" umpire. If the only thing the umpire has had tossed at him is a bat, he should consider himself lucky. And speaking of Eddings, the Chicago White Sox return to Anaheim this weekend. Do you think when A.J. Pierzynski's wife catches him cheating, does he just start running away like nothing happened?



  • Did the Lakers clinch their open-round series with the Suns the other night? It sure seems like it, listening to local sports talk shows. Bummer about the Clippers on Thursday.



  • It looks more and more like Terry is going to be unstoppable in Survivor. At least until he won a brand new Yukon. The person who wins the car challenge almost assuredly will lose the overall contest. It’s a fate worse than being on the cover of Madden football.


AND FINALLY

Charles Woodson signed a deal with the Green Bay Packers. It was a tough decision for Woodson, who also considered signing with Minnesota, Chicago, and Detroit just for the opportunity to catch Brett Favre's interception number 278. Woodson passed up a chance to become the Eric Show of the NFL. That's selfless.

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Mock Draft We'd Like To See

As the names are read off during the NFL Draft on Saturday, Mel Kiper and the boys will expound on the virtues of each player—comparing them to NFL greats. But is that really accurate? The NFL Draft is littered with more bust than star players in recent years.

Three of the first top five picks were busts in 1998—Ryan Leaf (forgot the team), Andre Wadsworth (Cardinals) and Curtis Enis (Bears). Charles Woodson (who went fourth to the Raiders) could be considered a disappointment. The Cowboys selected Greg Ellis at No. 8 and he turned out to be a serviceable player. He wasn’t as good as the guy they had flirted with drafting—Randy Moss (Vikings).

Edgerrin James (Colts), Torry Holt (St. Louis), and Donovan McNabb (Eagles) turned out to be great picks in 1999, not so much for Tim Couch (Browns), Akili Smith (Bengals), Ricky Williams (Saints), and David Boston (Arizona).

The top ten of 2000 produced only one superstar, Brian Urlacher (Bears), against Courtney Brown (Browns), Peter Warrick (Bengals), Tomas Jones (Cardinals), Plaxico Burress (Steelers), and Travis Taylor (Ravens). Although Jones and Burress had good years for teams that did not draft them in 2005.

LaDainian Tomlinson (Chargers) and Richard Seymour (Patriots) were the only two marquee players in the 2001 NFL Draft. That year also had three serviceable starters Mike Vick (Falcons), Justin Smith (Bengals), and Leonard Davis (Cardinals). But it also had a number of busts in Gerard Warren (Browns), Andre Carter (49ers), David Terrell (Bears), Koren Robinson (Seahawks) and Jamal Reynolds (Packers).

The 2002 NFL Draft produced two very good defensive players—Julius Peppers (Panthers) and Roy Williams (Cowboys). But it had three big busts in the top ten headlined by Joey Harrington (Lions).

With that in mind, here is a mock draft of a top ten, with accurate comparisons to consider other than the platitudes given by the ESPN crew. Probably have a better chance of being right, given recent history.

  1. Texans: Reggie Bush, RB. Bush will probably make a splashing debut like Ki-Jana Carter.
  2. Saints: Mario Williams, DE. Some say that a defensive end should go first overall. That worked out well for Aundray Bruce and the Falcons years ago.
  3. Titans: Vince Young, QB. Who cares about Wonderlic scores? It didn’t slow down Jeff George. Young is that once-in-a-lifetime athlete, like a dumber version of Kordell Stewart.
  4. Jets: D’Brickasaw Ferguson, T. A tackle with the fourth pick. Ask Tom Donahoe about that as he was run out of Buffalo for selecting Mike Williams fourth overall in 2002.
  5. Packers: A.J. Hawk, LB. The best haircut on a linebacker since Brian Bosworth. Not sure the Boz would marry a tranny, though.
  6. 49ers: Vernon Davis, TE. This Maryland product was really impressive at the combine. Kind of like Derek Brown who the Giants drafted years ago. If you don’t remember him, don’t worry, the Giants are still trying to forget.
  7. Raiders: Matt Leinart, QB. Todd Marinovich joke too easy here. Besides, Cade McNown is a more apt comparison.
  8. Bills: Brodick Bunkley, DT. He will be a star one day—for the Broncos.
  9. Lions: Michael Huff, CB. Hey, at least it is not a receiver. Most likely it will be the second coming of Terrell Buckley.
  10. Birds: Jay Cutler, QB. Will remind long-time Arizona Cardinals fans of Kelly Stouffer.

If you are still watching the NFL Draft past this point, you might just be a loser.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

NFL Is Coming Back to LA

The league is serious this time! And football fans are seriously deluded if they think that this is either a good thing, or that it will even happen at all. But you can’t blame the fans for being a little misguided.

The local papers are still reporting on the fantasy that the NFL is going to pay $800M to build a stadium in Los Angeles or Anaheim. The thought that the NFL needs the Southern California market for television negotiations has long since passed, but its fun to play along.

The local papers have said that the NFL Stadium Fairy is going to grant a stadium in time for the 2010 season. Okay, sure. But please dispel any notion that the league will give Southern California an expansion team. It won’t happen. An expansion team would give the league 33 teams—a logistical nightmare that occurred when the league was uneven prior to the Houston Texans arrival.

What about two expansion teams? Sure. NFL owners don’t want to split its revenues with one more team, so they would love to give up two more pieces of the pie along with the Southern California market. So that is not happening. (And really, who has $1B kicking around for the expectant expansion fee?)

So it will be an existing team moving to Southern California. But what team has a lousy lease with an out in 2010?

The Oakland Raiders.

The team that ushered in the era of free-agent franchises holding cities hostage for new stadium deals will be that team who will take that brand new $800M stadium.

Yeah, keep dreaming.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kobe Changes Jersey Numbers

Kobe Bryant, no longer the hot spokesman he was before his incident in Colorado, will change his jersey number from 8 to 24 next season. Bryant will switch to “24” to advertise for the FOX show by the same name and hopefully gain a positive rub from the good reputation of the Kiefer Sutherland vehicle.

Bryant announced he also will be changing his name next season, too. When pressed for an answer, Bryant said, “My new name is Earl.”

No word on if he will grow a mustache.

Say It Ain't So!

Found this story on Sports By Brooks.

Matt Leinart (left) is just another delusional Raiders fan. If he wasn’t a soon-to-be NFL quarterback, he would be face painting, spiked shoulder pad wearing, Chargers-fan-stabbing Raiders fanatic.

Leinart, in his online journal, admitted that as much. He also said that Raiders owner Al Davis compared him favorably to Ken Stabler during the former USC quarterback’s recent visit to the Raiders facilities.

He should be thankful a senile Davis didn’t call him Todd.

Leinart went on to say that Davis is a legend. Yeah, so is Lyle Menendez. Leinart said that Davis was extremely smart. He’s got a point. Think of all of the money Davis saves on printing cost by not changing the Raiders playbook over the past 30 years. And you know will never have to pay for any expensive championship rings in the future.

Leinart also noted that it was Davis was really the guy who started the NFL. Jesus kid, you’ve got the job. If Leinart does fall to the Raiders, the organization won’t have to waste its time trying to get this guy to buy into the Raiders mystique.

Really disappointed in the Huntington Beach native.



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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Town Loves Winners

The Clip Show is really starting to capture the imagination of Southern California as it opened up a 2-0 lead over Denver in its best of seven playoff series. The Clippers were so impressive last night, they forced Orange County Register columnist Steve Bisheff to flip-flop on his assessment of the team. But the Bish went a little overboard.

Bisheff said last week that he would not be surprised if the Clippers reverted back to its losing ways against Denver. Bisheff reiterated that point on Sunday when he said that the Clippers win in Game 1 proved that the team was not ready to be a player in the playoffs. (Don’t look for it online, however, the sports editor has protected his boy by removing that column—much like it covered up his Tom Watkins mistake.)

Now the Bish today has compared the Clippers to George Mason, said it was “hip to Clip,” and to “Eat your heart out Lakers.” It is this kind of reactionary drivel that makes Bisheff really special as he serves as conductor on the Clippers Bandwagon.

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear about the Clippers—they ain't close to taking over Southern California. Not by a long shot. The Lakers are the most popular team in the region. Clippers fans are made up of about 5 percent hardcore fans (all 19,000 of them showed up at Staples Center for the first two games). The rest are Lakers fans who consider the Clippers their JV team or East Coast transplants who can’t root for the Lakers.

The Clippers are currently the passing fancy of area sports fans, and the toast of the town—kind of like the Bruins basketball team was a few weeks ago. But now Kohl’s is selling UCLA Final Four gear at 75 percent off. So its time for the real Clippers fans to enjoy their moment in the sun and for bald-headed columnists to find different tired angles to beat into the ground.

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The Bush White House

This is the home that threatens to bring down the USC football program. So much for that gated mansion. As noted on this site yesterday, this is just your average tract house in Southern California. Now people are clinging to the hope that the Griffins (Bush’s parents) did not pay fair market value on this home.

As if beating USC on the field is not an option.

The Pac-10 will continue to look into this matter, but does anybody else get the feeling that the investigation is going to turn out like the Dean’s inquiry of Thornton Mellon in the movie, Back to School? In fact, maybe they could get Ned Beatty to reprise his role of Dean Martin and head up the Pac-10’s investigation. He would have this thing solved in a minute.

Dean Martin: Mr. Griffin, I am only going to ask you once…did you pay full market value for that house?
Mr Griffin: I can’t lie to you Dean Martin…Yes I did!
Dean Martin: I’m satisfied.

And then it would be done.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Bears Fight Club

Imagine you just signed a lucrative NFL contract that will pay you $21M over five years. Where would you go to celebrate? Las Vegas, New York City, maybe South Beach?

How about a Westwood Denny's? And how about not only going to Denny's, but also starting a fight?

That is what happened to NFL defensive back Ricky Manning Jr. who was arrested on suspicion of assault early Sunday after slugging a drunk college guy at a Denny’s near the UCLA campus. (Odds are, with a name like Manning, he probably choked the alleged victim.)

Manning recently signed an offer sheet to with the Chicago Bears. That makes sense. Maybe Manning was just trying to fit in with his Bears teammates. You may recall that tackle Fred Miller missed some time last season after he was punched out by center Olin Kruetz at an FBI shooting range. Obviously there is just one rule about joining the Bears organization—don’t talk about joining the Bears organization.

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Our House

There is something about being a Bush and being in the middle of a controversy. President George Bush may have lied that Iraq housed weapons of mass destruction. Reggie Bush is now having to answer questions about who owned the San Diego home that housed his family during the 2005 season. It is reported that a sports agent provided the house for Bush’s family, a revelation that could destroy the USC football program.

The Pac-10 is looking into allegations that a sports rep, Michael Michaels, provided the house to the Bush family in hopes to land the Heisman Trophy winner as a client. Hopefully Michaels was more creative with his book-keeping than his parents were at selecting a name.

It is hard to see what the big hubbub is. Bush’s family went from an apartment to a $757,000-home. The national media is reporting that the house is a mansion. Residents of Southern California view a $757,000-home as a “starter.” A fixer-upper if you will.

If anything, the only violation might be Title-IX infraction. Look for USC to arrange for a sports agent to provide a house of equal value to an USC womens athlete.

Don't look for this to hurt Bush's approval ratings with NFL scouts. Besides, come Saturday, he'll have enough money to buy his family a real mansion.

  • Congratulations to Giants slugger Barry Bonds who finally muscled a home run at the hitter-friendly Coors Field on Saturday. Forget the chase for Babe Ruth, Bonds is only one homer away from catching Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

  • Add Nick Swisher to the list of most hate-able athletes. How is it that the Oakland A’s overhaul its roster each season, yet every player still looks the same?

  • The Clippers win! It’s funny that people continue to push Kobe Bryant for league MVP when he might not even be the most valuable player of Staples Center. Elton Brand’s block in the waning seconds secured the Clippers victory even after the club attempted to gag it away.

  • It is hard to figure out why columnists such as Steve Bisheff continue to belittle the Clippers during the playoff run. But the Bish was the same guy who said that the Angels didn’t have a shot in the 2002 playoffs. Maybe he should stick to writing about Pete Carroll’s footwear.

  • Kobe wasn’t enough of a ball-hog for the Lakers to win on Sunday.

  • LeBron James made his playoff debut with a triple double (32-11-11). If Alex Rodriguez was a basketball player, he would be the exact opposite of LeBron James.

  • Tom Petty?

AND FINALLY

Keith Hernandez was a little pushy to get with Elaine during his cameo appearances on Seinfeld. So it should come as no surprise that the Mets broadcaster took umbrage with the San Diego Padres having a female trainer in their dugout.

"I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout," Hernandez said.

Hernandez, a former Mets first baseman, then laughed and said: "You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there -- always have."

Sure. You had better take a look at that third base coach, Keith. He is not waving you in.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

The Weak Ender!

Chargers Girls! Foo Fighters! Arnold! And More…

The NBA Playoffs Are Too Short. Seriously. Who doesn’t want to see the Spurs and Kings series stretched out to 11 games? Think of the ratings. Think of the ticket revenue! The NBA should abolish the regular season and just have continuous playoffs. Kind of like the Davis Cup in Tennis. Or the Stanley Cup playoffs in hockey.

Obviously the league can’t stage a single-elimination tournament because the team would lose out on television and gate receipts. But then the NBA would be something it has been in a number of years—compelling. But go back to the best-of-five first round. Please.

  • The Sports Dork knows about as much about music as he does sports, which is why he is misguided about Nirvana. It's hard to take a band seriously when its most talented member is the drummer. Dave Grohl in Nirvana is akin to Babe Ruth's pitching career with the Red Sox. Sure he was good, but he didn’t really achieve greatness until he switched teams and positions.


  • The Sports Dork also labeled Pearl Jam fans as over-obsessive. This coming from a Red Sox fan. Obviously the Dork is not familiar with the term irony.


  • Poor Bruce was forced from Survivor due to an irritable bowel. What a huge hit for the Asian community. First Mr. Miyagi, and now this. But Terry's run in this game is more interesting than both the Lakers and Clippers making the playoffs in the same season.


  • The Hater Nation now has a syndication feed, whatever that means. (You can find it in the left-hand margin towards the bottom.) Seriously, our man, Vin said that we needed to have it. So there it is, whatever it may be.


  • The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that the NFL will now put two franchises in Los Angeles. And you guys think Rocky LaPorte is funny. Sources close to the situation indicate that the Raiders are moving to Los Angeles in 2011. The only reason the league is batting around the idea of a second franchise is so owners of the Saints, Jaguars, et al, still have some leverage in stadium negotiations. All this talk is great, but here is the bigger question. Who is going to pay to rebuild the Coliseum or build a new stadium in Anaheim?


AND FINALLY

The Chargers Girls were announced this week. Better enjoy them while you can. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced that the city will not help build the Chargers a new stadium in the city. That should come as good news to San Diego Police who have arrested linebackers Steve Foley and Shaun Phillips in separate incidents recently.

The team is welcome to look for locations in San Diego County. Chula Vista and Oceanside are two names possibly linked. Maybe they will be the second suitor for that LA franchise.

American Bad Ass

Former American Idol contestant Bo Bice might be trying a little too hard to prove that he is a rock star. The Axl Rose wannabe picked a fight with former NFL lineman Glenn Parker in a bar after having a few too many drinks according to MTV.com.

So instead of being the guy who (expletived) Paula Abdul, Bice wants to be the guy who starts fights with former NFL players. Smooth. This move officially pushes Bice past the Justin and Kelly movie for worst-post Idol career choice. Bice’s stock has now fallen so low, even Van Halen wouldn’t consider using him. Even Sebastian Bach won't return his phone calls.

The altercation allegedly started when Parker leaned over and ask Bice if he was that dude from Creed. (But Bice was looking to get his ass kicked like Scott Stapp.) Parker was able to subdue Bice and when asked how he was able to handle it, the former Bills lineman replied, “Dude, I’m used to handling drunks. I played with Jim Kelly.”

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Alexander Gets Cover

Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander has earned the privilege of having his season ruined by being chosen to grace the cover of Madden NFL 07. The over-hyped Madden cover jinx has taken over for the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. (You can read more about the Madden cover jinx elsewhere as this angle will be run into the ground by now. But if you ask us, the Chunky Campbell’s Soup jinx discovered here is still the best.)

You have to wonder why guys agree to do this. Athletes are a superstitious sort. So maybe it’s a matter of getting paid. Alexander already has received his big-money deal for his contract year. He also showed during the playoff game against the Redskins he doesn’t mind being injured. Alexander, who admitted he is a fan of the game, said it would be an honor to be on the cover.

“To be on the cover of Madden NFL 07 is a big milestone in my career,” said the guy who was selected by some as the NFL’s MVP. Said the guy who set the single-season TD record. Said the guy who led (sort of) the Seahawks to its first Super Bowl.

All those records and team accolades are nice, but it’s the individual honor of being the next cover jinx that is the real milestone. Remember that during your fantasy draft.

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Is That All There Is?

Jessica Alba made news recently when she threatened a lawsuit against Playboy for using her picture on the cover of the men's magazine. Alba recently settled with Playboy who apologized for misleading consumers. Playboy needs to offer another apology. There may even be the need for a cash payout.

It has been widely publicized for months that Cowgirl was going to make her Playboy debut. This got college guys like Zach worked up in a frenzy waiting to get a glimpse of Cowgirl in the periodical. This had the potential to rival those WWF pictorials.

Unfortunately, the Playboy picture of Cowgirl ended like your typical Florida State football season—in disappointment. It also probably caused Bobby Bowden to shed a few tears, too. Cowgirl appeared topless, baring only her left breast. The school that gave us wide right, has now introduced hide right. Playboy buyers are likely to feel shaken down, like they had just participated in an Adrian McPherson pyramid scheme.

If you are waiting for nudes on this site, keep dreaming horn dogs. You can do a search to find the picture.

The issue also ranked the top party schools in the country with Wisconsin ranking number one. The West was well represented with UC Santa Barbara (second) and San Diego State (fifth) both finishing in the top five. Florida State, the home of Cowgirl, ranked sixth.

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The Bish Quiz

Orange County Register columnist Steve Bisheff’s work ethic makes Bud Grant seem diligent by comparison. Bisheff likes to mail in a column periodically, a collection of non-sequiturs he calls “opinions.” These are only insipid views, but at least they are his.

As Conrad Bain’s assistant said, “It makes the case that something can be so awful that it begins to become appealing. Like Ah-Ha’s Take on Me. And he waits to make his takes until the perfect time for it to be annoyingly late, but not a moment later.”

To be as bland as the Bish is an art form. But we’ll take a shot right here in a new quiz called “Guess the Bish Take.” We’ll cover a couple of different subjects, see if you can guess which unimaginative take comes from your six-figures-a-year columnist.

Subject: The Angels

a. The Angels are making the same mistake with Casey Kotchman that they did with Dallas McPherson. Namely, they are batting him too low in the order and not protecting him behind the Angels big bats.
b. Once Kotchman relaxes and regains the stroke he has demonstrated at every stop on the way to the majors, he'll be fine.
c. It’s shame the Angels didn’t keep Troy Glaus or Bengie Molina. Maybe they should keep that in mind the next time they want to rush Brandon Wood of Howie Kendrick to the majors. Dallas McPherson was a can’t miss prospect, too.

Answer: b. This was an easy one. Both a and c contained insight that you would expect from a columnist. Bisheff’s answer is the kind of insight typically reserved for soccer moms.

Subject: The Dallas Cowboys

a. Terrell Owens and Bill Parcells, huh? What's the over-under on that inevitable explosion, the second day of training camp?
b. Terrell Owens and Bill Parcells, huh? They should call them the Odd Couple.
c. Terrell Owens and Bill Parcells, huh? The Tuna might not find T.O.’s act fresh.
d. Terrell Owens and Bill Parcells, huh? Shouldn’t I have commented on this when this happened weeks ago?

Answer: a. And the Bish prides himself on being timely.

Subject: Brett Favre

a. Brett Favre’s new nickname should be Gary Hart, because this retirement stuff is nothing but a bunch of Monkey Business.
b. To really understand Brett Favre, you should have seen him when he was a rookie with the Falcons.
c. Brett Favre is taking more time than some politicians to make this decision of his. The great team player isn't helping the team by delaying notice of whether he intends to keep playing. So much for the Packers coming first.
d. Seriously, Brett Favre jokes? Hasn’t this been done to death?

Answer: c. Seriously, timely.

Subject: Reggie Bush

a. Reggie Bush is likely to go No.1 overall to the Houston Texans in the NFL draft.
b. Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy.
c. Reggie Bush played for USC.
d. Hot dogs are good.

Answer: a, but at least d is an opinion

Subject: Boxing

a. Canadian Boxing Day has nothing to do with boxing. Who knew?
b. Kids today never got to see Gerry Cooney. That’s too bad.
c. Most of the kids today don't know anything about Sugar Ray Robinson. That's too bad.

