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Running Off At The Electronic Mouth, No. IX

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The ratings have been great. But I've reached my fill of the Olympics

OK, it’s time for these Olympics to wrap it up, B.

I was very excited for these games at the outset. While it was extremely silly to air the prime-time events on a three-hour delay for the time zone in which the games are actually played, I understood it. But what happened earlier this week made me hate these Olympics.

I just watched the U.S. men’s hockey team crush Finland (The Finnish quit like a fat guy on a treadmill). Yeah, I’ve jumped hard on that bandwagon. After the U.S. beat Canada on Saturday, I was psyched to keep watching the team when they played Switzerland on Wednesday at noon.

The only problem was that NBC decided to air the game at 3 p.m. — on both coasts. I don’t care if the CEO of Toyota is on Capitol Hill. It’s noon on a Wednesday and the country’s top-seeded hockey team is playing in the Olympics in an era in which there are 1,000 TV channels. Find a freaking way!

It’s bad enough that game wasn’t on network TV. Get that thing on CNBC or MSNBC or USA or Lifetime or Oxygen, anything! But instead, as I have for much of the past two weeks, I did my best to avoid all sports mediums and kill three hours until I could actually watch what turned out to be a dominant U.S. performance, despite a 2-0 score.

If it was some sort of skiing or skating event, I still wouldn’t like the delay but I would accept it. But not showing that game live on Wednesday for the West Coast was pathetic. In NBC’s defense, it probably thought there would be no one in the States interested in watching the No. 1-seeded hockey team live in mid-day during the week. Certainly, no one thought that the U.S. would be in that position before the tourney.

Still, even if I’ve had to wait for most of it, it’s been a fun Olympics. Here are my superlatives:

Best Event: Ladies’ downhill on Feb. 17

No event made you gleefully curse toward your TV more than the ladies’ downhill. Seeing numerous competitors fly off a jump, realize that they are royally screwed while in air, land with their limbs all over the place, then slide down the course, hit off some snow bumps and retaining walls … it’s like NASCAR. It’s only good when something goes horribly wrong.

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Tiger Woods’ Statement: What Did You Expect?

February 19, 2010 3 comments

For about 13 minutes this morning, the world stopped. We heard from Tiger Woods. His statement was aired all over network and cable TV. I would love to know the ratings. Although only three members of the media were allowed in the room, many other members came from all over the world. They were probably expecting the world and what did we get?

Tiger Woods is sorry. Still. He apologizes to his friends, fans and family. Still.

It was very formal, very composed, very prepared, very expected. He didn’t cry — although he did pause a few times. He didn’t go into any details of his affairs — nor does he need to. I think many are disappointed about what they heard from Tiger today, but that’s because they wanted him to become Carrot Top and just start throwing everything out of his secret chest.

But really, Tiger did what he needed to do today: Show up, be contrite. Or at least act contrite. He did and I think the statement was a success for him.

Some other things I found interesting in completely overblown event:

  • I pretty much knew what he would say. So most of all, I wanted to see what he looked like. I somewhat bought into the rumors that he needed some facial plastic surgery after the beating he took from Elin on the night of the car accident that lit the fuse. But he looked fine. And one of the more poignant points of the speech came when he strongly defended his wife and dismissed all rumors that she did or has ever hit him. “There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage. Ever.” I’ll buy that over the rumors
  • Tiger said that Elin doesn’t deserve blame. Last time I checked, no one’s blaming her. Blaming her for what? I’m pretty sure people would understand all of Elin’s actions after she found out that her world-famous husband and father of her two kids was basically not giving a damn about their marriage.
  • It was surprising to hear words such as “cheated” and “affairs,” but it was welcomed. That’s about as close as he got to mentioning his many sexual relationships. And that angered at least one person …
  • After the statement, I turned on the FOX affiliate here in L.A. only to see a woman, Veronica Siwik-Daniels (aka porn actress Joslyn James), crying while her attorney, well-known Tiger mistress rep Gloria Allred, took questions. Veronica was one of Tiger’s playthings. Apparently, she was crushed that Tiger didn’t make a personal apology to her in his statement. So I guess she needed to make a statement about that. Or get herself some press. She said that Tiger told her that he loved her.

Bitch, Tiger Woods doesn’t care about you or the rest of his cavalcade of sluts. Get over it.

  • Tiger made a plea to the paparazzi to leave his wife and kids alone. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Not in this culture, in this time and not with this story. Certainly not when those people can make good money off those photos.
  • I thought the most honest moment of the speech was when Tiger said that, through money and fame, he felt entitled and felt that normal rules didn’t apply to him, and now he knows that he was wrong. He’s basically telling us why he cheated.

Why? Because I can. I’m Tiger Woods. I’m the most recognizable  athlete in the world and I’m filthy, filthy rich.

It takes a lot to admit something like that, if not in those exact words.

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Day One for Pitchers and Catchers!

February 17, 2010 4 comments

Winter, over. Baseball, back

The three biggest little words in life are supposed to be “I love you.” For me, it’s “Pitchers and catchers.” Especially since I rarely use the word “love” when referring to something other than baseball.

