Monday, November 28, 2005

the Secret to Kyle "Footsteps" Boller's success

It took me danged near three years to figure it out, but, I shall pass on my eagle-eye observation, free of charge, to the Ravens' coaching staff:

-- Let him go up against prevent defenses!!! --

When the Bengals were playing a tight cover/2, m2m or split zone, Footsteps completed 6 passes out of 15 attempts for 37 yards, but two of them were completed to Bengals. He also lost a fumble.

But, after 2 and a half quarters, once the Bengals were up 34-0, and the Bengals went into a prevent defense, Footsteps went 14 of 17, 174 yards, and three touchdowns.

It's a brilliant strategy! Let the opposing team *THINK* they've won, that they've sewed up this game, that they can start looking ahead to next week's opponent, and then we turn Footsteps loose!

Here's the catch, though - I'm only SLIGHTLY joking.

It's obvious that this kid is so overcoached right now, he can't think straight. The coaching staff has put so many voices in this kid's head that he can't think straight. Once the pressure is off (read that as : the Ravens are so far behind everything he does from this point on is gravy), he can relax and play.

He's been in the league three years, but plays like a rookie. I know he's been hurt, but stop treating him like a rookie and he might start playing like a three-year veteran.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Jokes Write Themselves

Here's a tip to all the wanna-be comedians and people who want to get paid by writing down funny stuff:


To wit: from by way of the AP...

Ex-FEMA head starts disaster planning firm
DENVER (AP) — Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, heavily criticized for his agency's slow response to Hurricane Katrina, is starting a disaster preparedness consulting firm to help clients avoid the sort of errors that cost him his job.
"If I can help people focus on preparedness, how to be better prepared in their homes and better prepared in their businesses — because that goes straight to the bottom line — then I hope I can help the country in some way," Brown told the Rocky Mountain News for its Thursday editions.

Brown said officials need to "take inventory" of what's going on in a disaster to be able to answer questions to avoid appearing unaware of how serious a situation is.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, critics complained about Brown's lack of formal emergency management experience and e-mails that later surfaced showed him as out of touch with the extent of the devastation.

The lawyer admits that while he was head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency mistakes were made in the response to Katrina. He also said he had been planning to quit before the hurricane hit.

"Hurricane Katrina showed how bad disasters can be, and there's an incredible need for individuals and businesses to understand how important preparedness is," he said.

Brown said companies already have expressed interested in his consulting business, Michael D. Brown LLC. He plans to run it from the Boulder area, where he lived before joining the Bush administration in 2001.

"I'm doing a lot of good work with some great clients," Brown said. "My wife, children and my grandchild still love me. My parents are still proud of me."


Can you imagine their advertising?

1) We'll Show You What Not To Do
2) The Company You Turn To When You Hate Poor Minorities
3) We Do A Heck of a Job
4) Sprained Horse Ankle? I Got Your Back. If It's a Flood, You're F*cked
5) When You Absolutely, Positively Need To Drown Tonight
6) Many Satisfied Client.
7) Hey, It Wasn't My Idea to Make A City UNDER SEA LEVEL! Come On, Cut Me Some Damned Slack!
8) I Can Help If It's Easy
9) Providing Conceptual Support to Evil Corporate Overlords Like in James Bond Movies
10) Infamous Since 2005

Besides the obvious punchlines, and, of which there are many, what I want to know, in all seriousness, is ... what kind of a syncophantic world does this guy live in where he thinks this business venture is even a sliver of a good idea? He must surround himself with folks with more of a brown-nose than a blind midget in a nudist colony.

It's galling to me that a man who many people feel was not interested in saving New Orleans' residents during the flood would think that this is a good time to start this venture. His name has become synonymous (typo corrected 11/28/05) with "aloof" and "failure" - and his e-mail legacy at FEMA is not exactly indicative of somebody with a heart of gold.

This is akin to Russell Crowe teaching anger management classes, O.J. being a murder investigator, or Paris Hilton teaching spelling.

