Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Moments of the Decade No. 2B: Oakland Fight Club

Nobody has done more to reach out to his team's fanbase than Raiders coach Tom Cable. While most evolved football fans see a coach sucker-punching an assistant coach as a bush-league maneuver that would be better served for the bullies running small-time Big XII programs, Raiders fans relish it.

"Hey, Cable taught that 'Essay' a lesson on respect, (female dogs)."

You know, the typical brain-dead response you have come to expect from Raiders fans.

Now some of you might argue that Cable's inclusion here might be because it happened so late in the decade and the incident is still fresh in our minds. And you would probably be correct. But come on. This is an NFL coach be investigated by the police for assault.

Normally that is just the Raiders fans. Which again shows that Cable is trying to form a bond with the Raiders fans. Could you imagine the Raiders being coached by a felon? Cable probably would not be allowed in the stadium because he could not be within 100 feet of known felons. Which of course is nearly every Raiders fan in attendance.

So this was a bold move. Hopefully Davis recognizes the great lengths that Cable has gone through to make him 'one of them.' Cable is like the white guy in American Me who becomes the head of the Mexican Mafia. Hopefully that will be enough to bring him back next year.

Oh and for the record, Randy Hanson is kind of a female dog, but still.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Moments of the Decade No. 2A: Overhead Projector

Everybody has long mused that the Raiders are living in the past.

Al Davis proved it beyond a reasonable doubt when he fired Lane Kiffin in 2008.

The fact that Davis want to use a press conference to eviscerate was pretty old school. Especially in this politically correct world where a customary handjob goes with your walking paper. But using an overhead projector was clearly something out of the 1970s.

At one point, you figured that Davis was going to bust out that old-school projector and reel, like the kind used to teach kids sexual education back in the day. Like the scene from Johnny Dangerously when you learned about "Your Testicles and You."

This is not even about using a power-point presentation. Do you think Davis still uses a rotary phone? Does he carry dimes with him incase he needs to make an emergency phone call?

Even after years of watching Al Davis morph into that incoherent grandparent we once loved, nothing made him look older. Even as he spewed vile threats at Kiffin, none of that mattered because he was using an overhead projector. You almost get the sense that the Raiders are the only team in the NFL who does not use a fax machine to send over images from the coaches box during games.

The Raiders still use carrier pigeons.

The Raiders are never going to be able to recover from that image. Much like the overhead projector, it is a timeless classic.

Oh, and the Raiders also hired Tom Cable that day. Enjoy all of that.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Moments of the Decade No. 3: 2007 Fiesta Bowl

If there was ever a more enjoyable football game -- and Super Bowl 37 is the only one that comes close -- ever?

The mid-majors have longed asked to be included into the big time. To be taken seriously. To be given a chance to compete with the big boys. That is what made March Madness one of the best sporting events ever.

And it apparently scares the hell out of the college football powers.

But the six major BCS conferences believed that they were going to be able to put one of those uppity mid-major schools in its place when Oklahoma played Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

But of course, they forgot that Bob Stoopes was still the coach of the Sooners.

We all know how this story goes. Boise State gets big lead. Boise State blows lead. Miracle finish. Ian Johnson proposes to his girl friend. The end.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Post Mortem: Parity Rules!

Hats off to the new NFL tradition of closing your stadium with a loss. The Cowboys played like, well the Tony Romo-led Cowboys during the closing of Texas Stadium. So Eli Messiah figured he could do one better by completely embarrassing himself against one of the biggest underachieving teams in the league to close out Giants Stadium.

Well done, Eli. That contract that the Giants are stuck with likely will not kill them during the uncapped year. But he is hoping that the salary cap does not shrink post lockout in 2011.

But seriously, the Giants had a playoff berth on the line and that was effort you put out? Against the Panthers were who were already mailing it in?

And speaking of the playoffs, what happened to all of this parity? One week left in the regular season and the NFC playoff players are already set? Sure, there is still a scramble for the NFC East, but there is nothing compelling after the Vikings closed the door by locking up the No. 2 spot on Monday night. (Alright, Arizona could land the No. 2 seed, but that looks like the Eagles to lose at this point. But who knows.)

The AFC has some intrigue. There is something to be said about the Broncos have the No. 5 spot at the moment, ahead of Raven and the Jets. Hilariously though, if those three teams tied, Raven would leap over the Broncos. So there is that.

But when the Raiders are a player in the final week of the season – as a possible spoiler – then you do not have much to crow about.

NBC flexed the Jets and Bengals game into the mix, but honestly, why not move the Raiders-Raven to the prime time spot? If the Redskins can have back-to-back prime time games, give Charlie Frye his chance to shine, people.

And can we say something about the Jets here? How lucky are the Jets that they have the most fortuitous schedule outside of the Giants? The Colts when they are laying down, followed by the Bengals when they could care less. Awesome stuff guys.

Giants ownership is already pissed about the Jets good fortune and is demanding a December which will include Rutgers in 2010.

The Giants might be granted that wish.

AND FINALLY, what the hell Vikings. That looks like it could end up coming back on Brett Favre, but this loss was not on him. He played well enough to win. But where is the Vikings defense? You let Jay Cutler do that to you? Antonie Winfield ... you should be ashamed.

Like I said above, though, the Birds have a chance for a No. 2 seed if they beat the Packers and the Eagles lose. So this turned out to be a good thing

Top Moments of the Decade No. 4: Patriots win Super Bowl

Professional football was out of California in 1995. And it was bittersweet.

The Raiders moved during the summer, and the celebration I believe must have rivaled those in France and other parts of Europe in 1945. The move should have been met with a ticker-tape parade. A huge cloud was lifted off the shoulders of the Southern California sports fans. The worst fans in the history of the world no longer had a team to cheer for.

At least not here. The Raiders were back where they belonged in the Detroit of California. (Oakland's true nickname, mind you.)

True, the inbred Raiders fans still drove around town in their jacked-up trucks, voicing their social protests via Calvin pissing stickers, we were not forced to have NFL games blacked out so that 40,000 pieces of evidence to the missing link could watch their favorite football team.

But there was some sorrow. The Los Angeles Rams folded, like a real-life version of Major League. And the fans who followed the team were unable to follow that new expansion franchise in St. Louis.

Even if they did try to use the same logo.

Those fans received some unlikely help from our enemies in New England. For years, the Celtics and Lakers had one of the top rivalries in sports. The Red Sox tormented the Angels franchise since 1986.

But it was the New England Patriots who gave some closure to those Southern California football fans with one playoff run.

The Patriots knocked off the Raiders and then the St. Louis FC in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.

While many of us will never witness our team win a Super Bowl championship in our lifetime, this was damn close.

So for one night -- in the New York, New York piano bar -- we celebrated with our chowder brothers. And it was good.

Oh yes, it was good.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

First Look: Caldwell Did Right Thing

Many of you are questioning Colts coach Jim Caldwell for his decision to rest his starters, perfect season be damned. He did the right thing. For starters, going perfect during the regular season and losing during the first home playoff game would be too much for Gomer and the Colts.

The stigma of being a loser who never wins in the playoffs would be too much for Gomer.

Now, going 15-1 or 14-2, bowing out in the first round will seem like every other Colts playoff collapse.

And honestly, you know that it is coming. Either the Steelers will squeak into the playoffs and knock off the Colts. Or the Patriots will take the No. 4 seed and beat them. Come on, is there any other way this could possibly end?

Caldwell had to protect the long-term psyche of his player. He could not risk the though of going 16-0 in the regular season, 0-1 in the playoffs. Good move.

Oh, and can we stop calling Eli Messiah an elite quarterback? Just wow. Having the Cowboys in the playoffs is almost worth it if it means that the Giants have been eliminated. Oh, and how much are you paying for your quarterback?

