Friday, August 29, 2008

The Weak Ender

College football has returned, and it's always been baffling as to why college football starts the season so awkwardly. For instance, what a waste is was to have that Oregon State vs. Stanford nail biter on opening night. Who does that?

If college football was smart, they would stage a bunch of meaningless games featuring freshmen who have no chance playing later in the season. And then you charge people a bunch of money to watch the game. That's what the smart leagues do. Don't jump feet-first into the season with exciting games, wade into the season with a bunch of teams going through the motions and star players avoiding injuries.

Toby Gerhart (Norco HS) looked pretty good for Stanford. Covered the dude in high school, when he was unstoppable. After watching last night, looks like he could be another white running back in the NFL. And pity Mike Reilly. Nicest guy in the world, but he can never seem to get his teams over the hump. Had the same problem as the Chargers coach.

Here are some things to look for in the upcoming college football weekend.

  • USC will get off to a roaring start. Mark Sanchez is taking a Shawne Merriman-like risk coming back so soon after hurting his knee. But against Virginia, he likely won't have to worry about playing more than a half. And if Stanford pushes them again this season, it won't seem so bad because the Cardinal looks pretty good.

  • UCLA will play host to Tennessee, meaning the Rick Neuheisel Era is going to start off with a loss. Hey Bruins fans, you had better be rooting for a quick turn around. Because every day that Skippy is on campus, the school inches closer to probation. But good luck with your quarterback, a guy that San Diego State gave up on. What's going on with the world when UCLA's quarterback comes from SDSU, and LSU had to steal its quarterback from Harvard. (Seriously.)
  • What is worse is that the SEC is going to use this game to pound its chest. But you have to give Tennessee credit for actually scheduling a somewhat challenging opponent and traveling out of the south. You don't see that very often.

  • The country is going to be pulling for Utah this weekend, as they travel to Michigan. Some of you might be conflicted because you can't see pulling for a Mormon school. But rest assured, Utah is for the normals ... err ... non-LDS citizens of the state. All of the good Mormons go to BYU, and the rejects go to Utah State. So your cool, root for the Utes.

  • The search for a new Cowgirl is on. And that's the legacy that Cowgirl leaves, a bunch of chicks dressing like sluts at football games looking to launch their career. Instead of going on reality TV shows (like the Asian chick from the Real World San Diego who is starring with Stacy Keibler in some ABC Family channel movie), chicks now doll up for college football games. ESPN wasted no time trying to set up former Bachelor contestant and mediocre NFL quarterback Jessie Palmer with some girls during the NC State vs. South Carolina game on Thursday night.

  • Oregon will play host to Washington. Ty Willingham is running out of time to turn around the UW's program. And he's probably not going to. Who was the guy who started Washington's spiral? Oh yeah, that's right.

  • Fresno State will play at Rutgers on Monday. The Bulldogs have a chance to have a special season. Fresno State has big-time games against Rutgers, Wisconsin and UCLA. Here's the scoop, the Bulldogs will win at least two of the three big-time games, and threaten for a BCS bid until they blow a game against San Jose State. Pat Hill's teams always seem to make some big upsets but can never follow it up in the conference season. In some respects, they are the USC of the WAC.

  • Say a prayer for Hawaii at Florida. That's going to be ugly. Why didn't you pay June Jones the money?

IN OTHER NEWS
  • The Angels wrapped up the AL West on Thursday night. The club looked terrible, falling behind 4-0 in the first inning. All of the infield injures had fans thinking of 1995, but Juan Rivera's bases-clearing double ended all of that.

  • MLB Jennifer noted that there were some loud cheers from Boston fans at Yankee Stadium. So the rats have already abandoned ship, eh?

  • Adam Jones will return to the NFL this season. As if there was any doubt that Mr. Goodell would rule against one of his favored owners. Jones (Adam, not Jerry) received the news while dining at Hooters. At where now? Hooters. Jones, you just don't want to play football, do you.

AND FINALLY
Change was the word of the day during Obama's Thursday night acceptance speech. That's amazing. I can only take that to mean that Bob Barr and other third party candidates are going to be given the opportunity to debate Obama and McCain this fall. Can't wait to see that finally happen. Otherwise, that would just be another empty promise and what I would fear a precursor for the future.

Just saying.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

LA Getting a Team in 2009?

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune is reporting that an NFL team will be playing in Los Angeles by next season.

Developer Ed Roski Jr.'s business partner says he has "no doubt" a National Football League team will play in Los Angeles in 2009, most likely at the Rose Bowl.

Majestic Realty Vice President John Semcken also said he believes there is a possibility two NFL teams could wind up playing in the $800 million stadium Roski wants to build in Industry.

"We are going to have a team here next September," Semcken said Tuesday afternoon.


There is even speculation that two NFL teams could eventually play in Ed Roski's dream stadium. But the billionaire will only own one of the teams. (Duh.) Now the only question is trying to figure out who will be the teams.

Let's be honest. The Raiders will eventually play in that stadium. So there is no use in fooling ourselves. But who will be the other team? (The team that we all will be pulling for.)

Cross the Vikings off the list. They have no interest.

My best guess is this (and this likely bleeds into the St. Louis FC SBBK), but the Frontandrearie Kids are going to use this season as a tribute to the murdering showgirl. And once they've done their moments of silence and bilked as much money from St. Louis as possible, those kids will likely sell the team to Roski, who will move the team back to Los Angeles and rename them "The Rams."

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Colts

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Indianapolis Colts.

Gomer has kept the world waiting this summer with his injured knee. Almost as if he hadn’t received enough attention for his numerous commercials, he needed this injury watch to ensure that he remained fresh. Awesome.

Gomer had the same injury that sidelined Marvin Harrison for much of last year. But for those of you who have seen Gomer run, speed really isn’t part of his game. The Colts also do a real good job of keeping pressure off Manning for the most part, so there is no reason to be concerned about lingering problems with his knee.

No, the biggest problem for the Colts is that they have joined that club with the proverbial “puncher’s chance.” The Colts are a team good enough to make a run in a perfect storm of conditions. But probably won’t.

Remember when the Cowboys dynasty started to collapse? The thinking was that as long as they had the Triplets, they still had a chance to win. The Packers with Brett Favre (remember when he played with them?) were always believed to have that “puncher’s chance” as long as the gun slinger was back there throwing the football.

Yet those teams languished as contenders, never able to get back to the Super Bowl. Injuries and free agency began to take a toll. Other younger teams started to move into their place.

The same thing is happening with the Colts.

Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney and Harrison all suffered injuries last year. A season that ended with a home playoff loss to the Chargers. Gomer missed the entire preseason with his injury. And he's slipping, too. The dude practically put Antonio Cromartie into the Pro Bowl in 2007.

