Friday, December 4, 2009

The List

I woke up today not wanting to get up, but I had to because I had to go to a boring 8am class in which I didn't even do anything. So basically it was a waste of time. But out of this waste of time the idea for this article struck me as I overheard a girl in my class talking to her boyfriend. We were doing presentations in this class and each student had to present a movement in a sport. So with sports and girlfriends/wives on my mind, I came up with this concept. We're going to simply call it....The List.

The list is a composition by yours truly that is going to consist of every single sporting event throughout the calendar year that a true sports fan should have the ability to watch. There are no excuses to miss events on this list. I don't care if your wives' best friend since she were 2 years old has scheduled their 3rd marriage on the day of a sporting event. I don't care if your wife wants to have a day with her family (my in-laws) because you haven't seem them in a while. I don't even care if you tell us that we're stupid boys and threaten to break up or divorce us. We're still watching them, because they are on The List. I will also go over some proper etiquette that you females must conduct during our time watching everything on The List.

Now, before we get into The List, let me lay out some ground rules/statements. In no way shape or form is this an attack at you, ladies. This is just a testament, a factual document, an informative piece, dare I say....a marriage saver, that is going to help you be a better girlfriend or future wife. If you abide by the guidelines on The List, and support your man's fetish for watching sports 24/7 like watching their first child when they sleep, you ladies should be A-OK.

Every now and again we like our significant others to actually watch the game or event with us. It's great to include you girls in our sports lives because you don't want to be that girl who's at a get-together at our friends house and all of the other wives and girlfriends are name dropping like they were Howie Schwab (Stump the Schwab). You don't want to walk up to a conversation and the girls are saying names like, Peyton Manning, Lebron James, Alex Rodriguez, Alex Ovechkin, Tiger Woods (the females don't exactly like Mr. Woods right now), or Adrian Peterson, and you have no idea who those athletes are. So, we'd like you to take a decent interest in our sports. Please don't take a COMPLETE interest in our sports because us guys do need some time to ourselves to shout curse words, scream at the TV, eat garbage food, and put our hands in our pants during the games, without getting ridiculed. So let's try to keep it to 2 questions per half, 3-4 comments about the hott-ness of a player per game, and only 1-2 dirty looks per evening.

So now without further ado we are going to pronounce The List. Bare with me ladies and gents.

Disclaimer: I should also mention that The List is subject to change whenever I feel like it, or if I miss a particular sporting event.

The List

The "I Can Miss Them, But I'm Going To Be Pissed at You for 3 Weeks" events:
  • Baseball: We are allowed to watch every game of our favorite team.
    As well as every playoff game leading up to the World Series. If our team is not in the playoffs we can miss these, but we will be pissed. (May-October)
  • Hockey: Any game involving Alexander Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby. These aren't that bad to miss because nobody likes hockey anyway. (May)
  • Hockey: Stanley Cup Playoffs. Personally I don't think they matter until the Finals. (May)
  • Soccer: MLS Championship and National Team exhibitions. (All Year)
  • Olympics: Any event that doesn't include the National Basketball Team (Every Four Years)
  • NBA: The NBA Draft. Don't get it twisted ladies, we will miss this for a dinner date with your friend, but just take into account that we aren't speaking for three weeks after. (June)
  • Tennis: Any time Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play against each other. This one might be a 5 week ban, ladies. (February-September)
The "Only Way I'm Missing These Events is if a Distant Friend Dies or My Mother Tells Me She's Going To Kill Me if I Don't Do Something" events:
  • Baseball: All seven games of the World Series, regardless if your team is in them or not. (October)
  • Golf: Anything that Tiger Woods plays in on Sundays. (All Year)
  • Golf: The US Open, Master's, British Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. There is no way we are missing these events as long as Tiger Wood's is alive. (January-October)
  • Olympics: The US Men's National Basketball Team's games during the Summer Olympics. Let us show our patriotism ladies, comon'. (Every Four Years)
  • Documentaries: Any documentary that regards a favorite team/player/event of ours. (All Year)
  • NBA: Regular Season match ups on Wednesday and Thursday nights. There's no way I'm missing Kenny and Chuck on TNT, Thursday nights. (October-June)
  • NFL: Preseason Games of our Favorite Teams. (August)
  • College Football: Any Top 25 match up, or any game your favorite team plays on Saturdays. (September-January)
The "Only Way I'm Missing These Events is if Someone We Know That's Close to Us Dies and/or Has to be Rushed to the Hospital, or My First Child is Being Born" Events:
  • Soccer: National Team Games that are meaningful. (All Year)
  • Soccer: Any world cup game. (Every Four Years)
  • Soccer: World Cup Championship Game. (Every Four Years)
  • Tennis: US Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open. Trust me ladies and gentlemen, Tennis is much more exciting then you think. (February-October)
  • Tennis: If Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi ever make a comeback, there's no way were not watching. (Whenever)
  • College Basketball: Top 25 match up during the regular season. (October-March)
  • College Basketball: March Madness bracket selection show. God I love this. (February)
  • NBA: Playoff games that don't include the Finals. (May-June)
  • College Football: Any Bowl game that I have a vested interest in. Deal with it. (September-January)
and now.....

