Monday, March 31, 2008

NFL Knows What Fans Want

The National Football League has its pulse on the arm of football fans everywhere. The NFL released its primetime schedule for Week 1 and it has all of usual suspects – the Giants, Gomer, Brett Favre (sort of) and the Raiders.

That’s right. The Raiders.

The Raiders will play host to the Broncos on the second Monday night game on Kickoff Weekend. Nothing says the NFL is kicked off like having a few Broncos fans getting treated for head injuries.

The Giants thing was a given. Super Bowl winners always get the Thursday primetime game. The Colts are opening a new stadium, so that figures. Favre’s number will likely be retired or something, so you know that the NFL had to show that.

But the Raiders?

This actually makes a lot of sense. The NFL is required to televise one primetime game for each team. And instead of showing a late-season Raiders game where the fans will be dressed as Darth Vader, pharaohs and empty seats – many, many empty seats – the NFL will show a game when there are actually fans in the seats. Mostly because the Raiders fans are typically brimming with confidence at the beginning of the year, no matter how fat their quarterback gets.

Much like a trip to the dentist, this is better just to get it over early and move on. That way, fans can go back to ignoring the Raiders.

The Post Mortem: Sox Fans Fold

One had to wonder what would happen when baseball’s most obnoxious fans met the most dangerous. Would the brash bullies from Southie have the courage to run their mouths against Raiders fans in Dodgers jerseys?

Not so much.

The Red Sox fans assumed the turtle position like Claude Lemieux.

Figures.

The Red Sox fans have no problem getting in the face of a soccer mom holding a baby. The Red Sox fans have no problem brandishing a weapon to a woman in a wheel chair. But that stuff wasn’t going to fly in the coliseum. Apparently not being the majority (like what happens in certain sections of Angels Stadium) or having the balls to run their mouths to – as one diminutive Red Sox fan at work put it – those (expletive Hispanics), helped quell what could have been another “Boston massacre.”

And that’s all you need to know about the front-running Sox fans. No wonder so many of them wear pink hats.

But this should serve as a warning to anybody attending Angels vs. Red Sox games this summer. The Red Sox fans are not going to take this embarrassment lightly. So the elderly and disabled are warned. Red Sox fans are going to be pissed and they will be looking for some strollers to kick over.

You have been warned.

  • Boston and New York faced each other in the Super Bowl. More than 115,000 Sox and Dodgers fans filled the Coliseum on Saturday. Lil’ Hater just can’t get his blimp license fast enough.

  • You have to give credit to the Dodgers fans for showing up on Saturday. That actually was a pleasant surprise. And this doesn’t condone Dodgers fan behavior, but in instances like this, you have to favor the locals.

  • A caller on the radio summed up the look for the Coliseum best when he described it as Major League Baseball meats Rock-n-Jock softball. Very fitting. But it should be pointed out that left field was a touch farther 50 years ago, but the current configuration of the Coliseum bastardized the dimensions on Saturday.

AND FINALLY
Congratulations to those of you who picked the chalk for the Final Four this season. And that’s not a slight. There are four teams that were certainly a cut above everybody else and its rare that they all make it to the Final Four. This is actually a good thing.

The games last week were an incredible letdown. Final Four weekend now has a chance to be one of the best ever. Four dominant teams doing their thing.

And the whole notion that UCLA could be the Buffalo Bills of college basketball almost is too good to be true.

This is where a prediction would be handy but believe me, you are better off.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

THN Baseball Preview: 60 Lines About 30 Teams

(In predicted order of finish)

AMERICAN LEAGUE
West
Angels: Too many Angels in the outfield and no power hitting 3B. Best pitching staff on the disabled list anywhere.

Mariners: Pitchers Eric Bedard and Felix Hernandez are scary, as is Richie Sexon’s batting average. Quotes from Ichiro make me happy.

A’s: Getting rid of Nick Swisher and Jason Kendall make this team 90% less hate-able. Kurt Suzuki’s 2004 Cal State Fullerton team was better than the current A’s.

Rangers: Team needs new training staff. Hire Jose Canseco to be the team’s pharmacist.

Central
Tigers:
Best lineup in the American League. And they are going to need it with Todd Jones as their closer.

Indians: One more year of C. C. Sabathia, so the time is now. But which will be larger, his contract or his weight after he signs that contract?

White Sox: Will A.J. Pierzynsky pout about no longer being the biggest schmuck in Chicago with the arrival of Nick Swisher? Ozzie might have his hands full.

Royals: No longer the most boring team in the league. Because here comes Jose Guillen (good luck with all of that).

Twins: Richest owner in baseball, yet smallest payroll. They say Montgomery Burns is based on Carl Pohlad who is far from excellent.

East
Yankees:
A-Rod and Jeter are in love again. Hank Steinbrenner and Joe Girardi are the new douche bags in town.

Red Sox: Two World Series titles in four years is still unbelievable. The fact that their fans are still the biggest a-holes in the world is not.

Blue Jays: Fear pitchers with initials for first names as A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan already hurt. Bring back Joe Carter.

Rays: Third baseman Evan Longoria will be a superstar some day. But for now he, and the Rays hopes, are in the minors.

Orioles: The Orioles' plan Greek to me, but Nick Markakis kicks ass. Where have you gone, Al Bumbry?

NATIONAL LEAGUE
West
Diamondbacks:
Should follow the lead of Tampa Bay and be known only as “Backs.” Please make Randy Johnson go away.

Rockies: The team continues to grow in popularity, ranking behind Broncos, Avs and South Park. And almost nobody remembers them getting swept by Boston in the World Series.

