The Grand National Championships

April 30, 2008

I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care, care, care anymore.

If you’ve read any sort of a sportsblog today, you know that Deadspin Editor Will Leitch got attacked by a crazed Pulitzer Prize winner last night on Costas Now. You know what else?

I don’t really give a shit.

I mean really. This isn’t some Epic battle of good versus evil. This is Rap Music in 1992. This is Rock and Roll in the mid-1950’s. And so on and so on and so on. Sure, nobody in the Mainstream Music Media said Dr. Dre creates beats in his underwear from his parents basement, but that’s beside the point.

Bissinger is just on the wrong side of the fence, which is a shame, because he’s too rich to really have to give a shit about this. He’s not one of those sports columnists who bring nothing to the table outside of yelling at sports. The blogosphere is not the migrant worker that can do his job for pennies on the dollar.

Then again, ego is a funny thing. If you’re great at something, you feel a sense of professional pride on it. Tom Shales probably blanches at unpaid writings of television criticism. Hunter S. Thompson would probably have sent death threats to anyone who would dare throw bombs in areas that he once wrote about. And Buzz Bissinger isn’t the only one qualified on sports writing.

I mean, I can name you ten websites that provide intriguing points of view about sports in general and sports in particular. (Point of fact? The NBA Blogfrica is scary good.) And when you have that sort of talent brusing up against the fevered egos of the hack sports columnist? You get a certain amount of “How Dare They?” Same as what Tommy Dorsey felt when Elvis made his way onto the scene.

And that’s what brings us back to do.

(And for the record? This was posted in my underwear from my basement apartment.)

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April 26, 2008

Go long and I’ll Fake it to ya! A Wide Receiver Draft Knowledge Mini (Part 10)

This years receiver class is kind of weak. There’s depth to be had in the second and third rounds. But the big guns of this years draft? They have been epic fails in this new year. But still? There’s a lot of neat options.

AFTER THE JUMP!

(more…)

April 7, 2008

Dear Old People Who Hate The Blogosphere?

If you wish to break the internet? There is only one thing you have to do.

Brady Quinn must promote Subway’s Five Dollar Footlong Sandwiches.

And he must do this yesterday.

You’re welcome,

Andrew

The Grand National Championships

April 1, 2008

The NL West throws up it’s rock fist.

I like the NL West a lot. They are the Manic Pop Thrill of all the divisions. I firmly believe that if ESPN actually paid any level of attention beyond the Boston/New York/North Carolina Tri-Bourough Sports Bridge, they would find out just how awesome this division is.

But they don’t, so it’s up to your meshuggenah sports blogger to play sufficient hypeman for the NL West. The NL West is straight up Metal. Really. There are four teams you could see winning the division.

And thusly? The Grand National Championships Proudly Present…

Bang Your Head: A National League West (Day Late and Dollar Short) Preview

5) The San Fransisco Giants are Vader

It’s a nihilistic time to be a Giants fan, an old team that’s pretty much Lincecum and Cain and pray for Bloody Rain. Aaron Rowand was the big splash in Free Agency, and they overpaid for a man Skip Bayless would call a gritty Randy Winn. This is the team voted most likely to lose 110 games this year. There is nothing coming down the horizon. All they can do is work the Tremolo and play their little hearts out. Godspeed Giants, Godspeed.

4) The Los Angeles Dodgers are Black Sabbath

A long time ago, Nomar, Jason Schmidt, Jeff Kent, and Rafael Furcal rocked the party that rocked the body. Jeff Kent was indeed Iron Man and what not. But there is going to be a problem in Dodgertown. They have a lot of youth that’s ready to go wild at Chavez Ravine, but they are being blocked by the bloated, dessicated corpses of once great superstars.

With Andruw Jones as Ronnie James Dio


OH, WHAT’S BECOMING OF ME? 

3) The Colorado Rockies are Limozeen

The Rockies were a nice piece of novelty, going to the World Series with little more than Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, the heart of a Lion and the Wings of a Bat (Because it’s Midnight). But here’s the thing about novelty acts, they ususally cannot come up with good sequels. Frankly, only Weird Al Yankovic has had enough staying power to make his way into dynasty. And let’s just put it this way, like Piratecore, Tay Zonday, Yakoff Smirnoff, and the Homestar Runner, the Colorado Rockies won’t have near enough for an encore.

