The Grand National Championships

May 30, 2008

I am about to blow your mind!

But something ESPN’s touched has gone to shit! Can you believe it?

Anyway, as the post before has shown, I was outraged as to how the Spelling Bee is now run. It’s a disappointment to end all disappointments. It’s like finding out there’s no Santa Claus and 100% aren’t really your boys. You just get depressed.

Don’t believe me? Actually have a life on Friday Nights? Well let me tell you why the modern spelling bee blows. 

1. No oversized polo shirts.

Remember when the Bee started on the Worldwide leader? The kids would be wearing white polo shirts about 25 sizes too big. And in a way? It was perfect. You have this singular group of special kids who, in wearing ill-fitting clothes, were shown to be as misfitted as the child in his schoolyard environment.

Now? They’re wearing their own clothes. It forces them to lose a part of their mystique. And yet, with the move to prime time? ESPN felt a need to add to the pressure.

2. The parents onstage.

Here’s the thing. If you’re socially awkward? National television is not a place where you’re at your best. Add your stage parents on the stage and eliminate the comfort room? That’s just shitty.

Really. Say you’re Wendy Guey (MOGWAI!) and you’re given mycetophagus. You’re stumped. Flat out. You’re time on the stage is growing short. And you throw the desperation full court heave.

You don’t get the comfort room anymore. You have to sit on stage with your stage parents who don’t want to say that they’re so disappointed in you, but you know in your heart that they are, and you have to watch some Indian kid who was bred to detect a dipthong from two towns over take the title that was rightfully yours!

…or so I’ve heard.

3. Spelling shot clock.

Now in certain elements a shot clock is necessary. If school didn’t have a shot clock, no child in their right mind would show. Basketball goes from lame to awesome with a shot clock. But fringe sports?

FRINGE SPORTS DON’T NEED A SHOT CLOCK!

Do you think there isn’t drama in you knowing what a speller doesn’t? Don’t you want the speller rolling out with a miracle guess in minute 4? It’s like the poker player who puts someone to the test with 42 off-suit and the other guy comes up with a miracle call? Pure fucking drama.

A shotclock is another way ESPN has made this spelling bee artificial. Boo. Boo I say.

But the 4th one? The 4th one is going to be the twist that M. Night Shamalyan wishes he could think up. 

4. Erin Andrews

Really. The Bloggers favorite made the spelling conditions worse on this day. I mean, you have a classy lady within your eyeline at all times, and if you’re a dude, I think you had to have her in fantasy mode in the back of her mind. And if you’re a young lady?

This does not engender a fully formed and actualized Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee experience. Not her fault, but come on ESPN. We need Katie Kerwin in our lives like we need gawky kids on National TV!

Then again, when a company decides to take something to “the next level,” this is what happens. The nice cable event? It becomes an overproduced piece of crap. I want my old spelling bee back.

(And if you’re asking if a part of this is bitterness that Sidharth lost? Yes. Yes it is. He’s if Justin Carroll and Rebecca Sealfon had a love child of Spelling Bee awesome.)

  

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April 26, 2008

ESPN’s Draft Coverage is Awful

Really. They’ve spoiled about half the draft choices. Keyshawn Johnson has about as much expertise discussing draft choices as a syphillitic. And yelling over the commissioner’s speech in tribute to the military? Classy.

And he’s doing better than Chris Mortensen.

I miss you NFL Network.

(And they just spoiled Tampa Bay’s pick. Devin Thomas.)

Or not.

I DRINK YOUR MOCK DRAFT!

I’m hip! Anyway. Mock drafts? They are kind of a joke. Even the self-avowed draft experts will go 9 for 32 if they’re lucky. But seeing as I can already go 1 for 1…

1. Miami: T-Jake Long Michigan.

I’ve got a feeling….

2. St. Louis: DE-Chris Long Virginia

Really. Just gut instinct.

3. Atlanta: DT-Glenn Dorsey LSU

They can get their pick of the second tier in Round 2. And Defensive Tackle drops off considerably after Sedrick Ellis. Ryan and a Chester McGlockton clone is worse than say Dorsey-Flacco.

4. Oakland: Darren McFadden RB Arkansas

Who’s the best player available? McFadden. I know that with Bush, Fargas, and Rhodes are under contract. I know they have a need for a pass-rusher. But here’s the thing. McFadden is awesome. Al Davis loves awesome upside. Sorry Vernon Gholston fans, you just have to wait…

5. Kansas City: DE Vernon Gholston Ohio State

And here’s the Jared Allen replacement. (Though here’s where Raven fans start to wonder if the team trades up for Matt Ryan.)

