Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pirates Fans: Enablers

So you have a friend named Ed.  Ed has no job and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere anytime soon.  The problem for Ed is, however, he has a nasty coke habit that he just can't kick.  He asks you for some money, but he tells you he needs it to buy a new suit for a job interview he's going on to get his life in order.  You have a job; you have lots of money, and Ed is a good friend of yours.  There wasn't a more fun guy in high school than Ed.  So you give him some money.  And as expected Ed spends your money on coke and gets real real high.  You get a little upset with Ed because, damnit, your best friend just swindled you.  Ed apologizes and says he wants to check himself into rehab, but doesn't have the money.  Well you give him some more money because Ed reminds you of that time in high school when you and Ed threw that big time party when his parents were out of town.  God, what a great time to be alive.  Ed spends your money on coke.  Ed asks you for money 15 more times. And 15 more times you give him your money while Ed promises that this time is going to be different.  And 15 more times Ed spends your money on coke.  You are now dumber than Ed.  Way dumber. But, as it turns out, there are another 19,367 enablers just as dumb as you giving money to Ed just as much as you.


That is the current average attendance at a game at PNC Park this year.  And yes, I know it is the third lowest in baseball this year.  But how are there this many people, day after day, giving their money to this horrible joke of a team?  I'll tell you how.  There are basically three types of Pirates fans.  There are the Pirates fans that are there just to say that they were there through the tough times when they do manage to throw together a couple W's in a row (which isn't happening under this ownership, I'll explain later).  And there are Pirates fans who can't forget about the exciting times of the early 90's and the 70's; much like Ed's kegger at his parents' house in high school.  And finally the Pirates fans that are there for the fireworks, who, apparently, are not aware that you can see the fireworks for free AND not have to watch Pittsburgh baseball.

This is what PNC Park should look like during game time

Now, the Nutting Family, the owners, do not have a coke problem.  (Well, maybe they do, who knows)  They have no intent to do anything in their powers to make this team any better.  And who can blame them?  Why shell out a lot more money to maybe have a winner when they're already making money with a garbage team?  This age of Pirate fans aren't realizing that they are enabling the Nuttings to keep making money while not attempting to field a real team. 

"Please man, I swear I'll get my life back on track.  All I need is a couple bucks."
Here's what I suggest for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  5-year plan.  Don't worry. This one's different.  A lot different.  In the first year you just get rid of everybody.  I mean everybody.  Because here's the plan for the that year...sign bums.  Literal bums. Bums or D list celebrities like Dave Coulier.  Pay them all league minimum salary.  They'll take it. They need it.  You have now managed to clear up some cap space for the next four years.  Plus, with the reality TV show contract you have with VH1, the Pirates will have saved up enough money for a $200 million payroll for year 5. 

There's no way this wouldn't be the biggest story in sports.  Michael Vick would have to murder Britney Spears on Monday Night Football to be a bigger story.  Who wouldn't come see this team lose 100-0 every night? How exciting would year 5 be?  Then start the cycle all over again for another 5 years.

It may not be real efficient, but it would be one hell of a ride.  But until this happens, I'm not giving any more of money so one of my old friends can go buy more coke.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Usain Bolt

I ask Mr. Werenka why he believes that Usain Bolt is juicing? So, he broke a record, ok he broke a record pretty easily; but isn't that what happens to records? Are they not meant to be broken? Especially with increased knowledge on training, nutrition, and natural evolution of humans. Usain Bolt (6’5”) is bigger than Michael Johnson (6’1”), in fact he is naturally taller than almost all of his competitors. Yes, we have this preconceived notion that smaller more powerful sprinters are faster. Why not a taller individual with the same turnover. Bolt is beat out of the blocks in most races. Analysts say he can drop a tenth of a second if he improves his starts. That is all beside the point however.

Let us take a look at Bolt. First as I said he is taller than everyone else. This leads to a much larger stride length which does increase speed. Second, he is not more muscular looking, in fact he appears to have a much less muscular build than many of his competitors, which lends me to believe that he is not juicing. Next, Bolt did not come from thin air. When Bolt was 15 he won the world junior championships in the 200. He was the first junior to go sub 20.0 in the 200. This lends weight to the fact that Bolt has been putting up good times for a long time. Bolt was 6'5" by the time he was 15, he is a physical freak. Most importantly he has tested clean every time he has been tested; before the Olympics, after the Olympics, before the worlds, after the worlds and every time in between. He is the fastest runner in the world he is probably the most tested runner in the world as well. He passes all these tests under extreme scrutiny every day. If the IOC and governing track bodies say he is clean so will I.

