Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

2013 MLB Hall of Fame Vote Headlines

January 13, 2013

Okay, besides the obvious: “HALL OF FAME SUCKS AND SHUTS OUT A MILLION DESERVING CANDIDATES!”

Now that we’ve rushed to conclusions, let’s take a step back. I believe there is a flaw in the voting system for the Hall of Fame. I thought that before this vote took place, and find myself thinking about it more often now that the shutout occurred.

I’m not sure I could ever articulate my suggestions in a fashion that exceeds this fantastic piece by Jeff Passan, so I’ll leave you with that. And this one from Jayson Stark.

Please come back and finish reading my blog before you get carried away with those incredibly well-written works of art. Thanks.

And as much as I’d like to just dive right in and go to town on those dirty rotten voters, we do have to give them a break. Not only are they tasked with an insanely difficult job, but they then have to deal with nuisances like myself immediately after.

To avoid becoming a talking head on this topic and running with the same exact story lines, here are some other things I was processing while sobbing in the shower after seeing nobody reach the 75 percent threshold:

1) The outside influence on and internal struggle of a voter is fascinating.

If you truly think ballots aren’t influenced by voters’ peers in most cases, you’re as blind as a bat. A baseball bat. It happens in all types of social situations, because the desire to fit in is stronger than the desire to do what’s right. I’m not saying that’s why some votes went down as they did, but it certainly played a role. If every ESPN voter except one had openly proclaimed in the office they were voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, steroids be damned, chances are the outcast would also vote for Bonds and Clemens. It’s a social science.

Even more intriguing to me is the struggle all baseball fans face with morality. Yours truly is still undecided whether or not, given a hypothetical Hall of Fame vote, I’d vote for someone who was busted for PED’s. On the one hand, they are legends in their own right and earned their numbers, even if slightly inflated because of a little pill. On the other, their crimes are far more offensive to me than anything Pete Rose did, and he is banned from the game forever.

2) I thought all ballots should be released…then reconsidered.

What would it accomplish? Sure, we want to know who cast a vote for Shawn Green, or which nimrods thought it okay to exclude a surefire in Craig Biggio. But all it would lead to is a collective, big boy temper tantrum that only gets us in a meaningless, heated Twitter argument with each other. There are plenty of voters who shouldn’t be voting, but they have the right to conceal their choices for whatever reason they want…and I’m fine with that. Besides, who’s to say all the hidden ballots weren’t perfectly reasonable?

3) That being said…

…why isn’t Orel Hershiser or Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame yet? And why did it take voters so long to induct Hank Greenberg? That’s literally all I had for this one. Awkward. Moving on.

4) Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams gone forever.http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/images/photos/000/973/485/98433807_crop_650x440.jpg?1276726536

My heart breaks just writing those words. Two of my all-time favorite players and idols growing up did not receive the required five percent to stay on the ballot for 2014. Both players had very borderline cases as it was, but now their only hope is to be inducted by the Veteran’s Committee. That’s about as likely as Juan Uribe hitting a curveball, unfortunately. It’s too bad – who’s with me here: Creating a Hall of Fave in which fans get to choose non-Hall of Famers to grace the halls of a hallowed ground dedicated to the most popular players who ever played. This year, Kenny and Bernie would easily be in. Next year, we would welcome Sean Casey with open arms!

5) The PED users all get another shot.

Oh, stop. I’m allowed to group them together like that. Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro all survived the cut and will be on the ballot in 2014. In my humble opinion, Big Mac, Bonds and The Rocket will eventually hang a plaque in Cooperstown. In my humbler opinion, only Bonds and Clemens have the all-around numbers to be there. In my humblest opinion, those inevitable plaques should have a daftly-carved asterisk in each. The official prediction for me is that both Bonds and Clemens are in by 2018. McGwire? More like 2021.

6) Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker, ladies and gentleman!

This is similar to the Lofton-Williams scenario. Except that Martinez and Walker both have very good cases for Hall of Fame induction. Martinez is the DH. He deserves a spot in Cooperstown, and there’s nothing you can say that will make me budge from that position. As for Walker, is there any better five-year span out of the non-PED users than his .353/30/98/1.172 OPS line from 1997 (his MVP season, in which he also stole 33 bases) to 2002? He’s got the most anonymous Hall of Fame resumes in baseball, and the worst part of it all is Walker might get snubbed completely.

7) Biggio? More like Biggi-NO.

Goodness, that’s a money headline! How I don’t get paid to write those is beyond me. In all seriousness, since we are on the subject of snubs, why is Craig  Biggio not preparing a teary-eyed, soulful speech right now? I understand the aura (both negative and positive) around this year’s class, but the fact that 34 percent of voters found a reason to exclude a 3,000-hit club member who was an All-Star at two different positions and defined the word “grit,” while never raising questions about PED’s in an era where that was considered normal…is, honestly, blasphemous.

8) Is Aaron Sele going to change the course of baseball history?

And isn’t that what any aspiring ball player dreams of doing? I’m sure Sele didn’t expect it to happen this way, but that one, perplexing vote that was cast for him means a couple of things: First, there’s a voter out there who needs serious help right away. And secondly, he could be the trigger for a potential process-changing policy shift. Whether it be a limit to the character-scrubbing clause, or an increase in votes allowed per BBWAA member, or the amendment to require all ballots to go public, Aaron Bleepin’ Sele might go down in history as the man who changed it all. Sort of.

9) Finally, the class of 2014. Ohhhhhhh, the class of 2014. Yikes.

You thought this year’s class was loaded. Scratch Dale Murphy (another deserving candidate…he was on my ballot!) off the 2012 list, and add Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Jeff Kent. Good luck. There are three no-doubters in that new group alone for me, so choosing a class of ten Hall of Famers this time next year will be a tall task. Because I value baseball more than my personal health (it’s currently 2:18 a.m., and I have a demanding work day ahead of me starting around 7:30), I’ve taken a shot at cracking this conundrum.

So if you’re so inclined, take a peek at my video revealing the 10 guys I would vote for in next year’s Hall of Fame election:

Thanks for reading, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube page, or to visit my other blogs at jamblinman2.wordpress.com, or 3u3d.mlblogs.com. Until next time, vote with caution.

Jeremy is an unpaid intern/unpaid sports writer/unpaid blogger combination who does this stuff because he absolutely loves it. Follow him on Twitter @Jamblinman, and LIKE his 2013 MLB Fan Cave campaign page on Facebook!

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Is This Real Life?

February 24, 2012

Yes, yes it is. Finally. I’d rather be face down on my keyboard from lack of sleep, obsessively checking Twitter and stalking every journalist within 100 miles of here, but it is nice to have my normal routine back. Fresh laundry and a clean room for the first time in two weeks? No complaints. Besides, big girls don’t cry, right?

I miss being a part of the craziness of MLB Fan Cave. I really do. It was the most ridiculous, surprising two weeks of my life. But check out the list of things I’ve been able to do in the 24 hours since finding out my fate:

1. Laundry – I haven’t worn clean boxers since Valentine’s Day. I’ll let you decide if I’m kidding or not, ladies. Good luck.

2. Clean my room – Actually, I had become pretty good at just doing a standing long jump from my doorway to my bed every night. It was either that, or do backstroke through the mess.

3. Hit the gym – My body hates me. I haven’t seen the inside of a gym in weeks. Okay fine, months, but I couldn’t afford it until recently. Back off!

4. Talk to people – Yeah, you heard me. Just ask my pre-Fan Cave friends. Besides parents and co-workers, who I was forced to interact with (just kidding, I love you all), I spent the majority of my social life for the past two weeks either on Twitter or Tiny Chat, talking to the same 20 or so people all night. It was fantastic, but now I don’t have to feel like a dick for deserting everyone else I care about.

5. Take a real lunch break – For two weeks straight, I left the office at noon, took my hastily-made sandwich from the fridge, scarfed it, and sat back down at my computer by 12:03. Hey, 57 extra minutes to campaign!

There are many more I’m sure I’ll stumble over in the coming days, but that’s what I’ve noticed so far. Anyway, I wanted to briefly highlight another exceptionally positive impact the Fan Cave experience had on me.

Pure inspiration. I can’t remember the last time I was this motivated to lock myself in my room all weekend and work on my writing. But that’s literally all I want to do. Unless the weather stays this nice in Northern California…NO. I’m writing. Which also contradicts my 4th list item above. Shit. We’ll see.

But I really am absolutely driven right now to just write for days, and it feels great. I think getting that close to something so prolific that I never even dreamed of having a shot at made me realize that I can achieve everything I want to do. God that sentence was sappy. Anyone have wine to go with that cheese?

I mean it though. Doors are already starting to open. I’m now the Editor of the Dodgers baseball blog on FanvsFan.com. I’ve also accepted a position as a contributing writer for Lasorda’s Lair, another Dodger blog that supported me in my campaign. And, true story: Doug Glanville tweeted me today. Like, tweeted ME. Not a re-tweet or a response, he initiated twit-conversation. I can only imagine it was to offer me a job with ESPN, or perhaps as the next Commissioner of baseball.

By the way, keep an eye (or an ear) out. Myself, KP, Mapes, Brian, Angelo and Abby are creating a badass baseball podcast made up of snubbed Fan Cavers. And it’s going to be awesome. But the fact that it’s even a possibility is another example of how inspiring that whole experience was. I’m makin’ moves, people!

So today, I leave you with something else I’ve been missing over the last two weeks. Continuing my daily themes on Jam Shots! Let’s start fresh. Because I’m in a sing-along mood, here’s the Friday Song of the Week. I dig it – so glad that’s the number one song in the world right now!

Happy Manny is Back Day!

Thunderstruck

February 20, 2012

As much as I want to just go on and on about my MLB Fan Cave campaign and how it’s now down to the final two days before they cut us to 30, there’s one story in the NBA I just can’t ignore. And that is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s dismantling of the Denver Nuggets the other night. Wait, dismantling? They won by six and it took overtime to get the dubya. That confuses me greatly considering the information immediately following this paragraph. But that’s a blopic for a different day.

What I want to discuss is the insanity that the big three on the Thunder brought to the floor. Holy. Smokes. Everyone knows Kevin Durant is a scorer, but 51? Everyone know Russell Westbrook can ball, but 40? And Serge Ibaka (er…Iblocka) has tons of potential, but a triple-double that included 11 blocks? That’s just absolutely ridiculous.

It was only a matter of time before the Durantula dropped a half-century on us. But the same night that his P.I.C. threw down 40? Which just so happened to coincide with their young big man coming through with a rare, exceptionally dominant triple-double? I don’t know what the odds are of the planets aligning like that, but it’s pretty awesome. Hopefully it isn’t forgotten by the casual fan, like the Dodgers’ back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-walk-off home runs were.

The fans who attended this Thunder/Nuggets game must have been going absolutely bonkers. That would have been a hell of a game to watch if it just went to OT. Or if one of those players had just had a big night. Instead, all of the above occurred and one of the best regular season games we’ve seen in a long time ensued. Okay, so I wasn’t watching. But I wish I had been.

Instead, I was busy campaigning my butt off all weekend for the MLB Fan Cave. Hah, I almost made it an entire blog without a plug. Sorry I’m not sorry. The newest news is this: I stayed up late e-mailing every journalist, sports reporter and radio host known to man in hopes of landing one last big-name interview before Wednesday to get some last-minute exposure. I also finished my second promo video (Sh*t Rivals Say: Giants vs. Dodgers), and contributed to a group one that will be an absolute GEM.

Lastly, I set up one more Facebook event. This one I called 30-for-3o (fingers crossed that ESPN doesn’t sue me for infringement). Meaning, PLEASE vote for me 30 times each today and tomorrow, to get me to the final 30. It takes three minutes to vote 30 times, and if everyone I’ve ever met does it whole-heartedly, I will be running up that vote ladder.

So, I hope you enjoyed KD, Russ West (I immediately regret this awful nickname) and Serge “Iblocka” Ibaka. But I truly hope you enjoy helping a friend out even more.

Hatin’ on Haters

February 17, 2012

Haters will love this blog. Because I’m going to absolutely tear them to shreds, one hateful limb at a time. And then when I’m done, and they are just a pile of dust, bones and coal at my feet, they will have so much new material to hate on that they won’t know what to do with themselves. I’m about to type the name that stirs things up like death eaters flocking to Voldemort: LeBron. James.

Earlier this week, LeBron was asked if he would ever consider returning to Cleveland before retiring. He said yes. Then, Jeremy Lin faded into the shadows, ESPN collectively pooped their pants and the world exploded. In that order. Forget the people hating on the rumor (which is just a whole new realm of hating I can’t even comprehend right now). Let’s talk about the fact that some analysts, fans and radio hosts were outraged at James even suggesting such an awful thing.

How dare he want to come back to the place he called home, to play for the fans he has always loved despite the new threads, for the franchise he essentially rescued from complete and utter destruction? What a selfish, no-good, ugly prick. Don’t you remember how he mercilessly ripped the Cav fans’ hearts out? And he did it in front of millions of people.

That’s like a girl breaking up with you in the middle of lunch in high school, standing on a table in the rally court and yelling through a megaphone about leaving you for the hotter, richer, more successful guy on the varsity team. Granted, it’s a shitty way to get dumped. But what Cleveland (said boy, or “you” in previous sentence), should have done is just cried, watched a few chick flicks, and gotten over it.

Instead they took the path that most do; talking endless crap about this slutty bitch who wasn’t even that good in bed anyway. It looked pathetic, it was pathetic, and it still is pathetic. But guess what? That entire city…no, the entire state got a half-chub just hearing LeBron answer yes to that question. If he were to sign with the Cavs after his time in Miami, the place would go bonkers. All is forgiven! All hail the return of the King!

LeBron was being honest when asked about returning to Cleveland. Yet he’s still wrong. What? It’s perfectly acceptable for him to carry a decrepit franchise for half a decade, bolt for bigger and brighter opportunities, have a successful career and then return to his roots to re-connect with the community that raised him. It’s kinda the circle of life in America.

I’ve grown up in a mid-sized town in Northern California my whole life. Then I went off to college in Washington. Now, I’m on my way to being the biggest, baddest blogger in the world. Nobody in Walnut Creek, CA is burning pictures of me or sending me death threats. And I will be the first to publicly admit that I’d love to come back to Northern California some day. After I’ve achieved all my goals and had some mad success in a big city somewhere.

Get off LeBron’s back. He’s always loved Cleveland, he always will, and some day he might even come home. You can either be the ex-boyfriend-turned-best-friend, or you can bitch and moan in his shadow forever, stealing glances at him like Gollum at Frodo.

By the way, The Decision? Raised over a million dollars for charity. Sorry haters, you just weren’t good enough for LeBron. He moved on. And when he allows you back into his graceful company, it will be your choice whether or not to forgive your sad, selfish qualms.

Long live the King. Make love, not war. And always wear a seat belt. Later haters.

 

Is Driving a Zamboni Even Possible When You’re Sober?

February 3, 2012

Oopsies…

There’s going to be so much college football recruiting news in today’s blog, you’re going to be tackling red shirt walk-ons in your sleep. We’ve got a Jamarcus Russell-sized QB commit, one who loves fast food, and one who could allegedly be the butt of “therapist” (insert a space in the appropriate place and figure it out) jokes when it’s socially acceptable in a few years.

Let’s talk about Fatty McFattysons first. And please don’t tell him I said that, cause the dude is SCARY. I don’t know how effective a passer he’ll be in college, as he’s already rated as a “worse passer” than Russell was at this point in the recruiting process. But one thing is for sure. If he gets past the D-line when he’s scrambling, the only person with a prayer to bring him down is the mascot in a celebratory jump hug. Here’s to hoping he turns out more positively than Russell did.

Now this is just hilarious. I remember the day I had to choose which college I was going to attend. Not because I was signing a letter of intent to smash opposing players in the mouth, but because my mom called me at lunch in high school and told me I had to decide by the end of the day. But I absolutely did not choose Washington State over San Diego State because there were two McDonald’s in Pullman, WA. Give me a break, kid.

This one is not as funny. It’s scary, sad and troubling. If it’s true, of course. When it comes to the combination of sports and crime, though, it can be pretty gut-busting. For example, how does one get a DUI? If you drink, don’t drive. Duh. But, if you get a DUI driving a Zamboni on the ice rink?! That’s just silly. And you deserve a high five before getting locked up.

Hey, did you all hear? Tom Brady is now “The Most Hated Man in Buffalo!” Do you know why? He said the hotels in Buffalo weren’t that great. Jesus, media members. Chill the hell out. People in the city named after a stinky, dirty, ugly animal are offended that somebody was unhappy with the mints on their hotel pillows. Who gives a buffalo dropping?

The fact that this story is news pisses me off. And the fact that Buffolians are pissed off about it makes me want to punch a puppy. An ugly one though. Cute ones are unpunchable. This whole Brady-hatred-for-innocent-statement saga makes no sense. It’s not newsworthy. If he had pulled something like this, I’d understand a little anger.

Here’s some anger for you. If I could do this even from a distance; from a remote island to a disappearing ESPN cruise ship sailing into the sunset, I’d die happy. Then I’d draw “Screw YOU Skip!” in the sand and pee all over it. Props to you, Mr. Smith. And am I ever jealous.

I hate to end this blog on a sad note, but I have no choice. Josh Hamilton is one of the best sports stories in the world. He’s like Miracle combined with the Natural combined with Warrior, all on steroids. Oh, shit. Not on steroids. That joke definitely doesn’t work when referring to baseball. Comic relief aside, reports have surfaced that Hamilton was spotted drinking in a bar in Dallas. I really, really hope that these aren’t true. I’m a big Hamilton fan. And relapse is okay when you’re Jamblinman and you’re drinking the daily sports scoop. But when you were suspended for multiple years for drug and alcohol abuse, relapse is not ideal.

What can I do now, but leave you with an awesome song to jam to while you read the rest of my fabulous blogs? By the way, Buffalo. Everyone hates you. How appropriate, given my Friday Song of the Week. I feel like an actual band made up entirely of horses would sound a hell of a lot worse. Alright, go away…time for a beer. Too soon?

Forget You, Beautiful Stranger…I’m Sexy And I Know It!

January 28, 2012

Is there any debate that Saturday is the best day of the week? We get to sleep in, do whatever we want all day and all night, then look forward to absolutely nothing important on Sunday. Winning! I’m sorry. That is an incredibly annoying video.

Well, Saturday is also a good day for splogging. That’s sports blogging for those that don’t know me and don’t understand my obsessive tendency to combine words. They are known as “Jisms” (Jam-isms) and will frequent my blog until you give up on humanity. Right, back to splogging.

We have huge news for the Super Bowl! LMFAO, Cee Lo Green and Madonna are joining forces to play halftime. And now, most of you do the “ohhhhhhhh that’s what the title means” groan. This slate of performers can only mean one thing. Regardless of how little talent is actually present on stage, the show will be stuck in your head like a migraine for at least six days straight. I’m just imagining a mash-up of Party Rock Anthem, Crazy and Like A Virgin. Comment below and specify which one of those three is now haunting your brain. You’re welcome.

Honestly, I think this is a step up from what the Super Bowl has produced in recent years. At least it will be fun. And for everyone outside of Boston and New York, it will definitely be the most entertaining part of the game.

Speaking of fans being butt hurt about their teams not going to Indianapolis for all the marbles…I found a clip of a fellow 49ers fan after they lost in the NFC Championship. I sent the URL (that is essentially the web address, ya old fart) to my roommate, and he responded “Dude that’s exactly what you looked like after the game!” Fabulous.

Even more offensive than my roommate’s comment was what Darrelle Revis told a reporter at the Pro Bowl yesterday. He said he was surprised that Tim Tebow wasn’t there and that he deserved to be in, based on his winning games. Look, I already swore off hating Tebow. But if Tim Tebow is a Pro Bowler, Alex Smith and his 14 wins this season should be starting for both teams.

And I have to ask; what the hell is Rob Gronkowski’s DAD doing telling the media about his son’s injury? Even more frustrating, which media members are so incompetent and desperate that they run to Mommy and Daddy to get a story? This has been happening far too much in professional and collegiate sports lately. Unless the story directly involves a family member, keep them out of it. Parental interference in offsprings’ sports should have ceased right around middle school soccer.

Unless of course, it is the WSOBP we are talking about. Then all fatherly wisdom and motherly care is welcome with open arms. What do you mean you have never heard of the WSOBP?! Prepare to hop on the beer ball bandwagon. The WSOBP or World Series of Beer Pong is the greatest tournament to hit this Earth since Gladiators who looked strangely like Russell Crowe clashed with their nemeses in the Colosseum.

With the World Series of Poker quickly fading into obscurity (let’s be real – EVERYONE thought Phil Ivey was the coolest cat on the tables and he NEVER won), this should definitely fill the slot on ESPN. Anything announced by Bruce Buffer deserves consideration. And who knows, maybe some day beer pong will firmly cement its place in the Olympics, where it belongs.

I know you’re waiting for me to say “just kidding,” but as a proud alum of Washington State University, who are proud consumers of six percent of the national Busch Light sales, who is proud to provide beer for thousands of students to partake in beer pong, I will leave you hanging. Proudly.

On to the game that Michael Jordan ruined for everyone. No, not baseball. Basketball – because he was so unfairly good, who will ever top him? Nobody. That’s who. I just wanted to point out that the last couple days have been a mini-skills challenge if you’ve paid attention to SportsCenter. We’ve had about 30 buzzer-beating half-courters at all levels and Dwyane Wade and LeBron James combined for ten highlight reel dunks in their win over the Knicks yesterday. That is all.

And Jam Shots wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t complain about ESPN at least once. So, without further adieu, I’m sitting in front of the TV right now with the screen paused (isn’t DVR just fantastic?) on this statistic: Rookies in NBA history with 11+ points per game, 8+ assists per game and 4+ rebounds per game are John Wall, Damon Stoudamire, Mark Jackson and Oscar Robertson (who averaged 30, 9.7 and 10 I might add…I think that deserves its own class).

The reason ESPN’s Pointless Stat Dept. is throwing these numbers up, is because Ricky Rubio is currently averaging 11.4/8.8/4.6 for the T’Wolves. The second lowest point total among the four rookies previously mentioned is 13.6 by Jackson. Which means ESPN lowered their standards for this “rookie benchmark” to 11 points per game, just so Rubio would fit and they would have news. I’m too annoyed to even explain why that’s stupid.

Well, that’s all folks. I leave you with the Saturday Badass Clip of the Week (hint: it’s always, always going to be a Denzel clip).

Now go away. I have a sudden itch to watch Remember the Titans. And Gladiator. Who’s got it better than me? *Sniffle* Nobody. *Sob*

So THAT’S Why Dwight Wants Out!

January 27, 2012

Holy guacamole we have a lot to talk about today. The last 24 hours in sports has gotten me buzzin’ on the good stuff. Winter X-Games is in full gear, the Magic have 99 problems but a swish ain’t one (actually it is), and hockey really is the best at something! Here we go (Oh, come ON. Totally fake, that house would not be livable)!

I’ll be honest. The reason I’m bringing up the Winter X-Games is because the guy who won gold in Snowmobile Freestyle laid down the first acceptable Tebow (short for Tebowing in this case) I’ve seen in months. First of all, I don’t know what a hippie-haired kid from Texas is doing winning a Winter X medal, but he killed it and then nailed the pose in front of Tebow’s Colorado faithful. Check it out.

On to the NBA, where Magic tricks are pulled on a daily basis. Or so it seems. I actually feel bad for Orlando (but I definitely don’t feel bad for this British broad…eat an apple, woman!). Not only does Dwight Howard want out, but they are giving him no reason to stay, and doing so in a losing-to-Boston fashion. And nobody likes Boston teams. Not even Boston likes Boston teams. Oh god, I can hear the mob of chowdah-slinging ruffians coming at me from here!

But really, the Magic got absolutely blown out by the Celts a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday, they built up a HUGE halftime lead. As in insurmountable. As in the only team who could blow that type of lead would be the 2004 Yankees (ZING! And Boston loves me again). Yet the Magic vanished, and they did blow that lead and any hope they had of retaining their big man. I no longer blame Dwight for wanting to bounce. That was simply embarrassing.

They were up 21 at halftime, had a big lead of 27 in the second half…and lost by eight. Twenty five points in the second half for Orlando, including being outscored 27-8 in the fourth quarter. Yikes. Sayonara, D12. I’m not even mad. That’s amazing! It must have been more difficult to screw up so royally than to actually win the game.

In other NBA news, I learned I’m very much in the minority. Not only because I hardly care about or follow professional basketball, but because I thought the ABA uniforms in the Grizzlies vs. Clippers game yesterday were freakin’ SWEET! Seriously, the NFL is going to let Nike’s blind fashionistas design next year’s uni’s when they could go with awesome throwbacks like that? I hope they wear those every night!

Before I move away from basketball altogether, I’ve got a little surprise for you! Remember the big posterization I mentioned from the college game a couple of days ago? Happy learned how to Google! Sit back, relax and enjoy this face mashing. That’s the most offensive thing I’ve seen since war and famine. Okay, I’ll stop stealing movie lines.

Moving on. Let’s talk a little football. First, the boring stuff. The Bucs hired former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to take over the head coaching gig. Hey, if you think his college record that’s one game over .500 is that impressive, good on ya. Turning around the Rutgers football program is no small task, but an underachieving team full of rich, thuggish prima donnas is a helluva lot bigger problem. If Schiano can get QB Josh Freeman to regain confidence, leadership and the decision-making ability he showed in 2010, there’s a chance. Otherwise it’s going to be early curtains for the coach.

According to ESPN’s Cold Hard Facts segment, they think Rex Ryan is on the hot seat for next season. I’m a bigger fan of Rebecca Black than Rex Ryan, so after seeing that on the tube, this was me in my living room: Wahoo! I’ll bet you 50 pesos that you can’t watch that commercial without cracking a smile. And I’m so, so sorry if you clicked on the Rebecca Black link. I really am. But at least we know what day it is now…ugh.

Before I move on to some tear-jerking football news, can we just settle something? I respect Yahoo! Sports, I really do. I get a lot of breaking news through them and generally enjoy the blogs and articles I find on there. But my God, if they aren’t the worst at mis-titling their stuff. At least once a day I find something like this that was originally titled “Harbaugh Disses Californians.” Um. What?

And most recently the media has been getting its collective rocks off to a Peyton Manning vs. Colts’ owner Jim Irsay spat that isn’t a spat at all. In fact, the media made it news in the first place. It’s extremely frustrating to see a sports media outlet putting misleading titles on stories that aren’t controversial, just so they will get more reads. It’s cheating. It’s like drinking Four Lokos at a party – obviously you’re going to get drunk first and at the cheapest price. Be a man and drink a beer! “Firing back,” my ass.

Now, I don’t have much to say about these next two. Except they make my tummy feel funny in a good way. Not like the first time I saw Hayden Panettiere all grown up. More like that choking-back-tears feeling I get at the end of The Green Mile (spoiler alert). Check out Kyle Williams’ biggest little fan, and why Jason Pierre-Paul’s biggest supporter has never seen him play.

Lastly, for football, JoePa’s service took place yesterday. ESPN covered a bit of it, but a couple of things really struck me. First of all, 12,000 people showed up to support Paterno. Twelve. Thousand. That’s incredible. If I have a quarter of that many people who care about me when I’m gone, I’ll consider my life a fantastic success.

That being said, and I’m sure I’ll take flak for this one, Nike chairman Phil Knight had absolutely no reason to bring up the scandal when he was speaking. It was nice of him to whip the crowd into a frenzy for pro-Joe sentiment, but blaming what happened during the Jerry Sandusky investigation solely on the investigators is pure ignorance. I understand it’s not the time or place to acknowledge that Paterno played a role in everything, but that’s when you just keep your mouth shut.

Alright, we have one more bit of business today. I promised you that hockey actually does something better than every other sport. And now I’m here to deliver. The NHL All-Star Game is perfection. The MLB game is insanely flawed, the NBA version is over-the-top, and the Pro Bowl in the NFL is irrelevant. But in hockey, two captains get to choose teams in a draft format out of the pool of All-Stars. It’s fun for the players and the fans, and actually keeps the viewer interested.

And how awesome is this? Every year, the last guy picked in the “draft,” wins a new car. It’s like Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft, except they actually get to play…and then drive away in a sick new ride. Well done, hockey. Well done.

Whew. That was a lot. Hope you enjoyed it. And since it’s Friday, everyone’s getting ready to party this weekend, and I definitely need to redeem myself for linking to Rebecca Black earlier in the blog, here is the Friday Song of the Week. Because who doesn’t like a little fun? See what I did there? Seriously though, this band rocks.

Peace!

Lookin’ Like a Bunch of Bums Out Here!

January 23, 2012

This isn’t how I expected to start Jam Shots off. I regret to inform you that the only news I have today is sad news. First of all, let me explain something. This is not ESPN or Sports Illustrated. I will not claim to be an objective journalist with no ties to any teams, while really just trying and terribly failing at masking my love for all New York teams and Tom Brady’s junk.

I am a 49er fan. I love the Dodgers and A’s. And my alma mater, the Washington State Cougars. Therefore, I hate the San Francisco Giants. And the Washington Huskies. It comes with the territory of being a die hard fan. That being said, I guarantee you my blog will be less idiotic and infuriating than anything Skip Bayless has ever said. And since we’re on the subject, I hate that guy too.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, we can get back to the bummer of the century. The NFC Championship game last night. The 49ers lost a sloppy game to the New York FOOTBALL (you know, in case you forgot that the New York BASEBALL Giants moved out over 50 years ago…) Giants in overtime. It was such an ugly game that it was kind of like watching your grandparents knocking boots on the kitchen table, but those blue and white bastards got the best of my Niners. An average person might think it’s just raining in the Bay Area today. False. It is the collective cascading of thousands and thousands of people’s tears. The city is flooding.

Normally, I’d go out on a tangent, blindly blaming players and coaches and Indian gods, but today I’m going to take the high road. Well, after I make you sympathize with me.

Let me tell you, I’ve now experienced a broken heart. Sorry ’bout it ex-girlfriends, deceased former pets (R.I.P. Josh, Maggie and P.J.), and the latest Indiana Jones movie. Nothing will compare to how badly that loss hurt last night. This might seem weird, but instead of putting in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! and downing a tub of ice cream like usual, I microwaved 16 turkey meatballs and stuffed my face with them. I…I don’t know. I was hungry. Uhh, anyways…

I learned all about “DABDA” in high school psychology. And yesterday I flew through Denial (I mean, the scoreboard rarely lies), was too sad for Anger, too tired to Bargain and spent the rest of the night in Depression. Or a meaty, steamy, ball-induced coma. Either way, it was a low point. I didn’t even have the energy to send a death threat to Kyle Williams like half of the Twitter world was doing (Shameless self-promotion time! Yay! Follow me on Twitter @jamblinman).

And that ends the feel-bad-for-the-author segment of our program. Because after a good night’s sleep and a couple dead-fish anger jumps on to the couch this morning, I’ve finally reached the last “A” – Acceptance. The 49ers lost. And I’m okay with it. Forget that this Super Bowl game will undoubtedly out-lame the National Championship rematch. The truth is, none of us fans expected to be here. Going from 6-10 one season to 14-4 the next and being one kick, slip or tackle away from the Super Bowl is nothing short of a miracle.

So props to Jim Harbaugh and his staff. Props to Alex Smith and his resurgence. And props to the most incredible defense the NFL has seen in a decade. And cheers to the fact that they will be back next year. With a full offseason. Completely healthy. And most likely with a couple new wide receivers. Tom Coughlin, I hope you’re reading this; you might need to change your diaper now.

And one last thing – Kyle Williams basically cost us ten points. You’re right. Get off his back. Where were the 3rd-down conversions? Where were the defensive takeaways? Where was the ballsy play calling? Where was the coverage on the 3rd-and-15-turned-into-17-yard-touchdown? Williams is a good receiver, a ridiculous athlete, and he’ll be back catching passes in the slot for us next season. He’s the goat today, but he deserves his fans’ support, not their threats.

Whew. Okay. On to the next bit of news! Oh. Great. It’s still sad. JoePa, a college football icon, passed away early Sunday after his health started failing the day before. All I have to say about him is this: It’s unfortunate that his unbelievable legacy will be tarnished by the recent Jerry Sandusky scandal. It’s understandable, but unfortunate. Hopefully he will be remembered for helping to pioneer the sport of football rather than being a silent accomplice to the biggest creep in the history of the world. They are Penn State. R.I.P. Joe Paterno.

Lastly, today, I have a little bit of basketball news for you. I want to ask – how tall were you in high school? Even after a growth spurt, most people here didn’t break six feet. I, for one, still have my original driver’s license from when I turned 16. It lists me as 5’10” and 170 pounds. Here I sit, seven years later, at 5’10”, 170 pounds. I know. Embarrassing. Besides, I look like I was just booked into a mental institute. Three hours in line at the DMV will do that to a kid.

Anyways, back to the news. Imagine being not six feet tall in high school. Not seven feet tall. But seven and a half feet tall, dominating fools on the basketball court. That’s the life of Senegalese teenager Mamadou Ndiaye (good luck), who plays high school hoops in Southern California. Watch the tape. The dude literally takes four strides from one basket to the other, and towers over the opposing center (who looks to be no taller than Danny DeVito to begin with). If he went to the NBA today, he’d be the tallest player on any roster. That’s just ridiculous. All I’m going to say is if this kid doesn’t average 40 and 40 every game, something’s wrong.

Thanks for reading the first installment of Jam Shots. Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day and you don’t have to deal with my whiny, butt cramps about my team losing. Until then, enjoy the Monday Nic Cage Clip of the Week (because just like his acting, Mondays suck ass). Peace.


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