Friday, February 29, 2008

And In Related News of Suck...

The Broncos agreed to a deal with John Lynch. Terms haven't been disclosed, but he was supposed to make 3 million this year. I don't like this for a variety of well-thought, sensible reasons.

Ok, that was a lie. These reasons only came to me in the last few seconds between chugs.

I just think the dude's time has come and gone. He's a huge liability in coverage, which has a negative ripple effect throughout the secondary. He can still tackle, but his borderline spears have started to catch up with his neck.

And don't get me started on the whole "leadership" thing. Players respond to play on the field, and that is fucking it. Our 2008 opponents should look forward to lots of Lynch at the line of scrimmage, because he's basically a linebacker at this point.

A slow linebacker. A slow, oft-injured linebacker. A slow, oft-injured linebacker who supported this fool. Jee-zus.

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Cause it's Free, Free Agency

So we released Javon and Ian Gold. Fuck.

Not because I am gonna miss either one of those guys, one a tiny-brained malcontent and the other maybe the worst starting linebacker in the league, but because I was hoping against hope that some dumbass GM would cough up a draft pick or two for JW. Even a fifth-rounder. I was, as usual, wrong. And no, the sting never lessens.

But I applied a thick salve of sports talk radio it and now I feel better--because a caller to Ancient Irv Brown's show actually suggested something really fucking smart: the Broncos should sign Lance Briggs.

And here's why: he played on the outside in Chicago because of Urlacher. He was a middle 'backer at Arizona, where he led the Wildcats in tackles for three years. Add him as the Mike in an aggressive, speed-and-penetration-based 4-3, with DJ moving back to his natural position on the outside. Draft a strong-side backer or give Webster a shot (which probably wouldn't work, but still) or both. He'll cost a lotta money, but what would you rather have? Niko Koutouvides?

I know. We're probably going to end up with Niko Koutouvides anyway. But dreams, friends, they are all we have.

While I'm speculating about big-dollar pickups that likely won't happen, how about Bernard Berrian? The guy can whip, plus he'd finally be playing with an NFL quarterback instead of a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome. He'd be the perfect deep threat complement to Brandon Marshall's ferocious mid-range game.

And he'd only cost, um, a whole fucking lot more than he's really worth. But such is the dance of free fucking agency, and if you don't like it, move to North Korea and buy a bunch of grey khaki jackets.

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Beer Thirty

I was going to start a new weekly feature today, but I ate a pretty heavy lunch. So fuck that. Maybe next Friday. Meanwhile, enjoy the same old crap as always...

The free agency signing period opened in the NFL today, and a few big-name dudes have new addresses. The Broncos let Zach Thomas go to Dallas, praise Allah, but for some reason retained Nate Jackson*. I've no idea what direction the team might head in with this free agent crop, but if I had my druthers this would be my shopping list:

1. Gibril Wilson--safety, NY Giants. The only big-ticket item on the list, Wilson puts a playmaker in centerfield. He can help or replace John Lynch and soften the losses of Hamza Abdullah and Nick Ferguson. With Madieu Williams already signed by the Vikings, Wilson is the only top-flight safety left on the market.

2. Boss Bailey--LB, Detroit. I know Boss has been a bust thus far. But put him on the same defense as his brother Champ and he could rebound nicely. If not, he could at least improve the special teams. Other inside backers I like are Landon Johnson and Dan Morgan (pending a physical). Special-teams types that could help include Mark Simoneau and Brendon Ayanbedejo.

3. Jake Scott--OG, Colts. I actually prefer Tennessee's Jacob Bell due to the fact that he's younger and more versatile, but if I can nab a starter from Peyton's line I'll do it every time. Also desirable: Pork Chop Womack, just because his name is Pork Chop. The tackle crop is very, very week (George Foster is actually one of the better options, if you can believe that shit). Getting bookends this year will be accomplished strictly through the draft via trade.

4. Marion Barber--RB, Cowboys. It ain't happening, but can you imagine? See also, Michael Turner and Billy Volek.

5. Rob Bironas--K, Titans. It's time. Anyone the Broncos sign or draft will come at a cost savings to Elam, with little neglibile change in performance.

*Note: No disrespect to Nate, he's solid. But I hope the signing period gives Denver a bit more punch.

Update: Simoneau re-signed with the Saints. What a dick.
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Not Everything In Kansas City Is Horrible

Cheer up, Kansas City. Just because your baseball team is allegedly getting demoted to the JV and signing Satan (and Sosa!), and your football team has lost the greatest receiver ever, and your brand-new arena doesn't have a tenant, that doesn't mean we need to stick our collective heads in an oven. At least your newspaper is pretty good.

That's right, kids, that trashy tabloid The Star won a bunch of sportswriting awards. Even if the always excellent Posnanski and the sometimes poignant Fatlock got lumped in the same category with the consistently dreadful Bob Kravitz--thus devaluing the award like the American dollar against the Euro.

So just remember, when you wake up every day and read that your team lost, you're at least reading a superbly well-written slab of journalism. It's hard to put lipstick on a pig, but you've got some lipstick-wielding Picasso-like motherfuckers out there. Congrats. Now if only a majority of your citizenry could read...

/made you look
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Municipal Bonds Stadium

It's a pet peeve of mine when people whine about the economic disparity in baseball as an excuse as to why one particular team sucks. Is the system fair? Of course not. Do teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and yes, Red Sox have big advantages when it comes to constructing a roster? Absolutely. But low-revenue teams can still compete if they're smart, resourceful and take a few chances.

This is why the Kansas City Royals should sign Barry Bonds.

This post will get two responses in the Comments. One will be that folks are unaware Kansas City still had pro sports teams. That's very funny. The other will be Royals fans howling that they'd never want an asshole bum cheater like Bonds on their team. That's very dumb.

Look at the Mitchell Report, and you'll see a litany of current and former Royals: Juan Gonzalez, Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, Paul Byrd, and your shiny new free agent acquisition Jose Guillen. Your team has been as dirty as any other in the Steroid Era (and well before, actually), so what's the harm of adding a bat that can help the club and sell a few tickets?

Barry needs to play in the AL, so we're not forced to watch him gimp around left field anymore. It's best that he go to a noncontender, as his presence would create a huge circus on a team that was actually covered by the press. And the fact is that he can still play--if he can stay healthy (again, here's where the DH thing is big) he's a lock for 35 jacks and an OPS over 1.

Best of all, Kansas City, Barry's pariah status is what actually makes him attainable. If he weren't such a prick and under indictment, he'd already have a job. But that lack of a job market allows you to sign him for a very reasonable deal, far south of $10 million. Peanuts. He'll get his 3000th hit in your uniform and give Joe Posnanski about ten years worth of material. Win-win.

