[ding ding di-di-ding di-di ding di-di-ding]
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.
Greatest penalty call, Ever!!!!
Since this discussion is going down in an everyone-write-your-own-post fashion, here is my contribution.
DISCLAIMER: This post does not take the financial aspect of the debate into consideration at all. My argument is that a playoff would ultimately leave the fans just as upset, and ultimately more upset, than they are with the BCS system.
Maybe I glazed over someone mentioning this, but I'm pretty sure that you guys are missing one important point: if you go to a playoff there will still be debate over who really deserves to be there, conference championships would still unfairly screw over certain teams, and no one would really be all that satisfied. In other words, it would solve nothing.
Consider the following, very plausible situation: Missourri loses to Oklahoma and LSU loses to Tennessee in the Big 12 and SEC Championships, respectively. Also, West Virginia holds up against Pittsburgh.
That would mean a championship game between West Virginia and Ohio State (which, by the way, I really really hope doesn't happen). Since the Rose Bowl always wants a Big Ten/Pac-10 matchup, they would invite Illinois and Arizona State (a real thriller). Since Tennessee won the SEC, they would get a BCS bid. Since Hawaii is undefeated and eligible to go to a BCS bowl, they would get an invite. Then you have the ACC champion, either Virginia Tech or Boston College and the Big 12 champion, Oklahoma.
Now, one might say, "Look at those terrible games, this is why there should be a playoff." And yes, a playoff between those eight teams would be more entertaining than four independent, crappy games. But explain that to Georgia and Kansas, who would finish the regular season #3 and #4 in the BCS rankings, respectively. Kansas is a one loss team (and their one loss was to a tough team) and Georgia is almost inarguably the hottest team in the country right now. Explain to them why they don't even get into the eight-team playoff.
Now you can say that Kansas had their shot. "All" they had to do was beat Missourri and Oklahoma to maintain their perfect record. But Georgia has dominated their opponents--including Florida, Kentucky and Auburn--over the last two months. At times, they've looked unstoppable. Except they are stoppable, by a playoff system or the BCS system. Either way, Georgia gets screwed. And either way, people are not satisfied with the declared champion.
Even in a less bizzarre year, with a playoff, people would argue about who should get those two at-large bids and people will bitch and moan when a weak conference sends a weak conference champion in the place of a great non-champion from another conference.
So with those complaints existing either way, I prefer the current system that really does give a playoff feel to every game throughout the year, increasingly as the season progresses. A two or three loss team can pull a conference championship out of their ass and go to a BCS game, but the moment they lose that second game, all national championship hopes essentially evaporate. Games like LSU/Kentucky, LSU/Arkansas, Kentucky/Lousiville, Kentucky/Tennessee, USC/Stanford, Oklahoma/Texas Tech, etc. etc. lose a lot of "magic" (or whatever you want to call it) if you know the losers of those game will probably get into the playoff anyway.
We don't cover this stuff too much, but obviously, our hearts go out to Redskins safety Sean Taylor and his family and friends right now. As of last report, he's in a coma following surgery and doctors fear brain damage due to lack of blood flow to the brain [insert doctory stuff from Paul here].
So we don't dwell on the sadness of what happened, here's a video of Taylor lighting up everything in sight while he was at the U.
Fight on, Sean.
You could call this a two-part post. It began as a comment to Sever's post about some conferences having a title game while others don't, and I decided to take the ball and run with it. So first, addressing the title game:
The conference title game has always been a murky issue as far as the BCS goes (though one could say the BCS as a whole is a murky issue, no?). Anyways, you could call it a double-edged sword too. Yes, in this case, Mizzou could be screwed if they don't take care of business and finish 11-2, While WVU would be 11-1 with a win at Pitt. However, in a different year, a team ranked 3 in the BCS could theoretically leapfrog the #2 team by winning a title game when #2 doesn't play one. In other words, if not for that same conference title game that's being knocked now, said team wouldn't have a shot at it at all. So it really works both ways.
That said, I think this year more than any other makes a solid case for why a playoff system of some sort would work wonders in college football. There have been a staggering number of top-level teams being defeated, to the point where the BCS is truly a minefield. As a result, there is more parity at the top than ever before.
Take Kansas, for example. The Jayhawks had an unprecedented season, with their only loss coming to a one-loss Missouri team that was up at the top of the Big 12 with them. Since both teams share a division in the conference, the loss not only eliminates Kansas from the title game, but denies them a chance to vault back in with a spot in the conference title game.
Ohio State ran the table for most of the season, only to stumble against Illinois. While that was a game that the Buckeyes should have won, do they honestly deserve to play for secondary hardware simply because they lost the one game (effectively tying them in record with West Virginia and Missouri)?
Finally, Hawaii can run the table with a win against Washington on Saturday. Unfortunately for them, they are in a lesser conference, and their geographical location does not allow them to customize their non-conference schedule as well as they would like, making them lower in the standings, despite being the only undefeated team in the NCAA. Perhaps a playoff system would give them a shot at the national title?
A solution would be to re-weight the BCS to allow for some semblance of parity between the conferences, perhaps even giving extra weight to the teams who come from non-title game conferences. A 12-team tournament could begin on December 8, with the top four teams getting a bye. Even allowing a bye week before the New Year would put the title game at roughly the same spot it is now. As for the current bowls, they could be absorbed into the playoff system, where the major bowls become hosts for the semifinals. The minor bowls can continue to operate as they currently do, taking teams ranked 13th and beyond. So, without further ado, here is the hypothetical top 12 playoffs, based on the current BCS.