2) The San Diego Padres are Metallica

Not the modern day sellout “Some Kind of Monster” Metallica. These guys are the old school, Cliff Burton dead in a horrific accident let’s fuck with the new guy “And Justice For All” Metallica. They’re right angry and ready to unleash their “One” upon the world. In this analogy? Peavy is Hetfield, Maddux is Ulrich, and Chris Young is Kirk Hammett. Sadly, the offense is the Napster that will leave them short of their appointed goal. (Though Chase Headley’s going to play Jason Newsted sooner than you think.)  

Poor sucker.

1) The Arizona Diamondbacks are Nine Inch Nails

This team is the most pop metal sensation in the NL West. But we aren’t looking at the elder statesmen of the Industrial thrash scene version. This is the team built for the 1989-1994 Pretty Hate Machine to The Downward Spiral Era of Rocking. It is a fusion of strong pitching (Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, and a bullpen skilled enough to fade trading Jose Valverde) and multi-skilled offense (Their outfield could all threaten 30-30 again).

That, and Mark Reynolds and Randy Johnson are as horrifying as anything you could see in the video for Closer.  

  
HOT!

That’s your baseball in a nutshell for the season. A little comedy, a little cinema, a little hot women, a little bit o’soup, a little manic pop thrill, and a little bit of metal.

This season’s gonna be awesome.

GO BASEBALL!

March 19, 2008

The Trickiness of Underrated.

It is not easy to define what makes a player underrated. The good player may be on a team made of stars. The young player may have consolidated the skills that made him hyped sometime in June. The pitcher may finally have a defense that works for him.

But there are names that are flying under the radar this season. We’re gonna let our light shine upon these underrated going into 2008. These are the guys you need to be watching. Eyes front, these are your new heroes.

The Grand National Championships Present: Dude’s that Don’t Suck

Curtis Granderson CF-Detroit

Now, I know what you’re thinking. He had one of the all time great seasons in baseball history last year, how can he be underrated? You see, while he was spectacular, he is still not a complete player. He is much less than passable versus left-handed pitching, and this will be the year that he turns the tide. Consolidating that with his dominace versus right handed pitching, he will be downright spectacular. And in a line-up with superstars like Miggy Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, Dontrelle Willis, Gary Sheffield and Justin Verlander? He is still going to fly under the radar.

Jeremy Hermida RF-Florida

When somebody makes the big leagues at the age of 21, he comes with savior level expectations. When somebody goes between awful and injured at age 22, people get disappointed. The first half of age 23? A lot of same shit different day. The second half? Awesome. .340/10/36/.401/.555. He’s ready for the world, so long as he stays healthy.

Chad Billingsley RHP-LA Dodgers

You want to know a reason why the Dodgers are going to improve this year? Bank on Billingsley. Last year when he finally made his entrance into the starting rotation after some scuffling in the bullpen, this young man became the putative ace of the Dodgers with a 3.38 ERA from June onward. And yet? In a world where Brad Penny had sex with Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku and Clayton Kershaw is a prospect with Hall of Fame potential, Chad Billingsley is a mere afterthought.


Wasn’t he the kid in Heavyweights?

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Corey Hart RF-Milwaukee

As a wise man once said. You don’t go messing with a country boy, a country boy, a country boy. And this native of Bowling Green, Kentucky is a man that is more than sharing a name with a no-talent assclown. This giant of a man with a broad base of skills is less visible than Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, Ben Sheets, Eric Gagne, hell, even Jason Kendall is better known to the casual fan. But the fact of the matter is, his flaw to superstardom is more correctable than our favorite 100 Grand. A lot easier to take more walks than hit lefthanders.

These are four names you need to know, casual baseball fan. These are four names that will be even bigger next year. If you don’t know? Now you know.

And knowing is half the battle.

March 14, 2008

Movies are Fun, you guys. (An AL East Preview)

I like Movies! I like Danny Mothers, but I like movies more! I give movies a 6 out of seven! Yay!

We are looking at feature films, theories, and other movie things as…your AL East

5) The Baltimore Orioles ARE Doomsday

This team has been fighting infection. Mediocre mutates to bad. Bad mutates to mediocre. Superstars become comic book parodies. Heroes disappear. Only one person can save the city. Adam “not Pacman” Jones. Only he can fight the infected. Only he can change the world.

