Monday, August 31, 2009

Y'all Can't Do Tedy Like THIS!

-Bill wanted me to tell you, Tedy Bear... door's that way.-


Attention all fantasy footballers! Anyone getting in on some late drafting action and had their (lazy) eye on the soft, nougat-filled New England defense, drop that fork! Sunday night it broke that defensive captain and merit badge champion Tedy Bruschi is retiring. Of course, "retire" is a term we'll use loosely. The guy is 36, hasn't been a play-maker in a few years, and is really better known for injuries and health problems more than anything else. He's probably retiring just as much as Nixon resigned. Still, for whatever reason, he's a big ole' deal in New England and will sure to be getting a classy, tear-filled send off.

I don't have a huge problem with Bruschi. By all accounts he's a good guy, I just feel I'm the only one wondering how someone has a stroke at 30. C'mon man, don't get benched by aliments most found in retirement homes. What team you think you're on, the Red Sox? Well whatever, the point is there's already some squabbling over how coach Bill Belichick is being so great by not officially cutting a guy who has basically been an unofficial, non-plush mascot for the last 5 years. Well, here's a preemptive shout from the peanut gallery: the hell with that.

You wouldn't know it to talk to any NE fan, but Belichick is a dick. A notorious one. Outside the haze of self-congratulatory back-slapping of the northeast are rampant stories of Belichick's shady practices and Machiavellian brand of sportsmanship. And long before the Spygate thing too. My favorite is his cussing out opposing team medics for rushing to his player's side after a dangerous hit. Or Tom Brady's mysterious "questionable" injury status that was retained throughout the dynasty seasons. Careful what you wish for, Bill.

So, yeah, cornering an aging, big-heart/come-up-short franchise guy into "retiring" shouldn't be getting one lick of admiration. We all know what drives those evil glares and revealing press conferences, Bill: a heart of freezing, craggy ice. It certainly explains all the sweatshirts.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Round of Drafts for Everyone!

- This is a decent depiction of how well our draft went. Yamahama. -


See? This is why we can't have nice things.

I bet you all expected some big long article about the Seinfeld League draft yesterday, detailing how Pilk fell into three high-quality running backs while I got screwed over by the Autodraft and picked a defense in the eight round. But technically, Wednesday's draft didn't happen, because there was a glitch.

For some reason, the Commish says, a glitch in the CBS Sports drafting software left us with only nine roster spots to fill, and no reserves. As a result, we weren't allowed to pick backups and the rosters are incomplete. The only way to fix this -- outside a massive waiver wire dash -- is a redraft. So let's discuss the results of the first-ever Seinfeld League "Wait-I-Thought-This-Was-For-Real" Mock Draft.

As expected, it was a strange draft all the way around. Eli Manning was taken in the first round -- before his brother -- by The Vintage Pastries. That owner proceeded to take Wes Welker in the second round, and owns a backfield of Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris. The Patriots' defense, however, went in the fourth round to Queen of the Castle. Despite this, QotC ended up with a respectable lineup including Aaron Rodgers, DeAngelo Williams, Roddy White, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

No one really ran away with the overall "best" draft though, as some of the best rosters have lingering questions. Bosco picked up the Peyton Manning/Reggie Wayne connection, and is solid at running back with Reggie Brown and Steve Slaton (the world's only first-round sleeper). But Roy Williams is hurt and Marshawn Lynch is suspended until October. Fusili Jerry grabbed both Drew Brees and Marques Colston, adding Larry Fitzgerald as well, but Jonathan Stewart is an underwhelming RB2 and Brandon Marshall is his flex (WR/RB) player. Even Rob made out well: Sweet Fancy Moses currently boasts Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, and Brian Westbrook at running back, and Eddie Royal and Lee Evans as WRs. If only he had a better quarterback than B**** F****.

So we'll try again next Wednesday, after the Commish triple and quadruple-checks the roster settings, and believe me, you'll hear about it. What's your best draft look like so far?

(I'm not ashamed of my draft, by the way, but I'm not overly proud either: good receivers in Andre Johnson, Terrell Owens and Anthony Gonzalez; Matt Forte and a little gamble on Larry Johnson; and McNabb, who's getting decent marks from most pundits. Next time I might focus harder on the running backs, because it seems comparatively thin.)

Down in Front

-Things really are bigger and Texas. And dumber, too.-


After the disappointment of the voided draft, I was desperate for anything to brighten my spirits. Little did I know that I only need look to the Dallas Cowboys organization to bring a little good ole', deep fried stupid into my life.

Note to Texas: The expression "the length of a football field" should reserved for blue whales, the width of Rhode Island, and measuring how many jimmies Ben & Jerry's serves every hour, not things you actually put INSIDE a football stadium. As you can see from the above picture, the Dallas Cowboys have installed giant screens to better serve (i.e. melt the faces off) their patrons and provide all the necessary light for any NASA scientists performing eye surgery while in orbit.

So large are the new screens that they are interfering with punt kicking during practices and preseason games, forcing the NFL to consider if they need to impose changes on the $1.15 billion renovation. Let be said that it's probably every guy's dream to own a television so big it scares a committee of white collar businessmen to convene somewhere to decide if it should exist or not, but c'mon Dallas. Look at this freaking picture. Receivers shouldn't be losing the long ball in a massive, overhead ball of unrelenting, blinding light when they're playing INDOORS. A little restraint, people. Needless to say, it's probably good that special team plays aren't usually calculated in fantasy leagues, or Dallas kickers and receivers would be avoided like the plague.

Challenging this little story to get even dumber is ex-coach Jimmy Johnson, who thinks the screens are just dandy right where they are. "I think it's so cool." he's reported saying. Was it a spirited game of pigskin that ignited this gosh wow, gee wilikers response? No. It was a George Strait and Reba McEntire concert.