Top Moments of the Decade No. 5: Super Bowl 37

One Sunday afternoon put the entire Raiders mystique to bed -- January 26, 2003. The Raiders had seemingly put the whole 'Tuck Rule' to rest, Al Davis was proven correct for firing ... err... trading Jon Gruden to the Buccaneers. And the 'Greatness of the Raiders' was going to be restored to all of its glory.

Except for one thing.

They needed to play (and win the game).

Center Barrett Robbins apparently knew what was coming, he skipped town and went -- as legend goes -- to Tijuana. Or Pacific Beach. Or a donkey show in Santee. Not that it mattered, the rest of the Raiders offense was missing for most of the day.

He might be dead now. And I do not care enough to look it up.

While the Buccaneers defenders were not in the Raiders' huddle, cameras caught the John Lynch bragging about how the Raiders never bothered to change the language on their calls. Yeah, hard to imagine the Raiders not being prepared.

The Raiders probably would have fared better with Gruden on its sideline.

The Buccaneers put a 48-21 beating on the Raiders, and while that was clearly satisfying. Nothing topped watching the endless drones of Raiders fans filing out of Qualcomm Stadium crestfallen, and not able to even mutter the most mundane of expletives that typically touched their herpes-infest lips.

The myth of the Raiders died that day. The Raiders have not had a winning season, nor reached the playoffs since that time. Even the thugs that formerly brandished their gear found something more manly -- like Sacramento Monarchs gear.

Oh, and they stopped selling beer at halftime.

Partly because they did not want to have a riot. But mostly because Raiders fans kept trying to use food stamps and their return Grayhound tickets to purchase hooch.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Weak Ender: LIVE!

This picture of Marisa Miller from the ESPYs leads me to one question – they already filmed the ESPYs? The most self-serving of award shows (even more so than the Golden Globes) looks even worse in my estimation by being staged.

Filming on the dead day of sports (the Wednesday after the All-Star game when there is no sports at all going on) seems like a solid play. But why the hell is this award show taped? Are they afraid that some jilted mistress will come into the joint and blow away her millionaire boyfriend? (Though, that would be cool.) Are they afraid that somebody will mention how much they hate Chris Berman?

These are only reasons why the ESPYs should be shown live.
Who wouldn’t watch this on a Wednesday night with nothing going on? The guy on ESPN radio filling in for Calvin Cowherd today made another interesting point, why doesn’t the NBA have it’s draft on the Wednesday after the All-Star Game? The obvious answer is that the WNBA had a full slate of games (again, no major sporting events happen on the dead day of sports), but come on.

(And that’s a rant for another day. In this economy, why are they still wasting money on things like the WNBA?)

This just doesn’t seem to make sense. But this is ESPN. They are writing all of the rules right now.

MANNY RAMIREZ returned to Dodger Stadium on Thursday and was welcomed with open arms. Some are calling Dodgers fans hypocrites for not jeering Ramirez after the years of abuse heaped on Barry Bonds.

And while this may seem wrong, I’m going to back Dodger Fan here.

People seem to forget that Barry Bonds was a huge d-bag well before he ever stuck a needle in his bum. Bonds was a wife beater who through his wife down a flight of stairs. This is why people hate Barry Bonds. The steroids were just a bonus.

And come on, everybody has a juicer or two. You’d be na├»ve to think otherwise. So Dodger Fan, there was no harm welcoming back Manny Ramirez. If Garret Anderson was ever found to have used steroids, I would be disappointed, but I’d still likely forgive him.

ALRIGHT, THAT was a pretty good pitch by President Obama on Tuesday night. That sweeping curve would have had a right-handed hitting batter flailing.

AND FINALLY, the Tony RomoJessica Simpson breakup has received little attention here, and rightly so. People believe that now that Romo has lost his two biggest divas – Simpson and T.O. – he is on the verge of a big season.

Yeah, we will see that when we believe it. Romo was still up in Lake Tahoe this week swinging the sticks in the Pro-Am. And sure, Ben Roethlisberger was up there, too, but Big Ben was won a pair of Super Bowls during his brief NFL career. Camps are coming up, for sure. The players also have a right to get away.
But if you want to prove that you are dedicated to your team and getting back to the playoffs, maybe you can skip the golf tournament this year. You can still play golf, but how about going off the grid for a few weeks until the season starts? That shows me that Romo still doesn’t quite get what it means to be an NFL quarterback.

Truthfully, he might never do it.

Romo is without his convenient excuses this year. Romo has nobody to blame but himself when he falls on his face this season.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Word About the All-Star Game

That stupid 2002 All-Star Game. All Bud Selig had to do was pull out the pitching screen and settle an all-star tie with a home run contest.

No, he had to call the game and then this all happened.

The All-Star Game suddenly needed to matter again. When the game certainly did not. Honestly, how much heat would Selig have taken if he would have settled the 2002 All-Star Game with a home run contest? Some would have taken shots. Especially those who just want to complain about everything.

But you could imagine that most people would have had a laugh, enjoyed the outcome and gone on with their lives. But that tie stuck with people worse than the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

Come on, this was an All-Star Game. Nobody cares if the Pro Bowl, NHL or NBA All-Star Games end in a tie. But baseball had to overreact.

Because of that, Chone Figgins didn't get into the 2009 All-Star Game. Figgins had to scramble for a noon flight on Tuesday, fly to St. Louis and get to Busch Stadium with only minutes to spare. All to just sit on the bench and watch the game.

Some are going to blame Tampa Bay coach Joe Maddon. But you cannot. He had to save his bench in case of a tie and that indignity. So do not be too harsh on Joe. The Angels fans are not going to let him off the hook. But if the upside is getting Roy Halladay and an AL pennant, then it's all good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yankees Fans Totally Rational

Seriously, if you listened to AM 830 (the Angels flagship) this morning, the Yankees fans comments echoed what many of them are saying here ... "You aren't good enough to beat the Red Sox."

What has happened that the Yankees have become so frustrated with the Angels that they are leaning on the Red Sox?

But this is by far my favorite comment of the day, taken from Pinstripe Alley. The blog is good, but this comment just killed me and ranks high for unintentional comedy.

year after year they play this team they are beaten soundly, especially when they go to the OC, I really wasn’t surprised. I actually was hoping for 1 win but I guess that was reaching on my part.
What really concerns me is the fact that they have to go out there during countdown time (Sept 21-23…actually Sept 18-23 but the 21-23 is against the Angels) and play them again. TPTB with Major league Baseball had to have known what they were doing because that could become a huge scenario especially if they need a few wins to even make the playoffs. Bud and his buddies must have said “How can we keep them out of the playoffs again” and someone said..“oh……. have them play the Angels in late September”"!!
The Yankees better get real good in the 2nd half b/c that series could kill them!!


Honestly, the powers that be in the MLB want to keep the Yankees out of the playoffs? Priceless.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Post Mortem: Yanks Get Money's Worth

There was a great illustration of what the Yankees have been paying for all of these years in the seventh inning of yesterday's game. The Yankees had bases loaded, no outs, with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez coming to the plate.

Did anybody, anywhere expect the Yankees to score here?

I had a text message all ready for Reader Matt P., but didn't want to jinx anything, so I never sent it. But this situation was more perfectly scripted than Saturday night's UFC title "fight."

Teixeira struck out. A-Rod hit into a double play. And in the drafts of my text folders sat this unsent message: the (rhymes with bunt) strikes out, a-rod dp.

And for an added bonus, A-Rod struck out to end the game, too. In fact, that was such a forgone conclusion that KCOP started airing the postgame show while A-Rod was going through the pretense of pretending to be a Major League player. C.C. Safattia allowing five runs in just over six innings. And legions of Yankees fans once again filed out of Angels Stadium having watched their $200 million team lose to the Angels again.

The Angels without soon-to-be AL MVP Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera and Vlade. The Yankees were out-slugged by Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood.

At what point do Yankees fans stop enduring the kick to the groin that the Angels continue to deliver time after time. Every time the Yankees come to Anaheim, they look like that passed out chick with the magic marker drawings on her face in those anti-drug ads. But those East Coast morons continue to spend their money to come to the game and watch their team lose. But maybe it is a fitting memorial for the Yankees fans. Most of them are losers who couldn't hack it in their hometown, so they had to flee to Southern California to try to start over.

