Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Own Farewell

Since Passive Voice and Archie did their own farewell posts, I figured I better do one as well. I'm surprised the good folks at Fire Jay Mariotti haven't jumped all over this because they HATES TMQ, but as a long-suffering Dolphins fan this jumped out at me.

Easterbrook is making the point that Mike Singletary might be a bad choice for the Niners because he's never been a head coach before. As an example, he cited Cam Cameron:

Never-before Cam Cameron's year running Miami? Let's not go there.

No, Gregg, let's please, because I like making you look like a fucking tool. But first let's make like a Secret Service driver in Daley Plaza and back up, because I like to blog like Tarantino. Gregg ALSO said:

Three others had some head coaching experience: Tony Sparano was a small-college head coach at Division II New Haven...

Now let's look at the facts. Tony Sparano was, in fact, the head coach of New Haven from 1994 to 1998. (By the way I fucking love Tony Sparano. He is like the Bizarro Wannstache.) It was a Division II school, but the fact is that he was pretty good there, posting a record of 41-14-1. Not bad at all. But guess what? If you guessed Cam Cameron was a head coach in college, you are smarter than Gregg Easterbrook. Or else you know how to use Wikipedia.

Cameron coached at his own alma mater, Indiana University, from 1997 to 2001. Unlike Bizarro Wannstache, he sucked, winning about a third of his games. Also unlike Bizarro Wannstache, he was actually coaching Division I players, including Antwaan Randle-El, and playing quality Big Ten teams (bear in mind that Michigan was actually pretty good back then) so there's something to be said for that. The two men did go on to be successful coaches in the NFL working for head coaches who knew their shit and are generally very well respected. Coincidentally, they both ended up coaching the Dolphins in consecutive years. Bizarro Wannstache seems to be doing a good job where Cameron won only one more game than I have in my own NFL Head Coaching Career.

What's the point you ask? The point, my friends, is that CAM CAMERON WAS A FUCKING HEAD COACH BEFORE HE TOOK THE DOLPHINS GIG. Easterbrook points this out as if it is the strongest support of his thesis (teams should not give men with no head coaching experience a head coaching job in the NFL) and it is blatantly false. Gregg, you were once a pretty good and interesting writer. Do your fucking homework.

And with that, I bid you readers adieu. Good night, and good luck.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Last Go 'Round

For nostalgia's sake and all. Take it away, Hank Steinbrenner:

"The biggest problem is the divisional setup in major league baseball. I didn't like it in the 1970s, and I hate it now," Steinbrenner wrote. "Baseball went to a multidivision setup to create more races, rivalries and excitement. But it isn't fair. You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we're not. " [sic on this quotation mark, I think] This is by no means a knock on Torre - let me make that clear-but look at the division they're in. If L.A. were in the AL East, it wouldn't be in the playoff discussion. The AL East is never weak."
Sigh. Combined record of Toronto, Boston, Baltimore and Tampa against non-AL East opponents: 164-186, including Boston's strange 16-2 record against the NL. It's been 24 months, man. Come on.

Okay, so long.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ladies and gentleman, the clown show blogger has been put on hiatus for retooling...

Hey, so you know what I forgot to do last night? 52 52 52, finally ending my admittedly somewhat dubious streak at 29. Not bad, I guess. To be honest, I think I've blogged myself out, at least for a little while. It's been going that way for some time, but now I can say with certainty that I'm ready to take a break. I'm not speaking for Djmmm or Passive here, but I'm definitely on vacation. If and when I come back, I'll restart 52 52 52.

For what it's worth, I do have a bit of a secret project with a relatively major blog in the works, which I feel I can safely reveal because nobody reads this thing. But until then? Take it easy, compadres.

Hey, Passive Voice here, rudely intruding on Archie's post. I am skipping country (continent, actually) for awhile, and am betting I won't be thinking too much about bad sports writing. I am pleased to report that this last little update was written from a computer in the extra-deep basement of my parents' house. Farewell.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

52 52 52 Week #29: Illinois

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I can't help but find this whole 52 52 52 endeavor remarkably similar to the video below...

Although, to be fair, I grunt way more than that. I'm talking female tennis player levels of gruntitude. What can I say? I'm a loud worker.

I'm also from Illinois (and, by that, I mean I lived there for the first eight years of my life I actually remember), which makes today's entry rather near and dear to my heart. So let's do our best and give a shout out to everybody's favorite 1325-foot highpoint, Charles Mound:

1. It's described as a "gentle" slope. Why are all our nation's highpoints so damn uninspiring?

2. It's "within the Driftless Area, a region of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, centering on Dubuque, Iowa, that was not covered or ground down by the last continental glaciers." I don't know how interesting that is, but "the Driftless Area" sounds rather badass. Kinda mystical or something. Not really sure. I probably am reading too much Lord of the Rings. By which I of course mean any amount of Lord of the Rings.

