Monday, January 30, 2006

Watch the WB C

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Now that Cuba is in, the World Baseball Classic is officially on.  If the WBC and Cuba were not able to come to terms, this tournament would have gone the way of Roger Maris’s 61 homeruns . . . asterisk-cized.  As of a week ago, the one thing standing in the way of Cuba’s participation was a United States law not allowing business with Cuba.  Cuba put this issue to rest a few days ago by agreeing to donate their share of the profits to victims of Hurricane Katrina; (I can only hope that the United States soon follows suit or else run the risk of being out-classed by Fidel).  

It’s really a good thing that this issue was resolved, otherwise the entire idea of the World Baseball Classic would have been tarnished.  If this is truly an international event, then there is no way that a United States law should bar any other country from playing.  The fact that the country threatened of exclusion also happens to be the most recent Olympic gold medalist made this fact even worse.  But thankfully, this conflict has been sidestepped.  

For anyone who says these games aren’t important, I have the following reply: I love spring training anyways, why not turn it into a tournament.  So now that we’re on board for this March experiment, who’s gonna win?  Unfortunately, I’ll tell you who isn’t going to win, my home country’s squad of the United States.  Check out the list of would-be American representatives who aren’t playing for any team this go around: Scott Rolen, Paul Konerko, Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jim Edmonds, Jeff Kent, Jason Kendall, Randy Johnson, Roy Oswalt, John Smoltz, Chris Carpenter, Mark Buehrle, Todd Helton, Travis Hafner, Troy Glaus . . . please, stop me at any time.

Because of this sad show of patriotism, I’ve decided that, FOR PATRIOTIC REASONS, I’m NOT rooting for the USA this year.  Nothing elicits a little homeland pride like getting beat, and I’m thinking if those Central Americans give us a good whooping, maybe we’ll get a lot better participation in the next go around.  So this time, I’m pulling for Venezuela and their all star pitching staff to upset the Dominican Republic’s version of Murderer’s Row, (salsa edition).

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bonds Version 7.08

posted by MoneyMouth

In case you are confused by the new font being spit at you, it means there is a new latte maker in town. Apparently the bosses saw my work on the Doug Eddings controversy this past October and they decided I was Frappe material. Keeping in mind that my Frappe license is still provisional and I can be removed at any time, let’s be done with the formalities and get down to business.

I’m going to be honest with you guys: I’m a Barry Bonds hater. And despite what most Dodger fans would have you believe, I wasn’t born this way. I can still remember when I was quite indifferent to Bonds’ egotistical behavior. Being an Angels fan, I didn’t really care about what was going on with the NL, nor did I want to hear about the childish antics of some guy who wouldn’t let anyone watch his big-screen TV in the clubhouse and was telling the media, “Its called talent. I just have it. I can't explain it.”

Unfortunately, Bonds still found a way into my heart when the Giants faced off against the Angels in the 2002 World Series. After a week of hearing about Bonds’ 475 ft homer in a World Series game that the Giants lost, I was ready to gouge out my eyes so that I could avoid seeing him walk to first before starting a half trot around the bases. Consequently, our relationship began.

Now that he’s only 6 homers away from catching up with Babe Ruth and 47 from Hank Aaron, I figured that Bonds would be ready to put on a media face, maybe deflate his head a little (no, that’s not a steroid joke), and try to salvage his character even if it’s only for a year. I mostly considered this wishful thinking, right up there with my dream of becoming a standup comic, but much to my surprise, Bonds started out this off-season on a good foot. I thought ESPN was joking when they reported Bonds had agreed to play in the World Baseball Classic for the United States. I mean, the guy wouldn’t even finish out last season when his team fell out of contention but now he wants to play in some exhibition games prior to the start of the season. It was like a new Bonds was emerging from the ashes of the old Bonds, and quite frankly, I was willing to accept this upgrade. I didn’t care about the facade; I merely wanted to be able to appreciate the man for his achievement instead of going hoarse from heckling him every time he came to the plate.

However, just like Pete Rose and Mike Tyson have both found out, covering up a tarnished image doesn’t work when you don’t stick to your game plan. Bonds announced this week that he is removing himself from the World Baseball Classic (not to mention also hitting the news stands telling Felipe Alou he won’t bat 2nd). You can speculate all you want about the Olympic Drug Testing Policy Theory and argue that he can’t risk injury with the all-time record so close, but it doesn’t matter to me anymore. We were so close to a good thing, but he had to go and ruin it. It’s not like I’m asking the guy to start signing autographs because we all know that would be way too much to ask. I’m simply asking to see a Bonds that I could at least tolerate for this record setting year. Unfortunately for the baseball world, we’re left with a new Bonds that looks a lot like the old Bonds and a World Baseball Classic that is lacking arguably, as much as I hate to say it, the best player in the game today. I think I’ll be spending this August and September working out the projections for who the true homerun king will be to dethrone this unworthy one.

Swap Meet

posted by IntrinsicBent

Great trade yesterday between the Celtics and the Timberwolves. Danny Ainge (Celtics GM) sent Ricky Davis, Marcus Banks, Mark Blount, and Justin Reed to his old teammate Kevin McHale (Timberwolves GM). McHale shipped out Wally Szcerbiak, Michael Olowokandi, and a future first-round pick.

I think the Celtics got the better end of this deal……………..if you’re playing Scrabble®.

C’mon man, what purpose did this serve? It would be like me calling up one of my boys from high school and saying, “I just found a pile of t-shirts that are almost worn out and don’t fit me anymore. Do you want to trade me for some stretched out sweaters?”

I’m officially starting a When Will KG Leave The Lake State Pool. I have two months………tops.

Seriously though, let me know about those sweaters.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Get with the Underdog Story

posted by BiCoastal Bias

In this two week long Super Bowl media frenzy, we here at the Frappe are trying to spread the love a little bit, give those other American sports some coverage instead of tracking every one of Ben Roethlisberger's moves from now until next Sunday. This is mostly because there's not that much else left to say other than, "I hope it's a good game," and "Are you bringing that 7 layer dip you always make?" But here's one thing . . .

If you're rooting for Seattle in this game, how can you call yourself a sports fan?

Seriously, how can you not love the underdog story inherent to the setup of Super Bowl XL? After taking the last playoff position, Pittsburgh has spent three weeks on the road, knocking off, one after the other, the top three seeds in the AFC. They've overcome the worst NFL officiating gaffe since the New York Giants lost that nail-biter on a defensive penalty to end the game two years ago. Jerome Bettis a.k.a. "The Bus" spends more time in the training room every week than he does sleeping, only working through the pain for one last shot at a Super Bowl ring. Their quarterback is looking more and more like the heir to Tom Brady's throne, without the breath-taking good looks of course.

So what's drawing you to Seattle's side? Holmgren has already won it all; Hasselbeck has a wife who is more famous than him; and Shaun Alexander already got his MVP and Touchdown record. I suppose you rooted for the Russian in "Rocky IV"? Maybe you preferred the Cowboys in "Little Giants"? Or heck, you probably stormed out of the theatre when coach finally let Rudy go in and make that tackle on the kickoff!

I know that technically, Pittsburgh is the favorite in this game. But that's only because most of America recognizes what a beautiful story this is destined to be, so get with the times!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Operation Yao Ming

posted by IntrinsicBent

There are stories on the web everyday that are ridiculous, wacky, brilliant, bizarre, stupid, cogent, informative, and more. There are many sources you can go to that track every sneeze by a soccer player from here to Leeds. They’re a dime a dozen.

Our publication doesn’t play that type of journalism. Consider The Sports Frappe a laser in a blogosphere of flood lights.

But we have to discuss this article I found on the web last week. Written by a former Newsweek journalist, it spins a tale of Yao Ming as a well planned creation of the Chinese government. The only element missing is the Petri dish chapter.

Supposedly, China forced Yao’s parents to marry due to their respective unusual heights. Then Yao was forced into a series of labor camp style basketball training for most of his life.

All of this in order to start a master race of Chinese NBA basketball players. Is that really how the end of the world is going to go down? How did we miss that? So, they’re gonna get in through our gyms. You know Osama is bitter about missing that one. How come there’s no color to cover that in Homeland Security’s system?

You better work on your strength and your outside shot, as this seems to be their weakness. If you don’t believe me, watch a Rockets game when Yao gets back.

It reminds me when I was a teen and the summer Olympics rolled around and the East German and Russian Women swim teams would shred us on the medal count. These dudes were chiseled with well toned muscles, an ever present 5 o’clock shadow, and tons of pit and leg hair. They would win a race, jump out of the pool, whinny, and their coach would reward them with a sugar cube.

Man, I miss the good old days.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stones

posted by IntrinsicBent

This is not another piece about those “Stones”.  Not Mick, Keith, Fred, or Wilma.  Rather yet another take on the finest NBA team in this great country.

Southern California is still ablaze with what now is referred to as simply “81”.  Sometimes Kobe is now referred to as “81”.  I know some of the national media has taken this opportunity to take more dull and predictable shots at Kobe, The Lakers, etc.  Yawn.  C’mon y’all.  This is possibly a once in a lifetime event.  In Southern California though, it’s quite the rave of TV, radio, and water cooler discussions.  It’s a fun thing.  At least we’re not Sacramento.  Enough said on that.

I don’t think this is the highlight of my season though.  Heck, it’s not even my favorite Laker highlight/event of this month.  My favorite highlight happened during the most recent Lakers and Heat matchup.

It’s not just because the Lakers finally won this matchup, which hopefully puts a bullet in the dramatic Shaq vs Kobe/Phil vs Riles story lines.  It’s because of this event during the game.  How sweet was that juke by the 17 year old kid?  Regardless of what you think, the kid has stones, or maybe just youthful ignorance.  Either way, I dug it.

There are things that you should never do.  Jim Croce said you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, spit into the wind, pull the mask off of the Lone Ranger, and don’t mess around with Jim.  I say, don’t stare into the sun during an eclipse, don’t swallow lit fireworks, don’t root for the Yankees, and don’t harass zoo animals and then lean too close to their environment and get pummeled while being videotaped which ends up on the internet for everyone to see.

That’s just me.  You probably don’t want to provoke a 7 foot 300 plus pound man either.  But have you ever noticed that Shaq never lands his blows?  Check out his swing on Charles Barkley or Brad Miller.  As a sentient being in training I think that’s a good thing overall.

Dance Baby

posted by IntrinsicBent

I’m doing something that’s taboo in the Frappe.  I make it a practice to never take on the BiCoastal Wonder.  But I have a take that’s dying to get out.  So, I’ve been doing mad reps reading the dictionary so hopefully I can get this out and represent the Old Skool.

In regards to halftime shows.  Justine and JJ’s malfunction should kill any “popular” performances by the flavor of the month.

I don’t know why they ever did away with the “Up With People” performances anyway.

I’ve got the best ever idea for the halftime show this year.

Dance Dance Revolution.

You have a crowd of teens crowded around that one kid performing at midfield.  You know the kid I’m referring to.  He’s at every arcade I’ve ever stumbled into accidentally.

Here’s the scene:

Most times he’s super skinny.  Sometimes I catch the slightly pudgy version.  There’s a stack of quarters on the machine, which means my man owns it for a while.  He has one of his shirts draped over the rail and the one he’s sporting is drenched with sweat, complete with the mandatory pit stains.  He has a strained look on a face that’s tight with concentration.  This face is also mucho sweaty.  And it’s getting all up in his glasses.

Homeboy is criss crossing his feet and racking up mad points as he pounds out “dance” steps complete with spins.  I think the next version of the game should have suspended kick pads so he can mix kicks into his repertoire.

He has a crowd around him that seem in awe for his talented level of game.  You get the idea that any of these guys would gladly trade their favorite dinosaur model to be this guy for even 5 minutes.

So this display is a natural for the Super Bowl halftime.  All it needs is Walk This Way piped in the background, some flashpots going off, fireworks, and tons of kids with ribbons running around.

I’m skipping the Strolling Bones at halftime, in case Jagger gets any nutty ideas about taking his shirt off.  I also hope he keeps his teeth in.  That’s never an attractive trick either.

81

posted by IntrinsicBent

No kiddies, this is not another mindless post about Terrell Owens.  There are countless other “sports” regurging blogs out there for that easy mess.

This has to do with the fact that I was barely over Sunday’s viewing of the Elway less Denver Donkos getting runned over by the Steelers, when I realized I was watching Kobe heat it up again.

The problem was it was after watching another lackluster fall behind by double digits by this one man team and almost missed the spectacle.

Now I saw the 62 point game at Dallas where he shut the Mules and their fans up by posting more points than their entire team before leaving after the third quarter.  He would have broken Wilt’s record if he’d have stayed in the game.  They had a game the next night, so it was the right choice.

I realize that 81 points exemplifies the Lakers weak spots, but that’s a lot of twine tickling.  I mean think about it…..81 points.  It’s sick.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve dropped 81 points playing Nerfoop, and also dropped 85 points on my son in a video game before he reached his teens.  Both with no regrets.  Shoot, I could have spanked him by a hundred if I hadn’t switched and played with my off hand in case his Mom came in the room.

It was one of the very few games where I was yelling at my tv because of Kobe actually passing the ball.

Good times….good times.  Now get back on the phone Kupchak and get that Artest for George deal done.

Back to the other issue.  Now, I don’t really know any Broncos fans myself, but that one had to hurt.  It goes to prove that if not for Terrell Davis, those boys would have never held a ring.

Someone email me the outcome of this year’s Snoozer Bowl.  And keep feeding Kobe the rock.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Monster.Com NFL Coach Listings

posted by Knowledge Droppings

Knowledge Droppings: Of all the open NFL head coaching positions available, which is the most attractive?  (Kansas City, Houston, New York Jets, Minnestoa, Oakland, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans, St. Louis)

BiCoastal Bias: Granted, not all of these positions are open anymore, but that’s irrelevant.  I’m going with the obvious choice on this one.  The Kansas City Chiefs have the best record of this group, as well as the best team in tact.  Herm Edwards is the perfect fit for them, by the way.  He’s a defensive minded coach inheriting an offensive juggernaut, assuming half of the veterans on the offensive line return.  If not, I will admit this team isn’t looking nearly as attractive, as the offensive power behind the Chiefs comes from the five big boys up front.  

Nonetheless, I’d take the coaching position of the Kansas City Chiefs over the Vikings, (the rest of this group doesn’t even deserve mentioning).

IntrinsicBent: First off, big props to Knowledge Drops for this VERY timely debate offering.  Yes, that sarcasm was intended.  You’re better than your current performance level kid.

We’re hiring another writer, let’s hope we do a better job with our next hire.

Attractive?  Not really an NFL football approved kinda word, is it?  I’m gonna approach this like a headhunter with expertise in talent and personality evaluation skills.  I know it’s genius, but please save the emails of praise.  My inbox is full of those.

The Kansas City Chiefs position is the cream position.  It is the team with most of the pieces in place already.  The only pressure here is to make sure you don’t step on yourself out of the gate.  Don’t do wholesale changes on systems and styles which might delay forward progress.  Again, it’s not broke.

At the other end of this opportunity spectrum lies the Houston Texans job.  It’s at the other end as far as the amount of work needed to be done, but not the worst job in the mix.  This task will require a roll up your sleeves and start building kinda coach.  It’s kind of like an Extreme Makeover.  It’s a new organization with a forgiving fan base, because it’s a newer franchise.  They will appreciate slower but productive progress.  They need a complete overhaul and rebuild. They have an awesome draft pick in this year’s draft that is ripe with talent.  If their QB David Carr has not entered too far into the Jim Everett zone, a Reggie Bush choice could be very intriguing.  Getting an O Line is a prerequisite though.

The New York Jets job requires someone with a pedigree and rhino tough skin.  The New York media and fan base are not very forgiving or patient.  This team is accustomed to Old Skool discipline so they should hire for this trait as well.  Their talent pool is fair, but they will need a real QB and a little luck.  Carry a rabbit’s foot on this one.

Minnesota Vikings.  Bring a clown wig, red rubber nose, and those size 24 shoes that stick out of the window when you and thirteen of your buds pile into that midget car in the center ring.  This gig is a joke.  Bye week “cruises”, depleted talent, and rumors swirling that your pro bowl QB may be on his way to Oakland.  This will work with an NFL coordinator looking to make a jump into the big man’s seat.

Oakland Raiders.  Anyone that won’t mind not having decision making powers would be fine in this position.  They should also have a fist sized hole in their back for the owner’s easy access.  I would recommend recruiting in France for this one.  The gloss is off this organization.  The fans are also very scary.  They don’t seem so concerned with winning as long as they can play dress up.  Hey, if anyone asks who said that, be sure and tell them it was Knowledge Droppings.  Dude needs to earn his money somehow.

Detroit Lions have the league’s only GM with nine lives in Matt Millen.  Beyond that, they’re a team in transition.  This team with 49er retreads at Head Coach and QB thought they were Getting’ Into The Groove like Madonna in the 80’s.  If you take a shot at this one, be sure to keep your resume updated.

Green Bay gets the Sport Frappe’s sympathy nod.  At least the Intrinsic half.  You have to feel for Brett Favre, and Mike Sherman for that matter.  Injuries decimated that team.  But I have to admit that Favre’s decision making was painful to watch in most of this season’s games.  The coach that takes this position will need a better GM in place with a keen eye for talent.  They need a quick infusion of skill and depth.

The New Orleans(?) Saints need a coach with an RV.  Are there still such things as gypsies?  This team doesn’t know where their home is, experienced their whole City getting flushed last season, and have no clue what the future will hold.  College coaches, this is the one you should fight over to make the jump to the big dance.  Not you Pete Carroll, but the coach at Navy or Azusa Pacific should go for it.

Aww, last but not least, the St. Louis Lambs.  If the theory of what goes around comes around, this franchise is in deep trouble.  First, Georgia punked Southern California before it was cool and left The City of Anaheim in the lurch.  Then the Rams forced out Dick Vermeil after he finally won a Super Bowl for the franchise, and made him cry.  This year, they’ve cut Mike Martz while he was distracted with a possible life threatening condition.  As far as the players are concerned, old age and mediocrity have St. Louis addresses.  I personally think ex Clippers Head Coach, and current Assistant Suns Coach Alvin Gentry should make a run at this one.  He has a good shot at it!      

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cut it in Halftime

posted by BiCoastal Bias

As that American holiday often referred to as “Super Sunday” approaches, it’s time that someone said something about the state of football halftime shows today.  While watching the Orange Bowl, whatever non-descript R&B performer showed up on midfield between quarters 2 and 3 reminded my brother and I of Ashlee Simpson’s embarrassing Orange Bowl halftime appearance of last year, in which she proved that her SNL fiasco was no fluke.  Did you see any of these bowl game halftime acts this season?  They are so terrible!  It’s either someone who is considered “up and coming,” like Ashlee Simpson a year ago, or an artist trying to make a comeback, like Mariah Carey.  And the acts always make me a bit uncomfortable, with these pop dancers trying to incorporate a football theme into their repertoire; something about girls wearing eye-black while dancing to “Oops I did it again” just rubs me the wrong way.  

Kudos to the Rose Bowl, for sticking to the old fashioned marching band.  It is the Frappe’s opinion that college halftime shows should always feature the school band.  If I want to see Usher, I’ll turn on MTV, which is ironic since most of these halftime shows make me flip the channel anyways.

I’m about to reverse this statement, however, when it comes to the game of all games, the Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl is the epitome of America.  It’s the day everyone gets together to eat junk food and watch commercials.  So in that case, I say go ahead and make the halftime show fit the bill.  Throw on stage whoever it is that the music industry is presently trying to ram down our throats, singing “Walk this Way.”  I think it’s unfortunate that the fallout from the Justin Timberlake episode of a couple years ago has put a damper on the entertainment of late.  (In case you missed it, Timberlake tore at the clothing of his on-stage partner, I wish I could remember her name.)

I say go all out with the Super Bowl halftime show, make it a testament to how ridiculous American pop culture is for all of us to see.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ouch

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Dear Frappers:  I regret to inform you that someone hacked into our extremely well-guarded mainframe last week and posted re-donc-ulous picks in my name.  It’s an obvious case of sabotage.  I haven’t proven it yet, but I’m pretty sure Knowledge Droppings did it in an attempt to get me fired because he’s so sick of my high quality demands on iced lattes.  

Okay, I was seriously wrong, but who could have predicted all of these outcomes?  It’s not just who won, but how they won that has been so surprising.  Seattle was the only winner I got right, but they still had to do it without Shaun Alexander, the MVP of the league as well as their offense, who got a concussion early in the game.

Who would’ve thought that a Bill Belichick team would hand a playoff game to the Denver Broncos as they did last night?  Denver scored 24 of their 27 points off of turnovers, and needed only 24 yards of offense in scoring those 24 points; that’s not including the 40 yard pass interference penalty on Asante Samuel that is proof that the NFL will go to the level of racketeering to end all dynasty runs.  By the way, if you haven’t seen Ben Watson’s hit on Champ Bailey to knock the ball loose on the 1 yard line after a 100 yard interception return, just think Leon Lett and Don Beebe’s Super Bowl memory of the nineties.  It was beautiful; and don’t believe the Bailey apologists who are claiming that he just ran out of gas, he was definitely showboating.  If Watson, a tight end, was still running at full speed, I feel like any Pro Bowl DB could’ve finished that 100 yard dash.  One other thing that you west coasters might not have been privy to was Belichick’s post-game conference.  I have never seen a coach so boiling inside, trying to handle the standard media game.  Belichick wasn’t even giving them his usual clichés.  When asked a leading question, he’d respond with a one word, “Yep,” and when asked about what he thinks the officials saw on some of their bogus calls, he replied, “Go ask them.”

If yesterday didn’t end badly enough, today the Steelers knocked off the Colts, and the Bears lost to the Panthers.  These are another couple upsets that I certainly didn’t see coming, although plenty of prognosticators thought that Carolina had the edge in Chicago.  Vanderjagt, the Colts’ kicker, gets the award for bonehead comment of the day by letting this one loose after missing a would-be game-tying field goal: “… everything seemed to be lined up in our favor.  I guess the Lord forgot about the football team.”  It’s bad enough when players thank God for hitting a homerun for them, but now we’ve got kickers blaming God for their misses???  (I might be misinterpreting the context that Vanderjagt said this in; if so, well . . . he had it coming.)

I suppose what really disappointed me about this weekend was that all my favorite aspects of this year’s playoffs have ended prematurely: the Colts’ offense, the Bears’ defense, and the Patriots’ dynasty.  Maybe the NFL needs to institute its own BCS!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Colts Over Bears

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Round one has ended, and the playoff brackets are set.  Naturally, you Frappers are waiting to fill out your office’s playoff pick’em pool until the BiCoastal fills you in on his picks.  Yes, maybe you were waiting so that you could make the opposite picks as me, but you’ve been waiting nonetheless.

Let’s start with the NFC, because I think it’s easier this year.  I’ll take Seattle over Washington by two touchdowns – I think the Joe Gibbs “ancient coach can still win” story has reached its end.  Sorry Joe, it’s a young man’s game, just ask Intrinsic.  But that’ll be the end of Shaun Alexander’s egomaniacal run with Seattle, as the Bears are going to take Seattle in the NFC championship.   Chicago is too tough for anyone else in the NFC bracket, their defense can handle Carolina or Seattle’s offense, and this team’s scoring squad has mastered conservative play better than Trent Dilfer’s Baltimore Ravens of 2000.  As long as they play the field position game, the Bears should be able to find themselves in the Super Bowl.

The AFC is a much tougher bracket.  First off, Colts vs. Steelers: I’ll take the Colts.  Their bye week will probably be the difference maker in this one; Jerome Bettis would have done anything for a week off going into the playoffs.  It’ll be a fight though, Peyton’s finesse against the Steelers ground game, but Peyton ought to rise above in the end.  The real wild card in this year’s playoffs is the New England Patriots.  Tom Brady is working on his eleventh straight playoff win, whereas Denver has been a perennial second round exit for the extent of my adult years.  Denver’s regular season win over Brady & Co. doesn’t hold all that much merit with me now; they scored all their points in one quarter, and New England was definitely playing their worst ball right then.  Give me New England over Denver, 24 - 21.  

I’m hesitant to even pick the AFC title match.  If the Patriots hadn’t gotten absolutely disgraced at home by the Colts earlier this season, I’d choose them hands down based on the history of these two teams.  Before this season, the Pats were like a non-evil version of the New York Yankees, and Peyton’s Colts were the Red Sox.  But then the Sox won the World Series and Peyton actually won a game against Brady, ruining that fun little analogy.  So, in the end, I’ll begrudgingly take the Colts in one of those who-knows-what-will-happen, watch-it-on-NFL-films-for-the-next-decade games.  

Be it the Colts or any other AFC team, they should be able to handle the Bears in the big game.  Their offenses are good enough to make a dent in Urlacher’s façade; and after the next two rounds, their defenses will have enough film on Grossman’s playmaking style to capitalize on the few mistakes that the Bears’ shaky conservative offense is bound to make.  Colts over Bears, 20-13.

So there it is, my arrogant attempt at predicting the future.  If past seasons are any indication, I’m either really right or really wrong.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Not Exactly All Roses

posted by BiCoastal Bias

To kick off 2006, I’m thankful for two things:  
One – Football on HDTV  
Two – That the Rose Bowl takes place close enough to the holidays that I was able to watch it at my parents’ house, the only people I know with HDTV

Much like Intrinsic blogged before me, I didn’t find myself emotionally invested in either USC or Texas.  Mostly I was looking forward to a real championship game, between two teams that everyone could agree deserved to be there.  In the end, I decided to throw my hat in with Matt Leinart’s Trojans, for the arbitrary reason that he, like me, is an Angel fan.  Then, seeing Will Ferrell represent the USC fan in the pre-game show only helped to solidify my decision.    

Nonetheless, I wasn’t exactly heartbroken when USC lost.  However, if the Trojan winning streak had to end, I wanted Texas to really show that they deserved the national championship.  I’m not completely convinced that that is what happened tonight.  I’m not even going to bring up Reggie Bush’s first half failed lateral, a play I’d lose sleep over for the next two months if I were him.  But USC’s clock management with less than four minutes left was questionable, the decision to go for it on fourth and 2 was dubious, and their inability to lay a hit on Young after 200 yards of rushing was disgusting.  It hurts to watch such a historic streak end on a day when you had so many chances.

To end on a positive note, it was the performance of Vince Young that redeemed this game.  After the game, everyone on the sideline couldn’t stop imploring him to go pro tomorrow, but I disagree.  Vince: please allow us one more NCAA season.  The NFL just won’t do you justice.  Too many amazing quarterbacks have become boring after one season in the No Fun League.  Vince, I feel like we just got to know you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Goin' Old Skool

posted by IntrinsicBent

Doug Flutie comes out with the kicking team against the Miami Dolphins last Sunday and drop kicks one through the uprights.  That officially brings Flutie’s career PAT stat to……………one.  This was the first time this had been done since December 1941.  Flutie’s play had a higher degree of difficulty though, since the ball is less round than it was in 1941 and does not always bounce as true.

Flutie became nationally known after his hail mary pass for the win with Boston College way back in the 1900’s.

This may very well be his last play before he retires.

I think he should gut it out and go completely Old Skool if he gets the chance in the post season.

I’m talking about running onto the field in a leather helmet, knee high striped socks, and those sweet hi top black leather cleats.

Then he lines up under center and either does a center sneak, or the classic statue of liberty play.

Wasn’t Flutie around in ’41 when the previous drop kick was made?

Torn

posted by IntrinsicBent

A country boy can survive.  

The thing is, Hank Williams Jr. didn’t have to live in SoCal for a year after the local college dynasty in the making football team rolled up his team.

The Sooners did me no favors when they went Pop Warner in last year’s NCAA championship bowl.  I’ve had to endure a mind numbing 12 months of intense verbal abuse about my team from so called friends, relatives, and tv and radio talking heads.

It raised to a fever pitch again after UCLA spanked OU this year before it was revealed that OU was a mere shadow of itself.  This past week has been brutal.

Here’s the dilemma though.  I can’t root for USC just because I live here, especially after they whipped my team.  

I definitely can’t pull for Texas, because….well…..they’re Texas.  The first and second rule of fight club is…….don’t root for Texas.  Or something like that.  And you can throw that bull out about cheering for a rival just because they’re in your own conference.  Plus I’m old skool from the Big 8 era.

I’m tempted to be a bitterman and say I don’t care, but I’m too much of a sports honk.

I’m looking forward to potentially the biggest game ever in college football history.  And one last thing………………..

Boomer Sooner!!

  

Basketball Courts "R Us

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Here at the Frappe, we’re trying to pass along the knowledge in all walks of life.  Last week, Intrinsic gave you the scoop on what to wear while on the court or the field.  Today, I’m going to break down the various locations that I’ve played pick up basketball at, and discuss their pros and cons.  Basically, your options are outdoor parks, school gyms, community centers and churches.

If you’ve got a school gym or a community center of some sort, you can probably find whatever you’re looking for.  There’s going to be the ballers who’ve played together for the last 3 years and have mastered the alley-oop like Maurice Clarett has mastered negative publicity.  But look over to the side and you’ll find a few normal looking dudes wanting a sixth for 3 on 3 half court.

Outdoor parks are a bit more inconsistent.  I only play at one of these locations if I won’t feel too bad about going home feeling like I wasted a couple hours.  It’s not uncommon to find myself playing against a group of guys who would much rather instigate a fist fight rather than see our little match to completion.  This is more annoying than anything else; depending on the neighborhood and your own temper, I doubt that you are going to find yourself in any real danger.

Obviously, the church crowd is a little different.  Not that everyone who plays basketball in a church on Tuesday night is an angel, but typically when someone steps out of line, you can generally appeal to a higher authority to bring them back down to the right level.  One thing to look out for though, every church is going to have its own home rules.  I recently played ball at a Mormon church, and was quite proud of the fact that I had just taken a charge, only to be informed that this particular court did not recognize offensive fouls.  I was so dumbfounded that I didn’t realize until later that not only was the charge not called, but they stuck me with a defensive foul in place.  

Protestant churches typically have a bit more edge to them, which I think is a good thing for the most part.  I have yet to investigate any Catholic courts or synagogues, so if anyone wants to chime in with some data on any of these, it would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Zebras Are Killing The NBA

posted by IntrinsicBent

I can’t go another minute without getting this off my chest. I definitely can’t go one more game, or my head’s gonna explode.

The refs are absolutely killing the NBA. I know many of you purist honks go on and on to me about how the NBA reeks and is not fundamentally sound. The refereeing isn’t helping……at all.

I watched a lot of NBA action over the holiday break. I can’t even begin to count the blown calls I witnessed. I’m not talking about human error or judgement on the part of the refs. I’m talking about mamby pamby, ticky tack foul calling one way without consistency. I’m talking about balls out of bounds off players’ knees and giving it to that same team. I’m also talking about 20 seconds in the paint on offense. There’s more, but you get the drift.

While I’m at it, “veteran rules” are completely wack. How can you officiate a game where in addition to enforcing the rules, you are expected to factor in the amount of time someone has played and the strength of their star power? It’s the worst thing ever. Rules that shift are no longer rules. They’re desires.

This also goes for flexing the rules based on whether a team is at home or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I think officiating should always be done by humans. I’m not recommending we go cyborg and hand over the game to a Dell anytime soon. And no Apple heads, your product of choice would not work any better. Turn down your Ipods and put down the Steve Jobs flavored koolaid.

I simply long for an even playing field, and refs that are capable of performing accurately and fairly the majority of the time. That’s really not too much to ask, but if you watch very much of the NBA, you’ll begin to think it may take congress to make happen.

You MLB umpires that shift your strike zones based on the pitcher or hitter are on my list too.

Can You Dig It?

posted by IntrinsicBent

Before closing the books on 2005, you gotta take another look at Sport Frappe’s first ever post. It’s not hard to see how you Frappheads got hooked on the posts found in this here blog. The raw emotion, candor, and compassion penned by our hero BiCoastal Bias snagged you sports junkies from the get. We hear the reports of you excitedly opening your browser to see what offering the Frappe has for you. Most of you have been able to do this every day without getting whipped cream on your keyboards. The sprinkles, however are a different story.

Sure, we’re not perfect. Just like the Yankees signing Kevin Brown, we overpaid for underperformance by our intern Knowledge Droppings. But the kid is just now getting our sandwich orders right. So, we’ll have to keep him and hope he can produce better results early in this new year.

Like Dog The Bounty Hunter, The Frappe is a second chance organization.

Peace.

Hey Brother, Can You Spare A Couple Of Mill?

posted by IntrinsicBent

Welcome to Black Monday.

Actually this season’s version of the Russian roulette of NFL coaches began a day early on Sunday with the firing of the Vikings’ Mike Tice. After his team won their final game. Many picked the Vikes to go to the dance this year. This was before injuries and a certain bye week cruise occurred. Not since the Love Boat has a cruise contributed to the end of someone’s career. New owner Zygi Wilf has to feel that he’s stepped into a zoo. One he’s invested millions in. With a name like his, I’m sure he’s seen his share of turmoil before.

Mike Sherman was run from the Packers after they experienced their worst season since 1991. What a difference a season makes. The Pack just extended Sherman’s contract two years last summer at the tune of $6.4 million. Now that’s a severance package.

The Packers were deluged with injuries this year. You have to feel for one of the game’s fiercest competitors, Brett Favre. If he’s done, he deserved to go out on a higher note. And while making better decisions on the field.

Not since Nelson Mandela has someone wanted to be freed as bad as the Saints’ Jim Haslett. He’s been begging to be released from his contract for weeks. This isn’t a rat jumping from a sinking ship. That title would go to the owner Tom Benson. The water hadn’t yet receded in The Big Easy when he started playing Jedi mind tricks with the heads and hearts of New Orleans fans, players, as well as the City of San Antonio.

Benson stated last week that he would be staying in New Orleans after all. Call me cynical, but this coincided with the completion of a long meeting with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. I would love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall and know what deal this opportunist struck with the league to stay.

Let’s hope that Haslett lands in one of the other jobs that are opening up.

The winners in the Reggie Bush Bowl, the Houston Texans, released the only coach they’ve ever had in Don Capers. You know it has to hurt to be part of something at the ground level and not be able to get it done. This young team seems to be in total turmoil in desperate need of good old fashioned leadership.

You hate to see someone lose their position due to injury or illness, but the long rumored firing of St. Louis Rams’ Mike Martz went down anyway. It’s hard not to apply the “what goes around, comes around” label to this one. Martz expedited previous coach Dick Vermeil’s exodus before the Gatorade® had dried from Vermeil’s Superbowl headset. Martz gravy trained Vermeil’s talented team ala Barry Switzer. He made many questionable decisions including glaring clock mismanagement during crunch time.

Speaking of Ole Waterworks, Dick Vermeil announced his retirement as well from the Kansas City Chiefs. We lost Hank Stram and Vermeil in the same season. Not cool. At least seemingly this time, Vermeil is leaving on his own terms.

Call me a wuss, but I dig a coach that’s not afraid to let his emotions flow. Give him a hand and a hanky (that’s like a Kleenex sort of, for those of you born after 1980).

Other shoes that could drop include Oakland coach Norv Turner who will meet with Darth Raider in the jumpsuit on Tuesday. This one needs to be done. Raider fan is getting restless. And that ain’t a good thing. For any of us.

Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Tuna Parcells may be considering retirement. He has been unable to get consistent turnaround improvement from the ‘Boys like he accomplished in his last two assignments with the Patriots and Jets. Of course, he also doesn’t have Bill Belichck at his side either this time around.

Colts coach Tony Dungy could possibly decide to call it quits after this season. He’s often said that he will enter the ministry when he retires. He was dealt a horrendous blow with the recent death of his 18 year old son. This guy is one of the league’s quality stand up guys. If he does in fact leave the league, it may very well be with a ring.

All these firings have me very nervous. You see, I’ve been off on vacation since December 23. I’m hoping I don’t show up and find that it’s Pink (slip) Tuesday.

They could never fire me. I’m too valuable.

Plus, I hold the office donut eating title. And in that regard, I’m still in my prime.

Monday, January 02, 2006

What You Can Expect

posted by IntrinsicBent

The world of sports provides us with many things each year.  We follow the trials and tribulations of our favorite teams and players, and sometimes dedicate too much of ourselves in the process.  For many of us, there are memories of sports that we played when we were younger.    

We remember the smell of fresh cut grass and our hands aching while taking batting practice in the chill of early spring Little League practice (especially in the wood bat era).  We recall the camaraderie of competing against teammates in youth football for starting positions before blossoming into a team when games started.  We remember running in the gym until we thought the coach would kill us during basketball practice.

We remember how we walked through the house swinging an invisible bat, shooting in the air while envisioning hitting the winning 3 pointer, and diving into the sofa (sorry Mom) catching that touchdown pass in the end zone.

We remember learning how to become a fan by watching our Dad, Grandfather, brother, neighbor, or anyone we could attach ourselves to.  Some of us had a woman role model that was more dedicated to a sport, team, and/or player than any male could ever dream of.

In the present day microscope scrutiny of the increased media availability, it’s easy to get turned off by sports.  As the money gets larger, the players seem more ridiculous, and the pressure to win seems to press folks toward shortcuts, it is easy to feel we’ve lost our connection to sports, the players, and the lessons of life that sports can teach us.  It’s about perserverence, and never quitting.  If something gets in front of you, go over it, around it, under it, or through it.  But never quit.  Oh yeah…….and keep your head on a swivel too.

So sports in 2006 will offer the same that it did in 2005.  For every sordid steroid and whizzinator story, there will be the comeback player, the players that puts team first, and the underdog defying all odds to win the big one to balance it out.  

And you will shell out more bucks than you’re willing to admit to for gear, tickets, cable packages, and magazine subscriptions.

So cheer away Frappers.  You know we’ll continue to give you solid sports opinions and direction you crave and need to sound intelligent in your sports conversations.

Happy 2006!