Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Studmuffin: Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli

Scott Pioli gets this week's SS wink for pulling off the Matt Cassel deal. This is arguably the biggest free-agency deal thus far, maybe even more so than the pile of money Albert Haynesworth got for joining the Dan Snyder club. And everyone's got a take on it.
Bill Williamson thinks the deal had to be done. Sports Illustrated's Don Banks figures the Patriots could've gotten a lot more out of KC. Tim Graham suggests that both clubs now have more ability to draft position players and get younger. Turd burglar Adam Schefter reports that other teams, including the Denver Broncos, were in the mix for obtaining Cassel. Had they pulled the trigger, Jay Jams would've gone to Tampa or Detroit, which allegedly didn't sit that well with him.

And as usual, the gang at Arrowhead Pride has put in some solid work on the deal.

Thanks to them, and much more to come on this deal later this weekend.
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Evening Fracas: Aloha, Mr. Hand

Honestly, I don't have a clue what it was that made my inner cerebral workings channel Jeff Spicoli. It just happened. It's Friday. The wife's havin' some girls over, and I can mentally telepath the drunken debauchery that's just around the corner. So, maybe it's the hall pass I've given myself for the evening. Maybe it has something to do with the giant weekend of laying on the couch that I'm envisioning. Maybe it's because when "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" came out, print journalism was a humongous wave from which us unofficial reporters of unofficial news wanted to hang 10. Whatever. At least there are many other things of importance on which to touch, or whom to touch, or -- eh, fuck it...

First and foremost, we should examine exactly how Denver Broncos Head Coach Mosh McDanahan wants to win this season by giving his opponents AIDS. Yeah. You read that right. Not "that dormant, Magic Johnson half-AIDS. I’m talking real Eazy-E AIDS. POWER AIDS." I know. Pretty jacked up. Read the details here.

Sometimes, when intelligence gets word of such ploys, that means it's time to stage an offensive. Or counter with a defensive. Either way, you've got to get some soldiers on the move. A solider like Lieutenant Winslow.

A few other soldiers have been in the news in recent weeks. They go by the names of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Apparently, they don't like each other. Some folks, including Ovechkin, have repeatedly alleged that Crosby is a whining little bitch of a smack-talker, a cheap-shot artist. I'm not saying that. Folks are. Hell, even Rome did a bit on it on Monday. I couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is that the ability and talent of Ovechkin is pretty phenomenal. I mean,

get a turnover, round that corner at full steam, get knocked to your ass, and still score a goal. That's impressive.

InGameNow might argue that the opposite of impressive is shitty. They also might argue that shitty would be a good word to describe former Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman. And then, they just might have 10 different examples of said shittiness.

You know what's shitty, though? I'll tell you: Two dudes that you really like talking about something that pisses you right the hell off. No, no. I'm not talking about Cecil and Old No. 7's weekly Bronkkake. Although that does irritate my most inner nerve. What I'm talking about is Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg -- even if it's just a simple mention -- discussing the notion of retiring Kobe Bryant's jersey now.

Dudes be trippin'. Really, though. I be trippin', too. Know why? The Iron Triangle knows a man doin' some cold, hard time. Like, a sliver more than a decade's worth. He recently wrote to me and asked me to send him some of our favorite posts since the day the House of Georges was coined. So we put our heads together, and came up with a few. Thing is, he'll miss out on all the great links. Both of these concepts should make it click with you that the man has been given zero Internet rights in prison. This, I assumed, was how it went across the board. Apparently, if you're a stand-up guy, a real community pillar, like say, Maurice Clarett, those rights are a bit broader.

And with that, I'll end with a sentiment that Seven has voiced before, and that is this: To anyone who ever thought it was a good idea to disable the "embed" function in a YouTube clip: Fuck off and die. Wait, what? You've got a good reason for doing so? No, really. Fuck off. And. Die. I wanted to end this post with this, and now I can't, you cheetoh-stained, shit dick.

