Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just for the hell of it

Barbara Billingsley has never been better...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Questioning the Raiders Organization

In a shocking development, the Oakland Raiders decided a dude that ran a bed-and-breakfast for the last decade was not qualified to run an NFL offense (be prepared for multiple comments from SportsGuy on this in Friday's pick column). The Tom Walsh era is over, about 11 weeks too late. How bad is Oakland's offense? A quick look at the stats:

Dead Last (32nd) in Points per Game - 12.0 (the Raiders have only scored 13 TDs this year)
Dead Last in Yards per Game - 239.8
Dead Last in First Downs per Game - 14.4
28th in Time of Possession - 28:22
28th in 3rd Down Completion Percentage - 33.6%
Commit the 3rd Most Penalties in the League - 77

So, how do you save this moribund offense? Obviously, you grab the best Ocean Front High has to offer and let him run the show:

Good luck Mr. Shoop. By the way, Wondermutt could ably play the part of Art Shell or Randy Moss in this exercise. I'll let you decide.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's better than doing real work

A bunch of stuff, in no particular order, and perhaps of very little interest to you...

Currently, the best football team in New York (well, New Jersey) is the Jets. The EPIC collapse by the Giants on Sunday clinched it. Despite no discernible running game and a QB with Juan Pierre's arm, the 6-5 Jets are very much in the AFC playoff hunt (jumbled in with Herm's Chiefs, Cutler's Broncos, the Bengals, a Jacksonville team incapable of winning a road game, the Joey Harrington-led Dolphins, the Bills and the West Canaan Coyotes). However, just like the Browns game before the bye, the Jets need to win this week's game against the Packers. They can't be giving away a game with red-hot Miami and Buffalo coming up in Weeks 13 and 15 (by the way, the AFC East is now the toughest division in football). Come to think of it, that 41-0 loss to Jacksonville in Week 5 isn't going to be very helpful.

I know I railed against hyperbole and overstatement throughout the NFL season, but I said this to Geoffrey last night, and I firmly believe it: Vince Young is a better NFL QB than Michael Vick. Mock me all you want, but in 8 games Vince Young has shown me more as a pro QB than Vick has over the last 3 years. Yes, Young is completing a pedestrian 49% of his passes, and has thrown as many picks as TDs in his 8 starts, but the guy is 4-4 (3-1 against the NFC East) and all of a sudden the Titans don't look like the Raiders. I don't want to hear about Vick's playoff win in Green Bay 4 years ago. Since Atlanta lost to Philly in the NFC Title Game two and a half years ago he has been mediocre at best. He is one of the worst PASSERS at the position in the league (Chadwick and his candyass arm still get it done better than Vick). Basically, I love me some Vince Young, and DX has two words for Mike Vick...

I saw the new Bond flick Casino Royale over the weekend, and it was awesome. Terrific performance from Daniel Craig, and an extremely well-done film in the mold of Batman Begins (the re-invention of a tired franchise, highlighted by that ridiculous invisible car in Die Another Day). I highly recommend it.

Apparently, it pays to be a middling middle reliever this offseason. Today alone the Orioles threw 31M bucks at Danys Baez and Chad Bradford. This after throwing 12M at Jamie Walker last week. I realize the Orioles suck terribly, and the bullpen is an area of need, but this is a tad excessive. Not to be outdone, the Dodgers just gave Randy Wolf a 1 yr/8M deal and of course proved they are completely nuts with the 5 yr/44M deal for Juan Pierre. Man, Barry Zito is going to be one very rich dude.

Nevada and Nick Fazekas are 5-0 (Nick is averaging 25 and 15 right now). There are plenty of seats available on the bus right now, but don't wait too long...the Butler bus is already full and by February the Wolf Pack Wagon might not have room for you.

