When a good idea turns into a stupid obsession!

>> Monday

Much akin to my infatuation with Kyle Orton (which pretty much stems from the heated debate with Bechtel and Sever about Orton being better than the Gross-Man), this jackass from Connecticut thought it would be a good idea to wear his Brett Favre Packers jersey every day for four years. Thats right, this little shit from Ridgefield, Conn wore that fucking thing every day for four years!!! Are you kidding me? Do you have a life? I think we can assume that you will be a virgin for life.

Although he admits that he will probably have to hang up the jersey at sometime, he doesn't intend to stop from being considered the biggest dork this side of a Star Trek convention. "I thought I would keep wearing it as long as I could get it over my head," but I'll probably take it off in the next year, certainly. Then I'll hang it up in a frame or maybe send it to the [Packers] Hall of Fame."

Now, if this were an Orton fan who was treasuring the Golden Boy with a replica neck-beard (a-la me during the 2005 campaign), then I would let this slide. But this is just ridiculous.



YCS in 2007: A Retrospective (i.e. a bunch of links to our own posts), Part I

Ah, 2007. What a year it's been for us at YCS. We sure have come a long way. No, wait--That's a complete lie. In fact, we've regressed quite a bit--slippage in our readership, sporadic and uninspired posts, further reliance on links and Youtube videos to cover our laziness...

But hell, it just wouldn't be New Years Eve without a bunch of indulgent, rehash crap, and since we're such suckers for tradition, I thought we should revisit some of the highlights of this blog over the past year.

We started 2007 with a bang. Mike's post "The Joy of Becks" instantly became our most commented-on post to date (with all of 26 comments, which is pretty sad since comments sections on legitimate blogs sometimes become like blogs unto themselves, but hey, we'll take what we can get).

The NFL playoffs were a fun time, as we were witness to the unfaltering heroics of Tom Brady. And as part of our short-lived attempt to launch a multi-meida website (something which, in retrospect, we'd have been too lazy to maintain), I made my first foray into the recording arts with this frighteningly prophetic parody of the "Super Bowl Shuffle" (see third-to-last line), which was roundly praised by critics everywhere. (Audio now only available by email request.)

From music, it was onto complex process flow diagrams, as we had a little fun with the NFL coaching carousel.

After that, it was hoops season, which brought us some quality Zuch rants re: bad selection criteria for the NCAA Tourney, and ultimately, the blatant favortism shown by the selection committee in picking the '07 field. Then, of course, it was time to fill out those office pool brackets.

As late March rolled around, Nate began to contemplate how he could exploit his unborn son. Then he wrote filthy limericks about Pokey Chatman, making us all wonder whether he was fit for fatherhood.

Then in one of our proudest moments, we actually broke a scoop! ...Too bad it wasn't true.

Famous person encounter #1: Pat meets former Cubs president Andy McPhail.

And we know music too!

...And more artwork!

Famous person encounter #2: Kirk Hinrich likes sandwiches!

Finally, spring came, and that meant fun at the ol' ballpark... And you can't have fun at the ol' ballpark without a twelve-person beer bong and public urination.

When Dan Shaughnessy went on the offensive against bloggers, everyone, including us, responded.

A golf post? Golf?!

No one was more upset about the Don Imus / Rutgers basketball controversy than Matt.

In mid-April, Zuch shocked the sports world when he declared for the NBA Draft.

By early May, Danny's heart was aflutter with fond remembrances of New York Rangers glory days.

Turns out this post was a touch off-base, but it was the launching point of our email correspondence with Keith Law, the fine ESPN baseball writer, whom Matt and I turn to when we need someone to tell us what to think about a baseball topic.

Also scoring 26 comments was this post by Nate, one of the seemingly hundreds he's written on why he hates Steve Nash.

The Trail Blazers hope that Greg Oden will someday exhibit the heart shown by the ping pong ball that landed him in Portland.

Matt was lucky enough to walk the hallowed grounds of one of baseball's most storied ballparks. As was Mike.

At long last, YCS (more specifically, Nate) welcomes its first child into the world.

In case you didn't already know the incredible bias of Hawk Harrelson...

The rivalry that nearly sent us to war.

How did your team do in the '07 NBA Draft? Let's call it a C.

That wraps up January to June. Stay tuned for the other six months! (Ten bucks says I don't remember to do it!)


YCS's 2007: Vinnie


I'm with Nate. That Padres-Rockies one-game playoff was one of the most exciting baseball games I've ever seen, and since baseball is hands-down the bestest sport ever, it's no contest.


A Cubs-Reds game I saw with my cousins in Septeber. I don't remember the exact date or the score--except that it was close--but the Cubs won; Geovany Soto homered, Adam Dunn hit one about 900 feet down the right-field line, and Ken Griffey Jr. tore his groin--an experience he later described as, "having an elephant attached to my nutsack by a string and thrown off the Golden Gate Bridge," or something along those lines.

(Please note that I love Junior and that his injury did not contribute to this game being the "best," but it was memorable, nonetheless.)


I didn't watch too many live sports this year, so I'll go with a game I participated in. Of course, I'm talking about the Midwest Suburban Adult Baseball League fall ball game where, within the span of three plays, I booted an easy grounder and botched the turn on an easy double-play ball to spark a five or six or eight-run rally that tied the game, which we would ultimately lose. It was at that point that I remembered how much I suck at baseball.


Any of the three games played in Oakland during that Mavs-Warriors series--especially the clincher. I love Mark Cuban and all, but that series was truly awesome.


The 30-3 game between the Rangers and Orioles. Sure, you might think, "What? That would be awesome to see a team put up 30 runs!" But watching bad middle relievers get raked by mediocre hitters for four straight 30-minute innings is probably the least entertaining form of baseball, especially when the score is so lopsided.


Even though I'm sure just about everyone from the Trib picked this too, it's hard to go with anything besides Sean Taylor's murder.


Georgia-Alabama. Overtime. 'Bama ahead by a field goal. Georgia's turn to answer.

Sure, there were tons of better plays this year as far as athletic feats go. But I truly honestly cannot think of another play I enjoyed more, thanks to a certain unfortunate call by a certain Mike Patrick.

Let's all enjoy it one more time before 2007 is over:


In order:

1. A-Rod, ahem , "Stray"-Rod being captured on camera with a woman... who wasn't his wife!
2. Tony Romo's steamy romance with Jessica Simpson
3. What Terrell Owens thinks of Tony Romo's steamy romance with Jessica Simpson
4. Tom Brady wearing a Yankees hat
5. LeBron James wearing a Yankees hat at Jacobs Field
6. F.P. Santangelo being outed as a steroid user
7. The return of American Gladiators
8. These are the only stories of consequence from this past year.


Ugh, Mercury Morris Should Take a Long Walk off a Short Pier!

Jesus christ, just listening to this guy makes you want to ram your head into a car. It's like listening to your grandpa talk about his glory days playing in the Meieke Car Care Bowl while wearing his letterman jacket....I hope the Patriots win the whole damn thing just to shut this jackass up.....and btw, the '72 Dolphins weren't even that good. The '73 'Fins would have kicked this crap out of them.


Can it be done? 07' Pats vs. '85 Bears

>> Sunday

After hearing Bill Parcell's mild attempt to compare the 07' Pats to the Super Bowl Shufflin' Monsters of the Midway, I thought why the hell don't we at YCS do it since we do everything 10x better than those hacks on the Extra Sexual Party Network.

Imagine a game pitting the high octane Patriot offense against a stout, murderously great Bear defense. Brady and Moss against Hampton and Singletary. And lets not forget the hoodie against the sweater vest; the grin vs. the 'stache; Belichick vs. Ditka.