With Peter Angelos as “This is OUR city!” Guy. 


THIS IS OUR CITY!

4) The Toronto Blue Jays are Never Back Down

There seems to be a veritable buttload of institutional flaws within the system of the Toronto Blue Jays. Poor drafting, bad free agent signings, and Doug Melvin has engaged several instances of small scale pwnage. The Blue Jays need a young firebrand who’s angry at the world to shake things up as well as a wise mentor type to channel his anger. Sadly, while David Eckstein has a value as a “NEVER BACK DOWN!” mentor, Adam Lind is nowhere near the firebrand that the Blue Jays need to change the game in the AL East.

3) The Tampa Bay Rays are Juno

They seem revolutionary, but they’re really not. Although dropping the Devil is like dropping the fact that the screenwriter is a stripper, being a “surprising indie coming of age tale” is a lot like being “the new bandwagon” in baseball. It’s all been done before. Even if the fantasy baseball nerd among us can name the entire Ray lineup (Dioner Navarro, Carlos Pena, Akinori Iwamura, Jason Bartlett, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawfird, B.J. Upton, Jonny Gomes, and opening day starter Scott Kazmir). Even if there will be some amazing performances. Even if that dude who broke the Yankee catchers wrist is as hardcore as Ellen Page in Hard Candy, the backlash is going to happen. It will be swift. It will be violent. I drink Rocco Baldelli’s milkshake.

2) The New York Yankees are Will Ferrell.

They have been a dominant force. Funny or Die meets Murderers Row. Anchorman meets the 1998 Yankees. But after the collapse of both Bewitched and the 2004 Yankees in the ALCS, both the Yankees and Will Ferrell have gone stale. The Yankees kept buying old men and useless. Will kept with the sports movies. But this year the Yankees stood strong, and will have an infusion of a full year of Joba Chamberlain and Phillip Hughes as well as Ian Kennedy to bolster the pitching staff. Will Ferrell has a buddy comedy with John C. Reilly. They have intrigue this year. 

1) The Boston Red Sox are Auteur Theory

In 2004, David Ortiz changed the axis of baseball, and it was good. Much like Francois Truffaut changing the axis of film. However, the backlash has returned, and the backlash is strong. Sure, they do keep infusing themselves with prospects and reclamation projects (Jacoby Ellsbury and Bartolo Colon). But to hold the Red Sox as dominant baseball team as a good thing is much like saying the auteur theory can hold weight with the creators of Meet the Spartans falling under the auteur designation. With Theo Epstein as Andrew Sarris, and Manny Ramirez as Alfred Hitcock.


MANNY BEING GOOOOOD EVENING…

That’s your AL East. In 30 foot technicolor. God love it.

March 11, 2008

We like Comedy (An AL Central Preview)

By now you have seen a wailing and gnashing of teeth in regards to the Yankees putting forth a contract to once-funny comedian Billy Crystal. Because clearly, 60 year-olds are good at playing funny baseball games.

But that does not mean that other comedians would not be valid additions to your favorite major league baseball teams in the AL Central. Not by a longshot. And we at The Grand National Championships would love to tell you whom would be best.

So we will.

5) The Kansas City Royals sign: Jim Gaffigan

While his burly build and work on My Boys are obvious weaknesses, Jim Gaffigan does not need to bring the crutches of a comedian to be a man of great humor. For the fine folks of Kansas City, there is nothing more interesting than a force of nature. Jim Gaffigan can be that, nay will be that Pale Force. Jose Guillen best be stepping aside. Jim Gaffigan fills his victims full of remorse.

4) The Chicago White Sox sign: Brian Regan

He may not mesh well with the leadership of the Chicago White Sox, but the fact of the matter is, within the confines of the 25-man roster, Brian Regan is a perfect fit. His clean-cut comedy is perfect for Josh Fields to feel edgy. His manic energy is perfect to stand with Jim Thome. And his love of fig newtons?

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Nick Swisher loves himself the Fig Newtons. I mean, durr.

