Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THN's Great Bar Debates

Have you ever debated a seriously philosophical question in a bar, and then -- the next morning -- wondered what the heck all of the fuss was about when you, ah, had some time to think about it?

Who hasn’t, right? Budweiser (or maybe it was Coors) made a series of commercials like this posing questions like, Mary Ann or Ginger?

The Hater Nation isn’t above stealing a good idea and, here is this week’s question. Last week, the readers of THN felt that Chris Berman was a huge d-bag, but worse than watching the WNBA. To be honest, that seemed like kind of an upset. As Titan Tim pointed out, you could have just wagered on the WNBA games to make them watchable.


Now, it's time for this week's question. Roger Clemens and Karl Malone have made huge news this week for their affairs with under-aged girls. Clemens was linked to Mindy McCready back when she was just a teenager. Malone went one better by impregnating a 12-year-old girl when he was still in college. So here is this week's question?




Who would you rather have look after your teenage daughter?
Roger Clemens
Karl Malone
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com





THN's answer: Malone will at least wear protection because he is deathly afraid of HIV. Plus, his bastard son grew up to be an NFL player. So you might have to do with Malone here.

And hell, it's a three-day weekend for me, so here's two more gratuitous polls to get you to the Weak Ender.


Who will be the first to "hit" Miley Cyrus?
Roger Clemens
Karl Malone
Billy Ray has already "hit" that
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com



How could you pick that? You're sick.


Who is really the father of Jamie Lynn Spears baby?
Roger Clemens
Karl Malone
Conrad Bain
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bad News About the Economy

The shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate (known as the sea monkey stew in some circles) has risen from its traditional 99 cents to $1.99. That's an outrage. But you have to figure that the price was raised to keep up with the price of entertainment on the casino floor.

Speaking of casinos, you might have read on Deadspin the story of Tony Romo who allegedly lost $2.5 million at the blackjack table at the Hard Rock Hotel. Jessica Simpson wasn't pleased. And who can blame her? Hit singles have evaded Simpson like a playoff win has avoided the Cowboys.

"It began when Jessica, Tony and the players all hit the Peacock Lounge for high limit blackjack. Jessica was said to have won $5,000 and then they retired to their penthouse while the others went onto the Body English nightclub. The couple even spent some time tanning in the sunshine rays at the new $8 million makeover pool at the Hard Rock while watching the NFL draft on their private cabana HD TV screens. At some point, however, allegedly Tony, who was rumored to be paid a $15,000 appearance fee at Body English took the money and went gambling. My spywitnesses tell me that by the time he was finished he'd lost a fortune and I swear to you I was told that the figure could have run as high as a whopping $2.5 million. Whatever the staggering loss totaled it immediately put a damper on their fun weekend. I'm reliably told Hard Rock officials offered to pay Jessica a bonus $25,000 if she'd co-host at Body English the second night with Tony.

Allegedly a livid Jessica refused because she's paid far more for personal appearances and the fun weekend had suddenly turned into a commercial gig. Also she was said to be "angry beyond words" over his gambling and the large loss. Insiders told me that one thing led to another and they wound up in a "furious fight."


The Hater Nation, however, has found the secret footage from Romo's gaming exploits.

Gomer Getting Pissy With the Linemen



Michael David Smith at FanHouse has the transcript.

Manning: Damn it! Hey! Quit calling the (expletive) plays, all right?

Saturday: We've got to run the ball.

Manning: Bull (expletive)!

Saturday: We're six down here.

Manning: When you pass block, block. We'll run the (expletive) ball.

Saturday: Can we run it?

Manning: Yeah, Jeff, we will. When we call pass plays (expletive) block.

Glenn: Go sit down!

Manning: I will sit down! You all quit yelling!

Glenn: You're over here telling us how to block.

Manning: He's doing it! He's yelling at us!

Glenn: You don't have to yell.


The idea here was to post a fake transcript with Gomer coming off like a little (female dog). But really, you didn't have to do anything to this. Start from the bolded line and work down. These guys are yelling about who is doing the yelling. Like a bunch of junior high chicks in detention trying to figure out who made out with Billy under the bleachers.

How about butching up guys?

You almost expect Jeff Saturday or Tarik Glenn to run up to Tony Fundy complaining that Gomer is being mean.

I actually almost started to like Gomer a little bit more for getting redassed as his teammates. But after reading that exchange, it's just so embarrassing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bengals Draft For Needs

The Bengals went into the 2008 NFL Draft looking for defensive linemen, defensive backs and parolees. Fifth-round pick Jason Shirley fills two of those needs. The talented Shirley missed most of his senior season at Felon, err, Fresno State because of a number of suspensions, including one for driving under the influence. (From the Merced Sun Star)

But the concerns shifted toward Shirley's off-the-field issues his senior year as he was limited to three games because of three separate suspensions.

He missed the first two for conduct detrimental to the team. He played the next three games before getting suspended a second time after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Police say he crashed a car into an apartment complex on Oct. 8., which brought three misdemeanor charges against Shirley. He was accused of driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08% or higher, and hit and run.

Still, Shirley went on to win an appeal with the university a month later and was reinstated for the final three games.

But a few days later, Shirley was charged with driving with a suspended license and expired registration, which led to his third suspension.

Most NFL rookies have a hard time adjusting to the speed of the NFL game. Shirley is obviously already performing at an NFL level. And it obviously caught the eye of the Bengals. Good thing, too. With Chad Johnson holding out for a trade, the Bengals are no longer known as the lawless marauders, just bad employers.

So much for the Bengals commitment to character guys which lasted, what, one season. Like Marvin Lewis finally accepted the inevitable and said, "(expletive) it, I need to win some damn games," and sold himself out. And what's worse, the Bengals probably didn't need to reach for him in the fifth round, as some expected him to be an undrafted free agent. This is going to be some year in Cincinnati.


Hat Tip: Shutdown Corner

Roger Clemens

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 not get this?


Congratulations to Roger Clemens. Nobody considers you a steroid-abusing (expletive) anymore. You have now joined the ranks of pedophile. Clemens is believed to have had an affair with Mindy McCready.

But Clemens wants you to know that he did not have a sexual relationship with McCready. Clemens has been so forthcoming in the rest of his life that there really is no reason to doubt him here when he says that his relationship with McCready was not inappropriate .

But here’s the rub, is having any relationship with a 15-year old girl a appropriate? Does anybody else feel good about the explanation? What does a professional baseball player talk about with a 15-year-old girl in the 1990s?

“Mindy, I really think I’m losing some steam on my fastball. The pressure of being a professional athlete is really getting to me. What do you think?”

“Oh my God, did you see Beverly Hills 90210 last night? Brandon is so hot.”