Now, maybe it is because I was raised in what has become known as "The Era of Ditka," but I have always believed that while it would be a close, tight game, 'da Bears would be victorious. And just to show that this is a completely objective view of the two teams, WhatIfSports.com ran 1,000 simulated matchups between the teams, with the Bears winning by an average of 20-17.

Some argue that the Bears would have had the same fate agaist the Patriots as they did against the Miami Dolphins when that dick Nat Moore turned Wilbur Marshall into his own, personal bitch. But as Lee Corso would so, "not so fast my friend!"Mike Mulligan points out that Ditka would have played cornerback Reggie Phillips and benched Dave Duerson or Gary "Hitman" Fencik.

An achilles heel for the Patriots is they are vulnerable to good pass rushing defenses as shown against the Eagles, Giants, and Ravens. When Tom Brady doesn't have time to throw that play-action to Moss downfield, he becomes very ordinary and not much better than Eli Manning.

On the other side of the ball, people forget that the Bears had the league's #1 rushing and time possession offense in addition to Speedy Willie Gault as a slightly shorter version of Randy Moss. Over the course of a 60 minute game, those old as dirt linebackers the Patriots have would no doubt get buried by the o-line and Walter Payton.

This comparison shouldn't diminish the fact that the Patriots have had a great season, but lets keep things in perspective about this being the greatest team of all-time. When looking in-depth, strong cases can be made that several other teams could beat this New England juggernaut, including the '78 Steelers.


YCS's 2007: Nate

All right Mike, I'll bite. I'm the nostalgic type, so here's my best and worst sports moments of 2007 (without a single mention of steroids...except that one). I'll even add a few categories.

Best Games I Watched on TV

3. Roger Federer defeats Rafeal Nadal in the Wimbeldon title match - Soccer is to Sever as Tennis is to Nate, meaning that I am the only one who cares about it, and I won't say anything else about this match other than, "It was awesome."
2. Boise State over Oklahoma - Bechtel would have slept through the ending had it not been for Poethig and I screaming like little girls. Also, I will definitively say that this was the greatest football game of our lifetime.
1. Rockies/Padres one-game playoff - The only thing that could beat the greatest football game of our lifetime would be the greatest baseball game of our lifetime. Lucky for us, we had both this year. Good work, 2007.

Best Individual Performances I Watched on TV
3. Justin Beaver running wild (249 yards) in the Division III Championship - Gotta show some love to the white running back, and to my brother's alum, UW-Whitewater, who finally fucking beat Mount Union.
2. LeBron James scoring his team's final 25 points to beat the Detroit Pistons - We have not seen a man dominate a basketball game like that since His Airness.
1. Brett Favre throwing what he called "the two best passes of my life" against the Broncos, including an 82-yard strike to Jennings on the first play in overtime.

Best Game I Saw Live
My brothers' and my Father's Day gift to our dad was a trip to Miller Park on August 4th to watch the Brewers play the Phillies. Prince Fielder's two-out, two-run homer in the eighth put the Brewers on top, Cory Hart robbed Tadahito Iguchi of a home run in the ninth to preserve the lead, and we ended up giving my dad the best Father's Day gift he's ever received.

Best Individual Performance I Saw Live
Ben Sheets' complete game on Opening Day. If only he'd stayed healthy...

Worst Game I Saw Live
Again, involves my dad. Just 10 days after the above-mentioned game, he had tickets for my brothers and me to a Brewers/Cardinals game. After jumping out to a three-run lead in the first, the Brewers got thrashed. Specifically, Cris Capuano got thrashed. And at some point during the Cardinals' six-run fifth inning, my dad got up and walked away. He disappeared for about three innings and when he returned, he officially gave up on the Brewers. No exaggeration. He did not watch a single game the rest of the year, and stopped following them completely. The Cardinals won 12-4.

Game I Wish I Saw (Live or TV)
Adrian Peterson's record-breaking game. Although, as a consolation prize, we got to watch Gavin watching live updates of the game and getting increasingly pissed because he was playing against AP in our fantasy league.

Game I'm Glad I Didn't See
This should go without saying, but I am so grateful to the BigTen Network for sparing me from watching my Wolverines be on the short end of "the greatest upset in college football history."
(Note: I'm also happy I didn't see the College Basketball championship game because I was too drunk to stay awake after Opening Day)

Play of the Year
You could say Boise State's Statue of Liberty play, or Matt Holliday's controversial slide, or really a million and a half other plays. But this one...it's just so damn fun to watch, especially in Chinese.


YCS's 2007: Mike

>> Saturday

The Chicago Tribune has been doing year-end recaps from each of their sportswriters and columnists as they review the past year, specifically in the area they cover. So I'm blatantly stealing their idea because every time I read them, it's always kind of strange to think "that was really only THIS YEAR?" Naturally, since I largely follow soccer and MU hoops, most of my moments are drawn from there.

- Marquette's victory over Wisconsin in Madison. As Nate said, MU-UW is arguably the best in-state rivalry in the Midwest. The game was a nailbiter and clearly meant the world to both teams looking for a name out-of-conference victory. Marquette nabbed their first win in Madison in 10 years and were only the 6th away team to ever win at the Kohl Center.

- Chicago Fire's 2-2 draw at DC United in the MLS Cup Quarterfinals. Coupled with a 1-0 Fire win the week before, in front of a rabid DC crowd under the lights at RFK, DC scored two goals in the last 22 minutes and appeared to have scored a third to level the series on aggregate, but the goal was waived off after Christian Gomez handled the ball in the box.

- Blackhawks 3, Blues 2 in November. My first NHL game outside Chicago was played in front of a packed house, with a relatively knowledgeable and very passionate crowd. Hawks got the game winner with a minute to go, and some dude threatened to kick my ass. It was a good night.

- Chicago Fire's 0-0 draw with Colorado Rapids on July 1. Uninspired play, hot day, lackluster crowd. Probably the nadir of the Chicago Fire as a franchise. Talk about flushing 40 bucks down the toilet.

- Sadly, I was in Columbus, OH for my cousin's wedding on the day of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in June at Soldier Field. USA comes from behind and defeats Mexico 2-1 on Benny Feilhaber's golazo in front of a sold-out Soldier Field. It was one for the ages.

- The Bears victory over the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. It looked absolutely freezing, but part of me really wanted to be in that stadium... as long as I had a nice warm jacket .

- Work mercifully kept me from witnessing Marquette's drubbing by Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament.

- It was pretty funny when David Beckham began his American foray, and overnight, the mainstream sports media was saturated with soccer "experts" who proclaimed Becks washed up. While injuries hobbled his first season in California, whenever he stepped on the pitch, magic happened, and American soccer got a glimpse of its not-so-distant-future.

Brazil's goal against the United States at Soldier Field in September. Brilliant ball movement. Classic Brazilian style, one-touch passes go the length of the field and finish with a goal. Those guys are good.

The fallout from the Mitchell Report. While nothing has really happened yet, it is a whole new era of performance enhancing substance policy in ALL major sports.

Everyone else, feel free to add your favorites.


Do You Want to Get Away?

>> Friday

Texas Longhorn coach Chris Jesse does his best Bartman immitation....



Everybody hate on Bob!

>> Wednesday

Let me just admit up front that this is the single most unnecessarily mean-spirited post I've ever written. As if ripping on the work and opinions of columnists and other bloggers isn't crass enough, the entire purpose of this post is to rip on some random guy who commented on Keith Law's blog.

Ok, before you think I'm a total asshole, understand this. I have nothing against Bob. He seems like he's a really nice, civil guy, as you'll see. In fact, I wish a lot of the people who rebutted him weren't so harsh because he clearly meant well--just trying to speak up for a favorite player's Hall of Fame candidacy. And I also credit him for having an open mind and a thirst for knowledge, as you will also see.

