Thursday, November 29, 2007

Minding The Stove

I don't know what on God's green earth "Hot Stove League" means, but I love it. Baseball has a tremendously entertaining offseason and geeks like me are enthralled by all of the moves and rumors. Here today is fellow geek and notorious Yankee homer Rustoleum to go over some of what's gone down thus far.
Old No. 7: Thus far the biggest moves have been made by the Angels. I've long been a critic of their GM, Bill Stoneman, for being way too conservative with his farm system and letting his major league offense rot. Stoneman stepped down and was nominally replaced by Tony Reagins, although I feel the old man still has a say in big decisions.

Anyway, they traded Orlando Cabrera for Jon Garland, which I think is a bad move. Cabrera was the second-best hitter on the team, a defensive whiz and a loose, positive leader type. Garland is middle of the road at best. They then surprised baseball by winning the Torii Hunter sweepstakes—he'll play center while last year's semi-bust Gary Mathews Jr. slides to a corner spot. You like what the Angels are doing, can you tell me why?

Rustoleum: I’m glad someone else thought that trading Cabrera didn’t make a lot of sense, especially for Garland. I mean the one thing the Angels have is pitching, were they hoping he could come in and be the next Bartolo? I guess the fact of the matter is they are probably going to try and trade one of their younger starters, but who? You know Lackey, Escobar, and probably Weaver won’t get moved. I could see Saunders but his upside seems to be more than that of Garland, who’s best season was two years ago when he went 18-7 for a loaded White Sox roster. His ERA that year was 4.50 with a .297 baa. That leaves Ervin Santana, who you know the Angels would love to unload, but who in their right mind would want that chump? If they were smart they’d call the Pirates, because not only would they take Santana, they would probably send their best two or three prospects back.

I think Cabrera will be harder to replace than the Angels think and if they think Erick Aybar is the answer, they should just trade away Vlad right now… preferably to the Yankees. Cabrera hit over .300 last year, and had a surprisingly high (for a shortstop… on that team) 86 RBIs. He’s good for 100 runs and 20-30 SBs, and like you said can also flash the leather.

The good news for the Angels is they are getting Torii Hunter. Now I know OLD number seven didn’t think it was a good move, but I think (especially after dumping Cabrera) that this was the most positive move the Angels have had since getting Vlad. You’re talking about one of the top two or three center fielders in the game. He’s a high energy guy and a total defensive stud. He was the heart and soul of the Twins, they are going to sorely miss him. Coming off of one his best years hitting, you’re looking at a guy who will probably hit .270 to .280, have 30 jacks, 20 steals, 100 runs, and 100 RBIs . He’s exactly what the Angels needed...besides a third baseman.

So I guess overall I’m kind of split on the Angels offseason so far, but maybe they can steal Miguel Cabrera and become the Red Sox West.

Old No. 7: Your team, the Yankees, retained Alex Rodriguez. He's obviously the best player in baseball, but do you wish they'd mixed things up a bit?

Rustoleum: Well he's still not signed, yet, but obviously the Yankees are really the only team who can afford to have A-Rod on their roster and not totally tear the team apart. I’d have liked to have seen the Yankees do things a little differently, but frankly having the best player in baseball on your team doesn’t hurt. The Yanks are kind of a weird team, frankly there isn’t anyone out there free agent wise that could have helped them besides Torii Hunter (I wish the Mariners weren’t able to re-sign Ichiro). The one thing they sorely need is starting pitching (who doesn’t?) and not really old ones. I mean you have to like the younger ones that are coming along. Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, The Wanger, and we’ll see what they do with Joba. Of course if they decide to start Joba, we’re a bit screwed in middle relief. But we’re the Yankees we can buy some middle relief.

Old No. 7: Speaking of the same old song and dance, your boys also brought back Posada and Rivera, and if Pettitte isn't back in pinstripes next year I'll buy you a beer. Assuming, of course, that he isn't named in the Mitchell Report like he was in the Jason Grimsley indictment. How do you feel about rehashing these same old guys that haven't won anything since last century?

Rustoleum: The rehashing is fine, as long as you sprinkle in some youth and the Yankees are getting there. I like the Yankees' shot with Cabrera, Cano, and the young pitchers. Pettitte had a quietly good year and you need some veterans to give the leadership that A-Rod will never give you. Posada is coming off of his best season ever and keeps improving every year. Re-signing Rivera for three years is a bit nerve racking, but guys are playing into their forties regularly now. There can be something good said about the HGH. Besides, I’d way rather have these guys coming back as your vets than say Mark Grudzielanek or Mike Sweeney.

Old No. 7: The last time the Red Sox won the World Series they jettisoned much of the team. Dave Roberts, Cabrera, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Alan Embree, Bill Mueller and Kevin Millar were all let go, and Johnny Damon followed a year later. Obviously it eventually worked out, because they're back on top with a deeper, younger team. But it sucked seeing those guys that delivered a championship leave.

Rustoleum: That’s not even a fucking question. You just had to get that in, didn’t you. The only ones that piss me off more than you, OLD no. 7 from New York, are the bandwagon know the ones who wear that stupid, fucking B on their hats (especially the pink or green hats). If the Royals were to make it to third place one of these years, do you think they would start making pink hats too?

Old No. 7: No, but they are wearing the powder blues again in ’08—nice. If you’d relax a little bit I’ll get to the question. This year, the Sox retained Curt Schilling and Mike Lowell with what I consider very smart contracts. Both took pay cuts from their last deals, and both took fewer years than what was speculated would be required to retain them. Does anyone do it better than Theo?

Rustoleum: Maybe you should ask his boyfriend, next question.

Old No. 7: I think that all the subjective crap about baseball is a joke—the awards and the Hall Of Fame and all that shit the writers vote on. I can't think of a group of assholes that do a worse job than baseball writers, and they have pretty much the best gig in the world. Check out this link, and this one too.

Rustoleum: I couldn’t agree more. I still can’t believe Feinsand’s reasoning to why he left Beckett off of his Cy Young ballot. Wins are overrated? That is pretty ridiculous, last I heard winning baseball games was a good thing, unless you’re the Marlins or the Royals. And his comments about quality starts, try throwing C.C. or Carmona in the AL East and I have a feeling that neither would have as high of quality start percentage. And last I heard a quality start could mean your ERA was 4.50, that to me is an overrated stat. Also, the fact of C.C beating Johan three times this year is all fine and dandy, but the twins sucked. Their offense was pathetic and Johan would win games in spite of the Twins only scoring one or two runs. So if he gave up three, he pretty much wasn’t going to get the win. I understand if you thought C.C. had a better year, but leaving Beckett off of the ballot is a shame and you probably shouldn’t be voting. That was like leaving Ripken or Gwynn off your HOF ballot...or Jimmy Rollins winning MVP.

Old No. 7: It's obvious to me that the Rockies got hosed. You can make an individual argument against Tulowitzki for the Gold Glove and Rookie Of The Year, Holliday for MVP, Hurdle for Manager Of The Year and Francis for Cy Young, but to have that kind of season and get shut out is a traveshamockery. Can you justify the job the baseball writers do?

Rustoleum: I know a lot of people who haven’t watched the Rockies that closely (and probably not a lot of baseball) still believe that Coors skews numbers, but that argument has started to get very old. Although the home runs were the highest they’ve been in three years (since 2005: 325, 312, 335), it doesn’t even compare to the stretch before the humidor was brought in (02-04: 377, 398, 400). That said I certainly have no problem with Peavy winning the Cy Young over Jeff Francis. As fine a year as Francis (17-9, 4.22) had, Peavy won the triple crown and hands down should have won the award. I can understand Bob Melvin getting the Manager of the year; as miserable as the Rox were last year, the D-Backs were just as bad and they ended up with the best regular season record in the NL. You can also make cases for Rollins and Braun winning MVP and ROY, but I do think Holliday and Tulo got hosed a bit.

The award, though, that makes very little sense to me is the Gold Glove that the writers stole away from Tulo. Rollins was third in the NL in fielding percentage, while Tulo was number one at arguably the hardest position on the field… and he’s a rookie! Tulo had the exact amount of errors as Rollins, in almost 100 more attempts. And that gun that Tulo displayed all year was unmatched. But what do I know, we should ask the smartest baseball writer in the world, Mark Feinsand.

Old No. 7: As interesting as this offseason has been already, we could blow the lid off the whole thing if either Miguel Cabrera of Johan Santana get moved. Do you think the Yankees have a shot at either, and where do you think they'll end up on Opening Day?

Rustoleum: I really don’t think either of them will get moved before the season starts. I believe Jayson Stark put it best when he talked about these teams holding on to Cabrera and Johan, to at least give the appearance that they are going in to the season thinking they aren’t tanking right off the bat. While I think the Twins believe in this philosophy, I’m sure the Marlins don’t give a shit about their fans and would take an offer and then try to move out of town, perhaps KC could use another team. The best move, in my opinion, would be to listen to offers, but wait until you get closer to the trading deadline for desperate teams to start throwing as much as they can. And as much as I would love to see the Yankees get either of these players, I really don’t think the Yankees have enough of anything to make a run. That said, if they could make a run at Santana, they should do anything in their power to get him.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tradition Twednesday: Kicked In The Crotch

So much for that temporary upswing. After a pair of brutal losses, the two teams that make up The Tradition are back in the shitter. Sure, either could mathematically make the playoffs, and the Broncos actually stand a decent chance of winning the division should they sweep their remaining AFC West games. But come on. These are bad times.

It took me a couple days to really get over the loss in Chicago. To completely dominate that game, to have Jay Cutler once again play reasonably well (except on third down), and to hold a 14-point lead with five minutes to go—man, that’s a shitty way to lose.

I’ve had the haters throw the same two-word invective at me all week: “Devin Hester!” Keep it coming, dicks. Devin Hester did not cost the Broncos that game. If you’re stabbed, do you blame the knife or the man wielding it? It was the arrogance and stupidity of the Denver coaching staff that allowed the Bears to stay in the game with the Hester returns.

