All these humanizing details tend to take the edge off the fact that Tebow’s entire role-model persona doesn’t work unless he can convey that, fundamentally, he’s better than you: stronger, more capable, more at peace, just basically happier. This is what the people who make fun of Tebow are skewering—his cult of personality. When Obama invited the Gators to the White House earlier this year, the sports blog Deadspin ran a picture of Tebow’s “steely-eyed Manshake” with the president under the cheeky headline our two greatest leaders make a pact to save the world.
But in Gainesville, in close quarters with 52,000 other students, where there’s already a statue of him, seven feet tall, carved from an oak tree—”Tim Treebow”—he’s universally adored. I try to find people to talk shit about him. I fail.
Ichiro! did an extensive interview last week and among other things talked about negativity and not getting fat. He’s probably my favorite active player and it’s not solely because he carries his bats in a briefcase.
A lot of people for a long time have thought that you can’t do this forever. A lot of people were thinking by now Ichiro would be a three hitter, he would be hitting 40 homeruns a year, but you can still do everything you did before. Are you in any way surprised that you are still doing these things and what is your reaction when people say Ichiro is going to move on and become this?
Probably for my style of baseball the key to maintaining it is not to get a gut.
As far as what other people say… The thing is a lot of people who comment about other people, especially people who say negative things about other people, they are not really in positions to be able to evaluate other people in the first place. If we input that information into ourselves more than necessary only negative things will come of that. So it is really about knowing yourself and not being controlled by people who have no value or say. I guess now that we have talked about this I guess you can say that is one key to where I am now is that I have not been swayed by what other people have said.
If you could trade places with anybody in the history of the game for one day who would you like to trade with and why?
(Becomes very animated)
There’s not really a certain who that comes to mind but I think I would like to become a really fat player. (Raucous laughter) Maybe not necessarily fat, but a really, really big player and the reason for that is when I see really, really big players able to perform in baseball I always think to myself how are they able to do that? Because I think to be able to be a good baseball player you have to be able to control your body and for them to have really big bodies and to perform well in this very difficult game of baseball, I am very curious.
Some other people say, ‘You are so small, how come you are able to perform on the baseball field?’ but to me it is only natural because with me I am able to control my movements and my body. For me it is the opposite. Big guys? How are you able to do it? That is a big mystery. (much laughter)
There is a rumor floating around that several Chargers were “partying” .. Saturday night and well into Sunday morning before the game. Can any of this be confirmed?
Regarding Marty, I thought he was just plain stupid. Push come to shove, I take Norv…but I wish he was our offensive coordinator. That is his destiny in life, and that’s ok.
…and Kaeding???The boy can’t seem to handle pressure in the play-offs,that scares me going forward because he’s so darn good in the regular season,how do you justify a switch?I can’t think of a good question,because honestly,I think we’re as good as any team out there,I’m just confused as heck by yesterdays game,GO BOLTS…ALL THE WAY IN ’10…God,I hate baseball season….
Thailand’s top footballers will receive free burgers as part of their new three-year, £545,000 sponsorship deal with the fast food giant McDonald’s.
According to the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), McDonald’s will provide £450,000 in cash and the rest in products in exchange for shirt sponsorship for the next three years, starting this month.
If I can read weird text correctly, I believe Botev pulled off a late 1-0 win, but it’s not the goals we’re interested in. No sir, it’s the rioting. Not only did players and backroom staff from both teams decamp to the pitch for some punching, shoving, and colourful language, but the fans in the stands got in on the act as well, setting fire to random bits of the stadium.
This is what I believe to be the first mention & link to a story about Larry Bird since this blog’s inception.
“The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid.” – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger may not have been referring to the Snuggie specifically in the quote above, but it certainly applies. Fewer products have been loved, mocked, and the subject of pub crawls as much as the Snuggie. And as much as I appreciate being able to answer a corded phone without removing my blanket or attending a sporting event dressed like a monk, I was not about to pay $20 for the privilege of doing so (free book light excluded).
