Thursday, January 31, 2008

Seriously now?

Nope, this has absolutely nothing to do with sports. Call it "found art:" an object of incredible beauty I was fortunate enough to stumble upon in the course of my daily cyber-meanderings.

The back story: I ordered a pair of totally amazing boots that are both cute AND practical (and make julienned fries) from Zappos and was all set to receive them today. Sadly, when I went to track my package (heh), I discovered that UPS' attempt at delivery had been fruitless, as no one was at my apartment to sign for the package (heh). Determined to get a hold of said boots before soul/funk night tonight, I called UPS and asked if there was any way I could come pick up my boots this evening. (UPS was very nice, by the way.) I was informed that, yes, should I desire, I was welcome to come by the Watertown UPS office after work. Lovely.

Here's where a totally innocent web query turned insane.

I typed "watertown ups" into my search engine and turned up a relatively innocuous-looking site with directions, maps, and reviews of local merchants. I jotted down the address... then, suddenly, the "reviews" of this particular UPS facility caught my eye.

The first was a scathing indictment of UPS' apparently questionable business practices:

Horrendous service and cheats

This store overcharges and cheats. They quote one price and then charge more when the work is done. UPS Store on Main St in Watertown MA is one I would recommend folks to stay away from.

December 23, 2007 by Why

Yikes! Given that I had only moments before had a very pleasant experience with UPS, I took this review with a grain of salt. Moreover, I'm fairly certain that UPS pricing and service charges are set by the corporate office, making it unlikely that "UPS Store on Main St in Watertown MA" should be accounted the culprit for this particular customer's shipping-related quarrel.

It got weirder:


I need to come clean about a review I recently send to this site.I need to apologize for comments I made about a UPS driver. U see, I'm a woman that was DUMPED by my husband for this girl and I felt the only thing Ican do was try to distroy her any way I could to get him back. I HAVE FAILED. I HAVE LOST AGAIN

September 15, 2007 by anonimous

Ok, I'm sorry... is this a review for a UPS store, or an errant "missed connection" posting from Craigslist? Am I to understand that this woman, this "anonimous," chose to take revenge on her ex-husband's new lover by "anonimously" sabotaging said lover's burgeoning career as a UPS driver?

It's the final sentences -- those chilling, bitter, all-caps cries of loss and failure -- that really touched my heart.

And finally, we move from the poignant to the bizarre:

I Basically Have a Complaint

Your office quite a few years ago hired a driver by the name of Maria Benitez who said she had a GED with out verifying that the GED was in fact a fake GED. Maria Benitez is in fact a dropp out of Madison Park High School and if nothing is done out of this, I will take this matter further than what you can imagine. These documents should be verified for accuracy and this one was not.

February 07, 2007 by Unnonimous

First, the title: a punchy, declamatory statement of the author's intent (basically). Succinct and lovely. From this opening confrontation we move, at breathtaking speed, into the vicious accusation: A high school dropout! From Madison Park, no less -- just blocks away from my office in Roxbury. The horror! We are not yet done, however, as we then encounter the THREAT: Further. Than. What. You. Can. Imagine. I see those words flying towards me in the preview for a summer blockbuster. Perhaps "The Fantastic Four 3: The Rogue Delivery Woman." Tagline: "What can Brown do for YOU, bitch?"

Is it possible that this posting constitutes the "comments" that our friend "anonimous" is now regretting she so hastily made? Perhaps not, as this "Unnonimous" appears to have taken a different approach to misspelling that blanketer of online offenses, "anonymous." To be honest, I think I prefer "unnonimous" to "anonimous," as the former implies not merely a lack of nomenclature (as does the wimpier prefix "a-"), but rather a deliberate shunning, DEFIANCE even, of names per se. "Unnonimous" is a strong, cunning woman, determined to bring down this interloping wench and destroy her chances at happiness. "anonimous," lacking even the gumption to capitalize her own name, is but a broken shell of that first woman, drowning in her feelings of remorse and desperate, desperate loneliness.

In conclusion: hooray for my new boots!

P.S. Here's a sports tip to keep your appetite whetted for Sunday: Try saying R.W. McQuarters' name with a thick Irish brogue. Make it as jaunty as possible. This amuses my brother and me for hours.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jeff Feagles has a nice ass

Heh. This video is humorous because it could potentially lead one to infer that one man has a homosexual crush on another, as evidenced by his clear familiarity with/admiration of the other man's gluteal region.

