Monday, July 31, 2006

Congratulations Angels

Once again Bill Stoneman has failed to improve the club at the trading deadline, meaning the Angels are doomed for another post-season flameout. Sure, Stoneman tried to get something done. Just like Adam Kennedy tries everyday. But general managers, like players, are measured in results and the results show that Stoneman did not produce.

The Angels have suddenly become the Atlanta Braves of the American League. Great pitching, one stud in the lineup and absolutely no chance to win the World Series. Maybe Angels fans shouldn’t complain, though. It is a marked improvement over the 1990s when the team was miserable. It is just disappointing to see a guy like Vladimir Guerrero wasting the prime of his career with a guy like Maicer Izturis protecting him in the lineup.

Owner Arte Moreno has said that he wants to be the AL West version of the Yankees. The Yankees go out and fill a need without having to give up Phil Hughes. The Angels can’t even pry Ramirez from the Cubs.

The Angels sure are the Yankees, only it’s the Don Mattingly version of the Yankees.

The Post Mortem

There is a certain responsibility in sitting in the front row of a baseball game. Above anything else, you must be an asset to the home team. A proverbial tenth player.

Ben Affleck is not one of these guys.

Angels first baseman Howie Kendrick went into the stands on Sunday night to rob Alex Gonzalez of a hit—despite making contact with super fan, Affleck. The star of Mallrats was sitting in the front row and made a cardinal mistake of allowing Kendrick to reach into the seating area to make the catch. You can't do that. Once a player reaches into the crowd, they are fair game. You can do nearly anything you want to prevent the player from making the catch. Affleck did nothing as he was more preoccupied with making the catch.

And here Red Sox fans are supposed to be more sophisticated than the rest.

Affleck should have grabbed Kendrick's glove or done anything to prevent the catch from being made (while not leaning into the field of play). Only Curt Schilling prevented Affleck from being the biggest dope of the evening.

  • Weaver Fever: Rookie phenomena Jered Weaver left Saturday's game inline for the victory, but was felled by the Angels typically reliable Scot Shields. Still, Weaver was more impressive eluding jams than he has been beating the Royals and Indians.
  • It’s amazing the Angels were able to win on Sunday despite, at times, looking like a bumbling high school team. John Lackey's misplay in the first inning, and Chone Figgins running blunder were a few of the lowlights. But it was the smug Schilling serving up beach balls that bailed the Angels out. Pray for those on the Red Sox message boards who will face Schillings' lashing out today.

  • It’s always cringe-worthy when a commentator labels Lackey as the "Bulldog." Seriously, like you couldn't think of another nickname? But it's pretty cool when Orel Hershiser does it. And thank god for Mike Scioscia's former battery mate for keeping John Miller’s Red Sox crush to a minimum. Hey, maybe smug Schilling wasn't just missing his spots, maybe the Angels were just cranking the guy. It happens some times.
  • Having Bonnie Berstein on the broadcast doesn't hurt, either.
  • Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell is a little too clean cut for the Red Sox. He needs to grow out a beard or something. Or get traded to the Padres. Oh, and nice temper tantrum after striking out last night. Lowell tried to pretend he was hit by a pitch and then he lashed out at the umpire. You can see the footage here.

Anybody notice the temper tantrum that Danika Patrick had on Sunday? Well, it wasn't so much a temper tantrum than her pouting like a junior high girl who lost her Hello Kitty notebook. Seriously, can you butch up a touch?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Siege of New Orleans Over

Reggie Bush signs contract.

Wait a minute; does this mean that Bush’s threat of missing the entire season (or retirement according to one source) was nothing more than a negotiating ploy? Why, how could they do something like that? Threatening to hold out for the entire year and then settling just a few days later.

Actually, this is evidence why it is impossible to read newspapers or listen to sports talk radio around the start of training camps. Both columnist and talking heads fell all over themselves thinking that Bush might miss the season, while anybody with any rationality knew that Bush was going to sign. Which explains why Vic the Brick was certain that Reggie was going to skip the entire 2006 NFL season.

But the news isn’t all good. Negotiations between Matt Leinart and the Birds have stalled, meaning that the other former Heisman winner will not be at the start of training camp on Monday. This of course, is the Birds standing operation procedure. What’s more depressing is that Vince Young and Jay Cutler (the quarterbacks selected before and after Leinart) have signed, meaning the quarterback’s salary slot should be determined.

Maybe Leinart should threaten to miss the entire season, it worked for Reggie.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Weak Ender

The Eagles believe they will have better chemistry as they jettisoned Terrell Owens, who will instead lead the Cowboys to the playoffs. And who can argue with Eagles management as the club filled the void with character guys like Jabar Gaffney—who was arrested for possession of a handgun?

Nice upgrade, Eagles.

Maybe Gaffney will hold a press conference from his cell, where he will do sit ups with his shirt off, entertaining his cellmate, Shank. But as long as Gaffney doesn't question the manhood of quarterback Donovan McNabb, it won't be a distraction. That's some organization they are running over there.

At least the Eagles have a cool cheerleader calendar. And you don't even need a Michael Irvin peephole to see it.

  • Speaking of the Eagles, has anybody noticed that one of the competitors on the Real World Fresh Meat challenge is competing (and winning) with a sports hernia? The same sports hernia that sidelined McNabb last year? At times, even Coral comes off as a big gamer than McNabb. And she probably wouldn't have gotten tired in the Super Bowl. Well, unless she was bit by a spider or something.

  • Yes, way too old to be still be watching MTV.

  • Shamed Tour de France winner Floyd Landis continues to maintain his innocence as he claimed that he naturally has a high level of testosterone. Of course he does, seeing that he has two testicles.

  • Hold the phone here. People once thought that Lance Bass wasn't gay? It had to be traumatizing for girls who grew up loving the guy. It would be like, for a generation of guys, finding out that Kelly Monaco was gay. Actually, that would be kind of cool.

Former Baywatch star Erika Eleniak is going to appear on the next version VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. Nice show, Baywatch. The Hoff is too drunk to get on a plane. Pamela Anderson is getting married four times in the next month. Yasmine Bleeth has fallen off the face of the Earth since her cocaine-related arrest. Carmen Electra is done bearding for Dave Navarro. Alexandra Paul still looks like a man. So actually Eleniak is the best of the bunch as she joins other celebrities such as Tina Yothers (wow), Nick Turturro (who probably gained a lot of weight in a month just to find some work) and Katharine McPhee on the show.

If you get a chance, check out The Hater Nation Forums.

Your move, Mr. Stoneman

The Texas Rangers have acquired outfielder Carlos Lee from the Milwaukee Brewers because when you get down to it, the Rangers always seem to be one bat shy of winning. This deal comes on the heels of last-place Seattle dealing one of its top prospects for Ben Broussard. The A’s are almost certainly going to deal before the deadline.

And that leaves the Angels. It has become depressingly apparent that Howie Kendrick is going to be that promised impact bat. Or the team will reason that the resurgence Juan Riveria is better than making a deal. Not that either player is doing bad, but the Angels need to do more. If they don't think so, they are a bunch of dopes.

