Sunday, February 27, 2011

Erin Andrews Goes Red Carpet

Good for Erin Andrews.

No really, I mean it.

She's finally doing the kind of things I said she should be a long time ago, and making the kind of money somebody on TV who is as hot as she is should be making.

The latest news of Erin's skyrocketing career arc, is that she'll be working the Oscars with Robin Roberts on ABC tonite.

To quote Jim Carrey in The Mask: "Smmmmmmmoookin!"

"But wait a minute, Czabe," you ask "weren't you the #1 Consipiracy Theorist when peephole-gate broke with her?"

Yes, yes I was. But I want to remind everyone of an important distinction on that front.

My take was always this: I felt there was no way some random perv could get video like this. I thought most decent hotels had security measures to prevent it, and that you couldn't just pop out a peephole that easily. I thought timing EA's dressing routine was too difficult and dangerous. I also thought her curling her hair buck nekkid (and not with perhaps, a bra and panties on) was highly suspicious.

My alternate theory was that a boyfriend had taken fake "peephole" footage because it turned him on, and that he somehow emailed the footage to a buddy, and it went viral. Instead of admitting it, EA cooked up a story of a peephole perv, to lessen embarassment and protect her (only) job at ESPN.

Then, they caught the guy.

Okay. I was wrong.

Some people went further, like my producer Solly, who felt all along she CREATED this video to help boost her career. I admire his deep cynicism, but its hard to believe a dude is actually in JAIL just to help carry out this elaborate lie.

It doesn't mean however, that it wouldn't have been possible for someone like EA to do just that. In fact, look at how proven the method has become. Random hottie + sex tape = low-level celebrity. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Kendra Wilkinson.... and these won't be the last.

So if you look at EA's career SINCE the perv went peephole on her, it's been on fire.

- New contract with ESPN, her own show on College GameDay.
- Dancing With the Stars
- Endorsement deal with Reebok
- Appearance on the Oscars on ABC

And good for her. I'm not going to say her ordeal was "the best thing to happen to her" or that it was "worth it." But hey, she's making the most of it.

And yeah, good for her.

Is she some kind of ground breaking sports announcer? No. But she's as good as any other woman in the field, and lest I remind us men: she's really easy on the eyes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Now This Cat, Can DUNK!

How come he's not jumping over a Kia Optima?

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Favorite Lincoln Commercial... Evah!

Happy President's Day.

And, if you want something more intellectual about ol' Abe, then read this.

It wasn't until the Lincolns had cleared enough land -- Abraham remembered he "had an axe put into his hands at once" -- that they availed themselves of an 18-by-20 foot log cabin. That first winter in Indiana has been described as "a veritable childhood Valley Forge of suffering." According to Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame in his exhaustive, new two-volume "Abraham Lincoln: A Life" (a treasure on which I rely extensively here), another family in the vicinity recalled seeing the glowing eyes of wolves through the spaces in their cabin walls at night. This was the unadorned and unforgiving frontier, nearly uninhabited and characterized by ignorance, superstition, violence, drunkenness and death.

The adult Lincoln told a journalist that his youth had constituted "the short and simple annals of the poor": "That's my life, and that's all you or anyone else can make of it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Dagger's Razor Thin Margin

For Steeler fans who have yet to muster the stomach to watch detailed footage of Super Bowl XLV, this play in particular won't make you feel any better.

On the backbreaking 3rd and 10 strike to Greg Jennings down the middle of the field late in the 4th quarter, CB Ike Taylor didn't just come within a whisker of knocking that ball away.

No, he actually got a piece of it, the back half of the tightly rotating oblong missile as launched by insanely precise Aaron Rodgers.

Sadly if you are a Steeler fan, or happily for Packer fans, it was only enough to make the throw wobble slightly, and Jennings was unfazed in making the catch.

This footage is part of the Showtime "Inside the NFL" season finale, which aired on February 9th. I don't know if they are re-running this episode, but perhaps you can dial it up on "on-demand" if your cable service has it for Showtime product.

Fantastic stuff, as always by NFL Films. From one football fan, on behalf of millions: THANK YOU for giving us this incredible, immersive, granular look at the game we love so much.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hey Dummies. You're Broke

Unlike the thousands of Milwaukee teachers who claimed to be "sick" today to protest union benefit cuts, I actually am sick! A fast moving bout of the flu, or so it seems, where as of 3 p.m. yesterday I was fine, then by 9 p.m. I was a shivering, full body pain mess.

So I've been a little bit out of the loop on the whole Wisconsin state teachers' union showdown.

Now that I'm up to speed: WTF?!

So Democrats are now literally running away from the state's budget problems. That's good. Well done. Just run away, like a 10 year old boy who is mad at his mommy.

Nice leadership, Democrats.

I hope Scott Walker and the state troopers round 'em all up, and drag their asses back to the state house kicking and screaming.

In reading about some of this, I came across this classic clip or Ronald Reagan telling Air Traffic Controllers to get their asses back to work, or they will be TERMINATED!

Man, just watching it, gives me conservative wood. Ronaldus Maximus did the entire country a favor when he did this, clipping a union that had clearly gotten out of control. I love how he pointed out that unions which strike in a private sector company, is fine. It's that public sector unions, still have to provide the public the services which we as taxpayers all pay for.

Screw these teachers in Wisconsin, and let it be known that other states are correct to be coming after other public sector pensions and benefits. They are totally out of control, and unsustainable. I know, it sucks to take a pay cut Ms. Shiny Apple Teacher.

But the state is broke. There is no other option. And besides, the electorate spoke last November.

Elections have consequences. Welcome to the real world.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If It Dies, You Should Hang 'Em High!

By now, you've probably heard about the fucking redneck idiot Alabama fan, who decided to use industrial grade tree-killing herbicide to (probably) fatally poison the iconic live oaks that frame Auburn's Toomer's Corner.

Excuse my language, but this asshole really deserves the death penalty.

No, really.

I'm no granola-eating-tree-hugger, but I do love trees. And when some moron poisons a tree that took God and nature 130 years to make - just because of a football game! - and then has the stupidity to CALL IN TO A RADIO SHOW TO BRAG ABOUT IT?

Well, that guy is so stupid, he's clearly a menace to both his immediate neighbors in the trailer park, but also a general drain on the human gene pool.

If there was any justice, he's hang from the highest branch in that tree, or serve the 130 years in jail for the age of the tree he just destroyed.

Meanwhile, I sit on my porch and look at 5-6 sugar maples and zelkovas, that stand a decent but not yet magnificent 12-18 feet and think: "I'm gonna be an old codger before these look anything close to magnificient."

Execute this prick and do the world a favor. Or if nothing else, go to a nursery and price out a replacement 60-foot live oak, fully installed, and charge it to Alabama's football program.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Here's Another NFL "Jerry" To Hate

Just so you know, football fans, if you are against the NFL players, then you are FOR this guy.

Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers.



Richardson, according to sources has told Peyton Manning "what do you know about player safety" at a recent collective bargaining session. While the league has backed Richardson publicly, and denied that ol' Jer has anything but sweet syrupy love and respect for the players, something tells me the report is dead balls accurate.

When a player like Manning, with his own $18+ million money machine cranking away as his career sunsets straight into Canton, is willing to stand firm with the rest of the NFL rank and file, then you know he's probably secretly pissed off at owners like Richardson.

It was reported that Richardson said last year "we made a (expletive) deal last time, and we're going to stick together, and take our league back". Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports fleshes out a new round of inflammatory douchebaggery from the Richardson-Manning dust-up, in the eyes of a source who was in the room.

Jerry's stance on player safety and short careers?
Among other things, Richardson became so angry at Sean Morey(notes) after the recently retired player cited a slew of statistics on player safety and average career length that the Panthers’ owner snapped, “You guys made so much [expletive] money – if you played three years in the NFL, you should own your own [expletive] team.”
The bottom line on NFL owners - and truly, pro sports owners in general - is summed up nicely in this column by's Mark Kriegel, even though the topic was about Albert Pujols about to break the bank, not the NFL.
First, the owners cheat worse than the players. Hence, you have stuff like collusion, $8 hot dogs, and, as is currently the case in the NFL, a steadfast refusal to open up the ledgers.

Second, owners like to be known as fearless businessmen, self-made apostles of market law, when, in fact, they really want to be insulated from the consequences of their bad decisions. That’s why you have salary caps and luxury taxes. Owners are laissez-faire when it comes to parking, concessions and, in the case of certain big-market baseball and basketball clubs, television revenues. But most of them are really angling for welfare, the most preposterous form of which is the publicly financed stadium with an overabundance of luxury boxes.