The amazing thing isn’t that he was having an affair with a 15-year-old girl 10 years ago, but rather that he could spend 15 minutes with a teenage girl. This normally wouldn’t hurt your vocation if you were making music or movies, but this likely will have a significant impact on your baseball career. I have to go thumbs down. McCready also gets a thumbs down for getting all of this publicity without having to get naked for Playboy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Post Mortem: More Pointless Draft Talk

God bless the new rules to the NFL Draft that saved four years off your life. Or four hours, rather. It just seems like years when Rich Eisen is mugging for the camera. Eisen would probably be ripped as much as Chris Berman if, you know, people actually watched or had the ability to watch NFL Network.

Still, the NFL Draft was much more fluid this year and actually rolled like a finely tuned machine. Jake Long was introduced immediately. The St. Louis FC did dally with its second pick, but for the most part, everything flew.

Now, before we get into the draft, there was a time when everybody would race to give draft grades. Then there were guys like Don Banks (and forgive me if he's not the guy I'm thinking of because it could have been Dr. Z) who started this whole "you can't really grade a draft until five years from now."

And really, no (expletive), genius. But that's like doing a fantasy football draft after the season already has been completed. Why don't you just cram it?

What you can measure is how well a team addressed its needs and if the pick is causing some excitement to the fan base. Hate to say this, but you know Raiders fans are geeked over Darren McFadden. And to be honest, he will likely be a good pick for them. He's already a criminal, so they have that going for them. The Raiders also had bigger needs, but you look at what a guy like Adrian Peterson did for the Vikings and you can't blame the Raiders for doing that. Drafting McFadden makes much more sense than throwing all of that money at Javon Walker, right?

McFadden was a good pick. And it sucks when idiots like Banks indiscriminately rip the Raiders no matter what they do. That only discredits the rest of us Raiders Haters with legitimate beefs. There's plenty to rip the Raiders about without having to make stuff up (which Banks certainly does). Stop making my job so hard.

Here are three teams that probably helped themselves in the draft this weekend.

  • The Cardinals did a pretty good job getting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (yes, he's related to the Chargers Pro Bowler) and defensive end Calais Campbell. Receiver Early Doucet also was a good value in the third round. But there is always this lingering fear that the Birds didn't get the right guy.
  • The Chiefs are another one of those teams that just can't seem to grab the right guys in the draft. Glenn Dorsey falling to them at No. 5 was a huge gift. And he should be a good one. But if Dorsey lives up to his billing, how dominant would the Chiefs defense had been with him and Jared Allen? The Chiefs certainly have a lot of needs, but jettisoning a player who is only 26 seemed like a panic move in a way. The team is getting universal praise for its draft, but remember the St. Louis draft in 1996? The St. Louis FC drafted Lawrence Philips, Eddie Kennison and Tony Banks with its top three picks, drawing applause from everybody. So take that with a grain of salt.
  • Carolina needed to upgrade their running back situation and improve on the offensive line. They did that with two picks in the first round. Some might believe that the Panthers overpaid to get back into the first round to grab Jeff Otah, but sometimes you have to make a move. Of course the Panthers will get ripped like the 49ers were this season if Jake Delhomme doesn't come back from his injury and the team struggles.

Here are some teams that you have to question.

  • The Titans are getting ripped because they didn't get a receiver, instead going for running back Chris Johnson. Seems dumb at first glance, but Johnson compares to Reggie Bush. Johnson is the kind of running back that you can split out wide and give him the ball in space. In other words, he would seem like the perfect compliment to LenDale White. Too bad they fired Norm Chow. But this pick doesn't look so bad now, as he is the type of guy you need with a quarterback like Young. Lord knows, if you gave Young a receiver, he'd never get the ball to the guy.
  • The Chargers gave up a lot to get Jacob Hester. A second-round draft pick next year to New England for a white running back? Seems shaky.
  • Rashard Mendenhall to the Steelers? They didn't replace Alan Faneca, and this smacks of a Steve Hutchinson-like defection for the Steelers. Running backs are useless unless you have somebody to block for them.
  • The Jets seemed stuck with Vernon Gholston. Like the NFL forced the first six teams to draft all of the guys in the green room so they didn't have an "Anne Frank" Quinn type of moment this year.

HEADLINES THREE YEARS FROM NOW
We tried this feature last year, after ripping it off from FOX Sports Radio. And do you remember what our top "beef" was last season? The Chargers passing on Dwayne Jarrett. That's right. But there is two more years for Jarrett to make me look smart, but nobody is holding their breath.

Teams regret passing on Kevin Smith. For all of your fantasy geeks, make sure you pick up Smith this season. He will be the Lions starting running back. He will be the Curtis Martin of this draft. (Guess who is the Sherman Williams.)

Falcons to draft a quarterback. Sorry, but Matt Ryan just screams of NFL bust. There is no real evidence why this is true, just trust me.

New Raiders Coach Rick Neuheisel has plans for Russell, McFadden. Three years from now, the Bruins should be on probation and Rick will be finally get an NFL gig. But how many coaches will the Raiders have gone through by then?

Woodson named starting quarterback for Giants. Just kidding. Eli can do pretty much whatever he wants, which is kind of what he does now. This Giants pick, however, shows that there are still some doubts with Eli.

AND FINALLY
Woodson is a risky pick for the Giants. Especially if his wonderlic score is any indication. Turns out that former USC and current Vikings quarterback John David Booty is a huge dope, too. That is not shocking.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Weak Ender

In case you are wondering, that's Angie Harmon in yet again another one of our failed attempts at erotica. Odds are you might not have recognized her. Funny thing, Jason Sehorn didn't either. Mainly because she's naked.

You can see the video at On205th.com. But let's move on ...

The NFL Draft is this weekend, the last bastion for football fans until the dreadful Hall of Fame Game in August. How starved are people for football action? They actually watch sit through six hours of Chris Berman (unless they get NFL Network where you get Rich Eisen – which may or may not be an improvement).

But it does look like people would still prefer that over watching the WNBA (as evidenced below).

The draft should be a bit better this year for a couple of reasons. There will only be 10 minutes between picks in the first round. NFL teams have complained that it hurts their chance to strike a deal, but get over it. The draft’s beginning is so annoying because they take 15 minutes to even get the thing going, then it’s another 15 minutes before the first team makes the first pick. So you are looking at a full half hour before a pick is even made, and then averaging about four picks an hour. Yeah, they need to speed this up.

This, however, is not an invitation for the Dolphins to take the full 10 minutes. In fact, Jake Long should walk up to the podium with Roger Goodell right at noon to get this thing kicked off.

That’s another thing, the St. Louis FC is not permitted to negotiate with the No. 2 overall selection. That’s lame. St. Louis should make its pick already and keep this thing moving. Although that would cut in to the NFL’s made-for-TV event. Rumor has the boys at 280 Park Ave. (the NFL's headquarters) are not pleased with the Dolphins for ruining the first pick.

The draft also will be starting at noon on Saturday. Normally, that would be awesome because some sporting events start way too early in the morning out here on the West Coast. But there is nothing like sleeping through the first 10 picks of the draft and then jumping in to the thing before going to lunch.

  • Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan will be at the draft this year. Don’t these guys ever learn? Aaron Rodgers and Matt Leinart took pretty big falls. Brady Quinn was given the Anne Frank treatment last year. Why would Ryan even bother? There is speculation that he could go to the Falcons, the Jets or Raven. But why would anybody bother dolling out first-round money for a quarterback who might not be even better than some of the guys who will be picked in the second- or third-rounds? Is there much of a difference between Ryan or Chad Henne or Colt Brennan? All of these guys are a crap shoot, so why waste a Top 10 pick on him? Don't say you weren't warned.
  • One draft stud to keep an eye on is Kevin Smith of Central Florida. The dude rushed for 2,500 yards last season with Central Florida. Yeah, he was doing it in an easy conference, but racking up that many yards is hard to do on xBox. Running backs are another group that always seems to have more value later in the draft. Curtis Martin was drafted in the third round. Terrell Davis was a sixth rounder. The team that ends up with Smith will be pretty happy.
  • Chris Long looks like he might fall to Oakland at No. 4, with St. Louis FC closing in on Glenn Dorsey, and the Falcons looking at Vernon Gholston. But still, the Raiders probably won't be able to resist taking Darren McFadden. Though that would mean that the Chiefs would end up with Howie Long's kid. Imagine that.
  • Imaging that the Chiefs will blow all of its draft picks isn't hard, either. Carl Peterson has never really shown competence, and there is a good chance that the Chiefs will walk away empty handed like the Rams did in the Eric Dickerson deal.
AND FINALLY
THN is proud to welcome back on of its favorite sons, Lieutenant Tim (name protected) who just finished a tour over in Kuwait. Welcome home, Tim, we appreciate everything that you do for us.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boston Fans Are Cool

Many of you were worried that the Boston fans would lose their edge after experiencing so much on-field success. Worry no longer. Turns out the Red Sox fans are the same racist jerks you have come to know and hate.

Torii Hunter told the Riverside Press Enterprise that he hears racial taunts from Boston fans.

"My first five or six (years), I was 'That N-word,'" said Hunter, now in his ninth season. "Some people would chant that out, some people would throw beer or whatever ... batteries."

Gary Matthews Jr. also isn’t a huge fan.

"It's one of the few places you hear racial comments every once in a while … I don't know if it's part of the culture out there or the fact that it's really a college city, kind of.”

Boston as a college town? Nope, they are just your basic, fun-loving racists. There is a reason why one of Boston’s most beloved sports figures – Bill Russell – still has a bad relationship with the city. People give the South a bad time for being racist, but they have nothing on Boston. Racism is a part of their culture. Hell, they probably sell Clan sheets with Red Sox logos on them. (Of course, they come in pink for the ladies.)

Although, Hunter says that he hears the racial stuff less now that he’s had some success in his career. So in Boston, you are only an (n-bomb) if you hit below .300.

Oh, and for the record, the singing of “Sweet Caroline” is super lame. You are no longer allowed to speak about the Rally Monkey.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

THN's Great Bar Debates

Have you ever debated a seriously philosophical question in a bar, and then -- the next morning -- wondered what the heck all of the fuss was about when you, ah, had some time to think about it?

Who hasn’t, right? Budweiser (or maybe it was Coors) made a series of commercials like this posing questions like, Mary Ann or Ginger?

The Hater Nation isn’t above stealing a good idea and, here is this week’s question. Last week, the chance to punch Jeremy Shockey in the face won out over free Guinness for a year.


Congratulations to the Comment Monkeys who last week picked a free Las Vegas vacation over the opportunity to beat the crap out of Jim Nantz or Joe Buck. Although, many of you chose to take a free shot at Jeremy Shockey instead of getting a free year's worth of Guinness. Funny, yours truly went opposite on both.

This week, we take a look at Chris Berman. (Seems appropriate with the NFL draft coming up this weekend.) Now, let's be honest, Deadspin hasn't done a media approval rating for Berman but it's going to be pretty low. The question isn't if you would get rid of Berman if you could, but rather, what would you do to get rid of him?

So here's the question, would you rid television/radio/print of Chris Berman in exchange for watching an entire year of the WNBA. Every game, wire-to-wire.


Would you watch an entire year of WNBA basketball if it meant that Chris Berman went into witness relocation and was never ever heard from again?
Yes
No


Lil' Hater Remembers: Shaun Alexander

You'd have to say that the most iconic image of Shaun Alexander (or than the awkward spelling of his first name) was his jumping around like a little girl on the sidelines during the playoff game against Washington a couple years ago, faking an injury while his team bailed him out. Guys like Emmitt Smith emphasized individual awards too, but at least you knew he was a gamer.

Seriously, I can't remember one great game he played in, or even a great run. I just remember him going to ground after minimal contact and a 2-3 yard gain, over and over again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NFL Draft Preview: 64 Lines about 32 Teams

Arizona Cardinals. Running back is the biggest need for this team, as Edgerrin James has been a bust and is getting old. But the biggest need might be a baby sitter, or at least a common sense coach for Matt Leinart.

Atlanta Falcons. A quarterback with a strong arm, good downfield vision and an aversion to dog fighting is a top priority. Brett Favre said he would come back if his old team needed him and the Falcons – who originally drafted him – sure do need him.

Raven. Congratulations on your ninth consecutive year of needing a quarterback. Too bad there isn’t one in this draft worthy of picking up, so enjoy Colt Brennan.

Buffalo Bills. Remember when the Bills were brimming with offensive playmakers? That memory is a fuzzy as Jim Kelly’s following a night of boilermakers and Jager Bombs.

Carolina Panthers. This team doesn’t need a running back as much as it needs to training staff to keep everybody healthy. This team has lost a top quarterback, running back and receiver semingly every year for the past decade.

Chicago Bears. They laugh at Raven’s struggles to land a quarterback. The team on Lake Michigan has been dry at the position since Jim McMahon was slammed to the Soldier Field turf by Charles Martin.

Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have refused to trade Chad Johnson to the Redskins who offered first- and third- round picks. But you can't blame the team for not wanting to trade away one of the few players who hasn't been arrested.

Cleveland Browns. The team scored a lot of points behind quarterback Derek Anderson and first-round pick, tackle Joe Thomas. And they will need to again score a lot of points if they don’t get an elite cover cornerback.

Dallas Cowboys. How about a quarterback who won’t choke? Or at the very least, one that doesn’t succumb to the muff. (Via the Hatriot.)

Denver Broncos. With no free-agent Browns to poach, the Broncos might have to draft a defensive lineman. A custodian to pick up McDonald’s bags also remains a priority.

Detroit Lions. The team is looking to possibly move up in the draft to take quarterback Matt Ryan. Don't they watch the NFL draft -- those guys always take a tumble down the draft board.

Green Bay Packers. Without Favre, defensive backs won’t get as much practice at intercepting passes. Has Aaron Rogers ever played a game where he didn’t leave injured?

Houston Texans. This team has never solved its offensive line problems, meaning they will need to find another young quarterback to sacrifice. But none will ever have hair as cool as David Carr.


Indianapolis Colts. The defense is once again a concern, after coming together long enough to win Super Bowl 41. Jim Sorgi’s mom won't allow the Colts to draft backup quarterback.

