Tuesday, December 26

Best Christmas Present Ever???

Sure was! The only time in my mind that the game was in question was when Garcia threw the early pick. After that, smooth sailing. And I couldn't be happier. Who'd have thought this season could be turned around like this? And with a backup QB?

One word. Awesome.

Tuesday, November 21

Alright, so we've been slacking

But come on, cut us some slack. Hal's in Africa, James and I have been beaten into submission by the horrible play of, well, everyone, and I'm busy with school learning how to actually write.

Yeah we know that's no excuse. You rely on the Greenbleeder for all things sport. As well you should, and your confidence is not misplaced.

Yes, we here at Greenbleeder are fallible, it may be hard to believe, but it is the truth. And we have slacked mightily.

But tell me this. Would you really have wanted to hear Hal be optimistic about an Eagles season that has had most of us wanting to get sledgehammered in the nuts? Would you really have wanted to read my nonsense about how the Flyers aren't really this bad, they're just confused? Would you really want to read James talk about Penn State as if this season isn't a joke?

Possibly, you say? I think you're lying.

In all facticity, factitude, and facticiousness, I have almost entirely drowned out the sports media lately. I watch the Eagles (gag), I try to watch the Flyers (choke/vomit), and I willingly watch the Sixers (they're at least decent, but NBA=syrup of ipecac). But I don't read the sports section in the paper anymore. I rarely watch SportsCenter. I rarely watch my favorite show on TV, Pardon the Interruption. I'm in a vacuum.

I did see Ryan Howard get the MVP. I am happy. He is a phenomenal player, and he deserves it. What I don't want to see is the Phillies use this to hide the fact that they still fucking suck.

In summary, it's rough times here at GB, for everyone. I'm sure it's rough times for a lot of you as well. But we keep on keepin on. I'll watch football on Thanksgiving, because that's what we do in this country. And I'll watch hockey because that's what they do in Canada, and they're nice people. But I will not, repeat will not, go quietly into the night accepting the bullshit on a silver platter we have been handed this fall by our squads. Can we get a break?

Saturday, October 7

I'm sure no one cares but me, buuuuut

The Flyers are playing again. I'm sure none of our readers really get into hockey until the playoffs, if at all (I know some of you down right hate it). But I love it, so here it is.

They sucked worse than I thought they could possibly suck on Thursday. I missed the first two periods of the game because I was in class, which I was initially pissed about. Later on, I found out it was a blessing. Somehow, I decided to subject myself to the late-night replay of the game, and found that my inital assumptions were correct. There was nothing good about the game. Not a single thing.

So I don't want to talk about that anymore. However, TODAY is the home opener, against the team I love to hate the most (possibly the 2nd most, but the Devils sorta suck these days), the New York Rangers. If anyone can remember far back enough to last year's opener, the Rangers beat us like a bunch of peewees, and then proceeded to be totally crappy for the rest of the season. However, they've gotten better this season, and this game should be great.

All in all though, I am not overly excited for the Flyers this year. Not because I don't love hockey, it's my favorite sport. But I just don't think they did anything to fix the numerous problems that they had last year. In fact, sometimes I think the Flyers are like a slightly more successful Phillies team. It frustrates me that much. Sure they get to the playoffs almost every year, and a few times to the Finals. But Bobby Clarke continues to do the same stupid shit year in and year out, and it's very frustrating. The Ed Wade Era is over, I'd like to see an end to the Bobby Clarke Era.

Can we collectively get over this yet?

This Sunday is a big game. A bigger than big game. A huge game. Might even be bigger than that.

And yeah, while all they've talked about on ESPN and everywhere else all damn week is TO versus the Eagles, that's really not what it's about. This game is the Cowboys, and the Eagles, in Philadelphia, to determine the course of the rest of the season. As is the other division game in New York. These should be two incredible football games, to watch, to talk about, everything. It's funny that the national sports media has talked about this game sooo much but has barely talked about the game itself. Do you think any of the players care about TO? They asked a bunch of them, and many are still friends with the guy. No one gives two shits, they're professionals, we're the ones who get our collective panties in a collective wad. McNabb cares a little bit, I think, but we all know he's a sensitive mama's boy, very similar to TO in a more positive, endearing way.

In evaluating the possible outcome of this game, I approach it as if I was going to make a bet. And I wouldn't touch this game with your money. I think the Birds do win, but almost entirely because it's at home. The crowd will obviously be VERY into this one, and that really does help in a lot of ways. TO will get double coverage all day long, because Andy Reid is also something like a sensitve mama's boy, and wouldn't want to get beat by the man who ruined his team. Terry Glenn as a result will catch a lot of balls. But I think the real battle in this game is our offense versus their defense, which should be a good one. In any event, I can't wait for this one, and not because of TO.

Honestly, I'm over it.

Monday, September 25


People were talking all sorts of nonsense about how easy the game yesterday was going to be for the Eagles. I really thought it was important to not underestimate them, as they had shown clear improvements over last year. Still not a great team, but better than before. Obviously no one on the Eagles was taking the game lightly, so I wasn't really worried about it.

But I gotta say, that game was more boring than the accounting class I mistakenly took in college. I fell asleep before half time, and upon waking up sometime in the 4th quarter, I decided to just chalk it up and go back to sleep. I don't have much hope for next week either, not with the way the Birds' offense is playing. So don't count on any stunningly brilliant witticisms from me this week, but I don't think you were doing that anyways. Yeah, I'm going back to sleep.

Saturday, September 23

Belated Anniversary

Did anyone notice besides me that we've been writing this silly thing for over a year now? I just did. As celebration, I thought I'd bring back a hypothetical, but Hal's better at that than I am. I refuse to talk about the Phillies still, but that might actually happen sometime in the near future. In fact, I'm going to avoid almost every standard and ethical precept that we've created over the year at Greenbleeder, and talk about a political hero of mine. To quote from the standard-bearer of American journalism, the New York Times:

“Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.” -- Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.

Haha. He called Bush the devil. Now back to sports, sorry about that.

Thursday, September 21

It's a Deep Burn

OOOOOOOO K. I'm ready to start looking forward. I obviously don't need to talk about last week and think it's time to get ready for Sunday. I have conflicted thoughts about this game. Im 70% sure that the Eagles will come out angry and light the 9ers up good and proper. But 30% of me is concerned about the hangover, concerned with Mr. Gore, but most of all concerned about getting that call to duty. I don't know where the Eagles are getting bodies for the secondary but it seems like they went to the goofy name department. Who knows, maybe I'll be next.

The injuries are really starting to scare me. I know we are 8 deep on the D line but losing Kearse to Carson Palmer surgery is tough to stomach. With the secondary currently severly depleted, there will be even more pressure on the D line to get to the QB. God knows our linebackers aren't bailing anyone out.

So let's look forward. Hopefully we will watch an angry team beat the pulp out of an inferior squad. I want our boys to fly home from the west coast still starving for more, thier eyes already on Green Bay. In '02 the Eagles blew a lead to the Titans and won thier next 3 games by an average of about 21 points. The next two teams really should be pushovers (d'oh), and ummmm don't get me started on the game on the 8th.........

Tuesday, September 19

Severe despondence

Well. We're all in the same boat. I had to give it at least 24 hours, or I would've just had an extreme case of verbal diarrhea. So I left it alone, but I definitely feel the same as I did on Sunday at 5:30 pm. It definitely wasn't good, but since Hal pretty much covered the bad side of this game, I'll see if I can get something positive out there.

Let's face it. For about 3 quarters, the Eagles made a pretty decent team look like garbage. They looked like a JV high school football team. That defense that everyone likes to talk about so much (I never understood that in the first place) couldn't do a damn thing. Strahan who? Umenyiora who? The Birds didn't really run the ball, but that's nothing new, and to be expected at this point. Our defense, minus one starting d-back, and then minus Rod Hood (who should be the starter), still handled them. Demolished them I'd say. Little Eli looked positively fearful, as he should have. The Eagles looked like the team of old, and yeah...they horribly blew it. But if you mean to tell me that the potential for an extremely good season is not there, I'll tell you you're crazy.

And yeah, that game was awful.

Monday, September 18

You're Like a Lost Child, Who Wanders Into the Room

And maybe it's not just coincidence that they're both named Donnie. 15 minutes to go. We're watching a Super Bowl team operating at a near peak level. 25 minutes and and 23 points later, we're left with nothing but questions. Can Five lead this team to a win from behind, or is our team designed only to cruise? Can the defense survive the loss of our second and third cornerbacks, especially with Sheldon already having yielded two touchdowns on the season? And just how can you put together eight sacks and a turnover and not come out with the win?

At the end I'm just left confused. I feel like a child, only I still have to go to work today. Week two and I'm picking up the pieces of my mind, shattered by a defense that couldn't hold back the flood and an offense that is simply not built for the fourth quarter.

One of the most troubling failures was that it is an offense built for overtime, they got the ball at the fifty, and still couldn't get it done. I'm wearing, aching, debilitated. 25 mintues stole away what little i had left. Staring 4-0 right in the eyes. A divisional loss at home. And when you're 5000 miles east of Philly, every game is in prime-time. I'm on empty. For the first time since I left I'm happy not to wake up in Philly because to see the faces on three million people who just had their heart ripped out by a silver spoon cake eating son of a hall of fame loser would just be too much.

Sunday, September 17

Tom Coughlin wears women's underwear.