As a fan I look at athletes in awe not in a skeptical manner. I want to be impressed that is why I watch. Just because we have been let down in the past does not mean we can't look for hope in the future. Call me innocent, naive, or anything else. I come from a background where you are not guilty by association. If you continue to prove to me that you are clean than I will believe you. Testers get caught everyday, Usain Bolt is not one of them. Get down off your high horse and enjoy sports as you once did, with a youthful enthusiasm and state of awe for what talented individuals can do, it will put the fun back in to sports. In today's society enough things can make you cynical, depressed and stone hearted, don't let sports be one of them.

Just a note Michael Johnson lowered the 200m record by .39s (19.72 to 19.33); Usain Bolt only managed to lower it 0.14s (19.33 to 19.19). If Michael Johnson could lower it by almost 3 times what Bolt did and be considered clean why can’t Bolt?

Monday, August 24, 2009

RE: Schu

When Tony Pena predicted his Royals would win the division and then lost 100 games; that was a terrible prediction. When Jon Kitna said his Lions would win 10 games in 2007, went 7-9, predicted 10 wins again in 2008, and went 0-16; he didn't exaclty conjure up any shades of Nostradamus. But those predictions seemed like locks compared to the one made here on this site. Hold your breath for a minute because you can choke from the smell of dumb coming from this next sentence.

"Yes, this year he has AP, but so would have whoever won the Vikings QB battle, my money would have been on the sleeper John David Booty. The Vikings will make the playoffs with or without Brett"

First off, to think that freakin John David Booty is going to start is some wild stuff. Especially when you consider his name hasn't even been mentioned when the two guys above him are SAGE ROSENFELS and TARVARIS JACKSON. Then when you look at this sentence again, you realize he believes that John David Booty is a playoff quarterback. When you can't even make the discussion to compete for a job with guys named Sage and Tarvaris, its probably a safe bet you aren't gonna do much this season.

I guess I'll answer the question anyway though. Actually there are two different questions on the board. The first being which was the better football move, Vick or Favre. No brainer. Favre easy. Without Favre, the Vikes would be lacking a great deal of balance. Teams would stack the line without risk against AP. Look what happened to Larry Johnson over the past few years. He has had just garbage under center since his breakout year when he was just a horse. Since then, injuries and garbage. But I guess since some people think that Minnesota was stacked at quarterback before Favre with John David Booty, that would make Vick the better move.

A move that will bring little more than distraction, the Vick signing seems more of a favor to Tony Dungy than a football move at all. If you're an Eagles fan, why would you want a guy who hasn't played football in 2 years to take snaps away from a guy who is probably bound for the Hall of Fame? He has never played wide receiver, so rule that out. (Look how long it took Devin Hester, a guy like Vick in that he "just makes plays", to become a good receiver) And McNabb said the wildcat is nothing but a flash in the pan that he doesn't believe the Eagles will use. So what's left? Returning punts?

A different question that is asked is which will end in a better season. The Eagles started out with the better football team before either of these moves. I think that Minnesota has the slightly better team now, however. Both defenses are very good, so we'll call that a wash. The difference will be Brett Favre. Last year, in New York, Brett was tired halfway through the season. He played excellent the first half of the season, but by the time that the end of the season had rolled around, he had thrown too many balls. The Vikings will be smart this year in that they can keep Brett's attempts lower in the beginning of the season because they know Peterson is still the workhorse of this team. Brett will be ready mentally and physically when his favorite time of the year rolls around this time.

Something else that got my attention was the statement that all high school athletes should go to college. Not all athletes need to go to college. If a kid comes out of high school and makes just a million during his first year, that's like making $50,000 a year for 20 years. Why risk that?

The next issue I have is with the Benny the Jet comment. To suggest that he is in the same realm as Chitwood or Hobbs is all kinds of dumb. One of the reasons...he teaches Smalls to catch. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like coaching. Stan van Gundy - you could make the argument that he's a good coach, but this man is no athlete. Another reason is that he outruns a dog. But judging by the 1:10 mark of the
trailer, this dog weighs roughly 800 pounds. And you really shouldn't be slower than anything 800 pounds unless is a tractor trailer or a T-Rex.

Speaking of speed, Usain Bolt is juicing. And so is all of the Jamaican athletes. They just got too good too fast. Outside of Asafa Powell, Jamaica hasn't had much of a history on the world stage. Now they are making the rest of the world look like they're running in mud. Bolt is not just breaking, but destroying records, including a record many track experts thought would stand for decades, Michael Johnson's 19.32 200m. There will be a Jamaican PED scandal before the next Olympics. And that is a prediction you can count on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Things that I know/Interest me in sports.

