Famers on the Fringe, Part V

>> Saturday

Alright, let's get the last act of this worn-out gimmick out of the way. (Thankfully, it's 60% copy and paste.)

With this year's Hall of Fame ballots due on Dec. 31, ESPN.com takes a closer look at four hotly-debated cases: Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Goose Gossage--all players who received more than 50% of the vote last year.

So while they waste their time doing that, we at YCS lalalalala lalala la something something something something la la.

December 26 -- Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill
December 27 -- Eric Davis and Devon White
December 28 -- Wally Joyner and Dante Bichette
December 29 -- Bobby Witt and Harold Baines
December 30 -- Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti

December 30--The Whisteblowers

Ken Caminiti

The case for Caminiti:
Four words: No lengthy induction speech!

The case against Caminiti:
Ugh. The beard. I mean, did he really think that was a good look? Gag. Other than that, I can't think of any reason he wouldn't've gotten in.

Jose Canseco

The case for Canseco:
You talk about an athlete! Man, the muscles on that guy were just something. That sculpted physique he had when he first broke onto the scene--no one had ever seen anything like him before. It was almost like it couldn't be real. Plus, let's look at the name literally: "Baseball Hall of Fame." Did Canseco not play baseball? Is Canseco not extremely famous? Is there not a hall where we honor these famous baseball players? Well, there is. It's called the Baseball Hall of Fame, and that's exactly where Canseco belongs.

The case against Canseco:
Canseco was good, but to me, when I hear the name "Jose Canseco," that doesn't say Hall of Famer. To me, you know a Hall of Famer when he walks in the room. To me, a Hall of Famer looks like a Hall of Famer. Waves like a Hall of Famer. Smells like a Hall of Famer. To me, I should be able to watch one swing from his game action and be able to say "Hall of Famer." To me, I should be able to look at a zoomed-in, black-and-white photo of a player's cornea and say with certainty, "That's the magnified, black-and-white cornea of a Hall of Famer." To me, Canseco just wasn't one of those guys. To me, he's not a Hall of Famer. To me, he doesn't get my vote.

So that concludes our five-part series "Famers on the Fringe." You'll all be receiving your laminated hard copy as a special insert in our next issue.


Notre Dame story: This is not about Brady Quinn

Apparantly, not all Notre Dame students are as stiff as my first impression of them led me to believe.

Early Friday morning (or as any college student would call it, Thursday night), Irish starting point guard Kyle McAlarney was caught with a green leafy substance that is (I'm told) smoked with a glass pipe, bong or carefully carved apple.

A couple things come to mind with this story. First and foremost, I can't blame the guy. He was on Notre Dame's campus on a non-football day, where there can't be much to do other than study or play Tiger Woods 07.

Also the only reason McAlarney was pulled over was because he was speeding. Most of us learn in high school that if you have an illegal substance in your car, you should probably drive carefully. Of course, this begs the question to how the officer found the special shamrocks to begin with. Generally speaking, a white athlete pulled over in South Bend for speeding is not going to be subject to a full body search unless (a) the car smells like the art teacher, or (b) the subject is licking schnozberries off the windshield. If I were a Notre Dame fan, I would be more disappointed in Kyle's inability to smoke grass inconspicuously than anything else.

Anyways, we shall see how the school handles this situaion. Notre Dame God could not be reached for comment, but Baby Jesus was reported to be crying.


In the world of pre-written stories, shit like this tends to happen.

When I got home from work this morning and saw Michael Redd on the front page of ESPN.com I smiled (because of my love for the Bucks). The story was making the case for Redd as the Eastern Conference MVP thus far, so the link below it that read "LeBron: 32 drops Bucks" made me smile again (because of my love for irony).

But really, Marc Stein didn't really think this one out. He wrote a story about how Redd has played better than James, due to run the morning after the two played each other. Of course if you do that LeBron is going to score 32 points, Redd is going to shoot 5-16 from the field, and the Bucks are going to lose to the Cavs 109-99. But fuck it, let's run the story anyways.


Famers on the Fringe, Part IV

>> Friday

With this year's Hall of Fame ballots due on Dec. 31, ESPN.com takes a closer look at four hotly-debated cases: Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Goose Gossage--all players who received more than 50% of the vote last year.

So while they waste their time doing that, we at YCS are here to handle the other end of the spectrum--the guys with no shot.

December 26 -- Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill
December 27 -- Eric Davis and Devon White
December 28 -- Wally Joyner and Dante Bichette
December 29 -- Bobby Witt and Harold Baines
December 30 -- Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti

December 29--I've given up finding a connection between my random pairings of players

Bobby Witt

The case for Witt:
He's on the ballot, so I mean, he must've done something to deserve consideration. They don't just put these guys on there for playing a long time. What's that? They do? Oh...well, I mean, still--he must've done something good, right?

The case against Witt:
Who? Bobby Who? You mean Mike Witt? No? Bobby Fisher? Matt Fish? Chris Bosio? Hmm... don't remember him.

Harold Baines

On second thought, I don't feel like doing Baines.

Bobby Bonilla

The case for Bonilla:
In 1993, he signed a free agent contract with the Mets that made him the highest-paid player in the majors. You don't see nobodies getting the top contract in the majors. To me, that says, "This guys was making the most money in the majors at some point." And to me, that says, "Hall of Famer," no questions asked.

The case against Bonilla:
Bonilla was too talented and not nearly gritty enough to play on a Jim Leyland team, and that's why the Pirates never made the World Series in the early '90s. When the duo did win in '97, it was only because John Cangelosi was there to cancel out Bonilla. John Cangelosi should be in the Hall of Fame.


A New Rivalry in the Making???

In the eighties, we had the Celtics and Showtime. In the nineties, we were blessed with MJ's Bulls and John "Douchebag" Starks' Knicks. Then we went through a lull of rivalries in the NBA (Knicks-Heat, are you kidding?) until that jackass James Posey clothesline Luol Deng midway through the 4th quarter of the Bulls-Heat game Wednesday night.

This was not the only incident Posey has been involved in against the Bulls. In last years playoffs, Posey made Tie Domi proud by hip-checking Kirk Hinrich (who was about to finish off the Heat in game 4 with a breakaway layup) into the Heat bench. Posey, immediately was ejected and suspended for the next game by "David "Commish" Stern. During the "ring ceremony" game (which the Bulls pasted the Heat by 42), Posey broke the rook Tyrus Thomas' nose. Now, we has the balls the take out one of the Bulls "Dynamic British duo" (Gordon is the other).

To make things even more HEATed, Pat Riley and "Napoleon" Skiles have been at each other's throats the past two nights. Riley, talking about the unfortunate incident of Wade's sprained wrist, blamed Hinrich for grabbing Wade who was trying to get around a screen set up by Udonis Hasslem. It was "a tactic down below the body - the official can't see it."

In retaliation, Skiles (who has to still be fuming about his loss of hair at the tender age of 12) stated, "Pat's an expert on tactics, so I'll leave it at that." But of course, he didn't leave it at that. Skiles goes on to say that there's a signal being sent that they want to get Wade to the free throw line 50 times a game.

Now, in my humble opinion, the next time the Bulls play the Heat (there are two more games left), don't be surprised if Big Ben knocks the Vanilla out of Jason Williams as he drives in the paint(although, White Chocolate has always wanted to be chocolate, so he might send Big Ben a fruitcake after the game).

Trust me fellas, this is the start to a brutal rivalry. One that will get general sports fans interested in the NBA again. Lets just wait and see what the Bulls pitbull coach will have in store for those thugs from Miami next time they meet on the hardwood.


The NCAA Knows What's Best for Us Once Again

In this week's segment of stupid decisions with good intentions but not much thought, the NCAA has issued a directive calling for the cessation of using male athletes in practices for womens teams. Many women's teams use males as their "practice squad" because they believe that by playing against male athletes, who....who are we kidding? Are usually taller, faster, stronger, and more athletic to help their skirts...er.....dames....err....female scholarship players develop their skills against stronger competition. Friend of YCS Nick Warrichaet was one of these "stronger" "taller" and "faster" players, practicing for some time with Marquette womens' head coach Terri Mitchell.

The NCAA says that this reduces the opportunities for female athletes. Because we all know many women who pine away like Rudy wishing they could be on the practice squad for the womens' basketball team at a school not named UConn or Tennessee.

This is dumb. And Lieberman (not the Jewish Senator who talks like he has a gastrointestinal disorder) makes a pretty good point explaining why the NCAA has once again decided what is best for everyone.


Famers on the Fringe, Part III

>> Thursday

(That's "Famers," Matt, not "Framers." That's "Famers," Mike, not "Farmers.")