Jacksonville Jaguars. This team is as interesting offensively as your typical TGI Friday’s – which is one of the few places that you can eat in Jacksonville. This team hasn’t had a big-play receiver since Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell.

Kansas City Chiefs. The team traded away Jared Allen and now has five picks in the first 82 of the draft. Maybe they won't ignore the offensive line like they did last year.


Miami Dolphins. The team kicked off the draft a few days early by selecting tackle Jake Long. Let's hope they don't waste the first ten minutes of the draft announcing this deal.

Minnesota Vikings. The team traded away three picks for Jared Allen who is young and fills a very big need for the team. Let's just hope this isn't a replay of the Herschel Walker deal.

New England Patriots. Most will say a new camera operator, but these team needs to get young in a hurry. But given the chance, you know that Bill Belichick would draft a 30-year old defensive player if he could.

New Orleans Saints. Would canoes be too soon? Not to make a Katrina joke, but rather because the defense is a sinking ship that can’t stop anybody from scoring.

New York Giants. The team’s most glaring need is at quarterback, but The Messiah has probably cemented his place with the franchise. Somewhere Trent Dilfer must lament that he never got his chance to repeat with Raven.

New York Jets. If the team ever wants to be seen as anything other than the Giants JV team, they need to draft a legitimate superstar like Darren McFadden. They probably won't get the chance because ...


Oakland Raiders. The signing of Huggy Bear Jr. was just a smoke screen because you know this team really covets McFadden, especially if Chris Long is off the board. Go ahead, make the deal -- just try to sign him before Labor Day.

Philadelphia Eagles. They drafted the quarterback of the future last year, now they only need to draft a receiver to actually play him. But with this team's history of drafting receivers, they might want to look somewhere else.


Pittsburgh Steelers. If you listen to the quarterback, they need a tall receiver who won’t get lost when the Punt, Pass and Kick participants run on the field. They also need a lineman to replace the one they refused to pay.

St. Louis FC. The offensive line has so many holes, you could plant flags in them and play a round of golf. But in typical fashion of living in the Raiders' shadow, they have to take Chris Long.


San Diego Chargers. Life is good when you only have to draft a replacement for your backup running back. But depth could also become an issue again if the off-duty San Diego area cops start opening fire on the team -- again.

San Francisco 49ers. The team did forfeit a high draft pick to the Patriots, but the good news is that they won’t have to overpay for some of the marginal talent in this draft. Alex Smith and Shaun Hill aren’t good, but is anything else in this draft better?

Seattle Seahawks. Remember when Shaun Alexander was an MVP-caliber running back? Neither do the Seahawks who released him on Tuesday.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coach Jon Gruden likes to collect quarterbacks, too bad he doesn’t have many players who can catch the passes. Missing out on Jared Allen also is tough on this team.


Tennessee Titans. If they could find a running back who weighed less than 250 pounds, this team might only attempt about 20 passes this season. Not a bad option when Justin Gage is your top receiver.

Washington Redskins. If Ben Roethlisberger thinks he has it bad, at least his receivers are better than the Skins’ homage to the Smurfs who would do well in a 6-foot and under basketball league. No wonder they are so hyped to get Chad Johnson.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Howie Long is Model for NFL Dads

Howie Long is not a media whore.

The dude gets it. His son, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, is on the verge of being a top-five pick in this weekend’s draft. Yet the Hall of Fame defensive tackle is taking a backseat to his son, letting him soak up his moment. He is letting his son drink in the accolades and be his own man.

As he dog damn should. Even Chris' famous mother, Teri Hatcher, is keeping a low profile heading into the draft.

And do you know who this is killing?

America's soccer mom, Archie Manning, who likely spends his nights drunk-dialing Howie and giving him an earful.

You can hear Archie's annoying twang on the other end of the receiver, “Howie what the hell are you doing? You should be stealing your son’s spotlight like all former NFL fathers do. Make up some bull (expletive) feud with St. Louis and demand that they don’t draft him. Become the story on draft day, not your boy. You know that’s what I would have done.”

Maybe Howie is content with his great playing career, movie star fame and great gig on FOX. But I would just like to believe that Howie just isn't a spot-light hogging douche nozzle like Archie.

The Redskins Decision to Send Cheerleaders to India

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 not get this?

The Redskins Cheerleaders are in India to create the first-ever cheerleading squad in that country for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, part of the new Indian Premier League (IPL). And I'm guessing it is cricket team.

But as you can imagine, the locals aren't too keen on the cheerleading broads, even though they were once called the hottest in the league by the fabulous Michael Strahan. The Redskins appearance even drew protests from some of the Indian residents who called them a part of an "alien culture."

What, do you mean that Indians didn't destroy an entire culture and then name their sports teams after them? There are no Prancing Paki's of New Delhi? If the NFL is going to send cheerleaders overseas to help promote a global game, why do you pick a team with a nickname that is consider offensive by some? You had to know that the Indian culture might be a little resistant to the American influence of having cheerleaders, but sending over a team with "Redskins" blazon on their chest might not have been the best move.

How can anybody be this stupid? This would be like Major League Baseball trying to promote it's game in Japan by sending over boxes of "Horry Kow" T-shirts. (Although, if the Japanese are that upset about this, they can take another tour of the U.S.S. Arizona. I served in the Navy in World War II before going to Northwestern.)

Congratulations, Redskins. For so long you have just been our little secret like a racist uncle who makes blue jokes at Thanksgiving. But now you have a billion people who hate you now. I give this a stern thumbs down.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Post Mortem

Danica Patrick has finally won an Indy-car race, ending one of the longest droughts since A.C. Green got married. A lot of you compared Patrick to Anna Kournikova and that wasn’t an entirely fair or accurate argument.

Anna is hot.

Of course, Danica’s victory smacked of the same authenticity of Randy Orton’s WWF title reign. That’s not to say that the race was fixed. But you have to figure that Indy racing was likely tired of having its only bankable star being the Brooklyn Brawler of the circuit. Now the “Danica can’t win the big one” will no longer be the topic when the Indianapolis 500 rolls around. Now we can just go back to ignoring the whole thing all together.

SPURS/SUNS CLASSIC
The Spurs and the Suns played in one of the greatest games in NBA history. Too bad it was only Game 1 of a best-of-seven first-round series, which seemingly won’t resume until next season. And if the NBA’s scheduling wasn’t enough to turn you off of basketball, the Hack-a-Shaq certainly would.

This feels safe to say now that Shaq no longer plays for the Lakers, but fouling Shaq is one of the biggest bush-league maneuvers in basketball. Not that it isn’t in the rules, and San Antonio was not wise to take advantage. But it brings to mind that famous scene from the Cannonball Run were the contestants were making a made dash for the finish line until Burt Reynolds jumped on the pile.

Reynolds knocked down the challengers (except for Captain Chaos and Adrienne Barbeau), leading Roger Moore to exclaim, “That is not a sporting way to win.”

