Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm not just a complainer- I'm an INTERNET-BASED complainer

Big Simmons post coming later this week, hopefully later Monday. In the meantime let's all sadly shake our heads at Doris Burke. Burke is employed by ESPN as a sideline reporter and sometimes commentator for NCAA basketball. She only works behind the mic for a handful of NBA games every year- not because (sexist joke here), but because she says ridiculous, meaningless bullshit like this.

The scene: Friday night's Nuggets/Blazers game. New Nugget Danilo Gallinari has just completed a nice sequence of offensive possessions that included a couple assists and a huge dunk. Burke's response to the dunk (not exact words, didn't DVR, but it certainly stuck in my head when I saw it live).

WOW! This is like the scene in Remember the Titans, where the quarterback gets hurt, and the new quarterback comes in and he looks timid at first, but then he makes some big plays, and the one coach says to the other, "We didn't just get a player- we got a FOOTBALL player!" Well the Nuggets should be looking at Gallinari and realizing they just got a BASKETBALL player.

Words fail me. Maybe Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth know what the fuck that means, but I doubt anyone else in the world does.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Haven't broken out the "something that doesn't suck" label in a while

But earlier tonight, there I was: reading a well-written and intelligent piece of sports journalism. The subject is the pending NFL lockout and Roger Goddell's warm-hearted promise that he'll take a salary of a dollar this year if the labor problem causes skipped games. Take it away, Ray Ratto:

The commissioners were, are, and will always be employees of the owners. It should be that they are paid by both the owners and players, but the owners would never share their go-fers -- not while they have so many people baffled into thinking they are running things.

Put another way, Goodell acting like the man means Jerry Richardson doesn't have to, and with Richardson's gift for loose-cannon-hood, Goodell is already worth his weight in platinum.

Ohhhhh yeah. That's good stuff.

The NFL being first to play the lockout game this time, it gets to be the first to hear the nation say with one grating voice, "Oh, shut your stupid mouths."

If only. The NFL is so popular right now that I'm pretty sure about 90% of fans are riveted to the back-and-forth between the two sides.

Everything the league has done to make the players look like the evil ones while failing to mention that this lockout is actually a referendum on the rich-owner/richer-owner dichotomy has made a joke of the coverage.

The average fan's response is unfortunately still DUHHHHH FOOTBALL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL HEY THE DRAFT IS COMING RIGHT UP IN TWO MONTHS! Ratto is 100% right though. The coverage is a fucking travesty.

So we'll say this again. If the owners want to refuse any income, then we'll say they're serious. Anything short of that, and the argument that they take the risk and should reap the rewards will be even more idiotic than it usually is.

I know I usually say this about sportswriters, but I'm going to change it up tonight: (most) owners of "big four" sports franchises are the worst people on the planet. I hope they all die broke and lonely.

Click the link and read the whole thing. It's pret-tayyyyy, pret-tayyyyyyyy, pret-tay good.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Literally Ironic Alert

I'm going to do something more substantial tomorrow or Wednesday night, but since posting has been a little sparse around here lately

/clears throat
/glares at other FireJay writers as much as one can do so on the internet, which is not at all

I decided I should throw up a quickie tonight. First of all, while watching some of the Daytona 500 today (yeah that's right, that happened, I channel surf to NASCAR occasionally, deal with it, I just happen to find it relaxing) I learned from one of FOX's announcers that the late Dale Earnhardt was an incredibly strong guy.

He literally carried the sport on his back.

That's pretty impressive. Just remember, kids: literally is a word that adds emphasis to nonsensical figures of speech.

And for the irony portion of the post we have the thoughts of Captain Douchehole himself, William Peaboday Q. Simmons the third. This comes from his annual NBA trade value column, which is really just an excuse for him to take a few cheap shots at the Lakers, talk about how much toughah and bettah the Celtics ahh, and write a lot of bad jokes about bad movies and TV shows (so really no different than anything else he writes):

Ty Lawson: I always get the definition of "irony" wrong, like most people, which makes me think that we should just change the meaning of the word to account for all the people who misuse it. So forgive me in advance. But doesn't it seem ironic in the traditionally wrong application of the definition that Ty Lawson -- the third point guard Minnesota drafted in 2009 (and immediately traded away) -- is better than the guys the Wolves drafted No. 5 and No. 6? That's totally what I think ironic means, even though it doesn't.

Besides being unfunny, stupid, and sickeningly self-congratulatory, you're also lazy. You and Chuck Klosterman were made for each other. If I had the money to make it happen I'd pay to get you both kidnapped, tied to the side of a rocket, and launched into deep space. Later in the same article:

A good test case for one of my favorite games (inspired by Chuck Klosterman): "Overrated, underrated or properly rated?" In the Internet era, we spend so much time dissecting things that it's hard to find something that's properly rated -- we either think someone's getting a little too much credit or not quite enough.