Funnier by far, however, are the comments on the actual YouTube page. God, and I thought the mouth-breathing troglodytes that comment on the FanHouse blogs were bad? I forgot that YouTube is the ultimate common denominator of websites. Some highlights:

take plaxico buress, ammani toomer, and micheal stratain out o fthe giants and u have a whole different team

Funny. I would have assumed that a legitimate football fan would actually know how to spell the names of the players they were talking about. Not nailing Umenyiora or Houshmandzadeh on the first try is one thing... but failing to spell Michael correctly? That makes baby jesus cry. Then, of course, there's:

do you actually whatch football?? the ravens stoped them on 4th down but the dumb ass coach called a time out.they had the game won.learn your facts first

Learn your spelling first, sir. Then concern yourself with the facts. And finally, we have my favorite:

drakebellrocks12345 (3 days ago)
uhh..... fuckhead, he is hes going to wine when he gets his ass kicked by the patoriots ohh and drake bell is my brother. thats why my accounts name is drake bell you fucker. and about that game bing unfair watch that game at least 2-3 times and you will see that the refs were unfair. i hate saying this but go pats

A quick Google search would suggest that this young man is claiming to be the brother of this Drake Bell, some sort of manufactured Hannah Montana-type entertainer about whom I might know/care if I were 12 years old and still thought body glitter was the ultimate in sophisticated fashion statements . Somehow, I'm not convinced that being a member of the immediate family of some such underage hack entitles one to dole out poorly-spelled and ill-researched football prognostications. The Patriots do not need or want your support, Mr. Bell. Go watch "10 Items or Less" or whatever it is people as dumb as you do in your free time.

All this being said, I'll clearly morph into a complete dipshit the minute I pull on my Brady jersey and hit the streets this Sunday. Perhaps I should withhold judgment.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Getting ready for the game, Simpsons-style

It's no secret that I am Matt Groening's bitch. My family has Simpsons quote-offs whenever we're in the car together (my brother and father both do a mean Frink) and I've watched at least part of the Futurama movie pretty much every day since it came out. Thus, I was absolutely thrilled to find my way back to
this old post on 82 Sluggo Win. (82 Sluggo Win, incidentally, is a bitchin' blog for Trojans fans like me and Mommy dearest.) It's a guide, and a brilliant, well-researched one at that, to properly invoking the words of The Simpsons during football playoffs -- yes, it's designed for the college bowl season, but I think you'll find it's readily adaptable to the Superbowl. Just replace "Lee Corso" with "Joe Buck," "Jeff Bowden" with "Tom Coughlin," and "Detroit" with "godforsaken desert wasteland."

"Rargh, my groin!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

There are no words

If you can make it all the way through this video without collapsing on the floor as you choke from trying to hold back the bile rising in your throat, congratulations. Some weirdo Giants fan (a dude, no less) made this Eli Manning video, which is eerily reminiscent of the kind of thing you'd expect to see when a high schooler dies and they play a tribute to them at graduation or something. Seriously, who the hell puts together a football video to the tune of "Time After Time"? You'd expect "Eye of the Tiger" or "Welcome to the Jungle" or something, I don't know, MANLY. Not an end-of-the-wedding-reception slow dance number. If you can manage to sift through the treacly, simpering affection for Manning and the overload of video special effects -- it's like watching the opening graphics for Sunday Night Football for 4 minutes straight -- there's a particularly hilarious shirtless photo of Eli at around 2:19. He seriously looks like a 12-year-old kid.

What's so funny is that, as stupid as this video is, the overall aesthetic of it seems perfectly suited to Eli Manning. I wouldn't be surprised if he commissioned it himself. "Oh, dude, can you use that Cindy Lauper song? The one they dance to in Napoleon Dynamite? Man, I love that movie. It really reminds me of my own life experience as an awkward, skinny high-schooler. Plus, remember that part when the guy says "quesadilla," but he says it funny? Haha. I love that part."

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Holy crap. It's been 17 days since I posted something about baseball.

Well, the dry spell is over, since this story is just TOO absurd to pass up.

According to the New York Times (which means I get to treat this story as credible, even though the tip comes from an anonymous, unverified source), former baseball player/grade-A assmunch Jose Canseco attempted to blackmail AL batting champ Magglio Ordonez (feel free to draw in the little squiggly above the n) by demanding that Magglio invest in an upcoming film venture in exchange for having his name left out of Canseco's new book, "Vindicated."

