Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Open Minded

For American sports fans, the news that Andy Roddick was eliminated in the first round of the U.S. Open Tuesday night was shocking.  Not because he was the #4 seed.  Or because he lost in straight sets to a guy from Luxembourg, of all places.  No, what’s most stunning to these fans was this: “The U.S. Open is going on?”


Things are much more low-profile in Flushing Meadow than they were in the days of McEnroe and Connors on the men’s side, Evert and Navratilova for the women.  Quck, name five men’s seeded players!  Okay, in addition to the already departed Roddick, you can give me Roger Federer and Andre Agassi.  Unless you assumed that Agassi’s retired and only plays in commercials with his wife.  Two more players?  Didn’t think so.  Even if I gave you 2nd-seeded Rafael Nadal, you’d say, “You idiot, he’s the shortstop for the Braves!”


As for the women, I have faith that you’ll name four: the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova (pause for the male readers to drool), and Lindsay Davenport.  I’ll even give you a clue for another.  The fifth-seeded woman is the defending champion and from Russia.  No, it’s not Sharapova – you already had your chance to drool!  The answer is Svetlana Kuznetsova.  Oh yeah, Svetlana Kuznetsova!  Like Roddick, she’s already been eliminated and is therefore no longer relevant to this article.


The largest factor for the U.S. Open’s diminishing popularity among Americans is that, well, there’s not much U.S. in the Open.  Of the 33 seeded women’s players (Why 33?  Is it a Rolling Rock thing?), three are Americans.  Yes, they’re three of the players you actually recognize – #2 Davenport, #8 Serena Williams, and #10 Venus Williams.  But no spunky, up-and-coming American gals among the next 23.  Where have you gone, Tracy Austin?


On the men’s side, once again, only three U.S. players are seeded.  But to be fair, the men’s seeds only go to 32, so the ratio is better.  And that’s even with skipping the #5 seed.  Seriously, the list of seeded men’s players on the official U.S. Open website goes from #4 Roddick to #6 Nikolay Davydenko.  Upon further research, it turns out that Marat Safin was the #5 seed but had to withdraw due to injury.  But come on, if you’re gonna seed the guy, at least put him on the website – don’t act like he doesn’t exist!  Marat, if you’re reading, at least I’m giving you your props.  Anyway, you’re all familiar with two of the American men: Roddick and #7 Agassi.  The third seeded guy from the U.S.?  Of course, it’s #25 Taylor Dent.  I think he either sang “Tell It To My Heart” in the late 80s or was Brad Pitt’s character in “Fight Club.”


The women’s draw is pretty wide open, with CBS praying that the finals involve someone from among the Williams sisters and Sharapova (all on the same half of the bracket).  I don’t think they’d be dancing a jig over a final between Amelie Mauresmo and Nadia Petrova.  Federer, the defending champion, is the clear favorite on the men’s side due to his dominant play over the last two years.  In fact, keeping in mind the blue surface of the courts, some feel the only way he could lose is if he has to face Boise State.


So now you’re up to speed on the U.S. Open.  No, not the golf tournament.  Oh, forget it!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

NL West Sent To Minors

In an unprecedented move, the entire National League West division was demoted to AAA this morning.  The action was spurred by the horrendous performance of the division, lowlighted by a first-place San Diego Padres club at 63–65.  At an aggregate 71 games below .500, the West may be fortunate it was only sent down one level.


Major League Baseball officials noted that the NL West had been overmatched by big league pitching.  And hitting.  Further exposure to major league action may have severely damaged the division’s confidence.  Therefore, a stint in the Pacific Coast League was considered appropriate until the West is again ready to face big league competition.


The move is a humbling blow to the NL West, having been in the majors since 1969.  On the bright side, the minors are generally considered to be more fan-friendly.  Local businesses are eagerly looking forward to sponsoring kids’ sack races between innings.  Also, team chemistry should be improved as road trips will be made by bus rather than by plane, giving Jeff Kent and Milton Bradley ample time for bonding.


A league official insists that the move was for the NL West’s own good, and they remain confident in the division’s ability.  “If the West works hard and stays focused, good things will happen at the AAA level,” said the official.  “Once we’re satisfied the West can sustain that success, we’ll give it another shot in the bigs.”


There’s no word on whether that shot could happen this season.  It’s possible that the NL West could have to prove itself in spring training before being called up again.  Certainly not an ideal position for a proud veteran division.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Clemens Harmful to Houston Hitters

Despite Roger Clemens’s first complete game of the season, the Houston Astros fell 2–0 to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.  The result is all too familiar to Astros fans.  Although he has a dazzling 1.56 ERA, Clemens has a modest 11–6 record.  Houston has been shut out in two of his last three starts, and amazingly, in seven of the Rocket’s appearances this season.  The team has scored three runs or fewer in 16 of his 27 starts.  Which leads to one logical conclusion: Clemens is hurting the Astros’ offense.


Baseball has a rich history of showcasing fearsome pitchers.  Hitters could count on a sleepless night with the prospect of facing Bob Gibson or Nolan Ryan the following day.  But Clemens has taken this dread to the next level – he’s so intimidating, he even scares his own batters.  Houston manager Phil Garner must keep this factor in mind when he fills out his lineup card.  Just as American League managers often sit a struggling left-handed hitter when Johan Santana is pitching, Garner would be well-advised to bench a slumping batter when he sends Clemens to the mound.  Otherwise, the odds just aren’t in his favor.


It could be argued that the Rocket’s effect on the Astros’ offense cost Houston the National League pennant last season.  Forced to a game 7 by Jim Edmonds’s walk-off home run in St. Louis, Garner’s decision to start Clemens ensured that Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan would be almost unhittable.  Houston only managed one run as the Cardinals advanced to the World Series.


The ineptitude of the Astros’ offense during Clemens’s starts has to have an effect on the team’s psyche.  It’s rumored that sluggers Carlos Beltran and Jeff Kent left town because being in the same lineup with Clemens every fifth day would severely diminish their numbers.  Astros players routinely take extra batting practice on days when Clemens is pitching, but nothing seems to be working.  Before a recent start by the Rocket, one player in the Houston lineup pointed to his bat and lamented, “Why do I even have this thing today?  It won’t do me any good!”


Clemens next takes the mound on Sunday to face the Dodgers.  Los Angeles starter Jeff Weaver is already licking his chops.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

So Long, Bob Huggins

The University of Cincinnati has ordered basketball coach Bob Huggins to resign by Wednesday, or he will be fired. This development results from university president Nancy Zimpher’s ongoing displeasure with the controversial Huggins.

Huggins has been the head coach of the Bearcats for 16 seasons. Whenever a long-time coach exits, it seems appropriate to comment on his legacy. With that in mind, here are the top 10 accomplishments of Bob Huggins as coach at Cincinnati.


10. The graduation of former player, um… there’s gotta be one, right?

9. 2nd round NCAA tournament appearance last March gave much-needed air time to underexposed Bearcat fan Nick Lachey.

8. Sent great character guys like Nick Van Exel and Ruben Patterson to the NBA.

7. Helped UC join the Big East Conference, which now has 38 members.

6. Enabled program to replace stale “alma mater of Oscar Robertson” label with “the place where all those thugs play.”

5. Enhanced Jerry Tarkanian’s image by making him look squeaky-clean in comparison.

4. Players’ absenteeism from classes helped keep student-teacher ratio low.

3. Never let the consumption of a 12–pack stop him from giving you a ride home.

2. Endeared himself to upset-hopeful bracket pickers as his highly-ranked teams reliably tanked in the 2nd round.

1. Players’ off-court activities kept employment levels high in the Cincinnati police department.


Bob, if you’re reading, feel free to put these on your resume.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sports Before and After

One of the most enjoyable categories you’ll see on Jeopardy! is “Before and After.”  The answer combines two different subjects, with the end of the first subject being the start of the second.  For example, if I were to ask for the all-time major league hits leader who will host the BCS championship game this January, you would answer, “Pete Rose Bowl.”  Got it?  Sadly, I never had a “Before and After” category during my Jeopardy! career, but I’ve taken the liberty of creating numerous “Sports Before and After” questions for your enjoyment.  The answers are included at the end, and there’s no need to phrase your response in the form of a question.  Sorry, no Daily Doubles either.


Starting With the Home Team:

1.  2004 Democratic presidential candidate who let out an infamous scream and won a record 879 games as head coach.

2.  Long-time Las Vegas act who coached his team to the 2005 NCAA basketball championship.

3.  Refreshing mall staple who won the 2001 Lombardi Trophy.

4.  2005 Final Four Most Outstanding Player who’s a “Star Wars” catchphrase.

And One For the Rivals:

5.  Night Ranger hit song about the player who hit a famous buzzer-beater vs. Kentucky.

A Philly Sports Fan’s Worst Nightmare:

6.  Talented but oft-injured Dodgers outfielder who represents Terrell Owens.

For Fans of “The Simpsons”:

7.  Game-ending round-tripper who says, “D’oh!”

8.  All-Star second baseman who’s a Springfield newscaster.

9.  European Ryder Cup standout who owns a nuclear power plant.

10.  Elementary school employee who hit 660 home runs in the major leagues.

And the Rest:

11.  1994 National League MVP who’s a catchphrase used by the Church Lady.

12.  Female tennis star of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s who’s a long-running CBS sitcom.

13.  Eagles pass rusher who haunted Red Sox fans for 86 years.

14.  Star Lakers guard from West Virginia who recounted the feud between the Sharks and the Jets.

15.  Denver baseball player who’s the movie in which Ivan Drago kills Apollo Creed.

16.  Long-time Detroit Red Wings star who’s a Joey Tribbiani catchphase.

17.  Star Packers running back who’s a beloved Dr. Seuss work.

18.  1997 National League MVP who’s a Chuck Norris TV show.

19.  Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie who won horse racing’s triple crown in 1977.

20.  Survivor hit song about this year’s Masters and British Open champion.

21.  “Diff’rent Strokes” catchphrase who inspired Knicks in 1970 NBA Finals.

22.  2001 Heisman Trophy winner who’s a critically-acclaimed action film from China.

23.  Hockey player in Canadian capital city who’s a memorable line from Lloyd Bentsen.

24.  D.C. baseball player who’s a comedy set at Faber College.

25.  First Indiana Jones movie, about the 1994 NCAA basketball champions.



1.  Howard Dean Smith

2.  Siegfried and Roy Williams

3.  Orange Julius Peppers

4.  Sean May the Force Be With You

5.  Sister Christian Laettner

6.  J.D. Drew Rosenhaus

7.  Walk-off Homer Simpson

8.  Jeff Kent Brockman

9.  Colin Montgomerie Burns

10.  Groundskeeper Willie Mays

11.  Jeff Bagwell Isn’t That Special?

12.  Billie Jean King of Queens

13.  Jevon Kearse of the Bambino

14.  Jerry West Side Story

15.  Colorado Rockie IV

16.  Gordie Howe You Doin’?

17.  Ahman Green Eggs and Ham

18.  Larry Walker, Texas Ranger

19.  Sleepless in Seattle Slew

20.  Eye of the Tiger Woods

21.  Watchu Talkin’ Bout, Willis Reed?

22.  Eric Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

23.  Ottawa Senator, You’re No Jack Kennedy

24.  Washington National Lampoon’s Animal House

25.  Raiders of the Lost Arkansas Razorbacks

Friday, August 19, 2005

Franco & Francoeur

This being August, there’s one thing that’s certain in the sports world: the Braves are leading the National League East.  But this year has been a bit different from most.  While familiar names like Andruw Jones and John Smoltz have excelled, the big story has been the performance of the kiddie brigade.  Due to injuries, the Braves have used as many rookies as there are Peachtree streets in Atlanta.  They’re so young, they could have been invited to play in Williamsport this week (reportedly the Royals are still hoping for such an offer).


Foremost among these youngsters is 21 year-old outfielder Jeff Francoeur.  Seemingly every time I flip over to a Braves game and he’s at the plate, he drives in a run.  I mean, every time!  And the guy never even appeared in a major league game until July 7.  Now he’s the toast of Atlanta, although he’s barely old enough to be toasted in Atlanta.


However, it hasn’t all been “out with the old, in with the new” with the Braves.  Major leaguers don’t get older than Julio Franco, who turns 47 on Tuesday.  Rumors that Franco came up to the big leagues with the St. Louis Browns are simply untrue – but not by much.  Making his major league debut in 1982 with the Phillies, Franco was a teammate of Pete Rose, who was the National League Rookie of the Year while JFK was in office.


The one major similarity between these two is their last names.  Indeed, Franco could have many opportunities to pull pranks by posing as Francoeur, using a bad Pepe Le Pew French accent.  Otherwise, they make for an odd couple in the Atlanta dugout.  Especially when you compare the chronology of their careers.



Franco:  Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent.

Francoeur:  Six years from being born.



Franco:  Makes major league debut, getting 29 at-bats with Philadelphia.  Traded after the season, along with four other players, to Cleveland for Von Hayes.  The mere mention of Von Hayes’s name elicits boos from any Phillies fan reading this blog.

Francoeur:  Nope, still not born yet.



Franco:  Enters Indians’ starting lineup, where he’ll remain for six seasons.

Francoeur:  Still waiting on that birth thing.



Franco:  Leads American League with 658 at-bats.

Francoeur:  Born on January 8.  Spends much of year sleeping, crying, and pooping.



Franco:  Makes first major league All-Star Game appearance for new team, Texas Rangers.

Francoeur:  Considered future clubhouse leader in “plays well with others” comment from kindergarten teacher.



Franco:  Named MVP of major league All-Star Game.

Francoeur:  Dominates first grade class in “Duck-Duck-Goose” games.



Franco:  Wins American League batting title with .341 average.

Francoeur:  Wins numerous gold stars due to multiplication skills.



Franco:  Makes first appearance in post-season as Indians lose to Orioles in Division Series.

Francoeur:  Makes first appearance at middle school dance.  Claims to be too cool for the Macarena but secretly wishes he could do it.



Franco:  Signs with Braves, remaining on the team through the present.

Francoeur:  Roots for Franco while attending Parkview High School in suburban Atlanta.


Now their careers have converged in the Braves dugout, separated by 26 years but united in their admiration for Leo Mazzone’s rock-a-thons.  And it’s another hot August in Atlanta.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Bryan's Song

If you watch Sportscenter regularly, you’re familiar with its “50 States in 50 Days” segment currently being featured.  So you’ve heard – over and over again – the “Life is an open road…” song by Bryan Adams that introduces it each day.  Because any tribute to the good ‘ol USA must include a cheesy pop singer from Canada.  I can’t get the damn song out of my head, and there aren’t many worse things in life than having Bryan Adams stuck in your brain.


But since I’m the “when life gives you lemons…” type, I’ll put Mr. Adams to good use in this column.  It turns out that many of his songs provide analysis of Los Angeles-area sports.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s a rundown:


Everything I Do I Do It For You:  Jerry Buss appeases Kobe Bryant by letting go of Shaq and Phil Jackson.


Heat of the Night:  An update from Shaq’s new employer.


Heaven:  Bryan’s proposed name for the stadium in Anaheim, because Angels play there.


Summer of ‘69:  Lew Alcindor departs UCLA after three consecutive NCAA championships.  The program suffers immensely, only winning 5 of the next 6 national titles.


Can’t Stop This Thing We Started:  The Clippers continue their never-ending streak of NBA lottery appearances.


Run To You:  What Reggie Bush and LenDale White will be doing to the end zone often for USC this fall.


Please Forgive Me:  What Kings and Mighty Ducks players will be saying to disgruntled hockey fans.


Cuts Like a Knife:  A profile of O.J. Simpson.


Somebody:  A plea for SOMEBODY, ANYBODY in the National League West to win a game.


Do I Have To Say the Words?:  Disbelieving sportscasters ask, “Am I really supposed to say, ‘The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?’”


Hope you enjoyed your lemonade!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Oh, To Be A Phil

This weekend was a great time for Phils in sports.  Phil Mickelson won his second major title with his victory at the PGA Championship.  The Phightin’ Phils swept the Padres in San Diego to draw to within 1/2 game of the NL wild card lead.  And rumor has it, Dr. Phil was unstoppable at the foosball table.


The lasting image of Mickelson’s triumph will be that of his two-year-old son Evan, running gleefully around the 18th green.  One can only hope that Evan gets a play date with Jack Roberts, who was a dancing machine as his father John Roberts was introduced as a Supreme Court nominee.  While not quite as youthful as Evan Mickelson, Chase Utley is a youngster who has delighted Phillies fans with his energy on the field.  His name sounds like an action movie in the realm of “Kill Bill” or “Get Carter.”  If Steve McQueen were alive today, he’d likely be starring in “Chase Utley.”


Mickelson, a/k/a Lefty, won the tournament after pitching his third shot to within three feet of the hole on the Par-5 18th.  Coincidentally, the best pitcher in Phillies history was also called Lefty.  The greatest victory for both Mickelson (2004 Masters) and the Phillies (1980 World Series) involved Green – Jacket for Mickelson, Dallas for the Phillies.  And Mickelson often plays with a big smile on his face – the same look the Phillies had when hard-nosed manager Larry Bowa was fired.


One difference between these Phils was shown by Philadelphia’s June trade with Detroit, in which the Phillies received Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez for Placido Polanco.  Mickelson, of course, prefers not to deal with Tigers.  Incidentally, you can easily substitute “Ugueth Urbina” for “Who Can It Be Now” in the Men At Work song of that name.  Go ahead, sing it: “U-gueth Ur-BEEEE-na!” (Make saxophone noises).  It should also be noted that tied for second in the PGA behind Mickelson was Steve Elkington, from the land Down Under.  I could continue with Men At Work song titles, but that would just be Overkill.


Unfortunately for Phil Jackson, it’s still the offseason.

Friday, August 12, 2005

It's All About T.O.

Terrell Owens has always been Terrific on Offense, even to those who consider him Totally Obnoxious.  He is both Talented and Outrageous in the Talkative, Outspoken mold of John McEnroe (once married to Tatum O’Neal).  Perhaps he felt something to prove as he entered the league from Tennessee-Chattanooga, Overlooked by major college programs.  He scored Touchdowns Often with the 49ers, but the Sharpie incident was Thoroughly Over-the-top.  While his play was Thrilling and Outstanding, his Tempestuous Orations drove teammates and management to drink Tequila and Ouzo.  So San Francisco Tired Of him, and he was Traded Out to Philadelphia.


The Eagles, a Tremendous Organization, hoped he would help them Triumph Over the rest of the NFL.  He delivered immediately, reaching the end zone on Three Occasions in the opener as the fans gave him a Thunderous Ovation.  While he gave the Eagles a Tremendous Opportunity to win the NFC, he continued to be Theatrically Oriented.  He Tore Off banners in Cleveland and helped Nicollette Sheridan Towel Off on Monday Night Football.  But a Terrible Obstacle arose as his fibula was fractured after being Tackled Outside by Roy Williams (not the Title-winning, Old school UNC coach, just to clarify).  A return, even in the postseason, was Thought Out of the question.


But he remained Tenaciously Optimistic and Treated Obstacles with disdain.  Against Titanic Odds, he returned to play in the Televised Orgy of commercialism known as the Super Bowl and practically Took Over.  Unfortunately, the Eagles came up just short, the Trophy Out of reach.  But his Toughness?  Overlooked by no one, even his harshest critics.


However, the True Outpouring of love Turned Out to be a Temporary Offering.  He Talked Openly of renegotiating his seven-year contract after one season, causing a Talk radio Outcry.  Some observers noted that NFL contracts are Truly One-sided toward management, but most fans viewed his actions as a Treasonous Offense.  He Taunted Ownership by Threatening Out of camp before ultimately showing up to Training On-time.  But he showed himself to be anything but Team Oriented, and his selfish attitude was Tiresome and Offensive to Andy Reid.  So he was Tossed Out of camp for a week.  Interviewed by the media, he acted like a Toddler Outside his house.


It remains to be seen how everything will Turn Out.  But one thing is Totally Obvious: In his world, as in this Top-notch, Overwhelmingly brilliant column, it’s all about T.O.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Report From Africa: Ground Causes Fumble

In a stunning development from the remote African nation of Ahmangreenia, football experts have confirmed reports that the ground has caused a fumble.  This revelation counters the long-held belief that the ground cannot cause a fumble.


The historic event occurred this afternoon during a touch football game set up for the Ahmangreenian natives by Peace Corps volunteer Shaun Alexander.  According to Alexander, a villager named Balaka (Swahili for “butterfingers”) was running in the clear on his way to a touchdown.  All of a sudden, the ground reached up and knocked the ball loose.  “An absolute miracle,” remarked a still astonished Alexander, who added that the miraculous fumble was returned for a touchdown by Herman Edwards.


“I couldn’t believe my own eyes,” commented Alexander.  With the aid of a camera crew that by wild coincidence was covering the game, Alexander repeatedly reviewed replays of the fumble.  He examined every angle for approximately five minutes as the natives hummed the theme from Jeopardy!  “Upon further review,” announced Alexander, “the play stands as called.  The ground caused the fumble.”  The statement was met by blank stares from the Ahmangreenians, who understand no English except for “Take what the defense gives you.”


The announcement has sent shock waves throughout the football establishment.  A source in the National Football League offices, under condition of anonymity, acknowledged that commissioner Paul Tagliabue was “knocked on his fanny” by the news.  “He was so dumbfounded,” added the source, “you would have thought he heard T.O. deflecting credit to his teammates.”  Spurred by this disproving of a long-accepted principle, Tagliabue reportedly drove home to see his old dog, Revenueshare.  Attempts to teach Revenueshare new tricks were apparently unsuccessful.


Amid the events of this monumental day, one thing is certain: Football has been changed forever.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Today's Sports Limerick

There was a star golfer named Woods

Whose game was obnoxiously good

He had a great life

And a hot Swedish wife

If you don’t envy him, you should

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Jack's Acronyms: Clever or Knuckleheaded?

College football season is almost here, and USC looks to repeat after Unnerving the Sooners Completely in the Orange Bowl.  Unfortunately, the season doesn’t end with a playoff – the NCAA gives No Chance At All of that happening.  So we’re stuck with the BCS – a Bizarre, Chaotic System.  The Trojans are stocked with future NFL players – who says there’s No Football in Los Angeles?  Meanwhile, things will be extremely competitive in the SEC, whose top recruits were landed by Spending Extra Cash.


As football begins, it’s the homestretch for baseball.  Last year the Red Sox rallied dramatically in the ALCS before sweeping the Cardinals, and At Last, the Curse was Shattered.  The playoffs will be eagerly televised by FOX, although for them, Football is Outright Xanadu.  Garnering far less attention will be the return of the NHL, whose players comparatively have No Hope of Luxury.


November will bring the return of the NBA, in which Nobody is Beaten by Atlanta.  As for the college game, they’re still giddy at UNC, which was Uplifted by a National Championship.  The Tar Heel fans have no love for DUKE, where they find something Devilishly Unbearable: Krzyzewski’s Ego.  Fans around the ACC are also Annoyed by the Cameron Crazies.


So in this busy world of sports, what is ESPN’s thought process?  Every day, Showing Poker is Necessary.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Today's Sports Limerick

He gave forceful testimony

Said Canseco was full of baloney

But he was on the ‘roids

And the fans are annoyed

Hey Raffy, now who’s the phony?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Historical Perspective From Sportscasters

Watching sports on a regular basis, it’s apparent that announcers have their own unique way of speaking.  Certain phrases, cliches, etc. tend to be repeated over and over again.  With that in mind, here’s how today’s sportscasters might have commented on various historical events, listed in chronological order.


Judas Betrays Jesus For Thirty Pieces of Silver:  “You keep hearing apostles say, ‘It’s not about the money.’ But Judas totally put himself ahead of the team.  Hey Judas, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Apostles!’”


Cortes Conquers the Aztecs:  “You gotta be able to defend your home turf.  The Aztecs needed to stand up to the conquistadores and say, ‘Not in our house!’  Montezuma’s boys just didn’t have what it takes.”


Napoleon Defeated at Waterloo:  “It’s fine to be aggressive and conquer new countries, but Napoleon didn’t fight smart.  You gotta stay within yourself and take what the enemy gives you.”


Battle of Gettysburg:  “This was a real gut-check for the Union forces, and they came through with their backs against the wall.”


First College Football Game – Princeton vs. Rutgers in 1869:  “These football players played great football on both sides of the football.  That’s what football is all about!”


Custer’s Last Stand:  “You gotta come ready to play every battle.  Custer’s cavalry thought they could just show up at Little Bighorn and dominate.  But the Sioux gave 110%, and Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse really stepped up.”


Queen Victoria Dies After 64 Years on the Throne:  “Victoria was a great queen in her prime, but England stuck with her too long.  It should have dealt her for some top royal prospects when it had the chance.”


World Premiere of “A Streetcar Named Desire”: “Tennessee Williams is a guy who knows how to make plays.”


1960 Presidential Election:  “Nixon’s got the edge in experience and would make a bigger immediate impact.  But you gotta love J-Kenn’s upside.”


Man Walks on Moon:  “You know why Neil Armstrong is a superstar of the space program?  He makes all the astronauts around him better.”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Today's Sports Limerick

There was an old pitcher named Roger

Who struck out Cubs, Reds, and Dodgers

On every fifth day

Angry hitters would say

“I hate facing that old codger!”

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Popcorn & Pop Flies

Among summer traditions in America, two of the most treasured are baseball and movies. While “The Bad News Bears” combines the two, many other movie titles from this summer could relate to America’s pastime. How, you ask? Grab a hot dog, turn off your cell phone, and watch!

Batman Begins: Derek Lee transforms from a solid player into the best hitter in baseball

Bewitched: How Cubs fans will be feeling yet again at season’s end

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Fed up with the harsh home fans, Phillies manager Manuel treats himself with a trip to Hershey

Fantastic Four: The number of wins for the Kansas City Royals in an average month

Herbie: Fully Loaded: An investigation into alleged steroid use by former Twins star Kent Hrbek

Land of the Dead: Crowd shots of Tropicana Field during a Devil Rays home game

The Longest Yard: Nickname, minus the expletives, used by San Diego Padres hitters for Petco Park

Pause for “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” Feel free to invite a celebrity to deliver their rendition at your computer.

Madagascar: Where the Expos would have played 15 home games this season had the move to Washington not gone through

Mr. & Mrs. Smith: A new version of “The Bachelor” featuring Hall of Famer Ozzie in search of a new bride

War of the Worlds: Fox’s proposed “sexier” name for the World Series

Monday, August 01, 2005

Today's Sports Limerick

There was a great rider named Lance

Who crushed all his rivals in France

He won’t try for eight

But he will celebrate

As Sheryl Crow takes off his pants