Monday, November 29, 2010

Hiram College Beats Penn State!

There are upsets, and there are upsets. This weekend saw the Hiram College Lady terriers beat the Nittany Lionesses of Penn State-Behrend 72-66!! Of course they didn't beat the State College team, but so what - Hiram (my dear Alma Mater) has a habit of losing to schools like Oberlin, Kenyon, and other schools that would never put fear in the hearts of any good middle school team in any hood.

Now that the important shit is out of the way I trust you all had a great holiday. Most if not all of you ate more food than people in parts of the world see in a month of Sunday's. I was no different so this long suffering fan casts no aspersions and hopes that gluttony is not one of the mortal sins. I don't believe in such things but I do worry about those of you that do. No need for a guilt trip.

It is Sunday night and I am sick and tired of watching and listening to football, and the folks who do the announcing. They all sound alike and say the same things. I may scream if I hear anyone say "playoff implications" one more time. I don't want to hear another color commentator tell me about the "A" gap, or try to make a journeyman sound like the greatest of all time because they made a play.

I am not a violent person. I detest violence, but I could cheerfully beat the piss out of the women who come outside on xmas morning to find a Lexus with a giant red bow on the roof. And what the hell are Chocolate diamonds that a jeweler is pushing at me during a football game. One of my favorites is the Coors Silver Bullet train. Man if you've had so much brew that you are seeing silver trains you probably check into a re-hab center. You might even meet Lindsey Lohan or somebody else who is a star who I have no understanding as to why.

My Eagles got exposed again, but not after I saw Michael Vick interviewed. They showed the guy speaking to kids about how they should act. They showed him telling the world that he believed he would find full redemption when he and his kids could experience the joy of raising a dog in their home - giving it the love it needed. Vick wants a dog to love and cherish. Man, I wouldn't want to be that dog. What could happen if the Vickster had a real bad day at the job and he came home and found that the dog had pissed on his Persian carpet?

The Bears showed some claws today, and Fat Andrew was clueless all day. (Can you imagine how many calories Andrew consumed on Thursday?) What made the loss worse was how the New Jersey Giants came back to win. I had to watch Eli Manning light the stadium up - scoring mucho fantasy points for my opponent while his brother Peyton is right now guaranteeing a loss for me this week. I don't like either brother nor do I care much for their father Archie. They call Archie a great quarterback, but if my memory serves me - when the southern fried Archie was the Saints QB the fans wore bags on their head because the team sucked.

There doesn't seem to be much happening on the Hot Stove front, except for the drama going on between Jeter and the Yankees. Jeter is insulted that the team has only offered him a 3 year 45mm deal. He wants the national debt of Greece. He wants the kind of money he might have commanded if he were a 28 year old superstar-like he was- instead of a late 30's player looking at the downside slope of his career. The Yankees want to pay him more in each year than any of us will make in our lifetimes and this guy is insulted! Fuck him, and the Yankees. I hope he signs with Boston and receives threats whenever he has to play the Yankees. I hope a guy named Sal from Brooklyn stalks him, and that he gets caught in a white slavery ring after all those years of being Mr. Clean.

I had to turn the game off after hearing Al Michaels say that the Chargers were on the cusp of beating the Colts. On the cusp? Fully 86% of the people watching this game have no idea what the word cusp means, especially those that by now have consumed a large amount of silver trains. If you ever heard someone use the word in conversation you would run away from that person. I used to like Al Michaels, but I now put him in the catagory of Joe Buck - a man I truly detest.

At some point the Phillies will make some moves, or some of you need to get to the batting cages because they may need you to play right field. So far our boy Ruben has been on the quiet about what he is planning, and that makes me nervous. The talk has been that Werth might sign with the Sawx, which is why I would love to see Jeter go there. I doubt if Boston is prepared to pay Werth what he is looking for if they have to pay Jeter what it would take to get him out of New York.

Maybe Ruben is secretly negotiating to bring Eric Bruntlett back. I say, "why not?" See, I am of the belief that our Phillies are on the same slope as Jeter and that the so called window is now shut. "How can that be," you ask (thinking that the old suffering fan has finally succumbed to dementia), "since our pitching is so great?" I grant you that we have one of the better 1,2,3 starters in the game, but how about the rest of the staff? We have a lot of holes to be plugged up, and Lidge is still the closer. One never knows when suddenly he pitches like Adam Eaton. When will Contrras's 102 year old body fall apart? Who will pitch the 7th now that it looks like Durbin might not be around? What if Hamels pitches like he did in 09?