Amen to all of that. It's like the NFL owners are guys who decided to buy huge McMansions with sub-prime credit. They view the players like their housekeepers. "Hey, this new house is bigger, but it makes all of us 'richer.' Don't you like cleaning this new big house for me? Oh, but you do have to clean 2 more rooms. For less money too, because damn, this house is expensive! Somebody gotta pay the rent!"
My wish for the players: walk away March 5th, and tell the owners: "Call us in February 2012, and see how your financial mood is, minus a whole season, and minus a Super Bowl. You wanted this. We're going to give it to you."
I know, it'll never happen. The players, like usual, will crumble. But just once, I'd like to see a good ol' boy like Richardson get the financial ass whippin' of his life, based on an arrogant miscalculation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Amen To This!

In light of my chainsaw frustration discussion this week on both The Steve Czaban Show and Bob and Brian, somebody sent me this very appropos commercial!

Maybe Echo will get the nod! Because I TOO will simply NOT PUT UP WITH a chainsaw that doesn't wwwaaaaaaaWHAAAAAAA....whaaaaaaa...WHAAAAAAAA on command!

Bad News, Longhorn Fans

But Vinny Cerrato, was brought in by Mack Brown as a "consultant" to help untangle last year's 5-7 debacle!

In his postseason evaluation, Brown studied every game tape. He hired several outside consultants, like Vinny Cerrato — a former Brown player, as well as the one-time recruiting coordinator for Lou Holtz at Notre Dame and the general manager of the Washington Redskins — to inspect and evaluate his program. He also asked each player to fill out — and sign — a specific questionnaire about the program and his position coach. Brown said he tore them up after reading the surveys.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

The quote above can be found on Page 4 of a very lengthy and exhaustive article in the American-Statesman. Apparently, Vinny reminded everyone that he was once Lou Holtz's recruiting coordinator, back when Notre Dame was still doing the shady, line-blurring shit with recruits that ... um... let's see... helps you actually CONTEND for a National Championship.

Some have called Vinny nothing more than Lou's "bag man" although specific charges have never actually stuck.

Whatever the case, Vinny's take was simple: You've got some good underclassmen. Hang in there.

For that, he was paid $1500.

Ah, consulting. The greatest scam going.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tiger. Pathetic.


Club slamming.
Camera smashing.
Coach firing.


If you think he's having a hard time handling reality now, just wait. It's only going to get worse.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vegas, Baby. Vegas. It's Time......

If you don't have plans yet for Vegas, well I'm here to help change all of that!

We've got both a special rate at the incredible Palazzo starting at just $149 per night for Wednesday and Thursday of the Sweet 16. That's almost 50% off their best advertised rate for that highly in demand weekend! These suites are SICK, and are easily $350-$400 a night cribs!

Get a buddy, bring your wife or girlfriend, and it's just $75 a night per person!

That's just the cost of one bad pair of split-aces at the blackjack table!

Then you can join me and my crew at the amazing Lagasse's Sports Book in a VIP room, with myself, Sporting News Radio co-host Scott Linn, Bob and Brian from 102.9 The Hog and others. For just $40 per person, you get a t-shirt, and a relaxed VIP space to watch all four games on hi-def screens in a lounge with leather seats, a pool table and personal drink service.

Scared money, don't make money! And until you've done a CzabeVegas, you haven't really done Vegas for March Madness!



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Czabe Vegas 3

Championship City Lives!

For years, I have touted the notion of Las Vegas, serving as "Championship City" for all major American Professional Sports.

Even college, if you want.

Every Super Bowl, should be played in Vegas. Every Final Four. Every BCS Title Game.

World Series, NBA Finals, and Stanley Cup are more tricky, because they are a series. So perhaps we go 2-2 home and home and the last 3 in "Championship City!"

For one, you could build the bitchin-est stadiums ever with Vegas dollars. I'm talking over-the-top, Steve Wynn inspired, budget-be-dammed palaces of sports awesomeness.

Also, we'd never ever ever have to worry about having a week like we had in Dallas. The worst we'd endure: 50 and windy. Boo hoo.

When your team is in the Championship, and the game is in Championship City, you are going to have the biggest fucking blast of your life. All week, gamble, golf, go to shows and restaurants, and then BET ON YOUR TEAM!

No brainer, right?

Well for years, I just tossed it out there, like it was a pipe dream.

Turns out, I'm not the only one sucking on the pipe.

