Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Next Year's Champs

The Angels don’t want to win this year. That is the only explanation for the Angels unwillingness to deal for Mark Teixeira. The holdup in the deal is prized rookie Brandon Wood (right), a can't miss prospect in the mold of Dallas McPherson and the apple of Bill Stoneman's eye.

You remember McPhereson, right? He was the guy the Angels had to rush to the majors, pushing Troy Glaus and a shot at the 2005 World Series out the door. The inability to include Wood in a potential probably cost the Angels the World Series this year.

The common refrain is that trading Casey Kotchman, Joe Saunders and Brandon Wood would create too many holes. Really, where? Teixeira starts at first base. Dustin Mosely takes Saunders spot in the rotation. Then just roll the dice with Nick Adenhart at the final spot of the rotation. He can’t be worse than Ervin Santana. Besides, the playoff rotation is set with John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Jered Weaver. The Angels line-up needs some punch, and having a 1b/3b combination with a combined 10 home runs isn't going to get it done.

Instead, the Angels are left adjusting their cups while the rest of the American League gets better. They might as well change the phrase from Standing Pat to Standing Bill. The Angels GM is like that fantasy baseball owner in your league that demands a king's ransom, but it unwilling to part with anything of value.

Oh well, there's always next year.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Chiefs

Your team isn't going to the Super Bowl, so why have any optimism? The Hater Nation brings you back to reality with the Super Bowl Buzz Kill. Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:

Kansas City Chiefs.

You really have to hand it to Chiefs GM Carl Peterson for not taking this whole Larry Johnson holdout personally. Oh wait, that’s exactly what he did. Peterson, in a story that somehow slid under the radar on Friday, criticized his running back, saying that he’s not in the same class as LaDainian Tomlinson.

“Larry is a terrific back. But I don't put him in the LaDainian Tomlinson category," Peterson said. "Hopefully, he can get there, becoming a more complete back like LaDainian. This guy wants money beyond LaDainian Tomlinson. That's not going to happen with us."


Is that statement true? Of course. But that’s the kind of thing you should keep in house. And not take these things personal. Running backs holding out of training camp is as common as rookies singing college fight songs in the cafeteria. This over-reaction is similar to the snit Rich Brooks got in during his tenure with St. Louis when he traded Jerome Bettis to the Steelers. Peterson should have just taken the high road on this and not blown out his running back. Hey, at least the Chiefs coach is an even keel guy.

Or not.

This situation would be bad on a team with a solid quarterback situation. But it’s exasperated even more when you have a quarterback situation that might be worse than Oakland and the New York Jets. The Chiefs are planning to start one of the Huard brothers (like it matters which one) or Richard Todd’s younger brother. Yeah, good luck with all of that. Why don’t the Chiefs just rid themselves of any big-play receivers, too? Oh that’s right, the Chiefs haven’t had a big-play receiver since Otis Taylor. (Alright, Carlos Carson was dope.)

But who cares about all of this. The foundation of any team is the offensive line. The Chiefs have two future Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive linemen—on the recently retired list. And the team didn’t bother to address this need in free agency or in the draft.

Maybe Johnson should just take the Priest Holmes employment plan, “retiring” for a couple of years, and coming back when this team doesn’t blow.

Pour a Coors Light out



First Billy Martin, now Bill Walsh, America is losing its beer pitchmen.

The Post Mortem

Does Jim Leyland have Hooters stock? Because that is the only explanation possible after the Angels not only swept the Tigers, but earned free Hooters wings for those in attendance. Well, those who actually got inside to take advantage of the offer.

Hooters all over Southern California (namely Costa Mesa) were overflowing with people looking to get 10 free wings, drink four waters and then stiff a Hooters girl.

Southern Californians already have a reputation for leaving games early, and that only become exasperated when the allure of free wings is offered. Especially on Saturday when the near capacity crowd had vacated Angels Stadium by the top of the ninth inning to get some free food. When you think about the $40 you are going to throw down in accompanying beers and fries, it's not hard to see who the real winner in this thing is.

THE PERFECT STORM
Barry Bonds it going to not only break the home run record but he is going to do it at Dodger Stadium. This situation couldn’t have worked out better for Bonds who will cheered by his hated rivals.

That’s right, cheered.

Dodgers fans are long on bravado, but short on actions. Expect those hypocritical a-holes to be standing on their feet and cheering the moment Bonds breaks the record. It’s going to happen. Some portly Dodgers fans from Montebello is going to drop his all-you-can eat nachos in the right field pavilion to clap his meaty mitts in appreciation of Bonds breaking the record in Dodger Stadium.

Count on it.

  • We are not even to August, yet the Brewers have already gagged their once sizeable lead in the NL Central. But do you really want Bud Selig to be rewarded by having the Brewers win? Maybe Bud (and let’s be honest, he’s still involved) should actually go out and become a buyer before the deadline to prove everybody wrong. Instead, watch the Brew Crew ship of Prince Fielder to another contender.


  • No, Seth McClung does not count.


AND FINALLY
What do you do when you are suspended from the NFL? You become a professional wrestler. Pacman Jones has signed a deal to appear on television with Total Nonstop Action wrestling. That will help clean up his image. Can't wait for the obvious angle where Mike Vick does a run-in with a couple of pit bulls.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Weak Ender

When time is short, it is important to fall back on your old reliable and recurring characters. In this case, Alyssa Milano. (Sorry Kelly, maybe next time.)

Ms. Milano has been romantically linked to various Major League players, and why this is still news to some people, you never can be sure. But hey, she could be doing worse. She could be stalking them at high rates of speed up and down the streets of Santa Monica, so why she gets the bum rap will remain a mystery. (Probably because people like Jezebel are likely pushing three-bills and trolling men's softball leagues, offering the George Michael-special in the park's bathroom.)

What’s also a mystery is how Jonathan Papelbon isn’t much of a fan of Alyssa. The Boston reliever is effective because of that laughable pout he protrudes on the mound. But nothing is more comical than this response.

"Actually I just walked right by her, man," said Papelbon, who is married.

"I was never really a big fan of hers, man. I was always like a big Pamela Anderson fan. You know, she doesn't really do it for me. I'm sorry, Alyssa. I'm sorry."


Pamela Anderson. Pffft—single mother, pass.

PIAZZA FINALLY FIGHTS BACK
Former Florida Marlins catcher Mike Piazza was nailed by a flying water bottle at Anaheim Stadium this week, once again showing that Angels fans are some of the best in baseball. Idiots in other stadiums toss $10 beers, but Angels fans drink beer and toss water. Smart.

Piazza pointed the man out in the crowd and now intends to sue him. Piazza called the man gutless, and he should know a thing or two about being cowardly. Roger Clemens nailed Piazza in the ear with a baseball and threw a piece of a bat at him, barely registering a peep from the catcher.

But hiding behind the police, Piazza was able to act like a big man and point the dude out in the crowd.

THE LINKS

  • If you click on one thing this week, make it young Fletcherson's Pro & Cons on the Star Wars movies. Well, well, done. He also should have some movie previews done when he gets back from Comicon.

  • Sports Hernia reports, everything sucks.

  • The all beard team, no Katie Holmes, though.

  • The basketball guillotine.

  • Strange offseason workout routines.


  • AND FINALLY

    Impeach Churchill!

    Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Vikings

    Your team isn't going to the Super Bowl, so why have any optimism? The Hater Nation brings you back to reality with the Super Bowl Buzz Kill. Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:

    The Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings would have won three out of the last four Super Bowls if the game was played in September. First-year coach Brad Childress followed in the footsteps of the departed Mike Tice by racing out to a 4-2 record last year, before finishing the season 6-10.

    Hey, that’s the Vikings way.

    The Vikings do have one thing going for them, a strong running game backed by a great offensive line and running back Chester Taylor. So the team went out in the draft and pick a, uh, well, a running back. No knock on Peterson, but the Vikings remember that Tavarias Jackson is the quarterback, right? Well, not that it matters much seeing that the receivers are Bobby Wade and Troy Williamson, who led the team with 11 drops last season. In fact, the Vikings are so enamored with fast guys who can't catch, they took Sidney Rice in the second round.

    Hey Vikings, any reason you might want to address that horrible defensive line? You know, the one that finished 25th in sacks. (Although in fairness to the Vikings, you might be better letting the NFC North quarterbacks throw, seeing an interception is more likely than a completion.)

    Still, it looks like another bad season for the Vikings. Which might be a good thing for them, so they won't have to endure something like this:

    Listen

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Texans

    Your team isn't going to the Super Bowl, so why have any optimism? The Hater Nation brings you back to reality with the Super Bowl Buzz Kill. Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:

    The Houston Texans

    There's an old joke about a man who goes hunting in the woods. He takes aim and shoots at a bear, but misses. The bear, in turn, takes the gun away from the hunter and has his way with him sexually. The hunter returns to town, gets a bigger gun, and returns to the woods. The hunter takes aim, misses, and suffers the same result. The cycle continues a few more times with the hunter getting a bigger gun, but missing each time. Finally the bear just stops and says, "Hey, you aren't here for the hunting are you."

    That's the Texans. They just aren’t here for the football. With seemingly no direction or plan, other than to keep the Arizona Cardinals company, the Texans are treated like that hunter, year after year.

    It's almost as if they aren't trying. Forget passing on Reggie Bush and Vince Young, they would have failed here because the team refuses to address the offensive line that has been a problem since the team started in 2002. The Texans drafted a defensive tackle this year. And a wide receiver. And a cornerback. And a safety. Hey look, they drafted an offensive linemen with its second pick in the fifth round. The club also signed, uh, Jordan Black in free agency. A guy so bad, even the Chiefs didn’t want him.

    So lets, just for a moment, pretend that Matt Schaub is not going to be the second coming of Doug Johnson. Or that Ahman Green did not play his best football in 2003. Who the hell are going to block for these guys?

    At least the defense is equally as miserable, ranking 24th overall in 2006.

    Sorry Texans fans (both of you), no matter how big of a gun you get, you are just going to end up getting bent over. Again.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Fathers of the Year

    Matt Leinart was called out this week by the mother of his child for being an absentee father. What a shock, a pro athlete ignoring his kid. But maybe Matt should ask Tony Dungy what happens when you ignore your kid because of football. Making matters worse, Brynn is now seeking $30K in child support according to TMZ.com.

    Now a lot of people think that Leinart should not pay it. But actually he should. That $30K keeps Brynn out of the WNBA, which really is such a small price to pay. In fact, if more people could knock up these WNBA players, maybe that league will finally go away.

    But what about this guy, who locked his son in a room with a bucket so he could go watch his beloved Packers at the local casino. This guy makes Leinart look like a good father. Hell, he makes Chris Benoit look like a good father.

    Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Browns

    Your team isn't going to the Super Bowl, so why have any optimism? The Hater Nation brings you back to reality with the Super Bowl Buzz Kill. Why your team won't win the Super Bowl:

    Cleveland Browns.

    Let's be honest, Cleveland is really a rusting, Midwest version of Oakland. Sure Cleveland has its lakes of fire, while Oakland has its freeways of fire, but the comparison is apt. Cleveland and Oakland sports teams are miserable chokers, known more for their psychotic fans bases draped in costumes and masks, and less for, you know, actually winning. The Browns and Raiders did win once, but that was a long, long time ago. Like before Jim Brown started making movies.

    Coincidentally, the Browns have pinned their hopes on quarterback Brady Quinn. The same guy who was passed over by the Raiders. And the Dolphins. And the Jaguars. Yeah, pretty much everybody. But let’s not be so quick to dismiss Brady just yet. He spent two years with Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, so he knows what its like to consistently lose to his chief rival, meaning he’ll fit in perfectly with the Browns. And hey, the guy knows better than to jump in front of his coach at the buffet line.

    Don’t despair Browns fans, the team has done a good job of surrounding Brady with some quality talent. They have Kellen Winslow, coming off a knee injury. LeCharles Bently, coming off a knee injury. Braylon Edwards one year removed from knee injury. If the Browns are really intent on bringing in some banged up, and used players, why not set the bar really high and go after Jamal Lewis.

    What, they did?

    That was just supposed to be a joke. How can a team release Reuben Droughns at running back and not have any alternative as an upgrade? Good luck running behind that line, Jamal. Prized rookie Joe Thomas spent his draft day out fishing on the lack. Yeah, with that type of commitment to football, it’s not hard to imagine Thomas racking up all the same success that Robert Gallery has had in Oakland.

    The news isn’t all bad for Cleveland, though. Drew Carey is going to host the Price is Right. At least one of your native sons isn't a loser.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    The Mid Week Malaise

    Hello, Haters. You know the drill by now, hopefully - my name is Ted, I normally write over here, but on Wednesdays I come and absolutely befoul Adam's work with some unfunny ramblings of my own. CAPPY says something, no one listens, and then a bunch of other people disparage me, but I keep coming back. Socialism is a wonderful thing.

    Michael Vick
    Last time I called a person "Ookie" was some girl right before I spooged on her nose, which is kinda like what the world is doing to Michael Vick right now.

    Tim Donaghy
    Do you get the feeling he met the mob like Bart met Fat Tony, because one of the Gambinos heard that he makes an excellent Manhattan? There's no doubt - which leads you to wonder, when the FBI comes to Stern and says, "You wouldn't happen to know anything about one of your refs taking bets on games, would you?", does Stern reply, "What's a game?" I promise that's my only Simpsons plug. I wish I had friends, though. I really want to see that movie without the retarded ticket taker laughing at me for being alone on a Friday night.

    The Tour De France
    If I had a gun with two bullets and was standing in front of any cycling executive, Hitler, and Mussolini, I'd shoot the cycling executive once, then shoot myself for good measure.

    Barry Bonds
    The only chase more boring than this - and with as many convoluted subplots - was that ridiculous 1994 movie of the same name ("The Chase") with Charlie Sheen. How can you have a movie with Kristy Swanson circa 1994 - post-Buffy, but pre-Big Daddy - and not force her to do nudity? That's as abjectedly preposterous as a nation gripped by the switching of a prized national record to an twice-dumb cheater. Oh, shite...

    USA Basketball
    All this Vegas stuff is well and good, but I can't wait until we lose in the quarters in Beijing to a team from a nation without access to nylon, leather, wood, or sneakers.

    Lindsay Lohan
    The Sun claims she made a bet with friends claiming she could get David Beckham in the sack. I really think she'd have more to discuss with Dwight Gooden, but maybe my over-reliance on conversation is what's been holding me back all these years. It could be that I'm morbidly obese and socially retarded, but easy answers never did it for me.