I know it's pretty early in the NBA season, but I thought everyone might get a chuckle out of the NBA's Atlantic Division standings:
New Jersey Nets, 5-8 (Losers of 5 straight)
Boston Celtics, 5-8 (Coach being run out of town)
Philadelphia 76ers, 5-9 (Webber whining once again)
New York Knicks, 5-10 (Even Isiah hates Starbury now)
Toronto Raptors, 4-9 (Drafted a chick with the #1 pick)
Can that even be considered parity?

GTB's "DVR Death Watch" - As chronicled in the comments of many past posts, DVRd TV shows are dropping like flies in the GTB household. Just today we have had to temporarily add ABC's "The Nine" to the grave (the network claims it's just on hiatus...we will see). Now, the vast amount of dropped shows can partly be attributed to the large quantity of TV DVRd in the GTB household...the more shows we commit too, the more chances we have to lose a show. However, our luck/skill in choosing shows sure seems to be sucking this season. I liken it to my rare ability to never, EVER, pick the right toll booth lane on the highway (I know, get an EZ Pass). Here's the death toll so far...
Smith - CBS Ray Liotta vehicle that lasted THREE episodes. Yikes.
Kidnapped - Sometimes I can't sleep at night, wondering what happened to Leopold.
Vanished - Fox seriously expects me to watch the last 4 episodes on MySpace.
Six Degrees - Supposedly "on hiatus" as well. Come on ABC, you can tell us the truth. We can handle it.
The Nine - Keep killing me...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What does GTB give thanks for on this day before Thanksgiving?

YouTube, that's what. At this time last year I could only describe in words what I considered the greatest Thanksgiving episode in all of television history. Now, thanks to that glorious website, I can actually provide the clip to prove it...I give you five minutes and forty seconds from WKRP in Cincinnati's "Turkeys Away" episode. Gordon Jump's last line is a priceless moment in sitcom history.

Afternoon Update: I just realized Gheorghe: The Blog has never properly spotlighted Gheorghe: The Dancer, so here you go:

Friday, November 17, 2006

Beating TJ to the Punch Again

TJ and I discussed this last night over a couple of libations...

Honestly -- look at the title. The "IF" fades into his suit a bit, leaving . . . yes . . . I DID IT. I think TJ is losing his mind on this matter.

Unbelievable brass ones.

EDITOR'S NOTE: First of all, I was all over this weeks ago, just scroll down this page. Don't ever think a piece of OJ news slipped through my google "Juice" filter. Secondly, I never thought this day would come, but OJ's latest PR move/stunt, this fucking book, is the last straw for me. The day has finally come - I'm over my whole OJ thing. I seriously hope Fred Goldman runs him over with his car. Fuck you Juice...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Bruce Chen Hall of Fame

With the MLB Hot Stove season warming up, I thought we'd let baseball get a little love here at GTB. This morning we have gained exclusive access to the inaugural BC HoF nominations (we narrowly beat out Versus by adding a cracked button to our opening bid of half a can of Mountain Dew and a Boba Fett Pez dispenser). From what Chen HoF HQ tells me, they will choose to honor the most nomadic of baseball players, those who are good enough to stay in the league yet get discarded regularly by their teams. Originally, thought had gone to naming the HoF after Reggie Sanders, but the founders decided it was much funnier to name their HoF after a doughy, soft-tossing Asian left-hander who someday might end up having played for every major league franchise. All nominations below are for current players only (with a healthy mix of pitchers and position players), with the only requirement being they've been in the league longer than 5 years and have played for more than 5 teams...

Bruce Chen - It's just a formality putting Bruce on the ballot, given this is the first year of the Hall. Chen is obviously the class of the 2007 nominations, and frankly, he most likely could be the class of the 2008-2020 nominations as well, given he is still only 29 years old, left-handed and will be pitching well into his 40s. So far, 9 seasons for Bruce Chen, 9 different teams. He's talented enough teams want to give him a shot, but mediocre enough he never quite works out. A perfect combination...hence a Hall of Fame being named after him. Hell, supposed pitching guru Leo Mazzone can't even fix him...and he's had TWO shots at him (first in Atlanta and now in Baltimore). Bruce, here's hoping the Orioles give up on you sometime in Spring Training, so you can keep the impressive 1 team per year ratio going.

