Sunday, March 29, 2009

Famous Pitcher Retires; Columnist Makes Ass of Self

Mariotti recently blogged about Curt Schilling's retirement and HOF worthiness. One loudmouthed fuckhead writing about another- you can imagine how that ended up.

This is where I have the chance to be a bigger man than Curt Schilling.

You are "bigger," in this sense of the word, than very few people. And you don't usually (or ever) take an opportunity to establish yourself as such.

This is where I ignore his jerk quotient -- clubhouse politician, Capitol Hill steroids waffler, attention moth, blogging fool --

Two sentences in, the irony is already pouring in furiously.

and state unequivocally that he belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Some writers hold grudges when confronted with voting decisions about prickly players, forgetting that our responsibility is to history and not our tattered feelings.

Hold on, read that again several times.

Some writers hold grudges Some writers hold grudges Some writers hold grudges Some writers hold grudges Some writers hold grudges

Yes indeedy, Jay. Some writers most definitely do hold grudges. (Of course, Jay's situation with the "Blizzard" has nothing to do with voting, so maybe he would say that his above statement about Schilling is really not that ironic. I just really like the idea of Jay trying to take the high ground when it comes to holding a grudge of any kind.)

Me? I see through the blowhard and look inside the heart.

If only this blog's writers could do the same!

Seems the annoyances that made him such a drama queen also were the traits that made him such a dominant S.O.B. when it most mattered on the mound.

If only being a complete and total idiot similarly made one a great writer.

The leper aspect of Schilling only grew worse in his championship years. He began hearing criticism that he was too self-absorbed and pompous, and he lashed back by ripping media. He has called me names. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe is the "Curly-Haired Boyfriend." But anyone who disliked Schilling was forced to acknowledge his brilliance.

This is what I like to call "laying it on thick." Although, at the same time, Jay's praise here makes me wonder if maybe he is actually a little aware of the similarities between himself and Schilling.

No pitcher was more dominant at the start of this decade.

This is the part of the post where I actually make some sports arguments- Schilling was pretty much amazing in 2001 and 2002, but during that time he wasn't even the most dominant pitcher on his own team. That honor would go to the man CHart once called "the ugliest man in professional sports" to that man's hideous face.

No pitcher has had better control since 1900, demonstrated by his best-ever strikeout/walk ratio of 4.38 among those with 1,500 innings or more.

Again, he had phenomenal control. But that's not really the right stat to evaluate it- that's speaks to a combination of great control and the ability to strike dudes out. I'm pretty sure BB/9 is a better evaluator of pure control. And while Schilling was pretty great, there are many modern era pitchers, some of them awesome (Christy Matthewson, Greg Maddux), some of them shitty (Bob Tewksbury, Carlos Silva [who once threw 188 innings in a season and issued 9 fucking walks!]) who were better.

"The Red Sox were perfect for him, because he likes the big stage, the history of the game," Epstein said. "He likes to be the center of attention."

Sometimes, we loathed him for it. Why did he use baseball as a platform to endorse political candidates?

Why do you use your job as a national sports columnist to consistently level embarrassingly inept personal attacks at a guy most people outside of Chicago don't really care about? Life is full of mysteries.

And then Jay, showing all the effort of a high school student who's desperately trying to make his English paper get to the teacher's page length assignment, quotes a full two paragraphs straight from Schilling's blog. No commentary, just straight copy and paste. And then the article ends. And so does my post. I've heard some complaints recently that my posts aren't as good as they used to be. If that's the case, which it probably isn't because my posts have always sucked, it's probably due to me trying too hard to be really mean and over-the-top angry about the crap I'm writing about. So I'm going to try to dial it down a couple notches for a little while. Instead of ending this with something like "Jay Mariotti is worse than [thing that is a really bad]," I'll just say "I did not enjoy reading this article very much!" Here's to turning over a new leaf.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A dark day for the internet...

Chilling here in my Mom's basement on a Friday, I was feeling a little bored, so I cruised over to the Worldwide to see what was up. Oh, what's this? A new BS Report, with Michael Schur? Yes please. Despite his shortcomings, I like Simmons (Larry: hate, hate, hate), and I like Ken Tremendous enough that I was excited to listen to their podcast. Quickly, the topic turned to Cousin Mose's former blog and this exchanged occured:

"I was honored to make it a couple times" -- BS
"You did make it a couple times" - Mose
"As a target..."
"It wasn't for things that were untrue though. We always thought of you as one of the good guys, 'cause you actually had facts to back up whatever you were saying."

The world weeps....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How Not to Write an Article: List Edition

It gets pretty hard to write articles. You have to sit down at your job - which pays you to write articles - and come up with a story line. Just one idea, even. Brian Costello of The Hockey News just can't handle the pressure of a deadline and instead just gives up.

Yanic Perreault, where did you go?

Kevyn Adams, where did you go?

Chad Kilger, where did you go?

Google came up with nothing on Yanic Perreault, Kevyn Adams as a player-agent as announced on January 6th, and Chad Kilger's plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spun in. There were no survivors.

So much about NHL hockey revolves around the here and now that it’s easy to forget the players who are not back with us this season.

We make a big deal, for good reason, about the retirements of the big-name players such as Dominik Hasek and Trevor Linden. And did anyone not read enough headlines of the pending retirements/comebacks of Scott Niedermayer, Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg?

In Brett Farve perspective, not in the least.

But whatever became of Richard Matvichuk, Scott Thornton and Martin Lapointe? How about Glen Murray, Geoff Sanderson and Dick Tarnstrom? I haven’t seen the names Mark Smith, Jim Dowd and Aaron Miller on any NHL rosters this season. Dallas Drake? Sandis Ozolinsh?

OK, now you're just naming people. That's not really constructive.

Some players retire simply because their time has come. Others never play again because, as seasoned veterans in a salary cap world, they don’t fit in anymore for a variety of reasons. But we salute you all for worthy careers that effectively evaporated before we had a chance to formally recognize them.

Is it necessary to formally recognize every player that retires? All they did was not play anymore.

Every year in the NHL, more than 100 players make their big-league debuts. For some, it’s the start of something huge. For most, it’s just an NHL cup of coffee along the way to maybe something more next season.

I bet you anything that the NHL uses that awful Douwe Egberts that my college cafeteria had.

But if 100-plus players are making their debuts, many dozens of players have been phased out, never to be heard from in the NHL again.

Or perhaps they are sent back down to the minors after being called up on emergency conditions and will be back up when they're actually ready.

It’s actually a staggering list. You don’t realize the volume until you start jotting them down. Here’s a long list of NHL regulars in seasons past who are either playing in Europe or the minors this season. Apologies to those I’ve forgotten. If we don’t see you back in the NHL, thanks for the memories. We hardly knew ye.

And if we do see you back in the NHL, then you have to tell The Hockey News why you didn't retire and have a big party in your honor. Let's see this list.