6. Baltimore: Matt Ryan QB Boston College (trade with New York Jets)

The Jets would be looking to trade down, and would probably be willing to listen to offer with a 2009 pick. And the Ravens really love Ryan. I mean really.

7. New England Patriots: Leodis McKelvin CB Troy

While the Pats don’t luck into McFadden? They get a replacement for Asante Samuel with Devin Hester skills. Yeah. I’m gonna be sick.

8. New York Jets: Keith Rivers OLB USC

Why? Because they need pieces for the 3-4, and if Calvin Pace is going to be rush end, Rivers is an awesome fit for the Will.

9. Cincinnati: Sedrick Ellis NT USC

The Bengals luck out. Sedrick Ellis comes out and helps shore up the Bengals Defensive Line.

10. New Orelans: Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tennessee State

If they don’t trade up for Ellis or Dorsey, it looks like they’ll have to shore up the defensive backfield. It’s bad damn luck. After Ellis, it’s a whole lot of defensive tackles with questionable motors. 

11. Buffalo: Devin Thomas WR Michigan State

They need an offensive weapon to send out on the fly patterns across from Evans. It’s a reach, but you can absolutely defend it.

12. Denver: Branden Albert G Virginia

The Broncos pick the man that’s been shooting up the draft boards. They’ll shift him to Left Tackle and feel good about themselves for doing it.

13. Carolina: Jeff Otah OT Pittsburgh

The Panthers luck into an awesome right tackle who started to fall back down the draft board. They want a playmaker, but Otah is just a little higher on the draft board.

14. Chicago: Chris Williams T Vanderbilt.

We’ve got a Tackle run! The Bears are in desperate need of a left tackle, and Chris Williams is the perfect fit on this.

15. Detroit: Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois

Tatum Bell may be upset, but the fact of the matter is that Mendenhall has the power to be thunder to Bell’s lightning. They want the best player available? They have to go with Mendenhall.

16. Arizona: Gosder Cherlius OT Boston College

They get disappointed without Mendenhall, but Russ Grimm would find himself an instant-impact right tackle. It’s never a perfect situation, but he’ll be great.

17. Kansas City (from Minnesota): Ryan Clady OT Boise State

If they knew that all of the pass rushers would be available? They wouldn’t be going after Gholston. But Gholston and Clady is a great way to start the rebuilding process for the Chiefs. In my world.

18. Houston: Mike Jenkins CB UCF

They have Dunta Robinson. They love Dunta Robinson, that being said? They need somebody on the other side. Sey hello to Mr. Mike Jenkins.

19. Philadelphia: Derrick Harvey DE Florida

If it breaks this way? They’re screwed. Derrick Harvey is the best player available. He’s just kind of a square peg on this defense. They’ll trade if it breaks like this.

20. Tampa Bay: Joe Flacco QB Delaware

They’re always a quarterback who ends up shooting up the depth charts. And Gruden loves having 27 quarterback options. This is perfect for him. And me. I would love to laugh at Mel Kiper’s head exploding.

21. Washington: Phillip Merling DE Clemson

With Phillip Daniels as old, and Corneilis Griffin hurt, a big base 4-3 end is perfect for the Redskins. Calais Campbell is available, but Phillip Merling has motor and upside. He goes here.

22. Dallas (from Cleveland) Felix Jones RB Arkansas

He’s going to be a spectacular fit as Marion Barber III complement. It’s time to learn to hate the Cowboys again.

23. Pittsburgh: Calais Campbell DE Miami Fla.

They may not like it, but they need to refill their their tranches, and Calais could be a good Defensive end, but he could very easily be a bust.

24. Tennessee: Limas Sweed WR Texas

The stars are bright and big at night as the Titans try for more Vince Young College Familiarity.

25. Seattle: Dustin Keller TE Purdue

I know it looks like a shocker. But the Seahawks need another weapon to go and catch in the red zone, and Dustin Keller vibes as a Chris Cooley clone. 

26. Jacksonville: Cliff Avril OLB Purdue

Again. I’m going crazy, but the fact of the matter? The Jags need a Pass rusher and a deep threat. They could probably wait until later to get a deep threat? But Avril is a pass rusher of some aplomb. (Why didn’t I break him down?)

