NY Post columnist rants about nothing in particular

Also Tuesday, TNN, a Viacom-owned cable network, announced that it was changing its title to "Spike TV." Described by a spokesperson as "unapologetically male," Spike TV promises to be a cut-to-the-chase network in that its primary purpose will be to see that Eric Dybas and those three other punks were not arrested in vain - that there will be many, many more young punks to take their places.

In the ESPN promo, Patrick, who has also lent himself to Coors beer ads, is seen smashing Austin with a folding chair. How clever.

Especially given that pro wrestling is not a sport, what is ESPN's intent here? How does ESPN make shame-shame at the incivility of the young men at Tuesday's White Sox game while attaching itself to Stone Cold, a character whose incivility, to the delight of young, male viewers, is his stock in trade?


Seriously, what the hell is up with the NY Post? It's a lousy paper, but it's always had pretty good sports coverage. What the hell is this "decline of the western world" stuff? Four morons jump on the field and suddenly everyone under 30 is a criminal?

Chill out. You've been talking with the editorial page writers too much.

posted by Poseur 4/18/2003 11:05:00 AM

All right, I admit it, I hate playoffs. Particularly the NHL and NBA's. Why bother with an 82-game regular season if all it's going to do is determine seedings?

The only exception is the NCAA tourney, and it's the incredibly unfair nature of it that makes me like it so much. Anything can happen in one game and often does. But at college basketball has over 300 teams and there's no way all of those teams can meet up in the course of the year. A playoff of some sort is required.

Heck, I'd like to see a playoff in college football, but only for conference champions. I hate wild cards. That's more accurate. I have no problem with playoffs, championship games are pretty cool. But I absolutely abhor wild cards.

Don't win your division/conference/league: shut up. You didn't earn a title bid. Anything the league gives you after that is a gift. So the Lakers can tank the regular season and still go out and win the title. That's a joke.

Shorten the regular season, and let's just get to the only season that matters: the postseason.
posted by Poseur 4/18/2003 10:59:00 AM


The head of the Hall of Fame is still a jackass.

I've avoided commenting on this because, well, it's pretty self-evident Petroskey is a politcal hack trying to politicize the Hall of Fame. He's a petty jackass and he deserves to be ignored into submission. Having the gall to say Robbins was just trying to get publicity is plain stupid. Robbins' political beliefs are no secret to anyone, and he's not the one who cancelled the Bull Durham celebration.

Actually, Robbins' speech at the National Press Club was pretty good. Read it here.

Lost in all this is that Bull Durham is possibly the greatest sports movie ever made. I'll let Crash Davis say it all:

"Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Good-night."

Ignore the bruhaha and go out and buy the DVD.

posted by Poseur 4/17/2003 12:55:00 PM

Hell hath no fury like a NASCAR fan scorned

A NASCAR fan faces up to a year in prison for flooding Fox Entertainment with more than a half-million e-mails because he was angry the network aired a Boston Red Sox game instead of an auto race.

Beautiful. I fully support the right of people to shut down FOX's website. But half a million emails? About NASCAR? Get a grip. Watch fish swim around in a pond for three hours and you can simulate the NASCAR experience.
posted by Poseur 4/17/2003 12:44:00 PM

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Going into the season, there were two teams in the AL Central I would have said had no shot of being any good: Detroit and Kansas City. While Detroit is more than living up to expectations, the Royals are the hottest team in the AL. So what's up?

Detroit can't score. They have 26 runs on the season, 21 behind next-to-last Cleveland (who trail the Orioles by 10 runs themselves). That's beyond anemic. They have a 161/239/229 avg/obp/slg split. That's just God awful. They have a worse slugging pct than on-base average. And their OBP is lower than any team's batting average. Heck, their OPS of 468 trails the Yankees slugging of 540.

The Royals, on the other hand, are merely decent at the plate, plating 71 runs, 7th in the AL. However, they are actually taking walks and getting on base, a nice change of pace in KC. The secret to the Royals success is the pitching.

Their 2.80 ERA leads the AL. The young starters have all done well so far, particularly Hernandez. but most importantly, the bullpen, led by Grimsely, has been outstanding. The Royals are already 4-1 in games decided by two runs or less. I'm not sure the pitching will stay this good, a 2.80 ERA in today's game is pretty ridiculous. So honestly, I think it's a nice start and gives the Royals some hope for the future, but don't expect them in the pennant race this year. But maybe a 500 season?

Detroit's problems, while worse at the plate, extend to the pithcers. Their 4.90 ERA is not good, but it's not cover your eyes awful. The fact they have 59 K's is pretty bad, though. And let's take pleasure in good things, Knotts has been one of the best pitchers in the league through three starts.

Long term? OK, it's a bad team, but it's also a young, bad team. There's some actual prospects out there, who are just in over their heads right now. They'll probably cruise to 100 losses this year, but the foundation is being built for a pretty good team maybe three years down the line. Let's put it like this, their future is brighter than the Orioles'.
posted by Poseur 4/17/2003 12:13:00 PM

Fallout from Arsenal- Man U

Arsene Wenger described the red card set to rule Sol Campbell out of the title run-in and The FA Cup final as a "complete joke".
Campbell was sent off in Arsenal's 2-2 Highbury draw with Manchester United.

Wenger was also forced to come to terms with the possibility Patrick Vieira may be out for a couple of weeks with a recurring knee injury.

The draw was bad news for Arsenal. They are three points down, but still have a game in hand, so they are essentially tied right now for the lead. But failing to pick up ground head to head was huge.

Now both Viera and Campbell out for the last few games? Arsenal's title defense is in deep, deep trouble. The important event is not the draw, but the injury and the red card.
posted by Poseur 4/17/2003 11:52:00 AM


Maybe no team can do it, then. But remember, the Wings didn't just fail at coming back from a 3-0 deficit. They failed to win a game. You can spin that all you want. It still spells failure. On Wednesday night, they reached the pinnacle of frustration late in the second period, when even their best hockey could not yield a goal. Honestly, it was like watching a one-way scrimmage, so dominant were the Wings on offense. But watching them tying to crack Giguere was like watching thieves try to crack a Swiss bank vault. They threw everything at him. Darren McCarty with two hard shots -- denied! Shanahan on a pretty feed from Steve Yzerman -- denied! Yzerman making his own opening, spinning, firing -- denied! Fedorov with two screaming shots -- nothing! It was like chopping at a redwood tree.

At one point, a deflected shot by Mathieu Schneider flipped up in the air like a tossed coin, landed on Giguere's back, and still bounced off to the side of the net. That was pretty much the story for the Wings. Even gravity was on Anaheim's side.

Giguere's getting a ton of credit, which he should, and Joseph is getting a ton of blame, which he shouldn't. Joseph has a GAA of 2.50 which isn't earth-shattering, but it's still pretty damn good. For a team that averages four goals a game, that should have been more than enough. It's just that with Giguere channelling Ken Drysden, every one of Joseph's mistakes got magnified.

The Wings had 55 more shots in the series. That's almost 14 a game. The Wings just couldn't solve Giguere, who is clearly playing the best hockey of his life. How long will it last? Who knows? Just enjoy the ride.

Unless you're from Detroit.
posted by Poseur 4/17/2003 11:45:00 AM


MJ's last game

All right, Jordan is going back to the front office and the Wizards still suck. He didn't embarrass himself during his comeback, nor did he make the Wizards any better. In fact, they are probably worse off, trading for veterans to make an ill-fated playoff run. There's no one to build on, as Rip Hamilton had to go to make space for MJ.

He put up good numbers. A 445 FG%, 291 3-pt, and 822 FT% are all below his career averages, but still pretty darn good. His assists dropped dramatically, but his rebounds actually went up, and 20 PPG is nothing to sneeze at. Even at 40, MJ's really good. But that misses the point.

This was two years the Wizards put their franchise on hold so MJ could prove to us he could still play. Hey, that's great, but the team is no closer to contending than they were in 2001. They're actually further away. Who's worth keeping? Stackhouse can score and nothing else. Larry Hughes is decent. Kwame Brown hasn't developed at all. Actually, Dixon's probably their best young player, making the most of limited minutes. That's a horrible indictment of the franchise. They need help, they need a future, and right now, they don't have one.

posted by Poseur 4/16/2003 02:30:00 PM

Arsenal v. Man U

THE broadcasters of tonight’s little Barclaycard Premiership tussle between Arsenal and Manchester United claim that one in six people on the planet will have access to the game on television. And, if they have access, all one billion of them could do worse than find a seat and a screen.

They will be watching a match that cannot decide a World Cup, a European Cup or even, definitively, a domestic title, but which does not feel any less significant without those credentials. Wider meaning can be set aside for 90 minutes. It is enough to savour the duel between two clubs, two teams and, most intriguing of all, two managers who are engaged in an epic struggle that grows in intensity with each passing year.

It's not exactly for the title, but it's close. This is about as big as a league game can get, so shell out a few bucks and watch it on the tube today. You wan't be disappointed. We're talking about teams so good, they each have goal differentials of over 30. That's insanely good.
posted by Poseur 4/16/2003 12:10:00 PM

What's up with the fans in Chicago when the Royals come to town?

Security at U.S. Cellular Field--where baseball will hold its All-Star Game July 15--is being questioned again in the wake of four separate on-field incidents in Tuesday's White Sox-Kansas City Royals game, the last involving a man who jumped from the first-base side and attacked an umpire near the right-field line in a scene reminiscent of last September's attack on a Royals coach.

What an asshole.

I can't think of anything else to say, other than what a complete, total, and utter asshole.

posted by Poseur 4/16/2003 12:07:00 PM

U.S. athletes dope, too. In related news, sky still blue.

The U.S. Olympic Committee and American sport federations for more than a decade allowed athletes who failed drug tests in qualifying events to compete in the Olympic Games and other world-class competitions.

The Orange County Register reviewed more than 10,000 pages of confidential documents from 1988 to 2000 that show for the first time how the U.S. Olympic movement failed to deal with its own doping issues and kept test results a secret while accusing other countries of failing to control drug use in athletics.

Golly gee. The USOC covered up for doping athletes while accusing other countries of doping? I'm shocked. SHOCKED! I tell you. I can't believe that an organization riddled with fraud and abuse would actually stoop as low as cheating and then covering it up.

I mean, next thing you'll tell me is that the Bush adminstration gives preferential treatment to wealthy donors.
posted by Poseur 4/16/2003 12:03:00 PM

Roy Williams and class

Williams, who was introduced as North Carolina's new coach on Monday, is planning to attend the Jayhawks' annual team banquet Thursday in Lawrence. With tensions and anger over his departure still high, Williams said he realizes it may be a bit uncomfortable.

"It will be hard," Williams said. "Most of the years, I've walked in to a standing ovation. I don't think I'll get that this time. But I want to be there because those people are genuine. I'm going to show my respect for my team and love for my team."

Whether you think Williams taking the UNC job is right or not (I think it is, but I know I'm not going to convince you if you don't), the guy has got class. How many other coaches would still go to the season-ending banquet under these circumstances? My guess is about zero. That will be a tough audience, and one Williams doesn't have to face. But he's going to look everybody in the eye and then leave for UNC. He's not slinking off under cover of night, he's going out with his head held high.

I can't hold it against anyone to go coach at their alma mater. Williams passed up the job once, and I think it's just too tough to pass up your dream job twice. How many more times would they offer the job to him? Maybe once more when he's about to retire? Doubtful, this was his last chance. And second chances don't come around that often in life.

It's tough that his players feel slighted, but Williams has always said the only job he'd leave Kansas for is UNC. And he finally did. It's where his family is, it's where he went to school, it's where his kids go to school. He's going home. How can you be mad at that?
posted by Poseur 4/16/2003 11:57:00 AM

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