Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CzabeVegas 2012 Hard Rock Rooms Now Bookable!

Thanks for being patient, folks. But it's now officially "GO TIME!" Our killer insider rates for the Hard Rock can now be snatched up by clicking THIS LINK to book on-line, or you can CALL the Hard Rock at the number below and use the following promo code.

Hard Rock Reservations: 800-473-7625
Promo Code: CZAC12A

You can book as many nights as you like. Our special rates run Wed-Sat March 21-24. They are $79, $79, $139, and $139.

The VIP Party is for the first 40 people each night (Thu and Fri) and you can reserve your spot for that, with or without booking a room at the Hard Rock. (Although if you don't already have a place to stay, by all means, jump on this rate at The Rock and hang with us!)

Here's your current VIP room PAID and CONFIRMED LIST!
If you are not on this, and THINK you have "booked" the VIP room, get on it!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail at czabe@yahoo.com.

Monday, January 30, 2012

"A Steady March Toward Corporate Nirvana..."

If this year's Super Bowl logo looks oddly familiar, it's not you.

It's them.

The NFL's joyless suits, artistically tone-deaf, penny pinching killjoys, have decided that there was apparently just TOO MUCH creativity and variety in the annual logo for the "big game."

About this time last year, the league decided to "streamline" a bunch of stuff. Namely, they re-did the AFC & NFC championship trophies (welcome and long overdue) but then went too far by declaring that the Super Bowl logo would be a bland, gray phallic edifice to the Lombardi Trophy.

Year, after year, after year.

Great job, dummies.
The NFL has historically introduced a dramatically different Super Bowl logo every year based primarily on the location of the game, and using roman numerals for greatest impact. Landor’s strategy for the new visual identity system places at the heart of it the Vince Lombardi trophy, given to the Super Bowl’s winning team each year. Depending on the NFL event, the new system allows for complementary elements to be introduced. The released version, for the Arlington 2011 Super Bowl XLV, is the first example of a region-specific identity which will include each year’s stadium venue and the roman numerals to designate the event. This system affords the NFL consistency from year to year, regardless of the playoff event.
I wish they had re-considered. Because this crap actually, really, bums me out.

Go ahead and rip me for being a geek. Go ahead and say how "it doens't matter, only who wins and loses the game matters!"

You are wrong. You just don't know it.

The annual SB Logo is a visual collectible. A signpost to help you remember, instantly, the time, place and teams involved in the big game. It's bad enough that most of us can't quickly translate roman numerals and correlate them to years. Worse that the regular season and the Super Bowl do not occupy the same calendar year.

But now, with this generic-ass Lombardi-centric logo that is going to replicate like a bunch of Terminators for as far as the eye can see into the future, good luck remembering off hand which Super Bowl was which.

Perhaps my favorite Super Bowl logo of all time, was the New Orleans logo post-9/11.

Then I found out thanks to the mega-land of all things sports logos, Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.net, that there was a PRE-9/11 logo already cooked up for that game, which the league happily dispensed with to go with something more patriotic for reasons that were obvious. Here's what it looked like.

A recent column by Charles P. Pierce on Grantland.com, lauded Patriots coach Bill Belichick as not just a great coach, but also as the NFL's last great "anarchist." His larger point, however, dovetails with the un-necessary and nobody-asked-for-it logo-standardization program.
For years now, the undeniable fact about the National Football League has been that the whole operation is grimly determined to combine the unpredictability of an Amway seminar with the giddy good humor of the North Korean army. This problem has grown especially acute under the recent stewardship of Commissioner Roger Goodell, who seems to imagine himself on a balcony in Buenos Aires, tossing money to the peasants. There was a time, and not so long ago, when the NFL was full to its gunwales with entertaining miscreants of all varieties. Then the Collective assimilated the American Football League, and the steady march toward corporate sports nirvana — i.e., authoritarian tedium on which you can bet went to the double-quick. Which is why all those people who spend so much time complaining about the No Fun League should embrace Bill Belichick, because Bill Belichick is the NFL's last real anarchist.

The Olympics could just go to a standard logo with the vaunted 5-rings and slap a city name in helvetica narrow underneath. But they haven't. I hope never do. Because logos are cool.

Somewhere, I'm sure, an NFL minion is gloating at the "savings" this billion-dollar-colossus of a league has pocketed by essentially xeroxing the annual SB logo to infinity. I'm sure they'll order extra-extra-large shrimp at Roger Goodell's commissioner party with that cash.

You Are Gonna Wanna See This...

Because your buddies are surely going to be talking about it today at the water cooler.

Good.... gawd.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Kelly Monaco

Okay, I don't know how Hollywood works, but how on EARTH has Kelly Monaco go from her smash breakout appearance on Dancing With the Stars, to doing basically NOTHING since then?

How bad could she be as an actress? Honestly?

Just put her in some TV shows and/or movies. Look at her. Smoke show. It's a damn shame, and an outrage. A shamerage, I say.

Not So Crazy, After All These Years

There's a saying that some things in life - like gambling and booze - are "recession" proof.

It's not really true, but the perception exists that some things are ever enduring in popularity.

Duke basketball under Mike Krzyzewski, I once thought, was also "recession proof."

Apparently, not.

I was stunned when a caller to my afternoon show here in D.C. said that Duke - the GOLD STANDARD of  college basketball enthusiasm - was having a tough go of attendance.

I mocked him, and said: "Harumph. Really??"

Yes, really.

Now mind you, Duke is NOT having problems selling out their 9,000+ throwback gymnasium. Yet. They are   just losing the fervent support of the so-called "Crazies." The students get 1300 seats allotted to them, and they are down to about 500-600 students per game actually claiming them.