However, I think his words need to be shared so that we all might see a little bit of ourselves in Bob and ask, "What in my own life do I approach with so much bias that I feed myself borderline-comical rationalizations to reinforce what I want to believe?" Bob, though not a BBWAA member and therefore unable to vote for the Hall of Fame, serves as a fairly representatve example of the warped thinking that consumes the minds of many HOF voters.

If you don't feel like reading all this, here's a really exaggerated and unfair rehash of his arguments:

  • Jack Morris's performance in a few memorable postseason starts trump the hundreds of other starts in his career.
  • Tiger Stadium was, and always has been, the only park where hitters have an advantage over the pitchers. No wait--there and Fenway.
  • Jack Morris pitched in Fenway way more than any other visiting pitcher, ever.
  • Tiger Stadium's fences stood 200 feet from home plate in the corners, 225 in the alleys, and 275 in straightaway center.
  • It always rains on my birthday and never on anyone else's.
  • Any pitcher with a career ERA below 4.50 deserves Hall of Fame consideration.
  • Bob hopes to rectify his biases by reading some fact-based baseball literature in the near future.
Bob, in his own words:

Just wondering in what category(ies) you reject [Jack] Morris on. Is it wins, (254) E.R.A. 3.90 mostly because of Tiger Stadium, or world series rings which amounted to a paltry 3. Being dead serious, I have never understood his rejection.

Still going to pursue the cause for Morris. I thought baseball recently classified a quality start as 6 innings with 3 earned runs or fewer. That equals an era of 4.5 which he clearly bettered. Moreover he pitched in the A.L. his entire career, thus contending against the D.H. The minute he went against the N.L, well, game 7 of 1991 comes to mind… At the very least I am inspired to do more research. While perhaps his league ERA was 3.9 some of those games came at Fenway, another hitters parsdise. And after re-reading your chat today, you mention that strikeouts are all due to the pitcher as opposed to his defense. I agree, and discovered that he has more strikeouts than Tommy John, who you classify as just short. Clearly not trying to belittle Tommy John, just trying to augment my support for Morris. And I apologize if I am turning this into a Jack Morris thread. Thanks.

John, I find it interesting that you do not want Dawson “slammed” for his OBP, yet are no doubt fixated on the ERA of Morris. I choose to look at 3 teams, 3 rings. I consider pitching in the A.L with its dh. I consider the bandboxes of Tiger Stadium and Fenway Park. And I consider articles written by Gammons, Stark and Bill Simmons who want him enshirned. But at the very least, please distinguish me from Woody Paige. I am not advocating Concepcion. And if you are not fixated on his ERA, what are your counter-arguments?

John, Shawn,& Keith, thank you for your insightful comments/responses. And just to clarify, I wasn’t trying to insult Dawson. I also would prefer to ignore the fact that Morris gave up so many home runs. That was a by-product of Tiger Stadium. While I do note that wins are a function of teams, I also note that the 3 teams he played for all sipped champagne in October. And if we are to believe that october matters, lets review his 1984 post-season. 3 games started, 26 innings pitched and only 5 earned runs. Well above average when it counted. I do acknowledge his ERA is high, but in my ( demented) mind, his post-season heroics dwarf that tidbit. I also note that he has more k’s than Jim Palmer and Tommy John. He also had 175 complete games, a sizeable amount when you realize that Sparky Anderson ( Captain Hook) was his manager for most of his career. I think some people in this group are holding the fact that he played with good teams against him. He carried his teammates on his back, not the other way around. But this fact bears being mentioned again. 1984: 3 starts, 26 innings, 5 earned runs. At the very least, that is better than ” pretty average across the board.” And thank you guys for letting me use this forum to rant. Keith, great website.

Herb, I have heard and read the arguments about the unworthiness of Morris. I have chosen not to be swayed by them. Again Gammons, Stark and Simmons all support him. And he does get over the 5% needed to stick around. Perhaps I am a fan of George Orwell and 1984 sticks with me.

Eric, thanks for the free research. My objection to the 6 inning 4.5 ERA is that that stat clearly does not factor in stadium and line-up issues. I am new to the sabernomics math, and probably will never understand it. I know Keith has mentioned ERA+ a few times, but I am not sure how they figure it out. Although, I am sure there is a formula. I do know, however, that in 1990 as a 12 year old kid, Prince Fielder was hitting home runs in Tiger Stadium. While I grant you Prince is a special talent, that also speaks volumes as to the size of Tiger Stadium. This is what Morris had to contend with. Brutal for pitchers. There also appears to be an interesting disconnect between the writers in this group and the Hall writers regarding Alan Trammell. Playing his whole career in Tiger Stadium, he averaged .285 and belted 185 homers. That does not resonate with me, regardless of how well he played the field. Much more impressed with Morris than Trammell. In this group I am in the minority, yet Morris gets more support from the actual voters. Again I apologize for my ignorance regarding sabernomics. But I would like to ask one more question, although a response is not neccessary. Game 7 of the world series, what pitcher do you want on the mound? In my humble mind its either Beckett or Jack Morris. Thank you .

Ronaldo and Dan, thanks for the feedback. To answer the last question first, clearly there should be no quotas for the Hall-of-Fame. I also wasn’t intending to cherry-pick stats for Morris, just trying to shore up some support for him. (Clearly not working) I guess my defense of him has always been ( and always wiii be) predicated on his Octobers, and not his Mays. One last favor from you guys if possible. Could you recommend a book that deals with sabernomics. I would prefer a book to a publication as I subscibe to BA and ESPN as it is. Our opinions notwithstanding, I have enjoyedd the back-and-forth.

Dan and Kyle, thank you very much for the tips. Sad commentary about myself that I have not read Bill James. Will recify it.

See? Bob's not a bad guy. He's all about self-improvement, and I respect that.

Now why can't the BBWAA writers be like Bob?


You, numbskull!

Jim Hendry--Please justify your logic.

Last offseason, Cliff Floyd, a 34 year-old corner outfielder with a bum wheel coming off a horrible season, was worth $3mill with incentives.

Last offseason, Jason Marquis, a pitcher with an erratic track record coming off a season in which he was the single worst full-time starting pitcher in all of baseball, was worth three years at $7mill per.

Last offseason, Ted Lilly, a league-average pitcher to that point, was worth $10mill a year.

And now this offseason, Mark Prior, a guy who just five years ago was arguably the third or fourth best pitcher in all of baseball, and who despite all his trials and tribulations is still 27 years old and--fingers crossed--on the the road to recovery, isn't worth a gamble for one measly, stinking million dollars (plus $2mill in incentives) in this super-inflated free agent market?

Either the Cubs' medical staff has some really damning shit on Prior's arm--to the tune of, "He'll never pitch a full season again"--or this falling out with Prior is unjustifiable, especially in light of the contract he just signed.

Needless to say, I hope Prior comes back healthy, wins six Cy Youngs, and beans Jim Hendry in his fat ass.


Merry Christmas!

>> Monday

Hope you all have a good one!

Your pals at YCS


Not Even an Act of God can Stop Orton!

>> Sunday

That's right my friends, not only did Kyle Orton stand face to face with Mother Nature, but backhanded that bi@$h like any great QB. Even after Orton was seen late Saturday night with his pal Jack Daniels, he answered the bell and turned Green Bay into his personal "Ice Pack."

What a Guy!

Side Note: Mother Nature thought about sending in Hurricane Ditka to stop Orton, but realized this freak of nature can't be stopped.


I call shennanigans

>> Friday

Checking out Fire Joe Morgan today, I found out about this--a bracket-style polling competition to determine the "Sports Blog of the Year."

Remarkably, we were overlooked by the people at Busted Coverage. So as any dignified person would do when passed over in a silly popularity contest, I'm here to bitch and moan and accuse them of arbitrary bias.