The entire AFC South is conspiring against them, too. Jacksonville is getting better, as are the Texans. Even Tennessee finds a way to win with Vince Young.

And then there’s Tony Dungy. The coach has hinted at retirement for the past couple of seasons. So you begin to wonder how much his heart is really into it. Dungy would probably rather be in California campaigning against equal rights in the upcoming election, instead of coaching football.

This is a formula for a Colts disaster. This team is closer to missing the playoffs than it is to winning the Super Bowl. Nobody, of course, will ever say this outright. But the Colts are clearly on the downside right now and the only question is, how greased are the skids?


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)












Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Warner will start

At least the preseason game against the Broncos. Which must be wonderful for those of you who play preseason fantasy football. You nuts.

Not sure what kind of message they are trying to send to Matt Leinart. The relationship between the former first-round pick and his head coach resembles the relationship between Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway and Stitch Jones. You can almost see coach Ken Whisenhunt tossing a boom box through the Cardinals locker room, screaming, "You men do not impress me."

The only conjecture to offer is that Whisenhunt is trying to mentally toughen up his quarterback who will almost assuredly play this season, whether the Kurt Warner Machine is tabbed as the starting quarterback or not. Because even as good as KWM is, he will get hurt at some point during the season. Coach, even though he's mean, nasty and tired needs to finally pick a quarterback and stick with him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Packers

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers.

By Bucky
Special to The Hater Nation

When you’re in Wisconsin, you have to understand your priorities. This church’s efforts to get the flock in the fold on Sunday may be successful, but note that they don’t dare test the football gods by scheduling a noon service on Sunday.

Still, things are changing in America’s Dairyland. Last week I called my Uncle Ludwig from West Allis to see how things were going: “Hey, Uncle Ludwig, Wie geht’s?”

“Oh, yah, hey dere. Yah, me and your Aunt Agnes went up dere by Green Bay dere for da Bengals game a few weeks back. Tings are different up dere these days. We tried to go to da Brett Favre Steakhouse before, but now its some place that serves some macro baloney thingambobs. Like I sez to Agnes, just lotsa people eatin’ beans. Uff da. So den we go by da tailgates; maybe we get a brat or something. But no; everyone’s got dis crap on a stick. Tofu, or some such. And they’re not even wearing Packer stuff anymores. Half of these jokers are wearing New York Jets stuff. And now they got this quarterback from California? I know that Brett’s gone, but whatever happened to that nice Polish boy? What the hey is going on up dere these days?”*

Yes, some things are changing at the intersection of Lombardi and Oneida. For the first time in nearly two decades, there will be a new thumb up the center’s ass. Of course, considering the turnover in the Packers’ offensive line the last few weeks, there’ll be a new center as well, one whose ass hasn’t become uncomfortably familiar with #4’s digitus primus. Still some things remain the same; the Packers remain one of the few NFL franchises without cheerleaders. Though if you’ve see the guernseys that populate the Fox River Valley, you’d certainly forgive them for this oversight.

On the field, the Packers have most everyone back, the departing drama queen notwithstanding. But with aging corners, injuries on the defensive line, and an offensive line in flux, Aaron Rodgers would have to be Craig Morton, Joe Kapp and Steve Bartkowski all rolled up into one to get this team to Tampa in February.**


* If any of you need a translation, talk to Chief. He speaks the language.

** Historical references for Adam’s benefit.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)












Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Broncos

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Denver Broncos.

Those who know me as the founder of Divealanche.com (R.I.P.) probably wonder why a Canadian impresario is here to talk aboot why the Denver Broncos won't win the Super Bowl. The fact is, fewer teams have more ties to Canada than the Donks, hose heads.

For starters, owner Pat Bowlen is a former Canuck, as are hundreds of creatures whose pelts have posthumously expatriated in the form of Mr. Bowlen's coats. I'm the last to believe in such a thing as justice, but if anyone finds a remaining smidgen somewhere in the universe, please reincarnate Mr. Bowlen as a captive mink.

Then there's the Quebec Nordiques, mentioned here at THN earlier (cough, cough... ahem). Back in the nineties, the city of Denver couldn't win anything that didn't involve strapping belts around a bull's privates. So, like the father who buys a hooker for his teenaged son in hopes that dressing up in his mother's teddies is just a passing phase, Denver kidnapped the Cheatin' Diques to straighten out the city's sporting image. The scheme saved the Broncos. Anyone who can't see the link between the Dives' first Stanley Cup and the Broncos' first Super Bowl didn't see John Elway in his seat at McNichols Arena, squirming with embarrassment as this gallivanting band of bellyfloppers brought Denver the bacon that he hadn't. Indeed, without the Dives, the old colon-wrecker would've retired ringless.

Too bad the Nordique voodoo only works twice. The Dives were last seen being scraped off the ice with the Wings' celebratory octopi. The Donks? It's been a decade since their second Bowl, and while Donkfan wants more, he's not going to get it. True, Denver finally has a quarterback who's neither Griese nor greasy, but the team around Jay Cutler still resembles one of those macaroni collages your kid makes in preschool. And though your kid gets a gold star, someone in Dove Valley deserves a gold parachute. Hold that thought.

The injury bag has bit the Donks hard. No, that's not a typo... injury bag. Last March a crazed McDonald's bag broke into wide receiver Brandon Marshall's house, picked him up, and tossed him fist-first through his TV set. Sacrebleu! Saruman from Lord Of The Rings must've been working the drive-thru. Whatever was in that bag, I think Brandon should pass a big bowl of it to this Canadian impresario so I can get (expletive) up enough for that (expletive) to make sense.

The injury bag morphed into a suspension bag after Marshall attacked his ex-girlfriend, drove looped, and generally behaved like a shitbag, which is what he's left Cutler & Co holding. Though Eddie Royal has shown promise, Cutler's not going to have much to throw at those first three games, one of them against almighty Hat.

The only thing more suspect than Marshall's baggage is the Denver defense. If this unit was any easier to penetrate it would be sitting in a Vail hot tub, slurping White Russians and blathering about the night it played tambourine with The Eagles. On the other side, the O-line is being revamped (translation: it's a mess). But what does an O-line really have to do, anyway?

Who's to blame? That thought you were holding, bring it here now. Mike Shanahan is a weak assessor of talent and character. Look at the cast of clowns that's rolled through Denver in Elway's wake... Griese, Greasy, Maurice Clarett, Cleveland Browns, Javon "Ten Splitter" Walker, and Travis Henry, a man whose apparent life mission is to prove that the makers of Reefer Madness may have been on to something.

No getting around it. Shanahan needs to find a handball league.

Note: a special thanks to my countryman Conrad Bain for posting this, eh.