Now the only team I've heard even remotely connected to interest in Barry is Tampa, for all of the same reasons. On the radio the other day, Orestes Destrade dropped KC into that discussion. It makes a ton of sense, which is precisely why it will surely never happen.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pittsburgh, Where Old People Die And Hollywood Looks For Inbreeding

The news just emerged that Myron Cope has just received his credentials for the Great Press Box In The Sky. Cope was the gravel-voiced radio announcer for Steelers games since they were the Cleveland Steamers of the old Confederalist Foot Ball Conference back in 1821. Every Midwestern team has a Myron Cope, in Kansas City his name is Bill Grigsby. People from Pittsburgh love Myron Cope, so they are sad today. The rest of us know that people from Pittsburgh have sex with their own kids, so who gives a shit if old Myron kicked the bucket? Fuck Pittsburgh.

Well, it turns out that Myron Cope also invented the Terrible Towel, so he reserves a HoG obituary alongside the future deaths of Obama Osama Bin Laden and the guy who invented scrambled porn. At the 2005 AFC Championship game, I saw one Broncos fan try to set a Terrible Towel on fire, which would have been a good idea if he'd ignited the Towel's owner as well. I hate those things. And for all we know Myron Cope wrote that awful "Here We Go" polka song that burns in my brain. I think Myron Cope should advance straight to hell.

In happier Pittsburgh news, someone is filming a movie that deals with a bunch of inbred mountain people from West Fuckin Virgina. So where are the producers looking for inbred mountain people to populate the cast of the film? You got it. It says that "regular-looking children need not apply." I think you came to the right place. Here we go...

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Tradition Twednesday: Chiefs, Kennison Part Ways; or the HoG's "How to Fill Your Closet With Jerseys of Guys That Used to Play for Your Team"

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 isn't often that us HoGsters declare ourselves professionals at something. There is, however, the occasional bit of bliss where we rank amongst the top. Jersey collecting is one of those things.

Today, the Kansas City Star announced that wide receiver Eddie Kennison and the Kansas City Chiefs have ended their current relationship with one another. After the jump, check out cool sentences that start with phrases like "Gone are the days."

Yep. Gone are the days of worrying whether I, or my wife, might be battered inside the windsome depths of InvesCo Field, solely for the jerseys on our backs. In the past is an era where Broncos fans, umpteen cocktails into the morning, tell their tales of woe about how a guy named Eddie, "Quittison," if you will, up and walked out on his team.

The sun has set on yet another athlete that has crossed the House of Georges Mason-Dixon Line. At age 35, Kennison finds himself standing in that ol' NFL unemployment line, optimistic that he has several years of good football left in him. Though he missed much of last year due to injuries, there are some feats he accomplished in the red and gold that might make a few clubs take a long hard look at him.

Kennison is seventh in Chiefs history in receiving yardage (5,230) and eighth in receptions (321). He is one of two Chiefs receivers to have back-to-back seasons of more than 1,000 yards, joining Carlos Carson.

Nevertheless, my #87 will hang in the closet along with my Dante Hall, my Priest Holmes, my Trent Green, and yes, my Elvis Grbac. At least there's still an Inverted Vagina Symbol on the roster. For now. My colleagues boast a similar wardrobe. Seldom does a HoGster don an active jersey for multiple games, let alone seasons. Seldom indeed.

Update: This. Kicks. Ass. I don't think I've ever been so sad about a cut one minute and thrilled about some others the next. Goooooo, Herm! I think. Read more

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Colon Cleansing

This time of year always brings about a few baseball signings that leave a fan scratching his head. Every team has a few holes, so they'll pore over the scrap heap of free agents. Mostly clubs are looking for someone to push their prospect for a roster spot, or fill out a few innings in split-squad games. Rarely do these signings ever elicit more than a yawn from me.

Until the Red Sox signed Bartolo Colon.

I apologize, Spanish speakers, that the House of Georges does not have access to the little accent marks needed to differentiate this pitcher from the piece of human plumbing currently funneling shit toward your asshole. Bartolo deserves better. The guy won a Cy Young once, even if he had to carjack it from Johan Santana.

If you've never seen Bartolo pitch, you are missing one of the truly sublime pleasures of baseball. Follow me, dear reader, to the land of effective fatness.

Bartolo is not a physically imposing gentleman. He's short and he's wide, a human can of tuna. He wears his uniform like a burlap sack. His hair squirts out the side of his cap in permy curls, and combined with his round red nose he looks a bit like a circus clown.

Best of all, Bartolo sweats like Chris Berman after a Wild Turkey bender. His forehead starts to glisten just from the effort of putting on his spikes. His warmup tosses produce a fountain of perspiration. By the time the fans have nestled comfortably into their seats, the big man is dripping with moisture. And this is no mere sweat, it's a petroleum-based goo that forms a shiny glaze upon his visage.

Now I'm not saying the man doctors the baseball--cheating is wrong, kids, wrong! But Gaylord Perry would pay a thousand dollars an ounce for Bartolo Sweat. Some pitchers have a reputation for improving as a game matures. They loosen up, their fastball gets a little more jump, and opposing teams repeat a mantra that "We have to jump on him early." Bartolo similarly appreciates with more innings, but it's not because of a few more MPH on the gun. It's that beautiful, disgusting sweat.
Granted, Bartolo Colon has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball since he won that Cy Young Award. He went a combined 7-14 with a 5.91 ERA in '06 and '07, battling injuries to his back and whatever other body parts fat people abuse. He's most likely done, but a kid can dream.

Will he actually make the club? Probably not. Even though Curt Schilling is on the shelf until midsummer, the first three rotation spots are filled by Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield. Boston hopes that youngsters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz--he of the no-hitter in '07--will fill out the last two assignments. If that were to happen, if Lester and Buchholz look reliable this spring, then the fat man and his nonguaranteed contract take a walk.

But it's moves like this that display the forward-thinking competence of clubs like the Red Sox, and inadvertently highlight the boneheaded bunker mentality of clubs like the Colorado Rockies. I know, I've already ranted about my frustrations with Rockies management this winter, and I promise I'll do so again, perhaps even this week. But what in God's name would have been wrong with Colorado bringing this particular overweight icon to camp? You're still hoping for the kid pitchers to shine, just like Boston, but the difference is you don't have to count on them so much. If Jimenez and Morales are busts the Rockies have zero shot at the playoffs this season. If Lester and Buchholz falter, the Red Sox can summon a greasy savior to the hill. Hallelujah.

