Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas, and Barry Manilow's singing the hits...

Hey there elitists. It's me, The Ghost. I'm here at wonderful WKRC in Cincinnati on Christmas Eve bidding all you out there in inter-highway land a happy Christmas. I get cable and the Interweb in my new apartment (and it's about time, I think I've watched the same 5 episodes of previously DVR-ed "Scrubs", "Good Eats" and "Family Guy" about 12 times by now) so I'll be able to make this more of a regular thing. Maybe even a TMA post. It would be a Christmas MIRACLE!



Anyway, it's 73 minutes until Christmas and when I think that joyous holiday, I think of THE man himself. Needless to say, I'm a fan...ilow.
more...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Side effects of ESPN Motion may include...

Oh, ESPN Motion, sometimes I think you're worse for the internet than pop-up ads and Rosie O'Donnell's blog combined.

And that's when I am being generous.

Seriously... I just can't stand ESPN.com's ESPN Motion feature. I think this is something we can all agree on.



Recently, I'd honestly thought that ESPN Motion had been vanquished, especially in light of Deadspin's article over the summer announcing the impending demise of the accursed auto-play video contraption. Every time I'd load the Four-Letter Word's website I'd not be getting bombarded with Stu Scott telling me about the SportsCenter minute. I was elated.

As I found out today, however, something far more sinister was afoot. My roommate filled me in on the latest strike against ESPN Motion at lunch today:
"I bolted awake at exactly 3 a.m. I had checked ESPN.com for the Blackhawks' score right before I went to sleep [at 10 p.m.]. Motion apparently just decided to kick on some five hours later. I thought they'd gotten rid of it!"
See, that's what they want you to think! It's all a part of Norby's diabolical scheme to enslave us with ESPN propaganda while we sleep! (It's worth pointing out that my roommate's computer is a laptop he bought earlier this year, it's not like a Gateway 2000 laptop from the 90's or anything)

In all seriousness, though... Rob King, if you really are going to get rid of ESPN Motion, just freaking do it. I don't know one person who likes it, and putting in some sort of extended delay could obviously cause new and different issues with your reader base.

They're lucky it wasn't me. If ESPN Motion had woken me up at 3 a.m. I would've gone apeshit. more...

Game Day Experience -- Arkansas at LSU

Over Thanksgiving weekend, a few friends and I undertook a roadtrip to some college football landmarks in the deep south to take in some high-quality pigskin action, both inside and outside the stadiums. Though it's two weeks later, I did want to share my experience there and rate it for you folks out there considering seeing a game at any of these stadiums. I plan to share similar accounts for other sporting events I attend over the course of time. I will rate the experience on a number of different levels: city, exterior atmosphere, stadium, in-game atmosphere and ticket value.

ARKANSAS-LSU
"The Battle for the Boot"
November 23rd, 2007
Tiger Stadium
Baton Rouge, LA


We drove through the night from Lexington, KY, leaving at 11:30 pm and arriving in Baton Rouge at about noon ET. Getting to our lot--about 3 blocks from Tiger Stadium--was slightly nightmarish. I-10 was a parking lot, even 3 hours before game time, and once we hit our exit the traffic flow was turtle-like at best. It probably took us about 45 minutes from when we entered Baton Rouge to actually find our lot. Maybe more.

After a rough start with the traffic, things looked up immediately once we parked. The fans outside were outstanding and even though we were fans of the much-hated (in SEC country) Big Ten, everyone was very cordial and stopped and talked with us. Even in our remote parking lot we were having a good time. Our rubber LSU Tiger mask (pictured above, right) didn't hurt either. In fact, that mask got us into a couple tailgates, where we were treated to free beers, keg-stands and, in one case, some chopped up hog (get it?). The tailgating scene at LSU was phenomenal; pretty easily the best tailgating I've ever been a part of, and that's not even counting the SEC talent meandering around.


Chopped hog at the LSU tailgate. It was freaking tasty.

We hit another snag getting into the stadium as the escalators broke about 15 minutes prior to kickoff. Unfortunately this meant we missed the much-hyped pre-game band performance. We eventually made our way to our seats, which were literally the second-last row of the stadium on the 15 yard line. Not the best value at $100 a head, but what are you gonna do on the last weekend of the regular season?

During the game, I was struck by how not intense the crowd was. Despite a trip to the BCS Championship being (theoretically) on the line against one of their (theoretical) rivals, the Tiger faithful inside Death Valley seemed very nonchalant about taking on the Fighting Darren McFaddens. Not only was the crowd not as rabid as we'd been led to believe they'd be, they didn't have the pride we expected. Just to be pains in the ass, our group decided to chant O-H-I-O during every kick off, expecting to get the business every time we announced that, yes, we ARE Ohio State fans. Sadly, only one LSU fan, a woman with a good sense of humor behind us, even needled us or shot us dirty looks. One abusively drunk Arkansas fan a few rows ahead of us gave us a nasty glare, though.

As for the game, the only time the crowd got massively fired up was toward the end of the 4th quarter when it became startlingly apparent that the Razorbacks were not going to lay down for the #1 Tigers. Once we hit overtime the place started to really rock, only to be disappointed by Bo Pellini's mystifying defensive sets and a triple-OT Matt Flynn interception.

On the way out, Baton Rouge's horrific traffic patterns struck again. We sat in our car, about 10 feet from our original parking spot, waiting to leave the parking lot for a solid 40 minutes before we realized that our original plan to head to New Orleans that night would have to be scrapped because it might take us 2 hours to get out of town. Instead we re-parked in an empty spot and walked to a local pizza joint and chatted up a few LSU students over a few slices. Despite the loss they were really friendly and answered pretty much anything we could ask them about campus and the football team, including telling us that night's crowd was pretty brutal by LSU standards because of the Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that LSU still doesn't really consider UofA to be a big rival. Interesting points.

Two hours after our initial departure attempt, we finally worked our way through the traffic labyrinth that is Baton Rouge, LA, and hit the road for our next destination: Auburn, AL.


A view from the "cheap" seats.


RATINGS:

CITY:
After my first visit, I cannot say I am a big fan of Baton Rouge. The traffic was a complete nightmare on the way in and an unmitigated disaster on the way out. What a marvelous idea it was to build a huge football stadium well away from the highway with only two-lane roads to access it, from only two exits? Get your shit together, Baton Rouge traffic department. Also, once you get off campus this place is kind of a dump. Not special at all.
2 out of 10.

EXTERIOR ATMOSPHERE:
The tailgating at LSU was outstanding. The fans were great. I cannot say enough about what a great time we had once we got out of the car. Even after the huge upset was complete, LSU's fans were still very cool and more than happy to rap with us about the ol' pigskin.
10 out of 10.

STADIUM: The escalators breaking was not exactly a great start for our Tiger Stadium experience. This stadium seems to be a bit sprawling. I've sat at the top of the stadium in other venues and it still seemed more intimate than Death Valley. It seemed that the crowd had to overcompensate to really make it seem fierce once OT rolled around. It made the whole crowd reaction seem kind of disjointed. Still had good sightlines and the feel of big-time college football.
7 our of 10.

IN-GAME ATMOSPHERE:
Again, the crowd seemed a little too calm, cool and collected through the first three quarters. You'd think that with a trip to the big dance on the line that they'd have been a bit more fired up but that was certainly not the case until about 8 minutes left in regulation. Then the place went ballistic and got the floor shaking. I'll give them a bit of a free pass for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I was still surprised at the lack of intensity inside Death Valley. Also the fans around us were knowledgeable and were happy to engage us with SEC-Big Ten banter and answer questions we had about either team, such as, to an Arkansas fan, "Where the hell has this defense been all year??" It's possible that I'm being a bit hard on the Tiger faithful because of all the hype I'd been fed before we embarked on this trip, but still...
7 of 10.

TICKET VALUE:
$100 for the second-last row is not exactly getting the most bang for your buck, but we were treated to an excellent game and a good time all-around.
8 out of 10.

OVERALL: Baton Rouge's suckitude really kills this game's ranking. It almost seems unfair, but maybe the city of Baton Rouge should think about a logical traffic flow, or maybe a few traffic cops outside of huge parking lots after huge triple-overtime games. Without the City ranking, this game would get a pretty solid 80% at 32/40. Instead, it gets...
34 out of 50.

PLEASE NOTE: Do not take this rating as a sign that I didn't have a total blast in Baton Rouge... I did. Truly. But on an objective basis, Baton Rouge left a lot to be desired.

This weekend, the Iron Bowl in Auburn! more...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Baltimore's Babies


The level-headed and always-classy Bart Scott


Some credit to the Four-Letter Word this morning. ESPN.com's Mike Sando posted an insightful compilation of Ravens quotes following last night's stunningly thrilling Monday Night Football showdown between Baltimore and New England. What insight does said compilation offer, you might ask? It's quite simple:

The Baltimore Ravens organization has created and nurtured a culture of whinyness, scapegoating and not taking accountability for your on-the-field performance and actions.