Let’s examine the decision we had: Kick it to Hester, who will score touchdowns if he gets the ball often enough—Champ Kind tells us that it’s a scientific fact. Or give the ball to Sexy Rexy in decent field position after booting the ball out of bounds. Hester or Rex? Rex or Hester? THIS DECISION IS SO FUCKING EASY IT MUST BE A TRICK—kick it to Hester.

But even with those two returns, the Broncos still had that two-touchdown lead late in the fourth and managed to blow it. Had Sauerbrun simply eaten the ball when it was inevitable that punt would be blocked, or had Cutler converted more than one third down the entire blessed game, Jesus. Let’s move on to happier subjects, shall we?

Like the other end of The Tradition’s I-70 corridor, Arrowhead Stadium. Where the Kansas City Chiefs surrendered the Raiders’ first division win in three years. Bankmeister has been promising a rant about Coach Herman, and I have no doubt he’ll deliver the whoopin’ that Herman deserves. I’ll just say this to the Coach: What took you so long, buddy?

This was the game that NFL fans have been waiting for since Herman skipped out on his Jets contract and took his vaudeville act to Kansas City. In New York he was famous (or infamous, if you talk to fans of the J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets!) for two things: hilarious press conferences and hideous clock management. Check and check. Late in the game, down three, Herman took a timeout to brood over a replay decision. Then he burned another timeout on the failed challenge. Then he passed up a potential tying field goal and went for it on fourth and one. The run up the middle was stuffed, the Raiders took possession and ground out the clock. Wow.

The blame for the whole affair has been conveniently shifted from Herman to poor kicker Dave Rayner. The Chiefs cut Rayner yesterday and signed the ancient foot of Chili John Carney. They could have, as I’ve detailed many, many times, drafted excellent college kicker Mason Crosby in April (or simply held on to solid Lawrence Tynes). KC instead passed on Crosby (who’s having a great year in Green Bay and on my fantasy team) and picked UCLA’s Justin Medlock. Medlock was awful, yet Herman stuck with him until he couldn’t stick with him no more. At which point he nabbed Rayner, who’d been displaced by Crosby in Green Bay.

It’s this shameful mishandling of the kicking game that cost both Denver and KC games last Sunday. That and dumb coaching decisions. It’s probably a little late to fix either issue in ’07, so stock that liquor cabinet up for the stretch run, kids. This one could get ugly.

On a side note, the Chiefs’ new kicker has provided the missing link for our December 9 tailgate menu. We’ll start off with grilled bacon breakfast burritos—the breakfast of champions mid-first round draft choices. And we’ll serve my award-winning ribs and homemade dippin’ sauce, of course. But in honor of the newest Chef, Cecil’s wife will whip up a batch of Chili John Carney, and I’ll throw some Carney Asada (that’s Spanish for Wide Right, gringo) on the grill for some appetizer tacos. Whoo diggity, I’m pretty sure that’s enough meat Carney.

So feel free to matriculate on over to the House of Georges Tradition Tailgate Bonanza, site to be announced (probably Lot “N”) in advance of the Broncos-Chiefs game at Invesco. Because meeting people over the Internet is not creepy at all, nope. Just bring hot chicks or beer, and be ready to get your ass kicked in a game of cornhole. Or have Cecil yell at you. Or both!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bush League

There's a lot of college football coaching news floating around, and high-profile job openings at schools like Michigan, Nebraska and Texas A&M are making headlines. But here in Colorado we're about to lose one of the greatest coaches ever to call this state home, and it bums me out.

Terry Frei wrote an excellent piece in the Post today, where he detailed the Sonny Lubick situation with more insight and dignity than you'll typically find at houses named George. I've had my share of gripes with Frei over the years, given that he's one of these old-media stalwarts that think blogs are the devil (and he covers hockey). But Terry hit on the very delicate conundrum faced by myself and other CSU fans and alumni when it comes to Coach Lubick.

I absolutely love that man, and if I had a kid who played football I would send him off to matriculate under the guidance of Coach Lubick. But let's be honest, CSU football blows ram balls right now. Sonny is 70 and no longer recruits even the fringe big-time players, the Cecil Sapps and Bradlee Van Pelts and Joey Porters, that he once did. This season was a downright disaster at 3-9. A logical, impartial observer might conclude, as Frei did, that it's time for some new blood under the headset.

I am neither impartial nor logical, and I say forcing Sonny Lubick out of this job is an unforgivable offense. One of the rules of life should be that if you name a field after a man he gets to work as long as he damn well pleases. I could really care less if he goes 1-11 every year, so long as that one win is against Screamin' Dan Hawkins. We'll happily go play intramurals, brother.

It would be a different story if CSU were actually a part of big-time college football, a member of a BCS conference. They're not, and the power structure that exists in this sport will probably never let them in. If my alma mater is to exist in this perpetual state of football purgatory, they should at least do so with the grace and humor of a man like Sonny Lubick, rather than the shitbag judgement displayed by oh, I don't know, some coaches. Or other coaches. Or other coaches. Or other coaches.

What's the alternative? Find some hotshot I-AA, FCS, FBS, D-2 or high school coach or coordinator to take the CSU job, make some strides and then bolt for the first available BCS opportunity? A la Screamin' Dan or Urban Meyer? Even if you can sustain mid-major success, as Boise and a couple other programs have, what's the payoff? A pity birth in a lower-tier BCS bowl if and only if you have a perfect record?

Fuck that. That's the bullshit arms race of college football I choose not to chase. I'd rather CSU go back to thorn-in-the-side status than play that game.

That being said, CSU ought to go hire Ed Orgeron, who just got canned by Ole Miss. That fucker is bat shit crazy.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sleeping With The Enemy: Broncos @ Bears

Your Denver Broncos travel to not-really-all-that-historic Soldier Field (it's a brand-new ballpark with some old columns out front) today for an interconference showdown. After making the Super Bowl last year the Bears are underachieving at 4-6, similar to the Broncos' 5-5 struggles. Our Chicago representative is The Catfish, who you may remember as the hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan from this summer.

And after the jump, I'll throw in a few picks to boot.

Old No. 7: So Sexy Rexy is back in charge. I didn't watch a whole lot of the game last week, but what I did see made him look lousy. What's up?

Catfish: Rex didn't throw an interception, he did fumble once, but threw for over 250 yards and I thought looked pretty good. It was nice to see some zip on a pass after watching Griese try to throw to a wideout on the sideline. Painful! Look, Grossman is capable of starting for 20 NFL teams. The Chicago media and talk radio scene have made him the black sheep of a flock not worthy of a shepherd's time. I would love to see Grossman finish strong and get a two year extension.

Old No. 7: Why is this team not nearly as dominant as it has been the last couple years?

Catfish: Simple, what team in the last 10 years following a Super Bowl loss has been competitive? NONE! Look at 2 years removed from the Super Bowl how many teams make the playoffs and compete for a Super Bowl and my Bears look a lot better. Finally, injuries to key players on defense: Mike Brown, Nathan Vasher, Tommie Harris, Peanut Tillman, Dusty Dvorckek, etc. Injuries rule in the NFL!

Old No. 7: Is Cedric Benson just a giant vagina, or is there still hope for him yet? Do you wish you could have that draft pick back, or at least have held on to Thomas Jones?

Catfish: Not a giant Vagina, but a swampy one. He has not participated in the Bears’ off season strength programs and it shows. He is chubby and slow and shows little ability to shake a defender’s tackle. For a big, physical runner, that’s not a good sign. I love Thomas Jones, and had Thanksgiving with his family!

Old No. 7: Your dad is a big Packers fan, and we've all gotten together to watch the Super Bowl the last couple years. Are you dreading a situation where Green Bay makes the big game this season? Is that when the automatic weapons come out?

Catfish: I used profanity towards my dad last year for the first time, when he visited my home the Super Bowl. You were there! If Green Bay makes the game, I have decided to respect my father by leaving the country! Perhaps IRAQ!

Old No. 7: OK, I need a quick prediction. What will the final score be, and what about the Broncos worries you for this game? What do the Bears have to do to win?

Catfish: BEARS 23 BRONCOS 16 Its all about turnovers. Grossman plays mistake free, while Cutler cracks under a real big city like Chicago. Look, the Bears aren't good this year, but if the Lions were in your division they would be in first. Hester takes one punt from your juiced up punter to the house. I have two games of interest left this season, Broncos and Packers at home, Win those and I will call this season a wash. I really do love the Bears with all my heart. And always will. Go BEARS! Good luck!

The Picks

I'm trying a new technique this weekend, looking for favorites that have no business being favorites and taking the dogs--no matter how awful they are.

Broncos +1 @ Chicago
Raiders +3 1/2 @KC
Panthers +3 1/2 v. New Orleans
Ravens +9 @ San Diego

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pickin' & Grinnin': With Gravy and Yams

I don't know if your bookie is working Thanksgiving. I always did. That's right, kids, back in college I took bets for a few years, and I did a moderate amount of business on this sacred holiday. I might have had to sneak the phone calls in between mixing the potatoes and, well, drinking, but one needs to serve his clientele.

Thanksgiving is, hands down, the greatest day on my calendar. I get to eat approximately 400 per cent of what any normal human should be allowed, and not a single person will look at me thinking "Wow. That man is a fat disgusting pig." It's Thanksgiving! I get to drink beer like it's water, wine as if it were post-workout Gatorade and suck down Tennessee whisky just to cleanse the palette. I get to see all almost all of my family (my sister couldn't make it in from D.C.), but in measured doses. And best of all, the entire thing is structured around football. Sweet, glorious football. Thank God the Pilgrims decided to play a game of two-hand touch on Plymouth Beach before their feast, setting this whole affair into motion.