With this year's Hall of Fame ballots due on Dec. 31, ESPN.com takes a closer look at four hotly-debated cases: Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Goose Gossage--all players who received more than 50% of the vote last year.

So while they waste their time doing that, we at YCS are here to handle the other end of the spectrum--the guys with no shot.

December 26 -- Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill
December 27 -- Eric Davis and Devon White
December 28 -- Wally Joyner and Dante Bichette
December 29 -- Bobby Witt and Harold Baines
December 30 -- Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti

December 28--The Journeymen

Wally Joyner

The case for Joyner:
Joyner was honest in admitting his steroid use after his playing days ended. Electing Joyner would help combat the poor example of other, less honest major leaguers by showing kids that honesty truly is the best policy. And baseball, above all, is about kids.

The case against Joyner:
His name is Wally. That might be considered a boon to his case in some circles, but not in this reporter's humble opinion.

Dante Bichette

The case for Bichette:
He averaged .300, 30 HR, 120 RBI roughly during his seven-year run of dominance in Colorado. He also had a mullet, a big gap in his teeth, and a sweet homerun pose.

The case against Bichette:
He put up those numbers in Colorado. I could put up those numbers too if I played in Colorado. Pat's grandma could put up those numbers in Colorado. Pat's grandma carrying a piano on her shoulder, running backwards, and missing her left leg could put up those numbers if she'd played in Colorado. Literally. That's how thin the air is. It's that thin.

(I realized this bit lost whatever degree of funny it may have had two days ago, but there's no turning back now. I'm seeing it through, damn it!)


Move over, Jeter. There's a new "Most Overrated."

And it's Barry Zito, according to a Vinnie Illustrated scientific, non-random Vinnie poll.

What apalls me about this signing is not the sheer amount of money but the fact that there's a GM out there who believes Barry Zito is as valuable as Vernon Wells. Brian Sabean is the dumbest GM ever. That is, until someone else tops him next week. Maybe the Royals will give Gil Meche some kind of belated signing bonus.


Famers on the Fringe, Part II

>> Wednesday

With this year's Hall of Fame ballots due on Dec. 31, ESPN.com takes a closer look at four hotly-debated cases: Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Goose Gossage--all players who received more than 50% of the vote last year.

So while they waste their time doing that, we at YCS are here to handle the other end of the spectrum--the guys with no shot.

December 26 -- Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill
December 27 -- Eric Davis and Devon White
December 28 -- Wally Joyner and Dante Bichette
December 29 -- Bobby Witt and Harold Baines
December 30 -- Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti

December 27 -- Two Guys Who, uh, Both Played Outfield

Eric Davis

The case for Davis:
Eric Davis made it back to the majors after having colon cancer. That's right--he had cancer. He is a cancer survivor. Who would vote against a cancer survivor? What kind of person would vote against a cancer survivor? That's insensitive and un-American, and you can't do that. What kind of person are you that you would vote against a cancer survivor? Eric Davis had cancer.

The case against Davis:
Eric Davis tried too hard. After he busted his kidney in the 1990 World Series diving for a flyball, his Hall of Fame talent ceased producing Hall of Fame numbers. He serves as a lesson why you should coast on your natural abilities if you have them and leave the risky hustle stuff for Rudy and Eckstein.

Devon White

The case for White:
White has three championship rings, which, as everyone knows, are the true and only measure of greatness for any athlete. Especially in baseball, where individuals can control the entire game at any given instant. Devo was also the first ever Arizona Diamondback to play in the All-Star Game. That's right--the first, which means the best. Plus, he's Jamaican, and his nickname is one of my favorite bands.

The case against White:
Actually, I had nothing interesting or funny to say about Devon White. I'm not sure why I even tossed him into this little gag. Nope...I've got nothin'. Sorry.


Beckham to LA a done deal in Andrea Canales' mind, and in Microsoft Paint, but nowhere else

It appears that ESPN's Andrea Canales is trumpeting the immenent arrival of David Beckham in the states when the Winter Transfer Window opens on January 1, 2007.

Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it. Don't get me wrong, Canales has a relatively well-written article compared to some of the fluff pieces on the subject that are out there, but she makes a couple of big slipups.

Comment the foist
People get sidetracked into discussions as to whether such a move would torpedo the slim chance the famous midfielder might have to regain his spot on the English national team, whether such an arrival would do for MLS what Pele's once did for the North American Soccer League and whether Beckham would use such a transfer as an opportunity to launch a film career.

1.) I would be very surprised if Beckham ever suits up for England again. 2.) Pele in the NASL played to crowds much smaller than what MLS draws today. 3.) Movie career? Who the fuck is talking about that besides your friends at the beauty salon in a "Wouldn't it be dreamy if..." context? If Beckham on camera off the field is anything like he was like with Ali G, I would advise him to stay out of film. Especially in comedic roles. Beckham didn't even appear in "Bend it like Beckham," for crying out loud. They used game tape and a look-alike. Becks couldn't even play himself! That makes him a worse actor than Shawn Bradley. Maybe he can play extra #4.

Comment the second
Yet too many signs point in the direction of Beckham coming to MLS to be ignored.
It's not just that Beckham has lost his regular place with his club team, Real Madrid, and no doubt longs to be wanted, or perhaps even badly needed, as a player again.With the Beckhams having developed recent friendships with Hollywood power players, there's also the telling sign that his wife, Victoria, has also been spotted house hunting in Los Angeles.

So Becks is on the outs whilst riding pine in Madrid, and Real are looking to unload him. Yea, I'm sure that no other clubs would be interested in his services. Also, again with this movie thing? Yeesh. And also, Hoooooooooooooooooooooo shit! They're house-hunting in LA! People with as much money as the Beckhams couldn't POSSIBLY afford multiple homes! They're probably bubble-wrapping their dinnerware as we speak. Posh is probably writing "glasses" in magic marker on the boxes as we speak while David struggles with the tape.

Comment the Thoyd
Andrea Canales has overlooked the pretty necessary point that it is not up to Becks where he goes. Becks is not a free agent. He's still under contract with Real Madrid through the end of this season. To obtain his services, MLS would hav e to offer the folks at the Bernabeu a transfer fee, and it's up to them whether to take it or not. Is Beckham's value relatively low? You bet. You know what that means? That everyone has a shot. If MLS ponies up, say, a $14 million transfer fee, and a team treading water in the Premiership, say, Bolton Wanderers, whose home stadium is only slightly bigger than the Home Depot Center, (and whose finances are in much better shape than the Galaxy's,) offers a $20 million transfer fee, guess what? Becks ain't goin' to Cali'.

In conclusion, is it possible that the Home Depot Center is a destination? Sure. Is it likely? Perhaps. But let's wait till the ink is dry...or even bottled before declaring it a certainty. Especially when another MLS target, Portugal's Luis Figo recently signed with a Saudi Arabian club, disspelling rumors that he was heading to America.

Only a few weeks ago, the soccer-covering media jumped the gun in announcing who the next coach of the US National Team would be. Oh yea, how'd that turn out?

Fool me twice....


Sinatra vs. Ditka? That's a tough one, but what if Sinatra was signed by Ditka's label?

Mike Ditka is now a record producer. That is all.


Famers on the Fringe

>> Tuesday

(That's right--I'm ripping off an ESPN.com feature as they are currently running it, exact title and all. I'd like to see them try and stop me.)

With this year's Hall of Fame ballots due on Dec. 31, ESPN.com takes a closer look at four hotly-debated cases: Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Goose Gossage--all players who received more than 50% of the vote last year.

So while they waste their time doing that, we at YCS are here to handle the other end of the spectrum--the guys with no shot. And since we at YCS work twice as hard as everyone else in the industry (a baseless claim and full-fledged lie), we're giving you a double feature each day.

December 26 -- Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill
December 27 -- Eric Davis and Devon White
December 28 -- Wally Joyner and Dante Bichette
December 29 -- Bobby Witt and Harold Baines
December 30 -- Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti

December 26 -- True Yankees

Scott Brosius

The case for Brosius:
Brosius was a "true Yankee" who wore the pinstripes with class, dignity, pride, tradition, class, pride, adultness, grown-uptitude, tradition, pride, and absolutely
NO. FACIAL. HAIR. Like Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski, Brosius never wowed us with his numbers, but did hit when it mattered most...on one very precise, isolated occasion. His departure from the Yankees directly--and therefore causally--correlates to the franchise's sudden downturn during postseason play.

