Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Looting Anyone?

Ah, looting. You have to get a kick out of looters. And I particularly get a kick out of the headline to this article: "World Watches the Looting of New Orleans." The Looting of New Orleans? That sounds like the title of a classic folk song. Or maybe the blues. Or jazz. Of course, jazz.

Yes, I guess what the world does see is a bunch of jackasses digressing into mob action because...they can. Pathetic. Even some New Orleans cops were doing it. They even suggested they had the right to do so. You kne, as "the law". I have never liked the majority of cops - they're not all bad - and this is why. There is just something about a person who wants a gun and the right to be "the law" that troubles me.

But the other looters? They just crack me up.

I mean, how dumb do you have to be to not evacuate after you've been loudly and repeatedly told to do so, and then immediatley head to the nearest store with breakable glass to grab...drum roll...a computer, VCR, and some CDs?

Ah, yes, brilliant! The water level is head-high and you are going to make sure your living room is given a makeover.

My point exactly...

"We are asking for more military presence in the city to try to control the situation a bit better, but I just keep wondering: Where are these people going with all these material goods? I just can't even imagine what they think they're going to do with them in the next days and weeks."

Look, anyone who went into stores, be it a mom and pop joint or Wal-Mart, and took food or other survival needs is off the hook. Who cares? It's all going to ruin anyway, so save what you can.

Come on, people, if you're going to loot, loot smart.

But like I said, you gotta get a kick out of looters...

One looter filling a shopping car at a ransacked Wal-Mart in New Orleans described the situation as "fate." Another looter reportedly asked a police officer if he could borrow his cruiser to get his loot home.

When the Levee Breaks



I have never much thought about the idea of cities being built below sea level, but now that I have, maybe New Orleans wasn't such a good idea after all. In fact, judging by hurricane seasons in general, maybe the entire area east of Texas and south of Memphis wasn't such a good idea.

However, in the great news department, the Unknown Column can accurately report that he heard that, in a brilliant twist of fate, the French Quarter is actually above ground and flooding should be minimal, at least in comparison to the places Noah's Arc was built for. If so, that's awesome. In fact, when it's back up-and-running , I may just have to go down there and get shitfaced. You know, to show my support for the cause.

It's All About the Beer

This guy has his emergency flood kit all set.



I'll yell you what, it's difficult to tell in that photo, but if that's a full-size garbage can below the water, I'm honestly impressed. And if he found one with wheels, he's a god.

Congrats



Congrats to Brandon McCarthy for earning his first big league win last night.

One Stupid Motherfucker



Hey, it's a good thing Georgie cut funding for hurricane and flood protection in New Orleans...

New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces $71.2 million reduction in federal funding In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding. It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said. "I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction", said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district... The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded... Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now...


But this is the real money quote...

I think it's extremely shortsighted, Landrieu said. When the Corps of Engineers' budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.

Georgie is so fuckin' clueless it's unreal. The lack of any forsight and wisdom whatsoever would be amusing if he wasn't the president. Instead, it's sickening and alarming. (Actually, nah. It's way past "alarming" at this point.) Yet we're now expected to consider him presidential and honorable and caring because he cut short his five-week vacation to make a few appearances in front of television cameras and wave with that dumb look on his face? (Who gets a five-week vacation?). Yeah, as if he really gives a shit. Give me a break. Worst...president...ever.

(Thanks, Jackie.)

Monday, August 29, 2005

People Are Sheep

"We...do...what...we're...told."

The Perfect Storm



Hurricane Katrina has ripped holes in the Superdome roof. Unbelievable. That certainly puts the strength of this storm into perspective.

Godspeed.

U.S. Open Opens



The U.S. Open is underway as of today, meaning the eternal debate of whether or not Serena Williams is hot can rage anew. The Unknown Column is still undecided. I don't know...or maybe yes. I'm confused. And sober. Decisions, decisions.

Would I hit it? Oh, yeah.

Maria Sharapova is uncontestibly hot. Absurdly so. I'll continue to root for her. I'm shallow.

Expect Richard Williams to say something ludicrously dumb.

Roger Federer is a dynasty, baby!

I expect Lleyton Hewitt to win the ladys title.

All kidding, aside, Hewitt's girlfriend, Bec Cartwright, is outstanding. Goodgawd! A deep run by Hewitt would mean many gratiutious CBS shots. Hopefully, the weather is nice.

And here's hoping Andre Agassi can put a couple of strong weeks together and have enough gas in the end to win one more title for the road. Come on, it's Andre Agassi. Look at that hair. Remember the hair, Andre, remember the hair!

I'm guessing 1-10

They'll nip Western Michigan or Navy.

Maybe.



This weeks's Sports Illustrated has a funny article about the upcoming schedule for Temple's football team. It's a murderer's row for a team that is usually easily murdered.

Just look at this monstrosity...

at Arizona State
at Wisconsin
Toledo
Western Michigan
at Bowling Green
Maryland
Miami
at Clemson
Miami (Oh)
at Virginia
at Navy

The Owls haven't won more than four games since 1990, and they'll be lucky to win half that many this year.

As an interesting sidenote, Temple AD Bill Bradshaw is the overseer of this disaster. Yes, the same Bill Bradshaw who oversaw the slow, depressing, ultimately completely fatal death watch of DePaul basketball. Go figure.

How bad did it get under Bradshaw? 3-23 bad. Yeah, that bad. Granted, Joey Meyer was the real problem in that freefall, but still.

Anyway, Bradshaw appears to be doing another smash-up job at Temple.

The Kids Are Alright

With Brian Anderson, Kyle Orton, and Cedric Benson dominating the headlines, it was certainly a weekend for the youth to be served in Chicago sports.

With the White Sox, still lethargic on offense, needing a boost as much as ever, Anderson suddenly supplied it in Seattle on Friday night by belting a pair of home runs. I'm not sure what it says when the youngest, most inexperienced player on the roster is inexplicably the most productive, but it was sure fun to watch the kid announce his arrival as a true player.

Orton, meanwhile, made a whole lot of Bears fans feel better about the quarterback position in Friday's 16-12 win over the Bills with a performance that was vaguely similar to something you might see from a real life NFL quarterback. I mean, it's almost as if Orton grasps the concept of the forward pass. No, I'm serious. It's weird.

Benson? He's signed. Good riddance. I'm tired of talking about this guy. And I'm tired of talking about the cheap idiocy of Bears management. Benson better be good. That is all.

Bottom line: Anderson and Orton are scratching right where Chicago fans have an itch, and we can all, at long last, stop hearing the incessant whining and bickering of the Benson vs. the Bears melodrama. Hallelujah!



Nine days after his Major League debut, Anderson belted his first career home run in the third inning on Friday night. His second, a two-run shot, arrived in the seventh. In the tenth he doubled and wound up at third with no outs. In a sad display of poor precision execution, Anderson didn't score from there, but he should have.

Anderson looks as though he's very keen to play a role in the coming months, though with Scott Podsednik due back today, Anderson has been sent back down to Charlotte, albeit probably temporarily. A September call-up is likely. And perhaps Anderson's wide-eyed enthusiasm is contagious, if the bats of Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye can be believed. Konerko and Dye are currently the definition of en fuego.

Of course, it should be mentioned that Anderson's home runs occurred with 19-year old Felix Hernandez on the mound, and Anderson himself was quick to mention as much, but Hernandez has people all aflutter with his supposed star potential and a big night is a big night, especially in late August, especially on the road, and most especially when I have money on the game.

And with Anderson's blonde locks and aw-shucks manner, the kid is perfect for the role of 'surprise hero'. Or at least 'surprise contributor'.

Meanwhile, Tadahito Iguchi didn't do his Rookie of the Year chances any harm by belting Friday's game-winning home run in the twelfth. Yup, right there in Ichiro's place. Nice. Iguchi also homered a few weeks ago in Yankee Stadium as Hideki Matsui and all of Japan watched. Nice.

Iguchi must be huge in Japan. Or at least very underrated.

**********

Joe Contreras is pitching like has a chip on the shoulder about being the alleged odd man out in the postseason rotation. If this is the case, keep the man mad.

**********

The Unknown Column will just forget that the Sox's 9-2 loss on Sunday ever happened, sort of like Caddyshack II or the Dave Wannstedt era of Bears football.



If there were any doubts that Chad Hutchinson is awful, they were erased after Friday night's bloodletting. Hutch, needing a positive performance to maintain his loosening grip on the starting QB position, proved to be an embarrassment. He should be back to smoking pot on his surfboard in no time. It was ugly.

Going into the game against the Bills the question was whether Hutch had any ability to move the offense. By halftime, the question was whether Hutchinson could play without the Bills defense scoring.

Hutchinson's first half couldn't have gone much worse, if any. He was sacked three times and intercepted twice. The first interception was run back for a touchdown, the second was run back to the Bears three-yard line.

That's called killing your team.

By halftime, Lovie Smith, and all of Chicago, had seen enough. Orton was inserted into the lineup and Hutch had possibly seen his last moments in a Bears game. Ever. If we're lucky.

On his second possesion, Orton led a drive right downfield and through the air that looked almost...effortless. The offense was flowing and the momentun and excitement in the air were unmistakeable. And the Bills' defensive starters were still in the game. Six of Orton's seven completions on the drive were for first downs. He hit five different receivers. It was beautiful. It was like a revelation. I almost orgasmed.

Mike Ditka described the difference between Hutchinson and Orton as night and day. And he was clearly all fired up.

So now Orton is the starter. The Rookie is suddenly The Man. It's funny how perspective works. A few weeks ago the thought of Orton seeing the field would have been downright frightening. But now? Well, the sky is blue and the birds are chirping and hope is all around. There is a definite feeling that Orton is - gasp! - genuinely good.

It's funny what a few halves of preseason football with Hutchinson under center can do to your point of view. Hell, even Jonathan "Worst QB Ever" Quinn wasn't looking so bad anymore.

**********

Meanwhile, the Bears defense continues to have me more excited than a 15-year old boy in a strip club (though, I must admit, I still enjoy a strip club now as much as I would have when I was 15.)

The starters allowed only a pair of field goals and, realistically, it should have been one. After Hutchinson's second pick was returned to the Bears three-yard line, the defense forced the Bills to settle for a 38-yard field goal.

**********

Let me blunt: Desmond Clark sucks. How is he still a tight end on the Bears roster, let alone the would-be starter? Clark is perhaps the sorriest excuse for a tight end I have seen in a Bears uniform. I'm serious. He's absolute garbage. GARBAGE!

**********

In Cubsville, Greg Maddux pitched a rare complete game (for him) on Saturday...and lost. The Marlins' winning run was scored when Maddux plunked the opposing pitcher, Dontrelle Willis, with the bases loaded.

And that about says it all.

Oh, and Matt Lawton is now a Yankee. Yes, I know it's sad, but the Matt Lawton era in Wrigleyville has come to an end.

**********

You have to hand it to TO. He certainly knows how to put on a good show. For instance, after his offseason-long circus show, he returns to the field and goes for a 64-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

That's a statement. Both by TO, and by the Eagles to all the naysayers writing them off.

Apparently, TO and McNabb didn't communicate after the play. What a soap opera. TO and McNabb are now like an old married couple.

And TO is sooooo gay.

**********

Check out Brett Favre's line from Friday night: 9 of 21 for 69 yards and two INTs. Ouch. Favre is prehistoric and likely doomed to an ending to a career that will be rather...unfortunate. After accumulating roughly half of his career stats against the Bears, this is the year the Bears get payback for the entire Favre era in a big, big way.

Oh, this is the year. I want Favre carried off on a cart. (And I sort of like Favre.)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Just Ask Fencik

The Trib's Bob Verdi makes his weekend appearance to offer his usual goodness and prove he still has it. (Man, it's so refreshing to read Verdi after being bombarded all week by reactionary, dim-witted blowhards like Jay Mariotti.)

Here Verdi chats with Gary Fencik
and they quickly get down to the nitty gritty concerning the wretchedness of the peons who run the Bears.

"It's kind of sad, really," Fencik says. "From what I read, the difference between what the Bears are offering Benson and what he wants is maybe--what?--$2 million over five years. That's based on what Cleveland paid the No. 3 choice overall, Braylon Edwards, and the slot for Tampa Bay's No. 5 choice, Cadillac Williams.

"If you amortize that $2 million over the length of the deal, you aren't talking about a huge amount of money for a guy who could be the next Walter Payton. I'm not saying he will be. Could be. But why, especially after you lose your quarterback, Rex Grossman, should what Cleveland's paying its No. 1 determine what the Bears pay theirs? I think some teams need to recalibrate to adjust to the modern game."


Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Somebody with common sense has spoken the truth.

With the debacle that is Hutchinson currently taking place, the holdout of Benson should be enough of a double whammy to assure that Angelo is shown the door. It should be. It's bad enough that the Bears may have selected a possible headcase who had a questionable past suggesting as much, but now that very headcase looks to have targeted his possible lunacy squarely on the Bears in the form of disgust and stubborness.

Look, I'm not saying Benson is a headcase, nor am I saying he won't be a solid NFL running back, but his current situation is exposing Bears management for all it is, which isn't much.

So maybe that's actually a good thing.

(Fencik) looks at the last 10 seasons and finds only Arizona, Cincinnati and Detroit with fewer cumulative wins than the Bears. Yes, even the ratty New Orleans Saints are better, and even the dreadful Bengals' history includes twice as many Super Bowl trips as the Bears.

"Arizona and Cincinnati have attendance problems, unlike the Bears," Fencik goes on. "And it's not like the Bears don't have a tradition. But you still have to take that extra step. They went after Nick Saban, and it's not like he didn't want to coach in the NFL. A year later, he's in Miami.

"Look at those three franchises. Cincinnati is the Brown family. Arizona, the Bidwills. Detroit, the Fords. Bears, the McCaskeys. Is it a coincidence? I don't know. Jerry Angelo, the general manager, had the connection with Saban. He picked Benson, after the Bears went on the clock on draft day. Did they do their homework? I don't know. He'll take the heat. He deserves to. But it all starts at the top. There seems to be something in the DNA of certain organizations."


Ugh. Arizona, Cincinnati, Detroit. Yup, the Bears are right there with Moe, Larry, and Curly of the NFL. The Bears are one of "those" franchises.

The bottom line is that the Bears, no matter how much fans might deny it, are one of the laughingstock franchises of the NFL and it's all thanks to penny-pinching deadbeats like the McCaskey's and incompetent lackeys like Jerry Angelo.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wide Receiver For Hire



Andre Rison, comin' back at'ya!

Rison has been released by the Toronto Argonauts and is currently shopping his services. The 0-8 Hamilton Tiger-Cats are allegedly interested.

Man, talk about the end of the road. Rison was great in his NFL prime, though a headcase. At this point, he's like a boxer who can't leave the ring. Either he really likes playing football, or he's still behind on those child payments. I'm guessing the latter.

Word is, Jerry Angelo is frantically working the phones to get Rison signed.

Lachey on Fire

Nick Lachey is all fired up about the firing of Bob Huggins and he offers a classic rant on the subject. And we all know that Lachey is the final word on Cincinnati sports.

Say what you will about Lachey, and I know he's an easy target for jokes (as is pretty much anything or anyone involved with MTV these days), but you gotta love his passion for all things Cincinnati sports. Dude's alright with me. And you gotta love the new one he tears the University of Cincinnati (i.e., Nancy Zimpher) for letting Huggins go. It's good reading. Oh, it really is. Check it out.

Of course, any post about Lachey would be incomplete without this...

That's Better



If you're a White Sox fan, it's OK to exhale now. Two days of late-game madness and two Sox wins. Nobody said it's easy getting a train back on the tracks.

The Sox are back to doing what they do best: Winning close games, with a crazy ending possibly involved.

Yup, the Sox are back in business, or so it would appear. Though the bats remain temporarily in slumber, the Sox woke up enough overall to let the Twins know they aren't going anywhere no matter how much talking the Twins want to do about the possibility.

Ron Gardenhire was so overcome with emotion, that he spent much of the game in the clubhouse, watching on TV and dismissing advice to go to the hospital. He was "hot" and "flustered." The jokes are so easy here I will not even go there.

Geoff Blum, appearing to settle in now in a Sox uniform, played the role of hero in the tenth inning, doubling off the wall in left-center and scoring the winning run on a single by Timo Perez. He was also the recepient of what seemed to be a horribly missed phantom tag at third base.

But Blun insists it was no phantom luck at all. He says he knew he what he was doing all along in avoiding the tag.

OK. Who am I to argue? Lucky? Good? Whatever.

It may better to be good than lucky - or lucky than good? - but it's best to be both.

Jon Garland kept his Cy Young-type season going by pitching 7.2 innings of scoreless ball. It's unfortunate he didn't pad his win total Too bad.

What wasn't too bad was seeing Bobby Jenks in the closer role.

After the Sox allowed the Twins to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, and then went back ahead in the tenth, Jenks came in and sealed the deal. We all know that Jenks is eventually going to close games, whether it be this year or sometime in the future. It was nice to see the kid actually go out and do it in a pressure situation, and looking lights out while doing so.

First career save. You da man, Bobby Jenks.

**********



Apparently, there is finally a heartbeat in the Cedric Benson debacle. Get this. The two sides are talking. Can you believe it? Who would have thought that such a strange tactic - this talking you speak of - might lead to some inroads?

To be honest, I don't even care anymore. The Bears are stingy and clueless. We all know that. And maybe Benson is a selfish and/or foolish cat. Who knows?

Whatever. I just want to see Benson in camp. Sign the dude, get him in town, and let him run the damn ball.

What...the...fuck is the problem?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

WTF, Doc?

W...T...F?



Someone should check on Darryl Strawberry.

Ali G is Hilarious.



So, let me get this straight: Ali G, dressed as Borat in a Village People outfit, arrived on an inflatable turtle and tackled Pamela Anderson as she attended her dog's wedding?

OK, got it. Hilarious.

Carry on.

Champions League Groups Set



The groups have been drawn for the Champions League and can be found here.

Defending champion Liverpool and Chelsea have been drawn together, meaning the rivalry should move to the next level, particularly if Liverpool is able to get Michael Owen back from Real Madrid.

Other interesting matchups...

Bayern Munich vs.Juventas in Group A, Arsenal vs. Ajax in Group B, and Real Madrid vs. Lyon in Group F.

The final will take place at the Stade de France in Paris next May. Should be fun.

When is someone from Ireland going to qualify? Jeez. Come on already. Shock the world, baby.

Good Tunes



The Shout Out Louds. Check them out.

What Curse?



Admit it. You thought about it on Wednesday night as the White Sox held on for dear life in the ninth inning against the Twins. It crossed your mind like a black cat under a ladder slowly shattering a mirror. You felt it. You sensed it lurking. Admit it.

The curse.

The White Sox, who had entered the bottom of the ninth leading 6-1, were suddenly only ahead 6-4 and the tieing run was at the plate. The Metrodome was shaking. Jerry Reinsdorf, some might say, was squirming more than ever. It was looking like a Chicago baseball team might once again be on the verge of tossing away an important game in yet another shockingly depressing and all-together new fashion.

Ghosts are creative. And this was going to be a deep dagger blow of horrific damage.

Had the Sox blown last night's game, I could only imagine the state of mind of anyone even remotely fond of the Pale Hose. Complete and total silence, I would imagine, the kind that comes when you know you're assured to a doomed fate. The South Side would be the walking dead.

But guess what...

HA!!!

There is no curse. And if there is, fuck it.

Sox win.

(And the Indians get pounded by the Devil Rays, who are apparently a wildcard killer. Never let it be said that a Lou Piniella team isn't a solid team.)

I have to laugh at all the worried chitter chatter and blaring headlines concerning anything that might even merely smell of anything related to a curse. All the predictable years of lore are being screamed about. Old-timers are being asked for similarities. Curses are all the rage. Blah, blah, blah.

That's fine and dandy, but to lump the Sox in with the Cubs curses is flat wong.

The Cubs can have 1969, 1984, and 2003 and talk all they want about being cursed. They can talk about it until their little blue hearts are content. Sure, those were all very...unfortunate...ways to go out. So live up the big, bad, curse.

But the Sox? They simply lose when they get to the playoffs. They get outplayed, or don't show up. No difference in the end. But they don't go down in an embarassing ball of flames a la the North Siders. Let's keep our records of futility straight, people.

The closest the Sox have come to some "curse" was in 1994. That team was stacked and looked as legitimate a bet as any to win it all before the season was cancelled. Of all the years...

However, Reinsdorf was influential in making that sad mess possible, so that is the result of sheer stupidity and not some mysterious ailment of doomed luck.

Whatever. You gotta love how both the Sox and Cubs make a postseason appearance, oh, once or twice every decade and then when things don't go well once there, fans and media blame a curse.

Boring.

Why not blame the fact that the Sox and Cubs ARE BARELY EVER IN THE PLAYOFFS?

When the Sox are making several playoff appearances per decade, and still can't win a World Series, then we'll talk about a curse. Until then, I'm waving my rally panties without a care.

That's right, rally panties. The Sox are bulletproof now, baby! They have the rally panties. Just say it. Rally Panties. God bless Timo Perez. This may be the best idea ever.

I can see it now. A stadium abuzz with the joyous and wild waving of womens underwear. Preferably something like this...



...and not this...



Come on, how great would it be if Pauk Konerko hit a blast into the raucous bleachers, then rounded third as a sea of sexy lingerie waved into the chilled October night.

Someone needs to market this.

The Sox need a catchy fan gimic for the playoffs, right? What better than a stadium awash with the waving of thousands of rally panties?

Rally. Panties. This may be the greatest two simultaneous words uttered by man. Rally panties.

"Panties rally" isn't bad, either.

Anyway...

The Sox bats may have awoken last night by smashing the ball all over the friggin' joint - at long last - and Jon Garland is on the mound this afternoon. With a little luck, the Sox can skip town by winning the series and silencing the Twins and their yapping fans.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Huggins Out



Dick Vitale said on Sportcenter that Bob Huggins has graduated 11 of his last 17 players. Really? Is this true? If so, that isn't unimpressive. In fact, I'm...I'm impressed!

I didn't know Huggy had it in him. Eleven of 17?

That sounds too good to be true, and I'm not about to pretend to comprehend exactly how graduation rates works. And I'm certainly not about to instantly dismiss the idea that perhaps Vitale is stone cold crazy and just made it up.

But 11 of 17? Damn! Cincinnati graduated anyone?!?!

I was always under the assumption that Huggin's graduation rates were always destined to be low anyway because of JUCO players not counting.

But 11 of 17 isn't bad, right?

We all know that Huggins doesn't usually land the picture perfect student/athlete. We all know the kids he recruits probably have more impressive rap sheets than grades. We all know his kids are often basketball or bust. Cincy isn't the Ivy League.

So what?

So Huggins gets persecuted by his bosses and in the media for giving kids a chance?

Huggins has a current player named Jihad Muhammad. Yes, that's right, Jihad Muhammad. That's his name. In this day and age. If that isn't giving someone a chance, I don't know what is. That's 100% American way, baby!

If Huggins gives some kids of questionable repute a chance to play basketball and get a free education and a couple of those kids screw it up and do some truly awful and stupid things, that's not Huggin's fault. When he recruited them, he wasn't hoping that, if lucky, maybe, just maybe, one or two of them might get caught assaulting a girlfriend or punching a horse. (And I'm sure the horse was fine. He's a horse!)

You think Huggins wanted that?

No, he didn't.

Sure, you would hope that Huggin's has learned some hard lessons on who to trust and, more importantly, who not to trust.

Sure, that drunken driving arrest was not a masterstroke by Huggins.

Sure, Cincinnati's graduation rate is always being dragged through the mud.

But you have to question the logic of someone like Nancy Zimpher who immediately goes after the basketball coach instead of the source of the problem. Of course, the source of the problem is somewhere long, long before any of Huggin's recruits arrive at Cincy. But firing the basketball coach is quicker and easier for Zimpher, I guess.

Zimpher would like to pretend that Cincinnati is Duke or Stanford or Northwestern. Hell, she probably wishes all academia was brick walls and thick, important books and professors with bifocals and dilligent students studying on perfectly manicured lawns.

So why even think of a few kids from rough backgrounds who, if given a chance, and if smart, can play basketball and earn an education?

Who cares about those kids?

Huggins usually did. Yeah, he's probably just as interested in their ability to hit a pullup jumper or block out, but let's not forget...he's a basketball coach. That's what he does and who he is. Those kids have every opportunity to take advantage of a free education without Huggins babysitting them.

And, hey, 11-17 isn't bad, right?

As for Huggins' coaching abilities, Cincinnati's record since bursting upon the scene out of nowhere like gangbusters in 1992, when the Bearcats fell in the Final Four to the Fab Five, is about as impressive as a record can be sans national title.

Huggins took the Bearcats took the Elite Eight two more times and the 2000 team was ranked No. 1 and everbody's darling before Kenyon Martin broke his leg a week before the NCAA tournament. Ah, what might have been? Critics mention the recent rash of second round losses, but it's not like the Bearcats embarrassed themselves in the tourney. They lost to Illinois (granted, in an absolute ass-kicking courtesy of the Illini) and Knetucky (in an absolute dogfight) the last two years. I also recall a buzzer-beating loss to West Virginia one year and an instant classic loss in overtime to UCLA another.

Not to mention the myriad of titles won in Conference USA and the Great Midwest. (Remember that conference?)

Now Huggins is a bad guy.

Because a few kids he gave a chance embarrassed themselves, and in turn him.

Because JUCO kids, apparently not being real students, don't count for graduation rates.

Because he gives chances to kids who most won't.

How many years of oblivion for Cincinnati basketball passed between the era of Oscar Robertson and national titles and the time Nick Van Exel and Corie Blount strolled onto campus and made the Bearcats matter again with a swagger that was untouchable and, from that moment on, the hallmark of any good Huggins team?

How many years passed?

Many, many years.

Well, Zimpher may have just sent the Bearcats back to oblivion. Brilliant move on her part to have her brave moment of academic bravado coincide with Cincy's entrance into the Big East. Real smart.

But, hey, just as long as Zimpher's vision of a college life in which no students carry baggage remains intact! Forget about a handful of kids who Huggins may have given a chance, whose lives he may have made meaningful. Don't worry about those kids.

Here's hoping Huggins waits for the UNLV job to open and wins big right there in Las Fuckin' Vegas a la Jerry Tarkanian and tells the NCAA and Nancy Zimpher to kiss his ass.

He's perfect for the role.

And 11 of 17 isn't bad, right?

**********

Fark photoshop fun with Huggins.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Can the Man Get Some Runs?



Please?