As an added bonus, the NFL decided to add a third Thanksgiving game, starting with last year's KC-Denver train wreck (still the only contest in the history of The Tradition I have not attended, my absence was excused by the prior paragraph). And as for the hissy that putting that game on the NFL Network has created, I just don't get it. I have the NFL Network. Because I have DirecTV. Because DirecTV is the only place where you can get Sunday Ticket. And if you don't have Sunday Ticket, then you are a half ass football fan. End of story. Enjoy watching Colts-Falcons on the Internet, losers. Actually, that game will suck. I wish I had basic cable.

More wistful holiday memories, and bone-crunching holiday football picks against the spread, after the jump...

I'll actually be watching tonight's USC-Arizona State game instead, for two reasons: One, it will be superior to the Indy game. Two, I'll be at the home of my wife's parents, who matriculated in Tempe. That's right, assholes, I am double-dipping. After last year's shared meal devolved into a drunken nightmare of political screaming and third-degree deep-fried turkey burns (the fried bird is excellent, by the way, I highly recommend), my folks and the in-laws have decided to cool off for a year and host separate dinners. Which I thought sucked at first, because underneath my crusty facade I'm a sappy sentimental bitch. But when I realized that they'd be staggering their feasts by several hours, the tent in my pants rose like a pop-up plastic turkey thermometer.

Two o'clock at Mom's, with all of the delicious dishes of my childhood. Then, no time to help with cleaning, because we're headed across town for the wife's kin. We won't make it for the sit-down meal, just the postgame Tupperware-stuffing and leftover bonanza. This is a win-win, because if you sit down at someone else's Thanksgiving table you might have to suck down a few disgusting dishes. Like real cranberries (in my world, we only consume the jellied canned variety, or Craisins). Or sweet potatoes that are not directly adjacent to marshmallows. What is this, prison? They're called sweet potatoes for a reason, Grandma, and that reason is they need much more artificial sugar with them to be edible.

But if you just stroll in later, you're under no obligation to go through the formality of eating anything in particular. You can just sample what looks awesome, all the while acting modest. "No, no, I'm far too full to have any more stuffing. But if you insist, go ahead a throw on another slice of pumpkin pie and slather it all with more gravy. Thanks." And then, when it's time to clean, my father-in-law will inform the womenfolk that the Sun Devils are kicking off and we'll be in the living room.

There's something to be said for marrying a woman with no brothers. My wife's dad is insane about sports, but he never sired a boy. He's been drifting through life with decades of pent-up man conversation that has never been sated. When we hang out it is wall-to-wall, non-stop jock talk, peppered with profanity and saturated with booze. And best of all, none of it is my fault. I'm just the outlet for a man to talk about baseball with the son he never had.

Anyway, enjoy your day kids. Take care and remember why we're here today: those valiant touch-football playing Pilgrims and their opponent, the Washington Redskins. I don't know what the spread was that day.

The Picks

First off we have Green Bay at Detroit, which is an honest-to-goodness decent game in the resurgent NFC. Take out the top two or three teams in each conference and I firmly believe that the NFC is better in terms of quality depth. The Pack could really take a chokehold on the division with a win here (they play again in the season finale) and Brett Favre is Brett Favre, but I've got to take the home team and the points. The Pick: Lions +3

The CBS game, planted firmly amidst supper for midday eaters like the Sevens, features the Cowboys and the Jets. Let's go ahead and eat. I know the Jets beat Pittsburgh last week, but the Steelers have had a long hard season and were probably desperate to get home and fuck some grade school boys. Dallas will win, and they might win big. That's a lot of points. Fuck it. The Pick: Cowboys -14

Go ahead and bang the over on that game too. The Pick: OVER 47 1/2

I swore last week that me and Bobby Petrino were through. I went to his house and got all my shit out of his bathroom. After what he did to me, cheating on Joey Harrington with that fat slut Byron Leftwich, i can't look him in the eye. But now he goes and does this. Reinserts Joey, against the limping Colts, creating a classic value opportunity. I want to pull the trigger on the Falcons, I really do, but if I let Bobby Petrino back into my life he'll be there forever. Go to hell, Bobby Petrino. The Pick: Colts -11 1/2

Bonus NCAA picks: I'll be pulling for ASU tonight, but that doesn't mean I'll be betting on them. The Pick: Trojans -3 Also, for tomorrow, try these on for size:

COLORADO -4 1/2 over Nebraska
Mississipi +6 1/2 @ MISS. ST.
Wyoming +3 1/2 @ COLORADO ST.
LSU -13 over Arkansas
Texas -5 1/2 @ TEXAS A&M

Yep, I'm picking the alma maters of my dad, my father-in-law and myself to all lose. Both my sisters went to CU, and I'd love for them to lose to a pitiful Nebraska team, but that ain't happenin' either. Enjoy the leftovers though.

Last week: 1-4 (But the Broncos won!). Season record: 29-27. Coming Sunday, a whole new ridiculous gambling strategy guaranteed to make you money (Note: not actually guaranteed).
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tradition Tuesday: First In The Worst

The rough focus of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs (heralded by Bankmeister) and the Denver Broncos (championed by Cecil and Old No. 7). It may seem unfair that it's two versus one, but once KC gets that second Super Bowl win we'll even out the delegation.

Seven years ago we started The Tradition, in which Bronco fans travel out to the Truman Sports Complex with their team, and Chief lovers return to the Rocky Mountains with theirs. We tailgate, we talk massive amounts of shit, our wives are occasionally assaulted by rival fans, and we always almost always watch the visiting team lose. It's a grand old time.

Here at the HoG, we're going to keep The Tradition going with Tradition Tuesday--a weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.

It is official: The Denver Broncos are the best bad team in the National Football League. We could quibble as to what determines a good team or a bad one, but as The Tuna once told us, you are what your record says you are. If your record is 5-5, and you harbored legit playoff hopes at the onset of the season, you're bad.

But if the other teams in your division (two of whom had postseason expectations of their own) are as foul or fouler than you, there's reason for optimism. And if you just won two straight decisive conference games to run your AFC mark to 5-3 (behind only New England, Pittsburgh, Indy and Jacksonville), you can feel even better. And if your kid quarterback played remarkably well over the last six quarters, you get what most team would kill for:

A shot.

Not a shot at the Super Bowl, or even the AFC Championship game. That's Patriot country and we do not have a permit. But this team is one of those exasperating clubs that can beat anyone on any given day. Yet they have and will continue to deliver wretched piles of shit like the Detroit and San Diego games.

The defense is what it is, not very good. I have dry-heaved about the lousy offensive line and questionable Shanahan tomfoolery all year, but the fact is this team can hang with anyone provided JC is on his game. He can walk on water, heal the sick and help the blind to see, but he can also throw awful passes into tight coverage.

Last night JC had the holy spirit within him. He took care of the football. He moved with efficiency and purpose. He impregnated several virgins in the stands using only his supernatural mental powers, and then several more after the game using his penis. He may have a double chin and the eyes of Spicoli, but in his chest beats the heart of a lion. No, not a lion, a grizzly bear--JC is no pussy.

So off we go into the last half-dozen games of the regular season, disciples of Young No. 6. The schedule is actually pretty sweet, joining three division contests with trips to Houston and Chicago and a home date with Minnesota. Although the Vikings do have a Messiah of their own named Purple Jesus. Tough call.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Monogamy with the Enemy: Broncos v. Titans

The House of Georges planned to publish a pregame exchange with a Tennessee fan/blogger, but we were unsuccessful finding one. Oh, the Broncos' opponent tonight has fans, it's just that none of them can read and write. Just for fun, a little demographic data:

The median income for Tennessee is less than $39,000, below the U.S. average of $44.3k and well south of Colorado's $50.1k. On the plus side, season tickets to Titans games cost just $85, or the equivalent in hogs and moonshine. 15% of Tennesseans reside below the poverty level, 19.6% hold a bachelor's degree and 75.9% graduated from high school. Again, all of those stats are well below U.S. averages (12.7, 24.4 and 80.4), which in turn are well below those for the majestic state of Colorado (10.2, 32.7, 86.9).

But Tennessee does have Albert Haynesworth, who will not only stomp your unprotected facial features with a cleated boot but also rape your parents with a knife dipped in hot tar and broken light bulbs. Haynesworth is questionable this evening, not only in terms of morality and emotional stability but also injury-wise with an iffy hammy. On the Denver sideline, ex-Titan Travis Henry is also questionable due to a bum knee.

After the jump, many more football themes explored, with absolutely no U.S. Census data foisted in support thereof...

Peter King Gathers No Moss Cecil's longtime pal King logged another Monday Morning QB today, and it predictably left this fan scratching his head. Pete described Randy Moss as having a "borderline Canton career." Borderline? That's patently ridiculous, Pete.

I'm no Moss guy, in fact I really, really despise him and every team he's ever played for. But Randy Moss is a lead pipe lock for the Hall Of Fame right now, and a few more years with Tom Brady may well cement his status as the second-best receiver of all time. Look at the numbers, Pete:

Moss has 117 TDs, good for 5th all time behind Rice, Carter, Owens and Harrison. His 11,752 receiving yards and 742 receptions are 17th and 26th, respectively. He has 16 TDs thus far this season, and will easily eclipse Rice's record of 22. Let's say he gets 10 more this year and plays three more years with the Pats (he's only 30 and has never had a serious injury), averaging 15 per. That leaves him with 172 touchdowns, far clear of Carter's 130 for second behind Rice.

Furthermore, give him modest reception and yardage totals over those next three years, say 80 and 1,000 each. That leaves him sixth and third all-time, for a guy that has never been a possession receiver. Now that he's hooked up with the Evil Empire of Football, you must acknowledge the fact that Randy Moss will go down as one of the best to ever play the game at his position.

Gaping Vagina Alert To everyone excoriating the Pats for buttfucking hapless opponents such as the Bills: please go away, and hand in your maxi pads at the door. This is professional football. It ain't intramurals, brother, and it ain't even Division I. It's paid pros who are required by contract to do a job, and those assigned to slow down the New England offensive blitzkrieg are failing at that job. I find Belichick's douchebaggery and bloodless demeanor distasteful, and he's certainly worthy of karmic retribution. But if you whine about an NFL team running it up on another NFL team, you need to turn in your man license and head over to our sister MLS blog, the House Of Puss.