The case against Brosius:
Scott Brosius liked to wear his socks high. The only guys that should wear their socks high are speedy Latino middle-infielders, black centerfielders, and pitchers (but only if they're the old-fashioned stirrup socks). Scott Brosius refused to acknowledge this baseball fashion code, and that causes us to question his merits on basis of character. We also question his merit on the basis of everything baseball-related.

Paul O'Neill

The case for O'Neill:
O'Neill was not only a true Yankee and a pretty good hitter, but a legend of the blooper reel. The play where O'Neill--then a young Red--famously kicked the ball to the cut-off man has made every blooper video from Ultimate Sports Bloopers to Marv Albert's Hilarious Wacky Sports Hijinks Set to Vaudvillian Ragtime Music and Marv Albert Voice-Overs, Vol. 17.

The case against O'Neill:
As far as we know, Paul O'Neill never caught that fly ball in his hat like he promised the sick kid on Seinfeld. No two-homerun game, no flyball in hat. He broke that kid's heart TWICE. No wonder Paul O'Neill always carried a reputation for being a jerk. Then again, if I were Paul O'Neill, I'd probably be a jerk too. You know, seeing as I'd have his genes and all.


U.S.A., U.S.A.

>> Sunday

American sports has a new hero, and his name is Phil Pfister. In a herculean effort, Pfister won the last five events to claim the 2006 World's Strongest Man Title. In an epic duel with three-time former champ Mariusz Pudzianowski, Pfister's feats of strength in the Atlas Stones, Car Pull and Fingal Fingers will be emulated on many Festivus holidays to come. While this surely went unnoticed to those people who actually have lives, Pfister's efforts last night inspired even the biggest Scrooges during this Holiday season. And hell, at least an American can finally claim victory on the world's biggest stage of sports.


Santa Claus, Indiana--Hometown of Jay Cutler and the Place to be this Time of Year

>> Saturday

It's less than two days until Christmas! So in the spirit of melding the holiday season with the general subject matter of our blog, I thought I would write a little piece that almost vaguely relates to each.

So if you'll join me, let's all take a trip to the most Christmas-y place in the world--Santa Clause, Indiana, the hometown of Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Culter.

An exotic locale

Santa Claus is located in the greater Evansville area in southern Indiana, just up highway 162 a piece from Interstate 64. It lies immediately east of Lincoln City, north of Lamar, and straight west of Bumblefuck. If you ever need to locate it with a GPS or launch a torpedo at it, here's the more precise info from Wikipedia:

Santa Claus is located at
38°7′8″N, 86°55′17″W (38.118870, -86.921422) GR1.

According to the
United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.4 km² (5.6 mi²). 13.4 km² (5.2 mi²) of it is land and 1.0 km² (0.4 mi²) of it (6.82%) is water.

Sweet. Moving on.

A Storied Legacy of Pride and Tradition

From the purely factual Santa Claus, IN Wikipedia page:

The community of Santa Fe was laid out in
1846. The story of how it received the name of Santa Claus has roots both in fact and legend. In January of 1856 the town applied for a post office to be installed. They submitted their application under the name of Santa Fe. The application was returned to them with the message, "Choose another name than Santa Fe." The process of settling upon the name of Santa Claus has been lost to legend.

Allow me.

[Santa Fe, IN village hall, December 21, 1855]

Mayor: Now looka' here! This meetin’ will come to awrder right now! [dodges slung pitchfork, laughter ensues] Now you a-list'n here, you! I ain't a-kid-- [dodges clump of mule feces, grows angry] Didn’ I says I ain't a-kiddin'? [randomly fires gun, silence ensues] Tha's better. Now I'm glad ye all could make it, with 'n the cold winds a-blowin' and all.
We's a gotta sitchy-ation on our hands.
Drunk yokel #1 [comes to feet, wide-eyed]: Is they a-gona cancel Christmas this yar?
Mayor: Naw, naw, nuthin’ like that.
Drunk yokel #1 [sits back down]: Good... cuz I's a-gona keell 'em up good.
Mayor: Naw, we gets a-Christmas, but the legisla-chun says we cain't call ourself Santy-Fe no mahr.
Drunk yokel #1 [rising to feet]: Well I’s a-gona keell ‘em dubbly now!
Mayor: Don'cha worry, we's a-gona keell 'em. But in the mean-tide, we ain’t gona cull us-selves Santy Fe no mahr.
Drunk yokel #2 [forlorn]: Well ain't that a kick in the craw.
Mayor: So we’s a-gona haf’ta vote on a new name. Does nobody got any ide’ers?
Drunk yokel #1 [angelically]: Well, seein' as i's comin' on Christmas and all... How's about Santy Clauwse!
Drunk yokel #3: Yea-ah! Santy Clauwse!
Mayor [bewildered]: But that’n won’ make a lick a’ sense the res’ a’ the yar!
Drunk yokel #2 [furious]: Santy Clauwse?! Now tha's the stee-oop-idest--
Drunk yokel #3: Yea-ah! Santy Clauwse!
Mayor: Ain’t ye got any mahr ide’ers besides Santy Clauwse?
Drunk yokel #3: Yea-ah! Santy Clauwse!
Mayor [disgusted]: All right. All in favor of Santy Clauwse, say "Ay."
Drunk yokel #1: Ay!
Drunk yokel #3: Ay!
Mayor [resigned]: Well tha’s a-two. Tha’s a majority.
Drunk yokels #1 and #3: Whoop-eee!
Drunk yokel #3: Yea-ah! Santy Clauwse!
Drunk yokel #1: Now le’s a-go git drunk and hunt down some n---

[End scene.]

After a bit more research, I found this account of the name change from Access Spencer County:

Local lore tells of a town meeting around a wood stove in a little log church on Christmas Eve in 1852. The residents were deliberating over what to name their community when a winter's gust blew the doors to the church open. Sleigh bells could be heard in the distance and the children started exclaiming it must be Santa Claus! The residents decided the town should indeed be named Santa Claus.

Without any further facts, I guarantee that my purely conjectural account is much more accurate.

Now fast forward several years in Santa Claus's history to that magical time known as the Great Depression. Courtesy of Wikipedia:

The town’s unique name went largely unnoticed until the late 1920’s, when Postmaster James Martin began promoting the Santa Claus postmark. The growing volume of holiday mail became so substantial that it caught the attention of Robert Ripley in 1929, who featured the town’s post office in his nationally-syndicated "Believe It or Not" cartoon.

The town's new national fame had caught the attention of Vincennes entrepreneur Milton Harris. Harris created
Santa's Candy Castle, the first tourist attraction in Santa Claus, Indiana, which is also purported to be the first themed attraction in the United States. Santa Claus Town attractions included a red-brick Candy Castle, sponsored by Curtiss Candy and dedicated December 22, 1935, and the Toy Village, a series of miniature fairytale buildings sponsored by prominent national toy manufacturers. Santa Claus Town led to the creation of the town’s first newspaper, "The Santa Claus Town News", and the Santa Claus Chamber of Commerce.

Wow. That's a lot of Santa Claus. But here's where the story gets really, really good:

Harris’ project caught the attention of a rival entrepreneur, Carl Barrett, the Chicago head of the Illinois Auto Club. Disliking what he called Harris’ materialism, Barrett planned his own tourist attraction "Santa Claus Park". On December 25, 1935, Barrett dedicated a 22 foot tall statue of Santa Claus that was erected on the highest hill in town. The statue was promoted as being solid granite, although it was subsequently revealed to be concrete when cracks formed years later.

Years of lawsuits between Harris and Barrett were costly distractions for the two entrepreneurs. The lawsuits centered around land ownership and went all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court. National news media covered the ongoing story of "Too Many Santas". Over the years both entrepreneur’s visions became vacant and neglected.


God, I hope that's all factual. And if it's not, I'd rather go on believing that it is. Just priceless.

A changing community

More from Access Spencer County:

In the late 1950s Bill Koch developed Christmas Lake Village, a rural residential community, in Santa Claus. The 2500-acre development is situated around three lakes: Christmas Lake, Lake Holly and Lake Noel. A property owner’s association was established in 1968 to manage the properties within the development. The private, gated community includes tennis courts, clubhouse, pool and championship golf course, Christmas Lake Golf Course. All the streets in Christmas Lake Village have Christmas names. Over 800 homes are located in the Village.

Oh, so that's where Mr. Private College Star Quarterback comes from. And all this time I'd guessed Jay Cutler grew up working grandad's farm and shooting at the interstate. (That's a horrible joke and I take it back.) Sounds like little Jay's idea of "working the land" was greenskeeping at Christmas Lake Golf Course. John Mellencamp would never write a song about that. What a bummer.

Well at least he still looks like a total Gomer.

