Friday, February 29, 2008


Yeah okay, she's had a couple of tough years. Half the pictures on Google either have her bombed off her ass, eyelids shut, with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, or they're mug shots. But I don't care - I still say she is very beautiful.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NY Times: Bush Makes Fun of Ballplayer's Dying Grandmother

Well, the Sox flew from Fort Myers to the nation's capital today to be recognized at the White House, and I must say - President Bush was on his game. In between praising Big Papi, his Texas homeboys Mike Timlin and Josh Beckett, and manager Terry Francona, Bush managed to get a nice zinger in on Manny, who was a no-show at the proceedings. "I guess Manny's grandmother died again," said Bush, drawing a good hearty guffaw from the team. (Love the word 'guffaw' - see, that's what you get here at our low-cost operation: vocabulary) After the White House ceremony, the team - as it did in 2005 stopped by Walter Reed hospital to visit with injured veterans.

On a completely unrelated note, a funny thing I read in the newest issue of Sports Illustrated under "They Said It." UC-Irvine basketball coach Mike Gillespie, on complaints that the school's anteater mascot isn't ferocious enough: "If you're an ant, then an anteater is ferocious." The man has a point. Still, an anteater?

( photo)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sox Make Some News

The Red Sox have made some news in the last 48 hours, first with the announcement of skipper Terry Francona's long overdue contract extension, and then second with the news that the team has signed Bartolo Colon to a minor league/incentive-laden deal.

First on Francona - the man belongs here, and wants to be here, and I'm very glad they got this done. You can't put enough value on his ability to handle his guys in this cauldron that is truly unlike any other cauldron. It's a perfect marriage.

As for Colon, what's not to like? It's a low-risk move for a guy less than three years removed from dominance. If he contributes anything, it's gravy. That said, he was positively putrid last year and he may never toe the slab (love that phrase) in the big leagues again. His one-time 95-98 fastball has dipped into the high-80s, occasional low-90s.

Friday, February 22, 2008

ESPN: Frauds

More proof that ESPN has a total anti-Patriots bias in terms of the Spygate story. At 10 p.m. on Friday night, the lead story on - the No. 1 story on the most-read sports website in the world - was a headline that read 'Specter says Patriots "stonewalling" Spygate probe.' Written, ahem, by Mike Fish, which I'm becoming more and more convinced is really Ron Borges' new pseudonym. The Specter "story" is nowhere to be found on the front pages of or CBS Sportsline or The Worldwide Leader is rapidly becoming a worldwide joke.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Making Our Way through the Dead Zone with Hoops, Pucks & Babes

Good story by SI's Tom Verducci on the Clemens steroids hearing fiasco. Verducci's good at organizing the chaos into coherency, even if he does go a little overboard sometimes, like with the groin liniment and what have you. Yeah, enough said on that. Still, a good look into Roger's brain from a guy who has spent some time with him. The only conclusion you can draw is that Clemens is a first-rate liar, and a first-rate mental midget.


I'm still not over the Patriots' loss - my latest whine is with the bomb Brady threw to Moss on the second to last play; all Moss had to do was stretch his arms out a little bit... (easy for me to say watching on DVR with a cocktail in my hand...)

Speaking of Moss, news out of Foxborough today was that the team didn't franchise tag him, which most seem to think means that they're close to agreeing on a multi-year deal.


I've decided that besides looking at hot chicks during the sports dead zone, I'm throwing my sports allegiance mostly to two places: the Celtics and the UNH Wildcat men's hockey team. The Celtics are again a treat to watch, and have a legitimate chance of getting to the Finals. Garnett is more amazing on D than I ever thought. I'm on board, even though they're 0-2 (losses to Denver and Golden State) since I started watching. The game against the Warriors set an attendance record for most fans to see a basketball game (more than 20,000) in California state history. And yes, the other team is a college hockey team that I know you don't give a rat's ass about. But do me a favor over the next month - if you see a college hockey game as you're flipping through the channels, give it a shot. It's good stuff. And UNH - my alma mater - may finally have a team that can do some damage in the postseason. They're currently ranked 3rd in the country, behind No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 North Dakota.

