British Empire unaware of the existence of periods

>> Wednesday

As seen here, British announcers have a tendency to use run-on sentences in a way so that a regular sentence is as likely as the result of today's semifinal match in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa (a warmup tournament for the 2010 FIFA World Cup; also in South Africa) where in a gutsy performance by keeper Tim Howard, and on the backs of goals from Villareal benchwarmer Jozy Altidore and Fulham FC role player Clint Dempsey, coupled with incredibly solid games from the US backline of Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Wisconsin's own Jay DeMerit, and Chicago's own Jonathan Spector, the United States of America upset Spain; the European Champions and the #1 team in the world, who were owners of a world-record 15-game winning streak, and a tied-world-record 35-game unbeaten streak (having last lost in 2006) by a scoreline of 2-0 to reach their first ever Final in a FIFA competition in a game that has already been dubbed "The Miracle on Turf" and "The Shock Heard Round the World," a reference not only to the 1775 Battle of Lexington, which signaled the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, but also to a 1989 FIFA World Cup Qualifier where the United States faced off against Trinidad and Tobago in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, where Paul Caligiuri scored to lead the US to a 1-0 win, clinching qualification for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, the Yanks' first appearance at soccer's showcase event since 1950.

Next sentence.

EDIT: According to Yanks Abroad, the South African crowd chanted "USA! USA!" in the closing minutes of the game. I can only assume this means that the US and the rest of the world are cool again.


High times in the 'Querq

>> Tuesday

Normally, I'm uninterested or outright annoyed by the superstar minor-league rehab stint media circus angle (Roger Clemens comes to mind), but I guess what's awesome about Manny Ramirez the Isotope is that this time the indignity of superstar-as-sideshow revolves around a guy who I'd doubt is bothered at all by the temporary exile and is playing for a team with a ridiculous name, uniform, and logo--in a small urban island with a funny name to boot--to the grave consternation of those who are somehow unamused by the situation. A freewheeling Dominican stationed in the southwestern plains wearing an advertisement for nuclear power is a match made on the moon that's impossible not to love.

And come on--it's Manny Ramirez.


Crime and punishment

Or to put it another way:


Analysing the reseeded gentlemen's bracket

The New York Times tennis blog Straight Sets has a little rundown of how the men's Wimbledon bracket was restructured after Rafael Nadal had to pull out of the tournament last week, vacating the #1 seed.

The explanation makes two things pretty clear:

1) The players are seeded as though the bracket is comprised of four sub-brackets much like the NCAA tournament.

2) There are (at least) four meaningful strata of players in the eyes of the seeding folks: the best four, the next 12, the next 16, and everyone else.

If you translate this to college basketball, that would be like lumping the 2 through 4 seeds together and then lumping the 5 through 8 seeds together. I guess my thought is this: If something similar ever had to be done for the NCAA Tournament (e.g. major violations by one of the teams surface the day before the tournament starts), who would benefit more--the 5 who jumps to the 2 line or the 9 that becomes a 5? My asnwer would be the first, but what do you all think?

And if we have any real tennis fans out there, who benefited / got hosed most by Nadal pulling out?


Does Miller Park have adequate drainage? A rudimentary lesson in hydrology (or our most interesting post ever)

>> Monday

It's not often I get to use my professional expertise in the environmental sciences to write about sport-related topics, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that the Brewers may be displaced for their upcoming series against the Twins due to severe flooding at Miller Park. As for you Milwaukee-area fans and friends / YCS co-authors who may have flooded basements or--at a minimum--are pissed off at the prospect of the Brewers losing three home games: Sucks to be you. Ha-haw. Etc.

Like any normal person, my first reaction upon reading the story was to check out the USGS website and look up the severity of the storms that caused the flooding. The result: It was a lot of friggin' rain.

The table below shows the Thursday night / Friday mornng rainfall totals and river stage data from the USGS gauge on the Monemonee River in Wauwatosa, about three miles from the stadium. The gauge height in the second column is the water surface elevation relative to a datum of 628.86 above sea level (i.e. a reading of 0.00 = 628.86 above sea level). The rainfall column is the measured rainfall over the given 5-minute interval, and the final three columns are running totals for the time interval given in the column heading.
As the table shows, the rainfall was extremely intense over a two-hour period that resulted in 4.40 inches of rain--just over half of that falling in the first half-hour. In all, from the time the rain began at 11:15 Thursday night through 11:15 Friday night, 5.40 inches of rain fell on 'Tosa.

