Monday, October 20, 2008

A Somewhat Bitter Potpourri

After a typically busy weekend in sports, I can't decide what to write about today, so instead I will simply throw out random thoughts about lots of the stories that have been going on, most of which are still tainted by the fact that the Phillies are in the World Series and not the Mets.

-Chip Caray used to call the Rays' James Shields, "Big-Game James Shields." This would have been a decent nickname for the guy if he had ever pitched in a big game before this week, and it it wasn't already James Worthy's nickname. So I figured that Caray was just calling anyone with the name James, "Big-Game James." And then in Game 7 of the ALCS, he called Rays' pitcher Matt Garza, "Big-Game Matt Garza." I don't even know where to begin with this.

-I am not sure which was my favorite TV sports programming moment of the weekend was, and both are up there for best moment of the year as well: 1) Little-brother-sports network TBS apparently forgot that they were in charge of broadcasting Game 6 of the ALCS. For the first 20 minutes (just long enough to miss B.J. Upton's first-inning homer), they instead were airing a repeat of the Steve Harvey show. I am sure folks in Boston handled this well. 2) The Cowboys sucked so bad on Sunday that Fox was worried that no one wanted to watch it anymore so they switched away from the blowout on their national broadcast. It wasn't just great that it was the Cowboys getting beaten, or beaten by the Rams, or publicly embarrassed, or that the game they switched to was the Giants. The best part is that the game they switched to stunk too, but was still more competitive and watchable than the Cowboys. I am very happy right now. That said, I could watch a 24 hour network of Cowboy losses, so it was a kinda six of one, half a dozen of another for me.

-I watched SNL this week because I thought that Sarah Palin's appearance might be worth it, and I thought, "you know, there are a lot of funny people on there now. Maybe it is coming back." Nope. The opening was another Tina Fey-as-Palin sketch and then Palin walked in and talked to Lorne Michaels' about the impersonation. Not that funny. Then Marky Mark appears (no Funky Bunch) to pile onto a joke from last week. Not funny. Then Alec Baldwin appears! He doesn't recognize Palin and thinks it is Tina Fey and starts bad-mouthing Palin's politics right to her face unintentionally. Not funny. Then I watched a few sketches and wanted to destroy my TV so this could never happen again. Weekend Update was, as usual for the last 33 years, the funniest part of the show, which is now simply an embarrassing obvious form of advertising for whatever crappy movies the hosts are starring in.

-Speaking of movies, Saw V is out this week. There have been four Saws? Has anyone ever seen one of these? Didn't the first one come out last year? Does anyone know what the premise is? And of course, it will be the top box office movie this weekend despite that no one knows anyone who sees it.

-How is it that movies are compared to movies by money generated, not tickets sold? We are all aware that movie tickets cost double what they did 15-years ago so this box-office stat is totally irrelevant, right?

-LaDainian Tomlinson's average fantasy draft pick number was 1.3 on Yahoo. So of the hundreds of thousands of leagues, he was pretty much picked first in 90% of them or more. This means that he is single-handedly ruining the seasons of more fantasy sports players than anyone in the history of fantasy sports. 58-yards per game? Apparently Lorenzo Neal was the Chargers' MVP, because he is gone, LDT stinks and so do the Chargers. Whoops.

-I had Adrian Peterson ranked #1 on my board and I am in first place. My two older brothers picked right behind me in the first round and got Steven Jackson and Brian Westbrook - both good picks. Yet they are both fighting it out for the bottom of the league with my two buddies, neither of whom has checked his team since June.

-This will be a spectacular baseball-fan's World Series but will undoubtedly get the lowest ratings in the history of the Series. Both teams steal bases, hit-and-run, play great defense, have great pitching and big power. Guys like Shane Victorino and Evan Longoria, who seem to absolutely love that they are playing baseball, make it fun to watch even the guys like Pat Burrell, who looks like he just left a lobotomy. You have to wonder how full Tropicana Field will be now that all the Red Sox fans will be gone. Here's a fun stat, which will be higher: Rays stolen bases + homers or Phillies strikeouts?

-I am sure Fox is thrilled that they got this matchup instead of the Dodgers and Red Sox, which would have crushed the best-ratings ever because there is something for non-fans to watch - the potential for Manny Ramirez to hit 20 homers as the Red Sox fans completely turn on his as the series progresses and they forget that he played a bigger role in winning those two World Series than anyone because he made them have to pitch to David Ortiz. I was thinking that it would have been interesting to have the Dodgers and Sox, but would it have? The Dodgers were not a very good team, even with Manny. And the Sox fans are so obnoxious now that they've forgotten what losing was like. They don't deserve more magic for a while.

-I didn't like the numbers on the Cleveland Browns' helmets last week. Maybe it was because they beat up the Giants, but even before it was out of hand, I definitely remember thinking that those are some of the coolest uniforms in football, and part of the reason is that they'd helmets are blank.

-A few weeks ago, I was in the Glendale Galleria on a Saturday afternoon and saw a big group of people with Fresno State shirts on. Fresno State had played UCLA at the Rose Bowl that day. That tells you a lot about Fresno when their fans go to L.A. for a football game and then their postgame activity/sight-seeing is a mall, and not even a cool mall.

-Top 2 Worst Scripted Live TV Sports moment of the year: 1) David Stern handing the NBA championship trophy to the Celtics' owner and using the NBA's "There can be only one" tagline as his speech. At least he got booed loudly. 2) Jim Nance's NCAA Finals call of, "Rock Chalk Championship!" when Kansas won it all. What can that possibly have meant? It doesn't even have a nice ring to it. That's what he stayed up the night before coming up with? I was expected Caray to best both of them with a painful pun on the Rays dropping the "Devil" from their name and becoming good. He failed me.

-No Florida baseball team has ever lost a playoff series.

-Pastors, priests, rabbis, etc. around the country are no doubt working up sermons for next week about what happens to your life when you get rid of the "Devil" thanks to the Rays.

-There was just a fundraiser at the Hollywood Park Casino to raise money for a charity that supports the Hollywood Park Casino. What? Has there ever been a less-worthy cause for charitable donation than a casino?

-Last week, Blake DeWitt came to bat at one point trailing 5-0 with no out and runners on 1st and 2nd. It was at Dodger Stadium and it was a big moment so the crowd was rocking. DeWitt leads the universe in runners left on, so it was not all that surprising when the rookie grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. But it was sad. You had to feel kinda bad for the guy. The crowd was dead, the threat was dead, the series was dead, and he must have felt like it was all his fault. I was watching with my dad, who said, "You almost feel bad for the kid. But he's a Dodger, so screw him." Dad, here's to them finishing their 50th year in L.A. unhappily, and to all prospects for #51 being truly miserable!

-Seriously, the Rays are in the World Series, are probably going to win. Seriously. Tampa Bay. The Devil Rays.

-The photo above has nothing to do with anything today. I just throught it was really funny and somehow that fit this spastic, non-sequitor-filled drivel.

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