Behold, the first hazy rendering of a magical world that someday, maybe, with God's blessing WILL be, "Championship City."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"What Is The Internet, Anyway?"

Bryant Gumbel looks stupid now, but let's be honest. Weren't we ALL saying that back in 1994?

Every Super Bowl Ad - Ever. (Sorta...)

God bless the internet, it remembers forever.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Steelers and Packers: Video Candy

As a geek for sports television production, I thought this piece was wonderfully crafted by the boys and girls at ESPN. See, not all evil, the four-letter. Good work. Gorgeous images. Enjoy.

Oh, Ye, Of Little Faith

The team was 4-4. There had been some poor performances of late. A loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs, 38-28. Two crushing ego losses to Brett Favre and the Vikings.

Doubt was all around.

I remember riding up to Lambeau Field in the fabulous tailgate cruiseliner of Pat and Michael Lynch and the boys at the Lynch Superstore in Burlington, WI. I was reading the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. It too, had normally sensible sports writers who cover the NFL, and who cover the Packers, making panicked and apocalyptic hints at how everything might just fly apart at the seams if the team does not win that game that day against the Cowboys.

I laughed, and began reading some of the passages out loud to my native Wisconsin Packer fans.

I said, in no mincing words: "Are you guys fucking crazy?"

I was the lone voice of reason that day before the game, assuring them that they had a good quarterback, a solid coach, a smart franchise, and that all of this talk about a "pivotal game" was pure bunk. I told them point blank: I would love to be in your shoes, as a Redskin fan, forever hostage to dysfunction and incompetence.

That same day, our pal Dewey who is a crackerjack photoshopper, brought with him this sign for me to hold aloft on the steps of Lambeau.

Today, Packer fans, is your day. And all the days following, until you die. This championship can be cherished, relived, retold, and remembered.

I am happy for you. Just remember to have some faith next time the sledding gets tough.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Holy Crap, They Found The Holy Grail!

Call off the search!

The most coveted moving images in NFL history are alive and well.

The actual broadcast tape of Super Bowl I has been found.

Repeat: THIS IS NOT A DRILL! This is real....

Wall Street Journal  - In a bizarre confluence of events, neither network preserved a tape. All that survived of this broadcast is sideline footage shot by NFL Films and roughly 30 seconds of footage CBS included in a pre-game show for Super Bowl XXV. Somehow, an historic football game that was seen by 26.8 million people had, for all intents and purposes, vanished.
The long search may finally be over. The Paley Center for Media in New York, which had searched for the game footage for some time, has restored what it believes to be a genuine copy of the CBS broadcast. The 94-minute tape, which has never been shown to the public, was donated to the center by its owner in return for having it restored. It was originally recorded on bulky two-inch video and had been stored in an attic in Pennsylvania for nearly 38 years, the Paley Center says.

You can read the entire Wall Street Journal piece right here, as well as watch some actual footage that has been restored. In fact, you should. No, you must. To think that on Super Bowl morning, 2011, with the Packers ready to play the Steelers, you can see the famous Max McGee touchdown in fast motion - not the stylized NFL Films treatment which is all we had to use for years - is simply amazing.

Of course, if you watch the video piece, you will find one very predictable element of this story. As soon as the owner of this tape came forward, the NFL claims they own the rights to it. To which, I suppose in a legal sense, may be technically true.

But since the NFL didn't see fit to keep at least ONE clean copy for themselves, somewhere, somehow, I defer to the non-legal premise of "screw you, you had your chance!"

I hope the owners make a mint off of this sucker. Well done, sirs!

Friday, February 4, 2011

King Of All Things, Just Not Accuracy

People by now, know my stance on Peter King.

He may be a swell fellow, but I think he's a horseshit writer and even worse journalist.

This opinion is sometimes met with the obligatory “you're just jealous” or “why do you have to make it personal” argument from people who are either King fans, or at least “King Neutral.”

Well, to answer those charges: a) I certainly AM jealous and b) this can't be personal, because I don't even know him personally.

Neither of which, have anything to do with the actual MERITS of my stance against his WORK.

I am jealous of King's multi-platform, quasi-NFL-celebrity success. He's built a monster brand. Kudos to that. I need to take notes. And like I said on the personal side, I don't know him, and even hear he's a guy who can take full brunt criticism head on.

What I do hate, however, is the fact that too many people overlook his serious journalistic flaws and take what he reports seriously. King still PURPORTS to be a journalist. As such, I try to grade on that scale.