Have a lovely weekend, y'all.
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Cause it's Free, Free Agency

Both the Broncos and Chefs jumped into the player acquisition season in a big way today. While I was busy packing up my shit, moping and being hung the holy fuck on over, the two teams that form the basis for this blog's rough focus--and if you don't know what that is by now, heaven help you--were busy re-making their rosters.

Follow past the bounce for more...

First, the Chefs trade an undisclosed draft pick for Mike Vrabel, who made a metric tonne of big plays for the Patriots during their Super Bowl years and knows the kind of defense that KC is (presumably) going to run. Although who knows, really? Scott Pioli has his new City of Fountains staff operating under total Radio Silence.

Add Chefs: there was a rumor posted on ESPN and a few other sites that Brian Waters might ask for his release or a trade. Really? The classiest remaining fixture at One Arrowhead Drive trying to talk his way out of town? What could precipitate such an event?

Seems that he had a bad meeting with the new Head Coach--and that Mr. Media Paranoia has refused to meet with him. Hardly seems like the way to start that new tomahawk choppin' dynasty...

Now the Broncos, who evidently have been snorting crushed crystal meth and ginseng, they've gone into this free agency thing so fast--today's signings include running backs J.J. Arrington (coff coff total bust coff) and Correll Buckhalter, who is a good player but has bad knees and is 30, which is young to all the old farts posting here but old for an NFL back. They added a quality backup wideout in the Patriots' Jabar Gaffney and signed the same team's long snapper to a five-year deal. Pioli isn't the only one shaking the Foxborough tree these days.

And, of course, the biggest one of all, which still hasn't been confirmed but which is being discussed on 104.3 The Fan as if it has been: Brian Dawkins. (Hate to link to anything with a Raider focus, because it calls my credibility into question--and these guys also don't know how to spell "perennia"--but that's the source, at least for now.)

That last one honestly shocks me. The guy is 36, yes, but he's a flippin' Hall of Famer and has easily been the best safety in the league during his tenure. But...why did Philly let him go? That's just bizarre. But whatevs. I'll take him.

We'll deal with the "Ray Lewis to Denver?" rumors later. I need to shower before touching that pile.

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Historically Speaking: 2-27-09

The weeks are flying by here in late February. It's free-agency time in the NFL, and St. Pat's is almost here, which means the House of Georges is about to turn two. Now, we got off the ground shortly after sites like With Leather and Kissing Suzy Kolber did, and though we're just a smidge behind them in the popularity standings, we still like to think we kick a ton of ass. Speaking of ass-kicking, get out there this weekend, get good and drunk, and break some shit, all in the name of print journalism. Today, the esteemed Rocky Mountain News will quietly close its doors after a fine, fine run of 150 years servicing Denver and the Front Range. The sheek tabloid-style, Pulitzer Prize-winning paper leaves the mile-high city with only The Denver Post in circulation. It also leaves our beloved Cecil out of work. Here's to print journalism, and to Cecil.

* Today in 1908, Major League Baseball introduced the sacrifice-fly rule. It was a short-lived rule, as the league repealed it, re-instated it, then oversaw changes to the rule numerous times prior to its permanent acceptance some 45 years later.

* Four years later, the New York Yankees announced that they would be wearing pinstripes on their uniforms.

* The year was 1959. The event was an NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Minneapolis Lakers. Highlights included Bob Cousy's (then) record 28 assists, and the final score: a Celtics' victory by the mark of 173-139.

* The United States Olympic Hockey team defeated the USSR 3-2 on their way to gold in 1960.

* Finally, in 1992, Tiger Woods became the youngest PGA golfer in 35 years at the ripe old age of 16.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day came from the mouth of...

... former NBA referee Earl Strom, who, in 1982, had this to say about Elvin Hayes breaking the NBA record for career fouls: "I felt like stopping the game and giving him my whistle."
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Your 2009 Mid-Season Hockey Report: Western Conference, Pacific Division

I'm sure that most of our readers had no idea that February 2009 has been "Hockey is for Everyone" month here in these great United States. I mean, I didn't promote it. But at least there's a bit on it on, which I'm sure just gets flooded with House of Georges readers every day of the year. Oh, well. This little series has been my part, and today we'll wrap it up with a look at the Pacific Division. If you're into it, the Northwest is here, and the Central is here. If you're an east-conference gay guy, you can peruse the Atlantic here, the Southeast here, and the Northeast here.