Update: Just got this from The Big Lead, and it will surely be everywhere in Blogstralia in a matter of seconds. Just as TBL points out, it is life-alteringly awesome. Can you imagine a team doing this today? What was it about the 1980s that led athletes to engage in cheesy videos like this and the Super Bowl Shuffle? One word: Cocaine.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Poring the Draft V. 5

All I've got right now is this sentence, about East Carolina running back Chris Johnson's warpspeed 4.24 40, courtesy of

"If Johnson can prove himself capable of understanding a pro playbook, the team that picks him may come up just like Johnson's teeth -- golden."

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All Herman All The Time

Here back about one year ago the guys that write on this site got together. We wanted to start a sports blog, but we had no idea what we'd focus on or anything. In the wake of the historic Colts-Bears Super Bowl and the complete lack of media attention on the race of the two head coaches (similar to the press' egregious oversight of the fact that Jerome Bettis is from Detroit), we thought about calling it the Black Coaches' Blog (or Bloachog for short). Instead you ended up with the House of Georges. Sorry.

While the Bloachog would have examined the black coach in minute and glorious detail, its true purpose would have been to chronicle the wisdom of Herman Edwards every single day. The man is like a father to me, a fountain of verbal kung fu that inspires me to better myself. I ask, actually demand that Bankmeister install Herman on our own little Mount Rushmore of icons on the right side of this page. And by the way, what ever happened to Bear Grylls?

Speaking of beefs I have with our site administrator, Banky did throw this post up over the weekend. Of course he did it while I was drunk and off duty, which is a pretty Jap move if you ask me. No disrespect to the Orientals.

While Bank did inform us that his Chiefs will select with the fifth pick in the upcoming draft, he withheld a key piece of comedic evidence from you the reader. Namely, the reaction of his head coach to the coin toss that gave KC the pick. Feel free to advance past the jump for the daily Hermanism...

After losing a coin toss and dropping to five, Herman tried to explain that five is better than three:

“I didn’t want a chance to flip,” Edwards said. “I wanted to be five. That was a good number for us. Five is good. I just felt all along we were going to be five. I thought Atlanta would win the coin toss.”
Of course you did, Herman. Just for good measure, here's another Hermanism, courtesy of Arrowhead Addict, concerning KC's free agency wish list:
"We might have champagne taste, but we’ve got beer money."
AA rightfully points out that the Chiefs are $20 million under the cap. That's a lot of beer.

We'll try and stay on top of the Herman beat, with no help from our correspondent in Kansas City.

Update: Since I was already mocking our Administrator and attempting to shame him into making site changes, I was about to coerce him into adding this link. Then I went to the site and looked at the counter. Jesus. When I first checked that place out it was around 1.4 million hits. That was two weeks ago. Last week it was at 2.2, today it's 3.4. White people really, really like that place. So check it out, but make sure you do so with the understanding that it's now way too popular and it's no longer edgy or cool.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Poring the Draft V. 4

So the Combine is a few days old, agate-worthy headlines about coaching changes and free agency movement are getting front page treatment and I spent most of today listening to Jamie Dukes. I had a hangover too. Never let anyone say this isn't fucking work.

What did I learn, besides the needs-recalled-every-few-months-or-so lesson about combining gin, whiskey, wine, cognac and bottles of Pabst? What great news is getting ready to summit the horizons of Broncos and/or Chefs fans? Why does Herm Edwards insist on rocking the Kangol? Is he really Kool Moe Dee? I wondered where that guy went. Anyway, less is more after the jump....

*As I mentioned previously, nearly every mock draft out there has Jake Long going to the Chefs at #5. While this would be a boon for the barbecue-stained masses on the plains, it would be bad news for anyone who liked seeing Brodie Croyle protected by that horrible thing they trotted out there last year, i.e. me. So it makes me smile to imagine Long being grabbed by, say, Atlanta at #3, or even the Dolphins (assuming they don't trade down) with Pick Numerical Unero. Then they would have a clear path to draft, say, another kicker.

Sure, that probably won't happen. But as the Irish Oscar winner who got to come back onstage after being cut off early by the music--and when has that ever happened before?--said: keep dreaming or don't give up or something.

*Those same mocks are nearly as unanimous in suggesting that the Broncos will take either Ryan Clady (offensive tackle from Boise State) or Chris Williams (offensive tackle from Vanderbilt). I'd like to hear what Cutler, after that vicious beating he supposedly took behind the, uhm, Vandy offensive line, thinks about the prospect of his current team drafting one of the guys who might have shortened his life by three years.

Clady, I'm a little more high on. He's massive, he's a known commodity and he pass-blocked a fucking ton up there in Idaho. He evidently hurt himself doing the bench press today, though, so that ain't good. In theory, I wholly endorse him as a selection.

Problem is, it's not going to happen. Elite left tackle types don't last until pick #12. There's no way they trade up with as many needs as they have, so it's sit tight and scrap off whatever's left...or trade down, which I'll explore more thoroughly in upcoming days.

*In the course of these online peregrinations, maybe my favorite draft site is the Great Blue North Draft Report, a wacky pile of run-on sentences made by some Canadian named Colin Lindsay. It's frequently updated, it's huge, it's free--and they even cover the CFL. Golden.

Also: Javon Walker must pack his VitaminWater and his bloodstained sweatshirt and hie himself southwards, preferably for a 3d and a 5th rounder (assuming the Bucs, the team everyone has mentioned has interest, even have those picks--I'm lazy tonight, so go fuck yourself, Nancy Drew). And most definitely *not* in exchange for anyone old and largely worthless like Shaun motherscratchin' Rogers.

It's a thing with Shanahan: every time some underachieving douche has a good game against us, he's automatically a potential trade target. I can't believe this noise I'm hearing about the possibility of us picking up that portable Cinnabon franchise. Just thinking about it is bringin' up last night's whiskey...mixed with Fatburger. Oog. Be right back...

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I'm not real sure why or when boobs became unsafe for work, but apparently they did. Nevertheless, this boob-filled clip is both cultural and educational. Tell that to your boss. - Watch more free videos

(courtesy of Gorilla Mask Read more

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Numero Cinco It Is

Five? Yeah. I'll take it. It's a mild dose of healing after the numbers four and 12 have hung out together for the last six weeks. Bring it, even.

And this guy? Better believe I'll take him, too. Let's get some fresh meast up in this joint, and not waste time with names like Faneca. Please.

If this place

is going to be under construction for the next season and-a-half, let's make the first bit of broken ground be re-tooling that old-ass O-Line.

That is all. I'll sit by hungrily and await more from our Combine/Draft/Scotch expert Cecil. Read more

Friday, February 22, 2008

Poring the Draft, V. 3

Boy. I've only just begun my Draftery, and already ESPN's flying monkeys are rippin' me off. From my fingers to Bristol's...uh, never mind.

