Monday, August 31, 2009

More WR stupidity

This is getting ridiculous.

First, T.J. Houshmandzadeh comes out to the press saying he is boycotting Madden 10 because his rating is too low. Second, Michael Crabtree holds out and says he will sit out the season if he does not get the money he wants. Third, Brandon Marshall has been suspended by his team because he is sulking because he is not being traded or given a new deal.

Why are wide receivers in the NFL so dumb and crazy?

Marshall was videotaped walking at practice when everyone else was running, punting a ball instead of giving it to the ball boy and then just batting a pass out of the air he was supposed to catch. He later said he wasn't trying to be a distraction for the team, he was just frustrated.

If you don't buy that for a second, you're not alone.

How can you expect people to believe you're not trying to be a distraction when you're batting balls down and constantly complaining about where you are? He is not the only wide receiver pulling this crap, though. Every year - check that - every month, it seems like there is a receiver starving for attention.

It wasn't always this way. Remember guys like Jerry Rice and Tim Brown? They were professionals who did their jobs and that's it. No whining to the media every year about their contracts. No reality shows (during their playing careers). They were just two of the best receivers to ever play the game.

Guys like Larry Fitzgerald give me hope, though. Unfortunately there are a lot more T.O.'s than Larrys out there.

Tough Enough - Fabulous Thunderbirds

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hiatus over

I had a short hiatus, but now I'm back and ready for action.

The poll results are in and there were no surprises there. David Lee Roth was by far the best Van Halen frontman. Sammy Hagar wrote cheesy love songs, and Gary Cherone was terrible.

Not sure why any of you voted for the "who the f&%k is Gary Cherone" option. I told you who he was in the next option!

As for sports, there was Usain Bolt breaking the sound barrier in both the 100-meter and the 200m. I don't remember an athlete in any sport that was so much better than everyone else. Michael Phelps is dominating in swimming, but some of his races are close. Bolt could, and has, pulled up during a race and the rest of the field still wasn't close.

Plaxico Burress is going to jail for up to two years for criminal gun possession. As I've already posted on this Web site, I think it's a harsh punishment, but the guy is an idiot. In an interview with ESPN, he said that not having a holster was a poor decision. Really? Just admit it, Plax. Holsters are for wimps. Badasses put the gun in the back of their pants. Caution be damned! Carrying a gun and not having the safety on were poor decisions. Looking and feeling cool was the right move. Too bad you screwed that up by shooting yourself.

The media is still talking about Brett Favre every day. Especially after his 1-for-4 outing against Kansas City. It's preseason. Who cares? If he is stinking or lighting it up in the regular season, tell me. Well, they definitely will, so that last statement was useless.

I guess the most recent news would be that Mark Sanchez has been named the New York Jets starting quarterback. The Jets probably were not going to be relevant this year no matter which quarterback they chose. Sanchez was great for USC, but he has very little game experience and is going to struggle this year. Fantasy players should stay away.

Sorry. Fantasy football is here and I needed a reference.

Biko - Peter Gabriel

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thoughts on Favre

OK, so Brett Favre has come out of retirement again. This is after telling the world he was definitely not coming back. It's a story we've heard the past three or four seasons.

I have always loved Favre. He and Jerry Rice are my favorite non-Steelers in the history of the game. When the whole retirement issue arose, and many football fans were calling for Favre to pack it in, I said let the man play as long as he wants.

That's why it pains me to say he has finally got on my nerves. I guess I was naive to think that it wasn't the attention he craved. I thought the man was just torn, with his mind telling him he could keep playing, while his body was trying to say, "For the love of God, let me rest!" But this most recent signing with the Minnesota Vikings showed how wrong I was.

Do not say you are definitely retired, then a few weeks later sign a two-year deal. Two years? Why? The man has retired after the past two seasons. He has a small tear in his rotator cuff. He faded down the stretch and cost the Jets a playoff spot.

With all that being said, their are more people to blame for this soap opera. Vikings' coach Brad Childress tops the list. Three weeks ago he said that Favre was staying retired and that door was closed. Yet, here is Favre the day after training camp ends.

The Vikings as a whole should be blamed too. They gave him deadlines for decisions that meant nothing. If newspapers operated like that, they'd be going out of business. Well, faster than they already are. All they had to do was be honest. Tell the public and the media that as long as Favre wants to play, he will have a spot on your team.

Of course, maybe those players saw that either Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson was going to quarterback their team, and that was a scary thought. Favre is an upgrade, there is no question, but will it get the Vikings to the Super Bowl? Probably not.

The players should have tried to stop this. Every one else on that team, and trying to make that team, were at camp sweating and working their asses off. Two quarterbacks were promised a chance to win the starting job. Then Favre comes in and the job is his. The leaders of the Vikings should have walked into the coaches office and told him what a joke this all was and to put an end to it.

