Friday, February 24, 2006

Loose Strings

Normally when I sit down to write a post I like to have one main theme to write about. But sometimes there just isnt anything happening that is significant enough to write about at length, or I'm just feeling lazy. So today I'm just running through some of today's local sports stories.

1: The Lions slap the franchise tag on Jeff Backus. I like how sports writers always say they slapped the franchise tag on someone. It's never, delicately applied, its always an authoritative slap. So now the Lions have to pay the slowest moving left tackle in the NFL at least 6.8 million for next season. Great. I bet if the Lions put a pile of money at left tackle and set it on fire, it would pass protect AND run block better then Backus. It's just that........nevermind it's just easier to say I hate the Lions, God I hate the Lions.

2. I just saw a commercial for the World Baseball Classic, and one of the players featured was Jorge Cantu. Really, Jorge Cantu, I bet half the people in Tampa Bay don't know who he is, and the only reason I'm aware of him is because I picked him up for my fantasy team last year and he's now one of the headliners for the WBC and the main star for the Mexican Squad (sounds like the name of an Edward James Olmos movie), who's starting for the Mexicans Teddy he available? Yes.

3. The Pistons allowed the trade deadline to pass without making another trade, which is fine, it's not like they need anything. However some nitpickers are wondering why they didnt try to swing a deal for a third point guard. The way I see it is if Chauncey gets hurt the Pistons are pretty much screwed, and by screwed I mean a team might take them to six games in the Finals instead of getting swept. Second Lindsey Hunter is pretty freaking solid especially for 12-15 minutes a game and he's fresh after sitting out half the season with an injury. Finally in an emergency Tayshaun could fill in and run the point for a bit, or just be a point forward, with Delfino and Hamilton in the backcourt. So I'm not too concerned, I trust Dumars and if he thought we needed a 3rd point he wouldnt have traded Arroyo.

4. Teddy Higuera just pulled out of the WBC.

5. Darko Milicic jerseys are on sale for 20 bucks at the Palace Locker Room store.

6. I was able to attend the Pistons-Pacers game tonight and it was amazing. I had bought the tickets back in October hoping for a chance to boo Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal in their first trip back after the brawl. However O'Neal's flow was too heavy to play tonight and Ron Artest....well I'm not going to make fun of Artest, even if it is on a small anonymous blog, because he scares the hell out of me. However the unequivocal highlight of the night was the half
time show. It was the most surreal, homo erotic experience I've had in my entire life, 100 times more gay then when me and my room mate Mike gave each other hot oil massag.......hmm...I mean ate steaks and wrestled bears. Moving on. These two guys, who had to have been Germans, come out in light green/avocado colored unitards that were so form fitting it looked like they weren't wearing any clothing at all. Anyways they went into a ten minute long segment of picking each other up and contorting their bodies around each other, in the most sensual, slowest moving way possible. It was like watching a mating dance of two, hairless, lime green, German snakes, all set to the synthesized background music of "Flying High Now" from the Rocky movies. The only people I can adaquetely compare them to are the Barnaby and Finneous characters on Family Guy. The more I think about it the more I realize I can't give this justice through words, I'm not that good of a writer and you just had to be there to see it. As a matter of fact it's probably best if you didnt see it.......I think Im going to go take a 2 hour long shower and burn my clothes. Goodnight.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Return to Normalcy

The person in the photo to the left is none other than Warren Gamaliel Harding, the forgettable 29th President of the U.S. who used the slogan A Return to Normalcy in his campaign following the conclusion of World War I. Having just experienced the most dull week in sports in months I could relate to what the nation was going through in those strange and wary postwar times and I couldnt think of a more appropriate title for this post. Also I couldnt resist having a reason to throw up a photo of one of the most promiscuous presidents in history on this site. You can't see it but he's pantsless in this photo.

I know there have been plenty of sporting events in the last week or so. The Olympics, NBA All-Star weekend (Iguodala was robbed, the competition shouldve ended after the behind the backboard dunk), Michigan v. MSU in basketball, Kenny Rogers possibly starting on opening day.....yawn....but those events seemed so singular and isolated that I couldn't garner enough optimism or energy to write or even really care about them. However tonight there are the Olympics along with a slate of NBA games and some College basketball action, enough to where I have to take a break from typing to flip between sporting events I actually care about on three seperate channels. There is just a certain amount of comfort in knowing I can watch Courtney Sims turn the ball over on four straight possessions, listen to Steve Lavin talk nonsense as he sends out resumes to D-III schools (although he is noticeably subdued tonight, he must have lost out on the Hope College opening to Larry Eustachy), watch Daniel Horton single handedly keep Michigan afloat, and wait for Lester Abrams to get hurt by a falling anvil AND then turn the channel and watch the Pistons toy with the Hawks for about three quarters before completely crushing them in the final minutes AND also have the option of flipping back to keep checking on the Olympics waiting for Sasha Cohen's short program err.... I mean bobsledding (Just for the record that may be the longest sentence ever written in history, I'm a little rusty although somewhere I'm sure John Marshall is nodding approvingly). Anyways I'm glad sports is back in full swing because I was about 48 hours away from growing a red Ricky Williams homeless man beard and wandering the globe attending cricket matches in India..... or studying.

Finally, they keep showing this fat kid in the stands from Illinois wearing a chef's outfit and high fiving awkwardly after each Illinois fast break. I know nothing about this kid but Ive met his type a thousand times at State. I bet his name is Jordan, he plays tuba in the marching band and he's totally insufferable. If I were Amaker I would give Amadou Ba the role of going up into the crowd and administering beatdowns on fans like this because they deserve it. I actually enjoyed watching the kid in the pleather Beast coat get knocked out before the game on Saturday and I went to State. But then again that might be why I enjoyed it so much.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Darko Freed

All day today I had a nagging feeling, well not so much a nagging feeling as much as a feeling of certain impending doom. I spent the day expecting something cartoonish to happen, something like an anvil falling on my head, or opening up my casebook and having a snake pop out and start biting me. Well, just when I thought I had made it through the day safely I checked and saw that the Pistons had traded Darko Milicic. Actually it wasnt that dramatic, OK it was about .0001% as dramatic, but still it was a shock to the system to see the former no. 2 pick in the NBA draft gone after 2 and a half seasons. So in honor of the soon departed Darko (unless the trade falls through and makes this post completely irrelevant) I thought I would run through a quick timeline of the Darko Era in Detroit.

August 7th, 1973: The Pistons trade a decomposing Otis Thorpe to the Vancouver Grizzlies for a conditional 1st round pick, which the Grizzlies will roll over for what seemed like the next 30 years. For the draft pick the Grizzlies get a half season of Otis Thorpe doing Otis Thorpe things, before they trade him for Bobby Hurley and a stable full of Tennessee Walking Horses. In retrospect this deal turned out brilliantly for the Grizz.

Fall 2002: Chad Ford writes over 100 columns about Darko Milicic. Feeling confident after successfully introducing the world to another 7 foot Euro phenom by the name of Nikoloz Tskis, no Skiti, wait Tstksh..........forget it,
this guy Ford favorably compares Darko to both Hakeem and KG. Of course the competition in Darko's league were a bunch of 40 year old chain smoking Euros, which is like me dropping 30 on a convalescent center rec team.

Spring 2003: The balls bounce the Pistons way as the Grizzles draw the second pick in the draft, which gets rolled over to the Pistons in what analysts predict will be one of the best drafts at the top in years. The prospects include LeBron James, the consensus No.1, Chris Bosh, NCAA champ Carmelo Anthony, Dywane Wade, and Darko. After six months of reading Darko story's on ESPN Insider I'm legitimately excited about Darko, who Chad Ford has now said is a more talented and tougher version of Dirk, Hakeem, KG, Tim Duncan and Jesus Christ.

June 26 2003: The Pistons draft Darko, Chad Ford gives the Pistons an A+ for their selection. Darko gives one of the all time great post draft interviews, by refusing to use an interpretor, making Ivan Drago look like Henry Clay and giving the immortal answer to the question of growing up in a war torn country "Make me strong." I contemplate laying down $100 on a Darko jersey, realizing I don't have a $100 I decide against it.

2003-04 Season: Darko provides nothing but is still an intriguing prospect. His teammates rave about his skills and attitude. Pistons win the championship. The always hateable Karl Malone retires with one less ring then a kid who wasnt born when he started plaing and has tape protecting his ear lobes. He immediately retires to pursue a lifelong dream of hunting Mexican girls.

2004-05 Season: Darko slowly becomes exposed as a fraud. Openly bitches about his role on the team and finds his way into Larry Browns dog house. He begins to be greeted by mock cheers, earns the nickname Human Victory Cigar, and is consistently stuffed by the rim. Meanwhile Lebron, Carmelo, Wade, and Bosh begin to establish themselves as legitimite superstars, and the Pistons fall just short of a second NBA title.

Feb. 2005: I cancel my subscription to by submitting my Chad Ford manifesto, which ESPN promptly returns to me.

2005-present: The departure of Larry Brown gives Darko a new lease on his career in Detroit where he vows to work hard to be part of the rotation. After starting the season getting regular minutes Darko gets nearly as many fouls as points and finds himself quickly becoming the answer to the trivia question

Who was the 2nd pick of the 2003 NBA draft?
A: Carmelo Anthony
B: Yao Ming
C: That kid in the back who washes dishes, you know Marko, Darko......something.

So anyways Darko is now with the Magic (probably) and all joking aside its probably best for both teams. The Pistons will get cap room from Cato's expiring contract to re-sign Chauncey and Ben who are both young enough to justify long term expensive contracts, (which if your scoring at home, and who isnt, means the Pistons passed on Carmelo, Wade, and Bosh for cap room and Kelvin Cato), and Orlando gets to try ouy Darko next to Dwight Howard for the rest of this season. The Pistons will also throw in Carlos Arroyo and receive another lottery protected pick to try there hand again, and somewhere Chad Ford is scouting for the next big thing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm Alive

The Lions finally hired Mike Martz today. Wait, no they didn't, he's taking the year off. Wait, he's back. Nevermind they can't agree on money/philosophy so he's leaving. Who's next Hue Jackson? Tom Moore? O.K. here comes the announcement. The Lions new O-coordinator is.............Mike Martz. What? This Mike Martz nonsense has made me institute a new rule here at MTMO. I will never write about the most dysfunctional team in the NFL trying to hire the most sensitive/insane assistant coach in the NFL 3 times over the course of two weeks. I can't think of any other time I will need to enforce this rule unless the Arizona Cardinals attempt to hire Jerry Glanville, but I'm just throwing it out there. Seriously though, no more writing about the Lions until at least the NFL draft.

So I promised to update today barring a complete emotional/physical/mental breakdown caused by writing my research paper. Well here I am updating, so you must be going "Hey, alright everything turned out fine. Right." Wrong! Here's the rundown of my night.

12 A.M. halfway done
1 A.M. still halfway because I can't formulate a rule.
2 A.M. check out my myspace profile and spend the next hour randomly clicking on other profiles
3 A.M. Here's the mental breakdown. I can't think, I can't write, cases are running together.
5 A.M. I'm wondering what happened to 4 A.M. things are being thrown around the apartment, and I'm checking
wayne states website for the process of disenrolling. I see it's too late to get my money back so I get back to working. This constitutes the emotional breakdown.
6 A.M. I actually start getting work done, my brains finally functioning, credit goes to Pizza Rolls and MTV showing videos again because nothing gets my morning going like a little Daddy Yankee.
8 A.M. Paper's finished, I stagger over to the school to turn it in, come back to my apartment and crash. Thereby completing the breakdown trifecta that won't be on ESPN.

Yet here I am tonight posting, now thats dedication.......sort of.

I'm not going to write about the game because I couldn't tell you anything you don't already know. The only significant event from a rather boring game is that I was able to taste death in a can and it's name is Stroh's.

So my Super Bowl weekend consisted of me and my old room mate Mike walking the 2.1 miles downtown (I counted) to attend Winter Blast in perfect weather. You know when it's cold enough to be snowing but warm enough get soaking wet. Lovely. Anyways we got to Campus Martius where the activities were taking place and tried to cram into one of the many tents that had been set up to get out of the elements. Unfortunately we were two of only 50,000 people who had the same idea, so we decided to head over to Greektown to do some gambling. Being the high rollers we are, me and Mike immediately looked for the 5 dollar blackjack table. They were easy to find because we followed the cursing, B.O. and faded Greg Lloyd/Barry Foster jerseys (no not this Barry Foster). So me and Mike, sorry.........Mike and I, sit at a table and immediately start winning hand after hand going from 50 dollars to about 200 in a matter of minutes. Everyone at the table is winning and the world record for awkward high fives by white guys is shattered. My friend Mike also catches the eye of a couple of hit out nasty 45 year old bar flies, from Pittsburgh. They were probably only 25 but years of chain smoking and hard living had accelerated the aging process 2:1. So after a while Mike started getting distracted from the "Mikey" cheers and grabass he was being subjected to and we decided to take off. To my dismay he didn't go home with either of them....but I digress. After leaving the casino we walked past the Penthouse party and a bum (who may have been Ickey Woods) taking a crap in the doorway of a bar, which I frantically tried to take a picture of but I couldnt work my camera because my fingers were refusing to work properly in sub zero temperatures. Naturally we celebrated our winnings by playing two hours of Dr. Mario and watching Blade Runner. .........Like I said we're high rollers.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Super Bowl prediction

O.K. Here it is. This is what everyone has been waiting for. Seahawks 27 Steelers 23. Hurry and call Vegas before they close the books. Wait. Someone's trying to tell me something. What is it? The game was yesterday? Seattle lost? Ok, Ok, I know at the end of the last post I promised to make a prediction/analysis/blah/blah/blah. However I also mentioned that I had a research paper due Monday. Well that paper got extended to Wednesday which means for two more days I get to stare at a blank screen, cry in the shower, and subsist on Teddy Grahams. So, barring a complete mental/emotional/physical breakdown, on Wednesday (or next week) I promise to post again.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Martz Update

Well, apparently Mike Martz is not coming to Detroit to take the job of offensive co-ordinator. The initial reports were that Martz and the Lions couldn't agree on money issues but locally everybody is reporting that the real reason was a philosophical difference between Martz and Millen. Apparently Millen wasn't willing to buy into Martz's concept of being successful, and felt more comfortable handing the reins over to another coach with no proven track record. The local media has been saying the leading candidate for the job is now Hue Jackson who was last seen being put into a headlock by Chad Johnson during the Bengals playoff loss. At least Jackson, if he takes the job, won't have to worry about any confrontations with his receivers because Charles Rogers will be too high to care, Roy Williams will pull his quad going after him and miss six weeks, and by the time Mike Williams got off the line of scrimmage, halftime would be over. Oh well, I'm sure this is going to turn into another front office fiasco just like.........well everything else over the last five years.

Enough about the Lions though, I'm done wasting my time writing about them, well at least until Monday. Yesterday I didn't get the chance to go downtown or do anything remotely related to the Super Bowl because my law school professor's were kind enough to assign a long research paper due Monday, which has been occupying my time this week and given me an excuse to grow the most frightening red beard this side of Roy Halladay. This however will not deter me from participating in the activities over the weekend and if it leads to me turning in a paper that says things like, "I think Joey Porter just violated Matt Hasselbeck's Fourth Amendment rights with that blitz," then so be it. Also when I say participating in the Super Bowl activities I mean that as narrowly as possible. I'm not going to any parties, so all of you people who come here for the latest gossip/celebrity news will be sorely disappointed. I'm just going to be walking around downtown, and hanging out in places open to the public, with a couple of my friends as well as my sister and her boyfriend, hoping that I run into Jay Mariotti so I can punch him in the back of the head, which only seems like the fair thing to do.

With all of the hype surrounding the game and festivities in Detroit I've kind of forgot that they are actually playing a game this week and I haven't really thought about who will win or analyzed it yet. So my goal is to, sometime before kickoff, break down the game and give a a prediction. I also realized I never finished grading the Pistons starters. I sat down a couple of times to write about it but couldn't think of anything interesting to say, so they all get A's, I mean they are 38-6 I can't really nitpick and complain about them.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Super Bowl XL

It's Wednesday and apparently something called the Super Bowl is being held in Detroit. Yeah, Ive never heard of it before either, but apparently the two best teams in the NFL play in this event every year and its been going on for forty years now. I mean if the two best teams played every year for the past forty years it seems like the Lions would have been in one of them, right? Anyways with all these crazy events happening this week and seeing as how I live about two miles from Ford Field I thought I would devote a little time posting about it

Today I went with my sister to the RenCen, where all the media is headquartered this week, to check out a live taping of Sportscenter. Some observations. First Dan Patrick has a GI-normous bald spot, and looks to be anywhere between 75-130 years old in person. On tv he looks fine, but when you see him up close it looks like he's wearing a mask of his own face. Now that I'm starting to really think about it, I bet Dan Patrick died two years ago and
Mike Hall, remember the guy who won the first Dream Job on ESPN, (it's ok I didnt remember him either I had to look it up), took over his place without anybody noticing, or caring. Also I was amazed at how little the guys in studio actually do. The whole time I was there Patrick was probably on camera for a total of five minutes and would just sit there and talk to people while the segments were playing, which leads to the famous question, who got paid more for doing less last year, Bobby Higginson or Dan Patrick.

The other two guys in studio were Tom Jackson and Mark Schlereth. I've got no problem with Jackson, and when the crowd started chanting "Fire Millen" during a break he turned around and was laughing, acknowledging the crowd, it was a nice gesture. Meanwhile an assistant took off Mark Schlereth's face and was frantically trying to re-program him before the break ended.

Seriously I don't think it's possible to have less charisma/personality than Mark. He seems like the typical ex-jock, who provides no insight and believes games come down to intangibles like toughness, as if the Super Bowl should be decided on which teams O-line could eat more buckets of barbwire. Also the in-studio football field which looks so neat and green on tv is just a bunch of strips of turf shoddily held together by green electrical tape, with seams big enough to blow out Wendell Davis's knees, (check out injury no. 11). So in it's totality it was pretty cool getting to see Sportscenter live, but it wasn't nearly as entertaining as catching College GameDay at the Big House as Chris Fowler calmly polished off two slices of pizza as the production lady was counting down the seconds to airtime.

Finally, like I said in the beginning the RenCen is hosting all of the media day activities and while walking around I got to see and smell many of the national radio guys and sportswriters. That's when I realized that I am wasting my time in law school. For instance today I had to shower and dress something like this.

However if I were a sportswriter all of these things wouldn't be necessary. Shower? Maybe tomorrow. Deodorant? Optional. Shave? Yeah right. Sweat pants with holes in the crotch? Formal wear. So people I'm begging you, please send me money to help me pay off all the cash I've wasted on college, and give me a chance to pursue my dream, so that one day I can become this guy.