Congratulations to the Phillies, and one Phillie in particular

>> Thursday

Yes, yes, I'm glad to see the Phillies won and all that, and hooray for them breaking their 25 yearlong championship draught. But in reality, come on, it's not that long of a draught. Call me when it takes you 26 years just to get back to the playoffs. Assholes.

But, in all seriousness, I'd like to extend my wholehearted congratulations to Geoff Jenkins, a guy who suffered through some awful seasons here in Milwaukee and finally got the ring he deserved (and a bitchin' double to kick off the game last night). Always a class act in Brewtown and beloved for, if nothing else, looking like Brett Favre, here's a big mazeltov! to you, Jenks.


Sexy Super School Action News

Ok, so I know a lot of bad stuff has happened in the past during spontaneous sports-related celebrations in major cities. I remember some pretty ugly scenes on the Channel 5 news after the Bulls won in '92, and of course, there was this:

So it would only make sense that Philadelphia, home of the country's most ruthless and perpetually agitated fans, would turn into Tiananmen Square after the Phillies won, right? Well, apparently Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Enquirer assumed so. Unfortunately for Frank, that never happened, and he was left with a punchless article that lazily attributes all bad fan behavior to beer sales.

Last night, in the cold weather and hot anticipation that preceded the resumption of Game 5, I counted the number of places where you could buy beer along the main concourse at Citizens Bank Park.

I stopped at 47. (By the way, there were two places selling books. What does that say about sports fans?)

It says that they don't go to a baseball game to read a fucking book, nor should they. I bet you also didn't see any science exhibits or acupuncturists because these would also be extremely out-of-place at a ballpark. The fact that there actually were two book stores baffles me enough.

So how would the proximity of all that beer to all those agitated people impact a postgame celebration that followed the Phillies World Series clincher?

Probably the best we could hope for was that the behavior of the city's fans had improved since Saturday.

What follows is a short list of unrelated incidents at Saturday's Flyers, Phillies, and Penn St. games that have nothing to do with last night's events, which entailed "nothing close to a riot," according to the New York Times article. And then we get...

Gee, I wonder if there's a common denominators here?

Let me guess--beer sales. You're gonna use the most overplayed, unsubstantiated scapegoat for poor fan behavior because you'd rather get mad about something bad that never happened than do any research as to whether or not criminal activity at sporting events correlates at all to liquor sale policies.

If you guessed beer, you win a week's vacation in Nome with Bud Selig's three meteorologists. Still, the likelihood that we'll ever see a sensible beer policy in pro sports or on college campuses is akin to that of Joe Paterno winning the 2009 New York City Marathon.

Typical Irishman--blaming all of society's ills on "the drink." And he takes a low blow at an old Italian guy in the process. I'm taking this out on you, Pat.

My point is: This article was obviously written in advance of events that never occurred, with the cause of said phantom events predetermined by the author. This is, my friends, very lazy journalism.

And now for a very different take from our YCS Philadelphia correspondent (i.e. the only person I know in Philly):

i have never seen anything like that! broad st. (chicago correlate: michigan avenue /maybe chicago ave.) was just flooded with so many drunken many, and soooo drunk. the cops were terrified, and cars were barreling down sidestreets with all windows down and horns permanently honking. an opportunist could have robbed anyone in town not on broad street since all the cops were trying to manage a minor riot there. we also didnt have to obey any traffic laws for like 45 minutes, and honked liberally at all pedestrians, whose scowls softened as long as we raised our fists in solidarity after. awesm display. very memorable.

Team wins championship; fans get excited. Only at YCS can you find this kind of scoop.


A few closing thoughts on the 2008 World Series of Professional Baseball

>> Wednesday

Roman numeral one:
Expect Joe Maddon to be the latest manager / GM / player to unfairly serve as the face for the un-truism that analytical, bookish-looking guys can't win the big one. That probably won't happen after this season considering all the genius points he scored from the Rays' drastic improvement, but if the Rays go down in the LDS the next two years, there will no doubt be those calling for the ghost of Gene Mauch to replace him. Having said that, please do not keep tabs on this absurdly hypothetical and needless prediction.

Roman numeral two:
I think it's kinda funny how fans of a certain baseball team that plays near my house slumped into pathetic self-pity in the fifth inning of the first game of the LDS when things got slippy, but the Phillies fans never wavered in Game 5--not even while getting drenched and watching their stud ace give up a lead in an inning that should have never started in a clinching game of the World Series. Granted, this is the most unfair and slanted comparison ever, but I think my point still stands.