Without spending the time to look up the rainfall frequency distributions for the Milwaukee area, I'm going to assume that they're only marginally different than those for the northeast Illinois region, which are shown on the following chart pulled from the Illinois State Water Survey, Bulletin 70. The colored lines plot the 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, and 24-hour peak rainfall totals from Thursday / Friday storm that's left the Brewers homeless for the time being.

[For those unfamiliar with the term, a "recurrence interval" is the theoretical period of time that will ellapse between one random event and an event of equal or greater magnitude. For a full explanation, go here.]

By any measure, this was indeed a very rare downpour, and--contrary to popular belief--all that water doesn't just disappear when it hits the ground. If you go back to our table, you see that the Menomonee River crested at 15.35 feet above datum, which, according to NOAA, is expected to occur once every 15 years (roughly) and has been exceeded only three times since 1973. That, my friends, is what we in the biz call a "flood."

Now, none of this answers the question posed in the title. Was Miller Park properly designed to handle severe weather events? Unfortunately, I resold my Standard Design of Stormwater Drainage Systems for 50,000-Seat Baseball Stadiums, 4th Edition textbook for booze money once I got my D in the college course, but I'll guess that a project as costly and conspicuous as Miller Park would have been designed for a 100-year storm and 100-year flood.

If I'm right (probably not the case), it doesn't necessarily signal failure on the part of Miller Park's architects because, after all, it does not sound as though the stadium underwent any permanent damage. Also, my experience has taught me that stormwater management is a highly empirical and highly imperfect art that's very difficult to get "right." (Or at least that's the line I use at work.)

Pretty cool stuff, huh? Well, I hope you've learned something valuable. (Disclosure: You have not.)


Critics a bit o-vuvuzelas

>> Saturday

One constant in this past week's FIFA Confederations Cup, a warm-up tournament for the World Cup pitting the regional champions against one another, other than the suckitude of the United States, and Coach Bradley's asinine decision to stick with worthless players like Damarcus Beasley is the drone of the Vuvuzela. It has been the subject of much commentary in the soccer mediasphere this week, so to prevent YCS from simply being "Yellow Chair Vinnie" and to put these self-righteous, quasi-racist pricks in their place, I am returning to action.

A vuvuzela is a cheap plastic horn about 3 feet in length, that when blown, creates a sound like an elephant or a swarm of bees. It is a popular part of soccer culture in South Africa.

It's humming has become a source of ire for commentators, players, coaches, and fans during the Confederations Cup, and has led to urgings to ban the instrument for next year's World Cup Finals. And they're all full of shit.

Announcers say that the horns drown out their commentary. First, I would like to direct these announcers to a magnificent invention created in the 19th century. It is called a microphone, and can do magical things for voice amplification. That being said, no. I don't want announcers to know about microphones. ESPN's announcing team during the last World Cup took more away from the broadcast than any horn could ever aspire to. See also: Dave O'Brien. Given the choice between a cheap plastic horn, and ESPN's soccer announcers (with the exception of Derek Rae, and on occasion, Andy Gray), I will take the plastic horn any day.

Fans say that they contribute nothing to atmosphere, and have no place in football. I love when fans talk about what has a place in football culture, because when people say "proper football/soccer" what they usually mean is "the way things are done in some Western European countries." This person is the scourge of the American soccer fan, because he usually retains no connection to the local game, choosing instead to support his favorite EPL Big 4 team on Setanta every week, jerking off to an English flag while downing a pint of Beamish.

The fact is, soccer, just like the way it is played, is supported in different styles all over the world. Even in the MLS, styles range from Chicago's Polish/Italian/Mexican influence

To Columbus Crew's German-style support

to Houston Dynamo's El Battalon, which is heavily populated and influenced by support common in Latin America.

If all you watch is one or two leagues, and a handful of teams, then naturally your worldview of what qualifies as "support" is going to be a tad myopic. While I'm not ready to play the race card just yet, it's certainly a thought. FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who usually has his head so far up his own ass he can see the inside of his own neck, is for once, dead on the money here. "It's a local sound and I don't know how possible it is to stop it.I always said when we go to South Africa, it is Africa. It is not Western Europe.It's noisy, it's energy, rhythm, dance, drums. This is Africa. We have to adapt a little."