Are we not edgy enough? Or Jewish enough? Too racially insensitive? Is it beacause we're not a bunch of mysoginist drunks who load up our site with pictures of scantily clad women to attract visitors? Evidently, you need "readers" to get recognized by other people.

Well, Busted Coverage--Fuck. You. And to all our readers out there, if you're a true fan of YCS, you will never, ever go to Busted Coverage. And if you do, I have a special super-secret way of tracking the internet activity of every IP address that's ever visited here, and if I find you've been reading that blog, I will block you from this site forever and mail you a letter bomb. So don't do it.


The San Diego County mother-f-ing Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

>> Thursday

I know it's really hackneyed to make fun of ridiculous college football bowl games, and I'm probably about the 10,0000000 person to make fun of this, but holy crap. I thought the oversaturization and oversponsorization of bowl games reached its pinnacle with the Insight.com Bowl and the Nowdefunctsiliconvalleyupstartsearchengine.com Bowl, but clearly I was wrong.

For all I know, this isn't even a new corporate sponsor since I don't care much about college pointy-ball, but seriously, I hate bowl season, epecially this year when half the participating coaches were hired by Michigan a week before it started. Talk about the ultimate sports farce.

Anyway, I'd have to say that my second-favorite bowl (a colse second) is the Papajohns.com Bowl. Evidently, only the Papa John's IT department profits off this one. But there's no chance I could ever watch it because the matchup of Cincy-Southern Miss will just remind me of old, horrible Conference USA blowouts (in basketball, the college sport that matters).

Ok, this was barely a post.



I know it's kind of a cheap poke to make fun of the featured comment box on espn.com because the comments are almost always really lame or random or irrelevant, but the one up there now may be the lamest, randomest, most irrelevant I've seen yet:

"You can't say anything against Sage Rosenfels. He's done a great job in Houston. "

Sage Rosenfels. Doing well. Houston Texans football. The hot topic. Controversial. Featureable comment. Clearly.


Never Fear...............One Dog is Here!

>> Wednesday

Although, he looks somewhat different than his first stint in the big leagues.


Wacky Quarterbacky

>> Monday

(Yes, that title is stupid and doesn't really make sense, but this isn't much of a post, so mind your own business.)

Since I get immense pleasure looking at statistics (like, to the point where they turn me on)--especially really odd ones--I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the hilarious weather-induced passing lines put up by NFL quarterbacks yesterday:

Derek Anderson, CLE: 9-24, 137 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Trent Edwards, BUF: 13-33, 124 yds, 0 TD 0 INT
Todd Collins, WAS: 8-25, 166 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT

...and my favorite:

Eli Manning, NYG: 18-52, 184 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT

I think going 18-52 is like the quarterbacking equivalent of the pitcher who gives up 10 ER in 1/3 IP or whatever. The amazing thing isn't that he misfired so many times but that he was asked to continue throwing, despite the terrible success rate.

In all, that's four QBs combining to go 48-134 (35.8%, or 12-33.5 per guy) without a single interception. Wacky! Curious, I called my buddy Joey "Numbers" Mancini over at the Elias Sports Bureau to find out if this has ever happened before. He said, "Whatdya think?!" and then hung up on me, so I figure that means no.

Of course, the funniest passing line of the day had nothing to do with weather, only the 6.5" of suck that fell on Chris Redman's lawn:

4-15, 34 yds, 0 TD, 2 INT, 0.0 RAT

More so than the 0.0 rating, what I find so hilarious about this passing line is that Redman wasn't even pulled from the game. That actually accounts for the Falcons' entire passing output... four completed passes, 34 yards. Good God, the Falcons are awful.

But fear not NFL QBs, one man will atone for all of your poor performances tonight when he makes his long-overdue return to an NFL field and stuns a national TV audience with a masterpiece not seen since Sammy Baugh lit up the Cleveland Rams for 753 yards and 9 TDs in the 1942 NFL championship game (note: may not have happened), and the heavens will sing "Hallelujah," for Kyle Orton is back!


Problems in Graphics

>> Saturday

Looking for Marquette stuff on eBay.

Came across this item. A giant Marquette mat that from the looks of this picture put out by the seller, is used for tailgating. However, it's obvious these fans are not Marquette fans, and the logo was just superimposed on some template.

  1. Conspicuous absence of Marquette gear.
  2. Marquette doesn't have a football team. Who tailgates in shorts in Wisconsin in January?
  3. Where are they tailgating? On the roof of the Bradley Center parking garage?
  4. If these people are Marquette fans, why is there ONLY ONE COOLER?


The Aftermath of the Mitchell Report: A Day in Pictures

>> Friday


Fun with the Mitchell Report: A handwriting expert weighs in

>> Thursday

Adam Piatt: "I am really proud that my last name starts with P."

Adam Riggs: "When you're not rich, you don't write checks. You send MoneyGram money orders."

Chad Allen: "I don't like to part with my money."

Chris Daniels: "I sign my name with my toes!"

David Segui: "I looooove Asian women. (Note my slanty handwriting. And yes, I'm a huge bigot.)"

Denny Neagle: "I'll never forgive those grammar school teachers for making me write with the right-hand slant even though I'm a lefty."

Fernando Vina: "I love making dollarsssssss____________."

F.P. Santangelo: "I need an official seal to make myself feel important."

Glenallen Hill: "I am one elegant gent."

Gary Bennett: "I am very much an average person in all respects."

Greg Zaun: "Just try to scan this, bitch."

Jason Christensen: "Yeah, when the school marm told me to write with the righty slant, I was all like, "No way, dude.'"

Jason Grimsley: "I like Asian women more than anyone!"

Jeff Williams: "I don't reveal nuthin' to nobody. Eat type-age, chump."

Jerry Hairston: "I get around on bumpy buses."

Jim Parque: "I'm a bad spellor!"

Kent Mercker: "Zero cents? That's a given."

Larry Bigbie: "Someday, I will be a VP of a PR firm."

Paul Lo Duca: "I may be a cheater, but I'm super polite!"

Matt Herges: "Cursive scares me."

Miguel Tejada: "I love cursive... so much so that I use two different styles."

Mike Lansing: "When you're rich, you don't write checks. Etcetera."

Mo Vaughn: "Where's my sandwhich?"


SI Tells Numerous Players, "You cheated, and you're barely important enough to mention."

I'm perplexed by this graphic that currently resides on the front page of SI.com. Click it for a larger version.

Why are some names highlighted and some not? Is it just to show active players? If so, that doesn't work out because Rick Ankiel, Paul Lo Duca, and Derrick Turnbow among others are all active to some extent.

Is it just for memorable players? Can't be that either. Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco are unhighlighted and they were pretty good in their day. Several other All-Stars have their names unlit.

The only thing I can think of is that at some point, all the highlighted players either played for the Red Sox or Yankees (other than Bonds and Tejada). To the rest of you, congratulations, you've been labeled as "cheaters," and SI.com has seen fit to out you on their front page, but you're not important enough to be pointed out specifically.


YCS' 1st Annual "Players that Should be on Steroids"

Yes indeed....Who has sucked so much that he needs to be on steroids immediately? WHo has ruined your Sunaday afternoon because he couldn't tackle some yuppie behind the line of scrimmage (Brian, ahem, Urlacher).

Voice your frustration!

Note: YCS is not responsible for so mentioned athletes heeding our advice...and the obvious


So, That's Why he Sucked So Much

We always wondered why he was such a crappy player and a total disgrace to his father...Todd Hundley must have cycled off his "bigger muscle juice" during his days with the Cubs.

And for you White Sox fans, now we know why Jim Parque was such a god...


Too much reading!