2. West Virginia
3. Ohio State
Those teams all have bye weeks, and the first-round matchups are as follows:
#5 Kansas vs. #12 Hawaii
#6 Virginia Tech vs. #11 Boston College
#7 LSU vs. #10 Florida
#8 USC vs. #9 Oklahoma
Obviously, week two would either follow traditional tournament seedings, with #1 playing the 8-9 winner, #2 the 7-10, and so on, or possibly re-seed so the top team plays the lowest ranking team alive, and so forth. Keep in mind that these seedings are based on today's BCS, which is designed for a 2-team title game, and that the rankings I made today are solely based on up-to-date rankings, not accounting for more topsy-turviness next week. Perhaps I'll devise the new rankings in the offseason and do this throughout the year next season.
As you can see, this system brings back the teams that at one point had a clear shot at the title, only to stumble once, and opens up the national championship picture, eliminating much of the debate.
Unfortunately, the dearth of college teams will still leave some teams out, Arizona State and Tennessee, the first two teams out of the playoffs, played solid seasons and could make their own cases, but this is going to be the case in all of college sports. Let's not forget that the 65-team NCAA basketball field has an angry 66, 67, 68, and 69 who are left out. However, this system would give more teams the chance, instead of an easily debateable two.
Just my long-winded $.02
Edit: Now that this has got me thinking about it, I'm gonna design the "Danny Championship Rankings System", and post that and the rankings/matchups in the next day or two.
ESPN's Sportscenter tab "#1 and #2 Teams Upset"
Yes, that's right.
#2 Kansas's loss to #4 (now #1) Missouri, on a neutral site, is an "upset."
Aren't we taking this "season of upsets" a little too far here?
Kirk Herbstreit is a dumbass. He pins the "unfairness" of Mizzou having to play in a conference title game while Ohio State doesn't have to on conference commissioners. Never mind that there are certain prerequisites for having one that are actually in the NCAA bylaws. Note the conferences with title games, and what they have in common.
ACC- 12 teams
SEC- 12 teams
Big XII- 12 teams
C-USA- 12 teams
MAC- 13 teams
You can only hold a conference title game if your conference has 12 teams or more and you can split into divisions. That's the whole reason why the SEC poached Arkansas from the old Southwest Conference almost 20 years ago. That's why the old Big Eight confrence snatched up Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor. That's why the ACC added Miami, VaTech, and BC. To get to 12 teams so they could hold a conference title game.
My opinion: If conferences want to hold a cash grab known as a conference title game, then there can be no complaining of unfairness when a team actually has to play in one. Kirk Herbstreit replied in the affirmative to "So by having to play Oklahoma, doesn't Mizzou put themselves in a position where they can only lose what they've already gained?"
There's one game left in the season. Mizzou hasn't "Gained" the national title game yet. They're Big 12 North Champions. Woohey! That's like saying a basketball team with the lead with 2 minutes to go is unfairly made to play the last two minutes and "lose what they already have."
Just askin': What sportscaster from what ESL class is responsible for the term "ill-afford?" (Latest offender: CBS's James Brown.)
"Ill-afford" is not a word. It also sounds stupid and doesn't really make sense. In fact, I don't think tacking an adjective on the front of a verb is considered acceptable at all. In about five minutes thinking about this (my time isn't very valuable), the only example I came up with was "hard-boil." And even that, arguably, is just a fake verb derived from consecutive adjectives describing an egg.
"Ill-aford" is stupid, made-up, Japanglish crap that broadcasters use to sound proper or something. It needs to go.
While parts of the world have been moving towards FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 for some time now, the draws for North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia were completed today. As always, the interesting part is seeing
A) Where there's the most chance for soccer to bring out the worst in people by becoming a metaphor for their national existence, and
B) Who Team USA is playing, "cuz this is Am-ay-ree-ka"
The answer to the latter is the winner of the Dominica-Barbados first round home-and-home-total-goals series. The Stars and Stripes received a bye to the second round series. Should Dominica advance, it could even mean two home games for the Americans. Dominica's facilities were somewhat lacking during qualification for the 2006 World Cup, and had to play their "home" game for their series against Mexico in San Antonio in front of a pro-Mexico crowd.
Should USA advance (Which is a damn near certainty), then they will enter a group stage semifinal round. Their opponents for this group will likely be Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, and Guatemala. Of the three group stage semifinals, this one is shaping up as the most interesting. For starters, it is the only semifinal stage to have two teams who qualified for the 2006 World Cup (USA, T&T). It also features a politically-charged match in Havana as the US travels to Cuba. Guatemala is also always a tough trip. The top two in the group advance to the Regional Finals in 2009. The US should advance, but it could get dicey along the way.
Elsewhere, the Asian draw features a spicy North Korea-South Korea matchup in Group 3.
Likewise, the European draw seems to be little short on drama.
- Group 5 features regional heavyweights Turkey against minnows Armenia. Turkey perpetrated a genocide against Armenians many years ago and a lot of people haven't let it go. Could get prickly.
- Group 6 not only features England against Croatia (the team that knocked them out of the 2008 European Championships), but also three different former Soviet Republics playing against each other (Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan). Ethnic hatred galore.