Still, this is America, where people get second, third, fourth and even fifth acts.

Just ask Robert Downey Jr., Steve Howe and Darryl Strawberry.

((Notice how two of them were New York Yankees?))

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Me Likey Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons is "The Sports Guy" on, ESPN the Magazine, and one of the original writers on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. He's a die-hard Boston fan, and his passion for all things Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins is really admirable. His writing on sports is almost "Family Guy"-like - many cultural references, great topical points, and is prone to inducing laughter on a Ferrellian scale.

His column today on the positives of the Red Sox recent trade for Josh Beckett really struck a chord with me. Because he brought up all of the "can't miss" prospects the Red Sox have had, who, well, missed.

Gabe and I have been doing this FOR YEARS with Baltimore Orioles. The game is simple - don't repeat a failed Oriole, and say the name with as much drama as possible. A sample dialogue:

GABE: Leo...Gomez.
RAY: Pete Stanicek, baby.
GABE: I see your Pete Stanicek and raise you a Chris Smith.
RAY: Chris Smith, eh? How about I rub some Manny Alexander in your eye?
GABE: Why you gotta bring Manny into this when I can smack you with some Jay Bell?
RAY: Ouch, Jay Bell! At least he's no Dave Gallagher.
GABE: That bum, he couldn't even hold Dickie Noles' jock.

Then, the stakes get raised...tensions mount. Who will be the first to crack?

RAY: Mickey Weston
GABE: Ron Washington
RAY: Jamie Quirk
GABE: Yorkis Perez
RAY: Oswaldo Peraza

The obscurer, the betterer.

I wrote Herr Simmons a letter expressing my thoughts on the matter:

"In today's column on the Josh Beckett trade, the statement from Terry Crowley-by-way-of-Peter Gammonds about Tim Naehring should be framed and hung in the Museum of Unfortunate Quotes. And since there isn't a Museum of Unfortunate Quotes, let's make one. Various wings of the Museum could include:

Politicians: "No New Taxes" - George H. Bush and "That depends on what your definition of is is" - Bill Clinton)

Inventions - "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates and "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value" - Marshall Ferdinand Foch

Hollywood - "You like me, you really like me" - Sally Field and "Sure, replace Kimmel and Carolla with Rogan and Stanhope; they'll be great" - some fired Comedy Central executive)

Sports : So many good choices, but my favorite would be Tim McCarver in the Blue Jays/Phillies' World Series, as he describes a player's defensive skills "He uses his mitt like a glove.

A special section could be built in this wing for hype bestowed on prospects that just didn't make it. For every Jeff Everett and Rick Asadoorian in Boston, there's a Rick Elder and a Beau Hale for my beloved Baltimore Orioles. Hell, you could have a seperate museum centered around the Orioles' fabulously lousy drafts of the last twenty years.

I won't even mention the e numerous stories about "5-tool, can't miss prospects" like Curtis Goodwin, Alex Ochoa and Keith Reed, or the pitching powress of Beau Hale, Richard Stahl and *shudder* Ben McDonald.

Nor their desire to have every 1985 first rounder on the team at least once (BJ Surhoff, Will Clark, Pete Incaviglia and Rafael Palmeiro).

Needless to say, this could be a big musuem complex, a Meadowlands of Failure.

Anyway, I'll end with a fanboy line of "I love your writing" and I hope you and your staff have a nice holiday. "

I am such a nerd.

- Eat Turkey, y'all

Monday, November 21, 2005

the Dumbing Down of America

Now, I can not take credit for this theory, as it was posited to me by somebody else here in the DC/Baltimore universe. But it's a damned good theory. Whomever came up with this, please step forward and take a bow.

The idea is this - smart, well-to-do, educated people aren't having many kids. Many couples who have the financial means and emotional stability to have kids aren't. And, when they do, they have one, maybe two.

Why is this a problem? Because dumb and poor people keep rutting, and they expand their brood exponentially. Statistics bear out that poverty generally begats more poverty. As is painfully evident on America's Funniest Home Videos and Cops each week, stupidity begats stupidity.