Bates Battaglia, Jason Ward, Mike York, Petr Nedved, Patrick Traverse, Marcus Nilson, Branislav Mezei, Kris Beech, Vitaly Vishnevski, Ladislav Nagy, Steve McCarthy, Brad Isbister, Nolan Pratt, Bryan Berard, Curtis Brown, Sergei Brylin, Sean Hill, Jeff Cowan, Jon Klemm, Martin Rucinsky, Mathias Tjarnqvist, Josef Vasicek, Scott Parker, Peter Schaefer, Jeff Jillson, Mike Johnson, Randy Robitaille, Trevor Letowski, Shawn Bates, Andrei Zyuzin, Jan Hlavac, Nolan Baumgartner, Rory Fitzpatrick, Eric Boguniecki, Steve Kelly, Josh Green, Keith Carney, Alexei Zhitnik, Patrick Thoresen, Jed Ortmeyer, Brandon Bochenski, Joe Dipenta, Mark Hartigan, John Pohl, Jozef Stumpel, Martin Straka, Bryan Smolinski, Jaroslav Modry, David Vyborny, Martin Gelinas, Branko Radivojevic.

...and that's the end of the article! Well, thanks for coming out, it's been a blast!

What? You were expecting more than just a long list? Well go piss up a rope, Eileen. This is The Hockey NEWS, asshole, not The Hockey Exhaustive Research Into What Players Are Doing or Where They Are Playing.

There's no method to the list, it's just names. So what was the point of that? How about the list of the 100 new players in the league that replaced this list? Maybe we have to wait another week...

And now, in honor (honour?) of the kickstart of the 2009 AFL season, I will now attempt to copy and paste the most recent lineup of players for the Hawthorn Hawks, defending champions of Australian Rules Football's Premiership.

Max Bailey, Jarryd Roughead, Jordan Lewis, Rick Ladson, Sam Mitchell (captain), Mark Williams, Michael Osborne, Xavier Ellis, Chance Bateman, Clinton Young, Brad Sewell, Simon Taylor, Grant Birchall, Luke Hodge, Beau Dowler, Beau Muston, Brent Guerra, Mitchell Thorp, Tim Boyle, Ben McGlynn, Travis Tuck, Lance Franklin, Trent Croad, Ryan Schoenmakers, Liam Shiels, Stephen Gilham, Thomas Murphy, Campbell Brown, Stuart Dew, Josh Kennedy, Cyril Rioli, Brent Renouf, Jarryd Morton, Jordan Lisle, Brendan Whitecross, Luke Lowden, Robert Campbell, Shane Savage, Garry Moss, Tim Walsh, Matt Suckling, Will Sierakowski, Cameron Stokes, Riley Milne, Hayden Kiel, Luke Breust, Carl Peterson

It's not another Brian Costello article, but an incredible simulation! Where's my dollaridoos from The AFL News?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Inscrutable Throwaway Jokes and the Sportswriters that Love Them

Article about the WBC by Scott Miller. Not a bad article but get a load of this.

While nobody doubts the commitment of Team USA members such as David Wright, Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins and Jake Peavy, the vast majority of folks this side of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans still view this event as something to be avoided, like spinach.

Emphasis mine. Is this a reference to the E. Coli spinach scare of like, two years ago? Or is it a reference to the fact that kids think spinach is yucky? I don't really know, nor do I care. It's not funny.

But since we haven't had reader participation (or, for that matter, readers) in a long time, here's our chance. What should Scott Miller have said instead of "like spinach"? I'll get it started with a few:

--like inoperable cancer

--like a fat guy with a tuba

--like an all-night Uwe Boll marathon

--like American children avoid geography class (stupid Americans...heh heh)

--like Obama avoids iceberg lettuce

--like the reckoning wrath of the spear of mighty Achilles

Ok your turn!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

AP Writer Thinks He's the Next James Joyce

Sometimes I'm just cruising around teh interwebs, not intending for find material for FireJay, when I stumble onto garbage like this (from the AP rundown of the Missouri/Marquette game today):

For four unbelievable minutes early, Kim English turned the basketball court in Boise into his own private Idaho.

During two excruciating free throws late, it was his personal little pressure cooker.

Jesus Christ, did Bill Plaschke tell him to write like that? Hey, asshole: just tell us what happened during the game. Don't try to be all fucking fancy and clever. There's a reason you're working the AP sports beat. It's because you're not good enough to get a better gig. If I want to hear a poetic and flowery take on the game, which I don't/won't, I'll tune in to "Around the Horn" tomorrow.

Oh, and "My Own Private Idaho" sucked.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stretching Too Far For Puns Makes Your Article Look Stupid

In the news: UConn coach Jim Calhoun was hospitalized just before his team's first-round game!

The NY Daily News Headline article about his return has a moronic title:

"Jim Calhoun, UConn have a healthy chance against Texas A&M"

Now, I realize now that Mr. Calhoun is "healthy", but his team is the #1 seed playing against the #9 seed (Texas A&M). This may be nitpicking, but I think saying that his team has a "healthy" chance almost implies that they're an underdog...

Moral of the story: stretching too far for a play on the word "health" sometimes contradicts the actual state of the game.

[Side note: if you Google "healthy chance", this article comes up first. Weird?]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh No. No No No. It's Spreading

Regular FireJay readers (all five of them) are probably familiar with our collective disdain for football analysts who can't go five fucking words during a broadcast without using "football" as a qualifier in front of nouns like "game," "team," and "player." (Worst offenders: Mark Schlereth, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and pretty everyone on FOX's NFL crew.) Well, guess fucking what? It's officially spreading to basketball. It may have started a while ago but I'm just now noticing it. ESPN's NCAA crew, specifically good ol' Dickie V, has been breaking it out these past couple of days. For example: "I said it all week, Cleveland State is a good basketball team." Wait, what kind of team are they? DIE.

I hate the sports media.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gene Wojciechowski is Braindead

Thirty-three games this week (hey, the opening round counts), so 33 reasons we love the NCAA tournament:

Thirty three pieces of evidence that Gene is a mental (and comedic) midget.

1. The leader of the free world hates the BCS but loves the playoff format of March Madness. President Barack Obama even filled out a bracket for us. (I'll give him this much: He's no homer. The prez didn't pick Washington, D.C.'s, very own American University of the Patriot League over Villanova.)

He has no connection to American. He never went there. Why is Patriot italicized? I'm hoping it isn't a Patriot Act reference. I'll assume it's not.

Watch -- he'll win the White House office pool but have to give all the cash to AIG.


2. Verne Lundquist. I could listen to Lundquist do play-by-play of U.S. tax code. He understands the game is the star, not he.

3. Screamin' Gus Johnson. The exception to the rule.

So what Gene is probably saying is that he's friends with both these guys, so the fact that their styles are so different is OK. He loves them both. Because he knows them.

4. Redemption. Banished eight long years by the NCAA for money-whipping a recruit's family, former California Bears coach Todd Bozeman is back on the sideline and back in the Big Dance. Weird how it works out.

