Monday, June 27, 2011

Al Gore: Loser

Gore has the Midas touch in reverse; objects of great value (Nobel prizes, Oscars) turn dull and leaden at his touch.  Few celebrity cause leaders have had more or better publicity than Gore has had for his climate advocacy.  Hailed by the world press, lionized by the entertainment community and the Global Assemblage of the Great and the Good as incarnated in the Nobel Peace Prize committee, he has nevertheless seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next.  The most recent,failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda.
The state of the global green movement is shambolic.  The Kyoto Protocol is withering on the vine; it will almost certainly die with no successor in place.  There is no chance of cap and trade legislation in the US under Obama, and even the EPA’s regulatory authority over carbon dioxide is under threat.  Brazil is debating aforestry law that critics charge will open the floodgates to a new round of deforestation in the Amazon.  China is taking the green lobby head on, suspending a multibillion dollar Airbus order to protest EU carbon cutting plans.
It is hard to think of any recent failure in international politics this comprehensive, this swift, this humiliating.  Two years ago almost every head of state in the world was engaged with Al Gore’s issue; today the abolition of nuclear weapons looks like a more hopeful cause than the drafting of an effective international treaty that will curb carbon emissions even a little bit.

Read the whole thing. It's so good, it'll bring tears to your eyes.

Because Wooden Bats Just Break All The Time

I have always wondered why can't college baseball get out of the aluminum - PLINK! - bat business once and for all. cost

But then "baseball people" tell me that wood bats break, splinter, and crack way too often, and the cost would simply sink already budget strapped programs.

Well.... now, aluminum bats are breaking!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Now That's A Road Win!

Some people are impressed at a mere airport bathroom.

Others, a mid-flight lavatory.

Still others, proud at a small powder room during a holiday party at somebody else's house.

Okay, fine.

How about a road win in a house you broke into, and you leave a calling card?

Put it on the board, yes!

The 8-Bit Nintendo Version of "Friday"

If you thought it was impossible to improve on Rebecca Black's "Friday", well sir, you were WRONG. Period.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Seats That Were Witness To S-U-C-K

Removed FedEx Field seats for sale.

Yes, it's come to this.

A stadium loathed by all, site of exactly ZERO magical Redskins moments (please don't start about the ONE playoff game win vs. the eviscerated Lions in following the 1999 campaign) which is now so bloated and un-sellable they are removing thousands of seats just to avoid blackouts?

Yes. That stadium.

You may now own a cherished piece of it. Just $250 bucks.


On the one hand, in THEORY, there's nothing wrong with this. The seats are available. Some fans have a stupidly nostalgic Billy Crystal-esque fetish for hard, uncomfortable stadium seats in their house/apartment/condo/rec-room.

Anything less than $250 makes them seem like junk (they are). Anything more becomes laughable.

On the other hand, I don't think this juice is worth the squeezing. The Redskins MIGHT sell about 100 of these seats.


So even if you wrap yourself in the flag of "it's for charity", it's still just not worth it. Better for Snyder to say to anybody who actually used to SIT IN THOSE SEATS AT GREAT COSTS, "hey, sorry we had to move you. But if you want, you can come pick up those seats, free of charge. Enjoy."

Then there's this gem of a comment I noticed under the Post story, from somebody with the handle that appears to be Redskins GREAT, linebacker Monte Coleman.

Writes "Monte"....
The FedEx years have generally been so disappointing, some might wonder why you'd want one of it's seats. I think, if used properly, it could smooth over with a familiar feel some of life's most disappointing moments. Meeting with your tax attorney? Settle back into some plastic FedEx comfort. Your wife says "We need to talk". Perfect time for some upper deck luxury. Fearing bad news from your oncologist? Bring along your seat to the appointment. None of these moments will seem as bad when you're nestled into the same seat you were sitting in when the Turk brothers muffed the game winning playoff field goal. These seats have carried Redskins fans through over a decade of disappointments...and they aren;t done yet.

World's "Greatest" Dad

You know, I forgot to post this last week, being as it was Father's Day and all.

I personally believe the two best fathers I've ever seen (outside of my own, of course) are radio buddies Bob Madden (three wonderful, well mannered, successful daughters) and Scott Linn (3 small kids, 3 adopted rescue dogs, 19 different jobs).

Well, they can just go suck it.

