March 31, 2007


I tuned in a couple minutes late. Why did CBS replay last year's championship game?

Conley Too Much for G'Town

We sure jinxed 'em good Brien! Great job. Now I win one pool if OSU wins Monday against either team and the other pool if OSU beats UCLA.

I've talked to many Georgetown fans this past week about the seemingly obvious Roy Hibbert jump to the pros. They all said no way. He put up 19 pts and 6 boards, and played very well against Oden. How is he not a top-10 pick if he comes out now?

UCLA-Florida National Semifinal Preview

Special thanks to Michael Prodanovich of Orange County, CA, the only person I know who watches PAC-10 basketball, for submitting this piece for us.

Well my official game analysis has nothing to do with UCLA or Florida, but about history. In the 1990 championship game UNLV clobbered Duke. In the 2006 championship game, Florida clobbered UCLA. In the 1991 semifinals, UNLV and Duke met again in a rematch, with the previous winner being an overwhelming favorite. Ditto for Florida and UCLA this year. And with Ben Howland bringing in the top HS player in the country (Love) to UCLA next year, I predict a Duke-like upset, and a Duke-like run of dominance. So, say hello to Duke-west. Hey, UCLA, "THIS IS WHY YOU SUCK."

For some actual analysis, this is your classic mismatch game. UCLA has an overwhelming advantage in the back court, with Darren Collison as a classic pass-first point guard (think Jacque Vaughn but also a great outside shooter), and Arron Afflalo, the top two-guard in the country who can handle the ball, create his own shot, and has range to 25 feet. However, Florida's advantage on the front line is equally as strong with "call me" Al Horford and Jo-Kim "how many chick names can I have" Noah, with only 22% free throw shooter Lorenzo Mata being big enough to body them. I'd say UCLA should use their guard ability to trap and run...but they, like Florida are a defense-first team who likes to play a slow, bruising style of ball (when they played Wazzu in Pullman March 1st, that was #2 against #11, and with a final score of 53-45, it looked more like a football game than a basketball game). In a low scoring game, the underdog always has a chance, but in a defensive game, the team with the better front line usually has the advantage.

Now excuse me while I catch some rays...its 80 degrees outside.

Major NFL Salary Cap Loophole

Thanks to ESPN the Magazine for pointing this out to me. As most of us know, NFL contracts contain performance incentives. The NFL classifies those incentives as "likely to be earned" (LTBE) or "not likely to be earned" (NLTBE). LTBE counts against the cap, but NLTBE does not.

So for example:
-$1M if Larry Johnson gains over 1000 yds rushing = LTBE
-$1M if Sean Taylor lets Plaxico blast by him < 5 times = NLTBE

Here's the catch. ALL special teams incentives and incentives added DURING the season are classified LTBE. If a LTBE incentive is not reached, the cap is credited by that amount the next season.

Example 2: Team A has $12M in cap room on Sept. 1. That cap room doesn't do anything for the team during the season, and can't be carried over. However, if the team goes back and adds $2M special teams incentive clauses to the contracts of 6 six offensive linemen, something as silly as registering 10 special teams tackles, the team eats up the rest of the cap for that year. Then, when none of those incentives are earned, the team gets a $12M credit towards next year's cap.

According to ESPN the Magazine, the Pats gave C Dan Koppen a $1.9M special teams incentive clause. Koppen doesn't play on special teams. They accounted for $1.9M of unused cap space and got a credit for that amount this season. Then they signed Adalius Thomas.

Nats Fans Apprently Delirious

Ignore the time stamp. I can't sleep.

I was briefly interested in attending the Nats-O's exhibition game tomorrow at Really Freaking Krappy Stadium, ignoring that I'm having furniture delivered between 1p and 4p, so I checked Craig's List for some great deals. Below is a sampling of the posts. Did I mention that it's an exhibition? At Really Freaking Krappy Stadium?

I have four seats available from my season ticket group for this Saturday's Exhibition game with the O's. The seats are in the first row of Section 308 just under the overhang at RFK. The seats are four together at the start of row 1 (seats 2 thru 5, there is no seat 1 in that row due to the steps). Price is our season tix price of $34 per seat ($136) plus one parking pass ($12). No markup. Put your feet up on the railing, watch your friends pass by, chat and enjoy the game. My office is in Georgetown.

