For some reason, Redskins fans hate this guy. I dunno what their problem is--after all, who in the sportswriting world doesn't call out Cerrato/Gibbs/Snyder for their collective suckassery? No, Len has his favorites, sure--like the Pittsburgh Steelers, a real man's team--and a few that he doesn't appreciate as much.
Like my Denver Broncos.
Now, I admit that I hate the "everyone's against my team!" bullshit as strongly as my two co-bloggers. But in this case, I'm right. Pasquarelli has even admitted it.
Jim Armstrong, local sports columnist (referenced in my previous post) here in Denver and a Len-friend, said on air a few months back that Mr. 'Squarelli does indeed dislike Mike Shanahan. Which only confirmed my suspicions.
I recall seeing Len on ESPN a few years back talking about the zone-blocking scheme we employ, a few days after one of our linemen injured the Chargers' Jamal Williams (on purpose, naturally, because Bronco players are coached to injure). He was practically pissing himself in righteous indignation: "Fah! Zone-blocking pussies. Cheap shot artists. Why can't they play with some spine? What Would Cowher Do?" And on, and on, and on....
As it happens, Len is a Pittsburgher. And a proud one. A proud Pittsburgher with no problem making excuses for the Rooney family or the franchise. (See his column a few years back where he claimed that, during a clearly sparsely-attended, bad weather/late season matchup, Steelers fans did not leave their tickets for the comfort of home--no, they were standing in the aisles! It's a Pittsburgh tradition, you know. Standing. The game was a sellout. They were there. Standing.) His remarks came on the heels of Mr. Cowher's condemnation of the same injury, which were accompanied by a dismissal of the zone-blocking principle itself as unmanly.
So the porcine Pasquarelli must have felt that he, as a stand-up Pittsburgher, had to go to his boy Cowher's side. But is that why he dislikes Shanahan, and by extension our hometown squad?
Or is because, after Shanny gave his now-famous (at least in my house) presentation for the media where he showed clips of a whole passel of teams--most hilariously, Those Tough Guy Steelers--employing zone-blocking, he realized that he looked like an even bigger ass than that mug shot makes him appear?
I like to think so...but then, I'm a fucking Bronco fan. I also think the U.S. Government had something to do with Al Wilson's failed physical.
And besides: how could Len look like a bigger ass? Read more
Friday, March 30, 2007
For some reason, Redskins fans hate this guy. I dunno what their problem is--after all, who in the sportswriting world doesn't call out Cerrato/Gibbs/Snyder for their collective suckassery? No, Len has his favorites, sure--like the Pittsburgh Steelers, a real man's team--and a few that he doesn't appreciate as much.
Thanks to Ol' No. 7 for the breakdown of our beloved Ted. I have not managed--how best to say this--to avoid shitting my pants in Ted-to-Ted competition thus far. In 2005, my team was so absurdly awful (despite what I felt to be a pretty good pitching lineup at the start of the year, including a newly Yankee-fied Randy "The Ape Drape" Johnson, who everyone expected to win 40 games and grudge-fuck Anna Benson on the mound after each one, merely as a way to re-assert the American League's primacy) that I lost like the 1977 Cubs at an Atlantic City craps table. Last year was slightly better, but that's like saying losing three fingers in a Cuisinart is slightly better than having a pack of rabid Dachshunds gnaw off both feet.
Anyway. I fully expect to beat all of these losers in every single matchup. (I notice 7 didn't bring up our ancillary football/baseball league, The Nat, in which I have experienced considerably more success, including a just-barely-unsuccessful run at the baseball championship. I blame southern Colorado educational system and that wicked Durango beer.)
I have a beef to beef. So let's to it:
LOCAL SPORTS TALK RADIO
In Denver--where I live with my ferocious Lhasa Apso Colonel Steve, and my equally ferocious wife, Brandy--our options are, or should I say were, Sporting News Radio on AM 560, starring the vaguely racist, saturnine dwarf Tim Neverett, or AM 950, starring a conglomeration of insufferable douchebags who have all bounced around the local media scene for years. There's Joe Williams, an ancient crank whose claims to fame are 1. he used to constantly agitate for John Elway to be traded and once suggested the Broncos replace him with Kansas State's Chad May, and 2. he got his start, ala JT The Brick, as a caller. There's Sandy Clough, whose voice is the aural equivalent of a ratchet screwdriver in the eye, Mark Moser, whose NASCAR-dude persona endears him to men who have sex with their daughters, and Irv Brown, who...well, he's actually not that bad. He is over 100, though.
A pretty motley crew--and it's gotten worse. Neverett, at least, once shared his show with Jim Armstrong, an unapologetic cheesehead but an actual reporter, and thus 560 would, on occasion, offer sports-related programming that rose above the usual shouts. Then the folks in charge broke them up, Armstrong went on to join Williams and Brown in a clumsy on-air threeway (I totally mini-puked in my throat upon writing that) and Neverett was left to carry the show by himself.