27. San Diego: Brandon Flowers CB Virginia Tech

They’re just looking for best player available that might have to help them. Brandon Flowers is just a bit better of an option than Sam Baker. Of course, they could have the Jon Stewart show emenating from the old Burner Turner studios.

28. Dallas: Malcolm Kelly WR Oklahoma

I know he slid due to his pro day, but the fact of the matter is Jerry Jones could find him a cheaper version of Anquan Boldin in Kelly. He’ll fit right in to that crazy train.

29. San Fransisco (from Indianapolis): James Hardy WR Indiana

If you want to give Alex Smith all the help he can get? You have to go the man who will go get it if you throw it up. James Hardy’s a perfect fit.

30. Green Bay: Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon

Sam Baker fits a need. Antoine Cason fits a need. The Jon Stewart show is the best player available.

31. I DRINK YOUR CHEATING, BELICHICK!

32. New York Giants: Kenny Phillips S Miami (Fla.)

They need a little more help to cover the deep third. It’s a happy thing for the fans of the U.

Yeah. As I write this, ESPN’s given up the 3 and 4? Maybe if I keep watching, I could get the entire first round. YAY!

April 14, 2008

There is a tendency of bloggers to piggyback onto things that its easy to hate.

People that hate them? Sure. Things that now suck? All right. Rockin’ bewbs? Check.

Anyway… why are we here? Not just the rocking boobs. We are talking about Bill Simmons. Pre-Jimmy Kimmel, he was gold. Post-Jimmy Kimmel, he’s become a sort of a lefty one out guy of bloggers. The issue?

He still goes off on each and every subject like what he talks about is sancrosanct. And he is, after all the Boston sports guy. And we know how everybody loves Massholes. He got knocked off the throne. It happens.  

But he always has this core group of defenders who will vault to his aid every time his name gets sullied by anybody in the blogosphere. And as conspiracy theories go, there is one that says every ESPN intern must leap to defend Simmons aid whenever his name is sullied.

I didn’t believe it at first. After all, he does have a reigon of itnerant douchebags that love everything he does. And a lot of people don’t get tripped up by someone they kind of hate. He does not have a cabal of people who protect his rep.

Then Deadspin decided to run a home-field check on various media personalities. There were some surprises. Rachel Nichols is 78% loved? Well okay then. Brent Musberger is 62% loved? That will make my take team partner enraged when he hears that.

But as for Bill Simmons on Deadspin, which is to ESPN as a supermodel is to keeping cake down? 75% approved. This means this guy…

Is more beloved than…

And just a touch more liked than…

Yep. Bill Simmons is more regarded than Bob Costas. And as an ex-Costashead?

Upsets. George Mason to the Final Four, Eli over Brady, Obscurity over Couric, now Simmons over Costas. Time has taken its toll on the regard of William Jefferson “Bill” Simmons. Can Costas beat back the backlash and become the tiniest American hero? The answer lies ahead in what many are calling 2009’s biggest commentary match-up.

Yeah. Deadspin likes Bill Simmons over Costas. What the hell is that?  

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?

hart.jpg

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 18, 2008

Here’s a Story of Bob Odenkirk.

In 2004, he was the Miller Beer candidate running for the president of beers. It was a well-received ad, and it brought us the word Traveshamockery. All in all, it was advertising as a force for good.

But what many of you in the Sports Blogosphere Community do not know? It also brought Tim and Eric to Adult Swim. It’s true. Bob Odenkirk used money from the ad campaign to help fund Tom Goes To The Mayor.

An interesting fact, sure. But you’re saying it needs context, right? You’re saying it needs more than just a snazzy attempt at a Google Video?

Well, I’ll let Awful Announcing, come correct with the news.

  • ESPN joined forces with Emmy award-winning director Bob Odenkirk (“Mr. Show with Bob and David”, “Saturday Night Live”) to bring the quirky world of “Bracketology” to life in a campaign, running on ESPN networks and online. It showcases the behavior of eight different bracketologist stereotypes – from the Alumnist, to the Fisherman, to the Mascotitian and more. The campaign’s website features each of these characters explaining his/her strategy. ESPN’s expert Bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, then provides his professional assessment. From the site, fans can fill out their own brackets, send mobile ‘smacks’ to their friends and study the habits of various bracketologists. For more information visit www.ESPNBracketologists.com.

See? He’s doing another advertising campaign. This means he finally has an opportunity to bring attention to another comedy group. And you know what? I know who it’s going to be.

Straitjacket Comedy.