    Arthur Blank
    Look, buddy - if I have to put up with your sub-par Home Depot f'n door hinges and your surly, smoked-out teenage suburbanite staff who wouldn't know where to find a bag of sod if it bit 'em in the ass, can you at least put the dog killing bastard out to pasture for me?

    Ian Johnson
    "Relationships based on intense experiences never work out." - Speed. Guess he's screwed.
    Randy Johnson
    His career might be toast. It's a shame, really, because when you have a roided-up asshole who explodes at the press about to hold a cherished record, the thing you want in concert with that is a camerman-shoving bigot leading a team to the NL wild card. It's like Martin and Lewis, only without an annoying telethon.

    Randy Shannon
    ... says there's "no reason" the Hurricanes can't win the ACC. Yea, and see, there's technically no reason CAPPY can't eventually move into manhood in the Biblical sense. A lot of things in this world take patience, the hand of God, and Lamar Thomas coming down in the elevator to 'get in that thang.'

    Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Jets

    Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: New York Jets

    The Jets 2006 season ended the same way that the Sopranos ended—the screen went blank and everybody wondered what the hell happened during the AFC Wild Card Game. The kid genius, Eric Mangini, was rubbed out by the New England boss, a Member’s Only clad Bill Belichick, pretty much the same way that most people figured that Tony Soprano got whacked.

    You could almost here Mangini humming the tune, Don’t Stop Believing, moments before Asante Samuel returned an interception36-yard for a touchdown in that game.

    Jets fans haven’t stopped believing in the 2007 Jets, but that’s because most of them are dopes. The Jets ended the regular season winning five of six games. Sounds impressive until you consider that the opponents were the Texans, Packers, Vikings, Dolphins and Raiders.
    Then there is Chad Pennington. Yes, he had a good season in 2006. But depending on the brittle Pennington to be your quarterback is akin to relying on Lindsay Lohan to be your designated driver. You really should know better. The Jets back-up plan is the Jeff Tedford project, Kellen Clemons. Better hope blonde can hold up.

    The team’s biggest free-agent acquisition was Thomas Jones, who seemed to put it together in his three years in Chicago. But with Pete Kendall’s contract dispute, it won’t be unusual to see Jones stuffed at the line.

    And then, there is the Mangenius himself who used unusual motivational techniques such as boxing videos and military personnel to pump up his teams. That kind of smacks of the desperate measures that another New York skipper tried, Billy Martin. Those kind of ploys always worked one year for Martin.

    Yeah, just one.

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Super Bowl Buzz Kill

    What was the only website to nail 31 of its 32 preseason NFL predictions last year? The Hater Nation.

    THN called the Bears losing in Super Bowl 41. And the Saints losing to the Bears or the Patriots losing to the Colts. In fact, THN correctly predicted the demise of 31 NFL franchises, the lone exception being the Colts. And really, the Colts played poorly enough during the Super Bowl to lose, so don’t fault us.

    That is why the Super Bowl Buzz Kill was created. Picking the actual Super Bowl winners is so 1998. So we’ll let Peter King embarrass himself with a ridiculous Super Bowl pick. THN will instead pick against all 32 teams.

    And hey, who can argue with 31 of 32?

    The SBBK starts tomorrow! Find out why your team won't win the Super Bowl.

    Sunday, July 22, 2007

    The Post Mortem

    Paddy Harrington is your British Open winner, proving that it is not so much the luck of the Irish, as it is the choking of a Spaniards.

    Calling Sergio Garcia the Greg Norman of this generation is too easy. Besides, there is something inherently unlikable about Sergio. Like if he wasn’t a professional golfer, he would be hanging out in cafes in Barcelona, wearing skin-tight pants, waggling his fingers repeatedly around a cup of cappuccino while hitting on American women.

    Then you could just imagine him having a total conniption fit when the girls wouldn’t want to join him back at his mother’s house. He'd likely spit in their drinks and go pout.

    BECKHAM IN THE HOUSE
    Wow, Chelsea FC really blows huh? That's the best England has to offer? Chelsea is supposed to be one of the best teams in the best league in the world. That was the equivalent of the Colts going over to England and beating a club team, 7-0. Even if Jim Sorgi was loaded and playing quarterback, that would still be a disgrace.

    The game was pretty compelling. And hell, if Landon Donovan didn’t choke that shot, this game is all knotted up.

    The bottom line here is when was the last time you actually went out of your way to watch an NBA basketball exhibition basketball game? Hell, any NBA game that didn’t include the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors? As Yiddish Steel pointed out the other day, people actually went out of their way to see this game and they weren’t likely disappointed.

    Will this start a new trend? Well, yours truly spent about two minutes watching Argentina play the Czechs in some tournament. And that’s two more minutes than time spent watching the NBA Finals.

    If only they could get the youth of America playing soccer, then they might really be on to something.

    • Lost in the Beckham mania was the Bernard Hopkins v. Winky Wright fight. Bad timing boys. How about a rematch?
    • People need to look at the bright side of this NBA referee game-fixing deal? At least somebody on the court wanted to win.
    • Remember when Mike Vick was just some pot head trying to sneak his weed onto an airplane?
    • Emmitt Smith, dude, it is admirable that you want to have Vick’s back in this thing, but maybe there’s another reality show you can appear in. Vick didn’t just “attend a dog fight or twenty,” he was raising pit bulls to fight, killing the weak ones, and the head of a dog fighting team. And it's Troy Aikman who had the concussions.
    • Major League Baseball announced that the New York Yankees will be playing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays exclusively for the final two months of the season, ensuring they get into the playoffs.


    AND FINALLY
    The Angels traded Jose Molina to the Yankees for a minor league pitcher. Really, was it Phillip Hughes? Nope, it is Jeff Kennard. Watch, Kennard will be starting to the Angels in a couple of years, while the Yankees will continue to wonder why they don’t have any pitching. But this is another move by Bill Stoneman to push out established players to give heralded rookies a chance to play, this time Jeff Mathis. And when you ignore the obvious Dallas McPherson/Troy Glaus fiasco, Stoneman has done well with Mike Napoli, Howie Kendrick (when healthy), Casey Kotchman and Reggie Willits. So maybe he’s on to something. Maybe this will give Stoneman a taste for trading. Angels fans can only hope for a power hitter. Speaking of which...

    Garret Anderson finally put an end to the Angels 0-for-July streak with a home run on Sunday as the team avoided the sweep in Minnesota. And prevented Dr. Ross from being able to take over THN for a day.

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    The Weak Ender

    Such is life, eh? Some pit bulls get to sleep in the bed with Jessica Biel. Others are thrown into battle in Mike Vick's Ultimate Dog Fighting Championship.

    Life is just not fair.

    And as expected, there is a mixed reaction down in Atlanta, with some fans wanting due process. One of the readers to Vic Carruci’s mail bag indicated that Vick wasn’t “didn’t kill any humans” and said that it was nothing worse than what Pacman Jones and Ray Lewis did.

    Except, of course, that neither player killed anybody, either. A more apt example would have been Leonard Little seeing that he did, you know, kill somebody. There is your reasoned case, Vick fans. At least have something intelligent to say if you are going to try to defend him.

    And the whole notion that he “didn’t kill any humans,” is weak because mistreating animals is the starter point for most serial killers. Vick is a straight up sociopath and let's hope he gets what is coming to him.

