Showing posts with label Bernie Miklasz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernie Miklasz. Show all posts

Friday, September 25, 2009

And Now, A Hockey Article

Nope, I lied. But now you'll see how I felt when I started reading Bernie Miklasz's column about an apparent new stadium that was built for the Dallas Cowboys. The place has been open for a while, but apparently Bernie only gets VHF or Clear QAM, as it took NBC's Sunday Night Football to prompt him to write an article about the Cowboys' new stadium. (Spoiler - it's not really about that.)

Let's start at the very beginning. Either I haven't been paying attention (likely, too lazy to look at old posts) or Bernie added his e-mail address and phone number to the top of his articles. Observe:

Bernie Miklasz

Just found that odd is all.

Watching Sunday night's game between the New York Giants and Dallas at the Cowboys' new stadium, and listening to Al Michaels and the NBC boys go completely ga-ga in losing their minds over Jerry Jones' $1.1 billion monument to excess, I began thinking about the NFL scene in St. Louis.

As everyone else in St. Louis was thinking about ways to forget the NFL scene in St. Louis. Odds on favorite was Bud Light. I think it's made here?

When the Edward Jones Dome opened in 1995, it was the envy of a lot of NFL owners, and other NFL cities reacted by funding and building exorbitant new palaces to please their wealthy football merchants.

If you want to be picky, in 1995 it was known as the Trans World Dome. Then American Airlines bought TWA, stripped St. Louis of being a hub, and left the airport an antiquated pile of steel. But this is an article about the... Cowboys new stadium. Yes, that's it.

NFL owners desperately wanted to outdo each other, and the rapid escalation of ego has now reached preposterous levels, culminating in the images being broadcast from Arlington, Texas on Sunday. I'm not one for political correctness, and I'm a free-market guy, and I am blessed to have a few relatively modest perks in life. But the football McMansion near Dallas left me cold and came across as over-the-top and obscene.

I doubt that ego plays any role in it. I'll attempt to show my work.

Owner's Money - Tax Money = Less Owner's Money for New Stadium
New Capacity - Old Capacity = More Seats
More Seats x Raised Ticket Prices = Profit
Less Owner's Money + Profit = More Profit

My macroeconomics teacher would be so proud, given that she wasn't shipped back to Trinidad or Tobago. I forget which one she was from.

I find it hard to believe that a man of Bernie's size could be cold. Poor circulation, perhaps?

Given the hard knocks of a tough economy, and all of the jobs being lost across the country, and the many parents worrying about feeding their kids and paying the bills, it struck me as wildly inappropriate to be glorifying Mr. Jones' collection of designer luxury suites, private clubs, exotic cage dancers and a video board so large that it could span the Tropic of Capricorn.

You know who wont be going to these games? People that worry about paying bills or feeding their kids. And such a large venue being built could not have provided construction jobs, or additional jobs for stadium maintenance. And the Mitsubishi Orgazmotron that was installed must have been supplied for free, not providing jobs to anybody at all. It just fucking appeared. Through God's glory hole in the roof.

Look, there's nothing wrong with having a nice stadium. There's nothing wrong with investing in professional sports for your community, but only up to a point. How far do we go with this? Will anyone, can anyone, try to top Jones? Will some oil sultan rush to build a $2 billion stadium in Dubai, hoping to lure the Jacksonville Jaguars or St. Louis Rams?

Caution! Slope is slippery! The NFL won't grant Canada a franchise, but somebody in Dubai will land one? The NFLPA will let players fly to Dubai to play games? Somebody will want the Jaguars? Highly unlikely. Dubious even.

And whatever happened to the football game?

Oh, that.

The game.

Alright, I wasn't in Sunday night so I didn't watch, was there a lot of stadium talk? It's a pretty cool place with a lot of unnecessarily cool shit, why not show it off?

I was delighted to see the Giants beat the Cowboys. Jerry's billion-dollar stadium couldn't make Tony Romo a more accurate passer or make Wade Phillips a good coach. Jerry's boys haven't won a playoff game since 1996. I guess you can build a stadium to end all stadiums, but it doesn't mean you know how to build a winning team.

Sample size: 2 games.

What's happened to this league? I grew up watching Hall of Famers such as John Unitas, John Mackey, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker and Gino Marchetti, and I didn't need to see them on a video board to enjoy it. When Unitas was marching the Baltimore Colts down the field to pull out another dramatic victory, I didn't care that I was sitting on cold, uncomfortable, aluminum bench-style seats at the austere Memorial Stadium. I loved the experience.