Kendrick should now be untouchable. And the only player on the Major League roster available should be Adam Kennedy. But anybody else in the minors should be fair game to get Miguel Tejada. Be it Brandon Wood, Joe Saunders or Mark Trumbo. Trade them.

Of course, the team wouldn't need to make a deal if they had kept Troy Glaus—a move that probably cost them the World Series title last year.

So it's up to you, Stoneman. The other clubs in the division have proven that they want to win, do you?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Super Bowl Buzz Kill

Why Your Team Won't Win the Super Bowl

Imagine you are quarterback Charlie Frye—a local product born and raised in Ohio who grew up idolizing the Browns. Dude had a posters of Bernie Kosar and Drew Carey on his wall and a deep seeded hatred for John Elway, Earnest Byner and Marty Schottenheimer (and if he didn't, he should have).

Frye went on to star in college at Akron and was selected by the Browns in the 2005 NFL Draft. The club anointed Frye the start for 2006 and even went so far to trade the competition—Trent Dilfer. Cleveland even signed an all-pro center, LeCharles Bentley to help ease Frye's transition. The whole thing has to be an absolute dream come true for Frye.

So what happens on the second day of training camp?

Bentley hurts his leg and could miss the whole season.

Welcome to the Browns. Actually, Frye should know better seeing that he grew up witnessing the history of the Browns. He might as well get on Kellen Winslow's motorcycle and do some laps around the parking lot.

And does anybody think that Bentley's injury has anything to do with this guy?

Other previews: Jets, Texans, and Vikings.

Tommy Maddox's New Home

A group of investors, led by former NCAA president Cedric Dempsey, have formed the All American Football League, scheduled to start play next spring.

Unfortunately, Vince McMahon is not expected to be involved.

The league plans to field eight teams based in college towns, playing in stadiums on campus or nearby. The expected cities will likely come from the ACC, SEC and Big Ten and already has stadium usage agreements (Purdue is believed to be one). The league, based in San Diego, will not have a West Coast team during the inaugural season. (Damn. )

Players will be required to have college degrees in order to prevent people like Maurice Clarett or Mike Williams from leaving school early. Or any members of the Bengals from ever joining the league once they are paroled. Or for the media to pretend that Reggie Bush will play for the league. AAFL players will earn about $100K per season, higher than both the Arena Football League and NFL Europe.

The league is pulling a lot of positives from failed spring leagues like the XFL and USFL. Players will be paid by the league, instead being paid by individual owners. Players will be placed in teams based on college affiliation. But unlike the XFL, the league owner is not going to shoot his mouth off about being real football. And hey, it will give Dick Butkus a chance to latch on to something new.

This idea should work. It will give those who ignore the NHL and NBA something to watch after March Madness. And if done correctly, it could grow into a real NFL developmental league. NFL owners currently investing in AFL team could instead turn to the AAFL. And NFL Europe could finally be chalked up as a bad idea. (Seriously, the thought of NFL Europe is as dumb as having a professional soccer league in the US. At least nobody has tried that.) No team in LA? There is an open stadium at Cal State Fullerton to become LA's franchise.

But seriously, Vince McMahon needs to be involved in this thing. Or if not, at least add this. Otherwise it just wouldn't be the same.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

And So It Starts

The Raiders are a second-rate NFL team, so it figures they'd have a second-rate version of Terrell Owens. Enigmatic receiver Jerry Porter showed up to the first day of Raiders training camp wearing a gold "Million Dollar Belt" (made famous by former WWF star Ted Dibiase) and demanded a trade.

This prompted new coach Art Shell to ask, “Who the hell is Jerry Porter?”

Seriously, what has Porter ever done to make people believe he is an All-Pro? Porter has never cracked 1,000 yards receiving or notched double digits in touchdown receptions. Yet the Raiders felt compelled to give Porter a $13M signing bonus in 2005. Porter missed the first day of practice with a calf injury and now he wants to be traded.

It's hard to imagine how this franchise has fallen off the face of the Earth since getting blown out in the Super Bowl.

Remember when Owens was having trouble with management during training camp last year? There were rumors of an Owens for Porter trade. Do you remember the best part? The Raiders fans didn’t want to part with Porter.

You can read more here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Why Your Team Won't Win the Super Bowl

Imagine you are a big-time free agent running back who just signed a big-money deal. To impress the new bosses do you show up to mini-camp:

a.) In the best shape of your life?
b.) Looking like you pounded donuts in the offseason with John Madden, Jerome Bettis and John Daly?

You are in the 99 percentile if you answered "a."

You are Vikings new running back Chester Taylor if you answered "b."

The former Ravens back-up running back showed up to the Vikings first mini camp looking like he was using Dennis Green’s old training regimen. Well, without knocking up the office secretary and forcing her to have an abortion.

But you can’t really blame Taylor, he is in Minnesota now. And when in Rome…

The Vikings went out of its way to improve its offensive line with the acquisition of guard Steve Hutchinson. But it's not going to help if the top running back is built like Mo'Nique. The Vikings thought they were getting the next Priest Holmes. Instead, it looked like the club got a guy who is the epitome of gluttony.

So when it comes to the Super Bowl the Vikings have a...

wait for it

wait for it

fat chance.

Purple Thoughts

Vikings fans are quick to point out that Brad Johnson has a Super Bowl ring. Make your own Trent Dilfer joke here. Johnson was the beneficiary of a great defense in Tampa Bay. The best defense in Minnesota are the lawyers who where able to keep the Vikings Love Boat Crew out of jail. Actually, those attorneys were probably better at stopping the "pass."

Fist-year coach Brad Childress looks like he is building a poor man’s version of the Eagles—a decent quarterback flanked by anonymous running backs and receivers. They say the receivers have something to prove. Really? Troy Williamson proved he was no Randy Moss last year, while Koren Robinson proved he still could not catch a football.

Cheer up Vikings fans, despite having a miserable NFL team, that doesn’t mean you can’t compete in the NFC North.

Other previews: Jets and Texans.

Reggie Bush Update

NEW ORLEANS Reggie Bush will retire from the NFL effective immediately, according to a statement released by the running back's agent, Mike Ornstein. The agent wanted to make it clear that this retirement clearly is not a negotiating tool. That would just be unscrupulous. An agent would never threaten to have a player sit out an entire year if it wasn’t completely serious. And retirement? It was just the next logical step.

Bush's agent also said that with his client’s early retirement also gets him ready for 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

"No player has ever had as much leverage as Reggie has," Ornstein said. "In fact, by retiring, Reggie’s marketability will increase. There is seemingly no end to Reggie’s marketing opportunities just like the .com-boom."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Why Your Team Won’t Win the Super Bowl

The case for: The Houston Texans have a very real chance of winning the Super Bowl this season. Far fetched? Maybe, but the Texans have finally released quarterback Tony Banks. St. Louis (1999) and Baltimore (2000) replaced Banks and went on to win a Super Bowl. Don't laugh. When your quarterback is David Carr, you’ll grasp any straw necessary.

