Friday, December 31, 2004

Warner to Chicago? No...Lisa Dergan? Hell, Yeah!

Let me be very, very blunt here: Kurt Warner sucks. Period.

There have been rumblings about the Bears bringing in Warner this offseason, leaving me with one question: Why does God hate Bears fans? We don't need this. We already have David Terrell. Isn't that punishment enough?

I would describe Warner as being the ultimate flash in the pan or a three-year wonder. I'm not taking anything away from what Warner accomplished with the Rams as that would be absurd, not to mention unfair. Two MVP trophies and two Super Bowl appearances are nothing to sneeze at. I also would stop short of calling Warner a mere product of the system, although the Rams did surround him with an array of offensive weaponry that was simply scary. But to say that any quarterback could have stepped into that lineup and produced what Warner did? Ridiculous.

Thing is, those days are done. And so is Warner. Picking him up now, as he firmly steps into the washed up/desperate journeyman stage of his career, would be a pointless move. And, yes, sadly, it also sounds like something the Bears would do.

I am quickly losing faith in GM Jerry Angelo. I never had an abundance of faith in the guy, but I've been giving him the benefit of the doubt as he is relatively new to the job. However, this is a guy who mysteriously gave Quasim Mitchell a big, fat extension midseason. Is Angelo watching the same games that us fans are? To be blunt, Mitchell is one sorry-ass offensive lineman. He's good for giving up roughly two sacks and two holding penalties per game. He's gawdawful. Am I wrong here? Look, nothing against Mitchell, but he should be purged from the roster, not given million-dollar contract extensions in the middle of the season. I mean, of all the Bears that could be locked up...


Anyway, if Warner is brought in as the third or fourth stringer, fine then. Having an ex-Super Bowl QB that far down your roster can't be a bad thing. However, if Warner is the dude you want to come in should Rex Grossman get hurt - and thus far Grossman can be adequately described as 'injury-prone' - you're screwed. Believe me, it would be roughly three series before "Kurt Warner face" showed up. You know the face, the face where Warner looks like he can't believe how easy it was when he had Faulk and Bruce and Holt and a carpet.

Look, everybody forgets to mention this, but Jeff George is actually a good QB. Seriously. Bring him back next year. Yeah, his attitude has always been questionable, but he's practically an old man now. He has no qualms about being a backup nor is he any longer expected to be a team leader.

Chad Hutchinson has been decent at times, although, as I see it, he's not quite ready to be a No. 2. Some Bears fans, as well as some so-called experts, think he is a No. 2, but that's only because, as compared to Jonathon "Worst...Quarterback...Ever" Quinn and Craig "I'm About to Dig up My Microbiology Degree" Krenzel, Hutchinson looks like Johnny friggin' Unitas. He's not ready yet.

Of course, I could slip into fantasy mode and hope that the Bears go after Drew Brees. (Hold on a sec...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!)

OK, I'm back...

Look, Grossman, Hutchinson and George are in the mix for next year. Yes, another veteran quarterback should be brought in, preferably someone who would be the No. 2. But Warner is not that guy, nor should Angelo have any false illusions that he is.

** I've been a tad tormented by the Carlos Lee-for-Scott Podsednik trade. It has its good points, such as...

1) The White Sox have finished in second place enough to finally realize that this shit just ain't working. Few teams in MLB have kept their core together as long as these White Sox have. Lee and Magglio Ordonez, both gone now, are (were) at the heart of it all.
2) Lee supposedly has a questionable attitude. Allegedly, he's a very poor teammate.
3) Lee, a swing-for-the-fences-no-matter-the-situation type of guy, doesn't fit into Ozzie Guillen's speedy, small-ball vision
4) Cap space.

It also has its bad points, such as...

1) Who the #$%@ is Scott Podsednik?
2) Why would you go out looking for Brewers?
3) Lee is transforming from a guy who puts up good numbers into a guy who puts up monster numbers.
4) Who the $%#@ is Scott Podsednik?

