Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happiness is...

On the Dan Le Batard show I heard about this video being guaranteed to put you in a better mood, and I have to admit - it's pretty strong.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Teen Wolf in the news

In a move that sounds remarkably like an episode of Family Guy, Tampa DE Greg White has changed his names to Stylez G. White, a moniker in honor of the best friend (outside of his platonic friend Boof) of Michael J. Fox's character from the ridiculous 80s movie Teen Wolf. Which leads to an obvious question - is it more cool or less cool that he acknowledges that it's in honor of Teen Wolf. Had he not mentioned it, I would have assumed it was in honor of Furious Styles from Boyz n the Hood. Hmmm. I'm going to have to say it makes him less cool.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Will Barry Sanders, Jr. be the most hyped athlete of all time?

Every now and then I get into a conversation about going to a football game when it's cold outside. It can be a badge of honor for some people to flirt with hypothermia, and for others it's idiotic to stay outside when the temperature is in the teens. For me, it depends on the importance of the game. And the biggest notch on my belt is December 27, 1998, at what was then PSInet Stadium. It was in the low teens - absolutely brutal. But nothing was keeping me from the meaningless battle of 5-10 teams. The reason: it was the only chance I ever had to see Barry Sanders live. Barry Sanders would retire in July at the age of 30, still in his prime and within a typical Barry Sanders season of the all time rushing mark.

As we get further away from that day more harmful to the Detroit Lions franchise than any Matt Millen personnel decision, the memories of Sanders highlights become less salient, and the players of that era who now work in the media like Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, and Deion Sanders somehow seem more memorable. But for any football fan in their thirties, Barry Sanders is the most exciting man in sports entertainment.

I say this in order to provide some context for what is sure to occur over the next six or seven years: Barry Sanders, Jr. will surely become the most hyped high school football player of all time. This past weekend he scored three TDs for Heritage Hall in the Oklahoma Class 2A State Championship Game.

That's a 14 year old freshman, who averaged 8.4 yards per carry on the season, stepping his game up and being the best player on the field in the championship game. By the time he can see an R rated movie, he might be a household name, at least to the same degree Lebron James was. He's already a Youtube sensation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another freaking list

Empire Magazine has released their list of the 100 greatest movie characters of all time, and it's not a bad list. My grievances are the omissions of Colonel Nicholson as portrayed by Alec Guinness in The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Terry Malloy as portrayed by Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. Characters I'm not a huge fan of that are on the list are Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell in the Escape... movies), White Goodman (Ben Stiller in Dodgeball), and Donnie Darko.

100. Martin Riggs - Lethal Weapon 1-4

99. Hal-9000 - 2001: A Space Odyssey

98. Charles Foster Kane - Citizen Kane

97. Clarice Starling - The Silence Of The Lambs

96. Ethan Edwards - The Searchers

95. Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare On Elm Street 1-6, Wes Craven's New Nightmare

94. Buzz Lightyear - Toy Story 1 & 2

93. Martin Q. Blank - Grosse Pointe Blank

92. Randal Graves - Clerks

91. Scarlett O'Hara - Gone With The Wind

90. The Wicked Witch Of The West - The Wizard Of Oz

89. Princess Leia Organa - Star Wars Episode IV-VI

88. Jessica Rabbit - Who Framed Roger Rabbit

87. Dracula - Dracula

86. Roy Batty - Blade Runner

85. Vincenzo Coccotti - True Romance

84. Agent Smith - The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions

83. Mr. Blonde - Reservoir Dogs

82. Marv - Sin City

81. Wolverine - X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand

80. Norman Bates - Psycho

79. Boba Fett - The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi

78. Axel Foley - Beverly Hills Cop

77. Ed - Shaun Of The Dead

76. Dr. Emmett Brown - Back To The Future 1-3

75. Marge Gunderson - Fargo

74. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial

73. Jack Torrance - The Shining

72. V - V for Vendetta

71. Snake Plissken - Escape From New York, Escape From L.A.

70. Atticus Finch - To Kill A Mockingbird

69. Keyser Soze - The Usual Suspects

68. Napolean Dynamite - Napolean Dynamite

67. Frank Booth - Blue Velvet

66. The Bride - Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2

65. White Goodman - Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

64. Withnail - Withnail & I

63. Wall-E - Wall-E

62. Mathilda - Leon

61. R.P. McMurphy - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

60. Ace Ventura - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

59. Tommy Devito - Goodfellas

58. Rick Blaine - Casablanca

57. Brick Tamland - Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

56. Juno MacGuff - Juno

55. Lt. Frank Drebin - The Naked Gun

54. Luke Skywalker - Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi

53. Luke - Cool Hand Luke

52. George Bailey - It's A Wonderful Life

51. Mal Reynolds - Serenity

50. Quint - Jaws

49. Walter Sobchak - The Big Lebowski

48. Tony Stark - Iron Man

47. Blade - Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity

46. Anton Chigurh - No Country For Old Men

45. Amelie Poulain - Amelie

44. Peter Venkman - Ghostbusters

43. The Man With No Name - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

42. Alex DeLarge - A Clockwork Orange

41. Mary Poppins - Mary Poppins

40. Patrick Bateman - American Psycho

39. Marty McFly - Back to The Future 1-3

38. Donnie Darko - Donnie Darko

37. Edward Scissorhands - Edward Scissorhands

36. Harry Potter - Harry Potter 1-6

35. Maximus Decimus Meridius - Gladiator

34. Rocky Balboa - Rocky 1-6

33. Tequila - Hard Boiled

32. Jason Bourne - The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum

31. Aragorn - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

30. Jigsaw - Saw 1-5

29. Daniel Plainview - There Will Be Blood

28. Gandalf - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

27. Tony Montana - Scarface

26. Ron Burgundy - Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

25. Yoda - The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

24. Ash - Evil Dead I, II & Army of Darkness

23. Harry Callahan - Dirty Harry

22. Ellis 'Red' Redding - The Shawshank Redemption

21. Michael Corleone - The Godfather Parts I-III

20. Forrest Gump - Forrest Gump

19. Jules Winnfield - Pulp Fiction

18. Travis Bickle - Taxi Driver

17. Hans Gruber - Die Hard

16. Neo - The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions

15. Ferris Bueller - Ferris Bueller's Day Off

14. The Terminator - The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

13. Gollum - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Return of the King

12. John McClane - Die Hard 1-4

11. James Bond - Goldfinger

10. Vito Corleone - The Godfather

9. Ellen Ripley - Alien 1-4

8. Captain Jack Sparrow - Pirates Of The Caribbean 1-3

7. The Dude - The Big Lebowski

6. Indiana Jones - Indiana Jones 1-4

5. Dr. Hannibal Lecter - The Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon

4. Han Solo - Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi

3. The Joker - The Dark Knight

2. Darth Vader - Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jed, Revenge of the Sith

1. Tyler Durden - Fight Club

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The other, other white meat

I saw this today on Deadspin (in their competition for Sports Human of the Year) and thought it was absolutely the greatest baby picture in the history of the world. It would make Cosmo Kramer shit his pants. Ladies and gentlemen, I present - Baby Mangino!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No amount of Old Spice swagger will make up for this

In what has vaulted past Tatum Bell stealing Rudi Johnson's bags and Brett Favre breaking down Packers' tendencies with the Lions as the NFL story of the year, Brian Urlacher's baby momma has accused him and his current girlfriend of painting his three year old son's toenails are putting him in pink Cinderella diapers.

Yeah. And you thought Michael Strahan's ex wife was a bitch. Well, maybe that's just how the most overrated linebacker in the NFL (yet only the second most overrated linebacker taken in the 2000 draft) was raised.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kornheiser: "[noun] [verb] Brett Favre!"

I've been a fan of Tony Kornheiser's work ever since the nascent days of the Bandwagon in 1991. And I firmly believe that PTI is the best sports discussion show on television. But I can't take anymore of Kornheiser's insertion of Brett Favre or Tom Brady into every Monday Night Football broadcast, often times every drive. Last night Kornheiser mentioned Favre more than Aaron Rodgers and twice as much as Drew Brees in a game in which he wasn't playing. Keep in mind it was an NFC matchup, so Favre and the Jets were in no way pertinent to the teams actually playing.

I do give credit, however, to Kornheiser's ousting of Joe Theismann from the booth. Ron Jaworski is one of the best in the world at breaking down quarterback play on tape, and it's a joke that it's taken this long for him to get a spot in the booth. And Jaws has no trouble standing up to his benefactor: he finally got Kornheiser to stop the Favre references for a few minutes last night.

Kornheiser: Aaron Rodgers, every time he goes out, he competes against the other quarterback and he competes against Brett Favre. There is not only Drew Brees to worry about, there's Favre, too.

Jaworski: I think that is ridiculous. I think it is an absolutely ridiculous statement. When you are a quarterback, your focus is on your opponent.

Kornheiser: I don't mean consciously, I mean subconsciously.

Jaworski: I don't think so. You have to focus on what you have to do. He doesn't care what Drew Brees is doing, or Brett Favre. He's worried about his job.

Kornheiser: Well, thanks for ruining my... whole metaphor.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The greatest commercial ever

Brightening the affront to taste that was last night's MNF snoozer was the most spectacular commercial I've ever seen, a spectacular display of product placement that made me reconsider my decision to bypass Guitar Hero World Tour.


Philip Lutzenkirchen of the Lassiter Trojans makes the most creative football play I've seen in years.

So when is Mike Leach going to send Michael Crabtree flying out of the back of the end zone to tip it to a teammate? It's great to know we haven't reached the final frontier.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh those wacky Philly fans

Maybe it's a good thing Philadelphia has a 25 year championship drought (and Cleveland a 44 year drought). These idiots would burn their city to the ground if they had a dynasty. And some idiot would record it on a camera phone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The showdown

Roy Williams (the one that wasn't on the Cowboys) has been traded to the Cowboys. Ed Werder is reporting

The trade would involve multiple draft picks but would not involve the Cowboys' first-round pick.

Adam Schefter, on the other hand, is reporting

The Lions have traded WR Roy Williams to the Cowboys for at least one first round pick.

So who is right (probably Schefter) and who is wrong (probably Werder)? I confirmed that Dallas only had one first round pick for next year. I think Williams is a fantastic player, but a first rounder for a guy you only have for 10 games and have to integrate in the passing game is a steep price.

Other veep jokes Palin comparison

Props to Desultor.

In the interest of being fair and balanced, here's a trailer for Disney's new Palin movie.

Otis! My man!

Outside the Verizon Center last night after the Capitals beat down the Canucks 5-1.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oakland puts the fun is dysfunctional

The Raiders are truly the laughingstock of professional sports. If there was any doubt a week ago, this latest episode removes all doubt. During Lane Kiffin's postgame press conference, Tim Kawakami referred to an incident where Al Davis's crony John Herrera reportedly distributed an ESPN article critical of Kiffin. Out of the back of the room Herrera yelled out "That's not true!" and Kiffin starts smiling ear to ear like he just cracked a case. It's only a matter of time until he drives around the parking lot dragging the team's three Super Bowl trophiesbehind his car, because he just can't get fired. After the press conference Herrera got all up in Kawakami's business accusing him of false reporting and smoking pot. Here's Kawakami's account, along with Lowell Cohn's. This could be the most unintentionally funny video since last year's Kevin Everett video.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This just showed up in my email

To: me
Sent: Frisday, September 19, 2008 9:46 AM
Subject: RE: keep your chin up

Thanks so much for your email. I will learn from this mistake and move on, but this one will live with me for a long, long time.

Ed Hochuli

From: me
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 1:02 PM
Subject: keep your chin up

Feel better big guy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm convinced Vince Young is gay

With the Vince Young shenanigans of this week as context, I'm convinced Vince Young is gay. Contributing to my opinion is the fact that he seems to enjoy slamming shots with topless men is some type of disco.

I mean what is wrong with this picture (made public this past offseason)? I know: no women present. Now there's not anything wrong with being gay, or being a gay quarterback, but I have to imagine the pressure on you would border on the ridiculous.

THIS is why you suck

About six months ago, the Duke football team backed out of a four game series with Louisville. There was a clause in the contract where if a team backed out there was a $150,000 buyout if a "team of similar stature" could not be found. Duke's attorney argued that this clause was unenforceable, because no team was of similar stature to Duke. The judge agreed:

At oral argument, Duke (with a candor perhaps more attributable to good legal strategy than to institutional modesty) persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower. Duke's argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville.

Now Fanhouse has the video and it does not disappoint.

They can call it The Motherlands

The frontrunner for naming rights for the Giants and Jets new stadium is Munich based insurance company Allianz. Although ending it's name with a Z may be very 21st century, the company has been around since 1890 and provided insurance to Auschwitz under Hitler. It's CEO at the time was in Hitler's cabinet. If they're considering Allianz, I'd hate to see the companies they rejected.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moses comes down off the mountain

Commissioner and sexy beast Roger Goodell is conducting a web chat tomorrow on NFL.com, so I put some thought into it and came up with this whopper of a question.

One of the hot button issues this past offseason is the length of the preseason and the fact that preseason tickets cost as much as regular season tickets. What I don't understand is why teams don't just raise the price of regular season tickets and make preseason tickets cheaper. The practical advantage is that season ticket holders would have an easier time recouping their costs without selling regular season tickets at a premium. Could this upset the relationship between broker sites such as Razor Gator and Stub Hub and the teams with which they are partnered?

Yoko Romo

Props to Profootballtalk on this one.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Six pack of questions - week 1

I'm going to experiment with different wrap ups this year, because my MMFMQB format of last year was so difficult to maintain. I'm going with the ESPN six pack format this year until I don't, hopefully I'll nab a sponsorship from any beer company, alcoholic, non-alcoholic, or root.

1) The Steelers are the favorite to win the Super Bowl. True
The Chargers, Jaguars, and Colts all lost, while the Steelers dominated a healthy Texans team. Of all my predictions, I'd like to take back the Texans going 11-5, (I still think they're winning 9 or 10 games) but that's a quality team the Steelers rolled, and LaMarr Woodley looks like the latest stud elephant developed by the Steelers machine.

2) The Patriots are done. False
In 2001, the Patriots were coming off a 5-11 season when they lost their leading passer (Drew Bledsoe) and one of their leading tacklers (Ted Johnson) to injuries, and suspended their leading receiver (Terry Glenn). How soon everyone forgets. Coming off a 16-0 season and playing one of the weakest schedules in the NFL, it's not hard to see them making the playoffs. Take a look at their schedule and pick out six losses. At San Diego, at Indy, Pittsburgh, maybe a split with the Jets, and then? Denver? At Seattle? A split with Buffalo? And can you assume a loss at Indy or San Diego? They still look like a 10-6 team to me, at worse.

3) The Detroit Lions are the worst team in the NFL. True
The 2008 Detroit Lions look like Matt Millen's masterpiece. They've got two stud receivers and not another player who could start for more than 10 teams. The Falcons rushed for 318 yards yesterday after rushing for 1520 yards all of last season. Here's a stat for you: Matt Ryan hadn't had a game without an interception since 10/6/07 against Bowling Green! He threw a pick against Notre Dame last year! Two against Maryland! If you've got guys going against the Lions this year in fantasy, start them. Aaron Rodgers vs. Detroit or Peyton Manning vs. Jacksonville? Start Rodgers.

4) The Eagles are going back to the NFC Championship Game. False
The Eagles absolutely dismantled the Rams, and I am clearly a believer that they'll go to the playoffs, maybe even win a game. But there is just too much depth in the NFC this year. Carolina looks like they'll be in it all year, Dallas is still the favorite, and we still haven't had a look at Minnesota and Green Bay. Finally, I may have been very wrong about Chicago.

5) The Tennessee Titans are better off with Kerry Collins at QB. True
Vince Young reportedly tried to take himself out of the game yesterday, and "Fisher seemed to all but throw Young back onto the field." Young averaged 5 yards an attempt yesterday, Collins 32.5. The two starting quarterbacks in maybe the greatest bowl game of all time both look like busts entering their third season.

6) Matt Ryan will win Offensive Rookie of the Year. False
Matty Ice looked great against the ole defense employed by the Lions, but tougher days are ahead and quarterbacks rarely win the award - twice since 1971, although both times in the last four years. Matt Forte and Desean Jackson firmly established themselves as contenders, McFadden starts his career tonight, and Jonathan Stewart averaged over five yards a carry. I still feel OK about picking Stewart, but Matt Forte must look like this when he thinks about taking on the Lions defense twice this season.

How excited am I about the NFL season?

As excited as this guy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Your 2008 NFL season predictions

You hear ESPN and NFL Network talking heads predicting no worse than a six-win season for any team, but of course it can't work out that way. Which is why I've predicted every NFL game this season to make sure these are plausible predictions. If you think any record seems unseemly, please check the schedules and tell me where the wins or losses are going to come from.

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys 13-3
Philadelphia Eagles 12-4
Washington Redskins 8-8
New York Giants 6-10

NFC North
Minnesota Vikings 13-3
Green Bay Packers 12-4
Detroit Lions 5-11
Chicago Bears 2-14

NFC South
Carolina Panthers 10-6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-7
New Orleans Saints 6-10
Atlanta Falcons 2-14

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks 11-5
San Francisco 49ers 8-8
Arizona Cardinals 5-11
St. Louis Rams 3-13

AFC East
New England Patriots 14-2
New York Jets 8-8
Buffalo Bills 6-10
Miami Dolphins 5-11

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
Baltimore Ravens 6-10
Cleveland Browns 5-11
Cincinnati Bengals 2-14

AFC South
Jacksonville Jaguars 13-3
Indianapolis Colts 12-4
Houston Texans 11-5
Tennessee Titans 11-5

AFC South
San Diego Chargers 12-4
Denver Broncos 9-7
Kansas City Chiefs 5-11
Oakland Raiders 3-13

NFC Playoff seeds
Minnesota Vikings 13-3 (12-0 in conference)
Dallas Cowboys 13-3 (9-3 in conference)
Seattle Seahawks 11-5
Carolina Panthers 10-6
Green Bay Packers 12-4 (9-3 in conference)
Philadelphia Eagles 12-4 (8-4 in conference)

AFC Playoff seeds
New England Patriots 14-2
Jacksonville Jaguars 13-3
San Diego Chargers 12-4
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
Indianapolis Colts 12-4
Houston Texans 11-5 (2-0 against the Titans)

Take a look a the gnarly AFC South. It was a fantastic division last year, and this year, as long as Manning is healthy, I can't see any of the teams taking much of a step back. The AFC North looks mediocre by their records, but their schedules are so absurdly hard. I don't know if any team could win more than 10 games playing the AFC South and the NFC North. Their might be some objections to the Giants going 6-10, but they've lost their two best players in Strahan and Umenyiora. The Jets take a step forward with the acquisition of Favre, but there's just too much depth in the AFC South.

Wild Card Weekend
Eagles over Seahawks, Packers over Panthers
Chargers over Texans, Colts over Steelers

Second round
Vikings over Eagles, Cowboys over Packers
Patriots over Colts, Jaguars over Chargers

Championship Games
Patriots over Jaguars, Cowboys over Vikings

Super Bowl
Patriots over Cowboys

Major Awards
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady
NFL MVP: Tom Brady
Defensive MVP: Jared Allen
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Stewart
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Leodis McKelvin
Coach of the Year: Gary Kubiak

I picked the games week by week instead of going by each teams schedule so it was easier not to have different teams win the same game. Here's my picks for the entire season. A "1" denotes a win, and I used the Excel summation function for the tallies.

Arizona Cardinals


1 1

5 11
Atlanta Falcons


1 2 14
Baltimore Ravens


1 1

1 1

6 10
Buffalo Bills

1 1


1 1

6 10
Carolina Panthers
1 1 1 1 1

1 1
1 1

10 6
Chicago Bears



2 14
Cincinnati Bengals 1

1 2 14
Cleveland Browns


1 1

5 11
Dallas Cowboys 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1
13 3
Denver Broncos 1 1 1 1

1 1
9 7
Detroit Lions 1




5 11
Green Bay Packers
1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1
1 1 12 4
Houston Texans
1 1

1 1

1 1 1 1
1 1 1 11 5
Indianapolis Colts 1 1

1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1
12 4
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1
1 1
1 13 3
Kansas City Chiefs
1 1

1 1

5 11
Miami Dolphins



1 5 11
Minnesota Vikings 1
1 1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 13 3
New England Patriots 1 1 1
1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 14 2
New Orleans Saints

1 1
1 6 10
New York Giants 1


6 10
New York Jets 1
1 1
1 1 1


8 8
Oakland Raiders

1 1


3 13
Philadelphia Eagles 1
1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1
1 12 4
Pittsburgh Steelers 1 1

1 1

1 1

1 9 7
St. Louis Rams

1 1

3 13
San Diego Chargers 1

1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 12 4
San Francisco 49ers 1


1 1
1 1 8 8
Seattle Seahawks 1 1 1

1 1 1 1

1 1 1 11 5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 1 1

1 9 7
Tennessee Titans
1 1

1 1 1 1 1
1 1 11 5
Washington Redskins


1 1
1 1
8 8

Friday, August 15, 2008

The grossest video you've seen today

NBC has taken this video down of Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai pulling a Theisman on his right arm, but it's still up at Withleather. The first thing any red blooded American should think of is the classic SNL skit of the All Drug Olympics.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I ain't sayin she's a gold digger

I don't know if my favorite part is the midget or the giant pig.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hitler hates Favre, loves Girls Next Door

Osaka vs Canton

Six years ago to the day that Steve Spurrier made his preseason NFL coaching debut in a 38-7 trouncing of the 49ers, the Redskins unveiled Jim Zorn's offense last night in the Hall of Fame game. No quarterback threw more than one incompletion in the 30-16 win, but the Colts outgained Washington by 55 yards. But this blog entry is about comparing the quarterbacks' performances.

Sage Rosenfels: 10/20, 172 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int
Danny Wuerffel: 16/25, 269 yards, 3 TDs
Spurrier's QBs: 26/45, 441 yards, 5 TDs, 1 Int, 129.4 passer rating

Jason Campbell: 5/5, 61 yards, 1 TD
Todd Collins: 5/6, 32 yards
Colt Brennan: 9/10. 123 yards, 2 TDs
Derek Devine: 0/1
Zorn's QBs: 19/22, 216 yards, 3 TDs, 147.2 passer rating

Friday, August 1, 2008

A job about nothing

Imagine if an executive at a Fortune 500 company, the most a guy who brought that company back to preeminence after being irrelevant for 25 years, waffled between retirement and staying on. Under what circumstances would the company offer him $20 million to retire, except for an occasional function where he has to gladhand a few stockholders? That's almost exactly what's going on in Green Bay. Now the Packers aren't quite in the Fortune 500, but they really aren't that far off, and most importantly they are a public owned company, the only such team in American sports. I can't imagine that the stockholders want to sink $20 million into keeping Favre off the Vikings when they offered Ryan Grant a $1.75 million signing bonus on a six year deal.

It sounds like this is how Brett Favre's career is going to end: publicly bank rolled by a team with one of the lowest payrolls in the league to remain active in the Green Bay community? So is this a case of sports becoming more or less like a business? The argument for it becoming less like a business is based around how personal this dispute has become. The argument for sports becoming more like a business is how eerily similar this sounds to Dick Cheney's retirement from Halliburton, for which he received a $20 million severance package.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pacman gets gobbled

I've heard some talking heads say that Pacman Jones is the Cowboys biggest offseason acquisition. Maybe he is, but he gets pwned by T.O. right here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Nuge, just because

I heard this song on XM 90's last week, and it made me think of the outstanding video where Ted Nugent kicks out the door of some shack and does a guitar solo that deflects bullets. The Nuge busts out his superpower 3:14 in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beware of falling Persian emissaries

Going Greek

Mediocre Atlanta Hawks swingman Josh Childress is leaving the NBA to play in Greece with a team called Olympiakos for a reported $20 million over three years, after taxes. Childress is the fifth player to leave the NBA for Europe this offseason joining Primoz Brezec, Bostjan Nachbar, Juan Carlos Navarro, and Carlos Delfino. Brezec averaged 2.2 points per game last season, the other four averaged between nine and twelve. Childress is the high man at 11.8. This doesn't include Brandon Jennings, a high school student who signed with Virtus Roma instead of going to college.

I have no issues with Jennings headed overseas and legally drawing a salary instead of being paid under the table while the NCAA and whichever college pays off his AAU coach gets rich off of unpaid labor. But for someone to jump the NBA for a foreign country when a reasonable offer was on the table (Atlanta reportedly offered five years, $33-36 million) is both a testament to Childress's motivation being money and the fact that Atlanta has cemented it's spot as the worst sports town in America.

The Atlanta Braves are on their way to missing the playoffs for the third straight year after making it 14 years in a row. The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1966 and have never had consecutive winning seasons. The Atlanta Thrashers have one playoff appearance in five seasons (half the teams in the NHL make the playoffs) and could easily be perennial cellar dwellers for the next decade after they inevitably lose Ilya Kovalchuk in two years. Which brings us to the Hawks.

The Hawks made the playoffs last year despite being eight games under .500 for the first time since the strike shortened 1998-99 season, giving the Celtics a tougher series than the Lakers. Since 1999 they have won 255 games over nine seasons, or 34.6% of their games. They trade for Mike Bibby, make the playoffs, finally have some buzz surrounding the team, and their sixth man bolts for Greece. Sucks for them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The funniest song ever?

I've been watching Flight of the Conchords and, although it may not be for everyone, it may be the funniest show on television. I saw this bit last night and just about pooped myself.

Bowie's in space
Bowie's in space
What you doing out there, man?
That's pretty freaky, Bowie
Isn't it cold out in space, Bowie?
Do you want to borrow my jumper, Bowie?
Does the space cold make your nipples go pointy, Bowie?
Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to Earth?
Bet you do, you freaky old bastard you
Hey Bowie, do you have one really funky sequined space suit?
Or do you have several ch-changes?
Do you smoke grass out in space, Bowie?
Or do they smoke Astroturf?
Receiving transmission from David Bowie's nipple antennae
Do you read me, Lieutenant Bowie?
This is Bowie to Bowie
Do you hear me out there, man?
This is Bowie back to Bowie
I read you loud and clear, man
Ooh yeah, man!
Your signal's weak on my radar screen
How far out are you, man?
I'm pretty far out
That's pretty far out, man
Ooh- ah- ooh!
I'm orbiting Pluto
Ooh- ah- ooh!
Drawn in by its groovitational (groovitational) pull
I'm jamming out with the Mick Jagger-nauts
Ooh, and they think it's pretty cool
Are you okay, Bowie?
What was that sound?
I don't know, man
I have to turn my ship around
Ooh, it's the craziest scene
Yeah, I'm picking it up on my LSD screen
Can you see the stratosphere ringing?
To the choir of Afronauts singing
Bowie's in space

You just got knocked the f out

UFC had a televised event on Saturday, headlined by Anderson Silva versus James Irvin. Fortunately, I kept watching after that, because this was the coolest thing I saw all weekend. The magic happens 0:24 in.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

When does an NFL season begin? According to the NFL the first day of the league year is March 1. The preseason this year begins with the Hall of Fame game, three weeks from yesterday, featuring the Colts and Redskins. The regular season now opens on a Thursday (September 4, Redskins at Giants, coincidentally), but most teams open on that Sunday. But if you define the season starting when teams are allowed to start practicing in pads, the the 2008 NFL season began yesterday with the Washington Redskins first practice. It didn't go well.

The Redskins lost starting end Philip Daniels for the year an hour in. They also lost end Alex Busbee for the year and Fred Smoot for the day. By dinner they traded a 2009 2nd rounder and a 2010 6th rounder for 2006 Defensive Player of the Year and 2008 Dancing with the Stars runner up Jason Taylor. What I had heard during the draft was that the high bid for Jason Taylor was a 3rd round pick, which is a steal for a guy you can be reasonably certain will get you 10 sacks. It's generally accepted that a draft pick from the following year is worth a round less, so next year's 2nd is worth this year's 3rd, and a 2010 6th is worth less than a 7th this year. In other words, the Redskins package is the equivalent of what Miami turned down during the draft.

The most obvious result of the deal is that the Redskins now have arguably the best set of defensive ends in the NFL, with Taylor and Andre Carter. Mike Florio really breaks it down at Sporting News, and seems to favor the Dolphins slightly in the trade. Peter King is fascinated by how quickly the trade went down, and thinks that any package for Favre has to be greater than the one for Taylor. I think there is a far greater market for Taylor. Taylor step right in and can start on any team in the NFL; Favre would have to learn a new playbook and wouldn't start on at least five teams.

I think Washington went from being a 6-10 or 7-9 team to 9-7. Looking at the NFC East on paper, the only team that looks better than the Skins is the Cowboys. The Giants lose Strahan and have the subtraction by addition of Shockey. Washington was weak last year at receiver, and they really weren't generating a pass rush until late in the season. Now they add two of the top receivers in the draft and a top five defensive end.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I've been waiting 20 years to post this cover

It was inevitable for someone to post shots from the Watchmen trailer next to the corresponding graphic novel panels, and Ropesofsilicon did the heavy lifting.

Looks like they made the cover of EW, not quite the classic lineup picture though. There's a great cover story with the first legitimate details I've seen and a look back with Moore and Gibbons.

Slashfilm has the details on a ET homage thanks to an odd MPAA stipulation.

Patrick Wilson implies that the movie will end like the comic, as if there was any doubt. (Okay, I had a little doubt.)

This is an operating table

The two graphic novels most associated with the maturation of the comics industry are Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Watchmen is finally becoming a movie, and I caught this little tribute to DKR in Batman: The Animated Series last night.

You got served!

Well this is the coolest thing I've seen today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Watchmen trailer is online, awesome

Looks like it's not on Youtube anymore, but here it is in HD on Apple. Also, here are the lyrics for The End is the Beginning is the End by Smashing Pumpkins (I love to do that) which is playing in the background.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The first lady of Burgerland

NBA trades continue to baffle me

Marcus Camby has made NBA All-Defensive First Team the last two seasons, after being Second Team the two seasons before that. He won NBA Defensive Player of the Year the year before last, and was second in the NBA in rebounding last year with 13.1 per game. He's signed for two more seasons at a very reasonable $10 million per, so his contract expires when Lebron, Wade, et al will be free agents. So how come he has zero trade value? (The right to swap second round picks in 23 months can be approximated as zero.)

NBA trades baffle me. I came to the conclusion in February that Portland did a great job getting Channing Frye for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau, Fred Jones, and $30 million. But this one takes the cake. Do you mean to tell me that no team could offer anything for Marcus Camby? Or is it that nothing is more valuable than something. It's not like the Nuggets traded Camby to a team in the East either; the Nuggets and Clippers have been within five spots of each other in the Western Conference the last four years.

I keep having to remind myself that the Clippers aren't the team dumping salary here. The fact that they're the team making a killing plants a seed of doubt in my mind that it's a wise move. The best apart about this trade is that the Nuggets will be even more entertaining to watch - they were 29th in the league in points allowed last year at 107.0 (also the second most since 1997) and could challenge 110 this year.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The case for Favre in Washington

I'm going down the list of possible destinations for Brett Favre, and the Redskins are starting to look more and more like the most likely destination. Right away, you can eliminate Chicago and Minnesota, because Green Bay still controls his rights and there is zero chance they deal him within the devision. Miami has frequently been mentioned, but I can't see Favre renegotiating his contract to play on a team coming off of 1-15. Likewise Atlanta. Baltimore is a possibility, but the Ravens are focused on rebuilding and are downplaying their interest. The Jets are a logical destination, although they haven't been mentioned as prominently as the other teams and should be concerned about retarding the development of Kellen Clemens by potentially moving him to third on the depth chart. Tampa Bay is a strong contender, since Jon Gruden is a former Packers assistant coach and he loves to accumulate quarterbacks.

Mike Francesca today indicated he had heard Washington and Carolina were in the mix. Out of all of these teams, the Panthers are the only one with an above average quarterback, as Jake Delhomme was on his way to a career season last year before he hurt his elbow, and is expected to be back at 100% (or more) next year. Also, the Panthers have already traded their first round pick for next year, so they may be wary or trading another high pick. That leaves the Redskins. They don't seem to have the cap room, although that's never stopped them before. It may hurt the development of Jason Campbell but, again, that's never stopped them before.

Looking at the obvious problems with acquiring a starting quarterback for a single season (building cohesion with the receivers and offensive line, learning the playbook, fracturing the locker room), the two most likely outcomes for the Favre saga are Favre starting for the Packers in week one or staying retired. But since I didn't see the retirement story getting this far, I'll acknowledge Tampa Bay, Washington, and the Jets as the likely contenders.

Potentially decent sporting event ruined by hokey announcers

Watching Josh Hamilton crank three 500 foot home runs in five minutes would have been a lot more enjoyable if it weren't for ESPN's typically saccharin announcers trying to top each other each dinger.

Karl Ravetch: It's important to know he was addicted to drugs.
Steve Phillips: And he's doing it under the bright lights of Yankees Stadium.
Chris Berman: And so many people are watching him.
Joe Morgan: What impresses me is that he was away from the game for three years.
Rick Reilly: Josh Hamilton is proof of a supreme being.

Seriously? Maybe they were making slightly too big of a deal? If most of us show up to work with alcohol on our breath, we're fired on the spot. This guy goes on a five year bender with hardcore narcotics and happens to be so ridiculously talented that he can dominate after pissing away over 10% of his career that I'm supposed to feel good about it? Hey kids, maybe you can be born a great natural athlete so you can shoot smack in trailer parks for a while, and then come back and make eight figures.

Friday, July 11, 2008

(Karl Alzner is) The Shiznit

The DC Sports Bog has had a fantastic week. First Dan Steinberg's skewering of the Washington Nationals abysmal television ratings generated a buzz around the city. Apparently the Nationals draw an average 9,000 households a game, last in the league. Next to last? The Royals, at 28,000! In a much smaller market! The best part: the Nationals don't feel the pinch, since their revenues were guaranteed by the MASN deal. So who suffers? You guessed it - Peter Angelos!

And then, Steinberg turned Karl Alzner from emerging prospect to cult hero by the revelation that he carries a discarded fake mustache worn by Snoop Dogg in the jacket of his only suit! Out of every athlete's superstition that I've ever heard, this is the only one I could relate to. If I found a fake mustache used by Snoop Dogg, I'd definitely pocket it, and were it at a hockey game and if I played hockey for a living, I'd be inclined to bring it to games.

So is Snoop Dogg a closet hockey fan, attending the game in disguise? Of course, this could be Snoop Dogg's evil brother, watching the evil (but equally dapper) Wario Lemieux. Or did Snoop just wear it to avoid drug arrests? None of the above: the mustache was meant to show support to Anaheim enforcer George Parros.

The smiling idiot will be played by the understudy

I just saw this on Withleather; I still can't believe this stiff is the third highest paid player in the NFL (Manning, Roethlisberger).

Getting the band back together

The Washington Capitals have but one free agent left to sign, first pair defenceman Shaone Morrisonn, and are $332,788 under the cap, safely assuming Brian Pothier is placed on long-term injured reserve. If Sami Lepisto and his $700,000 is left off the roster, a safe assumption after general manager George McPhee said the team was looking to carry six or seven defencemen this coming season, then the Caps are over a million under the cap. If Chris Clark opens the season on LTIR, then the Caps would be $3,666,121 under the salary cap, Morrissonn's salary (to be determined by arbitration, I'd say around $1,800,000) notwithstanding. That number would dry up if Clark was activated, but it's a way to get around the salary cap if/when the Caps are over by less than a million dollars.

Here's what the Caps lineup should look like next year to start the season:

Alexander Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Viktor Kozlov
Brooks Laich - Sergei Fedorov - Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann - Michael Nylander - Boyd Gordon
Matt Bradley - David Steckel - Donald Brashear

Mike Green - Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti - Jeff Schultz
John Erskine - Karl Alzner

Jose Theodore
Brent Johnson

Once Clark gets healthy, hopefully Eric Fehr and/or Sami Lepisto works their way into the lineup, and Alzner established himself as a top four defenceman, the lines could look like this:

Alexander Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Viktor Kozlov
Chris Clark - Sergei Fedorov - Alexander Semin
Brooks Laich - Michael Nylander - Eric Fehr
Matt Bradley - David Steckel - Boyd Gordon

Mike Green - Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti - Karl Alzner
Sami Lepisto - Jeff Schultz

I'm assuming Brian Pothier will be forced to retire due to concussions, and that the Capitals will be able to stay below the cap and won't be forced to make a trade, but that is a potentially devastating lineup, for my money the best in the east.

Fire enough bullets...

SI has a great piece today on Shawn Kemp, Jr. at the Reebok All-American camp. He's 17, and has contacted many of his half brothers and sisters around the country on Myspace, which must be a boon to the various illegitimate children of professional athletes. This reminds me of a great line from Huggy Lowdown: Shawn Kemp didn't make the All Star Team, but if he got all his kids to vote for him he'd be a starter.

Like Lil' Bush without the evil

I'd like to be invited to a Oaks Christian High School party. Not to try to feed alcohol to underage girls, or at least that wouldn't be the only reason. Because the sons of Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, and Will Smith are on the football team, so I imagine the parties have some spectacular catering.

It seems the 6'2" Nicholas Montana has transferred to the Westlake Village, CA private school where he will compete with Trevor Gretzky, for playing time behind starter Tony Macarena (no connection to the song by Los del Rio), who is throwing to Trey Smith. Notre Dame starting QB Jimmy Clausen was named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year there for the 2006 season.

All of this begs the question (posed by Puck Daddy): Wayne Gretzky's Waikiki Hockey versus Joe Montana's "I'll be in my room masturbating" versus Barkley vs. Barney versus Michael Jordan on Super Fans for best athlete SNL skit? If you're wondering where Peyton Manning is, check the videos and transcripts to see how far the once mighty Saturday Night Live has fallen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

9 days to go

Just a week and a half until the release of one of the most anticipated movies of all time, a movie I predicted months ago would place in the top five of all time grossers. The early reviews of The Dark Knight have been gushing. From Variety:

An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.

From The Rolling Stone:

The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination.

The cast is absolutely stacked. Heath Ledger (1 Academy Awards nomination), Michael Caine (six nominations, two wins), Morgan Freeman (four nominations, one win), and Eric Roberts (one nomination) bring the hardware, and it's shocking that Gary Oldman isn't on this list. Katie Holmes has been thankfully replaced by the less culty Maggie Gyllenhaal. And I truly expect Christian Bale to emerge as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood over the next calender year.