Neverett is a hockey fan. And not just a hockey fan--one of those hockey fans. The ones who get all pissed off and defensive when people say things like, "I don't really like hockey" or "hockey? Is that even still around?" The ones who call your sports intelligence into question for not knowing of--or let's be honest, caring about--the intricacies of the Left Wing lock. The ones who puff up about fighting (it's part of the game!) but think everyone in the NBA is out to steal their wallet.
So, with Armstrong's moderating influence gone, 560 in the morning became all pucks, all the time. They even started a segment with one of our two local dailies' hockey writers and introduced it with The Offspring's "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)."
I doubt they appreciated the unintentional comedy inherent in two flabby white dudes rapping about a third-tier Canadian pastime, preceded by a bad, 10-year-old song by one of America's all-time lamest bands, but whatev. Hockey and subtlety go together like toothpaste and beer.
Even so, it was my regular morning show. And two days ago, from nowhere, it disappeared, replaced by some national product out of Atlanta featuring a couple of mumbly dudes who laugh at themselves a lot. So I had to make the switch to 950. And Clough's yells have left my eardrums feeling like Trent Green's asshole after a night out with "the boys."
Please. For God's sake, Clear Channel, or Phil Anschutz, or whoever: bring back Armstrong and Neverett. They were the best of a very, very bad bunch. Read more
Posted by Cecil at 10:15 AM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I used to be a small fan of Adam Carolla, back when Loveline was only on the radio. Now, having heard him repeatedly make fun of the Playmaker's mother, he's my new best friend. By the way, can #88 ever conduct six seconds of television without repeatedly molesting the other men around him? Effin' douche.Read more
Man nothing, and I mean nothing, is more boring than hearing about another guy’s fantasy team. I love me some fantasy sports, and I play in a lot of leagues, but the thought of hearing some hairy loser detail his depth at catcher or his sleeper tight end makes me murderous. If I’m in the league, that’s great. That’s why we play. I’ll give you shit about how bad your QB is, and you’ll remind me that I always choke and you boned my mom last night, and we laugh heartily. But tell me about some random league and I’ll stab you in the thigh, punter.
That said, I need to issue a warning to that one reader we have. I’m now going to fucking BREAK DOWN a league that you are not in. It’s going to be boring as shit. It will be so lame you may want to go and watch Around The Horn. But sit tight, pal. You will get sucked in, for two good God damned reasons:
- My team kicks ass
- Everyone else’s team really blows
See? You’re already loving it. I’ve created an “Us-vs.-Them” theme that we’ll see through. First, a little history:
The Ted Williams Frozen Head league was created in 2004 by me. 2004 was a pretty rad year on several fronts. It was the year I met my future wife, the year I got my dog, and my best golf year ever. I broke 90 three times that year, and at some point in the future I’ll break down every hole—that will be thrilling. But more important than any of that shit, 2004 was the year baseball’s greatest franchise broke through, toppled your boys the Yankees, and won the title.
You may have heard something about this. There was a blood-soaked sock involved.
Anyway, we’d been playing fantasy football for years and it was sweet, so we took the plunge. In that inaugural year my team was really good in the regular season and then lost in the playoffs. My buddy (whom we’ll call Asshole Yankee Fan) won the title despite a clearly inferior club.
In 2005, the exact same thing happened. And last year too. There are eight other owners in this league, including the HoG’s very own Cecil and Bank, but they don’t matter much. This is about me and my nemesis, and he’s going down this year. These are your 2007 lineups for the Ted:
MAKING NOISES FOR MOISES This is my team, and we are bad ass. We’ve got Poo Holes and Berkman and Holliday. We hate the Yankees but we’ll take their stats, so we’ve got Matsui. Just so Hideki has someone to talk to, we obtained Matsuzaka (and we did NOT take him too early). Our strengths are awesome power, huge cocks and blazing fastballs resulting in humiliating strikeouts. We don’t give a shit about stolen bases, which are for fags, or relief pitching, which is for guys with much smaller cocks. This is a man’s team.
THREE-TIME DEFENDING CHAMPIONS JaRekPosTonSheffRod This is Asshole Yankee Fan’s team. Yes, he changes it with every successive title. What a douche, right? He also composed a mashed-up acronym composed of parts of Yankee names, half of whom are no longer on the fucking team. He needs a kick in the balls. His squad this season is old and slow, but with pretty good pitching. I’m going to beat his ass repeatedly.
THE ALEX GORDON EXPRESS This team belongs to Bankmeister. Due to our newly-signed truce which prohibits ripping on fellow HoG contributors, I will say only nice things about it. Moving on…
MONKEY SWARM REVISITED This club is owned by a myopic, hopeless Cubs fan, one of many in this league. It’s the only fantasy league he participates in, and occasionally things slip by him. For instance, he selected Francisco Liriano, and fairly early to boot. The good thing about the Monkeys is they make Banky’s team look competent.
FORT LUPTON LABIATORS First of all, let’s welcome Cecil into the mix. One of these days, that kid is going to start reading a different magazine, one that pisses him off a little less. As for his team, it’s got some positive elements. The lineup is very well-rounded if not very deep, and the bullpen is fairly excellent. The starting pitching is meager at best, however.