A diverse culture of many colors

Just kidding. Everyone's white. Check it out:

As of the
censusGR2 of 2000, there were 2,041 people, 732 households, and 620 families residing in the town. The population density was 152.1/km² (393.8/mi²). There were 818 housing units at an average density of 61.0/km² (157.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.22% White, 0.44% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 0.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.

By my calculations (done in my head, in very little time, and most likely with pinpoint accuracy because I'm a genius), that makes exactly nine Asians, fourteen Hispanics/Latinos ("nah...not really black but darker than us...but not as dark as a black person...and with different hair" as they're refered to locally), four "others," and three multi-ethnics. With figures like that, I bet Jay Cutler had lots of awesome receivers in high school.

A legitimate tourist destination (and not at all a laughingstock)

Again from Access Spencer County:

On August 3, 1946, Evansville industrialist Louis J. Koch opened Santa Claus Land. This was the first theme park built in the world. (Disneyland opened nine years later.) The original Santa Claus Land included the Santa Claus Land Train, toy displays, a food and souvenir shop, plus a special place to visit Santa Claus. In 1984, additional holiday themes were created and the park was renamed Holiday World. In 1993, Splashin’ Safari water park was added. During the summer months nearly a million guests visit the family parks, which have been repeatedly voted the World’s Friendliest and Cleanest.

And what's more, Amusement Today ranked
Holiday World's rollercoaster "The Raven" the #5 Wooden Roller Coaster in the World! And why wouldn't you trust the structural integrity of a 60 year-old wooden roller coaster in a small Indiana town?

Plus, at Rudulph's Reindeer Ranch, the little ones can enjoy riding Prancer's Merry Go-Round and--when the ride is done--getting molested by the ride operator.

Holiday World--It's fun for the whole family!

The other eleven-ish months of the year: Suicide rates through the chimney

From my only source on this piece:

Most of the businesses in Santa Claus have Christmas-themed names such as: Santa’s Lodge, Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, Christmas Lake Golf Course, Kringle Place and Holiday Foods. Many of the establishments display Christmas lights and decorations year-round. Nearly all the streets in Santa Claus are holiday themed as well; there’s Christmas Boulevard, Candy Cane Lane and Mistletoe Drive. There are eight larger-than-life Santa statues located at various locations throughout the community.

And after about 2:30am each night, visitors can often spot a sauced, disgruntled Holiday Land employee hurling verbal abuses and rocks at one of these statues while cursing their life in a tourist trap. It's the magic of Christmas, 365 days a year!

Also, I wonder which of those streets was home to Jay Cutler. (You know, because I have to relate this to sports again somehow.)

Santa Claus is very much real and lives among us (according to this one lady who volunteers to read mail from crazypeople)

There's no way I can do this story justice. You have to read it. Just priceless.

Alright, well I think I've milked this Google search enough. Hopefully you enjoyed this informative look into Santa Claus, Indiana, the world's most Christmas-y little town outside of Bethlehem itself... or perhaps Christmas, Florida.

And most importantly, to all of you in YCSNation, have a most excellent Christmas (even if you're Jewish like Danny or wiccan like Matt), and go Jay Cutler!


Anyone who's owned a trampoline and a basketball hoop has thought of combining them...

...and this is why you might want to reconsider.

If you love watching little kids get hurt (and be honest, we all do) this is a must see.


It's a Festivus miracle!

>> Friday

Because our YCS staff is such a muddled mix of Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, godless heathens, and Jew (draw whatever distinctions you must among the latter three), there's really only one holiday we can agree upon this time of year. That's right--it's only one day until Festivus! So to celebrate (in what's become a rather tired gimmick but one we enjoy anyway), it's time for all of us in YCSNation to tell the sports world--as well as our fellow members--how they've disappointed us throughout the last year.

So let the Airing of Grievances begin!

(Reader participation is strongly encouraged. This is your invitation to really let us know how much you think we suck. Or just how much Jim Hendry sucks. Your call.)


Sports World Nostalgia: Bob Probert

With my going to the Hawks-Maple Leafs game tonight, I figured this would be the only appropriate time to discuss this glorious competitor, and promise it will be the last post on the Hawks for a while. Today we look back to the hallowed days of youth, when the Blackhawks were actually kind of decent, and towards the tail end of their 27-year playoff appearance streak. While all the pretty boys in class had Jeremy Roenick jerseys, because he was the star and scored all the goals, real fans' favorite Hawk growing up was Bob Probert.

Probert was probably the kind of player Happy Gilmore would have been if he had made it into the NHL. He couldn't really score (Only 84 goals in a 16-year career in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings) But he could beat the living fuck out of people in a way that would make Carmelo Anthony run away like a scared little girl.

...well, like MORE of a scared little girl than he already is.

Probert was a true renaissance man. The kind of well-rounded athlete that makes the perfect hockey player. Probert was an expert at many skills, including fighting, brawling, sparring, knockin' heads, beating the fuck out of people, and occasionally, stepping in as his team's enforcer when needed. His versatility impressed fans of all ages for almost 20 years. Probert spent 3574 minutes in the penalty box in his career, an average that comes out to almost 2 trips to the sin bin every game. With stats like that, we can only assume that he'd beat the living hell out of Bob Barker too. His retirement in 2002 brought wistful memories from hockey fans, and wailing sobs from hospitals and morgues within a 20 minute drive of NHL arenas.

Here's to you, Probert. Thanks to you, we can all see the ridiculous double standard in how sports media portrays fighting during a game for when the players involved are white, blue-collar, working class heroes and when they're "out of control" (ie: black).


More fawning over AI

>> Wednesday

Not really a post, just a recommendation and lazy link to ESPN. But because we're all such huge Allen Iverson fans, I just want to encourage everyone to watch the clip of his interview with Stephen A. Smith today. Some of the most honest and mature perspective on superstardom that I've ever heard.

That is, I mean, he does ok for a total thug and problem for management.


Making practical use of my exposure to bad local news

Courtesy of NBC 5 Chicago, a story (complete with the video of the news segment) about Tank Johnson's pitbulls. Evidently, they were often left without out water for a few days at a time, which apparently didn't stop the neighbor in this segment from recording them and not giving them water. Some neighbor.

Also, although there's no link to it, tonight's newscast reported that Robbie Gould is bringing his mom to Hawai'i with him for the Pro Bowl, since she has always wanted to go there but has never been. [gold pun]

Finally, during the sports cast, sports woman Peggy Kuczinski held this exchange with Bears LB Lance Briggs, re: the Pro Bowl:

Kuczinski: So I guess you and Urlacher are kind of like this generation's Singletary and Wibur Marshall, huh?
Briggs: That's a nice comparison, but I would say that we're more this generation's Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.

Translation: "Bitch--get over 1985 and let us play. For real--get on outta here."


Hi, remember me? I'm the Blackhawks....HEY! YOU!! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!! Pleeeeeeease?

Further proof of the demise of the once-proud franchise formerly known as the Chicago Blackhawks.

Some time back, a big deal was made of the fact that on a night when the NHL Blackhawks and minor-league Wolves were playing on the same night, more butts were in the seats to watch the Atlanta Thrashers top prospects than to watch the Hawks.

This season, it could be even worse. Through 15 home games, this season, the Blackhawks are drawing an average of 12,710 fans per game. Their last home contest drew only 11,111 fans. By contrast, the Chicago Fire drew better than that last total at 12 of their 16 home dates this past season. The NHL lockout can't explain all of this, as other franchises have seen their attendances rise since the lockout.

Congratulations, Bill Wirtz. By more or less going out of your way to alienate the few fans you have left, your moves have left your tradition-rich Original Six franchise sitting near the bottom of the NHL in terms of play on the ice (despite a recent stretch of obtaining at least a point in 10 of your last 11 games), and you are now being outdrawn by a soccer team that didn't exist 10 years ago at the box office.

If ESPN re-ran this segment, I imagine the Hawks will not only have held their title, but have warranted consideration towards being elevated to the worst franchise in the history of sports.


Giants escaping the formula that made them a late-80s powerhouse

>> Tuesday

If you haven't heard about today's big baseball transaction yet, then you're probably either not much of a fan, or you just don't have friends like Matt Bechtel who are good enough to call you at work and break the news.

For those of you in either category, the San Francisco Giants signed former Braves and Padres star Ryan Klesko to a one-year, $1.75million contract this afternoon. Klesko, 35, will platoon at first base with fellow 35 year-old Rich Aurilia, giving the Giants an opening day first base situation that sounds like a late-July injury patch job.