Spain's Xabi Alonso is also in favor of banning the vuvuzela. "They make it very difficult for the players to communicate with each other and concentrate. They are a distraction and do nothing for the atmosphere." This is the biggest bullshit argument I've heard yet, considering its source for two reasons. First, Xabi Alonso plays his club football for Liverpool, whose home ground; Anfield, is regularly one of the loudest in Europe. Yet no problems communicating and concentrating there.

Pregame at Anfield

During the Game (especially starting at the 0:40 mark)

So the argument that the horns are loud and distracting seems a tad misplaced coming from Alonso. Likewise, Alonso plays his club football on a team whose first team features Brazilian, Spanish, English, Israeli, Italian, Danish, Ukrainian, Swiss, French, Dutch, Scottish, Argentinian, Slovak, Moroccan, and Hungarian players. I have to imagine there's more than a few language barriers on that team. Yet, Alonso apparently has no problem communicating at Anfield. You figure with those barriers removed in South Africa (since presumably every player on the Spanish team speaks Spanish, and the players could at least lip-read simple commands), this should be a non issue.

Also gotta wonder about Alonso. Alonso is from Spain, whose soccer games have been plagued by racist chanting at African players (including tossing bananas on to the field at some stadiums). I wonder if that "contributes to atmosphere."

As for the coaches who don't like the sound of the vuvuzela, I think they largely overestimate the importance of their own job. 95% of a soccer manager's job is in preparing the team; once they're out on the pitch, the manager's influence is largely limited to substitutions and half-time adjustments. So unless the vuvuzela is blowing in their ear while they are selecting the team or during training sessions, their impact on a coach's performance would appear to be minimal at best.

So next year, expect the vuvuzelas to be back. Now if only we could do something about the United States team's chronic sucking...


"Now when I say 'sportz!' you say 'nutz!'"

>> Friday

"Sportz!" "Nutz!" "Sportz!" "Nutz!"

Ok, so this turned up in our inbox today:
Been looking for a good excuse to reclaim the living room from the toys and sewing machine? Finally got sick of scrounging through your neighbor’s trash to find a couch?

1800® Select Silver Tequila is about to make your day. Visit and enter for a chance to win $10,000 towards putting together the ultimate ManCave! You can deck out your spot with the sickest new home entertainment system, a game console of your choice, plenty of seating arrangements to keep you comfy and a supply of 1800® Silver Select Tequila within an arm’s reach – the Man Cave is sure to secure poker night at YOUR house, indefinitely. So, stand up to the powers that be and enter daily to for a chance to be the envy of all your buddies.

1800® Select Silver is a new kind of Tequila: 100 Proof, double distilled and blended with a touch of aged tequila. It’s got enough gravitas to impress any true Tequila fan. Try 1800® Select Silver and Change The Game!
You hear that guys? It's time to send Sally upstairs to go hem your golf shirt, tell Junior to pick up his rocking horse and train set, get out the poker chips, call up your buddies, and... margarita night? Tequila shots and blacked out by 8:30?

Whatever, it's ridiculous. Last I checked, most guys don't live in the Patty Duke Show, so I'm not sure where all these intrusive sewing machines are coming from. Also, unless your neighbor has an industrial-sized dumpster for his trash, I'm not sure how scrounging through his trash could turn up an entire couch. And when I think tequila, I think of a poker game that doesn't end up so friendly.

More importantly, this male-fantasy-for-the-male-stereotype nonsense is beyond tired. Besides being an impractical, wasteful celebration of disgusting consumerist glut (which has gone way out of style, if you haven't noticed), this whole "man cave" / "man wall" phenomenon is yet more proliferation of the unthinking, competition-crazed male caricature that should have been put to bed with the cancellation of Home Improvement. Yet, this proves that Tim Taylor lives, along with the all the implicit xenophobia and misogyny built into this bad joke. They even call it a cave for god's sake.

But who am I to argue with the reality that sports fans are an uncouth lot of illiterates who hate to think?


The feds are onto us

Hey Mike--I think I'm gonna go ahead and put your name on that post, ok?