This week, King made major headlines early at the Super Bowl with a bombshell about Roger Goodell's decision to suspend Big Ben based – at least partly – on the fact that some “two dozen” players interviewed by the Commish, failed to come to his defense as a decent guy.

Here's where we pick up on a King retraction/backtrack/apology. Take it away, Pete...

•Why did I assume Goodell was talking about the Steelers when I inserted "Steelers'' incorrectly in the quote?

Great journalism lesson here, and it illustrates what a mistake I made. My question on the transcribed interview before Goodell's answer referred to the "many people I know in Pittsburgh'' who wanted Roethlisberger "on the Steelers.'' In Goodell's answer, I assumed he was referring to the Steelers when he referred to the players he spoke with before sanctioning Roethlisberger. You know what they say about assumptions. I should have asked him if he meant the Steelers.

I've spoken to Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, relaying my regrets. And Tuesday afternoon, I spoke with Steelers co-owner Art Rooney II, head coach Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger to clarify my remarks.

I take errors seriously. This story is a good cautionary tale about making assumptions, and I'll redouble my efforts to not do so in the future.

REACT: Okay, let me jump in here.

Either one of two things happened. Either..

a) King committed a huge error by failing to pin down exactly who Goodell spoke to, and why. To me, that was THE ESSENCE of the story, and something so shocking, and stupid, that I would have focused in on that revalation like a lazer beam.


b) King WAS correct in the first place, but having touched off a minor storm in the NFL offices, was coerced into falling on his sword and claiming he made a mistake.

Let's deal with “B” for a moment first.

Why would the NFL get their pants in a wad about this revelation? Well, duh. If true, then reporters here in Dallas would suddenly have a chance to play a game of “who didn't back Big Ben” when the commish called? It would have been a huge distraction for the Steelers this week, as the two dozen Steeler “rats” were hunted for in media session after session.

Writers could get denial after denial, crossing every Steeler off their list.

If so, then why would King, agree to be the fall guy for the league and admit to a mistake he did not make?

Because King wants and needs ACCESS more than anything, so to him, a small “oopsie” correction would be nothing. While he's not quite the NFL's “mouthpiece” per se, he is a guy friendly enough to the league that he GETS the kind of Commissioner Level access to provide him a chance for these one on one sit downs.

But let's not assume B, lets assume A. It's a mistake. And yeah, a BIG one.

When King sorta pats himself on the back for taking his medicine, it's bullshit. “I take mistakes seriously” and “I will redouble my efforts in the future.”

No you don't and no you won't.

This is what King does. He makes mistakes, all the time, and big ones.

He fundamentally fails to understand the nature of the NFL, and what is realistic. It's why he says with full enthusiasm that Danny Wuerrful in 2002 would throw for 4,000 yards under Steve Spurrier. No, he did not. He threw for 619 yards, starting just 7 games. He was knocked around like the undersized NFL rag-doll he was, and got yanked in and out of the starters job – just like Steve Spurrier has always done with his QB's.

He is easily duped by guy he thinks are “sources” that can be trusted. Brett Favre when it comes to his retirement psycho-drama. Nick Saban when he was already on the way out of Miami to take the Alabama job, convincing King that he was actually staying with the Dolphins.

All of that does not make for a good journalist to me. That's makes for a guy who has become a celebrity NFL blogger, with about 16 different jobs.

In fact, the comedy of his column about “redoubling” his efforts to be more accurate in his reporting was followed by this:

Tweetup information: I'll be at The Common Table, 2917 Fairmount, in Uptown Dallas on Thursday night from 7:30-9 central time. Stay tuned to @SI_PeterKing for more information. I hope to bring along at least one NFL player and a couple of scribes, but follow me on Twitter in the next day or so, and I'll let you know who will be there with me.

REACT: Yeah. A fucking “Tweet Up.” It's a wonder this guy gets anything right, chasing all of this nonsense.

One final note on the actual nugget (King, LOVES nuggets!) of Goodell's suspension “evidence.” OMFG, kids. If that's how this commissioner is gonna roll, then every single player in the league should be worried. In court, you are indeed tried by a jury of your “peers” but at least then you get the benefit of lawyers, evidence and a judge.

In the Court of Goodell, you just get judged by a jury of anonymous peers, who get called out of the blue for a quick opinion on whether they like you or not.