It takes half a second to scan Sando's post and see how the Ravens didn't wait more than 10 minutes after the fourth quarter clock read 0:00 to start unloading their sorrows on the referees. Nevermind their own idiotic propensity to take obvious penalties all game (not just in the fourth), or their secondary deciding to take the last 10 minutes of the game off, or any other reason that they gagged away a golden opportunity to knock off the NFL's evil empire. Don't pay any attention to any of that, the Ravens players say, it was the refs! They're on the take!
"I felt like we played our hearts out tonight and got some bogus calls, but it is what it is... Pass interference, the holding on [Jamaine] Winborne. There was a lot. I can't even remember them all."
--Baltimore RB Willis McGahee

Err, Willis, did you actually watch the call on Winborne? He basically tackled Ben Watson. That is in clear violation of the agreed-upon rules. You can't expect situational calling just because you're at home on the verge of the upset of the year; not even to mention suggesting to the media that the refs were "bogus" when they made the obvious textbook call on the play? What about Derrick Mason more or less trying to put Asante Samuel in a sleeper-hold on the last play? No call there, and it nearly won you the game!

But, of course, the Ravens' bitching didn't stop there. Oh, no, they had to go so far as to suggest that the timeout on the 4th-and-1 play the Ravens' D had seemingly stopped was a machination of underhanded officiating...
"I didn't hear a timeout. That was very convenient."
--Baltimore LB Bart Scott

You're just fucking with us, right, dude? The video monitors clearly showed Rex Ryan calling the timeout from the Ravens' sideline before the snap. Clearly!

So nevermind your Trojan-Enz Boner of the Year for getting back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct calls (isn't that an automatic ejection?) on the game's most important play for throwing the ref's flag into the stands, because the refs called the timeout and not your coaches, right, Bart? Simply astounding.

This is an attitude that starts with Brian Billick, filters down through his assistants and gets permanently imprinted on his players' psyches. No other team in the NFL comports themselves--on such a complete,full-team level--in this manner after even the toughest loss. If Baltimore ever wants to get back to an elite level (which, I'm sorry to say, they were not in 2006, regardless of their regular season record), they need to jettison the head coach that lets 53 grown men act like a bunch of children.

...as a Browns fan, I hope they don't. Ever. more...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I feel sick all over...

Maybe it's the fact that I had to work for 12 hours yesterday.  Maybe it's the cold General Tso's I had when I got back from said 12-hour shift.  Maybe it's the fact that my TiVo is filled with old episodes of Scrubs and Family Guy, all of which I've seen about 700 times each.


But more than anything, it's probably that, due mostly to the last three years, I'm nowhere near used to watching Ohio State lose a regular season game.  Let alone at home or on Senior Day or to Ron Fucking Zook.

Surely, this is not the Michigan Week we intended at the beginning of the season...


To date, the Tressel Vessel has now been out-coached with better talent on the field twice.  Both to assholes who either coach or used to coach Dan Shanoff's "best three-loss team in the history of everything" Florida.  And both in games where there was surefire national title implications on the line.  Perhaps it's karmic payback for beating Illinois in basketball when they were unbeaten and #1 a few years ago.  That's not for me to know.

Anyway, this sucks out loud for all Buckeye fans, but in theory it's better than the alternative - getting waxed in a championship game to another SEC team.  Or Oregon or Oklahoma (that was quite the alliteration).  Now it's Michigan, a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl on the line.

But I will say this: if one copy editor has the gall to use the "Ohio State gets Juiced" headline, I'm coming the fuck after them.

And also - I give JTBI mild dap for his new rendition of Carmen Ohio - "How firm they friendship...Citrus Bowl".  Outback Bowl would also have worked.  I'll counter with, "Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame... Raise up the echoes, just win one game [all year against a dismal UCLA Team]".  Maybe not as catchy, but what, these days, is?
more...

Monday, November 05, 2007

[Redacted], News and Views -- 11.5.07

Some random musings from the world of sports after a momentous weekend, including the enormous 4:05 ET Sunday NFL game with gargantuan playoff implications...



  • All joking aside, the Browns are 5-3? With a schedule against a bunch of schmucks following next week's showdown in Pittsburgh? Holy crap, they could cruise into the playoffs at this point! I don't even know what to say.
  • Thanks a million, BC, for defecating the Tempur-pedic on Saturday night and sending the BCS into a tailspin of nonsense for the next 5 weeks.
  • The NBA's Eastern Conference may be wide-open, but I will tell you one team that will not make the NBA Finals from it: the Boston Celtics. Like JTBI always says, baby steps. (And maybe have a bench that looks better than that of the 1993 Dallas Mavericks)
  • Hey, New York Rangers, pull your heads out of your fucking asses.
  • Speaking of the NHL... has an entire team ever been suspended for the remainder of a season for dirty play? If not, I nominate the 07-08 Philadelphia Flyers to be the first.
  • Best season of Curb Your Enthusiasm ever? It's on pace.
  • If Kansas wins out, they have to be in the National Championship game. The 2007 installment of the Big XII may again be in the running for "WORST CONFERENCE EVAR" but if a BCS team goes unbeaten, you have to put them in the title game, even if LSU wins out.
  • Possible NC game trip-ups for contenders from here on out: Kansas vs. Mizzou, Kansas vs. (probably) Oklahoma, LSU vs. Arkansas, LSU vs. (probably) Georgia, Ohio State vs. Illinois, Oregon vs. Oregon State.
  • No, I'm not accidentally forgetting someone; Michigan is so goddamned unimpressive. Allowing 24 points to a completely inept offense and needing a last-second comeback to beat a team that lost to Northwestern? LLLLLloyd Carr may not be around to coach at the Citrus Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day.
  • Is anyone else rooting for LSU to lose again just so CBS can finally discontinue their five-month SEC handjob? Just asking.
  • Hey, Michigan State basketball, at least you didn't go Ultimate UVA and lose to a D2 school like Chaminade... but you came damn close. Grand Valley State? Really?
  • Prediction: Ohio State will enter March Madness with no worse than a #5 seed.
  • The two best divisions in the NHL right now are the Central and the Northeast. Seriously.
  • $100 to anyone who could, today, properly pick all six AFC playoff teams. By the end of tonight there will be, no matter what, a stunning 11 AFC teams with a record of .500 or better.
  • You may need 11 wins to make the playoffs in the AFC this year... and 7 in the NFC. (Though the Giants and Lions will probably each have 9-10)
  • Will somebody please decide they want to win the NFL's western divisions? The Seahawks? The Chargers? I don't care, someone just win these albatrosses, lose in the wild card round, and get on with it.
  • As a Browns fan, I would still--in hindsight--draft Joe Thomas over Adrian Peterson 10 times out of 10. The Browns' success to this point is due almost entirely to the revamped offensive line.
  • Oh, right, Colts-Patriots... Tom Brady may be Big Balls McGee today, but I sincerely think the Colts will win at Foxboro in January.
  • Not to go all Simmons on you, but my buddy Mike had "Mark it down, Pittsburgh at New England, AFC Championship game," as his AIM away message last night. So noted, Michael: November 4th, 2007, was the day you officially lost your goddamned mind.
  • Three outrageously overrated college football teams: Oklahoma, Michigan, Virginia Tech.
  • The only two lessons I've learned about the NBA through one week of games: Kobe is awesome and awesomely distracting; the Knicks still suck.
more...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some questions for the OBC



So, Steve...

What's up buddy? How ya doin' tonight? Just, ah, just some questions for ya, here...

1- Would Tennessee, too, be ranked #1 with Ohio State's schedule?

2- Would Vanderbilt, of whom you think so highly, have walked into Beaver Stadium at night and curb-stomped Penn State?

3- How does it feel to watch Philip Fulmer walk off the field with a shit-eating grin on his face after your team snatched defeat from the jaws of certain victory?

4- If you can't spell Citrus without UT, would it be fair to say that you can't spell suck without USC? more...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Boycotting The World Series -- The Game 1 Live Blog

I told you on Sunday night that I was boycotting the World Series Game 1, so I decided to share with the public both my reasons why and my methods for boycotting Red Sox v. Rockies in the Fall Classic. First off:

THE REASONS

1- 8:23 start times. These games just start way too late for someone whose alarm clock kicks on at 4:55 am. Seriously, Allan, couldn't your league start their games at a time that makes it possible for folks in Eastern Daylight Time to go to bed at a reasonable hour? Even the frigging NHL starts their playoff games at 7:00 ET. For shame, Allan, your playoff scheduling has been bested by Gary freaking Bettman. Think about that.

