Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conan and Milton

For anyone that saw the post title and was expecting a literary comparison between Paradise Lost and barbaric practices, you need to lay off the peyote. More accurately, in the midst of an amazing dump today, I was thinking about how two different people in two different worlds can be so incredibly alike. Also, don't read House of Leaves if you want to sleep at night.

Just for a minute, let's pour some salt on some old wounds and revisit two of the most interesting people of the minute: Conan O'Brien, and Milton Bradley. As we all know, Bradley was shipped to Seattle, never to be heard from again. O'Brien was also given the boot, although I suspect we will hear more from him in September when he (spoiler alert?) signs on with FOX.

Start from the beginning - O'Brien is given a cushy new position as head of the Tonight Show, a big deal position that just hasn't had the same "Oomph" since Johnny Carson. He replaces an aging Jay Leno, who for whatever reason, is pushed up to an hour earlier to stay on the team.

Bradley is given a cushy new position as RF for the Cubs, a position that just hasn't had the same "Oomph" as when Sosa wandered out there aimlessly blowing kisses. He replaces Kosuke Fukudome, who was shifted one position to CF to keep a spot on the team.

O'Brien works the Tonight Show, but ultimately isn't bringing in the results that his direct competitor, Letterman, is. Likewise, NBC isn't getting the best results out of Leno, as he is playing out of position (who gets home then to watch TV?).

Bradley plays RF as best as a career DH can, but isn't bringing in the results. Fukudome, as he is playing out of position (he's not exactly an ace in the field anymore) is also suffering, leading to lots of freebie runs due to shitty defense.

Both Bradley and O'Brien are told that they're going to have their playing time reduced. Bradley starts seeing time on the bench, and O'Brien is threatened with a return to The Late Show. Needless to say, both respond with a resounding "Fuck You."

Fast-forward to today.

O'Brien, having been labeled a problem for NBC, is dealt to another network. He is paid the money he is owed for this year to sit on the bench until he can start up again with a new network in the Fall.

Bradley, having been labeled a problem for the Cubs, is shut down. He is paid the money he was owed for this year to sit on the bench until he was traded to Seattle.

With a new network/team, both will make them pay.

Go team CoCo Bradley

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Mean Expendable?

Since there's not a whole lot going on sports-wise (unless you're that guy who's into hockey), I thought I'd take this opportunity to pimp my new blog, What Mean Expendable?

On this site you'll find some of my design/artwork -- remember, I'm the guy who came up with the award-winning Luol's Dong logo (my mom was very proud.) You can also expect occasional rants and shit-talking. It'll be fun.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Your move, God

I can see daylight! That means I'm gonna score...!

Somewhere along today's news of Dusty Dvoracek and Gaines Adams, I found this little nugget:

"I showed up at the team meeting (Saturday) and nobody told me to get out, so it's good news."

You know who said that?

Craig Fucking Krenzel.

Of all the things that are buzzing through my head, the only one I can think of is this:

This is the third plague.

Essentially, God has decided that he can no longer accept the Bears as a football team, and they must be destroyed. This, I believe, is because we did not release his chosen people. Sid Luckman, a nice Jewish boy, was so close to being relieved of the burden of having 31 INT be the most by a Bears QB. Instead, Jay Cutler was unable to finish the job, and so he remains enslaved.

If you look at the biblical 10 plagues, you've got the plagues of Blood, Frogs, Wild Beasts, Flies, Livestock Death, Boils, Flaming Hail, Locusts, Darkness, and Death of the Firstborn.

If you look at the plagues the Bears have suffered this past week, you have Beast Death (Gaines Adams, RIP), the plague of Blood Alcohol Level (Dvoracek), and now Darkness (Krenzel).

If my calculations are correct, this is far too similar to the ten plagues to be taken lightly. Assuming that the system is the same, these first three plagues were just warnings to the horrible things to come. I suspect the following:

Plague #4:
Mike Lice. Bears sign Mike Tice to join the coaching staff. Ugh.

Plague #5: Blisters. Despite being the worst receiver on the team, Hester continues to start over Aromashodu due to a lingering case of blisters/boils that make it difficult for him to play.

Plague #6: Dolphins. In an unusual twist, the Bears give up on Charles Tillman, and trade him to the Dolphins for draft picks. Tillman, in turn, gets a career resurgance and becomes the secondary we've needed all along...albeit for the Dolphins. Bears are incidentally dealt a crushing loss in the preseason where Tillman has two picks.

Plague #7:
Flaming in Jail. After one too many times watching his friends line up in the three point stance, Brad Maynard becomes sexually aroused and assaults one of his teammates in training camp. He serves prison time for rape.

Then, you have the final three plagues, where serve as a sign of God's true power.

Plague #8: Diabetes. In an unusual twist, Craig Krenzel also contracts diabetes.

Plague #9: Sulking. Cutler, after several weeks of poor production from both the game planning and his receivers, begins to sulk.

Plague #10: Death of the Chosen One. Defying all odds, Krenzel is started over Cutler, who demands to be traded.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is it 2004 again?

I opened the newspaper this week (to look at the pictures, obviously - this whole "reading" thing is beyond me), and what do I see? The Cubs acquire Greg Maddux, and the whole world is urging Sosa to admit to steroid use in the wake of a Mark McGwire announcement.

This is a paper from 2010.

First of all, let's get our facts straight. Here's what matters:

#1. Sosa did roids. And corked bats. And vampirism. If there's a way to illegally gain a competitive edge and be a fucker at the same time, he's got it.
#2. McGwire did roids.
#3. The universe now assumes that any effective baseball hitter is doing steroids.
#4. Wil Cordero beats his wife.

That said, who really cares anymore? Baseball's image is at a weird state right now - you've got the rose-tinted glasses nostalgia thing going on, and you also have the "let's get on with our lives" phenomenon.

Look at it this way - comparatively speaking, did anyone - anyone at all - give a shit when McGwire confessed? No! We knew about the andro, we knew that Canseco gave him a flaxseed oil enema, and we knew that the whole era was BS. Coming out and admitting it way after the fact doesn't really change the public opinion of anyone or anything (oh, and LaRussa - you're so full of shit. In order for McGwire to get the job, you made him confess. Slick).

Thats said, who doesn't look back at those times with fond memories? Those last couple of years in the 90's changed BASEBALL. I'm not talking about the whole "Barry Bonds" part of things, but the McGwire/Sosa race was one of the most exciting things to happen to baseball in a long time, and we loved it. For those of us that were just getting interested in the game because of it, we can view it as a fun sideshow, like the "smallest person alive" at Coney Island: you feel terrible once you get up there to see this tiny woman sitting on a chair, but you still remember it and talk about it all the time.

Are we at a point where we say "Oh, McGwire was the best and he should go into the HoF"? I doubt it. I propose something entirely more radical:

The Hall of the Game

Think about it - how many people have evolved the game over the years and have introduced public interest to what is arguably one of the most boring sports to watch for a newcomer? Pete Rose got people to care. Sosa and McGwire got people to care. Bonds got people to care. Jim Abbot? Hell yes. These people, like it or not, had a huge impact on the way we play the game. Are these players our "Hall of Fame" of greatness? Of course not. But they should be remembered and memorialized none the less.

I nominate the following players for 1st-Ballot HoG induction:

Joe Jackson
Pete Rose
Mark McGwire
Jose Canseco
Barry Bonds
Sammy Sosa
John Rocker
George Steinbrenner
Mark Fydrich
Babe Ruth
Ty Cobb
Jackie Robinson

Say what you want, but THESE are people that shape the game. Nad Hanlon and Bid McPhee? Who the fuck are those guys? These players have long been out of the game, but looking at that list, I'll bet you can identify each of those names and remember how they affected the game for YOU. We need to embrace our past, and move forward WITH it instead of trying to bury it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

No one wins


To say that I'm a little late to posting on this one is an understatement, but it still needs to be said: why are two ex-Bears runningbacks leading the way for their respective playoff teams? Sure, the game is over NOW, and Shayne Graham is probably going to go home and beat his wife, but coming into this one, the evidence is damning.

Well, actually, before I go into that, I do have one brief announcement:


Ah, that's better. As I was saying...

The Jets, led by the success of ex-Bear Thomas Jones were set to play the Bengals, led by the success of ex-Bear Cedric Benson. Logically speaking, you don't often see a team go through two runningbacks that produce elsewhere within such a limited timeframe. Jones was on the Bears as recently as 2007, and Benson as recently as 2008.

And, of course, look what happened. Benson toted the rock for 169 yards and a TD in a postseason game (two things that Forte didn't do this season), and while TJ was overshadowed by Shonne Greene, he still managed 34 yards and a score.