Padres: Least surprising development, Jim Edmonds and Mark Prior start the season on the disabled list. And to make matters worse, beer prices are rising at Petco Park.

Dodgers: Will the Dodgers players take enough steroids for Joe Torre to replicate his New York success? Normar is probably willing.

Giants: The other Barry (Zito) is closing in on another record - becoming the biggest bust of a free-agent pitcher, ever. Without Barry Bonds to boo, this team is the Royals.

Central
Cubs:
Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome might be more powerful than a Billy goat. And the Red Sox proved, no matter how (expletive) your fans are, curses can fall.

Reds: Manager Dusty Baker has the kids to make it to the postseason. Just make sure that his actual son stays away from home plate during the game.

Brewers: First baseman Prince Fielder is pushing his father’s record of being the fattest man to hit 50 home runs in a season. Eric Gagne’s game is over, however.

Astros: No more sting for the Killer Bs. Michael Bourn would be supreme, well, if he could actually hit the ball.

Cardinals: This baseball team is asleep, like a drunk slumped behind the wheel in an intersection. They will miss Scott Spiezio’s fight.

Pirates: Does anybody in Pittsburgh even care anymore? Even mentioning Sid Bream no longer hurts the Pirates fans (what’s left of them).

East
Mets: Pitcher Johan Santana is great, but will he be distracted by Willie Randolph’s choking? Carlos Beltran needs to be more focused on winning than smack talk.

Braves: First baseman Mark Teixeira anchors a solid lineup that has many in Atlanta thinking playoffs. Not the fans though, because they won’t condescend to sellout a playoff game.

Phillies: No lead is safe with Brad Lidge around, but the Blonde is a closer. CF Shane Victorino can field his position without breaking his face.

Senators: Yes, we know your name is Nationals but we can always dream. Austin Kearns will double his homeruns in the new ballpark.

Marlins: Get your licks in now, because the Marlins will win the World Series in 2012. And then the team will be dismantled in 2013.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Weak Ender

Congratulations Cowboys haters, Dallas is doomed for the conceivable future. Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson are married.

That sound you hear is millions of Cowboys fans worldwide wailing in unison.

But if there is one consolation for Cowboys fans, it's that Simpson doesn't really take her marriage vows that seriously. Meaning, there is a chance this could end in a quick divorce. And just look how well Nick Lachey's life has gone since the divorce.

Oh wait, that's right. In other words, Romo will find himself mugging for the cameras as his brother wins Dancing with the Stars.

MARCH MADNESS IS OVER
Thanks to Tennessee, yours truly won't have to sweat out a Final Four bracket this year. Mainly because the resident genius picked the Volunteers to win it all, in a bid to combat all of the people who would be picking UCLA, North Carolina and, you know, good teams.

Bruce Pearl certainly is a likable guy, but his team certainly got out-worked in every facet of the game last night. Louisville looked awesome and you would think that the Tar Heels would be nervous. But some thought that Washington State was going to give Carolina a battle, too. But the Cardinals are now my pick to win it all, mainly because picking chalk sucks.

(BTW: You were this close to having the Pat Summit cheer leading picture here.)

And a word on Kevin Love, why are so people obsessed with his NBA potential instead of just enjoying him play? The only reason people even question if his skills will translate in the NBA is because he is white. And if Don McLean and Jack Haley have taught us anything, tall white dudes always will have a place on an NBA roster.

And look, Nick Fazekas is playing with the Clippers right now.

AND FINALLY
This comes from our friend Fletch, who found this review of the new film 21. The movie is based (movie code for "it's going to blow") on a group of MIT students who were able to beat a couple of casinos in Las Vegas by using an elaborate card-counting system. A group of Asian males, that is.

And if you missed the trailer (and lord knows how), you will notice there is only one wise-cracking Asian broad in the movie. Now we can all appreciate taking some Asians out of a movie, but what is egregious is that the geography of the Las Vegas strip is completely obliterated. The penthouse at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino overlooks the Bellagio fountains, along with other errors. Lame.

That would be akin to having two New York football teams and having them play in New Jersey.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

There's Another War Coming

Animosity between the United States and England could reach a fever pitch if the National Football League makes good on its plan of having four games played in England each season. English futbol fans have a reputation for rioting over riveting soccer games, how pissed do you think they are going to be if they have to sit through three hours of the Cardinals vs. Bills?

The crowds could get ugly.

And much like the colonists rejecting tyranny and higher taxes, how long do you think it’s going to taken British citizens to swallow the NFL’s trash before they dump boxes of Chad Johnson jerseys into the English Channel?

This cannot end well.

The games is all part of some grand NFL scheme to have 16 games at neutral sites each season. And to make room, the league is considering adding a 17th game to each season. The good news for all of this would be one less preseason game (thank God) and an extra week for fantasy football.

Pro Football Talk, which first broke the story, indicated that the NFL might consider playing eight exhibition games in Los Angeles as a way to give Southern California it’s NFL fix, yet placate all of the transplants. And that sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea except for one small, minor detail. So small, I’m almost embarrassed to mention it.

But, um ... WHERE WOULD THEY PLAY?

The reason Los Angeles doesn’t have a football team is because there isn’t an NFL ready stadium out here. The NFL’s money grubbing seems possible, but not the possibility of having eight games in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Merriman's Car Stolen

Shawne Merriman's $187,000 Mercedes was stolen and torched recently, leaving police baffled.

That figures. When you need an off-duty police officer to follow you home, shoot you in the leg and ruin your NFL career, the cops are right there.

But when some Raiders fan steals your ride and treats it like a UC Santa Barbara student treats a couch, you can't find a cop.

