Saturday, July 07, 2007

Who's Now in a good way, besides Barry Bonds.

Here's the problem with "Who's Now." I know, I know, all of you love it so much, because over 140,000 of you voted Peyton Manning more Now over Amanda Beard. But, unfortunately, there is a problem. It's not Who's Now, it's really What's Now. What is Now? For example if, your boss told you that he needed the report now, would you give it to him 32 days from when he required it? That is what ESPN is doing. It's hard to figure out who is Now when you're taking a month to do it. What if in a months time Amanda Beard signed a 10-day deal with the Yankees in which she batted .346 with 10 home runs and 25 rbi's. That would be pretty damn Now, way more now than Peyton Manning, who is currently doing nothing right Now.

Looking at the bigger picture, Peyton Manning is the opposite of Now. He will never be Now. As with some other people on the list, like Tiger Woods, or Tom Brady to name a few. There's a certain level of accomplishment that transcends Now. Now implies to me that this person is in the spotlight at this current moment for whatever reason, but will someday fade. Some sports figures will always be on our mind, just because they deserve to be. Now is not relevant to certain people, because anything they do will make them now. If Michael Jordan did something today, he would be in the news, because he is always Now, beyond Now.

Now, that being said, being Now according to ESPN just means being the most popular athlete. If ESPN really wanted to make this interesting, they would promise to devote coverage accordingly to the place in which these people finish. So, if Brady beats out Manning, you will get 5 minutes of Tom Brady coverage for every three minutes of Peyton Manning coverage. After all, he is Now, right? Since he's Now, I want to hear more about him. Peyton Manning should have been more Now, now, he's just not as Now as Brady, and he's going to have to live with it until ESPN wants to fill some time with a popularity contest.

And who does ESPN think they are kidding putting Barry Bonds as a five seed? Is there ANYONE more deserving of the Now title than him? He is the only person to my knowledge that has a team of ESPN reporters (led by Pedro Gomez), the only person who's at bats are always listed on the bottom line, the only person who's upcoming pitching matchups are shown after every highlight of the game he just finished.

Here's another thing about Now that chaps my ass. It should be called Who's Now in a good way. I don't care what you say, Michael Vick should be in the final four of Who's Now right now. Name me the last NFL QB that is at a crossroads in his career, attempting to prove to the whole world he can still play, while trying to combat an illegal dog-fighting federal indictment? Oh, but he can't be Now because that isn't a good reason to be Now. In fact, as I traveled to Page 2 yo research Who's Now, here were the top headlines that appeared on that page:

None are even up for being Now. There is no Now on this list to my knowledge. You know why? Neither do I, because these people and stories, according to ESPN, are Now. It is ESPN's responsibility to bring us Now, that's the idea of Sportscenter. I want to see what is going on...NOW. One single athlete is never Now, because Now is always moving, transitioning, rising and falling. Something could happen Now and make someone more Now than we ever could have known. That is the beauty of sport, that is the beauty of the unknown. This is just a popularity contest.

Sorry to burst your bubble. I'll go Now.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Is it 5pm yet?

a long day at the office

Unless you count that pesky year-long hiatus we took that spanned May 2006 through April of 2007, this was one of the laziest weeks in TSE's illustrious history. I blame the Wednesday national holiday and this being the slowest week in recorded sports history, save for a freakin' hot dog eating contest (that was awesome!). Look forward to some posting over the weekend and a full onslaught of goodness starting Monday morning. Until then, it's Friday, payday, just about 5pm and time for me to call it a day.

All the best, TSEers. more...

Profiles in Courage: Sergio Garcia

The following story is true and after a month of digging, has been confirmed by five separate people and the blog of one of the individuals involved.

Behind maybe Chris DiMarco, the best golfer on tour not to win a Major Championship has to be Sergio Garcia. He has always been a bit of a Streisand to me, but you can't knock his skill. At the end of May, Sergio put those skills on display at Jack's tournament in Dublin, Ohio - The Memorial. But by skills in this case, I don't mean his cut 5 iron from 180 yards out.

As a Columbus native, I have attended the tournament both on playing days and practice days and have a pretty good idea of what goes on during either. The men, they watch the golf; the drives off of 1, the approaches at 12 the finish at 18 and so fourth. The women, however, they watch the golfers. This story is about one of those women and the aforementioned Sergio Garcia.

