Saturday, August 30, 2008

College Wrap-Up (No Arm Tackling): Week 1

Here's some funky freshness and regularity that I'd like to bring in: College Wrap-Up (No Arm Tackling), a comprehensive analysis of some of the weekend's activities in the only sport that matters until the World Series, College Football.

We'll take a look at:

Big Games: Games you at least need to fake like you watched in order to not have your manhood questioned in a public setting.

Obviously Obvious: Games that went exactly like they were supposed to, such as USC versus Sister Harriet's School for the Blind, for example...don't brag about predicting these games; we know already.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: WTF, mate? The upsets no one in their right mind would call, but are always worth mentioning. NOTE- The entire 2007 CFB season may fall under the collective category of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Neat Business: Other notes, trends and happenings around the nation that you may want to get a head start on. And don't worry- You can totally rip this material if you need to sound knowledgeable in your classroom, respective place of business, or "friend's" house. So let's dive in, right for the pylon:

Big Games: Obviously, the only game that was worth anything of actual value was the Alabama-Clemson game. If you are privy to the gold that our very own Steve Lattimer threw down on CFB Preview concerning Clemson, then you already know. If not, Clemson is one of the best looking teams in the country...on paper. In real life, Bowden's Bengals are prone to choking, and choke they did. Clemson lost this game by a whopping 24 points, succumbing to the Crimson Tide, 34-10.

While this all but verified what EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY thought about Clemson, more questions are on the horizon for Nick "Dapper Dan" Saban and Alabama Family Band:

1.)Are the Tide the best in the Western Division of the SEC (not a big deal this year)?

2.)Are they the best in the SEC (bold claim considering UGA and the Flordia Tebow's)?

3.)What sort of expectations should we expect from Alabama (are we talking a legitimate shot at a real bowl game, or have we just seen the same routine from last year; having a decent buzz-creating start with an elderly-man-falling-down-esque pathetic finish)?

4.)What DOES John Parker Wilson put in that luxurious head of hair?! (my guess? Pomegranate and Kiwi...)

The road to glory for Alabama unfortunately goes through the SEC, so it's still far too early to answer these queries, but at least they're on the radar.

Oh yeah, Mizzou and Illinois played as well, so I guess that was the next biggest game. Mizzou won like they were supposed to, Mizzou superfreak Jeremy Maclin got injured, Chase Daniel is fat, and Ron Zook is handsome.

Obviously Obvious: I watched most of the Florida game today and it was pretty cool seeing Tebow playing in a stadium that already has his name in their Ring of Honor. The first quarter was surprisingly scoreless on both sides, until Tebow prayed and Jesus came into play on both sides of the ball. The Hawaiian voodoo spirits were exorcised and circumcised by young Timothy. Gators rolled 56-10 (and it should be said Florida's 56pts came in the 2nd and 3rd, while the Rainbow's 10 came in the 4th).


USC flexed nuts on Virginia in the Odd Couple Bowl. USC has a weird habit of going to obscure places (like Arkansas for two years, for example) and beating teams mercilessly while Pete Carroll makes out with the mayor of the variable obscure college town's wife. The Joe McKnight party has started and it's true: Mark Sanchez has a Mexican flag mouth guard.


Georgia won big. No one cares until they play a team likely to knock them out of the top spot. Stafford is still drunk right now.

Appalachain State did not win, no surprise. LSU made them pay dearly for their exploits last season, where they shocked the world by beating Michigan in the Big House. Speaking of Michigan, no surprise here either, as Coach Rodriguez's new-fangled offense was defeated by Utah. While this is technically an upset, no one is surprised to see this loss because there's no offense in Ann Arbor. RRod (pronounced 'rod' with a roll of the tongue) is trying to play his patented spread offense with Lloyd Carr's more conventional personnel. Basically, that's like trying to play NBA basketball with a bunch of nose guards; sure, they have a shot and they're somewhat athletic, but the players just aren't made for that type of game.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Here's something out of left field, Virginia Tech lost to Schkip Holtz' East Carolina Pirates. I am portly and have been out of organized sports for years, and I am currently better than the entirety of VT's entire receiving corps and Tech QB Sean Glennon looks like a bird. Those two facts make for a tough time for the formerly #17 Techies. Also, a man named Patrick Pinkley played in the game for the Pirates. He threw for 211 yards, passed and ran for touchdowns, but the main story here is his name is Patrick Pinkley.


What in the wide, wide world of sports happened in College Station?! The Mike Sherman era at Texas A&M started with a bang- in the wrong direction. The Aggies were beaten by the Arkansas State Red Wolves, formerly the Indians (they had to change their names due to the insensitivity of the mascot 'Indians,' ultimately forcing me to use only indigenous Native American analogies for the rest of this paragraph) in a wacky game, 18-14 Moon Howlers. All seemed well in the skies of Texas in the first half, but the Red Wolves tomahawked their opposition with the fierceness of their ancestors, and scored 15 unanswered scalps in the second harvest of the game. Geronimo!

Neat Business: The aforementioned weakness of the SEC (with the notable exception of the upper-echelon like Georgia and Florida - and maybe Bama?) was apparent this weekend. Mississippi State lost to Louisiana Tech, and Arkansas barely squeaked out a victory against Western Illinois. No, not Tony Romo's Eastern Illinois Panthers, but the Western Illinois Cake Eaters. Last and certainly least, #18 Tennessee looked like someone took an off-puttingly orange dump in the Rose Bowl, as they royally stunk it up against UCLA. They couldn't beat UCLA's third string quarter back, Donny McDouchenhiemer. They had to go to overtime in a game that should have been over in the third quarter. I still maintain that the SEC is the best conference in the country, but that Big 12 is probably going to prove me wrong this year.

I don't anticipate a lot of parity this year. Last year was super wacky. This year should be more tame, but very entertaining.


Steve Spurrier's son, Scott, plays for the South Carolina Gamecocks. He stands at 5'4", weighs 164lbs and is listed as a "wide receiver." Actually, he is the second-string holder for the field goal squad, which makes him less important than the kicker (ouch). He is so small, when he catches a snap to place, it looks like a regular sized person catching a really big watermelon.



See you next week for Week 2: The Son of Week 1

Friday, August 29, 2008

CFB Preview



#2 Oklahoma

Offense-Entire offensive line returning (all seniors), check. 2 senior receivers, check. Rising star of a QB with the warrior spirit within him, double check.

Defense-6 returners, 3 on the defensive line.

Special Teams-kickers think they are one of the guys.

Schedule-Texas on Oct 11th and Texas Tech on Nov. 22 are the key games. The Bedlam game on Nov. 29 is also significant.

Ramblings. Wow, the Sooners are set for a NC run if I've ever seen it. Nearly then entire offense returns, and I think Stoops has proved that he has the talent to step in on defense. The schedule is almost perfect. The non-conference schedule includes the Mocs from Chattanooga, Cincy, UW, and TCU. Solid yet non-threatening. The Texas game is obviously played in Dallas, but OK plays both Kansas and TT in Norman. Combine this with the fact that Stoops has consistently churned out stellar regular seasons and the Sooner NC picture becomes clear.

Offensively the Sooners will be more than adequate. It goes without saying, but Sam Bradford is a great young QB (Heisman Candidate) he fits the offense perfectly and has multiple weapons at his disposal. Defensively, the Sooners only return 6 but key figures such as Auston English DE, Ryan Renolds LB, and Nic Harris SS, should provide the experince needed.

I won't talk about the Sooners winning the Big 12 South, they will. They will also most likely meet Mizzou in the conference championship, they'll probably win that too. What Oklahoma really needs is to do what is expected and reedeem the past two BCS flops.

Friday Afternoon Fun Bag!



This is the face most people make when their careers go into the shitter. Although if you ask me, Admiral Benson's career was probably 4 or 5 years too long. He'll enjoy crashing on Chris Simms' couch.

Labor Day weekend. A time when America celebrates the hard-fought victories of the bourgeoisie and makes a weekend 50% longer in an homage to our socialist roots. Right? Right?

Anyways, I've been waiting for this week to get over for some time now. Like, since Monday.

As far as the biggest news this week, it's all been in the political realm. I was going to have something about the Montana governor's sweet bolo collection, but in light of extremely recent news, I've decided to point out that America finally has a doable Vice Presidential Candidate.