It's generally pretty hard for a stupid, poor kid to go to college. You pretty much need college in order to get a good job. Therefore, lots of dumb people will be put into smart people's jobs because there's not enough smart people to go around.

Countries where education is sacred and work ethic is revered will either export their smart people here, or the smart people jobs will go overseas.

Therefore, those of us in our late 20s, 30s and 40s represent North America's last chance at fending off a massive wave of stupidity in the year 2040. Our children have a fighting chance at fighting off the Stupid Boom by being smart, thoughtful, emotionally-capable people fully functional in the workplace.

So go out and make a baby today! Lots of `em! If Woodsy the Owl or Smokey the Bear or Sexual Harassment Panda or even Gary the No Trash Cougar can say "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," then Humpy the Pregnant Placenta can say "Only You Can Prevent Stupidity!"

Go do it for Humpy! Do it for America! Be a Pregnant Patriot!

(except, don't ask me to do it. I hate kids)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The secret of Lost

It just dawned on me.

The first clue was when Carol Vessey showed up as Jack's wife back in the States.

Last night, Dr. Mike Burton showed up as one of the Tailies.

The island is mysteriously in Stuckeyville, Ohio, and Warren Cheswick is running the whole show.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Am I glad I don't listen to Celiene Dion anymore!

from : The USAToday

Sony BMG's move late Monday to recall nearly 5 million of its controversial copy-protected CDs did little to quiet backlash from consumers, tech-security experts and privacy advocates. The CDs, with XCP copy-protection software from British firm First 4 Internet, are vulnerable to computer viruses. USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham answers some of the many consumer questions that have arisen about the discs.

Q: Just how restrictive are these XCP CDs?

A: The CDs can be played safely in most conventional CD players. But in computers, they can be played only by accepting a software download of a special media player from Sony BMG. Researchers discovered that the software contained a hidden file — called a "rootkit" — that made computers vulnerable to viruses. Microsoft and anti-spyware companies are working on solutions to find and remove the files.

But tech-security researchers say even tech-savvy individuals who try to uninstall the XCP files on their own could be asking for trouble. Rob Enderle, an independent technology analyst, says the only way to get your computer back to normal is to reformat the hard drive and re-install the operating system. "A rootkit changes the operating system and is incredibly insidious," he says. "If you leave it on your machine, it will become one of those things that drive you insane with intermittent crashes and instability."

Q: What's the worst thing that can happen to my computer?

A: Spyware writers have developed programs that can piggyback on the hidden files, potentially wreaking havoc.

But tech-security researchers say even tech-savvy individuals who try to uninstall the XCP files on their own could be asking for trouble. Rob Enderle, an independent technology analyst, says the only way to get your computer back to normal is to reformat the hard drive and re-install the operating system. "A rootkit changes the operating system and is incredibly insidious," he says. "If you leave it on your machine, it will become one of those things that drive you insane with intermittent crashes and instability."


So, Sony installs a copy-protection software program that essentially installs itself into the root of the computer, hides the file names that it installs, and opens the machine up to a host of viruses, trojans, and other security issues, just in order to prevent the illegal copying of CDs.

The CDs afflicted with this software:
Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (who?)
Sarah McLachlan, Bloom Remix Album (I used to love her, then I grew balls.)Celine Dion, On Ne Change Pas (go back to Vegas, Frenchie)
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (as long as none of them are "Heartlight," we're cool)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (uh...who? And then who the hell wrote your songs?)

Chris Botti, To Love Again (not sure this guy is in the target CD-copying demo...or, even who he is)
Pete Seeger, The Essential Pete Seeger (how is he still alive?)

Cyndi Lauper, The Body Acoustic (this would be hot in 1985)
Burt Bacharach, At This Time (amazing how an Austin Powers cameo can make him seem hip again...10 years ago...)
Ricky Martin, Life (go back to the bathhouse with George Michael, Ricky.)

