Nothing can get between two guys faster than a woman. We’ve all been there; we’ve all seen friendships that survived wars torn asunder by a skirt. Earlier in the week, reports began surfacing about a rift in the Vikings’ locker room. It seems that some members of the team are sticking by Tarvaris Jackson as the preferred starter for the team; meanwhile there is another faction believing Sage Rosenfels should be the man taking the snaps.
Things got even better when a reporter used the term “schism” to describe the situation. Enter Purple Poet Laureate Jared Allen.
Among those trying their hand at rumor quashing, Jared Allen had easily the most bizarrely humorous take of all, telling ESPN, “I don’t think anyone on this team knows what “schism” is, let alone could use it in a sentence. I thought it was a sexually transmitted disease when I first heard it and I was like ‘whoa, we preach abstinence in these parts.’
Ok, humor aside, this situation needs a breakdown. First of all, let’s make something absolutely clear. Ten years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find a bigger Brett Favre fan than me. Not only was he clearly the best quarterback in the league, he did it in a way that would have made the “old-school” football guys proud, kind of a “Bobby Layne meets Art Donovan” type. He never showed a primadonna attitude; on old-school dude more line a lineman in a quarterback’s body. But over the last two years, Favre has been selfish, petulant, and worse yet, ineffective on the field. But of all the things Favre is doing to make me hate him, none is more inexcusable than creating divisions amongst his new teammates.
Pro Football Talk has posted a tale of an emerging clash within the Purple ranks. Allegedly, a “faction” of players continues to back quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and resent the fact King Brett I blew into town after training camp to ascend his throne at the expense of a man they consider a younger, more talented player.
Is Jackson younger than Favre? Well, Methuselah is younger than King Brett I. Is Jackson more talented than Favre? At this point, that is at least debatable.
Now, it may seem to be a bit of mystery to some as to why anyone would be so adamant to defend Tarvaris Jackson? It could be just locker-room scuttlebutt that found its way into print.
Or it could be that somebody at Winter Park remembers that in 1991 King Brett I was also a raw young quarterback from a small southern school; a player with all the athletic ability one could want, but just didn’t make good decisions with the football. Perhaps somebody realizes that Favre became the King once he was properly coached, and the same could be true of T-Jack.
Or it could be that King Brett I blew off training camp, and arrived in town on the team owner’s private jet, and was chauffered to practice by the fucking head coach after doing nothing to prove his worth to the team. Gee, it’s hard to see why any other players who sweated their asses off in training camp might harbor a bit of resentment. Even if they had doubts about his on-the-field abilities, at least Tarvaris Jackson had his ass in camp.
Honestly, I’ve been waiting for somebody to make a race issue out of it (Stephen A. Smith, I’m looking at you, asshole). Thankfully, we have another “journalist” to cast this in another light; ESPN moron-du-jour Scoop Jackson actually is speculating what the King Brett I saga would be like if he were Queen Brett I.
Now, I have to give credit where it is due. Normally, Scoop Jackson’s work would need significant improvement to be worthy of lining the bottom of bird cages. But, proving that occasionally even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, he couldn’t be more accurate is dead on here; Favre may actually indeed be a woman…
If he were a woman…
He’d be dumped by now. Straight dismissed. Labeled an indecisive diva. A supermodel with issues.
If he were a woman there would be no way we’d love him like we do Charlize Theron or Sanaa Lathan. It’d be more like the love we have for Liz Taylor, Drew Barrymore or Madonna. Serial love.
If he were a woman, he’d be one glorious bastard. He’d create collateral damage that would take years for men (in reality, teams) to recover from. He’d leave them vowing to never mess with another “woman” like that again.
If he were a woman, he wouldn’t be able to get away with this and still be respected, because this is not the behavior of respectable ladies. Bouncing around from man to man.
So I ask: If Brett Favre were a woman … would you date her?
There are too many suitcases, too much luggage. Excessive baggage, albeit Vuitton.
He’s high-maintenance in its highest form. He’s a high-priced call guy. Julia Roberts played that role and became a star.
But in Favre, you wouldn’t find any of the things you’d look for in a serious relationship. Not the redeeming social qualities. Not the respect for others (or the game). Not the “I’ma introduce you to my moms and keep you away from my friends” type of stuff.
He’s about him, and for him there’s nothing wrong with that. Because what has to be taken into consideration is that we’ve allowed this to happen. We’ve allowed Favre to become who he’s become.
We’ve all played a role. The NFL has allowed it because it allowed him to play the game (and play the league) by his own rules. We the media have allowed it because we’ve never overwhelmingly called him out for putting himself above the game.
Remember Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda Priestly? That’s him. The devil wears purple.
But being special allows this behavior to manifest. It’s no different than the perks that come with being extremely attractive or filthy rich. With being Paris Hilton.
If he were a woman … you’d want him to be slicker about it. More conniving, more deceiving. Crafty like a Beastie girl. Not so up-front about who she is. You’d want her to have some pride in herself. Not be so eager to present herself as promiscuous. The waffling and indecision. The pathological inability to stay true to her word. The vanity of knowing — and acting and believing — that the world revolves around her.
Would you really put up with that in a relationship? From a significant — or even insignificant — other?
Now, we’ve all met women like this. They can be the most beautiful female this side of Samantha Buxton, but we will still think three times or come to the irreversible conclusion that dating someone like her isn’t worth it. The headaches, the attitudes, the “it’s my prerogative to change my mind any damn time I want” philosophy, the prima donna behavior that overrides the benefits of being seen with her.
Take the story of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of ungodly beauty that rendered her irresistible to gods and mortals. She was married off to Hephaestus by Zeus, only to have an affair with Ares. Once the affair was exposed (Ares and Aphrodite were caught naked in a trap laid by Hephaestus) gods such as Apollo and Hermes claimed that they wouldn’t have any problem being caught in a trap with such a beautiful goddess. Then Poseidon expressed interest. Then Dionysus. She’d eventually sleep with all of them. Then Zeus, after being tempted by Aphrodite, punished her for being a freakazoid by making her fall in love with Anchises, the mortal Trojan prince. They ended up having a child, Aeneas. Then Adonis, the handsome young boy toy of gods, came along. With him, Aphrodite gave the first-ever meaning to the term “cougar.”
Now, who among us would date Aphrodite? Or better yet, Pamela Anderson Lee? Not go on a date. I’m talking “date” with intentions of building a serious and substantial relationship. Thank goodness Favre is one of the greatest players in NFL history. Because if he were that woman, we’d be left to answer the one unasked question in Greek mythology of the men who “dated” Aphrodite: Was it worth it?
It is a bit humbling to have a hack like the Scoop-ster be the one to point out the blatantly-fucking-obvious. Forget that Scoop must have found a copy of Greek Mythology for Dummies; King Brett I has a vagina. The indecision, the “me-first-always” attitude, the bun-hugger Wrangler jeans – all the signs are there.
It gets worse. Have you ever noticed how King Brett I treats former coaches and general managers? He’s the vindictive ex-girlfriend; the one who tells the whole world about your erectile dysfunction. Current coaches fare little better. In New York, the relationship between Favre and Eric Mangini was little better than a terrible blind date. Now, she has Brad Childress driving her around and baby-sitting her dog while she fucks all his friends.
And after all that, she’s just going to go marry John Madden anyway.
Seriously, how did we all miss this?
The University of Wisconsin, the epicenter of higher learning in the same state that brought you tail-gating in sub-zero weather drinking some sort of homemade concoction from a plastic jug, has determined that exposure to alcohol is not healthy for their legions of fans. So, in their higher wisdom, they have discontinued beer ads during broadcasts of Badger sports.
MADISON — Wisconsin football fans listening to games on the radio this fall will hear few, if any, beer ads for the first time in years. The university has ended longstanding sponsorship agreements with Miller, Coors and Anheuser-Busch for advertising during Badgers sports broadcasts. The deals, which brought the university about $425,000 per year, were not renewed after a campus committee recommended doing away with them as part of its fight against binge drinking.
Chancellor Biddy Martin recently accepted the recommendation, which the athletics department had appealed for months, said Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations.
So, Biddy, while your intentions might be admirable, this is a classic case of what the military usually refers to “the wrong execution of the right idea.” Here’s the problem: it’s pretty obvious all those fans have already heard of beer. It’s not like simply removing the beer ads spewing from the pickup truck AM radio or the old Curtis-Mathes TV with a coat-hanger antenna sticking out of it will delete the mellifluous brew from the Badger memory banks. Hell, in Wisconsin, the rivers actually flow with Leinenkugel.
Now, some may call it admirable to value the health and well-being of the fan base; rather electing to forego almost a half a million dollars in revenue for the athletic department. Some may call it bold to knowingly take on such a disadvantage, considering Wisconsin must compete with conference leviathans like Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State and their gorgon-like appetites for cash.
It hurts the athletic department financially but they are stepping up and taking one for the team,” Sweeney said.
What utter fucking stupidity.
Fighting binge drinking in Wisconsin by eliminating beer ads is like shooting out all the light bulbs to make the sun go down. These are the same Wisconsinites who happily risk becoming a Cheese-sicle outside Lambeau field in December, staving off arctic temperatures using Old Milwaukee as anti-freeze. These are the same Wisconsinites that used to celebrate home runs at Milwaukee County Stadium by watching Bernie Brewer slide into a 500-gallon vat of beer (the practice was discontinued because the amount of beer needed to fill the vat meant two Wisconsinites had to suffer a Brewers’ game sober). These are the same Wisconsinites who lead the nation in binge drinking. Therefore, it is pretty safe to assume most of your fan base a) already knows about beer, b) knows which kind they like, and c) knows where they can get it.
If that weren’t enough, the very construct of the approach is flawed. While the University has specifically prohibited beer ads on its’ statewide network during football, men’s and women’s basketball and hockey broadcasts, apparently it won’t have the effect of eliminating the “problem” ads entirely.
Sweeney cautioned that fans may still hear the occasional beer ad during games if local stations sell the few spots they control to brewers.
Of course, you know the local stations will sell these ads at an inflated rate, since brewers and football fans enjoy the most symbiotic of relationships; they need each other more than Brett Favre starves for attention. Not to mention, the demand will be increased by the university’s action, which in turn jacks up the cost of the ad. Now for the best part: While the policy that is intended to fight binge drinking has cost the Badger athletic department close to half a million dollars by eliminating not entirely eliminating beer ads during game broadcasts and coaches’ television interview shows, it will continue to allow brewers to host tailgating tents at Camp Randall stadium before football games.
Let me get this straight – we have a major American university wanting to limit the exposure brewers get by advertising during university sporting events, but will allow those same brewers to interact face-to-face with fans on its very own property.
The policy also prohibits beer ads during coaches’ television interview shows and in game programs but would allow beer companies to continue hosting tailgating tents before football games.
When an institution charged with the production of the leaders of the future – those who will discover technologies and inventions to better humankind – engages in this level of stupidity, how does one not weep for the future of this country?
Consider this an intervention for some shit that has gotten seriously out of control. The O.J.-style slow-speed chase of the SUV that carried King Brett I from owner Zygi Wilf’s private jet to Winter Park was bad enough. The fact that hundreds of you surrounded the streets at Winter Park on a weekday afternoon, many of you already sporting purple #4 jerseys was a bit worse.
Then, 62,000 of you ponied up full-price to fill the Metrodome for an exhibition game against the usually dreadful Kansas City Chiefs. During this game, you saw King Brett I lead the Vikings for two series going 1-for-4 for 4 yards, with the sole pass he completed to Percy Harvin being thrown into at least double-coverage. Naturally, this prompted Vikings fans across the metro to spend a Friday night calling the local sports-talk station just to scream various and somewhat inebriated versions of “We’re goin’ to the Super Bowl, baby!”
Let’s just be brutally honest. If the Vikings do in fact find themselves in Miami in February, King Brett I will likely have had as much to do with it as I did. First of all, the strength of this team is the running game and the defense. If the defense gives Adrian Peterson (the most dynamic offensive weapon in the league) a lot of short fields, and if the offensive line can allow him to make plays, it won’t matter much who your quarterback is or what he does. People, it is time to realize that your new savior is a 40-ish bag of bones who has demonstrated over the last 2 years that he no longer can get it done when it counts.
Flash the clock back to January 2008; the NFC Championship Game. King Brett I has just led the Packers to a miracle 13-3 season only to find his team trailing late against the Giants. At this point, the world was waiting for King Brett I to break out one of his All American-Wrangler-Jeans-Hall-Of-Fame-4th-Quarter-Can-Of-Comeback-Whoop-Ass on the Giants. Instead, he pulled something else that has become a Favre trademark of late; he picked a crucial moment with the game in overtime to throw an interception.
The following season with the New York Jets proved to be more of the same. Albeit there were some spectacular early successes, such as the 6 touchdown performance he hung on the Cardinals, accomplishments like this were overshadowed by his dissolving down the stretch. His last five games in a Jets uniform saw only 2 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. In short, he took a team that was in playoff contention down to a 9-7 finish.
Keeping all that in mind, the question becomes “What is a good price, salary cap constraints and all, for a past-his-prime icon?” The NFL is one of the last meritocracies left; you get paid what someone thinks you’re worth, and performance on the field is the chief measure. The contract King Brett I signed with the Vikings reportedly pays him $25 million over 2 years. Compare that deal with Favre’s season, then take a look at the same information for some other QBs who might have been available.
Favre – 22 TD, 22 INT, Passer Rating 81.0, $12 million (signed for $12.5 million for 2009)
Matt Cassel – 21 TD, 11 INT, Passer Rating 89.4, $539 thousand (signed for $14.65 million for 2009)
Jay Cutler – 25 TD, 18 INT, Passer Rating 86.0, $6.4 million
Kyle Orton – 18 TD, 12 INT, Passer Rating 79.6, $2.8 million
Tyler Thigpen – 18 TD, 12 INT, Passer Rating 76.0 $379 thousand
Tarvaris Jackson – 9 TD, 2 INT, Passer Rating 95.4, $686 thousand
The bottom line: not only is this a questionable signing from an on-the-field standpoint, but one that doesn’t make much money sense.
To say the Dodgers grind my gears is an exercise in understatement. I hate the Dodgers – seething, bile-spewing, eyeball-exploding hate. I have hated the Dodgers since childhood, and I will hate them until my dying breath. Even after that, I will still hate them.
The Dodgers franchise is the embodiment of “warning track power.” They make the post-season often enough to make people forget they haven’t won a playoff series in twenty years. Hell, it took a miracle and a strike to get them their last two World Series titles. But performance on the field is only one reason why the Dodgers make my colon slam shut like a steel bear trap.
1) They have no real fans
This is why nobody remembers the complete choke jobs the Dodgers have pulled. Fandom in Los Angeles is completely dependent on your won-loss record. When the Dodgers are winning, the ball park fills with the “white wine and tofu” crowd, and when they are losing, Mexicans toting styrofoam coolers full of Tecate reclaim Chavez Ravine. Of course, I understand their recruiting problem; I would rather clean every toilet in Dodger Stadium with my tongue than be a Dodger fan.
2) Tommy Lasorda
It has always been said about Lasorda “He bleeds Dodger Blue.” What a wonderful concept, especially he did it from a ruptured aorta. From the millions of reasons the guy is a flaming asshole, this might be my favorite: He assaulted a fucking mascot.
From Dodger Blues, a great site for hating the team stolen from Brooklyn.
After the Philly Phanatic had stomped numerous times on a stuffed doll dressed in a Dodgers uniform with “Lasorda” on the back, Lasorda wrestled the doll away from the mascot. Lasorda then hit the Phanatic in the face with the doll, pinned him to the ground and threw a few punches. Truly a great sight.
“What he did wasn’t entertainment,” said Lasorda. “I love the Dodgers, and it wasn’t right for him to stomp on the doll with the uniform. There were a lot of kids there, and he’s showing them violence. He didn’t need to do that.”
David Raymond, who masqueraded as the Phanatic, didn’t seem too bothered. “When he grabs me, he gets his shots in pretty hard, but I didn’t know that he was serious,” Raymond said. “I’m really just trying to make fun of Tommy’s shape.”
3) A childhood stuffed full of “those great Dodger teams” that never seemed to win anything
Does the name Reggie Jackson ring a bell? See, if the Dodgers had any real fans, they would remember the World Series moon-shot homers he slugged against them. Or the “Big Red Machine” that systematically dismantled the Dodgers. Or finding a way to come up a game short against the Astros in ‘80. Or Joe Morgan’s season-ending homer for the Giants in ’82. Or the miracle Ozzie Smith homer in ’85, et cetera, ad nauseum…Besides, anywhere that featured Tommy Lasorda and Steve Garvey in the same place at the same time can only be a sucking vortex of pure evil.
4) The never-ending parade of “Can’t Miss Prospects”
The golden age for this was when the Dodgers’ AAA team was in Albuquerque. Those thin mountain air stats never seemed to translate well to sea level. Guys that were hitting balls into the stratosphere suddenly became “great Dodger hitters” like Mike Marshall, Greg Brock, and (gasp) Franklin Stubbs.
5) Dave Stewart
The highlight of his Dodger career consisted of getting busted with a transvestite prostitute. Once he leaves Los Angeles, he becomes a 20-game winner.
6) The Front Office
Quick – Name the last time the Dodgers acquired a “big-time” free-agent who a) stayed more than three years, b) wasn’t traded for a reduced rate, c) didn’t flame-out entirely. Sure, Manny Ramirez is bucking the trend, but there is still plenty of time for him to fulfill his destiny, just like Kevin Brown, Andruw Jones and “No-more” Garciaparra.
So, when you can’t sign good players, you have to develop them within your own organization. But the Dodgers seem to love to develop players just to the point of paying off, then dumping them for nothing, only to watch them become useful major league players somewhere else. UmpBump sums it up the best:
Ned Colletti has only been a general manager since 2006, but now that he has designated Delwyn Young for assignment, you can now officially field an entire major-league starting lineup out of the players he has given up on and traded away in just three years.
Apparently, Colletti only gave up on Young, a 26-year-old, major league ready 2B/outfielder with a career .303/.363/.514 minor league line, just so he can call up non-roster futility infielder Juan Castro instead of actually-on-the-roster shortstop Chin-Lung Hu (who is also better than Castro in every way).
Look I’m not saying this team I’ve crafted below is better than the team the Dodgers currently have. Obviously, it’s not. But it’s worth pointing out just how much talent Ned Colletti has given up on and traded away for basically no return in just slightly over three years on the job.
The All Ned-Colletti-Gave-Up-On-Them Team:
C Dioner Navarro - Traded to the Rays along with P Jae Weong Seo and OF Justin Ruggiano for C Toby Hall and P Mark Hendrickson. Now the starting catcher for the Rays. Hit .295 last season and is still just 25 years old.
1B Willy Aybar - Traded to the Braves along with P Danys Baez for Wilson Betemit. Became the first man off the bench for the AL Champion Rays last season, often getting starts at 3B, 1B, and DH.
2B Delwyn Young – Designated for assignment and set to be traded because Ned Colletti and Joe Torre like journeyman Juan Castro off the bench more than prospect Chin-Lung Hu, and apparently are willing to sacrifice a perfectly good player for this.
3B Wilson Betemit – Traded to the Yankees for Scott Proctor. Currently a bench player for the White Sox.
SS Cesar Izturis - Traded to the Cubs in 2006 for two months of Greg Maddux. Currently the starting shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles. Amazingly, Ned Colletti somehow failed to even offer arbitration to Maddux that offseason, in a decision which has still never been explained, so the Dodgers got nothing when he then signed with the Padres. This decision looked even sillier when the Dodgers traded for Maddux *again* in 2008.
LF Milton Bradley - Traded to the A’s along with infielder Antonio Perez for Andre Ethier. Currently the starting rightfielder for the Cubs.
CF Cody Ross - Traded to the Reds for P Ben Kozlowski. Currently the starting centerfielder for the Marlins
RF Jayson Werth - Colletti allowed Werth to walk as a free agent after the 2006 season when he could have been resigned for a song. Werth signed with the Phillies for $850,000 and helped lead them to a World Series championship in 2008. Werth is currently the Phillies starting rightfielder.
SP Edwin Jackson - Traded along with P Chuck Tiffany for relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter. Currently the no. 3 starter on the Detroit Tigers.
Amazingly, out of all the players Colletti got in return when he traded these players away, only Andre Ethier is still with the Dodgers, and only Ethier was even really worth much of anything to the team. Granted, Ethier is a pretty good player, but outside of that Bradley trade, Colletti’s trading record shows that he has kindly stocked the lineups, benches, and minor league systems of his opponents while basically getting nothing in return and then having to fill all those holes he created with expensive free agents.
Naturally, the Dodgers couldn’t use Edwin Jackson…why would anyone be looking at a 99-mph fireballer to put into your rotation when Vincente Padilla in available? It’s never a good sign when the second sentence in the story announcing Padilla’s arrival pleads “He say’s he not a bad person.”
7) Steve Garvey
Short of Lasorda, was there ever a more hate-able Dodger? He spent years cultivating that “Clean-Cut All-American Boy” routine, all while attempting to impregnate all the women in Southern California that weren’t his wife.
8 ) The Pavillion
The term “Pavillion” was coined to sound more gentrified than “bleachers.” But at Chavez Ravine, it actually means “steerage-class rabble who usually don’t know a goddamn thing about baseball or anything else since they generally have double-digit IQs.”
Case in point from the above photo: You know the guy making the “steroid-needle-in-the-butt” gesture to Barry Bonds is the same guy who calls the local sports-talk radio station to verbally fellate fellow performance-enhancing-drug-user-and-everybody’s-favorite-fucking-Dodger Manny Ramirez.
If nothing else, the Ohio State Penitentiary University has for far too long been amongst the elite of the Big Eleven Ten. Thanks to the “Crazed Librarian,” since 2002 the Buckeyes sport a 47-9 mark in conference play, leading to five conference titles and a national championship. In short, tOSPU has been a royal pain in the ass.
But much like the advance of technology, little bits of knowledge eventually develop into revolutionary concepts. Much like the development of the electronic device on which you are reading this evolved from several other known technologies, a strategy for reliably beating the Buckeyes needed the vision to combine all the right pieces. Luckily for other teams in the Big Eleven Ten, that vision came from a set of bottle-thick glasses.
There are two essential ways to beat tOSPU. One is to simply outrun them. This was demonstrated by Florida, Texas, LSU, and USC. But for all you Big Eleven Ten teams for whom this is not an option, the Paterno formula has been proven to work in big games, and even in Columbus.
I. Stop the Run
This may be the most daunting to achieve, but is it absolutely crucial. Buckeye history is littered with two things – great offensive linemen who paved the way for great running backs. This combination has always been the fuel powering the engine that is the Buckeye off-tackle running game. But Penn State showed the way to slice tOSPU’s fuel lines.
a) Allow your linebackers chances to make plays: The Buckeyes love to get their guards down the field on running plays to engage the linebackers. When Illinois upset the Buckeyes in 2007, a key was J Leman flying everywhere from the linebacker spot, notching 12 tackles and generally being a monstrous pain in tOSPU’s ass. The next year, Paterno built on this by getting his defensive lineman to screen Buckeye linemen off the entire PSU linebacking corps. The result: tOSPU’s sputtered for only six points.It doesn’t hurt to put five defenders at the line of scrimmage, a formation that Illinois used with some success in 2007.
b) Attack the guards: Get your defensive linemen to beat tOSPU’s interior line. Use five of them if you must, but you must control the line of scrimmage. Not only does this help the linebackers, but it wreaks havoc on the passing game the Buckeyes use as a bail-out.
The measure of success is keeping the Buckeyes under 100 rushing yards. In all nine of their conference losses since 2002, tOSPU couldn’t crack this mark.
II. Use a Balanced, Ball-Control Offense
Learn from Purdue – trying to fill the skies with footballs isn’t going to work. Northwestern caught lighting in a bottle once with this approach, just enough to keep all the lovers of the Joe Tiller “Wing It and Fling It” approach convinced it can work. The Buckeyes are always amongst the leaders in points per game allowed, and they do this by not giving up big plays downfield.
a) Move your quarterback out of the pocket: But Tiller was right about one thing, getting the quarterback moving around gives tOSPU absolute fits. Juice Williams had Buckeye coaches ripping their hair out in 2007 when his mobility systematically broke the Buckeye defensive scheme. Daryll Clark mirrored this in the Penn State win in Columbus in 2008, using designed rollouts to set up play-action passes or off-tackle sprints into the secondary.
b) Throw short and mid-range passes. Being effective off the play-action is the trick here. Michigan used the slant pattern in 2003, while Illinois and Penn State did it with the more traditional Big Eleven Ten screen pass.
c) Keep the safeties away from the play. You’ve got to run the ball to control the clock, and you have to use the running game to keep the defensive backs honest. If you are throwing slant passes, run the ball off-tackle. Conversely, screen and slant passes dictate you run the ball up the gut. Buckeye DBs love to overpursue; this must be exploited.
d) Get a Positive Turnover Ratio. Troy Smith’s fumble in 2005, Todd Boeckman’s three interceptions in 2007, Terelle Pryor’s fumble in 2008…need I say more?
Believe it or not, there is a fine line between being a fantasy sports geek, and being a truly sad and pathetic creature worthy of only scorn, derision, and occasional pity. If you follow this link and think it’s a great idea, you have pole-vaulted across that line.
Seriously, enjoying fantasy sports is one thing (feel free to ask me about why Ken Griffey, Jr. almost caused me to shoot myself in the face with a nail gun); but buying bling to celebrate championships that exist only amongst a select cadre of your buddies catapults you into the fifth dimension; a metaphysical plane defined by Dungeons and Dragons, pale skin, and extreme virginity while in your late 30’s.
Here’s a tip. If you have one of these rings, or are thinking of buying one, get a real job, move out of your parent’s basement and, just once try kissing a girl. They don’t have “cooties.”
Well, some do, but the experience would still be good for you.
Joe Paterno has spent a lot of the last decade being hassled by officials and listening to a lot of “old” jokes. We all know every referee in the conference has had it out for JoePa ever since he was hanging effigies of them on the front door of his house (don’t think every PSU fan in the world doesn’t know what a conspiracy Lloyd Carr’s “Magic :02″ was in 2005). We all know the coach has a way of speaking that can be a bit too direct; in that way only old guys seem to get away with. We all know people have been harping about his age for the last fifteen years, despite the fact he has an undefeated season, two conference titles, and nine upper-tier (Alamo Bowl or better) bowl appearances in that time.
Well, for the first time in years, a team has a legitmate shot at consecutive Big Eleven Ten titles and the BCS Championship game, and Joe Paterno wants you to know who it is.
That’s right, bitches…It ain’t Ohio State. The Nittany Lions open the season ranked #8 and things only get better from there. A depleted Buckeye team is the only real competition Penn State should face for the conference title, and they are due for an early-season evisceration courtesy of USC. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions get to sink their fangs into the milk-fed veal of Akron, Syracuse, and Temple. That’s not the only schedule advantage Penn State enjoys. The Nittany Lions only play four road games; the toughest being Michigan State. Their toughest game overall will be when The Ohio State Penitentiary University comes to Happy Valley. As for the rest of the campaign, it really starts to show that the Big Eleven Ten has really become Big Two, Medium Five, and Small Four.
With two MAC teams, an FCS team, and what may the worst BCS conference team not currently in Indiana, Penn State has a non-conference schedule softer than cream cheese left out in the sun. In other words, things certainly look favorable for the Nittany Lions to notch their third conference title in five years.
September 5 – Akron
Akron is a team with some high hopes in 2009. This is the year the Zips open a new on-campus 30,000 seat stadium (which is just a shade under 30% of the crowd they will play in front of at Beaver Stadium), and they are expected to challenge for the MAC East division title. Some prognosticators envision this team winning as many as eight games, but this won’t be one of them.
September 12 – Syracuse
The salad days of Dwight Freeney, Marvin Harrison, and Donovan McNabb are long gone. Now, this is a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2001 and is now pinning its hopes on a former Duke point guard as a quarterback; a quarterback that hasn’t taken a snap since 2004. If that weren’t enough and the athletic director is now rewarding fans for they loyalty they showed during the darkness of the Greg Robinson era by finally scheduling some teams they might actually want to see – if they live in East Rutherford, N.J. What do you think is going to happen?
September 19 – Temple
Temple, the second MAC representative to face the Nittany Lion buzzsaw, will likely become the first one to lose to a Joe Paterno-led team 25 times. This will put the in-state rival from Philadelphia in sole possession of this distinction; breaking the tie with West Virginia they achieved with the 45-3 drubbing they took last year. Temple shouldn’t expect much in the way of “Brotherly Love” in Happy Valley, considering they have an all-time tally of 3-34-1 against Penn State, and they have been outscored by the Nittany Lions 124-3 in their last three tilts.
September 26 – Iowa
The annual Rolaids Bowl…How does this game get such a distinction? Because fucking Iowa always finds a fucking way to win this fucking game. Last year’s miracle field goal at Kinnick Stadium not withstanding, Iowa just seems to have Penn State’s number, to the tune of having a 6-1 record against the Nittany Lions in this decade. Couple that with the fact that Penn State is 7-9 in Big Eleven Ten openers, and are only 3-3 in conference openers at Happy Valley and you see why the PSU faithful may need to keep the antacids handy.
However, there are two upsides here are 1) this is a revenge game for Penn State, as that field goal last year arguably cost the Nittany Lions a shot at the BCS Championship Game and 2) at least it is early in the year, so even if the boys in blue drop this one, there is still time to rebound before the BCS polls start being published.
October 3 – @ Illinois
Illinois represents the first time Penn State travels in 2009. Even though the combination of quarterback Juice Williams and head coach Ron “I never met a Coke machine I couldn’t head-butt” Zook have somehow elevated Illinois into the Medium Five, the Illini during this time have been the definition of mercurial. They surprise the world with a trip to the Rose Bowl in 2007, then fail to become bowl-eligible the following season. So, which Illini team shows up? It matters little, as even with wide receiver Arrelious Benn, they just don’t have enough weapons not to be over-matched by the Nittany Lions.
“Are You Kidding Me, Really?” If Juice Williams starts six games in 2009, he becomes Illnois’ all-time starts leader for a quarterback. And if he amasses 4,238 total yards in 2009, Williams would pass Purdue’s Drew Brees mark as the Big Eleven Ten’s career total offense leader.
October 10 – Eastern Illinois
As the lone member of the FCS on the schedule, Eastern Illinois will travel to State College, take their beating, and head back to Charleston, IL with a nice check made out to the athletic department in tow. And lest we forget, EIU will always be known as the alma mater of the man with the single greatest name in the history of college football.
October 17 – Minnesota
Minnesota is a team on the rise; the third season for head coach Tim Brewster and the first in a brand new home for the Gophers. Minnesota is poised to make a bit of noise in the Big Eleven Ten largely as they seem to be the team looking to inherit Purdue’s traditional spot in the Motor City Bowl. They could find a way to eek out the six needed wins against FBS teams, but pulling off a miracle against Penn State seems as unlikely as Dan Nystrom is long gone.
October 24 – @ Michigan
The Streak That Starts Now: The Nittany Lions’ victory last October was the first over Michigan in a dozen years. Of course, this is even a sorer spot given Penn State won the 2005 contest in Ann Arbor, but a conspiracy between Lloyd Carr and Big Eleven Ten referees gave the Wolverines a magically-appearing :02 in which they pulled a miracle last-play touchdown pass, giving Penn State its only loss. PSU has an all-time record of 4-10 against the Wolverines; their worst against any Big Eleven Ten team.
With Coach Forehead already announcing that he will use three quarterbacks in the opener, it is pretty safe to assume the Wolverine’s offensive bite will be as toothless as ever. Beating these d-bags is always sweet; doing in consecutive years would be a sheer blast of joy from a nuclear-powered orgasm-a-tron.
October 31 @ Northwestern
God, I hate going to Evanston. Even though the boys in blue are 9-3 all-time against the Wildcats, two of Penn State’s three losses in the series have come in Evanston. It’s the second of consecutive road games. Not to mention it takes place on Halloween. Granted, those losses came in the darker days of the earlier part of this decade, but head coach Pat Fitzgerald has Northwestern playing at a 19-18 clip in the last three seasons.
Northwestern has improved to the point where they are no longer everybody’s homecoming patsy. Penn State just has too many weapons for the Wildcats, but this has all the hallmarks of being this year’s Iowa, the road loss that makes blood squirt out of my ears and bile spew from everywhere else.
But that’s not gonna happen.
November 7 – Ohio State
November 21 – @ Michigan State
Picture it…State College, in a closet somewhere deep in the recesses of Beaver Stadium sits the Land Grant Trophy. It has been there for exactly one year, draped in a towel with that amount of dust on it. It’s two days before this game, and nobody can remember where they left the damn thing…it won’t matter, because they won’t need it. Even though this game has a shot to mean the conference title, and even though it is in East Lansing. Penn State has in past years had this trophy locked up tight, and this year will be no exception. The reason is simple: the Spartans are always out of gas when they get to this game…and this year will be no exception.
There just has to be something in the water in D.C. that gives you the “Dr. Strangelove’s Fist” level uncontrollable urge to spend money you don’t have. Now the Nationals are in on the act. For those of you who haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance that’s most of you (thank you, Harry Doyle) the Washington Nationals just signed their #1 overall draft pick to a rookie-record $15.1 million contract.
As we speak, Washington ranks 14th of 16 National League teams in attendance, averaging roughly 23,000 victims spectators per home game. Of course, this might be related to the fact the Nats are a team so far back on the last-place highway they can barely make out the tail lights of the team in front them.
So, in order to get a few more nickels in the piggy bank, the Gnats decided to hold a promotion last Friday. For only a buck, you could come down to Nationals Park and get a glimpse of the Washington Nationals’ new $15 million man during on-field, pregame news conference with new rich guy Stephen Strasburg.
For some reason, Gnats’ victims faithful ponied up a Washington to revel in the moment a franchise officially mortgages it’s future. Early returns indicated this might be a stroke of genius as the ticket office sold 6,000 $1 tickets in three hours. The problem: those were the only returns; seems nobody really wanted to hang around an empty ball park for the 5 1/2 hours between the 2 p.m presser and the scheduled first pitch.
In other words, this was just more Nationals-type thinking. Perhaps if the ballpark held 15 million people, this might have worked.
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Bronco fans. You don’t have to like the trade that sent Jay Cutler to Chicago and brought the Neckbeard to the Mile High City. You don’t have to like his 3-interception performance in his Denver debut (and even I will admit that left-handed interception against Seattle was powerfully lame). You don’t even have to like the fact that your team has historically led the league in ugly-ass uniforms. But you have to like Kyle Orton.
Sure, we could sit here and argue about a bunch of statistical stuff, but that isn’t really the point behind why you must like Kyle Orton. Rather, you must understand that Orton is what every moderately-talented and under-ambitious 20-something guy wishes he could be. He has the super-hero like quality to be mediocre yet successful, and most importantly, immune to criticism. Face it, Bronco-maniacs. You will never see Orton curled up in the fetal position sobbing uncontrollably over the slings and arrows you may cast. You have to understand that the Neckbeard is born of different stuff than us mere mortals.
In short, he’s living the life you wish you could.
Picture a gray November 1982 in that American Mesopotamia known as Iowa. A baby who will someday become the Neckbeard springs forth genie-like from a party-size jug of Jack Daniel’s. He is raised by an unsuspecting Iowegian family, who don’t realize the young Orton is different until they realize his talent to raise his arm and cast a football a mighty distance. It is an ability that is almost as impressive as his ability to double-fist alcohol in amounts heretofore unseen in those parts (legend has it he once consumed an entire stock dam filled with Grain Belt beer).
The powers given unto young Orton drew the attention of the Tiller-stache, who brought the prodigy to Purdue. Orton walked onto the field, pushed aside whatever slag-heap the Boilermakers were pretending was a starting quarterback, and filled the skies over Ross-Ade stadium with pigskin. When nearly 50% of those balls resulted in positive yardage, and when Orton threw only ten less touchdowns than interceptions, the Neckbeard was born.
Eventually, the Neckbeard outgrew West Lafayette; moving to the land of the NFL, and he has no idea how. By his own description, Orton awoke at the 2005 NFL Draft next to a crowd of spectators and large black man in a Bears jersey. Dumbfounded by the sudden rush of attention, he cast his road-map eyes into the crowd and said “Forget about Grossman, put your faith in the Neckbeard.”
He gained fame for his ability at first to out drink the entire Chicago Bears team, then the entire city. His fame only grew when his tales of mass consumption were combined with his exploits with the ladies of Chicago.
Now, Denver, the Neckbeard is all yours.
The whole point of that story is to make Bronco fans understand what they really have. Orton is considered to be one of the most laid-back and mediocre quarterbacks of all time. Orton is considered to be one of the legendary drinkers of our time. He is also noted for his prowess with the ladies, having earned the reputation as a master swordsman, thus ranking him as the greatest athlete in the history of ever.
If you are yet unconvinced that Kyle Orton is living your dream life, compare the average day in his life to yours.
A Typical Day at Kyle Orton’s House:
2:00 p.m. – Wake up, smoke a joint
3:00 p.m. – Call buddies, have them grab a couple of cases of beer on their way over to the crib
4:00 p.m. – Smoke another joint and watch Dr. Phil, because seriously that shit is hilarious
5:00 p.m. – Make up some excuses for missing practice
6:00 p.m. – Play Xbox, drink beer, and smoke up with buddies until it is time to go clubbing
9:00 p.m. – Head out to the club, drink enough liquor to float a moderately-sized naval vessel and select chicks for after-hours Neckbeard orgy
2:30 a.m. – Neckbeard orgy
5:00 a.m. – Send chicks home in a cab, smoke a joint, go to sleep
So, Orton makes $3 million dollars a year to play football, and gets to do nothing but drink constantly, hang out with his crew, and nail the sort of chicks over which you could only fondle yourself. Keep that in mind the next time your nine-dollar-an-hour-overnight-mall-security-guard ass wants to lip off.
UPDATE: 4/23/2010 – Kyle Orton Promoted to God
Apparently, there is a rule in the blogosphere that says if you tag more than three posts with “college football,” you are required to do a pre-season ranking. Failing to do so can mean having your nose flayed, your genitals set on fire, and having to listen to Lee Corso prattle on endlessly about being Burt Reynolds’ roommate at Florida State. Since there is no way I could listen to Corso that long…
Teams are rated within their conference, and the conferences are ranked in order of overall strength.
Plus, since here at Dubsism we are believers in the yin and yang of things, we felt it necessary not only to do the obligatory Top 25 list, but a Bottom 25 list as well. Why? Because for every team that should be admired for its prowess, there is one that should be pitied for its ineptitude.
Not Rated – Independents
Naturally, when you are rating conferences, the outliers cause a problem. Fortunately, none of them are any good, so it really doesn’t matter. The Irish are the best of the lot by a shade; success in South Bend means six wins. Now, former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz seems to think the Irish can get to the BCS championship game. Be careful how loudly you disagree with that…we all know it’s a crock, but Lou is obviously unstable and rumored to be armed.
1. Notre Dame
11) Sun Belt
2. Arkansas State
3. Florida Atlantic
4. Middle Tennessee State
5. Florida International
8. North Texas
9. W. Kentucky
1. Boise State
2. Louisiana Tech
4. Fresno State
6. San Jose State
7. Utah State
9. New Mexico State
1. East Carolina
2. Southern Miss
5. Central Florida
8 ) Mountain West
4. Air Force
6. Colorado State
7. New Mexico
9. San Diego State
1. Bowling Green
6. Miami (Ohio)
7. Kent State
1. Central Michigan
2. Western Michigan
3. Ball State
4. Northern Illinois
6. Eastern Michigan
6) Big East
2. South Florida
3. West Virginia
1. Florida State
2. N.C. State
4. Wake Forest
6. Boston College
1. Virginia Tech
2. Georgia Tech
3. North Carolina
4. Miami (FL)
4. Oregon State
6. Arizona State
10. Washington State
3) Big Eleven Ten
1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan State
2) Big 12
5. Kansas State
6. Iowa State
3. Oklahoma State
4. Texas Tech
6. Texas A&M
3. South Carolina
6. Mississippi State
National Top 25
6. Penn State
7. Virginia Tech
9. Ohio State
11. Oklahoma State
15. Georgia Tech
16. Boise State
18. Michigan State
20. North Carolina
23. Texas Tech
National Bottom 25
96. Mississippi State
97. Washington State
99. Iowa State
102. Eastern Michigan
107. Central Florida
111. New Mexico
112. Utah State
113. Kent State
115. North Texas
117. San Diego State
118. New Mexico State
120. W. Kentucky