Friday, July 20, 2007

Crisis Management for the Big Three

The NBA, NFL, and MLB have all had some problems lately. Since I am a bit appalled by all of this (but not surprised), and am fortunate enough to be a contributor on a blog that at least a few people read, I think it’s time to ramble. So let’s take a look at the Big Three sports and their problems.

National Basketball Association

The hottest topic as of today-- Tim Donaghy, referee, is accused of fixing and/or shaving points from games. Is anyone actually surprised? To a degree, yes, but as Buzzsaw mentioned in a comment, the NBA is pretty shady. It is a damn shame that this news came out, because it used to be fun to laugh at the thought of NBA games being fixed. But I’m sure that most of us didn’t actually think they would do it AND make it so blatantly obvious in the process (see the Heat’s NBA Finals win-- I know Donaghy wasn’t a ref in that series, but wow). The worst part about it is that everything involved in the NBA is going to become a big joke. Remember that youtube clip of the Ewing draft lottery? Most controversialists will probably start to really believe that it was fixed for the Knicks. Your team loses a tight game on a shady call? Blame that it’s fixed. I just hope that the same type of news doesn’t come out about poker websites. It would be the same exact kind of response; I jokingly say it’s fixed but I don’t actually believe it, but if it came out that it was fixed, I couldn’t possibly be surprised. So there you have it-- the NBA is the Pokerstars of sports. Good luck, Dave Stern.

(Hopefully you guys can see the most likely photoshopped "five Aces" picture. Remember, "When there's an A, there's a way")

National Football League

Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, Tank Johnson, and, oh, Michael Vick have a lot to do with this one. I like the stance that Roger Goodell is taking by not putting up with any shit. The timing is strange more than anything because all of this ridiculous news has been coming out about Vick and his dawgs (his entourage or his pets; you decide). As sad as it is, I feel like the NFL is the sport that is being least affected by its bad PR lately. And that isn’t because it’s not that bad (because it is), but because the other two have to do with cheating and actually affecting the outcomes of games. Anyway, I like what Goodell is doing and the only thing he can really do is stay strict. If there are bad seeds in the league, they will reveal themselves over time.

Major League Baseball

It’s funny that steroids are being focused mostly in baseball and that the players associated with it are completely turned on by the public. But then it shows up in the NFL, Shawne Merriman gets suspended for a few games, then comes back and gets to the Pro Bowl and everything is just fine. What the hell? I’m definitely not a Barry Bonds guy (I think he is a douche bag), but it is a little bit unfair. The only difference I can see is the degree of the results. Bonds is about to break the career HR record and Merriman is just an ass hole that got to play in the shitty Pro Bowl in Hawaii (no one actually watches it anyway). Baseball is turning into a joke to some people, but I’m starting to try to consider steroids as just part of the game. Kind of like a bad referee in a college basketball game or something. I’m sure that these guys will always find ways to pass the drug tests. If you want to shorten your life and ruin your body to make a few extra bucks, be my guest.

To sum things up, I will reiterate my point that the NFL is the sport least affected by this terrible PR. To put that in perspective, we’re putting criminals in the NFL above steroid users and cheaters in both the MLB and NBA, respectively. Maybe my perception on this is all wrong, but that is how I am seeing it. No one is really turning on the NFL like they do with the other two. That is pretty much all I’ve got. Give me my bashing in the comment section-- I will take it like a man.

A Real Rivalry

Last night, during the MLS All-Star game vs. Celtic, Eric Wynalda described the rivalry between Celtic and the other Scottish powerhouse Rangers as, “like Auburn-Alabama times a hundred.” Now, I don’t normally like to blindly accept any subjective assessment, especially when it comes from the mouth of Eric Wynalda, so I decided to do a little research of my own. And what did I find? Well, Wynalda’s description was far from hyperbolic. In fact, it was probably an understatement.

For starters the clubs are both located in the same city, Glasgow, Scotland. The economic inequality in the Scottish Premier League basically guarantees that Celtic and Rangers are the only two clubs who compete for the league title. They’ve played 376 times, with Rangers holding a 149-135 edge. But the real basis of the rivalry lies in religious and social issues that go back over a century.

Celtic was formed in 1888 by Irish immigrants who had come to Scotland to escape the famine. Rangers, founded fifteen years earlier have always been “the Protestant club.” Matches between the teams were always tense affairs marked by mutual hatred of fans and players alike, but the troubles in Northern Ireland between the IRA and the UVF in the 1970s only intensified the rivalry. In his book Football Against the Enemy, Simon Kuper tells how a 1975 match led to two attempted murders, two cleaver attacks, one AXE ATTACK, nine stabbings and 35 common assaults. Religion, team and political association were dangerously intertwined as shown by this fan’s account:

When I was 16, I worked for my uncle in his pub in Dublin for a summer. After a trip to Belfast we were stopped at the border by the UDR (Ulster Defense Regiment) Basically, a Protestant paramilitary lynch mob backed by the British Army. Legally, they couldn't ask if you were [Catholic] or [Protestant] so they'd ask, while pointing a rifle at you, "Who do you support, Rangers or Celtic?"

The rivalry hasn’t faded in intensity over time. Celtic fans still boo during the Scottish national anthem and wave Irish flags, while Rangers supporters sing sectionalist songs. It wasn’t until 1989 that Rangers signed a Catholic player, and he’s still the only player to every play for both teams. In 1995 a man wearing a Celtic jersey was stabbed to death as he walked past a group of Rangers supporters. A report from a hospital union in Scotland from two years ago estimated that the number of assaults in Glasgow is nine times higher after a Celtic-Rangers match. Last year Celtic keeper Artur Boruc (who played in last night’s game) nearly started a riot when he made the sign of the cross during a match. The hate even seems to extend onto the pitch. A 2001 match led to brawl that saw 10 yellow cards and three reds.

Even players who have played in the notoriously hooligan prone EPL say they’ve never experienced anything like the Celtic-Rangers rivalry. I guess it makes Auburn-Bama look like a couple of friends playing grab-ass on the playground.

A Rivalry Tied Up in Religion
Colorado to Witness Celtic Lore

News and Notes

  • Sergio has already finished his second round today. He shot an even 71 to remain at -6 which is still good for the lead. No choke yet. Daly is +8.
  • Rangers' reliever Akinori Otsuka landed on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his right elbow and forearm. This conceivable greatly limits what's going to be available in an already thin market. There was speculation that either Otsuka or Gagne would be available, but now its hard to see the Rangers moving either of them, depending on how serious the injury is.
  • I watched some of the MLS All-Star game vs Celtic FC last night (switching between that and Red Sox-White Sox), and I was surprised at the level of play. All-Star games are not something that generally translates well to soccer because the way the game is played makes it hard for 11 players who have little experience playing together to be successful. With that being said, the MLS All-Stars played very well against the Scottish giant, winning 2-0. From what I saw they controlled the tempo of the game and it could have easily had two more goals if not for some outstanding saves from the Celtic keeper.
  • Speaking of the Red Sox, they're in trouble if you ask me. Their offense just is not getting timely hits and for the most part they haven't been all year. They had 11 hits last night and yet they only scored two runs. For most of the first half their starting pitching made up for this fault when it looked like they had basically three number one starters and Wakefield and Tavarez were pitching out of their asses. Now Schilling is hurt and Wakefield and Tavarez have come back to earth. Instead of three No. 1's we have 3 No. 5's. This could get ugly.
  • Breaking story: NBA officials may not have been horrible because they're old and senile, they might have been getting paid large sums of money for it.
That's all for now. Later I'll have something about the best rivalry in sports (hint: its not Red Sox-Yankees).

"Is It Sergio's Time"?

Guy asked me today if I was ready for the “Is It Sergio’s Time” articles that are all but certain if Garcia finds himself close to the top of the leader board heading into this weekend at Carnoustie. Well, no I’m not ready for them. I curse the day Phil ever won his first major. He’ll always be my standard for the “Is it (Insert Persons Name) Time” articles and reports. Nothing gave me greater pleasure then watching Phil’s 4 foot lip-outs on Sunday afternoons of majors. They were almost too predictable and still bring a smile to my face. Moving past my digression, Sergio has become the new “Best Golfer to Never Win a Major”. Garcia is only 27 years old, so maybe that label isn’t fair quite yet, but he is very talented and has had plenty of opportunities to pick up a major. Just Look!

Results in major championships:

Tournament

1996

1997

1998

1999

The Masters

DNP

DNP

DNP

T38 LA

U.S. Open

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

The Open Championship

CUT

DNP

T29

CUT

PGA Championship

DNP

DNP

DNP

2

Tournament

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

The Masters

T40

CUT

8

T28

T4

CUT

46

CUT

U.S. Open

T46

T12

4

T35

T20

T3

CUT

CUT

The Open Championship

T36

T9

T8

T10

CUT

T5

T5


PGA Championship

T34

CUT

T10

CUT

CUT

T23

T3


His 7 top five finishes are very impressive, but he hasn’t quite sealed the deal. So, is it time for Sergio to finally breakthrough and win a major?

Well, you would think he has a good chance.Sergio shot a -6under 65(remember this #) to take the outright lead heading into Friday’s second round at The Open Championship. So seemingly, he is in a good position to make a run. He tallied 7 birdies on Thursday and credits his success to his new found putting stroke. He is using a belly-putter that supposedly gives him more control over his ball on the greens. I suspect he somehow picked up that putter Rodney Dangerfield used in Caddyshack, but that’s neither here nor there. He’s putting well, and if he’s doing that he can win The Open. Hey, I’m beginning to think he’s going to win this thing the more I type.

Could it be? Is it time for Sergio? Wait, I hate those questions.

I have a better one. Can I put all of those “Is It Sergio's Time” articles to rest before they even get started?

Well, in fact I can! I just read something that all but guarantees Sergio will be an afterthought or John Van De Velding the 18th hole on Sunday. You see, the lowest opening round score for a golfer who went on to win the British Open is 66.. EVER!

The Four Golfers

Peter Thomson Royal Lytham, 1958

Nick Faldo, Muirfield, 1992;

Greg Norman, Royal St George’s, 1993

Tiger Woods, St Andrews, 2005

So, I guess I’m saying unless Sergio is somehow able to overcome a usually shaky putter, the pressure of being ‘that guy”, a Sunday re-grip fest, and 135 years of British Open History, he’ll have to wait until the PGA Championship. Sorry Sergio, but you always have your bright pants!

Best Open Round by a Champion
Results Grid

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cruella DeVick

Lost in the Michael Vick saga is a story of love, compassion, and mercy, a story of selflessness and gratitude, the story of Jonathan Babineaux. On February 18, 2007, Babineaux allegedly got in a fight with his girlfriend and, upon her leaving the house, proceeded to beat her dog to death. Sure, I know what you're thinking, "the bitch probably deserved it." And yes, that's probably true, but there is a bigger issue here.

I'm sure all of us have, at least once, thought about killing an enemy's pet, and most of us have even formulated a plan to do so; this story is a great reminder of why that's a bad idea. Babineaux was arrested and charged with one felony count of animal cruelty [1-5 years in prison] because, "Police ... have revealed that there are certain inconsistencies with Babineaux's story as it relates to the injuries that Kilo [the dog] sustained." Authorities did not release the details regarding Babineaux's story due to the graphic accusations he made about a certain teammate, but recent events have vindicated the Falcon's 25-yr-old defensive lineman.

At the police station Babineaux, covered in blood and tears (the dog's), gave his side of the story: "I killed the dog, I had to, that crazy bastard was gonna electrocute her." That's right, Babineaux had to beat the dog to death to save it from being electrocuted by Michael Vick, albeit the dog did get worked in it's test fight. So, there you have it, Jonathan Babineaux is an innocent man ... another Log'sBlog exclusive.

Fanhouse

Update: We just reached Clinton Portis for comment, he had this to say "I don't know if he was executing dogs or not, but it's his water, it's his electricity; it's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it ... I know a lot of back roads that got a dog murder if you want to go see it. " Disturbing, Go Redskins

Crappy British Open Update

A few updates on the first day of the British Open from the little I’ve seen:

As I’m writing this, Sergio Garcia has the lead at 5 under through 16. No word on what kind of gay pants he’s wearing though.

The story of the day, as it so often is, seems to be John Daly. After an eagle at 11 gave him a share of the lead, he went double, par, triple, bogey, bogey, par, bogey to finish +3 which is currently good for 91st. He left after his round without talking to reporters. Rumor has it he actually didn’t give a shit about his round, he was just pissed because he found out there isn’t a single Hooter’s in Scotland.

All the talk about Tiger has nothing to do with the solid two under 69 he shot. Everyone is talking about a controversial drop he took on the 10th hole. I’m not going to subject you to the boring details; you can read those on ESPN.com or whatever. I really don’t understand why this is so controversial. The scoring official examined the situation and made ruling before Tiger even made it up to his ball. I would chalk this up to overzealous British reporters and being the first day of the tournament.

My favorite golfer not pushing 350 lbs., Padraig Harrington, also finished with a 69. The Irish in general are making a good showing on the first day. Paul McGilvey stands alone in second place at -4 and Rory McIlroy is tied for 3rd at -3. Speaking of McIlroy, as ESPN blogger Jason Sobel points out, his name looks remarkably similar to Kevin Costner’s character Roy McAvoy in Tin Cup. Unfortunately there is no water on eighteen at Carnoustie.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, BigLots’ pick to win it all, Chih-Bing Lam, is already six over after 11, good for 132nd. Good pick.

Gary Player: Pinky Promises

So, Gary Player thinks steroids will inevitably invade golf. Here’s the proof he offered:

"One guy told me -- and I took an oath prior to him telling me -- but he told me what he did and I could see this massive change in him. And somebody else told me something I also promised I wouldn't tell, that verified others had done it."

Uhhh, what? I knew he was old, but come on Gary! The stupidest kid in pre-school makes fun of you for saying something like that. The reporter who asked the question immediately responded with this:

“Mr.Player, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.” I thought the quote was fitting and made me remember that Adam Sandler did, at one point, make funny movies.

Player believes golf organizations across the world have to act immediately if they wish to thwart a full-scale steroid epidemic. Interestingly, I thought golf tours were composed mostly of white, middle-aged men who look either like your next door neighbor, or your next door neighbor’s overweight wife. In fact, a large number of golfers have what many people refer to as “Man Boobs”. (“Mickelsons” in cleverer circles.)

Speaking of Phil, he seemed a little guilty when he was asked about the possibility of a PGA golfer testing positive to steroids saying, “"I don't think there's even a remote chance that will happen.” Yeah whatever Victor Conte, I have my suspicions.

I say this to Phil: “Whoever denied it supplied it.” I’ve based most of my life on this motto; not just my ongoing battle with stinky flatulence. Phil is intelligent though, drug dealers aren’t supposed to “use their own stuff”, and we all know Phil has never touched a steroid in his life; unless ‘steroid’ now means Peanut Butter Cup or Treatza Pizza.


The LPGA ladies aren’t out of the woods either. Their tour will begin testing next month. Laurie Davies’ should just suspend herself now. I feel bad for her girlfriend, I’ve heard roid’ rage is scary as hell. I urge anyone who thinks Player is correct in his belief that at least 10% of professional players are using steroids to watch the first round of the Open today. You’ll realize three minutes into coverage that he is dead wrong. Gary, shift your position from “there are steroids in golf” to “there are ridiculously sized driver heads that look like end tables in golf” and you might have a legitimate talking point.

Stu Scott

Last Comments

ESPN KICKS MAJOR BUTT!

My last comments.

Bob Wickman and Joe Borowski Spotted at Same Location

(Note: I wrote this back in June after the Indians-Braves series, but never posted it. So, enjoy, I guess.)

Contrary to popular belief, it has recently been confirmed that Bob Wickman and Joe Borowski are not the same person. This weekend in Cleveland, the Atlanta Braves visited the Cleveland Indians (the first time since the 1995 World Series). The old, tireless joke-- “I’ve never seen them in the same room together”-- goes hand in hand when talking about love-to-make-it-interesting closers Wickman and Borowski. This popular conspiracy was put to rest at Jacobs’ Field during a beautiful June weekend.

When Wickman was traded to the Braves from the Indians midseason, panic struck Cleveland as to who would be the next closer. After Borowski was acquired in the offseason and kept giving Tribe fans something to think about during the ninth inning of close games, everyone assumed it was just Bob Wickman with an alias. With their similar WHIP of over 1.50 this season (walks plus hits per innings pitched), size, and lack of intimidation factor, it is easy to see why the casual baseball fan was confused. However, when Wickman closed out the Tribe on Friday night, putting two guys on base in the process (we think he gets off to this sort of thing), reality set in. If Borowski gets traded, we can always go for Todd Jones.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

ESPN Response to Buzz: From Comment to Article

Buzz said:
ESPN is a fucking sports monopoly ... even if another network started to offer programing people actually wanted, they wouldn't be able to get any worthwhile contracts because ESPN will always pay more. And they'll always have more money because they've completely sold out. I've never thought they play shit all day to be assholes, I realize it's all about money and getting the majority of America watching (ie complete dumbasses). Doesn't make it right.I can't wait for Will Leitch's book about ESPN's demise.

I say:
Buzz, what ESPN does is "wrong" for you and me because we hate it and think it’s obnoxious. Nonetheless, there are more people watching ESPN who love Stephen A. Smith and the "Who's Now" Segment than people, like you and I, who hate them. It's "right" for all those people, and sad for us.

How is ESPN the devil for providing a bunch of dumbasses with shit they WANT to see?

Do you think what American Idol does is wrong? I’d bet not because you don't give a shit about it, and it doesn’t affect you. (I hope you don't watch that show for a bunch of reasons, but mainly because my point isn't nearly as effective if you do.)

Why waste your time attaching the ideas of "right" and "wrong" to things that really don’t matter? We should reserve those judgments for things that are important, not things that suck. I would have jumped a long time ago if those stupid croc shoes or the never ending blue jean craze merited any type of serious discussion or valuation. Ridiculous things (ESPN) blow, but only to that extent should they be analyzed. Mocking, however, should continue.

Quite frankly, (yes that’s a joke), their network hasn’t destroyed anyone’s life (and no crying every time Chris Berman talks doesn’t count)! I was joking when I said we couldn't live without sports. If one can't stand ESPN, he should simply turn off the channel. It would suck for that person because his access would be limited, but I think he could manage and find other sources (which I think many of us are doing now!!)

ESPN does have a monopoly over sports coverage, but other substitutes do exist.(Radio, blogs, NFL Network, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, The Golf Channel etc.) ESPN will only change when people start using those substitutes. Unfortunately, the only way consumers become aware of other options is if people like you and I can somehow convince “the idiots” that ESPN’s product sucks and that there are, in fact, other points of access. Have fun with that. I’m too lazy and don’t care enough to try!

I’ll let ESPN take a fools money any day of the week, and anyone who loves business should feel the same way. My goal still is to create a company which sells a product that I would never buy. I could then sit back and laugh at all of the clowns that made me rich. How great would it be to sell millions of people a product you would never touch!? Maybe, that’s what the fat cats over at ESPN are thinking, and they can sleep easy at night knowing they aren’t hurting anyone.
Haha, see I am a fiscal conservative!!

I'm back




Everyone has been giving me shit for not posting in awhile and frankly I have no legit excuse.
My job is a joke which I half ass all day and once I get home I sit around and do nothing. However, the only thing I know or care about is sports and since it's a shitty sports season I haven't really had anything to
write about. So in order to avoid losing my contributor status I figured I'd throw out some random thoughts.

• There just might be a chance that Barry Bonds doesn't break the home run record. It has seemed inevitable for quite some time now but Barry's body is simply breaking down. He's currently in the middle of an 0 for 21 streak and hasn't hit a home run since July 3. Looking at the numbers, the Giants have 70 games remaining. They're completely out of the playoff race and since Barry doesn't play everyday you have to assume he'll only play at maximum around 45 games. Take into the fact that he's old, quite possibly hurt, and the unwillingness of pitchers to give him anything good to hit and Bud Selig might just get his wish after all.

• My opinion of Bonds varies slightly from the majority. I don't like his personality and I don't like the fact that he puts himself ahead of his teammates at all times. Plus, he definitely cheated. However, how many of those home runs did he hit off of pitchers that were on 'roids themselves? No one knows the answer to that. The whole era needs to be brought into question. I personally do not want Bonds to break the record, however, it's not as if Bonds is just some hack who can only hit home runs ala Mark McGwire. Bonds was once a five tool player who won gold gloves, stole bases, and hit for exceptional averages. The steroids obviously helped but Bonds still would have been one of the all time greats had he laid off of them. To sum it up, Bonds is an asshole that used steroids but I still respect him as a player.

• I'm excited to see Beckham in an MLS uniform but I don't think it's going to have much impact at all. Initially, interest will be high which will translate into higher TV ratings and more jersey sales. However, the majority of the people that will be tuning in will be novices to the game that only know of Beckham because he's famous. These people will watch the first couple Beckham games because it interests them but the excitement will die down pretty quickly. Plus, I'm pretty sure these people won't be watching the Kansas City Wizards taking on Real Salt Lake (which is the most ridiculous franchise name in any sport in America). The real fan base that the MLS needs to attract are the Americans who are already soccer fans but prefer to follow European teams because the quality is better. These fans are knowledgeable and realize that Beckham alone is not going to attract them to start following the league. Signing Zidane or Cannavaro (both aging European superstars at the tail end of their career) would have done more to attract the soccer loving Americans. The fan base for a successful MLS is there, the league just has to convince these people to watch their games.

• The English Premier League has officially changed its name to the Barclays Premier League. How ridiculous is that? That would be like the NBA switching to the Coca-Cola Conference and the Pepsi Conference. I'm not sure who is a bigger advertisement whore: NASCAR or soccer.

• Instead of finding good pitchers this off-season White Sox GM Kenny Williams decided to go with "the tallest bullpen ever". Seven guys who are all over 6"3 and throw at least mid nineties. Sweet. They suck complete ass. With a 6.00 ERA and 16 blown saves they're statistically better than only the Devil Rays. I want to beat the shit out of every single one of them.

• It seems like someone completely random always wins the British Open so that's why my pick is Chih-Bing Lam of Singapore. He is currently a 2001-1 shot to pull of the upset. You can leave the thank you's for winning you 2000 dollars in the comment box.

• College Football season is a little more than a month away and I could not be happier about it. Nothing beats college football Saturdays.

• The NBA draft preview that Buzzsaw and I did turned out to be a tie. Does that mean both of us have to anal bong a beer?

ESPN: From a Business Perspective (Boring Material!!!)

Very Poor Man's Podcast

Here is my attempt at a somewhat pro-ESPN rant. Once my business side surfaces, I start to fully understand why ESPN operates the way they do. I don't agree with a lot of their ridiculousness, but it makes sense financially. its always very easy to criticize people or things who have sold out until one finds himself in the same position.Would any of us turn down ESPN, who we mock and spit on, if they asked to buy this blog for $3 million dollars? A ridiculous hypothetical example I know, but my point is this; money has a strange way of making people do things they thought they would never even consider.

I think ESPN finds itself in a very similiar situation. Everything they do is to further expand their own empire, and one would be a fool to suggest they haven't been succssful in those attempts. Why market to a group of people ( everyone who is reading this blog) who have to go to them for sports even if they don't want to? We aren't going anywhere because they allow us the access and coverage we need.

The dog poop that is "Who's Now" starts to make more sense when you realize their target market isn't dedicated sports fans, but rather "fringe fans" and kids who like entertainment and celebrity gossip more than baseball highlights. It sucks I know, but it makes complete sense. Make fun of ESPN for selling out, but know their probably making fun of you as well. Its almost like making fun of the boss behind his back. Doing it makes you feel better, but ultimately he still has all of the power, control, and money.

I can only imagine the heat I'm going to take for this one.

Later.

Stuart Scott

Convict Vick

Now I’m not some sort of PETA nut job by any means, but I do like dogs. Well, except for my own dog who has a proclivity for taking massive dumps on white carpet. Anyway, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who was not disgusted by the information from the indictment of Mike Vick and his, umm, associates. The Feds say they have evidence that shows Vick and co-defendants used a variety of techniques to kill dogs that didn’t perform well in test fights, including drowning, beating and, most shocking, spraying them with a hose and then electrocuting them. Athletes and famous people can do a lot of stupid things that make them look bad, but I’ve never seen anything like this before. If this turns out to be true Mike Vick is a pretty sick fuck.

The way it was first reported, Vick was involved only because it happened on his property, and he was unaware of what was going on. Not so, say the Feds. The indictment claims that Vick was prominently involved in the whole operation and that there are already four witnesses ready to testify against him.

The NFL and Roger Goodell are going to be a tough spot here. They didn’t take much heat for suspending Pac Man, Tank and Chris DUI Henry before the legal process played out because everyone was already convinced that they were bad guys. Now they have a much larger, more public case with a more popular player. If they don’t do anything they will look like hypocrites and if they do, well, it could be pretty controversial, not to mention crippling for the Falcons organization.

Everyone is already talking about how it’s not the same as previous cases because Vick is not a repeat offender. I think that’s pretty absurd considering the incidents Vick has found himself involved in. He was fined by the NFL for flipping the bird to his hometown fans, and of course everyone knows about the water bottle incident which he was given the benefit of doubt on despite a marijuana related suspension in college. And how could we forget Ron Mexico?

Let’s be clear. Getting in a fight a night club, drunk driving, even failing a drug test are stupid, indefensible and punishable acts. But they can all be classified as mistakes. Read the indictment on the Smoking Gun. What Vick did was not a mistake. It shows a coldness and cruelness that simply cannot be defended by even the biggest Mike Vick supporters. Not only should Vick be suspended by the NFL, he deserves to spend a significant amount of time in a Federal Prison. Hey, maybe then he might even come to realize the gravity of fumbling when he drops the soap in the community shower.


The Smoking Gun

ProFootballTalk.com for the picture

I Would Be Shocked if More Than Four of You Read This: The WSOP 2007 Main Event Running Diary

(SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don’t want to know what happened in the WSOP Main Event, don’t read on. Also, sorry for the length, but that’s what happens when you keep a running diary from 4:30pm to 6:50am)

Well, a few of my friends from home talked me into firing off the final table for twenty bucks. Sure, it is going to be grueling; sure, it’s going to hurt, but it must be done. I’ll try to make as many unoriginal poker jokes as possible along the way.

4:25pm- We have our first elimination of the night. Jerry Yang just took out Philip Hilm (the chip-leader before the final table started—“from penthouse to outhouse” a la Olof Thorson). It was a shocking play to move in after the turn with a pair and a flush draw. Yang called with his top pair-top kick AK. No river babe for Hilm, and the tourney is moving a grueling pace. Sixteen hands played in one hour and seven minutes. Jesus Christ.

(Note: Johnny Chan is tableside with Phil Gordon and the other announcer (I don’t know his name), talking about Asians and the game of poker. Entertaining)

4:43pm- Hevad Khan is annoying as hell. Think Mattias Anderson, but after every single pot rake. Not as loud, though.

4:57pm- Lots of action—and we can’t figure out who made the worse play here. Lee Watkinson pushed his 9.7 million into a 1.2 million dollar pot with A7off. Yang asked for a chip count and thought about it for about 10-15 minutes… and he called with A9off!!! (he had 48 mill at the time) It’s shocking, it’s appalling, it’s the World Series of Poker Main Event. Yang was chanting something absurd after the low, unhelpful flop, “With the money I make I will glorify the name. With the money I will make I will glorify your name, Lord.” What the hell are you talking about, Jerry? First he tells Christ he is going to glorify his name, but then mentions he needs the money to do so. I don’t know how much longer this blog can go on, because Watkinson just got eliminated in 8th. Who made the worse play? Watkinson pushing his A7 into a loose cannon with blinds at 120k-240k, or Yang calling down a guy that you would think is only going in with the best with A9.

The chip counts: Yang 55, Lam 20.5, Kalmar 17, Rahme 15.7, Khan 7.7, Childs 6.15, Kravchenko 4

5:20pm- A Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson siting. He is actually sitting by himself—apparently he couldn’t talk the Holy Spirit into going to the gruelfest with him (forced a bit). Maybe Yang’s glorifying of Jesus’s name was all about Fergie. As I’m typing, Yang makes another re-raise all-in push after Lee Childs’ 750k raise. Childs flips over KJ, and Yang shows his J8spades. What in the fuck, man? If he hits this, I’m going on a pizza run.

5:28pm- After a flop of 4-4-6, Yang spikes that turn 8. Childs needs a King or any club to rake the pot… and whiff. Terrifying play by Yang, but it pays off. (Channeling a bad poker cliché) “That’s poker!” This guy refuses to see a flop, and he actually has enough chips to have it his way, bullying everyone around and hitting beats. He is sitting with 62M right now, and second place is Tuan Lam with 20M.

5:40pm- (Special Guest Coop entry on the diary) We're being shown the replay of Johnny Chans first title…. Little do people know Johnny Chan needed a river ace or 9 to win this title he spiked the river and the rest is history. They must have shown this in appreciation of Jerry Yangs fabulous outdraws thus far.

6:02pm- I’m back from the pizza run-- hope you enjoyed the Coop appearance, and one of the guys had to stop at the ATM. The old guy in front of us in line took 7 to 8 minutes at the thing. How many transactions must have went down? 10? 20? It was absurd. Anyway, Yang looks to be donking—I’ll keep you posted.

6:13pm- Khan is flipping out about something—who the hell knows what. “Please send a Pepcid-AC out there” says the guy that’s announcing with Phil Gordon. Good one.

6:22pm- Watkinson is on with Gordon and the other guy. Paraphrased: "There's no way I could live with myself if I got blinded down. I felt like I had to play to win. I feel like there was a good chance he would call me with a worse hand." Whatever man. Not that much money invested and you push with A7. Shocking.

6:28pm- A couple of things:

-These guys I'm watching it with have played $16 turbo tournaments on Pokerstars with Khan before. Apparently, Stars thought he was a bot, so they kicked him off. He sent them a video of him playing 29 tournaments at one time all by himself, so they let him back on. Impressive.

-Watkinson is rambling about saving chimpanzees. I guess it's nice of him and there's a lot of time to kill on this broadcast, but I didn't expect to be let into the world of chimps when I fired off twenty bigs for this thing.

6:51pm- Alex Kravchenko just pushed his 2.7M, and Khan pushes back over him for a total of 9.4M. Kravchenko flips over KJ; Khan is sitting with 33. Kravchenko spikes his K on the flop and doubles. Lee Childs is on with Gordon and company, and he is hinting around that he isn't too fond of Khan. Gordon is trying to get him to say something bad about him, but Childs just said that his act grows a little old. No shit.

7:01pm- Gordon and company set an over/under regarding Phil Hellmuth's appearance tableside with them. They set the line at 45 seconds for "how long it takes him to mention his 11 WSOP bracelets." Gordon took the under for 100 bucks.

7:05pm- They have a clock ticking in the bottom right of the 45 seconds. After a couple of moments of awkward silence, Gordon's partner (I've gotta figure out this guy's name soon) did himself in, asking Hellmuth how his World Series is going. Hellmuth mentioned his 11 bracelets with about 11 ticks on the clock. Congrats to Phil Gordon on the $100 rake.

7:15pm- Very weird moment just now. Khan re-raised Yang's 1.5M raise to 6M. Yang sat there forever and finally decided to call, and he about flipped his cards over! The dealer had to stop him, telling him that Khan was not all-in. Then, Khan tells Yang that he is all-in blind. Yang quickly calls, and the guys try to turn their cards over again. The dealer makes them wait until afer the flop. It is like these guys are allergic to post-flop play. It is an embarrassment. Anyway, Yang won the pot and Khan is out. (His JJ held up against AQ-- Hellmuth adds, "I hate getting busted with AQ.")

(Note: I just told Daris about that exchange, and heres what he had to say: "Sounds like a really bad home game. They should just put chips and pretzels in the middle of the table.")

The chip counts: Yang 73, Lam 19, Rahme 16, Kalmar 13, Kravchenko 5

7:23pm- Hellmuth chimes in, "This thing could last another 12 hours, and thats the great thing about it." Really? Watching these donks play for another 12 hours would be great? What are you talking about Phil. That car crash must have been more damaging than I thought.

7:58pm- Kravchenko pushed in his 4.8M into Yang. This ass hole is calling with any two, right? Yep-- he called him down with J10. You serious, Clark? At best you're at a coin flip if Kravchenko is crazy enough to push with a low pocket pair-- and we're talking about the best player left at the table in Kravchenko. He flips over his A10 and it miraculously holds up.

8:10pm- Rahme makes a raise and Kalmar comes over the top all-in. Rahme calls him down with JJ as Kalmar flips over his AKoff. The flop comes all blanks and Rahme knocks Kalmar out in 5th place ($1.25M-- not a bad week).

8:26pm- The chip counts: Yang 70, Rahme 30, Lam 18, Kravchenko 9.6

It seems like Yang is running away with this thing, but he is simply not that good. A loose cannon like him could definitely piss this thing away-- hell, if Rahme doubles up on him he is suddenly in control, not to mention a much better player.

8:45pm- They just showed Scotty Nguyen's triumphant victory in the 1998 WSOP Main Event. "If you call it's gonna be all over baby" goes down with some of the great poker quotes of all-time. I guess it's not that long of a list though. Kevin McBride calls the 88998 board, saying "I call-- I play the board" like the biggest nerd in the history of poker-- hilarious. Scotty had the 9, and the tourney was his. Too bad he pissed away all of his chips with 11 remaining this year, or we might actually be entertained right now by something besides shameless donking.

8:56pm- Rahme's supporters are being interviewed. Two of them have South African flags on their backs like capes, and his wife is surprisingly young. Looks like old Ray is robbin that cradle. Nice work.

9:14pm- Kravchenko moves it in with 33 and the Donk Yang calls him down with KQ. The flop yielded a 3. Thank God we don't have to sweat that one out. Gordon is ripping Yang for the call, and rightfully so. But then again, if you're Yang and you're getting a coin flip for someone's money that is for sure better than you, you really can't complain. The new chip counts: Yang 65, Rahme 27, Kravchenko 18, Lam 15.

9:20pm- Rahme, Kravchenko, and Yang are occupying seats 1 through 3; and it looks like Lam is at seat 5 or 6. If Lam gets out next, it's gonna get a little awkward on the left side of the table. Will they let them move around? Maybe they're all superstitous? Yang might end up on Rahme's lap by the end of this thing. One of the more interesting developments at the final table.

(Note: Jamie Gold has been tableside with Gordon and the other guy. It's been, in a word, grueling.)

9:37pm- This sucks. There is actual play going on right now, post-flop and everything. Now I have to figure out what happened. The pot is at 7 mill after Rahme's river bet of 2.5m into Kravchenko. The board reads 5d2d8s4cJd. Kravchenko lays it after playing with his chips for quite some time. Actually, all of these guys are havin a little day with the chips. Sometimes I think ESPN adds some sound effects to the edited stuff, but it would be ridiculous if they did it for this. It sounds like a really long drumo solo played with only cymbals. The chip counts: Yang 67, Rahme 31, Lam 15, Kravchenko 12.

9:48pm- Lam gets check-raised by Yang on a flop of A45 all clubs. Yang takes it down. Khan joins Gordon and company, adding "I think this guy has garbage every time."

Khan: I'm a tellbox, I'm an online player.

Other guy: A tellbox! I love that! (laughs, slaps the table and looks to Gordon for approval)

(Note: Khan says that he plays robotic poker on Stars. Ironic, considering both that he sounds like a robot when he talks and the accusations against him mentioned above).

9:52pm- Great read by Khan tableside. He said whenever old man Rahme takes his glasses off and puts them back on, he gets the hell out of there. Kravchenko raised preflop, Rahme called; then Rahme check-raised his ass all in. Kravchenko folded.

Speaking of Khan again, Plott (one of the guys watching it here with me) just informed me that he transferred Khan a lucky penny on stars and sent Stars an e-mail explaining himself. Stars e-mailed Plott back, informing him that they forwarded it on over to Khan. Classy.

9:55pm- And we're at the dinner break. The chip counts: Yang 71, Rahme 33, Kravchenko 11, Lam 11.

11:00pm- Off-topic at the dinner break-- Ryan Garko just took Bob Jenks yard for a 2-run homer, tying the Indians-Sox game up at 5 a piece in the bottom of the ninth. Sorry, BigLots.

11:28pm- Indians update. Garko gets the game-winning single after a leadoff double by Jason Michaels in the bottom of the 11th. I'm sure you all earnestly care.

11:33pm- This thing should be coming back on soon-- they're easing the pain of the dinner break with the Stu Ungar movie. Thanks, ESPN PPV. As far as the tourney goes, I look for old man Rahme to come back from the dinner break looking to take a nap at the table and for Yang to be hyped up even more on coffee, donking all of his chips off to Kravchenko in the process. On a serious note, a few of us over here agree that the break should help Lam the most; you could just tell he was getting the coldest cards for the first hours of the final table. Hopefully he can make a little run. My heart is with Rahme though.

11:38pm- We're back, and they just presented some fat guy with the player of the year at the World Series. Nice job, Tom Schneider.

11:48pm- For Lam's tournament life, he pushes all in on a rainbow flop of 4J10. He holds KQ and Yang, of course, calls him down with A10. About a coin flip from here (two shots at a 13-outer). Turn: 4 (whiff). River: Q!!! Thank God. Lam is sitting pretty with 23m in chips now. The counts: Yang 60, Rahme 33, Lam 23, Kravchenko 11.

12:18pm- Kalmar was just in the booth with Gordon and that guy. After he left, Gordon said "I would throw up if I got 5th." Coop just pointed out that he actually got 5th a year he made the final table. Coop adds, "Well, I guess he threw up that year."

(Note: Coop just looked it up; Gordon actually got 4th in 2001. It was still a funny joke, though.)

12:44am- Kravchenko just re-raised Yang all in, and Yang, of course, called. Kravchenko flips over his KK and Yang is looking for another donk with his A10. Seriously, it's getting embarrassing. Somehow, Kravchenko holds on to double to 27.6m.

The chip counts: Yang 47.725, Rahme 30.45, Kravchenko 27.6, Lam 21.7. Now it's getting good. (I'll try to keep the posts at a minimum-- the length is getting out of hand.)

1:03am- Gordon just mentioned that the WSOP introduced a new playing card for the preliminary events at the WS this year. Apparently, it didn't go well over with the players and they switched back to the old ones. It really makes me think that David Stern is an advisor for the WSOP commish. You can't make this stuff up.

1:18am- Matusow and the Shiek join the booth. Shiek gives Matusow 3-1 on Kravchenko to win it; Shiek gets everyone else for $10 thousand. Not a big deal. (Note: Matusow is feelin pretty good right now, chirpin’ about his 2nd place showing at the Bellagio WPT Main Event.)

1:32am- Gordon just mentioned that Yang is the only US based player remaining. Apparently he’s from California-- shocking to me, I figured he was a Milwaukee guy.

1:48am- Just got back from a Dunkin' Donuts run and got coffee and a breakfast sandwich. That's dedication.

2:08am- Yang raises to 2.5, Lam comes over the top all-in for 11.5 and Rahme wakes up from his slumber, pushing it all-in for 28.7 big ones! Yang ponders and folds. Lam flips over A5hearts and Rahme shows his sluts (QQ). A ho-hum beat rears its ugly head when the flop comes Ace high, no queen. The turn is a brick and the river rubs salt in the wound, dealing out another Ace (we call it Stars-rubbeth around these parts). You can't really blame Lam for the play-- you can't assume that Rahme is going to get involved. He was probably thinking he was going to get a call from Yang with King-deuce or something shitty like that. The chip counts: Yang 52, Kravchenko 32, Lam 26, Rahme 17.

2:33am- Brate, half asleep for obvious reasons, chimes in with a good quote. “I just wanna give Rahme some warm milk and take him to bed with me.” It’s true. Rahme looks like he’s ready to hit the hay. Get that guy in his pajamas and call it a night.

3:03am- It’s been grueling and nothing has really happened—chip counts all about the same. It’s been 11 hours and 41 minutes of play. The record for a final table is 14 hours in 2005. I guess I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into.

3:11am- Fireworks. Rahme moves all in pre-flop for 17 mill (which makes the pot 25.725m). Shockingly, Yang makes the call and we’ve got a 36.6m dollar pot on our hands. Rahme flips over AQ and Yang is actually in the lead with QQ. Are you kidding me? Oh my! Flop Ace! Ironically enough, the king donk gets donked. The old man just showed a little fire with a fist pump, too. Maybe he’s getting a second wind. Coop chimes in, “When there’s an A, there’s a way.” How true. The chip counts: Yang 41, Rahme 36, Lam 29, Kravchenko 20.

3:50am- Coop reiterates my point from earlier—these guys are allergic to flops. It’s actually starting to hurt me physically.

3:55am- Yang comes over the top of Krav with pocket eights; Krav calls him quickly with AK-off. The pot is 40m with Krav’s tourney on the line. Yang spikes an 8 to put an end to Kravchenko’s tourney run. Alex Kravchenko is drawing dead going into the river, but he played a great tourney from what I’ve seen (the four of us all agree that Kravchenko was the best player remaining in the tourney). Alex takes homes $1.85 million for his efforts. The chip counts: Yang 67, Rahme 36, Lam 24.

4:14am- It’s another twenty minute break, and they’re showing us highlights of a Bluff Magazine Party. Probably the biggest meatfest any of us have ever laid eyes on. Brate painted a little picture for us: “Shana Hiatt is sitting in the corner, getting creeped on mercilessly by every guy there. Raymer and Moneymaker flash their bracelets looking for some play and Scotty spits some game but no one really knows what he’s talking about.” Sounds about right to me.

4:26am- Getting back from the break, I’ve been dwelling on the fact that Yang really hasn’t played all that bad the past few hours. He has been stealing a lot of pots, which funds his donk ways—and when you’re Yang, you gotta think that’s your best chance of winning. Steal a bunch of small pots, try to deliver some beats, and see what happens. Hell, you might walk out of the Rio with 8 large.

4:31am- Uh oh, we’re going to a flop with a pot worth 17 mill. And Yang just called a raise! After a flop of J-8-A, two hearts, Rahme checks and Yang churns out a 10m bet. Rahme pushes (check-raise) the rest of his in (fumbling the chips, mind you—he looks excited) and Yang calls the extra 18m, getting nearly 3 to 1 on his money. Yang flips over A5, beating Rahme’s KK for the time being. Turn brick, river brick. I really thought the sandbaggin’ son of a bitch Rahme had a set or something big. Eh, $3 million isn’t a bad week. Congrats. The chip counts: Jerry Yang with 104 million chips heads up with Tuan Lam at 23 million.

(Note: it’s one thing to buy a bunch of small pots to fund opportunities to take out some smaller stacks, but he really took it to another level with this one. He put about 8 million into that pot pre-flop with A5—and he called the raise, its not like he was trying to steal again.)

5:13am- Lam takes the first pot heads up (a pot of about 7 million), looking up Yang with a pair of nines after Yang fired a 1.5m bet on the river. Nice call by Lam and maybe this will get interesting. Don’t worry; I won’t give you every grueling hand.

5:26am- I think I dozed off for a second there-- Plott woke me up, though. This is the first time that Lam has really been shown a lot on the coverage and it looks like he’s about to go skiing with the ridiculous glasses he has on. Brate and I agree that we almost hope we fall asleep before Yang is busting out his fake praises to the Lord when those money signs are taking over his eyeballs. What an ass hole.

5:44am- Lam bets some chips away on the turn followed by an all-in push by Yang. The chip count isn’t looking good for Lam—about 114m to 12m.

5:54am- They actually sent us to a 20 minute break. This is getting out of hand. It's light
outside! I'm complaining about this to Coop and he, beer in hand, says "What did you really expect? It's like signing up for the Army and seeing bullets whizzing by asking yourself 'what the fuck?'"

6:14am- We've got an all-in. Lam has 3-4 diamonds, Yang is sitting with A-9 offsuit. Flop K-8-4 and Lam takes the lead. Turn nothin... River King and Lam doubles to 18.3m.

6:21am- Take a look at Andrew Feldman's take on Yang before the day started. Comical stuff.

(Note on that: I ripped Yang's ass earlier for praising Christ and asking for money. But at least 10% of his winnings are going to some sort of charity. Good for him.)

6:30am- Lam pushes over top of Yang pre-flop raise of 3.5m all-in. Phil Gordon really let us in on the inside stuff just now, saying "This is a really big hand." Thanks, Phil. We gotta give these guys a break though-- they have been talking since 3:00pm. Anyway, Yang folds and Lam is up to 23.9m.


6:46am- Lam pushes over top of Yang again after a preflop Yang raise. Lam has AQ diamonds, Yang has 8-8. Flop Q! Lam is immortal. I might have to stay up longer. Brate wakes up after Plott's celebration. Turn 7, opening up another out for Yang-- he needs a 6 or 8.

RIVER SIX!!! HAHAHAHA

I can't forget to mention this-- Lam was waving his Canadian flag after the flop. Talk about the kiss of death.


That's all folks. Congratulations? to Jerry Yang. Good fucking night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Athletes Who Blog

At times athletes can appear to be stupid, illiterate assholes who don’t really care about their fans. Well some athletes are trying to disprove that stereotype, some with more success than others. Ladies and gentleman, athletes who blog…

Greg Oden Surprisingly entertaining, funny and down to earth. If you don’t like Oden I think you will after reading this.

Mike Conley Jr. Oden’s college teammate started his own blog on the same site as the big fella. Conley isn’t as funny as Oden but he just started it and it looks like he updates it somewhat frequently.

*Touch* ‘em all (Alyssa Milano) Ok, obviously she's not an athlete, but its about baseball and its pretty funny. It was actually mentioned on Deadspin today. Not really sure what the title of the blog means. Maybe it refers to her attempt to hook up with every starting pitcher in the majors.

Paul Shirley Shirley used to be a forward for the Suns but has since been released. This blog is pretty old, but one of the more funny ones. With a pretty good voice and his self-depricating humor Shirley may have something to fall back on now that he is without a job.

*He also wrote some columns for ESPN.com. I haven't read them yet so read them at your own risk.

Blog Maverick (Mark Cuban) I was disappointed to find that Cuban’s blog is actually kind of boring. I expected more from a guy who passed out on one of our friend’s couch last year in Bloomington.

38pitches.com (Curt Schilling) Most people hate Schilling if they’re not Red Sox fans. I even find myself getting slightly annoyed sometimes. With that being said, his blog can be interesting and he updates it pretty faithfully. His Q&A sessions are always honest and usually interesting (minus the stuff about his video game company), and you can definitely tell he writes everything himself.

On the Road With Pat Neshek The Minnesota Twins reliever has a pretty cool site even though he’s not the biggest name. I especially like his list of Top 20 songs.

Chein Ming Wang This has to be the worst blog on the internet.

Agent Zero: The Blog File (Gilbert Arenas) Agent Zero was possibly the original athlete blogger, and his site is a good one. He’s probably the only one on this list that warrants a daily check. I would expect nothing short of ridiculousness from Arenas and the blog definitely meets expectations.

Hitting the Links

Here’s a good read about ESPN conforming to the sports that they have big money deals with. Ripping on the Worldwide Leader has been a pretty big topic recently and this really lays it all on the table.

Ironically, this next link is in regard to the World Series of Poker Main Event, a sport/game that ESPN has driven into the ground. The final table starts today at 3pm EST (noon in Vegas). I will be buying the grueling live feed via PPV for twenty bigs. Note: Don’t click the link if you don’t want to know who is at the final table (this would go without saying if some people weren’t such jackasses).

Here is a hilarious Facebook Infomercial Parody youtube clip. My favorite part is the two guys that are “married.” Take the four minutes to watch this, trust me.

Speaking of links, the British Open starts on Thursday at Carnoustie. I’m excited to see who hoists the Claret Jug come Sunday.

That's all for now. I may make a story out of the grind known as the final table, but that is only if it yields enough interesting material for me to do so.

First Step Towards Playoff System?

Today could be a big day for college football, and not just because NCAA 08 was released at midnight. According to several unidentified sources from major conferences the NCAA is seriously considering adopting a "Plus 1" format where the winners of two "semifinal games" would play each other in a national championship game. The New York Post article says that the biggest obstacle is Rose Bowl officials' concern about loosening their Pac 10-Big Ten requirement. The first title game could be played as soon as 2011.

I really can't think of a better solution. Its hard to imagine a team ranked lower than fourth that would have a legitimate claim to the national title. This "Plus 1" format would elimate most controversy, keep the traditionalists happy, and most importantly not cost anyone a significant amount of money. Let's hope the NCAA actually makes this happen.

Fan Nation
New York Post

"Ring of a Champion": Bling for All

Dorks and stoned professional athletes everywhere are rejoicing as EA Sports recently announced the “Ring of a Champion” feature to be included in Madden 08’. Jostens, the company that has designed 27 out of the 41 Super Bowl rings, has teamed up with EA Sports in an attempt to embarrass anyone who is insane enough to actually purchase one of these things.

Gamers will have the ability to enter a special code on Jostens’ website after completing three grueling Madden 08’ “game skill” level tests, and then custom design a ring that can include any one of the 32 team logos. Once a gamer passes level five, he or she (WNBA) will obtain “Epic ring” status and have more customizable options including cubic zirconium stones and real diamonds. The rings will cost anywhere between $149.00 and $495.00 depending on how much rain one feels like making.

On the prof
essional side, Jim Kelly and Marv Levy have set up a make shift “mini-camp” in Kelly’s basement and have spent 12 hours a day running over game tape from two previous Madden 07’ seasons saved on Kelly’s memory card. They might just get their ring after all.
Michael Vick might be facing some non-dog related federal charges as he was caught trying to break into EA Sports headquarters in an attempt to figure out what new game features would be included in Madden 08’. He was quoted as saying, “Damn man, I had just figured out that whole Lead Blocker Control bullshit.”



Roger Goodell fainted after early reports from Tennessee revealed that Pac Man had pre-ordered 300 copies of the game and would be allowed to order one GIGANTIC ring from Jostens if he gets past level three on every game. Pac Man says, “this bitch gunna be so big I’m gunna need a wheel barrel to haul it around.”

Males, ages 10-25, everywhere are now faced with the daunting task of trying to keep up with all of life’s responsibilities and still achieve “bling” status. John Madden, you’re impact won’t be known for a few more months, but I predict unfettered chaos. I hope you can sleep with yourself at night. I’ll buy one of your damn rings the day you get back on an airplane, pussy.