He's serious. He thinks that upper deck tickets for the last exhibition game, aka the "no one we care about is tiring out their arm game", should go for face value. I would post a picture of the pristine view from 308A, over first base, but the Nationals failed to provide that one selling point on their website.

And how about this genius:

I have 1 ticket to this game tomorrow: Section 212, Row 11, Seat 7. Face value is $50 but I'm selling for $30. I live in Alexandria/Groveton (22306 zip) area and would prefer that you pickup. I may be able to deliver.

Oh, gee, you MAY be able to deliver. I guess if I'm buying a single ticket to an exhibition game I'm enough of a loser to go pick the piece of paper up myself. At least he is doing potential buyers the big favor of discounting his $50 (!!!!) mezzanine ticket. Does anyone else find it suspicious that he has "1 ticket to 'this' game tomorrow"? He is referring to the Nats-O's game right?

I think this one is especially good:

Hi there. We have 4 great seats that are 7 rows from the field in section 119. Face value is $120/ticket. We can send a Paypal invoice and FedEx these tickets ASAP. Write back with any questions. Thanks! Sunday 3/31/2007 Baltimore Orioles 4 (1/2 price, $60/ticket)

Well, he did say hi. This guy was kind enough to include a picture:
I know, it's hard to see. You'll have to trust me that this is in the middle of a Nats-Mets game. The seats are great, but you'll notice that the upper deck is about 10% full (Recall the $34/ticket guy in 308A?). The lower deck RF corner is about 80% full. This is REGULAR SEASON, meaning the game means the Mets.

So what have we learned? Nats fans are dumb enough to think that people will pay face value to see a crappy minor league game with major league uniforms in a crappy stadium. If Bill Simmons is right that the NL is like AAAA baseball, the Nats are AAAA Rookie League at best, on a good day, when the actual players are playing. Buy a $5 scalper upper deck ticket, if the scalpers even bother to show, and "relocate" yourself to front row of the upper deck behind home plate. After the game, if you're still awake, go somewhere and watch the Final Four.

OSU-Georgetown Official Game Analysis

After tens of hours of analysis, including my own proprietary models for predicting with total accuracy the outcome of NCAA games, I am proud to present the offical ECB game prediction for tomorrow's OSU-Georgetown National Semifinal:
That's right! Even Sammy Hagar agrees: I CAN'T DRIVE ON 55! He also might want to get that neck checked out. Lay the point! ECB guarantees* the game will not end in a tie!

As for the other National Semifinal game, between reigning National Champion Florida and UCLA, ECB has no comment. UCLA only played one game of interest, back on February 10th against WVU. The Georgia Tech game was on a neutral court and the Michigan game wasn't even forced upon the detainees at Gitmo. All their other games were against non-Eastern Time Zone opponents. I'll try to track down one of my left coast friends to provide some commentary if I can drag one off the beach long enough.

*Guarantee has no cash value whatsoever. The author merely puts his reputation on the line, for whatever that's worth.

March 30, 2007

Hansbrough = Ladies Man

Check out this link for some sexy Tyler Hansbrough senior portraits. You know you want it.

Minor Shakeup for NFL on Fox

Fox announced today that Joe Buck would be returning to play-by-play duties full-time. Curt Menafee will now host the studio show in its entirety. Buck was given the option of doing only the pre-game show or only the play-by-play. To the detriment of all of us, he chose to stay in the booth. The show will now be done in-studio, rather than at the site of the "Game of the Week." Reports of Troy Aikman's attempted suicide have not yet been substantiated.

Clearly, Fox adhered to the patently absurd notion that viewers could not get enough Joe Buck for far too long. Of the Aikman-Buck-Collinsworth booth, two were great and one was a distraction. Fox picked the wrong one. They felt that they could let James Brown go to CBS, instantly lending that previously-awful pre-game show a sense of credibility, and replace him with Joe Buck before the game and Curt Menafee at halftime and the post-game show. Now that everything has shaken out, Fox is where they were prior to last season, except they traded James Brown for Curt Menafee. And they lost Collinsworth to NBC and the NFL Network and HBO, making Fox apparently the only network that does not employ him.

Apparently, Buck still has his fans, but even they agree that Fox blew up a really good thing.

I Appreciate You

Great post by No One Appreciates Me on the Redskins offseason strategy.

Chuck Klosterman's Running Final Four Blog

I'm posting THIS link to Chuck Klosterman's running blog of practice day at the Final Four in Atlanta not because I think you check this site more often than, but rather because of the satisfaction it gives me to beat Brien to a post about his favorite writer.