Why they probably won't: You really can't trust a team that bypassed Reggie Bush for a defensive end. Especially when the defensive end could very well be the second coming of Mike Mamula. You can list the reasons from signability, the switch to the 4-3 defense or the presence of Dom Davis. The fact still remains that they did not take the most electrifying player in the draft. One of the greatest college football players in recent memory. These kind of things signal to the fans that winning might not be the most important thing.

At least they were smart enough to pass on Vince Young.

Alright, maybe we were a little harsh on Carr earlier, who has been betrayed by a bad offensive line. The team has made some significant upgrades on the offensive line (like Mike Flanagan), which is good. The only problem is that the club has hired Mike Sherman as its offensive coordinator. That’s like trying to calm your headache by hitting yourself in the toe with a hammer.

Other Previews:
New York Jets

The Post Mortem

Weavermania is taking over! Or Maybe not.

The popular website Deadspin has noted that Jered Weaver mania has yet to really grip Southern California. Even in spite of the fact that Weaver won his seventh game of the season on Sunday.

And you know what? They are absolutely correct.

Maybe Angels fans are fearful that Weaver is going to be sent back down to the minors again. (Something that was predicted on THN a full week before the Bish stole came up with that idea.) Or maybe Angels fans are waiting for Weaver to dominate the American League at which time Bill Stoneman will let him walk away as a free agent because the team has some stud down at AA.

Still, Angels fans are starting to take notice and some may even come to a game just to see Weaver pitch (and not to steal a promotional item).

  • Congratulations to Yankees fans who have taken Alex Rodriguez from the best player in baseball to the second coming of Kevin Maas and Hensley Mullens. Great job, guys. A-Rod will go down in Yankees history as the biggest loser since Don Mattingly.

  • Ricky Williams broke his arm playing in Toronto. When stuff like this happens, it fosters a race in the internet to see who can be the first to make the medical marijuana joke. Zach is the winner.

  • Shea Hillenbrand was traded to the Giants over the weekend, which is good for a couple of reasons. First, he's not coming to the Angels. Second, he's gone to a team where he is not even close to being the club's biggest a-hole.

  • UCLA has agreed to a five-year contract extension with football coach Karl Dorrell, ensuring that the earliest the Bruins will ever beat USC in football will be 2011.

  • The Chicago White Sox mowed down the competition in the playoffs last season, but these guys can’t hit a member of the Texas Rangers? Again, the two clubs were trading bean balls on Sunday. Well, the Rangers were hitting White Sox hitters and John Garland could not hit Ian Kinsler. That of course, did not please Ozzie Guillen. You have to figure that if Guillen wasn't in baseball, he would be one of those overweight, crazy fans that goes to games way too drunk (or on meth), screaming at people who aren't even on the game. Like he would be calling for the White Sox pitcher Jack McDowell to bean Dean Palmer in retaliation. But instead, he's managing a team. Yeah, that’s much better.

You can talk about Tiger Woods being an intimidating player, how long he plays and how he always manages to rise to the occasion. But don't discount how smart this guy is, too. Woods went driver only once to win the British Open. Could you ever imagine Lefty trying to do something like that?

Bad Idea

There are rumors afoot that Joe Buck could replace James Brown on FOX NFL Sunday. At first look it appears to be a great idea. Buck could toil anonymously in those early hours (when most of us West Coasters are either sleeping or checking the internet for fantasy football updates) instead of ruining FOX's game of the week.

But FOX actually wants Buck to do double duty as both the host of FOX NFL Sunday and the top game each week. This is just a terrible idea. How does FOX come to the conclusion that America is clamoring for more Joe Buck? You would be hard-pressed to find anybody in America who actually likes the guy. This is why networks need a department of common sense, chaired by a fan who can veto such moves.

Want to hire Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe to be on your morning show? Vetoed by the department of common sense.

Chris Berman to host the home run derby? Vetoed by the department of common sense.

Stuart Scott's contract to be renewed? Vetoed by the department of common sense.

Joe Buck to host the NFL morning show? Vetoed by the department of common sense.

You could even use it for the various websites.

Want to hire Skip Bayless? Vetoed by the department of common sense.

The Sports Dork turns in another rambling, incoherent column? Vetoed by the department of common sense.

This idea makes almost too much sense.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Weak Ender

The Patriots made a huge mistake years ago when they dumped the traditional Minuteman from their uniform for the current design. It was easily one of the coolest logos in the NFL, next to the Browns. Dumping the red uniforms was a mistake also. What isn’t a mistake are the new uniforms of the New England Patriots cheerleaders. Too bad those broads will be wearing fur coats by October. But those early games in September should be interesting.

You can catch more pictures of Michelle here, here, or here. Now that we have rid ourselves of the pervs, it's time to move on. Oh, and thanks to the Insomniac's Lounge for making this possible.

  • Former Negro League star Buck O'Neil appeared in a minor league All-star game becoming the oldest baseball player in history. But the publicity stunt ended horribly when Roger Clemens beaned O'Neil, who was crowding the plate.

  • Patriots coach Bill Belichick was reported to be the "other man" in an illicit affair with a married woman. The husband, Mike Martz, was said to be devastated by the news. Do you think if the husband was the Sports Dork Bill Simmons, would he even be upset by this news? Or would he think it was an honor that Belichick deemed his wife hot enough to hook up with?

  • There is a report that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged Shea Hillenbrand to a fight. Way to pick on a girl. Hopefully the Angels were joking when they said that they would consider Hillenbrand to play first base. Evidentally bantamweight third baseman Maicer Izturis is just that damn good.

  • Vince Young is reportedly asking for a signing bonus larger than the $54M deal that first overall pick Mario Williams signed. Young is believed to be asking for $60M. But hey, after looking at his Wonderlic score, Young might believe that $60M < $54M.

This is from the Post Mortem on 7/10:

You have to say that golf has come a long way when two African Americans—Tiger Woods and Trevor Immelman—were battling it out for the Western Open title. Immelman won his first ever PGA event. But having Tiger near the top of the leader board should signal the end of the Lefty era as both golfers take their respective places.

Tiger is already running away with the British Open. Lefty? Wow, he's below David Duval.

NFL Preview

Predicting the Super Bowl winner is played out. It's an exercise in futility. The alleged experts either focus on one team (Panthers), or predict a repeat (Steelers), or try to shock you with an outlandish pick (Giants). And coming from somebody who has seen the inner workings of an NFL magazine—you know just as much as these guys. So The Hater Nation is going to predict that no team is going to win Super Bowl 41. A dumb call, but that prediction is going to stand 31 times out of 32. THN will preview the upcoming by explaining why your team won’t win the Super Bowl.