I love Magglio's response to the whole thing:

“I didn’t want to press charges against him,” Ordóñez said. “I don’t want any problems. He is probably desperate for money. I don’t understand why he is trying to put people down.”

What a heady mix of compassion and disdain. Like a wealthy socialite dropping a $20 in a hobo's cup. Like Matt Lauer interviewing Britney Spears. Like Tom Brady writing his child support checks to Bridget Moynahan.

Canseco also tried to blackmail Magglio's agent, the irrepressible Scott Boras. God, what a moron. Boras might just be the craftiest sonofabitch in America. Bud Selig is afraid of him. Does Canseco really believe that he and his big fat head and his clumsy attempts to tarnish the reputations of other, better athletes are going to pull one over on Boras?

I could hate on Jose Canseco all day.

In other news, I finally went to my first Celtics game of the season last night, only to watch my boys drop a heated contest to the Raptors, 114-112. I've got to admit, though: much as I like to hate on bandwagon fans, it's fun to go to the Garden for a game and have it feel alive again. Good times were had by all. Also, I'll never quite get over the way everyone goes nuts every time Brian Scalabrine sinks a 2-pointer or does something else fairly unremarkable that any professional basketball player should be able to do. I guess The Onion was on to something...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New York, I love you, but you're bringing me down

Yes! I love when I get to make hipster music references and talk about sports in the same breath (note the title of this blog).

Some New York radio station is marketing these as a sure-fire way to ensure that the Patriots fold to the Giants in the Superbowl:

That creepy visage is none other than Brady baby mama/goalie-puller extraordinaire Bridget Moynahan. Wow. I guess we might as well call the game off at this point... clearly a bunch of clumsily-fashioned paper masks (I have visions of Giants fans somehow managing to cut themselves with those Crayola safety-blade scissors that preschoolers use) are the ticket to stopping the undefeated offensive juggernaut that is the 2007 New England Patriots. We have a winner, folks.

Didn't someone already try this with Jessica Simpson masks to bring down Babyface Romo? (Ah, crap... maybe there is something to this after all...)

Just kidding. If you'll excuse me, I have to go order the kegs for my Superbowl party -- one for during the game, one for the celebration afterwards.

A few matters of business

List of things to do tomorrow:

1. Find and kill everyone responsible for "Meet the Spartans."

That is all.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Giants/Packers Drinking Game

So in the off-chance that you're glancing at this during the Giants/Packers halftime, here's a suggestion to liven up the second half: The NFC Championship Drinking Game. The rules are fairly simple. All you have to do is take a sip of your libation of choice -- be it a delicious Harpoon Winter (mmm), a cup of hot chocolate (for the younger folks), your cosmo with a twist (Jeff Garcia), or the bitter tears of your own failure and shame (Peyton Manning) -- every time:

  • Troy Aikman reminds you how cold it is in Green Bay.
  • FOX shows footage from old Packers games.
  • you find yourself applauding Eli Manning for executing a play that any professional quarterback should be able to... somehow it's more impressive when you don't expect it.
  • Tom Coughlin's face looks even more purple than it did 5 seconds ago.
  • Eli gets caught in the the pocket, yet still manages to avoid the sack.
  • Plaxico Burress and Al Harris get in a fight.
  • you inadvertently laugh when one of the announcers says "Hedgecock" (ah crap, I just laughed typing that).
  • Brandon Jacobs gets taken down at the line of scrimmage.
  • Eli Manning's chinstrap looks uncomfortably tight to you.
  • Brett Favre shows grit and hustle, and you irrationally detest him for doing so.

That's what I got for now. Savor this day... there's only one more football game to watch after this, and then it's a long cold couple of months until baseball season (FINALLY) starts.

Oh yeah, there was another game today too, right? Who won that again?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ok, now the fun stuff

Right. I hate to be rant-y without providing a little something to make it go down easier. This guy is (facking) hilarious -- he's been posting these "Fitzy's Wicked Pissah" webcasts all season, and while I'm pretty sure he's not actually from Boston, he pretty much nails the way most of my male acquaintances round these parts talk about football. Enjoy.