Step back. The kid is hot. Tomorrow they'll run my last post in its entirety next to a picture of a 14" dong. And here is the rest of it. Read more

Poring the Draft, V. 2

So ESPN's Hashmarks bloggers, Matt Mosley and Mike Sando, are live-blogging the combine. As per the usual, their posts are more in-jokes than actual football analysis or reporting.

Mosley, in addition to being a shameless Cowboys homer, likes to pal around with athletes. That's great if you're a hooker and you want Osi Umenyiora to pay you to serve as his Port-a-John, but kinda suspect for a journalist. Sando is better, but there isn't as much of him, and Mosley seems to be rubbing off; so all in all the whole affair becomes a thousand posts about nothing, like a footballian Seinfeld episode.

Still, there's always something for a trembling draft junkie like myself to uncover within the storm of bullshit about where Dom Capers ate dinner last night. Let's look at what, exactly, that is.

* Colt Brennan, in addition to having some of the worst hair in the history of Sport, sounds like a fucking doucheclock. Evidently, his in-person interviews and press conference became a forum for him to bitch about the unfairness of life, specifically the unfairness of being arrested for sexual assault and kicked out of the University of Colorado. Boo. Fucking. Hoo.

(Now, don't get me started on CU. I can't stand that fucking school, but I have multiple siblings who went there and can't hate Dan Hawkins the way I did Gary Barnett, so I'm currently engaged in a state of uneasy emotional detente. There will be no gratuitous brickbats...yet. Not until the Rams lose by 45 in Fairchild's debut. Then the gloves, they will be discarded. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.)

Colt, the people who kicked you out had larger issues than worrying about some rich Cali kid's feelings. You landed on your feet in fucking Hawaii, of all places, and became a folk hero by beating the dogslobber out of Div. II teams. You probably got more Island 'tang than a Samoan astronaut. You smoked the finest tweeds, never had to get tackled by anyone weighing more than 170 pounds and broke about 23 NCAA records. So quit your goddamn whining. Life isn't fair, you're right, but it sure seemed to work out OK for you, huh? Now get busy falling off the board completely and preparing for life in the Arena League.

* Brian Brohm, who said he won't throw in Indy, becomes yet another QB who thinks NFL personnel guys will be more impressed by a good showing in controlled conditions than by gutting it out in an unfamiliar one.

I've heard all the reasons pro-, and I think they're all bullshit. Sure, most of the rest of the top picks will skip workouts, but what does Glenn Dorsey have to prove? Quarterbacks have to be able to tuck that thing into their sock. They have to show their mettle in less-than-ideal conditions. No one wants to give a big signing bonus to the next David Carr.

So get your NFL-issued shorts on and work out with the receivers at the combine, kid--no one cares if you're good in a bubble. Jay Cutler worked out at Indy; the fact that he did was at least partially responsible for pushing him all the way up to No. 11. Right now, Brohm is a second-rounder at best, and no matter how great he looks in a vacuum-sealed workout at Louisville, refusing to throw in front of every GM in the league is a massive mistake. that, it's almost like I give a shit about Brian Brohm. Allow me to re-phrase: go fuck yourself, Brohm. Refuse to take part in every drill, drop out of the draft, move to Alabama and open a Gas 'N' Sip.

* Everyone, and by that I mean a few people, seems to love Jonathan Stewart of Oregon. I hear speculation that he'll run a low 4.4, which seems suspect, but if he does he's probably the second back off the board (which he might be anyway, but still). Would I love Denver to grab a kid like this? Un-fucking-doubtedly. He's got power, he played against good competition and he's built the way an NFL starter should be.

But they won't, because drafting a back not named Adrian Peterson or Darren McFadden in the first round is a bad idea. And because they can grab someone else later. Which you'll get to read about in my upcoming mock. Which will be awesome, and which will make you piss yourself like Isaac Hilton (thanks to the Silv for that one.)
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Rumor Has It...

Our high journalistic standards prohibit us from spreading blatantly false Intertubes rumors. Did I say "prohibit?" I meant "require."

Straight from that trashy tabloid The Star, here's a juicy one: the Kansas City Royals are headed to the National League. Or perhaps not. The cold hard truth (or perhaps more made-up nonsense) after the jump...

As a guy who watches both kinds of baseball (country AND Wes--I mean AL and NL) I can say this with authority: Kansas City, you want this switch. You need this switch. In the National League, you'll cease being the worst team everyone has ever seen. On the Senior Circuit, you'll merely be awful. But no more awful than, say, the San Francisco Giants. Or the Washington Nationals. You'll be just another D student in the NL as opposed to the helmeted, wheelchair-bound special needs kid in the AL.

But why stop there, KC? You could be positively respectable in the Pacific Coast League, and downright dominant in Double-A. But to truly achieve the magnificent success you once enjoyed* I suggest this final destination. Play ball!
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Poring the Draft, V. 1

The combine started today. Pudgy functionaries measuring college-age kids in their underwear. Inordinate attention paid to things like "wingspan" and "explosiveness" and "character." The start of the annual two-month window wherein the phrase clears trash well means something other than what it really does. Christ, I love this time of year.

Anyway, there's more coming, but I'd just like to address a few salient points:

*, which I once defended as if it rescued me from a potentially tragic canoe accident, has posted what has to be the most ridiculous mock draft--and yes, I'm aware of this sentence's inherent irony, so go on and chew a bagful of dicks--in the history of my attention span. Jordon Dizon going in the first round? Really? Mike Florio should share his drugs. Except that I worry they make you short.

*Jake Long is, in the mind of this amateur draft analyst who spent no more time working to back his opinion than you did stroking it in the shower this a.m., the safest pick in the draft. He supposedly gave up only two sacks in his career, which I'm almost sure is a lie (Mike McShay and his shiny teeth say Vernon Gholston beat him for three in the OSU game this year), but every lie has a soul of truth, and the guy is a freaking stud. Also supposedly only committed two penalties, which also sounds like a lie. But he definitely buried Florida's supposedly superior athletes in Michigan's bowl game and looks like Tony Mandarich's less-acnified cousin without the homoerotic SI cover (yet). A potential 10-year starter, and by all that ain't exactly holy if the Chefs won't fucking draft him. God. Damn. It

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Tee-Shuhts! Getcha' Tee-Shuhts, Hee-uh!

Okay. I have no idea why this spectacle of a photo of Isabeli Fontana pops up in a "Hank Stram" Google image search,

but I'm pretty much fine with it.