All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross, So Amazing (I'd love to hear Smashmouth cover him.)

In any event, Sony is now on the same level as those scammers who install adware/spyware, autodialers, redirects, Java bombs, etc... all in the name of file protection.

To protect their musical rights to Celine Dion???

Obviously they knew what they were getting into mucking around with the root and registry values, and they are now rightly getting smacked down on all the tech blogs and forums.

I love how the record companies are SO concerned over copy-protection. Now that their efforts to manipulate our computers are shot, maybe Sony can beg/manipulate the U.N. to invade China's mass reproduction facilities?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Make the madness stop. Please.

Dear Baltimore Ravens:

I have witnessed the horror of the 2005 season with the same kind of morbid curiousity with which a bystander watches a trainwreck. I am glued to each week's games, and, even though they've been full of horror, I can not turn away.

Right when I thought the team hit rock bottom in allowing the lowly Detroit Lions win, with a near-record setting amount of penalties, the abyss only went deeper with a horrible loss to the even-lowlier Chicago Bears.

Then, the bottom REALLY dropped out in a 30-3 smackdown from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Now, I could simply wring my hands, gnash my teeth, and swear I'll never go to another game. I'm not one of those fans, and we all know that such threats are made in the passion of the moment. They don't come from a logical part of the brain, but from the part that makes us overindulge in donuts or gambling, and promise we'll never do it again.

Until we see the Krispy Kreme Kasino or the Tom Horton's Room at the Bellagio.

This season has been an unmitigated disaster. Some players have scored more touchdowns than the entire Ravens team. The defense is looking older, slower, and definitely exhausted. The offensive line has more holes than a Tom Clancy plot.

So, I can merely make the following suggestions to make the season a little bit more fun.

1) Change the players' names and numbers to confuse the other team, and the play-by-play dudes. Let Matt Stover give up his wimpy kicker number 3 and give him a bonafide Ray Lewis 52. Make him feel like a real football player. Conversely, give Ray Lewis Kyle Boller's jersey. Maybe that way the defense can get an interception.

Plus, who wouldn't want to hear something like "Ogden's back to pass...say, when did he become white?"

2) Let Anthony Mason call the offensive plays. Apparently he's the only one who knows what a real offense is.

3) Bench Jamal Lewis. Let Chester Taylor and Musa Smith play. By the way...where in the hell has Chester Taylor been, anyway? He's actually pretty good, and received exactly ZERO carries on sunday. Good game plan, coaching staff.

4) Call Orlando Brown "Charlie." I'm sure that won't piss him off.

5) Bring in the only quarterback who's ever played well at the Ravens' football stadium. No, not Trent Dilfer.

Shane "Footsteps" Falco from The Replacements.

If that's not possible, can we at least call Kyle Boller "Footsteps?"

6) Buy a nice house in Reisterstown for Reggie Bush or Matt Leinart, whichever will be the first round draft pick. If it's Leinart, start prepping the cheerleaders now. Shorter skirts, more cleave, less morals.

7) Sign Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro. They're not doing anything else.

8) Is that fat kid from "Varsity Blues" still around? The Ravens could use the help on the O-line.

9) Call me crazy, but I'm thinking it's time to start the Brian St. Pierre era in Baltimore.


10) Some of those rioting French kids look like they have pretty good arms...

In any event, dear Ravens, it's not too late to salvage this season. If not for the playoffs, but for draft placement. We can get the number one pick...anyway we can throw the game against the equally-hapless Houston Texans?

Love always,


PS - I'm never going to another Ravens' game ever if Kyle isn't nicknamed Footsteps.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Football versus football versus football

So, Gatorade has the commercial about football, and football, and football. The voiceover guy describes how three different sports (US football, soccer and Aussie rules football) are all called Football.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that US football is misnamed, because players don't use their feet to kick the ball as their hands to hold it and throw it. But, as I'm an American, and to minimize confusion, US football is football, Euro football is soccer, and Oz football is rugby.