Klesko adds more veteran experience to an everyday lineup that's already comically old. Consider that his double play combo will be Ray Durham, 35, and Omar Vizquel, 39, while fellow bottom-third hitter and catcher Mike Matheny is 36. Third baseman Pedro Feliz is listed at 31, but remember--he's from the DR, which could mean he's as old as 59. Also, should Klesko and Aurilia get hurt or forced to play out-of-position (or should I say, positions they once played clumsily five years ago) because another old Giant's achin' knees give out, the next 1B on the depth chart is the 37 year-old Mark Sweeney.

Giants GM Brian Sabean knew his team's lack of youth would be a concern this offseason and has spent the free agent signing season addressing the issue ... by maintaining it mostly. Not only has Sabean re-signed the 42 year-old Barry Bonds and brought in Aurilia and Klesko, he also signed the 34 year-old centerfielder Dave Roberts, who, incredibly, is a seven-year improvement on last year's centerfielder Steve Finley.

Finley--who finally told management this offseason, "Seriously, you guys; I'm too old. Haven't you been watching me? I really can't play anymore. Honest. I'm hanging it up"--leaves the team along with the 39 year-old Moises Alou (again, a product of the DR with their wacky birth certificates and all), who leaves for the equally aged New York Mets. Both moves, along with the replacement of manager Felipe Alou--whose age I could look up but would rather just go on appearance and say 85--may suggest that the Giants are committed to a youth movement. Or, as Matt posited, they might just be considering bringing Felipe back to play right field.

All of this old Giant talk got me thinking--how do the 2006/2007 Giants stack up to the 1989 Giants that won the old NL West, in terms of their age? And I don't mean in terms of their ages in 1989. I mean their ages now. They were a pretty young team back then, and that wasn't so long ago. Given the chance, maybe that team could reassemble and save the Giants' franchise.

Some key players on the 2006/2007 Giants and their current ages:
Barry Bonds, 42
Omar Vizquel, 39
Steve Finley, 41 (retired this offseason)
Moises Alou, 39 (recently signed with Mets)
Mike Stanton, 39 (recently signed with Reds)
Tim Worrell, 39 (not at all "key" but on their roster)
Jose Vizcaino, 38 (recently signed with Cardinals)
Jeff Fassero, 43 (sent to the glue factory this offseason)

Some key players on the 1989 Giants and their current ages:
Will Clark, 42
Matt Williams, 41
Kevin Mitchell, 44
Kirt Manwaring, 41
Robby Thompson, 44
Jeff Brantley, 43
Scott Garrelts, 44

Come on Sabean--you're gonna tell me Will Clark doesn't have another thrill ride left in him? A pass on Mitchell I can understand, as I assume he's had many angioplasties by now. And Uribe, well...obviously. (God rest his soul.) But this team won 92 games, and clearly, they're still young enough to play. Bring 'em back! Admittedly, staff ace Rick Reuschel would probably be too old to pitch now at 57, but who knows--he always had kind of an old man's game anyhow. What's another seventeen years onto that?

For good measure, I'd also suggest bringing back Benito Santiago for a second stint, Terry Mulholland for a third, and Shawon Dunston for a fourth. And then trade Lance Niekro for Phil and Joe Niekro.

Bringing back the '89 team may not get the Giants in the playoffs, but seriously, it can't be much worse than signing Cliff Floyd (which I just assume they're bound to do).


I Would Prefer "Separated From His Body," But This'll Do.

While we at Yellow Chair Sports don't usually condone rooting for injuries, I think we can all agree that Nate and I will definitely agree that this story is awesome. Just awesome.

Burn in hell, asshole.


George Karl was just saying what we were all thinking (for the past 20 years)

Anyone who can read lips saw Isaiah Thomas tell Carmelo Anthony that "you better not go to the basket." And then, of course, this happened.

George Karl's take on Isaiah?

"I think he's a jackass the way he called me out after the game...he didn't throw in no towel, he didn't take his best team off the court and say it was over. He never gave one damn signal to it. I think he's a jerk for what he's trying to do."

Oh, but wait, it get's better.

"He's full of shit. He's a total asshole, and he should be held accountable for his actions."

Thank you George. Somebody had to say it.

And just to make sure that we absolutely perceived him as guilty, Isaiah responded, "I can't speak for him, but he put his players in a tough situation. I'm not here to place blame -- we all shared in it."

Translation: George left his best players in the game! Is that getting through to you? All I did was call for a hard foul. How the hell are people blaming me for this one? Ah, fuck it, I'm just gonna go trade my next three draft picks for Glenn Robinson.


Some record-holder. Dude couldn't carry Robbie Gould's (presumably monstrous) jockstrap.

>> Monday

If watching NFL Countdown has taught me anything--certainly it's taught me zilch about football--it's that nothing fills hours of substanceless football coverage quite like the impending fall of an NFL record. And if it's taught me two things, the other is that mild hangovers are God's gift to purveyors of mind-rotting sports-related crap.

That's why, leading up to Sunday night's Chargers-Chiefs game, the mediadores who occupy our TV sets kept reminding us that the brilliant, gifted, humble, tenacious, and overall god-like LaDainian Tomlinson was two points shy of Paul Hornung's single-season NFL scoring record. Which is fine and all, because at least it cut into the time alotted for strained remembrances of Lamar Hunt from current Chiefs players lacking any meaningful connection to him.

Generic NFL player #1: Oh that's right. The kickoff has to wait a minute. They've got that moment of silence for this Lamar Hoytt guy or whatever.
Generic NFL player #2: Wait, who?
Generic NFL player #1: I guess he was an owner or something. Helped merge the AFL into the league.
Generic NFL player #2: Oh. Cool. ... Wait, was our team in the AFL back in the day?
Generic NFL player #1: Shit...you know what--I don't really know. I think so maybe.

A lot of people--particularly ones named Chris Berman--were very ready to note that Hornung scored his 176 points in only twelve games, suggesting, I guess, that Tomlinson's accomplishment is diminished accordingly, despite the fact that Hornung played both running back and place kicker that year.

Although I wouldn't put it past The BerMan to be so short-sighted, I would like to think that not even he would be. Just in case he is, and more so to feed my own curiosity, I decided to look up Hornung's 1960 stats to see how he scored those 176 points.

Sure, 15 TDs (13 rush, 2 rec) is a dandy total, but beyond that, 4.2 yards per carry on 160 attempts is hardly superscintillatingsensational. If you ask me, those were just 13 TDs he Brandon Jacobsed away from team workhorse and leading rusher Jimmy Taylor. And look at those field goal numbers--a not-so-solid-Gould 15 for 28, all from distances unknown. (Also notice he was a hilarious 12 for 38 in 1964. Yeah, I realize that kicking was poor back then and that most games were played with the pig's uncured head on gravel and prairie grass, but still. That's hysterical.)

Obviously, star running backs kicking field goals would never fly today, but I'd like to think that Tomlinson, had he played back then, would have had the foresight not to use the most lumpy and angular part of his foot in kicking for accuracy. Hell, given his ability to throw pretty spirals, I'm guessing he could strap on the kicking shoes tomorrow and hit better than 54%.

Anyway, none of that has to do with my original point, which was simply that the two numbers offer no comparison, given that one included 41 PATs and the other is all TDs. Oh yeah, there's also this 45-year lapse business.

Moving on, I came across this USA Today column while leafing through content on this story. First of all, assuming you won't click the link and read it, I at least have to make you share in this fantastic moment of grizzled-ness from Hornung:

"I think he is by far the premier running back today. I like the way he goes after the goal line. Damn it, he knows where it is."

Darn tootin'. Anyway, scroll down just a bit to the bulleted remarks from their panel of football historians. (Hang on while I mount my pulpit.)

Jim Brown. *Ahem*

Here--assuming you care to know--is my take on Jim Brown, as a casual, semi-knowledgeable football fan born twenty years after Brown's playing career:

Jim Brown was obviously a phenomenal athlete whose skills far exceeded those of most of his competitors. However, Jim Brown played in an era (coined the "Era of Savagery" by our own Matt Bechtel) when most of his competitors were quite bad by comparison to today's NFL players. Because relatively fewer athletes back then possessed the resources and rearing to attain the skill level of today's NFL players, athletes of Brown's unwavering, freakish natural talent could more easily show up the average guys.

Sure, yeah, Brown and those other guys did all come from the same era. But in that sort of unrefined landscape--whether it's in football or in freelance internet blogging--the freakish natural is more able to exploit that distinction between average and best. (In case you didn't pick up that subtle hint, football:Jim Brown::blogging:me.)