On another New England tangent, I watched an excellent HBO special on the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry Saturday morning, shortly before the actual game (which sucked nuts). My favorite part of the film centered on Buckeye coach Woody Hayes, who was a maniacal asshole hellbent on winning. He ran up the score every chance he got, once going for two against the Wolverines to advance the final score to 50-14. Why'd you go for two, Woody? he was asked. Because he couldn't go for three, you dickless pansy.

Anyway, Woody was nuts, and his career ended after he punched a Clemson player in the neck at the Gator Bowl. That was bad, but these days they've erected statues of the guy and he's revered for his success. To me, that's Belichick. He's a cock, and he's a convicted cheat, and unless you're a Pats fan he's Enemy No. 1. But the guys is going to go down as one of the best pure football coaches ever, up there with Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi and, yes, Woody Hayes.

I Call Bullshit The ending of that Ravens-Browns game was among the nuttiest I've ever seen. With the Broncos off, I spent much of the afternoon watching the NFL Red Zone channel, an excellent side effect of Sunday Ticket that sends the viewer all around the football dial. There are no commercials, very little commentator antics and zero sitting through shitty, boring games (let's just say I watched almost none of that Indy-KC disaster).

I did, however, catch a huge chunk of Baltimore-Cleveland, including the goofy field goal at the end and overtime. And it was, of course, a legit field goal and the officials eventually got the call right--bravo. But if you're going to tell me that neither the ref nor the booth officials looked at the replay because they weren't allowed to, I'm waving the flag. The flag of I don't fucking believe you. It's clear that they did, and if I were Brian Billick I'd be pissed. Not because my team deserved to win--they didn't--but because the rules of replay were not followed.

This is why I don't want replay in baseball. It would clearly be limited to certain calls (like home runs or fair/foul) and exclude others (like balls and strikes). Drawing those kind of lines, like football does with pass interference and field goals as nonreviewable, is arbitrary and dumb. Either review everything or nothing. And one more thing--get rid of that asinine rule that a ref can judge whether a defender pushed a receiver out. Either you got your feet in or you didn't, that judgement crap is bullshit.

Comeuppance I'm not a big steroid moralist. I loathe the juice and all who cheat by injecting it, but I firmly believe that so many guys are tainted there's no use trying to sort it out at this point. Get better testing. That being said, the positive test of Shawne Merriman was all I needed to hate that bastard for life. Fucking cheater. I thoroughly enjoyed this play (hurry before the NFL takes it down), and the reaction of Deadspin's Mighty MJD (a notorious Bronco-hating Charger fan) to it. I must also go on record as saying that this season's Smorgasbord is about one-tenth of the awesomeness it once was--wha happen?

Suck It Anyone who bitches about Dre' B'l"y' or thinks the Lions got the best of that trade didn't watch the Detroit game against the G-Men yesterday. Tatum Bell is invisible, having been benched, inactive for the last five games and now replaced by T.J. Duckett of all people. And George Foster is back to where he was as a Bronco--trying his damnedest to get his QB killed. After allowing Michelle Strahan to pummel John Kitna yesterday Foster took his well-worn seat on the pine, and afterwards took his usual zero accountability. God I hate that fat fuck.

AFC West Notes Jesus, this division is miserable. It obviously will not yield a wild-card team, so it's win it or go home when it comes to January. Can the Broncos hold off the Chargers and Chiefs and make that happen? I've come full circle on thus season, which I once saw as a pointless exercise. No one outside of a healthy Colts club can stop the Pats, but if Denver can win the West and a playoff game that is what I consider a darn good season, especially considering the injuries and the youth at QB.

San Diego is a rich man's version of the Broncos, fairly loaded with good players but hampered by an inconsistent young signal-caller. KC is the hobo's version, as Brodie Bangs is not ready for this league and may never be. If Denver can come out on top tonight (and, obviously, beat the Chiefs and Bolts in December) then the division should be theirs. And I like their chances against a second-tier AFC club (Cleveland, anyone?) at Invesco.

Finally, let those crappy Chiefs be a lesson to anyone considering giving big money to a running back. I'm no huge fan of Shanahan the GM, but he does understand one thing: RBs are a dime a dozen. Now unless you can get your hands on Adrian Peterson (hurt, by the way) or LaDanian Tomlinson, there's no sense in paying guys like Larry Johnson or Shawn Alexander. If you want to waste that money, give it to me. I can be just as injured and worthless as LJ, and I can blow cash on chauffeured douchemobiles and poon tang just as fast. If not faster. I run a 4.2 to the titty bar ATM.
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pickin' & Grinnin': It Goes To Eleven

I think I've finally cleansed the foul KansasCityness from all of my bodily orifices and I'm ready for some more NFL football. Only those beloved Broncos of mine play on Monday Night. And, I'm totally kidding. Kansas City's fine, and I loathe these Broncos. Or maybe I sort of love/hate both. Let's just make some picks, shall we?

The streak of 4-1 weeks has come to a close, kids. These things can't last forever. Now I'm not blaming Cecil for this debacle, but I did break from my normal routine of solo pickery/hand-sex for a little collaboration (on the picks, not the hand-sex) in the City of Kansas. And for signing off on those awful selections, Cecil gets a big raspberry. After a 2-3 we stand at 28-23. But this week is going to rock out with a cock out.

Remember back when we were riding the Falcons every week, on account of their undeservedly subhuman status in the eyes of Vegas? Well, don't look now, but the Dirty Birds are showing a little bit of filth lately. Joey is even acting all uppity at the prospects of being replaced by Byron Leftwich. Now that's the fire you've never displayed, Joey. Atta boy. Atlanta is hosting the Bucs this week and getting points. Now if Tampa was any good you might run and hide, but they're not. The Pick: Falcons +3 1/2

The two big spreads of the week are Indy and New England, as usual. And if you're only going to take one, go with the Colts. Not because they're better, but their opponent is much worse. Buffalo is actually playing well these days, while KC begins the Brodie Bangs Era in the RCA Dome versus an angry, beat-up team. I see many, many touchdowns being scored by the home blue. The Pick: Colts -16

Jags by 3 at home against the Chargers. Who's better? I think it's Jacksonville, but I also thought that Andrew Ridgely was the superior talent in Wham! The Pick: Jaguars -3

Sexy Rexy is back and loaded with six weeks worth of backed-up discharge. I predict the standard four-touchdown, three-interception explosion onto the chin and lips of Seattle. The Pick: Bears +6

And finally we matriculate to Invesco for the Tony Kornheiser weekly debacle. Tennessee limps in looking lost and pitiful, while Denver produced a dominant road win last week. I still think that the ex-Oilers are the stronger team, and I have lost more money betting against Vince Young than I care to recount. The Pick: Titans +2
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Getting Ready for the Weak End; or, Trick or Treat, Smell Yorvit

Oh, House of Georges. You provide us shelter from the hail of uninformed sports opinion, a warm virtual fireside beside which we might calmly discuss our favorite franchises and a place to stash our pictures of fat, pantsless women vomiting upon their own unshod feet. You offer us succor from that bloodthirsty creature named--shudder--work.

And how do we say thanks? By ignoring you like the third receiver in a typical Chiefs offensive gameplan. That ain't right. You're not the House of SamieParker. You need an infusion of style, of panache, of Wild Turkey.

You need some Yorvit Torrealba.

Rockies fans can be forgiven for being a little tetchy recently. Their team, which many of them supported unconditionally for years (Ed. Note: also a possible lie), just made it to the World Series for the first time ever by relying on a potent cocktail of talented youth and savvy veteran leadership. Leadership provided, in large part, by one Y. Torrealba.

Not only does he play one of the most, if not *the* most, important positions on the field, his steady backstoppery and rapport with Colorado's young hispanic pitchers enabled the staff to settle down and actually play to something approaching their potential. He might not have been much at the plate, but he chipped in with a few timely hits in the postseason in what was certainly the best year of his career.

But! Here come the big-dollar New York Mets, fresh off a historic fold-job and looking for some of that October Juice. They pull out a LenDale White-sized roll of Benjies and wave it under Yorvit's nose. Mmmm, he thinks, that smells like 5 million per year. Daaaaaaammmmmn.

And, of course, he takes it. Who wouldn't? But Rockies supporters hear about this and start pulling on their collars like Rodney Dangerfield in mid-squirm. Uh oh...what's next? Hideki freakin' Matsui?

Take a deep breath, kids. The House is here to tell you that, for once, the Rocks made the right decision.

No way was Torrealba ever getting better than he was in '07. And his defense, while generally solid, had a gaping hole in the not-very-important-for-a-catcher arena of arm strength. Any of the the Iron Triangle's three legs could have beaten his throw to second, and we wash ourselves with rags on sticks. A young Benito Santiago he was not. And his strengths, specifically working with pitchers and calling a smart game, aren't the kind of things that smart GMs--and Dan O'Dowd, too--spend the big scratch on. Torrealba was a good guy and a good player, and most important, he wasn't J.D. Closser or Chris Iannetta. But he isn't worth the money that Omar and the Minayas gave him.

I'll post something similar once the Cubs overpay for Matsui, but I won't bother to employ words--just streaming video of me eating a double-barreled Kurt Cobain hoagie.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Recapping the Recap: or, Time to Puke, Rally and Get A Few Navajo Tacos

I admit, I love Kansas City. It's the single best midwest/rust belt/southern/east coast/Atlantic coast/Canadian city I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. It makes Detroit feel like a thousand pool cue blows to the grundle. Its many fountains humiliate the very idea of Des Moines. Would you rather live in Topeka? Maybe Little Rock?

Saying that, I feel cleansed. Because the way I feel downstairs after watching the Chefs worm their collective helmets up their collective shit-chutes is positively dirty. Vanessa Del Rio dirty.