If you're neither, well I'm sure you're stoked this feature's coming to a close.

Even though the Red Wings are the defending Cup champs, and they took it to the Sharks 4-1 last night, San Jose is still a rough customer in the west. Even with last night's loss, they're still the one seed in the west. For now. Their league-leading 91 points has come largely from eight skaters who have 35+ points. Of those eight, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are in the 60s. San Jose has gotten strong and consistent performance from its defense all year, and the play of the goalies has been sick: Backup Brian Boucher is 9-1 with a .932 save percentage, while main man Evgeni Nabokov has posted a stunning 32-8 record, five of which have been shutouts. My money's still on a Sharks-Bruins showdown late in the post-season.

In second are the Dallas Stars, who, at 65 points, are actually tied with the Anaheim Ducks for second, but whatever. Dallas, who showed much poise down the stretch last year, finds themselves in a multi-way tie for the eighth seed, and must find a way to get more production from their lines if they aim to squeak in. They've gotten some from three of their four centers, and left-winger Loui Eriksson leads the club with 27 goals, but the pickins are slim for the Stars beyond that. Despite the lack of depth on their roster, their defense has managed to play decent hockey, but not well enough to make Marty Turco better than 28-21. Turco has faced over 1500 shots already, and you know a hefty portion of those'll get by if your D's only playing decent.

The Ducks, on the other end of that tie, have gotten a more spread-out production from their lines than the Stars have, an element that contributed largely to their championship season two years ago. With 20 goals and 49 assists, Ryan Getzlaf leads a decent pack of point producers, but the overall defense being played by this club isn't strong enough to bring the necessary balanace to a team that is perhaps under-developed at this stage. The reload they put together after winning involved a decent crop of youth, but it'll take some time for them to blossom, especially when Jean-Sebastien Giguere is only getting enough protection in the crease to post a 16-15 record, with a 3.09 goals-against average.

Next notch down are the Kings of Los Angeles, who, frankly, have just been borderline awful since Andy Murray left town. Like most clubs, they've got a couple of forwards that do most of their scoring, and a crew of defensive pairings that hand out assists and spend time in the penalty box, but this club is far from complete. I look at this club, and I just think porous. Perhaps they can pull some trade-deadline shenanigans and get one more veteran in here to work with this seeemingly inexperienced club. Jonathan Quick has gotten most of the nods in net this season, but like his King counterparts, he's really just been average.

Average, however, doesn't look so bad, if you're a member of the Phoenix Coyotes. No, you're not quite as bad as the Colorado Avalanche, but that could change any given evening. This situation is nothing shy of a giant embarrassment. In all reality, the Avs won't take that long to retool; they'll get strong again, and be a contender in the west. Phoenix, however, looks to be awful forever. Truthfully, I've wondered about the Wayne Gretzky hire since day one. I mean, I think it's great that he's involved in the league, and taken a young, small-market franchise under his wing, but the bottom line is that no one ever said the Great One could coach. And it looks more every year like he can't.

You know, I heard something about coaches the other day. Coaches that had been players. And the thing said, even if it was splattered with cliches like "he's a grinder," etc., made a ton of sense. The most talented guy in a game is probably going to make for a lousy coach. Why? Because he had more talent for his game in his pinky fingernail than a trailer full of good people ever will. The average athlete perhaps brings a work ethic similar to the greats, but they've gotta have an edge to make the competition fair, right? Grit. Determination. Bowls of rusty nails for breakfast. All that crap. That's probably why the Phoenix Coyotes are always going to be lousy with Gretzky as their bench boss. These seasons keep passing, and he keeps staying in there, while, in other towns, dudes are getting fired after four games.