A young man dubbed Stu in Portland, Oregon, is originally from England. He finds America's most popular team sports, football and baseball, are too slow compared to his beloved soccer, what he dubs "proper football."

Oh, yeah, proper football - the sport where guys run around for 90 minutes, have the refs stop the play and issue penalties with little-to-no-explanation, no real accurate clock is kept because of mysterious "penalty time" and players get traded between countries and leagues so that only 10 teams in 14 countries have any real chance of winning? AC Milan, Man U, Arsenal, Real Madrid and... there's not many after that.

If an American football player fumbles the ball in the end zone, he gets benched. If a Columbian proper football player accidentally puts the ball in the wrong goal, he gets killed.

If there's a bad call in American football, the refs can look it over on instant replay. If there's a bad call in European proper football, there's a riot.

I spent two years in college watching Dutch, Italian and English Premiere League soccer because I was fairly convinced I'd be assigned to a European broadcast office. I concluded after two years of dedicated watching and various articles on the subject that soccer is in definite need of reinventing itself or it will self-destruct - much like the NHL did, and what US Baseball is in danger of as well.

Why? Here's a few reasons:

1) European Leagues are filling up with non-Europeans. I had a joke at an NHL game a couple of weeks ago, referring to the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning - "Our Russians are better than your Canadians!" All 68 people in attendance laughed, and I think I saw Alexander Ovechkin nod in approval.

All sports with an international following become more expensive and harder for the average fan to root for when they can't connect with the players on the court, culturally and ethnically. Canada and the NHL worked because the sport is part of the culture, and Canadian culture is part of the sport. Once Europeans, specifically Russians, became part of the mix in the `80s, NHL teams were forced to compete with each other for attracting top talent moreso than developing their own in the minors. As a result, there was a disconnect between the top players and the fans who supported them.

This is the same thing happening in soccer. The top African and Arab players are being bought by the rich European clubs. Occasionally a lesser European player or aging South American star will be signed by an American club, but it's really the Euro teams buying top foreign talent...often at the expense of European players. And, as is painfully evident in France the past couple of weeks, there's still a disconnect between ethnic Europeans and immigrant Europeans.

2)The rich get richer... When Beckham was traded this past year, it was from one wealthy club to another. The disparity in player payrolls from one club to another is amazing. In England, for instance, how can Birmingham possibly compete financially with Manchester? Arsenal? Liverpool? They can't. Sure, they might win a game from time to time, but, year in, year out, the teams that get promoted to Premiere League status face a hell of challenge staying there. Smaller clubs simply can't spend the cash of the big boys.

The NHL allowed teams from smaller Canadian towns to move to Sun Belt US Cities in an effort to gain more revenue, and attract new fans. All that did was alienate the base group of the league. Seat prices skyrocketed, historic teams suddenly became marketing ideas, and the league expanded, thinking more teams would equal more revenue.

Overexpansion diluted the level of play, and keep high-revenue teams like the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars - two former Northern teams from Quebec and Minnesota - successful at the expense of the smaller Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The NHL instituted a salary cap this year, and suddenly, the playing field is a lot more even and wildly unpredictable. Of course, the NHL had to lose a season and gawd-knows-how many fans in order to learn its lesson.

3) Lack of instant replay ignores the technological advances made in the world. American football has used technology well, from camera placement to protective gear to medical science. Instant replay became a logical solution to many of the problems of plays simply being too close to call with the naked eye. The NHL learned the same things - using high-tech materials to make more durable sticks, better helmets, and cameras to ensure proper call of goals.


Sure, shin guards might be a bit better, but the game is judged exactly like US baseball - using the naked eye. And, as evidenced in the playoffs and World Series this year - humans make mistakes.

Knowing the emotional capital the average soccer fan puts into the sport, what if a World Cup match gets decided by a mistaken goal call?

That there's already pushback against the Adidas soccer ball with a microchip to prevent mistakes doesn't bode well for introducing technology in the sport.