Anyway, after many failed efforts to get the official House of Georges t-shirt ball rolling,

we've finally got an order in the works. As part of our first birthday celebration, we'll be offering our patented Hank Stram/"Don't Hate...Matriculate" tees for the steal of a price of twelve American dollars (plus shipping and handling). They'll be in glorious Chiefs red, with an image and lettering similar to this:

but we might go with this fine version:

I know. Exciting stuff. Ooo. Yeah. They'll also be available in sizes ranging from small to XXL. So gather the family around the dinner table, get your numbers down and shoot 'em to us in an e-mail (link at the bottom of the page).
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More Reasons to Love Monica Bellucci

As the House of Georges approaches its one-year anniversary -- it's officially March 16 for those of you that don't have the calendar marked/gifts picked out --, we've found ourselves waxing a bit nostalgic. This morning, as I was making my usual rounds of the Internets, I stumbled upon this token from the Spank Bank over at Gorilla Mask. Those guys rock.

Seeing the gallery, which I highly recommend, reminded me of the variety of content we've had here on the HoG over the course of 12 months in existence. One feature in particular -- always a win/win with "readers" -- is solely attributable to that wily veteran, Old No. 7. And we titled it...

..."We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday," or "We Are The Chicks of Hotness," or the "WATCH," whatever you want to call it.

Anyhoo, some time ago, before the third leg of the Iron Triangle was wed, and still resided in a swank bachelor pad, we put together this installment of the WATCH. And it was fun. And so are these NSFWish links:

Cheers. Oh, and, uh...if you can't think of anything to get us for our birthday, just e-mail us at the bottom of the site to make arrangements for cash via PayPal. We don't mind currency. Honestly. We don't.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Video Game Update

It's quite possible that I am the only man under 40 that does not play video games. That's clearly going to change.

Thanks to basketbawful (via Deadspin) for this one. As a side note, this is my first-ever successful posting of a video clip. The final frontier of blogging has been penetrated, I now have super powers of awesome. Read more

Step Away From The Linebacker

The pattern is familiar. A perennial Pro Bowl player is cut for salary cap reasons. The casual fans of his old team are outraged, mostly because they're stuck with his replica jersey. The casual fans of other teams salivate, mostly because they think they can scoop up a star on the cheap. The "other team," more often than not recently, has been the Denver Broncos.

This strategy did not work with Simeon Rice. Nor did it work with Jerry Rice. Sam Adams was a fat bust as well. We can argue all day about John Lynch. The casual fan loves Lynch because he looks like them, he's a good guy who doesn't get arrested, and he keeps going to Pro Bowls. I counter with the fact that he's old and slow and makes it to Honolulu solely on rep.

Regardless, yet another old, slow, high-profile defender has been unleashed by a Florida franchise. The Dolphins purged themselves of Zach Thomas' hefty compensation last week, and now he's sniffing around for work. Coincidentally, the Broncos could use a legitimate middle linebacker--the loss of Al Wilson and D.J. Williams' subsequent shift inside was not a smashing success last season. It would be very comfortable for Denver to go after Thomas, give him too much money, and sell a bunch of jerseys to white dudes from Longmont. I'm here to say that would be a bad idea.

Let the Patriots get Zach Thomas. They have an appetite for ancient linebackers, and it results in undefeated seasons lots of regular-season wins. Denver needs young, cheap, athletic players that will run through a brick wall.

On that note, the House of Georges will soon provide you with a bevy of pre-draft knowledge you can use to impress your friends and coworkers. Our man Cecil is the biggest draftnik I've ever met, and I'm sure he's furiously researching every overpriced draft mag he can convince his wife to let him buy. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in my highly uneducated opinion, I see three big areas of need for these Broncos (although that need of badassery is fairly universal across all positions). Safety and O-line are of utmost import, while the aforementioned MLB spot is pretty big as well.

Unfortuneately, this doesn't seem to be a big-time draft at two of those positions. Most of the big-time middle 'backers, like James Lauranitis and Rey Maualuga, stayed in school for their senior seasons. And most of the top-end DBS are corners, such as wicked Jayhawk Aqib Talib, who is a devoted Muslim who doesn't stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Or at least that's what I read in an anonymous e-mail.

If you're to believe the four-letter network, the draft's top safety is Miami's Kenny Phillips. Check out this ranking (Insider required) which states that Phillips is 6-foot-1 and 302 pounds and runs a 4.4 forty. It's a typo, obviously, but I think such a safety would be worthy of a first-round pick.

It seems obvious that the best value in Round One for the Broncos is at offensive tackle, but so long as they get a murderous human wrecking ball I could care less where he plays. Use the lower rounds for positions of need and egghead determinations of value. I want a monster right off the bat.
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Musings From Roy F. Almania: "A Little Borrowed, A Little Old, But Mostly 'New' and 'Blue' With a Hearty Side of 'Tradition'"

(Editor's Note: In one of our numerous "off-season" conferences, the HoG scrutinized the features run in 2007, and debated which of those would grace our pages again in 2008. The semi-periodic postings offered by my cousin Roy regarding his beloved Kansas City baseball team somehow made the cut, so we'll hear from him on occasion as the Royals put a facelift on their club and their stadium simultaneously.)

What up, bitches? I'll tell you what. Dayton Moore's ingenious efforts to win. That's what. With April just around the corner, the man in charge has done good. Nabbing the skipper of them champion Nippon Ham Fighters kicked my winter off with a bang. And it's only gotten better.

Sweeners, much as I love the kid, is gone. Royals future HOFer for sure; no longer a need for him on the payroll, though. Angel Berroa, much as I hate still having to type that name, currently occupies no roster spot. He did get an invite to Surprise, but hopefully he won't be coming home with the boys. Teahen and Greinke had their papers re-upped for another year, and Billy Butler looks to nab either the DH spot, or make a go of it at first base. The Royals have extended their efforts to make room for what I like to call the Mitch Maier Project, and I see good things coming of it. And speaking of good things, the Alex Gordon got his old college number, swiped it even, from the aforementioned worthless Berroa.

David DeJesus and Mark Grudzielanek are back, as is Tony Pena, Jr, and Mr. John Buck. Joey Gathright will make another stab at pretending to be a professional ball player, while Shane Costa, Ross Gload and Esteban German fight to keep spots on the roster.

On the mound, Mexican closing phenom Joakim Soria will kick of the campaign as the guy to take us home in the ninth, only this year he'll likely have the wily Yasuhiko Yabuta as a setup man. If not, Soria's paisano Joel Peralta will fit the bill. Other news of Royal Japanese interest would be the training camp invite thrown the way of Hideo Nomo. The Royals have also asked Mike Maroth to make an appearance, filling what was already a varied bullpen, to say the least.

In the rotation, Gil Meche promises to be numero uno for the boys in blue again. He'll lead it off and be followed by guys like multiple 2007 AL Pitcher of the Month winner Brian Bannister, late 2007 acquistion Kyle Davies -- who, I might add, Moore got from Atlanta in exchange for Octavio Dotel, a stellar closer that wound up back in the AL Central playing for that loon Ozzie --, Greinke, Jorge de la Rosa, (thank Christ we may've seen the last of Odalis Perez), perhaps young prospect Luke Hochevar, maybe even Brett Tomko.

