Monday, September 27, 2010

Well, it's not the Reds

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's been a while. Working on some things, and should have some fun posts up soon. But I just wanted to jump in here, because a Sportscenter promo on Monday Night Football just now stuck in my craw. Stuart Scott, from the Soldier Field sideline, pops up to remind us to stay tuned for Sportscenter after the game where they'll tell us "which team just clinched their division... for the fourth straight year". Jaysus. If the answer's going to be so damn obvious, why ask the question?

This is the kind of thing that gets me yelling at the TV, which Hillary thinks is hysterical.

Oh yeah, it's the Phillies, by the way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Commencing Quarterback Controversy in 3...2...

Well, that was something, huh? The Kevin Kolb era got off to about the worst start imaginable: he sucked, got hurt, and his backup was great in rallying the team against a superior opponent. And now he gets to spend the season looking over his shoulder, and we all are going to wonder if Vick isn't the answer. The Eagles, at least offensively, didn't belong on the same field with the Green Bay Packers in the first half. Under Vick, they looked like a different team. It's a unique situation, in which the backup is not only more accomplished then the starter, but still in his prime. Kolb really has no window for growing pains. Not in this city, at least.

The defense looked good, though, all things considered; those things being often dealing with a short field due to poor special teams play, and having to be on the field every two minutes or so in the first half. But they got consistent pressure on Aaron Rogers without having to blitz on every play, which was a big problem last year, and forced him into several mistakes. But they slumped noticeably when Stewart Bradley went out, and I still think they need another cornerback. It's hard to read too much into this game, because the Packers are very, very good. Next week gets easier, against the Lions, but they won't be a pushover.

Oh, and Donovan McNabb is 1-0. He wasn't great, but good enough. The Cowboys sure don't look like a Super Bowl contender, though. Due to the quirky scheduling yesterday I was able to watch all four NFC East teams, and the division sure looks wide open. The Giants, at times, looked like the same group that fell apart last year, but to their credit they came out strong at halftime and ran over an inferior opponent. Competent quarterback play, in this case meaning NOT throwing three interceptions in the end zone, probably would have been enough to beat them, though. A lesson the Eagles certainly reinforced, and would do well to remember.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Made a Quiz-- Titles Won at WrestleMania

So I suppose by doing this I'm outing myself as a wrestling fan. Ah well. That's not as bad as when James did this (it's close, though). Anyway, this is a quiz of wrestlers that won a championship at WrestleMania. It's actually tougher then you might think, because some very prominent names never actually captured a title at WrestleMania (meaning they came in as the challenger and left as the champion). And some pretty obscure guys actually won multiple championships. I actually took this after I was done making it and almost missed a couple.

Titles Won at WrestleManina Quiz

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Football Post for which I Could Not Think of a Name

For the past, I dunno, five years or so, I've made the same Superbowl prediction, Eagles vs. Chargers. I don't think that's going to happen this year-- but more because of the Chargers then the Eagles, honestly. I think this is a pretty wide open year, with my hunch being that a lot of the traditional powers will take a step back, and that we'll see some surprising teams. Of course, that's pretty much what happens every year, doesn't it? Anyway, here's my division picks, and maybe even a Super Bowl pick, if I decide on one by the end of my typing. Naturally, we'll start in the most important place:

NFC East: Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys, Giants

You may detect some homerism here, and some wishful thinking. Well, fuck you. I'm sure as hell not picking the Cowboys. But, honestly, I do think the Cowboys are going to struggle more then most. Yeah, they finally had a late season breakthrough last year. Bully for them. Now do it again.

A lot of people seem to think that the Giants' collapse was an aberration, but c'mon, it happened in week six. Week after week they went out still in control of their own playoff fate, and week after week they looked like garbage. The Redskins, on the other hand, were a lot better last year then their record. They outplayed at least three playoff teams, including the eventual champion, but were unable to seal the deal. With McNabb and Shanahan, that shouldn't be a problem this year.

As for the Eagles, let's just say this: they'll be the surprise team in the league this year; Kevin Kolb will be the breakout star; Stewart Bradley will be All-Pro; and Andy Reid will (again) be coach of the year. That seems like a fair and balance prediction, right?

NFC South: Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Bucs

The Saints had a storybook year last year, but they're due for a tumble. The Falcons will follow a typical football pattern: breakout playoff year, followed by regression the next year, followed by a resurgence as a legit Super Bowl contender. The Panthers look to be slightly less shitty then the Bucs, so they'll be third. Advice to Bucs fan Dave Miller: definitely don't get the Sunday Ticket this year.

NFC North: Packers, Vikings, Lions, Bears

Everybody else is on the Packers bandwagon, so why not me? It would be lovely to see Brett Favre return just to see Aaron Rogers and co. leapfrog him. Heck, the Vikings have the smell of desperate team throwing everything against the wall to win, and imploding. Of course, so do the Bears. I think the Lions are headed in the right direction, and will be a pleasant surprise, and will even pass Chicago.

NFC West: 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams

Yeah, the dogshit division (boy, I'm cursing a lot today, aren't I?). San Francisco looks to finally be legit again, but we've been fooled by them before. But I'm rooting for Mike Singletary, so they get the benefit of the doubt. Besides, everyone else will be somewhere between mediocre and terrible. The Cardinals are looking to replace Kurt Warner with the guy that couldn't hold down the Browns' job. The Browns. The Seahawks are in transition, so no one knows what to expect from them, but probably not much. And I will be forever mystified why Steve Spagnuolo, one of the hottest head coaching prospects after the Giants' Super Bowl year, decided to take the Rams job. Hope he gets another shot after he's fired for going 2-14 again.

AFC East: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Bills

I honestly do not like any team in this division this year. The Jets seem to me to be headed for a comeuppance. They are at act one of a Will Ferrell movie, where their hubris leads to their undoing. Next year's the year they come back humbler, wiser, better. The Patriots are definitely on the way down, but I guess there's enough left in the tank for another division title. I dunno. They benefited for years from the weakness around them, and they don't have that luxury any more. The Dolphins could definitely sneak back in, like they did two years ago, but I'm not big on them either. I suppose I should root for them, considering that Chad Henne is also an alum of Wilson High School.

Are the Buffalo Bills still in the NFL? They are, in the immortal words of Ned Flanders, the NFL's answer to a question no one asked.

AFC South: Texans, Colts, Titans, Jaguars

Yeah, I think this is the year the Texans finally break through, and that the Colts begin to regress. Peyton Manning absolutely carried them last year, in a way I've never seen before, and I just don't think he can do that again. Eventually, Jim Cauldwell's going to have to prove if he's an elite coach or not. I'll say not. I'm tempted to predict that the Titans will also jump over them, but I won't go that far. Maybe next year. At least they don't have to worry about the Jags, the NFL' answer to a question....

AFC North: Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals

Also an interesting division. I think the Ravens are the real deal, and that Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are ready to take the next step (and I love John Harbaugh). The secondary is worrysome, though. It's very difficult to predict where the Steelers will end up, because even with Roethlesberger playing at the highest levels of his career, they still collapsed last year. I've never been a big Troy Polamalu guy, but I guess he really does make all the difference. As for last year's division champ, how can a team add both Pacman Jones and Terrell Owens and not implode? They made the playoffs because they went 6-0 in their division last year; that won't happen again. I like the direction the Browns are heading in; I think Jake Delhomme will provide them with competent quarterbacking, which will be enough to get them out of the basement.

AFC West: Chargers, Raiders, Broncos, Chiefs

The Chargers have had such a ridiculous advantage over the other elite teams of the NFL in terms of division foes over the last few years it's made us all overvalue them. No more. They'll still win the division, but not as handily. I seriously expect the Raiders to give them quite a run. I've always liked Jason Campbell, and think he got a bit of a raw deal in Washington. The Broncos will continue to regress, sadly for Brian Dawkins. The Chiefs are not the NFL's answer to a question nobody asked, but only because that's the Bills and the Jaguars.

So there you go. As for the playoffs, lets go with the Eagles, Falcons, Packers, Niners, Saints and Redskins in the NFC, and the Patriots, Titans, Ravens, Chargers, Colts, and Steelers in the AFC. And in the Super Bowl, how about the Ravens and... hmmm... let's see here... oh yeah, the Philadelphia freakin' Eagles. Can you guess who I like to win that game?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good Lord, it's 9/02/10

Somehow, I don't feel like I can just let this day go by without saying something.

I was of the same graduating class as the 90210 kids; I never watched much in high school, but I did watch a good bit in college. My crazy friend Mike Daly and I used to MST-it, and later my roommates and I would often watch with some of the girls in our social circle. A guilty pleasure, I suppose, though never as much campy fun as Melrose Place. Bad shows just aren't bad in quite the right way anymore. I miss that.

A few memories spring up: The Flaming Lips playing the Peach Pit After Dark, after which my eternal nemesis Steve Sanders remarked something like "I don't know much about 'alternative music [in my mind, he did air quotes here], but those guys rocked!"; the Real World parody episode, where Tori Spelling uses the word "proletariat"; wishing I could have a recurring cameo as the guy who walks up to Steve Sanders and punches him in the face; once convincing a roommate who was late coming home that one of the minor cast members had been killed off. Had him going pretty good.

...And that's about it. Really, 90210 was left behind by Melrose Place, and even while it was still airing felt a little desperate to recapture it's early notoriety. But on this day let's all raise our glasses to Aaron Spelling, most assuredly rotting in the circle of Hell reserved for the creatively bankrupt.