Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well, There's That Other Shoe, Finally

9news is reporting, right now, that the Broncos have decided to trade Jay Cutler--supposedly because neither Coach Doog or Bowlen has been able to get ahold of him over the last 10 days.

I'll have more--a whole lot more--to say about this later. Right now, two things spring to mind:

1. Why would they come out and say it? Aren't they killing any leverage they might have? I guess if Cutler says he simply doesn't want to play for them--which is info that will quickly leak out around the league--then they don't have much choice, but still. Now, the only threat they can hold over him is that of inactivity. Sit it down for the year, kiddo. Would he even do that?

2. Jay Cutler has, officially, proved every rumor I've recently proferred concerning his motives. His feelings weren't fucking hurt. He wanted out, and found an avenue to get his way.

Here's hoping we get the Lions second 1st rounder (#20) and first second rounder (#33). He'll have fun playing behind that line, especially considering how long he likes to hold the ball.

Be careful what you wish for, Jay-Jay.

Image from drunkathlete.com
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Tradition Tuesday: Gettin' Back to Our Roots

Now then. I reckon that, right around this time each week we're mumbling on about traditions and rough focuses with regard to our favorite football teams. Like most sports bloggers, we go to extensive ends to remind our readers that we are massive homers, heavy drinkers, and not afraid to take pot shots at the wives. Today, if only for a moment, I'm going to abandon that notion. You see, I'm 100 percent sober at the moment. The wife's presently on a mad streak of pleasantness (Editor's Note: Sweet Jesus in Heaven -- show me the way to bottle this concoction.) and well, we're not scoopmasters all that often, though we do have our moments. This naturally leaves me with the lone choice of breaking down the Chiefs and the Broncos with the old-fashioned fuel known as passion. Now it might take me a moment to get the spark, air, and gas to combust, but once I do, hold on to your wood screws hats, 'cause I'm'a blow your doors off.

You know, now that I think about it, I spent most of my day in various elementary schools. I saw everything from identifying nouns versus verbs to simple subtraction problems to pattern-description exercises to drawing pictures of pigs and chickens. So what better way to break it on down than with everyone's favorite tool: the alphabet. Oh yeah. Believe it.

A) is for animosity, boys and girls. Animosity is like a feeling of ill will or hostitlity. And ill will is something Broncos fans feel for Chiefs fans and vice versa. The sad thing is is that from this side of the Missouri River, it's hard to envision just what it is that makes Denver fans feel hostile towards Kansas City fans. From behind the red-and-gold glasses, the orange-and-blue franchise participated in shenanigans to get ol' Horse-Faced Colts Draft, and for most of his career (some 15-16 years), Elway and the Broncos dominated the Chiefs in the sense that they had more playoff appearances, one or two more Super Bowl wins, and a heckuva ride in which to cap the whole thing off. The only thing KC accomplished during this era was to get nearly all of the home wins against (Note: But certainly not the big one.) the Broncos, and an occasional victory at Mile High. Post-retirement, KC got consecutive wins for the last two Chiefs games at the old digs, and since the new one opened, they've not won there once. Throw in the fact that Chiefs fans suffered through the forever-stamped-as-retarded Herman Edwards Experiment and a convenient return to the AFC Championship game for Denver, and I just don't see how the animosity could flow evenly towards Hays, KS from both directions.

B) is for Bubby Brister. It just has to be. In fact, I'll crack into the aforementioned sobriety and a can of Pabst in cheersing you, Mr. Bubby Brister jersey-tucker guy. You. Rule.

C) can only stand for one thing, and that's Cutlerfucker. I have a bit more to say about this neverending nightmare of a story, but for now, get the official word on Denver preparing to trade Jay Cutler here.

D) is for Denver, silly rabbit. Great city. Fantastic scenery in the surrounding areas, and, well, three out of four pretty-darn-cool professional sports teams ain't bad, y'all. Avs, Nugs, Rox -- much love. 'Nuff said.

E) is for Elway. Eli-style.

F) is for Fame. As in the Hall of, also known as Canton, OH, where the true champion of good fortune for all and will toward men is well-represented. The douche faucets...not so much.

G) is for Grbac, because I don't think the English language has ever seen a better 'g' word. I still can't believe that guy was our quote/unquote leader for a time. A deep, dark, painful time.

H) is for horses. They're everywhere around InVesCo. The parking lot. Atop the stadium. On all three versions of the Denver helmet. There've even been horse matter on the team, like that pile of horse-pucky Romanowski, or the horse's ass Maurice Clarett, the horse teeth of Elway, and of course the horse lips of Shannon Sharpe.

I) is for...say it with me now, everybody! "In-Com-Plete!" Liberace just texted me from the grave. His message said "tht iz geigh."

J) is for Joe. The greatest quarterback to ever play the game. No I don't mean Namath, and no I don't say it solely because he was a Chief. Though that does help.

K) is for kharma, bitches. Kay to the harma. Pull some bullshit deal with the Colts to get the 80s Eli under your center, and look what happens: Your entire -- and I do mean 100 percent -- fan base is sick-in-the-mouth obsessed with who his replacement will be, when he will get here, and how soon will he take us to three ass-poundings of Super Bowl games before we can win two consecutive and happily slop our semen across one another's chins. That's right. I said it. Somebody had to say it. Let's run through the mix here: Griese wasn't good enough. I've tried to stick up for him and say that he wasn't given a fair shake, an argument which was tossed to the canvas swifter than a body slam by the J-Y-D, but whatever. There's Bubby. There's Gus. There's The Snake. And now there's Cutler. You know what else there is? Season number 11 since HFCD retired rights 'rounds corns, which means that by the time Jay Jam's replacement is in there and familiar with the system, John Elway's entire career will have already happened again. I dunno. You did get those two trophies, so I imagine it was worth it. I just find it tickling how much struggle there has been in trying to find the new "one."

L) can only be for one thing: Larry. Wow. I could write novels.

M) must be for Mecklenberg. He's probably the first Bronco I remember, and I remember him being pretty good, aside from that gay-pride-parade uniform he always wore on the field. What a creep.

N) is for never, as in never, ever, ever-ever-ever-ever-ever in a million years did I think that the Chiefs would go 2-14. goodtimes.com/cockanballsonthetongue right there.


P) has dual significance: Peterson, Pioli. I'll be the one (of eight kazillion) watching.

Q) is for guys that have played for both teams, like Quentin Griffin. Ah, fuck it; it's for queer.

R) is for road wins. I'm told they exist.

S) is for my favorite Tradition-al game-time comment: "Sizzle, sizzle."

T) could be for tight end. It could also be for Tony, but it's actually for both, an' while I'm cheesin' it up, let's throw in "terrific."

U) is for unfortunate, as in it's a shame that these past couple of seasons have tilted the AFC West rivalry peak to Denver-San Diego. For that, and for so, so, so much more, I thank thee, Herm Edwards.

V) is for Big V, which I think stands for the big Victory in the sky I'm hoping to one day see mere moments before a Kansas City Lombardi is hoisted.

W) is for welcome to the machine, Jackson. May the force find you lured to the good side.

X) must be for Brian Xanders. I don't know why. I just want to get this over with now.

Y) has to be yee-haw, which all of us Chiefs fans say when we put on our

Z) ubaz after having sex with our fat sisters in preparation of staying at the bars 'til zee dawn post big-game tailgate.

"Zing!" works pretty well, too, if you feel like substituting it.
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Lineup Against the Wall: (Eff It. They'll Always Be the) California Angels

Well, kids. We've just about made it. We're one week away from Opening Day 2009, and it's high time we had a look at the clubs that'll be participating in this campaign. This here feature is one of the many brilliant ideas crafted by proud new father Old No. 7, and in an effort to even the work load and make things interesting, I've suggested that all three sides of the Iron Triangle participate in this little exercise. I've suggested a number of things over the years, but they're usually bad ideas. Very bad ideas. We'll see how this one pans out, but for now, let's see how things look on the American League side of Los Angeles baseball this year. I'll bet you know by now just where we can accomplish such a thing. Before we head there, take note that I a) have no idea what rock'n'jocks means, nor do I intend to investigate, and b) must mention that (unfortunately) none of the above-pictured Angeles were non-roster invitees to this year's spring training.

The Angels are a fascinating club in many regards. Aside from the fact that they have die-hard fans that go by monikers such as Blanche Feverpiss, they embody a special brand of baseball. They successfully plug in a million little pieces of talent to all necessary parts of the roster, and they get an intelligent baseball mind to run the show. Their post-season exit in 2008 was, to me, one of the year's biggest surprises. I won't go so far as to speculate how well they'll do in October this year, but I will say that if I had to pick one team in all of baseball that was a sure-fire division-winner/post-season qualifier, it'd be California. Just why is an interesting combo of the aforementioned well-spread talent, baseball smarts, and because their division is just damn awful. But it's also because they're good, even if they employ third basemen whose parents missed the spelling bus in remarkable fashion. Let me Chow you what I mean.

In the off-season, they lost Mark Texeira and Francisco Rodriguez, two roster spots which leave some holes. They have, however, a pretty impressive lineup, nonetheless, which I imagine looks a little something like this:

1) 3B Chone Figgins
2) CF ToreEye Hunter
3) RF Big Bad Vlad
4) LF Bobby Abreu
5) SS Erick Aybar
6) 2B Howie Kendrick
7) 1B Kendrys Morales or Robb Quinlan (easily the biggest gap to fill in Tex's absence)
8) DH options in newly acquired Juan Rivera, Gary Matthews, Ryan Willits or Maicer Izturis (if you have to), and
9) C Mike Napoli, who I feel will thrive with the starting job this season.

In the rotation, you have:

1) John Lackey
2) Ervin Santana
3) Joe Saunders (the three of whom combined for 45 Angel wins in '08)
4) Jered Weaver, and
5) Dustin Moseley.

Now, this combo only gives you one lefty, but it's a solid one-through-three, not a bad four, and, well, five just might pan out okay for you.

The meat of the bullpen looks pretty solid as well. The top three Angels relievers averaged at a 2.40 ERA while killing the strikeouts-to-walks ratio (167-67), and scraping together 23 wins, which leads to K-Rod's replacement in Brian Fuentes, who just happened to net 30 saves last year for a pretty bad Rockies club.

Now, take all that, throw in the Seattle Mariners, who will likely stink up the joint again, the old college-try Oakland Athletics, and a surprisingly (spring-training) feisty Texas Ranger club, and you may as well just hand L.A. the pennant. Stranger things have, of course, happened, but I wouldn't gamble on the West being won by anyone else. Not this year, anyway.
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Historically Speaking: 3-31-09

It's a fantastic Tuesday here in the US of A. Old No. 7's child has breathed his first breath of non-womb air, and in just a short pile of hours, the first HoGlet will be headed home, where he will undoubtedly rest up, and prepare for the immeasurable amount of insanities Cecil and I will thrust upon him in a few months. It's no secret that the boy will scarcely have uttered his first word before feeling the pressure to craft his first post here inside the House. It may sound like a rough deal, but contracts are contracts. In slightly more realistic murmurings, have a look at some historical facts:

* On this glorious day in 1878, Jack Johnson became the first African-American to hold a heavyweight boxing title.

* The new American League franchise awarded to Seattle chose its nickname in 1968: the Pilots.

* We've got four NCAA men's hoops championships to remember to day: In 1975, UCLA walloped Kentucky 92-55; in '86, Louisville beat Duke 72-69; the following season Indiana edged Syracuse, 74-73; and in 1997, Arizona took Kentucky to overtime and got the win, 84-79.

* The year was 1980 when Larry Holmes took care of Leroy Jones via a TKO in eight rounds in Las vegas to defend his WBC belt. On the same day, Mike Weaver knocked out John Tate in the 15th in Knoxville, claiming the WBA title.

* Oh, and it was a glorious 1998 day when the MLB expansion clubs the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays made their big-league debut.

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

...one-time Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who, circa 2004, had this to say about why he hadn't yet become an NFL head-coaching candidate: "They're looking for big names, not long (ones)." (Editor's Note: While I don't usually take the liberty of commenting on quotes, I will here: Could be that ol' 'dinger has been labeled stupid by association.)
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome to the HoG Life, Jackson

No. 7 will undoubtedly fill this in later, the way it should be. But on behalf of his tired ass, we welcome his new son--all 8 + pounds of him--to the world and to the Rivalry. That kid is gonna have an Elway onesie before you can say Jack Robinson.

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Feeling the Draft '09: Defensive Line

Just admit: you’ve had it up to here with expert analysis of the upcoming NFL draft.

With Adam Schefter breaking down Combine numbers. With Todd McShay’s smirk and Mel Kiper’s hair-helmet. You want an idea of who the Broncos might take on April 25th and 26th, but you want it to come from a guy with no more access to the team’s war room than the dudes who clean the Dove Valley toilets or paint stripes on the practice field.

Well, search no more. I’m here for you. Today, I'm taking a gander at potential defensive line prospects that might—or mightn’t, let’s be honest—fit in the hybrid 3-4/4-3 that new D-coordinator Mike Nolan promises to install in 2009.

1. Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose State. 6’5”, 287 lbs.

A month or so ago, most football fans outside of San Jose State’s Athletic Department couldn’t have identified this young man if they’d interviewed his relatives first and been prepped with a series of flash cards. But then a video surfaced on YouTube featuring Gilbert leaping out of the shallow end of a swimming pool in one motion and landing, flat-footed, on the deck. Go ahead and give that a try sometime. Couple that natural explosiveness with 35-inch arms and he’s got exactly the body type that coaches who run 3-4 schemes look for in the “five technique” end position. Nor is he a mere workout warrior; he made 22 tackles for a loss in ’08. But that YouTube video might have made him millions.

Projection: 2nd round

2. Sammie Lee Hill, DT, Stillman College. 6’4”, 329 lbs.

How does a kid Hill’s size grow up in Alabama, who was 270 lbs. leaving high school, not get a scholarship invite to play for the Crimson Tide? These mysteries of life, ever do they vex us. Hill is surprisingly athletic, considering his massive frame--he even played defensive end as a senior--but most likely projects to nose tackle in the NFL. A developmental prospect to be sure, since Stillman is a Division II school, but worth a look in the middle rounds.

Projection: 4th round

3. Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan. 6’1”, 314 lbs.

Seems like Michigan puts a coke machine-sized tackle or two into the league every year—see the Arizona Cardinals Alan Branch and Gabe Watson—and Taylor is just the latest in line. Although perhaps a tad more squatty than some coaches like in a 3-4 nose tackle, that same “deficiency” also provides Taylor with natural leverage. By the by, the Steelers’ Casey Hampton is about the same height. How’s that been working out for Pittsburgh?

Projection: 4th round

4. Dorell Scott, DT, Clemson. 6’4, 310 lbs.

Clemson has a history of putting fine defensive linemen into the league—the Broncos had a pretty nice example for a few years, guy named Trevor Pryce—and Scott, while some analysts rip him for inconsistency, still managed to average more than 50 tackles as a sophomore and junior before dropping in status (along with the rest of the Tigers) during last season’s forgettable campaign. Can actually provide some pass rush, too, which makes him a potential fit at a variety of positions in a 3-4/4-3 hybrid.

Projection: 3d round

5. Fili Moala, DT, USC. 6’4, 303 lbs.

Moala probably has a tad more name recognition than the other dudes, having played for Will Ferrell’s favorite team, but opinions vary wildly on his future prospects. Some think he’d be better playing inside on a four-man line, some think he’d be an excellent 3-4 end, some people think he’s lazy and unpolished, some people think he’s a grinder who gives great effort and doesn’t mind the dirty work. When confronted by such conflicting information, we always go back to what we witnessed on the couch whilst drinking Old Milwaukee: a guy who started all or part of his every year on a USC defense that ate six-penny nails for breakfast and once blocked two kicks in a quarter last season against Arizona State. His cousin is Baltimore Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata, for those who put stock in “bloodlines.” (Which we don’t, really, but still worth mentioning, especially since some of the same criticisms were leveled at Ngata when he left Oregon.)

Projection: 2nd round

Image from cache.daylife.com

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Reading that title makes me feel like I'm selling tires in an off-highway industrial mall in north Albuquerque. I have thinning hair and a mistress named Louise. I spend my afternoons buying scratch tickets and drinking vodka tonics at a bar called "Bottlez."

Man, it feels so real. Someone shake me, I live in a two-room modular in Belen.

In other, reality-centered, news, ex-Bronco coach Lou Saban died today. Of course, he didn't solely coach the Broncs. He also helmed the Boston (later New England) Patriots and the Buffalo Bills in the old AFL--as well as the later, post-merger version of the Bills--and several college teams, including Army, Western Kentucky, Maryland, Northwestern and Division III Chowan State. Hell, he was even the President of the New York Yankees for two years. Which I admit I found surprising.

Saban wasn't known for being a big winner. He was in fact a career loser. Although his early Buffalo teams won the only championships, in '64 and '65, that the franchise has ever known.

No, History will instead remember him for three reasons, available for your edification following the leap.

#1: He coached almost every team imaginable, right up until his 8th decade. He coached high school, college, pro, Arena League. He was the ultimate serial coaching job hopper. He spent 19 days as the Athletic Director at Cincinnati. Along the way, he was present for a few notable moments: he coached O.J. Simpson during the latter's record 1973 season, he saw the Bills to the aforementioned championships, he was credited with recruiting Jim Kelly to Miami and...

#2: He gave an African-American QB a start in the NFL for the first time ever: Marlin "The Magician" Briscoe, who had a stellar (for the era) season for the Denver Broncos in 1968. And then released him the next year. Why? From my colleague Sam Adams via Answers.com:

But in the summer of 1969, Briscoe returned to the University of Nebraska to finish his architecture degree, and the Broncos held pre-season quarterback meetings without him. When he arrived at training camp, he was told he would not be playing quarterback for the team that season. Irate at Saban, he asked to be released from his contract, and signed with another AFL franchise, the Buffalo Bills.

Who knows what was behind it? But it's there. The article continued:

Moreover, hard feelings remained between him and Saban, and when the latter was hired as the Bills' coach in 1972, Briscoe was summarily traded to the Miami Dolphins.

Lou Saban was evidently not comfortable as a pioneer in the field of race relations. However, he did have a knack for...

#3: Quotability. No one who follows football can forget the many, many excerpts of Saban, via NFL films, defining the idea of Coach-as-Speechifyin'-Martinet. "You can get it done. You can get it done. What's more, you gotta get it done" and "they're killin' me, Whitey--they're killin' me!" The latter directed at a Broncos assistant back in the bad old days.

And, most famous of all, the "I'd rather have half a loaf than none" line after his Broncos tied with the Dolphins. Longtime Denver fans still get worked up over that--Floyd Little said, following the game, Saban was constantly pelted with half-loaves of Wonder Bread at Mile High. He quit soon thereafter.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Evening Post

I can't believe this is the first time I've used the above title. Perhaps due to the fact that I'm usually just polluted by this point and incapable of turning on a computer? I dunno.

Anyway, some linkery for you. I won't even make you wait 'til past the jump. That's simply the kind of helpful, plainspoken westerner I am.

L.J. gets probation. WHAT A CROCK HES THE BVESTE PLAYER ON KC /ESPN Chef fan'd

Pat Kirwan owns a spectacular soup-strainer. He also has the Broncos taking two guys they will be really, really lucky to get. Not to mention a Texas-sized bust waiting to happen for KC. I love this mock draft.

Looks like Jim Calhoun, one of the least likeable personalities in sports, will live to talk shit and look old another day. I'd say this helped my brackets, but nothing will help my brackets at this point. Fucking Cleveland State.

There is something wrong with almost every sentence of this blog post. Bill Williamson, master of not knowing what the fuck is going on. Larry Johnson's beef was with the previous regime? Yeah, I'm sure that will help his case. After all, he's getting a fresh start...with a new group that really looks fondly on off-the-field incidents. Especially for 30 year-old running backs that play quotes from Scarface during press conferences. Also, way to not get the context of the Jeff George quote. Fuck me, this guy has a job and I'm working for free.

Really old sea creatures.

Have you all subscribed yet? SUBSCRIBE YOU BASTARDS.

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Saturday Studmuffins: Some Guy You've Never Even Heard Of

Or maybe you have. I don't know. Either way, his name is Carl Karcher, and he's -- yep -- the founder of Carl's Jr. Being the good Catholic that I am, I gave up red meat for Lent, and I've done pretty well sticking to it. See, it's important to be wise with your sacrifices, unlike years past where I've given up things like booze or hookers, then successfully managed to blow it before Ash Wednesday's even over. But the meat thing has been manageable, mainly because I don't actually eat that much red meat. Between chicken and pork, what else does a guy need? Pork, of course, includes the FDA's recommended daily intake of a half-pound of bacon.

Well, that's what I used to say. Now I say I need a burger. NOW. See why you know where.

It might be kind of gay to give such a prestigious award as the coveted Saturday Studmuffin to a wrinkled old white dude that founded a fast-food chain I may've only eaten at once in my entire life, but if this dude hadn't started his company, then this commercial would never've been made:

I'm pretty sure they're serving this thing with a clean tube sock.

Anyway, if you didn't click on the bacon link up there, do so. Then be sure to tune in to Comedy Central tomorrow night at eight Central. Jim Gaffigan kicks all the ass.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Five Feckin' Haikus fer a Friday. 'Cause Why the Feck Not?

I dunno about yous, but me brain's frickin' fried. Therefore, I'm takin' the feckin' liberty o' postin' a bunch o' nonsense this flurryish frigid day. Do take note, however, that the entire Iron Triangle is represented in these here lines. They create quite the body of work, and you can find it after the jump.

As for the picture, I imagine I'm the dude on the left, given that I can't grow a mustache. Cecil's gotta be the cat on the right; he's such a jovial character that you couldn't package his simmering piss in a simmering vial(redacted) if you tried. That leaves Old No. 7 as the middle man. He and his gray bear'stache (Editor's Note: It's true. He's that Old.) are begging for mercy from the Lord above as we all await the (now less than a week away!) birth of the first House of Georges child. Rumor has it that he and his wife conceived this offspring, but we'll wait on the DNA test results.

Following the ridiculous loss the Chiefs suffered at home courtesy of the then-soon-to-be-called Chris Simms Express two years ago, Cecil and Old No. 7 left town happy, my 'fridge with haikus on it. Cecil's looked a little something like this:

"Bad Port-A-Potty
A meathead Chefs Fan Douchebag.
Where is John Elway?"

Old No. 7's was, well, Old No. 7-ish:

"Arrowhead again.
Average weight in seat: three bills.
Chiefs lose game, not weight."

In a rather astonishing fit of coincidence, Seven offered up a new pair this afternoon. There was this one:

"Cutler, Jay -- slinger
Of Gun. Asks barmaid for gin,
Insulin chaser."

And there was this one:

"Arriveth fetus
Naked and afraid. And he
Hasn't seen Broncs yet."

My contribution was in response to this last piece:

"Once he's here, clothed, bathed,
Affixed to nipple, and wit-
nessed the team, fear grows."

Sure. I probably cheated by hyphenating, but who cares. It's feckin' Friday. And it's feckin' freezin' out. Have a great weekend, y'all.
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You Heard it Here First (For Once)

A couple of weeks ago, I dropped a scandalriffulous rumor into a post about young Jay-Jay. I won't make you all go back and search for it, so enjoy.

For those with click-thru aversions, the cliffs notes: Jay, Type 1 diabetic, is pretty fond of the drink. Very fond. Apparently swills-nightly-to-excess fond. (Kind of like we here at the House, honestly.)

At the time, it was just scuttlebutt, albeit pretty well-sourced scuttlebutt. I'd heard variations on the theme for a while--Denver isn't the biggest city and my recent career has been split between working for a newspaper and working in a bar--but never really considered that whatever he was doing was endangering his health, because, as everyone knows, diabetics who drink a *lot* are asking for some serious complications. Like the death.

But then came the big Cassel-for-Cutler kerfuffle. Made me think that, huh, perhaps there is some more to this situation than "he's a better fit for my system." I posted my suspicions here at the House; as far as I know, we were the only site to mention anything even close to the idea (except, of course, for Kissing Suzy Kolber, which posted the above photo last year to no great uproar.)

But now, open the floodgates:

As for why McDaniels was so hard pressed to roll Cutler out on the next Rocky Mountain train to “Anywhere but Here-land” my source (with primary knowledge of these conversations) said there were consistent themes in the coach’s concerns about Cutler.

(Again this was relayed to my ears, from their ears. The following is what was heard by my source in these trade whispers, not what FOX31 cites as definite facts about Cutler.)

Two things that kept coming up were concerns about Cutler's alcohol consumption (given his diabetes) and "that's he not that (football) sharp."

"That scared the crap out of McDaniels,” the source told me.

That post, by the way, was put up earlier in the week, taken down and edited to add the word "diabetes."

As for the rest of that blog post--which Fox takes pains to mention isn't theirs, even though I sincerely doubt that Camp Cutler could successfully sue for defamation--I'm not too fond of reporters explaining how they almost got a scoop, much less using "lol," but I imagine that this source, whoever they are, is right on the money.

Now, Jay could probably have kept a-swilling away with no one caring for the rest of his career. Especially the lushes on this site. But now that this whole thing has blown on up, we're duty-bound to discuss it, especially if it means we end up starting effin' Chris Simms next season. Watch your liver, Cutler.

But even the facts of Jay's potential health issues are unimportant in the light of this: the House of Georges, calling it before it happens, bitches. We're plugged in like Wii.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Historically Speaking: 3-26-09

We are all over the place this week, boys and girls. Speaking of places, sprint past the jump, 'cause there's lots of Canadians and hockey and shit. Really.

*Today in 1931, Boston Bruins coach Art Ross became the first bench boss to pull his goalie for an extra skater.

* Well, the UCLA dynasty continues. Today in 1973, they clinched their seventh NCAA men's basketball title in a row, beating Memphis 81-76. In '79, Michigan State beat Indiana State 75-64.

* Nineteen seventy-six was a humdinger of a year in that the American League approved of the purchase of the Toronto Blue Jays by Labatt Breweries. The price tag on that bitch was seven billion.

* Minnesota North Star Neal Broten became the first American-born NHLer to net 100 points in a season in 1986.

* The New York Rangers, in 1992 clinched their first President's Trophy in 50 years.

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

...seven-foot Dave Newmark of Columbia, who was asked, around 1967, how the no-dunking rule made him feel. His response: "Smaller."
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday: Callin' Yer Shot

Every once in a while we throw up a post in haste. This is one of those every once in a whiles. It's quite possible that I've thrown up this array of talent before, but I'm too short-sided on the memory front, too lazy to look it up, and too drunk to make any better sense of the whole mess. The nugget of the piece, though, should be remembered as such: Denver fans have a tendency to have fluidity with their teams. And by "teams" I mean Broncos. They could ultimately care less about the Rockies, Nuggets, or Avalanche, but when it comes to the beloved orange and blue, they'll go to the grave with whatever retardedness a current or former Bronco says. And that's unfortuneate. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Old No. 7, citing inspiration earlier in the day, threw up this post, and 'tis true that he did vomit it. It's unfortuneate that he attached his name to it in many ways, only a few of which can I bring myself to muster. They, however, look like this:

1) "Shannon was snubbed by the Hall of Fame back in February, which is of course preposterous." Shannon Sharpe deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? For what? Being the biggest tool to ever don an NFL uniform?

Sure. he set some records and owns a few rings. Who cares. No. Really. Let's take a non-Denver poll...(Editor's Note: Crickets.) He was, at one time, a pretty good tight end. He'll never be anything more. If he gets elected into Canton, only then will we see the real exhibit of preposterity.

But it gets worse, I assure you. Seven, in his infinite wisdom, decided to allocate a box quote to the Hall's most unworthy recipient since Scott Norwood:

"But I never played on a 2-14 team two years in a row," Sharpe said.

I ask you, non-short-bus-riding citizens: To whom does this retard (Sharpe) refer? Who has gone 2-14 in consecutive seasons? I'm Jack Bauer up in this bitch. That is to say, I'm lost.

Oh, no. Please. Wait. The best point of all is yet to come.

You see, Denver Bronco fans like to attribute their back-to-back Super Bowl victories to one man.

Personally, I don't take away from the fact that they won two consecutive titles.

If there was a feasible way to negate that piece of history -- trust me -- I'd already have the patent.

The fact remains, though, that Denver fans, Old No. 7 specifically, like to attribute such feats to one man in particular.

Over here on Planet Earth, however, we're aware of the notion that -- regardless of late last calls, fat chicks, and country inbreeding, it takes a team to win.

In Denver, however, the belief is quite the opposite.

You have a tight end, who blatantly feels responsible for the franchise's successes, as evidenced by his horse-lipped mouth:

"He's all they had. I only lost five playoff games. He's lost three already."

Mos' Def, Horse Lips.

Like in 1997, when the Chiefs went 13-3, then lost to Denver. That'd be off-subject.

Tony Gonzalez was what?

Oh, that's right.

A rookie.

He had 33 catches for 368 yards and two scores that year.

But you know, it was his fault that the Chiefs lost that game.

And don't even get me started on the row-add cookin' touchdown pass he caught where he was pushed out of bounds by a cheatin' Bronco.

So, as you can plainly see, Shannon Sharpe suggests that Denver playoff losses and wins are solely attributed to him and him only, and the same can be said for Kansas City, the Chiefs, and Tony Gonzalez.

And now would be a bad time, I assume, to mention Sharpe's rookie stats. What? No? It wouldn't? Okay, well if you insist...

...seven catches for 99 yards and one touchdown. In 14 years, he accomplished less, at his exact same position, than Tony accomplished in 12. But, you know, throw in a quarterback that refused to play for the team by which he was drafted, and wah-lah -- Sharpe's better, and a guaranteed first-ballot guy.

Makes sense...

...except for the fact that in Kansas City, we focus on team. Not one guy. Tony is part of a team. John Elway was part of a team. Tony, as part of the Chiefs teams, hasn't won a playoff game. Elway, as part of a team, won many, and of course, ensuing championships, but over here on Planet Reality, we chalk that success up to the whole team, whereas a guy like Shannon, ultimate HOFer that he may be, continues to whine, along with his afficionados -- that he missed out on first-ballot status. And for that we can only say, help yourself to the box of Puffs, ese.
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Tradition Tuesday Wednesday Addendum: Sharpe-Gonzo Hijinks

Banky's post from yesterday inspired me to rehash this Broncos-Chiefs rivalry thing. First of all, how come the Broncos can't simply bust out the old orange duds once a year? Be it for a Raiders game, Chiefs game, doesn't matter. We've had to watch this team wear the stupid orange alternate jersey, the stupid dead-horse helmet and now the stupid maroon getup Coach Doogie modeled yesterday.

I'll admit, I'm a nostalgic romantic traditionalist. I grew up with those uniforms, and I don't see a God damned thing wrong with bringing them back once in a while.

But moving beyond fashion, I've discovered some delicious sound bites from a bitter Shannon Sharpe. Shannon was snubbed by the Hall of Fame back in February, which is of course preposterous. I assume he'll get in one day, but in the meantime he's adopting that old surefire coping strategy: reminding everyone that Tony Gonzalez sucks. Catfight details after the jump...

First, Shannon told the Baltimore Sun (reprinted here in the LA Times) that even though Tony G has broken some of his records the Chief is nothing but a pretender:

"But I never played on a 2-14 team two years in a row," Sharpe said. "He's all they had. I only lost five playoff games. He's lost three already."
That was before the vote. Since the travesty in Canton transpired, Shannon is still gunning for his old Tradition sparring partner. Jim Armstrong noted on Friday that:
Shannon Sharpe tells Page 2 he's OK with not being a first-ballot Hall of Famer, an honor never accorded a tight end. The litmus tests comes when K.C.'s Tony Gonzalez is eligible. Says Sharpie: "I want to see the tight end who gets in on the first ballot. I hope I'm alive to see it. If it's just numbers, Tony's got the numbers. But he's never played in the Super Bowl. Every big game he's played in, he lost all of them." . . .
You go girl!

In response to this devastating critique, Tony Gonzalez demanded a trade to a team that could get him to the playoffs. That way, he could break the last record Sharpe still holds: those five postseason losses.
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Historically Speaking: 3-25-09

No time for savvy intros today. Get to learnin'...

* A number of NCAA men's basketball championships have taken place on March 25th. The first was in 1947 when Holy Cross beat Oklahoma 58-47. In 1961, Cincinnati needed overtime to defeat Ohio State 70-65. Six years later, UCLA downed Dayton 79-64. They would take the title again in 1972, this time knocking off Florida 81-76, marking their sixth consecutive championship.

* Today in 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Carmen Basilio to become the first boxer in history to win a championship five times.

* In 1982, Wayne Gretzky became the first NHLer in history to tally 200 points in a season.

* In 1985, an Illinois judge ruled that state and city laws banning night games at Wrigley Field were constitutional. In the previous year's NLCS, the Cubs had been forced to give up a home game, and threatened with playing future post-season games elsewhere in order to accommodate network television's prime-time schedules. As a result, the team sued to overturn the laws.

* And in 1997 -- a very sad day indeed -- the Hartford Whalers announced that they would leave Connecticut after the conclusion of the 1996-97 season. They became the Carolina Hurricanes.

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

...former New Jersey Nets forward Buck Williams, who, circa 1982, was asked why he averaged one assist a game that season. His response: "I knew those guys were out there. I just didn't know where."
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teh Internets Strike Back

Just thought I'd share this lil' spasm of joy, courtesy of a die-hard Chefs fan (via ESPN.com's messageboards and poster martinbonewitz, whoever that genius bastard is).

well start from i love the chiefs to death but i think matt cassel is doom becuase he's not goin to do anything with are front line so shtty and we did nothing to fix it this offseason and the only good olineman we hav left he wants out so i can see why LG AND TG AND BW wants out we bring in old player's why not bring in harrison not bobby and torry holt is out there ah haley get a real WR harrison or holt and man get some olineman man we are goin to take a good QB and make him look shty i hate to say it but my team is starting to look like the browns the browns do the same thing bring in old player's think their goin to help never do i just dont get it but to tell the truth am not looking forward to this year maybe we will be good in 2010 but haley draft curry he will be gd next to DJ WE NEED HIM BAD..

Oh, so Cassel is doom. But...what about Tony Gonzalez?

well i dont see TG playing for us next year it would be great dont get me wrong i would hate to see him in a other uniform but he gave us all he hade and hunt u owe him big he could of left a long time ago and i want to see TG win a champion ship i dont know about all the chief fans but he deserves to have a ring and hes not getting it in kansas city only way he will if he play's another 5yrs maybe well be up their to win one but man let TG go so he can sign wit the pats arizona colts or sht the steelers i hate to see the BEST TIGHT END TO EVER PLAY THE GAME NOT HAV A RING WHEN HE FINALLY LEAVE'S THE GAME

That is all.
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Tradition Tuesday: Don't Call It a Throwback (Been Here for Years)

Many months ago, in the blessed days when I was the last remaining bachelor of the Iron Triangle, there was, if you will, a meeting of the minds. The topic of said meeting was a mental sumo-wrestling match, the title bout, if you will, of three grown men attempting to figure out what the rough focus of this blog was to be. It was long, gruelling, and torturous, and instead of a trio of obese, castrated Asians in diapers, it was more like three pasty, well-endowed (Editor's Note: Take me seriously when I say that I speak for only myself there.), beer-bellied wordsmiths. The commonality was the battle, though. We entertained, for fewer seconds than I can hardly recall, the following notions:

1) The Ultimate NASCAR Blog
2) The WNBlogA
3) The Billiards and Bowling Blog, and
4) a hybrid of championship poker and tablog-tennis,

but in the end, the gavel slammed, and it was determined that the focus would somehow relate to the rivalry between the Denver Broncos (Cecil and Seven pounced on that pile of rotten meat like starved scoundrels in the desert) and the Kansas City Chiefs (wherein I proudly took one for the team). It was decided as such, given our years of experiencing matriculating to one another's football back yards, where there is always guaranteed a plethora of canned beer, smoked protein, and a vessel's worth of curse words. We fondly titled such excursions The Tradition, which brings us to today, another installment of "Tradition Tuesday," where we bring you the weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.

There are a number of football topics to discuss today, so let's not waste any time. I will expect, as always, extended opining in the comments section by each and every one of you readers. Shall you fail this assignment, I'll be shredding the rest of the week's gold stickers and sending notes home to your parents.

First, we've spent more time discussing the Jay Cutler situation than there are hours in Lent. But the thing won't die. Really. It's like the Peter Griffin-chicken fights in "Family Guy." And like most days in the past three-four weeks, another tidbit has surfaced, and the gang at BroncoTalk delivered an interesting photo

attached to a story, wherein Coach Doogie had just concluded an interview and proudly (Note: By "proudly," I mean nice smile, Mosh.) held up Denver's version of the legacy jersey, foreshadowing of the upcoming "Legacy Games" that will take place this year. Each team will wear a throwback for one road, one away game. McDaniels was quoted in The Denver Post explaining why Young No. 6's work shirt was chosen:

"I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other player,” quoth the Doogster.

On the Kansas City side of things, this means that the Chiefs will don the ol' Texans jerseys. Personally, I have no problem with that whatsoever. The late Lamar Hunt always considered the Dallas Cowboys a rival, and never got a chance to see the Texans take on America's team, in that the Texans were only in Dallas for three seasons. But there's another interesting twist, or two, to that The Kansas City Star article:

"The NFL announced the nationally televised games from the opening weekend of the season. Neither the Chiefs nor the Cowboys are involved, so it’s possible their game could be played on opening weekend...Denver is another possible opponent for the Chiefs that weekend. The league is looking to promote the 50th season since the launch of the old AFL. The league matched two original AFL franchises, the Bills and Patriots, in one opening weekend game and two more, the Chargers and the Raiders, in another."

To either of those, I say bring it. Of course, I don't consider the Cowboys a rival to my Chiefs, but it would be a neat way to kick off the season, and I imagine, a fascinating game as far as seeing where these two teams sit in terms of talent and productivity. If the latter is true, than I can assure you that I know three guys that will be at that game, each of whom clad in throwback helmets of their own. And rest assured, I'm stoked that mine doesn't look the slightest bit gay.

Since the NFL has taken to tossing us fans mere pieces of the schedule pie, I'll note that Denver has been given the Thanksgiving evening game. I think that's fantastic for two reasons: 1) The Chiefs got it three years ago, and it was a blast. I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday of that week preparing Thanksgiving dinner, and figuring exactly how I would re-heat in the Arrowhead parking lot without drying everything out. It was great fun. It was not something I'd want to do every year because it was a lot of work, and frankly, Thanksgiving should be spent with families, unless you're a Packer or a Lion fan, and you've been doing that your whole life. 2) I think each great football community should have such an experience, and I include Denver -- even if they are pillow-biting uncle-fuckers -- in that sentiment.

There are two oddities about the thing, though: 1) As I'm sure you either already knew, or have since concluded, why is Denver in the mix for a second time three seasons into this new tradition? I mean, aside from the fact the the Broncos get 11 prime-time telecasts per year and 12 of those are home games, I thought the notion of this gig was to spread the games around. 2) They're hosting the Giants? Whatever. That's just, well, aside from the pout-fest -- or as Kissing Suzy Kolber put it: "Cutler and Eli having a sulk-off" -- factor, completely lame.

As for other news with the teams, Broncos Gab reports that the club is interested in shopping some of its tailbacks, and that some non-Cutler McDaniels decisions have irritated some teammates, while Mile High Report offers, well, more Cutler:

KC Chiefs Football wants us to know that Chairman Clark Hunt is interested in keeping Tony Gonzalez, unsure about Brian Waters and Larry Johnson. Arrowhead Addict looks at some affordable free agents the Chiefs might could consider, and if that's not enough Chiefs/Broncos information to make you want to throw up, then hopefully this will be:

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How Not To Fix The World Baseball Classic

There's still smoke and confetti in the air following Japan's thrilling extra-innings win over Korea in last night's World Baseball Classic final. The trophy engraver's tools are still warm, the players have yet to return to their professional clubs, and yet a chorus is already in full throat. The WBC is broken, sayeth the nays, and here's how you fix it.

Everyone seems to have a solution to the problem--hold it during a different time of year, mix up the format, force the best players to participate. The possible changes are infinite, but the impetus for these critics' frustration is identical: Their team lost.

Had the United States managed to win this tournament, the conventional wisdom would have been that it's fine--at least until the first big WBC star suffered an injury this season. I'm sure that the Dominican blogscape is even more vitriolic, after the DR was dumped in the first round by a motley nine from various Dutch colonies. Conversely, I doubt many Japanese or Korean pundits have a beef with the WBC's current landscape.

My only hangup is with the captain of this ship, one Allan H. "Bud" Selig. As with most pivotal decisions Bud has made, the WBC has infuriated me in execution while pleasing me in substance. If we could only lessen Bud's grip on this tournament, it might end up just about right.

Look, I wanted to win just as badly as any other American fan. I suffered through appearances by our starting pitchers, guys who are normally dominant but looked rusty and rotten this March. I too wished that aces such as C.C. Sabathia, Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon could have found their way onto the roster.

The U.S. also went through a long dry spell in international basketball, but we were able to remedy that at the Beijing Olympics. This country should realize that we can't just roll out an all-star team and expect to dominate the world. Our size and wealth offers us tremendous advantages, but hinders us as well. Japan is the most homogeneous society in the world, free from our racial, linguistic and regional differences. It's far easier for Japan to assemble a team that acts as a cohesive unit than it is for the U.S.

But those are provincial problems with specific American players, not structural deficiencies in the event.

The largest issue, for every nation but particularly for those that rely on MLB players, is the readiness of pitching. This is an enormous crapshoot, as pitching tends to be in any short-format playoff. How else can you explain how Freddy Garcia was a postseason stud for the 2005 World Champion White Sox, yet was dogshit before and has been dogshit since?

Major league pitchers are used to ramping up their workload during March. Starters will toss an inning or so in their first few appearances and gradually add to their pitch counts. It's only this week that you're seeing pitchers in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues turn in appearances that approximate what they'll show in the regular season.

Pitchers also use March to try goofy shit, because the games don't matter. Zach Greinke of the Royals has been dabbling with a new changeup grip and getting absolutely torched. If that grip is ready for Opening Day he'll add it to his arsenal, if not he'll scrap it when the games count. The point is that Spring Training is the only chance these guys get to experiment with unproven tricks under game conditions.

So by running the WBC throughout the month of March, you do a couple things with pitching. You throw players who have yet to work into shape into the fire before they're ready--how else can you explain Carlos Marmol getting lit up by the Netherlands? You also remove their built-in laboratory for tinkering. The results can be erratic.

The best potential solution I've heard comes via Jayson Stark of the four-letter. He wants to distill the monthlong grind of the current WBC into a one-week sprint at the end of March, when pitchers should be approaching peak form. You'd play games every day at multiple sites, eliminating the numerous off days that had participants bitching about sporadic workloads. You'd end up with a final four, and you'd play the semis and finals during a lengthened All-Star break in July--when interest in baseball is at its peak and the players are literally in midseason form. I think it's brilliant, but it will never happen.

That's because Bud Selig and his fellow owners are the most short-sighted gang of rich people alive. Every decision baseball makes is focused only on the immediate dollar, never the long-term growth of the game. Shortening or suspending the season to accommodate the WBC are off the table, because owners will not sacrifice game revenue. This is also the primary reason that baseball has been booted from the Olympics in 2012--Bud and his cronies refuse to plan around a break in the season as the NHL has done.

Selig shouldn't take all the blame for the sorry state of international baseball--the players' union is devious and obstinate on this issue as well. They've stonewalled drug testing for decades, as we know, and even with all the strides baseball has made on doping the union still refuses to allow Olympic-standard testing by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Blood testing for possible HGH detection is similarly opposed. The international sports community looks at professional baseball in America as a dirty game run by crooks, because it is. Fuck, even cycling has more credibility.

The idea of a World Baseball Classic is fantastic, and as we've seen in 2006 and this spring, the world can play. High-level ball is being played by athletes from dozens of countries. If we approached this tournament with integrity, instead of only looking for American TV viewership and merchandise sales, it could grow into a true classic.
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Historically Speaking: 3-24-09

Amazing how fast the weeks go by in old age. Why just yesterday, I could've sworn it was Monday. Jump ahead for some stuff that makes more sense than that.

* Just a trio of NCAA men's basketball championships to remember today: Cincinnati beat Ohio 71-59 in 1962; North Carolina State beat Marquette 76-64 in 1974; and in 1980, Louisville handled Kentucky, 59-54.

* San Francisco 49ers owner Lou Spadia proposed in 1973 that the league expand to 30 teams.

* Today in 1974, Chuck Wepner took Muhammad Ali the distance in a heavyweight-title bout. Though Wepner fought to the finish, Ali remained the champ. This fight is frequently broadcast on one variety or another of the ESPNs, but you can also go here and find 'Tubes of the rounds.

* The year was 1982 when a southpaw for the Los Angeles Dodgers ended his holdout, and reported to training camp in Florida. Fernando Valenzuela, having won N.L. Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and a meager $42,000 in 1981, Valenzuela told Dodgers brass he wanted a million bucks. Allegedly, they bumped him to $350,000.

* Finally, in 1992, Pittsburgh Penguin Mario Lemieux became the second-fastest NHL player in history to hit the 1000-point mark. Old No. 66 did so in 513 games.

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

...former University of Minnesota football coach Cal Stoll, who, circa 1975, had this to say of the Cornhusker football program: "We finally got Nebraska where we want them -- off the schedule."
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Monday, March 23, 2009

More Monday Miscellany

Time for one more quickie here inside the House of Georges walls. I hadn't really spent much time in the CyberSpaces yet today, but when I did, there was a thing or two I couldn't pass up. So after the jump, get a mini-fix of 'Tubes, 'Nails.

The diamond deejays over at Bugs & Cranks have put together this pleasantry of Tommy Lasorda:

From Deadspin comes two newsworthy notes of interest:

1) The NY Daily News says that Gang Green wants its fans to yell "Jay-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!"

We're anticipating this move to happen, and we're also going to start taking running bets on how long it takes Screamin' Jay to tell Suzy Kolber he wants to kiss her.

(Editor's Note: Speaking of SK, meant to link to this KSK post several days ago, since it has their second Todd Haley rant, and I'm sure there are many, many more to come. While the post, and frankly most of their content is pretty hilarious, I must mention that we, of course had that StubTube up first. Pricks.)

2) Apparently Curt Schilling has retired,

and apparently ESPN ran the story with a blockquote, all neat and tidy with Jose Canseco's picture in it.

That's about as unfortuneate as the Raiders opening their season on Monday Night Football for the third time in four years. Good gravy...
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