I kid, of course. But allow me to congratulate Coach Lane Kiffin and the Oakland Raiders on ending the 17-game losing streak of pure AFC West shame and, barring a freakish miracle, nailing the 3rd and final win of the 2008 NFL season. That’s a 50% improvement on Art Shell’s gross incompetence, so huzzah to the boys.
I’ll be honest, I actually thought we’d pull down 4 wins this season. Crazy but true. After a summer listening to Kiffin’s stuttered song and dance about innovative methods and youthful vision, I had about a half inch of hope going into the season. That grew to a whole inch after a near miss in Denver and two straight wins going into week 5. At that point, I couldn’t help but sit back and think, "Dare I believe?" … Well, I didn’t and we dropped 6 games in typical Raider fashion.
As such, I didn’t have much hope for Sunday with the Chiefs. I figured we’d make a battle of it before pissing the game away with a minute to spare.
But while thinking about everything that could go wrong for the Silver and Black, I failed to consider the one thing that could work to our advantage at the end of the 4th quarter: Herman Edwards.
The 2004 New York Jets aside, no Herm-led team has had a winning record after 6 games. Add that to the fact that Edwards is not only one of the worst clock managers of all time but also one of the worst in-game field generals since Gen. Ambrose Burnside, and I should have known that the odds were just too high in our favor for things to go wrong.
Go Raiders and thanks Herm!
Because I’m a neurotic fantasy everything player, I get baseball and football fantasy updates from every free service on the internets. Around midnight, I got this little nugget from Fanball:
Oh, really, Fanball? Back stiffness? Are you sure?
Vinny Testaverde has gotten to the point where I’m surprised his old balls aren’t being referenced as being "in the war." If it wasn’t his back, it’d be his knee or his wrist or his prostate or the finger he uses to slide open bags of Werther’s Originals. By simple virtue of having old, saggy balls, Vinny Testaverde should be questionable EVERY WEEK. He’s not Julio Franco. These days, he’d get a hernia watching porn.
So come on, Fanball. Stop sending alerts about Testaverde’s status, as if it’s some type of fantasy-impacting revelation. Anyone that actually needs that tip doesn’t have a team that’s worth a damn anyway. And as a side note, there is nothing Steve Smith owners want to hear other than: "Steve Smith traded to team with viable quarterback." Get serious and give me some information I can use.
In about an hour, Brian Barwick and the rest of those daft muppets at the FA will conduct an emergency meeting on the status of Steve McClaren’s employment. It’s possible that they’ll keep McClaren on but surely, even they aren’t that stupid. After Israel threw England a courageous lifeline on Saturday, the Three Lions opted for suicide, displaying a horrifying combination of prehistoric tactical maneuvers and shoddy, school boy football that should mark the end of the McClown Error in England.
As the FA embarks on this next coaching search, no cock ups can occur or the whole of the British Isles will burn. Oh, you think I’m being melodramatic? I assure you, chaos and disorder will reign from coast to coast. With no country in our clinically depressed archipelago being represented at Euros next summer, it’s not as if there will be much else to do but loot, riot and burn Soho Square to the ground.
For anyone that dares think Steve McClown is getting an unfair shake, lets recap the highlights in his disastrous, 12-game reign of disgusting mediocrity:
England 0 – 0 Macedonia
Croatia 2 – 0 England
Whether managing a squad of amazing talents or overrated punks, a manager can lead a group to relative success if he can motivate, instill discipline and put his players in a position to win. McClown could offer none of the above.
As much as this result needed to happen to get McClaren shuttled off to the hills, the match was still excruciatingly painful to watch. Shame and horror do not even begin to describe how it felt to see our boys proved inferior in every level of the game. We’re only lucky that the result wasn’t worse.
But what pisses me off more than the way we lost is that McClaren begged to be judged on the whole of his campaign and then stubbornly refused to resign once it was all said and done. It’s honestly too bad that there must be an emergency board meeting this morning. McClown should have been sacked AT Wembley – right on that jacked up pitch. And I don’t mean fired. I’m talking literally sacked – black bagged Peter Creedy style and carried away into the rainy night.