3. A couple called the Wuebbels own the land, and they only let people on it four times a year due to theft concerns. That might sound reasonable, but I feel likely this is just part of a larger anti-whippersnapper agenda. Possibly also an expansion of the "get off my lawn" mantra. I'm not sure. Incidentally, I have no reason to assume the Wuebbels are old. I am, in fact, an asshole.

Now, since we're talking Illinois, I really feel I've got to go straight to the source of Illinois's greatest journalistic talent, one Mr. William "F. Buckley" Leitch. That's right people, we're off to Mattoon! Woot! Let's see the sort of sterling journalism that inspired the world's greatest emeritus sports blogger. Journal Gazette scribe Brian Nielsen, the floor is yours. Hit me with your best shot!

Some good signs are there for EIU's offense

Knowing Leitch, I bet this is going to involve breasts. Or some form of pep talk from Ron Zook. I also can't rule out the Arizona Cardinals being involved in some capacity. Maybe the spirit of Barbaro and/or Isaiah Thomas's career? Let's find out together!

Passing the 1,000-yard rushing mark in his career, Travorus Bess might just be showing Eastern Illinois fans he can be the feature running back.

Oh, a running back. How blase. How bland. How old media. How...actual. Frankly, I would have expected something far less relevant.

“I don’t think that was ever a question,” Bess said after running for 183 yards in Eastern’s 47-21 loss at Illinois Saturday. “For some reason, I’ve just seem to always be injured.”

If I may take a moment from pretending to be amazed the Journal Gazette of Mattoon doesn't precisely mimic Will Leitch's writing style, I really need to parse that quote. To whit...

1. If Mr. Bess is, as he puts it, always injured, isn't that precisely why there's a question whether he can be a featured back?

2. Get out your [sic]'s, people, because that second sentence is on the syntactical warpath. Even if I look past the split infinitive, which is something I choose to gladly do (META ALERT!!!), there's still the whole "I've just seem" bit, which can be simplified to "I have seem." Ooh boy. That tense construction ain't right.

3. I guess that's it really. I just really don't like bad grammar.

Just think when the Panthers have Florida transfer Chevon Walker to go with him in a couple of weeks.

Yeah, just think! Tell me more, Brian Nielsen!

Still, Eastern shows reasons for concerns.

And...that's the article. That was it. All four or five (depending on how you chop up the quote) sentences of it.

Yes...I think I can see why Leitch might have left. Although I do feel pretty proud of myself for getting through an entire column like that. I'm a regular reading rainbow, I am. Hmm...

See Brian Nielsen’s column in Monday’s JG/T-C.

Sir, you just gained yourself a reader!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

52 52 52 Week #28: Indiana

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

Great. Just great. I finally get home after weeks and weeks of writing this post on the road, and I'm stuck with a cold or something. So here comes another quickie post. Sorry about that.

Continuing Iowa's Hawkeye Point's theme of unbelievably obviously named highpoints, Indiana is proud to present 1257-foot Hoosier Hill. Here are three things I can't imagine it would hurt for you to know:

1. It's on private property, but the owner put a trail

2. Geologically, it's in part of Indiana that's already unusually high, so it's only about thirty or so feet higher than the surrounding countryside.

3. There's concern that a nearby landfill might end up being taller than Hoosier Hill, making a garbage mound the highest point in Indiana. If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about Indiana, I don't know what will.

Look, I'm sick and I'm tired - not sick and tired, mind you, but still - and so I'm going to have to make this fast. And what better way to do it than to turn to Steve T. Gorches of The Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana for some hot local bowling commentary?

If you're a sanctioned league bowler, then the season-opening league meeting brings up so many quips and quandaries.

That is so like my life that I don't live. Aw shit, I'm slipping into pseudo-profound bullshit. I'm fading fast here, peeps.

My league's meeting was last week and I learned one thing in particular: expect the unexpected.

That's true for many aspects of life in general, but in bowling it's especially true in league meetings when debate is healthy and reasoning is skewed.

I just love that he says that's true of "many aspects of life in general," just that the truthiness of that statement goes quadruple for bowling league meetings. It's like our entire lives are just some pale reflection of the glory that is a bowling league meeting. Also, I bet the beer tastes better there.

