Monthly Archives: October, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Jared Allen’s Early Film Career Discovered

We here at Dubsism, in  our ever-present search for the absurd, have come up with photographic proof that Vikings’ defensive end had a career in movies before he became the most over-rated player in professional football.

Go back to the 1988 college football recruiting classic “Johnny Be Good.” Look for the character “Bad Breath.” The picture above really says it all.

If that weren’t enough, the “Texas Sushi” scene is simply priceless. Maybe his character wouldnt have been named “Bad Breath” if he didn’t eat bait from a vending machine.

Geno Auriemma: The Collapse of the Big East Is All Notre Dame’s Fault

Geno Auriemma is an angry guy.  When he’s not busy calling all of you “misogynists,” he’s blaming Notre Dame for all the re-alignment madness currently gripping college football.  I mention this only because I know the legions of college football fans have been on pins and needles wondering about the ramblings of a women’s basketball coach with anger management issues.

Last Thursday, Auriemma took it upon himself to say something about the fact that Notre Dame has been a member of the Big East for basketball, but refuses to join for football.  According to Auriemma, it is that non-committal that is hurting the Big East.

He called out Notre Dame. He called out Touchdown Jesus’ bank account. Yep, right here in New York, right here on 42nd Street, Geno Auriemma blew the doors off the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill.

Maybe it took someone as cheeky as Auriemma, with as much chutzpah as the Hall of Fame coach, to finally say what so many in his conference believe. Or maybe it took someone as uniquely positioned as the UConn women’s basketball coach, armed with seven national titles, to know he can get away with it.

Whatever the maybes, Auriemma was certain about one thing Thursday.

“The only thing you’re sure of is they don’t play [football] in our league and never want to play in our league,” Auriemma said. “For a lot of us, it’s a huge problem.

“They’ve been in our league something like [17] years. How long are we going to date before we just decide this ain’t working? I’m not happy about it. That’s not the opinion of UConn, the Big East Conference, my president, my AD. That’s just Geno Auriemma’s opinion. I’m pissed about it.”

Now, that can only be seen as both a shot across the bow of Touchdown Jesus, and the rantings of a captain whose own ship is sinking. Auriemma continues this thought.

“If Notre Dame had come in as a football and basketball school, all in, we wouldn’t have a problem,” Auriemma said. “Miami wouldn’t have left. Virginia Tech wouldn’t have left. Boston College wouldn’t have left [all for the ACC]. We probably wouldn’t have any of these issues, would we?

“We have one school that holds the future of our league in the palm of their hand and they’re not really that concerned about it. That’s my opinion now. You asked me a question. I’m telling you an answer.”

“But join us in football and then look out for your best interest,” Auriemma said. “If you know you, as a school, have the ability to put a whole bunch of schools at ease and have the Catholic mentality of we’re here to serve and help. … I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school all my life. I love Jesus and I’m not even a Republican.”

You know, Geno, I was with you right up until that last line. I didn’t necessarily agree with you, but any body that wants to beat on Notre Dame…hell, I’ll give that guy as wide a latitude as I can.  But then you had to be one of those pigeon-holing dickheads who assume all people in certain group think the same way.  So, now I have to expose your comments for the idiocy they are.

I could take the cheap shot and remind you that you are a basketball coach in a world where college football is the “money” sport. I would really like not to have to mention it at all, except there’s an important point in this. Geno, being a hoops guy, I don’t know if you realize this, but Big East football sucks. Nobody wants to join it.

Let’s be clear here…it’s pretty bad when I have to defend Notre Dame. But look at the facts.  Nobody of significance wants anything to do with Big East football. This conference can’t even hang on to Syracuse, a program which has had one winning season in its previous ten. This conference can’t hang on to Pittsburgh, a program that hasn’t won a major bowl game in 30 years. This conference got rejected by all three service academies, and got left at the altar by TCU.

If you needed any more proof the Big East is clutching at straws, look at the fact that Auriemma believes Notre Dame football would have saved it.  He points to his belief Miami and Virginia Tech would not have left if Notre Dame joined. Really? A team that hasn’t won a major bowl game since the Lou Holtz era is you savior? Really?

Do us both a favor and stick to basketball, Geno. You live in a world where football rules the day; you live in a conference that is about basketball. The only time anybody cares about college basketball is in March. As such, stick to your March Madness and be grateful you have it.

Frank McCourt Death Watch: One Legal Ball-Kick Down, Several More To Go

It’s been a busy week here at the Dubsism offices. without going into great detail, the bottom line is we are a couple days behind a story we’ve been following all summer.  In other words, America’s long national nightmare is over: The McCourt’s have finally reached a settlement in their divorce which kept the Los Angeles Dodgers in ownership limbo.

You read that correctly. The divorce which was baseball’s equivalent of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren now seems to have finally ended in a settlement last week. So, now we can get back the regular-scheduled business of heaping scorn and derision on the Dodgers…just as soon as we figure out who is going end up owning this team. Initial reports state Jamie McCourt as part of the deal relinquished any claim to the team.

Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement under which she would get about $130 million and relinquish any claim to a share of the Dodgers, multiple people familiar with the agreement told The Times.

The settlement would remove Jamie McCourt as an obstacle to Frank McCourt’s plan to retain ownership of the team by selling the Dodgers’ television rights in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The agreement also would appear to set up a winner-take-all court showdown for the Dodgers between Frank McCourt and Commissioner Bud Selig.

The key phrase in all of that is “winner-take-all court showdown.” While McCourt succeeds in wrestling claim to the Dodgers out of his ex-wife’s rat-like claws, he really is just setting himself up for more legal testicle-kicks.

Here’s the beauty of this…McCourt, having run the Dodgers into the financial crapper, manages to escape from what may very well be the costliest divorce in the history of the state of  California history only to run right back into Osama Bud Selig’s buzz-saw.

Look at Frank McCourt’s situation now. Being rid of the ex-wife and any of her claims to the team is rumored to cost him about $130 milllion.  The divorce itself racked up an additional $20.6 million in legal bills, and the pissing contest over whether the Dodgers were community property chalked up at least another $14 million.

By my finger-and-toe math, that is at a minimum additional $164.6 million down the drain. Why is that important? Because it adds to the total tab it is going to take to excise the butt-nugget known as Frank McCourt from baseball.

Here’s how this works…McCourt’s entire purpose for entering bankruptcy with the Dodgers into bankruptcy was to keep the team…he stated and acted like from Day One that he will give up the Dodgers when his cold, dead fingers are pried from the team. Part of that bankruptcy deal was the court ordered major league baseball to provide a $150 million loans for operating capital.

Now, two things have happened that will kill the viability of that arrangement. First, there is the aformentioned divorce settlement. Not only does it bring up the additional liabilities, it adds the complication that nobody seems to know if the Bankruptcy Court would allow McCourt to use money from any television deal to satisfy a divorce settlement.  Bud Selig wouldn’t allow that, which is one of the main reasons he killed McCourt’s multi-billion deal television with Fox.

The McCourts had reached a tentative divorce settlement in  June 17, but that agreement was contingent upon the approval of the proposed television contract between the Dodgers and Fox.  Selig would not allow the use of funds from a Dodger telelvision to fund McCourt’s divorce; almost half of an immediate $385-million payment from Fox would have been diverted from the Dodgers to satisfying the divorce settlement.

That’s nut-kick number one.

If only McCourt knew how to shut up.

Then there is the issue of the Dodgers’ debt load and tax liability having increased to the point where repaying the $150 million loan assumed as part of the bankruptcy funding and meeting those liabilities could wipe out much — if not all — of whatever profit he would make if he is ordered to sell the team.

That’s nut-kick number two.

While it has been McCourts intention to keep the Dodgers, Bud Selig has asked the Bankruptcy Court to order the Dodgers sold.  Now with his ex-wife out of the picture, there is really only one way McCourt can avoid being forced into a sale. First, he needs the Bankruptcy Court to deny Selig’s request. Then, he needs the same court to grant an auction of the Dodgers’ television rights, a move that would be legally opposed by both  Selig and Fox Sports. After all that, he still needs to come up with $130 million free and clear of any Dodger money to keep the ex-wife from returning to the picture.