Roman numeral three (the long one):
Here's a shock--The World Series got low ratings. I get on this soapbox at least once a year, but here it goes again:

I will always find it hilarious / ironic / sad social commentary that approximately everyone cares about the outcome of the baseball season--especially their own team's fate--but precisely no one cares to watch the freaking game. Call me old fashioned, but to me if people don't care to watch the most critical games played by the best (loosely speaking) players of a sport that they profess to love, they're imposters who are only in it for that moment when they can circle-jerk around a pile of World Series Champions t-shirts with the home team's colors on it.

And if anyone cares, it's on that high horse where I stand up for the old-school curmudgeons who detest the analysis-obsessed Nate Silver wannabes, even though I'm fascinated by the actuarial perspective of baseball. As freely as we create and rip apart fan stereotypes like the reactionary old man, drunken blowhard, and rah-rah fratboy**, I would just as well ally myself with them as with the pompous speculator who'll never understand why I turn to Youtube clips of anything baseball-related to pull me through depressing winter nights or why I visit and fantasize about watching a game at Shibe Park. Whether it's the loudly ignorant or the smugly detatched, I don't appreciate phonies hijacking the game that people like Bob Costas and me worship like nine year-olds.

Being a supporter of a team alone does not make you emotionally invested in the sport. It's not quite total crap, but it's next to crap. If your computer desktop is a picture of Ryan Howard, but you didn't watch any of last year's Series, you might as well be flushed out the universe.

Rant over.

**Tangential rant: Can we please can the term "fratboy" as code for "shallow," "simple-minded," "boorish," etc.? This is such a tired and horrible cliche which has persisted mostly because the types of people who take time to criticize the use of cliches are the same who enjoy using this term to elevate their intellectual cred. Neil Armstrong--first man on the moon Neil Armstrong--was a "fratboy," okay? I know this fact because my cousin is an alumnus of the same fraternity and drops this into conversation liberally. The point is--I think we all know some very intelligent, articulate, perceptive people who belong or have belonged to a fraternity. So let's cut this shit already. If you're gonna be condescending (which I fully condone), at least don't be so lazy about it. Or at least don't use a term that screams, "I still haven't gotten over being bullied as a kid." Jesus.

Tangential rant over.


Tim Welke's idea of a playable field

>> Tuesday

Crew chief Tim Welke said the game continued into the sixth inning because the pitcher's mound and batter's box were in good shape.

"The pitchers weren't falling off the mound and the batters weren't slipping."

No... It was just like FUCKING WOODSTOCK on the basepaths.



True Philly fans don't leave early

"Come on, dad! It's been fourteen hours!"

"For the last time, we're waiting this out!"

"But dad... We're the only ones left."

"That means we're the only true Philly fans left in this town."

"Yeah, but..."

"Listen--If we'd have left when they pulled on the tarp and we'd missed the end of the game, you would never forgive me, and I'd never forgive myself."

"Fifteen different friends have texted me saying that the game was officially suspended and probably won't resume until Wednesday."

"Good, we'll wait 'til then."

"But dad! I'm freezing!"

"It builds character."

"I think I'm getting pneumonia."

"No you're not."

"Why couldn't I have at least worn a jacket?"

"A true Philly fan doesn't hide his colors--not for warmth, not for shelter from the rain..."

"It's 35 motherfucking degrees out here!"

"You don't talk to your father that way!"

"If I die, you're going to jail."

"Not if there's a single Phillies or Eagles fan on that jury. Now quit your bellyaching."

"I'm moving in with Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary."

"Fine, you do that."

"Good. I will."

"Now where's that peanut vendor?"

"He's gone. Like everyone else."

"No he's not. I just saw him back to our left there a minute ago."

"That was 16 hours ago. You're hallucinating."

"No I'm not. You stay here. I'm gonna go find him."

"Good. That'll give me time to call the DCFS."

"If you call anyone, you don't go to college."

"Fine. I'll join the army."

"Fine. You call then."

"Fine. I will."





The Round Mound of Economic Rebound

As reported by, Charles Barkley told CNN's Campbell Brown last night that he plans to run for governor of Alabama in 2014.

Of course, this is news because Barkley has never, ever shared such aspirations in the past. Though in fairness to Barkley, this is--to my knowledge--the first time that he's outright said he will run for governor in a specific year, and 2014 will also be the first time in his life that he will be eligible to run under Alabama law.