RED TANK TOP Most fantasy leagues don’t have certified little people as owners, but we do. This owner even had a bit part on that midget reality show. I’m afraid he didn’t bring his booster seat to the draft, unfortunately. After Garrett Atkins went in the first round (?), things went from bad to worse. There are many has-beens and never-weres, and the whole thing is a huge injury waiting to happen. Bad times.
THE CHICAGO POLLUTION The Catfish did not attend the draft, due to some crazy bullshit involving a dinner party and a wife he did not want to piss off. Fuck that. I bailed on a vacation with my in-laws and sat in a hotel lobby for three hours to craft by sweet squad. The Catfish has five catchers. Who wins? Digging deeper, the offense here is not that bad, and has a number of quality youngsters and a lot of steals. But the pitching, man. Ugly. Don’t miss your draft.
BANANA HAMMERS This particular club is owned by a gentleman we’ll call Hamster. Hamster’s got a good job, hot lady, he’s not a bad looking guy, and he’s just a total flaming homo. It’s not even funny how much this kid needs to come out to friends and family. Tom Cruise is like “Dude, seriously, you’re not fooling anyone.” Anyway, what kind of team would you think a closeted gay man would draft? A swishy bunch that strikes out a lot, with a pitching staff that throws lot of backdoor sliders? That would be Hamster. Sadly, he didn’t get his hands on Piazza.
THE CHRISTOPHER MOLTISANTI EXPERIENCE There’s talent here, a definite first-division bunch. But this owner tends to fall for the hot prospect and unrealized potential more than he should, and it will once again be his downfall.
MASONVILLE MACHINES Where could one begin with Stephanie Jane Dobbs? It’s best not to get into the specifics of this owner and stick to her team. She’s old, and she’s crippled, and she’s not good. And she has a shortstop on trial for murder. Other than that, aces.
See, lone reader? Now you feel like a part of something bigger, a community of winning. This is just super. I’ll keep you posted throughout the season on how “we” are doing.
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY: I think we should personally embrace-slash-attack every individual reader we ever acquire. We'll get huge that way.
Feasting on the Least Meast in the East, or: Why Michael Silver has Barry Switzer running down his chin
I've spent too long on this sideline. Put me in, coach. I'm ready to play. Today. Look at me--I can be another asshole spouting ill-informed opinions on the world wide webs. What took me this long? Well, if you spend as much on Thai ladyboy prostitutes as I do, you know you ain't about to get anything but your money's worth.
But Aun finally left, taking my heart and $14 with him. So I have nothing to do but comment on Michael Silver's continuing quest to be the biggest ass-kisser in major media.
If you aren't familiar with Silver--or "The Silv," as I shall hereby refer to him for reasons entirely my own--he writes about football for Sports Illustrated. Sometimes.
Mostly what he does is profile the lifestyles of the rich and athletic in columns titled "Rollin' With..." And "Bring on the Weekend." I haven't a clue why the editors at si.com bothered differentiating the two, because both share the same bootlicking conceit: athletes are cool. And rich. And they drive nice cars and eat expensive food and look! Here I am hanging with them! And calling them by their first names!
Pretty standard fare for that breed of sportswriter. Some guys just want to be around that aura of fame and don't care about J-school bullshit like "objectivity" or "reportorial responsibility." But The Silv takes the form a step further--he admits, openly, that these are his rooting interests. His boys.
A bit o' background on The Silv. He evidently grew up in the Bay Area as a Niners fan. And worked for the Sacramento Bee as a beat reporter, covering that same squad. At some point, Eddie DeBartolo let him carry some towels out of the locker room.
From that point forward, every fourth line of every piece The Silv churns out calls that mean ol' NFL power structure to task for dunning his pal Eddie out of the league. What a class act, The Silv will tell you. Gambling? Fah. Who cares? He flew me out to Las Vegas with the team and I had my own room and everything. The York family? Whores and satanists. Did I mention he gave me a hug? Because he did.
And not just DeBartolo. If you ever played for, worked for or showed even a passing interest in the team, The Silv thinks you are Awesome (capital A on purpose...we don't fuck around with capitalization mistakes at The House of Georges). You were not only underappreciated as a (player, coach, locker room assistant, "masseuse" for Mr. Rice) but possibly deserve Hall of Fame consideration. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a moron. And lying. And probably a whorish satanist.
Of course, his fawning doesn't end there. He has a few faves in other arenas as well--pretty much anyone who ever gave him an interview, actually. This week, the target of his love is that famous bumpkin, Barry Switzer.
You might have thought that Switzer was a pretty good college coach and an excellent recruiter, back when big schools employed armies of barely-concealed hookers, test-takers and 'roid dealers as line items in their athletic departments' budgets (these days, they pay 'em under the table). You might have thought that a guy who once supposedly pulled a pistol on his team IN THE HUDDLE and threatened to shoot his running backs with it if they kept fumbling was, well, a blinkered asshole. You might have felt that a guy who liked to run up scores on teams like Drake and Baylor--way, way up--was just another big-program bully. You might have thought that...whore. Satanist.