CNNSI Writer Masquerades as MLB Ump

Check out this very interesting article recounting Tom Verducci's day masquerading as an MLB ump for an O's-BoSox Grapefruit League game.

Time to Give Jimbo Some Credit

So everybody is giving Jim Bowden crap for his handling of the Soriano situation and not getting rid of Fonzy at the trade deadline last year and getting at least one or two prospects for him. Probably a legitimate beef. But let's take a look back at a crowning jewel of last season for Jim Bowden and how he absolutely fleeced the Reds in a trade.

On July 13, 2006, Bowden sent RHP Gary Majewski, LHP Bill Bray, RHP Daryl Thompson, and infielders Royce Clayton and Brendan Harris to the Reds for SS Felipe Lopez, RF Austin Kearns, and RHP Ryan Wagner. The Reds desperately needed bullpen pitching to set up their ill-fated and ultimately unfruitful postseason run, and the Nats decimated their bullpen with this trade and acquired Kearns, who made it known to many people that he was unhappy coming to Washington given that he had grown up just outside the 'Natti in northern Kentucky.

Fast forward to today, three days before Opening Day. Let's run through where these players are...
Bill Bray - Sent down by the Reds at the end of Spring Training to AAA
Gary Majewski - Sent down by the Reds at the end of Spring Training to AAA
Royce Clayton - Contract not picked up by the Reds, now a bench infielder for the Blue Jays.
Brendan Harris - Traded to the Devil Rays in January 2007 for the infamous "player to be named later." Now a bench infielder.
Daryl Thompson - In the Reds minor league system.

Ryan Wagner - Promoted from AAA, now in the Nats bullpen, a quality set-up man for Chad Cordero.
Felipe Lopez - Batting leadoff for the Nats, possibly a 40 stolen base man, starting at 2B.
Austin Kearns - No longer disgruntled, gave a great interview on The Junkies yesterday about how excited he is to be on the team, to move into the new ballpark next year, power hitter who will bat cleanup for the Nats and start in RF.

This will go down as one of the most lopsided trades in a very, very long time. Lopez and Kearns are seen as two centerpieces for the rebuilding of the Nats, as both are in their 20s and have long careers ahead of them. Credit where credit is due to Jim Bowden.

Revealing the Brackets

Here are your faithful contributors Final Four picks from a few weeks ago:


UCLA over Oregon
OSU over Georgetown



Kansas over Florida

Kansas over UNC

Russell (apparently has a sense of humor...)

Kansas over Maryland
Texas over TAMU

Texas over Kansas


Georgetown over TAMU
Kansas over Florida

Kansas over Georgetown

So clearly, I'm the only one watching this weekend's games with a financial stake in the outcome. Unfortunately I apparently selected both underdogs, UCLA and OSU.

March 29, 2007

JeMarcus Russell Rumors Alive and Well

Thanks to Len Pasquarelli for making me look especially prescient earlier this morning. Here is ESPN's article on the Skins pursuit of the next big thing.

Exclusive Interview with Redskins GM

East Coast Bias is proud to present our first exclusive interview with the new GM of the Washington Redskins.

ECB - Rumors are swirling that the Redskins are interested in JeMarcus Russell. With the 6th pick, how do you plan to move up in the draft to select him?

GM -

ECB - But don't you have a quarterback in Jason Campbell?

GM -

ECB - You have a very interesting strategy. Where do you see the team going over the next five years?

GM -

Required Reading

  • Check out CNNSI for a very Carlinesque take from Frank Deford on some sports cliches that need to be retired.

  • Unless Trump's designated wrestler defeats McMahon's designated wrestler on Saturday, Trump's hair will pay the price. That is, assuming Trump's hair doesn't put up a fight of its own.

  • The Washington Post reports that Joe Gibbs said that a trade for Lance Briggs is not imminent, and that the Skins are interested in trading up. Perhaps those JeMarcus Russell rumors had some substance. Shouldn't Gibbs have checked with his GM before making statements?

  • DeadSpin found out that the SID at the College of Southern Idaho asks some very interesting questions of their softball players.

  • SportsPickle, as always, has exclusive scoops on huge stories. Donovan to leave Florida for somewhere he can win a national championship. Texans upset to find out that Schaub really is worse than Michael Vick. Mets' P Oliver Perez' white line superstition now includes the rubber as well as the foul lines.

USA v. Guatemala Recap

Same jerseys this game. Apparently USA Soccer is not reading this blog. At least they went with the white shorts instead of the all blue look. Compare our unis to the Guatemala ones, big difference, huh? I really like Guatemala's jerseys, even though I'm not usually a big fan of the asymmetrical look (like the Memphis Tigers' b-ball jerseys).

Ninety minutes of 0-0 soccer can get kind of boring. The US had a few good scoring chances, but for the most part, Guatemala played in their own end of the field and frustrated the American offense. I thought that we did a fairly good job of controlling the ball in the middle of the field, but we had a hard time creating scoring opportunities because our forwards never got a chance to run free. Guatemala didn't have much of an attacking style at all for most of the game. They were content to sit back on defense and hope Ruiz could score on a counterattack.

I'll be interested to see how the rematch in the Gold Cup (June 7) is different. Maybe Guatemala will play a more attacking style when it's not a friendly. Hopefully they won't play a more physical game. There were a lot of hard fouls in the game, and it looked like Guatemala was getting the best of the confrontations, but the US was called for a lot more fouls.

No Bruce Arena in the booth for this game, I'm not sure why. Eric Wynalda did a really good job, though. When the game started getting physical, he talked about how the American players were taking note of which Guatemalan players took cheap shots. He also talked about how the referees weren't taking control of the game, and that it could get out of hand. Things never got too bad, but he was right that there was a lot of retaliation. See, this is what I want from a good color guy. Tell me what the players are thinking. Give me something that I won't necessarily get just from watching the game on mute.

No more national team games for a while, and I don't have Fox Soccer Channel, so no Premiere League analysis. Maybe this year I'll actually start watching MLS again.

March 28, 2007

Friday Night Lights (the show, not the movie)

Really, I think NBC dropped the ball naming this show. It made me think that the show would be based on the movie, which really isn't the case. The main similarity between the show and the movie is that they're both loosely based around a Texas High School football team. Other than that, the characters and story lines are totally different. I thought the movie was alright, but the show is great. It's easily one of my favorite shows on television.

I thought that the writers had figured out the formula for making a good, popular, primetime drama:

  • characters that people will care about
  • realistic dialog
  • hot chicks (see accompanying photograph)
But NBC has been completely inept in handling the show, by changing the timeslot every few weeks, and even putting the show opposite Monday Night Football for a few weeks (Really? You think your football-themed show will do well competing with the highest rated football program every week? That made sense?). So the ratings have not been as good as expected, even though it has been universally critically acclaimed and has a loyal fan following. Apparently there are still questions as to whether the show will be picked up for a second season.

I'm not sure how it's possible that the show doesn't have enough viewership to justify a second season, but I'll try to make a case for you to watch it if you don't already.

Actually, I started making a list of reasons you should watch the show and realized that's not the best way to go with this. Look, it's a cheesy show. It's overdramatic, the football scenes too often end with last second heroics, and there are lots of emotional confrontations between characters. But you know what? It works. I know the show is cheesy, but I'm invested in the characters. I care about what happens to them. They're flawed and real, and the dialog is just realistic enough to be believable (which is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, how do you write believable high school dialog for network television?).

I'm no cinematographer, but the way the scenes are shot is very different from most shows. It's almost like the Office, but not quite. It's not shot like a documentary, but the camera moves to catch up with the actors, and the scenes aren't perfectly framed. It just gives the show an extra little bit of realism.

As I said above, the women on the show are all incredibly hot. That definitely helps make it even more watchable.

So basically, watch the damn show. It's well written, entertaining television, and Lord knows there's not enough of that around these days. Plus, it's about football.

If you haven't seen the show yet (or if you missed a few episodes), every episode is available online here.

I'm Crafty... and That's Just My Tribe

So the latest sports person to make inflammatory comments about a particular race, religion, or ethnicity, appears to be Micheal Ray Richardson. Yes, Mr. Richardson is currently a coach in the CBA, or maybe not for too long after being suspended by the Albany team that he coaches for the remainder of their championship series. Richardson achieved fame earlier in his playing days by being the only person ever banned by the NBA for drug use, a decision David Stern called, "the hardest thing I've ever had to do as Commissioner." Well, Mr. Richardson's latest well-documented comment focuses on the craftiness of my people, the Jewish tribe. Below are excerpts from Richardson's conversation with two reporters regarding contract negotiations:

"I've got big-time lawyers... I've got big-time Jew lawyers."

