Sunday, October 30, 2005

I Missed My Nap For This?


The Redskins packed more ineptitude into the three hours of their pants-soiling at the Meadowlands today than TJ jams inappropriate references into a happy hour. And it was all bad, to be sure, but there was one particular level of suck that stood out above (below?) the rest in a way that sours the newly earned optimism in Skins camp.

I have never seen such a drastic case of regression, outside of my own psychological profile, as I saw in Mark Brunell today. This was the Mark Brunell we watched for half a season last year as we clawed our own eyes out. This was the Brunell who made P-Ram look like a pretty good option. Today's Mark Brunell, with the toe-tapping, head-swerving, and obvious unwillingness even to fire a warning shot down the field, was the guy we tried to run out of town last year.
Toe a tee. And that's horrible news for people who had just gotten suckered into believing again. (No, not me, of course not.)

That he had a legion of Jerry Lewises, Chevy Chases, and Chris Farleys alongside him didn't make it any easier for him to succeed, obviously. The runners couldn't, the receivers didn't, the blockers appeared not even to know how, and the defenders -- though taxed by their teammates time and time again -- pretty much tripped over themselves trying to. Penalties, play calls, and missed assignments -- you'd find more heads-up decisions on an episode of Gilligan's Island than in the Skins' portion of this game. But there was nobody who looked as cast away as Mark Brunell, and all we can do is speculate as to why and pray for never again.

It's harder in the NFL to shake this one off. You lose in baseball by a score of 26-3, you're usually back out there in fewer than 24 hours to change things. Similar stories in the NBA and this new hockey league that just started up. The Skins get a week to wallow in the excrement they created for three hours Sunday, and what with there being 18,755 journalists per actual sports new item, they're going to have a lot of unanswerable questions coming at them that will help the wallow. Enjoy, boys.

It will be interesting to see how contagious Brunell's regression is this week. Those of us who predicted 6-10 for Washington, then shied away from that as progress was made, may now begin to revisit those old prognostications with increased confidence in our own premonitory skill. If Bad Brunell shows up next Sunday night versus Philly -- and trust me, we'll know it by series #2 -- the last few weeks are going to feel like the running-on-the-beach dream for the double amputee.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Nobody Does Basketball Better"

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the commercial I saw this morning pushing the 2005-2006 Washington Wizards (a link to the roster for the always fun “What college did they go to?” game). Where in year's past you might read that and laugh uncontrollably for 20 minutes, this year, you might laugh for...oh...20 minutes still, BUT not at The Wiz, rather at the bama who came up with that lame ass slogan. The Wiz have had a pretty active offseason, what with Kwame being traded to L.A., Andray Blatche getting clipped in Jerry’s hood, and of course Kwame again spouting off in the Post, so, without further (Freddy) ado, GTB's look at the 2005-2005 Washington Wizards:

2004-05 Record: 45-37, Finished 2nd in Southeast Division, Tied for 4th in Eastern Conference (6th in the league in scoring)
Won Eastern Conference 1st Round (4-2) over Chicago Bulls (First playoff series win in 23 years)
Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals (4-0) to Miami Heat

Players (and bongs) lost: Steve Blake, Kwame Brown, Juan Dixon, Larry Hughes, Laron Profit
Players re-signed: Michael Ruffin
Players added: Chucky Atkins, Andray Blatche, Calvin Booth, Caron Butler, Antonio Daniels, Hiram Fuller, Donnell Taylor

Even though Larry Hughes has departed for the sunny shores of Lake Erie, the Wiz still have a solid duo in Gilbert Arenas (25 pts and 5 assists a game) and newly signed Antonio Daniels (11 and 4). Gilbert will continue to fire at will, and in fact, there is no doubt he jacks more shots this year than last with Hughes gone. Geriatric Chucky Atkins (wow, 14 and 4), Caron Butler (an underrated scorer at 15 per game) and Jarvis Hayes (hey Jarvis, how about scaling back the clunkers you throw up there this year ok?) are a versatile trio off the bench (Atkins as a combo guard and Hayes and Butler able to play small forward in addition to shooting guard). I don’t think the loss of Hughes will be as bad as people think – scoring from the backcourt will surely decrease, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Wiz. A few low post baskets or lay-ups per quarter are OK. Bonus points to the backcourt if Donnell Taylor of "Donnell and Ronnell lead UAB to shocking win over Kentucky fame" makes the squad.

Antawn Jamison is the key – as long as his knee holds out, Jamison is an extremely efficient scorer and a Top 40 player in the league (as is Arenas by the way). He plays some of the worst defense I’ve ever seen, but that’s OK, he has these big donkeys to help him out in the paint - Etan Thomas (7 points and 5 rebounds in only 47 games) and Brendan Haywood (9, 7 and 2 blocks a game). Neither is dynamic offensively, but both can hit the glass and score down low when asked (well, OK, not always). Jamison has Butler and Hayes to back him up, as well as Jared “Blow Me Lips” Jeffries. Jeffries is a better defender than both Hayes and Butler, but I wish he would work on his offensive game a bit (just 7 and 5 last year), and stop being so damn gay. High comedy on the bench anytime Peter John Ramos and Andray Blatche try to have a conversation. I just realized I completely forgot Michael Ruffin - well, he's very ugly and a great hustle guy. Done.

Brendan Haywood** – I know, after reading the preceding paragraph, you must wonder what the hell I’m talking about. Well, the kid is only 25 years old, he’s 7 feet tall, and he’s entering his fifth year in the league. As Mr. Mandelbaum would say, "It's Go Time!" The Eastern Conference has room for a second-tier center to have a good campaign, why can’t Haywood throw up a 16, 10, and 2 season? He set career highs in everything last year, he had a solid playoff run, and most importantly, he (hopefully) will get a few more touches with Hughes gone (and that’s even conceding Gilbert jacking a few more threes a game)
**and yes Dennis, I know that no player in the NBA is worse at dropping the ball down on rebounds and getting stripped by midget guards...he's working on it

Eddie Jordan seems to know what he’s doing. Ernie Grunfeld seems to know what he’s doing. (and for anyone saying, “Oh Kwame will show them”…please, this is Kwame Brown you’re talking about…just wait until Kobe and Phil get done with him this year) Yes, the Wiz lost Hughes (and Dixon and Blake), but I don’t see a huge drop off with their replacements. Maybe Eddie can convince the guards to get the bigs a little more involved, the Wiz can become a bit more balanced, and stay the course. Much like with Whitney's office, success will be achieved by maintaining the status quo and doing absolutely nothing more. I have this Wiz team going 44-38, and finishing 6th or 7th in the East, playoff bound once again. I believe Whitney and I are renewing the Wizards Playoff Bet from last year, and keep your eyes out for the GTB Weekly Wiz watch as the season progresses (if the god damn thing would ever start). I can’t wait to hear Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz again...see you on "F"un Street, NW.

Last but not least, happy birthday today to Wheelhouse scribe Geoff Butt (much older than I would've expected)…I think he’d take a Skins victory over the Giants on Sunday as a belated gift.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just another mundane Monday...

Some quick hit thoughts from a weekend of football watching, observing human beings and training for the first annual Redskins Sporting Clays Challenge...

**Is it just me, or are 95% of college kickers terrible? It seems to be a problem every year, hell, every week, with Saturday's star pupil being Auburn kicker John Vaughn, who missed 5 field goals against LSU. 5!!! I simply don't understand why coaching staffs don't make some sort of effort in the offseason to try to recruit a decent kicker, rather than assume they can find a kicker on the quad after soccer season ends or half-ass the recruiting of some kid their old fishing buddy suggested. I'm not saying a head coach needs to be making this visit (though in Bobby Bowden's case I think he should look for an 18 year old Lou Groza every year), but at least assign one coach to scout and recruit a kid who consistently makes field goals in high school (or community college). I mean, it can be done...there have been good college kickers...Jets draft pick Mike Nugent or Nate Kaeding or even Sebastian Janikowski come to mind...but it sure seems from week to week that I could grab a kid in facepaint out of the stands and he has about the same chance to make a 35 yarder as half of the 119 Division 1A kickers. And yes, before I get the "If you think it's so easy, you try to kick field goals" response - that's not what I'm saying. Obviously, my leg would fall off on the first attempt...I'm just saying I don't think teams try hard enough to get even a decent kicker (especially teams consistently in the mix for a BCS championship). It might be a good idea...ask Tommy Tuberville about it today.

**After watching Vince Young and Texas dismantle jolly old Mike Leach and Texas Tech, and seeing the highlights of the always fantastic Reggie Bush, I am willing to concede the Heisman Trophy is going to one of those two guys (well, at least for this week - out of the corner of my eye my boy Maurice Drew still might have a say in this thing). HOWEVAH, take a look at these three signal callers (only 1 of which is up for the Davey O'Brien Award), and tell me who you would take:

--Quarterback A - 145-of-224 passing (64.7 percent), 2,148 yards, 16 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 17 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
--Quarterback B - 175-of-266 passing (65.8 percent), 2,352 yards, 20 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 88 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
--Quarterback C - 179-of-265 passing (67.5 percent), 2,181 yards, 12 touchdowns, 1 interceptions, 268 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs

QB A (the only one on the DOB list) happens to be Matt Leinart, of USC and shagging Shannen Doherty fame. Very solid numbers for the defending Heisman winner, but in my homer opinion, he's currently trumped by QB B, the Golden Boy of the Golden Dome, Brady Quinn, who tossed 6 TDs on Saturday (and his 2005 numbers are even more absurd when compared to his pedestrian, pre-Weis career stats). But the real reason I threw these numbers up there was for QB C, who is the most underrated player in the country (and having a better season than QB A or QB B) - Brett Basanez of 5-2 Northwestern (3-1 in Big Ten play). Not only do these guys seem to play the noon game every Saturday on ESPN2 (Hi Pam Ward!), but they also seem to play one of the most exciting games each week, and they're winning most of them because of Basanez. Here's hoping the now ranked Wildcats and Basanez give Michigan a run for their money Saturday night.

**A Tale of Two QBs, NFL edition (specifically NFC East): I'm not saying the Giants are going to win the NFC East (I never would have thought I'd be psyched for a Skins/Giants Week 8 game), but with Eli Manning at the helm they certainly have a great shot (yep, I'm ignoring the Eagles in this equation, I know). Quite a 4th quarter from a 2nd year kid, with tremendous throws under pressure, and tremendous poise after an INT that could've crushed the comeback. Which gets me to the other QB in this tale, the absolutely dreadful Drew Bledsoe. If you haven't seen the pick Drew through with 10 seconds left in regulation against the Seahawks, then you missed the single worst pass I have ever seen. It took 7 weeks, but that's the Drew everyone was waiting for, and it was even more abortive than expected (call it a "Category 7" if you will). Eli gives Giants fans a reason to believe they're winning the NFC East and making a move in the playoffs. Drew Bledsoe has Dallas fans still shaking their heads as to how the hell a 13 year NFL veteran can throw a worse ball than Alex Smith did all day (ok, I wanted to call it the worst pass in the history of the NFL, but then the ghost of Garo Yepremian appeared in my cube). I'm willing to bet Bill Parcells would like to hit Drew upside the head with a 9 iron today. Bledsoe made Aaron Brooks look like Joe Montana Sunday.

**I am in no way a fashion expert (everyone will vouch for that). I try to survive each day matching my blues/blacks/browns, but even I know a fashion travesty when I see it. There is no reason to ever wear a XXL football jersey to a restaurant...ever. If the eatery was called, oh, Popeyes or something, maybe...maybe. But if you're headed to a normal, "sit down and have a waiter serve you" restaurant, please keep the jersey in mothballs...even I think you look ridiculous. And I'm the guy with an OJ Simspon jersey.

**I hope to actually discuss this ignored World Series later today, but in light of what Scott Podsednik did last night, I felt it was my civic duty to show you how hot his girlfriend is. Tough life for this guy.

Finally, as if I didn't have enough fantasy teams, I give you the fantasy league to end all fantasy leagues (no, not the Martha Stewart crap I threw up awhile back). Early money is on Butt as 2006 Champ.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Rise and Fall of Kid Dynamite

Last weekend, ESPN Classic aired (several times) an episode of Ringside which took a six-hour look at the rise of Michael Gerard Tyson, aka Iron Mike, Kid Dynamite, The Accused, Prisoner Number 922335, etc. I TiVoed it and managed to watch all six hours in bits and pieces this week, finishing it up this morning before work. I'm not the most fervent of boxing fanatics, by any means, but you didn't have to be in the 1980's to be instinctively drawn to the awesome power and fearsome menace of Mike Tyson.

The kid seemed unstoppable, and to watch him prey on helpless victims in the ring was a one-to-one parallel to witness gladiatorial combat. You'd see some undefeated but unproven boxer enter the ring with Tyson, and each opponent was a different storyline towards the inevitable knockout. You'd see the foolhardy aggressors, coming right at him and lunging into a knockout uppercut; you'd see the frightened defenders, trying in vain just to make it through a few rounds by dodging and weaving until a Tyson flurry left them defenseless; and you'd see the big white stiffs, taking punches no man has a right to, bleeding profusely, and eventually succumbing. They came in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and they pretty much all left on a gurney.

Watching Tyson fight was, much like I'd imagine watching gladiators fight to the death, a guilty pleasure. There was a tension because you just knew he was going to bludgeon the other guy, you just didn't know when. You sit waiting, sometimes for rounds at a time . . . and sometimes for 45 seconds. And then it would happen, and the other boxer would fall over, and that's when the guilt sets in. Because man, it's just not ethical putting a mortal man in the ring with that monster. Guys' eyes would be rolled up in their head, or noses would be visibly busted, or blood would be gushing, or lumps would swelling to grotesque proportions. They'd be disoriented to the point where corner men would have to tell them they'd lost the fight. Referees would have to TKO them with that sad hug, saving them from life-threatening injury because the man's brains have been so pounded, he's become the person least responsible for his own personal safety at that moment. It's all so pathetic, and that's when you get the flash of how grisly, barbaric, and seemingly archaic the caveman sport of boxing is. For anywhere between 39 seconds and 12 rounds, it could be a display of athleticism, discipline, strength, stamina, conditioning, and craft; for a few moments after a Tyson fight was over, it was just a bully brutally and mercilessly picking on some poor sap.

Classic interspersed a paneled discussion between airing the Tyson bouts, one which featured resident ESPN boxing guy Brian Kenny, pugilism journalist Bert Sugar, former Tyson trainer and current analyst Teddy Atlas, and, in some parts, Larry Holmes. They provide great commentary (most notably the former three; I just remember Holmes blaming his KO by Tyson solely on his hand getting caught in the ropes -- Larry, you were old and got thumped) on the history behind the quick ascension of the phenomenon of Mike Tyson, and they set the stage for his downfall.

The story of Tyson is the stuff of cinema -- even better than the usual film plots, actually. As time has worn on, the natural progression of how folks feel about Mike Tyson has been from rooting for this amazing kid to make it to the top to rooting against him once he was there (and his outside-the-ring issues became more apparent) to rooting for him to come back in a return to glory to mocking him like the irrelevant sideshow geek he's become, and pitying him -- not for his failures, because not everyone reaches the mountaintop he climbed, but for the failures of others in his formative years to create anything less than a time bomb in Everlast shorts.

Anyway, the show culminated with the Buster Douglas fight. The commentators set the stage with discussions about how Tyson was on autopilot about that time -- and how he'd gotten rid of the key players in his corner who had any ties to Cus D'Amato's legacy and replaced them with Don King's suck-ups and his own parasites. His conditioning had become suspect, and he'd truly never been tested. But nobody nowhere nohow saw James "Buster" Douglas as the man to take him down. In fact, few to none of the major sports media even sent people to cover the Tokyo bout. And it's amazing to hear the announcers talk early on about how Douglas probably just wanted to make it through the first round.

And then it happened. Douglas fought the perfect fight, and Tyson was unbelievably unimpressive. This fight alone was worth sitting through the long show, and you end up almost as stunned as the frenzied announcers -- who had thought they were in for another dog of a match whose only redeeming quality was netting them a free trip to Japan, but found out they were able to be ringside for one of the greatest upsets in modern sport. The fight also separates itself from trite boxing cinema. Rocky always fell behind early and rallied late, but the better tale was Douglas, in command from the first round but appearing to falter and fade, only to rally with an energy the boxer never displayed before or since. The backstory, the Cinderella story -- it's all there.

If they happen to re-air this edition of the Ringside on Tyson, it's worth checking out -- even if, like me, boxing is only an occasional guilty pleasure. Mike Tyson's heyday -- the five years upon which these six hours focus -- is still the intense can't-look-away draw it was back then.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lavar seems to have the free time...

Can't we get another classic outta him before he leaves town? My gift to you this morning is the greatest commercial ever made (starring Lavar and several other NBA and NFL stars). I saw it three times last night, and I can't get it out of my head, so I wanted you all to enjoy it this morning as on the link that says "The Easterns commercial everyone is talking about!" (and sing along if you'd like):

At Eastern Motors
your job's your credit.
At Eastern Motors
your job's your credit.

Ford, Hondas, Chevy, Beamers,
and minivans.
Over 600 cars, trucks, SUVs,
are you listening man?

Let Eastern Motors
put you in a car today.
Let Eastern Motors
Finance it all the way

I'm not making this up. This is a real email address from an SI article. The man has a few days off, why don't you shoot him an email (and please Bcc me on it). Hell, I already sent him the link to Gheorghe...OzzieGuillen13@

Yes, the NHL is back, and Jerry [last name withheld by request] seems very excited about it...and I'm sure there is a group of diehard fans also excited about it. You would think the players would be psyched too, since you know, they're finally earning paychecks and stuff, but it looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the negotiating table.

If you haven't seen the Steve Nash - Ali G commercial on TNT for the upcoming NBA season, in which Ali G congratulates Nash for winning the "MP3" award last year, go home, fight through an episode of Alias and 4 straight Law and Orders, and wait for it. It's well worth it. "No disrespect to you as a Canadian, but you don't even speak English, so shut up."

Finally, a museum in Philadelphia has a display of an actual human corpse playing basketball...(which way is he gonna go with this)...Allan Houston behind Door #1...Jason Collier behind Door #2...wait for it...It's good to see Eddy Curry getting some reps in...(or as Swint called him the other day, "Hank Gathers" - now that was audible work laughter)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger...

No fries, cheeps! No Pepsi, Coke!

So finally, after months of speculation and hype (including a faux grand opening weeks ago), the Billy Goat Tavern has opened in the basement of my building, and needless to say, the date of my first heart attack has been moved up 10 years. For those of you who don't remember the classic Saturday Night Live skit referenced above, the Billy Goat is a Chicago dining institution made internationally famous by the repeated skits in the early years of SNL...and of course the fact that it is the home of the Billy Goat Curse, otherwise known as the Cubs Curse (maybe nowadays known as the Bartman Curse?). They've brought in some of the classic Chicago guys to berate you for the first few weeks of the DC operation, and this is an open invitation to join me downstairs for a cheezborger, cheeps and a Pepsi...Whitney, see you at noon?

"It's Friday, doublecheez for everybody! It's payday! Triplecheez for the big guy!"
The NBA finally released their "dress code", and the general theme is business casual attire whenever participating in team or league activities. OK, whatever, that's the boring part. The entertaining part is the excluded items on the list. Look at this list, and tell me what the hell Rasheed Wallace is going to do? The guy is gonna end up being naked...

The following is a list of items that players are not allowed to wear while on team or league business:
• Sleeveless shirts.
• Shorts.
• T-shirts, jerseys, or sports apparel (unless appropriate for the event (e.g., a basketball clinic), team-identified, and approved by the team).
• Headgear of any kind while a player is sitting on the bench or in the stands at a game, during media interviews, or during a team or league event or appearance (unless appropriate for the event or appearance, team-identified, and approved by the team).
• Chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player's clothes.
• Sunglasses while indoors.
• Headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room).
Ah yes, I have hated this guy ever since Jerry and I saw him play in a high school tournament at the MCI Center, and I couldn't be happier he is in trouble. I give you vastly overrated Denver Nuggets rookie Julius Hodge, accused of sexual assault by a 37 year old woman (Hodge is 21 by the way). Though details seem to be hazy, that won't stop me from giving you these two nuggets (pun intended, I guess...McBad) - the woman was aware he was an NBA baller, and expected him to "wine and dine" her (what, not "69er"?) AND his lawyer was quick to add "This is not Kobe Bryant." We'll see about that...
GTB's Website of the Day: TomKat is going to be pissed...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ahh, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday, too...

Well, it's Saturday, and it looks like you're going to get my usual rambling weekday post today instead. The plan had been for me to go to work around noon, making sure I am home for the stunning Notre Dame upset of USC, but the complete lack of parking around my building prevented that. Apparently, today is the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March (I seem to remember that number being disputed, but why let the facts get in the way, right?), and that means I drove around my building for 20 minutes looking for a spot, almost killing several families of 12 who don't know how a fucking crosswalk works.'s not exactly the Jerry SportsZone, but I have my two TVs on right now and am watching some hot Big Ten action (hell, I even have my glasses on so I can see the bottom line). The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe Body Spray on the top TV, the Ohio State/Michigan State game on the bottom TV. I just realized Musberger's doing the OSU game, so I'm switching game sec...

VH1 never ceases to amaze me. The home of the Surreal Life and Breaking Bonaduce is all set to unveil their newest reality show, "But Can They Sing?" I don't even need a joke here, just look at the list of celebrities competing:
Larry Holmes (I'm sure braindead people are great singers)
Morgan Fairchild (Is Old Navy gonna be upset by this?)
Joe Pantaliano (Joey Pants must have huge alimony payments or something)
Bai Ling (who???)
Antonio Sabato, Jr. (What a hunk)
Michael Copon (who????)
Kim Alexis (some model chick)
Carmine Gotti (one of the idiot Gotti kids from "Growing Up Gotti")
Myrka Dellanos (the Latino Nancy O'Dell)

By the way, forgive me if there are massive typos. I am not a very good typer to begin with, but put me on a laptop with no mouse and it's an absolute disaster. I am attempting to go back and spell check, grammar check, etc. but bear with me...

The FFMD and her gal pal are off at the zoo right now, surely enjoying the monkeys throwing their poop at each other. I am serving as the sports update line for Alabama/Ole Miss (I just realized that game is on CBS...yep, I'm an idiot), and let's just say that my Ole Miss defense is looking money. Go Ed Orgeron. Speaking of the FFMD, she just returned from her annual conference in San Antonio, where she got to meet and small talk with Colin Powell, Jo Dee Messina (who I bet would've given a better effort in Game 5 than super choker Mike Mussina, a pansy just as much to blame for that loss as whipping boy Alex Rodriguez) and Martin Short (who apprently still does Three Amigos bits in his routine) . That trio simply destroys my Dr. Phil/Glenn Frey/Malcolm Gladwell triumvirate.

You would think the Vatican has more important things to worry about...a Jesuit magazine close to the Vatican has condemned boxing as a "legalized form of attempted murder." Why doesn't the Pope worry about priests playing hide the salami with their alter boys instead of meatheads punching each other for 3 minutes at a time? (I will now stop trying to talk about things other than sports or pop culture)

Ohio State knows they have a game today right? They're already down 10-0 at home...and Dennis' 1st round pick Ted Ginn Jr. is a complete waste of life. (UPDATE: Ohio State obviously heard me - it took two minutes since I posted this for them to score)

You gotta hand it to the British, they really know how to spice up their night life...

Whoa, I was sleeping on my remote duties...looks like we've added Northwestern/Purdue, Miami/Temple (ahl), Wake Forest/Boston College (in a driving rainstorm Wake is already up 17-0...Earls and Heath are doing the dance of joy) and Michelle Wie at -6 to my viewing schedule...

Though Greg has returned from Down Under, I'd like to think this is the legacy he left behind...I can just picture Greg at the terminal in Broome International breaking hearts left and right with the TALK key...

All right, I'm off to Quizno's for a delicious and nutritious meatball sub. After I devour that, I'm working in the comments section for the rest of the afternoon. Go Irish!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I deal with the god damn customers...

A quick attempt before the day runs amok again...Mixed with all the real real work I have to do in the next 9 business days, I now have to rewrite my own PDQ (POSITION DESCRIPTION QUESTIONNAIRE for the acronym-challenged). I am finding this to be an interesting exercise, as I seem to be in position to define what my job is now and should be in the future, and what compensation I should receive should I reach the goals outlined in the PDQ (and by the way, this exercise reminded me that I have known Whitney for many years, and he has not yet been able to tell me what he actually does at work). It seems to me I can set the bar wherever I want, and just use vague, generic business terms in the descriptions, so that no matter what I do in the next 12 months I am golden. Here's an example...

Decisions: Identify internal and external venues for marketing Research products and services. Identify new product and client opportunities. Develop appropriate measures for monitoring advertising/marketing effectiveness.

"I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"

GTB's Hollywood Half-Minute...Sly Stallone is a go for Rocky 6 (Rocky meets Cocoon?), Wes Craven turned down Scream 4 (What, he's too busy with People Under the Stairs 2?), I have no clue who the new Bond guy is (Daniel Craig? Wasn't he the goalie on the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team?) and last but not least, the Govnah of Caleeefornia is ready to do Terminator 4 and True Lies 2 (In between doing governor stuff I guess).

Afternoon Update: OK, so Glenn Frey and Dr. Phil appearing at our Annual Conference didn't really excite me (or any of my readers apparently), but today I realized there will be one speaker in San Fran who I might actually want to see. That man is Malcolm Gladwell, the writer for The New Yorker who penned The Tipping Point and Blink, two books I have heard very good things about. Hell, maybe I'll even go buy Blink (don't get ahead of yourselves, I said buy it, never said I would or could read it).

Oh yeah, I haven't mentioned this yet, but in regards to the Angels/White Sox "fiasco" last night, when the ball is anywhere near the dirt, the catcher should always just tag the runner to be safe (especially since Pierzynski didn't run right away). Josh Paul does that, and we're not talking about this for the next week.

I couldn't make this up if I tried...I think these people need to get out more...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Season Tickets

As much as I would love to take some digs at Rob and his Red Sox, work is simply killing me this week. We head to San Francisco in less than two weeks for our Annual Conference, and apparently it's time to do all the work for the last 12 months in the next 2 weeks (all I can say about this upcoming conference is that Dr. Phil is a keynoter and the musical entertainment is Glenn Frey...exciting...). Genius planning if I may say so. By Friday perhaps I can assess the Yankees piss poor effort in Game 5, Seagal's new energy drink (Swint, I hope you're scouting retail locations), Vinny and the Jets, the revival of GTB's Weekly Wiz Watch (and subsequent playoff bet with Whit) and most importantly the impending Notre Dame upset of USC (that's right, I'm drinking the Weis kool aid - ND 35, USC 34).

By the way, I just got clocked in the face by a door. Great day all around.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hey, TeeJay

You and A-Rod had the same number of RBI in the ALDS. I think you should be MVP. Discuss.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Take off, you hoser

Pedro Gomez might've been the first to employ this sort of stalker journalism, but it looks like he won't be the last (by the way, did anyone else notice that Bob Holtzman replaced Gomez at the end of the year on the "Bonds Beat"? I am thinking Barry killed Gomez in the Giants training facility a la De Niro to Benicio Del Toro in "The Fan"). Some young lady working for the The Globe and Mail in Toronto (seriously, that's the name of your newspaper?) will be trailing rookie sensation Sidney Crosby all season long (her name is actually Shawna Richer, but who cares really). Get ready for exciting tales of Sidney leaving the toilet seat up and babysitting Super Mario's kids (he apparently lives in Lemieux's basement). Canadians...very easily entertained.

You know, I could've jokingly guessed 69 answers to this question, and never come up with this response:
"I just want to be a professional fisherman, and that's about it."
- Allen Iverson, being asked if he had any career plans after basketball

Here's hoping rain holds off in Boston and New York today...some slightly important ballgames need to be played. Whitney is crazy - I simply cannot see the Red Sox getting swept today, because, if I may drop a cliche here, they play their best ball with their backs against the wall. Proof needed? Just look at the last two years. In 2003, they were down 0-2 to Oakland, and won 3 straight to take the series. Last year, down 0-3 to the Yankees, we all know what happened there, really no need to rehash that debacle. Tim Wakefield, today's Game 3 starter, was 10-4 at home this year, with a respectable 4.08 ERA. Game 4 starter Curt Schilling, though I hate him very much, has a strong history of stepping up in big situations. The Red Sox mash the ball at home, scoring 470 runs in Fenway (second only to the Yankees home total of 477) - it's no fluke they were 54-27 at home this year (the best home record in MLB by the way). All signs point to a return trip to Chicago for Game 5 Sunday. HOWEVAH, if it turns out Whitney was right about this, and I was wrong, oh well, I hate the Red Sox anyway (and yes, I haven't written a word about the Yankees game tonight because I was going to bash Paul Byrd, and frankly, I know that would come back to haunt me).

The Houston Astros must really hate Roger Clemens. Hahaha. Wink wink. That's the comical angle morons on talk radio were saying this morning (Colin Cowherd, you are killing me man). Let's be real people. The Astros had one decent lefty bat in the lineup last night in Lance Berkman (Orlando "Please don't ever associate me with Raffy" Palmeiro does not count) against an absolutely dominant righthanded postseason pitcher - what would you expect to happen? Maybe the Astros do hate Clemens, but they didn't intentionally suck at the plate to stick it to him. John Smoltz is a beast in October (as opposed to Kwame Brown, who told the Washington Post he changed back to #54 because that was his high school number and he's gonna be "The Beast" again). Yes, he's only won 1 World Series, but look at these postseason numbers. Absolutely fantastic (bonus points to Smoltz for being a dead ringer for Ernest P. Worrel aka Jim Varney - "Hey Vern!")...
27 starts, 15-4 record, 2 CG, 2.72 ERA, 194 Ks in 206 IP (throw in 4 saves to boot)

I was just getting ready to send my congrats to the Spears-Federline family, but it looks like this chick beat me to the punch:

We are...

Heading to State College, PA tonight for the Penn State-Ohio State romp in ol' Happy Valley. Should be a show - what with a 7:45 P.M. kickoff and an estimated tailgate arrival of around noon. Not to mention that GameDay will be there riling up the crowd of probably 125,000(look for me tossing the wife up and down amongst the Nittany Lion cheerleaders behind douchebag Corso). Not entirely sure why they're not at UGA-Tennessee game...I'll take it though. I'm guessing Kirk didn't have a say in that one - the PSU ladies aren't quite what the Southern Belles are I'm sure; plus, it's supposed to be 40 degrees and raining in most of the Northeast this weekend...

Go Sox - no, the white kind. No offense to the Sawx fans out there, merely gambling interests here - couldn't resist the odds. Which reminds me, despite the cheese that oozes from Matthew Mcggdosonchdksey, looking forward to Two For The Money - I'm predicting some fantastic Al Pacino one liners..."Gimme all ya got!! Gimme all ya got!!" etc. etc.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Here's hoping the Rally Monkey catches Ebola

The series I care about is tied 1-1 now, headed back to NY. I hope to take a crack at breaking down this series and the other playoff series later on this morning, but it's a big day for me down here at Kramerica. I have my six month review in less than an hour ("You're not really sure what I do here? Have I shown you my blog?") and then I need to present to my Big Boss at 11 ("Hmmm, well, I went with a poop brown color for the collateral piece because, well, it's funny to say poop sir.") After I (hopefully) survive the morning, we have the huge Yahoo Fantasy Hockey "Original Six" draft...and as Jerry pointed out last night, most males my age base all their hockey knowledge on the legendary video game "NHL '94". My team should be an unmitigated disaster. I hope to be back in the afternoon, bashing A-Rod for his TJ-esque manning of 3B and telling you, the loyal reader, why Whitney is totally wrong in predicting a sweep for the Pale Hose in Boston. Until then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
One nugget this morning...Does Kyle Orton think he's Paul Crewe? Apparently Bears QB Kyle Orton posed for photo on his bye week...a photo of Orton grinning and making an obscene gesture next to a bottle of whiskey. Now, I have been feverishly searching the internet for said photo, but with no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated. What I did find HOWEVAH is an astounding amount of message board chatter that Orton is a RAGING alcoholic. Ah whatever, Kerry Collins made a Conference Final all sauced up, so why not Orton.
In case you were still despondent over the break up of the Lacheys (Hey Nick, sorry you're not famous anymore dude), I have good news for you. That happy made-up couple TomKat has announced they're pregnant (immaculate conception anyone?). I wonder how much that added to her contract? Anyway, if you were wondering what Ethan Hunt and Joey Potter's baby would look like, Conan O'Brien did the hard work for us, and I must say, this baby is breathtaking.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jed, we caught ourselves a snake...

Jake Plummer could be subject to an NFL fine for refusing to wear a "Futbol Americano" decal this weekend. Gotta love Jake. Plummer was threatened with a $30,000 fine last season for wearing a helmet decal honoring his former teammate, the late Pat Tillman.

Is the NFL approaching Microsoft/Gordon Gecho status?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"You're watching Channel 4 News with five-time Emmy award-winning anchor Ron Burgundy and Tits McGee."

"Good evening, San Diego. I'm Veronica Corningstone. Tits McGee is on vacation."
"And I'm Tits... I'm Ron Burgundy."

CBS 3 STAFFERS were reminded of the at-odds characters Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone in "Anchorman" last week when Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane got into a heated exchange on-set following Tuesday's 6 p.m. newscast.

The argument, about the length of time devoted to a news story, started professionally but soon delved into the personal, with sources saying Mendte told Lane she was only there to read off the teleprompter, and she told him that he's on his way out, while she's on her way up. Asked whether it got personal, Mendte said, "If it did or it didn't, it doesn't matter."

He called the fight "a strong, passionate editorial discussion," which he said is "a good thing" because it shows "we're both passionate about what we do." "She has strong opinions and so do I," Mendte said.

"I'm not going to get into anything about that," Lane replied when asked about the mudslinging. "Larry's like my big brother," she said. "If we pull each other's pigtails, that's what it is, but we were over it that night and laughing about it." We know they're speaking at least, as they spoke to each other before returning our calls yesterday, which may explain the similarity in their accounts.

In other broadcasting news, apparently Tony Kornheiser and Geoff Butt favorite John Feinstein dropped a wicked expletive while broadcasting the Navy game over the weekend. He tried to resign after the game, but since no one listens to Navy games there weren't many offended listeners. My question, what the hell did he say? Something that would make George Carlin blush?

NFL Question: Didn't there used to be a huge deal made of coaches who scripted their first 15 plays and then would not deviate from them as the game began? Wasn't Mike Shanahan one of those donkeys? Do they still do that, and Madden and Co. just got sick of fellating them for it?

Well, that didn't take long...As if Human Vacuum Kate Moss wasn't already having a rough time, it looks like her late night escapades are affecting the lexicon across the pond. Moss' name has become slang for cocaine in London - apparently you can hear partygoers asking "Have you got any Kate Moss on you?" or "Coming for a quick Kate Moss?" NYC supporters of Tony Montana are said to be jealous.

A moment of silence please - Comic genius and butt of late night jokes Nipsey Russell has died at the age of 80. Apparently know as "the poet laureate of television", I think we all best know Nipsey as the star of Chris Rock's "No Sex (in the Champagne Room)" video. Nipsey, I'm going to miss you, but at least I know you'll live on forever through crappy reruns of "The Match Game".

Monday, October 03, 2005

Now THIS is Must See TV

Today is a holiday in the GTB household...

The O.J. Verdict [WETA, PBS Channel 26, Tuesday, October 4, 9:00pm]
On October 3, 1995, an estimated 150 million people stopped what they were doing to witness the televised verdict of the O.J. Simpson trial. For more than a year, the O.J. saga transfixed the nation and dominated the public imagination. Ten years later, veteran FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel (The Plea, Innocence Lost), revisits the "perfect storm" that was the O.J. Simpson trial. Through extensive interviews with the defense, prosecution, and journalists, FRONTLINE explores the dominant role that race played in the most controversial verdict in the history of the American justice system.

(Special thanks to GTB semi-reader and former co-worker MW for this TV Guide tip)

Monday Kudos:
- To the Chicago White Sox, for going into Cleveland and sweeping the Indians, lowering the stress level for Red Sox/Yankees to a bearable level. The White Sox haven't won a playoff series since 1917...I'd say they're due. If I were the Red Sox, I would be a tad concerned about the Pale Hose pulling a "2004 Red Sox" on them.
- To Charlie Weis, who has taken virtually the same group of players that Ty Willingham had and turning them into a BCS Bowl contender. Weis has two weeks to prepare for USC, and if he is anything like his old boss, I sense the Irish are gonna give USC quite a scare. [The fellas at Blue-Gray Sky break it down better than even Dr. Jack could]
- To Arizona kicker Neil Rackers, who went bonkers and made 6 field goals last night in the Mexico City Bowl. His valiant effort might even get me a W in the Big Boy League.
- To Brooks Bollinger, for surviving Sunday's game. Sure, the Jets lost 13-3, and gained only 152 yards of total offense, but at least Bollinger didn't die. And hey, he sure looked better than J.P. Losman.
- To ESPN college analyst Mark May, for his pot shot at West Virginia. As a Pitt player, the coaches told him not to take off his helmet because the fans "throw frozen fruit, they throw batteries and they throw pennies. The reason they throw pennies is because they can't afford nickels."
- To Geoff Butt and all those other Redskins fans out there, who look like they finally have a (potential) playoff team to root for. Hopefully Butt sent Josh Brown a fruit basket this morning. [UPDATE: Looks like reserved optimism from Mr. Butt]
- To the Commodore for engineering a fantastic pseudo-bachelor party Saturday. I'm betting his solid efforts leave much of this blogosphere braindead and dragging today.