Thursday, February 27, 2014

We're Moving!!!!

Exciting news, my digital friends. The great 10-minute time-waster and one-stop shop shop for all these "Czabe" is moving to the following domain...

Yeah, I know. Woo, big change!

I do think you'll like the new design. There's a good sampling of content on there, and it will be updated each day, M-F.

The current will not be updated, and will be migrating over to shortly. Eventually, both domains will take you to the same place, but you can go ahead and bookmark this now, just to be safe.

Big thanks to Adam Austreng who helped design this more robust WordPress based site. And thanks to you people for being patient while I made sure we were ready to launch.

Soooo... see ya over there! And tell me what you think!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Three Priceless Things I Found Cleaning Out My Storage Room in the Basement

I highly recommend keeping files of things in your life. Things you otherwise might throw away. Or just lose track of. Because when you get older, they become precious artifacts of life - your life, which goes by way too fast it seems.

So here's the only season I played organized, real-life, big-boy tackle football.

I was 12. Does it look like I was any good?

I didn't have a horrible experience, but the game was certainly rougher and more physical than I was ready to handle. Still, I am glad I did it. As a Little League baseball kid, I think I had to persuade my mom to let me try football.

I was an offensive lineman, which.. hello.. is a joke, because... look at me. Those pipe cleaner arms. They weren't running any power-toss-sweeps behind ol' "Road Grader 79" - but as you can count from the roster size (about 16 kids) everyone played somewhere.

I was too slow and unathletic to play any skill position on offense, and too much of a pussy to play ANYWHERE on defense. So they threw me on the left side and basically said: "Try to get in somebody's way, kid."

Ol' #82 was Jake McInearney, who went on to be a placekicker at UVA. Even kicked in the Sugar Bowl back in the late 80's. He was my only friend on the team. The dog was our best player, but battled a nasty cocaine addiction, and was frequently suspended by the league.

One of the guys in this photo is local legend John Boobas, easily our toughest and best player on defense. You can try to figure out which one he is. He went to a rival high school, and reportedly got all jacked up with muscles, and ended up setting the Virginia State high school record in the shot put.

Yes. Allegedly. I will likely hear from Mr. Boobas now that this has been posted. The internet has an amazing way of being viral. 'Sup, Boobas! (We weren't friends. Please don't beat me up!)

Believe it or not, my only season in youth football, was cut short by a concussion: FALLING OFF A SKATEBOARD at my buddy Jeff Benjamin's house!

Six stitches to the head, another 6 to a gash on my right elbow, and that was that. Never kissed any of those cheerleaders either. I was 12. I didn't even like girls at the time.


This artifact here is my first ever official radio contract. Les Carroll was the GM of the station in Santa Barbara, and my job was to do 6 sports updates during morning drive, and a one hour sports talk show from 6-7 p.m. leading into Dodgers play-by-play.

As you can see, they paid me a TON of money!

Of course, I also called UCSB basketball games, at a cool $200 a pop! About 30 games per season, another $6K in my pocket, my god, I was rich!


And this is a photo I have been looking for now for quite some time - alas, gotcha!

Behold: "The ORIGINAL 5-Hour Energy Dome!"

Circa 1998, it was in our first married house in Charlotte, NC. 9312 Hanover South Trail. Lovely neighborhood, and since homes down there almost never had finished basements (due to the water table in the ground being too close to the surface) they often had "bonus rooms" like this one, over the garage.

Those are some sweet Toshiba, standard DEF, TUBE TV's, baby! That's twin 27 inchers, above a 32. Two Sony VCR's, rack mounted above twin DirecTV receivers.

I left it all with the house. Was likely a nice selling point to the dude and his wife buying it. Wonder if it is still there today.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sochi Sucks - Parody!

Nothing quite like a little Phil Collins and "Sussudio" to get your morning going. In fairness to the Russians, that mud you see in front of the sign has been hastily covered with grass, and dutifully painted by an old woman in a headscarf.

"See! Look perfect for winter games!"

Friday, February 7, 2014

Franz Klammer's 1976 Gold Medal Run, and "The Agony of Defeat"

As a young lad, one of my earliest sports memories was as an 8 year old watching the great downhiller Franz Klammer win gold in the downhill at the "famed" Kitzbuhl in his native Austria. The breathless excitement of the announcers, coupled with the cool-for-the-time electronic split timing, was awesome television for a boy stuck indoors in the winter before iPads and the internet were invented.

The other most iconic clip in Olympic-related history (because technically, it wasn't in the Olympics) is the wipeout by Slovenian Vinko Bogotaj who lost his nerve on the ski jump and authored the most epic yard sale in TV sports history.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Three Must Watch Videos From Super Bowl Weekend

1. Frank Caliendo's "30 for 30" on Richard Sherman.

An impressionistic tour de force. I think his (heretofore unseen) Ron Jaworski is simply amazing. And I just know Berman did NOT like the fact Frank helped highlight what a cable-access hack he really is as a TV talent. Fox, you screwed up big time, letting Frank walk out the door. Rob Riggle? Really?

2. Marshawn Lynch "All 'Bout dat Action" Video

The soundbite alone, classic. Re-mixed into a rap riff/song, even better. Set to highlights of his best run? Simply brilliant.

3. Peyton Manning "A Little Bit of Pee Came Out"

Okay, so this was my personal creation. A recycled bit of SNL audio, coupled with some choice images from Super Bowl 48. Not bad for a radio guy with a MacBook Pro, eh?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wearing the Dunce Cap

Never again. I shall never again fall swooning for "offense" when it meets great, or even just "good" defense.

Here, let me hammer home the eternal sports truths for several major sports.

NFL: Defense > Offense
MLB: Pitching > Hitting
NBA: Superstar > Balanced Team

Several things from this game, I completely failed to account for, that helped lead to the humiliating (for me) disaster (for the Broncos) that ensued.

1. It Was Loud
As much as Seattle thrives on the 12th man fury at home, Peyton thrives on the library like silence on offense at home. It allows for seamless check-outs, hard counts, and manipulation. When MetLife came alive from the start, it was like a road game for Manning. Trouble. The o-line was nervous against that pass rush, and none of the usual gyrations were worth two shits.

2. The Denver Secondary Was Atrocious
Okay, so Champ Bailey had a helluva a career. He's shot. Letting Baldwin loose like that was pathetic. And Dominique Rodgers Cromartie should retire, as he threatened. When Percy Harvin comes across a second time on a jet-sweep that went for huge yards the first time, you can't let the WR easily seal you off with a block. And don't get me started on Tony Carter. You suck. Like they were going to ignore that PI in the endzone? At the Super Bowl? Good job, good effort.

3. Cliff Avril Dominating
And it wasn't just him up front, I am well aware. But to see Avril lift up RT Orlando Franklin like he put a palette jack underneath him and moved him effortless into Manning's lap, was a singularly incredible athletic feat to see.

All that, plus three ill-timed, and utter disasters: the safety-snap, the balloon pick-six, and the Percy Harvin Immaculate Bounce-Pooch, meant Denver just "got debacled" as Emmitt Smith would say.

A perfect storm, of Seattle dominance. Well done Hawks.

/slow clap

Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction Time

Oh well, the paralyzing snowstorm for MetLife on Sunday teased, then fizzled.

Maybe next cold weather Super Bowl venue.

Because you just KNOW there will be one, now that this one has gone so "well" - all things considered.

Here comes Boston, Philly, Washington, and certainly New York/NJ yet again with more bids in the future. And they'll get 'em, I'm sure. The days of warm/dome only for this event are effectively over. I can see a rough rotation in the future of 1 cold, for every two warm.

I'm gonna just have to let it go.

On to the game. Count this as a "broad strokes" analysis, which I accept will be assaulted as a "you obviously know nothing about football" approach by many. That's fine. Throw your opinion eggs and  tomatoes! It's what I'm up here for!

The Seahawks are the same team as San Francisco. Maybe a shade weaker, because I think Seattle thrives as a home-field trick pony for half the year with that incredible 12th man noise. Not that Seattle sucks away from home, but they are distinctly beatable.

Seattle, like the Niners, are a crazy-sick defense, with a good-but-still-not-there QB who can run around and make some plays. Seattle is a slight "minus" when it comes to weapons on offense when compared to the Niners: Davis and Crabtree trump anything Seattle has as targets, and Gore v. Lynch is a virtual push.

And Baltimore, FAR less dynamic offensively than Denver, beat the Niners, and were pulling away when the lights went out.

Sure, the seven highest scoring teams in NFL history are a collective 0-7 when it comes to winning the Super Bowl. Several didn't even make it to the Roman Numeral game. Offensive "dandies" tend to get punched in the face, and then curl up.

Will that happen to Denver and Manning? I doubt it.

Seattle has beaten the following scrubs this year out of conference - (with QB).

2-14 Houston (Matt Schaub)
4-12 Jacksonville (Chad Henne)
4-12 Buccaneers (Mike Glennon) * Down 21-0 at home.
4-12 Falcons (Matt Ryan)
5-10-1 Vikings (Christian Ponder)
7-9 Giants (E. Manning) * 40th ranked in Passer Rating among qualifiers. 40!

I'm not even throwing into that pile, twin meetings with the Kellen Clemens led Rams, the first one the Seahawks almost lost 14-9.

So if you are counting with me, that's 6 wins against QB's who might not start a game next year, and 4 coaches who got fired.

The cliche says "Defense Wins Championships". Reminder: that's a cliche. In the real world, history has shown that quarterbacks have to eventually win these games. With a big play, or a big drive.

Russell Wilson is going to have to win this game for Seattle, and I just don't think he's there yet. If Denver is down late (say -10 in the 4th) they will be a mortal threat all the way until 0:00.

The Saints were a similar defense to Seattle back when they beat Manning and the Colts. A disruptive turnover creating - and bounty paying! - unit that played fearlessly.

It still took Drew Brees going 32-39, a surprise on-side kick, and a 74-yard pick-six in the final 4:00 to slay Peyton Manning.

Defense won't get it done alone.

Final thought: the warmer it gets, the deader the Hawks are. Cold and wind were the best chance to hang on for a defense-led victory. Your small consolation, Seattle: you won't have the referees to bitch about for the the loss this time.

Denver 33
Seattle 20

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Football Writers Have Become The Biggest Useless Bitches On the Planet

So Marshawn Lynch has gone "Least Mode" in front of the microphones and cameras this week.

Good for him.

About time somebody was actually LESS accessible, LESS overexposed, or LESS cliched when it comes to the relentless hyping and marketing of players these days.

When Deion struggled to pry a few words out of Lynch, it turned out to be pure gold. Not just for Lynch gems like "I'm just all 'bout that action" and "Whole town's bidness gonna be up in the house" but also for how gingerly the normally high stepping Prime Time had to approach him.

But alas, the vaunted "Pro Football Writers of America" (PFWA) - which should be re-branded the People For Wonderful Answers - got their old man panties in a wad and fired off a letter to the NFL about it all.

“The Pro Football Writers of America, the official voice of pro football writers fighting and promoting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public, is extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch at the Super Bowl XLVIII media day on Tuesday,” the PFWA said in a statement issued by president D. Orlando Ledbetter. 
“Several of our long-standing and high profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch’s conduct and refusal to answer any questions. We find the statement that by the league that ‘Players are required to participate and he participated’ to be an affront to our membership. However, we are encouraged that the league will continue to closely monitor this situation.”
See. This is why John Clayton got stuffed in trash cans alot back in high school last week.

"The Marshawn Lynch thing was totally embarrassing for the organization I think because he went through the motions of answering questions non-football-related for six minutes and 21 seconds and bolted," Clayton said. "He didn't leave the area but he stood near the position where he was supposed to be and refused to walk back. I honestly think that he should get the $100,000 fine. He acted irresponsibly."

Yes, the seethingly ugly John Clayton, who provides nothing exciting or useful ever in his "reporting", wants Lynch to be docked well over double the average annual salary of the guy watching the game on TV. The same guy who willingly let ESPN make a promo of him, painting him as some loser in his mom's basement who mysteriously has a job doing television reports, is now acting all serious.

What a dick.

And he, along with many of these other pathetic dinosaurs sit in a closed room and elect players to Canton, and insist they are not biased.


Once upon a time, things were much simpler. Like below. Joe Namath would sit poolside, writers would come up for a quote or two, blue haired old ladies would get an autograph, and nobody acted like a bitch.

If the PFWA wanted to carp to the NFL's Brian McCarthy in private about Lynch, fine. But the moment someone pulled out his Smith-Corona to write that letter, he should have been beaten to within an inch of his life by whatever remaining NFL writers have any sense of dignity.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mariana Gonzales Wins Media Day

What's better than a scantily clad TV Azteca reporter in a tight white knit dress and a fur cap?

The same smokeshow, in a series of selfies with her bare midriff. Man, hispanic language TV knows how to play the game.

I got one thing to say to Shelly Smith, in the immortal words of Steve Smith: "Ice up, son, ice up."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Here, Let Me Save You Some Time Tonight...

If you want the President's State of the Union address boiled down to less than a minute, well here you go. Just remember: he's still got TWO MORE of these things! /

/krusty groan

Meanwhile, if only could have the lively back-and-forth zingers of the British House of Commons. And to think just because one guy quickly blurted "You Lie" at one of ours (proven: true), it was like a huge deal!

In Britian, David Cameron can call Gordon Brown "a phony" to his face, while imploring him to get some balls and "find a bit of bottle" while Brown returns fire, and it's just jolly old good political fun.

Maybe time to re-relinquish control of this place to our British forefathers.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Daily Poll: The Sherman Effect

Don't Get Rid of "Thug" Label, Just Make Sure It Fits...

Richard Sherman is not a thug.
He’s a punk. Jackass. Self-promoter.
It doesn’t mean thugs don’t exist, or that the word needs to be banned. Thug is a perfectly useful word that works for a variety of actors in the public sphere.
To me, in the sports world a thug is an irresponsible, self-absorbed, quasi-criminal, who you might even seem to think plays sports only for the millionaire, MTV cribs lifestyle it provides – not for the joy of the game, or any other high concept principle.
It helps to have some “thug” accessories, the trappings of inner-city street life that has been glamorized by rappers for years now. You know, tattoos, gold teeth, bling, guns, weed. Oh, and at least a few kids to a few different baby mommas.
Sherman ain’t the thug on that team, Marshawn Lynch is.
The same disregard and respect for others, led to him losing his driver’s license in New York state just ONE DAY after he got it, when he hit a pedestrian at 3 in the morning and just kept driving home.
Beast Mode, indeed.
He then racked up a weapons charge in California in the off-season, was suspended 3 games by the NFL, traded away by Buffalo for a mere 5th rounder, then picked up another DUI as a Seahawk in 2012 – a case that has been pushed back all the way until THIS spring! – all the while dodging the media this season to the tune of a $50,000 fine.
Sorry, but I wouldn’t let Marshawn Lynch watch my parked car from an office window, much less babysit by kids. Sherman, meanwhile, I’d hire to come over to handle the kids while I went out to a movie, tomorrow.
They’d probably have a blast.
If you hang out with people who have or would: 1. Beat 2. Stab 3. Threaten or 4. Kill somebody, you’re a thug.
Michael Vick was a classic NFL thug when he was a Falcon. A dogfighting, weed smoking, posse-having, money wasting wanna-be “baller” – not a genuine football player. Oh, he played football alright – but mainly just to finance all the rest.
Then jail happened. And you know what, he mostly left the thug lifestyle behind, and played a few of his best seasons ever as an Eagle.
Good for him.
Another black quarterback for the Eagles, had a rather long and very successful career as the anti-Vick. Responsible. Accountable. Embraced the corporate opportunities of being an NFL star, was never once in trouble with the law, and likely has most of his millions still in the bank.
Good too, for him.
And as much as some would like to make it a black/white thing, or a “racial coding” thing, let’s not forget the things that were said about white guys like Bill Laimbeer, Todd Bertuzzi, Richie Incognito and others.
A “thug” label in sports, is fuzzy around the edges, and subject to personal interpretation. It’s also sometimes a “phase” that athletes will move in and out of, depending upon their evolving level of maturity.
To retire the label “thug” in sports would be a mistake. Let’s just make sure to save it for the guys it truly fits.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mattell's Electronic Football Game - FOR YOUR iPHONE!