Bow to the master

Forget what I promotional-idea-for-white.html">wrote last night--this is a promotion. Then again, it seems unnecessarily targeted and might be cause for trouble. It could very well turn into another Disco Demolition Night, except with fans furiously deleting Nickleback songs from their iPhones, setting off a massive orgy of cyberterrorism. Or worse yet, pro-Nickelback vigilantes led by the members of the band might show up and torch the place. No--on second thought, this is a terrible promotional idea. Isn't it enough that the two teams playing or the Ports and the Nuts?


Anticipating the pounce

If you haven't heard yet, Dontrelle Willis is back on the DL, again for an anxiety disorder. And again, the circumstances are a little fishy. As such, I assume the next day or two will see plenty of people calling shenanigans and just as many, like me, calling time out on the people calling shenanigans.

It begrudges me to comment on these kinds of stories because it smacks of know-it-allism and forces me to admit I'm no better than all the other overimaginative potificators speculating on a semi-fictional account of the thoughts in another man's brain. Decoding the mental processes of a faraway figure is a fool's game, and it requires a creative license that's just as inappropriate and annoying as finger wagging. Unfortunately, I'm inclined to think I'm skilled in this exercise, so here I go.

We shouldn't doubt for a second that the Tigers may want to abuse the diagnosis of a common, vaguely-defined, and easily-suggestible mental disorder to tell a struggling performer to go play in the sandbox while the adults work in the yard. It's especially tempting to assume so after reading this:
"I've talked to everybody and I don't feel like I have any nervousness out there," Willis said. "I've got so many moving parts that if one's out of whack from time to time it happens.

"This is not the first time I've had control problems, but I've been able to overcome it, so I'm not worried about it."
Of course, self-deception is typically easier than outward deception, and a few bullshit sentences to satiate a hard-questionin' reporter is easier yet. That said, we also get this "detail":
Willis has been his usual gregarious self during a three-game interleague series against the Cardinals, constantly joking around with teammates. He even punctuated many of his comments about going on the DL with laughter.
To that I say: a) Don't be fooled by Willis; b) don't be fooled by the Tigers; and c) don't be fooled by either of them.

The only real point I have is this: "gregarious" has little to do with anything, and laughter can signal delusion just as well as it can signal happiness and stability, so that's not much help either. The charismatic extravert is often the best actor, and those within his sphere are often least able to see through his gregarious ways--assuming there's something to see down to in the first place--simply because that gregarious version of the person is the version they want to see, the version that makes them feel good about themselves, and therefore the only version they care to believe exists.

Also, I think people who've never dealt with legitimate anxiety issues or any other mental disorder tend to downplay or simply don't comprehend the inseparability of mental state and physical performance, so we'll probably hear--as we have before--those who'll maintain Willis's issues (assuming they're real) have nothing to do with his physical mechanics. This is probably false, though I think people who would react this way are dwindling in number.

Anyway, this is all just food for thought. I have no idea what D-Train's thinking, and neither do you. It's actually not relevant, nor is it fair to use this story as a backdrop and excuse for my psycho-rambling. Good thing we only have, like, five readers.


Last-minute Father's Day gift idea

>> Thursday

Just in case you still haven't bought my Father's Day gift:

Sure, I may not technically be a father, per se. But I do have sperm (I hope), which I think should count. Oh, and if you hurry, it might still ship in time to be here by Sunday, but you'll probably have to pay for the express shipping. I'm sure you don't mind, though.


Brilliant promotional idea for the White Sox

I've already lent my genius consulting services to the Brewers. Hopefully, it caught the eye of the White Sox people too because I just came up with a brilliant idea for them. That's what we do here at Vinnie's Brilliant Ideas, Inc., and it's a fool-proof business model. We pay me to think; I churn out brilliant ideas, which is a matter of habit for me. Just another day at the ofice.

So what's this latest great idea from the Vinnie's pipeline? Simple--Invite a special guest to sing the seventh inning stretch during the Cubs-Sox series at the Cell this year. Who, you ask? Why none other than P.R. Chief in Chief, Barack Obama.

The reasons to stage this promotion are multifold and obvious. 1) As we all know, Barry's a huge Sox fan, and since being innaugurated, he's already shown up once at the Cell--to throw out the first pitch on opening day this year. 2) He should have the time, now that he's finished flubbing the big decisions on the economy. 3) It would piss off Cubs fans who feel that they own the celebrity-performed (and occasionally sortafamousperson-performed) seventh inning stretch tradition. 4) We'd get to hear Barry sing! 5) It would settle the current mess in Iran... at least in some alternate reality construed by the lefties in the mainstream media.