“The enthusiasm hasn’t been there,” Forman said. “[Head coach Mike Krzyzewski] has had to drum up enthusiasm himself, which he shouldn’t have to do. The students should be doing that themselves... whether 500 or 1,200 of them are there.” 
One of the biggest causes of the declining attendance is the students’ misconception of the time commitment involved, Garrett said, along with the increasing prevalence and popularity of online streaming on sites like WatchESPN.com. 
“The rumor we’ve had to deal with over the past couple years is that it’s hard to get into games, and if you show up half an hour before tipoff you won’t get in,” Garrett said. “We’ve been trying really hard... to really debunk those rumors because they’re simply not true.” 
Another part of the problem has been an underwhelming home schedule over the past several years due to a down ACC and marquee nonconference matchups moving to Madison Square Garden. Duke has played just three ranked nonconference teams in Cameron Indoor Stadium over the last four years, and only three ACC teams are currently placed in the Associated Press Top 25. 
Diminishing student attendance is a national trend, Forman said, and collegiate sports marketing departments have been combating it in a variety of ways. Many have altered their in-game experiences to become more engaging during stoppages in play, especially timeouts and halftime. Over the last few years, Duke has begun incorporating highlight videos, player introductions and popular music into its pregame festivities, but the marketing department currently has no plans to significantly alter the in-game atmosphere.
I once said that even if you HATE Duke basketball, you owed it to yourself to go to a came at Cameron Indoor. It's a throwback, old school, melt-your-head kind of experience that doesn't exist anywhere else in sports. And someday, may be gone.

Once upon a time, ANY Duke game was a very challenging scalper ticket. There just wasn't many of them to be had. Now, I suppose, your chances are better than ever of getting in. But, if the vaunted "Cameron Crazies" aren't so crazy anymore, then your impression of the place, might not be as impressive as I once remembered it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Movie Posters I'd Love To See

The Donkey Whisperer

"She Ain't Sacagawea..."

So I get the following email from a listener who DEARLY wants to go on our yearly excursion to Las Vegas for the Sweet 16 - CzabeVegas 2012 - but has a small problem.

He just knocked up his ol' lady.


Just trying to gauge how many of the guys at Czabe Vegas show up with their wifes/girlfriends/significant others? I'm trying to make it out this year but my wife and I just found out she's pregnant (been only about a month). So you see the obvious dilemma here...husband goes to Vegas and leaves the pregnant wife at home by herself. The only option I can potentially see is bringing her with me (Albuquerque to Vegas is a relatively short trip). Your thoughts based on previous years?


Dude, she's not sacagawea. She's one MONTH pregnant!

But okay, so maybe you shouldn't print out and show your wife the wikipedia page on Lewis and Clark's hired (kidnapped?) native American tour guide (mistress?) who helped his group WALK from Missouri to Oregon ("Hey, it'll be FUN! Come on!") while both 9 months pregnant and then who HAD HER CHILD, and then carried the child WITH THEM as they walked to f***ing Oregon!

I'm sorry. I am yelling?

Here's the deal. In a word: YES, absolutely bring your wife/girlfriend/fiancee to the event. Vegas is a big fun city, with lots of mature things to do, shows to see, and really nice romantic restaurants.

If your girl hates sports/basketball then just have her do her own thing during the games, and then meet up with her afterward.

In fact, in the 3 years we've been doing this CzabeVegas thing, I have had NUMEROUS married couples come out together, and have a blast. One couple - believe it or not, but I swear it's 100% true - actually RENEWED their vows at the legendary little Vegas chapel with the Elvis pastor.


But yeah, the pregnancy thing is like a woman's possession of a nuclear bomb. You gotta negotiate much more GENTLY with them when they are "with child" , so to speak.

Some wives (and husbands) are more than happy release their spouse for a weekend. So to each their own. We don't discriminate. And no, for the record, there are no strippers in the VIP area for our group, and there's no sex in the champagne room.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Scarlett Johansson

What can I add to the wonder that is, Scarlett Johansson? Nothing, really. Just look at her. Geezus. The only nit to pick, is this particular shot is a little bit over-airbrushed. But I liked the pose. So screw it. Enjoy.

CzabeVegas 2012: Hard Rock Here We Come!

Okay kids, have at it.

You can reserve both your spot in the VIP party for either one or both nights of the Sweet 16 right now. Anyone who reserves a VIP spot can also put a reserve HOLD on a room at the Hard Rock Hotel at these incredible, "Czabe-has-the-hook-em-up rates" you see here.


Now, I know you have a lot of questions....


Q: Do I have to stay at the Hard Rock to come to the VIP Party?
A: No.

Q: Why should I stay at the Hard Rock if I am coming to the VIP Party?
A: Because it's an awesome place to stay, totally different vibe than any other casino in town. Lots of young pretty people, fun dealers, music, food, and more. Trust me, it's "the scene" baby.

Q: Will you be mad at me if I stay at Circus Circus for $8 a night?
A: Of course. Don't be a schmuck. You can always find a "cheaper room" somewhere else in Vegas. Whatever. Are you here on a budget, or here to have fun? The Hard Rock is going to treat us RIGHT! So do them a solid and throw 'em your business for Wayne Newton's sake! Split the room with a buddy, and we're talking $50 a night! That's two bad hands at blackjack. Come on!

Q: What do I get for my $40?
A: You get a nice unobstructed spot to watch the Sweet 16, and un-fettered access to hang out and drink, gamble, and bitch at the refs with ME, your radio buddy! Also, I plan to get everyone "A Shirt, A Shot, and Some Shit." Details TBA.

Q: Will Scotty, Solly, and Galdi be with you?
A: God willing! First, however, I need to get a good group of you people signed up and paid. Once that happens, I can gently re-direct some funds to bring the gang with me. As I am sure you know, Scott's appearance fee is not cheap!

Q: Do I need to book all four days at the Hard Rock to get the rate?
A: No, you can tailor your stay to your travel plans as you wish.

Q: Know of any cheap airfares?
A: Not really. But, I highly recommend Travel Mart Vacations for anybody who needs some expert help on getting there. These people are the best!

Q: Will you be playing golf with any listeners while out there?
A: Generally, no. BUT, I have 2 foursomes on hold for my "inner circle" and depending on who gets arrested and can't make their tee time, it has happened in the past where guys can slip in and play. I would not count on it, however.

Q: Will there be a game that costs me money because of a last second 3-point dagger?
A: You bet your ass.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eli Manning Blown'd UP! Super... Slowww... Motion!

Eliface. The ... best!


Nightmares For A Lifetime

Wow. Who could have seen this one coming. Like when Homer made Bart the evil clown bed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Monica Potter

So I'm happening across one of my wife's shows the other day walking through the living room and - WHOA - who the snickity-doo-da-day is THAT who looks like a younger, blonder version of Julia Roberts?