First up: The New York Jets

The New York Daily News (or some rag out there) recently reported that the quarterback battle for the Jets was going to be furious. There is even talk that rookie Kellen Clemens might edge out Patrick Ramsey for the backup spot behind Chad Pennington. Clemens even received most of the snaps with the first team at a recent mini-camp and could win the starting job.

If you think the Jets are getting anywhere near the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl, then you are one big dope.

And you thought Kyle Boller vs. Kordell Stewart vs. Anthony Wright was the worst quarterback controversy of all-time. This may top the all-time list. The Jets are in serious trouble if they have to start Pennington. They are in ridiculous trouble if they have to start Clemons. They are in "they couldn’t compete in the XFL" trouble if they resort to starting Ramsey.

Not to fear, the Jets will equally as inept running the ball, too. Curtis Martin is coming back from knee surgery. Don't look for Martin to be making a monster comeback unless he has been hanging out with Victor Conte. The Jets backup running back is Blair Thomas.

Eric Mangini was hired by the Jets because he was a Bill Belicheck clone. Too bad he's likely a clone of the Cleveland-era Belicheck. Hey, at least the next team that hires him will have some success. Alright, Mangini should be given a chance to prove himself. But his decision-making ability does not seem too sound with the hiring of Brian Schottenheimer to be the club's quarterbacks coach. Oh wait, he made him offensive coordinator. Yeah, that's way worse.

The Jets did switch to a 3-4 defense for this year, which means that team will have an excuse when it continues to get lit up by opposing teams. Only eight teams allowed more points than the Jets last year (355).

Final word: Even that idiot in the Fireman's hat would have to give up on this team.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Don’t Worry T.O.

Randy Moss has your back.

Moss, no stranger to controversy, has weighed in on the whole Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb falling out on the Dan Patrick show recently. And the nation is grateful that the exemplar of petulant receivers has finally weighed in.

"McNabb in a certain sense didn't want to share the fame," said Moss "And I really believe that. And by T.O. putting in his book and coming out of his mouth and saying it, I think it's believable."

Except for that whole, Owens was misquoted in his own autobiography deal. But those are just details.

While Moss did support his fellow malcontent, he did have some sage advice.

"Any person worrying about the other man's money means you're not focusing on what you need to be focusing on," said Moss. Instead, he should be out opening up his own juice stand.

Yeah, because if there is any receiver who is completely focused, it's the guy who admits that he takes plays off. You can say a lot of things about T.O., but the guy is a gamer. Owens was suspended for a good portion of 2005, and yet he had similar numbers to Moss. Owens played in the Super Bowl with a broken leg, Moss was slowed last year with a stomach ache. Maybe when Owens wants to run afoul of the law or admit to the world that he smokes pot (once in a blue moon), Moss could be of some assistance. Otherwise, maybe Moss should focus on tackling those cornerbacks who will be surely intercepting Aaron Brooks’ passes.

Shea to Jays: Need More Hugs

Infielder Shea Hillenbrand was cut by the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night after his feelings were hurt and he refused to sit in the dugout like a scolded junior high kid. Hillenbrand was upset because nobody in the Toronto's front office congratulated him on adopting a baby girl last weekend.


Maybe somebody should tell Hillenbrand that he's not working for IniTech or Krueger Industries. He's a Major League Baseball player. Or at least he was. And seriously, those who work in an office probably feel a lot like the Blue Jays organization.

It's annoying when you have a constant stream of birthday cards, going away cards, and other cards to sign because the office social secretary is a little overzealous. Nobody wants to be hounded to buy Girl Scout cookies, support the Little League hit-a-thon or participate in any other like activities. But you expect that kind of stuff when you are working in an office full of women. Not when you are a Major League Baseball player.

Maybe Shea should just retire and get a job as a secretary. He seems like that guy in the office who spends a little bit too much time hanging out with the girls. The kind of guy who will pass up beers with the boys during lunch on Friday to instead go dish with all of the girls. Not that there is anything wrong with being every girl’s best friend. But that’s the kind of dude you want playing in a Van Halen cover band, not third base for the Angels.

And speaking of that, the Angels had better not even think of trading for this goof. It seems like Jose Guillen all over again. The Angels don't need a guy who is more concerned with window treatments than winning a pennant.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ask Rex Grossman

Bears quarterback Rex Grossman sat down with to answer some emails from the fans. Here is a look at some of the unedited answers.

It's great to know that you're back as the Bears' starting quarterback. What do you expect from the offense this year? -- Jonathon D. Greer, South Carolina

Look for the offense to really get a chance to gel when Brian Griese eventually replaces me in week three. It might take him a while to get acclimated to the offense. But I’ve suggested to coach Smith that Griese get a lot of reps in practice to prepare for my eventual season-ending injury.

What is the most important attribute for an NFL quarterback, physical ability or mental ability? -- Chris D. Peoria, Illinois

The ability to fight off injury? I don't know how those guys do it. NFL players hit hard.

How does it feel to be considered softer than Joey Harrington?
-- Doug D. Corona, CA

The worst part is that I don’t even know how to play the piano.

Late last season you wore gloves while playing. Are you planning to wear them starting with training camp, waiting to wear them in the cooler weather or not planning to wear them at all? -- Bryan D. Marshall, Illinois

The metal on the clipboard is always cold. So I'll be wearing gloves.

Which one of the young receivers do you see having a breakout season? -- Wes G.
Villa Park, Illinois

Seriously, can you note use the term break around me? Thanks. But I say the guy we got from Carolina last year, Steve Smith. He's awesome. What's that, that guys wasn't Steve Smith? Who is it? Muhsin Muhammad? Too bad. He sounds like one of those guys Bush framed for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower.

How do you feel going into training camp without having to learn a new offense? -- Alyssa B. Stuart, Florida

Yeah, if I could ever play in the offense, that would be sweet.

Which team has the best injury carts? -- Mark D. California

St. Louis has a nice injury cart, but I’ve always been partial to the cart right here at Soldier Field.

What are your personal goals for the upcoming season? -- Jeffrey L. Chicago

If you think that I am going to write, "stay healthy" then you are absolutely…correct.

Do you feel that you have more pressure on you this year now that the Bears have a solid veteran backup quarterback in Brian Griese?
-- Brian G. Chicago

I just think it's a good move by the organization to protect themselves if something were to happen. (Actually, that was a real answer by Grossman.)

What has been your most memorable moment or game in your NFL career so far? -- Steve A. Inverness, Illinois

There was this one time I rolled out, completed a pass, and did not have to go on the IR immediately following. If I could do that twice in the same game, that would be special.

Is this going to continue to be one tired joke about Grossman being hurt a lot? -- Everybody, Earth

Yeah, pretty much.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Update: Jeff Weaver Still Sucks

Jeff Weaver sure was a godsend on Monday—for the Atlanta Braves who tattered the former Angels pitcher for six runs in four innings with two home runs, including a grand slam. Yeah, the Sign Guy must feel really good about that one today. And to think, Weaver was battered around by an inferior National League team. It would be understandable if it was, you know, a real baseball team or something.