To which Dean Martin replied, “No, it’s a (expletive) way to win.”

Of course, Dean was the same guy who said, “When somebody is sitting there holding all of the aces, the only thing left to do is kick over the table,” in Robin and the Seven Hoods. The sentiment still holds, however. Instead of finding a way to circumvent the rules, how about finding a way to be better than the other guy. A strange notion in a world where athletes ingest steroids in Slurpees and Olympic figure skaters hire goons to bash in somebody’s knee. But doesn’t anybody want to take the sporting way out?

Of course, Greg Pock-mock-o-vich has a bunch of rings, and yours truly toils on a blog. So that is where principals get you.

So forgive me for waiting a while to check in to the NBA Finals.

  • Who hits better, the Washington Nationals or the Long Beach PD? Police in riot gear were called to a Pennywise concert at the Long Beach Grand Prix on Saturday, sending a couple of people to the hospital, including a 40- to 50-year old man who was tasered by police. Knowing that it was a Long Beach resident going to a Pennywise show leads you to believe the dude probably deserved it.
  • Eli Messiah was wed this weekend. The bride was said to be wearing a stunning gown with gold embroidering with a large bow and short train in the back. No word on what Eli's groom was wearing.
  • You are not officially a California resident until you are rear ended at least once. (In a car, sickos.) Welcome to California, Torii Hunter. The Angels center fielder was involved in a car accident on Friday when his Bentley was rear ended by a car that was struck by an orange spouped-up civic driven a Fast and the Furious wannabe. Hopefully that guy will be beaten repeatedly by his friends.

AND FINALLY



Nice arm on that kid. She throws better than Mark Prior.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Weak Ender

The possibility of an NFL team moving to Los Angeles brings to mind one of the greatest professional football teams in history.

The Los Angeles Xtreme.

In what other sports league could a fan walk up to the ticket window of the championship game and buy a second-row seat?

Alright, other than the WNBA. But we're talking sports here.

Walking down the steps to your own seat for the Million Dollar Game gave you plenty of time to ask, "Why and the hell is there a platform on the field right in front of my seat?"

Turns out it was the cheerleading platform. The LA Xtrem girls ranked somewhere between the Avengers broads and the gals on the Replacements. Nothing says football more than having an obstructed view because it was tough to watch the field through the twirling girls.

But, as somebody who has been a spectator at both a Super Bowl and Million Dollar Game, dealing with the cheerleader obstruction was more appealing than the blue-blooded stiffs you normally find at a Super Bowl. Let's just say that you didn't have to worry about spilling beer on some dame's Chanel dress at an XFL game.

And speaking of beer; The lone drawback was that the huge climb to the beer stand at the Coliseum nearly ruined a buzz. So we had the idea of sending our buddy’s 10-year-old son on a beer run. We definitely felt like idiots moments after he left when it dawned on us that there was a two-beer limit per customer. Morons, right?

Imagine our surprise when that little kid brought back four beers. Lord knows how he pulled it off (maybe that rule doesn't apply to minors), but there will never be anything like it again.

To hell with the NFL, Ed Roski should try to get the XFL started again.

WHICH TEAM WOULD YOU CHOSE?
The stadium, according to Roski, is a done deal. (Dig that fancy LA football history chart.) Now comes the hard part – finding an NFL team to play in it. The Raiders are the most likely candidate, with the Chargers not far behind. The Spanos family must react really quickly to this situation because if they wait too long, the Raiders are going to grab the opportunity.

But what about some of the other names floating out there? The Bills, Vikings, Saints and Jaguars all have been floated as possibilities, though they would seem far less likely that the two of the current California residents. (Hey, the 49ers need a new home, too.) The great thing about the four listed teams, though, is that it would give Los Angeles a fresh start.

If the Bills, Vikings, Saints and Jaguars do move out here, they should be required to shed its name, logo and all records, causing the team to go defunct. Similar to what happened when Raven moved to Baltimore. Losing the Rams would have been a lot more palpable if the St. Louis FC was forced to do this.

Hell, Jacksonville might not even realize they lost a team if that was to happen. That way, the Los Angeles team could start with a fresh start with a new name. Like maybe the Xtreme.

Imagine, a ring of honor stretching around the stadium with some of the greatest names in LA football history: Elroy Hirsch, Eric Dickerson, Tommy Maddox, and the corpse of Georgia Frontandrearie

FIGHTING STEREOTYPES
There is an apathetic response to Roski’s announcement across the country because most people feel that LA doesn’t want a team. And that’s just utter (expletive). If there was an NFL team here, they would have no trouble filling a stadium. Providing that they win.

And really, that makes Los Angeles sports fans more sophisticated than the rest of the country. Most college towns would have killed for the success of the Paul Hackett-era USC Trojans. But the school had a higher expectation, got a real coach and now it is nearly impossible to find a ticket to a USC game.

Listen, you can’t open a movie theater and show Glitter, Gigli, and Pearl Harbor, then be surprised when nobody shows up. You are going to have to win out here to survive. And even then, the Dodgers continue to draw even though they haven’t won a World Series since 1988.

This town is ready for pro football. Only the transplants – who are actually the worst sports fans in the world – are the only ones complaining. And you know what, (expletive) them. If they want to watch Browns games, then they can go down to Papagorgio's Hole in the Wall Pizzeria.

AND FINALLY
The Chiefs are out to challenge the Raiders for being the worst team in the NFL by dangling star defensive end Jared Allen. The Vikings and Buccaneers are two of the teams in the running for Allen's services.

The strange thing is that this wouldn't be a bad move for the Chiefs. They are going to blow next season because of their quarterback. They were in the playoffs only two years ago, but Brodie Croyle isn't going to get it done. And if they draft a guy this year, he isn't going to get it done either. So why waste the money and valuable years of Allen's career, when you can send him to a contender like Tampa Bay. If the Buccaneers can land him by only dealing draft picks and no players (Jovan Haye has been reported), then this could push them over the top in the NFC.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Roski Will Unveil Stadium Plan for LA

Los Angeles is a lot like Charlie Brown when it comes to the NFL. No matter how many times Lucy holds the ball for us, we will still attempt to kick it.

And each time, that ball will be yanked away. Though you do tend to get numb to the pain.

Ed Roski is the latest in a long line of hucksters and snake dancers who have come to the region with promises of a stadium. Each time they fall woefully short. However, something seems different about the current stadium proposal from Roski.

It looks like it just might work.

The problem with building a stadium in California is that land is impossible to acquire and building costs are out of control. Oh, and no public funding. Residents in other areas of the world have no problem handing over tax money and land to NFL owners. Mainly because their land isn’t valuable and how much tax money are you really wasting when you have dirt roads.

California is different. The fact that the Chargers, Raiders and 49ers are playing in the worst stadiums in the NFL is no coincidence. Building in the California is nearly impossible. But Roski’s plan is already ahead of many of the numerous failed.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Roski's proposal is different from most because he controls the land necessary to build the stadium, training facilities and related development; and he already has a certified environmental impact report for the site.