Now, some Sox fans might object and be all like, "No! That's something gay the Cubs do, and they're fags who suck! We don't wanna suck like them!" But of course--as seasoned Chicago baseball fans know--the singing of the seventh inning stretch began as a White Sox tradition.

It would be great. They could even have the Motivational Speaker in Chief join Hawk and Stone Pony in the booth to call a few innings and try to catch foul balls with Harry's old fish net. Harrelson-Stone-Obama: What a dream team! My palms are sweating just thinking about it. (Oh wait--that's just because I've my hands in my crotch for the last hour. But still!)

I think the Sox need to act fast on this idea, though, and do it during this year's series before rising unemployment gives rise to civil unrest and ultimately a violent coup, at which point Obama will be just another refugee seeking asylum from the Limbaugh Liberation Militia. In the meantime, though, it'll be fun at the ol' ballpark, Obama-style.

So what do you say, Chairman Reinsdorf? Is it a go? Hell yeah, it's a go! No, thank you, Chairman Reinsdorf. You can send my check to:

Accounts Receivable
Vinnie's Brilliant Ideas, Inc.
1010 Awesome St., Suite Idea
Badass, IL 60606-$$$$


Well, at least we have one thing in common

Not entirely new but new to me, it's a TreeHugger slideshow of famous vegetarian athletes, a list that includes Robert Parish, Tony Gonzalez (whom I may now have to pick in our next fantasy football draft, where I will, as usual, be the only person in the Skokie Buffalo Wild Wings eating a Gardenburger), and of course, Prince Fielder. I think this proves to you doubters that not all vegetarians are sexually ambiguous, androgynous freaks (Carl Lewis notwithstanding).

I do, however, find it ironic that one of the few athletes in the history professional sports famous for wearing a fur coat is also a vegetarian. (Then again, I wear a fur coat. Of course, I didn't buy it; I inherited it. Then again, I also wear leather. But I look really good in leather, so that makes it ok.)

One more thing: Why don't these athletes use their fame to promote vegetarianism more? It helps to put a famous face in front of a cause, and let's face it--guys would rather hear it from an NFL star than from Toby Maguire. If Dan Marino can shill for NutriSystem ("Man Food!... For real men!"), why doesn't Broadway Joe launch a line of meat analogues?


Your tax dollars at work

Let's be like Fergie Jenkins and use made-up numbers to figure out how big of a waste this will be, shall we?

Ok, so let's assume that any congressional activity, simply by virtue of being a congressional activity, is roughly twice as time-consuming and costly as necessary. Then, because it's a matter interesting to the public (not be confused with "in the interests of the public, by the way), let's multiply the inefficiency by a factor of 1.5. The opportunity to moralize and grandstand in press clippings is good for a factor of 2.5. Lastly, it involves a famous person, so we have to double it again. Do the math, and we're looking at a marginal public good at a cost overrun with a factor of 30 (in contrast to my blogging, which only has a factor of infinity).
"The Oversight and Government Reform Committee always takes seriously suggestions that a witness misled the committee while testifying under oath," Rep. Edolphus Towns, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement. "Investigators will begin a review of this matter and, upon learning the results, I will determine appropriate next steps."
Oh, goodie! I hope those include a drawn-out, over-reported perjury trial. Either way, I find the chairmanship of Edolphus Towns remarkably appropriate in this case since Edolphus Towns does indeed sound like the name of a colonial-era Puritan judge presiding over witch hunts.

Meanwhile, the unsung heroes of academia continue to address the real issues.