Right now, you would have to imagine that Teixeira would like to do that, but it's too late. The Angels are much better off without Teixeira. Kendry Morales has proven to be his equal and, let's face it, Morales is actually clutch. And he doesn't need a bogus stadium to inflate his home run totals.

HOW SWEET was it that Derek Jeter's error led to Aybar's heroics on Friday night? For those who missed it, Jeter dropped a popup by Angels catcher Mike Napoli. Aybar then hit a three-run home run in the extended inning that pushed the Angels over the top.

Of course, most of you did miss it because an error by Jeter is hidden like the microfilm of the JFK assassination that Sean Connery hid in that church pew in Fort Walton, Kansas in The Rock. If the situation was reversed, we'd have an Outside the Lines special on the grit of the Yankees and how they turn any error into their advantage. Instead, FOX and ESPN hid the story.

And notice, the Angels were close to throwing the ball away on Sunday, but the Yankees couldn't capitalize on those mistakes.

AGAIN IS anybody buying that the UFC is real? Brock Lesnar was in the title fight on Saturday night. Who was his opponent, the Rock? HHH? The Greek actually saw the fight and said that after Lesnar won, he flipped off the crowd. The Greek surmised that Lesnar should change his name to Stone Cold and have his wife Sable toss him beers after each winning, taking a turn on all eight of the ring posts.

That's not a bad idea.

AND FINALLY, why are they still showing Billy Mays commericals? Billy Mays here, uh, no you are not. Does this seem wrong to anybody else?


Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Weak Ender: Erin Andrews Takes Balls on Chin

Sorry it turns out it was one ball, singular.

Ah man, see all of the great things happen when you go on staycation. Erin Andrews was hit in the chin with a foul ball.

And there isn't any video of this?

And pity poor Mets infielder Alex Cora who hit the ball. The internets are full of people with unhealthy and irrational obsessions with Ms. Andrews. Cora probably has numerous hate groups organized on Facebook right now. I know, I learned the hard way when I dared to mention that Andrews might not be the hottest chicks in the world.

This is just one of those things that I'll never get. Much like the plot of LOST.

AND FINALLY, yeah I know, not much here. But there isn't much going on and like I said, I'm in the middle of a staycation so I'm limiting my computer time. But one thing I have seen scrawled across the screens is Chad Ochocinco's intention of Tweeting during NFL games.

On one hand, you hate to see an attention-seeking receiver make a bigger fool of himself by attempting to stay connected during a game. But on the other hand, you really like to see somebody tweak the ultra-conservative NFL. And really, you have to believe the NFL is likely most upset about Ochocinco's intention mainly because the league cannot make a buck off of it. Because you had better believe it, if the NFL could make any sort of money from No. 85 using Twitter during a game, then you the league certainly would.

And really, the NFL has sideline reporters stationed behind the benches to get the latest scoop during NFL broadcasts. So why would the league even care if somebody was using Twitter during the game? A Tweet from a player seems to be much better than a sideline reporter overhearing a conversation. But again, it's the money.

My guess, the NFL makes Twitter pay money to have players Tweet during the games. Maybe that's not as sexy as having Erin Andrews catch batting practice with her chin. But this could generate a new revenue stream for the league.

Ron Artest is Crazy

Ron Artest is nuts. News flash, I'm sure. Like what other mysteries of the world could I possible impart on the world? Tiger Woods is good at golf. Marisa Miller is hot. And A-Rod likes manly chicks so much, he should start dating one of the Williams brothers.

So we get it, Artest is nuts. But he went completely overboard during his opening news conference with the Lakers.

Artest alluded to the notion that he was underpaid (by NBA standards) but admitted that if you can't live on $33 million, then you cannot live on anything.

Wait, what? An NBA player admitting that having millions of money is enough? That should never happen. Remember, it was Patrick Ewing who said that NBA players might make a lot of money, but they also spend a lot, too. Yes, in child support. However, Ewing is so hard-up for money, though, he's selling out for Snickers.

This is truly troubling. An NBA player claiming that being rich is a good enough. This reads like an Onion or Sports Pickle spoof article because a.) you would never expect an NBA player to admit this and 2.) you wouldn't expect that player to be Artest.

For some reason, though, I'm expecting good things from the Artest era. So much so, that I'm already looking forward to next year's playoffs.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Death Does Not Equal Hall of Fame

For starters, isn't it funny how Michael Jackson is forgiven for his egregious actions with children following his death, while a perceived good guy like Steve McNair is looking like a bigger a-hole in death?

Maybe you should live life as a d-bag because death seems to be the ultimate cleanser.

And with that, some people like to believe that death increases your Hall of Fame credentials. Though, that has been proven on occasion. Just look at Bob Hayes and Art Monk. Former Redskins safety Sean Taylor also got a sweep of Hall of Fame sentiment after he was gunned down (and was omitted from that earlier rant). People have obviously regained their senses about that one. Seriously, he ran over a punter in the Pro Bowl. Whoopie!

Now people are trying to get McNair into the Hall of Fame. Please stop people. McNair was a pretty good quarterback and did some great things. But the criteria should be, can you tell the history of the NFL without this person? And really, you can. Coming from Alcorn State was a great story, but not greater than say, Doug Williams -- who also has the caveat of having a Super Bowl win. And really, if you are going to be a quarterback in the Hall of Fame without a Super Bowl title, you had better be damn special. But compared to his peers, McNair does not stand out.

You cannot blame people for their knee-jerk reaction to stories like this. McNair's death is hitting some hard. However, that doesn't mean that the Pro Football Hall of Fame should lower its standards.

The Post Mortem: People are Working Today?

Though, that might be a very liberal interpretation. The Summer of THN, however, continues to roll on with a week-long vacation. But, I know that some of you want to make Steve McNair jokes, but want somebody else to be the bad guy, so let me take a break from my siesta to drop some knowledge.

If the editors in Nashville have any balls, the headline following McNair's funeral will read, "Air McNair grounded for ever."

There is no way that it is too soon. You should have read my Twitter entry moments after everything went down.

I don't wan to make light of the situation, but when you consider Rae Carruth, O.J. Simpson, Leonard Little, Ray Lewis' posse, Donte' Stallworth, Michael Vick, etc., it's nice to get one in our ledger joining Fred Lane's widow.

McNair will get a patch or armband from the Titans. What does Stallworth's victim get? Sorry, I just cannot get too worked up over this. Yes, it's sad when somebody dies. But it happens every day. The guy was dating a woman while he was married and this is the kind of stuff that can happen. I will always appreciate McNair's talents on the field, but you aren't getting me to bite on this story.

But you know who is likely really pissed right now? Brett Favre. He was probably going to announce his return this week, but cannot do it. Not without being accused of acting like an attention whore, trying to steal the spotlight away from McNair's passing.

AND FINALLY, yeah, cutting it short right now because my XX bottle is starting to bleed. But eBay and Craig's List will not allow people to sell their Michael Jackson memorial tickets. WTF. Everybody else is in the world is allowed to profit from his death, but we aren't?

Oh, and for the record, Michael Jackson's post-Jackson Five music blew. So now, I will not respect his talent.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Weak Ender: Happy Fourth!

There is nothing like starting the Fourth of July weekend with a photo of an All-American girl at an All-American sporting event.

Oh wait.

But as Earl Bloom over at the From the Dugout blog says, you have to dig that form. You don't learn that in Russia.

Hopefully by the time you are reading this, Brett Favre has already signed his deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Both team and player trying to sneak this deal across at the last moment. And really, you hope that is true so that you suckers still working today have something to read about.

READ A blog post from Jamie Dukes on NFL.com. Weird, for sure.

