Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Dribble Drive" is stupid

The title pretty much says it all, but I'm going to rant anyway.

I have been sitting around watching some excellent college basketball this Saturday, and in every game I have heard the commentators you the statement "dribble drive" to describe a team driving to the basket.

Think about that statement for a moment. I haven't played competitive basketball since eighth grade, but I'm pretty sure that in order to actually drive to the lane, you have to dribble. It's kind of a rule in basketball. If you don't dribble, you travel. Yet these commentators, who should know how friggin' redundant "dribble drive" is, are constantly saying it. They said that John Calipari actually brought the "dribble drive" to Kentucky this season. I have to disagree. Maybe he brought a more aggressive offense, but I'm pretty sure Kentucky knew how to dribble through the lane before he showed up.

The "dribble drive" phrase has taken the top spot for my most hated overused saying in sports. Pick six was the former champion, but at least that one makes sense. Commentators, I have a simple fix for you. Just drop one of those words. Either the player is dribbling to the basket, or they are driving to the basket. How have their producers not picked up on this yet?

Bruce Springsteen - My City of Ruins (Eddie Vedder did a wonderful version of this in paying tribute to Bruce. YouTube it.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union

Quick question. Is Nancy Pelosi drunk? Just watch her reactions during this thing. She will stare into space, then leap to her feet clapping, tell Biden to stand to and clap like a blitzed sports fan. Seriously, it's hard to concentrate on anything being said.

That is all!

Except for this other question. Is the Supreme Court dead? Every time the camera pans on them it seems as if they got older and more corpse-like.

Favre haters loving life right now

All of you know who you are. You're the ones who are extremely giddy about Brett Favre finishing his postseason with his last pass being picked off... again.

While I was just as annoyed as everyone else with Favre's waffling the past few seasons, I still greatly respect the man and enjoy watching him play. Games are just more exciting when he plays. Onlookers have no idea what he is going to do next. He could complete a pass few would try, or he can look like an ass.

Favre will probably go back and forth all offseason, it's already started, but I'm hoping he comes back. By the way, Ed Werder needs to stop reporting the status of Favre. It's obvious he changes his mind often, so what is the point of reporting if Favre is not planning on coming back next year like Werder did earlier this week? This goes back to my belief that the media is just as much to blame about Favre's indecision issues as Favre is. If they didn't follow him every day and give him an outlet, we wouldn't hear about his future plans at least once a week.

Sorry for the rant. I just feel there is more going on in sports right now (Australian Open!) that deserves the media's attention.

Back to Sunday's game. Yes, Favre made a boneheaded play that factored in to his team's loss. But look at the whole game. His running backs were fumbling like crazy. They are just as much to blame as he is. Brad Childress didn't help. How do you come out of a timeout with 12 men in the huddle, coach?

People will quickly forget the fumbles and the poor coaching, though. All they will remember is Favre's poor decision, and that saddens me.

Huey Lewis and the News - Perfect World

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Karma could catch Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are squaring off against the New York Jets this weekend in the AFC Championship game. It's a rematch of their Week 16 contest, where the Colts' starters were pulled after playing in the first half. The Colts were leading 15-10 at that point and then lost 29-15 once Peyton Manning left the game.

The game meant nothing to the Colts, who had already locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. However, the game did have major ramifications on the playoffs, as it allowed the Jets to get in. If Rex Ryan's boys had lost that game, the Houston Texans would have been in the playoffs instead.

Reaction to the tank job was criticized by fans and media members alike. The Colts threw away the perfect season to rest their players for the playoffs, effectively handing the Jets a playoff berth. The action even caught the attention of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who said he wants to put rules in place to prevent teams from sitting their starters at the end of the season.

Of course, any rules or incentives like that would be ridiculous. A team clinches a playoff spot and can do whatever they want. They owe nothing to the rest of league. You can argue that they owe their fans their best effort, and I'm in that boat, but the team can just retort that they have the Super Bowl in mind, which would be a greater victory for the fans than a 16-0 regular season.

Now if the Jets win this game, do you think Colts' head coach Jim Caldwell will be second-guessing his decision to bench his starters? More important, do you think Colts fans will suffer a mental meltdown that results in mass suicide across the the state of Indiana; strikingly similar to the events of "The Happening"?

If you haven't seen the Mark Wahlberg film were smarter than me. It was on HBO, I was ignorant, young and naive. I wish I didn't grow up in the M. Night Shamalangingdingdong era.

