Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There's something about those 7 footers...

When most people think of Yao Ming, I doubt that they'd consider him a wild and crazy guy, to borrow a popular phrase from Whitney's childhood. Its just not something that meshes well with the picture of a large Chinese man who wears a crew cut and speaks little to no English publicly. However, if you've been paying attention there have been numerous clues to the contrary for a while now. First there was the "Yao, Yo" commercial for Visa. Then, of course, he was tight with Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley (not so much Francis, but Cuttino seems like a fun guy to go to the strip club with) in Houston. And last summer, when Yao got married guys like Baron Davis and Steve Nash traveled to China for his wedding. Hell, the guy even grew a neck beard once so he probably lost a bet to Kyle Orton somewhere along the way.

What I'm saying here is that Yao is a legitimately cool guy, and a worthy heir to the legacy of Gheorghe. I mean not only could he destroy Rob's crush, Dustin Pedroia, in ping pong, he'd probably smash TJ in a drinking contest too.

G:TB Song of the...Time Period, Old School Style

Fine. You don't like the gay. I get it. Methinks thou dost protest too much, hmmm?

I see Mark's Outkast, and raise him my favorite non-Beastie Boys rap tune. Brings back memories of coming up hard on the mean streets of Lake Ridge, VA.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Putting a bow on an atrocious season

The Brothers Mottram did an excellent job of tracking the Washington Nationals on their way to an epic 100 loss 2008 season, and though we here at G:TB have shied away from the Nats this year, I felt today was the appropriate time to also kick this hapless franchise while it's down. Some number's for Jim "Matt Millen" Bowden to chew on while the Feds hopefully prepare to kick his door down and save the Lerners from themselves:

Your 2008 Washington Nationals
Final Record: 59-102
OK, let's start here...in a season where another MLB team also managed to cross the 100 loss finish line (the Mariners, 61-101), the Nationals still had to be top of the trash heap. They weren't gonna let those java junkies from Seattle beat them, no sirree. The Nats showed the Ms how it's done - they lost 4 straight and 9 of 10 to end the season and finish with that stellar 102 loss mark.

Maybe it would help if we further broke down the numbers. There's no way the Nats could be dead last in every team statistical category, right?
Um, well, for right now yes. The Nats went 34-46 at home. Again, one game worst than Seattle. On the road, cover your eyes, the Nattys went an unbelieveably awful 25-56. 25-56? Sweet jesus.

Wait...wait...we've got something here...
The Washington Nationals, though dead last in run differential at -184, were not last in either runs scored or runs allowed. The Fighting Actas (641 runs) outscored San Francisco by 1 run on the year, and San Diego by 4 (how terrible is that NL West?). And lookee here, four teams allowed more runs than Washington's 825: Detroit, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Texas (an astonishing but not at all surprising 967 runs were given up by the Rangers staff this year).

Let's finish on a high note (something Mark and I like to do quite a bit). There must be a guy or two we can highlight for the Nats, a reason for hope for 2009...right?
Hmmm, Lastings Milledge led the team in home runs (14) and RBI (61)...he also lead the team in goofy hand shake celebratons. Cristian Guzman, who I personally think is butt trifling, hit .316. Yeehaw, now we're getting somewhere. Nick Johnson managed to play in 38 games this year, which is an awesome number of games for Captain Brittle. At several points in the season, the best player on the Nats was Willie Harris. You know what, I think that says all you need to know about this club. Thank god my tickets were of the free work variety to see this traveshamockery of a team.

Are you sure you arrested the right man?

I mean, come on, what Andruw Jones "did" this year for the Dodgers is much more criminal. Hell, I bet Mr. Higgins here could hit .158 in 209 ABs. He might even strike out less than the 76 whiffs Jones had in those limited ABs.
Man accused of posing as Dodger on field

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing a uniform from Dodger Stadium and posing as one of the team's players.

Ronald Higgins pleaded not guilty to several charges Friday, including burglary and trespassing.

The 47-year-old Higgins was arrested Wednesday morning after a security guard found him walking on the field in a Dodgers uniform and holding a glove with two balls. Higgins allegedly identified himself as a Dodgers player, but the guard recognized him from an earlier incident and called police.

Prosecutors say Higgins' clothes were later found in the bat boys' locker room. It was not immediately clear where he got the uniform.

Friday, September 26, 2008

G:TB's Week 4 NFL Picks

We were winless last week. Therefore I am not allowed to write any more than what you just read:

San Francisco @ New Orleans (-6)
You buying the 2-1 49ers? Yeah, neither am I. Wins over Seattle and Detroit are about as impressive as Sarah Palin’s resume. New Orleans’ defense is less intimidating than Barney Frank in a tutu, but the Saints’ scoring side more than makes up for it. Despite the fact that Sean Payton’s visor makes him look for all the world like Jamie Kennedy in Malibu’s Most Wanted, the fact is the dude can coach up some offense. Mike Nolan looks suspiciously like John Boehner, right down to the store-bought tan, and us average betting fools simply can’t trust a guy that looks like that. SAINTS and the points, because Lord help me, if I go 0-3 I’m putting a steady diet of Frankie Goes to Hollywood on repeat here at G:TB.

Here’s some genyoowine Big Easy listening to get you in the mood. (rob, before you have a hissy fit, embedding has been disabled on this video, so all you get is a link)

As a bonus five-star lock in honor of our friends at the Wheelhouse, bet your bailout windfall on Alabama over Georgia Saturday night. Yes, that pick looks like a whole mess of homerrific wishful thinking on the face of it (again with the bailout talk, sheesh), but Alabama’s interior linemen are better than Georgia’s on both sides of the ball. And you can take that to the bank.

Arizona Cardinals (+1.5) at New York Jets
There’s an article in today’s NY Times that shows a very human and flattering side of Cardinals’ QB Kurt Warner. His kids are well-behaved, conscientious and religious, and the family preaches good manners and regularly pays for dinners for strangers in restaurants. And his wife no longer has a flat-top. It paints the portrait of a guy who’s very comfortable with where he’s at and what he’s done.

That said, this ain’t a church meeting. It’s the NFL. That stands for Not Favre Long, which is how long Brett will struggle in 2008. Arizona is going to be in for a rude awakening on Sunday. Look for the Jets to finally get some pressure on Arizona, who’ve given up 2-3 sacks per game. The sun will clear in the swamps of Jersey, Warner will fumble a couple times, Sean Ellis and Calvin Pace will make some plays and Thomas Jones will have a good day. Also, there will be two official friends of G:TB at the game to root root root for the home team. They share a first name, a passion for the Jets, loud voices and a love of processed meats. Take the Jets to cover.

Minnesota at Tennessee (-2.5)
When people talk about Minnesota, they mention a dominant defense and a lack of quality QB play. Well, this Sunday won’t be any different. Their defense will stop the run and their QB will suck hind teet. The difference is their opponent has an equally stifling defense (allowing less than 10 pts a game, and holding standouts such as Andre Johnson and TJ Hoosierdaddy to less than 30 yards apiece), but has a QB that was NEVER a 1000 to 1 favorite against a padded wall and ended up a loser (Hello Gustopher). There is a zero percent chance Frerotte strolls into Tennessee and comes out a winner. Titans win 16-10. And yes, take the under if you are so inclined.

Philadelphia (+3) at Chicago
Here’s something you may not know – the Bears have the 5th WORST pass defense in the league right now. The last thing they need is a team that throws the ball 40 times a game. Combine that with a banged up Westbrook, and it sounds like McNabb better get the icy hot shoulder wrap ready. The Philly D also appeared to learn a few things from the Dallas debacle (or maybe Dallas is just that good, don’t know) about getting to the quarterback – as evident by the 9-sack tar-and-feathering of Big Ben last weekend. We don’t see Kyle Orton finding any answers either...Philly wins 24-13 as the NFC East continues its domination.

