Here's the thing... I ate a meal tonight at a dive where they serve a bacon cheeseburger on a bun made from Krispy Kreme donuts. And I didn't order it. Mistake. I'll get it someday though...
So far: 33/90, 3 right scorelines.
Birmingham City v. Blackburn Rovers: 0-0. Draws seem to be the right pick with Blackeye.
Fulham v. Everton: 0-2. Everton want to make it too hard for the FA to give a spot in the Big Cup to Liverpool.
Liverpool v. Middlesbrough: 1-1. Not a good result for either. Both headed for Europe, anyway.
Manchester City v. Portsmouth: 2-0. Pompey risking it.
Newcastle United v. Crystal Palace: 1-2. Can't pick toon now. Palace staying up? I like them better than Soton and Norwich.
Southampton v. Norwich City: 1-1. Bad news for both sides.
Bolton v. Chelsea: 0-1. Ribbons, medals and champagne.
Tottenham Hotspur v. Aston Villa: 2-2. Entertaining, but not helpful to either team.
Charlton Athletic v. Manchester United: 2-2. Keeper problems. Man U to need to qualify for Big Cup? Only the Yankees' struggles are more satisfying.
West Bromwich Albion v. Arsenal: 1-3. For some reason I think this weekend the good teams knock off the bad teams and that the bottom spots won't get decided until the last round.
And I'll try to write something interesting this weekend for all 2 of my readers. Got burned out by the 42,000 words I wasted on the boring ass draft last weekend...
Friday, April 29, 2005
Here's the thing... I ate a meal tonight at a dive where they serve a bacon cheeseburger on a bun made from Krispy Kreme donuts. And I didn't order it. Mistake. I'll get it someday though...
Posted by LD at 11:30 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
Kregg Lumpkin apparently had an accident on his scooter on campus. Dude's a stud and with the Dawgs receiving corps next year, we'll need Ware, Brown and Kregg carrying the ball. I remember some linemen riding scooters when I was in college, and I always wondered how a little scooter could hold up a 300 pound mammoth. Just ride the Orbit like everyone else and save your legs.
Posted by LD at 9:55 PM
I've highlighted Lang Whittaker's column before, and this week's is good too. But dude, stop stealing my links. If you want me to do all of your research, send me to Barcelona to play around with Ronaldinho. Until then, you'll get nothing and like it.
Posted by LD at 9:50 PM
Chelsea have to wait until this weekend to clinch, since Arsenal held off Spurs today. The bottom is a more interesting battle. I can't get a read on which team will stay up. Good battle for UEFA spots, too.
Last weekend - 6/10, 2 right scorelines (Steak and chips for me!). For the season 32/88, 3 right scorelines.
West Bromwich Albion v. Blackburn Rovers: 0-0. Rovers aren't letting much in right now.
Newcastle United v. Middlesbrough: 1-2. Newcastle mailing it in, Boro have something to play for.
Two series which on paper are mismatches. I've gone back and forth on this for predictions. I just have a feeling like one of the underdogs is going to sneak into the final, but I can't tell which one.
AC Milan v. PSV Eindhoven: 0-0, PSV advance. OK, I'm taking a stand. PSV will pull the upset by first getting a decent result at San Siro and getting a goal or two at home next week. Milan are beaten up from the domestic season. PSV have clinched the Eredivisie. Why not?
Chelsea v. Liverpool: 3-0, Chelsea advance. It's been a nice run for Liverpool, but class is class and the Reds won't sneak up on Chelsea.
Posted by LD at 9:33 PM
The Missing: There's an article in Newsweek about how Ron Howard should be considered among the better artists among directors, in anticipation of this summer's Cinderella Man. I think Howard is hit or miss, and this movie is a miss. There's just not much to it, and what there is is cliched. The acting was fine I suppose, but Tommy Lee Jones just seems on autopilot. Even Blanchett doesn't blow me away in this. There are plenty of superior westerns out there from the 50s and 60s (and 80s and 90s and auts). Yer Fired.
Posted by LD at 9:25 PM
Saturday, April 23, 2005
4:03: The draft itself is not interesting right now. The commercials are repetitive. Kiper is tentative. Kremer doesn't know anything. Torry Holt is the star of the Torry Holt show. Boomer occasionally looks like he doesn't know if he's on camera or not. The producers haven't shown the losers in the building once (the best part of watching the draft). The highlight so far is... I got nothing.
4:08: Ed Werder's mustache (best in the biz) tells us that the Cowboys tried to trade up several times to draft the guy that now fell to them. Yeah. Likely story. Self fluffery. They draft Marcus Spears. Very good pick. He's a stud.
4:10: Finally a shot of some losers in the crowd. The roundup: 5 dudes, 5 jerseys, 5 spare tire guts, 2 goatees and one mustache. Shame that this is the first shot, but that's what you get when the Jets, Giants and Eagles don't have early picks.
4:13: Boomer enlightens us with more inside scoop from Mukhesh the cabdriver. This time he's talking about the Bills and JP Losman.
4:15: Is that Billy Crudup in the Mastercard gas station commercial? The Lady says so, but I don't know. He doesn't seem commercial enough to do that.
4:16: Jags make a sneaky move and take Matt Jones. WHO? Matt Jones. WHO? Matt Jones. WHO? Matt Jones. Still Tippin' with a sub 4.4. OK, nobody's getting those jokes. While Mort and the boys talk about how great an athlete he is, let me throw in a personal anecdote. I saw him play basketball against Georgia a couple of years ago. It was one of his first games of the season (he came in mid-season because of football). He gets fouled and lines up for his first FTs of the year. Two shots. First shot falls about 3 feet short of the rim. My Dad turns to me and says that that was THE SINGLE WORST FREE THROW HE'D EVER SEEN IN 50 YEARS OF WATCHING BASKETBALL. Second shot banks so hard off the backboard that there's a battle for the ball between the guards who weren't even lined up. It banked so hard, it looked like a buzzer beater gone awry. The Jircuzzi erupted with laughter for like 5 minutes, including the Arkansas bench. I think there was a jump ball or something in the scrum going for the ball. Jones came out of the game, to great applause.
4:25: Ravens take Mark Clayton. Good pick. Kind of hoped he'd slip to the Falcons.
4:27: Torry Hearts Mark Clayton.
4:28: The Raiders trade up. Boomer, who hasn't mentioned Aaron Rodgers in a while, hints that it might be a QB.
4:32: Raiders take Fabian Washington. Boomer sounds disappointed.
4:34: Boomer now really pushing Rodgers with the Packers on the board. Suzy's back for the first time in a while. I guess defensive linemen just don't have the heartwrenching stories of overcoming odds that earlier picks had.
4:43: Boomer is yelling "PICK HIM! PICK HIM!". He's lost his mind. Packers do pick Aaron Rodgers. A few shots of Cheeseheads in the audience. They seem to like the pick, which is the opposite of their purpose for being there.
4:46: I cannot understand why it takes so long between picks. ESPN just spent 10 minutes on Aaron Rodgers in a way that if the metaphor were real, he would've popped in 4. If it was such an obvious pick, just make the damn pick. And now the Skins will sit for the full 15. Nobody gives a shit about trading up this far into the draft. Just pick, already.
4:49: Suzy finally gets her mitts on Rodgers. I repeat my earlier take that Rodgers' suffering by waiting only pales in comparison to our misery in having to look at that pathetic soul patch.
4:51: 8 of the first 21 picks are from SEC schools, and all the colege football know-it-alls railed about how the SEC was down last year. Eat a dick, Mark May.
4:55: The terrible Rain-X commercial with the crazy "Mother Nature" bashing the car... Is this an example of a metaphor eating itself? Mother Nature hits the car over the head, the metaphor is so obvious it hits the viewer over the head, and they replay it over and over again. Yeah, this draft is so boring I'm starting to hate myself and what I'm writing too.
4:58: Redskins take Jason Campbell. He's a bust waiting to happen. I ain't skeerd to say it.
4:59: I'm going to keep going for the next two picks instead of a new post. Once the Falcons draft, I'm gone. If nothing else, I believe I have gotten the "hey, I'd like to watch some of the draft" out of me for good.
5:05: ESPN's coverage ends at 5:30. I thought I'd be done with the first round by 3:30. Now I'm starting to worry that I won't get to see the Falcons' pick. They need to cut it down to 10 minutes per pick. This is just ridiculous.
5:11: Seattle takes Chris Spencer, and the fans boo. Kiper seems to like it, but he didn't have this guy listed on his best available. The SEC is just dominating the first round this year. I always wondered why they didn't bring the College Gameday guys in, since they'd know a little about the guys getting drafted. Now I realize that if Corso and Herbstreit were here, they'd have to talk about how they licked the balls of the Big 12 and Pac 10 all last year (to the point that Auburn was shut out of the MNC game), and now how they just missed all that talent in the SEC. I guess a contract with CBS makes a great league shitty...
5:16: Come on Falcons...
5:17: Aha! ESPN U has the college viewpoint. I don't get ESPN U. Now they've crossed over and they're talking on ESPN. Dumbass Mark May's analysis? Bob Davie's odd delivery ("number one IN the COUNTRY!!!!") of obvious thoughts. Damn you Comcast for keeping me from them!
5:20: Mark May already bashing the SEC, laughing at Auburn's chances for next year. I can't wait until football season to catalogue his ridiculous pronouncements and call him on it. That guy is beyond Douche. He's an IUD.
5:23: Falcons, do you not realize how close I am to giving up? Pick already!!!
5:24: Boomer says we have a shot at the longest ever first round. Pat yourselves on the back, dicks.
5:25: Falcons take Roddy White. OK. Two years in a row with a WR in the late first. I'd rather have a DE, but I'll take it. It'll be positive.
And that's it for me. Hope you enjoyed it. I know I'd rather put my nuts in a vice grip.
Posted by LD at 4:01 PM
3:02: A little shocked that they're talking about the ATL-Charlotte rivalry. NFC South might be the conference where the teams hate each other the most.
3:04: Panthers take Thomas Davis. If they play him at OLB, that's 2 Dawgs. Mark my words. Davis will cause a serious injury on a wide receiver on a clean hit. He's a physical freak and he's not afraid to lay a huge hit. I do not like that he'll play the Falcons twice every year.
3:07: Aaron Rodgers is definitely in Jameer range. C'mon teams. Keep it up. Let's make this dude cry, and force Berman into a heartfelt monologue on his "courage" and shit.
3:11: Back to Andrea Kremer. How many errors will she make in this segment? I'm hoping she calls Trent Green "Trey" and asks him if they might draft Aaron Rodgers because of the Chiefs' weakness at QB.
3:16: And here's the monologue on courage for Rodgers. I'd forgotten about the Thurman Thomas thing (idiot). Now Mort pins the blame on the NFL ("They invited him here because they thought he'd be gone by now"). I see it too. There's this dude from the NFL with a Sig pointed at Berman telling him to keep harping on Rodgers.
3:19: Chiefs take Derrick Johnson. Freaking steal. He's a stud and might be the best defensive player in the draft.
3:30: Exciting draft! I have so much to write about! I almost posted about how women in Hummer ads are almost consistently pale skinned redheads, for the sole purpose of arousing me. They show some of Kiper's greatest hits. Laughs all around!
3:32: Texans take Travis Johnson. I debate flipping over to Figure Skating on the Deuce. Then I remember I have testicles. There's an Inferno marathon on MTV, but I've pretty much memorized those episodes. I find The Surreal Life gay. Comedy Central, despite its name, is showing a MADtv marathon. Boro is playing West Brom on Fox Soccer Channel, but Comcast took that away from me (I have no reason why I no longer get the channel). There's an NFL Europe game on. The Hamburg Sea Devils are playing the Frankfurt Galaxy. I've won bar bets on naming more World League teams than anyone believed possible. Yep, I might as well grow a goatee and an even bigger gut and start only wearing jerseys.
3:38: I will never buy anything from anyone who hires Dennis Miller for their ads. They could be selling Gold Brick boxes filled with a cream that makes your penis enormous and gives you a crack high without consequences for pennies, but if Dennis Miller is on TV saying, "I don't want to go off on a rant here, but my dong's longer than Proust's Remembrance of Things Past and I'm higher than a team of sherpas on shrooms!", I'm not buying it.
3:40: Mrs. McNabb sighting, consoling Aaron Rodgers' mom. Kenan Thompson actually does a pretty good character there, I grudgingly admit.
3:44: I'm pretty sure this will end once the Falcons pick. I was hoping to get through the first round, but this is getting painful.
3:45: Bengals take David Pollack. Without getting into it too much, this guy is the most disruptive football player I've ever seen. I could see him in that Tedy Bruschi ubiquitous media darling role. On the field, he'll be great. Boomer just marvelled at the USC interception from his sophmore year as if he'd never seen it before. The Greater NY area is such a bubble.
3:48: Pollack embarrasses himself in a promo spot at the NYSE. C'mon, dude.
3:52: Andrea actually at the "round table". This time the topic is Randy Moss. They could've filmed this months ago. Absolutely nothing new. I'm wasting so much brainpower right now. Trent Green and Jon Jansen talk shit on Randy. Vrabel defends him, but seems to talk himself into a corner. This roundtable features ludicrous logic, moronic arguments, an countless non-sequiturs. So, basically, it's slightly better than This Week and Meet the Press, and way better than anything on CNN/Fox/MSNBC.
3:55: Vikings take Erasmus James. OK pick, with regional interest too. I'm glad Pollack got drafted ahead of James.
3:59: Rams take Alex Barron. Nice pick.
And I've lost 4 hours of my life. But I press on...
Posted by LD at 3:00 PM
2:02: Holt on Rolle: "This guy's a football player. The Cardinals got themselves a football player."
2:05: They go back to the "roundtable", which is really just a one-on-one interview. Again, they don't really talk about what's happened so far in the draft. Kremer doesn't ask about Rodgers. No, wait, Jansen starts talking about how Williams is the best guy on the board. Maybe it is live. If so, Kremer doesn't seem to be well-prepared.
2:08: Wait, maybe I'm right after all. Kremer just said Rolle was still on the board too. Now she corrects herself.
2:10: Antrel Rolle's mom is more of a draft nerd than Mel Kiper. Is that a Dozen?
2:12: Redskins take Carlos Rodgers. That bell is really annoying. I guess a good pick since Smoot left. More highlights with the Dawgs.
2:13: Holt: No such thing as a "Shut-down corner" anymore.
2:14: Now Mort gets in on the Please Pick Rodgers action.
2:18: Detroit picks fast: Mike Williams. Wow. Roy, Mike and Charles. If Joey Harrington doesn't turn the corner, he'll be burned at the stake.
2:21: Boomer on Jeff Garcia: "He's won at every level". Kind of like that old Shaq line "except college and pro..."
2:22: Joe Gibbs is boring. I haven't seen Parcells in a tie in years. Weird.
2:28: Cowboys: Demarcus Ware. Getting bored. His highlight package is pretty good. Whatever.
2:30: Mort: "[Lawrence Taylor] was Parcells' best player on those Giants teams." Acute insight. Boomer brings up Rodgers again.
2:32: Montage of Eli madness last year. I stand by my earlier stance that the Mannings come off as hard core douches to me. Especially that dodgy response to Suzy's "Why don't you want to play in San Diego?"
2:36: Now Suzy is pushing Rodgers, who doesn't seem to affected. More Barbara Walters questions. They should use one of those foggy lenses when Suzy's doing an interview.
2:38: Who are all those little kids behind Mike Williams? Is he watching from Neverland Ranch or something?
2:39: Hoge has been trashing Mike Williams all week, and now he's saying that he'll be great because of the situation in Detroit. I wish I could indignantly act like I was right all the time...
2:41: Boomer just called the Chargers' baby blues "the greatest uniforms in the history of football."
2:42: Chargers: Shawne Merriman. I've stopped caring about the actual players.
2:44: Boomer's been going on and on about how well his cab driver could predict the draft. Doesn't that sort of discredit the weight we should give Kiper, Mortensen, etc? If some Pakistani dude with bedsores on his ass knows this shit, why does Kiper matter?
2:48: Boomer cuts to commercial, but works in a heartstrings tug with Rodgers first. I'm really hoping Jason Campbell gets drafted first just to see how schmaltzy ESPN can get. They might even reanimate Roy Firestone to try to make Rodgers cry if he slips to round 2.
2:51: Saints trade up. This is SOOOO exciting! They pick Jamaal Brown. The bitterness at this exercise is starting to seep in. Can't some coach get into a shouting match with Kiper, or maybe Jaws try to unbutton Merrill's suit jacket and lose his hand? I don't know if I'll be able to go another hour without hitting the pipe.
2:57: Nice tribute to Sam Mills. Kind of surprised there wasn't any mention of Pat Tillman when the Cardinals picked.
2:59: 30 seconds of actual coverage over the last 8 minutes. 7 and a half minutes of commercials, none of which even merit a snarky comment. Lameness.
Back in an hour.
Posted by LD at 2:03 PM
1:00: We start the second hour with more flirting by Suzy. Braylon seems genuinely happy to go to Cleveland. Mental Flag.
1:02: Romeo Crennel is living up to the standards set by NFL coaches before him. His mustache is spectacular. Even Fisheriffic.
1:05: The Longest Yard, which looks like shit, points out a fascinating phenomena. James Cromwell plays the warden. I'm wondering if there's a website or blog post about the worst movie made by each Oscar nominated actor. Off the top of my head, I see George of the Jungle 2 for Lowell Mather, The Burbs for Tom Hanks, She Devil for Meryl Streep... OK. Not really a fascinating phenomena. Just a lot of supposedly good actors have been in terrible movies. I hate when something seems interesting at first, and then it turns out not to be (like, er...)
1:09: Chicago: Cedric Benson. Ced's mom looks pretty happy. Ced looks absolutely miserable. He's completely breaking down. Much like his body will after the Bears hand him the ball 600 times next year. Now he's smiling. I think he's a pretty solid player.
1:12: Berman just jinxed the shit out of Benson:"All those carries, never been hurt!"
1:13: Ced just mentioned the "background stuff." I think that story about him threatening some dude who he thought stole his plasma TV was pretty hilarious. Suzy just asked Ced "Who is the real you?" Ced: "I don't even know." He seems pretty pissed at the draft process. I kind of like that. Meatmarkets can't be fun.
1:16: Berman on Rodgers again: "He didn't get worse this week." Is Rodgers represented by Boomer's brother? I'm smelling a Jameer Nelson scenario.
1:22: Hilarious shot of Cadillac's house in Gadsden. Looks like the Bucs are going to take him. He's on the phone and nine million people have filled the shot celebrating. For a second it looked like a Lil' Wayne video was about to break out in his living room. Yep, the Bucs take him. Good pick, but durability is a question to me.
1:26: Berman now suggests the Titans should take Rodgers. Weird fluffing going on. I don't get it. Everybody knew Rodgers would slip, including Rodgers (which is why he was pushing for the #1 spot everywhere.
1:28: The ESPN promos for the NBA playoffs suck. Last year the "Let's Get it Started" promos were actually good (not "The WNB-Ays" good, but still eyecatching). "DUT DUT DUT DUH DUH DUH DUT DUT DUT DUH DUH" Annoying.
1:31: Suzy asks the question on everyone's mind: "Since you're not in NY, Cadillac, how many hats did you have?"
1:32: Gruden says it was love at first sight with Caddy. Suzy's questions seem more appropriate for a Barbara Walters special. I think Chucky's wearing a hemp necklace. He looks like he's on his way to a Dead show.
1:36: Titans: Pac Man Jones. Actually, it looks like they selected Lil' Jon. HUHWHATTT??????? We might be about to see a run on DBs. I like Rolle a little better than Pac Man.
1:38: Torry Holt on Pac Man: "I like that he's small" No shit...
1:40: I hate when I open a Coors Light and my whole house freezes. My dog's tongue gets stuck to his balls. OK, I don't have a dog. But the image...
1:43: Gus Frerotte is listed as a "Key Departure" for the Vikings. Everything starts at the placeholder position.
1:45: Kiper calls Mike Williams a no-brainer here. I really hope the Vikings go defense, so Kiper drops his O-Ring and gets into a shouting match with Ultimate Meathead Mike Tice.
1:46: Merrill Hoge dresses as bad as anyone on television not named Deion.
1:48: Vikings: Troy Williamson. First wrench. He's pretty good, but I like Mike Williams better. Of course they show that lucky ass long TD against the Dawgs. He's not as tall as I thought. The losers at the Vikings party didn't look happy. One guy in full costume looked like he was about to drive Thor's Hammer into his own forehead.
1:54: Boomer says Arizona might pick Rodgers. I'm pulling for the soul patch to become a Van Dyke before he gets picked.
1:57: Mike Tice is on now. Shouldn't the Vikings' coach have to grow a stache at least as long as the Vikings' mascot?
1:58: Cardinals: Antrell Rolle. Great pick. I see him in a Pro Bowl soon.
That's the second hour. Not quite as boring as the first, but they could speed it up a little.
Posted by LD at 1:00 PM
12:03: Berman's tie isn't making me want to throw up. Something doesn't feel right...
12:04: Alex Smith's highlight package has a clear-out QB draw from the shotgun where he doesn't get touched for 10 yards right up the middle. I'll make the statement: He will never make a play like that in the NFL. I'm not sold on Smith. MWC defenses blow.
12:07: First views of players' clothes. Ronnie Brown and Alex Smith go with the metro-pink oxford, but a standard suit and tie. Cedric Benson looks like an accountant. Aaron Rodgers has a soul patch, which should drop him at least 5 spots alone.
12:10: Are we to consider the players chattel, since ESPN keeps placing them at the NYSE?
12:11: I'm no gamer, but that Madden commercial looks better in every single way than CBS' NFL coverage.
12:12: Tags opens the festivities with: "Hello single losers who think jerseys and goatees are cool and Hooters is a nice restaurant. We are proud to offer you a few hours of entertainment to help you forget that none of you have ever gotten laid."
12:14: Alex Smith to Suzy Kolber: "I wanna kiss you. Yeaaaaaahh!!!"
12:17: Now's as good a time as any (already on the second commercial and there hasn't been a pick yet) to discuss Kiper. He's an easy target because of the hair and because focusing on the draft intrinsically connects you to those loser Jets fans in the crowd. However, he does know his stuff. I liken him to the college professor who's devoted his or her life to some esoteric minute detail. The thing that bothers me most is how people know he's sharp, so we won't see any Trev Alberts/Jim Irsay blowups, unfortunately.
12:22: Berman's mentioned a few times today that Rodgers "didn't get worse this week." Well, maybe he did, depending on what his agent is telling teams.
12:24: Still no pick.
12:25: Tom Condon has kind of a mullett.
12:26: First pick: Smith. The large black dude who gave him the shirt offered the handshake, but Al comes correct with the hug.
12:29: Suzy's working the Katie Couric flirterview. Alex is so hitting it in the green room.
12:30: Pete Coors seems like a douche to me. Does he really expect us to think Coors Breweries don't have smokestacks? I guess the magical mountain fairies brew the watered down forgettable shit. They should stick to exploitation and D-list celebrities, not trust-fund wannabes who couldn't win a gimme election on the coattails of the President. Loser.
12:34: Braylon's texting Snoop about fabric softener. Everybody needs a sidekick.
12:35: Hank Goldberg looks apoplectic and nervous. Bad week at the ponies, Hank?
12:37: Zoom Zoom Zoom can eat my Dick Dick Dick.
12:38: Get the new Mesh Draft Day Hat! So you can look like a dipshit too! And women won't want to talk to you! At NFL.Com!
12:39: Miami: Ronnie Brown. Solid pick. He's the real deal. Cleveland will have some trade options with Edwards on the board.
12:48: First visit to Weird Hair Andrea Kremer's round table. Rodney Harrison is wearing a lot of makeup. I wonder if these are taped earlier. They always seem to be talking about stories that aren't affected by draft-day ongoings.
12:51: Braylon still on the sidekick. I hope he takes it up to Tags.
12:53: Kiper probably burns 40,000 calories swinging his hands around as he talks.
12:54: Cleveland: Edwards. I'm thoroughly annoyed by that stock exchange bell. Looks like he put the sidekick down. Damn. I'm pretty sure I caught a "Now get the hell off my stage" on Tags' lips.
12:57: There are a million members of Edwards' crew on stage now. Tags is fuming. I hope they print family reunion t-shirts.
12:59: First hour is up and we're through 3 freaking picks. I'm definitely wasting the day.
Back in an hour...
Posted by LD at 12:03 PM
I believe this photo essay might give a reason to start following.
1) Ronaldo is a lucky man.
2) Linda Evangelista and Absolute Lunatic Fabien Barthez?
3) Weird Canuck Rachel Perry and Absolute Lunatic Clint Mathis?
4) I need to check out this "Girls Aloud" pop group.
5) Is Michael Owen engaged to Jennifer Aniston?
6) Is Landon Donovan dating Gina Gershon?
7) Allesandro Del Piero is also a lucky man.
I may have to revise the list of athlete beaver trappers...
Posted by LD at 9:15 AM
Not much to say about Simmons' final decision that I hadn't already said. The judges who chose MacDonald should turn in their comedy cards. She wasn't funny, wasn't smart, wasn't appropriate for SG's readers. Bank choked the last 2. Cott was best in this round, and just about every round.
Now comes the hard part: Subversively including UGA references and avoiding any more of those Kenny Anderson blowjobs.
Posted by LD at 12:04 AM
Friday, April 22, 2005
Ocean's Twelve: I really liked the first one, and I have a soft spot for heist movies. Both Ocean's movies are fun enough for you to turn off your brain, but smart enough for you to turn it back on. The first one was a little better because of its focus. This one covers a little too much ground for the amount of time, but it's still clever and funny. The scenery is great. The actors are game. I read plenty of reviews of this, and they all seemed to be slightly negative because it wasn't the movie the critic would've made (because ther wasn't enough Bernie Mac, or because Vincent Cassel bothers them or something). Screw those wannabes. I can see some problems with the film, but it's still pretty enjoyable. Steak Knife.
Posted by LD at 11:52 PM
Meme I've seen plenty of places. No filter, no skipping. Stuck with what shows up:
1. Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam (NYC 7/8/03)
2. Like the Weather - 10,000 Maniacs (reminds me to delete)
3. Red Hill Mountain Town - U2
4. Blue Hawaiian - Pavement
5. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite - Beatles
6. 10 Days Late - Third Eye Blind
7. Nuttin' for Christmas - Barry Gordon
8. Ghetto Musick - Big Boi
9. The First Time - U2
10. Glynis - Smashing Pumpkins
Posted by LD at 11:46 PM
First, an ode to the European system of professional sports. The system of extra-national tournaments and intranational relegation and promotion deserves praise. In the three highest levels of soccer, there are between 3 and 5 games (about 10% of the season) remaining. Because teams are still jockeying for spots in Europe or fighting for promotion/playoff spots/avoiding relegation, the vast majority of teams still have something to play for. In the Premiership, every single team still has a reason to play its best players this weekend. In the Championship, 7 out of 24 teams have nothing to play for, and 6 of 24 in League 1. So out of the 68 teams, 55 still have a reason to play. Considering how I live in a city where the basketball team had nothing to play for, oh, around New Years', I think the system overseas is excellent.
But now onto this weekend's picks.
The midweek games weren't too kind to me. 3/10, 1 right result. For the season, I'm 26/78 right result, 6 right scorelines.
Everton v. Birmingham City: 2-0, Toffees looking good after the midweek win over ManU
Chelsea v. Fulham: 3-0, another clean sheet ties the record for shutouts. With a Chelsea win and an Arsenal draw or loss, Chelsea clinch the title.
Aston Villa v. Bolton Wanderers: 2-2, Slight slip for Bolton. Villa's been scoring a lot lately.
Blackburn Rovers v. Manchester City: 0-0, I like Blackburn's defense.
Crystal Palace v. Liverpool: 0-1, not tremendous news for either team.
Middlesbrough v. West Bromwich Albion: 1-1, Baggies playing well enough to avoid relegation.
Norwich City v. Charlton Athletic: 1-0, no real idea here, but Norwich playing much better recently.
Portsmouth v. Southampton: 2-2, neither team climbs.
Manchester United v. Newcastle United: 3-1, unsure why I'd give Toon a goal.
Arsenal v. Tottenham Hotspur: 2-0, Chelsea's title celebration at home against Bolton next week.
Posted by LD at 11:26 PM
Thursday, April 21, 2005
If I had the ability to blog all day long, the mornings would probably be devoted to Dan Shanoff's errors in the Morning Quickie. I respect how wide a net he casts by 9 every morning, but his takes are so frequently misguided that I get kind of frustrated daily. His quick trigger on the "Best. Ever." line annoys me. And he also seems eager to all the hot thing of the day "the next..." (side note, check out Jen Chang's interview with Argentina great Mario Kempes and how he responds to the question on the "next Maradona")
One thing this week I've noticed (and I might be reading too much) is Shanoff's belief that the steal of the QB class in this year's NFL Draft is Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard, to the point of suggesting he's this draft's Tom Brady. First off, Tom Brady is a once in a generation steal. Basically, Brady's talent was hidden by Henson and a run-first offense so he slipped, scouts missed intangibles by looking at pure numbers, then he fell into the perfect situation with the perfect coach in New England. There is not a Tom Brady in every draft. Even if a player of hidden talent slips far in the draft, he might end up in the wrong situation, etc.
Anyway, Shanoff, with the sound of a Northwestern journalism school elitist (read Stewart Mandel), turns to the results of the Wonderlic test to say that Fitzpatrick should be drafted ahead of other quarterbacks (even one who, oh, won more games than any quarterback in Division I-A history...).
So on to the Wonderlic. So much reliance has been placed on it that now agents are training theier players for the test. Who knows whether there's a good correlation between the test and performance.
Here's what I do know: Shanoff was pushing a little when he said Fitzpatrick aced the Wonderlic on Monday. Fitzpatrick took it three times. He scored a 37, a 38, and then finally a 50. The test I believe loses its ability to determine ability after multiple attempts. Jason Campbell doubled his original score after taking it two more times. Taking the test more than once is a new phenomenon, so I think we should consider the scores a little more closely.
Here's a list of the quarterbacks who have scored high on the test over the last few years according to this site which I find very helpful:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard (50 -3rd try)
Alex Smith, Utah (40 -1st)
Aaron Rodgers, Cal (39 - 1st)
Charlie Frye, Akron (38 - 2nd)
Jason Campbell (28 - 3rd)
NFL Starters and Early Round Draft Picks (First time taken unless otherwise noted):
Eli Manning (39)
Phillip Rivers (30)
Ben Roethlisberger (25)
JP Lohsman (31)
Drew Henson (42)
Carson Palmer (26)
Kyle Boller (27)
Byron Leftwich (25)
Rex Grossman (29)
David Carr (24)
Joey Harrington (32)
Patrick Ramsey (32)
Josh McCown (30)
Michael Vick (20)
Drew Brees (28)
Quincy Carter (30)
AJ Feeley (19)
Chad Pennington (25)
Marc Bulger (29)
Tom Brady (33)
Tim Couch (22)
Donovan McNabb (16, but only score 12 the second time)
Akili Smith (37 on second try, but only 15 the first time and many claimed he cheated)
Daunte Culpepper (21, but took it three times and scouts say 15)
Cade McNown (28)
Aaron Brooks (17)
Peyton Manning (???)
Ryan Leaf (???)
Brian Griese (39)
Matt Hasselbeck (29)
Other Recent Starters
Jake Plummer (???)
Kerry Collins (30)
Jeff Garcia (???)
Steve McNair (15)
Trent Dilfer (22)
Drew Bledsoe (37)
Mark Brunell (22)
Brett Favre (22)
Jake Delhomme (???)
Vinny Testaverde (18)
Trent Green (???)
What does it all mean? I'd say not all that much. I think you definitely need more than just a good score on the test to be a great QB. And as teams have weighed the test, the players have merely gotten in shape to take the test, which I think weakens it's import.
So my thesis: Ryan Fitzpatrick might be very smart, but that "perfect score" you'll hear about when he gets drafted Sunday isn't as perfect as one might think. And he still has to have the physical tools, which I'd wager he doesn't have in comparison to the top players on the boards.
And I'd draft Greene ahead of him too.
I promise to have something at least attempting to be funny this weekend...
Posted by LD at 8:58 PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
From Thighs Wide Shut:
The Ron Mexico Name Generator was up, but appears to be disabled. I was "Victor Australia".
As someone who has wasted a few hours looking for stuff on Google Maps, I wish I'd seen this site earlier. Seattle's stadiums and SBC Park are two highlights from what I could find.
Posted by LD at 10:50 PM
On my way home I heard on one of the local sports talk stations an interview with NFL Draft "expert" Vinnie Iyer, who apparently gets paid to know about football prospects.
The local guy asked him what Vinnie knew about Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech, apparently wanting the expert to gush about the tech Sophmore's size, hands, speed, etc.
Vinnie responded that he was probably a late second day guy at best and that his big board had at least 120 receivers ahead of him.
Uhh, dude, he ain't in the draft.
The hosts said nothing. We must compliment our Emperor's vestments.
Posted by LD at 10:39 PM
I direct you to the first column penned by George Will that I endorse whole-heartedly.
Check out the walk/9 number he cites. Nice crowd my doppelganger finds himself in. (for the record, others have told me I look like him. I see the similarity, but not all that much)
Posted by LD at 10:31 PM
Monday, April 18, 2005
Shittiest challenge ever, but one of the best episodes yet.
When Dan said "I thought I was the biggest bitch on this show", how are we not to laugh? Patently false (Tina) and self-prophesy (after this show, I'd pick him) at the same time.
Plus, CT sexually harassing Tonya, who arches her back inhales and complains about how everyone can't stop talking about her chest.
Posted by LD at 11:09 PM
Shorter John Donovan: Damn You Peter Gammons!!!
Shorter Peter King: As the man who wrote thrice on a dude pissing himself last year right before the draft, I cannot understand why my usually compliant sources won't tell me anything. And Terrell Owens can choke on a field hockey stick.
Shorter Lang Whitaker: Hawks RULE!!! Actually, I give props. His column reads like something I'd write. Especially the link to the Pirate and the porn star retraction.
Not really a shorter Bill Simmons Cowbell (link bad tomorrow, look in the archives for 4/18): Just a point he mentions: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler giggling their way through Weekend Update like two teenagers who just did a round of Whip-Its. See, he makes it look like they're unprofessional because they crack up at their own jokes, but when I watch it, that's not the rub. I think it's pretty clear that they both giggle for the sole reason of covering up the failure of the delivery of the previous joke. Seriously. Watch it again. Fey always giggles when a joke bombs. It's not just unprofessional, it's comedic fraud. Fallon cracked up, but at least he appeared genuine. I think Fey and Poehler are premeditated in their giggles. And that sucks.
Jeff Merron's List: One interesting anecdote - #7. O Henry penned.
Posted by LD at 10:45 PM
Wow did I do shitty last weekend. Not one right result. But strangely enough, I was right about the descriptions for almost all of them. So when it comes down to it, listen to me, but don't trust me.
So far: 23/68, 5 right scorelines.
Bolton v. Southampton: 2-0. I think Bolton might just get to Europe.
Middlesbrough v. Fulham: 1-0. snooze.
Aston Villa v. Charlton Athletic: 3-2. Villa's been scoring and allowing lots lately.
Manchester City v. Birmingham City: 1-0. Watch something else.
Norwich City v. Newcastle United: 2-2. Don't trust Toon.
Portsmouth v. Liverpool: 0-1. Going with Liverpool, though they do not play well domestically.
Tottenham Hotspur v. West Bromwich Albion: 2-0. Nothing to say.
Blackburn Rovers v. Crystal Palace: 1-0. Watch something else.
Chelsea v. Arsenal: 3-2. Watch this. I figure it'll be very exciting. Late goal by Drogba pretty much clinches the title.
Everton v. Manchester United: 0-1. Everton might give way to Bolton.
Posted by LD at 10:24 PM
The Man Without A Past: Forgettable (heh). I guess the only thing worth mentioning is how the cast actually look like real people, rather than actors. Not sure what the fuss is all about. Seemed kind of cliched, or at least too simple. Finland doesn't look very nice. You're Fired.
Envy: Also forgettable. I guess I'm not mad about giving up an hour and a half, but it wasn't exactly worth it. Walken is game. Poehler underused. Black is kind of restrained, but this could've used him going crazy. Weisz is miscast. Someone (I think it was Bill Simmons) wrote about how Stiller only plays two characters (a) the over the top goofy sketch character [Zoolander, Dodgeball, Happy Gilmore] or (b) the sad sap who loses it eventually [Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly]. Here he's (b), and he doesn't really add much. Could've used a re-write or eight. Wasn't Barry Sonnenfeld good once? You're Fired.
Posted by LD at 10:11 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2005
This jukebox can tell you the #1 song on your birthday. It also says that the #1 song on your 18th birthday is your life's "theme song".
Me: Birthday - Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder. 18th - This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
The Lady: Birthday - Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes. 18th - Candle in the Wind 1997 by Elton John
The General: Birthday - I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. 18th - Wannabe by Spice Girls
The Wrangler: Birthday - I Love Rock-n-Roll by Joan Jett & the Heartbreakers. 18th - Say My Name by Destiny's Child
General, you dun got screwed...
Posted by LD at 10:29 AM
Friday, April 15, 2005
Grand Hotel: This seems like one of those films that is probably more important in the history of cinema than it is entertaining from a current POV (rather than a 1933 POV). I guess it's kind of interesting because of the large cast and multiple storylines, but it also kind of bored me. I guess I'd compare it to Altman, but I'm no fanboy of his, so that doesn't mean much. In terms of importance, it's probably a steak knife, but personally, I'd give it You're Fired.
The Big Sleep: Raymond Chandler + William Faulkner, and I'm supposed to be surprised that the dialogue was fantastic? The language stands out, more than the plot, which kind of confused me. I liked Bogart better in this than most of what I've seen him in. The women in it are fantastic (as in hot), especially the supporting and smaller role characters. Of course I might just be saying that because Hugh Hefner was "hosting" the viewing on TCM I saw. This is one of those movies I could see myself watching many many times. Also reminded me of Lebowski, which is a huge positive. Cadillac.
Posted by LD at 11:34 PM
OK, getting very very very drunk before picking is not a good idea. Last time I was 3/10. As for the FA Cup, it's been a really long time since I thought about it. Gotta say that Arsenal-Man U is the probably final. Blackburn I think has a better chance than Newcastle,but neither really have a chance.
Premiership so far: 23/58, 5 right scorelines.
FA Cup so far: 9/20, 0 right scorelines, 11/16 right advancing.
Charlton Athletic v. Bolton Wanderers: 1-1. Probably ought pick Bolton, but I'm an idiot.
Crystal Palace v. Norwich City: 2-3. Neither team is staying up, but this should be entertaining.
Fulham v. Manchester City: 0-1. Wild guess.
Liverpool v. Tottenham Hotspur: 1-0. Going logically, Liverpool ought to have confidence from the Juventus tie. But logic?
Southampton v. Aston Villa: 2-2. MOTD.
Birmingham City v. Portsmouth: 1-0. Snooze.
Arsenal v. Blackburn Rovers: 0-0, Arsenal advance on penalties. Such a cop-out, but Friedel's been a wall lately. Plus, I've been picking [wrongly] against Arsenal lately.
Manchester United v. Newcastle United: 4-0, Man U advance. Newcastle have to be a mess after the last quarter against Sporting. Plus, the added fixtures have to drain them. Of course, I'm probably wrong.
Posted by LD at 11:13 PM
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Yeah, thought I'd add a few places I visit frequently.
Gardner Linn: The General knows him. Actually knows what he's talking about in re pop culture, unlike a certain douchebag I know.
Thighs Wide Shut: Link dump with Cuthbert and Alba. You're welcome, Charlemagne.
UEFA: Good place to follow Cup games live.
Something Awful: Old Nintendo games, occasionally hilarious photoshops without the gay ass Fark inside jokes, and an incredible story about the Ultimate Warrior threatening a libel suit.
Sports Pickle: Hit and miss (unlike how my posts are consistently pants-shittingly funny), but when they hit it's pretty great.
Posted by LD at 11:22 PM
Been to two games in the last week. A few thoughts...
1) The new screen is unbelievable. Really, really great. Now, if they could only break the Umps' union to show close calls on the big screen. Pussies in blue.
2) Skip & Pete's BBQ isn't half bad. A nice addition.
3) Braves' bullpen is not very good right now. However, Dan Kolb's entrance music (Enter Sandman) freaking rules. Had the conversation a couple of times as to what are some great nicknames for closers. "The Sandman" is pretty good. Of course, you have to get weak ass hitters out to merit a nickname. So for now, he's just Dan.
4) The two games I've been to had two outstanding starts, by Thomson and Hudson respectively. And both times, due to inability at the plate and an unstable pen, we were on the ropes at the end. Hudson's game was a gem. Shame they blew it. The pen needs help, but I think the corner outfielders are a bigger hole in the lineup. I've been impressed with Mondesi and Jordan on defense, but at the plate neither of them are having good plate appearances. Looking at good pitches, swinging at bad ones, not able to handle decent pitches. On the other hand, it's been pretty enjoyable seeing Chipper at the plate. Andruw has for the first time in his career not made me wince when he's up. And if we had a few others who knew how to work a count like Julio Franco, I think we'd win a few more games.
5) I don't really like the red uniforms or the new hats.
6) Listening to Chip Caray is going to take some getting used to. Every time I've turned it on and he's calling the game, I think I've tuned in to the wrong game.
7) I feel like this team will go on a 10 game winning streak at some point this year. The starters are really strong. When a couple of hitters get hot at the same time, they'll go on a tear.
Posted by LD at 10:42 PM
So I see this story today at Eschaton about the sponsor of Tennessee's sanctity of marriage law getting a divorce and how his wife is accusing him of adultery or something, and he fought an amendment to the bill on adultery or something, blah blah... Politician is a hypocrite, dog bites man, etc.
But the interesting thing is that this guy represents Cleveland, TN, the home of Lee University (apparently they have graduate programs now). Lee is very conservative. The town is very conservative. It's the International Headquarters of the Church of God. I'm willing to bet that this guy's infidelities might be a little worse for him than most philandering politicians.
But most importantly, it begs the question: Did he meet for moonlight trysts at the Gondolier? And will his wife lead off ceremonies at next year's Ass-Kicking Day Festival?
And will Ryan (either) ever read this? And will anyone else care?
Posted by LD at 10:24 PM
Gammons has an article that I had planned to pull an old No. 6 on last night. But today, having seen his apology and correction, I just can't bring myself to do it. He seems so genuine and he really did the right thing. Wait. I don't give a shit about whether he cites his sources or not. He has a hundred sources in every column and he's usually pretty transparent on who's feeding the stories to him (see below). And I thought it was a gay ass anecdote anyway (although I love the line in the now-removed sidebar about how Milton Bradley thought CC Sabathia calling him out was "real").
He also overdoes the apology (which makes him a total pu-huh-huh-husss), but I guess that was the only way to do it in the post-Albom era (whose "apology" made him look like a egocentric dick).
So I must proceed with what I was born to do...
First: Semi-Blow job (probably worse than none at all) for Paul DePodesta. First he writes, "Then there are the Dodgers, who in many corners were dismissed as the trash-barrel residue of a statistical general manager who dehumanized players and sent the character people like Paul Lo Duca and Alex Cora out to pasture, replacing them with numbers." First off, when someone says in many corners, I have to assume he thinks it himself. An uncredited statement like that is just lazy. And a playoff team s trash-barrel residue. And saying a GM dehumanizes players is a careless use of the word. The holocaust was dehumanizing. Trading Juan Encarnacion, not so much. And I know these are just Peter's thought's because of the snuggling of Cora and LoDuca. Peter just can't embrace his inner statdork, especially when he loves using such emotional and loving words to describe his what's the word... moles? sources? babyfaces? Another problem with Peter in this column is that a good fluffer never finishes the job. He never walks away from LoDuca.
OK, one other example of shitty writing in the bulk of the article:
The Dodgers were hardly a dynasty when DePodesta took over [DePodesta says this himself earlier], and like most rebuilding jobs, there are going to be difficult and controversial choices. Lo Duca was one. Beltre was another. Cora. Green. People get hurt in the process [retch], and while this is a people game, what DePodesta is trying to do deserves to be judged by the team's performance, not what baseball folks and we in the media think will unfurl [so repeat the slurs against him for the first half of the column, but then repent, douche].
Next item... Red Sox young players RULE!!! Longtime readers of Pedro already know that. I do hope that the Yankees or some other team drive up the price of Olerud, just to make Petey sad.
And for the rest of the Red Sox news of the week:
What Dr. Charles Steinberg wrought Monday for the Red Sox ring ceremony was as close to perfection as anyone could imagine. Nice and all, but compare that to what Bill Simmons wrote about the ceremony in his Cowbell post on Wednesday. I didn't think any writer would have a bigger hardon for the Sox than Simmons, but somehow Gammons pulls it off. My guess: Steinberg is a high-you-jah source for Senor Transitions. But in some ways what Joe Torre, Derek Jeter and the Yankees did by standing on the steps of their dugout and applauding was perhaps the best thing about the day, a tribute to the Red Sox, their tradition and, most of all, their fans. Just when he overdoes it for the Sox, he overdoes it for the Yankees... If I were a Sox fan, I'd feel sick at this paragraph.
Few 32-year olds could better handle fame than Theo Epstein, who could be a rock star in his home town. But while Theo may love to play his guitar, his persona is closest to his twin brother Paul, a devoted social worker. Every penny that Epstein makes either speaking or doing a donut commercial with Johnny Damon goes to charity. And perhaps we've found another source? If some other GM starts feeding him info, will he petition the Vatican for beatification?
Why do I read this fawning shitstain? Oh yeah, because his sources are unparalleled.
Posted by LD at 8:55 PM
Option 1: For that sage older gentleman who wants to say "I'm austere and intelligent, a thinker, and I love pumpkin-pie-diarrhea orange".
Option 2: For that space on the pickup's window just below the "No Fear", just above the "Ain't Skeerd", just to the right of the Calvin pissing on a ford logo, just to the left of the "3", just diagonally northwest of the "Get-R-Done", just diagonally northeast of the "8", just diagonally southeast of the NRA seal, just diagonally southwest of the Browning Deer sticker, and overtop of the "I'm a rolling stereotype" bumper sticker.
Option 3: For those Tennessee Moms who can't have too many Smokey Beanie Babies, or Casey Clausen.
Posted by LD at 8:42 PM
Comcast experienced a "national internet outage"the last couple of nights, so no posts. I'll have several posts up tomorrow if they get off their asses and fix the damn thing.
But before then: European soccer. Chelsea have to be considered the favorite right now in the Big Cup. Inter probably won't play in Europe next year, but read this article and tell me that there isn't a problem with Italian calcio throughout. And finally: c'mon DaMarcus - straight up the middle when you could've clinched it? I hope Arena was watching in case we came down to PKs in Germany. Put him up there early, if at all.
So far in UEFA: 17/50 right result (weak). 4 right scorelines. 12/23 right advancing.
AZ Alkmaar v. Villareal: 2-0, AZ advance. AZ haven't lost at home in a European match in like 40 years. They've definitely surprised me this entire tournament. Villareal has to be disappointed.
Auxerre v. CSKA Moscow: 1-0, and I'm stuck with an Auxerre pick (though I did say CSKA might put up an insurmoutable number, which they of course did). CSKA haven't gotten much respect from bookies or pundits. Because playing in Moscow is a huge advantage (though getting less so as Spring arrives), they might just make the final.
Parma v. FK Austria Wien: 0-0, Parma advance. I've been burned every round by Austria. Their nice run ends now.
Sporting Lisbon v. Newcastle United: 2-0, Sporting advance. I'm now pretty certain that these are the two best teams left in the competition. Sporting have to be considered a prohibitive favorite to win it all after they go through today.
I'll be back tonight with plenty of good stuff...
Posted by LD at 8:58 AM
Monday, April 11, 2005
Spartan: Val Kilmer ain't so good in this. The plot is quite unrealistic, to the point where it's kind of a bother. The dialogue has its moments. Too many dei ex machinae. But overall, I sort of liked it. I guess it's just slightly better than the usual action film, or something. Kind of forgettable, but kind of decent. Best thing about it: no Rebecca Pidgeon. Probably You're Fired, but not that bad.
Posted by LD at 10:26 PM
It's been a while, and tonight's game was actually a "big" one. Had the Hawks beaten Charlotte, this might actually be a race. It went into OT, but the Hawks knew how to seal the deal.
With the Hawks' loss tonight, New Orleans is eliminated.
Now, the Hawks magic number is merely 2, with 5 games to go.
If the Hawks lose on Wednesday in Charlotte, they clinch the most ping pong balls in the NBA Draft lottery. Of course, this is worth less than nothing, since both the Knicks and the Lakers are in the lottery.
Posted by LD at 10:17 PM
So Far: 8/20, 2 right scores, 2/4 right advancing.
Bayern Munchen v. Chelsea: 3-2, Chelsea advance. I see a high scoring match, with late scoring swinging the balance. I'm not betting against Mourinho.
Internazionale Milan v. AC Milan: 1-1, AC Milan advance. Snooze.
Juventus v. Liverpool: 1-0, Juventus advance. I'd love it if Liverpool advanced, but I don't see it happening, especially with Gerrard out.
PSV Eindhoven v. Olympique Lyon: 2-2, Lyon advance. Probably wrong about this, but I picked Lyon last time, so I'll reach with it.
Posted by LD at 10:08 PM
Sunday, April 10, 2005
A new title I can get on board with...
The Incredibles: Pretty much awesome throughout. Unsure how much kids would like it, and that's the only semi-drawback. Pays homage to great action movies, satirizes great action movies and, in some ways, exceeds great action movies. Probably the best movie made last year. Cadillac.
Once Upon A Time In Mexico: Definitely an attitude film, as in you have to have the right attitude to see this and enjoy it. I went in thinking it'd be silly and because of that I really enjoyed it. I liked the pace better than the first two Mariachi movies. Faster and didn't take itself so seriously, both positive. The plot is unimportant (and problematic). The cast is knowingly slumming and enjoying it. Depp's costumes are amazing, especially the "CIA" t-shirt with the fanny pack and fake Oakleys. Watch it as a comedy, and it's a steak knife.
Posted by LD at 12:05 PM
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Whoa. If this week I do better than before, I promise I'll get absolutely annihilated before making any more picks.
So far: 20/48, 5 right scorelines.
Blackburn Rovers v. Southampton: 1-0. Been riding Soton lately, but not tomorrow.
Bolton Wanderers v. Fulham: 1-0. Fulham are a disappointment. Bolton back on track.
Chelsea v. Birmingham City: 4-0. The machine is rolling.
Manchester City v. Liverpool: 1-2. Confidence is on the Reds' side.
Middlesbrough v. Arsenal: 2-2. MOTD.
Portsmouth v. Charlton Athletic: 0-1. Pompey in trouble.
Norwich City v. Manchester United: 0-2. Red Devils back alone in second.
Aston Villa v. West Bromwich Albion: 3-1. Villa playing better lately.
Everton v. Crystal Palace: 2-0. Everton messed up last weekend. Won't make it 2 in a row.
Tottenham Hotspur v. Newcastle United: 0-1. If I had a rational thought in my brain right now, I'd certainly not pick the Toon Army. Now, though, I'm thinking... It's so dumb it just might work...
I'd also like to take this opportunity to say how awesome Jose Mourinho is. First, he calls out Rijkaard and Frisk for consorting, and UEFA censures him. Then, he gets more vindication than anyone ever thought reasonable by having Chelsea win without him on the bench, then UEFA admits that Mourinho was right about the Frisk situation, even though the organization punished them as if he was not right. Mourinho can spend the next month telling people to kiss his ass and it'll probably not quite do it.
Posted by LD at 1:16 AM
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Inspired by the Manning discussion, I present to you my "intern contest" question:
If you went out for a night of blackout drunken debauchery with an athlete leading the way, which one would provide you with the hottest residual action?
Here's my top 5:
5. Derek Jeter (and it really kills me to write that)
4. Rick Fox now that he's single again.
3. David Beckham
2. Andy Roddick
1. Tom Brady and it isn't really close.
Any one of these guys you be the perfect posterboy for Tang...
Posted by LD at 10:54 PM
Crunch time, bitches. Simmons brings in Kimmel to give three questions I think Simmons actually came up with. The TV Judge question seems way too "I don't have to go to work in an office".
Anyway... let's go back to the shorter method, but this time what was going through each's mind.
Bank: Having an operable TV might be a job requirement for this... uhh... Ice Man!!! Old School NBA!!!
Cott: I'm kicking everyone else's ass this round and you freaking know it.
Levine: Gotta do better than last time... better use more NBA references. And make fun of foreign women while I'm at it.
MacDonald: I now know better than to talk about sports. And that's why you're welcome.
Renee: I'm overconfident.
If I'm choosing, it's over. Cott is the intern. Bank choked bad this time. Levine stepped up and did well enough to take second. Renee in a hubristic 4th. MacDonald should never have made it this far.
Cott, congratulations. You can be the Douchebag Intern if he doesn't take you. Mostly just for the Nique take and a shot at law school. And the Selleck stache reference.
Posted by LD at 10:30 PM
I mentioned this ebay auction elsewhere, but I think others should see it. I heard about it on 680 radio.
I'm probably in a very small minority among Braves fans, but I don't really like Skip. I think he doesn't know baseball anywhere near as well as the other members of the broadcast team. Simpson is far and away the best of them.
I would love to know what was in Doc's letter to set Skip off.
Posted by LD at 9:50 PM
Diverticulitis: What the hell, Magglio?
Anyway, so far I'm 16/46 right result, 4 right scorelines, 12/23 right advancing.
Newcastle United v. Sporting Lisbon: 1-1, Sporting advance. I've been high on Newcastle in this cup for a while, thinking they have the talent there. Last weekend was too much, though. It's not the fighting within (I bet Dyer and Bowyer are laughing about it, along with the rest of the team), it's having to answer the questions nonstop. They might get a win here, but I don't see them advancing against a team as strong as Sporting.
CSKA Moscow v. Auxerre: 2-1, Auxerre advance. Toughest pick among the advancing choices. CSKA could get an insurmountable lead tomorrow, but I just think Auxerre has a little more talent.
FK Austria Wien v. Parma: 0-1, Parma advance. Parma doesn't score much, and I've been wrong about Austria every round. Why stop now? I like Parma to get to the final, so I'll stick with them.
Villareal v. AZ Alkmaar: 1-1, AZ advance. Changed my mind from my first impression. AZ impressed me last round, moreso than Villareal. I see this as their coming out party.
Posted by LD at 9:35 PM
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Today I served my public duty for the first time ever as a prospective juror with the Stome Mountain Judicial Circuit. They didn't need any jurors today, but they took most of the day to figure that out.
A few choice insights:
1) Judge Wong addressed us first thing in the morning right before they were to show us a video on jury duty. He told us how after the video we'd all be "really stoked" to get on a jury. Apparently the State Court of Dekalb County has a half pipe installed in the courtroom.
2) The video itself was pretty sweet. Half of it was filmed in the courtroom in the basement of the Rusk Building. They also showed clips of the actor-jurors walking into what is supposed to be a courthouse, but looks remarkably similar to Baldwin Hall at UGA.
3) The greatest deliberations over the course of the day were over the temperature in the jury assembly room. Every time the staff asked the crowd what they thought of the temperature, you could clearly hear "too cold", "too hot" and "just right." Thank the lord I didn't have to decide anything of import with these people.
4) The security guy yelled at me because I (a) placed my jacket on the conveyor for the x-ray machine when (without warning) I apparently shouldn't have and (b) I didn't reach inside the beltway (below the sign that read "DO NOT PUT HANDS INSIDE FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER") quickly enough to retrieve it. Heightened security at Atlanta area courthouses evidently means jackets aren't to be searched.
Uneventful, generally. And I was hoping to have something interesting to write about.
Posted by LD at 9:36 PM
Can't remember the name of it, and I can't find a link on ESPN, but apparently the network is bringing out a "Superstars" like cometition where NFL players battle each other in dodgeball and other random sports.
As someone who saw Robert Edwards' career end in real time while playing in a "made for ESPN" beach football game, I think this is an absolutely terrible idea. The commercial has Deion Branch and others in a tug of war battle on sand. Nobody's going to watch this, and you just know that someone is going to get hurt. I can't understand why any team allows players under contract to do something else. I'd also like to know what kind of insurance policies the show enters into (I can't see how anyone would cover the show in any practicable/profitable way).
So yeah, I think this is a bad idea.
Posted by LD at 9:16 PM
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Since tomorrow's basketball game will probably restrict me from posting, I may as well hit this stuff now.
So far: 7/16 right result, 2 right scorelines, 2/4 right advancing team (though I picked all 4 right when it didn't count).
Liverpool v. Juventus: 1-1, Juventus advance. Though I hope the best for the Reds, their run ends here
Olympique Lyonnais v. PSV Eindhoven: 2-0, Lyon advance. I have a strange feeling about this matchup. The winner of this tie for some reason might sneak into the final, though there are 5 better teams than either of them. I think Lyon has a bit more talent.
Chelsea v. Bayern Munich: 2-0, Chelsea advance. I'm probably wrong about this. Chelsea are on cruise control domestically, Bayern are in a dogfight with Schalke. I just think Chelsea have more energy and resources to put into this.
AC Milan v. Internazionale Milan: 0-0, AC Milan advance on penalties with no goals scored for either team in either match. Yeah, I'm probably stereotyping Italian soccer. It wouldn't surprise me if Inter puts all their eggs in this basket though and gets into the final.
Posted by LD at 1:30 PM
The perfect storm of annoyance came on Sunday's SportsCenter. A Gammons bit that featured special effects from a 9th grade media productions class, hilarious predictions, awkward diction and some of the shittiest acting the earth has ever seen. Gammons plays 3 bar regulars and a bartender who chat about the upcoming season. The bartender has a ridiculously forced Boston accent that makes Jimmy Fallon of Saugerties, NY look like a Kennedy. "What big name player's gawwnna get cawwwwt, Barry Bawwwwnds?"
His predictions in green, my comments follow.
No big name is getting caught because the tests aren't independent. Well, I don't think any big name is getting caught, but it's not because the tests aren't independent. Some mediocre player's going under the bus at some point this year, but baseball will protect its stars.
"Most Impactful Acquisition" is Beltran. Pet peeve of the use of the word "impact". I think a writer like Gammons should be able to use the word effect. "Most impactful" should only be used to describe wisdom teeth and meteorites. How about "most important" or "biggest effect" (I might let impact in here), but not most impactful. Oh yeah, on substance, I think either Tim Hudson or Armando Benitez will have the biggest effect. Hudson because of the Braves' ability to have 2 studs pitch twice in a playoff series. Benitez because the Giants' bullpen blew ass last year. If Benitez is as good has he was last year, they'll win the west. If not, they'll finish behind LA and SD. I'd also give a mention to the two Mariners free agents.
Young player with biggest impact is Mauer. Shocking pick. That said, I don't think Mauer's going to leg out any doubles with Pedro attached to his dick. I'd pick Khalil Greene.
Old "cawwwdger" with the biggest impact is the Big Unit. Sure, I guess. Born before Woodstock is his rule. I'd add Smoltz or Gary Sheffield.
Yankees - Red Sox won't be as big a rivalry. Peter, did ya' get the memo? We're putting cover sheets on the TPS reports now that say the Red Sox and Yankees are THE ONLY TWO TEAMS promoted or discussed by ESPN. Are you not live at Yankee stadium today? Were there not already 4 long segments in this very SportsCenter based solely on the rivalry? When you have spent the last decade pushing the rivalry, and continue to do so, you can't really say this.
Cy Youngs: Pedro Martinez and the Unit. I guess Peter's talking about the '99 season. I'd say Santana and either Schmidt or Sheets (with Hudson close). Peter gives a nod to Rich Harden at the end too, so the Harden Hardon continues.
ROY: Jeremy Reed and JJ Hardy. Whatever. This one did give Peter a chance to say "Bet you've never even heard of him" and have Peter respond with "sure haven't, but that's why I've got you". Reminds me of that email picture like 6 years ago of the guy blowing himself in front of a computer.
MVP: Nomar and David Ortiz. Now that's the Peter we know and love. When Nomar retires, I can't wait for the "Thanks, Beautiful" on Baseball Tonight. My picks are Jim Thome and Ichiro (who I still think should've gotten some votes last year).
Playoffs: Twins over Sox, Yankees and Angels. Cubs over Braves and Cardinals (he didn't pick the NL West). Twins over Cubs in WS. The bartender Peter doesn't like that pick. Neither do I. I'll take the Braves over the Cardinals, Phillies and Padres; Yankees over Angels, Twins and Mariners. (Yeah, I've switched my pick from Giants to Padres b/c of Bonds' injury). Braves over Yankees in a 1-0 7th game between Smoltz and Unit that solidifies Smoltz' place in Cooperstown.
The only redeeming thing from the entire bit was the forced laughter from Karl Ravech and Harold Reynolds. I almost gained respect for John Kruk because he kept it real.
The afterbriefing with Peter lined up his goal for the season: spend the summer fluffing young players. Meatswell for Harden and Mauer!!!
Posted by LD at 12:28 PM
1. His Girl Friday: Funnier than most of the comedies I've seen from this era. I think Cary Grant might be better naturally at comedy than any other type of acting. I found Russell much more akin to the likable witty female lead (Loy) than the obnoxious witty female lead (Hepburn). I was kind of sleepy watching this, so I might be slighting it somewhat. I did like it though. Steak knife.
2. Capturing the Friedmans: Might be asking for a fight with this, but I didn't really like it after much thought. First off, I felt throughout the movie, "Why am I watching this?". The footage shot by the eldest child- Why on earth did he film this, and why would he let the entire country watch it? I got the feeling like the filmmakers took the side of innocence (and kind of used the guise of "balance" as a shield). The investigators and the victims disappear after the first half of the movie. Then, the filmmakers hide pretty important facts until later in the movie, which would be OK if this were a thriller, but it's not. Presenting the story without crucial bits of evidence forces false sympathies. I felt like the filmmakers glossed way too much over the fact that Arnold had stacks and stacks of child pornography and that he'd admitted to molesting before. Worst of all, I felt like I didn't have the full story because I got too much from the Friedmans themselves. It's the job of the filmmaker to filter everything down to something digestible, because none of us have the time to get the full story ourself. I felt like I hear the Friedman's arguments over and over again. And I believed them less each time (even though the lack of hard evidence bothered me). Too slanted and I felt like I was eavesdropping on a conversation I didn't want to listen to. You're fired.
Posted by LD at 12:01 PM
Saturday, April 02, 2005
The Pope has died. Let him rest in peace. I truly hope that the next Pope will be as strong an advocate for caring for the poor (especially in third world nations) and for bringing peace to the world. John Paul II was the only Pope I've known. I remember his ability to move people.
The idea that the passing of the Pontiff should be used as another battlefield in the culture wars sickens me. The other night Shepard Smith on Fox called the Pope a symbol of "moderation and conservatism". Literally within minutes after his death, Victor L. Wilson of the AP wrote of the Pope's "back-to-basics conservatism". Frankly, if the Pope's political leanings are of such note, they ought mention his hostile approach to all war and his vocal opposition to the capitalism's treatment of the poor. The Pope cared for ALL people, and his was a voice of Catholic doctrine (of which I have some disagreements), not any side's political leanings.
The opportunism of some is downright appalling. Let the man rest, let the followers mourn.
Posted by LD at 3:23 PM
Friday, April 01, 2005
1) Taking Lives: I always get drawn into these thrillers that get poor reviews. For some reason I think that the critics are too high falutin' and stuff. Then I watch it, pick out the killer in the opening scene, and get pissed at myself for watching it. This was no exception. The twists are predictable, and frequently illogical. The acting is poor. The person who cast this shouldn't work again. Olivier Martinez should've been the love interest and Ethan Hawke should've been attending (and getting rejected from) casting calls for CSI-Cleveland. The only redeeming thing about this dreck is Angelina's looks, which are as good or better than anything else I've seen her in. You're fired.
2) Marty: A nice story. Well acted and cast. Maybe I don't know enough film history, but from what I've seen, this seems like a nice bridge between the classic romances where nice things (like, er, love) drive the love story and more modern scripts where dysfunction drives the story. I get a strange feeling that PT Anderson was channeling this when he did Punch Drunk Love. Borgnine is almost as good here as he was in Boy Scoutz N the Hood. There's no way in hell Herbie Stempel didn't know this was the answer to the question he missed. Steak knife.
Posted by LD at 11:34 PM
So to follow up the earlier post on how the NBA sucks, here's a post on the NBA. If we all agree that the NBA sucks, would the fact that the Hawks suck within the NBA be one of those "a double negative has proven positive" situations?
Anyway, the Hawks lost again tonight, which eliminated Utah. Now the only teams that have a chance at the most ping pong balls are the Southeastern Axis of Charlotte, Atlanta and New Orleans.
Hawks have 10 games left. Magic number is the combination of Hawks' losses and other team's wins needed to clinch the most ping pong balls.
New Orleans: 5
So if the Hawks go 3-7 the rest of the way (which would be twice as high a winning percentage as the Hawks have thus far), they clinch.
Posted by LD at 11:07 PM
Well, in this case, it isn't really the NBA, but rather the Basketball Hall of Fame. If the early reports that Dominique Wilkins did not earn election to the Hall are accurate, the electing body is a joke. Seriously, this is complete and total bullshit.
Halls of Fames are a point of annoyance to me. One day I'll probably post my longstanding beef with the Baseball Hall of Fame for excluding Dale Murphy, while inducting fatass womanbeater Kirby Puckett on the first attempt (look at the numbers, seriously). The exclusion of Murph and the supposed Nique exclusion makes me think even less of the "honor". The electing bodies make Middle School Student Council elections look like the paragon of democracy.
Now, I could spend the rest of this post bitching about New York bias, or more accurately, anti-southern bias. But I'll leave that to Furman Bisher on Sunday (Terrence Moore can handle the race angle, though he might have more trouble considering the other nominees).
Instead, I'll just look at the numbers. I ask, no I freaking dare, anyone to tell me that ANY of the other nominees were more deserving than Nique.
The coaches, women and foreigners I can't adequately compare using any form of objective set of data, so I'll just take a look at the other NBA players.
Maurice Cheeks: 11.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 6.7 assists pg, 2.1 steals pg, 0.3 blocks pg. Four time all star, 8th all time in Assists, 3rd all time in Steals. Never led the league in any statistical category. One NBA title. According to Basketball-Reference, the most similar players in his prime are Ricky Green and Mark Jackson.
Adrian Dantley: 24.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 assists pg, 1.0 steals pg, 0.2 blocks pg. Six time all star, Rookie of the Year, 17th all time in points, 14th all time in ppg, 6th all time FT made. Never won a title. Most similar player: Bernard King.
Joe Dumars: 16.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.5 assists pg, 0.9 steals pg, 0.1 blocks pg. Six time all star, 2 NBA titles, one Finals MVP. Not in the top 25 in any statistical category for his career. 29th all time in 3pt FGs. Most similar player: World B. Free (not a HOFer).
Dennis Johnson: 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.0 assists pg, 1.3 steals pg, 0.6 blocks pg. Five time all star, 2 NBA titles, one Finals MVP. Not in the top 25 in any statistical category for his career. 30th in steals. Most similar player: Doug Christie (!!!).
Bernard King: 22.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.3 assists pg, 1.0 steals pg, 0.3 blocks pg. Four time all star, no NBA titles. 21st all time in ppg, 18th all time in turnovers. Most similar player: Adrian Dantley.
Chet Walker: 18.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.1 assists pg, steals and blocks not tallied for much of his career. Seven time all star, one NBA title. 23rd in FT attempts, 22nd in FT made. 40th in points. No similar player given. NBA.com says he was a behind the scenes guy on a teams that had other Hall of Famers (Wilt, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Bob Love).
Dominique Wilkins: 24.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.5 assists pg, 1.3 steals pg, 0.6 blocks pg. NINE time all star, no NBA titles. 9th all time in points, 11th in ppg, 7th in FG attempted, 13th in FT, 22nd in offensive rebounds, 25th in minutes played, 24th in turnovers. Most similar player: MICHAEL FREAKING JORDAN!!!!
Sure, you're not supposed to compare the nominees against each other. Rather, you should decide on whether the player deserves it. But if ANY of these guys get in and Nique doesn't, that's bullshit. Mo Cheeks will get in because of the steals and assists, and he's probably a borderline first ballot kind of guy anyway. But more than anything else, because he's considered a good guy (and I have a feeling the blow up with Darius Miles probably helps him with the old guard), he'll probably get in. Dantley and King both should probably get in, but neither are definite first ballot players. If either get in ahead of Nique, it's wrong. I probably can't comment too much on Chet Walker. If the NBA.com story is right, he looks like he's a better version of Sam Cassell. He's been around a while, so who knows? Dennis Johnson is also kind of like Chet Walker, though maybe not quite as accomplished. I'd lean towards no with both. Dumars is not a Hall of Famer. Dominique Wilkins was badly snubbed with the 50 Greatest Players list. This is an even worse slap in the face. Shame on the voters. Shame on the Hall of Fame.
Posted by LD at 9:21 PM
It's been a while. We'll see if the break helps some teams, or if the teams raided by national sides struggle from fatigue.
So far: 17/38 right result. 5 right scorelines.
Charlton Athletic - Manchester City: 2-0, Charlton still playing for a shot at Europe, City is a mess.
Arsenal - Norwich City: 4-0, Canaries are assured of their fate.
Birmingham City - Tottenham Hotspur: 0-1, Spurs play better on the road, rats fleeing Bongo.
Crystal Palace - Middlesbrough: 1-0, Burned by Boro last time. Johnson gets a penalty.
Liverpool - Bolton Wanderers: 3-3, result won't please Merseyside, but this'll be the match of the day. Bolton get closer to Europe.
Manchester United - Blackburn Rovers: 1-0, least confident of this match. Either a Man U rout or Blackburn clean sheet. I guess I'll split the difference.
Newcastle United - Aston Villa: 2-1, Shearer nets one.
Southampton - Chelsea: 1-2, Crouch picks up another, but Chelsea still rolling. Clinch comes soon.
Fulham - Portsmouth: 1-1, if they schedule a match and nobody gives a shit, does it still happen? Pompey get a point, but closer to relegation.
West Bromwich Albion - Everton: 2-1, WBA making a late charge to stay up, but won't get there.
Posted by LD at 8:27 PM
It's amazing what the brain is capable when you haven't yet polluted it with Lake Superior sized amounts of alcohol.
I watched Perfect Upset: The 1985 Villanova vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship this evening. I give it my highest recommendation. It covers the story from all angles and does a pretty good job of bringing in the big issues, while not losing track of the game itself. Some amazing footage is in here, with high school clips of Ewing a major highlight as well as all the highlights of rough Big East play. There was one amazing clip of Ewing taking NBA steps and slamming down a nasty dunk, only to have the ref actually call him for traveling. The bit about McLain high at the White House is pretty crazy. The whole show was extremely interesting and gasp good sports reporting.
But I have to take you back...
My Father is a Nova grad. My own sports enthusiasm comes straight from his excitement about the Villanova basketball program. And in 1984, we moved down to Georgia from up north. I was a loudmouth knowitall 7 year old. And I remember what Ed Pinckney looked like. I remember Gary McLain's brashness. I remember Harold Pressley (and I thought Scottie Pippen was Harold Pressley for like 3 years). I remember this run. I remember that they beat Len Bias and Maryland. When the brackets came out this year, I mentioned to my Dad (who didn't remember) that the road goes through Carolina, like '85. I remember going to bed the night of the Championship, after staying up as late as I could (I think I made halftime). The next morning, my Mom had set out a Villanova sweatshirt by my closet (which had the stairway up to the attic). I knew all along that Villanova had no chance, so I assumed she had set it there to put it away before my Dad would see it. I walked down to breakfast wearing something else. My Mom, for I believe the first and only time, marched me back upstairs to put that shirt on. A second grader in a Georgia elementary school, wearing a shirt of a school nobody down here had ever heard of. I remember this minute by minute.
And that's one of the reasons why so much of this blog is about sports. The way my brain works is totally chronological, and my internal timeline is marked by sporting events. I know exactly how tired I was for the entire month of October, 1991. I know I was a miserable slob at my friend's wedding shower the night after referees stole the 1999 Georgia-Georgia Tech game. I remember watching the '86 World Cup in Mexico, with my Dad trying to teach me how to play soccer (which at my age group was little more than 20 kids scrumming for the ball) and really just teaching me how to watch soccer. Sports are, at the end of the day, not the most important thing. But I remember them better. A friend once talked about how he had a great golf memory - he would be able to pinpoint each shot and each hole in a round - and how he wished he could remember everything else that way. That's what I think about all sports. It locks itself into my brain and just sticks there. And it'll be that way forever.
Posted by LD at 7:58 PM