The "Absolutely Can Not Miss, No Matter What the Circumstances are" events:
  • College Basketball: Any game of March Madness. There is nothing we love more as sports fans than filling out a bracket, sitting at home from 12pm-11pm watching nothing but upsets and Dicky Vitale screaming. "It's March Madness baby!!!" all day long. This includes every round of games and the Final Four. (March)
  • College Basketball: National Championship game. I don't even have to explain this one. (March)
  • NFL: Sundays from September to February, us guys need our time from 11am to 11 pm. I call it the 11-11 rule. We need to watch every single game, have 3 computers in front of us to check fantasy scores every single second and there is no way shape or form we are missing our favorite team's game that week.(September-January)
  • NFL: Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, and Saturday Night Football. (September-January)
  • NFL: Any Playoff Game in January, especially if our team makes the playoffs. There really is nothing that you can tell us that won't get us to watch this game. If you're rushing into labor....they better have a TV there, that's all I'm saying. (January)
  • NBA: The NBA Finals. Regardless of the teams that are playing in it. (May-June)
  • NFL: We Conclude with the Superbowl. This marks the ultimate can't miss sporting event. If you're going into labor you better hold that baby in until the 4th quarter is over. I'm sorry, that's just how it has to be.

Now that The List has been established, I urge all females who have a loved one or a significant other who loves sports to print this out. Put it on your wall. Put it at your place of work. Tell your girls about it. Tell your students. Tell your grandma. Make copies for your entire family. I don't care how you spread the information. It will give you at least something to talk about with your girlfriends. Maybe you'll talk about how ridiculous I am, maybe not. All I know is that The List has been made, and the men have spoken. Good day, and Good Luck.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day to Be Thankful

Apparently today is a national holiday in which people all across the country are stuffing their faces with massive amounts of food, drinking all 561 flavors of Sam Adams, taking unexplainable naps after eating, watching football from 12:30-10pm, and enjoying the company of their families. Oh, and it's a day to be thankful too.

So before everyone starts their day with their respective families, I think it's time for you all to know the top 10 things that I'm thankful for...

Number 10: I am thankful for the ability to watch football ALL DAY on thanksgiving. Too bad my Italian family will be so loud that I won't be able to hear Joe Buck's monotone voice or Phil Simms talk about his mother's peach cobbler.

Number 9: I am thankful for the fact that my Cowboys play EVERY thanksgiving day. I am not thankful for the fact that I have to watch a bottom 5 team play them every year on this day...thus leading to a 20 point blow. My cousin Vinnie (no not the movie), and I had this brief conversation this morning:

Vinnie: Yo who are the cowboys playing today?

Tom: The Raiders

Vinnie: Great, cant wait to watch these games today, seriously why can't they schedule good teams to play on thanksgiving its the perfect holiday too watch football and we have to watch the Raiders.

Me: (At a loss of words)

Oh, we get to watch the Lions too.

Number 8: I am thankful for Thanksgiving day food. But not your traditional Turkey and carrots. I'm talking about that classic Italian gravy ( it's called gravy not sauce you morons) that my grandpa is going to make because to be honest...I'm not too fond of Turkey and an inordinate amount of vegetables. It's almost too healthy.

Number 7: I am thankful for Peyton Manning, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, and (gulp) Tony Romo. Be because if these guys didn't play in the NFL, I don't know If I would watch. <--That might be a lie. Actually, it's definitely a lie. Number 6: I am thankful for Bill Simmons. Not only does his columns and podcasts get me through the week, but his new book The Book of Basketball got me through the morning of boring-ness leading up to the games today. It's 760 pages long. I'm on 101. Its taken me a long time to get to 101, I'm figuring by 2011 I'll be done.

Number 5: I am thankful for Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard. Just for the simple fact that they make my favorite sport exciting and because I'm running out of things to be thankful for. Am I close to one yet?

Number 4: I am definitely NOT thankful for Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett. Between the two of them I've already lost 5-7.5 years on my life. Now I'm going to have to actually work out when I'm 50 to get those years back.

Here's an idea Wade...just stay home and eat turkey today. Let Jerry just hire a "closer" coach...kind of like Mariano Rivera. A one day contract for Bill Cowher to come in and coach the thanksgiving day game. Why is this so wrong? I just want to know what it's like to have a coach that actually has a pulse.

Number 3: I am SOOO thankful for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This game will single handily be the reason that the graduation rate of college students will go down by 25% this year. I mean who wouldn't rather drop a tactical nuclear bomb on a bunch of little 12 year old kids whose parents shouldn't have bought the game for them, yet they allow them to play and get screamed at by 20-something college kids who use ridiculous profanity and talk massive trash. (Yes, yes I do this. Don't think less of me.) Shoot, that reminds me, I have some papers to do.

Number 2: I am thankful for the fact that Tony Romo is going to have another fantastic game on Thanksgiving today, only to lead us into the "I looked great for 3 months and in reality I'm really just fooling you all to think I'm a good QB" mode. Tony Romo is like that 3 year girlfriend you've had that just isn't interested in you anymore but she keeps leading you on until she finds another guy. Can't wait for a 1-4 December, Tony!!

Number 1: Of course last and not least, I am thankful for my family and friends. There's nothing better than spending the day eating and watching football with the people you love. Everybody enjoy the day with their loved ones, Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Infamous Mid-Season Awards, Sort of

Three weeks is unacceptable. Completely unacceptable. That's all I have to say. There's no way a blogger with such popularity and rapport as myself should be on a three week hiatus (can't you just smell the sarcasm?) But then I think about how college professors seem to not care about anyone but themselves, so they don't coordinate with one another and almost always schedule every project and paper known to mankind to be due during the same week. I mean, god forbid they had an organized system so kids aren't jumping out of windows due to stress. Do they not know that October is the busiest sports month of the year? So on their unknowing behalf, I do apologize for the hiatus.

I thought that since we are beyond the half way point for the NFL, and every team has had at least 8 games, it may be time for the infamous Chit-Chat Sports Mid-Season NFL Awards. I'm just warning you before we go in, these awards are more classified then the Oscars. I mean they're harder to get in advance than a copy of a bootleg Jay-Z CD. So with that in mind....let the award show begin...

The Least Valuable Player (the LVP):
Larry Johnson (, Cheifs) - Has anyone made less of an impact this NFL season? Did he do ANYTHING productive? He brought his coaching staff down, knocked teammates, made racial comments via twitter, played like he didn't know how to play football, and actually wound up causing Todd Haley and his wife to get a divorce. Ok... so I made that last one up. But seriously, what hasn't Larry Johnson done to harm this team this year. In my opinion, he is the clear cut LVP.

The "Worst Coaching Decision of the Year, and Quite Possible The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Seen" Award:
Andy Reid vs Dallas Cowboys - Andy Reid sucks. He just flat out sucks at game managing. He has ALWAYS been this bad. If you listen or read Bill Simmons work this week he has a conversation with's Mike Lombardi about HOW BAD Andy Reid is a game manager. They proposed the Idea that they hire a 'closer coach.' This coach would come in for only the fourth quarter situations and finish out the game, much like Mariano Rivera. I feel like this could work. Andy goes strong 7-8 innings, and you bring in Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan as your 4th quarter coach. Why wouldn't this work?

The "Wow I Can't Believe I Passed Up On You in My Fantasy Draft" Award:
Tie: Ray Rice (Bal) and Cedric Benson (Cincy) - The two biggest fantasy surprises this year, by far. For me, Ray Rice isn't as much of a surprise as Cendric Benson because I watched Ray Rice at Rutgers for 4 years and could have told you he was going to be an impact player. I'm sure everyone and their mother are kicking themselves for not picking Cedric Benson as their sleeper pick. I still don't believe that he's good. Are my eyes playing tricks on me?

The "Safest Fantasy Performer Every Week" Award:
Reggie Wayne (Indy) - Every week I'm waiting for Reggie Wayne to have a normal off day. But plain and simple, he doesn't have them. It is so frustrating to NOT have him on your team because he is a guaranteed 17-20 points per week. It's really incredible.

The "Wait, He Really Does Suck That Bad" Award:
Terrell Owens (Buffalo) - I don't really know how I feel about T.O. He played for my Cowboys, I have his jersey, but I just don't think I like him. But there is one thing I do know....he doesn't have it anymore. He's lost his ability like Sammy Sosa's lost respect for his African heritage. (<--Please click that link guys. It's worth it. Trust me. Just do it.)

The "God, I Can't Believe He's Actually This Good" Award:

Peyton Manning (Indy) - He's the best football player in the National Football League. That's all you need to know.

The Skip Bayless, "I Talk Way Too Much, But It's Extremely Entertaining" Award:
Chad Ochocinco (Cincy) - Just a few quotes to emphasize his award: "You might as well Just Kiss the Baby" "Child Please" and my recent favorite said this week about Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor, "He couldn't stop me if I was inside a paper bag, inside a phone booth, tied around the phone wire." Haha, the Chad is great.

The Al Davis Award for the Most Consecutive Horrible Decisions a Team Can Possibly Make:
Al Davis (Oak) - This man has no business owning a team in the NFL. Let me list just a few of the decisions he's made:

Tom Cable
Darius Heyward-Bey
Jamarcus Russel
Randy Moss for 4th round pick
Art Shell
Darren McFadden (sorry Darren)

Need I say more?

The "Where the Hell Did You Come From Award":
Miles Austin (Dal) - FROMMMMMMM...Monmouth baby. New Jersey stand up. I love that Miles Austin is good. I love that he's making the T.O. decision a non issue. I love his number. I love that I saw him at Bar A in New Jersey. I love that he smiles on every catch. I may just love him in general.

The "I May Actually Not Be A Bust" Award:
Vernon Davis (SF) - Ever since that benching one year ago by Mike Singletary, he has turned his life around and is now a captain of this team. He's also the best TE in the league right now in terms of yards and touchdowns. Job well done Vernon. Too bad his QB is.....

The "I Probably Am a Bust" Award:
Alex Smith (SF) - The thing that messed up Alex Smith was Norv Turner. Alex Smith was actually becoming a good quarterback and then Norv Turner decided he wanted to become a head coach of a 14-2 team, I can't really blame him. Since then Smith has been horrendous. I actually drafted Alex Smith as a backup quarterback a few years ago in fantasy football. Wait, did I really just say that? We must be coming to a close....

The critically acclaimed, Most Valuable Player Award (MVP):
Drew Brees (NO) - He's unbelievable. Everyone says he has so many weapons, but he really doesn't. He has Marques Colston and Reggie Bush. That's it. He makes the rest of those guys, the Robert Meachem's, the Deverey Henderson's, and the Pierre Thomas's better. And that is the definition of a true MVP. You have to make the people around you better. You have to command leadership and command respect. You have to be the person that keeps defensive coordinators up until 3 in the morning every night. That is what Drew Brees is, he's the MVP so far.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Two Part, Turnpike World Series Preview

Finally, after 4,860 games from 30 teams: We have the World Series that we had all hoped for. We have the two Juggernauts of baseball. The two cities, separated by 26 exits of Turnpike through the great state of New Jersey, will indeed give us the World Series that we could only wish for at the beginning of the season.

Now this World Series preview is going to be a two part piece, courtesy of the two most entertaining, unknown sports blogs this side of the Toms River. I am going to write about the Yankees side, breaking down match-up favors for them, and basically telling you why the Yankees will win the series. My colleague over at ShoreThing Sports, Mr. Phil Shore (being a die-hard Philly fan) has humbly agreed to give you the Phillies side of the series, and he is going to tell you why the Phillies will win this series.

So for reasons (that obviously no one cares about because it's the Phillies) go over to ShoreThing Sports for an excellent Phillies preview.

Now on to the real reason why the twenty of you who regularly visit this blog are here. This match-up may very well be the most talented World Series across the board that we've seen this decade...or further. You have the most feared lineup in all of baseball, and a National League lineup that hits like they belong in the American League. You've got two of the games top 5 pitchers starting game 1.

(Quick Side Note: Thank you so much to the front office of the Cleveland Indians. Look at what you've given up for the cities of Philadelphia and New York to enjoy. C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee starting game 1. Kudos to you guys.)