Furthermore, not sure what this has to do with anything, but Capoeira fighting is pretty awesome, right up until the "fighting" part. Lesson learned, hippie.

Speaking of topics with international ramifications. This is what happens when throw candy at children in Baghdad. Keep it strictly pimpin, hoss.

We haven't been talking enough about the NFL in my mind, but for those fans out there, trust me: We'll make sure to report anything as long as it is batshit crazy.

And finally, it's been a long time coming, but I've finally decided to post Tanner Hall's gut-wrenching crash at Chad's Gap. Don't worry fellas, he's still skiing.

Well, I'm looking forward to being sunburnt to shit for a four-day workweek. Have fun and be safe this weekend, y'all.

Flexboned



Jacksonville State got Flexboned by Johnson and his staff. 41-14

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Charles Barkley on Barack



From CNN comes a pretty interesting little blurb from Wolf Blitzer interviewing Charles Barkley. Personally, I just assumed that I wouldn't get to see Barkley for a few more months, and was just plain happy to see him.

However, there were a few interesting points brought up. I especially like the infographic concerning the new tax plans. The first thing I thought was, "I'm getting screwed! My bracket isn't anywhere near that!" The next thing I heard was Barkley claiming that he makes a lot more than $2.9 Million a year (this can't possibly be true, I don't care how well TNT pays). But then Barkley goes into a whole discussion of being rich, and saying how he doesn't mind throwing around "a few hundred thousand here and there." Love it. Barkley's viewpoint on higher taxes essentially boils down to him tipping America more.

Another thing that's interesting is that Barkley has long claimed to be a Republican. He even boasts about it openly to Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson on TNT with such bravado as, "when I was growing up I wasn't rich enough to be a Republican." The Round Mound has apparently switched sides. Not sure if that's good or bad, or for which party it's good or bad. Time will tell.

Finally, I'm glad that Chuck hasn't backed off of his aspirations to be governor of Alabama. Sure, that whole gambling thing might come back during the mudslinging, but that's really not that big of a deal. Of course, if they really wanted to get dirty, they could roll footage of Barkley bloodying up David Robinson's face with a sinister voice-over saying, "just look at how he treats our veterans." But I digress. Moving along, for the first time in my life, I heard the guy who originated "I am not a role model" say something insightful and pertinent about the condition of American society today, opining on the growing gap between rich and poor. Is Charles grooming himself for a run? One can only hope.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Mo Olympics: Phelps vs. Bolt



"Our long national nightmare of giving a f**k about other countries is over!" – Pete Hart

The Olympics are over. No more wacky time-warp, where you feel like you’re watching the future. No more obscure sports that only the Chinese are good at. And while half of America hasn't watched their tivo'd closing ceremonies yet, only results, stats, medals, and a lasting debate are left.

The two stars of the Beijing Olympics were American swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican bobsledder-turned-running-sensation Usain “I Say You Insane” Bolt. No other competitors stole the spotlight in the way these gold-medal recipients did; and steal it they did, and with amazing getaway speeds.

But who was more impressive? The record-breaking swimmer who won by the largest and smallest of margins? Or the record-breaking runner who stomped everyone to oblivion before his prime? Many seem to offer exact answers, but the debate still rages.

Records: Each Olympian broke world and Olympic records while earning their gold medals. But which was more impressive? Phelps broke a record set by Mark “Sctache” Spitz set in 1972 of 7 gold medals. The fact that it took 36 years to beat a guy with such an un-aerodynamic (albeit awesome) facial ornament is worthy of applause. Bolt broke three world records, but the earliest of which dates back to the Hotlanta games of ’96, not to mention Phelps broke a few world records of his own.
ADVANTAGE: Phelps

Opportunities: Naysayers of the Phelps Phenomenon hang their hat on this argument: Phelps had more opportunities to win than Bolt did. I happen to find this argument a little weak, since if they wanted to, they could make Bolt run in different ways (but that would be too funny for the decorum of the Olympics to see someone running backwards, or competing in an Olympic Dizzy Bat Race).

However, Boltians do have a point. Phelps won eight golds in part because he had eight races to run, whereas Bolt only had three. I might contend that Phelps had five more races to lose than Bolt did, but the haters will have their way with this one, because I think Bolt could definitely have won more medals had he the opportunity to do so.
ADVANTAGE: Bolt

Clutch/Key Performances: This is a tough one. Which was more lasting- Bolt pounding his chest as he whips the rest of the field like red-headed step children in K-Mart, or Phelps winning his one, two, three, four, FiF gold by the smallest margin in swimming, one one-hundredth? I have to go with Phelps. While Bolt letting everyone know where the party will be in the next decade for track and field was certainly baller, had Phelps not won that race, no one cares about him, swimming, or possibly even the Olympics.
ADVANTAGE: Phelps

Domination: This wasn’t a question until Insane Usain showed up. Everyone in the world expected Phelps to win and most hadn’t really ever heard of Bolt. Bolt quickly shut them up, set some world records, probably got laid, and stole plenty of footage from Phelps’ Olympic glory reel. While Phelps did beat everyone, he didn’t crush everyone. Bolt never raced against people, he only raced against the records themselves. And he did so with an emphatic “Up Yours, Planet Earth.” Bolt wins this one hands down.
ADVANTAGE: Bolt

Hardware: Give the man his due; Phelps won eight gold medals. That record is due to stand for a long time. It’s something America will cherish for years, and it made the first week of the Olympics bearable. He may look like a goon and eat more than the GDP of Burkina Faso at breakfast, but Phelps got his.
ADVANTAGE: Phelps



Street Cred: Usain Bolt would straight up murder Michael Phelps. Period.
ADVANTAGE: Bolt.

Legacy: Whom will we remember the most from these Olympics? This is a difficult question to answer, and I must confess that the answer is subject to change. For right now, the Legacy goes to Phelps. He set the record. He rocked Beijing. He played for keeps. However, if the 2008 Games turn out to simply be the coming out party for Bolt’s to-be-illustrious career (as many speculate it is, being that the prime age for a sprinter is around 27, and Bolt is 22) he will steal this title in the future. I wish I had a flux capacitor, pink hoverboard, and Parkinson’s disease (Zing! Too soon Michael J. Fox fans?) to find out the answer, but I don’t so I can only go on what I have for the time being.
ADVANTAGE: Phelps (for now)

Real Life: A lightning bolt would destroy a dolphin, whale, or any other aquatic mammal like Phelps, or at least make it retarded and unable to swim, let alone compete.
ADVANTAGE: Bolt

Competition: This is the final battle. Which competition is greater, swimming or running? Running is a universal sport that anyone who lives on dry land can compete in, and it is used in so many other sports, it is essential to the athletic spirit. But there may not be another sport in the world that exercises and demands more from the entire body than swimming. Not to mention there is a much higher fatality rate involved (how many runners do you know have a chance of dying if they stop?). This one is too tough to call. Essence of sports vs. survival? Both sound about right to me.
ADVANTAGE: Push

The Olympics were spread out over two weeks. One belongs single-handedly to Phelps, while the other belongs to Bolt, and Bolt alone. Ultimately, I have to push. I think time will prove me right on this one; I think this debate will go on for at the very least four years, but it will probably rage on until after these two Olympians are long gone, replaced by other athletes who stagger the mind and invoke the time-honored phrase “Did you see that crap last night?” around the offices of the world.

See you in London, folks. That’s a wrap on the Olympics here at The Ghost of Roy Hobbs.

(Except for this: I can’t wait for the Chinese to get theirs. Bob Costas was saying -rather convincingly- that these Beijing Games may be one of the most important events in the entirety of China’s recorded history, since China is trying to establish 21st century dominance, resembling its earlier dominance during the first five millennia or so. But the pre-teen gymnasts, the smog and the collective “Suck It” China has given to human rights enthusiasts? Those may have proven to do quite the opposite for the People’s Republic of China. State-sponsored-God-like-figure save their souls.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CFB preview

Ha I figured another way to do two teams in one post

#4 Ohio State
#3 USC
(Just accept the fact that I have created my own rankings)

Why you ask? Well quite simply one of these teams will be out of the top five after September 13th

I am a genius.

Up first #4 THE Ohio State University.