The outfield, however, promises a better trio than Kansas City has seen since the Beltran days. With DeJesus and Teahen all but locked in, the third leg of that iron triangle will feature Senor Jose Guillen. And I, for one, am flippin' pumped about it. His 23 jacks and near-100 RsBI last year make for one impressive outfield.

With all that excitement, I'm 'bout due for a Schlitz. Or seven. Like I mentioned last year on these HoGs, though, look for the 'New' to translate to a .500 season; the Tradition will unveil itself as a 2009 AL Central championship.
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Saturday, February 16, 2008


Pitchers and catchers reported to sites across Florida and Arizona this week, but it was a gang of purple-clad chaw-spitters in Tucson that drew particular attention here in HoG Country. That's right, gang, the defending National League champs, your Colorado Rockies, are back in business.

Management would have you believe that this season will serve as an extension of last year's magical run to the Fall Classic, and have operators standing by at the team's ticket windows and gift shops to prove it. But that's the problem with this franchise: the appearance of success has always mattered much more than actual on-field accomplishment.

Make no mistake, these young Rockies are stocked with quality ballplayers, and with a healthy dose of luck they could find themselves right back in the thick of the NL playoff hunt. But winning baseball is played in front offices just as frequently as it is between the white lines, and as usual this winter saw the Colorado suits standing still while the rest of baseball got to work.

Division rival and vanquished NLCS foe Arizona went and got Dan Haren, giving the D'Bags yet another potent ace to pair with Brandon Webb. The underachieveing Mets acquired Johan Santana, merely the best pitcher in the American League, who may post the first negative ERA ever while toiling on the senior circuit. Houston acquired Miguel Tejada. The Cubs and the Dodgers followed the lead of the World Champion Red Sox and sought help in Japan. Welcome to the Fukodome, Colorado. What improvements can you show your fan base?

Uh, that would be none. In fact, the talent flow is going in the opposite direction with the defection of free agent dynamo Kazuo "Sex" Matsui. The Rox will send the same rotation into 2009 as the one that got swept by Boston in October. The bullpen will be virtually the same, minus the swap of LaTroy Hawkins and Luis Vizcaino with the (suckered) Yankees. And expect to see a nearly identical batting lineup and fielding alignment as last year, once the situation at second base clears up (Marcus Giles and Clint Barmes lead an uninspiring field).

What chaps my hide is that zero effort went into making this team a powerhouse for the forseeable future. The pieces are there, but it would take a smart GM-owner combo to pull the trigger. Dan O'Dowd and (particulalrly) Charlie Monfort are not that combo. When Haren, Santana and Erik Bedard were available, they stood pat. When the Tigers--who actually want to, you know, go back to the World Series sometime soon--took a shot with Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, O'Dowd and Monfort sat on their collective ass. There are still quality improvements, such as Oakland's Joe Blanton, available for the right price, but the Rocky brass is standing pat.

The simple fact is that this team reacts to market forces rather than dictating them. Smart GMs, like Billy Beane of the A's and Theo Epstein of the Red Sox, operate several years in the future. If Beane had Todd Helton's monster salary on his roster he would find a deal (unlike O'Dowd and Monfort, who botched a Helton deal with greed last spring). If Epstein ran the Rockies and saw Scott Boras client Matt Holliday two years from a free agent contract Colorado could never afford, he'd find a deal (ideally for a young pitcher like Bedard or Haren). It ain't rocket surgery.

But O'Dowd and Monfort carry the scars of past megacontracts and use them as justificiation for perpetual cold feet. Because Helton peaked shortly after his monster deal, they will piss away Holliday and blame Boras. Because Mike Hampton and Denny "Shotgun Oral" Neagle went to shit, they will never even try to go after a singular talent such as Santana. Hell the Padres even had the foresight to spend a mil on Mark Prior--a high-risk investment to be sure, but what if he comes back healthy one of these years?

Maybe lightning will strike twice. Maybe Ubaldo Jimenez will master the strike zone this year and give Colorado the ace they didn't trade for. Maybe Franklin Morales will become a Bedard clone at one-tenth the price. Maybe they'll find another Josh Fogg type on the scrap head that can bag a few cheap wins and consume some important innings. And maybe that LoDo magic can linger for another full season instead of drifting into last fall's booze-filled memories. Maybe.

But it sure seems like the Rockies missed an opportunity to build a baseball force in a football town.
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Just When You Thought You Couldn't Get Enough...More Tony Gonzalez

The House of Georges would like to tip our hat to gracious reader Carrie who was kind enough to e-mail us and notify us of this interview from Enjoy!

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A Lil' HVD from the HOG; or, Make Like Burger King and Have It Your Way

It's true. All of our blogtastic colleagues out there in the spheres are offering their take on this oft-treasured holiday. We're no different. Better? Sure. Different? Jury's still out. Nevertheless, the collegiate hoops, the hockey, the Combine preparations, the inquistions of HGH injections in the ass...they all come to a stop on good ol' February 14.

Why? We're beyond questions. We simply nod and offer our own HoG-riffic perspective on the goings on of the day that honors Saint Valentine. Still curious? Click that handy link for a gander.

In our completely non-stereotypical view, we assume most of our beloved readership spent the evening in a fashion that resembled something similar to this:

Naturally, if things go well, that leads to a little of this:

But perhaps lady luck (Editor's Note: Pun totally intended) had something else in store and it was another evening filled with grain alcohol and that nephew that can't get enough tickling, such as:

Not to worry. If that's the case, remember that some fellas are out there taking one for the team. Like the dude that lands this keeper:

And of course, that guy's got an edge over the humble gent that mounts this heart-shaped bundle of love:

Either way, tomorrow's a new day, and we're once again, an afternoon closer to Opening Day, the draft, and all of those other things that keep our non-Valentine hearts a-beat. Cheers, gents!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Just A Bill

Well, kids, now that the writers' strike is over I suppose it's time to get back to work at this here HoG farm. Now I'm not a union member per se, but I don't cross picket lines.

So Bankmeister, you can quit bugging me and harassing my family. Just because you are a slave to the cold, hard steel of commerce and have no respect for the solidarity of my brethren doesn't mean you can insult me like that. I have feelings and emotions and...hey look the Chiefs went 4-12!

We are, of course, in the doldrums of the sports calendar. We could pay attention to college hoops, but then again we could take sandpaper to our nuts. They both kind of suck. The only event that is even remotely compelling is the presidential race, but this is not a political blog. Here we talk sports, not government, except on those rare occasions when the two collide.