Oh yes, reasoning can be quite skewed, and this deduction doesn't come just from one recent meeting.

Phew. For a moment there I thought he might be working with a non-robust sample size.

Last week's encounter just enhanced my opinion built from years and years of shaking my head in preseason meetings.

Let's talk handicap.

Wait, he realizes him writing his column isn't him addressing a league meeting, right? Right!?

With averages rising over the last 15 years, it's understandable that the old standard of 80 percent of 200 has gone by the wayside. But that doesn't mean we have to keep raising it through the roof at the same rate of averages.

Oh goodness, that's only the first paragraph. Of four. ABOUT FUCKING HANDICAPS. And believe me, this is some scholarly, borderline impenetrable shit.

Then he's got even more to say about how many games before averages kick in, which I didn't even realize was a concept, let alone an issue. Seriously, is this how he communicates with his league? Does his league require all proposed rule changes be first aired in a column in The Post-Tribune? Because I'm having trouble understanding this any other way.

Eh, what the hell. I'm tired. I'm sick. Let's just enjoy some vintage thoughts on bloggers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

52 52 52 Week #27: Iowa

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

Hey, gang! I'm super-excited to do this week's post, if only because I've rarely come across anything as inspiring as Iowa's 1670-foot Hawkeye Point...

1. It's north of Siblet, Iowa and really near the Minnesota border! Isn't that incredible?

2. It's near a silo! Like with grain or stuff, I guess! Assuming the silo is still in use!

3. According to Wikipedia, the best way to get there is, "Hike(?)"! That question mark spells mystery, gang! Come on, to the Mystery Machine!!!

OK, OK, Hawkeye Point is no great shakes. But The Iowa City Press-Citizen is happy to provide a compendium of awesomely meaningless quotes regarding everybody's favorite thing: University of Iowa field hockey. Your humble compiler is Ryan Suchomel. Let's do it, folks!

When thinking about national title contenders and the University of Iowa, most people think about singlets first, not skirts.

I had to look up what "singlet" meant. Turns out it's that skintight wrestling leotard thing. I count it as a rare point in favor of my masculinity that I had no idea what that was.

But the Iowa field hockey team has all but one starter back from last season when they went 17-4 and finished ranked fifth in the nation.

"We have a lot of dreams," senior Lauren Pfeiffer said.

Like, this one time, Melissa Helsel totally dreamed she forgot to study for an exam, and another time Caitlin McCurdy had that one dream where she was falling, and another time Amy Baxter dreamed Christian Bale had finally come to take her away, but first he had to fight a dragon with Jude Law's head for some reason. Needless to say, dragon with the head of Jude Law breathed smug Britishness. Fiery, fiery smug Britishness. Basically, this team is a Jungian wet dream, which in turn was a dream...eh, never mind.

"I do think we can be there at the end of the season," Iowa coach Tracey Griesbaum said. "They felt they made a mark last year, but they want to make it in permanent ink marker and not pencil."

What about one of those washable markers? I mean, as long as you don't, you know, wash it, you should be fine. Also, ballpoint? Would that work? Because I've got a shitload of spare Bics lying around somewhere.

In addition, senior Caroline Blaum was an all-Big Ten pick.

"I am really, really excited. Period. Flat out," Blaum said.

I always appreciated when people punctuate their sentences for you! Oh, um...EXCLAMATION POINT! It removes so much ambiguity, doesn't it? Rhetorical question mark?

"I think we have a great team. On paper, it doesn't take a field hockey professional to realize what we have."

Well, I'm not a field hockey professional, but I'd definitely say you have a field hockey team. Yeah, definitely.

And what do I have? Another completed blog post. Oh, OK, fine, have a YouTube clip on the house. Hell, I'll even make up for last week's Reagan-baiting. Or, at least, that's what I'll claim to Djmmm. Don't tell him of my subtle subterfuge!

Move over, Muppets and Michael Caine, you guys are about to get your Dickensian shit owned. Speaking of which, is there anything better than interviews with Muppets?

No, there isn't.


So the between Michael Phelps pwning the world, the US finishing first in the overall medal count (never mind the gold tally; the ChiComms are cheating bastards and the IOC is in the tank for them), and, of course, the Redeem Team taking the gold, I'm feeling rather patriotic. How patriotic, you say?

THIS fuckin' patriotic:


Kobe Bryant told Chris Collinsworth in some interview "Our country is the best." I nodded with self-satisfaction when I heard this.

Hooray for America! Where else but here can a limey, a beaner, and a moose-fucking canuck come together to blog about shitty sports writers? Only in America, my friends. Only in America.