So long, Stevie Ginger, you no-skilled git. Good luck with your prehistoric tactics in Iraq or Kansas City or whatever sorry squad settles on you as their shaman of mediocrity.
England is officially boned. I’m not talking about prospects for Euro 2008 qualification – our chances to blow that remain as high as ever. I’m referring to our hope for future development under a manager instead of a wooden-toothed, ginger haired poseur. With the way things sorted out on Saturday, the State of the Three Lions would have better odds on a happy ending in a choose your own adventure book.
The England job is one of the most prestigious in international football; whoever serves as manager should be able to man almost any position in the world. But, amazingly, we are lead by a man that would struggle to be named manager at a mid-table Premiership team.
Suggesting McClown as a solution for managerial vacancies at clubs like Real Madrid, Barca, ManUre, Bayern Munich, AC Milan or Arsenal would elicit nothing but laughter. And when put in that perspective, his current job status is truly bizarre. I can’t fathom – considering those things – how McClaren’s current employment came to be. I mean, I know the facts but I’m still struggling to come to terms with how people that care about English football actually allowed it to occur.
I can think of no top flight manager in the world that would be a worse option for England. No manager worth his salt that the FA could say, "Meh… how bout McClaren?" Has he proven himself to be a good coach for high caliber managers? Yes. But is he a high caliber manager? Not even close! Steve McClaren is the personification of the Peter Principle, only he’s been promoted to a position that outstrips his ability.
In that vein, perhaps the bulk of the blame shouldn’t fall on his shoulders. It’s up to the players to play, afterall. And they’re spoiled, overrated punks that, on the whole, display little effort and passion, look at the opposing team as if they have no right to breathe the same air and then feign shock when things go wrong. But their failures notwithstanding, it is incumbent upon McClaren to do more than place our disparate collection of overpriced show ponies in a 4-4-1-1 and call it a day… isn’t it?
"It’s 4-5-1 today, gentlemen! Hargreaves and Barry: hunker down, guard the box and be ready for Cashley Cole to screw the lot of us when he gets smoked in no man’s land. Becks: Ping 30 yarders into the box. Some will turn into throw-ins, 5 will become corners and one just might hit Crouch in the head. Crouch: Be ready."
"Didn’t we do that when we were playing in the 4-4-2?
"Yes. Yes we did."
It’s like he’s not even trying. I know developing an actual tactical strategy and building a team of people that can work together to attack the upcoming opponent’s weaknesses and defend against its strengths is a real time drain but damn. Does McClaren really have anything else to do? He’s certainly not watching football. It’s like those people that go to work all day and do nothing but shop online and watch YouTube videos. At some point, even they get bored and do some work to spice up the day. Surely, McClaren reached that point long ago.
But thanks to Israel, it may not even matter. Israel is my secondary national team and while I really appreciate the fighting spirit on most days, was the injury time goal really necessary on Saturday? Was it? Honestly? Now we’re faced with the possibility of actually making Euros and I have to pray for Croatia to be completely inept… praying that England will be good is about as fruitful as setting a wad of $20s on fire.
Now, if we win on Wednesday, the ideal situation is that the FA gives Ginger a swift kick in the arse in favor of Martin O’Neill – or anyone really. But it’s far more likely that we’re left with the following two scenarios:
- England falls to Croatia, making the managerial question somewhat irrelevant until the close of Euros.
- Result 1: A wiser, more patient FA brass conducts a legitimate coaching search and gets it right.
- Result 2: A botched search leads to the second debacle in as many years with an astonishingly terrible hire like Bruce Arena.
- England wins and the FA does nothing but feel smug vindication against the criticizing masses. The whole of England will bitch and moan until the lads and their wags are shuffled out of the Alps in the quarterfinals. As McClown preaches about disproving naysayers and gunning for the World Cup, the Three Lions will slip further down the spiral. Mediocrity doesn’t just beget mediocrity; it also begets inferiority and if we keep this up, English football will descend into the sort of junk that Americans largely view as a complete waste of time.