And teams would walk ten miles in the snow just to have the chance to fart on a picture of Marilyn Monroe's left arm! THAT'S WHEN FOOTBALL WAS A MAN'S SPORT! How dare technology ruin the comfort of watching the game... in high definition... from St. Louis... when the game is being played at night in Texas under lights. You know what would have made the experience better for the young Bernie Miklasz? Not freezing his clit off sitting on aluminum.

The game mattered. The players mattered. The competition mattered. That was my treasure. It wasn't about valet parking or leather chairs in luxury boxes. We didn't go to a football game demanding to be treated like VIPs sealed away behind a rope line where we'd discuss the quality of the brie, or praise the chef for his dish of braised short ribs.

I would dare say that many of the 100,000+ people there cared about the game. Cowboys fans - when not busy quoting Jimmy Johnson - tend to want their team to win.

A ham and cheese sandwich in a brown bag was perfectly fine.

Or 15 of them. And dont' worry about the bag actually, Bernie will just end up choking on it.

Those days are gone forever. Now there are too many consumers and climbers who can't tolerate the NFL experience unless they get to pretend to be Donald Trump for the day.

I can't go to a game unless I own real estate? I don't get it. I went to games each of the last three years and the most I spent was $200. I saved for a couple of months and sat right behind the Seahawks bench, first row. It was pretty fucking cool. Now I have to own apartment builds though, and that sucks.

Frankly, I'd rather watch on TV.

....oh, this is a good one. Just wait for it, it's great.

At least then the game — the competition — is pretty much at the forefront of the presentation.

That be the forefront presented by Visa. But first, here's a whole bunch of computer-generated lines and a robot that runs away from a Burger King! This and more, after retired players tell us what to watch even though it's all we'll be able to see on post game. And don't forget to watch the series premiere of Ratings Flop, a great comedy that will be canceled way to early because nobody gets it. I have had the fortune of seeing games from noon - 6:15 by virtue of sickness the last couple weeks, and believe me, there's a lot more at the forefront than the competition.

In this increasingly snobby and inaccessible NFL environment, we're told that the Edward Jones Dome is inadequate and outdated and a threat to the STL's future as an NFL city. The underlying threat is this: better build a new one and try to keep up with the Jerrys of the NFL world, or risk losing your franchise.

Believe you me - it's a giant shit pit. You can feel 1995 when you walk into the place. They spent $30 million to fix the video replay boards than didn't display the correct colors before and it's nowhere near enough. But the kicker is that the Rams have an escape clause in their contract if the Dome isn't in the top third of stadiums, the Rams get to leave. I guess it was nice to have a divisional opponent for the Seahawks to beat while it lasted...

The city, county and state — and taxpayers — made sacrifices to get the NFL to return to St. Louis. It was a nasty and costly fight, but we got the stadium and the franchise. That was fewer than 20 years ago. Who wants to go through that again?

So, you want them to leave?

Not that I want to see the Rams leave. I don't. But in the highly stressed financial climate, there's no discernible sentiment for investing public dollars for a new football stadium — or to publicly fund substantial upgrades for The Ed.

But a new opera house - that's what we need! If you watch this video, you'll see that having a neck and being able to be heard are not qualities you need to report news in St. Louis.

I don't know how this will eventually play out. The Rams are for sale. They probably will be free to leave after the 2014 season. The best hope, of course, is that a billionaire will step in and buy the franchise and build a stadium with (mostly) private money. But what are the chances of that happening?

About the same that a sultan gets an NFL team in Dubai?

In a few years, will St. Louis be capable of having a place in the NFL's insanely excessive Jerry World?

I can only think of one other billion dollar stadium being built, and two teams share that one. So I guess you could say it's only 2 $700 million stadiums being built into one. Like Voltron.

Do we want to have a place in Jerry World?

You do if you want a football team in St. Louis. I want one, but I don't think fans of the Rams do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome to St. Louis, Now Go Fuck Off

While most of my high school classmates stayed in state for college, I jumped at the chance to move back to St. Louis. Some my say that I only did that because my alma mater is the only school that gave me a scholarship, and those people are right. This city has a lot of things that most others don't. And unfortunately for new St. Louis Blue Carlo Colaiacovo, this city has St. Louis' own Bernie Miklasz

You see, I don't really care for the guy. To me, he's the Jay Mariotti of St. Louis. I don't subscribe to the Post-Dispatch because of him. I don't watch Cardinals pregame because he might be on. I only clicked to read his article because I didn't know he wrote it. If I was a better blogger, his RSS feed would be on my toolbar. Well I guess I'll take one for the team.