I attended high school in Columbus, Ohio and among my legions of friends (kidding) is a girl named Sarah, currently a Junior at a college in Bloomington, IN. Sarah happened to be there at this year's edition of The Memorial with another mutual friend and while there, some interesting things transpired. She tells the story on her blog so I'll defer to her words:

Yesterday I got catcalled by a golfer that was hanging out by the caddyshack. Because that happens often with the caddies I justlooked and saw it was someone in Yellow pants. Later in the day I saw the player in in the yellow pants was actually Sergio Garcia, a very good golfer.
Now I know what you're thinking: so this broad followed around the Mich Ultra drinking Spaniard all day. Wrong. We fast forward to the next day.

Funny enough today while [a friend] and I were taking some wristbands back to our temp. office for the week we stopped by the putting green to watch Sergio putt
around. One thing led to another and SERGIO SENT OVER HIS CADDY TO ASK ME AND [my friend] TO DINNER. SERGIO GARCIA. He called and we told him if he was serious we would be game tommorrow. Obviously that was ok so I HAVE A DATE WITH SERGIO GARCIA. THE PRO GOLFER SERGIO GARCIA.

So Sergio Garcia went on a date with two college juniors he picked up at the practice putting green of The Memorial.

The story continues (and this is where the five confirmations come into play) and plays out fairly predictably: the heroine of our story went on to go home with El Guapo and proceeded to scissor kick all night long. For their sake, I won't reveal my sources (Sarah has yet to write about it on her blog, but I'm guessing that can't be too far off) but I trust them and they have all told me roughly the same version of the story, including the inevitable conclusion.

The morale of this story, of course is this: the next time Sergio seems like his mind is elsewhere while playing an important round of golf, chances are he's trolling for college ass in the galleries. more...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 7.5.2007

I have to hand it to ESPN. Even after Seaward nailed down 100 things to hate about the sports network to which we are all slaves (whether we want to be or not) they keep churning out new, better and more hateable things everyday. Let's have a nice, open-hearted discussion, then, about one of the worst things to happen to sports television since "Playmakers" got booted from the air (that's a long rant and beside the point so I'll digress):

Who's Now.

In the pantheon of things that are detestable, this must be displayed prominently toward the front. I'm all for alternative programming (well, not really, but humor me) however when ESPN started announcing this tournament, it peaked my interest, if only so I could see just how far down the network has fallen. For this "Who's Now" deal, ESPN has done the following:

- Created an entire set devoted to the 32-day competition.
- Hired somebody to record an "off-the-hook jam" as a theme song.
- Created an intro montage.
- Put Michael Smith, Keyshawn Johnson (really?) and Kirk Herbstreit (raise your hand if you were at his son's baptism...GoCM raises hand...count it) in a room with Stuart "Lazy Eyes" Scott for the "commentary" and "analysis".
- Bored the millions of ESPN watchers to tears of both hate and laughter with how stupid this whole monstrosity truly is.

I realize it is July 5th and the only thing going in the world of sports is baseball and Arena Football (go Destroyers! Beat Dallas!!) so ESPN really has to try to fill a 60-minute sports highlight show (and 90-minutes on Sunday nights). But there has to be something better than this. We're only 10 years removed from The Big Show with Dan and Keith and in those 10 years the greatest sports highlight show in history has turned into a pandering, promotional outlet for the sports stars of the world. There used to be in depth reporting and laugh-out-loud comedy in the daily sports wrap-up and here we are, in 2007, talking about Tiger Woods and Matt Leinart. Puh-lease.

I'm a loyal Sportscenter fan and while I hate what it's become, I will always turn it on in the mornings and evenings to catch up on what's going on in sports. But things like this make me want to try, in vain, to find something alternative to SC. What is the answer, you ask? Well I have no idea. That's why I'm sitting at a computer and blogging and not programming for the WWL. But if anyone has a better idea, it'll be welcome in the comments throughout the day. more...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pepper needs new shorts!

Richard Shea, you are a ridiculous human being.