Everyone knows we here at the Greenbleeder have nothing but an intense hatred for all things New York Giants. Everything about them is hateable, from the coach, down to the waterboys. But we are also loathe to underestimate an opponent, and the Giants of recent years have proven a formidable one. Sometimes. They've also been total suckers.

It is this writer's opinion that this game sets the stage for the NFC East, for all teams, not just Philadelphia or New York. The winner will become the target, and the loser might be ready to get thrown on the loser's pile. I've been watching the New York fans bet the point spread down and down and down all week, and I can confidently say that those are some horrible bets. Get ready for an overrated Giants defense getting pummelled by the Bird's underrated offense. I can already see it now. Even though I'm writing this an hour before the game and most likely no one will read it until the winner has been decided, I just wanted everyone to know how much I hate the Giants with all my pure, golden, Cuban heart.

Tuesday, September 12

They should be pushovers...

Damn it's good to be back. Good to have sports to write about, and even better to see the birds on top of the division. And while the division may or not be "the best in football," few would dissagree that it is the most competitive, with all four teams having similar talent levels. This fact makes each week that much more critical.

Ok, so the Texans rolled over and played dead. I don't expect the Giants to do the same (until the 4th quarter at least). The Giants have an absolutelty murderous schedule (ranked the most difficult in the league.) Following his home opening loss to big bro, Eli takes his "game face" and asshole supporting cast on the road to Philly, followed by a road trip out west to face the recently upgraded Seahawks in a revenge games for the wanna be birds (remember the Feely game last year?)

Nothing would make me happier than to see the Giants 0-3 heading into thier bye week, with Eli's confidence suddenly nowhere to be found. For some reason I like watching the New York media tear apart underachieving lousy bums in front of the whole country.

I might be officially ahead of myself but I'm a fan, and I'm allowed to be, dick. I have complete faith that big Andy and a focused locker room (for some reason I feel like there's fewer distractions this year) will bring thier A game to the Linc this Sunday afternoon and KICK THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF THE NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS.


Saturday, September 9

Now he's gonna write about soccer?

I’ve waiting long enough to shamelessly steal the running diary of a sporting event, so why not start with the most anticipated/weirdest/most interesting/scariest/most unsafe thing I’ve seen so far in Africa, none of which is any kind of understatement.

Mid July: Rumors start appearing that the new stadium will open in September, with a match against Cameroon. From this one could gather that the stadium might open this year, and that there’s a possibility a soccer match may be played against some African nation. Still no way to be sure.

Early August: Word holds steady that the match will be in September, but now it’s versus Liberia, with whispers that Real Madrid is coming to town. This is approximately as likely as a Division III NCAA team telling their fans that the 1986 bears are holding a exhibition match in their stadium next week and having it happen, in 2006.

Late August: Tickets are on sale! September 4th, 4pm versus Liberia. Tickets range from three bucks up to fifteen. Beautiful. Hook me up with some four dollar fun.

September 4th, 1:30: Head out towards the stadium, planning to grab some food on the way.

1:45: The town is comprised almost completely of hole in the wall or open door one-room stores. The restaurants are marked by the words “Hay comida” on the wall outside, letting you know they “Have food.” Very welcoming. My dad decided that they are all part of the ‘Hay Comida” franchise, I guess you could say that they are Africa’s Bob’s Big Boy, with the main exception that no matter how extensive their menu is on any given day, they only have two dishes, and you probably don’t want either of them. I step in and order chicken with rice. Santi, my buddy I’m going to the game with, orders fish with plantains, and is told that don’t have any fish. Ok, how about beef with plantains? Sorry, no plantains. Beef with rice please. And a coke? No coke. Stellar.

1:49: While destroying a drumstick I proudly pronounce that Guinea will win 2-0, with a goal in the 25th and 85th minutes. ‘Uh, I hope… you are right,’ says Santi.

1:54: The waiter’s head explodes from eighteen kids screaming at him for some chicken. Free meal.

2:00: We begin our ascent to the stadium, along with 15,000 other people who are either in the midst of, or preparing to lose their minds.

2:30: Arrive at the stadium, are well pleased to find that there is in fact a game, and that they’re letting people in. Looking good.

2:40: Find our seats, learn that the extra dollar we paid put us under the awning. And here comes the rain! I Immediately am pleased about our purchase.

3:00: Still reveling in the joy of the new stadium, notice that there is a leak in the roof two seats to my right. About every two seconds little kid is getting walloped by a inch-wide drop of rain. Our luck continues.

3:15: The cops have done a stellar job of keeping beer out of the stadium, but the small handful of guys that did their work beforehand are more than making up for their 14,000 sober friends. Beautiful spectacle.

3:30: Interest in the new stadium subsides and I notice that there are 15,000 people in the stadium and only 50 cops. What’s the Spanish word for mayhem?

4:00: Players come out on the field, on time! Miracle of miracles. Also, the sky is open like church on Sunday. Very well spent extra dollar.

4:10: No cheerleaders, no mascots, but we do have eight year old kids acting as ball boys. I think hip-hop would have worked this game for free, but that’s just a guess.

4:15: And we’re off. Guinea pushes the ball up the right wing, centers and… GOAL! Nope, offsides. My prediction is holding. Approximately 14,762 dudes curse in a language I don’t speak. I stick to English with a bit of Spanish mixed in.

4:20: If you know anything about sports, it doesn’t take long to figure out who’s the dog and who are the studs. I don’t know a lick about soccer and I can tell you definitively that #25, a defenseman, is not making it through this game. I’ll bet 2000 FCFA on it. No one accepts.

4:22: #25 falls down, barely avoids letting up a goal.

4:30: #25 falls again.

4:35: Some dude fakes being hurt, gets in the stretcher, gets to the sideline, immediately jumps out and sprints back on the field. Could this ever work in America? Ever? Have these people seen Jeremiah Trotter?

4:40: GOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!! 15,000 people promptly lose their minds. I think the city is about to collapse. 25th minute. One down, one to go. Police barricade the field. Thankfully no one jumps on.

4:43: Scratch that, here comes the first idiot.

4:44: Still running

4:45: Got em. Players don’t miss a beat.

4:55: #25 gets burnt terribly, goalie falls down trying to dive, goal, Liberia. 1-1. No police presence needed. Yet.

5:02: Halftime. You can be pretty sure their won’t be any guys coming on the field to do Frisbee dog tricks. I’m not counting on a $500,000 goal from 100 yards out either. Not ruling it out though. The halftime show mainly consists of fans yelling at the cops not to arrest people who come on the field. Is there anywhere in the world that you don’t get thrown in jail for running on the field? I’ll bet the Swiss even have a rule against it. Come on.

5:30: Second half begins. Some poor fan with his whole body painted tries to get the wave going. Not happening.

5:35: Mercifully, #25 is pulled. Easy money.

5:40: zzzzz.

5:45: zzzzzz.

5:50: Red card, Liberia. Half a garbage call, but we’ll take it. 11 on 10 from here on out.

5:55: GOOOOAL! Nope, offsides. Just an awful, awful rule. Why not let the dudes behind the defense? Does cherry picking work in any other sport? There’s no NBA team sitting one man under the other basket and heaving outlet passes. Come to think of it, is Kyle Korver’s defense really that much better than if he wasn’t there at all? Hmm.

6:10: 40th minute, fans are losing spirit. Eerily similar to the last innings of a Phillies game, only if every time an infielder took a ball off their chest they rolled around for two minutes and waited for a stretcher. So I guess it’s more like a Mets game. Did I mention this sport is all I have here?

6:12: Corner kick, no luck.

6:13: Corner kick, no luck.

6:14: Corner kick, centered, quick shot on goal, and it’s in!! Immediately hits a Liberian dude standing about two inches inside the goal line, bounces out, every single person is out of their seat screaming and no one has any idea if they’ve called it a goal yet. The players are in some sort of half-celebration, half- mortified mode, and then it hits the screen. Open the floodgates.

6:15: Liberian team is livid. One dude punches a Guinean player in the face, both teams break into an all out brawl until the military comes on to separate them. We’ve still got five minutes of game time left. I’m interested to see how this’ll play out. I’m also interesting in getting out alive.

6:16: Complete pandemonium continues. Play does not.

6:17: Still no sign of a soccer ball.

6:19: Ball is now back in the center of the field, Liberian goalie is now egging the fans on. Apparently he didn’t get a good security count.

6:24: And its over! A Guinean player runs to the sideline, throws his shirt into the crowd and fruitlessly begs the fans not to rush the field. Three guys jump on, run at him, hugging him and trying to steal his shorts while giving him a photo. I take a look at that the fans, then at the cops, and mention it might be a good time to leave.

6:25: And here comes the flood. Thousands on thousands rush onto the field as we find the side exit. Playtime’s over, back to the real world.

Tuesday, September 5

I have zee lingonberry pancakes

Number 72. Six-foot-seven...three hundred and thirty-five pounds.
Number 79. Six-foot-six...three hundred and twenty-one pounds.
Number 67. Six-foot-four...three hundred and thirty pounds.
Number 73. Six-foot-four...three hundred and forty pounds.
Number 69. Six-foot-seven...three hundred and thirty pounds.