That’s nut-kick number three.

Even you have to know the rules, Frank…three nut-kicks and you’re out.

What We Learned From This Weekend in Football 10/22/2011 – The Inaugural Coaches’ Death Watch Edition

Former 49ers head coach and NFL legend Bill Walsh always said the four most powerful words in leadership were “I believe in you.” The irony is when a coach here’s those words coming from his owner or general manager, he might as well just packing up his office then.  Let’s be honest. We are deep enough into this years college and NFL seasons to see which coaches are getting those dreaded “votes of confidence.” In other words, the front-runners in the race to the unemployment office are emerging.

1) Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins

Odds of Getting Fired: May Actually Be Fired By The Time This Article Is Posted

If you are reading this, and it is later than 5 p.m. eastern time Monday, and Tony Sparano is still the head coach of the Dolphins, then he might survive for at least another week.  This guy defines the term “living on borrowed time;” Sparano has had the sword of Damocles hanging over his head ever since last year when Dolphins ownership tried to secretly hire Jim Harbaugh. There’s lots of reasons for that.

His judgement is questionable at best.  Sparano continually stood by quarterback Chad Henne, even after he proved beyond a doubt he lacked any semblance of leadership skills and a tendency toward inconsistent play and making impulsive (meaning horrible) decisions.

Then, he he brought in Reggie Bush to be a “feature running back.” Anybody with eyes  (I blame Sparano’s ever-present sunglasses) saw in New Orlaeas that Bush had no ability to a) carry the ball at a “feature” level b) run between the tackles and c) is little more than a “third down” back useful only in a screen-passing or perimeter role. Besides, he’s damaged goods.

There was a lot of talk that this week’s game against the Broncos would be a referendum on Sparano’s reign in Miami. After all, how many times have you seen a situation in which the visiting team’s starting quarterback is the attraction that sells out your stadium? You can’t honor the University of Florida’s 2008 national championship team without showering roses on Tim Tebow, and doing it with Sparano standing on the sideline only adds Heisman to injury.

Let’s be honest…yesterday’s overtime loss; letting Timmy Rah-Rah lead a comeback in the 4th quarter to beat the Dolphins in overtime…well, that simply can’t help.

Can Save His Job By:  Getting Tim Tebow to personally plead for his future and winning 75% of his remaining games. Even then, he will need to invent a 3-in-1 cure-all for cancer, erectile dysfunction, and the Dolphin defense.

2) Rick Neuheisel, UCLA

Odds of Getting Fired: The Same as Dr. Phil Waking Up Bald Tomorrow

Frankly, I think the blow-out loss at Arizona was the final nail in the Neuheisel coffin.  For all his swagger, Neuheisel never engrained that same attitude in his teams in Westwood, which is  really why he was brought into Bruin Land on the first place.

Neuheisel is 18-26 in three and a half seasons with the Bruins, he is in the fourth year of a five-year contract, and he just got the afrementioned “vote of confidence.”

Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero told ESPNLosAngeles.com late Thursday night that replacing Neuheisel after Thursday’s loss “isn’t even a remote possibility,” his strongest statement to date on Neuheisel’s immediate future.

“Rick is my coach,” Guerrero said after watching the lopsided loss. “I don’t know who is talking about him being relieved early, but it’s certainly not me. He’s a great Bruin. I want to see him succeed.

“We’ll evaluate at the end of the year like we always evaluate and make determinations (of) what we’re going to do at that point. But right now, all this talk about him staying or him going, that does nothing for our team that is trying to regroup and go out there every week and play hard and try to win football games.”

Neuheisel is a dead man.

Can Save His Job By:  Having incriminating photos of Dan Guerrero.

3) Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars

Odds of Getting Fired: Right Now, Moammar Qaddafi Has A Better Chance of Keeping His Job, and He’s Dead

Actually, it would be a more relevant use of space to discuss the proper spelling of “Qaddafi.” Lord knows I wouldn’t want to inadvertently disrespect a murderous, terrorist-supporting dickweed. I’d like to make sure it was intentional. However, that isn’t the point here.

In eight years, Del Rio has one playoff win.  His own players don’t believe in him anymore,  and his handling of the David Garrard situation is reason enough to show him the door.

Realistically, the Jags are 1-5, are currently on a five-game skid and have a realistic chance to enter their bye week at 1-7.

4) Houston Nutt, Mississippi

Odds of Getting Fired: It’s Not That They Don’t Want To…

The following quote is from Ole Miss Athletic Director Pete Boone back on September 19th after the Rebels’ 30-7 drubbing at the hands of Vanderbilt.

The fullness of the Ole Miss football experience that you deserve and have generously invested in, has not lived up to expectations recently. Coach Nutt and I met today and discussed the current state of Ole Miss football. Both of us are extremely disappointed in our performance this year. We agreed that to be successful, this disappointment must be met head on with solutions for improvement. We discussed several areas that needed improvement and I support Coach Nutt in his effort to correct those areas.

As I have said, Saturday’s performance and our running two-season SEC record are unacceptable. Our commitment to compete at a championship level is as strong as ever and we will succeed! We need your continued support of the team as Saturday is another SEC weekend and we need you here!

Considering since then, the Rebels have only managed a win against Fresno State and are 0-4 in SEC play, they would love to put Nutt on the next train out of town.  However, Ole Miss doesn’t have $6 million to buy out Nutt’s contract, so expect Boone to keep blowing this kind of smoke for a while.

Can Save His Job By:  Keeping the Boosters From Ponying Up To Get Rid Of Him

5) Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams

Odds of Getting Fired: As soon as they find somebody who wants the job…

Spagnuolo might be a victim of expectations set too high. The Rams won one game in Spagnuolo’s first year and seven games in his second year. Everybody thought with a combination of Stephen Jackson and Sam Bradford  this might be the “breakout” year. Well, the Rams are 0-6  and are staring down a date with New Orleans.

Can Save His Job By:  Getting his offense to score more than 9 points per game

6) Mark Richt, Georgia

Odds of Getting Fired: Decrease exponentially if he beats a ranked team

Georgia has a real problem. Its fan base expects the bulldogs to be in contention for the SEC East every year, and every year those dreams dissolve either after the South Carolina or Florida game.

But it might be the Boise State loss that really sealed Richt’s fate.  The way the Bulldogs fell behind by three touchdowns after a 28-point Boise State romp that chewed up nearly half the game; that made Georgia look so over-matched you could tell the Bulldog alum had seen enough of the Richt show. Georgia just comes up short too often against the big-name competition, was simpluy isn’t going to keep the faithful in Athens happy.

Can Save His Job By:  Starts by beating Florida, but his $7 million buy out helps

7) Jeff Tedford, California

Odds of Getting Fired: The most 50/50 guy on this list

Tedford is like a Bay-Area version of Mark Richt. He’s a nice, well-tanned guy who started out strong, but has a bit of a “what have you done for me lately?” problem.  Since 2006 when Tedford led the Golden Bears to 10 wins and a share of a Pac-10 title, Cal hasn’t repeated that success, even in the light of USC’s troubles.

Guys we didn’t list because their firing is more of certainty than Moammar Qaddafi’s:

  • Mike Riley, Oregon State
  • Mike Locksley, New Mexico State
  • Paul Wulff, Washington State

Guys who can coach their way on to the list:

  • Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
  • Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Danny Hope, Purdue
  • Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
  • Steve Fairchild, Colorado State
  • Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Lezlie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
  • Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts

Great Moments in Joe Paterno History: “GET THAT SHIRT PULLED DOWN!”

One of the running bits here as Dubsism has been to chronicle some of the lesser-known, albeit tremendous moments in the career of the greatest coach in the history of college football, Joe Paterno.  In honor of his 408th career win (tying Paterno with Grambling legend Eddie Robinson), we thought this would be the perfect time to show some of the qualities that have made JoePa such a commanding figure in the sport.  While there are several hilarious moments in the following video, the title scene happens at the 1:16 mark.

Top Salaries From Obscure Sports and What That Really Means

Esteban over at Total Pro Sports put together a thought provoking list. A while ago, that site did a list of the fattest paychecks in sports, and it’s what you would expect, except for the Formula 1 racing guys and Manny Pacquiao. Granted, I didn’t think of those guys at first, but it makes sense if you think about it.

Then, Esteban took that a step further by looking at some of the most bankable figures from sports which wouldn’t necessarily pop into your head. Originally, I was simply going to comment on his site, but the more I composed my thoughts, I realized this needed a Dubsism-style break-down. Let’s be honest, there some serious social commentary hidden in Esteban’s piece; commentary which really needs to be brought out.

Peruse his list understanding that his premise is ranking the entries on the list by “the disparity between the size of the salary and the obscurity of the sport.” Interspersed with Esteban’s list will be the hidden commentary which may only be visible to my bourbon-soaked brain.

13) Phillip Dalhausser/Tedd Rogers – Beach Volleyball: $387,700

phil dalhausser and tedd rogers

Esteban Says:

“Beach Volleyball isn’t that obscure. It’s always one of the most popular events at the Summer Olympics (though, the bikini-clad women are the bigger draw). Still, it’s not particularly popular as a pro sport. You might catch a tournament here or there on ESPN2 at 11AM on a Wednesday, but that’s about it. And yet American duo managed to pull in over three-hundred grand last year. That’s almost as much as the minimum salary for a Major League Baseball player!”

Dubsism Says:

I re-read this three times before it dawned on me…it took two guys to make that amount of money, which means when you split it down the middle, they only made about $140,000 each. I’ve made that much in a year, which means this sport doesn’t really count in terms of a “professional” sport in which you can get rich…at least not for dudes.  Misty  May-Treanor could probably make that much just by letting dudes stick dollar bills in her volley-thong.

Properly utilized, that is clearly a $140,000 ass-et.

 12) Kelly Slater – Surfing: $516,000

kelly slater surfing
Esteban Says:

“Just so we’re clear, Florida native Kelly Slater is a dude. A surfer dude, to be precise. And he’s doing well for himself. In fact, half a million is just about what I would have expected for the top pro surfer, which is why Kelly only ranks #12 on this list. He also makes a good chunk of change on endorsements and has a super hot girlfriend. So it definitely wouldn’t suck to be Kelly Slater these days. (Plus, do you get to see stuff like this when you go to work?)”

Dubsism Says:

If you recall the Dubsism test of what constitutes a sport, I’m not sure surfing passes. But let’s be honest, half a million and hot chicks…well, that’s hard to argue with. Besides, there’s always the off-chance he gets eaten.

11) Tim Don – Triathlon: $223,600

tim don triathalon

Esteban Says:

“This one is kind of mysterious. British triathlete Tim Don has never been ranked higher than #3 in the world, and he did that only once. In 2010 he finished 15th, and yet somehow he on top of the money list with over two-hundred grand. I guess he won the events with the biggest purses. Still, doesn’t really seem fair, does it?”

Dubsism Says:

I had no idea suicide could be profitable. Have you ever seen what the back-end of a triathlon looks like.? It’s a bunch of skinny exercise addicts who have so over-exerted themselves they are losing their bowel control while running.  I have no idea who would pay to see that.

10) Kane Waselenchuk – Racquetball: $300,000

kane weselenchuk racquetball

Esteban Says:

“Where, exactly, is professional racquetball a popular sport? I assumed maybe in Europe or Asia, but all of the major events seem to be held in North America. That includes the most prestigious event, the U.S. Open, which is held in Minneapolis.”

“In any case, Canadian Kane Waselenchuk is the top-earning racquetball player in the world these days, pulling in a decent $300,000. (This figure, unlike the others presented here, is actually the sum of his winnings, appearance fees, and endorsements. So Waselenchuk’s salary is probably more like $150,000-$200,000.)”

Dubsism Says:

I tried to play racquetball once. I couldn’t understand the object of the game. It seems to me this whole game is about getting a ball to bounce off two walls before slamming into your opponent’s testicles at meteor-speed.

9) Darren Appleton – Billiards : $118,494

darren appleton pool billiards

Esteban Says:

“With many or most of the sports on this list, it would almost seem like a waste to put so much hard work and effort into earning such paltry salaries. Sure, you can make $500,000 surfing, but how much of that do you have to spend on travel and other expenses? A whole lot, I’m guessing. And then one day you’ll be too old to make money surfing, and what will you have? (Sorry, Kelly Slater.)”

“But with billiards it’s different. You can afford to make only $118,494 because the expenses are low relative to other sports, and you can be competitive well into your 50s or 60s (as long as you don’t get early onset arthritis). So Darren Appleton here might be okay.”

Dubsism Says:

I wonder if this guy gets paid in quarters. There’s three types of people who are always on the Jones for quarters: people who need them for laundromats, people who ride the bus, and guys who play a lot of bar pool.

And another thing…don’t be that guy who goes to the bar with his own cue. Even if you can end up as this guy, it’s not worth half a million quarters to be such a colossal douche-hammer.

8 ) Nick Matthew – Squash: $166,929

nick matthew squash

Esteban Says:

“I thought squash was just some game that rich people played as “the club.” I had no idea there was a Professional Squash Association (PSA) and a Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA). But there is. And as top dog Nick Matthew shows, you can’t count of squash to make you rich. So I guess you’d better be playing for the love of the game.”

Dubsism Says:

Is it just me, or does that guy look just a bit too much like Colin Cowherd? That in and of itself tells you this sport has an astronomically-high “Nancy-Boy” factor. Besides, the obvious point is well-taken…if this is a “rich guy club” sport, why does Colin up there  make less than almost anybody else on this list?

7) Trevor Brazile – Rodeo: $507,920

trevor brazile rodeo

Esteban Says:

“I think I expected the top-earners from the world of Rodeo to earn a little more than this. The sport is pretty popular in certain regions (like Texas and Calgary), and the costs involved—well-bred horses and lots and lots of cattle—are pretty high. How much of that $507,920 does Texan Trevor Brazile get to put in the bank at the end of the year?”

Dubsism Says:

This is where Esteban and I part ways. I was shocked to see the top rodeo guy nets half a million bucks a year.  I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it; I just had no idea there was that much money in it.

Not to mention, look at the look that horse’s eyes. You can just tell he thinks he deserves 57 percent of that half a million. In fact, I think Bryant Gumbel just called rodeo horses “slaves.”

6) Renato Nunes – Bull Riding: $1,594,527

renato nunes bull riding

Esteban Says:

“For most people, bull riding is a bit of a novelty. You see people do it on TV, or you hear about bars that have mechanical bull contests, but you kind of forget that this is an actual sport people pay money to watch. So that’s why bull riding ranks to high on the list. It’s certainly not because Brazilian Renato Nunes didn’t earn every penny of that $1.5 million. He most definitely did.”

Dubsism Says:

This guy doesn’t make nearly enough. For all of you NBA panty-wastes who bitch about being underpaid, try doing for one week what this guy does all year long. This event should be called “Professional Testicle-Smashing Which May Also Cripple You And/Or Get a Big Horn Rammed Up Your Anus.”

5) Hakuho – Sumo: $400,000

hakuho sumo wrestler

Esteban Says:

“See, now I thought the top-earning Sumo wrestler would make a hell of a lot more money that this. Though it’s totally a novelty here (like Rodeo), isn’t Sumo kind of a big deal in Japan? You’d think the top sumo wrestler could at least clear $1,000,000. After all, the average salary of a baseball player in Japan is about $450,000. And if they paid them more, maybe Sumo wrestlers wouldn’t have to resort to stealing ATMs.”

Dubsism Says:

This guy only makes $400,000? He eats that much at the $5.99 all-you-can-eat Asian buffet.

4) Walter Ray Williams, Jr. – Bowling: $152,670

walter ray williams jr bowling

Esteban Says:

“Given how much bowling is on TV compared to some of the other sports on this list (like Triathalon), I expected the top-earning pro bowler to be pulling down at least a quarter million, but probably something more along the lines of half a million. Now, I’m sure Walter Ray also has a solid income from endorsements; nevertheless, his actually salary seems shockingly low to me.”

Dubsism Says:

First, that name conjures images of dead girls in a windowless van. Second of all, have you ever watched bowling on television? If you had, you would notice every one of those tournaments which doesn’t happen in the off-Strip backwaters of Las Vegas takes place in exciting urban hot-spots like Columbus, Ohio and North Brunswick, New Jersey.

Besides, if you want to make the big money in bowling, you have to be willing to roll on Shomer Shabbos.

3)  John Baker – Dog Sledding: $50,400

John-Baker-Iditarod-Press

Esteban Says:

“John Baker’s $50,400 dog sledding salary ranks 3rd on this list because it’s surprising in a couple different ways.”

“On the one hand, it’s rather amazing that you can make any kind of living on dog sledding. Everyone’sheard of the Iditarod, but no one knows when it is or who the hell has won it. On the other hand, it’s hard to believe people can afford to compete professionally when making only $50,000 a year.”

“Then again, all the competitions take place in Alaska and northern Canada, so the travel expenses would be relatively low. And you can probably get sponsors to give you dog food, so that takes care of another $10,000 in expenses. So given the low cost of living in the regions where these folks live, I guess they can get by pretty well on fifty grand.”

Dubsism Says:

It doesn’t shock me this guy makes less than I do. It doesn’t shock me this guy looks like his nuts are frozen to his leg.  What shocks me is how does this guy get this much press coverage? There’s nine people trying to get some video or a sound bite off of this guy, and those are just the ones you can see. Either this sport is more popular than we ever imagined, or every single person in Nome, Alaska really needs fresh blog content.

2) Joey Chestnut – Major League Eating: $218,500

joey chestnut competitive eater

Esteban Says:

“Is competitive eating a sport? My instinct says not, but ESPN says yes. And who am I to argue with ESPN?”

“In any case, I was absolutely shocked to learn than you can make this much money by making a complete ass out of yourself on a regular basis. But hey, whatever floats your boat, Joey Chestnut.”

Dubsism Says:

First of all, this is just f–king disgusting. Looking at that, you can just hear the diabetes. This guy must thank God everyday for the Heimlich maneuver.

1)  Phil Taylor – Darts: $1,044,000

phil taylor darts

Esteban Says:

“British darts champ Phil Taylor made a million bucks in 2010. That just blows my mind. Who knew spending too much time at the pub could become so lucrative?”

Dubsism Says:

We may have found the first guy with a seven-figure income who couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison if he had a fistful of keys. Want to know why? Remember the earlier comment about the guy who brings his own pool cue to the bar? He’s one notch up from the guy who brings his own darts.

Open Letter To Bryant Gumbel: You Are A Race-Baiting Parasite

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m going to warn you up front…The following piece revolves around a very ugly and uncomfortable topic. This piece contains some offensive language and a discussion of an even more offensive topic. If you are easily offended or are not willing to see a “bare-knuckle” discussion of race relations as they exist in America today, do not read any further.

Dear Bryant Gumbel,

For purposed of understanding the perspective of this open letter, I am an educated, black male in my 40s.  You and I are in many of the same demographic categories. The major differences are you are older than me, and I am not a sanctimonious, self-serving, race-baiting asshole.

Once again, Mr. Gumbel, you’ve needlessly injected race into a situation which didn’t call for it.  During Tuesday’s episode of HBO’s “Real Sports,” you made reference to slavery in describing the NBA commissioner David Stern’s treatment of players.  During your end-of-show windbaggery, you alluded to Stern as  “some kind of modern plantation overseer” and said the commissioner treats the players like they were “his boys” and “hired hands.”

Show some balls, Gumbel. Instead of hiding behind your not-so-subtle “code words,” why don’t you just say “Stern’s job is to keep the niggers in line?” Your words are every bit as inflammatory and hate-filled as any slur could be, and you know that.   Don’t try to deny you know that.  You’ve got a long track record of deliberately doing just that.

Back in 2006, according to SportsBusinessNews, you called then NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw “(then NFL Commissioner) Paul Tagliabue’s personal pet.”  You may as well have called him an “Uncle Tom.”

That same year, according to NewsBusters.org, you uttered the following gem about the Winter Olympics,  “Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.” Jimmy the Greek got fired for saying blacks were “superior athletes.” Not only did you get away with it, you did it while insinuating the Republican Party might as well be the Ku Klux Klan.

Since you have been getting away with this t for years, you felt comfortable letting loose this bit of race-based verbal diarrhea against Stern. Let’s break this down for a little game I like to call “Count the Code Words.”

“Finally, tonight, if the NBA lockout is going to be resolved any time soon, it seems likely to be done in spite of David Stern, not because of him,” Gumbel said. “I say that because the NBA’s infamously egocentric commissioner seemed more hellbent recently on demeaning the players rather than his game’s labor impasse.”

There’s #1: “demeaning.” To this day, every time I hear this word, I hear it coming out my grandmother’s mouth in Philadelphia 30 years ago on one of her deluded rants about how “Whitey” lives to “demean” successful black people. It was myopic, bigoted bullshit then, and its myopic, bigoted bullshit now.

“How else to explain Stern’s rants in recent days. To any and everyone who would listen, he has alternately knocked union leader Billy Hunter, said the players were getting inaccurate information, and started sounding ‘Chicken Little’ claims about what games might be lost if players didn’t soon see things his way.

Technically, there’s no code words in this paragraph, but the line “if players didn’t soon see things his way” might as well be the “Toby will be a ‘good nigger” line from “Roots.”You stop just short with the analogy; all you need is the imagery of the players as runaway slaves tied to a tied being horse-whipped by Stern.  Oh, wait…you’re getting to that.

“Stern’s version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O., like his past self-serving edicts on dress code and the questioning of officials. His moves were intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.”

This paragraph is a code-word sponge; you wring it and they cascade out.  Some of them I’ve already mentioned. “Plantation” and “overseer” are about as strong as code words get on this topic, but to call the players “boys” is as unacceptable as the N-bomb itself.  For this alone, you should be fired.

But you won’t be fired; in fact you likely won’t face a single sanction since there is a hypocritical double-standard in the media about “hate-speech” being acceptable if it comes from certain people. Therefore, I can only expose you for the self-serving race-baiter you are and hope that America is smart enough to realize nothing you say should be given any creedence.

“Some will of course cringe at that characterization but Stern’s disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent. Yes, the NBA’s business model is broken. But to fix it, maybe the league’s commissioner should concern himself most with the solution and stop being part of the problem.”

Here’s the pay-off…you can’t get good mileage out of your “hate speech” without some hate.  Hence, your assertions that David Stern hates the players.

What utter rubbish.

First of all, the NBA is a business, and whether anybody wants to admit it, it is a business with a major problem.  Bryant, even you allude to that in your own misguided way.  The problem is that the “sweetheart” deal the players got in the last collective bargaining agreement simply can’t continue. We can argue all day long about why that is, and about who deserves what in these negotiations; that’s for another discussion. The bottom line is that the business model works, but it has a revenue problem.

This distinction is critical to understanding your overall misdiagnosis of the situation.  You clearly do not understand the first thing about a business model.  A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. This lockout is about the division of that captured value as expressed as revenue. Funny, but I don’t recall a time when slaves were given an opportunity to get a slice of the plantation’s revenue pie.

It doesn’t take a deep look into your slavery analogy to realize it is utterly devoid of any logic. The average NBA fan has a hard time feeling sympathy for a guy making an average salary of $5 million per year; and he certainly doesn’t look at them as a “slave.”

$5 million per year doesn’t make you a slave, it makes you an employee; an employee who makes a hell of a lot more than the average NBA fan.  Not to mention, it was under David Stern’s tutelage as NBA commissioner that the average NBA salary rose from approximately $300,000 to $5 million.

So, why would you say such a stupid and inflammatory thing?

Because making such an outrageous statement draws attention. That’s it; nothing more and nothing less.  You took took the horrors of slavery and used it to draw attention to yourself and your program.

Stop and think about what that means.

If you are a black person living in America today, Bryant Gumbel just cheapened the legacy of your ancestors by equating the centuries-long suffering of millions of people to a squabble between millionaires over a few dollars, all so he can claim a few more viewers for his show.  Gumbel’s comments become even more offensive when you stop to consider that while the NBA is predominantly black, it is not exclusively so.  Gumbel has absolutely no right to paint the entire league with his racial generalizations.

Mr. Gumbel, for the reasons I have mentioned, it is clear to me that you are an unconscionable, self-serving parasite. I will not be so presumptuous to assume to speak for anybody, but I sincerely hope that America understands what a pernicious hate-monger you really are and simply decides to have nothing more to do with you.

Teams That Grind My Gears: The Minnesota Vikings

Seriously, I have no idea where to start with this rant. Viking fans have always been a bit delusional; they have to be to be fans of a team that has given them the “Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown treatment” more often than Lucy herself gave it to Charlie Brown.

But that delusion got turbo-charged once the sold they souls on that whole Brett Favre affair. Make no mistake, it is the Favre thing that took the Vi-queens from “Ehhh, Whatever” to “I hope every Viking fan gets sodomized by a syphilitic, eight-penised, laser-breathing space demon.”

Face it, you Purple Failure Eaters, The Brett Favre episode turned you into the whiniest fans ever. If you doubt that, all you have to do is refer back to the precious few days after the NFC Championship loss to the New Orleans Saints. You chose to ignore the fact your team committed five turnovers, you chose to ignore the fact that had it not been for  those five turnovers you would have won by at least two touchdowns, and you chose to ignore that your offensive line sucked so bad that your quarterback, the sainted King Brett I, got his ass handed to him so badly that he panicked his way into that final deal-killing interception.

Instead of accepting the reality that you clearly didn’t deserve to win, instead you claimed the Saints “played dirty” and refused to accept the legitimacy of the Saints’ victory.

This exemplifies the fundamental lesson to which Viking fans have been oblivious for a half-century: Whining stands in the way of winning.  Quit bitching about how the referees screwed you, quit bitching about how the other team cheated, and quit bitching about all the other small-change bullshit you point out rather than accept that your football team has never made the jump from good to great.  In fact, the Vikings don’t even know the difference, let alone being able to make that last step.

The Favre episode was just the purest distillation of the Minnesota Viking credo: don’t bother to improve your team, rather just make a bunch of excuses.  Face another thing, there a reason why the following list exists:

  • 0-4 Super Bowl record
  • No Super Bowl Appearance since 1977
  • 4 NFC Championship Game losses since the last Super Bowl appearance
  • The “Whizzinator”
  • The Love Boat on Lake Minnetonka

While those things are in the past, they are just the mile markers on the road the Vikings are still on. Sunday night’s drubbing at the hands of the exceptionally tepid Chicago Bears proves that. By benching a quarterback they never should have signed in the first place, the Vikings are admitting they’ve made yet another mistake.

There’s an old cliche from the world of literature that those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. That should be the mantra of the Minnesota Vikings. With what has happened since the last Super bowl appearance in 1977, it is clear the Vikings do not understand the importance of the quarterback position. And now it continues with Christian Ponder.

Look at this list of the guys who have gotten under center for the Vikings since then (number of games started in parentheses).

  • 1977 Fran Tarkenton (9) / Bob Lee (4) / Tommy Kramer (1)
  • 1978 Fran Tarkenton (16)
  • 1979 Tommy Kramer (16)
  • 1980 Tommy Kramer (15) / Steve Dils (1)
  • 1981 Tommy Kramer (14) / Steve Dils (2)
  • 1982 Tommy Kramer (9) (Season shortened by strike)
  • 1983 Steve Dils (12) / Tommy Kramer (3) / Wade Wilson (1)
  • 1984 Tommy Kramer (9) / Wade Wilson (5) / Archie Manning (2)
  • 1985 Tommy Kramer (15) / Wade Wilson (1)
  • 1986 Tommy Kramer (13) / Wade Wilson (3)
  • 1987 Wade Wilson (7) / Tommy Kramer (5) / Tony Adams (3) (Season shortened by strike)
  • 1988 Wade Wilson (10) / Tommy Kramer (6)
  • 1989 Wade Wilson (12) / Tommy Kramer (4)
  • 1990 Rich Gannon (12) / Wade Wilson (4)
  • 1991 Rich Gannon (11) / Wade Wilson (5)
  • 1992 Rich Gannon (12) / Sean Salisbury (4)
  • 1993 Jim McMahon (12) / Sean Salisbury (4)
  • 1994 Warren Moon (15) / Sean Salisbury (1)
  • 1995 Warren Moon (16)
  • 1996 Warren Moon (8) / Brad Johnson (8)
  • 1997 Brad Johnson (13) / Randall Cunningham (3)
  • 1998 Randall Cunningham (14) / Brad Johnson (2)
  • 1999 Jeff George (10) / Randall Cunningham (6)
  • 2000 Daunte Culpepper (16)
  • 2001 Daunte Culpepper (11) / Todd Bouman (3) / Spergon Wynn (2)
  • 2002 Daunte Culpepper (16)
  • 2003 Daunte Culpepper (14) / Gus Frerotte (2)
  • 2004 Daunte Culpepper (16)
  • 2005 Daunte Culpepper (7) / Brad Johnson (9)
  • 2006 Brad Johnson (14) / Tarvaris Jackson (2)
  • 2007 Tarvaris Jackson (12) / Kelly Holcomb (3) / Brooks Bollinger (1)
  • 2008 Gus Frerotte (11) / Tarvaris Jackson (5)
  • 2009 Brett Favre (16)
  • 2010 Brett Favre (13) / Tarvaris Jackson (1) / Joe Webb (2)
  • 2011 Donovam McNabb (6) / Christian Ponder (?)

That’s quite a list of shame, but it’s nothing compared to the list of horrible player personnel decisions the Vikings have made. It certainly helps to explain why a team with talent never seems to win anything.

Let’s take a look.

1963 – Ron Vanderkelen

Vanderkelen foreshadows the Vikings’ inability to scout quarterbacks, but it’s hard to blame them for this one.  But in retrospect, it fits the pattern.  The Vikes drafted Vanderkelen based largely on his insane record-breaking performance in the 1963 Rose Bowl.

Then, he backed that up with a huge performance in the 1963 Chicago College All-Star Game, which featured a college all-star team against the defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers.  Vanderkelen’s 74-yard touchdown strike leads the college kids to a 20-17 over the Pack, and Vanderkelen was named the MVP.

The trouble was all this hype hid the fact that Vanderkelen wasn’t ever going to be an NFL quarterback, a fact he proved after the Vikings traded Fran Tarkenton in 1967, despite the fact he was the back-up for four years.

1969 – Gary Cuozzo

This is likely the beginning of the long Viking tradition of not understanding the quarterback position, and making bad moves in support of that.  Minnesota coveted Cuozzo, who was the backup to Johnny Unitas and the first starting quarterback for the then expansion New Orleans Saints. The Vikings gave up a first-round draft pick  to New Orleans for a guy who threw more interceptions than touchdowns (43 TD, 55 INT).

1971 – Leo Hayden

The Vikings were in need of a running back, and the best available guy, John Riggins, was already off the board.  Hayden racked up 1,395 rushing yards with seven rushing TDs in three years at Ohio State. This is why the Vikings made Hayden their first-round pick in the 1971 Draft. The problem was Hayden never gained a single yard for the Minnesota Vikings, and they passed over two future Hall-of-Famers (LB Jack Ham, T Dan Dierdorf) to pick Hayden.

1972 – Jeff Siemon

When the Vikings traded QB Joe Kapp to the Patriots, they got the 10th overall pick in the 1972 draft, which they used to select Siemon, a linebacker from Stanford. Two picks later the Steelers selected future Hall-of-Famer RB Franco Harris

1982 – Darrin Nelson

This may be the worst. The Vikings take Nelson, an undersized running back out of  Stanford, with the 7th overall pick; two of the next three picks are Hall-of-Famers G Mike Munchak and RB Marcus Allen.

1983 – Joey Browner

While Browner was a pretty solid safety, a team that needed a quarterback passed on Ken O’Brien and Dan Marino.

1989 and 1990 – Herschel Walker

In what may be the worst trade in sports history… the Vikings wound up with the most overrated running back in the NFL; in return they basically gave the Cowboys two Super Bowl championships.

In this deal, the Minnesota Vikings received:

  • RB Herschel Walker
  • Dallas’s 3rd round pick – 1990 (54th) (Mike Jones)
  • San Diego’s 5th round pick – 1990 (116th) (Reggie Thornton)
  • Dallas’s 10th round pick – 1990 (249th) (Pat Newman)
  • Dallas’s 3rd round pick – 1991 (68th) (Jake Reed)

In return, the Dallas Cowboys received:

  • LB Jesse Solomon
  • LB David Howard
  • CB Issiac Holt
  • RB Darrin Nelson (traded to San Diego after he refused to report to Dallas)
  • DE Alex Stewart
  • Minnesota’s 1st round pick in 1990 (21st – traded this pick along with the 81st pick for the 17th pick from Pittsburgh to draft Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith)
  • Minnesota’s 2nd round pick in 1990 (47th) (Alexander Wright)
  • Minnesota’s 6th round pick in 1990 (158th – traded this pick to New Orleans, who drafted James Williams)
  • Minnesota’s 1st round pick in 1991 (conditional) – (12) (Alvin Harper)
  • Minnesota’s 2nd round pick in 1991 (conditional) – (38) (Dixon Edwards)
  • Minnesota’s 2nd round pick in 1992 (conditional) – (37) (Darren Woodson)
  • Minnesota’s 3rd round pick in 1992 (conditional) – (71) (traded to New England, who drafted Kevin Turner)
  • Minnesota’s 1st round pick in 1993 (conditional) – (13th – traded this pick to the  Philadelphia Eagles, who then to the Houston Oilers, who drafted Brad Hopkins)

If it weren’t enough that the Vikings gave up five established players, the Cowboys ended up with a total of six of Minnesota’s picks over the succeeding years. Just look at the names of the solid up to Hall-of-Fame players the Cowboys got as a result of this deal.

There’s more that aren’t even listed here. As a result stock-piling the draft picks, the Cowboys used them to make subsequent trades, one of which landed the first overall draft pick in 1991, which was used to draft Russell Maryland.

1993 – Robert Smith

Having Herschel Walker obviously whetted the Viking appetite for over-rated running backs. the Vikings used the 21st pick to take Smith out of Ohio State, who really never lives up to expectations. Smith’s eight-year career only ever sees him play a full season once, and while in that one season he actually looks like a first-round pick, meanwhile one can argue the Vikings get a much better bang for their buck by taking three-time Pro Bowl DT Dana Stubblefield with this pick.

1995 – Derrick Alexander

This one is easy to see as a huge mistake. The Vikings are in need of a big-time pass-rusher, which prompts them to take Alexander from Florida State with the 11th pick. With the very next pick, the Buccaneers select future Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp.

1996 – Duane Clemens and Moe Williams

This is the same mistakes as the Vikes made in the previous season, yet it is compounded by who the Vi-queens passed on to take a player who garnered just 18.5 sacks in his entire career: WR Marvin Harrison, G Pete Kendall, and LB Ray Lewis.

A 3rd round pick from the University of Kentucky, Moe Williams only ever had one decent year in his career, 2003: when he posted 745 rushing yards and 644 receiving yards.  But he never amounted to much more than a quasi-useful 3rd-down back, not something for which the Vikings should have passed over LB Tedy Bruschi or WR Terrell Owens.

1998 – Randy Moss

Sharpen you crayons, Viking Fans, because this is Part I of “Stuff you are going to write me hate mail about.”

Granted, Randy Moss was one of the most exciting players in NFL history, and he was for a time the best receiver in the business. Seriously, the guy had amazing hands and had some physical tools that defied belief…

BUT…

There are a few facts which almost completely obviate his talents during his tenure in Minnesota. When you are assessing whether a player is correctly valued, EVERYTHING has to be taken into account, not just the “sexy” or the “feel-good” stuff.

FACT: Moss disappeared in the play-offs.

FACT: Moss only played half of his career in Minnesota; being traded away largely because he was such a douchebag.

FACT: Moss’ tendency to play “when he wanted to” completely eroded his over-all value.  Not being a complete player when you have superior talent makes you inferior.

This is why the Vikings would have been better served taking 6-time All-Pro G Alan Faneca with this pick. Faneca was a 9-time Pro Bowler, one of the best at his position throughout his career, and not a total dick.

1999 – Daunte Culpepper and Dimitrius Underwood

Here’s Part II of  “Stuff Viking Fans  are going to write me hate mail about.” Face it, 1999 is the year of the over-rated quarterback, and the Vikes fell for it. In the first round of that year, five QBs were selected: Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Culpepper, and Cade McNown.

The Vikes blew a 12th round pick on Culpepper, a lunch-wagon sized deep-ball artist from Central Florida. The trouble was that was all he could do; Culpepper never had a season worth mentioning without Randy Moss. The Vikings could have eliminated a lot of the offensive line problems they would have in the following decade as T John Tait, C/G Damien Woody, T Matt Stinchcomb, G Luke Petitgout, and T L. J. Shelton were all available.

But 1999 is a double feature; later in the first-round the Vikings inexplicably blow the 29th pick on Dimitrius Underwood, defensive lineman from Michigan State who was both highly regarded as being an above average player, but also came with a warning label that he had some serious psychological issues which were clearly going to be an impediment to his moving to the next level as a player. Underwood didn’t even make it through a week of training camp before the personal issues which would be his downfall became apparent.

2001 – Michael Bennett

If Wal-Mart sold a Guatemalan-made, low-quality knock-off of Robert Smith, it would be Michael Bennett. Bennett only lasts five seasons in Minnesota, during which time he only tops 500 rushing yards in a season once. The Vikes pass on WR Reggie Wayne, TE Todd Heap, and if they hadn’t made the Culpepper mistake two years prior, this is where they could have ended their quarterback problems by taking Drew Brees.

2002 – Bryant McKinnie

Where do we start here: Is it his nearly complete failure to live up to the hype which surrounded him? Or was it his complete failure to be more than overpaid, overweight bag of cold cuts? Or is it the staggering number of top-flight NFL players that were selected after him ( S Roy Williams, DE Dwight Freeney, WR Donte Stallworth, TE Jeremy Shockey, DT Albert Haynesworth, CB Philip Buchanon, S Ed Reed, and CB Lito Sheppard)?

2005 – Troy Williamson and Erasmus James

Taken with the 7th pick overall, Williamson was supposed to be a replacement for Randy Moss as he was a “vertical threat” blessed with monstrous natural speed. Too bad he couldn’t catch the damn ball.

Meanwhile, James was selected as a defensive end with the 18th overall pick from Wisconsin. In college, he was a one-man wrecking crew on the D-line, racking up 124 tackles (25.5 for losses), 18 sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries,  and six pass deflections. In the NFL, was just a wreck; he only notched five sacks in four years.

Worse yet, here is another example of the Culpepper effect. Because the Vikings were in love with this lard-ass, they passed TWICE on Aaron Rodgers.

2006 – Chad Greenway

A “role player at best” linebacker drafted in front of a “shutdown corner” (Antonio Cromartie), a legit “big-play” receiver (Santonio Holmes), and the best center in the game (Nick Mangold).

2008 – Tyrell Johnson and Jared Allen

There’s a reason why you never heard of Tyrell Johnson. The Vikings didn’t have a first-round pick in 2008 thanks in part to the exceptionally-stupid Jared Allen trade, but there was really no excuse for taking a safety from Arkansas State who would never be more than a role-player when play-makers like RB Matt Forte, WR DeSean Jackson, and RB Ray Rice were still on the board.

Let’s go back to that Jared Allen trade for a minute. This completes the “Stuff Viking fans will write me hate mail about” trilogy.

Kansas City sent Allen and a sixth-round draft pick in 2008 for the No. 17 overall pick, two third-round picks and a sixth-round pick. Kansas City turned the picks into T Branden Albert, RB Jamaal Charles, S DaJuan Morgan, and WR Kevin Robinson. The Vikings turned the Chiefs’ sixth-round pick into C John Sullivan.

In other words, the Vikings provided the Chiefs with a feature running back, a better-than-average offensive tackle, and two non-factors for a barely-mediocre center and a bloated contract for a one-dimensional pass-rusher who gets fat on C-list offensive line talent.  More importantly, it’s time for a dirty little football secret: Sacks are the most over-rated stat in football.

Don’t believe that? Consider the following: Out of the top ten individual sack leaders going into this weekend’s schedule, only  two play on play on a defense in the top ten in passing yards allowed;  Cullen Jenkins (5 sacks) and Jason Babin (7 sacks).  They both play for the Eagles, who are ranked 10th. Jared Allen leads the league with 8.5 sacks, and the Vikings rank 24th in passing yards allowed. Obviously, having a guy that piles up sacks doesn’t help your overall pass defense.

Now, for the final nail in the Jared Allen coffin – he gets paid a shockingly high amount of money for fractionally more than one sack per game. Jared Allen’s salary counts for  $11.6 million against salary cap, or roughly $1.36 million per sack. That’s the bottom line, and that’s for a guy who only offers a pass-rush; Allen has proven he is worthless against the running game. There’s literally tons of quality defensive ends out there for far less money and who can actually play against the run.

2009 – Percy Harvin

I will admit, it may be early to say this, but this guy can’t get on the field with regularity and he underperforms when he does (but in his defense it’s not like the Vikings have had a quarterback to get him the ball). More worrisome is the guys developing a s real playmakers who the Vikings passed up, such as LB Clay Matthews, and WRs Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt.

2010 – Randy Moss (again)

You ran this guy out of town once, then literally gave away a 3rd round draft pick for 13 receptions. The worst part is with that pick, The Patriots may have taken the quarterback you should have.

The Christian Ponder era starts on Sunday, and while nobody knows what the future will bring, the Vikings past history makes me nervous.  The problem is the Vikings emulate their fans; at the end of the day they are both decidedly Minnesotan.

Trust me, I lived there for 15 years.  Those phlegmatic descendants of Northern Europeans who wore real horns on their helmets never, ever change their ways no matter how obviously wrong they are. They don’t trust anybody who doesn’t live within 150 miles of the town they were born in, they bitch endlessly about things they can easily be changed rather than changing them, and they ostracize anybody who dare challenge this Minnesota mantra. Naturally, their football team which wears painted-on horns emulates those characteristics.

Maybe I’m to blame. After all, I’m the one who is continuing to watch the re-runs of “Golden Girls” and expecting Rose to get smarter. Whether you are an individual or a team, if you’re going to make the jump from “good” to “great,” you have to address the key issues.   You have to want to improve and you have to address the proper things.

If you are the Vikings or their fans, this mean confronting your own ineptitude and your own choke artist tendencies. If you do that, you’ll stop wasting your time calling your opponents bad people, blaming the referees, and generally brooding over yet another loss.

Who am I kidding? It’s not like it is ever going to change. For some people, the escalator of evolution quit running a while ago.  Most Minnesotans are goofy as hell, so is their team, and I just have to live with it.

What We Learned From This Weekend in Football 10/15/2011 – The “Exposed” Edition

If you are my age, you remember Fotomat.  If you don’t remember Fotomat, then you also likely don’t remember rotary dial phones, cars that had carburetors rather than fuel injection, and the days when McDonald’s didn’t pretend to care about your health.

You don’t remember the days when you never had to dial somebody’s area code unless you were calling long-distance (another concept you probably don’t remember; calling outside your area code used to cost money before “unlimited anytime/anywhere minutes”), muscle cars with those enormous four-barrel carburetors that burned through 75-cent-per-gallon gasoline like it was cheap, Chinese fireworks, or when drive-thru breakfast didn’t include the option of apple wedges and oatmeal.

"In my day, you had an Egg McMuffin and hash browns at 8, then you had two heart-attacks by noon, and you liked it that way!"

What the hell does any of this have to do with football? Fotomat was all about when your camera wasn’t digital; when your pictures were saved on this stuff called “film,” and you had to ride your dinosaur up to these little huts which were in the entryways to strip malls, drop off your film and come back in a week to get your printed pictures. To take good pictures with those old film-based cameras, often you had to know how to set something called “exposure.”  So many football facts were exposed this weekend you might need a city full of Fotomats to contain them all.

Besides, I’m old and I just wanted to bitch about that for a couple of paragraphs before I got to my point.

1) EXPOSED: Michigan Football Still Sucks

I like Brady Hoke. I think eventually he will accomplish great things in Ann Arbor.  But this is the roadmap for Wolverine football until further notice:

  • Get fat in September on (insert MAC school here).
  • Legitimatize beating a parade of lesser talent by beating the perenially over-rated Notre Dame
  • Get EXPOSED sometime early in the conference schedule
  • Back into an 8-4 record, then get sodomized with a red-hot fireplace poker in one of those 36 Big Tweleveten/SEC New Year’s Day bowl games

2) EXPOSED: Denard Robinson is a Fraud as a Quarterback

I know Denard Robinson was on the receiving end of a bush-league cheap shot (Outrage: How did William Gholston not get kicked out of that game?), but that doesn’t eliminate the the fact the Michigan State defense exposed him.

Denard Robinson is one of the most exciting players in college football, except when it matters. With the sole exception of the 4th quarter of the Notre Dame game, Denard Robinson is a guy who a) disappears in crunch time and b) is just another running quarterback who can’t throw the damn ball.

Even in the Notre Dame game, he still threw three interceptions.

I understand he was last season’s Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, but look at his 2010 stats from two perspectives.  First, focus solely on his passing stats; remove his rushing totals from the picture. Second, look at when his passing touchdowns occur in relation to when his interceptions occur, then look at that compared to when Michigan wins.

What you are going to see is that Robinson posted a lot of his passing stats in “garbage time;” either in blow-out wins (Indiana) or in blow-out losses (Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Mississippi State). The go back to his rushing stats and note when the rushing touchdowns occur. What it also says is that if you want to beat Michigan, make Denard Robinson throw the ball.  Michigan’s record since 2009 when Denard Robinson scores at least one rushing touchdown is 13-6; 6-6 when he doesn’t.

Back to that cheap shot for a moment… I’m an old offensive lineman, and I can promise you any dickweed who did that to my quarterback and stayed in the game would be taking his knees home in a bag.

3) EXPOSED:  Speaking of Frauds, Cam Newton Is Not Ready To Be an NFL Quarterback

It’s time to face the facts…a guy who tosses nine picks in six games does not understand the primary job of an NFL quarterback is to take care of the ball. Not only that, but he easily could have three or four more; this guy makes some seriously bad decisions. In fact, I think we need an “equal time” rule; for every comment were are going to hear from now on about Tim Tebow not being ready to play quarterback in the NFL, there should be an equal amount of commentary dedicated to the fact Cam Newton isn’t either.

4) EXPOSED: ESPN creates its own hype

All you have to do to see this in action is take a critical look at the stories ESPN promotes when they don’t have  “hard” sports news to cover. Here are my favorites from the past week.

  • LeBron James playing in the NFL. LeBron James is not playing in the NFL.  It may be one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard.
  • Jim Tressel will be the next coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Jim Tressel is not going to be the next coach of the Colts.  Jim Tressel doens’t know the first thing about coaching in the NFL. Tell me the last time you saw a Tressel offense that looked even remotely like an NFL offense. Do you really expect me to believe we are going to take a surgically-rebuilt Peyton Manning and have him start running around like Terrelle Pryor?
  • Urban Meyer is going to coach Ohio State in 2012. This one has been rolling for a while, but it’s just as dumb. Urban Meyer will not be the next coach at Ohio State. why in the world would a guy who left coaching due to the stress take on rebuilding Ohio State with that crazy-ass fan base hounding his every step? Not to mention he’s got nothing left to accomplish as a coach. He’s won two national championships. He’s produced a Heisman Trophy winner.  He’s not looking to take on all the bullshit he’d have to endure in coaching in Columbus.

5) EXPOSED: Big Ten Offenses Not Named Wisconsin

By racking up 59 points on a hapless Indiana squad, the Wisconsin Badgers outscored every other ranked Big Ten offense COMBINED (#11 Michigan – 14 points, #16 Illinois – 7 points, #23 Michigan State – 28 points)

6) The BCS is a joke (again)

Does anybody really think Oklahoma is the third-best team in the country? I’m not even sure the Sooners are the best team in Oklahoma. Of course, its hard to tell because neither them or Oklahoma State have played anyone. Of course, I don’t think either of those teams could beat Wisconsin. The problem Wisconsin hasn’t beaten anybody either. Not to mention the team that gets the rap for not playing anybody (Boise State) might just be the best team in the country not currently in the SEC.

7) EXPOSED: ESPN Can’t Control @Occupy GameDay, They Can’t Even Contain It

The proof is in the signs…

 

 

Next up for the Dan Patrick Fans…East Lansing, Michigan.

8 ) EXPOSED: Jim Harbaugh is a Dick, and Jim  Schwartz Is A Sore Loser 

The minute I saw this I knew it was going to dominate Monday morning sports-talk radio. Let’s cut to the chase here. Harbaugh is a dick, and he’s always has been. You can tell this got started not over the handshake, but the shove in the back at which point you can tell Harbaugh said something to Schwartz. You knew it was intentional by the smirk when Harbaugh said during his press conference “It’s on me. I shook his hand too hard.”  In other words, Harbaugh essentially called Schwartz a “pussy” on national television.

On the other hand, if you’re Jim Schwartz, you’ve got to learn how to be the bigger guy. Short of that, go catch up to Harbaugh in the tunnel where there are no cameras before you start looking like the average bar brawler.

By the way Harbaugh, I’d like to see you pull that move with a guy like Rex Ryan or Mike Tomlin just to see how fast you’d get your ass handed to you.

Guest Column: Joe McGrath on the NBA Lockout

Editor’s Note: Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.

From my days running hockey franchises, one thing that has always burned my ass is when stories get reported missing major important facts. This crap going on in the NBA is a perfect example. I understand there a difference between a minor hockey league a big-time basketball operation, but the fundamentals are exactly the same.

This is how I know half the stuff you are reading about this lockout would make great fertilizer for my garden. The other half of the story you aren’t even hearing. Let me point out some of the biggest examples.

1) The Crap About A “Fair Split of Revenue”

You could fertilize Kansas with this one; there’s no such thing as a “fair split.” The only way you can do that is to develop a model in which the players’ union is included with partial ownership. The reason why you have to do this is any business which commits to a pay scale based on sharing revenue has to ensure the players have a stake in keeping the league economically viable.

Right now, the NBA doesn’t have that, and nobody’s talking about it.  The biggest problem the owners have is they have gotten themselves into a position where they are giving away far too much of the business on “max” deals which are far too long. Now, the league is in a position where to many franchises are losing money and a married to long term, high-dollar deals.

Realistically, if the players think they are being treated unfairly, then they should start start their own league. Get all the players together, create a fund to build a new league, and run it any way they see fit. Want to know why they won’t do it? Because they don’t want to incur the risks of ownership. they would rather bitch about being “under-paid” and let somebody else worry about whether the league is profitable or not.

2) What This Is Really All About

This lock-out is all about union-busting, pure and simple. The owners shot themselves in the collective foot during the last lockout.  David Stern accomplished something unimaginable in 1999 when he made the NBA the only professional sports league with a maximum salary. The problem is the owners undercut that by agreeing to the revenue split with the players which started at 55 percent and ultimately ended up at 57 percent.

And while each side is busy making the other look greedy while maintaining it’s own “victim” status, what’s being lost here is the future of the league. A business tossing 57 percent of it’s revenue toward payroll has no future.

The dirty little secret is that futures require two things; planning and capital investment. The fans should pay attention to that, because neither side in this lockout has those things. The players simply don’t care; if they did, they would understand this league has no future as long as the average ticket price stays above 40 bucks.  The owners care, but they are getting squeezed by salaries that don’t go down and ticket prices which have declined each of the last two years. In other words, the owners don’t have the capital to invest, and the only planning they are doing is how to get themselves out of the mess they’ve created.

3) The Irrelevant Crap People are Clinging To

  • The owners did this to themselves

I just alluded to this, and it may be the most useless comment one can hear in this conversation. It doesn’t matter how we got to this point, what matters is how we get out of it. If your are a fan of the NBA, you need to understand a crucial point. This league is going to be a different league when it starts again. It is simply a matter of how big the difference is going to be.

Make no mistake, the owners are going to drop the amount of revenue they spend on players, because they have to drop ticket prices. NBA players who are talking with overseas teams are doing a wonderful job of shooting themselves in the foot because ESPN loves to talk about those negotiations, which tells the NBA owners exactly what the competition is willing to pay. Face it, if you were an owner, why would you pay somebody $10 million when you know no one else in the world will pay more than $3 million?

  • The players are the ones on the floor providing the product

So what? The world is full of players. In fact, if the high-dollar guys go away, I as an owner could move into an arena with lower overhead, drop ticket prices to the point where I can attract the family sports dollar again, or even bundle tickets with concession deals or some other promotional gimmick that would actually turn a sizeable gross margin if I didn’t have to pump the majority of revenue into payroll. The NBA already created this model; don’t think these guys are looking at the D-league teams that can get 5,000 people into an arena in Bismarck, North Dakota and turn a profit because they have low payroll.

Let me put it to you this way. The players aren’t the product; they are the labor, and labor is a commodity which a business has to pay for just like any other. Basketball is the product, and there’s lots of flavors of basketball which sell tickets in this country.  The car is the product, not the workers who built it, and the owners are beginning to realize that there’s more of a profit possibility in selling 10,000 Mercedes than in selling 50 Rolls-Royces.

  • The owners claims about losing money aren’t credible

There’s so many reasons why this doesn’t matter. First of all, this claim generally comes from “that guy” who doesn’t trust anybody who has a dollar more than he does. “That guy” will write me some long, rambling comment about how there’s a gross inequality in the way wealth is distributed in this country, or about how Wall Street screws the average American, or some other tie-dyed, patchouli-reeking bullshit. Don’t be “that guy.”

I’ll be the first to admit that you can cook the books to read anyway you want them to, but there’s one fact which precludes that in this case: The league pay scale is based on 57 percent of basketball-related income, which means that number has to be agreed upon by both the owners and the players, otherwise there would be no pay scale.

That means you can take the league’s total player salaries and compensation and know exactly what the total basketball-related income total was because of the contractually-obligated 57 percent revenue ear-marked for salary. Once you know that, it is simply a matter of combing through the numbers the NBA publishes and seeing which claims add up and which ones don’t.

Most importantly, it doesn’t matter if the numbers are true because it is the strategy with which the owners entered this conflict. Think about it, do you think there is a scenario in which the owners hold a press conference to announce they’ve been negotiating on “wrong” numbers? That will happen right after I become an Eskimo fighter pilot. It’s their story, and they’re going to stick to it.

After all that, here’s what you need to know if you are an NBA fan. It is time to stop worrying about which side you believe. It is time you stopped watching David Stern and Derek Fisher fighting over slices of a pie that you as the fan can take entirely away from both of them.

It is time you let them know that.

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