Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekly Picks

A good week last week thanks to the Colts incredible comeback against the Vikings. But a little of that luck went back the other way when the Chargers didn't cover due to a bad call, and their own poor play. Every single home team is favored this week except for the Packers.

carolina +3 MINNESOTA
A 2-0 team is an underdog to an 0-2 team? I understand the reasoning behind this however especially because the Vikings may have addressesd their biggest weakness by benching Tarvaris Jackson in favor of Gus Frerotte. But the tendency is to keep believing in teams we thought were going to be good. And to keep discounting the teams we didn't think were going to be good. I try to go by a "believe what you see, not what you believe" mantra so we'll see how this one plays out.

cleveland +2 BALTIMORE
Even though the Browns are 0-2, they did play two very good teams, not enough to convince me that they're going to be bad this year. I had no hope for the Ravens this year and they've only played one game, so I'm not convinced I was wrong. Another of my theories says that you should always take points if you can get them with the better team.

ATLANTA -5 1/2 kansas city
It's possible the Chiefs will be the worst team in the NFL this season. And these current quarterback issues aren't helping. I also think they have one of the worst coaches in the NFL. None of that is a recipe for success on the road. The Falcons aren't that great either but they should win this one comfortably.

BUFFALO -9 oakland
I liked this game when I heard that matchup but I thought the spread was going to be smaller after the Raiders played great last week. I guess killing the Chiefs doesn't count for much. Buffalo so far is a surprise story of the NFL and with St. Louis and Arizona coming up the Bills could be 5-0.

SAN DIEGO -8 1/2 new york jets

The Chargers are pissed.

Last week: 3-2 (4 points - 7 total)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (0-2)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-0)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (3-1)
Road Underdogs: 2-0 (2-1)
Road Pickems: 0-1 (0-1)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Who Are These Guys?

Player A: 39 carries, 172 yards, 1 TD
Player B: 39 carries, 171 yards, 1 TD

Story suggested by Pizza Parlor Derek

Fuck Colin Cowherd

Colin Cowherd is one of the most reviled creatures in the sports blogosphere and he's not doing much for his populatity in Syracuse. The asslicker, known as Shrutebag around the internets, was asked about the possibility of SU firing Greg Robinson. His response (coming at the 91:20 mark of this clip) is as follows, in its entirety:

“That place is a dumpster-fire. It should be noted, one of the least-attractive college campus in the country. Literally, if you put Syracuse in Afghanistan, I’d prefer to go there. It’s just not attractive. It just isn’t. Cold weather school. Very little football tradition. Ugly campus. Buildings look like women's' prisons."

It's a beautiful campus.
I hope we do send him to Afghanistan. I think this comment is offensive to all the troops risking their lives in Afghanistan. I'm sure they'd much rather be in Syracuse hooking up with college sluts at 1:30 AM.
Syracuse has a fairly decent football tradition, not great, but better than a lot of places. We have a national title, a Heisman Trophy winner, the greatest football player of all-time, one of the most popular current NFL players, a beautiful stadium and a beautiful football facility and a major motion picture!
The campus is beautiful. He's obviously never been on the quad on the first warm day of spring when girls let their boobies breathe after a winter of hiding them under heavy sweaters.
When was he ever at a women's prison?
The point is, he's a douche. Like most talk radio hosts, and TV too for that matter, he feels the need to say something controversial and outrageous to get people to pay attention. Well it worked, but now I hate your fuckin guts asswipe.

I think the quad is a beautiful place
this is what Colin Cowherd thinks a women's prison looks like?

The Ubiquitous and Anachronistic Nike Swoosh

With the Syracuse University football program in utter disarray, the school is trying to recall happier times by making a huge deal of "The Express," the movie commemorating the life of Ernie Davis.
In addition to the movie premiere at the Landmark Theater, the University unveiled an Ernie Davis state to be placed on campus.
Problem is, the statue depicts Ernie Davis wearing Nike gears, complete with swooshes. And the swoosh wasn't developed until 8 years after his death.
Many SU alums have cried foul and wondered if Nike (a major SU sponsor) paid to have the statue adorned with its logo.
SU says the artist was working off modern equipment and copied it too accurately. This seems believable because the facemask on the helmet contains more bars than was customary at the time.
SU says the statue will be fixed.