Because "local fisherman" Donald Jacobs has just cut down the fucking nets on that championship fellas. Just check the shirt.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

As Long As You Don't Really Like Parades, This Was a Fabulous Year For Miami Heat Fans

Pat Riley is a pussy.

And I never though I'd have to write that.

For a guy who once had the stones to promise another Laker championship from the podium of the current title parade in LA, to hear him declare the Heat's season a "great" one, is beyond comprehension.

"We had a great season."

His words.

Holy, fuck. 

I guess LeBron had some room in the Hotel Delusion, and Pat checked himself in for a nice little stint of post-finals rehab.

Let me remind you, Pat, your team was the most hyped thing in the history of hype. You guys were the favorites in the Finals, had home court advantage, were up 1.5 games to none, then 2 games to 1, and then shit the bed in a messy disgrace at home in Game 6.

Great season?

Who stole your balls, sir?

I'll just let the other comments about being "multiple contenders" and how this was somehow the best thing to happen to Miami sports in history (with an oh-yeah, I forgot about the Dolphins perfect season begrudging hedge) slide.

Because he had me at "great."

I mean, I expect LeBron to say stupid shit. He's never owned up to any failure in his career, ever. You, Pat Riley, architect of the Showtime Lakers, the guy who happily dragged the league into your brand of slamball when you coached the talent weak Knicks?

The hardscrabble kid from my pop's hometown of Schenectady, NY?


Can you print shirts that say "Miami Heat: Multiple Contenders: 2011-2014."

I feel safe now that we've seen the best shot the Miami Heat with LeBron can give the league. The Boston Celtics were a bad trade of Kendrick Perkins and a few stupid brainlocks at the end of two games from stopping the Heat two rounds earlier. The Bulls were confused and inexperienced when it mattered most. They'll get better.

Then, the Western entrant to the next 3 finals will almost surely be more balanced and complete than whomever the Heat handpack around the "Big 3."

This Dallas team was a collection of spare parts and Dirk. Is it unreasonable to say that with a healthy Caron Butler they might have swept the Heat?

With the big man himself, buying into the "hey, it's okay, we still made the Finals, got lots of hype, sold seats and made some crazy cash for ol' Mickey" mindset, I think you can rest assured that honest and brutal self-examination isn't happening with this crew.

Nice try, fellas. I think watching you fail next year is going to be even more fun. And again, and again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nobody Deserves To Have A Job With As Many Perks As Mine Does. But I Do. And I'll Viciously Murder Anybody Who Tries to Take It!!!

You know, I urged Andy to stick with the game of golf.

When he took lessons back in 2008, he gave up summarily after 5-6 sessions with John LeSage at Falls Road GC. What a shame.

And while I understand the deep frustrations the game delivers on a regular basis, I think Andy had the requisite minimum of athletic ability to be a serviceable weekend public course "hacker" who could shoot somewhere around 100 from the appropriate tees.

If he had done so, then ANDY could have been right there with me at TPC Potomac, playing in our foursome with 2003 US Open Champion, 2010 FedEx Cup Champion, 7-time Ryder Cupper and 16-time PGA Tour winner Jim Furyk.

But alas, no.

So here I was with Jim, enjoying a round-of-a-lifetime, talking golf, sports and everything else on a TOUR caliber course with one of the most down-to-earth golf superstars you'll ever meet.

Andy showed up for the radio show, and the buffet.


PS: Yes, I shot 77 with Mr. Furyk on Monday. Legit. No mulligans. No gimmes. No free kick-outs, drops, or do-overs. Made many, many, many lengthy putts. At least 5 over 12 feet, and only missed once inside of 5 feet. It was awesome, I won't lie. Key to the round, however, was how utterly relaxed Jim made me feel, and our two radio winners. I don't think I actually considered what I was shooting until it was over. I was so busy talking to Jim, enjoying the course, when he added up the back nine numbers I said: "Whoa! Really???"

A few notes on the day.

Jim was a consummate pro when it came to the little things. For example, Jim proposed a friendly radio match on the first tee. Then he made sure to write out our scorecard, very neatly, with every hole where I would get strokes clearly marked. He was a +6 and I was an 8 handicap, so I was getting a massive 14 shots.

I also was playing from the 6550 tees, he all the way back, at 7130. He made sure to write down scores every hole, and never once had to ask me my score. He was paying attention. Then, when the "match" was over (6&5) he made sure to congratulate me, and note the score clearly on the card. This was very cool. Because he knows, and you can bet, that scorecard with his signature, is going straight to the framer, and right up on the wall.

I am sure, I am not the first overly handicapped amateur to "beat" Jim in such a match. But he made me feel like it was a "real" match. Even though he didn't line up a single putt, and shot even par 70 having not seen the new design since he last played Avenel at the old Kemper Open almost 10 years ago.

The folks from Diageo who set up the outing as his sponsor of Johnnie Walker, were beyond gracious to me and everyone else. We even got a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, with our names etched on the bottle. While I like scotch, I am not an aficionado, so the high end bottle was perhaps more than I needed.

But you can bet your sweet ass, I am going to sip that scotch over rocks and savor the warm glow of my miracle 77 for many days to come.

PPS: Yes, I need to re-commit to another hard core round of P90x. Looks like my "cruise control" regimen of 3-days a week, has, ahem... gotten a little loose. Damn pictures! Why don't you look as good as my mirror!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Are We Sure We Can't Just Shoot These People? Really?

On the one hand, why do I give a fuck about the idiots of Vancouver turning their city into Beirut over a stupid hockey game?

On the other hand, the scene following Game 7 has some very troubling implications for sports and society as a whole.

Because this year it was Vancouver. Next year, it could easily be Chicago or Philly.

When you see people gleefully posing for photos shot on their cell phones in front of burning cop cars, you just know that a widespread viral infection of "stupid" has metasticized amongst modern society.

Likely fatal, too.

But let's hope I'm dead by then.

Violent group actions in the wake of sporting events - both wins AND losses - is nothing new.

But the current cell phone/twitter/facebook generation has simply poured gas on the fire - figuratively speaking. If you don't have a cell phone to take a picture, are you as likely to be part of the hooligans torching cop cars? If you don't have Facebook to "brag" about it, are you as likely to throw a rock through a store window?

You know the answer to that. Right or wrong has no chance in a day and age of "hey, look at me, and look at THIS!"

It would be nice if Vancouver police and prosecutors can arrest and charge every thug, moron, and wanna-be anarchist with the stiffest crimes possible.

If that doesn't work, how about we devote some billboards to these idiots and their photos, blow them up for everybody in the real world to see, and print their full name on their, um, "handiwork." Don't you think it would be a bit unsettling, for "Jimmy Vanderdunce" to have the above photo with your name on it, on a prominent downtown billboard for a year?

To be a known local pariah - by people who don't have to go searching for your facebook page to see it, they just have to lift up their heads while driving to work - would be so sweet.

Either that, or just equip a dozen or so "riot vans" with a phalanx of high-def cameras that can sweep chaotic scenes and capture detailed facial features. Review the footage, cut up some highlight reels of the hooliganism, and send out the summons.


And now, if I may step off my high horse for just a moment. This pic of the "Riot Lovers" of Vancouver is truly something else. It looks so clean, so well framed, so perfectly lit, that the initial reaction was that it SURELY had to be photoshopped.

Um, no. It wasn't. This chick was just a freak who gets off on getting down with her man in the middle of a street riot.

Big props to her.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yep, Same Guy

Every now and then, somebody uncovers a sports truth so powerful and obvious, you say to yourself: "DUH! Why didn't I think of that!?"

Bob Smiley writes a piece on as a special contributor, which nails the Tiger Woods/Anthony Weiner nerd-gone-off-the-rails comparison right down to the "blue curtains of shame."

Rather than letting the world see and embrace the real Eldrick "Tiger" Woods -- the wide-eyed, well-mannered kid with terrible vision and a childhood stutter -- Woods looked to the clich├ęd high school memories of what made someone cool and became just that. He learned how to melt reporters with his glare. He hired a caddie to act as his de facto goon. He worked out until he was built like a defensive end. And in doing so, he put his sinewy golf body at risk while alienating a contingent of fans that loved his golf but hated him. 
At times, this whole Tiger saga has felt like a bad John Hughes film. A nerd wakes up to find out he rules the school, only to collapse under the weight of his own popularity. Yet that's the heart of the issue. As someone who has written about Tiger extensively and watched him for hours on end, I don't think Tiger's destructive behavior is a result of narcissism as much as he's been undone by the unfulfilled fantasies of his 15-year-old self.
Do yourself a favor, and read the whole thing. It's short and to the point, but certainly provocative reading. Left unsaid in the narrative, is how much did the sudden brush with other athletic "cool guys" like Michael Jordan, shape the off-the-course decisions Tiger began to make once his fame, majors, and pile of riches skyrocketed?

My guess: alot.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't forget to play Czabe's USA Open Challege!

It's free to sign up & easy to play!

Taking His FAIL To South Beach

He's the King alright.

The King of "Still Doesn't Get It."

For all of LeBron James' considerable talents - undeniable and spectacular - perhaps his biggest talent is the ability to live in a universe that is completely un-related to one everybody else lives in.

Just when I thought LeBron was saying all the right things, growing up in front of our eyes, he uncorks a "hater's rebuttal" last night that fell as flat as a 28-foot desperation airball.

"Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, all the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today," James said. "They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that."

In other words: "You people suck, and I'm still rich and famous. Suck on that."

What James still can't comprehend - and sadly, many of the Miami Heat cultists now trying to spin this debacle - is that people aren't rooting against him PER SE, they are rooting against everything LeBron James and the Heat STAND FOR in sports today.

Flash over substance.
Celebrations before accomplishment.
Immaturity before class.
Hype before humility.

American sports fans are a pretty forgiving lot, all things considered. Most wanted Pete Rose forgiven and re-instated, many still want Tiger Woods to make a comeback, and even athletes nearly convicted of rape and murder (Kobe Bryant and Ray Lewis) can be re-habilitated to the point where they are once again marketable spokesmen in their sports.

So trust me, LeBron is not that far from being liked - even loved - if he can just get it through his dense, overly indulged, juvenile brain.

a. You have to win.
b. You have to at least fake some humility.
c. You have to be honest about your shortcomings.

Stop flopping like a soccer playing girl from the movie "Ladybugs."
Stop making excuses for everything that doesn't go right.
Stop acting like a child while trying to "diss" an opposing player.

I think most satisfying of all, is that what Miami tried to do - while perfectly legal - is only "do-able" in about 4 or 5 NBA cities at best. You need a playground for the rich and famous as your home city (Miami, check, Cleveland, ha!). You need a super deep pocketed owner who doesn't mind perhaps actually losing money in the short run on a very expensive team. And you need one superstar already installed, and another one willing to take slightly less money.

On top of all that, you need an NBA salary "cap" that is more flexible than Plastic Man.

In short, this is no "model" for success that other teams would be wise to try to replicate. In fact, they can't. Half the league can barely attract as single "B" level free agent, much less THREE "A" level guys.

But this will all be addressed in the coming lockout. The NBA should re-calibrate the league so that guys can make a fabulous living playing professional basketball, stuck to the city they are drafted by for the term of their first contract, and make leaving via free agency a serious consideration that is not a "have my cake and eat it too" scenario like Carmelo Anthony engineered this season.

Keep teams on a true "hard cap" and make them feel the consequences of stupid signings.

Then, and only then, you'll have a league. Right now, you have a reality show. And like a dew-eyed bachelorette getting pwned on the final episode by a dude who leaves her high and dry, this LeBron Debacle was some of the sweetest schadenfruede pie - evah!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Consider Me, Vindicated

Oh, sometime around the miserable Steve Spurrier years, I began warning anybody who would listen, that home blackouts in the Redskins future were not just conceivable, but perhaps even likely given the trend of horrible mismanagement of the franchise in the hands of Dan Snyder.

Now, this.

When you are yanking out 6,000 seats while simulataneously claiming a "waiting list" of somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 wanna-be season ticket holders, then just about every bullshit meter, siren, and flashing red strobe light starts going off in your brain.

As Dave McKenna puts it succinctly in his lead at the Washington City Paper - "Supply is kicking demand's ass at FedEx Field."

Yes, that's the same McKenna and same City Paper being sued by Dan Snyder for defamation.

Hmm. Seems like the lawsuit is failing to silence either one of them, just like a fake waiting list is failing to fill Snyder's cavernous acropolis of FAIL.

As you can expect, there WILL BE spin. The team is saying many things, most of which sound like that guy "Baghdad Bob" during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Washington Times reports:
The team source said the project was about “enhancing the fan experience” and unrelated to any possible decrease in demand for tickets.
Of course.
But I have some nagging little questions.

1. How long does it take to complete a project like this? You would think Jan 1 to Sep 1 with a motivated contractor would do the job. Last year's jumbotron installation and smaller "party decks" were completed easily in time for the pre-season. On this one, the Redskins admit the party decks won't be operational until 2012.

2. How come the team STILL, won't comment on the plans for these decks? If it's a "good thing" as Martha Stewart would say, then come out and trumpet this "good thing." Show us the architectural plans. Put out a glossy brochure.

3. What about fans who actually LIKED those seats? Do they get a full refund? If they are moved into other "better" seats, are they required to pay the difference in the cost? Were there really 6,000 unsold seats sprinkled throughout the rest of the stadium that can accommodate everyone?

4. How can you justify a major cost for a project like this, when you are almost sure to bring in less money? Let's run some crude math. The party decks will cost $10 million, I'm guessing. Last year's jumbotron's + "stomp decks" cost $20 million. I'll knock off half that cost, assuming the TV's cost a mint. This figure could be revised upwards, though, depending on how elaborate these "party decks" are. Will they be covered? Partially enclosed? Climate controlled?

So you now have upwards of 6,000 seats that will be gone in 2011 (assuming there's a season) at a loss of conservatively $2.5 million because you couldn't perform this upgrade in one off-season. Then you spend $10 million or more, to reduce all future earning of those 6,000 seats from $75 per game (estimate) to something like $30 per game (estimate).

And this makes business sense? Can extra $9 beers make up the difference?

Again, I premise all of this on the good faith assumption that 200,000 people are desperately trying to get into the building.

Which, ahem, may not be the case.

So if this move to trim the FedEx Field sails prevents future blackouts, then hey, bravo Mr. Snyder! Thank you, as a fan who almost never goes to the stadium, and watches Mike Shanahan botch end-of-game timeout usage from the comfort of my basement.

On the other hand, if the party decks prove to be an unpopular failure, then this might just be a temporary bump on a long fall of attendance at Redskins games.

Can the NFL look the other way in 3 years at a FedEx Field with creepy party decks full of drunken out of town fans, with 10,000 unsold seats in the upper deck?

As McKenna reminds everyone with a short memory: "It wasn’t so long ago (2005, actually) that the team was so cocky about general admission ticket demand that it forced customers to use a Redskins Extra Points MasterCard to buy season tickets."

Those heady days are gone. Dark days are here. And getting darker.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mr. "Boom Goes The Dynamite" Returns!

For years, Brian Collins was a hermit like Steve Bartman. Now, he's resurfaced!

And if you still like the original, well, as I like to say: "YouTube Never Forgets" and "The Internet Is Never Closed."

Over 10 million combined worldwide views, can't be wrong.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Keep Running It, Until The Play No Longer Works

I have yet to see "Hangover II" but I plan to.

This, despite many vicious reviews, squawking about how it's THE EXACT SAME MOVIE AS THE ORIGINAL!

Yeah. So what's your point?

Like the Redskins - who ran "50 Gut" 9 straight times against the Cowboys to close out the 1982 NFC Championship Game - if something is funny, and if it works, keep doing it until it no longer gains yardage.

And clearly, if Hangover II sucked, then it wouldn't have demolished the box office to the tune of 138 million over Memorial Day Weekend.

To me, Ken Jeong is like Gibbs' signature "Counter Trey" play. Funny as hell, and works just about every time.

Ken Jeong in Bankok with "The Wolfpack"? Yep. Funny. Run it.


From Leonard Shapiro, of the Washington Post...

They included the counter trey, once the Redskins' signature running play that Gibbs implemented his first season and used for years to take advantage of his gifted and mobile offensive line, then as now coached by Joe Bugel. In the counter trey, Bostic, the center, right guard Mark May and right tackle George Starke would block to the left, giving the appearance of a run to the left. Left guard Russ Grimm and left tackle Joe Jacoby would then pull out from their positions and head around the right corner and down the field looking for linebackers and defensive backs to flatten.

The running back would take a step to the left to draw the defense to that side, then take a handoff from the quarterback and head right behind Grimm and Jacoby, with defenders often scattered like so many bowling pins along the way.

Another Gibbs standard was 50-gut, with John Riggins running to his left and looking for a hole between Bostic and Grimm or Grimm and Jacoby. In the 1982 NFC title game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins used the play nine straight times as they ran out the clock in the fourth quarter in a 31-17 victory.