While I've always respected Barkley's social consciousness and candid nature--both of which are rare among pro athletes--I'd be kinda sorta maybe be concerned about having a governor who's gambled away $10 million of his savings and whose categorical assessment of any given thing is limited to "fantastic" or "tuhrrible."


Awful MLS Cup Predictions. Don't Even Bother.

>> Sunday

Between the spliced-up video and the new horriffically bad predictions, I have to fess up to my pre-season picks.

Mike's Predicted 2008 Eastern Conference Finish
DC United, New England, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Toronto, Columbus

Actual Eastern Conference Finish
Columbus, Chicago, New England, Kansas City, New York, DC United, Toronto

Mike's Predicted 2008 Western Conference Finish
Houston, CD Chivas USA, Los Angeles, Colorado, FC Dallas, Salt Lake, San Jose

Actual 2008 Western Conference Finish
Houston, CD Chivas USA, Salt Lake, Colorado, FC Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose

So in retrospect, my picks weren't TERRIBLE per se. I picked 7 out of 14 positions exactly and was off by one for three more. However, the shame of picking Columbus to finish in last, and then having them turn around and finish with the league's best record has a bit of a sting attached. I also picked 6 of the 8 playoff teams. Only Columbus and Salt Lake surprised.

So it's time once again for my annual horrifically wrong MLS Cup Playoff projections. Four quarterfinal series will kick off Thursday, with the marquee series being Chicago against New England. The first round is a two game, home and home total goals series. The away goals rule is not used, and if teams are level on goals after 180 minutes, they go to extra time. The higher-seeded team gets to host the second game (and any extra time or PKs that follow). The semifinals are a one-game playoff at the home of the higher-seeded team. The Final is in 4 weeks at the Home Depot Center just outside Los Angeles.

With that, let's try to break down this incredible crapshoot of a playoff system in order of my interest.

Series #1
East #2 Chicago vs. East #3 New England
Game 1: Thursday at Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, MA)
Game 2: Next Thursday at Toyota Park (Bridgeview, IL)

For the 8th time in the past 9 seasons, the Fire and New England will end each others seasons. The Fire and Rev scum are meeting in the playoffs for the fourth year in a row (New England winning the prior 3 through a combination of dumb luck, bad officiating, and asinine coaching). What could be a game-changer here though is the Fire have home-field for the first time since 2003. In every Fire-Revs season-decider, the team with home-field advantage came out ahead. Likewise, the Fire have DOMINATED the Rev bastards this year, winning all three of their games by a combined score of 9-1. (4-0, 3-0, 2-1). Chicago seems like a team poised to make a Cup run, and their 5-2 thrashing of a desperate New York team last Thursday only seems to accentuate this. With Rolfe, Blanco, McBride, and Mapp all clicking at the same time, the Fire offense is back, having scored 7 goals in their last two games. One concern is the defense, who conceded most of their goals this season down the stretch. However, with a healthy backline and a Keeper-of-the-year and Comeback player of the year candidate in Jon Busch, the cards are all lined up for the Fire.

New England remains a formidable foe, being led by a solid returning core of Taylor Twellman, Matt Reis, and Shalrie Joseph. However, the Revs have been through a terrible run of form since leading the league for most of the first half of the season. The Revs have gone 2-7-4 since the All-Star break, and have dropped from 1st in the table to 4th after looking unbeatable before. The Revs are also without veteran midfielder Steve Ralston due to injury and boy does it show. One thing that remains to be seen how it will play out is how the Revs will line up without their speedy playmaker Bermudan International Khano Smith, who was inexplicably red-carded in a meaningless game over the weekend against Kansas City. Smith will be suspended for the first game of the playoffs and he had always given the Fire defense headaches. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to have the bastard on the bench. The Revs poor form + depleted roster from injury and suspension + home field for Chicago = Fire finally beat the scum in the playoffs.

Fire 4-2 on Aggregate.

