Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And We're Back!

And we're back. Check this poor sap out:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The REAL Michael Phelps

Here's the heretofore (is that a word?) unseen video of Michael Phelps' amazing 100m butterfly victory in Bejing:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Your Home for the 2020 Olympics: Birmingham, Alabama!

At least that's what Birmingham mayor Larry Langford believes. Nevermind the fact that the city's infrastructure is in no way, shape or form ready to host anything larger than the first & second rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament or a monster truck rally, much less the Olympics. The pitch is to show people that "we can do something!"

Among Langford's claims: Badminton could be held almost anywhere...archery at the state park...basketball at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center or the "new dome"....kayaking in the Cahaba River....cycling at "the new Fair Park"....equestrian at the Birmingham Race Course (which features greyhound racing)...the possibilities are endless!

Not to mention fencing:

All you need is a big open place, a mask over your face, one of them funny little suits and a tip over your sword and you can just duke it out all day long.
Lankford claims that all Birmingham needs to do is "put a little grease on the bottom of the pan, butter the pan, put some flour on and put the mix in."

Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

The Roundtable: Larry Langford Montage

The Agony of Defeat & A Failure of Sportsmanship

Imagine this: you've worked tirelessly at something for years, taken odd jobs and sacrificed in a way that most of us never will experience in our lives. All for the chance to one day compete in an athletic event that won't last as long as most television commercials. You have sacrificed, compromised and trained your way into the position as the top performer in your sport. You are running the 100 meter hurdles final in the Olympics. You posted the fastest time in the world this year in the semifinals. You are so far ahead that it is a foregone conclusion that you will win the gold medal.

And then, your foot clips the top of the next to last hurdle and you go down, in a heap. In a daze, you stand and jump the last hurdle and finish the race seventh.

My God, how horrible that must feel.

That is what happened today to American Lolo Jones, the premier athlete in the world in the 100 meter hurdles. She was out front, cruising to victory, when it all fell apart:

"About twice a year you hit a hurdle and it affects your race," Jones said. "Unfortunately, it was the biggest race of my life."
After crossing the finish line, Jones collapsed and cried. Years of sacrifice came pouring out; she was simply heartbroken at what had taken place. You just had to feel sorry for her, right?

Not if you were fellow American and competitor Dawn Harper. Harper couldn't be bothered with even so much as speaking to her teammate:

Harper set off in a delirious victory lap and never bothered to look back at Jones, stricken on the track. Neither did the surprise silver and bronze medalists, Australian Sally McLellan and Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schleip. American fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry placed her hands sympathetically on Jones' shoulders as she sat on her knees and cried.
At least Cherry played the part of a human and stuck around to console Jones. The kicker was that Harper crossed the line a full tenth of a second slower than the time Jones had run in the prelims.

Now, I know that you've got to clear all of the hurdles in order to win the race; but, at the same time, don't you have to have a small bit of respect for the woman lying on the track? It wasn't like Harper beat Jones "fair and square"; rather, it took a catastrophic fall from Jones for Harper to even sniff the gold.

At any rate, in Bejing today, you were able to see the awfulness of the agony of defeat, only to watch it followed up by a complete failure of sportsmanship. Frankly, I expect more out of our athletes, and Harper failed her test of sportsmanship.

ESPN: Don't think Olympics can't be cruel?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Suck It, France

I almost hate to admit it, as cynical as I am, and as sarcastic as I am, but I've got to say it: I've got Olympic fever. I watched the incredible opening ceremonies on Friday night, alternately in awe and terrified at the 2,008 drummers shouting and beating their drums. I watched Michael Phelps win his first gold medal in the 400 IM as he started his quest to best Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals at one Olympic Games. I've watched beach volleyball (men's and women's), indoor women's volleyball, boxing, team handball, men's and women's gymnastics, men's water polo, countless other swimming events, and even women's badminton. I've watched almost every chance I've had. I've commented on the fact that the badminton announcers call it a "shuttle" because they're afraid to say "shuttlecock." I've spoken with a buddy about how hard it must be to play five minutes of beach volleyball. I've thought that it seems rather sad that Michael Phelps can swim 400M faster than I can cover the same distance on the ground. I felt happy for Raj Bhavsar, who frankly got screwed after the U.S. Olympic trials when he was left off the men's gymnastics team, when after several injuries he ended up getting to compete.

Nothing, however, prepared me for the awesomeness of the U.S. 4x100M relay team sticking it to France last night. The French talked a bit of smack in the days leading up to the Olympics, declaring that they were there to "smash" the Americans. Unfortunately for the Frenchies, Jason Lezak did his best Kurt-Russell-playing-Wyatt-Earp impression, standing up and saying "NO" and over the last 50m ran down world record-holder Alain Bernard in one of those "I'm watching this but I don't believe what I'm seeing" moments. Lezak swam the fastest 100m ever recorded. Ever. All that was missing was Jack Buck exclaiming "I don't believe what I just saw!"