I plan on making this tradition an annual occurence for as long as I'm alive, employed and not living beneath an underpass on I-70. I doubt I'll see many editions wherein the home team plays like the South Pueblo School for the Criminally Retarded's JV team. Everything was wrong in Chiefsville: the game plan, the performance, the attitude of the guy in the gold chain who impugned our patriotism for not maintaining a respectful silence during a halftime show that would have made Leni Riefenstahl spontaneously begin masturbating. It reflected that of the whole crowd--who ever heard of KC fans clearing out with 8 minutes left? Craziness.

(And before all you Chefs loyalists start pointing the poo-stained finger of our last Chargers game, consider the relative spread. Down by 38 is a lot worse than down by 16. And we were down by 38 1:33 seconds into that game.)

Anyway. It should also be mentioned that a totally obliterated gentleman showed us his balls--"here you go Denver! Got the Bat Wing!"--his wife showed us her tits and a totally different lady mooned us. And we parked next to a kid wearing Chefs-print Zubaz and drinking Crown Royal at 8 a.m.

God, I dig the midwest.
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Tradition Tuesday: 2007 Chapter I Wrap-Up

The rough focus of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs (heralded by Bankmeister) and the Denver Broncos (championed by Cecil and Old No. 7). It may seem unfair that it's two versus one, but once KC gets that second Super Bowl win we'll even out the delegation.

Seven years ago we started The Tradition, in which Bronco fans travel out to the Truman Sports Complex with their team, and Chief lovers return to the Rocky Mountains with theirs. We tailgate, we talk massive amounts of shit, our wives are occasionally assaulted by rival fans, and we almost always watch the visiting team lose. It's a grand old time.

Here at the HoG, we're going to keep The Tradition going with Tradition Tuesday--a weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.

Well, there you have it. The first installment of The Tradition has come and gone, the results of which proved Old No. 7 write: nothing shy of ugly. Granted, for himself and the witty Cecil, the end result was nice, it was still an awful game in most every sense of the word. The contest, if you care to call it that, that is.

Regardless of a mildly late start (compliments of DfromKC), we made it to Arrowhead and had our coals going by a few minutes after nine.

In a fit of fear of el huevo grande I imagined the Chiefs might lay, my uninspiration to concoct a menu for the afternoon trickled into the cuisine preparation. Perhaps sensing the upcoming Denver success, Seven obliged us with a pilfered recipe for some delicious brats that we talentfully drowned in Pabst (both pan and gut). While the company to our north left much to be desired, all else in the lot was grand: nice day, pigskin tossing, pre-game music, etc.

It was when we entered the stadium that the suck threatened to unleash. We did enjoy seats in the closest vicinity to the field either of us had ever experienced, and we did have the pleasure of watching a large Priest Holmes-jersey-laden man with a hair sweater strip repeatedly and fondle his nipples in a near Oscar-worthy Fat Bastard impersonation several rows in front of us. We also had the privilege of having a massive prick tell us off (with F-bombs) in front of his 14-year-old son for talking during the halftime show. His shrewdly accurate assumption that we were the only ones talking (in the entire stadium) during said ceremony didn't spark fits of sarcastic comments from any of us. None whatsoever.

Alas, the match itself. We all know the highlights:

An 8-6 Chiefs lead at halftime (Editor's Note: This was only slightly more obnoxious than their 6-0 lead at halftime in Denver last year -- bonus points for the safety, hampered, however by lack of touchdowns); wrath of the boobirds for little-to-no defensive production and a shaky start at best for the man under center; the successes of Brandon Marshall and Selvin Young; the prowess of Jay Cutler in that he played through injury and became the first Broncos QB to win at Arrowhead in his first start since pre-HFCD days); the abundance of yellow flags littering the field; and finally, the turnovers.

It was downright awful.

We at the HoG is well aware that every club has its bad games, but this contest spelled out something much greater: The Broncos have been barely better than terrible this year, and they were ripe for the Chiefs to humiliate them. Only it was the home club that hung its collective head in shame. Their offense, regardless of a nice rushing display from Holmes, is decrepit; the D takes large steps toward progression, then falters; and the offensive line will likely be responsible for an injury to the recently appointed-as-starter Brodie Croyle. This of course will mean that Damon Huard will be called upon once more.

I've shunned any notions of rebuilding since last year's playoff debacle in Indianapolis. I suppose it's only fitting that facing Indy once more brings the ugly truth of reality full circle.

Good times, I say. Good. Times.
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sleeping With The Enemy: The Big Game

So here we are. The House of Georges has matriculated to Arrowhead Stadium, site of the NFL's best rivalry*. We've sampled some of the finest meats and cheeses available at retail prices, we've ingested enough Pabst to pollute neighboring counties with toxic flatulence, and now we're ready for some God damned football. Banky and I fired up our old warhorse of a game preview and renewed hostilities. Let's keep it clean out there.

*It's possible this is not true.

Old No. 7: So here we are, in the midst of the Week Of Shit (patent pending) leading up to The Tradition (registered trademark) and Sunday’s Chiefs-Broncos game at Arrowhead. It’s been my feeling for some time now that this game is a flat-out waste of precious time and that neither of these teams are going anywhere this year. But in the past couple days, two thoughts have entered my mind:

1. As miserable as they’ve looked this season, the Denver Broncos may not actually be that bad. They’ve lost to five solid teams—San Diego (4-4), Indianapolis (7-1), Jacksonville (5-3), Green Bay (7-1) and Detroit (6-2). They beat Buffalo on the road, and the Bills are actually playing well—after that heartbreaking loss to Dallas they’ve won three straight. They beat the Raiders, who are lousy but a different kind of feisty lousy than last year. And they beat Pittsburgh, a city full of registered sex offenders and a team that is on the fringes of elite status in the NFL.

A few breaks and they could be in first place. And if they could consistently play the kind of motivated, physical ball they did against the Steelers, they could actually win this division.

Of course, this is all a moot point. The entire league is miles behind the Colts and Patriots. In no scenario is this Bronco team going to beat either Indy or New England on the road in January. No one, outside of Pittsburgh or maybe San Diego, is. It’s a two-team NFL, and in my opinion a good year to take your lumps, suck hard and rebuild. Which brings me to:

2. One of the toughest things to do as a fan is accept and even embrace struggggling. When is it OK to throw in the towel and actually hope for a tank job? I’ll be the first to stand up and say that now is not that time, for either of these teams. The division title is still in reach, even if it means a blowout embarrassment in the playoffs.

But looking at the long-term health of the Broncos franchise, you can see some merit in this weak, beat-up team losing and duking it out with Oakland for the cellar, rather than winning and joining the Chefs and Bolts at 4-5 (assuming the Colts best the Chargers on Sunday) in the Clusterfuck .500 (copyright or not, that phrase is mine).

I’ll admit, I’m spoiled as a Bronco fan and not very used to this predicament. It’s been a long time since I even thought about draft position or playing the young guys at this point of a season. What’s it like, KC fan? And, in your opinion, are these Broncos worthy of this discussion yet—or is there still hope?

Bankmeister: It's like this: Being in this predicament blows. Granted, it's not much better sitting at 1-6 or 2-5 while the rest of your rivals flaunt success. Thing is, in that scenario, you sort of have already taken your lumps, your expectations aren't high, so you take pride in little things that might pan out down the road (some future season, hopefully the next). The problem with treading amidst the CF5 is that the teeniest, tiniest mistakes cost you everything. They make you madder, feel certain that you could do better coaching this team and you want everyone canned from the front office on down. So you move, ala the HoG staff, to hoping at least your enemies suffer, and when they don't, you drink your sorrows away, kick the dog and beat the wife. And life sucks.

Regarding the Broncos, I can't dismiss that, aside from Jason "last-minute savior" Elam, this team could be freaking winless. It's really hard to fathom that, too, given the consistent excellency you so boast of, and rightfully so. And, even though 10-win Kitna is on pace to live up to his prediction, I can't believe the absolute drubbing you guys suffered in Motown. So, at this point, I don't think the Broncos are worthy of playoff discussion. But, I do think Cutler will continue to improve, Marshall will return to form with the return of Walker, and el Raton always figures something out for the running game.

Back to the other hand, though. I cannot believe the Denver defense is sitting at 32nd in the league right now. That's embarrassing for a fan of an AFC West team, even a rival. All AFC West teams have always been led by defense (Seahawks excluded for the most part) and I can't even pinpoint an ounce of what's happened to this team these past couple years.

Old No. 7: Well, all these questions get to the heart of why these Broncos are 3-5 to begin with. First off, the defense, and why it’s ranked D.F.L. in the N.F.L: it’s a long story. It all began with the decision to cut ties with Trevor Pryce a couple years back—the line has never recovered from the loss of his powerful play. The continual regression of John Lynch with no young help has been rough. And the big blow, of course, is the subtraction of Al Wilson’s leadership from the defense. Champ and “D’r’e’ ‘B”l”y’ have been hobbled by injuries this season, but everyone has injuries. The Broncos can’t tackle, and their awful run defense forces them to leave the corners exposed too often. And they can’t get to the passer. Other than that, everything’s peachy.

And for them to improve, you’re counting on many things happening that probably won’t. Jay Cutler may not improve much this season after all. Brandon Marshall is a flaming infectious virus of me-first shitbaggery who needs to get back in line. The guy’s immensely gifted, but his attitude needs to come down several dozen pegs.

That running game may never be seen. The O-line is a broken, virtually condemned structure right now. Let’s look at the state of the big uglies in the middle of 2007:

LT-Matt Lepsis’ Cinderella run, the career that sent him from coed-groping CU tight end to Pro Bowl-caliber blindside protector, may quickly be grinding to a stop. As our old compadre Commissioner Hercules pointed out this week (LINK), Lepsis has sucked with valor and distinction this year. Colossal flop George Foster, drafted to eventually replace Lepsis, is currently sucking in Detroit Rock City. I had high hopes for Ryan Harris, the Notre Dame product taken in this year’s draft, but he has yet to see the field this year.