Reaction in the blogosphere to reaction to reaction in the blogosphere... about Sammy Sosa

People react. My reaction.
Bleed Cubbie Blue: We now know, presuming the report on Sosa is true, that the joy [of the 1998 home run race] was indeed stolen from us. The numbers put up were put up by cartoon figures, not baseball players as we had known them for decades earlier. I know, I know, amphetamines in the 50s and 60s, other PEDs, other ways of cheating, ad nauseum . . . we were sold a bill of goods. They all swore up and down that they were honest -- "Flintstone vitamins," Sammy told us with a straight face. Now we know that face was lying to us, presuming the report is true.
Speak for yourself, homie. I still feel perfectly joyful about the homerun race because--sorry to burst your bubble--pretty much every pro athlete you watch is, on some level, cartoonish. And here's another eye opener--you probably haven't lived a single day on this planet in which someone, somewhere hasn't lied to your face about something. People lie. I lie. You lie. We all scream for lie lie. Get over it. Whenever I read / hear stuff like this, I wonder--How much of the 'roid (out)rage has to do with fairness to the other players, the record books, etcetera, and how much has to do with the critic's own feelings of lost connection? "Sammy, I thought we were best buds! I thought we shared all our secrets! But you lied to me! I don't know if I'll ever be able to love again *tear*."
Bugs & Cranks: It's expected because Sosa's career progression and statistics smack of performance enhancing drugs; there's such a dramatic spike in his power later in his career it almost moronic no one though to question Sosa at the time. Sosa's halfhearted denials and severe drop in performance after baseball began drug testing only amplified the expectation that his superstar turn was aided by the juice.
Hmm, that's an amusing take on things. You'd be right if you consider age 29 to be "later in his career." Then again, you'd also be a fool. One need only click through a few of Slammity Sam's highest comps on BR (Killebrew, Stargell, McCovey) to notice that peaking during the 29 to 32 range (or later) is perfectly normal. Maybe the leap was more dramatic, but again, unless you're Fergie Jenkins, you have no idea how much of this improvement may or may not have been due to PED use. Attribution to a smoking gun, e.g. steroids, is super easy when you have post facto knowledge that, yes, this factor was in play. And we should all have such selective memory. People did question his production at the time, especially following the McGwire andro controversy (See: Flinstone vitamins).

And lastly, the only useful sentiment on this topic:
Deadspin: The real outrage here, as it was with A-Rod, is not who's on the list but who's doing the leaking, a story that for obvious reasons The New York Times will not be writing. You'll remember that those tests results were supposed to be confidential--a perfectly reasonable expectation of any employee who submits to a drug test--yet now they're trickling into public view, merely because somebody wants to remind you to care deeply about steroids in baseball again.
Whoever's leaking these names is a manipulative coward, as are the people who were involved in deceiving the player's union. Rot in hell, a-holes.


Fergie Jenkins should be one of Obama's economic advisers

>> Tuesday

"I don't think they [proven users of performance enhancing drugs] belong in the Hall of Fame," Jenkins said. "The drugs probably enhanced their performances about 20-30 percent. Sammy was in his 30s when he was apparently using and it gave him an edge in homers and RBIs."

Rule #1: Any numerical estimate is valid when the baseline is pulled from your ass.
Rule #2: When no one has the right answer, there's no such thing as a wrong one.
Rule #3: As long as you're popular, people will believe you.


Turning now to some tragic news...

American Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps has died today after accidentally wearing his regular headphones into the pool, causing his head to explode. Phelps was 23 years old.


I Soo-Choo-choose you

>> Friday

Wasn't this a scene from Major League 2? More importantly, why does Jacobs (a.k.a. Progressive) Field attract so much wildlife? My guess is that the site was once a thriving wetland ecosystem before us evil humans disembowled it to make way for our silly baseball games. Whatever the case, I'll get to the bottom of it.


Assorted links

>> Thursday

Real Madrid--the AIG of football.

More evidence that closely-matched adversaries are naturally drawn to a state of attrition... or that NBA refs conspire to force overtime.

Yeah, I know... Only successful blogs with lots of readers are allowed these kinds of posts, but whatever--it's all better than anything you'll read here. Anyway, I'm having trouble deciding whether I look better in a navy Texans jersey or a red one. Speaking of which, I thought it was a tad cruel that the WGN news used, "Houston, you have a problem" to headline the Grossman signing tonight. What jerks.


But are they really????

Reports earlier tonight indicated that Rhianna and Chris Brown would be sitting together during tonight's NBA Finals Game 4.

But moments ago, when ABC made their celebrities-in-the-crowd rounds, they only showed Rhianna, with no mention of Brown. Was this a rare and uncharacteristic case of shoddy reporting by a celebrity gossip tabloid, or was ABC afraid that showing the pair together would sully the broadcast with the unpleasant undertones of domestic abuse?

I don't know the answer, but I can tell you that Rhianna was bruise-free. Bitch, pleeze!!!!