I know this is probably the dominion of Awful Announcing, but I just can't resist. Every year, I like to take in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest on the Fourth of July. It's kinda silly to watch grown men feed their face on a sports-oriented television network... but it's kinda fun. BY FAR the best part of the competition is the booth. In this booth, Paul Page does the play-by-play for ESPN while Richard Shea does the color analysis. In case you're not one of those in-the-know competitive eating buffs, I should probably tell you that Shea is the president of the International Federation of Competitive Eating -- that's right, the league president is the analyst. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. (Any YouTubes from today's competition would be GREAT if anyone can locate them)

"Usually you have to pay double for that kind of action, Cotton."
Some of Shea's gems from today:
  • "If Chestnut wins, tomorrow if you Google 'hero'... 'American hero,' you'll find Abraham Lincoln, possibly Neil Armstrong, Taylor Hicks... and of course this man, Joey Chestnut!"
  • "It's like the Super Bowl and the World Series all rolled into one."
  • "This might be the greatest moment in the history of American sport!"
Taylor Hicks? Anyway...

You know what? I don't even feel like disputing Shea's charges. They are so awesomely ridiculous that I'm just laughing. I would've thought that maybe his analysis was the inspiration for the announcers so masterfully played by Gary Cole and Jason Bateman in Dodgeball, but I was surprised to find out that Dodgeball was released in June 2004, a few weeks before ESPN's first live telecast from Nathan's. So I guess not.

Nonetheless, on this Fourth of July, I say: Richard Shea, you are a great American.

Happy Fourth, kids. See you tomorrow! more...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

2007 BCS Conference Team Preview: West Virginia

As part of TSE's Countdown to College Football, TSE regular Joe Table Blew It will preview all of the BCS conference teams: The Big XII, Big 10, ACC, SEC, Big East, Pac-10, and Notre Dame. This post focuses on West Virginia University, who will attempt to overcome the underdogs and make it back to the BCS.

The Mountaineers were riding high coming in to the 2006 college football season. They had just come off an amazing BCS victory over Georgia, and were entering the second year of the Pat White/ Steve Slaton era in Morgantown. The 2006 season though was a bit of a disappointment. Losses to an injured Louisville team and a surprise loss to South Florida at home put the 'Neers title hopes on hold for another year. Can the third year of the one-two punch jab their way to New Orleans?


There's no question that quarterback Patrick White has an immense amount of talent. Last year, he combined for close to 3,000 all-purpose yards and 31 touchdowns. The question this year is can he become more of a traditional quarterback? Rich Rodriguez has him in the spread offense, which should provide him with a host of receivers running anywhere from 5 to 25 yard routs. White will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his arm strength, and, to take this team to the next level, he has to. Steve Slaton will be more than capable of handling the load at running back, as he proved last year with his 1800 yard performance, virtually splitting the carries with White. These two have the opportunity to be front and center at the Downtown Athletic Club if they can manage to share the stage effectively. Darius Reynaud returns as the leading wideout on a team that needs some help from it's receivers. If White is going to throw more, which he can, he needs more of his wideouts to run better routes on a more consistent basis. Look, West Virginia can very easily run four wide at any time, and did last year, but part of the problem as to why White didn't throw it was sloppy rout running. White completed his passes last year at a 65% clip. His confidence from playing another year combined with the concentration of his receivers could make this a dangerous--balanced-- offense. The offensive line must recover from the loss of position coach Rick Trickett who departed for Florida State this year. Trickett was an amazing coach that made you hate him during practice, but was always focused on getting the absolute best out of you. I experienced his teaching first-hand for a week when my high school team went to WVA football camp in 2001. Coach Trick is old school, and will be missed in Mountain country.

The benefit of playing a 3-3-5 odd stack as your base is that most teams still don't know how to defend it. The setback? You need 5 quality defensive backs every season to pull it off. WVA has had mixed success with this formation that relies heavily on the roving corner, who sometimes plays like an outside linebacker. The front six can be as good as they want (they aren't very) bout if the Mountaineer secondary gives up 250 yards a game through the air as they did last year, it could be another season of disappointment in Morgantown. Fifth year senior Eric Wicks is the only model of consistency in the secondary, and could be the undoing of an otherwise talented team.

