Freeze it!

>> Thursday

The best thing about preseason polls is how terrible some of the initial rankings look come the end of the season. With that in mind, let's hang onto this.


Life immitates art immitates my crappy jokes

>> Wednesday

I wonder how similar this will turn out compared to this.


Philly's bats aren't the only things swingin' BA-ZING!

Philadelphia woman arrested after offering sex for World Series tickets.

After Craigslist ad reading ""DESPERATE BLONDE NEEDS WS TIX (Philadelphia)"Diehard Phillies fan--gorgeous tall buxom blonde-- in desperate need of two World Series Tickets. Price negotiable--- I'm the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!"


Rebranding opportunity

>> Tuesday

Ok, so our blog has a few minor issues right now. Namely:
  • The image hosting account is expired.
  • The authors never post new material.
  • It has no readers.
  • It has no niche, focus, or any other redeeming value.
On this last point, I don't see much changing in the future, given that we haven't found anything resembling a focus in more than three years, especially with interest at an all-time low. Therefore, rather than restoring the old banner and ill-defined format, I propose we go the opposite route:

Yay? Nay?


MLS End-of-Season Awards and Playoff Predictions

I've got to get to class so I'll keep this short.

MVP: Shalrie Joesph, New England Revolution. As much as it pains me to award a dirty Rev bastard anything, the fact of the matter is that no player has been more valuable to his team this season than the Grenadan international has been for the Revs. New England squeaked into the playoffs on the last day after fighting a rash of injuries and departures.

Most Outstanding Player: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy. Donovan's 12 goals were enough to tie him for third among the scoring leaders in MLS. While Jeff Cunningham of FC Dallas and Conor Casey of Colorado Rapids technically scored more goals (17 and 16, respectively), Donovan's to me rank more impressive because of several reasons. First, Cunningham was nearly invisible in the first half of the season, scoring most of his goals in Dallas' stretch run from irrelevance to the brink of the playoffs, and I can't even remember the last time Casey scored for the Rapids in the run of play. A number of his goals at the end of the season came on penalty kicks. Moreso, Donovan scored his 12 goals in only 25 games, missing a decent chunk of the summer with Confederations Cup and World Cup Qualifying duty with Team USA.

Newcomer of the year: Fredy Montero. The Columbian striker turned Seattle Sounders into an instant contender. With two goals in his first game, Montero set the pace and put the league on notice. While his goal tally tailed off, he still finished with 12 strikes in 27 games, and became a weapon other teams needed to focus on, opening up space for Nate Jaqua (7 goals) and rookie Steve Zakuani (4 goals) in leading the Sounders to the playoffs; the first MLS expansion side to reach the postseason since the 1998 Chicago Fire.

Supporters Section of the Year: Emerald City Supporters, Seattle Sounders. The new boys in Green showed the old guard a thing or two. While points should be docked because the ECS does get a healthy dose of assistance from the Sounders front office, this should show a model for other MLS teams to follow, treating supporters groups like what they are. Passionate supporters that can only grow your business and will be your best customers, instead of a troublesome nuisance that is nothing more than a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Zach Thornton, Chivas USA. As a former keeper, I gotta give an award for the netminders, and on that note, Zach Thornton may inspire me to dust the gloves off. Also making a move for MLS's comeback player of the year, Thornton after being released by the Chicago Fire after the 2006 season, has found his way from from New York to Colorado to LA. Looking like the Zach Thornton of old, he backstopped Chivas USA to 12 shutouts, and posted a 0.87 GAA en route to Chivas USA's third playoff berth in a row. Only three other MLS sides have made the playoffs the last three years (Chicago, New England, Houston) so this is quite a feat in itself.

Playoff Predictions
League Quarterfinals

West #1 Los Angeles vs. West #4 Chivas USA
The Clasico Angelino makes its first playoff appearance. Los Angeles should be able to take down the Goats after winning the season series, and winning their first Division title in 7 years.

West #2 Houston vs. West #3 Seattle
Experience favors Houston. Even when their offense has trouble scoring goals, the backline is solid and they may have just enough to progress. This is going to be a marquee series. At least 70k people will likely attend the two games if past attendance is any guide.

East #1 Columbus vs. West #5 Salt Lake
Columbus is the best team in the league for a reason. They are solid at just about every position from the Keeper all the way to the strikers. They have been dominant at home, and became only the second team to repeat as Supporters Shield Winners (2006 and 2007 DC United). As the only MLS team left in the CONCACAF Champions League, they have shown a deep roster capable of adapting whatever injury challenges are thrown at them. They have to be considered the favorites to come out of the East, but it is worth noting that at least one #1 seed has gone down in the first round the last four years (2008 Houston, 2007 DC United, 2006 Chivas USA, 2005 San Jose). RSL has traditionally been strong at home. A poor outing in the Wasatch range altitude could set the stage for a win or go home game in Columbus a week later. I would welcome an RSL victory....