I don't get it. Shane Doan and Olli Jokinen are leading this team in points. Shane Doan and Olli Jokinen. The defense is rotten. The goaltending's on par with everything else. I just don't see how it pans out. The right thing to do would be for Wayne to step down this spring. Nobody wants to fire the greatest hockey player in history. He should recognize that and make way.

There you go, hockey fan. Glad you could be with us, and we'll see you in the post-season.
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Historically Speaking: 2-26-09

Good morning, wee willy wonkers. I have no idea but that means, but I'm sure you'll make more sense out of what's after the jump. Well, I hope you will anyway. Have a look.

* On this day in 1935, the New York Yankees released a guy by the name of Babe Ruth, who then signed with the Boston Braves for 20 Large and a bit of the bottom line.

*In 1981, two cats by the name of Gerald and Allan Phillips sold the Denver Broncos to a dude named Ed. Edgar F. Kaiser, Jr., to be exact. I understand the Phillips brothers were under scrutiny for their alleged orchestration of the Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy assassinations, and needed to shun their identities.

* Four years later, Julius "Dr. J" Erving slid into the third-place slot on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Legend has it that the league used to a) play defense, b) not travel, and c) wear spiffy shorts back then. Imagine...

* Four more years later, a California court threw out the majority of Margo Adams' --who, uh, you know (I kid.) -- $12 million breach-of-contract suit against Boston Red Sox third-baseman Wade Boggs.

* Finally, in 1997, the "Legion of Doom" line of the Philadelphia Flyers scored 15 points in a tilt against the Ottawa Senators. The line included Eric Lindros at center, Mikael Renberg on the right wing, and John LeClair on the left. The trio skated together as linemates for just over two seasons, yielding more than 225 goals and 260 assists during their time as a trio.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day came from the mouth of... TCU basketball coach Jim Killingsworth, who, circa 1982, commented on Tulsa guard Paul Pressey, saying, "He's quick enough to play tennis by himself."

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Musings From Roy F. Almania: Big Vs In Surprise?

Greetings one, greetings all, and welcome to the first day of spring-training game action, Kansas City Royals style. The House of Georges team is pleased to announce that the one and only, Roy F. Almania will be back in swing to offer occasional opinions and observations regarding the Kansas City Royals. When my illustrious cousin didn't respond to my initial outreaches, I was afeared we'd have to contract out our always-popular Royals coverage. But alas, I heard from him this morning, and he promised to dump some verbiage in my inbox within 10 minutes of the conclusion of today's game. And deliver he did. We'll not say that his swing is full; I'm not even sure that it'll be check. He shrewdly avoided any commitment to a monthly offering, but at least for today, he came through. His thoughts on how things look for the boys in blue, just after the jump.

To all the Royals fans out there, I'd really like to be able enough to say that I told ya' so. Had I offered some off-season insight like I done last year, I'd have a bit of rights to do just that. But, what with the economy and all, I found myself needin' some part-time work this winter, so apply at the Kum & Go I did. They had me workin' nights. Still do, actually, which don't leave as much time as I'm used to for what's to be done 'round the ranch. Most 'specially sleep and study up on my favorite baseball team.

I do have some key points to offer, and I'm in a bit of a time crunch to get this off to cousin Bank', so the noggin's a bit foggy and I can't well say what the best order for these is. But here they is either way:

1) I wasn't so sure how I felt about the Mike Jacobs acquistion. Coco Crisp I'm fine with. In him we get a decent bat, decent speed, and an everyday outfielder. Another first baseman, though? I can't quite feel good about that what with the logjam that was already there: Billy Butler, Ryan Shealy, Ross Gload, and Kila Ka'aihue just to name a few. I know Jacobs hit some 32 over the fence last year, but his OPS was dad-gummed awful. Not only that, but factor in that the acquisition was another one with Atlanta, which makes me fear Dayton Moore's ability to contact other clubs. Especially when the other clubs he seems to frequent are known for their worst-in-baseball record last year. I'll do my best to give Jacobs a shot at showin' us he can get on base as well as hit for power, but I'm still feelin' squirrely about the whole darn thing.