4) American sports are designed to be enjoyed and savored. Baseball breaks between innings to allow for bathroom breaks, hot dogs, beers. Football is the same way. Soccer doesn't allow itself to take breaks. While that's cool in one respect, that doesn't allow for fans to take a break, or let drama build in silence. Think of every great play or movie...the heaviest drama occurs during lulls, when emotional weight is heightened.

Soccer fans start chanting before the game, and often are worn out by minute 90.

Instead of two 45 minute halves (which never last 45 minutes anyway), soccer should go to 3 30 minute periods. Allows for more commercial breaks for tv, more bathroom and food breaks for fans, and gives the riot police more time to get into position.

Rugby learned to make itself much more TV and fan-friendly over the years.

Why else should they break up the game? Well, honestly, soccer is the most over-advertised sport in the world. The players wear advertising on the field. I'm not talking a small Reebok symbol on the shoe or Nike on the jersey, but BIG FRICKIN' LETTERS "Vodaphone" or "Motorola" or "Carlsburg." How in the world can you root for an advertisement? I hate the damned New York Yankees, but their jerseys say "Yankees," not "Sirius Satellite Radio."

"Hey, way to go, Watney's Red Barrels!"

Puh-lease. When I put on a jersey, it's because a fan of a team or a player, not because I happen to particularly associate with a brand of cheese or cell phone. Americans like uniforms with team names on them, or, at least the name of the town. We don't need to advertise for some credit card on our jerseys.

The exception to this is NASCAR. Granted, car racing is more about the car than athletics, but those dudes dress up like walking billboards. Half of them could be tagged with graffiti and you wouldn't be able to notice.

And NASCAR fans LOVE their sponsors. Hell, for years, Ricky Rudd was sponsored by Tide. Millions of Southerners bought Tide t-shirts, Tide hats, Tide flags, and Tide blankets. They loved Ricky and they loved Tide. The fact that most of them looked like they never used Tide detergent one time in their dirty little lives is secondary.

Soccer players dress like NASCAR drivers with teeth.

5) "Anybody can play soccer" is a routine comment to support soccer's Everyman status. And while it's true that anybody with legs and a ball (arms optional) can play the game, doesn't that somewhat lessen the status of these players? Many American men played football growing up; few played it beyond high school. Why? Because the average NFL player is a physical specimen - fast, strong, massive. It is very hard to be 6'4", 275 pounds and able to run 40 yards in less than 5 seconds. In fact, it's hard to be 5'9", 195 pounds and run 40 yards in less than 5 seconds. NFL players do it routinely.

Baseball players have to be able to react to a 90 mile-per-hour pitch from less than 70 feet away. This means a hitter has to react to a baseball 1/10th the size of a soccer ball and whip a bat around at 100 miles-per-hour to even have a chance of hitting the ball. They then need to run 90 feet in less than 5 seconds to even have a chance of getting to first base. The two hardest things to do in sports is to hit a baseball well and the Tour De France. A close third would be to hold on to a football after getting pummelled by a 265 pound linebacker like Ray Lewis or LeVar Arrington.

Soccer...well, let's have to be able to run and kick a ball.

I'm not minimizing the athletic ability of soccer players as much as I'm saying "it ain't that damned hard." The players are fast runners, and they have strong legs. They can kick a ball. Goalies have to have lightning fast reflexes. But running and kicking a ball is basic. Freddy Adu is hardly old enough to drive a car but is already a pro soccer player (then again, if you think Freddy Adu is 16 you need to have your sanity checked). He (allegedly) was 14 and a pro. A 14 year old baseball player is simply not going to get his bat around on a Roger Clemens' fastball, or a Billy Wagner slider. He's not going to be able to play 162 games in a summer. A 14 year old football player would be killed, if not made permanently retarded, if he got hit by Brian Urlacher or Sean Taylor.

He'd be destroyed in Australia on simple general principle. Those guys are the roughest people in the world. They make hockey players seem genteel. A rugby scrum is not the place for a new teenager. Hell, I'd imagine Superman would come out with some bruises against rugby players. At least a black eye and a cleat to the groin.

