Tag Archives: Sports Media

A High-School Hockey Shout-Out For All My North Dakota Peeps

bhs chs alex hausauer goal

ICYMI…that’s “in case you missed it” for those of you less hip to internet slang than a 45-year old blogger…

This goal by NHL propsect Alec Rauhauser of Bismarck Century High School was not only a classic “What the fuck was that?” moment, it actually made #2 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays on Wednesday. For those of you that are hard-core hockey fans, this goal might look a wee bit familiar.

I don’t know about you, but to me it sure looks like that sick-ass goal Michigan Wolverine Mike Legg hung on Goldy F. Gopher back in the day. Rauhauser is drawing the attention of pro scouts with his line going into this game of 19 goals, 26 assists, 45 total points, and that goal helped Century beat cross-town Bismarck High 5-4 in overtime.

While that goal was pretty sweet, I can’t like it because far too many years ago, I was a BHS guy. But, then again, I’m hoping this kid was just living a dream; getting a chance in a real game to re-enact a moment every kid does in his back yard. I would think for a hockey player, scoring that Legg goal had to be high on the list. In comparison, my “Sandlot” age friends weren’t hockey players; but playing “pitch and catch” in his back yard, I can’t imagine how many times my best friend Doug threw Strike Three in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series…and he probably can’t tell you how many times I dropped Strike Three and had to gun down the runner at first…thus saving his perfect game.

Doug is also the witness to my then-infamous “Century Sucks” chant at a state tournament basketball game. Whether it is the NFL or North Dakota high-school sports, fuck the Patriots.

Go Demons.

Sports Blog Movement: One Year Later

one year later

In a world where technology has given every person an outlet for their voice, the Sports Blog Movement seeks to make those voices stronger by giving them an environment where they can draw on those with similar interests in sports so they may maximize each other’s potential and provide a unique source of independent content for the reader.

With that goal in mind, Sports Blog Movement debuted its WordPress page one year ago.  In that time, there have been many changes to SBM, yet this site has achieved some major accomplishments in the last twelve months.

  • 435 posts
  • Over 12, 500 site views and growing
  • January 2013 is already SBM’s biggest month in terms of site visits, and it isn’t over yet
  • A dedicated roster of regular contributors creating unique and insightful sports commentary
  • Sports Blog Movement Exclusive content such as:

Our on-going series for sports and celebrity look-alikes, Sports Doppelgangers

Our sports discussion panel comprised of former NFL place-kickers

Tales of Depression and Sorrow – our breakdown of dysfunctional sports franchises

Here’s hoping you see fit to help Sports Blog Movement enjoy further growth in the coming year.  Thanks for being a reader; none of this is possible without you. If you know sports fans who would enjoy informative and entertaining content not available anywhere else, please point them toward SBM. And they if you are an independent sports blogger interested in becoming a part of the most dynamic sports blogging site on the web, contact us at SportsBlogMovement@gmail.com .

Let’s see what the next year can bring!

The 2012 Dubsy Awards

heisman guy

Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public.

Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use.  Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.

With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the 2012 Dubsy awards.

Continue reading →

Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: When Tragedy Gets Sports Used As A Pulpit For Failed Politics

End of World Sign

Obviously, this piece is being written in the aftermath of the horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Before I go anywhere with this, I’m going to quote fellow Sports Blog Movement member Patrick Young who really encapsulated this terrible tragedy in relevance to a sports blog as well as I think it can be done.

Like many people, I have been deeply troubled by what happened in Newtown, CT this past Friday. Obviously not as much as the residents of the town, and certainly not nearly as much as the victims’ families, but my heart truly breaks every time I think about that tragedy for more than a second. I have found it difficult to force myself to write about anything as trivial as sports, and writing about the tragedy itself is not something I can accomplish. I simply do not have the words.

To the residents of Newtown, Connecticut, and specifically the victims’ families, you have my unending sympathy. If there was anything I could ever do to help you in this time of grief, I would do it without question. May God grant you peace and understanding.

But unlike Young’s eloquent words, I happen to see a relationship between what happened both in the Jovan Belcher situation and at Sandy Hook because in no time at all, both of them were used by people to advance a political agenda, and sports were used as a conduit to do so.

Having said that, it is time for a disclaimer. The following opinions are those of J-Dub, and do not necessarily reflect those of Patrick Young or any other member of Sports Blog Movement.  In other words, if what you are about to read pisses you off, take it up with J-Dub and nobody else.

Continue reading →

New And Exciting Changes on Sports Blog Movement!

sbm main logoIf you’ve been a regular reader of Dubsism, you know we’ve been a member of the Sports Blog Movement for over a year now.  In the last few weeks, we have added several new members, which means SBM is on its way to becomimg your one-stop shop for all the independent sports information you can’t get at one of the big content farms.

This is because the Sports Blog Movement is a consortium of several independent bloggers who cover the world of sports in their own ways. This allows the SBM to offer content unlike what you will find in many other outlets. This also means the strength of the group stems from the collection of talent which forms the SBM.

The Sports Blog Movement is about independent sports bloggers supporting each other in their efforts.  As the Movement has grown, it has included some members who aspire to careers in main-stream sports journalism, it has included some members who would like to be bloggers on a professional level, all while remaining true to its genesis as a home for the voice of the everyday sports fan.

Dubsism is proud to be a part of the SBM, and is even prouder still to provide content to such an endeavor. If you are a fan of Dubsism, you will want to consider becoming a follower of SBM. You will get much more of the independent sports content which made you decide to become a follower of Dubsism. You will also get  content which will be exclusive to SBM followers.  But most importantly, you will discover a whole new source for the independent sports coverage you’ve come to expect.

Be sure to follow the Sports Blog Movement not just here on WordPress, but on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Two Undeniable Reasons Why Northern Illinois In The BCS Is GREAT Thing

northern illinois celebration

Without a lot of undue fanfare, I’m just going to get to the reasons…

1) It Exposes The BCS For Being A Complete Sham

This is what happens when you have a half-playoff, half-bullshit system. It’s no secret I am an anti-BCS guy; I’ve devised my own solution to this problem. But since the Dubsism approach involves a) dismatling the current conference system and b) makes complete sense, it will never happen. That means I have precious little options other than to rail against the BCS.

Georgia got a royal screwing, but that didn’t even come from the BCS. That was done by the Sugar Bowl selection committee.  Despite coming within a few yards of beating Alabama and landing in the BCS Championship game, Georgia gtes left out of the BCS entirely thanks to the Sugar Bowl’s decision to take Florida; a team that the Bulldogs beat in October.  Yeah, that has to suck, but then again, nobody said life was fair.

But let’s say you want to be a hater and blame somebody for all of this. Let’s make sure you are blaming the right people.

First off, don’t start piling on Northern Illinois.  The way this thing worked out, either the Huskies or Kent State were going to be in the BCS, and the reasons why really don’t have anything to do with either of those schools other than the fact they won 12 of their 13 games and play the best football they could. The BCS chips fell in their favor not just because held up the end of the bargain they could control, but because a whole lot of other factors pushed Northern Illinois into the BCS picture.  Under the rules of the BCS game, Northern Illinois earned their way into the Orange Bowl, and all those who are whining about it didn’t.

First of all, there’s Our Lady of Money Notre Dame. Nobody had this team ranked above their traditional overrated #20-ish preseason ranking, and lo and behold, this team rode a crushing defense and pedestrian offense to the top of the BCS heap.  So, there’s one less BCS slot available, but there’s so much whining about who got left out.

Let’s break that down, shall we? If anybody deserves criticism in this situation, it is the Big East, the Big Ten, and for sure Oklahoma. Again, don’t get me wrong, this is in no way a defense of the BCS, rather it’s a call-out of all those who signed on to the game, lost, and now are bitching about the rules to which they agreed.

Sure, I get the Big East is a joke.  That joke got even funnier when it’s eventual champion plunged right out of the rankings from #9 after losses to Syracuse and Connecticut.  Hell, had the Cardinals even managed to win one of those games, they would still be ranked ahead of Northern Illinois, thus keeping the Huskies out of the BCS.

The Big Ten didn’t help matters any either. The fact that best team in the B1G was ineligible made a difference you can’t underestimate. Without the NCAA sanctions, Ohio State is certain to be in the BCS Championship game conversation, thus knocking either Notre Dame or Alabama to another BCS game, thus eating up another BCS slot.

Then,  there is all the whining around Oklahoma, which is for lack of a better term, complete bullshit.  First of all, if Oklahoma helped fuck themselves over by losing to Notre Dame at home. That was the game everybody had circled on their calendars waiting for the Irish bubble to burst, and the fact the Sooner didn’t even bother to show up for that game lit the fuse for the Notre Dame rocket ride to #1.  Then, there’s the fact the Sooners sealed their fate by losing to Kansas State at home.

choke OU

Now, for the fun part.  The same people who are pissing and moaning about Oklahoma (who just so happens to be the # 11 team) being left out seem to forget they are blaming the same system that would put the Sooners in the BCS over higher-ranked squads. The fact is that only the BCS’ “two teams per conference” rule kept Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, and South Carolina out, all of whom were ranked higher than Oklahoma.

The bottom line is this is what you get with such a “neither-nor” system.  It’s not the old bowl system, and it’s not a playoff.  Rather it’s the worst of both, and you’d better think again if you believe this coming 4-team playoff format is a solution.

Hell, we haven’t even started it yet, and we are arguing over who is tenth.

2) It Royally Pissed Off ESPN 

peter finch network

Watching Kirk Herbstreit go full-on Peter Finch from “Network” was absolutely fucking priceless.  Seriously, it was literally the highlight of the bowl season watching Herby nearly lose control of his bodily functions over what really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

As entertaining as it was, its almost equally perplexing. Herby wasn’t the only ESPN-douche going completely apeshit over this; the whole cast of the ESPN BCS Selection special was acting like Northern Illinois had just collectively porked their wives.

Doesn’t the ESPN family realize that they broadcast those mid-week MAC games.  Don’t they get that national exposure for the MAC might mean more than 16 people watch those games? I live in the heart of MAC territory, and while it may be a collection of small schools, it still produces competitive, solid-quality football.

In other words, I’m supposed to accept some sort of argument saying Northern Illinois does not deserve the Orange Bowl bid they received, yet will defend the B1G Ten BCS representative being a five-loss team.

Herby, no matter how much table-pounding you do, I’m just not buying.  Hating on the Huskies misses a crucial fact.

Frankly, I don’t really care about the already shopworn anti-Huskies arguments. I’ll give you that Oklahoma is a more talented team. I’ll give you that the casual college football fan would rather see Oklahoma in January than some some small school from a second-tier conference. I’ll even give you that Oklahoma has a larger fanbase and therefore draws more national interest.

The question is how much so?

Let’s say we replace Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl with Oklahoma.  Is that a game that really stokes the fires of any football fan that doesn’t have a rooting interest in either of the two teams? ESPN wants you to think so, but both these teams are a decade past their most recent championships.

So, what does Northern Illinois offer? An underdog…America fucking loves an underdog.  Rudy, the Bad News Bears, the Jamaican bobsled team…they are all in that special place America has for the “little guy,” and now Northern Illinois is in that class.

In other words, this team now adds a new level of interest, and Herby and the rest of the blow-dries at ESPN have no idea what to make of it. That’s why they are so pissed.

Think about it. In order to cover this successfully, they now have to pick a side of what will be the biggest story of the bowl season.  For those who love the “Cinderella” story, they’ve got a new team for which to cheer.  For those who are outraged about the Huskies’ inclusion, they now have a team to hate on.  That leaves the talking heads’ squarely in the middle, and they hate that more than ear-aches and speeding tickets combined.

The bottom line is that BCS system sucks, and there really has been no better season for pointing that out.  But for college football, the Northern Illinois story is pure gold. Love it or hate it, it generates interest, while making ESPN look like a bunch of crybabies.

How is that not a win?

The Ever-Changing Looks of Alexi Lalas Are More Proof Soccer Is Gaining In Popularity In The United States…

ESPN soccer commentator Alexi Lalas at auction purchased Geraldo Rivera’s mustache and had it dyed ginger.

This is important to note because only a guy working in a growing sport could pay those kind of prices.  If you doubt that, take a look at some of Lalas’ looks from when soccer was the red-headed step-child in America.

Remember the earlier days of Major League Soccer when Lalas was running around looking like a bicycle-kicking ginger Jesus. Of course you don’t; nobody watched the MLS until Drew Carey bought a team.

That led to PlayStation Lalas. Who even has a PlayStation anymore? Aren’t we up to like PS9 by now?

After that, we get Serie A Lalas, the first American in the modern era to play in the top Italian league. The difference is all in hair and beard length.

One thing you have to be careful of is the ease of which any variant of the long-haired bearded Lalas can easily be confused with Metallica’s James Hetfield (again, depending the length of hair or in this case, the presence of Lars Ulrich).

When you are being compared to one of the unquestioned gods of rock, your level of popularity is only going up.  And when you get your own bobblehead, you are certainly going places.

With an increase in popularity comes the beginning of the end for the look you’ve become known for as there is a mainstreaming effect. This is why Lalas showed up one day looking like Chuck Norris.

But at some point, the beard has to come off, and there is no better proof of  your arrival than parody.

The upside to losing the hair disguise is you can end up in a major motion picture, which is the height of popularity. The downside is if you are a ginger with big face bones…well, the picture says it all.

Through all of that, we as a nation find ourselves at a point where now that Lalas can afford to buy Geraldo’s mustache, destroy it’s Smithsonian value by dyeing it, and play Rocky Dennis while playing in two FIFA World Cups, there’s no denying the popularity of soccer is on the rise in America.

Oh, and Lalas got Hannah Storm pregnant.  You aren’t even allowed to talk to her unless you are on the “A” list at ESPN.  But don’t tell anybody; let’s the tabloids have their day with it because she’s like 70 years old.

NBC Sports Network Is Your New Home For The English Premier League; This Is Very Bad News For ESPN

Last week, the NBC Sports Network announced that through an $83 million bid, they have secured the broadcast rights in the United States for the English Premier League (EPL) for three years beginning with the 2013-2014 season.

However, this move means more than soccer fans finding the “beautiful game” on another channel.  This move has some long-term implications for not only the EPL but for the popularity of soccer in the United States, and for the futures of ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports Network?

Before we get into the details, Americans are going to need to understand one crucial fact; while the NFL is currently the world’s most profitable sports league, the EPL is the most popular. While the NFL’s television presence in foreign (excluding Canada) markets is little more than novelties like the occasional regular-season game played in London or the Super Bowl, there’s has been a bare-knuckle brawl for the overseas broadcasting rights to the EPL.  This means in very short order, the EPL is going to replace the NFL as the world’s most profitable sports league.  That will become important later.

Americans who believe the NFL will always be the most popular sport in this country might consider this a wake-up call.   Not only did NBC make the biggest bid anybody has ever made for the U.S. rights to broadcast the EPL, they raised the price of poker by nearly quadrupling the bid that Fox Sports made back in 2009. This took everybody else out of the running, before NBC Sports Network was given the deal, ESPN, Fox Sports, BeIN, and Al Jazeera were all told they would not be getting the contract.

That’s a pretty bold move.  All those other networks had at some point broadcast the EPL, and Al Jazeera was actually the best English-language coverage available. But the EPL is building a model based on getting a major piece of its revenue from foreign television broadcasting rights.  These rights totaled $1.4 billion dollars of revenue for the EPL over the past three seasons, and that number is only going up.  The country in which the EPL is the least popular is the U.S., but the fact that NBC Sports jumped the bid nearly four times over only tells you what the future value of EPL rights will be.

While the NFL and the ESPNs of the world are doing everything they can to kill their own popularity, the EPL is doing exactly the opposite.  Here’s why…the EPL realizes you can’t force Americans to buy a cable channel.

That’s really what the NFL is doing with the NFL Network and it’s host of Thursday games which can’t be seen in half the households in America. ESPN is doing the same thing with ESPN Desportes, which is where much of ESPN’s soccer coverage ends up.  Fox Soccer Channel is also in the high-number hinterlands of the average cable package.  Don’t even ask me where you can find BeIN or Al Jazeera on your cable box.

The fact that NBC Sports Network is on basic cable will lead to an increase of ratings, especially since for the price they paid, NBCSN is not going to relegate prime games like Manchester United vs. Chelsea to the 7:30 a.m. time slot. They know you can put Stoke City vs. Queen’s Park Rangers there.  Fox figured out you can run EPL games tape-delay at 4 p.m. ET, not to mention we live in a DVR world.  Hell, ESPN figured out tape-delay works thirty years ago when they had the rights to the NCAA Basketball tournament.  Soccer fans in America are willing to adapt to the time difference because they enjoy the game; this is one of the fundamental misunderstandings the NFL has about trying to be popular in Europe. This will not work in reverse.

The Fox thing is important, because since soccer is growing in popularity and NBC is largely shut-out in the “big” American sports right now; all they’ve got now is Notre Dame football, horse racing, and the Olympics.  Yet, other than the Olympics, all those contracts will come due for bidding in the next few years, and until then, NBC and it’s Sports Network can use the most popular sports league in the world to boost it’s standing, and therefore make more money, and therefore become a player when it comes to bidding for contracts.

Fox did already blaze the trail for the EPL being broadcast on over-the-air network television, but NBC could really make a run with this, since as we’ve already mentioned, the EPL is growing in popularity and NBC is almost certain to recoup the large bid they laid down for the rights.  Granted, there’s a chance this could backfire and NBC Sports could take a loss on this venture, but that would require soccer to quit growing in popularity. That’s not going to happen.

While this is a big win for NBC, its a big loss for some others, not the least of which is ESPN.  The World Wide Leader was once the bastion for soccer in the United States, but has now lost the Champions League, the World Cup, and now the EPL. This means that after World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016, ESPN will have no current soccer contracts.  What’s even worse for ESPN is the option of sub-contracting games (like they did with Fox Sports) will be off the table since it is clear NBC Sports Network intends to compete directly with ESPN.  Naturally, this means ESPN will have another temper tantrum and refuse to cover soccer, giving it the same cold shoulder it currently gives to the NHL.

 

For all intents and purposes, Fox Soccer Channel will be destroyed.  Despite the fact it will still have the big European tournaments, such as the Champions League, the FA Cup,  and the Europa League, those simply do not have the week-in, week-out attraction during the soccer season the EPL provides. No EPL means filling 38 weekends per year with the Australian A-League and Scottish Premier League (a league which just lost one of its biggest clubs to an insolvency issue). That’s not going to work.  Without regular top European league broadcasts, Fox Soccer’s situation will soon become dire, because it is a premium cable channel  requiring a sports package. Frankly, to even hard-core soccer fans, it just became not worth the price.

Let’s get to the bottom line. NBC Sports Network is quietly putting together a realistic competitor for ESPN, and I’m all for it.  While many American major league sports broadcasting rights are tied up in long-term deals, and with the uncertainty with the NHL,  NBC needs some top tier sports coverage to use as a cornerstone while it sits and waits.  What better for that than the world’s most popular league?  Along with it’s Major League Soccer contract, NBC Sports Network will become the home for soccer in America.

Now, if they would also cover La Liga or Serie A

How The Dan Patrick Show Has Taken Over My Life

At last, our long national nightmare is over. Thanks to the NBC Sports Network, the Dan Patrick Show is back on cable.

Well, maybe it wasn’t a national nightmare, but it sure screwed things up at the Dubsism household.

First, let’s get through the boring “news” part of this story.

NBC Sports Network has acquired multi-year rights from DIRECTV to air The Dan Patrick Show, the renowned sports television show and syndicated radio program starring Football Night in America co-host Dan Patrick. The Dan Patrick Show will debut on NBC Sports Network tomorrow and air weekdays from 9 a.m.–Noon ET. A “Best Of” version will air weekday afternoons from 4-5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

To coincide with the debut of the show tomorrow, NBC Sports Network will relocate to Channel 220 (from Channel 603) on DIRECTV, which is adjacent to other national sports channels. DIRECTV owns and operates The Dan Patrick Show, which airs daily on DIRECTV’s exclusive Audience Network as well.

If you have Direct TV, you likely didn’t notice the absence of Dan and the Danettes from your morning routine.  But it certainly got noticed here.

Obviously, Dubsylvania is not a Direct TV household. Worse yet, the nearest radio station which carries the Dan Patrick Show is an AM station which happens to be just far enough away to where the show always sounds like I’m on a car stalled under a bridge.  Let’s be honest, streaming on the web never works as well as it should, and by the time I can get to a podcast, the show is old news.

In other words, since there is a television in my office, it tended to be on the DP Show, which was as much of a morning staple as coffee.

Let me put it this way. Without the Dan Patrick Show, morning television is a place more frightening than one of those “Halloween” slasher movies covered in offensive lineman butt-crack sweat.  If anybody were to judge America based solely on what is on TV between 9 A.M. and noon eastern time, they would think this country is nothing but deadbeats who when not hanging out at the payday advance place crave advice about our dysfunctional families from charlatans like Dr. Phil while shopping for catheters and motorized wheelchairs.

But that’s not even the worst part. For three weeks, I had to listen to the moanings of Mrs. Dubsism, who had become even a bigger fan of the show than I had.  She seems to have a fascination with Danettes.  She actually treats it like it is a soap opera  –  days that she doesn’t get to see the show,  I am under orders to text her updates on the antics of Dan and the Boys.

This happened because unlike the crap ESPN puts out, the Dan Patrick Show makes it a point to be more than just a radio show with a few cameras tossed in.

Amid the revealing behind-the-scenes antics and interstitial videos, the series is known for its unique blend of situational comedy, breaking sports news, unparalleled insider access and pop culture commentary. By allowing viewers to see the true comedy that surrounds Patrick and his team, The Dan Patrick Show reveals the humor in sports broadcasting while opening the locker room doors to the world of sports. Patrick’s on-air guests include many high profile athletes and celebrities.

Of course, this allows for the development of the characters on the show, namely the Danettes. For those who aren’t familiar, here are their bios from the DP Show website:

Paul Pabst (“Paulie”)

  • College: Southern Illinois
  • Professional Experience: Pro Football Weekly, CBS Sports, ESPN
  • Odd Jobs: Paper boy, DJ at country/western bar
  • Favorite Teams: Chicago Cubs, Liverpool FC, Yale football
  • Greatest Athletic Achievement: The first year of grade-school football, I was riding the pine. We were on defense and we had only 10 men on the field, some kid forgot to go out on D. I ran on the field right before the play started and made the tackle. The coach told me to stay in the game because he was mad at the kid who forgot to go in. I started from then on. I still stunk, but I was like Clint Longley when the Cowboys’ Roger Staubach went down … but I didn’t punch out Roger the Dodger to end my career.
  • Sports Heroes: Walter Payton (He didn’t showboat and played hard every week). Also Tony Hawk for making a street sport mainstream — he gets ripped by skateboarders but he revolutionized sports.
  • Favorite TV shows: The Shield, Deadliest Catch, Friday Night Lights
  • Executive Producer Todd Fritz

Todd Fritz (“Fritzie”)

  • College: New York University
  • Professional Experience: WFAN (New York), KMPC (Los Angeles), Los Angeles Rams broadcasts, ESPN
  • Odd Jobs: Camp counselor
  • Favorite Teams: Denver Broncos, Houston Astros
  • Greatest Athletic Achievement: Once struck out 18 batters in a six-inning little league game. My team still lost 3-1 due to errors and walks.
  • Sports Heroes: John Elway and Nolan Ryan
  • Favorite TV shows: The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, Friday Night Lights, Saturday Night Live, Super Nanny

Patrick  O’Connor  (“Seton”)

  • College: West Virginia
  • Professional Experience: Hartford radio, ESPN
  • Odd Jobs: Security guard, flower delivery person, Postal worker
  • Favorite Teams: Notre Dame, Seton Hall, and the New York Yankees
  • Greatest Athletic Achievement: My first year of Little League, city championship, I played for underdog Sanitary Fuel, taking on the heavily favored Progressive Firehouse. Bottom of the seventh, which is the last inning in LL, one out, bases loaded, we were up by one. I was playing left field and caught a towering fly ball (it seemed to hang in the air for hours) hit by Kirk Asterita and threw it in to second to turn two. Game over. When seeing the ball hit in my direction, my father was quoted as saying “Oh Sh**.” The city newspaper recapped the game the next day, saying “O’Connor, who hadn’t caught a ball all season … ” My big defense over the years has been that I didn’t have any balls hit to me.
  • Sports Heroes: Muhammad Ali, Tony Hawk, Steve Balboni
  • Favorite TV shows: MSNBC, Cash Cab, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Law and Order

Andrew Perloff (“McLovin’”)

  • College: Dartmouth College
  • Professional Experience: Fox Sports, MLB.com, NFL, SI.com
  • Odd Jobs: Butcher’s assistant, flower delivery person, grocery clerk
  • Favorite Teams: Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Greatest Athletic Achievement: Named MVP of Southeastern Pa. JCC (Jewish Community Center) 1982 Little League season. To be fair, I was one of few players in league who didn’t have to worry about losing his yarmulke when running the bases.
  • Sports Heroes: Randall Cunningham, Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt
  • Favorite TV shows: Simpsons, Larry Sanders Show, Flight of Conchords

Why the hell does this matter? Because at my house, for sports to remain interesting to Mrs. Dubsism means she will continue to watch sports.  The fact that the DP Show offers a cast of characters who have some interaction makes sports more entertaining.  If it doesn’t, I’m stuck watching the kind of bullshit she watched before I cam along, and I can take any more “zombie” bullshit.  ESPN can’t deliver on that because let’s face it…ESPN sucks.

That’s why this move is great for me, and great for sports fans in general.  Now that the NBC Sports Network is making headway into becoming a legitimate competitor for the “Mothership,” eventually not only will NBCSN get better (if nothing else, the Dan Patrick Show is going to replace three hours of unwatchable shit about hunting), but it will force ESPN to quit wasting my time with electronic sewage like “First Take.”

And I won’t have to listen to Mrs. Dubsism bitching about another morning’s television full of catheter commercials.  That’s a win right there.

Teams That Grind My Gears: The New England Patriots

For purposes of full disclosure, I have far too many people in my life who call themselves New England Patriot fans.  After Sunday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, I have found myself besieged with their caterwauling about bad officials, Joe Flacco, and every other reason they can think of to distract themselves from the fact they lost yet another big game.

1) The Patriots Are Another Team With Shitty Fans

Now, because the Patriots haven’t sucked for decade now, the ranks of their fans have swelled to include the fairweather butt-loafs that populate not only Boston and the greater Northeast, but includes generally obnoxious front-runners from everywhere else. You know the guy I’m talking about; the guy who wears a Tom Brady jersey (which always seems to come off in sub-freezing temperatures) despite the fact he weighs as much as a small car, who thinks “FAAAAAAAAAAAAACKYOU! YOUSUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKK! is witty repartee, and who couldn’t tell you who Steve Grogan and John Hannah were.

See, most of the so-called hometown Patriots fans are dickrings who simply change out of their “Big Papi” jersey to a “Tom Brady” jersey every September.  What they know about football would fit in their ass with plenty of room for their head left over.  It would be a minor miracle if any of them could name a Patriot other than Tom Brady.

In a lot of respects, the Patriot fan base is much like that of the Cowboys; in the sense there’s a small group of real fans who will still be around after Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are drooling on each other’s catheters at the nursing home, and then there’s a bunch of luxury box front-runners, and guys named “Tommy Boy” and “Sully” who once the Pats are back to being a 6-10 team will be back screaming racial epithets at black hockey players.

If it weren’t for the aforementioned Cowboys’ fans, Vikings’ fans, or Raiders’ fans, Patriot fans would be the worst in all of football. They hate Jets fans even though they are exactly like Jets fans.  They are just like Jets fans because half of Foxboro is Jets fans on any given Sunday.

Its true.  I have several trusted friends who also happen to be Patriot season-ticket holders (they would be small group of “real” Patriots fans).  They will be the first to tell you that Gillette Stadium and the town of Foxboro is the worst place in the world for real football fans.  The Patriots fans who show up at the stadium are either the shirtless Brady jersey owners,  who by the end if the first quarter already stink like their own piss, or they are what is commonly referred to as the “wine and cheese” crowd.

It’s hard to tell which is more hate-worthy; the guy in the stocking cap who will undoubtedly puke on himself at some point while screaming what you are pretty sure is some sort of racial insult, or the guy who spends half of every game telling everyone to sit down. Of course, “Mr. Sit Down” is the same guy who only shows up for the “best” 2 or 3  games of the year and sells the rest of his tickets to Jets fans.

If you doubt them, pay close attention to the seats the next time you see a Patriots game. You will notice the red seats in the middle of Gillette Stadium. That’s where the big-time “wine and cheesers” who own luxury boxes also have the option of sitting outside.  This means that many seats go empty which makes Gillette Stadium the quietest in all of football.

These friends of mine can regail with all kinds of tales of Patriot fan dumb-assery, ranging from hearing the offense booed off the field for driving for a game-winning field goal (the crowd wanted a touchdown) to throwing stuff at Troy Brown – in one of the last games of his career – for botching a punt return.

In any case, both “Tommy Boy” and “Mr. Wine and Cheese”-type Patriot fans are like the turd-baby result of a Jets fans ass-raping a Notre Dame fan; they are obnoxious, dim, and keep reminding you they are better than they really are.

Most importantly, the “Tommy Boys” and “Sullys” of the world have this truly messed-up notion that being a loudmouth cynical ass-wipe equals being a tough guy. These are the guys who watch Mark Walhberg movies and fondle themselves, these are the guys who get tougher with each Sam Adams they pound, and these are the same guys who wake up in a puddle of their own piss and teeth after they screamed the wrong thing at the wrong dude.  There’s nothing tough about these red-and-blue creampuffs.  They are the same guys who are calling sports-radio today wailing like a rotating ball of vag-bitches just using Sunday night’s completely predictable loss as yet another excuse to showcase their brooding moronic bullshit.  The fact is that it would take like two or three Raider at the most fans to kick the living shit out of every Patriot fan on earth.  These Patriot fans are softer than a Memory Foam pillow made out of marshmallows and puppy fur.

Sadly, like the Cowboys’ fanbase, that of the Patriots’ lumps in the real fans with the soft-ass “Tommy Boys” and “Sullys.”

2) Cheating Is OK When You Have The League’s Biggest Star

Hopefully, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the never-ending knob-slob fest of the Patriots, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady.  As despicable as ESPN is, at least they’ve spent the morning raking Belichick over the coals for grabbing one replacement referees after last night’s game. That’s just another perfect example of what pussies the Patriots and their fans are.  Playing “tough guy” with a replacement referee is like bullying the handicapped kid at school.  Bill Belichick has spent the better part of the last decade getting a complete pass from the media, and it’s time to face a fact…there’s a reason why the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2004.

There’s no coincidence between the exposure of “Spygate” and the fact the Patriots have become a reasonbly bad play-off team.  According to Bryan O’Leary’s book  Spygate: The Untold Story Tom Brady knew the defensive calls ahead of time on over 70 percent of his snaps, and makes a case the NFL helped to cover-up the scandal in the first place.

…a new book entitled “Spygate the Untold Story,” suggests the league successfully covered up and minimized the New England spying scandal.

By destroying the tapes quickly, fining the Patriots and taking away a draft pick, but not suspending coach Bill Belichick, commissioner Roger Goodell convinced the public it was a minor matter that didn’t have a big impact on the Patriots’ success.

But author Bryan O’Leary contends it was a key to their three Super Bowl victories and suggests the Patriots might be still doing it in their home stadium, where it’s easy to hide a camera in an obscure place.

O’Leary says it wasn’t just the filming the signals that made the plan work. The Patriots, he wrote, also had a radio frequency to quarterback Tom Brady’s helmet that didn’t click off with 15 seconds left before the play clock runs down — the way the league frequency does.

Ernie Adams, a close confidant of Belichick’s, who is noted for his ability to read defenses, but whose duties have been never publicly defined, is the person in Brady’s ear via their secret frequency, O’Leary writes. He added that Adams can talk to Brady until the ball is snapped and even afterward to alert Brady to the open receiver.

Uhh, yeah, that’s pretty much a full-on cheat.  But it does explain a lot.

It explains why Brady now sucks in the post-season.  I understand that Brady’s 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Super Bowl wins is a major accomplishment, but it’s also fair to look at Brady’s playoff performances in the years since the last of the those Super Bowl wins at the end of the 2004 season.  In 12 play-off games since the last Super Bowl win, Tom Brady and the Patriots are only 7-5.  More astounding are the stats for  an average Tom Brady performance in those games: 23/36, 64% completion percentage, 256 yards, 2.17 touchdowns, and 1.42 interceptions.

Most of those numbers are acceptable, the touchdown to interception ration is the killer.  For a guy who is supposed to be a great pure passer, and for a guy who holds that record of 358 consecutive passing attempts without an interception, having more 3 INT games than 0 INT games in your last 12 playoff performances needs an explanation.

In turn, Brady’s post-season mediocrity explains why the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2004.

It also explains why “offensive genuises”  like Charlie Weis and Josh McDaniels turned to into the coaching equivalent of crunchy cat piss the minute they left New England.

But at the same time, it doesn’t explain why the media types and the same league that swore the Saints’ Bounty Scandal was the worst thing in the history of the NFL turned a blind eye to the fact that what the Patriots did was a far more egregious affront to Roger Goodells’ concern about the “integrity of the game.”

I’m waiting for the day I hear the words “Tom Brady is over-rated” coming out of ESPN. I will be waiting a while, but that day got a bit closer after Sunday night.

3) Colin Cowherd Is The World’s Biggest Patriot Fan, And Even He Won’t Tell You The Truth

There’s no shortage of sycophantery for Tom Brady and the Patriots, but there’s nobody worse than Colin Cowherd.  If Brady dropped his shorts and made his minions form a line to determine the order in which they would be allowed to service him, Cowherd would have the first fours spots at the head of the line.

This helps to explain why “Spy-Gate” got swept under the rug, but it also explains something many non-New Englanders who call themselves Patriot fans likely did not know.  This may be hard to fathom, but before 2001, the Patriots were the red-headed step child of Boston area sports, and in many respects, still are.

You are never going to hear that fact come out of the blow-dries at ESPN, largely because they either don’t know that, or don’t want you to know that.  The fact that even in Boston, nobody likes the Patriots ruins the ESPN-created narrative that New England is the model NFL franchise where everything is happiness and sunshine.  Except for one big fact…Boston fans only now like the Patriots because they’ve won recently.  But every year they don’t win another Super Bowl, they creep back to the back of the Boston sports bus.

The Patriots without a Lombardi Trophy are just on the road back to days when they weren’t just unpopular in Boston…they were absolutely fucking despised.  They weren’t ignored, they were HATED. They didn’t have the championship tradition of the Celtics, nor did they have the perpetual hard-luck stories of the Red Sox, and until recently, you could watch the Bruins without having to see “any of them damn spades.”

In short, Boston was more than happy to treat the Patriots like an orphaned crack baby. All during the franchises time in Boston, they never had a home field, they roamed like football gypsies.  In 11 seasons, the Patriots’ played home games in four different venues; Nickerson Field, Harvard Stadium, Fenway Park, and Alumni Stadium all served as home fields for the Patriots. In the 1970′s the Patriots left Boston for a shit-heap of a stadium in Foxboro.

Foxboro Stadium was built functionally obsolete. It was built as cheaply as possible because nobody wanted to spend money on the Patriots.  It lacked luxury boxes and most patrons had to sit on backless aluminum benches as only a small fraction of the stadium had actual seats (painted blue, red, and white near the 50-yard line).  This stadium was such a joke that twice in the last 20 years, owners had to threaten to move; with a capacity of just over 60,000, it was one of the smallest stadiums in the NFL.  James Orthwein bought the team from Victor Kiam in 1992, and had plans to move the team to St. Louis, but he sold the team two years later to current owner Robert Kraft.

The sainted “Mr. Kraft” then threatened to move the team to Hartford  in order to get a new stadium built in Foxboro, and Patriot fans line up to blow him as if he weren’t some hopeless drunk who made going to a Patriots game an exercise in sitting in traffic for four hours to buy the most expensive tickets in the NFL.  Oh, it will also cost you $40 to park in the absolute middle of nowhere to spend four hours with some of the worst crowds in the NFL.  To top it all off, you will be stuck in your car for hours after the game. because nobody thought it might be a good idea to build a road better than a cattle trail to Kraft’s bucolic  splendor.

This actually brings back to the media. In this case, it is the local Boston sports media market that really shows off what dipshit Patriots fans are, because the Boston sports media is horrible. They fellate Robert Kraft because he hired a cheater and didn’t move the team.  If Rob Gronkowski were black, his behavior would have gotten him run out of town regardless of production (see Mo Vaughn). Can you imagine the way Tom Brady would be treated in Boston if he were black and had the gall to marry a white super-model, considering the way they treated Joe Kapp and Jim Plunkett simply because they were Mexican? The second Brady and Belichick leave or begin to suck, all the “lifelong” Patriot fans will stop going to the games and the Pats will go back to blackouts and 4th-class sports citizenry.

4) Keeping Patriots Fans Talking About “Spy-Gate” Means They Aren’t Paying Attention To The Beginning Of The End 

There’s no better troll-bait subject for Patriots fans than “Spy-Gate.”  We all know from the first time I brought up that subject in this piece, there was some Patriot fan sharpening his crayon to give some 1500-word screed about how:

  • It just wasn’t fair.
  • The Patriots didn’t really cheat because the rule was that you are allowed to have video cameras in the stands, not on the sideline (which is NOT true).
  • The punishment didn’t fit the crime.

The fun part is that while spending all that time trying to turn wrong into right,  the average Patriot fan has not only completely forgotten that the 11 years are the exception, not the norm.  These people think it is the Patriots birthright to win every year, and that the four decades of absolute dogshit that preceded 2001 never happened.

This means as we speak, Patriot fans are ignoring several crucial facts that are apparent to the rest of us.

  • Bill Belichick is showing the early signs of senility.

If you doubt that, just look the drafting and personnel moves of Belichick the “Genius.”

  1. The Patriots passed on B.J. Raji, Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing, and Clay Matthews (twice) in the first round of the 2009 draft because they did not fit into Belichick’s obsolete defensive scheme.
  2. That same off-season, Bill Belichick traded a third and fifth round pick to the Raiders for Derrick Burgess, who was old, used up, and soon out of the league after this trade.  In other words, the “Genius” Belichick got fleeced by Al Davis.  To be fair, later in 2009 Belichick got some of that back when he traded Richard Seymour to the Raiders for a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, which the Patriots used to draft Nate Solder.
  3. The Patriots cut Brandon Merriweather and James Sanders, then lost a Super Bowl because the remaining safeties couldn’t cover a five-foot table with a ten-foot table cloth.
  4. Even now, this means Belichick’s defensive backfield consists of the multi-talentless Devin McCourty, the future-performing Steve Gregory, the under-performing Patrick Chung, and the never-performing Kyle Arrington.
  5. Patriots fans have had to constantly flinch on the linebacker corps since 2006.  Watching Chad Brown and Monty Beisel as the starting middle linebackers in 2006  had to hurt. It couldn’t be any better today watching human blocking sleds like Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Spikes, and the chronically over-rated Jerod Mayo.  Oh, and Tedy Bruschi never didn’t suck.
  6. The Patriots took Laurence Maroney over Maurice Jones-Drew in the 2006 draft.  I could write a whole blog on the sorry-ass history of Patriot running backs since Cory Dillon and Curtis Martin.  It even pre-dates those two…how about some shit-heaps like Craig James and Marion Butts (not Belichick’s fault, but it does indicate the Patriots really don’t understand the running back position).
  7. The Patriots could have had Mike Wallace, but decided Jabar Gaffney was the best option.
  • Bill Belichick gets a pass for having a team every bit as sloppy with discipline as the one Rex Ryan gets criticized for.

Patriots fans are now foaming at the mouth as they read this, and while they are foaming, they are forgetting they have a star quarterback who likes to model with dog collars and go cliff diving in South America instead of working out in the off-season and they have a start tight end who spends his off time posing with porn stars, bar-hopping, and generally acting like a douchebag frat boy.  If Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were New York Jets, all you would read is how Rex Ryan can’t control his players/runs a “loose ship”/ is generally the worst human being ever.

  • The Patriots are a regular-season wonder who can’t win in the play-offs anymore.

FACT:  In their last 2 Super Bowl seasons, the Patriots led in the 4th quarter in 37 out of 38 regular-season games, yet did not win a Super Bowl either year.

FACT: Tom Brady is one of five quarterbacks to throw for 5,000 passing yards in a season. No quarterback who threw for 5,000 yards won a Super Bowl in that same season.

FACT: Nobody is afraid of the Patriot offense anymore.

There’s a reason for this.  In the days when the Patriot offense really had coordinators losing sleep at night, they could do one of two things.  First, they had a vertical passing game that could create big plays.  The days when Tom Brady could could on a receiver who could extend the field are gone.  Defenses are willing to let Wes Welker catch 100 balls a season because none of those 3-yard passes will hurt them, and face it…Welker isn’t going to out-run anybody anymore.  I’ve never seen someone look like they were moving so fast yet cover such little ground. This is why nobody bothers to cover him anymore.

They also can’t run the ball anymore. Don’t let that freak show the  other night in Danny Woodhead fool you. They can’t run him 25 times a game and expect him to survive. The bottom line is the Patriots need a running back that isn’t comically named or 5’3″ tall.  The Patriots looked invincible last season until the New York Jets and Giants found their Achilles’ heel yet again.  The Jets beat the Patriots twice and the Giants won the Super Bowl based on one dirty little secret about the Patriots.  Once you take away their running game, their offense suddenly can’t create plays.  Look at what happens whenever the Patriots need a big offensive play at a clutch moment.  If they could have knocked out that first down which would have allowed them to run out the clock Sunday night, maybe I’m not even writing this today…

The Brady/Belichick offense needs at least the threat of a running game to keep the opposing safeties honest. Once the defensive secondary can cheat back into pass coverage, a lot of the “easy” passing lanes Brady depends on slam shut like a steel bear trap. Not to  mention, once the defense is back in coverage, the Patriot deep-passing game ceases to exist.

FACT: The Patriot defense doesn’t concern anybody anymore either.

It’s hard to imagine a group of eleven guys who were less of a factor on a play-off team that the Patriots defense.  When will a real Patriot fan have the balls to quit drinking the Boston Kool-Aid and admit that Bill Belichick’s devotion to building a defense of “established veterans” (meaning used-up old farts and useless retreads) doesn’t fucking work? The Patriot defense sucks on whole wheat toast, and yet Belichick is heralded for being a personnel genius despite the facts that he has no idea how to use all those draft picks he stockpiles to acquire and develop actual talent.

Belichick keeps bringing in has-beens like Sean Ellis, Gerard Warren, and Albert Haynesworth to run his version of a 3-4 defense built around a) grotesquely fat defensive lineman who play 2-gap and don’t rush the quarterback, b) edge rushers who don’t get to the quarterback either, and c) a secondary made up of yesterday’s heroes and tomorrow’s failures.  Belichick’s version of defense only works against 20-year old offensive schemes (or the Jets today, who the Patriots STILL can’t beat) where quarterbacks took their snaps from under center, teams ran the ball 70% of the time, and there were hardly ever more three or fewer pass catchers on the field in almost all formations.  In other words, when the NFL became a living, breathing, fantasy football league in the 2000′s, Belichick’s defensive scheme became obsolete nearly a full decade before he realized it and drafted a pass rusher.

Julian Fucking Edelman has actually got snaps at defensive back. Need I say more?

5) The Conclusions

The Patriots are still a play-off team; in fact they could easily be the first team to lose five Super Bowls.  But when the Belichick/Brady era comes crashing down in a few year, nobody’s going to feel bad for the real Patriots fans because thy picked up so many douche-hammers amongst their ranks.

For me, I’m just tired of hearing about them. They haven’t won a Super Bowl in eight years, and yet the Colin Cowherds of the world would lead you to believe the New England Patriots are the greatest franchise in the history of ever.

They aren’t. In fact, this season will mark the beginning of the end.

Right now in Boston, there are two full-time FM radio stations dedicated to propagating the uninformed, self-indulgent whining of the luckiest fan base in professional sports.  If you don’t want to buy that description of Patriots’ fans, roll the clock back to Week 10 of last year.  The Patriots record at that time was 5-3, and all three of their losses were tight games that they lost by a total of 15 points.  More than half of the team’s starters at defensive back are on injured reserve, but the toughest game remaining on their schedule is a Week 17 home game against Buffalo.

But in Boston, that just wasn’t good enough for fans who fucking hated this team 15 years ago.  They’ve got a 5-3 record, a cream-puff schedule in a lousy division,  one of the most productive offenses in the history of the NFL, and a guaranteed first-ballot hall-of-fame quarterback.  At this point, the average Boston pointy-head is calling sports-radio and bleating shit like “Bill Belichick sucks at personnel decisions.” Yeah, I know I just said that, but I’m also not one of the troglodyte Patriot fans who said crap like “Should we keep Matt Cassel and trade Tom Brady?” for three solid months in 2009. In other words, I didn’t just figure out last week that the parade has passed Belichick by.

Those are the Patriot fans who grind my gears, and I can’t wait for them to disappear once the Patriots go back to their usual state at the bottom of the NFL. Make no mistake, that is no more than a year or two from happening.  While they spend all their time whining about “Spy-Gate” or Eli Manning, they ignore the fact their team is built to go 12-4 in the regular season thanks to a soft schedule and a 5000=passing-yard offense, and then choke in the playoffs once they’re forced to run the ball, then watch Eli Manning hang three touchdowns on their sorry-ass defense in the final 70 seconds of yet another Super Bowl loss.

And in the words of Bart Scott…”CAN’T WAIT!”

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