Anyway, I can't stand the Jets, but I'm rooting for them in this one. No, I don't want to see mass suicide in Indiana. I just want to watch the reaction when it happens. Let it be a lesson that if a team shuns the gift of being considered the greatest team of all time, they will be smote by a rookie quarterback and obese head coach.

Third Eye Blind - Faster

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ben Avon sisters an inspiration to us all

If you're not from the Pittsburgh area, you probably have no idea what Jamie and Ali McMutrie have been up to the past week. They were in charge of 130 at the BRESMA orphange in Port-Au-Prince in Haiti when the devastating earthquake hit. Thanks to the efforts of these two young women, 53 of these orphans flew into Pittsburgh today and 47 of them already have adopted parents ready to take them in.

Here is a link to the story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Of course, credit must be given to the airline company, Republic Airways, who donated the plane and fuel for the mission. They also delivered 3,000 pounds of relief supplies once they arrived in Haiti. The great people who adopted these children must be commended, and probably countless others in local and national government that pulled whatever strings needed to be pulled to make everything possible.

It's sincerely beautiful stories like these that made me want to be a journalist. The opportunity to tell stories like these just make your work feel so rewarding. It's not the biased-filled stories we get from CNN or Fox News, that are always slanted in favor of democrats or republicans. It's just a great story of regular people doing what is right, and not caring about anything else.

I'm not saying we should all go out to third world countries and start orphanages to become better people. But just think of all the good that could be done if we all just volunteered a few hours a week to a worthy cause (I am guilty of not doing this and it's something I would like to change).

As lame as that sounds, I really think it's true. So many of us, myself included, claim to be too busy and not have enough time to take this kind of action. But are we really too busy; or do we just want a few extra hours of sleep or time in front of the tv?

Even if it's just dropping some more change into the Salvation Army jar, I hope everyone feels little inspired by the McMutrie sisters.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Offerman's whiff costs him job

How sweet is this video? Former MLB All-Star Jose Offerman gets pissed at an ump in the Dominican Winter League and takes a swing at him. Offerman missed pretty bad. I'm not sure how he missed, but he did. Yet the ump dropped to the ground. It was like a midcard WWE match.

As a result of Offerman's temper, he has been suspended from the Dominican Winter League for life. The umpire who was knocked over by the mere wind of Offerman's powerful swing (imagine how much it would have sucked had it landed clean), and a few of his fellow American umpires have left the league and fled the country out of fear for their lives.

We could make this a heck of a good movie if we took some creative liberties. Let's say Offerman is still pissed (he probably is) and makes it his goal in life to make sure these cheating umpires don't get out of the Dominican Republic alive. Offerman would have the home field advantage. Through his connection with the Dominican gangs (there have got to be a few, right?) he blocks certain escape roots the umpires try to take.

I could see the climax coming when the umps get on the plane, but Offerman is chasing them on one of those stair cars across the runway. The final fight scene will take place on the wing of the aircraft and will conclude when one of the umpires sacrifices himself by tackling Offerman into the engine so his friends can escape.

For all of you movie buffs, I just combined "The Warriors", "Who's Harry Crumb" and "Die Hard 2," to create a summer blockbuster. Can you dig it?

With that being said, this is not the first time Offerman has gone crazy. Remember this? You know? The time Jose Offerman chased the pitcher with his bat and took some serious cuts at him? He actually cracked the catcher in the head, who is suing Offerman for ending his career.

So this guy already has a history of being dangerous to those around him, yet he still got a job in baseball shortly after. If those in charge of the Dominican Winter League are surprised, they must not have televisions or are not too bright.

Does a rookie card increase or decrease in value with the level of player's craziness?

Masterless Men - Charlie on the MTA

Friday, January 15, 2010

Leno vs. O'Brien

Neither Jay Leno nor Conan O'Brien are happy campers right now. Conan wasn't given a chance to find his way as host of "The Tonight Show", while local affiliates were screaming for Leno's head because his show gave their newscasts poor lead in ratings. So now Leno is getting "The Tonight Show" back and who knows what is next for O'Brien.

It has been fun watching all the other hosts (Jimmy Kimmel this week was amazing) make fun of the debacle at NBC. They seem to really be ripping on Leno and I don't know enough of the details to know if they are justified or not in blaming a lot of this "Tonight Show" drama on him.

As a big fan of Conan over the years, I find myself taking his side. However, these guys are making tens of millions of dollars. What the hell are they crying about? OK, Conan says he has always dreamed of hosting what has been the most prestigious show on network television for generations and only got seven months to make his mark. I understand some of that angst.