- Group 4 features Russia going against former Dubya-Dubya-Two enemies Finland and Germany
- Group 3 features the Czechoslovakia reunion as Czech Rep. and Slovakia meet. Also, fun with tongue-tied announcers as Slovakia faces off against Slovenia.
- Group 8 sees Ireland return to the site of their humiliating defeat to Cyprus. It also sees tiny Montenegro, in their first official competition as a footballing nation, taking on World Champions Italy. Welcome to the party, boys.
- Group 2 is WIDE OPEN. There really is no clear favorite among Israel, Greece, Switzerland, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Moldova. Frankly there shouldn't be.
USA-Cuba, Russia-Germany, Czech Rep.-Slovakia, Turkey-Armenia, Korea Republic-Korea DPR
Top GAMES to look forward to
England-Croatia, Possibly Canada-Mexico, Scotland-Netherlands, Italy-Ireland, England-Ukraine, Russia-Germany.
Despite missing out on a bowl game, suffering more losses than any year in school history, and generally being the national laughingstock of college football, Notre Dame can claim one thing. Undefeated champion of California. The Irish went undefeated in the Golden State in 2007, notching wins at UCLA and Stanford. Their loss to USC was at Notre Dame.
If you haven't heard, former Brewers closer Francisco Cordero signed today with the Cincinnati Reds for 4 years/$46 million. Seriously, 11.5 mill/year for a reliever.
I said it at the beginning of the hot stove league, and I'll say it again - I'm really, really glad the Brewers didn't spend this kind of money on Cordero. Yes, it's really nice to have a reliable pitcher at the back end of your bullpen, but - as we've said many, many times - no relief pitcher is worth superstar money for pitching three (often meaningless) outs every few days.
Kudos to Doug Melvin for avoiding the pressure from the Milwaukee talk radio crowd to get Cordero back with the team, regardless of the cost. I'm confident, regardless of what the radio callers say, that the Brewers will find a 'closer' in either spring training or the first few weeks of the season. It's not like they haven't done it before. My dark horse pick - Seth McClung. Dude throws lighting and is going to be working with Mike Maddux to solidify his breaking ball throughout spring training. Remember his name, he just seems to me like the ideal candidate for the next Doug Melvin/Mike Maddux reclamation project.
One other note tangentally related to this topic - interesting talks of a deal floating around: rumors of a possible Ben Sheets and Bill Hall trade to Atlanta for Kelly Johnson, Rafael Soriano and Jeff Francouer (plus probably a prospect on both sides, a higher-level one from Milwaukee). I don't like the idea just because I'm staunchly opposed to trading Ben Sheets during the off-season and I honestly don't think Francouer is a significant upgrade from the Jenkins/Mench platoon from last year. Higher average, yes, but same generally lousy on-base percentage.
Also, I don't think it will happen because it doesn't make a ton of sense - the Brewers just signed Jason Kendall (with Kendall apparently under the assumption that he'll start) and Atlanta traded Jarrod Saltalamacchia and committed to Johnson duing this year's trade deadline. It doesn't make sense that they'd go from a really, really rare amount of depth at a premium position to next to none in the span of half a season, but that's just my thought. Their rumored abundant interest in Sheets might outweigh any catching complications (and Bobby Cox has always been really interested in Billy Hall), but I just don't think this trade makes much logistical sense.
Last week, Vinnie made a post on Matt Vasgersian's inability to place a music reference that he himself made. It was a particularly high dosage of Vinnie's sanctimonius brand of snarkiness that none of the rest of us are guilty of, ever.
Well, Vinnie, you can go to hell, because you were wrong too, you son of a bitch. Reader Doc from our favorite Peoria-based radio station (ESPN Radio 96.5, bitches) emailed us and cued us in on the what Vasgersian was trying to remember:
Discovered your site while trying to pull out the brilliant music reference made by Matt V (sp?)
More More More was done by the Andrea True Connection…She was a porn star / singer / actress..cool song when you realize who was singing it
Cool, indeed. And thanks for reading, Doc (or, thank you for stumbling onto our site).
For the rest of you assholes out there reading the fetid pile of garbage that piles up on this page - what's the deal? You never write. Our other children love us more. You were the ones that put us in a home. You're out of the will.
Gratuitous plug - The next time any of you are in Peoria, tune into the Doc & Kotter show, 96.5 on your radio dial. 5-7, weeknights. Make it happen.
Son of a bitch. I hate it when stuff I do, say or write comes back to bit me in the ass. And boy, did it ever. Remember around the trading deadline when the Cubs traded for Jason Kendall, and I laughed haughtily - gregariously, even - at how stupid they were?
Well, fuck me, because the Brewers, if these sources are correct, are on the verge of feeding me my words in the form of a giant, Jason Kendall-sized middle finger.
Now, don't get me wrong. I've got nothing personally against Jason Kendall. Aside from being kind of a hothead, he seems like an alright guy that his teammates seem to like, or at least tolerate. But the guy is old and hasn't been a legitimately productive hitter since 2003, when he went .325/.399/.416 with 6 homers (seriously - six). On top of that, he's possibly the second-worst defensive catcher in the majors (in terms of throwing out runners), behind only the guy the Brewers are looking to replace, Johnny Estrada.
Believe me, I'm not upset that the Brewers got rid of Estrada. Johnny was terrible in 2007 and has an intolerable penchant for swinging at everything while displaying a Herculean aversion towards taking a walk. In that sole regard, yes, Kendall - and his .375 OBP - is an upgrade.