But that's Weaver. Anybody still think that signing Weaver was a good idea? Oh that's right, The Bish thought it was a great signing. To quote the Bish, "I think with the signing of Jeff Weaver the staff is now stronger than the one last year." (And really, why do some columnists feel the narcissistic need to constantly write, “I think” all the time? You would think the thin-skinned sports editor would try to protect his columnist and have this story either pulled or updated. You can email a question to the Bish if you follow the link. Bonus points if you get him to answer a question about his hair.)

Meanwhile, Angels rookie Dustin Moseley won his first major league start. How much did Weaver cost again? Of course, the best part of the evening was when the mouthy broad talking too loud and making shallow observations in the next row was booted out of her seat. The second best was that the Angels scored ten runs. That means:

Free Hooters hotwings, people!

And for the record, the founder of Hooters passed away on Monday, so props to the Angels for this special tribute. This must have been a tough day for former Hooters girls such as
Lee Ann Tweeden, Christy Hemme and Amy Adams. Thanks to The Wade Blogs for the head's up.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Post Mortem

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants fans who earned some respect for doing nothing on Sunday. Seriously. Phillies pitcher Brett Myers made his return to the mound yesterday in San Francisco after serving a suspension for two weeks for allegedly beating his wife.

The Giants fans didn’t boo Myers, nor should they have. It’s hard to say this, but the Giants fans did the right thing.

Sure, any city in America would likely have booed Myers off the mound. Giants fans really couldn’t. Otherwise it would seem pretty hypocritical to cheer on the steroid abusing, wife-beating Barry Bonds (allegedly... and remember, Bonds was hitting his wife before ‘roid rage) while chastising another team's wife beater. It seems that most Giants fans noted the irony in booing a wife beater while hanging a sign in left field that says A Giant Among Legends (yeah, if those legends were Mickey Rourke, Jim Brown and O.J. Simpson).

Or maybe Giants fans are just a bunch of uneducated miscreants that had no idea that Myers was arrested. That, too, seems highly plausible. Actually, if Giants fans were aware of Myers assault, they might have actually cheered him for doing what he needed to do to get ahead.

  • Congratulations to the Angels. When the Angels lose in the playoffs again this year because they can't score any runs, fans will be able to point to the past 12 games (with the Angels winning 11 of them) as the main reason. General Manager Bill Stoneman does not have to make a move, pointing to the recent success as evidence the Angels have enough to compete. And if the Angels face the Devil Rays in the playoffs, they will sure their number.
  • It's funny, Stoneman is routinely panned for not making any movies, wanting to hold on to his players. Yet, all-stars Troy Glaus, David Eckstein, Bobby Jenks and Derrick Turnbow were allowed to leave without any compensation.

Did you happen to catch the ESPYs on Sunday? Yeah, nobody did. But one of the highlights was supposed to be a surprise appearance by Ben Roethlisberger. Yeah, where was the hero's welcome for coming back from a car accident? How were people supposed to react? Like he was some sort of war hero? He is really only the NFL's version of Gary Busey.

Sick of Notre Dame yet?

The NCAA has announced that it is awarding Notre Dame the national championship in college football. All the other teams are playing for second place. At least that is the impression that you get from reading Gene Wojceichowski’s story on ESPN. Or if you picked up any of the preseason publications predicting Notre Dame to win the whole thing.

Enough is enough.

Well, maybe it is easy to see why there is so much optimism in South Bend. Notre Dame did go to a BCS bowl game. Sure they lost, but they went to the game. And hey, they almost beat USC at home. Nothing says a team is ready to compete by almost beating USC. Hey, Fresno State almost beat USC last year, anybody campaigning for them as national champions?

But the biggest reason for optimism is that Charlie Weis has taken Notre Dame to levels it has not seen in recent years. Former coach Tyrone Willingham never had as much success as Weis.

Oh wait, Willingham went 10-2 in his inaugural season in 2002 and –like Weis—lost in a bowl game. How come Willingham didn’t get a 10-year contract extension? Please excuse those who want to see Weis win a meaningful game before anointing him the label of best coach in college football. It is a lot like the way the media predicts the Colts to win the Super Bowl every year—even though they find a way to lose.

We’ll believe it when we see it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Weak Ender

This could be a big day in the history of the Internet. Our man, Shane, over at the Wade Blogs was able to score and interview with Jessica Canseco. Yeah, the ex-wife of Jose Canseco who appeared in Playboy. Yes, a blogger scored an "interview" with a Playmate. There is hopes for geeks every where. (Not that Shane is a geek, but you know.)

It also gives hope that one day Anna Benson will answer the interview request to appear here at The Hater Nation.

The interview covers a wide range of topics including this bombshell—Jessica once worked at Hooters. Try to contain your shock. You can check out the interview by clicking here. Eyes up here, guys!

Speaking of Jose, you might have heard that he is making a comeback. No, not as a ball player. But as a whistleblower. Canseco has agreed to help out Senator George Mitchell’s sham of an investigation. Word on the street is that Canseco is going to get Barry Bonds blacklisted at Hop Sings.

  • It’s time to admit a mistake. Michelle Wie is totally ready for the PGA Tour. It was stupid to even doubt it. Wow, Wie has the heart of a champion and she will not let anything get in her way. Good lord, John Daly on a bender would have shown more stamina. Maybe Michelle should add a few pounds. Not that she needs to fill out like Patty Hearst, but maybe she shouldn't be taking diet tips from Calista Flockhart.
  • IRL driver Ed Carpenter said that Danica Patrick would be a tough competitor on the NASCAR circuit, especially at certain times of the month. Get it? It' s a PMS/menstruation joke. Who gave him that joke, his eight-year old son? Bill Simmons? Sadly, all the Bush-voting rednecks who follow NASCAR probably thought that was the best joke ever. Like the departed soul of Red Buttons had taken over Carpenter's body.
Flashback Steve Spurrier joke: There was a fire at the Auburn library today and 80 books were burned. The tragic part was most of them weren’t even colored yet.

If you have some time, check out the Hater Nation Forums. Not like those good-for-nothing losers have scored an interview with a Playmate.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This Will End Well

Being an NFL rookie can be a daunting task. That is why it's important to have strong leadership from veterans who have been there before. Guys like Adam "PacMan" Jones. Yes, it seems that Pacman Jones has decided to take Young under his wing and show him the ropes.

No word on when Pacman will give Young a tour of the Nashville PD holding facilities.

Young, according to some dude on the radio today, will be hosting a party with Jones and LenDale White. That's a group you want your franchise quarterback to hang out with. Young is reportedly close to signing a $50M deal with the Titans and White will likely make a good chunk of change, too. You would think somebody on the management team would want to separate Jones from all of the rookies.

Unless, of course, they are going for some sort of "scared straight" type of deal.

Things have gone downhill for Young following his victory in the Rose Bowl. From criticism for his limp-wristed throwing motion, hiring Major Dad as his agent, the wonderlic test and the media-whoring reality television series, things haven’t been so rosy for Young who looks to be come the second coming of Jeff George.