You've got the most dominant closer in baseball history, against the sketchiest (yea, I just said sketchiest.) You've got the two single most passionate fan bases out of all cities that house a professional sports team. I was listening to 660 WFAN on my way home this morning and they brought up a point that needs to be portrayed to the rest of the country. When you come up to the northeastern part of the United States....sports just mean more. It's too hard to comprehend for people outside of NY, Philly, Boston because they've never experience what it's like to follow teams in this part of the country. There is an aura about the teams, the stadiums, and the fans that can only be seen here. While I'm not condoning the other major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and St. Louis, but there is nothing like rooting for a team in this part of the country. Trust me, it's just different.

Now that I've given as much props as I can to the city of Philadelphia (ugh)...It's on to why the New York Yankees will win their 27th World Series title.

1. Mr. November

The man formally known as A-fraud, A-Roid, and a non Yankee has single handedly carried this team to the World Series (with a little help from number 2.) Alex Rodriguez has been as good as anyone could have imagined, given his previous post season woes. As long as number 3 is in the lineup you have to pitch around him. You figure that the Yankees are going to get runners on base, so it is indeed tough to pitch around A-rod, which is why he has been so successful. All I know is, if I'm Charlie Manuel, I'm not pitching to the guy.

2. The Captain

Aside from A-Rod's 'on another planet' performance we're witnessing, Mr. Jeter, the captain, continues to amaze even the loyalist of Yankee fans. Think about this for a there anything that he could do, that you wouldn't expect? He gets clutch hit after clutch hit, he hits home runs, he fields excellently despite the naysayers, and to top it all off he is the best leader in all of baseball. Derek Jeter has been the epitome of what a Yankee is from day one. No one in the world has more postseason experience and success then number 2.

3. C.C. (CAN COUNT on) Sabathia

If you don't watch ESPN's First Take and you don't know who Skip Bayless is than that joke isn't really funny. But for years he has called C.C. Sabathia, "Can't Count On" Sabathia. Nothing makes me happier than when Skip Bayless has to eat his words. C.C. is an absolute horse, he can start on 3 days rest, hell I wouldn't be surprised if he started every game. The guy doesn't wear down and he's best when it counts.

4. The Gold Glove First Basemen

Anyone want to question the move to sign Mark Tiexiera now? Regardless of what he's done with the bat in the post season, the Yankees are in the World Series in large part to his defense. Tiexiera is a human vacuum, nothing seems to get by him and with a heavy lefty lineup coming to town with Howard, Utley, Ibanez, and Rollins the Yankees are going to need him more than ever.

5. Brad Lidge

I was going to go with all Yankees for my reasons, but this one was too noticeable to pass up. How do you have a closer that has an ERA over 7. 7!! Seeing what the Yankees do to opposing bullpens, the Phillies better hope that Cliff Lee, Pedro, and Cole Hamels are giving them at least 8 innings. All it's going to take is one hit from someone in the Yankee lineup off of Lidge and his confidence will be completely shaken again. Don't forget that one of his many blown saves this year came against the Yankees in walk-off fashion against A-Rod.

6. Enter Sandman

How could I not close this up with the best closer of all-time. Very simple. Mariano enters the game. The other team doesn't score. All the Yankees have to do is get the lead in the 9th inning and then......ENTER SANDMAN.


The series is exactly what we all wanted. We wanted the two powerhouses. We wanted the glits and glamour. Well now we have it. Time do deliver boys.

Yankees in 7.


NBA preview coming Friday. Stay Tuned!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

"There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now." - James A. Baldwin

Nothing quite like starting a sports column with inspirational words.

So often in sports, and more so now than ever, we tend to remember the current and ignore the past. If you presented this theory to a history professor or a history major they'd laugh in your face and say that is the worst way to predict what can possibly happen in the future. Over the past 230 years that this country has been a country, one trend has been consistent that we can base our future projections on: History always repeats itself.

So why, in this day in age, do we always focus on the "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" rather than looking into the past to get more accurate results? If our history is our best educator than why is everyone so hung up on what happens that day?

Myself, along with nearly everyone in the sporting world, is a victim of this disease. In the four major sports, NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL we base our thoughts about a particular player or particular team on what they have done recently. This has never been more prevalent than this year's NFL season.

It starts with the media. We all love to see what the media has to say about every team week in and week out, and we're supposed to believe what they tell us because they are the "experts." I, for one, fall prey to this week in and week out. For some reason we're all addicted to what they have to say. The problem is that 90% of the analysts and media outlets focus on what happened in the past week. I know I harp about the Cowboys week in and week out, but they are the perfect example.