Series #2
West #2 Chivas USA vs. West #3 Real Salt Lake
Game 1: Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, UT)
Game 2: Next Saturday at Home Depot Center (Carson, CA)

Real Salt Lake are into the playoffs for the first time in the club's four-year history, and what a way to get in. On the last day of the season, playing rivals Colorado for the final playoff spot in the West, Colorado led late, untill a 90th minute equalizer gave RSL the 1-1 draw they needed to advance to the playoffs. Initially, RSL's big unknown was how they would adapt to their new stadium. RSL have only played two games on the grass at Rio Tinto after compiling one of the best home records in the league thanks to their notoriously bad artificial turf field at the University of Utah. RSL are undefeated so far (1-0-1) at Rio Tinto and the place should be electric for their first-ever playoff game. Now their big question mark is their relative inexperience. While Chivas USA is stacked with players who have played in big games before (Jesse Marsch, Alecko Eskandarian, Zach Thornton, Ante Razov, Sacha Kliejstan, and Jonathan Bornstein), RSL is leading a youth movement. Aside from wizened vet Clint Mathis, only Nick Rimando and Dema Kovalenko have been repeatedly tested in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Salt Lake is on a run of passable form to close the season. Having gone undefeated in their last 6 games to close the campaign (2-0-4).

Chivas is another team that will be affected by stupid red cards on the final day of the season. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was sent off and as such will be suspended. Aging veteran Zach Thornton will be between the sticks for the Leg 1 clash at the Rio Tinto. While Thornton's experience may come in handy, this is a Chivas team that doesn't really need more experience. It needs a faster goalkeeper than Zach Thornton to deal with RSL's multi-faceted attack. Thornton is still a passable keeper in MLS and a valuable backup, but he is far from the keeper who backed Chicago to MLS Cup '98. I would not trust him in a series where goals are at a premium. Chivas is on a great run of form right now. The Rojiblancos have gone 6-2-1 since getting knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League back in August. This one looks like RSL could pull off a win in the opener at the Rio Tinto, but if they don't win by more than 2, I'm picking the Goats to pull out the series at Victoria Street. Chivas won the season series from RSL 2-1, and I have no reason to doubt their ability to defeat them in the playoffs now. Chivas has enough good players and experience and are playing like a championship-calibre team poised to make a deep Cup run.

Chivas USA 3-1 on aggregate

Series #3
East #1 Columbus vs. East #4 Kansas City
Leg 1: Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark (Kansas City, KS)
Leg 2: Next Saturday at Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, OH)

Columbus was the class of the league this year, running away with Eastern Conference and winning the Supporters' Shield (best regular season record) for the second time in their history. Columbus is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, the last time they won the Supporters' Shield. However, as has been repeatedly shown, regular season success does not always translate into playoff success. Only 4 Supporters Shield winners have won MLS Cup (DC United '97 and '99, Kansas City '00, and LA Galaxy '02). Only 5 Shield winners have ever made it to the Final (throw in Chicago '03). Three of the last four seasons, the Shield winner lost in the first round. Columbus has a well-built team anchored around MVP candidate Guillermo Barros Schelloto and USA Youth International Robbie Rogers and Venezuelan International Alejandro Moreno. Columbus can score from a variety of attack points and it shows in the statlines (#2 in scoring, and tied for first in goal differential league-wide).

Kansas City answers with a veteran team enhanced by the addition of Claudio Lopez who has been playing better of late. Jimmy Conrad provides a veteran presence in the back, but too often is called upon to score goals. Kansas City's forwards and midfielders have not been getting the production they need to this campaign. However, anything can happen in a two-game series, especially on Kansas City's small pitch. Of the four playoff series, Kansas City appears to be the team most prone to play the upset. Columbus has been resting its starters for several weeks now, having clinched the Supporters' Shield several weeks ago. With nothing to play for, one wonders how this Columbus team will respond if Kansas City can get a goal or two in their First leg home game. Columbus has closed the season with two losses, a draw, and an unconvincing 1-0 win over DC United. Kansas City on the other hand has surged in recent weeks, finishing the season 5-1-1 after being left for dead in August. I'm going to buck all the pundits (and even my own rational opinion) and say Kansas City over Columbus in a low-scoring series for my first round upset special.

Kansas City 2-1 on aggregate

Series #4
West #1 Houston vs. East #5 New York
Game 1: Saturday at Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
Game 2: Next Saturday at Robertson Stadium (Houston, TX)

For the second year in a row, the 5th-placed East team was better than the 4th-placed West team, so they get to switch over to the Western Conference, despite their presence on the Eastern seaboard. Follow?