I’m betting on scenario #2. Why? Because we’re English and whatever situation will create the most pain is what will end up going down. Thanks again, Israel. Jerks.
Due to some unfortunate events at work, my Nerf basketball caught fire and melted into this gooey heap of mess. The day was all but here and gone before I remembered that I needed a replacement but at nearly 9 pm, my only options were Meijer and Wal-Mart and Meijer’s toy department is substandard.
So I headed to Wal-Mart… There are times when my desperation knows no bounds.
<information tangent>Now, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re well aware that I suffer from some serious personal problems, including but not limited to: debilitating OCD, germophobia and misanthropic malaise. And since I generally do my best to avoid human contact if I’m not a) at work, b) in a sports-related situation or c) on my 8th shot, the latter two issues, make trips to Wal-Mart, particularly troublesome.
Depending on your location, Wal-Mart is either a pretty decent store or a mecca for the unclean, uncouth and unsanitary of your town. If a sign hung outside mine that said: "Give me your barefoot, your trashy, your huddled unwashed masses yearning to breathe illness and stank, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp of slashed prices beside the golden, sliding door!," I would not be remotely surprised.
Seven of ten people at my local Wal-Mart are missing teeth, various items of clothing and immune systems. Their children are sticky, fat, snot-covered abominations that scream, fuss and whine. Maybe they’re hungry, maybe they’re cold, maybe they’re just tired of staring at their mother’s muffin top while she bends over to get another 24-pack of Natty Lite. It’s anyone’s guess. And if they’re school age, they rip and run through the aisles, spreading colds, flu, SARs and funk, while their parent/guardian mindlessly scopes out Dog the Bounty Hunter on dvd and I cower near the wet wipes and hold my breath.
As such, I started bringing along a latex glove for my Wal-Mart visits. Crazy? Paranoid? I don’t deny it. I pick up a lot of stuff while I’m at the store that I don’t end up buying. I’d rather be crazy than come down with the plague because some "patron" coughed and snotted all over something before I happened along. </information tangent>
Armed with my latex glove, I grabbed the Nerf stuff pretty quickly and then meandered around the store looking for stuff I didn’t need. I wound up in the empty automotive section and tested out some car freshener that I carried for 8 aisles until I saw a Jeep trademarked utility pack. It came with bits, blades and what looked like flares and only cost $30. So I switched air freshener for pack and kept going until I reached the express line. All in all, I made 10 product exchanges on my way to checkout before placing my final pickup – a 10 pack of Orbit gum – into a magazine rack.
While waiting on slow-as-molasses Glenda to check people out, a grim-looking man approached:
"Miss, please step out the line." I asked why. "We need to talk to you about your activities." I didn’t see any "we." Just some an overweight tool in a black outfit. I refused to leave the line until I received an explanation on these supposed "activities" … I should have left the line.
"Miss, we’ve been watching you in the store with one hand in your coat pocket and one hand exposed. Where is the Renuzit spray." "On a shelf." "And the tool package? "On a shelf." "Budweiser neon sign." "On a shelf… the only thing that isn’t on a shelf is that pack of gum. It’s in a rack." He stared at me with pure rent-a-cop malice until some dude came in over a radio. Apparently my "on a shelf" descriptions were too vague, prompting the wench in front of me to clutch her purse, as if there was anything in there beyond condoms and a pack of Nicorette.
Security guy began questioning me again, so I took off my coat, shook it and asked where I’d put all of these allegedly shoplifted items. "Are you saying you shoplifted?" "No, YOU are." "We haven’t said anything. We’re just trying to get to the bottom of this. Maybe you have a partner. Maybe you’re leaving stuff behind… that would explain your glove. No prints." I was dumbfounded. "Look, I don’t think you get it." "Explain it to me then."