So being too anxious to hear the goods in the Mitchell Report but being unable to watch the press conference here at work, I've just spent the last ten minutes or so sifting through the PDF for the juicy parts.

But aghh! All I've gotten is Manny Alexander, Ricky Bones, and Alex Cabrera. And now I have to get back to real work! This sucks!

Damn it, George Mitchell--why couldn't you have just called a chapter, "The Juicy Gossip," or, "The Famous Guys Who Have Taken Steroids, i.e. the Only Thing You Really Care About Within This Entire 409-Page Document"?

Frustrating. I guess I'll just have to wait til I get home.


Cubs Announce Plans to Tear Down Wrigley Field

>> Tuesday

And in its place?

The Fuck You Dome.


Reverse Discrimination

With every correction of outdated social norms, there is the inevitable danger of over-correction. When any such shift begins, the new centrist point is hazy, its precise location unknown--only that it lies in a particular direction. Once we've reached it, we often don't realize it, so we continue on in the same direction, overshooting that happy place and wandering toward a new extreme. Some might say that happened with the overthrow of the Czar; others might say it happened in the '60s; and perhaps that same thing is happening again with the "go green" movement.

Well, me not being the type to form or share thoughts on social issues, I can only point out this phenomenon in a realm where I have even less knowledge to contribute (yet speak on like an authority)--NFL quarterbacks.

For decades, the common perception was that black quarterbacks of the stereotypical mold--a guy whose speed and agility as a runner exceed his abilities as a passer, i.e. not Byron Leftwich--were a risky play. What they lacked in passing ability trumped their mobility and could not help their teams the way a good pocket passer could. As Donovan McNabb and others have said, black QBs are subjected to a different set of rules than white QBs; they need to prove their ability to win football games more times over than a white guy.

Or at least that's how it was. But I'm not so sure it's that way anymore. If nothing else, I think there's an overreactive element of football fans who emerged along with the rise of McNabb and Vick and wandered right past reason toward excessive favor for A+ runners and D+ passers. Maybe I'm way off base, but I can't see any better way to explain the praise garnered by one Vince Young so early in his career, especially this year with the Titans in contention for a wild card.

For a guy so roundly regarded as someone who "just finds ways to win games," these look to like some pretty loser-y numbers to me:

7 TD, 16 INT, 6.4 yd/att, 66.9 RAT

Last year? Not much better:

12 TD, 13 INT, 6.2 yd/att, 66.4 RAT

A winner? A true competitor? A guy who finds a way to get it done? Let's grow up everyone. Call the man what he is: a very good rushing quarterback in a run-first system, who's piggy-backed his team's very good defense to a winning record, despite being generally unnacceptable, by NFL standards, at passing the football.

You can talk all you want about his rushing contribution, but I'm not impressed. Adding those 432 rush yards to his 2,032 passing yards, that is 2,464 yards that Young has actually, tangibly contributed to his team either by moving his legs or hurling a ball to another player. You wanna argue that the rush yards are, in effect, worth more because they avoid incompletions and keep the ball and clock moving forward? Fine. You wanna argue that the threat to run keeps defenses "honest" and opens up the passing game? Well that's too bad because it's still Young who has to throw the ball, and he doesn't do that very well.

I'm willing to hear out any other less-perceptable quality of Young's style because I'm almost certainly missing something. But unless you can somehow correlate it to gaining his offense positive yardage and scoring more points, you're basically selling the same fairy tale that David Eckstein's agent has sold MLB GMs this winter.

Getting back to the thesis of this post, compare Young's situation to Rex Grossman. Last year, no one had a problem calling him a fucking bum. Everyone knew he was just the lucky benefactor of a dominant defense. The team won in spite of him. He was a loser amongst a crop of winners.

But Young, that guy's a winner. Look at him--all juking and jiving, leaping over defenders, taking hits. Who cares that he gets picked every 19.75 attempts? The dude's playing football. He's a football player. He doesn't have to throw at all. He's that good.

Do little; look good doing it; get in with the right talent; be a hero. My friends--this is Ozzie-ball, NFL-style. And Vince Young is the epitome of it. Just as MLB fans have overreacted to the homerun/steroid era and made heroes out of players just for being fast, regardless of their overall value, I think NFL fans have done the same for athletic, no-pass QBs, simply because they're a change from the traditional Johnny Pocketpasser mold. And hence, we have Vince Young--gamer, football player, professional winner--and we have Rex Grossman--shit-eater, choke-artist, scumbag.

I tell ya--Sometimes it's so hard being in the majority.


Because we love kickin' 'em while they're down

>> Monday

Seems YCS's old friend Mike Hunt is up to his old tricks. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's unfortunately named columnist has stated that Wisconsin must not sell its soul for BCS glory. Without a doubt, the transformation of University of Wisconsin athletics over the last two decades has been remarkable. But like Lenny in Memento, Hunt seems to have forgotten a few things along the way.

"Face it, Wisconsin has what a lot of schools would commit various crimes and misdemeanors for: For the most part, the Badgers recruit good citizens, take academics more seriously than most public institutions, don't get in trouble with the NCAA, fill an 80,000-seat stadium and win."

This is pretentious at best and selectively forgetful at worst. At the very least, it's a generous use of "For the most part." Hunt goes on to elaborate how UW faces a unique set of challenges including academic eligibility/recruiting to a northern climate, etc.

Good citizens? Yes. As much as I hate the Badger sports teams, most of the people I know who went there are fine, upstanding individuals. At least, the ones that I know went there and weren't students through the magic of photoshop. However, UW has had its fair share of problems over the past few years in keeping its players out of trouble with the law. While problems like this surface at every school, it's laughable for Hunt to claim UW student-athletes as a paragon of virtue that hampers their recruiting efforts. The Athletic department has been hit with similar problems and has only recently gotten off of probation.

As for academics, forgive me if I don't realize this because I only spent 3 1/2 years in the Dairy State as a proud member of the hated Jesuit school down the street, but while UW-Madison is above and beyond the best public university in Wisconsin, are its academic standards really that much more demanding than any other state school with a big-time football program? More so than Ohio State? Than Michigan? Than USC? Than Florida?

Is the climate in Madison that much different than other powers with similar issues? Madison is at about the same line of latitude as Flint, Michigan. Flint is about a 45-minute drive north of apparently tropical Ann Arbor. Follow the line east, and you'll find Manchester, NH, only about an hour outside of Boston; home to a BC team that has a pretty strong emphasis on academics, has to deal with New England winters, and somehow made it to the ACC Championship game. Madison is actually farther SOUTH than Eugene, Oregon, who a few weeks ago had their Ducks in the National Championship hunt.

Combining climate and academics, Notre Dame also deals with a northern wintry climate, and while the Irish are on the downturn now, and perhaps annually overrated, ND has done what has been needed to get into three BCS bowls (2001, 2006, 2007), which at the moment, is one more than Wisconsin. While I won't be audacious enough to claim that at Notre Dame, all the players are budding geniuses and there's no way any of them were brought in primarily for their football playing ability, I won't be like Hunt and claim that such is the case at UW, and that their academic standards are the Badgers' cross to bear alone.

But the bottom line may come in that UW is not a national elite power because UW is barely...or not even a CONFERENCE power. UW has not beaten Michigan and Ohio State in the same season since 1981. While Big Ten scheduling difficulties have played a part in that in recent years, UW has had many opportunities to take on both traditional powerhouses in the same season. Even in many of the campaigns where they only played one or the other, failed to beat that one. Without at least one quality win in conference, UW will not be able to compete nationally with Floridas, Ohio States, and Texases. However, there were plenty of nonconference resume padders against San Diego State and UNLV in that span though...