2- Too painful. I just can't look at this series without thinking about what might have been, especially granted the NL's Quad-A status in 2007. I stand by my sentiment that the Indians would've romped over Colorado, even if they'd won in seven over Boston.

3- Not very compelling. I think Boston pretty much 100% outclassses the Rockies here. My official pick is Red Sox in 4, by the way, because after Beckett annihilates the Rockies tonight, Colorado is gonna fold like the WUSA. I don't expect it to be highly riveting baseball.

THE LIVE BLOG:

7:45 PM -- I clicked over to the XBox 360 in hopes that my download of the Guitar Hero III demo that I started at 4:30 would be done. Guess again; 49%. Looks like I won't be practicing up on Even Flow to pass the time tonight.

8:05 PM -- I can hear the pregame in the other room. You see, my roommate is a big baseball fan with no cheering interest in these playoffs (he's a White Sox fan from Chicago) so he just wants to enjoy October baseball. I can't in good conscience deny him this very reasonable request so I have relocated base camp to my bedroom, which is sans cable.

8:10 PM -- My dad calls me. I answer the phone by berating him for letting me be born a Cleveland fan. "Why couldn't you and mom have moved to Chicago or Miami or somewhere that has teams that wins championships? Jesus!" (NB: JTBI made that joke first with his dad on Sunday, I just couldn't resist tonight.)

8:23 PM -- And we're underway. I think. I'm only guessing right now because I can't hear the game. Due to my burning hatred of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver that was born many years ago, I don't even want to listen to their copyright protected accounts and descriptions of Game 1, so I put on Forty Licks and turn up Street Fighting Man to a reasonable volume and continue to troll teh intarwebs.

8:40 PM -- This is immensely boring. I can sorta hear Fenway rocking from in here and I kinda want to go see what's going on, but I won't. I need to stick to my guns on this one. I boycotted the entire 2000 World Series and it's pretty much worked out-- no New York team has won a World Series (or any other world title) since. By this train of thought, this could put a nice little jinx on Boston and Denver, which would please me greatly.

8:52 PM -- Phone call from one of the other commissioners in my fantasy football league. He tells me it's 3-1 Boston, I tell him I could give a shit. The big league controversy this week is over rent-a-player trades. In our league two owners want to swap Jason Elam and Keith Bulluck for week 8 then return the players to their original squads in week 9. I am strongly opposed to this because I think rent-a-player deals are bullshit and should be against the rules. I am apparently the only member of our tri-commissioner panel who feels this way so the rent-a-player deals are all going to get league approval. Because my esteemed-yet-misguided compatriots have made this decision, I will soon show them the error of their ways by renting Tom Brady to a team one of them is playing a few weeks down the line when I'm playing a league also-ran. Rent-a-player... what hogwash.

9:15 PM -- I'm thirsty and need a drink, so I head to the kitchen for a pop. On my way there I see my roommate (inexplicably) laying on the floor and watching Nick GaS, which is currently airing a block of GUTS. I ask him if Game 1 is at commercial, his response is, "I don't know, it's really brutal to watch, Colorado is totally outgunned." Side note -- Nick GaS is BY FAR the best channel to have on digital cable when you're drinking; there is nothing quite like watching Legends of the Hidden Temple when you're wasted. A close second in this category is VH1 Classic, because it's like you're playing russian roulette with your beer; you never know when Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" video is gonna come on and make you burst out laughing mid-sip, causing a genuine spit-take.

9:30 PM -- I am to understand that it's now 4-1 Boston. I am not surprised to hear this. I'm getting a little bored with "How I Met Your Mother" trivia on Facebook, so I head over to Wikipedia to check out the finalized track listing for Guitar Hero III and it looks absolutely epic. I may have peed my pants a little when I saw that the encore on level 7 is "Pride and Joy." I had a similar reaction seeing Metallica's "One" in the final tier of regular songs, as well. You can be damn sure I put in a pre-order for that sumbitch already.

9:55 PM -- My roommate is once again watching GUTS on Nick GaS when he calls me in to witness the GUTS equivalent to armageddon: three girl participants. Now I don't mean to be sexist here--okay maybe I do--but girls just could never hang on GUTS with the guys their own age. Very rarely you might see a gender-based upset when a puffy little nerdy guy (these kids were always, without fail, on the blue team) would lose to an enormous girl you were positive became a lacrosse goalie with a size-50 ass who listened to Indigo Girls in high school, but the girl still only finished in second place behind the average-sized dude who was the red player. Occasionally I've seen two girls and one dude on GUTS and the guy mops up 100% of the time... but three girls? Christ, I'd almost rather watch the Rockies flail around against the BoSox' Racist Ace-est. Almost.

10:01 PM -- My roommate is going to bed, he's seen enough of the Rockies getting dominated by Beckett, so I'm relocating back to the living room so I can watch some DVR'ed shows.

10:02 PM -- The GH3 demo I started at 4:30 is now 62% done. At this rate I'm going to be able to play the full version when UPS delivers it next week before this goddamn demo downloads. I digress, time for Curb Your Enthusiasm on the DVR.

10:15 PM -- Not ironic: anything Tim McCarver has referred to as ironic tonight; almost ironic: my DVR acted like it was about to crap out in the middle of this week's Curb; completely ironic: every time Bob Davie criticizes a coach for mis-managing the clock on national TV.

10:27 PM -- HO. LY. SHIT. Possibly the funniest Curb to date. It's already right up there with my personal favorite, "The Doll" from season 2, where Larry is pitching the Julia Louis-Dreyfus show to ABC. "You got long-ass balls!" Larry David is a freaking genius. Also, Lucy Lawless got way hot.

10:30 PM -- Phone call from my other fantasy football co-commissioner on this rent-a-player nonsense. I concede, knowing that the other two commishes won't revisit the idea of banning player rentals until the offseason. Whatever.

10:55 PM -- While ironing out the details on fairly regulating player rentals, the other commish informs me that it is now 12-1 Boston in the 5th. Two thoughts on this: 1- I had a feeling that would happen; 2- it's only the fifth inning at 11 PM EDT?!?

11:00 PM -- GH3 demo download at 75%. I am officially becoming slightly obsessed with this game.

11:17 PM -- My phone pretty much has died, and I've gotten so bored that I've resorted to re-reading SeanBaby's NES Page for the 13,000th time. Seven years after first finding this site, I am still laughing at it like I was Dane Cook and I just told a joke that I thought was really funny.

11:20 PM -- Okay, I've had enough. I'm gonna take some NyQuil and go pass out. I can only hope this written transcript of my boycott will influence you, too, to ignore this year's Fall Classic in favor of something--ANYTHING--better. Good night, friends. more...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Festivus is still 2 months away, but I'm still airing grievances.

OK, I'm gonna vent here... and I just don't care.

Boston: you do not fucking deserve this. Your team is full of assholes. Your ace is an asshole. Your cleanup hitter is an asshole. Your rookie of the year is an asshole. Every member of your $100 million dollar overseas investment's media entourage is an asshole. Your bought-and-paid-for Media Relations wing in Bristol, CT, is a campus full of assholes. Assholes the whole lot.

Your fans certainly do not fucking deserve this. With absolutely no due respect to The Ghost, who is somehow a Red Sox fan despite living in Ohio his entire life, your fans are the biggest assholes upon the landscape of Major League Baseball--and yes, I am counting Yankees fans. At least Yankees fans understand who and what they are. They are the jerks who outspend everyone and expect to win the World Series every year. They make no secrets about this. Boston fans, however, act like they are the little scrappy underdog team with a shoestring budget that everyone always writes off. It's always Red Sox vs. the world in Boston. To hell with that shit. This year you outspent everyone but the Yankees in order to create a hulking pulsating lineup that was quite frankly one blown call from a second-base umpire from a long fucking night on Sunday.

I take that back, actually. It is Red Sox vs. the world, now. Why? Because everybody hates you smug douchelickers. We all hope you get hit by a bus full of AIDS.

I'm sure if any Red Sox fans stumble across this, they'll do exactly what they used to get so worked up about Yankees fans doing and talk shit about the fanbase of a tortured team venting after a heart-wrenching loss in a series where every break humanly possible went against them and yet they still deserved to go to the World Series more than their beloved fucking Red Sox. So today, right now, I am sending a sterling silver FUCK YOU to "Red Sox Nation."

Red Sox Nation, by the way, thanks a whole fucking lot. Thanks to you douchebags, every single goddamn fanbase in the galaxy calls themselves [Insert Team] Nation. Denver Bronco Nation, Orlando Magic Nation, Montana Grizzly Nation. Are you kidding me? Seriously? These are not nations; they do not have political borders. If they did, god help us all. Can you imagine a nation of fucking Red Sox fans? They would be axis, equator and globe of evil. We couldn't bomb them fast enough.