And really, you know that contract is bound to surpass Ricky Williams for most ill-fated rookie contract in NFL history. You could see those negotiations going the same way Kramer's negotiation went with that coffee company on Seinfeld.

Floyd Reese: "Vince, we are ready to offer you five…"
Vince Young: "I’ll take it!"
Floyd Reese: "Five… hundred thousand over five years."

Not that it would matter. If Young couldn’t afford a car, Jones would easily teach him how to steal one.

Bonds Going to Jail?

The indictment for Barry Bonds is looming and, to be honest, it is leaving a hollow feeling. Kind of like when they found Saddam Hussein. Sure it’s nice the a-hole (Bonds in this case) is being brought to justice and everything, but the damage has been done. It's like a decade too late. And unlike Saddam, there is visual evidence of Barry’s weapons of mass destruction. You don’t need a UN search committee to see that.

Still, the whole thing seems kind of underwhelming. Like nobody even cares anymore. And an America ambivalent about Bonds impending incarceration (like it will happen) is an America we don’t really want to know.

Bonds needs to draw the ire of America again and there is really only one answer—he needs to release a sex tape. Just look what it did for her and him. They are mega stars now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

God Bless The Rangers

The scrappy little team that could not, sure does seem come up big in the All-Star game. Hey, the Rangers will probably never win a World Series, but they will continue to ensure home field advantage for the American League. It was Hank Blaylock two years ago homering off that one Dodgers reliever. Ah hell, what was his name? He had a catchy nickname like, "Career Over" or something. Last night it was Michael Young with a game winning triple—ensuring that the American League representative will the World Series on the field of its NL counterpart after completing a four game sweep.

Hey, maybe they don't deserve thanks at all.

And one final thought on the All-Star game. Yes, the idea of having an exhibition game decide home-field advantage for the World Series is kind of lame. Like players from the Royals, Devil Rays or Yankees have any vested interest in teams that might actually make it that far. But really, is it any dumber than having home field advantage rotated on an annual basis like they did for years? Or is this just another way for people to take uncreative shots at Bud Selig? Come on people, you can do better.

Those Crazy Broads

Danica Patrick and Michelle Wie could be making the jump to the next level in their respective sports. Patrick is flirting with the idea of joining the NASCAR circuit, while Wie has long been rumored to be taking a stab at the PGA Tour.

That’s great and all. But how about these two ladies actually, you know, win an event or something.

It’s like a guy with a 6.45 ERA at AAA demanding a call up. Or maybe a fat running back who only played one year of college football demanding to be put in the NFL Draft. (Maybe that's a bad example.) It doesn't make sense if you can dominate (or at least beat) your peers once.

There are like what, eight drivers who participate in IRL? And Patrick can't win at least one race? Statistical reason states should have won a race by now. Instead, Patrick's claim to fame is that she was once leading the Indy 500. Oh, shes ready to trade paint with Tony Stewart. And what about Wie? For all of the hype has she ever shown that she belongs with the LPGA much less the PGA? Not that she could do worse than David Duval, but she still needs a win.

It's not to say that women can't compete with the men. Annika Sorenstam, for instance, should be competing on the PGA tour—no matter what Vijay Singh has to say. Sorenstam has proven everything she needs to prove and she should move on. Patrick and Wie have no come close to that level yet.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Does Reggie Bush Hate Money?

You seriously have to ask the question. Reggie Bush, in recent weeks has somehow talked his way out of being the top overall draft pick and been involved in a rent scandal because of his parents (though probably not his fault). Bush appeared in a celebrity basketball game in Los Angeles on Saturday.

A celebrity basketball game seems pretty harmless, right? Former New England running back Robert Edwards probably thought the same thing when he participated in a beach flag-football during Pro Bowl week following his rookie season. Edwards, as you will remember, ended his career with a knee injury thanks to his participation in this meaningless game. Maybe Reggie should think about signing a contract before his next adventure... jumping Snake River on a motorcycle.

And in true NFL style, he'll make that jump sans a helmet.

Hey, we still have a message board. It's not like you are going to get any work done today.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Post Mortem

It's a beautiful day! No, this isn’t one of those insipid, "Thank God the World Cup is over, now we can ignore soccer" jokes. Those have been played out and are extremely old.

In other words, expect The Bish to write that next week.

No the best part is that U2 has now run out of sporting events to whore themselves out to. It has gotten so bad, you expect to see Bono at the WNBA All-Star game or something. (Should we be giving him ideas?)

When did U2 become the world's conscious? It all seemed to go downhill when U2 was chosen to play tribute to the victims of 9/11 during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI. Because really, nobody can sum up the feelings of America better than an Irish rock band. What a dumb decision that was. That would be akin to going to an Irish bar on St. Patrick's Day and listening to a Sting-tribute band.

It’s really hard to take U2 seriously as conscientious rockers when they will pretty much whore their entire catalog for any new product. Hey kids, be sure to download World Cup games onto your U2-sponsored iPod. Even Dean Martin's kids have shown more restraint and that brood has no problem living off their old man's name.

The World Cup was a good time, but having U2 intertwined incessantly ruined any good feelings. Forget the flops and off-sides, Bono has pretty much ruined any hope of soccer taking hold in America.

  • Having the championship game of your sport decided by a penalty kick seems stupid. Just stupid. It's totally lame. Really, really dumb. In other words, inexcusable.

  • The Playoff Bowl between Germany and Portugal was on the television next to a WNBA game at the local bar on Saturday. You think soccer is bad, there was more scoring in that game than there was in the women’s hoops game. No lie.
  • The Angels ended the first half of the season by taking two of three from the Dodgers, sweeping the Mariners, and winning three of four in Oakland. That means two things: there will be no July trading-deadline deal. And the club will lose its upcoming series against Tampa Bay. It's like the pre-2002 years are happening all over again.
  • You have to say that golf has come a long way when two African Americans—Tiger Woods and Trevor Immelman—were battling it out for the Western Open title. Immelman won his first ever PGA event. But having Tiger near the top of the leader board should signal the end of the Lefty era as both golfers take their respective places.

Know what the best part of the baseball season is? For some of you, it would be that the season is half over. Seriously though, there is a real possibility that only the Yankees or Red Sox will make it to the playoffs this year. The wild card appears to be coming out of the AL Central. And if Toronto could somehow win the AL East to leave the Yankees and Red Sox out… well, that is something Bono could sing about.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Charlie Sheen's New Movie Project

A lot of strange things happened in this World Cup: terrible referee decisions, fat Brazilians not trying very hard, Julie Foudy's eyebrow, and Mexico choking like dogs again (ok, that last one wasn’t very strange). Normally, you'd chalk that up to the nature of soccer, not a conspiracy to make sure one team wins.

But when three French players with direct ties and/or substantial paychecks coming from Juventus of Turin – the scandalized Italian club team implicated in Black Sox-level cheating domestically – just happen to go out of their way to help their team lose the final of the World Cup, to Italy no less, it makes you wonder.