The other day I visited a little Colorado town called Manassa. It's kind of out of the way, and while I've been within 40 miles of the place dozen of times, I've never actually made the final trek. On Monday, though, my travels took me to within a stone's throw, and I had to check it out.

Manassa is tiny, one of the smallest towns you'll ever see. But a world heavyweight champion (Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler) was born there, and two current U.S. Congressman (Senator Ken Salazar and Representative John Salazar) grew up there. When Cecil, Bank and I were matriculating at The Fort Lewis College we used to drink at a bar that once hosted a Dempsey fight. His mural was on the wall outside, splattered with Cecil's chunks (kid can't hold his whisky). Years later, I got plowed at that same bar with a staffer on Ken Salazar's campaign, all while conducting the world's most awful fantasy basketball draft via cell phone. I think I picked Mike Dunleavy Jr. in the second round.

Anyway, the mashing together of Manassa's sports history and political history makes no sense, it's just a coincidence. Just like Rocket's appearance on Capitol Hill makes no sense. It made everyone look like a moron. I know nothing about the law, but I know more about Rocket's case and certainly more about Rocket than these doofus congressmen. Half of them were there to fellate him, and the other half were there just to look tough on TV. On the fellating and looking-tough fronts, it reminded me of this show.

I didn't watch the hearings, but this one element did stick out: If you are to believe Rocket, his best friend, personal trainer and wife were all injecting each other with illegal performance enhancing drugs. They've all admitted it. They shot up in Rocket's house and locker room. He claims that he wasn't there, that he never saw it happen, and that he's clean. The trainer injected him with legal vitamins, and everyone else with dope, but Rocket is clean. And these congressmen sat there and ingested this crap, never calling him on his blatant bullshit.

If you're going to create this circus, and go through the pretense of putting a blatant drug abuser under oath, you may want to ask him some questions that will pinpoint his arrogant deceitfulness. I'm no lawyer, but I watch an episode of Magnum P.I. last night. Now that was a moustache you could set a watch to.

And here, for no reason whatsoever, is a chick getting ready to jam two balls in one hole. It is Wednesday, after all. Enjoy!

Update: I forgot to mention this, but the funniest part of this whole deal has been the shit with Rocket's wife. She let McNamee shoot her up just before her SI bikini shoot, which resulted in the centerpiece photo of my last post before I went on strike. So what I'm saying is, I inadvertently broke that story. Send any Pulitzers to HoG World Headquarters, Kansas City MO.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Evening Postage

In news generally unrelated, I have no idea who the favorites are going into the NCAA tournament outside of the obvious, i.e. Memphis, Kansas, etc. But I'd like to make a small plea to the selection committee on the off shot that one of 'em stumbled upon this site searching for naked pictures of Ron Borges: please, please give us Oral.

If only because when the crawl goes by it reads "Oral Rob." Man, that never stops being funny. And so true in Rob's case.
And here is the rest of it. Read more

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Re-Open the Debate of Two

Occasional reader The Lone Reader has long been on the thoroughly sweaty jock of the Human Sponsorship Reel, aka LeBron James. No problem with that--James is a hell of a player, maybe the best in the league since Jordan. But along the way he feels it somehow necessary to debase the Nuggets, specifically Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson. Who knows why. My guess is that Canada slowly makes you crazy.

I've gently taken his stupid fucking opinion to task over the last year as something of a public service. After all, no one else on this board is gonna do it. So I'd just like to say, as of right now, the Nuggets are thumping King James and his cast of nobody by 20. Nothing to read from that--just up by 20. That's all.
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It's Actually OK if You Call It a Comeback, We Don't Mind

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's been a while in between posts. But I have a good excuse--my favorite team blew into a thousand stinking pieces of suck and I've spent the last two months drinking rye whiskey and stealing my neighbors' mail.

Yet there comes a time when the distillate of American ingenuity is no longer enough. There comes a moment when even the most ardent sports fan has to climb out of bed, change the dressings and nut up for a long off-season of...uh, well, more sports.

There's no fucking offseason, you gang of slack-jawed keyboard apes. The NFL scouting combine starts in 10 days. Basketball is already here, pro and not-quite-as-pro. Pitchers and catchers will soon return to salve our souls, as well as their own inner thighs with undetectable genetic steroidal creams, in an annual ritual that may not have lasted for aeons, but long enough that it started before I was born and that's all that matters, because nothing happened before then anyway.

There will be golf for the guys that own tasseled loafers. There will be the Draft itself, maybe the greatest single weekend on the sporting calendar (and you'll want to shoot a wax dart at the monitor once you see my take-no-goddamn-prisoners preview, coming as soon as I score some opium and the entire second season of Sledge Hammer on DVD) plus a bunch of other shit that I forgot about but couldn't be that important.

Oh, yeah, hockey too. Right.
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Sunday, Bloody Sunday

So, the ol' Pro Bowl kicks off in just a couple of hours, and boy, what a snoozefest it is guaranteed to be.

While there's no mistaking the misery that was the 2007 campaign for both Broncos and Chiefs fans, there is a small glimmer of glee in the mirky memories of this season. First, there was Jared Allen, who all but dominated the category of defensive end play this year. And, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl, on a 14-game season I might add.

That's pretty impressive. Oh, and since we took such an in-depth look at HBO's/NFL Films' "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs" last summer, I've got to take this opportunity to mention two things:

1) (Editor's Note: This one stings. Bad.) Ol' Number 7 (Note: He may as well switch to the moniker of Dead Number 7, since no one's really sure if he's still alive) was right when he stated that the two previous teams to be featured on "Hard Knocks" proceeded to have miserable seasons afterwards; he prognosticated the same might be true for the '07 Chiefs, and, well, guh...

2) Having seen Jared Allen play some Guitar Hero on "Hard Knocks" and having now played the game myself a time or two, I'm pretty confident I would kick his ass at it. What would also kick ass is that I would be drinking beers not called O'Doul's while doing so.

Anyhoo, click the link below to catch more Pro Bowl tidbits.

Before moving on, let's get the sponsorship of this afternoon's contest out of the way. This year's Pro Bowl is in fact brought to you by the letters 'T,' 'G,' and by the number '9'. Mmm-hmm. That's right. Nine. As in "neun," "neuf," "nueve," or in English, one more than eight. Your letters stand for Tony and Gonzalez, who, by the by, is making his ninth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. And that, for the record is one more than a certain non-eloquent, non-anunciative ESPN sportscaster that may or may not have played for the Broncos. I'm pretty sure we're running out of categories in which Gonzalez passes Sharpe, cementing the reality of his superiority as the greatest tight end of all time.