It's no secret that Michigan-Ohio State is THE GAME for the Big Ten every year. At times it seems the other games just lead up to it. It's probably why the game is played on the last weekend of the season instead of in August or September. Even when the Conference Champion turns out to be someone other than Michigan or Ohio State (Northwestern in 1995 comes to mind), the game has a pivotal role to play in its outcome. Wisconsin has only won one Big Ten title outright since JFK was shot (1999), and shared two others (1993 and 1998). This puts them in the same Big 10 title eschelon as Northwestern (outright title in 1995, shared in 1996 and 2000). Until Wisconsin can regularly add its name to the Old Firm mix of Michigan and Ohio State, they will be forever playing third fiddle.


Brewers Hot Stove Roundup

>> Saturday

I have a few things rattling around in my head right now, so I thought I'd throw them together for a single post, since I doubt any are really relevant enough to warrant their own.

Brewers Close to Gagne Deal

As of writing this late Saturday, the Brewers have apparently come to terms for a one year deal with free agent reliever Eric Gagne, or as Massholes everywhere know him "That retahd pitchah!" Although Doug Melvin hasn't been able to explicitly disclose the intricacies of the deal per MLB regulations, he has confirmed the groundwork of the deal.

On its face, it looks like a good move for the Brewers, as they're taking advantage of a classic buy low situation for a guy who still may very well have some life in his arm. For those that point to his disastrous half season with the Red Sox last year, I recommend taking a peek at his game log from last year. His few really bad games were enough to really skew his numbers, and we've discussed ad nauseum before how people tend to focus on the negatives when recalling player experience. Also, to the asshole Brewers fans that think it's cool to boo one of your own - take a look at Turnbow's game log from 2007. Again, not as terrible as you'd like to remember.

My only concern about the deal comes from rumors that the Brewers went as high as $10 million for the one year deal to avoid having to commit to multiple years. While the financials haven't been confirmed, it's possible, since Scott Boras represents Gagne. To me, it just seems a little high to pay for any relief pitcher, but since it's a one year deal, it's not that terrible of a financial burden. I guess in the end it just boils down to how much faith you've got in the adage that it's fine to overpay for free agents because you're not forced to give up any players. Regardless, I think Gagne will turn out to be a really savvy signing by Doug Melvin. It gives Gagne a chance to claim a closer job in an environment significantly less intense than the pressure cooker of Boston and brings him back to his comfort zone of pitching in the National League.

State of the Bullpen

For those scoring at home, the Brewers have made four significant moves this off-season and three of them were focused on the bullpen with the trades for Guillermo Mota and Salomon Torres and the signings of free agents Gagne and David Riske. It's pretty clear now that Doug Melvin felt that poor performance in late inning situations played a large enough role in Milwaukee's collapse down the stretch last year to warrant a significant overhaul. While I'm not totally convinced that all of the blame should rest on the pen, (breakdowns in the rotation caused an overtaxing of the bullpen which led to its poor performance) I'm impressed with the way in which Melvin has aggressively moved to address a perceived weakness in last year's team.

I'm of the opinion that when constructing a bullpen, one should abide by the strategy of throwing a bunch of shit against the wall to see what sticks. It seems that with the moves he's made, Melvin has done exactly that in acquiring a bevy of relatively (a term used loosely here with the possibility of Gagne making $10 million) low cost options and allowing the wheat to separate from the chaff during the course of the season. For those interested, here's a list of pitchers that all have a legitimate shot of making the Brewers' opening day roster in the bullpen:

Derrick Turnbow
Eric Gagne
David Riske
Salomon Torres
Brian Shouse (LH)
Seth McClung
Matt Wise
Mitch Stetter (LH)
Manny Parra (LH)
Chris Capuano (LH)
David Bush
Guillermo Mota
Greg Aquino

A lot dependsv - specifically with Parra, Capuano and Bush - on who ends up taking the 5th spot in the rotation, but at first glance, it looks like the Brewers have a really solid amount of talent to choose from for the '08 bullpen.

Future Moves

Now the Melvin has got the Brewers' bullpen situation pretty well shored up with the acquisitions of Gagne, Salomon Torres, Guillermo Mota and David Riske, attention turns now to the everyday lineup, where the Brewers still must answer the question of what to do about Ryan Braun. Fans, I think, are still pretty split on what to do with him and there's at least some merit in both schools of thought. On the one hand, there's a chance he'll mature into at least a competent defender at third base, a la the progression of Rickie Weeks at second. However, there is legitimate concern about how many growing pains a contending team like Milwaukee can afford to suffer while competing for a division title.

I'm not totally sold either way. My opinion on the whole situation hinges on what kind of market's availble as a replacement. So, if presented with the opportunity to acquire a truly above-average third baseman, I think the Crew should jump on it. If they get a player who's just a guy, like the rumored possible acquisition of Tadihito Iguchi, I'm not a big fan. Alternately, if the Brewers can get their hands on a really plus outfielder, I have no issues with sticking with Ryan Braun at third, because I think he's showed enough flashes to think that he'll eventually be at least a passable defender at the hot corner (though I could be totally off base here - a lot of people with more scouting experience than I say he's got some natural inclinations that make success there a real unlikely scenario).

With that in mind, here's my opinion on some of the rumors floating around about what the Brewers will do for the 3B/LF vacancy:

Trade with the Dodgers for OF Andre Etheir/Matt Kemp
Rumors are that the Brewers could deal a starting pitcher (possibly even Ben Sheets) for one of the Dodgers' uber prospects in the outfield. The scenario got more likely this week with Los Angeles' signing of Andruw Jones, and it's true that LA needs starting pitching. With a right handed-heavy lineup, Ethier would seem to make more sense as a lefty, but I'm hoping that it wouldn't take either Sheets or Bill Hall to pry him loose. Were they able to get him without giving up any of the two I just mentioned, I'd be all for it.

Sign Free Agent Tadihito Iguchi
This one's a bit of risk, in that Iguchi's never played third in the majors. He did play some there in Japan, but it's been over three years since his last appearance there in a live game. Iguchi would be a fit because the Brewers have publicly stated a desire to improve their on-base percentage, but Iguchi, while a plus bat at second base, has power deficiencies that wouldn't make him an ideal player at third. It's worth noting, though, that the Brewers might be able to deal with those limitations more than most clubs because of their plus bats at premium positions up the middle with Bill Hall, JJ Hardy and Rickie Weeks.

Trade for Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen
Though the popular belief seems to be that this deal is dead, numerous outlets (specifically JS columnist Tom Haudricourt) think that the recent ugly display of the rift between Rolen and manager Tony LaRussa leaves the door open because St. Louis desperately needs to unload Rolen. Also, the Dodgers, long considered a leading contender for Rolen are probably now out of the running because of their signing of Andruw Jones. If the remaining teams rumored to have interest in Rolen (such as the Giants) pull back on the deal, St. Louis could be forced to come back to the Brewers with reduced demands (rumored to originally be both Chris Capuano and Bill Hall, a price Doug Melvin deemed too steep for the risk/price of Rolen). I'm not really qualified to offer an unbiased opinion on Rolen, since he's one of my favorite players, but I'll say this - if the Brewers can get him in a low ball deal where they only give up Capuano and the Cards pick up a good amount of his salary, I'd be all for it.

While there may be other rumors floating around, those are probably the only ones discussed enough to merit serious discussion. However, it's important to note that with a rare surplus in starting pitching (the rotation now has the following candidates: Ben Sheets, Yovani Gallardo, Jeff Suppan, Carlos Villanueva, Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, Manny Parra), there will be plenty of teams contacting the Brewers in the coming weeks looking to make a deal. It's a safe bet then that despite a flurry of action thus far, the Brewers aren't yet done.


