Archive for the ‘Sports’ category

Fun With Bullets

October 4, 2010

-Seven games.  That’s it.  All the Twins have to do is win seven games and they’re in the World Series for the first time since 1991.  But, of course, as fate would have it, the first three of those seven wins need to come against the Yankees, or as I like to call them, the Anti-Twins.  Not only are they the polar opposite of everything the Twins are, (big market, insanely high budget, completely unlikeable outside of their tri-state area), but they seem to be the team we always run into problems with.  It’s like running into some kind of giant brick road block every time we play them, and it makes me nervous that we have to play them in the first round of the playoffs.  Again.  It seems as though we can’t escape them. All I can say is that if Jeter fakes getting hit by a pitch again like he did a few weeks ago, I’m going to go down there and give him something to cry about.

We know it hit the bat, jackass.

-Phil Mickelson was especially disappointing this weekend in the Ryder Cup.  The U.S. lost 14½ to 13½ in Wales, and Phil won only one of his four matches.  He now has lost 17 matches in Ryder Cup history, which is the most of any U.S. player ever.  I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to be there, but I don’t think the style and format of the Ryder Cup match up well with Phil’s skill set.  Would it break my heart if he wasn’t on the team in two years?  Nope.

-The weather lately has been impeccable.  I mean, really choice stuff.  Mid 60’s to low 70’s and sunny with a side of cool autumn breeze?  Yes, please.  The fact that it’s been gorgeous for the past two weeks only means that we’re roughly 10 days away from getting completely donkey punched with cold and rain.  In Minnesota, we are only ever set up like this to be promptly knocked down.

-As much as I complain about not liking Facebook, I came across this link recently, and I’m not going to lie … I laughed out loud.

-Speaking of douchey social media websites, Twitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams resigned today.  To comment on this news, I am going to channel my inner Seth Meyers and bring this story to you as if I were on SNL Weekend Update.  Here goes … Although he noted that he was proud of the site’s progress over the past two years, Williams seemed disappointed that it has yet to be turned into a profitable endeavor.  Prior to his resignation, Williams tweeted two final times:

@EvanWilliams

What does Facebook have that we don’t?  We have 160 million registered users, how can we NOT make money? Plus, only using 140 characters is
-8:14 AM October 4th via Twitter for iPhone

Screw this, I quit.
-8:16 AM October 4th via Twitter for iPhone

One love,

10

27 Is The New Bitter

September 15, 2010

A couple of months ago, I turned 27.  To anyone younger than me, I am getting old.  To those older than me, I’m not even close to old.  I’ve always subscribed to the adage that you’re only as old as you feel.  I don’t feel like I’m getting old, however I am starting to notice a change in my thought process towards a few things.

As I approach 30, I am becoming very aware that some of the things I used to be exposed to, and hell, some things I used to participate in, are now the bane of my existence.  I’ll try to elaborate.

When I was in college, I found teenagers to be just plain annoying.  In a few different ways, I’d look at someone in high school and think, “Man, I hope I wasn’t a giant douche like that when I was in high school.” Chances are, I was.  But once I entered my 20s, I found that typical teenage behavior bothered me to no end.

Now that I’m removed from college, it’s no longer just the teens that annoy me, it’s college students too.  That’s when I knew I was getting old.  I find myself annoyed with people in their early 20s, and what’s more, I find myself acting like a pseudo-parent to teens (in my own head, not in an outward fashion).  For example, if I encounter a group of teens, and it’s a bunch of boys with their pants falling off their asses, their Hollister shirts two sizes too small, and their Hurley hats perched sideways atop their overgrown mess of a mop they call hair, I’m instantly annoyed.  In my head I’m saying, “Get a haircut, pull your pants up, put your hat on like it’s supposed to be worn, and wear clothes that fit.”

If it were a group of girls, chances are they’d all be wearing shorts that barely cover their ass cheeks, shirts that are way too low cut, and way too much makeup.  And meanwhile, all I can think is that I want to call their parents and ask if they know how their daughters are dressed in public (even though, ten years ago, that same scene would have caused me to follow them for an hour and shamelessly hit on them).  My how time changes things.

And I chalk it up to the fact that I am getting older.  Yet another example: If you offered me $100 per hour to listen to the top 40 station on the radio, I don’t think I could do it.  I cannot stand anything they play.  If I’m running through the dial, and I come across one of those stations, it seriously just sounds like noise to me.  Now I know how my Dad felt when he heard me listening to Ice Cube all those years.  I can’t turn it fast enough. I think I’d rather listen to a recording of a person swinging a bag full of cats against a brick wall for two hours.

Facebook is another one.  I have been a Facebook user since 2005, so I’ve been around long enough to remember the old school Facebook.  Now, I’ll admit that it is an excellent way to keep in touch with people, and communicate with others, but for me, it has lost 99% of its appeal.

I really attribute most of that to the fact that it became a zoo.  When it started, Facebook was only for people with a valid college e-mail address.  There were no games, there were no applications, no events, no causes.  Now I can’t even log in without having a half dozen invites to stupid events, requests to “Like” stuff that I don’t even like, and people wanting me to join groups for asinine causes.

Here’s the deal, folks.  I don’t want to join your group, I don’t want to water your fake flowers or feed your fake animals, I don’t want to “Like” what you “Like,” and if you have to invite me on Facebook, I am not coming to your event.  I don’t want to be a zombie, I don’t want to be in the mob, I don’t want to be a pirate, I don’t want to be  a farmer (let alone a super farmer).  You get the point.  Like I said, Facebook can be a wonderful tool for staying in touch with family and friends, and it can serve as a valuable resource for getting in touch with people you couldn’t otherwise find.  However, it’s just not doing it for me anymore.  I think the only reason I haven’t deleted my account is because that requires more work than just leaving it and letting the invites and friend requests pile up.

Another thing I have found that I can’t stand: fantasy sports.  This one has nothing to do with age, but I figure since I’m pissing and moaning about everything else, why not throw it in?  Since I know fantasy sports have a huge following, and no less than half of you reading this probably partake in them, allow me to explain my reasons.  Remember, this is only my opinion.

To me, fantasy sports are, among other things:

1) Incredibly boring and pointless.  It’s a group of men ranging in age from teenager to middle-aged who spend countless hours on the computer looking up stats, reading injury reports, revising their rosters, and subsequently sucking all the fun out of sports. Gosh, forgive me for not sprinting to the front of the line one that one.  People get so wrapped up in it, that they forget that sports are supposed to be for entertainment.  If you can’t enjoy watching sports without playing fantasy sports, you’re not a real fan, and that is the dead truth.  I, for example, don’t give two craps about any baseball team other than the Twins.  I don’t care how many times Paul Konerko has struck out with runners in scoring position.  I don’t care what Trevor Hoffman’s ERA is with the bases loaded.  I don’t want to know.  All I want to do is watch my team.  Everything else is completely inconsequential to me.

2)All based entirely on luck.  Seriously, you can say you’re the best fantasy football “player” in the world,  but if a handful of your players get hurt, or they are in a slump, or they are suspended six games for allegedly raping a girl in Tahoe, then you’re toast.  You could draft the freaking all-star team for your roster, but you have NO control over how they’ll play.  You’re just picking people and hoping. Conversely, you could throw darts at team pictures from across the room to choose your players and wind up winning it all.  There’s no skill involved.  It’s all based entirely on what other people do, and over that, you have no control as a fantasy player.

3) Just another way for us as Americans to turn everything into a competition.  Reality check:  sports are already competitions.  Now you want to compete over who can blindly predict a group of players who will have productive weeks and seasons?   If you want to try and predict sports outcomes, call your bookie and lay down some cash the old fashioned way.  Don’t pussyfoot around with this fantasy crap, gamble like a real man would.

4) There is nothing more annoying/boring than those people who talk non-stop about their fantasy team (as if I could even pretend to care).  “Well, I was thinking about benching Wes Welker for the week, but then I heard that TJ Houshmandzadeh’s dog had a sinus infection so I didn’t think he would be very effective.  Bottom line, all I need is for Matt Ryan to throw a couple of TD’s and for Stephen Jackson not to rush for more than 127 yards and/or two touchdowns and I’ll win by 0.114 points.” Seriously, please go swallow a knife, I hate you.  No one else cares either.  Not even people who play fantasy sports.  No one wants to hear about anyone’s team but their own, which is even more reason that fantasy sports are the devil.  Furthermore, the next time I hear someone complain that they have to root against their favorite team in order for their fantasy team to win that week, I might choke someone.  Another reality check:  Which is more important to you – your actual favorite team winning, or your pretend fantasy team (which isn’t even really a team outside of your mind) winning?  If you said your fantasy team, then you are not a fan of that actual team.

There, I feel better.

However, there’s a plus to being 27.  I found out that if there were a military draft, I am no longer eligible to be drafted.  So I have that going for me, which is nice.

One love,

1o

There’s A Snake In My Boots!

February 20, 2010

I want to chime in on the Tiger Woods “interview” really quick.  I put that in quotes since it’s not really an interview if no questions are asked.  That makes it more like a press conference.  But even in press conferences, questions are often fielded.  How about we call it his statement?  Works for me.

I know, I know, it’s being beaten to death all through mainstream media.  I don’t have much of an opinion about the situation itself because Tiger Woods’ life is none of my business.  If he wants to cheat on his wife with a gang of hussies numbering no less than a baker’s dozen, then that is his problem.  It’s not for us to concern ourselves with.

In any case, Tiger’s statement … I didn’t see it on TV.  I caught it on sports radio as I was getting ready for work.  Here’s my take: Why, oh why, do I get the feeling he didn’t exactly read through that speech a couple times before he jumped on the mic?  Listening to him speak, I got the distinct feeling his team of publicists and what-nots wrote that, handed it to him as he got out of the car, and he walked up, and read it verbatim.  If I go to YouTube right now, and I find a clip of that statement, and it turns out that Tiger Woods just set a recorder in front of a microphone and pressed play, then I will not be one bit surprised.  That’s how insincere he sounded.  If it turns out that Tiger typed that speech into his laptop using that program that will speak whatever you type in a creepy voice that clearly sounds like a robot even though it’s supposed to sound human, I will not be one bit surprised.  If I watch it, and Tiger doesn’t look up from his piece of paper once in thirteen minutes, I will not be one bit surprised.

He sounded like a fourth grader reading his report on what he did last summer.  (More like who he did last summer, hey-ohhhhh!) It was a giant, monotone, run-on sentence.  At first, I had to really bend my ear because it almost didn’t even sound like him.  I’ve seen a million Tiger Woods interviews before, during, and after tournaments.  He’s usually a fluid, well spoken communicator.  He can tell people exactly what they want to hear.  Tiger Woods could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves, and make her like it.  So, what happened?

Whether or not he’s sincere, I don’t know.  Not my call to make.  I don’t know how he’s feeling.  Is he sorry for what he did?  Or is he sorry he got caught?  In any case, I can’t, for the life of me, take that statement seriously.  I can’t.  When a man who has given literally thousands of live interviews in his life walks up to a microphone and suddenly sounds like a college freshman in his public speaking class giving his mandatory “Five things about me” speech on the first day of class, my bullsh*t alarm starts going off.

That was the most pathetic attempt at an apology I’ve ever heard.  Funny thing is, I couldn’t care less if he had apologized at all.  Why the hell do I care?  He didn’t cheat on me.  Did he cheat on you?  Did he cheat on anyone at ESPN?  But because he’s the best golfer in the history of the free world, he has to tell his wife and family he’s sorry on national television?  Sure, you can say he brought this on himself by cheating, but I disagree with that too.  Whatever happens between him and his wife, be it divorce and her getting half of his billion dollar estate, whatever happens, he brought THAT on by cheating.  The man will be punished in his personal life.  He owes us, the public, nothing.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I believe, Tiger mailed it in on purpose. He wasn’t sincere at all, you could hear it in his voice.  Because he doesn’t give a shit what we think of him.  He only did it because it was expected of him.  Because in today’s society, if you are good at sports, or can act well, or sing well, and have more than ten million dollars, you have to answer to the public anytime you do something wrong.  Trust me, I’m sure Elin got an apology much more sincere than the one we witnessed Friday afternoon, because that’s the one that meant something.  This was just what needed to happen to keep the mass media happy.

As far as his return to golf, he left that one quite open-ended.  He is checking back into therapy and thus, his golf career is on hold while he gets his life together.  That’s the obvious move.  But if I had to make a wager, I’d say he’ll be back sooner than later.  People will eventually stop talking about this ordeal, and soon enough, things will go back to normal.  I mean, if Ray Lewis can kill a guy and be MVP of the Super Bowl THE NEXT YEAR, Tiger can come back from this.

One love,

10

Paying The Piper

February 11, 2010

Well, after a season-long bet between JK and I came to a close with a Vikings loss in the NFC Championship game, it was time for me to collect.  I have finally been delivered the prize I was wagered, in the form of a video from JK himself to be posted right here.  There was only one caveat from JK : he asked that the video be played in its entirety without any editing on my part.  Seems fair enough.  After the video, I will throw in my two cents as per usual.  Without futher ado, here is JK in all his losing glory …  (Fair warning, it’s a little quiet so you may have to turn up the volume a little bit in order to hear the whining).

Jordan, you can’t even look me in the eyes and tell me the Vikes are the best team in the league.  Do you honestly expect me to believe that if the Vikes had fallen behind 10-0 in the Super Bowl against the Colts that Brad Childress could have put together a game plan and done what was necessary to get points on the board?  No effing way.  He would have been too busy soiling himself and combing his mustache to even think of opening the second half with an onside kick or take half the risks Sean Payton did in order to keep the Colts’ offense off the field.

Secondly, why bring my Tar Heels into this?  What have they ever done to you?  The team can’t be super successful every season.  I’m strangely content with the two National Titles they’ve won in the past five years.  Sure, they’re a mess now, but every team has rebuilding years.  I mean, don’t you remember how the Vikes had to rebuild after the last time they won the Super Bow … Ohh, this is awkward.  Also, nice Notre Dame hat.  How did they do this year?  How’s Charlie Weis?

On a closing note, JK, you say that Favre will be back, and we need to step up our bet for next year.  I agree on both accounts.  I’m ready to talk terms now.  What are you willing to lose next year?  You already gave up your pride this year, so what’s next?  Short of betting actual humans, I’m open to pretty much any suggestions anyone has.  Wow me.

One love,

10

Blogging For Dummies

January 27, 2010

Well it only took me three weeks, but I am starting to dig into the book I received as my Secret Santa present.  (If you’re unsure of what I am talking about, see the post entitled “Super Secret Santa”).  The first portion of the book is about starting a blog and making the decisions it takes to get rolling.  Well, since I made those decisions almost two years ago, I skipped ahead a little bit.

I stumbled upon a chapter that caught my eye more than the others; Chapter 16: Making Mad Mad Money.   According to the author, making money with your blog is easier than ever.  Well in times like these, who am I to dismiss the possibility of extra income?   I mean, daddy needs a new pair of shoes.  Okay, maybe not shoes, since I just bought a new pair as a result of losing mine in the snow on Christmas Day.  But daddy needs new stuff.  Quiznos subs don’t pay for themselves around here.

The book recommends programs like Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Network, and AdBrite.  However, I didn’t want to have the typical cookie-cutter ads that everyone else does, so I challenged myself to find my own sponsor.  I wanted something unique, something that fit with my persona.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, I think I found the perfect sponsor.  Now is a good time to hear from him.

Well, what do you think?  Personally, I like Al.  I get a good vibe from him, and I think he’s got a solid, sustaining business that can definitely last in the long run, even in this economy.  The demand for those things has got to be through the roof already, and I can only hope I’m helping the cause by allowing him to advertise here.

In other news, since the Vikings dropped a big stink bomb in the NFC Championship game, I won the bet made between JK and I before the season started.  Let’s recap in case we have any new readers here.  (And let’s face it, with a sponsor like Al Harrington, how could I NOT have new readers by now?! I mean, did you SEE that commercial?!)

The bet:  If the Vikings make it to the Super Bowl, I have to buy a Brett Favre Vikings jersey, wear it everyday for a week straight and take pictures with the daily newspapers to prove it.  The pictures of me with the newspaper will be posted here.  On top of that, the week the jersey would be worn would be Super Bowl week, with the seventh and final day being Super Bowl Sunday.  And if the Vikes don’t win the NFC, JK has to record a video of himself crying and bemoaning the loss, send it to me, and I will upload it to this very blog  for all to see.

And on that note, it’s time for a word from our sponsor.

Who knew he had so much to offer?  This guy is on point! I for one couldn’t be happier with this new partnership.  Anyway, where were we?  Oh, the bet.  I got word from JK late Sunday that he was going to get cracking on recording himself, and he assured me he would find a way to make it work.  The only thing left in the equation is the tears, which I am sure will come fairly easy once he realizes how many times the Vikings have broken his heart in his lifetime.

In all seriousness, the Vikes might be the hardest team to cheer for in football, only because every year the expectations are so high (and rightfully so in most cases).  I heard on ESPN that over the past 20 years, the Vikes have sent more players to the Pro Bowl than any other franchise in the NFL.  More than the Cowboys, who have won three Super Bowls in that span, more than the 49ers, who have also won three, more than the Broncos, who won back-to-back rings in the 90s, the list goes on.  And yet, they have nothing to show for it.  A lot of people may argue that you can’t put a lot of merit into the Pro Bowl because the fans vote on it.  The fans’ ballots only count for one third of the voting.  The coaches and the players each vote, and each of those makes up a third as well.  And I will argue that the Vikes have a disadvantage when it comes to the ballots, since teams like Dallas and New York surely receive many more votes as they are in significantly larger markets than Minneapolis. So for the Vikings to send seven or eight players to the Pro Bowl every year is legit to me.  They have some of the best talent in the league.

With that being said, when the only major hole in the team (quarterback) was addressed during the offseason when they brought in arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, and they still can’t make it to the big game … At some point, you have to start looking at the coaches.  You have to.  If your team consists of some of the best players in the league year after year, and you can’t seem to get anywhere, start pointing the finger elsewhere.

Granted, coaches aren’t responsible for the turnovers that led to this year’s loss to the Saints in the NFC title game, but I’m talking in a broader sense than just this season.  Maybe I’m way off here, but to me, as an outsider, that’s how I see it.  The talent is there, why isn’t anything being done with it?

I’m getting word that it’s time for one last word from our sponsor.  Time to pay the bills.

Brilliant.  That’s all I can say.

One session with my Blogging For Dummies book and already it has inspired the birth of a beautiful relationship between myself and a sponsor.  Be sure to check out Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse on Route 2 in Weekapaugh!

One love,

10

Preposterous Statement Of The Year?

January 12, 2010

Over the weekend on ESPN Radio, upon announcing that Pete Carroll was leaving USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks, ESPN’s Amy Lawrence said that Carroll would be a good fit at Seattle because, and I’m quoting:

 “USC’s talent rivaled the level of many NFL teams, surely the Seattle Seahawks.” 

Someone should clue Miss Lawrence in that the Trojans are a college team, and one that lost four games in the Pac-10 this year. For that statement to be even close to being something that resembles a competent thought, the 2009 Trojans had better send each of their 22 starters to the NFL to then become starters or at least players sharing regular time. 

This goes hand in hand with the absurd question that comes almost every year after the BCS Title game.  Could (this year’s undefeated BCS Champion) beat the (crappiest team in the NFL that year)?  No.  Never. Alabama could not beat the Rams.  Florida would not have beaten the Lions last year.   It’s not even close to being the same levels of talent.  Each championship team probably produces between five and ten NFL players, whereas NFL teams have – wait for it – 53 NFL players on their roster.  Fifty three.

If I never hear this question again, I’ll be completely fine with it.  Good day sir.

One love,

10

The Evil Empire

October 11, 2009

Game 2 of the Twins-Yankees series was a tough one for me to swallow.  With the Twins up 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th, all they had to do was lean on one of the best closers of the decade to get three outs and then we come back to Minneapolis with the series tied 1-1.  Instead, Joe Nathan got behind in the count to A-Rod with a man on base, left a pitch hanging over the plate which was promptly escorted out of the zip code, and all of a sudden it’s a tie game.

Even more upsetting was Joe Mauer’s lead-off ground rule double in the top of the 11th inning which was incorrectly ruled a foul ball.  He would get on base with a single, but the two base hits behind him would have surely scored him had the right call been made originally.  Instead, he was stranded on base, and the Yankees would score the winning run in the bottom half of the inning.  The umps have officially apologized, but this just gives me yet another reason to hate the Yankees with everything inside of me.  They’re like the rich guy who wins the lottery with a ticket he finds on the street.  They don’t need the lucky/bullshit breaks like this to sway in their favor.  All close calls should be automatically defaulted to the Twins.

In case you actually needed them, here are three reasons why you should be rooting for the Twins and hoping the Yankees all catch herpes from each other and overdose on HGH right before their team plane crashes into Lake Michigan and they all die in a fiery pit of burning hell:

A) The Twins develop talent in their farm league, and actually bring those players up and keep them in their system. They actually win games with them.  The Yankees simply throw a shitload of money at whomever they feel like buying that particular day.  Granted, since Major League Baseball is run by idiots, this isn’t prohibited by any means, but it’s admirable that the Twins are doing it in a way that can be perceived as much more pure than the Yanks, and still making it to the playoffs fairly consistently.

2) The Yankees’ payroll is right around $208.1 million this season, the highest in baseball and a whopping $63 million more than the second highest.  Meanwhile, the Twins’ payroll is $67.6 million, the ninth least in the big leagues, and less than a third of what the Darth Vaders, er, I mean, Yankees are paying.  Just think, what if we could get rid of the Yankees and use that payroll money to have three more Twins teams?  What a world it would be. To put it into further perspective, at $33 million, Alex Rodriguez is making nearly half of the entire Twins roster this year, BY HIMSELF.

D) Jeter, Rodriguez, Damon, Swisher, Cabrera, Teixeira, Cano, Posada, and Matsui … Remind me, how the hell did the Yankees not win 130 games this year? That could be the lineup for a God damn All Star game.  Meanwhile, the Twins are in the playoffs, and got there without Justin Morneau, Joe Crede, Fransisco Liriano (mostly), and Kevin Slowey.  Instead they relied on guys named Blackburn, Tolbert, Span, and Kubel.  I’ll say this, and then I’ll let it rest: The Twins coaching staff could win 115 games every year with the amount of talent the Yankees have on their roster.

In other news, news that doesn’t make me want to fly to New York and kill 25 people,  the weather up here has officially cooled off.  Just over two weeks ago I was wearing shorts, and now the temperature is hanging around in the 30s and 40s everyday.  I’m not upset about it, because it’s an inevitability and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Rather, I’m disappointed that we kind of skipped a step.  We went straight from 80 degrees to 30 in the blink of an eye.  We never got to enjoy that “keep the windows open all day, enjoy the leaves changing colors, you can wear shorts during the day but need to put a sweatshirt on at night when it cools off” kind of phase.  I love that phase, it might be one of my favorites of the year.  Instead, I went from running the air conditioner all day to closing up all the windows and keeping a blanket nearby.  The leaves never changed colors, they all just died and fell off the trees.  We’re long past shorts weather and into full-blown jacket weather.  It has even managed to snow a few times over this weekend, even though it was just a few instances of light flakes and none of it accumulated.  Quite sad, really.

Since I am currently balls deep in the NFL and the President’s Cup, I’m gonna cut this one off here.  I have received a viewer’s choice request for a post that I’ll start working on either tomorrow or Tuesday (yes, I do take requests), so until then, enjoy whatever is left of your weekend.

One love,

10