Friday, December 30, 2011

Craction Pool Week 17 - FINALE!

Hope everyone had a cracker jack Christmas! You heard about mine, so let's move on! This week, we have our season finale of full field so make sure to splash around in the pool and have some fun. The season is too damn short, ain't it?

Once again this week, the winner will have his choice of the following...

a. Donkeybobble
b. Donk Sweatshirt
c. Personal kick in the shins!

Choose wisely, oh winner! And good luck!

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12: Ken Jenson
Week 13: Aaron Henderson
Week 14: Ken Gaines
Week 15: Mark Freeman
Week 16:
Week 17:

Jimmy Masterlock's took the week off, satisfied with his stellar 2011 season total of 38-24-3! He's going to rest up, and be ready to KILL the playoffs! So you guys are ON YOUR OWN for this week's craction prize!

Good luck, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Furniture, Vomit and Records

Greetings from Christmas vacation!

Twas a year in which my wife and I bought less for each other, and I call that progress. Neither one of us wanted the pressure and stress of "wow-ing" the other with some oh-so-perfect gift - paid for, of course, by a joint bank account.

She got permission to order the new dining room table and side board. Something we had tip-toed up to purchasing a while back, before I went all "harumph" on the idea, and basically threw it back into "committee" for nearly 18 months.

Furniture is such a scam, don't get me started.

Yeah, yeah. Handcrafted. Quality materials. Unique styles and pieces. Blah, blah, blah.

They can now make a 82" DLP flat screen TV - with 3D! - for the absurd price of just $1999.

Eighty-two-f'ing-inches, bubba! Suck on that.

And for just under 2K, you almost don't even worry if it breaks. Just throw it out by the curb in a few years, and by then, they'll have a 110 inch 4D model for $1499!

A glorious, complicated, technological marvel such as that can invented, engineered, manufactured, shipped and sold - with a nice slice of retail mark up - for under 2 large, and yet, and YET, a mahogany stained slab of wood with legs and some chairs for that price is deemed unacceptable crap by my lovely bride.

Ezekiel and the settlers were making these dining room tables back in the day. This is not rocket science.

This is a scam.

One would think I could just throw a similar amount of family fundage at the missus and say "Knock yourself out! I'm sure that princely sum of money will bring home the most elegant of dining room tables, replete with comfortable chairs and a side board for our assortment of meats and cheeses!"

No. Not even close.

Ah, but ultimately I conceded that the undersized dining room table from our old residence did look puny and pathetic in our new house. So like most things in married life, you just succumb. She's happy. I'm happy. You can't take it all with you, right?

I balanced that off with a pair of Ryobi cordless tools for my arsenal. A variable speed orbital jig saw, and a 5 and 1/2 inch circular saw - with lazer!

Do I know when I will use these? No.
Do I know how I will use these? No.
Did I need these?

Listen. "Need," had nothing to do with it. I am a man. Me like tools.

At under $50 per, I brought 'em home with the outdoor lights from Home Depot (Ding! Steve Czaban Show sponsor!) and wrapped them myself.


Then just as the Christmas weekend set in, the dreaded fast-moving, highly contagious, nobody-is-getting-out-of-here-alive stomach virus arrived.

It took out, in neat progression, my 9 year old, my wife, my 12 year old, and then of course, me.

It was uncanny. Each one of us was flat on our back for a day, puking our guts out. Then about 36 hours later, back up and running. The virus would wait a day (how polite) before choosing it's next victim.

So there I was, like the last sorority girl standing in a slasher movie, just WAITING for it to come get me. It was awful. I think the knowing/not knowing suspense was worse than the day in bed feeling like two goons had beaten me with pillowcases full of oranges.

Finally, after holding off the vomit monster for a good 12 hours, my will had been broken.

To say it was like Stewie puking in The Family Guy would be an exaggeration. An exaggeration in that I was PUKING WAY HARDER THAN THAT!

The force. The creepy sounding "roar" it produced. The volume. My God.

I never cease to be in wonder of how our bodies were designed to process life sustaining food and water in ONE DIRECTION with our gastro-intestinal tract 99.999% of the time, yet still able to hit REVERSE THRUST when emergency illness dictates.