No, the trade doesn't make me mad because it's necessarily a step backwards, it makes me mad because it's such a deliberate and obvious step sideways. Replacing one no-hit/no-field catcher with an identical model just doesn't jive. It's not the kind of move we're accustomed to seeing from Doug Melvin, because at the end of the day it does little to nothing in terms of improving the Brewers for the future, or even the present.
I would have preferred to see the Brewers go out and spend bargain bin money on a plus defensive catcher, regardless of the offensive sacrifice. With a linup that features Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Bill Hall, JJ Hardy and Rickie Weeks as legitimate 20+ HR threats, the Brewers can afford to take a hit at the plate, provided they're getting a meaningful defensive contribution behind the plate. With Kendall, they'll get neither the defensive boost they'd like over last year's performance nor the offensive upgrade they might expect from a new backstop.
The one caveat to the whole thing, of course, are the rumors that Estrada was dealt because of feuds with pitching coach Mike Maddux and some members of the pitching staff. If it's true, it might help, at least in part, to explain what appears to be a completely hollow move from the Brewers front office.
If you haven't heard yet, one of the players the Chicago Cubs are hot on this offseason is Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome, a 30 year-old corner outfielder.
Personally, I'm extremely pleased that the Cubs are taking this risk, rather than, say, offering up big money to an aging CF like Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter (as my nemesis Jim Lynam of Q101, among others, has been touting for a few weeks).
All I'm saying is, this guy--should he sign with the Cubbies--had better be good. And immediately. Or else we may be in for the most repetitive use of an obvious, unfunny slam since Andy Mc"Fail."
"Fukudome" + lack of production + uncreative bleacher bums = hackiness of biblical proportions.
One of the hallmarks of a great rivalry is not only rooting for your team, but taking perhaps excessive amounts of satisfaction out of watching your rivals crash on their faces.
As many of you know, I hate the New England Revolution. As many of you probably didn't know, today they were playing in their fourth MLS Cup Final in six years. (If you didn't know, that's OK, as long as you're not a redneck asshole like Jim Armstrong.)
"The bloggers are online right now killing us for it."
-Matt Vasgersian, on his inability to place a music reference that he made
What he was referring to was his call during a Maurice Morris touchdown just now against the Bears. The musical reference (which his broadcast partner thought was the Bee Gees and which Vasgerian placed as, "some '70s disco group") was the phrase, "Mo' mo' mo'."
Well, I'm not gonna "kill" anyone over this, but I'm more than happy to help out.
There very well could have been a disco song with lyrics similar to this, but I'm pretty sure his brain was pulling up the Billy Idol song, "Rebel Yell." If anyone can think of what else he may have been thinking, we (Vasgersian and I, that is) are open to suggestions. But I'm pretty sure that's the one.
And you are welcome, Mr. Vasgersian.
With all the attention paid to Kevin Love, and the Kentucky upset, and North Carolina, the story that's getting pushed aside is the early-season struggles of the Marist Red(d) Fox(x)es. After opening the season with a win over Delaware, Marist got blown out by Miami and this afternoon they lost a tough game to Houston, getting bumped from the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
YCS was able to get in touch with Redd Foxx himself via ouija boards and lot of candles, and asked him about his teams struggles.
So Redd, what's going on with your team?
Marist, of course.
Who the hell is Marist?
Haha, oh Redd you big goof. You're basketball team, how do you feel about losing to Houston?
I don't know what the hell you're talking about.
Man, you're still hilarious. Gotta wash yo ass, right?
How did you find me?
"Well, you know, is that not insulting? That’s totally insulting for a coach of his stature to say something so stupid,” said Walker, getting angrier by the syllable. “So my question I say to him is, if he’s got that much guts, why don’t he step in a ring against me? You don’t say something that silly, because you’re going to get somebody hurt. Georgia was punished, because that’s a penalty. They didn’t go out to hurt anyone. [Spurrier] talks about hurting somebody. How much guts do you have? Step in a ring with me, and then we’ll see.”
I know it's kinda silly to point out stupid ESPN headlines, but I couldn't resist posting this one: "Bears bringing Rexy back: Grossman to start."
I accidentally found myself watching Rome Is Burning today (when you're trying to get a 5-month-old kid to stop crying, changing the channel is an impossible task) and I noticed something peculiar.
Jim Rome played quotes from his radio show, which is fine, but he introduced the clip and then included himself asking the question in the clip. So it would go something like this:
Rome: "I asked Les Miles if anyone from Michigan had contacted him about becoming the school's next head coach"
Sound clip: "Has anyone from Michigan contacted you about a potential coaching position?" "(Miles' reply)"
Since I don't normally watch the show, I don't know if this is common or if it was a one-time oddity, but I can say with confidence that Jim Rome loves the sound of his own voice. Which is good, because I don't think anyone else even mildly likes the sound of Jim Rome's voice.
At first, it reads like a rejected Home Improvement script. In a salute to astroturf, Tim and Al get to film on location at the re-astro-sodding of the Silverdome. Tim thinks the astroturf needs more power. Let's use fiber optics instead. Ho ho ho. Insert obvious joke here. Scratch crotch. What happened to my career?
But it's brilliant ideas like this that make whoever came up with this a likely millionaire, and guys like us unemployed, opining on sports, and coming up with ideas for episodes for sitcoms that went off the air a decade ago.
