Recent Comments by chicobangs

Seven years of Lion angst ought to end

Millen may be pathetic, but he's also embedded in the rock there. The CEO of Lehman Brothers is an office-temp gig compared to being the GM of the Lions.

He'll leave when he's bored, or when Daddy Ford wanders off. Not a minute before.

posted by chicobangs at 11:25 AM on September 23, 2008

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

Those all sound like Arena League names, not even WNBA ones. I guess Barons is acceptable. the rest are kind of crap. Thunder's the worst one. Which means it's the one they're going to pick, right?

posted by chicobangs at 03:50 PM on July 30, 2008

Pistorius fails to make Olympic team

Well, thank goodness this conversation is never going to come up again.

posted by chicobangs at 03:21 PM on July 19, 2008

Tour of France rider Beltran in custody after doping

Apoch, in cycling there is no "bench." Everyone is in the game from the starting gun, and there are no time outs. In the NFL & MLB, not only is steelergirl right about more players, but you've also got 3 or more people per position on the depth chart ready to jump in the game if you go down. Cycling isn't like that. Every team has one rider going for the overall championship, but the whole team has to run the whole race, and there's a time limit every day too, so if you finish a certain amount of time behind the winner in any stage (I think it's a half hour), then you're automatically eliminated. For sprinters, the mountains are hell for this. You'll see a few of them drop off the end every day, especially through the alps. The structure of the sport is wildly different. And yes, the fact that they're actually prosecuting people, and harshly, means it looks worse for cycling than it is, but that's because unlike the North American sports, they're not sweeping it under the rug anymore. There will be a bad few years, and then it'll get better. I'll stick with it through this hard time, but I know most people won;t. That's fine. Better this than having drugs (and people trying to hide them) kill the sport completely. You think that can't happen to the NBA or the NFL? Really?

posted by chicobangs at 12:29 PM on July 14, 2008

Favre Asks For Release

He's just not Green Bay's favrite QB anymore.

posted by chicobangs at 08:56 PM on July 11, 2008

Tour of France rider Beltran in custody after doping

I've been watching it every morning, just like last year and the year before. It seems they caught him, he's out of the tour, he's actually gone to prison, and so that's it. Yes, another quality rider bites the dust, but we're just in the middle of the dark ages of the sport. Watching it, watching the fans and the reaction of the commentators and the reaction of the non-US press, I now am pretty sure that the Tour (and thus, the sport) will come out the other end of this and be okay again, and relatively soon. The egos are always going to be there. They'll have to be checked in some other loophole-free way in order for the sport to move forward, but I believe (foolishly, maybe, but still) that that's possible. The meatheads in the ESPN multiverse didn't give a damn about cycling before the drug stuff hit the sport, and they won't afterward, and compared to other sports, that doesn't touch cycling all that much. If you're taking your cues about sport from Jim Rome and Jay Mariotti, headlines like this aren't gonna help you get into cycling, but right now all they have going for them is that the core fans are going to be able to maintain it until they can figure out how to regulate and enforce the doping issues properly, at which point the sport's international (and North American) profile will start to rise again. It does suck for fans of the sport in the present tense, though.

posted by chicobangs at 08:50 PM on July 11, 2008

EPL Fantasy 08-09 Open for business

So there are two Spofi leagues as it stands now: the incumbent auto-renewing one and the new one. Are we going to keep both? It's fine, it's just -- kind of redundant.

posted by chicobangs at 09:47 AM on July 11, 2008

What do you get the hockey fan who has everything?

It better be on wheels, is all I'm thinking.

posted by chicobangs at 03:28 PM on July 10, 2008

What do you get the hockey fan who has everything?