Answer: Monica Potter, of NBC's ensemble show "Parenthood."

Nice. Let's get this gal into more movies and TV shows, and not just slasher dreck like The Last House on the Left.

HYBRID: Julia Roberts, Kim Basinger, and a splash of Kristina Applegate.

"It's Only Football..."

Joe Paterno, rest in peace.

The full story of the scandal that collapsed his otherwise pristine reputation and legacy on this earth as a football coach and educator (or is it the other way around?) is still being written.

The possibility for further exoneration OR condemnation exists. Time and court proceedings will have the final say on all of that.

His mountain of "good" I believe outweighs the late breaking tsunami of "bad" associated with Sandusky the child predator. I need not go through the box score on all of that.

Joe Paterno BUILT Penn State.
Joe Paterno LOVED Penn State.
Joe Paterno RAN Penn State.
Joe Paterno WAS Penn State.

Things should have stopped after the first two.

Somewhere along the way to JoePa becoming so insanely BIG at that place, more people should have said: "Hey, it's only football."

Somehow, JoePa got big enough that apparently nobody really "had his ear" to serve as a balancing consigliere of sorts. When the AD comes and says after 54 years as coach "hey, how 'bout riding off into the sunset" and the coach tells you to stick it, well then, you no longer have a functional athletic department.

You have a benevolent dictator.

I know JoePa feared death after football, like what happened to Bear Bryant. I know Bobby Bowden felt the same way at Florida State.

But that kind of thinking is nuts. JoePa didn't want to retire, because he felt there was nothing after football but death? Really? Somebody should have had his ear to say: "You're wrong, Joe. There's another glorious, post-football chapter waiting to be written. You are nearly 80! Time to move on."

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports has a very well constructed piece today about what is left...
Penn State as we know it has died as well. 
In some ways, it needed to. The do-nothing university culture that allowed Sandusky to allegedly operate unimpeded certainly needed to die. The Paterno as emperor machinery, built to sustain an image and perpetuate a career beyond its rational boundaries, needed to die. The university’s disproportionate dependence on football for its identity needed to die. 
But there are some other elements to this obit that are disheartening. 
They’re burying an ideal alongside Paterno, an ideal most big-time football programs don’t even pretend to aspire to anymore. Paterno himself referred to it as “The Grand Experiment” – trying to win big while keeping winning in perspective. Those aspirations usually are mutually exclusive, but JoePa never believed it had to be that way. 
They’re burying the uniqueness of Penn State football, where it was OK to be old-fashioned. They’re burying a place where commitment was unconditional between school and coach. A place that dared to be dull amid the Oregonization of college football. A place where the coach never strong-armed the school for a bigger salary, never hesitated to help the school’s educational mission, never sold out to the corner-cutting methods that felled other big names in the profession. 
Amid the burials of both good and bad, one thing is sure: We will not see anything like the Paterno-Penn State dynamic ever again. It is a relic of a different era.
Penn State, and Penn State football have a chance at beginning a new chapter, certainly in Joe Paterno's mold, with Joe Paterno's values, but stripped of the lunacy of letting one man act as a King. Let's hope they figure it out.

Reminding yourself: "It's only football..." every now and then, would be a good start.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

"The Tuck Rule" - Rhymes With "Suck Rule"

Last Thursday, the infamous "Tuck Rule" turned 10 years old. I doubt many football fans said: "And thank god that one is still in the rulebook!"

The "Tuck Rule" is to the NFL, as herpes is to a Hefner pool party.

What the "Tuck Rule" does, is take an otherwise obvious and easy to call play in the game of football and twists logic, common sense, and a sense of fairness into a hopelessly knotted ball of legalese.

Once upon a time, we let NFL referees use their plain judgement to make calls. Not all of them were correct. Such is life, and sports.

Since the advance of better and more television, the public demand to get every call "right" has been un-relenting. It's a fool's errand. The biggest modern snipe hunt in history.

Just last week, we saw the limits of technology and the NFL's sense of humility. Not only did Bill Leavy go under the hood to refute on a whim what 1080 lines of precise slow-mo resolution at 60 frames per second had told all of America - that Greg Jennings had fumbled the football - but the league then backed him up later in the week by saying he had made the right call.


This is the NFL world we now live in. A world where what you see and know, may not be considered fact. And Roger Goodell's minions have no problem telling you that you are stupid for thinking so.

So back to the Tuck Rule game. Enjoy this excellent re-cap from NFL Films (by way of ESPN) and then if you like respond to a few emailers to my in-box below.

Personally, I am all for melting down the rulebook to make things more simple and less "codified." I would even be for a rule change that says any "pass" that does not go past the line of scrimmage is considered a fumble.

But don't count on the league going with LESS replay, or a SMALLER rulebook. The NFL is a bureaucracy just like any other. And bureaucrats almost never advocate limiting their power or scope of influence.

TUCK RULE EMAILS from this week...

Hello Czabe,

I have been a devoted listener to the morning show and The Sports Reporters since about 05. I have heard you argue about the NFL's replay system with Scott and the guys, and with Andy in the afternoons. I have always been somewhat on the fence about it, but this weekend totally pushed me into your corner. 

This whole "down by contact" thing is part of where the problem lies. It's not so much the idea of replay, but it's rules that replay tries to uphold. The NFL rulebook is so contrived and full of overcomplicated rulings and scenarios that it's almost laughable. I heard you guys mention the "Tuck Rule" yesterday on the local show, and that's a prime example. 

All that said, I like your idea about reviewing only scoring plays and turnovers because I do think some form of replay can be useful. I just think that the root of the problem is with the NFL's ridiculous rulebook.

Great job as always, keep it up!
Keith Barnes



Try this rule change that will eliminate the need for many instant replay reviews and coaches challenges in the NFL. In addition, it will remove a few distasteful plays used by the offense that lead to the officials stopping play for a lengthy discussion. The rule change I propose is \"Any ball that hits the ground behind the line of scrimmage is a live ball.\" Think about the all the plays that would no longer require a reviewed and invoke other obscure rules buried deep in the rules book. Was the quarterback\'s arm going forward when the ball was knocked out of his hand? Does not matter LIVE BALL recovered by the defense -- the tuck rule goes away -- intentional grounding leads to a live ball. I think the upside to this rule change is boundless and will mark a new era of keeping the game clock rolling without changing fundamental approach to the game.

Rico Leone 


Name:: Ken
Subject:: Tuck Rule Game

FYI, The Tuck Rule was called in the 1st game of the 2001 season btw the Partiots & the NY Jets. The fumble by Vinny Testaverde (and recovered by Pats) was changed to an incomplete pass due to the Tuck Rule.

So in the playoff game later that season against the Raiders, Bill Belichick was pretty certain the referees would call the same thing.

Also, ironically, the Patriots were robbed of a superbowl appearance during the 1976 playoffs by a controversial roughing the QB on Ken Stable on a 4th down. After the Tuck game was over, on a cold snowy day in Foxboro, the score board read "Revenge is best served cold." How poetic!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Gina Carano

To MMA fans, Gina is old news. But for many of you guys, she is the answer to the question: "Who is that hot chick in this movie "Haywire?"

I had a rough day today. Somebody sent me this link which purports to be a Gina Carano Overdose of pictures. They were right. After about 193 clicks, I found myself passed out on the floor in a rather embarrassing position.

It was hard to do, but I picked the one I liked best. A simple face shot, with a wool hat. Am I nuts? No. I just admire her pristine facial beauty. Perfect smile. Cheek bones of a model. Gleaming brown eyes and jet black hair. A nice mix of 1 part Cindy Crawford, 1 part Mandy Moore, and 2 parts female action figure.

"They're Called..... 'Experts.' "

This is an upper deck blast, over the light tower HOME F'ING RUN! And trust me, my politics run briskly COUNTER to what Jon Stewart truly believes in.

However, when he uses the format of television, combined with his own biting sarcasm, and the open stupidity of the people elected to write laws we must all live by, it is nothing short of devastating.

Sadly, the clowns we elect to Congress still don't get it. They could be forced to sit and watch this piece and still think: "Yeah, so what? We know what we're doing."

That's how dumb, and arrogant they are.

Oh, ha ha, those "nerds" who write the "internets" on the "computer-trons", ha ha, they are so lame.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Taylor Swift

Taylor is now a full 22 years old, which is an age where dirty old men in their forty's are allowed to lust openly for them by way of internet gossip sites and whatnot. But for this girl, she still looks and seems like a perennial 17 year old high school senior, so I can't go there on her. Yet.

I do appreciate her talent, though I once swore she couldn't sing. She actually can sing good enough, even though pure voice talent experts will say she's on the low end of that spectrum. Sort of like Greg Maddux's arm, she makes up for it with every thing else.

She writes nice tight, commercially viable pop music songs, and plays almost every instrument on stage. Her stagecraft is second to none, and appears to have a grasp of her business that is way beyond her years. And she's driven to succeed like a cyborg.

On top of all that, she's got sweet deal as one of Revlon's top tier endorsers, so we'll be seeing lots of glossy ads in your daughter's magazines of her pouty red lips and impossibly long eyelashes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Swear I've Seen This Movie Before

I've gotten a few emails like this lately. Not a huge pile of them, but about half a dozen or more. It gets a bit exasperating at times, but then I step back and just enjoy the fact that people can be so damn invested in sports.


I live in Omaha and we used to have the Czabe Show every day and I listened every day. We lost it when Fox Radio decided not to keep the show. I have continued following you through The Daily Czabe, Sporting News Radio and now Yahoo. I have told many people about the greatness of this show and I have admired your strong efforts on staying on the air and your strong efforts of the Daily Czabe.

That being said, after your current freaky, hate-mongering of Tim Tebow, you\'ve finally lost me. I don't consider myself a Tebite, but I do like the fellow. I'd prefer my daughter enjoy watching him than a tatted-up, pot smoking, womanizing wife-beater. I also enjoyed hearing critics whine and pull out whatever hair they had since Tebow was going against all their professed expertise. 

At any rate, it was more your absolute hatred that has turned me off. You might be right on Tebow's skillset weaknesses, but your rants have pushed me over the edge of saying good bye to your fine show. If you were still on the air in Omaha, I might be listening, but since I have to make an effort to find you, I find it is no longer worth the effort. Good luck in the future, Czabe, I still agree with you on most things, but I can\'t take the hate. 

Paul Reece


Dear Paul,

I am saddened to lose such a dedicated listener. Even more sad, is that a single player, and a single difference of opinion could cause such a dramatic, and final decision to leave me and my show. I understand that my opinion on Tebow is unflinching, but I don't think it is mean. Well, at least not in the context of any athlete who is a public figure. I also find it puzzling that the good things about this guy that I readily concede, are not counted in the "big picture" on where I stand. 

If I may ask, what in your mind would constitute "fair criticism" of Tebow, that does not cross over into the category of "hate?" Furthermore, would you prefer a host who is not afraid to be wrong  and stakes out an opinion (Tim certainly will have a chance to shove it down my throat in the coming months and years), or somebody who merely floats along with a stance that is considered "mainstream" and "acceptable?"

I recall similar emails during the ascendant hype of one Michelle Wie. I was steadfast in my opinion that she was nothing more than an over-hyped marketing vehicle, who was destroying her long term prospects in the game by playing hopelessly above her appropriate level.

Yet the media clamor for Michelle Wie was loud and un-relenting, and I was shouted down by many corners of the sports opinionsphere. I also pointed out how graceless and entitled she could be, and again, I was dubbed a "hater" by some.

Well, fast forward about 5 years, and it turns out I was dead-nuts right about nearly ALL of it! Not that she's "done" as a golfer, but Wie has STILL won virtually NOTHING as a pro (2 LPGA tour event).

When a player like Yani Tseng comes along - same age as Wie, 22, by the way - and just starts DESTROYING the competition (22 professional wins and counting) and the media barely bats an eye, it just makes my previous points about Wie all the more valid.

Tseng isn't a "marketable" star like Wie was once upon a time. She's quiet. Humble. Doesn't talk about playing vs. the men. She is short and plain, not tall and pretty. And her mastery of the english language remains a barrier to any endorsement opportunities.