Thank you, Texas, for being yourself. Over and over again.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This is a fantasy football blog, right?

-What? This isn't what you're talking about?-

After nearly a month of speculation, wheel-spinning, and tiny ship-in-a-bottle building, Cole and RWPilk are finally upon their fantasy football draft, happening tonight at 8:30pm EST. Let's go to them now for some pre-draft thoughts, shall we?

Draft Pick Position: 3rd

It's no stretch to say I'm excited about the football season. The beginning of a new football season is always full of possibility and promise. Fresh rosters! Nobody injured! Sleepers full of upside! All that crap!

As far as stategory goes, inspired by my other league, I'm going to overload on running backs or wide receivers and try to trade like the wind. Beyond that? My main plan is to get Rob and Gina drinking, and hope they think Jonathan Stewart will be splitting carries with Stephen Colbert.

Draft Pick Position: 4th

So, tonight is the big night, the fantasy draft. I've done no research, have no one I really have an eye on, and am unaware of any tried-and-true draft strategies that would help me. Am I worried? Nah. While Cole will be spread out all over the floor with with magazines and websites and his construction paper and glitter, conjuring up some super critical 14th round, backup kicker pick, I'll be puttin' my feet up and taking it easy. While I may not know any upcoming guys from the '09 NFL Draft, I know enough key names to populate a decent bench. Besides, how many 1st draft football players do anything in their first year? Goose egg, that's how many. And when in doubt, I trust the rankings. So, there you have it. It might not be pretty, but it'll work.

Non-alcoholic Draft Update:
Oh, what a draft. We laughed. We cried. Cole shook his fist and took our lord's name in vain. And then the draft got voided. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the draft was interrupted and was terminated before completion. For better or worse, it has been rescheduled for Sept. 2nd. Stay tuned, people.

Billy the Kid and the Wild, Wild Card

- Red Sox fans, get used to this look. -

The second annual Seinfeld League fantasy football draft is tonight, and yours truly has the third pick (Pilk is fourth). Pilk might try to explain that last year's league didn't count for whatever reason. That's because he won six straight games down the stretch and still finished 7-7.

But we'll talk about all that in greater detail tomorrow, after the draft: who we picked up, who we missed out on, and so forth. Today I want to talk about the Red Sox again, because the live blog went so well Saturday. Let the record show the Sox are undefeated in games we live blog, and averaging 14 runs per game. So as the Sox continue to stagger in the vague direction of October baseball, we may in fact have to repeat that grand experiment, Rob's objections notwithstanding.

Yes, the Sox are six games behind the Yankees at the start of play today, and yes, they're struggling to hold off both a surprising Rangers team and a resurgent Rays squad for the wild card. And yes, the offseason gambles of John Smoltz and Brad Penny blew up in Theo Epstein's face like a bad ACME rocket. And yes, Jason Varitek is hitting like a 37-year-old catcher. And yes, the vaunted bullpen can no longer hold your place in a movie ticket line, let alone a lead in a tight game. And yes, the New England Journal of Medicine will publish a paper this fall on Renteria syndrome, the inability of talented, small-market baseball players to exhibit any form of value while wearing a Red Sox uniform; Smoltz and Julio Lugo will be featured prominently in said article.

Still, at least they're not the Mets, which must be a large reason why Billy Wagner finally waived his no-trade clause and is currently shipping off to Boston. Wagner will be the tenth 2007 All-Star to play for the Red Sox this year, and will go a long way towards driving Jonathan Papelbon out of town sooner or later. If Wagner is indeed healthy -- and willing to shut up and pitch -- a hard-throwing lefty could do wonders for the Sox down the stretch. Ideally, Francona could even use Wagner as a "sabermetric closer": coming in not necessarily in the ninth inning but whenever the game was tightest, and quick outs were most crucial (say, two runners on in a one-run game in the seventh).

Of course, this all depends on the comically oversized "if"s above. But you have to think Wagner will be an important cog for the Sox down the stretch, assuming he's willing to be a cog for a couple of months.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nice Shootin', Tex

- Burress heads to court with his lawyer, O. Lumpa, Esq. -


If you haven't guessed by now, I'm not one for sports, but boy, do I love interviews with athletes. Usually, you just get a sequence of cliches tumbling out of their mouths like a string of 40 magician's scarfs all knotted together. "Well, we just played the game as hard as we could, we were met by a good team today, sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way, but we take it one game at a time, we're just looking ahead at the next series, and it is what it is." Yeah, thanks Mr. Churchill. The poet laureate is on line one.

Having a laugh at Plaxico Burress ("Plaxi-Co."? Didn't they make the first Legos?) isn't exactly a long row to hoe: Last November, he shot himself without ever removing his Glock pistol from his pants. But if that wasn't enough, Burress challenges us to shoot even more beverage out of our noses when he opens up to ESPN today about the incident.

On alerting teammate Antonio Pierce to the gun going off: "And he was like 'Why?' and I said I just think I shot myself, and he was like 'Noooo!"

On his decision to secure a firearm in an elastic, fruit-of-the-loom waistband: "Bad judgement."

On NOT realizing he had actually shot himself: "I take two or three steps and, like, my pants are wet. I had some Chuck Taylor's and I looked down and the top of my shoe is red."

Yeah, yeah, real badass, Plaxico. I don't know what is lamer, the fact that you're still trying to look like a big tough guy in this situation, or that you kind of sound like Alicia Silverstone from Clueless. Like, totally.

When explaining the "mechanics" of pulling the trigger through a pair of pants, Burress exclaims "What are the odds on that happening?" Well, Plaxico, you know the odds of needing to discharge a semiautomatic weapon with 13 rounds of ammunition in a crowded Manhattan night club? Higher than that. A little higher.