Ain't sports beautiful? How Reillyesque. Looks like Rick is rubbing off on his ESPN colleagues. Although this is not really an uplifting story. Bozeman was definitely a grade A asshole. In addition to paying at least one player, he was also the subject of a sexual harassment complaint (filed by a student) shortly before leaving Cal.

5. Kobe and KG have won NBA championships, but they'll never know what it was like to do what MJ did -- play in (and win) an NCAA tournament.

Some current NBA stars never played in the NCAA tournament, but others from the past did. Therefore Gene is excited to watch the 2009 tournament. QED.

6. The 10 members of the selection committee probably will never admit it, but here's guessing they're sweating bullets over No. 12 seed Arizona's first-round game against No. 5 seed Utah. The committee invited the Wildcats but stiffed Saint Mary's, which on Tuesday beat Washington State by 11 points in the NIT -- the same Washington State team that beat Arizona by 16 points on Feb. 26.

Gene is very excited to see if Arizona doesn't embarrass itself. Now THAT'S a reason to watch. Also, if team A beats team B, and team B beats team C, then team C should not be in the tournament over team A. Gene will imply this to you as sublty as possible.

Patrick Mills, who would have looked good on CBS air, scored 27 points for the Gaels.

He's a sexy man! Arizona doesn't have any such players, certainly not future NBA first rounders like Jordan Hill or Chase Budinger.

8. Bruce Pearl's orange sport coat. (Because it's the Big Dance, it'd be nice to see Pearl unveil an orange tux.)

9. Rick Pitino's salute-to-the-Bee Gees white suit.

Although idiotic, at least these are literally reasons why someone might be excited about the tournament. As opposed to, say, the fact that Michael Jordan once played in one.

10. Sleeper picks.

11. Boss buttons.

You are a lazy journalist.

12. Planting yourself and your school flag in a Vegas sports book Thursday through Sunday of opening week -- just to hear the groans.

And suddenly, without warning, we've entered a Dane Cook routine.

13. Bill Raftery. "And the kissssss."

No one likes Raftery. No one.

14. The satisfying feeling that comes with knowing that Kentucky is an NCAA tournament no-show, but the coach it all but forced out -- Minnesota's Tubby Smith -- is in.

Apparently Gene and I have something in common- we both enjoy schadenfreude. Still, I'm not sure you can cite the fact that a team didn't qualify for the tournament at all as a reason you're excited to watch it. Unless that team is Duke. Take that, team everyone loves to hate! I hate you too!

15. The microscopic odds of a No. 16 seed's beating a No. 1 seed. It has never happened, which means the newest 16s -- Morehead State, Chattanooga, Radford and East Tennessee State -- are on the clock.

Lazy. So- something crazy could happen. This logic can be used to watch pretty much anything. Hey, you never know when Larry King might keel over and die while doing a broadcast. I think that's reason enough to watch his drivel.

16. Picking Kansas to advance, yet rooting for first-time Big Dance entry North Dakota State to upset the Rock Chalks.

Personally, I picked Gonzaga to get to the sweet 16, but I am FUCKING PUMPED to watch Akron take them on tonight. Totally stoked. (Insert similar logic for any of the other 20-some possible big upsets in the first round.)

17. Figuring out the over/under on how many times UNC coach Roy Williams will cry.

I bet Simmons and House could nail that line before Vegas releases it.

18. Always persuade your ball and chain to fill out a bracket. Mention how many "units" are at stake. She'll become instantly interested in the tournament (even though she doesn't know Robert Morris from Van Morrison) and, in a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon, actually encourage you to watch more sports on TV.

So Gene is excited to watch the tournament because he might get permission from his "ball and chain" to do so. Oh, the thrills of marriage!

19. Pep bands, good … male cheerleaders, bad.

Because Gene is a dude, and he likes chicks! Why would he watch dudes... when he could be watching chicks? Or bands? He's totally not gay. And likes bands.

20. Picking the annual 12 versus 5 upset.

But only if his ball and chain lets him!

21. Sixty-four games of hoops heaven.

22. Crammed into a combined 11 days.

Easily the laziest, stupidest items on the list yet. Hey, you know why I enjoy watching the World Series? Between four and seven games of baseball euphoria.

23. There's the 'Cuse, as in Syracuse. But during the Madness, there's the ex-cuse, as in, "What kind of excuse am I going to use to call in sick so I can watch the tournament?"

First the ball and chain, now the boss. It never ends! Also, some words sound like other words.

Some time-honored favorites: grandmother died …

You're a bad person.

stomach virus … caught my neck in the car door.


24. It helps the economy: Snack foods, pizza and HDTV sales spike.


25. The mascot box. See how creative mascots can be in their NCAA-designated areas.

This is a great reason to watch sports- to check out things unrelated to sports.

26. To all those BCS honks who insist fans can't make travel arrangements on short notice, I'd like to remind them of the Sunday regional final, followed by the national semifinal the next Saturday. Always seems as though plenty of fans make the trip and fill up those huge indoor stadiums.

Much as I support the idea, 1) short travel arrangements for a football playoff would take place during the holidays as opposed to March and 2) putting 17,000 people in a basketball arena for the regional final is a whole lot different than putting 85,000 people in a football stadium. (His point about the national semifinals and capacity crowds is legitimate. I guess.)

27. It's a bargain: At the regional in Minneapolis, your $180 ticket is good for six games.

So as long as you have the money and time and means to travel to one of the sites, you're in great shape! Gene does (as long as his "old lady" lets him)- so why shouldn't you?

28. Here's what the tournament does to you: Before it's over, there will be a team you've never watched, coached by a guy you've never heard of, played by kids you'll never see in the NBA -- yet you'll be on your knees in front of your plasma rooting … begging like an alumnus for it to pull off the upset.

Alright, you know what, I will non-sarcastically give him this. I went pretty apeshit for George Mason back in 2006, as well as Davidson last year. So I guess this list's retardery only extends to 32 items rather than 33.

29. It's the tournament of guards.

But if it were the tournament of power forwards, no way would Gene be watching. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

30. Other than maybe when the NFL plays its two conference championships on the same day, there isn't a better sports day than the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament. Check that: Semifinal Saturday is the best day in sports.

I can't make up my mind! Help! Or what if it's the first weekend, when the sweet 16 gets finalized? Also, note the logic here: Gene is excited to watch this tournament because it has some pretty great days. And those great days are probably why he's so excited to watch it. Etc., etc.

31. Legends are made. You think Bryce Drew will ever have to buy a meal in the greater Valparaiso, Ind., area again after his buzzer-beater gave 13th-seeded Valpo the improbable win against No. 4 seed Ole Miss in 1998?

Yeah. I bet he does. BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS BAD, REMEMBER? No, but seriously, I really don't think hitting one first round buzzer beater for an unremarkable school is a ticket for free food for life in that school's town.

Christian Laettner probably won't pay for as much as a parking meter when he visits Durham.