After the reporters told Richardson his comments might be taken to say that Jew are crafty and/or shrewd:

"Are you kidding me? They are. They've got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They're real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty.... They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean? Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."

As a Jew, I am totally unoffended by this comment. Firstly, he never spoke the words "crafty" or "shrewd" until he was prompted by reporters whose sixth sense that they might actually get a byline on ESPN and get the fuck out of their dead-end beat in Albany ticked in. Second, as a result of the politically correct world we live in, we have this huge hubbub now, and one could certainly argue that Richardson is engaging in some insane stereotyping here.

But the thing is, he's not stereotyping. Jews are hated in just about every continent of this world. I traveled El Al through Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv last year. It is insane security. Every single person gets interrogated by airline officials trained in behavioral observation, and that's before your bag gets inspected and you go through the metal detectors. And I don't have numbers in front of me, but the number of Jewish CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are truly out of proportion to the percentage of Jews in this country. The same way the numbers of Jewish Nobel Prize winners are waaaaayyy out of proportion to the percentage of Jews in the world.

Yet Richardson gets slammed by the press because his comments are seen as bigoted. This isn't a white broadcaster calling a black athlete a "monkey," or a black broadcaster implying that another black athlete is an "Uncle Tom." This isn't Karl Malone and his inane comments about playing with Magic post-HIV test results, nor is it Tim Hardaway saying "I hate gay people." This is Richardson speaking what he perceives to be the truth. Could he have spoken it more eloquently? Certainly. Should he have spoken it? Probably better to keep your mouth shut. But do I take offense that people of my religion are stereotyped as being "shrewd" businessmen or "crafty" in a way such that I can always get the best deal? Hell no. Of course, I am the antithesis of the Jew, I hate negotiating and bargaining and haggling, and damn near went nuts having to do that at the big market in Jerusalem.

But my point that I've taken way too long to get to is that we, as a society, need to take a giant breath any time we hear somebody talk about a particular race, gender, ethnicity, whatever, and actually ask ourselves whether that person means harm before we slam them. It's stupid to stereotype, but if it's a good stereotype, and by that I mean a stereotype by which the person is giving a backhanded compliment, who gives a shit?

Broncos Sign Bly - Deal to Skins Dead?

It was supposed to be a three-way deal. The Broncos were supposed to trade Tatum Bell to the Lions in exchange for Dre Bly, and the Skins were supposed to deal some of those pesky draft picks to the Broncos to have the rights to sign Bly.

Now we see that the Donks have signed Bly.

Does this mean the Washington trade is off? Or does it mean the Donks, who originally were unwilling to pay Bly what he wanted, have signed Bly to the deal that the Skins wanted? It could be an NBA sign-and-trade deal.

It's really too bad. Bly, who is VASTLY overrated as a cover corner, would have fit in great with the Gregg Williams defensive backfield, which features malcontents such as Omar Stoutmire, Sean Taylor, Carlos Rodgers, Fred Smoot, and Shawn Springs.

Falcons Stumble Upon Brilliance

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons DT Grady Jackson is suing the Falcons for defamation of character and invasion of privacy, alleging that the Falcons improperly disclosed his medical records to other teams and made false statements about his health. Jackson alleges that this cost him millions on the open market. He later signed a three-year deal with the Falcons.

Here's where it gets interesting. The money the Falcons pay as a result of a verdict or pursuant to a settlement with the Falcons does not count against the salary cap. This opens the door for a less scrupulous team to intentionally destroy a player's reputation, perhaps in cohoots with the player himself, and then settle a lawsuit out of court for the remainder of the money they are willing to pay him. Imagine if the Ravens destroyed Adalius Thomas' professional reputation, paid him a base of $3M/yr for three years, and then settled for $7M/yr for three years.

This type of collusion is, of course, illegal. So...where does Carmen Policy GM these days?

Napoleon Dannymite

Yes, I created this. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Bears Nix Briggs Trade to Skins

According to John Clayton on his ESPN Insider Blog, the Bears are not interested in trading Lance Briggs to the Skins in exchange for a first-round pick swap. Clayton said that the Bears feel "bullied" by the Skins and by Rosenhaus. They may change their mind after spending the weekend thinking it over.

Dammit Bears. Don't play babysitter and thwart Snyder's annual offseason implosion of any progress the Skins might have made. Let these things happen!

Congrats to J-Red!

So we are not a blog known for self-laudatory posts, but I need to give props to J-Red for landing an attorney position at a very prominent, national law firm. He will be starting in about two weeks, which means that since he won't be able to bill for the time that he posts on the blog, Brien and myself are going to have to step up in a big way to fill his shoes. In return, J-Red will probably be earning more than Brien and me combined. He's told me he's using his first paycheck to buy Redskins and Nationals season tickets.

Dibs on your Terrapin Club referral!!

March 27, 2007

Idol Recap... and 100th POST!!

Mazel tov J-Red and Brien, we've made it to 100 posts, and we're a month old!

Anyway, as seems to be my job, Idol recap...

General thoughts:
Paula was very lucid for her... is there a requirement that one out of every five A.I. attendees carry a cheezy sign... shout out to local Provident Bank with their employees making up the Lakisha fan section... no homosexual tension between Ryan and Simon tonight was refreshing... the fiancee notes that Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale's children are going to be the most attractive kids on the face of the earth.

Gina - She's my girl. I don't care what anybody else says, I love her, I think her vocals are fantastic, I like her spirit. She showed that she's got some vocal chops tonight.

Melinda - Didn't like the song, but she's just a tremendous singer. I can't get over the troll look though. And the whole wide-eyed surprise thing is getting a little old. Like we all know you're nervous about comments, but you should know by now that the judges love you, so lose the daffy gap-toothed smile thing when you hear the good news from them.

Phil - He took a HUGE risk with Every Breath You Take, and hit it out of the park. Now if only he could do something about the alien look.

Jordin - I think she's our eventual winner. Didn't like the song tonight, saw a different pop look from her, but thought she relied too much on her backup singers. She's cute, has range, is non-threatening, and dad suffered through years with the Bidwell Cardinals organization. She's due. I really see her doing well.

Lakisha - Again, not a song I particularly like, but her vocals are just so strong. But the thing is I don't think she'll win because I don't see America really attaching or relating to her. I see her coming in 2nd or 3rd and then having a more successful career than the winner in releasing her own R&B or gospel records and not indentured to the Idol industry.

Blake- I really wanted to strangle Paula when she talked about his supposed originality. Um, Ms. Abdul, 311 did that really piss-poor cover of a most classic Cure song a few years ago. Blake did not invent that arrangment. I know one Ms. Bohlinger was probably throwing stuff at her TV during that song.

Sanjaya - Horrific. Everything about him and his performance was horrific. The fact that he is still on this show proves that something is seriously wrong with the democratic process. Simon came about as close as he could to telling him that he just flat-out doesn't belong on this show anymore. Scary, scary guy, but the thing that's smart about him is that I think he knows why he's still there, he knows the judges hate him, and he just doesn't give a damn.

Haley - I think she's probably the 5th or 6th best singer left, but I think that she's falling victim to Stephanie syndrome of being good, but being overshadowed by other strong female singers. I thought her rendition of True Colors was pretty good though.

Chris S. - He's just getting tired. It shows. He doesn't have the same energy. He doesn't look like he's having fun. He got stripped down by the judges tonight pretty good. I don't think his mea culpa at the end will cut it.

Chris R. - Wow, I totally disagree with the judges tonight. He can turn any great song into a Justin Timberlake sounding turd. His act is getting really tired. He strikes me as hardcore trailer trash, probably bolstered by seeing his dad that one evening. I think his base is shrinking, and I really thought he turned in a stinker with a dreadful rendition of "Don't Speak"

Pennsylvania Proposes Interlock for All New Cars

This post is clearly a sports-related post, especially if you've ever tailgated.

A state legislator in Pennsylvania has drafted a bill that would require ALL new cars sold in Pennsylvania to have a breathalyzer interlock device installed by 2009. Anyone blowing over a 0.025 would not be able to start their car. In 2010, all used cars transferred would have to have the device installed. The legal limit is 0.08 throughout the U.S.

There are a billion things that will cause a false positive in breathalyzers due to their chemical similarity to alcohol. In addition, inhaled chemicals, such as lacquer or rubber cement fumes, actually cause a false positive. Diabetics and crash dieters also blow above a 0.02 because of the breakdown of acetones in their lungs. Smoking cigarettes can elevate the breathalyzer reading.

Here is the bill. Here is a partial list of breathalyzer inaccuracies.

