Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Fantasy Football PantsCast October 28

It's done. Holy cow it's done.

The first Fantasy Football pants podcast of the season FINALLY got underway.

Wolf Blitzer joins me to discuss all things fantasy for week 7 and a preview for week 8. Okay, it's not really Wolf Blitzer, just my friend Joe whose fantasy team is called Wolf Blitzer.

We won't pretend to be experts, just fans who enjoy the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat every Sunday as our fantasy football teams either rise up or fall apart at the seams. We'll talk about:

-The grenade player of Week 7 who came out of nowhere to blow someone's team apart
-The torpedo player that didn't live up to expectations and sunk his team
-Which waiver pickup was an oil strike and which one wasn't worth the waiver claim
-And my favorite: the fantasy sob story from Week 7 that's so sad, it could only belong in a country music song.

Plus, we preview week 8.

*So throw on some headphones and pretend to work as you hear the Fantasy PantsCast of the Week.



*batteries not included

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time To Jump Ship

There have been a rash of quarterback benchings this year among the NFL peasant class teams from the "it was only a matter of time" benching of Bucs quarterback Byron Leftwich to the "maybe he's not our future" benching of Brady Quinn in Cleveland. Jason Campbell gets pulled on and off the bench like a yo-yo in Washington while Miami coaches thanked their lucky stars that an injury allowed them to relegate veteran Chad Pennington to the bench without controversy.

Yet, it's the not benchings that boggle my mind this year. There are three quarterbacks out on the field that don't need to be on the field for a variety of reason, the foremost being that they suck. They have been starters all year long, yet have put up such putrid numbers, it's a wonder that their team hasn't locked them in a storage closet before the game. Here are their stories:

Kerry Collins: He came in last year and led Tennessee to the best record in the NFL by basically not making horrible mistakes. This year he's just an albatross on that offense. He completes barely over half of his pass attempts and he averages only 5.4 yards per pass. That ranks him 33rd in the league. 33rd. There are only 32 teams. Those numbers are bad even for a rookie, but Collins is 36 years old. His time is done. It's time to stick Vince Young in for the winless Titans and see if he sinks or swims. That way, the Titans know what they have be draft time next year.

Jake Delhomme: The loquacious gunslinger has always been a fan favorite just because he's such a crazy Cajun. This year, however, people don't know him as a gunslinger so much as an interception machine. The 34 year old (see, old) Delhomme has thrown 13 picks compared to only four touchdowns so far. He has basically made Carolina's top playmaker, wide receiver Steve Smith, a non-factor in games and puts the defense in ridiculous situations. I know it doesn't help that Carolina has given Delhomme zero help in the passing game, but something is clearly wrong. Delhomme's quarterback rating is all the way down in the mid fifties which is worse than anyone else. Unless of course you're talking about...

JaMarcus Russell: Unlike the graybeards Delhomme and Collins, Russell is only 24 years old. Also unlike Delhomme and Collins, Russell has never shown that he has any sort of clue as to what is going on during a football game. This year is Russell's third season which is usually when a quarterback starts to "get it" as the game slows down for him. Russell looks like someone is hitting the fast forward button in his head. He completes less than half of his passes and has two touchdowns compared to eight picks (and many of those picks are of the ugly, head scratching variety.) His quarterback rating is a 47.2. That's Monty Python absurd. Plus, Russell keeps coming to camp like he just left an all you can eat session at Golden Corral. He's well on his way to Ryan Leaf territory in terms of a ruined draft pick.

Team continuity is more important in football than any other sport in America, so I understand a coach's reluctance to throw a new face under center. All of these teams, however, are in no danger of making the playoffs, so it's time to start experimenting for the future. Let it go, guys. Just let it go.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Official Disgrace

Okay Arkansas fans, calm down. Yes, I know about the officials during your close game against the Gators this weekend. Some of you have written me to inform me of these controversial refs.

For those of you who don't know, a Southeastern Conference officiating crew called a very debatable personal foul penalty against Arkansas in a close game. This sent the Razorback fans into a tizzy.

The problem is I've already written about SEC officials, apparently not aesthetes to the emotional volcano of college football, who have ruined close games by calling killer penalties on kids who genuinely get excited when they make a big play.

Guess what? The referees that ruined that earlier game between Georgia and LSU by calling an unneeded excessive celebration penalty are the SAME refs who dropped an unwarranted penalty on Arkansas during the game against Florida! I guess it's good that they're consistent.

Southeastern Conference executives apparently noticed these refs as well because the officiating crew has been suspended until November 14. Maybe now teams might be able to actually play a full game without having it decided by controversial calls.

These games have enough pressure. Let'em play ref.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Podcast Becomes a PantsCast

I done a podcast with Jordan Bernfield for his website Berning On Sports.com

We talk about stuff. What kind of stuff?

Well...

---The Chicago weather (of which Jordan is reluctant stay with since it's such a non-sporty topic)
---How little I care about the Yanks and Phillies being on the brink a of a World Series match-up
---Jordan's obsessive hatred for Lane Kiffin
---The struggles of one Ohio State Buckeye highly recruited quarterback
---Whiny Jay Cutler's contract extension in Chicago
---Other random thoughts

I am not concise and I wander all over the damn place. So listen. It will be the only way anyone broadcasts me on purpose.

http://berningonsports.com/podcasts/latest.mp3

Remember Why You're Supposed To Be There

I went to a football game in Buffalo a few years ago to see the hometown Bills take on the Cincinnati Bengals. We had to wade through a sea of beer cans that came up to our shins in order to enter the stadium (cheap beer too, blech!) As we sat down, we were serenaded by some drunk Bengals fans and drunk Bills fans screaming obscenities at each other.

All part of the game atmosphere, right?

Then things got out of hand. In the third quarter the group of Bengals and Bills fans had apparently seen enough of the game on the field and decided to stage their own brawl. It was funny to watch at first as yellow jacketed security guards swooped in from all sides to expel the problem makers whose insults had graduated from "your team sucks" to "your mother is a retarded whore with a venereal disease." After the fifth or sixth fight, however, I began thinking to myself "I paid good money for these seats and I want to watch the damn game." It was hard to do with piles of humanity screaming and battling next to me.

I've heard of similar such cases from friends at games all around this great sports land of ours.

We've all seen this guy or girl walking (or stumbling) into the stadium, so toasted that there's no way he'll actually recall any of what he paid to see:



Now you may not have seen someone quite THAT drunk at a stadium since security will probably toss them, but you get my point.

Then there's the classy display of fighting at a sporting event. Someone videoed two women fighting at the Texas/OU football game this weekend:



Some guys might find the fight a turn-on since the women who do that are often the types that will get drunk and have sex in a public place. Who knows how it started, an overheard scuttlebutt, some kind of passing insult, maybe one stole toilet paper from the other. Whatever happened, it had nothing to do with the game.

Hey, stuff happens when you cram 80,000 people into one space as they watch an emotional roller coaster of a game. Yet, most seem to handle it fairly well. As for the others, I guess I learned all I needed to about them from a Simpsons episode:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NFL Noodling--Week 6

This is a SportsPants NFL wrap up session that involves silly teams and silly people. It's like a fun factory filled with violent, muscular men.

Week 6:

Biggest Matchup- New York Giants at New Orleans Saints. Best teams in the NFC? Uh not this week. Saints stomp all over the Giants' privates. Saints QB Drew Brees is a man beast.

Best Game- Minnesota almost had a meltdown. Baltimore came back from a deficit to nearly kick a game winning field goal to beat the Vikings in a hostile milieu. But they missed. So nevermind.

Biggest Joke 1- Philadelphia Eagles lose to....the Raiders? The RAIDERS? You lose to the Oakland Raiders?! That might have been an understandable score back in, say, 1980. These days Oakland has a fat quarterback who can't hit the side of a battleship with a pass. That loss is completely unforgivable. I was eliminated from my NFL pick'em league because of this damn game. Philly fans deserve to boo the team after this one.

Biggest Joke 2- Tennesee Titans may or may not have showed up to play the Patriots, I can't get confirmation. All I know is I lost my fantasy game because my opponent had Tom $*%*@ Brady. 380 yards and six touchdowns in a little over one half of work. One damn half. The Titans quit. Screw them.

Hero of the Day- Thomas Jones- New York Jets. Ran for 210 yards to help his struggling team.

Goat of the Day- Mark Sanchez- New York Jets. Unfortunately, Thomas Jones' big rushing day was in a losing effort because Mr. Golden arm quarterback forgot which team he played for and threw five interceptions. Who are you Mark, Jake Delhomme?

Moron Watch- Brandon Marshall of the Broncos never disappoints in this department. After being interfered with on Monday Night, the hot head wide reciever decided to kick the football drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty and negating the interference call. Someone please punch him.

It's about time I give Denver the Mile High Salute. No one thought that team would be .500 by now let alone undefeated. Well done, Josh McDaniels. Now go punch Brandon Marshall.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Worst Case Scenario

I bet you think that title has to do with a struggling football team or the baseball playoffs. It doesn't.

It has to do with my personal number one nightmare in life.

The next time you punch a wall/table/loved one over the fetor of your struggling team, be happy that your bruised hand will heal back up. The next time you curse because you got up from the couch and cracked your leg against the coffee table, know that you'll be able to walk again.

The catalyst for these comments is the story about a three year old boy named Josh Scoble:



It's like a twisted power from X-Men, one that no one would ever want. Every day that goes by, more of Josh's muscles inexplicably turn to bone. Injuries make it worse. At least his parents are allowing Josh to enjoy his young life before it becomes hell on earth.

I think being imprisoned in my own body has to be the worst nightmare I've ever considered and doctors predict Josh will be unable to move by his 40's. It's not an spinal injury that an operation might make better over time. It's a disease that no one knows about and it's so rare that very few people care about it.

Just think to yourself: "what would I do if faced with this disease?" Would you stay with life until the ugly end, or would you eventually become incredibly interested in the works of Dr. Kevorkian?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Name Dropping

Anyone out there heard of Rachel Glandorf? If you say yes, you're either a obsessive Texas Longhorns fan, or you're a compulsive liar.

Until today.

Rick Reilly wrote an article about Texas quarterback Colt McCoy today during the build up to the big Texas/Oklahoma clash this Saturday. During the article, he felt the need to mention Colt McCoy's girlfriend by name and let us know that she's as hot as Indian food. He even gets her take on her boyfriend's popularity around the city of Austin.

If she were just another college student, you might think that this could lead to unwanted publicity and harrasment by the press.

The issue is that apparently, Ms. Glandorf appaerently wants to be part of the press. She's a track runner at Baylor (which is a bit unstable since Baylor is a Big 12 rival to Texas and she's always shown at Texas games wearing a Longhorns shirt. Where's the Baylor Bear pride?) and it seems she's be happy to be a sports reporter once school is done.

I don't know Ms. Glandorf and she might be the most pukka journalist in the country. But she'd better get ready for some backlash if she randomly ends up with a nice job in sports journalism next year. The entire journalism industry is nothing short of a disaster right now and there are more than a few talented journalists who are out of work. To have some hot blonde come out of school and grab a precious job will lead to many ugly thoughts. Thoughts that could follow Colt McCoy around wherever he ends up.

But we're in a recession, so I wouldn't blame her if she took a job she didn't necessarly earn. It's a nasty market out there and some people just have better opportunites.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beware Of Zombie Dan

Today's word for the day is triskaidekaphobia which is fear of the number 13, or as we know it in the sports world: fear of Dan Marino. It's a word pretty much impossible to use in every day conversation unless you are specifically describing someone who suffers from it (noted people include Mark Twain, Napoleon, and Herbert Hoover.)

The only time I can imagine seeing triskaidekaphobia in every day language is if quarterback Dan Marino became a zombie.

Perhaps he was infected being sacked by a zombie defender in his playing days, or he was bitten by Shannon Sharpe or Bill Cowher during the NFL pre-game show they all participate in. Either way, beware of zombie Dan because he is only the beginning of entire zombie quarterback apocalypse.

Today might be quarterbacks, but before you know it Olympic gymnists, cricketers, and beach volleyball players will be looking for braiiiiiins!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Square Peg, Round Hole

I've come to grips with the fact that Sunday Night Football will always have an overly ornate intro to a simple game. Seeing that Monday Night Football started the theme of "too much intro" I can exculpate NBC from this unfortunate trend.

What I can't handle is NBC force feeding us a pop/country singer trying to sing a Joan Jett knockoff. Faith Hill doesn't have the voice to pull the intro to Sunday Night Football off and the over-production that goes into her voice is disgusting.

But don't take my word for it, see for yourself

Here is the first season of SNF using a knockoff of Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" with Pink singing it:



Now here's the same song now with Faith Hill:



It just doesn't fit. She looks uncomfortable and robotic doing this thing as if there's some sort of choreographer standing off camera shouting "now arms, and kick, and jazz hands!"

Don't get me wrong, Faith Hill looks as good as ever, but she doesn't need to be doing this song. She doesn't have a rock voice. If NBC is looking for names, why not just get Simon and Garfunkel? They're just as unsuited for this.

I would like to thank Sprint for this post since I believe they sponsor the opening of SNF. I only saw the logo a few hundred times during it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thanks, But No Thanks

When Deion Sanders played defensive back in the NFL, he made life miserable for wide receivers. He's keeping that streak alive today.

Sanders has become a mentor to many young football players coming out. He holds a Deion camp to prepare players for the NFL Draft and he invites different players in college and the pros to his home for convivial activities. In this process, players have grown to trust Deion's counsel as that which is in their best interest. They might want to rethink that.

Two different players, both wide receivers, have made the news recently for their involvement with Sanders and is wasn't good news in either instance.

Well, it was good news for 49er first round pick Michael Crabtree in that he finally signed his contract to end the longest holdout of this year's NFL draft picks. The bad news for Crabtree is the he got about the same amount of money he would have gotten if he had just signed back before the season like every other draft pick did.

Now Crabtree comes to a 49ers team that has been successful without him, he's never played in an NFL style offense before, and he's over a month behind in learning the San Francisco playbook. He's essentially destroyed his rookie season and burned any number of advertising opportunities, plus he has to rebuild his soiled reputation with the fans. All because Sanders (amongst others in his group) told Crabtree he was worth more money than what he was slotted to get as the tenth pick of the draft.

Gee, thanks for the advice Deion.

Now we find out that Deion may have inadvertently ruined another player's year when Oklahoma State star receiver Dez Bryant lost his college eligibility due to involvement with Sanders. Bryant was the top offensive threat at Oklahoma State and a top ten draft pick. Now he leaves the Cowboys in a ditch for the rest of this season and may have injured his draft stock since NFL teams pay so much attention to character issues these days.

Sanders doesn't take the full blame on this because Bryant is the one who lied to NCAA investigators who asked if he had dinner with Deion. Bryant thought it was a violation of some sort, so he lied and said he hadn't. Deion confirmed they did. It was a panic move by Bryant and a stupid move too.

But does a player really lose an entire year of eligibility because he said he was somewhere else? Is Bryant really the only player that has ever lied about stuff to avoid getting into trouble? And if Deion is such a mentor to these guys, wouldn't that little tidbit have been brought up?

If Bryant only had dinner with Sanders and got ruled ineligible for simply lying about it, that is truly an unfortunate occurrence. But it's possible that there were other people in the room aside from Bryant (like agents who are barred from speaking to college players).

It may never be proven if Deion was simply mentoring a young kid who is eventually going to be in the NFL, or if he had something more selfish in mind. Either way, two young players have had involvement with Sanders and both of them have to clean up a mess.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Now For Something A Little Lighter

It's called SportsPants, but it's not always about sports talk.

If you haven't seen it before, Zach Galifianakis (bearded guy from The Hangover) has his own little internet talk show called Between Two Ferns. It's just Zach and a guest sitting on a set titivated by, what else, two ferns. Wonderful interviews:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stone Hands Finds A New Home

What's the deal with the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets? I know Browns coach Eric Mangini came from the Jets, but New York head coach Rex Ryan wasn't working with him there.

Yet here we go with another big trade between the two organizations. First, the Jets trade with Cleveland on draft day in order to grab quarterback Mark Sanchez. Now the Browns send ole Braylon "Stone Hands" Edwards to the Big Apple in exchange for Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik, and a few draft picks.

Edwards has All-Pro talent, but in Cleveland he has valued foofaraw over production. Browns fans probably aren't too sad to see Edwards take his pass dropping skills away from Ohio. In New York he gets a fresh start and a last chance to prove that he's worth his hype.

Meanwhile, Mangini is apparently obsessed with his former players on the Jets because he's now traded for five of them. The result is a wonderful winless record as the Browns are possibly the worst team in the league.

If Edwards becomes realizes even part of his potential, the Jets get themselves a big time playmaker in exchange for an average reciever, a special teams player, and a couple of mid-round draft choices. That's well worth the price.

Cleveland fans should hope that the New York Jets stop coming to the Brown's front door for a trade. New York already got the team's quarterback of the future while Cleveland fumbles around with Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Now the Jets may have a top flight wideout to make plays (if he can learn to catch a ball.)

Meanwhile, Cleveland gets more average players who might fit Mangini's system, but don't change a game. I know that Mangini is following the Bill Parcells blueprint of gathering players that believe in your system in order to change the culture of the locker room, but Mangini has no playmakers, so he's going to have to wait until next year's draft to find some. Time to go back to the drawing board....again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Be Careful What I Wish For

Human 1: Did you know Texans owe their lives to Oklahoma?

Human 2: They do? Why?

Human 1: Because Texas would have fallen into the ocean long ago if Oklahoma didn't suck so much.

As most of you know, I'm a big Texas Longhorns fan. This inherently means that I hate the Oklahoma Sooners. I wish nothing but failure on the team and often wonder aloud why Sooner fans are spread throughout Texas like a flu virus if they love Oklahoma so much. I can't help it, I was brainwashed by my family at an early age to become a burgeoning Texas fan/Sooner hater.

This is why I'm so happy these days. Oklahoma is officially out of the national title hunt. Even if they go undefeated the rest of the season, there will be no national title in Norman...again. Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy

But wait, there is a downside to this wonderful turn of events.

One thing Oklahoma did this season was actually play a difficult non-conference schedule. The fans got to see the Sooners play big games against BYU and at Miami. It was a rare treat considering most big college programs rarely take the chance at an upset during the early part of the season.

The problem is that Oklahoma lost both games.

While the Sooners were playing those big time games, the Longhorns were playing such juggernauts as Louisiana Monroe, Wyoming, and Texas/El-Paso. Texas won those three games by a combined score of 164-37. Wow, way to test yourself Longhorns.

In a slight defense of Texas, Arkansas backed out of a game against the Longhorns this year, but that still doesn't get close to the Sooners strength of schedule.

And here we are now, the Longhorns coasting as an undefeated national title contender while Oklahoma had it's nationl title dreams dashed before confernece plays even began.

Gee, what do you think teams will do in the future, schedule tough (aka interesting) games or throw a bunch of patsies in there? It's sad because I love watching college football, but there's only so many 66-7 blowouts I can take. Fans deserve more, but they'll never get it after what has transpired this season.

The one way this could help the fans out is for Oklahoma to beat Texas in a close game next week. That way, people could argue that the Sooners difficult early schedule better prepared them for the Red River Rivalry than the Longhorns row of weak sisters.

But that would mean that I'd have to root for Oklahoma and we know that will never happen.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sportsmanship? Try Disgrace

Another game ruined by the refs.

You'd think the esurient NCAA executives would want as much entertainment value for their gazillion dollar college football enterprise as possible. Instead, they harp on the issue of sportsmanship and use that word to suck all of the fun out of games.

College football referees are told not to allow excessive celebrations when touchdowns are scored. This rule is intended to cut down on the "look at me" attitude displayed by players and the taunting that used to go on. Basically, the sportsmanship rule was put in place to counteract the gong show that took place at the University of Miami. Those Miami teams of the late 80's and early 90's looked like a who's who of police reports with assaults, guns, rapes, drugs, and all sorts of neat stuff.

But the excessive celebration rules have gone too far the other direction. The Georgia/LSU game this weekend proved that. Georgia scores a potential winning touchdown with one minute left and the receiver who scored runs and jumps into the arms of his teammates in pure ecstasy.

Flag. 15 yard penalty for excessive celebration to be assessed on the kickoff.

Excuse me? He just possibly won the game and you're going to flag him for celebrating with his team?

The call quite possibly changed the outcome of the game as LSU suddenly needed only a few extra yards to kick a game winning field goal (the Tigers actually won on a break away run against a stunned Georgia defense.) The call became the talking point of the post game show:



When a post game wrap up is centered around a referee call, that's not a good sign, especially when it's a call that doesn't occur during a play. Let it go, refs. Let the players decide the games.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hard Feelings

Well, that was fun. For a fleeting moment, we all thought Chicago had a great chance to host the 2016 Olympics. The city was the odds on favorite to win the bid because of the well built infrastructure and a certain president who calls it home.

Yet even Barack Obama's impassioned speech couldn't save the Windy City from being the first city eliminated from the running in a stunning turn of events. Rio will be the host city for the 2016 games, the first time the games have gone to South America. Good luck keeping order in that beautiful, but crime infested city. My over/under on kidnapped tourists is four.

Looking back, maybe we shouldn't be so stunned that Chicago was quickly dispensed by the Olympic committee. After all, they don't like American venues too much.

The last summer games held in America didn't go over too well with those Olympic types. The 1996 Atlanta games were widely criticized for a bevy of things including the power play of Atlanta based Coca Cola to make itself the sole soft drink served at the Olympics, the incredible number of vendors who attempted to compete with the licensed Olympic shops, and the general over-commercialization of the entire Olympic Games.

Oh, and a bomb went off in the Olympic village. That kind of sucked too.

Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch famously stood at his podium (probably with an incarnadine face) after the games ended in Atlanta and said that the 1996 games had been "most exceptional." At all the prior Olympics he oversaw, he would proclaim that the games were "the best ever." He resumed saying that at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Point taken.

Chicago would have been a great host for the Olypmics even without the prescence of Obama. It's just a swell city and the Olympics would have at least given Cubs fans something else to do in the summer besides bitch about their team. Alas, America apparently has a sullied reuptation among the Olympic committee members. Some day though. Some day the summer games will visit the American heartland.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Deal Or No Deal?

Things just aren't ever easy when you're a noted dog killer. Mike Vick swears that he's now a adjuvant to society these days, but for some reason people don't believe him. Maybe it's because he lied through his teeth the first time he was questioned about his involvement with dog fighting.

Now Vick is back in the NFL playing for the Eagles and today we learned that he signed a new endorsement deal with Nike. Finally, things are looking up for him!

Apparently no one informed Nike of this because the shoe giant has denied actually signing Vick to a contract. The company only lent some of the products to him.

Time for Vick's agent to do some tap dancing because this might get a little embarrassing. Lots of news sources have already announced the endorsement deal and aren't going to be happy with a simple amendment of "well, he sort of did." Or maybe the newspapers will be happy. Another story for tomorrow!