Monday, August 24, 2009

It's just the guy's name, you jackass


Alright, so Colebag and I have realized that we've used a bit of slang around these parts that y'all might no be familiar with. Credit to our friend Nick for introducing to us the video above, in which, in an interview with angrier-than-thou director Spike Lee, broadcaster Gus Johnson tries to impress us all with a jaunty interjection he probably should have left behind in 8th grade. Witness yourself, in all its awkward glory, at the 22 sec mark, as Johnson tries to seamlessly drop "pause" in the middle of Lee's answer. We understand it's an oldie, but it's a goodie.

The Urban Dictionary defines pause as: Used to stop the "aye-yo"ing of a subject after a homosexual comment has been made. Also see "no homo." There you have it. With the subtly of a drunken air traffic controller, Gus Johnson tied to lighten a moment with Spike Lee by making sure everyone notice that Lee said "I like Dick." Who can blame him, really, with Lee's reputation for being a such a ham. A regular card, the life of every party. The real brilliance is watching Johnson wrestle with himself right before he says it. Should I do it? Should I do it? Screw it, I'm doing it!

And now the courage of Gus Johnson lives on, as we pledge to drop Pause in there as often and awkwardly as possible. It isn't an easy job, so many opportunities are few and far between. But no matter the length, or how hard it is, we gotta fit it in there.

Thanks, Gus.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Live Blog: Red Sox vs Yankees

- Fond memories of happier times. -

Sweet, Sweet Live Blogging Action!
Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees
August 22nd, 2009 4:10pm EST
Airing on FOX
Welcome one and all! Crack a cold one and grab a seat in front of your collective TV and computer screens: you're at Sweet, Sweet Flacco Action!'s first live blogging! How this works - RWPilk and Cole will write in real time with the airing of the game listed above. The blog entries will work downward on this page, the most recent writing occurring at the bottom of the page. All you'll need to do is occasionally hit your REFRESH button of your internet browser to keep up with the mayhem! So kick back and enjoy!

Gooooooood afternoon, everyone. I'm Cole, along here with RWPilk, and I'm frigging miserable. It's hot, the Red Sox are terrible, the Yankees are not, and I just volunteered to listen to Tim McCarver for several hours straight. Can you put me out of my misery, Rob? Please?

I don't know. Would booze help? How drunk do you think you can get in ten minutes? But wait, before you get blasted, let's get some predictions going since you're the only one here that really knows what he's talking about.

You want a prediction? Here's all the prediction you need. This ain't gonna be pretty.

Oh, lovely. Not even in the first inning we and got some irreverent link action going on. Oh, here are the batting order. And the first inning starts... Now! What's with Tazawa? Is he new? What's the deal?

Hey, you heard McCarver. He's from the Industrial League in Japan. And he's a pinhead pinpoint pitcher! As evidenced by the fact that he specifically did not hit Teixiera there. A terrible call, but it works like an IBB. Here's a drinking game for the viewers at home: drink every time A-Rod's homer against Tazawa is referenced.

Ah, and we got our first gem from McCarver. "Pitchers have long memories, like hitters." And unlike all the other baseball players that neither hit or pitch. Thanks, Tim.

More brain surgery there from McCarver: "Victor Martinez [you know, the catcher] is not a fast runner." And immediately after, "Cano was the cutoff between himself and first base, instead of between himself and second base." Say what?

Meanwhile, more drinking game criteria: drink every time Youkilis has some emotional outburst after sucking.

Jesus, how did Ortiz and Martinez make it around the bases without a homerun? Tito must have tied sticks to their helmets with like cheeseburgers dangling at the end of them. 3-0 though, I can dig it.

For those of you who tuned in expecting to see a defensive struggle with expert baserunning, well, I'm sorry, you were gravely deceived. I, for one, am terribly uncomfortable with this lead, though. The Sox need something like another five runs or so.

Wow, that's the first helmet-to-face injury I've seen. Pedroia! Protect that mug of yours. It's your twinkle! Besides, Dunkin Donuts needs you to be strapping. Strapping and drinking iced coffee.

Aaaand Tazawa works his way out of another awkward situation. Two innings successfully! (I thought your last post said, "it's your twinkie", by the way. We might have to get you a new font.)

What the hell was McCarver just talking about? What he had for dinner last night? Jesus Christ. Did you get the early bird special, Tim? Oooh, and a homerun from Alex Gonzalez. Who the hell is that?

These are the type of questions the world may never know the answers to. I love that Joe Morgan (the ex-Red Sox manager) is in the broadcast booth and not talking. And now, as Burnett walks two straight, I'ma get in on some sweet, sweet Harpoon IPA action!

Oh Kevin Youkilis, here's hoping that homer turns your frown upside down. But I still want more runs: As good as the Red Sox are playing in the first half of this game, that's how as bad I expect them to play now.

Does it make me a bad New Englander if I want to see the Yankees score a few to make this not a snore fest? 7-0, It's the 3rd inning and we have a football score. Anyway, at this rate, they have about 4 more hours to catch up.

I think it makes you a bad human being. I'm wicked pissed, ya traitah!

Meanwhile, for someone who got rocked by throwing A-Rod a curveball, Tazawa threw a lot of curveballs to A-Rod there. So pretty looking though.

Another couple scoreless innings, and maybe we'll be back on schedule. Man, every half inning Tazawa's on the mound is like a Law & Order episode: there's going to be all sorts of drama, even if he comes out okay in the end, and it's going to take almost an hour.

Tim McCarver, head squarely up Jeter's ass, is impressed with his willingness to play "everyday". Yeah let's give Jeter an MVP award for doing what most other baseball players, and most citizens of America do regularly. Not everyone works just Saturdays, jackass.

