Wednesday, December 26, 2007


With the news today of yesterday's Xmas killing of Tatiana -- the Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo -- there's one inescapable conclusion to be drawn.

2007 was a shitty year for tigers.
Except for the Tiger whose given name is "Eldrick."

While the jury's still out on that beloved Bengal named "Elbert" (who answered to "Ickey"), we saw a great many examples of Tigercide in '07.

Calipari's Memphis Tigers came up short in the NCAA b-ball tourney ...
Leyland's Tigers -- the Motor City kitties -- missed the playoffs after winning the A.L. pennant in '06 ...
The Princeton Tigers were typically gutty in every endeavor, yet lacking in the areas which would've led to victory ...
Which was pretty much the same deal for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL ...

And, what the hell was the deal with the Memphis football team losing its bowl game against those upstart Owls from Florida Atlantic?
An owl never beats a tiger, does it?
That is, an owl which is not a White Owl cigar -- which, for the money, remains a quality smoke ...
"For the money," that is ...

Well, lo and behold, we've got a Chick-fil-A Bowl on the horizon -- a New Year's Eve clash between Tommy's Tigers of Auburn vs. Tommy's Tigers of Clemson.

A Tiger will triumph.

Roughly one week after that, Less Smiles' LSU Tigers will attempt to persuade America to adopt a pro-Tiger stance when he tangles with the Sweater Vest Blackeyes in the national championship game (although this would be a nicer America if Less Smiles was allowed to pay tribute to slain jungle cats everywhere by having that massive LSU tiger eye logo painted at midfield of the Superdome field, just as it is at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge) ...

At the end of the day (as they say), what makes Earth a more-superior planet than, say, Neptune or Jupiter are two important factors:

A) Earth's inhabitants possess rational decision-making prowess, such as acknowledging Pluto's sovereignty as a planet before eventually de-classifying Pluto as "a planet" (a somewhat recent development which, no doubt, will be a factor when the pissed-off Plutonians invade a few years from now and launch their systematic impregnation crusade against this planet's better-looking blondes ...).

B) Earthlings spend a lot more time involved with the LSU Tigers, the Clemson Tigers, the Auburn Tigers, the Princeton Tigers, the Eldrick Woods Tigers and the Detroit Tigers than they spend giving a second thought to a spectacular, 4-legged Siberian tiger named Tatiana which was gunned down a few days after that Siberian tiger in the Chinese wildlife compound was beheaded and gutted for its black-market value.

If there are other solar systems out there with intelligent life, they are just itchin' for this ghetto called Earth to global-warm itself outta existence so they can get a real planet into the mix ...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Iguchi Out, Taguchi In (Bulls Fire Scott Skiles)

Right about the time that we'd read on EXPM's crawl-at-the-bottom-of-the-TV-screen (the Bottom Line) that a Secret Santa had given the Phillies a So Taguchi to replace the Tad Iguchi which was lost a few weeks ago, the words BREAKING NEWS appeared on the screen while the same 4-word newsflash scrolled right to left:

Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ... Bulls fire Scott Skiles .... Bulls fire Scott Skiles ...

This "breaking news" did nothing to shed any light on whether So Taguchi will request the #99 uniform #, like what he wore in St. Loo.
#99 is Wild Thing's # ...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Obvious Andy Pettitte Punchline

"Sure, HGH is illegal, but, c'mon ... it's Andy Pettitte and he's A) a darn, swell guy B) a fantastic competitor and C) he'd never consider mainlining heroin in the dugout."

That's what America can look forward to during the next few weeks/months -- several "aww, shucks" confessions from those whose names appeared on the Mitchell Hit List.

Naturally, the Winter X Games Channel summarily exonerated Pettitte once Andy's confession became the lead story on the SportsCenter which followed the Wisconsin-Whitewater/Mount Union Div. II championship game.

Both Kurkjian and sex-addict Phillips (ret.) echoed the same "he's-a-good-guy-and-a-real-tough-competitor" characterization -- except neither remembered to read that part of the script which read: "The HGH probably didn't even belong to him ... and he felt so dirty after using it that he immediately marched into the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet."

The truth is, what we'll be hearing from ballplayers who got Mitchelled won't be much different than waht we've heard when Dateline NBC's Chris Hansen has those heart-to-heart chats with assorted pedofiles on episodes of "To Catch A Predator."

Hansen: "What are you doing here, anyway?"
The MLB: "I wuzzint gonna do nuthin'. Just talk."
Hansen: "You drove four hours to get here ... to just talk?"
The MLB: " 'at's right."
Hansen: "In your e-mail, you wrote, 'I can show you my big blank ... and then I'll jam it in blank ..."
The MLB: "I didn't mean nuthin'. That's just stuff y'say, y'know?"

For clarification, "Blank 1" is "syringe" ... and "Blank 2" is "right buttock."
And, that's a helluva lot cleaner than coming right out and saying "hydraulics" and "va-jay-jay," y'know?

Since introducing HGH to one's own bloodstream is a victimless crime, America needs to cut Andy Pettitte some slack. He's a quiet kid with a warm smile -- and his will to win is an inspiration to us all.

Clemens? Hell, every anti-Clemensonian knows that the Rocket would rape a child to pick up a "W."
Bonds? His detractors say he'd rape a child AND he'd rape that child's puppy for the right to stand at home plate and marvel at what the livestock hormones coarsing through his body has produced -- another splashdown into McCovey Cove.

Again ... he's Andy Pettitte ... he's good people.
Is it not every American's inalienable right to take their hot-lookin' step-daughter to Yankee Stadium to see a good guy/excellent competitor limit the Blue Jays to eight hits and four runs over six-and-a-third (that is, when America isn't staring at its step-daughter's caboose as she stares at Jeter's caboose)?

Since we learned earlier this week that Kurkjian, Phillips and the other talking heads at the Disneyland Sports Channel do not possess the intrepid and intuitive investigative instincts of this rising star we've never heard of -- "T.J. Quinn: Medicine Woman" -- we'll just assume that everything is on the up-and-up with these doctors who are handing out dosages of HGH as though they're doling out family-fun-packs of Skittles.

While there may be volumes of case studies on the effects of HGH which have appeared in respected medical journals, it's not our place to request that Buster Olney or Grandpa Gammons reveal if there are any son-of-a-bitch quacks who might be illegally writing prescriptions for a douchebag such as Jay Gibbons.

Look ... if Buster doesn't remain on "the good side" of an MLB'er, that MLB'er might cull from a limited vocabulary an invective -- such as an "F you!" or an "F you, mother(tr)ucker!"

And then how's that doctor gonna feel when he doesn't get free O's tix any more, not to mention an autographed bat to take home to Caleb (who was born as the divorce papers were filed) from one of America's favorite rusty-haired .258 career hitters?

Why would Kurkjian run the risk of ruining three lives (his own, Jay Gibbons' and the quack's) for the sake of something which might draw us nearer to the truth?

Besides, that's a job for T.J. Quinn, Medicine Woman

It's easier for the baseball bunch at the Texas Hold 'Em Channel to remain on Pettitte's good side (that's because everyone remembers what happened to Jim Gray at the '99 World Series ... when he peppered Pete Rose with some honest questions ... and then Chad Curtis said that Pete was ambushed and then Chad vowed that he and the Yankees might never share their insights with America ever again ... and we all shuddered a little because -- gulp! -- Chad Curtis might not ever talk to us again ... THAT is a crisis which America would hate to re-visit ... and ESPN understands this ... ).

So, we'll go with the flow and acknowledge that, hey, if a doctor prescribed HGH for Andy Pettitte, then that doctor probably had a darn good reason. There are doctors out there who'll tell ya that HGH is as safe as Flintstone Chewables, so, go ahead and keep it in the medicine cabinet next to the tweezers, the dental floss and the Robitussin.

Meanwhile, since Andy Pettitte has polished-up his good-guy image to the hilt, no one should call into question his right to spark up a J in the clubhouse.
For all we know, that might very well be medical marijuana which was prescribed for him.
Or maybe the weed doesn't even belong to him, okay?
He's Andy Pettitte, ya got that?