    SNOOP DOGG: COLLEGE FOOTBALL EXPERT
    Famed rapper and USC fan Snoop Dogg was not to impressed with LSU's Loss Mile's analysis of the Pac-10 conference. Said Sir Dogg:

    "Who the (procreation) is Les Miles?"

    "The SEC, we done played Arkansas last year Les, tore they ass up by 40 Les, they won your division last year, Les, (female dog)-ass mother(fornicator)."

    Word, Snoop, word.

    UPDATE: Sadly, THN received an email that indicated that this might be a hoax. But the story will stay up here because let’s be honest, Snoop probably feels that way.

    • Some morons have taken to comparing dog fighting to horse racing. If you can’t figure out the difference maybe you should take a bath over at Mike Vick’s house when he’s holding an electrical cord.
    • SEC football fans also like dog fighting. It's true.
    • This was alluded to earlier this week, but is anybody else surprised that Nancy Grace or somebody else hasn’t tried to tie steroids to this Vick thing? NFL players use steroids, so maybe it was the juice (steroids, not O.J.) that turned him plum crazy. And before you start, no, Vick never failed a drug test. But neither did Chris Benoit.
    • Dear NBA, thank you for having one of your referees bet on games, possibly shaving points. That couldn’t have come at a better time. Sincerely, Roger Goodell.
    • Attention PETA: Listen guys, love your work. Well not really. But hey, us normal people have this whole Vick thing covered. Us normals will get him suspended and stuff, so you can stop your protests in front of the NFL offices in New York. Please, you will only hurt the cause. Can’t you find a dog track or something to protest?
    • Speaking of steroids, Gary Player is convinced that a number of pro golfers are using steroids. Seriously, are we supposed to add anything to that?
    • Remember when opinion was mixed on whether the Chargers made a mistake trading the draft rights to Vick for LaDainian Tomlinson? Somewhere Ryan Leaf is pissed because Vick could have been the biggest embarrassment in Chargers history.
    • A man turned down $5K to Bonds’ home run ball on Thursday afternoon. At least he didn’t throw it back, like the moron that tossed back Alex Rodriguez’s 300th career home run at Angel Stadium a few years back.
    • Speaking of the Angels, the demotion of Ervin Santana was way over due. Like it shouldn’t have even taken that long. The ironic twist in all of this is that it might not be a bad idea for the Angels to get more pitching.
    • Chris Carpenter will miss the rest of the season (and then some) following Tommy John surgery. Why does Tommy get credit for that and why doesn’t that apply to other surgeries. Like, why isn’t a breast augmentation referred to as Pamela Anderson surgery?
    • Go back to Russia.
    • Daunte Culpepper has made a visit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Seriously. Bruce Allen is like that guy in your fantasy football draft that doesn’t take a quarterback until, like, the tenth round and then has to scramble through every scrub left in the league.
    • There is a rumor floating around that NBC is thinking of bringing American Gladiators back to television after NFL games on Sunday night. Keep praying.
    • The biggest miscarriage of justice today: The Shield received no Emmy nominations for best actor or supporting actor.
    THE LINKS (coming)

    AND FINALLY
    Beckham mania is finally working. With David’s arrival and Victoria’s surprisingly good reality special, maybe it’s time to give soccer a chance.

    Oh no, not the MLS. That league is lousy. Getting into soccer and settling for the MLS would be like getting fired up about baseball and going out to watch the Inland Empire 66ers against the High Desert Mavericks.

    No, you want to get into the highest form of soccer imaginable. In the spirit of welcoming Beckham, THN will jump feet first into the World Cup this year and cover it like nobody else.

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    David Beckham

    Hey folks, it's your old pal McLean Stevenson back for another run at looking at some of the world's most famous career moves. This is the part of the post where I would link you back to my own blog, but you probably don't care and neither do I. Hopefully I can get to the point where I piss off one of the local commenter guys (looking at you, WCT) and draw some heat that way. But let's move on to this week's biggest non-dog murdering story, David Beckham.

    Any time you get the opportunity to leave the most famous team in the world (Real Madrid, not Real Salt Lake), following a historic championship, in order to play alongside Cobi Jones on the "Hello, Larry" of the MLS (that’s not making the playoffs this year), you’ve gotta do it. I'm kidding. Well sorta. I feel you Becks. I know it's not easy playing second fiddle to somebody who can't carry your jock. I had Alan Alda and you have that freaking vampire, Roberto Carlos. So me and Wayne Rogers have your back, Becks. Besides, you made more money during this post, than most people do in a lifetime.

    As for Saturday's game, I say screw the fans. Those people just want to see Chelsea anyway. To prove your worth, show up for a game against the Metro Stars and really show them how you draw.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Lil' Hater: Look At The Bright Side

    I am glad that those students and teachers murdered at Virginia Tech were sparred the horror of watching Michael Vick turn their school into a mockery. But which is worse in the public eye? Killing a bunch of students or killing dogs?

    I have a theory that the Asian dude who went on that murderous rampage was actually upset at all the enablers who molded Vick into this dog fighting king. That Asian dude obviously feels strongly that you shouldn't play with your food.

    What, too soon?

    The Mid Week Malaise

    Hello, Haters (whatever happened to CAPPY, by the way? What sub-terranean porn production palace is he operating out of these days?). It's Ted back again, to attempt to amuse but probably just irritate, with another edition of The Mid Week Malaise.

    Michael Vick
    With the possible exception of Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen circa Men at Work, have you ever known two more absolutely messed-up brothers?

    The Atlanta Falcons
    Consult the picture for an indication of your future.

    Bobby Petrino
    Let's pause for a moment here. You could have coached a senior Brian Brohm in a conference with only 1 other good team, and been the darling of the national media, chatting it up with Erin Andrews weekly. Now you may be starting DJ Shockley on a team with a defense about 2.5 notches above swiss cheese, and a giant Doberman-shaped cloud is hanging over your head. You make me feel so much better about every piss-poor decision I've ever made, although I realize you weren't the one who handed me the bong at post-prom.

    Daunte Culpepper
    That 'arm roll' thing he does is about to become the sports socio-cultural equivalent of Herman's Head.

    Billy Beane
    A's have dropped nine in a row. At least he has solace in the fact that he's probably the only GM in the game who could go to the bar with his players and bag the most attractive girl there that night. OK, maybe Bill Bavasi.

    College Football Media Days
    What do teams like UConn say at these things? "Yea... um... well.... you know.... like.... Coach Calhoun is just backstage, if you want us to get him...."

    Phil Mickelson
    If you think there's no way Mickelson could out-choke Van De Velde at the British, well, apparently you haven't been watching the gradual decline of Phil. Perhaps you'd be interested in taking a lil' wager? My friend back in 2003 lost 300 dollars in 8 minutes at Bellagio. He's never gotten over it (when he left, he looked at his bill fold and declared, "Is this a wallet or a wind tunnel?" - He also can't look at synchronized fountains without having epileptic seizures). He'd probably be interested to engage in some casual gaming with you.

    Doctors
    "There were steroids in Chris Benoit's system." Thanks.