Jeter's not even the most valuable Yankee. He won't win, but remember how bad the Yankees were without Alex Rodriguez? And then started winning almost instantly after he returned? And how Mark "I'm-probably-going-to-actually-win" Teixiera instantly started hitting once A-Rod was protecting him in the lineup? A-Rod is the anti-Jeter: he's an otherworldly baseball talent, but the media can't find enough bad things to say about him.

They're now talking about Tom Brady and Brett Favre. As we haven't had enough of that lately. Somebody cut the mics! Ortiz homers and he gets that wonderful half-jog he likes to do around the bases. Burnett going "why why why why why?" Because, AJ, you suck. It's 8-0. Remember?

My favorite part of the Brady-F****-Vick discussion was cutting to the hot dog vendor. You know, because it's just as relevant as the football discussion. Meanwhile, Bay doubles and Swisher can't play the outfield, and now it's 9-0 after five. Am I comfortable? Eh.

You're not comfortable with a 9-0 lead? My God, Tazawa could start throwing a beach ball the next few innings and it would still take a while for the Yankees to catch up. What the hell I thought the Yankees were supposed to be good?

They're up 7.5 games, you know. They can play baseball. These things happen. And you have no evidence that Tazawa WON'T start throwing beach balls ... although I don't think that would help much because they wouldn't go as far, really.

Say what you will about his broadcast partner, but Jon Miller's "Two! A double play!" call is what I always think about when I see a DP.

...I don't know what you're talking about.

Anyway, I love that Remy graphic. "Was not happy with the result of the game." They lost! I can assume that! God, announcing MLB must be like baking a cake with one grain of sugar. Four minutes of action and info over the course of 3 hours. And congrats to the Yankees for pulling Burnett out after 9 unanswered runs. What's that like, Bryan? Closing the barn doors after the storm?

And that's ignoring the whole terrible poetry McCarver hit us with in his description of Fenway Park. And gadzooks, Rob, but you sure hit that nail on the head. Darn tootin'.

Youk again! No matter how many Freudian slips McCarver makes, I don't think you're useless.

Did you see Ortiz just do his best Curly impression? How many people can you injure with one swing of the bat? If only the ump had been been hit in the foot with Posada's mask. Why, I oughta...

Welp, there goes the shutout; Nick Swisher homers to left now to cut the lead to 12-1. I like Bard, but he could use a little more break on his pitches, or a little more seasoning in the minors. Something.

By the way, is anyone listening to McCarver? How can someone make a living like this, using non-descript words to announce an event on national television, and used to describe player's talent, no less. At least I hope he's using it to describe their talent. Here's my summary of McCarver's announcing today:

I mean, I'm not really paying attention. Most recently, I've been reading the hate mail some NFL player "sent" to John Madden because he was the lowest-rated player in the game (fake but still funny). I will say, though, that it's still entertaining watching Jose Molina spend three innings praying to anything and everything that no one hits the ball to him.

Oh, naive, naive blogmate. That ain't no real letter. Anyway, Papelbon is warming up. Lot of pressure on him tonight. The slightest 11 run inning will spell his doom! God, it's me, RWPilk. Again. Thank you for that ice cream I prayed for earlier, but please please please don't make me live blog another baseball game again. Amen. P.S. Better get those wheels moving on the blu-ray player.

You know what? As Casey Kotchman drives in run number 13 (12 of which came with two outs! Thanks Tim McCarver; that was actually interesting and useful!), I gotta say, that's the perfect note to end on. What we really need are subs to come in and continue live blogging for us.

And thus concludes the first live blogging at Sweet, Sweet Flacco Action! We leave the game at the top of the 9th, Sox up by 13 runs. Thank you for those who joined us and read along. Next time, I think we'll try football. Or paint drying. You know, something that moves faster.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't Make Me Come Up There

- Above: David Ortiz (left) celebrates a big hit with Dustin Pedroia (center) and a bat boy (right). -

They say you don't really have a sports blog until three things happen: first, you make a prediction that proves laughable in hindsight; second, you live blog some random event; and third, you overload the site with every widget imaginable in a desperate attempt to drive up traffic.*

So now that I have a soapbox, I would be remiss if I didn't abuse the privilege. I'd like to call this article to your attention. Oh, sure, all you normal-heighted people laugh, but the pain we feel is as high as those cookies on top shelf in the cabinets.

That's not the only problem, though. Even our own vertically-challenged kind are perpetuating negative stereotypes:
    "I could knock big guys on their fannies ... with speed and guile, guts and hustle," said Steve Cole [no relation], who eventually grew to 5 feet, 6 inches.
I hate that. I'm sick of hearing about all these big-hearted, come-up-short guys. It seems like every time David Eckstein (5'7") grounds out, or Wes Welker (5'9") make a five-yard catch in the flat, all you hear about is their grit. And their hustle. And their scrappiness. And I hate it. And I know I'm not alone.

You know, there are good athletes out there who are short as well. It's not like every athlete under six feet tall worships at the altar of Doug Flutie. There are several capable athletes out there incapable of touching the floor in a bar stool. Dustin Pedroia (5'7") followed his Rookie of the Year award in 2007 with an MVP award in 2008. Maurice Jones-Drew (5'6") is the Jaguars' top running back this year and an important fantasy option. Just ask any of the four remaining Detroit Lion fans what Barry Sanders (5'8") did in his prolific NFL career. Even in basketball, Spud Webb (5'6") and Nate Robinson (5'9") have shone, winning three Slam Dunk contests between the two of them. Robinson has even famously swatted away the 7'6" Yao Ming.

How about we celebrate these undersized athletes? I'm sure they have heart and gusto and whatever, but these guys can actually play too.