LG-Chris Kuper is quite possibly the worst starting offensive lineman in the league. It’s not his fault. He shouldn’t be starting, but multiple injuries have forced the issue. He should be busting kids for truancy or selling asparagus, not pretending to block for a living.

C-Chris Myers, for a brief time, held Kuper’s title of worst starting offensive lineman in the league. He’s now merely second worst, but he currently blows at an entirely different position. After filling in poorly for Ben Hamilton, who’s out for the year, Myers is now manning the middle for Tom Nalen, who’s out for the year. At least he didn’t slap the ball out of our quarterback’s hand at the goal line last week.

RG-Montrae Holland, a free agent who flew under the radar last offseason, is the lone bright spot. Way to go, ace.

RT-Erik Pears is a difficult guy to assess. On one hand, he’s a horrible, horrible player. One the other, he did matriculate at Colorado State, not that bastion of sin and vomit in Boulder. So I’ll give him a partial pass. He is really good at holding, which is preferable to the Lepsis technique of not trying and allowing your quarterback to get murdered.

How do you feel about your team right now?

Bankmeister: Regarding the Chiefs, the frustration of flopping from good O/bad D to the reverse is hair-pulling to say the least. It drives me insane to lead the league in punts and three-and-outs. It really does. It shows Herm's true side and we all know that's ugly. Furthermore, I'm sick of him standing on the sidelines doing absolutely nothing. It churns the very innards of my stomach to no end.

I think they've rebounded well from the beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Texans on opening day, and the subsequent loss to the Bears. The loss to Jacksonville was tough, but I half expected it after they dominated your club at AmInCap. Finally, I thought we'd best Fah-vuh-ruh and have a huge head of steam to host your Donks. The way that fourth quarter, check that, the whole game, unfolded was a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.

You say this game will suck. I say it will be fun and hard-fought. No matter the scenario, these teams get up for one another and take their hatred out for one another in the trenches and in the end zones. I say the winner takes a huge step towards division title bragging rights as it will be a huge, huge win. San Diego, as the Chiefs proved, are beatable, and the Raiders, as you say, are still a few steps away. You're correct in the assumption that neither team is fit to take on the Colts or Pats.

The Lone Reader disagrees. He says two calculated late hits on Tom Brady deep in their territory is all it will take to shatter his confidence, and he doesn't have that great of pass protection anyway. Of course, TLR says he would never advocate this, but is doing so now because of the cheating allegations. How do you feel about such an approach?

Would you promote such a tactic if you wound up division winners and you had to do something ugly to Chesnning or Dreamboat? If so, where do you draw the line?

Old No. 7: Look, I think it will be an evenly matched and potentially very entertaining game. But we could take in any high school contest and have that. It doesn’t mean it will be good, well-played football. This ain’t intramurals, brother.

I hate to continually reference a game that received a nauseating amount of hype, but I have to go back to the Colts-Pats game last week. That, my friend, was Division 1 football. The level that those two teams played at was stunning. Even the mistakes that Brady and Manning made revealed excellence, as no one else has been able to pressure either quarterback this season. After watching lots of AFC West “action” this season, that game was like dining on Arby’s for a year and then going to a Ruth’s Chris.

As for wiping out Brady, Big Daddy Drew over at Kissing Suzy Kolber has been advocating the strategy all season. He’s even offered a bounty. Speaking of, Drew has been absolutely killing it lately. Do you regularly peruse the Jamboroo?

As funny as all that is, I can’t condone the cheap shot, even if it would mean the end of Dreamboat’s season and actually make the rest of the NFL watchable again. You have to play within the rules or you yield the moral high ground to guys like Bill Belichick. Bill Belichick would kidnap your child and eat his skin if it meant scoring three more points against Baltimore. You really want to do things his way?

Now if someone else were to do the dirty work, however, that would be a different story. Let’s say convicted criminal Jared Allen were to play through the echo of the whistle and decapitate Dreamboat some Sunday. Now I would consider this a despicable act and would sternly rebuke him. But I would do so while grinning from ear to ear and high-fiving whatever citizen was closest to me.

I personally think that football has become way, way too pussified for my taste. The fact that no one has ever fucking drilled Terrell Owens during his entire career is embarrassing. Everybody hates that guy, he’s out there running around on a football field every week, and no one cleans his clock and takes a flag. Week. In hockey, if you get out of line you may have to drop the gloves and defend yourself. In baseball, if you’re a pain in the ass you may take one in the ribs. Yet football, the most violent and awesome gore-fest of all, is free of vendettas and after-the-whistle shenanigans. And that is bullshit.

Bankmeister: Right. Naturally, I agree with that philosophy. I thought I’d just introduce TLR’s perspective. While I don’t like it, I do. And I thought it was pretty rad that he called it a solid week before Bill Cowher did. To clarify, I’d much rather stake victory the right and appropriate way. I’d also like to see Owens take one over the middle that results in a crushed xiphoid process. Like 14 times in a half.

Regarding KSK, I’ve seen the Dreamboat bounty posts, but I haven’t read them. I tend to find Pats coverage tedious and dry. I’ve noticed The Jamboroo deals on Deadspin, but haven’t paid them much attention. Typically, if there ain’t boobs, I ain’t interested. He still remains the best KSK writer bar none, though.

That was a good assessment of your line, though. Ours, as I’ve discussed ad nauseum, is equally atrocious, specifically the right side. Beyond that, I can’t really finger what the solution(s) is(are) for the Chiefs to have more immediate success. What are your thoughts on the Chiefs? Are they lucky to sit where they are, or can they be considered as legitimate potential division winners?

Old No. 7: I try my darndest not to watch KC too much, I find it leaves me with a loose stool and itchy armpits. What I’ve seen, though, leaves me a little surprised. The defense is has definitely improved in every game of Coach Herman’s tenure, and Jared Allen is a legitimate force. A drunken lunatic force at that. D-Bowe looks to be the real deal, but it’s next to impossible to assess young receivers.

You’ll never do anything with the current QB situation, though. I know Damon is an able manager of a game plan, but with the deficiencies elsewhere on the offensive side of the ball (line, injury to LJ) you need more than the school of Huard Knocks. I suppose that the Chiefs could sneak in at 9-7 and edge out the Chargers for the division, but I haven’t seen their remaining schedule.

Bankmeister: Back to what matters, though. This game. Let’s have a round of predictions for Sunday:

Bankmeister: Broncos 22, Chiefs 12
Cecil: Chiefs 20, Broncos 13
DfromKC: Chiefs 19, Broncos 14
Old No. 7: Broncos 8, Chiefs 4 (all safeties)
Rustoleum: Broncos 45, Chiefs 5
TLR: Chiefs 17, Broncos 10
Waveland22: Broncos 24, Chiefs 23
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pickin' & Grinnin': Week 10

Coming at you live from lovely Kansas City (Editor's Note: Not actually lovely), this is Pickin' & Grinnin'. We're actually on quite a roll here, with three consecutive 4-1 weeks bringing our season record to a robust 26-20.

I suppose that The Tradition dictates we make a call on the Broncos-Chiefs game, and here we have a couple concurrent themes going. We've capitalized on the lousy Broncos, who are 1-7 against the spread this year. But as profitable as it's been to take Denver's opponent this year, it seems downright un-American to bet on the Chiefs in this rivalry. So here it is: if you're a man, and you're 40, put your money on the Broncos and take the points. If you like to win money, go with the Chefs. The Pick: Broncos +3

I must have missed something, because the spreads I saw showed Buffalo over Miami favored by a mere four points. That's a joke, right? Is Jim Kelly starting for the Bills? Even if he was, that's about as easy a cover as I can remember. The Pick: Bills -4

It's a two-team league, and Indianapolis is one of those teams. San Diego is not, so this line is way too close for my taste. The Pick: Colts -4 1/2

Detroit takes their traveling carnival of Jesus and football to Glendale, Arizona for a game with the Cards. It's a pick 'em, which is gambling parlance for, well, pick 'em. Select a winner, you fence-straddling fuck. Okay, I go with cauldron of intelligence stirred by Matt Millen and Mike Martz. The Pick: Lions

And, finally, a big dog just for fun. Go with Derek "Horse Balls" Anderson and Cleveland getting double digits in Pittsburgh. The Pick: Browns +10
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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Classic, Unplugged Sleeping With The Enemy: Whose End Is Tighter?

Some time ago, our pals over at Arrowhead Addict ran a poll to determine the greatest Chief Of All Time (COAT). Our own Bankmeister was asked his opinion, and I found that opinion curious. What follows is our discussion.

Old No. 7: Of the available choices in the COAT, I'd say Derrick Thomas is the best player I ever saw in a Chiefs uniform. Football's a hard sport to do this in, because you can't compare stats very easily for different positions and across different eras. But Thomas was the only guy I was ever scared of for an extended number of seasons. Johnson scares me now, especially late in games, because he can singlehandedly drive down the field and kill the clock. Priest used to scare me. I suppose Old Man Montana scared me, if only because I didn't want to see him break a hip.

A sack is a very small part of the game, but it can change a game. It can be huge. The reason great pass rushers are well-paid, remembered and feared is their impact can be devastating. Like a crucial late-inning HR or, to some extent, a big strikeout with men on base.

I can think of a half-dozen Broncos over the same time period (my viewing lifetime) that are better than Gonzalez, and only one of them is named Shannon Sharpe.

As far as old-timers, I can guarantee that there were many Chiefs during those old black-and-white days that were better. But it's so hard to pick a great football player you never witnessed. I know that Ted Williams was the greatest player in Red Sox history. I can put his stats up against Manny's or Ortiz's or Boggs' or Jim Rice's or anyone else I actually watched and just know that Williams was better. But I have no idea what kind of player Floyd Little was, compared to TD or Portis or Winder or any of the guys I saw. No matter what OJ's stats or Jim Brown's stats say, I'll never have a concept of what they were compared to Emmitt or Barry or Tomlinson in their primes. Football's awesome, but it's kind of fucked historically that way.

Bankmeister: Okay. We've talked before about Hall of Fame candidates. The example that comes to mind first is Terrell Davis. I guess Rod Smith is right there with him, as per those conversations. I would likely put both in, TD being the shoe-in of the two if I had to pick one. You've mentioned, and I've agreed, that there are some fucked-up criteria for getting in. I've agreed and added to that notion that criteria for receiving MVP awards and the like are also messed up, which brings me to Derrick Thomas.

Don't get me wrong, he's one of my all-time favorite Chiefs. I love the way he played, the fact that his mere presence made you think twice, and the fact that he repeatedly murdered your idol in the backfield. Those were good times. For the past two years, however, local sports talk radio has been saturated, come Hall-of-Fame selection time, with Thomas talk. Hosts, and by hosts I mean Grunhard (God, that's such an unfortunate name), plug Thomas like nobody's business. The non-biased --Grunny's far from my favorite, by the way -- illustrate what the national sports writers and voters suggest, which is that Thomas' play is oftentimes viewed as one-dimensional; he put consistent pressure on the quarterback and that's about it. This is not to imply that he couldn't tackle a runner or drop into pass coverage if need be, but he was so quick off the line of scrimmage, that he seldom had to.

But I meant the reasons I listed as to why Tony was the best. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what I mean when I say that life as a Chiefs fan has been full of, well, Hard Knocks. He has, in the last 10 years, epitomized hope. When our QBs have sucked, and we've had no running game, or Derrick freaking Alexander has been our best deep threat, TG has always been there, a guy you could say "Well, at least..." about. And he's always been a Chief. This just in: Eat shit, Johnny Damon. Naturally, I understand from your perspective why Thomas would get your vote. I'm curious as to why you would say the members of this coveted six are better than Gonzalez. Explain. And in doing so, keep in mind your own cautionary position-to-position predicament.

When you're done with that, let's have this out once and for all. Sharpe vs. Gonzalez. Bring it.

Old No. 7: The six guys that I came up with, just off the top of my head, are Elway, Champ, TD, Gary Zimmerman, Tom Jackson and Sharpe. I did not include Rod Smith because I guess my quick criteria was skill as a football player, and Rod has nowhere near the raw talent of those six. The reason I admire him is what he's done with what he has, but that's a story for another day.

John Elway I don't need to explain. He and TJ are also the only ones on my list that played full-length careers in a Broncos uniform. While that's important, no doubt, I have no problem with someone coming to my team later in his career so long as he's a fucking bad ass.

Champ is either the best player in the NFL right now or a hair behind Tomlinson. He's good at absolutely everything and has no weakness. He'd be a Pro Bowler at any position he was allowed to play for a full season.

Although it will never happen, TD should be in the Hall of Fame. But he didn't play long enough, and he'll forever be downgraded as part of the "system" that mass-produces effective running backs. Bullshit.

Gary Zimmerman was a better offensive lineman than anyone I've seen. I didn't play O-line and I was a miserable blocker in my day--bad technique, bad weight distribution, the whole package. But I didn't play hockey either, and when I watched Ray Borque I just knew that this was how you played defenseman. Borque and Zimmerman made their very difficult jobs look easy.

Tom Jackson, you could put in the Rod Smith category. He lacked the physical tools of a lot of these guys but overcame those deficiencies to become a seriously dangerous man. He made more big plays in key situations than any OLB the Broncos have ever had. He was excellent in coverage, tremendous in backside pursuit, a good blitzer and he shed the blocks of much larger men with ease. And he called Michael Irvin a retard on national TV. Mike, you got Jacked Up!

Now, for Sharpe vs. Gonzalez. Shannon Sharpe changed the position and he won three rings. Done. Gonzalez has been exactly what I described him as--a great player. He's succeeded in all the conditions you listed, he's the face of the franchise, and his statistical accumulations will get him into the Hall of Fame. But if you want me to build my ultimate lineup, and I have the choice of any tight end in his prime, I'm taking Shannon. Or Karl Malone. I think the Mailman would have been the most killer tight end ever.

I'm not taking anything away from Gonzalez, I'm just saying that I think these six are better football players, as is Derrick Thomas. There's no shame in that. And as for the one-dimensional pass-rusher thing, I get it. Everyone would like to have their DEs and OLBs be well-rounded football players. But getting to the QB is a skill that wins games. Michael Jordan could have been the best passer God ever created, but at the end of a big game do I want him dishing to Bill Cartwright? Fuck no. I want him getting his ass to the bucket and hammering home the two points that will win the game. That's his thing, the thing he did better than anyone. And Derrick Thomas could kill a QB, a drive and an opponent's chance of winning in a blink of an eye. There are only a handful of guys--ever--that could do it better. We rip on kickers as not being real football players. A guy like Dante Hall is seen as a freak, someone with one special skill but lacking the size or hands to be a real, complete football player.

Whatever. When my team needs a field goal to win, and Adam Vinatieri is on the sideline, he's a real fucking football player. He means more than eighteen awesome tight ends or guards or safeties. When I'm losing at home and I have a perfectly designed punt return alley due to multiple clipping violations, I need Dante Hall to exploit that advantage. He's a real football player. And when the other team has a third-and-eight deep in my territory late in a tight game, and a double-teamed Thomas gets to the QB, wiping out the drive and knocking them out of FG range, he's a real football player. He wasn't any worse in other areas of the game than Bruce Smith or Howie Long, and they're in the Hall. Put him in.

Bankmeister: Oh yeah. I agree. Put him in and put him in now. Let me clear the air, though. I'm not hung up on the playing-for-other-teams bit. I just think it's rad when someone notches an entire career in one uni, and Gonzalez has managed to do that, thus far. I respect most of what you've said, but you forced some table turnage, here.

I'll give you Elway. It pains me, but I'll do it. He was better than Todd Blackledge and stuff. Zimmerman, no doubt. TJ? Love the guy, on and off the field. You know I got respect for TD. Champ? Yeah. He's good. I wasn't sold on him until his recent Opera visit. But, count it! now that that's been leaked to the House.

Here's my beef in a nutshell: Fuck Shannon Sharpe. He didn't change a god-damned thing Ozzie Newsome and Kellen Winslow hadn't already done. He just ran his fat-lipped mouth and loved him some him, making him the pre-T.O. T.O. What that means is that he got himself some coverage. And by "some coverage," I mean a re-donculous amount of hype.

Look at the record books, and yes, his name is all over them. By the end of the day, his name will be under Gonzalez's in every category, and likely Antonio Gates', too. You're right. There's no shame in saying those six are better football players than Gonzalez. Unless of course, you include Sharpe as one of those six. I demand you back up this claim in a fashion that is free and clear of the Wikipedias.

Prove to me that he was a better blocker, pass catcher, route runner, team player, decoy, enunciating of English, anything, than Gonzalez. It'd better be convincing, too, because I'm already stupidly slated to disagree with you based on my rash Irish temper and immense homerisms. I'll add that you've already hurt your case a touch by failing to mention that Gonzalez is and has been the Jordan of the Chiefs. He wins us fucking games hands down. And he doesn't parade around with a stupid horse mask on his head after doing it. He dunks the ball over the goal post (occasional layup notwithstanding) like the mammoth of an athlete that he is, leaving everything Shannon Sharpe-related in his shadows.

Old No. 7: Look...if the criteria was "Tight End You'd Most Like To Have A Slumber Party With," I'd take the fake smile, douchebag personality and latent homosexuality of your boy Gonzalez every time. If Tony Gonzalez was the host of the CBS NFL studio show, I'd watch it way more than I do now. Shannon was great for a sound bite in the locker room, he's horrible on television.

But if the argument is "Who's A Better Tight End?" then there's no debate in my mind. You can allow your hatred of Sharpe to taint your opinion, as you have in the Elway/Montana debate. But look at why you (and many others) say that Montana is better than Elway. Montana was the most clutch QB ever, right? He won all those big playoff games and Super Bowls, while Elway spent most of his career getting blown out in the Big Game until Shanahan, TD (and Sharpe, by the way) helped get this one…for John!

Elway’s regular-season stats blow Montana’s out of the fucking water. He’s twenty per cent better across the board than Old No. 16/19, and better statistically than any QB other than Marino and Favre. Yet you put Joe on top, based on postseason excellence. That’s your opinion, and you have a right to your opinion without folks demanding Wikipedia-free proof that Montana had better footwork, or drew more offsides penalties with his snap count, or executed the play-action fake better, or was better during practice, or played dominoes on the team bus better, or any of the other nonsensical criteria you’ve injected into this tight end discussion.

So, if Montana is better than Elway because he performed better on the biggest stage, let’s apply the same logic to Sharpe and Gonzalez, shall we?

Shannon Sharpe played in 18 playoff games, including three Super Bowls, over eight different trips to the postseason tournament. He amassed 62 receptions, 814 yards and four touchdowns in that span. Most important, his teams went 13-5 in those games, including a perfect 3-0 in the game with the roman numerals on it.

Tony Gonzalez has participated in the playoffs three times, and his teams are 0-3 in those games. He’s amassed respectable numbers in those three losses, 11 receptions, 106 yards and two scores (Note: all statistics courtesy of, a Banky-approved non-Wiki InterWebs resource).

Now obviously, a tight end is not as vital to his team’s ultimate success or failure as a quarterback. But in the offenses that Sharpe and Gonzalez have played in throughout their careers, their efforts have gone a long way to determining the outcome of games. I have seen Tony Gonzalez win many regular season games—he is and has been, in the words of my esteemed colleague, The Jordan of The Chiefs. Well Michael Jordan, in my recollection, won a playoff game. Several, even. He placed his team upon his back and dominated other teams, even when the overall talent of those opponents superceded that of the Bulls.

