Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Lot of Dirt Being Kicked in Heaven Tonight

Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver died today at the age of 82. He was on the Orioles fantasy cruise in the Caribbean and he collapsed in his room in the middle of the night, doctors could not revive him.
Weaver won 4 American League pennants, winning the World Series 1970 and losing 3 (1969, 1971 & 1979) [CORRECTED]. He did not manage the Orioles in 1983 when they won the Series. That was one of the answers I got wrong in my appearance on "Stump the Schwab."
Weaver is best known for his arguments with umpires when he kicked dirt on them and evidently curse up a storm. Here is the full unedited argument with Bill Haller in 1980 after Haller called a balk on Mike Flanagan.

Lying Lance

Lance Armstrong finally confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career in which he won 7 Tours De France. His admission doesn’t surprise me, what shocked me is that he made the admission at all. It was a huge mistake for Armstrong to confess, and an even bigger mistake for him to do it for Oprah.
For years Armstrong lied about his doping/cheating and he didn’t just go into a shell and refuse to talk about it, he viciously went after anyone who told the truth about him. Armstrong’s admission now creates a ton of legal problems for him.
First of all, he could go to jail. Federal authorities decline to prosecute him but now they could pursue him with renewed vigor because he lied to them during the course of the investigation.
Then there are all the civil suits. Everyone he called a liar, everyone who gave him money under false pretenses, from Nike to the United States Postal Service, could sue him to recoup some of the money.
So why did Lance do this? An attack of conscience? Unlikely because if that were the case it would have been much more prudent to confess to authorities, and try to get leniency under the law. And perhaps try to settle some of the civil suits.
I think Lance Armstrong is such a sociopath he really doesn't understand how his actions are received by others. He needs the adoration so badly that he can't understand how badly his comments and actions really are. Perfect example, during this interview, his big admission, he makes a fat joke, to Oprah. No one laughs.

I can't embed it yet so just watch the awkward moment here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Best Promotion for "Catfish" There Could Ever Be

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, and all of us, were the victims of a hoax. Te’o evidently believed some hot chick from Stanford he met online was his girlfriend. And we believed the story that she had gotten into a horrible car accident, the doctors discovered she had leukemia, which eventually killed her. And that death happened around the same time Te’o’s grandmother died. Which happened around the same time Te’o lead Notre Dame to a big win over Michigan State using the two deaths as inspiration.

Now we know there is no such person as Lennay Kekua. Someone else was operating a Twitter account in her name. Pictures of her were actually pictures of someone else. The voice he heard on the phone was someone else.
Te’o says he was duped and didn’t find out she never existed until December 6th and didn't tell the University until December 26th. There’s almost no way this could possibly be true, but it seems like Te’o was very careful not to say he ever met her in person, though his father certainly implied it. Deadspin, which did a great job uncovering the story, very neatly lays out all the evidence.
Maybe the biggest villain/dupe in all of this is Pete Thamel who really made this a national story when his piece on Te’o for Sports Illustrated centered on this tragic loss. He never asked for a picture of them together. He thought it odd that he couldn’t find an obituary for her online, but didn’t ask enough questions.
The story is too long and sordid for me to examine every single detail but I will say that my suspicion is that initially Te’o got duped. Eventually he figured it out but was too embarrassed about his phony girlfriend to come clean. So he conspired with the liar to kill off the fake girlfriend and hope it would go away.
Maybe he was duped the entire time, but told lies and omissions to make it seem less creepy that he had an online friend whom he had never met. I doubt that, but it is possible. It’s also possible Te’o was in on this the entire time, maybe to get publicity, maybe just because he’s young and dumb. But I doubt that too. Here's why: I read where a former Stanford player said Te'o asked the Stanford players if they knew his girl. So that's why I'm going with my suspicion that he was duped at first but got in too deep.
But I may get burned because you can't trust a liar.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ladies, You Can Protect Yourself From Disease

A once dreaded disease has now been nearly eradicated thanks to the beautiful young women who have protected themselves from this dreaded ailment.

Pubic lice, more commonly known as "crabs", are now basically an endangered species. Doctors think the popularity of bikini waxing may be to blame (or thank). In Australia, no women have been seen with crabs at Sydney's main sexual health clinic since 2008, and male cases have fallen 80% over the past 10 years.