Police estimate the value of the car at around $150,000, but the trunk evidentially had $37,000 worth of tainted supplements. Just kidding. The police do have a suspect in mind, and are asking San Diego residents if they have seen this person.

Hat tip: FanHouse

Steroids Least of A-Rod's Worries

Alex Rodriguez is screwed. His name is going to be the star of Jose Canseco’s new book, Vindicated. (Via Deadspin) And it didn’t have to be.

As for Alex Rodriguez, Canseco says he didn't inject Rodriguez, but that he "introduced Alex to a known supplier of steroids." Canseco didn't mention Rodriguez in the first book because he "hated the bastard." He was worried that people would have "questioned [his] motives" had he included Rodriguez.

Why all the hatred, you ask. Well, Canseco claims that A-Rod was trying to sleep with Canseco's wife. Apparently, even after Canseco had been nice enough to help A-Rod find a friendly steroids supplier, A-Rod kept calling Canseco's wife.

And, in case there's any further confusion about Canseco's true feelings, he ends the chapter by saying:

So A-Rod, if you're reading this book, and if I'm not getting through to you, let's get clear on one thing: I hate your (expletive) guts.


Word. So if A-Rod wouldn’t have chased Canseco’s wife, he would have just been lumped in with all of the other dopes in the book, Juiced. Instead, he was given his own chapter in the latest book. And you have to believe Canseco. Only, it’s hard to swallow that he didn’t want to ruin credibility with the first book. But you can allow him that one brief white lie.

Monday, March 24, 2008

NFL Players Have the Worst Excuses

When Brandon Marshall claimed that he had slipped on a bag of McDonald’s, you knew that there would more to the story. (And there is, as Marshall has now let the Broncos know that he was wrestling with some family members and the injury is way more severe that first acknowledged.)

The reason that we know this? The excuse was too lame.

Not even in the, that was so incredibly horrible it has to be true way. And the reason for this is because NFL players have skated through life and have never had to lie to their employer about missing work. That’s something all of us working stiffs have done for years. These guys have never had to try to convince their employer that it’s only a coincidence that you have the flu on the same day as an Angels’ day game. These guys have never had to lie to their employer about why they were in Lake Havasu for the weekend. Well, unless they were Cedric Ceballos.

That’s why the McDonald's bag-gag didn’t work. They are too unbelievable and completely without thought. McDonald's bag? Nobody – other than David Hasselhoff – eats hamburgers off of the floor.

Next time Brandon, try the old “tripped over the dog” gag because that seems a little bit more believable. And any dog owned by a Broncos player would probably know how to chop-block so it would have been believable.

Chad Johnson

Greetings, it's your old pal McLean Stevenson here, the king of career choices. Being the king allows me to make fun of other people who are making bigger mistakes than I ever did. This is the part where I would link back to my own personal blog, but I don't update it because I have a life.

Just kidding. It's because I'm dead, people. How do you still now get this?


I agree with Chad Johnson for not wanting to go to voluntary workouts. The Bengals need recognize that Johnson sells the tickets and show him some love immediately. There's nothing worse than having some other co-workers -- some not as talented co-workers -- getting all of the lines an accolades that you so richly deserve. When I first tried out for M*A*S*H, I thought I was going to play Hawkeye.

I mean, didn't they recognize my genius in That Girl?

I instead took the role of Henry Blake and quickly became the star. I was the reason that the show was such a runaway success. But all of a sudden, I was playing second-fiddle to that jackass Alan Alda and his portrayal of Hawkeye. But that jerk couldn't carry my stethoscope. (And if you ask me, that T.J. Houshmawhatsmyname reminds me a lot of that creep Alda.) I finally had enough and asked out of my contract.

And it worked out great. Sure, ended up walking out on one of the greatest shows in T.V. history but I was the freaking star of Hello, Larry. But Chad, at least you don't have to worry about that in Cincinnati.

So you do your thing, Chad. Get traded and get paid. Get the love that you deserve. But one piece of advice, when the team announces that you have been traded ... be sure they get it correct on the first take.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Post Mortem: Excalibur Hates America

But as somebody smartly pointed out, it is a casino based on an English castle so that does make sense that they would hate America.

The Excalibur became the latest in a long-line of greedy, patron-hating corporate casinos to ban free drinks in the sports book. Like nearly all of the remaining haunts of the Rat Pack circling the drain, the notion of a Las Vegas casino actually wanting you to enjoy your stay is quickly vanishing.

And sure, there are free loaders who don’t bet on the games (like me) looking to sponge some free drinks. However, most patrons at the Excalibur (and mostly likely all casinos) have to wake up pretty early in the morning to even get a seat in the book and should be rewarded with a Miller Chill for their effort.

(And speaking of that, who are the people who wake up at 9:30 a.m. on the first day of March Madness and think that they can just get a seat for the game in the book or bars? These morons are likely disappointed every year when they walk up to the ticket office at the Super Bowl, only to find that the event has been sold out. Jerks.)

Maybe the Excalibur didn’t want the book to turn into the world’s biggest fraternity party by giving out free beers. Instead it looked like a NASCAR tailgate party with people rolling in coolers full of beer, because the cocktail waitress couldn't even sell you booze.

The people you feel the worst for (and it’s not the fans – because they are going to get their drink on no matter) is the waitress who likely lost out on $1,000 on the day. Thankfully the Excalibur waitress are a bunch curmudgeons who don’t want to hustle for a few bucks.

But even with all of that said, there is nothing like being in a sports book for the opening rounds of March Madness.

And before we take a moment to dive into the March Madness, let’s take a moment to toast the Master’s … a tradition unlike any other.