The proposal suffered a setback Wednesday when state lawmakers blocked an effort by the City of Industry to divert $820 million in property tax revenue to use it for development subsidies.


If Roski is going to ask for public money, this deal is toast. If he is willing to spend his own money and use his own land, then the proposal might just work. The stadium itself is kind of ingenious. Part of the stadium will be built into a hillside, decreasing construction cost, along with all of the luxury and press boxes being housed on one side making construction a lot easier. Plus he won’t have to deal with the LA City Council or the crazy, media-whoring mayor who makes Mr. Goodell look humble.

Of course, there will be the skeptics who will complain, “but I like watching that extra game each week.” And for those people, (expletive) you. (EXPLETIVE YOU!) You know what that extra game is each week? The Giants. If anything, we should be begging for blackouts.

But in the spirit of being careful what you wish for, the stadium could start construction this fall and be ready by 2011. The same year the Raiders could get out of its lease in Oakland. Maybe Roski should keep his mouth shut.

Though – as mentioned – we’ve had the ball pulled from us so many times, we’ll wait until a team kicks off in 2011 to really get excited about this and start dreaming about what teams would move out here.



THN's Great Bar Debates

Have you ever debated a seriously philosophical question in a bar, and then -- the next morning -- wondered what the heck all of the fuss was about when you, ah, had some time to think about it?

Who hasn’t, right? Budweiser (or maybe it was Coors) made a series of commercials like this posing questions like, Mary Ann or Ginger?

The Hater Nation isn’t above stealing a good idea and, here is this week’s question. Last week, the chance to punch Jeremy Shockey in the face won out over free Guinness for a year.


Are THN fans still feeling violent?

Without further ado, would you rather have an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas, accommodations at the Bellagio, plus a little bit of seed money. Or would you rather have the opportunity to beat the hell out of Jim Nantz and/or Joe Buck for five minutes like a bunch of teenage chicks in Florida.


Which would you chose?
Free Vegas vacation
The chance to beat the hell out of Jim Nantz and/or Joe Buck for five minutes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NFL Misses Its Chance

Congratulations to the NFL for making a mockery of Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball by creating a non-event like the revealing of the NFL schedule. Sorry, but we already know the opponents. Does it matter when the Chargers are hosting the Panthers? That was so urgent, that had to be known today.

The NFL released the prime time games during baseball’s opening day, but trying to draw away attention from Jackie Robinson seems rather low. And as Lil’ Hater said, having Al Campanis read the schedule was just an unnecessary shot.

(Somebody might want to tell him that it was actually John Madden adding his thoughts.)

Not that you can completely fault the NFL. They have this huge network that nobody is watching. There are only so many times you can show the making of the Chargers Girls or the Tuck Rule game. (Although the latter get better with each viewing.)

If the NFL really wanted to strike a blow against baseball, how about a two-hour special on Kenny Washington and Woody Strode – two African American players and UCLA teammates of Robinson who signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1946. A full-year before Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. (Plus there was Fritz Pollard, an African American who was a quarterback and a coach in the 1920s.)

The NFL, for whatever reason, hates its history. Instead of making taking an opportunity to share its own connection with Robinson, the NFL chose a “look at me” moment like the releasing of the schedule to try to prove its point. Good idea.

Now, I didn’t have a chance to glean the schedule much, other than some of the highlights that came across my desk. The Chargers have six primetime games, meaning they are destined to a go 6-10. The Cardinals and 49ers will tangle once again in primetime, showing the league didn’t learn its lesson from last year.

Lil’ Hater, however, was able to add some additional thoughts.

Based on the five seconds I spent looking at the schedule I say the Raiders go 4-12 (again), Hat goes 10-6 and the Giants have 14 TV appearances in Southern California. Wake me up when the season’s over.


Word Lil’ Hater, word.

Caption Contest

There are photos circling the internets regarding an annual USC fundraiser where a bunch of Song Girls strip down to bikinis and participate in an inner-tube race. Of course, that is how the track team affords tuition at Cal State Fullerton.

The photos of the event can be found at BeatSC and With Lethur, but this one stood out as interesting. Part of it screams fake like the Kobe Bryant jumping over the car video, but the reaction of the crowd makes it seem legit. (Click the photo for the larger view.) So how about we go for a caption?




Here is a start: USC sacrifices another Song Girl in exchange for another Rose Bowl victory.

That blew, you guys can hopefully do better.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chargers girls tryouts



Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for Chargers Girls tryouts. And once again SignOnSanDiego.com was there to capture the action for you horndogs. Seriously, what routines are the young ladies working on? And do we even care?

Our pal Stephanie over at FanHouse was an honorary judge at the Houston Texans tryouts, and lamented her tough position because the hottest girls are not necessarily the best dancers.

Let’s solve this mystery for Stephanie, when in doubt go for the hot chick. Nobody cares what their dance moves are like.

Speaking of which, check out this photo from the Chargers Girls tryouts:



No. 217 had better be a damn good dancer. But at least we now know what happens to former UCR dancers. How fitting, she is trying out for the squad at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. She must have got her dates mixed up. The Curves convention is next week.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Post Mortem: Good News for Obama

You can’t blame Barack Obama fans for having a little extra spring in their step today.

In a year when Obama seeks to become the first African American to win the presidency, it seems only fitting than an African American would win The Master’s. Congratulations to your new champion, Trevor Immelman.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Immelman isn’t the first African American to win The Master’s. Gary Player who won The Master's it in 1961 was the first. The same year that John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President. And Obama, of course, often is compared to JFK.

Crazy, right?

But it gets more interesting. Obama and Immelman are both left handed. (Trevor is one of those guys who learned how to golf right handed with hand-me-down clubs.)

Don’t be surprised to see Hilary drop out of the race today. Just look at the signs people.

TIGER IS PROWLING
Tiger Woods could be 12 shots off the lead and the CBS announcers will still refuse to throw in the towel for him. Although Tiger himself threw in the towel when he opted for that hot pink shirt, instead of his Sunday red. Good Lord, what was that?

Jim Nantz and the rest of the boobs turn into homer Braves announcers anytime that Tiger makes a great shot. “If Tiger can ace this par five, and Immelman triple-bogeys the next hole, we would have a match.”

We get it, Tiger means ratings. But how about giving some credit to the stories that are actually unfolding before you? Nantz never seemed to give the full sell on Immelman until late on 18th, as his Tiger enthusiasm was finally dampened.

Of course, now this will lead to a rash of “Tiger is done” stories because everybody is bipolar when it comes to covering Tiger. He’s either the best of all-time or he’s lost his fire. How about, the guy just had a bad weekend?

REASON NO. 345 TO HATE RED SOX/YANKS
Some Boston douche nozzle thought he was getting over on the Yankees by burying a Red Sox jersey in the new Yankee Stadium. Instead, the Yankees spent overtime to unearth the jersey. Construction worker Gino Castignoli thought he was being a wiseguy by planting a jersey in the stadium bowels. And to be truthful, finding the bigger greaseball here is daunting.