These are all excellent questions: Why teach a bear to ice skate? Can a bear do a triple salchow? How does the bear skate–four legs or two? And why, given that it already has sharp claws and teeth, would anyone strap blades on a bear?
We called him back, but it was a crazy Mexican stand off. We said, “OK, we’ll consider it,” but he thought we were bluffing, then of course we thought he was bluffing. It took about three weeks for everyone to put their guns down and take each other seriously because time was ticking. He needed to get a band, and we had three weeks to convince each other we were serious and finally put our guns down and be serious about it.
Matt Taibbi is one of my favorite writers. This is too funny to be made up:
…apologize for the long absence, have been on some other stuff. Among other things dealing with a lot of disgruntled Cleveland Browns fans who are pissed that I compared Eric Mangini to Augustus Gloop, the pudgy kid who was drinking from the chocolate river without permission in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I thought Browns fans would find this funny, but apparently not. I got one letter from someone who expressed the feeling that if I were ever to have kids, he hoped “they would be born with Achondroplasia.” So I’m sitting there scratching my head, wondering what Achondroplasia is, and right on cue, two minutes later, he sends me a link to an X-ray picture of someone with the disease. I have to admit, I burst out laughing when I saw the picture — not because the disease is funny (it isn’t, not at all), but just because someone was feeling so crappy about their football team that they felt compelled to dig that horrifying thing up to send to some writer bashing their team. I mean, I totally understand the guy.
Whenever an innovation fails to result in a title, its unorthodoxy takes the hit; every time a football coach tries something unorthodox, he is blasted for not playing “the right way.” But all that “not playing the right way” means is that a coach is ignoring the eternal lie of football: the myth that everything done in the past is better than anything that could be invented in the present. As a result, the public arm of football — the conservative arm — bashes innovation immediately, even while adopting the principles it attacks. The innovators are ridiculed. And that kind of reaction is reassuring to fans, because it makes us feel like football is still the same game we always want to remember. It has a continuity of purpose. It symbolizes the same ideals and appeals to the same kind of person. It feels conservative, but it acts liberal. Everything changes, but not really.
This makes the Troy/FIU game look completely legitimate. There’s a video too.:
Here’s the setup — Going into the last day of the Maranhão State League second division season in Brazil yesterday, two clubs sat atop the league with the same number of points: Viana and Moto Club. On this decisive day, Viana hosted Chapadinha, a club they had a scoreless draw with the last time they played, and Moto Club took on Santa Quiteria. Both games were scheduled to take place at exactly the same time and both Viana and Moto needed a win to take the league title.
Everything went like normal until word reached Viana — who were up 2-0 on Chapadinha 35 minutes in the second half — heard that Moto Club were winning their match, too. Then things got a little fishy. And by that I mean Chapadinha players began to WALK OFF THE PITCH and as Viana proceeded to score nine goals in the final nine minutes of the match to win 11-0. A bit odd, no? I mean, watch the video above. It’s like watching someone play FIFA with the difficulty set to “special needs”.
I went 1-4 on SEC plays last week (ended up taking the under 44 in LSU/FLA as I was on tilt after near misses early in the day). I ended up breaking even on Saturday thanks to that and the Dodgers sweeping St. Louis, who I had @ +125 WITH home field advantage (Don’t the bookies have ESPN? Where every night/morning SportsCenter would lead off with highlights of Andre Either celebrating with his teammates at home plate with weekly walk-offs at Dodger Stadium? Am I missing something here?).
I however KILLED it on NFL this Sunday, going 5-0 and hitting all of my teasers, mostly thanks to Cincy (now known by Gus Johnson as the “Cardiac Cats!”, and yes, with the exclamation point) helping me complete not only the teasers I mentioned last week, but I also gambled it up with a 4 team teaser at +350 and hit that too. Hopefully I can keep the roll going. Here are some random thoughts on the week:
The Browns winning a game with only 2 completions has to now place the Bills as a lead nominee for “The Darwin Awards”. How can you only score 3 points, at home (granted with some of that swirling, crazy wind in Northern NY) against a team who not only is lacking in talent, but also smarts. Just take a look at this quote from Defensive Captain D’Qwell Jackson:
Browns linebacker and co-captain D’Qwell Jackson was among the most stunned by the Browns 0-3 start. “Every year I think we’re going to go 16-0, so I’m shocked that we’re 0-3.”
Poor form, Donnie Avery. Not only do you celebrate with a gay-ish dance after scoring a TD late in the 4th (which is OK I guess, the Rams will be lucky to score 10 TDs this year), down 31-3….you then push away your teammate (former Cowboys Hard Knocker) Danny Amendola, which can’t look good to your teammates, coaches, and the fans of the Rams. And Yes, I will blatantly admit I was giddy to type in the phrase, “Hard Knocker”, all week. Avery gets the Double Facepalm Player of the Week award.
Onto the picks:
Alabama/South Carolina Under 45
Big game in the SEC between two really good defensive teams, and two very vanilla offenses. Only offensive scare will be outstanding Alabama return man Javier Arenas versus a piss poor South Carolina special teams unit.
Jackonsville, -9.5, vs St. Louis.
Mo-Jones-Drew is pissed, St.Louis blows, is 0-5, and has no road TDs, they have the bad karma of Donnie Avery working against them, and Jacksonville is coming off a 41-0 loss @ Seattle. I always remember my dad saying, “Beware of the team that gets blown out a week before and is playing at home. They will play harder the week after, not only for pride, but if anything, to shut the coaches up from yelling at them in the meetings”.
Philly -14 @ Oakland
The aforementioned quote from my dad applies to professional, and even college, teams. Oakland is neither.
Bears @ Atlanta Over 46
This probably gets smashed around the 3rd quarter.
It comes down to this: As a franchise, what do you aspire to be? If “world champion” is your answer, you cannot tolerate or coddle role players who botch bunts, run the bases poorly and miss signs or cutoff men — brainless mistakes that cost you runs, and games, especially against the monsters of the American League East.
There was no vibe of trying or effort from the Raiders at all from a defensive standpoint against their offense. We’re getting three-and-outs. You don’t hear nobody [saying], ‘Hey, let’s go!’ trying to pick the guys up, rallying them, getting guys fired up. There was nothing. It was quiet. A guy gets sacked or somebody gets beat, they just get up. It’s not like there’s yelling or no kind of [emotion] about the way they were playing.
It was shocking to be out there in that game and get that kind of feeling.
Oakland is only getting two touchdowns at home to Philly on Sunday. There’s an argument that the bottom teams this year aren’t that bad. Try explaining that to this guy.
This week, UEFA are reported to be investigating [Rayo Vallecano], along with Las Palmas, as their Round 41 league tie from the previous season is on the governing body’s 40 game, match-fixing dodgy list.
UEFA are basing their suspicions on these ties on irregular betting patterns….
The match itself came at the tail end of the Spanish season and gave the Canary Islanders the point needed to survive in the Segunda A division and the Rayo goalkeeper the top stopper award.
Wednesday’s edition of Mundo Deportivo explains exactly what happened by reporting that “the game ended 0-0 with barely two shots on target and shouts of “friends forever” from the Las Palmas stands.”
If the investigation shows that match-fixing was involved in the affair then the punishment could be severe – in the “both squads spending the weekend with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading team” sense of the word.
Mundo Deportivo reports that any guilty party would receive no more than a three point deduction as a slap on the wrists.
And this is because sporting fraud isn’t a actually a crime in Spain.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit of all about Duck Hunt, however, was the stand-alone product’s incredibly small size. The entire game fit on an infinitesimally small cartridge sized at 192 kilobits.
That’s smaller than the average excel files I deal with at work. You can play what’s sure to be ranked #1 (and the best video game ever) here.
I have become accustomed to betting (and winning) on SEC division football games over the last year. I usually take SEC home dogs, and also the under. These games are usually intense, full of defenses with players who will play on Sundays, middle-of-the-road teams with an offensive star who usually also gets drafted, and full of football coaches who can recruit, but have no idea how to manage the game or even do simple A-B-C playcalling.
For example, like when Les Miles, on the road in a tough place in Athens and up 6-0, not only decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 21 with the most vanilla QB sneak play formation, ever, versus a Georgia team with a strong D-Line (memo to coaches on the road; this means you, Jim Zorn: TAKE THE FUCKING FIELD GOAL), but also decided to kneel on the ball with 11 seconds left and 1 timeout, from the Georgia 33. Instead of trying a TD pass or at least try to steal a long field goal before the half ends, he kneels on it. Instead of it potentially being 12-0, it’s 6-0. This type of coaching is what helps you hit the under.
You must be careful of the referees, however, in college football. They have a way of calling the most ticky-tac unsportsmanlike penalties at the worst times to give bettors a sweat. The unintentional comedy moment of the week was when SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson was critiquing the TD “celebration” of an LSU running back in slow motion replay. “Oh, there he is, going to the mouth with his finger, yup, you gotta call that. I guess. He maybe should of went with the Running Man, Verne. It’s more subtle but yet captures the emotion of the moment.”
OK, I made that last part up, but you know what I mean. His main quote that really put the point home was, “the only thing I see excessive is the flags”. Last week, there was not one but two 15 yard unsportsmanlike calls at the end of touchdowns late in the forth quarter that almost resulted in a 6-0 game with 7 minutes to go, turn into a 20-20 game that heads into overtime, killing my under bet of 50. Thankfully, I was betting against Georgia QB Joe Cox, who not only is terrible, but also looks like Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color. The Tigers held on, 20-13.
One of my SEC plays is Ole Miss +5 at home, versus Alabama. Ole Miss doesn’t play 60 minutes all the time, and Houston Nutt can give bettors a heart attack as evidenced by his “timeout with season on the line, let’s call a screen” debacle. But the Ole Miss Rebels usually pull off one big upset per year in the SEC (most of the middle tier teams do), and Alabama, a team who has limited personnel on offense minus WR Julio Jones, is a prime candidate to put up an offensive stinker on the road. The only worry is Nick Saban is one of the few coaches in the SEC who manages the game properly, but that just means Alabama, if they win, will take it down in a nail biter. I like the Rebels with the points here.
I also have a juicy teaser with South Carolina -4 at home versus Kentucky (by far the worst team in the SEC) and LSU +13.5 at home versus Florida (who may or may not have Tim Tebow). This will be, by far, Florida’s biggest test minus the SEC championship on their title run. LSU has a mediocre offense, but their defense is full of playmakers, including outstanding CB Jordan Jefferson. The under is at 44, which may be a bit low. If Tebow doesn’t play, then I might consider taking that too.
If you need a reason to dislike the Yankees, this article will give you plenty of reasons to. An article which also touches on the subject of sports slowly creeping away from our culture consciousness thanks to rising ticket prices across the board, and tickets even being used as bribes for business deals, here’s an example of the type of Yankee fan that attends the games today in the best of seats in the Stadium:
Inevitably, one group of equity traders — they worked at Fidelity — got caught. The thing that finally brought the whole thing to a close was a 2003 bachelor party for one of the traders. Everyone heard about it: private jets to Miami, a yacht, a bag of Ecstasy, a warren of rooms at the uber-exclusive Delano Hotel, some hookers, some strippers, some red meat, medium-rare. Oh, and one midget, named Danny Black, to toss off the boat. All told, $160,000 for a weekend at the beach.
“It wasn’t like a three-ring circus,” groused the father-in-law of the groom, disgraced Tyco executive Dennis Kozlowski, to the tabloids at the time. “It was a nice party. There was only one dwarf.”
Now onto the picks for the week:
Cincinnati/Baltimore under 42
Miami +110 Money Line
Seattle Pk versus Jacksonville (if you can find it)
As the inaugural opponents for San Quentin’s over-40 squad, an element of the prison’s outreach program, we had received the following warnings before our first visit: stay bunched together at all times, give only first names and run only when on the court because, as hoops coordinator Stephen Irwin, told us, “Otherwise the guards will think you’re a prisoner making a break for it, and trust me, you don’t want that.”