2) I may as well move directly left in the infield, and eyeball the dustmite collection going on at second. I just can't put a finger on why a body wouldn't want to move Mike Aviles over, and plug Mark Teahen in at short. Instead, they're bringing more folks like Willie Bloomquist and some random kid named Tug while lettin' that fool of all fools Alberto Callaspo spoil the camp vibe with his Visa/itinerary debacles. Some folks want to point to his .305 average, and error-free, 74-game performance last year, and well, I can't really argue much with the numbers. But Lord, almighty.

3) Much depends on the production of Alex Gordon and Billy Butler this year. I heard from a nearby farm-hand that Moore don't care much for Butler's attitude, but the boy hit a single and a long ball today, so I imagine there was a curious eye or two on the double B this afternoon.

4) Tony Pena, Jr., Mike Moustakas, Mitch Maier, Shane Costa, and Esteban German. I reckon them five names will circulate more than any this year with regards to filling in the holes that need fillin'.

5) Most of all, though, is the rotation. The thought of it gives me a mighty headache without even truthfully thinkin' the thing through. The way I see it, and I seen it this way for some time, now, is that there's only two starters in the five-man pitching staff: Gil Meche and Zack Greinke. Now, we all know that Brian Bannister showed us flashes two seasons past. He also showed us a heapin' plate full of misery one year ago, so the boy's a crapshoot. I understand that a certain Kansas City someone keeps a mighty tight tab on the boy. That leaves Kyles Davies and Farnsworth, along with Luke Hochevar as three guys battlin' for one spot, and they're all righties. So are Meche, Greinke, and Bannister, which leaves the 34-year-old John Bale, a woeful Jimmy Gobble, and an injured Ron Mahay to fill in as the club's only southpaw. 'Cept for one thing: Horacio Ramirez, who did just as I feared he'd do today in his start in Surprise: get rocked. The man gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning today, and I haven't for the life of me figured out who thought, or why they thought it, that he might be a good nod for this already talent-plagued rotation.

Makes me want to put a pitchfork in the back of a promisin' sow, it does. Now, I can't for the life of me figure out what the story has been with Luke Hudson or Brandon Duckworth; neither's on the roster, though Ducky came in today and gave up half the runs Ramirez did in more than two innings of work. Course, they wanna pin some o' them first-inning runs on Teahen's errant throw, and I reckon that's fair, but I just knew this'd happen either way.

In sum, there'd been two things on the brain this winter: how the Royals'd fare in Surprise, and how their season'd start off. Both are usually stinkin' terrible, and today didn't lend me to think that things'd be much different. I channeled today's game hopin' that KC'd start off with some Big Vs (at's for "victory") in Surprise. Instead, they delivered another Big D. And that, my friends, stands for disappointment.
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We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday: How Swede It Is

It's time once again for everyone's favorite sometimes-weekly feature, "We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday." With us as always is our clever host, who always just such a fantastic job of prefacing the week's talent.

This week, however, we're going to take a bit of a different approach. Instead of including name's of our selection of talent, or chunks of biography, or -- my favorite -- the completely made-up, one-sentence life stories, we're going to play the adjective game. What, you ask, is the adjective game? It's simple, really. Any kindergartner could pull it off.

You look at the image, then type the first word that comes to mind. Easy enough, right? Excellent. Game on!

Mmm. Leafy.

Uh-oh. Punchy.

Leopard print. Great success. (Editor's Note: Fine. So it might be more than one word. Perhaps a phrase.)


Sure. You bet.


In the face.

Anyone got a melon baller?





Double-oh whichever.



Little unsure.

Pretty darn sure.

Gonna have to go to the booth on that one.

Reptitate, por favor?

Wow. Thought we were stickin' to the blues and greens.

Tiny good times!

Your country, tis of thee.

Of thee I sing.


Black tie? Count it.

Nice belt.

Nice, uh, non-belt.

Nice friend.

Nnnnnnice motto.


No comment.

Yes, I'll have six of those to go, please.

Hittin' for the cycle...ish.

Protective armor required.


Who's practicin' with that digit first?


That works.