I must begin by congratulating Mr. Werenka. He achieved his goal of finding the most homosexual sports image I have seen in years (we all know that searching for that photo was his favorite part of the article).

Secondly, I must say that despite a great list of fictional athletes he did miss the greatest of them all. That would be Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, better known as Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez, from The Sandlot. Why you ask is he better than Jimmy Chitwood or Roy Hobbs? The answer is simple he managed 3 of the most amazing sports feats.

1) He knocked the cover off a baseball. (He is so badass that he was pissed he couldn't play anymore)

2) He taught Smalls, who couldn't catch a cold in the middle of January at the North Pole, to catch in about 15 seconds.

3) The most impressive of all: He out ran a dog, that’s right a dog, for an entire montage. People don't out run dogs. Dogs are fast. "The Jet" was faster, plus he ran on a table, through a movie theater, jumped on and over a car, and some other crazy stuff as well.

You can keep Jimmy; I'll take Benny.

So anyway, now that I have righted some the previous wrongs, I will begin with an introduction of what in sports interests me. Topics in sports that I feel are important are almost strictly regulated to 4 sports (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey); however occasionally individuals in other sports do cause a peak interest in the second tier sports. This can be seen by Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, and Michael Phelps. In addition there are also the Olympics but that is only a blip on the radar screen every 2 years (anyone who gets excited about curling or badminton more than every 4 years needs to reevaluate their life).

-Topic in sports that I am most tired of hearing about: Steroids in Baseball from 2003. If they test positive today then yes that is important. You can practically commit any crime outside of rape and murder and after 7 years it exceeds all federal statutes of limitations. In addition all the evidence is hearsay and concerned with somebody leaking information. We all know it happened, get over it. Thank God for Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard, but more importantly guys like Jim Thome and Ken Griffey who played through that era and are clean as a whistle in my book.

-Close second, Brett Favre, retire already. You have become a mediocre QB who wants to be treated as a top tier QB. Last year you did not even stay with the team on road trips. What a great way to show leadership to a younger generation.

-Recent topic in sports I am most amazed at is the dominance of Usain Bolt. Not only did he shatter his own World Record; he still looks as if he is barely trying. He blew away Tyson Gay, who just happened to set the American record in the same race. So how do you follow up a performance like that? Simple, set a new world record in the 200m. He is just so scarily smooth he is like no other sprinter I have ever seen. With all the bad press track & field has gotten with PEDs, I think Bolt can save it. He passes every drug test thrown his way and most importantly has fun while competing. He is exciting to watch and as an American, I cheer for Usain Bolt. I can't help it, seeing records fall by a clean athlete is one of my dirty pleasures.

-Close second, Tiger Woods & Y. E. Yang. This weekend’s PGA Championship was one for the ages. It had an absolute no name player hunting down Tiger Woods in the final round. That in itself is amazing, but what amazes me is that Tiger Woods is so good that all he has done this year is lead the tour in earnings, FedEx points, wins (5), top 10 finishes (11 of 13 events), and his world ranking is nearly double Phil Mickelson who is #2 and we consider it a bad year. That’s right a bad year, Tiger really let us down this year.

-Some personal beliefs I will always hold when writing/talking about sports.

-March/first weekend of April is and always will be the best time for sports all year. It includes March Madness, Opening Day & Spring Training, its crunch time in the NBA and NHL, and because football isn’t on there is coverage on everything.

- Money does not buy Championships. It may give you more room for error but that’s about it. Just ask Dan Snyder of the Redskins.

-High School athletes should go to college, unless they play baseball. This is because of the minor leagues. If other sports had a real minor league (no the NBADL does not count) than I would feel they should go pro.

-My last entry is a question towards my fellow author. Despite my better judgment I ask, which high profile quarterback acquisition in the past week was a smarter football move, Vick to the Eagles or Favre to Vikings. We all know Favre will start more games but which move will lead to a better season?

-It is my belief that Mike Vick is a better pickup. Brett is old he slowed down at the end of the season last year when the Jets' season was on the line. Yes, this year he has AP, but so would have whoever won the Vikings QB battle, my money would have been on the sleeper John David Booty. The Vikings will make the playoffs with or without Brett, they won't win a Super Bowl with him and they wouldn't have with out him. Now Vick, the Eagles have a ton of weapons, if everyone stays healthy. Vick just adds to the mix. He does not take anyone's spot; he isn't taking a significant amount of snaps. However, he will take away an opposing coordinators time by having to put in a game plan for him. That means people will be worried about him, plus anything he does is a bonus. If he steals one game for the Eagles it is more than Brett will do for the Vikings.