Climbing back on the soapbox... just for a minute

So I've already stated where I stand on Kelly Tilghman's comment about lynching Tiger Woods (not that anybody cares what I think, nor should they). No, she did not intend harm with her comment -- in fact, it was made in the context of complimenting Tiger on his dominance of modern golf. Nevertheless, her comment displayed an ignorance and insensitivity that simply does not belong on a national news forum (I know, I know, no one actually watches the Golf Network... I'm making a point here, sir). I think the consequences she faced were necessary and appropriate, and I think it's very important for media outlets (even stuffy, boring ones like the Golf Network) to adopt a no-tolerance policy towards offensive comments and behavior.

Apparently, Golfweek disagrees with me -- or, at the very least, they're missing the point. Here is the cover of the January 19th issue of Golfweek:

Ah yes. Let us fail to internalize the fundamental message behind the Tilghman affair, which is simply this: the language and symbolism of nooses and hanging are loaded with bitter memories and linked to decades of hatred, and thus should be treated with extreme caution. Moreover, let us refuse to let an issue be resolved and let a chastened reporter get on with her life and her career. Let us, instead, put an image of a noose on our front cover; let us continue to drag this story out; let us display a deliberate callousness towards those who have been hurt by this unfortunate incident (most directly, Kelly Tilghman and Tiger Woods).

(At least, that's how I imagine the editors of a magazine like Golfweek must sound.)

This, however, is what really caught my attention:

In the magazine's news story, noted sociologist Harry Edwards, said the public should accept Tilghman's apology.

"If we stopped the train every time somebody made a dumb remark that is potentially offensive," he is quoted as saying, "we'd never progress as a society."

Really? Because to be perfectly honest, I actually think that what keeps us from progressing as a society is that people continue to tolerate "borderline" remarks and attitudes that seem innocuous enough that people fail to realize that their existence is actually symptomatic of the much uglier truth that real racism and sexism exists in pure, unadulterated form in many regions of the country. Like the guy who tried to strike up a conversation with me while we were waiting for the T in East Boston the other day about how many "fucking Spanish people" there were around us. (I'm Latina, dude.)

So, while I certainly feel for Kelly Tilghman and agree with Edwards' assertion that she should be forgiven, I also think it's very important that the "train be stopped" in situations like this so that we can all take a moment to reassess our own values and acknowledge that the battle against prejudice is never truly won.

Would you convict this man?

It's always fun to hop on over to the other side of the pond for a look at what batshit things the hooligans associated with soccer (or "football," as I believe they call it over there) are doing. This little gem in the Daily Mail was just what I needed to cleanse my palette of that ugly Randy-Moss-restraining-order aftertaste. A couple of weeks ago, footballer Bob Malcolm parked his Range Rover smack in the middle of a British highway -- perpendicular to traffic, mind you, so he was across both the middle and the fast lines -- and decided to take a nap. Naturally, he was arrested and taken to court (or "the loo," as I believe they call it over there). His excuse?

Malcolm, who has played three times for Scotland, added: "I would also like to stress that at the time of the incident, I was not driving my car... I had pulled over to the side of the road and was sleeping."

Oh, right, ok. As long as you weren't doing something crazy like DRIVING on the highway, I guess we're good. Thank heaven we cleared that up.

Oh, but it doesn't stop there:

Writing on QPR's website the day after his arrest, he confessed: "I want to apologise to all the supporters and in particular the young fans.

"I recognise that footballers are role models and that, as such, they should set a positive example. On this occasion, I have failed to do that.

"But I must say that I was very upset and frustrated with the poor performance of the referee in our match at Plymouth the evening before."

Well then. As with the Celtics loss to the Bobcats the other night; as with the Patriots almost losing to the Colts earlier this year; as with the Padres being eliminated from playoff contention: blame it on crappy officiating. It seems that we Americans have something in common with our British counterparts after all. Yes, Virginia, it's always the referee's fault.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

LeBron James: Atomic Superman

It's not exactly news that LeBron James is really, really, nasty good at basketball. But holy crap, the man scored 51 points in an overtime win against Memphis last night. The game, which marks the 4th time in his already-illustrious career that LeBron has scored 50 or more in a game, included a 25-POINT 4TH QUARTER. Um, that's ridiculous.

He's really showing us what a man with a cannon in his chest can do!

Incidentally, over those 4 times that LeBron has scored 50 or more, Cleveland's record is only 2-2. What a freaking waste. It's got to be a frustrating feeling to score 50-something points in a game knowing that the rest of your lame team can't even get it together to help you win. Kind of like how Erik Bedard feels every time he pitches, I'll bet.