San Diego (-7) @ Oakland
Have you ever sat down and watched JaMarcus Russell try and run the Raiders' offense? Its like watching Greg try and stop one of his impromptu drunken nosebleeds. There's no real direction, things get messy really quickly and eventually you just wanna throw up. The man is an absolute mess under center. He doesn't read defenses well (never has), displays little to no touch on his short and intermediate throws and is as inaccurate a passer as you'll see at this level. Honestly, the biggest upset in Oakland isn't that Lane Kiffin still has a job, but that the Dolphins were the first team to heavily employ the Wildcat package in their offense. (Which brings up something I've been thinking about...Is JaMarcus Russell the Bizarro Chad Pennington? Think about it, one has all the intangibles you want in a QB with little to none of the physical skills while the other has every conceivable physicall attribute you could desire in a QB but combines that with low mental acuity for the position as well as a, umm, subpar work ethic).

On the other hand, Phillip Rivers is starting to look like the savvy, smart QB he was at NC State while also having more weapons at his disposal than ever before. I'd expect the San Diego's offense to continue to play at the high level they've established since the 2nd half of their first game. However, I also expect San Diego's defense (2 ints, at least, book it) and Darren Sproles to supply the offense with steady diet of good field position and opportunites to score. See, what I'm saying here is this one won't be close. Chargers...big.


Before NBC hit us over the head for years with the "Must See TV" campaign, the braintrust at ABC provided us with some of the (ahem) best family comedies ever as part of their "Thank Goodness It's Funny" campaign, and honestly, who wouldn't find joy in the interaction of this funny talking immigrant and his anal-retentive cousin?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

G:TB: Now 50% less gay...

Show of hands here...Who thinks Rob's a pint sized little asshole? Okay, that's what I thought. Show of hands again...Who thinks that video Rob posted earlier this afternoon is easily the gayest thing thats ever graced the fine pages (screens?) of Gheorghe?

Wow. I mean I knew it was gay but I didn't expect a unanimous response. Oh wait, not quite unanimous. Rob didn't raise his hand did he? My bad. I didn't even realize he was here until he just jumped up on that footstool. Even with that, I can barely see him. Anyway, I couldn't let the entire afternoon go with that crap sitting there as the first thing people see when they log on to G:TB. I mean, that fucking song is so bad that I had to take a shower and drench myself in Stetson just to make sure I wasn't going to catch "the gay". Unfortunately, many of you are stuck at work and therefore, unable to shower. So consider this underrated Outkast track/video my gift to you...

Sorry Geoff, I couldn't embed any videos from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Deal with it.

G:TB Song of the...Time Period

I can't believe Michelob stole this song. I mean, it's a killer tune, but Big Alcohol couldn't even bother to film new material to go with it - just slapped it on some tired old content. G:TB, defender of the little guy, is here to put things right. Boys and girls, we give you...The Kooks.

Use the Force, Teejay

Since it appears to be Birthday Week at G:TB, we salute a generational icon, born on this date in 1951. Somewhere, our friend Cliff is feeling a disturbance.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"The Patriots Got a Lot of Points, Too, But They Lost"

I'm an unmitigated political junkie, which is likely an indicator of a whole range of deep-rooted psychological issues. But if more political discourse was like this, I'd have a lot of company in my lunacy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to The Boss

Frankly, I'm amazed we didn't hear something from Whitney on this***...must still be hungover from his own birthday celebration I guess:

***Though I'm sure he'll criticize my video choice. Too mainstream he'll say. Well pal, I couldn't find a video for "Darlington County", so stick it.

Late Addition, by request:

Monday, September 22, 2008

True Confessions

My name is Rob, and I can't watch recorded sports programming.

Your DVR has no value to me. I know how it works. I get that it should be a significant boon – I can spend quality time with my family and then, after the little ones go to bed, I can cozy up to some recorded sports action as if it’s happening live. It appears for all the world to be a technology-assisted win-win. But I can’t use it.

The fact of the matter is that I have an advanced case of adult attention deficit disorder combined with a particularly virulent lack of personal discipline. The net result: I am constitutionally incapable of ignoring the result of a contest that’s been completed, even if I know I have it recorded for my viewing pleasure. The Olympics were a special kind of torture.

When I got my first DVR a year or so ago (after resisting it on the grounds that I’d wind up writing something exactly like this), I tried several times to record games – Red Sox here, Redskins there, maybe a college football game or two, some rhythmic gymnastics. And every single time, I saw the result before I had a chance to watch the recorded action. On purpose. Which rendered the recorded content irrelevant and past tense, because I’m also incapable of watching something once I know the result. That particular insanity isn’t limited to sports. I’m terrible at the movie quote game because I rarely watch movies more than once (Dumb n’ Dumber excepted). I haven’t seen a television rerun in years.

I’m a mental patient with no perceptible ability to delay sports-score-related gratification. I freely admit it. Sure makes it easier to maintain equilibrium with the space-time continuum, though.

And now you know...the rest of the story.

G:TB Salutes Old People

Today, a GTB staff member celebrates a birthday, turning the number of Gheorghe Rogers' jersey below. That dude is olllllld.

Whitney, that is, not Mr. Rogers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Apples, Oranges, Pigskin (Update: What the fuck is Rob talking about?)

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the season's first episode of Futile Superfans, Gridiron Chapter. In which one of us provides a profanity-laced but more than a little insightful preview of a major college football contest, and I write about William and Mary - profanity quotient TBD, as I'm making this up as I go along.

For this weekend's appetizer, Jimmye Laycock's (well, there we go with the profanity already) William & Mary Tribe takes on regional rival Norfolk State under the lights at Zable Stadium. (And, hey, according to this, venerable Zable's sporting a new FieldTurf rug. This is a tremendous development - much like Whitney, the old boy was thinning in all the wrong places.) Perhaps rival is a bit strong. The last time these two squads met, in 1985, Stan Yagiello was handing off to Michael "Pinball" Clemons, and I was still in high school. Teejay and Mark were barely potty-trained.

Both teams come into the game undefeated against FCS competition, each losing to mid-tier FBS teams. W&M kept it close against a lousy N.C. State team, falling 34-24 in Raleigh, while Norfolk State was drummed by Kentucky, 38-3. The Tribe is coming off its annual dismembering of VMI, while the Spartans won a close home game against North Carolina A&T.

I haven't watched a ton of film yet, but I'm guessing that W&M will be solid to quite excellent on offense while struggling to stop their opponents this season. The Green and Gold have averaged 436.5 yards of total offense per game in their first two (with an unusual for W&M 280 rushing yards per contest). And, unless I miss my guess, Norfolk State will be fast but lack the depth to compete with the Tribe for a full four quarters.

William & Mary's never lost to a MEAC opponent, carrying a 5-0 all-time mark into the contest. Which is, frankly, evidence of insidious bias that my liberal white guilt has a hard time stomaching. I'm gonna vote for the black guy in November to protest my college's record of intolerance.