And here's the best part - if you just so happen to be a huge Celtics/UNH Wildcat fan like I am, tomorrow night is a huge night. UNH plays No. 7 BC in a big game on NESN, and then at 10:30 it's Garnett and the C's against the Suns and the Big Aristotle.


Oh, alright... here's another babe for you to identify. Hint: she's got something in common with a player from the last and only NFL team to have a perfect season.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lovely Miss Erin

No guessing game needed here. ESPN's Erin Andrews is one of the hardest-working sideline reporters in the business, and easily one of the most attractive. She goes into a college football or basketball Saturday knowing full well that she's going to be fawned over by drunk frat boys, and yet she handles it all so well. Oh, and to my pal who requested a picture of Erin? I know she's a Gator backer. You Gators are all alike.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Dark Side of the Sports Moon

I was talking with a fellow sports-crazed buddy the other night, and the conversation inevitably turned to the "good old days of sports," when we were growing up back in the 1970s and 80s. We debated whether sports back then was really more pure, or if we were just so naive we couldn't see the warts - and more importantly, the media wasn't hellbent on exposing them. You know what - I don't want to know the answer to that.

I think that's the problem with sports right now. We know too much. And, like the age-old chicken and the egg question, I can't decide if we fans are driving the need to know or if the out-of-control media just loves to stir the pot. It's most likely a little of both.

We've certainly had a couple of high-profile case studies in the past 12 months: Mike Vick and dogfighting, Roger Clemens and steroids, and the Patriots and their videotaping habits. There's been no shortage of topics for Bob Ley's "Between the Lines" specials and we've seen more than our fair share of interviews with ESPN legal blowhard Roger Cossack. It's all so different now, with so many people trying to turn success into tainted accomplishments. As fans, are we simply paying more attention to the "bad" stuff because we're smarter adults now - you know, because we like, watch the news more often?

I don't know, but I do know that the landscape of sports media coverage has become about so much more than just the games. With all the noise we've been subjected to, it takes some work to remember that the Red Sox are World Series champs for the second time in four years, that the Celtics are an incredible 41-9, and that the Patriots went 18-1 in what can only be described as a disappointing season. We've got it so damn good around here, but the cynics and skeptics in the media are winning out.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that controversy is like sex in that it sells newspapers and generates TV ratings. People are clicking on the gossip sites, calling the sports talk shows, commenting on the blogs. I'm willing to bet that the most-clicked item on the morning of the Super Bowl was the Mike Fish story with the new twist on former Patriots employee Matt Walsh. I know I was one of the clickees.

Let's talk about ESPN for a moment, shall we? When the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network was first introduced, it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Today, in my opinion, the network has gotten a little too big for itself (gee, ya think?), and has shown a strong anti-Patriots bias during this whole videotaping joke. Whenever there's a chance to lead with a Pats/Spygate-related story, the network jumps like a rabid dog on meat. It's so obvious that an internal memo was sent around encouraging the TV and radio personalities to slam the Pats at every turn. Why else would a seemingly calm and rational guy like Mike Greenberg suddenly flip a switch and become a big-time Patriot hater (unlike his colleague Mike Golic, who has been far more reasonable)?

I guess my point in all of this is that yes, there are going to be dark episodes in sports that warrant withering media critique. Vick was charged with a crime, the Feds proved it in court, Vick admitted guilt, and he's doing his time. Unfortunately, though, the media in this country (gasp!) all too often makes judgments in print before having a firm handle on the facts. In fact, it's a fact that facts simply don't matter much anymore. If you've got one source telling you that a rogue videographer from 10 years ago may have incriminating evidence, hell, let's run it as the lead story under the blaring headline of "Breaking News."