If someone can get this team to play some D, Slaton and White should take this team the rest of the way. West Virginia has once again scheduled nobody outside of their conference this year so, once again, the Big East is their conference to lose. The best this team can do though is win their conference, they really have no business playing with the big boys, especially this year. Expect the 'Neers to make a BCS Bowl, but not the Big One.

Happy 4th of July

I would like to offer my apologies for my lack of posting today and yesterday.  I took the day off work Monday and actually had to do work today at...wherever it is I I was unable to slack off, blog and get paid to do it (ah, the benefits of having access to the Internets at a place of business). Thanks to Seaward for taking care of that today.  

In response to one commenter, I will return with a new TMA on Thursday morning (taking tomorrow off, too, because it's a holiday and I'm lazy).  Apparently this commenter, let's call him JT Blew It, no, that's too obvious...let's call him Joe Table BI...wants facts and research in the daily TMA post.  So starting Thursday, expect a brand new edition of TMA filled with facts, news and everything else, while staying away from blatantly ripping off (replace baseball with college football and you'll get the idea).  

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

2007 BCS Conference Team Preview: USC

As part of TSE's Countdown to College Football, TSE regular Joe Table Blew It will preview all of the BCS conference teams: The Big XII, Big 10, ACC, SEC, Big East, Pac-10, and Notre Dame. This post focuses on the University of Southern California, and their attempt to solidify their place as the college football dynasty of the 2000's.

It is hard to imagine that a school that has produced two national championships, five straight PAC-10 titles, three Heisman trophy winners and countless numbers of NFL stars could be looking at their best team in a decade. Believe it or not, but the Trojans are ready to prove that it is true.


Quarterback John David Booty is ready to go to another level. His level last year was completing 61% of his passes, and trowing for 29 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. At any other school in 50 years, they would have a statue out in front of the stadium for that kind of performance, but at USC, it isn't even good enough to make him the second best quarterback in the past decade. He must win the Heisman this year to be considered in the same light as Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, and he has an amazing chance to do so. Just look at the talent he has surrounding him. Here's the deal: USC is 10 deep at running back. 10 deep. One-zero. The number 8 and 9 running backs on this depth chart are Joe McKnight and Marc Tyler, the two best running backs in last years High School class, Tyler the former teammate of Notre Dame prized recruit Jimmy Clausen at Oaks Christian HS in California. Let's just say Clausen has a better chance to see the field this year than his former teammate. If there is weakness to this offense, it is the wide receiver position, where junior Patrick Turner and sophomore Vidal Hazelton attempt to replace Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith. To be honest, the Trojans could have Vidal Sassoon lined up at split end and I would trust that he would catch at least 40 balls. Big tight end Fred Davis returns at the teams leading receiver, hoping to improve on his 10 yard receiving average from last year. The O-Line is solid, with All-American Sam Baker leading the front five. The main reason this line is so good is because the skill players at USC are so fast, that sustaining their blocks is something that is easier for them to do than throwing down three double cheeseburgers.

It is hard to describe how good this defense will be this year. First of all, it only loses one starter (Dallas Sartz) from a defense that played pretty tough last year, despite injuries that decimated their secondary. The d-line returns in tact, and has a chance to boast three first team All-Americans. Lawrence Jackson, Sedrick Ellis, and Fili Moalahave a reputation of punshing the quarterback, knowing that they have a lot of help behind them in case they can't get to him. Well, they can. The pair of Ellis and Jackson have a combined 20 sacks in their career, a stat that might get overlooked, except by opposing quarterbacks. The Trojan linebackers are even better. The best unit in the country features Brian Cushing, moving back to his natural position taking over for the departed Sartz, Ray Maualuga, and Keith Rivers. Never before has a front seven of any team ever had such talet at every position. In fact, take your favorite college football team's front seven from the past 10 years, and mix and match the players to make the best front seven. You take them, I'll take the 2007 Trojans. The secondary is finally healthy, and if any quarterbacks do happen to get off a pass, they will be there to defend it. This is probably the fastest secondary this side of LSU, but definitely the most bettle tested in the country. This defense has a very realistic chance to go down as the best ever in college football.