That's all I have to say on the subject, but I think I'm going to stay on this soapbox; if I jump, I can almost reach those cookies!

I'm sure I left out some important examples, so leave them in the comments. And no, we won't tell you to keep it short.

*-A hearty welcome to our Brussels-based reader(s)! Please send beer.

Also Receiving Votes (Other Stories We Missed)

-All right, good job, but I'm not gonna call you 'Esteban'.-


Six things to keep you occupied while waiting for the live blog to start tomorrow:

The Arizona Republic reports that the idea for "Shaq Vs." was stolen from teammate Steve Nash. Who knew the Big Aristotle was capable of such ... Shaqstabbing?

The Red Sox are getting an integral part of their team back tonight. In the immortal words of Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, "Thank God."
As @MikeCostelloe put it: "Plaxico Burress gets a new deal! 2 yrs, $0.0 mil, nothing up front but, depending on the showers, plenty in back, with a 2-yr club option."

Jemele Hill -- remember her? She of the "Celtics = Hitler" comparison? -- is back in the news again for suggesting Packer fans give B**** F**** the "Duracell treatment". Nice going there; not like F**** wasn't going to be in full body armor for that game anyway. (And no, before you complain, I did NOT suggest something analogous last week. I specifically said I WASN'T suggesting throwing aluminum beer bottles at Johnny Damon from the Monster Seats.)

Let the record show that Tulane men's basketball team beat Memphis in 2008. Twice. Hey, you root for the Green Wave long enough, you take what you can get. (Can I just say, by the way, that voiding wins is the least effective punishment ever? Hit offenders where they'll actually feel it: their wallets.)

Chad Ochocinco decided to inject some life into the always moribund preseason by kicking an extra point and the ensuing kickoff in last night's game against the Patriots, thereby saving everyone from having to listen to hours upon hours of how well Tom Brady responded to getting hit. And since the final score was 7-6, you could say Ochocinco kicked the game-winning extra point. You won't, because it's the preseason and no one cares, but you could.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

2009 NFL Preview: The Draft You Save...

- Stoppable force, meet movable object -


I don't know what Rob's talking about: this segment was totally his idea. Still, if he's not going to give you players to help you win, neither will I. Here's four players (well, three and a defense) that you should think twice before you pick them up on draft day:

  • Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals: Yes, Warner took countless owners to league titles last year, resurrecting the Greatest Show on Turf in the goofiest stadium in the Western Hemisphere. But will he be an elite fantasy quarterback again? Don't count on it. Or how often do 38-year-old quarterbacks last a full season, especially given last year was Warner's first since 2001?
  • Joseph Addai, RB, Colts: I went to my league championship last year. Addai was my first-round pick. Those events are almost entirely unrelated, as I'm sure you know if you selected Addai as well. In addition to missing four games, Addai ran for over 100 yards once (vs. Houston), and had over 100 yards total in only one other game (70 rushing, 31 receiving vs. San Diego). Add in the hype surrounding rookie Donald Brown, and Addai is far from a consensus first-rounder.
  • Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, Dolphins: A first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2007, Ginn is one of those perennial-sleeper types that's supposed to have a breakout year every year. Ginn compiled nearly 800 yards of receiving last year, and was second in the league in yards per touch. The problem? Chad Pennington, who hasn't been known for his deep ball since he was throwing to Randy Moss at Marshall. Don't expect Ginn to have a stellar season with Pennington -- or Ronnie Brown -- under center. But he's certainly someone to watch on the waiver wire.
  • New England, DST, Patriots: You wouldn't think I'd have to tell people that a defense whose starters average 47 years old isn't a good draft pick. Still, it's hard to pick a defense, and most people will go on reputation. Don't let that be you, though: the secondary is porous, the front seven is unimpressive beyond Jerod Mayo, and there are no true playmakers on special teams to get you return touchdowns. And don't forget games against the Colts and Saints. The resurgent offenses of the Falcons, Dolphins, and Texans will give the Pats problems too.
  •

    2009 NFL Preview: A Draft I Can't Drink? Lame.

    -Housh! Behind you!-


    The other day, I'm passing Cole in the hallway, so I'm like "What up, shrimp-wad?!" and he's like "We should each write up a draft preview post." Sigh. It's always something else with this guy. "Get off the coffee table!" "Make your own omlet!" "Don't use my toothbrush for that!" Nag, nag.

    I'm not looking forward to our live draft. I honestly believe that an automated draft would serve me better than a live one. Me doing a live draft is like someone bobbing for apples: they all look the same to me, I'm just gonna keep the one that happens to land in my mouth. Pause? Eh, close enough.

    But here we go, here are a few players I'll keep an eye out for:

    T.J. Houshmandzadeh (WR Seattle Seahawks) - You gotta like a guy that's so confident in his performance, he's staging a one-man boycott of Madden 2009 because of a low player rating. C'mon EA Sports, y'all can't do TJ like this! Anyway, I just like being able to yell "WHOSYAMOMMA!!!" at the TV when he makes a play. Beer might be involved.

    Chad Pennington (QB Miami Dolphins) - Ah, the first victim of Brett Favre's hostile post-"retirement" NFL takeover. I don't know, I just like the story of a guy who got unfairly bumbed to a miserable team, and immediately had a respectable season (#2 pick for MVP, under Peyton). And a lot of room to still move up. Eat it, Favre.

    Randy Moss (WR New England Patriots) - No brainer, but with a little extra mustard: Tom Brady hasn't been on the field in nearly a year. Sure, maybe if that Super Bowl had been won, if he hadn't hurt his knee, Tom would be kicking back, tossing passies to Welker, Sleepy, Grumpy, Doc, or whoever else is catching passes for the Pats. But I know Tom's type. He knows eyes are on him and he wants to shut up any doubts. He'll go to the Tubbs to his Crockett: The Moss Man.