Things I Know For Sure About Sports

-There isn’t a bigger disparity in a sports city than in Pittsburgh
-Steelers – strongest franchise in NFL history
-Penguins – franchise hasn’t made a mistake since 2003
-Pirates – Arguably the worst franchise in sports over the past 17 years. But I don’t know anybody who would want to argue against this.

-PED’s will always be in MLB.

-Weed will always be in the NBA.

-Brett Favre will always be in the NFL.

-The “T.O. Show” must be produced by the same people that did “Date my Mom” or “Next” from MTV. The reason this doesn’t work is because you can tell when he reads the cue cards it’s the first time Terrell has read outloud since he was POPCORN reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” in 8th grade.

-Nobody follows the WNBA. Nobody.

-Barry Melrose knows less about his profession than MTV knows about making quality television.

-Guidelines to optimum sporting event viewing:
1.You must be watching with people who are all approximately on the same sports IQ level.
2.High Definition Television
3.Have 1-2 people who are rooting for the other team.
With one stipulation: group must be larger than 4 in this scenario. This puts much more on the line.

-Contrary to what Korean judges think, Roy Jones Jr.
beat Park Si Hun.

-Jimmy Chitwood is the greatest fictional athlete of all time, narrowly edging out Air Bud and Roy Hobbs. In fact here are the 8 fictional athletes of all time (I stopped at 8 because I started to debate whether Coop and Reemer from Baseketball counted and realized how ridiculous it was):
1. Chitwood
So let’s start back a year before this movie starts when the Hickory Huskers were a very good team. We hear that they went deep into the playoffs. Fast forward to next year. New coach. No Jimmy. Huskers start playing like you would think a team that has 7 boys come out for the basketball team would. Uh oh, Jimmy’s back. Team doesn’t lose another game with Jimmy accounting for roughly 90% of the team’s scoring. The final score of the championship game is 42-40. Jimmy scores at least 32 of these points from what we see.

2.Roy Hobbs
Hobbs was well on his way to possibly becoming the best pitcher in baseball. He said he could strike out who was basically Babe Ruth with three pitches. He did. He had to be shot to be stopped. We don’t see him again til he’s well on the other side of his prime, but this time as a slugger. He must have batted .600 in this movie. Then, the only way to stop him…is to shoot him…AGAIN. Accept he parks one to win the whole damn thing that destroys the entire stadium.

3. Air Bud
Here’s the thing about Air Bud. He comes into the game, a game against humans mind you, when he is down 72-56. He puts up a triple-double in about 4 minutes. Against humans. Carries his team to an 83-82 victory. The only thing Air Bud couldn’t do was create his own shot. But I’m nitpicking at this point.

4. Steve Nebraska
In Brendan Frasier’s finest performance of his career he plays Steve Nebraska who gets signed by the Yankees but only plays one game for them. But it was in the
World Series. All Steve Nebraska was throw a perfect game…striking out all 27 batters…with 82 pitches. Obviously this feat will never be duplicated.

5. Teen Wolf
Drags this incredibly awful basketball team to not only win, but be the most exciting team that ever existed. That and he’s doing handstands on moving trucks. Let’s see Lebron do that.

6. Forrest Gump
All-American kick returner. Best ping pong player in the world at one point. Ultra-marathoner.

7. Kelly Leak
Again, drags a god-awful team to compete.

8. Adam Banks
Again, this team was nothing until Banks decided to turn his back on the Hawks and become a Duck.

-NHL playoffs are more exciting than March Madness when you are attached to a team. With no attachment, MM gets the nod.

-You can never have too many LaRoche’s

-The Stanford Tree is the worst mascot in sports.

-Golf is interesting 16 days per year.

-Golf is exciting 4 days per year.

-The NHL, MLB, and NBA seasons are way too long. The NFL manages a 16 game schedule, why can’t these leagues cut theirs’ down to the 50 range at least?

-Decathletes are the best athletes in the world.

-Barry Bonds is like the Beatles. Only in reverse. Run with me here. Before Barry went to the Giants he could do everything. But later became a one dimensional player. He could do one thing better than anyone else. Hit home runs. The Beatles started out one dimensional. But damnit they could pump out those tunes with the most basic lyrics that would make women weep. Kinda like how chicks dig the long ball. (starting to make sense now right? see i told you) The turning point in both of these cases was PED's. Bonds had steroids. The Beatles had LSD.

-Shaq is the funniest athlete in sports