Well, worry not. I have just learned a little tidbit of info about Podsednik that makes me feel much better about his acquisition: He dates Lisa Dergan. I feel better already. The way I see it, any guy who can date Dergan is a guy I want in my locker room. Talk about street cred! Welcome to Chicago, Scott.

Speaking of locker rooms...

America's Cheap, Powell Loves It

Let's stop thinking of Colin Powell as the unsuspectng lackey with a heart of gold unfortunately compromised by the corruption of the Bush administration. Let's stop with the Yessuh-Master Bush-I'sa-do-what-you-wants-me-to-do jokes. Let's stop with the allusions to Powell being a good guy who merely lost the plot somewhere along the way.

Let's just start referring to Powell as what he is. A jerk.

I caught Powell chatting last night with George Stephanoplous, the Michael J. Fox of politics, in what was basically an infomercial to defend America's paultry donation to the worldwide tsunami disaster funds. Now, we've all seen Powell, on numerous occasions, willingly play the role of White House media mouthpiece sent out to defend the numerous controverseys surounding BushCo. In the past, perhaps solely out of benefit of the doubt, I wanted to believe that Powell was just doing his job, that, deep inside, he didn't believe in the lunacy he defended. I wanted to believe that his expected departure from this administration was a choice based on, and the result of, his tested morality getting the best of him.

No more.

It was bad enough watching Powell defend America's donation of $35 million, which in baseball, would be good for a one mediocre pitcher for about 4 years. No, what was worse was watching Powell getting angry, borderline snippy, as if he was legitimately aghast that anyone would dare accuse America of being cheap and uncaring. Clearly, this was a man who believed the bile he was spreading. He was very, very serious.

Thirty five million? For real?

Michael Vick, the Falcons QB with mediocre passing stats and one playoff win under his belt, recently received a contract for well over $100 million.

The Big Game lottery was worth $48 million this week, meaning one lucky American could be walking around with a bigger wad of cash than what America found in its heart to part with.

I went to see 'The Aviator' yesterday (decent flick, a bit too long, Kate Blanchett is hot) in which Howard Hughes was investigated for his questionable spending of $56 million given to him by the government in aviation contracts during World War II. That was $56 million - in 1947! Given to a lunatic playboy! For, in the end, nothing in return! Yet one of the worst natural disasters in history warrants only $35 million in 2004?

(As an aside, what's with all the Hughes-was-one-helluva-nutjob talk? I mean, what's the big deal with urinating in empty milk bottles and saving it? Jeez, people are so judgemental.)

Americans are so quick to poke fun at other nations, whether it be France, England, Germany, or whoever. Well, let's give credit where credit is due. These countries, despite having miniscule economies compared to our own, have all stepped up to the plate in ways we haven't. Next time I hear a French joke, I want it followed by the sound of crickets. I guess their much criticized decision to not participate in Crusades Pt. II freed up a little cap space to spend in situations such as natural disasters of historic proportions. Interesting how that worked out for them.

Why doesn't Powell just come out and speak the truth? Why doesn't he just say that BushCo is hemorraging cash because of the war in Iraq and an economy it completely messed up with stunny efficiency, and that large amounts of relief funds just weren't in America's plans? Why doesn't he just say that we're strapped for cash, or we're flat broke, or we're busy with Crusades Pt. II, or that, quite frankly, we just don't give a shit?

I once held hope for the possible vindication of Powell. I once looked upon him as a man who rose to prominence and, to maintain that prominence, had to compro(mice) his integrity by working with the callous men who came to surround him. I once hoped for a tell-all book by Powell after he resigned his position and decided to expose the true ugliness he saw while inside BushCo.

I hope no more.

Powell is not a man compromised. Powell is just a jerk.

** I want to be fair. Yeah, I think America is being unbelievably cheap in this tsunami situation. Yeah, this is a PR move of shocking ineptitude. Yeah, it's situations just like this that make America hated by so many people worldwide.

