Friday, September 29, 2006

I Know It's Over

Will the Reds please just get mathematically eliminated from the NL Central race already. I don't know how many more of these headlines I can take: "Reds Win, Stay In Race". Sounds like they got a pretty good chance right? Yeah if you consider needing two teams to lose their last three games, and then sweeping the Pirates a good chance, hell yes, the Reds are practically in! Who do we get in the 1st round, the Mets? Awesome, who do I call for playoff tickets? Seriously Cincinnati Enquirer, stop toying with my emotions or I'll have to call Chiquita on you again.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Police On My Back

What's up with Cincinnati Police Department? Seriously, aren't professional athletes supposed to get preferential treatment? Goddamn if the CPD isn't making it's living arresting Bengals these days. And we can't even pull the race card on them this time since they nailed Eric Steinbach on a BUI (that's boating under the influence in case you were wondering), and I can't think of anything whiter than drinking a few beers on a boat. Well, maybe cornholing.

Clearly this problem is too big for Marvin Lewis. He needs some help, and honestly, I think I'm the right man for the job. Here's my proposal for Marvin.
For $10,000 and one of Carson's game jerseys, I'll host a series of intensive seminars on Law Enforcement Basics during your bye week for you. Here's a look at some of the curriculum:

1. How to Properly Bribe Cops (2hrs, followed by role-playing in small groups)
2. Determining the #1 Sober (more role playing)
3. How Incredibly Rich Athletes Can Afford To Call A Fucking Cab When They're Loaded (Power Point presentation with excel spreadsheet handouts)
4. Why You Should Never Submit To a Sobriety Test or Breathalizer (Exhibit A)
5. Why Wearing Your Own Jersey When You're About To Pull Out a Concealed Weapon Is a Bad Idea (this should be a short one)
6. The Meaning of "Underage" (a mostly philosophical seminar with some excerpts from Nabokov's Lolita, followed by a detailed rundown on different states' statuatory rape laws)
7. Safe Boating Practices (only need the linemen for this one, maybe Kaesviharn too)
8. How To Not Fuck Up What Looks Like A Great Season (this seminar will mostly consist of me screaming and kicking people in the balls)

So listen Marvin, I think we should do this. I'm ready to contribute to the cause. Call Me?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Things You Said

I ended up catching this week's game at my new favorite bar in Brooklyn, we'll call it the Chicken Coop. One of the bartenders is from Cincy, and even though he doesn't work on Sundays, he's there in his Carson jersey every week. Whereas most NYC bars are basically frathouses on Sunday during the NFL season, the Coop is more like a social experiment. There's about 10 to 20 neighborhood guys there every week who run the gamut of New York stereotypes; old Italians, Latino gamblers, and some Hasidic Jews thrown in for good measure. The Coop is one of those places that has signs posted (like "No Smoking" and "All beverages must be consumed on the premises") that have no bearing on the reality of what happens there. There more like guidelines actually. Last week I smoked half a pack of cigarrettes and took a margarita across the street after the game. This week a couple of Steelers fans made their way to the bar; a young couple and a guy we'll just call Kid Rock. The game started off terribly for the Bengals, the Steelers drive down the field and take an early 7-0 lead. And the Steeler fans are cheering....loudly. I fucking hate Steelers fans. Another good thing about the Coop is that they serve Budweiser in 32 ounce styrofoam cups, so even if you're football team is being torn to shit, you can always get hammered on the cheap. And get hammered I did. On styrofoam beer #3 (that's about 80 ounces down the pike), the Bengals scored 14 points in 50 seconds. There had been a little back and forth between the two factions before then, and the Steelers fans had really gotten under my skin (not that it would've taken much at that point). I'll just give you a quick sample of some things I was shouting around this time in the game:


(in response to a Steeler fan whining that Housh pushed a Steeler db in the back on a TD catch) "No, he didn't touch him. He's just a better football player actually. Look at that, that is soooo pretty. TJ is great."

(As Triumph) "HEY...COWHER....YOU SUCK!"

"Hey Kid Rock, shouldn't you be watching the Lions game?"


"C'mon Ben, throw us one more pick and we've got this game locked up"


And finally, after the game when a Steeler's fan started waving his Super Bowl terrible towel in my face, "SCOREBOARD! SCOREBOARD!"

Yes, booze and football is still a magic combination.
Be back soon with my recommendations on keeping the Bengals out of jail.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore

With the Steelers-Bengals game on tap for this weekend, I find myself with a lot of material to sift through. First off, Joey Porter's dogs killed a horse on Tuesday. I don't think that my beloved Bengals are the sort to scare easily (they are professional football players), but, Jesus man, that's intense. In addition, someone leaked the post-game footage from last week's Browns game of Chad Johnson recovering from a concussion in front of about 18 million reporters, and wow does he look hopped up on goofballs. So I was just wondering what sort of positivity was out there for Bengals fans to tap into this week (other than the obvious fact that we'll kick their ass), and I came upon a couple of things. First, I was unaware that after winning the Super Bowl, Bill Cowher just could not keep his hands off the "Who-Dey" joke (where he yells Who-Dey to a bunch of idiots, and they yell We-Dey! back). Apparently, Cowher's sense of humor (not to mention his moustache) is a lot like my Dad's; he finds something that works and keeps on repeating it over and over until everyone wishes they could stick knives into their eardrums. The great thing about this, though, is that Marvin Lewis (motivational genius) found some clips of Cowher's idiocy and forced the Bengals to watch it before a practice. In all likelihood, this probably pissed off Robert Geathers, and I have it on good authority that Geathers' dogs ate three llamas in Mason last week. Porter's dogs are pussies. Also, how can you possibly make fun of anything even remotely connected to Bootsy Collins? He's psychoalphadiscobeta-licious and he WILL tear the roof off the sucka'. You just messed with the wrong Chocolate City, Bill Cowher.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pretty Girls Make Graves

I'm not the man you think I am

Hot girlfriends are great. Everybody wants one, except maybe gay guys, but even they like to hang out with smoking-hot chicks as arm candy. On first glance, Reds GM Wayne Krivsky (see pic) is not what you might consider remotely hot or a girl. But let's see where this takes us:

Hot girlfriends always announce their presence in a room, or your life for that matter, with panache. Krivsky certainly did that, first quietly signing Scott Hatteberg to replace Sean Casey at 1st base (upgrading the team offensively and defensively at a fraction of Casey's cost), then trading a 4th outfielder endlessly being compared to Sammy Sosa (a damning comparison if ever there was one) for an underpaid, undervalued, serviceable starter in Bronson Arroyo. Consider it a hand-job in a restaurant bathroom on the first date for the Reds.

Hot girlfriends keep the pressure on during the passionate courting phase. Krivsky follows up his offseason moves by picking up Dan Ross, another underrated gem, from the Dodgers, then gets Brandon Phillips off the Indians. Phillips and Ross put up great numbers from the get-go, and boy do the Indians look stupid for letting Phillips go. The team looks better than it has in years and wins some games in June for the first time in forever. They're in the hunt in the Central, the Cards look beatable, and they lead the Wild Card race. This is your proverbial hot sex in dirty new positions phase for the Reds. And...all their friends think the new girlfriend is AWESOME. Hot girlfriends are the shit.

Hot girlfriends are cruel, heartless bitches. On June 13th, 2006, Krivsky trades Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner to the Nationals for Gary Majewski, Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson. In case you're keeping score, that's two 26-year old major league postion players about to enter their prime for two middle relievers, a 36 year-old shortstop, and two minor-leaguers. Shortly after the trade, Majewski goes on the DL and Reds fans everywhere search their homes for sharp objects. Krivsky acquires a ton of other middle relievers as the trade deadline nears, all at a fraction of the cost of the 5 Nats. The team implodes on a late season West coast road trip, and the Reds team ERA after the 7th inning is still MLB's 7th worst at 4.65. This is the "she murdered my pet rabbits in boiling water" phase for the Reds.

I love the Reds. Perhaps this relationship is salvageable. But to be honest...I've lost my faith in womanhood.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I've Come to Wish You an Unhappy Birthday

Why Fantasy Sports Are Fucking Amazing

So I’m in a fairly competitive head-to-head baseball league. About 3/4ths of the guys study their shit, make good waiver pickups, assemble good teams, etc, etc. The other ¼ throw in the towel before summer starts. I draft a pretty respectable team, have a solid pitching staff (my strength is assembling stud starters) and make it to the semifinals (held this week, 9-10 to 9-17). There I meet my old friend Joey, a guy I used to work with at a restaurant in Manhattan. Joey grew up in Boston, but somehow managed to be a ridiculously dedicated Yankees fan. Joey’s team is called Yankee Yankmees and consists of around 7 to 8 Yankees at all times. Specifically he owns:
C-Jorge Posada
1B-Jason Giambi
SS-Derek Jeter
3B-Alex Rodriguez
OF-Hideki Matsui
RP-Mariano Rivera
RP-Kyle Farnsworth

As you can see, this shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Playing Joey’s fantasy team is like starting a fight with a redneck at a tractor pull who has 17 brothers and 42 first cousins standing around him. It’s fucking intimidating.

Joey’s offense completely destroys me at the beginning of the week, with the Yankees putting up 45 runs in 5 days. They’re busy tearing the shit out of Baltimore and Tampa Bay, while my Chase Utleys and Lance Berkmans are serving me donuts. I’m down 8-2 on Thursday, with only three days to make up a shitload of ground. The only thing I have going for me is that my studs haven’t pitched yet. I’ve got Santana and Weaver on Friday, then Hamels pitching on Saturday. I get solid starts from pretty much everyone, a couple of wins, and take him in K’s, ERA, and WHIP. Pretty soon I’m staring at a 5-3 deficit, with a couple of categories up for grabs. We’re tied on steals and wins, but I’m hopelessly behind in every offensive category. Except batting average. Oh sweet, sweet batting average. I’ll get back to you later.

On Saturday, I realize the only chance I have to beat Joey is to take wins and squeak out steals. That gives us a 5-5 stalemate, but the tiebreaker is ERA, which I’ve got in the bag. I pick up Jeff Weaver (clearly desperation time), Daniel Cabrera, and Jaret Wright. But….…none of them pull out a W. I’m screwed. Then Jason Bay steals his 2nd bag in two days, giving me the lead in steals. I still have hope. I’m only down 5-4 because Joey doesn’t get a win either (thank you Cla Meredith). That’s when we get back to that old standby, batting average. To start the day, I’m down 260 to 244. Not an insurmountable lead. On Sunday, the surmounting starts to happen.

My guys start to hit a little. Berkman, Figgins, and Dave Roberts all go 2-4. The Yankees have back-to-back day-night double-headers (jesus that’s a lot of hyphens), so on Sunday, they’ve got a late game at 8:30. I check in on the computer around 8:00, and see that I’m now down 255 to 257 on BA. With the Yankees playing Giambi (a 252 hitter), Jeter (343), and Posada (280), I realize that the law of averages is not on my side. I need said law of averages to fail and fail miserably. Appropriately my only chance to make it to the finals is for three Yankee hitters to have shitty games. God I hate the Yankees (not individually, just as a concept). Anyway, it happens to be my birthday, and I happen to be in the middle of a poker game while my fantasy hopes are being toyed with by no-name Boston pitchers, guys with names like Jarvis, Hanson, and Lopez. I have no idea who they are, but they are all I have. Posada singles in the first off Jarvis, and I assume it’s over. Then, Jeter and Giambi start helping me out. Jeter reaches on an error (thank you official scorer!), Giambi whiffs, Torre pinch hits with Matsui (another Yankmee), he K’s, and I take the freaking lead for the first time all week.

I’m up 5-4 with BA at 255 to 254. I’m fucking ecstatic. But then the 8th inning comes. The heart of the Yankee lineup is up, Giambi followed by Posada. I figure if one of them gets a hit, it’s over. And of course, because it’s my birthday and everything’s gonna break right for me……Giambi singles to center. It’s over. I’m losing BA 257 to 255. I turn off the computer and dedicate myself to playing good disciplined poker. You can’t win em’ all. I send a text to Joey congratulating him.

About 4 hours later I fire up the computer to see what the final tally was, say goodbye to some of the guys on the team (I’ve gotten pretty tight with David DeJesus), and wrap up my fantasy baseball season. So I think you know how this plays out by now. The Red Sox score a run in the 9th to take a 5-4 lead, and in the bottom of ninth Torre pulls out all the stops. After a Bernie Williams groundout, Torre puts in Johnny Damon to pinch hit for some guy named Andy Cannizaro. Did I mention Damon is on my team? Usually Yankees and Red Sox are impossible to draft at their rightful places in our league because of our heavy east coast bias. The thing about Damon, though, is that no one wants to touch him. The Yankee fans aren’t ready to jump on the guy who was partly responsible for the greatest act of self-destruction since Richie Tennenbaum’s meltdown at Windswept Fields, and Red Sox fans think he’s a traitor. So I get him in the 5th round, the 58th overall selection, and he does nothing but produce all year. And what does Johnny do? He gets a base hit. And who does Torre send up to pinch hit next? That’s right, Alex Rodriguez, another Yankee Yankmee. And what does A-Rod do? Pops out to shallow right center. Yankee fans engage in their favorite activity, booing A-Rod mercilessly, and I take Joey in batting average thanks to two ninth inning pinch hitting appearances. I advance to the finals, exhausted and elated. Fantasy sports, you are a filthy and brutal whore. God I love you.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

I'm not one to revel in other people's pain. Watching Trent Green lay motionless for what seemed like 2 hours during the Bengals Chiefs game on Sunday was no fun for me. That being said, Trent Green's spine wasn't snapped, and he should be back playing football soon, and these are good things. And, on a personal note, the hit helped me out for a number of reasons. It pretty much assured the Bengals of a victory and showed that their defense can be intimidating. And also, it REALLY helped my fantasy football teams. This might seem like a minor detail, but goddamn if it doesn't feel good to start off the season with a win (or two, in my case). In both my leagues, in an odd twist of fate, both my opponents were starting the Chiefs' QB. I won my primary league by 15 points, and my secondary one by .97. So thank you Robert Geathers. And yes, the hit was completely legal, even though the Chiefs' president has been whining about it all week. Who Dey.