Jiffy Pop on a Coleman grill

>> Saturday

In case you missed it, last night the Brewers debuted a great new fan-draw: drive-in movies.

As if Miller Park tailgates aren't awesome enough,

the Brewers have enhanced America's pastime with the most nostalgiarific and makeout-inducing pastime of America's past... time. Obviously, I think this is a fantastic concept. 

For opening night of this promotion, the double-feature was Jaws and Anchorman. What the heck, right?

That's an odd pairing of popular movies, seemingly incongruent with the experience of a Brewers game. But I think that's the right way to go. Tonight, they're showing (as I write this) Major League and The Sandlot. I think this pairing is a mistake.

I understand the intent of showing beloved baseball-themed films as a warm-up to real baseball action. But I think this may leave the tailgate crowd with a sense of baseball overkill malaise. By the time they march up to the gate, the drunken mob has already taken in over three hours of baseball-related content rife with hilarity and the idealized distortion of the game that harkens back to age ten, with which little can compete.

Given this backdrop, I'd expect the Brewers may be uninentionally setting up their fans for the unwanted realization that the real thing isn't nearly as hilarious or triumphant as its cinematic representations. Context matters too--Brewers fans who long for the shabby comforts of County Stadium will be reminded (by the baseball scenes in Major League, of course) that their old hangout no longer exists.

This whole drive-in idea could make for a wonderful expriment in behavioral psychology, though. How would a Saturday night crowd behave after a double-feature of, say, Braveheart and Apollo 13 versus, say, Boys Don't Cry and No Country for Old Men?

Would stories of triumph make for a riled-up crowd screaming for more vicotry? Or would a depressing double-feature make for a crowd salivating for catharsis? Or both? Hmmmm...

I have no idea where I was going with this post.


Patronizing defense of the ladies

In case you didn't notice--which I assume you haven't unless, like me, you have a raging lesbian fetish--the WNBA season begins this afternoon.

Sadly, I suspect that this could be one of the last WNBA opening days, if not the last. Without knowing the details of the league's financial troubles, the signals are plentiful. Consider:

1. More so than NBA players, many women's basketball players have been looking to Europe (I recall an ESPN feature a year or so ago about Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird making big bucks in Russia) for larger paychecks in recent years.

2. The league trimmed its roster size from 13 to 11 coming into this season.

3. The Phoenix Mercury will have the name of their primary corporate sponsor, LifeLock, an identity theft prevention service, emblazoned on their uniforms this year.

4. Although today's Detroit Shock-L.A. Sparks game will be broadcast on ABC, there is absolutely no mention of it currently on's homepage, and we all know that ESPN hypes the mother-loving shit out of every sport (and non-sport) that it broadcasts, even ones that generate little interest outside of a tiny niche market.

5. As I've just discovered, does not have a WNBA page. Although the dropdown "ALL SPORTS" button at the top of the homepage has a link for WNBA, it actually takes you to the general "Women's Basketball" page that covers both college and pro women's hoops. 

Speaking of said page, check out the "girly" color scheme they use for it:

So who's doing the patronizing now?

Of course, that perfectly represents the way that ESPN's marketing of the WNBA--not to mention the league's marketing of itself (see: pretty much every team nickname in the league)--has, in my opinion, gone great lengths to undermine the credibility of the league. Year-in and year-out, ESPN promotes the WNBA (and the NCAA Women's Tournament for that matter) with some trite "feminist anthem" to play up the image of WNBA players as selfless, wholesome role models and not--just like the menfolk--the highly competitive animals they are. (Last year, I believe the promotional tune was Liz Phair's "Extraordinary," which--as a huge fan of Exile in Guyville--I find cruelly appropriate. Oh, Liz... Once so gritty; how you cheapened yourself!) God forbid ESPN would use a song sung by a man or that actual WNBA players might, you know, listen to. 

To size up this effect, look no further than the dual "Oh, heavens, no! The ladies are fighting!" / "Ooh, catfight!" reaction that last year's Detroit-L.A. in-game brawl mainly received. It was one out of the roughly two instances--the title clincher possibly being the other, though I wouldn't be so confident--that an out-of-market WNBA game was covered by local news outlets, and ESPN, of course, milked the "controversy" of it. I remember Jamele Hill wrote a great commentary on the incident, which I think may have been the only occasion where Jamele Hill trumped Bill Simmons's assorted ramblings and Rick Reilly's hacktastic drivel on's home page.