No. Actually, Barry is a genius. A coach who inspires such love and affection that he can park anywhere he wants at a school he no longer works for, who asks his daughter to give him enemas, who trades jokes with his good pal, noted non-dickface Toby Keith. You thought anyone could coach that '95 Cowboys team to the Super Bowl? You're so stupid we can barely stand the thought of you dying painfully--such a fate would be far, far better than you deserve. Barry, through a combination of brilliant motivational strategy and ol' fashioned values (why, he skipped Saturday meeting to watch his son's football games!), did something that pathetic coaches like, say, Bud Grant never could have.
And then there's the Natalie Coughlin factor. Who the fuck, you're mumbling in between bites of Totino's Pizza Roll, is Natalie Coughlin? Only America's greatest competitive swimmer EVER. She's called "The Golden Girl" by people in the know. People like The Silv. Did The Silv mention his book about Natalie Coughlin? It's called "Golden Girl: How Natalie Coughlin Fought Back, Challenged Conventional Wisdom, and Became America's Olympic Champion." That's Natalie Coughlin, golden girl, in case we hadn't mentioned it. Natalie. Golden. Champion. Book. The Silv. Buy on amazon.com right now for $13.54 (down from $24.95)
The Silv also believes that the University of California at Berkeley is the Center of the Universe (no, really, that's the title of a regular feature in his column).
Now, I lived in San Francisco for a few wonderful, hazy months as a teen, and spent a lotta time in Berkeley (and the Oakland ghetto, but that's another post, and I'd need to borrow Ol' No. 7's Greeel-pic for it). I dig Berkeley. My dad, Cecil the 1st, was kicked out of Cal back in the '40s. My mom's fam helped settle the area in the 1880s. So we have some history there.
But The Silv's maunderings about Cal this, Cal that, Cal Women's Softball(!) and Adam Duritz, who went to Cal and has dreadlocked hair extensions, are so far beyond the pale as to make the pale seem positively ruddy. As an occasional supporter of UCLA--long story, more family ties, plus my first basketball ever was the old gold-n-blue--it makes my teeth hurt to even think about. If Marshawn Lynch asked The Silv to lie face down in a pile of catshit so he and his boys could throw bones on his back, The Silv would immediately produce a well-fed cat with diarrhea. Read more
Posted by Cecil at 2:12 PM
DENVER BRONCOS I can’t believe you extended the contract of Dre Bly. The beauty of that pickup was contained in Bly’s lame duck contract status. If he sucked this year, you could wash your hands of him. If he was average, you could negotiate, and if he was excellent you could franchise his ass. Now your stuck with him, at $16 million guaranteed, and I predict awful ramifications.
UNCLE CECIL Since we have apparently picked up an actual reader, it must be explained that Cecil is the most talented writer (link NSFW) here at the HoG. If you think Bly’s contract is measty you should see the compensation awarded to Mr. Superstar Spotlight Editor Guy. I’m happy to work for the league minimum, but as a teammate to this prima donna I’m getting mildly irked at his lack of output. Let’s see it, Unc.
LENDALE WHITE The Titans, after letting Travis Henry go, are expecting big things from the ex-Trojan. Concerns about his gut and character caused him to drop to the second round, and it appears that may have been generous. Lendale showed up for an offseason conditioning program weighing a svelte 260 pounds. I think we’ve solved the dilemma of that missing D-tackle the Broncos were trying to acquire from the Dolphins, Lendale ate him.
THE ONE READER Listen, dude. I’m happy that you read the blog, and I respect your hatred of Red Sox Nation. It’s true, we have a lousy and entirely well-deserved rep. I myself am not a Masshole and have never lived in New England, but I can imagine it’s overbearing and annoying. But here’s my point: KC fans are always bitching that the fans of other teams, in other cities, are mean and lame. Fine. But how do you appear to out-of-town fans that move to Kansas City? What’s that? No one willingly moves to Kansas City? I see. Apparently, your city and your teams are so fantastic that everyone leaves them, moves to actual desirable places to live and then bitches about the hometown fans. Classy.
MICHAEL RAY RICHARDSON Michael Ray is not, apparently, down with the John Amaechis and (Insert prominent Jewish basketball star)s of the world. I don’t take offense with what he said (as I’m neither Jewish nor gay) but I’m very disappointed with his lame, lame apology. Mike, that shit will get you nowhere. Have we not learned anything from Pete Rose, Tim Hardaway, Dan Issel, Janet Jackson, Kramer, etc., etc.? Notice that none of those people have jobs. The half-ass, “if I offended anyone” apology is always more offensive than whatever you said, because it means you really don’t give a shit. Own up, and say that you’re a bigot, or a degenerate gambler, or a crackhead, or a serial boob-flasher, and America will forgive you. By the way, Michael Ray was a very talented hoops star back in the day. Do you know why he is so familiar with the Tel Aviv airport? Because he had to play overseas for decades after getting banned from the NBA. For being a crackhead. Nice life.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
All but one seed is locked up in the Western Conference and this year's selection of post-season contenders has, including the East, the potential to feature -- make sure you're sitting -- five of six Canadian clubs. That's not unusual, you might say. No, I would answer. It's not. It's just that no other conglomeration of canucks has ever spelled early exit more convincingly than this year's combo. Further, there are some strong surprises slated to grapple for professional sports' oldest trophy. Some have come out of nowhere, while others have ridden steam from last year's efforts. Some still might need the luck of ol' J.C. Nope. Not the 14-year-old Denver Bronco quarterback. I mean the son of God. That guy's got a killer wrist shot. Not all of these clubs are stacked enough to go deep, though. Let's have a gander. Shall we?