And getting back to a point I made earlier... holy shit, who hired these goddamn umpires? They were a disgrace from pillar to post. Dana Demuth's strike zone in Game 6 looked like a World War II era fighter jet trying to acquire a target lock on an F-15. Honest to god, I wasn't sure the man had ever heard of an outside strike when Fausto Carmona was pitching and then all of the sudden Demuth looked like Eric fucking Gregg with Curt "Livan Hernandez" Schilling on the mound. Holy inconsistent strike zone, Batman!

Then in Game 7, after I didn't think the umpiring could get any worse, Brian Gorman stares right at Kenny Lofton sliding in under Julio Lugo's tag in a critically important inning against a quickly folding Daisuke Matsuzaka and doesn't even think twice before shitting his pants and calling Lofton out. I would like to remind Mr. Gorman that this is not kickball, the ball doesn't need to merely beat the runner to the bag; he must be tagged out in this situation before safely reaching the bag. I don't think I need to pull out a MLB rulebook to make sure I'm right in this case. If the correct call were made in this situation, the Indians tie the ball game in the 5th and everything changes. If Bud Selig had any common sense (sadly we know he does not) he would take the umpiring roster from the 2007 American League Championship Series and promptly fire each and every one of them and dock them their entire season's pay. That's right-- the umpires were so bad and so genuinely affected the outcome of a critical series that they deserve to lose an entire year of their livelihoods. You heard me.

Everyone always loves to talk about karma; about The Baseball Gods. I am here to tell you that The Baseball Gods are dead. Karma does not exist in baseball. If it did, a team with the Boston fanbase and showboats like Manny Ramirez wouldn't even make the playoffs, much less advance to the World Series. But here we are, the Red Sox are playing the Rockies for the world title. I, for one, will not be watching. Baseball is dead to me for the remainder of 2007. There is no joy in America, the fucking assholes from Boston are going to the World Series. Go Rockies.

I am bitter. These are sour grapes. Y'know what? I don't care. I hate Boston. more...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Five Game ALCS? THIS IS CLEVELAND!!

Come on now, fellow Indians fans, you didn't think it would be that easy, did you?

You didn't think our guys could just reel off four straight against the team they tied for the best record in the whole damn league, did you? Did you?!?

Listen, nothing is ever that easy for the Indians in October. In 1995, the year the Tribe lapped the frigging field in the A.L., the Mariners (the Mariners!!) even stretched the Wahoos to six games. Our boys just don't wrap up best-of-seven series in 5 games or less. That's just not how it works for us.

This is Cleveland. Nothing comes easy for us.

That said... if you're panicking now, get the hell off the bus. The bad news is that the Indians have faced a buzzsaw twice in Josh Beckett and that stuff happens. The good news is that if they can replicate their batting efforts from Games 2-4 and chase either Schilling or Matsuzaka before 5 innings everything will be fine.

Did you hear that, Cleveland? Everything will be fine.

Now breathe. more...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Whatever.

Sox in 6, Rox in 5


Sox/Rox on Fox...

This thing is predestined.
more...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's Always Sunny on TSE -- The Seaward Picks the LCSes


Don't worry, this man has nothing to do with the League Championship Series


Let the ESPN stories about poor LCS ratings begin!

Right Brain: So, I was 100% right with my Division Series picks.
Left Brain: Er, no...
Right Brain: Sure I was.
Left Brain: Yeah, here's the thing--
Right Brain: Dude, I SAID my NLDS would be wrong.
Left Brain: OK, but you can't just make picks, announce you'll be wrong, then claim tha you were correct.
Right Brain: But I was right that'd I'd be wrong!
Left Brain: That's the worst sentence you've ever formed... and you've come up with some doozies.

So can I improve on my 0-5 mark in the NL playoffs in 2006 and 2007? Probably not. Two National League fan bases are glued to their screens right now, PRAYING that I don't pick their team. Here goes!

ALCS

Indians over Red Sox, 4 games to 0

Again, I won't explain this. Go to hell, chowds.

NLCS

Rockies over Diamondbacks, 4 games to 0

As soon as the Rockies lose their first game, they'll lose their next three after that. Unfortunately for the D-Backs, that won't be until they get the call-up from Quad-A to the majors to play in the World Series.

(Hahaha, Denver, you're fucked now!) more...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Open Letter to Chip Caray


Shitty <---> Awesome


Dear Chip Caray,

You suck.

I never thought so before, but you are a genuinely horrendous broadcaster. I must have been blinded as an Indians fan who adopted the Chicago Cubs as his NL team. I must have been taken in by your homeristic coverage of the Lovable Losers through the 1990s. I must have given you a free pass because who your grandfather was (though curiously I never did the same for the awful broadcaster that is your father).

No more.

After your piss-poor showing in this season's American League Division Series I rescind everything good I ever said about you, Chip. Did somebody at TBS forget to tell you that the ALDS was also telecast outside of the New York television DMA? I can't think of another reason you so relentlessly ballwashed the Yankees all series long; you had to have been under the impression you had supplanted Jon Sterling for Pinstripe home broadcasts for a week. Surprising though it may be to hear, Chip, you were in the national booth for TBS for that series.

Unfortunately one would never know it by your complete lack of enthusiasm for anything positive for the Indians did (see: Trot Nixon home run in game 3) coupled with your over-the-top screaming whenever the Yankees did something positive (see: Johnny Damon's home run in game 3 that went to the exact same spot as Nixon's). The Cleveland Plain Dealer's website even went so far as to write about it, allowing commenters on their Indians blog to sound off on TBS' slanted coverage.

And it would be one thing if you had just been homering the Yankees. Any asshole can be an overt homer, just ask Hawk Harrelson about that. It's something entirely other to be so slanted in your coverage that you do not even do your homework on a team past their top two pitchers. You acted throughout the series as if an Indians player's name wasn't C.C. Sabathia or Fausto Carmona that he wasn't worth your time. And while YOU may never have heard of Asdrubal Cabrera, Rafael Perez or Jhonny Peralta, they were damned important pieces on this Indians squad in 2007, and REAL national baseball media members have known about them all year (or since August in Cabrera's case). And GOD FORBID Joe Borowski try and save a game against the MIGHTY Yankees! And, hey, in case you need 'em, the Indians tied for the best record in Major League Baseball this year--there's probably a good reason for that.

Since TBS has made the ill-advised decision to put your booth on the NLCS, Chip, let me save you a little time: Phoenix is TV DMA #12; Denver is TV DMA #18 (smaller than Cleveland!)--so go ahead and skip your prep on the Rockies.

Now, Chip, I see why the Cubs saw fit to fire your ass in a town where Ken frigging Harrelson has held a steady job for nearly 20 years. You are a second-rate version of your father and a disgrace to your grandfather's legacy. Please go away and never ever ever come back.

Yours Truly,

The Seaward more...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Karma

Wisconsin, time to take a good, hard look at the man who ruined your season. His name is Ron Zook. Sure, a year from now we will all come to realize that the Zooker paid all of these athletes that beat your beloved Badgers today, but for now... I have been vindicated. The Sports Elitists have been vindicated. And, most importantly, Terry Hoeppner has exacted his revenge. Oh and by the way, his former team, the Indiana Hoosiers have as many losses as you do this year in the Big Ten. Being right kind of gets old, but when it's all you know... what else can you do? more...

When We're Right, We're Right.

I can't stop laughing. Seriously. I've been [getting paid to] watch college football all day. And I've been re-reading some old posts here. Anyway, here's a headline on Si.com's college football page that pretty much sums up why I can't stop laughing:


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Eat our fuck, Wisco. Suck our cock, Dave Heller. Fuck you in the pants, Brett Bielema. And have fun in the Crapital One Bowl, retards.

Oh, and here is the collection of links just to remind the public of how we were right and how all 12 people in Wisconsin that can "use" a computer were wrong.

http://sportselitists.blogspot.com/2007/06/brett-bielema-public-enemy-number-one.html

http://sportselitists.blogspot.com/2007/06/open-invitation-to-dave-heller.html

http://sportselitists.blogspot.com/2007/06/morning-after-on-tse-6282007.html

http://sportselitists.blogspot.com/2007/06/state-of-tse-stupidity-stops-here.html

http://sportselitists.blogspot.com/2007/06/ok-i-didnt-want-to-but-now-im-forced-to.html

more...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's Always Sunny on TSE -- "The Gang Picks the Division Series"


The aviators mean I'm cool, right?


So here are my picks for the MLB Playoff Division Series. You may be asking yourself why I included a picture of myself in aviators with this post... the truth is, I don't know. Consider it an homage to the random photos on Free Darko or something. Anyway...