    Barry Bonds
    Bonds' quest, right now, is akin to a father speaking at a wedding. Every time a father gets up for the big speech, you hope against hope that this father, unlike every other father in the history of modern civilization, is going to say something different and unique. Then the first lame joke spills out, and everyone in the room gets thanked, and the toast is proposed prematurey, and you groan internally. Then, you get schammered so that when you see the father on the dance floor, you can tell him how great everything was and actually believe it. Bonds is like that because every night is exactly the same: great anticipation, ultimately signifying nothing. He's also like that because if one of my friends ever married his daughter and there was an off-chance Andy Van Slyke might be at the wedding, I'd probably be the dude you find passed out in a pool of his own urine under the DJ table during "Rapper's Delight."

    Milwaukee Bucks
    Getting f*cked by the Chinese, just like everyone who ever asked for "starch..."

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Time To Put Vick Down

    Chris Benoit doesn't enjoy many good days in hell, what with the sulfur freely flowing out of his ears and what not. But today had to be a somewhat pleasant day for Benoit as Mike Vick was indicted for the alleged pitbull ring running out of his house. Now, the story of Benoit feeding his kid Flinestone's Xanax before killing him is taking a back burner to the news that Vick tortured dogs that weren't up to snuff.

    (And if you are squeamish, don't read on.)

    The indictment alleges that approximately eight dogs were put to death by hanging, drowning, and/or slamming at least one dog's body to the ground.

    That seems kind of harsh, but maybe that is the kind of incentive that Falcons coach Bobby Petrino could lay down to Vick for this season. (Provided that he plays.) The coach should set a goal that if Vick doesn't lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl, he will be drowned in a team whirlpool.

    And if that happens, Benoit can welcome Vick to hell, thank him for giving him at least one day of peace and get him involved in some of the Devil's dog-fighting. Though Vick should be careful because if Benoit is going to shoot up his kid with roids and Xanax, what do you think he's giving the dog?

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Hollywood Gridiron

    The NFL Network ranked the top ten footballers turned actors in honor of an in-studio appearance by Fred Dryer. Let's see what you think about the list.

    10. Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (From Dusk Til Dawn)
    9. Alex Karras (Blazing Saddles)
    8. Ed Marinaro (Hill Street Blues)
    7. Dick Butkus (Hang Time)
    6. O.J. Simpson (Naked Gun)
    5. Dryer (Hunter)
    4. Merlin Olsen (Father Murphy)
    3. Bubba Smith (Police Academy)
    2. Jim Brown (The Dirty Dozen)
    1. Carl Weathers (Rocky, Happy Gilmore and Arrested Development)

    Two words here: Outrage. Where the hell are Brian Bosworth and Terry Bradshaw? If yours truly had a vote in this contest those two would have ranked first and second. And you could make an argument for either one taking the top spot. How can you ignore Bosworth in Stone Cold as he went toe-to-toe with William Forsythe and won, damn it?

    And who can forget the epic scene in Cannonball Run where Bradshaw blows out the window of Mr. Foyt's tree-hugging meeting and responds by filling his lip with a wad of Redman? Or after driving the Hawaiian Tropic into the pull says, "Now we got to to tune it, but let's get a beer first." That should be enough to earn the top spot without mentioning the barroom brawl in Hooper.

    Hell, Bradshaw is still making movies.

    Olsen hasn’t made a movie since 1988. Karras appeared in every episode of The Tom Show (of course there was only one). Butkus played a real stretch as an opposing coach in Any Given Sunday. Bradshaw had to pretend that he was into Kathy Bates for crying out loud.

    And O.J.? Well, he has been portraying an innocent man for the last 14 years, so at least he’s still working.

    But this is just wrong. This is the kind of thing that would call for a boycott, you know, if anybody actually got the NFL Network. Instead, you are all implored to go to your local Best Buy and purchase a copy of Hooper or Cannonball Run to voice your displeasure.

    Worldwide Loser

    Fletch is back with a short take full of hate - he usually writes much shorter in the comments section here and much longer over at Blog Cabins.

    Yea, I get it. It's a slow sports month.

    Still, I don't need ESPN acting like their prize writer Bill Simmons. How else to explain the nonstop insanity of being pounded over the head with the news of the Phillies' 10,000th loss on Sunday? Obviously, like Simmons likes to say, they must have found a way to "wager on things like the Phils will be the first professional sports team to notch 10k in the loss column," because they won't shut the hell up about it.

    Amongst the idiocy of the whole "event," not much tops talking heads interviewing current Phils players about "the significance" of the 10,000th loss. Heck, even Harry Kalas, the team's broadcaster for some 40+ years even said that he has been with the team for only 2900 or so of them - how can anyone in their right mind expect Ryan Howard or Aaron Rowand to give a crap? They haven't even been alive as long as Kalas has been broadcasting, much less playing for the Phils long enough to endure even 1/10th of the losses.

    More to the point, this reminds me of New Year's Day. Every year, we're all supposed to celebrate the fact that the calendar changed from one day to the next. Outside of an excuse to drink, why am I supposed to care? It happens every day for christ sakes. So, along those lines, why cheer (or celebrate) the inevitability of a team losing a randomly picked, celebrated number? Was there hullabaloo about 8000 or 9000? I don't recall. Also, will we be able to avoid the news when the Braves hit 10,000 in 4 or 5 years (currently at 9,681, the Braves look to be the next team to hit five digit losses)?

    Sure, the Phils, despite their long history, are indeed grand losers, as their .468 winning percentage clearly demonstrates. However, they're not even baseball's worst. That honor goes (naturally) to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who should be proud to be baseball's only franchise with a sub-.400 percentage. Additionally, the Padres, Rangers and Rockies all rock worse ratios. So, hold your heads up high, Phils fans; at least your team got featured on a Sunday night game. Not everyone can be so lucky to have Joe Morgan drone on about your team for three hours. The D-Rays would be jealous.

    The Post Mortem

    The ESPYs were Sunday night and the lesson most people came away with was this; you will catch cancer if you coach North Carolina State basketball. It’s true.

    The show itself wasn’t horrible as it gave sports fans a chance to relive some great moments in the past year, namely the Boise State Fiesta Bowl victory. And a couple of glamour shots of Maria Sharapova. But then you realize that the American voting public is nothing but a collection of dopes when Gomer Manning wins the award for best championship performance. Funny, seeing that Manning was a fraudulent choice for Super Bowl MVP. The night got worse when the Colts were selected as the team of the year. Honestly, they should have probably been the last choice seeing that the St. Louis Cardinals, Florida hoops and football teams were more compelling stories. Hell, Boise State would have been a better choice year.

    Funny, you don’t want to get wrapped up in meaningless award shows, yet they still manage to draw your ire.

    JOE TORRE HATES BLACK PEOPLE
    Former Yankees ingrate Gary Sheffield claimed that Joe Torre treats black players different, with Kenny Lofton getting his back by claiming the Sheffield knows what he’s talking about. (But that’s all Lofton will say, although that is enough.)

    Sorry, but there needs to be a little bit more evidence than the word of two players who have seemingly played for every Major League team. Hell, Lofton batted below the Bob Uecker line during the spring training he spent with the Yankees. Even renowned crack head Darryl Strawberry disagreed with Sheffield and Lofton. When Straw says your crazy, maybe it’s time to rethink your position.

    Instead of making this a race issue, Sheffield should have said that Torre had trouble with malcontent a-holes more concerned with their paycheck than actually win some ball games.

