Running around to Give you the Reacharound


Post Katrina Houston Streets Now More Dangerous Than Ever

It's your world, Ron Ron. We just run from you in it.

The Houston Chronicle reported this morning that bad boy/borderline insane Ron Artest has been traded to the underachieving Houston Rockets. Any story of Artest would be woefully incomplete without some reference to his past indiscretions, but let's just get out of the way that he is an incredible talent. This trade, with perhaps another move to sign a backup PG, moves Houston to the front (though not the very front) of the line to contend for the NBA title. I still see the Spurs contending for the title, the Suns making some noise and I don't think the Lakers will slip much. In fact they'll probably improve. But the Houston Rockets will certainly compete at the top with these teams, or else Tracy McGrady will go down as one of the biggest disappoints in the history of superstar basketball players. And he knows it.

So what was the deal? In my opinion this was an excellent move for the Rockets. All they give up is unproven rookie Donte Green, a first-rounder in 2009 likely to be in the mid 20s of the round - which figures to be a Johan Petro, Renaldo Balkman or Alexis Ajinca type player - over-the-hill but feisty Bobby Jackson and a million cold, hard cash. This, for Ron Artest, a legit All Star who's one of the best defenders in the league and averaged more than 20 points last year. Representing the final piece in the Superstar Trifecta that is apparently necessary to win a title in the NBA now (you could say that The Glove and Antoine Walker combined to form the 3rd for the Heat), even if Houston doesn't resign this nutcase it's still an excellent deal. The Rockets will be selling tickets like never before since Hakeem left. Hell, with Michael Bourn in a slump the Artest jersey is guaranteed to be the top selling sports merch in the city now. I know I'm going to fucking get one.

Now, if you're a Houston Rockets "fan," you have to feel somewhat like a High School Chemistry student. Your professor (GM/Adelman) is telling you to mix all these chemicals over a bunson burner, and you're holding out hope that today something cool and fascinating might actually happen, besides just changing the appearance of the liquid. Like making the whole thing turn solid as concrete and fall to the table. That would be cool, teach!

At the same time, you're trusting this guy that all these combustible chemicals won't blow up at any second, leaving shards of purple-stained glass stuck in your face, with you left wondering why you bothered to show up at all.

Isn't this the guy that was openly contemplating retirement a little over a year ago? Am I fucking insane for believing that someone who questioned his commitment just last season is going to be the savior for a city? In other wacky Artest news, this was right around the time he was announced as the newest spokesperson for PETA. I'm guessing the PETA reps swooned at the release of Artest's mega-awesome hip-hop album, where he speaks of his profound respect and tasteful, gentlemanly treatment of both fuzzy animals and women (read: "Bitches tuggin on my shirt" implicitly and poetically states that women love Artest because his clothing fabric is not tested or created by animals) in epically innovative lyrics such as:

Yo I'm so high
And that's no lie
Throw ya blunt up in the sky
Cause these niggas don't die
Now I might be quick to get a tech
But I keep my girls in check
Punch ‘em in the neck
With the utmost respect

That's just fucking incredible. Gimme Dat Booty Wooty all day, Ron Ron.

Now, there are still a great number of displaced Katrina citizens terrorizing Houston, but I would suggest all of them run if they see the above referenced Artest walking towards them. If there's one athlete I wouldn't be surprised to have my ass kicked by, it's fucking Ron Artest.

Only time will tell how this move relates to the Rockets winning a championship, but that's certainly the end game here. You have to respect the franchise for going for it, and as an added bonus we get the comfort of knowing crybaby Kobe is open-eyed and asking Lakers managment "what the hell happened" like Tim Duncan after a foul.

A completely subjective opinion, but I think this makes Houston one of the most interesting teams to watch. If McGrady and Yao stay healthy, which is one helluva big if, the addition of Ron Ron should nearly guarantee a top 3 finish in the West. In other words, your move San Antonio.

Thoughts on the Texiera Trade

Not as one-sided as it looks!

With Tim Hudson out for the season and possibly beyond, Chipper Jones out for the foreseeable future, and Brian McCann nursing a concussion, the Braves’ hand was forced into dealing slugger Mark Texiera. Tuesday evening, the Angels emerged as the high bidders, offering a solid first baseman replacement in Casey Kotchman and a middling AA pitching prospect.

And so ends a whirlwind year for Texiera that saw him arrive for a bevy of highly touted prospects and leave for a guy owned in just 32% of fantasy leagues. While getting Kevin Youkilis or Conor Jackson was probably a pipe dream all along, the Braves leverage in any deal diminished considerably following the placement of Hudson/Chipper on the disabled list. That the Braves were able to snag a 25-year-old major league caliber first baseman that, by all accounts, is a competent hitter and excellent fielder (and signed through 2011!) speaks to the organization’s ability to maximize any potential deal, no matter the extenuating circumstances. That being said, I am hoping the Braves are getting the Kotchman with a near .400 OBP through seven professional seasons and not this year's .327 edition.

Thus, the rebuilding of this franchise has begun. Assuming a handful of John Smoltz or Tom Glavine starts remain, the only tie to those uber-successful Braves teams of the 90s and early 00s is a 36-year-old Chipper Jones. There are some solid pieces to build around…McCann, Kotchman, Jair Jurrjens and Yunel Escobar to name a few…and yet, that’s not a nucleus of a World Series contender. (Hell, the biggest draw to the ballpark is still probably a certain right-fielder with a .280 OBP) The farm system is stocked with solid hitters, but not much by way of pitching. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out…most Braves fans under the age of 30 have hardly experienced a season where the Bravos were out of the race by August 1st.

The situation being what it is, I’d like to see the Braves use this time to play some of the younger players on the team in different situations; specifically to learn if and where Kelly Johnson and Brent Lillibridge’s futures lie within the roster. Let’s find out if the Chuck Jameses and Jo-Jo Reyeses of the world are ever going to be worth giving a rotation spot to. See if Charlie Morton can begin to learn how to pitch to major league hitters the second time through a lineup. And finally, Francoeur can even get some at-bats in minor-league atmospheric situations without actually being sent down to the minor leagues, so as to assuage his fragile ego, apparantly of high importance to the Braves.

Anyways, the big winners in all of this are fantasy league owners of Vladimir Guerrero, who will benefit greatly from the switch-hitting Texiera protecting him in a now stacked (if healthy…always a problem with the Angles) lineup. I don’t necessarily think that acquiring Texiera puts them significantly ahead of the Yankees or Sawx in the AL, but their lineup is now, at worst, on par with those clubs. Add in the fact that the Angels have as strong a rotation as the Sawx, and better than any other playoff team, it’s clear the Angles should be contending deep into October, or their disappointment at the end of this season could match the Braves’ disappointment today, 365 days after they acquired Texiera from the Rangers.


Look Who's Still Here

Fresh off a series victory in Fenway Park, the Yankees head into the final two months of the season thick in the middle of the AL East race. The Bombers currently stand 3 games behind the soon-to-be-fading Rays and the will-inevitably-be-there-until-the-end Red Sox. This should come as no surprise, as the Yankees, despite their many mishaps over the years (signing Giambi to an A-list contract, Carl Pavano, not trading Hughes/Kennedy for Santana), still have a rotund $209 million payroll that allows them to field a veritable star-studded team of current and former elite players. By comparison, the Red Sox have the next highest payroll at approximately $150 million. Again, it’s not a surprise that these two powers are in contention in late July, and have been dating back to the days when a Bill Clinton was still at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Now, in the years following the Yankees last World Series appearance in 2003, they have become somewhat of slow starters. This could be due to many factors (aging players taking longer to perform optimally is just a suggestion), but the media has wasted no time hurling themselves off the Yankees bandwagon faster than your drunk uncle Charlie in an attempt to become the first to claim the Yankees dynasty/era as over. Hell, quality baseball reporter Buster Olney even made a few bucks off this concept. For further proof, you may search the archives of the New York Post, New York Daily News, or USA Today from April-June of 2004-2008. Or if you are a masochist, you can attempt to view any old episodes of Around The Horn/PTI from this time frame.

But the numbers/reality reveals that the Yankees have proven adept at digging themselves out of whatever hole they find themselves in around mid-May and are able to pull themselves out to the point where a position in the playoffs (and until last year, a division title) seem like an inevitability.

Yanks are Done, Too Old, WHERE HAVE YOU GONE PAUL O'NEILL!?! etc.” Moments


April 25 8-11, 4.5 Games Back


May 6 11-9, 9GB

June 7 28-30, 7GB


April 8 1-4, 3GB

**Note: This was arguably and inexplicably the low point of the media hysteria, as thusly summed up in this hyperbolic opening paragraph in a Jon Heyman Newsday article:

“Opening Night in Oakland is but a memory. Things are deteriorating fast for the Yankees out west. And if George Steinbrenner can get Yankees/New York Post spinmeister Howard Rubenstein away from that Page 6 scandal, it won't be long before Steinbrenner issues his first statement.”

Or this from Ed Price, Newark Start-Ledger:

“The Yankees offense has not looked grand since the season opener, managing just six hits last night at Angel Stadium in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels that dropped them alone into last place in the American League East.”

Again, this was a mere five days into the season.


April 27: 8-13, 6.5GB

May 29: 21-29, 14.5GB

June 27: 36-39, 11GB


April 19: 9-10, 3GB

May 20: 20-25, 7.5GB

June 11: 33-33, 7GB

Enough already. As someone who watched the Braves reel off 14 consecutive division titles, the latter half coming amid predictions of their demise, I find it foolish to count out a heavyweight contender until you literally have ‘em on the ropes, going down for the count. That was not the case for those Braves teams, and it is not the case for these Yankees teams. While I respect and acknowledge that just being the New York Yankees will draw unparalleled media coverage, it’s safe to say that predicting doom and gloom for the Yankees in June will make one look like a foolish baboon. Boom.

Yankees Final Regular Season Records, Standings

2004: 101-61 (1st place, AL East)

2005: 95-67 (Tie-1st)

2006: 97-65 (1st)

2007: 94-68 (2 GB, AL East; won Wild Card)

2008 (current): 58-46 (3 GB)


Hawks Envious of Falcons, Braves Recent Woes, Throw Their Hat in the Ring

Being that this is a blog, and nobody is currently reading it (it's in the 'beta' stages, I'd like to think), I think I'm going to attempt the whole 'brevity' angle with this post. As much as I would love to go into an in-depth article about how I have been a Hawks fan since the age of eight and said fandom has caused me nothing but disappointment and heartache, the singular statement that "I am a Hawks fan" should suffice in that department.

There is also no need to go into the perils of their ownership group and the lethargic pace at which they move to sign and/or acquire free agents. That's all been well documented. However, their hesitation to re-sign their two young, talented, vital rotation studs, Josh Smith and Childress, has left a bitter taste in my mouth to the point that I can say with certainty that I will not pay directly for Hawks/Phillips Arena tickets, concessions or merchandise until the ownership finds it imperative to put a quality product on the hardwood this upcoming season. If this means purchasing a scalped ticket after tipoff, sneaking in a pint of Evan Williams, and bumming ice off beer vendors, so be it.

Rare is the individual that can pull off the 'fro and mexi-stache.

Initially, I found the Hawks method in regards to Smith fairly smart. Seeing as how they could match any offer for the restricted free agent, they allowed Smith to test the open market. Once the 76ers signed Elton Brand and the Clippers used their cap space to acquire Marcus Camby (an excellent addition, by the way), Smith had essentially fallen into the Hawks lap. Sign him to a lucrative extension and lock up an extraordinary young talent that happens to be from Atlanta.

I didn't buy into Mark Stein's theory that Smith does not want to return to Atlanta. I am sure he was not pleased with how the process played out, but such is the nature of the NBA's business. The Hawks could have offered him a fair contract, something beyond the 9mil/year they offered him before the 2007-2008 season, and he could have elite-level contract he desired. But the news that the Hawks have essentially not made an offer, and are only making courtesy phone calls to keep him placated, pisses me the fuck off, quite frankly. The fact that they likewise continued this lip-service with Childress as well, is inexcusable.

I admire fiscal restraint by sports franchises. I really do. But fiscal restraint (New England Patroits) and fiscal stupidity (LA Clippers from 1980-2004) are two entirely different things. To not offer a contract to two of your five best players, players that have grown in a system that the organization has apparently bought into (by re-signing Mike Woodson…another problem entirely) is ignorant. A few days ago, I bought into Braves and Birds theory that the Hawks strategy had paid off, but with the most recent news that Childress is fleeing to Europe for an extremely flexible contract of 3yrs/20mil, that thought process seems faulty at best now. Thanks to the NBA's soft cap, the Hawks had the ability to offer more than the reported 5yr/33mil deal, especially if they are not serious about locking up Smith long-term. In fact, the AJC’s Sekou Smith is reporting that the Hawks actually yanked a more lucrative offer off the table when Childress’ camp did not immediately accept the offer. What the fuck? What kind of business strategy is this?!?! Is the art of negotiation lost on these idiots? (Dumb question.) Now they have lost a legitimate young talent to Europe for a few years in his prime…and in the process adopting the mantra of becoming the first NBA franchise to allow a US-born player to do so.

The academic crowd at Free Darko has weighed in on this, and while I see their points regarding the situation from Childress' POV and the eternal "dollar vs. euro" debate, at the end of the day, the Hawks are at the cusp of losing two key cogs to a team that brought the team to the forefront of the local sports scene for a brief moment in time just a couple of months ago.

Enjoy this while you can, Hawks fans.

Going into the summer, the Hawks brass stated it was priority 1 and 1A to re-sign the Joshes, and as most of their statements during their tenure, that has been proven false. It seems very likely at this point that NBA fans have seen their last look at JChill's fro in live game action for a few years, and even more likely Josh Smith will sign a one-year qualifying offer before high-tailing it out of here as soon as the 2008-2009 season is in the books. Not that the Hawks fans have been over-the-top loyal over the last couple of decades, but any and all goodwill that had been built up during the Boston series is dangerously close to becoming all for naught. It's your move, Atlanta Spirit. I wish I had an ounce of hope that you will, as your 2008 Hawks marketing slogan suggested, "Rise Up."



Single With A Bourbon, Please

Do you remember, seriously now, the first time you saw a baseball stadium? A lot of "A League of Their Own" is what should be considered ample sufficiency for consideration on any rightful minded (read: not Plaschke) individual's (booming voice) Top Sports Movies list. And yes, keep away from Sue if you don't like long sentences. Ass. Down and out former potential superstar not searching for but finding pure redemption? Check. Unlikely but unbearably root-for-able athletes? Check. C'mooon...who's a bigger underdog in sports than women? Jon Lovitz starring as bad. But Mom and Dad Save the World should be your next NetFlix pix.

The point is when "You da Main" Lovitz's (it seems likely at this point I'm going to petition for "s" not being the only character in the english alphabet to deserve a "'" after only it without an addional "s" to emphasize possessive. It should be Lovitz' dontcha thank? Shit I need another bourbon) character walks Geena Davis' (see?) and...that girl from Free Willy's characters onto the major league field for the first time, he aptly states, "See the grass cowgirls? Don't eat it." Nevermind the hilarity of this scout pinpointing this poignant moment with a perfectly timed sardonic jab to these farm girls, there's absolute truth here. The first time you went to a baseball game (not to play in dude-who-wore-the-glasses-and-pretended-to-be-Chris Sabo), is the first thing you remember not the grass? I mean when you're a kid you should be amazed at the sheer enormity of the stadium. The throngs of people. But I'm willing to bet the first or one of the brightest memories you have of that first game is seeing the field for the first time. It's incredible.

Well back when baseball was something nice and clean in a young boy's heart and mind ...wait, let's stop here for a moment...

Steroids have not had nearly as negative an impact on baseball as, what I'm a big fan of, capitalism. When you introduce that many billions into something that derives it's value plain and simple from its entertainment value, the "purity" that (are they really all this way?) all these older journalists out there, these gatekeepers of ultimate baseball knowledge, the stronger sayers of nay against the naysers, refer to, is actually quite true. It's about winning. It's about doing everything you can for that moment of glory. It's the off-chance you might fucking take it to the seventh game, and you might fucking hit a random ass double and win the fucking game! Only it's not. It's about the money. And shit on you and call you Carlos if you blame 'em. 'Cause I sure as fuck don't.

...okay back. Sorry had to get some smokes. The big dilimna of the night is over and I bought a pack. Do what you want to me and call me Carlos...

...I remember attending my first baseball games. I was always too young or in a place for too short a period to ever really grab hold of a home team. When I was Gilber Arenas I was born in San Antonio, 3 1/2 years later I moved to Germany, 4 years later I moved to Dayton, Ohio - Go Reds! Deion Sanders! Ken Griffey! Barry Larkin! Eric Fucking Davis! Chris "He Fucked My Mom Too, Dude!" Sabo! - Go Bengals! Mm, Boomer Esiasaosaon (no tab browsin), Ikky Woods...uh..! - 2 1/2 years later I moved to Hawaii - Go Rainbows? - then back to the midewest 3 years later to Ft. Wayne Indiana (Hey. Learn some shit. Master P played for our Ft. Wayne Fury. UEEUUEEUGHGHH! Na na na NAA), thankfully a swing to Georgia 3 years later when I was starting my Verve Pipe year of High School, then a comfortable stay in the dirrty where I finally got and clutched my masterbate to every night coveted own home team. And the braves are fun to root for too. Then after 6 I went to Houston. Then a year later to Atlanta. Then 4 years later to Houston. Then a year and half later back to...well I never had my own home team.

So I remember fondly going to baseball games (they were around back then) purposefully to see the double headers. It was always the favorite team of one of my brothers...the Mets vs. the Reds in a double header...the Cardinals vs. the Reds in a double my brothers were batshit crazy for every trip from Dayton to Riverside Stadium. But I was an iconic poster child for ADHD and don't remember a shit damn thing...except the field (and the All Star ballots they handed out to punch. and the pennants [the team banners. that's what they call 'em]). That field seemed so big, and you could smell the grass even from the 3 1/2 miles you were standing away up top. I remember that as my fondest Reds-cap-wearin (and yeah, I got Marge Schott to sign my baseball glove) baseball memory. And this...

In Ohio anything that has a crowd must be a flippin fuck occasion, or from what I remember dosed with a bit of stereotype. But when our dad took us to a card convention, it must be the coolest thing I did while I was in Ohio. Mind you, the Ft. Wayne layover was years later, so the Cedar Point (best fucking rollercoaster park in the world [remember Step By Step? Patrick Duffy? Susanne Summers? TGIF? That park.], down heavy) visits are not included. There were fucking people everywhere. I'll grant you I have not been to many card conventions, and I was young, but everyone seemed so boner over baseball cards and periphinilia, I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

My dad bought all of us tickets to get in, which doubled as raffle tickets for whatever the fuck they were offering for this Ohio crowd that probably would've been impressed with a toaster oven that works as well as a wide receiver in training camp that thinks he's worth more money. I'm mentioning Terrence Edwards because I may not have another shot. Probably an ultimate complete opposite analogy. You da main too, TE. Moving on. My older brother had just come from a soccer game. Dude had mud and shit all over him. Still wearing the cleats and shin guards, who the fuck cares? It's not like he was going to meet the sweetest swing in baseball history or anything. He was in a card convention in some barn on the outskirts of Dayton, Ohio shittin Christ.

Now my ass don't remember much. But I remember walking around. Vaguely I remember my mother bringing home baseball cards and me running out into the field of our 11-acre back yard and sitting down, going through all the cards. Didn't occur to me until years later that my older brother had always traded me, offered the gum and left me with the George Steinbechs that I was convinced were awesome, and always got my best cards. Whatever. Our combined heroism built a noteworthy sports card collection. Read about the '94 Fleer Ultra summer sometime. 'Freal. But I do remember huddling around my family as much as possible being a youngin. I remember several raffles going off and us looking at our tickets, 'cause everyone got to hold one.

I remember the end of the raffle prizes, and it was a Grand Prize. I didn't know what the fuck didn't care all that much. I was fucking young dude. YOUNG young. Gimme a chile dog and let me throw up on the Himalaya at a carnival, young. Super Mario Bros. 2 is awesome young. Showbiz Pizza where a kid can be a kid young, young. But he was calling out the numbers. And my family was getting excited as the numbers continued. And when the count ended? My father was holding the ticket. Everyone can talk about them not winning anything in their whole lives, so I guess I can too.

It's cloudy, but I remember my father passing off the ticket to my dirt-clump covered brother, telling him to hurry and claim our prize. I remember him sprinting off, in what seemed like a giant venue but was probably fit to hold a few thousand, maybe a few hundred yards circumference. I remember him running right back past me, and I recall a bit of drama as the dude over the PA started counting down from 10. If he didn't get wherever the fuck in this hoondiggler he was 'sposed to go, the Grand Prize went ahead. At this point it's no longer my memory but my brother's cherished story. And his name is Josh, you happy now turtle fucker?

Josh ran up to the table, not knowing what he was claiming. He found a jovial Ken Griffey, and an even more jovial pimple-faced Ken Griffey Jr., at the table. It was the Kid's rookie year. "Dad, c'mon. Don't make me give it up!" my brother recalls Jr. saying. "Son, give him the bat," with what I'm sure was a wish-it-coulda-been-my-memory-humorous-exchange-lob-back-to-JR his father said.

"It's not the bat dad. This glass case I just can't give up."

"Son, just give him the case."

My brother shook hands with his dirty ass soccer playin paws with Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. Junior eventually handed over the bat he hit his first Major League home run with to my brother, signed by him in the glass case, bacon grease fried cherry on top in the form of his rookie card to boot.

Over the years my brothers and I have not and nor will we ever agree on who the bat belongs to. I hold hopes of the Hall of Fame. Yet other fond memories of the bat dumbass taking it out of the case and trying to bat with it in our monstrous front yard where we had a, if we wanted to, to-scale playing brother's friends attempting to break into our house and steal it. The point is, it sits still in my home, something that nobody else has. And it's Ken Griffey Jr's, in my opinion the greatest modern day baseball player. Let me expound on him on other nights when I'm feeling more horny. Damn that smile. That swing. Am I the only one that thinks of that swing if I'm closing my eyes when I perform the opening stages of the Superman?


A Guide To Losing Money on College Football 2008

As EDSBS reminds us on a daily basis, only 42 days remain until the glorious sport of college football returns to our airwaves and booze soaked stadiums across this great nation (though specifically the south). This is in no way a to be considered a prequel of our upcoming 2008 season preview, but with the Future Odds released by Vegas this week, what could possibly be better than mindlessly throwing around (fake) money on games that haven't been played yet? Nothing? Agreed. Onto the game...

$500 in (fake) cold hard cash. You must place a minimum of five bets. No bet can be larger than $200. Bet in increments of $10. Pretty simple. Go.

Bet #1: Georgia 9.0 Wins - OVER ($200)

Yes, your humble authors are Georgia homers until the day we die. However, as someone who threw down $300 on Troy State to cover vs. his beloved Dawgs last year, I am not afraid to bet against the Dawgs when there is money to be made (i.e. stay away from the 8-1 national title odds. The schedule is toooooo tough for that big a leap of faith). However, an over/under of 9.0 wins??!?! Georgia plays 12 games during the regular season. Even with said insane schedule, anything less than a 10-2 season would be an enormous disappointment. Throw in a possible SEC title game and bowl game, and Georgia grabbing 10 wins seems like the best value on the board.

***Side note: This post won't deal in analysis...that will come in our epic college football preview. It will also come in approximately 68 future posts and on every college football blog out there. Simple bet making is all we'll be doing here today folks. You'll have to trust us.***

Bet #2: Ohio State 8-1 to win the national championship. ($70)

While nothing outside of a woman's curves would give me a bigger hard-on than Ohio State losing a 3rd straight BCS to an SEC team, 8-1 odds to win the National Title for a team this loaded with returning starters on both side of the ball isn't much of a stretch. They travel to USC after two cupcakes, for a early September battle with championship game implications (seriously, is there anything better than college football?). USC returns 12 starters, Ohio State 17. USC is a legitimate powerhouse, but their homefield advantage isn't SEC/Big 12-caliber-esque. An upset is not out of the question there, and in fact, I will be betting heavily on Ohio State during that game. Somewhere between Mark Sanchez's 3rd and 4th interceptions of the game, I think the USC PA announcer will be able to retire "Lean Like a Cholo" from the playlist rotation permanently. The rest of Ohio State's schedule is a cakewalk with a couple of potential hiccups in Madison and home vs. Michigan (yeah, right). USC and the SEC-team-du-jour in the title game will provide their most formidable opponent.

Bet #3: Missouri 9.5 wins - UNDER ($50)

One thing you will learn about me, assuming this blog isn't dead in three weeks, is that I hold no credence to one-year wonders. I see losses against Illinois, at Nebraska, and at Texas, at least.

Bet #4: Alabama 7.5 wins - OVER ($100)

I was tempted to put Alabama at 50-1 NC odds here. Count me as one of Nick Saban's cult-like devotees. Dude seems like an asshole, he coaches a pretentious program that hasn't been relevant in 10 years, one of his starting linebackers just got booted for attempting to become the (real) Rick Ross of Tuscaloosa, and John Parker Wilson III still is his quarterback, but jeazus....that guy can coach. And he can recruit. Expect a whooping of Clemson at the Georgia Dome in the opener...if there's one thing that guaranteed in college football, it's Tommy Bowden failing when expectations are high. If there's anything else that guaranteed in college football, its Tommy Bowden beating his dad when his job is on the line. If there's one more thing that's...sorry. Anyways. Alabama. They'll be good this year. Saban will have these guys with the Georgia's and Florida's of the SEC once Parker is gone and he gets a stud QB in there.

Bet #5: Duke 3.0 wins - OVER ($80)

There are very few safe bets in life...but anytime a longtime SEC offensive coordinator and head coach (one who is 7-0 vs. UGA in his last seven appearances against them as an OC) is named head coach at an ACC school and gets to face THIS's a safe bet he's getting more than 3 wins. And yes, I've never seen their roster.

One more note: Stay the FUCK away from the Florida bets (6-1 NC and 10.0 wins). Reverend Tebow staying healthy in that offense again for an entire year has about as good a chance of happening as Soulja Boi releasing another mediocre-to-decent song, their schedule is brutal, their running game showed no signs of life in spring practice and their defensive backs are dropping left and right. Also, their eight returning starters on defense anchored a unit that was 96th in scoring defense last year. Could be a long fall in Gainesville. Let's hope so.


Handicapping the Favre Situation

As I mentioned earlier this week, there wasn't really much to add to this Brett Favre saga. Well apparantly, I am a liah! I won't bother to re-hash the details of the story, as ESPN is all over this news with the giddiness of a young schoolgirl awaiting a summer crush to return home from camp.

That being said, I do not envy the inevitable decision the Packers are facing. Having grown weary of Favre's bullshit posturing on the subject of his retirement over the last five years, I'd like nothing more than to see the Packers tell him to go fuck himself. Unfortunately, this being reality, they have to straddle a fine line between jettisoning the most popular (best?) player in franchise history, placating their legions of loyal fans, and fielding a competitive football team when training camp starts later this month.

What will the Packers do? What should they do? Your guess is as good as mine, but just for the hell of it, let's go to the oddsmaker, yours truly...

500-1: Bully/pressure Favre into holding true to his retirement, going into the Hall-of-Fame as (basically) a career Packer, and retire his #4 jersey on the Monday night opener vs. Minnesota.

These odds can't be high enough. If there's one trait that defines Brett Favre's unnatural ability to believe in himself in any and all situations, its his pure stubbornness. He won't back down. If he wants to play the 2008 NFL season, he will play the season on his terms. It's this stubbornness that allowed him to throw 100 total interceptions over the last five seasons and not change his decision making in the pocket under pressure at any point during that time. (/ Obligatory "Gunslinger" reference)

20-1: Grant Favre his release, allow him to be free to sign with any team he wants, presumably division rivals Chicago or Minnesota.

Under no circumstances can the Packers allow the face of their franchise to sign with a hated division rival. A division rival, might I add, that will arguably be as much of a player in the NFC race Pack this season. The Monday night opener vs. Minnesota would be an unmitigated disaster, as the American public would be subjected to four hours of Tony Kornheiser blasting the Packers for letting Favre go, while mentioning in about forty different poetic tones "just how tough. this game. this season. his Packers career. will be for young Aaron Rogers." Let's just say this situation would make ESPN's coverage of Barry Bonds chase for 755 seem like they were covering the WNBA. This situation not only won't happen, it can't happen.

15-1: Trade Favre to an NFC squad not in the NFC North.

The Falcons, Bucs and Niners would upgrade their QB situations immensely by trading for Favre. Speaking of which...what the hell do you trade for Brett Favre if you are a team in need of a QB? Not only would he move merchandise and put your team in the national spotlight immediately, but the sad truth is that Brett Favre is still better than 80-90% of the QBs in the NFL right now. Hell there's a chance that if Favre is still the same gunslangin' interceptin' machine in five years as a 44-year-old, he's STILL going to be in the top half of NFL quarterbacks. It really speaks as an indictment of how few quality quarterbacks there are in this league that a team could seriously consider giving up a 1st or 2nd round pick for Favre at this point in his career. I mean, look at some of the quarterbacks in the Pro Bowl over the last few years not named Brady or Manning:

2008 - Jeff Garcia, Matt Hasselbeck
2007 - Philip Rivers, Mark Bulger
2006 - Trent Green, Steve McNair (fully washed up), Hasselbeck, Jake Dellhome
2005 - Bulger, Green

These guys pass at upper-echelon QBs in today's NFL? It really makes me reconsider the quality of football I've been watching over the last few years knowing that I was following a league where Matt Hasselbeck and Trent Green were multiple-time All-Pros.

7-1: Trade Favre to an AFC squad.

There are too many teams to name here. If shit hits the fan in Green Bay and the point of no return is crossed by either Favre or the Packers brass, do not be surprised to see him shipped to an AFC team the Packers don't have to play for a season or two.

3-1: Bring Favre back as starter, allow him to continue this ridiculous song-and-dance for the next few years, as he continues his uncanny ability to throw drive-killing interceptions in big games. He is also allowed to fuck Aaron Rogers sister and kill his cat.

Would not surprise me at all.

2-1: Bring Favre back as a backup (wink, wink).

Favre comes back as a backup. At the press conference, says all the right things about having to earn his spot back as the starter, he just wants to help Rogers run the offense, etc. etc. Two days and 8,000 questions later, young Aaron metaphorically or literally shits the bed in a scrimmage and Favre is named the starter. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

So there you have it, place your bets. But if the most latter of these situations proves true, just remember you heard it on a blog named after a song featured in the epic stickball scene of Little Big League.


Blog Days of Summer

I actually spent the last five minutes, which is an eternity when you're researching online, trying to find an article, a story, a caption under a picture, anything that spoke to the shoot-me-in-the-face boredom we face between the last game of the NBA season and the first game of the College Football season. Nada. Zilch. Gilbert Arenas. I mean, it's not like I was attempting to find proof - some type of report that would lend credibility to my suffering - we all know I don't need that. I just wanted to gain some perspective. You know, see how bad others are grimacing out there. For now, I'll have to assume I'm only one bored enough to actually write about it.

SO. There's actually a time, I believe, where a poignant feeling washes over the sports enthusiast when he (YES he. WNBA is in session) realizes the worst is yet to come: that ridiculously boring 3-4 months without football or basketball. For me, it was two-fold. I was out catching a few rounds with some friends, and Game 3 of the Finals were on. Mind you, I had completely forgotten it was on that night, so I was actually fairly excited when it came on. I've thought of this more and more as the pivotal "Holy Shit" moment. You see, this is the feeling normally reserved when you go out with your friends on a Thursday night and Va Tech is playing Clemson, or some other shitty game between two other shit teams in some shit conference. "Hey, I think that was in our pool this week. And it's football. Maybe I'll watch some of it."

Then it occurred to me: "Wait a second, when this started I told myself I didn't give a fuck who won this series. I was just rooting against Kobe Bryant." I slowly began to realize that once this series was over I had nothing to keep me occupied until CFB game #1. And I was saddened. Sure I won some money off of Jibber, who's yet to pay up, but who really gives a shit? Bostonians? Fuck them.

The second part was the Fourth of July. Is there a better holiday other than maybe Christmas/New Year's (can't separate the two)? I mean the whole day is about grilling a fuckload more food than anyone in the neighborhood could possibly eat, drinking yourself silly while toasting to American soldiers and blowing shit up. It's perfect. Except, it's not. This is America. We need sports. You're telling me the best I can get on Our Nation's Holiday is Sawx/Yankees? Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest?? I actually found myself silently agreeing when these announcers were saying, "This is the fastest growing, and perhaps most popular sport in the world." Shit, Major League Eating even has its own video game now, so it must be some serious shit. A fucking video game for professional eating. No wonder the world hates us. Look, just give me some damn football on the Fourth, okay? Is that too much to ask? Can't we have an exhibition game or some shit?

Today, I should be reviewing the crappy ACC match-up from last night, seeing who Boise State's playing tonight, and arguing by how much the Dawgs are going to win. Seriously, Stafford I've given you a lot of shit and loudly spoke out against all of the fans who chanted your name when you first stepped between the hedges (I want my players to earn that type of respect), but you're my boy now. Don't fuck this up.

But instead of wasting my day reading several different takes on the same game, I'm reading about how fucked up Michael Jackson is looking these days, some crazy Austrian sick motherfucker who held his daughter in a dungeon for 24 years and fathered 7 children with her (Fox News, if you are making this up then bravo to you. Bravo) and some story about real-life "mean girls" cheerleaders terrorizing a Texas town. Look, if the story's going to be about teen cheerleaders posting lewd pictures of themselves on the internet, can't I at least get a panty shot?

This topic is so boring this blog is boring. Fuck it. I'm going to youtube some Knowshon highlights.


Quick Hits on Today's Headlines

Report: Favre sends text message to Packers GM Thompson

Ugh. Everything that there is to say about this story has been said. Brett Favre, a QB who has won the same number of Super Bowls as Eli Manning and Trent Dilfer, wants to come back…everyone knows it, and the media clearly loves reporting on this. I have absolutely nothing to add to this story, except that I wish it would go the way of Barbaro-mania in ’07. Too much?

Sixers getting in position to lure Brand from West Coast

Wow…didn’t see this one coming. As a Hawks fan, I have been trained to expect the worst, but news that the 76ers could land Brand would mean that there is is one less team that can lure away The Joshes from the Hawks. The 76ers signing Brand would leave the Golden State Warriors as the only team with significant cash needed to present an offer that the Hawks’ abortion of an ownership group wouldn’t match. Whatever. If I’m Josh Smith in this situation, I sign a huge one year deal, allow the Hawks to match it and become a unrestricted free agent next year, free to sign with anyone without having to worry about it being matched. Then again…The Stampede for LeBron/Wade/Bosh/Amare/Yao in 2010 might be enough to make the 2009 offseason leaner than Shawn Bradley after a month-long meth binge. Maybe that’s why I’m not a sports agent.

As for how this move would help the 76ers, it would give them a legitmate low-post scoring threat, something most Eastern Conference teams don’t have…and Brand/Dalembart would give them the best interior defense in the East outside of Boston. However, even if this allows them to re-sign Iguodala, I don’t think this move puts them with the Boston/Detroit/Miamiassumingeveryoneshealthy class in the East. No matter how many studs they sign this offseason, Brand, JSmith, whoever, this is still a team that was starting Willie Greene in the playoffs. The depth isn’t there.

Imprisoned Vick Files for Bankruptcy

This is just depressing. I have never been a Falcons fan; but, as an Atlanta resident, I enjoyed the hell out of watching them during the inconsistent yet glittering Michael Vick era. A man that, roughly 500 days ago was the highest-paid athlete in the city (though now that title is currently being held in even more dubious fashion by the immortal Mike Hampton)…now he’s protecting his last pennies against creditors through his lawyers while he sits in a Leavenworth, Kansas prison.

Just everything about this story disgusts me. Insanely talented athlete makes it big from the shady part of town. Hooks up his boys/entourage with the means to do whatever they want, including engaging in their illegal vice of choice, apparently dogfighting. Said athlete and said entourage are dumb enough to put HIS fucking name on all the property where said illegal activity takes place. Upon one of his idiot minions being suspected of drug dealing, police find evidence of an illegal dogfighting ring. His childhood friends roll over on him to save their own asses, despite Vick giving them (presumably) their means to everything they have. Talented QB winds up in prison during the prime of his career. Local football team, in an effort to sever ties with era associated with Vick, overreaches in the draft for a mediocre QB who’s most famous game in college was one where his team didn’t score for 58 minutes and was on the receiving end of an ass-whuppin in the Nails-On-A-Chalkboard Bowl, aka, the ACC Championship Game.

But back to Vick…I know dogfighting is brutal, and the way him and his cronies killed the dogs are indefensible. I know it’s a cultural thing (and I won’t even attempt to get into that), as Stephon Marbury so clumsily stated in his attempted defense of Vick.

I also know that it truly irks me that this ordeal (which is, despite what PETA would have you think, is, at the end of the day, over a FUCKING DOG) is that tonight OJ Simpson, PacMan Jones and Leonard Little will be able to sleep in their own beds. The two people Simpson (allegedly) murdered, the mother killed by Little’s first DUI, and the man paralyzed after being shot by a member of PacMan’s entourage, won’t be able to. I’m not saying Michael Vick is as innocent as those folks, but seeing him reduced to this still makes me angry. Glad the feds were able to solve the underground dogfighting problems in this country, though. Now go tackle corporate corruption, counter-terrorism and organized crime and we’ll be all set.

/ Stepping off soapbox, takes sip of water washing foam away from mouth.

At trial, women deny Nazi link in Mosley S&M Orgy scandal

This one probably deserves its own post, and I’m not the one to write it. Bourn?


Real Sports

Due to the infallible nature of back and forth (read: the awesomeness of foursquare), I must automatically assume that it be my honor to put forth the esteemed "First Sports Blog" of Runaround Sue's. I blush.

I must first take issue with a few things spoke by my colleague in the inaugural address to all of you, loyal Sue fans:

1. Let's skip to number 2 on the list, slather on some number 5 and throw some dashes on top of some number 7 fried in bacon grease. Sec Snobs? University of Georgia? Atlanta-centric? Fox fucking news?? WHAAAT?! Who gives a damn, right? Well I could go off on a Dennis Miller-esque rant here, but suffice to say that our women are proven to be hotter, our potato salad and coleslaw are mayonnaise-ier, we serve gourment grits (my fave is a tie between parmesan shrimp and jalepeno cheddar) and, while this list could certainly continue until my egotistical (or is it geocentric?) ass bloviates myself into blovivian, our stereotypes are more stereotypical, and Goddammit they're all true! A concise story to prove how and why all of the above is vital to the success of this blog.

3. My number 2 issue with Jibber's list sucked. So, here's number fucking 3. Atlanta and Houton team-centric talk?? Are you kidding me? I've lived long enough in this city (say, five fucking minutes?) to know that, if you start speaking positively about the sports teams here, they'll be pissed at you. Seriously. I just dislike them because they suck. The Texans are O-K because lovable losers are always fun to root for. But the Astros? The Rockets? C'mooon. This is the only town I've lived in where the fans actually have more respect for you after you leave. Try coming to Houston and asking about Brad Lidge. Two years ago you would've gotten punched in your dick, but now, you hear wonderful things, like, "Hey, he's doing pretty good over there in Philly!" or "He just needed to get out of Houston." Not one fucking person will say, "Why couldn't he do that HERE?!" It's like Houstonians are resigned to their fate that their players and, ultimately their teams, suck. Andy why wouldn't they have this self-loathing for their teams? They're Houstonians! They can't even claim being the fattest city in America anymore.

4. No question about it. Metaphors, obscure references, maybe even straight-up reviews and comparisons. Wrestling is on the menu, even you don't smell what I'm cooking, bitch.

5. Can I please fucking be Wilbon?

6. Who the fuck is Bill Plaschke?

The sports will continue on tomorrow, where our topic will be the one thing missing on the Fourth of JOO-lah.


The Standard Self-Indulgent Introductory Post

I really didn't want to do one of these, as I find them incredibly boring and self-deprecating. (Un)Fortunately, absolutely nobody is reading this right now, and interesting sports news is scarce, so here we are. What can you expect from Runaround Sues? Lets start a list:

1. Lists. (pun intended) Seriously. I'm not a good writer and perusing other blogs and sports websites have given me the impression that nothing is easier on the eyes or mind than a good subjective list about sports.

2. Alot of college football talk. Both myself and Bourn Inferiority are University of Georgia graduates and certified SEC Snobs. Expect a weekly wrapup post and back and forth once the season starts, as well as a preview sometime soon that likely will not differ all that much from the other 29732682922 previews out there.

3. Atlanta and Houston team-centric talk. It's where we live and most of our favorite teams play. That being said, the teams in these cities are entirely uninteresting, so maybe there won't be much of this.

4. Plenty of MLB, NBA, Fantasy Sports talk in addition to college football. NFL too. Maybe the occasional college basketball or NASCAR post. One hockey post a year that will probably make no sense. Golf and tennis...doubtful. Wrestling? Maybe from Bourn.

5. PTI-style back and forth arguments lasting anywhere from 2 paragraphs to 2 months. This will make more sense once it appears on screen.

6. Not many nice things to say about Bill Plaschke columns.

7. Fair warning: you're dealing with two guys who find it reprehensible Michael Vick is serving a longer prison sentence than, say, Pacman Jones or T.I. You're dealing with a couple of guys who check Fox News' main page for amusement and to a much lesser degree, actual news. Safe to say, we won't be subtlety stroking Obama and bashing Bush as many other sports blogs seem to enjoy slipping in posts. Hopefully though, politics can be left off this blog all together...

We'll see how this goes, but clearly have no idea what we're doing. Hopefully this won't be a dead link in two weeks. A post on actual sports up next...

Jibber Jabber


Happy 4th

More to come soon...