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The Fan's Attic



A receptacle of various sports topics, like an attic except, for sports.



Updated: 2017-07-18T07:33:25.894-07:00

 



On the Record...

2008-10-28T15:20:01.648-07:00

I want to go on the record with my Blazer thoughts prior to tonight's tipoff. First, I am extremely excited about the potential of this team. Portland has serious talent at all positions, but it's unproven and young talent. So, the results will likely be mixed. Once they jell a bit, then we should be in for some real thrills.

Second, I firmly believe this team has the ability to beat any team in the league and not in a fluky off-night for the opposing club sort of way, but that will only occur if Coach McMillan can can mold these players, assuage their egos and coax the best performances out of them as possible and the young guys come to play consistently. I am confident the character of Coach and the players will make both of these things a reality.

Third, while I hope for a 5 or 6 seed in the playoffs, realistically a 7 or 8 is what we should get. Next year will be a completely different story though.

That said, Go Blazers...Beat LA!!!



Did the ESPN Editors Miss Something?

2008-10-08T13:21:20.295-07:00

LA Clippers GM Elgin Baylor resigned yesterday or was fired. Who knows. Long has he been a punchline to NBA jokes, especially for Bill Simmons. Well, Bill Simmons is a gracious man who wrote a great column today about Elgin. Touching on his importance in the civil rights movement, the development of the NBA, and the development of players' rights.

Simmons recounted one conversation between he and Elgin regarding the lap of luxury today's NBA players live in, including chartered flights. To which Elgin responded:


"Sheeeeeeeeeet," he said. "When I played, we flew coach and carried our own bags! We landed two, three, four times! You ever hear about the time we crashed in a cornfield?"

(emphasis mine). It's not like the Disney conglomerate to allow those sorts of words, even alternative spellings, onto their website.

I have a screen grab below for verification purposes in case the editors end up changing it.


(image)



Rudy Will Put Points On Your Face

2008-09-29T19:37:19.303-07:00

(image) The NBA season can't get here soon enough, but we'll have to make do with Trailblazer training camp opening on Tuesday. This is a much anticipated season in Rip City with newcomers Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Bayless and Greg Oden finally taking the court for the Blazers. Last season's surprising 41-41 record has expectations and excitement high. To whet fan appetites, Monday was a media day for Portland and Rudy Fernandez has laid down the gauntlet for his fellow countryman, Pau Gasol.

On who he's looking forward to playing against the most: "Pau. I've never played against him, only on the same team. I want to put points on your face."

Well, Rudy has already put points on Dwight Howard's face. Why not on Pau?

I nominate "I want to put points on your face" as the statement of the year.
In case anybody cares, you can find most of my work nowadays over at Unprofessional Foul. It's only my soccer related content, but with the NBA season starting back up I'll have more material here.



Just Do It: Steal and Stab

2008-07-18T09:51:51.836-07:00

(image) In a sign of the times, I'm not sure what the sign is other than people are opportunistic bastards, onlookers swiped Nike shoes strewn across the road after a fatal accident. Kerry Ray Boatman of Michigan was riding in the sleeper cab of the truck after when the driver swerved to miss a car. The maneuver caused the trailer to split open and threw Boatman from the cab, killing him.

Thankfully, there was some good to come from this tragedy. Free shoes for some lucky travelers.

Several people attempted to steal some of the load of Nike athletic shoes being carried by one of the trucks.

Oregon State Police troopers at the crash along Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge did not arrest anyone trying to take the boxes of shoes. But Lt. Gregg Hastings of OSP said several people, apparently also stalled because of the fire, were trying to do so. (image)

There's a picture of the accident, but lack of computer geek skills prevents me from enlarging this tiny little picture. UPDATE: I was able to locate a bigger picture of the wreck on KATU.com as you can see above and another picture to the right.

In other Nike news, the shoe company is pulling its Nike Air Stab shoes from the market in (image) Britain. This comes after a spate of stabbings in England, including some Nike employees themselves.

All of this while Nike celebrates the 20th anniversary of its iconic "Just Do It" slogan.


[Photos: KATU]



Cocked and Ready To Fire

2008-06-05T17:27:54.301-07:00

(image) In a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays today, tempers flared. In the second inning Tampa pitcher James Shields hit Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp with a pitch. After which, Crisp charged the mound. Shields threw a wild haymaker (right) that if it had connected could have made him into the next Kermit Washington. Well, maybe not that infamous because at Crisp saw it coming.