Slightly more plausible given that Duke is actually a basketball school and that happened late in the tournament. Still probably not happening.

32. Disturbing body painting.


33. A tradition like no other? It isn't the Masters,

Turned that one around on you, didn't he? You'll think twice before coming up with your next slogan, Masters people. "I'm lovin' it?" Fuck you, McDonalds. The only thing I'm lovin' right now is the NCAA basketball tournament.

it's net cutting and "One Shining Moment." Gets me every time.

This sums up Gene's interest in the tournament: he really likes the montage they play at the end.

Please, ESPN, I'm asking nicely. Tell this asshole to hit the bricks. Use the money you save on his salary to get Kenny Mayne (or someone else who has a sense of humor) to do more stuff.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A long lesson in dumb fuckery with Clark Judge

Losing pretty Cutler making winning ugly Plummer look great

So now Jay Cutler is mad as hell and sure looks like he's not going to take it in Denver anymore. Great. Almost makes you wish the Broncos never disposed of Jake Plummer, huh?


Well, it does me. If ever there was a quarterback done wrong it was poor Jake. He didn't throw the tightest spiral. He took too many chances. And he threw unnecessary interceptions. He was booed at home, booed on the road and shredded weekly by the hometown media for his flaws. In short, he was embraced like the Avian flu.

I will agree that he was booed unnecessarily a lot, but he also did tend to play his worst in big games.

So what's to like? This: He was 40-18 as a starter.

With the Denver Broncos, when they had a great defense and were pumping out 1,000 yard rushers like some sort of factory that makes 1,000 yard rushers.

All the guy did was win.

Except for, you know, when he lost. Like in the playoffs.

He took the Broncos to the playoffs in 2003. He did it again in 2004. He had them in the 2005 AFC Championship Game.

I'm sure Broncos fans get misty thinking of those back to back to back runner's up trophies.

Yet he was gone two seasons later, shuffled off to Tampa Bay to make way for Cutler, the second coming of John Elway. Only, he's not. He's not even the second coming of Jake Plummer,

Actually, if you believe Football Outsider's DYAR stats, Jay Cutler is almost exactly the second coming of Jake Plummer (when he was good) when it comes to regular season statistics. Except, Cutler is 9 years younger than Plummer and has never had a season as bad as Plummer's 2006 campaign.

and, no, I don't care that he throws a fast ball like Randy Johnson or that his right arm can launch space shuttles.

Because that's obviously the only argument Cutler's apologists can make for him.

I want someone who can win, and Jay Cutler is 17-20 as a starter, failing to reach the playoffs in his NFL career.

Yeah because Jake Plummer's always been a "winner," like how he was 15-21 after his first 3 seasons.

Plummer not only got there three of his four seasons in Denver, he took the Cardinals to the playoffs in 1998, their first appearance in a non-strike year in over two decades.

You know who were also good quarterbacks in 1998? Rich Gannon and Elvis Grbac.

Denver never had a losing season under Plummer. It hasn't had a winning season under Cutler. Draw your own conclusions.

My conclusion: Devner's defense and running back situation has declined dramatically in the past few years.

I have, and they go something like this: Plummer knew how to win; Cutler knows how to throw a pretty pass. I know which I'd rather have.

Explain to me how having a Quarterback (whose main responsibility is THROWING PASSES) that throws "a pretty pass" is a bad thing.

When the Broncos drafted Cutler they were coming off a 13-3 season where they beat New England and were one win from the Super Bowl. But after losing to Pittsburgh in the conference championship game, coach Mike Shanahan decided he could go no deeper into the playoffs with Plummer. So he traded up for Cutler.

For Plummer, the message was clear: His get-out-of-Denver ticket had just been punched, and Cutler would succeed him in no more than a year. Anything short of the Super Bowl wouldn't matter for Plummer, who could take his 40-18 record somewhere else and watch what could have been.

Knowing that his job was on the line, Plummer hunkered down and had one of the worst seasons of his career. Only a cagey winner would know how to do that.

Plummer didn't sulk. He didn't demand to be traded. He didn't threaten to move. And he never asked to meet with his head coach or demand an explanation.

He just played like shit until the situation worked itself out.

"Jay is going to be a hell of a player," Plummer told me that summer, "but, hopefully, when his time is right. Until that time I'm going to be the one taking the snaps.

And that time became right way earlier than most people imagined, due to Plummer's abhorrent on field play.

"Fans always like change. I understand that. It's almost like having an old girlfriend. You always think the pasture may be greener on the other side. But until Jay is ready they're going to have to deal with me."

Now that's what I want to hear from my quarterback. Don't tell me your feelings are hurt. Don't go running to your realtor. And don't mention the name Matt Cassel because if you're more concerned about what is beyond your control -- and, contrary to what he might think, Jay Cutler is not running this show -- you're doomed as a quarterback.

Hmmm, what recent Broncos quarterback was it that went into a tailspin when there was talk of him being replaced? Fuck, we were just talking about him. Don't tell me, don't tell me!

Of course, Jay Cutler is not doomed. He has a long career ahead of him, and he has a world of talent. What he doesn't have is the guts of Jake Plummer, and too bad.

All the guts that Jake Plummer had to say "I'm going to let Mike Shannahan determine when my career as and NFL Quarterback comes to an end."

/wipes tear from eye

He could learn something from his predecessor. In fact, the more I hear Cutler whine the more I'm convinced Denver owes Plummer an apology.

Sorry Pittsburgh and Indianapolis's defenses were too good for you, Jake!

He didn't score many style points while he was there; he just won. For some reason, that wasn't enough.

Because at the end of the year, no one cares about regular season victories when you make dumb mistakes in the playoffs.

Cutler, on the other hand, is cut a break ... and for what?

That even without looking at the stats (Cutler was 5th overall this past year), one should be able to tell that he's a well above average quarterback.

He took over his rookie season when the Broncos were 7-4 and lost three of five starts. No problem there. Rookie quarterbacks struggle. But then he was 7-9 in his second season and 8-8 in his third. Worse, the Broncos positively self-destructed last year, blowing a three-game lead with three weeks to go.

But he doesn't--

Yeah, I know, it wasn't Cutler's fault. It might have helped if Denver had a running back who could stay in the lineup for three weeks or a defense that didn't leak like the Titanic. But all the Broncos had to do was win one freakin' game in three tries, and they couldn't pull it off. Blame the defense all you want, but look what Cutler did down the stretch: Nothing.

In his last three games he had two touchdown passes and four interceptions. Worse, he lost to Buffalo at home on the next to last weekend of the season. I don't want to hear how he threw for 359 yards or 316 the next weekend against San Diego. He didn't win. Period. End of story.

It was literally all his fault. Nevermind that the Broncos defense provided less resistance than the British Expeditionary Force in 1940 (eat your heart out, Rick Reilly).

So his defense stunk. Kurt Warner's defense in Arizona wasn't all that great, either.