(sorry, John... I try to keep the Cleveland-hating to a minimum)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Please don't read my blog if you are this dumb

To quote an email I received in response to my admittedly (and deliberately) over-the-top Patriots lovefest post from Sunday:

Videogate? ... Antonio Gates?... hmm actually I prefer Mangenius!!!

Guhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (slams self in head repeatedly with stapler)

The ham-handed juxtaposition of "-gate" and "Gates"... the terrible pun on Mangini's name (like there's not already a better and more accurate pun to be made there)... the triple exclamation point... the sheer and utter ignorance involved in asserting the superiority of the Jets... this literally hurts my face to look at. Yeah, sure, I'll take the 4-12 Jets over the Patriots or the Chargers. And "Mangenius"? I think not. I don't know who you are, dude, but seriously... please don't email me ever again.

Fun with ESPN headlines

the sad part of the story first: Back in November, former Oakland A's pitcher Joe Kennedy died unexpectedly -- and tragically -- when he collapsed at his in-laws' home. It came out today that he apparently suffered from hypertensive heart disease, a condition in which the walls of the heart harden and thus slow or even stop the heart. Kennedy was only 28, and left behind a 1-year-old son. Yeah, there's nothing funny about that.

There is, however, something funny about the front-page headline regarding this story:

Ex-pitcher Kennedy died of heart disease

Maybe it's just that I have a macabre sense of humor, but... referring to a dead pitcher as an "ex-pitcher"? I couldn't help but think of that Monty Python sketch where the guy tries to return a dead parrot to a pet store to no avail, and ends by screeching out "THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!" And, upon reflection, I'm pretty sure this is the mental connection I was supposed to make.

My first thought was that they referred to Kennedy that way because he was done pitching, but Toronto apparently had plans to include him on the roster for the 2008 season (which is still so very, very far away). So now I'm pretty sure that some nerdy, copy-writing intern at ESPN was just being a smart-ass and thought he could sneak this by everyone. Well, junior, you've got to get up pretty early in the morning to sneak one by this girl.

'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory!

The Celtics need a boost

Obviously, our record is still out-of-this-world good. (30-6? Yeah, I'll take it. The only team even close to that is the red-hot Pistons, who are 28-10.) Still, dropping two in a row to the Gilbert Arenas-less Wizards? I don't like it. Antawn Jamison put together a neat little double-double last night, and the Big Three just didn't have any backup from the rest of their team. Boo.

In order to show my support for the home team (incidentally, I've been a Celtics fan my whole life. Before this year. Before we got good. Back when Antoine Walker was a big deal around these parts.), I decided to invest in this:

8-game win streak, here we come.

On another note, I'd be worried if I were Agent Zero right now. Washington is on a tear without him... rumor has it team chemistry is actually better without his showboating personality and locker-room antics. Too bad.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Magnanimous in victory! Pfft nah just kidding

Yesterday was awesome.

David Garrard and his Jaguars put up a decent fight, but we prevailed. And thank god, too. It's been painfully obvious since we almost blew it against the Eagles in Week 12 that we have no defense to speak of -- sure, we'll turn a great play every now and again, but we're simply not a physical presence that can shut down a rushing play, and we're practically a nonentity inside the red zone. Our defense looked weak against Jacksonville and got scrappy and desperate as a result. I've never seen so many damn unnecessary roughness calls in my life. Plus, giving away an 88-yard scoring drive followed by a 95-yard one? That shouldn't happen.

Thank god for Moss and Welker. Ben Watson was clutch too. We might not have much of a defense, but holy CRAP no one has an offense like we do. And forget that old saw about the best offense being a good defense, because defense doesn't win Superbowls. Just ask Lovie Smith.

You know who DOES win Superbowls?



My hand in marriage and a dowry consisting of several fine milk cows and a chest of hand-sewn linens to the gentleman (or lady; it's Massachusetts, so we can do that now) who can provide me with tickets to the game next week.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Welp, it's Friday afternoon. Time to go bowling, have a beer, and count down the hours until my Patriots take the field. Until then:



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Farewell to a true badass

Sir Edmund Hillary, lifelong adventurer and conquerer of Mount Everest, died today.

Born the son of a humble family in New Zealand, Hillary loved mountains his whole life. He was notoriously aggressive when climbing, determined to outshine his companions while also pushing himself to the absolute limits of his physical capability.