Reggie Sanders - The offensive equivalent of Chen, with the added bonus that he has actually contributed to playoff teams in his run. A little long in the tooth, Sanders has played for 8 different teams in his 16 seasons. I actually thought Sanders had been on more teams in his career, so I'm a little disappointed. Don't worry, I'll get over it.

Neifi Perez - Rob Neyer's favorite player and the guy many on the internet call the worst player in the history of baseball sneaks onto this list, having joined his 5th team last year in his 11th season. I guess he didn't really aid the Tigers in their quest for a World Series title. By the way, if you do look at his numbers (which I'm doing right now), they guy really does blow. Nice .298 career OBP Neifi.

Sal Fasano - You've gotta have a catcher on the nomination list, and it only makes sense for it to be the poster boy for backup backstops. 9 seasons in the bigs, 8 teams (the Royals twice...torture), a whopping 46 career HRs. But for 30 games a year he's the cadaver you can throw behind the plate to rest your main guy. And man, can that guy grow some facial hair...

Roberto Hernandez - An ancient reliever who, after early career success and stability saving games for the White Sox, has found his way onto 8 different teams over his 16 seasons (twice with Mets). He has 326 career saves, but at 41 years old his days might be numbered. Too bad he ain't left-handed, which gets us to...

Mike Myers - With Jesse Orosco long gone, Myers is one of MLB's lefties looking to take the reins as best "barely-used but never out of a job" pitcher in the bigs. 8 teams in 12 years, and as long as their are still left-handed batters in baseball (I don't want to give Bud and the boys any ideas) Myers will have a job, even if it requires a walker to get to the mound. He hasn't thrown more than 46 innings in any of the last 8 years (he even has a World Series ring with that one team, you know, that team that hadn't won in awhile, but then did, and it was a big deal or something...the White Sox maybe...I really can't remember).

John Mabry - This list wouldn't be complete without a consummate pinch hitter (I wanted to put Lenny Harris on here but apparently he retired...who knew?). As long as Mabry can manage to sit on his ass for 8 innings every night and then still get a hit when called upon, he will have a job in the bigs, as his 10 teams in 13 years shows (he's been on St. Louis THREE times and Seattle twice). Last seen in a Cubs uniform, the 35 year old Mabry is sure to be around for awhile.

Veteran's Committee Nominations: Ruben Sierra and Julio Franco
Julio "Lazarus" Franco has played for 8 teams over 22 seasons (two tours in Cleveland), and Ruben Sierra has played for 12 teams over 20 seasons. Sierra's been on the Texas Rangers 3 different times and the New York Yankees twice. These two guys just won't go away. I'm worried that if at some point in the future these two are on the field at the same time the world might implode.

Notable omissions (that I can think of right now...I'm sure there are others you will point out to me): Terry Mulholland, Kenny Lofton and Ron Villone.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We are...Marshall

Maybe it's the brain damage incurred the last few days in New Orleans, maybe it's the spell that dreamy Matthew McConaughey has cast on me (yes, I did just link to, but for some reason I feel like throwing some love this morning the way of the Marshall Thundering Herd...

Chad Pennington - James Chadwick Pennington (seriously, that's his name) is of course the starting QB for the New York Jets, and despite having a throwing shoulder held together by paper mache and silly string, he has been an efficient and effective NFL QB, after being a superstar at Marshall (by my fuzzy math he's 26-20 in the regular season and 2-2 in the postseason). Pennington's emergence (along with the fellas below) helped put the MAC Conference on the map in the late 1990s. He won three MAC titles while at Marshall, and his 123 TDs and 14,098 passing yards established school career records. While at Marshall, Pennington threw quite a few TDs to a guy further down the page, and actually finished 5th in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting. Along with new head coach Eric Mangini, Pennington has led a 2006 Jet-aissance, capped by last week's 17-14 win over New England which puts the Jets at 5-4, only a game back of the AFC-East leading Patriots (6-3, and a split against the Jets). That loss to the Browns going into the bye continues to kill me, though it looks like Cleveland isn't as terrible as once thought. Man, if the Jets could ever upset the Bears in the Meadowlands this weekend...