These are five reasons why Donovan McNabb is set to have the greatest year in Philadelphia sports history and hoist the Lombardi trophy so high he's gonna bring rain. My friend, have you ever seen a six foot seven, three hundred and thirty-five pound man? Have you ever seen a man bend over twice just to get through a doorway? Have you ever seen the fear in the eyes of a waiter, so scared that if this man's steak is overdone he's gonna be in traction for sixteen and a half weeks? These are five Paul Bunyans determined to let no man lay a hand on their blue ox.

Fuck dogs, an offensive lineman is a man's best friend. Everything that goes right, and half the things that go wrong this year will be on the merit of these five men, and their five apprentices waiting in the wings. Have you seen Max Jean-Giles! This man dominates folding chairs. Wicker furniture trembles.

Remember that old 5th grade science project where you had to design some kind of contraption to put an egg into, then you drop it off the roof, and if your egg doesn't break, you get an A? Well, if you're the Redskins, you wait until March 11th, then wrap the egg in money. If you're the Giants, you're probably too upset about how shitty your egg is, so you just throw the motherfucker into the wall. If you're the Cowboys, you hard-boil the egg, chuck it and hope no one notices, because your karma's already fucked. Well, Andy Reid took his egg, and wrapped it in 1,656 pounds of meat, because Andy cares about his egg, and knows that his egg will carry him. Our egg is a beautiful egg.

Wednesday, August 30

Holy $%&!

Stallworth, Stallworth, Stallworth, Stallworth, Stallworth, Stallworth, Stallworth.

Now, we all know that everyone's ratings of the Eagles was probably a tad low. No one thinks they could possibly win the division, and most people have pretty much entirely written them off. Obviously people here in Philadelphia don't really agree with that, but that's, for the most part, irrelevant. Yet, in another bold move by the front office, the Eagles have acquired Donte Stallworth, for practically nothing. Simoneau is a player who was having a tough time getting on the field, and the conditional 4th rounder is worth...well it's not worth a whole lot if you can't draft right.

In my mind, I think this puts the Eagles right back on the map. Sure a nice power back would be a welcome addition. Stallworth will make our whole offense better. No, he's not TO, he's not Chad Johnson, he's not Steve Smith. He is A) Fast as all hell, B) Great with the ball after the catch, and C) Going to draw coverage away from our weaker WRs, which should improve their play. I'm really excited about this, and while I don't think it turns the Eagles into the Super Bowl contender they were with TO, it can only help.

Tuesday, August 15


Ok, the actual football part of the game last night is not at all what I was interested in, even though I secretly root for the Vikings, a little bit.

No, I was more interested in what my main man Tony Kornheiser had to say. And to be honest with you, I wasn't particularly impressed. Not disappointed mind you, but not impressed. We've all seen him on PTI, and maybe you've read his columns in the Washington Post or heard his radio show. But I was very curious to see how he did with live TV that would be watched by millions. We all know how the third man on MNF can shoot himself in the foot (i.e. Dennis Miller's dumbass), but I certainly have more hope for the bald man who doesn't fly. They created a few little segments to make sure he got time on the mic, but for the most part it was Tirico and Theismann (who I don't like at all). But I think he'll get better as the season goes on, and I'm looking forward to it.

Not to mention they moved the starting time up to 8:00 pm, which is great for dudes like me that fall asleep early.

Wednesday, August 9

It's Fantasy Land

No, I'm not referring to fantasy football, that utterly horrible, yet oh-so-necessary evil that encompasses most of our lives from now until January. No, I'm definitely not talking about the Phillies chances of making the Wild Card, which is definitely fantasy. I'm talking about preseason football, one of the most horrifically irritating things of all time.

I could waste everyone's time by presenting my opinions on the game, but I won't. I'm not even gonna talk about the first team performance. I will say that preseason football is the equivalent of going on a date with Anna Kournikova, only she has no clothes on, and she refuses to let you pay for dinner, and goes home at the end of the night without so much as a peck on the cheek. It's the worst form of blue balls in history, with the exception of actual blue balls. It's almost entirely unwatchable, and the parts that are watchable are wholly eclipsed by the rest of the crap. And we still have four more games worth.

I'll get back to you in a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 2

So close

Seriously, so very, very close.

Saturday, July 15

The Dead Zone

I made a stunning realization last night.

We have truly entered the sports Dead Zone in this town. With the Phillies sliding face first on their backs down a hill into a pile of manure, training camp weeks away, the Sixers trying to trade the most exciting player on the team, and the Flyers attempting to do a poor imitation of the Buffalo Sabres, I'm left with few things to keep me happy.

One is the Tour de France. I'm sure most of you couldn't watch 10 minutes of this, but I watch 2-3 hours of it every day. I happen to ride a bicycle a lot, so it makes sense, but there are plenty of viewer-friendly reasons to watch even if you don't. One, they crash sometimes. Two, it's the most physically exhausting event in the world (challenge me on that one, I dare you). Three, the hot babes at the end who give the dude the Maillot Jaune and a stuffed animal (???????). I also really enjoy trying to figure out the strategy, and watching when the teams get broken up by a young budding star challenging the veteran leader. Ok maybe none of those are good reasons for you to watch, but I will continue.

Two is the Minnesota Twins. I'm waving my Homerun Hankie, dreaming about old #34, and watching Joe Mauer hopefully become the best catcher of our lifetime.

Three is the fact that training camp really is coming up soon. Extremely soon. Very soon.

News Flash

I still don't watch the Phillies.

However, I did watch the home run derby, and Ryan Howard is most excellent. And he hits for contact. Suckers

Thursday, June 15

Seriously, I'm done

Everyone has been talking about this Mets series like this: if the Phillies don't win at least 2 games, they have no hope for doing anything successful this season. I couldn't really find a way to believe that before it started, but now the inevitable has happened, and I'm changing my feelings about this team. They're not mediocre. They are bad. They're not awful, or horrible, or garbage, but they're bad. Uninspired, clearly unknowledgeable (reference Jimmy Rollins stealing with Wagner on the mound, one out, and Utley at bat), unlovable, and now unwatchable. We're at the same point we were at last year when I stopped caring, and started watching...well, nothing. Training camp is soon.

Friday, June 9

And it goes...

Since no one brought a strong challenge to Bobby Boucher, let's anoint him the king of cinema football and move on to the next sport, basketball. I'm going to start the debate with my favorite movie basketball player, although I'll concede that I don't think he's the finest. I'll leave that to you. A premier playmaker and scorer with the ability to take over a game at any point, I present the point guard on my all-movie team, Bugs Bunny. Ball's in your court.

Tuesday, June 6

Juvenation Machine

I'm putting you all in control. All thirty of our readers out there are now have sole discretion as to how often a new post will come out. It can come morning, noon, or night, in rain, hail, snow, or sleet. All you have to do is argue. So begins the great movie athlete debate, brought to you by Tullamore Dew, Patron, and McKinley's Tavern. We're gonna go sport by sport until we have definitevely determined the top movie athelete for each sport. As soon as we have selected our athelete, it will be time to move on. In the event of a any unrelenting debates, Armando, James, my Dad, and I will vote, at which point we will have then most likely have another tie and then we'll just flip a coin. Guidelines? I'm glad you asked.

  • Only fictional atheltes. I know how much you loved John Goodman as the Babe, Kareem in Airplane, and Joe Montana on SNL, but were gonna have to put them on the shelf for now with your Kazuhito Tadano video (yes, i know it was a one-time incident)
  • However, real athletes playing fictional characters will warrant consideration, such as Lawrence Taylor's performance in 'Any Given Sunday.'

  • First up, football. There's a lot to deal with here, from Willie Beamon (who may end up winning for best song by an athlete), to Paul Crewe taking down the guards and winning one for Caretaker. For me, the discussion begins and ends with the silver screen's greatest sack master, Bobby Boucher. A devastating presence at middle linebacker while lining up at a stout 5'10, the Waterboy was a one-man defensive machine who created absolute havoc for offenses all throughout southern Lousiana. Boucher was the pinacle of speed and power on the football field, as well as the consumate team player and family man.

    Let the games begin. I eagerly anticipate your comments.

    Sunday, May 28

    It's no Veterans Stadium

    Yesterday, I managed to attend sporting events at not one, but two of our beautiful stadiums in South Philly. I'd been to Lincoln Financial Field and Citizen's Bank Park before, many times at each, but never in the same day. I saw two lacrosse games, and a horrific loss by the Phillies to the Brewers (0 for 5 on that one boys!), but what I really noticed was that those two stadiums might be the best combination of state of the art venues in the US. Now, the Wachovia Center is pretty great, but when it comes to the new school basketball/hockey venues, they're pretty much all the same. So, I challenge you to name a better combination of baseball and football venues in America. I can think of quite a few non-combinations that are better standing on their own, but not a combo. Dolphins Stadium does not count. Neither does the Metrodome.

    Thursday, May 25

    My triumphant return to the internet

    It's been a long time. I never knew getting internet in the suburbs could be so difficult, but it was.