It's hard for me to predict that USC will not win the National CHampionship, so I won't. The PAC-10 is better this year than it was last, but USC is just an absolute giant this year in the PAC-10, and in the landscape of college football in general. The two non-conference road tests will come against Nebraska and Notre Dame, but don't expect either of these games to be within 20 points. USC will win the National Championship this year, and if they don't--well--it could be the end of the magic in SoCal.

The Morning After on TSE - 7.3.2007

The Ghost is just that this morning, so I'll be providing your Morning After goodness here today... which in and of itself is pretty amusing granted I'm hosting the show of same name at the same time.

Anyway, Yi Jianlian is kind of a dick.

His "people" are kind of dicks too, when you think about it. I really can't get down with their insisting that Yi go to a city with what they consider to be a strong Asian-American population. First of all, what constitutes a strong population? Straight numbers? Percentages? Density? It's pretty subjective, if you ask me. Presuming Yi was, at the absolute worst, a top 9 pick, let's take a look at the percentage of Asian-Americans (according to 2005 census estimates) in the cities with picks 3-9 in the draft, since it was nigh-impossible for Yi to be selected by Portland or Seattle:
  • Atlanta - 2.93%
  • Memphis - 1.46%
  • Boston - 7.52%
  • Milwaukee - 3.60%
  • Minneapolis - 5.80%
  • Charlotte - 3.41%
  • Chicago - 4.33%
What were they expecting at this segment of the draft, really? None of these cities, save for MAYBE Boston (who traded their pick anyway), have what many would consider a "strong Asian-American population." Look, if they didn't want to go to Milwaukee or Charlotte or something, just say, "We don't want to go to Milwaukee or Charlotte."

But now what? Is he going to hold out? I don't ever remember anyone even threatening to do so to force a trade except for maybe Steve Francis with the Grizz. Do Yi's people really want their guy to be regarded, attitude-wise, as a 7'0" Steve Francis? Probably not.

Look, Yi, you wanted to to be in the NBA, so you've got to follow the rules for getting in at age 19. If you want to be able to pick and choose what teams can sign you, go play in China for a few years and come over as a free agent once Milwaukee's rights to you expire. In lieu of that, quit feigning sadness and sign on the dotted line with the Bucks. more...

Monday, July 02, 2007

2007 BCS Conference Team Preview: Ohio State

As part of TSE's Countdown to College Football, TSE regular Joe Table Blew It will preview all of the BCS conference teams: The Big XII, Big 10, ACC, SEC, Big East, Pac-10, and Notre Dame. This post focuses on Ohio State University, and their attempt to win three straight Big 10 Championships.

The big question last year in Columbus was could Ohio State replace their vaunted defense from 2005? That question was quickly and often answered, as the defense was a big reason why the Buckeyes were competing for a National Championship last January. The question this year? Can Ohio State replace their vaunted offense from 2006? If they can, they could be looking at another trip to the biggest BCS Bowl. That is a huge if.

Quarterback is as good of a place to start as any, as Todd Boeckman, after waiting patiently for four years, finally gets his crack at running Jim Tressel's offense. Boeckman threw a total of three passes last year, and he will be responsible not only for replacing a Heisman Trophy winner, but effectively managing a slower, more methodical, more Tressel style of offense. He will be handing the ball off to a duo of Wells, the starter being Chris "Beanie" Wells. This kid is much bigger than the man he is replacing (Antonio Pittman), and is not afraid to take a hit. The Buckeyes will have a pro-style running game when they employ Maurice Wells to do some outside rushing and pass catching. These two backs should provide a nice backfield attack for a quarterback who could benefit from reliable pass catchers and down field runners behind him. The receiving corps lost three of its men from last year to the NFL draft, two of them going in the first round. What remains is Brian Robiskie, who thrived being the third option last year for Ohio State, but can he bring that same playmaking ability to the number one split end position? Sophomore Ray Small will take over at flanker, but the real gem of this group could be Rory Nichol, the tight end. Boekman will not employ the natural arm strength and instinct that Troy Smith had, which could mean a lot of checks on his progression. This translates for a lot of catches for the tight end. Can Nichol step up? The offensive line is the one unit on this offense that should be pretty stable, as Alex Boone, Kirk Barton, and Steve Rehring return to a stout (save the Florida game) offensive line. All three of these guys are over 300 pounds, and at least 6'6". Wow. Boone and Barton have a shot at being first team All-Americans, and they make up the best bookend tackles in the NCAA this year.