Freddy Garcia pitches 7+ innings of no-hit ball, and finishes allowing a single run on one hit, and loses?

Give me a break. Ridiculous.

Yeah, with Johan Santana also on top of his game, it was fun to watch, but still. The Sox are scoring less than I did in high school, and that's saying a lot.

Oh, Scarlett

Scarlett Johansson was involved in a paparazzi pileup. Don't worry, she's OK. Her lips will live to pout and tease another day. The Unknown Column loves Scarlett. Truly and madly. Always. I mean it. That is all...



Click here for mass Scarlett goodness.

FWIW, I recently watched "In Good Company" and it isn't bad. I had forgotten how much I liked Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace is predictably charming in a dorky way. And, of course, Scarlett. Oh, sweet Scarlett. The Unknown Column recommends, particularly if you listen to Iron and Wine, which you should be.

No, Really?



Speaking on his TV show, Maradona has finally admitted to using his hand in the infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in the quaterfinals of the 1986 World Cup.

Gee, thanks, Diego. There hasn't been so little suspense to a mystery since O.J.

This still doesn't explain Maradona's winner on that day. God was nowhere to be found when he dribbled through the ENTIRE England team, but I'm sure Gary Lineker has new reason to be ticked off anyway.

More importantly, Maradona has a TV show? Well, that would explain some things. The other day, I thought I saw a clip while flipping channels of Pele playing an acoustic guitar and singing a song in front of a TV audience with a big smile on his face. And Maradona was there. It was very weird, like the surrealist of dreams. The next day I actually questioned whether I had seen it, or if I had imagined it, or if it was possibly drug-related. It must have been a clip from Maradona's TV show. You see the damndest things on the Hispanic channels in the middle of the night.

Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Cuckoo



Apparently, Pat Pobertson wants to be murdering people on as many continents as possible. Why limit it to the Middle East, right? He's having fun.

And in the name of God and Jesus and of all that is holy, no less. Can I get an amen, Jeeeeeezus!?!?! Jeeeeeezus and his gun!!! Oh, Jeeeezus loved his gun and he wun't afraid to use it!!! Jeeeeezus!!!

What a patehtic old man Robertson is. Never trust anyone who mixes the ideas of a coalition of Christians and assasinations. He's warped.

I hear Robertson wants to go after Cindy Sheehan as well.

Speaking of Venezuela... so this is all about oil then too, probably? It's amazing that we start one war which has led to little more than increased gas prices for Americans. So what do we do?

We go to another country known for having oil and start killing "dictators." Anew.

Is this passe yet, or what?

Sweep the Twins



I'm thinking the White Sox sweep the Twins this week and put them out of their misery once and for all.

And it couldn't happen sooner. Twins fans are whining like little girls and need to be quieted.

Not long after some broad on Salon wrote about how she hated the White Sox - with "I", "Hate" and "White Sox' all in the title, no less - this Minneapolis hack takes the time to write another hatchet job on the Sox.

Do people in Minnesota have no self-esteem?

Unleash the crap...

The White Sox come to town Tuesday. The Twins, whose divisional reign has maddened Chicago, await with the ultimate insult, a bunch of diminutive Davids ready to give Goliath a hotfoot.

OK, first, the Twins are the defending division champs. So immediately, this guy's sense of misfragmented delusion just screams out INFERIORITY COMPLEX!

The Twins trail Chicago by 10 ½ games. Ten games remain between the teams. The Twins' recent surge and this oh-so-predictable White Sox slump, combined with the Sox's predilection for choking, has everyone in the Twins clubhouse pondering the possibility of a historic comeback.


Choke? Yup, now the hack is in full jagbag mode. He's just yapping his lips as if Kirby "Meet Me in the Bathroom" Puckett prancing around indoors on a carpet a generation ago is supposed to frighten anyone. Yap, yap, yap. If you want to talk about choking, let's look at the Twins playoff record this side of the turn of the century. (***Choke***)

Gardenhire even related what owner Carl Pohlad told him upon returning from baseball meetings that included White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

Pohlad told Gardy, "Reinsdorf is squirming."


Isn't Pohlad 90? He was probably talking about his pants.

I wouldn't bet your house that the Twins will win the division. But even if the Twins only aid Cleveland in overtaking these Tight Sox, this would be the ultimate Minnesota insult to Chicago's misplaced arrogance.

Misplaced arrogance? Who's being arrogant here? Who running his mouth? He continues to yap, yap, yap and throw insults while failing to see the irony of his delusional sense of self within the context of reality. Fuck this guy.

I wouldn't bet your money on the Twins, not with this lineup facing this deficit.


I bet he wouldn't.

Nor would I bet my money on the White Sox to survive past Oct. 9, not towing the twin anchors of recent underachievement and historic Chicago baseball failure.

Whatever, bro. Go back to losing the wildcard race

**********



Like it or not, Chad's the man...

...for now

Poor Chad Huthinson. Dude's already being tossed to the dogs weeks before the Bears season opener. By everyone.

The general consensus seems to be that Hutchinson a) sucks, b) represents all that is wrong with Jerry Angelo, and c) should be replaced immediately by Kyle Orton and everyone loves Kyle Orton.

Oh, everyone loves Kyle Orton.

While I'm not now nor was I ever a fan of Hutchinson, who was completely out of football a year ago and is the Bears starter a mere year later, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt here. One career stat intrigues me: 11 touchdowns, 11 interceptions.

That's not impressive, but it could be worse. And with the Bears defense and (hopefully) running game taking care of matters, that will be Hutchinson's most importatnt job - to throw more TDs than INTs. Is that too much to ask from him? Nobody is expecting him to throw 30 TDs. Hell, nobody is expecting him to throw 20 TDs, for that matter. But if he can maintain a line of more touchdowns than INTs, that will be, at the very least, a start.

Sure, he has a 3-11 record as a starter but I wouldn't call being tossed into the lineup on crappy teams (Cowboys, Bears) late in the season the fairest of shots. The Bears' complete collapse and utter lack of effort in December of last year was the most alarming aspect of Lovie Smith's first season and Hutchinson can't be blamed for that.

Hutchinson, most importantly, has to be decent. No better, no worse. That's all. We don't expect much of our quarterbacks in Chicago. If Hutchinson can even coax the offense into outscoring the Bears defense this season, that would be a beginning. Because the defense is already all business.

I had no right to expect...Neh, none of us any had right to expect to see the Peyton Manning face in the preseason. But we did. Brian Urlacher and the gang gave nothing to Manning while he was in the game on Saturday night, hounding him relentlessly and even forcing Manning into one of his infamous pouts where he calls a timeout and storms off the field pissed off at who knows what. He remained scowling on the sideline long after being removed.

The Bears beat him up, baby.