Before I analyze Houston I have to say that no MLS team has EVER won three MLS Cups in a row. DC United came the closest, winning in 1996, 1997, and 1999, and losing in the Final in 1998. Houston is closer to becoming that first 3-peat team than anyone has ever been. Houston started slow this year, only scrapping together a few ties while teams like New England and Columbus were racking up wins. But it was those ties that kept Houston in the game. The Dynamo have only lost 2 games since the All-Star Break across all competitions. Houston only lost 5 games all season, and finished second in the league overall behind Columbus. Even more so than their domination of MLS over the past three years, they have succeeded where others have failed abroad. Houston made it to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup and are presently looking to advance out of the Group Stages of the CONCACAF Champions League in a tough group that includes UNAM Pumas of Mexico, Luis Angel Firpo of El Salvador, and San Francisco of Panama. Houston has a deeper team than anyone else in the league. A number of players on their bench could start for lots of MLS teams.

Houston is battle-tested, and with Brian Ching and Dwayne DeRosario on form, little can stop them. Their opponent; New York scratched into the playoffs on the last day of the season with a sub-.500 record and that's no way to head into a series with the defending champions. Houston is healthy, they lead the league in goal difference, teams wishing to knock them off will have to come to Robertson, which at playoff time less resembles a college football stadium. It reminds me more of the Bombonera in Buenos Aires or the Azteca in Mexico, a pulsating Latin American stadium with the Championship juggernaut on the field to match.

New York closed the season weakly, getting thumped 5-2 by Chicago in a game where New York had everything to play for. They really began to crumble after Chicago went up 2-1, and a team that mentally weak isn't going anywhere. What's even more disturbing for Red Bull's playoff chances is that they have only won on the road ONCE all season. One road victory to show for 15 games, and half of this series is being played on the road. Were it not for DC United failing to get a win at Columbus, New York wouldn't even be here. Houston is winning this series and is on track to go to their third consecutive Final.

Houston 5-1 on aggregate

Tentative Semifinal Picks
Chicago over Kansas City
Houston over Chivas USA

Tentative MLS Cup Final Pick
Houston over Chicago


Dick Stockton

Professional sports' most boring and mistake-prone announcer just called Santonio Holmes "San Antonio Holmes," who I believe is a character in a spaghetti western.

Please retire, Dick.


Lock of the Week

Last week, picking against the Patriots burned me, so obviously picking in their favor will mean victory this week. Stephen Jackson, one of about three players I can actually name on the Rams, won't play this week. That makes this an easy one--Patriots (-8.5) over the Rams. Book it!


Sponsor thrilled over team's success

>> Monday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The success of the Tampa Bay Rays this season has taken just about everyone by surprise--everyone, perhaps, except the man whose name adorns their uniforms.

Last September when the little-known Tampa Bay franchise--then known as the Devil Rays--announced that they would change the team nickname and uniforms, St. Petersburg bar owner Ray Feinman jumped at the chance to sponsor the team and name it after his bar, Ray's. The sponsorship--overlooked by most at the time--is now paying huge dividends, with the recently-crowned American League champions representing Feinman's small watering hole.

"I knew those kids would do big things from the first time I met them over the winter," says Feinman. "What they're doing doesn't surprise me at all. If I didn't think they could win, I wouldn't have put up the $150 to have our name on the jersey."

Back in April, Ray's patrons would routinely laugh off Feinman's bold optimism about the team's prospects, but now the only laughs are for sheer jubilation.

"When old Ray told me in March that we could go all the way, I told him he was bonkers," says Ray's regular Arty Bird. "I laughed and said, 'Yeah, sure, Ray. I'll go to Vegas right now and put a hundred bucks on them to win the Series.' If I'd listened, I could've had a chance to be rich. Instead, my retirement savings are going down the toilet, and I can barely afford to drink here anymore. But hey--Go Rays!"

Feinman was initially miffed by the franchise for mispunctuating the jersey by excluding the apostrophe in "Ray's," but now, he says, it no longer bothers him. "I think by now, everyone makes the connection between the team and our bar. And I can't complain too much, with all the business they've brought."

Indeed, Ray's has not only seen a boost in business from Rays fans throughout the season but from the players as well.

"The boys come in here a lot after games, sometimes still in their jocks and cleats," says bartender Louie Bataglia. "I comp their drinks, and usually one of the girls will bring them out a few platters of wings. We do whatever we can to encourage the kids."

Back in April, Bataglia had some special words of wisdom for Rays rookie phenom Evan Longoria. Before his first game with the Rays after being called up from the minors, Longoria dropped by Ray's with teammate Jason Bartlett for some MGD 64s and good cheer.