I found out once and for all during the whole "Wie episode" in sports history, that it doesn't really "pay" to be RIGHT about things in sports that go contrary to the accepted mainstream. After all, the same herd of sports writers and pundits who lapped up every Michelle Wie (non)-milestone, didn't come back after reality set in and admit how and where they were wrong.

They just kind of wandered off to the next "big thing."

Personally, I have this delusional notion that my job as a sports talk radio host, entails trying to have as many "correct" opinions on players, teams, and games as possible. To analyze the sports landscape, and call things as I see them.

Knowing full well, that I will be WRONGER and look DUMBER than the local town drunk MANY TIMES over as the years pile up.

I don't mind being wrong. I don't mind being ripped, lampooned and skewered for being wrong.

I just don't have the stomach to "go along" with the "easy" opinion on things in sports, if I just don't feel it's going to pan out as everyone says. And I don't like to just be a contrarian, for the sake of pissing people off.

So we'll see about Tebow.

If he wins, and becomes a very good NFL starter at QB, the spoils of "I-Told-You-So" victory will belong to everyone who has railed against my Tebowian stance on Timmy Rah Rah.

I don't just want you to redeem those "how do you like him now" apples, I fully EXPECT you to!

And if I'm right after a few years, then well, I'll just shut up and move on.

I've learned my lesson. You just can't win.

Snicky du Jour: Paula Creamer

Readers by now should already know my over-the-top-fanboydom of golf's most brilliant smile, The Pink Panther! But in addition to rocking the lovely pink-striped knee socks from time to time, and talking trash while beating her opponents in match play, ol' Paula is a die hard Niner fan from Northern California.

Go Paula!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Titanic II

Every now and then, I consider taking my family on a cruise. Then, something like this comes along.

Oh sure, I know. The actual % of cruise ships worldwide that leave port and return safely, is damn close to 100%. I know that.

But to think THIS can actually still happen, is pretty flabbergasting.

Apparently, it was the captain, cruising close to shore just to honk his horn at a friend who lived on the nearby island.

Sooooo, so, Italian of him.

Well, here's more from a listener who knows things about cruise ships...

Hey Czabe,

I used to work for the leading developer of the automatic navigation systems for cruise ships, so I keep in touch with the industry. As long as the captain uses the automated system, he doesn't run aground. Even when he manually steers, there are so many audible and visible alarms telling him the seaway is too shallow...I have no idea how he didn't know he was in trouble. Granted, cruise ships aren't Honda Civics and take a *long* time to change direction, but still. They set the alarms up to look ahead 5+ minutes to predict problems with enough time to turn.

The problems with cruises have been in all the papers. The most unsafe aspects are these.

The crews are *very* poorly trained and paid. Other than the top officers, most of them have no clue what to do in an emergency. And most don't speak English. I had heard that the Caribbean cruise lines hired natives from South American villages, gave them a couple of weeks training, and turned them loose. Just what you want: "no habla" when the lights are out and the ship is listing and you smell smoke.

The worst part is this. These ships are flagged in foreign countries, like Panama and Liberia, for insurance and business purposes. That means they are foreign countries in effect. If something happens to you on board, like you get assaulted or robbed, don't bother calling the police in the US or the FBI: they have no jurisdiction. Instead, contact Liberia; yeah, right. Some years ago, a girl from Richmond, VA was cruising with her family and *disappeared* at sea. FBI could do nothing.

If you really want a safe cruise, go on a day cruise on a U.S. Navy ship. Those kids know their business, from the lowest paint-scraper to the captain. I had the honor of riding cruisers and carriers for my job. They ran periodic emergency drills, and you, as a civilian, had better muster to where you were told in an efficient military manner during the drill. Those guys are *THE BEST IN THE WORLD*.

-john reilly
Staunton, VA

Snicky du Jour: Ellie Kemper

Fans of "The Office" (American vesion) know this little snicky well. She's Erin, the perky but hopelessly dense receptionist and one-time love interest to the 'Nard Dog.

I don't know if her career is about to take off, or if she'll be like another spark plug of a redhead Isla Fisher, whose career has been underwhelming since her breakout role in "Wedding Crashers."

Ellie was in "Bridesmaids" which I have been told, is a raunchy "must-see". So I can put that on my list. In the meantime, I can hope to see Ms. Kemper in other roles where she has an IQ above 30.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Boom, Roasted.

Final tally: 9-26, 136 yards and a fumble.

And a futile 1st and goal, where they went 4&OUT punctuated by Tebow whirling, escaping, scrambling, and then ultimately throwing the ball to nobody.

So Bronco fans, and Tebites, you have a real project on your hands now, don't you?

How can you make this jersey-selling, sick-kid-hugging, feel-good-story of a QB, into well, something VIABLE as a long-term prospect?

The fairy tale is over. The magic is gone. The hype will quickly subside.

Now what?

"Press on... " some will say. Let's tighten up the mechanics, add more wrinkles to that run-option offense, get another WR target for him to throw to, and let's see what a full season (with full OFF-season too!) of total Tebow commitment will bring us in terms of record.

I'll admit: I've seen dumber ideas. (see Grossman, Rex and Beck, John).

But I think Tebow as a starter is doomed to fail.

That's just my OPINION. And I've been as wrong as anybody as a sports fan.

I CAN have an opinion, right?

So my call would be this if I were John Elway: Back to the draft for a starter. Tell Tebow's he's a valuable piece to the Broncos puzzle, and they will find a place for him, and find ways to use him.

I'd keep Tebow as a FB/H-back/TE and I would use him in Timmy-Cat formations near the goal-line and randomly during games as a hard-to-adjust changeup.

But in a passing league, you have to be able to pass. Period.

Tebow was far down the list of the reasons the Patriots boat-raced them on Saturday night. But he IS on the list. When you have a QB who can't stretch the field vertically, who can't sustain drives with his arm, who can't deliver counter-strikes to two-TD deficits, then you are really limited.

If you love the guy for reasons that go far beyond his wobbly spiral, then good for you. Keep loving him. He is, a genuine breath of fresh air among pro athletes today. As long as ESPN and other media entities don't shove him down our throats to the point of passing out, I too can enjoy his scrappy overachieving.