  • The case for Gino: Well, the dude’s name is Gino. He’s likely got that receding front hair line/ponytail combination working, with a mix of Kevin Cronin. Have you ever known a Gino that was actually a productive member of society? Most Ginos are born in a cable repair truck, clutching a set of Pontiac Fiero keys. People, if you name your kid Gino, you might as well cut out the middle man and have him registered on the Megan’s Law website. The dude claims to be a huge Red Sox fan, bragging about this (and ultimately getting caught) proves that he is bigger attention whore than fan. He should have waited until the stadium was finished, then made them dig up their Legend’s Club. Loser.

  • Case for the Yankees. Well, they have become so petty that an uneducated construction worker making $9/hour nearly got over on them. And now they are considering a lawsuit against him. Please do it. There will be no winners in that case. But look at the bright side Yankees, it could have been worse. That could have been an Angels jersey.

AND FINALLY
Not much else going on. The Cowboys are getting closer to landing Pacman Jones. Probably for a fifth-round pick. Wow, the Cowboys could be getting a steal if he can contribute to the team. Odds are he will likely get caught stealing at Baby Doll's in Dallas.

The Lakers are your leaders in the West Conference. Has Andrew Bynum come back yet? Too lazy to look. And quite frankly, nobody out here cares until the playoffs.

The Tigers still stink. And like the Yankees, everybody is writing their obituaries, but they will be there in October. Don't even question it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Weak Ender

The Masters is in full swing this weekend, marking yet another event that Jim Nantz will ruin. Hate to go to the old standby, but wouldn’t Gus Johnson make a better candidate to call the action?

Tiger. Backswing. Fire. Check.

Why must so many of our sports by ruined by broadcasting nepotism or clear nincompoopery of announcers? But do you want to one sport that hasn’t been ruined by its announcers? Hockey.

Well only because its never on television.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are actually underway, which is a shame because nobody is getting a chance to see it. People like me can’t watch Craig Johnson, Pavel Rosa and Jamie Storr lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup title this year! Even in Orange County – home of the reigning Stanley Cup champions – you can’t find a Ducks game anywhere.

Now a lot of you don’t follow hockey, and that’s cool. But how many of you religiously follow college basketball, too? That doesn’t stop you from watching March Madness. Hockey playoffs are great because they actually play every other night (might want to try that NBA) and as one wise man put it, seeds No. 5 – 8 actually have a legitimate chance to win. Unlike some of your lower seeds in college hoops.

So if the geniuses would actually put the games on television, a lot of people might be inclined to watch it. Hell, if for nothing else, than to see gals like Elisha Cuthbert in high definition.

AND FINALLY

Congratulations to Kaiser for his stunning victory in the Hardwood Apocalypse. Now where the hell did you go? Hit the email link to your left to collect your prize. Otherwise, it will be served on the course today.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

South Park's Take on SpyGate

And for starters, why must every scandal always have a "gate" attached to the end. For a society that doesn't pay attention to anything that happened 10 minutes ago, it is truly amazing that "gate" still lingers today.

Here is what the South Park guys had to say about Bill Belichick and the Patriots' cheating. From You Been Blinded.



Don't worry, it gets better.



And the final blow.



The Patriots didn't cheat and you know what happened? They lost. Brilliant.

The South Park guys still bring the heat. A lot of you are hyper on the Family Guy, but that show can't carry South Park's ink tray.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Somebody Owes Us Hooters

The Angels scored nine runs on Wednesday afternoon, coming one run way from giving all fans in attendance 10 mediocre wings served by bimbos in orange shorts.

Why should Roy Williams have all of the fun, right?

Mike Napoli and Vladimir Guerrero each hit bombs (and they were absolute blasts) to lead the Angels. Hopefully this will quiet Vlad's critics who are concerned that he hasn't hit 16 home runs already this season.

Dodgers fans were once again represented in the ballpark. And really, you can't blame them. Who the hell wants to live in Los Angeles? And besides, the stadium sucks. If I got to heaven and it was Dodger Stadium, I would ask to go to hell. The place is nearly impossible to get in to, even worse to leave and they charge double of what they do at Angels Stadium. Oh, and you get to tailgate at an Angels game, like civilized human being. Angels Stadium does have rats, but they are much more well behaved than Dodgers fans, and less dangerous.

Though, Dodgers fans are more often seen eating food off the floor than the rats.

The most curious thing is that Dodgers fans were at an Angels game at the same time that a Dodgers game was going on. Not that it was in L.A. (it was in Arizona). But wouldn't a real fan want to watch his own game rather than traveling 40 miles to go to some other team's ballpark? Losers. But hey, at least they got to see a win in a decent ballpark for a change.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

THN’s Great Bar Debates

Have you ever debated a seriously philosophical question in a bar, and then -- the next morning -- wondered what the heck all of the fuss was about when you, ah, had some time to think about it?

Who hasn’t, right? Budweiser (or maybe it was Coors) made a series of commercials like this posing questions like, Mary Ann or Ginger?

The Hater Nation isn’t above stealing a good idea and, in honor of the first Angels day game (ADG to you), will pose a question for you to digest during your tailgate party today.

This is something that could become a regular feature, but more likely, will be done once or twice before its forgotten.

And don’t worry if you are one of those unfortunate souls who doesn’t live in Southern California, is stuck in jury duty or doesn’t have the balls to tell your 89-year old grandmotherly boss that you are too sick to come into work – you can play along, too.

Are you ready for today’s question? Which would you rather have ... a year's supply of Guinness or a free shot at Jeremy Shockey?


Which would you choose?
A year's supply of Guinness A free shot to Jeremy Shockey's face

Monday, April 07, 2008

Torii Earning His Wings

Wow. Somebody other than Vladimir Guerrero can hit a clutch, walk-off grand slam?

Didn't see that one coming.

Especially since the Angels had twice left the bases loaded earlier in the game. This had the making of one of those typical Angels games where they had around 20 hits and two runs to show for it.

But having a guy like Torii Hunter in the lineup gives a little bit more believability to a potential comeback. For too long, teams have just spent the final innings pitching around Vlade because he was the only guy who put fear into opposing teams.

Nice win, lets hope Frankie Rodriguez and Howie Kendrick can come back soon.

The Post Mortem: Practice Your Free Throws

Memphis had heard it all year. No team could win a championship when they shot free throws so poorly. And until the final moments, the Tigers almost had proven the experts wrong. But when the game mattered the most, Memphis lost the game on the line.

Chris Douglas-Roberts performance at the free-throw line could only best be described as "One Choking Moment."

If these kids spent as much time practicing free throws as they have apparently spent at the tattoo parlor, then maybe this wouldn't be a problem.

And yes, grousing about tattoos makes one read like a curmudgeon but that’s the breaks. Besides, nothing can make you feel older than spending time in O’Shea’s with a bunch of guys that were 10 when you were in college, drinking their body-weight in beers.