"I said, 'Evan--That's a woman's name, huh?'" recalls Bataglia. "He says, 'Nah.' I says, 'Oh. Well, you'll do fine, kid. Keep doing what you do, and you'll be a good one.'"

Thanks in large part to Bataglia's advice, Longoria earned a trip to the All-Star Game and is a front-runner for the American Leauge Rookie of the Year award.

Says Longoria's mentor, "Yeah, I'm real proud of him. Like a son."

While the World Series appearance has brought plenty of excitement to the bar, the Rays are not the only team to do the Ray's name proud in recent years.

"We had a 14 year-old Colt League team go to the sectional finals last year, and two years ago, our 40-and-over fast-pitch team won the league championship," recounts Feinman. "But this year might be the most special of all."

The Tampa Bay Rays will open the World Series Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.


Loch of the Week

As Zuch is my witness (if he still remembers when I said it while out drinking Saturday night), I had intended to pick Miami as my Lock of the Week, which would have kept my perfect winless streak for the season alive.

Unfortunately, I got too distracted by Meet the Press to post it yesterday morning. Instead, I'll have to use tonight's game for my prediction.

Well, too bad for my incredible streak, as this is one game that's too easy to miss. The Patriots are only getting 3 points against a clearly superior Broncos team who should beat them by a minimum of 60. If I've ever been sure about anything, it's that UFOs are very real and a legitimate threat to the world as we know it. In addition to that, I'm also pretty sure about this game.

Denver (-3) over New England--Book it!


It's awesome, baby!!!!!

>> Sunday


Rich Gannon - Quarterback Coach

During the Bengals/Steelers game, CBS color guy discusses the play of Bengals QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The following took place on two consequtive plays.

Play #1: Fitzpatrick throws the ball away, perhaps too early as he wasn't really in danger of getting sacked.

Gannon: "He's gotta hold on to that ball longer and trust his offensive line while he stands tall in the pocket."

Play #2: Fitzpatrick gets sacked by like three guys immediately.

Gannon: "He's got to know when to get rid of the football. You can't take a sack like that."

Brilliant analysis.


I shouldn't bring it up

>> Tuesday

If you hadn't heard, today is the fifth anniversary of Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. I feel like an asshole even bringing up You Know Who, but I think this is an appropriate occasion to remind everyone how silly we look when a frivilous obsession takes us over.

I hope Mr. Bartman is doing well these days and that the piece of shit in the knit cap and Cubs jacket has either learned some perspective or is burning in hell.


It's Prime Time for Pig Intestines!

YouTube has provided me with no greater joy than hilarious athlete commercials. The above one is for the Deion Sanders Hot Dog Express. It is apparently a real product. Enjoy.


Check out this guy

Of all our not-a-post posts, this may be the most pointless, but I just wanted to put up this hilarious Outside the Lines screenshot of what appears to be a junkie getting scolded by a grizzled detective via satellite feed:

Actually, the piece was about the impact the economic downturn is having on the sports world, Even still, I think the guy on the left was just about to call the guy on the right a "damned foo'!" at the moment of this shot.

(Seriously... That's all you're getting from me today. And I wouldn't expect much more until the World Series ends.)


Treason and Crean: Indiana at Northwestern - Jan 28

>> Sunday

Vinnie, lets set the wheels in motion. Tom Crean is bringing his sorry excuse for a basketball team to Evanston on January 28 for an 8:30PM showdown against a bunch of white guys. What a perfect time for us to make Welch-Ryan Arena rock and to probably make complete asses of ourselves. Extra points if we are able to nab seat behind the visitors bench.


Fire Lovie Smith already

This post should take as long to read as it took for me to lose complete faith in the Bears this season. The last 11 seconds of today's game exemplified the Bears' two greatest weaknesses right now:
1. Lovie Smith
2. The Cover 2

Today Lovie solidified his position has a horrible decision-maker, and the Cover 2 is now clearly outmoded. First, let's talk Lovie. I stopped supporting this guy in 2006 even though we went to the Super Bowl. The "Rex Grossman is our starting quarterback" mantra was enough to make me dislike him. He has lost my respect continually since late 2006.

Now, the defense. Over the past few years, whenever a couple of defensive starters have been out of the line-up, the Bears bite the big one on defense. Perhaps the Cover 2 is suited for the Bears' 11 defensive starters, but it continues to fail when the defense is banged up. And it tends to fall off in the second half even when our guys are healthy.

Any thoughts from people that actually understand football?


