How dare you question my officiating! If I say the Cutler play was an incomplete pass, then it was a fucking incomplete pass. And if you think Peppers' hit on Matt Ryan was clean, then you obviously don't know shit. And ladies, shirtless photos of myself cost extra.
Ed "The Hercules" Hochuli
Sorry fans--I've been a little busy with work travel and such lately, hence my absence. (Oh... You didn't notice? Thanks, jerk.) And if the Brewers and Sox don't win today, we might all be dead by morphine overdose come tomorrow morning, and this blog will shut down entirely.
Anyway, after missing out on my Lock of the Week last week, I owe you two fail-proof bets this week. So for my first, I'm going with the Packers (+2) at Tampa. And if I'm wrong, Matt's gonna punch me in the mouth for jinxing the Pack.
For my second pick, I'm taking the Browns (+1) at Cincy. The Bengals are starting some guy named Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick or Samuelson or Mork or something in place of the injured Carson Palmer, and I'm guessing he sucks.
Anyone who's a fan of train wrecks has to be absolutely going apeshit over the possibility of this being true:
COULD MILLEN LAND IN OAKLAND?
Of course, it will again be another criticism of Chicago Bears management (this time our fearless head coach Lovie Smith). Here are Lovie's genius comments about Matt Forte's crazy workload through three weeks and why Forte will probably get hurt later in the year and has already had years shaved of his career:
Just because he's getting a lot of carries, I don't think that's necessarily affecting what happens later on [in the season],'' coach Lovie Smith said. ''We're trying to win a game each week, and it so happens we've gotten that many touches for Matt.
''It's not like we're talking about a 10-year veteran. He's young right now with a lot of energy. Whenever Matt isn't on the field, it isn't really good for us.''No, Forte's not a 10 year veteran, and thanks to Lovie he will never make it anywhere near ten years in the NFL. Conventional thinking in today's NFL (where running backs already have an average life span of just four years) is that a running back should be a limited to 300-320 touches a season. Through three weeks, Forte has an astounding 86 touches (on pace for 459 touches if he makes it through all 16 games). I think Lovie needs to research what happened to the careers of Jamal Anderson, Eddie George, and Larry Johnson after they received that type of workload in a season (hint, it's a not a happy ending).
You don't like me and I don't like you. Let's get that out in the open. But I need you. It's hard to admit, impossible for you to hear even, but it's true.
Just give me one more game. That's all I ask. Win one more fucking game (and only one more - then kindly lie down over the weekend vs. the Brewers).
I know I've said some awful, hurtful things about 'you people' in the past but, I can assure you, I didn't mean all of them. Sure, when I called your fanbase a "bunch of knownothing Wrigleyville cockhounds," it was probably a bit jarring. But, baby, I'd take it all back if you'd just keep beating the Mets (and then completely fold for the last three games in Milwaukee).
I know this may confuse you. When I said that Carlos Zambrano was a foolishly ill-tempered latin that brings to light the problems inherent in an integrated MLB, it may have struck you as offensive. For that, I sincerely apologize.
Sure, I may have ruffled some feathers when I said that "Go Cubs Go" is a gay pride anthem in a class with "YMCA" and Clay Aiken's entire catalogue, but I assure you I had nothing but good intentions and any hurt feelings on your part were purely the result of a misunderstanding of what I was trying to say.
And when, last week, I pulled the corners of my eyes back and said "I Cub Outfierdel. Ret's pray too!", I considered it more of an homage to Kosuke Fukudome than an ethnically insensitive caricature. But, if you were at all confused by my actions, I apologize.
I come before you today as a repentant man because doing so may briefly benefit my own self-interests. A man willing to admit past mistakes and move forward to a new era of peace and understanding between our two fanbases (for today, remember, and just for today).
So please, you stupid bunch of sons of bitches - win one for me. And your stupid Dave Matthews-listening, Old Style-drinking-because-it's-ironic, gentrifying and fairweather fanbase.
Matt on behalf of Brewers fans everywhere
P.S. When you get to Milwaukee, why not think about giving Derek Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez some time off (but not tonight)? Better to have them rested for the big playoff push, I always say. Also, feel free to bat Mike Fontenot in the cleanup spot. He's a gamer!
In response to no demand, we (meaning mostly Sever and I) have created Yellow Chair Politics, your place for even more of our poorly-researched opinions. Vinnie and Zuch may also put up some stuff over there, and if you'd like to add your two cents, send us an email.