Ok, While everyone else hates Ohio State for some reason I've been somewhat indifferent over the years. Yeah I hate them when they play Penn State, but for some unknown reason I hold Jim Tressel and their program in high regard. Look I really don't buy into this this SEC speed media driven BS. Looking at the past two years of TOSU football, they were simply outplayed by a solid Florida squad in 06. Last year nobody really thought they would win the Big 10, let alone make a NC appearance. (Losing to a superior LSU squad) Again, I really don't buy the "speed" argument and if you look at the Tressel era there is no way you can argue against the consistency TOSU has shown.

With that being said the young "reloading" squad of last year returns 18, yes 18 starters from last years squad. from my count I have 9 on offense and defense. (4 on the OL/ Plus uber recruit Terrel Pryor) You should be saying holy shit why are they not NC favorites? Two reasons. 1. They play in the Big 10 and hold all the stereotypes associated with that conference. (not to mention to past two NC appearances) 2. They play at USC on Sep. 13th.

I goes without saying, but the game against the Trojans will determine the NC hopes of the Buckeyes. TOSU should go undefeated in conference play and lock up at least a Rose Bowl bid. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I think a one loss SEC team is a almost a lock for a NC appearance, however, even if TOSU loses to USC I'm not sure pollsters are willing to give the Buckeyes a third NC shot in three years.

The formula for TOSU is simple beat USC, Take care of business, redeem themselves in the NC game, set stuff on fire.

#3 USC



Ray Maualuga hates you

Wow USC in the top five, that's crazy.

In all honesty, USC returns four starters on offense. (Blue chippers Sanchez, and McKnight aside) The Trojans also return 7 on defense including linebackers Rey Maualuga, and Brian Cushing. Everyone knows USC has talent and they really never rebuild. Surprisingly, however, the big question for the Trojans is the QB. Mark Sanchez (wears a Mexican flag mouth piece)dislocated his knee cap doing the carioca drill. (I have seen a dislocated kneecap and it is the most horrific thing I have ever experienced in my life) No big deal for USC blue chip Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain will right the ship... oh wait he can't grasp the offense. (Enter Arkansas joke here)

USC's road to the NC is much like TOSU, beat the Buckeyes and take care of business.
As long as USC has the QB situation straightened up they should avoid a Pac 10 f-up from past years and cruise into the NC game. (Although in the big picture I think USC gets at least one loss on their schedule)

Either way it's the same shit different year.

MIND BLOWING PREDICTION USC VS. TOSU

Sanchez at QB?.....USC

No Sanchez...Buckeyes

Screw it I'll just pick the Buckeyes because I don't want them burning my house down.

(It took every ounce of my fiber not to make this posting solely about Pete Carroll and his awesomeness)

Kevin Duckworth Found Dead


Former Portland Trailblazer center Kevin Duckworth was found dead while representing the Trailblazer's on a recent business trip, discovered bill-down in his pillow with feathers being strew about the room.

Duckworth grew up in the Chicago area and was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs out of Eastern Illinois University in 1986. He averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds over 11 seasons in the NBA, helping Portland reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. The two-time All-Star also played for San Antonio, Washington, Milwaukee and the LA Clippers. Those humble stats are in fact rather miraculous, being that he weighed a little over two pounds and had an unimpressive wingspan, although he did have actual wings.

Outside of statistics, Duckworth gave opponents fits, as he often was too small to guard, too fast to stomp, and prone to biting. He was also unable to keep sweat, Gatorade, and water on his body, leaving that excess liquid to find its way on the court and create several injuries to his opponents, as well as to his team mates, most notably an injury to Moses Malone during an All-Star game (Duckworth contested that Malone was wearing camouflage).

Duckworth was a perennial go-getter, but often found himself in fowl trouble. He was also known as the "Pun-Master."

But with every shocking death, there is an air of suspicion. Duckworth was a notable black athlete and he wasn't without his share of hate mail. Other white athletes around the league were quick to criticize his loud antics, his haphazard and sloppy play, and his affinity for trying to blow up rabbits with Acme dynamite. Those who have been known to voice those opinions have been called in for questioning, some white people even being called in from sea voyages (shown right).


Early X-rays have shown no clear cause of death, but autopsy results are on the way and barring any irregularities, Duckworth will be deliciously grilled at his favorite restaurant, Le Canard.

Monday, August 25, 2008

McWuncler's All Americans: August 2008



To clear up any confusion, McWuncler's is a fast food chain originated by the grandfather of this man.

This month's McWuncler All American is Miladin Kovacevic! Sure, he may not be "American." In fact, he's Serbian. But, he was until recently a basketball player for Binghamton University in New York, and even that doesn't take away from the fact that we are very, very proud of him.

Miladin's story begins back on May 4th. He was hanging at a club, when some drunk-ass pervert starts spitting all sorts of nasty game at his homeboy's girl. Like in all clubs, shit escalated quickly, with our boy Miladin backing his friend's hand and assisting in the lesson teaching to the offender. The consequences of his actions begin shortly thereafter.

As it turns out, the 6'9" 280 lb. Serb stomped the 5'9" 130 lb. skeezy scammer into a coma. Of course, the American "media" reports that it is a coma, but they also report that the victim of the natural recourse of his own stupid actions can yell and cry out. I thought coma meant eternal sleep, guess you can be fully conscience and still be in a coma if CNN chooses to spin the story so.

Because of the beating, Miladin and other associates were arrested, and they posted bail. During the arrest (under charges of 'Gang Violence' no less), Miladin had to surrender his passport. While most other wack ballers would wait around for arraignment, our man got his hustle on. He busted on down to the Serbian Embassy, and got a new passport expedited for him. Then, faster than you can blink morse code saying "you got the feeding tube and catheter tube mixed up again" he was back bangin' in Belgrade.

Back in the home country, United States authorities tried to have Miladin extradited, to no avail. According to Miladin's mom, "My son is not running away from justice, he's running away from injustice." A bit repetitive, but you get where we're coming from: Serbia.

Miladin's Serb homeslices have been doing him right, too. Serbia recalled the two people that helped him out (criminally) in New York. They have also refused Condoleeza Rice's requests for extradition, and pretty much anything else she wants. Finally, Miladin even got signed by a pro team over there. Can I get a Hallelujah?!

This story starts out with all the makings for the cliche class-warfare stories that perpetuate themselves throughout our childhood in films such as "The Little Giants" and "The Mighty Ducks." Of course, in the real world, the scruffy band of loveable misfits gets arrested and sued when they issue a beatdown on the rich, fratty substance-abusing offender.

So in summary, we salute you, Miladin Kovacevic for all the right reasons. You stood up to the man, then whooped his ass. Then you stood up to the man again by running your happy ass back to Serbia, where you are now paid to hoop. Loyalty to the bros, sticking it to the man, and paper stacking. This is what it is all about here at GRH.

Monday Morning Shit storm



Ok so here is a new segment to TGORH, the Monday Morning Shit storm. Since it's Monday morning and everyone is already pissed off, what better way to release your anger than by debating meaningless sports topics.


So How did the Olympics go?

How did come off considering the perceived bias, faking, and fraud? Age fraud that is?

Who won? USA= 110 overall medals China= 51 Golds.

Best Performance?

...My thoughts, Look man you can't go into somebody else's house and expect to get all the calls. If you don't believe this then you have never played in Perry County MO. Look I don't really care about the age stuff, or the fake performances, or the perceived scoring bias throughout the games, its all part of the home field advantage. I actually thought the games went off better than I had anticipated.

Who won? USA of course man, every year the USA beats other countries who use state sponsored sports systems proves our athletic domination.

Best Performance? Bolt hands down.

Now let the shit storm commence.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Afternoon Fun Bag!



America has been good to Big Papi.

Comingtoyaaaahaaaa!

It's been a good week. Let's have a round of applause for the team here. As of this week, all contributors have contributed. That's fucking progress.

Not only do I love watching all of the Women's events in the olympics, our Commander-in-Chief does too. USA! USA! USA!

If you haven't seen it, you've probably heard of it. Here is Janos Baranyai's weightlifting injury, in all of its horrific glory.

The Onion is always a solid source for humor, but sometimes they strike gold twice in one week.

I was ok with the Celtics winning one championship, but now it looks like we'll have to let them win two.

That's all for this week. Alls I know is that USA Men's Basketball has a date tomorrow night at 11 pm. Rematch vs. Spain for the Gold Medal. I, of course, will be in my USA 'Melo jersey.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

EPL Transfer Review



I am quite sure that many of the 10 (including contibutors) dedicated readers of TGRH have wondered at some point during their perusing, “Who is this ‘Jerry Jonestown Massacre’ and why does he claim to be contributing?” First off, fuck you. Second off, here I am, so lets do this.