Lock of the Week

In my opinion, there are a lot of ridiculous betting lines this week--Bears -3 at Atlanta, Jacksonville only getting 3 at Denver, Minnesota -13.5 (I know they're playing the Lions, but it's a miracle if the Vikings even score 13.5 points with that offense. Granted, it's impossible to score 13.5 points based on the rules of football, but now you're missing the point.)

That said, I'm putting my Lock of the Week eggs in the basket of the new-look Oakland Raiders (+7). Led by new head coach Al Davis and starting quarterback Al Davis, I think Oakland can give the Saints a game.

Book it, gambling addicts!



>> Friday

Since nobody's posted in forever, I figured I'd throw something on here.

This link is to a great Bill Simmons column on recently-fired Clippers GM and underrated NBA legend Elgin Baylor. Really interesting story, and it once again proves that few people in sports can touch Simmons when he's writing to his strengths.


>> Monday


Four Men Out

>> Sunday

Forget curses. Forget bad luck. Forget pressure. The problem with the Cubs this postseason was a handful of overpaid players that simply did not rise to occasion. It's time to single them out and question their worth on this team.

1. Ryan Dempster
I am very happy for the regular season that Dempster turned in. This guy wasn't even supposed to be starting during the regular season, but he rightfully won the job. But what the hell happened to him? As a former closer, this guy should be able to handle pressure. He totally choked, and he should have to compete for his job again. We're talking about a man who was 14-3 at home this season and turns in a dismal performance at home; a man who averages 3.3 walks per 9 innings allows 7 walks in less than 5 innings; and a man who gave up 14 home runs in 33 starts giving up a grand slam after he put all those runners on base. Pathetic.

2. Kosuke Fukodome
Fortunately, Lou Pinella removed Fukodome for Game 3. But not after he hacked (I doubt his swing could be considered a "hack") time after time, accomplishing absolutely nothing. I think he knew he could always fall back on the "Japanese players can't survive a 162-game season" excuse, and he just decided to get his at-bats over as quickly as possible. What happened to the patience at the plate? Was this guy really worth the money we pay him? Or the hype? Trade his ass.

3. Alfonso Soriano
Like Fukodome, Soriano made no bones about hiding the fact that he basically wasn't trying. I mean, you could see it. You could see it since mid-September. He wasn't hustling, and he wasn't focused at the plate. His near-assist in the first inning of Game 3 was for show; believe me, this guy didn't care one bit about winning. Again, we're looking at a Cubs player who is far too overpaid.

4. Aramis Ramirez
Are you kidding me? A 2-for-23 performance over the last two years? With exactly 0 RBI's and 7 K's. How many times could Derrek Lee get in scoring position only to have Ramirez do nothing? Lee had 3 doubles in 11 AB's for Pete's sake! And an OBP near .600 for the series. Somebody needs to tell this guy (and Soriano for that matter) to reign in his swing just a touch. I can't believe the Cubs are paying almost $30 million per year for Soriano and Ramirez to turn in a combined .098 over the past two postseasons.

What a joke. I have made this promise before, but I am never going to patronize Cubs baseball again. There is no sense in supporting a team that pays guys $15 million a year to drop routine groundballs and strike out every at bat in the playoffs.



Locke of the Week

I'll take my mind off baseball for a few minutes here to bring you my weekly dose of fail-safe gambling advice.

Unfortunately, this week's pick forecasts more bad news for hurting Chicago sports fans. The Lions are 3.5 point underdogs at home against the Bearsss, but I expect them to win this one straight-up. Assuming I'm right--which I always am--this could be a very dark Sunday in Chicago if the Sox can't extend their LDS series.

Sorry, fellow Bears fans. I hope I'm wrong, but again--that's impossible. Better days are ahead, though. I mean, not anytime in the foreseeable future, but eventually I assume.


(Humming 'Dueling Banjos' as I Write This)

A columnist for Georgia's Gwinnett Herald writes in an oddly titled piece that "The South Needs MLS." MLS has recently announced plans to expand to Seattle in 2009, and Philadelphia in 2010. Another round of expansion by two teams is likely to follow in 2011; with the leading candidates being St. Louis, Portland, Ottawa, Vancouver, Miami, Montreal, and New York City (Queens). The closest MLS presently gets to the South is Washington, DC, Columbus, Ohio, and then a whole lotta nothing between there and Houston. Note lack of Southeastern cities' interest.