It's a safe bet that Selig will get a handle on this HGH matter sometime before 2015. After that, he'll address what Ken Caminiti confessed in that S.I. cover story (before he died in '04) -- that the use of amphetamines is widespread and rampant.

With any luck, the findings of the Caminti Committee For Amphetamine Awareness will be made final by the Year 2018 and a well-defined timetable whould put testing for greenies/uppers/speed at or around the Year 2021.

Which means that Ken will not've died in vain.

Now, if only Andy Pettitte could testify before a Senate sub-committee on the dangers of huffing floor wax during a rain delay ....
If everybody can get past his one-day fling with HGH (when he was forced at gunpoint to use the junk, all the while hating every minute that he was a junkie, but realizing that he was doing it for all of those kids out there who needed him to be a Junkie For A Day if it was what was best for the Pinstripers), Congress will listen to an Andy Pettitte.

Because he's so damn likable, no matter one's own personal view of the Yanks in general.
Kinda makes ya realize that if every junkie was as charasmatic and as well-mannered as Andy Pettitte, ya'd feel a lot better about dopeheads who commit assault and battery against strangers during a mugging, just to score some green to score a fix.

"Listen to McGruff The Crime Dog, you junkies: Be nice like Pettitte and Giambi and get a prescription from a doctor for your HGH!"

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Obvious App State Punchline

"Jeez ... guess their win over Michigan in the Big House really WASN'T a fluke. Maybe it really was wrong to drop the Wolverines from No. 5 to 'also (NOT) receiving votes.' "

Indeed ... the team which won our hearts and captured our imaginations with that season-opening win over the guys who wear the helmets with the funky wings-and-stripes configuration capped a season which won our hearts and captured our imaginations with the championship win over the second most-famous team (the Div. I-AA version) to wear the helmets with the funky wings-and-stripes configuration.

And, even though that landmark, 34-32 win over the Wolverines occurred three months ago, America remains divided about where to rank that upset on "The Big List of Upsets."

To complicate matters, this nation seems unwilling/unable to reach a compromise when it comes to how exactly to pronounce "Appalachian."
In one camp, they are favoring the "APP-puh-LAY-chin" pronunciation -- while the other school of thought is that "APP-puh-LATCH-inn" is preferred usage.

Those of us who chair the Super Smart-Ass Committee opt for a pronunciation of "APP-puh-LAY-chee-yun" because (guess what) ... Webster's Dictionary recognizes all three.

Still, following the victory over Michigan, we don't know if headline writers for the Daily Bugle or the Gazette or the Evening Standard used 72-point splashed across the top of the page for this dandy:

That's a play on words, boys n' girls ... something which ya gotta learn on the streets, not in the pages of Webster's or by watchin' ESPN's "College LameDay."
As we've learned, dictionaries and Herb Kirkstreit have not clearly defined the viability of the App State program, not to mention the delicious talents of soph. QB Armanti Edwards.

Then again, if it's a program which is NOT named "LSU" or "USC" or "Florida" or "Ohio State" ... and it's a player who is NOT on the roster for LSU or USC or Florida or Ohio State, well ... that program or that player might not receive more than five seconds of casual mention -- which seems like a complete cop-out from the boys which are "cummin' to your sitttt-tayyyy!"

That's the thought which crossed America's mind more than once, now that we're here in the final minutes of App State's blowout win over Delaware in this Football Championship Subdivision title game.
We have no way of knowing if the headline in tomorrow's Daily Bugle, Gazette or Evening Standard will be: "A THREE-PEAT FOR APP STATE? APP-SOLUTELY!" now that the 'Neers have followed up championships won in '05 and '06 with this title.
(Revisiting the punchline: "Guess it wasn't a total shocker vs. Michigan" ... which most of us knew at the time -- that is, those of us who didn't have a vote in the AP poll and who didn't dump Michigan from No. 5 in the nation to No. 186 ... Michigan probably shoulda been No. 13 or No. 14 in the initial poll, anyway, based on the pipsqueak nature of the Big Eleven Conference ...)

Luckily for America, every coll. FB Sat. is an exercise in ignoring the Big Eleven games on EXPM while we channel surf for something else (even though we might be a coll. FB diehard, we'll watch an infomercial on Channel 53 before we'll ever cozy up to Joe Tiller's Purdue Bumblingmaidens marching to another ho-hum, 7-5 season).

The Winter X Games Network thinks it's throwing us a bone with these I-AA playoffs ... "We're the only outfit broadcasting this game, so when we undo our fly, you will swallow what we tell you to swallow ..."
That was apparent in the first quarter tonight when Winter X Football had a cut-away to Rece Davis in the studio telling us what was coming up at halftime and, right on cue ... the mini-montage of footage re: Rich Rodriguez possibly taking the Michigan job interfered with all but the final three yards of Devon Moore's 46-yard TD sprint.

Dammit, Disneyland Football ... that was a 46-yard TD which America -- specifically the Americans in Devon Moore's family -- can never see live again.

Alas, the Disneyland Football Channel is totally absorbed by the football coaches who coach college football while short-changing the college football players who actually play college football.
Such as Armanti Edwards.

To Disneyland's credit, these Div. I-AA playoffs receive adequate coverage, even though our "in-depth" glimpse at guys who've played for 14 weeks is less than what we learn about the Little League World Series kids during that 10-day tournament.

While we may not know much about Armanti Edwards (his turn-ons, his turn-offs), we do know what we saw with our own two eyes last week -- when Edwards had exactly 200 yards rushing five minutes into the second quarter while leading his team (is anyone calling them "Armanti's Army"?) to a 28-7 lead.

That's food for thought: 200 yards (on 18 carries) five minutes into the second quarter (200 yds. in 20 mins.).
Dude was on pace for a 600-yard rushing performance -- if only he could've stayed hungry enough.

In many ways, Edwards looked to us as though he was ziggin' n' zaggin' to avoid the same spiders which chase him in his nightmares (that is, if Armanti Edwards is actually afraid of spiders ... because it was clear that he was not afraid of the Richmond Spiders who pursued him).

Kid finished with 31 carries for 313 yards and 4 TDs while completing 14 of 16 for 182 yds. and 3 TDs.
A.E. was out of his mind -- which is why it was worth tuning in again tonight ... to see if he could electrify us once again ... this time, against the Fightin' Blue Hens of Delaware.

Arm-Ed made most of the plays he had to make tonight -- although while watching him in action, one couldn't help but rewind to 1994 when S.I. published that cover photo of Alcorn State QB Steve McNair with the accompanying caption: HAND HIM THE HEISMAN.
It was a delicious P.R. ploy ... S.I. believing that nobody had ever seen highlights of McNair on TV, shakin' n' bakin' in the open field (what they nowadays call "in space") as three fatso Prairie View A&M d-linemen waddled after him.

To be fair, '94 was a fairly lousy Heisman year, given the winner (Rashaan Salaam), the runner-up (Ki-Jana Carter) and the three QBs who finished behind McNair in the final balloting's Top 10 (Kerry Collins, Jay Barker, Eric Zeier).

Since the Heisman Trophy is not predicated on future NFL potential (or so it is rumored), it makes ya wonder why Armanti Edwards WASN'T a finalist this year.
While he did miss four games, he managed to rush for more than 1,400 yards -- and he threw the ball capably and crisply.

If we concede that including Edwards in the Heisman ceremony constitutes "a reach," then how do we explain away the snub for Dennis Dixon?
Riiiiiiiight ... "if we invite the Oregon QB, then we have to pay for a ticket for his personal assistant who will be needed to carry the trophy since Dennis will be on his crutches, blah blah blah ..."

Those crusty old codgers and useless geezers who sit on the board of the Downtown Athletic Club and the collection of numbnuts who own a ballot in the Heisman Trophy process sometimes make mistakes (such as in '01 when they accidentally gave Julius Peppers' Heisman to Eric Crouch).
What (most, not all) people fail to realize is that Oregon's best black QB since Akili Smith was comparable to Tim Tebow in passing efficiency and, when you get right down to it, Dixon was better at running the ball.