This. I know.

And that's today's bit, y'all. Tiger Woods. Tiger Tiger Woods.
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Your 2009 Mid-Season Hockey Report: Western Conference, Northwest Division

After a bit of a delay, we're back to wrap up our not-so-mid-season mid-season hockey look, and today's focus is none other than the Northwest Division, where Canadian and expansion/relocation teams often times grapple and knock one another out in dubious fashion. If you're just joining us, we last looked at the Central, and before that, we ran the course of the Eastern Conference, examining the Southeast, Northeast, and Atlantic divisions as well.

In first place are the Calgary Flames. They've accumulated 78 points to date, and have done via the helping sticks of Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri, Rene Borque, and the oft-scrutinized Todd Bertuzzi. Each of these cats has contributed significantly in to the offensive point totals running from Borque's 21 goals and 19 helpers to the captain Iginla's 66 points. Dion Phaenuff and Adrian Aucoin have tallied their share of points as well, and done so from their defensive positions. In all, the Calgary defensive pairings have held their ground, albeit in a relatively weak division. The 10-point edge they hold, however, comes with many thanks to netminder Mikka Kiprusoff, who has played lights out between the pipes, going 36-15 to this point in the campaign. He's let over 150 pucks past him, but still holds a .902 save percentage and, as his record suggests, has seen more action than most of his league counterpoints.

That point differential between first and second in the Northwest leaves the Vancouver Canucks looking up at the Flames. If the season ended today, they'd be the five seed, and perhaps the most amazing story out of British Columbia is that Vancouver still employs both of the Sedin twins. And rightfully so; Henrik and Daniel lead their clubs in productivity, with 57 and 59 points respectively. Mixing the roster with a blend of youth and journeymen like Mats Sundin and Pavol Demitra, the Canucks are playing some of the most well-rounded stick and puck in the west. Their defense yields one of the best +/- differentials in the conference, and this has been a big boost for Roberto Luongo, who's gotten most of the nods in net. He currently sits at 19-8, and having faced nearly 1000 shots.

In third place are the Minnesota Wild. They're not too far behind the Canucks in the division rankings, and only one point behind the Blue Jackets in conference. Minnesota has never put out much in they way of offensive juggernauts, but Mikko Koivu leads the club with an impressive 55 points. Their defense is rather middle-of-the-road, but they still manage to get noteworthy production from most everyone on the squad. In goal, the often-average Niklas Backstrom has had an up year, posting 28 wins and a .926 save percentage through 45 contests.

Tied with Minnesota are the Edmonton Oilers. They've managed to stay scrappy all season, and done so with considerable output from several defensemen. Sheldon Souray leads the protective pack with 40 points, while Tom Gilbert and Lubomir Visnovsky are right behind with 34 and 31, respectively. The Oilers' success thus far comes via an approach not usually observed in Alberta. Most seasons, Edmonton's roster is full of veterans, while they've fielded a considerably younger roster this go-'round. In net, Dwayne Roloson has strung together 21 wins, while letting just over 100 pucks cross the line.

Bringing up the rear are the once-esteemed Colorado Avalanche. Having put together upwards of 10 division championships, they failed to qualify for the post-season two years ago, got back in this past season, and really have their work cut out for them these last couple of months. At 57 points, they sit dead last in the west, but only eight points out of the eighth-seed spot for post-season qualification. Ryan Smyth and Milan Hejduk, as they always do, have had solid seasons. The offensive production behind them isn't atrocious; they've gotten help from guys who were perhaps overlooked in October. Their defense, however, is far from the glory years of Deadmarsh/Foote, Blake/Bourque. Further proving my you-should-never-ever-fire-Joel Quenneville theory, the Avalanche would've needed phenomenal play in net to make this season a success, and a 16-24 mark from Peter Budaj isn't gonna cut the mustard, especially when he's faced nearly 1200 shots in almost 2500 minutes of playing time. Thems just ain't good odds.

That'll just about wrap our NHL reports up. We'll make every effort to stay sober enough to examine the Pacific on the morrow.
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