If it were not for a dumb late hit call on third down that negated yet another Bears stop and ultimately resulted in a touchdown, the Colts starters would have had nothing. (And I gotta say, that late hit call on Urlacher wasn't that late, and, man, did he lay out Dallas Clark. I had to laugh.)

So if Hutchinson can just keep the Bears offense on the field long enough for the defense to catch its breath between dismantling quarterbacks, that would be a positive.

Besides, we all know that sooner or later Hutchinson will most likely get hurt and/or pulled for complete incompetence and eventually be sent back to his surfboard. Nobody expects anything. Then the Kid will get his chance. And everyone loves Kyle Orton.

Oh, everyone loves Kyle Orton.

Monday, August 22, 2005

$%@# the Red Sox, Pt. II

Apparently, the White Sox have voted to forfeit the rainout game in Boston from a week and a half ago. I have two contradicting thoughts on this:

1) Why forfeit? Isn't that kind of...lame? And what if the forfeit factors into homefield advantage in the playoffs?

2) On the other hand, perhaps the Sox don't plan on losing their lead in the race for the AL's best record. If that is the case, I like the confidence.

And anyway, why should the Sox make a special one-day trip to Boston in the final stretch of the season when the game could have been made official the first time?

Boston wusses.

UPDATE: Never trust what someone else said he heard on the radio. The rainout game will take place.

Rock On



The Unknown Column would like to offer a heartfelt congrats to Madison, Wisconsin. It's not often you achieve a greatness so near and dear to all of our hearts. Bravo! Your efforts are greatly appreciated. This almost makes me want to root for the Badgers in Barry Alvarez's last year.

Where Art Thou, Benson?



Look, I know that Bears management is cheap and inept, but Cedric Benson is more and more looking like a tool. Deeming the Bears alleged offer of $17 million insufficient to suit his important self, Benson has allegedly informed his agent, Eugene Parker, to reject the bid. Currently, in the saddest part of all, talks aren't even taking place and the Bears are allegedly reducing the offer.

Parker is also the agent of Rex Grossman. Notice the attitude of Grossman, a first round pick in 2003, in comparison to Benson's...

The first signals Rex Grossman ever called as an NFL quarterback were to Parker, and an audible was not an option.

"We did not want to miss camp, and Rex told Eugene he wanted to be there no matter what he had to do," recalled Dan Grossman, father of the Bears' hard-luck first-round pick in 2003. "Eugene said, `OK, we'll lose some leverage going in that way.' But Rex said, `I understand. I just want to be there.'''

Parker listened to his client and Grossman did not miss a practice, signing a relatively modest deal worth a guaranteed $5 million. The Grossmans trusted Parker because Dan was impressed with him when he helped former Indiana running back Anthony Thompson, a family friend, select an agent before the 1990 NFL draft.

On draft day that year, Parker passed time shooting baskets with a 10-year-old Rex Grossman in the family's driveway.

"Eugene just felt like a friend," Grossman said. "You ask him a question and he doesn't give an immediate answer. He sits and thinks about it. We liked that."


That makes you feel even worse for Grossman and his fragility. And it makes Benson look like a selfish fool who doesn't care all that much about getting to camp. And it's making Jerry Angelo look worse and worse. (Should have selected, Mike Williams.)

Yet, no matter how self-serving Benson appears, you know - you just know - the Bears are being slimy pricks in this mess, too. Come on, it's the Bears. The McCaskeys suck and we all know it.

Pretty in Pink



Former Iowa coach Hayden Fry was pretty smart for a guy with a mustache.

Fabulous




Weird.

With the Cell celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Beatles' concert at Comiskey Park all weekend, the White Sox snapped out of their horrific slump with four home runs in the fourth inning. Ah, the symmetry. Ah, the end to doubt.

I'll conveniently neglect to mention that the Sox again went scoreless in the other eight innings.

Let the good times roll!

The fourth inning outburst, played beneath the Air and Sky show, salvaged a win over the Yankees and brought back that winning feeling. Man, how that feeling was missed. And it's back just in time, too, as the Sox begin a 10-game road trip Tuesday night at Minnesota. After a seven game losing streak, most of which occurred at home, a lengthy road trip suddenly doesn't seem so daunting when you're leaving town on a good note. And, hey, that carpet the Twins play on is perfect for the Sox to get their offense rolling again.

**********

You know how Ozzie Guillen is always talking about how Jose Contreras, when on, has the best stuff in the starting rotation? Well, he's not kidding. Contreras has been nasty of late, an absolute bull. Most importantly, he's been confident. That's the key and that's the Contreras the Sox need in the postseason.

**********

El Duque nearly combusted on Saturday. Dude went nutty, arguing with umps and coming close to beaning Alex Rodriguez in the head. He looked a tad Jack Nicholson-in-The Shining at times, but you gotta love the fire. I'm glad to see the Crazy Cubans taking their efforts against their former team seriously.

Now, I'm not really a big fan of throwing at a batter's head, but come on, it's A-Fraud. I can make exceptions.

**********

I just wanted to go on record as being a big fan of the Chris Widger sunglasses

**********

Tomorrow Never Knows

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream,
It is not dying, it is not dying

Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void,
It is shining, it is shining.

Yet you may see the meaning of within
It is being, it is being

Love is all and love is everyone
It is knowing, it is knowing

And ignorance and hate mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing

But listen to the colour of your dreams
It is not leaving, it is not leaving

So play the game "Existence" to the end
Of the beginning, of the beginning


**********



What a terrible story the death of Thomas Herrion is. Like most people outide of Utah or Niners fans, I had no idea who Herrion was. He was a third string offensive lineman just trying to make the Niners roster. Not exactly a household name.

He was a captain at Utah in 2003, just a year before the program burst into the national spotlight with an undefeated season. Herrion helped build something at Utah, something great and unbeatable..

In San Fran, he was being reunited with the quarterback he protected at Utah, Alex Smith, the first overall pick in the draft. Things must have been looking up for Herrion.

On Saturday night, playing in the high altitude of Denver, he was on the field for a touchdown drive.

Herrion collapsed in the locker room as the team knelt to pray.

What I found odd was that in the TV reports of his death, there was lengthy footage of Herrion walking off the field and into the Niners locker room after Saturday night's game. It was a camera shot focused solely on Herrion as he strolled off the field, probably content with a solid performance.

Why would a camera follow a third string offensive lineman? With this being the preseason, and the rosters not even cut down yet, why would Herrion, of all players, be followed?

Strangle luck for the cameraman, I guess.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Weekend Baseball

It's Friday afternoon, people. Begin drinking as soon as possible.



What's more fun than busting out of a slump by beating up on the Yankees?

Nuttin.' Dat's what.

**********



The Trib's Phil Rodgers today declared that the Cubs season is "hopeless," which is interesting considering the Cubs are within arms reach in the wildcard chase (5.5 games back), have just won consecutive series against the Cards and Astros, and now face lowly Colorado. (That article also has a nice breakdown of what the coming offseason might look for both the Sox and Cubs.)