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)


Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Post Mortem

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt must have been internally smiling after Matt Leinart struggled at Oakland Saturday night, as it gave him the perfect opportunity to give the starting job to Kurt Warner. Because if you blow against the Raiders in the preseason, what hope is there?

The edict to play Leinart likely came from the top of the organization, who wants a return on its investment. But anybody whose job depends on the play of his quarterback would likely opt for Warner.

Tough break for Leinart. You look back at his college career when he didn’t enter the draft following his Heisman Trophy winning junior season. Some blamed an injured shoulder, other found it refreshing that he wanted to go for the “Three-Pete.” Now it’s starting to look as though Leinart just didn’t want to grow up.

And he might get there, but you have to go with Warner right now.

What’s troubling though, it allows analyst such as Jamie Dukes to make moronic insinuations that Leinart is soft because he’s from the West Coast. And that's the kind of thing that would piss you off, but you look at Joey Harrington (Oregon), Alex Smith (Washington), J.P. Losman (Los Angeles) and Tony Romo (born in San Diego). You mother (lovers), you are freaking killing us here. At least we have Tom Brady (Bay Area) and Carson Palmer (Orange County). And we don't have Rex Grossman. (Anybody missing?)

Thankfully, Dukes comments were said on the NFL Network so thankfully, nobody heard them.

Other news from Week 3 of the preseason.

  • Shawne Merriman is not going to play this season. He is going to have season-ending surgery and according to Mike Sullivan (one of the area scribes), the Chargers aren’t particularly bummed about it. The Chargers are growing tired of Merriman’s act, as he spent most of the offseason on the red carpet. He’s worse than a reality show media whore, according to Sullivan. The Chargers instead could be turning to Carlos Polk or Jyles Tucker at outside linebacker.

  • The Raiders were shutout by the Cardinals, once again showing that they are in preseason form. Would anybody be surprised if Lane Kiffin was fired on Monday? In fairness, they hardly ran Darren McFadden or Justin Fargas. But come on, not a single point against the Cardinals?

  • The Chiefs also got shutout by the freaking Dolphins. These teams don’t want to show too much, but how about showing something? Same for the Bengals.

  • Raven could be more miserable than we first feared.
  • Matt Ryan is going to get the start in Atlanta. Not sure if that has more to do with Ryan's ability or how badly the veterans behind him were playing. Not that it matters, the Falcons are going to be terrible.
  • Welcome to the J.T. O'Sullivan era in San Francisco. Yes, go ahead and laugh it up right now. But don't be afraid to use a real late fantasy pick on O'Sullivan. Remember, the KWM was a journeyman when he was rescued from the scrap heap by Mike Martz. When Trent Green first went down in preseason 1999, many figured that the St. Louis FC would go to a veteran. Martz turned to Warner and the rest is history. Not saying that O'Sullivan will be Warner, but keep an eye on it.
  • Sterling Sharpe mentioned, during the telecast of the Bills/Colts, that the new huddle cam takes you where nobody else has before. Well, except for the XFL. But again, this game was on the NFL Network which would love to do XFL television numbers. So how many of the XFL’s innovations have been indoctrinated into the NFL? That sky camera is one. The Bills uniform was an XFL style of uniform. Announcers in the stands have been done. And now the huddle camera. Somebody in the NFL office is lying when they said they weren’t paying attention to the XFL.
OTHER THINGS

  • The Angels have to find a way to sign Mark Teixeira. Even if it means letting K-Rod go. The Angels are too good with him. Besides, this guy doesn’t believe that K-Rod is worth the money. BTW, the Angels will clinch the AL West at home against the Yankees on September 10.
  • The Olympics are gone and that means a sad goodbye to those beach volleyball cheerleaders. Because if there was one sport that needed more skin. It’s like those Carl’s Jr. hamburgers where they put prime rib and a piece of pizza on a hamburger patty.
AND FINALLY
The season-ending injury to Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora could bring Michael Strahan out of retirement, meaning he won’t be on the FOX morning show.

We will not be that lucky.

Strahan can’t come back because he knows that he will not be nearly as productive without Umenyiora on the other side, exposing him as a big fraud. Thankfully, Stahan isn’t one of these camera-lovers who needs a constant ego stroking.

Oh wait, that’s exactly what he is. Look for this to turn into another Favre-watch. Wonderful.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Weak Ender

These broads are crying because they now have to go out and get real jobs like the rest of us.

And seriously, is anybody else buying that the U.S. loss was legitimate? Not even David Stern himself would have the brass ones to pull out such an obvious fix like the U.S. women's softball team did yesterday.

Is there anybody buying this?

The IOC dropped softball from the games back in 1995, saying that the 2008 Olympics in Beijing would be the final appearance of the sport. The reason? The United States was too dominant. And the Athens games in 20004 did nothing to change that perception.

Now the U.S. team loses to Japan in 2008, and now people are wondering if they pulled the plug too soon on the sport. Columnists are now saying that the United State's loss could be the biggest boon for the sport.

Really, who could have seen that coming? Oh yeah, the people who fixed the game saw that coming. They new that the only way to preserve this sport in the Olympics would be to throw a game.

This collection of athletes should be ashamed of themselves. They all should be regarded as traitors as they put their sport before their country. In this trying time when Americans are overseas fighting for our freedoms, this is truly and utterly despicable.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mr. Goodell remembers Gene Upshaw

THN is proud to welcome Mr. Goodell for another guest post, this time in response to Gene Upshaw's tragic passing.

Between Bernie Mac and Gene Upshaw this must have been a very trying time for you peo … err … the world of sports and entertainment.

This is a time for honoring Gene Upshaw. I’m not a good writer and believe that tributes should be left to the professionals. His legacy should speak volumes for him. So I am going to step aside and give Gene his day. After a few words from me, of course.

I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on Gene Upshaw. I was just the humble son of a senator, Charles E. Goodell, the first time I saw the Raiders play the Chiefs. Now, as the son of a senator, we had the best television money could buy in those days. So you could get a real great view of the game. In fact, my dad invented the flat screen television.

My admiration for Gene carried all through his playing career, which much like mine, consisted of being the very best. I was a three sport star at Bronxville High School. I was the captain of the football, basketball and baseball team. I also was named the athlete of the year. This excellence in athletics allowed me to have a great relationship with Upshaw. When you are a great athlete like I am and Gene was, there is an unspoken bond between us.

Whenever I regaled Gene with stories of my athletic prowess you could see Gene’s eyes glaze over as he, no doubt, was probably trying to visualize my stunning red hair flowing underneath my leather helmet. Or maybe my blue steel gaze I often gave to the pitcher.

I was certainly something.

I remember one time, Gene was talking about how the Raiders became the first Wild Card team to win the Super Bowl. I told him a yarn about how I hit into a run-scoring 4-3 put out as Bronxville High’s baseball team avoid the cellar for the first time in my four years there.

We did have the love for sports. And when I look up at that photo here, my favorite one of us, I can’t help but recall all the good times I put Gene in his place when I suspended every player who ever crossed me. Those were good times.

I’m sure as Gene looks down on us right now, he really, really misses me.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Saints

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: New Orleans Saints

Kellen Winslow (the Hall of Fame tight end) recently said in a radio interview that the tight end is the most important position on the field. Like the point guard on a basketball team, everything goes through the tight end. That’s why Sean Payton was so hyper to bring in Jeremy Shockey to the Saints.

The thinking is, and Winslow agreed with this, is that having that presence will make Reggie Bush better, Marques Colston better and even Drew Brees better. A scary thought, the Saints offense becoming even more dangerous.

But all of that talent comes with a price. Mainly because Shockey is a huge a-hole. And sure, he’s saying the right things now. They all do. But in the end, his inner douche nozzle will eventually shine through. Trust me, as an a-hole myself, you just can’t help yourself. Sooner or later, something is going to piss you off and you will let everybody know about it.

Think of it like a reality TV show. People try to be as nice as possible during the first couple of days on the island or inside the house. But when you are an a-hole, it can’t help but come out.

For all of Shockey’s talents, the Giants still won a Super Bowl without him. And there were even some, John Clayton for instance, who insisted that the Giants were a better team without him. That’s just lame. And incredibly wrong. Shockey is a player who makes the team better. Nobody cares about his attitude if the team is winning.

The Giants did win the Super Bowl without him, but only because their defense. That defense would have smothered the Patriots if Shockey was playing or not. So in New Orleans, Shockey helps the explosive offense get better, but he certainly isn’t going to help on the other side of the ball.

Jonathan Vilma was a good pickup and should help. Vilma still has a lot of life left, but he was "Wally Pipped" in New York behind David Harris. The Saints have a real problem stopping people, especially in the air. They can’t stop the big plays, though Vilma is supposed to shut them down there. Even the 1999 St. Louis FC had a good defense to go with its offense.

The Saints have had an offense that could win it all, and Shockey makes them better. But unless they can stop somebody on the defense, that just won’t happen.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)












Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Steelers

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Football Gods cannot be happy with the Steelers who have transformed from a blood-and-guts team that rammed the ball down opponents throats to some limp-wristed spread offense.

The Steelers have gone from pounding the rock with guys like Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier, Jerome Bettis and Dick Hoak, to being a pass happy team like they played in the Mountain West or something.

Coach Mike Tomlin might as well walk into local bar of the resident steel workers and order an appletini, while cranking some Ah-Ha on the juke box.

That just isn’t Steelers football. No, Steelers football is running, not paying franchise players such as Alan Faneca, and cheating in Super Bowls. That is Steelers football. “First and second down are for running, not throwing,” appears in Pittsburgh’s city charter.

This comes on the heels of the Steelers introduction of mascot Steely McBeam last season. Are there no more sacred cows in the NFL?

Come Pittsburgh, we need tradition in the AFC North. Raven was once the Browns. The Browns family owns the Bengals. And the new Browns are about as inspired as Saved by the Bell The New Class.

Not that you can blame the Steelers for tying to move into the new century. Ben Roethlisberger is the team’s best player and the spread offense is geared for the quarterback. But even Ben himself admits that his receivers are too short. Like Tom Cruise-short. Limas Sweed brings some much-needed height, but rookie receivers rarely deliver.

Running back Willie Parker should be more effective with Rashard Mendenhall splitting some time, but the offensive line will certainly miss Faneca. Something to think about when your QB is going to be dropping back and throwing bombs.

The defense -- famed Steel Curtain -- another of the great Steelers traditions could have some trouble this year. Defensive tackle Casey Hampton is fat, and the key to the 3-4 defense. Troy Polamalu is still hurting. So there definately are questions.

But the biggest question looming against the talented Steelers is can they mock the Football Gods and still win the Super Bowl?

THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)











Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Bills

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Buffalo Bills.

You can’t blame Canada for being a little bitter. We’ve stolen Pamela Anderson, Norm MacDonald and Eugene Levy, killed John Candy and made sure to point out that Chris Benoit was known as the Canadian Crippler.

Sure, Canada has won a couple of small victories, such as giving the United States the Expos – now Nationals – and Detroit. But Canada has really upped the ante by trying to steal one of our NFL teams.

The city of Toronto and Canada in general must have visions of the Quebec Nordiques dancing in their heads when they invited the Bills to play a couple of regular season games in the Great White North. But they realize it’s the Bills right? The NFL's version of the Washington Generals, or Los Angeles Kings, if you will.

Nice pick. You should have grabbed the Jets instead.

Bills safety Donte Whitner guaranteed a playoff appearance this season. He’s just as delusional as the rest of the Canucks. Whitner did go to Ohio State so he likely isn’t very smart. He also probably doesn’t know who the coach is, either.

Dick Jauron, the former Yale Bulldog, was a pretty solid NFL player. As an NFL coach, not so much.

Jauron has coached seven full seasons in the NFL and his teams have made the playoffs once. He was an interim coach for the Lions in 2005 and went 1-4.

Jauron is a defensive-minded coach, but his defense in Buffalo has been awful. Luckily though, the team is just as inept trying to stop the run as it is the pass. The Bills did acquire defensive tackle Marcus Stroud along with linebacker Kawika Mitchell. That should help the defense some, but come on, this isn’t 2002.

Running back Marshawn Lynch has proven to be nearly impossible to catch. And that’s just the Buffalo PD. This guy was involved in a hit and run, yet he is not going to be arrested nor will Mr. Chuckles himself, Roger Goodell suspend him. Maybe they just aren’t used to Bills running backs taking a hit and not going down.

The receivers are pretty good, too. But Trent Edwards is the quarterback. Although, he had so much success winning tons of games at Stanford, there is no reason to believe that he won’t get the job done in Buffalo.

In the end, however, the Bills are becoming Canada’s team. Which means only three things can happen. They move to an undeserving American city where they will eventually win a Super Bowl title. They win a couple of titles and then fire Cito Gaston. Or they will get busted for steroids after winning.

In any case, this can't end well.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)











Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What the Hell is on Eli's Lip?

Eli Messiah has clearly entered the "Ronald Miller post-break up with Cindy Mancini" phase of his career. Remember when Ronnie was walking around school in leather jackets, dress shirts with no sleeves, gelled hair and designer sunglasses? That is how ridiculous the Messiah looked on the sidelines last night, stroking his prepubescent beard while smacking his gum.

Sorry Eli, nobody is buying it.

Much like the inner dork still lurked in Ronald Miller's soul, there is no way that you can escape your inner goofiness.

Although, if your receivers continue to make great plays for you, time after time, you just might do it. Seriously, do the Giants have the best receivers in the NFL or what? One-handed grabs pinned to a helmet. A guy with one leg making a corner back screw himself in the ground. And now Domenik Hixon doing that incredible act on Monday night.

This is all one big "Ronald Miller scam," and we're on to you. It's only a matter of time before you "(crap) on the house," and rejoin the Nerd Herd like you belong.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Cardinals

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals have not reached the playoffs since 1998 and if their quarterback situation is any indication, they probably don’t want to make the playoffs this season, either.

Not sure if anybody in the Cardinals organization caught the highlights from 2007, but the Kurt Warner Machine was a much better quarterback than Matt Leinart. Much better.

That’s not a knock on Leinart, who could possibly be a good pro quarterback down the road. But the KWM gives the Cardinals the best chance to win right now.

And he’s one the bench.

The Cardinals did spend a first-round pick on Leinart and have invested heavily in making sure that he will be the quarterback of the future. But it’s not as if the team hasn’t pissed away its money on players before (*cough*EdgerrinJames*cough*). Besides, Leinart likely will get a chance to play this season because Warner’s chances of making it through the season healthy is about the same as Charles Barkley keeping to his commitment to quit gambling. Play the proven guy, then bring Leinart along slowly. Forget about the money, just play the best guy.

The Cardinals, however, want to prove that they were right about Leinart. But they have more pressing issues such as making the playoffs, filling that new stadium with Cardinals fans and winning the NFC West. The Seahawks have skated by in the NFL’s weakest division for so long, waiting for somebody to upend them.

The Cardinals, however, are refusing to get into the game. And the most painful part is that coach Ken Whisenhunt knows this. He secretly wants Warner to win the job. Hell, even some in the organization are likely rooting for Warner, too.

What is funny is that there are a couple of teams that desperately need a quarterback. Good teams, too, like the Vikings and Bears. Yet, you never hear them getting into the running for KWM.

So the Cardinals not only refuse to play their best quarterback, they are like that selfish little kid that won’t let anybody else play him, either. Yeah, hard to imagine why this team hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade.

THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)













Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Post Mortem

That Michael Phelps guy had a pretty solid weekend, right? Despite ESPN’s best attempts to ruin the surprise for everybody, revelers at The Bar at Times Square were riveted to Phelps’ run for the gold. ESPN and all of these other media outlets seem to relish in being like Homer Simpson while walking out of a showing of The Empire Strikes Back, they could not ruin this moment. When you combine that race with a piano-bar version of “Roll with the Changes,” well that is a special night.

PRESEASON FOOTBALL
  • The preseason actually was fun this weekend. Brett Favre looked pretty comfortable in a Jets uniform. Strange not seeing him in his familiar Falcons garb. (Seriously, how come the Falcons didn’t bring him in for a one-year rental while Matt Ryan gets ready?) Dare anybody say that Brett Favre was having fun out there? Cliché, of course, but moving to a new team in a new conference might actually be a good thing for Favre.

  • The Raiders are in regular season form, blowing a game late against the Titans. Oren O’Neal fumbled on the goal line that allowed Tennessee to march down the field to kick the game winner. O’Neal likely cemented his position on the team, though the Raiders are in no short supply of players who choke in crunch time.

  • Anybody feel good about Vince Young as a starting NFL quarterback? The dude looks uncomfortable against the most generic of defenses. The guy just isn’t going to get it. And right now, people should be congratulating Charlie Casserly for drafting Mario Williams instead of Reggie Bush and Young. Hell, Matt Leinart, too.

  • The Chargers threw the St. Louis FC a bone by not playing half of their starters and the Arches still nearly blew it. Marc Bulger might be a lost cause. He looks awful.

  • Tom Brady is hurt, the Patriots might want to think about a real backup quarterback. But knowing the Patriots, Brady probably just didn’t want to play and they fabricated the injury to give him a rest. Otherwise, enjoy the Matt Gutierrez era.

AND FINALLY
The Patriots received AFC championship rings, not an uncommon occurrence. What is, however, is the 16-0 perfect season inscription. That’s right 16-0, perfect season. Colt Brennan and June Jones don’t seem anything wrong with this.

But come on guys, you lost.

The Patriots even will hang a banner that will commemorate the “perfect season” in the stadium. That banner will now replace the Confederate flag as America’s new second-place banner.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Weak Ender

More and more Olympians are posing nude for magazines (semi-safe link of the German team), drawing the ire of those who feel that these women are cheapening the Olympic ideal. They are dishonoring those ancient Greeks who performed in the very first Olympic games.

Totally naked.

Being naked in the Olympics is just as big of a tradition as the torch and terrorist attacks. Instead of criticizing athletes for baring all, maybe women such as Misty May should be criticized for wearing too many clothes. Let's start kicking the Olympics old-school the way the ancient Greeks intended.

Although, those Greek men would be chagrined that it is women who are nude instead of men.

  • This woman (link) is Leryn Franco. She will be competing in the javelin. Kyle will be along shortly to make the off-color joke in the comments. Unless Dawuss beats him to it.

  • The pride of Cal State Fullerton, Mark Kotsay hit for the cycle on Thursday night in a loss to the Cubs. When a pitcher throws a no-hitter in a loss, it does not count. So does Kotsay’s cycle still stand?

  • Major League Baseball is going to experiment with replay. Why? You think the NFL referees don’t want to show each other up? Baseball umpires are worse. If Doug Eddings declared that Pamela Anderson was a virgin, any umpire who watched the Anderson-Tommy Lee video still wouldn’t have the courage to overturn the call.


AND FINALLY
America’s worst nightmare came true on Thursday night when the Panthers vs. Eagles preseason game was interrupted for 60 minutes by lightening. (Does anybody believe the NFL would have had the delay if this was a regular season game in prime time?) FOX, who was broadcasting the game, did not have any alternative programming so that meant – you guessed – story time with Joe Buck.

Buck and Troy Aikman spent the break talking about – among other things – bowling. Specifically, Aikman rolled a 201 (even leaving the tenth frame open) and Buck, not so much. You could tell that this killed Buck who grew up in St. Louis where you are handed a Bud and bowling ball at birth.

You get the feeling that Buck secretly (some might argue openly) hates and resents the athletes that he covers. So for Aikman – who clearly doesn’t care – to beat Buck must have been priceless. You know Buck was gripping, sweating and really worked up about the whole thing. And Aikman bowls a 201. That made the delay somewhat bearable.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Raven

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Raven.

Some Cleveland fans have lamented that the former Browns do not receive the disdain and scorn that the St. Louis FC is doled out here. And they have a point. But for starters, Art Hodel just isn’t as funny as The Hatriot-coined Georgia Frontandrearie.

Cleveland was given the Browns back, while Los Angeles was given the Xtreme. So scoreboard Southern California.

Besides, Model ended up losing the team anyway. Probably one of the most fitting endings in sports. Sure, it would have been nice if Model would have lost the team before his son, David, could do lines of blow off the Lombardi trophy. Still, Model has to sit there and think about the sweetheart deal that the received in Baltimore still wasn’t enough for him to save the team. Frontandrearie never had to go through that. She laid in her deathbed thinking that people loved her, instead of knowing the truth that for the first time in history, people were actually cheering for breast cancer.

Nice move, Art. Congratulations on helping to build the league, but your lousy business practices forced you to sell and now you are on the outside looking in.

But maybe Model was done a favor by having to sell the team. Possibly no team has failed to live up to expectations more than Raven. Kind of like the Lindsay Lohan of the NFL. Looked good for a while, got into the drugs and now is on the brink of oblivion.

The Bears and Vikings are hoping that their outstanding defenses can overcome a lack of offense. Raven must hope that its faded and aging defense can over its utter lack of offense. Nobody remembers how close Raven was just a few years ago. People remember the Chargers choke job in 2006 after going 14-2 and failing to win a playoff game. Raven went 13-3 that season – even beating the Chargers at home – before failing to win a playoff game. Choking against Gomer in what would be the last gasp for Brian Billick.

Now Raven is one of the worst teams in the league. And it will only get worse. Kyle Boller is the best quarterback on the roster. If he fails – and he will – the team will turn to the midget Troy Smith or possibly rookie quarterback Joe Flacco which sounds like a total made up name. In addition, Willis McGahee is hurting, Ray Lewis is getting older and only a few years away from joining the Patriots.

A very bad team that seems to be getting the butt end of the deal that Model made with the Devil.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)












Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me Chinese, Me Play Joke

People still seem to be bent out of shape over Spain’s basketball team mocking its Chinese host by making “slant eyes.” Moral indignation reigns supreme over this joke. But what people seem to be overlooking here is that this picture could have been way worse.

Imagine if the Spanish basketball team all jumped in a vat of cold water and posed nude, mocking the Chinese small penises.

Imagine if the Spanish basketball team had taken a picture while adding extra MSG to the cats and dog they were cooking up in a wok.

Imagine the Spanish basketball team driving very poorly.

Imagine if the Spanish basketball team was photographed in front of the House of Hwang awaiting prearranged marriages to slave girls. (With this well-read group, somebody is going to get that.)

Imagine Pao Gasol laying in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square?

See those would be offensive. Of course, THN listeners certainly should be able to come up with some more examples of how much more offensive the Spanish basketball team could have been.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Bears

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Chicago Bears.

The Bears are in a similar situation to the Lions, whereas you quickly type the words "Rex Grossman" and show a picture of Kyle Orton getting drunk and it's time to move to the next team.

Not so fast my friend.

Don't lay it all on Grossman. He led the Bears to the Super Bowl only two years ago. The bigger question is what happened to the defense? The Bears impenetrable defense went from dominant to ranking 28th in the league. Sure there were injuries, but did the loss of Nathan Vasher really mean that much?

And there's the rub with the Bears, who are in a similar boat than the Vikings. (Pun intended.)

Now Grossman might not get all of the blame, but he certainly doesn’t help the situation. Muhsin Muhammad said this week that Chicago is the place where receivers go to die. And when your receiving corps includes Brandon Lloyd, then there might be some truth to that statement. Though, Muhammad reeks of a guy who signed a fat contract and did nothing to earn it, which is why he is in Carolina right now.

The Bears also have a solid foundation of a running game. Matt Forte could be a real find. And Kevin Jones could be solid for the four games he plays this season. But the offense alone isn’t going to win you any games. Maybe Devin Hester can win one on special teams, but that's about it.

That calls for the defense to be perfect all of the time. They can't suffer any injuries – and with Mike Brown back there that isn’t happening. Nor can you have guys like Adam Archuleta in the defensive backfield, either. Archuleta is now where he deserves to be – in a Raiders uniform.

The Bears could have a great defense with studs like Tommie Harris, Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher, but they have to be perfect at all time. That just doesn't work. The world came together perfectly to reach the Super Bowl. But there is a reason that teams like the 1980s Bears and the 2000s Raven only won a Super Bowl apiece. You can't expect them to be perfect all of the time.

Now you can blame Grossman for this, but you can’t blame him for sucking. That would be like blaming the dog for not being able to understand Sanskrit.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)











Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tom Cruise Stars As Eli Messiah

Or maybe Eli is channeling his inner “Growing up Gotti.” The influence of being in New Jersey has evidentially got to him.

But let’s think about this for a minute. The Jets have traded for Brett Favre, brought in Cowgirl and the Giants respond with this.

Is there anything the Mannings won’t do for money? (Wait for it.) You figure that if some producer offered the right price, Gomer and Eli would do a gay porn together. Hell, for all we know, Cooper might be trying to line that up right now.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Browns

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Cleveland Browns.

There is going to be a lot of talk about the Madden Cover jinx following the release of the popular video game – now in its 20th year. And for those of you who already purchased the game, play with the New York Giants. Fall behind by 10 points. Then, on your first play from scrimmage, hit XY and right trigger at the same time. That will allow Eli Messiah to run back and lob the ball into the air that will be caught by Plaxico Burress, who will make a move and score a touchdown. True story, give it a shot.

But enough about that. This is about the Browns. And a curse that nobody is talking about: the all-star curse of Atlee Hammaker.

Hammaker had a breakout year for the San Francisco Giants in 1983, earning a spot in the All-Star Game with a 1.70 ERA at the break. And that's where the trouble began. Hammaker allowed seven earned runs in 2/3 of an inning, including a grand slam to Angels outfielder Fred Lynn. He was never the same. Hammaker drifted through the rest of his career, topping 10 wins only one more time in 1987. The same year he allowed a three-run home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series as the Cardinals defeated the Giants.

Compare that to the year Browns quarterback Derek Anderson had. Anderson lost the starting job to Charlie Frye last year, only to rebound to become one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football. Anderson passed for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns. A clear breakout performance, and with the cast that Cleveland has surround him with, things can only get better right?

Well, not so fast. What about that Pro Bowl performance?

Anderson played the entire second-half of the Pro Bowl and completed only 10 of 26 passes for 103 yards and an interception as the NFC rallied to win. (Notice that his Browns helmet on his uniform is upside down. An ominous sign.) A very Atlee Hammaker-like performance, if you will. In fact, it is believed that Hammaker has jinxed any professional athlete who struggles in all-star games. And if he didn't, he should have.