While I do credit ESPN for bringing women's sports to their market--without which, they'd hold even lower status--the fact that the network has simultaneously undermined the WNBA's credibility for the vast majority of that viewer market has, I think, cut significantly into their efforts to promote women's basketball. And as a man with a raging lesbian fetish, I think that's a damned shame.

So who's doing the undermining now?


Someone needs to tell R.C. Johnson to quit saying words

>> Friday

I somehow skimmed past this quote (poorly-chosen, self-incriminating phrases in bold) from Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson when I read the Dozier story earlier:

"We still feel comfortable about what we've done and that we've done all the do-rights, and time will tell. You don't want any of that stuff happening, but I'm pretty comfortable we've done all the things we're supposed to do."

Johnson added, "I thought we dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's on that situation. I know nothing different today than I did then."

Is his guilty conscience subconsciously forcing him to sabotage Memphis's chances of avoiding punishment? He might as well just say, "Oh crap, I thought we shredded all that stuff."


Of all the pictures they could've chosen...

Anyhoo... Um, yeah, Memphis was pretty crooked, methinks.


Get to da Soccah?

>> Wednesday

California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar has joined the bid committee seeking to bring the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup to the United States.

Californian venues hosted games in the 1994 World Cup, and 1999 and 2003 Womens' World Cups, and at least one Californian venue is expected to be included in the 10-12 stadium US bid.

Said Schwarzeneggar, "Soccah is tha wulds most papulah spoat und Kowlifornya has bin hom to some uv its moast eggziting gayims, unt I yam pwowd tuh be ah paht oof bringing tha Wuld Kahp bahk to theh Yoonited Statehs. Theh millyens oof fans from arauhnd de glohbe thaht will travel to ze Yoonited Statehs to cheah theah teams will pwoove a great benfit fo ouah stayte, ouah nation, ahndze wuld oof soccah."

Schwarzeneggar is believed to have meant, "Soccer is the world's most popular sport and California has been home to some of its most exciting games, and I am proud to be a part of bringing the World Cup back to the United States. The millions of fans from around the globe that will travel to the United States to cheer their teams will prove a great benefit for our state, our nation and the world of soccer."


Let's all be eight years old

With last night's debut of Phillies pitching prospect Antonio Bastardo, I got to thinking, who are some of the other all-time most unfortunately-named people in sports? I'm thinking of both guys with names that sound like a dirty word, insult, or something that would suggest being ugly, evil, inept, etcetera. Here's a list off the top of my head. Please add your own below.

Mets reliever J.J. Putz
Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay
Orioles president Andy McPhail
Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome
MLB reliever John Coutlangus
NHL player Radek Bonk
Reds pitching coach Dick Pole
Yankees pitcher Chien Ming Wang
Former MLB player Rusty Kuntz
Heat guard Luther Head
Former South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley
Smelley's former teammate / kicker Ryan Succop 
Former Cincinnati Bearcats guard Jihad Muhammad
Former Seaton Hall guard Ty Shine
Former Blackhawks goalie Steve Passmore (only because he was a goalie)
Rays reliever Grant Balfour (only because he's a pitcher)
Former MLB reliever Eric Plunk (also because he was a pitcher)

I know I'm forgetting lots. Help me out.


Exhibit 5.3, please

Call me a cynic, but I'm not 100% convinced by University of Memphis Athletics' specious self-proclamations of innocence:

Of course, Exhibit 5.3 (i.e. what the forensic document examiner actually said, as opposed to an eleven-word snippet with the lone indication of uncertainty underlined) was not released to the press.

Admittedly, I'm not a forensic document examiner, but I find it highly unlikely that a forensic document examiner was unable to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the handriting sample from the test was a mismatch for Rose's handwriting. 

What I'd expect, if we could read Exhibit 5.3, is that the only rationale for the word "probably" are a handful of overwrought hypotheticals that could possibly sorta maybe explain away the difference.

Like a lot of people, I don't really care if Rose cheated. He'd have never had to take the test if not for the NBA's / NCAA's backwards, exploitative rules. I also hope the accusations are untrue.

That said, University of Memphis Athletics must think we're all stupid. That, and they really need to clean up that women's golf program.

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