    • Mark Cuban has submitted an application to own the Cubs. Cuban is one of the best owners around, but there is something worrisome about him owning the Cubs. Any person who is in the running to purchase the team should have to swear that they will not tear down Wrigley Field. That’s the number one priority.
    • There are certain levels of hell and hopefully the group who stalled traffic in the I-15 on Sunday by camping on the side of the road (for no reason) will find the final level.
    • Wouldn’t it have been more fitting for the Phillies to lose 10-0 for their 10,000 loss?
    • Chris Chambers passed a breathalyzer test following a DUI arrest on Sunday morning. Now it seems like a safe bet than an NFL player is drunk every time he gets behind the wheel, but this is ridiculous.
    • Taryne Mowatt--thank God you are pretty.


    AND FINALLY
    Giants pitching screen Barry Bonds called himself an embarrassment to the uniform following another hitless performance on Sunday. Funny, Bonds has been an embarrassment for a long time during his career so it’s shocking to see him with some self realization now. This has nothing to do with steroids or anything, because he actually flaunts that use. But how can anybody be surprised that Bonds is having trouble hitting as the pressure continues to mount in his home run chase?

    This is the same guy who couldn’t throw out Sid Bream at home during the playoffs. The same guy who batted well below the Uecker Line during the Pirates playoff run during the early 1990s killing practically killing that franchise. Barry you are not an embarrassment, it’s just that nobody is surprised that you are choking. There is no reason to get upset about it.

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    The Weak Ender

    When word arrived that an international soccer sensation was going to be introduced today, the immediate hope was that it was Brazilian soccer referee, Ana Paula Oliveira (right). Fresh off an appearance in Playboy. (Let’s hope Eddie Guns doesn't get any ideas.)

    Sadly, it is Beckham who will be introduced to Los Angeles. Holy hell, he hasn't started playing yet? Anyway, the arrival of Beckham will likely encourage millions of children across America to join a youth soccer league. Oh wait, millions of American kids already play soccer, only to ignore it as adults.

    And not to bash soccer, but this won't have much of an impact other than the sale of a million Galaxy kits worldwide. (Hey, they actually look kind of cool.)

    Americans have an appetite for human cock fighting, not soccer. Beckham is a great soccer player, but he doesn't score goals. And if he doesn't score goals, he'll never be on ESPN. Meaning the average American dope won't know the difference. The initial hype will be something and hey, they might pick up a few casual fans. But plese don't compare this to Wayne Gretzky who was, you know, in his prime when he came to Los Angeles.

    If the Galaxy really wanted to make us notice, maybe they would have Oliveira officiate the first game.


    Check out more pics at With Leather.

    ELI MESSIAH ALL GROWN UP
    Giants QB Eli Messiah fancies himself a leader and has even tried to assert himself by blasting the departed Tiki Barber in the New York Post. That is if blasted means that he passive aggressively insinuated that Barber was kind of a bad guy.

    "I don't think we're concerned. We're excited by the players that we have who wanted to return for this season, and who wanted to be a part of the Giants and play.”
    Wow, way to really stick it to him, Eli. You can tell what's sadder; the quote or the fact that the Post tried to make believe this was some sort of slam. This comes off the same way you would imagine Eli sounded when his brothers coerced him to actually talk to girls.

    • Ichiro will sign a contract extension for $18M a year, over the next five years. Something that Marlins president David Samson called “a joke” and “inexcusable.” On the other hand Alex Rodriguez is going command a contract of $30M. Ichiro is a bargain at those prices.
    • David Wells is upset with his seven-game suspension. You would think that Major League Baseball was asking him to spend it on a treadmill. You'd figure Wells would take this opportunity to hit the Gas Lamp Quarter, instead of complaining. Hey Dave, there's room for one more in the car for a ride up to the Imperial Palace. But, uh, you have to pay for gas.
    • Wait a minute, the ESPY's aren't live and they've already posted the winners online? This is the dumbest idea ever. Why doesn't ESPN show the thing live, or are they that frightened of their image, they have to control absolutely everything. Lame.


    THE LINKS
    • This is a great idea. Larry David should have played Big Stein in The Bronx is Burning. It kind of sounds like Oliver Platt is doing a Larry David impersonation. In fact, it's the only thing that you can here.



    AND FINALLY
    The ESPN poker blog reported that the Sports Dork Bill Simpson was busted out of the tournament on the first day. That report was pulled from the site and Simpson claimed in a chat that he didn’t play at all. Didn’t play at all, or was he covering up another early exit? It would seem far-fetched for the Dork to go to all of that trouble, but then you see a quote like this.
    Herm Edwards, HBO... it's too good to be true. Hard to believe it's been six years since the first one on the Ravens... I had been writing full-time for ESPN for a month, I did a running diary of Episode One and the editors hacked it to smithereens, they took out about 10 jokes and I spent the weekend thinking I was going to quit. I'm still bitter about it. That was the summer when they destroyed by Gold Club Trial column as well. You'll get all the details in my "E True Hollywood Story" episode.

    Yeah, doesn’t seem petulant at all.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Floppy Hats Are Gay

    At least the Catholic Church believes so. The Church was upset that the San Diego Padres were giving away floppy hats to kids on the same day as “Pride Day” at PetCo Park.

    Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center commented, “In my opinion, this confluence of events is not a mistake. The Padres are playing the part of the Pied Pieper leading unsuspecting children into accepting the homosexual lifestyle as normal. Children should not be subjected to the ‘in-your-face’ antics of these radical groups. The Thomas More Law Center wants unsuspecting parents that hope to get their children a free hat and maybe allow their children to run the bases at PETCO to know that they are also walking into a modern day scene of Sodom and Gomorrah.”


    As opposed to sending unsuspecting kids to catechism in order to accept the Catholic lifestyle as normal. Seriously, the molesting priest angle is way too easy here. So easy, in fact, that you would think that Mr. Thompson should have had his irony meter ringing off the hook.

    Besides, does Thompson believe that any self-respecting gay would actually wear a floppy hat? He obviously doesn’t have a very queer eye. If Thompson wants to take up a cause, how about getting the Rainbow back? Lord knows that (female dog) Rainbow Bright has turned quite a few young girls gay.

    Hat Tip: SMOG

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Who Wants to Party With Gruden?

    Jon Gruden, like Adam Vinatieri and the guy who eventually kills Georgia Frontandrearie, will never have to pay for a beer in Sunset Beach. Gruden has long seemed like the kind of guy you could hang out with and have a beer.

    Yes, even when he coached the Raiders.

    Gruden is an excitable guy when sober, but could you imagine what would happened if he loosened up? Scott over at Buc Stats dug up this interview from NFL Network where Gruden laments the fact that the Bucs didn’t beat the Raiders by a larger margin in Super Bowl 37. Gruden notes that Jerry Porter’s touchdown was bogus and a botched field goal kept the Bucs from winning 51-21. And that was him on a family vacation.

    Give him a few beers and you could imagine him rambling about Al Davis jowls, his jump suits and the fact that Tim Brown always seemed a little fruity? "That senile old goat, he's lost his mind. And what's up with his face? I want to take his face, off. Face... off! And make a visor out of it."

    Compare that to Tony Dungy who would probably sip club soda and preach against gays.