Yes, they really did this.

Given the current awesomeness of video games in the digital age, it would seem absurd to "port" the most primitive pre-cursor of modern video game football to an iPhone.

But here you have it.

For those old enough to remember the original.... "bleep... bleep.. BLEEP... bleeeeeeeep" of this "game" (honestly, it deserves the most mocking of air quotes), it may bring back warm and fuzzy feelings of sitting around for hours, honing your button mashing skills.

Perhaps better yet, you should download this app to show to your kids, and their friends... JUST HOW MUCH LIFE SUCKED WHEN YOU WERE 11 YEARS OLD!

Then throw 'em outside, make them shovel the driveway, and give them $2 for their toil.

That'll teach 'em.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

AFC/NFC Championship Game Recap & Thoughts

AFC Championship

Man, that was sweet. 

Really, really sweet.

Peyton Manning, in a big game, against his own “El Guapo” - Tom Brady - and he carves ‘em up for 400 yards.

I have no real reason for liking Manning so much, other than that I just appreciate athletes who are flat out bad-asses in their sport. It doesn’t hurt if they are funny, self-effacing, and also the epitome of sportsmanship and class.

And Manning is now certifed with his 3rd appearance on Super Sunday.

I don’t care if he loses it. It would be a bitter disappointment for him, sure. But I am more realistic as a sports fan: it’s hard to win a Super Bowl. To judge a player’s greatness only on rings, is stupid.

A Manning choke - or just any loss for that matter - against the Patriots, would have unleashed a Low Football IQ Caller Parade on Monday on the radio. Thank god that’s been cancelled.

He was a little lucky at times - the slippery fish snap early, then that seeing-eye floater later - but mostly awesome throughout. Picking the right plays. Then picking apart the Pats secondary.

Yes, noted. Aqib Talib.

Nothing for sure says he would have made a difference. Manning did not have Julius Thomas in that first meeting, and the Patriots had Gronk. That, plus when the forecast showed high 50’s and sunshine, we all should have simply said: “Game over.”

This was going to be Peyton’s playhouse.

And it sure was.

Both Thomas boys ran wild. Moreno and Ball ran fast and hard when needed. And even though they had to settle for field goals a few times when they could just TASTE a touchdown on their lips, the Broncos kept doing what they do.

Most importantly, when the Patriots finally score a TD to make it a somewhat uneasy feeling with about 9 minutes to go, the Broncos went PASS-PASS and connected to Julius Thomas for that backbreaking big gain down the left sideline.

And I flat out loved how the administered the final choke out. 4th and 2, about 1:20 left. Broncos up 10, understood that being up 13 was not much different, and so they just decided to ram it ahead and take three knees. Many coaches would kick the FG, hand the ball back, and play another minute of defense.

Maybe John Fox had seen too much of Brady’s miracle comebacks this year and decided, “screw that. Not this time!”

A record setting offensive juggernaut of a team, with a Mount Rushmore quarterback whose career was nearly ended by a trillion neck surgeries, is going to the Super Bowl.

Justice, was served.


NFC Championship

Meanwhile in Seattle, that game left me absolutely rocked in my chair.

I may be over-reacting, but that might be the single best NFL playoff game I have ever watched. It had everything.

Pulsating atmosphere. Check.
Thumping, bruising, big boy football. Check.
Almost no post whistle nonsense. Check (Great work, Mean Gene Steratore & Co.)
Thrilling, game swinging, big plays. Check, check, and check.

Colin Kaepernick running like a gazelle on the open plains.
Wilson re-animating the very essence of Fran Tarkenton.
Marshawn Lynch, going Beast Mode.

That TD run was nothing short of electric.

A deft side-hop cut into the hole.
High step upon contact (intentional?)
Vision to cut to open water.
Raw speed to pull away from defender angles.
Finishing balance to find the endzone.


Haymaker, haymaker, haymaker.

Niners and Seahawks, toe to toe.

I was aghast at some of Pete Carroll’s “tactics” if you can call them that.

A timeout just to go for it on 4th and 7? In a tight game like that? Unreal. He got bailed out because they made it.

Going for 4th and goal after instant replay failed, yet again?


To wit: what makes anyone think 4th and goal against a monster defense like the Niners that had TWO goal-line stands last week is at all, a “good” idea? 

More critically, with 8 minutes left in the game, you are down to assuming the other team might only have 1 possession left. They may not, but in the final 1/8th of the game, the math was compelling to just take those undeserved 3 points and tiptoe away.

Field goal puts you up six. Kaepernick will now be in “pressure” mode, throwing more, trying hard to get all the way into the end zone. And even if he gets the Niners into the endzone, you are now only down 1. Meaning, FG WINS you the game, instead of being down 4.

As it turns out, DJQB Hip Hop threw a pick anyway. Which nobody - including myself - could have assumed would happen. But things happen in a football game. Your next FG is a 9-point spread. Be ready to take that 9 point lead if “something” (like a fumble) does happen.

Instead, the Niners were given a chance to march down the field, and would have had 4 throws into the endzone from the 18 yard line to WIN the game.

Plus, they had 2 timeouts, allowing for anything they want short and underneath.

The Seahawks were in a VERY precarious situation. And then Richard Sherman happened, with a little bit of magic from a nobody named Malcolm Smith. One of 53 guys on a T-E-A-M with a job to do, and he did his wonderfully on that play. Being present, alert, and ready to snatch victory, as it hung in the air.

Smith did not instigate a taunting penalty after that play, to avenge some mythical “trash talk” that might have hurt his feelings. Smith did not act like a classless jackass on national TV. 

And that’s part of why you have no idea who he is.

Welcome to sports in the modern, internet, viral age.

Now, one last thought on replay.

It failed.

Yes, IT did.

Don’t argue that replay is good, it’s the restrictions and rules that are screwed up. The point of having instant replay is to avoid having fallible humans make honest mistakes that change outcomes of games, and perhaps someday (gasp!) costs a team a trip to the Super Bowl.

That is WHY you have replay.

But replay fails, time and time again. 

It fails because replay can’t envision, cover, or be written in a way that entails every complicated rules situation that may arise on a pro football field. The only way it MIGHT be able to achieve perfection, is to say “every single play is subject to replay, and the game will be stopped and re-started an indefinite number of times, in order to make sure no wrong calls are made.”

Otherwise, replay shall fail, and fail, and fail again.

Sorry. It’s fact. It’s science.

The concept of replay is flawed from the start. It’s central conceit is that we can identify a certain subset of plays (TD’s and turnovers, for example) that will comprise the crucial game changing errors, and allow them to be corrected.

But games hinge on anything, and everything. Calls that are made, and not made. Rules that are mis-applied (like Steratore’s 5-yard running into call, not roughing call on the punter) and things that are simply missed.

But the people seem to like replay in sports.

And the people have spoken.

It’s like Obamacare. You wanted it. You got it. Have fun.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Vegas Golf Recommendation: Paiute Resort

With CzabeVegas 2014 only 67 days away and counting down quickly, many of you who don't currently play golf on trips to Vegas, but would like to start doing so, ask me for advice.

So with that in mind, I figured I would start posting some occasional recommendations based on first hand experience. This post, is about Paiute Resort, just about 25 minutes north and west of the strip.

First thing about golf in Vegas: it's not cheap.

Not relative to other warm weather destination cities like Myrtle Beach, etc. This is because money comes to Vegas, and people lose that money. Quickly. So the "mental economics" of the tourist gambler/golfer, goes like this: "Sure, $200 for (insert course) sure seems steep, but if I play craps/blackjack/whatever for 5 hours, I'll lose at least $400, so at least I'll get some time out in the sun."

And the market can bear it. So go with it.

The second thing about golf in Vegas is that a number of the cheaper courses are what you could call "target golf" layouts. They might look good in the few glory shots on the course website, but they play a lot differently.

These are courses crammed into nearby housing communities, and designed to use the least amount of water as possible.

Less water, means less grass. Which means more desert, more rocks. Less Titleists in your bag at the end of the day.

Look at the photos below. The top photo is Paiute, and the bottom photo Badlands.

Nothing against Badlands, but having played it, its the equivalent of hitting your golf ball over a relentless pile of rocks, all day long. It may be your favorite course out there, but not mine. Sorry.

Paiute is nice in that you can see the hole "envelopes" are significantly wider, so that when you spray it a bit, you are still on grass, and not in a pile of rocks and scorpions - or somebody's backyard.

It's a 3-course facility that has almost equally great layouts, although the "Wolf" 18 is positioned as the "elite" layout. I've played 2 of the three, and I don't think there's any dropoff from "The Wolf." Great big clubhouse, two great driving ranges and short game areas. Great staff.

They just do it right. And most of all, the greens are always fantastic. That is the ultimate factor for any avid golfer when it comes to the question of "are we coming back to this place."

The answer at Paiute - an emphatic "yes!"

The most encouraging thing about Paiute is that you may have heard it suffered almost devastating flooding over the summer. Video of that is below.

8 News NOW

If you listen to my interview with GM Chad Gunier, he explains the massive effort to get the courses back up and running. And I'm thrilled to say they are "back, and better than ever!"

Lastly, if you want to see me and the dummies knock it around Paiute, the video below is from 2010. Great times. I highly recommend it. Rates vary by month, and of course, day of the week. But I can  honestly say Paiute is absolutely the best "bang for the buck" places anywhere in Vegas.

Paiute Golf 2010 - The Wolf from Steve Czaban on Vimeo.

This Video Now Makes Me Think The Seahawks Are Going to Totally Kill the Niners

Because even though "Seahawks" don't even exist - they are a fictional amalgamation of various raptors, drawing mostly on Osprey's which are the best prey birds of the open water - any kind of hawk is freaking BAD ASS!