3) The Minnesota Twins sign: Brody Stevens

I was going to give you a comparison to Chris Rock in that the window of opportunity for the Twins closing is much like a stand-up finding complacency. But forget all that. The Twins need a laser rocket arm. And as comedians go, Brody Stevens is best.

Hey, he couldn’t be any worse than Sidney Ponson.

2) The Cleveland Indians Sign: Zack Galifinakis

Now, you would think that musical talent would not be an effective addition for any team, you would be wrong. Garth Brooks got signed with the Padres and then they made the World Series. Galifinakis would bring much the same skill to the Indians. His comedy would make Joe Borowski consistent and the outfield awesome. It would put them over the top.

That, and his snuggling would make Andy Marte a great prospect again. Galifinakis would snuggle you back to health.

1) The Detroit Tigers sign Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt may not be the most physically gifted comic out there, but he does present a tiny strike zone target. Miguel Cabrera would love him, because then he would have a willing tag team partner for the KFC Gravy Bowls. Dontrelle Willis would love him, because the chuckles would help trade his brain after a bad start with the brain of a great start. He may not solve the bullpen problems, but he would put the Tigers over the top.

Yes. This is how I roll. I will be back with new news. Or News.

Later skaters.

March 9, 2008

We like Sports. (NL Central Preview)

This is of course a given. But there are other things that we find awesome. For example, the only watchable show on E!, The Soup, rocks socks and rules schools.

How does The Soup relate to sports? Easy. Joel McHale. Ask him about his Rose Bowl Ring.

So we’ve decided to show the fools who don’t watch The Soup and would rather watch the CHUD baby sister clip show “Best Week Ever” what they’re missing and who’s the best in the NL Central. Because we care. We care a lot.

6) The Pittsburgh Pirates are Let’s Take Some E!

Like the more entertaining shows on a network, the NL Central must carry it’s lesser lights. Enter the Pittsburgh Pirates. The E! Channel makes it’s bones on random attractive yet untalented skanks like the Pirates collect random non-roster invitees*. Expect this team to win less than 70 games and have one of the Olly Girls throw out the first ball.

*In this analogy, Ian Snell is Snoop Dogg and Doug Mientkiewicz is Kim Kardashian.

And now, a random E! Skank!

5) The Houston Astros are the Mail Nurse

The stank of steroids and HGH is ripe for this once proud organization. There is estrogen deposits within the man boobs of the great acquisition to lead the team into the next decade. Miguel Tejada is just one step away from becoming a full pre-op tranny. All in all, the Astros are a creepy scene. A really creepy scene. 


Miguel Tejada is creepier than Putting the Lotion in the Basket!

4) The Cincinnati Reds are THE BIG TIME CELBRITY GUEST!

Every year, the Reds try to get you hyped in regards to the magic of their big Free Agent acquisition or their big rookie. Sometimes it’s impressive, if ultimately disappointing. (Ken Griffey Jr. is roughly equivalent to Joss Stone). Sometimes they come out of nowhere to be awesome (as Ron Gant goes, so goes Wolf from American Gladiators) Sometimes it’s an amusing, if merely temporary diversion (If Fransisco Cordero is Constantin Maroulis, then Eric Milton is the Pop Off Lady from Bad Girls Club). Sure, you have to believe the magic on occasion, but it is never your division championship clip of the week.

Why? Because no matter how many big time celebrities the Reds have? Having the baseball equivalent of an adult Danny Bonaduce running the show means your dreams will be destroyed. 

3) The Saint Louis Cardinals ARE Chat Stew

The adventures of the Cardinals are SOOOOO MEATY. You have Albert Pujols as dominant as Oprah. You have Tony LaRussa as the annoying egotistical diva Tyra Banks. You have the daytime drama of the steroid using family of Rick Ankiel, Juan Gonzalez, and the dead and dying Cardinals named Darryl Kile and Josh Hancock. They are mediocre, but they shall return.

2) The Milwaukee Brewers are REALITY SHOW CLIP TIME!

While having two players owning the nickname of the Hebrew Hammer might qualify the Brewers as Jewbacca, they have collected themselves spare parts like America has collected Reality Shows. Mike Cameron is your Survivor. Guillermo Mota is your Married By America. Eric Gagne is your Flavor Flav based Reality Program. They will have a whole load of mediocre at the ready if the stars of The Brewers network are unable to perform.