Fuck the both of you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The last time I bothered to read TMQ

It was mid-November. And after that I was like "fuck this." Well now I'm saying un-fuck that. Let's see what he has to say about the Super Bowl. Surprise! He's still a self-contradicting mental midget.

Safety Nick Collins cut in front of an underthrown Ben Roethlisberger pass, made the interception and weaved his way to the end zone; suddenly, the Green Bay Packers led the Super Bowl 14-0. It was the third consecutive postseason contest in which Green Bay returned an interception for a touchdown. There were three interceptions returned for touchdowns in the 2011 postseason, all by Green Bay, and the playoffs end with the Packers as champions. That is no coincidence -- because the pick-six is the most devastating play in football.

Gregg has stated dozens of times that a fumble on the kickoff is the most devastating turnover in football (which certainly precludes a pick-six from being the most devastating play). When? Well you could start by looking here, here, or here. I don't care about him contradicting himself because I'm looking to nitpick. I care because this is shitty writing. It's plenty sufficient to say "pick sixes are really really bad and teams that get them usually win." You don't have to get all hyperbolic and dramatic to make your point. Just stop being so fucking bad at writing. That's all I ask.

Any type of touchdown counts for the same number of points. But the interception-return touchdown has greater psychological impact: The offense has worked, worked, for field position

The line of scrimmage for Collins's interception return was the Steelers' own 7.

and, suddenly, a defensive player is sprinting in the opposite direction to the end zone. That's like a giant foot stepping on the mindset of the team surrendering the pick-six.

That's like a giant megabucks glory boy first round draft pick foot stepping into the undrafted twice-cut small college mindset of team surrendering the pick six.

And a fumble returned for a touchdown has great impact. But football players and coaches know that fumbles occur largely by chance -- even the best players fumble -- but an interception returned for a touchdown signals a breakdown of performance and tactics.

For saying that, you are the stupidest person I know who receives a check to write about football. The stupidest. Congratulations, Don Banks! You're off the hook.

The quarterback should not put the ball where it can be intercepted.

The running back/receiver should not put the ball where it can be dropped or stripped. And yet it happens.

The coaches should not draw up plays that are vulnerable not just to interceptions but to the intercepting player having an open field.

I'd be shocked if any offensive coordinators considered that when drawing pass plays. "OK, great, so this guy coming across the middle should be open, and better yet, when Grossman throws the ball directly into the safety's chest, we'll have three guys there ready to tackle him!"

A fumble returned for a touchdown might only mean bad luck;

Usually it means bad ball protection and sometimes it means lack of awareness that the ball is loose on the part of offensive players.

an interception-return touchdown always means a serious screw-up by the offense.

Except in the event of a tipped pass, a desperation 3rd and long heave when a team is trailing, a DB making a bad play by gambling for the pick and guessing right (I'm looking at you, Asante Samuel). Holy ballsack. If you're a professional sportswriter who thinks pick sixes "always" mean a serious screw up by the offense and that fumble return TDs are just a bit of bad luck aw shucks, you should lose your football watching privileges forever.

The pick-six is the most devastating play in football. Mastery of this play -- the Packers returned five interceptions for touchdowns overall this season -- is a core reason the Lombardi trophy is on its way back to Lombardi's town.

No team has a greater mastery of interception returns than any other, I promise you. Certain players? Sure. You just can't go out there and practice putting everyone where they will be when a pass gets picked. And you don't need to encourage defensive players to go block the shit out of offensive players after a turnover happens. They're more than happy to do that at any opportunity.

And Green Bay's result raises the question of whether coaches should be less concerned with sacks on defense, more concerned with creating interception opportunities as a matter of game planning.

Those two things... are related... did you even watch the Collins play... two Packers... hitting Roethlisberger as he threw... helped cause the underthrown pass... that kind of thing happens all the time... no?

/Larry B bangs head against his coffee table until passing out

OK nevermind. Re-fuck this. I can't do any more. Time to fire up the "John Kruk is fat and stupid" article template- baseball's back!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jeff Pearlman: As usual, what the fuck are you talking about?

See if you can follow this flawless logic without having your brain explode:

Just listened to a little bit of Aaron Rodgers’ interview with the NFL Network crew.

Not sure if y’all have heard about this,

You're from upstate New York. Please drop the fake folksyism of "y'all."

but the Packers overcame so much adversity this year.

Like injuries.

And … uh … well … yeah.


And … other, meh, stuff.

Seriously, of all the cliched babble out there, the we’ve-overcome-so-much-adversity line might be my all-time least favorite.

Yeah, the line gets overused. And I'm not sure if the Packers overcame any substantial adversity outside of injuries this year. But...

OK, the Packers had a lot of injuries this season.