Early November indicated that 'Hawks might have righted their ship and set themselves up for some ass-kicking in the Central. But it was not to be. Denis Savard's club dropped to their knees faster than Britney Spears in a home video shooting. And the Blue Jackets -- well, they were never really in it. But God bless those fans for their continued support of a team with such a masculinely named mascot. The Blues waited about 712 days too long before firing Mike Kitchen; Andy Murray appears to have turned the club's fortune around. And the RedWings. Ah, yes. When I think of the club that calls Joe Louis Arena home, I have the urge to quote Charlton Heston quoting Ice-T's dynamic track "Cop Killer." Dan Quayle's pretty riveting when he does it, too. This division's real story is of course the Nashville Preds. I refuse to type that with a "z" on the end, as it's gayness threatens to seep into my pores via my fingertips.
But take acquistions like former Sabre J.P. Losman, Peter "Where has my game gone?" Forsberg, and add them to a mix consisting of Kimmo Timonen, Darcy Hordicuk, Jason Arnott, Jordin Tootoo, and, of course, Paul Kariya, and you'd best look the fuck out. Throw the combo of Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason in net (49 combined wins w/ save percentages at .920 or higher) and these guys are pure hope wreckers. Look for the Preds to go much further than their dismal effort a year ago.
Allow me to be the first to suggest that, after this season, we rename this group Division Disappointment. For real. These guys have sent four, often times five, of five clubs into the playoffs almost every year. Calgary will most likely clinch the eighth and final spot, but sheesh. What the eff happened? The Oilers were on Lord Stanley's doorstep last year. Colorado had won like nine consecutive division titles, and the Flames, are, well, the Flames. They'll likely continue their tradition of crumbling like under-baked graham cracker crust once they face a non-handicapped club. This leaves us with those that have already clinched. The Wild might be this season's biggest surprise. Gaborik, young Koivu, and old man Demitra are in. But not for long. Maybe even a first-round exit. Then there's the Canucks. In first place. I must admit, they play some decent stick. But a bunch of pretty-goods and some ass-lovin' gemelos ain't gonna cut it. Say good bye to Vancouver in the second round.
This pack swaps more spit than lesbian porn stars. Let's start at the bottom. The Phoenix Coyotes. Ugh. How miserable can you get? And, how can you fire the Great One? Glad I don't have to answer those questions. The Los Angeles Kings. Here's a memo for you: Dear Kings' Front Office -- Remember that one time when you thought firing Andy Murray was a good idea (see above reference to Murray's Blues)? Christ. Those guys take more sac in the face than your average (Herpes-infested or not) wrestler. The San Jose Sharks and the Dallas Stars are both in, tied today at 98 points. They're good enough to knock some opponents off in the regular season, but rarely possess the conviction to get 'er done in the post-season. That leaves us with one of the most fierce competitors in the West: Anaheim. Take heed, all foes that skate onto the pond. Rob Niedermeyer and Teemu Selanne are two tough lil' SOBs. They take more slashes, cross-checks, and boards than most little guys combined. Throw in Todd Marchant and the consistent between-the-irons play of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and count the Ducks in as Western Conference Finalists. Their Achilles' however, comes in the form of a giant vagina. If that "guy" can stay healthy, and play the clamp-down D he's capable of, the Ducks will likely face the Sabres in the Finals. Read more
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Mirroring the sentiments of my colleague, today holds no time for bullshit. Lucky for sports fans, every other day of the year does. In a brief layover en route to Cancun to attend a wedding of one of the future Mrs. Bankmeister's friends, I offer these kind sentiments.
As the always-lame National Bitch Association's season drags the holy term professional through another muddy season, hoops chatter orbits around the Mayor of Homoville. I really enjoy continuing to hear about what a "team" effort last year's 81-point outing was. And how it was totally better than Wilt's hundo. Thrilling. Seriously. With the draft around the corner (I think the four-letter network starts coverage tomorrow), NHL playoffs on the horizon, and Opening Day drawing nearer, I really hope that Dr. Douche Bag's L.A. crew makes a real streak out of these recent wins. 'Cause I be needin' me a Kobe fix like nothin' else.
In other entirely pounded-into-the-ground news, Papelbon won't start this season for the Beantowners. Who flippin' cares? Bullpens and rotations mix it up all season long every year. Make the announcement. Move on.
Tubby Smith will mark the third black man to take up residence in the state of Minnesota; New Mexico -- do they actually have sports in the Land of Enchantment -- got a new coach; Tony LaRussa agreed to help David Wells "seriously cut down on his alcohol consumption"; Royals' hurler Zach Greinke is legitimately crazy (I especially love the parts where he talks ad nauseum about Chipotle, his girlfriend's "special mouth", and Justin Timberlake); the Big XII remains represented in the tourney; and Matt Schaub is a Texan. Yes. A Texan.