I understand those who think this day is overblown. It’s a lot of stretching and soft toss in warm-up uniforms. Half the roster is still chilling for another weekend. The home ballparks are still about two months from being occupied

But if you love baseball, this is the beginning. Position players will start reporting in a few days. Spring training games begin in less than two weeks. And by then, we’ll be about a month away from the regular season.  It’s that simple.

Baseball season is coming! You hear that, Johnny Damon?

Today also means that I need to start figuring out what I am going to do for my spring training experience this year. For as long as I can remember, I have gone to at least one spring training game a year, and often more than one on many occasions. Living in Central Florida for the past seven years made this trip pretty convenient. Now that I am back out in California, it’s a bit trickier. I might still go to Florida. Or my dad and I could make the drive out to Arizona. The parks are so close together over there that it’s relatively easy to get to more than one game in a day.

I don’t know. That decision will be made soon. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the official unofficial return of baseball. Today is a great day.

Hey, NCAA! UCF Football Has Had It Up To Here With Your “Rules”

February 12, 2010 1 comment

To call UCF's penalty a slap on the wrist is harsh

Here’s a quick post before I go to bed on this Thursday evening/Friday morning, because it deals with my alma mater, the University of Central Florida. The university and the NCAA announced earlier today that UCF’s football program has been put on two years probation because of improper phone calls and text messages to football recruits by two former athletic department staff members.

Please read the story here.

And here. And there’s some other information here.

I know the second link has more information, but just go ahead and click on that first link again. You know you wanna. Give The Central Florida Future some more hits. That’s my people over there and I gotta represent.

Anyway, UCF has come out of this “major” violation without a major penalty. It has already satisfied its recruiting restrictions. Past that, UCF got the same punishment a seventh-grader would receive if he was failing algebra and caught carving naughty words into his desk: Scheduled progress reports and a “You better not do that again” warning. The most significant result from these infractions is the program’s attachment to the word “probation” for the next two years. Still, the university has to feel fortunate. That is some baby-soft discipline.

And as I read about this, there were a few things that jumped out at me.

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Zach Greinke and the Horrible Idea to Trade Him

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

In the past 72 hours, I’ve read some pretty stupid things stated by many sports columnists. It’s mostly been about how losing the Super Bowl has undoubtedly tarnished, trashed Peyton Manning’s legacy as an all-time great NFL quarterback forever. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

But not as ridiculous as this piece of excrement I saw yesterday from Kansas City Kansan sports editor/columnist Nick Sloan. I feel bad giving him any publicity, but anyone who can write something like that, say they believe in it without laughing until tears and look in the mirror the next day without a sense of shame deserves a salute.

Let’s break this down …

In the midst of a 1-15 season in 1989, Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson came to the conclusion the only way Dallas would be competitive long-term is to make a blockbuster trade.

They did

THEY DID?! Oh, thank heavens! This was a huge rumor for such a long time, but fear not loyal readers! We can finally confirm that the Dallas Cowboys have made a blockbuster trade!!!

Wait, isn’t this supposed to be a column about baseball? I see names like Greinke and Soria in the headline. Those are baseball players the last time I checked. So why would this open with a line about a two-decade old football trade?

Uh-oh, I don’t like where this is going …

They traded Herschel Walker for eight draft picks, six of which would be eventually used. Although there were a lot of other pieces involved in the deal – Dallas traded four of their own picks while Minnesota traded five players – these draft picks were used to fuel a dynasty.

Well, the trade far more complicated than a running back for eight draft picks, but that’s like saying “Gamer” was ruined by one scene. That’s nit-picking. The whole movie was still really, really terrible.

Two of the picks were spent on Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson, two staples of those great teams. Additional picks were used to trade up for Russell Maryland, who was awesome in his early years.

Dallas won three Super Bowls in part because of that trade and Johnson’s aggressive draft maneuvering.

Hey, remember the time when this column was supposed to be about baseball? Those were some good times, man. Good times. More than 130 words in and our boy Sloan still hasn’t stopped kissing Jimmy Johnson’s feet.

While that trade will never be duplicated again, it’s time for the Kansas City Royals (huzzah!) to develop that mindset.

I totally agree. I mean, think about it: When was the last time the Kansas City Royals actually won the Super Bowl? They have been seriously slacking. And you know they are at least the second-best football team in Missouri.

In an American League Central that features four more talented teams than the Royals, it’s time to shake things up.

Trade Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria.

OK, eight lines in and we’ve finally reached a relevant point in this article. Now let’s see here — Sloan says “Trade Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria.”

Give me just a second. I’m feeling a bit woozy …

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Which No-Chance Team Has the Best Chance of Winning Super Bowl XLV?

February 8, 2010 1 comment

You could do worse than putting few bucks on the Browns to lift this thing in 2011. Like putting it on the Bills

I guess there are two broad schools of sports thought on this day after the Super Bowl. You can either be ready to get away from football or miss it so much that thoughts of the long seven months between now and the 2010 season haunt your dreams.