The media is responsible for this as well. All the media outlets complain and make fun of Favre's antics, yet they cover it 24/7. They're scared they will miss the boat when he eventually signs. They lead off all their television, radio shows and national sports pages with the future Hall of Famer.

It's a tough call for them, though. Their job is to get the news, and as much as we all say we are sick of Favre, every year we care if he signs or not. The coverage is over the top, but they're doing their job.

With all that being said. The Vikings are a lot more interesting now. I'm going to watch the Vikings-Packers games this season. I actually care about it and want to see what happens. And I don't think I'm alone. The media will blow the event out of proportion. We're talking Super Bowl-like hype, but you can always mute the TV and enjoy the game.

Peace Frog - The Doors

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baseball helmets

Last week saw some brutal bean balls in Major League Baseball. Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler and New York Mets' David Wright took 90+ fastballs right to their noggins. While Kinsler was OK and homered in the next game, Wright was put on the disabled list and might miss the rest of the season with a concussion.

The bean balls have brought up the debate on whether baseball should make the new Rawlings S100 batting helmet mandatory. They should.

Rawlings boasts that the S100 could withstand fastballs at 100 mph. The helmets most players are using now are only dent resistant to 70 mph. So why aren't players lining up to use the S100? It's bulky and doesn't look cool.

Mets' outfielder Jeff Francoeur went so far as to tell the New York Times that " I am absolutely not wearing that. I could care less what they say, I'm not wearing it. There's got to be a way to have a more protective helmet without all that padding. It's brutal. We're going to look like a bunch of clowns out there."

This is coming from a man who is batting .263 this year and has a .298 on-base percentage. I think that had to be put out there.

Francoeur sounds like an idiot in this article. Baseball players already look like clowns. These are athletes in a sport where belts are part of their uniforms. The players stand around for 90 percent of the game. You have guys going on the disabled list with blisters. Don't get me wrong, I love baseball, but bulky helmets would not be the most clownish thing they have going on.

MLB should make the helmets mandatory. The National Football League reviews rules every year and their are always new ones to protect their players. While some seem unnecessary, if they keep stud players in the lineup, more people are going to watch and it's better for the sport. Players need to forget how they look and just put the damn things on.

I didn't hear any of these players complaining about steroids making their heads bigger.

I couldn't help myself.

Long May You Run - Neil Young (The man has an annoying voice, but is a great songwriter)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Batman poll results

It was a tight race, but Michael Keaton was voted the best Batman in the latest poll. Christian Bale gave him a run for his money, but Keaton deserved the win and pulled it off.

Val Kilmer received one vote and George Clooney recorded the goose egg. While I agree with the results, they are a little funny. Kilmer and Clooney are the more talented actors of the four competitors, but they just didn't fit as Batman. Clooney was a perfect Bruce Wayne, because he is Bruce Wayne in real life. He is a rich bachelor who all the ladies want. Unfortunately for him, he was a lame Batman.

What also hurt Clooney, and Kilmer for that matter, was that those movies were poorly written and the bad guys were jokes. If they had been in the first or last two Batman films, I think the results may be different.

So how did Keaton pull off what most will view as an upset? Was it Bale's Batman voice? Or perhaps the infamous YouTube clip of him flipping out at a light guy?

I think it was a combination of two things. First, Keaton is from the Pittsburgh area, and most of my readers are from the city of champions. Second, in Batman and Batman Returns, Keaton was not the star. Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and Danny Devito as Penguin were the stars. The movies were written around their characters more than Batman's. Yet Keaton pulled off the best performances of his career (although his special clone in Multiplicity was hilarious) and held his own.

I still think Green Lantern would rock Batman, but that's just me.

Living After Midnight - Judas Priest

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Child leashes need to go

Sorry for the break in posts. I was vacationing in Orlando last week. In fact, the vacation inspired this post.

During my week at Disney World parks and SeaWorld, I saw a lot of things. Grown men with Goofy hats on, a man who dressed up like Captain Jack Sparrow wherever he went and parents telling children to keep their hands to themselves before said parents hit said children. But what really bothered me was all the kids on leashes.

To be fair, I'm not a parent and haven't had to watch over any children in amusement parks. Maybe they are that much easier than holding hands and actually watching the child. But come on!

Kids are not dogs. If the leashed child started walking away, the parents gave a tug, and the child game flying back to the parents' sides. It doesn't seem very safe for the kid. I saw kids going down left and right on these things. And if that wasn't bad enough, I also saw several children go head first into strangers' knees.

Now that brings us to another point. With all these leashes around, I found myself constantly looking down to make sure I was not tripping over the darn things. It's bad enough that you have to avoid trampling children at amusement parks, but now we have to make sure we don't go tumbling over a stupid leash when we avoid stepping on the kid.