Moreover, Dixon had a big-time running back (Jonathan Stewart) to hand off to, so, unlike Tebow, Double-D was not his team's entire running game.
It will be argued that Tebow faced teams in the team-speed-oriented SEC -- speed-oriented teams which possess great team speed to offset the team-speed of their team-speed-oriented opponents -- but, again, we must ask ... if we made the QB swap and forced Tebow to play for the Ducks and Dixon to QB the Gators, how would that look?

Since all of these variables create too great a hallucinogen for the voters, they did the predictable thing -- they gave an invite to Colt Brennan.
"Shhhhhhhh" ... no one tell June Jones, but his dorky, sidearmed-throwin' QB is undeniably "a system QB" -- a point which was made abundantly clear when Brennan was injured and somebody named "Tyler Graunke" (it might as well have been your Aunt Phyllis or your buddy, Skeeter) ripped up Nevada for more than 300 yards.
"Shhhhhhhh" ... Colt Brennan was accidentally allowed to sit in the seat that Timmy Chang shoulda been sittin' in at the DAC.

Anybody who's watched more than 15 minutes of coll. FB (and who hasn't had his/her mind polluted by Jerk Jerkstreit's winning smile) can see that Armanti Edwards is a better player AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL than Colt Brennan, if for no other reason than the fact that Armanti Edwards played tougher competition than Hawaii did -- and tougher than what McNair faced 13 years ago.

Bottom line: We'll peel away a lot of Heisman mystique on New Year's Day when Tebow attempts to conquer a Michigan defense which Edwards and Dixon tormented in back-to-back weekends in Sept.

Does is matter that the game's in Florida and not Ann Arbor?

That's NOT a question which that old fart Corso is qualified to answer ever since he squirted an entire tube of Fixodent all over his prune danish and tripped over the over-hype machine by drunkenly informing America that he hadn't seen a quarterback do what Tebow's accomplished since the days of somebody at the Naval Academy named Roger Staubach.

That's the way it HAS to be said, "somebody at the Naval Academy named Roger Staubach."

By the way, Gramps was making the exact same comparisions during Michael Vick's sensational freshman year in '99 and probably during Vince Young's fabulous year of '05.

"Somebody from the Naval Academy named Roger Staubach ... "

Sure, we all loved Roger The Dodger, but someone's gotta tell Gramps that Staubach doesn't fit the age 18-to-34 demographic because Rodge played his college ball 44 years ago.

And, true dat, Tebow's a real crackerjack, but, he's no Paul Hornung, a player so prolific that he won the Heisman while quarterbacking a 2-8 Notre Dame team which was probably lousy enough to go 0-10 had it not been for Hornung (a song which'll sound very familiar when Jimmy Clausen is winning his two Heismans which Beano had designated for Ron Powlus more than a decade earlier).

No doubt ... Tebow's good, but he ain't Dee Dowis good (in terms of running the pure-option offense, conquering a full classload and providing exemplary soldiering as a member of the United States Air Force Academy).

To ESPN's credit, America was informed (during a tale-of-the-tape after the Heisman had been handed out) that Tebow: "Is the first Heisman winner to wear #15."

Naturally, any time the discussion turns to jersey numbers, this Planet is ready to leap into action. Too many Americans, it seems, lose their all-time rosters and can't remember who's wearin' which jersey number when he greatness is achieved.

In fact, a lot of Americans haven't drawn the parallel that Armanti Edwards is the best left-handed throwin' #14 we've seen since the days when David Greene was the southpaw-slingin' #14 for Georgia a few years ago (however, Armanti might NOT be the best black lefty QB who wears #14 w/ black-n'-gold as school colors that we've ever seen ... because to admit such would be to omit from our memory the images of black southpaw QB #14 John Charles wearing the black-n'-gold of Mountain View High while lightin' it up for the Spartans in the late '80s before enjoying reasonable success at Portland State).

"The Number 15 Paradigm," though, intrigues us -- since many of us can only dial as far back as the beginning of the millennium when Oklahoma Sooner safety J.T. Thatcher became the only #15 to ever win the Mosi Tatupu Award for special-teams excellence and bravery until, sadly, that award (presented annually by the Maui Touchdown Club from 1997 thru 2004) was discontinued (no one's sure why).

Somebody someday should have the guts to ask Wes Welker, Deltha O'Neal and Chris McAlister where they have their Tatupu trophies showcased in their homes.

Back at the Number 15 Research Facility, we remember that Bart Starr, Earl Morrall and Jeff Hostetler are the only QBs to wear #15 while winning Super Bowls (Vince Ferragamo came close), but a lot of us cannot tell ya which number those guys wore in college.

It's important for our research because we never want to forget those two Purdue QBs who wore #15 and were Heisman-worthy (Mike Phipps was a close second to #36 Steve Owens in '69 and Drew Brees was a distant third to #16 Chris Weinke and #14 Josh Heupel in '00).

We still don't know what to do with those star QBs who wore #15 in college (Elvis Grbac when he was handin' off to #6 Tyrone Wheatley or lookin' deep for #21 Desmond Howard ... Mike Tomczak when he was flippin' a swing pass to #41 Keith Byars or zippin' a deep post to #2 Cris Carter) and opted for #18 in the NFL ... or that kid who wore #25 as a college QB at New Mexico (Stoney Case) and chose #15 when he was a pro QB for the Cardinals.

What we do know is that Number 15 is back in style, y'all ... especially when we take into consideration the fact that it's the jersey number worn by not only Tebow, but by Brennan and LSU's Matt Flynn, not to mention 2009 Heisman favorite, Kellen Lewis, the freshman QB at Indiana (geez, it's too bad that Lee Corso's brain died a whole bunch of years ago and he can't do anything other than parrot that Bill Lynch was once one of his assistant coaches).

As long as we're telling and re-telling the Complete History of Number 15, this is probably as good a time as any to remember that #15 was what Ed Brown wore when he QB'ed the USF Dons to that 9-0 record in '51.

While everybody bitches about the unfairness of Heisman balloting and bowl games vs. playoffs, it's important to remember that A) Ed Brown died just before this '07 football season and B) That USF team never got a chance to prove it was the greatest of all-time, thanks to deep-fried, Southern-style bigotry which prevented teams with black players (USF had two ... Ollie Matson and Burl Toler) from playing in bowl games against teams from Dixie in which some of the players were dating their sisters and cousins.

Fifty-six years later, it ain't all THAT different ...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Obvious Mitchell Report Punchline

"Busted for juicing? What is that -- a fix-it ticket? Why must 'roids be the broken tail light plaguing America?"

That's today's reaction -- and the person most deeply-wounded by this official announcement is definitely Sage Rosenfelds. The Houston Texans QB will make his prime-time debut on a network which nobody watches -- and his wee bit of NFL thunder was stolen by The MLB.

It would make perfect sense for ESPN to dispatch one of its newest hires -- Sage Steele -- to get a reaction from Sage Rosenfelds ... y'know, just to gauge the rage of Sage (that is, if a chick named Sage can gauge the rage of a dude named Sage, despite the fact that the name alone suggests that his meter probably tops out at "scorn").

That's a cool word ... "scorn" (although it would be way cooler if it was the QB's first name ... "Scorn Rosenfelds").
Either way, scorn is what America is feeling today now that the Mitchell Report has hit the fan.
Actually, it's probably more like "mock scorn" -- which Americans are coupling with "pseudo-indignation" for a delightful quasi-rage combo platter.

America still has not made up its mind if this faux-outrage stems more from "the esteemed Senator" (who, pro-Mitchell loyalists, swear is one of the original apostles) put his name/reputation (whatever that's worth) to a report overloaded with hearsay poppycock -- or if what this nation is feeling is actually make-believe anger to mask our disappointment that an ikon such as The Rocket is possibly a 'roider (we spelled "icon" with a "k" a few minutes ago bekause Klemens' kids' names all begin with K and because Every Kiss Begins With Kay, etc ... ).

Almost as amusing as the 400-plus-page roll call is the wall-to-wall coverage provided by The Winter X Games Network's batallion of talking heads/opinion-givers.