Fiber-optic field turf or "Turf TV" is apparently only about a year away from commercial production. Long the domain of tacky Christmachaunikwaanzivus decorations, this Ontario-based company is creating a stadium-sized version that can among other things, accurately judge foot positioning for out-of-bounds calls, convert from football lines to soccer lines to lacrosse lines to whatever lines in a matter of seconds, and even display the first-down line we've grown so accustomed to on TV, but feel lost without in the stadium.
There's no electricity at field level, just refracted light, so it could work for indoor and outdoor stadiums, the fibers simulate grass, so they'd stand up to a football player's contact, and their 1.7 million-dollar cost could be offset by advertising revenue during commercial breaks.
While a great idea, I think this needs to be stopped. If only to keep 100-yard wide commercials for Frank TV from contaminating our stadiums.
Thank you, Drew Carey.
Last night on MNF, Drew Carey was on the broadcast to announce his involvement as a minority owner of a Major League Soccer team for Seattle, to begin play in 2009.
The Seattle team was announced today as the league's 15th club, with an ownership group consisting of Paul Allen (The Seahawks owner), Carey, and the ownership of the present Seattle minor league soccer club. A recent conversation with Jeff Cooper, head of the group looking to bring the league's 16th club to the greater St. Louis area implied that Seattle stamped their ticket to the league because Allen more or less dropped a sack of money at the MLS league offices on Fifth Avenue.
However, it's the nascent club's minority owner bringing in the attention. Among the proposals that the Price is Right host made to bring himself into the fold; allowing fans to buy membership into the club, and every four years, vote on the general manager on everything from the quality of play on Qwest Field's plastic pitch to the taste of the hot dogs.
Carey also wants the team to have a marching band.
Goofy marching band routines are alright for Ringling Bros, and college football and stuff, I guess. Not sure if I buy it for soccer.
Carey and Allen represent the league's 13th ownership group. 10 new ownership groups have entered the league since 2004. (Colorado, Chivas USA, Chicago, New York, DC, Kansas City, Salt Lake, Toronto, San Jose, Seattle)
White men can dance!
1.) On Sunday's CBS Pre-Game show, Boomer Esiason suggested that football players these days need to play "smartly agressive." And he should know, afterall he has a degree from the University of Maryland in undergraduate studies. We should assume that he knows what he is talking about.
2.) Florida Gator Cheerleaders vs. the LuvaBulls: Discuss
3.) Bears special-team star Brandon Ayanbadejo said on the "Mac, Jurko, and Harry" show on ESPN Radio (1000AM) that "Chicago girls like hot dogs and beer. Chicago girls like kielbassa. I just want to give you a general sense of what Chicago women enjoy." Well, I guess there's one thing that we have in common with Milwaukee.
4.) Better bet: Amount of time before the Sex Cannon throws another INT or Lovie Smith repeats our favorite catchphrase, "Rex is our quarterback?"
5.) The Notre Dame-Air Force game was kind of like women's bodybuilding, difficult to watch, but hard to look away.
6.) On second thought, Charlie Weis makes it look kind of easy.
7.) Now that the Blackhawks are relevent in Chicago again, lets relive some memorable moments!
8.) The Bulls ice cold shooting can only be blamed on one thing, Global Warming
9.) More exciting to watch: Joakim Noah's free throw shooting or Ben Wallace trying to dunk?
10.) Norman Chad has it right when he says, "Pre-game introductions should no longer resemble the seond coming of the messiah." Sure, the Bulls got away with it when MJ roamed the court, but when your starting lineup consists of Andre Iguodala, Reggie Evans, Samuel Dalambert, Willie Green, and Andre Miller, maybe we should keep the lights off.
That Dropkick Murphys song rules.
Yeah, this is a joke, but come on - would you really be that surprised to see a story like this?
Ed: I found this picture on a Google search for Manny Ramirez. Apparently, he's selling this grill on ebay. I find it hilarious that the fact that Manny Ramirez used to own it is considered a selling point.
The color guy for the Pack-Vikings game (Brian Baldinger, I believe) just said that Brooks Bollinger led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl as a red shirt freshman in college. Wow, that is rare.
And as someone who never, ever mispeaks ever, I find that hilarious and worth documenting.
With the playoff push in full effect in fantasy leagues everywhere, it's time to get serious about managing your roster. With that, here are some invaluable tips for Week 10 that will surely lead your fantasy season to a big payday. Let's go!
Pickups of the week
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
If you happen to play in a four-team league with three-man rosters, and the other three guys in the league are all currently incarcerated, there's a good chance Adrian Peterson is sitting in the free agent pool.
But don't fall asleep on this rookie! He's a little under-the-radar, so most people probably didn't notice that he rushed for an NFL-record 296 yards last week. Their negligence is your boon. Pick him up!
Keenan McCardell, Washington Redskins
If you play in a thirty-team league with forty-man rosters, you'll wanna pick up McCardell. He may have only four catches on the season, but brighter days are clearly ahead for this hot reciever. The explosive air attack of the pass-happy 'Skins is ready to explode, and when it does, you'll want McCardell on your roster.
Start 'em or Sit 'em
Sebastiano Castellavecchia from Brooklyn asks: "ehhh... whicha dese guys should i be playin--wes welker or t.j. hooshamenzada?"
Well, Sebastiano, Wes Welker is on a bye this week, so assuming you meant "Houshmandzadeh," he's probably a better bet. But there's no guarantees in this league.
Jimmy Jo-Jo-Jo Shabadoo from Norfolk, VA asks: "Tony Romo or Brooks Bollinger?"