The question mark of 2006 has straightened into an exclamation point in 2007. Leading tackler and interceptor James Laurinaitis was the well deserved winner of the Nagurski award, and should have no problem leading the Buckeye linebackers once again. Another All-American candidate is on the defensive line, as Vernon Gholston looks to improve on his 8.5 sacks last season without his partner in crime, the departed Quinn Pitcock. The secondary also features an All-American candidate in Malcolm Jenkins, the junior that had 4 picks last year. He should be solid, the real question is can another Glenville stand out, Jemario O'Neal can be a playmaking saftey, in the great tradition of defensive secondary stars at Ohio State. Another newcome to keep an eye on is Larry Grant. He is replacing John Kerr, and turned some serious heads in OSU's spring game this year.

Ohio State could not have picked a worse year for a semi-rebuliding year, because the Big Ten is loaded. However, there seems to be no such thing as a rebuilding year in Columbus anymore , just a reversion to the famed "Tressel ball" where the offense will simply try to control the ball and avoid mistakes. One thing is for certain: the Buckeyes defense will keep them in every game this year. Another benefit to the Bucks this year is that they should have a pretty easy road all the way through to the last week of October. Then, the heavy lifting begins. At Penn State, Wisconsin at home, Illinois (who gave the Bucks all they wanted last year), and then up to Ann Arbor to face the Wolves. On paper, PSU, Wisco, and Michigan seemingly have better teams than OSU, but no team is better coached, and I predict that no team is hungrier. This team is creepily similar to the 2002 team, and all of the pundits will regret ranking this team fourth in the Big Ten. They may not win the Big Ten title this year, but I wouldn't bet against Jim Tressel in the Big Ten, either.

2007 BCS Conference Team Preview: Florida

As part of TSE's Countdown to College Football, TSE regular Joe Table Blew It will preview all of the BCS conference teams: The Big XII, Big 10, ACC, SEC, Big East, Pac-10, and Notre Dame. This post focuses on The University of Florida, and their attempt to repeat as National Champions.

Florida really knew the right way to celebrate their 100th season of playing football: they beat the unbeatable Ohio State Buckeyes 41-14 to win their second National Championship in school history. The win came as a huge surprise to the majority of college football, but not to the Gainesville faithful, who believed that Urban Meyer would deliver, and deliver he did. Now, what can he give the Swamp for an encore?

The Gators will have to start their repeat bid by replacing the backfield--sort of. Part-time quarterback Tim Tebow, who was used exclusively last year in short yardage situations, will now be the full-time starter, replacing Chris Leak who is moving on to the NFL. Leading rusher DeShawn Wynn is also gone, leaving Tebow as not only the top returning passer, but rusher as well. Junior running back Kestahn Moore is slated to replace Wynn, and the junior is your typical Florida running back: undersized (5-10, 208). Replacing the receiving corps will also be another challenge to Meyer's spread offense, losing two of his three top gaining receivers from last year's squad, Dallas Baker and Jemalle Cornelius. The good thing about replacing these two guys is that in a perfect spread offense, the ball is evenly distributed to various receivers. Andre Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, and the electric Jarred Fayson will be the ball-catchers this year, and should fit right in to the system Coach Meyer has perfected. There should be no questions on the offensive line, probably the strongest unit of this Florida offense. The unit is returning four out of five starters, with Senior Drew Miller switching from guard to center this year. Seniors Phil Trautwein, Carlton Medder, and Junior Jim Tartt join Miller as returning starters on Florida's stout O-Line.


This side of the ball will determine how good Florida can be this year. The biggest issue is right up front, where the Gators have to replace Troy Smith's favorite defensive end Jarvis Moss, along with three other starters. The linebackers are all new as well, as Earl Everett and Brandon Siler move on, sophomores Brandon Spikes and Dustin Doe will attempt to match their production of 50 tackles apiece. Probably the most difficult person to replace on this defense comes int he secondary. Reggie Nelson, the free safety who seemed to always be around the ball, will be the biggest position player that Florida will miss on either side of the ball this year. Nobody played the deep third better than he did in college football last year, and was one of the biggest reasons Florida was playing in the National Championship game. Senior Kyle Jackson has the unenviable task of replacing the prolific Nelson.