Cable called the meeting to address Hanson’s dealings with the defensive backs. “The players are confused by you, Randy,” Cable allegedly told Hanson. He also reportedly told Hanson that he was being relegated to film work and would no longer be allowed to work directly with the defensive backs. “John Marshall says he has talked to you about this,” Cable told Hanson.
According to the Hanson’s statement, he turned to Marshall and said, ‘That’s a lie, John!” and Hanson insisted that Marshall had not previously mentioned anything about a communication problem with the defensive backs.
At that point, Hanson told police he was blindly body slammed by Cable into the wall behind Marshall with such force that he was thrown out of his chair and into a small table next to the wall. The table had a small lamp on it and both were overturned and broken in the scuffle.
According to Hanson’s account, the other coaches in the room began yelling, “Tom, what are you doing?” as Cable put his right hand against Hanson’s face and shoved his left cheek against the wall. Hanson told police he could feel his upper jaw being crushed into the wall.
The other coaches pulled Cable from Hanson, but an enraged Cable broke their grasp and attacked Hanson a second time, allegedly screaming, “I’m going to kill you!” over and over as he kept a hand around Hanson’s throat.
We almost had a miracle cover last week, but it was Jake Delhomme and the Panthers trying to cover the 6.5 as they drove down the field, trying for a meaningless touchdown late in their 21-7 loss to the Cowboys. This was maybe one of the worst games, if not only the year, but also the century, and I was not a better man for watching it (although I somehow faded F.Jones, S.Smith, and D.Williams in my fantasy games. Thank you, shitty football teams).
Speaking of mediocrity, Lou suggested this week during a Kelly’s Roast Beef run, wouldn’t it be fun if Sports Illustrated, as they do for champion teams, offered a video package for losing teams as well? Imagine the hilarity that would ensue! You are watching the MNF on ESPN, and suddenly a commercial comes on: “Mets fans! Subscribe or renew your SI package now, and get for free, “Epic Fail: The Story of the 2009 New York Mets! Call within the next 30 minutes, and get an autographed picture of Mets’ 2B Luis Castillo dropping a fly ball 3rd out at second base versus the Yankees!”
“Oh Butters!: The Story of the 2009 Cleveland Indians. Call within 25 minutes, and get a glove signed by Jhonny Peralta that has a large hole in it.”
“What the Fuck is Going On?: The Story of the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs/Oakland Raiders. Two crappy teams for one low price (although video is the same length due to lack of highlights)! Call now and get a ticket to attend sensitivity training with Raiders’ coach Tom Cable and Chiefs’ coach Todd Haley!”
Finally before the picks, me, Lou, and the Degen Boys headed out for some Friday Night Football in Cambridge to see the Brown Bears (+3, as set by our own crew, although Darts argued that it should of been +4. We also had the over/under line move 2 and half points in 1.5 seconds; that’s what happens when degens are riding dirty (#6) to a college football game) take on the Harvard Crimson.
Harvard ended up holding on at the end of the game, 24-21, as Brown, who (I guess) had a shitty field goal kicker, decided to throw a Hail Mary instead of kicking a 42 yard field goal in the waning seconds. Brown’s main problem was they could only run it with consistency, not throw it, with their “White Cat” attack: a WildCat formation that featured all 11 players being white. A Rams fan at the bar suggested we call this personnel package: “The Snow Leopard”. Done and done.
Here are my picks for the week:
Indianapolis +10.5 vs Seattle
The Colts will destroy this team at home. Their offense is playing great, and Seattle is led by Seneca Wallace and Jim Mora Jr. After reading Lou’s blurb on the Seahawks, that’s all you need to know to put money down.
Oakland @ Houston Over 42
Oakland has a shitty offense, but both teams have shittier defenses. I see the Texans winning, 40-17.