Ernie Davis's nikes
Ernie Davis's Nikes
the incorrect style facemask
Syracuse University's Ernie Davis statue

Battle of the Bands

Here are three very different versions of the same song.

First the original, "All Out of Love" - Air Supply

Second, the R&B version, "All Out of Love" - Jagged Edge

Finally, the dance version, "All Out of Love" - Jenna Drey

And just for fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tony Kornheiser Forced to Apologize By the Political Correctness Police

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Monday Night Football aired the Spanish announcers' call of Felix Jones's punt return touchdown. While translating, Tony Kornheiser said something that worried the oversensitive tightasses at ESPN.

First of all, Kornheiser's translation was near-perfect (except for leaving out that "el novato de arkansas" means "the rookie from Arkansas"). I think he threw the "dry-cleaning" line in there to be somewhat self-deprecating and I can't see how anyone could find that offensive. Did someone think he was mocking the language somehow? I really have no idea. In fact, I doubt there was one actual complaint, I think a tightass producer was worried someone would complain, so he asked Tony to apologize preemptively.

Why I Love Soup So Much

Hardly a day goes by that I don't soup of some kind, even in the heat of summer. And hardly a day goes by that I don't feel socially isolated. Now I've come to learn that these two seemingly disparate trends actually have a causal relationship.

The cold shoulder is more than just a metaphor. A new study found that social isolation can actually make people feel cold.

Researchers wanted to learn just how icy loneliness can get. So two University of Toronto psychologists, Chen-Bo Zhong and Geoffrey Leonardelli, asked some subjects to remember a time when they felt socially excluded, such as being rejected from a club, while others recalled memories of being accepted into a group. Afterward, the researchers asked all the participants to estimate the temperature of the room, telling them this task was unrelated to the previous activity and that the building's maintenance staff simply wanted to know.

While estimates ranged from 54 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, in general, those who had been remembering emotionally chilly times also literally felt chillier, even though the room's temperature remained constant during the experiment. People who had recalled feeling ostracized estimated the temperature to be about 71 degrees Fahrenheit, on average. Participants who were remembering the warm, fuzzy feeling of social inclusion felt the room to be a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit, on average. The discrepancy is a statistically significant difference, Zhong said.

"We found that the experience of social exclusion literally feels cold," Zhong said. "This may be why people use temperature-related metaphors to describe social inclusion and exclusion."

Craving hot coffee
In a second experiment, Zhong and Leonardelli had participants play a computer-simulated ball-tossing game in which some people were passed the ball more often than others, so some volunteers felt included and others felt excluded. Afterward, the participants had to rate the appeal of various foods and beverages, such as hot coffee, crackers, an ice-cold Coke, an apple and hot soup.

The unpopular players were much more likely to hanker for warm items such as soup and coffee than those who had just felt socially accepted. The findings imply that participants who had been feeling left out were also literally feeling left out in the cold, and wanted the warm foods to heat them up.

"It's striking that people preferred hot coffee and soup more when socially excluded," Leonardelli said. "Our research suggests that warm chicken soup may be a literal coping mechanism for social isolation."

The study is detailed in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science.

The researchers speculate that this link between temperature and social inclusion might arise when people are babies.

"For an infant, being closer to a caretaker brings warmth," Zhong said. "When you're a kid, being held by your mother means warmth, and being distant means coldness."

This connection continues throughout life, since when a person is in a room with 10 other people, the ambient temperature is warmer than when in a room alone.

"When we talk about metaphors, they're not just language; they're literally the way we experience the world," Zhong said.

I'm 6-Foot-2

Taller people are happier on average than shorter people, with each extra inch in height giving as much satisfaction as a four percent increase in income, according to a U.S. study.

Data from a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index study found taller people were more satisfied with their lives, more likely to report positive emotions like enjoyment and happiness, and less likely to report emotions like anger, sadness, and stress.

"On average, men who gave their lives the worst possible rating were more than three-quarters of an inch shorter than the average man," the researchers said.

The differences were found to be slightly less for women.

For some reason there are always studies like this that demonstrate taller people earn more money, seek more education and are just all-around better than short people.