    The Detroit Lions Defense - Don't question it. They're just gonna pull it together this season. I got a feeling. A feeling, or a brain tumor. One of those.


    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Site Announcement: Sweet, Sweet Live Blog Action!

    -Game's that way, genius.-

    Attention citizens! Sweet, Sweet Flacco Action! is about spice up that lethargic, pastry-filled, tearfest you call a life! Mwauhahaha! Just kidding, but we are "liveblogging" this coming Saturday's Red Sox vs. Yankees game, called by none other than Joe Buck and Tim "Is anyone else light-headed?" McCarver. It'll just be like having Cole and RWPilk in your living room, watching the game with-- No, no wait! Come back! It won't be like that, promise! Sorry. Stop crying. But it might be good for a few laughs (probably due to the fact that we've never done it before). So tune in and get that "refresh" button ready, cause we're gonna melt your face off.

    Sweet, Sweet Liveblog Action!
    Saturday, August 22nd
    Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees
    4:10 pm EST

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Oh, Big Surprise

    -Ready to rape/pillage/suck thumb.-


    I know three things about Brett Favre. He played for Green Bay, likes Wrangler jeans, and is finally retired. Oh, what's that FOX News? I only know two things? Aw.

    According to multiple sources yesterday, most notably Jay Glazer from ministry of truth, FOX News, there's a whole lot of whispering, snickering, and note-passing going at Vikings training camp claiming Favre will be on the team for 2009 season. As one can imagine, the sports news media at large is piddling all over themselves.

    I don't really give a toss either way. How good is an aging athlete going to be when he's juggled around different offenses every year? Probably not that good, and even I know not to put him on any fantasy draft "must-have" list. But c'mon, Favre. A little showmanship? What are you going to do, win another Super Bowl? Does Michael Jordan ring any bells? A franchise player who went out on top as one of the best ever... then squandered his legendary status sucking in his twilight years, bouncing around b-teams. Does anyone even know what team MJ even ended up playing for? The Nuggets or something? Might as well have been the Generals.

    See, same thing happened on the X-Files. Duchovny couldn't just bow out. Had to keep coming back. Mulder was abducted, then he was an alien clone, then he was dead, then he came back alive... just to disappear again. C'mon, Mulder! You can't foil the feds' alien super-soldier plot with such flip-floppery! Scully's fragile, crusading heart can only take so much!

    Anyway. I digress. Whatever, Brett. Squander away.

    Sweet, Sweet Update Action!: As of this morning, Favre officially signed. Oh, good for you, cochise, knocking another QB with an actual career AHEAD of them back to the bench. We're all impressed. Sage Rosenfels, too. You gonna get tackled so hard you helicopter over seven yards and make me shoot Mr. Pibb out of my nose? No, I don't think so.


    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Almost Sunny in Philadelphia

    - "Another home run? Boy could I use a beer..." -


    Ahem. Sorry.

    But it is a good day to be a sports fan in Philly. Regardless of what you think of Michael Vick, he served his time, he has been reinstated (sort of) and the Eagles see fit to take a chance on him. Now Andy Reid will do his best to earn his reputation as an offensive genius, either by working Vick into the existing offense or adopting a version of the Wildcat formation that Miami ran so successfully last year. Imagine that with two professional quarterbacks. The possibilities are exciting, and football fans can expect to see some big numbers on the Linc's scoreboard.

    You could argue that the signing was just gamesmanship, that the Eagles don't really plan to use Vick and were just preventing a division rival like the Redskins from upgrading. Or you could argue that the move is really just to give them depth if/when McNabb gets injured and Kevin Kolb disappoints. But I disagree: you don't spend $1.6 million in a league with a salary cap on gamesmanship or third QBs. Even McNabb's comments granting him five snaps a game ring hollow: Five snaps? That's it?

    If you don't like the move (insert snarky dog joke here) then you can at least take solace in the fact that the guy who dumped a beer on outfielder Shane "The Flyin' Hawaiian" Victorino turned himself in yesterday to Chicago police. He now faces two counts of battery and one count of extreme douchebaggery.

    We here at SSFA! pride ourselves on our objective reporting, so let's look at the evidence here.

    Okay, there are three things in this picture that give it away.
    1. Those sunglasses: what are you, Kanye West?
    2. That sweatband: what year is this, 1983?
    3. The whole throwing-a-beer-at-a-baseball-player thing (not pictured, but there's video evidence here): those things aren't cheap, you know.

    Now, if I can direct your attention to Figure 2 for a second here...

    4. "It was totally that guy! I swear on my Ed Hardy jeans!"

    Verdict: Douchy as charged. All right, I'll stop. The guy's been getting piled on enough (pause), and at least he turned himself in, I guess. But deliberately throwing a beer at a player? Come on. You don't see people chucking those aluminum bottles at Johnny Damon from the Monster seats^, and we hate that guy. Good thing Victorino caught the ball, by the way, or you'd see a lot more copycats.

    *-In all seriousness, I thought Rob's favorite player looked pretty good for the most part last night, and his timing on the few deep throws he tried was right on. Good sign for Pats fans.
    ^-Not that I'm suggesting anything.


    Thursday, August 13, 2009


    - #bromance -


    So slow was the sports news day yesterday that I found myself trying squeeze a single drop of amusement from a Mexico defeats America soccer headline. But before I slipped into an infinite coma, I was saved by the "big black unit": You guessed it, SHAQ. Apparently, Shazam Shaquille was with Cardinal Albert Pujols to promote some reality show and referred to himself as "Shaqqie Robinson," sending the press giggling like a school girl being tackled by a dozen kittens.