Byron Leftwich - Big Boi Byron (his middle name is Anton...what's up with these Marshall QBs?) is probably best remembered for being carried down the field by his offensive lineman in that Akron game in 2002 after breaking his shin...but there's also that epic 64-61 GMAC Bowl comeback win over East Carolina (they were down 30), in which Leftwich threw for 576 yards and 4 TDs (he also rushed for a TD). He's second to Pennington in most of the major school passing categories. Though Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio recently replaced Leftwich as the starter with David "Don't Call Me Jean-Luc" Garrad, Garrad's four picks last week against the woeful Texans might have Byron starting again soon. Leftwich is a D.C. native, and if Jacksonville truly doesn't want him, I'll throw this possibility out there - Danny Snyder will try to bring in Leftwich in two years if the Jason Campbell era turns out to be a major disaster for the Redskins.

Randy Moss - Ah yes, how can we forget Randy...even though he has faded to Bolivia in Oakland the last two years. But don't worry, this week's Moss outburst will certainly put him back on the front page (that is, as long as the media can let the Bobby Knight story go...settle down fellas, it's not like Knight choked a guy or anything). After catching 26 TD passes from Chaz Sexington in 1997 (at that time an NCAA single-season record), Moss was 4th in Heisman voting (that's the year Swint's boy Charles Woodson took home the trophy). Moss finished up his career at Marshall (only two seasons) first in TD receptions (53), third in receptions (174) and second in yards (3,529 yards). Oh yeah, back to his big mouth - the other day Moss said he's dropping passes and struggling because he's feeling down. "Maybe because I'm unhappy, and I'm not too much excited about what's going on, so my concentration and focus level tends to go down when I'm in a bad mood. So all I can say is, if you put me in a good situation and make me happy, man, you get good results." Yep, Randy Moss, continuing to define class and professionalism.

Billy Crystal - I had absolutely no idea Billy Crystal went to Marshall. It's a crying shame he didn't go down in that plane crash. Then he and Jack Palance could write City Slickers 3 while traipsing around hell.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

There is a house in New Orleans...

Whitney and I just wanted to wish you all well...we will be headed to New Orleans tomorrow and Friday, respectively, and I hope to still be gainfully employed when I return. Whitney hopes to still have a liver. You'd think it would be easier to find a YouTube clip for a trip to New Orleans, but I got sick of sifting through 9th Ward videos, so I settled on these two beauties, one a music video I think Geoffrey might've used in a Wheelhouse Picks post, and the other a clip from the Van Damme classic "Hard Target" (you remember, the one with Wilford Brimley and tons of John Woo slow motion). Enjoy these, and try not to miss us too much...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rock the Vote People

It's Election Day...get off your ass and vote, and remember, your choice pretty much always boils down to two candidates, The Giant Douche or The Turd Sandwich (sorry, you know how much I hate to recycle material). Choose wisely, or Puffy will kill you.

In honor of election day, a few races you might not have known about, but are important nonetheless:

Harry Callahan vs. John McLean
It's "Dirty" Harry vs. the Cowboy McLean. As you can imagine, the race has been extremely tight, with the younger crowd strongly supporting McLean and older voters backing Callahan. What voters need to realize is there would be no John McLean without Det. Harry Callahan. Show respect for the man who reinvented the (anti)hero role in action movies. A vote for Callahan is a vote for the most powerful handgun in the world.

Richard Dawson vs. Bob Barker
One of the toughest races to call on the ballot, this battle of geriatric game show gropers might come down to the recent Barker retirement announcement, which could lead to a swarm of sympathy votes at the polls. Personally, I think Richard's blatant sexual advances on the Feud are far more impressive than Barker's off-screen trysts with the Beauties. Barker does garner some bonus points for his role in Happy Gilmore, which was only a tad bit better than Dawson's role as Killian in The Running Man.