For real. Nice work passing on Reggie Bush and Vince Young so that you could afford to pay David Carr more undeserved American dollars. That's some stellar business. Who's steering that ship? HoG has its ideas. Meantime, I'll have another tequila. Salud. Read more
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Man, this division is good. Kansas City could lose every single game, and they very well might, and it would still be the best division in baseball. The American League Central has pitching, it has powerhouse lineups, it has crusty old veterans and the next wave of superstar kids, it has a recent World Champ, and it has crazy fuckers like Ozzie and Sheff (who are guaranteed to scuffle at some point this season). Loaded.
I believe it was 1995 when baseball realigned, and Kansas City was not too far removed from being an actual major league franchise. MLB stuck the Royals in the AL Central, far from their old foes of the West and away from the powerful big-money Eastern clubs. This was a tremendous advantage for the Royals, as they were handed a schedule filled with easy ass games. So what did they do with it? Well, they pissed it all away through decisions that were cheap and stupid, and their division evolved into an insurmountable pit of death.
First, Cleveland got good and went to a couple World Series in the 90s. They wavered after the core of those teams left, but have rebuilt with new stars and little pitching. Then the Twins turned into the Oakland A’s of the Upper Midwest, a small-market club that actually thinks about how it conducts its business. The White Sox, under the maniacal leadership of HoG patron saint Ozzie Guillen, rode a stacked pitching staff to a World Series Win in 2005. And last season Detroit followed the same formula to advance to the all Classic, where they clumsily gave the title to the Cardinals (who are still celebrating, apparently).
I don’t have a gut feeling on this division, as I can legitimately see four teams winning it. Let’s break it down, with the assumption that the Royals are last in every category:
PITCHING ROTATION Minnesota 1, Detroit 2, Chicago 3, Cleveland 4. With the price of even mediocre pitching this offseason (see here and here), it’s understandable that the Tribe and the Sox didn’t go after any name arms. But at least Chicago’s Kenny Williams made some moves to get younger in the rotation, and Mark Buehrle may regain his form.
BULLPEN Minnesota 1, Detroit 2, Chicago 3, Cleveland 4. As good as Santana is, this is the strength of the Twins. Setting up Joe Nathan are reliable arms like Jesse Crain and Juan Rincon. Todd Jones is not much of a closer, but the Tigers’ pen is deep and Jim Leyland knows how to use it.
LINEUP Chicago 1, Cleveland 2, Detroit 3, Minnesota 4. This is the toughest call, but I think the White Sox have a veteran group that knows how to lay wood to leather. Sheffield makes the Tigers way better, and the Twins have a number of easy outs—placing more pressure on the pitching staff.
DEFENSE I think Ozzie might have to man short, as Juan Uribe was involved in a minor murder over the winter. Honestly, does anyone give a shit about defense these days? It’s not like it costs anyone a World Series or anything, Detroit.
RESOURCES Detroit 1, Chicago 2, Cleveland 3, Minnesota 4. If moves need to be made, the Tigers have shown a willingness to part with dollars and/or prospects to make it happen. They are taking advantage of their window. Williams has publicly stated that the White Sox will not engage in ludicrous spending, but they still maintain a $100 million-plus payroll. The Indians’ Mark Shapiro and the Twins’ Terry Ryan subscribe to the Bill Stoneman school of testicle-free GM’ing.
ALL IN ALL I think the White Sox still have it. Their pitching is iffy, and they could tune out their manager at any minute, but the sticks are there and I think they blew an opportunity last season. The wild card will almost certainly come from this division as well, and I see Detroit edging the Twins for that distinction.
Chicago 95 wins
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
One, the Anaheim Angels of California will win the American League West.
Two, the management and ownership of the Angels hates the teams' fans.
Throughout baseball, you hear the age-old debate over winning now with high-priced veterans versus winning later with prospects. Some teams have this decision made for them due to their revenue. The Pirates almost universally shed salary and perpetually rebuild with youngsters. The income and recent success of the Yankees dictate that they sign top-dollar free agents and trade prospects for midseason help.
And then you have the Angels, who are in a major media market and have a rich, competitive owner, yet refuse to act as though they have the resources to compete in modern-day baseball. The AL West is lousy, and it is inexcusable that Los Anaheim is not running away with this division on an annual basis. Ever since their improbable title run in 2002, the Angels have had countless oportunities to move from one-hit wonder to perennial power, yet have shit on their fans by not doing so. They did sign big-time FAs Vladimir Guerrero and B.F. Bartolo Colon prior to the 2004 campaign, but otherwise every offseason and every trading deadline has been met with stone silence from Angels GM Bill Stoneman.
The excuses are alway the same. Los Anaheim possesses arguably the best farm system in baseball, stocked with prospects at every position that make scouts and greasy geeks drool. Stoneman steadfastly refuses to deal these potential stars for help now, resigning his team to a fate filled with borderline mediocrity.
Name any superstar who's been on the trading block over the last half-decade, and the Angels have lacked the balls to obtain him. Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, The Big Unit, Gary Sheffield all could have set up shop in th OC, but Stoneman sat on his hands and let them go. He always justified this inaction as protection of the minor leaguers, but that strategy is as full of holes as Dallas McPherson's swing.