Ah, but wait. My predictable colleagues will say that Mr. Sharpe's lead in the "Super Bowl Ring" category tilts the competition. Pay no attention to that orange-tainted haze steaming from their snouts.

Nevertheless, being named to Pro Bowls is what's important. The actual contest is nothing more than a goofy, good-ol'-boy fest.

Thus, we'll run through some things that are more interesting than devoting three hours on the couch to watching this match:

1)This book, if you can get your hands on it, is a hell of a read. I highly recommend it.

2)Sleeping, ever an HoG-favorite pastime, gets the nod over watching the Pro Bowl.

3)Knockin' out the ol' laundry's always productive. Hey -- if you're lucky, you might able to apply some of the knowledge learned in suggestion 1 and/or tackle suggestion 2.

4)Getting drunk's always a bona-fide substitute for watching football while getting drunk. Just cut out the boring football!

5)Or hey, it's been a long week. You could use a soak in the jacuzzi? Don't have one? I'm sure the neighbors won't mind sharing theirs. Hop in!

I suppose, if worse came to worst, and you had absolutely nothing else to do, you could watch the damn game. Just don't enjoy it, eh?
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Saturday, February 2, 2008

DT, HOF, HFCD, and Other Not-So-Annoying Acronyms

Yep. It's NFL Hall of Fame time again, and former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas has made the finals. Check out this interesting campaing piece over at Arrowhead Addict for the scoop on DT stats, HOF nominations, etc.

The maestro over at Arrowhead Pride has put together a nice little campaign of his own. Check out this diary entry from yesterday and this more all encompassing NFL news/HOF campaing update from today.

Or, just go to DT's website itself. It's pretty rad. If time is of the essence however, feel free to simply check out some quotes from a few gunslingers that faced DT. They're after the jump and well worth it.

San Francisco’s Steve Young

Young faced the Chiefs in two memorable games. The first was in 1994 when San Francisco visited the Chiefs and quarterback Joe Montana, who had been acquired in a trade with the 49ers the year before.

Thomas sacked Young three times, once for a safety, in a 24-17 Chiefs victory.

“I remember leaving quite a bit of body tissue on that field,” Young says now. “There was nothing easy about that ballgame. That sack in the end zone was probably the difference in many ways. When I saw the score of that game recently, I thought it seemed like it was more of a lopsided game than that.”

The lopsided game came in 1997 when the Chiefs smashed San Francisco’s 11-game winning streak with a 44-9 victory. Thomas had one sack of Young in that game.

“Derrick was one of those guys who had tremendous anticipation (of the snap),” Young said. “I ran into the same problem with Rickey Jackson and Pat Swilling in New Orleans or earlier in my career with Lawrence Taylor in New York. You feel a little bit exposed. Derrick had tremendous speed, and he took advantage … and you had to roll away from him. He was faster than anybody who tried to block him.”

Young, like most quarterbacks, feared Thomas’ ability to strip the football while making the sack. Thomas forced 45 fumbles during his career and recovered 19, returning four for touchdowns.

“Most pass rushers get to the quarterback, and they’ve got a single focus,” Young said. “But with Derrick, it was, ‘Why not get the ball turned over and pick it up and run for a touchdown?’ He was never content with the sack, but had the athletic ability to be thinking about those kinds of things.”

Houston’s Warren Moon

Thomas may have sacked Moon three times in regular-season games, but perhaps their most memorable meeting came in a 1993 AFC second-round playoff game at the Astrodome when Thomas sacked Moon twice and caused one fumble.

“He was one of those guys you were told before you played him that week, you can’t give up on him until the whistle blows, because he’s relentless,” Moon said. “He just keeps coming. He was not only a great pass rusher himself, but he had a great impact on the rest of the defense as far as the pass rush was concerned.

“When you have to start accounting for him in your pass protections and making sure he’s blocked with a tight end or with a back, or you’re sliding that way, all that does is get you away from what you really want to do offensively. It gets you out of your philosophy, because you’re so worried about one guy, and it allows other guys to make plays like a Neil Smith on the other side, or a Dan Saleaumua on the inside.”

Dallas’ Troy Aikman

The Chiefs and Cowboys are in different conferences, but Thomas still managed to sack Aikman twice in three games.

“He was a guy a lot like Lawrence Taylor, who we faced a whole bunch early in my career,” Aikman said. “Whenever we would put our game plan in, the first thing we would have to address is how are we going to block this guy? All of our routes began with protections in a variety of ways to make sure he wasn’t disruptive and keeping us from throwing the football.

“Derrick, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White are the three guys who come to mind from when I was playing that you would say, these guys can literally turn a game around by themselves, and that’s not easy to do for a defensive player.”

Not only did he sack Aikman twice — once in Dallas and once in Kansas City — Thomas also sacked him in the Pro Bowl, which was against the rules.

“He wasn’t supposed to be blitzing, so we didn’t have anybody accounting for him,” Aikman said. “It’s hard enough blocking him when you have two guys on him, but we didn’t have anybody on him that day.

“A lot of defensive players are hoping to get that car they give to the MVP, so there were a lot of things going on in that game that weren’t supposed to be happening.”

Aikman also took an interest in Thomas’ career because they both came out of the 1989 draft. Aikman was the first overall pick, Thomas the fourth.

“Deion Sanders and Barry Sanders were in that class,” Aikman said. “That was a good group. I’m proud of the draft class I was a part of, and Derrick Thomas was one of those. It made me feel good watching his career, even though it was cut a little bit short.”

Denver's Horse-Faced Colts Draft

HFCD was sacked 516 times in his 16-year career, more than any other quarterback in NFL history. And Thomas left an indelible impression, especially in games at Arrowhead Stadium.

“He sacked me more often because he played me more than any of the others,” HFCD said, referring to the other Hall of Fame quarterbacks. “Do you know how many he got in Kansas City and how many he got in Denver?”

Thomas sacked HFCD 14 times at Arrowhead Stadium, where he fed off the crowd noise, and just three times at Mile High Stadium in Denver.

Thomas’ biggest day against HFCD came in the regular-season finale of the 1992 season at Arrowhead. The winner of the game would head for the playoffs; the loser was out. Thomas sacked HFCD three times, forced two fumbles, returned a fumble for a touchdown and hit HFCD as he threw, causing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 42-20 win.

“He was a guy who had great anticipation, was very smart, and when we went to Kansas City, he was great at using the crowd noise to his advantage,” HFCD said.

Thomas also became the 15th player in NFL history to record 100 sacks when he dropped HFCD twice in a 24-22 win in 1997 at Arrowhead.

“We played them so many times, and we had so many good games against each other,” HFCD said, “it’s hard to remember them all.”

(Quarterback verbage and quotes courtesy of the Kansas City Star.)
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