If you’re like me, you’re prepared carry on without football. I’ll long for it again in August, but I want to concentrate on the games at hand. I am salivating over the upcoming week of college basketball games and we are just four weeks away from the conference championships. Pitchers and catchers are about a week away from reporting to spring training, with plenty of intrigue surrounding many teams and plenty of usable players still available. To help bridge that gap between football and baseball season, we have the Winter Olympics this year.

And yeah, I guess we have the NBA to watch as well. I guess. I’ll be more interested once the two-month playoffs come along.

But if you can’t let go of the NFL, there is always next year. And there are already odds on which teams we will be talking about at this time, 2011.

All of the usual names have the best odds. The Colts are favored. The Chargers are second, which basically just means that they are slated to be a disappointment yet again. The Saints and Patriots are at 10/1 and the Steelers have 11/1 odds.

But who cares about betting on the Colts? Way to go out on a limb there, rebel.

I’m interested in those teams at the bottom of the barrel. The Bills, Browns, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Lions, Raiders and Rams are up on the board with 100/1 odds. So which of these teams has the best chance to win next year’s Super Bowl, even if that chance is somewhere between impossible and ridiculous.

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Running Blog of Super Bowl XLIV — Saints vs. Colts

February 7, 2010 18 comments

America’s biggest unofficial party day has finally arrived! Seriously, this day really isn’t about football. I’m excited for the game, but the game is just an excuse. Whatever happens, happens. But what are you eating? Where/with whom are you partying with? Are you ready for the certain letdown that will be presented from another year of multi-million-dollar commercials? Oh, who cares. We’ll all be wasted and full of 10 kinds of meats by the third quarter. Let’s just get to it already!

2:35 p.m. About one hour away and the drinking has begun. Remember, kids: No counting.

2:36 p.m. I’m not out at a bar. There are a ton in my area that have advertised Super Bowl party buffets, but I just don’t get the point. Why would I want to hang out with a bunch of people I don’t know to watch a game that is on network television and pay for drinks that I can get at home for free? It’s just my father and I chilling at home this year. We’ve got a couple of trays of pepperoni, cheese, crackers, grapes, two plates of kielbasa and about 25 deviled eggs.  The eggs are always the best.

Oh, an I’ve got about two handles of rum in the freezer. Um, I shouldn’t need all of it. If it is gone by the end of today, I’ve got a serious problem:

What will I drink tomorrow?

2:43 p.m. I am so sick of this pregame hype. I watched hardly any of it in the past two weeks and I didn’t watch any of the shows leading up to today’s game.

2:44 p.m. Well, that’s not true. I turned on CBS a few hours ago, but as soon as I heard James Brown say, “Now, here’s Daughtry performing ….” (Click!)

2:45 p.m. I also watched Bill Cowher’s rather lame interview with Plaxico Burress. You can tell he’s not a newsman. Plaxico plays football. That was more like softball.

2:47 p.m. I spent most of the morning watching the Caribbean World Series and the Orlando Magic vs. the Boston Celtics. What a third quarter by the Magic on their way to a big win.

2:49 p.m. Spoiler alert!!! Here is Tim Tebow’s/pro-life ad that will air during this game. I like it, even if I don’t agree with the cause.

2:58 p.m. I’ve already picked the Colts to win by a healthy margin, 38-27. But I don’t feel all that great about it.

2:59 p.m. Dwight Freeney will start in this game. In my mind, it wouldn’t matter either way in the end result. The Colts are still the better team. But obviously, his presence helps. I’m sure the Saints have planned for him.

3:02 p.m. It’s false advertising for CBS to use five clips of Gus Johnson’s voice during that Jay-Z intro. If CBS really wanted to create a great viewing experience, Gus would be calling this game. Not Jim Nantz. Travesty.

3:03 p.m. Only … 30 … minutes … left! We are crawling to the start!

3:09 p.m. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND WITH THAT … the CBS apologies have begun! There has to be an explanation as to why we couldn’t hear any of the Saints players in that intro. More disrespect for fans who think their team is already being disrespected.

3:11 p.m. Well, you can’t hear the Colts either. CBS network is an equal-opportunity retard.

3:13 p.m. That wouldn’t have happened if Gus Johnson was running the show. Hell, just tell Gus to start speaking over the players. Peyton Manning’s voice would have never been so compelling.

3:18 p.m. London Fletcher got robbed. If the Walter Payton Award couples on-field performance with community service, how can he not win it? He made it to a Pro Bowl!

3:19 p.m. I don’t remember “God Bless America” being such a jazzy, upbeat ditty. That was a little too much there, Queen.

3:21 p.m. The over-under for the length of the “Star-Spangled Banner” was 1:54, I believe. I would have bet the under.

3:23 p.m. Carrie clocks in at 1:48. Although, there should be a five-second penalty for that last note. She hit that like Pedro Cerrano hits a curveball.

3:26 p.m. That LeBron-Howard commercial was cute. Still doesn’t top the original.

3:28 p.m. WHAT?!?!?! Jerry Rice made it to the Hall of Fame!! AND EMMITT SMITH??? Unbelievable.

3:29 p.m. “Thanks for watching the Hyundai pregame show.”

Thanks for ending the Hyundai pregame show. Let’s get this thing started! Saints get the ball first. Here we go!!!!!

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