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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bridge Burning

UFC 126 goes tonight, with a juicy Middleweight title bout between Champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort headlining things.  Those two got into an awesome stare down at the weigh ins when Silva donned a mask after accusations by Belfort that he's a fake and wears a mask in public. Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin is guaranteed to be a slugfest, with somebody - or both - busted open and up before a winner emerges, and there's a real interesting Light Heavyweight bout between the electric and eclectic Jon Jones and undefeated Ryan Bader. The entire card here.

The focal point of the EPL schedule this weekend has to be Liverpool's visit to Chelsea tomorrow morning, especially with former Liverpool star Fernando Torres to make his debut for the Blues.  Leaders Manchester United face lowly Wolves today on the road.  United boss Sir Alex FergusonUnited to wrap up the season figures it will take 84 points for , or 30 more in the 14 games remaining.  Former United striker and now Man City star Carlos Tevez says his team is out of the running this year.

There are at least 12 annoying and obnoxious people at every Super Bowl party, and as usual, if you can't identify one, that means you're likely it.  Your final Prime Time Pick of the NFL season comes tomorrow morning. Wager accordingly.

Pretty sad that a win over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves is enough to get the Toronto Raptors a trending topic on Twitter.   Of course, the Raptors are "competing" with Minnesota for a higher draft pick so not all wins are created equal.

Because mullets never get old.

The first song off the new Foo Fighters record, due out April 12th, live last night in Hollyweird, because I freaking love the Foos Bridge Burning:

White Limo.  Holy hell!

Dear Rosemary, with Bob Mould of Husker Du fame:

Friday, February 4, 2011

That Mickey Mantle, New York Yankee legend, sure was a funny dude.  In 1973, the Yankees were looking to celebrate 50-years of the previous Yankee Stadium so they asked many players for their personal highlites. Check out the letter requesting his input, and his epic, epic reply, confirmed by Snopes as legitimately his.
 Madden's video game series has run its annual simulation for the Super Bowl, and is on a six of seven run. This year's simulation has Pittsburgh as a 24-20 winner, for what it is worth, on a TD in the final two minutes.

Have to say, I'm utterly stunned that an Associated Press poll in the U.S. found that only 27% of those asked were in favor of expanding the NFL season to 18 games from the current menu of 16.  I'd have guessed it was closer to 100% in favor, quite honestly, than as low as 27.  Then again, maybe they took the poll only to Buffalo and Cleveland?

Deadspin delivers the ten worst men in sports.  Clearly, Ontario Teachers Pension Fund or MLSE don't count as "men" in the traditional sense.

Tom Verducci at tags San Francisco Giant Madison Bumgarner and San Diego Padre Mat Latos among the starting pitchers most at risk of injury due to the Year After Effect - too many innings pitched in 2010 over the year before, 2009 in this case, while under the age of 25.  He's had stunning success working this formula to predict injuries in the following year, 2011 in this case.

Saw the NHL Trade Centre ad on TSN for the first time last night. Barely slept last night thinking about the horror being inflicted on an unsuspecting public who get suckered into enduring that.

Clyde Drexler sees a day when London, England will have an NBA franchise of its own.  Clearly, concussion issues extend beyond the NFL and NHL.  The chances of that happening ought to drop considerably (sub-zero) when two games are played there shortly between the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors.  Both will be home games for the Nets however, because the NBA figures nobody in Jersey would notice.

One of my all-time fav Yankees is calling it a career today.  Andy Pettitte never threw the hardest or was anybody's first pick to start a playoff series.  But he was as money as it came in the playoffs for so many years, not to mention 240 regular season wins, and I've got so many memories of Pettitte nailing down key playoff wins year after year.  I couldn't care less that he used HGH, whether for a couple times or for years, he was always a class act in my eyes, and I was glad to be at Yankee Stadium to see his 200th win a few years back.  See you at Old Timer's Day, someday, #46.  

Ever wondered how much a Super Bowl flyover costs?  A mere $450,000.  They should charge double when doing it over a domed stadium.

"This is the most illegal thing I've seen in the history of wrestling".  Incredible vid.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

James Harrison delivers the sarcasm

If you're ever looking to snag a gift for yours truly, I'd love the Billy Ripken card at right.  Not because I'm a collector, but I'd love to own that one.