Marquette 81, Wisconsin 76


(courtesy of the Onion?)
You Will Suffer Humiliation When The Sports Team From My Area Defeats The Sports Team From Your Area.
As you can see from the calendar, the game is coming up this weekend. I'm sure you are as excited for it as I am, as our cities are rivals and have been for quite some time. Your confidence in your team is high, but rest assured, you will suffer humiliation when the sports team from my area defeats the sports team from your area.

On numerous occasions, you have expressed the conviction that your area's sports team will be victorious. I must admit that every time I hear you make this proclamation, I react with both laughter and disbelief. "Ha!" I say to myself with laughter. "What?!" I say to myself in disbelief. How could you believe that your sports team could beat my sports team? It is clear that yours is inferior in every way.

When the sporting contest begins, the players on your team will be treated as though they are inconsequential. It will be remarkably easy for my team to accumulate more points than yours. There are many reasons for this, starting with the inferior physical attributes of the players representing your area. Strength, speed, and agility are just three of the qualities that the players on the team from your area lack. The players representing my area, on the other hand, have these traits in abundance.

Underscoring your team's inferiority is its choice of colors. It is ludicrous to believe that your team's colors inspire either respect or fear. Instead, they appear to have been chosen by someone who is colorblind or, perhaps, bereft of sight altogether. The colors for my team, on the other hand, are aesthetically pleasing when placed in proximity to one another. They are a superior color combination in every way.

While we are on the subject of aesthetics, let us compare the respective facilities in which our teams play. While my team's edifice is blessed with architectural splendor and the most modern of amenities, yours is a thoroughly unpleasant place in which to watch a sporting contest. I know of what I speak, for I once attended a game between our respective teams in your facility. Let's just say the experience left me wishing that my car was inoperable that day due to mechanical problems, rendering it impossible for me to get to your area to attend the game.

If you need another reason why the sporting franchise representing my area is superior, look no further than the supporters for the two sides. Not only are the supporters of the team from my region more spirited, but they are also more intelligent and of finer breeding than you and the rest of your ilk. In addition, the female supporters of the team from my area possess more attractive countenances and figures than yours. Some of the women from my side that I have observed could make a living by posing for pictures for major men's magazines. The women who cheer for your team, I'm afraid, are far too unattractive to do so.

One of the more pathetic aspects of the team from your area is the fact that only people in your immediate area possess an affinity for it. By means of contrast, the team from my area inspires loyalty and affection in individuals who live in many other geographic locations.

To illustrate this point, let me tell a brief story: Recently, I was on vacation in an area of the country far away from my own, and I saw many individuals wearing items of clothing that bore the insignia of my team. I approached one such individual and asked him if he originated from my area. He said no, explaining that he simply liked the team from my area and had for many years. Interestingly enough, during this trip, I saw no clothing or other paraphernalia bearing the insignia of your team.

Do you still doubt that the team from your area is inferior to the one from mine? Just look at our teams' respective histories. In the past, we have defeated you on any number of occasions. Granted, there were times when your team beat my team, but those were lucky flukes.

The day of the game will soon be at hand. And no matter how hard you pray to a higher power or how many foam accoutrements you wear in support of the team from your area, your team will be defeated. We will win and you will lose. This is your fate.

Prepare for humiliation. It shall be upon you at the designated hour.


ESPN has a learning disability

Was it all in my head, or did we not undergo an NFL offseason that emphasized just how dangerous concussions can be? Either ESPN missed the message that they were supposively trying to convey, or they want football players to live short lives.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that returning to a game after suffering a concussion is extremely dangerous, even potentially fatal, ESPN continues to glorify the "guts" of players who do exactly that. I remember watching a clip on Jon Kitna, and they talked about how tough he was when he returned to the game after suffering a concussion. I let it slide, because I don't really know the details of that case, and I think Kitna might have been cleared to go back in the game (perhaps without justifaction, but still...).

But now I'm watching a piece on Chase Daniel, and here we go again...Recalling Missourri's season opener against Illinois when Daniel was smoked, left dazed and "returned to the game on the next play (emphasis by ESPN)." Then, as if to taunt me with their incredible stupidity, they cut to a teammate saying how Daniel could not even remember the game, followed by more voice-over lauding his fearlessness.

Wow. What a tough guy. He's like some kind of superhero. Hey kids, if you suffer a concussion and don't get your ass back in the game, you're a pussy. Thanks ESPN.


Random Thoughts While Eating My Wheaties!!!

>> Friday

1.) Last night's Bears - Redskins game was about as interesting as a 30 year old porno...you try your best to get excited, but in the end, there's just no real payoff.

2.) Was I the only one who thought Bryant Gumbel was having a proctology exam performed during the three hour snooze.

3.) Speaking of a proctology exam, I wonder if that would "jump start" this Bears team?

4.) Exhibits X,Y, and Z of why Devin Hester doesn't line up on offense very much...stellar route running you dumb, sonofabitch!

5.) Fred "the human turnstile" Miller can now add "Master of the Illegal Procedure" and "Old as Dirt" to his reputation as a piss poor blocker. Maybe the Bears could reassign him as the head parking attendant. Come on through!

6.) Hey Bechtel, the way the White Sox are doing buisness, the Brewers might be able to pawn that other turnstile Jason Kendall on the White Sox for someone like Mark Burhele.

7.) Ken (ny) Williams, have fun being in last place for like a decade you jackass.

8.) Marquette hit the century mark against that cute, lovable team from the East side. Just goes to show that the team with better talent usually wins...sorry Hoosiers, you guys looked pretty awful!

9.) I just heard Skip Bayless call Sage Steele "sexy." I've never been so creeped out in my life.

10.) This MAN would like to say farewell to Wrecks Grossman and FINALLY HELLO to the man, the myth, the legend, and OUR SAVIOR, KYLE ORTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Gumblin' bumblin' stumblin'

>> Thursday

Before tonight, I'd heard a lot about what a terrible play-by-play man Bryant Gumble is. (And I'm still confused why a news man is doing PBP, but whatever.)

Well, I just got my first taste. Just now after a Robbie Gould 48-yard field goal attempt fell at about the 5 yardline, he said, "It may have been blocked, but I'm not sure."

To which I say, yes, it was blocked. Quite clearly. And I'm sure. Robbie Gould is not a child. He can kick the ball more than 40 yards. I have seen it. Many times.

Strike one, Gumble.


Minor League Dumbasses Don't Think Things Through

Yes, it's a tad old, but forgive me, I haven't exactly been up on my minor league baseball news recently. That being said, this is just as worthy of YCS's classic brand of ridicule and armchair-quarterbacking.

The Colorado Rockies affiliate in Casper Wyoming, the Casper Rockies, changed their name to the Casper Ghosts (rimshot), and also have claimed to have created the first glow-in-the-dark baseball caps. If the suits are to be believed, the logo will be nearly invisible on the hat, but in the dark, the logo will glow.

Which is funny, because aren't baseball games sunlit or floodlit? Soooooooo you've created this great first in baseball, but no one will ever see it on the field.

(sarcastic applause)


Young Whippersnappers II: My comment became a post

>> Wednesday

Like Nate, I'm a reformed "Kids should go to school" guy in a sports perspective, so I'm gonna agree with him, but for different reasons.

The NBA may say that it's helping players develop into the NBA game. Not being a professional, or even marginally talented basketball player myself, I can't believe that players like LeBron and Kobe would have been THAT MUCH better had they gone for 4 years, or even 1 year of college.

That being said, I'll bet a lot of TEAMS wish they had their draft picks back when they were afraid of missing out on the next Kevin Garnett. Jonathan Bender (Toronto, 5th pick in '99 Draft) and Kwame Brown (Washington, #1 in '00 Draft), I'm looking in your direction. I don't care about "role players" or "solid contributors" or "defensive specialists" in this discussion. If you use a top-5 or top 10 pick on a guy, he needs to be a player who can help your franchise more than 10 points a night.