Who the F is "T.J. Quinn: Investigative Reporter," anyway? That's what we read at the bottom of the TV screen ... "T.J. Quinn: Investigative Reporter."
(No relation: "Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman")

The Texas Hold 'Em Channel needs to be a little more careful when it comes to applying the "investigative reporter" tag to this person we've never met before -- mostly because applying the faux-"person-of-significance" tagline gives America the impression that Olney, Kurkjian, Stark and Pope Gammons don't do any actual "investigatin'," but maybe probably spend more time "collectin'" tips from nameless front-office personnel on their wildly-vibrating cellphones.

Not that it matters. After all, their facts might not be any more reliable than what the Mitch-'Port gave us (a document which is comparable to a sobriety checkpoint which flags two DUI offenders and misses 15 others).

Still, America wouldn't be the same w/o baseball purist Steve Phillips -- the (allegedly) reformed sex addict -- showin' up on our TV screen and, with that mini-goat-tee he wears to make him look like less of a 50-year-old Ken Doll, actin' so darn full-of-conviction in telling the nation how to feel about the sport he loves.

Actually, the ex-Mr. Sex he has that same earnest expression no matter if the topic is performance enhancers or a shakeup in the Reds' front office.

Either way, America is Jonesin' pretty bad right now for Tom Boswell to swing a bat in the on-deck circle with some flowery rhetoric about how our green pastures of innocence and springtime renewal have been tainted, but, Baseball, will not toil in the morrass, but, will resurrect itself and blossom once again, blah blah blah blah blah ... "

Bottom line: TODAY'S OUTCOME AFFECTS NUTHIN' ... or, stated in simpler terms of the modern era, "It is what it is."

After it got thrown under the bus ...

For one thing, the drama today unfolded before an America which has been desensitized to such matters ever since what transpired in '85 -- back when we all gathered 'round the Magnavox black-n'-white TV and followed the Pittsburgh drug trials.
Back then, we learned all sorts of fun facts, such as the clubhouse habits of a fatso, coke-supplyin' caterer named Curtis Strong ... or how to spell "Ueberroth" ... or the testimony of the Pirates parrot mascot who was either a user or a mule, we can't remember which.

The best part of that trial, though, was when John Milner testified that the liquid (possibly cough syrup) in Willie Mays' locker (when the two were teammates for the '73 Mets) was "some nasty, red juice."

We were usin' that expression for years -- even if we were describing a sandwich at the local eatery or a date with a blonde from the previous night.
"Nasty, red juice ..."
Works every time ...

So, did Peter Ueberroth die in vain?
He did successfully rid the countryside of cokeheads (but maybe not crackheads).
Alas, junkies have a knack for beating the system.
And if America won't offer a blessing for cocaine or 'roids or HGH today, there'll be something synthetic and yummy tomorrow.

In the past 100 years of baseball-related shenanigans, we've had dead balls, live balls, corked bats, flattened mounds, booze woes, dopers, adulterers, 'roid rage ...

At the rate we're goin', by the year 2015, it'll probably be illegal for an MLB'er to inject himself with rhino semen in the middle of an at-bat.

Oh, and only bats with an aluminum/graphite shell and a uranium core will be allowed to strike at the baseball filled with weapons-grade plutonium because, dammit ... if we're banned from building more-massive ballplayers to go upper deck with the 3-run, jimmy jack, then, we'll need to juice up the bats n' balls because, dammit ... chicks dig the longball ...

No one remembers who led the league in two-base shots to the gap or into the corner.
America wants Brady Anderson.
Preferably shirtless.
Because gay Americans are people, too.
And, some of them like baseball.

The MLB is always slow on the uptake. It usually discovers too late that the Beatles may've dropped some acid; Dean Martin might've had a wee bit of a drinking problem; JFK likely ended up in bed a few times with someone not named "Jacqueline" ... oh, and that guy who always volunteered at the canned food drives -- that John Wayne Gacy guy -- maybe he's not that chubby, jolly civic-minded, fella-next-door that he appeared to be.

Johnny seemed to have some relationship problems, neighbors.

Just think: Somewhere out there in America (or in Eurpoe, maybe) right now, Gacy's adult offspring are checkin' out that recent issue of Playboy wherein Kimberly Bell -- Bonds' mistress of approx. 10 yrs. -- was photographed in a number of provocative-and-tasteful poses.

And, that's cool.
'Cuz, no matter, what Steve Phillips or Krukker or Buster tell ya, there are three things that America loves:
1) Baseball 2) Children of serial killers and 3) A well-maintained carpet.

If today's public-service announcement was a prelude to "cleaning up the game," well ... what can ya say about a sport wherein dip/snuff/spit tobacco is banned on every level, yet, if fans have noticed the back pocket of numerous MLB'ers (including the Home Run King), that AIN'T a tin of Altoids in there.
(Actually, it may be a a tin of "the clear" in a gametime-friendly container).

As we know, the upshot of Mitchell's snitch report will be step-fathers taking their step-sons (because there's a restraining order which prohibits that step-father from having contact with his ex-wife and kids) to the ol' ballyard in '08.

The end result: Record attendance (again).

So much for the "Bad Day At Black Rock" for The MLB.

Because The MLB is so poetic and full of purity for the purists.
Such as when LaRussa falls asleep at that green light and is so nimble and baseball-like that his foot remains on the brake while the car is in drive.

And, later, LaLoser will sing the alphabet on YouTube.

Look ... we all had fun singing along with LaLoser doin' his ABC's -- almost as much fun as we had today when we got pretty buzzed with our co-workers when we played the newest drinking game "Who's On The 'Roids Snitch List?"

Neal from Shipping looked mighty foolish when he panicked and said, "Luis Polonia" (causing him to drink twice) and then we declared Stacey from Accounts Receivable the winner when she pulled off the daily-double -- Adam Piatt AND Phil Hiatt.

Nobody saw the Piatt/Hiatt double-dip comin'.

Laughs notwithstanding, gettin' wasted while spendin' the day with some crusty, ol' dickweed named George Mitchell obscures the fact that the Senator mighta sorta totally forgotten that there's something called "due process" in this land of purple mountains' majesty and amber waves of grain.

Just about everybody wants to see the sport cleaned up, but naming names in tattletale fashion by using uncorroborated testimony from maybe not-so-reliable sources, c'mon ...

Shouldn't we be focusing our personal attacks on the 63 percent of Congress which has NAMBLA literature in its top desk drawer?

Witch hunts are such a waste of time and money.

Either way, until Congress can force The MLB (preferably at gunpoint) to produce a 1994 World Series champion, neither entity (Congress or The MLB) is to be taken seriously.

Nice try, though, Piatt & Hiatt ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Obvious Bobby Petrino Punchline

No one's sure if it's bumper-sticker-worthy, but it's apt:

"Arkansas has a 'Dick' for a quarterback -- and a dick for a head coach."

You're right, America: "Dickhead" is probably more applicable for Petrino, considering how he is the head coach.
Besides, it's not Casey Dick's fault that he got stuck with that last name -- although he can take solace in the fact that he's not QB Chris Smelley of South Carolina, who most of us known only as "Smelley 'Cock."

Now, for those of us who might be Steeler fans, the name "Dick" (as it pertains to a coach) has a positive connotation, given that this is 70-year-old, D-coordinator Dick LeBeau's 49th year in the NFL (14 yrs. as a Detroit Lion DB, 1959-72 ... 35 yrs. as a coach, '73-present).
And, "no" ... we'll never forget you, Dick Hoak (10 yrs. as a Steeler halfback, '61-'70 ... 35 yrs. as a Steeler backfield coach, '72-'06 ... retiring three days before Cowher resigned last Jan.).

With the recent passing of former 49er field boss, Dick Nolan, we've given a lot of thought to Dicks in '07.
That's why Petrino deserves more dickhead than dick consideration, vis-a-vis dickhead-vs.-dick paradigms.

Everybody's pilin' on Petrino pretty good today, justifiably so, it seems, given the litany of back-stabbings and bailouts.
And, to think, it was less than one week ago at ESPN's college football awards show when America was forced at gunpoint to pay homage to Arkansas legend Frank Broyles.
How appropriate that a segment of that celebration was that taped kiss-ass message from Bill Clinton.
Phony as it was, Jerry Jones was a little too "hands-on" during that stage of the production.