    Having a coach like Gruden would be akin to dating Kelly Monaco and finding out that she also owns a liquor store. Like, you get to date Kelly Monaco and you could still get all of the Hostess fruit pies you desire because you are the owner’s boyfriend. That would be cool.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    The Mid Week Malaise

    Here's the drill, as always: my name is Ted, I normally write over here, but on Wednesdays I come by Adam's place and try my best (failing miserably often) to humorously and effectively summarize some people whose lives are a bigger joke than mine. And yours. I mean, don't think you're getting off the hook, you wife-carrying joker.

    Another effort:

    Bud Selig
    Channeling my inner John Rocker for a moment, it appears Selig is going to be spending a lot of time in San Francisco in the coming weeks. Lord knows that's a place where you can't even hit up a gay bar at 4am without being next to some kid with purple hair, some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time...

    Knut the Polar Bear
    The cutest thing in America is now "too dangerous" for his handler to play with. This reminds me so much of Barry Bonds between 1992 and now, it's not even funny. Here's what is (dangerous, not funny): I think I'm really talkin' about Barry's nut sack.

    Antoine Walker
    You know that scene in Back to the Future III where the villians tell Marty to dance for 'em? I kind of envision that's what happened when Walker wuz robbed, except the guy was screaming: "Do the Wiggle! Do the f***ing Wiggle!" Also, I generally assume it was Jeff Sheppard who did it, provided he's graduated by now (seriously, was that dude on the bench for Laettner's shot and then the D-Wade game? I think he was).

    The National League
    Their run in All-Star Games is starting to be the professional sports socio-cultural equivalent of Mandy Moore's relationship history.

    Andruw Jones
    You want some 2008 campaign rhetoric? A black man fails at his job, so an Asian gets more money. Vote Tancredo!

    Greg Oden
    I look at this tonsil situation as a good thing for the rest of us; it's the first somewhat tangible proof we've had that he's not 47.

    Kevin Durant
    *CLANK*
    That's Durant's professional career through two games.
    *WHHIIRRRRRR*
    And that's Clay Bennett's plane taking off for Oklahoma City.
    *Xie_Xie *
    And THAT's Yi Jianlian thanking the press for his ROY trophy.

    The Pacers
    Colts are Super Bowl Champions. Peyton Manning is apparently funny. Tony Dungy has a book tour. The Indiana Fever are the best team in the WNBA. Eric Gordon is going to IU. Ron Artest, the most glorious Pacer of 'em all, might be headed to NYC. Meanwhile, the leading item on the Pacers' website is a chance to buy a Mike Dunleavy replica jersey. Austin Croshere is taking over no more. The P-Men have jumped the shark.

    A-Rod
    Who wears a suit to the Home Run Derby? He looked ready to rip a few sets of "Karma Chameleon" with these cats.

    The Phillies
    I've probably hit on 10,000 girls if you count sophomore year of college. I've lost almost every one of those battles. Where's Bryant Gumbel at my f***ing door, huh?

    O.J. Simpson
    The murderer and one-time NFL star turned 60 this week. Meaning, there's a new Last and Ten.

    Thanks Putz

    Don't put a Mariner out to do an Angels job. Figures that K-Rod had to come in and save the day after J.J. Putz lived up to his name, nearly blowing the Angels bid for home-field advantage in the World Series. How embarrassing must it be to be pulled from a save situation in the All-Star game.

    Even Atlee Hammaker would have to chuckle at the way Putz folded following Brian Roberts error.

    And speaking on that, with home-field advantage on the line, shouldn't all Orioles, Devil Rays, and Royals be removed from the game? Hey, at least the Yankees were able to contribute something to the Angels post-season cause. You know, other than being a doormat for the team in October.

    A couple of notes here, was anybody else expecting better Ichiro quotes after the game? Kind of like his interpreter was on his best behavior. Disappointing.

    Has Joe Buck surpassed Chris Berman in the annoyance factor in these games? Nothing worse than his intro, "I'm Joe Buck and I'm such a glory-hungry media whore, Tim McCarver will be along in a moment even though he's standing right next to me. Because right now is all about me (female dogs.)"

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    ESPN Kills Vlad's Moment

    Vladimir Guerrero won the Home Run Derby, but damn if that was the most excruciating thing to watch. The Home Run Derby was once the highlight of All-Star week. Mainly because it had all of things in baseball that people liked—home runs and the whole thing took about 20 minutes. Now the HRD has become a three-hour media circus for Chris Berman to mug for the cameras. Because the eight hours of the NFL Draft just isn’t enough. So again, ESPN has found a way to take something enjoyable and turn it into one great big monkey stink. Like a newborn puppy eating a brand new pair of shoes.

    So what else has ESPN ruined? Our boys over at 100 Percent Injury Rate put together a great list of ESPN failures. But this list will be different because we’ll look at things that were once cool but ruined by ESPN. Like Jennie Finch. Let's take a look:

    • Slam Dunk. Kids today might not realize this, but a slam dunk was once a cool part of basketball. But now, thanks to ESPN, the dunk is how basketball players are measured because it is the only thing ESPN will broadcast in its highlight package. If Larry Bird played in the NBA today, he would be anonymous to the average fan, other than the few snippets of ESPN talking heads mocking his "dunking" skills.
    • The NHL. FOX didn’t help with the glowing puck, but ESPN glorified the fighting much like it did the slam dunk. And yes, they weren't the only ones guilty of this, but this is akin to letting the neighbor dealer off with a warning to go after the cartel.
    • The Big Lead. ESPN's Calvin Cowherd was so threatened by a blog, he tried to kill it.
    • Poker. Las Vegas once tried to be family friendly and ended up with casinos such as the Excalibur, Treasure Island, and other glorified amusement parks. Comedian Larry Miller put it best, you don’t take babies to Vegas, you make them in Vegas. Vegas eventually learned that gambling is seedy and should be treated as such. Same deal with poker. ESPN has glamorized poker, leading every Sports Dork wannabe into a casino looking to go all-in on a 2-6 (and eventually making a boat on the flop). ESPN made poker so popular, Harrah’s bought Binion’s Horseshoe for the World Series of Poker, leaving the great grind joint wallowing downtown while the WSOP moved to the freaking Rio. A-holes.
    • The Sports Dork. Ha, he was never cool.
    • Women’s basketball. Women’s hoops was once cool? Sure, when it wasn’t televised. But ESPN started out as a regional Connecticut station, broadcasting the nationally-ranked U Conn women’s basketball team. ESPN then legitimized women’s hoops which led to the WNBA. Thanks, jerks.
    • Remedy. ESPN soiled this classic Black Crowes song by using it as the bumper for Tilt. (Jerk move.)
    • Michael Madsen. Sure, he played the dad in Free Willy, but nothing has damaged his reputation more than Tilt. He’ll still get work, but like MJ playing for the Wizards, this legacy is dead.
    • Sexual harassment. Turns out, you can't hug a female co-worker outside of a TGI Fridays without her getting all uppity.

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    The Post Mortem

    Brian Urlacher is in hot water with his baby-mama for sending some obscene text messages. And not the, “What are you wearing right now” variety, either.

    We are talking Alec Baldwin territory here. But that's the rub. Baldwin at least had the guts to leave a voice mail. Urlacher is sending text messages. Not the kind of menacing image you would imagine from one of the baddest dudes in the NFL. What’s the going to do next, spam her MySpace page? Maybe he can send out a scathing bulletin to really get his point across.

    Bears fans (like Dr. Doug) had better hope this isn't true. But since this is a slow news week, let’s break down the tape of Urlacher’s alleged messages.

