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 ...