Yeah, except for when they caused two of the best offenses in the NFC to have their worst weeks on the season in consecutive games during the playoffs.

And the Cardinals' running game was worse than Denver's. In fact, it was worse than everyone. But Arizona pulled the mother of all upsets by winning the NFC and coming within 45 seconds of knocking off Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII. Warner overcame the club's shortcomings because that is what good quarterbacks are supposed to do.

It certainly had nothing to do with the fact that Warner had the luxury of throwing to the best WR in football that year (Fitzgerald), a guy who'd be a #1 WR on most teams (Boldin), and a 3rd WR that most teams would be happy to have as a #2 (Breaston). Other than that, it was all Warner, all by himself.

Cutler is acknowledged as one of the game's top young quarterbacks, yet he can't overcome much of anything. And that is a problem.

Peyton Manning didn't make the Playoffs till the end of his 3rd full season, and didn't actually win a playoff game until his 6th. Ipso facto: Jay Cutler will never overcome anything.

He can complain about his new head coach, too, but this just in, Jay: Josh McDaniels didn't draft you; Mike Shanahan did.

You, and anyone else on the Broncos who wasn't hand picked by McDaniels, are therefore subject to any and all moronic personnel decisions that revolve around which players the coach has a personal preference toward.

It is also evidence that Cutler might not be the quarterback we thought he was.

Only if you thought this about Cutler: "Mediocre quarterback who can't handle playing in the NFL."

So he lives in the shadow of Elway. Big deal. So did Jake Plummer. In fact, Plummer was closer to the Elway era than Cutler, so the contrasts were more apparent.

Plummer came in after nearly 5 full years of Brian Griese being the whipping boy for the Denver fans/media. Where's Griese's pity parade?

He didn't throw like Elway, but he did find a way to win -- and isn't that how we measure our quarterbacks?

No, you measure than by comparative stats that take into account the hundreds of variables in football. And even if the mouth breathing idiots who consider wins the ultimate stat say that you have to win a Superbowl to be worth a damn.

Cutler was supposed to be an improvement on Plummer, but while he has the measureables -- the size, the big arm, the accuracy -- he's as short on the intangibles as he is on victories.

Intangibles like: throwing a back breaking interception and putting a great season to waste.

Maybe we should face facts and realize that while he's no John Elway he may be no Jake Plummer, either.

Maybe you should face the facts that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Simmons: Still Putting Minimal Effort Into His Writing, Still a Dipshit

Jack from Swarthmore, Pa., e-mailed Wednesday just to say, "69 days!

What's that you say? The people are demanding more mindless bullshit? Well, I hope they're also demanding a bunch of unoriginal "Boston is full of racists" jokes from me. Because they're about to get both.

Also- heh heh. Sixty nine. Am I right? You know what I'm getting at!

69 days since your last mailbag!

Wait, how many? 69? 696969696969? Mmmmmmmm-hmmmmmm.

You're killin' me! For god sakes, I went through finals without a fresh mailbag to sink my teeth into.

Simmons remains eminently popular with his base: retarded 19 year-olds attending snobby schools in the northeast.

Over 1,500 hours of mailbag-less time.

How are we supposed to survive without Bill's opinion on the current season of "Lost?"

Quite frankly I've stayed awake many a night pondering my mailbag future.

Quite frankly, I hope you get run over by a cement mixer.

So please for me and the rest of your readers -- write another mailbag!"

I promise I'll write you a saccharine-sweet email if you do!

Fine, fine, fine.

An excuse not to write a real column? Twist my arm.

As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.

Q: I am a broke college student

Read: polysci major at Boston College whose parents have threatened to take back the Lexus and cut the monthly stipend back to $500.

who recently spent two weeks of beer money for a bleacher ticket for A-Rod's first Fenway game just so I could chant "A-Roid" with everyone else.

Ahhh. A-"Roid." I see what you did there.

Now they're saying he could be out for two to four months, and I won't be living here when he finally comes to Boston.

You never know when he'll be back, either. Damn you and your unpredictable scheduling, MLB.

Can you please rank this on the Levels of Losing for me?
-- Sean P., Boston

By taking the time to write this email, you've pretty much lost at life.

SG: The levels of losing? Can't you see the big picture here? We haven't seen the Karma Police work this quickly since Swayze's sleazy buddy got impaled on the broken glass in "Ghost."

Hey- remember the 80s?

Either A-Rod needs surgery, or he's going to play in pain all season. In fact, I demand that Fenway plays "Karma Police" for A-Rod's first at-bat.

And the 90s? Bill does!

Although we won't hear it because everyone will be singing "A-Roid! A-Roid!"

He's totally going to hear us, and there's nothing he can do about it. THE FENWAY FAITHFUL GET THE LAST LAUGH AGAIN.

Holy hell am I excited for the 2009 baseball season.

You mean, holy hell am I excited for the Yankees and Red Sox games of the 2009 baseball season. What? There's a whole other league out there, which contains neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox? Fuck 'em.

Q: This is a little bit closely related to your holiday gifts column only with a spin: How about sponsoring Mike Dunleavy's page on and making a sarcastic comment about him on it? Hey, its only 10 bucks.
-- Bilal, Boston

SG: Done and done. What's sad is I spent a solid 45 minutes crafting the right testimonial before finally settling on what I wrote.

ONLY 45 minutes, you say? (Go click on it, everyone.) Yup. This is the razor-sharp wit of The Sports Guy. That Jimmy Kimmel is a lucky, lucky man to have talent like this backing him up.

Q: Too bad you decided not to have break-up sex with the Boston Bruins this year, isn't it? It's like an ex-girlfriend who switched to contacts from glasses, let her hair grow out and discovered aerobics. Now she's the hot girl at the bar.
-- Alex, D.C.

SG: Only I'm still taking medication for the VD she gave me. I'll be back for the playoffs. I always get sucked back in for the playoffs. Too many memories. The truth is, the only reason the Bruins became competitive again is because the salary cap evened the odds for Jeremy "The Grinch" Jacobs. Nobody can outspend him anymore. The Bruins don't care about their fans any more than they did during the first 24 years of my life -- when they were bending my ankles back over my head more times than a Pilates instructor.

Wow, he's like the vulgar Rick Reilly.

Their fans deserve better regardless how this season turns out. As I have said a million times, as soon as the Grinch sells the team, they have me back 365 days a year. And not a moment sooner.

It's cute how he pretends he never totally disowned them. (Read the first mini-paragraph here) I mean, they're good again! What do you want him to do? NOT jump back on the bandwagon? Pretend like he didn't originally swear them off not because of some bullshit about the owner, but because they were bad for a few years in a row?

Q: Do you think the relationship between Rocky and Apollo could be considered the original bromance?
-- Kevin McB, Oakland, N.J.

SG: No way. The original bromance was Lewis and Clark.

This is why he makes the big bucks. He also goes on to list off about 75 other famous alleged bromances. Conspicuously absent from that list: anyone from Boston and a black person.