The race itself was a microcosm of almost all sports. You had the star, Phelps, leading off the relay and setting a new American 100m split record in the process, which although great, still wasn't good enough for the lead. Then you had Garrett Weber-Gale and Cullen Jones swimming the next two legs, both toiling in relative obscurity but now exposed on the biggest stage with the very real possibility of being designated as "the one who screwed it up for Phelps." They didn't.

And then there was Lezak, the sage veteran. He's anchored the relay team for years. He anchored the U.S. relay teams in 2000 and 2004, the only two years the Americans haven't won this event. He likely wanted to win this one more than any other swimmer in Bejing. At the 50m turn, he was almost a full length behind. I said, "Well, it's over." I kept watching, hoping for a miracle. 25m to go, and it was a half a length. The crowd began to cheer louder and louder. 10M to go and I was yelling at the TV, "COME ON! SWIM YOU BASTARD!" When that long, skinny, "look who won" American flag came up first, I went bananas. Over a swimming race. I had chills. In sum, it was amazing.

Aren't sports great?

ESPN: "No way" turns into "No quit" for Lezak, men's relay team

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yeah, So It's Been Like Two Weeks

Things happen. Life goes on. And today, our return is marked with enthusiasm from Alabama fans, Penn State fans, and, heck, fans of any school whose players can't keep from getting arrested. Not because we're back; no, my friends, because of the #1 team in America, both in votes by coach's assistants and on the local police blotter: Georgia.

It seems that these Bulldogs just can't keep from getting into trouble. Over the weekend, no less than four Bulldogs were involved in all sorts of shenanigans. Barfight at a bar called The Library? Check. Two players getting hit over the head with beer bottles? Check. Another player apparently went to the hospital to check on the two bottleheads and went all Hulk on a few trash cans. On video. Finally, UGA's long snapper was arrested for urinating on a bank.

From fans of programs who have been through the arrest ringer this offseason, I say a hearty thank you to you Bulldogs. Now keep on keepin' on.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monkey Butlers of the Week

Athlete Breaking the Law Part I: Quinton
Jackson. The MMA fighter decided that Tuesday was a good day to hit several cars and then lead police on a bizarre car chase before being arrested for felony evading, et al. In providing Costa Mesa with his best Grand Theft Auto imitation, Jackson was seen hitting cars on the freeway, crossing center dividers, and talking on his cell phone while driving onto sidewalks, which caused several pedestrians to have to jump out of the way. The chase finally ended when I presume Jackson was unable to continue on his shredded tire. Even more bizarre? No evidence of drug or alcohol use by Jackson was found.

Athlete Breaking the Law Part II: Double winner alert! Rampage Jackson was at it again on Wednesday; although I don't guess he technically "broke the law," police were called to Jackson's residence after receiving reports of a crazy man named Rampage acting, well crazy. As a result, Jackson was taken and hospitalized for a mental health evaluation. Yikes.

Motivational Speaker of the Week: Ichiro Suzuki, batshit-crazy baseball player. It came out this week that since 2001, tiny supposedly-can't-speak-English Ichiro has delivered a pregame speech before each All Star game in the American League locker room. The funny part is that the speech is so laced with profanities that it would probably make most batshit-crazy high school football coaches blush. Two things to learn from this: 1) Ichiro can speak better English than he lets on, and 2) a National League team needs to trade for him post-haste.

Best Use of a Hotel Room Overlooking an MLB Stadium Award: The half-naked chick staying at the Renaissance Hotel in Toronto. You see, the hotel has suites that look down into Rogers Centre Stadium, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays. Last Saturday, a lovely young blonde woman was photographed leaning up against the window of the suite while casually carrying on a conversation with a man. The only problem for parents of small children was that the woman was seemingly only wearing a thong. Ka-zow! I would like to know, however, why the other two guys in the photo are completely oblivious to the topless woman's presence. Have they already had their go at her? Are they tired of stuffing $1 in her thong? Are they perhaps blind?

ESPN's Overhyped Story of the Week: O.J. Mayo's 3/4 court shot in an NBA summer league game. It was the end of the first quarter. It was from almost 70 feet away. It was meaningless in every single way. However, ESPN.com chose to describe it thusly: "O.J. Mayo...made the most spectacular shot of his career Monday night at the NBA Summer League." The title to the article on the website called it "career highlight No. 1." Gee, I wonder which draft pick ESPN has latched its long, evil tentacles into?

The "Don't Let the Door Hit You On Your Way Out" Award: Billy Packer, ex-CBS basketball analyst. It was announced this week that Packer would not be returning to call the NCAA Tournament for CBS next year, thus breaking his 34 year streak of calling the Final Four. His replacement will be Jim Nantz's doppleganger, Clark Kellogg. I'm sure that it will be a pairing unlike any other. The decision was actually made last year, and Packer eschewed any sort of "farewell tour" type of sendoff, so I believe that does say something about the character of the man. I always kind of liked Packer even though it seems that most of the rest of the world doesn't, so at the very least I'll miss him. He was certainly better than what I think Kellogg will be.

He Had it Coming Award: Jose Canseco. Canseco squared off against ex-Philadelphia Eagle Via Sikahema in a bout meant to test whether or not Canseco would move from boxing and into the world of MMA. Canseco outweighed Sikahema by 43 pounds and had a seven inch height advantage, both of which bought Jose a scant thirty seconds before Sikahema put him on the canvas with a left hook. Canseco got up, got pummelled for another minute or so, then went down for good. As I'm sure many current and former MLB-ers would say (Mr. Burns-style): Excellent. Check out the video:

Best Manager Tirade of the Week: Kash Beauchamp, Wichita Wingnuts. Sensing that his team needed a spark, an inspiration, a kick in the pants, etc., Beauchamp decided to go wingnut and get thrown out of the game. His shoe came off. His armpit was thrust into the umpires face. We feel that this one is better told through video:

Loser of the Week: Alex Rodriguez. He was hosting a "bash" at Jay-Z's 40/40 club in NYC Monday night and he invited all of his friends. The popular guy, Derek Jeter, was on the list. So was the class whore, Madonna. Heck, he even invited some of the nerdy guys Billy Crystal and David Wright so that everyone would be included, because he's that type of guy. The only problem? Nobody showed up. A-Rod was seen sitting in a corner booth doing shots, accompanied by Madonna friend hanger-on Ingrid Casares, his new agent, Guy Oseary (godfather to Madonna's children), and his mother. Meanwhile, Jeter was partying somewhere else with his hottie-of-the week, Minka Kelly, Crystal and Michael Jordan. Wright even threw his own party, which featured a performance by none-other than 50 Cent (yeah, that makes sense).

Random Bikini Photo of the Week:

Random Somewhat-Sports-Related YouTube of the Week:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Insert Joke Here

You know, I've never seen more guys excited by a hunk of wood since, uh, well, ever:

I can't figure out why the three guys in the middle have their hands so low. Does anyone else think that the bat is going to nail all of them across the face? The pensive Mexican kid is also odd as well. Does he not know that the Bat of Death is hurtling towards his tiny head?

Also, how about the expression on that girl's face at the bottom of the picture? It looks like she's signaling for a retarded touchdown.

SportsbyBrooks: The Lighter Side of Broken Bats Soaring Into Seats

Black Thursday at Royal Birkdale

Wow. Phil's at +9, Ernie and Vijay are at +10, and some guy named Greg Norman is even through 11 holes, good for second place. So this is what happens when Tiger Woods doesn't show up? (Check live scores here)

Els played the front nine at +1 and then decided to completely melt on the back nine, even as the weather got better, with a cool, breezy +9. Phil and Vijay pretty much mucked up the entire course.

Meanwhile, the top of the leaderboard is loaded with old names like the Shark and Tom Lehman along with relative unknowns, like Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson and Douglas McGuigan. Fisher is apparently some sort of rookie phenom on the European Tour, or at least the British guys on the XM coverage think he is. They also kept talking about "the email from Middlefart" and laughing like 12-year-old boys, so I'm not exactly sure which of what they said was true or conjecture or lunacy.

Oh, by the way, the pictured superstar was also at +10 for his first round. No word on whether Butch Harmon was there heckling him.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Solution to the Whole Brett Favre Mess

Ok, so like everyone in the first, second or third world knew would happen, Brett Favre has come back and started a melodrama worthy of a Daytime Emmy. In what wasn't apparently known at the time, Favre reached out to the Packers in March after his retirement news conference and said he was having second thoughts; at the time, the Packers told him they would take him back. But, before a meeting between Favre and Packers GM Ted Thompson could take place, Favre cancelled the meeting and said he was staying retired. The Packers then moved on with the preparation of Aaron Rodgers. (Check out a good timeline of all this here.)

Favre then had another change of heart, and sometime after a meeting with Packers offensive line coach James Campen, he tried to text message with Thompson and was given a textual bitch-slap as a result. Then came the infamous conference call last Tuesday where Thompson and Packers coach Mike McCarthy did their best Eskimo impressions. As a result, Favre, through his agent Jerome Bettis James "Bus" Cook, submitted a request that the Packers simply release him, thus allowing him the freedom to play for any NFL team, including either the Minnesota Vikings or the Chicago Bears. Thompson's response? Why, to call Favre's bluff, of course, and refuse to release Favre and instead invite him to return. Some reports even insinuated that the Packers essentially told Favre that he could come back, but that he might be wearing a hat and holding a clipboard while he watched Aaron Rodgers play quarterback.

So, where does that leave us? I think that this puts Favre in the driver's seat. He's up against a GM that is seemingly desperate to make his mark in Green Bay, legendary quarterback be damned. For those of you who may have forgotten, Rodgers was the first player drafted by Thompson back in 2005, and he wants to make good on his first pick. He's probably betting that Favre will fold, not wanting to return in a backup role. But, Thompson's reasoning is flawed on so many levels:

1) There's just no way the Packers could allow Favre to come back and then have him patrol the sidelines during the games. No way. The ensuing PR fiasco would sink the season.

2) Even if they did go with the nuclear option, how do you think the fans would react after Rodgers went, say, 8-for-21 with three picks in week one's game against the Vikings? It wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure.

3) The Packers best chance to win a Super Bowl right now is with Favre. No one can possibly argue with that. They won their division last year and were a few plays away from playing in the Super Bowl. Why not take Favre back and make one more run?

The problem this situation has caused can be blamed both on Favre and Thompson. Favre retired, changed his mind, had the green light from the Packers and then decided to stay retired back in April. Thompson, however, still should have known that given the nature of "living legend" retirees, Favre would probably "get the itch" and again want to return. Instead of accepting that fact and dealing with it amicably, Thompson has instead created a situation that is akin to a Mexican standoff. Thompson's problem is that the fans (at least some of them), are on Favre's side.

In my opinion, there is a way out. Favre has three years and $39M left on his contract. Why not reach out to Favre and welcome him back on the condition that he restructure his contract into a one year deal with a player option for 2009? If it IS possible, that would bring Favre back for one year, give the Packers a date certain for Favre's decision on playing in 2009, and put everything out on the table. Next year, there'd be no melodrama as Favre would have to make his decision on playing if he wanted to keep playing for the Packers. While this would give Favre the option of opting out and signing with another team, the chances of him wanting to play another season go down each year he plays. The Packers could fix their current situation and just bank on the fact that Favre wouldn't want to start over with another team so late in his career if he opted out.

In the meantime, we're left wondering who's going to blink first in this inane game of chicken.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Monkey Butlers of the Week

Ok, so this has been a really slow week for us. In fact, this will be our only post of the week. Sorry about that. Paying jobs sort of get in the way sometimes, you know? Without further ado, here we go...

Former Athlete Rapist of the Week Part I: Tony Zendejas, former kicker. Yes, even kickers have gotten on board with the whole rap sheet thing. Zendejas, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams, now owns a bar in San Dimas. Yes, that San Dimas. He apparently serves roofies with his drinks, as a female patron reported that Zendejas gave her a drink that made her groggy. She then awoke in a nearby motel and reported that she'd been raped.

Former Athlete Rapist of the Week, Part II: Teddy Dupay, former basketball player with the University of Florida. A woman alleged that Dupay beat her up and raped her at a ski resort in Utah; Dupay admits being with the woman and said that they "got a little rough" but that he didn't rape her. Apparently, Teddy's idea of rough sex apparently results in fractured ribs, bruises, black eyes & scratches. Dupay also apparently forced the woman under a desk and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Yeah, that's love.

The "Yep, That's How We Do It Down Here" Award: Trussville, Alabama. That's where middle school teacher Julie Pritchett was working her way through the middle school's baseball team; she had almost made it through the lineup, but apparently one of the kids couldn't keep his good fortune to himself so the sex train was derailed. Once Mrs. Robinson got wind of the investigation, she resigned her teaching position, thus saving puberty-stricken boys everywhere in Trussville-area schools from her libido.

All Signs Point to Yes: Madonnarod looks like it may be happening! The feel-good hit of the summer just keeps on gaining steam as Alex Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia, filed for divorce this week. She said in her filings that the marriage was irretrievably broken due to A-Rod's "extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct." Yikes. Of course, Madonna finally came out and denied doing the nasty with A-Rod, but C-Rod apparently needed a trip to Paris and the home of Lenny Kravitz to clear her mind and help her make the decision to divorce Rodriguez. This has all the makings of a summer blockbuster, folks, especially if there is a divorce trial and it delves into the same territory that the clusterfuck that was the Christie Brinkley/Peter Cook fiasco. Stay tuned.

Broke Athlete of the Week: Vin Baker. The 14-year NBA veteran had his gigantic mansion foreclosed on this week. The house sold at auction for $2.5M to the bank holding the TWO mortgages on the property. The house is a 9,300 square foot shack with a pool, a tiny two lane bowling alley, and only six bedrooms. I'm surprised he could even stand being seen in the place, you know? Seriously, though, how in the world does someone play fourteen years in the NBA and not be able to afford a house, even if it is a giant house on a 12 acre piece of land?

NFL Arrest of the Week: Matt Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars. Jones was arrested in Fayetteville, Arkansas for possession of cocaine after an officer caught Jones cutting up powder cocaine with a credit card in the backseat of an vehicle. Yep, those Arkansas boys were always smart, you know? I mean, it's one thing that you're in a parked vehicle getting your lines together for your blow session, but how can you completely miss the two police officers walking up to the vehicle?

Ageless Wonder of the Week: Dara Torres, U.S. Olympic Swim Team. She's 41. She made the U.S. Olympic Swim Team in both the 50m and 100m freestyle, although she'll only swim the 50m in Bejing. She set a new U.S. record in the 50m in the semis and then broke her own record the next day in the finals. Unreal for a 41-year-old mom. Of course, many think that Torres is doping in some way, but she's made herself available for any type of drug test anyone can think to give her, so at least she's fighting the good fight. However, in today's doping world, everyone is guilty until, well, they're all just guilty, right?

Random Bikini Picture of the Week:

Non-Sports Related YouTube Video of the Week, brought to you by stupid criminals everywhere:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Monkey Butlers of the Week

Worst Injury of the Week: Chris Snyder, Arizona Diamondbacks. Snyder went on the 15-day disabled list this week due to the foul ball that hit him in the groin. Two observations: 1) Since when did catchers stop wearing cups? and 2) What did Snyder do to piss off karma that bad?

Absurd Knee-Jerk Reaction of the Week: NHRA. In the wake of Scott Kalitta's tragic death a few weeks ago, the NHRA has decided to shorten the length of the tracks in its Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions. Instead of running the holy standard 1/4 mile (1320 feet), they will now run 1000 feet. Isn't this a bit like, say, MLB shortening the basepaths from 90 to 60 feet so pansies like Chien-Ming Wang don't hurt themselves? Or football shortening the length of games so its poor players don't get tired? (Ed. Note: The picture is of Ashley Force, NHRA driver, so yes, the picture goes with this item, although barely.)

Non-Sports Related "Don't Screw With This Guy" Award of the Week: Joe Horn, Texas resident and expert shotgun marksman, not the other Joe Horn. This is the guy who called 911, told the dispatcher that two guys were robbing his neighbor's house, and then shot them because the cops didn't show up in time. The District Attorney presented the case to a grand jury and they no-billed it, whichi is a fancy legal way of saying that they didn't find probable cause, so he won't be facing charges. Various minority groups are a bit upset about this, but consider this: both of the deceased were illegal aliens with prior felony convictions.

The Bi-Monthly
: Brett Favre, retired unretired possibly unretired NFL quarterback. Once again, rumors are swirling that Favre is considering coming back to the Green Bay Packers. But, it appears that the Packers really don't want him back, and so it might be a possibility that Favre may ask for his release. The only way this gets better is if Favre ends up in, say, Chicago or Minnesota, both of whom are division rivals. Talk about shenanigans! Somewhere, John Madden just had an orgasmocoronary.

Jailbreak of the Week: Seattle Oklahoma City SuperSonics Name-to-be-determined. This metaphor only works if you view Clay Bennett as a prisoner and Seattle as the maximum security prison he made it out to be. But, let's be honest: who really thought that owners in Oklahoma City would buy a team a bazillion miles away and NOT try to move it to their home state? That's exactly what's happening as the city of Seattle reached a deal with the owners for up to $75M in cash along with the team name and colors in return for letting the team out of its lease. Of course, the real bad guy in all of this may be Howard Schultz, the Starbucks gazillionaire who bought the team in 2001, made a bunch of promises, then sold it to some Okies. No word on whether or not Oklahoma will be getting the pictured members of the Sonics Dance Team.

Biggest Amount of Money Spent on a Teenager: Oakland Athletics. They just happened to sign Dominican pitcher Michel Inoa to a contract that included a $4.25M bonus, the most ever paid to a ballplayer not from Cuba. Inoa is 6-foot-7, throws in the 94 MPH range, and, oh by the way, is all of sixteen years old. I don't think he's ever set foot in the United States, so we'll see how this turns out.

Most Awesome Thing About the Revolution: A three-day weekend. Besides, you know, freedom and capitalism and fireworks and the Statue of Liberty and hot dogs and baseball and football and porn and fast cars and milkshakes and light bulbs and HDTVs and basketball and Jennifer Love Hewitt and beer and movies and horseshoes and cell phones and iPods and peanut butter and chicken wings and PS3s and Led Zeppelin and Erin Andrews, of course. But you know what we mean.

That's all for us this week. In the meantime, enjoy the Non-Sports Related YouTube Video of the Week:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

'Old Hank' Post of the Day

Every so often, we'll feature something that Hammerin' Hank Steinbrenner has said regarding baseball, life, or aliens. We'll call it a "post of the day," even though in no way, shape or form do we think we'll be having one Hank post per day. It's just a title, see?

Today, Hank sounded off on his Yankees ballclub, and he pointed out what is possibly the most astute thing ever I've heard about what a ballclub needs to do to win: "We've got to start hitting."

You see, Hank has tapped in to that mystical realm where only the truly sage baseball people (Peter Gammons, Casey Stengel, and Yogi Berra come to mind) have ever gone: He's realized that, in addition to pitching, a team must also hit to win (unless said team is the Dodgers). Truly remarkable.

He also took an apparent potshot at Alex Rodriguez by saying, "Maybe a little less outside distractions and a little more concentrating and they'll start hitting better." He just HAS to be talking about Madonnarod, right?

Of course, someone might want to point out that over the last month, A-Rod is hitting .356 with 9 home runs, 23 RBIs and has scored 24 times (not counting Madonna, of course. Hey-oh! Ok, that was bad. We apologize.)

Of course, over that same time span, only two full-time Yankees are hitting less than .284: Bobby Abreu at .250 and Melky Cabrera at .196. But, it wouldn't be abnormal if it wasn't Hank!

ESPN: Hank Steinbrenner: Yankees hitters need to 'wake up'

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A-Rod and the Wicked Witch of the East?

Yep, that right there would be a picture of Madonna and one of her workers kids in none other than New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez's box seats at a June 22 Yankee game.

Now, at first glance, that doesn't mean that the possibly soon-to-be-divorced tranny lookalike pop diva and baseball's most gay best player are carrying on a sinful relationship. No, they just might be friends, because Latin-American-Dominican (what is he again?) ballplayers in their 30s definitely hang out with aging pop stars all the time. Plus, Madonna's married to that Guy Ritchie fellow and A-Rod is married to the mother of his two children, one of whom was just born back in April (the second, not the first).

Apparently, A-Rod has been sneaking over to Madonna's Central Park West apartment, and leaving "as late as midnight." (The horror!) There's also rumors that A-Rod attended a concert of Madonna's back in April and the boys over at Deadspin have gotten a tip that Madonnarod have been sneaking off on private jets together. No word on whether this affected A-Rod's decision to blow off the home run derby that's part of the very last All Star game ever at old Yankee Stadium, but I'd bet that it did, since those Brits can be callous and cold and A-Rod definitely isn't winning over many fans with this latest move.

I really, really, really hope this blows up and involves all kind of shenanigans because it will make July go by a whole lot faster.

(Ed. Note: By "apparently," we mean that it is most likely definitely and/or possibly true. And yes, I know that Madonna is American, but have you heard her talk lately? She's rockin' the fake British accent, you know.)

So It's July Around Here

And you know what that means--fewer posts! Why, might you ask? Well, we could've done posts recently on the USA basketball team's uniform unveiling ceremony, or on Manny shoving that ticket guy, or on the 47 come-from-behind wins in the world of baseball last night, but frankly, we're a bit depressed.

July in the yearly sports calendar is a dead zone of immense proportions, not unlike the current dead zone affecting the Chinese coastline. What is it that we have to look forward to, other than the inevitable Michelle Wie implosion? NASCAR's Firecracker 400 Pepsi 400 Coke Zero 400? What about those of us that don't live in the South and as a result don't enjoy it when Kyle Busch gets wrecked by some furrener soundin' guy? What about those of us that don't care about the opening of the NBA free agency period or whether Agent Zero gets $100M or Baron Davis ends up in Memphis? I guess we could get started on that dissertation about how SportsNation's "STAMP IT!" is the worst segment ever to be broadcasted on radio, or we could sound off on the fact that, once again, the American men have posted another poor showing at Wimbledon.

Ok, ok, you got us: even though July is a dead zone for sports, there has still be plenty to talk about. We're just lazy and/or busy at work (or just lazy at work). As punishment for not giving a damn about the blog this week, enjoy the photo.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monkey Butlers of the Week

Quickest Turnaround From a High to a Low: Felix Hernandez, Mariners. He hit a grand slam in the second inning of Monday night's game against the New York Mets, the first ever homer by a Mariner pitcher. He had been on a scorching 1-for-8 lifetime pace prior to embarrassing Mets pitcher Johan Santana, who was unimpressed: "It seemed to me when he swung, he closed his eyes." Martinez followed up his round-tripper by rolling his ankle in the 6th inning while covering home and had to come out of the game.

Cinderella Story of the Week: Turkey. The country, not the meat. In making an improbable run to the semifinals of EURO 2008, the mad Turks dealt with a rash of injuries and suspensions that led to a less-than-full squad that took the field against Germany on Wednesday. And yet, as they did time and again in the tournament, they were there at the end with a chance to win it only to see Germany score the game winner in the 90th minute.

Most Obvious Cinderella Story of the Week: Fresno State, YOUR 2008 NCAA Baseball Champs. In what some people are calling "the biggest upset of the 21st century," the "Wonderdogs" fought their way to Omaha, burned it to the ground, and then headed back to California with a championship trophy. In the decisive third game of the best-of-three finale, Fresno rode the bat of right fielder Steve Detwiler, who went 4-4 with two home runs and six RBIs (for those scoring at home, that would be all of Fresno's runs). Even more impressive was the fact that Detwiler was playing with a severed tendon in his left thumb.

Worst Rap Performance of the Week: Shaquille O'Neal. I'm sorry, but when I heard the "news" about this "story," I was curious to what Shaq sounded like when he was "freestylin'." I've never heard Shaq rap before, and I was actually shocked to learn that he has at least five albums available for purchase. (With such song titles as "Boom!" and "Mic Check 1-2," the world can be assured that the music library of Shaq will live on forever.) At any rate, I tracked down the video of the "rap," and while I honestly wasn't expecting Eminem from 8 Mile, I wasn't expecting the stuttering fat kid from the fifth grade, either:

My two favorite lines: "If Biggie was here, he would be there," and "I'm a horse, Kobe ratted me out, that's why I'm getting divorced." Essentially, this all boils down to one thing: Kobe is relevant, and Shaq has become irrelevant. So what does Mr. Irrelevant do? He scratches and claws in any way he can to become relevant again. At least two of the sheriffs that pandered to Shaq are asking for their badges back, and Shaq has apparently decided that Huntsville, Alabama will be his new home away from home. Uh, yeah, Shaq; your kids on a rocket. Sure.

Worst Link of the Past to the Present for a Football Program: Ken Stabler, meet Jimmy Johns:

This photo saddens me.

Hand in the Cookie Jar Award: Rick Dutrow, douchebag. Dutrow has been suspended for fifteen days for loading up one of the horses he trains with twice the allowable level of clenbuterol, a drug that aids breathing by magically making a horse's lungs larger. (Josh Howard just fell out of his chair.) Dutrow was informed of the positive test in Mid-May, but failed to tell his bosses over at IEAH, so they're real happy with him right now. What's more, Dutrow's been cited for 18 other drug infractions since 2000. What's it take for a horse trainer to get banned?

Spoiled Return of the Week: Albert Pujols, by the Detroit Tigers. Returning to play for the first time in 13 games, Pujols went 4-for-4 with an intentional walk and knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately for him, the Cardinals bullpen disintegrated, with Ryan Franklin giving up a tying home run in the ninth only to be followed by Mike Parisi walking in the winning run in the tenth. I never thought I'd say this, but maybe it's time to put Jason Isringhausen back in the closer role? He pitched 2 1/3 innings in the game, giving up two hits and recording two strikeouts and no runs.

Brady Quinn Award/Human Ping Pong Ball Award: Darrell Arthur, Kansas Jayhawks New Orleans Hornets Portland Trail Blazers Houston Rockets Memphis Grizzlies (we think). The poor guy, who has to have the worst agent ever, went to the NBA draft in New York last night and not only was he not a lottery pick, he was taken 27th overall by New Orleans. Then traded to Portland. Then to Houston. Then to Memphis. He apparently has some sort of kidney problem, so that would explain the drop to 27, but the game of hot potato that was played over the next few hours had to be stressful on the guy.

Mid-'80s Rockin' the 'Stache Award: Jason Giambi, New York Yankees. Hey, whatever works, right? Thong, fat chick slumpbuster (definition #3), Miami Vice-mustache; you name it, and Giambi will try it. (Ed. note: Is it just me, or does Giambi look more and more like a speedfreak truck driver as the days go by?)

Random Non-Sports YouTube Video of the Week:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You Want to Know Garbage? Here You Go...

Jimmy Johns is garbage. Not the tasty-sandwich chain, mind you, but the ex-Alabama football player. Pure, unadulterated garbage.

College scholarship? Check.

Good head coach? Check.

Starting position on defense? Check.

Yeah, I'd probably sell a little cocaine, too. And not just that, I'd sell it in the parking lot of the football complex. What the hell, right? Was he feeling nostalgic and trying to bring back the halcyon days of '80s Miami football? And, yes, I'd be "deeply saddened" about being arrested, too. But, then again, most morons that get arrested for selling drugs are also pretty sad about their situations, as well. In fact, what kind of idiot would be happy about being arrested? (More info on Johns' arrest here and here.)

And if that wasn't enough, Johns was also selling pit bulls on a website that bore his name. Slight problem with that: it's against NCAA rules. At least Johns was diversified, right? Illegal drug sales on one front, pit bull entrepreneur on the other. No wonder he lost playing time under Coach Saban--he was too busy running his businesses.

While the pit bull sales may have been legit under Alabama (although not NCAA) law, each sale of cocaine is a Class B felony and carries with it a 2 to 20 year sentence. The sole possession charge is a Class C felony and carries with it a 1 to 10 year sentence. Luckily for Johns, three of the sales took place before he turned 21, so he could get a do over youthful offender on those. You see, best case for Johns here would be some sort of probation, fine & community service; as a young man with no criminal history, a sympathetic judge who had eaten a tasty breakfast AND gotten laid by two or three high-dollar call girls the night before might have given him such a sentence. But, given the current "war on drugs" (especially against cocaine), most sentences usually include jail time. And not pansy County time, either: real, big-boy State Penitentiary time. Add into that the fact that University of Alabama president Dr. Robert "Nit" Witt will likely be kicking down the doors over at the Tuscaloosa District Attorney's office and you have all the makings of a stiff sentence that will include prison time once all is said and done.

So now Johns will go down in the pantheon of college athletes whose actions destroyed their careers: Lawrence Phillips, Maurice Clarett, and now Johns.

Chacon Pulls a Sprewell

Houston Astros starter reliever Shawn Chacon decided to deliver a little beatdown to Astros GM Ed Wade on Wednesday. Chacon tells the story like this:

"I sat down to eat and Ed Wade came to me and very sternly said, 'You need to come with me to the office,'" Chacon said. "I said, 'For what?' I said, 'I don't want to go to the office with you and Cooper.' And I said, 'You can tell me whatever you got to tell me right here.' He's like, 'Oh, you want me to tell you right here?' And I said, 'Yeah.' I'm not yelling. I'm calm."

Chacon said things went downhill from there.

"He started yelling and cussing," Chacon said of Wade, according to a story on the Chronicle's Web site. "I'm sitting there and I said to him very calmly, 'Ed, you need to stop yelling at me.' Then I stood up and said, 'You better stop yelling at me.' I stood up. He continued and was basically yelling."

Chacon said that after Wade told him he needed to "look in the mirror," it got worse.

"So at that point I lost my cool and I grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground. I jumped on top of him," he said. "Words were exchanged."
Ha. Words were exchanged? How civil of him. "Ah yes," said the British dandy. "We drank some tea and wuhds were exchanged. Yes." Also, "look in the mirror" is usually what sets me off, too. Although, I can definitely think of 100 other things that would set me off more than that. (Like, for example, if you told me that you hoped I would die of Dalrymple's sign, then it would be ON.)

Talk about a bad week. You get what is essentially a demotion, and when your boss's boss comes to talk to you, you grab him by the throat and hurl him to the ground. For those keeping score at home: Chacon is 30 years old and Wade is a spry 52 years young. In case you're wondering, the menace that is Ed Wade is pictured above.

So We've Been a Little Slow Around Here...

As some of you have noticed, we apparently decided to take the first half of the week off around here. Terribly sorry about that. Unfortunately, since we aren't paid for this, our real jobs often interfere with our ability to wax poetic on the sports stories of the day. It's been a hell of a week to miss, though! Shaq ripping Kobe, that one guy Latrell Sprewell-ing that GM, Fresno State out-Bulldogging Georgia, Tommy John filling in for Golic. Whew. What a week!

As always, when we screw up, our apology post will be accompanied by a chick picture. Now, the first place girl is definitely the clear-cut winner. But, for the second and third place girls, don't you wonder whether or not only three girls entered the contest? Yikes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Monkey Butlers of the Week

Going Above the Call of Duty Award: Scott Baker, Minnesota Twins. Baker started the third inning of Sunday's game against the Brewers by striking out Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, but since Mike Redmond apparently allowed the ball to bounce to Pluto, Fielder was able to waddle his way to first. Baker then settled down, and after warming up again, he struck out Russel Branyon and Mike Cameron to end the inning, thus giving him four strikeouts in one inning.

Speaking of Prince Fielder: Dude apparently owes somewhere in the neighborhood of $400K in back taxes. Shockingly, Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, declined to comment on the matter because he suddenly realized that Fielder was short on money and therefore couldn't afford Boras's $4,537 per minute speaking fee.

Worst Las Vegas Act: Javon Walker, Oakland Raiders. Moments after leaving the Body English nightclub, Walker was found beaten and unconcious on a back alley in Las Vegas. This was, of course, the night after his $15K champagne party at Tryst, another Vegas nightclub. Walker claims to have been abducted at gunpoint from his room at the Bellagio, but no one seems to seriously be buying that as there are bazillions of cameras at casinos and one would presume that armed men "escorting" someone off the property would have been noticed.

Worst Las Vegas Act Not in Las Vegas: Derek Fisher, Los Angeles Lakers. Fisher was noticeably present during the first two games of the NBA Finals in Boston, but then he pulled a David Copperfield and was not seen again the rest of the series. It's possibly that he was abducted, Dr. Who-style in Boston and replaced with an evil doppleganger powered by the blood of Red Auerbach.

The Could Be Good or Could Be Bad Award: Tiger Woods. As you may have already heard by now, Tiger played the U.S. Open this past weekend with a torn ACL and two stress fractures in his tibia. While putting on a gutsy performance through 91 holes of golf over five days, Tiger cemented his position in the pantheon of tough athletic performances. However, only time will tell whether or not his decision to play the Open will affect his ability to play well in the future. Of course, he wasn't in such bad shape that he couldn't shoot a few commercials on Tuesday.

The About Gosh Darn Time Award: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., NASCAR. Junior won his first race of the season on Sunday, the LifeLock 400 in Michigan. It was his first win in 76 races and also his first since joining Hendrick Motorsports. Running on fumes and trying to hold off a challenge from Kasey Kahne, Earnhardt survived the asinine "green-white-checker" three-lap overtime to finish to the race, brought out by a caution on lap 198. Despite not winning this season until Sunday, Earnhardt had six top-five finishes in fourteen races and is third in the overall standings.

The "How Did I Miss This" Award of the Week: Edwin Jarvis. Yep, that's me. Somehow, I completely missed that Dan Patrick and CNN/SI have formed an (un)holy alliance. I'm sure this happened weeks or months ago, and while I usually know about stuff like this, I completely missed it. The site is slick and appears to offer Patrick all of the control over his own material that the evil overlords at ESPN refused to give him. Quick Dan Patrick trivia: Did you know that his last name is really Pugh? True story.

This Week's Non-Sports YouTube Video of the Week: Folks, this is what happens when boys grow up without a father in their lives.