With the level of refinement in pro sports now, I can't imagine an athlete will ever again go Babe Ruth or Wilt Chamberlain on the rest of his league. (Ok, Bonds did, but...) And that's really the same dynamic we're talking about with Brown, I think. And I can only imagine Red Grange benefited doubly from that same principle.

Think about it. What stands out when you see those old Jim Brown clips, maybe even more so than his kickass moves? Right--the guys on defense can't tackle! And they can't run much either. They're all flailing their arms and slip slidin' around--probably because their offseason job at the steel mill didn't pull in enough bread to spring for a pair of cleats.

And yeah, I also realize that Jim Brown played back when it was legal to clothesline a guy with a bag of rusty lugnuts strapped to your forearm (...well, maybe not legal, but almost). I don't know what to say to that except yeah, that's pretty awesome how he stayed so good and so healthy despite the brutality. But who's to say that Tomlinson couldn't have had the same durability and luck had he played in the 1960s?

Basically I'm responding to Sabol's comment in particular, and if I've at all made a coherent argument, it's this: People who use this "breed apart" criterion to pin an alltime great might literally have to wait forever to pin their next. If they're looking for phenomenon on the level of Ruth or Chamberlain or Brown, I doubt that could ever happen again in pro team sports.

Also, Paul Hornung used to smoke during halftime.


That sounds like a job for Judge Dredd

"We have set up the goal of eliminating fighting from our game. We haven't eliminated it completely," Commissioner David Stern said in meting out the penalties.

David Stern may not like black people, but at least his goals are completely realistic and within reach.


A Yellow Chair Christmas

Christmas morn' is only a week away (and Chanukah has already started, Danny). So with only a few days of shopping left, it's time for YCSNation to drop a quick note to YCSanta Claus. Sure you could give the mall Santa a load of crap about how good you've been this year, but that's exactly what it would be.

Sure you're jonesin' for some pretty cool shit under the tree, but what do you REALLY want for Christmas? Something your Aunt Grace can't fit in a small box with a bow? Perhaps something slightly more intangible?...things that will make you happier than any iPod or crappy sweater ever could? Well, that's where YCSanta Claus comes in. He probably won't give it to you, (and odds are, the exact opposite will happen) but it never hurts to ask.

ie) Mike wants... At least one Bears playoff win, at least one trophy (preferably an MLS Cup) for the Fire next year, for Marquette's Jerel McNeal to have a couple of games here and there where he doesn't turn the ball over like 5 times, the slow, painful death of Dave O'Brien and for everyone to stop talking about expanding the NCAA tournament once and for all.


I'm the kind of guy who waits until the absolute last second to give up hope.

The NFC is a mess, pure and simple. An 8-8 team is probably going to make the playoffs, and after the Packers' win over the hapless Lions yesterday, everyone in Wisconsin is crazy over the fact that the Packers could be that team.

Well I wanted to know exactly what it would take for the Packers to win the privelage of bowing out to the Cowboys or Saints in the first round. Obviously, they're going to have to win their final two games against the Vikings and the Bears. That's a big enough hurdle, but the help they would need after that is not as much as you would think. I couldn't find any step-by-step map of what needs to happen, so I'm going to go ahead and put one out there on the ol' world wide web for Packers fans that were wondering the same thing. So here's what needs to happen for my predictions to look good (not as implausible as you might think):

1. Packers must beat the Vikings and the Bears.

2. St. Louis must lose EITHER to the Redskins at home, or the Vikings on the road.

3. Atlanta must lose EITHER to the Panthers at home, or the Eagles on the road.

4. Seattle must win their division (either a Seahawks win or a 49ers loss would clinch this).

5. The tricky part of the equation is the New York Giants. They have a game at home against New Orleans, and a game in Washington. If they lose both (and all the above happens) the Packers play in January. If they split the games, the Packers and Giants would come down to a tie-breaker. They didn't play each other this season, and their conference records would be identical. The next tiebreaker is common opponents. Thus, if the Giants' win comes against New Orleans, they play on. If they lose to the Saints and beat the Redskins, however, it will come down to strength of victory, which is a total toss-up because it depends on how 15 different teams finish their season.

There you go. A long shot? Yes, but not as long as I would have thought. But the fact that the Packers are playing a significant game in the 16th week of the season is more than I expected. And I know Packers and Bears fans alike would love that last game of the season to be meaningful. Best of all, banking on Eli Manning to choke is not the worst position to be in.


Whoops, I thought I was shooting the shit over a game of beer pong

>> Saturday

In yet another example of sports figures not quite getting how fast news travels, Jim Mora Jr. found himself apologizing for some, uh, interesting comments he made on KJR Radio out of Seattle:

"Dewey, I promise you that. Now, I want to see Ty succeed, and I want to see that program succeed. But if he decides at some point that he's ready to move on and they want me, I will be there. I don't care if we're in the middle of a playoff run, I'm packing my stuff and coming back to Seattle."

Surprisingly, there were some people in the Falcons organization that were kind of concerned about these statements, most noteably...well most noteably everybody. But don't worry, Jim was ready to explain his statements.

"It was me doing a radio interview with a close friend and former college roommate, and just joking about the [Washington] job...I'm doing an interview with my best friend, joking around, and all of a sudden it's a big story. Believe me, there's nothing to it."

Phew, glad you didn't mean it. Especially since your team is in the playoff hunt (and in a weak NFC, even the Super Bowl hunt) and really doesn't need this kind of distraction. People just don't get jokes anymore, I guess. Obviously, Mora didn't mean it when he said...

Mora: You know, it's funny, and I mean that, and I'm DEAD SERIOUS (emphasis added), the further I get away from it the more I'm drawn to it. You know, that's the job I want, so...

"Dewey: You would leave the Falcons for that job?

Mora: Absolutely.

"Dewey": Wow.

Mora: As I'm sitting here, I'm looking at a Huskies helmet.

Let's just blame Michael Vick for this one. He's the coach killer after all.


He...uh...spake it.

"I've got to be one of the smartest guys on our team." - Terrell Owens


Eight Crrrr-azy Nights!

>> Friday

In the spirit of the holiday season and in the spirit of needlessly singling out one of our members for his ethnic heritage, I'd like to wish Danny and everyone else in YCSNation a Happy first day of Chanukah.

Maybe as a present, the Knicks will win a game for you Jewish New Yorkers sometime before these eight days are through. Uh, on second thought, better make that before New Years.


YCS RIP: Lamar Hunt

>> Thursday

Continuing with the tradition of eulogizing sporting figures and sending our thoughts to those in trouble, we here at YCS would like to send our best to the family and friends of Lamar Hunt, a man who has helped shape the sports landscape in this country over the last 40 years. Hunt died after a long battle with prostate cancer yesterday.

In the 1960s, while attempting to secure his own NFL franchise, but denied, Hunt convinced several other wealthy people interested in sports to form their own football league, which became the AFL. Without Hunt's vision, the NFL would surely not be what it is today. The league would be half its current size if the NFL and AFL had never merged. When Lamar moved his AFL Dallas Texans to Kansas City to become the Chiefs, he became a champion of small market teams. One could argue that it is largely because of Hunt's influence that the NFL does not have the "Big Market/Small Market" issues that have plagued other sports, most notably Major League Baseball and the NHL. He won 2 AFL Championships with the Texans/Chiefs, and also won Super Bowl IV. The Chiefs have become a Kansas City institution, inextricably linked to the community. Hunt was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame and the AFC Championship trophy is named after him in honor of his efforts with the AFL.

Hunt was also a pioneer for American Soccer. In the 1960s, when soccer was still relatively unknown, Hunt was one of the initial investors in the now-defunct North American Soccer League, where he owned the Dallas Tornado. Under Hunt's ownership, the Tornado won the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1971, and were runners-up in 1973. Dwindling attendance and bad finances led to the folding of the club in 1981.

Despite these losses and the bleak future of the sport in the country at the time, Hunt stayed involved in soccer and was one of the founding investors of Major League Soccer. His cautious approach and memories and experience from the NASL days is probably the main reason there even is a league today, 11 years out. The other reason is Hunt's construction of the first MLS-only stadium in Columbus, OH with his own funds in 1999, spawning a building boom for the league that ensured its financial survival, and protected it from sharing the NASL's fate. Hunt also helped secure a stadium for FC Dallas. The growth of MLS has in turn helped to grow the US National Team.

Hunt's continued defense of the small market teams kept the Kansas City Wizards team in Missouri for more than a year after he put the team up for sale. Wealthy investors wanted to move the team to Philadelphia, where they could possibly help land a bigger TV contract, but Lamar insisted on selling the team to a local owner, and eventually a group of Kansas City investors stepped up to keep the Wiz in the City of Fountains. He won an MLS Cup with the Wizards in 2000. Hunt Sports Group still owns FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew. The United States Soccer Federation, in recognition of Hunt's devotion to the sport, has renamed the U.S. Open Cup tournament after him, attaching his name to the longest continually-awarded competition in the United States.

Whether his involvement in Football, Soccer, or even his minor forays into Basketball, Tennis, and Hockey, we can all agree that sports in the United States would be vastly different today, and probably for the worse, were it not for Lamar Hunt's involvement. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.


They...uh...Spake It

>> Wednesday

"I didn't mean to offend anybody but Kellen Winslow," Porter told reporters after Steelers practice Tuesday.


As long as I'm alive, I will defend the Ron Artests of the world.

If you haven't heard, Allen Iverson is back in the headlines, and the potential combination of AI and KG has me (and the entire state of Minnesota) drooling. Of course, this topic has poured into bar conversations, and I am stuck trying to explain how I can love Iverson and hate Terrell Owens.

So let me make this very clear. I have no problems with a player being selfish, dirty, aggressive, hot-tempered, or any of these other "horrible" traits that plagues so many professional players. On one condition: if the player's so-called undesireable trait helps the team.

Players like Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace and Ron Artest help their team, and have a true desire to see their team succeed. Players like T.O. or Randy Moss are detriments to their team because they play for themselves first, team second.

Also, I have a special affinity for hot-tempered players because I think players should be rawly passionate about the sport that they play. Critics will say that players are profesionals and should learn to control themselves when they're on camera, but I say that's a waste of energy. A lot of pro players are insanely, naturally talented, and I truly believe that natural talent is best accessed when the player plays with raw emotion, and sometimes that raw emotion turns into frustration or anger. Look at Artest, Dennis Rodman, Reggie Miller, Zinedine Zidane, or Ty Cobb (all of whom are some of my favorite athletes). These players have had some pretty famous meltdowns, but you can't blame a guy for playing with passion, can you?

Come on guys, help me out here (Vinnie I'm looking at you especially), explain why we can love the 'Sheeds and A.I.s of the sports world without being hypocrites.


Clark Kellogg passes off the plainly apparent as his own special insight

CBS's Clark Kellogg has constructed a few insights on college basketball. After all, he played for Ohio State in the 1980s, a point that takes up an entire paragraph in his article.

An interesting sidenote is that Kellogg starts off by bemoaning the fact that the growth of the NCAA tournament has somewhat overshadowed the importance of teams' winning their conferences. Kellogg conveniently leaves out the fact that it's the same suits at Viacom signing his checks that have had a pretty significant role in the growth of March Madness.

He's not prepared to make picks on who will win their conferences this season, but "I am prepared to offer my take on what I look for in conference champion-caliber teams." Good Clark, we were waiting breathlessly.

So, Clark- Someone who's played (at Ohio State no less) and followed the game as long as you have should surely be able to hand down some wisdom to us uneducated peons on what makes a great college basketball team, right? What's that? Oh, how convenient! You've outlined 6 things that teams should do to win conference championships. What YOU look for in those calibre teams:

1. A 60/40 blend of experience and talent
Wait, why 60/40? If you only have a 59/41 blend of experience and talent, are you fucked?

2. Toughness -- mental and physical
"Toughness" is probably favorite sportswriter/sportscaster justification on why teams are better. Clark, are you Lee Corso in disguise?

3. A go-to player
In other words, good teams tend to have a good player who doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Rumor has it that two good players help even more.

4. Winning on the Road
Yes Clark. Teams that win their conference do have a tendency to have won more than half their league games.

5. Make shots
Likewise, teams that get shut out, or who don't make a lot of shots, have a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to hanging banners.

6. Balance and versatility
In other words, one-dimensional teams (Demon Brown-era Charlotte) don't win many championships? Sheeit. Get outta here.

Thank you Clark Kellogg. I know so much more about basketball than I did before I started reading your insight into the obvious. These attributes may be what you look for in a championship-calibre team, but they're also what pretty much everyone else looks for as well.


Applause for Joey

>> Tuesday

Here at YCS, back in the Ole College Days, we were known to be pretty entertaining , witty, and downright mean-spirited with our signs, verbal jabs, and pointed ad hominem attacks on opposing players, and in some cases their families or significant others. The crowning moment probably came in January of 2006, when we got Marcus Williams's mom to chew us out for making light of her son's recent suspension for selling school-issued laptops at a pawn shop.

But this one takes them all. Congratulations to friend of YCS Joey Serge, shown here holding up a sign that I never saw at Saturday's game due to its probable confiscation, but that nonetheless deserves to hang alongside the old greats in the Marquette Great Signs Hall of Fame.

"Badgering is for Housewives" captured elegantly by SI.com in their "College Superfans of the Week" photo gallery. Brilliant.


Gentlemen, open fire.

What the hell is this?!!?!?!?!?


Blogger Fucking Sucks

I wrote out this piece twice. Both times upon publishing, everything was deleted.

It's a decent story, well-researched, somewhat entertaining writing, but I'm not writing it again.

Fuck off Blogger.


I fucking hate Jim Belushi.

>> Monday

I have no other point. I just really can't stand him. (I could do without this Joe Theismann fella too.)


You're Kidding Me, Right?

No, despite the title this article isn't about one of the Cubs' recent free agent signings (by the way, enjoy those arbatrosses, you north side sons of bitches). Instead, it's my reaction to an interesting tidbit from ESPN.com:

Despite an avalanche of player complaints about the new synthetic model from the first day of training camp in October, skepticism was high among players that Stern would consent to a change during the season. But with a number of prominent players complaining of cuts on their hands caused by the new ball's high-friction cover -- Phoenix's Steve Nash and New Jersey's Jason Kidd among them -- Stern was forced to concede that an in-season swap was unavoidable with the new ball inflicting injuries.

The obviously key element of the paragraph?

Phoenix's Steve Nash and New Jersey's Jason Kidd

I've said it before and I'll say it again: David Stern doesn't care about black people.

Seriously, can anyone prove to me that this guy isn't a hyperactive, obsessive-compulsive implicit racist?


The best part about making predictions about pro sports teams...

...is when you realize that you were horribly, horribly wrong.

(I mean, aside from me saying that Vince Young would be a flop)

When Bears fans started calling for Griese a month ago, I thought you all were cuh-RAZY. As I responded to one of Vinnie's posts on the matter: "The idea of having a quarterback who will "not lose the game" has worked in the past. Tampa Bay won with Brad Johnson, and Baltimore won with Trent Dilfer. With Griese at the helm, the Bears could probably get to the NFC championship and maybe even the Super Bowl. But if they want to win it all, they're going to need Good Rex. Of course, that takes the risk of Bad Rex showing up, but name one Super Bowl champion that didn't get a little lucky along the way."

I still hold to that somewhat, because I do think the Bears would have a tough time winning the Super Bowl with Brian Griese (mostly because it honestly doesn't look like anyone can stop the Chargers). But with Griese, they will at least stand a damn good chance of getting to the Super Bowl, and once you're there, anything can happen.
My change in heart was mostly prompted by the ass-whooping put on the Cowboys last night, courtesy of that kid from Purdue that's not Kyle Orton. The team that I, and just about everyone else, thought was hands down the best in the NFC took it Brokeback style. They just weren't the same team that we've been watching for the past six weeks. On the same day, Eli Manning suddenly decided that he should try throwing balls to his own players and the supposively rejuvinated Seahawks lost to the Cardinals...THE CARDINALS! (By the way, kudos to Vinnie for calling that one.)

But really, that should come as no surprise. The NFL has been a model of inconsistency this year. The Packers whooped on Miami, who whooped on New England, who really whooped on Green Bay. That's the kind of year it's been. BUT there are exceptions. LT and LJ, especially the former, have put up huge numbers week in, week out. You always know what you're getting from the Colt's run defense.

The most consistent unit in the NFL, however, has been the Bear's defense. So I say play to your strength and forget about offense. Grossman doesn't even know what he's doing wrong, so he's obviously not going to be able to correct the problem. Put Griese in there and his number one priority will be protecting the ball. It's a ballsy move for sure, and I think Lovie is too scared to do it. But he needs to ride his defense, because consistency is so rare this year that it just might be enough to win.

So for all you Packers fans out there, or just you sadistic sonsofbitches that enjoy watching people suffer, have fun watching Grossman tank again tonight. I sure as hell will. And for the Bears fans, maybe he'll play bad enough that Lovie won't be able to lie to himself any longer. That's your best hope.