In America and Australia, size matters.

Soccer players writhe around on the ground after getting kicked in the leg. Football players take a play or two off after getting a concussion. Rugby players drink a beer with a dislocated shoulder.


Soccer players need to get bigger, or tougher, or less whiny. Something. They just look ridiculous rolling on the ground. I don't want to get all Jim Rome-esque on this, but he's so damn right. "Stop rolling, Euro! You look like a pansy. You just got kicked in the leg, time to flop. At least Nancy Kerrigan got hit with a pipe, and she's a girl, yet she sacked up more than you, Euro soccer boy. Here's Bill in Pasadena, welcome to the Jungle, what is up?"

((that's really funny in my Jim Rome impersonation voice, too. Great job.))

6) Way too many frickin' tournaments. The World Cup I can deal with. The European Cup I can deal with. But there are so many qualifiers for the World Cup, the UEFA Cup, the Pan-American Cup, CONCACAF, The Saharan Cup, the Protective Cup, The Dixie Cup. They might as well join the Breeder's, Davis and America's Cups while they're at it.

Do they win the Stanley Cup next?

I'm sure these tourneys are all very important, but they disrupt the flow of the regular season. Injuries occur in these tournaments, and suddenly, valuable players are out of their professional jobs. If David Beckham breaks his foot playing for England in the UEFA, don't you figure Real Madrid would be PISSED?

This is exactly why I hate professional athletes in the Olympics. For years, the Americans put out amateur baseball, hockey and basketball players, and always did well. Maybe not always the Gold, but certainly Silvers and Bronze Medals. Watching the US Olympics in 1980, watching that hockey game STILL gives me the shivers 25 years later. Those kids WANTED that was the biggest moment of their lives. Such a big moment, it was immortalized in a movie, Miracle.

Pros play to not get hurt. And that's why the so-called Dream Teams were utterly boring. Wow, you mean Michael Jordan is a better player than some dude from Greece? SHOCKER!!

I'm all for getting the best players together, but do it on a level playing field. Suspend all league play for a half-year, and make the World Cup Qualifiers and Finals a six month event. Have the best US players play the best Mexican players, have the best English play the best Germans, and then culminate the end of the year with the World Cup itself. This way, the best players don't have to worry about their pro teams and leagues, and can concentrate on playing the best soccer for their respective countries.

More drama. Better quality of play. Less chance of a key injury ruining a professional team's chances of winning because Christoph Metzelder got turf toe in the middle of his pro season at an exhibition game for the EUFA Cup.

(He plays for Germany, for the record. Don't ask me his pro team, but his jersey probably has a cell phone on it.)

Baseball is talking about a World Cup themselves. Not a horrible idea, but this should take place before Spring Training, after the Super Bowl. A month-long tournament before the season featuring each country's best players makes more sense than breaking up the season in the middle.

7) Eliminate ties as much as possible. Ties suck. There aren't ties in war. There aren't ties in poker. The NHL has taken every step possible to eliminate ties now, and, you know what - the games' a bit better now. It means more during the game itself, because no team wants to put its goalie in a must-win situation.

8) Leave the goal posts alone.

Some people say Americans need more scoring in the game to make it more interesting to us. I don't buy that. Lots of Americans love a well-pitched baseball game that ends 1-0. A good defensive football match can be 9-6. Sure we'd like a touchdown, but sometimes that's just not in the cards. Hey, I'm a Baltimore Ravens' fan - I know a well-played football game can end without touchdowns, because the purple-and-black don't score too many!

In soccer, a good offensive game can be 2-1. A blowout is 4 - nil. Those are viable baseball or hockey scores. Nothing wrong with that. But the bastardized version of soccer that is available in this country, indoor soccer, is ridiculous. It resembles real soccer the way Arena football resembles real football - it doesn't! I don't need to see a 15-12 indoor soccer game, where each goal is celebrated by cheerleaders shooting t-shirts into the stands.