[Photo: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer]



Triple Crown Fashion

2008-06-03T20:48:41.124-07:00

The final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be run this weekend. Big Brown won the first two legs and will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. I hope he wins, so "analysts" will quit trotting out (HA!) that stat.

The only people who know anything about horse racing are degenerate gamblers who drink and smoke too much. Everybody else attending these events is just there to be seen. Like at the Derby. The women are really into the hats.

It's the shoes, however, that are most important at all of these events. The horses have their own shoes, of course. But, I have been provided a photo of the latest shoe fashion that all the well-heeled will be wearing at Belmont this weekend.


(image)

The rumor is that Sarah Jessica Parker will be around this weekend to announce her endorsement. Maybe if she turns her ankle, somebody will put her down.




John Canzano On Thongs

2008-05-07T14:48:01.934-07:00

(image) Local sports columnist John Canzano has a blog where he plugs his paper pieces and doles out info that he doesn't put in the paper. He also will from time to time opine on other subjects. This time...thongs....for what reason I do not know.

On the thong-appropriate age issue... just to be clear, it's NEVER appropriate for a male to wear a thong. A friend of mine maintains that the cutoff for females is 52 years old. He has his reasons. But I'm not into placing restrictions on women's undergarments, especially ones I'm not seeing.

***

If someone feels like they have the caboose to pull off a thong at 60, and she feels loose and free enough to do, and has the confidence, even under their tearaway warmups, I'm not going to stop her.

Gah...I need a mind scrubber. And, while Canzano may be correct, I will never take fashion advice from a sports columnist (see Whitlock, Jason above).




Robert Weintraub, This Is For You.

2008-04-30T13:00:45.417-07:00

I don't how many of you are familiar with Robert Weintraub's writings on Deadspin, but if you are, I pity you. He may be a great writer but whatever he is trying to do on Deadspin just isn't funny and above all Deadspin is about bringing the funny.

(image)



The Ultimate In Sportsmanship

2008-04-30T07:53:08.771-07:00

(image) Sport is a competition, a battle if you will (but no disrespect to our soldiers intended), between opposing sides attempting to prevail. Not much different than many things in life...relationships, marriage, politics, war...but there is an ethos of respect generally involved for those participating and watching sport. For as much bravado, machismo and chest thumping athletes do on the field, the general course of conduct is that when a play is over, a game is over, or you are no longer involved in the play that your personal battle is over until the next. Football players help each other up after a tackle, hockey players shake hands after a game and so on. It is one of the most admirable aspects of the sport.

Well, I may have just seen the greatest display of sports(wo)manship ever on the news this morning. In a softball game between Western Oregon University and Central Washington University, Sarah Tucholsky of Western Oregon hit what would eventually be a game-winning three run home run in the top of the second inning. As Tucholsky rounded first she missed the bag and when she returned to touch it her knee gave way.

Unable to circle the bases, the rules stated she could not be helped around the bases by any of her teammates. So Central Washington Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky around the bases, letting one foot touch each of the bags until she made it home.

This is an amazing act of selflessness on the Central Washington players' part because not only would this actually affect the score of the game but it was still during the play of the game. Amazing. Acts like these reinvigorate the belief that we are still a respectful society. A big round of applause is necessary for the Central Washington team who managed to show us all what sports(wo)manship is truly about.

Ed. Note: For those of you wondering why I have been posting far less in the recent months on this blog, I just wanted to let you know that I am also now contributing at Unprofessional Foul. All of my soccer posting is done over there now and that is a big portion of what I post about. I am still posting here, but I just need to get things smoothed out so I can do both. So, check me out at Unprofessional Foul and all of the other great contributors over there.

[Photo Credit: New York Times]



French Fail To Foil Flame

2008-04-07T08:54:59.274-07:00

Although valiant in their efforts, the French have failed to extinguish the Olympic flame on its journey around the globe towards the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While gallivanting through Paris, the Olympic torch faced never before seen French obstacles to an advancing juggernaut. Usually, they lay down and take it. Not this time.

Protesting China's human rights record and recent treatment of Tibet, the French managed to slow the long, slow march to Beijing of the flame. Protesters impeded the flame and even managed to get close enough to douse the flame in water. In typical French fashion they failed to extinguish it. But, what the French failed to do, the organizers did--four times--to avoid the protesters.