Dukes -- if you are not sure who he is, played in the NFL I believe -- is under the assumption that players and entertainers are people too, and that we should give them a break when an athlete breaks the law or acts against the social norms.

That's a great thought and everything. These young kids are given millions overnight and you can imagine that they will probably run wild.

However, all of the money in the world would not make me build a fake Disneyland at my house to lure kids over in order to molest them. All of the money in the world would not lead me to start a dog-fighting ring. All of the money in the world would mean that I would always call a cab. All of the money in the world would not lead me to shoot up a strip club. All of the money in the world would not lead me to have unprotected sex with numerous women and then not have enough to kick down for the abortion.

And maybe more importantly, all of the money in the world does not mean that I would kill my ex-wife and some poor waiter returning her sunglasses while children are sleeping upstairs.

Athletes are not normal people like us. Normal people like us go to jail when we make mistakes.

Enjoy your holiday.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Angels Top Organization

ESPN the Magazine ranked the top sports organization in sports and it should come as no surprise that the Angels are the top of the list.

What, were you expecting the Raiders?

Some teams preach commitment to excellence, others live it. The Angels are that organization. The Angels excel where organizations such as the Raiders and Dodgers lag far behind.

Here are some of the reasons given by ESPN the Magazine. A damn fine magazine that, although I have never read it, must be pretty good.

  • The fans love going to the stadium. The Angels have had a couple of incidents this year with a fan getting punched down the stairs and an off-duty cop (a Los Angeles cop, mind you) firing at some fans. But even with those incidents, an Angels game doesn't seem unsafe. There's never a take-your-life-in-your-hands feeling that you get from going to Dodger Stadium. And that's just on the drive up. Raiders violence is legendary and doesn't need embellishment. The only time there are really uneasiness at Angels Stadium is when the Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees are in town. Even then, the tide has turned so that Angels Stadium is at least half-filled with Angels fans now.

  • Angels fans also show up to games. The article mentions that even during a recession, the Angels have faced a dip of just over 200 fans per game. That antiquated notion of Angels fans not showing up in force clearly isn't at work here, even in this economy. Obviously this town supports a winner. Which isn't a bad thing. Why do people always complain when fans only support winners. That's what you should do.

  • Here's one of the kicker: Tickets to root-root-root for the 2009 Halos cost an average of just $20.05, and the total fan cost to attend an Angels game is the fifth lowest in MLB and 32% less than it costs to attend a Dodgers game. The fifth lowest in MLB. Dodgers fans are paying more money to drive to LA, risk their lives on the road and in the stadium, and the product hasn't reached the Angels level in recent years. Hard to believe that these teams lose money. And the Raiders, how do they even get fans in the stadium? Are these the kind of people that find prison showers welcoming?

  • Mike Scioscia Imagine that, having a competent field general leading your team. This is where the Angels kind of lose it for me. The team would be much better if they had a puppet in the manager's chair, with the actual decisions coming from Artie Moreno. Either that, or maybe the Angels could take the manager from the Ayres Inn on Douglas and make him the hitting coach. The Raiders basically did that with Tom Walsh a few years ago.

The biggest reason is the owners. Moreno lowered beer prices as his first act as owner. That makes Moreno seem like one of your drinking buddies is running the team. Like a cooler version of Mark Cuban -- sans the too-tight T-shirts. Moreno might boooze at the games, but he isn't in the dugout suites yelling at officials. He keeps the players happy for the most part unless they turn down generous contract offers like K-Rod and John Lackey did. Beer prices are fair with $6 Pacificos all over the stadium. The stadium food is good as the Ruby's chili cheese fries dominate. Parking is only $8, and the only real hassle comes with the d-bag trinity (Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees). Angels fans have it pretty good with Moreno. Take a look at some of the other owners in sports.

The Dodgers put all of its marketing into Mannywood, and he ended up testing positive for steroids. Note, the Rally Monkey will not test positive for steroids. You cannot tailgate in the parking lot, even after paying $20. Ticket prices are way higher. They put in a beach party in the upper deck (which should get more scorn in this space) and sold endless hotdogs during the height of the Swine Flu.

Making fun of Davis is too easy now. Davis does try, give him that, but time has past him by. Much like your uncle who still cracks racist jokes at Thanksgiving and forwards unflattering, off-color jokes about the President.

The Clippers and Donald Sterling are rated as the worst, just one step -- I figure -- ahead of the Raiders. The only difference between Davis and Sterling is that the Raiders do want to win. The Clippers are just another Hollywood accessory.

Angels fans should feel pretty fortunate for the situation that they have.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

JaMarcus Russell: Fat Load

JaMarcus Russell was starting to feel the heat this year when the Raiders brought in Jeff Garcia, and seemingly any available quarterback out there. In fact, Al Davis told his scouting staff to bring in that Shane Falco chap he enjoyed watching so much.

Message received.

Russell then decided to act like he wanted to keep his job. He told everybody to work hard. He told all of his teammates that they were going to get together for extra work, outside of OTA.

Russell looked like the model of commitment. Until he skipped the final day of voluntary minicamp.

And we know just how voluntary those workouts are. Kind of like when the boss drops those Girl Scout cookies forum on his desk. Or asks if you wouldn't mind coming in for a few hours on the weekends.

Russell always seemed more enamored with being a celebrity and being a pro football quarterback. Not so much on the working. Well, he won't have to worry about the later much longer. Russell is going to be watching Raiders games from the sidelines because Garcia is going to get that job.

THN Pays Tribute To Michael Jackson And The Gridiron Apocalypse Simultaneously!

With this video full of win!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Snakes on a Plane

Actually, that would be the least of your worries. Air Asia has signed a deal to sponsor the Oakland Raiders.

Air Asia does not, however, offer service to Oakland.

Seems that Al Davis had to go far out of his way to find a company that had no idea just how badly his team sucked. And he found it. In Asia. You would have to imagine that even the Somali pirates would have known better.

Now Air Asia passengers will be able to get on a plane with the Raiders logo. And I ask, is that really fair? Now, if you or I were at LAX and we saw Southwest roll up with a Raiders plane, we'd be like, "no way I'm getting on that (expletive) thing." Because we know better. Think of all of those unsuspecting Asian people getting on a Raiders plane and having no idea that it's doomed like a pass from Marc Wilson.

And really, we can all agree that one of these planes are going down, right?

Those Asian people getting on those planes are akin to all of those idiot tough guys with Chinese characters tattooed on their arms, not knowing what they really mean (normally small penis). But at least those morons get to live.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Post Mortem: That Was Cool for a Half

Can we be honest for a moment? Hating on soccer is so dated. Kind of like the Jim Rome Show. Which, incidentally, continues to hate on soccer though it has long since past fashionable.

With that in mind, the U.S. team's loss to Brazil on Sunday was a major disappointment. The U.S. soccer team gets the same kind of fans that say, the Los Angeles Kings enjoy. The team has a small number of loyal, hardcore fans. But when they win, the fringe fans come out in droves.

So it's little surprise that interest was high in (whatever the name of that) Cup Finals. And little surprise that the U.S. team came out strong, but faded down the stretch. The U.S. team is like one of those small college teams that is slugging with the big boys, but ends up folding down the stretch. Like a March Madness team that pulls a couple of upsets in the opening rounds of the opening tournament, but eventually falls to one of the sport's super powers.

And in the end, you wonder if anybody will remember those huge upsets, or if the sting of losing that two-goal lead will be what lingers. Right now, I'd lead towards the former.

Soccer has long been viewed as a low-scoring, snooze-fest. That's just not the case. Attach seven points to each goal scored on Sunday, and instead of a 3-2 squeaker, you get a nice, familiar 21-14 final.

That doesn't seem so dull does it? And imagine if teams got a fraction of a point for corner kicks.

This is a disappointing game for the U.S. on the scoreboard. And while I hate moral victories, you have to appreciate what the team pulled off.

Now, if the team flames out in the World Cup qualifying, then all bets are off.

HOPE YOU saw where Chad Ochocinco compared the death of Michael Jackson to 9/11. Having athletes communicate directly and eliminating "I was misquoted" is awesome. Now, Ochocinco eventually back-tracked on his statements. But come on, he made an analogy. Was it apt, but come on. That's pretty much the only argument I can think of right now. Sure it was bad, but come on. Come on is such a great way to end an argument.

THE BUCCANEERS are no longer in the Plaxico Burress sweepstakes. In other words, they hate winning. Sorry, Scott.

BILLS LB Paul Posluszny says don't believe the hype about Terrell Owens. The receiver has been a model teammate. And this is news? This is what they all say at the start. And then he becomes T.O. again. Just be sure to watch the Superstars this week. Oh yeah, he'll be back.

THE CHARGERS' version of the single-wing will be known as "The Frog," with LaDainian Tomlinson taking on the role of quarterback. Oh man, I'm so happy people don't want to take LT in fantasy leagues this year. He's going to have a monster year, people.

THE SAINTS are now clearly Drew Brees' team as he is becoming the top QB in club history. Have the Saints ever had a great quarterback? Maybe Kenny Stabler, but he was at the end of his career. Weird seeing the Saints with an actual legitimate quarterback. Because honestly, there isn't one that stands out in their history.

THE LIONS are trying to win fans over, inviting former season-ticket holders to minicamp in an effort to get them back. How about winning. That might do something to motivate fans to come back to the Lions. Or at least become Lions fans. Tickets to minicamp isn't going to cut it.

AND FINALLY, poor Michael Jackson. All of those tributes for him are now going to end now that Billy Mays has passed away and stolen the spotlight. Sure Jackson had sex with a lot of young boys wrote Thriller. But that was like 1982. Billy Mays was here and now. A true American icon we could all believe in.

Going to pour out some Oxiclean out right now for Billy. His wife should do a commercial. I'm the widow Mays ... did you know that Oxiclean gets the smell of death out of your house?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Weak Ender: Another Cannonball Member Gone?

That's right, no image in this week's ender. Take a moment and imagine the image of Farrah Fawcett, in her one piece bathing suit, flashing that beautiful smile. Probably one of the most lasting images of the 1970s.

There is no need to post that picture here because you can already picture it in your mind.

(And if you are too young to have been around for the 1970s, this is what we are talking about.)

The critics said that Charlie's Angels was the beginning of "Jiggle TV." A notion that sex sold on television. The only difference between that era of the 1970s and the current crop of bimbos is that those women were sexy. The mere image of Farrah in a one-piece bathing suit was titillating. Filled the fantasy of young men for a generation.

And to be honest, there are many who will contend that Farrah was the least of the three Charlie's Angels. They aren't wrong.

But that was a sexy era. Charlie's Angels. Battle of the Network Stars. A generation could be turned on by Farrah's one-piece. Charlene Tilton going into the dunk tank. Compare that to today's bimbos who have to garner attention by flashing their beavers when coming out of a parked car.

Going back to that poster, how many of you had that as one of your first posters? I had that, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders poster and a Go With the Rams poster on my wall. One day, I ripped (like slightly tore) one of my sister's Kiss posters (she had like 90 of them). My punishment from my mom was to allow my sister to rip every poster off my wall.

The Farrah one hurt the worst.

And years later, when I found out my sister was a lesbian, I'm surprised that she just didn't keep the poster.

For the record, I have not watched Cannonball Run since Dom died, so the next time I do, well, it will be dusty in the house.

AND SINCE we're being nice to Farrah, here's my take on Michael Jackson. I want to see the body. Michael sightings are going to dwarf Elvis sightings from years ago. Put that body on Hollywood Blvd., like Morgan Freeman in Unforgiven (not Tombstonee as I idiotically stated earlier). And speaking of that ... please, spell the name correctly on the tombstone.

THE CAVS are going to have some awesome pregame introductions, a point raised by Reader Matt P. But see people, I told you the NBA was fixed. The Association didn't want to give the fans LeBron vs. Kobe until Shaq came aboard. Who is laughing now?

THE CLIPPERS are going to regret passing on that point guard. Blake Griffin is not an NBA player. Patty Mills should have stayed in school.

AND FINALLY, a new feud? Chad Ochocinco vs. Shawne Merriman. Looks awesome!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Lesson on How to Deal With T.O.

Polish supermodel Joanna Krupa finally did something that Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo didn’t have the balls to do – tell T.O. that he sucked as a teammate. To his face.

“Un(expletive)believable” was one of the phrases uttered when Terrell Owens was making like Leon Lett on a cargo net, which nearly eliminated his team. (And you can bet that the producers were pissed that Owens is already out of the competition.) Owens and Krupa were teammates in the eight-team Superstars competition.

“I don’t want a teammate like that, who calls himself an athlete. What does he get a $1 million for?” Krupa asked.

When Owens tried to console Krupa, she told him to shut up. And really, if you lost to David Charvet in an athletic competition. But to the former Baywatch star’s credit, he was actually beating Owens before he got caught in the cargo net.

Krupa refused to talk after her team was eliminated (by Dan Cortez of all people, creating an 80s-shot of double trouble), saying she was going to be a “primmadonna” like her teammate who had earlier refused to talk after losing a kayak competition. (Really, why do you have to put the brothers in the water?)

But what does that say about our current NFL quarterbacks when it takes a supermodel to finally put T.O. in his place? Hopefully Bills QB Trent Edwards was paying attention.

This however, looks like my new favorite show. I like that team of Brandi Chastain and Juilo Iglesias Jr. looks like the team to beat so far. Though Jeff Kent looked pleased that he wasn't the biggest d-bag around for a change.

And yeah, we'd put some video up (it's making the rounds), but you know how we've done recently with the video.

Ah hell, this video will likely last for about 10 minutes.

Eric Dickerson can suck it

Eric Dickerson does not have a lot of love for Los Angeles. Still, to this day. (From TMZ.com, via Profootballtalk.com)

“First of all, L.A. don’t deserve a team,” Dickerson said. “They ain’t gonna support it.”

Dickerson then made an analogy.

“L.A. is like a bad kid,” Dickerson said. “[H]is ball is laying over there, he don’t wanna play with the ball. But when . . . somebody else picks the ball up, then he wants the ball.”

Dickerson then explained the success of the Lakers thusly: “When the Lakers are winning, it’s crowded. But when the Lakers are losing, you could roll a stick of dynamite in there and blow up nothing but the floor.”


He’s dead wrong about the Lakers. That team has always and will continue to always draw. And the Lakers will never be bad. The organization just won’t allow it. The Dodgers also draw three million people no matter what their record is. Orange County was supportive of the Rams, too.

But what could have sparked this outburst? Why was it particularly aimed at the Lakers? Still pissed at Georgia Frontandrearie/John Shaw for never giving him his money?

My guess is that Dickerson is still peeved that he wasn’t beloved in Southern California like Magic Johnson was during his tenure. Like Wayne Gretzky was when he arrived in town after Dickerson had left. The jealously is obviously still there.

Part of the problem, of course, could have been that Eric Dickerson was, well, a dick. Nobody liked him. Even Rams fans had a hard time warming up to the guy. I own an Eric Dickerson jersey, but it’s not like I would ever want to spend any amount of time with him.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yankees Fans: Can't Take Them Anywhere

The Post Mortem: Duval a hero?

David Duval’s run for the U.S. Open title brought out the full hyperbole of those who follow sports, calling it courageous and heart tugging. Duval was once thought to be a challenger of Tiger Woods, but fell off the map of the golfing world. Meaning that this story should have been a real tear-jerker. Until you realize one thing.

The dude plays golf for a living.

I don’t care how tough your life has become. I don’t care if you went from the No. 2 ranking in the world to No. 922. You are playing golf for a living.

Give your average schulb the opportunity to play golf for a living and most would gladly take it.

Have a tough day at the office? Who cares you are golfing. If you miss the cut, great, four day weekend!

There is no downside to finishing 65th in a tournament and then pocketing a check that is more than a lot of us making in the week.

So watching Duval out there with a new beer gut, and a lip full of dip might have been the only redeeming thing with Tiger struggling. But don’t call it courageous.

THE WEBSITE Pro Football Talk (or, Drew Rosenhaus’ personal blog … that is Michael Florio’s source) is reporting that Brett Favre has already signed a deal with the Vikings. Are we supposed to be surprised by any of this? There is no doubt that Favre and the Vikings have already agreed on the particulars. The only hangup is the arm. Favre is schedule to have an appointment with James Andrews this week to see how the arm is progressing.

ARE THEY really not going to name the new Omaha stadium Rosenblatt Stadium? Progress is one thing, but good God, you can’t put the Rosenblatt name on the new building? The ESPN announcers have been trying to justify it by saying that the College World Series is about Omaha, not necessarily Rosenblatt. That’s just ludicrous. Maybe if you are going with a different name, maybe you can go with Garrido Field or something. But it seems strange not to go with Rosenblatt. But given the lack of sentimentality in sports, it’s not really surprising.

AND FINALLY, thankfully the Dodgers were victorious on Saturday night in Anaheim. Normally, you don’t root for your team to lose, but if it is going to impact your wellbeing, well, you root for your life at that point. But to be perfectly frank, the Dodgers fans sitting on the club level on Saturday night were almost hospitable. We waxed poetic about the Lakers recent triumphs and how nearly everybody in the crowd on Saturday was watching that parade and cheering on the world champions later in the week.

And then some Dodgers fan starts throwing punches and nearly pushes a guy off the club level during an altercation, and all of that went away.

And as a reminder, start getting in the habit of dropping the “blogspot” off this site’s name.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Weak Ender: Tony Romo Fat?

Cowboys QB Tony Romo was ripped by offensive coordinator Jason Garret because of his conditioning. But it was just the outfit that he was wearing and those grandma jeans.

Don't worry, Romo will be in great shape once the season starts. How can he not because his girlfriend is in such killer shape.

Hey, it's not to say that Romo is out of shape, but the Cowboys are going to be introducing a third jersey -- a Cowboys jersey in Hawaiian print.

THE NFL made a surprising move the other day when Mr. Goodell suspended Browns WR Donte Stallworth. Can you believe that ... the NFL suspending a player for killing another person? That never happens. Normally you have to gamble or take diet pills for the NFL to get pissed.

Murder, however, is now against the league bylaws. That's good to know.

The league is suspending Stallworth who will serve a one-month jail sentence for taking another man's life.

Here's the thing, though. Stallworth got his sentenced reduced as part of a plea agreement with the victim's family. Stallworth will pay out tons of money, but only serve 30 days in jail. Can't Plaxico Burress do the same thing? And since he was the victim, can't he agree to a plea deal with the victim (himself) for a reduced sentence?

Why hasn't his lawyer thought of this already? Burress should be paying THN for this prime real estate advice.

BENGALS WR Chad Ochocinco is one, dumb SOB, but he is highly amusing. Ochocinco has been threatening to fight everybody from Mike Golic (can't blame him) to Solomon Wilcots. He's guaranteeing the playoffs (and he's right, the Bengals will be going to the playoffs) and now he's going to move in with QB Carson Palmer.

If Michael Strahan can get his own sit-com, then this perfect-strangers mix of 85 and Palmer should be highly entertaining.

HARD TO imagine news I'm more excited about then the proposed super baby of Tom Brady and Gisele. Still think Tommy Boy is making a huge mistake by having Gisele getting all stretched out while Bridget Moynahan is willing to take the brunt of the baby-making process. Think, man.

Here's the question, though. Which super Brady baby will end up being the better quarterback? This second kid probably ends up being taller.

EVERYBODY IS blaming A-Rod being off the juice for his recent (lack of) performance. And how do you like that Yankees, losing two of three at home to the Senators (I don't care). But the problem isn't A-Rod quitting the drugs. It's Yoko Hudson. But instead of ruining one of the greatest American rock bands of its generation, Hudson is ruining the Yankees. So at least she's giving back.

ANYBODY BUMMED that Sammy Sosa turned out to be a phony? He full us all. Well, at least he fooled me. Certainly some bitter White Sox fan will claim -- "he never got me." Fine. But Sammy seemed too good to be true. Turns out he was.

AND FINALLY, the Freeway Series returns to Anaheim Stadium. And let's hope that Dodger Fan got out enough angst during the Lakers parade to not even bother with coming to Anaheim.

Alyssa Milano is more than welcome to attend, though.

This is easily the worst series of the dreaded three Yankees-Red Sox-Dodgers. The East Coast a-holes are bad enough, but a Dodger Fan could end up taking your life.

Yes, even Milano if the wife ever catches me making eyes with her.

The Angels have proven that they can win the NL West, sweeping the Padres and Giants. This will truly be a test to see if the team is ready to play with the big boys. A barometer series if you will. The Dodgers maybe be a little inflated because they get a full season filling up on these creme puffs. So this is just as big of a series for them, too.

Should be fun. But hopefully those guys caught on tape thrashing a bus and newspaper boxes are still in jail and won't be able to make it to the game.

As a public service announcement, get ready to drop the blogspot. Start coming to the site through thehaternation.com from now on. In a matter of weeks, THN will be off the blogspot and will have its own unique name. Anybody excited? Didn't think so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Everybody Loves A Parade

Hard not to get chills while watching the victorious Lakers walk down the steps of the Coliseum to a sea of 90,000 purple-and-gold clad Lakers fans.

Thankfully all of them had their furloughs on Wednesday. Wasn't that convenient?

Watching the Lakers greats of the past combined with the new generation -- Pao Gasol and Adam Morrison are going to get me to watch a regular season game yet -- was just a sight to behold. A great day to be a Southern California sports fan. But a sad day, too.

Watching the city rally around the Lakers, you can't help but wonder why the region couldn't rally around an NFL team. Sure, you can make the argument that Southern California fans are too splintered. But seriously, 90,000 people at the Coliseum and hundreds of thousands more on the parade route?

And we still don't have a football team.

But then you realize that the NFL just isn't geared for Southern California. The Eastern seaboard and fly-over America is suited for the fickleness of the NFL. Teams are good one year, bad the next. That doesn't fly out here. Southern Californians have this weird notion that if you are going to pay $100 to watch a football team, that team must be good.

We're morons, right? We should bankrupt our cities even further by funneling money into a franchise that might go 8-8 one year, followed by a 5-11, with a 9-7 playoff team the following year.

Sports like the NBA and MLB are more suited for Southern California where the inequities of incomes and an hour-glass dispersal of teams are common place. The Lakers, Angels and Dodgers can spend the money to be competitive each year. (Though that doesn't explain the Clippers.)

You don't get that in the NFL.

But still, you have to wonder what the NFL in Los Angeles would be like with an owner like Robert Craft who has sustained excellence. Or maybe a team modeled after the Steelers -- a team that's in the playoffs seemingly every year. Of course, we would probably end up with a Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder.

So forgive me if I dream a little bit, if but for a moment. Pretending that this crowd was filling to Coliseum to welcome the 1999 Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

Live from the Lakers parade!






At least The Hatriot was man enough to defy his boss. With my former group that I was working for, Lakers Parade Day was an unofficial holiday. Not so much anymore. Stupid East Coast transplants.

Sure that money could have been used for a better purpose. But that's what rich people do. They got together and funded a parade for the Lakers celebration.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Artie Lange is my hero

Artie Lange was unbelievable during the premiere of Joe Buck Live on HBO. Buck, of course, is a pompous a-hole and was billed as the irreverent sports broadcaster.

How does that look now?

Buck has the sense of humor as your typical LDS stable boy. He knew what he was doing when he booked Lange on the show, so you can't really get too upset when he does what he does best.

Lange was spot-on in nearly every joke that he told at Buck's expense. And you guys know me, I don't typically work blue here, but I don't fold like a card table when somebody drops an f-bomb. It's just not my style, but I can still roll with punches.

Buck, an alleged professional, could not. Buck should be thanking Lange for making his dull show interesting. Honestly, if it wasn't for Brett Favre and Lange, this show would have been a complete disaster. No wonder Jack Buck faked his own death to distance himself from his son.

Beware, there is some salty language here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brett Favre is coming back. Maybe.

Brett Favre is coming back to the NFL.

Maybe.

The enigmatic quarterback appeared on Joe Buck Live on HBO and admitted that he was considering a return to the NFL, and that the Minnesota Vikings would make the most sense because of the offense that Brad Childress runs.

And yes, he knows that you are all growing tired of "Favre watch."

Favre, speaking for the first time since speculation began about his return, did clear up some rumors that had been circling recently. Favre confirmed that he had surgery 2-and-a-half weeks ago with Dr. James Andrews to repair his damaged shoulder. Favre also confirmed that a Vikings trainer visited him in Mississippi to go over some stretching and strengthening exercises for his shoulder.

Favre was even asked to attend the Vikings Organized Team Activities but chose not to attend because he did not want to create a media frenzy. Especially if his shoulder does not completely heel.

That injured shoulder will ultimately determine if Favre will return or not. Favre said that he gutted through the pain last season with the Jets, but would not go through that again.

But the Vikings? Favre said that it would be strange to wear the purple of the Vikings but pointed out that Vince Lombardi went to the Redskins and nobody called him a traitor.

Then again, NFL Network's Scott Hanson wasn't parked in front of Lombardi's house reporting about his flirtation with the Redskins.

Favre might have summed it up best though with one of his closing remarks, "It's football. It's not life and death."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Post Mortem: This One's For Chick

You can imagine that it got a little dusty at the THN headquarters when you stopped to ponder one thing.

Adam Morrison is now an NBA champion.

Only kidding. But this is the first true post-Chick Hearn championship that the Lakers have won. And something just doesn't feel right, but we're getting closer to healing.

To be honest, I don't have a big connection with this current Lakers squad. Though the car-flag honk in me became more enthused with a Lakers championship as it grew nearer. What can I say, a true Angelino at heart. But rolling down the 405 after the victory, the local 103.1 (yes, they still have local radio stations) blared, "I Love LA," "Another One Bites the Dust," "Dancing in the Streets," and an assortment of songs in celebration to the Lakers. The "I Love LA" was more fitting because it didn't really sing so much about this team, but about all of those great Lakers teams of the past. Winning in the Forum, the Boston Garden and Forum Blue. That moment gave a nod to those Lakers team that I loved in the past and helped me truly celebrate this championship.

And as Reader Matt P. put it, I can still hear Chick saying, "Your World Champion Los Angeles Lakers radio network." Yep, this is a good day to be a Lakers fan.

And imagine my chagrin when I was escorted out of the local Best Buy trying to boost a flat-screen television. I told them that I was rioting, but they weren't having any of it. This town sure doesn't know how to celebrate anymore. Though I did have a Randy Newman CD in my pocket.

The only thing really left to say now is suck it, Red. Hopefully Hitler and you shared a consolation cigar in hell watching Phil Jackson break your mark.

TORII HUNTER is the MVP of the league and there should be no debate about it. Whomever you think is more deserving, well, you are wrong.

THE STANLEY Cup Finals Game 7 was everything that you would want a finals to be. The only bummer is that most of my friends who still follow hockey are Red Wings fans. But that was the type of game hockey needs to get people fired up again.

And I am. In fact, I'm committed to following the NHL playoffs next year. If the Kings make it. So there you go. But I'll probably watch some regular season games and get back into it. Hey, baby steps here.

Speaking of local radio, I remember when KROQ played that Gary Glitter song that the Kings popularized in the 1990s (and was copied by every other team in the world after that) for an hour straight after the Kings defeated the Maple Leafs in the Campbell Conference finals.

BARRETT ROBBINS believes that if he didn't miss the Super Bowl, the Raiders would have beaten the Buccaneers. Yeah, not so much.

WHY WAS the Yankees victory over the Mets on Friday night considered one of the greatest games in MLB history? Because ESPN was certainly treating it that way. Holy Lord, it was a dropped pop fly. Does this mean that A-Rod is going to be considered clutch? Poor K-Rod, though.

THN PATRON Saint Jon Gruden is still spreading the word to youths at his recent football camp in Florida.

During a portion of the film session in which he was breaking down the skills of a series of quarterbacks, Gruden asked his audience whether anyone knew who drafted former LSU quarterback Jamarcus Russell.

"The Raiders,'' a few campers shouted. "That's right, the Raiders," Gruden said. "Anyone here like the Raiders?''

"No,'' the campers shouted back.

"Me neither,'' Gruden said.


AND FINALLY, the 1990s Cowboys still own Brett Favre. Check out this latest blast from Michael Irvin. The Hall of Fame receiver said that it was time for Favre to retire for good, while making the rounds promoting his new reality TV series "4th and Long" (via the Los Angeles Times):
    "Listen, Favre's 100 years old; stop this already.

    "This is what's killing everybody. Every time Favre says, 'I want to come back,' it's like everybody on ESPN says, 'Whatever team he says he wants to come to, he makes them automatically a Super Bowl contender.'

    "They said that same stuff last year with the Jets, and Favre gave out toward the end of the season.

    "I love Favre and I think he's been a phenomenal talent for a long time. But when I think about it now, I say, 'Stop it already.' I don't mind that you still want to play football, but do you want to play so much, and you want to get back at [Green Bay General Manager] Ted Thompson so much, that you're willing to go back into Lambeau and hurt those fans that supported you for so long?"

Irvin is the second member of the Hall of Fame to recently speak out against Favre. Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton was recently critical of Favre joining the Vikings. And by critical, we mean kicked the dude in the junk.

Some of you might agree with Irvin, but Favre did get hurt at the end of the season. And really, he's better than Tarvaris Jackson. A Super Bowl contender? That remains to be seen, but he's better than most of the jabronies out there right now. Honestly, do you think Trent Green wouldn't be a better option at this point? Why don't the old guys continue to get a chance? Jeff Garcia in Oakland, another old guy better than a current guy.

These so-called coaching gurus are so eager to develop the next great quarterback, they ignore some pretty damn good quarterbacks already in the league.

Thanks to Scott over at Buc Stats for the link.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Weak Ender: Kendra is pregnant

Former Girl Next Door Kendra Wilkinson is pregnant. And if Hef didn't know any better, he's going to start to believe that she was fooling around on him before they broke up.

But I'm a positive person who likes to believe in the best in people, so I'll pretend that Kendra and her fiance -- Hank Baskett? Reggie Brown? DeSean Jackson? -- just recently got pregnant.

Because really, who could do that to Hef?

Hopefully they can find a way to work this child rearing into a reality show, but the happy couple will likely just keep a low profile about the whole thing.

SPEAKING OF porn and football, Zero Tolerance Entertainment wants to place ads on the Texans' practice uniforms. ZTE is in the adult entertainment business. Not sure why anybody in the NFL would object to this since the league has been screwing the fans for years.

And that's not the weirdest thing to happen this week.

Rush Limbaugh could end up being the new owner of the St. Louis FC. And yet, it's still an improvement over Frontandrearie. One of my dear friends has been a life long FC fan, supporting the new branch in St. Louis. Can't even imagine what this is doing to him.

If Limbaugh is really interested in purchasing the FC, you could probably imagine many Missourians ready to help the team move out of town.

DEREK FISHER finally silenced the Lakers haters for good. Well, at least for this season. The Lakers won the NBA title on Thursday night, closing out the Magic in overtime for the second time in the series. Sure the Lakers need to win one more game, but the Magic are not winning three consecutive games. And they are not winning consecutive games in Los Angeles.