All of that soft tissue machinery, miraculously geared to allow for a violent and quick exit at a moment's notice.

A Christmas Miracle, I say.

After that, I felt about 200% better, and was able to watch Drew Brees set the single season passing mark on Monday Night Football. A great moment to witness, for an NFL player whose story is, really, too good to be true.

And please don't start selling me on how it was "much harder" in Marino's day, because of the rules, etc. etc. As Tirico and company pointed out with a graphic, Brees' passing yardage average above the league mean, is actually GREATER than Marino's when he set the record.

So how, exactly, is it "easier" now?

If the NFL is just "Full Sized Arena Football" now, as some cranks will say, then why doesn't every team just throw for 5,000 plus yards per year? I mean, doesn't everybody have a QB who completes 70% of his passes?

Geez, it's so easy to do right now. I mean, gosh. I hear all the time from fans: "You know, having a great QB just isn't that important. Anyone can throw for 350 yards a game."

I then went to sleep and woke up to read on Twitter that Jon Gruden appears headed back to the sideline. Oh, joy. No more "THIS guy" and the fake perma-snarl lecturing me on how great everybody is on MNF.

May the Christmas Miracles continue!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kim Jong Il: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Nothing like the death of a repressive, maniacal, and dysfunctional world menace, to provide days and weeks of pure comedy via the good ol' interwebs.

First, you gotta read about  successor Kim Jong Un and his earnest dream of becoming an NBA player, in the mold of his idol, Mike Jordan.
He also shares his dad's enthusiasm for sports. Kim Jong Il was an NBA fanatic, with a special love for the Jordan-era Bulls. He reportedly had a vast video library of Jordan games and, during a visit to Pyongyang in the late '90s, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought Kim an official NBA ball signed by Jordan. (There's a Facebook group dedicated to getting it back.) His hoop dreams even extended to making basketball a kind of adopted national pastime; a 2006 San Diego Union-Tribune story details a full-scale appropriation that includes giving the game a new scoring system: "three points for a dunk, four points for a three-pointer that does not touch the rim and eight points for a basket scored in the final three seconds. Miss a free throw, and it's minus one." The Kim Jong Il NBA connection has not gone un-Tweeted upon: "Breaking news: David Stern blocks Kim Jong IL's son as successor. For basketball reasons."
Then, you need to visit this website, dedicated to nothing but the "Dear Leader" um, looking at things.

Then, you need to take 4 minutes of your precious time, and rock out to Party Rock Anthem, ft. Kim Jong Il.

Then, we can all pray that the new kid doesn't push his pudgy little finger on the nuke button, and start WWIII!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Like A Club Pro Teeing It Up With Kim Jong Il"

Sometimes, I wish I could hit a golf ball like Tiger Woods. Or dunk a basketball like LeBron James. Or look as smashingly studly as George Clooney.

Or in this case, I wish I could write as well as Gerry Callahan.

Callahan, succinctly conveys my exact thoughts about what we saw between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow on Sunday at Mile High.

And by "exact thoughts" I really mean: "My mostly similar thoughts, but far more poorly organized and expressed."

Here's a little of Callahan's brilliance, but please give the entire column a read, and give his employing news entity their deserved page views.
It was like shoving the cute little coat-check girl up on the runway with Gisele. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right, but it sure was revealing. Tim Tebow, the comic book hero who had led the Denver Broncos to six straight wins and inspired the nation, caught a tough break at Sports Authority Field on Sunday. 
The NFL schedule-maker put him on stage next to Tom Brady [stats], also known as God’s nephew, and just like that, Tebow looked as small and confused as one of the monkeys riding a dog at halftime. It was like a club pro teeing it up with Kim Jong Il. 
NFL quarterback might be — no, is — the toughest job in sports. It takes so much to play the position well, but two things are at the top of the list: decision making and accuracy. You’ve got to make the right decisions in a split second and you’ve got to deliver the ball on target. On Sunday in Denver, we saw Tebow do some really cool things — break tackles, run away from defenders (forward and backward). What we did not see was great decisions or many accurate throws. 
Even on the read options — part of an offense designed just for him — he sometimes read the Pats defenders like he was Snooki reading Charles Krauthammer. He looked confused, hesitant. On his critical fumble, he made the wrong read. Even on his first touchdown, he read the play incorrectly and ran into Rob Ninkovich, before using his superior strength and quickness to break away. 
As for his accuracy, Tebow was 11-for-22 for 194 yards. While playing from behind. Against the worst secondary in the NFL. Again, he threw no interceptions (just two on the year), but there is a reason for that. He takes no chances. Even on fourth down, he chose to run backward 28 yards and take a sack rather than throw one up and hope his receiver could make a play.
That is, in a nutshell, the position. Decision making. Accuracy. Period.

Oh sure, leadership, toughness, an encyclopedic memory to absorb playbooks and audibles, work ethic and God given talent are all in that mix as well.

But it's really just making a good, quick decision, and putting that brown leather missile right into a gnat's ear a split second before some 38-IQ lineman hits you like a dump truck on a Prius.

Maybe Tebow gets a lot better at THROWING the football. Maybe his COMBINATION of sorta okay throwing, and pretty damn good running, is a winning combination in the long run.

If you are the Broncos, yes, you HAVE to see "more of the movie" on this guy. Just keep your expectations low. Defensive coordinators love nothing more than to reverse engineer the latest offensive fad in the NFL, and then proceed to hunt it down week by week until it's extinct.

(Ref: see, Wildcat Offense, Run-N-Shoot, et al.)

And there's nothing wrong in rooting for the guy. He's a definite smile producer in sports, even if it's a "I can't believe this guy is getting so much hype" wry smile.

Chances are, this fad won't last. When's it's over, it'll be over. So enjoy it, while you can. And in the meantime, take a minute to appreciate the league's genuine aces at the position.

Even the ones like Brady, who have been so good, for so long, we treat them like the hot Christmas toy from last year, tucked away in a closet somewhere, taken totally for granted.

Just How "Banged Up" Is Your Favorite NFL Team?

I love it when fans, and sometimes, even coaches and players talk about how "banged up" they are.

It's like they think each and every injury to (insert key player here) is somehow unique and horrible in a way that no other team in the league can understand.

Oh, woe is us!

The excuse making is convenient for fans who choose to be delusional, or coaches who don't mind something to shift the blame on. But it's pure crap.

It's the NFL, everyone's hurt. Everyone's "banged up."

And yet, I have always wondered why nobody has come up with a decent "injury index" based on "starter games lost?"

Surely, with the absurd and complicated BCS formulas in use, some good stat nerd could whip up a nice easy shorthand statistic we can throw around to compare JUST HOW injured every team is in the NFL, at certain points of the season.

Pro Football Weekly has an annual "Injury Report", which I think is excellent. 

While it may be a rather "dry" read, when you breeze through it, you realize that your own team's injury woes may well be mild in comparison to other teams.

And then there are teams like the Bears, who lose their starting QB and starting RB within two weeks of each other. That, in theory shouldn't be a death blow, but only the very lucky, or deep, teams don't start taking on water quickly when that occurs.

Or how about Kansas City? Todd Haley is - to my eye, at least - an arrogant jackass of a coach who has never won anything. But he DID go to the playoffs last year, if that matter to anybody. So he's not exactly "incompetent."

But Haley this year lost his QB, his stud RB, his best TE, and his young stud S.

And he got fired.

Which I know, was reportedly due to personality conflicts with boss Scott Pioli. But really. Where was he going to go, with those losses to IR? The playoffs?

Of course, with Romeo Crennel now in charge, babysitting until the season is done, and with the improbable win over the Packers, guess what?

The Chiefs are NOT YET eliminated!

So I suppose I should tell them, what everyone should tell everyone else: "Shut up about your injuries, and just play."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Television. The Sweetest Slice of the NFL Revenue Pie

When the NFL players started getting itchy pants this summer as the lockout reached a critical go or no-go junction, I believed they balked at the very moment of truth where they could have thrown league owners into a full blown panic.

When you think of these last few months, and then close your eyes and imagine NO football on Sundays, it's impossible to overstate the financial carnage that would be wreaked on the owners, the TV networks, and everyone else down the line on the NFL "food chain."

Sure, the players would have lost out too. But their losses were basically fixed. Most were under contract. Many of those contracts crappy and one-sided. And while their careers are short, losing a half season or a whole season would not have been nearly the financial ruin as old men with huge stadium mortgages.

But eh, when it came down to it, the prevailing wisdom was "why bother, we are ALL going to be rich! Watch these next TV deals!"

Sure enough, the television Fort Knox doors were swung open this past week, and sure enough, the players are going to be in the chips. Especially since they now get 55% of all TV revenue, and they agreed to let owners keep more of the "local" club revenue (i.e. stadium gate).

Guess which part of the NFL pie looks tastier going forward?

Forbes laid it out this week in even more detail.
This week, the NFL announced that nine-year extensions were reached withFOX, CBS and NBC that will run through 2022. The agreements kick in at the end of this season. It has been reported that in-total, those deals alone could translate to $3 billion annually, up from $1.9 billion prior. That’s an approx. 37% increase. That doesn’t include the $1 billion annual amount paid by DirecTV for Sunday Ticket out-of-market package, or ESPN’s recent extension that increased to $1.9 billion annually. All told, each year the NFL will see television revenues that hit an eye-popping $5.9 billion. 
But it was the shrewd move by DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA that really makes the deal kick up player salaries. 
A key negotiating point that the players came in with was the minimum amount of the cap that the owners needed to spend. Instead of clubs having lower payroll, which cut margins and increased profits, the players fought for, and got, a provision by which clubs have to spend 99% of the cap in each of the first two years of the new labor deal and decreases to a lower amount over the life of the CBA. 
What does it all mean? 
With the massive boost in TV money coming in, along with a fixed amount that owners must spend on player salaries based on incoming revenues, player salaries across the board are going to skyrocket beginning next year as that 55% of television money hits the coffers in conjunction with the television rights extensions. In doing the math, just TV money translating to player salaries in the cap space comes in at approx. $3.245 billion for next season, alone.
Okay, so I'm a dummy who has now learned his lesson.

The next time any league threatens a "lock out" or "strike" or "shutdown" or whatever, I will just yawn and say "call me when you are ready for my money again."

Sure, our cable bills and DirecTV Sunday Ticket is going to skyrocket because of these deals, but what are you going to do? Not have cable? Not watch professional tackle football on Sundays?

Right. Thought so.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"All He Does Is Win..." Steve Porter Strikes Again!

Craction Pool Week 15

Last week, Ken Gaines was our winner and he had a simple request: "How about the ol' Donkey Sweatshirt (size L is all we have left kids!) instead of the rare Donkeybobble?"

Well sir, no skin of my donkey's ass! Your wish is my command!

As such, this week, the winner will have his choice of the following...

a. Donkeybobble
b. Donk Sweatshirt
c. Personal kick in the nuts!

Choose wisely, oh winner! And good luck!

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12: Ken Jenson
Week 13: Aaron Henderson
Week 14: Ken Gaines

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 33-21-3!

Packers -15 at Kansas City

Panthers +7 at Texans

Raiders +2 vs. Lions

Patriots -7 at Broncos

and add onto it.. for Purposes...
Seahawks +4 at Bears
Saints -7 at Vikings

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can You Say.... "Awkward...."?

Sweet! Who did we get! Alright! And who did we give up?

Oh... okay. Shhh. He's right here.

<a href=';src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Kaman, Gordon react' >Video: Kaman, Gordon react</a>

FOX Sports West was with the Clippers on Wednesday as they worked with children at a Los Angeles-area elementary school before visiting airmen at Los Angeles Air Force Base. But a surprise came when the team learned All-Star guard Chris Paul was officially headed to LA, and our cameras caught DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin's reaction upon hearing the news in this exclusive video.


<a href=';src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Lob City' >Video: Lob City</a>

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emperor Stern

I have read with great amusement the moaning, stomping, and wailing by various NBA writers, pundits, analysts and enthusiasts about David Stern's recent spiking of the Chris Paul to the LA Lakers trade.

It seems, for once in sports history, there is universal agreement on a subject.

Stern is out of control. This is unfair. The league is a joke.

Not just "consensus." But unanimity.

Given that I am in the business of arbitrating sports arguments about a wide variety of topics, I have rarely - if ever - seen a topic that has virtually nobody willing to take "the other side."

Not even Steven A. Smith or Skip Bayless seems to want to give Stern and the owners an "attaboy" on killing this trade.

So, allow me.

Good for David Stern.

Here's why.

The Players Association, had every chance to solve the issue of one team falling into ownership hands of the other 29 owners. They had this issue, and all others on the table this summer, and into the fall, when the league was in a lockout over a new CBA.

And guess what?

The players caved and settled, so they could have a season. They didn't address what to do about the New Orleans Hornets.

And now, what happened, has happened. And nobody can stop it.

Sure, they could sue. But I doubt they would win, or that it would yield a positive result in a timely fashion. You can scream about how the deal was fair, and that Stern and the owners reneged on their stated "plan" to let Dell Demps run the team "independently" within a set "budget".

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

In the end, you let the league hold this chess piece, and they are moving it around the board as they see fit. What, you didn't see this coming?

Geez. Wake up, people.

It's like the NFLPA is coming to realize on player conduct penalties as handed down by Roger GODdell. You had a chance to address this, and trim it into shape when you had the chance, and you passed.

So guess what?

You're screwed.

Now, all of this doesn't meant that I think what Stern and the owners did on the Paul trade was remotely "fair" or made sense. It was neither.

But it doesn't matter.

So stop bellyaching about not being able to cherry pick a star player from a league-owned basketball orphanage. Stern and company can lock the doors anytime they like, and they might even be doing all of this on purpose, to drive the Hornets into the ground and then contract them.

Hey, anything is possible.

Next time the league wants to take over a team and run it like a fantasy farm club, tell them "not so fast my friend."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kate Upton is "bouncy.."

.....mmmmm. Booobbbieesss.....

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Suck for Luck Chart

UPDATED as of Tuesday 12/13/11.

See this link at for a better, detailed breakdown of how ties are broken at the standings, or "top" of the draft order.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pete Morelli Is Neo: He Stops Time

Pete Morelli and his crew were able to stop time at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

The review of the Aaron Rodgers fumble/incomplete pass took about 10 minutes in real time. It felt like forever. I was running around the house and actually was able to load the fireplace with fresh wood, and start a fire from scratch - ALL WHILE they were dithering over this one play, in a game that had already been blown wide open.

As Dave Barry likes to say: "I am not making this up."

The "whoosh" from the crumpled newspaper had just engulfed my logs in a pleasing inferno, I stepped back to admire my work, then glanced over at the TV and thought: "Holy shit, they are STILL on this play?"

But alas, replay fanatics will say that nothing is more important than "getting the call right."

So what if it takes 10 minutes of watching your beer ice over in the stands? Right, things must be RIGHT! At all times. Always. And how do we know what "right" is? Well, we have RULE books, and the rules are simple, except when they are not.

And plays on the field, with the aid of 30 frames-per-second of 1080 interlaced lines of high definition video, from multiple camera angles, simply can NEVER be wrong!

Except when they are wrong. Or most people think the call is still wrong.

It only takes one referee, who has to walk to his car after the game, to make a HUMAN judgement on all those lines of resolution and still frames of video.

His opinion, vs. the world.

This is not science. There is no such thing as "conclusive evidence."

And so now, the replay system in the NFL, with its myriad of mechanisms, produces such grotesque interruptions of games, and an often oddly distorted sense of "hey, was that really fair?"

Imagine if you had to EXPLAIN the replay system to a complete football novice from another country? It would go something like this.

Replay is simple....

Either coach can challenge a call by the referees in the game.
Except holding, pass interference, personal fouls, and well, many many other things.
But you can challenge fumbles, catches, in/out of bounds and interceptions.
When the whistle blows, the play is not necessarily over.
If a guy recovers a fumble, after the whistle, and they *think* he wasn't helped by the whistle, that's okay.
You only get two challenges per game.
You can't challenge a play after the next play has been run, no matter what.
If you are RIGHT on both challenges, you get one more. But that's it, win or lose.
Losing a challenge costs you a timeout.
If you are out of timeouts, you are out of challenges.
Under 2 minutes in each half, the wise men in the booth call for challenges.
If you think they have missed a big one, too bad, you may not challenge. Ever.
All scoring plays are challenged. Except field goals that are over the top of the goalpost.
These challenges are "free" because the booth conducts them.
However, if a player is wrongly ruled to have not scored a TD, then you have to spend a challenge.
Sorry if you don't have one.
Replays can only take 90 seconds, because we gotta keep things moving.
Wait, what? Never mind. Nobody has enforced that last one in years.

Compounding this weekly nonsense, is the NFL's rash of safety related "points of emphasis." These are "rules" which are more like "guidelines" because every referee has his own "guess" as to how strict to enforce them.

Hits on QB's are the most controversial.

In the Redskins-Patriots game, QB Rex Grossman, scrambling from pressure, fading away, threw a wounded duck that was picked off. However, because DE Andre Carter dove at him as he was fading away, and grazed his legs, the play was ruled "roughing the passer."

Because once upon a time, a very popular quarterback named "Tom Brady" got hit in his leg and missed an entire season. As you recall, the league suffered massive financial losses, and almost had to cancel the Super Bowl due to lack of interest.

Oh, wait, no they didn't.

Not a goddamn thing happened bad to the league because of that. One bad thing happened to one popular player, and the NFL went and turned the rule book into something more restrictive than "date night" at the Duggar household.

So if you are a Redskins fan, you are secretly fist pumping like mad on your sofa at this call, because it was like stealing a car in broad daylight, and then watching the cop who is chasing you drive right into a train.

But alas, karma, and the NFL rulebook is a bitch, because later in the game, this same "very popular player", Tom Brady, runs for a first down, and gets his ass whomped real good because he's so damn slow, he even slides slow.

You see, if a QB slides, you can't hit him. At all. Anywhere. But if he's not YET sliding, then he's fair game. When does a "slide" begin? I don't know. Conception? Ask the Duggars.

So even though London Fletcher is one of the most straight-up, clean tackling, good-guy, anti-James Harrison linebackers the league has ever known, the referee decides he better "even things up" just a bit from the previous horseshit call.

And this referee, mind you, one Jeff Triplette, fucked up a few weeks ago by not knowing the overtime rules format for the regular season, which of course, is now DIFFERENT from the post-season. He's also a referee who blinded an offensive lineman by firing his lead-filled penalty flag into his eye.

(I seriously can't remember an NFL referee ever getting FIRED, for just plain sucking. Except for maybe the infamous Phil Luckett, who jacknifed an overtime coin-toss, requested to be demoted "back judge" and then was likely shot in the head in the Vegas desert by a league office goon. I haven't seen that beak-nosed loser in some time. Have you?)

On top of all of this, Triplette just kinda "wings it" out there on calls, quite often picking up flags, claiming there was no penalty on the play.

So after talking with a few guys on his crew while Fletcher went positively crazy in disbelief, Triplette decides he would just "wing it" one more time on this call, and claim that Fletcher had hit Brady in the HEAD with an elbow, which would, technically, be a penalty.

Replay, however, proved otherwise. Unless Tom Brady's "head" is in an area commonly referred to as your "stomach."

Oh, boy wouldn't it have been nice to challenge that one!

Ha! Guess what! You can't suckers!

Because we want these games to be RIGHT, no matter how complicated getting the calls RIGHT might be, or how long it may take. But we admit, there's only so much "right" that we can massage into a game of human error and almost comical rule book complexity.

So on the game went, when the Redskins managed to tie the game with a TD pass to Santana Moss in the final two minutes. Except there was a flag for "offensive pass interference" nullifying the score - a call about as rare as somebody being prosecuted for firing their musket in a crowded saloon.

The Columbia Broadcasting System, which was telecasting this game to the home audience, understood the gravity of this crushing judgement call, which was not reviewable by replay, and as such... decided to NEVER SHOW THE PLAY AGAIN!

The highly paid announcers also moved along briskly, hardly mentioning the call at all.




And then there was this Al Riveron abortion in the "Don't Call Us Phoenix" Cardinals game....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Craction Pool Week 14

It's CRACTION POOL TIME for December!

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12: Ken Jenson
Week 13: Aaron Henderson

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 31-19-3!