Run on Diapers in Ashburn; Redskins Hold High Draft Pick

The lastest NFL rumor is that the Redskins are prepared to swap first rounders with the Bears in exchange for LB Lance Briggs. The Bears have the 31st pick and the Redskins have the 6th. Using the Parcells Draft Value Chart that means the Skins would be giving up the equivalent of around the 16th pick for Briggs. (6th pick = 1600 pts, 31st pick = 600 pts, 16th pick = 1000 pts)

And why not? The alternative is having to actually USE a first-round draft choice. Lord knows that's not how good teams are made. I can't wait to see the new look Fred Smoot, Dre Bly, London Fletcher-Baker, Lance Briggs Skins D in action. With all those egos and Gregg Williams' happy-go-lucky demeanor, what could possibly go wrong? Oh, and who exactly is going to play SS now? Omar Stourmire (rated a 51 on's Free Agent Tracker) or Vernon Fox (rated a 50)?

I'm not exactly seeing how Lance gets any happier because of this deal either. Isn't the whole point of his threatened 10-game holdout to protest that he was not allowed to test the market? Wouldn't this team just force him into another team that he may or may not want to play for where Snyder has the opportunity to give him an offer with no outside competition or just pay Briggs the franchise tag salary? Seems like there are still some kinks.

Read all of the news sources reporting on this rumor here.

More Thoughts on MNF and Jaws

Now that we've had time to digest the new Tirico-Kornheiser-Jaworski ESPN MNF booth, I'm not so sure it was the right move. Here's my thinking:

Pro: Thiesmann got shit-canned.

Con: Thiesmann might have been the only person with live broadcast experience who could rationally talk to Jaworski.

Pro: No more celebrities in the booth. There's no way they'll let TK fly solo with the star of ABC's hit show du jour. They'd either have to rein him in or accept that he will make ABC look bad with his total lack of knowledge of the new guest star on Desperate Housewives or Lost.

Con: Do fans really want a tour of the sausage factory? We are aware that football is very complicated, but what if Jaworski reveals to us that it really isn't that complicated? Would that ruin some of the coaching mystique? What if it is so complicated that Jaworski makes us feel stupid? Would that hurt fan interest?

Pro: Jaworski will make bad coaches, bad schemes and bad decisions look bad in real-time.

Con: Jaworski might be the first legitimate coach-killer announcer. Unlike coaches who have dabbled in broadcasting, like Vermiel, Ditka, Jim Mora Sr. and Schottenheimer, Jaworski owes no deference to anyone (except Vermiel who is out of coaching). I guess this could be a pro if you want your coach fired (Coughlin), but a con if your fanbase has some delirious affection for their has-been coach (Gibbs).

Pro: Jaworski will make the telestrator the most important invention of the 20th century.

Con: Jaworski will operate the telestrator to total silence from TK and Tirico. They might as well have him in a separate booth. As smart as Thiesmann made Kornheiser look, Jaworski will make him look that dumb.

Does This Make up for the Technical Suspension?

Sheed steals and nails the 3/4 court shot with less than a second remaining:

Ravens Owner Bisciotti Speaks Out

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had a rare Q&A; with the Baltimore Sun published today. It's important for Redskins' fans to read what it's like to have quality ownership and management.

Link here.

March 26, 2007

SNL - Peyton's United Way Spoof

Before this gets taken down by the NBC honchos, you gotta take a look at this hilarious video from SNL on Saturday with Peyton Manning working with United Way kids. A total spoof on the feel-good stuff that airs every game. Say what you will about him being a jerk after losses, but he is a pretty good comic actor in his SNL skits and Mastercard commercials. I still hate the family though.

Gee, Thanks NFL

It looks like Ron Jaworski's MNF debut for ESPN will be for the Ravens @ Cincy game (link).

Yeah, that's great. There's nothing better than opening on the road, on national television, at night, against your divisional rival. That first Sunday when the Ravens aren't playing will be absolutely brutal for fans.

Kids Cussing!

Hilarious. Special thanks to Peter Shanz for bringing this to my attention.

Gilbert Arenas Bet on His Own Team!

And yet, no lifetime ban. By now most people have heard that Gilbert Arenas admitted to betting two fans $10 that he would make the game-winning shot in the Wizards' close loss in Portland last week. He actually did take a potential game winning shot, but he missed it short.