But it's just a show. And how surprised could he really be changes were demanded so quickly? The way our society works today is we want results now. If you don't provide those desired results quickly, a change is going to happen or people are going to turn on you quickly. Look at the sports world every year. It's not uncommon for a first-year coach to be canned if his first season is a disaster.

With that being said. I wish Conan got a longer run as "The Tonight Show" host. The old stare downs with Andy Richter are still some of the funniest moments I've seen on TV. I don't laugh at Leno jokes. The punchlines are predictable and safe. Conan is out there with his jokes. Some are utter flops because no one gets it or it's just too weird, but more often than not they're hilarious.

I also think it's kinda sad that they are still getting similar coverage to the quake in Haiti. Both of them could buy Haiti. Maybe they should pull together on television tonight, put their differences aside for a night, and pledge a couple million dollars to go toward relief. With all the attention they are getting, they should use it to be productive and helpful, rather than just cry about being wrong by NBC.

The Pixies - Dig for Fire

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pat Robertson needs to shut up

In case you missed it, Pat Robertson was on television this week saying that the devastating earthquake in Haiti a few days ago was the result of God punishing the country for making a pact with a devil a couple hundred years ago.

That's right, Robertson, an evangelical christian and host of the "700 Club", is telling us that maybe 50,000 lives were lost because a rumor that a people made a pact with the devil to gain independence from the French.

First, he wasn't around back in the 1700s or the 1800s, so how is he so sure this so called pact ever happened? Second, keep stupid comments like that to yourself, ass. Tens of thousands of people; men, women and children alike are suffering as their homes, hospitals and just about everything has been destroyed. And here is this moron telling the world that they brought it on themselves because their ancestors made a deal with the devil.

He has the right to say this thanks to our Constitution. I am not asking that we censor him or prevent him from saying what he did. I'm saying he is an inconsiderate jerk who is obsessed with national attention. This is the same guy who said Hurricane Katrina was punishment for abortions being legal in the United States. Oh, he also said he thinks there is good that can come of this tragedy. Nevermind that there are families and friends mourning the loss of loved ones in these events, there is attention to be had!

Now, I'm not a religious man, so I could be wrong here, but I don't believe God would wait hundreds of years to get back at the relatives of a group of people who shook hands with Satan. I'd like Robertson share his opinion with victims' family members and see what happens.

Bruce Springsteen - The Ghost of Tom Joad

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kiffin to USC

Real quick post here. So ESPN is reporting Lane Kiffin is heading to USC to be the Trojans new head coach. He is taking his dad with him to run the defense after only one year at Tennessee.

Once again, a coach backs out of a contract and leaves a team for greener pastures. It is quite the theme in college athletics today and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

However, now that I think about it, would I or you do differently? Heck, if I was offered a higher paying and prestige job, I would probably give my two-week notice wherever I am and go to the better job. So who am I to criticize Kiffin, Rich Rod, Brian Kelly and the countless other coaches who leave one job for a better one?

I guess it just bothers me that a lot of college athletes choose a school based on the coach. When that coach leaves, after one year in Kiffin's case, he is leaving these kids who he persuaded to attend that institution. The coach probably tells recruits about the team's commitment to winning and how close close all the members of the squad are. Then the coach with the golden tongue leaves. He can coach the following season, if his players wish to follow, they are required to sit out a year. And that is what really gets me.

I would like to take this moment to let the Tennessee Volunteers that I am available for their head coaching position. It might take me a while to figure out the defense, but I am a hell of an offensive genius NCAA 2010. I will also guarantee I will coach until the end of my contract. A rare promise in this day and age.