The wrist to wrist leashes aren't as bad. It almost like an extended hand hold, but the pedestrian trip risk is still there. I really don't like the stupid monkey backpack leashes. The kid is so happy with their pet monkey on their back, then they are pulled away because their parents don't think they're moving fast enough.

If anyone reading this blog (all five of you) ever see me putting my future children on leashes, I grant you permission to tackle me at any place and time.

Wave of Mutilation - The Pixies

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Michael Crabtree's approach is flawed

Every year it seems like a top 10 NFl draft pick holds out well into training camp. It's usually the guy that gets drafted later than he was projected to, so he thinks he's entitled to more money. Make sense?

I don't get it either.

This year it is Texas Tech star wide receiver Michael Crabtree. He was drafted 10th overall by the San Francisco 49ers. While the 49ers haven't informed the press of what they offered Crabtree, the collegiate star is not close to signing. In fact, his cousin and adviser, told ESPN that Crabtree is prepared to sit out the season and re-enter the draft next year.

Yeah, that's a great plan.

Eugene Parker, Crabtree's agent, denied this claim later.

If Crabtree were to sit out the season and wait for the draft again next year, does he really think he'll get more money? He can't go back to college and play, so he is just going to be working out instead of getting valuable pro experience.

Another factor to consider is what team is going to want to spend a high draft pick on a guy that is clearly all about money? Love of the game and respect for teammates can't be too high on Crabtree's priorities. Right now he is just looking like another wide receiver primadonna.

How does the NFL solve this annual problem? Take a page from the NBA draft process and put limits on how much first round picks can make. Bad teams will no longer have to make their first picks some of the top paid players on the team. Holdouts won't happen, fans will get to see their teams' futures from the get go and we won't have these stupid stories wasting space and time.

Every one is a winner. Except the Lions, they stink.

Party Man - Peter Gabriel (Incredibly hard song to find. It is on the Virtuosity soundtrack.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why do I hate Boston sports teams?

Whether it's the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins or Celtics, I despise all Boston sports teams. And I can't put my finger on why. They are the only teams in sports where I don't care who they are playing, I want them to lose.

The Red Sox are not even in the Pirates' league. It just bothered me that Sox fans always called the Yankees the Evil Empire because of the Yanks' payroll. Yet those were the years when Boston had the No. 2 payroll. It could also be that I'm a Blue Jays fan and the Sox are always making the playoffs while the Jays haven't been there since 1993.

The Patriots knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs a few times, so that brings some of the hatred. But I also can't stand their fans. When I was in college, there was a restaurant on campus that had about 10 televisions and NFL Sunday Ticket. Needless to say that is where I spent most of my Sundays. Anyway, it just annoyed me that the Pats' fans would cheer for every two-yard run, and then also cheer when their defense stuffed the opposing team after a two-yard run. Unless a short run gets a touchdown or a first down, is it worth clapping and wooing?

There is also my deep hatred of Bill Belichick that enhances my dislike for the team he coaches. If you listen to NFL analysts today, they will tell you he is the amazing, great, beautiful, brilliant, blah, blah, blah. I will agree that he is a great defensive coach. But I think Tom Brady makes him look a lot better.

Damn you, Brady!

Sorry, I had to get that out there. The guy is a great quarterback, there is no other way to say it. I feel obligated to hate him, but he is the hardest Boston athlete to hate. He plays the game the right way, he stays out of trouble off the field and he is really good at what he does. However, he did get Bridget Moynahan pregnant and then dump her, so he is a jerk and I hate him!

Pittsburgh has no basketball team, yet the Celtics anger me more and more every day. I used to love Kevin Garnett. I was even happy at first that he got a championship. Then he turned into a tool, and I blame Boston!

Did you see him during the playoffs this year? You know, when he was hurt but still talking smack on the Magic? Smack talk is great, if you're on the court and playing.

There was also the miraculous recovery of Paul Pierce in Game 1 of the 2008 finals. The guy went down screaming, holding his knee and needed to be carried off the court. He comes back a few minutes later and is fine. What? It reminded me of the Italian national soccer team.

I hate the Bruins the least because they choke in the playoffs when they get there, and it's harder to find Bruin fans to get mad at.

To make amends with the Boston fans out there, I love the Dropkick Murphys and the Departed. Affleck is a tool though.

World Full of Hate - Dropkick Murphys

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's Baba O'Riley, not Teenage Wasteland

I need to vent in this entry.

The greatest song of all time is a little tune by The Who released in 1971 off of the album Who's next. It's called "Baba O'Riley." Every part of the song is amazing. Guitarist/songwriter Pete Townsend claims to have fed the birthdays, weights and other personal information of two people into a machine and it played back the synthesizer that is played throughout the song. That part might not be true, but I don't care, it sounds awesome.

