Archive for the 'Sports' Category

Scoop Jackson: Proof ESPN will hire anyone if they act hip enough

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

I hate to sound like the aging sportswriter that I am, but for the love of dog, are the Scoop Jacksons and Bill Simmons of the world really the future of the medium? Both can be somewhat entertaining, but Simmons and his 76,000-word narcissistic spewings, and Jackson’s hipper-than-thou nonsense get real annoying, real quick in my book.

Jackson’s effort today, a hysterical grouping of words regarding the Phoenix Suns starting the season 2-5, is a true monument to one-sentence paragraphs. Here are some actual paragraphs.

It seems like Jekyll and Hyde, the Britney and K-Fed, for the Phoenix Suns from last year to this year … damn.


Then this.

So, what is wrong?

No pride.

Or am I reaching?

Or pride.

Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps I’ve become a creative curmudgeon. Personally, however, I can only think of one reason why ESPN highlights crap like this on a consistent basis.

No pride.

UPDATE: Appears ESPN hired another long-winded, one-sentence paragraph lover.


Some recent blogs

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

A bit of what I’ve been doing at

If O.J. Simpson can get iffy, so can a golf blogger
In a career full of glorious achievements, including gaining 2,003 yards rushing in 1973, the Naked Gun movies, the murders of his wife and her friend, and the O.J. Simpson Trial, O.J. Simpson is preparing for his next blockbuster smash - his new book “If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened.” Read more

De La Hoya-Mayweather bout will highlight how age matters more in boxing than golf
Having recently signed up a mega fight that will occur in May 2007, the Mayweather-De La Hoya bout will be a perfect example of how age is different in boxing than in any other sport. De La Hoya goes into the fight with edges in experience, quality of opposition and weight. He’ll leave the fight bloody, battered and stopped. Read More

An important tip for all golfers: Beware of rugby players
Up to 14 teams and 428 players can compete on the field at the same time during a rugby match. Read more

John Daly, Britney Spears get divorced: A new power couple awaits
On a day when election coverage should be the only news that matters, two massive events have shaken the United States, leaving the elections in the dust. Both John Daly and Britney Spears are getting divorced.
Read More


Major League Soccer goes for the Beckham double: Sign aging star, cease existing as a league

Monday, November 6th, 2006

In an attempt to prove the theory that people who find soccer boring will still consider it boring even if you throw an aging star in the middle of it, the Los Angeles Galaxy has announced its interest in signing David Beckham, who is currently out-of-favor with Real Madrid in the Spanish League.

“There are thousands of clubs out there that would love to have a player of his calibre,” Galaxy boss Alexi Lalas told the BBC. “And the Los Angeles Galaxy is certainly one of them.”

Madrid has made it clear they are willing to re-sign Beckham, mostly due to his huge popularity throughout Europe and Asia. Beckham, however, is looking to be in Madrid’s starting 11, though that appears increasingly unlikely with the strong play by Spaniard Jose Antonio Reyes.

The odds of Beckham ending up in the U.S. are extremely long, as there has been a bubbling of interest for Beckham to rejoin his countrymen in the English Premiere League. Still, the allure of playing in the heart of the world’s film industry could provide too much temptation for Team Beckham.

One thing can be said for sure: It would be a horrendous move on the part of Major League Soccer, which would be required to pay top dollar to a player well past his prime, with injuries and down time a serious liklihood. It would fill seats for a little while, but within a year, Beckham’s star would cease shining across the U.S.

Destroying the pay structure and focusing on one popular foreign player would be simply ruinous for the MLS.


Argentina’s soccer boss shows his true colors: When times are tough, quit

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Nothing like the coach of your national team giving helpful suggestions that include quitting your club team due to a lack of immediate success after moving their from a far-off continent.

Tevez: “We just need time to adjust.”

From RTE Sport:

Argentina boss Alfio Basile claims Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano are only showing ‘half-hearted’ commitment to West Ham and should leave Upton Park.

Both Argentina internationals signed for the Hammers on August 31, and despite their reputation neither has made a significant impact in the Barclays Premiership.

Basile, appearing on Argentinian TV channel TyC Sports, said: ‘I hope both leave that club as soon as possible. I think they are half-hearted and I’m really worried about that. They play as if they are unenthusiastic.

Tevez and Mascherano have now played five games at West Ham. Just a hunch, ut I have a feeling these two stellar players will have things straightened out with the Hammers if you give them a few more weeks. Then maybe Basile can find a reason to advise Leo Messi to leave Barcelona, for some other equally stupid and hysterical reason.


President Bush visits Tampa Bay Bucs - team loses all Republican support

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Eager to further distance themselves from President George W. Bush, Republican lawmakers quickly worked to oppose the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the President visited the team’s practice facilities.

The Bucs are 0-2 thus far in the season, having been outscored 41-3, overall. Bush told reporters he told the team to “never give up” in a closed-door meeting.

“Some people say Tampa Bay is playing bad football,” said Bush. “I say, they are exploring alternative football practices. They would be foolish to change starting quarterback Chris Simms, or any other player for that matter. Defeat after defeat after defeat after defeat after defeat after defeat builds character.”

Many prominent Republicans were quick to voice their anger over the Tampa Bay visit, trying to show they are not in step with everything the President wants.

“I say go Steelers,” said Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. “Sure, I’ve voted for everything this President has ever presented. Sure, I’ve walked his dogs. Yeah, I’ve rubbed his tummy when he didn’t feel good. And, of course, I’ve sworn a blood oath to Dick Cheney. But let’s remember the important things. Go Steelers. NFL champions.

For his part, Bucs coach Jon Gruden told reporters he’d sell his left leg if he had the 28 percent or so support that Bush currently enjoys.

Dude from the Olympics “Ecstatic” that his latest doping tests comes back negative

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

From the AP:

Marion Jones’ latest comeback came in a laboratory, where her backup sample turned up clean — a stunning twist that clears her to compete and could validate a long list of triumphs sullied by years of doping allegations. …

“I am absolutely ecstatic,” Jones said in a statement released by her lawyers. “I have always maintained that I have never ever taken performance enhancing drugs, and I am pleased that a scientific process has now demonstrated that fact.”

Jones was especially ecstatic because every other athlete he has ever known, including ex-husband CJ Hunter, has been proven to be a steroid-guzzling cheat.

In other news, deposed Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has announced that he will ride to the ends of the earth to clear his own name, or at least try to find out what lab tested Jones’ B Sample and give them a holler.


Only Chelsea, injuries may stop FC Barcelona from another double

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

In humiliating German champions Bayern Munich for the Hans Gamper trophy at the Nou Camp, Barcelona showed two things to be blatantly obvious.

First, the defending La Liga and Champions League titlists are in much stronger form than any soccer team has a right to be at this juncture of the campaign. And second, only a slew of devastating injuries and/or perhaps Chelsea will stand in the squad’s way of repeating its impressive double of 2005.

More juggernaut than team, Barcelona takes the term “loaded” to its highest level. Led by the other-worldly talent of Ronaldinho Gaucho — adequately humbled by a poor showing at the 2006 World Cup — the Spanish side has an offense of the highest quality.

In Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto’o and Leo Messi, Barca is able to field four of the most inventive offensive forces in football. Add to that a healthy Xavi, Carles Puyol and three brilliant off-season heists - Eidur Gudjohnsen, Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram to go along with experienced role players and fans at Nou Camp should expect to be showered with fireworks throughout the campaign.

Real Madrid and Valencia would go into any other season as heavy favorites, but with each team battling new coach and chemistry issues, it appears unlikely they could make a solid run at Barca, where harmony has been as much an advantage as talent. Nonetheless, Madrid’s signings of Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mahamadou Diarra should help the team stave off some of the on- and off-field embarrassments the Galacticos have suffered the past several seasons.

In the end, however, only mighty Chelsea could keep Joan Laporta’s side from sweeping the Spanish and Champions’ titles, as its talent-laden squad that includes Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko will hopefully force a third consecutive, delicious Champions League showdown with the team from Barcelona.

It is conceivable that ennui could be a foe, as well, but as the season fights through its birth pangs, it seems increasingly likely that Barcelona may well have a team, and a season for the ages.


Dunga gives Brazil’s national soccer team a punch in the heart

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

A couple months and a new coach made all the difference for the Brazil national soccer team.

Heading into the 2006 World Cup with a team loaded to the gills with talent — Ronaldinho Gaucho, Kaka, Adriano, Ronaldo, Lucio, etc — coach Carlos Alberto Parreira went with the idea that the star power would come together and Brazil would once again hoist the World Cup trophy.

Parreira couldn’t have been more wrong as Brazil — which warmed up for the World’s largest tournament with weak friendlies, including one against an under-20 team — never seemed in sync and crashed out lamely against a determined French side.

Changes had to be made, and they’ve been made fast and furiously. Parreira is out and Brazil legend Dunga is in. Dunga, who has never previously coached, helped lead Brazil to the World Cup title in 1994, and is known as a Pete Rose type of player, sans the gambling issues. He was a player whose heart made up for any lack of skill, and Brazilians are hoping he’s the man who puts the heart back into the revered national team.

Dunga himself was quick to put his stamp on the team, favoring more players who are based in Brazil. And Dunga did the unthinkable in selecting the squad that will play Norway on Aug. 16 — he left off Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaka, Adriano and a host of others, and went with hungrier young players like Fred, Jonatas, Robinho, Vagner Love and Cruzeiro midfielder Wagner.

It remains to be seen who Dunga will choose when Brazil plays much-hated rival Argentina on Sept. 2, but the young coach has made his first statement and made it loudly — if you are planning on putting on the legendary yellow jersey of Brazil, you had better bring your heart.


Floyd Landis breaks the camel’s back: All athletes are now doped

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

As the doping scandal — and it is a doping scandal — of Floyd Landis enters the ludicrous stage, with Landis’s lawyer now just randomly running excuses up the flagpole, it’s time that we as sports fans admit defeat and accept the inevitable.

They’re all doped up now. All of them. When the winner of the Tour de France takes drugs to win, he incriminates everyone. Because Floyd Landis doesn’t have a “naturally high testosterone level.” And dehydration didn’t cause his testosterone level to scream “Cheater!”

“Maybe a combination of dehydration, maximum effort,” Jose Maria Buxeda, Landis’s lawyer said. The claim is so far removed from any reality known to doping situations, one can only interpret it as some type of code admitting guilt.

And it leaves us all screwed. Because now, until every athlete is checked after every performance, they are all guilty to sports fans.

Someone hits a 500-foot home run? It was because they were doped.

Score 82 points in an NBA game? Doped.

Knock out a string of contenders? It was the drugs.

It’s not fair, of course. But perception is everything. Landis admitted such while screaming innocence. But it’s way more than his reputation that has been fatally besmirched, it’s the entire sporting world now.

Because enough is enough. They’re all doped now.


Great World Cup weekend has U.S., Brazil and Aussies dancing

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

As an American soccer fan living in Brazil, it’s been a good World Cup weekend. Extremely good, actually.

First Ghana did Africa proud by blasting Czech Republic, 2-0, in a game that helped leave the door open for the U.S. team. The U.S. then earned some respect back with an impressive and thrilling 1-1 tie with Italy.

So for the U.S., it comes down to this. If Italy wins and the U.S. beats Ghana, the U.S., as unlikely as it seemed a few days ago, will advance to the KO rounds.

To finish off the weekend, my wife, her father and I went to a bar to watch Brazil beat Australia, 2-0. Not the most impressive performance by Brazil, but the goal by Fred was great to see, as he’s a former Cruzeiro star and I’ve seen him score about 12 goals live in Brazil.

Oddly enough, the bar I went to was one that a group of 30 or so Australians also went to, creating a small rivalry between the Aussies and the Brazilians. Of course, the Australians weren’t really expecting to win, so their spirits were high.

And after the final whistle, Brazilians and Australians danced together for well over an hour at the bar. Surreal stuff, and a great end to a great soccer weekend.