    “Go to hell you (fornicating) (aunt).” Not bad going for what we can only assume is the “c-word.” But damn, you don’t want to use that chip so soon.

    “Grow the (fornicating) up and quit praying and get a job.” Quit praying? Why does Urlacher hate Jesus? That’s just wrong.

    “You’re a (fornicating) fruit cake.” Yeah, if you are going to drop the “c-word” then fruit cake isn’t going to have the same impact.

    “Your raising a little (kitty cat).” Unlike the kid's dad, who is sending text message like a preteen who has yet to fill out her training bra.


    • Yes, Urlacher is bad a grammar, too. Like he’s a THN editor or something.
    • So A-Rod was so upset about the Angels victory on Saturday that he said he will play in the All-Star game so Orlando Cabrera won't. That’s weak. And when will the Ervin Santana experiment end? The dude is Ramon Ortiz all over again.
    • What made Roger Clemens outing on Saturday more amazing is that he got confused and actually showed up for the Old Timer’s Day, pitching three innings, before limiting the Angels to one-run in eight innings. And a special shout-out to Joe Girardi, who might not be the best broadcaster, but he was actually complimentary of the Angels. Like he was going out of his way to show that he wasn’t biased.
    • Did you know that relatives of Thurman Munson and Corey Lidle performed a flyover prior to Old Timer’s Day. The flyover was a touching tribute until they crashed into the Empire State Building.
    • Dice K was roughed up by the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Wow, baseball is not so easy when you have to face lineups tougher than Tampa Bay and San Diego, huh? THN tries to be the voice of reason, but people just refuse to listen. By why let reason get in the way when you get a chance to hype the Red Sox?
    • Wimbledon crowned another manly winner in the winner’s division. Seems like Maria Sharapova’s victory in 2004 was only a mirage.
    • Former NFLer Bill Maas was arrested after he was found with guns, drugs and a gay lover on a cross-country trip. Serves him right for trying to pass off that stupid sports phone. Hat tip: Sports Frog.
    • BTW, if anybody from Sports Illustrated is reading, that note about the Munson and Lidle families is 100 percent true.


    AND FINALLY

    Greg Oden
    was whistled for 10 fouls on Saturday night but only nine fouls on Sunday. Looks like the run to be the next Joey Crawford is underway!

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    The Weak Ender

    LSU coach Loss Miles was caught spouting off to a group of Tigers boosters recently, down-grading USC and more to the point, the Pac-10. Normally, this is the kind of thing that lands you in the crosshairs of THN, but not this time. Miles was merely playing the crowd because there is no way that he could have meant anything that he said.

    “I can tell you that I would like nothing better than to play USC for the title,” Miles said.

    Sure. USC has humiliated most of its bowl opponents during the Pete Carroll era. Only Texas, with a super-human effort by Vince Young, has been able to solve the Trojans in a bowl game. And really, if not for a couple of bone-headed first-half plays, the Trojans would have routed the Longhorns just like the rest. So obviously this statement from Miles is tongue-n-cheek.

    But Miles was just heating up. Like Ric Flair pandering to a partisan crowd, he unfurled this beauty.

    “I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel,” Miles said of the Trojans. “They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington , Cal - Berkley , Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title (game). I would like that path for us.

    “I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition.”

    LSU, conversely will be playing some of the best teams in the country, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Kentucky and South Carolina. Two of the tougher teams the Tigers play—Arkansas and Auburn—have been manhandled by the Trojans in recent years. And those non-conference home games against Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and Virginia Tech will be tough, too.

    No use getting worked up about this because Miles was obviously kidding. He can knock the Pac-10 schools, but they are virtually the only teams that can actually beat USC.

    • Brian Grummell of AOL FanHouse notes that in the past 16 years, four teams have gone undefeated in SEC play. In that same time period, only two Pac-10 teams have survived conference play unbeaten. Which conference is easier?
    • Sex in the City is gearing up for a full-length motion picture. Just as long as there is no full length nudity. Some needs to remind Kim Cattrall that she’s closer to 80 than 1980. *Shudder*
    • Big Brother 8: Awesome. Already sucked in with the new “enemy” tactic where a couple of contestants were placed in the house with their enemy. And no, the two homos were not Ted and CAPPY.
    • The Angels have been looking a bit sluggish lately, so a trip to New York seems like the right remedy. Nothing would be better than to send the Yanks to the All-Star game below .500.
    • After the ouster of Maria Sharapova, fans were treated to another hot-off between Ana Ivanovic and Nicole Vaidisova. And hey, it was a great tennis match, too. Here’s to rooting for the victorious Ivanovic to defeat one of the Williams brothers in her next match. And who else believes that Ana is hotter than Sharapova anyway?
    • Speaking of the injured Williams brother, enough with the theatrics. Even Curt Schilling believes you are milking it.
    • Phoenix PD to Tank Johnson: Our Bad.
    • Bumper sticker idea: Tank Johnson is my co-pilot.
    • New Raiders running back Dominic Rhodes wanted to show his teammates that he was a true Raider by being suspended by the league. Seriously, Raiders, stay away from the Super Bowl MVPs, they never seem to work out for you.
    • Please don’t leave one of those, “But Gomer Manning was the MVP of the Super Bowl” comments. (DAWUSS was totally going to jump on that.) But let’s be honest. Manning got a lifetime achievement award for being a good guy. Rhodes was the real MVP of that game. The Colts won in spite of Gomer.
    • James in Murrieta offers: Dominic Rhodes gets suspended and a reserve defensive end gets arrested for selling a Land Rover that wasn't his. In NFL parlance, this can
      only mean one thing: The Raiders are about to be competitive.
    • Easily the most disturbing thing about the whole Chris Benoit deal is the facelift on Marc Mero, which was revealed on the Nancy Grace show Thursday. Holy hell, that was tight.
    • There have been reports that Benoit’s kid had dwarfism. But doesn’t Benoit look like the world’s tallest dwarf?
    • Kobe Bryant apologized for acting like a petulant child recently, but how can you believe anything he says? At least he’s smart enough to keep his mouth shut now so he can be traded.


    THE LINKS

    • You can enter here to win a trip to the Playboy Mansion for a party hosted by Denise Richards. Pffft, single mother.
    • Rumors and Rants takes a look at Chris Young. Hey, nice trade Texas. And congratulations to Young to getting that final spot after the Padres installed computers all over the stadium for fans to vote. Hey, you have to do something to take out those psychos from Boston Nation.


    AND FINALLY


    Going back to Cabrera, who was kind of baffled that he didn't get selected to the All-Star game. The best part in this story is that he called out Joe Torre.

    "I remember one time Joe Torre picked five shortstops and only one second baseman because he wanted to bring Derek Jeter and a lot of shortstops were having better years," Cabrera said. "They go (around) the system just to do stuff like that. It's going to happen. Every year it's going to be five, six, seven guys that are going to get hurt like that and this year it was me."

    Awesome, O.C. Nice to see the players finally calling shenanigans on the favoritism that some managers (Torre) play. And to go along with what O.C. said, A-Rod has already indicated the he likely won't play in the game to rest up from injuries and to prepare for his second half with the Angels. So instead of picking another 3b, maybe Jim Leyland can do the right thing and take Cabrera.

    But watch, he'll take Kevin Youkilis or some other Red Sox player.