Saturday, October 04, 2008

Weekly Picks

I keep chopping wood nailing all my best bets but haven't been able to breakthrough with that huge week.

tennessee -2 BALTIMORE
I've picked against the Ravens every single week and I've been wrong all three times. I'm going to try it again and hope that the Titans strong defense will finally make Joe Flacco look like the rookie he is.

CAROLINA -10 kansas city
The Chiefs got their one surprise victory out of the way. Now they have to go on the road against a pretty tough team. Ten is a lot of points to lay, but the thing about bad teams is, they're bad. And they're especially bad on the road, and after wins. If they could win on the road and after wins they'd be good teams.

new england -3 SAN FRANCISCO
Ok, so the loss to the Miami was embarrassing but I think that will be even more motivation for the Patriots to come out of their bye week on fire. I just don't see the 49ers as a good team at all. They may try to do some different things with Frank Gore but I think the Patriots will be ready.

DALLAS -17 cincinnati
I'm picking an old-fashioned blowout for a team that is pretty pissed off after losing to the Redskins last week.

NEW YORK GIANTS -7 seattle seahawks

I just don't think the Seahawks are any good at all this year. They may make the playoffs by beating up on the teams in the worst division in football, but this time they face a team from the best division in football. The Giants had a tough test at home against the Bengals and after the bye week should be ready to blow someone out. I think the absence of Plaxico Burress is beating overrated by the oddsmakers and gamblers.

Last week: 3-2 (4 points - 14 total)
Best Bets: 1-0 (4-0)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (3-4)
Home Underdogs: 1-0 (1-0)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (4-1)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (2-4)
Road Pickems: 0-0 (0-1)

Friday, October 03, 2008

What a Dick

I once heard Dick Stockton speak in one of those alumni return speeches at Syracuse. He was a complete jerk and basically said he doesn't really prepare for games anymore. He doesn't study rosters or read up on teams. And that lack of preparedness shows.
In anticipation of his calling the Cubs-Dodgers series, the Chicago Tribune provided Stockton a primer on their team.
Reissberg in particular will enjoy the suggestion for Henry Blanco.

Award-Winning Performance?

Although Johan Santana's heroic performance in the penultimate game of the season was in vain, was it enough to earn him the Cy Young Award?

Let's look at the 4 starting pitchers who will get at least some consideration:

Johan Santana: 16-7 2.53 ERA 234 1/3 innings 205 Ks 1.15 WHIP 3 CG 2 SHO
Tim Lincecum: 18-5 2.62 ERA 227 innings 265 Ks 1.17 WHIP 2 CG 1 SHO
Brandon Webb: 22-7 3.30 ERA 226 2/3 innings 183 Ks 1.20 WHIP 3 CG 1 SHO
CC Sabathia: 11-2 1.65 ERA 130 2/3 innings 128 Ks 1.00 WHIP 7 CG 3 SHO

Webb is a complete non-factor in this discussion, he is way behind in every category except wins and losses.

Sabathia makes for a very interesting argument because he is way better but only pitched half as many starts. But if you were also to exclude Santana's first 3 months, he was 9-0 with a 2.16.

So a vote for Sabathia excuses his first 3 months, but not Santana's.

I think a pitcher that comes over from the other league midseason like Sabathia can win, but not in a year when there are two other great candidates.

With their stats so similar (and I've broken them down further than what I've written here) it really is a toss-up and I can't fault anyone voting for either Santana or Lincecum. And although Linceum does have the only significant statistical edge (strikeouts), I'm voting for Santana because he thrived in a pennant race while Lincecum toiled in obscurity.

Leaping Labrador

Few things are more enjoyable than to watch a dog run and jump. That's why we love taking him to dog parks, and making him jump through a hula hoop in our living room.
But even better than watching Diesel do those things is watching those pups trained for the job compete in Big Air competitions.
For instance, Heidi, a yellow labrador retriever and her 14-year-old owner Hannah Gordon are rated number one in the nation for junior handlers.
They'll be competing at the 2008 DockDogs National Championships an event involves dogs running and jumping off a dock for distance.