Mankind as a whole has accomplished incredible things in the decades since Hillary's historic climb, and generations of sports fans have been privileged to witness some truly phenomenal accomplishments on the fields of the myriad games that captivate us. But when it comes right down to it, there's nothing quite so impressive as a man with a pickax and some biscuits (god it took me like 5 tries to get that word spelled right) in his pocket pitting himself against the world's highest and deadliest peak for the sheer thrill of it. RIP, Sir Edmund.

I just don't get it

Ok, enough proselytizing for the day. Time for something funny/stupid... and, as always, one need look no further than insane college sports fans to provide that something. A graduate of the University of Washington school of law has apparently pledged to donate $200,000 to the school -- if, and only if, football coach Ty Willingham and AD Todd Turner are fired.

Among the many e-mails and letters received by the University of Washington regarding the football program and coach Ty Willingham, there are the usual: words of praise, derision, encouragement, urgency.

And then there was this: an offer by a Huskies alum to donate $100,000 to a Washington law school scholarship if Willingham were fired, and another $100,000 if Todd Turner were fired as athletic director.

The Huskies went 4-9 this year in a season when the Pac-10 was pretty much anyone's conference, so I guess I can understand being upset... but, seriously, dude? Denying some aspiring young lawyer the opportunity to earn a scholarship just because you're pissed off about your football team sucking? What planet does that make sense on? Is that even legal? (See, maybe if that scholarship fund were there, I could go to law school and figure out the answer to that question. But now I'll never have that opportunity. Damn you, Ed Hansen, wherever you are!)

I'm sure that I would understand this more if I had gone to a real sports school as opposed to a bucolic Ivy League institution where more people showed up to hear Don DeLillo read from his new book than attended every single football game combined. (Note: I'm not actually sure this is true, but I can tell you that I went to see DeLillo, and only attended one football game the entire 4 years I was at Princeton -- and tickets were FREE.) I just can never quite fathom the mentality of fanatical NCAA fandom.

(said the girl with a Red Sox bellybutton ring)

Also, I hate the Huskies for one reason alone: my ex-boyfriend had this Huskies hat that he always wore for no reason whatsoever. So I hate them. Stupid Huskies.

Recommended reading for next week's seminar

If you haven't already, please read The Debriefing's take on the Kelly Tilghman/Tiger Woods snafu. Click the links -- they suck and are scary, but do it anyway.

I'm immensely grateful to work for an organization that actively fights social injustice in a neighborhood riddled with examples of such injustice, but I know that sometimes I forget how pervasive ignorance about such matters can be. And, as The Debriefing points out, ignorance is no excuse for grossly insensitive comments like Tilghman's. Ignorance fosters cruelty by enabling it to exist unchallenged.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sports are boring

See, this is why I hate the baseball offseason. Every once in a while, there's just NOTHING going on in sports for me to care about. Seriously, I could have written a sports digest for the day without even turning on the TV. The stories are just so predictable: Roger Clemens is dragging his feet on testifying about his steroid use. Paul Spicer said some boneheaded things and the Patriots are mad. People are mad about the BCS system and demanding that it be changed. T. O. is a huge bitch. Blah blah blah.

You can tell even ESPN is bored:

You know what the numbers mean even without the names attached: 100, .406, 2,003, 1.12.

Now we can add Tom Brady's 50 touchdown passes. Athletes talk about playing in a zone -- Brady was there for an entire season, which is why we add his name to our list of 25 greatest individual seasons in sports history:

Yeah, this is what sportswriters do when there's nothing else going on. They make lists and give them ridiculous titles like "The 25 Greatest Individual Seasons Ever" to lend them a sense of portent when the bottom line is that they're just subjective lists that don't make a hoot of difference to anyone or anything. If I wanted senseless, retroactive list-making, I'd watch me some gat damn VH1 (Top 10 Celebrity Meltdowns! The 50 Hottest Bodies -- Part 2!) Come on, sports. I want drama. I want hockey outside. I want intern scandals. I WANT DONTRELLE WILLIS.

Ok, fine, maybe I'm just ornery because Jason Richardson just freaking TORE UP the Celtics. The officiating sucked, and we didn't have Ray Allen to do this, and it's just not fair, and I don't WANT to have to wait until Saturday to watch the Patriots crush Jacksonville like leetle ants (it's more fun if you say those last 7 words with a thick Russian accent).

