Friday, June 29, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 6.29.2007

Things just keep getting weirder and weirder in the Chris Benoit story. If that's possible. Since the last post, they've confirmed that Benoit likely strangled his wife on Saturday, smothered his son on Sunday, placed Bibles by both of the bodies, which were in different rooms, before hanging himself sometime on Monday. The bodies were discovered by authorities on Monday afternoon.

Here's where it gets interesting.

Benoit's Wikipedia entry was altered early Monday to say that the wrestler had missed a match two days earlier because of his wife's death.

A Wikipedia official, Cary Bass, said Thursday that the entry was made by someone using an Internet protocol address registered in Stamford, Conn., where World Wrestling Entertainment is based.

Ummm... What? Never mind the fact that the Wikipedia entry was altered. That's weird, yes, but the fucked up part is in graph 2. The IP used to change the entry was registered in the home of the WWE. The obvious conspiracy theorist would say that the WWE planned the entire thing as a publicity stunt. But even Vincent Kennedy McMahon isn't that evil, right? I think that someone got one of the text messages from Benoit that said more than any other text of the several he sent. I doubt very much that that person will ever come forward.

Obviously, the WWE is on full damage control, their attorneys scrambling to answer questions and sending most of them to the authorities. Regardless, when I said earlier that I hoped this thing didn't get any uglier (I have edited the post since) I could never have expected this. Whether or not the Wikipedia thing has any more substance is up for argument. But an incredibly ugly situation just got uglier. I get the feeling that we're going to be hearing an even uglier side once toxicology reports are back in a few weeks. more...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NBA Draft from a man who lacks a favorite college basketball team, and a favorite NBA team who didn't have a pick in the entire thing. So, impartial.

Well, watched the first round of the NBA Draft with my good friend and fellow TSE blogger Paul Teeple, we chatted while we watched, and heres how it started:

Paul Teeple (7:34:44 PM): This is The Sports Elitists live blog for the 2007 NBA Draft

Paul Teeple (7:35:10 PM): I'm Paul Teeple who will be commenting on the ESPN broadcast of the draft along with Joe Table Blew It
-- Pretty GD official if you ask me. The first round started as predicted, as Greg Oden and Kevin Durant went one-two to the Blazers and Sonics, respectively. As Oden was drafted Mike Tirico, the host of tonight's proceedings on ESPN, reminded us of an obscure Oden fact morsel:

JTBI (7:38:44 PM): did you know Greg Oden shot free throws left-handed when his right wrist was injured?
Paul Teeple (7:38:49 PM): I had no idea.

--Then, the first big move of the night happened, Ray Allen to the Celtics for the fifth pick (Jeff Green), Delonte West and Wally World. Good trade for the Sonics, if Durant is ready and they resign Rashard Lewis. West gives them options if they choose to move Luke Ridnour, thaking over the role of, "person who lives on the trade block" from Jimmy Jackson.

--The third pick went as expected as well, Al Horford from Florida. This prompted the first of many Jay Bilas brain malfunctions:

JTBI(7:49:36 PM): "I think Al Horford is the most NBA ready right now"
JTBI (7:49:50 PM): thanks Jay, could have left it at NBA ready, we get it
Paul Teeple (7:50:01 PM): you're all about the economy of words
JTBI (7:50:20 PM): well think about it, does this make sense?
JTBI (7:50:38 PM): "I think Al Horford is the most NBA Ready in 7 years"
Paul Teeple (7:50:44 PM): fair point

--There's more from Jay Bilas, and I'm sure Teeple will touch on it as well.
Mike Conley Jr. of Ohio State goes to Memphis, as Teeple and I begin to notice the r-tard that is Joakim Noah:

Paul Teeple (7:52:22): Noah looks like Lisa Bonet from the Cosby Show... what happened to her?

JTBI (7:54:59 PM): wikipedia says... lisa bonet eloped with lenny kravitz on her 20th birthday

Paul Teeple(7:55:06 PM): there's no way that lasted
JTBI (7:55:21 PM): cosby didn't like it, kicked her off of her show and gave her a different world
JTBI (7:55:37 PM): divorced in '93
Paul Teeple (7:55:56 PM): then jasmine guy died and would up on showtime

OK, I'm already sick of managing this live blog, so this is all you get from me now, more tomorrow afternoon. Maybe then the Cavs will have signed some NDFA's


The title of this post roughly translates to "King James" in Mandarin Chinese. Lebron James recently confessed that he was studying the ancient language in preparation of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But the US team has to qualify first.

No, these are not your older brother's Dream Teams. Our boys have to qualify this Summer in the FIBA America's Tournament in July. Until very recently, James was unsure if he was going to play on the team, but now he has signed up completely, and will take the floor for Team USA next month, and--hopefully-- in Beijing. This is an important step for Lebron, who if he wants to solidify his status as the best player in the NBA, has to take advantage of every opportunity to prove it. In addition to that, Dwayne Wade will still remain apart of the team even though he is undergoing shoulder surgery this month, making it much harder for other superstars to turn their nose at International play. That being said, let's take a look as to who I think should be Team USA's starting lineup and bench based on commitments already received:

PG Chauncey Billups
SG Kobe Bryant
SF LeBron James
PF Carlos Boozer
C Amare Stoudemire


PG Jason Kidd
PG Deron Williams
SG Mike Miller
SG Michael Redd
SF Tayshawn Prince
SF Kevin Durant
C Tyson Chandler
C Greg Oden

Pretty strong squad. It's nice to know that USA Basketball is back to figuring out that the key to any of these teams is strong play at the point guard position, and we have the point guards of Christmas past, present, and future in Kidd, Billups, and Williams on this team. If one of them doesn't play well, then there are two other guys that can step in and distribute to the prolific scorers that make up this team. It will also be one hell of a treat to see Durant and Oden play this summer, especially for those fans in Portland and Seattle-- a bit of a taste of what they can expect in the future. Coach K has a lot of promise on this team, and a lot of players who have shown their commitment to USA basketball, and are somewhat hungry to prove that the nation that invented the game is still the best at it. more...

Cold Pizza: in the news for all the right reasons

This is just becoming news over the AP wire and I am certainly not breaking it, but Woody Paige and Jay Crawford, hosts, annoying assholes and unwatchable sports "pundits" that they are, have been accused of sexual harassment by a former hair stylist and makeup artist for the show "Cold Pizza". The complaint has been denied (of course) by both of the accused but that doesn't make it any less funny.

"[Rita] Ragone, a makeup artist and hair stylist from the Bronx, claimed Paige once grabbed her backside so forcefully, she was "propelled forward and into the air."

I have never really had a problem with Woody's particular brand of "commentary" and I always like it when he and Mariotti make it to the finals of "Around the Horn" so they can bicker and piss and moan and I can fast-forward through it on my TiVo (yes, I TiVo "Around the Horn"). And while this whole thing is interesting, it doesn't sound too surprising. With a name like Woody, wasn't it only a matter of time?

Other questions arise: If Jay Crawford gets fired for this, which is likely the inevitable conclusion if Ms. Ragone is justified in her claims, who would take his place as host of "First Take"? Would anyone notice? Can I grab Dana Jacobson's ass? more...

An Open Invitation to Dave Heller


Well, needless to say all of us here at TSE were so surprised and flattered to see that you took such interest in my article about Brett Bielema and how he was able to completely embarrass the late Terry Hoeppner last year in Bloomington. While I have no intention to back down from my position that Bielema unnecessarily hung it on Coach Hep, and that certain ramifications will certainly come to fruition, I would like to move past it.

My esteemed colleague Ghost of Carl Monday took you to task this morning, and boy did that make me laugh. Instead of going down that same hilarious road, I would like to issue a challenge to you, or any of the other people that have decided to viciously attack my opinion on this site.

I love criticism, I actually thrive on it. I love sports so much that I can't stand being wrong, and when I am, I love it when people call me on it. So, if you think I am so unintelligent, let's give you a chance once and for all to prove it, since we seem to be at a stalemate with this whole Bielema issue. Mr. Heller, let's you and I talk 2007 Big Ten football for a half hour or so, with the full transcript appearing here on TSE. It seems to me that you reply to opinions and rarely have a chance to formulate one of your own. Well, here's your chance. I eagerly await your response.


Jed DeMuesy
(Joe Table Blew It) more...

I Am Number One

Now that we're pretty sure Greg Oden will be going number one, the real question is: will he embarrass himself with the suit he wears? Yes, on the last day of his life where Oden will not have to worry about a NBA dress code violation, will he dress to impress, or look like a complete fool? To predict the future, we must look to the past, so I present to you the draft day garb of every number one since 1997. First up, the recent four time NBA Finals winner, Tim Duncan.

Not exactly flashy, but not memorable either. Although, Duncan wasn't looking to make a statement on draft day , he knew his job was to make it happen on the court. Turns out he was able to do just that, making this cream -colored suit look that much better. Next up, the Kandi Man.

Brown. He must've known he was going to be drafted by the Clippers, and they must have known that he was going to amount to a substance of the same color. The only guy who can pull off a brown suit is Stone Phillips. And the light blue shirt underneath tells me that he was excited to play for the Clippers. Nobody is excited to play for the Clippers. Next, the Dukie, Elton Brand.

Straight up Men's Warehouse. Probably because Coach K gave him a speech that went a little something like this, "I do not, nor does David Stern judge a man by the suit he wears. Think of yourself not as a number one draft pick who wears suits, but as a developing NBA superstar who just so happens to be the number one pick that wear suits. Your life will not be determined by the $100 suit you wear on draft night, because your card is American Express." Next up is Kenyon Martin.
Slick, unlike his game in recent years. The three button suit is to provide more support for his bum shoulder, which would soon allow him to very quickly fall out of favor with Jason Kidd. Kwame Brown's turn.

The first and last highlight of his career was this custom made guy that he wore as he walked across the stage. Jordan probably dressed him in these threads, and continued to support him financially throughout his career, until His Airness incorrectly split 8's at the Belaggio last year. Next is Lebron, skipping Yao Ming because he did not show up for the draft, much like he continues not to show up in the playoffs.

The definition of ballin'. There is nothing to say, but all Hail King James. Not many people can pull this kind of suit off, then again not many people can score 48 against the Pistons either. Now for the Magic's Dwight Howard.

This suit probably doesn't even fit him anymore, have you seen this kid recently?
Sweet Moses, what a freak. Andrew Bogut's chance to impress.

You can tell he's from Utah because he's wearing a polygamist suit... one button for every wife. What a nerd. Now a guy with some Italian threads, Andrea Bargnani.
Classic look, and since the jury is still out on this guy's game, I will reserve judgement and not mention that as soon as Stern saw him turn the corner, he reached in his pocket for his valet ticket.

So, now it is up to Oden to go flash or sit back and let his game do the talking. Whatever the case, I'll be watching just to make fun of the inevitable horrible suit that Spencer Hawes will be sporting.

The Morning After on TSE - 6.28.2007

Between new names, ex-girlfriends and a new layout, a lot of things get lost in this, the daily shuffle of our lives here at TSE. We knew, of course that our dramatic prose, our cunning linguistic skills (giggity) and rapist's wit would eventually find its way outside these walls. And it finally has.

This is Dave Heller. He's a rather strapping man (Teeple: "he looks like Brad Garrett on meth") whose job it is to scan across the Internets looking for anything written about the Wisconsin (here we go again) Badgers in the local and national media for JSOnline, the online home of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Apparently his job title is "sports producer" so if you want to get paid to blog and read blogs all day, then you want Dave's job. Anyway, he found the article that Jed--I mean Joe Table Blew It (JTBI, heretofore) wrote about Bret Bielema and his status as "Public Enemy No. 1 in Bloomington, IN". Here, the words of Mr. Heller:

The author, Jed DeMuesy, has declared Bret Bielema public enemy No. 1, apparently for Wisconsin's big win at Indiana last season, which also happened to be Terry Hoeppner's return to the Hoosiers.

Maybe DeMusey should be mad at Indiana. The Hoosier came out with a lot of emotion that day, but they quickly bungled things up with penalties and turnovers and all that emotion disappeared and probably worked against them.

Never mind that Heller spelled Jed's--I mean JTBI's name incorrectly (that's probably why he's the producer and not the editor, and thank God for that) and never mind the fact that no one here has ever, will ever or currently matriculates at Indiana University, though that has been the assumption since the original post. The point here is that no one from the bassackwards state of Wisconsin knows how to read anything. They can read into pretty much everything but when it comes to deciphering actual meaning, you're better off going to one of the Dakotas. The point of the article is, for the umpteenth fucking time, and say it with me now:


Jesus Christ. We've determined that no one from Wisconsin can either read or spell but this is getting re-goddamn-diculous. But, we thank Hellre (how do you like it, buddy?) for the free press and publicity. Sitemeter says all 23 people in Wisco that can operate a computer without reenacting that scene from Zoolander, have been frequenting our lovely site. We keep this up and the sky's the limit.

And happy birthday to KSK. Keep up the good work. more...

Celebrating one year of freedom

Well, I'm going to make my first real post under the new name mean something, that's for sure. About a year ago at this time, I was sitting watching a baseball game with a good buddy of mine, playing some caps, loving life. Across town, my girlfriend of 8 months was two timing me. With some dude who took 6 years to graduate college, is a hippie, and plays guitar, no less (doesn't it always happen that way?).

There are the people in question, now dating. To the left Lum Si, the right Ami Fa. Names have been shortened for the sake of relative anonymity, but not completely omitted so it shows up in search engines. Needless to say, when I heard of this the relationship got ugly and was ruined, not unlike Ami (seriously, GOCM, didn't she put on at least 20 pounds?)

Now almost one year, countless bad decisions, and even more countless amounts of alcohol later, I celebrate the greatest betrayal I've ever experienced by looking back on the top 5 greatest sports betrayals in recent memory.

5. Kobe throwing Shaq under the bus.

As I've touched on before, it was Kobe that needed Shaq to win his titles. Then, at the height of their legacy, Kobe decides it's time to force Jerry Buss's hand and demand that either Shaq or Kobe go. Shaq however got the better of the deal, getting shipped to the Miami Heat and winning an NBA Championship with Dwayne Wade, a better team player than Kobe could ever dream to be.

4. Jason Giambi joins the evil empire.

While there was more of a fiasco surrounding the Yankees' acquisition of A-Rod, the tattooed, goateed, anti-establishment Giambi went from chastising the practices of the Yankees one year, to using a Mach 3 Turbo every day the next. Jason has exactly zero wins and one grand jury investigation to show for his efforts.

3. Isiah Thomas and the CBA

Promising to turn around a struggling Canadian Basketball Association, Isiah Thomas makes bad decision after bad decision, until he eventually leads the league into bankruptcy, and then bolts to coach the Indiana Pacers. Thomas hasn't done much since, except lead a really talented Pacer team to nowhere, then effectively ruining one of the proudest sports franchises that exists, the New York Knicks.

2. Carlos Boozer swindles a blind man

In an effort to sign what was thought to be a long-term asset, the Cleveland Cavaliers and blind owner Gordon Gund allowed thrid year player Carlos Boozer to opt out of the final year of his 6 digit contract, in order to sign a more lucrative, long term deal to keep him in Cleveland to play with LeBron James for the forseeable future. The result? Boozer bolts to utah for more money, leaving Cleveland in the dust. He misse dout on the first Finals appearance in Cavs history.
1. TO throws the whole city of Philly under the bus.
After complaining about a lack of talent in San Fransisco and Baltimore, the Philadelphia Eagles bailed out Terrell Owens when they surrounded him with emmense talent in the city of brotherly love. What Owens proceeded to do was a little less than brotherly. Criticising primarily Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid, Owens quickly wore out his welcome in Philly, and then proceeded to have a breakdown of suicidal proportions in Big D.
Of course, the message is betrayal doesn't pay, but moving on to bigger and better things does. Well, maybe not bigger ( not kidding, at least 20-40 pounds).

The New Name

I'm moving away from my real name, considering I probably shouldn't enter the state of Wisconsin anytime soon. I would hate to be hated in other states in our fine union, considering I plan on bashing at least Colorado and Montana in the next few weeks. The new name will reflect my ultimate sadness:Rejoice if you do not understand.


I'm confused about the Drew Brees installment of the "My Wish" series.

Is some sick kid meeting him, or is there something we're going to find out about his mole tomorrow? If Drew Brees does get to do the meeting, my guess is his wish will be to meet Michelle Kwan and skate around with her on the ice while he wears a bicycle helmet. more...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One thing I've been wondering recently...

In response to Teeple's fantastic News and Views segment, I have just one question that has been bothering me recently, and it is adressed to the baseball broadcasters of America: how do you pronounce "Chavez?" I always thought this was cut and dry and you put emphasis on the first syllable (SHAAA-vez), but very recently, I have heard Marty Brenneman and Matt Underwood accentuate the second syllable (Sha-VEZ).

Does anyone have any insight? I thought this was pretty cut and dry until very recently, and now I am completely perplexed.

Seriously guys, lay off Deadspin Part II

I remind you of a quote from the great Robert Montgomery Knight (by way of Charlie Sheen's character in Platoon):

When my time on earth is gone and my activities here are past, I want they bury me upside down, so the critics can kiss my ass.
Bang bang. No, but seriously the new layout sucks.


Seriously guys, lay off Deadspin

I remind you of a great quote from former President Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
Bully. No, but seriously the new layout sucks.


[Redacted], News and Views No. 1

Sometimes I have plenty of scattered thoughts about the world of sports that I'd like to share but really don't deserve their own blog post. So today I decided to completely rip off pay homage to the great Larry King's "People, News and Views" segment with a semi-regular feature I'll be calling "[Redacted], News and Views." Catchy, ain't it?

  • Will any team in the NFL take a chance on Tank Johnson? I don't even think the Bengals would give him a one-year deal at this point.

  • Andy Roddick looked hungry and focused this morning. I'm not saying he's going to win, but I will say he could drum up some interest on the men's side with a run at the Wimbledon final.

  • Is last night's 9th inning 2-out 2-run double a sign that Travis Hafner is coming out of his two-month slump?

  • Bret + Jemaine = Hilarious
  • I may be alone here, but I really like "Flight of the Conchords."

  • Last night's 6pm SportsCenter Die Hard tie-in was a complete joke.

  • I love Deadspin almost unconditionally but their new layout is making me physically ill.

  • Only two picks in the NBA Draft interest me: 1 and 3. Additionally, I'll be turning back to baseball once Mike Conley Jr. is drafted. I may flip back if I hear the Cavaliers buy into the first round.

  • Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce -- none of these players will be traded this offseason.

  • The New York Yankees are 100% unequivocally dead in the water.

  • If ESPN got a TV contract for the Southeast Atlantic League, would they promote single-A baseball games like they do with the AFL (which is clearly the 4th tier of pro football world-wide behind the NFL, CFL and NFL Europe)?

  • The Seattle Mariners are a nice story but will be out of the Wild Card race by the end of August.

  • The way they have all 32 teams' war rooms on the floor at the NHL Draft is pretty freaking cool.

  • It was a bad move by the WWE to try and cover its ass by coming out and saying that steroids played no part in the Chris Benoit murder-murder-suicide.

  • I, too, would throw it to Linda Cohn.

  • Did anyone else notice this morning that the Royals have more wins than the White Sox?

The Morning After on TSE - 6.27.2007

I'm not the first one to touch on this topic and I certainly will not be the last, but it's high time to comment on ESPN's yearly "My Wish" week. Before I do, I'll need to put up a disclaimer, as I've already been called out on my egregious use of the term "retard" once this week.

I like the Make-a-Wish Foundation. I think it is an admirable and worthy cause. I'm glad that Disney/ABC/ESPN have the resources to devote money and 10 minutes per day to it for a week. I do have a problem with charities in general because of the inherent Catch-22 involved: I can give one charity $1000 but good could also be done giving 1000 charities $1. For as many families that ESPN helps on "My Wish" or ABC helps on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" there are thousands more that need that same help.

But I digress. My biggest problems with this yearly tradition are how the pieces are produced. And it's basically because I hate Chris Connelly. Don't get me wrong, he's decent at what he does and his reports are generally harmless in nature. But don't tell me that a guy who is only 6 years removed from doing red carpet for the freakin' MTV Movie Awards can host the fluffiest of all fluff pieces and sound genuine doing it. This is a personal thing and some may not agree with me, but Chris Connelly is one of the last guys I would have do these stories.

Now I'm not just going to "pull a Kopech" as the kids say, and not give any suggestions as to who I would fill this role with. In his stead, I would use the following people.

Fred Hickman. I've never had a problem with this guy. He's got a smooth and deep voice, perfect for narration and he has a troubled past to boot. Did you know that while working in Detroit in the 1980s, Hickman had a $400/week cocaine habit (probably caused by living, you know, in Detroit)? Amazing what The Wikipedias will say about a guy.

Linda Cohn. I may be alone here, but I've had a crush on Linda Cohn since I began watching SC in 1993. Ten years from now, I'd still throw it to her (definately alone there, I'm sure). But her sultry alto and perfect diction lend themselves well to stories like this. And, if anything, the more Linda, the less I'll dog everything ESPN produces on this blog. That's a guarantee (and that is Linda Cohn up there, right? That's what it said on AskJeeves, anyway).

Suzy Kolber. If there's anyone at ESPN that has had to deal with retards (there I go again) and special cases, it's Suzy Kolber. Not only does she have to sideline report for the handsy Mike Tirico and formerly Joe Theeeeesman, but she was also the reporter during the Joe Namath Incident, a happening so big that they named a blog after it.

So there are my suggestions, or My Wishes, if you will (and I will).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Motown Jon is no Broadway Joe

So I'm sure by now you have all heard the stunning hypothesis that Detroit Lions QB Jon "Born Again" Kitna has made stating his team--the Detroit Lions-- will win at least 10 games this year. Let's look past the fact that they have only won more than 5 games once in the past five years, and let's also look past the fact that Kitna can make these comments because he's pretty much a lock to play in all 16 games. Backup Dan Orlovsky went to UConn, and third stringer Drew Stanton has an impressive career ranging from, "not being able to supplant a quarterback from UConn" in Detroit, to "not being able to supplant a cokehead" at Michigan State. So it isn't like Kitna has to worry about being benched for running his mouth with this asinine statement.

Let's look a little deeper though. What makes a 10 win team? Well, to start, let's examine to see the teams that have been able to better than double their previous season's win total in the past 5 years. I know you're thinking, "Jed, that would only get the Lions to 7" and you're right. But just humor me.

Teams that have been able to better than double their previous season's win total since 2002:

--2006 Baltimore Ravens (6 wins in '05, 13 in '06).
--2006 New York Jets (4 in '05, 10 in '06)
--2006 Houston Texans (2 in '05, 6 in '06)
--2006 New Orleans Saints (3 in '05, 10 in '06)
--2005 Miami Dolphins (4 in '04, 9 in '05)
--2005 Chicago Bears (5 in '04, 11 in '05)
--2005 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5 in '04, 11 in '05)
--2004 San Diego Chargers (4 in '03, 12 in '04)
--2004 Atlanta Falcons (5 in '03, 11 in '04)
--2004 Pittsburgh Steelers (6 in '03, 15 in '04)
--2003 Cincinnati Bengals (2 in '02, 8 in '03)

So, there's some precedent here, 11 teams in the past 5 years. Again, going with this hypothesis this would only get the Lions to a minimum of 7 wins. But why have the teams listed above had such a turnaround? The first reason will not sit well with Jon Kitna.

1. Seven teams on the list had a different quarterback take the majority of the snaps during the turnaround. Whether due to inury, trades, drafts, or any combination thereof, the 2006 Ravens (Kyle Boller--Steve McNair), 2006 Jets (Brooks Bollinger--Chad Pennington) 2006 Saints (Aaron Brooks--Drew Brees), 2005 Bears (Chad Hutchinson--Kyle Orton), 2005 Bucs (Brian Griese--Chris Simms), 2005 Falcons (Doug Johnson, Michael Vick), and the 2004 Steelers (Tommy Maddox--Ben Roethlisberger) have all benefited from a new man under center.

2. Of the four remaining teams, two had new head coaches. The 2006 Texans, who moved from Dom Capers to Gary Kubiak, and the 2003 Bengals who moved from Dick LeBeau to Marvin Lewis (with Jon Kitna as quarterback) have both benefited from different coaching systems.

3. One team had both. The 2005 Dolphins had a new quarterback, moving from AJ Feeley to Gus Frerotte, and changed head coaches, as Nick Saban took over for Dave Wannstedt.

4. This leaves the 2004 San Diego Chargers. This is the only team on the list that is comparable to the 2007 Lions, assuming that Kitna stays healthy and is actually the quarterback of record to make good on his prediction. In 2003, the Chargers defense ranked 31st in points allowed, and 27th in yards allowed. In 2004, the Chargers' D virtually halved both of those numbers, ranking 11th in points allowed, and 16th in yards allowed. The 2007 Lions have a chance to do the same thing considering last year they ranked 30th in points allowed, and 27th in yards allowed... almost exactly the same. That San Diego team also benefited greatly from the emergence of TE Antonio Gates as another viable receiving option, a role in which the 2007 Lions could turn to Calvin Johnson to fill. So, can the 2007 Lions duplicate the the success of the 2004 Chargers, if given the fact that their defense could make a significant jump, and another receiving threat could emerge in the form of Gates? No. Here's why.

Oh yeah, that Ladanian Tomlinson guy was running for the Chargers. In 2003, the year they won 4 games, LT ran for 1683 yards. In 2004, he ran for 1335 yards, some 300 yards less. Last year, Kevin Jones led the Lions with 689 rushing yards. He has never out-gained LT in a single season in yards, let alone any running back in his own division. And if you think the key to the Lions winning is having their leading rusher running for 300 yards less than 689 yards... well you just may be smart enough to make Jon Kitna-like guarantees.

Oh, and even if all of this does work, remember, it only guarantees them seven wins.


The State of TSE - The Stupidity Stops Here.

The following is the first in a sporadic series of "State of TSE" posts that we will do in order to help moderate the goings on of this blog. This post is authored by Ghost of Carl Monday.

In case you haven't noticed (and judging by your attendance, you haven't) there's been quite an argument going on between The Sports Elitists, et. al. and some commenters and I, as one of the contributors to this site, would like to address this. I do not speak for Jed or Paul but I know they have my back in what is about to be typed.

This site exists for the sole purpose of providing a forum for our own brand of sports commentary and analysis and the posts, in most cases, typically reflect genuine views on different aspects of the sports world as well as our own hysterical brand of humor. The opinions voiced herein are just those: opinions. We like to think that our reader(s) can distinguish when we are kidding around and when we are writing meaningful (we hope) analysis.

That said, when Jed posted about Brett Bielema a week ago, it was meant as the latter, while his post about Wisconsin sucking out loud was mainly a stab at humor (though he stands by and on his words). Since then, the commenters on this site have taken up a jihad against all of us for our opinions.

We're big boys here at TSE and we can take whatever the hell you want to dish at us but do us a favor and save your energy trying to attack us on any level grammatically, socially, educationally or otherwise. You will not win. We will never moderate comments on this site* but if you think you can be the biggest bully in the blogosphere on this site then save your time and effort. You won't be. For the most part, if you are going to comment on the content of an entry, we appreciate that and will generally respond in kind. But if not, then you can promptly find a rope and piss up it. We do not have time to suffer fools here.

Just so you know.

(*unless more people from Wisconsin decide to comment here) more...

The Suspicious Death of Chris Benoit and Family.

I've been an on-and-off fan of the WWE since it was the WWF. In my history as a fan I have seen many classic matches, the rise and fall of innumerable wrestlers and the merger that brought WCW, ECW and WWE into one huge family of sports entertainers.
Pro wrestling has always been entertaining to me, even with the knowledge that it is all staged and whatnot. It has been continually fun to watch throughout the last 10 years. But yesterday, the entertainment and fun took a back seat. WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and his son were found dead in their Atlanta house yesterday afternoon. From

Details of the deaths "are going to prove a little bizarre" when released to the public, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Autopsies were scheduled Tuesday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in DeKalb County. Authorities were investigating the deaths at a secluded Fayette County home as a murder-suicide and were not seeking any suspects.
The ongoing speculation is that Benoit killed his wife, then his son then himself, all a day apart over the weekend. Authorities found the bodies at the residence yesterday afternoon and said that guns did not play a role in the killings. Benoit joins the list of recently-passed wrestlers, including The British Bulldog, The Big Bossman and Owen Hart.

To say the whole situation is "going to prove a little bizarre" is like saying that Tiger Woods is a decent golfer; it doesn't do justice to what the reality is. What could posses a man to kill his wife one day, his son the next and then himself the day after is utterly beyond me probably beyond any reasonable person. And to do it without guns reeks of something a whole other kind of bad. Personally, my best guess is that it was depression and/or roid rage, a side effect of the performance enhancing drugs Benoit and every other pro wrestler is almost certainly on. I could be completely wrong but that's the only explanation that makes sense to me right now.

Update: Yeah, Benoit killed his wife and kid and self, all about a day apart. I originally had "RIP" up here but how can anyone wish an RIP to a child murderer? Forget how fucked up he must've been, I just can't do that. I do hope that this incident is the one that finally rains shit on the WWE and gets steroids the hell out of the "sport" before something like this happen es again. more...

The Morning After on TSE - 6.26.2007

Christ, I'm hungover. Why would someone sell pitchers of delicious beer for only $5.00? That's crazy talk.

Anyway, I don't have much to talk about on the order of sports this morning but keeping with a Wimbledon theme (once again, Paul, writing about what the people want to read..just kidding...but not really) I thought I'd post some pictures of who I think is going to win the Women's side of things.

Yes, friends, that is Serena Williams. Man do I love me some that. (Wth Leather gets the picture credit)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wimbledon is on the Right Track

One of the big stories being bandied about by ESPN during their coverage of Wimbledon on opening day so far has been the fact that the All England Club has, for the first time ever, decided to award equal pay to both men's and women's players. Let me begin by saying that I am all for this change and am surprised it took this long for it to happen.

Sorry, Roger, but you are just too good.
From a strict popularity basis, it's long overdue. For the past four years or so the ATP has been absolutely pulverized, clay court matches nonwithstanding, by a one-man wrecking crew known as Roger Federer. It seems a bit counter-intuitive as dynasties usually bring more attention to sports due to their polarizing nature, but that hasn't been the case with Federer. One reason may be that Federer is too dominant; he has won 79% of his tournament finals appearances ever and since 2004, the year in which he assumed the world #1 ranking, he is 277-20 in singles matches. That's 93 freaking percent. After a while it gets boring to keep watching the same guy win. Tiger Woods doesn't even finish in the top five 93% of the time.

Federer also fails to be polarizing (read: interesting) because he's not really a charismatic guy. Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras... these guys were all charismatic in that they were either likable or outrageous -- whatever you want to call it, they got you to watch. While Federer is buddies with Tiger, it'd be more appropriate if he were friends with Vijay Singh granted his demeanor (that is, if Vijay ever won anything anymore... but why let facts get in the way of a fun analogy?).

I digress. (Shock!)

You say you wouldn't want to see two more sets per match of Ana Ivanovic? I say you're a liar.

The women's side, on the other hand, is constantly filled with story lines and intrigue. From tournament to tournament you never know who is going to win. Will it be Serena Williams? Venus Williams? Maria Sharapova? Justine Henin? Amelie Mauresmo? Martina Hingis? Ana Ivanovic? (Oh please, God, let it be Ana Ivanovic.) Real competition, interesting marketable personalities, aesthetics... there are a million reasons why more people are watching the ladies (Dot-dot-dot? No? Okay.) swing the racket than the fellas. However you want to quantify it, the surging popularity of the WTA--particularly in Grand Slams--has more than earned the women equal pay during the last fortnight of June.

Honestly, though, I don't think that Wimbledon--or any other Grand Slam for that matter--should stop there. I think that not only should the women be given equal pay, I think they should be given equal time. That's right, sports fans, I think the women should play best-of-five-set matches. Think about it:
  • The TV networks get more sustained ratings for their tennis broadcasts
  • The women get further credibility for their claim that their game is just as good as the men's
  • The men get solace from the fact the women will have to work just as hard as they do for the money
  • The tournaments get fewer upsets with 5-set matches, ensuring the best players matched up in the later rounds
  • I get another hour-plus of tennis the next time there's a Sharapova-Ivanovic match
Everybody wins!!

I'm telling you it's the next logical step in the evolution of tennis, people! more...

This should make everyone happy

Let's start with the rumored four team trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves, LA Lakers, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics:

Lakers get: Kevin Garnett

Pacers get: Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum

Celtics get: Jermaine O'Neal

T'Wolves get: No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft (Celtics), Al Jefferson

First of all, this trade would never happen as you see it typed, because there are no expiring contracts in the mix here, and, by rule, there always has to be one expiring contract in a trade (ok, not really but it seems like it, and there's reason that teams do it-- primarily because it clears a boatload of cap room the following season). Also, I agree with the point that Chad Ford made, that there is no way that the Celtics would part with Al Jefferson to get O'Neal, considering that Jefferson could very well put up better numbers than O'Neal this upcoming season. So, that takes the Celtics out, which pretty much collapses the whole trade since that number 5 pick is kind of the lynch pin.

But, we are in the dog days of summer, so let's pretend that this trade could go through. Why would the Lakers do it? Kobe Bryant is doing his best Veruca Salt (I want help NOW!). This is the same guy who ran Shaq out of town, who at one point had to have a conversation with Jerry Buss saying that he could carry this team, that he wanted to be the man. What have we learned? Kobe cannot be the man, he can't. People want to talk about how Kobe has no help? Well, there was a guy by the name of Lebron James who has had ZERO help who led his team to the NBA Finals. I don't care if it was in the Eastern Conference, if you swap Lebron and Kobe, Lebron goes further in the West with the Lakers than Kobe does with the Cavs. Period, and I'll stand on that. Kobe is the NBA's Terrell Owens, with all necessary apologies to TO, who has never faced a rape charge. Kobe being TO is a whole other article in itself, but just take a gander at the two and tell me there aren't similarities.

So, while Garnett clearly needs a new home, so does Kobe. There needs to be a certain level of accountability that the Lakers hold Kobe to: he forced his team to trade one of the top 5 centers of all time on the promise that he could deliver the goods without him. Since then? Shaq has won a ring, and Kobe hasn't gotten out of a series in the West. Hey, I just had a great idea!

Trade Kobe Bryant for Kevin Garnett.

Now, now before you call me a genius, let me give you more reasons to think so:

1. The money works
so this isn't just a pie in the sky deal. KG makes 21 Mil a year for the next three years, Kobe 17 mil for the next 4.

2. It works for LA
, because you get a low post giant who can help young guys like Bynum and Kwame Brown develop. Plus, you get a guy who is a proven teammate that will let Lamar Odom get his shots and-- get this-- even CREATE some for him! This team would be a little green in the back court, but with the dearth of players you have in the front court, you could easily make a trade for someone with players like Luke Walton, Vald Radmanovic, and Chris Mihm suddenly extremely expendable.

3. It works for Minnesota,
because if there's one kind of teammate that can deal with Kobe Bryant, it's young, talented players: ones that will allow him to run the show, and attempt to benefit from every opportunity they can get to prove to him their worth. Randy Foye is a good young player, not to mention the talent that they will bring in the draft on Thursday. Minnesota is thin in the front court, but so what? Kobe is used to dealing with that.

4. It shuts everyone up,
Kobe gets a fresh start to attempt to be "the man" in a situation comparable to the one he is in now, and Jerry Buss will finally get a superstar who just wants to win, and will do anything to do so.

Will it happen? Probably not. But, it makes more sense than you think, and personally, I would love to see Kobe get another shot, because if there's anyone who knows how much a supporting cast means to a superstar, it's Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale.

What is getting into Griffey?

On the heels of his homecoming weekend in Seattle, Ken Griffey, Jr. reminded us of something: he can still play. He can still play because, finally, for the first time since he left Seattle, he is healthy, and he still has a lot of get up and go in his game. Thru Sunday, he has 21 home runs and 49 RBIs in 70 games, putting him well on his way to career highs in all three categories with the Reds. He is second thru Sunday in All-Star voting among NL outfielders, and the move to right field might add at least one more year to his career.

Health is a big reason he's playing well, but there's something else. Having the opportunity to spend the summer with the Cincinnati Reds last year, I observed a lot of things, some of which I cannot discuss here. One of the more glaring memories I have of last summer was the one day when a reporter asked Junior if he would ever consider moving to right field, to make way for a quicker, more instinctive Ryan Freel. This was not something to ask him at any time, but definitely not before the team was to take batting practice. Usually when Griffey fields a question from a reporter, he would give an answer that was off-color and hysterical, and then answer the question with something they could use. He did neither in addressing the move to right field, instead he proceeded to take 20 straight minutes of batting practice. It was like nothing I had ever seen.

Billy Hatcher, the Reds' first base coach who usually throws Griffey BP, had to turn over the duties about halfway in, to bench coach Bucky Dent. What this said to me was that Griffey just wants to be appreciated. When you think about it, even though he has been injured, Junior has really been lost in the shuffle of superstars, unlike any other superstar that has preceded him.

This off season the Kid finally agreed to the move to right, and allowed other players, (Ryan Freel and Josh Hamilton) to play center. I can only imagine this has been a huge weight off of his shoulders, and his numbers are proving it. On a team like the Reds, there isn't that much to cheer about this year, besides the resurgence of this still legendary Kid, who is finally getting some of that appreciation back with the media and the fans, something I think should have never left his side. If he keeps playing this well, he could force a trade away from the Reds before the trade deadline this year:
This would never happen if George Steinbrenner were still alive. Much thanks to the Boston Dirt Dogs for their photoshop abilities.

Marion Jones needs someone to make it rain on her.

Finally! Marion Jones and I have something in common besides our dashing good looks. The LA Times, covering her continual judicial problems (assorted lawsuits, the BALCO stuff and others) found a bank statement on public record that has her down to $2,000. More here, from

Last year a bank foreclosed on her $2.5-million mansion in an area of Chapel Hill, N.C., where Michael Jordan was a neighbor. She was also forced to sell two other properties, including her mother's house, to raise money.

Jones' financial woes were revealed in a 168-page deposition in a breach-of-contract suit she filed in Dallas against veteran track coach Dan Pfaff. Pfaff countersued and won a judgment against Jones for about $240,000 in unpaid training fees and legal expenses.

As another of the wealth-less Americans in this great country, I feel for Jones, who used to be incredibly wealthy, at least by women's track and field standards. I need all my fingers and toes to count the times that someone else has had to pay my bar tab or electric bill (in that order, of course). But in today's economy, there are plenty of ways to make good money without really trying or, you know, selling your Mom's house and whatnot. Some suggestions:

1. Sell your 5 medals from the Sydney Games on eBay. Always a good, quick money maker. This Archery gold medal from the 1972 games is priced to move at $300 and I'm sure you could get more for one of yours.

2. Motivational Speaking. Seriously good money in this "industry", even for currently disgraced, former Olympians. It would even allow you to tell your side (and only your side, a plus) of the story: how Victor Conte defamed your character, how you and steroids never did get together and, most importantly, how your ex-husband C.J. Hunter divorced you even though, at 330 lbs, you were happy to get out of the marriage after weeks of "him-on-top-crushing-your-soul-and-liver" sex. The list goes on and on.

3. Hooking. You still have some cute left in you. You can probably parlay that into a quick, $30 Cleveland Steamer if you tried.

Anyway, best of luck to Marion. If you're ever in the Columbus area and, you know, you go ahead with suggestion #3, look me up.

But I can only pay with a credit that okay?

The Morning After on TSE - 6.25.2007

In what was billed as the match-up of potential All-Star starters and Cy Young favorites, Jake Peavy and Josh Beckett squared off yesterday afternoon in one hell of a game at PetCo Park in San Diego. We're obviously in the post-game here and the Red Sox came out as your winners, taking 2/3 from the NL West-leading Padres and building their lead in the AL East above 10 games for the first time since A-Rod cheated on his wife. Beckett was brilliant in 8 innings, mixing in his fastball with his curveball (a welcome change, if you're a Sox fan) and got out with his MLB-leading 11th win.

All this talk about great pitching got me thinking: It's been quite a year for pitching in Major League Baseball. At press, there are 10 pitchers with 9 wins or more. There are 11 pitchers with ERA under 3.00. Felix Hernandez, Curt Schilling, and most recently Dustin McGowan have all thrown complete game one-hitters. The icing on that cake has been Mark Buehrle and Justin Verlander, who have thrown the only no-hitters of the year.

And it's not as if offense is down this year. A-Rod and Prince Fielder are both above 25 dingers, 18 players have 50 or more RBIs and 37 players are batting above .300. Sammy Sosa hit his 600th home run, Griffey, Jr. is going to do it later in the season and Frank Thomas is one away from jacking number 500. And it goes without saying that Barry Lamar Bonds is going to break the all-time mark in the very near future (and I'm okay with that). All told, this may be one of the most statistically excellent years in recent baseball history on both sides of the ball (if one can use that metaphor for baseball).

The NBA Draft is coming up this week so I imagine that will take up a lot of space on this small portion of the Internets. Enjoy.