That jinx is going to be the downfall of the Browns. Hell, it is starting to happen already. Braylon Edwards already has been injured. Kellen Winslow took up surfing this summer and will probably get bit by a shark during the bye week. Jamal Lewis will find some way to violate his parolee. The Browns are just jinxed.

And the sad thing is, none of this would have happened if the pouting Tom Brady had played in the Pro Bowl, leaving Anderson in Cleveland. Instead, he went to Hawaii and found the biggest jinx, next to that tiki idol that doomed the Brady Bunch. And when you get down to it, this really falls on Bill Belichick. If he had managed to beat the Giants, Brady would have been obligated to do the Pro Bowl and Anderson would have been safe. So once again, Belichick gets over on the Browns.

THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)













Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jets Collecting Has-beens

The Jets are starting to resemble a cast of Dancing with the Stars or a vintage episode of The Love Boat, adding so many parts whose star shined so long ago. On the heels of trading for Brett Favre, the Jets have added Cowgirl to their roster in the organization's effort to recapture 2006. Just kidding, Cowgirl, THN still loves you but there’s also a poster of Heather Thomas hanging in the office, too.

This was a good move for the Jets because, if nothing else, Favre and Cowgirl will help people forget about the crappy product on the field. From the Jets official site, via Awful Announcing.

In an effort to improve their gameday experience, the New York Jets have hired Cowgirl as the club's gameday host.

"It will be fun. It's going to be sassy," Cowgirl told me recently of her new role. "I plan on fully embracing my new role as a New Yorker."

In her new position, she will interview celebrities and will host a pregame "Keys to the Game" segment and the club's pregame components up until player introductions. She'll also play a role during TV timeouts and at halftime.

"I thought it was a great project. I think it's really cool that you guys are trying to integrate a new kind of media into your gameday experience," she said. "It's going to be fun and more interactive for fans. If it gets them in the seats earlier and out of the freezing parking lots a couple of beers earlier maybe, so be it. I promise I'll put on as good a show as I possibly can."


Guess it was much cheaper to hire Cowgirl than an actual receiver or something. And really, no warm-weather team could have signed her? Just keep her away from Joe Namath.

Although you have to imagine that the J-E-T-S chant could be slightly tweaked for something more fitting for Cowgirl.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Vikings

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Minnesota Vikings.

The NFL is a copycat league and the Vikings certainly look to be following the Giants formula – great defense and a crappy starting quarterback. Although, Raven tried that with some success a few years ago.

The Vikings already great defense acquired Jared Allen from the Chiefs leaving Minnesota as the trendy pick for the Super Bowl. The only problem with that is that many times, the trendy pick rarely manages to win the Super Bowl. Remember everybody picking the 49ers to do great things last year? They did so well, they had no other alternative but to go out and hire Mike Martz as offensive coordinator.

The Vikings do have one of the best defenses in the league, and yes, Allen does make them better. There was evidence of that on Friday night when Allen just used a speed rush to get around Walter Jones like he was standing still. (Though Jones doesn’t really like to play in the preseason.)

But that offense. Tavarias Jackson and one of the worst groups of receivers ever. There just doesn’t seem to be enough that Adrian Peterson is going to be able to do. That is, if he can survive the season facing 10 men in the box every week. Expect to see a bunch of 13-6, 10-3 games in your future, Vikings.

Sorry, the season is probably going to end like this.




THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)













Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

The Post Mortem

Alex Rodriguez said that every game is like a playoff game for the Yankees now. So it should come as no surprise that the Yankees lost to the Angels on Sunday, as the Halos competed a three-game sweep.

A nifty 5-2 mark against the Bronx Bombers this year, showing they can do it even without Joe Torre managing the Yankees.

A strange week for the Angels as visions of 1995 danced in the heads of some fans following a loss to the Orioles. The Angels also needed a walk off, uh, walk to defeat the Os in one game after blowing a big lead in the ninth inning. Thankfully, the Yankees were the tonic that the Angels needed.

And don’t worry about the Angels peaking too early. They only have a three-game advantage over the Rays for the best record in the American League. Hopefully Mike Scioscia has learned his lesson from last year and the team can keep on rolling.

Some other thoughts and questions from the Anaheim.

  • The Yankees do have one return trip to Anaheim this year, ensuring that the Orange County Sheriff’s mounted police will have another chance to patrol the parking lot prior to the playoffs. Thank you, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox fans for turning Angels Stadium parking lot into lockdown. Although, that should make Dodgers fans feel at home. Maybe they should start setting aside parking lots and seating sections for the opposing teams like they do in European soccer. If any team is going to make it happen, it will be the Raiders, right?

  • Why does Derek Jeter wear leotards?

  • The Angel Stadium crew really needs to play walkup music for the visiting team. Tiny Dancer would be a great selection for Jeter, while anything from Madonna would suffice for A-Rod.

  • Why is it that so many Yankees fans were wearing Giants gear this year? Seems like somebody has a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to the Angels.

  • And if you think that was bad, some Yankees fan was chiding Angels fans for always losing to Boston in the playoffs. That would be like Japan making fun of the United States for the Vietnam war after what we did to them.

NFL PRESEASON
The St. Louis football club looks to be in a lot of trouble. Marc Bulger was awful, which seems to be hard to do in most preseason games. Most starting quarterbacks will complete 5-of-6 passes for 12 yards and call it a night. Bulger was much worse, even throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. (Though, the ball was tipped.)

  • The Titans Chris Johnson is really fast.

  • Why are the Giants jerking around Plaxico Burress? The guy does not need to practice. As long as he can still go up and bring down Eli Messiah’s prayers, then he is fine.

  • The Cowboys first unit looked very good against the Chargers. But wow, the drop between the starters and backups is amazing.

  • Colt Brennan is not going to be the starting quarterback for the Redskins. At least not this year. Though, his receivers certainly weren't helping him out. Brennan's one week as Washington's favored quarterback was still better than anything Heath Shuler did.

AND FINALLY
Alright, the Chargers backup is a white running back. There is a white sprinter and a black swimmer on the Olympic team. Has the sports world turned into one of those spoof movies?

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Weak Ender

Synchronized swimming hasn't been this fun since Martin Short and that other guy spoofed the sport on Saturday Night Live, back when that show was relevant. Of course, how is that not on YouTube? Martin Short Synchronized Swimming is a top keyword search, and still nothing. Hit us up if you have that clip.

These two young ladies are competing in synchronized swimming for Brazil. If you want to see more pictures, click here. Well, if you are into that sort of thing.

The Olympics do get started today, or maybe last night, so hard to tell these days.

PRESEASON FOOTBALL
Preseason games are relatively meaningless -- at least as far as the outcomes go. But there are a couple of interesting stories developing in the first week.