Answer: c. “That’s too bad.” Way to sum that up. Luckily, Bisheff qualified that statement by saying he was the best boxer he ever saw. Yeah, right. Like he saw Sugar Ray Robinson box. Robinson retired in 1955. Unless the Bish is 70, he didn’t see him fight.

Subject: NBA

a. I know it goes against the grain, but I think the Clippers can make some noise in the playoffs.
b. It’s hard to pick against San Antonio and Detroit. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Clippers revert back to form.
c. Don’t look now, but Jerry West has the Grizzlies in the playoffs. Almost a bigger feat than winning all of those titles with the Lakers. They are my pick in the West.

Answer: b. Like he would ever pick anything other than chalk.

Subject: USC Football

a. USC coach Pete Carroll made an interesting choice installing John David Booty at the top of the depth chart going into fall practice. But those in the know believe that Mark Sanchez will be starting when the Trojans play in the Fiesta Bowl.
b. USC might have a lack of depth at running back, but many felt the same way when Hershel Dennis went down the first time.
c. USC's coach (Pete Carroll) arrived at the Trojans' final spring news conference wearing flip-flops.

Answer: c. Six figures for this insight.

Final question: Who, according to Steve Bisheff did Jack Nicklaus engage in legendary battles with during the glory days of golf?

a. Colin Montgomery
b. Tom Watson
c. Lanny Watkins
d. Tom Watkins

The answer is d., Tom Watkins. That is what was printed in the paper on Tuesday. Not that The Hater Nation does not make its mistakes. But this shows that The Bish is so demanding about his copy, people are afraid to edit it. The Bish’s ego hurts the hard-working boys on the desk. What a jerk.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Maria

Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharapova turned 19 today. And being 19 in tennis is the equivalent of being George Blanda in the NFL. Although Maria is much too pretty to be confused with the former Raiders quarterback. Maria is the Chris Everet of the new generation. While comrade Svetlana Kuznetsova would be like an ugly version of Martina Navratilova.

Just kidding, Svetlana actually looks like George Blanda in drag.

And yes this was a shameless reason to run a picture of Maria Sharapova for our buddy, Zach. Be sure to check out The Hater Nation Forums. If you are still using Stub Hub, you are a dope.

Clippers "Win"

Nice League. Seriously. Although if your league has a woman’s version, then things aren’t looking too promising to begin with.

As you should know by now, the Clippers have clinched home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs by doing what they do best—losing. The Clippers loss to Memphis gives them the six seed and, by virtue of having more wins, a home-court advantage over three-seed Denver. Again, nice league.

The NFL sometimes has meaningless football games at the end of the year. And pretty much any Royals game after April is meaningless. Still, the Royals are not given a playoff berth and home-field advantage by losing.

That is what happened to the Clippers by virtue tanking the final week of the season. But give the Clippers some credit—they did not pull a Kris Brown. (The Houston Texans kicker who seemed to take a payola by missing kicks against the 49ers to secure the first overall selection in the NFL draft. He was like that fighter in Diggstown who was paid to take a fall, but made it too obvious.)

The Clippers trailed by 18 points in the fourth quarter, only to cut the deficit to thee down the stretch before ultimately falling, 101-95. Everybody knew the Clippers were not going to win, but they had you believing for a second. Well, as much as you could while the team played Vin Baker. The Clippers run was remarkably similar to that of your average jobber facing Ric Flair or any other star back in the glory days of wrestling. You believed for a moment that Flair could lose, even though you knew better.

You knew better with the Clippers. There was no chance they were going to come out of their with a “W,” even though they left the court as the bigger winners.

Be sure to check out The Hater Nation Forums. If you are still using Stub Hub, you are a dope.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Must See TV

The NFL Network knows what it is doing. Broadcasting the entire NFL Draft is cool. Well, if you are the kind of geek who wants to spend the better part of his Saturday waiting for Maurice Drew to get drafted or somebody to finally kill Mel Kiper Jr. Yeah, that is compelling television.

No, the NFL Network made a major coup when it was on hand to film the Chargers Girls auditions this weekend. Seriously would you rather tune in to see if the Chargers will draft ASU’s Dale Robinson in the third round to replace Donnie Edwards? Or would you rather see scantily-clad women, dancing for your entertainment?

It’s not a tough decision. For most of you, at least.

And if you use your imagination, it’s not hard to visualize the Chargers Girls tryouts turning out the same way the tryouts went for Nomi Malone in Showgirls. (They are wearing the same outfits.) You can just imagine the evil choreographer Tony Moss saying, “What are these, water melons? This is a field, babe, not a patch. See ya!”

Although that seems to be sort of a prerequisite to be an NFL cheerleader.

Maybe two of the would-be hopefuls would have a tender moment like Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon. Maybe there would be a stagehand running around the tryouts with a bowl full of ice cubes.

Sure the finished product will likely be as titillating as watching Showgirls on VH1, but it is fun to imagine what could have gone on.


Be sure to check out The Hater Nation Forums. If you are still using Stub Hub, you are a dope.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Athletes Failing to Deliver

Back in the “good old days” expectant fathers would sit in the waiting room with a fist full of cigars waiting to hear if it was a bouncing baby boy or girl. Now, fathers are in the delivery room videotaping, coaching and even missing games.

And not your recreation league games. Guys are missing actual professional games—games that could have an impact down the road.

Darin Erstad missed the opening of the Angels four-game series in Baltimore while his wife delivered the couple’s first baby girl. Erstad, you are making millions of dollars, your daughter will understand if you weren’t there for the birth. Give her a sweet 16 party to rival those entitled brats on MTV and all will be forgiven.

Seahawks running Shaun Alexander missed the first-half of a game with the St. Louis football team in 2003 while his wife had their first child. Alexander cut the umbilical cord and received a police escort on his way to the stadium. Sadly, the blimp did not show this footage of that. Although police escorts for NFL running backs have been done before.

Golfer Phil Mickelson said that he would miss a major if his wife were giving birth (though, he could have been needed for breast feeding so that is a bad example).

This phenomenon is getting out of hand. Maybe that is the reason that Shawn Kemp is no longer in basketball. He would likely miss 10 to 20 games each season for the birth of children.

It is time for athletes to make a change. Like it or not, athletes are role models. If they are going to take an active role in the birth of their children, what chance does the average Joe have? Instead of playing golf or poker during the delivery, he is going to be expected to be in the delivery room. Just kicking back in the waiting room drinking is not going to be acceptable. How the hell did guys let this happen?

It’s athletes like Alexander, Mickelson and Erstad setting a bad example. These athletes need to realize that their bad habits are having a negative impact on society. If nothing else, think of the children.

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums. And be sure to boycott StubHub!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Anna Does Baltimore

You have to wonder if Anna Benson made good on her promise to bed her husband’s entire team if she ever caught him cheating. At least that would explain why the Orioles made more errors than your typical junior varsity team in Sunday’s loss to the Angels. A loss tagged to Anna’s husband, Kris.

It was Anna’s first trip to Camden Yards this season. It evidentially had an impact on the Orioles concentration.