Q: I recently watched "Almost Famous" for what has to be the 20th time, and it seems like every time I've watched it, the movie was better than the previous time. It got me thinking about other movies where this applies, and my short list included "Pulp Fiction," "Shawshank," and "The Usual Suspects." I feel like there has to be some sort of name for this phenomena, and of course, I have come to you for guidance.
-- Bhavin, Philadelphia

Because I am too fucking stupid to formulate my own opinions about this very subjective and reasonably simple question.

SG: I'd go with a wine reference even though it doesn't totally work. Most movies are like chardonnays or pinot noirs -- you can drink them right away or any time within a span of 10 years. Many cabernets, Bordeaux and Barolos hold their vintage really well and you can actually enjoy them for as along as 10-20 years. Kinda like "Midnight Run" or "Hoosiers."


Q: Can you think of the sports equivalent of the spouses of buddies whose Facebook friend-request you accepted who constantly update their status on the topic of taking care of their kids? Like "Jenn is watching her little ones nap" and "Sarah is playing 'Bob the Builder' with her kids! Yay!" As a 28-year-old unmarried man, it's not that I don't appreciate females or motherhood, it's just that I don't care. For the same reason that I don't update my status with "Kully just put on jock itch cream."
-- Kully, Guangzhou, China

SG: Wouldn't the sports equivalent be like ending up with an undesirable throw-in for an NBA trade (aka Marcus Banks)? The more interesting angle for me is how Twitter and Facebook reflect where our writing is going thanks to the Internet. In 15 years, writing went from "reflecting on what happened and putting together some coherent thoughts" to "reflecting on what happened as quickly as possible" to "reflecting on what's happening as it's happening" to "here are my half-baked thoughts about absolutely anything and I'm not even going to attempt to entertain you," or as I like to call it, Twitter/Facebook Syndrome. Do my friends REALLY CARE if I send out an update, "Bill is flying on an airplane finishing a mailbag right now?" (Which is true, by the way.) I just don't think they would. I certainly wouldn't. That's why I refuse to use Twitter.

Thank goodness. At least someone in the sports journalism world is maintaining some standards regarding the way he writes. It's been at least two weeks since he wrote a column comparing the Bird-era Celtics to the current Celtics by using a grading scale based on "The Hills," and concluding the former were better because they had more white guys.

Q: I listened to your spot on Adam Carolla's new podcast, and for the first time ever you swore and it wasn't bleeped out. It was surreal, and I gotta say I'm developing a taste for it, Simmons. I'm afraid I won't be able to go back to the genteel Sports Guy. It's like your long-term girlfriend, who's really conservative in bed, gets really drunk one night and she unexpectedly turns into an animal. How can you go back? How?!
-- Max R., Sydney

Tee hee! Bad words!

SG: Just wait until my book comes out! Lots of swears and even a few completely inappropriate topics handled without any diplomacy whatsoever.

I couldn't possibly be less titillated. What? A book featuring an opinionated idiot talking about "inappropriate" topics using swear words? What's next, porn on the internet?

Q: When De Niro gets off the highway to kill Waingro at the hotel in "Heat": The whole movie you want De Niro to kill Waingro, but you don't want De Niro to go back when he's home free with Judge Amy. Is there a more ambivalent occurrence of emotions in any movie?
-- Alex, Syracuse, N.Y.

Hey, does anyone out there want to hear Bill break down "Heat" again? I sure hope so.

[Simmons' opinion omitted]

Q: In Matt Cassel's first news conference with the Chiefs, someone asked Cassel if he was looking forward to meeting Bernard Pollard. Shouldn't he immediately take some of his new money and buy Pollard a new car? The best full circle moment is the fact Cassel would still be a nobody if it weren't for the Chiefs and now he is playing for them. GOD, I LOVE THE NFL!
-- David, Elon, N.C.

SG: I'll go one further -- imagine if we learned Cassel offered Pollard $3 million to take out Brady's knee in Week 1? Would that be one of the five biggest scandals in sports history?

1. Black Sox (to his credit, mentioned by Bill)
2. College basketball point shaving (also mentioned by Bill)
3. Steroids in baseball/the Olympics/pretty much every sport
4. Tim Donaghy
5. Pete Rose

So, no. Especially when this imaginary situation involves something so incredibly difficult to do. You can hit a QB in the knees 100 times and not do what Pollard did to Brady once. It's not like, even if this had happened, Pollard could just up and guarantee that he would end Brady's season. I'm really doing far too much to dignify this scenario by writing four sentences about it.

Q: I listened to your Monday podcast and was interested in your "Kansas City Theory." I thought that a good example of these things being cyclical was Cleveland in 2007. Both the Browns and Indians had unusually successful seasons when compared to their normal vomit-inducing play. If you add this with the Cavaliers' play in the LeBron Era, it's hard for anyone to deny that this theory bears at least some merit.
-- Brad H., New York

For those who are unfamiliar, the gist of this theory is basically that sometimes multiple teams from the same city all do well at the same time. Genius! What brilliance! It's got to be attributable to some bullshit Bill made up, rather than just random statistical chance.

SG: See? It happens! Some other good examples: the '84 Tigers (paved the way for the "Bad Boy" Pistons, the Barry Sanders Era and the Steve Yzerman Era); the '01 Pats (the '04 Red Sox and '08 Celts, as well as two more Pats titles); Chicago in the mid-'80s (the '83 White Sox, '84 Cubs, '85 Bears and the Jordan Era); Seattle in the mid-'90s (Sonics and Mariners); Pittsburgh in the late-'70s (Steelers and Pirates); Cincy in the late '80s ('89 Bengals, '90 Reds); Boston in the mid-'80s ('85 Pats, '86 Celts, '86 Red Sox); New York in the late-'90s ('98-'99-'00 Yanks, '00 Mets, '99 Knicks; '00 Giants); and L.A. in the late-'80s ('88 Dodgers, '87-'88 Lakers, '89 Raiders). There is ample evidence that a city can catch fire like a hot blackjack table. Just remember we had this conversation when they're calling it "The Year of K.C." in seven months.

See????!?!? That proves it!

Q: Let's say you are at LAX and you are about to board your flight, but then you notice one of the cast members from "Lost" on the same plane. Do you still get on that flight?
-- Brian, Richmond, Va.

THERE'S your "Lost" question. The Big Lead approves.

Q: I was just looking over previous mailbags and came across your prediction of Olivia Wilde becoming a bigger, more relevant star than Mischa Barton within five years. This is uncanny. I shall never doubt you! Any other bold predictions?
-- Vinit, Winnipeg

Yeah, he was really going out on a limb with that one. I mean, everyone and their brother was convinced that Barton had unlimited talent and was due for a multi-Oscar career. How bold of Bill to predict that her career would flop after she left "The O.C."

SG: I have 10 for you, other than the one from last Friday that the 2011-12 NBA season will be canceled by a lockout. First, Jay Leno will be hosting "The Tonight Show" again by September 2010.