Thankfully, there is a backup flame so that the even when the torch is extinguished the Olympic flame lives on...in an enclosed lantern. In classic political speak, the Chinese government played down the French (and British) antics.

Wang Hui, the media head for the Beijing Olympics organising committee, today condemned what she called a "few separatists" involved in the protests, insisting the relay would continue as planned.

"The smooth progress of the torch relay cannot be stopped and will definitely be a big success," she added.


Yes, this has been smooth progress. Just a few bumps in the road for the Chinese tank...I mean flame. Protests are expected elsewhere along the relay in San Francisco.



UPDATE: Kiss My Ass

2008-04-07T07:58:36.805-07:00

(image) Prior to the 2007-08 NBA season, Portland Trailblazer center, Joel Pryzbilla, wagered with the team trainer, Jay Jensen, that he would play in all 82 games this season and if he did Jensen would kiss his lily white ass (or maybe it would still be clothed, I don't know) at half-time of the 82nd game at center court. Pryz has had a tough time with injuries during his career and was determined to play the whole season. Unfortunately, Pryzbilla broke a bone in his hand last night and won't get to cash in on the bet because he will miss the remainder of the season....five whole games.

Tough break for the man. Now he won't get to know the thrill of having another man's lips planted on his ass in front of 20,000 people.



OSU Baseball Team Making Like The Football Squad

2008-03-20T14:18:04.418-07:00

Two current and one former OSU baseball players have been arrested for firing bullets that struck a house and car. Jorge Reyes, last year's College World Series MVP, and John Wallace both are current members of the team and Anton Maxwell is a former pitcher for the Beavs.

Corvallis Police spokesman Dave Henslee said the men were seen using a rifle to shoot at soda cans in the backyard of Maxwell's house early Tuesday, and some of the bullets went through a fence.

Brian Bodtker, one of seven students who lives in the house on the other side of the fence, said two of the bullets lodged in an outside wall but one went through his bedroom window. Three more bullets hit a car parked in front of the same window.

So, maybe it's not the University of Miami, but it certainly is stupid.



Kiss My Ass

2008-03-02T12:02:59.666-08:00

(image) Professional athletes are well known to be the gambling types. Charles Barkley admitted that he has probably lost $10 million gambling, Michael Jordan is a well-known gambler and some conspiracists believe that Jordan's first retirement was actually a suspension for gambling, and some have even gone so far as to create gambling enterprises (Ric Tocchet). So, it should come as no surprise that NBA ballers bet on all sorts of things. Joel Pryzbilla, for example, bet the team trainer, Jay Jensen, that he would play in all 82 games this season after missing significant amounts of games each season during his career.

So when Blazers athletic trainer Jay Jensen - who tends to the aches and pains of Przybilla - heard Przybilla's goal of playing in 82 games, he snickered.

"He kind of laughed at me,'' Przybilla said of Jensen. "So I said, 'Do you want to make a bet?' ''

At that moment The Bet was established:

If Przybilla doesn't play in all 82 games, he has to buy Jensen dinner. But if he does play in every game, Jensen has to kiss Przybilla's behind at half court after the Blazers' final game.

Pryzbilla has another 24 games to go to win the bet, so it could still be lost. But, if I were Jensen I would start stocking up on pink eye medicine.



New Orleans Gets By Without Tracy McGrady

2008-02-18T19:53:23.262-08:00

The 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans is finished and New Orleans is still standing, despite prognostications last year after the Las Vegas debacle. The 2007 All-Star Weekend went down as a thug Club Med. The "thugs" scared the suits and it was capped off with NFL cornerback Pac Man Jones's involvement in strip club shooting that left a bouncer paralyzed and introduced "making it rain" to the vernacular.

Even some of the NBA ballers were worried about New Orleans hosting the All-Star Game. Houston's Tracy McGrady and Rafer Alston both verbalized their qualms.
"If I don't feel like it's going to be safe, if I'm on that team, I will think about not going," said McGrady as the Houston Rockets were preparing for tonight's match-up with the visiting Toronto Raptors.

***

Alston said if he did make his first all-star team next season he would likely go, but likely would go alone.
First off, karma's a bitch isn't it McGrady? He didn't make this year's squad. I know he qualified his statement, but really he probably shouldn't have tempted fate. And, Alston, he has a better chance of being the U.S. President than he does making an NBA All-Star team.

By all accounts, though, the New Orleans All-Star game went down better in Chocolate City than Sin City. There weren't the claimed multitude of criminal elements or criminal acts and people seemed to enjoy themselves without fear.