Yeah, But It's My Dump

Even though my final memory of Shea Stadium will be a bitter one, most of the rest of my times there were pleasant.
Just in the three years since I started this blog I've written about many great times.
There was a rain-soaked 10 hour double-header against the Giants that ended with a walkoff win, there was Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS, when the Concierge almost broke his ankle and there was technically Chase's first game.
But those were just the games in the last couple years. What about when I was a kid, and Papa Poop used to sit down with the schedule and pick out a couple games each year. I almost always got to go to one on or near my birthday. I remember the score of my first game and the starting pitcher (Mike Scott). There was the 18-inning game against the Pirates when Rusty Staub had to play the outfield but they kept moving him between left and right field to make it less likely for him to have to field a ball. That was one of the only games we ever left early, and we never let Papa Poop forget it.
I remember going on fireworks night, the only night of the year Mama Poop would agree to go. I remember eating pretzels from the guys with the shopping carts in the parking lot after the game.
But mostly I remember going there with my dad. When I was a little kid, when I was a teenager, and even now, I still try to get to a few games a year with my dad.
And I guess it's fitting that now I've got my own kid, he can have his own stadium (my dad had Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds, I had Shea, Chase will have CitiField), where we'll make new memories.
But for now I'll cherish the old ones that I made in Shea Stadium.
As I exited Shea for the last time, I kissed my hand and tapped her bricks, then looked over my shoulder and said goodbye for the last time.
During the winter they'll tear her down brick-by-brick, but the memories will always be there.

So long Shea
Thanks for the memories

Actual Conversation in the Poop House

Mrs. Poop: It must be really embarrassing when all the newspapers and magazines are writing about your anal cancer.
Paul: (through uncontrollable laughter) Who has anal cancer?
Mrs. Poop: Farrah Fawcett. Do you think she's going to lose her anus?
Paul: (through uncontrollable laughter) She'll have to shit in a bag.
Mrs. Poop: Stop laughing, cancer is not funny.
Paul: Why did you tell me about ass cancer if you didn't want me to laugh?
Mrs. Poop: I thought you were mature enough to handle it. I thought wrong.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Great Way to Keep College Kids from Drinking

Walgreen has removed a display from their store near the University of Wisconsin campus after the University complained.
Plastic cups and pingpong balls were placed next to each other, a clear promotion of binge-drinking and the binge-drinking game beer pong.
The items have been moved back to their regular places in the stores which will surely present a huge obstacle for college students.

Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin said the store, which doesn't sell alcoholic beverages, never intended to encourage students to play beer pong, a drinking game that uses pingpong balls and cups.

"There was a lot of demand for pingpong balls and plastic cups at that store," Polzin said Tuesday from the firm's corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Ill. "And our store manager was responding to what the customers of the store were looking for and set up a display."

The NFL is Poop - Week 4

You're Fired
It's rare that a coach gets fired during the middle of an NFL season, even more rare that two get fired, in the same week, under such strange circumstances.
Scott Linehan of the Rams lost his team when he changed quarterbacks.
But Lane Kiffin of the Raiders lost the whole entire organization. This situation has not finished playing out yet but I have the feeling that Goodell is going to lean on Al Davis to just pay the man his money and get this ugly situation settled.

Rams fans were happy to see Scott Linehan go

Defense Wins Championships
The Denver Broncos impressed a lot of people with their 3-0 start, but without a defense they are going to be in real trouble. Many people were writing the Chiefs off as the worst team in the league, until they ran over, around and through the Denver defense. With Larry Johnson, the Chiefs always have a shot. And if Denver allows 200 yards on the ground they are in big trouble.
The Chiefs also benefitted from a quarterback change, going to the steady hand, Damon Huard. This proves once again that in the NFL you don't need a great quarterback to win. If you have other good areas of your team all you need is a QB who won't screw it up.

Damon Huard leads an 0-3 team over a 3-0 team, thanks to Larry Johnson

Game of the Week
New York Jets 56 Arizona Cardinals 35

A classic shootout between two old gunslingers. Both quarterbacks are having good seasons flinging the ball even though their teams are only 2-2. Or maybe their teams are 2-2 because they're flinging the ball. The turnovers absolutely killed the Cardinals in this game, as the Jets took a 34-0 first half lead.
Here's how the Cardinals 1st half possessions went: fumble, blocked FG, INT returned for TD, punt, INT, fumble, fumble.
Here's how the Cardinals 2nd half possessions went: TD, TD, TD, TD, TD, fumble, INT.
Even though they didn't win, the Cardinals sure made it exciting.
But it was Brett Favre who really stole the show, wearing a throwback uniform, he performed like a throwback Favre, only better, throwing for 6 TDs for the first time in his career.

What's a Fractured Sinus?
A fractured sinus is the injury Anquan Boldin suffered from a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit. But it looked a lot worse when Boldin was carted off the field on a stretcher. No word on how long he will be out.

Anquan Boldin only has a fractured sinus

Game of Next Week
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

A battle of attrition in the toughest division in the NFL. It means a little more for the Eagles since they have an extra loss already, and would be 2 games in arrears with a loss. Plus, the game is in Philadelphia. But after a huge win over the Cowboys the Redskins need to come back strong.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
I am so excited about this team right now. If they can beat the Eagles this week there's a really good chance they could be 7-1 because the next three games are St. Louis and Cleveland at home followed by a trip to Detroit. But more important than the opponents is the way the team is playing right now. I have always said the key to winning in the NFL is turnovers; forcing them, and not making them. And while some element of that is luck, a large part of it is good aggressive play on defense, and smart, prudent play on offense. And right now the Redskins lead with league with +6 turnover margin.

Chris Horton leads the NFC with 3 interceptions

Cheerleader of the Week
Anabel of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders

Anabel is in her 4th season on the squad and during that time her unique look has landed her spots in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue, as well as in FHM and Maxim. As a member of the team she has traveled to many interesting places, including Djibouti. To stay in shape she trains in the combat art of Brazilian jew-jitsu.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
New York Giants 24 Tennessee Titans 17

With the Cowboys's loss, the Giants once again take the top spot. But there is an argument to be made for the ball-hawking Titans to win this game. But right now the champs are the only undefeated team in the better conference (what an amazingly quick shift) so we'll stick with them.

Hate to See Her Go, But Love to Watch Her Leave

Kim Kardashian got voted of "Dancing With the Stars" in only the second week. I guess Chris Rock was correct that she has "all that ass but can't shake it."

But at least she got to dance to her theme song first:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Song of The Week

"Just To Be Close To You" - The Commodores
Lionel Richie at his best before he sold out with cheesy numbers like "Hello" and "All Night Long," and became best known as Nicole Richie's father.

Playoff Predictions

National League:
Cubs over Dodgers (3 games)
Phillies over Brewers (4 games)

Cubs over Phillies (6 games)

American League:

Angels over Red Sox (5 games)
White Sox over Rays (4 games)

Angels over White Sox (5 games)

World Series:
Angels over Cubs (5 games)

Post your picks in the comments section

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Obscure Titles Explained

I've had some obscure references in Poop titles lately and I thought it might be instructive and fun to point out where these titles came from.

"You Sound Like a Damn Fool When You Say It Wrong" is what 2015 Biff Tannen says to 1955 Biff Tannen.

"Good...Great...Grand" is said by the bus driver says Billy Madison his attempts to say he or a friend of his, banged Veronica Vaughn.

"How Dare You Sir" is the famous quote from Jack Ryan in "Clear and Present Danger."

"My Cupholder is Broken" - The most common, perhaps apochraphyl, story of an idiotic question for tech support, from a user who broke his CD-Rom drive by putting his coffee cup in it.

"Like Elmer Fudd Sitting on a Juicer" - Jerry Seinfeld's description of his girlfriend's horrible laugh

Like Elmer Fudd Sitting on a Juicer

Maria Menounos is one of my favorite chicks to look at, she's got it all (and by all I mean tits and ass), but listening to her is another matter entirely. She has the worst laugh of anyone I've ever heard.
Her laugh is so bad I really don't think I could do anything with her other than cheap meaningless sex. I can't imagine saying one funny thing, or even having a nervous awkward moment around her, because if I heard that laugh I'd run the other way.
So you've got the awful laugh on one hand, and these pictures and those physical attributes on the other side of the ledger, would you be able to marry Maria Menounos?

photo credit to SCZA

Monday, September 29, 2008

And Your Name?

Sarah Palin samples the local fare while visiting Philadelphia. And while waiting for her cheesesteak she mingles with the locals. First of all, I'm glad she chose Tony Luke's, a better steak, and at this point Geno's and Pat's is a little trite. Secondly, it's cool to watch her interact with the local Philly trash. Lastly, what was the cashier thinking? Did she really not know Palin? Were the cameras not a tipoff that she was somone special? Was she just staying in "grumpy cheesesteak stand worker" character for effect? Do you really need to ask one of the most famous people in the country her name?

Sometimes Kicking a Football Doesn't Seem So Important

Excellent article by David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel. I present it here unedited because it's that good.

"Men have faced much longer kicks in conditions far nastier. But when he lined up for a 24-yard field goal Sunday, no kicker in history felt as much pressure.

"I buried my son yesterday," Matt Bryant said.

He wanted to honor him the best way he could by showing Tryson that his old man could still get the job done.

Tryson never got to see that down here. He was 3 months old when he died Wednesday.

His mom had gotten his five brothers and sister up for the day. She went in to check on the youngest one.

He had died in his sleep. Tests may eventually show what killed Tryson, but we will never know why such things happen.

Bryant didn’t show up for work Sunday to find that answer. He’d gotten back from the funeral in Texas late Saturday night and the Green Bay Packers hadn’t exactly been on his mind.

But he’d told Jon Gruden he’d be at Raymond James Stadium to kick off. No explanation was needed.

"He is a man of few words," Gruden said. "He always has been, and always will be. This was very important for him to play. I think he needed the game today."

He needed it for one reason.

"I wanted to go out there and honor Tryson’s name," Bryant said. "I didn’t think it was very fair for his life to end so short."

Unfair is having a ref blow a call that cost your team a game. Tragic is going in to kiss your baby good morning and finding he won’t move.

It’s meaningless in comparison, but Bryant put people in an awkward position Sunday. The Bucs had no idea how he would respond. And what if kicks bounced off the uprights or sailed wide?

How can you boo a man who just buried his youngest son?

Bryant’s teammates would have forgiven all. Most of them have children. They couldn’t know what Bryant was experiencing, but they could imagine being in that position.

You don’t have to be in the NFL to know that feeling. The joy that is coming home after a bad day and having it all washed away by the littlest grin.

"He smiled," Bryant said of Tryson. "All you had to do was talk to him and talk softly."

Bryant was talking to him Sunday. Cannons always fire when the Bucs get inside their opponent’s 20-yard line. Bryant told Tryson not to be scared, that it was all part of the show.

So was Tampa Bay’s inability to get inside the end zone. That meant Bryant was called on to kick field goals from 23 and 36 yards in the second quarter.

After both, he lifted his left hand to his mouth, looked to the sky and blew a kiss.

"I wanted to remind him that he’s my baby boy," Bryant said, "and he’s with me all the time."

The game took on a weird feeling of destiny. Green Bay rallied to take a 21-20 lead, then Aaron Rodgers hurt his shoulder. The Bucs got a late chance to come back, and ended with Bryant facing that 24-yarder with 2:26 left.

It was perfect.

For a little added drama, Bryant pooched the ensuing kickoff out of bounds to give Green Bay possession at the 40-yard line. Almost every defensive player came over and told him not to worry.

At 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, Bryant is one of the smallest Bucs. It’s as if his teammates were playing for someone even smaller.

They were not going to let the Packers take advantage of Bryant’s mistake.

Gaines Adams intercepted Rodgers on the second play. Then Earnest Graham broke loose for a 47-yard gain to set up the final score.

"They bailed me out," Bryant said. "I appreciated that."

It was about as happy an ending as such a week could have. If you’re lucky, you’ll never know how hard it was for Bryant, or what it was like to go home to an empty crib Sunday night.

At least Bryant felt like Tryson was with him on the field and finally got to see him at work.

His baby boy must have been proud.

Faces of Dejection

The somber looks on the faces of the Mets and the Mets fans as they closed Shea Stadium in horrific fashion, completing their second straight late season collapse.

Shea Goodbye Ceremony

Some of the best pictures from the anti-climactic postgame ceremony saying farewell to Shea Stadium.

Some of the Mets greatest players shake hands with the fans
Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, emblematic of the entire Mets franchise (full of promise but in the end a monumental letdown)
Bud Harrelson jumps on home plate
Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza share the limelight
Tom Seaver throws the final pitch in Shea Stadium

They Did It To Me Again

Even though I knew it was coming, I got my hopes up -- only to have the Mets let me down again.
This game was a microcosm for the season; a decent starting pitching performance from a guy who didn't go deep enough who turned it over to a bullpen who blew it. But the real story (in this game and this year) is the Mets offense which can never seem to get a hit in a big spot.
And this last week was a microcosm for life as a Mets fan. They build you up, then break you down. As soon as you start to give up, they give you reason to believe. And as soon as you start to believe, they stomp on your heart.
I guess this is the life I have chosen for myself and my son, and though I'm dying inside right now I can't wait for next year to start.
I just wish we could have said good-bye to Shea under better circumstances.