So, at long last, we've finally found another way to make our struggling friendships even more tenuous through childish namecalling. Check it out.
While reading the Marquette site that I have not previously written for, I found this excellent news that Bryant's in Milwaukee has re-opened. I have only been once before, and it seemed way too classy/pricey for an undistinguished gentleman like myself. However, despite having to battle the appearance game (which included a rare outing out for me not in my trusty New Balances), I found that it is well worth paying the extra couple of dollars for excellently mixed drinks. Even paying a slight bit more attention now to the food and drinks that I shouldn't be consuming, I'll gladly take the dietetic hit for their ice cream drinks and other mixed creations (that at this point probably totally fuck me over as I've lost a good bit of my prior tolerance). So, the next time I make it out of the poor house and get up to Milwaukee, I may have to mosey on over there and enjoy people who know how to properly mix a damn drink (However, my old ass promises that I no longer cave to the man and wear non New Balances).
"Yankee Stadium has seen no-hitters....perfect games...dramatic home runs...and countless World Championship celebrations...." ~Yankee Stadium farewell pregame ceremonies.
Countless = 9.
26 if you assume they threw a celebration after each title back at the stadium regardless of where it was clinched.
I know I've turned this blog into me just bitching about the Brewers, but...but nothing. The rest of you can post, so suck a dick.
In addition to yesterday's gut wrenching loss to the Fucking Cubs, the Brewers got cockslapped again tonight by the lowly Reds. Awesome.
As if that's not enough, I just got an email from the Brewers letting me know the my dad and I's post-season tickets shipped today. Great! They'll be here just in time for me to fucking slit my wrists with them.
Sorry to turn this into me bitching about the Brewers all the time, but...I'm going to.
On the Brewers post-game show, affable commentator Davey Nelson said the following:
The one they're not doing well right now is scoring runs.
The CBS Sportsline top headline after tonight's Cowboys-Eagles game:
ESPN.com had the same exact headline immediately after the game, but you'll have to trust me on that one. Evidently, some editor at ESPN went to Sportsline, noticed the match, and quickly tweaked the headline to avoid the devastating embarrassment of some totally unknown blog posting side-by-side screenshots of the their headline and Sportsline's.
The matching photo, apparently, was not a concern:
The Brewers reacted to their apparent collapse today by firing Ned Yost. No doubt these guys are happy.
I'm not really sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I always kind of thought Yost was a pretty OK manager. He didn't run the team into a ton of stupid outs (although it seemed like this year he has put on more hit and runs, to my eternal frustration) and he always stuck up for his players in the media and seemed to be universally liked by the team.
That said, it's become pretty apparent over the last couple of seasons that he doesn't handle a bullpen all that well and has a nasty tendency to stick with the (in his mind) established heirarchy, especially in the cases of his stubborn refusals to see the writing on the wall with guys like Turnbow and Eric Gagne. Since managing the bullpen/pitching staff is the most important (and impactful) aspect of a manager's job, it makes sense for the Brewers to finally give him the axe.
It is, however, a little strange to see the move made now. I suppose that Doug Melvin thinks that a shake-up in the clubhouse will re-energize the team and get them back on track for the still very winnable Wild Card. I hope so, but I think it's a very real possibility that the opposite happens, and the team kind of continues the slump towards the end of the season. Hopefully I'm wrong, and Dale Sveum can get these guys out of their collective funk (a tough task, considering how many slumping hitters he's got right now, especially 3-5 in the lineup) and get them into the postseason.
One thing's for sure, though. If the Brewers hire a guy like Dusty Baker or one of his ilk, I'm quitting baseball forever.*
People of Wisconsin wondering why the Brewers are going through a wicked late-season collapse: look no further than the following statistic.
Milwaukee Brewers Team OBP: .326
That's 19th in Major League Baseball. The old schoolers will tell you that speed never slumps, but I think the more appropriate adage for the modern era would be that discipline never slumps. This team, from top to bottom with the exception of the extremely unlucky Rickie Weeks and Jason Kendall (on occasion) does not take walks.
For comparison, the Brewers' main contenders for the WC and the NL Central:
Phillies: .330 (I'm surprised by this, actually)
Astros: .324 (Not as surprised, but they've been ridiculously hot since the AS Break)
Add to this that the Brewers have actually outperformed their Pythagrean W-L by about 5 games (luck? Better bullpen performances than you'd think? Vinnie?) and you start to see how frustrating this actually is. If the Brewers had consistent OBP guys in the lineup, it's possible we wouldn't be seeing this September swoon.
Ok, I'm done ranting. Also, the Packers are 2-0.
Over the air after Chicago Fire's pitiful performance against Colorado Rapids. Chicago was trying to keep pace at the top of the league heading into the playoff stretch. Colorado was wallowing in mid-table obscurity. Chicago took 72 minutes to register a shot on goal and generally were all-around awful in a 2-0 losing effort.
Apparently the network broadcast came back from commercial a little early and caught the play-by-play team on a hot mike.
"Once we're back we'll show the play of the game...you can jump in, I'll do the [Colorado Rapids'] Omar Cummings incident...and the what do you call it?
And we'll come back and you can tell us why they suck."
Hit the nail on the head.
After last week breaking my incredible streak of accurate predictions--sixteen in a row by my count--I'm ready to get back to my winning ways.
For Week 2, the pick is obvious. The 49ers go into Frasiertown with just a 6.5-point handicap. It doesn't take a Bob "Bulldog" Brisco-calliber sports expert to know that the Seahawks would cover this spread with Niles Crane at quarterback.
Seahawks (-6.5) over the 49ers. Book it!
The Chicago White Sox have announced today that Steve Stone will take over the color analyst role for TV broadcasts next season, replacing current color man Darrin Jackson.
For those of you that don't live in the Chicago TV market or have never watched White Sox games on WGN, it's impossible for me to overstate how huge of an improvement this is. (Imagine upgrading to a Lamborghini from lung cancer. It's something like that.)
As for Darrin Jackson, he seems like a very nice guy, and I feel bad about all the harsh words I've had for him on this blog. Having said that, he is--quite simply--a bad color analyst. Maybe he'd be fine as a pannelist on a studio show or a technician in an eye-care clinic, but he is not good at calling live baseball games. Hopefully he will find his niche elsewhere.
"I'm Army Strong, you little sillypants!"
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was reluctant to comment on the apparent injury following the game. "He'll be fine," said Scioscia. "Once we got [the fire engulfing his right arm] put out, he felt better and went back in to ice and do his normal rehab. Nothing to see here. I did NOT overuse him this year."
Devastating as the injury could be for the Angels' championship hopes, it could also prove disastrous for Rodriguez' hopes to land a big contract in the free agent market this off-season, where he's pledged to test the waters before committing to a stay in Anaheim.
"I'm not really worried about it," said a charred K-Rod in the clubhouse following the game as he gave off a smell not unlike overcooked barbeque pork. "My arm's fine. I've been dealing with injury risk questions forever, whether it's due to my violent delivery, the high strain my slider puts on me or the spontaneous combustion of my right arm. I'll be OK."
When pressed about where he might land in 2009, Rodriguez smiled and proclaimed confidently, "the Disabled List. Guaranteed contracts, baby."
A woman shown on TV just now during a Jim Thome at-bat was holding a sign that said, "THOME HIT IT TO-ME."
While that's an awesomely clever and cool sign (not to mention artful, having been made with one of those Office Max posterboards and a Sharpie) that I'd typically give my fullest endorsement, there was one problem: She was sitting in the first row... behind the visitors' on-deck circle... right over Thome's shoulder... meaning a ball hit to her would not only be foul but would likely kill her. Please, Jim--do hit it to her.
(Sorry, I'm just bitter that Zuch and I could have been at this game to ridicule her in person from equally awesome company-funded seats if one of our two jerk friends could have used the third seat instead of being the jerks they are and not being able to use the seat.)
If you think a surprising week one win over the Colts will get me off of Bears GM Jerry Angelo's ass, you've got another thing coming. The reason for this is Angelo's continuing baffling moves like the re-signing of Fred Miller (cutting promising RT Kirk Barton in the process). Besides the fact that Barton is probably a better player than Miller as we speak, this is the type of backward thinking move that keeps a team stuck in mediocrity (personally, I'm sick of seeing 7-9 win teams). Unlike our lock of the week posts, I recommend that you look back at this post in a few years when Barton is a starting OT in the NFL and Miller could be found at your local doctor's office getting treatment for his achy ankle.
Trying to find web developers on Craigslist now that you're no longer with the Sun-Times?
Date: 2008-09-03, 1:58PM CDT
WANTED GEEK WITH STYLE AND A PASSION FOR SPORTS
Major national sports personality website is looking for a talented webmaster/designer. Our goal is to have the most exciting, fun, engaging website that brings sports fans to the outstanding and unique content and information that they desire. We have the resources, you have the skills to take our brand and bring it to the web in a clean, creative, easy to navigate and exciting manner.
This is an in-office, full-time position.
Skills: You should be proficient in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Streaming Audio/Video, Audio/Video On Demand, HTML,XML, CSS.
Experience: 3-5 years web design, content management, preferably in a sports environment Your personality: The outstanding candidate will be eager to share an impressive portfolio of web design, examples of proactively contributing to team goals, enthusiasm for a fast paced environment and love hard work and fun!
Compensation: based on experience and fit
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests. PostingID: 825627835
Roberto Mancini was named Italy's top coach for last season today. Last year, Mancini led Inter to a 25-3-10 record. Good enough for their third Serie A title in a row. Mancini led Inter to all three titles; their first since 1989.
Despite all the honors, not good enough. Mancini was fired by Inter earlier this year.
Man, I'm sure a lot of Major League pitchers love their jobs, but it looks like the Cubs' Chad Gaudin apparently loves it a little more....perhaps an unnatural love... provided you take Lou Pinella's comments and take them out of their context and put them in a completely different paragraph like ESPN.com did.
"He said he gets a tingling down in his buttocks when he throws the ball," Piniella said.
Listen up, cockmeisters.
I'm only going to say this shit once, so put down the fucking stein of original recipe Schlitz and pay fucking attention. You, the fat chick in the John Jurkovic jersey with the mustache - eyes on me.
What follows are the ground rules for tonight's game at Lambeau Field. Close and meticulous adherence to these is mandatory, and failure to heed these warnings will result in your immediate removal from the stadium and forced relocation to a small, poorly-lit trailer court just outside Poynette, WI.
1. Before entering the gates of Lambeau, you will admit and accept that Brett Favre is no longer playing for the Green Bay Packers. As such, any of you slapdick mouth breathers attempting to enter Lambeau wearing a Favre Jets jersey will be denied entrance and escorted from the Greater Fox Valley area.
2. Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. You will accept this and support him. Acceptable nicknames include: A-Rod, A-God and Professor Beardsley the Champion Mustache Wrangler. Unacceptable nicknames include: That Fucking Asshole, Brett Favre and BOOO.
3. Please attempt to make your tacit racism a bit less obvious. There will be only 2,000 fans allowed in wearing AJ Hawk jerseys. The rest of you have to cheer for a black guy.
4. It's fucking September. No blaze orange. Also, this means no hunting rifles. Leave them in the cab of the rusted 1987 Chevy Silverado you drove to the game (safeties on, please).
5. Leave the homemade signs depicting Ted Thompson at home. Nobody cares what you think and your witticisms fail to impress me.
That's all, but remember: you low-rent, unwashed cousin fuckers claim to be Packers fans. Please conduct yourselves in a manner befitting the Green Bay Packers or face the consequences. Remember - Ted Thompson didn't blink when he shipped the most beloved player in franchise history off to the New Jersey swamps. He won't think twice about doing the same to you and your snaggletoothed daughter about whom you're so proud because she just got in to Gateway Tech.
That is all.
Go Pack Go.
I think Sever mentioned this a while back, but it bears mentioning again since A: nobody listens to what Sever says and B: I just saw a commercial for it on Fox Sports Net during the Brewers game.
Apparently, there is now such a thing as the "National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship." Ladies and gentlemen, I officially welcome you to the first high-level college sport where the most important aspect of participants isn't speed, athleticism, height or coordination but willingness to participate. Seriously, that's gotta be like one of at most 4 things you have to do to be in this thing. The other three probably involve filling out the necessary paperwork in triplicate.
Also, isn't fishin' a 'sport' that relies almost entirely on luck? I know there are a few things that you can do in order increase your chances of success, but would there really be anything separating your average Joe College from the competitors in this thing other than, again, willingness to be called Collegiate Bass Fishermen? I mean, isn't the only thing preventing me from being called a world class angler the fact that I think fishing is boring as fuck?
Regardless of my above confusion, I'm on board with this thing wholeheartedly and will gladly donate money to Marquette if they decide to start a Bass Fishing team (ed. note: no I won't) provided they add one provision. Since this is college, they should let - nay, demand - the kids get shitfaced drunk during the whole thing as an homage to the true spirit of fishing/recreational boat drinking. Also, every boat carrying a competitor should be manned by a mysterious fishing guide from either the bayou or some other colorful backwoods locale. The swarthier, the better.
Is it just me, or does the sport of golf either attract or actively recruit the absolute worst public relations people in sports? Seriously, it's all these people can do not to totally shoot themselves in the foot.
First, you have the woman who jokingly said that other PGA golfers should "lynch" Tiger. Hilarious! Now, the LPGA comes up with a ridiculous idea to, as they say in marketing terms, "weed out some of the asians." If you haven't seen this story, a summary can be seen here. The basic jist is that the LPGA decided that it was an American sports league and, as such, should have all of its participants be at least somewhat proficient in English.
This makes perfect sense, of course, because all American sports leagues other than the LPGA are composed entirely of players who, if not American, speak American. And if you don't like America, then you can go on an' git out. Among the professional athletes who would have to "go on 'an git" were all sports leagues to adopt a similar policy:
The New York Mets (excluding David Wright)
All the Europeans on the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings
And so on...
The LPGA, apparently not kidding about the idea, let the idea stay out there for two whole days, presumably before the supervisor of the person who came up with the idea heard about it and was like, "is you fuckin' crazy?" Seriously, did the LPGA or their multitude of corporate sponsors think this was a good idea? Yeah, it's not like this country is overly sensitive to all matters of racial/ethnic impropriety, perceived or actual. This is America, and we won't tolerate discrimination. Instead, we'll engage in a superficial discussion about racial/linguistic/gender/sexual orientation equality until the story blows over in a week or so.
In short, these people have to be seriously fucked in the head to think, "Yeah, we can totally get away with this, no problem. Nobody will mind if we make up asinine restrictions to clear out some of these ethnics. Last I checked, after all, the year is 1951. Huzzah to the future of the LPGA!" [lights olde timey-style cigarette on long black holder, cackles maliciously]
In a somewhat surprising move, journeyman Daunte Culpepper retired from the NFL today after having spent the offseason trying to land a starting job. Culpepper reportedly turned down one-year offers from both the Packers and Steelers (as a backup), instead insisting on a situation that would offer guaranteed playing time.
Culpepper was representing himself throughout this process, and whether he realizes it or not, that's why the moron's out of a fucking job. Say what you will about the Drew Rosenhauses and Scott Borases (woah, those are two names that look and sound weird when pluralized. Also: real jewey), when it comes to representing their clients' best interests, they don't fuck around. Though approaching teams without formal representation may have been an attempt to foster good will on Culpepper's part, the decision represents a greater problem - namely, that Culpepper didn't have anyone to balance out his own opinion and limited self-awareness.
One of an agent's most important duties (aside from getting as much guaranteed cash as possible, specifically in the NFL) is to keep the client aware of his true value. For better or worse, this can work both ways. With Rosenhaus and T.O., this meant creating a total shitstorm in Philadelphia over a perceived lack of respect. For Culpepper, it would have meant convincing the QB that a guaranteed starting job just wasn't available, and his best move would have been to take a backup role in a relatively shaky QB situation and make the best of the opportunity when it presented itself.
While this kind of brutal honesty about one's own abilities is no doubt difficult for a professional athlete, it's often a necessary bitter pill to swallow to get into a situation that best suits the player. For Culpepper, this could have meant being a backup in a place like Green Bay, where Aaron Rodgers is the unquestioned starter but has extremely limited experience and questionable injury history or Atlanta, where a young QB is being thrown to the wolves in his rookie year. Those kinds of opportunities are what keep talented but flawed players in the league into their mid-30's, and it's a shame that Culpepper's ego wouldn't allow him to realize what's best for him.
I guess this whole post is motivated by the fact that I've always thought Culpepper was really talented and got kind of a raw deal due to injuries. More than anything, it's probably out of my own desire to see what such a physically gifted player could do with some veteran savvy and the right opportunity. Because of his stubborn and somewhat childish response to the whole situation, we'll never know.
But even here it's a waste of money.
Stat geek sidenote: There's better job security in politics than in the EPL. Only four managers have been in their current posts longer than the 3 1/2 years Obama has been a Senator: Sir Alex Ferguson (Man United), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), Rafa Benitez (Liverpool), and David Moyes (Everton).