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady
Gee, haven't heard alot about this one...

Foreigner vs. Boston
Two staples of Classic Rock Shoot Out face off today, with the winner likely to dominate Two for Tuesdays and Rock-toberfests for years to come. I expect a landslide victory for Foreigner, as their plethora of hits propel them to the top over Boston's less distinctive collection. I mean, just look at this sampling of Foreigner's work product: "Feels Like The First Time", "Cold as Ice", "Hot Blooded", "Double Vision", "Dirty White Boy", "Head Games", "Urgent", "Waiting for a Girl Like You", "Juke Box Hero" and of course "I Want to Know What Love Is". True, Boston gave us "More Than a Feeling" and "Foreplay/Long Time" off their self-titled debut album, but the rest of their platform is weak.

Jane Roe vs. Henry Wade
Are you kidding me? You think I'd touch this one? I'd rather talk about the Manning/Brady race.

Paper vs. Plastic
As a veteran of the glorious supermarket industry, this issue seems to be hotly contested every term, with the result always up for grabs until the 11th hour (Full Disclosure: I never once worked as a cashier - I was a Produce guy...I would've killed someone if I was a cashier). Stupid crunchy granola hippies think Paper bags are the devil's work, but they may be too busy making hemp necklaces to rock the vote. If you are some sort of bag snob and simply MUST have paper bags, get to the polling station today, lest you be stuck with plastic bags that are guaranteed to shred the minute you step out of the store. If you hate dolphins, vote for plastic, as plastic bags can apparently be thrown in the ocean and choke the little bastards.

John Daly vs. The Institution of Marriage
I don't normally encourage people not to vote, but this thing will be a landslide victory for Daly. Forget racing to your nearest polling station - just stay home, kick off your shoes and down a dozen beers (you know John would do the same). Marriage never stood a chance. It was the "Dukakis" to Daly's "Herbert Walker Bush". Daly will soon have ex-wife #4 after filing for divorce from class act Sherrie Miller Daly October 18th, four months after she finished serving a federal sentence for alleged drug and gambling ring wrongdoings. Daly of course wrote about his other three Exes in his autobiography "My Life In & Out of the Rough". The chapter on the previous election losers was entitled "All My Exes Wear Rolexes."

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Good Weekend for the Hometown Boys

I'd like to consider myself a neutral observer of the DC sports scene, able to take in the likes of the Skins, Wizards, and Terps without knee-jerk reactions (the Caps and Georgetown count as hometown teams too, but I've got nothing on them...yet). With that said, a few observations about the local sports franchises while you wait for the Nintendo Wii to be released...

The Washington Redskins are some lucky S.O.B.s...So, two teams had their seasons on the line yesterday, playing at home, against solid teams: the Skins (vs. Dallas) and the Steelers (vs. Denver). And go figure, it's Washington that manages to save their season, at least for a week (Pittsburgh is D-U-N). Even the most devout Redskins fan has to admit the big man was smiling down on them yesterday afternoon. Dallas should've won that game on the T.O. bomb (nice hands pal) and REALLY should've won the game on Vanderjagt's 35-yard FG. Heck, you can't take anything away from the Skins effort on the block (Troy Vincent I believe), and Vanderjagt should be pummeled for his terribly low kick, but the 15-yard face mask call that set up Novak's game winner? A gift. Kudos to Nicky though for sacking up after pushing the 49-yarder wide right and (barely) nailing the 47-yard game winner. Yesterday in the NFL once again proved that no game is a gimme (seriously, did ANYONE have the Dolphins?), and fans of Dallas can bitch and moan all week about the couldas wouldas and shouldas, but the final tally is all that matters. I really cannot wait for Parcells to punch T.O. in the face on the sidelines during Week 13. A win is a win, and a 3-5 Redskins team going into Philly next week has this town once again thinking playoffs, which at least provides me more asinine sports radio to listen to for another week.