    So where to start. The Phillies are....well they're the Phillies. I know with this team we don't have a contender. But the tough question to answer is this one: are they bad, average, or just mediocre? It's funny watching the Detroit Tigers have their best season of the last 500000 years with the manager we should have. It's funny watching Jimmy Rollins approach the plate the same way he always has, and apparently always will. And of course I love watching the bullpen be the quintessential Phillies bullpen. But this team isn't bad. Obviously the young talent on this team would be gladly accepted on any team in major league baseball. They've got 2 or 3 pitchers who would fit into almost any rotation. But they have an uncanny knack for losing close games, losing games that they were winning, and simply not coming up with clutch hits in late innings. I think that if they hadn't gone on such a tear, the tune I'm singing might have come up more as "send in the clowns," as opposed to the "flight of the valkyries" that I'm singing now. I just can't tell if they play well against bad teams and lose to good ones, or vice versa. I can't tell if by the end of the season they'll be fighting for the division or the wild card, or nothing at all. But I do know that I am finding myself wanting to watch every game, and I guess that's really all you can ask for.

    Thursday, May 11

    "That ain't no kind of fun"

    Standing ovation for Aaron Rowand, who just made the best play by a Phillie I've seen since 93. Two outs, bases loaded, he's on a dead sprint backwards towards the bullpen in right-center, checks the wall for proximity, but heeds the information and plows face-first into the metal fencing. Saves three runs in a game that has a fifty fifty shot of being a rain delay. One hundred percent awesome. Now it's time for 24 other guys to step up. Thanks Aaron.

    Tuesday, May 9

    Quicker Hits

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Barry Bonds experience this weekend, certainly highlighted by his inability to get out of the way of a batted ball, then having to walk face first into an ocean of boos, culminating with a hall of fame helmet slam. In addition to going at him with junk low in the zone, then attempting no less than 5 pickoff throws every time he's on base, I am now campaigning that all middle infielders turn two on his ground balls especially when there are no men on base. If he wants to make a joke of the game, it's your duty to make a joke of him.

    In other non-record breaking news, on Inside the NBA last night Charles attempted to beat David Blaine's non-record of 7:08 minutes underwater, coming up only 6:44 short before emerging in a giggling fit. Charles did set the record for greasiest head, as the fishtank he submerged his dome in looked like the Prince Edward sound after the Exxon Valdez crash.

    There were two separate Owens Cowboys' jerseys seen at Saturday's Phillies game, and all I really have to say to these dudes is, good luck. It may be a month from now, or a year, or two years, but it's coming. And when it comes, don't say you weren't ready. Don't bother to punish the wicked, for through their own actions, they punish themselves.

    If you translate 'The Green Bleeder' into french, then back to english, it becomes 'The Resistance of Green Escape.'

    Adios, Kobe. Nothing says 'champion' like 4 points in the second half of a game seven. And for everyone who's upset that we lost Raja, think how happy you'd be if we still had him at 8 years, $67 million. Because that's what Billy King would have given him.

    Friday, May 5

    You better not pout, I'm telling you why

    Barry Bonds is coming to town, and given our pitching, stadium, and connection to major baseball statistics, it seems almost impossible that he won't surpass Babe Ruth's 714 home runs at some point this weekend. This leaves us with a few questions:

    Is this important?
    If you care about baseball, definitely. If you care about sports, probably. If you don't care about sports, but you care about cheating, pompous, preternaturally talented people, certainly. If you don't care about sports, pompous assholes, or inflammatory remarks, feel free to skim the next few questions.

    Why is this important?
    Baseball, more than any other sport, is buttressed by its statistical lore. Most likely the first statisticians were looking for something to do in between spitballs, then noticed that comparing players using objective numbers rather than subjective opinions allowed them to make conclusions rather than fighting civil wars all the time (note: baseball is that old). When Kareem passed whoever used to have the career points total in basketball, no one outside of LA and Boston felt the breeze. When Jerry Rice took over the total touchdowns record, Raider fans (or whatever god-awful team he was on at the time) barely blinked. But because baseball is so slow and hardly ever does someone take a forearm to the groin, people need something to distract themselves. This coupled with the real reasons, which I have no idea about, make baseball statistics relevant, which in turn lend credence to Barry's assault.

    Wait a minute, so is he gonna break any records or not?
    Interestingly, no. The home run record is held by Hank Aaron, who finished up with 755 Ryan Howards. Barry's still a season away from that total, which means he'll need a couple more trips to the pharmacist to refill his steroid prescription.

    So if he's not breaking any records, why is this a big deal?

    It's a big deal because he's passing the total of the more famous and more white player. Babe Ruth is substantially more famous than Hank Aaron, and much whiter to boot. This sits really well with most Americans. Also, in an informal phone survey of non-sports fans (2 men, 2 women), 75% of those polled thought that the record was in fact held by "Huh? Hal, I don't know anything about baseball. I don't know. uh? Babe Ruth maybe?" So basically it's a big deal because everyone thinks he's breaking the record, and moreover will be satisfied that the record is broken once he passes him.

    What records might Barry actually break this weekend?

    Well, he just surpassed the Babe for most career extra base hits, which actually is a record, so it's gonna be a little tough. Scott Rolen's boos record and J.D. Drew's 'most batteries thrown at' record are in serious jeopardy.

    If he wasn't a jerk, but still did steroids and broke records, would people still hate him?

    Yes, but to a lesser degree. Certainly his being a jerk makes it easier to hate him, but the reality is that baseball has a huge problem and badly needed a scapegoat. Remember, nothing burns like an effigy.

    Is it worth $20 to see Barry in person?
    Three years ago, I would have said maybe not. But having seen him twice in person since then, I'll now say absolutely. Aside from his sideshow, size 12 7/8 head, there are more than a few compelling arguments for Barry Bonds. Like him or not, he's one of the top ten players of all-time and will be remembered as the greatest hitter, both pure and for power, of his generation. He's in direct competition with Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera for greatest player of the era. My favorite Barry nugget is that he is playing what can be definitively considered the worst left field in the history of organized baseball. When I saw him with my Dad in San Francisco, he played nine innings, didn't take his left hand out of his pocket more than twice, never backed up a single play to the shortstop, walked (not jogged) out a double to center, and was every inning the last player back to the dugout, which is conveniently located on the third base line (traditionally the home dugout is on the first base side). He also totaled one flip of the cap to the Giants fans who cheered his name for two and a half hours. Hall of fame performance all the way.

    I hate Barry. What should I do?
    Wherever you are, you should alternate boos with heavy laughter. Then you should put an asterisk on your boos.

    I play for the Phillies. What should I do?
    If you're pitching, and you want to go the traditional route, an intentional walk or a hit-by-pitch is acceptable, followed by upwards of fifteen pickoff attempts, basically to the point where he sits down on first base. If you want to try a more progressive approach, and there's no one on the bases, roll four pitches underhand towards home plate. If you're playing the infield, and there's no one on the bases, I recommend turning a double play anyway. Or sprinting from shortstop with the ball to first, still beating him by three steps.

    I have left field tickets for Saturday's game. What should I do?

    How about cheering for the Phillies? They've won five straight, and just came off of their first sweep of the Braves since 1634. If you can't find it in your heart to do that, try booing Barry. It's fun and easy. If you've ever seen Ty Detmer play quarterback you should be fairly practiced in it. Now just remove the element of disappointment from your boo, and you'll be set. The basic Barry Bonds boo recipe consists of: 1 part vitriol, 1 part contempt, 2 parts anger, and 1/8 part silent awe. This differs from the traditional Philly boo of 1 part tears, 2 parts disappointment, 1 part "I can't believe I have to wait 7 months for another game," and 18 parts "god damn it Donovan, the dude is five yards away, you need a TOUCH pass. Touch. Pass."

    Yeah, I know how to boo. What, specifically, should I do?

    Media proponents are gaining steam with their walkout idea (whenever Barry comes up to bat, walk to the nearest concourse and stay there for the duration). This to me seems like it would take too much time and coordination. I recommend the backwards silent treatment, wherein everyone in the stadium stands up and turns their back to the field for the at-bat and remains perfectly silent. Chillingly effective.

    Wednesday, May 3

    A.K.A. Brick James

    Through our hit counter I've been keeping a list of all the nonsense phrases that people search on google, msn, etc. which then hit on our site. Since we publish every article and both the archives on the main page, it's not overly remarkable that a bunch of far out words will land you here, but what I can't get my head around is why anyone searching for 'thomas edison salt hire' would see the results and decide that this is the place to come for their salt hiring needs. Anyway, I'll throw these out from time to time on non-rainy days. Here's the most recent bunch:

    Basketball cards Kwame Brown 2005-2006 insert rarity
    brashear fights
    shaky tale of doctor jakey
    big and tall shirts – da
    poolside tailgating items
    knife bleeder
    pete webber
    bucknasty bow strings
    hideki matsui golden shower
    football teams sign ups (Columbus, oh)

    If you're still bored, check out this glossary of religious terms beginning with the letter 'w.'

    Tuesday, May 2

    Early Birds

    While I'm on my high horse I thought it would be a nice time to unveil my initial Eagles season prediction, mostly for tracking purposes.

    Sunday, Sept 10th 1PM @ Texans- W (1-0)
    Sunday, Sept 17th 1PM vs Giants- W (2-0)
    Sunday, Sept 24th 4:15PM @ 49ers- W (3-0)
    Monday, Oct 2nd 8:30PM vs Packers- W (4-0)
    Sunday, Oct 8th 4:15PM vs Cowboys- W (5-0)
    Sunday, Oct 15th 1PM @ Saints- W (6-0)
    Sunday, Oct 22th 1PM @ Bucs- L (6-1)
    Sunday, Oct 29th 1PM vs Jags- W (7-1)
    Sunday, Nov 5th BYE
    Sunday, Nov 12th 1PM vs Redskins- W (8-1)
    Sunday, Nov 19th 1PM vs Titans- W (9-1)
    Sunday, Nov 26th 1PM @ Colts- L (9-2)
    Monday, Dec 4th 8:30PM vs Carolina- W (10-2)
    Sunday, Dec 10th 1PM @ Redskins- L (10-3)
    Sunday, Dec 17th 1PM @ Giants- W (11-3)
    Monday, Dec 25th 5PM @ Cowboys- L (11-4)
    Sunday, Dec 31th 1PM vs Falcons- W (12-4)

    Also, thanks to Dave the x-intern for the link to the 'Invincible' trailer, it looks tremendous even though Marky Mark somehow won the role of tough guy out from under Greg Kinnear. I guess Marky really knew what he was getting into with 'Hangin' Tough,' which is quickly approaching its 21st birthday.

    As for the 12-4 record, I see us starting off strong with some weak opponents and unproven quarterbacks, powering through the bye week, and hitting a bit of a late wall when the tough divisional series hits the road. Christmas night in Dallas is gonna be a bit tough when Owens goes off for 12 for 179, 3 touchdowns, 2 missing front teeth, and a set of broken ribs.

    Monday, May 1

    Weekend Wrap (Now without Siran Stacey!)

    "I can't believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species... But if we continue conducting nuclear tests... it's possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again."
    Beautiful draft by the birds. They got a silverback gorilla in round one and two guys that will scare the shit out of buffet owners for years to come with their subsequent picks. And one of them got picked up for soliciting prostitution! Next up, cheerleader combine.

    "Any man who crosses me knows nothing of Tuco"
    As much as I hate Kobe (he's currently #1 on my list ahead of the guy from Citibank on Laguardia) I've been unable to stay away from him lately, causing me to lose upwards of 10 hours a week watching the NBA playoffs (and you thought they were unwatchable). My previous reasoning was that I wanted to be there every time he lost, but it seems that my old desire has merged with my new feeling that every time out there's a pretty reasonable chance he'll do something you've never seen before. For example, passing, or being a team leader, or killing Sasha Vujacic with a sneaker. The real miracle is that Phil found a way to get these guys to play defense and not kill each other while the player formerly known at #8 (nice one, asshole) put up 30 shots a night. At this point Phil could play Terrell Owens at point guard and get 12 assists and 10 boards out of him on 2 of 4 shooting while catching Kobe's spill.

    "You can act like a man!"
    Lebron, for your own good please cut out this fingernail biting shit. SATs are over, champ.

    "My prediction? Pain"
    Eagles look poised to start the season with four straight wins as they face Houston (away), Giants (home), San Fran (away), and Green Bay (home, Monday night). No telling where we go from there, here's to hoping it stars with 'p' and ends with 'layoffs.'

    "No matter how far out of first we are, it's cool. You know, it keeps us from getting shut out at our favorite hotels and restaurant-type places."
    To the Phils, now filling the standings sheet with a robust 10-14. Here's a few prop bets- more Phils wins or Reggie Brown catches? Who makes the first start, Cole Hamels or Randy Wolf. Next home attendance or total franchise losses?

    "I'd be a lot better if you beat my legs with these bamboo reeds."
    Don't trade Allen. Just don't.

    "Big hitter, the Lama"
    Congrats to my buddy Josh and his agency on their terrific draft. 22 of 24 players drafted, and they've already got Sheldon Brown in the stable to boot.

    Saturday, April 29

    Super Mario Brother

    Yesterday Armando and were discussing the question "if you were starting an NFL franchise from available talent, who would be the first non-quarterback chosen?" (clearly Kelly Holcolmb would be the first off any qb draft board) Armando more or less settled with LaDanian, while I went with Dwight Freeney, reasoning that a game-stopping DE is more powerful than a playmaking running back. Fortunately for the New Orleans Saints, Gary Kubiak and the Texans staff managed to bug my car and listened in on our little chat before driving the truck from 'Wages of Fear' into their franchise headquarters and blowing up their chance of winning the division for the next decade.

    Although I'll continue to argue the merit of taking a DE over all other positions in the current NFL scheme, that situation only holds when we are discussing players of known and approximately equal talent. HOWEVER, when we are talking about one player who is known to consistently embarrass the competition on national television every week and another who didn't register his second sack until his sixth game of the season, we're not really having the same discussion any longer.

    This basically comes down to choosing between A) the smoking-hot smart girl you've known for two years with rich parents who love you (although for some reason they failed to pay rent and owe $300,000 to some guy named Michael Michaels) and B) the girl who was at the party all night but you didn't see until 2 a.m. and you think her name is Nancy and some dude you met at the diner the next morning tells you his friend said she's great in bed and loves puppies although he may be mistaken.

    Friday, April 28

    Thanks Mel, you've been great, now please go back to your hole

    Thanks to Armando for holding down the fort while I was in Spain and as far from a computer as possible, and to everyone who emailed, called, and threw bricks with notes through my window politely requesting that I "get my ass back on the internet." Here's your Eagles draft preview, you bucknasty motherfuckers.

    The Eagles have 10 picks in this weekend's draft, which lines up nicely with our loss column from last season. [Note: I was sitting around a couple weeks ago, and it hit me: we won six games last year. Six games! The god damn Cleveland Browns won six games last year! At least we've got the Phils] I reckon our biggest holes are, in no particular order: WR, OLB, DE, DT, OT, OG, KR. Our needs on the offensive and defensive lines are convenient, because that's where Andy and Tom were going to draft anyway, which pleases the hell out of me. With the current state of NFL rule calling, it's basically useless to try to do anything exciting in open space where the refs can see it, so your best bet is to get some mashers in the trenches and win the battle there. And say what you will about the NFL refs being flag happy, but at least their not getting paid by the whistle (see NBA Playoffs for reference, especially any series that has gone to 2-0 and doesn't include the words Detroit Pistons). We'll also need some special teamers to replace Keith Adams, who I was waay high on, and would it kill you to draft someone to light a fire under Reno?

    Round 1: Normally the Birds would go with some guy out of Eastern Missouri State that you've never heard of, but that's no longer possible thanks to the NFL Draft Channel, aka ESPN. They've carried at least 6 hours a day for a month solid on the sports' greatest crapshoot, and still no one has the slightest idea what's going to happen. There will be more people who aced their Final Four bracket this year than can pick 90% of the first two rounds correctly. I've seen no less than a half-dozen 7-round mock drafts, which are about as useful as stealing SAT answers from the kid that spent half the year in juve and the other half in the bathroom. In lieu of going with someone you've never heard of, they'll go with someone you wish you've never heard of to provide depth along the O-Line.

    Round 2: Much like my attempt to rank the top five pro quarterbacks (coming next week), things get a little dicey in the two-spot. The fans are looking for management to pick up a wide receiver who broke his leg two years ago but has tremendous upside (see Frederick Mitchell, UCLA), but there's better money on them picking up a stocky DT with a "great motor" (aka eating problem). Just to get you ready for this one, sometime in the near future, possibly as late as training camp, a reporter is going to ask Andy Reid "It seems as if you still haven't addressed the wide receiver position. Do you have any plans to pick up another starter before the season starts?" And here's Andy's reply, so you'll be ready: "We're really excited to have Todd (Pinkston) back in the lineup. We missed him last year and are thrilled about what he brings to our offense." At least now you'll have your air sick bag ready for the press conference.

    Round 3: Time to get defensive! The birds use their third round pick on an undersized outside linebacker to plug holes on special teams. John Harbaugh meets him personally at the Greyhound station on Filbert.

    Round 4: The Eagles have three picks in the fourth round thanks to trades last year with Dallas and Indy, which nearly cause Tom Heckert to die of excitement. This is great for the fans because rather than pick up one guy you've never heard of, we get three guys you've never heard of, one of which won't make the team!

    Round 5: Two picks here, and we're getting ready to pick up the next AJ Feely (did you know he's on San Diego now?), in hopes of flipping this pick for second or third rounder in 2009. Unfortunately the Dolphins now have Nick Saban running the show with Dave Wannstedt in Pittsburgh (that's the University of), which is approximately equal trading in your Huffy two-speed for an Aston Martin with all the James Bond accoutrements. So we'll have to fleece someone else when the time comes (I'm thinking Detroit).

    Round 6: Perfect time for Andy to dip into his BYU contacts and come up with someone that you've definitely never heard of unless you are:
    1. Andy Reid
    2. From Provo
    3. Insane (see #2)

    Round 7: Nothin' says lovin' like a late round bruising running back, so here we go. Hope you've enjoyed the vacation from my nonsense.

    Tuesday, April 18

    Uh Oh. more playoff predictions

    So they made it. It looks like they've got the same goalie as last year. And hell, they even finished better than I expected. They've got a fighting chance, and you never know, someone might knock off the Red Wings before they get the chance to win the Cup for the billionth time (probably not though). So here's my first round predictions. If you don't agree with me, make a comment. Also, bite me.


    1. Ottawa vs Tampa Bay---The only chance the Bolts have of winning this match up is if the Senators players all fall asleep on the beach and wake up with 3rd degree sun tan burns. They're going down hard, and I'm going to love ever last salty second.

    2. Carolina vs Montreal---Sorry to say it Habs, but the Cup might go to another perennial hockey powerhouse this year, Carolina. Wait, that doesn't make any sense on about 10 levels. But yeah, the Hurricanes are good, a true threat to win it all, and they have Rod Brind'amour! Brindy! What a dude.

    3. New Jersey vs New York Rangers---This is sort of tough to pick. The Rangers were the better team for the first 2/3rd's of the season, but the return of Elias sparked the supremely evil, trap creating, spawn of Satan Devil's back to life. Obviously Brodeur is still god of the underworld, and the Rangers have....well a bunch of overpaid brats. They had a goalie, but he's gotten hurt and faltered. Gotta go with experience on this one, Devils.

    4. Buffalo vs Philadelphia---Obviously my heart says the Flyers. However, the Sabres just had their number all season. BUT, experience is what matters in the playoffs, and the Flyers just have tons more. Either way, I don't see this one going any less than 7, which doesn't bode well for either team.


    1. Detroit vs Edmonton---I'm not gonna waste any of our time with this one.

    2. Dallas vs Colorado---Oh man do these teams hate each other. Dallas was my childhood love, being the current home of the former North Stars, the greatest team in the history of hockey. Colorado had a topsy turvy season, and the Stars pretty much dominated, outside of the Red Wings, the whole conference. Should be a tough one, but the edge goes to the Stars, they just have more talent.

    3. Calgary vs Anaheim---The Flames were great all season, but the Mighty Ducks pulled maybe the best comeback, turn around this season possibly ever in pro hockey. Their goalie is hot, the team is on a roll, and I like the upset in this one.

    4. Nashville vs San Jose---Tough one to pick, and while Nashville has been a good team all year, they've faltered of late, while San Jose has been consistently, well...consistent. I like the Sharks in this one.

    So there it is. Pretty straight forward, only a couple upsets. But hell, we haven't seen playoff hockey in a long time. I would say i'm excited, but honestly, this is when the gut-wrenching nervousness sets in. If the Flyers don't make it out of the first round AT LEAST, I might just have to end it all.

    Monday, March 27

    Could I get any more nervous?

    With only a handful of games left in both the NBA and the NHL, the playoff lineups are starting to solidify. We all know the Flyers have been playing great and slowly creeping up the list of 8 teams that will compete for the Cup from the Eastern Conference. We all know the Sixers are almost completely inept and are struggling to hold onto that 8th seed as they have lost 8 of their last 10 games. Here's where the problems begin.

    As it stands now, you can give up on the Sixers. They're best finish might leave them in the 7th slot, but any way you look at it, they're playing a team that should sweep them in the first round. I never had much hope for them, but it seems like Cheeks is just gonna leave them in the same position that the beloved Jim O'Brien did. Awful.

    It seems like the prospects for the Flyers are better, and they are, but don't get too confident. As of now, they're slotted to play Tampa Bay in the first round, and if that happens, I most likely will end up puking due to nervousness. They've been a thorn in the Flyers side for the past few seasons, and nothing's changed. But the other possible matchups aren't really any better. Buffalo could easily beat the Flyers, they had immense trouble with Montreal all season, and the Rangers weren't any easier. So I find myself rooting for the Devils. And that makes me throw up a little in my mouth just thinking about it. I've often said that I hate the Devils more than I like anything, in the world. And it's true, my intensely burning hatred for them is almost indescribable. The goalie controversy (as much as Hitchcock denies there is one) is too much for me to handle, and I find myself just hoping that the first round will be over with and we can all move on. I'm so nervous.

    Monday, March 13

    So I'm starting to get pissed...

    It's getting down to the wire.
    Less than 20 games left.
    A few teams have sewed up a playoff spot.

    And the Flyers still can't decide on a goalie. They can't decide how to score on a powerplay (or a 7 minute powerplay). They can't figure out how to keep a lead, or regain one. They can't decide how, in Gauthier's case, to fight after getting punched in the head a few times. Honestly, it doesn't seem like there's much they have figured out lately, and after a few horrible losses, Hitchcock is starting to look less like the genius he is, and more like a donut loving doofus.

    If you know hockey, you know this team is good. You know they should be a 3 or 4 seed in this conference. But what I know is that they don't deserve much better than a 5 or 6, and probably not even a 7. I know that I'm getting flashbacks to the 94 Stanley Cup, and Hextall and stinking Garth Snow switching every game. That might be the worst part in terms of history, but in real-time, the lead blowing, bad overtimes, and lack of toughness make me scared for this team.

    Now there's still time to pull it together, and that "together" better start getting pulled right now.

    Wednesday, March 8

    Diamond in the Rough

    Somehow, the World Baseball Classic is actually entertaining. I've been strangely compelled to watch a couple games the last two days, and I'm totally floored by the fact that is watchable. This came as a huge surprise on the heels of a well-boring Olympic Hockey run, and could lead to the eventual U.S. domination of Olympic football (as Troy Polamalu and Lofa Tatupu combine for 45 tackles and 6 sacks in a losing effort for team Samoa). By my account, the WBC (don't worry about that other WBC, no one watches boxing more than thrice a year anyway) has at least 10 things going for it.

    1. Players can relate to each other and chase after a team goal other than money and babes
    Money and babes are prime motivators, but in the rest of the world (and in America during wars that 75% of the population aren't opposed to), nationalism reigns supreme.

    2. Pedro Martinez(ankle)
    3. Hideki Matsui(porn)
    4. Kazuo Matsui(respect for national integrity/game of baseball)
    5. Barry(the truth, now in hardcover!)

    6. Junk
    After watching two days of world baseball I have come to the expert conclusion that four seam fastballs do not exist in the Latin world, which has made them elevate their game to the extent that they only throw ridiculous 92mph three-feet breaking junk. It's fantastic. Just hide your birth certificates and maybe you can get a scout to believe that you'll hold up for another eight years. Oh, you already lost your records, great.

    7. The Cuban Defectors
    Judging by quotes from team Cuba, they plan on using some version of the buddy system to ensure that everyone makes it back to the island at the conclusion of the classic. Hopefully they brought along their victory cigars.

    8. You can take the tiger out of the jungle...
    But when you put him back in, he's a tiger all over again. I've always found it terribly sad to watch great players that you know have tons of charisma wallowing on MLB benches because they can't speak english and hate white men. Well, here's your chance to see everyone in their natural environment, speaking their native language (except for Piazza, more on that later), spending time with a bunch of guys they grew up with. Try to imagine for a second how much fun Tejada and Papi are having with Fatdalis Perez right now. See- you can't. It's not comprehensible. It may even be incomprehensible. I'm confused just writing about it.

    9. Completely Insane Fans
    Living in America through two Presidents who fought over the big piece of chicken in the same house in Texas has washed away any hope of nationalism that my Grandmother had in store for my sister and I when she marched us around with American flags as five year olds, so it always catches me off guard when I see three thousand lunatics waving Panamanian flags and screaming their heads off. More than anything else I'm envious. It would have been nice to see a North Korea team and watch the fans cheering at gunpoint, but you can't have it all, I guess.

    10. Mike Piazza
    I'd try and make an argument that someone born in America, lived in America all their life, received their paychecks from American companies, and raised their family in America should play for team U.S.A., but in Mike's case, please Italy, he's all yours. I hope no one tries to steal second on ya'll.

    For my money, I'm taking the Dominican's all the way, although it would be nice if they could get Pedro out there for three and a third every fifth day. But then he wouldn't be able to help the Mets find a way to blow it in September.

    Thursday, March 2

    Fat Monday? Ash Thursday?

    Square on the heels of what would have been (and still may be) the greatest salary dump in the history of pro sports, the NFL has extended its free agency deadline until Sunday night. This move will allow teams like Washington and Oakland more time to trim the fat, and give cap-rich teams like Minnesota and your 2006 Philadelphia Eagles time to put on their bibs before they sink into the meatiest free agent class in recent memory. Go here for anyone's best guess at the current cap situation. It is equally likely that this was a P.R. move spurred by league officials who thought that "Bloody Thursday" didn't have enough ring to it. Even more likely, owners and players want a little more time so they don't feel responsible for being the downfall of the most popular sport in America. Here's to hoping a bunch of rich guys can sit down this weekend and come to grips with the fact that the salubrity of a professional sports league is more important than buying a third 250 foot yacht.

    Comin around the stretch..

    The Olympics are over, as you may or may not have noticed.

    With everyone in the NHL having played 56-59 games, there are roughly 25 games left in the season. The Flyers are holding onto the 5th spot in the East, and with most of their players coming back from injuries (save Primeau, who I will get to shortly), they hope to move up and clinch a 2 or 3 spot. The trade deadline looms as well, and the Flyers have always been a team who makes adjustments at the deadline. So who we gonna get??

    A short list of possibilities includes one Jeremey Roenick (who we basically rented to the Kings for that classic "player to be named later" AKA himself), Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, and Olli Jokinen of the Florida Panthers. I think the clear best move is for Jokinen, by far the best of all available players, with the best contractual side effects. The Flyers have always moved to get playoff-experienced veterans before the deadline, and while Jokinen is young for an NHLer, and has virtually no playoff experience, he's by far the best player, with the most up-side. The point is this: the Flyers will definitely make a move.

    The question is can they pull it all together in time for the playoffs. Having lost only 2 more games than the no. 1 team, with the deficit coming in overtime losses and shootout losses, you'd hope that much of the gap between them and the first spot can be attributed to the new end of game rules. Rules that will not continue in the playoffs, where it reverts to sudden death, endless overtime. If they are unable to secure a 2 or 3 seed for the playoffs, they will most likely face a team like Buffalo or Tampa Bay. Teams that are entirely beatable, but will take more than 4 games to defeat, and the NHL playoffs are all about sweeps.

    So now we start sweating. And hoping for no more injuries. And sweating some more.

    On My (chopping) Block

    If you're reading this right now, that most likely means you've found your way to www.greenbleeder.com, as we are having major publishing problems at greenbleeder.blogspot.com (which is why you haven't seen anything new in over a week). Everything is expected to be resolved by the end of the week, until then, please bear with us and let people know where to find the site.

    Things are getting completely out of hand in the NFL as I write, and it looks like half the league is about to purge their rosters to get under the $95 million cap ($10-$15 million lower than expected). More than a few huge names are expected to be shown the door as clubs scramble to field squads for '06. Further complicating matters is the looming '07 uncapped year, which has the counterintuitive effect of NOT allowing teams to sign players (especially rookies), because no one has any idea how things will look if and when the cap is restored.

    Although this is terrible news for approximately half the league, the Eagles should be able to tread water and pick up a few stragglers here and there. They are reportedly $14 million under the new cap, although no one actually knows what their cap status is because it is impossible to find out. Every now and then it seems like ESPN's John Clayton has an in, but he seems to be only slightly more educated with his guesses. As I recall, the Eagles made a few contract extensions during the year (Westbrook, Akers) which used up most if not all of their available space. This has been their normal course of action and one of the happenings most often misunderstood by fans screaming about our wasted cap dollars.

    What is always an important day for big-name players to be released should take on a monumental stature this year with the cap far lower than expected, resulting in talented and maybe even young players up for grabs. Rumor mills, which are about as accurate as a weather forecast, have the Eagles targeting a handful of top-notch o-linemen, including the Jets' Kevin Mawae and New Orleans' LeCharles Bentley.

    Get out your umbrellas and ponchos, because the chopping block is out and heads are gonna fly. If you've got one of those Gordon's fisherman costumes put that on too, and don't forget the hat.

    Wednesday, February 22

    This was no Miracle

    The dream is over.

    Not that there ever was one, really, but it's still over. We couldn't score when we held the other team to less than 5 goals, and when we scored more than 3, we couldn't hold them to less than 3. All in all, an abysmal performance. No one expected anything great, or even good, but I think we all expected passable. Passable is not what happened.

    So what does need to happen? We need more Canadians to move to the USA. It's as simple as that. Brett Hull is Canadian, but he became a citizen of our fair country, probably because he felt bad for us. Peter Forsberg, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Nabokov, we will welcome you with open arms. We don't care if you can't really speak English, and we all know you love it in our country. I'll even mail you the requisite forms. Move to the American suburbs, put your kids in good schools, pay your taxes. Cheeseburgers and french fries will be included.

    Just look how we've accepted other foreigners, athletes and otherwise. All Cuban baseball players love it here. The Shah of Iran felt at home. You'll love it, I swear.

    Tuesday, February 21

    Oh, and we need you to piss in this cup on your way out

    Before looking at any trade possibilities with your team, it's important that you first identify which players you will stubbornly refer to as untradeable, that is, until a deal comes along so tempting that you can't help but swap your franchise player for Luol Deng and two first-round picks. For our purposes, the only players I considered untouchable (until I ran out of other ideas) were Allen Iverson and Shavlik Randoph. If you read this site with at least bi-weekly frequency, this should be approximately as surprising as finding out that the Chinese eat a lot of rice and there's a small faction in the Middle East who don't think that Americans are where it's at. All of the following trades work under ESPN's "Trade Machine," which I encourage everyone to visit and propose your own nonsense.

    The Monster Mash
    Trade #1: Kevin Garnett and Rashad McCants for Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert, and Jamal Mashburn. One thing this trade has going for it is that it makes sense for both things. As you will soon see, this is not a prerequisite for most trades, and in fact cannot be the case if you expect to make a trade with Isiah Thomas. Minnesota gets to dump Garnett's contract and start over, and we get a monster talent and another monster contract. Rashad's not making many friends up north, and you can't trade 3 for 1, so he gets a nice new jersey as well. A recurring theme you'll see in a few of these trades is Jamal Mashburn, who you previously thought was on a beach sipping fruity umbrella drinks and trying not to make babies. Well, he probably is, but he's also on our payroll, and his $10 million dollar expiring contract is a hot commodity in the land of the lost GM.

    Trade #2: Paul Pierce for Johnny Salmons and Jamal Mashburn. Similar to the previous trade, Boston dumps talent and a contract for two expiring contracts. Bonus for them in that they don't have to knit a new jersey for Mash, although he may drop by for a few pairs of sweats. Another solid move for the Sixers. May be tough considering that last year the Celtics turned down Pierce for Dalembert and Iguodala. But in the words of Ed Wade, "What do I know?"

    Trade #3: Jesus Shuttlesworth and Robert Swift for Lee Nailon, Jamal Mashburn, John Salmons, and Michael Bradley (aka. all of our expiring contracts except Shavlik). In case I didn't present enough talent for contract swaps, here's another going our way. This one's even more fun because we get a superstar and a box-office draw in one deal, and he comes with his own personal butler.

    Fun with Isiah
    Steven Hunter and Michael Bradley for Channing frye, Trevor Ariza, and David Lee. It was only a matter of time and space before I got to a trade with the Knicks, and here it is. New York gets a couple of expiring contracts and rids themselves of dreaded talented players that Larry Brown would ultimately squander before leaving skidmarks out of town. The only problem with this deal is...

    When Isiah signed on as the Knicks GM, there was a provision in his contract that he couldn't make any trades that didn't take on an awful contract and handcuff the team for at least the next two years. So we'll throw in Chris Webber and take back Penny Hardaway's expiring contract and you've got a blockbuster deal. The Sixers get young talent, the Knicks get another power forward with bad knees and a worse contract, and everyone's happy. If the Knicks hadn't traded away their draft picks I would have thrown those in here too.

    The Truth
    Trade #1: Kevin Ollie and John Salmons for Marko Jaric. Billy King thinks that he's getting a big point to play aside Allen, but he's actually trading two minute eaters for one turnover machine.

    Trade #2: Billy King trades his bear claw and decaf coffee to Elgin Baylor for two packs of sugar (refined) and the rights to a cheese danish (lottery protected) in 2009.

    Just for kicks, let's bust some blocks
    Trade #1: The entire Sixers roster except Dalembert and Louis Williams (don't ask) for the entire Detroit Pistons roster except Kelvin Cato and Tayshaun Prince (more on this next week).

    Trade #2: Allen Iverson and Shavlik Randolph for The Mamba, Luke Walton, and 23,000 barf bags.

    Monday, February 20

    Next year, Shavlik Randolph

    So the All-Star game was actually decent.

    Well, let's rephrase that. It didn't suck.

    Ok let's rephrase that again. The game between the Detroit Pistons (with a sweet bench) and the Western Conference All-Stars didn't suck. Lebron played like Kobe last year and refused to pass. No one would give the ball to Gasol or Yao for who knows what reason. That actually really pissed me off. Instead of watching T-mac jack up 20 3's, why not pass the ball underneath, to his TEAMMATE. But whatever. When Kobe blocked Shaq and rubbed it in the big man's face, I thought Shaq might pop his head off, but he's a classy guy, and just went to the line and threw some awful shots at the general area of the rim.

    Good stuff? There were some good dunks. The East, I mean Pistons, actually played real defense. The game came down to the final seconds of play. Tony Parker didn't play much. I had visions of Iguodala's behind the backboard (what do you even call that?) dunk still flashing through my head.

    So, it wasn't bad. It wasn't good either, but it wasn't bad.

    Friday, February 17

    It's Faaaantastic!

    Remember when you were a kid and you would take apart your radio and then try to put it together again, maybe with a few rad decals? Well it just goes to show you that all those "if it ain't broke don't fix it" people are completely afuera de sus cabezas. Fixing stuff that isn't broken is always great, and it saves you the time and energy of arguing about whether something is broken in the first place. Here are eight changes for this weekend's NBA All Star game, as recommended by the green bleeder staff and friends. As always, consider yourself encouraged to toss in any ideas of your own.

    Bring Back the Mascot Dunk Contest
    Start off with a total no brainer. You can't beat the Phoenix Gorilla soaring eighteen feet for a triple front flip twice through the legs power slam. If nothing else, it's a great event to add to your list of things you've gambled on, right next to computer simulations of Madden.

    Then Leave the Trampolines on the Court

    For the first five minutes of the second half. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your insurance premiums. Anyone want to take bets on whether or not Vince could clear the backboard off a trampoline? Three-point dunk? Sky's the limit here, literally.

    $5 Million to the Dunk Contest Winner
    This idea didn't start with me, but I'm more than happy to give it fresh legs. While extra cash might not bring in some of the big big names, it'll certainly get top effort out of a few rookies "scraping by" on $600,000 a year. Drag in Nike and Reebok, hike the price up to $20 mil, and see if LeBron doesn't lace em up. It would also be nice to see a few guys try to come out of retirement to compete.

    Half-court shootout to settle any controversies
    Jump Ball? Half court shootout. Flagrant Foul? Half court shootout. Who has to pay alimony to that groupie someone on Seattle got pregnant last month? Half court shootout.

    Take the top two vote getters, put them at half court, and have them pick their teams schoolyard-style. I figure they'll start with the premiers, grab a couple bigs, then make sure you get the mega close-up when Pau Gasol gets picked last. Although you could make a strong case for Kobe as the caboose.

    Mamba Said There'd be Days Like This
    This one's up to the players, but nothing would be better than giving Kobe 48 minutes of "fat kid with the rec-specs" freeze-out time. Keep him on the court, keep letting him yell and hold up his hands, and keep feeding it to McGrady and Duncan. Could he make it through the first half without punching Tony Parker in the kidney, stealing the ball, and climbing all over Yao for the slam?

    Bring in Some Rock n Jock Provisions
    But not Dan Cortese, unless he's wearing a tux and playing 'Jolly Green Giant' on a grand piano. But definitely add in the 10 point shot and the twenty-five foot high basket. But again, no Justin Timberlake, and absolutely no Dean Cain. I'd listen to arguments for Dr. Dre and Ed Lover, but they'd have to be strong and well-articulated.

    All-Star Zebras
    How about a ref trio of Bill Laimbeer, Ron Artest, and Charles Oakley. I might be amenable to giving Kobe the ball if we had these guys in stripes.

    Thursday, February 16


    I love the Winter Olympics. I like the summer games, but I really prefer winter, for a few reasons. A) Hockey, B) Hockey, C) Hockey, D) luge/curling/skiing/all the other business.

    So I'm enjoying this week and next, watching the USA do it's best to make everyone hate us for even more reasons. So far it's all been pretty exciting. Luge is crazy, curling is hilarious, women's hockey was entertaining. Downhill skiing remains totally insane and awe-inspiring. Freestyle skiing has literally become twice as good as last olympics.

    But really what I want to see is hockey. This is the world cup of hockey. I want to watch Flyers players on international teams, and I want to watch Team USA try to put something together (disregard that tie game yesterday, and chalk it up to jet lag). Ken Hitchcock coaching the Canadian women was truly hilarious to me for some reason, as I can picture him somehow offending everyone in the locker room. In fact, it's just hilarious picturing him in a women's locker room in general. Then again, he's an assistant for the Canadian men's team, so maybe he saved it for the guys.

    In all seriousness though, this might be some of the worst sports coverage I've ever witnessed. Granted, many of the sports in the winter olympics are slightly....well, let's say "eccentric," having a color guy who doesn't know the rules or parameters or participants in an event really makes for bad commentary. I'd rather watch and listen to the sounds of the game than listen to some jackass expound on what little he knows about it.

    Turn Back the Clock

    "He'd be perfect for us. Perfect. The thing I like about kids like this is they only have one agenda, and that's to play.”
    -Jon Barry

    And that's how it began. A scrappy, eighteen year old Serbian seven-footer with a dream. A dream to play 553 minutes over three and one half seasons. A dream to practice with the best team in the league and keep the bench warm for a roster of consisting of six all-stars and a Finals MVP. A dream to be a champion.

    "That kid can play. Too bad he can't suit up tonight."
    -Richard Hamilton on Darko

    That's right Rip, it is too bad. It's too bad that Larry Brown, the master of nonsense lineup shuffles, couldn't find court time for a player with so much upside, length, and dynamacy.

    "He is quick, with a great understanding of the game (he is smart as a fox)"
    -NBA Draftnet

    Well, perhaps we have underestimated his sneakiness. One of the things that remains about Darko is that he is still a relative unknown in the league. We know a bit about what he can contribute to garbage time, take for example his line from the January 14th game vs. Chicago: 6 minutes, 0-0 shooting, 1 board, 3 assists (nice), and 2 fouls. He may be smart, but he's no Shavlik Randolph. Frankly, I doubt Darko has ever considered robbing a Miller truck. Fortunately, the Pistons did a solid job of showcasing young Darko over the past two months, where he put together 6-7 from the floor in a stratospheric 25 minutes.

    "That's a freak of nature right there”
    -Joe Dumars on Darko

    And Joe stands by that to this day. Good thing, because it's tough to squeeze a first round pick out of Orlando without tremendous PR. Have fun with Stevie, you could be the next Cuttino Mobley. Or the next Christian Laettner, if you play your cards right.

    It's too early to pass judgment on the trade, but whether you love Darko or you love to laugh at him, this is a boon for his minutes. So the fans win big, which is a first in Orlando. As for the Pistons, I think it's tough to sleight them given they won a championship and made it to another. Give them a player with known talent (Wade, Carmelo, Bosh- your pick), could they have done much better? It's difficult to imagine Larry giving any of these guys run, and in the end maybe the fans and the league would have been worse off for missing out on player who's position the league tailors to. Maybe Dave Stern and Paul Tagliabue got together and said "things are going okay, but what we'd really like is if we could skew the rules completely in favor of shooting guards and wide receivers." You know, take the most athletic players on the field, then make things a little easier for them. Interesting that the rule in both sports is approximately "a penalty should be assessed if the defender considers thinking about impeding the progress of the stronger, faster offensive player.

    How does it end for Darko? As Joe Dumars says: "Darko is a young player and I think he's going to get an opportunity to play," which is more than he ever had in Detroit. However the dice fall for Milicic, here's to hoping that he doesn't do much to spoil one of the best nicknames of the modern era, "The human victory cigar." Smoke em if you got em, Detroit.

    Tuesday, February 14

    Dude, Where's Your Defense?

    Fact #1: Kyle fills it
    The fact that Kyle is our greatest three point threat since Dana Barros made a deal with the devil during the 94-95 season is indisputable. It's also a ton of fun. Great teams have players with well-defined roles. Mediocre teams have players with well-defined roles like "has long hair and wet jumper."

    Fact #2: Whoever Kyle is guarding fills it; hard

    This is also tough to argue, but it has more gravity that the obvious first point. Kyle's defensive shortcomings are numerous and well documented. He has trouble with quicker two-guards and can't muscle up with powerful threes. He can be taken off the dribble, but with Violet Palmer around, who can't?

    Fact #3: He fits the team
    If your team identity is based around winning scoring battles, there's nothing wrong with having a wingman who can't do anything but shoot. In fact, he's exactly what we need. If he was lighting it up in Denver, and we had Salmons and Webber bricking 25 footers all game, fans would be lined up at Billy King's door begging for a shooter. He's instant offense and that might be enough.

    Fact #4: Iverson trusts him
    He still wants the ball in his hands with the clock winding down, but he might be the only player on the club that Allen doesn't mind dishing to when he picks up a triple-team. The fact that Allen believes in him cannot be understated.

    Fact #5: Stats
    According to ESPN's John Hollinger, Kyle's numbers are below the league average, which is not surprising, and he is most similar at his age to Jumaine Jones, which makes no sense at all. His individual stats on 82games.com cast him as a slight contributor, with a net of .4 points per 100 possessions. But the real explanation of Kyle's worth comes through the team statistics. Of the Sixers top ten 5 man units, Kyle and Allen are the only players who appear in all six of the units with a winning record. (No surprise that the top unit is Iverson-Iguodala-Korver-Randolph-Webber, a unit which has only received 44 total minutes this year).

    Which of these is important? Taking into account his ability to smash open threes, probably his most valuable asset is the faith that Allen has in him. Accepting the fact that this team isn't going to play much defense with or without Kyle, you've gotta be happy to have him aboard in any capacity. Misuse of talent is Mo's problem and while he's not going to win many (ok, any) one-on-one tournaments, Kyle is an invaluable contributor to this team.

    Friday, February 10

    Gotta Have It: The First Block King of Africa

    Not twenty, not fifty, but one hundred and forty-three Manute Bol basketball cards can be yours if you get your act together quick. That's 41+ feet of Manute action! You could line them up on the wall and make five and a half Manute towers! Imagine the possibilites. If you're worried that shipping to France might be too expensive, relax, it's covered in the Q&A session following the description. Whew.

    Thursday, February 9

    Hypothetical: Ice Fight!

    In the near corner, wearing black and gold trunks, standing six feet, two inches and weighing in at 230 pounds, from Bedford, Indiana...Donald Brashear! And in the far corner, wearing black trunks with dried bloodstains, standing five feet eleven and one-half inches, weighing in at 239 pounds, from Brooklyn, New York..."Iron" Mike Tyson.

    We'll fight at the Spectrum, center ice, with both fighters wearing skates. Initally this seems like another Tyson blowout, but greasing the sheet really throws a wrench into things. I think Mike struggles mightily in the early rounds, but finds his footing and prevails with a TKO in the 7th.

    If the cold weather's getting you down, feel free to raise the temperature 40 or 50 degrees and take this one on: Mike Tyson versus Michael Phelps in the deep end of the pool, with no side touching allowed. (I've got Tyson with a first-round disembowlment)


    Q: Gloves? Hockey or Boxing?
    A: Hockey gloves, which will be thrown off at the onset of the fight

    Q: Who's doing the promotion? This will decide how long into the fight Tyson takes a dive.
    A: My set up wasn't a true Pay-per-view event, more of an organized streetfight. On ice.

    Q: As far as the Phelps battle, how big is the deep end?
    A: For this one, I conceptualized an endless pool. I'm starting to see that this could lead to a "fight flight" issue, so let's now assume that it's a square pool, 15 yards on each side.