Then again, if recent history is any indication, now that the Cubs are offering the slimmest glimmer of hope, they should soon embark on a six-game losing streak.

And someone will get injured.

The Idiocy Continues



No, Cedric Benson is still not signed and, no, there is still not even hint of a breakthrough.

And, yes, the rest of the NFL continues to laugh at the Bears.

What NFL Quarterback has a song written about him?



Doug Flutie!

Since you can never have too many Flutie posts, there is a song about him by Moxy Fruvous. I've never heard of the band, haven't heard the song, but the lyrics are pretty funny...

Who's sneakin' past the offensive lineman?
Scramblin' when they call for the blitz?
Out from the pocket, in for a touchdown,
Everyone knows it's Flutie.

And Flutie is 5-foot-3,
He has tiny hands and feet!
The Pats are the team to beat, in the AFC East

Who's dodgin' sacks from Dolphins built like tanks?
Who's makin' fans go totally nuts?
Who deserves more than Piazza and Jordan?
Everyone knows it's Flutie

And Flutie is 4-foot-1!
But Flutie's heart weighs a ton.
He's now got the QB role,
You're in my soul.

Who spent 10 years in exile in Canada?
Lived in an igloo, ate only snow.
Who's even got his own breakfast cereal?
Everyone knows it's Flutie

And Flutie's got Youngmann's* knees,
And throws like a summer breeze,
And Flutie's pals with the Wease,
The brother Wease, (Cindy, Tommy, House, and everybody else!) ahhh!

Too bad the Bears let Flutie go at such a young age. Too bad no NFL team ever gave Flutie a fair shake. Supposedly, Ditka hated Flutie and off Fluie went into a career that took him everywhere. He's probably played in every professional stadium in the United States and Candada. (Quick NFL fix: here.)

(Hat tip, Rush.)

Vacation Destination



So let me get this straight...

Missiles are flying in Jordan, narrowly missing two U.S. Navy ships, one bomb hitting a nearby Israel town, another an airport?

Is that correct?

And al Qaida, that bastion of intellect, is claiming credit for it? Again. From hiding, naturally. (As an aside, isn't coming forth to proudly claim responsibilty for an attack a bit like shitting in your hands and wildly showing it to people? Either way, monkeys screaming in a zoo. Either way, get lost.)

I'm trying to keep up here.

And a bloody pull out in Gaza continues?

Right?

And In Iraq all sorts of people, American and not, innocent and not, are being killed daily while the Iraq constitution gets pushed back?

And Iran is huffing and puffing about being nuclear, too.

Is that it? Of course it isn't

This is why the Middle East is a complete waste of perfectly fine vacation destination. And brothels.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Short History of America

Robert Crumb is brilliant.

The Operative Words Being...

..."Pot Plants as Big as Trees."

Right now the field is being circled like vultures by the town's teenagers just waiting for the cops to burn it.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone in the headlines by Terrell Owens, fellow wild wide receiver Randy Moss admits he has "used (marijuana) in the past. And every blue moon or every once in a while I might.''

Blue moon? Is that a flavor?

Ricky Williams is demanding a trade to Oakland as we speak.

At least Moss is honest. Him and Sapp should be quite the duo in the Raiders locker room. Norv Turner may be in over his head. I can already see the Bang Tayman portrayal of Turner now and he's going to come off a little like Mr. Garrison on South Park. ("Randy, no blunt smoking during film sessions. N'kay?")

I bet Moss and HBO's Bryant Gumbel burned one after the interview. Gumbel looks like such a pothead.

And what's with all the pot stories today. Jeez, post a picture of Ricky Williams and a sack and all of a sudden the pot is everywhere. I mean the pot stories. The pot stories are everywhere. There's no pot here. Don't look at me like that. What?

If I only I could photoshop, I would create a picture of the Raider's little logo guy with a joint in his mouth...

Priceless

The Dolphins coaching staff motivating Ricky Williams...



(Hat tip, Oiler.)

Don't Panic Yet



So it isn't looking so hot for the White Sox at the moment. The question of the day seems to be whether or not it's time to panic (and, of course, whither Ken Griffey, Jr is coming wrapped in a bow). Scott Podsednik is MIA, the offense is sputtering and ugly, and the Twins just came into town and swept three games.

Sound the alarms!

Right?

If getting swept by the Twins at home doesn't send the Sox a message, nothing will.

I mean, the Twins? The #%$%@ Twins? That's just ugly, sad and depressing. That's a Smith's song, or a Russian novel

And it's unacceptable.

Even Aaron Rowand made an error in the series. Come on now.

And now the Yankees come to the Cell for a weekend series as the Sox' most treacherous portion of the schedule heads into the dog days of August. The belief is wavering. And it doesn't get any easier any time soon. Are these Sox mentally tough, or are they simply the same old jokers from seasons past who peed themselves at the sight of the Twins or any other quality opponent once the summer began to dim?

I mean, we've all seen this utterly annoying nonchalance in the second-half before, haven't we? Yes, yes we have.

History repeating itself, and all that. So be careful.

Of course there are positive ways to look at the current rut:

1) Every team will have slumps, up and downs. The Sox have avoided that all season. Until now. Just like any team, they deserve the opportunity to work their way out of it. The question is, can they? Or will they?

2) The Sox' lead in the AL Central is big enough that, while it's still too early to shift into a lower gear or assume anything, they can afford to have a rough patch. They've earned it (if that makes any sense, and I'm not sure it does).

3) Look, with the divison title all but assured (barring a collapse of historic proportions), the Sox should simply view the current stretch of playing quality opponents as ample reason to prepare for the postseason. Make it fun. Big games - playoff games - are ahead, so an opportunity to play some of the American League's best on a nightly basis now should be viewed as a blessing. Make these games count for something, a learning experience, a test.

That said, right now, the general malaise that has afflicted every Sox team in the second-half of the season since 2001 is present and it stinks.

Still, it's no time to panic just yet.

The starting pitching - always, always, ALWAYS the holy grail for any team - is still solid, though it has looked a bit shaky at times lately, at least in comparison to earlier in the season.

Earlier, Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland were the darlings, while El Duque and Jose Contreras were inconsistent and worrisome. (Freddy Garcia remains the model of consistency in the middle of the rotation.) As of this moment, things have reversed a bit. Fine. Dandy. As long as all five starters are in form for the postseasn, the Sox remain a team capable of beating anyone. And I see no reason why all five can't pitch well enough to demand a call from Ozzie Guillen once his playoff rotation is set.

Bottom line: the starting pitching, while not quite as dominant of late, is still doing enough to give the Sox a chance to win on most nights. It's getting the job done.

In the bullpen, Cliff Politte, Neil Cotts, and Bobby Jenks are quietly putting together a combined year - historically, statistically - that will go down, as of now, as one helluva fine middle relief crew. Simply damn good. Neh, awesome. Oh, they'll be remembered. In fact, they need a nickname. Any suggestions? Let me hear them.

Politte is an unassuming general finally at the peak of his powers, while Cotts is only approaching his power yet already near-dominant. And Jenks? Let's just say Jenks excites in a way that no young Sox pitcher has in a while (assuming Garland is already a grizzled vet.) He's like a young Roger Clemems, but in the bullpen. No, really. I'm not exaggerating. He's scary good. Scary.

I had a feeling I'd like Jenks as soon as I heard something about the Angels dropping the kid for bringing beer on the team bus. You gotta love that.

Damaso Marte and Luis Vizcaino are nothing to sneeze at, either. Dustin Hermanson? His back is always an issue, but there is talk of acquiring the Mariners Eddie Guardado, which would certainly help.

OK, the offense? Where do we start?

How about we start by being up-front and honest?

The offense is garbage right now. Pathetic. Horseshit. Weak and laughable.

Is that a fair description?

The Sox' biggest offensive achilles heel is the inability to get a hit with multiple runners on, particularly with two outs. How many times have we seen (pick a Sox player, any Sox player) swing and miss to end an inning and strand runners in a close game. It's maddening.

While the Sox on-base percentage actually ranks among the lowest in the American League, that can be misleading. The fact is, the Sox normally have several opportunities to get something going, an opportunity to cause big damage in a close game. With the pitching keeping games close, that's all you can ask for.

In other words, the Sox aren't that far from where they need to be.

But where are the big hits in clutch situations?

I love a Paul Konerko blast into the bleachers as much as the next guy, but if I see another solo shot by Konerko I just might blow.

I'd still like the Sox to acquire Ken Griffey, Jr, but who knows what Cincinatti management is thinking. I love how Reds owner Paul Allen was belligerent when asked about the Griffey trade rumors. He acted all offended and surprised, as if there is anything surprising about teams inquiring about a Hall of Fame outfielder put on waivers. Allen is a douche, as if the continued wretchedness of the Reds wasn't already enough proof.

But I digress.

Look, it's not time to panic. Rest assured, the Sox will be in the playoffs, and once there, hey, anything can happen. So hold tight and and brace for the bumps in the road.

In the meantime, I cannot stomach losing to the Twins. Jesus.

Especially when Twins fans - chick Twins fans, no less! - are writing what can only be described as vile, antagonistic garbage such as this. (Unless she's attractive, in which case I would describe her point of view as disagreeably interesting.)

***********

So Carlos Zambrano beat the Astros last night in the Houston heat. He also hit a home run. Awesome. Zambrano is quietly climbing my personal list of all-time favorite baseball players, number one being, of course, him. Who else?

I'd be surprised if Ozzie Guilen didn't use his Venezuelan connections to attempt to lure Zambrano to the South Side at some point in the future.

Oh, yeah. The Cubs are getting their poor fans all excited again by beating the Astros. Poor Cubs fans.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hypocrisy



Ah, this is classic. Daily Kos has a fantastic list of quotes from the not too distant past for your perusal here. What were the war mongers saying during the U.S's short, precise, successful action in Bosnia?

My favorite?

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)


Indeed.

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)


Feel-good, eh? As opposed to the current foreign policy of gross incompetence and international infamy?

We are a nation run by fools.

Survivor



Nice piece here by White Sox beat writer, Joe Cowley, who recently beat cancer. A feel-good story all around.

Maybe Cowley can help cure whatver has been ailing the Sox bats of late.

A nicer side of Ozzie Guillen is seen in the piece. It's interesting that Cowley, who deals with Guillen on a daily basis, paints Guillen in a positive, dare I say, sensitive light, while a petty loudmouthed doofus like Jay Mariotti (who ducks the Sox clubhouse, according to Hawk Harrelson), will cry and howl for a two-week suspension for Guillen over comments he probably heard second-hand. Typical Mariotti. Blow. Hard.

Going Blind

If this article is to be believed, then the rise of the Internet should assure that the average male will look roughly like this...



...in the not too distant future

Dan Quisenberry is Rolling in His Grave



Seventeen losses in a row for the Royals? Ouch. And only four away from the AL record of 21 set by the 1988 Orioles. This could possibly be a once-proud franchise reaching rock bottom. It can't get much lower than this, can it?

I wonder if the Royals will make the cover of Sports Illustrated for their futility, a la that crummy Orioles team. Probably not. They have no Cal Ripken. Only a waterfall in their outfield and Mike Sweeney, and he's probably gone soon, too.

Didn't the Royals have Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye...at the same time? That outfield would be just silly today were the Royals not among MLB's so-called poor sisters.

Incidentally, when was the last time the Royals were on the cover of SI?

Next Step



The United States continues its World Cup qalification journey against Trinidad & Tobago tonight in Hartford. Hartford? How rowdy can people in Hartford be?

Personally, I want to see Jeff Cunningham and Taylor Twellman get a look up top. The current top two scores in MLS are clearly in form - at least by MLS standards - and deserve a hard look, especially after neither was on the Gold Cup roster and the U.S. struggled mightily to score goals on its way to the title.

Current CONCACAF standings. (Top three qualify for the World Cup.)

Rundown of the other CONCACAF games.

Essien joins Chelsea

And the rich get richer.



After much speculation, Michael Essien is leaving Lyon, taking the cash, and joinng Chelsea, which is the hip thing to do these days. Everybody's doing it.

This could be a big year for Essien as Chelsea aim to repeat in the Premiership as well as compete in the Champions League - and Essien certainly won plenty with Lyon, so he should help - and possibly ending for the midfielder with Ghana's first appearance in a World Cup next summer. (Ghana looks pretty good to qualify.)

Did He Get WHAT?!?!



I realize I have said that I'm trying to ignore the TO Philly soap opera, but TO is supposedly back at camp "talking" to Andy Reid and possibly even "practicing" if he feels up to it and this headline is hilarious. (Hat tip, Jerloma.) I can just imagine TO opening up his morning paper, seeing that headline, and spewing coffee everywhere over his crumpets in his mansion.

Whatever. Donovan McNabb has pulled through this debacle looking as he always does, classy. He said his piece in a humorous press conference and went back to business. Just like he always does.

I still can't believe TO has the audacity to question a quarterback (or entire organization, for that matter) aiming for his fifth consecutive NFC title game. Ridiculous.

At this point, is the TO/Philly relatioship even repairable?

I'm thinking TO reluctantly goes back to camp, is in shape by Week One, thinks up some new touchdown celebrations, the Eagles are major contenders yet again, and Andy Reid has a Dick Vermeil moment and wonders if he still enjoys coaching.

I will now go back to ignoring anything TO related.