Heading into the season, Mr. Romo was supposed to be a top five quarterback in this league and he sure looked like it after week 1. Then the Cowboys go into week 2 and lay an egg in Jerry's new stadium. After that game Tony Romo went from being the 5th or 6th best quarterback in the NFL who can potentially win a Super Bowl, down to a middle of the pack quarterback and the Cowboys season was finished because he could never win the big game.

After a win the next week, they head into an undefeated Denver Broncos stadium and once again Mr. Romo decided to lay another egg. Throwing an interception and missing throws all game.

The point I'm trying to make is that nearly everyone of our athletes across the league is under a "What have you done for me lately?" microscope. Carson Palmer was an elite quarterback before his injury. So when he came back everyone was saying that he'll just be average and he's lost his ability to be a great quarterback. His team is 4-1. Now everyone is judging Tom Brady, saying that he has lost some ability to play quarterback. Well, yea the man sat out an ENTIRE YEAR of football. Why are we so quick to judge what he's going to do after 5 weeks? Carson Palmer has come back from a similar injury and is now playing at an elite level. So why do we think Brady won't do that as well?

This epidemic is league-wide. People are now beginning to question whether or not Jeff Fisher is a good coach in Tennessee. The media outlets and bloggers are critiquing him and saying that his job may be in jeopardy because his team is 0-5. So because his team is having a rough stretch you fire a coach who's lead this franchise to the playoffs 6 out of the past 10 seasons?

Fantasy Football has made this epidemic grow even more rapid over the past years. This year players like Matt Forte, Clinton Portis, Tony Romo, and De Angelo Williams are being scrutinized by everyone who owns them saying that they've lost a step and that Romo can't lead a team without T.O. I guarantee you that the three running backs mentioned will all have 1000 yards and Romo will still finish with 30TDs and 3000 yards. Those are all solid fantasy numbers right? Maybe it's time for us to focus on what our past will tell us and give these athletes time to perform.

But this is how our society is. We're prisoners of the moment. We're captured by the now. In a world of real-time updates and ridiculous news reports about completely irrelevant topics (See: Favre, Brett), in a world of Twitter and Facebook, in a world of iPhone applications and Blackberry updates, and in the world of Fantasy football fans do not miss a beat. There is no cure for this epidemic, it has to start with ourselves. Maybe we should look into the past for more accurate answers as to what is going to endure in the future. But for now were going to be living in that "What have you done for me lately?" mindset.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Order Up Another Pie!!

"Start spreading the newsss, Im leaving todayyy
I want to be a part of it - New york, New yorkkkk...

These vagabond shoessss, are longing to strayyyy
Right through the very heart of it - New york, New yorkkkk..." - Frank Sinatra

There is nothing quite like the sound of Mr. Sinatra. There is nothing in baseball quite like a walk-off win. There is nothing in baseball quite like the Yankees. There is nothing in baseball quite like the playoffs in New York.

Well last night we got all four....and what a treat it was. When you start to hear the music blaring from the thousands of speakers in the New Yankee Stadium, and you see AJ Burnett, pie in hand, make a B-line straight toward Mark Teixeira, you've got to be watching Yankee playoff baseball.

Last night's game was just awesome. As a writer I try to always find creative adjectives and descriptive words to explain a situation that I'm talking about. But I just could not find a better word then, awesome. Everything about the game was awesome. We saw two great pitching performances on both sides. We saw a team score and then the home team come right back in the bottom of the inning and score to keep pace. We saw Alex Rodriguez come through in a (gulp) clutch situation with his first RBI.

(Side note: After this hit, I texted my boy and fellow Chit-Chat Sports' half-ass contributor, Showtime, and said, "Can I now use the words A-Rod and clutch in the same sentence?" Little did I know this would lead to an even bigger circumstance later on.)

So we get to the bottom of the ninth, and if you've been a Yankee fan the past 10 years, you know that these situations (especially with A-fraud coming up) seem to never work out for us in the playoffs. But if you've followed this team all year you know that something is different with them. They have that swagger and confidence every game. They believe that no matter the score, they can still win this game.

These moments almost always seem to come down to Alex Rodriguez. If you could somehow look up a stat on how many times a player has been up in "clutch" situations, Alex has to be the leader. And in the past he has struggled tremendously. So when Mark Teixeira got the lead-off single, you just knew something was in order.

I posted a comment on facebook saying, "Comon A-rod, for once be clutch in your life."

Seconds later, I'm watching Clutch-Rod (as my boy Ski now calls him) trotting around the bases after tieing the game at three with a two-run home run.

At first I was stunned. Maybe he should have started dating Kate Hudson years ago? She seems to have straightened him out, and most definitely will not be trying to lose this guy in 10 days. But that's neither hear no there. I digress.

The magnitude of that home run will be overlooked of course by the actual Walk-off winner, Mark Teixeira, however the bigger story is that proverbial "monkey" that seems to be off Mr. Rodriguez's back. He seems calm and confident, even if he strikes out a couple times, he is showing that resiliency to be a clutch hitter. This may lead to the most important thing to come out of this game if the Yankees are to get to the championship this year.

Of course I didn't forget about my man Teixeira, who I bashed for days on end in the beginning of the season. But I knew he could do it all along. :) What a moment for him to earn his pinstripes.

And of course the night wouldn't be complete without the AJ Burnett pie festivities. I never understood why we call it a pie to the face, when it's really shaving cream. But I'm not complaining, I'll take all the pies they can whip up. Hell, I'll even buy the Barbasol....LET'S GO YANKS!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Monday Morning Blues

During my entire existence on this gracious planet, I have seen hundreds of football games. From pee wee to high school to college all the way to the grand-daddy of them all, the NFL. I've seen nearly every situation a team can go through, every off-the-field incident a team can endure, and every high or low that a fan can possibly live through.

However, yesterday was the last straw for me...

If you didn't already know, I am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. I bleed blue and no one in the state of New Jersey is a bigger fan then I am. I stick by my team despite all the heckling and trash talking that comes my way (and it's a ridiculous amount, because I live in a state that is 75% Giants fans, but 80% of those fans became fans right after they won the Super bowl....great fan base guys!) Week in and week out I hear it from all angles. When the Cowboys win, it's never good enough. "Oh, well they're supposed to win, Oh Romo still sucks even though they won." And if the Cowboys lose, it's a feeding frenzy..."Wow man the Cowboys really suck, God they are so bad, those Cowgirls suck." But it's OK because I deal with it, realizing that the people who talk trash to me don't know half as much as I know about football.

Through all this I've stayed upbeat, realizing that it is just a game and there are things in life that are more important than football.

But I'm here to tell you now....I am done rooting for players that don't care about it's fan base or what that star represents on the side of their helmet. I'll still root for this team week in and week out, but why invest so much stress and time into a team full of players, that do not even care if they win or lose? 90% of the players on the Dallas Cowboys are there because they have been blessed with unique abilities, but don't play with any heart. They are there to collect a paycheck and go home to their million dollar mansions.

It all starts at the top in this organization. You have an owner who wants to win so badly that he'll do long as he can control it. So he goes and hires a puppet coach who he can control and do whatever he wants...a coach who could not coach his way out of a paper bag. And now you have a "head coach in waiting" in Jason Garret. Supposed to be regarded as the top offensive mind in all of football, yet he can't get his "star" quarterback to prepare and study the way a starting quarterback should in this league.

Now, this leads me into Mr. Romo. I have defended Tony Romo from Day 1. I've stuck with him through every snap, argued against every moron that said that he sucks and he could never win a big game...WHEN HE'S ALREADY WON BIG GAMES. (He's won at Giants Stadium, Philly, Indianapolis, Green Bay, all numerous times) But this is a "what have you done for me lately" league, and everyone forgets what happens as soon as the next week's whistle blows. I've stuck by all of Romo's off the field antics, with his girlfriends, vacations, other sport ambitions. I've always supported him as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys....until now.

I can not root for a quarterback that routinely, week in and week out, fools his fan base into believing that he is genuinely trying to get better each week. The reality is that he doesn't care enough about the game of football and his fan base. Sure, he says all the right things after games, but he doesn't go and act on them. Tony Romo needs to call up Peyton Manning and have a long talk about what it takes to succeed in the NFL at the quarterback position. Even though Romo has only been in the league 3 years as a starter, he's been around long enough to know that what he is doing is not working. It's time for a change Mr. Romo.

So until this team starts caring about how they play on the field, and they figure out what that star on the side of their helmet represents, I'll be watching with a cautious eye. I won't be fooled by a joke organization again. Start showing some heart, and some fight, and that's when you win back the fan base that you men have destroyed.


Just some quick notes from the weekend...