But the argument isn't about "liking" him, it's about "can he play" the position at this level.

Well, you've seen his games. You tell me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Kardashian Sampler

Rumors have it that Kim's ill-fated 72 day sham marriage to Kris Humphries is, incredibly, wreaking ACTUAL damage to her "star" power. Amazing that a contrived "star" with no real talent, would be hurt by a contrived stunt on a contrived reality show.

Oh well.

Now there is a rumor out there that ONE of these wholesome gals, is GASP, not actually from Bruce Jenner's own baby batter. ZOMG! Can you guess which one? Apparently, Kris Jenner admits she was a little wild with her sexual escapades back in the day, so Khloe might just be the pool boy's daughter.

Enjoy them now, kids. We're at 13 minutes on their 15 Minutes of Fame clock.

My Open Letter To Tim Tebow

Dear Tim,

Good luck on Saturday night in Foxboro against the Patriots. I'll be rooting for you.

Oh wait. Did I say “I'll be rooting for you?”

I meant to say... “I'll be rooting for you........ TO LOSE BY 40!”

Now look, don't take this personally. In fact, I'm sure you won't, seeing as how you are such a fine and humble young Christian man. Because you see, this isn't about you.

It's about your people. They are out of control. They cannot be reasoned with.

And wow, talk about a thin skin! Sheesh! One little knock against your – ahem – ingenious throwing motion, and I get accused of being a cross between Judas Iscariot and Rod Tidwell's brother Tee Pee: you know, the guy who never had anything positive to say while watching a game.

Your story is pretty amazing: you've gone from being a 1st round reach, to nearly cut, to starter and a 6 game winning streak, to bum who nearly cost your team a shot at the playoffs.... to a cult figure all in just two years.

But it's time that this little football tent revival gets shut down by a QB who is going to the Hall of Fame with a supermodel on his arm and a coach who doesn't mind sleeping with the team secretary or illegally videotaping other teams signals.

Tebowmania has been a fun little ride, but it's nothing more than a craze. And we've seen them come and go in sports and pop culture. Once upon a time, fans in stadiums did “the wave” and basketball players had hi-top fades with lines cut in the side.

MC Hammer was unquestionably cool, and replica puffy pants with fake zebra stripes called “Zubaz” were considered acceptable to wear in public.

The Run-N-Shoot once promised to revolutionize pro football, until teams found out at the most inconvenient times that holding a lead with that offense was about as effective as bringing your soup to lunch in a brown paper bag.

People who say you just need to learn how to throw a little better, are the same people who said we could turn sprinters like Willie Gault and Renaldo Skeets Neimiah into elite wide receivers if we can just get them to improve their hands.

You are fad like sticky wall walkers, or invisible dogs. You remind me of when the Rubiks Cube came out and it was the very wonder of my 8th grade existence. Oh wow! How can you solve this thing? It's like so, complicated!

Rumor had it one of your buddies had solved his Rubiks Cube, but it took almost a week. Still you were amazed. But then the next week, the Asian kid on the bus who's dad was a doctor could solve not just HIS, but YOURS too, all before the bus pulled into the parking lot!

Look, most of this is not your fault. The media has been very unfair to you. That's right, I said UN-fair. Because the media – ahem – ESPN, let's just say for example, has packaged, shined and hyped you to the moon and back, and milked you every step of the way.

I can assure you, there's never before been a 46% throwing quarterback on an 8-8 team that got the column inches, television features, or sports talk radio minutes as you.

And sadly, THIS has been the shallow dirty puddle of water which has bred hatred of your mediocre-ass quarterbacking like a swarm of mosquitoes in the summer.

Right now, the ride is all parade waves and roses. But trust me, when your game gets reverse engineered like a knockoff handbag at a counterfeiters convention, the backlash will be fierce. Because most NFL fans can sort out the steak form the gristle.

And just because Skip Bayless comes on TV and screams like the late Billy Mays insisting the league simply CANNOT live without you, it doesn't mean we are picking up the phone to buy it.

We know who the elite practitioners of this position are in the league. And you ain't one of them. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Not with that gorilla-flinging-a-coconut motion of yours.

So it's really best that it all starts wrapping up now. The sooner for you to maybe transition to a more sustainable position like fullback or TE. Where, hey, you can still quote the Bible, hug sick kids, flex your guns at overturned replays on the bench, and Tebow in prayer until every single leper is cured.

Win win!

So good luck Timmy. Your fans now hate me more than ever. And no matter how bad you play on Saturday night, I can assure you that come Monday, they'll still say: I'm the bad guy.

Sincerely yours,

Steve Czaban
Radio Blowhard

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Avril Lavigne

I'll admit that this little punky spitfire isn't everybody's cup of tea. You may hate her music. You might not like her chalky white skin, or Skater Boi persona. In fact, one Canadian friend of mine called her a "nasty ball of hate from Ontario."

But just think of her as the Canadian Taylor Swift, with a lot more eye black. And she's on the market again, after cutting loose her husband Deryk Whibley, lead guitarist from Sum 41.

Shrimpy McTryhard

Mark Sanchez is cooked in New York.


At this point, given the media feeding frenzy in that city, with those sports fans, this is not going to end well for him. The only question, is how soon will it end.

Sanchez isn't the worst QB in the world. But the gap between his hype and the reality is a gulf that simply can't be bridged.

I remember when Steve Young - whose opinions on the position I usually greatly respect - said that Sanchez was "almost presidential" in his demeanor and approach to the game.

Yeah, sure.

And for everybody keeping score on MY bad calls on players (see Newton, Cam et. al.) at least here's one that I DID get right. In fact, I was cringing and begging the Redskins NOT to fall in love and trade up ahead of the Jets to snag him 3 years ago.

Danny Boy and Co. had the patented Redskins "big dinner" with Sanchez, and every report was that they came away swooning like Young.

Luckily for Skins fans, the team had so little trade ammunition in their gun locker, they couldn't pull the trigger.

It's now Woody Johnson's mess to clean up.

Mind you, none of the above absolves the gutless, unprofessional, team cancers who decided to speak anonymously on the record with such bluntness. It's just that Sanchez just will never turn it around now, not with this poison in the well up there.