Now imagine my anger when my favorite song is disrespected by being called "Teenage Wasteland." That isn't even the part that pisses me off the most. It's when I kindly tell the misinformed person that the correct song title is "Baba O'Riley," and they refuse to back down.

"Baba O'Riley is the name of the album it's on," is a popular argument I heard. At this point smoke is coming out of my ears and I'm ready to throw down. Just because Napster, or whatever music downloading program you use, tells you the song is "Teenage Wasteland," doesn't make it so! And just because a lyric is belted out a few times does not mean that is the name of the song.

Do some real research. Look on Amazon for an album titled "Baba O'Riley." You won't find it. you'll find plenty of songs under that name, but no albums. Hell, Wikipidea will even give you the correct information.

This is a most serious crime in my mind and deserves some sort of penalty. Maybe a guitar smashed over your back would suffice. The Who are kind of known for that as well.

If you didn't catch it right after 9/11, I recommend viewing the Concert for New York. The Who stole the friggin show and "Baba O'Riley," was amazing. Not only was the band spot on, but seeing the police officers and firefighters rocking and having a good time after such a tragedy was quite a sight.

Do I really have to give you a song of the day?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Burress must feel stupid, but jail not the answer

Plaxico Burress was catching the Super Bowl winning touchdown less than two years ago. Today he was indicted on felony gun charges.

In case you don't follow sports, Burress was stashing a firearm in his sweatpants while at night club last fall when the gun went off in his pants and wounded him in the leg. So not only does he have to live with the embarrassment of shooting himself in the leg, he could face up to 15 years in jail.

While I am all for a man being punished for being an imbocile, Burress doesn't deserve to go to jail for an extended period of time. No one else was harmed. Burress wasn't threatening to shoot others when the gun went off. He just wore the wrong pair of pants. Well, he also was carrying a gun around illegally.

How could Burress get more than a month in jail when Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth only got 24 days in the big house? Stallworth was driving while drunk and high and killed a pedestrian. And Stallworth wasn't just drunk. He blew a .126.

So here we have a player who shot himself and harmed no one, and he will probably get at least a year in prison. Meanwhile, Stallworth has already served his 24 days. Stallworth did end up paying the family of his victim, the amount of which is unknown, but that just upsets me more. A man gets off easy because he has a big checkbook?

Now this entry has become more about Stallworth than Burress, and I'm OK with that. The man knowingly drank a lot and smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel. How messed up is that?

And Stallworth is not the only one. Athletes are constantly coming up in the news with DUI's, and they are rarely penalized for it. It's a joke and hopefully NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the other major sports' commissioners will crack down on this problem.

As for Burress. Give the man a break. With the shooting of Sean Taylor, it's easy to understand why NFL players would carry guns with them. They are easily identifiable people. While I don't condone athletes to lug guns around with them wherever they go, I also can't blame them.

Guns, Guns, Guns - The Guess Who

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The steroid era sucks

Is there any other way to describe the steroid era than sucky? It's not even a word, as my little red line indicates, but I think it is the most fitting "word" for the job.

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are the latest names to come out from this mysterious 2003 positive test list. A list with 100 other names on it that was supposed to remain anonymous and even destroyed. Now you hear everyone outside Boston saying the Red Sox's 2004 and 2007 World Series wins are tainted.

I hate all Boston teams. I hate their fans, not as people, but as fans. But even I don't think these titles are anymore tainted than just about every World Series of my lifetime. If everyone was on the juice, and it seems like they were, then how can we call team's title to be the result of cheating, but not others? And that is why the steroid era sucks.

I can't look at any team or player in the past 24 years without thinking they were injecting their butts with steroids. We young baseball fans have been cheated of heroes. Any player doing great things recently has been linked to performance enhancing drugs, with Ken Griffey Jr. as the exception.

If a player today was to pull off Kirk Gibson's famous home run, we would cheer at first, but then we'd automatically think he was using steroids. If it comes back that Joe Carter was on PED's when he destroyed the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993, I might go on a tristate killing spree. But I also wouldn't be surprised.

And that is what the steroid era has done to me. It has filled me with skepticism about every player I watch. Any time I hear a player coming back earlier than expected from a serious injury, I can't help but think juicing is how he did it.

On a side note, don't you dare try giving the excuse that steroids weren't banned in baseball. They are banned by federal law. Last I checked, federal law trumps baseball law. I don't care how powerful the MLB Player's Union is.

There is hope for us though. MLB is testing more and more now, and there is a decent chance the young stars of today are clean. Hopefully the next 24 years will be filled with heroes that do it the right way. Or they just found a drug that can't be detected.


Heroes - David Bowie