Recently in sports Category

Perhaps he expected to hunt quail after the game?


Anyone? Anyone at all?

patriots fans' nicene creed

We believe in the Patriots, the One Team Almighty, the takers of trophies.

We believe that the Patriots are the true Team of true Teams, above reproach in all things.

Toward that end, we also believe that illegally videotaping other teams' signals was of no competitive advantage whatsoever, which is why the Patriots took the risk of doing so at the cost of fines and their #1 draft pick. Obviously.

We believe that Tom Brady, our wide receivers, and our running backs are less capable than Ravens and Colts defensive players of noticing that a ball is illegally underinflated.

We believe that the equipment manager called himself "the Deflator" because he's a fattie trying to lose weight.

We believe Tom Brady when He says that He didn't know the equipment manager with whom He threw footballs during pregame warmups for over a decade.

We believe owner Robert Kraft when He says the Patriots did not deflate footballs, for if you cannot believe an established Cheater about cheating, whom can you believe? Seriously, we defy you to name a higher authority. Go on. We'll wait.

Because the Patriots didn't deflate footballs, we believe the Patriots immediately canned the equipment manager's say it's because he's fat.

We believe that Patriots running backs who leave for other teams see their fumble rate go up 38% because those other teams overinflating their footballs.

We believe that the noble martyr Robert Kraft isn't appealing His team's punishment because it's what's best for the league and because, as He Himself decreed in a written, prepared statement, "I have a way of looking at problems that are very strong in my mind."

We believe that anyone who doesn't share these beliefs is just jealous of our trophies, even the teams with more trophies than us.


When Randy and I start talking about football, his wife, Stephanie, looks at her watch and then zones out. Ten minutes later, she interrupts.


It's fair. We get to talk about football for a bit, and she gets to hear us stop. She hasn't the slightest interest in football nor anything else I like.

Steph is a gardener and vegetarian, and her kids go to one of those hippie schools where they learn about feelings instead of monetizable skills. She's sweet, she's gentle, and for some reason that eludes us both, we get along.

It was a considerable delight this week, then, when the first text I received about Deflategate was from her.


Non-Bostonians, enjoy.

victim of the week: tom brady

Rewarding achievements in claiming victimization

In January, a Colts defender intercepted a pass and noted that the ball provided and used by the Patriots was underinflated. An NFL investigation showed that yes, almost all of the Pats' balls were underinflated. What's the competitive advantage there? The ball is easier to throw and catch, and fumbles become mysteriously rare—right up until the same running back goes to the Bengals and his fumbles soar, anyway. More to the point, it's against the rules. It's cheating.

All eyes turned to Tom Brady, who did himself no favors by disavowing all knowledge and saying he had no idea who the equipment manager was after having thrown footballs with the guy during warmups for 15 years. For good measure, when the NFL asked to see his related text messages, Mr. Brady declined.

As a fellow cheater who's incapable of manning up and admitting it, I understand completely.

But then Brady's agent unleashed this:

"What does it say about the league office's protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation."
Pretty much, buddy, yeah. They got a tip your client was cheating, and then they sought the proof. Sorry about the whole absence of "Hey, just a heads up, if you were planning on cheating this weekend, we're going to be trying to catch you. Cheers!"

I'm sure when the police get a tip that a suspected serial burglar is going to hit house x on Friday night, the very first thing the cops do is call the robber and warn him of their surveillance that night.

Never forget: Tom Brady is the real victim, here.

shower thought

The San Francisco 49ers desperately need to name their cheerleading squad the Gold-Diggers.

There are a lot of things I'd like to say to Seahawks instafans today. But no treatise about brand-new jersies, about fans celebrating themselves instead of the team, or about their team's appalling lack of class in both victory and, now, defeat really sums up my feelings quite like this simple statistic:

The Super Bowl had higher TV ratings in Pittsburgh than in Seattle.

oh come, let's sing ohio's praise

I almost went to Columbus to watch the championship game, and now I rather wish I had. 40 fires set on campus, mass tear-gassing, armored personnel carriers....I have to stop. I'm getting all homesick.

My favorite of the stories: students broke into the dormant stadium and tore down the goal post. These are my people.

black sheep

My sister chided me at the Ohio State/Michigan game. "I cannot believe you're booing the Michigan band," she said, face in hands.

"The only reason I'm booing is because I don't have any 9-volt batteries," I explained.

drunky brewster

I'm over drunks.

I bought a pair of club seats for this football season, the idea being that I would treat new Pittsburgh friends to a game and thereby purchase their affections forever. The reality, of course, is that half of my tickets went instead to freeloading existing friends. And precious nil went to hot 22 year olds with brown ponytails and daddy issues. It's a world gone mad.

The other half did, in fact, go to new Pittsburgh friends. Prior to yesterday, the last two went to strangers who got plowed. Not just happily buzzed, but "(Nudge nudge) Watch me fuck with these people who just want to quietly sit here in their $500 seats and watch the game. (Obnoxious fuckery) That was awesome! I am awesome! High five!" obnoxious. In other words, I have subsidized the kind of fan conduct I truly despise, and they have repaid my kindness by ruining the good time of all in their field of view. Which unfortunately included me.

"Who are you taking to the final game?" asked Lizzie, a recovering alcoholic who's one-year sober.

"You. Definitely you."

glory days

This recent photo of my old basketball court features a steel beam too intimately acquainted with my left knee.

I was in the best shape of my life. Through hard work and my innumerable natural gifts, I had elevated my basketball game to "not always a liability." We were playing four on four on that old asphalt court, the threads of chain nets hanging from the now-gone rims. This was a brutally rough court. Blood flowed freely, not all of it mine.

On this day, I was leading a fast break.

Ahhhh. Let me type that sentence again.

On this day, I was leading a fast break.

One more time. Pardon my indulgence.

On this day, I was leading a fast break. I passed back and forth with the guy on my wing (who I'd like to say was d'Andre, but let's face it; the man was no doubt standing doubled over behind me, hands on his knees, gasping). I decided to lay it in myself. I beat my guy off the dribble, leaped for the rim, and for some inexplicable reason entertained the notion that I was capable of changing hands while mid-air. I was going for exactly this:

What actually happened was that I sort of schlubbed the ball in the general direction of the rim and, still at full sprint, rammed my extended knee into the solid iron pole. It didn't make the resounding GOOONG! sound a hollow aluminum pole would make. It instead made the exact same sound as a cantaloupe being dropped 20 stories on to pavement.

I could not stand, not that I tried very hard. The boys carried me and my broken patella home, depositing me on my couch unceremoniously and returning to their game.

"Did I make the shot?" I asked, hopeful.

Such a cruel, cruel laugh ensued. I had hit the bottom of the backboard, and the ball had ricocheted off and hit my head.

2 games, 12 touchdown passes, 0 picks

Half of my readership is non-American, so I've refrained from writing about football. But for the sake of posterity, allow me to note that in the Steelers' 80-something years of history, their quarterback has thrown for 5 touchdowns only six times. Four of those were Roethlisberger. And three of those, I've seen in person.

Whatever else happens this season, I've seen something truly historic.

in case you missed it



seahoax. seafaux?

A funny thing happens when the Seahawks make the playoffs. Seattle people who never before showed any interest in football suddenly want to talk about football. This includes the local media. Ordinarily, I'll go entire weeks during the season without hearing the Hawks mentioned, but these last two weeks, they've been the lead story. Well, maybe not the Seahawks, but certainly the wonderfulness of their fans.

My housecleaner came on Saturday with her boyfriend, who sometimes helps. He's a pleasantly dumb, 20 year old puppy whose only flaw is a desire to chat me up. On the upside, he's tall enough to fold blankets without dragging them through dog hair on the floor.

When they arrived, I was watching football. I turned it off in favor of putting on her favorite music.

"You don't have to do that," she said.

"Oh, he doesn't care about the game," he answered. "It's not the Seahawks!"

Don't say anything, John. Don't make eye contact.

It didn't help. He latched on to me. I wrote down what he said, because I wanted to be sure I got it right: "We don't usually watch football. But now that the Seahawks are in the playoffs, we're huge fans. Otherwise, it's like, you know, what's the point?"

You can't make this stuff up.

kordell thrills one last time

Dearly departed (meaning we hold his departure quite dear) Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart showed up last week. He hasn't played for the Steelers for seven years, but he wanted to retire a Steeler, so they signed him to a one-day contract and he hung up his cleats.

"Kordell wasn't already retired?" millions asked, me among them. I would have thought that my last thought on the issue. But it wasn't.

The next day, I was listening to Stan Savran's talk show out of Pittsburgh, and he was discussing Kordell retiring a Steeler. He was surprised the ownership cooperated. "I know for a fact that Mike Tomczak asked to retire a Steeler, and the Rooneys said no."

God bless the Rooneys, and god bless Kordell for allowing that 4-hour grin to happen.

or a woman, which is three

I go back and forth on which of these clips is more unintentionally funny.

Deacon Jones strikes a blow for equal rights.

Antonio Cromartie names his kids.

Gentlemen, you are aware of what cameras are for, right?

don't not tell we more

LSU football player Morris Claiborne made some news recently when he scored an appalling 6/50 on the NFL's verison of an IQ test, the Wonderlic. (For contrast, Super Bowl champ Eli Manning scored a 39.) Here is his rebuttal.

"That test don't tell me who I am and what guy I am and what kind of ability I have. I looked at the test, and wasn't any questions about football. I didn't see no point in the test."

on being a steelers fan

I've been listening to a lot of off-season chatter about the Steelers' needs. The conversation turned to quarterback. "They're not going to go after a QB," the analyst said, "unless Ben—"

This is a sentence that for 31 other teams ends "—gets injured."

On my team, however?

"—does something profoundly stupid."

Yep. I'm so very proud.

A bunch of us were eating sushi in San Jose last week. My buddy mentioned my retirement fantasy of getting a condo within walking distance of Heinz Field.

"You want to retire to downtown Pittsburgh?" the big boss asked incredulously.

I shrugged. "Walking to Steelers and Penguins games and even Pirates games? Sounds like a pleasant way to run out the clock to me."

There was a silence. Then Andy piped up. "That is simultaneously the saddest and coolest thing I've ever heard."

good stuff

Longtime Stank troll Tommy sends in this web comment about Peyton Manning's release:

"I haven't been this surprised that a quarterback got released since the cops let Ben Roethlisberger go."

cringing chuckle

The new coaching staff at Ohio State has wasted no time rekindling the contempt toward Michigan that was the norm when I was a kid. No one refers to them by name. They are simply the school up North.

This sign just appeared at the OSU football facility.


God knows I love making fun of the Harvard of Western Southeastern Michigan, but 24 Communication and Family Resource Management majors? Really, Ohio State? If you had a rhetorician in your ranks, I think he would have advised you to focus on 4x the engineers, 7x the biologists, and an 8-0 record in business majors. Alas.

unbridled jealousy

In my lifetime, the three most highly regarded college quarterbacks entering the NFL have been John Elway, Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck. Also known as the Colts' draft picks in 1983, 1998, and 2012.

We Kordell Stewart and Sage Rosenfels fans wonder: do the Colts have vibrating horseshoes eight feet up their asses?

annus horribilis

And with that, my football season comes mercifully to a close. I have never been so grateful for the final gun to sound. Not even when winning Super Bowls. It was that miserable a year.

On with the Urban renewal in Columbus.

hollywood intervention: sports programming

Dear Networks,

How are ya.

Know what I love best about seeing games in person? You can't guess from that headline, there? Right. In a stadium, I am not captive to the wit and wisdom of whatever mush-mouthed former General Studies major you just hired. (Which isn't to say he ever got his degree in General Studies, mind you.) There are but a few play-by-play guys who add value to the broadcast. There are fewer color guys. I humbly submit that rather than hire people who are below bar, you simply let us listen to the stadium announcer. Save yourself a few shekels. Save us from hearing Phil Simms say "What this team needs now is to drive down the field."

hollywoodint.jpgWeird angles
You love the ground-level view. I love it, too. But I decidedly do not love it during live action. On a goal line stand, I do not want the right tackle's back blocking my view of the ball. On a ground ball, I do not want the first baseman's back blocking my view of the ball. Ground-level view is for replays. Likewise with the end-zone/baseline view. The standard viewing angles were settled upon for a reason; the other angles suck bilgewater.

There's one thing worse than you using weird angles, and that's you cutting to one in the middle of a live play. Seriously, what are you on? Why not just suddenly obstruct my view with a lens cap? It couldn't be any worse.

This is directed at CBS' football coverage. Stop centering the camera on the ball. I need to see the defensive secondary. I decidedly don't need to see the rolling waves of empty grass behind the QB where the fullback used to be.

If you want to have the stupid yellow and blue lines for those who can't do base-10 math, fine. But is it too much to ask that the down and distance be visible? When you superimpose it on the same field that the players run around on, guess what happens to its visibility? Please make the down and distance and play/shot clock at least as omnipresent as your goddamned network logo.


watch it before the nfl takes it down

And the clutch-peeing award goes to...

Kudos to him if he was able to get a stream going in front of 65,000 people.

just wow

And in a walk, the most uncomfortable Amazon listing of all time is...



When a football player goes down, it's not uncommon for the other players, from both teams, to kneel together and pray.


And then there's also this.


What does the body language say to you? What I hear:

Seahawks: "Man, those red-eye flights mess me up. It'll be five days before my sleep is right, you know?"

Steelers: "Careful, Maurkice. You almost stepped in something."

mark sanchez

I see that NY Jets QB (and all-around princess) Mark Sanchez proclaimed the Jets' defense even better than that of the '85 Bears. Presumably he says this based on his being born in 1986 and thus being something of an expert on the era.

fearless prediction for 2012 nfl draft

If Peyton Manning's neck surgery means that the Colts tank and get to draft Andrew Luck, I will plotz.

moron taxonomy
stupid church signs
super bowl xl officiating
percy chronicles

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