Two years ago McPherson was the No. 1 hitting prospect in baseball, a third baseman in possession of monstrous power. Every team dangled All-Star players at Stoneman to pry him away, but the GM stood firm. In his career, Mac has shown a little pop (18 HR in 360 AB) but he doesn't hit for average, strikes out too much and is a defensive butcher. There are fifty 3Bs in the bigs better than him. He's still young, and he may eventually blossom into the next Scott Rolen or Chipper Jones or better. But it's a coin flip, while Manny Ramirez is an absolute sure thing. Yes, that sure thing includes not only a great average and power numbers but also immature goofiness and a $20 million salary, but Manny wins Major League Baseball games. Dallas McPherson exists only in the wet dreams of scouts.
Keep 'em comin'...Ervin Santana, Howie Kendrick, Francisco Rodriguez, Casey Kotchman, Brandon Wood, Jered Weaver, Kendry Morales, Robb Quinlan, Jeff Mathis, etc. All theoretical studs who may one day comprise a dynasty. More likely, one will reach superstardom, a handful more will evolve into solid big leaguers, and fully half of these kids will flame out entirely. They're coin flips. Use some, and treat the rest as the commodities they are and cash them in. Your fans, which supported you through decades of futility and fill your ballpark nightly, deserve as much.
Los Anaheim 90 wins
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
At one point I was a fan of the white receiver. Not that I was one of these a-holes that would cheer just a bit louder when Steve Watson or Ed McCaffrey made a play--those guys are racist pricks. Rather, I was truly color-blind when it came to one of the NFL's most traditionally "black" positions. If a kid could play, he could play. Race had nothing to do with it.
But in the hypercompetitive world of salary-cap-dictated football, white receivers are the kiss of death. Because of their higher-than-justified profile among the aforementioned racist prick fan base, they demand higher-than-justified salaries, mucking up the competitive stew on their respective teams.
Scouts Inc. provided this list of the 2007 free agent class. You need to be an Insider of the four-letter network to see their grades, but I'll give you the pertinent info. The best WRs were listed as Donte' Stallworth (70 out of 100), Drew Bennett (68), Kevin Curtis (67), Antonio Bryant (66), Joe Horn (65), Eric Moulds (63), and Wes Welker (63). This is not a good class, and none of these guys are going to make a huge impact in terms of winning games for their teams. But the pattern of their signings indicates an overreliance on pale-faced pass-catchers, and these multi-million-dollar mistakes will hurt teams years into the future.
Stallworth, the troubled yet talented ex-Eagle and -Saint, got $3.6 million guaranteed from the Patriots. Welker, the diminutive erstwhile Dolphin, signed a contract guaranteeing him $9 million. Now I know that Welker is a force in the return game and Stallworth is a lazy pothead, but the dark receiver is three times the receiver that the light one is, yet Whitey gets three times the cash.
Likewise, Drew Bennett got $10 mil guaranteed from the Rams while the Eagles gave Kevin Curtis 9.5. Joe Horn inked a contract with the Falcons guaranteeing him $7.5 million. Bennett and Curtis are of the caucasian variety, while Horn is of African descent. Again, when you look at on-field performance, Horn is head and shoulders above his white brothers.
Unfortunately, the root cause of this travesty is the fan. Just as the overwhelmingly white fan bases of NBA teams simply adore their John Barrys, Fred Hoibergs and Tim Leglers, NFL fans are big on their white receivers with absoultely no justification. How do these cats help you win games? If they're getting paid the league minimum that's one thing, but the money Welker, Curtis and Bennett are bringing in is legitimate dough that could go to actual players.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Um, that called for the drummer to do the little ba-dum-cha! on his high hat. And I heard no high hat. What kind of site are we running here?
Seriously, I think we need a little staff meeting, and we're out of tomato juice in the darkroom. What is to be the modus operandi, the calling card, the God damned mission statement of this undertaking? I have two main concerns, nay, make that three.
- The Blizzard of Nair already knows how to format shit, make links, and for fuck's sake he put a YouTube clip in today. That is totally unfair. I did not purchase my copy of Blogging For Dummies and I hate being behind the curve.
- I feel as though we need some rough, basic guidelines on style. A common font and font size, for instance, would improve readability. But beyond that, what are the ground rules? Obviously, we're cussing, but are we cussing in such a way that if the Blizzard's mom were to read the HoG she would be mildly disappointed in her boy? Or repulsed by the vulgarity? Will we publish smutty photos? Of hot chicks only, or of the scrotal variety as well?
- Most important, what is it we're trying to say and to whom are we saying it? I have apparently addressed this post not to my buddies but some anonymous third party. Are we trying to do what KSK, With Leather and Deadspin do, only better? Worse? Worse is OK, but if we go there I think we should celebrate our worstness. I am tremendously concerned about originality. I wouldn't ever want to type in the royal we because that's Leitch's schtick and it's sublimely brilliant. I am not completely comfortable with the "tits & sports" in the tagline--only because on With Leather's "Saint Andrew's Net" dump link it says "expect sports and tits." Finally, I have the tiniest of nits to pick about the name of our baby. The original inside joke was Houses of George. Now House of Georges is not bad, and it's even more inside, and when the Wife asked what it meant I was able to pass it off as "some hockey term of (redacted)." It sound vaguely French or something.