I have a giant pet peeve, and that's misspelled names. My name is very difficult for people, even after the Jeff Jarrett character in the WWF spelled my name for months before hiting people over the head with guitars. J-A-double R-E-double T. *KA-BONG*. So let's dive right in.

The Blues ought to send some video to Earth City, and give the Rams something to look at in between naps. Rams players could learn a few things about giving the fans an honest effort for their ticket dollars.

Man, those Rams suck! They're so bad, in fact, that they should take lessons from a hockey team! Lessons in playing hard! While the Rams players take naps atop their millions of dollars, I'm sure they'll take a second to play harder for the fans that paid to watch them.

The Blues have their flaws, but they never stop working. Over the weekend, their gritty one-goal victories over Anaheim and Minnesota were a testament to determination.

Their gritty win over Anaheim was so gritty that they had the lead 2-1 with 6 seconds left and Anaheim scored when Jay McClement knocked Ryan Getzlaf over Manny Legace so he couldn't see the puck coming in that tied the game at 2. Then Lee Stempniak scored the game winner in OT. More on him in a second.

Sure, improved goaltending played a role. Manny Legace has emerged from his funk, and No. 2 Chris Mason played his finest game as a Blue on Saturday night in Minnesota.

The final scores were 3-2 and 2-1. You think goaltending was important in those?

They've pushed back to .500 on the season (8-8-2) and you had to love the way they fought their way past Anaheim on Friday in one of the most entertaining games at Scottrade this season. The Ducks can be physically intimidating, but the Blues stood up to the visitors, with B.J. Crombeen, Cam Janssen and Brad Winchester throwing down in the first 10 minutes.

That's right Blues fans, you have to love that they gave up the lead late. You have to love it because there were fights! Nothing says "New NHL!" quite like three fights and a 3-2 final. I was at that game, and the more entertaining game was the 6-1 thumping the Blues put down on the Stars where we all got free DQ Blizzards.

Blues coach Andy Murray seems to have a genuine fondness for old-time hockey, and the injuries have given Murray a chance to thicken the depleted roster by adding muscle.

You know what helps you lose games in the NHL these days? Playing Old-time hockey. It's great that you want to send fighters out there, Bernie, but Sidney Crosby will skate past him and score on a breakaway.

"Our players aren't reticent," Blues president John Davidson said. "They'll run you out of the building. The message the other night was, 'This is our house.' ''

Followed by the message "CHEETAH GIRLS: DECEMBER 7TH!"

Two new Blues entered the house Monday, when the team traded scoring winger Lee Stempniak to Toronto for defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and center Alex Steen.

I'm staying silent on what I think of the trade. Which tells you I hate it. But this blog is about bad journalism and Bernie and his editor leave a tightly coiled bundle of it right here.

Stempniak scored 27 goals two seasons ago but has only 16 goals in his last 97 NHL games despite clocking a lot of minutes on the power play. Stempniak was playing well at the time of the deal, but his fragile confidence is always an issue.

Also fragile? His left knee. It gave him problems all last season and was re injured this season.

The case can be made that the Blues gave up on Stempniak too soon, and the deal could blow up if his consistent scoring touch returns.

Last 5 games: 2 goals, 5 assists.

But this move also makes sense for a few reasons.

Reason #1: Nonsense

Stempniak is supposed to make $3.5 million next season; then he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Is Stempniak a $3.5 million player? Not really, and Colaiacovo and Steen will make a combined $3.1 million next season. So the Blues have obtained two players for less than the price of one, and the savings of $400,000 can only help the mission of getting McDonald re-signed after the season.

Because $400,000 will keep an NHL player from leaving.

The Blues are banking on the newcomers' upside. Colaiacovo and Steen are former No. 1 draft picks. If you include Erik Johnson and rookie Alex Pietrangelo (who was recently sent back to juniors), the Blues have 14 No. 1 draft choices on the roster.

WRONG. The Blues have 14 players who were picked in the first round of the draft. Not 14 #1 overall picks. So the two new Blues could either be really good, or total shit. In late breaking news, the Blues have also acquired The Little Engine That Could.

Colaiacoco is a bit of an enigma.

In that he doesn't exist. See, that's not his name. A simple typo. This will be corrected.

Noting Colaiacoco's injury history, Toronto coach Ron Wilson recently ripped into him for his poor conditioning. But if Colaiacoco can stay on the ice, his skating and passing should enhance the Blues' plodding transition game.