1) The Chicago Cubs are Oprah’s Va Jay Jay

Every year they are expected to be the among the most dominant forces in NL Central entertainment. This year, with the Japanese Bob Abreu in Kosuke Fukudome, is no different. The Va Jay Jay will be in a hotly contested battle with Reality Show Clip Time for the NL Central crown. But even if the Cubs win the NL Central, we all know what’s going to happen.


My Va-Jay-Jay is Painin’!

More of these posts will come. This is how we will make our baseball previews shine.

YAY! Comparing things to things!

January 31, 2008

You may find this hard to believe…

But I have actually struck up something of a friendship with certain elements of sports Blogfrica. Yeah, considering my winning personality and ability to go off on bipolar fits of rage? I am a little surprised too.

But one of my two posts that I have deleted was in regards to a promise. My one principle if you will. It is a simple code, but as the song says, I am a simple kind of man.

Under no circumstances will I ever ask you to buy a t-shirt. Blogger T-shirts, to a poly-cotton blend, are wastes of your time and money. And a certain popularish humor type site came out with T-shirts which were lamer than a Dennis Miller obscure reference.

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I shelved it, but then, this site came back with a T-shirt that looked like it took 3 minutes to design. Sure, text on a t-shirt takes less time, but this right here…

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Is something that screams, “action font over a poorly drawn Nevada! Give me eighteen dollars!” Indeed, this is endemic of your average blogger t-shirt. Overpriced laziness for passe catchphrases and shitty logos.

And yet? I still went on to something else. Why? Because I found out that ESPN killed a story that was heavily negative toward a poker advertiser. And while t-shirts like these need and deserve to be ragged on, there was news to report.

And there was a blogger friend of mine who saw an opportunity. A third chance at becoming a one-issue advocate within the Blogfrican confines. And since this is a stand I must believe in, I have got to shout this from the highest mountaintops.

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If you are so hard up to think of a way to spend 20-25 dollars, send me your money. You will be supporting a man of reasonable entertainment value, and the fact of the matter is odds are I will last longer than your average blogger t-shirt. They come from the school that still loves the “Make 7-Up Yours” T-shirt.

No one will remember them in 6 months. Really. Raise your hand if you still sport your Viva El Cumslinger t-shirt with pride.

Also. If you wish to disagree. Comment below. But you know I’m right.

You know I’m right.

December 11, 2007

Dear Bill Martin,

Y’all fucked up. You’re too tied to the Schembechler era. This was an era best served with feasting on the mediocre dregs of the Big 10. (Wisconsin says you’re welcome.) Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the facts.

  • 5-12 Bowl record.
  • 0 National Championships
  • Top 5 finisher in only six seasons.

In fact, it makes you wonder. Why is the Michigan man so mad at ol’ Lloyd Carr? He’s only following the legacy of Bo. He’s been just as marginally above average as Bo.

(He actually has a National Championship Ring to boot.)

But this whole “Michigan Man” mystique is a joke. This is what tears programs asunder. Alabama got sunk by an Alabama man. Notre Dame got sunk by sticking with Notre Dame men. Nebraska…

WELL NEVER MIND ABOUT BILL CALLAHAN. HE IS THE EXCEPTION THAT PROVES THE RULE. EVERYTHING I SAY IS IMPORTANT.

Anyway, Les Miles would have been the perfect choice. Old school tradition meets new school sexy time freewheelin’. And I understand why you would want him to coach your team. It would be like the desperate nerd saying to themselves, “Kristen Bell is gonna be my girlfriend!”


And she’s gonna wear this everyday! Yeah!

But wake up Dreamers. Les Miles is spoken for. Sure, he’s willing to put you withing the safe boundaries of the friend zone. (And if you are asking for Ron English, Les will give you an honest opinion.)

But until Lloyd goes; Until David Brandon stops playing at T. Boone Pickens; Until Steve Carrell stops choosing roles like an English Actor; you will find yourself with the dorky cute girl. 

My advice to you? Get MSNBC Personality David Shuster on the job hunt. He’s an alum. And he can sift through the clutter to find the true facts.

He will get you your Coach Diamond in the Rough.

Or just hire Brady Hoke. Keep self-perpetuating this cycle.

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