My question is this - when Bill Belichick and the Patriots are rightly exonerated in this debacle, who's going to hold the media zealots accountable? Are we going to see mea culpas on from their little investigative unit? Will there be some sort of on-air apology? Will the Boston Herald, another ringleader in the Belichick bashing, publish a front-page apology? Who will be the first person to file a lawsuit on behalf of the Patriots, claiming that they would have won SB 42 without the distractions? In the spirit of obscure former Ram Willie Gary, maybe Ray Ventrone will file suit claiming that without the Spygate talk, the Pats would have won, he would have collected a winners' share, and his star teammates lost out on many lucrative endorsement opportunities. Will Senator Sphincter the Eagles Fan invite Roger Goodell back to D.C. to apologize? These we know the answers to.

Like it or not, the Pats are going to occupy a sizeable piece of real estate on the dark side of the sports moon for the forseeable future. They are going to be super-good again next year. Tom Brady will the quarterback of the winning team in SB 43, and unlike in this year's game, his ankle will be just fine. The haters, meanwhile, will multiply, and you know what, that's really okay. These are the emotions that the Celtics, Canadiens, Yankees and Cowboys elicit, and it means you've made it to the top of the heap. The people who think the Pats' dynasty is dead - yup, more judgment before assessing the facts.

As for the allegations of videotape and cheating, let's all calm down and see what happens. If Senator Sphincter really wants to, he can open up a can of worms that will get very ugly very quickly. And I just loooove all the asinine New Yorkers crying about the Pats' cheating ways. Can we say 2003 ALCS? That Yankee team was friggin' littered with steroid-abusing frauds, and God knows how long that had been going on. Could it have tainted those great '98, '99 and '00 Yankee teams? If I'm the sports editor at the Herald, I'm thinking maybe we put an asterisk in front of the Yankees in the AL East standings all season long. You know, just to be fair.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Injection, 'jection, what's your question?

I always knew Roger Clemens was extremely deficient in the gray matter department, but my goodness, this takes the cake. He walked his stubborn, egotistical ass right into a potential perjury trap this week on Capitol Hill, and while I sincerely doubt anything will ever stick on Teflon Con Man Roger, you can bet the Feds are going to try their damndest.

What a tangled web he wove. In between "misremembering" details and answering some of the committee's more difficult questions (curiously all posed by Democrats), Clemens had time to tell us about his patriotism, the good deeds he does for children, his momma, how he was given nothing in life, how hard he works, that he's won 7 Cy Youngs, that Red Sox GM Dan Duquette's "twilight" comment inspired him, that he went through a period where he was "locating" the ball better, that he cried when Brian Piccolo died in the movie, that he and Deb enjoy long walks on the beach, and hot fudge sundaes with their K kids after their ballgames. I mean, COME ON. To quote the embarrassing Dan Burton, "Gee whiz, are you kidding me?"

It was both a sad commentary on our political system and high theater at the same time. By now, you've read the accounts in the newspapers, and listened to the radio blowhards opine. And while the Congressional panel was split along party lines (ala Gore/Bush, 2000), the American public seems to agree that Clemens is guilty, and McNamee - for all his seediness - was telling the truth. Some believe that the next step will indeed be a criminal investigation by the Justice Department. Whether the smoking gun is Andy Pettitte's damning deposition, or potential witness tampering with The Nanny (Rog said he was doing a 'favor to y'all'), it certainly seems possible.

The other reprehensible aspect to this is Clemens' close relationship with the Republican Party, including President Bush the elder. When the poop was hitting the fan, Roger said during the hearings, Bush called him in a deer blind to offer support. What do you think the chances are that ol' George called a few friends in DC prior to the hearings? Certainly seemed like Burton got a call or two. And Tom Davis, who absolutely skewered Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, et al, in 2005. When the hearing was over, Clemens made a beeline for the exit behind where the Congressmen were sitting, waited for Davis - who patted Rog on the shoulder - and the two men walked down the hall, presumably to have a cocktail in Tom's office, which is no doubt decorated with a Fathead of the fathead.

One last takeway is just the incredible arrogance of Clemens, which reached its highest level this week. When this all began, he squealed to Mike Wallace about the lack of respect he's been shown after all he's done for the game of baseball. He spent much of the hearing talking about personal matters, took the liberty to read a letter written by his loser druggie wife, and incredulously interrupted Committee chairman Henry Waxman during his closing statement, to which Waxman banged his gavel down angrily. As someone else on the web o' sphere noted, too bad the gavel didn't splinter so Roger could have thrown it back at Waxman. No doubt he would have claimed that he thought it was a glass of water.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Abcesses of the Butt

Well, we're almost ready to deliver a Patriots post-mortem, but in the meantime we have today's positively fascinating Congressional steroid hearings pitting arguably the greatest pitcher in baseball history against a trainer. We're talking about ass abcesses, bloody pants, rogue MRIs, mentions of 'lynching'... damn, this is much more fun than I thought it was going to be. One thing so far that is clearly a put-off - it is so obvious that some members of the Committee (no doubt the ones that took photos with Roger and got his autograph earlier in the week) are on Roger's side, and some are on McNamee's side. Our politicians are a complete joke. Will the jackass who made the comment about lynching be subjected to the same scorn the golf broadcaster did? Of course not. Not in Double Standard America. More to come later. Work hours, you know?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Women's Beach Volleyball - What's Not To Like?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Still Not There Yet

So we're now three days past the apocalypse, and I still can't bring myself to read the sports page or re-watch the game. I actually started to watch the game again tonight on the DVR, enjoyed Jordin Sparks' anthem, watched the coin flip, and then I went into convulsions. No, just kidding - but I'm still obviously not ready to get past this.

Anyway, we're now officially in the famous dead zone of sports - that period after the Super Bowl and before spring training. Yeah, there's pro and college hoops and hockey, and I guess the Celtics are now worth watching. But it still feels boring compared to the annual hysteria that is the Red Sox and Patriots. Maybe this is best for all of us -- a sort of enforced cooling down period. You know, go on vacation somewhere warm, spend more time with family and friends... look at beautiful women. My gift to you, my loyal readership of 2, is that I pledge to post at least one picture of a lovely lady on the site per week. Your job is to identify who it is. Have at it. A clue: this babe and the Patriots have a four-letter word in common - and no, it's not an expletive.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Uncomfortably Numb

It still feels like a raw, gaping wound, so it's hard to write much about it. Whether you think the Patriots just didn't show up on the offensive side of the ball, or the Giants front-four was just not to be denied, the answer lies somewhere in the middle and the Giants clearly deserved to win.

So many thoughts that need to be sorted out, and they will in the coming days. Writing, talking about it, reading about it... it'll all be therapeutic soon. Just not quite yet.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Last Call

We're six hours away and counting to the start of Super Bowl XLII. Finally, some football. Figured I'd throw up one more post before I start pouring booze down my gullet.

All the TV shows are wire to wire right now, which is pretty cool. I'll probably stick with Fox for most of the day, over the Spygate-obsessed ESPN - that beacon of journalism. Anyway, the Pats are favored by around 12, and that will probably go up as people think the Pats will be extra-motivated to show just how f'ing good they are. Tough call. I could see a blowout; I could see a field goal game.

I'll go with Patriots 33, Giants 19. I think Laurence Maroney does some special things today, and I'm predicting a pick by a Patriot d-back for a touchdown. In the end, the Pats' performance today gives the haters one gigantic middle finger.

Four Score and Exactly Six Years Ago

Some good things happened on this date in 2002. A good omen, perhaps?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tippett is Canton-Bound

He's been the football version of Jim Rice around here - a guy who was a complete force during his prime, but who never quite got his due. In Rice's case, he was just a plain a-hole, and that certainly hasn't helped his Hall of Fame cause among media voters. He may also have been just a Vern Ruhle fastball away from getting in. As for Tippett, he was on some truly putrid Patriot teams, and he was always confused with another former No. 56, a certain coke-snorting defensive demon who just happened to play for... the team that we're going to annihilate tomorrow.

Rice came up short once again in Hall voting last year, and his fate is now in the hands of the Veterans Committee. Tippett, meanwhile, finally got his due today when it was announced at Super Bowl XLII that he was in. A very cool moment in a 2-week period that has brought us the Boot, the Plax Prediction, and a "resurrection" of Spygate.

It was also a good day for the Redskins, who saw former players Art Monk and Darrell Green inducted. Others included Fred Dean, Gary Zimmerman and Emmitt Thomas. An interesting omission: Paul Tagliabue.

We're 20 hours away.

Hater Nation

Boy, they're trying like hell to derail this express aren't they? The 2007 New England Patriots are on the verge of making sports history, and yet it feels like the whole country is trying to knock them down. Mercury Morris we can understand, but why the widespread hatred? Was it like this when the Dolphins were marching in 1972? Were the ink-stained wretches across the country filled with venom when Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott & Co. were trampling the league? Does Tiger Woods get this type of treatment?

Like it or not, the Patriots, should they win on Sunday, will join a most elite pantheon of sports history. They will be inarguably the greatest single-season football team of all-time, mentioned in the same breath as the 60's Packers, the 70's Steelers, and the 80's 49ers. Tom Brady will join Terry Bradshaw and Montana as the only quarterback to have four rings. History and greatness has always appealed to true sports fans. It's part of the whole experience.

So what's going on here? I know that fans with non-rooting interests tend to root for the underdog. Perfectly understandable. If the Giants can pull this off, they will also make their own history. But think about what the Patriots are doing here. It is positively, absolutely AMAZING, a fact drilled home this week by many people who have played the game. Is it the general disdain for Bill Belichick? Jealousy over the perfect life Tom Brady leads? Is it the ridiculously overblown Spygate issue?

Whatever it is, the animals don't need much red meat to get into a froth. National media outlets and fans across the country are actually buying into the absurd comments by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Sphincter (above left, and anatomic version at right). Sphincter came out on the Friday before the Super Bowl with the declaration that he wants to speak to Commish Roger Goodell about the Patriots' videotapes, which were destroyed some five months ago. He actually compared the video situation to CIA tactics, which alone should subject him to impeachment. Have we mentioned that Sphincter is a diehard Eagles fan, who regularly calls into the all-sports radio station in Philly? And then there's a story on ESPN this morning about a golf pro in Hawaii who used to be a videographer for the Pats. He may be a smoking gun in Spygate, or so they say, but he doesn't want to talk about it, that is unless Sphincter's committee issues a subpoena. Oh, the story was written in part by Gregg Easterbook, that clown who writes about shit that nobody cares about, and who has had it in for the Patriots all year long. So much for unbiased journalism.

Regardless, the story is all over the place as we approach the most-anticipated football game ever. Just what Patriot Haters want. And you know what? Just what the Patriots want, too. As if they didn't have enough motivation going into the game. They will use Sphincter's asinine comments to their advantage, and if you're into betting on the game, you might want to take the Pats straight.

Yesterday, Mercury Morris and a few of his '72 Dolphins mates posed in front of a huge banner that read: "Perfectville, Population: 1". The population is about to double.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Enough Already

58 hours to go until kickoff, but who's counting? I've had quite enough of the analysis (did you know that the Giants need to get pressure on Brady), the stupid questions, the inane banter on sports radio. For the mother of God.

Fortunately, the NFL Network has filled the void nicely. Just this past week, I was able to catch the pulsating Pats-Rams Super Bowl, the Bills and Giants in the Scott Norwood game in 1990, and the Pats-Eagles last night. People keep talking about the parallels between the Pats-Rams game and this one, but I tellya, that Giants/Bills game had some striking similarities too. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and the K-Gun offense against the Parcells/Belichick Giants. I still can't believe they won with Jeff Hostetler piloting the ship. And Norwood's kick? Anything but a chip shot at 47 yards. Unfortunately, this year's Giants team doesn't have a Lawrence Taylor or a Carl Banks. And Belichick will be on the other sideline.
Anyway, here's a couple of cool items I caught on the web o' sphere this week: a story from Lee Jenkins on the improbable rise of Tom Brady, a good NY Times story on Belichick's Giant lineage, and a nice piece from Jackie MacMullan on Pats coach Dante Scarnecchia, who is a vastly underrated component of this soon-to-be dynasty. Good stuff all. And Parcells should have left the shorts in his locker.

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