Carlo, welcome home, buddy! We make a lot of beer here in St. Louis, so hopefully you like drinking. Also, the sports columnist that St. Louis loves for no good reason will be spelling your name wrong. A lot. But don't worry, he'll spend most of his time writing about how bad the Rams are, how the Cardinals are the toast of the town, or about eating straight suet right off the kidney of a calf.

Colaiacoco didn't receive much ice time on the power play in Toronto, but he has a heavy shot and will take some turns on the point here. Still only 25, Colaiacoco has a chance to reach his potential in St. Louis and can be a top-four defenseman. Are Wilson's criticisms true or false? How hard does Colaiacoco want to work? We'll find out.

Hopefully he doesn't have that fragile confidence that Stempniak had, because some fat fuck is misspelling his last name. That's six times in two paragraphs that his name is wrong. It's not an easy name to type or pronounce. But the first thing he'll see in his new hometown's paper is that this midwestern yutz can't spell his name right. Thanks, dipshit.

If Stempniak, 25, starts pumping in the goals, the Blues may have regrets. But they've traded one mid-20s talent with upside for two mid-20s talents with upside. And they save money. It's a smart gamble.

$400,000 isn't saving a lot of money. With the economy set to bring the salary cap down next year, it doesn't hurt. I fail to see how you can say "saving money" is an upside to the trade. That's like a The only smart gamble here is William Howard Taft as the next Halloween costume for Bernie Miklasz. Or maybe he'd prefer Miklazs. Or perhaps Mikfatfuck.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fat Turds I Hate Not Named Jay Mariotti

My Seahawk fandom is not something that I try to keep secret, and it's a lot of fun to live in a city that shares the division that the Seahawks have won 4 years in a row. But by no means do I hate the Rams, their fans, or their writers.

Oh wait - St. Louis writers are fat turds. Bernie Miklasz writes for the paper in these here parts and this article is a stinker.

With rare exception, the entertainment value of NFL exhibition games is null and void. I watch the preseason games mostly because I'm crazy about watching sports. And living in the DVR age makes it easy to zip through to the stuff that interests me.

Just a quick poll here - if you're a DVR owner like me, and you're fast forwarding to get to something you want to watch, you aren't paying attention. I've tried to cruise through sporting events on TiVo before and it doesn't work. You see a play you want to watch go by quickly so you know how it ends, then you watch it again in real speed and then see a replay of it even slower. Or you can sit in the press box, eat (a lot) of free food, and watch the game with other writers who throw out stupid one liners about how poorly the team is playing.

But to get worked up over an NFL exhibition game?

Never. Not me.

Not until now …

I always get worked up over exhibition games. For a long time, it was all I had to cheer for. But Bernie, who just told us how boring they are because it's just guys trying to get on the practice squad playing each other, wants it to be so much more.

I really believe that it's time — past time, actually — for the Rams to act like they give a damn when they play a preseason game.

Such harsh language! He must be serious. If life was like commercials, Bernie would slam his fist down on his desk, but it would turn into pulled pork sandwiched instead of Skittles.

Bernie: "Give a damn! *fist slam* OOoOoOHhHHh! I need some Sweet Baby Ray's!"

Now he's given us his thesis, let's see his support.

This team needs to develop cohesion, confidence and credibility. The Rams need to give fans a reason to think the product has improved after last season's 3-13 wipeout.

And you get cohesion and support by having a starting running back who is holding out for more than $30 million a season. You get confidence by cutting half of the players that will play in the preseason game. And you get credibility by winning a preseason game.

How do you improve a product? How about signing better players? Drafting a good group of young players? No. You win a preseason game.

And the Rams will have another crack at breaking through the malaise on Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome, against the visiting San Diego Chargers.

We're not asking for much.

Just a preseason win, that's it. Because the season depends on it.

No reason to reveal the secret contents of the regular-season game plan. And there is no reason to play the regulars until they're carted off the field. I wouldn't suggest, let alone demand, that the Rams try to do everything they can to win preseason games.

But if they don't win tomorrow's game, you might as well cut the team and start from scratch, because the season is lost! The Rams are disbanding!

But is it too much to request that the Rams show that they can run a crisp offense, and line up properly on defense? Is it too much to ask the Rams to show that they can win the lines of scrimmage, instead of getting punked?

Considering men's careers in the NFL depend on them lining up properly on defense, I don't think it's too much to ask. My question to Bernie: Is it too much to ask that you find a way to write off the Rams faster? O.J. Atogwe is hurt, you'd better use that excuse before he heals.

The preseason games don't count, but impressions do.