Seeing as my more able compadres have most sports tied up pretty tight around here, I shall address the as-yet-untouched topic of the most epic of all sports. No, not that one where the blindfolded guys wail on each other with big sticks, I speak of Soccer. The world’s game. If you think there is a more epic sport, just watch the way these guy unveil their new jerseys. Watch it all, especially until 1:20. It’s better than watching golf.

However, due to the fact that I have only found time to post once in the last 6 months, I figure I should focus on only one league. The best of the best, the English Premier League.

And as every good limey knows, the end of the summer means the end of the EPL transfer season, so I will take a little time to look at the highlights and lowlights of the summer transfers. I realize that there is still a week and a half left of last-minute trades and I will address those at the end on the month, but for now, here is a recap of the big four clubs and a few other notable changes.


The Big Four:


Liverpool:
Continually confusing, Rafa Benitez has certainly made some interesting choices this off-season. Getting rid of Peter Crouch would seem to show some faith (not misplaced, I might add) in star striker Fernando Torres. But then here comes Robbie Keane. I believe it was only a matter of time before Crouch got tired of scoring his ass off only to NOT be given the start, but I am surprised at the Keane move. No doubt Benitez has a talented squad, but his continual rotation of starters does not exactly build unity. If Keane and Torres can work together, the scouse bastards should be a goal machine. Riise is a loss, but not a huge one.
OUT:
Striker Peter Crouch to Portsmouth ($22 million)
Defender John Arne Riise to Roma ($7.6 million)
IN:
Striker Robbie Keane from Tottenham ($36 million)

Arsenal:
For a team that relies on their amazing midfield play and teamwork, losing two midfield vets like Matheiu Flamini and Alexander Hleb might seem like a bad idea. But, those dudes are old and since the mean age of Arsene Wenger’s squad is about 15, they no longer fit. Plus, Hleb looks like a skeleton.

To fill the hole left by these two, Wenger has scored a goal of his own by landing midfielder Aaron Ramsey. He is the badass who led Cardiff City (!) to the FA Cup Final last year. Not surprisingly, he too is a minor at only 17 years old.
OUT:
Midfielder Flamini to Milan (Free)
Midfielder Hleb to Barcelona ($25 million)
Goal Keeper Jens Lehmann to Stuttgart (Free)
IN:
Midfielder Ramsey from Cardiff ($6 million)


Manchester United:

Since I hate ManU, I have watched their off-season with anticipation. Unfortunately for us all, they did not lose golden boy ronaldo to Real Madrid (how the fuck do you turn down 90 MILLION POUNDS!) However they have not gathered much talent yet, failing to sign Berbatov from the Spurs so far. But I won’t be surprised if it goes through, as ronaldo is hurt and rooney is out for some weeks so they will need the scoring. 17-year-old Davide Patrucci is an interesting prospect if only because the wops over at Roma are so pissed that they “poached” him. However, when was the last time an Italian didn’t overreact to just about anything. Pique’s move to Barcelona is not huge news considering how stacked ManU is on defense.
OUT:
Defender Silvestre to Arsenal
Gerard Pique to Barcelona ($15 Million)
IN:
Striker Davide Patrucci from Roma (less than $1 million)

Chelsea F.C.:
Which brings us to the blues. The biggest change for Chelsea this year comes off the pitch as we have finally gotten rid of the world’s ugliest man, Avram Grant, and brought in total badass and world-cup-winning manager Phil Scolari. As for players, the blues have gotten rid of total bust midfielder Steve Sidwell as well as another fringe players, defender Tal Ben Haim, and Khalid Boulahrouz. But with the big signing of Deco from Barcelona as well as Jose Bosingwa from Porto, there should be no lack of competion. Also, if they can land Robinho like they should, they should be considered to have one of the more successful transfer windows.
OUT:
Defender Ben Hain to Manchester City ($12 Million)
Midfielder Steve Sidwell to Aston Villa ($10 Million)
Defender Khalid Boulahrouz to Stuttgart ($8 Million)
IN:
Deco from Barcelona ($12 million)
Bosingwa from Porto ($32 million)

Other Important Transfers:

Striker David Bentley from Blackburn to Tottenham ($30 million):
Bentley will provide some much needed speed and firepower for the spurs and will help fill the hole left by Robbie Keane. If Berbatov stays and is in form this year, this a very formidable front line. If not, then the spurs will be the same second tier team that thinks they are first tier as always. Actually, this will happen even if they are both at white heart lane.

Forward Jo from CSKA Moscow to Manchester City ($37.6 million)
I’ll admit, even old Jerry Jonestown had to do a little research on our friend Jo. All I knew is that he is Brazilian and played in Russia , but after a little research. I can say that I am excited. Manchester City is a club on the rise and he will help provide goals for what was a sensationally defensive club last season.

Midfielder Luka Modric from Dynamo Zagreb to Tottenham ($32 Million)
I really only included him because this is a lot of money to pay for a young player who isn’t from argentina or has only one name. Apperently he is good, but the only time I can ever remember seeing him was when he david beckhamed the first penalty shot in that crazy-ass Turkey-Croatia euro 2008 match.


And so ends the disappointing debut of The Jerry Jonestown Massacre. Stay tuned for more sporadic EPL updates.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CFB Preview



#5 Tim Tebow
(Yes I switched Georgia and Florida)

Gut Reaction-Tebow

Offense-Tebow

Defense-Tebow

Special Teams- Wishing they were Tebow

What do you want me to say?


Offensively I don't think you'll see Tebow put up the kind of numbers he did last year. Specifically, the emergence of Chris Rainey and USC Transfer Emmanuel Moody will help the running game tremendously. Not to mention WR's Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, and 3 offensive lineman return as well.

The defense was naturally the achilles heel for last year's 9-4 campaign. While the Gators ranked 10th in rush defense the pass defense ranked 98th in the country. This is certainly a concern for Gator Nation, however, the young secondary from last year returns 3 seasoned veterans in the Defensive backfield along with 4 starters from the front 7.

(Even with 5 popped ACL's Florida has talent)

Looking at the schedule the big games will come on Oct 11th when the Bayou Bengals come to town, and of course the pivotal match up on Nov. 1st against Georgia. (Even if they lose to UGA, the dogs have such a meat grinder schedule that Florida is the likely SEC east champion)

I was going to sit here and talk about how great Tim Tebow is, but you guys already know that. I can't talk about Florida's future as a program because they're already established and will be for years to come. Everyone knows the Georgia game will decide the SEC east and most likely the SEC championship. Furthermore, considering the last two NC games, a one loss SEC team can provide a pretty convincing argument to pollsters and easily gain a BCS title berth. Really the only thing you need to accept is the fact that Tebow is the Michael Phelps of CFB. He may not win the Heisman this year, but he'll lead his team to a undefeated NC season only to return his Senior year to win both the Heisman and NC. In the off season he'll end AIDS if Africa, and after he graduates, wins a minimum of two super bowls, he'll save the world from the looming apocalypse in 2012.

The only thing that can stop him is off the field related iss.... never mind.

So raise your glass to Tim Tebow, because he only drinks Gatorade and milk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

China's Most Hearlded Athlete Suffers Defeat at the Hands of Nipple Chaffing


Liu Xiang, China's heralded hurdler, could not compete at the Olympics games. Xiang, who took home China's first ever track-and-field gold medal in the Athenian games is more popular than Tiger Woods, Jesus and chopsticks combined in China, and his early withdrawal sent shockwaves through the entire nation. And that's a big nation.

Apparently, Xiang was suffering from intense nipple chaffing (shown here in a file photo). The chaff was apparently so bad that he had to exit the games, disgraced, dishonored, and likely to be decapitated. That's how China rolls and he knows it. Why do men even have nipples? Xiang cried to the state-sponsored heavens.

Remarkably, China has since been able to recover emotionally by employing 11-year old women to compete in gymnastics. They should be around for the next decade or so, until they are executed as well. The next time you see a female Chinese gymnast smile, know it's because she's thinking, "Hooray! I get to live!"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

USA v. Spain Game Notes



Spain, regarded by most as USA's biggest test. I think that USA doesn't give a fuck what team it is, they will not be losing to the Gasol brothers.