It might seem a bit trifling to make a big stink about $20 (1.3 x 10^-4% of Gil's income), but it actually could be an issue. I haven't seen the game-ending sequence, but suppose Gilbert passed on a shooter in a better position so that he'd have the opportunity to take the last shot. Obviously he wouldn't do this for the cash, but it would make a great story for his blog if he had made the bet and won. It would be the equivalent of calling his own shot. A real cynic might even question whether Gilbert kept the Wizards slightly behind late in the game.

Since Agent Zero has made his new-found notoriety by being "quirky", such a story would have only increased his notoriety. He certainly didn't put himself in a good position.

Thiesmann Out of ESPN MNF Booth

The NY Times and Newsday are both reporting that Joe Thiesmann is out of the booth for ESPN's MNF telecasts. Speculation is that he'll be replaced by Jaws, Parcells, or perhaps even Emmitt Smith, all ESPN employees.

Can't we just please have the Patrick-Maguire-Thiesmann booth back? Why did everything have to change once ESPN ponied up for MNF?

And if it is a Tirico-Jaws-Kornheiser booth, I think ESPN should have just canned the whole trio and gone with Trey Wingo-Merrill Hoge-Jaws. Quit sissifying football coverage and let the three of them do what they do. Trey is a great moderator with a live television pedigree from Sportscenter. Merrill Hoge is very credible on player personnel issues and knows a lot of people around the league. Jaws is considered the best real-time analyst by anyone who ever watched a game with him. I'm sick of all the ESPN/ABC gimmicks.

Here are the lineups ESPN and the Disney family rejected:

1) Roy Firestone - Jim Rome - Steven A. Smith (The game will be the backdrop to their lively discussions on Orenthal)

2) Barbara Walters - Meredith Viera - Rosie O'Donnell - Elisabeth Hasselbeck - Joy Behar (It's in the ABC/ESPN family and Hasselbeck must have learned something about football....from Survivor. Plus, if a three-man booth is better than a two-man booth, a FIVE-women booth must be best! As Colby, also of Survivor fame, put it in his commercial, "Where does it stop? HERE! Five blades!")

3) Stat Boy - Woody Paige - J.A. Adande (Commentators get few facts straight so we might as well have a booth intended to get every detail wrong. Adande is just there to cringe.)

4) Sean Salisbury - John Clayton (This wouldn't be so bad except Clayton would get sick of being immasculated by Salisbury. Plus, why fire one horrible QB just to hire another?)

5) Charlie Steiner (Charlie is like cowbell. You really can never have too much and yet you really have to search to find any.)

6) Kornheiser - Wilbon - (Norman Chad/Dan LeBatard) (I figure Chad and LeBatard can platoon depending on whether or not the game is expected to be any good. Obviously Chad gets the stinkers and LeBatard gets the important games as well as any game in which he might be able to induce a player into admitting that he "hates gays", or wishes they didn't exist, or something to that effect.

March 25, 2007

Terps Get Mention in Manning SNL Bit

Check out the following bit from the Mar. 24, 2007 SNL hosted by Peyton Manning. The Terps get a bit of publicity...

(YouTube is pulling the video down as fast as people are posting it. Find it on or find a fleeting YouTube post.)

USA v. Ecuador Recap

The new uniforms look terrible. I'd like to see us stick with white jerseys to begin with, but the pin stripes are really the worst. The ugly jerseys are paired with blue shorts and blue socks. The end result is a uniform that doesn't look distinctly American (the only red is the border around the numbers) and is very ugly. You can't tell from the image, but the collar looks even worse from behind.

I'm with Michael Davies, US Soccer needs a new logo.

Landon Donovan is phenomenal. I don't know where this guy was during the World Cup, but he was clearly the best player on the field all day. He ended up with a hat trick, and Ecuador had no answer at all for him. There's discussion as to whether or not he'll stay with the national team through their next tournaments (Gold Cup and Copa America). We need him to be a superstar for us to compete against the best teams in the world.

Ecuador didn't bring much to the table, but their fans definitely provide some much- appreciated talent in the stands.

The game stayed tied 1-1 for far too long. The US side had a ton of opportunities to score and just couldn't capitalize. Against a better team, that's going to cause problems.

Bruce Arena was the third announcer for the match (along with Dave O'Brien and Eric Wynalda). I thought it was going to be weird hearing him talk about a team that he coached last year, but he did a good job. He had a lot of insights into the team that any other announcer wouldn't be able to provide.

I really wish I had Fox Soccer Channel, I definitely don't get to watch enough soccer these days. I just can't see paying the $5 a month that Comcast wants for it. Maybe this year I'll watch more MLS.