At least J.J. Manning is taking after his father's winning ways. He could find a dominating defense or Dominic Rhodes to gravy-train off.

Can't wait to see if Kobe comes out with a flow to challenge Shaq's "Tell me how my ass tastes."

CHAD OCHOCINCO did not get tattoos on his face, duping everybody into believing he had gone street rat crazy. Well, crazier. It's not like anybody thought Ochocinco was an intelligent guy anyway. But still, if you are on Twitter -- which my pals Lumps and Marc created -- you should follow his page.

ESPN THE Magazine is going to do an issue with sporting nudes, tastefully done. Of course. Yeah, this has been done before. Nobody cares. But it will be called the Body Issue. And if that's the case, Jessie Ventura had better be on that cover.

MARK SANCHEZ signed his deal with the Jets. No use getting too far ahead because the Super Bowl Buzz Kill will be starting soon. But, at least the top two quarterbacks picked are signed and ready for camp. That should give them a fighting chance.

AND FINALLY, probably the worst news possible in the Nick Adenhart car crash. The driver, Courtney Stewart had been drinking according to the OC Weekly. Not sure how this plays into everything. She wasn't legally drunk for a person of age, but was drunk for a minor. Stewart's mother was really damning of the driver that struck her daughter's car. But in some respects, this could have easily been reversed. This thing could get a whole lot uglier.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zach Morris on Jimmy Fallon



I know, I'm lazy this week.

Crowder calls Ryan a Joker

Jets coach Rex Ryan -- perhaps taking after his outspoken father Buddy Ryan -- has wasted no time add heat to the already hot AFC East rivalry. Ryan has taken shots at Patriots coach Bill Belichick and has got into a verbal war with Dolphins LB Channing Crowder.

Ryan told reporters on Tuesday that he wasn't even sure who Crowder was:
    "All I know is that he's all tatted up, so I guess I ought to be nervous about him. He's right about one thing: I am a first-time head coach, but I've been around the game all my life. I'm no different than I've ever been, just that more people are listening.

    "The other thing is I think he's wrong because I do think you win in June. I think you win with your preparation and all that kind of stuff. If I was younger, I'd probably handle him myself."

Crowder, as you can imagine, wasn't impressed with Ryan's response and responded to the Miami Herald.
    ''Oh, Lord have mercy. What's wrong with him? Now he's talking about preparation? We play them twice this year. If he wants to be prepared, shouldn't he know the starting middle linebackers of his division rival?


    ''He says he'd take care of me if he was younger? I'd have beat the hell out of that big old joker. Or if he really wants to get retro, my daddy or my uncle could have handled him. Don't get big. Win with preparation? Start watching some tape and learn who your rival is. Come on now.''

We all realize that Rex is going to end up just like his daddy. I remember when Buddy was the coach of the Cardinals. He was running his mouth talking about how he was going to win the NFC East and all of that nonsense. So what happened in Week 1? The Rams beat the Cardinals 14-12. And mind you, this was during the "Major League" era of the Rams when John Shaw and Georgia Frontandrearie were offering the worst product imaginable to justify shopping the franchise around.

Some other news and notes around the Web this morning:

  • Jets RB Leon Washington is hinting of a holdout. Thomas Jones is already pissed. Watch the rookie in New York get that gig.

  • Eagles coach Andy Reid is wary of RB Brian Westbrook's injury, but remains optimistic. Yeah, I don't. LeSean McCoy is a name you should be familiar with.

  • Ravens TE L.J. Smith wants to prove that he's not injury prone. Here's a way to do that ... stop getting injured! But pairing yourself with TE Todd Heap will make you seem much less injury-prone by comparison.
  • The time is now for Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell and 49ers QB Alex Smith to show their stuff. But I'm not holding my breath.
  • I don't have a link for this, but Archie Manning was on Calvin Cowherd on Tuesday, explaing that it was the Giants defense that let down his boy, Eli. Way to point fingers you twit. How does he get away with this? The defense that Archie called out was the same defense that gave his boy a Super Bowl title. He should show some bloody respect.

Vote for Suzuki

One of Jon Wilhite's closest friends is current Oakland A's catcher Kurt Suzuki. Both men were Cal State Fullerton teammates, and fellow walk-ons together in 2004. Suzuki has spearheaded an effort to raise money for Wilhite's rehabilitation with a auction that you can find here.

You might notice that Jonathan Papelbon has donated a jersey to auction. So there goes another one of the players we love to hate turning out to be a good guy. Papelbon played at Goodwin Field as a member of Mississippi State (or so I have been told). I think it's fair to say that we will continue to root against Papelbon on the field, but have to applaud the guy for his efforts here. Instead, we'll just have to hate Josh Beckett.

Wilhite has fans to vote Suzuki for the All-Star game as a thank you for all of his efforts.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Best Post Ever Written for THN*

Fletch here. Remember me? I mostly stick to writing about movies over at Blog Cabins (and comments here), but I just couldn't resist writing this rant the other day, and I knew Adam could use a day off, so I sent it his way. Luckily, the Godfather approved it. Now sit back and enjoy the history being made.

Over the past few weeks and months, I've toyed with the idea of setting up a blog called Instant History. See, during that time, there have been a few events (the Bulls-Celtics series, LeBron James' Game 2 ending 3-pointer) that have made many in the media go batsh*t crazy, calling whatever just happened "the best ____ to ever happen!"

February's Super Bowl between the Cardinals and the Steelers? You guessed it - possibly the best ever! George W. Bush? "The worst President ever!" Some random performance by a golfer shooting 60 - best ever!

Now I'm no historian, and as you might tell by my movie tastes, I'm certainly not one of those people that claims that everything that happened in the past is better just because it happened in the past. Fact is, these things were made for arguing - no one can ever be right because I'm afraid we can't actually have a 30-year old Michael Jordan and today's Kobe Bryant go out on the court and play one-on-one. Just like no one can honestly say if one series of seven NBA playoff games played in 2009 is better than some series played in 1982, or whatever. So why the endless hyperbole and focus on whatever the flavor of the month is? Up may be great, but I better not hear anyone calling it the "best animated movie ever" (or even in Pixar's ouevre), without at least a few years in which to give perspective. Just call it really good and get it over with.

The latest chapter in this annoying saga is different, but still the same. The San Francisco Giants Randy Johnson just won his 300th game last week, becoming just the 24th pitcher in major league history to do so. Truly an impressive feat, and something that's happened only a handful of times over the last few decades. Helping those dwindling numbers is the style of baseball played over that time, in which we've seen starting pitchers throw for fewer overall starts and fewer innings per start. Not many current active players are projected to even come close to 300 wins, much less reach it.

So what does this mean? Obviously, according to several sources, that WE WILL NEVER SEE ANOTHER 300 GAME WINNER!

Really?? Never? Are you sure you want to use that word? Be my guest and say something along the lines of "it's likely that we won't see another player reach 300 wins in our lifetime." That's perfectly plausible, if not likely. But never's a mighty long time, and the arrogance it takes to claim that something will never be seen again, just because the current landscape doesn't project it, appalls me. Who's to say that baseball doesn't at some point revert back to a 4-man rotation, thus giving pitchers 5-8 more starts per year? Who's to say that average pitch counts don't rise up yet again when someone realizes that "100 pitches" means nothing in terms of long-term pitcher health when compared to, say, 125 pitches? Who's to say that MLB doesn't (god forbid) lengthen the season to 184 games in 2085? And, most likely (and the thing I'd really like to see), who's to say that some phenom (perhaps the one getting a ton of buzz for the 2009 draft) doesn't barnstorm through MLB hitters like Tiger Woods did the PGA and win 20 games a year for his first 7 years?

No one knows the future. Truth is, we MIGHT NEVER SEE ANOTHER 250 GAME WINNER! But I sure as hell don't want to make that claim with the only assurance I have being that no one will remember what I wrote and when I wrote it. Why are so many others so quick to?

And hey - no stealing my Instant History blog idea - that thing's gold.