ALDS
:

Red Sox over Angels, 3 games to 2

Idunno, something tells me this series is going the distance and Boston has the pitching depth here over the Halos. I will go ahead and root for the Angels, though, because Boston can kiss my ass.

Indians over Yankees, 3 games to 0

I am not going to justify this pick. The Yankees can all die of gonorrhea and rot in hell, for all I care. The less I have to see and hear from New York in October, the better.

NLDS
:

Cubs over Diamondbacks, 3 games to 1

Remember-- the NL playoffs don't make any goddamn sense. That's where the Cubs come in.

Phillies over Rockies, 3 games to 2

The Rockies win the first two games on pure emotion and then get crushed by Philly in 3 straight. Todd Helton cries.

PLEASE NOTE: I was 0-fer on my NL playoff picks last year; feel free to wager LIBERALLY against any National League picks I've made. more...

Monday, October 01, 2007

MNF liveblog...sort of

I have Chad Johnson and the Pats kicker who isn't Adam Vinatieri against Carson Palmer and Wes Welker tonight. I was up 25 going into the game. And now, from the 2nd quarter.
Okay...here we go. Bungles on the 2. It's Kenny Watson time, baby! No Carson points, no problem. Wait, play action? They're passing from the 2? Who are they gonna throw to...

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!!!!!

(GoCM: I still won. Eat a dick, uncle Tom. No, not that uncle Tom. Really, the guy I was playing was my uncle named Tom. But fuck the other one, too.)
more...

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Always Sunny on TSE - "The Gang Picks the Weekend" Part II



Outstanding.

Here are your 5 selected college locks 'o' the week.

Ohio State (-23.5) over Northwestern.

After OState's first few home games, I would doubt that the Buckeyes could even put 23 points on the board, but Boeckman turned around at UW and the defense is too good.  And NW just lost to Duke.  In football.

Alabama (-3.5) over Georgia
I'm buying the Tide at home, if only so Nick Saban can ratchet himself up the ladder only to fuck over Alabama for the NFL and then fuck over the NFL for another college program.  And hopefully his plane will crash somewhere in middle America trying to lock down one of the aforementioned jobs.  Seriously, fuck that guy with a spoon.

Penn State (-3) over Michigan
I don't like this pick at all.  Anthony Morelli is not good and will likely go to hell, or wherever bad Jews go when they die, for playing.  Morelli is jewish right?  Anyway, Penn State's defense hasn't had to play ANYONE this year.  I keep hearing "most well-rounded Big 10 team" associated with Penn State but that's like being the fat chick with the least amount of facial hair.  But the only team UM has beaten at home is Notre Dame and that's like beating a Division 1-AA school...wait, what?

South Carolina (+18) over LSU
Yes, LSU is really good.  Sure, Les Miles is probably on the way out.  But get fucking serious.  USC (the one on the right side of the country, directionally speaking) and The Ol' Ball Coach will keep this one close and will probably lose like they did against Florida last year - which will be by much less than 18 points.

Kentucky (+7) over Arkansas
Darren McFadden is still the toast of the Heisman race and will keep that up this weekend but Kentucky's offense will stay with him easily - Just ask Alabama what it's like playing the Hogs in the 4th quarter.  Puh-lease.  I'd take the cover and the straight up win.

There you have it.  Call your bookies.  And if you have a gambling problem, call your shrink.  But call your bookie first.
more...

It's Always Sunny on TSE - "The Gang Picks the Weekend"



I love this show.

Anyway, here are selected picks, or Locks 'o' the Week as I am wont to call them (home teams in bold):

Baltimore (-8) over Arizona
Baltimore may only score 9 points, but that will be enough to cover.

Carolina (-4) over Atlanta
You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can't take the...wait, too easy. Atlanta is awfully woeful this year and Steve Smith is all-world. Blowout in the dome.

Dallas (+3) over Chicago
I really like Dallas to run away with the NFC. They'll beat Chicago to prove it. Also, Tony Romo is on my fantasy team and I'm 2-0.

Indy (-6) over Houston
Hi, Houston. I'm earth - welcome back down to me.

New England (-16.5!!!!!) over Buffalo.
Yes, Buffalo is awful, and no, one should never EVER bet a cover over 10 points. But New England is ridiculous and Buffalo, much like Kevin Everett, is barely moving. Too soon?

Pittsburgh (-8.5) over San Francisco.
The Steelers have snacked on the likes of the Brownies (who are not a good team) and the Bills (see above). Big Ben is back and that Defense is fo' real.

Seattle (3.5) over Cincinnati
Here's my math on this one: Shaun Alexander + the Bengal run D = bad week for Cincinnati. The Bungles are back, baby.

New Orleans (-4) over Tennessee on MNF
The last time the Saints played a somewhat meaningful game on Monday night, they beat the living shit out of the Falcons. Vince Young will be good (2-0 in fantasy, baby!) but NO will cover the four they're getting.

Remember, this is all for fun and by no means for realz. Betting is bad, addiction is even worse. If you have a problem get help, or whatever. If not, take these bets to the guy at the bar who looks like John Candy and get ready to collect or get your thumbs broken on Tuesday.  College picks later today. more...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

TSE's Best of the Best of...Sports Media

As a running feature, TSE will bring you the Best of the Best of... (gotta find a more concise title) and today's feature is Sports Media and we begin with The newest Nike Football commercial.


I have seen this commercial about 20 times and I'm still not sick of it.  In fact, I'm still trying to find something, anything, wrong with it.  Seriously, I stop fast-forwarding commercials on my DVR so that I can watch this ad.  So I present it here.

Starring: Shawn Merriman and Steven Jackson.
Directed by: Michael Mann (!!)
Music: "The Promontory" from Last of the Mohicans.
more...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Weekend Selections - The Seaward

(Home teams in bold)

NCAA Week 2

#2 LSU over #9 Virginia Tech -- The Tigers don't give a rat's ass about America's Team.
#3 West Virginia over Marshall -- WE ARE. INSANELY OVERMATCHED.
#4 Florida over Troy -- Can DeMarcus Ware get a 5th year of eligibility to make this interesting? Please?
#5 Oklahoma over Miami -- It wasn't too long ago that this game would've been relevant...
#5 Wisconsin over UNLV -- A TSE writer dies a little bit inside every time he picks Wisco.
#19 TCU over #7 Texas -- I don't trust any Big XII team whose QB looks like he's 11 years old.
#10 Cal over Colorado State -- In the battle of overrated trim vs. underrated trim... overrated trim wins. Le sigh.
#11 Georgia over South Carolina -- I smell overtime here. UGA isn't that good and SC isn't that bad.
#12 Ohio State over Akron -- No Charlie Frye + No Dominic Hixon = 49-3 OSU at half.
#13 UCLA over BYU -- Last year this game would've been sick. This year it's a left coast afternoon yawner.
#14 Penn State over Notre Dame -- Not even Anthony Morelli could screw this up.
#16 Nebraska over Wake Forest -- But I'll be rooting for the Deacs.
#17 Auburn over South Florida -- Once again with no Brad Lester, all Brandon Cox has to do is not suck; I may be forced to reconsider this pick.
#20 Hawaii over La. Tech -- Colt Brennan. Colt Brennan. Colt Brennan.
#21 Georgia Tech over Samford -- Could Samford be any worse than the Golden Dome last week?
Washington over #22 Boise State -- Tyrone Willingham is unamused with your gadgetry.
#23 Texas A&M over Fresno State -- The Aggies may be the most underrated (and therefore best) team in the Little Dozen.
#24 Tennessee over Southern Miss. -- JTBI's hopes of Phil Fulmer going 0-fer in '07 are dashed.
#25 Clemson over UL-Monroe -- Reminder to the Tigers: this is not hockey; games do not end after 3 periods.

NFL Week 1

Broncos over Bills -- Denver's Secondary > Buffalo's Receivers.
Steelers over Browns -- God in heaven, I better be wrong.
Eagles over Packers -- Big Daddy Drew said it best yesterday, but the Eagles in September are generally unstoppable.
Panthers over Rams -- I flipped a coin to pick this game.
Vikings over Falcons -- Atlanta is a total gongshow this year; I may not pick them once.
Patriots over Jets -- The Pats have no business not going 16-0 this year.
Miami over Washington -- For one shining moment, Ronnie Brown is slightly less enfuriating to fantasy owners than Clinton Portis.
Titans over Jaguars -- You, too, could play quarterback for the Jags this week!
Chiefs over Texans -- I'm starting to get uneasy picking so many road teams but most of these are no brainers.
Seahawks over Buccaneers -- I don't really have to explain this, do I?
Cowboys over Giants -- Like most others, you'll probably be rooting for cancer on Sunday night.
Bengals over Ravens -- Kinda Overrated gets the best of Massively, Staggeringly, Egregiously Overrated on MNF.
San Francisco over Arizona -- All good running backs at Candlestick on Monday take one step forward. Not so fast, Edgerrin.

(Last Week: Asleep) more...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

TSE NFL Games of the Week

Well, first post in a while, and first post ever in the UP. Good to be back. The air is a lot fresher up here, and thats because we are pushing for no more sulfide mining. Billboards all across the UP state that Wisconsin has stopped doing it, we should too. Which I guess is a nice way of saying, "Good Lord, if Wisconsin can manage to do it, why can't we?" I'll leave it at that.

Aaaaanyway, moving on. The NFL is kicking off this week, and as always there are a slew of games that the powers that be at the League office and national networks every week think are more important than others. Naturally, they are right, and these games are more important than the others. Let's take a look:

Thursday Night: New Orleans v. Indianapolis
The Meddling Parents Bowl

Sure, on the surface this matchup looks like the Super Bowl champs hosting a team that fell a game short of making this a Super Bowl rematch. I urge all of you to look a little deeper. Take a look at the starting quarterbacks, for instance.

Peyton Manning is a good southern boy, raised to respect his elders. One of the biggest parts of respecting your elders is, of course, to keep the paychecks coming in to your daddy for as long as you can. Peyton loves his daddy, and will do anything to keep him relevant. Sportscenter commercials, week-long footballing camps, whatever Archie wants to do, Peyton can make it happen.

Now if that ain't the dag-gum cutest picture you've ever seen. Don't know what in tarnation could be. A ding-dang-do.

Conversley, Drew Brees hates his mother and would rather she just leave him alone.

Drew was none too happy that his mother was using his likeness in campaign ads. Now, would a good Southern boy like Peyton have done that to his Mommy if she were running for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas. No rootin'-tootin' way.

Which quarterback will prevail? The Daddy's boy or the Mom hater? NBC has all the action Thursday night.

Sunday Night: New York at Dallas

The Hardass Bowl

A match-up of divisional foes is just masking the real reason people should tune in. Now that Bill Parcells is out of the division, Tom Coughlin will be attempting to assert himself as the Hard-Ass coach of the division. This is definitely a high honor in the NFC East, considering that the likes of Tom Landry, Bill Parcells (twice), Barry Switzer (carrying a gun into an airport cemented his place) and Ray Rhodes has held this lofty honor. Wade Phillips is the newcomer, and the most direct threat .















Learning from the master. Coughlin has a tough road to hoe, but the news today that he got Tiki Barber to retire is only helping his cause.

Why are the other two coaches in the division not in the running? Well, the head coach fo the Redskins is a nice elderly gentleman, who likes to play with cars in his spare time. And all of the badassery in the Andy Reid bloodline apparently skipped a generation.
Grizzled veterans behind the mic. But only one can be the NFC East badass. Sunday Night on NBC.


Monday Night: Baltimore at Cincinnati
The Incarcerated v. The Acquitted

On the surface, a great matchup of two teams in what many regard as the hardest division in football, the AFC North. But, this in fact will prove once and for all: is a team better when they have players arrested for minor brushes with the law, such as selling alcohol to minors, or is the superior team one where the best player might have had a hand in murdering another human being, a much loftier charge, but was found innocent by a jury of his peers that may or may not have been assembled by Gene Upshaw? It's just a shame that Eric Steinbach isn't back with the Bengals this year. He was arrested last year after getting a DUI on a boat. Ray Lewis gets three of those in the inner harbor before breakfast.

Who will win-- petty criminals or pretty lucky streetwalkers? Monday Night Football on ESPN.

Monday Night: Arizona v. San Fransisco
The Beefcake Bowl

One could see this as a battle between up-and-coming teams in the up-and-coming NFC West. Really, the focus is on the two extremely dreamy quarterbacks who are really just trying to stay in the conversation until Brady Quinn makes his first start.






I do declare. Both crushingly pensive, yet ruggedly masculine. The early line goes to Smith with his positively inviting baby blues.
One dated Paris, one probably will in a few weeks. Can they not be hot for 60 minutes? Monday Night Football on ESPN!
There you have it. The real reasons these games will be featured this weekend. The best part about this article is that it guarantees that I will never be writing about the Browns all season. Fantastic.
more...

The Evening Of on TSE -- 9.4.07

The Magic Number and September Baseball... they go together like peanut butter and ladies.


"We go together like cocaine and waffles and alimony!"

The Magic Number, of course, is a figure that represents the total number of first place team wins combined with second place team losses that would clinch the division/wild card for that particular team. When a team's magic number reaches 1 they are guaranteed at least a tie in their division/wild card.

For example, the Cleveland Indians enter play tonight with a Magic Number of 20. Any combination over the next 3 1/2 weeks of baseball of Indians wins and Tigers losses that add up to 20 will clinch the A.L. Central for the Tribe.

But have you ever wondered how those folks in the sports media ivory towers come up with the mythical Magic Number? It's actually remarkably easy to calculate. All you need to do is take 162 (the number of games in the MLB season) add 1 (to eliminate a tie in the division/wild card), then subtract the number of wins the first place team has (W1st) and subtract the number of losses the second place team has (L2nd) to arrive at the Magic Number.

The formula looks like this:

MN = 163 - W1st - L2nd

I'll use the example of the Indians again. They enter play tonight at 79-58 while the Tigers are 73-64; each have played 137 games with 25 remaining with the Tribe holding a 6-game lead. The formula reads: 163 - 79 - 64 = 20. The math adds up as if the Indians, with their 6-game lead, win 20 of their remaining 25 games, it is impossible for Detroit to win the A.L. Central.

The more advanced explanation of the mathematics involved can be found at the Obsolete Computer Museum.

You can also use the Magic Number formula to check if teams are eliminated. Teams such as the Devil Rays (the second hottest team in the bigs right now, thankyouverymuch), whose number of losses we will substitute for L2nd: 163 - 83 - 81 = -1... so, sadly, the Red Sox' win on Sunday nixed the Rays' hopes of their first ever A.L. East title. You can also use this formula to check a second place team's Magic Number.

The more you know. more...

Profiles in Courage: Hilliard Davidson HS

High School football in Columbus, Ohio isn't the religious experience it is in Texas and Pennsylvania, but from time to time, we Columbusites (Columbusans?  Columbophiles?) sometimes strike the jackpot.


Hilliard Davidson HS, one of a few schools in the Columbus suburbs, was frequented with several acts of graffiti by rival school Hilliard Darby HS, proclaiming that their school sucked.  Whether they do or not isn't up for debate.  How the students of Davidson reacted, however, is what brings us to the crux of this post.

The sheer amplitude of brain power behind this stunt still boggles my mind and even after racking my brain, filled now with 4+ years of college and countless years of other schooling still can't even begin to figure out how to go about doing this, but, man, it would be sweet to do it, wouldn't it?

In all it's YouTube glory...

This is, of course, a derivation of a classic prank, earned the evil-doers suspensions though we here at TSE salute hellcats of Hilliard - were it up to us, we would have given them HS degrees and made them principal for the day on the spot.
more...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A sports day to remember

The "official" "Re-Launch" of TSE will start on Monday and Tuesday but how can a sports blog not mention something about a day like this in the sports world? We start early in the day in Columbus...

I am a Buckeye fan through and through but this season, especially after the debacle that was last season, came with a lot of questions. Can Todd Boeckman and company replace Troy Smith, Tedd Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez? Will the defense be stout enough to keep the untested offense in contention? What color vest will Coach Tressel wear? The myriad questions started to receive their answers when the Buckeyes dispatched of the #6 FCS Youngstown State Fightin' Penguins in Ohio Stadium today. Really, the game was in no doubt and the offense, which had many annoying 5-yard penalties, showed a few signs of things to come. And Tres wore a grey vest today. All told, though, the best part was easy enough to identify:


There is nothing in the world like the Alumni band and TBDBITL putting four Script-Ohio's on the field at once. Almost made the $60 ticket worth it (though mine was comped - happy birthday to me).

But that's when things started to get interesting.

MGoBlog.com, the preeminent Wolverines blog had the picture to answer 1000 questions.


Technical Difficulties indeed. Michigan goes down to Appalachian State in front of 107,000+ in the Big House. The Mountaineers are no slouches themselves in the FCS (formerly Division 1-AA) having won some national championships of their own, so it's not like UM was going up against the scout team from WBUP-TV in Marquette. Appy was in it all the way and won in grand fashion, blocking the would-be winning field goal as time expired. As a Buckeye fan, I have my hat tips and finger wags about the loss, but as for college football, this one was huge, perhaps the biggest upset in college football history. Hell, ESPNews compared it to USA over USSR in the 1980 Olympics, if you want a grand scale to put this on. So where does Michigan go? And when Oregon comes into the Big House next week what can we expect? Mike Hart still put on a show, but if that show can't beat the FCS, then what are the Wolverines to do?