Listen up, everyone. In the highly unlikely event that your team also has this exact pair of players, I would say to start Bollinger. While Romo has had a slightly better season than Bollinger, my sources tell me that Romo is likely to go down with an injury midway through the first quarter tonight.
Well, that's a wrap for this week's fantasy wrap-up. My own team is 2-7 in our fantasy league, so remember--I know what I'm talking about.
And now that we've hyped the hell out of this week's slate of NFL games, please stay tuned to ESPN for bowling!
David Stern and Roger Goodell might be interested in the international intrigue of their sports, but the sports media here in the US is apparantly disinterested at best.
In case you haven't heard (and judging by the media coverage, you haven't) Yao and Yi's teams play each other tonight. The ratings for the game are expected to more than double last year's Super Bowl ratings. This is the biggest sports story in the most populated country, which is hosting the Olympics by the way. Yao vs. Yi: Bigger than the Olympics.
Yet the game will not be televised in the United States, unless you're lucky enough to live in the Milwaukee or Houston viewing area. Lucky for Bechtel and I, we are. The rest of you chumps: well apparantly you're not interested. ESPN doesn't even mention the story on their front page. Fox Sports doesn't even have the story on it's NBA front page. Enjoy your Nuggets/Wizards game, America.
Oh, man... This is too funny. I mean, I feel terrible for the girl. I honestly do, as hard as it is to tell beneath my uncontrolable laughter. I hope she gets some retribution, if not the full lawsuit amount because that's humiliation I wouldn't wish on anyone, or at least not on a majority of my friends and family.
I guess what gets me is the "Ewww!" part. Hahaha... Talk about taking something already incredibly juvenile and making it 100% juvenile and then some. Oh man, I love it.
A familiar theme from the Bulls fans here at YCS (especially Vinnie and I) would be that Scott Skiles does not give Tyrus Thomas enough minutes, although he's rightfully a starter now. Not surprisingly, the good folks at Basketball Prospectus targeted Thomas as a potential breakout player this season based on their statistical evaluations. Frankly, the two best players on the Bulls reside in the frontcourt, in Thomas and Luol Deng. Thomas's performances against Philly last Friday and Detroit tonight will likely be more and more frequent this season as he develops into one of the NBA's better players. Of course, Skiles needs to give Thomas the 30-35 minutes a night he deserves to get in order for him to fully realize his potential.
It seems everyone has an idea on how to increase scoring in soccer. After their Champions League game this week, Besiktas (in white) might disagree with the necessity of such measures.
Well, add Brazilian legend Pele to that list. In his tri-monthly rant on whatever topic he may or may not have any credibility on but expects people to listen because he's Pele, the three-time World Cup winner proposed banning the use of defensive walls.
Banning the use of defensive walls may increase the rate of successful service, but does nothing for finishing. What's to prevent the players who would otherwise be used in a defensive wall 10 yards from the spot of the foul from moving to another point in the defensive box? They could be just as obstructive to players making runs up the center on goal.
Besides, what's the regulation dividing line for what constitutes a wall? Four players standing near each other? Three? Two? What if the defense 10 yards out is not in a straight line, but presents the offensive players with just as limited options? What would the penalty be? A card for anyone who participates in the wall? Impractical. Retroactive punishment against clubs and coaches by using video evidence? Perhaps a nice idea, but that doesn't solve the problem in-game, and would be beneficial to the larger clubs who could better afford the cost of any fines which may result from what is, frankly, a very effective defensive strategy; one that like any other can be broken down by players famous...
...and not so much...
The bottom line is, no matter how many players are in the wall, there are still 11 players on the field for each team. If eight players are in a wall (as seen below), and service can't be provided to any one of the SIX UNMARKED PLAYERS or put ball that's 9 inches across into an 8 by 24 foot goal, perhaps it's time to reconsider who's taking your set-pieces, not meddle with the rules of a game that have gone largely unchanged for over 100 years. The only rule changes I can think of in my lifetime are disallowing a goalkeeper to pick up a ball one of his teammates played back to him, moving from two points to three for a win, an electronic board to signal substitutions or stoppage time, and one or two different overtime formats for knockout play.
Soccer has held out on change despite calls for fewer players, elimination of the off-sides rule (which would actually result in MORE boring soccer, not less), widening the goals, and now...interfering with managers' tactics, and legend or not, Pele's suggestion could only lead to more dirty play in the box, not a significant increase in goals.
A rumor circulating throughout the Chicagoland area is that KB is interested in purchasing "His Airness'" love pad in Highland Park. Also, people have been mentioning that if he were to become a Bull, he would be given MJ's locker in the dressing room. Now, the question I pose to you, what else will KB do to "Be Like Mike?" Maybe he could share his Hanes with Cuba Gooding Jr.
We've all heard Tom Brady's post-game statements about 9-0 not mattering, January is when it matters, and how he has the ability to walk on water and cure polio.
John Clayton wrote that this shows the players are buying into Belichick's philosophy. After every Patriots win we're going to hear the same questions about 16-0 and get the same boring response about how the regular season doesn't matter.
But if you buy any of that bullshit, you apparantly know a different Belichick than I do. The Belichick I know is an asshole, pure and simple. And winning another Super Bowl will not be enough for him, because he doesn't just want to be the best, he wants to be the best and rub it in your face.