Javy Lopez hit a home run into the seats at Camden yards, but confusion on the base paths caused him to pass teammate Miguel Tejada who had singled. Evidentally that is not allowd in Major League Baseball.

Lopez hit a drive to center that sent Darin Erstad leaping at the wall to make the catch. When Erstad tumbled to the ground—his leg twisted awkwardly beneath him—it was uncertain if he caught the ball. By the time Erstad showed his empty glove, Tejada had retreated from second base and was passed by Lopez, who was credited with an RBI single and called out for passing the runner.

The Angels also executed a flawless delayed-steal where Chone Figgins became engaged in a rundown that allowed Maicer Izturis to score from third. Figgins even managed to hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning. The only thing missing in the game was the hidden ball trick.

This whole game reeks of shenanigans as it looked like some had a happy ending. Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums. The boycott of Stubhub is still on!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Feeling Your Pain Ottawa

It was less than a year ago that The Hater Nation anointed Lonie Glieberman as the "Owner of the Year". Glieberman induced much praise (at least here) for being one of the first guys in sports history to ignore families and cater to the true football fans. He was the man who found a way to combine "Girls Gone Wild" with football—albeit it the Canadian variety. Glieberman must have felt like the guy who invented peanut butter cups. A true genius, this guy.

Now he is gone. The Ottawa Rough-Renegades are disbanded. The CFL has ceased operations for the embattled franchise and held a dispersal draft on Thursday. The CFL lost a storied franchise, but the world of sports lost one of its greatest operators.

Rams fans can commiserate. The team went from the capable hands of Carol Rosenbloom to Georgia Frontiere after he accidentally drowned. Frontiere would provided the basis for the movie Major League as the Rams went from marquee NFL franchise to being disbanded in 1994. The league eventually awarded an expansion franchise to St. Louis, who not only stole the Rams name and marks, but in irony of ironies allowed Georgia to own that team, too.

It’s a shame that men like Georgia Frontiere are allowed to own teams and guys such as Glieberman, Rosenbloom, and Vincent K. McMahon are no longer in football.

NOTE

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the new official CFL team of The Hater Nation after signing former Chapman quarterback Patrick Josten. The Panthers all-time leading passer had spent time with the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm as a scout-team quarterback.

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums. And be sure to boycott Stub Hub.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Baseball Writers Still in Shadows

It’s hard to imagine how steroids ran rampant in baseball under the watchful eye of baseball writers. Actually, it’s not hard at all.

Take a guy like Steve Bisheff (left) for instance. The Bish (like most baseball writers) tends to view steroids the same way that Carl Everett views the dinosaurs—they don’t exist. The Bish is one of those hopeless romantics who believes in everything pure about baseball. There is no reason to talk about the dirty side.

Bisheff recently penned a story on Phil Nevin. You all remember the story of Nevin, right? A bust as an overall first pick who jumped around from organization to organization, until he finally found his power groove with the San Diego Padres—the same organization that launched Ken Caminiti’s career. Nevin, who never hit more than nine homeruns in a season, hit 24 homers in 1999, followed by years of 31 and 41 bombs.

Then the power started to fade away. The injuries started to mount up. And then Nevin was traded for Jackie Chan Ho Park. The similarities to Caminiti’s meteoric rise and crash were similar. So with Caminiti being an admitted steroid user, you would figure that the Bish would at least address the subject, right?

Wrong.

You had better believe there was no mention of the “s” word in the Bish’s puff piece. There was not a chance the Bish would ever bring up the subject. Of course, Nevin was a miserable failure in the major leagues, who ended up saving his career with monster numbers that he has never been able to duplicate and is now dealing with a whole host of injuries. Why would that raise a red flag to the Bish? Why would the Bish ever want to do any investigative reporting? The Bish is not a commentator; his job is to hand out literary hand-jobs to his buddies. Obviously Nevin is part of his brood.

Dodgers closer Eric Gagne went from failing starting pitcher, to overnight, dominant closer. Gagne became one of the most feared closers in the game. Suddenly, when the league starts testing for steroids, Gagne is extremely hittable before suffering a major injury. Luckily the LA Times had a big investigative piece on Gagne’s steroid abuse, right?

Wrong.

Not saying that Nevin or Gagne ever took steroids. But both players rose from obscurity to light in the blink of an eye, and that does attract anybody's attention? Obviously these guys must feel that Brady Anderson just had a heck of a year.

In fact, ESPN radio talk show host Colin Cowheard was crucified for even bringing up the subject. That’s the problem right there. Nobody wants to talk about it unless it happens to be Barry Bonds. Then the jokes are endless and nonstop. But the only reason they talk about Bonds is because their hands were forced. It seems if it was up to the baseball media, they would like to forget that all together. Like a Kansas City board of education who would like to ignore fossils, baseball writers would rather move on instead of doing some actual work.

It's funny that newspapers wonder why its industry is dying. Nobody wants to pay for puff pieces and other garbage. If newspapes want to remain viable, they will take a step out of the shadows and actually shed some light on pressing subjects.

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.

Sorry, Overslept

But what a perfect ending to a (expletive) up day. Stub Hub cost an extra $10 above face, which isn't bad. The drive to the out-of-the way hotel room to get the tickets was bad, however. Not to say that the motel was seedy, but Tony Phillips wouldn't even smoke crack in this place. Luis Polonia would not bring underage girls back to this place.

The place was so sordid, Mo Vaughn served as the bell captain.

It was a give-away night, but more on Kelvim Escobar in a minute. Some (expletive) head stole both give-away clocks, as kind of a punishment for staying to the end of the game. To make matters worse, it was some punk pre-teen girl whom likely wasn't an Angels fan making her first (and only) appearance at Angel Stadium this year.

Here is another public service announcement: Stay away from promotional nights. Families load up the mini van, grab the free stuff like locust and leave early. If you want to find the dregs of humanity (and not the band from It's Your Move) show up at a promotional night.

So the illegitimate child of Patty Hearst was seated on the right, and your typical Orange County, over-cheering family was on the left. You know the type, like the Family Circus dressed in red. The kind of family that has a nickname for every player on the team (except for Jeff Mathis). Of course, the nickname for Garret Anderson was a dubious one—Cadillac (insinuating he is lazy). At least some OC stereotypes live.

Of course, they left early, too. It was a school night.

The game was miserable. Escobar is still having trouble with his fingernail—even after Roger Clemens recommended a good Vietnamese nail salon in the area. Vladimir Guerrero appeared to leave when he injured his foot, but actually had the flu. Just perfect.

The blame has to go to Stub Hub. That seedy operation set the wheels in motion for a bad day. Seriously, you are better off with the Ticket Exchange or meeting one of your hard working, neighborhood ticket brokers at The Catch. Have a bad experience at a stadium lately? Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Busch League

NASCAR continues to bill itself as a viable sports franchise and then things like this happen. Kurt Busch bumped Greg Biffle into the wall on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway that caused a delay and tempers to rise.


Biffle was understandably pissed off. But Biffle’s girlfriend Nicole Lunders (left) went into the pits and confronted Busch’s fiancĂ© Eva Bryan to make matters worse. Now NASCAR is going to reprimand Lunders, even though the stunt has garnered a lot of publicity for the sport.

Needless to say if your league’s governing body has to reprimand wives and girlfriends, you are not a legitimate sport.

It’s hard to imagine Paul Tagliabue having conference call with Angie Harmon, telling her not to get into the face of Brendon Stokley’s wife. Or telling Elisabeth Filarski to hold back on The View. Or the Commissioner sitting down with Kenny Chesney and asking him not to start a fight every time Peyton Manning throws an interception. This whole thing smacks off a bad WWF storyline, and that is the reason that NASCAR remains a regional activity as opposed to legitimate sport.

Discuss the merits of NASCAR in The Hater Nation Forums.

Public Service Announcement

You are a dope if you use Stub Hub. It is the worst invention of the decade. As Nicolas Cage said in The Rock, we wish it were one of those things we could go back in time and not invent. Use the Ticket Exchange on your favorite major league baseball team’s website. (The Hater Nation is getting absolutely nothing for telling you this.)

A pair of Angels vs. Rangers (section 527) tickets on Stub Hub costs $11. But with the convenience of having to go out of your way to pickup these tickets, it will cost you an extra $15. You have to pay $15 for the privilege of taking a side trip to pick up your tickets for a total of $26. Not a bad deal to get into the game, mind you, but consider the following:

A pair of terrace level tickets for tonight’s game costs $12 on Ticket Exchange. They will email the tickets to you for free. Don’t make the Stub Hub mistake.

NOTE: The Angels have come from behind in their last three wins. That means more Rally Monkey jokes for local columnists.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Brett Favre: Selfless

The football world was stunned when Barry Sanders walked away from the all-time rushing record; one good season away from being the all-time leader. It’s also astonishing that Brett Favre would consider an early retirement while he is within a whisker of obtaining a record that would be the hallmark of his career—the all-time interception mark.

What is your lasting image of Brett Favre?

Alright, other than puking up a couple of vicodins and then retaking them (thanks Playboy interview).

The playoff losses to Dallas in the mid-1990s?

Losing to Michael Vick while becoming the first quarterback in club history to lose a home playoff game?

Nah. Favre is most known for throwing interceptions. His six-interception game against the St. Louis football team in the 2001 playoffs will be recognized as the pinnacle of his career. It is baffling that Favre would consider walking away from football only 22 interceptions away from tying George Blanda for the all-time mark (277). Heck, Favre could probably reach that record by week 10.

The national media has piled on Favre for being selfish. If anything, he is being very considerate to even consider walking away to leave Blanda with his legacy. Favre obviously doesn't want to embarrass himself like Franco Harris who hung on too long for a record. But football fans everywhere would clamor to see Favre reach this mark. As much respect he must have for Blanda, Favre owes it to the NFL fans to at least make a run at the record.

You can read more about Favre here or here.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Next Angels Pitcher

Kelvin Escobar could miss his second start of the season with a split fingernail. Bartolo Colon says that he is not hurt, but it won’t be long before he is on the disabled list. The Angels are going to need to make a move for another starting pitcher at some point this season.

"If it is a short-term thing, we will probably look in-house," manager Mike Scioscia said. "If it is a longer-term thing will have to explore some options."

In other words, the short term means Jered Weaver. But what could "some options" be?

Maybe Roger Clemens, perhaps?

A little far-fetched? Really? The Angels have made it perfectly clear that it doesn’t want to part with any of its prize prospects. Almost to a fault—where a guy like Troy Glaus is allowed to walk away. Trading for a proven starting pitcher won’t happen. It’s not like there is a great number of quality starting pitchers on the trading block to begin with. Plus the team has finally cashed in on a lucrative FOX Sports deal giving the club some spending flexibility.

The only option would be to sign Clemens. The Angels get a quality starting pitcher, they would not have to trade any valuable prospect and—probably most importantly—it will really piss of Yankees and Red Sox fans. That would almost make Clemens shenanigans worth it. If Arte is really intent on making the Angels the power of the West Coast, he needs to make a deal like this. Maybe it will help fans forget him changing the name, letting popular players leave, etc.

Rip this idea to shreds in The Hater Nation Forums.

Surprise! Angels Beat Yanks

Just another Halos series victory over the Yankees. An amazing feat seeing that the Yankees have the best offense ever! Seriously. If there is a game when the chips are off the table, and the pressure of winning has been removed, the Yankees are fearsome. The Angels had silenced the Sultans of Squat Friday and Saturday as New York lost its second consecutive series to start the season. With the heat off on Sunday, the Yankees were dominant. Luckily, Yankees fans have selective memories and pretended like they just won the World Series.

But it’s been so long since the Yankees have won a title, you can forgive their fans for not knowing how to behave.

  • The Angels, despite losing on Sunday, have defeated the Yankees seven times in their last 10 games at Angel Stadium. That is a consistent beat-down.

  • Had the chance to talk (yell from the stands) to general manager Bill Stoneman on Friday before they unfurled the latest American League West Divisional championship flag. Just wanted to let him know that Troy Glaus hit a bomb earlier in the day. Funny, he didn’t seem to care. Why should he, Dallas McPherson is hitting .167 at AAA.

  • Steve Bisheff had an interesting point about Friday’s game. Why not start Tim Salmon in the home opener? Sentiment is surely more important than winning baseball games. Why stop there, Bish? Why not ask for Wally Joyner (who threw out the first pitch) to play first base? Heck, he may have… its not like you can make it past the fourth graph of a Bish column.

  • Imagine how dominant Ervin Santana would have been if umpire Joe West hadn’t squeezed him on Saturday. Derek Jeter was the only player to get a hit off Santana. Nice way to rebound after Joe Torre pulled a bush-league maneuver by having Santana change his undershirt. Torre should have just rented a plane to fly above the stadium with a sign that said, “The Angels Rattle Us.” Weak move.

  • The Angels are obviously not intimidated by the Yankees, but the umpires seem to buy into the mystique. Announcers like to say that the Yankees have good “plate discipline.” It’s easy to be selective at the plate when umpires never call strikes against the team.

  • Jason Juicambi looks like he is begging for a walk every time he gets to the plate. The last thing he wants to do is swing the bat.

  • Yankees lefty Randy Johnson was impressed by Santana’s composure, especially for a young guy. “I have illegitimate kids older than (Santana), but he was dealing like a pro.”

  • It’s time to end the “Jeter Swallows” routine. A-Rod’s choking, Juicambi and Sheffield’s steroid abuse, and Noodle Arm’s sell out are open game. Jeter plays the game the right way and doesn’t deserve the scorn. Although, the way he watches the ball into the catcher’s glove is pretty annoying.

  • If it wasn’t for Bartolo Colon, the Yankees might never beat the Angels.


It’s hard to imagine what went so wrong for the Angels on Sunday. Outside of Colon. But it’s obvious—the team saluted the UCLA basketball team. Oh well, at least the Angels weren’t the biggest losers in the stadium.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The World Would Be Better Off Without You

No, it is not Yankees fans. They still have some value to the world. Scientist have yet to discover that reason, but there has to be a reason.

It’s people who wear both a jersey and a hat of the team they are about to watch.

Angels fans sometimes do it (and its embarrassing like your dad wearing white socks with shorts and tennis shoes). But it is more prevalent with Red Sox, Dodgers, and of course, Yankees fans.

Why?

People get it. You like the your team. You are the #1 Yankees fan. Obviously you still have some complex about not living in New York. It must still tug at your heart that you were a miserable failure in your hometown so the only way you can stay connected is to become an uber-fan of its sports team.

Good for you.

But what made you stop at only half of the wardrobe? Obviously you put a lot of time and money into getting an authentic hat, jersey, and team-licensed turtle neck, why stop there? Go all the way. Get the pinstriped pants, stirrups and cleats, too. Maybe Joe Torre will even ask you to come in for relief of Randy Johnson if you play your cards right. You can’t possibly be a worse alternative.

So as over-dressed Yankees fans get ready to descend upon Angel Stadium it is safe to say that the world would be better off without you.

The Last Time These Two Met

And that was the highlight of the Yankees weekend. Millions of visitors come to Anaheim every year and have a great time. Not so for the Yankees. Shorstop Derek Jeter called Angel Stadium a "House of Horrors" for the Bronx Bummers. Not the be confused with Mo Vaughn's "House of Whores" at Fritz's Too down the street.

The Angels are the only team that has been able to consistently beat the Yankees in the Joe Torre era. The Halos are 49-48 against New York since 1996, having twice eliminated the Yanks from the playoffs.

The Yankees have been Joe DimaggiOWNED by the Angels.

The Yankees, like a big bully, live off fear an intimidation. Like a local mobster shaking down a small shop owner. That doesn’t fly in Anaheim. It’s the Angels who have fleeced the Yankees of their baseball dignity, leaving baseball’s marquee franchise nothing but a shell of its former shelf. It is the Angels wielding the bat like Robert De Niro in The Untouchables.

The Angels have so frustrated the Yankees, King George has responded by spending money on big name free agents. The boss has bought Jason Juicambi, Gary Sheffield, that Japanese guy, and Alex Rodriguez in recent years. Things are so desperate, the Yankees added Old Noodle Arm in centerfield.

And for what? Just to be humiliated by the Angels again?

It is still the same old sorry Yankees. A-Rod doomed the Americans in the World Baseball Classic. Juicambi is off to another sluggish start. (Maybe he’ll struggle for a few months and then seem to find that "magic formula," that elixir which helped him regain his strength and size). Bernie Williams seems to have held on for one year too long. And the pitching? Let’s not talk about it.

Face it Yankees, you are just not good enough to compete with elite teams such as the Angels. New Yorkers (who will try to flood Angel Stadium this weekend) love to talk about their 26 rings. Big deal. Try winning a title in this century. Those past championships don’t put runs on the board. The past is just that. Past wins are just that.

When the Yankees play the Angels in the present day they are just – well — horrific.

Make your predictions in The Hater Nation Forums.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Patriots New Kicker

And you thought April's Fools Day was last Saturday.

The Boston Globe is reporting on its website that the New England Patriots have signed kicker Martin Gramatica. Yes, Martin Gramatica. This should end all talk of Bill Belichick being a genius. Let's take a look at the numbers.

Adam Vinateri has won three Super Bowls.
Martin Gramatica did not play professional football last season.

Adam Vinateri made life miserable for the St. Louis football team and the Raiders.
Martin Gramatica made life miserable for Bucs fans.

Adam Vinateri is arguably the most clutch kicker in NFL history.
Martin Gramatica did not play professional football last season.

In fact, Gramatica has not been a full-time kicker in the NFL since the 2003 season(he played briefly with the Colts in 2004). The Patriots are obviously going to have to bring in somebody else to compete for this job (maybe Remy Hamilton), but this just boggles the mind. The Patriots save a $1M, maybe two but can this guy kick in the cold weather? Does anybody on the Patriots roster believe Gramatica would have won three Super Bowls for their team?

Hope it's worth it, Patriots.

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.

Pride of the Yankees

A Tampa judge recently offered former Yankees pitcher Doc Gooden a choice after he violated his parole by using cocaine—spend a year in jail, or go see the Devil Rays play.

Gooden will begin serving his jail time immediately.

That joke was based on the comedy of Rocky LaPorte who will be appearing at the Improv at Harrah’s in Las Vegas on April 18-23. You can learn more about Rocky by looking at his website here.

The Yankees are coming to town, starting Friday. And not a moment too soon. The Angels dropped two of three in Seattle and will welcome the chance to beat up on their old rival--again. Look for a series preview on Friday.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Trade Barry Sign a Hoax



There is a giant “TRADE BARRY” billboard outside the Giants Baseball Park (whatever it is called now) that has caused quite a stir in San Francisco over the past couple of days.

It figures that Bonds would be in on it. The “Trade Barry” sign is a marketing campaign for Topps Trading Cards, green lighted by Barry himself. Too bad, if for only a brief moment, it seemed that Giants fans (or at least one) had a moment of lucidity when it came to Bonds. Not so much.

In fact, the Mercury News reported that police received an anonymous phone call alleging that a Giants fan attempted to climb the sign and light it on fire. A Giants fan risked his life to torch a billboard that suggested trading Barry — and it turns out that Bonds himself was in on the gag.

Apologies to UCLA fans, because Giants fans are the dumbest in California. Idiots.

Other Baseball Notes

Oakland A's fans have contacted Topps representatives in hopes of getting their own "Trade Barry" sign in response to Barry Zito's opening night debacle...

A Yankees fan on some site suggested on Tuesday that the Yankees needed more "F-You" wins and that Alex Rodriguez's grand slam with his team leading was indeed clutch enough for him. Your reigning MVP stranded Johnny Damon at second in both the seventh and ninth inning in the Yankees 4-3 loss to Oakland. That is an "F-You" loss...

AND FINALLY

Love always prevails. It looks like Anna Benson has had a change of heart and has announced that she will take her husband, Kris, back. It seems that Anna still wants to make Kris pay for his indiscretion. The only way to really make him pay, it seems, is to stay married to him. Look for Anna to be an even bigger media whore now, if that is possible.

Are there enough topics on the table for you? Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.

Title IX In Action

The landmark federal law was created to achieve gender equity and it has had quite an impact on NCAA Sports. It is fitting that, because of Title IX, the Duke womens basketball team choked in its attempt to win the Final Four. Maryland erased a 10-point halftime deficit to come from behind to defeat Duke in overtime. See a woman can do a man’s job just as well.

In fact, look for the Duke womens crew team to have a brush with the law in the near future.

Alison Bales, the women’s version of J.J. Manning, showed that she could gag away a championship just was well as any man. Bales (seated on the left) missed one of two free throws in the final minute that would have put the Lady Blue Devils ahead by two points. Bales also allowed her player to score the tying basket in regulation. She is a Dookie, penis or not.