- Juventus midfielder Patrick Viera, one of the best defensive midfielders in the game, allows himself to get beat by total stiff Marco Materazzi on the tying goal, then later limps off the field with a hamstring injury that no one saw happen.

- Juventus forward David Trezeguet misses the only penalty for either team in the shoot-out.

- Former Juve midfielder Zinedine Zidane tries to miss a PK in regulation but gets lucky, hits the likely winner in OT right at the goalie, then head-buts an opponent so blatantly that a red card was the only option for the ref.

Normally, I'd be outraged by this, but since it’s the French taking it in the pooper, I'm more inclined to laugh. Get the hell out of my country, you Croissant-Baking Surrender Monkeys! And take Marcelo Balboa with you!

World Cup Preview

It seems pretty obvious that most of America will be pulling for Italy in today's game, lest France win another World Cup of Freedom Ball. But what is obviously on the minds of most Americans right now, who is Barry Bonds rooting for?



Many of you are e-mailing me to ask if I've been following the World Cup, and actually, I am watching most of the matches. I wake up in the morning, taken enough HGH to kill a horse, go to the gym and then get back home in time to eat breakfast and see the games. So far the teams I've picked have done well, but I started off the World Cup picking Brazil to win the whole thing. Now I will root for Portugal because my kids are part Portuguese, but I predict Italy vs. France in the finals and Italy to win it all.

Who the hell are these people wondering if Bonds is following the World Cup? Can you see a couple of wankers hanging around, watching the games saying, "Hey, this game is great…I wonder if Barry Bonds is seeing this? Let's email his website!" Unless there is some sort of steroid scandal in the World Cup that was missed, it’s hard to imagine anybody wondering about that at all.

Thanks to Philippa's Daily News Planet.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Weak Ender

Cardinals backup quarterback Matt Leinart is in the news again after he was spotted in Las Vegas with Paris Hilton early in the morning. This, of course, has people outraged thinking that Leinart should be taking this NFL quarterback thing a little bit more seriously. That Leinart is a little too Hollywood.

Those people are idiots.

It's funny that NFL teams always draft a quarterback in the first round, then immediately try to change them. Be it an awkward throwing motion or hanging out with hotel heiresses/burger spokeswomen, the NFL is always tinkering. Why? Leinart won nearly every college football game he ever played following a delicate balance of practice, partying and ballroom dancing. There is no need to mess with what works.

Besides, it's been a long-standing tradition for NFL quarterbacks to rock the nightlife. Defensive tackles were afraid to tackle Bobby Layne in fear of getting drunk through osmosis. Then you have the likes of Joe Namath, Jim McMahon, Ken Stabler, Jim Kelly and Tom Brady who have done pretty well, despite seeing the glass end of more than a few pint glasses. Not every quarterback is going to be like Gomer Manning—locking himself in a classroom, finding new ways to lose in the playoffs.

And look at the 2006 playoffs. Steelers quarterback Ben Rothelisberger was seen partying before his big playoff game with Manning. The Steelers went on to win the title. Maybe Gomer should loosen up and have a few.

If anything, the Cardinals should be funding Leinart's trips to Vegas to make sure he continues his winning ways.

  • The Bish continues to have the magic touch. The day the Bish rips Bartolo Colon's work ethic, the 2005 Cy Young award winner went out and hurled a shutout. Somebody might want to let the Bish know that Colon has been injured most of the season. When it comes to reporting or rug choices, it seems like the Bish doesn’t put in much of an effort.
  • There are those that believe that the Angels recent power surge will preclude the club from making a deal at the trade deadline. Having Bill Stoneman as a GM will preclude the club from making a deal. Brandon Wood and Joe Saunders seem like prized prospects. But the Angels could get a sure thing in Carl Crawford. The nice part about having prospects is being able to deal a commodity for a proven performer.
  • People like to talk about how clutch David Ortiz is. Yeah, nice clutch grand slam against Tampa Bay Thursday night with the Red Sox already winning. A-Rod would get crucified if he hit a grand slam against the D-Rays with the Yankees already winning. Not Ortiz who was 2-for-12 against Tampa Bay before hitting that homerun in the fifth inning. Nobody remembers that (or the fact the Red Sox dropped three of four in Tampa), or is even allowed to talk about it.

Lost a lot of respect for the world recently as A.J. Pierzynski was selected to the All-Star game via a fan vote. A fan vote. The White Sox started a "Punch A.J." campaign (lame) to get him selected. Because really, the White Sox were not heavily represented enough with Ozzie Guillen taking virtually his entire team to the All-Star game. Does Guillen strike anybody else as that Little League coach that has nine sons or nephews on his team and he puts them all on the All-Star team?

But the fans selecting Pierzynski? That’s way worse. Unless they are going to add a contest to see who could inflict the most damage to his skull with a baseball bat, how could you do something like this? Of course, that would be a cool idea. Could you imagine Chris Berman announcing as Vladimir Guerrero took a swing at Pierzynski?

"Vladimir winds up and smacks, oh wow, the eyes of A.J. 'Take a long walk off a short' Pier-zynski are rolling back, back, back into his head!"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

From the Mouths of Babes

Terrell Owens has written a book that should make Keyshawn Johnson's "Give Me the Damn Ball" look like "Charlotte’s Web." The book, cleverly titled "T.O.," spends 200 pages talking describing how Donovan McNabb is a hypocrite; a weak leader and someone who was jealous of Owens who even blocked his return back to the Eagles.

It's really not hard to imagine that. McNabb has spent years carefully cultivating a good-guy image. (Like that jerk, Cris Carter). McNabb has done that by never turning down an endorsement request. Seriously, is there anything this guy won't shill? McNabb makes Bill Cosby in his heyday seem under exposed. And then there are the rumors that McNabb spent his Super Bowl week two years ago preparing for the big game by attending the Playboy party and all other sorts of non-football festivities. Owens spent that week coming back from a broken leg. And if you remember, McNabb was plenty jealous of all of the attention Owens received during that comeback. Yeah, how dare Owens want to play in the biggest game in his career? Too bad his quarterback didn't feel the same way.

Owens also chronicles another rift in his relationship with McNabb when the quarterback ignored him on a pass play against the Giants at the Meadowlands last season. Owens said he confronted McNabb in the huddle and the quarterback responded with a stream of profanities. Wonder what McNabb’s mother, standing on the sidelines with a bowl of soup, had to say about that? The two (Owens and McNabb, not his mother; though you never know) had an altercation in the locker room according to Owens.

It doesn't paint a pretty picture of McNabb.

And because of that, the media will rip Owens for having the audacity to want to share his side of the story. The media is so quick to defend Saint McNabb, nobody believes Owens may be on to something. Maybe there is some truth to what Owens is saying. As one lucid talking head on the radio mentioned this morning, remember how you felt when Jose Canseco first came out with his book.

It's just too bad Owens didn't join the Giants, so he could expose Eli Messiah.