Possible. Who cares.

Second, the words "Michael Phelps" and "rehab" will appear in the same sentence.

Wrong. At least, wrong for the next, say, 20 years.

Third, at the end of the NBA Finals in June, one of the happy players will yelp happily to Michele Tafoya, "We goin' to see Oh-baaaaaaaa-maaaaaaaaaaaa!" exactly how I just wrote it.

LOL, black people talk funny! That's why people from Boston hate them so much- Bostonites are supposed to have a monopoly on that.

Fourth, America will turn against Judd Apatow.

Given that we haven't yet turned on Michael Bay or Brett Ratner, I really don't see this happening.

Fifth, they're going to figure out a way to retroactively test all the Olympic urine samples from the '70s, '80s and '90s, and that will become the next gigantic sports scandal that dominates your life (and not in a good way).


Sixth, Mike and the Mad Dog will be back together in time for Opening Day 2011.

Possible. Who gives a shit though.

Seventh, the Detroit Tigers will have a fire sale for their players starting in June that will rival anything the Marlins ever did.

In order to have a fire sale, you must have valuable players with whom you are willing to part. So Cabrera, Verlander, and Granderson are out since the team isn't trading them. Similarly, guys like Guillen, Thames, Sheffield, and Ordonez really don't have much value left. But when the Tigers ship Placido Polanco and Brandon Inge out of town... you heard it from Bill first.

Eighth, Howard Stern, David Letterman and Bruce Springsteen will all retire within three months of one another, it will happen within the next 30 months, and all three of them will do it quietly without fanfare. So, there you go.

A prediction so obscure that I won't bother criticizing it. Could happen, I guess.

Q: I've written many times and I am pretty sure you have never looked at my e-mails. But in all seriousness, I like the podcasts even more than the columns. I was introduced to you five years ago when I entered college by my first roommate.

At Brown.

Never listened to a podcast 'til my senior season.

On the lax team!

Now I love them because they drown out the voice of my wife.
-- Charlie, Endicott, N.Y.

Oh man, married life isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it? Harf harf harf harf! I once saw a sitcom about that very topic! Bill, your thoughts:

SG: That was the first installment of a new mailbag feature tentatively called "Fellas, Don't Get Married." I have high hopes for this one.

Therrrrrrre we go.

Q: Thanks for making me choke up at work with the column about your dog. I decided to move The Dooze immediately into my greatest dog rankings, just ahead of the dog from "Amityville Horror" that saved the dad from falling into the gate of hell. Powerful column. Thanks.
-- Andy, Decatur, Texas

I didn't rip on this column at the time it was written because I figure it was super-low hanging fruit. But really, come-fucking-on. Holy Jesus balls. Your dog died of old age? What a horrible, horrible hand fate has dealt you. Surely that warrants a 12,000 word column. You're a sportswriter, cocklips. Write about sports. I'd rather read five more columns about the 2007 Patriots than one more sentence about Bill's personal life and its mundane tragedies.

SG: ...even my wife would admit The Dooze didn't top the "Amityville Horror" dog. I mean, we're talking about a black lab rescuing a master from the gates of hell here. The Dooze only would have toyed with the gates of hell if a tennis ball rolled near it. I still have the "Amityville Horror" dog ranked first, the Dooze second, Hooch third, Scooby-Doo fourth, Marley fifth, Cujo sixth (just because he came soooooooo close to mauling the annoying little kid from "Who's the Boss?"), Dino Flintstone seventh … and Paris Hilton's chihuahua last.

TOPICAL! How about that Octomom, huh?

One more note: Four of the five greatest sports movies of all time are "Hoosiers," "Field of Dreams," "Rocky" and "The Natural" in some order. The fifth is up for debate. Just make sure those four are included.

Only Bill's opinions on movies count. Yours is wrong. (See Jack's post below.)

It cannot be argued or debated from the standpoint of quality, originality, rewatchability, likability and chill scenes.

What makes for a good movie is now objective, not subjective.

What's interesting is that THREE of those movies undeniably have racist undertones: "Hoosiers," "Rocky" and "Field of Dreams." The first two revolve around a white underdog toppling an invincible black champ;

The kind of movie people from Boston can really get behind.

the third completely ignored a half-century of indefensible prejudice against minorities in Major League Baseball. Even worse, I loved all three movies for years and years and would watch any of them right now if they came on. Does this mean I should be writing this column with a white hood on? I can't come to grips with this.

It sounds like you're pretty close. It's a rare moment of self-awareness for Bill.

Q: I'm a 30-year-old ex-college athlete who likes rare steaks and fake breasts. I just read your Dooze column and had to disappear into the bathroom at work so my co-workers would not see me crying. Damn you.
-- Dave, Philadelphia

Pretty weird how Bill's editors keep making him print these congratulatory emails, huh? Yeah, if he were choosing the emails himself, it would be pretty fucking lame of him to keep choosing ones like this. Good thing it's not him doing that choosing though. Yeah, it's definitely someone else.

Q: We've all seen "Cast Away" and, of course, remember the emotional scene as Wilson the Volleyball floats away from Tom Hanks in the middle of the ocean. It's time to admit to ourselves those two were more than just friends. I mean come on … four years on an island together … no female or any other sexual outlet around. Hanks did the deed with the Volleyball and probably regularly.
-- Carl F., Merrimack, N.H.

SG: Yup, these are my readers.

Who may or may not be funnier than Simmons himself. Hard to say. Is it possible for all of them (as well as Simmons himself) to simultaneously contract kidney failure? If only.

Friday, March 13, 2009

dan-bob Leaves His Brain Behind

This is an edit to take down a foolish post of mine where I criticized a claim by's Joe Posanski about Rickey Henderson. In fact, I had misread the point Mr. Posnanski made - which had to do with Rickey's astounding number of leading-off-an-inning-walks. I apologize to Mr. Posnanski, and recognize that I, not he, am the idiot in question.

In its stead:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bill Simmons expands the horizon of topics he talks out of his ass about

You don't need stats to know greatness. Meryl taught me that.

Next time you're hanging out with friends, ask them this: "Who is the greatest living actor?" The question will temporarily paralyze them, as if they'd been Tasered. Everyone watches movies, so the answer should be obvious, right?

Yes, the answer to a question that's entirely based on one's own personal taste should be completely self-evident. The fact that it isn't completely blows my fucking mind.

But they will hem and haw, glance at the ceiling, stutter and say things like, "Man … " and "Hmmmm." Then they will suggest Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro or Al Pacino.And they will be wrong. The answer is Meryl Streep.

Considering the question was "who is the greatest living actor" and Meryl Streep is an actress, you might both be wrong.

Only 59 years old, Streep has been in 40 movies (not including voice-overs and cameos),

Being in lots of movies, always the mark of a great thespian. Just ask this guy.

taken home Oscars for Sophie's Choice (best actress) and Kramer vs. Kramer (best supporting actress) and drawn 13 other nominations. She's been nominated for 23 Golden Globes and won six. She has two Emmys. Her résumé dwarfs that of every other living actress so dramatically, she's like a cross between Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice and Wayne Gretzky.

