Saturday, September 30, 2006

How the Fighting Illini defeated the Fighting Irish

Do you remember your high school geometry teacher? I remember mine, Mr. Emerson. He was tall lanky fella with a curly salt-n-pepper hair and a bushy '70s style mustache who thought his jokes were funny, but nothing is funny at 8 AM when you're a sophomore in high school. It's too early to be pounded by corny jokes, and it's safe to say my math grades suffered because of the early hour. One problem I've still not mastered since high school is the early morning nodding and snoozing until I'm jolted out of my sleep from a drooping head during one of those five minute super-power naps. You know the kind: you feel like you just rammed your car into a telephone pole, or you just smacked your head off the top of your desk. And everyone can see you and the sleepy, up-and-down motion your head makes and all they're waiting for is to see you drool or actually smack your head off your unopened math book.

Well, Mr. Emerson and I never really saw eye to eye, partly cuz I slept thru most of his classes (he was also my freshmen algebra teacher which just so happened to be at 8 AM too), and partly because I wasn't impressed with him and his John Holmes-inspired mustache. He was that teacher that tried to be cool but failed miserably in every attempt. Occasionally he'd wear his gym shorts to class after playing a pick up game of hoops with some of the other teachers, just so he could look like any other human being. (We all know that it takes a special breed of homo sapien to become a teacher that doesn't initially include some form of coaching. Taking that much abuse just isn't normal, and I'm truly surprised more HS teachers don't commit suicide.) Sometimes Mr. Emerson would mention current event things like t.v. shows or movies or -- god forbid -- modern music. And yet teenagers just aren't fooled by the patronizing attempts of teachers. Mr. Emerson was no exception, and from time to time, when I wasn't snoring away, I'd give him shit for it. One time in geometry class he got so flustered at my verbal attacks that he grabbed me by my shirt and dragged me out of the classroom and told me if I was only a few years older, he'd kick my ass. To be honest, it was a smart move on his part cuz it scared the crap outta me, and for a few weeks I shut my mouth and actually learned something in his class.

Which brings me to the point of my story. Kinda.

The main thing I took away from geometry that year, the piece of information that really stuck with me from that class was idea of "proofs" and the three dot triangle that represents the word "therefore". Isocoles triangles, diameters, formulas with pi included, etc., none of it ever really sunk in my brain. "Proofs" and "therefore" did, probably cuz I had to write those god forsaken things out every single day of my sophomore year, and there were no shortcuts seeing that the three dot symbol was the shortcut.

Well, I'm about to present a sports "proof", a so-and-so beat so-and-so and so-and-so beat so-and-so "therefore" so-and-so would beat so-and-so theoretically. Don't shake your head and leave yet; just follow my logic.

Today the Fightin' Illini, called recently as last week the single worst Division 1-A college football team in the NCAA, handed The Michigan State Spartans a fairly embarrassing loss on their field in East Lansing, Michigan, 23-20. The game was pretty well played by both teams, MSU getting down early and fighting its way back only to have the Illini kick a game winning field goal with less than 10 seconds to play. The Illini handled MSU for most of the game including a sizeable margin in total yards -- 390 to 231, rushing yards -- 252 to 82, and sacks -- 4 for the Illini, 0 for MSU. It was a game-long headache for the Spartans who were probably still reeling from their loss the previous week.

Which brings me to the next point in my "proof". Notre Dame played a game for the ages the week before staging one of the most improbable comebacks ever overcoming a 16 point, 4th quarter deficit to win 40-37 against, you guessed it, more likely you probably knew, the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing, Michigan. Anyone watching that game knows MSU absolutely dominated ND in the manner their in-state rivals (the team that shall forever remain nameless) did the previous week, only to have about ten minutes of meltdown put MSU's head coach on suicide watch, including a very fortunate late interception returned for a TD by ND. Notre Dame had no business winning that game, and only Touchdown Jesus kept the Fighting Irish from getting their second loss of the season.

Now here's the "therefore" part. Since the Illini man-handled the Spartans for most of their game and the Spartans man-handled the Irish for most of their game, the Illini would man-handle the Irish for most of their theoretical game. Were you to skim over a report with the words "the Fighting I*** defeated the Fighting I***" most of you would assume it was the Irish over the Illini. Not so fast, Sherlock Holmes. A closer inspection would reveal that the Illini and their freshman QB named Isaiah "Juice" Williams trounced the Irish and their golden boy QB Brady Quinn. And then you'd be picking your tongue off the floor.

Can I provide any more "proof" to my theory? Not really, other than Mr. Emerson would have tried to pull this joke on us, and we would have laughed him outta the building.

Read more!

My MJ Fetish

Just finished reading an article at The Chicago Sports Review about a significant occurance in the time/space continuum that is sports and entertainment: Michael Jordan's turn as host of Saturday Night Live, and it got me reminiscing.

The article goes on to state that the congealing of four of the most socially and culturally significant African-Americans of the time -- Jessie Jackson , Spike Lee, Public Enemy and the aforementioned MJ -- on the SNL set was the height of the athlete as the major power broker in the cultural circus of politics, cinema, music and athletics. The four men taking part in that SNL on September 28, 1991, represented the peak of their respective professions for African-Americans, and yet MJ somehow transcended the racial aspect SNL unseemingly chose to portray.

From the mid '80s to thru the early '90s, I was what you would call a wannabe. (People like I acted are now called wiggers. You figure it out.) I bounced to the beat of Run-DMC, LL Cool J and A Tribe Called Quest. My favorite television shows were "The Arsenio Hall Show", "In Living Color" and "Yo! MTV Raps". My favorite actor at the time was Eddie Murphy. I lived and breathed African-American culture, was heavy into the house music dance scene and spoke the urban parlance of the day all in an attempt to be more "black". That I lived in an urban community like Chicago made it all the more easy to assimilate into the culture without much fear of prejudicial reprecussions.

And the reason I give the biographical info is to state the reason for my infatuation: Michael Jordan.

Unless you lived with your head in the ground in Chicago in the last two decades, you couldn't help but notice the spectacle that is MJ. Forget the Nike Air Jordan stuff. Take away the colorful commercials, the ads, the ubiquitous pitchman stuff, and you still have the greatest single basketball talent the world has ever seen. And that just doesn't go unnoticed by a city starved for sporting success after the '85 Chicago Bears.

Fast forward to today and the reading of the aforementioned article about MJ's SNL appearance. I remember the show vividly and not because you can find SNL rerunned into the ground on E!. The night it originally aired I taped it on my VCR (for those who don't know, that's the machine we used to watch movies and record t.v. shows before there were DVDs and TiVo) and saved the tape for posterity. And now I can look back and laugh at my obsession with MJ, and obession that led me to get the Nike Air Jordan symbol tattooed to my chest.

Here's the original picture/ posture that the symbol is based on.

But what a crazy obsession it was. I remember waiting for the new Air Jordans to come out each year, begging my parents to buy them for me. And when I grew older and learned the value of a dollar, and the price of shoes reached that of a small car payment, I stopped buying them (Air Jordan XII's were the last). My obsession included covering the walls and ceiling of my boyhood room with every newspaper clipping, poster, and empty Air Jordan shoebox I could find. My obsession made me turn on my childhood love of baseball and proclaim hoops as the greatest game on earth. I spent hour upon hour at Rice Park and the Oak Lawn Pavillion perfecting my skills to the extent that I awoke earlier on off days from high school just so I could play hoops with my buddies at the Pavillion from the moment it opened -- 6AM -- til the moment they closed open gym -- usually between 4 and 5 PM.

One of the meanest pranks my friends ever played on me was telling me MJ was shot and killed. At the time we were at a teen dance club (Rock A-B's), and I raced over to the car to scour news radio for the dire details. I spent an hour in the car before my friends let my sobbing ass in on the joke. Bastards. And I remember the phone call from a friend the day MJ retired for the first time. I thought the same joke was being played on me, but to my heart's dismay I was wrong. Yes, I cried again.

But the obsession has faded somewhat in the adult years. Gambling habits and marital infidelities have diminished the infallible MJ I once worshipped. His playing stint with the Washington Wizards taught me a valuable lesson about disappointment and loss, and his reticence for the spotlight and neutrality in more weighty issues have given me pause for liking Michael Jordan the man as opposed to MJ the athlete.

The article did bring me back, though, and I found myself recalling the good old days of Chicago Bulls and MJ dominance.

Maybe this new group of Bulls can ween me off my reliance for the Dynasty teams as the White Sox 2005 World Series Champs helped.

Otherwise I may never be able to scratch off this tattoo over my heart.

Read more!

Friday, September 29, 2006

In The Line Of Fire: Dusty Baker & Friends

Since this extravaganza had yet to exist back when the Toothpick was hired, my plaintive bleating about the error was to fall on deaf keyboards. What was true then is true now, however. The guy can't win with anything less than top-notch talent. Before anybody gets to pointing out that is typical of all baseball managers, please, your Honor, mark the managers of Detroit and Florida as exhibits A & B. The game that Lee was hurt in couldn't end fast enough for Baker. He had to get in front of a microphone to start the "season is over without DLee" mantra. Great, tell the other twenty-four guys in the clubhouse they all suck.
"Sorry guys, but without one player, who only bats three to five times a game, we have no chance at all. If it were up to me I would just send y'all home and call it a season."
Come on! Did nobody else see this man was clueless before this? Like when his kid was almost run over at home back in San Fran? (I've wondered who he would have blamed if it would have been a close play at home with a slide or even a catcher knock-over?) The meltdown after a fan did what a fan might do with a foul ball? Way to let the moment slip away from you. If the manager can't help the situation then, when will he? Runners getting picked off base, not his fault, man. Pitchers worried about color commentators and calling during the game, blame the announcers. (Truth in broadcasting? For shame Steve Stone, for shame.) Sure, it was the GM's poor decision to count on the Crystal Twins, but are the Cubs the only team to lose pitchers to injury. Maybe it hurts the World Series hopes, but Baker did everything but fold up the tent and go home.

As stated elsewhere, there are avid eighteen year-old baseball fans who could manage as well as Dusty Baker. Even without the wristbands. How sad he can never take any blame. Whenever he anticipates a particularly bad interview, there's his son on his lap, blurring the line between symbolic and literal shield. Yet, never his player or his coaches fault, either. Magically somebody elses. Poor mechanics, utter lack of fundamentals, loss of focus in crucial situations; Dusty didn't see it, or you are wrong and it didn't happen, or he can't control that, or, or , or...

The "In Dusty We Trusty" apologists aren't neccessarily numerous, but they are loud. Baker has gotten in the sympathetic ear of many of the right people, media types mostly, who have worked in the backround to insulate their friend from anything remotely resembling the facts as they stand. Fear not, whenever the need arises, they will rally to his defense like the lackeys around the neighborhood bully.

To be sure, Dusty is not the only person at fault for the Cubs endless demise. Hendry has a substantial part to play. Upper management is also to share. Plus, the coaches (towel toss, anyone?), the players (ARam, way to carry the team through those tough games when your now twenty games back, you big stud), and the fans (keep filling up that ballpark, giving management no reason to take you seriously).

Relief, if not help, is on the way. Already, the cry has gone up for the great Joe Girardi to come to the rescue. So in a rush was the mob that they had posterboard, sticks, markers...and no slogan or theme (not to mention Boone Logan or Sid Bream). Still, the thought was (almost) there. Cubs fans must be masochists to enjoy their suffering so thoroughly (as well as expensively).

You can (and will) always wait until next year...and the next...and the next....and the next...

Until next time, be good.

Read more!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Great Sports Coaster

From the Gary Gnu School of Sports Journalism we present...The Great Sports Coaster! Follow the special links below to the not-so relevant Chicago sports blurbs and...

What to think about while trying to find out whether Condolezza Rice and Kim Etheredge are related...
And remember..."No g-news is good g-news," says Gary Gnu!

Read more!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Finding a Transition Game

With the end of a very dour baseball season upon Chicago, I've somewhat shirked the responsibility of updating this blog in the last few days. Encountering the mental break from a team expected to win has had it's difficulties. And while the Bears' beautiful 3-0 start has helped quell the feelings of disappointment, watching the sinking ship that is the White Sox (3-7 in the last 10 games) hasn't been the cathartic endeavor I hoped for, and thus the lack of posts.

I can't imagine it's much better for Northsiders. While they got some interesting pitching performances this season -- they used a total of 8 rookie starters -- the Cubs' coaching staff could have hired Morris Buttermaker and would have gotten better results than Dusty Baker. The only question about Dusty's future on the North side is not if but how soon will he be jetisoned like the crap from a septic tank.

To divert back to the White Sox for a moment, I just realized that their season resembles the Indians team from the movie Major League -- if you were to watch it in reverse.

All of that is to say, I'm tired of watching underachievers. As much as I'm not a Cubs fan, that team was not nearly as bad as they seemed. Injuries to Derrick Lee, Michael Barret and the pitching staff sealed their fate from the start. Add to that awful managing and you've got a season gone awry. And then there's the White Sox, who's August and September swoon would seem tragic if the glow from the 2005 World Series trophy weren't so bright.

So with 4 games left on the schedule, I'm thru with baseball except for a Pick to Click race I'm currently leading. I'm on to greener pastures including a very resilient Notre Dame team, a Superbowl possible Bears team, a very intriguing Bulls team, and a Blackhawk team that's currently 5-0 in preseason and giving up the bare minimum of goals. (And they said the Bulin Wall was torn down.) I'm even rooting for the Fire tonight to win the USA or MLS or whatever-the-heck-it's-called Cup tonight; civic pride knows no bounds except for of course Madison Avenue.

And being the ultimate Bulls fan that I am, you can expect a season/player preview in the next few weeks.

One programming note: I'm looking for nominees for this week's In the Line of Fire recipient. I ask that you try to make your candidates as they relate to current events. And you can nominate figures from outside the realm of Chicago sports if you'd like. I have a few ideas but I'd like this to be as interactive as possible.

Read more!

Monday, September 25, 2006

And Now for Your PRO-Bears POV

In a phone call I made the other day to our purveyor of sarcasm, Soxually Repressed, I berated him for basically writing a rather long comment as a front-page post in response to my Ditka post. I told him thoughts like that should be left for the comments section.

Well, I'm certain to hear about it now as I'm gonna give MY Bears take when one already exists. (Let it die, Double-U!)

Separated at birth only to be rejoined in Minnesota?

Maybe, but I'd like Thomas Jones to be as effective as Rashied Davis. Can Rex have their leftover knee parts just incase he gets injured again.

Actually I don't have much to say; it was a tough, grind-'em-out win, the kind that build moxie and maturity.

The running game needs to wake up, the defense needs extra tackling practice, and Devin Hester still doesn't know what North-South is yet.

But the Bears are 3-0!

And they won't have to worry about Shaun Alexander next week as the Seahawk's RB is out for the next few weeks with a broken foot. A 4-0 start is looking more like a reality, but injured animals are always the most dangerous. Let's hope the defense can keep the pressure on Matt Hasselback and company, and put the Bears in the driver's seat for home-field advantage (can't believe I'm saying that in the fourth week) in the conference.

Read more!

All That Sound And Fury Signifying......

Something. I'll give you it signifies something. No, I'm not talking about the ND comeback. Let others get all gooey about that (as I'm sure they will). I'm going to talk about a local team. Reluctantly. Your hometown Bears. It's a little hard to get too excited when sharing space with how good Grossman was (despite an interception he and his Off.Cord. can't agree about) is how everyone is wetting themselves about how it was three games in a row, and his first fourth quarter touchdown. What, you wanted to cue the SuperBowl Shuffle Two music? Don't rush Gould into a Fred Astaire Dance Studio just yet. Better teams, like the kind the Bears will face if they hope to get into the SuperBowl, will run better than the Vikings. Oh, and it will be harder to come back from two turnovers aginst them. But don't despair too much. This defense will get tighter and better. Thomas Jones will run better. Cedric Benson might one day run. If Flexy Rexy can stay in one piece, and if that one piece can stay on the field, minus scoring interceptions, the Bears should get pretty far. Maybe a dancing, rapping Kyle Orton kind of pretty far. You can only hope.
Until we meet again, be good.

Read more!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

So Sayeth Touchdown Jesus!

And God reached down upon the earth and touched the arm of the golden boy and proclaimed, "He shall lead them out of the wilderness and thru the valley of despair. He shall give hope to the weakened lineman, and shall be a beacon for defensive TDs. Lighnting will fly from his fingers and WRs will follow in his steps. He will be hero to all the faithful, and will give rest to weary fans. He will be called greatest, and his time will come in the presence of the enemy. He will not wilt and will not fail. He will be called Heisman and first and shall be counted among the leaders of his nation. He will stand and deliver. He will succeed. I am the Lord your God, and I have commanded these things." And the quarterback went on to lead the team to victory, and the glory of Our Mother shone all around. The Book of All-Time Triumphs, chapter 40, verse 37.

Read more!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Told You to Wake Me!

Since I don't read the Trib, I will have to believe our mighty administrator about Ditka. Obviously he can't complain about the Bears because they are probably in the best hands they have been in since their Super Bowl year. Ron Rivera may not be Buddy Ryan, but Lovie Smith isn't Ditka either. (Yes, that means Ditka wasn't the best coach ever, such blasphemy, I know.) It isn't exactly super brave to rip the Blackhawks or Wirtz. Anybody who charges his own stadium like twenty eight bucks for a case of beer can't have so many other redeeming values so as to make him verbal-assault proof. Wirtz has been bad for the team and hockey in general for a long time now. Whenever the team was good it almost seemed an accident, or in spite of, not because of the owner. I keep hearing rumblings that Peter is supposed to take over at some point. Let's hope it isn't only contingent upon Bad Boy Bill's demise. The notion of all the Blackhawk fans wishing Bill ill will is unsettling. Than again, how much power can four people wield?
In any case, Ditka, bad hip and all, will probably be skating before the local Original Six team is any good again.
Until next time, be good.

Read more!

Friday, September 22, 2006

One More Reason Why "Da Coach" Is "Da Man"

Mike Ditka, beloved Bear TE and coach, weighed in today not on the state of the Bears but -- get this -- the state of the Blackhawks, more specifically on Bill Wirtz and the ownership. Caught this while reading the Tribune a little while ago. Always candid and never at a loss for words, Da Coach said Wirtz "destroyed" the Blackhawks and that he wasn't too fond of his management.

Not exactly a grass roots movement for better Blackhawks management, but if Da Coach can come out swinging at Wirtz, maybe Chicagoans can organize a walkout of a B'Hawks hockey game like they did an Orioles game in Baltimore. Add a few more celebrity Chicagoans (MJ? Daley? John Cusack?) to the protest and maybe something can get done about the pitiful state of the B'Hawks.

And while I can picture Ditka as a hockey player (how cool would he have been as an enforcer?), I'm not sure how good "Da Super Fans" would look on ice skates.

Read more!

And Now, Your Newest Member of Fleece & Flog...Oops, Too Late

Since he already put in his two cents (or in this case, 10 cents...jeez, could you write any longer about yourself?), let me present to you, the reader, my revised introduction of our newest member.

Soxually Repressed is a small, middling man with a propensity for hard drugs and little girls (all Notre Dame bashers must die!), but his true passion is scrounging around in the mud for earthworms like Gollum. Occasionally when he's not feeding his face in the dirt, he'll manage to catch a sporting event or two on the telly and maybe in that instance he'll give us a word or two about what he thinks.

Sadly, he's not really the gambling type, so don't ask him for betting advice. But he can help you with all things Star Tracky. (That's the generic version of Star Trek for the uninitiated ones.)

And since I hate the name Soxually Repressed, I'm just gonna call him what I've called him all my life: Dub-ya. Yeah, just like that Dub-ya.

Don't sweat it though; his resemblance to the most powerful man in the universe ends with the monogram.

Welcome aboard, Dub-ya!

Read more!

Opening Shots

A real shock that I'm posting before the admistrator was supposed to introduce me. That's okay, even though I'm very shy, I will handle the introduction myself.
First, allegiances. It isn't Soxually Repressed because of undying Red Sox love. I'm a South Side guy, an I have rooted for the (White) Sox all my memory's worth. Just to set the record straight, I don't hate the Cubs, per se. Mostly I don't care and ignore them. Now, elements surrounding them, like ownership, management, their (mostly) dopey fans, well, those are all different stories.
The Bulls have been my favorite NBA team since the Showtime Lakers of the 80's faded. I rooted for the Bulls also, but the Lakers were my original favorite. Did/do I just cheer the front-runner? If only it were that easy. When I was eight my parents took me to see Airplane! The Movie at an indoor theatre. (I had only seen cartoons movies inside, otherwise it was the old I-80 drive-in for us). Of course, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in the movie, and for some reason he stuck out to me. Next he turned up in a Nestle Crunch ad, getting out of a limo. At this point I didn't know he was on the Lakers, an in fact had only a vague idea there were Lakers, or what they did. Obviously I found out, and by default, the Los Angeles Lakers became my Favorite NBA Team. Which is still weird because I don't really like Los Angeles as a city too much. Anyway, Kareem retired, and the Bulls are by far number one in my NBA heart.
Football. The Bears. Eh. Somewhat like the Cubs, I am mostly indifferent. Another silly allegiance reason backstory. My favorite colors are blue, gray(spelling by Crayola), and black(yes I know gray and black are non-colors). No I don't also like long walks on the beach. Guess who had a big blue star with a gray (well, silver) backround? Anyone who said Colts is in the very drastically wrong place. So I'm a Cowboys fan. You don't have to get over it, but it will probably help. And, yes I was maybe the only idiot watching the one game they won in the 1-15 year. I suffered through Steve Peuller. Granted, he's no Craig Krenzel, but still. Also like the Raiders and Bengals because of their helmets (plus the Bengals' Ken Anderson had those coffee acheiver commercials with the ELO song when I was little. Oddly, I don't drink coffee but do like the Bengals. Take that ad guys.) I do follow the Bears, sometimes despite my best efforts, and can be objective. Painfully objective it's been said.
As far as hockey is concerned, I'm not much. I try to root for the Blackhawks whenever they are on TV. Oh, wait, never mind. It is not true that all the hockey fans in America could fit in a phone booth. All the Chicago hockey fans could share a cab to the game, however. Wake me when any of it is relevant.
College sports are hardest. In general I'm a Big Ten guy. Big ILLINI fan. Rooting for NIU since 1990. Will cheer for most area/Illinois teams. I have some issues with some colleges and/or their fans. Briefly, hate Iowa (Steve Alford, slimebag). Hate Indiana (this is fading, left over from Bobby Knight, jerkwad). Hate Colorado (Gary Barnett, sleazy). Hate Michigan (mostly because some of their fans are people who only like front-runners, and have never even been to Michigan). Florida State, Florida, Duke, North Carolina and wherever Steve the Ol' Ballcoach is, please see Michigan. Which brings us to Notre Dame. King(Pope?) of the front-runner crowd. Adored by non-Catholics, non-Irish, people who could never afford to attend, people who would never qualify to attend, people who just hate Michigan, or my personal favorite, people who like the school and actually think (or not, as the case may be) that Notre Dame is a small town in Indiana! Is it asking too much that you know where your favorite school is geographically located? Don't pretend you don't exist. I have met you, an I am forever dumber for it.
There you go, I think I covered most of it. Anything else will be gotten to eventually. Any questions, feel free to ask. Need money? Ask somebody else. Until next time, be good.

Read more!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Still Learning on the Job.

Two posts in one day. What the hell is wrong with me? Could it be that I am just now getting to the sports dailies? Actually that's exactly what it is. I just finished the sports section of the Chicago Tribune when I came across this little nugget about my all-time favorite athlete, Michael Jordan. At Trent Tucker's charity event, he won his first ever no-limit Texas Hold 'Em tourney against some excellent competition including Phil Helmuth and Johnny Chan and was balls-to-walls excited about it.

Everyone knows MJ and gambling go together like nitro and glycerine, but what gets me is that he gave all the money to charity. Not really. It's that he gave the motorcycle to Charles Oakley instead of the Miami Heat's starting point guard. Hey, if a black Jason Williams can fly thru the air, can't a white Jason Williams do it too? Maybe then the Bobcats wouldn't have to deal with White Chocolate's three-point stroke either.

MJ, still not cut out for GM/ Vice President duties. Sigh.

Read more!

The Links of Death

Shameless self-promotion -- that's our game. To boldly promote the nascent beginning of this blog. Well never let it be said that we don't give the love back.

Last night sounded the death-knell of the reigning World Series Champions, the White Sox. (To be fair, they're not completely elim-a-dated from a second brush with destiny; it's just that The Matadors' twin sisiters have congregated and begun clearing their throats.) I'm dealing with this the way any sane Sox would, I'm passing blame. And here to help me out are a few friends of mine who've already spoken their minds on the subject.

So I'm calling this post The Links of Death...

  1. First and foremost, there's good ol' Jeeves over at Chi-Sox Blog, my mentor. (It feels funny calling someone younger than me my mentor, but then again this stream-of-consciousness parenthetical won't win me any Pulitzers either. What does one have to do with the other? Who knows? I guess James Joyce is safe for now.) He's officially thrown in the towel on this 2006 White Sox season and can't even find solace in winning his own Pick to Click race.
  2. I feel for Cheat over at Moreso than any other blog around, he's been up and down and all around and no amount of optimistic commentors can pull his spirit out of the grave. Succintly he states, "And so it ends."
  3. Then there's Fornelli, the man of good banter, good banter, good banter. His take on the Sox ending -- Reality Bites -- over at his Foul Balls blog is exactly why I'm linking instead of posting myself. Our posts would have looked plagaristically the same, and he is a man of integrity. One question though: do Foul Balls = smegmatic eminations?
  4. Buda at ChiSox Daily uses three words to describe it.
  5. Dan over at DT Kelly's Sports Page champions euthanasia for the season.
  6. Frank the Tank's Slant has a musical theme, a taps if you will for the 2006 White Sox.
  7. And Jim over at Sox Machine puts as optimistic a spin as possible on the early ending.

There maybe more links of death out there in cyber-land, but we can only look at a corpse for so long before a morbid sense of dread creeps over our collective being. What more can be said about the 2006 White Sox season? At least they were better than the Cubs!

Read more!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A New Feature for a New Blog: In the Line of Fire

I just finished reading Tribune writer Dave van Dyck's piece today about Scott Podsednik's wordy self-flagellation when I started to think of just how often I (and other) White Sox fans wished he'd gone thru the wall in Boston's Big Green Monster a la Manny Rameriz only with Pods never to return. (It is a "Monster;" it has to eat something. Why not Pods?) Shaky early defense (since the first month of the season he's been better), losing a step in his jump on steals and forgetting how to bunt for hits will not endear him to any fans (unless they be Flubs or Twinkie fans), especially coming off a season where everything else in the White Sox world went right. I even stooped to calling him names like Nudnik (kudos, winningugly), Puds, Pod-suck-nik, etc. The target on his back was so big that Hellen Keller could have hit it in the blind of the night wearing sunglassess. Pods, to his credit, placed the blame squarely on his own shoulders for his struggles.

What say you, White Sox fans, to Pods' mea culpa?

So the fuck what!

Are we supposed to feel better that you suck and you know you suck? Should we pat you on the back for recognizing what any retarded six year-old girl could see? Should I ask for naked pictures of your wife to help ease the pain your play has caused my eyes? (Wait, I can find those anywhere on the intraweb thingy.)

Hell no, and for that, you are now in what I am gonna call from here on out Fleece & Flog's "In the Line of Fire".

Let me explain.

Over at Chi-Sox Blog, fed up with what I considered subpar pitching by a certain White Sox southpaw, I started a continuous rant called the Buehrle Bile File where I would verbally assault, hassle and harrass one Mark Buehrle before and after each of his starts. Regardless of whether or not he pitched well, something would always "burn my britches" about his performance. He's been called a devil, a traitor, a foul body fluid and myriad other monikers describing his pitching. This Buehrle Bile File had only one antagonist however.

In the grand tradition of the Buehrle Bile File, ESPNradio's, Mike & Mike's "Just Shut Up" spot and countless other "dickhead of the week" awards, I'm instituting the first ever Fleece & Flog: In the Line of Fire.

It's much easier to write about things that are bad, or about how things went wrong, or about morons who just can't help themselves by continuing to do moronic things. In the Line of Fire will be pleased to point out these future Darwin Award winners and the special place they hold in the Chicago sports scene.

The way I look at it, there are six professional sports leagues if you include college hoops and football. (And why not call those college sports pro leagues? Reggie Bush and family just made over $100,000 by choosing to attend USC.) (By the way, even though they have a cute little stadium one town over, doesn't mean the Fire actually qualify as a professional sport. You have to play something Americans actually care about to count. So sorry, Fire. Maybe Santa Claus can bring you some respect for Christmas next year.) Only one team in each sport is crowned the champion, and in the annals of sports history, has any one U.S. geographic region held even 3 of the 4 overtly pro titles? Hardly. So at the very least one of our Chicago teams is gonna suck balls, and picking on people when they're down is so much easier than plastering on a fake smiley face. (Actually, this has a built-in summer feature since the Flubs almost always suck anyways.)

And you know what? This is my blog, so I can do as I please.

So take note, underachievers, you may be next In the Line of Fire.

And while I may rule this blog like a one-eyed fascist, I will take suggestions from time to time for the weekly installment of In the Line of Fire. Just drop it in the comments during the week, and I'll check it out. Then I'll either ban you from ever commenting again, or I'll let you go about your merry little business.

Read more!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Start the Circle Jerk!

We were droppin' rhymes old school style here at Fleece & Flog today when we had an idea. Like Wonder Mike of the Sugar Hill Gang, we decided to invite a few friends along. So we're making this a Chi-Town party, cuz there ain't no party like a Chi-Town party cuz a Chi-Town party don't stop!

From time to time you may see a fella droppin' by that we call Jeeves 'round these here parts. For all the ladies out there, he's a successful jet-setting playboy with an affinity for the White Sox (he has his own blog: Chi-Sox Blog). He likes puppies, Pumpkins of the Smashing variety, and the SoCal sunshine. Unfortunately he's a Michigan Wolverine fan, and we'll definitely hold that against him like a Hawk Harrelson Heiney Bird rant.

What else can we say about Jeeves? Just this: Don't fuck with him; he's got a mean kung-fu grip and will go all Wu-Tang on your ass if you disrespect. Yah know what I'm sayin', homes?

Read more!

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm Joining the Army

T'is the season for blogging, and thanks to my stint as a contibutor over at Chi-Sox Blog, I have a new found disrespect for chatting about Chicago sports and sports in general. While our comments over at Chi-Sox Blog have run the gamut, that site is mostly for White Sox game news and notes.

Quite frankly, I need more.

I wanna bitch about ND getting pasted by The Team That Shall Forever Remain Nameless; I wanna blather about Big Ben Wallace and his awful free-throw shooting; I wanna bloviate about Jay Mariotti and his minions of masturbating; I wanna belch about Mark Buehrle and his bile-tastic pitching. (Don't worry, Jeeves, The Buehrle Bile File is forever yours, you California sun lovin' bitch!)

Things you won't read about on this blog include: gardening (unless Muhsin Muhammad starts teaching horticulture), origami (unless the White Sox fold down the stretch like a paper bird), nuclear fission (unless the some television network pries Blackhawks home broadcasting rights from Bill Wirtz's cold, dead hands), or the virtues of protein over carbohydrates (unless Eddy Curry eats his way back onto the Bulls' roster).

Things you may see here: politics, i.e., campaigning for JD for MVP; food & drink or whether or not a Kirk Hinrich broken ankle will make me eat and drink until I explode; gold digging or debating the existence of a knowledgeable female Chicago sports fan; and my own futile attempts to relive my once lame sporting experiences, i.e., equating my softball stats to major leaguers' stats, (that may be the only worthwile thing this blog produces!)

Drop a comment if you want, just know that this exercise will pull no punches and spare no one. You don't like the fact that I might only post once a week, too bad. You cry that I ripped on the Flubs, get your own blog. You hate Notre Dame, deal with it, douche. I am the master of my own domain, the king AND counselor, the President and Congress, and if you don't like it, take it up with the moderator. Oh, wait, that's me, you moron. Nice try.

So bring on the the sports; bring on the banter; bring on the babies, their mothers and bottles; bring on the bastards who coach like it's T-Ball; bring on the 10 PM west coast starts and the inexplicably bad goaltending.

But leave the Country & Western music at home. I hate that shit.

Read more!