Shoe-in of the Week

>> Sunday

I'm back this week, looking to improve my record to 1-4 and to make all of you readers some big dough. So get ready to put four times as much money on this week as you put on each of the last four because that's the sure way to win it all back. You can trust me.

This week is a little crazy because there are five home underdogs, which means lots of tempting picks. However, I'm going with a home favorite to cover.

Now that I've insulted both Danny and his girlfriend, I'm gonna make it up to him by picking (and thereby ensuring a win for) his beloved Jets (-4) over the Bills. Better yet, I'm calling the score on this one. Jets 38, Bills 0--you can book it.

Aw hell; I'll call one of these home underdog games too. I owe you loyal advisees a bonus game this week to make up for neglecting my duty last week. Arizona is picked to lose to Seattle on their homefield this week, but Denny Green is too good a coach and Matt Leinart is too handsome a quarterback to let that happen. Crown their ass--Cardinals (+3.5) over the Seahawks.


Hello out there in Facebook land!

I'm guessing this isn't a new feature at all, but I just noticed tonight that we can import our blog posts into Facebook's "My Notes" feature. (Just as an aside--I'm pretty certain Facebook has added at least one new feature and about five new square inches of on-screen ad space each time I've used it since graduating in May. Holy smokes.)

This is a great feature, though, because it now means we can more or less force regular Facebook-using friends to see when we post, thanks to the "News Feed" thing. Even better, I believe that if all of us were to import this blog, friends of ours could potentially be notified as many as eight times when we post. Think about that--they'd have no choice but to read us then. Either that, or they'd just get really annoyed, which would be equally fun for us and sure to win us readers.

Unfortunately, you do have to check one of those boxes about appropriate content and obscenity and shit, so we'll have to see how long we actually last.


Jason Marquis? For real? Nah, you must be thinking of someone else. Wait, ftor how much?! Ha, good one. Seriously, what were you really gonna tell me?

>> Saturday

How does one make a player on the fringes of not even being in the league one of the HIGHEST-PAID GUYS ON THE ROSTER????? And further, how does one commit to this awful player for THREE YEARS????

Consider this: even in Jason Marquis's reputed "good season" in 2004, he only managed a 1.42 WHIP, and he's notched less than one strikeout per every two innings since '05. Also consider this: the Cubs will be paying Jason Marquis roughly twenty times the amount they would pay [insert name of favorite young, crappy Cubs pitcher] to pitch--in all likelihood--almost as poorly. Also consider this: Jason Marquis evidently gets confused when someone points a camera at him.

I don't say this just because I'm a Cubs fan overreacting. I genuinely believe this is among the few worst free agent signings I can ever remember. It doesn't bother me as a Cubs fan nearly as much as it bothers me as a baseball fan or as an intelligent person with a basic understanding of economics. This is crazy. Just freaking crazy. And now word has it that the Cubs are hot to sign Cliff Floyd, no doubt for some amount that will also cause me to flip out.

Jim Hendry needs to stop. He needs an intervention. He needs to be bound and gagged. Something. (I'll hold off on any "intentional malpractice" comments because that might be crossing the line. Pat--you can handle that.)

Man, this offseason's been ridiculous.


Yet another reminder that, yes, Bill Simmons actually gets PAID to write

>> Friday

From his NFL "Power Poll" this week:

6. Baltimore

Very good defense, crummy offense. We've been here before. We'll be here again.
Speaking of Baltimore, after watching the season finale of "The Wire" this week, I wrote up an extended rant about the show and how much it means to me -- both as a writer and a human being -- and how I believe it's the most important show of my lifetime, how I can't remember being more attached to four TV characters than the four school kids from Season 4, how I simply can't fathom why more people wouldn't give it a chance ... but it ended up sounding too preachy, so I'm just going to say that it's my favorite TV show of all-time and leave it at that. Name another show that could peak during a season in which its best character (McNulty) basically disappeared for 12 of the 13 episodes? How is that possible? What a show. I miss it already.

(One more "Wire" note: I have a friend named Brad who's famously crusty, a grizzled Giants fan who blurts out whatever he thinks and refuses to edit himself. He's also the biggest "Wire" fan alive. So we're watching football with the boys one Sunday and somebody in the room mentioned how they weren't watching "The Wire." Uh-oh. Brad turns to the guy with complete contempt and says, "If you aren't watching 'The Wire,' the government should be forced to come to your house and repossess your television. END OF STORY!" They should use that quote on the posters for Season 5.)

I...I'm speechless.

Honestly, how does that require any talent? Couldn't any one of us do the exact same thing without the slightest bit of effort?

The answer, of course, is no. I for one could never live with the guilt of making a handsome paycheck (to finance an evident gambling problem, by the way) for writing my nonsense inner-monologues and go-nowhere stories about my stupid friends. As it is, I often feel guilty and annoying when I do that on this free, lightly-read blog.

I did, however, enjoy the little "Sports Gal speaks" sidebar thingy, which includes--along with her pokes at Bill--a better gambling record than the Sports Guy himself. Really, though, I think I'd much more enjoy an entire weekly column of the Sports Gal telling stories that make Bill look like a jackass than Bill's actual column.


76ers' Latest Attempt to Villainize Allen Iverson Transparent as Usual

Seriously, what a bunch of pansies.

How many times is the 76ers front office going to play on this image of Allen Iverson-as-self-centered-malcontent before they realize no one buys it? The latest tactic to portray Iverson as a jerk and to make the team appear justified in trading him: tell him he's injured regardless of whether he or a doctor agrees.

As far as I can guess, the situation went down like so:

Peter King had really been wanting to trade Iverson for a while, but was like, "He's so popular and good that everyone will hate me, so I need some excuse, no matter how crazy."

So then after Iverson got hurt the other night, King called Mo Cheeks into his office and was like, "Ok, so here's the deal. Allen says he can't practice because of these spasms, so what you're going to do is bench him for the next game. And for good measure, let's make it the next two games."

Then Cheeks was like, "But that doesn't seem to make sense. Shouldn't we see first whether he actually needs time off for this injury?"

But then King was like, "You're not getting it. We need to make him look difficult so that we can trade him. It doesn't matter that it's confusing and makes no sense. He's going to publicly complain if we do this. And then people will look at it and say, 'Same old Allen. Still butting heads with his coach all the time. Maybe it really is time to trade him once and for all.' No one is actually going to acknowledge the details of this controversy. They'll just see it as immature, still-1997 Allen defying disciplinary action yet again. And bam--we trade him and still save face."

But then Cheeks was like, "Are people actually dumb enough to think a head coach in the NBA could wield that kind of authority over his superstar franchise player?"

And then King was like, "We both know the answer to that question is yes."

So then Cheeks was like, "Yeah, but as the coach, how would benching Allen without medical reason seem in my best interest?"

And then King was like, "Come on, Mo; you know you're just Allen's pawn when you're out there, and you're just my pawn in here. And guess who writes your checks. So, uh, you should probably stop asking questions and do as I say."

And then Cheeks was like, "Yeah, good point."

End of discussion.

I honestly do not understand why this guy has never enjoyed the respect and backing of franchie that players of his kind ought to have. Yeah, I get that he was kind of a selfish punk occasionally when he was younger and that his ways aren't always kid-friendly, but come on; what other superstar of his level ever put up with as much crap?

MJ? Magic? Shaq? I think not. And don't believe what you read in those comic books. A.I. has been every bit as good as those guys throughout his career.

So why always the double-standard for Iverson?


The Only Kind of Good Badger is Dead Badger

After our boys at Marquette get done with steamrolling Bucky, the good people at Drivl.com have a list of things to do for the People's Republic of Madison.

NSAwins is a popular site for daily vegas sports odds including updated Vegas Super Bowl Odds and weekly NFL totals and odds during football season. Check out NSAwins during March Madness for FREE March Madness Brackets to Print and Expert Picks on the NCAA Tournament. NSAwins also offers HUGE 100% BetUs Bonus Code and BoDog Bonus Code sportsbook promos.
Online Casino Reports - Online Gambling Guide and Directory for casinos, poker and sports betting.

Get out of your yellow chairs and onto some treadmills to train like a pro.

Check out Casino Guide Canada for free NFL online betting picks and the best online casinos for Canadian and US players today!
USA Online Casino guides you not only to casino bonus, but odds of sportsbook for online sports betting. Try your luckiness today to enjoy gaming games on the internet.

Blog Archive

Try GP sports for luscious sports betting games in a stylish setting. Play to your heart's content and be in with the chance of winning big!

  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP