Friday, September 28, 2007

Rex's Possible Replacements

In a move considered long overdue by most Bears fans, this week Chicago head coach Lovie Smith demoted beleaguered quarterback Rex Grossman. While at first glance the decision to make Brian Griese the starter seems appropriate, it’s also far too obvious. Other current Chicago athletes, or figures associated with the Windy City, would have been far more interesting choices. Here’s a look at the QB credentials of a few of these possibilities.


Lou Piniella: As umpires would tell you, the Cubs manager is great at throwing things.

Alfonso Soriano: The perfect situation for him: let him put up big numbers, and you don’t need him to play defense.

Kerry Wood: In case the Bears want to go the “powerful right arm, injury-plagued career” route again.

Steve Bartman: Among Chicago sports fans, he’s probably more popular than Rex.

Ozzie Guillen: Non-stop swearing at the quarterback would be replaced by non-stop swearing BY the quarterback.

A.J. Pierzynski: He can take a hit – assuming Michael Barrett is rushing the QB.

Mark Buehrle: Unlike Rex, when he throws the ball, the opponents usually don’t score.

Joakim Noah: Like Grossman, he’s a Florida Gator who’s now in Chicago. And he actually HELPS his team in a championship game.

Luol Deng: As Northwestern proved two weeks ago, Dukies can win football games in Chicago. Just nowhere else.

Ben Wallace: He’s not known for his offense, but neither is Rex.

Martin Havl├ít: As the points leader for the Black Hawks, he’d love for Chicago sports fans to actually see him when he scores.

Oprah Winfrey: She reigns supreme on weekday afternoons, so why not do the same on Sunday afternoon?

Peter Cetera: He’s experienced in leading a group called Chicago.

Richard Daley: He’s won six mayoral elections in the Windy City. So at least someone in Chicago knows how to go for six.

Bill Murray: The quarterback position would continue to be a source of comedy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Brett Favre Limericks

After Sunday’s NFL action, five teams stand at 3-0. The most surprising unblemished record belongs to Green Bay, which turned back visiting San Diego 31-24. One not-so-shocking aspect of the game was that Packers quarterback Brett Favre tied another league record, matching Dan Marino with 420 career touchdown passes. Clearly Favre’s resume is impressive enough to warrant some limericks in his honor. Here are a few.


There is a QB named Brett
Lots of NFL records he’s set
It’s easy to state
What’s made him so great:
He doesn’t suit up for the Jets

He’s linked to Miami’s Marino
Setting records just like the Bambino
“Your QB won’t fail
If he’s not stuck in jail”
Says Falcons coach Bobby Petrino

Brett’s always been quite a dice roller
Not afraid to get smacked in the molars
He replaced Don Majkowski
And like The Big Lebowski
He’d soon be a Super Bowler

He played college with Golden Eagles
With the Packers his status is regal
Every year it’s the same
He misses no games
Just like the old punter Jeff Feagles

He makes escapes like MacGyver
Thanks to help he gets from Donald Driver
Brett knows to succeed
A good partner you need
Like Arnold has Maria Shriver

For him it’s the ultimate rush
To leave Soldier Field fans in a hush
A three-time MVP
It’s easy to see
Why he’s John Madden’s biggest man-crush

For so long this franchise he’s led
But soon comes the day Pack fans dread
He will have to go
And you’ll see at Lambeau
Lots of tears underneath the Cheeseheads

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spotlight On C.C.

His name is Sabathia, but they call him C.C. Why?


Cleveland Craves a Championship Celebration like the Cardinals, Colts, and Spurs, who left the Cavaliers Crushed. Sure, the locals are Currently Chipper after Crennel’s Constantly Criticized Crew outscored the Carson/Chad show on Sunday. But the Cursed City, thanks in part to Craig Counsell, has no titles since the year Cassius Clay became more than a Cocky Challenger. Since 1948, Indians have often been slaughtered as if Christopher Columbus were around. They’ve Clumsily Committed pratfalls like Chevy Chase and often been less exciting than Chinese Checkers, without the Charmingly Crappy appeal of the Chicago Cubs.


But Wednesday’s win over Detroit made Sabathia’s Cy Credentials Crystal Clear, leaving him ready to join the Coveted Company of Chris Carpenter and Cooperstown’s Carlton. His Current Career win total leaves him one shy of the Century Club, though he’s younger than Chelsea Clinton. He could be a Commanding Closer like Chad Cordero, but he’d rather pitch Complete Contests. Right now he’s hotter than Cindy Crawford in the early 90s, with his Consistently Confounding performances leaving bats as silent as Charlie Chaplin. Hitters are Cruelly Confused, like the Cameron Crazies at a football game. Yes, he’s scarier than Carrie, Cujo, or anything else in Stephen King’s Chilling Collection.


To teammates, his pitching is sweet as a Candy Cane or Chocolate Cake. Charmed Catcher Victor Martinez grins like a Cheshire Cat. Helping the cause are Fausto Carmona, Casey Blake, and Grady Sizemore, the Centerfielder Chicks adore. Sabathia used to play with Coco Crisp, whose name sounds like a Children’s Cereal like Cap’n Crunch or Count Chocula. Soon, with the Central Clinched, it will be Case Closed for the Tigers. The Indians will Chug Champagne, unlike Cincinnati, Colorado, and other pretenders.


MTV once showcased his California Crib. But now he’s the focus of ESPN, the Connecticut Cable giant where Colin Cowherd Cashes Checks. Like Serena Williams (with whom he once formed a Celebrity Couple) on Center Court, Sabathia hopes to Clobber Competitors in the postseason. If so, expect lots of Curtain Calls for C.C.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Notre Dame & Other NBC Shows

In a matchup of proud but struggling programs, Michigan throttled Notre Dame 38-0 on Saturday. While the Wolverines hope the victory turns around their season, the Fighting Irish are left to wallow in the misery of an 0-3 start. The Golden Domers famously have a broadcast agreement with NBC for their home games. These days, the action from South Bend bears no resemblance to the high-level NFL games featured by the network on Sunday nights. But how do the Irish stack up with NBC shows on other nights? Here’s a look at the network’s fall lineup, and how those titles relate to the team.


MONDAY:

8:00: Chuck:
Coach Charlie Weis, or the upchucking he’s been doing after games.

9:00: Heroes: People who are nowhere to be found at Notre Dame Stadium.

10:00: Journeyman: Another term for Midshipman – someone who actually has a shot at the Irish this year.

TUESDAY:

8:00: The Biggest Loser:
What ND will be on October 20, when USC comes to town.

9:00: The Singing Bee: A Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, after his team’s 33-3 domination in South Bend.

10:00: Law & Order: SVU: Riots that would take place on the campus of victorious Southern Virginia University (SVU), if only they got to play the Irish.

WEDNESDAY:

8:00 (Also Friday at 8:00): Deal or No Deal:
Phrase frequently uttered by ND fans as they look to unload their tickets.

9:00: Bionic Woman: A reminder of the late 1970s – something the program could really use.

10:00: Life: Something the offense desperately needs.

THURSDAY:

8:00: My Name Is Earl:
What babbling former coach Lou Holtz is saying right now in the ESPN studio.

8:30: 30 Rock: The team’s first three games, in which the Irish have gotten rocked by an average of 30.

9:00: The Office: Where ND alumni are getting abuse from co-workers every Monday morning.

9:30: Scrubs: Players who only see action in blowouts, also known as games vs. Notre Dame.

10:00: ER: As opposed to “Wake Up the Echoes,” it’s an abbreviation for “Echoes Resting.”

FRIDAY:

9:00: Friday Night Lights:
Like ND home games, it’s an NBC broadcast that focuses on a high school football team.

10:00: Las Vegas: Where the Irish want to play their games, since what happens there, stays there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Top 10 Excuses By Matt Estrella For Taping the Jets' Sideline

The New England Patriots are currently in hot water with the NFL, after the league determined that the Patriots illegally videotaped defensive signals by the New York Jets’ coaches on Sunday. NFL security officials had confiscated a camera and videotape from New England video assistant Matt Estrella during the first quarter of the Patriots’ 38-14 victory.

New England faces the possibility of significant sanctions from commissioner Roger Goodell, including the potential loss of multiple draft picks. The Patriots will be allowed to present their case before Goodell makes his decision. As part of the team’s defense, Estrella has reportedly prepared his top 10 excuses for taping the Jets’ sideline. Here is an exclusive look at his list.


10. I figured Joe Namath would be making creepy passes at a sideline reporter again.

9. Seriously, does Tom Brady really need my help against the Jets?

8. I had politely asked the Jets’ coaches to tell us their defensive strategy, and the bastards said no!

7. No one stopped me, since the home fans were too busy cheering Chad Pennington’s injury.

6. Since I was in Jersey, I was trying to shoot a better ending to The Sopranos.

5. I heard that Miss Teen South Carolina was on the Jets’ sideline.

4. Come on, aren’t you glad someone actually shot some video WITHOUT Peyton Manning?

3. My judgment was impaired after that injection from Rodney Harrison.

2. I needed evidence to expose the Jets’ dog-fighting ring.

AND…

1. It was either that, or making a Bill Belichick sex tape.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lloyd Carr's Supporters

Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan endured the humiliation of a 39-7 whipping by Oregon. The loss dropped the Wolverines to 0-2 after beginning the season as the #5 team in the nation. Fans were already calling for coach Lloyd Carr’s job in the wake of last week’s embarrassment versus Appalachian State. Those cries are sure to reach a fever pitch after the latest debacle.

While it seems that Carr has no support whatsoever these days, numerous high-profile individuals remain highly enthusiastic about him. Here are some of those people who are very supportive of Carr’s performance so far this season.


Matt Millen: No longer is he the most vilified football figure in Michigan.

John Beilein: Carr is already taking care of Beilien’s primary goal: turning Michigan into a basketball school.

Frugal Football Fans: For the first time anyone can remember, cheap tickets will be available to a Notre Dame-Michigan football game.

Joey Harrington: With Dennis Dixon’s dominant performance on Saturday, Harrington finally got to see an Oregon quarterback thrive in Michigan.

Mike Babcock: The Detroit Red Wings coach endured a painful elimination by Anaheim in the playoffs. But now someone in the area has had a far more embarrassing loss to the Ducks.

Sean McManus (President, CBS Sports): He doesn’t have to worry that Saturday’s Notre Dame-Michigan game will take viewers away from Florida-Tennessee.

John Swofford (Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner): With all the attention on the Wolverines’ plight, the ACC’s sorry performance has stayed out of the limelight.

Proponents of the Spread Offense: Michigan’s defense is proving how well this type of system can work.

Bob Raymond (Detroit Tigers Vice President, Marketing & Ticket Sales): The local sports fans want to see a team that might actually win at home.

Mark Silverman (President, Big Ten Network): Critics scoffed at the selection of games on the new network. But during Michigan-Appalachian State, it became must-see viewing.

James Duderstadt: A long-time science and engineering professor as well as a former U of M President, Duderstadt has criticized the university for placing far too much importance on winning football games.

Pat Hill: Next week, the Fresno State coach faces an elated Oregon team due for a letdown.

Ohio State & Michigan State Fans: No explanation necessary.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Comparison of Chases

This Saturday night in Richmond, the Chase For the Nextel Cup field will be set after the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Meanwhile, up I-95, Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley will be aiding the Phillies’ playoff push while stating his case to replace teammate Ryan Howard as National League MVP. One Chase will definitely extend into November, and the other hopes to play into October. Here’s a comparison of the Chases.


Chase For the Cup: Starts after race #26
Chase Utley: All-Star starter who wears #26

Chase for the Cup: Cars crash into walls at high speed
Chase Utley: Teammate Aaron Rowand crashes into walls at high speed

Chase for the Cup: Hugely popular among rednecks
Chase Utley: Hugely unpopular among Reds pitchers

Chase For the Cup: Features race fans showering Jeff Gordon with boos
Chase Utley: Hears Philly fans showering Tom Gordon with boos

Chase for the Cup: Lead-in races included the Citizens Bank 400
Chase Utley: Hitting close to .400 at Citizens Bank Park

Chase For the Cup: Unlikely to include “Little E” in the #8
Chase Utley: Last “E” he made was #8

Chase for the Cup: Finishes on a weekend in Homestead, Florida
Chase Utley: Starts a homestand this weekend against Florida

Chase for the Cup: Chevys rule the standings
Chase Utley: Mets rule the standings

Chase For the Cup: With last Sunday’s win, Jimmie Johnson is the NASCAR driver of the week
Chase Utley: Teammate Jimmy Rollins is the NL Player of the Week

Chase for the Cup: Filled with left turns
Chase Utley: Phil who bats left and turns two

Chase for the Cup: Tony Stewart celebrates victories by climbing the fence
Chase Utley: Phillies celebrate victories when he goes over the fence

Chase for the Cup: Competitors for the title include Matt Kenseth
Chase Utley: Competitors for the batting title include Matt Holliday

Chase for the Cup: Teams need a strong pit crew
Chase Utley: Team is stronger than the Pittsburgh crew

Chase for the Cup: Infield drunks rack up the DUI’s
Chase Utley: Infield star racks up the RBI’s

Chase for the Cup: Some races will feature the Car of Tomorrow
Chase Utley: Some say teammate Cole Hamels is the Carlton of Tomorrow

Chase for the Cup: Drivers must make wise use of drafting
Chase Utley: By choosing him 15th overall in 2000, Phillies made wise use of drafting

Chase for the Cup: Driving from the pole is ideal
Chase Utley: Driving one off the foul pole is ideal

Chase for the Cup: In every race, they’re trading paint
Chase Utley: Became every-day starter after trading of Polanco

Chase for the Cup: Cars have restrictor plates at Talladega
Chase Utley: Never restricted at the plate in Philadelphia

Chase for the Cup: Goal is the checkered flag
Chase Utley: Goal is the NL pennant

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fun Facts About Appalachian State

Last December, Michigan football fans howled over being left out of the BCS national championship game. Today, the Wolverines aren’t even worthy of the Division I-AA championship. Saturday at the Big House, Appalachian State stunned the fifth-ranked Goliaths from the Big Ten, departing Ann Arbor with a 34-32 triumph. You may know that the Mountaineers are the two-time defending national champions in their classification. But what else do you know about ASU? Here are some fun facts.


App State is located in the city of Boone, named for the character from Animal House.

ASU began in 1899 as Watauga Academy. If App State were still an academy, it would be on Notre Dame’s schedule.

By capturing the Division I-AA title in 2005, ASU became the first North Carolina school to win an NCAA championship in football. I know - it’s a shocker that Duke never did so.

As numerous commentators have noted, Division I-AA is now known as the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. None of those commentators have kept a straight face while saying it.

Like Jim Tressel with Youngstown State in 1993 and 1994, ASU coach Jerry Moore won consecutive national championships in 2005 and 2006. When you’re taking on Michigan, being like Jim Tressel is a good thing.

ASU has the highest elevation of any U.S. university east of the Mississippi River, inspiring the team slogan “Our football players are higher than Ricky Williams!”

Appalachian currently has a 27-game home winning streak – 27 games longer than Michigan’s current home winning streak.

ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium is affectionately known as “The Rock,” due to frequent shoot-outs there involving Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage.

The App State fight song, Hi Hi Yikas, is sung to the tune of the German folk song Bergvagabunden. Because nothing is more synonymous with high-level football than German folk songs.

ASU’s alma mater is called Cherished Vision, not to be confused with Kool and the Gang’s Cherish. But wouldn’t it be awesome if Kool and the Gang sang your school’s alma mater?

My sister-in-law in Florida is an Appalachian State alumna. So to please his mom, I’m sure my four-year-old nephew Matt will trade in his Gator helmet for a Mountaineer one.

According to the ASU media guide, the name of its mascot Yosef comes from “mountain talk for ‘yourself.’” English professors must be thrilled that the symbol of their university champions the value of “mountain talk.”

Former Mountaineer player Ron Prince is the head coach of Kansas State, which lost a late lead at Auburn Saturday night. So the upset bug wasn’t quite contagious among Appalachian State guys.

In the 1987 Rose Bowl, Michigan lost its only-ever matchup with Arizona State. So if you’re ASU, the Wolverines can’t beat you.

Saturday also featured a West Virginia rout over Western Michigan, so the state of Michigan was completely owned by Mountaineers.

App State’s next opponent is Lenoir-Rhyne. I’m sure that game will have over 100,000 fans too.

ASU’s chancellor is Dr. Kenneth Peacock. Like all male Peacocks, he displays his extravagant tail when he strolls the campus.

Each year, App State plays Western Carolina for possession of the Old Mountain Jug. Quirky trophies are often at stake in Big Ten games, so it’s no wonder the Mountaineers felt at home in Ann Arbor.

Mack Brown was ASU’s head coach in 1983. I’m guessing he didn’t have anyone like Vince Young at the time.

An Appalachian Summer Festival is the social event of the year on campus. Well, not this year, after the parties tonight.