REMEMBER THE TITANS
One of my dreams for Cal State Fullerton’s hoop program was to have that one moment in the NCAA tournament where they jumped out on the favorite and got the crowd shot of the fans going wild, forcing the other team to call a timeout.

And that’s what happened on Thursday, complete with me tossing a fist-full of confetti into the air after the first bucket and generally acting like an idiot.

Fullerton didn’t look bad – a huge fear thanks to Long Beach State’s debacle last year – and if not for a complete homering by the officials, who knows was could have happened. In fact, Fullerton played so well that the loss was a huge disappointment. If Fullerton gets blown out at halftime, you are kind of over the whole thing and will to roll with the changes. But when the Titans took a second-half lead, you start thinking, why not Fullerton?

But Wisconsin was the better team and was able to wear Fullerton out. Nothing to be ashamed of. The only thing is, Fullerton fans are used to losing in Omaha.

And thankfully it was Wisconsin who have some of the best fans around. All the Badgers fans were classy, except for the one guy who kept grabbing his crotch like he was in a 50 Cent video and telling me to "Eat a (Richard)."

Of course, that guy is probably a doctor in real life when he isn't busy berating Fullerton fans.

  • Somehow Gonzaga has become almost as hated as Duke as most fans seemed to be on Davidson. Not sure what the Bulldogs have done to get such scorn, but it is kind of a surprise. Instead of boos, you would figure there wouldn't be a dry-eye in the house after seeing Morrison again.
  • If you are a fan of Duke, why do you even bother to go out in public? You know the house is going to come down on you, and your basketball team isn't very good. And even though Duke stinks now, everybody still enjoys a good Duke choke job. Watching Duke choke, is like watching Scrubs over and over again. You know all of the jokes, but you still enjoy it like it's the first time you are seeing that. Hopefully Duke will continue to be decent enough to get these high seeds, only to once again have it come crashing down.
  • Congratulations to Jim Nantz for ruining Duke’s loss in the second round. CBS doesn’t have enough announcers so they need Nantz and Billy Packer working both Friday and Saturday? CBS needs to find a way to space out all of the games so Gus Johnson can call them all. He doesn’t even have to be in the arena. Let him call the game from some studio, watching the game live with all of us.
  • At what point do you forget about your bracket and start rooting for the upset. A dilemma many people who picked Georgetown were faced with on Sunday. Unlike Dr. Hibbert, nobody was laughing when the Hoyas folded. Funny, Georgetown always seemed like an underachieving team under John Thompson, and it doesn't look like the apple has fallen very far from the tree with his kid, either.
  • Congratulations to Kent State for showing up in the first half against UNLV. Ten points, guys? The most amazing thing? The game still ended up going over (for those of you who following gambling). They should have a special channel set up just for gamblers. A station that would never go off a huge blowout, because it would be working the over/under. Maybe they could even have a countdown to the number, and spreads instead of the actual score. Tell me, which channel would be more popular? Of course, those guys who wagered on the UNLV/over were celebrating like their team had just won the whole tournament. Some even called it the miracle cover of the weekend.
  • Hard to figure who was the most disappointing this week, USC or the Drake. Oh wait, it was the drink ticket system at Excalibur. That’s right. Whoever first thought of “drink tickets in the sports book” is one of the most evil people in the world. Even members of Al Queda think you are a jerk. We might never get Bin Laden, and that's cool as long as we find the jerks responsible for drink tickets in the sports book. They must be brought to justice.
  • What was Stanford coach Trent Johnson thinking when he got tossed out of the game against Marquette? The final week of the season should have prepared him for bad officiating, right? Stanford needs to be given a break in the Sweet 16. Maybe the Collins twins can brandish a chair or something, because Stanford might not be around long enough for all of the makeup calls that they deserve.
  • Stephen Curry is as awesome like drinking mint julep.
  • The "smell" from the Tropicana is gone. That over-power deodorant was kind of annoying, but was a recognizable part of the Trop experience. Must be more penny-pinching from the new owners. Thank you Columbia Sussex for taking one of the friendliest staffs in Las Vegas and treating them like crap. Having a Titanic exhibit at your hotel seems fitting.

AND FINALLY
The only thing that could have made this weekend better … if that’s possible, would have been to have free Zimas and this playing over the loudspeaker on an endless loop.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A tradition unlike any other.

Time to get a seat. Can we start the Fullerton game now? Hold on, here comes the cocktail waitress.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Madness Lottery

John McCain is hosting an NCAA tournament bracket contest on his website. Millions of supporters will be competing against McCain’s chalk bets to win cash and prizes. In fact, the grand prize winner will receive a hair cut, new wardrobe, an M-16 and an all-expense paid trip to the exotic destination of your choise –- Iraq or Afghanistan.

One of the biggest questions is if McCain will support blue-state Wisconsin or Cal State Fullerton from Republican strong hold, Orange County. A pick of the Badgers could anger tens of hundreds of CSF fans.

And does anybody else find it interesting that McCain would be holding a bracket contest after trying to outlaw wagering on college athletics a few years ago?

If you want to play in THN's contest, click here.

Hat Tip: FanHouse

Monday, March 17, 2008

Raiders Will Drive Up Price on Own Player

The Raiders deal for DeAngelo Hall has hit a snag recently. The two teams have worked out the deal in terms of compensation (a second- and sixth-round pick). Now the two sides are struggling because of money. Hall wants to be paid Asante Samuel money. And you know what, so does Nnamdi Asomugha.

The Raiders franchised Asomugha this year, meaning that he will be paid among the top five corner backs in the NFL. So when Hall gets paid, Asomugha will be paid. In other words, the Raiders are negotiating to drive up the price of their existing players.