Sure, some of this footage is shaky, but overall, there's little better in the way of "Bird Porn" than this!

Enjoy, bird nerds!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shock Discovery: Cubs Organization Finds Internet Is An Un-Friendly Place

Well, now, what did they expect?

You roll out a "nobody-asked-for-this" mascot for the first time in team history since the equally horrifying Cubbie "Squirrellbeast" of 1908, and you are going to get mocked.

You will get mocked for the fact this mascot is your team's best signing this winter.

You will get mocked for naming him something cute in reference to the ballpark.

You will get mocked for the mere fact that you suck, have always sucked, and yeah, mascot.

You should also expect photoshoppers far and wide to go creatively crazy, and you should expect Deadspin to organize a nice single stop shop for everything perverted, disgusting, hilarious, funny, and "inside-baseball" reference-y people come up with.

This was going to happen, people. C'mon.

Nobody in that big conference room with the Cubs, when reviewing final proofs of what "Clark" would look like, how he would dress, and what um... problems.... might arise from this version spoke up to say: "Yeah, uh... HE'S GOT NO PANTS!"

Simple rule: give a animal human-like legs. Give him pants.

No exceptions.

Oh, I understand that modern sports marketing departments for pro sports need a little "tool" like this in their kit. They need someone in a suit, making minimum wage, to go out and knuckle-dap kids in the hospital with horrible diseases that will likely cancel their 10th birthday.

I get it.

They need this because the alternative is someone like Alfonso Soriano, who makes $18 million a year, and might show up late, or not at all.

Instead, you pay some intern $100 and send him out into the community. I know. I collected that $100 cash when I was "Hoops" the Bullets mascot for 3 awful appearances back in the late 1980's.

My first appearance was the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. In June. HOT.

My second appearance was at some rich kid's birthday party in Great Falls, VA. Annoying.

My third and last appearance was a parking lot "kids-fest" at RFK. In July.

I nearly passed out, and was kicked in the shins REPEATEDLY.

My proud sister, and likely horrified father. "My son, is a MASCOT?"

My dignity, and health, was worth more than $100. I stopped volunteering for those gigs, and my mascot career, was over. Never made it to "the bigs". Never did an actual game. Sigh. Oh well...

As for "Clark"? Well, the Cubs should have never even acknowledged the photoshopping, because all it did was cement the story as a legit news story in various cable outlet's left-hand rundown.

Our own such outlet here in Washington, D.C. actually had some idiot producer put the penis-i-fied version of Clark - ON THE AIR.

As they say: "Good job, good effort."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hilary Duff Has Optioned Hockey Player Husband to Minors

Awwww, say it ain't so!

Former Disney teen queen Hilary Duff has split from her former hockey-player husband Mike Comrie (yep, that guy you've never ever heard of..) after just three years. As my friends at "What Would Tyler Durden Do?" put it...

"Three years and one kid remains the average life expectancy of a Hollywood marriage, lesbians included."

This all came about 2 days after they INSISTED that everything was super-cool, and then of course asked for "privacy" during this transition phase when they will remain "best friends".

How is it that divorcing celebrities always say they will stay "best friends?" Is there a bigger lie in the world than that? Really. You are getting divorced. Best friends, don't need to get divorced. Even if you both wanted unlimited extra-marital "strange", then "best friends" would say "okay, just don't tell me about it, and don't play any home games."

I've always really like ol' Hil (with ONE "L") and her "look." Fantastic smile. Impeccably high cheekbones.

She once had a "hit" song called "Wake Up" which was one of the most sophisticated musical opuses ever written, not like I have it on my iPhone as a video.

(/throws iPhone into toilet).

Oh well. She's somebody else's account to manage now. In the meantime, look how nice she cleans up!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

All Heavyweight Championship Sunday

Excited, everybody? I hope so.

Not me. I'm going to be weak-kneed, nervous wreck watching these games next weekend.

I know, I know. You are only supposed to be nervous when it is your team in a massive stakes games like these.

I'll be nervous because I simply can't stomach the thought of either the Niners or the Pats in the Super Bowl.

Much less both.

And there's a very real chance of just that!

What do I have against them?

Nothing, except that both teams are so damn good right now, it's unfair.

Un-fucking-fair. I'm calling it. Like a little 10 year old kid.

Harbaugh has somehow made me kind of like Petey "Rah Rah" Carroll. Nobody is a bigger front runner than Jim Harbaugh. When he wins, he's kissing beat writers on the head. When he loses, he's giving you the 1000 yard stare, and perfunctory answers.

Sunday, Fox explained how Harbaugh still wears cleats on the sideline as a coach.

Of course he does. What an ass.

His move of running 30 yards onto the field to complain to Carl Cheffers about getting a replay on the Vernon Davis TD call was classic idiot. Like they weren't going to review that.

He's impossible to like, unless you are a Niner fan. I bet brother John hates his guts, and that mom and dad just tolerate him.

He's an amazing coach, though. Holy shit, amazing. I'd want him coaching my team. Any day. He's the first coach to reach the Conference Championship game in each of the first 3 years as a head coach.

And he did it with a bunch of guys Mike Singletary couldn't figure out how to make a ham sandwich out of.

I respectfully hate his guts. Oh, and the Niners now have an extra 2nd round pick because Alex Smith was so good for Kansas City, and Colin Kaepernick isn't even really good just yet.

I have a feeling the Seahawks are our last hope to prevent about 4 straight Super Bowl trips for the Niners.

And the enemy of my enemy .... is my friend.

Go Hawks.

And then we have the Patriots. This will be their 8th AFC Championship game under Belichick and Brady. They've already got a shelf of Lombardi's from this run, and had two more stolen from them by the Giants while pulling two lucky horseshoes out of their asses.

There is absolutely no reason why any one team should have this much success over that long a span. And I'm not even a guy who still holds a grudge against the Pats for Spygate. I mean, they cheated like fuck. And got caught. And haven't won a Super Bowl since.

But they are still relentlessly incredible.

Every year, the football gods throw all kinds of ridiculous injuries at the Patriots, just to make it fair.

And it's still never enough.

Tom Brady had his knee blown up, and they still went 11-5 with a one-time-use, backup QB, who they traded for a 2nd round pick - and the guy hasn't been any good since!

This team extracts talent from every little crack and crevice of a 53 man roster like no one else. Random guys. Other team's castaways. Little white dudes.

How sick would the Pats be if Vince Wilfork was still upright and healthy, and just one of their now famously injured or incarcerated tight ends were available?

They had this entire offense that Belichick built around the concept of "You can't guard two TE's like these dudes! We are going to KILL people with this scheme!"

Then had to change it all.

And... boom. Here they are again!

When are these assholes going to go away?

They are ruthless gangsters. Trading Richard Seymour the week before the season began (first round pick, thank you!), benching Wes Welker for a half because he clowned Rex Ryan, or this week putting Brandon Spikes on IR because he tried to use snow (Snow! In New England!) as an excuse for missing a meeting!

They cut Tiquan Underwood - WHILE AT THE SUPER BOWL!

Other franchises reach for the Patriots' magic trinkets like boy-coach Josh McDaniels, or supposed GM-guru Scott Pioli, only to watch them morph into complete turds under their own roof.

Sure, the Pats will someday suck again when B&B are retired and gone.

For many of us, it can't come soon enough. But I know it simply won't come soon enough.

And I'm gonna have to look at these guys, and hear Super Bowl stories about these guys... AGAIN! For two weeks? In New York City?

Shoot me now.

Peyton, this would be a really great time for you to not choke, for once. (Okay, for twice in your life).

Go Broncs.

Excited for this upcoming epic Sunday? Not me. I'm already ready to puke.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Some Simple Do's and Don't's: Let's Start With Dinner...

I have some unsolicited advice for Jay Gruden as we welcome him to town, and hope earnestly that he can turn around this listing, wayward ship of bad football. And it's as simple as "Do This, Don't Do That..."

Don’t have dinners with the owner. You don’t need him as a friend, and neither does he need you as one. He’s your boss. Have your next fancy dinner, at the Super Bowl, the night before the big game.

Do have lunch with your quarterback. Let him know that even if you have to break his balls at times over fundamentals or execution, that you do have his back, and that you are both in this to make each other wildly successful, rich, famous and winners.

Jay Gruden, Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, and Co. celebrate hiring at Morton's, somewhere in DC.

Don’t go out and purchase any wide receiver in free agency. We’ve got Garcon, who dominated the league last year with a QB who, some claim, had a “bad” season. You can make do with young, hungry, no-names filling out the Y and Z positions.

Do invest heavily on the defensive side of the football. Good defense not only wins in the NFL, but good defense shows up in all weather, is indifferent to supposedly “bad” match ups, and can be applied consistently as long as players give maximum effort.

Don’t waste any timeouts in the 2nd half just to avoid a 5-yard delay of game penalty. If you carry all 3 time-outs to the 2-minute warning every game, no matter what, you will add two wins to your season total vs. teams that don’t.

Do be aggressive on going for it on 4th down and less than 3. The league is slowly waking up to the understanding that the old school worship of almighty “field position” is silly and counter-productive. Get the ball. KEEP the ball. Score. That’s how the game is won. Period.

QB Jay Gruden and team rocking' the Zubaz style pants for the Arena League 
Don’t even think about going away from the gold pants. Especially don’t think about those horrifying Zubaz from your Arena League playing days with the Storm.

Do make an effort to reach out to the fan base, in whatever little ways you can. The last guy wasn’t just bad at winning games, he was so cold and distant, many of us are still in Redskins fan therapy over it.

Don’t just let Bruce Allen and the scouting department have their way with draft decisions and free agency. You are a football junkie, who knows this game, and knows what kind of athlete can make it. Get in there and fight, when you think it matters.

Do accept the fact that as a coach, you are always going to be biased toward players you think can play better, or are convinced just haven’t reached their potential. Thus, Allen’s job will sometimes be to save you from yourself on these guys.

Don’t set expectations too high. A lot of us would love it, if you did nothing but quietly undersell the potential for the upcoming team, and upcoming season, only to be pleasantly surprised once play starts.

Do remember that as fans, we might just start calling for your head at the first 2 game losing streak. Don’t take it personally, or seriously. It’s just that we’ve been through a lot these last 14 years.

The start of something big. We had no idea, at the time.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snicky du Jour: Amy Adams

If you like Amy Adams - and she might just be my new "World #1/#1 for reasons I don't care to argue about with you people, she just damn HAS IT in my mind! - and if you like vintage late 70's looks in clothing and hairstyles, then you are going to FLIP for "American Hustle."

If you like Amy in these stills, she'll positively knock your 70's tube socks off when you watch her in action with Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper and his man perm.

Nothing against Jennifer Lawrence, whose character is intentionally white-trash-ified in this movie, but Adams flat out smokes her in this flick.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lindsay Vonn's Midriff Wins Gold Anyway

Sad news that Lindsay Vonn won't be competing at the Winter Games in Sochi.

We'll always have two things.

1. The above Under Armour commercial that shows off her lovely abs in a tantalizing apres ski setting.
2. The scintillating Gold Medal winning run from Vancouver, four years ago.

Enjoy both. (Just not the first one, too much!)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pressing Your Luck

Of all the things that makes the NFL supreme among sports viewing products, is the fact that falling behind means almost nothing. Sometimes, even falling behind by a lot.

All three early winners trailed at halftime. Which got me to thinking.

I wonder what the typical “comeback rate” is for each of the four major sports. Has anybody ever tried to calculate that?

In football and basketball, there are three different scoring denominations (technically four, if you count the XP in football). So I’m not sure how you would create the “comeback metric” for lack of a better word.

My first thought was to make it based on the multiple of the highest scoring denomination possible. So, a three-goal lead in hockey, or three run lead in baseball, would equate to a 3 TD lead in football.

But that would be stupid. Being down 21 in an NFL game, at ANY point in the game, is almost always a death sentence.

So maybe we could reverse engineer this so called “comeback metric.”

I am pretty sure we (and by “we” I mean, somebody with waayyy more time than me!) could calculate exactly the number of times since the NFL merger teams that trailed by 21 points came back to win the game. We could even break it down by decade, to see if the “mortality rate” of 21-0 has declined as the “passing era” in the NFL gained pre-eminance.

So once we get the verifiable "mortality rate” of being down by 21 in the NFL, we can then use that number (my guess: 6%) and find the similar scoring position of “nearly fatal” in other sports.

So what is the 6% of teams come back and win when trailing by (calculate number) in baseball? Hockey? Basketball?

Oh sure, I hear you snickering. “How in the f*** Czaban, could anyone find all the times a team in basketball came back from being 20 points or more down?

Ummmm. Nerds?

I don’t know. But I think it’s be a neat, cool, perhaps useful statistic to dig out. In other words, at what point are you basically “dead” as a team in a game?

Which brings me to the other most amazingly stupid thing that still persists in the NFL.

Wasted 2nd half timeouts, and clock management.

I won’t belabor what I have written and talked about for years and years now, but you people saw what Andy Reid did on Saturday afternoon.

I am pretty sure I have never, ever, seen a team have the 2 minute warning to get their shit together, and THEN burn a timeout - ANY timeout, much less their FINAL timeout - with the clocked stopped reading 2:00.

Watch this league long enough, you’ll see everything.

It was 4th and 11! Taking a 5 yard penalty makes it 4th and 16. There is no material down-and-distance, available-plays-to-call difference! Alex Smith hit a streaking Dwayne Bowe about 30 yards down the right sideline, and ONE foot too far wide on the boundary to end the game.

Timeouts in the 2nd half are coupons for :40 of game play. I simply don’t believe using one to avoid a delay of game penalty, or because (gasp!) a wide receiver is lined up wrong, is ever worth :40 of game time.

Even when you are rolling, and expect to win going away, as I am sure the Chiefs did.

I felt truly awful for Alex Smith after this game. He lost his #1 running back on the first drive of the game. His backup left later in the 4th. The Chiefs lost two big pieces in Flowers and Houston in the 2nd half.

They had a 38-10 lead, and that corpulent idiot with the mustache and the pithy post-game quip of “the time is yours” couldn’t noodle out a way to win that game.


I did love how the networks held a long shot of Reid waddling off the field. Slowly and alone. I wish somebody could have run up and slapped a “Kick Me, I’m Stupid” sign on his back.

With ONE timeout in your pocket, you force the Colts to run TWO honest running plays (where things CAN happen) and agonize over a pass/run choice on 3rd down, and if that’s unsuccessful a PUNT.

In other words, there would have been plenty of tight assholes in blue still left on the sidelines.

And the play calling, my god. Really? This game is what makes me say I could be an “average” play caller in the NFL if given a fully immersive year of training.

So here is a quiz. You are up 38-10 with 13:39 left to play in the game. Do you…

A. Run the ball at least 2x as many times as you pass?
B. Be Andy Reid?

The first series after this mark, really ignited the Colts. It went like this…

First down sack.
Disastrous SACK-FUMBLE by lethal predator Robert Mathis.

The following possessions went as follows for dunce cap Reid and the Chiefs.

Pass (INC)

Pass (INC)

Pass (Scramble)
Pass (INC)
Pass (INC)

But hey, even after this much STUPID, you are STILL up by 10. That’s when the Colts go 12 plays 90 yards for TD, and all of a sudden it’s 41-38.

Yada, yada, yada, and then Andy Reid uses his last timeout coming out of the 2 minute warning.