Introducing your new nose guard, Frank Caliendo impersonating Robin Williams.

Especially if something advertised as new — the 2008 Rams — looks a lot like the 2007 version that crawled to an inexorable surrender.

The Rams aren't being advertised as new. In fact, the Rams are advertising that Rams fans don't sell their tickets to out of town fans so that they can create false starts. In fact, here's an article in the Bernie's own Post-Dispatch that outlines what is being advertised. By why open up your own paper?

Successful teams can go on cruise control in the preseason.

Winning coaches have the security and the status to take a cautious, safe, laid-back approach to these rehearsals.

But the Rams aren't a winning team.

And Scott Linehan's job is on the line.

You heard it here first, folks. Linehan's fired if the Rams lose Saturday... stay tuned!

The fans of this town have a lot of questions about the third-year head coach.

Top 3 fan questions about Scott Linehan
(1) Is he really related to Jim Caviezel?
(2) Really?
(3) Are you sure?

Most of the questions will be answered later, and Linehan has worked hard to make changes and initiate a fresh start.

Wasn't Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ?

I give him credit for that. Linehan shook up his staff and brought in a high-powered offensive coordinator in Al Saunders.

A high-powered offense that has to work hard to win, but not the high-powered regular season plays. (I wouldn't be surprised if somebody owns me in the comments about not knowing how football playbooks are written. That person [AwesomeSean] would be correct.)

But we all know there's another question hanging over this team, and it's never too early for Linehan to provide an answer:

Are they making a sequel to The Passion of the Christ?

Is he capable of getting players to play? Linehan won't win over the fans until they see that he can consistently inspire his team.

Answer: Google Steven Jackson Holdout

It's not his job to hire some jackass bitching about millions of unproven dollars - what he's asking for would make him the 4th highest payed running back, and on his best day he's still Steven Jackson of the St. Louis rams - But he should be able to say something to him to get him to sign a contract.

Along the same lines, there's the starting quarterback, Marc Bulger. It's never too soon for Bulger to offer up evidence that he's recovered from 2007's beating, and that he isn't content to just take a cushy seat on that big contract he signed last summer. Bulger's play against Tennessee in the preseason opener was frightening. He looked like a staggered boxer who had taken too many heavy punches to the jaw.

All 9 passes he threw...

This isn't all about Linehan and Bulger. All of the Rams have to show that they represent SOMETHING other than the dull, disorganized mess we observed in Tennessee.

YEAH! Get on everyone else!

Is it too much to ask the first-team offense to score a touchdown? It hasn't happened — not once — in the preseason since Linehan became head coach in 2006.

I thought we were changing subjects? For not asking for a lot, Bernie wants an awful lot. Don't spill the whole playbook, but impress us and score a touchdown with starters that you don't want to hurt. Push yourselves out there on the field, but not too much. Just enough to score. Maybe a little more? Can you get your helmet popped off your head so it gets on FSN's Final Score?

Seriously, what's the deal here? We aren't asking the Rams to solve conflicts in the Middle East, or ensure a lower price of crude oil.

Well why the fuck aren't we doing that? My truck squeaks when I put it in reverse, why aren't these asshats fixing it? And man is gas expensive! {How expensive is it?} It's so expensive, Bernie Miklasz should fuck off. {Canned Laughter}

All we want is the first-team Rams to take possession of the football, effectively block the other team, execute the play, string together an efficient series and enter the end zone. If the Rams' starters actually score a touchdown this summer, how do we respond? Maybe call the Vatican to report a miracle?

I think Rams fans would rather have a team with a winning record than a preseason first team touchdown. But I guess I don't understand football, Bernie.

The Rams broke training camp Wednesday. The day before, Linehan praised his team's energy and enthusiasm in practice.

"Great," Linehan told reporters. "I feel better about this week than I have maybe since the first week when we came out. Just our approach and guys working hard and guys being out there and fighting through the adversity and pain and all that stuff. It's been really good that way."

And it all goes to shit if they don't score a touchdown or win. What a lying prick that Scott Linehan is.

I want to believe Linehan. But I think I speak for a lot of folks in saying that I want to see it on the field, during competition.

And I think I speak for a lot of folks when I say that this article didn't need to be written.

Yes, it's only the preseason. But for the 2008 Rams, there is no such thing as a meaningless game.

Bern - can I call you that? Bern, it's the preseason. Watch the game on fast forward on your DVR and snuggle with your overweight cat. Then change it over to your DVD player and finish Season 3 of Gilmore Girls. Enjoy it with your Edy's Dibs. See you Sunday, Bern.