However, these clueless fucks over in Tsunami Central who are building mock Uncle Sams to symbolically tear apart and then scream into the nearest television camera "Where is America? Where? Where? America is evil!" can make a beeline straight to Hell as far I'm concerned. Persoanlly, I think it's a damn shame that some of these people didn't show up missng or dead.

Despite what some of these yahoos believe, I have a little secret for them. (Shhh, keep it on the down low.) America had nothing to do with massive plates of inner earth colliding miles below the surface. No, really, I swear we didn't. Yeah, we have amazing abilities, such as landing on Mars and making a celebrity of Paris Hilton, but we can't do that.

** So how long until Hollywood creates a tsunami-based blockbuster? I'm expecting a 2008 release date. Nah, 2007.

** So, I guess this all means that, a few million years from now, a new continent should be in place directly above where the tsunami started from. Cool. I'll check it out when it arrives. It's in a prime location as far as weather is concerned. I mean, this tsunami could have occurred between, say, Greenland and Norway. Brrrrr. Who'd want to go to that continent when it eventually popped up?

** The thing that most amazed me about the tsunami, more than high death rates or low American donations, was the sheer area of earth that it covered. From southern Asia all the way to the east coast of Africa. Just staring at the map of this area shocked me. That's a large area of earth. What boggles my mind is the possibilty that this was a tsunami of small proportions. What if the plates that collided in this instance were relatively small? What if there are much larger plates down there, headed towards each other, that would rock, say, half of the earth's circumference? Two-thirds? Three-fourths? Or worse?

Well, it wouldn't be any worse than when the earth eventually collides with another solar body. That, my friends, is really going to suck.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Get the Nets

I want the New Jersey Nets beaten and I want them beaten badly. Soon. This is on my list of matters of great urgeny, right in between eating and tracking down Terry McAuley.

And the beautiful thing is the Bulls can do it next time they meet - on the road. Have to. The Bulls have already lost to the Nets twice this year, both times at home. The first in overtime, the second on Tuesday night after leading all the way down the stretch. Needless to say, the Nets need to be beaten, if only for once wearing tye-dyed uniforms.

More importantly, the memory of watching Jason Kidd and Vince Carter celebrating the win last night must be purged quickly. This is too much to ask of any basketball fan. It was bad enough watching the NBA's two happiest campers on separate teams. But together? I'll pass.

That said, the trio of Kidd, Carter, and Richard Jefferson makes the Nets look very legitimate all of a sudden. How many trios in the NBA, when on all cylinders, are better than that? Not many. It'll be interesting to see how Lawrence "Little Man" Frank handles these combustible personalities.

(Note: I'd like to think that the Nets players actually do call Frank "Little Man," as in "Shut the fuck up, Little Man, I'm a veteran, damnit" or "Hey, Little Man, I don't think I feel like practicing today." That would be funny. Gotta love the NBA.)

As for the Bulls, they've now lost two in a row following their five-game winning streak that caused a dramatic rise in apocalypse watches. Granted, it's nice to see the youngsters face a trio of veteran All-Stars and not get blown out, but they've reached the point where moral victories no longer mean much. What does matter is the 3.5 games currently separating the Bulls from the final playoff spot.

Yes, this is Bulls playoff talk, and it's not merely preseason dreaming.

Playoff Fever?

Does anyone remember Mike Holmgren's first year with the Seahawks? I believe they started about 7-1. Everyone was saying things like, "I knew Holmgren would turn it around after what he accomplished in Green Bay, but I never thought he would do it this fast." Coming off his run with the Packers, he was looking like the next coming of Don Shula.

The Seahawks didn't make the playoffs that year.

And that was a long, long time ago. They were still in the Kingdome. They wore their old unis. John Kitna was the QB. Eisenhower was president. The point is, Holmgren has been providing nothing but steady mediocrity and alarming disappointment since he arrived in Seattle. I only bring this up because the Seahawks are going to the playoffs and, worse, most likely hosting a game against the Vikings, which just seems wrong. They would be 5-11 in the AFC.