The writer then shows why Commissioner Don Garber is calling the shots, and he's writing for Atlanta's version of the Daily Herald. The entire piece seems motivated only by the author's desire to personally have a team, yet he almost goes out of his way to show why the region doesn't deserve one.

First off, let's deal with the poor wording of a headline. As far as TV ratings go with a national TV contract, MLS needs the South more than the South appears to need MLS.

Our writer says that he lived in Europe for a while and would love to get swept up in that soccer culture again by having his own team. My response is..."What soccer culture"? The SEC is one of only two BCS-level NCAA conferences that doesn't offer a championship in Men's Soccer (The Big XII is the other). I think that's due to several reasons, one being the cultural prominence of football and the region's success at the college level and bringing up a wealth of successful players from Florida to Texas and everywhere in between. There may also still be a cultural stigma attached of regular, normal, southerners not wanting anything to do with a pansy sport like kickball with all its fer'n'rs and queer-o-sexuals.

He also points out the notorious fair-weather fans in Atlanta, and even more specifically, points out the two failed attempts for MLS to place teams in the South, in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale in the early years of the league and how it was pretty much an abysmal failure. Again, not that surprising.

He thinks a team would work well in Carolina (and to an extent I agree with him there), but he offers Greensboro as a possible site. There we part ways. Now, I can't speak from experience because I've never been to Greensboro, but perhaps that should be telling as to Greensboro's drawing power as a city.
He thinks a Carolina team (in Charlotte, Greensboro, or Raleigh) would do well to market themselves as "the Southeast's team" much like the Atlanta Braves have done. He makes this suggestion apparently unaware of the vast difference popularly, financially, and culturally between MLB and MLS. Case in point; the Red Sox are arguably a "regional team" representing all or most of New England. Same with the New England Revolution. Fenway sells out every night. The Revs have trouble drawing more than 15,000 to games.
Personally, I think that St. Louis and Miami are probably the next two to get in, but think St. Louis and Portland (and maybe Montreal) probably most deserve to get in. We'll probably see it announced either at the Board of Governors Meeting at MLS Cup in November, or before the MLS Draft in January in St. Louis, which I will be covering for YCS.


There, there

I know a lot of you Cubs fans are upset today, and I count myself among you. But with every disappointment, there are plenty of things to be thankful for. Here are eleven:

1) We should hear significantly less of Eddie Vedder's weird attempt at an Irish drinking song in the coming weeks and years. Man, that song drove me nuts.

2) Ditto for "Go Cubs Go."

3) Two of my favorite baseball players of all time, Greg Maddux and Manny Ramirez, will play on. And what makes me happy should make everyone happy.

4) You still have your loved ones, your home, and your health. That is, unless you're a friendless invalid who's been evicted. In that case, I don't know what to tell you.

5) You may feel pretty terrible this morning, but you know who else does?

And an unhappy Jim Belushi can only be a good thing.

6) You know who else probably feels terrible? These assclowns:

7) Bookstores and libraries will continue to be stocked with real books instead of biographies of Ryan Theriot and Jeff Garland's treatise on what it means for the Cubs to win the World Series.

8) If you're one of those fans who stops watching the playoffs when your team is eliminated, you'll have more time in the coming weeks to spend quality time with the kids and organize your life. As for me, I have no kids and will continue watching every possible second of playoff baseball, and my life will continue to spiral into an every-increasing state of disorder.

9) There is a natural balance to all things set in place by the Creator, never to be truly understood by human comprehension. It is both mysterious and awesome, and our lives are a never-ending journey to submit to our infinite smallness in this universe and attempt to grasp its many wonders. I don't think that gobbledygook has anything to do with baseball, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

10) Cubdom won't have to trade in the bandwagon for an aircraft carrier. At least not yet.

11) Mark Cuban is on the way, and he shall be our salvation.



Hey, Milwaukee!

>> Thursday

You call that shit in Philadelphia a collapse?!?!?!

I'll SHOW YOU a fucking collapse!

The Chicago Cubs: The Biggest Cockteases on Earth, since 1908.


Economic Forecast for October 2008

>> Wednesday


I would have chosen a different caption chose "Actor Jim Belushi leads Cubs fans in a song during the rally."

I would have chosen Bart Simpson's classic line of "Come on, snipers! Where are you?!?!"


Na-na Na-Naah
Na-na Na-Naah
HEY Hey hey

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

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

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

Blog Archive

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

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP