Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wunderlick...Feels So Good!!!

Vince Young apparently flunked his Pre-Draft IQ test, and people are in an uproar. Sure he was the best player in the Rose Bowl, but of greater concern is his failure to grasp word analogies. Obviously the test appears pretty simple and to score below 20 might be troubling, but its relevance rivals 40yd dash times. Young could be very smart and just didn’t care to waste time taking this test, or he’s a rockhead. Either way, a week ago he was a top five pick and now appears to be plummeting. Just one more example of how overrated the NFL draft can be.

Here at RDHHH! we felt like it might be necessary to create a test that's a little more appropriate. We feel like we're on to something here.

Instructions: There is no time limit for the test. If you're reading these instructions you're smarter than 99% of the guys who take this thing. With that in mind. Before you waste your time on this thing, write "Gene Upshaw is a douche" in the lower right hand corner and turn in your test. Don't worry about Day 2 of the draft, your agent will be getting a phone call from multitude of interested teams, including the Pats, the Colts, and the Steelers. Congratulations, you just got paid!

Jimmy is a Tight End. All Tight Ends are eligible receivers. Can you pass to Jimmy?
A. Always B. Never C. Only as a last resort D. Yes, unless it’s Adrian Cooper

Who is allowed to brandish a hand gun?
A. Anyone named Vick
B. Sean Taylor
C. Maurice Clarett
D. Ponch from CHIPs.

It is the second quarter; your team is down by eleven. After scoring a touchdown what do you do?
A. Give the ball to the ref and jog to the sideline.
B. Jump into the stands and let the Rubes slap your ass.
C. Put on an elaborate rehearsed celebration that includes a blow-up sheep, a lederhosen, and a Mao Tse Tung mask.
D. Ask for a contract extension.

Rank the following 1-8 based on total Moxie:
Joey Harrington
Trent Dilfer
Tom Brady
Brett Favre
Doug Flutie
Jake Plummer
Jay Fiedler
Donovan McNabb

Which one of these shapes is least familiar?

How many receivers are covered in the Cover 2?
A. 2
B. 11, it’s the greatest invention since facemasks.
C. 69..hehehe

Which of the following is skinny post?
A. Manute Bol
B. A pass route
C. Something in Fred Smoot’s Locker

Which of these does not belong?
A. Barry Sanders
B. LaDanian Tomlinson
C. Ki-Jana Carter
D. Emmitt Smith

If Fabian Washington runs a 4.3 40, does this guarantee a Pro Bowl selection?
A. Yes
B. No
C. Pizza

You just hired Master P and No Limit Sports as your agent. What should you do first?
A. Buy twelve Maybach's, and get crunk!
B. Buy twelve Bentley's for your mom and get crunk with her.
C. Both A and B.
D. Make 'em say UGGGHHH!

Quarterbacks Only: You are taking a three step drop, Joey Porter is blitzing off the right edge and no one is open, you should...
A. Force a throw into coverage
B. Throw it away
C. Run
D. Forget it, you scored a 16 on a Wonderlic test and GM's don't think you can make this hard decision.

Aw Crap: Glen Taylor has McHale's back

This is totally crazy. Does Kevin McHale have a covert contract with Glen Taylor appointing him Timberwolves President for life? Is he a Supreme Court justice?

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he continues to support Kevin McHale, the team's vice president of basketball operations, through what has been a difficult season on the court for the franchise.
One could argue it’s been a disaster on court.

McHale has drawn criticism for the Wolves' 24-31 record this season and a series of personnel moves that haven't sparked the team toward a run at the playoffs.
It sounds like a team ready to rebuild. Alas we have no first round picks until 2008.

"He has my confidence because I've worked with him all these years," Taylor said.
So let me get this straight: Kevin McHale’s performance comes is ignored because of his tenure with the club? McHale isn’t Fidel Castro. McHale can and should be replaced before his death. You keep a secretary for years, not the man supposedly in charge of a million dollar company.

Last February, Minnesota fired coach Flip Saunders, who has coached the Detroit Pistons to the best record in the NBA this season. The Wolves also traded point guard Sam Cassell to the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in playoff contention, for Marko Jaric, who lost his role as the Wolves' starting point guard earlier this month.
Trade Cassell: good. Acquire Jaric questionable at the time. Signing Jaric to a $37 million contract: ludicrous. Giving up a first round pick: terrible. Attempting to trade Jaric and then taking him out of the rotation: a complete failure.

On Jan. 26, Minnesota dealt Wally Szczerbiak to the Boston Celtics as part of a multi-player trade.
The two teams have a combined 11 wins since the trade. McHale and Danny Ainge basically took a bunch of spare parts and two above-average scorers and reshuffled the deck. Of course McHale couldn’t resist coughing up another first round pick in the deal.

"I think you work with a guy over a longer period of time and you try to judge him over the whole period of time," Taylor said. "Though we're having difficulties this year, I don't just judge a person... . A brief history of the McHale regime:
1995-Drafts Kevin Garnett
1997-Drafts Paul Grant, who plays 16 more NBA games than me.
1999-Signs Joe Smith to secret deal costing the Team four first round draft picks.
1999-Drafts future All Star Szczerbiak, but also Will Avery who scores 379 career points.
2000-Signs Terrell Brandon to $52 million deal only to see him play two more years.
2003-With a veteran team in need of more talent, drafts High School Project Ndudi Ebi. Two years later he is out of the NBA. (Presumably with Will Avery)
2003-Acquires Sam Cassell, Latrell Spreewell and Michael Olawokandi. Taylor later admits this was a mistake.
2004-Signs role player Mark Madsen to six year contract. Also overpays to keep Troy Hudson and Trenton Hassell.
2005-Cassell for Jaric trade.
2006-Szczerbiak for Ricky Davis trade.

Of his draft picks only Garnett, Rasho Nesterovic and Szczerbiak lasted longer than three years in Minnesota. He has also forfeited or unwisely traded six more first rounders. Of the second round picks, made more critical thanks to Joe Smith, Loren Woods is the only player to last longer than one year.

I assume some of the times we played better than we should have. Now we're playing probably less than my expectations. I don't want to judge him just on this (season)."
Taylor concedes that McHale shouldn't get full credit for the successes. (Phil "Flip" Saunders and Kevin Garnett made the team better for several years). Again you can judge him on this season, last season or all eleven and it doesn't matter: Kevin McHale is trying his best to totally sink this franchise.

Eleven years with one outstanding season and several average ones. New York Knicks President Isaiah Thomas is widely regarded as the worst executive in the NBA, and he certainly is awful. The difference is Thomas runs a team that has so much money that it does not matter how fiscally irresponsible they are. Minnesota does not have that luxury, yet McHale continues to lock in mediocre talent to long term deals and give up draft picks like he’s handing out candy on Halloween.

I'm not certain if this blog is accessible in Mankato, but I urge Mr. Taylor to read it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Just One More Reason the Twins Need the Big Hurt

Since 2002, the Twins and White Sox rivalry has developed into hate. Neither team likes to acknowledge the other’s success. For the first time since 2001, the Twins are the team chasing Chicago. Considering the Twins and White Sox rivalry, how bitter could it be with Frank Thomas in Minnesota?

Thomas complained about his poor treatment in Chicago, particularly by GM Ken Williams. So Williams professionally issued a profanity laced tirade to reporters. It wasn't just the words Williams used, but the vigor in his voice (the video is even better than the isolated quotes). He completely lost it, over Thomas' moaning about respect. Whether Thomas was a “clubhouse cancer” or not, he just exacted the reaction he wanted from Williams.

The Twins signed Rondell White instead of Thomas. White sounds like a great guy who will get along with everyone. And that’s swell. The Twins have too many nice guys, and chemistry and intangibles are overrated in baseball. Forget that Thomas is a better player a future Hall of Famer and was cheaper than White. No, they need someone that will turn Ken Williams into an eighth grader who just learned how to use swear words.

Throw stats and injuries out the window. The Twins need to call Oakland and acquire the former Auburn Tight End. The man who is shown flipping off the camera in his 91 Upper Deck rookie card. Frank Thomas should be a Twin for so many reasons. Imagine the possibilities for the Twins-Sox rivalry.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I'm at a loss for words

It's day 15 of the Olympics and Jim Souhan is still going strong. He rips speed skating, Bode Miller and every other American Olympian who didn't win a gold. This is at least the third time he has gone out of the way to take shots at Miller, but I've already covered this. The article is typical Souhan, but also drops this nugget:

Hedrick took the silver in the 10,000 meters at Oval Lingotto on Friday, giving him one medal of each shading but none the color of his neck.

Thanks Jeff Foxworthy. May US customs deny your passport after the Olympics.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Papa Don't Preach, or Announce Bobsledding

If you have nothing to do Friday or Saturday night, watch the bobsled coverage. There are three announcers, Bob Papa, Carol Lewis and Bob Neumeier. Lewis was actually a bobsledder and probably has some legitimate insight. Neumeier is a horse racing announcer, won’t let anyone else speak and his yelling rivals Dick Vitale. Papa appears to want nothing more than a paycheck for attending the event.

The broadcast goes like this: Lewis introduces the next team, tells her opinion of why they will win or lose. Then Neumeier takes over, shouting as the bobsled bumps the wall, “THEY JUST LOST 3 HUNDREDTHS OF A SECOND, THAT WILL BE COSTLY!”
The sled passes the next checkpoint and shows they gained 3 hundredths of a second. Neumeier continues, “DRIVER X IS SO GOOD IN THE TURNS, JUST MAKING SUBTLE ADJUSTMENTS AND FINDING GOOD LINES!”
The sled promptly fishtails and slides up the track. As the bobsled enters the final turn, each time at the same exact spot and with no attempt to mask his apathy, Papa chimes in “81 miles per hour.” Then he retreats to silence until the next run. Perfectly timed unintentional comedy in a "boom goes the dynamite" way.

The Dr Phil of Baseball

Chemistry in sports is often cited as a key to winning. For sports like basketball, football and hockey this is very true. Team cohesiveness in baseball however is overrated.

The ’86 Mets hated each other and won the World Series. The reason it works despite Kevin Mitchell wanting to club Lenny Dykstra with a bat, is because Dykstra doesn’t rely on Mitchell in order to double down the line. The Mets had a lot of talent. If Terrell Owens hates his quarterback, that causes serious problems and results in losses.

The chemistry cliché is totally overdone. Two articles by Jason Williams and Lavelle E Neal imply that the Twins’ failures resulted from Torii Hunter’s broken ankle. Don't worry they are just keeping Jim Souhan's seat for unreasonable logic warm .

What can't be argued is that the Twins' slim hopes of reaching the playoffs in 2005 ended July 29 when Hunter broke his ankle while trying to make a catch in Boston. He batted .269 with 14 homers and 56 RBI in 98 games.
I’ll raise my hand and argue with Lavelle E Neal III. On July 2nd, with a healthy Hunter, they were 9.5 games behind the White Sox. July 29th, the Twins were 12.5 games out.

Here’s more of Torii’s mediocre 2005 numbers: .788 OPS and 55 RC (runs created) and a 65/34 K to BB ratio. His OPS was 38th among outfielders. Why does Lavelle list his poor stats and still make a statement on his importance to the team?

The Twins fell apart well before Hunter was hurt. The emotional meltdowns, primarily from frustrated pitchers getting no run support, occurred near the end of the season. If Hunter was their main offensive weapon, sure that is a major loss. To cite Hunter as the man that kept the Twins' attitude positive is stupid. They struggled with and without him.

"You saw what happened to us when he went down last year,"Terry Ryan said. "Not only did we lose our center fielder, we lost a little bit of our edge, a little bit of our face, a little bit of our charisma, presence and leadership.”
How would Hunter change things? Maybe he could physically separate Lohse and Gardenhire better than Michael Ryan. Or maybe he would take JC Romero aside for psychoanalysis and administer a Rorschach test.

"He possesses all those kind of attributes. He's got energy. He's got leadership. He's got personality that people gravitate toward. He's got a lot of ability. Those are the types of traits that are certainly conducive to unity."
Inside Justin Morneau’s head, “Must…fight…urge to…gravitate to Torii.” He does have a lot of baseball ability, but I don’t think he is or needs to be a uniter, counselor or Interplanetary Cohesion-making Engineer person.

I bet Lew Ford is a great kisser, that could be a trait for unity too.

"I don't want to be the police of the clubhouse," said Hunter, who spent most of the final two months of the season recovering at home in suburban Dallas. "You don't go talk to the police. A lot of people don't trust the police. I want to be that counselor in the clubhouse. If you need somebody to talk to, you can come talk to me about anything."
My mistake, maybe Hunter does have an MA in sociology, but not criminal justice. Will he have a stand set up like Lucy from Peanuts? Will Terry Tiffee talk to Hunter about his childhood nightmares?

Gardenhire missed Hunter taking charge. But that leadership trait got the best of Hunter when he returned from Texas during the last week of the season. He, in fact, contributed to some of the clubhouse dissension, when he tried to punch Justin Morneau after a game. The young first baseman had taken exception to Hunter's intentionally harmless joke.
Hunter was part of the problem last year. Now he is the guy everyone relies on for support and leadership. The Twins players and coaches make it sound like without Hunter they are in big trouble. Hunter seems to be a good guy, a great fielder and an average hitter. But leadership and counseling skills in a major league clubhouse don't really mean much.

Sure, staying positive and having confidence is important, but the Twins didn’t win the Central because they simply couldn’t hit. The Twins ranked in the bottom 5 in the Majors in runs, SLG, 2B, OPS. Oh yes and first in MLB in Grounded Into Double Plays.

More random tidbits from Hunter:
"We have to give these guys [Rondell White, Luis Castillo and Tony Batista] a chance. You never know what's going to happen during the season. Give these guys a chance and see what the results are. You can't judge them on spring training, either. You have to let them get ready and see what happens."
Or be smart. If White or Batista hit like Bret Boone, put them in a catapult and launch them to Sioux Falls. And then call up the hot prospect… Ruben Sierra. Oh man this could get bad.

"I feel different," Hunter said. "The trade rumors and the trade talks during the offseason. You didn't know if you were going to be here. I don't know if I'm happy or at the same time ... man, it's just different. "Jacque is gone and J.C. is gone and different guys in the clubhouse are gone. It's different in here."
Hunter is still beating this dead horse. Romero is gone because he didn’t want to be here. Jacque is gone because the Cubs gave him $16 million to hit 20 HR’s. He forgot to mention Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie, Joe Mays and Cristian Guzman. None of whom could be considered grave mistakes by the Twins.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NFL Offseason Thoughts, Questions and Concerns

-The Star Tribune, a legitimate publication, has posted multiple articles about the Vikings trading Daunte Culpepper. So far the only source cited is profootballtalk.com. A paper with beat writers and team access can not unearth any information of their own? They have to resort to a rumor website that is referred to as the Enquirer of Football.

-Why would the Vikings want anything to do with Jamal Lewis? His obvious off field problems aside, he is on the downside of his career. Once a running back declines it is absolutely over, they don’t age gracefully. He had two 100 yard games last year with a 3.4 yd/carry. Michael Bennett, who is a consensus failure in Minnesota, had one 100yd game, a 3.8 yd/carry, and 126 less carries. With so many running backs available, it is especially insane to consider Lewis.

-People always mention how Ricky Williams is a different type of guy, and how intelligent he is. If he is so intelligent why does he keep failing drug tests? And if so many people care about him, why don’t they get him some help? -The knock on Reggie Bush is his size. He played at 198 pounds in college and supposedly has bulked up to 207 for the combine. Other running backs’ weights: Barry Sanders 205, Tiki Barber 200, Warrick Dunn 180, Brian Westbrook 205, Julius Jones 205. He’ll be fine. Remember in December when everyone said he was the number one pick in the draft? It is still true and will be in April. Besides, would you rather have a less skilled back that weighs five to ten pounds more or a touchdown threat from anywhere? Barber is rugged as any back, no one questions him carrying 20-25 times a game.

-Vince Young is from Houston, but that is no reason for the Texans to give him extra draft consideration. Many athletes have wanted to play in their hometown only to find extra pressure and expectations. Young is not going to be a superstar as a rookie quarterback, especially for a team with holes everywhere. What happens when he struggles?

-What are the Chargers doing? They are considering letting Drew Brees become a free agent in favor of Phillip Rivers. Brees is an established quarterback and a large part of the Chargers offensive success. With another receiver, the offense would be one of the league’s best. Rivers has never started a game in two years. Rivers could turn out to be a good quarterback, but it is doubtful he will be considerably better than Brees. To me the risk is too great.

-The Terrell Owens derby will soon heat up. I realize teams are simply hoping for one monster year from Owens and then accept the cost of a blowup. Mike Shanahan thinks Denver is close enough to a Super Bowl to gamble on Owens. I can’t see this working, even in the interim. The playoffs proved Jake Plummer as a poor decision maker. This looks to similar to Owens and Jeff Garcia in San Francisco. Plus Denver is not a clear cut favorite with or without Owens. Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and New England are all better bets.

-Did anyone see Jerome Bettis with Bob Costas at the Olympics? It was the most forced and unnatural conversation ever. The result was Costas announcing Bettis will join NBC for football coverage and both attempting to act surprised. And yes Bettis’ parents were there too.

Jim Souhan: The Man with No Perspective

The job of a sports columnist is to take a different approach to a story. Find a unique angle or tell the reader something they wouldn’t gather from the AP’s account. Of course Jim Souhan breaks the mold for columnists. He does a sufficient job of recapping the feud between US speed skaters Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick. And then we get his paycheck-earning insight.

For those who might have missed this speedskating spitball war because, oh, there was a good cooking show on the Food Network, Hedrick won a gold in the 5,000 meters, then complained that Davis was unwilling to skate in the team pursuit, which theoretically would have given Hedrick a chance to win five golds.
I’m confused. Is Souhan cynical because he has to watch the Olympics, or angry for missing his Rachel Ray shows, or calling his readers stupid for not watching speed skating? He might be irritated with the unnecessary drama and cat fighting in speed skating, but if that’s the case, why write another 500 words on the subject?

Davis kept referring to speedskating as "pure sport," even suggesting he prefers no fan or media attention.
I love pure sports too, but I won't get to spring training until March 14. Until then, I might occasionally take a wrong turn at the cappuccino machine and find myself at a speedskating event, and if two stars are going to keep kicking each other under the table -- or if Hedrick's going to let his cell phone ring whenever Davis talks, as he did Tuesday -- then we might take notice.

Souhan the Snob emerges. I don’t think anyone, even speedskaters, think that the sport is bigger in the US than team sports. But just to be sure, Souhan washes his hands of any affection for lame-o speedskating. If you’re like me and read all of his columns fishing for signs of ignorance and stupidity, then you recall he wrote a glowing column on Hedrick and speed skating just last week:

Hedrick's is the cowboy way -- no whining, just a Texas two-stride past skaters who hadn't heard of him until he made them memorize his backside.
Granted he had no idea that both Hedrick and Davis were babies, but at the time Souhan seemed interested in the event.

"Shaq and Kobe said a lot more to each other than Shani and I did," Hedrick said with a smile, long before Davis incited the verbal brawl.
Shaq and Kobe won championships together before splitting.
Davis and Hedrick? They refuse to win anything together, and neither will get traded to Norway.

Comparing two pansies in a team sport to two pansies in an individual sport doesn’t work very well. Shaq and Kobe also had ten other teammates that required chemistry. A speed skating relay is not really a team. 100m sprinters are almost always selfish and prima donnas too, which makes a better comparison. Of course the last time sprinters were in the news was like two years ago. Well outside the realm of research for a columnist.

They are cursed by proximity, tied by fate, bound by mutual hatred.
That sentence is the crown jewel (the voice in Souhan’s head says “Pulitzer!”). It sounds like a cheesy movie tag line. Keanu Reeves stars in Impossible Love.

We haven't seen a Winter Games rivalry like this since Tonya Harding put a contract on Nancy Kerrigan's knee.
You got the feeling Tuesday night that Davis and Hedrick left the building in search of Jeff Gillooly's phone number.
That’s right, two Olympians who have a verbal spat is equivalent to Harding plotting a physical assault on her rival. The story was reasonable until the last two paragraphs. Then the vessel suddenly and spectacularly ran ashore.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Scoop Jackson School of Journalism

It's time to play a game: Read Scoop Jackson's latest article.
Part I: Aside from learning that Scoop Jackson is friends with Avery Johnson, name one thing you learned. Anything at all.

Part II: Recite any emotions, laughs or reactions caused by this article.

Bonus: Explain how ESPN.com sees fit to employ Scoop Jackson. A typical Scoop piece is poorly contstructed, but at least he usually tries to make a point or stir emotion. This article has no facts or insight. It has zero conflict, controversy, opinion or any other reason for being written or read. Cotton Candy is substantial by comparison. It's a good thing it was not in printed form for sake of the trees.

Jim Souhan Writes (and Probably Throws) like a Girl: Underhanded

As of Monday night, the US had won seven gold medals, the second most in US Winter Olympic history. However if you read most sports columns, a picture of complete failure is painted. Jim Souhan is always eager to point out faults, but this week SI.com’s Jacob Luft joins him. I wrote the same article last week, but since Souhan and the Star Trib editors failed to read it, we’ll try again.

Last week after skier Lindsey Kildow crashed, Souhan wrote not
one but two warm fuzzy, feel good stories about Kildow’s toughness and courage. This week, after allowing Kildow four days to heal, he throws an underhanded dart at Kildow for failing to medal.

The title of his article is How the wanna-be mighty have fallen. If he wants to rip Bode Miller, fine. Why does he lump Kildow in this article? She shouldn’t have even skied, let alone take eighth place. That sounds like the Olympic spirit.

He has taken every opportunity to jab Bode Miller. Miller is a World Class skier, but also has a reputation for flaming out. The Olympics have seen the latter. So what? Other more compelling stories get a chance. Austria's Hermann Meier overcame a serious auto accident to win a silver medal. It is an interesting story, but he's not an American so who cares.

Luft writes a whopping 324 words to express his discomfort with the US team’s poor performance:
I have a simple rule when watching this stuff every couple of years: We shouldn't lose to any country that I can't find on a map. Considering that my geographic knowledge is based almost completely on playing the board game RISK in grade school, you can imagine how upsetting these Olympics have been for me. (How many medals does Kamchatka have so far?)

How narrow-minded can you be? The nerdy Risk joke really drives his point home. Luft may consider his piece tongue-in-cheek, but readers shouldn’t work so hard to identify it. If he is truly disappointed say so, if he doesn’t care, then don’t write about it.

Aside from the Salt Lake City games, this has been the most successful US winter team ever, and there are still five days left. Sure the US should have won more medals, but there are always upsets and disappointments. When Miller failed in the men’s combined, another American Ted Ligety surprised everyone by winning the gold. It seems to equal out.

Luft also takes issue with the men’s hockey team. They aren’t that good. They lost to Slovakia and Sweden (sans Peter Forsberg no less), both with more talent. Russia, Canada, the Czechs and Finland all have more talent than the US. The men aren’t disappointing; their talent is middle of the pack which matches their results.

The US is not assured or entitled to medals. This isn’t the ’92 Dream Team versus Angola. Lots of countries have World-Class athletes. Why do these writers refuse to enjoy great performances by other countries? Like Janica Kostelic, the Croatian skier who had 13 knee surgeries, and still won two medals in Torino? No it’s better to discuss the US and some mythical failure. I for one will not lose any sleep over Apolo Anton Ohno or Johnny Weir(d) not medaling.

Monday, February 20, 2006

NFL Combine: Scouting for Future Busts

The NFL Scouting combine begins this week. For some reason the NFL Network will broadcast this excitement vaccuum. There are no fans, no media members, and a bunch of scouts and NFL Europe players. Many of the top prospects decline to work out opting instead for private workouts. It is not a glamorous off-season event, but somehow it is treated as such.

To have measurable drills to equally compare prospects is a good intent. The problem is the number of irrelevant drills and the conclusion people draw from them. Draft history is full of players that move up the charts based on numbers or workouts. In 2003 the Jets traded up to get Dewayne Robertson, passing on Kevin Williams and Terrell Suggs.

Coaches do run several drills that incorporate several game situation skills. Having defensive backs cut, backpedal and then catch an overhead pass for instance. This is something a player will do 10-20 times a game. Yet other drills that produce tangible numbers still eat up a lot of the combine.

The most popular and most overrated stat for a football player is the 40-yard dash. Rarely will anyone besides receivers, backs and special teamers ever run more than 20 yards, especially in an unobstructed straight line. Not only do players never run 40 yards, at the combine they start from a sprinter’s start. This proves absolutely nothing. Even at a position like Wide Receiver this number is useless. Jerome Mathis had the best 40 time in 2005 at 4.32. His rookie season netted 5 receptions and none over 40 yards. Troy Williamson experienced the same ascent based on his speed. He struggled as a rookie because of his poor skills in other areas.

The combine also has a 20-yd dash, which is slightly more applicable. It is still measured in a straight line from a sprinter’s start. A player could be a world class sprinter, but if they can’t shed blocks, catch the ball or take the proper angle of pursuit it is worthless.

It is possible to have a standard timed drill that is more practical for football players. The combine has cone drills and shuttle runs show how quickly a player can change direction. But the 40 is by far the most recognizable and compared stat used in draft talk. Fabian Washington was the fastest among corners in the 40 resulting in the Raiders selecting him 23rd, the fourth corner taken overall. His shuttle and cone scores were much more average compared to other corners, including more productive players like Darrent Williams, Travis Daniels and Dominique Foxworth. Washington was a non-factor as a rookie while the others all saw significant playing time.

So much time is wasted on speed. The analysts will say someone is slow based on their 40 time. The combine has every position run the 40 and 20. In preparation, most prospects work out with speed and explosion experts to specifically train for the 40. It seems more fruitful if players spent time improving their football skills.

GM’s and scouts aren’t searching for decathletes, but the standing broad jump is somehow a standard measurement to determine a good football player. The reasoning for the broad jump is to test explosiveness. Running through an obstacle course would be more productive. Or at least have a player run and jump. When was the last time you saw a running back take a handoff at the goal line, stop and jump as far as he could?

Another issue is the measurement of a broad jump test. Erasmus James landed a 10’4” broad jump in 2005. Matt Roth, another defensive end projected in the first round charted at 9’4”. How does James jumping a third of a yard further prove he is a better player than Roth? James may have better long jump technique, Roth might have slipped or some other meaningless reason.

Besides the 40, the other sexy metric is the bench press. The two best cases are Mike Mamula and Dan Wilkinson. Mamula, especially, improved his draft status primarily due to his awesome pre-draft workout. No one will deny that strength is important for football, but there are better gauges than a bench press. The only time a player performs the bench press on the field is lying on one’s back. Not the ideal tackling position. Cleans or a blocking sled weighted by John Madden would give more honest insight toward a players’ strength.

The fact is there isn’t one factor or stat that can measure a player’s value. It still is worth it to have a scouting combine, but some drills are pointless and do more harm than good.

Hi, I'm Barry Bonds, and I am the least likeable person on the planet

Okay, so you're saying to yourselves, "Yeah we know that already." But let's be honest, it's fun to blast the people we don't like and isn't Barry on everyone's list?

So it seems that Barry is "contemplating" retirement after the '06 season. I thought I'd offer a little something on good 'ol Fathead's comments.

The Giants slugger told USA Today on Sunday he plans to retire after this season -- with or without the home run record.

"I'm not playing baseball anymore after this," Bonds told the paper in a telephone interview from his California home. "The game [isn't] fun anymore. I'm tired of all of the crap going on. I want to play this year out, hopefully win, and once the season is over, go home and be with my family. Maybe then everybody can just forget about me."

Oh no!!! Barry isn't having fun playing baseball and he's tired of all the crap going on. Crap! We need to fix this and fix it fast. You over their call Jose! You in the Zubaz, get Victor Conte on the phone fast. We need to make this game fun again. Someone log onto Wikipedia and change the entry for "fun" to the following:

fun (phun)
The process whereby a major league baseball player sticks needles in their ass, rubs "flax seed oil" on their junk, and lies to the U.S. Government, all while breaking records held by some of the games biggest legends and acting like they don't care.

Bonds, however, later tried to soften that stance.

"If I can play [in 2007], I'm going to play; if I can't I won't," Bonds said in a story posted Sunday night on MLB.com after USA Today posted its story. "If my knee holds up, I'll keep on going. I'm playing psychological games with myself right now. I don't want to set myself up for disappointment if things don't work out this season. So I go back and forth. Back and forth every day. These are the things that are going through my mind. This is what I'm struggling with."

No Barry, what you're struggling with is the fact that your body is eating itself, because your daily regimen doesn't involve the words "Cream" or "Clear" anymore. Notice that he says this is something that he goes back and forth with on a daily basis and that he doesn't want to set himself up for disappointment. So he must care about playing right? Right?

"I've never cared about records anyway," Bonds told USA Today, "so what difference does it make [if he finishes shy of Aaron's 755 career homers]? Right now, I'm telling you, I don't even want to play next year. Baseball is a fun sport. But I'm not having fun.

I think Barry's been doing coke with Nate Newton. This is why people hate this guy. One minute he's saying he would be disappointed if he couldn't play in '07 and the next he's says stuff like this. And there we go with the "fun" thing again. But Barry you're still proud to be a baseball player right?

"I love the game of baseball itself, but I don't like what it's turned out to be. I'm not mad at anybody. It's just that right now I am not proud to be a baseball player"

You see Barry is that guy that goes back to his 20 year reunion and finds everyone is married and has kids and is settled down to a nice life, and gets pissed that none of his buddies want to drink absinthe and do blow off a hooker's ass. "I loved high school, but hanging out with these guys now is just a real downer."

Guess what Barry? Baseball wised up and realized that it's "stars" were a bunch of frauds and jackasses. They decided it was better to save the game than it was to let players put anything into their bodies to help them hit the ball even farther and throw harder.

"I can't even tell how you many pain pills I am on or how many sleeping pills I'm taking," he told USA Today. "I don't have a choice. I can't even run that much anymore. How can I run? I don't have any cartilage in that knee. I'm bone on bone. But I can still hit. I can rake. I can hit a baseball."

Of course he can't tell us how many pills he's taking. If you weren't worried about records, why would you endanger yourself by going through such a regimen? Because he does care, it's the only thing he does care about.

"When Wayne Gretzky did his thing, how many kids wanted to play hockey? When Michael Jordan played, how many kids said they wanted to be the next Michael Jordan? Hopefully, some kid out there will watch me, thinking he can do what I did and become a good baseball player, too"

Hmm yes Barry, you're exactly like these guys. A shining example of what our kids should strive to be like. I mean just read this next comment and you'll see why...

"I'm clean, I've always been clean," said Bonds, who has repeatedly denied knowingly taking steroids. "But it never ends. It seems like every reporter from last season to this season has reported and opened up a new can of [expletive]. And I haven't even been to spring training. At least let me get to spring training and [expletive] up before you crucify me."

Awesome. And classy to boot. The problem with that Barry is that you haven't always been clean. You rubbed some business on yourself and your former trainer pleaded guilty to conspiracy and laundering and told the world that you used banned substances. So pardon me if I tell you to SHUT THE [expletive] UP!

"They say I didn't lose weight. Well, you know what? I am still big. I'm fat [6-feet-2, 230 pounds]. I can't do much. I can't train like I used to. So the weight stays. I'm just not a skinny person, dude, I'm not. I never will be."

"Don't get me wrong. I love Michael Jordan, and I respect Michael Jordan. But I never wanted all that attention."

Barry, you're starting to get mixed up. I forgot that the little known by-product of sticking needles in your ass, is Alzheimers.

"All I know is that I'm trying to get to the World Series again. I want that ring. So I don't want to sit on no bench. When I sit on the bench, I hurt my teammates. I want to win.

Barry! I just got a call from Jeff Kent and he agrees with you.

"Is it going to cost me in endorsements? Whoop-de-doo. I never had any endorsements, anyways. I don't base my life on that. I go to work like every other American."

Yes you do Barry. Just like all of us average Joe's. You are the epitome of working class. I don't care what they say about you , you're alright in my book. God bless you Fathead!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Top Ten Reasons to Watch the Daytona 500

Football is over, March Madness is a month away and the first baseball scandal won’t roil until April at the earliest. What is a sports fan to do? For millions of Americans it is Nascar season, the second most watched sport behind football. Before you snicker and dismiss it as a redneck sport, consider a few things. There is a lot more happening than just driving in circles.

10. Restrictor plates ensure that 43 cars will all stay in a tight pack the whole race
9. Every car has unique and identifiable sponsors and paint schemes.
8. Feuds between drivers. Heated discussions and fist fights are always possible.
7. In car cameras and audio allow insight that can’t often be seen in other sports.
6. Honest sound bites. Drivers like Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Kevin Harvick don’t bother with the clichés that show up in other sports.
5. It will get you in the mood to see Will Ferrell's new movie
Talladega Nights.
4. Bump-drafting. 190mph and the cars bump together to go faster. It’s full contact racing.
3. It fits perfectly in the vacated NFL Sunday afternoon slot. Unlike other sports, it all happens in one day, no need to daily follow scores and standings.
2. The Big One. There is always a large spectacular crash at Daytona taking out 10-25 cars at once. The best part is the drivers are rarely hurt.
1. A certain co-writer of this site used to attend Alan Jackson concerts. It’s a natural progression.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Daunte Culpepper: Limp, Roll or Charter Boat Your Way to the Door

Daunte Culpepper is either incredibly smart or incredibly dumb. The former Pro-Bowl quarterback is quickly becoming the Enemy of the State in Minnesota. After repeated demands for a raise, Culpepper is now the subject of trade rumors.

After a class five disaster of a season, Culpepper has the gall to ask for a pay raise. This can be taken two ways, either he is trying to force a trade or he is truly dumb and overvalues himself. Calculated or not, this tactic does not endear his public image in the Twin Cities.

On the other hand, maybe Culpepper isn’t so stupid. The West Coast offense really doesn’t play to his strengths and would force him to learn a new system at the same time he is rehabbing from a serious knee injury. Perhaps a team with a vertical passing game would be a better fit for Culpepper.

To request a fresh start may be best for both parties. The Vikings are being smart so far by not overreacting. They held firm with Culpepper and resisted getting into a public spitting match.

The Vikings will move swiftly on any trade talks. Trades can be approved beginning on March 3rd while Culpepper is due a $6 million roster bonus on March 14th.
The trouble will be trying to get fair value for Culpepper in a trade. One draft pick seems too small a price for a quarterback who, despite a difficult rehab, is only 28, entering his prime and has the potential to be an MVP. Of the teams with rumored interest (Baltimore, Miami, Oakland) there aren’t many tradable players to pique the Vikings’ interest.

Teams know Culpepper wants out and will not overpay for him or simply wait for the Vikings to release Culpepper on March 14th. It will take some clever maneuvering for the Vikings to garner anything near Culpepper’s true value. If he is traded a legitimate quarterback prospect becomes all the more necessary. Drafting a young QB that can suits Brad Childress’ offense might be easier than attempting to reprogram a veteran quarterback into something he is not.

Culpepper deserves blame for his actions that led the two parties to the current point. It is pretty clear he will not be back. It was probably avoidable, but that is irrelevant now. Culpepper is getting his way and it is up to the Vikings’ Triangle of Power and Wisdom to extract as much value as possible. Meanwhile fans can say thanks for the two playoff appearances, the many highlights and the awkward and hideous Roll celebration. Here’s hoping Daunte gets what he wishes and ends up in the Black Hole in Oakland. Otherwise known as complete football disarray and a 5-11 season.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Incredible Hulk is Out for Justice

Former actor and body builder Lou Ferigno is now an assistant deputy officer in LA. Sure Shaq is a token officer in Miami, but when something goes down, who would you rather have on your side? I'll take the Hulk anyday. Shaq comes off as a giant publicity stunt who thinks he's a super-hero. Ferigno is a super-hero.

What would Shaq do to a criminal, back him down in the lane or interrogate the perp in third person? "Shaq thinks you're guilty. The Diesel doesn't like law-breakers."
Ferigno says he wants to focus on drug prevention and youth. Pity the poor predator that encounters Lou. The drug bust quickly becomes a skull bust. No words wasted, just ensuring another creep is off the streets.
Even Ferigno's hearing impairment will be an asset. He won't bother asking questions, just kickin some drug pushing ass.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Extrapolate: A word that should be used sparingly in sports

ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli apparently with a straight face, poses the question can Chiefs RB Larry Johnson run for 2,500 yards.

Although he started only nine games in 2005, not moving into the lineup until Holmes was lost to neck and back injuries that might still threaten his career, Johnson registered big numbers. In his nine starts, Johnson went over 100 yards every game, with seven outings of 130 or more yards and a pair of 200-yard performances. During the starting stretch, Johnson carried 261 times for 1,351 yards and 16 touchdowns. In only one of the nine games did he fail to score, and he had six multiple-touchdown games, with two contests in which he scored three times.
Extrapolate those numbers over a 16-game season and here's what you get: 464 carries, 2,402 yards, and 28 touchdowns.

For Johnson or anyone else to get 2,500 yards would need to average 156 yards per game. It would be 6.25 yd/carry. Eric Dickerson rushed for 2,105 yards in 1984 and had a 5.6 yard average. Johnson’s average last year was 5.2.

Sports writers should not project numbers, especially based on partial seasons. Remember Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes? He hit three home runs on opening day for the Cubs in 1994. He finished the year with 8, far short of projections.

The fact that Pasquarelli seems to seriously consider this possible is absurd. Even if a running back averaged 7 yards a carry, it is the most violent position in sports, and to assume a running back will play all 16 games without injury is foolish. Johnson is a good back, has a great line and a coach that will give him the ball 30 times a game. Even in the perfect setting this milestone is ludicrous.

Maybe Len is talking about Madden '06 or Tecmo bowl. Or Larry "Gran-mama" Johnson the basketball player taking a 2,500 yard jog in the park. This seems more plausible.

After Three Days in Torino, Jim Souhan still sucks

The dateline on Jim Souhan’s articles say Turin, Italy. Based on his insight, it is questionable if he is really at the Olympics. Based on his opinions it is doubtful he has ever followed a previous Olympiad.

In his first paragraph he says snowboarding “looks more like a video game than a staid Olympic competition.”

There are nearly as many snowboarders in the world as there are skiers. This is the 3rd Olympics for snowboarding and it is not going away. What is Jim trying to say with staid competition? Should only traditional and less popular sports can be in the Olympics? Next he voices his displeasure with the US team.

He[Snowboarder Shaun White] is called the Flying Tomato, fitting for an American team that, had it been performing on a vaudeville stage, would have been ducking projectile vegetables all afternoon.
Several US athletes didn’t win events as expected. Upsets and surprises happen every Olympics; it is part of the excitement and how the Games are structured. The margin of error is much smaller than a seven game series in baseball or basketball.

America's two most famous skiers, Bad Bode Miller and Dependable Daron Rahlves, schussed out of the money in the men's downhill, losing to an obscure Frenchman in a race lacking even a spectacular Miller flameout.
After the race, Miller said that Antione Deneriaz, er the obscure Frenchman, skied better than everyone else. For his part Miller missed the bronze by .11 seconds and silver by .31 seconds. Which is also how long it would take Souhan to look up Deneriaz’ name.

No longer does the United States hope to win a figure skating medal and maybe surprise the Europeans on the slopes.
Wait a minute, was the US the favorites or underdogs in skiing? The answer is favorites, but Souhan attempts to play both angles.

The U.S. ski and snowboard association calls itself the "Best in the World," and the U.S. Olympic Committee has spent a big-league payroll in the pursuit of road results that will legitimize its outstanding performance in Salt Lake City four years ago. Wishing, however, does not make it so, especially not in quadrennial events that determine champions by the margin of milliseconds.
Geez Louise! I keep hearing Sean Connery saying “you’re playing both sides.” Now Souhan concedes it is not easy to win a medal. Souhan’s article is so murky it's amazing. Does anyone read this before printing? Further, the US ski team is one of the best in the World. Miller won the World Cup title last year and Rahlves has also won events. There are four more events for the US to win medals. Losing the downhill doesn’t make the US ski team a failure.

Minnesotan Tony Benshoof finished fourth in the luge, one spot away from the first American gold medal in the event. Benshoof matched the best finish ever by an American in the luge and said he was pleased to lose to only three other Olympians, but that sentiment might not withstand reflection.
Congratulations to Benshoof for the best American finish ever. He should be pleased. I have no idea what Souhan means by “that sentiment might not withstand reflection.” Mainly because he never elaborates on this. Neither Jim Souhan or myself understand what it is like to train for and compete in the Olympics. It’s not like Benshoof was a lock to win. Benshoof would be a disgrace if he skipped the luge to go party in Torino or made an obscene gesture after the race. He did neither and getting fourth is fantastic.

So far, the United States has won two golds in two days.
2 gold medals, which places us first in gold medals. What an argument for disgrace. Which brings up another question: Is there really this expectation that the US must haul in a ton of medals? Personally, it was exciting to see the downhill won by the very last skier. Had Miller complained or said he should have won, that would be disgraceful.

One was delivered by a guy who wasn't on the USOC radar four years ago. The other was produced by a sport that once made skiing purists wince.
Evidently Jim Souhan is a skiing purist.

If Chad Hedrick hadn't traded in his in-line skates for blades, and snowboarding hadn't become all the rage among a certain demographic of American teens, the United States would be right up there with Lichtenstein in the gold count.
Hedrick is a good story: From obscurity to the best speed-skater in the world. Snowboarding is more legitimate than a lot of events, and it’s popular everywhere, or it wouldn’t be in the World Games. What if Nordic Skiing wasn’t popular in Norway? They probably wouldn’t be very good at it.

Souhan continues on the American’s disappointment mentioning Apollo Anton Ohno and Michelle Kwan.

It was a lousy day for the Americans, yet Miller, like his compatriots, sounded strangely content. "Maybe I didn't race at 100 percent of my best today, but I wasn't far off at all," he said. "I raced hard, and I'm super happy with that.
Surely the ambitious people at the USOC are super happy with that.
Dear Jim, the cold war is over and has been since 1991. Every country wants to see their athletes do well, but it’s acceptable to do your best and still lose. It is also acceptable (this might hurt you Jim) to cheer for other countries. Every other country has formidable teams, all who train as hard and want to win as badly. Instead of bashing the US team, an article with some insight is a nice alternative. Try it sometime.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What the $#!%???: The 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Here's a few of my favorite moments from the evening that was the Opening Ceremonies:

The absolute cluster bleep that was the first ten minutes. I had a hard time distinguishing whether I was watching the Opening Ceremonies or archived video from Burning Man. Then I realized they were fully clothed, and I was whisked back to Torino. After a few minutes I then realized what they were trying to do: Re-create the movie Running Man. I've seen it done before but very poorly, it just doesn't translate all that well to the stage.

The "Sparks of Passion". Nothing conveys passion like a bunch of guys on rollerblades in red spandex with sparklers strapped to their asses.

"Ricolaaaaa!"...Oh come on, you know you said it.

"See, we hired Cirque De Sol....Oh we couldn't get them? Well who did we get? Well can they do handstands? Can they repel from things? They must be able to repel!!!"

The part where I thought my mother-in-law had dropped acid in my Diet A&W and the, ahem, "Prince Charming of Italian dance" sauntered center stage. At first I'm thinking, oh great more interpretive dance, I can go take a whiz. And then, WHAMMMO! I got hit with plastic cows, giant paper mache Siamese Twins wrapped in silver and camouflage, and said Prince Charming going Chippendales on the bit, only to have orange mohawk and veiny-like bodysuit underneath. And then, as quickly as it was there...it was gone, and I woke up in the corner next to the fireplace in the fetal position with poop in my pants.

Gratuitous Formula 1 spinout. Cutting edge. Cut-ting EDGE!

And last but not least...


If I Ran the Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Hi everyone welcome to the Olympics. So the Games will start tomorrow, Breakfast is at 8-ish, curling will start at 9.. Please be nice to everyone, don't take anything illegal and have a good time. Kevin James is going to tell some jokes, Vince Neil will sing some songs and then we'll have a go at the skeleton course...If that didn't work here are some other suggestions for future Olympic committees:

Don’t Try to Reinvent the Wheel

I am all for pomp and circumstance as long as it is in moderation. Briefly educate me on the culture of the country (otherwise it’s up to the overzealous Bob Costas to pelt us with facts). Basically keep things simple. Showcase national heroes or historical figures.

Can the Cute Singing Little Girl
The Olympics have sucked this well dry. It no longer tugs at my heart. For a curveball let’s try a senile old man. Lower on the cute factor, but a high degree of unpredictability.

No Interpretive Dancing
This one is strict with no wiggle room. I don’t care about passion or intangible Olympic spirits. You shouldn’t have to think too hard about why there is a guy with wings, tights and an eagle head.

No Futuristic Music
This goes in hand with no interpretive dancing. Let’s leave the Herbie Hancock at home. If opening ceremonies are for a glimpse into the host country’s history, play domestic music. Musical corollary: If the Games are in Italy, something besides Donna Summer and Michael Jackson is in order. If the Games are in Detroit, something besides Donna Summer and Michael Jackson is in order.

Feature the Athletes
There are two weeks to feature the stars and medal winners. The majority of the people marching have no illusions of winning. Some of the greatest stories are the single athlete representing their country.

Make your Mark with the Torch
The archer in Barcelona, a ski jumper in Lillehammer, Muhammed Ali in Atlanta and Cathy Freeman in Sydney were all memorable and unique.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The R!D!HHH! Week in Review:

From the mighty pen of Michael J. Maruska...

The week in sports, where fun is guaranteed
And a summary in prose, the only news you need,
Super Bowl XL, as predicted was bad,
The only saving grace were the smart Sprint ads,

Al Michaels gets traded for highlights and a cartoon,
Means no Collinsworth in the booth, oh what a boon.
TV on Sundays now has a large hole
No more football unless you count the Pro Bowl,

What to do now many people have wondered,
It’s simple just watch next week’s Daytona Five 'hundered,
As the NHL struggles to find fans who wont’ knock it,
Along comes a gambling ring funded by Tocchet,

To make matters worse is Wayne’s wife Mrs Gretzky,
She allegedly loves to place those high dollar betskys,
For protection her loving husband lies,
Always a poor choice to fib to the FBI,

The Winter games oft begins with skating and ski sloping,
Instead we get headlines of drugs and blood doping,
Sure it’s the skeleton, why should you care?
Because the athletes are taking Propecia, to try and grow hair.

Speaking of banned drugs, Sammy Sosa signed with the Nats,
To pair with the speedy Chubbs LeCroy for quality at bats.
Surely all D.C.-ians will be glued to their tubes
All for a chance to see them gigantic boobs.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Jim Souhan on Assignment: A Jingo in Action

Jim Souhan can not go one article without taking cheap shots at someone or something. Today’s episode finds him in Italy, presumably on the Star Tribune’s tab, to cover the Olympics. Things start out well as he describes the sights and sounds of the luge and bobsled. It is the start of an adequate column to whet one’s appetite for the Winter Games.

Then halfway through, Souhan does a word count, realizes he is 300 words short. With the Olympics thoroughly covered, it is time for some cheap jokes and poorly veiled insults.

The Italians seem friendly, but this is not like attending a Super Bowl in Jacksonville, where the populace begs you to like them. In Jacksonville the attitude was, "We know this is a lousy place to spend a week, but if you promise not to tell anybody, we'll give you a T-shirt."
In Turin, the attitude is, "It's OK that you're visiting; please don't spill anything."

Insulting two cities in one fell swoop and it’s not even a fair comparison. Turin’s population is more than double Jacksonville, and they are hosting one of the largest events in the World for two weeks. Jacksonville hosted an annual weekend event attended by primarily one country. Souhan attempts to appear too good for “lousy” Jacksonville, but not high-brow enough for Italy.

Nobody seems to be in a rush in Italy. When I asked the front desk at the condo to fix my phone, which doesn't ring, the attendant said, "Tomorrow would be good for us."
Jim Souhan, the first American to set foot in Italy. At least his expedition is not in vain, as it’s doubtful any Americans will go to Italy again. Seriously, why is he telling us this in a sports column?

This is a city filled with cars. While the stereotypical European city relies on public transportation, Turin is home to the automaker Fiat, which produces cars the size of bundt cakes. You don't park these cars -- you put them on your key chain.
Stupid little cars, they make me so mad! Mad enough in fact, that I must insult them. It’s doubtful that Italy is apologetic for its lack of SUV’s.

The language barrier is really more than a speed bump. If you can say "pizza" and "vino" you'll survive, and if you climb near the top of the Alps, you can expect to see panoramic vistas, acts of bravery and other such Olympic moments.
This is Souhan’s closing paragraph. He was really starting to dig in to Italy when he suddenly realized it was a sports column. May the city of Turin realize Jim Souhan is a tacky writer and book him a one way flight to Jacksonville.

At first it appeared we were alone in our distaste. Then this was found at Deadspin.com

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Top Ten Alternative Names for World Baseball Classic

10. World Baseball Summit
9. Another event for Barry Bonds to weasel out of.
8. Forced Drama to squeeze dollars out of impoverished countries Classico
7. The Victor Conte Invitational
World Series Part Deux
5. A Giant Waste of Time
4. Little League World Series for Grownups
3. The Baseball World Cup sponsored by Bike
2. International Baseball Quasi-Championship
1. The First Annual Competition Permitting Latin Americans to kick American-Americans’ arses.

Mike Holmgren Pinot Noir: Vintage 2006

Mike Holmgren by most accounts is considered a coach with class. This was not evident yesterday. As Seattle fans welcomed the NFC Champions home from the Super Bowl, the Seahawks head coach took the opportunity to whine. "We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts as well."

Whether a poor attempt to rile the crowd at Quest Field or just a chance to vent frustrations, it was out of line and out of character for the head coach. For fans or even media members to complain about the referees is bad enough, for an NFL coach to take shots is poor. Sure Holmgren is competitive and no doubt feels his team was shortchanged, but he deserves his impending NFL fine.

No positive gain comes from whining and appealing about botched calls. After the game, the Seahawks players, while frustrated by the calls, did not blame the loss on the officiating. This showed class and maturity. Holmgren tarnished this grace with public belly-aching.

The fact is the Seahawks had plenty of opportunities to beat the Steelers. Pittsburgh didn’t have a first down until the middle of the second quarter, while Seattle moved the ball with relative ease. Seattle missed two field goals and twice stumbled through the 2-minute drill. Questionable penalties probably cost the Seahawks two touchdowns, but they had just as many squandered chances due to their own mistakes.

The Steelers beat Seattle because they made better second-half adjustments and took advantage of opportunities. As the teams left the field at halftime Holmgren appeared more preoccupied with the officiating than the play of his team. He didn’t look like a coach that was focused on preparing his team for the second half of a Championship game.

Some have drawn comparisons between the Steelers-Colts game with controversy regarding Troy Polamalu’s interception. The difference between the two situations is that the Steelers won the game. They took care of business and beat the Colts despite the bad call. Joey Porter was wrong to complain in that instance too.

It is a shame that officials have such an influence on the game, but to say they beat the Seahawks is not right and irresponsible. Mike please take some accountability for your team’s loss.

Monday, February 06, 2006

How not to write by Professor Jackson

Do you ever hear or read something so awful that it causes fits of cursing out of frustration? For me that is Scoop Jackson and he weekly writes things that evoke swear words in my head. His columns are pretty much a loose collection of thoughts that are pawned off as an article. Today he offers his insight on Super Bowl 40. Here are some choice selections:

It was supposed to be about impossibility.
It became about everything but.

Jackson starts every single article this way. Two obscure sentences that carry little meaning.

It was all about Aretha ... in the beginning. Yes, Stevie was there, and he was treated like royalty. But the Queen is royalty. Beyond diva respect. She gets Goddess respect.
Aretha and Stevie are music legends, that’s great. Is that what everyone is talking about today? Or is Scoop just kissing her XL derriere?

It was about this being the last game Michaels and Madden would call together. The end of one of the best tandems in sports history. And neither one of them made it about himself.
Two of the best announcers maybe. But together they have been mostly lame. And numbers and ratings have proven that nobody watches the NFL for the announcers. Did Scoop cry as they signed off?

It was about Vince Young and Rip Hamilton being in the building.
The only reason this is here is probably because Scoop talked to them. Otherwise who cares? They aren’t even A-List celebrities.

It was about D-Jack in the first half looking like Steve Smith against the Bears. If you give him the TD catches they took away and the ruled-out-of-bounds catch, he's got eight catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns instead of five for 50 and zero scores.
If if if. Bad call or no, Jackson was called for interference. He WAS out of bounds. Willie Parker would have had a 300 yard run if he didn’t have to stop in the endzone!

It was about Hines Ward -- for a moment -- looking like he was the only Steeler ready to ball. It was about that third-and-28 pass reception.
Hines Ward caught it yes, but he dropped a TD earlier in the game. Roethlisberger made a nice play, got a little lucky Seattle snoozed in coverage and it fell in Ward’s hands. But Scoop could tell Hines was ready to ball. After the game he went to the Palace and played Horse with Chauncey Billups.

It was about back judge Bob Waggoner and head linesman Mark Hittner, and their two blown touchdown calls that stole the game from the Seahawks in the first half.
Again, “D-Jack” was out of bounds. The interference call, while questionable was a fair call. Jackson did push off to get separation. Did the Waggoner screw up the 2-minute drill twice? Did Mark Hittner throw a pick inside the 20 or miss two field goals?

It was about Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor's celebration after the Seahawks' second missed field goal.
Scoop uses IT as anything, factual or otherwise, that happened in Detroit.

It was about Jerramy Stevens' two dropped passes. It was about his touchdown that cut the lead to 14-10. It was about Matt Hasselbeck not giving up on him. It was about his dropping another ball after that.
I seem to remember Stevens sitting in favor of backup Ryan Hannem for a long stretch. Such perserverence by Stevens.

It was about the Seahawks keeping Troy Polamalu quiet. All game long.
Rember this line for a minute.

It was about Matt Hasselbeck killing the Steelers for three quarters. Never getting touched, never coming close to getting sacked. It was about the offensive line having one bad play with 6:10 left, possibly succumbing to the inevitable defeat.
Hasselbeck got sacked on the first flipping drive! It stopped a promising drive. I guess Scoop was busy talking to Rip Hamilton at the time.

It was about the Steelers shutting D-Jack down in the second half.
Who do you think helped cover D-Jack? Troy Polamalu does play in the Steelers secondary. Despite being shut down, D-Jack did have 200 imaginary yards passing.

It was about three plays early in the fourth quarter: The phantom holding call on Jerramy Stevens, followed by the non-horse collar call on Joey Porter, followed by the illegal block call on Hasselbeck that gave Pittsburgh 15 extra yards after the interception. It was about those three blown calls in one series. Calls that Mike Lupica warned everybody about on "Sports Reporters" earlier in the day.
Vicariously taking credit for Mike Lupica’s predictions. Impressive. What predictions did Lupica make; watch out for a horse collar?

If Mike Holmgren wanted to make the same comments and assumptions after this game that Joey Porter made after the Steelers' win against the Colts, he'd be justified.
This is just wrong.

It was about Bill Cowher leading 21-10 and making sure he didn't have a Mike Ditka moment, and attempting to get Bettis a touchdown. And not being able to do anything about it.
What were the Steelers going to do; send Bettis on a skinny post? They ran out the clock. Ditka (in SB XX) had several goal line opportunities to give Walter Payton a shot and didn’t. Cowher ran Bettis twice at the goal line and then Roethlisberger scored on 3rd down. This argument is muddled and let’s see…wrong.

It was about seeing more Terrible Towels than you've ever seen before, about 60,000 people screaming in harmony when Stevens dropped that pass with three seconds left, about the Steelers winning a home game for the fifth Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Considering Heinz Field holds 65,000 Steeler fans, Pittsburgh probably has more Terrible Towels. This year’s Tour De France also had a lot of Steeler Terrible Towels.

Arguments about refs and conspiracy theories are expected out of a Seattle homer or occasional fan, not a professional writer that presumably knows about sports.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

NFL Week 21 Coverage: 2nd Half

2nd Half and Postgame
-Finally Willie Parker gives us something to notice
-Grey’s Anatomy IV. Intraveneous get it? Crickets chirp chirp.
-Roethlisberger usually looks off safeties, but tonight he is locking on receivers.
-Hummer H3 commercial was cute. If you like to watch Japanese monsters reproduce.
-Seattle needs to get back to their three step drops. Maybe Pittsburgh is taking it away better, but when they don’t have a camera on it, it’s difficult to tell. It’s also difficult when the ladies at the party are looking at wedding photos.
-#5 Grey’s anatomy is on after the Super Bowl if you are wondering.
-Jeremy Stephens forgot his hands wherever Thurman Thomas’ helmet is.
-Steelers Gadget plays now available in Skymall catalogs and Sharper Images.
-Where is Heath Miller?
-This game is like Week 13 caliber. No real excitement. Nothing Water-cooler worthy.
-Props to the Umpire for pinning Wistrom.
-Commercials are poor. No big movie trailers, no running gags, just lame rehashes. I guess companies find the Olympics more worthwhile.
-Does anyone deserved the MVP?
-ABC actually is toned down compared to Fox last year.
-Best shot: Dan Rooney giving the fist to Deshea Townsend. Much luv dogg!
-What was the podium for postgame? A spaceship or the Tilt-a-Whirl?
-Hines Ward as MVP, I can live with that.
-Bettis announcing his retirement live. That’s pretty great. And a good note to end on.

Quasi-Super Bowl XL: 2nd Quarter/Halftime

-Seattle dominated possession in the first quarter and has 3 points to show.
-Gray’s Anatomy in-game promo #1. I saw it from the edge of my seat!
-The stuffed mushrooms are a hit.
-Gilette Fusion-Finally a razor with 5 blades! Now I can hack my face quicker.
-How can Seattle give up a big play on 3rd and 28? They didn’t blitz, had zero pressure and still allowed a long completion.
-Someone kidnapped Madden and Michaels. Their broadcast has been pretty flawless.
-Polamalu is too quiet, although fewer run plays keep him away from the ball. He’ll show up soon.
-So far I haven’t noticed the crowd being a factor either way. But thanks for the insight Michael Irvin.
-I could go for a Don Cheadle NFL Playoffs ad instead of the b&w ones.
-Halftime and still no Kid Rock sighting.
-How old are the Rolling Stones? Following Super Bowl I they performed on Ed Sullivan.
-The Seahawks need to get back to the short rhythm passing game.
-I think Roethlisberger will be more comfortable this half and come out firing. First drive could be big.
-The Shaq/Desperate Houswives commercials can cease at any time
-Grey’s Anatomy spots are up to three. It’s code black!
-This Super Bowl is turning into a swell uneventful game between two neat teams. Nothing Super so far.

1st Quarter from Mike's head

1st Quarter
-Full Throttle Coke: The man’s soda. As badass as a temporary tattoo.
-Who would you rather tackle, Jerome Bettis or Aretha Franklin?
-Oh The Places You’ll Go. How many intros to one game can you have? And why Harrison Ford.
-Seattle wins the toss it’s tails. Many people just lost thousands of dollars.
-ABC has three sideline reporters. It must be a big game. That third sideline is usually neglected.
-First drive the Steelers different looks including dropping DT Casey Hampton in coverage.
-The Whopper commercial was decent, but not as good as the Burger King taking an interception to the house.
-Madden just talked about the 108 footballs in use. Otherwise he’s on point so far.
-The key to getting hot chicks: Be a Pepsi Can that likes Hip Hop.
-Four Bud Light commercials in a quarter. All decent for a change.
-I keep hearing “brown and bubbly” in my head.
-The Seahawks aren’t going to run laterally, Pittsburgh is too fast.

The GREATEST PREGAME SHOW EVER! or lame as always

3:00 (2+ hours to kickoff) Chris Berman introduces a piece on the 25th anniversary of the end of the Iran hostage crisis. This is the perfect example of unnecessary Super Bowl Pregame coverage. Diane Sawyer doesn’t analyze the Super Bowl during the State of the Union address coverage, so why should Chris Berman cover this? Thankfully the nicknames were spared.

3:45: Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick watches film and breaks down the NFL’s greatest defenses. No gimmicks or flash, just a very bright guy telling why the Steelers, Bears, Giants and Patriots succeeded in the Super Bowl. I can’t say if he’s a genius, but he deserves all the praise he gets. He would be a fantastic broadcaster, but he’s too smart for that.

Fact from Berman: Matt Hasselbeck is the first QB from Boston College to start in the Super Bowl. You mean Glen Foley, Brian St Pierre and Doug Flutie never made it? Ben Roethlisberger is the first from Miami (OH), but that was too obvious.

When did Mike Tirico decide to go with the Rob Cordry look? Is he in baldness denial? Or is it a soul patch for your pate?

4:15: Just saw a Disney commercial with Joey Porter and others practicing saying “I’m going to Disney World.” Pretty good. The Vault Soda commercial following it was awful. In the footsteps of Jolt, Surge, OK Cola, we don’t need another obnoxious pop.

4:25: The lights are down in the stadium! Something must be happening…in like an hour.
4:35: I have sporadically watched the pre-game for 90 minutes and have already seen three or four Radio Shack ads. They aren’t new, entertaining, or clever. If they are saturating the pregame like this, it is a bad sign for the game.
4:26: Grey’s Anatomy ad #1a. I won’t count it towards the official tally, but my appetite is officially whetted.
4:50: Young, Irvin and Jackson give their final thoughts. Young: “It’s a rematch from 1989, when Mike Holmgren faced Dick Lebeau”(They were the coordinators for the 49ers and Bengals). That’s the biggest thought Young has? Michael Irvin says, “The Seahawks must score early and take this crowd out of the game.” Everyone knows teams that fail to silence the crowd are 0-40 in Super Bowl history.
4:55: Hank Williams in a tricked out SBXL SUV. Or as I like to call him Big Bank Hank. More to come…

R!D!HHH!'s Official Super Bowl XL Commentary

I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into by deciding to do this but I'm going to give it a go anyways. I've seen this done for other things like the Academy Awards on other sites, but never have I seen one for the Super Bowl.

So here's the skinny: I wish this could be updated in real time but since I don't have a laptop with a wireless card and I refuse to move my G5 into the living room to do this (Hey I'm not getting paid for this alright) you'll have to deal with a once a quarter update.

What to expect? A lot of typos. A lot of short sentences and quite possibly some things that won't even make sense. I'll try my best to accurately dictate anything Madden or Michaels say, but I am not the worlds greatest typist and, well I don't really care if it's spot on either. Oh yes, and hand cramping. I am hydrating as we speak and hope that I can make it through the entirety of the game. (Sports cliche in 3...2...1...) This is a marathon, not a sprint. And I am ready to face the ultimate test.

For those of you expecting/hoping/dying to read comments from Mike, know he wanted ever so badly to join the fun. But alas, he has been relegated to hors d'oeuvre making and playing happy hostess for a Super Bowl party.

Alright, well it's just a shade past 3:00 CST and the festivities (the real ones, not pregame, which started at like 5am.) will be starting in a couple hours. I need to get some refreshments (read: Pizza Rolls, soda, etc.) stat. Hope you have fun reading this.

Okay here we go…


MVP bit…Oh yeah Desmond Howard. Mark Rypien! Go Grambling…Doug Williams. Go away Jerry Rice. Joe Namath is drunk, “I wanna kiss you!”

Commercial Break:

Blockbuster Online? Go Netflix. Boo Blockbuster!

Team intros:

Seahwaks look ragged. Oh man there’s so many Steeler fans there. Oh yeah Bettis leads it out. Man they look so much more jacked up.

Dr. John and Aaron “What’s that thing on my eyebrow” Neville. ARETHA! This isn’t working for me, sorry. The beat thing is weird. Okay, Aretha loves the fur! Okay the choir is a nice touch. Too much, this is going overboard.

Polamalu! He looks like he just got his hair DID!

Commercial Break

New Sandler movie, “Slow it down…” Oh man that’s good.
Jessica Simpson oh man that's bad, it’s just getting worse. Once again Pizza Hut finds away to completeely and unnecessaraly re-invent pizza.
Disneyworld…no thanks on that one.
Seuss! What? Harrison Ford has a goatee. This is weird. Someone was on a bender when they approved this one. Franco Harris looks like MR. Kotter. This is just freaking me out. Just shut up Harrison and make Indy 4!!!

Pittsburgh just looks so loose, this is all speculation. Polamalu hair mentioned for the first time.

Captains. SCOBEE. Joey Porter looks like he’s going to eat someone.

Tom Brady? He’s flipping the coin? That’s just dumb. Luke was right they’re trying to get the Pats in whenever they can. Seattle Wins toss. Receives. Alexander gets a chance first.

Bettis story mention. Stevens/Porter story. Good grief that was the lamest trash talking ever. A non story. Suzy needs to tone it down a b it, where’s Namath! Get her a shot!

Commercial Break
Please stop with the Blockbuster, no one cares. Geez they paid a bunch of money this crappy spot?

Start of the 1st Quarter

Polamalu whiffs on a tackle. Bobby Engram stop with the EZ thing. D Jack? Darrell stop it. They’re moving fast with the huddle. Another pass to Jackson. Is that Brad Johnson at QB? Quick out city. Alexander eaten alive by KIMO. Is this working, I hope so.

Pittsburgh D intro. SACK. That broke down quick.

Commercial Break

Hiding Bud Lights…eehhhh. Not good.
Whopperettes? Gimme Hootie or the King. Dumb commercial, just dumb.

Back to the game

False start. Willie Parker stuffed, back to his 2.5 avergae once again. Bad middle screen, LOFA kills it. 3rd and 14…False start again. Better settle down, Madden’s right they shouldn’t have a problem witht the snap. Not enough. That’s a bad start by Pittsburgh. Go go Gardocki! 
What are they chanting?

Commercial Break

Jim Gaffigan rules. He needs his own commercial. Sprite commercials need help. Oh it’s Kathy Griffin.
Bud Light is another dumb one.
16 Blocks, I really like Mos Def. Bruce Willis looks like Holmgren

Back to the game

KIMO. He’s having a nice start. That’s a good matchup with he and Walter Jones. Jackson again. Steelers are playing off the ball a lot that could burn them. OH Charlie Beeotch siting. No hand cramps yet, I hydrated well. 4 wideouts, holding…bring it back. Farrior would’ve had Hasselbeck if he didn’t get held/choked. 3rd and 16. Bad bad pass, could’ve had it picked easily. That was a bad read. Rouen married an Olympian

Commercial Break

Toyota Hybrid…that was weird
Dinosaurs…hehe “you’re fired”. He get’s crushed, best commrcial so far.
Bud light again. Bad again…horrible!

Back to the game

Stop saying your HS that's annoying. Parker doesn’t look good going to the edge. No catch. Wow another 3 and out. They have no spark at all. Madden’s right they both look tight on offense. Nice return.

Commercial Break.

V for VENDETTA!!! Oh this is going to kick some ass.
Jay Mohr yay!…Diddy uggh. Oh geez “Brown and Bubbly” man this sucks. Am I supposed to be excited?
Polamalu looks funny holding that trophy. Okay that’s a cool bit.

Back to the game:

JACKSON again, man that’s 5 catches. Still playing off the ball, they need to man it up a bit more. JOE Jurevicious!!! I think he could be a factor if they let him be. Called for the flag and he got one!!! Jackson pushed off, ehhh not a real good call, but he did push a little. Alexander stuffed! Jackson would’ve had a tD without a push-off. Alexander stuffed again. I have a feeling this is gonna be a low scoring game. There’s nothing there around the edge. OH he almost had that on the way down. Bad throw by 
Hasselbeck, it just hung up there. Field GOAL for the Seahwaks.

Seahawks 3 Pittsburgh 0

Commercial Break.

NIMOY!!! SPOCK!!! Aleve..bad spot but Spock made it okay
Bud Light…man it’s just badness all over the place for Bud
LOST is awesome, if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and rent the 1st season.

Back to the game:

Mike Logan is hurt, NOOOO not that. Polamalu won’t come out of the game if he breaks his leg Theisman style. He wasn’t hurt this week, that was just a thing to trip up the Seahwaks. Madden on Lofa, here we go Mike. Reminds him of Singletary, wow those are big shoes to fill. Good no call on the overthrow. Just shoulder, no helmets.

End of the 1st Quarter

2nd Quarter:

Missed a drive dealing with this stupid laptop that turns off at any random movement.

Commercial Break:

Greys Anatomy SUCKS, it’s not ER, stop trying to be.

I think I heard a commercial for CARS, I love love love The Incredibles.

Back to the game:

Bettis, no parental shot. I think they want to change up the pace a little. Stuffed…man they are playing tough. 3rd and 8. Nice catch by Randle El. That’s the Steelers first 1st down? Wow, it only took a full quarter to get it. Ohh end around, Wistrom got completely sucked in and Ward breaks it off ofor a nice one.

Commercial Break.

Monkeys rule. Oh “Come on Feel the Noise!”
Escalade, that’s okay a little over the top don’t you think?

Back to the game

Nice camera work, PICKED! Bad pass, he completely underthrew it! Boulware just plays centerfield.

Commercial Break

Hoffman playing a baddy, that’s awesome. Oh no more Tom. Yess he got blown into the car. MI3, directed by JJ Abrams from Alias. Could be good.
Something with a bunch of girls. True Colors
The Evidence, could be good, Orlando Jones is fun to watch.

Back to the game

Madden seems to be on so far. Nothing too absurd. Steelers are tentative, that’s a good call Al. Is he compaing Proter to LT??? I hope note. Max Strong has played for 13 years? Wow that’s a nice career. Going to the Pro Bowl. Gotta punt that thing. Why would they even think about that? That’s the first no-brainer commmentary of the night. Oh man Randle El got smoked!!! Fumble?

Commercial Break

Chris Berman and the Shaggy Dog….Oh shit that’s bad.
Now we’re talking KERMIT. that's a nice little bit about “Bein Green” simple but fun.
Mich Ultra, yeah hitting women that’s funny, oh she hits him …originality, yeah great….LAME!!!!
“Pillar of strength” okay Ben it’s a trophy not a friggin idol or something.

Back to the game

Parker stuck. Oohh “pulling his pants down”, someone mark the tape for that Suzy quote. Oh Al got his 1980 Miracle on Ice reference in. Ben shovel pass. To Ward, tnice move, no Favre mention Madden? Wow that’s restraint. Parker stuffed again. He’s not the guy tonight. Wow I thought that was going to get picked. Threaded the needle on that one. Ward could’ve had that one. Steelers finally showing some offensive spark. The Bus gets upended to soon. Ben eaten up by Wistrom. Go Nebraska. “He’s got the motor, 110%” Yay for Madden cliches. How was he open???? Oh my gosh. Nice play by Ben to stay behind the line for the throw. That’s a breakdown for the Seahawks there.

Commercial Break

Go Daddy. Oh I get it she’s got big boobs, and you might see them. Wow, that’s smart TV.

Back to the game

“Bettis coming home”. BLEGH! CLICHES Al. Should’ve run a naked bootleg on that 2nd down. Everyone is thinking Bettis, just let Ben run it in.

Commercial Break

Poseidon!!! Gotta lover the disaster movies.
5 BLADES!!! OMFG!!! It’s the best ever…..I puked a little in my mouth.

Back to the game

Bettis again or no? BEN TD!!! That’s a weird play. He wasn’t in. Review it!!!!! Review It!!!! No way he was in. You gotta review it upstairs.

Commercial Break

Overstock.com…LAME…Go Quty!

Back to the game

I don’t think he was in. I don’t think he broke the plane of the goal line, but it could go either way. TD stands….that could be a big call in the end. PAT is good.

Seahawks 3 Pittsburgh 7

Commercial Break

Disney, Kelsey Grammar. Whatever
Cowher…he could kill me with his ‘stache.

Back to the game

Cowhers wife is in the Congo on a mission trip, that’s cool. Ref is getting a little hoarse. Madden is chuckling about the arm slap on the holding call, that’s classic Madden. Crowd is almost all Steeler fans! Nice catch Joe!!! No huddle. Polamalu isn’t making as big an impact it seems. This is kind of a boring game so far. Hopefully better in the 2nd half. Engram with a catch. DEEP TD?!?!?!? Oh man that was close. Oh man get your foot in!!! You can make that play man. Timeout Steelers. Alexander up the middle, only a few, bad call indeed. Gotta pass that. BAD BAD BAD clock management Seattle. You have to trust the call. You can’t audible like that in the 2 minute drill. That’s another bad pass. Double coverage and out of bounds. They blew that drive to hell. Man, Al and John are right, that’s bad news. Cowher needs to find a way to get Parker or Bettis going. Holmgren angry at the officals, wow that’s live TV. Suzy gets run over by a stampede.

End of the 1st half


Analysis is what I thought it would be. Obviously no one wants to say it, but this has been a boring ass game.

Addicted to Lost…wow that was dumb.

Stones…man that sounds horrible. “Start me up”, I can do without this. The sound is just attrocious. You can’t hear anything. SKIP SKIP SKIP Mick! The crowd looks so nonplussed it’s not even funny. Where’s Aretha, oh that’s right she’s in the locker next to Kimo getting ready for the 2nd half. “Rough Justice” is this a new song? New material for halftime?!?!?! Keith, why didn’t you do Pirates of the Carribean 2? Geez this song sucks! I think an XXXL woman though her panties at Mick. “We could’ve sange this one at Super Bowl 1”, that’s a good line, and holy crap, he’s right. I think they just stopped playing the song and started doing whatever they wanted with their intruments. Holy cow, Jagger is just doing dances now. It’s sweatin’ to the oldies! It’s done. I was hoping we’d have a little wardrobe malfunction with Keith, but I guess not.

Man I’m getting tired fingers. This is a tough thing to do. My computer which is one of those old iBooks with the colors has a bad charging thing and is prone to shutting off at any moment.

Is it just me or are they trying to market Grey’s Anatomy as something totally different than they have in the past. It looks like a totally different show!

I am officially done with Chris Berman. The schtick is old and tired and his takes are just not that good….YOU SUCK CHRIS! WHOOP!

Okay the trophy intro things are getting a little old now. They could have just put them all together in one thing and had it be way more effective, but it loses it’s luster after a bunch of them.

I’m starting to wish that this was on Fox. How much better would it be.

Suzy tells a story. The moral of that story is that Matt Hasselbeck likes to audible. Michelle Tafoya deserves to have a job somewhere as a talk show host or something on the radio. She is just spot on all the time.

Bettis is miked up….oh man I could listen to that stuff all day instead of announcers.

Start of the 2nd Half

Ward should have caught that. That’s one thing I have noticed with him is that he’s dropped some balls that were easy. Parker up the middle and he HOUSES IT. That’s the play they’ve been waiting for. 3 wides and only one safety and Fanaca (sp?) blows a guy up for a long one!

Seahwaks 3 Steelers 14

Commercial Break

Ameriquest, kind of funny, but not too funny. Don’t judge too quickly? What does that have to do with financial things
Motorola, fine.
Sharpie, kind of funny with the pirate bit. Could have been funnier if I had written it….Sorry I need a new job.

Back to the game

Seahawks need a big play to sting back. That’s not going to work. The Steelers are just to fast at LB to dump to the flats. I’m telling you man they need to get throwing more. Where’s Stevens???? He hasn’t cuaght a pass yet. Aww man that could’ve been huge if that was Alexander, but Strong got some yards. Polamalu blitzed and missed. There he goes, Alexander rips off a nice one. There’s Stevens. Should have had that one. Shut yer yap Stevens, and make a play. Alexander up the gut. Madden is right they need to have a cut back type play. That would catch them off guard. 3rd and 5. WHAT WAS THAT? Bad pass or bad route? BOTH! 50 yard attempt. MISSED IT.

Commercial Break

Budweiser…okay that’s a good one
FABIO!!!! Okay that was lame again
NFL Mobile, oh what’s his name Carl….I should know that…Carl somebody.

Back to the game

Dyson out. Ward got that one. Wow I take it back. Bettis goes with it. Where’s Heath Miller??? They need to get him into this. Ward again, they’re picking on the new guy Herndon. MAN…..they are picking up that blitz now and go the other way with Bettis. That’s nice work. Mix it up a little bit, man. All Bettis all the time. How bout a little play-action bootleg.

Commercial Break

ROBOT!!! Pregnant monster. Hummer? This is obscene how stupid these commercials are.
PS??? P.S.- You’re commercial sucked!

Back to the game

3rd and 6…PICKED AND RUNNING IT BACK!!!!! Aww man bad pass. Seattle needs to capitalize on this. This might be their chance. That was 6 if Engram is looking. Missed call. STEVENS TD!!! Take that Porter…hehehe. Wow Polamalu got picked a little there.

Seahawks 10 Steelers 14

Commercial Break

More monkeys! Jackasses…that’s funny stuff.
T-Bell, good song, bad spot.
Slim-Fast!!! “Goodbye Roll Hello Control!”, okay you need to stop wasting money.
Hasselbeck trophy bit, getting really old now.

Back to the game

They did capitalize on the INT and they needed to. Madden is breaking it down. Nice route by Stevens, he played it exactly right to wait. “Amazing turn of events for Seattle”, well no, they got a turnover and used it to score. Trying to bust Parker again, not gonna work this time. Parker needs to hit the hole faster. He has a little Michael Bennett in him in the dancing bit. Rocky Bernard is out, that’s big. Madden wants to see Rocky with his pants down. Cheeky Johnny!

Commercial Break

Anthony Hopkins, The Worlds Fastest Indian…this looks kind of good. Bad voice on the spot though.
Tacoma gets tossed around. The meteor one was way better, if you haven’t seen that one that’s cool.

Back to the game

Stevens dropped, where’s Jackson??? DEEEEEP. That’s not a good call. He’s not a speed guy to get that one in there. Like going to Joe though. Short on 3rd down. Randle El, pretty nice return. Grey’s Anatomy in the mold of Desperate Housewives and Lost??? Okay fine. No Commercial Break, must be caught up. Ben rushes and is stuck pretty hard. More Lofa pimping. Seattle comes up big again. 3 and out! I think Ben might be hurt a little. Best punt of the game. Downed at the 3. No commercials again, we’re just gonna keep going! Alexander up the middle. Nice run by Hasselbeck. Nice blocking by Engram. TE into the flat, ohh it’s the exciting West Coast Offense. Caught by the 2nd TE again. Hannam for Prez. Engram with a nice catch. Eeew bad pass.

Better quarter there.

End of the 3rd Quarter

Beginning of the 4th Quarter

Missed some plays, Seattle continues it’s drive. Nice catch by Stevens, but holding penalty at the line. They’ve gotten back to their bread and butter and it’s working….Until now, there’s a sack. WOW, that was a nice move by Hampton, he just pushed him out of the way with one hand. Nice run by Alexander, more speed than I thought he had. Nice tackle by Porter though. INT, that’s a horriblbe pass. This is the Hasselbeck I know.

Commercial Break

Degree, kinnd of funny stuntman
Emerald Nuts needs a new bit.
WINGS!!! Paul McCartney, that’s a nice spot.
OHH We’ve got a Selick siting.

Back to the game

That is a bad call on Hasselbeck. But he deserves it for thorwing that pass!!! That was poop. They could send Randle El deep, he could smoke them I think. Nice call, QB sneak. Of course it’s a designed play. 1st and 10 WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW, that was perfect play. That was the one they were holding on to. What a nice pass by Randle El. He couldn’t have thrown that any better and it was on the run, WOW.

Seahawks 10 Steelers 21

Commercial Break

Budweiser…who cares at this point
Pirates of the Carribean 2!!! First one was okay, this looks like fun though.
MacGuyver!!!!!! He looks old, but that was cool!!!
Avert your eyes it’s dancing with the stars. MASTER P is on that show.

Back to the game

Nice block by Ben on the TD! Man that was a good play. Seattle needs a big play. They look shaken. Nice run by Hass….FUMBLE. Don’t rule him down, let them review it. Good challenge by Seattle. That’s a good call by the officials too.

Commercial Break

We’re getting to the repeats now. Mobile ESPN seems cool, but I think it’s a rip off for how much it costs.
Honda Ridgeline, not too good, although a nice Yosemite Sam siting.
Budweiser , nice commercial
Kimmel!!! That’s’ Funny.

Back to the game

Nice call by the refs, they’re doing a pretty nice job tonight. Alexander gobbled up by Hampton. Seattle needs to get it going here. Keep Jurevicuis in the game, they’re playing off him. Going to him again…bad throw. That’s kind of Hasselbeck’s MO. There’s something brewing here… maybe. SACKED!!! 4th down. Field Goal??? Man that’s a blown assignment. Okay they’re too far out now. It’s not looking good for Seattle.

Commercial Break

World Baseball Classic….JOKE OF A BIT. This is going to lame. They could have done a lot better with that thing. Hi I’m Cuba, I’m playing, no I’m not, yes I am. You won’t let me? Screw you!

Menards rules and it smells funny too

Back to the game

Time to run the clock down. Bettis stopped. Pittsburgh in the drivers seat and can do what they want right now. I wanna see Bettis get one in the endzone. Gotta pass here….Timeout Steelers. Charlie Beeotch siting #2!!! Nice play. Foreign object? Madden’s getting silly. Oh yeah he made the Hall this weekend. That’s cool he deserves it. Big 1st down. Bettis rumbles again. Steelers are moving now. 3:50 left in the game, things are getting tight for the Seahawks. Bettis trips and it’s 3rd and short. “It aint no different than week 1!” Nice! YES!!! That’s the call they should have run in the 1st half for the TD. Should be a 1st down. Yep. Hasselbeck looks like he knows it’s over. Cowher is pumped. That’s cool! More tough yards from Bettis. I don’t think we’ve seen Mr and MRs. Bettis one time, WOW unexpected. Bettis stuffed. “Soak in every minute…and by some Isotoners while your at it.” 4th down and it’s the 2 minute warning.

Commercial Break

Lots of exlposions and guns. Lame looking movie Running Scared.
Outback commercials suck. Cook your steaks longer you beeotchs…Okay I’m getting ornery now.

Bettis trophy bit, cool. Fine.

Back to the game

Gardocki looks like he should be in Firehouse. Seattle needs to go quick here. That’s not gonna work. Over the middle? JOE!!! There we go. That’s nice. Could’ve run it for ten yards at least and spiked the ball. That was a wasted play. Nice blocking…bad pass by Hasselbeck. Man what was that? 3rd and 10. Another bad pass, tipped maybe? Paul Allen, “I’m rich, you’re not.” 1st down! Gotta be thinking about taking a shot right now. Man that’s a crap play. TY CARTER in on it!!! That a way. Carter nice play!!! Steelers are gonna win!!!!!

NICE Cowher that’s cool!!!! STEELERS WIN!!!! 21-10!!! Cowher is looking for Holmgren, that’s cool he’s just waiting for him . Bettis family!!!! There they are. Cowher still waiting. Moustaches UNITE!!! Holmgren get your ass over to Cowher.

I gotta say that the 2nd half was way better than the 1st. In the end it just seemed like Pittsburgh had more to play with than Seattle. Who would I choose as the MVP? Boy that's tough. No one player stands out in my mind. I guess Roethlesberger would be there, I guess they go with Hines Ward. Whatever. "I coudn't of did it without my teammates." No Randle-El threw you a hell of pass and the coaches called a helluva play and you ran the route you were supposed to. Oh good just what he needs an Escalade. How bout some computers for under-priviledged kids... A-holes. It's good to see The Bus up there. "The Buses last stop is here in Detroit!" That's awesome.

Overall, I thought when it came down to it, Pittsburgh was able to dominate that line of scrimmage and hold Alexander to a modest effort. That put Hasselbeck in the position where he had to make plays and his mediocrity shown through towards the end. As for the Steelers, I think they did it just like they did for the last 7 games. A balanced, steady offense and an over powering, speedy defense that rarely made mistakes. They took away the outside in the second half and made Seattle push it vertically, a game which they don't play well. Not the most exciting of games, but not the most boring either.

Well I think I’m gonna call that a wrap. I guess there’s a lot to comment on. Sorry if this was too random or scattershot. This was an experiment and I don’t know if it was cool or not. I am going to go pass out now. For all those people who thought a big man couldn’t run a marathon like this I proved you wrong!!! Well have at it my friends. Thanks for reading!!!