Recent Comments by Monkeyhawk

NBA Trademarks 6 Possible names for Oklahoma's team...

How about the Oklahoma Flattened Armadillos in the Middle of the Highway? (After the Oklahoma state animal)

posted by Monkeyhawk at 10:23 PM on July 27, 2008

A Baseball Career Without Steroids.

I always kinda liked Sal. But when he was with the Kansas City Roylz he was never more than the chubby back-up catcher who seemed to handle pitchers well and played gutsy baseball on the few times he got on base. He shoulda eaten less in Kansas City (but it's hard to avoid Gorozo's Italian food and all that lovely barbecue). He was, and is, a marginal professional ballplayer. Did others' steroid use hurt him? Yeah, probably. But if Sal had trimmed down to maybe 20% less body fat, he might have impressed more GMs. This is the kind of bathos the Reader's Digest wallows in. As Henry David Thoreau noted, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Coulda, woulda, shoulda. I suspect Sal Fasanco might have a solid career in baseball as a coach or even a manager. He obviously loves the game. He knows pitchers and is a positive force in the clubhouse. And I suspect the Reader's Digest writer chose to write a "sad, likable, failure" piece and made it come off that Sal obsesses over the juiced-up guys who got to the Bigs better than he did. I hope this isn't Sal Fasano's legacy. He deserves better.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 09:21 AM on July 25, 2008

Sonics are Oklahoma City-bound

The NBA is expanding into cities Greyhound buses don't go. At least they're making sense by not taking the SuperSonics nickname. I mean, what better name for a team from the coastal desert of California than "Lakers?" And we all like to go to those old smoky bistros to hear good ol' authentic Utah jazz, don't we? I wonder what this portends for Okies vis a vis the other, dominant big-time professional franchise in town, the Sooners. Maybe they sense the glory days of OU football are behind them. But unless the OKC nee SuperSonics get a lot better, they'll likely continue to be a lottery team each season around the time the Sooners lose another Bluebonnet Bowl. In a few years, this NBA franchise will return to the league's roots and move to Rochester.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 05:14 AM on July 05, 2008

Are you ready for some football?....Sit Down!

A long time ago I decided to go to Arrowhead for the tail-gating then go home and watch the game on TV. Seems like I was always sitting behind the WOOO! people. You know, the guy with too much beer whose only purpose in life is to scream WOOO! after every play and high-five all around him. Standing at a sports event always struck me as odd herd behavior anyway. If everyone stayed seated, everyone would see exactly the same thing that you see when everyone stands up. Except for short people, kids, the less mobile... Like most silly ideas, this Code of Conduct probably has (or, at some point) some good intentions, but it's not going to significantly change the fan experience at Arrowhead.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 08:55 AM on July 02, 2008

Pacman gives Dallas Cowboys a dual threat:

Maybe, "hawkguy" -- But going for sushi in Johnson County Kansas sounds a lot like going to San Diego for barbecue.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 02:20 PM on April 24, 2008

Pacman gives Dallas Cowboys a dual threat:

"steelergirl" -- Where do ya suppose a southern Califonia kid goes for sushi in Kansas City?

posted by Monkeyhawk at 02:09 PM on April 24, 2008

Pacman gives Dallas Cowboys a dual threat:

I don't have much of a clue about Nashville, but I've always wondered what it's like for pro football players who are forced to live in Green Bay or Charlotte or Jacksonville or other marginally-backwater towns. Yeah, you're a big fish in a small town, but just where was Pac Man supposed to find entertainment in Nashville? An Amy Grant concert? Dallas is big enough to offer diversified entertainment. Oakland always was a rough town, from longshoremen to Hell's Angels to the 70s-era Raiders. "Felonies start after the third death," an' all that... Would the Bengals have as many discipline problems if they weren't, ya know, located in uber-Kentucky? Part of what put Joe Namath in the Hall of Fame was this Pennsylvania kid, by way of Alabama, was perfectly suited for NYC in the 60s. San Francisco was a perfect (albeit ironic) match for 39-year-old virgin Steve Young, since the a large portion of the fan base could share his never-been-naked-with-a-girl persona. Carl Peterson decided Jared Allen just "wasn't a good fit for Kansas City." Not for the Chiefs. Not for making sacks or winning football games... but for the "city." Maybe he's right. Three high-profile DUIs might do that. As for Dallas? Remember the "North Dallas Forty" Cowboys? The "Semi-Tough" Cowboys? Pac-Man will fit right in.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 01:30 PM on April 24, 2008

Aussie Rules Football Is Punchtastic!

I didn't know Australian Rules Football had any rules.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 11:48 AM on April 17, 2008

Kansas Wins National Title...

Cut me and I bleed Crimson and Blue. The game came down to poise and I give that credit to Bill Self. Calipari lost control of the game and lost control of his team. Forget sitting on two times-out with ten seconds to go. Forget not getting the foul on Sharron Collins. Memphis was whupped at the end of regulation. You could see it in their eyes. Both teams had five minutes to win it in OT. Calipari lost it before the overtime tip-off.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 01:14 PM on April 08, 2008

NASCAR Rookie Survives Unbelievable Crash

A hundred thousand people don't go to the Daytona 500 to watch "an engineering competition." That's Liz Clarke's argument. Instead of personalities -- Dale, Rusty, Jimmy Johnson... NASCAR has turned into a bunch of antronaut-vanilla technicians programmed to recite all their car's sponsors. The only reason we watch NASCAR is because it's a dangerous sport. I'll never be able to dunk a basketball. I'm not only small, but I'm slow so most stadium sports aren't my ticket to superstardom. But hell, I can DRIVE a car! The only-est reason we go to car races is because it's a dangerous enterprise. It's a tried and true meme about how motor racing helped create better automotive technolgies -- from the rear-view mirror at Indy to the disk brake from Le Mans, the seat belt, the roll cage..... But a hundred thousand people show up in the coliseum every weekend to watch gladiators literally put their lives on the line. It's a blood sport. Like boxing. The COT rules are the latest version of the Marquise of Queensbury's rules; another subparagraph about what can stuff the boxing glove. Maybe we as a species need this s#it. I dunno. And without rehashing all the cliches about how football is a metaphor for war; "...the playing fields of Eton;" and all that. Something we seek in sports is ultimately rooted in our need to dominate an opponent. And you can't get more dominated than dead.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 11:20 AM on April 06, 2008

NASCAR Rookie Survives Unbelievable Crash

Part of it us how the sport is reported. How many more times does TV show wrecks than a moment of skilled driving in the Number Four corner? Remember that NASCAR is a santiziized version of an original American blood sport: moonshinin'in'. The basis of this game is "How much would it take to get you into this motor vehicle and risk your neck?" There's an incredible, albeit limited, skill-set required to drive a state-of-the-art funny car down an NHRA track. But the only reason it's a spectator sport is that the funny car might blow up some day. No. Nobody goes to the horse races just to see an entry break down. But what are the days at the track when people tell their stories? "I *SAW* that wreck!!!" is a badge of being an authentic NASCAR fan. Not "I saw that pit stop!" or "I *SAW* that drafting!" We go there for the wrecks.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 11:55 PM on April 05, 2008

NASCAR Rookie Survives Unbelievable Crash

I really don't want to sound preachy... And I'm totally agnostic on the "social implications" or that crap... But can we admit we go to NASCAR or the Indy 500 or the local dirt track... we're always there with the knowledge there might be an horrific crash. And we're okay with that. I got drunk in a motel bar in Dodge City a few years ago with a few professional bull riders. I don't think there's a harder way on the planet to be a professional athlete than to be a professional bull rider. For one thing. Half the crowd is rooting for the bull. Here's a link to Joe Poznanski's blog with an interview with Liz Clarke about her new NASCAR book.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 11:39 PM on April 05, 2008

A Short History of the Baseball Played in a (Small) Coliseum

One of the aspects of baseball I dearly love is how ballparks shape teams and the game. I love that they're gonna play some games in the Coliseum. I was a kid when Charlie O. Finley tried to build his "Pennant Porch" in Kansas City's old Municipal Stadium; to match the right field porch in old Yankee Stadium. I don't remember where Bobby Thompson's home run landed, but it was in the Polo Grounds and might have been a long fly ball in, say, Cleveland. I love how people can still debate how the numbers might have changed if Ted Williams had played his home games in Yankee Stadium and DiMagio had hit in Fenway. The new pseudo-old parks appeal to me by creating flukes in the outfield walls, but nothing's quite as charming as the old coot in Washington who refused to sell his house so Griffith Stadium had that notch in center field. Houston's pseudo-old ballpark has that rise in center field that echoes Crosley Field's earth ramp caused by a sewer pipe or something. Willy Mays' *catch* wouldn't be the same if it hadn't been at the Polo Grounds with its 500-foot dead-center fence. Bucky (F*ckin') Dent would have hit a pop fly in any other ballpark. When I was in high school, we played football against a team that had a 95-yard field... and there were trees growing in one of the end zones. I sometimes wish the NFL had a tree or two on some team's field. A field with personality.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 05:09 PM on March 26, 2008

Rock Chalk

Instead of Gatoraid... Perhaps the kids should've tried to throw a bucket of chicken on Mangino. Just to see if any pieces hit the ground. ;-)

posted by Monkeyhawk at 09:10 PM on January 04, 2008

Fergie bungles at Bolton.

See, here's the problem I have -- sitting here in the middle of the United States of America -- with soccer. Just what influence does the *coach* have on any game. He can substitute, or not. He can tell his team to "go Go GO!" But when it gets on the pitch, ... WHAT?! A baseball manager can call for a squeeze play. An NFL coach can decide on a double-reverse. Just what is the in-game basis for any soccer team's coach? I admit. I don't understand a lot of the nuances of the game, but I've seen a bunch of 'em and it still seems to me that it's up to the players on the field that respond to the situations in front of them. For the life of me I can't figure out how a soccer coach has anymore credibility in any soccer game than, say, a referee in professional wrestling.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 08:58 PM on November 24, 2007

Tale of the Tape (Measure)

It's 7:12 Central Time and KU and Mizzou are about to play. If you're not watching this game, I hope I owe you money.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 07:13 PM on November 24, 2007

Tale of the Tape (Measure)

Can I drag out the old "It's not the size of the dog in the fight..." cliche? KU and Mizzou are flat fun to watch. The Tigers might have the edge on individual talent, but Mark Mangino has molded a bunch of so-called "second-tier" recruits into a *team* that simply doesn't understand how to lose. I'm a Kansas grad and bleed Crimson and Blue. So maybe my heart is in play when I think KU's defense gives 'em an edge in this Saturday's game. Kansas v. Missouri at Arrowhead is kismet. There *will* be beer sold in the stadium. There's gonna be plenty of barbeque at the tailgating parties. And a bunch of kids who will never play football for money are gonna show us all what college football is all about. So maybe, like so many games hyped as offensive slugfests, it'll turn into a defensive struggle. Maybe one team will be up and the other team will be unlucky, but I doubt there'll be a blow-out. I think the Kansas City Chiefs play on the same field the next day. The pros will likely have to deal with slippery turf, stained with blood, sweat, and tears; tears on one side of the field anyway. To truly appreciate the game, get some real barbeque -- McRib sandwiches don't count -- and enjoy two college football teams at the top of the game. By any measure -- even the tape measure -- it's gonna be fun.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 06:49 AM on November 22, 2007

Tampa Bay Rays Cast Out the Devil

Charlie O. Finley broke the rule for baseball uniforms. The Kansas City A's came out in Kelly Green & Gold and the traditionalists were apoplectic. The team wore white shoes! "Albino kangaroo pelts," Finley lied. Finley's A's were the first teams with names above the numbers. But he insisted on nicknames. So it was "Catfish" instead of "Hunter" and "Blue Moon" instead of Odom. Most people hate the early 80s Astros uniforms, but I kinda liked them. It's probably apocryphal that the Yankees adopted pin stripes to make Babe Ruth look slimmer, but there's something special about seeing those uniforms only in the Bronx, and those dull-gray road uniforms everywhere else. It was the fault of polyester and the 70s that the Pittsburgh Pirates wore those garish gold Cap Anson uniforms, but they were distinctive. Call me a purist, but I preferred the old black-and-white vests for the Pirates, and the read and white vests for Cincinnati (who was that 50s homer-hitter who played with *no* sleeves?) Changes are made for all sorts of reasons. The Yankees used to be the Hilltoppers. The Brooklyn Trolly-Dodgers were once the Superbas. During the McCarty era, the "Reds" became the "Red Legs," so as not to confuse them with commies. The Cardinals only became the "Red Birds" because they originally selected cardinal red as the team color. (Let's face it, the 19th Century was overly concerned with team colors: cardinal, brown, red sox, white sox... One of my first memories of big league baseball was going to a game and the Chicago team wasn't wearing white sox.) At least baseball execs have a little common sense when they move franchises. Is there anything more patently absurd than the Utah Jazz? Yeah, that's where we all go to hear be-bop and dixieland near a Great Salt Lake. Shouldn't the "Lakers" be in Utah instead of a desert town on the Pacific Coast? If MLB worked like the NBA, there'd be the Baltimore Browns. If the NFL worked like the NBA, they'd be the Tennessee Oilers. And wouldn't make a lick of sense. That beam of sunlight in the new Tampa Bay logo signals they don't want to be a dome team. Mark my words: the "Rays" will move in a few years. Maybe they'll retain the Rays nickname; maybe they'll become the (I dunno) Las Vegas Hookers or the San Antonio Roses. Or go retro and call themselves the Memphis Blues.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 04:27 PM on November 09, 2007

I kept holding out because I thought I was right

"With a club pay roll over $300,000, Colonel Ruppert did the best lie could for me..." I would hope we all realize that Joltin' Joe had this piece in Liberty magazine ghost-written for him, probably as a freelance gig for some newspaper sportswriter. I love the double meaning of "...the best lie..." metaphor. I'm not a fan of paying some guy 35 million dollars a year to play a kids' game, but I have my doubts Sylvester Stallone is an actor worth 20 million a picture. Except Stallone put butts in the seat, and so does A-Rod. When DiMaggio was asking for 40-grand, a front row box seat cost what? Three bucks? Kids could sit in the bleachers for a quarter, if they could get a quarter. Hot dogs were a dime and beer was a nickel. I resent like Hell $8 beers and 2 Million Dollar banjo hitters. But, like Joe, I love the game and will sacrifice for it. Would that my sacrifice might work out like DiMaggio's and I could boink the new Marilyn Monroe. (sigh)

posted by Monkeyhawk at 01:57 AM on November 09, 2007

Getting Tough with the '72 Dolphins

Okay, so the Pats broke an NFL rule. The NFL has a bunch of silly rules. (See the other thread about stupid fines.) In baseball, stealing the other team's signs is considered part of the game; almost an art form. So teams change their signs! And the players are smart enough to keep up with the changes. The Pats weren't accused of using stolen signs within a game; but for using those stolen signs in the teams' rematches. With all the cameras that show up at an NFL game, it's astounding that everyone in the stadium isn't aware of the "secret" signs coaches send in from the sidelines. I mean, they're on the other side of the field waving their arms like mad men. And there's an NFL rule against seeing them?! The '72 Dolphins caught lightning in a bottle. The luck of the schedule, their opponents down or injured, luck... Whatever, they did something no NFL team had done or has done since. They avoided critical injuries, they won games when they didn't have to. Everything worked out for them. I dunno if the 2007 Patriots can catch all the breaks the '72 Fins caught. Would it make sense to play Tom Brady late in the season, with a 14-0 or 15-0 record, in a game that is meaningless as far as playoff seedings are involved? Isn't the goal of the game to win a championship? Other records along the way are mere gravy. If New England does get to 14-0, they should bring Earl Morrell out of retirement and see if he could lead them to a perfect season.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 01:32 AM on November 09, 2007

Tampa Bay Rays Cast Out the Devil

I'm guessing it's the first step toward moving the franchise. Switching from the maritime Devil Rays to the sunbelt Rays opens up the opportunity to move to, say, San Antonio, one of the Carolinas, Vegas... some town with corporate money for a ballpark that doesn't look like the teams are playing in somebody's basement. Tropicana "Field" is a depressing venue, better for boat shows and flea markets than big league baseball. I mean, why put a ray of sunshine in the logo for a team that plays in the dark?

posted by Monkeyhawk at 12:55 AM on November 09, 2007

Smith Center, Kansas?

I got to talking to a guy from Humboldt, Kansas. Their team is 10-0 and in the Kansas Class 1A-2A playoffs. If they win their next game, they'll likely have to face Smith Center. Thing is, Humboldt suits up 19 kids this year. I'm not sure how many kids are out for football in Smith Center, but reports I've heard indicate SC's two top running backs are out for the season due to knee injuries. The SC coach is kind of a legend in Kansas football. He pulled his starters after that 72 point first quarter (six of the touchdowns came from Plainville fumbles and a pass interception). SC attempted only two passes the whole game, one of them for a touchdown. Word is that SC fans are worried their players aren't getting enough game experience for the playoffs. Their punter hasn't kicked the ball all season. For the geographically-challenged, Smith Center isn't "western" Kansas, but in the north-central part of the state, butt up against Nebraska. As for a Mercy Rule, it only applies in Kansas in 8-man games, however once a team is ahead by 49 points in 11-man games, they don't stop the clock.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 11:51 AM on November 08, 2007