And that will likely push him out of the Raiders budget. So while all of the Raiders fans are likely dreaming of having a defensive backfield with Hall and Asomugha, that likely won't be the case because the Raiders will likely have to drop their franchise corner for Hall.

In other words, they will be trading a good guy and team player for a head case like Hall. Great move, Raiders.

And be sure to join the Hardwood Apocalypse.

Time For the Real March Madness

The San Diego Chargers have announced that Chargers girls highlights will be held soon at the University of San Diego.

If you spend any time watching NFL Network in the offseason, you would know that this is a very compelling event.

And it should be repeated not to wear a jersey of the team you are trying out for. Do you think people try out for the Lakers while wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey?

Of course, the Raiders will be holding tryouts for Raiderettes.

And don't forget about the Hardwood Apocalypse.

The Post Mortem: A Hater Nation Divided

Cal State Fullerton makes the tournament for the first time 30 years and the Titans get matched against Wisconsin. Personally, Duke probably would have been a much better fit. The whole arena would have been cheering for Fullerton. The sports books definitely would have been pulling for the Titans, but instead it’s Wisconsin. A team that draws a huge number of fans to sporting events. A team that draws huge crowds to the Las Vegas sports book. And a team that half of The Hater Nation pulls for.

Gentlemen, I am so sorry that Fullerton has to end the Badgers season. But remember, the longer you go, the more it hurts so consider this kind of a mercy killing.

(And thankfully for the rest of you, my tournament ramblings can be found on the AOL Fan House site, so I won’t bore you too much.)

RAIDERS MAKING A DEAL?
The Raiders are in talks to bring DeAngelo Hall to Oakland in exchange for second- and sixth- round picks. This actually isn’t a bad move for the Raiders. They need some help in the secondary and Hall is a great cornerback. These are the kinds of moves that the Raiders would make back in the day, taking a troubled players and teaching him to win the Raiders way.

But that was then. Now the Raiders way is being overpaid and underachieving. And well, Hall should be able to do that quite well.

AND FINALLY
Since there will be some rooting interest in this year’s brackets, you are all invited to join us here in The Hater Nation’s pool. Grand Prize will be 32 ounce Miller High Life (bottle).

Join Here

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Weak Ender

Sad news, the venerable Hooters Hotel and Casino will be shutdown and remodeled once again, shedding its orange shorts to be a boutique hotel. Does anybody really want to live in a society where a casino based on large breasts (both chicken and women) and short shorts can’t make it?

And yes, it's hard to believe that anything connected with The Best Damn Sports Show would fail, right?

Contrary to what you would think, the Hooters Hotel and Casino (as stated here) wasn’t too bad. Hard to really be risqué in Las Vegas with orange shorts, considering that cocktail waitress at The Orleans down the road where thongs. For all of its faults, the Hooters Hotel and Casino is a decent joint, but they did make a few mistakes that likely cost them.

For starters, the place is off the strip, yet still had strip-type gaming limits and payouts. The crowd you are going to attract to a Hooters Casino is going to be looking for low-limits gaming. No matter how distracting the Hooters-clad dealers can be. And if you aren’t, at least get rid of the 6:5 payout on blackjack.

There isn’t a real sports book. The one they have is passable, as it is set next to a bar. But a sports book seems more important than Dan Marino’s martini bar. You have to figure that the Hooter’s crowd is more beer than martini, but that’s only a guess.

And the final topper is that the rooms were overpriced to begin with. The owners obviously saw what the Hard Rock was getting for its rooms, but there is a huge difference between the Hard Rock and Hooters. And the biggest being that one of them will have a casino in Las Vegas at the end of the year. (But you can never say never in Las Vegas … The New Frontier survived for years before it was finally imploded.)

THN will be doing all it can to celebrate the final days of the Hooters Hotel and Casino this March. And speaking on that, this is your last chance to do some homework for March Madness this weekend.

AND FINALLY
Many of you are expecting The Hater Nation to smack the New York Yankees for signing Billy Crystal to a one-day contract to play in an exhibition game. Well, too bad. The Yankees signing a 59-year old is what the Yankees do. Crystal is younger than Roger Clemens, right?

If you really want to take umbrage with the Yankees, how about the dirty play they have been engaging in with the Tampa Bay Rays? First, the Yankees were upset when a Rays runner bowled over a Yankees catcher at the plate. But as EB says, if you don't want your catcher run over, don't have him block the plate.

A Yankees base runner went spikes-high the following day to spark off another brawl. Remember the days when the Yankees were fighting for first place, and not with the Rays?

The only disappointing part of Crystal's performance is that the Yankees weren't playing the Rays, and James Shields didn't plant on in his ribs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Bish vs. OC Register

Steve "The Bish" Bisheff was fired from the OC Register (with a push from The Hater Nation) and he's not taking the demotion very well.

The Bish has been blogging at some radio station website and on The Hater Nation Forums and he is start to aim his razor wit at his former employer. He made the following statement in one of his recent posts (a nice find by Lil' Hater).

One newspaper breathlessly reports today that the Angels' Reggie Willits may wind up in the minor leagues. Loyal readers of this blog read that two days ago . . .

It is hard to figure out what is more amusing. The fact that the Bish would actually take a shot at the OC Register. Or that the Bish was actually in front of some breaking news. The Bish is known for stealing ideas from this site and being about eight days late to you average news story. But the most amusing part is that the Bish believes that he has loyal readers. Outside of Lil' Hater, nobody seeks out the Bish.

Of course, it goes without saying that the "breathless newspaper" owes THN a huge apology for threatening a lawsuit after we poked fun at The Bish. This story is just going to get better. The Bish already has sullied his reputation for posting on blogs and message boards when he is a serious "newsman." Now he's taking swipes at his former employer? This guy is just desperate, proving everything that we said about The Bish.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bruce Won't Wear No. 80 in Frisco

Isaac Bruce did the right thing. The long-time St. Louis FC receiver (and last playing member of the Los Angeles Rams) will not wear his trademark No. 80 in San Francisco. Instead, he will honor the legacy of Jerry Rice.

Too bad Rice didn’t do the same dog damn thing when he made Steve Largent pull his retired No. 80 from the rafters in his horrific stint in Seattle. Rice likely cried behind the scenes to ensure that Bruce wouldn’t wear his beloved No. 80.

Bruce also said that he will further honor Rice’s legacy by frequenting the Bay Area’s seedy massage parlors for the “rub-and-a-tug” special, also known in the Asian community as “The No. 80.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eli Messiah: Underwear Model

This was only a matter of time. The Manning brothers could only endorse so many products until finally somebody stepped up and asked them to model underwear.

And to everybody's surprise, it's a men's underwear company.

The company 2(x)ist, that made Jason Burnhorn-Harmon a star, has now asked Eli Messiah to model underwear. No, for real.

You would figure that this was a practical joke if the show Punk'd was still in production. Instead the joke is going to be on us if Eli actually goes through with it.

And that's the scary part. The media-whoring Manning brothers don't really turn down too many offers. Because if they did, we would like to know what kind of (expletive) they are turning down if they agreed to do that homo-erotic Oreo cookie ad. But hey, maybe there's a chance for some synergy as they could have a underwear-clad Eli licking an Oreo cookie.

Good luck getting that image out of your heads.

Fitzgerald Looking at Career-Ending Injury

Larry Fitzgerald signed a huge contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals today with $30 million in guarantees. That can only mean one thing – Fitzgerald will suffer a career-ending injury this season. Probably during his upcoming trip to South America or during the preseason. Although a mini-camp collision with Leinart’s crib also would be a nice touch.

You have to admire the gumption of the Cardinals. They realize that they are the Cardinals, yet they went ahead and guaranteed $30 million to a player. Even Bill Bidwell himself must realize that this is a bad idea.

The only saving grace for the Cardinals is that Fitzgerald could rip up his knees and he also could find a job with the Raiders.

Monday, March 10, 2008

JaMarcus The Hut

Or should that be Jabba the Quarterback?

There are reports that Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell is pushing close to 300 pounds this offseason. The Raiders, of course, are denying this. And hey, we have no reason to distrust the Raiders organization. They are always upfront and honest.

Although their coach isn't sure if he is even going to be employed next season, but that's just details.

And if Russell has gained 300 pounds, so what? Maybe he just wants to join fellow Raiders fans like Gina Cruz in their Commitment to Excess.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Post Mortem

Is the world sick of the Manning brothers media whoring yet? The brothers were a couple of shameless, unaware a-holes back when they were choking in big games. No they simply must be stopped.

The Manning brothers were camera fornicating on the sidelines of the Duke vs. North Carolina game, causing many to pray for a leveling earthquake in Durham. (Seriously, the Cameron Crazies and the Manning brothers lying under the rubble of Cameron indoor, along with the ESPN college hoops crew. Who wouldn’t be rooting for that? That would be worth sacrificing Tyler Hansborough. Hey, you have to offer something to get something, right?)

The Manning’s appearance was inexplicable. When Gomer begged Bruce Pearl for tickets to the Tennessee vs. Memphis game, that made sense. But why do these two feel that they had to interject themselves into this week’s Game of the Century? You get the feeling that neither brother wanted to be there, but Archie probably mandated it.

America’s Soccer Mom likely has a big grid in his living room, charting the hours that his two camera loving boys aren’t on TV. Or his adopted son, Matt Leinart. And is that David Ortiz on the right? Is he becoming an honorary Manning, too? Horrible.

The Manning brothers do, however, share a certain kinship with the Cameron Crazies. The annoying Duke fans love the camera and that’s likely the only reason that they show up for the game is to be on television. But the Cameron Crazies were very classy in their support of the slain North Carolina student body president.

And then, there was a dude in a Speedo during a DX crotch-chop during a North Carolina free-throw, ensuring that the rest of the free world went back to hating these a-holes. So Speedo Guy, thank you for that.

(Oh, and nice cowboy boots, Eli.)

UCLA was fortunate to get past Stanford and Cal this weekend, thanks to some "help" from the officials. But for those of you Cal fans bellyaching, heed the words of the Insomniac, who notes that Ben Braun would have saved his job with a victory.


AND FINALLY
How many guys have dunked over Greg Paulus this year? Not your normal, get by the guy to dunk, but a total leap over his body type of dunk.



At least he looked happy after it was over. Paulus had that glazed, "hand me a cigarette" look on his face after that dunk.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Weak Ender

Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian are doing their part to keep up distracted from Favre-mania. The couple was seen in the Dominican Republic, probably because Bush can't get deported back to the United States to show up to his deposition. The photographs were a nice effort, but until they want to step up for the full-on sex tape, then there is really no reason to fuss over all of this.

This is kind of like when women go from Playboy to Sports Illustrated, like Jeff Garcia's wife. You can't go backwards in this kind of thing. So not only does Bush and Kardashian owe us a sex tape, they need to make the sequel more over the top.

And one thing, Kim. You might want to hang out with our pal Gina Cruz and let her know that not all angles are flattering.


FAVRE WATCH CONTINUES

Didn't get enough of Brett Favre this week? The Los Angeles Times reports that NFL Network will be showing 30 hours of Favre this weekend. Do you suppose they will be showing highlights of Super Bowl XXXII? Doubtful.

This scheduling, however, does lead to a couple of questions. First, when are they going to reschedule the 945th viewing of the "Making of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?" And how does this impact the repeated viewing of the "Making of the San Diego Chargers" video?

And second, the NFL Network has something to show during the offseason? Thought that NFL Network just turned into the test pattern once the season ended. They have an awfully lot of time to kill on that Network considering that they do only an hour of original programing each day. Couldn't they throw Joe Thiesmann a bone and give him some show on the Network?

Just asking.

  • Does UCLA have the worst fans ever? That's the only conclusion you can come up with after watching that UCLA vs. Stanford game on Thursday night. Has their ever been a bigger collection of non-factor fans than the Bruins? They seem like a lame version of the Cameron Crazies. They need to come up with some gimmick or something, because it's just sad.
  • The Green Bay Packers are said to be looking at Redskins backup quarterback Mark Brunnell. That might not be a bad move considering that Aaron Rogers hasn't exactly been the picture of health in limited appearances.
  • St. Louis FC is believed to be interested in Trent Green. The AFL quarterback on the bench is pretty excited about this news.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fravd!! Favre's Greatest Hits

This article originally ran on Dec. 19, 2005. But now it seems pretty fitting.

Brett Favre sure seems to be having a lot of fun on the football field. Brett Favre plays football the way it is supposed to be played. Brett Favre created Heaven and Earth in sixth days, and on the seventh day he reached down and had a pass interception.

These are just a few of the superlatives that will be tossed around by John Madden about Favre on Monday night. The dude needs to retire once and for all so we can stop hearing phrases such as, “This could be the last time Brett Favre throws a game-crippling, drive-killing, season ending interception.”

Instead of worrying about putting some talent around Favre, how about giving the poor Packers roster an NFL quarterback that can complete a pass to his own team. They talk about Kyle Orton killing the Bears, what has Favre done to the Packers this season? At least Orton has his team on the verge of the playoffs.

With that, we give you ten of the greatest Favre moments of all-time for those of us that recognize the former Southern Miss quarterback as one of the league’s most overrated. If Trent Dilfer had Favre’s publicist, he would be looking forward to a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

10. Favre passes for 331 yards and 2 interceptions in the Packers 27-17 drubbing to the Cowboys in a 1993 NFC Divisional Playoff Game. Favre starts a string of playoff futility that will last a long number of years until the salary cap and Jerry Jones ego finally destroys the Cowboys dynasty.

9. Favre passes for only 194 yards as Chris Boniol defeats the Packers on Monday night, 21-6, in 1996. Religious guy Reggie White starts a fight on the field following the game as Boniol tied a record for most field goals in a game (seven). That's the Packers, classy in defeat.

8. Favre passes for 211 yards and 1 interception as the Packers again fall to the Cowboys in a 1994 NFC Divisional Playoff Game.

7. Favre passes for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Broncos stunning 31-24 victory in Super Bowl XXXII. The game might not have been Favre’s fault. But Favre must now join the list of one-time Super Bowl quarterbacks with Dilfer, Mark Rypien, Brad Johnson and Jeff Hostetler. And Jake Plummer trails by only one.

6. Favre passes for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns against Dallas in the 1995 NFC Championship Game. But his two interceptions, including a back-breaker to Larry Brown (foreshadowing Super Bowl XXX?), cost the Packers the game. Again.

5. Favre finally advances to the Super Bowl. But only after a second-year expansion team—led by Kerry Collins—does all of the heavy lifting. Favre might not have a ring if not for Carolina and Collins, who has more playoff wins over the Cowboys.

4. Favre admits in a Playboy interview that he picks vicodin out of his vomit and retakes them. Millions of fat Wisconsinites no longer embarrassed about free-basing ranch dressing.

3. The Packers have never lost a playoff game at home in the club's proud history. At least until Mike Vick shows up and beats Favre’s Packers, 27-7, in 2002. Favre throws two interceptions in the loss.

2. The Packers now have trouble winning home football games at Lambeau Field thanks to Favre. Mike Tice leads the Vikings (who play in a dome) into Green Bay and they beat up Favre and the Packers, 31-17 in 2004. Favre tosses four interceptions.

1. Critics always like to say that Favre gives the Packers a puncher’s chance in the playoffs. Yeah, right. Favre throws six interceptions against the St. Louis football in the 2001 playoffs. Too bad the puncher is Peter McNeeley


This list was compiled at the end of 2005. But this, if the voting was done today, would probably have to be the new No. 1, Favre's last pass.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Golden Age for Raiders Haters

The Raiders have agreed to a deal with Javon Walker for $55 million that includes $27 million in the first three years, including $16 million guaranteed.

Walker, you might remember, held Darrent Williams in his lap as he died following a shooting outside of a nightclub. Now Walker has the Raiders in his lap as the franchise is dying. Some agents who heard about the news on NFL Network were stunned, even going so far as to wonder if it was April 1. There are even whispers that the Raiders management counsel was going to try to void the deal, though that doesn't seem possible.

The deal seems like a bad one, and it is. But you can't blame the Raiders. The Patriots got Randy Moss to take half of the money, and half of the years to stay in New England. But that's because people want to actually play in New England. The Raiders aren't going to get anybody to take a discount contract to play in Oakland. The only way for the Raiders to get anybody under contract is to overpay them.

And they are overpaying a guy who has knees of Jim Otto and the commitment of Todd Marinovich. The sources with the Broncos called him a head case and you have to wonder what kind of career he will have with the Raiders. Is he any better than the guy that they let go, Jerry Porter? The Raiders are desperate, and these kind of moves are going to ensure that the team continues to be the laughingstock of the NFL.

And it's awesome.

Lil' Hater: Thanks For Nothing Favre

Now that Green Bay is Farve-less and irrelevant again, there’s really no reason the Giants can’t be on TV every single week next year. Thanks to Favre, the Giants were able to win the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field to win the Super Bowl, meaning the networks will actually have a valid reason why the Giants are on TV in Southern California every single week.

Favre’s inability to win the big one opened the door for Eli Messiah to join the list of non-deserving, one-win Super Bowl winners like Jeff Hostetler, Trent Dilfer, Favre and Brad Johnson. Quite an impressive fraternity.

The fitting thing is, the lasting image of Brett Favre will be of him throwing the crippling interception in the NFC Championship Game. A nice tribute to the all-time interceptions leader.

To me, Favre was like the George W. Bush of quarterbacks – an affable, former drug addict who you wouldn’t trust to run your team (or country).

Monday, March 03, 2008

How Raiders Fans Are Conceived

Gina Cruz here demonstrates how she earns her ticket money to Raiders games. But the joke is on her, because those tickets would probably be given away for free.

Just kidding.

Ms. Cruz was selected as Raiders Online No. 1 fan. Which is akin to being valedictorian at Cal State Northridge. You have to wonder what somebody does to become the No. 1 Raiders fan. Is it based on the number of Chargers fans stabbed per year? The most likely explanation is that the webmaster felt he could get somewhere with her if he bestowed her this owner. But in truth, he probably could have gotten her with a half-eaten hot dog and six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Notice, too, that Gina is wearing a Randy Moss jersey. She probably needs to make a couple more trips to the back of the Expedition to make enough money for a new jersey. (And speaking of Moss, do you wonder if the Raiders made a pitch to Moss this week?)

But congratulations, Gina. And remember, those football pants are not your friend. They give you that Earl Campbell look.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Post Mortem

The woman on the left is Jason Kidd's wife, Hope Dworaczyk. And the photo on the right is how Hope looked after Kidd choked in the Mavericks' loss to the Lakers on Sunday afternoon.

How has Kidd survived this long in the NBA without ever learning how to shoot the ball? There were jokes that Mavericks fans used to call him Ason Kidd because he has no "J" and that was during his first stint with the team. That is akin to being an auto mechanic, but not being able too fix cars. At some point, shouldn't Kidd have gone out and shot the ball?

Maybe we are just spoiled by a guy like Magic Johnson who spent each offseason finding something to get better at. No surprise that Johnson won five titles during one of the most competitive eras of the NBA and Kidd has none.

And one of the biggest storyline in the NBA this season has to be the rebirth of Mark Cuban's hair. The guy once had this thin, floppy mess, but now he looks like Elvis.

And a special thank you to our buddies over at on 205th for the photos.

NFL FREE AGENCY = WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING
Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers for becoming the West Coast version of the Washington Redskins. The 49ers made some of the biggest free agent signings of the weekend, but just who did they get? Defensive end Justin Smith, who many Bengals fans (alright, just Titan Tim) were happy to see go. Issac Bruce also signed with the 49ers.

First of all, Bruce should just retire. But, it was bad enough that Bruce joined St. Louis FC after the L.A. Rams franchise folded. And now he's playing for Frisco? Why not just play a year with the Raiders? The last L.A. Rams player is ending his career in San Francisco. What a joke.

Oh, and those were two of the 49ers better signings. Good luck next year, 49ers. Mike Nolan will get more chances to wear a suit, as his team is buried week after week.

The Eagles made a great move in signing Asante Samuel, but that move won't mean much if they don't trade Lito Sheppard. Donovan McNabb is looking for playmakers, and Eagles fans are looking for a quarterback who doesn't choke. So you can't always get what you want. But good for the Eagles for not overpaying for garbage like Bernard Berrian. The Eagles should hang on the Sheppard (if possible) and have one of the most imposing corner back tandems and look for a playmaker in the draft.

The Browns made a lot of solid moves, and this team was on the cusp of the playoffs last season. On the defensive side at least. Not sure about Donte Stallworth, Browns fans. But he won't be counted on to be the key receiver (despite being overpaid).

Jerry Porter to the Jaguars? *Yawn*

The Jets are really making a huge push on both lines. But Kris Jenkins is trouble. Damien Woody (who is in for a visit on Monday) is old. Alan Faneca, though, was a great move.

The Bills did get a lot better with Marcus Stroud and Spencer Johnson, an underrated defensive tackle from Minnesota. This could be interesting for the Bills. Stroud was suspended for four games last season because of steroids, but he's still a good player if the problems are in the past.

WHAT ABOUT MOSS?
Randy Moss is the last key free agent available (other than the franchised guys and Antwan Odom). There is a lot of speculation on where Moss will end up. Some believe that Moss and the Patriots are close to a deal in New England. NFL Network's Adam Schefter tossed out the idea of Moss going to the Green Bay Packers. Pro Football Talk speculated about Moss to the Colts.

And yeah, you can totally see Gomer working with Moss.

But what about Moss to the Saints? Could you imagine that offense with Moss? They might score more points than the Patriots did this season. That idea might seem crazy, but that would be a great move for Moss. Marques Colston, Reggie Bush and Moss. That would be cool.

AND FINALLY
Congratulations to Carl Edwards winning the final NASCAR race of the season. What, there are still more races to go? Well, this is the final race that THN will have any interest in. Daytona always is good fun. Then it's California Motor Speedway followed by Las Vegas. Then NASCAR seems to run out of steam. But THN will give it the old college try. And by "college try," that means doing a beer bong before watching the race.