If I'm a Seahawks fan, I don't know if I'm happy that the team made the playoffs or if I'm disappointed that Holmgren likely secured his job.

Monday, December 27, 2004

All Peyton Manning, All the Time

SportCenter tonight showed all of Peyton Manning's touchdown passes this year. All 49. This prompted me into a state of sheer giddiness. I can't express how happy I was to see all 49 touchdowns. Again. I never get tired of seeing all 49 touchdowns. Never. I get something new out of seeing all 49 touchdowns each time I see all 49 touchdowns.

Maybe ESPN can create a new channel called ESPN3 or ESPNManning and it would be Peyton Manning touchdowns and nothing more. That way, we could turn it on at any time of the day and catch all 49 touchdowns again and again and again. But ESPN wouldn't even have to stop there. Maybe they could show every NFL touchdown Manning has ever thrown. And how about all his college touchdown passes? High school? Hey, they can even show hour after hour of grainy home videos of the young Manning boys tossing around Nerf balls in their youth.

Nope, I can't get enough of Peyton Manning. Give me more, please.

You Can Thank Terry McAuley

OK, I've been on hiatus from blogging. Long story. Whatever. To my roughly three readers out there, you may have missed me (which would be my purely optimistic guess), or you couldn't give two shits. (I'm getting warmer, aren't I?)

Either way, you can thank NFL referee (I use the term loosely) Terry McAuley for inspiring me to return to the blogging world.

What an incompetent moron.

We have all seen some horrendous referring decisions in our lives, particularly before the advent of instant replay. But, to be blunt, McAuley's refusal to reverse the original call and give Bernard Berrian a likely game-winning touchdown yesterday against the Lions was the worst decision I've witnessed. Period. Hands down. Without a doubt. And, yes, I've asked myself, "Self, were you too caught up in the heat of the moment? Are you biased, being a Bears fan and all? Would hunting McAuley down and removing his eyeballs really be wise?"

No, no, and no. (Well, maybe on the last one.)

Look, I can understand officiating mistakes. I can even live with officiating mistakes - provided there is no instant replay and a ref's spur-of-the-moment, nothing-but-the-human-eye judgement must stand. However, when I'm aware that McAuley and his partner in the replay booth (in this case, Bobby Skelton, whose nickname should be "Redd," as he's clearly a joke) are watching the same replays that I am, and still get the call wrong, I suddenly feel the need to blow something up, like maybe someone wearing a black and white striped shirt and a whistle.

Let's review. On the play, Berrian:
A) Landed his right foot in bounds.
B) Landed his left foot in bounds.
C) Had firm contol of the ball.
D) Broke the plane of the goalline.
E) Did not drop the ball even when he hit the ground (although it SHOULD NOT HAVE MATTERED even if he did.)

So what's the problem, Terry?

McAuley's response?

"After review, as the receiver was going to the ground on his own, the ball moved when he hit the ground."

Huh? Since when can the ground cause a fumble? And how is this is even relevant considering Berrian had already crossed the plane of the goalline with both feet CLEARLY in bounds, making the rest of the play completely irrelevent?

There are three possibilities for McAuley's decision as far as I can tell:

A) He is a complete moron whose very existence as an NFL ref should be called into question.
B) He didn't want to embarrass his partner who made the original call (which completely defeats the purpose of using instant replay.)
C) He didn't want to upset the hometown Detroit crowd, which seems silly considering Lions fans should be as accustomed to bitter disappointment as just about any fans in the NFL. Surely, they can take it.
D) Vegas. This possibility opens up a crazy can of worms, perhaps a can that should be avoided. However, when a call in the final moments of a game is so thorougly and blatantly wrong, and that call has a direct effect on the spread, it can't help but make you go, "Hmm."

Whatever. I'm over it. But it's a good thing the Bears aren't in playoff contention or I might be popping up on SportCenter in the next few days for a double homicide, which may not have been a bad thing since I've always wanted to make it on SportCenter. Then again, my plan to kidnap Bears owner Mike McCaskey is probably better.