    I couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy; perhaps I wasn't getting enough Shaqness in my life (now that it isn't 1998 anymore). But I suddenly remembered Twitter, and to my excellent fortune found THE_REAL_SHAQ. See for yourself, as I'm still trying to somehow quantify the ocean of priceless Shaqitude I've stumbled upon:

    Attention all scrabble players, question, is pigsriot a word

    Holy shit, I'm at the santa monica airport I just saw a lil plane crash, and the guy walk away, dam dam glad he's ok shit, excuse my words

    Happy birthday , harry potter main charachter dude

    Anybody seen that 7 year old kid driving, running from the cops

    The white house wouldn't let me in, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Whoever told Shaq that Twitter is a magic telephone in which he can get instant responses to any idle curiousity that he asks at any given time... Let me buy you a drink. As you can clearly see, I no longer have any need for television, the cinema, radio, or any form of print media entertainment. I have THE_REAL_SHAQ. And it's more than enough. Tweet on, Shaqinator. Tweet on.


    Welcome Back Pedro*

    - This way, at least, he won't blow out his arm in July. -


    I want to root for Pedro Martinez.

    Is that so wrong? Is that too much to ask?

    From the moment Dan Duquette traded Tony Armas Jr and Carl Pavano for him back in the winter of 1997, I always loved watching him pitch. And for years he never let me down, outdueling everyone he went up against, posting video game-like statistics and even helping the team finally win a World Series.

    Sure, I wasn't happy when he signed with the Mets that offseason, but I knew from a business standpoint, it didn't make sense to guarantee Pedro a fourth year; that everyone knew he had maybe three good years in him before he broke down. Still, I was a little disappointed when everyone turned out to be right and he opened the spring without a contract, pitching his heart out for the Dominican in the World Baseball Classic.

    But now he's back, pitching for the Phillies in the same number 45 he's worn his whole career, and picking up his first win last night against the Cubs with a lot of help from the offense. His line was a pedestrian three runs and seven hits over five innings, but two of those runs and three of those hits came in the fifth. For a first start, it's not terrible, especially given his five strikeouts and one walk. His fastball even showed signs of life, hitting 94 at one point.

    It's a good pickup for Philly, really, since he'll serve as a decent fifth starter as the regular season winds down, and provide some important long relief in the playoffs. Besides, his press conferences are already up to his usual high comic standard. So there's a real possibility he'll play a key role in determining how deep the Phillies go into the playoffs, and in all likelihood will be interesting to watch and root for.

    The real problem with rooting for Pedro is the same problem that comes with rooting for David Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols. A pitcher who performed at such a high level -- until testing started -- is going to raise questions, fair or unfair. If the worst should happen and Pedro's name is leaked, expect no brotherly love from the Philadelphia media, and the usual talk of "clubhouse cancer" to follow someone who (by and large) has avoided that charge throughout his career.

    Which brings me back to my main point: I don't want to start following Pedro now, knowing that this huge specter looms over everything he accomplished in Boston, everything I respected him for. And it's not fair to Pedro, really, because no one who knows what they're talking about has ever hinted Martinez took steroids or failed a drug test.

    The steroid era has made it nearly impossible to enjoy the performances of individual players anymore. If that means that, as Jerry Seinfeld once said, fans are really just rooting for laundry, it's going to make me reconsider some things.

    Because the road jerseys and alternates the Sox are wearing this year are brutal.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    A Cowboy Up Beat Down

    -Score that play "666".-

    You see that fight last night? When Youkilis charged the mound?

    Indeed I did. Cleared the whole bench, I reckon. Another hissy fit.

    It got me thinking... if you had to take one of the Sox, which one would you want to fight?

    Hmmm... I don't know. Lowell? Didn't he just have hip surgery or something? Seems like the kind of guy you could knock over if you bopped him on the head with his own AARP subscription.

    Not a bad option, except that he can probably bludgeon you with his eyebrows or something. And he's popular, everyone's gonna rush to his defense. What you need is someone everyone wants to hit anyway, like Manny last year. How about Saito? He's new, he's got the language barrier, he's a bullpen guy anyway. Either that or Smoltz, who's even newer and over 40 -- Lowell's only 35; Smoltz could've been his babysitter or something.

    I'm not hitting Manny. I love Manny. But, fine. If I swipe someone's walker from underneath them, it'll be Smoltz. Well, as long as he's not like working out a bunch. He's gotta lot of time on his hands now. Who you got?

    Well, all right, agreed: Manny's cool. There was that whole shoving match incident last year with Youkilis. Everyone sided with Manny on that. So if I have to pick someone under 30, I'd go Youkilis. He looks like he deserves it, with all those strike out hissy fits.

    Youkilis!? Jesus. I don't want to rumble with him. He looks like something that they had to slay in the Lord of the Rings. And you seem him throw that helmet last night? Catapult-like accuracy!

    Well he was the bad guy in Hellboy...but how about you? Pick on someone your own age, or at least closer.

    Hmmm. Alright. Rocco then. At least my mitochondria work. Advantage!

    Two geezers and a cripple? Awesome.


    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    In Which We Pretend to Care About the NFL Preseason

    -Ha, they mispelled "Eepsw". Those jerks.-


    The Boston Red Sox' season* came to a crashing halt Sunday night, as the Sox did their best to remind fans of the infamous Boston Massacre. If only there were some way to distract from this so I didn't have to write ab -- oh look! It's the NFL!

    Yes, the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills clashed in the annual Hall of Fame Game this weekend, kicking off a month of meaningless exhibitions. If you missed it, don't worry: I started my preparations for the upcoming season by watching the whole first quarter before sending in a backup. There were a couple of highlights though, chief among them the AFL tribute uniforms.