You can read more here.

Baseball Intervention

Baseball, you have a drug problem. It was never more evident than when the WWF proved to have a more stringent drug policy. Seriously. The WWF champion, Rob Van Dam, was arrested over the weekend for possession of marijuana and an assortment of prescription drugs. So how did the WWF react?

Let’s just say they did not select Van Dam as the comeback wrestler of the year. Like baseball did with Jason Giambi.

Instead, the WWF publicly (and swiftly) removed Van Dam of his titles (he was the ECW champion, too) on live television – while the fans serenaded with chants of "mar-i-juana." Van Dam was humiliated by having to lose two matches and give up his top spot in the organization that had worked years to achieve. And was suspended without pay, too.

Could you imagine baseball doing something like this? That would be like baseball forcing Roger Clemens to throw volleyballs. Or maybe insisting that Barry Bonds hit with a Wiffle Ball bat. (Or at least make him take that damn trash can off of his elbow.)

Even Jose Canseco has been getting into the act by calling baseball a "mafia," noting that it protects its favorites with its lame drug policy. Baseball responded by saying that they were like rubber and Canseco was like glue. So whatever Canseco said bounced off them and stuck to him.

It is a sad day for baseball when the WWF and Jose Canseco have more credibility. If this can't get baseball to clean up its act, nothing will.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Don't Even Joke About It

Former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau has told a friend that he has spoken to the Oakland Raiders, but he might retire according to the Miami Herald. It seems like the kind of move the Raiders would make —signing a player who is well past his effectiveness. But Seau should not even be considering this.

Unless, of course, he wants scores of San Diego fans to burn down his Seau's restaurant in Mission Valley. Hey, maybe this is some sort of insurance scam. Would have a lot more respect for that as opposed to actually considering the Raiders offer.

If you played for any of the AFC West teams, you can't ever consider playing for the Raiders. Ever. Just look at Lyle Alzado. He made his name as a member of the Denver Broncos before he joined the Raiders.

Alzado was dead before he was 45. Let that be a lesson.

Italia 2, Deutcheland Nil

This is hands-down the worst day in my family's history since Grandpapa Lothar perished in 1946, tragically falling off the top of that guard tower. I'd rather not get into the details....

And now a bunch of Cheese-Eating, Wine Slurping, Funky-Smelling Surrender Monkeys are decending on our country's capital, with thoughts of World Domination. Nonsense! What is the world coming to!

This will not stand! Brothers, take arms! We must crush the enemy! Crush them all! All heil .... (um, that's just about enough, Dieter -- ed. Lil' Dieter might be making a trip to that great Wiernerschnitzel in the sky if he doesn't improve his attitude.)

You hate to see something like this

No, not the brawl. That was one of the highlights of this dismal baseball seasons. The unfortunate part of the ordeal occurred when A.J. Pierzynski and Michael Barrett shook hands, exchanged pleasantries and put the whole incident behind them over the long holiday weekend.

Who needs something like that?

Certainly not baseball. The sport could use some more anxiety along with threats of brawls and bean balls. Baseball has recently been watered down to rivalries not decided by uniforms or cities, but by the sports agent who represents you. Players are playing for their contract years instead of a chance for a pennant. Nobody wants to get dirty and play baseball like it is supposed to be played—with hate.

Say what you want about Roger Clemens, but he is a guy who gets this. The guy threw the ball at his own son for showing him up during spring training. This was a guy who applies lineament to his groing so he doesn't get comfortable on the mound. This is a guy who plays with fire (and a deep, almost disturbing love for Andy Pettitte.)

That is what sports needs. Not guys making nice. Guys who take exception and get a little agitated once in while. At least make the home crowd believe that the players actually care about winning. That the players hate the same players as you. That is what Barrett did when he decked that a-hole. Cubs fans were able to live vicariously through Barrett for a moment. (At least they had that going for them.)

A Cubs and White Sox match-up is compelling if you think that the bean balls are on the verge of happening. Otherwise it's the defending champions beating on a perennial bottom feeder. Baseball needs more drama. To use a wrestling term, baseball needs a team that actually draws heat from the fans. Instead, baseball has a bunch of Lance Storms running around when the league needs more Ric Flairs.

Now that Pierzynski and Barrett have made up, the only drama in baseball revolves around steroids and Ozzie Guillen calling a reporter names. Geez, no wonder baseball seems so lame to the younger set. The only bright spot is that Pierzynski is such a dick; he’s liable to piss somebody else off.

Baseball fans can only hope.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Lil' Dieter's Round Up

Unlike ESPN's embarrassingly poor soccer-announcing crew, Lil' Dieter has gotten a lot right this World Cup.

Dieter called a Dirty Mexico Sweet 16 loss to Argentina three days into the tournament. Check.

Dieter immediately recognized Deutschland coach Jurgen Klinsmann as a genius while others wanted him fired. My homeboys are now in the semis, thanks to Huntington Beach's finest.

Germany's favorite mean-spirited bobblehead also said Eddie Pope would be exposed as the absolute worst player on Team USA Ford Tundra. Yup. Furthermore, he said that Paulie Shore-look alike Landon Donovan needed to grow a pair, and DaMarcus Beasley needed to stop sucking for their team to win. They didn't, and they lost.

Oh yeah, Dieter also called helped this site's boss pay next month's rent by telling him to bet the farm on underdog Portugal over England. Cha-ching.

Dieter is so goddamned smart that he can talk about himself in the third person.

But, yeah, maybe a few mistakes have been made as the Cup heads to the Final Four. What do you expect, I'm a freaking German bobblehead, after all. I wear a black turtleneck and leather jeans in the summer, for God's sake.

First big mistake: Calling England the best team in the tourney, after the first weekend. Whoops. But to be fair, I only said that to gain favor with hot blogger/soccer babe Flash. (Seriously, Flash, why don’t you return my calls? Didn’t you like the candlelight dinner we had at Der Wiener Schnitzel?)

While we're talking Ingerland, here's a helpful note to England's Wayne Rooney: A good (expletive)-punch or (expletive)-stomp are only acceptable if your opponent is either: a) Duke, b) the Raiders, or c) Mexico. Or maybe A-Rod, too. And speaking of that, it seems like David Beckham and A-Rod are the two biggest choking pretty boys in the history of sports.

My other big-mistake: Calling out France's head coach as the Coach Most Likely to Emulate Norv Turner and Suck. It could still happen, but hey; those Wine-Slurping Surrender Monkeys are in the semi-finals. It's most likely despite their coach, but we're willing to cut him some slack here.

What I actually meant to say though, was to call out France's newest darling, winger Franck Ribéry, as the Player Most Likely to Emulate Norv Turner and Be Hideously Ugly. Seriously ugly.

Achtung! Thank god I haven't watched these games in hi-def, or I'd be building myself a bunker to go shoot myself in.

In any event, hope you enjoy Tuesday's games. That is if you aren't too busy driving each other off the road while celebrating your independence.