I also think it's really duplicitous for the NBA to talk a big game about its players getting a college education now, while at the same time celebrating (and profiting off) players like LeBron, Kobe, McGrady, and Wade, none of whom have graduated from college, and only Wade went.

Really all that this "one-year" rule does is it disperses NBA teams' risk on a young prospect by giving them an extra year to watch them play against competition that doesn't involve 5'10" white guys and coaches' sons with bad shots who couldn't make it on the bench at a D-III school. If the NBA was really serious about wanting players to get an education, they'd require 4 years of college ball instead of one. The One-Year Freshman is really just a year-long pre-draft workout, but against teams like Duke, Georgetown, and Texas instead of teams like St. Luke's Academy and East Ridge High. It gives the GMs more insight into what kind of a player he would be before a top-5 draft pick is blown.

If you look at it through another lens, through the one-year-of-college rule, the NBA is keeping good players from freely working in jobs they're talented enough to do. In that respect the NBA is no different from any other profession which requires licenses for its members (Doctors, Attorneys, Pharmacists, Taxicab drivers, etc.). However, these industries differ from sports because there's not really the same public safety risk from a guy claiming to have knowledge and training in basketball and being unqualified that say...someone who claims to be a good heart surgeon . The stakes aren't as high. So if they can cut it, there's really no reason to keep them out. It can only make the NBA's talent pool deeper and better. So why not do it? I think you need to look at who would BENEFIT from new, young, talented players being left out of the league. In that case, I think you need to look at the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement and who has negotiating power.

This is something that I think falls completely at the feet of the Players' Union. They're the only people I can see who would benefit from keeping the hottest new prospect off the bench. Perhaps old vets hanging on by their fingernails for one last ride? During CBA negotiations, the players' union sits at the table and has negotiating power to ask for "one-year college requirements" that will never affect them because they're already in. High school prodigies can't negotiate. While that may sound cynical, I think we need to get away from the childish view of sports that it's just for "the good of the game," when especially in the United States, the leagues are mostly run by a cartel of owners who run the teams for their own profit or amusement. Why should we expect the players' union to be any different? A team taking a risk on a high school player is doing so with the expectation that they will be the future of their franchise, essentially saying that the old guard is out. Even if the new player is God-awful, it could be two or three years before their spot on the bench is cleared up, and for some vets, that's too long to wait.

If the fresh-outta high school players suck, they won't make it in the league, and teams that rely on them will be out wins and dollars. But if a player has the ability needed to succeed in the NBA at 18, then I say, by all means go for it. Requiring players to go to college does not allow a player to do the job he loves. However, on the other side of the coin, I think it's very rare for college basketball to HURT a player's development, both as an athlete and as a person. Could Dwyane Wade have made a splash in the NBA right out of high school instead of going to Marquette for 3 years? Maybe. But he might have been another late-90s high school draft washout. Tim Duncan certainly hasn't been any worse for the wear after 4 years at Wake.

In the end, the NBA owners and the players union negotiate the terms of the CBA, essentially setting policy for basketball in North America for their own benefit (be it another year or two of playing past your prime, or less risk on the next Garnett/Bender), while the newer players, who will be affected by this policy, don't have a say.

That's just my $.02.


Young Whipper Snappers

>> Tuesday

Right off the bat, let me disclose that this is an expansion of Kevin Blackistone's comments on Around the Horn this afternoon.

Blackistone made a 30-second argument against forcing high school studs to play at least one year in college. I had not heard a convincing argument for this point until today. The most Blackistone could get out in 30 seconds was that we are 'wasting' scholarships on one-year players. Without sufficient time to explain himself, I think his argument was not accepted by the other "experts." But KB, I gotch'ya. In those 30 seconds you flipped me from one side of the debate to the other. Let me explain what I think he was trying to get at...

One-year freshman like Oden, Durant, Rose and Mayo are definitely better for the game of basketball, but they're not better for college basketball. No matter how much we let academics fall by the wayside, these are still student-athletes. Colleges' first concern should be education; athletic entertainment should be secondary at best.

So imagine a world where players are not forced to go to college for at least a year (the same world where Saddam Hussein is still alive and Al Gore was still just a former veep). Are there magically going to be other super-talented players to step in, go to college for one year, and go to the NBA? Of course not. If you take away the top talent, the overall talent level drops. This is why it would be bad for the game itself. BUT, that means that those super freshmans' scholarships would not go to freshman who would have otherwise been minor headlines (I'm sure Zuch could fill us in on a bunch of great freshman that would not have been NBA prospects, who got scholarships anyway). Those extra scholarships would go to the guys who just missed getting a scholarship. The guys who may not be able to afford college without those scholarships. The guys who would have rode the bench, but would have gotten an education in the process.

When you have a finite amount of positions (like available D-I scholarships) if you add contestants at any level, the people at the bottom of the totum pole get knocked off. And too often those are the people that really need the scholarships.

So there you go. If you enjoy watching Kevin Love, OJ Mayo and Derik Rose play college hoops, you should feel guilty because somewhere out there are three kids who can't afford to go to college and will probably end up in a homeless shelter, and you are personally responsible for that because you enjoy watching talented freshman. You selfish bastard!



You want mint for pillow?

Please go away let me sleep, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Housekeeping. You want me to jerk you off?

What kind of hotel is this?!?!?

In all seriousness, I know you've all probably noticed how shitty the blog was looking in re: images. I think I fixed it by moving all of our images to a new hosting site, so let's hope this keeps it pretty.

Now get back to posting, you sons of bitches.


More of the Same

>> Friday

Serves you right, assholes. Yes, I know I shouldn't be celebrating a victory over a low-major team, but with the amount of whining they've done over the past 4 years claiming Marquette was "scared" to play them, or even more audaciously, that their team was on the same level as MU, tonight's 100-65 victory was a beautiful thing.


You Wish You Were This Cool

>> Wednesday

In the newest SI, there's an interview with Devin Hester where he's talking about growing up as a huge Deion Sanders fan. While Hester was at Miami, Neon got wind of Devin's fondness and left him the following voice mail:

"Hey, it's Prime. I want to be part of your life. Let me know."

They've been close friends ever since.

And, I know what you're thinking - Yes. Deion refers to himself as Prime. Not Prime Time, mind you, but just fuckin' Prime. Bad. Ass.

I demand this become a catchphrase.
Also, before you ask - yes, I did try to find only the most tangentally related picture for this post. Deion's jheri curl is out of control in that picture. Prime Time indeed, ladies.


RIP, Gatorade inventor

>> Tuesday

[ding ding di-di-ding di-di ding di-di-ding]
Hot town
Summer in the city
Back of my neck gettin' dirty and grity

If you haven't heard (in less tragic sports-world death news), Gatorade inventor Dr. J. Robert Cade passed away from kidney failure today.

"Naturally, we called the stuff Gator-ade."

While us YCSers have admittedly used his invention to recover from hangovers far more than fourth-quarter cramps in recent years, I think it's appropriate to honor the man who invented the drink that not only inspired the Florida Gators' 1964 Orange Bowl win, but also the "like Mike" commercials, the "Love Hurts" commercial spoofed by the SNL cookie dough sketch, and knockoffs like Powerade and the generic version, Sports Drink.

As a kid, the one saving grace in having the flu or recovering from anesthetic was knowing there'd be a cold bottle of lemon-lime Gatorade in the fridge to provide that minimal substenance or, at least, taste good.

Whether it's been by physical exhaustion or illness (God-given or self-induced), Gatorade has been a boon to us all. So in Dr. Cade's honor, I open the floor to any other odes-to-Gatorade we'd like to express.

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