Count the Wynn Las Vegas, a ridiculously filthy rich hotel that cost $2.5 billion to put up, with another $2.7 billion (yes, BILLION) going to its sister hotel Encore next door, and a place that hosted yours truly in November on a work trip, among the casinos worried about the damage an NFL work stoppage would do to their sports books in the second half of 2011.

Ben Roethlesberger isn't exactly staying down while in Dallas for the Super Bowl.  Here's vid of him at a Dallas piano bar, lighting it up on stage.  Word is he bought rounds for the entire bar.  No word on if there was any rape.

The Atlanta Trashers have 20% of all the NHLers black players.

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte says it takes about half a game to figure out what the Green Bay Packers defence is doing.  And his Bears had the benefit of three games against them this year.  More and more, I'm liking the Packers this weekend.

The funniest part of Toronto Maple Leaf Kris Versteeg whining about vandals writing in the dirt on his Audi R8 was that he had to mention they wrote "stuff all over my $150,000 car."  Now, I think messing with a guy's sled is usually a dick move - save for spitting on someone's windshield that parks too close, which I know a few people are partial to - but I'm sure the world is not overly sympathetic to something you can fix with a $10 car wash.  Guess Versteeg didn't notice what happened when the waffle tossing at the Air Canada Centre started to get covered - more people did it.  He can expect more writing on his sled now. presents its annual list of the Top 99 Women.

Make that 22 straight losses for the Cleveland Cavaliers who are getting historic with their ineptitude. The Toronto Raptors have dropped 13 straight themselves and now own the third worst record in the NBABruce Arthur at the National Post says the Raptors are losing right.

Nick Webster at Fox Sports Soccer says the money Chelsea dropped to grab Fernando Torres signals their intent to splash the cash around after a quiet year and a bit prior, and want badly to take a run at the Champions League this year.  Worth mentioning: Chelsea had a huge operating loss of £68.6m ($110 million Canadian) for their last full financial year.

Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison, he of the $100k worth of fines for some questionable hits this year, got off this gem: "I don't want to hurt nobody, I don't want to step on nobody's foot and hurt their toe, I don't want to have no dirt or none of this rubber on the field fly into their eye and make their eye hurt, I just want to tackle them softly on the ground and, if y'all can, lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them so they don't hit the ground too hard, Mr. Goodell."  Harrison also thumbed his nose at the concussion debate, saying it isn't an issue if you don't tell your teams' medical staff.  Guessing that comment will draw Commissioner Goodell's attention more than the previous.

Perhaps the worst rap or parody (both?) ever, on the subject of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Sloppy Ben Roethlisberger

True story: the NHL came back to play last night and I had no idea til I saw a Twitter blast about the Toronto Maple Leafs winning.

Albert Pujols batting average has gone down the last three year's while his strikeouts have gone up, so not sure where he figures a mid-market club - at best - in St. Louis should drop a 10-year deal on him.  I don't think a 10-year deal is a wise play for anybody. If his agent is looking to the big boys in New York, the Yankees have first tied up with Mark Texeira and the Mets have some money problems thanks to Bernie Madoff, and both Boston (Adrian Gonzalez) and Philadelphia (Ryan Howard) have first locked down too. Doesn't leave much, does it?  Oh, relax Blue Jays fan, it ain't happening.

Wayne Rooney scored a pair of first half goals for Manchester United in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa and that has to be an ominous sign to the rest of the EPL if he's finding his form, which would effectively make him the best transfer deadline pickup.  In other action yesterday, Chelsea had to rally for a 4-2 win over Sunderland, while Arsenal had to come from behind to down Everton 2-1.  Six more games on the schedule today.

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, a Chelsea man for less than 48 hours, is already talking about how he'd like to score against his former team. Bad form, FT.  Besides, you're more likely to be hurt anyways.

Crazy NFL stat of the day: it costs $25,000 per game for Fox Sports to have the yellow first down line visible to TV viewers.  Here's how they do it.

In ten days time - February 13th - the Washington Wizards, 0-25 on the road, will visit Cleveland, losers of 21 straight and 31 of 32.  Appointment viewing it is not.

Can't avoid hearing that new Rihanna song where she keeps asking "What's my name?" repeatedly.  Chris Brown must have one wicked right hook.

Check out this coach who not only (1) drove drunk, but (2) did it with a student in the vehicle and (3), well, read on.

Don't believe me when I say there are no new dunks left in the NBA Dunk Contest?  Check out this incredible work to plot each dunk in dunk contest history by score, with a simple click taking you to the YouTube vid of said dunk.  Somebody had some serious, serious commitment to this project!

Remember that gas station brawl we had vid of last week?  Seven people were arrested in the aftermath.

Still trying to figure out what happened in the last episode of The SopranosThis compelling piece says Tony was killed, with fantastic evidence to illustrate why.

There's been talk recently that CBC would be hard pressed to keep its sports properties.  Word is they've lost the rights to hosting MLS to TSN.  Wonder if TSN or SportsNet pony up for Hockey Night in Canada?  Do they keep Don Cherry?  Here's hoping not.

Those crazy kids at EpicMealTime are back with The Sloppy Roethlesberger, just in time for Super Bowl.

The greatest sports pep talk ever.  How did Emelio Estevez "win, win, win!" from The Breakfast Club not make the grade?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ron Wilson finishes where his team's do

A survey of 318 NHLers ranked Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson as dead last among coaches players would like to play forLeafs GM Brian Burke was said to be furious at the results, but he might want to pay attention to them if he's got intentions of signing free agents with a coach so unappealing on a mass level.

Think the Green Bay Packers are thrilled the Super Bowl will be indoors this year?  Since 2008, their offense has averaged 31.8 points-per-game indoors and they have over 40 in their two playoff games indoors.  Rodgers has 26 touchdowns, five interceptions for those 12 games.

Joel Sherman at the NY Post ranks all MLB team's off-seasons, and ranks the Toronto Blue Jays off-season as tops in the game, though he also says their contention window is 2013 and onward, not 2012 as many seem to think.

Things are going well in Dallas so far.  The Dallas Fort-Worth airport is closed this morning thanks to some horrible weather that we'll be seeing in these parts of Ontario today and tomorrow.  Do the world a favor, don't be the loser whining on Facebook about the weather.  Ever.  People already know.  Mock those tools.

How  popular was Ben Roethlesberger six months back with this Pittsburgh Steeler teammates?  So popular that when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell interviewed two dozen Steelers while deciding on Big Ben's suspension last fall, not a single one said anything supportive of their QB.  That, or he interviewed two dozen NFLers, some of whom were Steelers Important distinction you blew there, Peter King As always, the original story grabs more spotlight than the retraction.

The Minnesota Twins announced last week that they'd retire Bert Blylevin's #28 jersey.  I thought it only appropriate to wait before mentioning it.

There's something very refreshing about watching soccer games from around the world and not having to hear the constant nonsense about a "Hall of Fame" that you hear as it relates to sports on this side of the pond, as if that is the be all and end all.

NFL jersey's in soccer jersey style.

It'll take a few minutes, but here are the 100 Best Nicknames in Sports History.

After signing Freddy Garcia yesterday, and earlier no-risk deals with Mark Prior and Bartolo Colon, the New York Yankees are looking like good bets to win the 2005 World Series.  Had to give my squad the business after lighting up the Tampa Bay Rays for their ManRam and Johnny Damon signings.

As mentioned here yesterday, Fernando Torres did indeed make the jump to Chelsea from Liverpool, with the latter buying Andy Carroll from Newcastle to go with Luis Suarez, who we assume will play striker and not in goal.  Fox Sports Soccer looks at the winners and losers at the transfer window deadline for most of Europe.

Hands down, THE most racist ad you'll ever see in your life.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Yes, the NHL All-Star Game and NFL's Pro Bowl Still Suck

Yours truly is rarely shy about giving an opinion, and the All-Star concepts of the NFL and NHL were no strangers to that in the last week.  But, in the spirit of keeping an open mind, I forced myself to tune in at least for a few minutes yesterday and was reminded of why both are an utter waste of time.  You've got a 21 goal NHL game, in a league and era where you're lucky to see 21 goals over five regular season, and yet the All-Star game was actually more boring as far as I could tell.  What's more exciting than a goal and literally nobody gets out of their seats and almost as many applaud?  That said, seeing the small net accuracy in the Skills Relay on Saturday was damn impressive.  Still, if you spent your weekend absorbing all that, and the draft...well, you know where I sit on that.  As for the Pro Bore, caught the dying minutes to see a series of snaps where not a single lineman touched the guy lined up across from him as the AFC worked a meaningless TD in a very representative-of-the-real-thing 55-41 win for the NFC.

The best stat you'll hear during Super Bowl week: the 60 - SIXTY - strip clubs in Big D are looking to bring in a few extra strippers to meet the demand of the fans descending on Dallas for the game.  And by "few extra strippers", we mean 10,000. 

During yesterday's Boston Celtic visit to the LA Lakers, when asked by a Lakers ballboy to sign a ball, the always classy Kevin Garnett was heard replying: "You got a better chance of catching Bin Laden"

Spring Training isn't far off, so why not take a peak at baseball's best 50 prospects, or, if you have ESPN Insider, Keith Law's Top 100.

One final thing on the NHL All-Star game.  Sure, Phil Kessel may have been picked last, but isn't the bigger joke that Cam Ward went first?  At least Kessel can say he's got as many goals as Alexander Ovechkin and Dany Heatley.

If the rumor is accurate, Liverpool's Fernando Torres is on his way to Chelsea today, with the move about to be completed.

Forbes Magazine says 17 of 30 NBA teams lost money last year. If you're the players unions, shouldn't you be asking what kind of impact the financial sinkhole that is the WNBA had on that, and if they it goes to the glue factory in the next labor war?

Kevin Durant - who by all accounts is a fantastic guy in addition to player - lit into Chris Bosh, calling him a "fake tough guy".  I think the "fake" tag extends a lot further than the "tough guy" bit with Bosh, but he's definitely right on that one.  After all, it was Bosh who asked for extra games off last year with the Toronto Raptors in the playoff hunt, the very same guy that whined this year of a player diving near his toesies for a loose ball.

The clock for the St. Louis Cardinals to extend the great Albert Pujols is ticking quickly, and word is he will decline any trade proposals with his veto on that.  The Cards best get the chequebook out, or call in McGruber.

Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun, for the second Monday in a row here, sheds the light of reality on the Toronto Blue Jays: "I seem to be in the minority on this, but I worry about the Blue Jays. I wonder how they’re going to replace the 60-plus home runs they’re bound to lose with Vernon Wells and John Buck gone and Jose Bautista certain not to hit 54 again. I wonder who is going to step in for the 195 innings Shaun Marcum pitched, the 15 starts that he took them into the seventh inning or deeper? I wonder how many infield errors there will be with Adam Lind playing first base instead of Lyle Overbay? I wonder if it’s possible for Brett Cecil to go 8-2 against the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, again. I wonder if the Baltimore Orioles, 34-23 after Buck Showalter took over as manager, push the Jays closer to the bottom of the American League East, rather than closer to the top. The Jays were 15-3 against Baltimore last summer, most of those wins coming before Showalter took over. That won’t happen again. There is little doubt that GM Alex Anthopoulos is building for the future and his intense and private work has been indeed impressive. The Jays won 85 games last season, but the only on-field area in which they’ve improved is in the bullpen. An 80-win season might not be possible."  But fear not, Jays fan, the Jays will have a lot of money to spend in 2012, and Paul Beeston thinks Toronto is a market that should be able to sustain a payroll of $140-$150 million.  Shame free agents don't look to Toronto as a destination.  Can't wait for higher Rogers bills!

I'm sure Peyton Manning will be thrilled to hear the terms "not immortal" and "hit a wall" associated with him, especially when they were dropped by teammate Reggie Wayne.  We all know how kindly Peyton takes to being criticized by teammates.

Okay, really the last word on the wastes of time that were the Pro Bowl.  Here are nine sporting events less relevant than the Pro Bowl.
For those that don't have ESPN Insider, Buster Olney got off a series of great would-be tweets if George Steinbrenner used Twitter.  Enjoy.@TheBoss_Yankees
  • Just bought the Yankees. This is the last you'll hear from me. Best owners are absent owners.
  • For the record, I'm against free agency. It will ruin the game. Also, we just signed Catfish Hunter. Good man.
  • BILLY IS BACK!! Nobody knows more about baseball than Billy. Born leader.
  • Just talked to Billy about that one's-a-born-liar, the-other's-convicted quote. I assured him he never said it.
  • You heard it from me -- Billy just resigned. Anybody who says I had anything to do with it is a complete liar.
  • Forget what you've read. I never called a manager in the dugout to dictate who should play or to say that he'd made a mistake.
  • Bowie Kuhn has rejected Vida Blue acquisition. What a bozo.
  • How about that joke of a performance. Ken Clay spat the bit. He's a morning glory.
  • Billy is hired. He'll be taking over the club in two years. Not sure what Lemon's next role will be, but he'll love it.
  • BUCKY DENT!!!!!!! To the Red Sox fan who threw that slice of pizza at me in the second inning: Have a nice cold winter!!!!!
  • Dumb decision by MacPhail re: Brett's pine tar bat. I would not want to be him living in NYC. He better start house-hunting close to KC.
  • Don't mean to brag, but it has been a really, really, really, really bad night for marshmallow salesmen. More later.
  • To all Yankees: Sorry for that embarrassing performance against the Dodgers. There will be changes.
  • Misquoted again re: Yogi. I am often misquoted. I am supportive of my managers, even though they all may not think so.
  • I'm really 95 percent Mr. Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch.
  • Mr. October, my A##! How about a clean single with a runner at third in April??????????
  • Dave Winfield is Mr. May, as far as I'm concerned. I long for the days of Mr. October.
  • Doyle Alexander stinks. I'm afraid some of my players will get hurt playing behind him.
  • The team just hasn't looked ready to play in this first week. Change necessary. Sorry, Yogi.
  • I wouldn't sell the Yankees for anything. Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa. You don't sell it.
  • Mattingly's hair has gotten so long that he looks like one of the Beatles -- one of their girlfriends, I mean.
  • Sometimes I am unreasonable. I have to catch myself. But at least I can catch, right @DonSlaughtMachine??
  • @FayVincent. I accept the suspension. Doesn't mean I like you. Please go take flying leap off Thompson Memorial Chapel.
  • During my suspension, considering following @BanShman -- big Yanks fan.
  • Saw that Jeter kid at exhibition game. He looks like a winner. Except that he's from Michigan, and not Ohio. :)
  • Our guys just didn't look ready to play against Braves in Game 1. Shaping up to be a national embarrassment.
  • Just left Torre's office. Told him he has all the resources he needs, he has all support he needs. Time to win. Or else.
  • Congratulations to the Braves for being the second best team in baseball!!!!!
  • I see Paul O'Neill and I think: Warrior. But he needs to pick up his batting average.
  • @BrianCashmanGM just told me @RandyBigUnitJohnson was traded to Astros. If we lose World Series to Houston, it will be @BrianCashmanGM's fault.
  • AL President Gene Budig has fined the Yankees for alleged misdoings. I bet that guy has never worn a jock in his life.
  • @HidekiIrabu_Yanks is a fat pus-y toad.
  • Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser.
  • Every time I go out on the streets, the cab drivers here love me. They are real New Yorkers.
  • The first Subway Series in more than 40 years. I'm pretty sure the Mets have bugged our clubhouse.
  • @BrianCashmanGM. Get on a flight to Tampa now, go to complex and wait for my call. No XMAS vacation for you.
  • Looked like Joe's players weren't ready for Game 1 vs. Arizona.
  • Larry Lucchino called us The Evil Empire. All I can say is, how's the Babe Ruth trade working for you guys?
  • AARON BOONE!!!!!! He is A WINNER!!!!!! The third baseman of the future for the Yankees!!!!!!!
  • Re: loss to the Red Sox in playoffs: Nice fat fastball that @JavyVazquez threw to Damon. You will never see him wear pinstripes again.

Finally today, beforea video, some of the better Super Bowl prop bets from, with my picks in brackets:
  • How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the Star Spangled Banner? -- Over/Under: 1 minute 50 seconds (over, most at YouTube are in the 2 minute range)
  • How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note "Brave" at the end of the National Anthem? -- Over/Under: 6 seconds (gotta go over)
  • How many times will FOX show Jerry Jones on TV during the Game? -- Over/Under: 3 (over, lock of the day)
  • Will a punt hit the scoreboard during the game? -- Yes: 10/1 (has only happened once, not happening)
  • Will a Steelers player do the Aaron Rodgers Championship Belt Celebration during the game?
    Yes: Even; No: -140 (no)
  • How many current NFL players will be arrested during Super Bowl week? Over 0.5: +150; Under 0.5: -200 (over, value play)
Just because you're rocking a "Tap Out" shirt doesn't mean you can take a shot.