Dear Jesus, did they ever. In addition to tons of smaller injuries, like losing Charles Woodson for the second half of the Super Bowl and losing Aaron Rodgers for two games, they ended the season with 13 guys on injured reserve. These weren't little rinky-dink third stringers, either- Ryan Grant, Nick Barnett, Mark Tauscher, and Jermichael Finley were all big time contributors in 2009 and all missed at least 15 games. The Packers got totally demolished by injuries this year. They got banged in the butt by injuries. They got annihilated by injuries. In short, they got incredibly unlucky w/r/t injuries (unless their training staff blows or something, which I doubt is the case). Then they won the Super Bowl. Those two facts are definitely worth mentioning together.

So did the Jaguars,

Missed the playoffs.

the Giants,

Missed the playoffs.

the Saints,

Made the playoffs, then lost in the first round to a 7-9 team.

the Raiders

Missed the playoffs.

and 70 percent of NFL teams.


Hell, the Steelers lost their quarterback to a four-game suspension.

Not an injury, unless being a complete fucktard counts as an injury.

The Bengals had to overcome the death of a receiver. The death.

That happened last season. Last season. And then they lost their first playoff game without putting up much of a fight, probably in part because they were emotionally drained.

In conclusion: most teams that get killed by injuries don't make the playoffs. Those that do fold like a cheap tent when they get there. The Packers might have been the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE team to get hit hardest by injuries this season, and they won the Super Bowl, but that's nothing to brag about because Pearlman doesn't like the "adversity" line. Nothing to brag about at all.

Jeff Pearlman eats paste.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I know what you're thinking-

The big story from the Super Bowl has to be what a dripping, pathetic snatch Charles Woodson is, right? I mean- can you fucking believe that guy? Standing there on the sidelines, totally able to walk (AND I SAW HIM CLAPPING TOO I MIGHT ADD), hanging his team out to dry. Unbelievable. How could he do that? Why wasn't he in the game? I hope Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth and Jason Whitlock and every other diptard journalist out there who clearly knows more about the medical condition of a hurt player than the player himself or his training staff takes Woodson to task for his pussitude. I'm sure that's what we'll be reading about this week, right?

(insert gif of Jay Cutler sitting on the Bears sideline during the NFC title game here)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A nice visit with some morons from the past

About three-ish years ago, I watched Around the Horn and PTI almost every day. It's true. I won't say what I was doing with my life at that time that enabled me to do so; it's mildly embarrassing and unimportant. I will say that after a few months of watching I got used to the buffoonery I absorbed on a daily basis. Sure, I knew I was watching a bunch of morons. But I didn't take the time to really process any of the specific instances of moron-ness I saw. It was just one big loud 60 minute shout.

That brings me to yesterday. I had a spare hour in the late afternoon/early evening and decided to take a trip down memory lane. Hoooooooooooo DOGGIE did it hurt. I didn't DVR the shows so I will relate to you only the worst bit I remember from each.

From ATH, I'll go with the panelists' responses to a (very reasonable- and I say that with no sarcasm) question: on Monday night, the Nuggets traveled to New Jersey for the first time since the Melo-to-the-Nets rumors died. Melo scored 35 but the Nets won. Who feels better about the night: Melo or Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov? Lots of interesting angles one could take here. Melo feels better because he got to stick his talent in Prokhorov's face even though it was Melo's refusal to sign an extension with the Nets that killed the deal. Or maybe Prokhorov gets to feel better because his team got to show Melo they don't give a shit about him. I dunno, be creative. Come up with something that is 1) responsive to the question and 2) not boring. Unfortunately the entire panel failed on both counts by each goin with some variation on

Well, Prokhorov has more money. So he's got to feel better about the game.


The PTI bit I remember most vividly was much more infuriating because it was dumb analysis on a dumb topic (instead of just dumb analysis). The utterly irrelevant subject matter: Wilbon interviewed Ben Roethlisberger and asked Roethlisberger whether or not he feels like he's turned his life around. WELL BY JOVE, ROETHLISBERGER SAYS HE HAS! NOW THAT'S NEWS! A pro athlete that was skewered by the press and the public recently for being a total asshole is asked if he's still a total asshole. His shocking answer: no!

Anyways, Kornheiser of all people had to play the voice of reason once Wilbon brought this up and say that he (Kornheiser) was still pretty skeptical about Roethlisberger and that Roethlisberger still has some work to do to repair his off field image. Wilbon's indignant, snarky, wiseass response:

Well I'll tell you where he doesn't have any work to do: on the field. He's doing just fine out there.

Great. What were we talking about again? Thanks for the shiny, beautiful red herring.

Mike Wilbon in 2005: Barry Bonds tells me he's gotten past his animosity towards the general public and will no longer be an asshole to anyone, ever. I gotta say I'm buying it. He seemed sincere when he said that into my tape recorder during our interview that was scheduled well in advance and set up on friendly terms.
Me: Geez, I don't know, he's got a pretty long track record of being a complete douche. I think he's probably going to have to do more to-

Have you ever noticed how I always pick on Bonds when I do analogies like this? Wonder why that is.

In conclusion, ATH is still full of idiots (although some of them are new idiots), and more importantly Mike Wilbon is still a total piece of shit. Kornheiser gets a pass from me. This time.