Ravens -17 vs. Colts

Texans +3 at Bengals

Giants +3 at Cowboys

Patriots -9 at Redskins

and add onto it.. for Purposes...
Eagles +3 at Dolphins
Bears +4 at Broncos

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!


A cherished, and rare Donkey Bobblehead! I thought they had all been given out, but lo and behold, I uncovered a reserve stash in the basement. Hooray!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Game of Honor, Indeed

I have no personal connection to Army v. Navy. I have no immediate family members who are current or former service members. I don't know many friends or neighbors who serve either.

That said, I hold these men and women in tremendous awe.

Showtime has produced what looks like an absolutely EPIC, "Save Until I Delete" caliber documentary on the game, the nature of the service academies, and the passion that goes into this rivalry.

I've only seen the 30 minute "making of" preview, the full documentary airs December 21st, following the game on Saturday.

If this won't give you chicken-skin, nothing will. You might just be dead.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

19th Annual Bob and Brian Open Video

Okay, so this isn't the most timely of posts, but hey, I finally got the project done!

For everyone who came out to the 19th Annual Bob and Brian Open charity golf tournament, thank you once again for supporting Bob and Brian, and a great cause, the MAAC Fund.

For everyone involved, too numerous to mention here (and hell, it's been 4 months so I will inevitably forget some names) thanks for helping make this event flat out.... awesome.

PS: Next year, for the big 20th Anniversary, one word: FIREWORKS.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Don

If you like to think of Joe Paterno as a gentle, sort-of-out-of-it old man, who just liked to coach young men to play football the "right way" and live a simple life in a smallish rambler home on the outskirts of campus, well, here's another JoePa.

Joe Pa, bidnessman.

And when it comes to conflict of interest on reporting Jerry Sandusky's alleged shower rape of a 10 year old boy, well, here's some serious smoke. 

Soon we'll see if there's fire.
Paterno and three other investors — including the chairman of the charity, The Second Mile — helped secure funding to build a $125 million luxurious retirement community on Penn State property in 2002, according to the iPad newspaper The Daily. 
Paterno, 84, also had deals with charity members on a bottled-water company, a coaching Web site and a chain of convenience stores. 
Paterno, who was fired for not doing more to stop the alleged abuse, made an initial investment of $125,000 for the retirement project, which went bust. 
“From a logical standpoint, how do you have this group of people that are so intertwined with each other, and then have something like this come up, and then they not talk about it?” Jeffrey Fritz told The Daily.
Like I said a few weeks ago: I think what we find out about Joe Paterno in the coming months, will melt our heads.

Monday, December 5, 2011

This Makes Tiger's Victory Complete

Epic. A "tornado whiff", a "donkey" and making it "rain" with the bubbly in da club!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Huge Computers Decide They Want to See LSU v. Alabama One More Time!

Look, you can complain all you like. You can howl to the moon, you can humiliate the nerds with their "formulas" and the corrupt conference commissioners who manipulate the process behind the scenes.

None of it matters.

The cash matters, and that's about it.

So the BCS has produced a re-match between two teams that are - without any real argument - no worse than 1, 2 or 3 in the country.

Somebody had to lose out. Sorry, Oklahoma State.

Now, let's move onto to the bigger story. When are we going to get an actual, Division I football playoff?

Four teams, 8 teams, 16 teams. Max.

Bracket this bitch up, and let's play, right?

Well, until the financial house of cards upon which the entire "bowl system" is built, gets toppled by consumer indifference, nothing is going to change.

The system is profitable, for the people running the system.

Even though it's a complete sham for many of the schools.

The prime example is UConn last year, which took a multi-million dollar bath last January for the "priviledge" of making a BCS Bowl.

People were tweeting on Saturday about how Houston losing was going to "cost" the conference potentially $14 million in BCS revenue. Oh really? If Houston saw how many tickets the BCS would make them purchase at gunpoint, full price, they might have blown a gasket.

I'm not so sure Houston and C-USA didn't dodge a major financial bullet by missing the BCS, their wounded pride not withstanding.

I just watched Kirk Herbstreit wondering about the Virginia Tech "at large" selection for the Sugar Bowl, saying while he knows "they will bring alot of fans" he quickly added "is this what this is all about."