Even though Florida has to replace virtually all of their offensive and defensive playmakers, the Gators are the class of the SEC and have the potential to be that way for the foreseeable future. Urban Meyer's coaching is unmatched in one of the best coached conferences in college football. The true test of this team's will could be the back to back match ups against SEC West foes Auburn at home and LSU in the Bayou. With the SEC East being supremely less talented than Florida, these two games will be the best test of the revamped Gator offense and defense. I think Florida avenges their only 2006 loss by beating Auburn at home, but they lose to LSU on the road, and then again in the SEC Championship game. more...

End Fan Suffrage -- MLB Edition

Every year every sport (except football!) goes through a process of the fans voting on the starting lineups at their respective all-star games. This yearly song-and-dance nearly always ends in bad snub leading a national media outcry that the fans don't know dick. And you know if the national media says it, it must be true!!

Well here's the thing... this time it is true.

This year's example: Ivan Rodriguez

Yes, yes, I know that The Guy Who Stole Carlton Fisk's Nickname is one of the two best catchers over the past decade of baseball and is a future Hall of Famer, but that does not an all-star starter make. Even with Joe Mauer's injury, Rodriguez (call him I-Rod and I'll frigging kill you) has been the third, and possibly fourth, best catcher in the American League to this point in '07. Observe the stats as of this morning:

Ivan Rodriguez.280.293.444.7378433323.1%
Jorge Posada.336.405.525.9309
Victor Martinez.323.384.543.927146340
Kenji Johjima.300.340.468.808832

Posada and Martinez have numbers that are far and away better than Rodriguez's and you could make a strong case that Rodriguez over Johjima is an all-star snub in 2007. Rodriguez has a passable batting average at .280, but an on-base percentage under .300 and a sub-.750 OPS is flat-out unacceptable for an all-star (most all-stars usually have an OPS around .900).

"But his defense makes up for his offense," you say. It's a classic argument to defend Ivan Rodriguez. But this year the usually laser-armed Tigers catcher is only sixth in the AL for percentage of runners thrown out trying to steal at 23.1%. Even Martinez--previously inept in the Caught Stealing category--is ahead of him on the list, making it hard to maintain such an argument.

Obviously this is one of many cases where a combination of the silly fan vote combined with the archaic notion of representing every team at the all-star game is hurting the game's credibility. Look, if it's an exhibition game these things are fine... but if you're going to have the All-Star Game determine home field advantage in the freaking World Series... you need to absolutely have the best players in the All-Star Game. That starts with saying goodbye to the fan vote. more...

The Morning After on TSE - 7.2.2007

So I decided to take the morning off work.  So here's your TMA post.

Roger Federer is good at tennis and shit.

You get the idea.

More later.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

All aboard the new handle bandwagon!

Well, all the cool kids are doing it...

Seriously, it's silly of me to not fit in with the other two guys so I will henceforth be known on this site as "The Seaward." For those of you not up with Arrested Development... go rent the DVD's. Seriously. Don't come back until you've watched them.

[Reeeee-dacted] more...

My Summer Project: Tennis -- Part I

So every summer I try and set out one project for myself such as traveling to Greece (2000) or seeing the Hockey Hall of Fame (2006). This summer I have set myself a new goal: learn to play tennis. I've decided that in order to try and keep myself on task, I will update all of you TSE weekend faithful every Sunday of my progress toward this goal.

So here you go with update number one:


I don't have a racket yet.

With my wrist pretty messed up over the past two weeks I'm not really in any condition to actually swing a racket, but I should probably go get one anyway. I'll probably pick one up before Entourage tonight.

I did, however, make a big step in terms of the mental approach when I bought a hat like Andy Roddick's from Lacoste yesterday (Jimmy Connors sold separately, sadly). I think the hat will put me in the right frame of mind to play a Roddick-style game. That's right: pretty soon I, too, will be losing focus and getting upset in the second round of Grand Slam tournaments!


You can't put a price on that kind of mental toughness. Actually, you can: $27.99. Still... totally worth it.

Maybe by next week I'll have played a little bit. Stay tuned! more...