Which brings me to the time tested argument about whether certain QBs have "led" their team to (insert title game or Super Bowl here) or if they merely "went to" the (insert title game or Super Bowl here).

When it comes to Rex Grossman here in Washington, almost nobody falls back on the argument that Rex "led" the Bears to the Super Bowl. It's pretty common knowledge that Rex merely "went to" that game, WITH a phenomenal defense and Devin Hester being "ridiculous."

I say the same with Shrimpy McTryhard. He just "went to" two AFC championships, he didn't really drive the Jets there himself. Go ahead, look at the game-by-games and make your own judgement.



If the Jets don't make a bold move with Sanchez, and merely try to "stay the course" and hope he improves, it will be a slow torturous drip drip drip of rumors and second guessing with every single pick-6, fumble, or blown throw.

If you CAN get Peyton Manning, and he does SEEM fully healthy, well then you just have to do it.

Then we'd have Manning vs. Manning in Gotham. Epic. Sign me up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Halle Berry

Here's the problem with searching for a fantastic photo of Halle Berry on the internet.

Your work, is never finished.

Once you come upon the most spectacular, perfect, oh-my-GAWD-just-look-at-that photo... well then there's a better one just two clicks away.

So you search and search and search, and start assembling a folder of "finalists" that you promise yourself you will feed into some kind of NCAA style bracket contest to determine the absolute BEST Halle Berry photo....

... and then you finally just give up and say: "Here. This should do."

All that said, just remember kids: David Justice eventually got sick of waking up to this, which means *something*, I am sure.

Some of the Best Animated Sports GIFs Of The Year

There's a full article with many more of these (50, to be exact) but I did the hard work (ahem..) of editing it down to just the best handful for your enjoyment.

Michael Boley smokes a poor Giants intern in the face with a horizontal TD spike.

Mark Sanchez wipes a booger on Mark Brunnell's coat.

Kings "Captain" Dustin Brown  needs a damn sippy cup.

The falsest false start evah. Wake up, dude.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Blake Lively

Where some blondes look like they are produced off a factory line, Blake does have that certain sparkle to her that makes her stand out.

Can she act? I dunno. Don't care, really.

Currently making her name on Gossip Girl, Blake has also been in the Green Lantern movie, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, and The Town.

Here in a little school girl outfit, all I can say is:  nicely played, blondie!

Monday, January 9, 2012

And Now, For the Current Gold Standard

Just a further add on my video of Tebow's... ahem... "unique" throwing motion.

I know that there are variations of style. I know that guys can improve on mechanics. (Although at this late stage of his career, it is very, very daunting to make major changes).

I know that Timmy Rah Rah is "unconventional" and that his running capabilities are currently making up for his lack of passing efficiency.

But good fundamentals are the boring things in sports that makes the great, well, great.

As such, Tim Tebow's current miraculous run of cliffhanger escapes, doesn't excite me as much as others. Which is fine. To each his own.

What does excite me about today's BEST QB's, are the insanely accurate and gutsy throws the best of the best make like it's no big deal. 

I'm talking about throws that are like when Barry Pepper's character in Saving Private Ryan puts his sniper bullet right through the other sniper's scope and into his eye.

Aaron Rodgers does that kind of shit. All the time. Like in last year's Super Bowl. Two throws that were just balls-the-size-of-church-bells good. 

Here they are. Enjoy.

Bad Hair Day

So you think Leslie Visser had a "bad hair day" in Denver?

So did THIS GUY (/Gruden voice) in India, who had to FIGHT OFF A F***ING WILD LEOPARD who scalped his head, and KILLED another man talking on his cell phone!

/insert panicked Indian guy voices
/insert Leslie Visser plastic surgery crackback jokes
/go straight to hell.

Snicky du Jour: Keri Russell

As we head into 2012, I decided to put a little twist on my "Snickies" section of this site. Previously, there was a 3-pack of nice photos of various women, hidden behind the front page of Czabe.com for reasons that I am sure you can understand.

Advertisers still get a little squirrelly at the first sight of a bikini. Never mind that mainstream sites like SI.com have their "Hot Mustard" section which includes scantily clad cheerleaders and the like. Never mind that supposedly "serious" writers like Gregg Easterbrook also include a slobbering mention and photo of an NFL "Cheerleader of the Week."

So I figured the new "Snicky" protocol would be for me to find ONE, really nice, hi-resolution photo of a snicky that most people have heard of already. Maybe it'll be somebody you had never heard of before. If so, then hey, now you know!

But enough of wanna-be internet "models" who have a 24 inch waist and fake bombs. Enough of women who are indeed "hot" but have no real talent or sex appeal. I want to go for women who are both incredibly hot, and have that "je ne sais quoi" that put them into an entirely higher orbit of hotness.

Today's babe: Kerri Russell. The star of "Felicity" in the late 1990's, has been underused in my opinion. She's like a younger re-make of Mariel Hemingway with a dollop of Cindy Crawford classic beauty thrown in. She looks great whether she's dressed up for a formal outing (like here) or in a more earthy, every day gal look.

Currently in the (awful) TV show with Will Arnett called "Running Wilde", here's to Keri's agent getting on the damn phone for bigger and better roles before the prime of her career is over.

Tim Tebow Throws The Football Like A Javelin

This is, frankly, horrendous. And it's NEVER going to be fixed. But if you think John Elway and Co. can "coach this up" and make him a viable, long-term, starting QB in this league.....?

Well... good luck.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Brian Cushing: Mic'd Up!

Things Brian Cushing really likes...

1. Steroids
2. His arms
3. His football skills
4. Messing up his face
5. Did I mention, his arms?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Say Your Prayers, Timmy

There is no sure thing in sports, and that's exactly why we love 'em.

Sports are America's original, and still greatest, reality show. You just have to watch to find out.

As such, maybe Tim Tebow and the 8-8 Broncos can beat the 12-4, Six-Time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Maybe Tebow's 46% completions will be good enough against a Steeler defense that was ranked #1 in the NFL in just about every meaningful category this year.


My money says: no chance.

