Recent Comments by gradioc

Claim: Bobby Riggs Threw the Match Against Billie Jean King

I watched that match, and I'm not buying it. Riggs was not that good an actor. He got whipped, did not expect to, and hated every second of it.

posted by gradioc at 07:58 PM on August 26, 2013

Spurs Take Game 1 Over Heat

I'd probably be pulling for the Heat just to shut up the LeBron haters if it was anybody but the Spurs. But it is the Spurs, I'm a Wake Forest guy, and Tim Duncan is one of the classiest people ever to play any professional sport. One for the thumb for Timmy? Yeah, I gotta pull for that.

posted by gradioc at 08:59 PM on June 07, 2013

Seattle Wins on What-the-Hell Mary

There is one thing the NFL loves more than all others. Boycott that and I really think we can move them. It is our only chance to pressure the owners.

The NFL Network is their baby, their one hope to further enhance their revenue stream. Give the Thursday night game this week a significantly lower rating and the owners WILL notice.

posted by gradioc at 09:17 PM on September 25, 2012

The Greatest Pitcher You've Never Heard Of

What's really heartbreaking about a story like this is how many thousands of lives that could have been extraordinary were just wasted, not just during Jim Crow, but during the 250 slavery years before.

posted by gradioc at 09:18 PM on March 28, 2011

Roethlisberger: 'I Want to Be a Role Model'

Whenever I think of "role model", the next term that comes to me is "whippin' it out". Bill Clinton would be so proud. I can hear him now.

"I like this boy. He really knows how to have a good time. He might be President one day."

posted by gradioc at 08:57 PM on February 01, 2011

8% of Fans Leave Sporting Events Legally Drunk

I always love these things. .08 is too impaired to run heavy equipment like a car or a backhoe. That's hardly the point where people start puking on the steps and yelling "You think you're better'n me?" Too drunk to drive and drunk enough to be a public health issue are entirely different things, but studies like this tend to conflate them. (You like that? Conflate? I don't get to use it much on a sports forum.)

posted by gradioc at 05:30 PM on January 21, 2011

Cam Newton Declares for NFL Draft

This is actually a blessing in disguise for Auburn. It frees up enough salary cap space to ensure a killer recruiting class.

I hear people say the SEC has a recruiting advantage because of the climate. If they mean a climate of corruption, they're right.

posted by gradioc at 10:31 PM on January 14, 2011

The Hoser's NFL Postseason Picks 2010 -- Week 2

Poor old Falcons. They get zero respect, even as the #1 seed. Aaron Rodgers, meet John Abraham. Remove face from fake turf. Repeat. And let's be serious. If I was standing on a playground picking teams, and I just want to win, I want Matty Ice before Aaron. He just wins, no muss, no fuss, no "Oh Mommy, look at me being special. I'm so good!" Rodgers preens, Ryan wins.

Okay, I dislike Aaron Rodgers, but I also think Atlanta is being overlooked. I'm a Carolina fan and have watched them get better and better.

Atlanta 24 Green Bay 17

posted by gradioc at 10:06 PM on January 14, 2011

Terrell Suggs: Brady's Super Bowls 'Questionable'

Suggs is thinking about Brady the week he's playing Big Ben? Get my bookie on the phone ASAP!

posted by gradioc at 07:24 PM on January 13, 2011

LeBron James Taunts Cavs Over Historic Loss

I get that LeBron is still pissed at Dan Gilbert, who was pretty classless himself during the whole "Decision" debacle. And, yes, the haplessness of this team is the proof of LeBron's reason for leaving, that the Cavs had done little to surround him with any other talent.

What hit me, though, is that 8 months ago these losers were his boys, the guys he went to battle with every night. From their point of view he abandoned them for better teammates, told the world they weren't good enough to play with him, and now has the gall to mock them on Twitter.

Head on a swivel, brother. Like someone once said, "Karma's a bitch".

posted by gradioc at 06:58 PM on January 13, 2011

NFL Lockout Looming

Please don't shed any tears for the owners. They have managed to con the TV networks into a contract that pays them every one of those billions of dollars even if they lock out the players, pay them nothing, and deliver 0 games in 2011/12. They have no intention of negotiating. Their intent is to crush the players and impose their will about 18 games, rookie salary caps and dropping the team salary caps (or keeping them the same with a roster expansion).

The owners have all the money and all the cards in this game.

posted by gradioc at 09:52 PM on January 12, 2011

Favre Sued for Sexual Harassment

I kind of had sympathy for Farve over the Sterger deal. He'd hardly be the first fortyish guy to make a fool out of himself over a pretty young coworker. But it seems he drank the Kool Aid of the whole entire Jets jr. high locker room culture experience. People think he tainted his legacy coming back after Green Bay? Try adding creepy old guy laughed at by cool chicks to the resume.

Oh, and creepy old MARRIED guy too. Next time his darlin' daughter that's his whole world asks him to win a Super Bowl for her, it's gonna be on a weekend visitation. Hope dude's got a really good lawyer.