GTB predicts: W&M 42, Norfolk State 31

Last weekend, Jerry commented that UGA is becoming the new Tennessee, and he couldn’t have been more right. The key word in that assessment was “becoming”, because Georgia’s not quite there yet and Tennessee is not quite dead yet. Georgia’s become a bigger threat to Florida in the SEC East race in recent years and last year’s bullshit celebration stunt may have amped the rivalry back up again but, quite simply, I don’t hate Georgia, its fans or its coach to the extreme levels that I loathe The University of Tennessee. Two of the five worst losses I experienced as a Florida student were at the hands of the Volunteers. As if that weren’t enough, their fans are by far the most obnoxious, annoying group of inbred hillbillies I’ve ever encountered in my life…and I grew up in the south and went to an SEC school so I’m pretty well versed on this subject. I hate anything and everything about Tennessee and nothing brings that hate out like the annual SEC opener for both Florida & Tennessee. It’s a special day. If by special you mean a day where I drink far too much, curse every third word and generally act like a fucking 12 year old for hours on end. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty psyched for tomorrow’s game. So psyched, in fact, that I decided to throw together a little preview.

Yeaap, that's the good stuff. Now, onto the game:

Tennessee Offense vs. Florida Defense: Both of these units have been under extreme scrutiny in the past year and half and are seen as the biggest weaknesses on their respective teams. Tennessee has brought in a new offensive coordinator (Dave Clawson) to revamp an offense that has struggled mightily in recent years (Erik Ainge has that effect on offenses). So far, the results have been mixed as new QB Jonathon Crompton has struggled with his decision making and accuracy. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s running game has looked good as Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty have benefited from running behind one of the SEC’s most experienced O-Lines.

Florida’s defense was flat out awful last year. The secondary was last in the league in passing yardage given up per game and, even that doesn’t accurately describe how horrible they were. The secondary wasn’t the only problem though, the defensive line was completely unable to generate any sort of pass rush with the front four which left a young, inexperienced secondary (3 first year starters) exposed for far too long and resulted in large chunks of yardage gained and an inability to get off the field on third down. Florida’s secondary is now a year older and wiser and the D-Line has looked much more physical through the first two games. While Florida’s defense appears to be much improved as a unit, the real test comes on the road Saturday against a very experienced offense (save for Crompton) that will look to run the ball 30-40 times and make big plays off of play action. A player to watch for on Tennessee will be TE Brandon Warren. He was a freshman All-American at FSU before transferring back home and sitting out last year. He’s a great pass catcher at TE and presents a tough matchup for the Gator LBs.

Key Matchup: UT O-Line vs. UF D-Line

Florida Offense vs. Tennessee Defense: Florida’s offense is as loaded at the skill positions as its been in a decade. Which is great…However, this abundance of weapons also has a downside. OC Dan Mullen often seems so intent on showing off his multitude of highly skilled athletes and imagination that he neglects to call plays according to the offense’s current rhythm or even based on what’s repeatedly shown itself to be effective. Guys don’t end up with enough touches to establish a rhythm for themselves and the offense becomes choppy and ineffective. The return of Percy Harvin to full strength should help alleviate some of this, as Harvin gives Mullen a second “in case of emergency” player on offense along with Tebow. When he needs a big play, Mullen should feel comfortable calling on either of these two, which should result in imaginative play calling without sliding too far down the scale to gimmicky, as has been known to happen during Mullen’s tenure. The unit to watch for Florida will be the O-Line, which has been less than impressive thus far (especially against Miami). The return of senior guard Jim Tartt (Sopchoppy, FL…represent!) should help solidify the interior of this line and allow youngsters like the Pouncey twins to concentrate on their individual assignments and proper execution. If Tartt’s return does have this effect, I’d expect Florida’s O-Line to return to being the strength that many anticipated it would be during the preseason.

As for Tennessee, while the D-Line and linebacking crew are both very solid and as good, or better, than Florida’s seen this year, it’s the secondary that poses the biggest challenge to the Gators. Eric Berry is the best DB in the SEC. He can play anywhere on the field and cover just about anybody. He’s moved to safety this year which means he’ll be more involved in pass defense than last years game (where he returned an interception for a TD). Additionally, Dee Morley is also back (I have no fucking idea how UT got him back in school) and will start alongside Berry at safety. For all of Tim Tebow’s strengths, he’s still emerging as a passer and has a tendency to lock on to his primary receiver. If he gets jittery in the pocket (see: Miami) or locks on to Harvin or Louis Murphy, I’d expect to see the Vols come down with a couple of picks. If he can be content to take what the D gives him both by running and checking down, then Florida’s shouldn't have a problem putting up 25-30 points in Knoxville.

Key Matchup: Tebow/WRs vs. UT Secondary

Special Teams: Florida’s special teams have been great under Meyer. The punt block team is consistently fantastic and looks better this year due to the presence of twin speedsters Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps flying off the edge. As for punt returns, well, I think you know about Brandon James. He’s the best return man in the country, and I don’t think its close. He’s been able to supply the Gators with momentum grabbing returns and great field position since he stepped on campus. I don’t know much about Tennessee’s special teams but I do know that the 87th Colquitt is suspended because of a DUI. This has to make Tennessee’s punt team somewhat less formidable and maybe even a touch slower in getting punts off. Tennessee also has a veteran kicker whereas Florida’s kicker (Jonathon Phillips) kicked his first collegiate FG to beat the point spread against Miami.

Key Matchup: Florida Punt Return/Block vs. Tennessee Punt Coverage

G:TB Pick: Tennessee’s going to play much better than many are anticipating, there’s just too many factors pointing in that direction for me to believe otherwise. They’re playing at home, they quit last year and got embarrassed, Florida’s been talking a little trash and they have the “no respect” card to play as well. With all that said, Florida pulls away late and wins…28-24. Have I mentioned that I hate Tennessee?

G:TB's Week 3 NFL Picks

No introduction needed, other than to say G:TB is winning this "battle" by a game heading into Week 3. I believe Gheorghe is 6-4 while the Wheeladobe is 5-5. You could cut the tension with a balloon. Picks below, and it's on you to figure out who wrote them (hint: Whitney may have entered witness protection, thinking all U.S. Marshalls look like Mary McCormack, so don't pick him):

New York Jets (+9) at San Diego Chargers
Things people don’t know about the Chargers: They’ve given up an average of 287 yards per game. And that's against the Broncos and Panthers, two teams that aren’t perceived as offensive juggernauts. They’ve also surrendered 32 points per game. And they’re averaging less than 100 rushing yards per game.

The Jets offense has been as weak as Mangini’s ability to say no to doughnuts, but you have to think (hope?) it will get better. They have new pieces that have to mesh on the offensive line, and Favre is still learning the playbook. On defense, they’ve shown some toughness, although they need Vernon Gholston to get a hold of Merriman’s steroids dealer if he wants to be on the field for more than twelve plays this week. That’s looking like a solid draft pick, now isn’t it?

Nonetheless, a 9 point cushion is a lot to give a team that has Norv Turner calling the shots and Phil Rivers leading the offense. The Jets should be competitive in this one. Take the Jets.

Cardinals @ Redskins (-3)
The immovable object (my abject disdain for Dan Snyder) meets the irresistible force (Zorn!) in Sunday’s Skins/Cards tilt. Snyder’s diabolically brilliant move to have Vinny Cerrato host 4 hours of drive-time radio each week should pay long-term dividends, as it will distract the Skins’ GM from his theoretical day job – a clear case of addition by subtraction. In the short term, though, the impact is harder to assess. Will Durant Brooks succumb to the pressure of punting for his career, now that Vinny will be too busy to protect him? Will Chris Cooley’s dong sneak out during a lull in the action and make a phone call to Radio Free Vinny? How will the Skins handle Buges when he strokes out while trying to figure out what the heck Cerrato’s actually paid to do around Ashburn? Oh, and the Cardinals offense is more explosive than Chris Berman on a burrito and Coors Light bender. We’ll take Arizona and the points.