That's what this whole ho-hum attitude is about. "Yeah, we just beat your ass up and down the field. Brady threw another four touchdowns and the guy we stole for a fourth round pick is cementing himself as the best reciever to ever play the game. Yawn. What's for dinner?"
But I wouldn't want to be Belichick's wife, kid or dog if they lose a game this season. As Mark "Greeny" said this morning, a team wins the Super Bowl every year, but 16-0 has never been done before, and would go down in history as the best team ever.
If the Colts lose another game somewhere down the road, the questions will really come to a head in the last two weeks when the Patriots will have nothing to play for other than an undefeated season. But this is the coach that plays his starters (and runs play action) in the fourth quarter when his team is up by 28 because he might see a little bit of life left in one of the opposing players that he hasn't beaten out of them yet. This entire season has been a big "fuck you" from the Patriots to the rest of the world. So why the hell would he sit his starters in week 17?
Of course, none of this will matter when the Steelers beat the Patriots in week 14 and James Harrison bends Brady's knee in four different directions.
Having first seen this link at Fire Joe Morgan, I guess it put the seed in my brain to FJM-ally deconstruct the quotes of the men quoted in this story.
Donny "Football," aka Coach Shula:
"The Spygate thing has diminished what they've accomplished."
It's diminished them so much that in the games since being caught--with the exception of this last one where they beat the other bestest team in football, who are also the reigning champs, in their home stadium--they've basically won every other game 38-16ish.
No wait! That's just in my fantasy brain-land! In reality, as every subsequent week, as well as the Pats tragic 1-8 record, have proven, they really fucking needed those cameras.
"You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They've got it."
By my count, they have that attached to precisely one accomplishment: beating the Jets. The New York motherfucking Jets, who have since been beaten twice by William and Mary and frice (four times) by Ray's.
Ok, ok. "The Pats were also doing this when they won their championships!" But weren't a lot of their opponents putting their cheating hats on as well? Also, weren't a lot of opponents entirely hopeless in many of those games, fancy Technicolor (TM) images aside?
"I guess you got the same thing as putting an asterisk by Barry Bonds' home run record."
You're right, Mr. Shula. It is just as infantile. Because just as steroid use is rampant and generally expected in baseball today, I would venture to say that spy-like techniques--whether by cameras, moles, suicide pills, or whathaveyou--are very commonplace in today's maniacally competetive NFL.
Now, from former Dolphins tight end Jim Mandich:
"You guys put forth the myth that we are pathetic losers down here clicking champagne glasses and clinging desperately to a record set 35 years ago."
This is not a myth. Whether or not the champagne thing is an urban legend, it is well-documented, by cameras and audio and such, that members of the '72 Dolphins showed up for the 1985 Bears-Dolphins Monday night game in an attempt to exert their air of supremacy on a team nearing a 16-0 record.
"The Patriots have assembled a powerhouse of a team. They are a classy bunch of guys and play ball the right way. If they want to join the unbeaten club, come on aboard."
I believe you are probably an exception compared to your ex-mates, Mr. Mandrich, and are therefore very cool. I think most of the NFL-watching public born after things like trying to destroy an opponent's knees at every imaginable opportunity were made illegal are with you.
I'm not saying that Shula only discredits the Pats' accomplishments out of spite, nor an I saying his former players do. But it's a very strong possibility.
To them I say: Game's changed, fellas. Bigger players. Faster players. Cameras galore! The forward pass no longer considered a calculated risk!
And *gasp* most of us like it!
And no, we are not going to discount what you did 35 years ago because you were clearly awesome to the nth degree during your time. Just as Hank Aaron was. Just as Babe Ruth was. Just as Frank "Home Run" Baker was.
But we just wanna see a 16-0 team, okay? Is that such a horrible thing?
After all, why take the effort to write about sports when you can just copy and paste a hilarious, presumably algorithm-generated spam email? This one landed in our inbox yesterday:
HI WITH MY REGARDS TO YOU AND THE COMPANY WELL MY NAME IS SCOTT WILLSON AND I WILL LIKE TO ORDER FIGHTING CHAIRS AND I WILL LIKE TO KNOW THE PRICE FOR EACH FIGHTING CHAIRS THAT YOU HAVE AND THE FORM OF PAYMENT THAT YOU ACCEPT AND GET BACK TO ME THANK YOU
Sales Service Manager
COMPANY::Drumsco Lmt , Inc.
tool free :1-877-225-5928
Call me crazy, but I'm not sure I trust a business that keeps their phone in Nevada and their fax machine in Chicago. What do you say we bombard Mr. Will-son with so much spam that it crashes the server over at Drumsco Lmt ("laminated"? "lamented"?), Inc.?
1.) Super Bowl 41.5 was a lot like watching Kelsey Grammer in "Down Periscope." It was fun to watch, but we all know it was an average footbal game at best.
2.) Fashion Alert!!! Bill Belicheck not wearing the hoodie is like "The Ole' Ball Coach" not wearing his visor or MJ not wearing his Hanes. What has this world come to?
3.) Who would win in a hot dog eating contest: Chuck Weis, Ralph Friedgen, or Mark Mangino?
4.) Missed this week was the impressive vicory by Ryan Hall in the Men's Olympic Marathon Trials in Central Park on Saturday. I know this is a football crazed culture, but the media should ackowledge this impressive athletic achievement.
5.) Kansas football, bologna or fillet?
6.) Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack! The "Flying V" is back!