A quick sidebar: what do you do with Michigan in the rankings next week? One would think that losing to an FCS team would get you out of the top-25 (some have even suggested giving Appy St. a vote or two in the rankings next week). I think they'll drop down to #22-#24, but if they fall out of it, that would surprise me too much.

Finally, the story that trumps even a monumental college football upset came at Fenway Park. Clay Buchholz, called up to replace an inactive Tim Wakefield, went out and did something no Boston rookie had ever done. The MLB.com game cast spells it out pretty well:


Buchholz throws a wonderful no-hitter (with some fantastic help from Dustin Pedroia on defense) as the Sox win 10-0 at home. The story in Boston is that the brass told Buchholz would be dropped down to the PawSox even if he did something like...throw a no-hitter. Well, Buchholz did it in start #2 so it looks like his bags should stay in Boston for the near future.

So Ohio State wins, Michigan loses and the BoSox snap out of a 4-game slide in a huge way. All-in-all, for me anyway, this was one hell of a day for sports.

The Re-Launch will begin next week, so look forward to all the Sports Elitists you can handle. more...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

¿Dónde estan Los Sports Elitists?

We're still here.  Don't worry.  JTBI is in Michigan, Seaward is down in Kentucky, and I'm kicking it in Oxford, Ohio.  We'll be back up when we all are settled and I stop taking naps in lieu of studying for Spanish.  So get ready. more...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the Move

If you've been noticing a dearth of posts by The Seaward lately on this here blogging premises, there's a good reason for it: like JTBI, I, too, (holy comma, Batman!) have a new job and am in the process of moving from here...



...to here...



I'll be all settled by the middle of next week, so look for more post volume from me around then, apologies for the slow posting weeks. more...

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 8.13.2007

Well, I'm back from vacation, where I was supposed to play golf at any number of nice courses in the Carolinas. Needless to say, the heat index was somewhere around 115 degrees all week, which barely made it tolerable to swim in the bath water that was the Atlantic Ocean so much of my vacation was spent watching TV, drinking Yuengling, and reading Mahler's "The Bronx is Burning", which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Speaking (kinda) of golf...

Did anybody even watch the PGA Championship this weekend? If so, please comment as to why. Because there is nothing, friends, more exciting than watching every golfer watch Tiger Woods and what he did this weekend in Tulsa.  Sarcasm aside, Tiger Woods is your PGA Champion, giving him a win and two runners-up for the 2007 Majors.  On the large, that's a pretty mediocre year for the stripped one, considering the two #2 finishes came with Tiger leading for a portion on Sunday.  But Tiger was unbeatable this weekend, which was set up nicely by his round on Friday.  He shot 63 at Southern Hills and missed a putt on 18 that would have given him a score that would have more closely resembled a score from Tiger's video game.  It was academic after that with the rest of the field is wilting like Brady Quinn against any kind of good college football team.


All told, that is 13 for Tiger, 5 shy of Jack's immortal 18 majors.  Which gets me thinking about next year.  Tiger is easily the favorite in, well, anything he does, from table tennis against Lephty McBigboobs to major championship golf.  If he puts it together next year and wins the Grand Slam (entirely possible, considering the lineup of courses: Augusta, Torrey Pines, Royal Birkdale and Oakland Hills) then that puts Jack record on life support.  We're talking about a record that was nigh unbreakable in 1929 when Hagen posted his 11th title and a new mark that was set at Augusta in 1986.  As of right now, in two years, that record could be out the window.

I'll anoint Tiger Woods as the greatest golfer ever right now.  I have no problem with that, but I still think Jack is the greatest Major golfer ever.  It's a point I've made before: Jack came from behind to win 8 of his majors and was the runner up in 19 times.  Though the latter is more a longevity mark than a talent mark, the former certinaly is not.  Face it: if Tiger has a 54-hole lead then it's over and done with.  Start engraving the trophy and writing out the winner's check to Mr. Woods.  With Jack, however, there weren't any guarantees like that, save for the fact that he was good enough to finish in the top-2 37 times with 18 wins.  I want to see Tiger come from behind [Ed. note: on Elin] just once.  When that's all said and done, if Tiger has a line like that, then they might as well rename the sport "Eldrick".

Props to Matt Sussman at The Futon Report and the Deadspin linkage this weekend.  Glad I could shed some light on why Sergio might have shitted the shit out of his bed this weekend.
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I Think I'm In Love



From today's ESPN Ombudsman article:
I wish ESPN would consider adding to its lineup a crisp, half-hour, nightly news version of SportsCenter -- just news and highlights, without gimmicks or sponsored segments or recaps, without self- or cross-promotion, with a consistent anchor team accountable for a consistent tone, with spare to no use of instant commentary. A prime-time island of clean, clear, straightforward news on which ESPN's journalistic credibility could securely rest.

Le Anne Schreiber, will you marry me? more...

Where were you when?

As Seaward mentioned in today's TMA, Barry Bonds became the Home Run King of Major League Baseball last night/early this morning. I made it a point to watch the game two nights ago and was disappointed not to see the record set. I don't know what was going through my head last night when I decided to go up to my room and try to finish "The Bronx is Burning" (the book, not the miniseries, both of which I enjoy). Then, just after midnight, my brother Jonathan ran upstairs yelling at me.

"Chris! Chris!! Get down here! Barry did it!"

I felt like a kid on Christmas Day I ran out of my bed so quickly. I almost tripped down the flight of stairs I was moving so fast. When I got downstairs I saw a throng of Giants hugging Barry. I saw fireworks going off at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Later, I saw Hank Aaron on the Jumbotron reading a very prepared statement congratulating Barry on his achievement. I saw Willie Mays trying his damndest to help keep Barry's emotions in check on the field.

And then I saw something that made me totally forget about the shadows surrounding this record and the allegations surrounding this athlete. I have never been a Giants fan in any regard but I have had a soft spot for Bonds since his drive for the record began in earnest a few years ago. I thought about how Hank Aaron had faced racism and death threats while he tried to break the Babe's record in 1974. Bonds had steroid allegations, constant ESPN coverage and Pedro Gomez (oh my!) to worry about during his chase. Yet standing on the third base line at AT&T Park, Barry Bonds reached for the heavens and thanked his late father, Bobby, and broke down.

Just like that, Barry Bonds was human, as human as you or me. In the midst of this chase and these allegations, Barry Bonds was nothing more than his father's son, trying to celebrate this home run with the man who taught him how to do it. When he pointed skyward, Barry reminded all of us that baseball is just a game and that it is a game that we share with friends and, more importantly, family. We can discuss steroids tomorrow, but for today, Barry Bonds is the unquestioned Home Run King of Major League Baseball. more...

The Morning After on TSE -- 8.8.07



Well, it's over. Barry Bonds has the all-time career home run record in Major League Baseball.

Anyone who knows me knows that I was amongst the many who said over the past month "Barry's going to break it, I just want him to get it over with, once he's done it baseball can be normal again." It's a jaded, cynical view, I agree; by last weekend it was probably the most prevalent viewpoint in the sports world on Bonds' chase. It's an easy viewpoint to take: Barry is surly, he is surrounded by a cloud of steroids, we get sensory overload for Barry on ESPN, etc etc. Once it was all done we could just watch some goddamn baseball.



Then he hit it.

Son of a bitch, did he hit it.

I looked on, and caught myself smiling. A discussion between my left brain and right brain broke out:

Left Brain: What the hell are you doing?
Right Brain: Smiling. Did you just see that?
Left Brain: I saw it, but it's tainted.
Right Brain: What? Shut up. This is cool.
Left Brain: Come on, he's a ster--
Right Brain: Shut up, bitch!
Left Brain: But--
Right Brain: SHUT. THE. HELL. UP. THIS IS FREAKING COOL.
Left Brain: ...

I'll be damned if I didn't tear up a little bit during the celebration. I'm not a Giants fan, I'm not a Barry Bonds fan; yet there I was, getting all misty. It was absolutely unreal.

So this morning I am happy to say: nevermind the bollocks, here is your home run champion.



All photos from the San Francisco Chronicle at sfgate.com. more...

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 8.3.2007

After today, I will be going on vacation to the simple recesses of Edisto Beach, South Carolina. It is a quiet beach island an hour away from Charleston and is just a stones throw from some great golf, including:

The Ocean Course at Kiawah, site of the 2012 PGA Championship (mark it down)

Carolina National Golf Club, a Freddy Cuplando design

Daufuskie Island Golf Resort

Wild Dunes, the classic Tom Fazio design

Why do I mention this? Because I get to play one of these courses and you don't. Good money's on Carolina National or Wild Dunes, but I'm holding out for Daufuskie near Hilton Head. One of the courses is named "Bloody Point". And I can't stop giggling.