I don't know about you guys, but depending on how many of these he can crank out, my Christmas shopping could be finished in record time this year.

posted by chicobangs at 02:35 PM on July 10, 2008

EPL Fantasy 08-09 Open for business

Oh, yeah, absolutely, they totally are. Totally. Seriously, go for it.

posted by chicobangs at 02:32 PM on July 10, 2008

EPL Fantasy 08-09 Open for business

Key players can switch teams and put you over the 3 per team limit. Or leave the EPL altogether. But hey, go ahead. Bet the farm on Cronaldo and Adebayor, and take the rest of the summer off. You deserve it.

posted by chicobangs at 03:43 PM on July 09, 2008

Dave Zirin interviews Ralph Nader

It would require not just legislation (though that would help) but a change in the paradigm. Owners extorting tax money out of municipalities to pay for stadia is a story as old as time, and fans have too much invested emotionally and financially to just let these people walk, so they capitulate every time. Now that it's worked in Seattle, every other owner in the NBA can do exactly the same thing, holding Seattle over their local legislature. It sucks, hard, but the city whose citizens put their foot down is the city whose citizens wind up without a team to cheer for. I don't give MLB, NFL or NBA a dime of my money anymore for exactly that reason. I don't miss them, and they clearly don't miss me. So short answer, I don't know how to fix it.

posted by chicobangs at 03:32 PM on July 09, 2008

EPL Fantasy 08-09 Open for business

I clicked through, got to the players page, and thought, what the hell am I doing? Although I did just lose the job I had that blocked this site, so fuggit, let's try again. Carburetor Dung FC is in the hizzy. (Note to self: keep a close watch on the transfer wire for the next month, ffs.)

posted by chicobangs at 01:52 PM on July 09, 2008

Dave Zirin interviews Ralph Nader

Regardless of what you think of Nader as a politician, there is a lot of truth in what he says in this interview.

There are much more serious problems affecting people in our country, in our community and in our world, to be sure. But people deserve a sanctuary where they can trust what's going on is going to be based on the merits and not influence-peddling or shenanigans of various sorts, and that's sports. One reason people are attracted to sports is because things happen on the merits. Teams win or lose on the merits of their players and coaches and managers. When that trust is betrayed, you can see that there's a real letdown among the fans.

posted by chicobangs at 01:29 PM on July 09, 2008

Excavators find articfacts from the 18th Century buried below Rutgers Stadium.

I believe beaverboard has covered everything I would have said.

posted by chicobangs at 01:20 PM on July 09, 2008

Sonics are Oklahoma City-bound

Seattle was far from the weakest market in the league. If they can move this easily, that sends a message to the other teams, especially since the Oklahoma City Bombers (or whatever) aren't taking the Sonics' name, history or colors with them: Every other town had better use public money to get that new stadium built when your owner wants it, or your franchise is moving to Seattle. Are you listening, Sacramento/Orlando/Memphis/any-of-about-a-dozen-other-cities? Pro sports are based on a certain level of greed, sure, but man, what a crooked piece of shit business the NBA has become. It's become as greedy and fan-hostile as the NFL, fergodsake.

posted by chicobangs at 07:28 PM on July 03, 2008

Grey Cup arrives in Afghanistan

fabulon, I never met anyone in all my life in the Golden Horseshoe who didn't care at least a little bit about the Grey Cup. To not even know about it would take a real effort to avoid the news, especially in the autumn. (Shit, half the people I know here in New York City are up to speed about it, and I don't hang out with expats barely at all.) More to the point, so what if no one you know gives a shit? I give a shit, tommytrump and jc give a shit, and clearly the troops in Afghanistan give a shit. These other people? I never heard of them neither, and if they live in Toronto and have never heard of the Grey Cup, they clearly don't get out to anywhere I'd ever care to meet them. I think this is great. So glad they do stuff like this.

posted by chicobangs at 10:02 AM on July 02, 2008

Stanley Cup arrives in Newfoundland

He can't be the first player from Newfoundland to win the Cup. Really? Well, okay. Looking it up, John Slaney was on the '95-96 Avalanche, though he wasn't on the playoff roster, and Darren Langdon was on the '94 Rangers, but it was 94-95, not 93-94, so no ring for him. I just can't believe that that list is complete, and that Cleary's the first. Well, there you go.

posted by chicobangs at 01:40 PM on July 01, 2008

First Class?