Now it’s not that Shannon Sharpe singlehandedly won thirteen playoff games. But having watched every one of them, I do know that he converted many third-down conversions and contributed key red-zone grabs to those 90s Broncos. And on the 2000 Ravens, one of the shittiest offensive teams ever to win a Super Bowl, he was their playoff production. He connected with awful Trent Dilfer on a 58-yard touchdown in a 21-3 wild-card win against the Broncos, a play that essentially ended the game. His 96-yard score against the Raiders in the AFC Championship provided the winning margin in a 16-3 game.

Tony Gonzalez, he did score the TD that kept the Chiefs from being shut out against the Colts last year. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice. And while his stats are very similar to Sharpe’s right now, he’ll log a few more years and push those numbers 20 per cent past Shannon’s, similar to the gap between Elway and Montana. So if you’re going to keep Gonzalez as your No. 1 tight end, I assume you’ll soon be switching your top QB?

Bankmeister: Like most people, I certainly despise admitting defeat. There is no way on the planet I could counter the way you've portrayed this paradigm. Granted, it took you three months and several temper tantrums to construe it, it is a work of genius. That said, I place Old No. 16/19 where I place him largely based on SuperBowl MVP awards and resilience. Your boy has some impressive statistics in his admirable career, but they only amount to, in my skewed/biased/tainted/uneducated opinion, fourth best of all time. Conversely, I give Sharpe the nod for number two. If Tony had had one really good, fourth-best-of-all-time QB slinging him the rock for 11 years, his numbers would be 10 times those of Sharpe's. But he didn't, he did it with a handful of better-than-mediocre quarterbacks.

Nevertheless, your logic is solid, and by those measures, your ass-faced Ravens-jersey-renting tight end is the best of all time. Except for the fact that he's not.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Parking Lot Festivities

The boys over at Arrowhead Addict really know how to comb a lot and scope the party atmosphere. Sunday's Packers/Chiefs contest was no exception as they dropped in on this Cheesehead/Chiefs bit of teamwork.

Not certain there'll be any eight-man beer bonging happening with Bronco fans this weekend, but you never know. Read more

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tradition Tuesday: If This Is It

Man. I thought "Requiem for a Dream" was depressing. It's like a "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" rerun compared to the blue splattering the HoG's canvas this week. C'mon, boys. It's tradition week. You'll come out here. We'll make fun of Chiefs fans. Chiefs fans and I will make fun of you. We'll watch Selvin "I'm pretty" Young and Priest "Call it a comeback; I've been here for years" Holmes duke it out in a snoozy runfest of a football game. That, my friends, is good freakin' times. Let's analyze the matchup a bit further, though. Shall we?

On the Broncos front, the status of Travis "Who's Your Daddy?" Henry is about as certain as a weatherman's prediction; he might play, but he might not. Enter Selvin Young to fill that slot. Screamin' Jay Cutler might've broken his leg at Ford Field on Sunday, but, in all likelihood, he probably didn't. And Javon Walker? Who knows when he'll return. Actually, the Bronco nation faithful probably do know, but they're a bit busy -- how shall we say -- wound licking to check it out. That leaves the Denver D as the only for sure, and that side of the football is only sure of its sub-mediocrity.

As for the red and gold, Larry Johnson, according to a Denver media figure, has a broken foot and is out for the season. The Chiefs PR department, in stunning Denver Bronco-PR fashion, has allegedly denied any such breakage/knows nothing about it. Add to that that the rumor mill is churning out curds suggesting it's Brodie Croyle time in Kansas City, and that Eddie Kennison may or may not play this Sunday, and you've got two teams that continue to struggle to form an identity at mid-season, and two fan bases that really just want a bit of Arrowhead hot sake to warm their PBR-rotted guts.

Here's an interesting X factor, too. It's been since the 2002 campaign that this divisional matchup happened in Kansas City first. That contest, which featured a missed Morton Andersen field goal, resulting in a Jason Elam game-winning field goal in OT, remains the only episode of The Tradition wherein the visiting team has won. And it was a glorious day at the 'Head, I tell you. Old No. 7's kid brother (HoG congrats on the newly pledged nuptials, Young No. 7) was in attendance, as was Mayor McVesco himself. If memory serves correctly, that was also the infamous "First of all, I don't even like red/Throw it in the trash and make it again" post-game experience at Popeye's Fried Chicken. That was a meal that will live in infamy.

More importantly, it was niceish out for the contest, a descriptor we haven't been able to use for the Broncos at Chiefs game on many other occasions. In fact, the last three have been so miserably cold that the HoG staff has only been able to watch spurts of the games while tending to watery eyes and frozen boogers. When I left for work this morning, my car thermometer read 32 degrees, also known as freezing. Having arrived home, the wife, spurring all her energy-conservation endeavors, has fired up the furnace for the first time, so yes, it's freakin' cold in Kansas City.

I'm pretty sure Denver hasn't won in Kansas City in December but once since Cec', Seven and myself were born. Other months appear to be fair game. November wasn't necessarily a good one for them last year.Obviously, we hope that spills over. As for myself, I'm optimistic that the Chiefs can salvage something out of this season. Denver still can, too. But this game, as it always is, is huge.

May the best team win. And by "team," I mean the home club.
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Scooping My Own Non-Jackson

I'm not even going to pretend I know what that title means. Here's the deal, oh loyal readership of the HoG--we've let you down. The other two legs of thisyere Iron Triangle (which was a superb heavy metal band from Leeds, late '70s) have genuine excuses, i.e. work, for the infrequency of their posts. Me? Well, I've been huffin' a lot of rubber cement recently. Makes me think everything is better. It does, however, carry with it a few unfortunate side effects: dizziness, death of brain cells, neglect of blog.

I'd like to say things are going to be different from here on out. So I will: things are going to be different from here on out. Christ, that felt good.

Of course, that was a lie. The implosion of the Broncos' season has put me in about as foul a mood as I've been in for more than a decade, since the first time the McRib was discontinued. I can't enjoy my usual dose of Too Much Sports Opinion By Too Many Besuited Idjuts. I can't take my usual pleasure in fall Sundays--no one happily anticipates being the catamite in the prison shower. I can't even drink the pain anyway, though I've tried. Lord knows, I've tried.

So I'm just gonna sit here, cross-legged and angry, until my team starts playing like the contender I'd expected...or at least until Friday, when I'll be jetting out to the barbecue capital of eastern Kansas for a certain footballing contest between YOUR Denver Broncos and the Chefs of the plains.

More on that to come. But I'll throw you slavering dogs a bone--can KC run for the usual 200 yards Denver's been allowing without LJ? Me thinkest no...

And here is the rest of it. Read more

Monday, November 5, 2007

Welcome to the Week Of Shit

At one point I'd imagined that today would be a pretty good day. I might have sat here with my Broncos at 6-2, perhaps, and looming as a fast, versatile, dangerous team. I might have looked down from my mighty mountaintop and far across the high steppe of the Middle West to a metroplex on the Kansas/Missouri border, the Home...Of The...Chiefs. And I might have seen another team, maybe 5-3 or even 6-2 itself, that was building upon its surprise playoff appearance last season, adding to the development of its improving defense, and scaring the shit right out of me.

Today is not that day.

No, kids out there in the HoGosphere, today we sit a mere week away from witnessing an ugly smudge on the storied rivalry that is The Tradition. On Sunday, at venerable old Arrowhead, some 79,451 poor souls will witness about as lousy a matchup as the National Football League can deliver.

Now 79,448 of those saps will not give you premium House of Georges-level predictions and reactions concerning this debacle. But the famed Iron Triangle will be in attendance, and we will all unsheath our swords of footballery and wave them menacingly in the air to produce pronouncements worthy of the Karl Mecklenburgs and Buck Buchanans of yore. Or we'll just drink our old and flabby carcasses into a miserable heap and barely make kickoff. One of the two.

So welcome, misguided fan of AFC West football, to the Week Of Shit (patent Pending).

Fans of our two California representatives in this division, the kid-raping Raiders and pansy-sniffing Chargers, refer to the six days building up to their twice-yearly showdowns as "Hell Week." I used to listen to a lot of Jim Rome radio, back when he merely dabbled in the black arts of television and before he sold his soul to the four-letter network. Rome talked about his days as a jock on a San Diego sports talk affiliate, when Hell Week would come around and Raider Nation and the Chardonnay Merchant Marine would flood his show with calls. Rome always hated Hell Week, and now I know how he feels.

Making this trip is truly the last thing I want to do. These teams both really suck, and this game is going to be terrible. We may watch Patrick Ramsey throw to Glenn Martinez ten times. We may see a touchdown (or two) from some dude named Kolby Smith. We will certainly witness multiple repetitions of The Phony Formerly Known As Priest Holmes. It makes one long for the glory days of not too long ago, when half-ass bastards like Brian Griese, Dante Hall and Clinton Portis' mom roamed the fabled Arrowhead turf. Now those were some slightly-better-than-mediocre teams you could rally behind.

But what am I going to do, bitch? I get to fly to Denver, find a barstool in the B Concourse and knock back a dozen Sam Adams. Then I get to awkwardly hug Cecil and hop on a jet airplane bound for KC. We'll ogle the flight attendants, who will probably be men from Poland. And then we'll spill into the waiting courtesy vehicle piloted by Bankmeister and kill lots of barbecued flesh and canned beer. Good times.

You know who's trade roles with me in a minute? This guy. He's about the most hard core motherfucker I've ever seen. He's rockin the Zubaz, he's throwin down some dope signage, and he's totally up on his Broncohistoricals. Like, when asked who (whom?) his favorite former Bronco is, he drops twelve on yo ass. And one of 'em is Tony Braxton. Yo, corn flake. It's Tyrone Braxton, you fucking moron. Toni Braxton is an R&B singer that once demolished the Dallas Mavericks. Keep it straight.

I know that Broncosapien would kill to go on this trip, and he would keep it real to boot. And so I'm doing it for you, brother. You, the douchebag that makes me ashamed to root for this team (even more than their lousy record and crappy tackling). I will take this bullet for you.
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