K I'm done now.

Also: do NOT Google Image-search "bored" without your SafeSearch on. You've been warned.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Who says true love doesn't exist?

Just look how happy Tigers QB Matt Flynn is with the BCS trophy. The passionate kiss... the confetti raining down on the happy couple... this could be the ending scene from a crappy teen romance.

OSU, of course, played the part of the bitchy girlfriend who the hot-but-secretly-sensitive jock-type dumps when he realizes that he actually loves the quirky-but-beautiful heroine. Honestly, this game felt about as scripted as your typical rom-com anyway.

Hall of Fame voting is in... nope, you didn't make it.

Unless, that is, you happen to be Rich "Goose" Gossage (if you do happen to be him: congrats). The journeyman fastballer finally managed to secure a spot in Cooperstown after 9 years on the ballot -- he'll be the only player inducted into the HOF this year. Good for him.

Predictably, Mark McGwire did NOT make the cut... in the wake of the Mitchell report brouhaha, he should probably be thankful that he actually still managed to weasel his way to 23.6% of the vote. Don Mattingly scored even lower in the voting. It still surprises me that Mattingly never makes the cut, to be honest. Lord knows I hate the Yankees as much as any red-blooded Sox fan should, but he's Donnie Baseball, for Pete's sake. I understand the arguments about how short his career was, but surely the fact that he was one of the most popular pinstripers of all time while racking up incredible numbers for 5 years (along with a batting title and an AL MVP award) should be taken into account, no?

My favorite part of this year's ballot is the handful of kind-of-good Yankees players who really just got lucky by virtue of playing for a dynastic team at the height of its power languishing down at the bottom with 1 or 2 votes. David Justice. Chuck FREAKING Knoblauch. The only thing Knoblauch was ever good at was having a name that conveniently rhymed with Brian Daubach (remember those days?) and looking kind of like a life-sized Rock 'Em-Sock 'Em Robot.

Oh, Rod Beck is still on the ballot too. Haha. I mean... RIP, dude. I hope they have Amber Bock and deep-fried Oreos in Heaven.

Here ya go.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why on earth should I care about this?

So I don't really have any kind of vested interest in the BCS Championship game tonight. I'm watching, yes, and kind of lukewarmly pulling for Ohio because I have a bunch of friends who are Buckeyes fans and none who are Tigers fans.* Also, it's an understatement to call OSU the underdogs here, and I always like upset victories. It seems to me that the only appropriate finale to this bizarre and unpredictable college football season would be for Ohio to beat an SEC team for the championship. So Go Buckeyes! (I guess.)

I did, however, have my less-than-overwhelming desire to see LSU beaten somewhat whetted by this ridiculous fluff piece (double entendre definitely intended) about how much Tigers running back Jacob Hester apparently loves Elvis in the Globe today.

Hester has been to Graceland eight times and gave serious thought to making it nine over the Christmas break.

His favorite thing?

"I guess I'd have to say the cars," reports the senior fullback. "I love 'em all, from the pink Cadillac to the golf cart."

Hester says his wife has indulged him to the point of allowing an entire Elvis room in his house. Hester has all sorts of memorabilia, his favorite a 2-foot bust of The King.

The movies?

He's seen 'em all, his favorite, "Viva Las Vegas," which co-stars the fetching Ann-Margret, and whose title song is one of Elvis's most underrated efforts. "I agree with you," Hester says. "And there are at least five great songs in that movie."

Yes, Jacob Hester is a terrific RB, but do we really need to hear about how much he loves Elvis?
(And yes, Hester is 22 and married. With an entire room devoted to Elvis memorabilia in his house. Dear lord I'm glad I don't live in the South.) No one in Boston follows college football to begin with (I personally went to the Princeton-Harvard tailgate this year, but didn't even bother getting a ticket to the game), so why on earth would you use up valuable newspaper space that could be much better expended on yet another "Do you think the Pats will win it all?" or "Should the Sox trade Jacoby Ellsbury?" survey?

It's so sad, yet true: during the baseball offseason, sportswriters in Boston legitimately have no idea what to write about. I have visions of them all locked in a room somewhere in Quincy, drawing hatch marks on the wall and tossing baseballs aimlessly back and forth. At some point today, someone will bust in excitedly, yelling, "Guys! Guys! Something's coming in on the baseball wire!" and everyone will bolt up in anticipation only to have their hopes dashed when it turns out to be something about Ben Broussard.

I feel your pain, guys. Really, I do. But please spare me articles like this. At least give me another photo montage making fun of the Lakers' short-shorts from the other night, or perhaps an attempt to explain why anyone would want to hire Cam Cameron after this season.

* Correction for the sake of factual accuracy: I don't really have any friends.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Hideo Nomo still plays baseball

I know, I know, I didn't believe it either, but it's true. The 39-year-old righty and former-Asian-sensation-turned-punchline (kind of like Jackie Chan) has signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals (I'm assuming that the Royals themselves qualify as a minor league team) that includes an option to join spring training.

Back in the day, of course, Nomo was brilliant; besides Ichiro, he is really the player responsible for the currently burgeoning trade in young Japanese stars. He's still the only pitcher ever to have tossed a no-hitter at Coors Field, and I think that was before MLB figured out that they needed to humidify the balls (heh) to make the park less hitter-friendly. I still remember his no-hitter against Baltimore for the Sox in 2001... gather round, children, and I will tell you a tale of the Dark Ages, before the 2004 World Series changed everything, when being a Red Sox fan meant grasping at fleeting moments of glory throughout the season with the knowledge that you would ultimately be doomed to yet another agonizing postseason collapse. It was a different time back then, and that no-hitter was the exhilarating kickoff of one of the more painful baseball seasons I can recall. (Sorry to mix sports metaphors.) In some ways, that 2001 season provides the perfect analogy for Nomo's own career: starting out with such promise, but ending in humiliation and defeat. Nomo currently holds the #1 AND #2 spots for Worst Season ERA among pitchers with more than 80 innings pitched in a season since 2004 (8.25 and 7.24 respectively). Brutal.

So good luck, Hideo!

In other news: The Oakland As' fire sale continues, as Nick Swisher gets shipped to the White Sox for 3 minor leaguers. Billy Beane is a smart man and is clearly laying the foundation for a strong team in the years to come, but he better cross his fingers that his entire pitching staff doesn't get injured again this season. True story: I love the A's because I sat behind their bullpen at the first Fenway game I went to this past season, and after the bullpen catcher (a sexy redhead) finished warming up Chad Gaudin, he walked over and handed me the ball. I was as giddy as a 12-year-old. Here's hoping their trades work out for them.

So do we get Santana, or what?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jose Canseco is a douchebag

Talk about pleonastic headlines.

This story is about a week old at this point, but I had to say something about it. Apparently, Jose Canseco is planning a sequel to his book "Juiced," in which he revealed the shocking truths that a) sometimes baseball players take steroids, and b) he is a pathetic washed-up ballplayer desperate for one more shot at the limelight. God, there are so many things about this story that piss me off. For one, the idea that Canseco, a man who should have absolutely no credibility in the world of baseball whatsoever, is somehow being led to believe that his word alone is enough to indict other players and call their accomplishments into question. For another thing:

Disappointed by the Mitchell report, Canseco hopes to publish "an unjaundiced view, without the rose-colored glasses" of steroid use in baseball, Saunooke told The Post.

The mangled attempt at figurative language here is slaying me. Are we talking jaundice (condition in which your eyes turn yellow) or rose-colored glasses (presumably pink)? What does this even mean? Moreover:

"The book is basically going to be -- I don't want to say an attack -- but it will be a clarification of why certain names should have been mentioned [in the Mitchell report] that were not mentioned," Saunooke said of the new book. "We had hoped that the Mitchell report would have been more revealing. It basically ended up being nothing more than [Mitchell saying], 'I talked to a lot of people, some people wouldn't talk to me and it's up to the commissioner,'" Saunooke told The Daily News.

So, I'm sorry... Canseco's issue with the Mitchell Report is that it's too honest and doesn't grossly overstep the bounds of its credibility? How dare you create a report in which you merely summarize the facts and cede authority to the acting commissioner of baseball, George Mitchell? Good steroid reports should clearly be a series of exaggerations, accusations, and half-assed attempts to drag others down into the reeking cesspit of failure and self-aggrandizement your own career has become. Conducting objective research is for bitches.

Yep, this story actually has me defending the Mitchell Report. That's how mad it makes me.

It's funny. Ordinarily, I'd feel bad for a guy who went from Rookie of the Year to laughingstock after he blew out his arm PITCHING (of all things) to playing for crappy minor league teams. But seriously, Jose? I hope you die.