7.) Speaking of Oregon, why does everyone continue to put LSU ahead of them in the rankings? Yes, LSU is a very talented team, but they barely squeak out against Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. Meanwhile Oregon has pretty much pounded everyone except Cal (Who were #3 at the time). Go Ducks!
8.) Watching the Packers on Sunday made me a believer...to the point that they are the NFC's best team with the Giants #2.
9.) Cedric....did you watch Super Bowl 41.5? Thats how a running back is supposed to catch the ball you dipshit....oh wait, you were probably watching video from your glory days at Texas where you padded your stats against teams like Baylor, Texas El-Paso, and Middle Tennessee State.
10.) Better Bet? Number of years before Chuck Weis gets fired or Notre Dame makes it back to a BCS game?
But my shocking revelation that I'm not, in fact, infalable arrives with a bit of criticism, nonetheless.
I'm not Andy Reid. Nor am I father. Nor am I an NFL coach trying in vain to be both an NFL coach and an attentive father. I have no right and no business criticizing the way he's raised his kids, and I'm not going to do that. I don't think anyone should. The harsh reality of being a parent is that so much of a child's well-being and actions are beyond a parent's control.
We also shouldn't criticize the decision of a father to accept an NFL head coaching position. Given the chance, could any of us pass up the offer? Wouldn't we all believe, naively, that we could handle the position without neglecting, or even sacrificing, the highest pursuits of parenthood?
In that vein, I'd like to believe that Andy Reid is an excellent father. I'd like to believe that, despite the rigors of an NFL schedule and sickening demands of NFL coaches, he has done his best to support his sons and raise them to be good people.
But here's my issue:
I think it's short-sided and unfair to Reid's sons that just about every mainstream NFL analyst (Sean Salisbury, John Madden, et al) have so quickly cloaked Reid with praise and written off his role in the recent legal troubles that his boys have faced. I'm not at all convinced that their knowledge of Andy Reid's personal life nor of parental psychology justifies this immediate judgment. Granted, I don't expect Misters Madden and Salisbury to be mouthpieces for the latest revelations of parent-child dynamics, but I do think it's irresponsible for guys like them to say, "I know him; he's a good guy; he knows what he's doing; I don't think these accusations are fair."
After all, these are other "football men." The problem is, football men are all sort of wired the same. What they see as Andy Reid's successes are likely what Andy Reid sees as successes. What they see--or don't see--as Reid's failings probably reflect Reid's own perspective. Unfortunately for Reid, the outside world doesn't always agree with you or with the like-minded people that support you. Sometimes, the outside world sees what you missed and forces you to take some blame.
If I were Andy Reid, I wouldn't have resigned from my job either. It would've resolved nothing, hurt his colleagues, and served as admission to something that he need not admit. Good men don't quit things they are good at for PR reasons. They don't cave in to knee-jerk reactions of concerned parent groups.
All I'm saying is that the John Maddens and Sean Salisburys have as little right absolving Andy Reid as his detractors have condemning him. And I think that's something they should keep in mind before they start talking into that mic.
Now that the Big Man is out of commission, the Blackhawks will hold a news conference on Monday to announce that the rest of the Hawks' home games this season will be on TV.
Comcast Sportsnet in Chicago has picked up the Hawks home games, bringing an end to perhaps the most stupifyingly insane marketing scheme in the history of sports. From the advent of television untill TOMORROW, the Chicago Blackhawks made it a policy to not show home games on television, believing that games on TV deterred people from buying tickets to the game.
However, during that same time frame, and due to chronic mismanagement, the Hawks went from Chicago institution to near-irrelevancy. Attendance dropped, interest wained, and the Blackhawks earned the dubious distinction of being outdrawn at the gate by Major League Soccer and minor league hockey in Chicago.
So the Hawks have discovered the magic of television. Just wait 20 years for when they'll discover 8-tracks.
If anyone knows where someone has already performed this analysis, please let me know.
But I believe one of the most asenine strategies employed by NFL head coches is going for two after a touchdown with a four point lead late in the fourth quarter, as Herm Edwards just did against the Pack.
Intuitively, this makes no sense. Six-point lead versus five-point lead doesn't matter much when you expect the other team to only have one more solid possession. I understand the logic for it--two field goals by the other team will only tie the game, not win the game. But when you consider the success rate of the two-point conversion, it seems that the team is only setting iteslf up for a situation where the other team can go score a touchdown and put them at a three-point deficit rather than having to convert their own two-point conversion to make a three-point deficit.
I wonder, at what minute marker is the value of a six-point point lead over five points no longer worth the risk? As someone who believes the two-point conversion is a strategy that should be used only very late in games, I can't see there being a very large time window where six versus five is worth the risk, if there is one at all.
But seriously, if anyone knows whether there's hard research out there on this and other two-point conversion-related strategy, please let me know. Otherwise, I know what I'm doing on my lunch break everyday next week.
Keyshawn Johnson, talking about Favre's lasting love for the game: "I played for seven years and didn't want to play anymore..."
I checked. That leaves one year in Tampa, two in Dallas, and one in Carolina, where Keyshawn apparantly didn't want to play anymore. So could they get some money back or something?
The reason for Navy's victory over Notre Dame wasn't because they played better, scored more points, or coached better. Simply they were do! In the words of the great Pat Arnold, "[Charlie Weis] had his mind on more important things." With his offensive guru-ness, Chuck was probably helping the boys overseas.
Nevertheless, the streak is over...all hail Navy as the up and coming powerhouse!