July 6, 2007

Lindsay Lohan Celebrity Sex Tape?

This video will change your life. VERY VERY NOT SAFE FOR WORK (or life for that matter)!

July 5, 2007

Joey Chestnut: True American Hero

It was only fitting that on Independence Day, Joey Chestnut, American through and through, beat the six-time reigning champion Kobayashi in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Chestnut inhaled a world-record 66 hot dogs (and buns) in 12 minutes, or one hot dog and bun every 10.9 seconds. Talk about revenge for Pearl Harbor! This is right up there with Rocky IV where Rocky beat the dastardly Commie all in the name of American pride.

But let's look at Chestnut's win from another perspective...

Nutritional Information for one Nathan's Famous Beef Frank with Bun (care of http://www.calorie-count.com)
309 calories (15% of daily value)
20.0 grams of fat (31% of daily value)
8.0 grams of saturated fat (40% of daily value)
35 mg of cholesterol (12 % of daily value)
684 mg of sodium (29% of daily value)

So if Chestnut ingested 66 of these hot dogs, let's see how his nutrition was satisfied for yesterday, July 4, 2007:

20,394 calories (1,019.7% of daily value)

1,320 grams of fat (2,046.5% of daily value)

528 grams of saturated fat (2,640.0% of daily value)

2,310 mg of cholesterol (791.1% of daily value)

45,144 mg of sodium (1,914.5% of daily value)

Wow, and I woke up this morning feeling like crap from eating too much finger food at the party I was at last night. All I can say is that it's a good thing there's no Competitive Eater's Player's Union, or else there will definitely be Congressional hearings within the next 20 years over the long-term effects of competitive eating and how the Competitive Eating League does not care for it's now bloated, heart congested, and cholesterol ticking time bomb retired competitive eaters.

Also, am I the only one who wonders how Joey Chestnut gets rid of all that stuff. I mean, these guys swear they don't engage in purging. So how many laxatives does the man have to take. I know that this sports blog just took a huge turn to the outside with this thought, but I KNOW that every one of you who reads these stories would be lying if you told me the question didn't cross your mind. I mean, I hope the guy has a year's worth of Maxim, Sports Illustrated, and Sudoku books in his bathroom.

But Godspeed Joey Chestnut... you make us all proud to be Americans on this most important day.

The State of Online Gambling

J-Red's post below got me thinking about Internet gambling and all the new rules on getting money into and out of accounts. He joked that pre-paid phone cards were the only acceptable method of funding an account, but I think that's easier than the real alternatives.

From what I understand of the legislation passed last year, the best way around the law is to set up an offshore bank account (most people suggested England), then transfer funds from your US account to the British account, and fund your sports betting account from there. Easy enough.

... wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. In order to make my (hypothetical) $5 bets on NFL games, I need an offshore bank account? I need to learn the basics of low-level money laundering? So sports betting is just fine in Vegas, but if you want to do it over the Internet, you need Al Capone's accountant.

Sure, there are alternatives like Neteller and other foreign payment processors that act as loopholes. But essentially, this is still money laundering. You're trying to disguise the endpoint of a financial transaction by funneling it through a series of steps.

Remember the scene in Office Space, where the guys talk about laundering their stolen money, only to realize that none of them have any idea how actually launder money? Thanks to Congress, an entire generation of sports fans are now amateur money launderers.

Here's the worst part about all this - everyone could be happy. Right now, most online sports books operate in third world countries (Bodog, which would be the official online gambling site of ECB if online gambling were legal, operates in Costa Rica). How much added cost do you think is associated with housing operations outside the US? Bodog has to get its (mostly American) handicapping experts to move down to Costa Rica. It also has to spend absurd amounts of money on security for its compound.

Here's a proposal: why doesn't Congress allow Internet sports betting, and then tax the hell out of it. Even with a 20% corporate tax on Internet gambling companies, the companies would still come out ahead by moving their operations stateside. Who loses out in that scenario? Only the teetotalers. For them, I have another question: what's the difference between slot machines and scratch-offs?

July 4, 2007

Independence Day

In celebration of our independence from the oppressive rule of England, this is a good time to examine something directly related to the freedoms we earned: internet gambling. Ok, so actually Congress effectively ruined internet gambling for U.S. gamers by legitimizing such funding methods as the "pre-paid phone card". But, without further adieu, ECB's look at odds for future events.

Odds courtesy of Bodog.com, the official internet gambling site of ECB

Odds to Win SB XLII (i.e., the next Super Bowl)

New England: 9-5 (Betting $50 will win you $90 if the Patriots emerge from a 32 team field)
Baltimore: 22-1
Pittsburgh: 25-1
Washington: 38-1

VALUE PICK - New Orleans at 14-1. There are a lot of questions surrounding the Saints, and they have a tougher schedule this year. Still, what about Atlanta, Carolina or Tampa Bay is particularly fear-inspiring right now? They're a virtual playoff lock, they have another year of figuring out how to best hurt teams with Reggie Bush, and Drew Brees is still a winner.

Least Face Time During All-Star Week
Baltimore : -180
Washington: -1000
FIELD: +1800

Which team is less likely to get a player into the All-Star Game? The Orioles send only 2B Brian Roberts. The Nationals contribute 1B Dmitri Young. The only middle infielders non-starters are Roberts, SS Carlos Guillen and SS Michael Young. Add in that Roberts contributes speed and bunting ability, and he should at least make an appearance.

Dmitri Young on the other hand is behind Prince Fielder, Derrek Lee and Albert Pujols at 1B. His only chance of seeing the field will be as a pinch hitter for the pitcher's spot, and given his lack of footspeed, even that is questionable. Neither Young nor Roberts will be asked to participate in the Home Run Derby.

Which celebrity will be the next arrested for DUI? (Actual Bodog category)

Lily Allen: 4-1
Any "Lost" Actor: 5-1
Lindsay Lohan: 11-2
Amy Winehouse: 6-1
Britney Spears: 6-1
Akon: 7-1
David Hasselhoff: 7-1
Paula Abdul: 17-2
Avril Lavigne: 10-1
Paris Hilton: 12-1

First of all, you can subtract Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse because the infraction has to be committed by a celebrity, and I have no idea who those two are. I would also rule out Lohan and Hilton, since Lohan is in rehab and Hilton will probably be taking a cab for the rest of her life. Lost actors only get in trouble when they're in Hawaii, and they shouldn't be filming right now, so cross them off the list. I think Hasselhoff is good value at 7-1, particularly because I suspect he drives a showy car and he's unlikely to have a chaffeur. Plus, we know from the sandwich video that he has had recurring problems. His daughter told him he was going to get fired if he tested positive for booze.

CBS' Big Brother 8: Will the first "hook-up" be...? (Actual Bodog category. "A hook-up is considered anything involving an open mouth kiss or more")

Boy-Girl: 1-4
Girl-Girl: 7-2
Girl-Girl-Boy: 5-1
Boy-Boy: 8-1
Boy-Boy-Girl: 10-1

First of all, Boy-Boy-Girl should pay far more than 10-1. For that to happen you would need two guys who are comfortable kissing each other, as I would understand the hookup to only take place if all three participants are "open mouth kiss[ing] [each other] or more". That requires that the guys are either gay but not opposed to kissing a woman, bisexual, or so comfortable with their heterosexuality and so sure the makeout session is great entertainment for America that they're willing to do it anyway. Oh, and this has to occur before the first guy-girl open-mouthed kiss.

I would hate to be the judge for this one too. How do you decide what constitutes "more" than open-mouthed kissing? What about nude wrestling? What if the first "hook-up" occurs on the subscriber only feed at CBS.com, but the editing of the show makes it appear as though a second hook-up takes place first? These are important questions that I need answered before I shell out my hard-earned dollars on some girl-girl reality kissing action.


July 3, 2007

CNNSI Steals My Post Again

Compare and contrast. I'm not accusing CNNSI of outright plagiarism. Let's just say CNNSI might be able to save some money by hiring me for a part-time gig. At least last time Peter King spiced up his eerily similar article with some insider quotes.

Me on June 25th:

According to ESPN, the Bears have released Tank Johnson in the wake of his recent 40-in-a-25mph speeding ticket in Arizona. Um.....what? He was good enough that you supported his motion to leave Illinois to participate in the Super Bowl but he isn't good enough to wait for the blood tests?

The officer who pulled Tank Johnson over "suspected" him of being under the influence, so he drew blood. Those tests are still a week or more from coming back. Since when is speeding "the last straw"? What changes between now and a week from now make you have to move immediately?

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that July 1 is veteran cut day to get under the salary cap. I'm sure the Bears were confident that Tank would be exonerated on Monday, July 2, 2007.

It looks to me like the Bears know something we don't, right? They know that blood test will be positive for alcohol or another banned driving stimulant. This is a team that is so blinded to reality that they let Trent Green go to the Dolphins for a conditional 4th round pick, yet they have the foresight to realize that Tank is facing more trouble??? Rex Grossman is a pony they'll ride but Tank Johnson is too much hoss to handle?

Forgive me if I don't think today is a great day to be a Bears' fan.

Now, CNNSI today (July 3):

So where do the Bears rank on the embarrassment meter today, after word that Tank Johnson's blood alcohol level was below the legal limit when he was pulled over on June 22 for suspicion of drunken driving? And while the evidence shows that Johnson was indeed drinking (his BAC was .072), it appears the only thing he did to break the law was to drive 40 in a 25.

Yet that traffic stop was enough for the Bears to waive the defensive tackle three days later, saying they were "upset and embarrassed" by his legal troubles. They hadn't been too embarrassed to allow him to play in the Super Bowl while awaiting his hearing on a probation violation for a gun charge, of course, the violation that landed Tank in the clink for 60 days and nearly put the prison commissary out of commission. A prison sentence that the team welcomed him back from, by the way.

So apparently it takes the Bears a while to blush, but once they reach their limit they turn red at everything.

CNNSI.com Ranks NFL Owners

This list from Mike Silver at CNNSI deserves no credibility from the start.

5) Danny Snyder (Skins)
8) Wayne Huizenga (Dolphins)
9) Dan Rooney (Steelers)
13) Steve Bisciotti (Ravens)

If you can independently derive the criteria that would result in those rankings, you deserve an honorary Ph.D. in Mathematics, or at least a B.S. in BS.

Apparently CNNSI felt that throwing money at problems (Al Saunders, Gregg Williams, Adam Archuleta, LaVar Arrington, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Antwaan Randle-El, Brandon Lloyd, Ricky Williams, David Boston, Nick Saban, etc. etc.) makes you a good owner, whereas properly building a franchise towards stability and making the playoffs (Steelers and Ravens) makes you a mediocre one. I'm reminded of the Forbes 500 GM Rankings that put Danny Ainge of the Celtics on top. Maybe CNNSI's NFL GM rankings would name Vinny Cerrato the best player personnel guy in the game.

July 2, 2007

The Newest Measure from a Desperate Team

Courtesy of WTOPnews.com:
Orioles Offer All-You-Can-Eat Ticket

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Orioles have launched a program designed for fans who love ballpark food.

It's the All-You-Can-Eat Left Field Club ticket.

Beginning July 12, for $35 in advance or $40 on the day of the game, fans receive a seat in sections 280-288 of the left field club level. They're a $25 value. But for the special ticket, fans get an all-you-can-eat pass for the concession stands located directly behind those sections.

Menu items include hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, ice cream, soda and lemonade.

So this actually at first blush doesn't seem like a bad idea. Access to club level amenities and all-you-can-eat. Even if you were to buy a sausage, soda, and peanuts outside the ballpark from one of the money vendors outside of Pickles, you're out $8 on food before you walk into the ballpark. Here, you're paying $10 for food, but you don't have to worry about trooping food in, and you can get all you want to eat. Living three years in Baltimore, I definitely feel like there are enough people to rack up $35 on food alone in an all-you-can-eat setting at the ballpark. Still, no beer? That's brutal. The way to go is to get into one of the bullpen parties with open beer bar, open food bar for 2 hours before the game.

But seriously, the underlying thing is that you're still relying on people who want to shell out $35 per ticket per game, so how many people will this actually attract to a game? For example, how many people, on a Tuesday night when you can sit in the upper deck behind home plate and have a much better view of the game for $8, and then buy food on the outside, bring it in, and still only be down $18 total, will pay twice that much for worse seats but all-you-can-eat food? I'm guessing not too many. People may come for the novelty, but for two average people, $70 is still a lot to lay out for a ballgame and food. This is definitely not geared towards the fans sitting lower deck for whom the money they spend on food at a game is of no object. The far better deal is Thursday nights when $15 gets you a bleacher seat and a sandwich from Boog's.

In the end, it's going to take way more than a stupid gimmick geared towards a small fraction of the fanbase's inner glutton to bring attendance up at Camden Yards from the "dismal" category.

Cristie Kerr Proves she Doesn't Blow at Golf

However, 2007 LPGA Champion Cristie Kerr she certainly may have talent blowing other things:

Picture of her kissing the trophy she received for winning the Longs Drugs Challenge in 2002 courtesy of my co-clerk Mr. Banks.

Seriously... this begs the question of who the hell designs a trophy to look like that? It looks like something you'd see as a prop (or toy) on HBO's Cathouse.

Worst Sports Weekend Ever

Seriously, what was the highlight of this past weekend? MLB All-Star announcements? The LPGA U.S. Open? Brad Penny v. Jake Peavy?

Was this the least interesting sports weekend ever? Discuss amongst yourselves.