Anyway, there it is. These discussions could have easily taken place in the e-mail, but my massive laziness dictated a post here.
Former Monkees drummer and big sports fan Micky Dolenz gives The Atlanta Journal-Constitution five things that tick him off about sports today:
1. Intentional fouling has become an accepted strategy in basketball. There is something fundamentally anti-American about that.
2. Hockey has become a barroom brawl thinly disguised as a sport. There is something immoral about that.
3. Soccer can't get any mainstream television coverage because there are no forced, unnatural commercial breaks.
4. The natural flow of American football is corrupted by forced, unnatural commercial breaks.
5. Televisions showing endless sports programs in sports bars is cool. Televisions showing endless sports programs in other restaurants and bars is distracting, annoying and inconsiderate.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Another St. Paddy's in the books and another smorgasbord of shitty college hoops predictions under the belt.
Over the past six or seven years, we've all come to terms with the fact that girls dress up like hookers on Halloween. And this 2007 celebration of the Americanized Irish holiday confirms that women act like complete drunken whores on St. Patrick's Day.
Now, I single out females because dudes have a year-round pass to get totally hammered and act like tools on any given day. But give this holiday to the ladies. Fa' reals. Add to that that people are completely preparing for this day now, especially when it falls on a Saturday. There were women out in packs -- packs I tell you, gettin' their eat on at 7 a.m. Why?
I'll tell you. It's so that they have some kind of substance in their taurine-saturated guts come midnight. Or later. Yes. Eating breakfast on St. Patrick's Day (about an hour prior to consumption of your first adult beverage) is like getting your Driver License Learner's Permit. That shit just turns into your license (in this case your license to act like an all-deserving ho) after you get after it for a few.
And speaking of terrine, these are my two new favorite aspects of the Irish festivity: dumbass t-shirts and truckloads (literally) of Red Bull. Nothing, and I mean nothing resembles the Emerald Isle better than a gay t-shirt (such as "Fuck Me, I'm Irish" or "5% Irish, 95% drunk" or the coveted "100% Blackish" that some brothas and sistas were sporting) and 80 quarts of sugar, terrine, and booze coursing through your veins. I can just see female preparations on the morning of. She's standing in front of the mirror telling herself "I'ma put on that sweet-ass green shirt that makes my tits stand out more than usual, get fucked up early, and make sure nobody ruin my party. This day was made for me!"
On to sports. Uh, thanks Texas and Wisconsin, for totally fucking up every bracket I filled out this year. I'm never that good at predictions and gambling and fantasy. But at least let a brotha pretend for a few. Christ. Well, at least there's fantasy baseball. I totally rock at that. The one good thing about filling out brackets with your homeys is that, if you're like me, you never pick your team to win it all. We all know that's always the double stab. So I won't win any tournaments. At least the 'Hawks are in the Sweet Sixteen. Rock Chalk, beeatches. Read more
Posted by Blair Johnson at 6:28 PM
Friday, March 16, 2007
Two of America's favorite (and by favorite I mean elite, all-time winning homos to coach at redneck, raping universities) were "surprisingly" eliminated in the first round of yesterday's NCAA hoops tourney. Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight and his Red Raiders squad fell victim to the high-scoring, #7 seed Boston College (84-75) in the East Regional, while in the West, Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils allowed Virginia Commonwealth's Eric Maynor to nail a 15-foot jumper with less than two ticks on the clock, sealing the Dukies' fate 79-77.
Al Skinner, BC head coach and brother of FBI Assistant Director Joel, said he felt confident about his team's composure from the beginning.
"I told our guys to stay relaxed," Skinner said "and reassured them that, if they didn't, I'd rufie someone random and give them a drugged-up version of a Knight/Michael Hutchence choking they wouldn't soon forget." Skinner said that his pre-game pep talk resulted in some soiled jocks in the locker room, an adverse effect he overcame by telling his squad "he was just bullshittin'."
The VCU Rams club, notching its first tournament victory since a 1985 win over "We Are Marshall", celebrated into the wee hours of the Columbus morning. Anthony Grant, in his debut season as Rams HNIC, took his players to the Gentlemen's Spot where members of the players' entourage mimicked Pacman Jones' weatherman, causing the clouds of dinero to open up like a Seattle afternoon. Rams' senior guard Jesse Pellot-Rossa told teammates in the Spot's V.I.P. Room that he "couldn't wait to get to San Anton', where (he) gon' pound some Texas pussy Duke LaCrosse style."
The Rams' next opponent comes in the form of the not-so-lady Volunteers of Tennessee that delivered a Deebo-esque beatdown of the 12th-seed Long Beach State. Skinner's Eagles will face the 47th consecutive version of John Thompson and his Hoyas.
How far can one man's seed coach a collegiate club? Look out, Sean Sutton. Your kids got lots of bangin' to do. Read more
Thursday, March 15, 2007
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Posted by Blair Johnson at 9:47 AM