Hal's right about at least 13 out of that list of 15 (sorry, Robinson and Gibson are beyond cavil) being 100% and inarguable. Pick any five and dare someone to argue with you about your choices. It's not even subjective, it's where your eyes fall.

posted by chicobangs at 02:21 PM on June 30, 2008

First Class?

The first class as it stood is perfectly fine, though if you wanted to take out Mathewson and/or Wagner and put in Gibson and/or Cool Papa Bell, I would have no problem whatsoever with that either.

posted by chicobangs at 01:27 PM on June 30, 2008

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 2

Argos by 8 Edmonton by 14 Montreal by 17 BC by 5

posted by chicobangs at 12:43 PM on June 30, 2008

Landis Loses

This doesn't make me angry, just really, really sad.

posted by chicobangs at 12:40 PM on June 30, 2008

Four-time World Champion admits to using steroids.

sportsblitz, you'll have to exhume some of them.

posted by chicobangs at 04:07 PM on June 27, 2008

The 4th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick ’Em

Jeez, I don't visit the locker room for a week, and you're naming shit after me like I'm dead or something. (Maybe I'm being presumptuous, and it's some other chicobangs. If so, well, fair enough.) Ticats by 8. BC by 14. Argos by 11. Roughies by 4.

posted by chicobangs at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2008

Melrose Place now in Tampa

Bornicon, that's a cart-vs.-horse argument. You say there were others. Who? Where are they? The NHL left ESPN because there were so few people there pushing to keep it on. It was being routinely pre-empted by World's Strongest Man and poker, fergodsake. There may be hockey fans in the building at Bristol, but none in positions of influence. Otherwise, Versus would still be the bull-riding and cycling network, and that's it. The NHL, on whose back ESPN first made its reputation in the 1980s and 90's, had become ghettoized. Melrose was the only public face of the league on the network for the last three years straight. That's a long time to stand alone. McGuire would be better than nothing, as would be Engblom or Olczyk or Clement, but they are all under contract to Versus, and any of them leaving would cripple that operation. And the last thing we need is to have any NHL media outlets suffer further, no matter how lame they may be. Maybe Bobby Clarke could come back. He's not doing much right now, and your average schmo has at least heard of him. (One more thought - Don Cherry made more appearances on ESPN than ever last year, and I assumed he was just helping Melrose out by giving him a foil. If Cherry moved down here to collect a fat check for a couple of years before retiring for good, it wouldn't do anything for the quality of analysis, but it would generate press for the league, which it eeds more than anything.)

posted by chicobangs at 09:59 AM on June 25, 2008

Candace Parker Dunks As Sparks Top Fever

For what it's worth, she dunked again last night. Part of this discussion might become moot a lot sooner than expected.

posted by chicobangs at 07:08 AM on June 25, 2008

Melrose Place now in Tampa

He'll be great for sales, and it's not like he was a terrible coach, but he's been away from the game for a long time (being an analyst, especially at a place where you're the only one in the building who gives a shit, can be a lonely gig). I hope he can get his groove back. Certainly Lecavalier & St. Louis will enjoy playing under him with his offensive-minded approach. But I'm not worried about the Lightning. The Cup win might have been a bit of a fluke, but so was their tanking last year. They'll be fine. More to the point, who's gong to pick up the banner of hockey on ESPN? EJ Hradek is a good reporter, but not exactly the most charismatic guy. Buccigross and Linda Cohn are buried in other portfolios, and the ESPN formula requires that there be at least one nerdy smartass and one jock who's Played The Game on camera at any given time. John Davidson is the other best choice, but he's kinda busy these days (same goes for Brett Hull & Jeremy Roenick), and who else is good, quick, knowledgeable and is known even slightly on the American national stage? I wonder if they're going to try and lure Kelly Hrudey down this way. That'd be alright, and if Don Cherry ever retires, he can always go back to the job I suspect they've been grooming him for.

posted by chicobangs at 03:57 PM on June 24, 2008

Candace Parker Dunks As Sparks Top Fever

Also, we have this discussion in every single fucking WNBA thread. It's a variation on the "Who gives a shit about this sport" argument, and frankly it pisses me off.

posted by chicobangs at 09:27 AM on June 24, 2008

Candace Parker Dunks As Sparks Top Fever are the minors in any sport, or even any sub-.500 team. Really, tune out until the Olympic Gold Medal game in the sport of your choice. It really frees up your year, and everything else is crap anyways. Also, better how? Sure, if you want dunking and run-through-the-other-team showboating, no one tops the Lebrons and Kobes of the world, but when it comes to strategy and fundamentals, the women's game isn't all that far from the top, frankly.

posted by chicobangs at 11:55 PM on June 23, 2008

Candace Parker Dunks As Sparks Top Fever

Every team has one or two people who can do it in warmups, but it's still a relatively new concept. Inside of five years, it'll be a once-a-week thing. The women's game is still evolving fairly quickly.

posted by chicobangs at 06:01 PM on June 23, 2008

Paul Ince is Blackburn's new manager and first black English manager in EPL.

Really? He's the first? I'm sorry for sounding surprised, but -- well, I'm surprised. Well, good on him. Go Rovers.

posted by chicobangs at 03:55 PM on June 23, 2008

Candace Parker Dunks As Sparks Top Fever

If they market her properly, Candace Parker could raise the profile of the entire sport, not just her team or the league. She's a fuckin' rock star. She's got the skills, the charisma and the desire. And she's a rookie. She could Tiger-Woods women's basketball. If (big if, but if) they market her properly.

posted by chicobangs at 03:52 PM on June 23, 2008

Eight Wimbledon Matches Might've Been Tanked in 2007

Oh, man. This is so not what tennis needs. If there's anything to this at all, or even if this stuff isn't demonstrably proven false, this is not going to be good for anyone involved with the sport.

posted by chicobangs at 01:38 AM on June 22, 2008

AFI names its top 10 sports movies

Without The Big Lebowski, it's not a compete list.

posted by chicobangs at 12:57 PM on June 19, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

From the Huffington Post: Kobe is the M. Night Shyamalan of basketball.

posted by chicobangs at 10:58 AM on June 19, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

Lebron at least showed up for the Finals last year.

posted by chicobangs at 10:47 AM on June 19, 2008

Tiger Woods reportedly to miss rest of season

We can speculate all we want. The last time he took an extended break, he came back and lit up the PGA like Tommy on a pinball machine. Expecting legend-level greatness is always a dicey proposition, especially coming back from surgery, but Woods sure as hell knows how to get there from here. Better he takes all the time off he needs to heal fully and get his stroke back. This being-a-witness-to-history stuff is fun, and I'd rather he got back to it properly than just quickly.

posted by chicobangs at 08:26 AM on June 19, 2008

Tiger Woods reportedly to miss rest of season

No, it was the US Open, it was Torrey Pines, and it was a challenge, in a career that isn't going to have too many of those until his skills really start to wane, which won't be for another half-dozen years at least. He had to make his point, even if only to himself, and he made it, in spectacular fashion. He can take six or eight months off and make sure everything heals good now, and not only will the sport be okay, he'll be fine too. He hasn't taken a wrong step before. Take the long view on this. He may miss a few tournaments this year, but his legacy has been served, and he can play househusband for a few months at a time where his family could really use it. He'll be fine.

posted by chicobangs at 11:43 PM on June 18, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

PTI is "Statler & Waldorf Talk Sports." It'll never be as yelly as ATH, because two old farts don't make as much noise as five mouthy jackasses. (Especially when two of the latter are named Paige and Mariotti.) I doubt I'll ever watch ATH again, but while PTI is definitely not as good as it was a few years ago, they do sometimes ooze out a decent discussion for maybe 90 seconds per show. So it's worth DVRing it and fast-forwarding past the NBA & NFL stuff Mike & Tony think they know cold but don't really, and the topics about which Kornheiser is proud of his ignorance (NHL, any international competition). That way, I can watch an entire episode of PTI in about six minutes, which is all I care to devote to it.

posted by chicobangs at 01:21 PM on June 18, 2008

Tiger Woods reportedly to miss rest of season

Woods played only seven times worldwide this year and won seven of them. Sentence construction and fact-checking issues aside (he's won four out of six, not seven out of seven), that's still a pretty serious winning percentage for a one-legged dude.

posted by chicobangs at 11:08 AM on June 18, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

Harvey Araton's take is even more on point given this news item.

posted by chicobangs at 11:01 AM on June 18, 2008

Larionov, Anderson lead Hall of Fame inductees

Also, big ups to Ray Scapinello, who was a hell of a linesman.

posted by chicobangs at 10:50 AM on June 18, 2008

Larionov, Anderson lead Hall of Fame inductees

Larionov was a lock, both for his on-ice accomplishments and for his work getting the Russians and the North Americans to play nice. Anderson I'm happy for. His induction wasn't a sure thing. He had the numbers and the longevity, but it does mean that now every person involved with the Oilers of the 1980s is now in the Hall, including the trainers, towel boys, parking lot attendants and Dave Semenko's barber. Congratulations ot both of them.

posted by chicobangs at 08:44 AM on June 18, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

The Celtics were full value for the win, and good for them, but no team worthy of the finals should lose by 39 points in an elimination game. The highlight reel this morning was three minutes of the Celtics passing and running and shooting around five pylons. I don't believe I saw any Laker on the court take more than a step or two in any direction. Every once in a while Kobe would wind up with the ball and he'd take a long contested shot from somewhere in Connecticut, but that was about it. I hope whatever game the Lakers were saving themselves for turns out in their favor, because they didn't put much of an effort out last night.

posted by chicobangs at 08:39 AM on June 18, 2008

An Instant Classic

Yeah, there's going to be so much feel-good on the course today, I'm going to have to brush, floss, gargle and take an insulin shot after the front nine, and again after 18. Both Tiger and Rocco are full value for winning this tournament, and neither is going to have anyone cheering against them with any kind of real gusto. And if it was a one-hole playoff I'd give Rocco a puncher's chance, but unless Tiger's leg falls off and rolls down into one of those ravines, I don't see him losing it today. But they play the matches for a reason. You never know.

posted by chicobangs at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2008

An incredible collection of photos

(Note: I posted the above before I read this NYT story about the AP finally forming a policy about how to deal with their material being clipped for use in blogs, which I mention here because (a) it's vaguely relevant to the creation of this photoblog, and (b) it features a nice little quote from our own #5.)

posted by chicobangs at 08:55 AM on June 16, 2008

An incredible collection of photos

The Big Picture is a fairly new blog, but I love the concept, and Taylor has the kind of eye to make this work spectacularly well. I'd love to see a few more curators with access to the raw newswire photo feed putting the best of the best ones online. It would only help promote the art of photojournalism, and if we've learned anything about online promotion, it's that the paradox of "the more you give away, the more you sell" really holds true.

posted by chicobangs at 06:29 AM on June 16, 2008

An incredible collection of photos

yerfatma, I'm guessing that's the screen on his cel phone. Time to upgrade that business, homey.

posted by chicobangs at 09:00 AM on June 13, 2008

Brian Budd passes away

Aw, that sucks. I remember going down to the CNE grounds in Toronto as a kid and watching them go through their paces. Budd was a strapping guy, who wasn't miles better than anyone at anything, but he could do everything well, and he had endurance for days. I'd have loved to see him on one of the more contemporary shows, like American Gladiators or Ninja Warrior. Too bad. He seemed like a decent cat.

posted by chicobangs at 01:04 PM on June 12, 2008

What franchise has the best run of players at one position in history?

Wow, I killed this thread dead, didn't I. Sorry, all.

posted by chicobangs at 09:29 AM on June 12, 2008

Scolari is new Chelsea coach, effective July 1.

Well, I loved him in Bosom Buddies and the Newhart show. Seriously, if he's smart enough to skip over the England job to go somewhere where he's got a better chance of winning, then he's clearly no dummy.

posted by chicobangs at 05:24 PM on June 11, 2008

" of the most ungentlemanly, sneaky, just plain rotten things I've ever seen..."

There were a lot of familiar names in that game, but I gotta admit, listening to this got me to thinking about the WHA heavyweight champeen Steve Durbano, the goon di tutti goons, who apparently drank himself to death a few years back. If you were into large-scale hockey fights and games that ended with no one left on the bench, the later years of the WHA were a bit of a golden age. The hockey itself was varying degrees of terrible, but fans of bloodsport rarely failed to get theirs.

posted by chicobangs at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2008

Wiimbledon crowns top 'tennis' champs

Oh, I'd have lost early. I've picked up a Wii controller a grand total of twice in my life. I'd get my ass handed to me. But I'd have gone as our correspondent. I might have even used it as an excuse to get drunk. Because hey, an excuse!

posted by chicobangs at 03:50 PM on June 10, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

Maybe the virus has a killer backhand and a lethal serve-and-volley game. We don't know.

posted by chicobangs at 03:47 PM on June 10, 2008

Wiimbledon crowns top 'tennis' champs

Dammit, I could have gone to this.

posted by chicobangs at 02:17 PM on June 09, 2008

CBC fumbles negotiations on Hockey Night theme

grum's right. I don't think there's a true Stateside correlation to the original HNIC theme that matches how much emotional & sociological weight that music carries with Gordon & Sandra Canada.

posted by chicobangs at 09:47 AM on June 09, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

I think it's remarkable how quickly Roger Federer seems to have lost his mojo. He owned the tennis world (or at least the non-clay part of it) for a few years, and his reign seemed beyond question. He was good for two or three slams a year, and his suite in tennis valhalla was being readied with every passing day. But with his early exit at the Australian, and then this debacle, it does leave me wondering if the sweet spot of his career has passed. I hope this is just a rough patch, that something's going on somewhere else in his life that's causing him to lose focus on the task at hand. Certainly, his accomplishments stand on their own as it is, but I'd sure like to see him get his groove back, if for no other reason than that Nadal needs an equal for a rival.

posted by chicobangs at 09:41 AM on June 09, 2008

CBC fumbles negotiations on Hockey Night theme

Bring us this Saturday our old-style version of the theme, and deliver us, o lord, from any more Nickelback than we already have to endure.

posted by chicobangs at 12:27 PM on June 06, 2008

What franchise has the best run of players at one position in history?

At the risk of derailing a little, my first thought, immediately, had nothing to do with baseball. Georges Vezina. George Hainsworth. Bill Durnan. Gump Worsley. Jacques Plante. Terry Sawchuck. Ken Dryden. Patrick Roy. Jose Theodore. I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple, but there are also some one-playoff-run Jean-Claude-come-latelies peppered in there.

posted by chicobangs at 01:50 PM on June 05, 2008

IPL hits for six with faster, sexier cricket (NPR audio link).

When I saw this being set up, I thought, this is either going to completely rock or fail on a massive level. I'm really glad it looks to be working out. If the money and interest is there, then details like scheduling and logistics can probably be worked out. That's where effective management comes in. So far, though, so good.

posted by chicobangs at 08:49 AM on June 04, 2008