Dana Jacobson Update

2008-01-24T20:41:44.944-08:00

Many of you have probably heard of ESPN's Dana Jacobson's drunken antics at the Mike & Mike roast in Atlantic City recently. Deadspin.com later reported from a tipster that Jacobson stated the following: "f*** Notre Dame", "f*** Touchdown Jesus", and "f*** Jesus." This has all started a maelstrom with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League getting upset about the Jacobson comments and people calling for her head. Video then surfaced of the event but not of Jacobson's tirade. Jacobson was suspended for her ramblings and issued an apology.

Obviously the political pressure has increased significantly on ESPN regarding this matter. Enough so that ESPN has now doubled back on its "policy" of not commenting on personnel matters. I wonder if Jacobson's gender has anything to do with this given ESPN's less than stellar history with gender relations.

Regardless, I have learned that Bill Donohue considers the matter over.

On January 22, I said in a news release that ‘there is no evidence that ESPN is taking this matter seriously.’ I am happy to say that after speaking to two ESPN officials today, and having learned more about exactly what happened, that the are in fact taking this matter seriously. Indeed, I am convinced that what occurred at the roast will not happen again.

To be sure, Jacobson’s remarks were patently offensive; no one involved in this incident, including her, is maintaining otherwise. But it is also true that there is no evidence that what we are dealing with is a bigot—lots of people who have made bigoted comments are not inveterate bigots. No, what we are dealing with is a person who went off the rails while drunk at a raucous event. “The ESPN officials whom I spoke to answered the questions I had to my satisfaction. Therefore, as far as the Catholic League is concerned, this matter is over.

ESPN has mollified the Catholic attack dog. And, I have also learned that ESPN will be meeting with the Christian Defense Coalition on Friday after the group protested ESPN corporate HQ in Bristol, Connecticut. This information comes from an email from ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber sent to me by a reader.

So, what have we learned today? ESPN will cave to political pressure and violate its own policies on personnel matters. Any way Jesse Jackson can get righteous and indignant about Harold Reynolds's situation so we can get more information?



Timber Jim Retires

2008-01-24T19:01:25.216-08:00

Long-time Portland Timbers mascot "Timber Jim", Jim Serrill, is retiring. Timber Jim has been a fixture in the Portland soccer scene since 1978 when the Portland Timbers were a team in the defunct North American Soccer League (NASL).

Anytime a mascot that has incited a riot retires it is a big loss for all of us.

There's a story about an episode in Vancouver [B.C.] in the old days. We were in a playoff game and it was packed-33,000 people in Empire Stadium. We won and I was doing my thing. I was in their face, and the Canadians didn't like that. I got attacked. I incited a riot; and a bunch of Canadians came out of the stands. One guy hit me with a big bag of ice and cold-cocked me. The next thing I know, I'm being escorted out of the country by the Canadian police.


Excellent!

Timber Jim's act is well-known and widely regarded as one of the best mascots. He wields a chainsaw cutting a log round after every Timbers goal, coming down from the rafters with his chainsaw or drum and doing handsprings even into his 50's. Jim has retired or come close to retiring on several occasions for various reasons including the tragic death of his daughter in 2004. Jim has persevered and now it seems is finally calling it quits, which isn't surprising considering the physical demands of his routine.



Irony This Is Your Picture

2008-01-23T20:43:01.584-08:00

I made my first visit to modern day Sodom this past weekend. New York City. I had a great time despite all of the smug, self-involved hipsters who seem deadset on reviving all the worst fashions of the 80s.
Sport was not the reason for my visit, but I couldn't leave it behind. Actually, it kind of hit me in the face in the form of an 80-foot tall billboard on the side of building on 8th and 42nd in Midtown. (I know the quality sucks but try to take a good picture with a cell-phone from a moving vehicle.)


(image)
This is without a doubt intended to be an un-ironic statement from ESPN's marketing gurus. But, it is the epitome of irony. Every time I have listened to any of the "talent" on the billboard I have been dumber for it.

Just for shits and giggles, I found further evidence that NYC is full of heathens. This sign was on 5th Avenue somewhere in Midtown. I am quite sure you would probably break your neck if you ever attempted what this sign implores you to do--"toss your own salad."

(image)
Heh.