    This year is the 50th anniversary of the American Football League, so the league's original eight franchises will be donning awesome throwback jerseys throughout the year to celebrate. This means everyone's favorite public drunk Patriots' logo will be making an occasional reappearance. Paul Lukas over at Uni Watch blog did a better job detailing the throwbacks -- refs included -- than I could ever do, so go check that out.

    Equally awesome was the play
    here, the first score of the new season. Football, I think, is unique in the use of trick plays. Oh sure, baseball has the hidden-ball trick and whatever, but if you pull that kind of stuff in baseball, you're known as a bush-league amateur. In football, you're known as a bold visionary (and then some). So NFL coaches (because I'm POSITIVE Bill Belichick reads this blog all the time), incorporate more trickeration on a weekly basis, especially on fourth down. Look at it this way: the games will be more interesting, the fans will talk about the team more, and the media will be slower to call for your head if the team doesn't perform well.

    the trick plays work, that is.


    * - Not to go all George Carlin on it, but is that right? "Red Sox' season"? Are we sure it's not "Red Sox's season"? "Red Socks' season"? "Passers by"?

    Michael Vick Survival Guide

    -Vick summaries every Andy Rooney segment-


    Over the past few days, 50 people were blown up in Iraq, a maniac went in and shot up a fitness center in PA, hundreds went missing in Taiwan mudslides and typhoons, and crazies everywhere celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Manson murders. But, holy s***, you gotta be one sorry SOB to bat an eye at that weak sauce because 7th sign of the apocalypse, Michael Vick is back in town, talking up 60 Minutes, and all bets are off.

    Now, I know what you're thinking: How can I, modest citizen and faithful SSFA! reader, ward off such evil? Fret not, for we have devised three easy steps to protect you and your highly endangered family:

    Step 1: Read! If you missed any of the headlines listed above, fear not; more and more come out everyday just like it! And while you're discovering there are greater evils in the world outside of "forcing" mean things to be mean to each other (see Step 2) you might accidentally learn that Michael Vick broke the law, got caught, and then served an appropriate sentence in jail. Menace vanquished!

    Step 2: Know Thy Beasts! For those not sure what Vick is guilty of, it's locking dogs in a cage together and making them fight. Oh, not just any dogs. Pitbulls. Our (strictly platonic) friends at the Center of Disease Control classify pitbulls as a large, popular breed that lead the country in human attack statistics. Oh, wait, scratch that; human fatality statistics. That's right, no dog in America kills more people than the pitbull. Hmmm, why does Michael Vick making pitbulls be vicious and bloodthirsty to each other suddenly sound like locking two rabbits in a cage and "making them" boink? Danger averted!

    Step 3: Take a Deep Breath! Michael Vick went to jail a shamed NFL quarterback and returns to society as... a shamed NFL quarterback. But even better, Tony Dungy is has risen to the challenge of being Vick's wise and world-weary mentor, a role surely to be played by Morgan Freeman somewhere down the line (or at least in my head). With such guidance, how can Vick go wrong? Malice extinguished!

    And, ta daa, Michael Vick, the diabolical mind who let two dogs do in a cage what they would probably do outside a cage, isn't such a big deal anymore. He's safe to watch, safe to play with, and, I'm guessing, safe to draft in fantasy leagues. Just be sure to remove all household pets from the safety of your living room before doing so.


    Friday, August 7, 2009

    2009 NFL Preview: Tuck Rule, My A**

    -So, this is what it feels like to sack you, Tom. I didn't know it would be so... sensual.-

    So Bryan tells me we should do an NFL preview for the coming season. Okay. But I'll be honest, there are only a few things I know about football this season:

    1.) The San Diego Chargers are cool with fining players like
    Antonio Cromartie for using Twitter to report on training camp conditions (c'mon guys, lighten up).

    2.) Tom Brady is returning as QB to the Patriots.

    Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like Tom Brady. Not one bit. But with good reason. New England fans piss and moan that it's actually Bret Favre that get gets crammed down everyone's throat every year, but it ain't. It's Tom Terrific. It doesn't matter if hasn't set foot on the field all season. It doesn't matter that Matt Cassel is out there killing himself, making plays. No one, not fans, not sports writers, not even the friggin' sportscasters announcing games the Pats aren't even playing in can shut up about Tom Brady. The whole New England region is one giant, salivating, 24-hour Tom Brady zone. Seriously. Believe it, somewhere in MA, taxpayer money is being used to put together a stain glass window of this guy.

    And it's not even the fact that his mug is plastered over every advertising medium you can think of (Don't believe me?), it's all this “Greatest Ever” talk. You can't decide that yet. And even if you could, a Super Bowl loser who gets fed plays through his helmet from a team caught cheating is the best ever? Ever? C'mon, New England. Cocky is one thing. Delusional is another. And not for nothing, but when Bledsoe was hurt, he was on the sidelines, helping Tom cut his teeth. When Tom got hurt, he went to California to bang his super model girlfriend. Yeah, I'll throw in another: at the height of his fame, Bledsoe wrote a children's book. At the height of his, Tom broke up with his pregnant girlfriend.

    But that's just me being bitter. I get it. This is sports, not an after-school special. So, Tom Terrific is coming back after a 2008 hiatus and, from what I hear, coming off a pretty notorious type of knee injury. All reports is that he's doing well in training camp, looking top form. Big surprise, I'm sure he'll still be an early grab in many fantasy drafts. I don't know how “top form” a guy is when you want him to be scrambling in the pocket and he
    has trouble operating a kayak. But whatever. 2009 is the official return of Tom Brady and I can hear the collective lips an entire nation of sports fans pucking up.

    I'm already practicing my scowl.