Ok, both teams 3-0, gold medal hopefuls, and Spain has quite a few NBAers on the team as well. Packed house, announcers that aren’t in the stadium, should be fun.

Craig Sager is in the house. He has to wear one of the Olympics polos like everyone else, and it clearly shows that he would rather be in a wack suit.

Bron throws the chalk up in the air at mid-court. The crowd is mildly amused.

Starting five:
Kobe, Dwight, Bron, Melo, Kidd for the USA

Spain is home, USA rocks the dress blue uniform.

First possession Bron gets a steal, kicks it to Kidd, back to Bron for the swooping layup. Spain comes right back down for the same thing, except whiter.

Dwight gets a put back dunk, Rudy Fernandez hits a three 5-4 Spain.

Melo gets a steal, Dwight bricks a two-footer.

USA gets sloppy, lets a layup in, Melo hits a three 7-7. The announcer just stated that in three games, Jason Kidd has not attempted a shot. Wild.

Dwight volleyball spikes a shot (that is clearly not going in) into the crowd. Kidd laughs, K sneers, because it’s a very obvious goaltend.

Bron flies through a couple of missed arm tackles for a throw down. Calderon hits a fadeaway, Bron comes back down and drills a three 14-11 USA.

SUBS! Bosh for Howard, Deron for Kidd, CP3 for Melo, DWade for Kobe, RICKY RUBIO for Calderon.

Wade gets two quick steals, Rubio gets one too. Melo comes back in for some reason, Garbajosa makes his first appearance.

It’s a very physical game, all sorts of fouls. CP3 hits some free throws, then fouls Ricky to put USA in the bonus. 2:45 left in the 1st, 20-15.

Melo butters in a 3 ball to give the USA it’s largest 1st quarter lead in the tournament.

Marc Gasol snuck into the game, fouls CP3, and cries like a bitch about a foul. The Gasol brothers are some ugly fucks. Paul makes both free throws.

Garbajosa bricks, CP3 comes down, dishes to Melo for the throw down. Another steal, out to Wade for a pretty up and under, 29-16.

Yao is in the crowd, taking up 5 seats to himself, jamming on his iPod. Liu Wei is chillin with him.

Marc Gasol has a very odd FT routine. He bends over and dribbles with one hand for about 8 seconds.

Both Gasol bros are in, the younger hits a 15-footer.

Rubio fires a sweet ass half court pass to Bernie Rodriguez, who fucks up the best dime of the tourney, Wade gets the 7th 1st quarter steal for USA and funks a two hander. At the end of the 1st quarter 31-22 USA.

LeBron has a commercial during the break. Craig Sager gives us the lowdown on China beating Germany. Yi “Ginandjuice” Jianlin hit the deciding shot, and the Chinese went wild.

Tayshaun, Kobe, Kidd, Howard are back in the game.

Ricky Rubio’s court vision is silly for a 17-year old’s.

Bron back in, Tayshaun connects to Bron for a sweet alley-oop.

Rubio picks Bron’s pocket, Juan Carlos Navarro hits a runner.

Kobe slams a double-clutch dunk, the announcers say that the Chinese call Kobe “Little Flying Warrior.” Which I must say is better than Carlos Boozer’s ‘Fan Gu Zai,’ which apparently means “Betrayal Skull Dude.” Not kidding.

Rudy Reyes gets a technical foul. I wonder what he said, considering he’s Spanish, he’s playing the Americans, and the ref is Lithuanian.

Bosh gets a really bogus foul called on him as Pau hits an and one. He hits the free throw, Bron for three 6:20 in the 2nd, 42-31 USA.

Kobe hits a three, USA is 6 of 9 from three. On the other end, Kobe gets his third foul, Wade in.

LeBron is guarding Marc Gasol, giving up about 6 inches, and a shitload of hair to him.

Bron out, Melo’s on Marc. The announcers say that Marc’s nickname in Spain is La Tanqueta (the Tank). The announcers mention that when the Lakers got Pau, Marc was part of the deal. Only some true boneheads would trade a Gasol for a Gasol and get gypped. That’s why the Grizz suck.
Melo’s wearing his headband backwards, and goes to sit down.

Bron dishes to DWade for the yam. Rubio’s back in, 4:10 in the 2nd, 49-36.

Marc Gasol tucks the ball in his arm, hits the hole hard, and gets a four yard gain. Nothing productive in basketball terms, though.

Bron is really getting into the faces of shorter white people that don’t understand him (Refs).

Bron is all over the court on defense. Anybody that bitches about pros not caring or playing hard should watch this and feel stupid.

Craig Sager gives us the Spanish slit-eyed photo. Apparently, the Chinese state media hasn’t shown it. Sager’s Chinese source says that they aren’t that sensitive to racial or ethnic thing. I guess if you’re surrounded by 2 billion homeboys, you could give a fuck if some ugly guys think you look “different.”

Commercial break, and we see the LeBron courtroom Vitamin Water ad for the third time. 56-39 USA, 2:31 left in the second.

Wade gets a flying steal in which he skies, catches the ball with one hand, palms it, tucks it into his forearm, takes his allowed 1.5-2 steps, two dribbles into the lane, and spanks it off Garbajosa’s face. It was a wacky 3 seconds.

Ricky wings a one-handed oop to Rudy Reyes. This fucking kid is fun.

Fan Gu Zai, I mean, Carlos Boozer is in the game for the first time. 59-45, 37.3 seconds left.

The crowd gives an ovation as the Chinese players exit the stadium.

Rudy Fernandez dribbles around, and hucks up a three with ten seconds left. USA comes back down, Boozer misses a layup, the Wade misses a layup, then Boozer comes back to get the board and lay it in before the buzzer, 61-45 USA at the half.

They call the swimming and diving place in Beijing the "Water Cube." Really?

The rest of halftime is spent imagining an enormous cube of water.

Both teams come out the way they started, Melo hits a three 66-45 USA, 8:22 3rd.

Kobe is gang-banging on Marc Gasol, beats him to get position for a rebound, then laughs in laughs in the 7 footer’s face.

Jason Kidd makes a lay up for his first shot of the entire tournament, Spain takes a much needed timeout. 72-48 USA. 6:52 3rd.

Howard gets another goaltend. USA is playing like they finally get to do all the things they always wished they could do in the NBA.
Kobe bricks a three, Howard gets another foul, Bosh, Wade and Paul in for Kobe, Howard, Kidd.

CP3 gets a steal, then runs straight at the other basket for a lay up. This was apparently too complicated of an offense for Spain.

Deron in for Melo. Bron tell the fresh guys to play more D.

Wade with a soaring flush. Flash is back.

The announcer calls Bosh “Bush” and starts cracking up to himself. 78-60 USA 3:35 3rd.

Bosh swats Garbajosa, the announcers relate a story that Bosh told about Garbajosa and Calderon crying like bitches after they lost a game last year.

Rubio gives an in the paint drop off to Rudy Reyes, who gets swatted by Wade. Spain needs to quit fucking up Ricky’s dimes.

Michael Redd gets in for the first time as Marc has to make freethrows after getting tossed into the photographers by Melo. He makes one.

Paul airballs a three, Wade gets the board and scores, 82-61, 1:40 3rd.

Spain dribbles around the top of the key and hucks bad threes for two straight possessions, Bosh gets fouled by Pau, who appears to be balding. 84-63, 19.5 seconds left in the 3rd.

During a time out, China pipes in, “Do the Twist.”

USA comes out of the timeout with CP3 passing to Bron, who hits Bosh under the basket for a thundering left-handed yam. Again, too complicated for Spain.

Spain comes back, Reyes bricks a fadeaway, Wade fires a 60-foot pass to Redd as the buzzer goes off. Redd throws the ball over his shoulder after turning his back to the basket, as Paul flies in and hangs on the rim for about 5 seconds. The USA is having way too much fun. 86-63 after 3.

LeBron’s Vitamin Water courtroom commercial for the 4th time.

Camera shows the USA Women’s team, who is actually doing better, winning their games by an average of 45 points. The arena pipes in a futuristic version of “If your happy and you know it clap your hands.” The majority of Chinese are happy.

Rubio gets a steal, and is hated on by Bosh, who plays awesome D and forces Rubio to brick his layup. Paul gets the ball, dribbles to the elbow and shoots a jump shot. Too complicated for Spain.
Bron alleys to Wade’s oop. Flavor.

Wade misses a windmill lay up, taps it in himself and yells loud enough that Tina Thompson, the leading scorer of the Women’s team, stops talking. Pau fucks up another fancy Rubio dish.

Tayshaun, Deron, Dwight, Kobe, and Redd are on the floor. Rubio produces a buttery alley to Pau for the oop. 92-68, 7:00 in the 4th.

NBC cranks the “NBA on NBC” theme, Bron Vitamin Water commercial for the 5th time, and NBC shows Jerry West and Oscar Robertson highlights from 1960.

Dwight grabs an errant Kobe three for an and-one. Dwight makes the free throw, 98-71, 5:45 4th.

Redd gets an and-one, misses the free throw, the announcers tell the story of Redd meeting with Jerry Colangelo, where he drove to Chicago from Milwaukee, shows up in his sweats, then changes into a suit for the interview. This satisfies NBC’s policy of telling this story once a game.

Century Mark, free Chalupas for everybody. 100-71 USA, 5:00 4th.

CP3 lays up a patented CP3 alley. Instead of Tyson throwing it down, Dwight’s on the other end, and he thunderfunks the oop.

Fan Gu Zai/Boozer in. How is it the Jazz have the most Olympians?

Deron Williams gets a fast break lay up, then a fast break dunk, the Redd (the designated 3-point shooter) dunks one. Everybody on team USA has scored now. The Spanish look pretty sheepish. 110-76 USA 2:30 4th

Tayshaun makes USA’s eleventh three-pointer.

The announcer makes a good point that Calderon and Pau are still on the floor despite there being no difference they can make. There is an awkward silence, and the other announcer comes back with, “Well, you can’t know what the Spanish coach is thinking.” Sure can’t.

Then again, Bron is back in for USA and gets his eighth assist. Tayshaun with another three. CP3 dribbles around to waste the clock and not rub it in for the final minute, letting Tayshaun shoot a rock at the end of the shot clock. Spain comes down, Calderon misses a three. Game.

119-82 USA. In your faces, world.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Afternoon Fun Bag!



Wooo! Partaayyy! Steve Nash likes to show off his chest at parties.

Another week in the book, y'all. It was all kinds of fun all around. Now we get to have even more fun. In blog form!

First off, the Olympics are all well and fun, but how are we not including this sport? Or this one? Or this one?

Furthermore, remember when Chuck E. Cheese was called Showbiz Pizza? No? Well, it doesn't matter. All you need to know is that someone that works there now has way too much time on their hands.

Anyways, now that the days are getting shorter, that means winter is approaching. Unfortunately, I'll probably be where I am right now instead of watching people like Simon Dumont do crazy/stupid/funny things like this.

Remember the dunk that put Fred Weis out of work? Well, this being an election year, some enterprising dude has taken it upon himself to memorialize the epic dunk heard round the world with a new and improved vision for America.

And of course, in case you missed it, the Spanish basketball squad isn't making too many friends in China. At least Pau doesn't have a Chinese teammate. WHOOPS, The Lakeshow signed Sun Yue!

Anyways, Season 5 of The Wire came out on DVD, USA Basketball plays those racist Iberian fucks tomorrow at 10am Eastern, and STILL the best thing to happen to me is the fact that the English Premier League returns tomorrow! Huzzah for all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CFB prieview semi homer addition



#6 M-I-Z...Z-O-U

(Warning this post will not follow the traditional format and will be filled with blatant homer bias)

Missouri (as a state) is starting to develop home grown talent
(With the help of other states)

They're in contention for the Fulmer cup

They have a Heisman Trophy candidate

They have an excellent blog

And evidently an anthem...

Clearly Mizzou is on the rise.

I stated earlier that this is a semi homer addition simply because I grew up in the show me state and I've been on the ZOU bandwagon since the Corby Jones, Brock Olivo days. However, it is strange to think about Mizzou's rise into the elite level of college football. Specifically, games such as this haunt fans to this day. The 1997 game is a microcosm of Missouri football lore which is the inability to achieve a defining moment/season in the program's history.

Last year is a perfect example of this. Yeah they beat Illinois( in a surprisingly significant game) Yeah they beat the Cornfuckers. Yeah they beat the Gayhawks to win the Big 12 North. But the two losses to Oklahoma still leaves the Missouri faithful wondering what if? (What's more is they got completely fucked by the BCS)

I suppose like most upper mid level teams, the citizens of Missouri have always proclaimed that the program was destined to become an elite status. Unlike other programs, however, Missouri's argument actually makes sense. The high school talent that comes from the state is fairly respectable. Admittedly it's nowhere near the level of California, Florida, Ohio, PA, Etc. but Mizzou is the only show in town. They could and should have a f-ing monopoly on Missouri football talent. However, for years and years the in state talent went to the likes of Nebraska and Oklahoma. Gary Pinkel seems to be changing the SOP and is becoming quite effective in locking down the borders while showing an ability to bring in out of state talent, specifically from the People's Republic of Texas.

Another factor leading to Missouri's arrival is the team's identity. X'&O's aside, Dave Christiansen's offense has given the tigers an identity and swagger. I'm really big on DC not just because he has a great grasp of the game and a kick-ass system, but he seems like a pretty cool dude(looks like him too) and not one of those ego-driven d-bag coaches that are all too common today. (It will be vital for the Zou to hold on to him as long as possible) Couple the Dude's offense with a defense that should be more than adequate. Which brings me to the point of this whole post... this season.

Everyone knows Chase Daniels is back along with the young Jeremy Maclin. The defense returns 8 starters. The Tigers will be good. The question is how good? I feel like the schedule for the Tigers is the most important factor of their season. They open with Illinois is the STL in what should be a highly publicized, yet easy win for Mizzou. They must Travel to Nebraska (I never underestimate Nebraska) on OCT. 4th and take on the Oklahoma State Boone-Pickens the following week. However, on Oct 18th they travel to Austin Texas which could be a groundbreaking game for the team, the program, and the state. Obviously, it will be an emotional homecoming for Daniels who was snubbed by the Horns, but it will also be an important measuring stick for the program. If (and thats a big if in my mind) the Tigers can go into Austin against an established Big 12 power and come out with a win it will solidify the Tiger's status as an elite team. As a homer this game worries me simply because I really can't imagine the Tiger's as a legitimate NC contender for two years in a row. I'm wishing, hoping and dreaming that this can be accomplished, but I guess the show me nature of the state has the best of me. Regardless of the game in Austin, the Tigers should win the North Division and hope they don't play Oklahoma in the championship game.

In years past the Tiger faithful have screamed Big 12 North or bust. This year the rallying cry is BCS or bust... Which is nice.

...Oh yeah they play these guys.

Cullen Jones...A Black Guy Who Can Swim (Fast!)

A little over 15 minutes ago, USA won the Men’s 4×100 Freestyle relay, beating out the heavily favored French team (who had done some serious trash talking in the press, prior to the final) by, like, a centimeter (8 one-hundredths of a second, to be exact) in a super-dramatic come-from-behind win. Seriously, it was one of the most amazing races (in any sport) I’ve ever seen. The team smashed the world record by 4 seconds. The big story, of course, was that Olympic golden boy, Michael Phelps, who swam the lead in the relay, keeps his hope of winning 8 gold medals and beating Mark Spitz’s record alive.

But, my big story in all this is that of Cullen Jones, who as I write this, is the lone black figure on the medal podium, becoming just the second African-American ever to win a gold medal in swimming and the first to share/hold a world record. The first black swimmer to win the gold was Anthony Ervin, who tied for first in 2000 in the 50m freestyle. Interestingly, Ervin has a Jewish mother and Black and Native-American father and notably downplayed his race/ethnicity in interviews. Aside from the fact that, in his own words, he doesn’t really “look black” (very true), Ervin said of himself, “I have always known that I am…part African-American and many other things. But I was naive, because I didn’t know that meant anything – or would have the ramifications it did at Trials.”

So, to me, Jones is the first to have publicly approached his place on the Olympic swim team as a Black athlete. Back in July, Jones became just the 3rd African American to make a US Olympic team in swimming, behind Ervin and the first black female swimmer to make the cut, Maritza Correia (2004). Born in the Bronx and raised in New Jersey, Jones started swimming at 8 in innercity pools, on predominantly minority teams. Fueled by his experience, Jones has made it a personal quest to promote swimming in minority communities.

With the latest study showing that Black children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than white kids of the same age, Jones’s cause isn’t just about exposing kids to swimming as a sport; it’s about promoting the importance of swimming as a survival skill. (I thought about this a lot when Katrina happened: if there were any ethnic/socioeconomic group in the U.S. that could be considered the least equipped, culturally, to survive a disaster involving massive amounts of water, it'd be poor black people.) Jones himself almost drowned at the age of 5 on a waterpark ride. It’s really gonna take changing the culture surrounding swimming among minority communities.

Anyway, it was really awesome seeing Jones in the water and earning a gold medal in sport in which our general absence, historically, has been a cruel joke of sorts. Word, Cullen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Phelps Phanatic


"The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for." -French Swimmer Alain Bernard

"F**k You. I'm good at swimming." - American Swimmers Michael Phelps and Jason Lezak

Pre-Season Tension: Georgia vs. Russia





Believe the hype or don't, but on paper Georgia should be one of the best teams in the country come game day. They pack a potent offense and a solid defense that played well all season last year, ending with a resounding and crushing defeat to Colt "Kicked Out of Legitimate College Football" Brennan, his Hawaii Rainbows, and any other mid-major team who says they're worth anything more than a neat excuse to go to Hawaii or play on blue turf.

But apparently, the hype surrounding the much-ballyhooed Bulldogs has ruffled the feathers of some of our country's oldest foes. That's right. The Motherland. Russia.

No doubt you have witnessed some of the invasion stories on national news coverage. "Russia invades Georgia," and "Russia arms and delves deeper into Georgia," and you globally-articulate and savvy people have said the same thing I have: "They've got some nerve doing that to an SEC team's state."

While it is true Russia may find some refuge at culturally pliable and mandible Savannah, upon reaching Athens, the Motherland will find stiff opposition against what is widely considered the best football team in the country.

Both UGA and Russia boast an entire roster of veterans. Georgia junior quarterback Matt "Cholesterol" Stafford and sophomore sensation Knowshon "I Know You Had to Look Up My Name to Properly Spell It" Moreno have years of SEC experience under their belt and promise to deliver what they call "fireworks." Russia on the other hand has standard-issue AK-47's and several other forms of artillery, which also boast a large amount of firepower.

And speaking of firepower, don't look now, but Russia hopes to take their potent office to the Georgia ground. Having already pounded the Georgia defense into a surprised submission, Russia looks to keep running on the ground, via tanks and stuff. But don't overlook Georgia's defense. They return several key starters that could be crucial to this match up (if they are able to withstand bullets).

But each side is not without their own devastating losses. For Georgia, the loss of left tackle Trinton Sturdivant could sideline the entire team's national title hopes. Sturdivant received freshman All-American and freshman All-SEC honors last season after starting 13 games at what is regarded as the most important position on the offensive line. He also received a terrible leg injury that will require season-ending reconstructive surgery.

Russia has also had two terrible losses, communism and Dolph Lundgren. Communism fell when President Ronald "Reagan Smash" Reagan punched a hole in the Berlin Wall so violently that it sent the entire thing crumbling down. No James Bond movie was ever the same. Dolph Lundgren, who portrayed himself in the 1985 documentary Rocky IV under the screen name Captain Ivan Drago, hasn't been cool since he was defeated by the Italian Stallion. The Stallion on the other hand, fought for truth, justice, steroids, brain damage, and the American way in two more films. The loss of Lundgren/Drago could be potentially lethal for the Russian troops, who regarded him as a leader as well as an icon.

But we will have to wait and see. By all reports, Russia has not made it to Athens yet to challenge the Bulldogs directly, but are currently creating a new Sherman trail, destroy county after county of likely Georgia Tech fans on the way to Sanford Stadium. But sifting through those weaker foes may only prove to be pomp and circumstance by the time they reach Mark "Haircut?" Richt and his Bulldogs.

Look on CNN, FOX News, or MSNBC to see the latest results from the Russian offense, or check any and all SEC-blogs for a more fair and balanced approach.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Afternoon Fun Bag!



WOOO! Tonight we're gonna party like Steven Jackson! You know, pound some expensive shit and unload clip after clip into the air in the parking lot of strip joints. Right?...Right?

Yeehaw. Another Friday means another opportunity to give back to the internet community by rehashing what it has already spit my way this week. I think it's ok to do that.

I keeping with the Shakira theme, we have yet another video, although this one is slightly different than the others.

Of course, the Olympics started today. Or they start later on tonight. Or some shit. China is apparently in some sort of time warp where it is impossible to calculate the time change. Anyways, I DO know that Team USA will play Team China starting at 9am Eastern Time on Sunday morning. Although that violates the sanctified "no blood on a Sunday morning" rule, I think we can still deal. Speaking of Team USA, Nike has just released their newest commercial touting the squad. This could go into our "Great Sports Commercials" file, and it probably will, because it will give you goosebumps.

I sure hope Team USA wins, and they probably should, since China's best player is still this guy.

Have I mentioned how much I love the women's events in the Olympics? If you aren't excited, then you should be, and here are two extremely good reasons why. I mean, holy hell. That is downright amazing.

And finally, just to buck the trend a little, here is a hypnotizing skateboarding sequence. It is fully worth your time to watch this in it's entirety, if only for the fucking awesome explosion at the very end.

Well, that's about good enough for this work week. Watch the Olympics. Or football. Or baseball. Or go outside this weekend.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Olympics are nigh!



Dirk was chosen by his country to carry the flag during the opening ceremonies. So he did this to his hair. Good thing for him, he can't possibly be uglier, no matter what his hair looks like.

Yao was chosen to carry China's flag, but it's doubtful that he'll deviate from what I like to call General Tso's Flattop.

Who's carrying the Stars and Stripes? Could it be any of our famous Olympians (Michael Phelps, Misty May, LeBron James)? No. Lopez Lomong is. See, other countries choose well-known athletes to carry their flags. We choose guys who've only been Americans for 13 months to carry our flag, so as to make a dig at Chinese international policies.

They deserve it. Lousy commies.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hard Knocks

Hard Knocks live Chat


Ok so we are relatively new to this whole blogging thing. However, we will attempt to have a live chat every Wednesday for hard knocks.
tonight will start at an undetermined time due to the fact that I am receiving free booze until 10:00 pm. with that being said, be patient and hopefully stovall and the icehouse will get things rolling.

I will say this about "Hard Knocks." I've been bred to hate the cowboys, this DNA will not change. However, there isn't a better team to feature on HBO. Tank Johnson, T.O, Pacman, the great white hope Jason Whitten, Jessica Romo...need I say more. this could prove to be the best season ever, and we will be here to provide our pithy, uneducated, biased,and hateful commentary. Enjoy

The Strength of the Euro



In case you haven't noticed, NBA players are fleeing their middling teams and wack salaries for the richer pastures of Europe. This was bound to happen eventually, what with the improvement of international basketball over the last decade or so. Also, if you are familiar with this blog, you will also remember that one of our authors made th prophetic vision that people will follow the footsteps of Brandon Jennings should he decide to hop the pond. Prophetic, I am.

Anyways, the list does include some NBA notables, but mostly middle of the road dudes that are little more than role players on their teams. Some already have international experience (Nenad "Nads" Krstic, Jorge "Garbage" Garbajosa, Carlos Arroyo). Others just felt like escaping.

While Jennings was the most original and notable (being a high school player making the exodus so he could get paid instead of go to school), Josh Childress was probably where the dam broke. Childress, a young athlete that played a fair amount on a fair, young, athletic team, signed a three-year $30 Million contract with Olimpiacos (Greece). Childress isn't even the first American to play for this team, but he is the first NBA-established player to go across in the peak of his career. Most people usually wait until they are too old for the NBA, or they go overseas if they can't make the NBA. When people saw how much Childress was going to get paid ($10mil a year is starter money on playoff teams), others thought to themselves, 'hey, I could make that money.'

There are other factors to realize with this deal. Going overseas doesn't just mean more money. Well, it does, but in different ways. What most people don't realize is that when you get paid with most pro teams in Europe, you keep all your money. Most pro clubs in Europe, regardless of the sport, pick up the tab on taxes, housing, cars, pretty much all living necessities. That means that ALL of that $30 million is Josh's (Jennings is looking smarter than any other Arizona Wildcat right about now). Furthermore, the teams that can afford to lure players away (Olimpiacos, CSKA Moscow, Barcelona) are generally all contenders. Anyone can tell you that it is way more fun to win than lose, regardless of the league. Finally, look at where you get to play! Josh Childress left Atlanta for Athens, Greece. If you were wondering, Athens is nicer than Atlanta. By a lot. Seriously, look at NBA cities (New Jersey, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Toronto). Compare those with the nicest cities in Europe (and then Moscow), fuck a language barrier, those places are great.

Now the average fan doesn't care much about the people that have already gone across the pond. In fact, several of you probably have never even heard the name "Earl Boykins" before. Most people won't even miss the ones that are gone (I, for one, will miss Carlos Arroyo's pimp ass shoes). But in the last few days, Kobe Bryant and [sources close to] LeBron James said that they would go if the money was right. The money being astronomical (Kobe says $40 million a year, Bron's bro says fitty). That's a heck of a lot of money. Money that NBA teams can't compete with due to the salary cap. It's one thing for lesser known albeit decent players to go, but when you talk about two of the main faces of the NBA, it probably sends a shiver up David Stern's spine.

I discussed the intangible merits of playing hoops in Europe, and so I must point out the main perk of hooping in the USA: sponsorship dollars. LeBron doesn't make most of his money playing basketball. He makes most of his money being a face to slap on a Coke can, a Nike billboard, even a pack of Bubble Gum (Yes, there is a LeBron Bubblicious flavor of gum). While that $50 million figure would be about double what he makes from the Cavs, he would stand to lose a fair amount of money in sponsorships (yes, Nike and Coke exist everywhere, but he wouldn't be moving the same amount of goods, therefore he would take a pay cut. Think how many Beckham commercials you see in the USA these days). Will LeBron go overseas? Probably, but not before he wins a couple of rings in the NBA first. Maybe in about fifteen years he'll go.

The European basketball leagues have long been a sort of retirement program for aging hoopsters. Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins (the only NBA player to ever claim he was an alien from the planet Luvtron) played in Italy for a spell, as did Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, World B. Free, et al. Stephon Marbury even announced his plan last summer to go play in Europe after his contract expires. Not just in Europe, either. Sonny Alvarado played in a Korean league, and God Shammgod still plays in China. One of the most important twists, however, is that Joe "Jellybean" Bryant played in Italy for a long time.

Which, of course, brings me to Kobe. Kobe was raised in Italy when his pops (the aforementioned Bryant) played there. Kobe speaks Italian, and loves to jetset to all the happening places in Europe. For all the reasons that LeBron has to stay, Kobe has to go. Kobe's already accomplished everything one can in the NBA. Three rings, MVP, Scoring champ, etc. All checked off the list. Furthermore, Kobe doesn't have hardly any sponsorships anymore after his Colorado naked party (also, Euro chicks don't sue you when you bang them. Another good reason, Kobe!), therefore, if he's gotta live off of his hoops playing, playing somewhere with no taxes or salary caps is probably a wise move. Considering that he's already comfortable with the life on an expatriate, and that he already plays with a bunch of bricklaying Eurotrash on the Lakers, Kobe is probably the only superstar that might make the jump while still in their prime.

Would this hurt the NBA? Maybe. It would definitely help basketball on a global scale, and bring us one step closer to my dream of having a basketball champion's league (which would be sweet).

The Euro phenomenon has made this offseason pretty interesting, and is a perfect build up for the Olympics (which will showcase all of the best talent, NBA or otherwise). One way or another, there are definitely more basketball leagues than just the NBA, and those leagues aren't for hasbeens and neverwas's anymore.

CFB preview



#7 West Virginia

Gut Reaction-Whatever

Offense-The entire offensive line returns along with uber QB Pat White. The loss of Steve Slaton shouldn't upset the Morgantown faithful as Noel Devine should have a breakout year.

Defense- Jeff Casteel's 5-3....excuse me "3-3 stack" defense returns 4 starters, however Senior LB Morty Ivy should provide leadership for the Mountaineers.

Special Teams- Pat Mcaffe is a future scratch golfer.

Schedule-Trips to Colorado, and nemesis Pitt, along with home games against Auburn, and the Coal Killers will challenge a Mountaineer NC run.

Ramblings- WVU is facing a pivotal season. This is the year WVU either turns the corner and makes it to Miami, or once again becomes an "also ran" in the NC picture. If I was a WVU fan (Which I'm not...ever) I'd be screaming NC or bust at first year coach Bill Stewart. The year is also pivotal when looking at the program's future. Specifically, can Bill Stewart and the Mountaineer staff continue to bring in the talent, and win year after year to sustain an elite FBS program. No one can answer these questions, but I suppose we can all look back on this 4 years later and examine the direction of WVU.

Back to this year... Look everyone knows Pat White is the truth, Noel Devine is a game-breaker, and the Defense will be somewhat adequate. I don't question the personnel, or schemes of WVU. What I do question is the "other" factors WVU needs to address this year. 1. Does West Virginia recover from the Rich Rod Hangover? Thats right I said it. You would think it wasn't a big deal, but the reaction of Rod's departure to Michigan leaves me to believe that the Mountaineers, Bill Stewart, and the entire state, will need huge wins against Colorado and Auburn to move on from the whole episode. 2. Can WVU win the small game? WVU has absolutely no problem winning the big game, just look at this, and this. However, the Mountaineers have proven for the past several years that they miss the layups such as South Florida 06,07 and Pitt 07. I'd bet money that the mountaineers will win close in Colorado and handle Auburn quite easily. What I wont bet on is that they'll come out against the Big East schedule unscathed.

At the end of the day, this is Pat White's last year, and the NC window is closing for the Mountaineers. Furthermore, the "new" staff will have to replace the athletes that have been commonplace at WVU for the past several years. When you combine these, along with other factors, it becomes apparent that WVU is facing a pivotal moment in the program's future. Will WVU continue in the land of upper level mediocrity, or will they truly become an elite program for years to come?

Steve Smith Revealed


Steve Smith is in the pre-season news, not for breaking tackles, but for breaking faces.

Apparently, tensions ran high during practice between Smith and Ken "You'll Only Remember Me As That Guy Who Got Jacked By Steve Smith" Lucas, and Smith decided Lucas needed some physical attention. Reportedly, the two haven't gotten along since Lucas arrived at Carolina in 2005.

Not to break off onto some tangent, but the individual coverage of the events is hilarious. NFL players, or their agency, often pay people to run and update their websites and other various coverages on the information super-highway. Apparently, one of these people looks over Wikipedia. I encourage everyone to look at how "apologetic" Smith was following the altercation/beat-down and how Lucas really isn't that big of a puss, but quote "teammates and coaches intervened leaving Lucas shocked and without an attempt at redemption." Top shelf, Wikipedia.

So what's the impact of the fight? Well, there's a large dent where player-whose-name-is-not-important-enough-to-recall's nose used to be. And the Carolina Panthers will likely lose the first two games of the season that Smith will be suspended for. I haven't seen who they're playing, but they are remarkably ungood without him.

But this has also been pretty revealing about Steve "Thug?" Smith. Is he really as street as he and the NFL would purport?

"But Zack, he had a single mom and he lived in the hood." True, but his mom was also a counselor so anything that Smith say that could have warped his fragile young mind could easily have been reversed.

"Stovall, aren't you neglecting his array of tattoos?" I neglect them not. But have you really looked at them?
He ripped off Shaq's SuperShaq emblem, has a Smurf tattoo(which after some investigation has yielded no legitimate street cred), a cliche Asian thing, and the name of his kids, all of which were birthed by the same mother. This could very well be Billy Graham's body art run down.

"He is a receiver in the NFL, Stovie, he has millions to blow on booze, hookers, and/or drug paraphernalia. Are you retarded?" This is true. He is a professional and not to mention a pro-bowl receiver. However, he is also an intern at Morgan Stanley's Charlotte branch. A financial planning intern? "Hey Sport, go get me that coffee that's 40 yards away in under 4.5 seconds." "Hey Tiger, I'm going to need a skinny post fade to the fax to get my TPS reports." I bet they make him sign autographs for their kids. Very unballer.

So while Smith may have kept it real on whats-his-face, he seriously lacks realness in other categories. Maybe he can achieve some of those features after he goes and gets a new coffee pot for the office, because the old one broke about 9:30 this morning.