In fact, I think the only reason why indoor soccer and arena football exist in America is for people to get an opportunity to grab a free t-shirt. People go apeshit over free t-shirts. Guys will elbow little kids and chicks will show boob just to win a t-shirt.


Those are just a few suggestions about how to improve soccer, or at least keep it Real.

To summarize:

1) Reconnect with your fans with identifiable players
2) Get a salary cap
3) Embrace some technology
4) Make it more TV and fan-friendly
5) Get a real team name, Frenchy
6) Stop being so damned wimpy
7) Rearrange your tournaments to make sense
8) Ties suck
9) Keep the game dimensions the same

And, #10...

Give out free t-shirts so chicks will show boob.

War random rants about Euro sports!

Telecomedian, out.

Monday, November 07, 2005

2, 4, 6, 8, when can we consummate? Go Panthers


Carolina Panther cheerleaders Angela Keathley and Renee Thomas were arrested early Sunday morning at a Tampa Bay area bar after a bathroom fight. According to the police report, witnesses say the two Top Cat cheerleaders were having sex in a stall at Banana Joe's, when other female bar patrons waiting to use the bathroom started shouting at them. After leaving the stall Thomas allegedly punched one of the other female customers in the face, and when arrested used a false identity. Keathley was said to be so drunk she was barely able to stand.

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I'm not sure, but I think this is hilarious. Not because two women made out in a Tampa bar. That happens all the time. Nothing shocking there.

I think it's hilarious because two women were having sex with each other at a place called Banana Joe's. Banana Joe's sounds like the name of a bad tiki bar in Omaha. Big loud-mouthed deejays talking about "1/2 priced margaritas for all the ladies ALL NIGHT LONG at Banana Joe's!"

A quick Google scan of Banana Joe's in Tampa pulled up a link to Tampa Mojo and tales of hotties in the back room of Banana Joe's. The pictures on this website show lots of women hugging and dancing with each other, which quickly makes me figure that:

1) there aren't any men in Tampa
2) there are lots of hot lesbians in Tampa
3) lots of cute girls in Tampa try to lure sucker men into their clutches with provocative dancing and suggestive hugging of other women. Guys think "Hot potential lesbian 3 ways and stuff! Buy them shots, quick!"

I'm going with #3.

As Bill Maher says "that's just chum in the water," and damn he's right. Why are guys so damned predictable about hot girl-girl action? It ain't gonna happen with average girls, like a bank teller from Topeka and a payroll administrator from Ames. In the bar, sure they'll playfully tug each others' hair and grab their butts, but at the end of the night, they like the cock.

For hot girl-girl action in public, you gotta find two hot NFL cheerleaders.

Adventures in Renting...

At 4:04pm, Friday, November 4, 2005, I received a phone call from my roommate that means something entirely different now than what she intended:

"The apartment is flooding."

I live in bumpy Arlington, Virginia, above sea level, and on the side of a steep hill that many well-conditioned cyclists can't climb without a dismount-and-stroll to the top. But, logic failing, I nonetheless imagined New Orleans-style flooding, with Jayme chopping through her bedroom ceiling with an axe (and probably scaring the piss out of the folks who live above us) to avoid the advancing tide.

However, it was merely a broken or a blocked pipe - the plumber couldn't tell - and it overflowed water out from a joint and through the drywall over our dining room's ceiling. Messy and wet - good things in sex; bad for a dining room.

Here's what kills me. Obviously, a pipe is broken/blocked somewhere. The ceiling is dripping, and you just don't see that everyday. However, the plumber isn't allowed to fix the pipe because our property management company "didn't give him permission to" chop out the bad pipe and the ruined drywall.

How in the HELL else do you propose fixing the pipe, slim? Tearing through the bedroom from above? Knocking out my next-door neighbors' walls and repairing it from the side. Oompa-Loompas?

Besides...the drywall is already dripping water. There's a hole in it already. Another hole ain't gonna ruin it anymore than it already is.

Asshats. Every single last one of them.