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t out my own craziness and paranoia in front of the 30 people in the vicinity – 25 of them were the very reason why I was wearing the glove in the first place! But when he threatened to call the police, I came clean in as low a tone as possible. Like it mattered. Security guy’s voice went up 450 decibels: "SO YOU DON’T WANT TO TOUCH ANYTHING IN WAL-MART BECAUSE YOU THINK ALL OF OUR SHOPPERS HAVE DISEASES AND YOU’RE AFRAID YOU’LL GET SICK?" "Well… see…"
Security guy got on the radio. "The girl isn’t a suspect. She’s just a lady Monk." "A what?" "You know that show on channel 51 with the crazy guy." "The blonde on that show is hot." Security guy walked away.
The rest of the shoppers stared at me with scorn. At least they didn’t boo or hurl empties. About 4 seconds passed before the purse clencher – who was buying construction paper, cigarettes, balloons and Coke – called me a snobby brat and the lady behind me chimed in as well: "Hey little girl, just because I don’t have a nice coat like you doesn’t mean I’m not a good person. This is America. We’re not out to hurt anybody." While I tried to figure out how that related to germs, she started coughing. And I mean really coughing. Wet, phlegmy, had pneumonia for 18 weeks coughing. When she finally stopped, she wiped her hands on her pants and put the People magazine back in the rack.
*Disclaimer: Wayne Gretzky is awesome*
*Disclaimer 2: I’m overreacting*
So yesterday I received an email from a Phoenix Coyotes multimedia person that wanted to promote some new interactive fan fun at the team’s website. The first item was Coyote’s Hockey HQ, a site that lets you create a game face, play games and make your friends look ridiculous. Meh. Not so into it. But the other nugget was "Coyotes Trax—Where we have players iTunes playlists so fans can find a common ground."
The only thing I know about the Phoenix Coyotes is Wayne Gretzky and goalkeeping great, Grant Fuhr, and most people would say that’s more than enough. In hopes that I’d be able to see what The Great One was rocking out to, I eagerly followed the link… to a land of great disappointment.
I really don’t know what I was expecting when I clicked on Wayne Gretzky’s tune resource. Since he came of age in the late 70s and early 80s, I assumed his list would be filled with a healthy Canadian mixture of classic rock, 80s new wave and some new but internationally chill band like Coldplay. But since he’s The Great One, it’d be the cool classic rock, the cool new wave and the cool new but chill. But alas.
Mixed among obvious and perfectly reasonable favorites like Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Golden Earring, The Kings, Red Rider and Triumph, were the ultimate of horrors: Nickelback… Sarah McLachlan… (brace yourself) Nelly Furtado.
I’m not even going to start on Nickelback and I’m going to let Sarah McLachlan go because "Angel" is hauntingly beautiful. But Nelly Furtado? Really? The thing is, it’s not even "Promiscuous" Nelly Furtado or the Nelly Furtado that got down with Missy Elliot in "Get Ur Freak On." At least listening to that version makes sense. Pop music becomes far more tolerable to men when they want to put their dick in the singer. But "I’m Like a Bird" Nelly Furtado? She only inspires me to get a Peter King style latte at Starbucks with money that I’ve pulled out of my bedazzled purse. I can’t imagine how that version has any effect on men.
I know I’m overreacting here, but I don’t know, I just didn’t see this coming. Sarah McLachlan and Nelly Furtado are okay for women because, you know, we have vaginas. But The Great One? While I never expected Slayer or anything, I certainly didn’t anticipate seeing the 2001 lineup from Lilith Fair.
To A-Rod: Thank you for hitting .314 with 54 homers, 156 runs batted in and .839 RISP this season. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the luxury of bitching about and, eventually, melting down over the Yankees playoff result. Your regular season magic was and is highly appreciated – just as it was last year and the year before that. I hated you for a long, long time but I eventually came around before this season, finally recognizing that you played your heart out for us, day in and out. I would have loved for you to stay in pinstripes for the rest of your career. Hell, it even seemed like you might be down for the ride, dropping two ridiculous lies in as many months:
"This feels like home. It’s hard to believe that I played for another two organizations. So much has happened to me here, adversity, some success, that I feel like anything but New York feels weird for me now."
“I understand I have an option, but I want to be a New York Yankee.”