QB battles: The Jets quarterback situation is certainly up for grabs. Oh wait, they just acquired some veteran does anybody know who it was? But don't worry Kellen Clemens, you still have a chance. And can you imagine what it's like to be Clemens right now? You previously backed up brittle Chad Pennington and now you are backing up the NFL's quarterback iron man. Nice gig.

Brodie Croyle is going to end up winning the job in Kansas City and nobody is going to care.

J.T. O'Sullivan is going to start for San Francisco (as noted in the SBBK). But as one reader asked, where were the 49ers in the Brett Favre sweepstakes? And maybe a better question is, why doesn't anybody take a run at Kurt Warner in Arizona? The Cardinals won't even play him during the preseason. Looking at you, Chicago and Raven.

Rookie RBs: New blood Matt Forte and Kevin Smith did nothing to distinguish themselves on Thursday night. But keep an eye on Darren McFadden. The Raiders are going to end up being correct for taking him and the blame falls on all of you people. That's right. Why did you rip this selection by the Raiders? Maybe if you had applauded the move, the football world would not be in this situation.

AND FINALLY
The Yankees are in town, and really, some of you might hate having the New Yorkers in the stands. But it beats the Sox fans. The Yankees at least have some respect for the Angels. The Sox do not.

And here's to the kind soul that found the Martin Short and Harry Shearer (and yes, shame on me for not knowing that) video.

You can see the video here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: 49ers

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: San Francisco 49ers.

Good news for 49ers fans, Mike Martz will not be in charge of coach’s challenges this season. Well, not until Mike Nolan is fired, to elevate Martz to the top spot.

Martz already is having a huge impact on the 49ers already.

There are a couple of certainties that come with Martz being an offensive coordinator. For starters, the running back – in this case Frank Gore – is going to have a huge season. If you fantasy league awards points per receptions, grab Gore in the first round. Gore will follow in the footsteps of Marshall Faulk and Kevin Jones (Kevin Jones for crying out loud) who had the best years of their careers under Martz.

Martz also will end the life of his quarterback. And let’s be honest, 49ers quarterbacks get hurt. A lot. Jon Kitna was able to survive in Detroit, but that's more a testament to his iron will, because just look at the trail of crippled QBs he left in St. Louis -- Trent Green, Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger -- were all beaten up.

Martz already has cut out the middle man, so to speak, as he promoted J.T. O’Sullivan to starter. (He will start against Oakland this week.) Right, who?

O’Sullivan was a favorite of Martz when he was a backup in Detroit. O’Sullivan (who played at UC Davis like former Jets quarterback Ken O’Brien) has appeared in six NFL games since being drafted by the Saints in 2002.

Now this is either an indication that O’Sullivan might be the next Warner. Or – and this more likely – Alex Smith and Shaun Hill really, really blow.

So here are the 49ers a team with three equally bad quarterbacks. Winning with bad quarterbacks it tough, but not impossible. Just look at the Giants. The key is that you have to pick the bad quarterback you want to go with, and stick with him. Something that will be tough to do, considering that Nolan will be on the hot seat and won't want to suffer with a young, struggling quarterback.

The 49ers could be one of the surprise teams of the year. Many experts tabbed the 49ers as a possible breakout team prior to last season after finishing 7-9 in 2006. But the season ended in disappointment. Leading them to add Martz. Bryant Johnson could have a solid season and emerge as a No. 1 receiver. Hell, he was playing behind Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. So it’s not like he was stuck behind a couple of stiffs. The defense, led by Patrick Willis, Nate Clements, and newly acquired Justin Smith could be pretty decent.

But it all comes back to Martz and the quarterbacks. The 49ers will end up ignoring Gore when games are close. The quarterbacks will suffer maddening sacks and throw interceptions when it matters the most. And this season will end like many others in the wake of Steve Mariucci’s firing. In other words, it won’t be pretty.


THE GOODELL SCALE

(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)









Missed a team? You can click the Super Bowl Buzz Kill 2008 label to see the entire list.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thanks, A-Hole

Jay Payton robbed Juan Riveria of a home run in Wednesday's 9-4 win over the Orioles. That might have seemed meaningless in the big scheme, except that it robbed Angels fans of free food from Hooters Claim Jumper. And yes, this would be the point were Bain would say that baseball fans don't need any free food.

In other a-hole news, Brett Favre has been traded to the New York Jets. Thankfully, he was traded to a team in a small media market so we will never have to listen to this again. This doesn't change the Jets Super Bowl Buzz Kill, either. If anything, this hurts the Jets playoff chances.

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Titans

Do you think your team is going to the Super Bowl? Ha. Your team sucks. Why put yourself through the aggravation every year? The Hater Nation is here to bring you back to reality with the award-winning series, The Super Bowl Buzz Kill.

Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl: Tennessee Titans.

By KC

Hopefully, all the blue collar Titans fans working the graveyard shift on the assembly line some day will get their wish. What is their wish? The Titans brass will come to grips with the fact that they need to give Vinnie Young someone to throw the ball to. They had a perfect opportunity to draft a receiver this year, but opted to go after a running back in the first round.

What is offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger thinking when his best two receivers are both tight ends? Perhaps he lays awake at night dreaming of running a double tight end wishbone attack with Alge Crumpler and Bo Scaife on the line with no wide receivers? That would be epic.

I'll give anyone a wooden nickel from Nashville if they can name the prize receiver pictured above. That's what I thought. You have no idea.

Here is the collection of jackals the Titans call wide receivers: Justin Mc(who)Careins, Roydell Williams, Brandon Jones, Justin Gage, Biren Ealy, rookie Lavelle Hawkins, some no-name Davis' and couple Williams'. Who? No wonder Vinnie feels like he has to frequent night clubs and sword fight amongst other shirtless men while swilling top shelf tequila.

Then there is the running game that features LenDough White. Who will be challenged for a starting spot by first-round draft choice Chris Johnson. White, who is the cousin of Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups, is coming off the first 1,000 yard rushing season of his short three year career. During the off season, White made a cameo appearance in Snoop Dogg’s “Life of Da’ Party” music video. Snoop is still making albums, let alone music videos? He should have quit after "Doggystyle."

How can you not love SoCal born and bred Jeff Fisher, just based on looks alone? I mean the guy has soap opera hair and a stunning hair lip that would make Wilford Brimley proud. He is always sporting the coolest pair of Oakley sunglasses from the early 90's. Fisher seems at his best during the frigid winter months after some snot trickles down from his nostrils and freezes on the 'stache thus revealing the perfect snotcycle.

The defense is hands down the backbone of this team. They will continue to keep this team in games to give them chances to win. The same way they have every year since the Oilertitans moved to Tennessee.

THE GOODELL SCALE
(The odds of your team winning the Super Bowl, based on 1-to-5 Goodells. One being worst, five being best.)