Sure, the spelling means it’s English. But that doesn’t mean anything in regards to the comedy. My speakers is busted, so please click to the link. Enjoy some English comedy.

More later.

February 28, 2008

Hey! Guess what’s not going to suck this year!?

 SPORTS!

SPORTS!

February 14, 2008

Behold! Classy Women doing Stuff!

Do you know who this is?

erin

If you do, you’re probably a huge sports fan.  For those who aren’t in the know, the girl pictured above is Erin Andrews.  Ms. Andrews works for a cable channel called ESPN as a sideline reporter.  Unlike most sideline reporter’s, Erin Andrews is actually good at her job; she gets interesting facts and does a good interview.  There is something about Ms. Andrews that other sideline reporters dont’ have.

andrews 

Erin Andrews has male sports fans and bloggers by the balls because she has The “IT” Factor!

What is,”IT“?  Honestly, I don’t know.  In fact noone knows, but when you have,”IT” you’re the hit of the search party.  The French call it Je Nais Se Quoi, but screw that, we all know from, “Scared Straight” that speaking American is the only acceptable language.

for good measure

I honestly don’t understand the whole fanboyism encircling Ms. Andrews.  The most obvious reason is because I don’t prefer blondes, but I do sorta understand why she is attractive.  She’s stunning in the same way Anne Hathaway is.

hataway 

Basically, Erin Andrews and Anne Hathway are very, very easy on the eyes.  Both are stand outs at their jobs.  I think the biggest thing going for them is that they are classy in a classless world.  Erin Andrews doesn’t posture around like some cheap floozy or dress like that one night stand you had who had a tramp stamp of the Rugrats.   Anne Hathaway can and should be considered the new Audrey Hepburn  You will never see her in a movie with Dane Cook and she won’t go crotchless as much as we all hope (unless you’ve seen HAVOC!).

anne hathaway

Finally, to all the guys who have a fetish for Erin Andrews take note.  You are oogling a woman who has grace and confidence; please don’t comment about how you’d drink her bathwater or something really creepy in that vein.

ELVI!

February 13, 2008

ESPN needs a purge.

I think I figured out why our blog did not have the same sort of self-styled malaise in July that for which we are in presently.

And it all stems from two words. “Who’s Hack?”

This tournament format of who is awful in the ESPN cult of personality was like a Phoenix, starting strong, and ultimately petering out at the end, when computer problems and a lack of caring had Stephen A. Smith become the winner that nobody knew about.

But that was not to say that I had a problem as to why ESPN made their Who’s Now. Far from it. At that point in the year, you could only have so many baseball highlights and dudes who show off their wanger calling once-proud jornalists the Cryptkeeper. You need timefiller like a blog needs spacefiller.

The how was awful, but the why was defensible.

Which brings us to “The Greatest Highlight.” It’s post Super Bowl, pre-Spring Training, March Madness, and NFL Combine. It’s a down time for sports. Notice how many videos your average sportsblog is putting up this month?

Exactly.

So, ESPN is trying a sequel to “Who’s Now?” in an effort to get you, the viewer to vote for more crap that’s ultimately meaningless. It’s some of sports greatest moments, in tournament form. Because clearly, America loves shit in bracket form. On its premise? It’s bad, but again I can defend it.

On execution? [shout out to Awful Announcing]

Chris. Fucking. Berman.

This is why ESPN needs a Stalin style purge of it’s top named talent. Would you think that Van Peezy would be dignified on this? What of John Buccigross? They would be great.

But until someone decides to take Chris Berman behind the barn and mercifully put two in the dome, this will be a problem for all of ESPN’s “Special Filler.”

Nobody will admit to watching it.

————————————–

P.S. Point of fact regarding Berman? My mom hates him. Thinks he’s self-absorbed. And my mom’s a Baby Boomer.

Yeah. Chew on that.

January 31, 2008

How to make enemies and irriate friends.

Recently, Domino’s pizza has combined forces with ESPN to create ESPN Shorts! Read all about it. Courtesy of Awful Announcing. As one can imagine they’re awful and painful at the same time.

I really don’t know what’s sadder, the actors in these shorts or the fact that an ad firm and ESPN thought that these commericals were HIGH LARIOUS!

Don’t believe that they’re awful? watch in pain for yourself.

Yes! Patriots overkill!

HOCKEY IS THE MOST POPULARS SPORT EVER! Even a peguin can’t save the funny.

We should all learn from this, because obviously, we didn’t learn from, “WHO’S NOW!?”

ELVI!

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