Duh. Yes.

Has been for about, oh, forever.

So sure, VaTech will travel their proud fan base to New Orleans after the holidays. And so will Michigan fans, thankful to be back in a meaningful bowl game again, for the first time since 2006.

And the register will ring. And nothing will change.

If you go to any of these games. If you purchase a ticket, either directly, or on the secondary market. If you get a free ticket, and pay for parking. If you do all that but ride in somebody else's car, and only buy one tiny soda at the game.

Well then, congrats. You have helped feed the beast. The system that will not die.

The system that has to resort to complex, byzantine computer formulas and flawed "human" polls, to give us ONE, little measly game of importance in the sport's "post-season."

Don't complain to me about "who got screwed." You then, are the ones giving the BCS powers the tube of lube.

This Should Explain the Whole "Honey Badger" Thing...

Every now and then, something gets really "big" on the ol' "interwebs" and yet, you, a seemingly savvy web surfer somehow "miss" it.

When it comes to LSU's insanely elusive and tough defensive back, Tyrann Mathieu - aka "The Honey Badger" - you may now just be saying: "What in the hell is THAT all about."

Well then, my friend. Sit back, and enjoy....

You tell me what's more insane: a badger that snacks on COBRAS like they are chicken wings? Or a guy who eludes top tier D1 defenders like this....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Craction Pool Week 13

It's CRACTION POOL TIME for December!

Once again, at stake this week, is a rare and mint condition, tag-still-on-it Fightin' Donkey Sweatshirt! One size fits all!


Because that's all I have left! So you'll either have to squeeze into it, lose some weight, or gift it to a smaller friend, wife, or child.

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12:

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 29-17-3!

New Orleans -9 vs. Detroit

Oakland +3 at Miami

Giants +7 vs. Packers

Cincinnati +7 at Pittsburgh

and add onto it.. for Purposes...

Chicago -7 vs. Kansas City
NY Jets -3 at Washington

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!


Owl.. My... God!

A soccer player has kicked a live owl "mascot" to death.

Yep. Soccer. The beautiful game. The civilized game.

What makes this heartbreaking incident even more distressing and enraging is that Moreno purposefully approached the stunned bird lying on the field -- after being accidentally injured with the ball -- issuing a fatal blow to the owl, punting it with a powerful kick. Both opponents and team-mates looked on, watching the entire incident with disbelief. Local fans were outraged and shouted "Murderer" at the player. 
During an interview, according to Reuters, trying to apologize for his violent action, Moreno justified his sad behavior by saying "I was not trying to hurt the owl. I did it to see if it would fly. What I wanted to do was get it off the field. The kick was a product of tension on the field at the time." 
Following treatment the owl mascot appeared to be improving, but a report issued by the local press, "Triunfo", said attending veterinarian, Camilo Tapia commented that the bird "went into a state of shock and died". 
In Colombia, animal cruelty laws can punish offenders with sentences of up to three months in jail that many people are hoping Moreno will receive. Enraged local activists are also urging league officials to permanently expel Moreno from the team.
This guy should be hung from the highest limb, right next to that idiotic Toomer's Oaks tree-killer, Harvey Updyke Jr.

I'm not kidding. When it comes to birds and trees, I'm as crunchy as an Oregon granola freak.

Owls are badasses. Big, weird, creepy looking, reclusive, and they chow on live mice, rabbits, and small rodents like they were a bag of cheeze-filled Combos.

But sadly, when one is dazed and lying on the ground, they can't exactly escape a soccer goon kicking them into the 5th row of seats.

I hope this guy has the worst, most sweat-inducing Owl-nightmares for the rest of his life.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wayne Gretzky Needs to Mind His Own Damn Business!

Because he's apparently shut down 22 year old daughter Paulina Gretzky's Twitter feed.

Die, #99. Die.

This is a GROWN WOMAN, and she's clearly, very "adept" at using social media. Unlike some dot-com whores who just lift their mud-flaps to show off their coolies, Paulina has a real eye for artistic poses and techniques.

She's 22, Wayne. For cripes sake! Twenty-two!


Lucky for us, "the internet never forgets, and it's always open."