The Duke womens team will be an inspiration to a generation of young girls who want to fold under pressure in the near future. At least they seemed more masculine in defeat than J.J. and the boys—but that just shows that gender equity works both ways.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bruins Say the Darndest Things

Kind of hoped that this would not be necessary. But Bruins fans have a reputation for being the worst in California. With these postings on the Bruin Report Message board, it’s not hard to see why. The UCLA cheerleaders even got into the act, calling Joakim Noah “ugly” during the game. As you can tell by the picture on the right, that was certainly an instance of the pot calling the kettle black.

And seriously, Lorenzo Mata was on your team.

UCLA posters also took great delight in that one guy (what was his name?) who dunked over Noah. That’s great. That more than makes up for being embarrassed in the NCAA title game. But that is why they are Bruins fans and produced these gems on the BRO: (These are actual posts taken verbatim. Names are anonymous to protect the ignorant.)

Wilshire Bruin: Noah is a soft player. At least half of his "blocks" were fouls and the other half were the result of poor decision-making by the Bruins. Also, a good percentage of his dunks were after traveling with the ball. He is so awkward looking that I think the weak college refs have a hard time making calls on him and also got caught up in the excitment of the crowd and let all of kinds of [expletive] go that should have been called.

A lot of UCLA fans were trying to lift their spirits by noting that Duke got killed in the 1990 NCAA title game but came back to win it the following year. The fans blaming the refs, however, is Duke-like.

Mata4Prez: Taurian Green dancing near the end of the game and Noah's chest thumping and standing on the scorer's table- 2 examples of winning without dignity and illustrative of the difference between the character of the two programs and schools. My hats off to their player's abilities but I would personally be embarrased if any UCLA players showed such immaturity.

evermore25: That is one thing Coach Wooden was big on. Win with dignity. He called time out at the end of his first NC in 64. Told his team to win with class. Cut the nets down, be happy, but don't prance and jump around like idiots.


And here is Jordan Farmar on Saturday:



Maybe that celebration is what put Wooden in the hospital. Nice

Traunui1: Did you notice all of the UF traveling not called? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

And they made fun of Adam Morrison for crying.

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.

Ah, That's a Shame

John Wooden must have been rolling in his grave, wondering what in the name of Sam Gilbert was going on with the UCLA Bruins on Monday night. And people thought the Walt Hazzard coaching era was tough in Westwood. (Pause to give Bruins fans a chance to look up Walt Hazzard.)

There will be those optimistic types noting that nobody expected the Bruins to get this far as the team will be locked and loaded for next year.

Losers.

That thinking worked out well for Illinois this season, eh?

You only get so many chances to win a title. It's fair to say that Ben Howland and company blew it. Nice offense UCLA had in the second half. The Bruins, down by 20 at one point, would milk the shot clock down to the final seconds only to hoist an ill-conceived shot. This is what happens when you let assistant coach Donny Daniels run the offense. It was as if the Bruins were stalling to keep Florida from dunking once again. How many dunks was it going to take before Howland realized the press wasn't working? That vaunted UCLA defense netted six turnovers. Six.

But don't worry about those gutty little Bruins fans. Their lives are used to disappointment — they went to UCLA. As one Bruins fan eloquently put on their message board, "I’m happy with second place." And it's true, they are. Most of those students either failed to get into Berkley, so second-best has been the hallmark of their college career. At least they will have the USC football season to look forward to.

Championship Note

If a team from Southern California makes it to the finals of the College World Series, bet against them. (Even money says that Randy Youngman runs a similar joke in the Orange County newspaper this week.) Make more UCLA jokes in The Hater Nation Forums

One Choking Moment



The NCAA Tournament has its share of upsets. But 2006 was a little ridiculous. There were more chokes in the tournament than at a Manning-family reunion. The Hater Nation is proud to present the Top 10 gag-jobs in our One Choking Moment tribute.

10. Arkansas coach Stan Heath makes fans long for the genius of Nolan Richardson.

9. Tennessee as a #2 would be the worst #2 of the year, were it not for the movie Basic Instinct 2.

8. The LSU Tigers went from heroes for beating Duke, to heels for losing to UCLA in an ugly game. Louisiana hasn’t suffered a beating like that since Hurricane Katri…ah, not going to do it.

7. Pittsburgh was a chic pick to make a run to the final four. They played like a bunch of chicks as they lost to freaking Bradley.

6. Pacific took a 6-point overtime lead and converted it into a 12-point double-overtime loss, ending the career of Christian Maraker. A Swede hasn’t taken a beating like this since Gunny Highway beat down The Swede in Heartbreak Ridge.

5. If you lost to George Mason, you should be embarrassed. Great story, but Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and UConn, you all choked.

4. Betting on a team that snuck into the dance by winning its conference tournament is a sucker’s bet; especially if that team is coached by Jim Boeheim.

3. Indiana had two choices for its coaching vacancy—Iowa’s Steve Alford and Oklahoma’s Kelvin Sampson. Both were eliminated in the first round (by Northwestern State and UW-Milwaukee, direspectively). Lame duck Indiana coach Mike Davis won his first round game. Hard to believe this school produced Isaiah Thomas, eh?

2. Kansas coach Bill Self ruined more pools than Tony Hawk and the Bones Brigade.

1. Gon-gag-a. The Gags continue to disappoint and fail to live up to expectations each season. They really are becoming a West Coast version of Duke.

Speaking of Duke, it’s hard to label what they do as a choke job. It is what you have come to expect from J.J. Manning and the boys. You should have seen Duke's meltdown coming unless you work for CBS or ESPN—you know, guys who get paid to follow college hoops.

You can add your own in The Hater Nation Forums.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More sickening: Duke or UCLA?

I'll say this for Duke: At least their bandwagon is on the road from the very first game of the season.

"Fans" of UCLA won't even acknowledge the existence of the Bruin Barge or divulge its whereabouts until three hours before the MFing NCAA Championship game starts.

As a true Bruins fan, it really makes me sick.

Hey UCLAtelys, are you sure you really want to commit yet? There is, after all, one game left to play. And as we learned last January with the Trojans, sometimes good things happen to bad people.

I say you wait in the K-Mart parking lot until midway through the second half before you go in to buy that jersey. Just to be sure. You don't need any more car polishing cloths in the colors of schools you never attended.

Afterward, you and your family may enjoy a world famous 99-cent shrimp cocktail at the Hater Nation Forum.

Bruins Will Win

Guaranteed.

It won’t even be close, either. Even though the Florida handled LSU twice this season with ease, it won’t beat the Bruins. Can’t beat the Bruins. UCLA has been a team of destiny since it came back on Gonzaga. That moment was similar to 1995, when Tyus Edney went coast-to-coast on Missouri.

So the Bruins will win tonight, which should be good for West Coast basketball. But it won’t be. The last time UCLA won the national championship in college basketball, coach Jim Harrick was fired a year later for falsifying an expense report. The NCAA got wind of this and was so pissed at UCLA, it placed Cal State Fullerton on probation.

When UCLA wins tonight, the NCAA will start to wonder how the Bruins assistant coach Donny Daniels seems to land these African players (he also recruited Pape Sow when he was the head coach of Cal State Fullerton). It’s going to be bad news for local programs such as Fullerton, San Diego State, and Long Beach State. (Although, truth be told, most LBSU alumni we know root for UCLA anyway.)

Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.