Another Athlete's House Burglarized

2007-12-12T08:53:41.093-08:00

Yesterday, Liverpool traveled to France and beat Marseille in the final game of group play to advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League tournament. In an all too familiar manner, Liverpool's captain, Steven Gerrard, suffered a burglary at his home while away. According to the story, Gerrard is the sixth Liverpool player to suffer this indignity during an away match recently.

All of this must be disconcerting to Liverpool players, but there is an added element that has to this incident that has to be especially disconcerting to fellow Liverpool players, English soccer players, and athletes in general. Gerrard's wife and a friend were present when the burglar's arrived. Given what recentl tragedy with the late Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins this is extremely worrisome that thieves would be this brazen. Although, I suppose the strict English regulations of firearms makes them a bit more confident of not facing an armed homeowner.



Brutal Tackle

2007-11-16T15:47:09.679-08:00

I just saw the Soccernet story about Augustin Binya's sickening tackle on Celtic's Scott Brown yesterday in Champions League Group play. An absolutely terrifying tackle. It looks like Binya attempted to break Brown's leg. Luckily, Brown didn't suffer any serious damage. The video is below, but don't watch if you don't like those sort of things.


(embed)
Binya Horror Tackle
Uploaded by FACup
Update: Augustin Binya has been suspended for six European matches for the above tackle. He does have the right to appeal.



Dirty Horse Names

2007-11-01T21:52:38.873-07:00

I came across this interesting article about the names of racehorses on Slate.com. Whenever I watch horseraces, which isn't very often, I always see these unusual names. Apparently, there are rules about the how many characters (18) that a name can have and bunch of regulations, including no offensive, obscene, or vulgar names nor names in poor taste. Problem is, these standards have changed over time. What used to be fine is no longer ok. See: Tar Baby, Uncle Remus, Darkie, Uncle Tom, Jungle Bunny.

Then there are the obscene names that have slipped past the screeners. See: Cunning Stunt, Golden Shower, Cherry Pop, Cum Rocket, Wrecked Em, and Bodacious Tatas.

I found Fubar, Twig 'n Berries, and a bunch of Redskin references (but that is still allowed in the NFL). I also found the classic Amanda Hug 'n Kiss. Try it out for yourself...it's fun to see what you can find.



John Arne Riise's Paystub

2007-11-01T08:03:41.850-07:00

A few days ago I received in my inbox a couple of photos of John Arne Riise's paystub, a professional soccer player for Liverpool FC in the English Premier Leauge. Mr. Riise is a Norway international and has been with LFC since 2001. He is a general fixture in Liverpool lineups at either outside back or midfield. While a very talented player, he certainly isn't a superstar. It was unusual to see that a millionaire gets a regular paycheck just like every other schmoe. Currently, there is a probe being conducted in England as to how somebody got their grubby little hands onto the stubs. Judging by the dirty fingernails, I would wager to say this person probably did not get the paper through savory means. I have edited out any personal identification other than the name of the player in the photos below. I find it incredibly interesting and difficult to grasp what these depict.The photos, below, show that Mr. Riise took home a base salary for the pay period ending in early September 2006 (I'm not sure if it is a monthly or weekly paystub) of £120,000. That's roughly $250,000.00 U.S. Some serious cheddar. Mr. Riise also received bonuses for appearances, points, appearances and the Champions League raising his gross pay to roughly £140,000 ($290,000). Out of his gross pay, £55,000 ($114,000) has been deducted for taxes and the such for a take home of £82,000 ($170,000). If Riise's paystub is for a month's pay that puts him at a yearly salary of £1.2 million ($2.5 million) or £6.2 million ($12.8 million) if it is a weekly salary. When I do the math it seems obvious that the paycheck is for one month. These numbers are astounding to me. I've always known that professional athletes at the highest levels make gobs of money, but generally the terms of those salaries are given in yearly numbers. Not broken down into monthly or weekly salaries. When I see a paycheck like this, I think this is unbelievable. He has a six figure salary (US$) taken out of his check every month. Mr. Riise, maybe you can donate one month of taxes to my personal bank account. You won't miss it and I can certainly use it. Although, I did some digging and it appears maybe Mr. Riise can't afford it. He has been declared bankrupt in England due to some controversy with his agent.Think about Alex Rodriguez who is angling for a $30 million yearly salary right now. That would give him a weekly salary of $575,000.00 US. Amazing! Then, you have to think, sports fans are the people paying these salaries ultimately. I don't begrudge anybody making this money, but when you see it these terms it is almost unfathomable how much they make. After I get past this point, I just like to daydream about what I would do with that money. Cars, houses, vacations, toys, gadgets, and whatever else I could probably ever desire. It's not Bill Gates money, but it certainly isn't chump change.[...]



Le Anne Schreiber Taking Easterbrook to the Woodshed

2007-10-10T10:21:26.126-07:00

Le Anne Schreiber is perhaps the single greatest addition to ESPN in a long time. She replaced the first ombudsman, George Solomon, and has proved to be a true watchdog of ESPN. Her latest smackdown is on the neverending piles of opinion pieces the .com puts out. She posits that there is frequently much ado about nothing and if there is something there, the reporters need to do more research and investigation before spewing another opinion piece.I will be the first to admit that bloggers can frequently be guilty of just adding fuel to the rumor fires, since bloggers don't do much reporting themselves. Generally, we are just reactionary to news that is put out there, spew our own asinine opinions, or make stupid, crude and lewd jokes. But, I generally assume that rely on the reporting of the professionals for most of our material. There are exceptions but I think that is the general rule. However, there are lessons that bloggers can learn from Ms. Schreiber's column.This, however, is not the point of this post...the point is that tWWL allowed Ms. Schreiber to take some serious shots at some ESPN's writers, in particular Gregg Easterbrook. Here are some choice excerpts of Schreiber on Easterbrook's little opinion piece on the Patriot's SpyGate imbroglio:The amount of opinion was so vast, its range so wide and contradictory, that it was beyond hard for readers and viewers to get their bearings within it.and, [Note: As pointed out by a reader, MC Bias, the above quote only refers to ESPN's work in general and not to Easterbrook's column specifically. I regret the error.] And feel free to custom design the opinion of your choice out of rumor, speculation and twisted logic, as Tuesday Morning Quarterback Easterbrook did, not once, but twice, in manufacturing extended false analogies between Richard Nixon's Watergate and Bill Belichick's tapegate, as if stonewalling to the press is the same as stonewalling to congressional investigators, as if violating a league rule is the same as violating federal law, as if he didn't promptly hand over to the commissioner all the material that was asked of him and accept his punishment. She really shouldn't hold back like that it will keep her blocked up.The prior incarnation of the ombudsman, Mr. Solomon, offered some criticism and helpful suggestions but I cannot recall him ever being so blunt and critical of ESPN's work. That is the job of an ombudsman but I always thought the position had been a bit neutered under Solomon's tenure. Not so under Schreiber, she has repeatedly excoriated ESPN flaws and pointed out many of the conflicts of interest that seem to really affect the quality of their product.However, I cannot recall either of the ombudspersons ever really calling out individual writers in such a straightforward manner. Hell, Jason Whitlock was fired for bagging on a fellow writer. Bill Simmons has commented before that his editors won't let him, although some don't believe that is true.All I have to say is, keep it coming Ombudswoman, keep it coming. This is great stuff.[...]



The Hypocrisy of The Sports Kitty

2007-09-18T09:25:35.583-07:00

Hating on ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons, aka The Sports Guy, is the required merit badge of sports blogs and I've earned my merit badge in the past. I don't try to do it very often, but sometimes his opinions deserve the treatment (just don't get me started on his righteous soothsayer, "I was right" act on Greg Oden). Today, I came across one such opinion.Simmons, an abashed Boston homer, has been feeling the pain recently due to the Patriots' little kerfluffle regarding the filming of the NY Jets' defensive signals. Backed into a corner by the ceaseless taunting, friends/enemies cracking wise and his beloved Patriots' considerable legacy at least somewhat tarnished, The Sports Kitty came out hissing and swatting with claws out at the detractors of New England.There is no shame in defending your team. I don't blame him for that, but I don't condone his hypocrisy in argument.In defending his team, The Sports Kitty brings up the argument that it was cheating, but that it doesn't really matter because it is just sports. Specifically, he says:See, that's the thing. It's sports. People cheat. People do bad things. People make mistakes. It's just like real life, only it doesn't matter nearly as much. I can get behind this sentiment. Sports is entertainment and escape from reality. Yes, it may reflect our society at times and become inescapably intertwined with issues (see: Jackie Robinson), but for the most part sports is separate from life. So, for the most part, sports issues (I'm talking about truly sports issues like this and not issues like Michael Vick's dog-fighting) are largely immaterial to the rest of society and don't deserve sports fans getting up in arms about them.The next paragraph Kitty-cat details many of the more important travails currently in the world: the war in Iraq; global warming; pervasiveness of internet porn; the use of internet to aid pedophiles; and...wait for it...steroids in baseball affecting the homerun records.We live in a world in which every home run record from the past 10 years has to be taken not just with a grain of salt, but an entire salt shaker.Wait. What? The questionability of MLB's homerun records is a more important issue than the Patriots' cheating? I thought sports was like real life, only it doesn't matter as much. What happened? Did he take a catnap and forget his statement only one paragraph above?The audacity of such a position is incredible. Lets see all the adjectives/phrases I can use to describe it: hypocritical; having your cake and eating it too; having it both ways; disingenuous; stupid; hairbrained...the rest will just be more catty so I'll stop.One is cheating in sports and the other is...cheating in sports. Big difference there right? In fact, the New England cheating was banned by the NFL rules and save for the last few years, steroids were not banned by MLB rules. You can make the argument that steroids were still illegal and New England's cheating was not, but either way it amounts to cheating in sports. And, the steroids uproar definitely seems to be about its affect on baseball and not the illegality of it.The point is, The Sports Kitty cannot argue that the New England cheating isn't a big deal because it is just sports and then turn around and say steroids is a big deal. Both are forms of cheating and if you condemn one then you must condemn the other. Or, you can take the opposite position of indifference because it is just entertainment in the form of sports and t[...]



Materazzi Likes Whores

2007-08-18T11:31:48.776-07:00

One year later, Marco Materazzi has finally revealed what he said to Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup Final that caused the French midfielder to headbutt the Italian.
I prefer the whore that is your sister.

I have to admit that was a nice little dig. Not as bad as your sister is a terrorist or whatever it was alleged he said. Well played.



The EPL is here, The EPL is here!

2007-08-10T13:01:35.473-07:00

Errr....I guess it is now the Barclay's Premier League or something like that. Either way, I am incredibly excited. This season promises to full of fun and hopefully Liverpool can get the monkey off its back and win the title for the first time since 89-90, before the inception of the "Premiership."

Last year I attempted to follow a club in each of the main European leagues (EPL--Liverpool, La Liga--Valencia, Serie A--AS Roma and Bundesliga--Hertha Berlin). It wasn't very successful after the first two or three months. It took an enormous amount of effort to follow those teams and then I had a new job which really ate into my time. Liverpool finished 3rd in its league and runner-up in the Champions League to AC Milan. Valencia ended up fourth in La Liga and crashed out of CL play in the quarters to Chelsea. Roma ended up second in the table and fell to ManU in the CL quarterfinals as well. Hertha faired the worse of those clubs. 10th in the league after starting the season in the top 4. Oh well.

This year my focus will be on Liverpool. I will still follow those other teams but not very closely. It is much easier to follow the league that's based in an English speaking country.

I am very hopeful for Liverpool this year. The new owners have opened up the wallet for Rafa Benitez. Rafa signed Fernando Torres for $40M to give the squad some much needed scoring ability. Let's just hope he's worth the outlay. LFC also locked up many of its players (Gerrard, Reina) to long term contracts. LFC also pulled in a young winger from Feyenoord, Ryan Babel, who hopefully can provide some pace and accurate crosses.

Standing in the way of the Scousers are Chelsea and ManU, last year's title winners. ManU has spend significant sums to beef up its already impressive offense with signings of Carlos Tevez, Nani, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves. They will be a tough team to knock off, but the defense is thin. Injuries could really hurt them in the back.

Speaking of injuries, Chelsea had a lot of them last year and looks to be starting off that way again. Terry, Drogba, Ballack, Sheva, Kalou and Johnson are all suspect to miss the first week. An inauspicious start to the season, especially considering injuries derailed last year's campaign.

After those 3, Arsenal is the most likely to grab the fourth spot since Thierry Henry has left the building. But, I like their chances to even compete for the third spot. The Gunners have a lot of young talent and with Henry out of the way, they can all step into the sunlight. Plus, Van Persie has looked good in the pre-season.

Arsenal will have to look out for Tottenham who has loaded up on the already potent offense. There is bound to be a couple other teams battling for the final CL spot and the two UEFA slots. Likely it will be Everton and maybe Newcastle. Enough of my prognostication. I just want the Scousers to win. After that it doesn't really matter.

Now begins 9 months of weekly joy.