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Saturday, September 12, 2009

#2 is #1

Toronto FC host the Colorado Rapids today and they're going to need to be a whole lot better than they were last Saturday when they lost at Colorado. Fortunately for them, the bar is set real low considering the putrid performance last Saturday. Does Julian De Guzman make his debut? Tune in to CBC at 3:30 to find out.

After a busy Wednesday of World Cup qualifiers, the English Premier League, among others, are back in business. The big one of the day is Manchester United visiting Tottenham Hotspur at 12:30 (Eastern) and it'll be interesting to see if Spurs can maintain their perfect start against the defending champions.

USC make a visit to Ohio State in their annual grudge match tonight at 8pm. The Buckeyes will need to be a whole lot sharper than they were last week when they let Navy back in the game, even with the Trojans starting a true freshman at quarterback.

Former NHL-er Mike Danton has been released from prison, and says the target of his murder plot wasn't agent David Frost, but was in fact his dad. Seriously, Hollywood couldn't come up with stuff as bizarre as everything surrounding Frost.

Cristiano Ronaldo is barely into the Spanish season and already his team is asking fans to be patient with him and saying he is feeling the pressure of the big fee to move him over as well as his pay cheque. Looks good on you, CR9. Maybe he's just terrified of this diving crackdown will focus on him next?

Derek Jeter finally broke the all-time Yankees hit record, albeit in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles. At 35, you have to think 3,000 is an automatic for #2, with plenty more beyond that.

Speaking of historic, the Toronto Argos won a home game for the first time in over 13 months. No, really. And how's this for a quote: "Toronto (3-7) snapped a five-game losing streak overall before an energetic Rogers Centre gathering of 26,421 -- a stark contrast to the crowds of roughly 11,000 fans the Toronto Blue Jays played before earlier in the week." Way to kick your landlords when they're down.

So after meeting with the District Attorney, it seems Tila Tequila did such a great job in selling her case against Shawne Merriman that the D.A. threw out all charges and said everything but they were completely groundless. Nice work, Tila.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

John who?

Richard Seymour, traded to the Oakland Raiders earlier this week by the New England Patriots, has yet to report to the Raiders. What does it say of the Raiders when a guy is willing to give up big bucks rather than deal with that mess?

Opening night of the NFL season is in the books, and the Pittsburgh Steelers won in overtime 13-10, but did not cover the 5.5 points. Your Prime Time Pick of Under 35.5 was a winner (1-0, +100). Look for more Sunday and Monday, of course. Best part of the game last night? Not how tight it was or the big hits, but Cris Collinsworth in for John Madden. Weird seeing Steeler Santonio Holmes show up to the game rocking a Michael Vick jersey, no?

Ohio State Buckeyes QB Terrell Pryor wore a couple eye black strips last week, one honouring Michael Vick. Of course, some controversy ensued and T.P. got off this odd quote: "Not everybody is a perfect person in this world. I mean, everyone does ... kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me. I just feel people need to give him a chance. I always looked up to Mike Vick and I always will because I still think he's one of the best quarterbacks to me and I just love Mike Vick." Everyone kills people? Really?

So the judge presiding over the Phoenix Coyotes sale/auction is saying he may refuse bids by both the NHL and Jim Balsillie. Is it me, or is this guy starting to sound like he's in love with being a media darling in Canada and the six people who care in the U.S.? If I didn't know better, I'd think he was Lance Ito.

I know the Toronto Blue Jays are officially eliminated from contention, but pulling under 12,000 for a game being started by Roy Halladay seems a tad ridiculous. To riff on a marketing phrase: "you should be at the game, because you're not."

Audrina Patridge in the latest issue of Maxim. Just because.

Derek Jeter needs a single hit to break the all-time Yankees hits record tonight, and it seem almost certain he'll do it. Just hoping he doesn't bunt to do it.

Word is Dany Heatley has been traded to the San Jose Sharks in a three way deal that sees Alexander Frolov and Jarrett Stoll off to Ottawa, and Patrick Marleau off to Los Angeles. Interesting. I'm sure Heatley's rep for not showing up when needed will flourish with the traditionally soft Sharks.

Mike Comrie has signed with the Edmonton Oilers. Wait, don't they hate him in E-Town?

Have a great Friday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Meltdown in London town

As much as I love Thursday night football in general, I can't say I like the season opening on a Thursday night. That said, this opening game ought to be a great one with the hard hitting Tennessee Titans visiting the snot-bubbling Pittsburgh Steelers. Yours truly was 23-14 (62.2%) in Prime Time Picks last season, and we'll start off playing the Pittsburgh/Tennessee Under 35.5. Yes, seems like a low total, but we're talking two run-first teams with great defences. As always, get down at Pinnacle.

Croatian coach Slaven Bilic is treating England like corn on the cob he's buttering them up so bad after England's 5-1 beatdown of Croatia, declaring that England can win next year's World Cup. They've still got some defensive frailties, and their goaltending isn't at all special, or even average, but they did put on a hell of a show in crushing the Croat's. Probably safe to assume some of Bilic's praise is in hopes of England using their remaining two games - one key one at Ukraine - to fine tune things in preparation for South Africa 2010.

Word is David Beckham's option for ownership in an MLS side may lead him to Montreal. Interesting.

Good of Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlesberger for not caving to the easy road and offering a half-hearted apology to get his rape accuser off the hook. Big Ben has rightly recognized his accuser is looking for a way out knowing she's got nothing, and he's refusing to apologize for something he didn't do.

Toronto FC will introduce Julian De Guzman as their big signing at a press conference this morning. He'll bring a quality that TFC hasn't seen to date, and could prove the difference in making the playoffs this year or not. De Guzman will be paid north of $2 million a year if reports are true.

The fine folks at deliver their preview of the coming NFL season and who they think will win the various awards at the conclusion of the year, with a link to who they like in the Super Bowl. Me, I'm liking New England over the New York Giants.

The NHL is uncertain it will allow its players to go to the Olympics in 2014. One problem - arguably its biggest star - Alexander Ovechkin - says nobody will stop him from playing for Russia. Two things: One, good for Ovy. Two, have fun with that potential PR nightmare, Gary Bettman.

Allen Iverson says he's going to Memphis because God told him to. So when do we get the NBA ad with God declaring that hoops is "fantastic"?

Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Suddenly, a weary (wary?) Cowboys fan - yours truly - is starting to feel more optimistic about the squad's chances this year thanks to Emmitt Smith. What does Emmitt have to do with it? He thinks the 'boys won't win more than seven, and we know as a football analyst, he's a hell of a running back. Strangely, the latest ESPN Power Rankings tend to agree with Emmitt, as they've got the Cowboys at #17. Funny that for all the hate the media piles on Terrell Owens, he's the key departure and a team they had ranked tops last year almost universally is now mid-table.

I wonder if the genius that is Tennessee Titan running back LenDale White has told San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman would be wise to quit tequila?

The last 12 NFL seasons have seen an average of five teams make the playoffs that didn't the year prior. I've got the Patriots for one.

Toronto FC's Danny Dichio will announce his retirement today. He'll leave as TFC's first household name, and the way they've been going of late, their only one for a while. Not many guys played with more heart in any sport, and certainly not on that gutless squad. Dichio will join the coaching staff. In other TFC news, looks like the Julian De Guzman deal is hours away.

Did I dream that Steve Koouleas at The Score just gave his picks to win the NHL's awards in a season still 7 weeks from starting?

Another big day of World Cup qualifying, and most eyes will be on Group 6 in Europe with England looking to clinch their birth when they host a depleted Croatian squad, who are minus their best midfielder and defenders in Luka Modric (broken leg) and Vedran Corluka (suspension). Seems the odds are stacked against the Croatian's at Wembley, but they've shocked teams many times in the past where they weren't expected to (Germany, a couple times; England, a couple times) so there is that for fans of the "Vatreni".

On the subject of diving in soccer, David Beckham has called for an end to picking on Croatian/Arsenal forward Eduardo after he was suspended for a pair of games. Say what you will about Beckham, but he's never been one to dive, partly because he plays like he avoids contact like his wife avoids food, but he's dead on when he says that nobody likes it, and it happens every week. He should have added it needs to stop.

Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer says that "somebody will die here." No, not by one of his numerous criminal teammates, he means somebody will die on the field from a hit because of the size and speed of players now. The comment, made with Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers around the table, was not met with disagreement.

There is a new channel launching south of the border called NFL Red Zone which will go to a game as soon as a team hits the red zone. No word if Red Bull is a sponsor for that adrenalin rush.

Best dunk ever?

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

17 straight sub-.500?

That's now 17 straight seasons of sub-.500 baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. That seems almost harder than 17 above .500, no?

Check out Prince Fielder's home run celebration yesterday. I'm sure some "purist" will object, though I don't see the harm - it is an entertainment business after all. And this is damn entertaining.

Speculation is Derek Jeter is going to demand a 4-year, $100 million pact from the Yankees when his current deal expires. Too much term, and too much cash I say. No matter how much he's done, he'll be 37 in the first year of that deal. Jeter's pursuit of the Yankees all-time hits record yesterday stalled with an 0-fer-8 double header.

Carlos Pena has two broken fingers after a getting hit while checking his swing, and the Tampa Rays window for 2009 is all but shut after dropping a double-header yesterday to the Yanks by a combined 15-2 score.

The Labor Day Classic took place south of the border, with Florida State and Miami staging a thriller that went down to the last second. The "U" won 38-34 in an upset of the #18 ranked Seminoles. The CFL versions of the LDC were anything but classic, unless you love seeing the Toronto Argos get killed in general.

In any negotiation when it comes to money, it is always best to assume the first offer isn't the best one. And Jim Balsillie just proved that again, jacking up his bid for the Phoenix Coyotes by a mere $30 million, enough to buy the team out of their lease in Phoenix. I have to say, I laughed out loud when I saw that one. His bid is now $100 million more than the nearest competitor, also known as the NHL.

Jeff Blair at The Globe & Mail wonders where Cito Gaston's slice of the blame is for another lost Toronto Blue Jays season. Sacred cows, Blair, sacred cows.

Sidney Crosby delivered season tickets to a long-time holder in Pittsburgh a couple years back, and she told him they wouldn't win the Stanley Cup that year, but would the next. Which they did. So what did Crosby do? He again delivered her tickets. And brought the Cup. Freaking awesome.

Alex Rios is hitting .154 with one home run and 3RBI in 22 games since moving to the Chicago White Sox. That is ridiculously bad.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jauron soon to be gone

Fired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Turk Schonert isn't leaving quietly, and has fired a blow torch at head coach Dick Jauron, saying he wants a "Pop Warner" offense. Awesome stuff. All is now well in B-lo ahead of their first regular season game, and owner Ralph Wilson summoned Jauron and others for a pow-wow. Gonna get ugly in Buffalo this year, and we haven't even factored in T.O., almost certain to lose it when the Bills fall flat early. It says here Jauron doesn't see Week 7 as Bills coach.

There was no reason that Toronto FC wasn't mentioned here yesterday other than they're supremely frustrating to watch as they put in a crap performance in a game they needed a result from. They're approaching Toronto Raptors levels of frustration for this guy. TFC these days stands for They're Fuckin' Crap. But the Julian de Guzman talk is heating up again with one report it is all but a done deal, though that seems too little and too late.

Some things in life I'll never understand, like why San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman would (a) date that no-talent dishrag Tila Tequila or (b) why he'd be charged for choking her. I mean, who wouldn't want to choke her? Word is Tequila was living up to her name and looking to drive drunk and Merriman tried to stop her.

Toronto Blue Jays commentator Pat Tabler on the Jays brutal record against their division: "if the Jays want to better that record, they'll have to play better." You don't say! Let me guess, the reason they've lost so many is because they don't win?

Derek Jeter needs four hits to break Lou Gehrig's Yankees hits record, and he'll have a double-header at home today against Tampa to get it done. Big night in The Bronx. Yours truly had tickets to the second game tonight and sold them months back. Now my boy Porco in New York, a regular reader here, has himself a helluva ticket to catch the game, or sell at large markup.

Detroit Tiger Magglio Ordonez needs just 18 at-bats to trigger an $18 million option for next season. The Tigers should see if Tonya Harding's crew is available for a little pipe job. He clearly isn't worth that next year.

You're a team with an aging defensive end who has missed multiple games the last two years, but is a definite team leader. The joke of the league offers you a #1 draft pick for said player, and it is likely to be a high pick given who you're dealing with. Do the deal? Of course you do, and the New England Patriots dealt Richard Seymour (Butts) to the Oakland Raiders. Maybe "The Cryptkeeper" Al Davis figures he won't be around to see that draft pick anyways.

Have a great Labour Day.

RM returns at 2pm (Eastern)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rally Head!

The picture to the right is of Atlanta Braves reliever Peter Moylan rocking his "Rally Head". Yes, he shaved his head that way. Awesome.

If you think Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is blowing smoke about high revenue teams like his Dallas Cowboys propping up the weak sisters like Minnesota or Buffalo, you're kidding yourself. It is going to be a very different looking NFL in the coming years.

If you bet against Florida to cover the 73 points, you were a winner. They won 62-3. The upset of the day was #3 Oklahoma losing 14-13 to BYU.

Buster Olney at ESPN floats an idea to help the bottom feeders in baseball: an NFL-styled scheduling system where the top teams from the year prior would play more games against each other and the bottom end would play more against the bottom. Interesting, except I'm not sure the Toronto Blue Jays ticket office would relish the idea of a string of extra games against Kansas City and Oakland with fewer against big sellers Boston and New York. Note that never once does he suggest a salary cap could happen and would fix it. Not happening.

With a ten game home stand coming up, Derek Jeter is all but a lock to break the Yankees all-time hits record held by Lou Gehrig at home.

UEFA President Michel Platini says that despite Real Madrid spending massive bucks, there is no guarantee they're going to win anything. No word on if he reminded us all that the sky is blue and water is wet.

17-year old American Melanie Oudin is turning out to be the giant killer in the first week of the U.S. Open in New York. First she knocked off number four seed Elena Dementieva, and yesterday #29 Maria Sharapova was her victim.

Portugal scored late to draw Denmark and keep what looked to be their fading World Cup hopes alive, not that that would've been that terrible for Portugal's fans, especially when Brazil qualified after a 3-1 beatdown of Argentina. If you havent' seen the phenomenon in play, what happens each World Cup is Portugal's fans drop their colours and support Brazil when their team inevitably goes out because Brazilian's speak Portuguese. No, really, that's it. The funnier thing is the same courtesy does not apply for Brazilian's - they couldn't care less what Portugal does.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers can't stay out of the news this week. Now comes word that a former team president - Dr. Ross Brown - has been convicted of possessing child porn this week. There's a movement afoot to boot him from the Bombers Hall of Fame. This is stunning news - there's a Bombers Hall of Fame?

Have a great Sunday.