Oh, they won't fall apart overnight, but they are not a young club. What if they hit next year like they did this year? What if Howard tries to set an all-time single season KO record? What if Victorino gets hurt - who will play CF- Ross Gload? I am concerned gang - very concerned.

The baseball gods may have some interesting events planned for us next year, and I can't wait for it to start. I can't believe how sick of football I am getting already, so baseball better hurry up and get here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They don't hit like the assassin did!

I watched a lot of 'pussy ball' yesterday and came away unimpressed by the quality and ferocity of what I saw. Please spare me the drivel about the NFL being serious about cracking down on the helmet to helmet hits on 'defenseless' receivers. Roger (Wonderbread) Goddell could care less about the guys getting hit into next week - he cares about law suits by the hittees and their families.

I bet if a poll were taken as to how we fans feel about the issue we would overwhelmingly vote to allow brutality and head-to-heading to continue. That is why we watch the games. It's much they same for NASCAR fans. Even rednecks and goobers (does anyone else give a shit about NASCAR?) watch the races hoping for wrecks and blasts of orange flames. Face it- watching drivers make left turns for 500 miles is boring, but explosions are cool.

There was once a guy who came out of Ohio State and played for the Oakland Raiders. This was when Al Davis knew he owned the team. The guys name was Jack Tatum and his nickname was the "Assassin". He played cornerback and had a habit of hitting receivers and running backs so hard that they wished their parents had never met. Tatum said that his hits bordered on felonious assault, and when asked if he felt bad about hitting Patriot receiver Daryl Stingley so hard that he became a quadriplegic his reply was that it had been a clean hit, and that he felt no need to apologize for doing his job well. Tatum struck fear in all who played against him - my kind of player.

Hey look. I wouldn't get any pleasure if someone became paralyzed after a hard hit, but they are playing football, not futbol, or baseball, and shit does happen. Ellis Hobbs got off light yesterday against the Jersey Giants. Shit, he didn't even have to walk off the field - he got to ride off in a cart, just like the assholes who think that golf is a real sport.

And what is all this bullshit about protecting the quarterbacks? They call them field generals don't they? Well read some Civil War history and you will discover that generals used to get killed along side their troops. I say it ought be open season on the prima donnas - fuck them. They are football players aren't they? Football players get hit - ergo QB's need to get hit and hit a lot. One of my favorite sports photos is of long ago New York Giant quarterback (NYC used to have a team) Y.A. Tittle on his knees all bloodied up and with a glazed look in his eyes from getting hit for an entire game. It would have given me a great deal of joy to have seen Eli Manning look like that last night, but my joy was denied because of the way the game is played today.

As to last nights game. The good news is that the Eagles won. It wasn't pretty, but the W is a whole lot better than the BIG L assigned to the Jints. I don't like the Jints or anybody who plays for them. I'm also not very fond of anyone who roots for them either. About the only thing nice I can say about them is that at least they don't wear one of the new styled uniforms that are the vogue today. You know what I'm talking about - and if you don't take a good look at the Bengals, the Bills, or the Vikings. Those uniforms might look good on a fashion runway, but not on a football field. I prefer traditional uniforms - without the piping and stripes that go no where. (So you'll know exactly where I'm coming from, my favorite uniform in all of sports is worn by Penn State.)

Back to the game. After all the hype about Michael Vick last week we saw last night that the guy is mortal. He just played well enough for the Eagles to win, but couldn't work any magic in the red zone so we saw no TD passes although he should have had one on the pass dropped by Avant.

And Fat Andrew reverted to his old self by calling only a handful of running plays. I don't think he even put Harrison in the game last night even though the guy had run all over the Skins the week before. McCoy played well, but someone needs to remind the Large One that the teams who generally win the Super Bowls do so by having a good ground game. Don't believe me - check it out, because you'll discover that the Steelers, Patriots, and even the old 49er teams could run the hell out of the ball.

A last thought on the hitting penalties being dished out by Wonderbread and the No Fun League officials. I have a perfect way to stop the head hunting - if that's what they really want to do. Some have called for taking the face masks off the helmet as a way of solving the problem. I have a better solution. Make the players play without helmets like they did once upon a time ago. Who playing today would lead with their head if they weren't wearing a helmet?

The football gods have installed the Eagles atop the NFC East, which will have the effect of sending sales of green kool-aid to new heights. Some of you are already sipping the stuff, just like you sipped the red kool-aid during the baseball season. This long suffering fan will of course have none of it. I've been down this road before and I will have none of it. Remember we haven't played the Cowboys yet and we do have a date with the Giants in their home state of New Jersey in a couple of weeks. The gods could be setting us up like they did with the Phillies so until the parade starts I'll just sit back and watch - hoping that the level of hitting goes up a level or two.

Until the next time, have a good Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Have You Had Enough Football?

It is now 7:35pm here in the greatest city on the planet, and football has been on all day. I have the NFL RedZone channel so I have seen every fucking touchdown scored today. That's right - every single one! I like the channel, but I advise those of you thinking about calling your cable provider and adding it to the hundreds of channels you already get but don't watch never to watch it after you have enjoyed a bowl of your favorite plant product.

What happens is - you start to get interested in a game, and the bastards switch you to the Browns or the Bills because by luck they are in the fucking Red Zone. Then they switch you to some other game you care nothing about. Be careful.

I'm footballed out for one day, but I will have to watch the Eagles take on the Jersey Giants. That's right - they don't play in NYC, they don't practice in NYC, and the only connection they have to NYC is the NY on their helmets. We have a football team and New Yorkers do not!

While I am footballed out, I must say that I miss baseball enormously. The networks should be required to broadcast winter league baseball so I can keep my fix going. It hasn't helped that The Hot Stove hasn't meant jack to us suffering Phillies fans.

There have been some signings - Contreras being the most important, but other than that the other guys the Phils have picked up are of the type that Topps is not trying to find them so as to take their pictures for a card. Come on Ruben - do something.

I would like the something to be the signing of Jayson Werth, but I do not believe his next baseball card will be in a Phillies uniform. Instead we'll have to see if D Brown can cut it in the show. Perhaps Ruben ought to look at bringing Durbin back, since the pen is a little thin. But Ruben will do what Ruben will do when he feels like it, and knowing what we fans want won't even creep into his mind.

Much was made about bringing Ryne Sandberg back to manage the Iron Pigs, but there were other reach backs that didn't get the big press. Former 2cd baseman Mickey Morandini has been hired to manage the short league class A Williamsport Cross Cutters. Morandini had a few good years here, but I will best remember him for the way Harry Kalas pronounced his name. That was a joy. The other reach back was the hiring of Juan Samuel to be the third base coach. For those of you too young to remember his days as a Phillie - let me help you. The guy was a gamer. He could hit, play defense, and run the bases with the best of them in his day.

Unfortunately he was traded to the NY Mets for Dirt Dykstra who by all accounts was not then nor is he now a fine human being. I met the guy a few times, and felt slimey after every time.

At least Dykstra had some decent moments at the Vet, especially after he started taking all those vitamins - they were vitamins weren't they? The trade that still pisses me off is the deal made to bring Von (5 for 1) Hayes to the Phillies. In their infinite wisdom Phillies brass sent an all star second baseman Manny Trillo, 3 bums and Julio Franco to the Tribe for the above mentioned Hayes. Julio Franco went on to have a long and successful career, while Hayes ended up running a fishing charter boat.

Somehow the Phillies usually get the short end of the trades they make. (Most of the time - can you say Cliff Lee for who?)

Well I suppose I could move to the DR so I can watch baseball this time of year, but since that is not going to happen I am stuck watching the MLB channel. In my opinion it sucks big time. I wish Cal Ripken would give his brother Billy a job so I wouldn't have to listen to his drivel on the Hot Stove show. Billy is truly a moron who adds nothing of value. Spring training can't come soon enough for this long suffering fan.

It's almost time for the Mike Vick Show so I'll cut this short. Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the awesome hit Eagles two way star Chuck Bednarik put on Giants pretty boy Frank Gifford at Yankee Stadium. I want to see Eli take such a hit in tonights game. Gifford was out cold and wasn't able to play again until 1962. For those of you who care about such things there is a great article in today's NY Times about the hit. it's free at and is worth the read. It speaks of an era when guys were allowed to hit - and that includes toasting the QB's after they had thrown the ball. The way things are going now the NFL will be playing flag football next year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking For Ivan DeJesus

The Hot Stove League hasn't exactly started out with a blazing amount of heat, but we'll try to recap what we know so far.

To date we have not seen any major free agent signings - it's as if everyone is waiting to see what former Phillies Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth get so that the bar can be set. No one alive today ever believed that the two top free agents would ever have ties to the Phillies, but that's how it has turned out. You spoiled rotten Yankee fans need not bring up the names Jeter or Rivera since they aren't going anywhere except back to the Bronx. The only question for those two is how much of the Streinbrenner kids' money they are going to get. They should get plenty, especially since the kids don't have to pay any inheritance taxes because the Boss had the smarts to die during 2010, when the tax had been waved.

Also, don't even dream about the Phillies bringing back Lee, because there is no shot that the team will entertain the possibility of having one of the greatest staffs in history as long as they have to pay Big Joe Blanton 10m and the washed up Ibanez 11.5m next year. It would be nice to pencil in Hamels as your number 4 though.

As to Jayson Werth - no chance there either. Werth and his Uber Agent will find a team willing to give him Power Ball numbers - but the Phillies don't want to nor will they play that number. So we are left to wonder if Dom Brown has the stuff to make us forget the bearded one. On a personal note I can't wait to see him leave since I still have to hear how hot he is from my squeeze. I don't get it - he does absolutely nothing for me.

So far the Phillies big news is the re-signing Contreras to a new 2 year deal. They were able to sign him for what today amounts to chump change, but he did pitch well enough to merit a return to the Bank. I'll feel better if they make a deal with Durbin, which should happen unless he wants to get paid what he is worth.

And now for the biggest Phillies news of the off season, and I'm not talking about Doc winning the Cy Young (Doc deserved the award - hands down!). As a consolation prize the Giants are giving Lincecum a silver plated bong for his off season training regimen.

The big news is of course the return of Ryne Sandberg. Rhino, as you know, has been tapped to manage the Iron Pigs. Sandberg had been managing the Cubs AAA Des Moines squad, but was not promoted to manage the big team - so he left. My question is what do the Cubs know about Ryne that led them to retain their interim guy (nobody knows the guys name) instead of elevating Sandberg. We will find out.

Sandberg had less than a cup of coffee with the Phils when he became the throw-in guy when the Phillies sent fan favorite Larry Bowa to the Cubs for Ivan De Jesus. Authorities in Puerto Rico are looking for Ivan as I write this, since part of the Sandberg deal is that Ivan must go back to Chicago where he is slated to be Rahm Emmanuel's driver during the Rahmsters run to become the mayor of the windy city.

Looking back at the history of our Phillies one can't help but remember that Sandberg is not the only Hall of Famer the Phils sent to the Cubs. Can you say, "Ferguson Jenkins?" He was the Canadian born hurler who had about 17 20-win seasons in a row after leaving here. I am sick and tired of being raped by the Cubs - are you? Now we all know that the Cubs haven't won anything for a century so the next question is - how many future hall of famers do the Cubs have to get from our guys before they win anything?

Enough of baseball and on to last night's football contest. (Cowboy fans out there may want to get back to their miserable lives right about now!) I've been watching the Eagles for more years than I care to admit to, and have for the most part been a long suffering fan of the men in green. In all those years I've seen some fine quarterbacking from the likes of Norm Van Brocklin, Sonny Jurgenson, Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham and one or two good games by McNabb. I have never seen a performance, however, as outstanding as the one I saw from Michael Vick last night.

The man did it all! He ran! He passed with an accuracy that he didn't have when he was with Atlanta! A great job.

To do it on the day that the Skins gave McNabb an extension made it all the more joyful. Thank you Daniel Snyder for guaranteeing at least two more years of mediocrity for your Redskins. D-Mac rewarded Snyder's foolish largess by tossing 3 ints, 5 worm burners & a mostly shitty performance. Shanahan must be wondering why he took the job.

It wasn't just Vick who performed well. How about the catch Avant made when Vick threw him a laser at the back of the end zone? Avant looked like a ballet dancer coming down on his toes to secure the TD. My sleeper award though goes to the running back acquired from the Browns when the Birds sent Bell to the mistake-by-the-lake for Harrison, who ran like Crazy Legs Hirsch every time he touched the ball. Could it be that Fat Andrew now has a two-headed monster at running back?

But, the player of the game has to be Mike Vick. It's a shame that Cleveland already has a Dawg Pound. I mean how sick would it be for the maniacs at the Linc to act like the folks do in Cleveland. (alright PETA people - just chill!)

I do have a concern about the Eagles, however, which kept me up last night. It isn't well known, but the baseball gods (you remember how they toyed with us) are cousins to the football gods. Their is a story out there that they recently got together and discussed how cool it would be to do to the Eagles what happened to the Phillies. This could mean that the Birds will fly high until the playoffs and know what will happen.

Lastly. The camera was panning the Eagles sideline during the 4th quarter and showed Kevin (I don't know how to spell my name) Kolb. He wasn't smiling. I guess he has figured out that his time to be the man has come and gone. The guy is getting paid 12m to hold a fucking clipboard - he should smile. Hell I would do it for a lot less.

That's it from the Hot Stove circuit for now. As things develop I will report to you my interpretations of all the news not fit to print anywhere but here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bobby Thompson Is Smiling

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants! It's about fucking time!

During tonights post game interview Russ Hodges asked former long time Giant manager John McGraw what he thought about tonights Giants World Series victory. "What's the big deal? Why these guys have been out here since 1958 and this is the first time they've able to pull this off. Shit, my teams played in a place that could fit two of these little league parks, and they still could hit the daylights out of the ball." But sir, this team showed grit, determination, and moxie as well as lights out pitching. What say you to that? "Russ, we've both been dead for a long time, but you can't believe these guys are that good. This junkie, whats his name?...Linoleum, or something like that? Why my guy Mathewson could pitch on no days rest and get these guys out. As bad as that guy Burrell looked, he would have been crying like the bitch that he is after Chris was through with him.

What our boy McGraw is overlooking is the fact that this Giant team does exactly what his boys did at the turn of the last century. Like the Giants of old they scratch and claw every day, and they have the best pitching in baseball. Sorry, fellow long suffering Phillies fans, but they do. If the 21 year old Bumgardner or whatever his name is continues to develop the way he pitched this post season the Giants will have 4 quality acelike pitchers. And, they can use Sanchez as trade bait for some outfield help if they choose. Yes I know that Doc is one of the top two or three hurlers in the game. The problem comes after Doc, because neither Hamels or Oswalt quite measure up to Cain and possibly the kid. The other problem is that this weird beard doesn't take a back seat to any closer in the game today except maybe Rivera. (There is a rumor on Fox, that after tomorrows election, the republicans are going to have Rivera and all other latino players deported. An unnamed spokesperson for Sharon Angle days that the game should be played by Americans and that the influx of latin players over the past few decades is undermining our democracy. If you can imagine he went on to say, these latinos are paid a kings ransom, and receive health benefits to boot. We are opposed to any participation by latinos in organized baseball.

I drift.

We continue our postgame interviews: Red Barber here, and I've got the two most favorite guys named Willie in SF. Let me start with you Mr Sey Hey. You were a member of the last Giant team to win the series, back in 1954 when your Giants swept the favored Cleveland Indians. What does tonights win mean to you. Well Red, let me tell you. I'm glad for the fans. They been waitin a long time.........Hey Red....Willie McCovey, I'll get to you next. No man! How come whenever me and him are together, you guys always want to talk to him first. Shit man, I wasn't chopped liver you know...hell they got a Cove named after me! Willie Mays, I'll ask again what does mean to you. Not much, really. I mean, they ain't paying me nothing to be there. I mean how cheap can they be. Why are you laughing McCovey? Shit man, they are paying me, ha ha ha.

This is the Redbird, and while the two Willies battle this out I'll return you to your long suffering Phillies fan after these words from our sponsor Rhinegold Beer.

I am depressed. I wasn't rooting for the Giants to win as much as I was rooting for Texas to lose. A sweep would have been nice, especially since Dubya would have been on record as throwing out the first pitch for the Giants clincher.

I am depressed because unless Comcast starts offering a winter league package I won't be able to hear the crack of the ball off of the bat again until next spring, and that sucks big time. That sound is something that always grabs your attention, much in the same way a well shaped derriere on a 24 year old female does. Funny thing about that. (Hell I am 40 years too old for both being able to make that sound with one of my swings, and I have clothes older than the female with the great young ass - I tell you, getting old is not for sissies!)

Think about it. Our choices are to watch Andy Reid cast a bigger shadow every week or if you prefer, you can watch the Flyers at the beginning of the neverending hockey season. I couldn't tell you the names of 5 Flyers - thats how much I care aboot that sport. Don't get me wrong I would like them to win because they are from the greatest city in the world. (Can you imagine if you were forced to live in Omaha) I am keeping an open mind about becomming a hockey fan, but not until they start playing the 4th quarter. Maybe Canadians can only count to three, but games that I watch either have two halves (excluding soccer), four quarters or nine innings. I do not watch games with only three quarters because it lacks symmetry. I know they call them periods, but that is only done by a foreign power to upset our bodily fluids. We need to close the border with Canada and deport all hockey players to Latvia, Estonia, or if their name is Lars to some country that has white shit on the ground 13 months a year.
Lastly, you could watch the 76ers. Hmmmmm, they really suck, like the Phillies used to. Too many guys stealing their checks (can you say Elton Brand or Iguadala) and what looks like another sixer first round bust - Turner.

Gang, it's gonna be a long winter for this long suffering fan, but when the blizzards of the winter turn to the slush of March we'll be able to hear that sound again and we'll know that all will be well.

Have a great off-season!