So-called Brazilian waxes, in particular, are seen as contributing to the downfall of pubic lice, since nearly all the pubic hair —the habitat, in this case— is removed in that procedure. All in all, more than 80% of US college students remove some or all of their pubic hair these days, Bloomberg reports. It's arguably a nicer way of dealing with the crabs problem, than the typical treatment, which is a topical insecticide.

Song of the Week

"I Do Love You" - Billy Stewart
Just a beautiful, awesome mid-60s R&B song. I love the harmonies, which are sung with his brother on backup. Billy Stewart died 43 years ago tomorrow in a car accident.

There is an awesome cover version of "I Do Love You" by Barbara Mason. It's good in it's own right and because the lyrics, the style, and especially the voice, are so different, it doesn't detract from the original, it actually adds to it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Everyone Does Stupid Things in College

After beating NC State beat Duke by 8 points (as Damino correctly predicted) NC State students stormed the court. They did it because their team has just defeated the #1 team in the country, and because it's fun. I have stormed a few courts and a football field in my dad and it's really cool, it's exciting and it's nice to have that experience.

Will Privette is a senior at NC State, studying communications. He is a huge sports fan, has been to every home basketball game but one in his four years and even did statistical work for the basketball team. Privette was born with leg deformities and has been in a wheelchair his entire life. As this game was ending he wheeled courtside and a friend offered to push him onto the court. It seemed like a good idea at the time but when the crowd came Privette got plowed out of his chair and went flying. Guard CJ Leslie found him, picked him up and held him until he could be reunited with his chair.

Privette was not hurt, but his phone was cracked and his chair was damaged. "But I don't regret it at all", he says.
"It was the dumbest thing I've done in college but it was awesome."
"I'm glad this happened my senior year. It's a great way to go out."

Normally, I would criticize someone for doing something so dumb that could jeopardize his safety. But in this case I don't blame Privette one bit for wanting to feel like a normal college student.

You Have Time For This

I used to think it was borderline racist to make fun of black people like Antoine Dodson and those in Alabama who thought there was a leprechaun in their neighborhood either by autotuning their comments or simply passing the video around the internet.
But thanks to Pres. Obama and the enlightened people who voted him to not one but two terms, I don't think America is racist anymore. This is actually a sign of progress, black people can be made fun of for being stupid just like any other racial or ethnic group.
With that said, and with a clear conscience I present to you Sweet Brown:

Mrs. Poop has played that video so many times that if I ask her to do something, no matter what it is, she says "ain't nobody got time for that." And Chase is running around the house screaming "oh lord Jesus it's a firrrrre."

But if you are a little more enlightened, a little more politically correct and would prefer to laugh with as opposed to laugh at your African-American brothers, here is Billy's favorite video, the actual funeral for Willie McCoy who sang the Chili's baby-back ribs jingle:

"I'm not sure if having pigs at the funeral was the brightest idea."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Big Breast Theory

Kaley Cuoco wins this year's "check out those golden globes" award. And good thing because maybe it'll take attention away from her face, makeup and hair.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Divisional Playoffs

Some Quick Thoughts on Baltimore-Denver
Remember when Peyton Manning used to have the reputation as a choker? He beat a bad Bears team in one Super Bowl and that got completely wiped out. But he absolutely positively cost his team this game with a horrible throw that got picked off, basically gifting the Ravens the win.
I thought a double overtime playoff game was pretty remarkable. Apparently CBS didn't. They didn't show a graphic, or even mention, to my recollection, how many 2OT games there had been (5) and how many longer than this one (3). The most famous and the longest being Kansas City-Miami in 1971.
Maybe their lips were frozen shut but the crowd didn't seem to be very noisy at all. I could hear all of Peyton Manning's line calls including "hurry! hurry!" before every snap. I don't know who was less coherent in that postgame interview, Ray Lewis or Solomon Wilcots. "What made you believe you could win?" Really? Not, can you believe Peyton Manning threw that horrible pass? Or have you ever played in a better game? This is why sideline reporters are usually hot chicks. They can't get anything good anyway, might as well just be hot.
Yes the officiating was poor and I disagreed with several calls and no-calls. But I think this was just one of those games were there was an unbelievably high number of very close calls.
An amazing number of big plays in this one, the two kick returns by Denver, the two big passes early to Torrey Smith, and several other patterns where he got past Champ Bailey. But if this game has to have one indelible image it will be the 70-yard TD from Flacco to Jacoby Jones with 30 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. Just an unbelievable throw by Flacco, but how did the Denver defense let him get that wide open.

Prevent Defense Prevents You From Winning
Despite what happened to Denver on that Jacoby Jones pass I still think teams are much more likely to lose when they get away from their normal defensive aggressive and sit back in soft zones and dare their opponents to beat them. NFL quarterbacks and receivers, given enough time can always come free for receptions.
Atlanta's soft defense allowed 3 Seattle touchdowns on drives of 80, 62 and 60 yards. But the Seahawks didn't learn anything. They didn't pressure the QB, they didn't give Atlanta only short routes. Two passes, 41 yards and then a field goal.
Its certainly easier said than done, and on two passes anything can happen, but certainly the Falcons nearly cost themselves a shot at the Super Bowl with their bend and break strategy.

Questioning Carroll
Two big fuckups in the first half could have eventually cost the Seahawks this game. First, Pete Carroll went for it on 4th and 1 from the Falcons 11 down 13-0 in the middle of the second quarter. I like this call. Obviously, it turned out they could have used those three points, but given the information at the time, it was a worthwhile gamble. Though I would have put the ball in Russell Wilson's hands.
Second, Russell Wilson got sacked right before the half (at the 11 yard line again!) and the Seahawks couldn't get set quickly enough to get another snap off, costing them a chance at the field goal. Wilson has to get rid of the ball there.
I understand the game changes completely based on the score, especially the way the Falcons sat on the lead, but it's interesting to go back and wonder what might have happened.

Tom Brady is Good
Sometimes it really amazes me that the Patriots haven't won the Super Bowl in 8 years. It seems like every time Tom Brady is in a big game he just slices up the opposing defense with short passes, then hits a few big ones. And the Patriots don't tighten up when they get a lead. Yes 18 points is a big 4th quarter lead, but right after the Texans turned it over on downs, the Patriots threw for the end zone of first down, hit a 33-yard TD to Ben Vereen to essentially end the game.
As for the Texans, they have so many good players, at important positions, Schaub, Foster, Johnson, Watt, etc. But they still can't win the big game. They have to keep trying with this group, but this should have been their year. Had they not let home-field slip through their fingers who knows what might have happened.

Coming Out Parties
I have been writing about Michael Crabtree on this blog for years and he finally made his mark on the league with 119 yards and 2 TDs.

But the unquestioned star of this game was Colin Kaepernick.
It was just an unbelievable performance. Other than one bad decision early in the game which got intercepted and returned for a TD, he did everything right. He passed when he should have passed, he ran when he should have run, and he slid or got out of bounds every time he should have, and the Packers never put a spy on him to keep him in the backfield. It was a legendary performance, calling to mind a young Michael Vick going into Green Bay and beating the Packers with a similar style.
I really think we are seeing the evolution of the quarterback. Guys like Manning, Brady and Brees are so last century. Now guys like Wilson, RG3 and Kaepernick can throw and run and one sets up the other. They are almost impossible to defend and they are incredibly fun to watch. Kaepernick's 56-yard TD was a thing of beauty.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Why is a Redskins fan ranting this week? The Redskins are out of it, move on. Yes, but I couldn't help get very sad watching Colin Kaepernick and thinking "that's supposed to be RG3, that's supposed to be me, that's supposed to be us."
He is just as fast, if not faster, has just as good an arm, maybe more accurate, is just as exciting, and I think even a better decision maker. But injuries robbed him and us of that this year. I just hope eventually, he will have his time. And I will have mine.

Picture of the Week
I am a sucker for a good picture of a sweaty, steaming head on a cold day. Thanks, Ma'ake Kemoeatu.

The Best Weekend of the Year
It's pretty much common knowledge among football fans that this is the best weekend of the year. It's better than the first round of playoffs because the best teams are playing, its better than the conference championship weekend because there are twice as many games and it's better than the Super Bowl because the game is often (but not much recently) a letdown. And this weekend was one of the best ever. Two really great games, one that wasn't close but very fun to watch, and the last one wasn't much of a game, but we were so spent at that point that who cared.

What Happened to Parity?
The NFL often brags about its parity and that anyone can win at any time, thanks to the salary cap which tends to level the playing field. But 3 of the 4 conference finalists from last year are back this year. But since the Giants aren't, the NFL will have its 5th different champion in the last 5 years.