And speaking of O’Shea’s, it is still a wonderful place. Anyplace on the strip that serves a $2 beers is always going to have a special place in the heart and liver. But the carnival 6-5 on blackjacks and the lack of 75-cent Guinness like they did back in the day still lingers in a beer-addled mind.

Of course, those kids pounding drinks had better form shooting ping-pong balls in a game of Beirut than Douglas-Roberts showed in the closing moments.

  • But before we go blaming the free throws, and we should, why was Kansas hero Mario Chalmers even allowed to get off a three-point shot? Why not foul the guy with some time left to take away the three-point shot? Why, because coach John Calipari does things the right way. Fouling a player at that point is akin to doing "spins" in foosball. Or hitting reset when things aren't going your way on Madden. Calipari will be ripped for not going for the foul, but it would have been puss-ball to foul in that situation. Make a defensive stop and win the game. Fouling right there would have seemed like cheating.
  • Thank you to Memphis and Kansas for giving us the great game the sports fans deserved. But this does not make up for the dogs of the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and even Final Four Saturday. This was a great championship game, but this still can’t erase the fact that the previous three rounds were just dogs.
  • Roy Williams is going to catch a lot of hell for sporting a Kansas sticker, but get over it people. Sure, he has a new employer. But he has a long history with Kansas and is a part of the family, for better or for worse. And maybe this championship will help some of the faithful in Lawrence get over Williams departure to North Carolina. Classy move.
  • The Bruins losing in the Final Four has become a traditional unlike any other. Bruins fans are already rumbling that maybe Ben Howland doesn’t have what it takes to get his team to the NCAA title. This was supposed to be his most talented team, but they once again were outmatched by a better team. The only question is, why isn’t UCLA getting better players into its program. Kevin Love is great, but there seems to be a lot of holes on this team that shouldn’t be. There is no excuse to not have enough talent to win it all in Westwood. But honestly, Love is gone and the team will be in the same position next year.
  • North Carolina was one of the most fraudulent top-seeded teams maybe ever. What an absolute horrible performance. The Heels received a pretty favorable draw and went into “all-good mode” against some inferior competition, but they flat-out were exposed by Kansas. And yes, the Jayhawks went on to win the title, but North Carolina looked like they had no business being on the court. Like one of the Asian dealers at Binions summoned to ruin a little half-time blackjack, this was clearly a mismatch.
  • Tough break for you guys who played the "over" (if you follow that kind of thing). Overtime and still didn't even hit the number.
AND FINALLY
Fitting that Kansas won the title on the 20th anniversary of Danny Manning’s win in 1988. Of course, Larry Brown soon bailed from the Kansas gig to take an NBA job. (And if memory serves, he was offered the UCLA job at that time, too.) Will Bill Self relive the tradition by bolting for Oklahoma State?

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Weak Ender

Remember those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials where the guy with the jar of peanut butter and the dude with the chocolate bar would collide? Like two perfect taste sensations coming together, this weekend brings together two of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.

The Angels’ home opener and Final Four Saturday.

The Angels home opener always will be synonymous with Mo Vaughn tumbling into the opposing dugout in 1999. That move started a chain-reaction of events that eventually led to the Angels winning the 2002 World Series. Vaughn did give the Angels a couple of serviceable years, but his trade for Kevin Appier and trashing of closer Troy Percival on the way out the door changed the Angels fortunes forever.

Vaughn was like the culmination of all of the Angels bad free-agent signings over the years, exorcised with one mighty trade.

Of course, that also led to the end of getting free tickets for the Angels. Instead of hanging out around the ticket booths looking forlorn, you have to actually buy a ticket.

The price of success, eh?

THE FINAL FOUR
There are two prevailing storylines for the final four this weekend.

  • Can UCLA choke for a third consecutive year?
  • How red-assed are the Jayhawks?

Calling UCLA chokers over the past two years is a little unfair because Florida had a more talented team. And despite Ben Howland’s claim that this is his best team at UCLA, you have to feel that Memphis is probably a little bit more talented than the Bruins this year, too. UCLA had some pretty favorable breaks down the stretch during the regular season and struggled against Texas A&M. This team has had too many stretches without scoring this season, and they just won’t be able to do it against Memphis.

The whole Kansas and Roy Williams dynamic is fascinating. Sure, you can’t blame Jayhawks fans for being upset with Williams. He didn’t show the school the same loyalty that long-time Kansas coach Larry Brown exhibited. And Williams had the audacity to lead the Jayhawks through the probation that Brown left and led to a string of NCAA appearances. So they do have a right to be upset.

At the same time, it did have to be a little gut-wrenching to endure all of those Kansas chokes in the tournament, only to have Williams finally reach the ultimate honor with the Tar Heels. That is similar to the St. Louis FC finally winning the Super Bowl after the Rams were contracted in 1995.

The only thing, it seems, that will help Kansas move on will be to beat Williams and North Carolina on Saturday. And like the Angels erasing a lot of ghost by winning the World Series, this could actually be the Jayhawks year.

Either that, or they need to roll with the changes.

FAVRE TO RETURN?
Brett Favre has yet to turn in his retirement papers. Didn’t we go through this with Jake Plummer last year? (Has Plummer even official retired yet?)

Figures that it would be Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times to start this rumor. Favre isn’t coming back people. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be to move on. Favre has retired and he is not coming back. (Wait time for a quick check of the news wires to make sure he hasn't returned before this is posted.)

Yeah, he's not coming back.

AND FINALLY
A 13-year-old school girl was attacked while taking a tour of Fenway Park. Normally this wouldn’t be funny, but the name of the girl … Alexa Rodriguez.

If this was a couple of days ago, you would have to swear this was an April Fool’s gag right?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Breaking News: Bengals Contracted

NFL owners vacating the annual league meetings in Florida were ushered back for an emergency session where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has contracted the Cincinnati Bengals effective immediately.

Mr. Goodell has finally reached his breaking point with the Bengals who seemingly have more arrest than wins over the past couple of years.

“Can you believe these mother (expletive)?” Goodell said in a written statement. “How (expletive) hard is it to stay out of mother (expletive) trouble? I mean (expletive). What the (expletive) are you doing throwing beer bottles through a mother (expletive) window? You just have to be (expletive) me.”

The NFL is considering a replacement team to take the Bengals spot. But for right now, the club’s opponents will be awarded an extra bye week. Players such as quarterback Carson Palmer are in limbo right now. The league will decide in the next couple of weeks if it wants to grant the players special free agency status or having house them on a new startup team.

Some have argued that the Bengals vacancy gives an unfair advantage to the teams in the AFC North, who will be given a free win. But Mr. Goodell states that he has to put his foot down.

“Who gives a (expletive)?” Goodell said. “How many (expletive) games did they win last (expletive) year? I’m tired of their (expletive). Between this and that mother (expletive) Chad Johnson acting like an (expletive), the league is just better off.

“The only (expletive) alternative I had was to ban the (expletive) forward pass. And you know what? That’s not a (expletive) bad idea. That would get rid of all of the cornerbacks and receivers which isn’t a (expletive) bad idea.”