Monday, June 29, 2009

No, They Really Don't, Do They?

But if they ever put their mind to it, I'm pretty sure they could dominate there too. Sigh.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We Talkin' Bout Practice (Remix)

Holy, mother, of GAWD!

Okay, now THIS is the most creatively awesome video smash up involving sports I have EVER seen!

Turn up the volume. Soak it in...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Johnny Miller Must Get Tongue Cancer and Die

Okay. I take that back.

Just tongue cancer, where he loses his tongue, and then leads a long and prosperous life.

What. What?

I can't wish that? Not on anybody?

Oohhhh... Fine. I hope he doesn't get cancer. Of any kind.

But I sure wish that his bosses at NBC wake up and realize that his fan base consists of a few TV critics who don't know a dimple from a divot about golf, and the fellow NBC announcers who sniff his jock – probably out of pure fear that their own employment hinges on kissing his bitter old man ass.

Seriously. Who likes this guy? And why?

He is, in short, a RUINER. A guy who RUINS the otherwise sublime enjoyment of watching your favorite sport on TV. I put Miller in the same category as Dick Vitale, and Chris Berman. These guys RUIN events.

What makes Miller so awful? Let's count the ways.

1.He's old, bitter, and increasingly irrelevant.

He had 3 good – okay, great - years. They were 74, 75 and 76. After that, he won twice a year only one time, 1981. He's got 25 tour wins, made two Ryder Cups.

His two signature wins were majors, US Open in '73 where he shot 63 on Sunday (go ahead, ask him about it, he'll be glad to chat about it. No really, go ahead...) and the British Open in 1976 where he shot 66 on Sunday.

Not to discredit his career, but the pure stats of it are nothing extraordinary. To wit...

He's got the same number of majors as Hubert Green, Dave Stockton, Lee Janzen, and Mark O'Meara just to cherry pick a few “hey-how-bout-that” list.

His mere two Ryder Cups is one fewer than this incredible list with 3 (and counting in some cases): Chad Campbell, Chip Beck, Lou Graham, Jay Haas, Jeff Maggert, and J.C. Snead.

Yeah, at his peak, he was awesome. But a complete blackout in his ability to make simple 3 footers cut short what should have been a longer career. You know Miller is still bitter about it. And so he lashes out by way of the 18th tower.

Every time Miller points out that somebody is a “choker” it's his own self-loathing on display. Takes one, to know one. And for some reason, critics seem to laud this indiscriminate and often inaccurate willingness to say somebody choked.

2.He Won't …. Shut..... The..... Hell..... Up!

Any GOOD announcer doing sports on TV, knows when to LAY OUT and let a moment breathe, or let the pictures tell the story.

Miller does neither. He tramples every good moment of tension with endless babble from his A.D.D. Brain.

At times Miller sounded like the annoying kid in the Kobe-LeBron commercials.

“Hey, Roger, is that ball in the bunker.. I think he hit it a little fat.. how come Tiger's aiming over there... I don't know if we'll get this round finished... how hard is #10 here at Bethpage... I wouldn't use a long putter if I was Sergio....”


3.He's Quite Often Wrong

It's okay for an analyst to be wrong. But you should aim to wrong as little as possible. That doesn't mean stripping your commentary of opinion, but rather making sure that when you say something you strongly believe, if you end up dead fucking wrong, it devalues your credibility.

Also, it helps to admit you were DFW when things turn against you. Don't just say, “hey I call 'em like I see 'em.” Actually say, “wow, I really missed that one.”

Johnny will just throw all kinds of divots at the wall during a round of golf, and if one of them sticks, he acts even more insufferably. Just like how he essentially “out-guessed” Al Roker on Saturday's weather.

In sum, he makes watching the US Open almost unbearable. I know literally NOBODY who plays golf who LIKES him. And I wonder how old and bitter he has to be before NBC realizes that ratings won't dip a bit if they replace him.

Ken Venturi held the 18th tower position for CBS for years. He was a joy to listen to during a tournament. He was humble, insightful, and never made the broadcast about himself.

I miss him more than ever.

Johnny Miller can simply suck it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yo, Yo, Yo! Don't We Look Stupid Now!?

I remain firm in my stance that ex-Giant wideout Plaxico Burress WILL play football for somebody this year.

But only because Peter King INSISTS that it will NOT happen.

I agree with the basic facts that Plaxico's deft slow-walk through the NYC legal system has likely stalled this case until 2010. I agree that Roger Goodell should still be able to keep him suspended until the case is resolved.

I think there's no DOUBT that Plax is guilty of carrying an illegal gun in NYC.

But when King is so sure of something, I just know it's smart to go the other way.

So let's say Goodell gives Plax a pre-emptory 4-game sit down. That gives a team like the Jets a chance to sign him for a 12 game deal this year, with an option for 2010 and beyond assuming the DA doesn't throw the book at him and lock him up for a full year or more.

And just what is happening inside the DA's office in Gotham is a whole 'nother story.

That's easy. There are surely 2-3 teams willing to take that chance. I'm not sure I'd want MY team to do that, but then again my team never does anything smart.

In the meantime, enjoy this photo of Plax and his idiot enabler Antonio Pierce taken the night of the shooting. I love the cockiness. I love the bad ass t-shirts saying something about living fast and dying young.

I only wish I could have seen a photo of these knobs once Plax's leg started leaking like a zip lock bag full of water. Oh, snap! What do we do? I know, let's try to cover it up!

Grow up, fellas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I remember seeing old photos of Dr. J wearing pimp-tacular get ups back in the day, but I don't ever recall him wearing cheezy t-shirts blaring his personal stats or awards.

LeBron? Well, he's "New School" in that regard.

Never mind that his team lost a series in which they were a staggering -800 on the Las Vegas line to win. Never mind that he acted like a spoiled little jackass by not shaking anybody's hand on his stomp off the court.


Just remember. He's the MVP, and he's got the t-shirt to prove it.

Maybe now LeBron can get the Nike puppet of himself for his right hand and the puppet can conduct all future media interviews the REAL LeBron doesn't want to do himself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get Your US Open Picks In, Donkeys!

Okay, golf fans! Get ready for our 2nd installment of Czabe's Major Challenge. It's absolutely free, and the first prize this time is an awesome little something called a "Beer Tube."

What in the hell is a beer tube? Well, check out their handy website!

I got a couple of promo tubes myself this week, and they are wicked cool awesome! A perfect compliment to any home bar, tailgate, or professional drink establishment, I love the fact that I can gently pour my favorite Leinie's (Summer Shandy) into a big ol' tube, and serve it up to party folk at my house!

Hell, I'll even autograph the winning tube!

Unless I win, which I still aim to do with my picks. So here goes, on who I like, and who I don't this week at Bethpage.

Group 1
Tiger - duh. I'd be shocked if doesn't win this week.
(Note: Why Paul Casey is in the elite group, is beyond my grasp.)

Group 2
Camillo Villegas - Doesn't putt well enough typically for slick US Open greens, but Bethpage's surfaces are flatter than most US Open venues. Plus, he's got the massive forearm guns to whack it out of the deep stuff.

Group 3
Sean O'Hair - I think this cat has a breakout week coming. His action is so pure, and he hits it long enough to compete on this monster track.

Group 4
Angel Cabrera - I mean, you gotta take El Pato here. Martin Kaymer and Alvaro Quiros?

Group 5
Ben Curtis - Watch, this dude will GRIND out there. He's the quintessential US Open darkhorse.

Group 6
Justin Rose - Best pick of a scraggly lot. Hope you didn't take Trevor. He's a scratch with a wrist injury.

Group 7
Hunter Mahan - Guy is off his form after last fall's Ryder Cup. Still, Mahan is DA-man, if you ask me!

Group 8
Andres Romero - I've been pimpin' this kid as the next great thing for a while. Now, stop making me look stupid, and do something boy!

Group 9
D.J. Trahan - Um, why not. Brian Gay is just happy to be there, and likely spent after his barrage in Tennessee. And David Smail? The judge's kid? Huh?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"........To Their F'ing Graves!"

About 5 minutes before face off Friday night at Joe Louis Arena, I called a friend from the 'Burgh on his cell phone.

He picked up on the 6th ring.

“Just wanted to say, 'fuck you'” I began,” taking advantage of the fact that caller ID eliminates any need for phony pleasantries. “Two championships in ONE year? No. Fuck off. Nobody deserves that much glory.”

My friend laughed. He was in Detroit, shut out of getting a ticket. And he's a doctor!

“Okay, good luck dude. I'm jealous, that's all I can say.”

He said he was off to a nearby bar, content to not flush a grand or more on a seat inside. Wearing his Carolina blue Sidney Crosby jersey from the mid-winter classic, I warned him to watch his back.

Detroit, man. What do those residents have to lose?

I settled in for a delicious Championship Game 7. More than just any Game 7, we only get a trophy-attended 7th game in basketball, baseball, or hockey about once every 3 years. The last one in hockey was in 2006.

The odds weren't good for Pittsburgh. Over the last 18 Championship Game 7's – across all three sports - the HOME team was um... let's see... ah... 18-0.

That's what I'd call a trend.

But you can't account for things in hockey like Maxime Talbot happening. To think Detroit was able to knockout the Pens captain and star, and still not win on home ice?

To para-quote Herb Brooks: “You're gonna take this one to your grave...... to your F-ING grave!”

The 2-0 goal was quintessential hockey. A seemingly innocent play, all the way back inside Pittsburgh's own end, suddenly mushrooms into a very dangerous situation. Like a tornado spawning thunderstorm on a once sunny day.

Osgood gets a little crooked coming out to challenge. Talbot stays calm with the biscuit on his tape. And then plunges the dagger deep into the heart of Red Wing nation.

Wow. Now they are in real trouble. Marc-Andre Fleury is on point tonite. The minutes are bleeding away. Crosby is still in the locker-room. I'm sure every Red Wing fan was saying to themselves “this can NOT be happening!”

Finally, Detroit scores late, and now we've got an electric finish. I'm not being cliched when I said I adjusted my prone position in the 5-Hour Energy Dome to a more upright and anxious stance on the front edge of the microfiber.

I wasn't really rooting for either team. I just knew it was going to really, really, SUCK for somebody.

If Detroit gets the equalizer, I think, there's no way Pittsburgh rallies for the game winner. They were barely putting any pressure on the net once they score went 2-0 anyway.

And if Detroit can't punch home the game tying goal, it's going to be agony.

No disrespect for the Pens. But this was Detroit's series to lose. The Pens were nearly dead on 3 different occasions in this series.


Holy, shit! Somebody just rang the crossbar! Wow.

Finally, 13 seconds left, once faceoff and an empty net. Butterfly kicksave, lunging chest save, and then sticks and gloves went airborn.

That bastard! My buddy was going to have his second parade in less than 5 months.

The Red Wings looked beyond devastated. These are grown men, I thought. Tougher than rodeo clowns on steroids. Several of them hung their heads low, perhaps to avoid being seen crying.

I clapped loudly to myself. Good show, lads. Good, fucking, show!

I'll get back to hating those bastard rival Penguins later. Hell, my Capitals have to figure out a way to get through what might be a 10 year juggernaut of Crosby, Malkin and Company in the East.

For tonite, I figured, I was just glad to have been sitting in front of TV for such a fabulous sporting spectacle.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"She Wasn't That Attractive..."

For the record, let me state that I think justice was done in Eagle, Colorado.

The case brought forth by a 19 year old woman with a history of mental health issues and sexual promiscuity that made her minor sex related injuries difficult to prove were the result of the Kobe encounter, was not enough to blossom into an actual trial and conviction before a jury of Kobe Bean Bryant's peers.

Yeah, she may have decided not to continue forward because of the stress and pressure of the case. Yeah, she might have been paid off under the table. (A civil action was settled out of court, so you do the math.)

But in the end, Kobe earned his freedom, and paid a severe price in terms of money, fame, sleep, and marital leverage. That doesn't mean I have to believe he did NOT in fact, rape that mentally whacked 19 year old desk clerk in Eagle. In fact, it is not contradictory to say that even though the legal system deemed Kobe not guilty, my bar of guilt, or yours, can be set anywhere your judgement allows.

Above all, I do pride myself as being “the guy who remembers things” in sports. I don't like it when history and facts are glossed over, or thrown down the memory hole and covered in dirt. As such, I got this email recently.


TO: Czabe
FROM: Jody Plauche
RE: Kobe


I just want to thank you for reminding your listeners that Kobe Bryant is a rapist! I loved what you said when that guy said his favorite Laker was Kobe! You said, "want me to provide you with some transcripts!"

If you do need to provide a link to anyone, here is the smoking gun like to the Kobe file:

Kobe Rape Files


If you read the entire thing, two things strikes you immediately.

1.Kobe Bryant is a real creep!
2.Kobe Bryant is a real IDIOT!

The exchanges are both priceless and breathtaking in their narcisissim. And the decision to go it alone, without lawyers or agents, talking to detectives at such length, just to “make it go away” was like performing do-it-yourself-dentistry.

I have hand transcribed some of the best parts. The following is not for young eyeballs, so be forewarned. Also, I have edited several exchanges, not to alter the context, but just for brevity sake.

If you want the full treatment of how you ask for post sex autographs, dirty white undershirts, how Shaq handles these bimbos, bleeding, Kobe's other road bimbo, and more, then click the link and dig in. Here's the – pardon the pun, it was simply too easy - “money shot” of the entire interview with the detectives.

Detective Loya: Did you ever ask her if you wanted, if you could cum in her face?
Bryant: Yes. That's when she said no. That's when she said no. That's when she said no.
Detective Loya: So you like to cum in your partner's face?
Bryant: That's my thing. No always, I mean. So I stopped. Jesus christ man...
Detective Winters: So how was this, how was this consensual, I mean wha wha, explain to me how this was consensual?
Bryant: It sounds pretty fucking crazy to me (inaudible) and all that.

Detective Loya: So the blowjob lasted about 5 seconds?
Bryant: Yeah, it was quick.
Detective Loya: Then what happened?
Bryant: Wait, not, I mean she was, kept on doing, I just told her to get up, (inaudible) she didn't know what she was doing.

Detective Winters: You gonna be ready for the season?
Bryant: I don't know man. I don't even know if I'll be able to play this season with this shit going on. If it becomes public I'll lose my wife...
Detective Loya: How long you been married?
Bryant: And all my endorsements...
Detective Loya: How long you been married?
Bryant: Two years. My wife and daughter, they mean everything man, everything man, and up an until now (inaudible)...

Bryant: I can't believe this girl. What does she want from me?
Bryant: What does she want. What does she want?
Detective Winters: I don't think she wants anything.
Bryant: Are you kidding me?
Detective Loya: What are you willing to give her?
Bryant: She has to want, she has to want something (inaudible) she has to want something.
Detective Winters: What do you mean she has to want something, I don't understand?
Bryant: She has to have a motive, to do, she has to have a motive to do this.
Detective Winters: What would be, what do you think her motive is then?
Bryant: She must be trying to get money or something. (Inaudible)
Detective Loya: Are you willing to pay that if she is?
Bryant: I got to. I got to. I'm in the worst fucking situation.

Detective Winters: And I understand, and just let me finish okay. So one you lied to us, okay, that doesn't help. Two, um, then, we confront this issue and you seemed a little bit skeptical in the details of exactly what happened throughout the entire incident, okay? (edit) See, this is the way I at it, I, you know, I look at it this way, she's an attractive young lady.

Bryant: She wasn't that attractive.

REACT: To quote Michael Scott: “Boom... roasted.”

And now, back to your regularly scheduled Kobe Image Rehabilitation, already in progress.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Suck It Up, Sergio

Recently Sergio Garcia blamed his current slump in play on the breakup with his girlfriend, Greg Norman's daughter, Morgan Leigh. Said Sergio: “"I haven't been hitting the ball well. I think it's been a mix of probably being a little bit down and not really feeling like playing much. Obviously your head is not in the right place and you're not thinking the right things, and that affects your game because your mentality is not where it should be."

REACT: Loser. This is why the guy is never going to win a major. NEVER. If he's not mentally tough enough to get over dumping a chick who's not even that hot, then he's got real issues. Plus, isn't it typical Sergio, to blame his bad play on someone, or something, other than the guy holding the club?


Dan Marino must really want to get rid of his awesome Ft. Lauderdale crib. This Wall Street Journal article says dapper Dan is throwing in furniture and – ONE - signed football to close the deal in these difficult real estate times. I'd be willing to throw in a bid, if only he would include the resignation pen he used to quit his job as GM of the Fish after like, what, 2 weeks of hard golfing... er... office work.


Mike Tyson didn't let a little life nuisance like a “treadmill-icide” of his toddler daughter get in the way of moving forward. So he got married for the 3rd time this week in Vegas. Attaboy, Mike! And if you are his new bride, don't you just feel like the next bull rider trying to stay on this marriage for the requisite 8 seconds so you can advance to the money round? Or maybe, she's in love. You can never really tell with kids today. Mazel, mazel, Mikey! TMZ has the details.

TMZ obtained a copy of Tyson's State of Nevada Marriage Certificate -- which made the intimate ceremony at the Las Vegas Hilton official. Tyson and Lahika Spicer tied the knot without the presence of invited guests. Sources close to the situation tell TMZ the wedding was exceptionally emotional. However, we're told the mourning couple decided not to bring up the death of their 4-year-old daughter during the 15 minute ceremony.


Heath Shuler once authored a 5 INT game with the Redskins as a rookie. He allegedly had one of the lowest Wonderlic scores for a QB in draft history. Nice fella. Dumb as a Tennessee hound dog. Now, he's found his niche. Politics. Land of the hopelessly stupid, crooked, and vain. Not to mention ugly. But whoa, check this out! Maybe Heath ain't so dumb after all! He's figured out that as a member of Congress, he can use his leverage for all kinds of sweetheart deals. Yay, corruption!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

He Is Who We Thought He Was

For a brief moment, I was happy for him.

A genuine, warm, happy, "you deserve this" moment.

College wonder-boy J.J. Redick had just hit a three to tie the game late on Sunday against the Lakers.

For all the crap he's taken, some of it from me, I was glad to see him do something at the pro level that he was devastatingly effective doing in college.

Then, the good feeling vanished.

Playing extended minutes for the first time in weeks, Stan Van's hunch resumed clanging shots off the iron, and throwing away passes for crucial turnovers.

Which, is exactly what many basketball fans had figured for Dick Vitale's golden boy as a pro. A role player, at best.

This is not to bash Redick. His college career was great. Not spectacular. But as a pure dead-eye jump shooter, there have been few like him.

The hype though, was absurd. Which is why I want Dick Vitale abducted like the boss in Christmas Vacation, and strapped into a TV chair to update his opinion of Redick as a pro.

Back in college, Vitale just kept screaming "he's a winner, baybee! He'll find a way to play at the next level! Heeeeeyyyyyyy!!!!"

Truth however, is that the NBA is a league of extraordinary freaks of nature. You can't just be a nice shooting, moderately athletic 6-2 guard like Redick and survive. The telling play was when he drove down the lane late against the Lakers, threw a little shoulder fake and the promptly passed the ball right to Trevor Ariza for a turnover.

Jeff Van Gundy pointed out, that you can't make that play in this league, when you are not a credible threat to take the ball all the way to the rack and finish.

All of this isn't to say Redick can't become a useful NBA gadget player. Like a one-trick Fred Hoiberg-esque pony.

But he is, who we thought he was. Somebody call Vitale for a comment.


And while I was Google-searching for Redick pics, I came across this one. Uh huh. That's a giant W-T-F. Put your Army toys away, J.J.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Like Flying Into Dikembe Mutumbo In The Paint

While the NBA Finals are providing entertaining fodder for why it's a bad idea to "throw things on the wall" like Stan Van Gundy is doing with his lineup, I can't help but follow with a macabre fascination the details of Air France Flight 447.

As I have said before, I can't get enough of documentaries on doomed airline accidents. I'm not sure why. But the combination of science, aviation, and the constant stalking by the grim reaper is a potent combination.

Some people dig horror movies. I'm into plane crashes. Just so long as I'm not in one, or anybody I know and care about.

That being said, most of the mainstream media coverage of the crash is overly simple, not technically oriented, and a constant re-hash of known events and news.

If you want a good jumping off point for more interesting technical issues that might fascinate you, read this Miles O'Brien post on True/ that gets into the nitty gritty of what had to be a horrific final 14 minutes of modern air travel.

Not only did those pilots end up trying to thread a thunderstorm needle, they were also trying to thread an airspeed "needle" too...

Excerpt #1

So you see the squeeze play as a plane flies toward the Coffin Corner: the margin between the between the high and low speed limits gets thinner and thinner (along with the air).

Matter of fact, given its estimated weight, altitude and the outside air temperature (which also affects air density), AF 447 was flying through the eye of a speed needle only about 25 knots (28 mph) wide.

So should you feel better or worse about flying "across the pond" in a big, modern, technology laden airliner? Well...

Excerpt #2

Precisely because big thunderstorms are common there, airliners are constantly threading their way through the nastiest cells – deviating at the pilot’s discretion. But no professional pilot would knowingly auger into the heart of a thunderstorm this potent. A pro knows no airplane is designed to survive those conditions - no matter how advanced it is technologically and structurally.

Hard to believe in this day and age, but when you are flying over the pond, you are pretty much on your own. You are not talking to air traffic controllers or being painted by their radar - and of course there are no weather reporting stations beneath you. By definition, thunderstorms are unstable, dynamic and fast-moving. So by the time they reached the storms – more than four hours into the flight - what they learned in the pre-flight briefing was yesterday’s news.

Again, this is not to trivialize the human tragedy of the event, but the overall complexity and miracle of air travel continues to blow my mind.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tell me what I'm missing here...

Not a big deal, but stuff like this bugs the crap out of me. I went to the Nationals website specifically to get the "official" attendance of the Randy Johnson 300 game.

Here. Look.

Where the hell is it?

I see on the bottom the "Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner."

But not the usual A: 14,567 right below Umpires:

Crap. Hmmmmphhhh! I don't like it.

The Greinke-Wang Index

We'll keep you posted as developments warrant.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where Sports Conspiracies Grow

Every now and then, people ask me: "Do you really believe in sports conspiracies, Czabe?"

Yes. And no. But mostly, "sort of."

How's that for clear?

I believe in "conspiracies" if you will, if only because I see how some leagues go out of their way to "manipulate" their games in the name of marketing or TV ratings.

The NBA is the biggest violator.

Now the NHL seems to be following suit.

Do I think that the NHL instructed the officials in Game 3 to completely IGNORE a 6 on 5 illegal "power play" by the Penquins in order to help extend the series beyond what was looking like a sweep?

No. That would be ridiculous.

But other fans, are not so sure. They blogosphere and talk radio was full of hard core hockey fans that simply couldn't believe that a gaffe of such huge proportions (21 full seconds!) could happen with the so-called "best" referees on the playoff ice.

It's true. How did that happen? In the NFL, the percentage of times a team has 12 men on the field for a single play, results in about a 90% rate of getting caught. And that's with 11 men per side! I don't want to say what happened was "un-precedented" but it was certainly "fan-man rare" for a Cup Finals game.

But why would people believe some "manipulation" was being employed?

Simple. The leagues are sowing these seeds of doubt themselves.

When the NHL so quickly rescinded the automatic instigator suspension for a star player like Malkin, it left itself wide open to the charge that just letting a series play out is not enough.

The rule on the Malkin fight was simple. It reads.. "Any player who gets an instigator major in the final 5 minutes..... "

Shall I repeat: "ANY player...."

Not "Any NON-star player we think would affect the outcome of a game..."

It's the same thing with the NBA removing one of Dwight Howard's technicals so that he doesn't get sat down for a game with his next outburst. Why even have a "rule" that says 7 tech's in the playoffs equals a 1 game suspension?

It's clearly, NOT a "rule." It's like what Jack Sparrow said about the pirate concept of "parlay."

"'Tis more of a guideline, really..."

Both the NBA and NHL have directly intervened and subverted their own "rules" this post season, and both times in a direction that favors star players, and seems to cater to television and marketing concerns.

So... duh. People are going to start smelling a rat.

Like when Seinfeld said: "Anybody can make a reservation. It's the HOLDING of that reservation that's the key part..."

Anybody can MAKE a rule. It's actually FOLLOWING the rules, that means something.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Believe What You Want

What's the difference between the Redskins "200,000 person" season ticket waiting list and Bigfoot?

There's at least grainy footage of Bigfoot.

The fact that the Redskins continue to claim that 200,000 people are ready and waiting to plunk down $$$ to gain access to the worst game day experience in the NFL (forget the product on the field, that's a whole 'nother story) is amazing.

It's simply not true. Can't be. The evidence is now becoming an avalanche.

First, a few anecdotes.

1. I've been sent 3 (count 'em, THREE!) separate "Congrats, you've made it to the top of the waiting list" letters this off-season. This, after I "Congrats, you've made it to the top of the waiting list" did the same thing last spring, and turned down the tickets. I was offered the very limited chance to buy no more than EIGHT season tickets.

2. My colleage Andy Pollie (Andy Pollie!) recently received a glorious, heavy matte, tri-fold marketing piece offering him season tickets as part of an "enhanced" VIP status at Redskin park. Full color printing, it was a very nice piece of work! Expensive! Andy never requested anything like this. He was just in the right ZIP CODE (read: rich!) for the Skins marketing air drop. He too, could "only" buy 8 tickets. He declined. But my god, you should see this printed piece they sent blindly out to people. Gorgeous!

3. Stories like this keep rolling into my inbox....


Hope all is well old friend. We were on the Redskin ticket waiting list for years, at number 50,000+ at one point. When the team moved out of RFK our hopes and dreams were realized and I was able to finally buy 2 season tickets in the upper level - nothing special, just 2 seats in the upper level where I could enjoy a few games a year with a friend or one of my kids. Hooray!! Except the return on the investment quickly deteriorated and after a couple seasons we decided to not renew the coveted season tickets.

Well, I just got in the mail the attached "We want you back!" solicitation asking me to re-purchase my season tickets in the same section I had them originally. Do you see the disconnect here? I had tickets and DELIBERATELY gave them up. Supposedly there are tens of thousands of people still on the waiting list. They actually WANT to buy tickets! Were they offered the chance to buy run-of-the-mill upper level seats and already said no? The Redskin season ticket waiting list is nothing but a farce, a media/marketing fabrication trying to drum up interest (read: internet and viral marketing eyeballs) that has little to do with actually selling tickets and filling the stadium.

I have some other observations:

1) I went to the Redskins web site to see if they indicated the size of the waiting list and couldn't find anything. But they did have a promotional video showing crazy fans in the stands who I would HATE TO BE AROUND if I was actually at the stadium.

2) The offer includes a parking pass priced at more than 50% of the individual ticket price (season ticket = $64 per game, parking = $35 per game)

3) There is a $25 handling fee which seems to provide no value whatsoever, except to Mr. Snyder

4) Gotta love that PG County "Admission and Amusement Tax" of 10% per ticket.

There are 10 games per season, but 2 are pre-season and no one attends those but the mail room guy and his drunk buddies. So I would have to pay almost $1,800 for 8 regular season games. That's $225 per game for the privilege of driving an hour and a half each way, parking a mile from the stadium, sitting in 2 seats surrounded by drunk foul-mouthed fans (unless the other team's fans show up instead, which is even worse). Don't get me started on the cost of beer, flat sodas, and cold hot dogs when the ketchup runs out by the middle of the second quarter. And of course there is no scoreboard info to follow fantasy football either.

The man-cave in the basement is underrated. My wife makes an awesome artichoke dip, with hot wings or burgers ready for dinner, and the boys and I can throw the football in the back yard at halftime.

It's nice Mr. Snyder wants me back, but I want no part of him or the stadium.

See ya soon,

And the exodus continues. I'm not even sure that winning, and winning BIG will solve it.

Phallic-ally Challenged

Now that the Cavaliers are gone from the playoffs, I can sleep more soundly.

For weeks now, I have been haunted by the image of center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his fully clean-shaven look.

All I could think of was: "My god.... it's a seven-foot penis with a hook shot."

Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong. I dare you. He looks awful like that. Grow some hair, some stubble, something. Please.

Here's a photo of "Z" with a Cavs fan. Cute, eh?

Mark Whitaker in Los Angeles writes...

I'll tell you EXACTLY who the Cavalier's Ilgauskus looks like.
Remember the Sea Hag in the Popeye cartoon.  He looks like one of her goons. Google image:  Sea Hags Goons.............and look at the second picture shown! It's eerie!

Thanks Mark. I sure as HELL don't remember that one, but you are indeed correct! A damn near perfect match!

Maybe I've got some variant of the rare disorder Jonah Hill's character had in the movie "Superbad." If you haven't seen the movie, you must at least spend a minute watching this!

Of course, "Z" could just "fix" this awkward look, by letting his hair and beard grow a bit. Here's his old look, which I think was sorta bad-guy-cool. Reminds me of the psycho in "Fargo", Peter Stormare. Only without the hair.

Here's a much better "Z" look. Work on it, big fella. And enjoy your summer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gone In A Puff of Chalk

A little "inside baseball" here first.

Sometimes I wake up Sunday morning and write my Monday post early, so I can then enjoy the rest of God's day without worrying about making sure there's a fresh posting here for you loyal readers.

But that post can get stale pretty quickly, depending on the circumstances.

I think I need to amend my LeBron stance regarding his douchebaggy exit from the Eastern Finals on Saturday.

Skipping the media, not so bad. No handshake? Inexcusable. I didn't focus on that enough when I wrote what I did below. I should have. What LeBron showed is just how stubbornly immature this 24-year-old man-beast still is, how gilded in narcissism he remains.

LeBron: "Shaking hands with somebody who just beat me, beat me up. That makes no sense to me."

Except they've been doing it in sports for oh, centuries, I'd guess.

When Dino Cicarrelli can begrudgingly shake the hand of Claude Lemieux who put teammate Kris Draper in the hospital with a crushed face, then LeBron can shake Howard's.

It really is, that simple.

Okay, that said, here was my original take on the deal. I think the saving his teammates some agony part is still partly correct, even though I doubt he did it on purpose.

Enjoy my wrongness....

(Filed Sunday morning, 8:15 a.m.)

Go ahead, rip LeBron James for running home off the playground after the Orlando Magic got done kicking his team's ass.

It's easy. It's fun. Makes you sound tough.

Let me offer an alternate theory on what he was doing, and why. Mind you, I'm not an apologist for the guy. I'm just analyzing what would have probably went down.

Theory: LeBron skipped the post-series press conferences, so he could save his TEAM the kind of embarrassing questions he would have likely been asked.

Look, you can say James was a cowering King, unable to “face the music.” But honestly, what “music” was HE going to be faced with?

“You suck. Can I get your thoughts on that?”


Here's how the questions WOULD have gone to King James.

“Even though you were sensational in this series, do you think you have enough of a supporting cast to win the NBA Finals in Cleveland?”

“Even though he was the coach of the year, do you think Mike Brown has the experience necessary to guide a team to the Finals?”

“Even though you have said that you are happy right now in Cleveland, does this loss help or hurt the chances that you will opt out of your contract after 2010 and go to a larger market?”

And on, and on....

This is not like A-Rod skipping the media after going 1-for-a-billion at the plate in October for the Yankees. Dude averaged nearly 40 in this series, and singlehandedly won TWO games with miracles in the 4th quarter. It wasn't him.

So while you can say that LeBron still needed to suck it up, and deflect those questions or sing the company line with a proud loser's chin, by doing what he did, LeBron didn't allow those questions to even get off the ground.

If a tree falls alone in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

If the superstar player of a woeful franchise in a downtrodden city, runs home for the off-season without answering any questions about why his team/coach/city sucks so much, is that not actually one last favor he does for them?

Now, the “story” is Big Baby 'Bron. The media will chew on that for a few days. Privately, his coach and team will thank him for it.

Again, just an alternate theory. Maybe the obvious take is correct: Boo Hoo 'Bron. I don't quite see it like that. He's taking the blow, just like he took all the big shots to bail them out.

In the meantime, call Geppetto. We need a fuzzy Dwight Howard puppet. Stat!