Gilbert Arenas is a godsend...I really hope the people of Washington realize what they have in Gilbert Arenas. He's an enigma wrapped in a riddle who just happens to be one of the best players in the NBA. He's the 2006 version of World B. Free (but better). I had the good fortune to see the Wiz home opener Saturday night against the Celtics, and the raucous pre-game intros were highlighted by Gilbert coming out in a Apollo Creed-esque robe, hoodie up...the Verizon Center went nuts. It didn't hurt that Arenas then proceeded to pour in 44 (with 6 assists) in the Wizards 124-117 victory over Boston. You could actually tell he wanted to make up for the Paul Pierce game from a year ago...which when you think about it is awesome. The guy takes every perceived slight or slap in the face and uses it as motivation...several times in the game a Celtics player hit a big bucket (there was ZERO defense played in this game), and it didn't matter if it was Gil's man or not, he proceeded to come back down the court and absolutely drill a DAGGER three or hit a twisting lay-up in the lane (always with contact). He would not be stopped. The Wizards are playoff-bound once again, and Whitney, I'm happy to win another case of beer off you if you think differently. One other game note: The retro jersey of the night goes to the 6'6", 250 lb. black guy in the Alabama Joe Namath "12" jersey. Well played sir.

Don't look now, but that really fat guy has his team in contention for a BCS bowl game (no, not Charlie Weis)...Sure, the ACC appears to be having a down year (a vast understatement I know), but I'm still impressed by the turnaround Ralph Friedgen has engineered at Maryland this season. 3-2 following a loss at Georgia Tech, the Terps appeared destined for another 5-6 non-bowl season. Now winners of 4 straight games (albeit by a total of 12 points), the Terps (7-2, 4-1) technically control their own destiny, as they face Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest in their last 3 games. The ACC Atlantic is theirs for the taking, and they can thank kicker Dan Ennis for keeping the dream alive. His 31-yard game winner against Clemson Saturday allowed Maryland to escape Death Valley with a 13-12 victory, and it was surely the inspiration for Terp alum Nick Novak's kick 24 hours later. Fridge celebrated by downing three pints of Chunky Monkey.

And finally, I'm all for hanging the bastard, but this is also a fantastic way to end his miserable life...

Friday, November 03, 2006

GTB Friday Morning Request

For loyal reader BC of Norwalk, CT we've got Dee and the Boys, in what I consider one of the Top 5 videos of all time. Man, that Neidermeyer is a dick in everything isn't he?

It has been brought to my attention that the local soft rock station, 97.1 WASH-FM, has really gone off the deep end. Apparently, they are already playing Christmas tunes, as the FFMD heard "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on Wednesday. Wednesday was November 1st. I mean, you've got to be kidding me right? Why don't we just start playing the Christmas tunes after Labor Day. That seems appropriate. The worst part of all this - the horrendous musical tagteam of "Christmas Shoes" and "Christmas Eve in Washington" is right around the corner. My strong dislike of those two tunes has been mentioned here before, but it needs to be said again: Worst Christmas Songs Ever.

This new "Stop Your Whining, Rasheed" rule in the NBA is going to be fascinating to watch. The rule's namesake already got tossed in his first game of the year, and last night Carmelo got booted from the Nuggets/Clippers game. Are these guys so immature and unprofessional that they physically cannot stop bitching and moaning, to the point they're costing their teams games? If so, the Pistons in particular are in serious trouble. I'm putting the over/under on Rasheed technical fouls at 50. That guy is a nightmare.

Perhaps its just me, but the MLB Rawlings Gold Glove Award voters just might be the laziest of all sports award voters (Gee, couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the voters are the league's coaches and managers, right?) The process seems to work like this:

Stage 1: Look at who won the previous year

Stage 2: If that guy still has a pulse, vote for him again this year

Stage 3: Profit

I'm thinking Rob has an opinion on this, especially since all 4 of the excellent 2006 Red Sox infielders were shut out for Gold Gloves. And why the hell are OF positions not differentiated?