At least when Tiger destroyed his marriage he was actually getting laid, not just acting like 7th grader.

posted by gradioc at 09:48 PM on January 05, 2011

Woeful Panthers Earn First Draft Pick

Here in Carolina we gave up early on and started thinking about the #1 pick. I think Andrew Luck has been mentioned on talk radio more than any single current player except (maybe) Jimmy Clausen and how bad he sucks.

Oh, and speaking of the draft pick we so wisely gave to New England, the Pats have managed to stockpile 2 firsts, 2 seconds and 2 thirds for this year, when there's likely to be a first-time rookie salary cap. Who said life is fair?

posted by gradioc at 08:46 PM on January 03, 2011

Florida hires Weis as coordinator

Charlie might see himself as the new Norm Chow, who is probably the best offensive mind in the history of college ball. Once Chow walked away from BYU and started chasing the money (NC State, USC, et al), he could pretty much write his own check. Some guys just are not cut out to be head coaches and maybe Charlie has had that self-knowledge moment.

posted by gradioc at 08:21 PM on January 02, 2011

Carolina Panthers Fire John Fox

It's been known for a while this would happen and it's probably time for a change. That being said, John Fox is a quality NFL coach who can walk into his choice of open D coordinator jobs and may well go straight to another head coach job. I would not be shocked to see him in Dallas next year as one or the other.

My only gripe about Fox is his handling of some of the personalities on the team. Clearly Julius Peppers was desperate to get away from him. About five years ago Peppers had a bad year and it was clear to me he had an injured hip, but it was never listed on the injury report and Peppers never mentioned it.

I think Fox was trying to keep secret something any damn fool could see on film and muzzled Peppers about the injury. When Peppers started catching crap on talk radio and boos at the stadium he became a very unhappy camper. He wanted out, but the Panthers couldn't figure out a way to get fair value for him.

Long story short, after putting the franchise tag on an unhappy Peppers two years straight, lots of drama, and tying up stupid amounts of money to keep him, he wound up walking away at the end anyway.

Is there a moral to this story? Maybe. Peppers' new team, the Bears, with Julius playing his ass off again, won the NFC North and the #2 seed in the NFC. The Panthers went 2-14 and locked up the worst record in the league.

posted by gradioc at 07:47 PM on January 02, 2011

Krzyzewski Passes Dean Smith in Wins

As a Wake Forest fan I've watched the UNC-Duke thing for decades with no dog in the fight. Bearing in mind that we are talking about degrees of greatness, I have to say that Dean Smith was the best of all time. Nobody else ever exploited the rules of the game to such infuriating extremes that he forced those rules to change. Smith's "Four Corners" offence led to the shot clock in college basketball. In another brilliant innovation, faced with a team of ten good players but no great ones, Smith came up with the "Blue Team" concept. He would pull all five starters and put in the second team whose entire pupose was to run the other team into the ground. Just as the opponents caught up to what was happening, here came the rested starters again. It was truly demoralizing.

Either this year or next Coach K will pass Bob Knight and become the winningest coach in college basketball history and he is one of the greatest ever. But he ain't the best. My top five?

Smith Wooden Krzyzewski Knight Rupp

posted by gradioc at 11:48 PM on December 30, 2010

2011 Pro Bowl rosters announced

I don't have any major complaints. Sure, there are future Hall of Famers on the down side still skating in on their past glory (yeah, I'm looking right at you, Ed Reed), but that's gonna happen. I'm just glad Ndamukong Suh is starting. That monster might be the best at his position in the league as a rookie.

Oh, and to Kokaku, the reason the Pats don't have more offensive players on the roster is that they are the perfect Hoodie team. When you have a solid NFL starter at every position and no real weaknesses, you don't need superstars.

posted by gradioc at 11:06 PM on December 28, 2010

Cowboys Lose After Missed Last-Minute PAT

I try not to be a hater, but there always seem to be a few in football I just enjoy watching in misery. This weekend I got to see two of my favorite things; Jerry Jones getting whiter and Tom Coughlin getting redder. If Steve Spurrier had just thrown his visor on the ground my day would be complete.

posted by gradioc at 08:08 PM on December 26, 2010

Ryan: Male Fans Devalue UConn Winning Streak

Well, I agree with Ryan on one point. This is a male-generated debate. However the male who generated it was Geno Auriemma. It's all a straw man ploy to give his players, who clearly have no serious competition on the court, a enemy they must work even harder to overcome.

"They" don't respect you. "They" think you're just girls so it doesn't really count. We're gonna have to win 100, 120, before "they" take us seriously.

Only thing is, there ain't no "they" there. The fact is there are far fewer fans of women's basketball than men's, so there is less attention, but inattention is not the same as disrespect.

I think Geno and the young ladies he has coached have built a truly remarkable legacy. So does everyone else. We just don't care that much.

posted by gradioc at 07:21 PM on December 24, 2010

Bears Knock Out Favre, Win NFC North

Look, I know his whole M.O. the last three years has been about skipping training camp. He's a prima donna, an attention hound and a media whore.

All that being said, I thought this was the right way for it to end. Beat to Hell on a frozen field in a meaningless game, he left everything he had on the field of play. Far from perfect, yeah, but I still gotta admire him and his career. I just don't think he could stand to walk away with anything left in the tank.

Last year proved he still had something. This year, without a doubt, it's sitting on E. I think, now, he can go home and be okay with it.

posted by gradioc at 09:40 PM on December 21, 2010

Big Ten Conference Reveals New Logo and Honors Football History with Division Names and Trophies

What hit me at once is that Ohio State and Michigan are in different divisions. I would think that means they will not meet in conference play every year, though they could meet in the title game. We all know they're going to play every year. How is this going to work?

When the ACC split like this they made damn sure their money-maker rivalry (UNC-Duke basketball) would get a home-and-home every year. Of course, a Big 10 title game rematch of OSU and UM would be huge, but how do they work the regular season meeting without skewing the rest of the conference?

But, of course, little else matters when millions of TV money are at stake.

posted by gradioc at 07:56 PM on December 13, 2010

Red Sox To Sign Crawford

It's a great signing and a brilliant move. They screw the Rays and the Angels in one fell swoop and they force the Yankees to pour money down Cliff Lee's throat like beer for a freshman girl at a TKE house party.

posted by gradioc at 10:34 PM on December 09, 2010

Cowboys Acquire Roy Williams in Trade with Lions

It's so funny. Every year we are bombarded with media telling us the Cowboys are the best team in the NFL "on paper". Romo gets mentioned with Brady and Peyton Manning as the elite QB's in the league. And, every year, we watch them fall on their faces.

Super Bowl? Hell, this franchise hasn't won a playoff game since the mid 90's and is not likely to this year. Their defence is weak, the secondary was bad WITH Pac Man, and Wade Phillips got flat-ass out-coached by Jim Zorn.

And now Jerry Jones (whom I heartily detest for the way he treated Tom Landry) has decided to swap next year's draft for Roy Williams.

Well, good luck with all that.

posted by gradioc at 08:40 PM on October 15, 2008

Lance Armstrong to return to pro cycling

It's not cancer awareness, missing the spotlight, or the need for competition. Whenever a man does something incredibly stupid (and I think this is), there is only one question to ask.

Who is she?

In July Lance broke up with Kate Hudson. In my 20's I made some pretty stupid life decisions right after breakups. Of course, Lance is older than that, but I wasn't breaking up with Kate Hudson either, or, for that matter, Sheryl Crow. (Oh, dear sweet Jesus God, Sheryl Crow. I'm surprised he didn't sign up for the Peace Corps after that one.)

posted by gradioc at 06:49 PM on September 10, 2008

The Hoser's NFL Picks, Week One 2008

I am shocked. That's right, shocked. And dismayed too. Yes shocked AND dismayed, that there was no, an absolute and total lack of, "Ricky Williams is a stoner" jokes, despite his signing of an extention this week. C'mon, focus!

"Jason Taylor must be scratching his head. Missing some voluntary workouts to be on Dancing With the Stars gets you traded by The Tuna, but, apparently, missing two years of your career to be on a tie-dye microbus in a cloud of the chronic gets you a contract extention. WTF?"

I mean, Jeez, how hard is that?

posted by gradioc at 09:14 PM on September 04, 2008

"Paul Newman says goodbye to his GT1 Corvette

It's really heartbreaking. I remember when June Carter Cash passed and we watched grief drag down Johnny and knew he'd be gone soon. Kind of feels like that to me. A classier guy never made movies. You may come up with one just as classy, but more? Naw. Godspeed to you Paul Newman.

posted by gradioc at 08:22 PM on August 31, 2008

Recalling Al Campanis' 'Nightline' nightmare

"Truth be told, I think what we heard that night was a 70-year-old man say some things people of his generation said in a locker room. Not acceptable, but such words don't necessarily equal racism."

I have to disagree with the author here. Things like this, the true attitudes of generations before us, and of many today, very much equal racism. In fact what people say in the locker room, or the bar room, or the board room, where ever they think no one will bust them, is the very essence of racism.

I try very hard not to consider people evil for being born when and where they were and I do not consider Campanis evil. He merely reflected the attitudes and beliefs he grew up with. Abe Lincoln, while way ahead of the curve for his time, still had beliefs about race that would mark him as worse than Campanis today.

Evil? No, I don't think that. But racist? Absolutely. The attitudes of people like Al Campanis were the reason there were no black managers at that time.

posted by gradioc at 07:29 PM on August 31, 2008

An Open Letter From Roger Ebert To Jay Mariotti

"I'm sure Mariotti is thinking about his free trip to China, something he could not afford, being a national sports writing figure. That is just silly."

shfts, I think you either overestimate how much these guys make or underestimate how much it costs to get to Beijing. Even if he's making mid 6 figures, that's probably a significant percentage of his take-home and a chunk of change he did not have to spend, thanks to his "dying" newspaper.

The main point here though is that the paper paid him for years, provided an outlet for his opinions, and helped to make him a big deal. Just a little class might be in order, but, hey, it's Jay Mariotti. He's a jerk.

posted by gradioc at 07:53 PM on August 29, 2008

LPGA Tour will suspend memberships if players don't learn English

When I arrived in West Berlin in 1982 right out of the Infantry School at Fort Benning Ga, like all new members of The Berlin Brigade, I went through a two-week indoctrination called the School Of Standards. There was a lot of different stuff taught there, German and Berlin history, specific rules governing our occupation status, how to deal with the Soviets, etc.

But the most time, every afternoon of the two weeks, was given over to learning the basics of the German language. The Army thought it very important that we at least were able to get around the city without appearing to be idiots.

But there's only so much you get in 40 hours, and for probably the first year I was there I was very reluctant to carry on a conversation in German, even though I also had one semester of German in college. I knew I was butchering syntax and sentence structure and it was embarrassing to be giggled at.

My main point here is that I, too, have been a stranger in a strange land. I find the reluctance of these young women to speak bad English in front of a news crew and a camera perfectly understandable. I'm sure most of the "speak the language or go home" honks here have never had that experience.

All that being said, the LPGA has a product to sell, and personalites drive that. I understand their frustration with top players who cannot, or will not, express themselves at all in English.

Oh, and for bleedinbluno2 (the fist poster), a working knowledge of English IS required to become a US citizen unless you're old or mentally handicapped (usually reserved for close relatives, like a child or a parent, of a citizen).

All this worrying about everybody speaking the same language, it seems to me, makes you sound awfully FRENCH. And, yes, I do mean that as a deadly insult. My internationalism only goes so far.

posted by gradioc at 06:42 PM on August 27, 2008

9 year old with a 40 mph fastball, gets the boot.

I don't think it's as complicated as many of the other posters seem to. It's a bunch of overprotective parents terrified that their kid might get an owwie. If their kid could hit those pitches I doubt they'd be bitchin'.

posted by gradioc at 08:24 PM on August 26, 2008

Rays Walk Hamilton Intentionally with Bases Loaded

Ah, but throw out all the stats for one second and think about the pressure this put on Byrd. In spite of all the progress that has been made in the last 2 decades in quantifying aspects of this most number driven of sports, it is still a game being played by humans with all their foibles.

What did that feel like, standing on deck and watching the catcher stand and hold his mitt out to the side? Shock, anger, fear, embarassment? All these I would think, and some more I can't imagine.

What exactly were the odds of his getting a hit when faced with a situation seen only five times this century?

Oh, and BTW, I said explicitly it was a risk. I jumped in because Shotput called it "a chickenshit move". I was not defending the wisdom, but the right of the manager to use the rules of the game.

posted by gradioc at 05:47 PM on August 20, 2008

Rays Walk Hamilton Intentionally with Bases Loaded

I'll agree it was a risk, but "chickenshit"? Naw, I ain't buyin' that. To me it's like taking a safety on purpose in football. It seems crazy to give the other team 2 points, but under just the right circumstances (up 6, time running out, backed up on your own 1 or 2 yard line), it is a smart play to get the free kick rather than punt from the end zone.

The one that does not get done enough is in basketball. Up 3 with seconds left, it makes sense to foul the ball handler in the back court. Why give them a chance to get off a 3-pointer? Give up the 2 free throws and go home a winner.

posted by gradioc at 06:13 PM on August 19, 2008

Favre Asks For Release

This is heartbreaking. Farve made such a point of leaving the game with a good taste in his mouth. Then the Packers made the playoffs and were competitive all the way through the season. For a class act it was the perfect time to go home. I saw someone thinking that Miami might trade Jason Taylor for Farve. Green Bay should be so lucky. Let Farve play 3 games behind the Miami offensive line and he wiil wish he'd stayed on the farm. Taylor is still an effective legitimate NFL starter. So is Farve. The difference is Taylor would play for a real contender while Farve lives on his back, reduced to being a ticket selling ploy, and having to suffer the mind games of The Tuna. My question is; if Farve is put in a really bad situation (such as Miami), would he quit in midseason? A year ago I would have said, "No way. Not Farve. Not ever.". But after all this, can you be sure?

posted by gradioc at 10:06 PM on July 11, 2008

Dave Zirin interviews Ralph Nader

As for community ownership, seems there was an ultra-small-market that bought their team long ago and have done pretty well. What are the chances that Green Bay Wis. could get an NFL franchise today? Los Angeles is the only town I can think of that might be able to make that work today. But as to the NBA, these teams are becoming vagabonds as they try to blackmail their markets with threats of leaving and the markets reply, "Whatever." I'm here in NC and by the time the Hornets left for New Orleans everybody in two states were so tired of George Shinn's act there were volunteers to drive the bus. Had Hurricane Katrina not made New Orleans a basket case and a national story there's a good chance Shinn woiuld have beaten the Sonics to Oklahoma City, having gotten all he could out of the Big Easy. David Stern needs to look at what his OWNERS are doing and maybe focus less on what the players wear on airplanes.

posted by gradioc at 07:29 PM on July 09, 2008

You can't do without Shaq!

Okay, this is just a personal opinion, but it really hit me as I watched the finals how much I really detest Kobe Bryant. The whole rape allegation and narcin' out his teammates for sleeping around aside, dude blew up the Lakers because he could not stand to share the spotlight. That creates a problem. How can you surround Kobe with the talent he needs to win a championship without pricking his ego? It's almost impossible. How do you write a LA Times sports page headline ahead of time? Simple. "Kobe Scores 40, Lakers Lose".

posted by gradioc at 08:51 PM on June 26, 2008

Tiger Woods reportedly to miss rest of season

Bob Harig on interviewed Hank Haney, Tiger's swing coach, by telephone and Haney said, "The week of Memorial [two weeks before the Open], I thought there was no chance he could play," Haney said in a telephone interview from his home in Texas. "The doctors told him he needed to be on crutches for three weeks and then three more weeks of inactivity, and then you start rehabbing. "But Tiger looked the guy in the eye and said, 'I'm playing in the U.S. Open and I'm going to win.' Then he started putting on his shoes and told me we're going to go practice. It's just incredible." Big. Flaming. Brass. Ones. These guys come around once a generation at best with talent clearly surpassing all their competition and an iron will that wiil not accept anything short of complete victory. In my lifetime it's a short list; Ali, Jordan, Woods.

posted by gradioc at 05:55 PM on June 18, 2008

Henin retires.

Alright, you guys back up off of Justine. I absolutely loved to watch this average sized woman (5' 5 3/4" the story said) take on the behemoths and whip their asses with skill and cunning that overcame the power game that has ruined men's tennis. I will miss her badly. It's not only tennis for me either. I'd rather watch Duncan than LeBron, Ichiro over Big Papi, Mark Martin rather than Earnhardt.

posted by gradioc at 09:30 PM on May 14, 2008

Josh Beckett's Ex Sings Tonight's National Anthem in Cleveland

Geekyguy, I started to write that very post about Milano being a child on "Who's The Boss", but I looked it up and she was 20 when that show wrapped. And I bet very hot.

posted by gradioc at 05:49 PM on October 18, 2007

Josh Beckett's Ex Sings Tonight's National Anthem in Cleveland

Okay, maybe I will buy this wasn't an evil plot to begin with, but they're just stupid if they don't seat her behind the plate hopefully with some new boyfriend. Wasn't it the Indians who played Pop Goes The Weasel for Rafeal Palmiero when his Viagra commercial came out? I think somebody there has an evil, evil mind. I like that.

posted by gradioc at 05:41 PM on October 18, 2007

Is Jeff Gordon on his way to a 5th Title? Is He The Best of The Best ?

When Petty won the first 100 of his 200, the world of NASCAR was very different. There were sanctioned races 2 and 3 times a week at little tracks all over the Southeast. The big names got appearance money to show up and race the locals and it all counted as a win. Look at Petty's record and you'll find wins at places like Bowman-Gray in Winston-Salem and Hickory Raceway, races where he was probably the only full-time pro in the field. I'm certainly not trying to downplay the dominance of the Petty team in their prime. Even at the big races with the best out there they were tough to beat. I'm just saying that holding any modern racer to the standard of 200 wins is nuts. The correct standard is 7 championships. Petty did it. Earnhardt did it. Gordon seems likely to get 5 this year and is still young. He could win 8 or 9 before it's over with. So, best ever? Still to be seen, but he's right there.

posted by gradioc at 09:33 PM on October 16, 2007

George Gipp Exhumed from Michigan Cemetery

Cave Man, even if any of this pure speculation turns out to be true, I think we can cut Gipp some slack since he was busy being DEAD when the child was born. We don't know what he knew or had done or promised to do. Take a breath dude.

posted by gradioc at 06:41 PM on October 11, 2007


What makes it not just a statisical anomaly is the fact that DiMaggio had a 61-game hitting streak when he was in the Pacific Coast League (still the minor league record). He hit .408 during the 56-game streak, which isn't record breaking, but certainly enhances your chances over his career average sited above. And, as for asterisks, why in the hell is there still one on Maris' 61 home runs? Baseball needs to fix that.

posted by gradioc at 06:09 PM on October 10, 2007

For The Love of Sport: Like Sports Only Colder.

Just a word about hockey in general. Here in NC hockey was always a cult sport for transplants and a few natives. Minor league teams came and went as either they or their leagues went belly up. When the Hurricanes came south I really tried to give it a chance but I could not make heads or tails of what was going on. It just looked like chaos. There were damn few completed passes because of all the grabbing, holding, and hooking going uncalled. But two seasons ago when the 'Canes won it all I watched and saw an entirely different product. You could see plays developing and defenses moving to intercept, not the player, but the puck. I began to see the beauty of the game. I also began to get that internal clock that told me when somebody had been able to hold the puck too long. I think the first time I yelled, "Somebody HIT that Son of a Bitch!" I became a fan. I know some fans still do not like the rule changes that came in after the strike, but I think they may have laid a foundation to make the NHL a viable national sport in the US. This is probably hockey's darkest hour. The TV contract (which was all about revenue now, not expanding the fan base) was a horrible mistake. But I really think there will be others like me, who, once exposed, will come back.

posted by gradioc at 07:35 PM on October 07, 2007

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

Wow, I'm really shocked to find this proposal getting so much traction here. We have something in Noth American sports where the regular season means everything, then they take a break and play some exhibitions. It's called the BCS and it sucks. A sports season is a journey and teams learn and grow and get better. Playoffs are an attempt (imperfect, I admit) to determine who is the best right now. As for the series concept, we all know any single game can turn on one freak lucky break. What kid hasn't screamed, "No way man! Two outta three, let's go!" Especially in baseball, a single game is a crapshoot. I like the playoffs. So do most fans. So do the players. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. The drama is compacted into a few games and as intense as anything in sports. PLAY BALL!

posted by gradioc at 06:30 PM on October 05, 2007

Rockets fine Yao Ming for attending Special Olympics opening ceremony

I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes about posting, by Wonkette (the new guys, not Ana Marie). "Hell, if we started drinking in the morning we'd be caps-locked and punctuation-free by afternoon too." The question here seems to be whether the Rockets should have fined Yao for missing practice without permission. That's a stupid question. The question should be what idiot denied him permission in the first place. And one of the things he missed was a media day? "We're sorry, Yao Ming won't be here today. He's tied up inspiring mentally handicapped children from all over the world." Yeah, I can see where that could be embarrassing. Just one more time the NBA owners prove that they, as a group, have no clue as to what is killing their league, so they're going to act like a bunch of jr. high assistant principals.

posted by gradioc at 06:07 PM on October 04, 2007

Most Popular NFL Teams (in Order): Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, Packers

Until the Carolina Panthers gave me a home team I was one of those people whose support flopped around every few years, so I understand how that can work. I grew up in NC and we were supposed to be Redskins territory, but for some reason I could never stand them. But I found personalities I liked and then stuck with that team. "Mini" Mack Herron and then Steve Grogan in New England, Steve Deberg in Tampa, Dino Hackett in KC. It was never a concious decision, I just found myself rooting for them. And I'm sure that is what has driven Indy up to #2. Hard not to like Peyton Manning. But now I have a franchise 90 miles down the road and all that has changed. Now I'm a Panthers fan, just like I've been a Baltimore Orioles and Wake Forest fan all my life. So if you see Julius Peppers wandering around your town please send him back to Charlotte and get rid of the imposter that's been playing left tackle!

posted by gradioc at 05:44 PM on October 03, 2007

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

I really hope to hell that we are not coming to the point that the league MVP awards go the way of the Heisman Trophy and go to the best (or most hyped) player on the best (or most hyped) team and everything comes down to how you did in nationally televised games when all the voters were watching. The Heisman has become the biggest joke in sports. Not that Holliday doesn't deserve the award. I just would hate to see one big game overshadow what he and Rollins did over 162.

posted by gradioc at 06:28 PM on October 02, 2007

More Trouble For Vick

Remember that, unlike any other drug, pot will show up for weeks in a regular user. The test was two weeks after his guilty plea. It's possible he had the sense to quit, and this was left over. Likely? Hell no! He's probably burning a bush with some of the same homeys got him into this shit right now. And I don't really blame him for partying. "Let's see, I'm going to jail for years and when I get out fines and legal fees will have eaten up every cent of my millions. Right now I've got money, free time, and access to anything I want. Think I'll catch up on my reading." Yeah, right. More like, "Think I'll throw a party they'll still be talking about when I get back! Yo! I want every skanky ho in the Tidewater and every kind of dope and booze known to man at my house by sundown!" Hell, that's what I'd do. But, seriously Mike, score some shrooms. They won't show up on the test.

posted by gradioc at 06:16 PM on September 26, 2007

For The Love of Sport: Welcome to the New Big East

A lot of sports fans were disgusted watching the ACC raid the Big East for BC, Va Tech and Miami a couple of years ago. How funny is it that the Big East is still a better football conference?

posted by gradioc at 08:38 AM on September 23, 2007

Belichick's cheating could lead to dark days for NFL.

After readind through this whole thread I have more than one point to make. 1) Comparing this to the Black Sox scandal is stupid. That involved intentionally losing a World Series. Cheating to win is a different animal. Cheating to lose is the worst thing there is in sport. Point shaving to meet a spread is only 2 degrees better because it could (and has) led to losing by accident. Cheating to win is expected and inevitable. It's why there are officials. It's why there are league rules. Every time an offensive lineman holds a pass rusher he's cheating to win. 2) Comparing Belichick to Nixon is stupid. Nixon sought to fundamentally change how US government works by gathering all power to the Presidency in defiance of the US Constitution. Belichick tried to win a football game. Get a grip. 3) I like the word asshat, not so much for itself as for its derivative describing the actions of an asshat. Asshattery may well be my favorite new word of the last 10 years. 4) New England's throttling of San Diego probably has less to do with cheating or Belichick's genius and more to do with the bad coaching of Norv Turner. Let's see, we went 14-2 last year, but I really don't like Marty's attitude. I know! I'll fire Marty, who's never done anything but win consitantly every place he's been, and hire the biggest retread of them all. Of all the stupids in this post this is the most stupidest stupid going. Washington is still trying to wash the Norv Turner out of their mouth by hiring Joe Gibbs. Hey, he sucks, but he's better than Norv. I waiting to hear the offer Miami gives to Schula to lure him back, but it's too late. Once you've gone Norv you can never go... Oh crap. No English word rhymes with Norv. Okay, how'bout this. Once you've hired Norv your franchise sucks for a decade. Yeah, it doesn't rhyme, but truth counts too.

posted by gradioc at 08:17 PM on September 18, 2007

The Hoser's NFL picks -- Week Two

Mea culpa, mea culpa, I actually thought I knew how to spell it and didn't look. But it's all moot now. I just found out it's not Belichick's fault anyway. He got Alberto Gonzales to interpret the NFL rulebook for him. (And, yes, you better beleive I looked up Gonzales.)

posted by gradioc at 09:24 PM on September 14, 2007

The Hoser's NFL picks -- Week Two

Actually, that's the plan in Cleveland; just go ahead and lose 2 per week and take Nov and Dec off. Might as well. It already looks like they're taking Sep and Oct off. And I have to say I love that Bellichek was caught blatently cheating at... Wait, I've just been handed a note. Excuse me, I meant to say, "Informed that his interpretation of the rules was incorrect." Yeah, right, just like the Bolivian army informed Butch and Sundance that bank robbery was frowned upon. Not that $500,000 is that big a deal to him. I mean, what's he spend money on anyway? Sure as hell not clothes.

posted by gradioc at 06:49 PM on September 14, 2007

Greg Oden is out for the entire season.

This really breaks my heart because Oden shows every sign of a kid who, at his young age, already gets it. I heard on the radio somewhere he's been seen tooling around Portland in a sweet ride. Seems he blew a big chunk of change on a brand new Ford Taurus and... Wait a minute, what? A Taurus? For a newly minted 19 year old NBA millionaire? Yep. It was big enough for him, comfortable, and got him where he needed to go. I call that a good sign. The good news for the Blazers long term is that they will undoubtedly be in the lottery again next year and then come roaring back in '08 with Oden and another high pick. Hang on Portland, this may be the best tragedy ever to befall you. And as for all you people sniping at him, ya'll need to back up off Greg Oden. He was the best player in college last year as a freshman. Perfect? No, but probably the best freshman I've seen since...well, really, I don't know. Better than Tim Duncan as a freshman. And Len Bias. And Jordan. Maybe the best college rookie I've seen since David Thompson came in as a sophmore.

posted by gradioc at 05:08 PM on September 13, 2007

ESPN Anchor Scott Van Pelt is a Flamer

Yeah, I agree with what that Bard guy said. Seriously, who gives a rat's ass what Van Pelt's allegiances are or what he says to some guy on a board? ESPN is his employer and has every right to tell him to cool it, but I'm not sure they should stick their nose in this. Gotta pick your fights and this seems pretty minor. About the real name debate, when I first starting posting I used my real name on some sites where people might actually know who I was, but soon started feeling weird about it since I seemed to be the only one. Now I just use Gradioc anywhere I post. Not trying to hide anything (2 minutes on Google would probably out me), just going with the flow.

posted by gradioc at 05:23 PM on September 06, 2007

Introducing, again, your Hornets.

Obviously I need to remind you people of a few facts, but first an opinion; George Shinn is a piece of crap. The rape allegations are old news and, I'm sure, in most of the country looked upon as one of those things that happen to well-known men who aren't careful. Just some chippy looking to get rich. Problem for Shinn is that it turned out this girl wasn't the first who felt she was taken advantage of out at his palace in the sticks of South Carolina, just the first to get a lawyer. As a side note, I'm curious where George lives in La. Bet it's not in the city of New Orleans. He likes to be the most important guy in town. Somebody in NO clue me in. Now here are some facts. Shinn is a disaster as an NBA owner. Charlotte was once the hottest ticket in the Association. They had 21,000 season ticket holders. They posted an astounding 358 straight sellouts. 358. Almost nine full seasons without an empty seat for a team that missed the playoffs about half of the time and never made it past the second round. And George Shinn pissed it all away. Through a series of really bad decisions (anybody remember that brilliant Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divacs trade?), refusals to pay popular stars the going rate (i.e. Larry Johnson in his prime), and interminable whining about the ten year old building the city had built for him when the team came, Shinn managed to alienate one of the loyalest fan bases the NBA had ever seen. They still loved the team, they just hated the owner. So you guys in NO and OKC go ahead and fight it out. Just keep in mind the prize, well, ain't no prize.

posted by gradioc at 06:30 PM on August 29, 2007

Texas 30 - Baltimore 3

Sort of reminds me of the 1988 season when the O's lost their first 21 games. That's right, 0-21 to start the season, unmatched in MLB history. After a certain point you just have to laugh. I heard the O's radio play-by-play guy interviewed and he said the Rangers did the right things, the coaches were stopping guys at third who maybe could have scored. Texas left 19 on base. Makes you wonder how bad it could have been. Ah, well, maybe one day we will have an owner that gives a damn about winning. That would be nice. Of course with the Senators down the road and the novelty of Camden Yards long gone, Peter Angelos may have just about ridden this pony into the ground. Hopefully one day soon he'll grab his profit out of the franchise and crawl back under his rock.

posted by gradioc at 06:26 PM on August 23, 2007

Wake Forest Coach Skip Prosser Dead

I'm just in shock. I do a lot of work for Wake Forest athletics and happened to meet Coach Prosser his first day on campus. I always liked to think I might have been the first Wake Forest fan (who wasn't on the payroll) he met. I can't say I knew the man well but every time I saw him he just seemed so happy to be doing what he did. There are lots worse ways to live your life.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is how he got into coaching. Skip's ambition was actually to be a history teacher. When he got his first job the principal told him he needed a history teacher and a basketball coach. Could Skip do both? Well, he needed the job, so yeah he could do it. Found out he was pretty good at it.

But, at heart, Skip Prosser was always a teacher first. I wish there were more like him. Godspeed.

posted by gradioc at 07:38 PM on July 26, 2007

One Thing We Can All Agree On:

The economics are simple for Boras. If he destroys the careers of 10 $1,000,000 players to create 1 $12,000,000 player he's ahead. I really detest the way Scott Boras goes about his business. If you are so talented that you can write your own ticket Boras is a good agent to have. If you are an average big-league player Boras actually decreases your value by being a pain in the ass. "Hey, boss, Boras says his cient will hold out for X million." "Yeah, who didn't see that coming? What's that kid's name in AAA?" People in business, any business, know who makes their life easy and who makes it hard. It's one thing for someone to stand up for their client. That is their job. People hate dealing with Boras. If that hurts one client's bottom line, it will still bring more clients to Scott Boras. It's a bad idea to have an agent that makes more than you do.

posted by gradioc at 05:44 PM on July 22, 2007

Bobby Cox is about to break the all-time ejection record.

We must remember that, for the most part, Cox's ejections are in support of one of his players. He sees one of his guys getting hot and close to ejection himself and here comes Bobby. Grab his player, push him away from the ump, and start screaming. Cox gets the thumb and the player stays in the game That's part of the job. There is one big problem. It's ugly and I hesitate to bring it up, but, dammit it needs to be said. Bobby Cox has lost a step. When he tied the record the player (I was watching but have completely forgotten who it was) was clearly arguing balls and strikes and was going to get tossed any second. Bobby came lumbering up out of the dugout and waddled toward the plate in a gait reminiscent of Danny DeVito as The Penguin. The player had been ejected a good 5 seconds before Bobby even got close to the action. Yeah, maybe he saved the guy a suspension and fine, but that didn't help the team in that game. I beleive the time has come for Bobby Cox to admit he has gotten too old for this part of the game. He needs to designate someone to handle this part of his duties. Maybe the bench coach or the next day's starter could do it. Hell, why not the bat boy? I'd pay to see that. Some 14-year-old given permission to throw a fit would be highly entertaining. It just needs to be someone who can run 50 feet in less than 2 minutes flat.

posted by gradioc at 06:03 PM on July 19, 2007

The Vick Indictment

The whole phenomena of dog fighting is tied to the male ego. I know plenty of guys whose masculinity is all tied up in having the hottest wife, the fastest horse, the coolest car or, sadly, the meanest dog. You'd think an NFL quaterback wouldn't need that kind of affirmation. Another thing I haven't heard many people mention is that this is big time illegal gambling with people who do not play. I know Vick has millions, but what about staying out of jail? "Just don't win by more than 10 points and my lips are sealed. It's not like I'm telling you to lose." Not yet anyway. An NFL quarterback just being around this crowd seriously compromises the integrity of the game. Vick has to go. If convicted I think a lifetime ban is in order.

posted by gradioc at 06:35 PM on July 18, 2007