That's all good and well except a few paragraphs later Simmons says this:

Sports are objective (you win or you lose), whereas movies are almost entirely subjective. I believe Pacino's performance in The Godfather: Part II is one of the 10 greatest of my lifetime. Did he win a best actor award in 1974? Of course not. The Oscars are littered with injustices like that: De Niro's not winning for Taxi Driver, Paul Newman's not winning for The Verdict, Anthony Hopkins' winning a best actor for 16 minutes of screen time as Hannibal Lecter.

So Merryl Streep is the greatest because she's won/been nominated for a lot of awards which Simmons claims to be totally unreliable. Fantastic logic.

If the Oscars were reliable, they would help us create a formula that enabled us to rank actors of all eras. Well, what if we tried anyway? Let's make best actor/actress nods worth seven points and nominations worth three. Then let's make best supporting actor/actress nods worth three and nominations worth one. It's a highly scientific formula I just spent at least 27 seconds devising. And guess what? The Simmons Cinematic System shakes out in an overwhelmingly logical way.

Are you happy with those rankings? Me too! I'm a genius!

This is the equivalent of me saying: "Well there's no sure-fire metric for measuring the success of offensive lineman, and I know that Pro-Bowl voting is complete bullshit, but what if we decided that Pro-Bowl voting was the best way to determine the comparative worth of an offensive lineman? Wouldn't it make so much sense once you looked at the list and saw that all the lineman who you thought were good, were in fact actually good!? Man, I'm a fucking genius!"

Yeah, Pacino and De Niro should be higher, but they were robbed in '74 and '76, so their stats make sense.

So, in other words, your ranking system is as devoid of merit as the Oscars themselves.

Lemmon's [high] number surprises me a little.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Spike TV doesn't cycle Some Like It Hot or The Apartment between showings of Scarface and Heat.

But that's not the point. We've had ample time to figure this all out, and we've never bothered.

That, or it's a completely subjective argument that millions of people probably engage in every day.

We never felt the need to validate Brando's brilliance by raving that he's the most consecutively nominated leading actor (four, from 1951 to '54)

Because nothing sums up an actor's worth like consecutive nominations from a body that is widely derided as being biased and corrupt.

nor do we pimp Nicholson by pointing out that he's the only living actor with three Oscars.

I'm so tired of Nicholson not getting any respect from the media.

Those guys are legends. Their degree of greatness doesn't matter, just the greatness itself.

What the hell are you babbling about?

So what does this have to do with sports? With everyone fretting about the steroids era and how it frayed the carefully woven fabric of baseball history, ask yourself this: Does any of it matter? Bonds remains the best leftfielder I've ever seen in person. I'll never forget watching Roger Clemens in his prime. I never turned the channel when Manny was batting for the Red Sox -- never, ever, ever, not once. A-Rod fetched the highest price in each of my fantasy auctions this decade. I probably paid four grand to Fenway scalpers from 1999 to 2001 to watch Pedro pitch even though I was broke. Some of them cheated for an edge they didn't need; others stayed clean. I will remember them all.

Maybe we overthink this stuff. The truth is, either you're great or you're not.

Oh gee, thanks, Bill. I hadn't realized that I should appreciate great athletes. I also could never have figured out that the truly great players (Bonds, Clemmens, A-Rod, Manny, Pedro) are "great because they're great," and we should all ignore the albatross of terrible stats (like A-Rod's 147 career OPS+, or Pedro's 154 career ERA+) they all carry with them.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This Week in Unfortunate Headlines

From (whose article headline "Putting On Some New Sox" is pretty cringeworthy itself.)

Of course nothing can top the headline from the ESPN article on Colon signing with the White Sox way back in 2003: "The Sweet Smell of Colon"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

OMG! Who Would U Want 2 B Ur New BFF?

Sportscenter continues its downward descent into retardery. I understand turning this kind of thing into a simple internet poll, but how insulting is it to make the lead story on a Thursday night edition of the nation's premier sports news program: "TO, A-Rod, or Manny- who would you want to be your teammate?" Because that's what happened tonight. Here's my answer to that, anonymous ESPN program director: who gives a shit? What is this, an "Us Weekly" poll? How about instead of asking dumb and meaningless questions like that, you instead just report the news (the relevant news) and show some fucking highlights. Now, I'm not saying that those three guys aren't all relevant stories right now. They are. But why must they all be packaged together, in an invitation to the masses to pick which of the three would make the best teammate? That's the worst possible way to present those stories. The absolute worst. Sportscenter is quickly becoming worse than chlamydia.

The sad part is, there are millions of cable viewers out there tonight who thought this was a totally relevant and fun way to look at the stories surrounding these three guys. These pinheads thrive off of comparing apples to oranges to bananas, particularly when there's absolutely no need to make the comparison in the first place. Fuck this country. I don't mind our politics, or wealth disparity, or any of that stuff a lot of people cite as reasons for disliking us. I just hate 90% of the people who live here. Jesus fucking Christ, people. Stop pandering to this shit. SAVE US, LE ANN SCHREIBER. Dear Lord.

Oh, and for what it's worth, if I had a vote, I'm going for Manny. He seems like a cool dude! TO and A-Rod are selfish, and more importantly they aren't "winners!" Yay for useless polls!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009, JAVA, and You

A friend of mine in Australia pointed this out to me, and it needs to be mentioned. Today is the NHL Trade Deadline and all eyes are on for breaking news. So they do what any league would do - install a countdown clock. That clock counts down to 3PM.

So what's the problem?

It counts down to 3PM. Not 3PM EST, but 3PM.

JAVA programming can be tough, but it would be more work to draw time from your local computer than the NHL server.

That means that last night here, and about 4PM AEST, the Australian NHL Trade Deadline passed. Sadly, no marsupials (presumably) will be lacing it up this season.

I apologize for the Australian screen shot quality. I thought the person who sent it in would have a better concept of computers.

So here's my desktop clock with the countdown. It's counting down to 3PM Central.

This will be the one time that might be able to steal traffic away from - which is live streaming Tradecentre for all of the world to see! - and you can't get the countdown clock right? That's pretty much the problem with the NHL in a nutshell.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We Have a New Entrant in the Ongoing Contest for Worst Article Ever Written

Full disclosure: I found this on KSK, and they did a full breakdown of it (which I don't have time to do). But seriously... just read it. It's an insult to the English language. Hell, it's an insult to each of the individual letters in the English alphabet. Reading it left me wondering whether or not there is a God. My eyes now hurt. My brain hurts. My whole body aches from being exposed to the pile of dumbfuckery that is this article. Is that enough hyperbole for you? No? Just go read the article. It's like drinking gasoline while sticking a fork in an electric socket.

In sum: the link above goes to a bad piece of sports journalism.