East #2 Chicago vs. East #3 New England
...Because it would enable Chicago to host the Eastern Conference Final at home for the first time since 2003. The Fire have only won one postseason series where they did not have home-field advantage (1998 vs. LA). On the flip side, the Fire have only lost one series where they did have home field advantage (2001 vs. LA). The Fire won the season series 1-0-2 from New England, including a win and a draw in Foxboro. However, the Fire's home form has been nothing short of dreadful. Both teams are saddled with injury problems, but the archrivals are set to lock horns once again in November. One team has ended the other team's season every year since 2000 save one.

First Round Winners
Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Columbus

MLS Cup 2009
Seattle over Columbus.


Can I cuddle up in your bed?

I just had a bad dream. I dreamed that the NBA season was about to start, but everything was all weird. I don't know how to describe it, but things just didn't look right:

I was so relieved to wake up and realize that it's still 2001; Allen Iverson is the reining league MVP; Rasheed Wallace and the Jail Blazers a favorite again in the West, and Ron Artest is a budding superstar on the Bulls (who are gonna turn the corner this year--I just know it).

Ok, I'm better now. I'll leave you alone. Sorry if I interrupted any sex.


No, we will not upgrade to Pro

The "pathetic" level of this blog just went up another notch. This is fun.


Do as I say, not as I did

So what can a guy who never, ever hit to the opposite field teach those young impressionable kiddies about the fundamentals of hitting? Though I generally consider the role of hitting coach high brand quackery, it's still an odd choice. What next--Mitch Williams as pitching coach? David Wells as trainer? Lenny Dykstra as CFO? I could keep this up all night. Oh, but look at the time. Shucks.


University of Minnesota spokesman: "This is a totally serious matter. So serious, in fact, that I will now reprimand a big, fluffy gopher suit."

>> Thursday

"On behalf of Goldy and the University of Minnesota, I want to apologize to the Penn State player involved and anyone else who may have taken offense from this incident," Wolter said in a statement. "We have reiterated to Goldy the importance of exercising appropriate religious sensitivity in the future."


News and Notes and Half-Stories

>> Tuesday

In the past few days I've seen a number of postings, read a few articles, and heard commentators ranging from Sports Illustrated to the Wall Street Journal opining on the early season dominance of dome teams, in particular, the undefeated starts for the Vikings, Colts, and Saints. They say that the Domes are giving them the advantage. I could argue that Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees might have something to do with it as well.

So, before anyone gets carried away on a "Dome-inant" headline pun-writing bonanza, I'd like to point out that the Rams are winless, the Lions are 1-5, and the Cardinals, Cowboys, and Texans are either .500 teams or just a hair better.

Jay Mariotti on Around the Horn this afternoon claimed Yankee Stadium was a "Cathedral of Baseball" despite the stadium only being open for the past six and a half months. Given this standard, one can only conclude that Great American Ballpark is a wonder of the ancient world.

Seconds later he was given a shaving cream pie by my friend Frank from Section 8 Chicago, who works as a program coordinator at ESPN in Chicago. The revolution is coming.


Estamos en El Mundial!!!!!!!!!!!!

>> Friday

Honduran soccer commentators go psycho after Team USA equalizes against Costa Rica in the closing minutes, giving Honduras the result they need to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1982.


Hooked on phonics

>> Tuesday

This struck me as odd:
Personally, I think it would be far clearer (and a lot more fun) if they went Classic Concentration style.


Pack Your Bags, Boys

>> Sunday

You're going to South Africa.


Congratulations, Auburn, NY

>> Saturday

Home of my kid brother and the Class A Doubledays, you have just been named worst sports city in America.


...And Adam Carolla as Secretariat

>> Thursday


Al Franken, please buy the Minnesota Vikings

>> Tuesday

So we can settle the debate like men. On the field. Owner of the team that doesn't win has to retire from public life. Hopefully it ends in a tie.


Then again, we have Miley Cyrus

>> Monday

Interesting tidbit:

Beijing's $423 million Bird's Nest stadium has been used only once since last summer's Olympics, for a Jackie Chan concert.

On the more relevant matter, not only am I happy Chicago won't be hosting the Olympics, but I'd like to see the entire concept of Olympic Games as bloated, grandiose spectacle die and go away forever, just as I'd like to see happen with all sporting events. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen anytime soon, barring large-scale turmoil that I'd otherwise rather not see.

Bitch bitch bitch rabble rabble rabble rabble. The end.


Daily Mail unaware of vast landmass south of Italy

>> Friday

According to Britain's Daily Mail, there was no doubt once it got down to Madrid and Rio for the 2016 Olympics.

"South America is the only continent that has never hosted the Games - which means that it was the only option of the four currently on the table that gives IOC chiefs the chance to make history. "

Problem with this statement is it isn't even true if you ignore the continent with all the penguins on it. Ever hear of.....well, never mind. I'll just present what I call "The World According to the Daily Mail."


Dear IOC,


7 Years = History

Sportscenter just announced that Monday Night, Brett Favre will have the chance to be the first player in NFL history to beat all 32 NFL Franchises.

This was announced with grandiose sentiment.

"He has a chance to make history; to do something NO PLAYER IN NFL HISTORY HAS DONE!!!"

ESPN, taking nothing away from Brett Favre, please remember the Houston Texans have only existed for 7 years. I don't think Johnny Unitas or Joe Montana ever had the chance to beat them.

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