Anyway, the crux of this entire thing is that I will likely be away from any form of communications whatsoever and it is with that that I leave TSE in the able (if sometimes invisible) hands of JTBI and Seaward, maybe a guest here and there. Between now and the end of August, we'll be doing some Best of TSE posts that not only cleared the bar, but set it at a new height this summer. Look for one later today. more...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 8.2.2007

From time to time there are events that happen and these events draw us away from the world of sports. Something like that happened in Minneapolis last night when a busy bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River during rush hour. Wow. And I mean 'Wow' in the worst way.

The stories coming out of Minnesota are unbelievable. People saying that they were driving one minute and dropping, head-first, into the river the next. A busload of kids barely missed a similar fate, thankfully. There are some incredible stories of heroism by emergency workers and passersby alike, as well as the sad stories of injuries, deaths and people still missing. Sadly, the efforts have shifted from rescue to recovery. CNN has the best coverage of short of being in Minneapolis. You can follow the story here.

TSE thoughts and prayers are in Minnesota today. more...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Huge National Practical Joke?

I swear to all things good and pure: I just don't see it. I don't get it. I don't understand.

How, how, HOW are the Boston Celtics going from literally the worst team in the Eastern Conference to a consensus conference favorite amongst national media analysts? I know, I know, "Seaward, they traded for KG!"

Overrated acquisition? No. Overrated team? Yes.
So?

Everyone has taken great glee in ripping the Eastern Conference from pillar to post after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the East with LeBron +4 and were summarily dumped by a vastly superior Spurs team. "Hey, if all you have to do is be better than Cleveland, anyone can win this conference," has been the mantra of every NBA analyst, GM, player and fan this offseason. Easy enough to say, but does this trade accomplish this end? No.

For starters (no pun intended, just wait), let's look at the Celtics' projected lineup:
  • PG - Rajon Rondo
  • SG - Ray Allen
  • SF - Paul Pierce
  • PF - Kevin Garnett
  • C - Brian Scalabrine
  • Bench - Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis, Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Gabe Pruitt, Brandon Wallace
Yes, the middle of that starting lineup is frightening. It truly is. The rest of the lineup, though? Are you freaking kidding me? This roster doesn't even have the depth to field a full starting five, much less a reasonable 8-man rotation. And yet... this team is all of the sudden the team to beat in the East in the eyes of all these NBA pundits?

I think someone is pulling a prank on me.

Has everyone forgotten who is steering this ship? How severe is this case of national situational amnesia that everyone failed to notice that Doc Rivers is still the head coach of this team? The same Doc Rivers with a career 273-312 record (8-14 in the Eastern Conference playoffs)? Coaching is very important in this league and say what you want about Mike Brown, he installed a defensive system involving his role players on the Cavs that worked perfectly in the East. Do you think Doc Rivers can do that? Can Doc Rivers out-coach anyone in playoff contention in the East? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Even taking a giant leap and granting that Doc won't screw this up, will a big three with an average age of 31 be able to succeed in a conference that is getting rapidly younger? Can the 31 year olds run with superstars in their early and mid-20s like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard? Well, let's ask the New Jersey Nets... nope. (FWIW- I'm not convinced that Boston's big 3 is better than New Jersey's big 3.)

The way I see it, the Celtics are now a playoff team... but are they a conference contender? No. No, no, no, a thousand times NO. As I see it right now they are anywhere between a 6 and 8 seed in the east. Take a look:
  • 1- Cleveland -- Give the defending conference champs their due with a 1 seed
  • 2- Miami -- Fully healthy Wade + breathing Shaq = Southeast title
  • 3- New Jersey -- The original Big 3 adds Jamal Magloire at the 5
  • 4- Chicago -- Talented young core keeps getting better
  • 5- Detroit -- Getting older but are still a major player thanks to depth
  • 6- Orlando -- Dwight Howard welcomes Rashard Lewis
  • 7- Boston -- Lots of star power with no depth still gets you in the playoffs
  • 8- Toronto -- Talented young team took a big step in 06-07
Coaching, depth and age... can the Celtics overcome all of these shortcomings and win the weak Eastern Conference?

No. more...

The Morning After on TSE - 8.1.2007

August brings with it many things. School, for some, begins in this month. I used to be out the requisite $50+ on dinner and a gift for a money-grubbing whore very nice and respectful young lady I used to date back in High School. But in sports, it primarily means that the grind that is summer is coming to a close. Yes, August is still hotter than an Ana Ivanovic/Natalie Gulbis/GoCM Three-way, and no, football hasn't started yet.

(GoCM Note: There was a great MS Paintjob here originally but blogger eats pan-seared asshole and it got screwed up on import. I am supremely depressed by this.)

But still.

The first of August also marks the passing of the Major League Baseball's trade deadline. It wasn't a star-rich trade period this time around but 16+ hours after the deadline came and went, there are certainly some big winners and some sore losers. We'll start in the National League.

NL Winner
The Atlanta Braves
Talk about a big-time win. You get Mark Teixeira from Texas and only have to give up Jarrod Saltalamacchia for him. I'll concede that SalTal is probably the next Joe Mauer-type young catcher, but the Braves already have Brian McCann as a backstop and he is an all-star this year. Teixeira is an automatic upgrade at first, as the former Ranger is the two-year reigning Gold Glover at 1B. Offensively, there's not a lot going on for him this year...yet. Playing for a team in the thick of a playoff run can only help boost Teixeira and will likely elevate him above .300 on the year. His as yet mediocre RBI numbers (49) will also come up with a good lineup around him, most notably Andruw/Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria and the aforementioned McCann will play big roles. Big win for Atlanta, who as of now are just three games back of the struggling Mets.


NL Loser

The Milwaukee Brewers
If there's a team that is sweating more than the BrewCrew right now, I can't name it. The big lead that seemed safe in the lackluster NL Central is down to just one game. Let's face it: Sweet Lou knows what he's doing and it was only a matter of time before the Cubbies got hot. Well, they are now and the Brewers need to make a move to make sure they weren't a problem. And they didn't. The rumor is that they were second in the running to get Gagne (more later), and he would have been an excellent get for the Brewers. But instead, they're left with question marks on the hill in the late innings, as well as with a lineup that has been up and down more than a jackhammer (and you thought I was going to make a sex joke there, didn't you?)


AL Winner

The Boston Red Sox
What a day it was in Beantown yesterday. First the Celtics get Kevin Garnett (for 7 players, the Prudential Building, the Bruins, a few cases of Sam Adams, Curt Schilling's bloody sock, a box of those naked lady tees, etc)* and then the Red Sox bullpen, currently baseball's best, gets a very good shot in the arm in the person of former NL Cy Younger Eric Gagne. He joins All-Star reliever Fukijama and lights out closer Jonathan Papelbon as the most untouchable 8th and 9th inning in baseball. Gagne fills two rolls immediately: most importantly he's insurance if either of Boston's principle set-up man or closer go down. Gagne has proven that he can handle the closer roll this year (16 saves in 17 tries this year) and he could work set-up no problem. But more importantly, he's one of the league's best against lefties and hasn't given up a run to one of them crazy southpaws all year. With Schilling on the way up (another scoreless 7 innings in rehab last night), Beckett and [Andrew] Dice-K looking good, losing Kason Gabbard won't hurt too much for now. Regardless, the rich just hit the jackpot.

*stole that joke from Mike and Mike.

AL Loser(s)
The AL Central, the LA Angels of Anaheim or Greater Los Angeles or California of the USA

The Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins and Angels all needed relief pitching or a bat. The only active team was Minnesota...who sent three-time Gold Glover Luis Castillo to the Mets for a few minor leaguers. Are you kidding? Detroit's starters will be lights out but the bullpen is shaky at best. Cleveland can score runs on par with anyone in the league but Joe Borrowski couldn't stop Minnesota a few nights ago and has been made Tribe fans sit with their bellies in their throats since save #1. And Johann Santana can't pitch every game for 9 innings (though he hasn't turned it up to 11 like he usually does post-break yet). The Angels, meanwhile, can beat you a few different ways but they needed a Gagne-type pitcher and they really need another bat to take the pressure off of Vlad Guerrero, the HR Derby champ, who hasn't hit an HR since that derby.

In the Central, nothing is going to change much and the Angels have held their lead to this point. But for the Red Sox, Yankees (who dumped Scott Proctor for Wilson Betimet, another 3B/SS type player...your best guess) and Mariners, things must be looking much better now, knowing that their principle competition in the wild card and AL West didn't do anything.

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