But alas, your pimp has spoken – amazingly, on the same night that you dare to snub Hank Aaron, a man of penultimate integrity and class… Looking back, that seems painfully appropriate. Apparently, you can’t deal with the uncertainty of not knowing "what the composition of the team was going to be." As if the brass isn’t going to pony up the money to keep three of the four remaining pillars of recent Yankee lore. Correct me if I’m wrong, Alex, but aren’t you the same whore that signed a $252 million contract to play for a team that called Rick Helling its ace and had Dough Davis leading the pitching lineup with a 4.45 ERA? How dare you have the audacity to talk about team composition. You are a prostitute and a weasel and worse, Alex Rodriguez, you are not a man.
A man comes correct with honesty. He stands up and says, "Thanks for the opportunity but New York’s not for me," "I want to test my value on the free agent market," "I want to define my legacy on a championship team." Those comments would have stung but at least you’d have your dignity and your pride. By feasting on the mercenary market, the Yankees set ourselves up for those possibilities. We could have handled it. But no. Instead of standing up and dishing truth, the only thing you manage to accomplish is proving that you are a sackless, vacuous punk. What a legacy, Alex.
Don’t let the door hit you and your tepid .136 postseason average and 0/18 RISP in the ass on the way out, you fucking weasel.
Before facing the Scousers, Arsene Wenger said that this match would be the true test in a long run toward the Premier League title. And William Gallas noted that "This is the day when we will find out if the boys have become men." After this match, it is abundantly clear that not only did the lads pass the test with flying colors but they are also man enough to contend for the title.
We came out in a 4-5-1 with Adebayor up top, Rosicky and Eboue on the wings and Cesc, Hleb and Flamini in the middle but we were on the attack from go. It was ridiculous. No hesitancy, no caution. It was, sorry to say, balls to the wall football. Absolutely magnificent. But Liverpool looked just as good and with only 6 minutes off the clock, Steven Gerrard ripped a free kick through a gap in the wall the size of Alex Rodriguez’s ego.
Though we controlled possession from then on, we couldn’t penetrate through Liverpool’s midfield. But we held on through the half and then a new Arsenal emerged… or maybe it was a diminished Scouser side. They locked down on defense, lost Xabi Alonso and never contended again. The menacing presence of Gallas and Toure turned their shots on goal into fruitless pursuits, with balls flying directly into Almunia’s chest or dribbling slowly to his feet. And as Liverpool grew weaker, The Arsenal grew stronger.. with every minute we became sharper and more accurate until Cesc Fabregas finally broke through with a gem in the 80th minute.
Though you’d think that’s a little late in the going for some magic, we should have won by a hatful. The lads squandered at least four golden opportunities with blasts both wide of and off the post. But at the end of the day, you just can’t be upset about walking away from Anfield with a point and a game in hand on ManUre.
The lads never panicked, never faltered and never surrendered – even with Eboue, Rosiky and Adebayor looking like they left the bulk of their skills in London. This match was a true measuring stick for this team and we showed we have what it takes to contend for a championship. I hope ManUre is paying attention… but that might be tough, what with the beautiful football they’re playing lately… too bad. I guess they can’t all be Tottenham, eh, Toxic?
As you all know, the Boston Red Sox unceremoniously punted the Colorado Rockies into the mountains last night for their seventh World Series Championship. Unless you live a mile above sea level, this wasn’t a surprising result. Sure, no one guessed that the Rockies would tighten up like a gnat’s chuff, roll over and die but let’s be real – the only question was how long this would last, not who would win. All the same, it was a nauseating result. But while kneeling in front of the toilet after watching the Sux celebrate, I realized that there is a silver lining to this quick result: 6 months without Tim McCarver!
That’s right – no Tim McCarver "analysis," no "Tim McCarver Show," no Tim McCarver anything. Just sweet silence. And for that, I want to express my undying gratitude to the Boston Red Sox. By all but raping the Rockies in record time, they have ushered this addlepated baboon into the broadcaster abyss until March 30. Sure, Screamin’ A. Smith and a legion of jackass basketball personalities stand to infect the airwaves in only a matter of days, but a season of that isn’t nearly as painful as three more games with Tim McCarver.
As such, I leave you with a few parting remarks of Game 4 idiocy from the only man that can make the ears of a nation bleed (all comments provided in context):
On Manny Ramirez and aerodynamics while he’s at the plate in the 3rd….
Joe Buck (JB): Last night doing what he has done throughout the post season and throughout the season… with the dreadlocks, running the bases, last night kicking his helmet back into foul territory and last night tagged out at the plate on a throw from Matt Holliday in left (long pause) but that’s part of his action around the bases.
Tim McCarver (TM): It certainly does not make you faster.
JB: With two outs, there’s a strike on the outside corner.
TM: If that were the case, you’d be seeing marathon runners wearing helmets… hundred yard dash guys wearing helmets.
It’s as if McCarver believes Ramirez is wearing the helmet for speed. It’s not a fucking jetpack, you daft bastard. You don’t throw it off and get a boost! Amazingly, this continues:
JB: Well, last night was the first time we’ve seen it in the post-season where he pushed it off and it came back and hit him in the heel.
TM: First time we’ve seen it hit him on the heel… RIGHT.
Yes, Tim. That is right. Don’t act like you’re combing through your memory banks to check Joe’s facts. We all know you’ve got the short term retention ability of Leonard Shelby. As ironic proof of this, McCarver re-tells the story of Manny’s base-running/hat issues in the bottom of the 6th, as if the previous conversation never occurred. Joe Buck, as usual, responded with silence.
On Hank Aaron during the recap of Prince Fielder receiving the Hank Aaron Award…
TM: If there was anybody in baseball history with a more appropriate nickname, HAMMER (McCarver’s emphasis), could he ever "hammer."
TM: You could take those 755 homeruns away and he’d still have 3,000 hits
The United States of America is a nation in the Americas. You shouldn’t drink poison because it’s poisonous. I’m playing a computer game… on my computer. Thanks for stopping by, Tim.
Pitcher Aaron Cook bats for the Rockies in the bottom of the 5th…
TM: I know Aaron Cook is a good hitter, but I don’t think he can hit right here. The Rockies have 14 outs with which to score at least 2 runs. That’s provided they hold the Red Sox down.
JB: He pushes a bunt past the pitcher and has a base hit! That’s the first time that a Rocky hitter has pushed a bunt to the right side, and once it got past Lester, it was a base hit.
TM: But he wasn’t up there hitting, he was up there bunting!
No, that’s not a typo. During the commercial break, McCarver thinks up a way to redeem himself and drops this nonsense in the top of the 6th:
TM (confused): With Ortiz coming up, why didn’t the manager have someone pinch hit for Cook last inning? I mean, Cook got a bunt hit, yeah, but you’re taking the chance that he won’t and there’s an out! I’m just talking probabilities of getting a man on base here. You gotta pinch hit!
Oh really? Maybe that’s why you’re in the booth with Mr. Slamalamadingdong and not managing in the World Series, Tim. But I suppose it could be worse. You could be Dayn Perry of Foxsports.com, who suffered a case of Rocky Mountain hacking (click to enlarge):
In any case, thank you, Boston. Thank you for ripping off the proverbial bandaid as quickly as possible. I don’t think I could have stomached much more… too bad you can’t do anything about Dane Cook as well, but I suppose he’s one of yours, isn’t he? That just about figures.
Here’s Dennis Rodman being a hot tranny mess at his "Rodmania" Halloween Party last night.
One would think that at age 46, Dennis would know that the whole point of Halloween is to wear a costume that is creative, funny, shocking, outrageous, or, if you’re me and any other woman under 30, strongly indicates that you’re suffering from a severe case of the sluts. Rolling up to your own party in your regular get-up and Tina Turner’s hair from Mad Max is NOT a costume.
Come on, Dennis. It’s time to raise your game and give us something new. You didn’t even get your nails done! This tired shit is so 1998. Two thumbs down on this non-effort.
Here are some other gems: