Archive for June, 2011

The Lawn Mower Man

// June 30th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

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There have been reports on the NFL Lockout for the last 110 days, which doesn’t include the amount of posturing, hypothesizing, and bickering, that went on before that.

I have stayed away from daily reports about the lockout because, well, all I care about is watching football. There is an obnoxiously jaded quote about boat owners that reads; The two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day he buys the boat, and the day he sells it. While I disagree that someone with the financial means to own a boat is somehow less happy than I am because he has that boat, the sentiment echoes my feelings about the NFL Lockout.

I cared the day they locked out, and I will care the day they get back to work.

All of the rest of it means nothing to me. It’s like the commercials between my favorite show. I know they are eventually going to end, I usually get up to go to the bathroom when they come one, and am really only concerned with when they end so I can get back to watching Mob Wives. Unfortunately there is no big DVR in the sky that allows us to fast forward through the lockout.

Despite trying to leave the room whenever this 110 day old commercial comes on, there is one story that I feel bears repeating.

Having done extensive research on the prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft for www.ultimatenfldraft.com, I found some players who I would be rooting for regardless of the teams that they played on. You can’t spend that kind of time analyzing someone without developing an emotional association. It’s why no one will ever love you as much as a stalker will.

One of the players that I was most impressed with was DT Marcel Dareus out of Alabama. The guy had the size and athletic ability to solidify any defensive front in the league, and he seemed to be a genuinely hard working guy who battled back from injury to be better than he was before. None of that makes me as proud to say I was a Marcel Dareus fan as the fact that he has been spending the lockout cutting grass for his godfather.

The man is worth millions of hypothetical dollars, and instead of bitching about the uncertain nature of his next paycheck, he is out there pushing a mower. The fact that he chose to work, and in doing so, helped out a family member speaks volumes about the kind of man that Buffalo drafted.

As a Patriots fan, there aren’t too many times that I can remember saying this with a straight face, but I’m a little jealous of the Buffalo Bills.

——Corey

Down Goes Federer! Down Goes Federer!

// June 29th, 2011 // 7 Comments » // Uncategorized

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178-0.

That was Roger Federer’s record in matches where he was up two sets to none. The average person, myself included, doesn’t care about Tennis the same way they do about Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, or even Golf.

Think about it this way; If they stopped playing Tennis for 100+ days, would you even notice?

But regardless of the interest level, what Federer has done is beyond impressive. He was the Mariano Rivera of Tennis. He got you behind, and you might as well hari kari yourself and call it a day.

Until now.

It wasn’t Nadal, Djokovic, or even Andy Murray who ended Federer’s 2011 Wimbldon run. It was some French guy, with a ridiculous victory dance, who was the first to beat Federer after losing the first two sets. It was the kind of improbable moment that we love to see in sports, and no matter how beloved Federer, or Rog as he’s known to fans, may be, it is great for the game that he was beat. And beat on his favorite court, in a tournament he has owned, to boot.

Now more people will tune in, not wanting to miss the next big upset.

During the summer, especially with Football in a holding pattern, there is a shortage of meaningful sports moments. Baseball is great, but due to the long season, expecting a great moment night in and night out is unrealistic. Tennis is there for those who need a competitive sports fix.

The best part about it? It’s a short term commitment. Wimbledon will be finished before you can wash down a 4th of July hot dog with an ice cold Budweiser.

It’s definitely worth a few hours of your day, or your DVR memory, to check it out.

——Corey

Broken News: Mega Thumb War is On!…Almost

// June 29th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

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Floyd Mayweather wants to challenge Manny Pacquaio….to a thumb war.

After years of trying to stall the potential mega fight between the two best “pound for pound” thumbers in the world, it appears that Mayweather is finally ready to drop the gloves. Literally.

It is tradition before a big thumb war to wear gloves into the ring. That way your opponent doesn’t see the pulsating, performance enhanced thumb muscles until he, or she, is in the ring. It is gamesmanship at its best.

Floyd says that he wants to take on the best, and that it has been his lifelong goal to beat the best. He just never specified when we would be taking them on, and beating them. He has bested some top flight fighters, but never anyone who was at that peak when the gloves came off.

By challenging Pacquiao, whose left thumb has been destroying the competition, it seems that ‘Money’ Mayweather is realizing that there is a difference between beating the best, and beating them at their best. I don’t want to say that Pretty Boy Floyd has been ducking Pacquiao, but there has been a lot of quacking from his camp that we didn’t hear around the pond as he trained for Marquez, Mosley, Hatton, or De La Hoya. Not one of those men presents the unique challenge, and devastating left thumb, that Pacquaio brings to the table.

So one has to wonder if it wasn’t an attempt to duck the southpaw, what was the hold up?

According to Mayweather; “I keeps a private jet.” When it was pointed out that this failed to answer any of the questions about his heart, Mayweather responded, “When you’re young, black and rich, you go through things in life. But I’m a strong individual. I can survive through anything.”

Anything it seems, except an English class.

It remains to be seen whether he will survive tangling thumbs with Pacquaio, but at least he is ready to talk about it. And with Mayweather, that’s half the battle.

——Corey

No Whammies..No Whammies..No Whammies..Stop!

// June 24th, 2011 // 7 Comments » // Uncategorized

Broken News: The 2011 NBA Draft was boring.

Wait a minute, that’s not broken. It’s actually true.

It’s not even news.

The only interesting thing about the draft last night was the swirling trade rumors, and the actual trades. If you don’t think that Steven Jackson ending up in Milwaukee, where he doesn’t want to play, isn’t an interesting sub plot to the 2012 NBA season then, well you don’t know Steven Jackson.

It is in the spirit of saving the NBA Draft from a NFL Pro Bowl type fate as an unwatchable sporting event that is more appealing in a twenty second highlight, where you don’t have to watch the whole thing, that I present my idea for the 2012 NBA draft.

Combine Let’s Make a Deal, Press Your Luck, The Prices Right, and Family Double Dare to create a game show out of the evening.

First, each NBA team would pick a number out of a non-biased, impossible to fix, hat. That way even the reigning NBA Champion would have a shot at pulling number one. Once the order was established the NBA’s executives would line up in front of a giant panel of other NBA executives and hear potential trade offers. Each team get’s one fifteen second pitch to propose a trade.

ainge“The Boston Celtics offer you our starting center, our team chemistry, and any chance of winning a title this year. And all we want in exchange is one player who might end up being the third or fourth best player on a team that makes a run at the first round of the playoffs.” – Danny Ainge

“Done” – Any NBA executive

“Lebron James for Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and you keep the Kardashians.” – Pat Riley’s offer to Jerry Buss.

“No thanks. We want to try and win one more title and that deal takes us further away from that. Plus, I want to beat the best, not play with them.” Kobe Bryan via satellite feed as the camera finds Lebron James sitting in the nosebleeds, in disguise.

Should two teams both make an offer on the same player, we go to a physical challenge where the executive teams battle it out with one team getting the right to stay in the bidding, and the other gets slimed.

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Then the executive on the clock would have five minutes, during a commercial break, to weigh all the options. If none of the options appeal they can press their luck. They would throw three of their counter offers into a computer lottery, like Keno, and take their chances that they get one of those instead of the team’s actual offers. The stipulation being that you can also land on a whammy, and end up with Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, and the Kardashians sans Lamar Odom.

If your trade offer is accepted, you can still try and make a deal with other teams but would be unable to use the players you already traded. Think of the strategy involved. Not to mention the drama of everyone in the room offering a towel boy up when the Wizards are on the clock.

After each team has had a chance to play, there would be a nationwide vote on who the biggest winner and loser are. These two would go to a showcase show down, where each team’s executives put together silent contract offers to all the players on each team. The total amount cannot exceed the salary cap and at the end, the players say whether or not they would agree to the terms, and if he likes the team chemistry. However, the player wouldn’t know which team he is picking.

The team that builds the best hypothetical team ends up with that team for the next season.

I think I would watch that, and it wouldn’t take nearly as much convincing as getting me to watch a whole bunch of no name Euro’s lope across the stage to shake hands with a commissioner who seemed to thoroughly enjoy getting booed.

In other broken news, Ron Artest wants to legally change his name to Metta World Peace.

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Wait, that’s true too!?

I give up.

——Corey

Is Pandora Kidding Me Right Now?

// June 23rd, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I’m in love with Pandora, we’ve been over this already . When I pull up the Bieber Radio, they kill it…even throwing in gems from the Pocahontas sound track (well, played).  But today you  messed up in a major way.  When I say Lupe Fiasco Radio, I want something that my Mom would be disappointed in me listening to.  Something that does not speak to my age or maturity level.  Something that makes me, how do I put this; unemployable.  But instead, this is what I got:

pandoraBeatles?  Let it be?  Really?

Time to start acting like a professional, Pandora.  You can’t be out there, resting on your laurels, reading your press clippings, thinking that some  young buck isn’t out there training, putting you in the cross hairs.  When you’re out there drinking, celebrating your market share, Last.fm is inking deals with Microsoft, taking food off your table.  Consider t his a warning; a shot across your proverbial bow.

Hey Eckhart…Think about the Future….

// June 20th, 2011 // 3 Comments » // Uncategorized

In order to complete the first round of my 2012 NFL Mock Draft at www.ultimatenfldraft.com, I will be predicting the results from a season that may not happen.  This haphazard hypothesizing allows me complete control over the order in which teams will be picking in 2012.

In other words, to quote one of my favorite extra terrestrials, I have absolute power.

Here are a couple of samples.  Enjoy!

Miami Dolphins.

Adding a quality C, and RB with All Pro potential will help the Dolphins running game.  But not adding a QB, and not doing enough to improve the defense, means they are content to rebuild in 2011.  That leaves me with no choice but to put them in the cellar, chained to a radiator, eating the Bills leftovers.

Record: 5-11

Packers Giants FootballNew York Giants.

The Giants had a stellar draft in 2011, highlighted by CB Prince Amukamara, even if it was a bit high for the former Cornhusker, he is a talented CB, and DT Marvin Austin.  They also got NFL ready talent at WR, OT, LB and S.  Add that to an offense that has dangerous WR’s on the edges, and a proven running game no matter who is taking the hand offs, and the Giants should be excited about playing football in 2012.  They will only go as far as Eli Manning can take them though.  The 2011 squad could be more talented than the team that won the Super Bowl in 2007, so if they fail it will because Manning isn’t ready to finally make the jump to elite NFL QB.

Record: 12-4

Pittsburgh.

The reason the Steelers are behind Baltimore is that I have some serious concerns about how the new rules are going to affect their defense.  It is a league-wide crack down on dangerous hits, but it seems like the Steelers are getting singled out more than anyone doesn’t it? Telling guys like James Harrison and Lamar Woodley that they have to play football any way other than 110% on every play, isn’t going to go over well.  I believe it will have an impact on them defensively, and that’s why the Ravens get the edge.  That, and the fact that they passed on some top tier talent at the CB position, where they had a major need.

Record: 10-6

Chicago.

Jay Cutler still the QB in Chicago?  Ok then.  Third place it is.

Record: 9-7

Denver.

The Broncos botched the 2011 draft so badly that I questioned whether the Bills front office had somehow been involved.  Von Miller is a fantastic player and pairing him with Elvis Dumerville will give the Broncos a great pass rush.  But they got no help upfront, and they are heading into the season with Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and Brady Quinn as their potential QBs.  Can you think of any other team with three first round picks at QB, with less combined talent?  Well can you?

John Elway will get things turned around in Denver, but he is off to an auspicious start.

Record: 6-10

pete_carroll_coach_seahawksSeattle.

No QB help, no better than fourth place in a division where every other team got a little better.  Plus there has to be some karmic retribution for what Pete Carroll did, right?  It’s like he met a girl, gave her that first cold beer, encouraged her to smoke pot, then try some freaky new sex stuff, then just a little coke to stay awake for class after being up all night, then convincing her to smoke heroin because it’s not as bad without the needle.   Then once she had gotten strung out, lost a bunch of weight, got kicked out of school and arrested for solicitation, he dumped her and started banging her sister.

For shame Pete, for shame.

Record: 5-11 Bad.  But not bad enough to get the first overall pick so they can draft Andrew Luck.

If you like what you see here, visit us a www.ultimatenfldraft.com

——Corey

Weekend Recap: The Rory McIlroy Edition

// June 20th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

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Growing up I played in something called the Cape Cod Junior Golf Association. It gave young kids a chance to play on dozens of local courses, and get a taste for competitive golf.

Every Saturday your parents would drop you off at the pro shop. Then, armed with some hand me down clubs, and brand new Titleists that we snagged from our dad’s bags, we would be on our own. Most would seek out friends, while others set out for the practice green to work on their short games.

I don’t remember a single round of golf from my days in the CCJGA, but I remember that feeling of independence. I remember how exciting it was to be out there on the course, acting like our dads, or our favorite golfers, carrying our own bags and responsible for our own scorecards.

I also remember how much I hated the two kids who always won.

I can still recall their names, the mere mention of which causes me to mutter angrily under my breath. There was nothing wrong with Mike Flynn or Kenny Lewis. Actually I didn’t really know either one of them, so it would be more accurate to say that I had no real reason to dislike them other than the fact that they were at the top of every leader board, every Saturday.

It got to a point where everyone was gunning for third and fourth place, as if first and second were like our parents liquor cabinet, and they were never out to dinner long enough to sneak in and do any real damage. The absence of Mike or Kenny at the practice green sent a wave of excitement through the rest of us. When a mini-van would pull up just before their tee time, everyone would fall back into just here to have fun since there’s no shot we are winning mode.

The most important lesson that I learned from the CCJGA was that no one likes someone who is constantly kicking their ass. Especially in a sport like golf, where you are out there by yourself, and where a centimeter can mean the difference between greatness and a club tossing madness. It is one of the only sports where you can do your absolute best, play a flawless round, and still get beat.

I can’t imagine all of us sitting around before the tournament was even over, and saying how happy we were for the guy who was beating the shit out of us.

So how were a group of professionals, who compete for huge chunks of cash, instead of the prestige that comes with having your name in the sports section of the Cape Cod Times, gushing over Rory McIlroy as he lapped the field?

I think the answer has a lot to do with McIlroy, but I will get to that in a minute. The reason most of these men, and everyone in the media, are fawning all over him like a fourteen year old at a Justin Beiber concert is because he is not Tiger Woods.

Tiger came in and destroyed the competition, and we loved him for it. We loved watching greatness, and imaging the limitless potential of a 21 year old who had no visible chinks in his Nike armour. But even from the beginning, Tiger was a robot.

sw205No one came out and embraced Tiger, and the man whose records he was chasing, Jack Nicklaus, seemed especially put off by Tiger’s demeanor. Let’s face it, no one wants to hug a robot, except maybe Vicki from Small Wonder, but that’s neither here nor there.

No one who was getting beaten by ten strokes every called Tiger “a great guy”, as we heard time and time again about McIlroy this weekend. The field would have been just as awed by the display of talent, but if it had been Tiger, the sound bites would have been about ignoring the scoreboard, and the man atop it, in order to go out and play some good golf.

Before the third round started, the men behind McIlroy were already handing him the trophy. More than that, they seemed to all want to be the guy who gave it to him. Maybe it was more about what he didn’t do, than what he did do, but when Tiger came out he turned people on the PGA tour against him.

Rory McIlroy turned them into a bunch of pre-pubescent girls with a crush, all hoping he would hear their words and maybe even look at them once or twice.

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After The Masters I applauded McIlroy for the way he handled his collapse on Sunday. The guy hit a shot that went so awry that no one, in the history of The Masters, had ever hit a ball there before. He shot an 80, a score that even a hacker like me could manage on a really good day. But when it was all said and done he walked off the course with his head held high. Had it been Tiger no one would have dared to ask a question.

Rory McIlroy has some serious game. He also seems to have a steeled resolve that is rarely found in a twenty two year old, the short memory that you need to be great, and an affable personality that even Jack Nicklaus is enamored with. Nicklaus offered McIlroy advice this weekend and it has been reported that the two have become fast friends.

There is an age old question; whether it is better to be feared, or loved.

Tiger was great, and may still be again someday, but he was feared.

Rory McIlroy grabbed great by the balls at Congressional, and based on what we saw this weekend, it’s a lot better to be loved.

——Corey

MMPITM: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

// June 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

After watching Rory McIlroy bitch slap the rest of the US Open field, and have them actaully enjoy it (more on this in the Weekend Recap), here is a Monday Morning Punch in The Mouth about the young man from Northern Ireland’s future.

Stanley Cup Goes Out Drinking In Boston

// June 17th, 2011 // 5 Comments » // Uncategorized

I would like to say that I have been a die hard Bruins fan all my life.  I’d like to be able to tell you that I rooted hard for them all season.  I’d like to tell you that, but my fandom isn’t a fairy tale world.

Truth is, I started getting into the NHL playoffs in the first round, and supported the Bruins because they are from the same town as the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots.  Over the course of the playoffs I became familiar with all the players, even picking out a few whose style of play turned me into a fan; most notably Brad Marchand.  My favorite thing about the 2011 Bruins was the fact that they played like a team, and they all looked like a bunch of guys from Massachusetts.

Anyone who has spent anytime time in the Commonwealth knows that there is a certain look to the guys there. Hooded sweatshirt, scraggily beard worn with immense pride, hair that is always allowed to go a little too long before a hair cut, some visible  form of scrape or bruise, and eyes that vacillate from kind to homicidal in the blink of an eye.

They are a relatable bunch of guys, to a kid from Cape Cod anyway, and they helped me become firm in my stance as a Bruins fan, and a hockey fan for that matter.  Maybe I won’t watch every regular season game next year, living out of market it’s next to impossible to catch them all, but I will pay a little more attention than I did this year.

If there is one thing we can all love about sports it’s that they unite us for a common goal.  Even those who don’t like sports, can feel a sense of pride knowing that their home town team has made history.  That team, and that moment in time, belongs to all of us, and always will.

If you need more proof, look no further than the pictures below.  They are from my younger sister who isn’t a sports fan.  Actually isn’t a sports fan might be an understatement.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say that she hates sports, we went to a Red Sox game together and she seemed to enjoy herself, but I will say she just doesn’t have time for them.  There are far more important things in life, to my sister anyway, than sports, yet she felt compelled to snap some pictures of the Bruins taking the Stanley Cup for a beer.  She felt the need to get a picture with David Krejci, even though she had no idea how to spell his name (Sorry to call you out Shea).

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins for making history, winning the Stanley Cup, and making a fan, for a few seconds anyway, out of my younger sister.

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——Corey

Broken News: NFL Lockout Ends!!!!!!!!!!!!………………………………..Then Resumes Over Momma Joke

// June 16th, 2011 // 3 Comments » // Uncategorized

17197__sopranos_lRemember in The Sopranos when Tony was beefing with Johnny Sack? They had reached a middle ground, when a off color comment about Johnny’s wife made its way back to the New York boss’ ears. The “fat” joke derailed peace talks and ignited a violent fued.

Well it appears history has repeated itself.

The NFL Lockout ended for all of five minutes earlier this morning when the two sides reached a tentative accord that would ensure football was played in 2011. That agreement was shattered into a million pieces when an unnamed NFL owner overheard Drew Brees, Mike Vrabel, and a handful of other players making jokes about his momma.

The rib that sent Owner X over the edge?

“His momma is so fat, she broke her leg and gravy came out.” Apparently the owner’s momma had been crippled in a car accident, and confined to a wheel chair for much of her life.

After hearing the joke, Owner X stormed out of the room and started making phone calls. One by one he convinced the other owners that they were giving in to easily, and needed to stand together. His impassioned pleas were so convincing that five and half minutes after the two sides had shaken hands, the lock out was back on.

No word yet on when they will resume talks.

——Corey