Van Morrison - Baby Please Don't Go

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quick thoughts

Once again, I am falling behind with the blog. To all six of you out there I am sorry. A lot has happened since my last entry, so this will be another long post touching quickly on multiple subjects.
  • If I tried prognosticating the first week of the NFL postseason, I would be 0-4. Who knew that Tom Brady and Carson Palmer would choke badly, while guys like Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez would lead their teams to wins? OK, so Flacco only threw 10 passes and didnt' break 40 yards, he still didn't throw three picks and look like a scared rookie. Did you see Brady's first interception on Sunday?
  • Thank you Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals for giving us one good game this weekend.
  • Pete Carrol is with the Seattle Seahawks now. Smells like he is running from the sanctions that could be coming to USC. I'm also still trying to figure out how the Seahawks didn't violate the Rooney Rule.
  • The BCS title was surprisingly entertaining despite Texas quarterback Colt McCoy only playing for five plays. Well the second half was fun, at least.
  • Why is it that the best coaches in football are usually jerks. Please look at Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Urban Meyer, etc. No doubt the guys can coach, but there seems to be very little decency in their bodies.
  • Speaking of coaches, will the Buffalo Bills have one next year? It seems like nobody wants the job, and you can't really blame them. Who gets excited with Ryan Fitzpatrick or Trent Edwards at quarterback?
  • Mark McGuire finally admitted to using steroids. I understand why he didn't say it back when Congress called him in. HE was afraid of facing prosecution for his actions. But he could have come out in the past couple of years without any fear of legal repercussions, but he didn't. I am already sick of media members, coaches and players saying they are glad and saying how big it was of him to admit it. No, it wasn't. I can't help but think that he only did it to try and get the Hall of Fame voters to forgive him and put him in Cooperstown. He could of also done it so that there is no distraction when he comes back to the St. Louis Cardinals as hitting coach, which is nice of him, but I still don't think him brave for stepping up now. How can we commend honesty when it was neglected for decades beforehand?
  • Tony LaRussa was quoted as saying hehad no doubts his Oakland Athletics teams had legit/clean workout regiments and that guys like McGuire got huge by working their butts off. Well Tony, turns out they weren't clean and you didn't know crap. Or he just looked the other way like the rest of baseball. Somehow I doubt LaRussa had no idea his players were juicing.
  • I hate Hall of Fame voting. Roberto Alomar had 11 consecutive All-Star games, 10 Gold Gloves, batted .300 for his career with more than 2,700 hits 210 home runs and 474 stolen bases. He also won two World Series with a .344 postseason average. He is arguably the best secondbaseman to ever play the game. And he didn't get into the Hall of Fame this year. He will get in next year, despite having identical numbers, and that's where my problem comes in. What changes in a year for these players that don't make it the first chance they get? Don't delay an honor that a player rightfully deserves. Did you know there were actually people out there that didn't vote for Cal Ripken Jr. to get in? Ridiculous.
  • Sherlock Holmes was a very good film. Robert Downey Jr. is on a friggin' roll lately. He has owned every role he has portrayed in the past 5-10 years. Please don't judge this movie before you see it. I know there are a lot of you out there crying about the actions scenes. Get over it. There aren't that many and they are cool and entertaining.
  • If you haven't watched the television show "Chuck", you're missing out. It's awesome.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins have hit a rough patch, but I'm not worried. Evgeni Malkin is too good to keep struggling and Sidney Crosby is taking his play to another level this year. They will make the playoffs and really pick of their play once they get there. Kinda like last year.
  • Alexander Ovechkin is still a bitch.
  • How can Gilbert Arenas be so stupid. Not only does he bring multiple guns into the locker room, but he then makes gestures with his hands like he is shooting his teammates in a pregame huddle. I'm thinking he remembered how tough it was playing a full season and how much more he enjoyed not having to do anything.
  • House is on, I have to go. Now Chuck is on at the same time. What a cruel and unjust world we live in. If they move Castle to 8, I'm going to be so pissed!
Weezer - Teenage Victory Song

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm a bad sports fan

I have no desire to watch the NFL playoffs. It will just frustrate me to no end.

The No. 1 reason, of course, is because the Pittsburgh Steelers lost too many winnable games and missed the playoffs. Instead, we get the New York Jets. Look back at the season, and the Steelers were literally six plays away from being 15-1. The one was the Cleveland Browns game where they looked like crap from start to finish. But it you go back to their other six losses, if they made a single play when they needed it, whether it be a stop on 4th down, or a made field goal, and they are easily in the playoffs.

Basically, this was the most frustrating Steelers season I have ever witnessed.

The Indianapolis Colts losing their perfect record in Week 16 is another reason I'm not interested in the playoffs. I would be glued to the television every weekend if the Colts or New Orleans Saints were still flirting with perfection. At least the Saints lost their chance when they were actually trying, rather than the Colts laying down and bringing in reserves the last two games.

The tank job has lead me to cheer against the Colts from now on, leaving no team in the AFC that I want to succeed in football or life. Phillip Rivers is a jerk, so I'm rooting against the San Diego Chargers; Bill Belichick is still the coach of New England, so I'm hoping they get swine flu; I will never cheer for the Cincinnati Bengals; that goes double for the Baltimore Ravens; and the Jets created the overuse of the word swagger this year, so I would like them to be buried along with that term.

The only decent storyline heading into the playoffs this year is Brett Favre potentially playing the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. And if that happens it will be shoved down our throats until we suffocate.

Now just because I have no desire or care about what happens in the playoffs this year doesn't mean I won't watch them. I'm sure there will be some great football played. But just know I'm not excited about it.

Crosby, Stills and Nash - Love the One You're With