Not even with Big Ben on a peg-leg and Rashard Mendenhall sitting at home penning his latest 9/11 conspiracy theory.

No. Not in a million years should Denver win this game. They have played two good teams since Halloween, and were roasted by both (Detroit hung 45 and New England hung 41). Both in Mile High.

So what do you do if you are a gamblin' man? That's just what one of my listeners asked....

FROM: Horia N.
TO: Czabe
RE: Gambling


I could NOT agree with you more regarding Steelers being the lock of the century. I am looking to play my first action EVER on this game, and looking to do it big (well for me at least). Is there a site that you recommend for doing this?

Well, to begin with, let's all remember Furio's sage advice: "Bet wit' a you head, no' over it."
Here was my response to Horia regarding "off-shore" action...
Unfortunately, getting your money "off-shore" to where there are "legal" sports books is cumbersome, and just a bit dicey. The US government (asshats) are throwing up all kinds of roadblocks to try to "shut down" these sites, to mixed results. The very legality of off-shore wagering still remains in a gray area. 
I have not bet with an off-shore book in many many years. 
But when I once DID, I had to physically MAIL a cashiers check to a random address in Barbados and just TRUST that I was not going to be ripped off. (I was not, thankfully). Then you can wager, and then you can hopefully get paid once you win. 
The site I used is called www.thegreek.com and  they have a pretty good reputation. I have not tried to move money their way in some time, and they have a page detailing the MANY ways you can do so, but I have not tried any of them. 
They do have a CREDIT CARD option, but I could SWEAR that such an option is not available to US citizens at this time. 
Give it a try, and let me know how it goes. Start small, and work up from there.
I suppose I should conduct a thorough report on just how and where you can or can't get some sweet action "off-shore" these days.
If you don't mind, please respond below with your own experience and knowledge on the state of the off-shore sports wagering industry, and we'll build on it from there.

In the meantime, here's Tony Soprano's take on gambling in "Chasing It"

I Call This: "A Good Start..."

Nothing quite as stupid and un-helpful as photo-ops in diners and greasy spoon hideaways where candidates try to "relate" to the "average American" by sitting down over eggs and coffee.

Colby’s Breakfast & Lunch in Portsmouth is so sick of White House “wannabes” they’ve put up a sign out front that reads “No Politicians, No Exceptions.” 
“We had some disturbances with politicians coming in and tying up the dining room, slowing down and spreading their agenda and just interrupting our clienteles’ breakfast and disrupting the atmosphere,” a waiter named Andrew told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Now, my idea is a twist on this pointless exercise. Because none of these candidates have yet to be ELECTED to anything, there's no real chance/point in bringing up your grievances with said politician.

What if we made it MANDATORY that those already ELECTED officials, HAD to have breakfast once a week in a local diner, and pretty much anybody with an issue could come on by and give them an earful?

Now we're talkin'. Of course, once these lizards get elected, their public interaction and direct accountability to voters pretty much disappears.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Bowl System Isn't Going Anywhere

I noticed something a bit comical the other day, in regard to bowl trophies.

I think they are getting bigger. And way more fancy.

Take a look at that honker next to Mike Gundy at the Fiesta Bowl. Wow. Makes you think that game was the most important game in the history of tackle football.

And won't that sucker look pretty in the OSU trophy case!

Which is really the point. Bowls are doing everything they can to perpetuate the current system, and if that means crafting 50 pound slabs of granite and metal to impart false importance for the Capital One Bowl, then so be it.

Someday when somebody says "let's get rid of all of this" then someone else will look in their school trophy case and let out a Homer like whine: "Buuuttt.. what about the trophies.... awwwww..."

Despite tepid ticket sales for once "prestige" bowls like the Sugar (see last night's upper deck shots) and even more ludicrous empty seats for the garbage bowls, I don't think we're any closer to a Division 1 playoff now than we have been for the last 20 years.

Put aside the MERITS of a playoff vs. the "current system", for lack of a better overall term that encompasses the regular season, the bowls, and the BCS structure.

This is not an argument of "what is better?" This is an analysis of "is there momentum for change?"

I just don't see it.

Sure, schools can and do LOSE money on bowl trips (UConn lost almost $2 million on last year's Orange Bowl trip). Sure, it's getting harder and harder to fill these games up. Sure the coaches SAY they want a playoff. Sure, the media still blare their horns of outrage in hopes of at least a "Plus One" format.

But none of that matters.

Not until ESPN decides it doesn't want to be in the business of running, televising and promoting almost every single one of the post season bowl games. This year, ESPN/ABC televised or outright owned 33 of the 35 bowls. Eventually, Fox (Cotton Bowl) and CBS (Sun Bowl) will wake up and say: "What the hell are we doing here?" And drop out.

So it works for ESPN.

And it works for AD's who can go home and brag about being in/winning the (Insert Bowl Here) Bowl and say "put that in the media guide!"

It works for coaches who may SAY they want a playoff, but really like the security of bonuses for getting into a bowl of some sort (and hey, 70 teams do!) They love the relatively consequence-free nature of winning or losing a single game detached from the season by a full month plus the holidays.

It works for the players who like the $600 worth of Playstations and Oakley sunglasses they get, plus a week in a strange city and one more fun football game that all of their friends and family can watch on TV.

It works for the corporate sponsors, who to date, have never left a single bowl game standing at the altar without somebody willing to pony up some cash to slap their name on the title.

And it certainly works for every BCS member school, who do not need to share their financial spoils with the Ball State's of the college football world. The BCS is a clumsily constructed cartel, but a cartel nonetheless. And so they reward their own, as you saw by the Michigan vs. Virginia Tech "inside job" at the Sugar Bowl.

I'm not saying there aren't pressure points to the current system.

I'm just saying everyone thought Castro's regime would have fallen by now, and well, can you rent a vacation condo in Havana today, in 2012?

I'd recommend you don't get all hoarse yelling about "the system" because it won't do you any good. I don't even think organizing attendance boycotts of the games will do the trick. These games just need to be shown on TV to make sense to the "powers that be." If they need to digitally insert some fake fans, then we'll have that technology in a few years anyway.

LSU -1 on Monday night against Alabama.

See you there.


More comically over-crafted Bowl trophies for your enjoyment...