Buccaneers (+3) @ Bears
I'm not even sure why I'm bothering to do a pick this week. I mean, my head is so overrun with images of toothless rednecks wearing creamsicle orange and singing the lyrics to Rocky Top whilst slugging Evan Williams that I can't even think straight. While others may see a blowout ahead for Florida over Tennessee, I have a sneaking suspicion that Saturday's game in Knoxville is going to be tight late into the 4th quarter. However, I'm not here to pick the result of the battle between the Gators and Vols but to discuss the renewal of a former NFC North Division rivalry between the Bucs and the Bears. Most of my childhood Sundays were spent watching the Bucs be pummeled within their division, and no team was more responsible for this then the Bears. They bullied, bloodied and beat the Bucs with a yawn inducing offense and a stout defense (some things never change). Their fans outnumbered Bucs fans 3-to-1 at the Old Sombrero and didn't hesitate to talk as much shit as humanly possible when the Bears inevitably pulled away from Tampa late...in the 1st quarter.

Some people have tried to make a big deal out of the fact that Brian Griese used to play for Chicago and thus should have a grasp of their defensive strengths and weaknesses. Of course, this line of reasoning neglects to take into account that Griese's time in Chicago also means that Lovie Smith and Bob Babich are keenly aware of how much Brian Griese sucks. Which is to say...a whole, whole bunch. With Tampa on the road and facing a team with a suspect offense, the focus should be on establishing the running attack, with a heavy emphasis on Earnest Graham, (Remembers Tennessee 2001...punches desk) and keeping the defense fresh so they can throw the proverbial kitchen sink at Kyle Orton. However, if I know Jon Gruden like I think I do, the focus will end up being on multiple bunch formations, tons of men in motion and at least 3 illegal procedure penalties. There's not enough of a difference between Griese and Orton to allow me to take Tampa on the road. Take Chicago and the under.

St. Louis (+9) at Seattle
Through two weeks, the Rams have scored 16 points. Stellar job, well done Scott Linehan. Oh yeah, they've also allowed 79. This week, they drag their sorry asses to the land of Xavier McDaniel and Swint chick flicks as 9 point dogs. Both teams are 0-2 in the trifling NFC West. Seems like a fine spread to me. Oh wait, the Seahawks are starting Logan Payne, Courtney Taylor and Michael Bumpus at wideout this week. Three weeks ago Matt Hasselbeck had such severe back pain they gave him a spinal epidural. Linehan's club sucks, they probably lose, but they cover...and Lane Kiffin leaves Scott another profanity-laced 3am voicemail. Take the Rams (most likely the last time you'll hear that this year).

Pre-Pick Friday Filler

So, today is September 19th, which apparently means it's "International Talk Like a Pirate Day". Kudos to the two donkeys, errr pirates, who thought this one up 13 years ago, most likely after eating two dozen hash brownies and gorging themselves at Long John Silvers. In honor of this magical day, I of course found a clip for us:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Favorite Stat Lines of the Steroid Era

As we move forward from the age of Sosa, McGwire, Andro, BALCO, HGH, PED, OPP, et al, I thought it would be amusing to revisit some of the "juicier" (get it?) stat lines from the 1990's and the early naughts. It's important to note that not all of these sluggers have been painted with the skeptical brush of performance enhancing drugs. But their stat lines are staggering nonetheless. What's even more incredible is that we accepted most of these lines as somewhat normal at the time. When you take them out of context, they are even more unbelievable.

As we head into the final 10-12 games of the 2008 season, there is only one hitter with more than 40 HRs (Ryan Howard). Carlos Quentin leads the AL with 36 HRs, but he's done for the year. A-Rod and Miggy Cabrera are next with 35 and 34, respectively. We could have an AL homer champ with less than 40 HRs for the first time since Fred McGriff led the AL with 36 HRs in 1989. The Crime Dog was also the last to lead the NL in a year where nobody hit 40, hitting 35 HRs for the Padres in 1992. That guy deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Some of these lines are here because they seem impossible to comprehend (McGwire, Sosa, Bonds), some are here because they are damn impressive (Ramirez, Rodriguez, Belle) and the others are there because they are so ridiculously above the player's career averages that they seem almost farcical (Gonzalez, Walker, Burks). Many of these lines fit multiple categories.

Without further ado, here is a smattering of the ten most ridiculous stat lines of the Steroids Era(in no particular order).

Group 1: Unbelievable Seasons

1) Alex Rodriguez, 1996 Mariners: 54 2B, 36 HR, 123 RBI, 215 H, 141 R, .358 AVG, 1.045 OPS.
Amazingly well-rounded season from a guy who was 20 years old when the season started.

2) Manny Ramirez, 1999 Indians: 44 HR, 165 RBI, 131 R, .333 AVG, 1.105 OPS.
165 RBIs is the highest single-season total since Jimmie Foxx in 1938.

3) Albert Belle, 1998 White Sox: 49 HR, 152 RBI, .328 AVG, 113 R, 200 H, 48 2B, 1.054 OPS.
You can blame the juice, the anger, or his alternating first names, but Joey/Albert put up some big numbers in his prime.

Group 2: Impossible to Comprehend Seasons

4) Barry Lamar Bonds, 2001 Giants: 73 HR, 137 RBI, 177 BB, .328 AVG, 1.378 OPS
5) Barry Lamar Bonds, 2004 Giants: 45 HR, 101 RBI, .362 AVG, 232 BB, 1.421 OPS

I don't even know where to start on these seasons. I've read writers who claim that 2004 was as impressive as 2001 for Lamar. For the record, Barry holds the top 3 spots for walks in a single-season (his 198 walks in 2002 were the second-highest total).

6) Mark McGwire, Average of 1998-1999: 68 HR, 147 RBI, 124 R
7) Sammy Sosa, Average of 1998-1999: 65 HR, 149 RBI, 124 R
Unbelievably unbelievable to think that two different players would AVERAGE higher HR totals than Maris. Sosa also put together a mammoth 2001 season and averaged 61 HRs over a four-year stretch.

Group 3: More Than Just Creatine

8) Ellis Burks, 1996 Rockies: 40 HR, 128 RBI, .344 AVG, 142 R, 211 H, 45 2B, 1.047 OPS
9) Larry Walker, 1997 Rockies: 49 HR, 130 RBI, .366 AVG, 143 R, 208 H, 46 2B, 1.172 OPS
I'm sure it was just the altitude in Denver. Nothing else going on there. Just Burks, Walker, Bichette and Galarraga taking advantage of playing in the Mile High City. That's all.

10) Luis Gonzalez, 2001 Diamondbacks: 57 HR, 142 RBI, .325 AVG, 198 H, 128 R, 1.117 OPS
His career numbers were very mundane before the power surge he found in his 30's. He's now stumbling back into oblivion.

Afternoon Trivia Question

Courtesy of one DC Geofferson:

What do these four gentleman have in common? (other than the fact DC had never heard of any of them)

Caleb Hanie
Richard Bartel
Darrel Hackney
Kevin O’Connell

I think I found the next Paul Hogan

Man fined after ramming tree, poking koala

A former country Victorian teenager has been convicted and fined $2800 after he repeatedly rammed his car into a tree to try and dislodge a koala.

A court heard today that Brett Grant Seabrook, 19, had earlier found the koala at the base of a tree near his campsite in the Barmah State Park in northern Victoria.

Echuca Magistrates Court was told that Seabrook wrapped the marsupial in a blanket and released it in a tree at the campsite on March 22 this year.

Wildlife officer Greg Chant, prosecuting for the Department of Sustainability and Environment, said when the koala began to make a loud noise, Seabrook tried to retrieve it by poking it with a stick.

Mr Chant said Seabrook then rammed the tree with his Toyota Landcruiser utility, which was witnessed by a number of nearby campers who alerted authorities.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fashion is dumb

A model displays a creation from the Spring/Summer 2009 collection from designer Giles as part of London Fashion Week, in London, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008.

I mean, come on, what the hell is this Iron Man/Dark Helmet mash-up? Give me a fucking break.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bite Me, Randy Newman - All Comers Version

Because even though the song's about short people, we all know Randy hates non-conformity of any stripe.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP)—UNC Asheville’s Kenny George, at 7-foot-7 the nation’s tallest college basketball player, might not play this season because of a foot injury.

George had two surgical procedures on an infected right foot and remains in a Chicago hospital, the school said. The senior is not expected to return to school this semester.

Coach Eddie Biedenbach said George first felt discomfort last month during a camp in Las Vegas. When he returned to his native Chicago, a doctor recommended immediate surgery. George was the Big South’s defensive player of the year after helping the Bulldogs win a school-record 23 games and reach the NIT last season. George averaged 12.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks.
G:TB will be wishing and hoping for brother Kenny's speedy recovery, but we'll be prepared to pour out a magnum should he be shelved.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My horrendous eating habits are actually paying off?

Now this is the kind of scientific study I can get behind. Well done Oxford stiffs, well done.
Eating veggies shrinks the brain

MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87.

When the volunteers were retested five years later the medics found those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 were also the most likely to have brain shrinkage. It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.

G:TB Song of the...Time Period

This one's for the ladies.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gheorghe...meet Todd...

So I'm sitting on the couch yesterday afternoon earlier and I receive a call from an unfamiliar area code. Per usual, I sent the call to voicemail and didn't think much of it. A little while later, I decided to check my missed calls, of which there had been a few. As I got to the second message I heard an unfamiliar, yet extremely gruff voice say, "Hey Cumstain. I don't know who the fuck you are but I heard you were writing about me on the internet. This is Todd Bouman, call me back at (number redacted) and we'll talk. That is, if you're not too busy sucking some other dude's dick."

That was it. Obviously, I was shocked. How did Todd Bouman find out about last week's post? Furthermore, how the hell did he get my cell phone number?

I wasn't sure how to approach the situation so I waited until after I'd had a few drinks to call back. Within seconds I heard the voice from the message on the other end. It was Todd Bouman, I'd know that voice anywhere. I quickly asked him if I could tape our conversation. "Do whatever the fuck you want dickwad...just make sure this shit gets on your blog", he said. I tried to explain to him it wasn't exactly my blog. He quickly cut me off, "Shut the fuck up and listen asshole. I'm only talking to you because you can get my story out there. I don't want to know the details of your pathetic little life. Just fucking shut up and let me talk."

With that, Bouman started talking about teammates, opponents and, as he put it, "the fucking disrespect I've been shown throughout my decade in the National Football League". What follows are some of the highlights (Ed. Note: I've edited out any of my responses b/c Bouman just told me to shut the fuck up whenever I did anyway):

Daunte Culpepper: Dumbest fucking guy I ever met. He once tried to eat that chili pepper pendant of his on a dare. Said something like, 'I don't really even like peppers but shit, I can afford a new one.' He and Cris Carter would sit around and pretend to read the Bible but everybody knew neither of those waterhead motherfuckers could read. Fuck, Daunte could barely tie his shoes. He would just keep them tied and slide his feet in and out of his cleats everyday. One game, his shoe came untied in the huddle and he called two timeouts. Two. The first to ask our OC what to do and the second so Korey Stringer could help him with the bow. Fucking Stringer had been dead for 4 months already! Good God, what a mess. The only guy I ever met who was more clueless than Daunte was John Randle. But Randle used to sneak up behind people and pistol whip them with his cock, so I always thought he was pretty cool. Guy fucking broke Jake Reed's nose once...

Randy Moss: The only guy in the entire Viking organization who could find his dick with both hands, excluding Randle, obviously. He hated Daunte even more than I did. Randy and I used to always call Daunte "prison baby" in the locker room. One day at the team facility we did it for an entire film session...wouldn't you know it, the fucking twat started crying right there in front of the team. Of course, I'm not gonna put up with that bullshit, this is the NF-Fucking-L. So I walked over there and punched Daunte right in his fat fucking face, called him prison bitch. Ha! See what I did there? Anyway, I got released not too long after that. Whatever. Like I wanted to spend my whole life in Minnesota anyway. Right after I got traded, Randy told me he was gone too. No way was he gonna play for a shit box franchise like Minnesota for the rest of his career, he said. It took a while and he had butt fuck Tice's daughter once, well twice...he was smart enough to tape it the second time, but he got his ass out of there too, eventually.

Aaron Brooks: Man, I felt bad for Randy when he got sent out to Oakland. I mean, first off, its fucking Oakland. You ever been there? Its straight out of a motherfucking Mad Max movie or some shit. I swear to god I saw Tina Turner out there working the streets one time. I'll feed that bitch a piece of my cake...right? Anyway, I tried to tell Randy to get out of there immediately. That he should hit another traffic cop or something. Maybe get arrested beating off in his car like Eddie Griffin did that one time. Man, now that motherfucker could party. One time, me, him and Fred Smoot got these hookers...and...oh right...Aaron Brooks. Just a complete fucking space cadet. He had a pack of pit bulls. Like a dozen of them. He wasn't running a fighting ring or anything though. He was training them all for the Great Outdoor Games!?! I shit you not. He always talked about how Pit Bulls were these great natural athletes that had been oppressed historically by white people and how they would take over the 'dog sports' once they were given the proper training and competitive advantages. I think he was trying to make it some grand social statement, but I mean c'mon asshole, its a bunch of dogs. He didn't care though, thats all he did was work with those dogs. He wouldn't throw extra to Joe Horn until Joe would agree to take some of Aaron's dogs out to the dock to workout. I don't know if Aaron was crazy, stupid or just high on glue like Haslett always was but he was seriously fucked in the head. Nobody was as bad as Haslett though, that fucking meathead would do the weirdest shit I ever saw. He once picked up a cockroach off the floor and ate it at the end of his pregame speech. How the fuck is that supposed to fire me up? Deuce ended up throwing up all over the place. It was fucking disgusting.

Okay...thats it for now. I have a ton of other material from Bouman's phone call that I still need to listen to and eventually edit. He speaks candidly about David Garrard, Jack Del Rio, Brett Favre and a number of other topics. Honestly, this conversation went on for most of the second half of the Wisconsin-Fresno State game and, by that time, I was pretty drunk. Hope you enjoyed this inside look at the NFL. Enjoy today's Week 2 slate and I'll see you in the comments.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Props to the newest SNL member

If there's one thing we all like to do, it's watch SNL and rip into it. Most of us have done this for our entire adult lives, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Or at least until Lorne Michaels croaks. At least we have a TiVo or DVR these days to speed through skits, making the pain of a bad episode a little more tolerable.

If you're looking for a reason to get fired up for the 34th season of this show, I'd like to present this season's newest cast member, Bobby Moynihan. I am good friends with his sister, so I've followed his career for some time now. A few years ago, he was living at home, bartending at a Pizzeria Uno in Yonkers, NY and trying to make inroads in New York's Upright Citizen Brigade theater. Eventually, he started climbing the UCB ladder, starring with several improv troupes. He gained a bit of notoriety as a performer on Conan O'Brien show skits, he appeared in some ESPN commercials, and he has appeared in several hilarious YouTube clips, including the infamous "Bro Rape" skit below (the bearded guy in the middle of the clip).

Things have really ramped up for him recently. In addition to joining SNL, he is in a couple movies that will be out in 2009. One is a large role in a likely crappy movie (supporting Josh Duhammel in "When in Rome"). The other is a small role in an untitled Ricky Gervais flick.

He's a great guy who embodies the Gheorghian spirit we all strive to exemplify. Check him out as one of the "featured players" this Saturday ngiht. Hopefully he'll be a welcome reprieve from the shit-show that Michael Phelps will create.

Friday, September 12, 2008

G:TB's Week 2 NFL Picks

Yeah, so this rousing competition is tied after one week. It's a ratings bonanza. Anyway, I've got two picks from the home office, so we'll start with these...Dennis "The Greek" is up first:

San Diego at Denver (+1.5)
Mike Shanahan claims, this year, Jay Cutler moves into elite quarterback status (ahem, now that he has his “diabetes” under control). NFL coaches, and Shanahan to an extreme, usually downplay a team/player’s prowess to the media – if only to screw fantasy geeks across the country. So, when a coach slurps his QB publicly so early in the season I tend to believe him. And the proof presented itself to those of us that stayed up late to watch Cutler, without his best offensive weapon (Brandon Marshall), shred a typically stout pass defense on the road on opening night. So, let’s see…a proven running attack coupled with a lethal passing game – sounds like some touchdowns to us.

G:TB also loves getting points at home (in its season home-opener) against a team with banged up playmakers (LT/Gates are nursing injuries already and Phil Rivers is Phil Rivers) and a defense that just a week ago blew a lead to a team led by a QB coming off Tommy John surgery and a hysterectomy.

Golden Nugget of the Week – since 2005, Denver has NEVER lost as an underdog at home.

Broncos win 27-16.

And here is rob showing some faith in his ballclub...

New Orleans at Washington (Pick 'Em)
Things that could cause the Saints not to beat the Redskins by two touchdowns this week:
  • New Orleans sits out the 4th quarter in a show of solidarity with the team from the town that came so famously to the Big Easy's aid during the Katrina funfest. In which case the Saints would only win by one touchdown.
  • Chris Cooley's wife lures Jeremy Shockey into a dark alley (that one behind Mr. Days, probably) on Saturday night for a blanket party/dumpster stuffing, and the Saints' tight end doesn't get free until Monday morning.
  • Roger Goodell suspends New Orleans' entire defensive front 7 at halftime for violating the league's rules against excessive violence in the first half.
  • Jim Zorn implements the 'decept and deceive' offensive package he picked up during this week's mountain bike excursion with President Bush.
  • Saints distracted by Skins fan Geoff's fabulous slacks/shoes/belt combination.
  • Five words: Jason Campbell to Malcolm Kelly.
PICK: Not the Redskins, if you really need me to spell it out. And yes, my despair and disdain are clearly coloring this pick.

Mark and Rhym-O and perhaps even my lazy ass will have more picks later...here's Rhym-O:

Baltimore (+4.5) at Houston
We’re no Jimmy the Greek (though some of us drink as much as him), but we’re perceptive enough to know that sometimes a line just doesn’t look right. That’s the vibe we get when looking at this Week 2 AFC North battle. The Houston Texans, fresh off a three hour spanking at the hands of Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers, open their home schedule against a feisty Ravens squad whose defense seems to have woken up. Say what you want about Joe “The Delaware Destroyer” Flacco, he “managed the clock” and led the Ravens to a win last week. He may have posted Boller-esque numbers, but he didn’t throw any INTs and he ran for 37 yards (Translation – he didn’t kill them). The same can’t be said for Matt Schaub, who threw a pair of picks and was sacked five times last week. He won’t get much of a reprieve from the Steelers’ tough D when he lines up against the Ravens.

When you have a match-up of two mediocre quarterbacks, you have to look at the running game and the defense to decide the winner. G:TB like Baltimore’s McGahee/Rice/McClain* combo a lot better than Houston’s Slaton/Green duo. And we like the murderous Ravens defense over Mario Williams and company. Take the Ravens.

*We’re speaking, of course, about Le’Ron McClain, second year fullback out of Bama. Familiar with him before last week? Me neither. And, yes, an apostrophe comes before the second capital letter of his first name. As in D’Brickashaw. D’Duh.

Anddddd, here's Mark with his weekly shot at Geoffrey:

Atlanta (+7) at Tampa Bay:
Okay, let me get this straight. Geoff was so offended by my assertion in last week's picks that he "might" be gay that he decided to build his picks this week around a story about Steve McNair's junk. Nice work, Sparky, way to put those rumors to rest.

While I'm enjoying this little feud with Geoff, I'm already completely annoyed with the Bucs this season. First, they blow a completely winnable game in New Orleans on Sunday because nobody in their secondary could cover a single Saints receiver (did you see any of Brees' 3 TD passes? Greg could've thrown them...and we all know Germans can't throw for shit) and now Jeff Garcia and Jon Gruden are engagd in a public slapfight over whether or not Garcia is healthy enough to play against Atlanta. I have no idea who to believe here (One's a gay, the other's an asshole...put them together and you get Geoff!) so much like Brian Griese I'm going to have a few drinks and try and forget it all ever happened. Speaking of drunks, 'ole Matty Ice sure had a great debut last week, huh? Well, I hope he enjoyed it because he's facing a real, live NFL team this weekend and Greg White hasn't raped a white boy in DAYS. The Bucs aren't playoff bound this year but they ain't the fucking Lions either.
Give the points and take Tampa.

And my worthless afternoon contribution:

New England at New York Jets (-2)*
Picking this game sucks. It has been talked about so much I keep ending up on Antiques Road Show. Or watching the entire ShamWow! infomercial. Good shit right there...most powerful Towel I've seen since this guy. Anyway, with Matt Cassel at QB for the Patriots, and the Jetropolitans looking decent, if not necessarily good, on both sides of the ball for 50 minutes last week, I've gotta like the Jets here. (Yes, yes, the Dolphins were 1-15 last year and a guy with a paper mache arm almost beat them in the final seconds. But a win is a win.) Besides, I'm not a very good gambler, and a stat like this intrigues me: Favorite is 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings. Vegas is smarter than me. Jets by a TD in fact.

*Seriously, could someone finally explain to me how I write the point spreads when doing these picks? I am clueless.

G:TB Song of the...Timespan

Because there's no way we're disciplined enough to get things up on a weekly basis.

Here's Liam Finn, son of the brilliant Crowded House leader Neil Finn, with a song that captures how I feel on this Friday - beaten down, worn out, and needing a drink.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

America...F*ck Yeah

If this doesn't give you goose bumps, especially on this day of days, well just pack it in and move to Canadia you heartless bastards:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Any Way You Can Get It...

An article from today's Asbury Park Press, a local paper serving central New Jersey. Tremendously gross on many levels. And a strong example of how folks roll in Teaneck, NJ.
Bergen man to get time served for sex with corpse

HACKENSACK — A former lab technician who was caught having sex with a corpse in a hospital morgue is likely to receive time served as his punishment.

A judge on Tuesday sentenced Anthony Merino to seven years in prison. But under a complex plea deal, he will be able to seek a reduced sentence next month.He has already been in jail since his arrest in October 2007.

The 25-year-old had admitted sexually penetrating the corpse of a 92-year-old woman at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck.

A hospital security guard caught him in the act.Two psychiatrists said in separate reports that Merino needs psychological help and the plea agreement calls for therapy.

Why was the I Luv You not listed in Ludwig's records? And if it was, did he know about it? And if he didn't, who did? And where the hell was I?

