Sunday, July 20, 2008

Her Act Is Getting Old

Anyone that knows me realizes there are a plethora of athletes that I do not like. Generally, my dislike is a result of two things: the team the player plays for or being vastly overrated. In the case of Danica Patrick she falls into the second category. She has received attention for simply being a girl and for no other reason. It only took her 50 tries to actually win a race in a circuit that has not had very many competitors during her tenure. As far as I can tell she thinks that because she is the prettiest driver that she should get special treatment. Someone should let her know that being the prettiest race car driver is about as impressive as being the fastest placekick holder.

In addition to not being very good it appears that Patrick has Napoleonic Complex. If I'm not mistaken she got after a male driver because she got in a wreck earlier this year. I admit to not being the biggest race car fan but even I know there is a decent chance of wrecks when driving 200 mph and maintaining all of 2.64 inches of clearance between other cars. Then Patrick goes and wins a race in Japan a little while ago. Again, car racing is not my thing but I have never known people getting too excited about a race in Japan. If she was nearly as hot as she thinks she is the tape-delayed ratings for the race would have been greater than 0.00043, which translates into about three viewers.

All of this brings us to yesterday when she decides to go off on another driver by going over to her pit and calling her out for being too slow in practice. My new favorite driver, no idea what her name is, went on to throw a towel in Patrick's face two times within one minute. Only Danica Patrick would think it is a good idea to act like a jerk and then try to explain it away on TV today by saying she simply wanted to talk to the other driver. Who taught Patrick that it is appropriate to be really overrated and act like a buffoon at the same time? It must be a complete joy to be married to her. Nothing about her suggests she would give her husband a curfew, bedtime and allowance. Just a real sweetheart I am sure.

On a related note, someone should have told Patrick that her showing up in the front row of the ESPYS was a bad idea. My Gold Glove performance in left field at Kloss Field #2 on Friday night had a better chance of winning an award than anything she did last year.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Job Security

Sometimes you have to wonder if smart people run college athletics. Imagine this scenario in the real world. A manager leads a group of people to great success one year. Then the next year he leads nearly the exact same group with another year of experience to considerably less success. Those people that led the group the last two years have no other option but to leave so the manager is starting with an entirely new group this upcoming year. Recent history suggests this manager takes a few years to achieve any type of success with a young group. Would that manager get a contract extension and raise in the business world? I seriously have my doubts.

Well, if my Internet is working correctly it appears the UO has done just that with the men's basketball coach. All of the followers of this coach may counter that adding a year does nothing except make it easier to recruit. If that is so, why in the world did the UO decide to increase the buyout? Good luck to whoever has to live with that decision. Paying the debt service on a new arena with a team that is good every now and then and a coach that puts together an abomination of a home non-conference schedule shouldn't be too hard.

Beautiful People

I was fortunate enough to vacation at Squaw Valley last weekend and decided I would venture down to South Lake Tahoe and watch the celebrity golf tournament. I was only there for a couple of hours but did notice some things. Here are the items I jotted down in my phone as I walked the course:
  • First off, I recently moved from Oregon so I am not used to wearing UO gear (I had a black polo with a very small "O" on it, nothing obnoxious) and having people yell "Go Ducks" at me. After not saying anything to the first two people I texted a friend and he told me the appropriate response is to yell it back. That seemed to work so feel free to yell at me if you see me.
  • I am sick of Brett Favre so I don't think it was a coincidence that the first golfer I saw hit a driver was Aaron Rodgers. My only response is that the Packers must be confident he controls a football team as well as he pummels the golf ball. Absolutely crushed the ball the one time I saw him swing.
  • Someone needs to make sure Gene Upshaw, Director of NFLPA, is not one of the NFL veterans that can't afford medical care. He looked so frail that I am beginning to think all of the talk about current players wanting to fire him is not allowing him to eat and sleep as well as he should.
  • I have long felt that Packers fans were the most white trash fans in the NFL. Well, fortunately for the cheeseheads the Steelers faithful have taken that title. There were a couple of fans following Roethlisberger around like he was their best friend. The thing that made me doubt that was that one was wearing a jersey and waving a Terrible Towel. Another one of them had a sleeveless shirt and jorts. Need I say more.
  • The bronze medal winning white trash fans are certainly followers of the Cowboys. Romo certainly had a fair number of them following him around. Something about grown men dressing like their five-year-old son at a golf course makes me cringe. And please don't ask, I did not see Romo fall into a pond (wish I would have) or Jessica Simpson (plenty of pretty people in the crowd anyway).
  • You could notice a lot of the football players from a couple of fairways over because they walked like they had their shoes on the wrong foot. It really did not look all that comfortable and makes me glad my knees never had to take the stress.
  • I saw one of my favorite baseball players growing up, Darryl Strawberry. He was my favorite player when he played for the Dodgers, which was not very long. Unfortunately for me he wore Dodger Blue when I visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a kid. So the memento I had to get while there was a Strawberry T-shirt that looked like a baseball card. Picture on the front and stats on the back. Seeing Strawberry in person only made me want to revisit the Hall of Fame even more. There has to be a better souvenir.
  • The guys standing next to me as we watched Trent Green tee off were funny guys. They had great commentary for everyone in the gallery and the celebrities. When Green came by one of them commented on Green's propensity for brutal concussions and wondered if Green knew what green he was on. That pun is not nearly as funny in written form a week after the fact but believe me it was worth a laugh at the time.
  • Of course I saw Barkley's swing. It was so bad (far worse in person than on TV) I could only watch it once. I am a terrible golfer but if I had seen that even one more time I would have to quit the sport.
  • This was not a traditional golf tournament so there were a number of people in the gallery that had no idea what was going on. One lady was standing right next to the 17th tee (par-3 along the lake that is always shown on TV) and would not shut up. She was so excited to see a friend who was a member of the media shooting still photographs. You would think this lady being most excited to see a photog at a celebrity golf tournament would be reason enough to call her the biggest moron of the day. Well, what she had to say as I was trying to avoid her at the 16th green takes the cake. She asked her husband who of the three in the group putting was Marcus Allen (the former NFL running back). That was a legitimate question since his playing partners were Neil Lomax (former QB) and Jeff Feagles (NFL punter). They are painfully white and let's just say Allen isn't. You have to love when women ask stupid sports questions in public. It is as bad as guys asking questions about dress styles at a bridal shower.
  • Jim McMahon must have fit in very well at BYU in Provo, UT. When a guy that lived in Eugene for eight years is shocked by an outfit you have to wonder how he made any friends in college. There is something about an orange sherbet top and polka-dot pants that made me look twice.
  • Nearly all of the actors in the field were dinky guys. I don't think it was because they were hanging out with athletes either. Greg Kinnear looked to be about the size of my mother-in-law. And for all you smarty pants out there that simply means Kinnear had to have been beaten up in school because he is tiny.
  • No surprises here but one of the course volunteers told me John Elway was in one of two groups created for fan appeal. Elway is the greatest quarterback to every play football so the tournament director made a very wise decision.
  • Michael Jordan and Ray Allen (part of the other group created for the fans) were wearing Jordan XI golf cleats. For the sneaker folks in the audience that certainly is a bit of news worthy of getting excited about.
  • I ended up catching up with Barkley again at a point on the course where the back and front 9s met up. Luckily, I did not see him take a shot because he got sick of a sand trap about 120 yards from the green and decided to quit playing that hole just before I showed up.
  • Former major leaguer David Wells did not look as bad as I thought he would. When he was getting paid to be an athlete he resembled a competitive eater so it made sense to me that he would have gained 100 pounds. He actually looked just the same and had the back of his shirt untucked. I guess it goes to show that if you are left-handed you really only need to be worried about that one appendage and you will have a pitching job for many years.
  • In Wells' group was one of the greatest college coaches of all time, Lou Holtz. As a lifelong Notre Dame fan it was great seeing the last coach that took them to the promised land. To think that a man the size of Greg Kinnear coached football players is astonishing to me.
  • Say what you want about me but the most impressive thing I saw was Jack Wagner. From 20 yards away the soap star is quite an attractive guy. The flowing blond hair and baby face were quite striking. Rarely would I compliment a man for being good looking so you have to figure Wagner had his pick of pretty Tahoe ladies.
  • And that takes me to the one thing I learned by walking the course. Beautiful people follow celebrities no matter where they are. Lake Tahoe isn't exactly Siberia but it certainly is not Hollywood. There were a number of beautiful people strolling the course. So you know, the only beautiful male I noticed was Wagner so if you are a woman don't go thinking I am providing this information for your benefit.
  • That is about all I saw. Watching famous people do something they are not necessarily good at is not the most exciting thing in the world. I suppose if you subscribe to People and US Weekly something like this would be reason to cry tears of joy. If being around famous people does not really get you too excited then do not go out of your way to go. I did go a bit out of my way and if it weren't for wanting to provide you with an informative blog entry I would have felt I wasted my time.
  • You may be wondering how I knew it was time to go. That part was easy. When my boxers started to ride so much that I needed to leave the premises to take care of the discomfort I decided a trip to the parking lot was appropriate.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An All-Star Performance

I hate to embarrass people that are far better than I at a sport I played for my entire childhood but Dan Uggla deserves it. The game is no over (only the top of the 15th) but he has had an unforgettable night. Rarely does someone play in an All-Star Game long enough to pull off the double that Uggla has tonight. To this point he has three errors and three strikeouts. His errors were brutal. If I did not know any better I would guess he is a DH but since he plays in the National League I am left to assume he actually plays second base on a regular basis. As for the strikeouts, I do not think he has swung at a single pitch that was actually in the strike zone. Luckily for Uggla (oddly enough "uggla" is norwegian for "ugly") he came in the game in the 6th or 7th inning so much of the country has been asleep for his unprecedented performance.

(Photo from NL Beast.)

Jeter Is Bush League

Anyone with a brain realizes Derek Jeter is a fabrication of the media. There is no need for me to delve further into this because those people that allow the media to dictate what they believe cannot be convinced of the truth. Tonight's All-Star Game was an excellent example of Jeter's incompetence. A review of his night at the plate resembles a typical night for "the great one."

In his first at-bat he slapped the ball (If you did not see it picture a 10-year-old girl playing softball) to 2nd base and Chase Utley misplayed it. In any other stadium or uniform Jeter would not have been credited with a hit but of course tonight he was. If you think I am being tough on the perfume-wearing shortstop then take a look at Dan Uggla's third error of the night in the bottom of the 13th. In Jeter's second at-bat with runners on he hit a tailor-made double play ball to shortstop. If I hit infield practice to a high school team for an entire season I would never be able to give the shortstop such a perfect ball to practice starting a double play. Then in his 3rd at-bat Jeter decided to pull off his signature move: a one-hopper to the pitcher. I have never been able to figure out how someone could be considered clutch for hitting very weak grounders up the middle. When I do that in summer softball games I get ridiculed by my teammates and rightfully so.

What really set me off tonight was a simple replay shown in the 6th inning. The announcers said nothing about it but that does not surprise me. Hanley Ramirez, without question baseball's best shortstop and it is not even close, was on first. Chase Utley hit a ball down the right-field line and as Ramirez was rounding second base Jeter went to second base acting like he was going to receive the ball to turn a double play. Since Ramirez is older than six he was not tricked but it showed the true Jeter. Contrary to what the media wants you to believe I am convinced Jeter is totally classless. He is all about himself and would be the friend that would not think twice about sleeping with your girlfriend/wife. Stay classy Jeter, all of the pathetic people that think the media is objective will make sure your image remains pristine.

Yankee Stadium Made The Babe

I have watched nearly every pitch of the marathon All-Star Game, which is in the 13th inning as I type. There have been more mentions of Yankee Stadium than outs in the game. I get that the stadium is old and the Yankees have played their home games in it but is it really that big of a deal that it is closing? Furthermore, does Joe Buck have to mention every 7th pitch that the stadium is closing after this year. I kid you not, my wife commented that she is sick and tired of hearing about this being the last season. She has watched no more than two innings of the game. Joe Buck has been jabbering so much about the archaic structure that I am beginning to think that the inanimate building is the reason that Babe Ruth exists and not the other way around.

Just because it is the home stadium for one of two teams that the media cares to talk about does not mean we have to talk about it incessantly. We are all smart enough to deduce that if Yankee Stadium is closing at the end of this year, this is the final All-Star Game being played there. Perhaps some of my anger directed at the blabber about this being the last year is that I am jealous. As an Oregon alum I have long wished the men's basketball were consistent enough that folks would decide a new arena is in order. It seems like it will happen but I'll believe it when the hippies get out of the way and let the structure be built.