Worst National Anthem Ever

One of the worst trends in music is this new crop of singers who try to emulate Christina Aguilera and Beyonce by dragging out every note. We see this a lot during "American Idol" auditions when Randy Jackson complains about the "runs" everyone tries to sing.
I always get so mad when singers take a beautiful song and butcher it to death.
For instance, I like the National Anthem. I like the way Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston did it, but I not the way Kat DeLuna did it before the Eagles-Cowboys game. Turns out the fans in Texas Stadium didn't like her rendition either, booing her as if she'd pulled a Roseanne or Carl Lewis.

In case the name Kat DeLuna sounds familiar she does have one popular song called "Run the Show" with Busta Rhymes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Caption Contest

Real Caption: He Pingping, the world's smallest man sits underneath Svetlana Pankratova from Russia, the Queen of Longest Legs. Pingping, born with primordial dwarfism, holds the Guiness World Record for the smallest man at 2 feet and 5.37 inches and Pankratova holds the Guiness World Record for the longest leg of any woman, 4 feet 4 inches in length.

My Caption: "I guess today is laundry day."

Put your captions in the comments section.

You Know You've Hit Rock Bottom When Your Fans Are Wearing Paper Bags to the Games

Few things could better express my disappointment with the state of Syracuse football than the silent protest by these two fans. Framed perfectly with the embarrassing 55-13 score behind them on the scoreboard, this photo illustrates just how far SU football has fallen.

SU fans hide behind paper bags

I really don't understand how SU went from being a powerhouse for 10 to 15 years to being absolutely the worst team in a major conference over the past 4 seasons. A lot of it is Greg Robinson's fault (he obviously sucks as a coach and a recruiter) but not all of it can be. The program was in serious decline before he even got here. Obviously he should be fired, and it probably couldn't hurt to do it immediately, but I have little or no hope that the next coach (whomever he is) will be able to turn this program around and restore it to its former glory.

McCain on MMA

Back when the UFC was just starting there were no rules, no weight classes and Sen. John McCain sought to have it banned.
TON and I recently wondered what his views on the sport would be now that it has been significantly cleaned up. We said we'd admire McCain if he would come out and recognize the changes in the sport and drop his opposition to it.
He pretty much did that in this interview with ESPN's Bob Ley in which he also discusses some other sports-related topics.

Iconic, More Like Ironic

When Endy Chavez made his famous leaping catch to rob Scott Rolen of a home run in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, quite a few keen observers pointed out the serendipity of the catch taking place right in front of the sign on the outfield wall that read "The Strength to Be There."
That of course is the slogan for AIG, a company which no longer has the strength to be there.

The NFL is Poop - Week 2

Don't Call it a Comeback
Usually we only talk about runs when it comes to the NBA but this week in the NFL was characterized by a series of runs, which led to some exciting finishes.

Indianapolis Colts 18 Minnesota Vikings 15
The Vikings started this game on a 15-0 run, but their failure to score touchdowns (5 field goals) cost them as Peyton Manning got hot at the right time and led his team back by putting up 18 points in the last 19 minutes of the game.

Carolina Panthers 20 Chicago Bears 17
The Bears took a 17-3 lead early in the third quarter. After that, their offense went in the tank. On their last 7 drives of the game they got a Greg Olsen fumble on first down, 5 three-and-outs and their most successful drive lasted 6 plays and covered 15 yards. Meanwhile Jake Delhomme led his team to a come-from-behind victory for the second week in a row.

Green Bay Packers 48 Detroit Lions 25
After starting the game with a three-and-out the Packers put together 3 long touchdown drives to take a 21-0 lead with 7 minutes left in the second quarter. But then the Lions got hot, going on a 25-3 run to actually take the lead in this game with 7:50 left. Then it all went to hell. Kitna got intercepted and the Packers scored 4 plays later. Then Kitna got intercepted two more times, both returned for touchdowns giving the Packers 3 touchdowns in a minute-thirty and making this one look like a blowout.

Mike Shanahan definitely gets the onions! award for his gutsy, albeit foolish call to go for the win instead of the tie. After scoring a touchdown to cut the Chargers lead to 38-37, Shanahan ordered his troops to go for the 2-point conversion with 24 seconds left. Seeing as how they used the exact same play on the conversion as they did on the touchdown, maybe Shanahan saw something in the Chargers defense he thought he could exploit. But even so, he put his team's chances on a play that succeeds only about 40 percent of the time.
Honorable mention for this game goes to Brandon Marshall whose 18 catches are the second most all-time.

Brandon Marshall's 18 catches are second only to Terrell Owens for most catches in a game

Game of the Week
Dallas Cowboys 41 Philadelphia Eagles 37

So much happened in this game that I won't even bother to recount it but there were big plays (Owens TD catch, Felix Jones punt return), turnovers (Romo's interception and fumble which led to 14 Eagles points in 13 seconds) and even the absurd (DeSean Jackson's premature celebration). A very exciting and enjoyable game to watch. Unfortunately because I like Donovan McNabb he was unable to lead his team on that final game-winning drive.
And one more note, with all the scoring that was going on in this game, Andy Reid absolutely made the right decision to kick the extra point at the beginning of the 4th quarter that gave the Eagles a 6-point, instead of 7-point lead.

Terrell Owens relished beating his old team, and catching 2 touchdowns in the process

Game of Next Week
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

This should be another game with a lot of offense on display. Aaron Rodgers has looked good through 2 weeks so far but this could be his toughest test yet. Not because the Dallas defense is so tough, but because he's going to need to put up a lot of points to outscore their offense.

I Need This Like I Need a Hole in The Head/Roof
The Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens got an early bye week this year when Hurricane Ike tore several panels off the roof of Reliant Stadium. That game will be rescheduled for Week 10. The Bengals-Texans game scheduled for that day moves to Week 8.

Reliant Stadium's roof is missing a few pieces.  That's the Astrodome next to it
aerial view of Reliant Stadium
closeup look at the holes in the roof of Reliant Stadium

Blowin in the Wind
The effects of Hurricane Ike were felt across the Midwest, especially in Ohio where the Bengals game was disrupted by unusually strong winds, in one case blowing what seemed like a good field goal, sharply wide right. The Browns and Steelers also dealt with gale-force winds.

Bengals defensive lineman Domata Peko

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Huge victory for the Skins especially because Jason Campbell came through to make the plays they need to win, including the game-winning 67-yard bomb (on first down) to Santana Moss.

Antwaan Randle-El and Santana Moss celebrate the game-winning touchdown

My biggest question about Campbell is whether he can make those key plays to win games. One week doesn't satisfy all my doubts about him but I'm duly impressed. Especially compared to the first half when the Redskins absolutely dominated on offense but settled for 5 field goal attempts (2 misses) and took a 10-9 deficit into the locker room at halftime. The Saints scored a field goal on their last drive of the 1st half thanks to a defensive strategy that allowed them to go 59 yards in 5 plays (completions of 9, 7, 9, 22 and 12), with only one timeout. And that lax style of defense carried over to the first drive of the second half when the Saints drove right down the field again.

But after that the Redskins defense tightened up (they can't be blamed for the Reggie Bush punt return TD) and the offense led by Campbell and some good running from both Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts put up 3 touchdowns to seal the victory.

While Jim Zorn screwed up by going for a 2-point conversion too early, he did learn from one mistake he made. After conservative play-calling stifled the offense in the first half they really opened it in the second half and that led to great numbers for Jason Campbell. And of course, the victory.

Cheerleader of the Week
Kaitlin Ilseng of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
The 19-year-old is a DCC rookie. She bills herself as the typical Texas girl and seems to fit that as all her favorite artists are country singers. Among her favorite books are "Catcher in the Rye" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" which makes sense considering she probably read them last year in high school English class.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
New York Giants 38 Pittsburgh Steelers 10

I guess I was a little too quick to jump off the Giants bandwagon. They have a great offense, and even without Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan, their defense has to be better than the unit Dallas put on the field against the Eagles.
As for the Steelers, they look good, but not great. Since I don't believe in the Bills, or the Broncos defense and the Patriots and Titans are both using backup QBs, I'll stick with the Steelers to represent the AFC for now.

The Closest I'll Ever Get to Christy Cooley's Vagina

An embarrassing incident for Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley as a picture of his cock accidentally appeared on his blog for a day.
Here's how it happened:
Cooley wanted to take a picture of his pre-game tight ends test for his blog. The bed and desk in his hotel room were cluttered with stuff, so he decided to put the book on his lap and take the picture. Only problem is, he was naked at the time.
Cooley's brother, Tanner, is the editor of the blog, but when he called Tanner to have him review the post Tanner was in the car driving to the game. By the time Tanner got to a computer, he looked at another post Chris had made, a video of Santana Moss and Fred Smoot previewing their fantasy matchup, and only looked very briefly at the penis post before going to the game.

So this Not Safe For Work Photo was out there for everyone to see until after the game.

But what I like about Cooley is the way he handled the embarrassment.

First he posted an apology titled "We're Dumb," which read in part "We are very sorry that we showed a penis on our website all day yesterday."

And in other posts he even joked about it, defending Tony Romo with "at least he isn't showing his junk all over the place."

What Cooley should have said was "that penis you saw goes into this woman every night, sometimes twice a day. And after big wins it goes in her ass."

That would have shut those internet geeks up.

Song of the Week

"You're The Only One" - Eric Benet
I can't help but wonder if he wrote this song about Halle Berry. After all, I'm sure whatever he did last night wasn't as fun as banging Halle Berry.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Dudes Pantomime Making Out

DeSean Jackson Forgets the Lessons of His Own History

Eagles rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson cost himself his first NFL touchdown and earned himself a place in the Leon Lett Hall of Fame for Abject Stupidity when he prematurely evacuated the ball from his hand at the one yard line.

The funny thing is, Jackson did almost the same thing (with the same result) at the high-school All-America game.

I think he needs to learn to wait one more yard before beginning his celebrations.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mike Tirico Was Watching "Hard Knocks"

One of the highlights of this season of "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys" was the education of Martellus Bennett.
The rookie tight end was constantly being schooled on the finer points of the game by his position coach, John Garrett.
And it always seemed like Bennett was ignoring or arguing with Garrett.
The biggest point of emphasis for Garrett was that Bennett should carry the ball "high and tight" and across his chest.
In fact, in the final episode Bennett revealed that everywhere he goes in Dallas, fans who have been watching the show would remind him of Garrett's advice. Even in the grocery store a fan reminded him to hold it high and tight.
And when Bennett caught a short pass he turned into a 20-yard gain in the Monday Night game against the Eagles, Mike Tirico said Bennett was "holding it high and tight across his chest."

This Asshole Cost Me 30 Minutes of My Life

On my way downtown last Friday, I was riding the D train to 32nd and 6th ave. At each stop we were forced to wait about 5 minutes as were held at a red signal due to a "passenger injury" at 32nd street.
When I finally reached my destination after about 30 minutes (25 more than usual), I noticed several policemen as well as photographers on the opposite platform.
The next day I read this account of the holdup in the Daily News:

A sharp-eyed motorman brought a 370-ton train to a screeching halt Friday morning, narrowly saving the life of a well-dressed man who was inexplicably walking on the tracks.

After slamming on the breaks, Eugene Hart started to pray.

"It seemed like I had a chance not to hit him," said a shaken Hart, recounting the 8:30 a.m. incident at 32nd St. and Sixth Ave. "I kept saying 'Please don't, please don't.'"

Seconds seemed like hours, as Hart peered onto the tracks. He couldn't immediately tell if the man was underneath the downtown V train.

"It seemed like I had enough room [to stop]," said Hart, who has been an MTA motorman for 20 years.

"I'm searching the train ... I'm searching the tracks," he said. "I see the blood, but I don't see the guy."

The unidentified man, who had been carrying a flashlight, survived with only cuts to his arms and head. Officials said it didn't appear the train hit him.

Investigators believe the man willingly jumped onto the tracks and then had a seizure before nearly getting crushed by the train, a law enforcement source said. The train was almost a moot point; he came within inches of touching the electrified third rail.

The man managed to pull himself onto the platform and paramedics raced him to Bellevue Hospital where he's in stable condition. Police said he didn't appear homeless.

Pick Your Dick

It amazes me in this day and age that people named Richard still choose to go by the moniker, Dick. And coupled with some unusual surnames, the following Dicks have had to answer to these interesting combinations their whole lives.

There's Dick Fuld (sort of pronounced like Fold), the disgraced CEO of the now defunct Lehman Brothers.
Dick Pole is a former major league pitcher and the current pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds.
Dick Pound is a leading figure in the fight against doping in sports as the former head of the World Anti-Doping Association.
But no Dick has done more with less than former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle who became a celebrity when puerile SportsCenter anchors always gave his race results, no matter how poorly his finish, just so they could get the cheap laugh his name normally elicits.