Somehow, I imagine that is how many internet searchers feel when they finally end up on Gheorghe after minutes seconds spent on the Ghoogles. Here are the last twenty or so searches to lead people to the land of G:TB:

what does click clack mean
It means Under Armour's incessant marketing campaign has obviously missed you, dear Ghoogler.

theme song/You take the good, you take the bad,
Seriously, you needed the internet to help you with the theme from Fats of Life?

largest cheerleader
This is how Rhym-O first found his way here. True story.

its christmas eve in washington song
I hope this searcher found my hate post about this god awful song, and then torched their nearest all Xmas radio station.

Medical explanation McCain nervously rubbing his fingers
Um, we might not be the right source for this inquiry. Though I'm sure our tiny has a few thoughts on this.

dennis abreu
Sadly, not King of the Abreus.

mother monkees wite-out
Monkees Wite-out
Gheorghe: The Blog, providing obscure trivia answers since 2003.

when is cincinnati mayor mark mallory's birthday?
We sure as hell don't know. But we do know he throws the ball like a sissy.

this is ac oj
My kind of Ghooglers.

todd bouman
Look at Mark trying to increase page views. Attaboy.

kevin kline snl italian flatulence
Yeah, that's a nice pull from the past. Pretty funny.

horse whit no name
This made me laugh for no reason.

kerry collins monkey comment
Um, wow...not sure we covered this one. Mr. Packer, care to comment?

follow me to freedom
Best non-Ghorghe SportsCenter commercial ever.

sport camel toe
Gotta be a Rhymo-O post.

old girl gagged (bound,tied)
Sorry, wrong site. I think. I hope.

flux capacitor + time circuits
Now we're talking. Sadly, this interent searcher was really trying to make a time machine.

they come to snuff the rooster
Alice in Chains, the bronze medal winner to Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

where did Tavares Jackson play college
Suck U?

youtube yankees vs cereal box characters baseball
Cereal Box Characters 7, Yankees 3. Sidney Ponson beans Tony the Tiger in the 5th, inciting a brawl for the ages.

triumph the insult comic at the gnc
Now, I have no idea why Triumph would be at a GNC, other than to make the "Miralax, #1 fiber supplement...for me to poop on" joke. I can only guess this internet searcher meant Triumph at the RNC, which just so happens to be a clip Geoffrey sent me yesterday morning. Here it is for your viewing pleasure (look at that, I almost made it a whole post without a YouTube clip...almost):

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bunning Still Throwing 'Em High and Tight

Political affiliations aside, I love it when politicians speak honestly. It's so refreshing that it just makes my day. For that reason, we're shedding some light on the recent diatribe issued by Jim Bunning, a Republican Senator and ex-MLB pitcher.

The comedic aspect here is that Bunning's rant is closer to that of a crotchety old man who wants his early bird special discount even though he arrived at the diner after 5:30 PM. He has no idea how complex the current financial crisis is, but that doesn't stop him from demanding that heads roll.

The following excerpt is from a Bloomberg article that came out today:
Senator Jim Bunning said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, by rescuing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is acting like China's finance minister and both Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should step down.

"I sincerely believe that Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke should resign," said Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky on the Senate Banking Committee. "They have taken the free market out of the free market."

Paulson and the federal regulator for Fannie and Freddie placed the two largest U.S. mortgage-finance companies in a government-operated conservatorship on Sept. 7, ousting their chief executives and eliminating their dividends. Treasury also may purchase up to $200 billion of stock in the firms to keep them solvent.

"We no longer have a free market in the United States, we have a government controlled free market,'' Bunning said in an interview. Paulson, a former chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., "is acting like the minister of finance in China."

Bunning, 76, criticized Paulson's successful effort in July to obtain congressional authority to pump unlimited amounts of money into Fannie and Freddie to keep them afloat.

"When I picked up my newspaper yesterday, I thought I woke up in France. But no, it turned out it was socialism here in the United States," he told Paulson at a July 15 Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Following Paulson's Sept. 7 announcement of the takeover of Fannie and Freddie, Bunning said he now feels like a citizen of China.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I Bless the Rain Down in...New Jersey

This weekend has shaped up to be a god-send for married guys along the East Coast. The horrendous weather on Saturday, combined with a terrible slate of football games, presented many guys with a unique opportunity to sacrifice the day and line up a spectacular Sunday of sloth. By skipping Saturday's games and spending the day doing things around the house, I earned a free pass for a day of fatty foods, day-drinking (a Chimay at noon is just as delicious as one at 9 PM) and a slug-like residency on the couch.

Jets-Fins starts at 1 PM. Up here in the Northeast, that will be followed by a compelling Cowboys-Browns match-up at 4:15. There is also some women's tennis and a Mets-Phillies day/night doubleheader that will bridge the gap into the 8 PM game tonight.

A quick trip to the supermarket this morning has filled my fridge with hummus, cheese, crackers, pork products and chips. My son is about to take a nap, and my wife is at the mall. It's down to me, 75 ozs. of Belgian beer, a 42" HD TV and some NFL action.

Enjoy the games today gents. My sobriety is waning, but my excitement is cresting.

One last note: Let's pay tribute to Chad Pennington, who gave 110% for the Jets for the better part of this decade. Let's hope he does a little bit more to help them win today.

Friday, September 05, 2008

G:TB's Week 1 NFL Picks

Yeah, so we're "battling" the gents at the Wheelhome this season in a NFL picks competition. Trust me, it's just as unexciting as you might think. In fact, only two of us even bothered to do picks this week...our 5 games are below (though I think Dennis mentioned a 6th pick before he goes and plays 18 today). Enjoy...by the way, did you know G:TB is now huge in Finland?

Dennis grabs the microphone...

Arizona (+2.5) at San Fransisco:
There won't be a heck of a lot of defense played in this one. And, if you're the 9ers, not much offense either - with apologies to Mr. Martz. Bringing in Isaac Bruce's bones will make for a fun slurp fest at midfield during pre-game warm ups, but isn't going to help San Fran win this game. And I'm not going to even mention JT O'Sullivan.

Kurt Warner threw for nearly 500 yards and 2 TD's against the 9ers last season, and will likely throw for somewhere near 400 against his old pals in this one. He has arguably the best 1-2 receiving corps in the league and an underrated running game (how quickly we look past Edge's 1200 rushing yards last year) to keep an extra guy in the box.
Cards win big: 31-13.

And now Mark puts down the bong long enough to type some words...

Buccaneers (+3.5) @ Saints:
I was extremely worried about this game earlier this week when Gustav seemed poised to destroy what was left of New Orleans. I mean, I think we all saw how much winning a season opening football game could mean to the good people of the Crescent City. Well, not the real people within the city but the corporate big wigs and those from outside the city limits who could actually afford to go to the game because they weren't too busy salvaging the pieces of the broken lives out from diseased water. I mean, Harry Connick, Jr. cried on Tony Kornheiser's shoulder at least three times that fateful night. And then he brought a huge barrel of crawfish over for all his friends who still don't have a dining room table or a refrigerator to store their leftovers in. It was an amazing night. You should've been there. Me and Branford Marsalis got so high...Oh right, football. The Saints added Jeremy Shockey this offseason because Sean Payton has a hard on for side dishes on the offensive side of the ball. Now they've got another guy who can't be counted on to carry the offensive load but will certainly film a commercial for Get Out and Geaux's Used Car Emporium (think Eastern Motors with a touch more racism). I'm not buying a huge Saints resurgence this year but I also don't think that the Bucs can recreate last year's early season magic again. Not with Earnest Graham so worried over Teddy Dupay's rape trial and Chris Simms no longer around to administer pregame "massages" to keep Joey Galloway And Jeff Garcia relaxed. Tampa's defense will once again be stout but Barrett Ruud, Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber can't score enough to lead the Bucs to victory. Saints win, and cover.

Jets (-3) @ Dolphins:
Man, this is gonna be sweet. Well, not as sweet as the love that Lavernues Coles and Chad Pennington are going to make on Saturday night but still very, very sweet. You know what's fun to do whenever you watch a game featuring Chad Pennington? Make really girly sounds like, "ehhgh" whenever he releases a pass. It adds a level of comedy that really enriches the experience. I mean, it won't be as fun as reading Geoff metaphorically stomp his feet and pout like a spoiled 3 year old all year long as the Redskins roll up a 5-11 record, but it will hold you over until Monday morning when he jumps on the Wheelhouse and recycles the shit he heard on talk radio on the way into work. Just stick to talking about belts and shoes and handbags you closet case and leave the football analysis to Jerry. Annnyway, the Dolphins are gonna win 6 games this year and the first one is coming gift wrapped courtesy of drunk Uncle Brett (Does anybody really believe he doesn't drink anymore?) and the 3 picks he's throwing on Sunday. Dolphins, Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins number 1! God, I hate that fucking song.

Cowboys (-4) @ Browns:
If you haven't noticed, I'm doing most of the picks today. Why? Well, Rob's a lazy little dictator, TJ's hungover and Whitney's busy masturbating at Joe Strummer's grave. (I know...he's gayer than Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen combined.) This seems like the week's most interesting matchup on paper but I doubt it works out that way in the end. The Browns looked like a train wreck in the preseason and its too early for the Cowboys to feel the pressure and choke. I doubt things will be as bad in Cleveland Brown Stadium as they were during last year's season opener but I think the 'Boys will win this thing by double digits. On the bright side, one of my friends is a Browns season ticket holder and he says there's a strip club right around the corner from the stadium with NFL Ticket where all the strippers dress up in slutty referee and football uniforms on Sundays. Now, I'm sure they probably weigh a buck fifty (it is Ohio after all) but at least they aren't double fisting Salami sandwiches like the rest of the women within a 50 mile radius of Cleveland. Cowboys.

Vikings (+3) @ Packers:
Do you ever watch Intervention? That show is fucking awesome. Every week its some new basket case who can't get out of bed without drinking a liter of vodka, or smoking a gram of meth or inhaling an entire can of electronic duster. I shit you not. This one girl a couple weeks ago would knock back 8-10 cans of duster a day. She basically whored herself out for duster. I don't want to say I was impressed, but I mean you kind of have to admire somebody who's so dedicated to getting high. Its not just her either, all of the people featured on this show are fucking 'bout it. I feel like such a light weight whenever I watch this show. Hell, if I run out of booze or weed or scotch guard, I just cut myself. These folks just won't take no for an answer. Kind of like Brad Childress, this mustachioed asshole just refuses to admit he'll never lead the Vikings to a playoff victory with Tavares Jackson rubbing up on Matt Birk's taint every Sunday in the fall. With that said, the Vikings defense is terrific, Adrian Peterson's a monster and either Sidney Rice or Bernard Berrian are good for one deep ball a game so Minnesota's still the best team in this shit show of a division. Take the Vikings, and the under.

Game on Jerome and Geoffrey. Game on.

Who's excited for some football?

I think the answer is of course "every last f'ing one of us". We will have some picks for you later today, but in the meantime, I think I found the proper clip to kick off the season:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Who OKs this crap?

So the other day, I get a junk email from the local oldies/classic rock station BIG 100.3. Whatever, delete it as always....but wait, what's this you're promoting? New AC/DC? Awesome...hold on, am I reading this newsletter banner right? Either these people are the most callous folks in the world or just plain old stoopid:

The "Rock You Like a Hurricane" Edition? Seriously, this is what you came up with? First of all, the Scorpions are on Line 1 and they aren't happy. Secondly, I'm all for mocking hurricane victims, but even I wait at least a week. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Free Todd Bouman

With the NFL season nearly upon us, I've been moved to address an ongoing injustice that has gone unnoticed within the league for over a decade now. Of course, I'm speaking of the unjust oppression a once-in-a lifetime talent like Todd Bouman. Never before has a QB so charismatic, so gutsy and so utterly talented been forced to watch from the sidelines as lesser QBs played, nay, floundered where he would most assuredly have thrived.

Though he grew up in tiny Ruthton, Minnesota, Bouman's physical gifts were apparent from an early age as he was excelled in football, basketball and track & field, earning All-State honors in all three sports. Yet, in what would become a running theme, Bouman's prodigious talent was ignored and he was forced to accept a scholarship to tiny St. Cloud State. Not surprisingly, Bouman dominated the competition in college and caught the eyes of a scout for the Minnesota Vikings (who has since disappeared...entirely). Given a chance, which is all he's ever asked for, Bouman lit up the Vikings' training camp and made the squad. However, Bouman's joy at making the team would be short lived as he quickly realized that the politics that kept him from receiving major college scholarship offers were still in play in the NFL. Still, strong in spirit, Bouman continued to work each day to prove his worth to the Minnesota organization and was finally given an opportunity when Daunte Culpepper went down with an injury late in the 2001 season.

Like the true warrior he is, Bouman seized the moment and piloted the Vikings to a number of victories while also earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after lighting up the helpless Tennessee Titans defense for 384 yards (on 21-31 passing) and 4 TDs. Finally, after years of struggling and fighting the old boy network of the NFL, Bouman had proven himself. Certainly, no one would deny his talents now. On the contrary, fearing that the abilities of Bouman would make their entire organization look foolish, the Vikings quickly shipped him off to New Orleans where he would be forced to back up yet another inferior quarterback, Aaron Brooks.

This would be the beginning of a never ending cycle for Bouman. He would completely and totally annihilate defenses whenever given the opportunity, only to quickly be exiled by his own organization for fear of their incompetence being discovered. Bouman would be released by the Saints and bounce from team to team over the next few years, each time encountering coaching staffs that were frightened by his immense talents and unwillingness to subjugate his abilities lest he intimidate his fellow QBs and embarrass the receivers who couldn't hold on to his rocket propelled throws.

As time has gone on, things have only gotten worse, no longer were teams willing to keep Bouman on as a backup. After all, as a backup Bouman was but one snap away from taking the field and revolutionizing the game. Now, teams were employing him as a 3rd string QB, hopeful that the steady paycheck and dreams of finally taking his rightful place in the pantheon of great NFL passers would somehow keep Bouman from leaving for the CFL, where he surely would become the greatest passer in CFL history.

Finally, this preseason Bouman was making his move, refusing to let politics keep him down. He lead the Jacksonville Jaguars' backups to TD after TD while amassing an otherwordly 107.5 passser rating. Of course, Jack Del Rio being a long time member of the NFL hierarchy knew that he couldn't afford to have Bouman breathing down the neck of David Garrard, so he cut him while retaining the services of the underwhelmingly average Cleo Lemon. Bouman wasn't surprised, he knows the NFL's game and has vowed to continue to try and change the game from within.

Bouman recently signed with the Ravens where he'll sit behind dramatically inferior passers like Joe Flacco and Troy Smith all the while knowing that he could, no would, be the best QB in Baltimore since Johnny U, if he'd only get the chance. Will he ever be given the opportunity to shine like the bright, shining star he is? I wouldn't count on it my friends. The NFL is a dark, seedy world. A world that will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo that's kept this man down for years and years.

Yeah, the NFL is back but its not what we, the fans, deserve. Not as long as Todd Bouman's wearing a baseball cap and standing on the sidelines.