As proud Americans, we all secretly hoped that Chris Fowler would've displayed the cajones that he once had when he was this nation's third-favorite Scholastic Sports America host (after Sharlene Hawkes and Dan Debenham) and re-assumed control of the program by bludgeoning somebody with his mike.
Alas, Fowler is a Broyles/Clinton/Jones puppet.
There's sawdust and confetti where Fowler's cajones once were.

"At the end of the day," it is not the responsibility of the Haystack Heroes to debate the Petrino fallout. That's for Wolf Blitzer and his fancy-schmancy Situation Room (and for Nany Grace when she returns from maternity leave).
What WE need to dial into are the sound bytes that the local radio has been playin' this week wherein Charles Barkley offers some insight into the Alabama governorship.

As for the state of affairs in that sorry state, Sir Charles says, "We're 48th in everything."
Is that all?
"If it wasn't for Arkansas and Mississippi, we'd be 49th or 50th."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Obvious Michael Vick Punchline

"In the trash-can fire near the woodpile out back, the #7 Atlanta Falcons jersey that's burning had better be your one with the red-n'-white racing stripes on the sleeves with the name VICK on the back -- and NOT the all-black #7 Falcons version with GRAZIANI on the back."

Also on the "protected" list of Falcons jerseys hanging in the closet: The orange #44 BEAN and the black #60 NOBIS.

Funny how, on the all-time Atlanta Falcons roster in our minds, Tony Graziani is the left-handed throwin', #7 wearin' , Falcons QB whose spirit will never die (even if he is more noted for Arena League heroism).

That's the inescapable conclusion which we reached recently, a few minutes past midnight following a MNF'er that some of us didn't bother to watch.

Before the season, a MNF'er featuring the Falcons n' the Saints from the Georgia Dome would've meant a delightful Vick vs. Bush mad-skillz showcase -- alas, the game was reduced to a lotta buzz about Michael's incarceration and Reggie's incapacitation.

If this was the old-school NFL, Bush could've worn his college number (5) in the pros -- and maybe, just maybe, would've surpassed Harmon Wages (or Paul Hornung) as the most-famous of NFL running backs to wear #5.

Sadly, running backs aren't allowed to wear #5 any more ... and linebackers can't wear #60 (and Falcons QB Chris Redman can't wear the number he wore at Louisville or w/ the Ravens -- #7 -- because, well, umm ... the Falcons retired #7 ... or something ...).

With such sad memories as a backdrop, certain parts of this nation lamented Vick's recently-announced, 22-month prison sentence by doin' what we often do -- by blowin' off the NFL, clicking over to that G4 Network and soaking up all of the Ninja Warrior action from Mount Midoriyama.

You can talk all ya want about the athleticism of a Bush or a Vick, but those individuals wouldn't survive Stage 1 of the grueling course (the smart money says that Bush would go splashy-splash on the Jump Hang while Vick would quit on the Warped Wall ... ans how exactly Shingo Yamamoto, the gas-station manager, navigates each stage while wearing his khakis and his polo shirt and cap is almost beyond comprehension ... it's insane ... Shingo performs almost-unimaginable athletic feats not while wearing a #7 VICK jersey, but while wearing a shirt and cap with Mobil/Speedpass logos on them ... it's frickin' nuts ... ).

Oh, and for the record, Stage 3's Curtain Cling and the Cliff Hanger are impossible, for chrissakes. But, somebody like Toshihiro Takeda says, "Bring it on" -- which is what makes "Ninja Warrior" superior to "The MetRx World's Strongest Man" competition on the The World's Strongest Man Channel which broadcasts MNF.

Most of us burned our Magnus ver Magnussen jerseys a long time ago because MvM is the product of 'roids (shhhhhhh!) and rage.
He'd last 1.8 seconds on the Pipe Slider.

Hopefully, the NFL will one day rise to the level of Ninja Warrior wherein the viewer can mute the TV audio and merely read the captions across the bottom of the screen.
"Oh, what was that? Brees almost fell. Can he make it?"

Nobody's sure if the TV lounge in "the joint" gets G4, but, if G4 isn't part of the penitentiary cable package, then Mike will need someone on "the outside" to TiVo almost two years worth of Ninja Warrior action to get the QB caught up.

Then again, by the time Vick is released from the cooler, Nagano ("the fisherman") will've TWICE completed the Spider Climb and Rope Climb required to reach the top of the tower at Mount Midoriyama's final grueling stage.

And American kids will be wearing their NAGANO jerseys to junior high (even though Nagano competes while wearing no shirt at all) ...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Patriotization of Dirk McGirder

Moments before kickoff in Foxboro, the mood back in Steel Town was that something was about to unfold which the next Alfred Lord Tennyson wanna-be would refer to as "Pyrrhic in nature."

Sad but true, Tennyson's been dead since 1892).
And nobody uses the term "Pyrrhic" any more.
To describe anything.

But, on the bright side, Steel Town is buzzing at how good D-lineman Nick Eason looked when fielding that short kickoff and turning it into a 10-yd. KOR.
Although that runback wasn't Pyrrhic in nature by any any means, it's now forever a stat which no one can ever take away from Eason.

A D-lineman with a 10-yd. KOR ... what a great moment in American sports history.

However, in terms of stopping the red, white n' blue which is America's Team, the Steelers did not Pat-slap the Pats with a big, fat "L" -- but, more useful, perhaps, were the valuable life lessons which the Black N' Gold took away from that trip to Fox Town.
It should prove useful when the teams square off next month and spill blood as a January act of vengeful avenging of the blood spilled in December.

Then again, if the Steelers should lose to Jacksonville at Heinz next Sunday and then fail to avenge that loss by losing again to Jacksonville at Heinz three weeks later, well ...

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though.
For one thing, those of us who predicted a 33-17 final score today are not heartbroken over the 34-13 outcome.

After those lackluster efforts by the Belicheats vs. the Beagles and the Raisins, lotsa people were holdin' out hope that Dirk McGirder (who some have mistaken for somebody named Steely McBeam ... whoever she is) was qualified to end the Pats unbeaten reign of terror and unlikability.

17-13 at the half held some promise, alas ... Anthony Smith was made a scapegoat -- which really isn't fair because A) His "guarantee" -- for those who saw the footage -- was more along the lines of "yeah-if-we-do-what-we're-capable-of-we-CAN-beat-these-guys" rather than "we're gonna bitch 'em like a little bitch in C-block" and B) In the all-time Steeler roster in our hearts, Anthony Smith will never be a first-string #27 (because Glen Edwards is) ...

Oh, and Tyrone Carter might be an F-in' mad dog out there, but he'll never be our favorite #23 at safety (because Mike Wagner is).
Our black-n'-gold bruthuz gots to know where they rank on the food chain ....

As per the other "numbers" of note, that tricky, wide-lateral to Moss ... back to Brady ... well, if ya look at it closely, Tommy cranked it up and let fly with a pass that that traveled 63 yards on the fly.

60-plus is respectable ... almost as impressive as when Tommy grabbed Amy Poehler's left tit on SNL in that workplace sexual-harrassment parody a few years back.
Tommy helped inform America that the best strategy for avoiding a lawsuit in the workplace is to:
A) Be handsome
B) Be attractive
C) Don't be unattractive

The soundness of such advice might've taken a hit, though, when Too Smooth Tommy threw that first TD pass and he sought out Anthony Smith and had words with the guy near the goal line (a convo which lost some of its rhythm when James Harrison casually-but-forcefully "bumped" into Brady from behind).

When we saw the exchange, it reminded many Americans of that famous photo from a few years ago when Brady was shaking hands with Pope John Paul II.
It was obvious to everyone who's seen the photo -- judging from the expression on Tom Slick's face and his general body language -- is that Brady was delivering a message to the pontif.

And, that message was: "Your Excellency, you're gonna die soon. When that happens, I'm next in line as the new sheriff of Pope Town! How do ya like them apples?"

So, when Brady was gettin' all up-close-and-personal with Anthony Smith, it was mighty obvious what he was sayin' from behind the facemask.
And, no ... he wasn't tellin' Anthony Smith that Junipero Serra High School is a wonderful place for spiritual enrichment and personal growth -- just as he wasn't enlightening Smith with an anecdote about the priceless, tender moments with a newborn, bastard son born out of wedlock.

You didn't need to be a lip-reader to read the lips you couldn't see behind that facemask.
Brady was yellin', "Fuckin'-A, bitch! Guarantee THAT, bitch! Enjoy yer boners in the shower with the fellas 'cuz as soon as yer outta my face, I'm gonna have Giselle's ta-ta's in my face!"

The media's cute the way it often portrays Brady as some sorta Tom Terrific who's volunteering at the rescue mission after the ballgame.
He might be our MVP ... but he's still a pencilneck pretty boy from San Mateo.
And, if ya don't think he drops F-bombs all over Anthony Smith the way that he floats passes over Anthony Smith's outstretched arms, guess again.

Also, with that OL, Kyle Boller could put up Pro Bowl numbers for New England.
Brady might be an OK guy ... but, he remains the father of a bastard child born outta wedlock -- and, one day, that bastard child born outta wedlock will want to watch "The Tom Brady Is More Terrific Than Jesus Christ" DVD ... only Tom's Bastard Child Born Outta Wedlock will probably end up watching the DVD with his birth-mommy's boyfriend.

The same boyfriend of Mom who taught Tom's Bastard Child Born Outta Wedlock how to throw a football.

So, stop tellin' us that Ben Roethlisberger is some Ohio dumbshit who doesn't wear a helmet when he rides a motorcycle.
Big Ben's okay.
Very okay.

Then again, if Brady's OL broke down in pass protection as often as Big Ben's has this year, Little Tommy would think he was back at Serra, gettin' all violated by the Bellarmine Bells and the St. Francis Lancers, again and again and again.

That was back in an era when Tom would say, "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am" and "Aw, shucks" -- and you could take him at his word.
Now, he blinds America with that smile and that crater in his chin ... and for every "Aw, shucks" with which he melts and disarms the media, he's offerin' a big serving of "Frickin'-A, you sorry-ass bitch!" off camera.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, per se.
It's the NFL.
And, like many NFL'ers ... Tom Brady ain't married to the mother of his child.

That'll put him outta the running for King of PopeTown ...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ohka-Nomo Misery

Here we go again ... tomorrow represents another Saturday when Boston Red Sox broadcaster JOE CASTIGLIONE will be reminded of how disappointing it was to first watch Toma Ohka and then see Hideo Nomo pitch for the home team at Fenway -- all because Sooners' athletic director JOE CASTIGLIONE will be watching his football team tangle with the No. 1 team in the nation.

That's right ... one Joe Castiglione knows everything about Ohka-Nomo misery
The other Joe Castiglione is up close and personal with Oklahoma-Missouri.
And, if last Saturday's Missouri-Kansas/Border Showdown was "Armageddon At Arrowhead" is tomorrow supposed to be "Castiglione In San Antone"???

All Castiglioning aside, some of us who are Sooner Schoonerists (but who are not as gung-ho about it as we were when Thomas Lott and his colorful bandana would engineer the Sooner Wishbone by first faking the handoff to Horace Ivory before pitching to Elvis Peacock), might find it necessary/imperative to actually root against Stoops' Troops tomorrow.
Bob needs to understand that it's nuthin' personal -- it's just that the America which enjoys college football cannot endure another entire December of "experts" informing us that "Jim Tressel (and his sweater vest) is the best big-game coach in the history of football.
41-14 vs. the Alligators proved that he clearly was not.

Not that anyone is fooled by "Big Game Bob."
True ... the national championship in '00 was remarkable (albeit a feat accomplished with many of John Blake's recruits) -- just as we were all quite impressed with the way that Bob turned the 0-12 Sooner team of '05 into a program of national prominence last year.
That is, until Boise State stupified Stoops in the Fiesta Bowl with a) the hook-and-lateral TD on 4th down b) the halfback-option pass on 4th down in OT and c) the gutsy, Statue of Liberty, 2-pointer which ended the game.

So, yes, it is true that Bob Stoops was the coach in the Greatest Ending In College Football History ... Period -- so, stop bringing up the way that USC mauled the undefeated Sooners, 55-19, in the BCS title game three years ago (because if Pete Carroll wanted it to be worse, 'SC coulda hanged 85 points on the Schooner that night due to the inability of future-NFL superstar Brodney Pool to recognize that when he stands in one place and Trojan receivers are running free in the secondary, that MIGHT be a problem ...).

Brig. Gen. Stoops don't like it so much if ya remind him of that disaster, just as he might get a wee bit sensitive if anyone mentions the season before 55-19 ... when the Schooner, which was 12-0 (winning by an average score of 48-14 in those 12 games), got absolutely smoked, 35-7, by Kansas State in the Big XII title game (two days shy of the one-month anniversary of OU's 77-0 win over Texas A&M).
It's one thing to lose.
It's another to get humiliated in a prison-sex manner.

Bobby doesn't want ya thinkin' 'bout those embarrassments 'cuz, if ya ever noticed, he can rattle off the school's national championship seasons and Big 8/Big XII titles at the drop of a hat.
Ya can't blame him -- after all, he IS the coach who is only two years removed from the 0-12 disaster -- a season which was punctuated handsomely by the final minute of the Holiday Bowl when linebacker Rufus Alexander intercepted that Oregon pass (when his team was clinging to that 17-14 lead) and then picked up a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for heaving the football into the stands.
Moments later, Rhett Bomar -- QB of the only 0-12 team in OU history -- was tagged with a delay of game penalty when he took a knee (for what he assumed was the last snap of the game) before spiking the ball and raising his arms in triumph.

The 0-12 season was, in the eyes of many, a lotta plumb bad luck.
A year after the Alexander-Bomar meltdowns, Coach Bob looked on as another player chucked the football into the stands.
Sadly for Stoops, it was Ian Johnson who excitedly flung the ball into the crowd after scoring on the Statue of Liberty play ... and, well ... maybe that's just bad sportsmanship if ya gotta use trick plays and gimmickry to win a ballgame, hell ... it wasn't as though Boise State had outplayed OU through the 2 1/2 quarters or nuthin' ... buildin' that 28-10 lead ... golldern razzle dazzle shit ...

Therein lies the rub: When we're rootin' for Bob, he comes up short.
Now, when we need him to keep Tresselvest out of our BCS title game, we have to root for Missouri.
Which doesn't sound like any fun at all.
Chase Daniel is a bit of a punk.

Anway, that's No. 1-ranked Mizzou -- or should we say, "The second Big 12 team in as many weeks in line to get whacked by The S.I. Cover Jinx."
Last week, it was the Kansas Jaywalks and the S.I. "Dream Season (So Far)" cover.
This time, it's "Mizzou, That's Who" -- and, well ... Chase Daniel is the coverboy for The Sporting News, too, so ...

True ... Daniel looked mighty good completing 81.6 percent of his passes (40 of 49) in that nationally-televised game last week ("you're looking LIVE at Arrowhead Stadium!") ... and, yes, this Sooner secondary IS ripe for carving like a Thanksgiving turkey (or didja forget how Texas Tech's Graham Harrell was abusive toward the overrated OU LBs and DBs ... seriously, does Marcus Walker look like Rickey Dixon or Roy Williams to you? ... has anyone mistaken Curtis Lofton for Bosworth or Calmus????).

Stoops has worked wonders in SchoonerTown ... more than merely turning around the 0-12 team of '05.

For example, it was Big Game Bob who oversaw two landmark changes in Sooner history:
A) First, Stoops had the players' last names returned to the backs of the jerseys after an '06 with nameless jersey backs (as you recall, when No. 11 was chasing Boise State's #1 down the sideline, it might as well have been #11 Jack Mildren or or #11 Tinker Owens or #11 Ontei Jones instead of #11 Lendy Holmes ... because there was no "HOLMES" on the back of Lendy's crimson-coloured shirt).
B) Big Game Bob instituted the white cleats at home AND on the road (instead of black cleats with white jerseys for away games).

Never let it be said that Stoops is not innovative.
Even if he doesn't know how to defend the hook-and-lateral, the halfback-option or the Statue of Liberty ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Senseless NFL Bloodshed

Well, actually, when the news came down this mornin' 'round daybreak that Sean Taylor had died from the gunshot wound to the groin from one day earlier, it was mighty easy to see how the name of Blenda Gay could pop into one's head.

We all remember what it was like when we were freshmen in high school and there was the one paragraph blurb in our California newspaper about the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive lineman -- Blenda Gay -- who was killed by his wife.
It was the first time we'd ever heard of one of those athletes we worshipped dying in a manner other than maybe a plane crash (Roberto Clemente) or from cancer (as Cal Bears QB Joe Roth did following his senior season).

Back in an era before we had FOX & Friends was invented and before Wolf Blitzer got all high n' mighty in his Situation Room, all we had was one paragraph from a wire service report in the L.A. Times.
And, because that's all we had (working in concert with an eventual ex-mom who couldn't explain why some GUY was named not only "Blenda" but "Blenda Gay"), the story became less about the death of an athlete with an odd name but more about the odd name itself.
It wasn't until many years later that we learned that Blenda Gay was murdered by his wife as he slept ... stabbed in the throat by her ... retribution(?) for years of physical abuse inflicted by him upon her ... a woman who was later deemed criminally insane at the time of the murder ...

Alas, a stabbing is not a shooting -- and we didn't get our first taste of that until a few years after the Blenda Gay death when California Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock was gunned down as he sat in a car in Gary, Ind., the victim of mistaken identity by (again) a nut job with an irrational and violent solution to dealing with a series of psychoses.

Those are the landmark slayings from our teenhood ... no less inexplicable today than they were then.
Now, with the death of Sean Taylor, the search for answers (and mayyyyybeeee, the truth) is underway.

The most-sensible approach to sifting through the facts and the fiction is to click the "OFF" button on the TV (or the radio) because, let's face it, advances in technology in the past 30 years haven't distilled news-gathering one iota.
It's just as garbled now as it was on the night when Blenda Gay met his fate.

Moreover, the prospect of finding ourselves beseiged by any number of talking heads giving us the (say it together, everybody) "terrible tragedy" platitudes is nauseating.
Not a comedic tragedy ...
Not a run-of-the-mill tragedy ...
This is the "terrible tragedy" -- one of those tragedies which ranks right up there with the tragic tragedy and other terrible acts of terribleness.

And, in the slaying of Broncos DB Darrent Williams on New Year's Day, no one has been arrested yet, correct?
Was that tragedy missing something in the terribleness context?

In a compare-and-contrast scenario, it'll be interesting to see how the Sean Taylor/Darrent Williams stories play out in the weeks/months ahead.
Jumping to conclusions remains America's best source of cardiovascular activity.

But, as long as Anna Nicole Smith's baby ends up with her proper baby daddy, then we can all sleep at night.
'Cuz the only thing Americans love more than their NFL is their big ta-ta's ...

MNF Hero: Sepple Veyda

As the clock inches just a hair past Monday midnight, everybody's gettin' ready to get some shut-eye, 'cuz, come sun-up, everybody's gonna have their Tuesday Morning Quarterback game face on as they break down that epic, 3-0 win by the Steelers over Miami's Sea Mammals which wrapped up shortly ago.

No doubt, there'll be a great many of these Tues. A.M. QBs fillin' up message boards with the 455 ways in which the Steelers didn't generate much hope of beating the undefeated Patriots two weeks from now with this effort against the winless porpoises-without-a-purpose.

Given the goop that the teams were playing in tonight, sometimes the most viable way to sum up the outcome is to rewind to that movie from 20 years ago when the veteran Chicago cop-on-the-beat (Malone) told that go-getter from the Justice Dept. (Ness) that the First Rule of policework is ... "make it home alive."
Of course, such an observation doesn't totally sink in until we use our best Sean Connery accent to drive the point home with, "And here endeth the lesson ..."

We don't know if this 3-0 victory over Miami is the necessary character-builder for taking down the perfect Pats two weeks from now, but, it's a W, despite the lack of artistry, glamor and showbiz appeal.
We do know that this is better than a 3-0 loss, which was looking like a very real possibility midway through the 4th when Miami was mounting a mini-drive as the score was tied 0-0.

If it was the objective of Dirk McGirder (the Steeler mascot who STILL is NOT receiving enough TV facetime) to improve the MNF record to 13-0 under Cowher/Tomlin and to retain the No. 3 position for the AFC playoffs (meaning a first-rounder @ Heinz vs. the No. 6-seeded knuckleheads -- likely Cleveland -- before a trip to Indy in Round 2), well ... mission accomplished.

And, as Tomlin pointed out a few moments ago, the rookie punter -- "Sepple Veyda" -- was a big reason for that.
Iron Mike praised Sepple Veyda's ability to bottle up the bottle-nosed mammals deep in their end of the muck with some directional punting -- still, many of us saved our standing O for the rook getting Chris Warren's long snap down and executing a perfect placement for Jeff Reed's game-winning FG with 14 ticks remaining on the clock.

Sepple Veyda was a quality middle man in the Warren/Sepple Veyda/Reed paradigm.

LOOK ... we call him Dirk McGirder because Steely McBeam is a chick's name -- but, we call "Sepulveda" by his new nickname ("Sepple Veyda") because that's how the Jets' radio play-by-play clown (we call him "a tool") referred to the rookie punter last week.
For those of us who were born n' raised (and sometimes wore a Steelers t-shirt when visiting the) Sepulveda District of SoCal, we are thankful that the NYJ broadcasting hack didn't bother with Sepulveda's first name, lest he referenced the punter as "Danielle" and not "Daniel."

Damn amateurs.
And sons-of-bitches.
New York's full of 'em -- which means it's perfect for the Jets ... playin' their home games across the river in East Rutherford ... in "GIANTS" Stadium, not Jets Stadium.

Of course, Heinz Field was no picnic last night during conditions which can only be described as "Fuamatu-Ma'afala-esque."
When it's THAT muddy, perhaps the only practical use for the field would've been to have Michelle Tafoya and Suzy Kolber strip down to their scivvies and "have at it."

That may not sound very PC to someone named "Steely McBeam" -- but, since his name is Dirk McGirder, it doesn't matter.
Sepple Veyda nods approvingly.

And, J-Peazy? How will we remember his return?
Sure ... J-Peazy was a quality player for 7 seasons in The Burgh -- however, the #55 on the all-time Steeler roster in many of our hearts will always belong to Jon Kolb.
Not J-Peazy.

Also, there's a lot of us who woulda put Bryan Hinkle ahead of J-Peazy on the 75th Annivesary Team. It's not Bry's fault that during his 13 years in Black N' Gold (compared to 7 for Porter), he was on some mighty mediocre squads.

So, tell Peezee to pick up his 75th Anniversary Certificate of Merit, his 75th Anniversary key chain and his 75th Anniversary 30-oz. travel mug and to get out the house.
Only 5 more L's under the tutelage of Cam Cameron and the 0-16 nightmare is in the books.
(Note: Cam Cameron had a soft, delicate first name similar to "Steely" -- that is, until he went all tough guy and changed "Malcolm" to "Cam" ... mostly because somebody already had dibs on "Joe Lunchpail")

Anyway, most of us have decided that "Yes, we'll keep this 3-0 victory" -- and we'll hope that the field tightens up a little better for that Sunday nighter vs. the underachieving Bengals.

Gotta have a fast track so that Ocho Stinko can "go off" for five catches for 56 yards, WOW!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Glorious Triumph for DIRK McGIRDER

EVEN SO ... if only Kreider could have latched onto that semi-off-target pass from Charlie Batch and then fallen across the goal line (instead of dropping the ball and gettin' smacked by #52 Cobalt Lounge) ... or if Rossum had made a juke "in space" with only the punter to beat (instead of running politely out of bounds for a 49-yard punt return which coulda been an 87-yard TD) ... and if the guys hadn't had a mini-letdown (52-yard KOR, facemask penalty and 33-yard TD by McGahee) when they had just taken that 35-0 lead a few minutes before halftime ... well, let's just say that 45-0 looks/sounds/feels so much better than the 38-7 final which we wound up with.

As this world has come to learn, the only thing better than a Black N' Gold romp is a Black N' Gold romp which leaves cleatmarks all over Billick's already oddly-contorted face (when's that guy gonna stop lookin' as though he just ate a moldy lemon chased by 3-week-old, unrefrigerated eggplant?)

This MNF blowout was good for America, since some of us were growing mighty weary of the Colts-Pats/Super Bowl 41.5 fallout (not to mention the fact that no one seems interested in asking Tom Brady the important postgame questions, such as, "Do you think that, one day, you and your son will enjoy watching the highlights of this game on DVD -- or is Bridget more likely to make the kid watch it with his step-dad?" ++++ Which reminds us: Why is that any time there's a QB who is the son of a football coach, there's always a TV announcer somewhere to to inform us that said QB is smarter, in theory, than everybody else simply because "he's the son of a football coach"? Why is it that no one ever uses a tagline for Tom Brady such as: "Brady's performing well for a QB who is the father of a bastard child born out of wedlock"??? +++ Just wunderin', that's all. The way this love affair stands now, Tom Terrific could be sittin' in the pocket, readin' NAMBLA literature as he waits for Moss/Stallworth/Welker to get open and Tommy's terrifickness will be forever unparalleled because, let's face it ... Roethlisberger rides motorcycles too fast and he doesn't bang Giselle, blah blah blah ... )

Either way, we're a few minutes into the early minutes of TMA (Tuesday Morning Aftermath) following MNF -- wishing that such a splendid night at The Big Ketchup Bottle (as all of the oldtimers/legends came out to watch Clint Kriewaldt wear his yellow bonnet while playin' special teams) never had to end.
Of course, Dirk McGirder might've been dismayed that there weren't three or four second-half TDs to provide a 56-7 or 63-7 shellacking, yet, some of us spent some of that quiet time reminiscing about which of Big Ben's five first-half TD throws was our favourite.
(Answer: It HAD to be the second-quarter TD bomb down the right sideline to Santonio, who made the catch a few yards deep in the end zone as that no-name scrub DB -- Derrick Martin, they say his name is -- attempted a 2-handed overhead reach for the ball after Santonio had already made the catch and was sliding on the wet end-zone grass. +++ Kinda clueless D by a guy who probably isn't good enough to play professionally for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL or the Scottish Claymores of the WLAF or the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL or the Jacksonville Sharks of the WFL ...).

For those of us who live within listening range of Ravens Radio, Tuesday's daylight should be oodles of fun as many opinions will be expressed on "The Ray Lewis Show," "The Willis McGahee Show," "The Jonathan Ogden Show," "The Todd Heap Show," "The Brian Billick Show" and whichever other Raven has a show (actually, someone should scrap all of those shows and, instead, air that footage from the time when Ravens o-coordinator Rick Neuheisel was holding a guitar as he was seated in a row boat in the middle of a lake and, now that ya mention it, nobody can remember if Neuheisel actually strummed that 6-string and sang "On Top Of Old Smokey" or "She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit" -- in fact, we can't remember if it was when the girlie-lookin' geek and his cherry-hued cheeks was the head coach at Colorado or Washington ... EXPM does have the footage somewhere, though ... YouTube, what say you?)

The aftermath of what began almost five hours ago in the Steel City drizzle is not unlike the pride that we Ravenhaters felt last Jan. when the Colts returned to Balt. and defeated the unstoppable Ravens -- prompting that headline in The Sun which read: PURPLE PAIN ... block letters which were juxtaposed over a photo of a 40-something-year-old doofus with his lower lip jutting out like a tot who'd just had his lollipop swiped.

That's the problem w/ B'More ... they put their eggs in the basket of Billick, a chump who came to town and tried to pawn off Scott Mitchell and Stoney Case as NFL QBs.
Since 92.8 percent of Ravens fans wear the #52 jersey in honor of the Cobalt Lounge's favorite linebacker, they need (now, more than ever) their icon to rev it up with "What time is it?! GAME TIME, woof woof woof!" -- soooooo inspirational is he ... except for them two dead boys lyin' all dead on the street outside the Cobalt Lounge ...).

In that same vein, no Terrible Towelistas should feel sorry for Steve McNair (13 completions for a staggeringly-low 63 yards). That guy was a Steeler-killer "back in the day." And he was the QB who was doin' the damage during those 27-0 and 31-7 embarrassments last year, so, "tough tarts, said the Queen of Hearts." (++++ Hmmmm ... that metaphor is more-effeminate than Neuheisel in the rowboat ... gotta work on that ... which ain't easy w/o the F-word or other profanity) ...

On the other hand, it didn't seem entirely fair that, when interviewed at halftime, Mel Blount and His Cowboy Hat had some mighty unkind words for the Ravens' offense. #47 shouldn't be hatin' when it's Steelers he should be congratulatin'.

And, while we're on the subject of remembering the heroes who made Three Rivers Stadium a championship lair, ya gotta wonder how many fans out there tonight found themselves conflicted when they saw Larry Brown in his #79 jersey (escpecially those of us who might have been wearing our white #87 BROWN Steeler jersey because, after all, that WAS the color and number which Larry was wearing when he caught the first TD pass in Steelers Super Bowl history ... it's the dilemma every diehard faces when he considers the seven years Larry Brown spent as TE vs. the seven years he spent as RT).

Ambivalence and ambiguity aside, a quiet second half might've provided the perfect backdrop for those who were interested in mingling and sharing war stories rather than sweating out a tense third and fourth quarter.
However, two key figures were missing from the gathering of the Steelers' 75-Year Anniversary Team -- Noll and Lambert.
The EXPM MNF blabbermouths didn't fully explain the extent of Noll's health-related issues and nobody explained #58's absence.
Do some homework, Kornhusker (instead of spending all that time of scraggly beards, shitty comb-overs and jagged teeth).
Some of us don't have time to visit 75 sites/blogs for the whys and the wherefores.

Well, now it seems as though the yellow helmets and the throwback gear are part of the Steeler archives. It was a 2-game experiment -- and now it's just a matter of time to determine if there'll be trading cards depicting either the Gold Bonnets vs. the Bills or the Gold Bonnets vs. the Ravens which can match those trading cards in our collection from that '94 game against the Colts when the Steelers, in keeping with the spirit of the NFL's 75th anniversary, wore those funky yellow-with-black-striped shirts with that wacky crest smack dab in the middle, accessorized with dull, gold trousers and plain black helmets.

Understandably, Dirk McGirder probably hated those togs.
Come to think of it, now that the Steelers have won all four home games by a margin of 20 points or more, how come Dirk McGirder isn't receiving more face time as he waves his towel and leads the always-inspiring "Let's Go, Steelers!" cheer?

Wait ... who's DIRK McGIRDER, anyway?
Well, that's the pseudonym some of us are using for something that they call "Steely McBeam," this year's cartoonlike mascot.
"Steely McBeam"???
Didn't the allegedly-not-anorexic Calista Flockhart star as Steely McBeam in that FOX series which most of us never watched?
Steely McBeam ... Ally McBeal ... same thing ...

Dirk McGrider never watched episodes of "Steely McBeal."
Dirk McGirder spent the days of his youth reading about steel girders.
Nobody messed with Dirk McGirder back in the days when Steely McBeal was gettin' rejected every time she asked some guy to the Sadie Hawkins Dance.

"Steely McBeam"???
That's the name of a boutique -- or a re-working of a name which was stolen from that eatery & bar on "The Simpsons" ... TIPSY McSTAGGER'S.
Tunch Ilkin never ate at Tipsy McStagger's.

Anyway, while the Ravens are ordering rounds of Shirley Temples at their nearest Tipsy McStagger's, Dirk McGirder and the team he cheers for must make the most of the short week in preparation for the Brownies. It stands to reason that Ravens Reject, Derek Anderson, won't opt for the dink-n'-dump approach.
Cleveland will likely "bring more to the table" than it did in the 34-7, season opener -- and that means "on the offensive side of the ball," "on the defensive side of the ball" and "on the special teams side of the ball" (radio/TV-speak for "offense/defense/special teams").

One more thing: We had 33 Steelers on the 75th-anniversary team, but, shhhhhhh ... Louis Lipps WAS better than Lynn Swann.
You saw the games.
Do the math ...