Relax Jet fans. It was one game against a top 5 team. Mark Sanchez will be fine, you guys are going to win at least 8-9 games. No reason to start calling for Rex Ryan's head, because you know that's what the New York media is doing today. Id rather have a young quarterback who cares about winning then to have that bum down in Dallas.

The Giants beat up on another horrendous team. So they've beaten 4 teams that have a combined 4 wins? And had to go down to the wire with the Cowboys despite getting 4 turnovers? Hope you can sleep at night Giant fans.

Peyton Manning is the best player in the NFL. From when he wakes up in the morning to when he goes to bed at night, that man breathes football. Colts fans really need to just appreciate how great of an athlete they have.

St Louis, Washington (despite 2 wins), and Tampa Bay are the three worst teams in football. It's not even close.

Who Ya got tonight? I'm going Vikings in OT. It's tough for any team to come in and win at Minnesota...but the Packers...on Monday Night. That place is going to be rocking. Vikings 30-27.

Monday, September 14, 2009

O.T.L. for the N.F.L.

Oh Thank the Lord for the National Football league. That's what my title stands for if you had trouble interpreting. I realize that may be corny and it may turn some of you away right out of the gate, but I have no other words to describe the utter joy and happiness that I am experiencing now that the NFL is under way and 1 week is in the books.

This weekend was like Christmas day, only it was 85 and Sunny and there were no tangible presents being distributed. However, in order to give you the full experience of the day, I felt that I should give you one of my world famous running diaries. And in the words of the ever-so-witty Bill Simmons, this is what transpired...

9:00 AM EST: I hoppppppppeeeddddd up out the beddddddddd...turn my swaggggg- alright thats enough. But you get the idea. You know when you wake up as easy as riding a bike's going to be a good day.

9:30 AM EST: Driver and Pitching Wedge in hand, and I'm off to a little morning Driving range session with my boy Joe. For some reason, Sunday Mornings are so much easier to do anything that involves you being an athlete. It's very relaxing.

10:02 AM EST: Buckets purchased, tees set up, and the first ball goes off the back of the 200 yard net. Oh the Joy of whacking balls, golf balls that is.

10:15 AM EST: Joe and I now planning out the day leading up until the 1:00 PM start times. This is what we came up with:

  • 10:00-11:00 Golf

  • 11:00-11:45 Tossing the the old Pigskin around on Highway Lagoon (more on this later)

  • 12:00-1:00 Sunday NFL Countdown, talking fantasy, setting lineups, and placing bets that have 75-1 odds of happening (MUCH MORE on this later
11:00 AM EST: After a bucket and a half down for each of us at Mr. B's we head to WaWa because neither of us can go another second without downing a WaWa Ice Tea.

11:45 AM EST: After downing the WaWa, a 15-minute relaxation period, a 10 minute speech on how Mark Sanchez is the best QB in the NFL from Joe and my cousin (just arrived) it's out to the street to throw the football.

Now if you've never been on Joe's street, and I'm guessing 100% of you haven't. You should know that it's on a Lagoon and it contains a cold-a-sac (<---I'm not even spell checking that word). So in theory you would think that there would be no cars coming up or down and we would have the street to ourselves. Now, for some unforeseeable reason, EVERY SINGLE TIME we go out to play a sport, there is always a minimum of 20 cars that drive by. It's unbelievable. And the worst part is, it's un-solvable, kind of like global warming. I swear next time we are going to buy Road Closed signs. Now you know why we have dubbed his street, Highway Lagoon. I digress....

12:30 PM EST: We got alllll sorts of parents roaming the living room so it's very hard to place illegal bets down when you got rents' all over your case. But me being the experienced veteran, I get it done. Just for the record this was my bet: $5.00 to win $350.00

  • GB -4
  • Minn -4.5
  • Broncos - WIN
  • Dallas - 6.5
  • Philly -2.5
  • Seattle -7
12:45 PM EST: It's setting description time. Let me break it down like a fraction for you: OK we got the main TV with Direct TV Sunday Ticket. But that game will only see the Jets game because two die hard Jets fans are here. We bring in a second 36 inch flat screen (no big deal) to throw on the 1:00 FOX game and of course, it's my Cowboys. WaWa food, 2 TV's, Sunday Ticket, 3's gotta be September.

12:59 PM EST: Just barely get the fantasy lineup set. It's at this point that I think that I'm OK for this week. I'm playing my Uncle who was 2-766 last year and has only one year of fantasy experience under his belt. Little did I know this would not turn out well....

1:15 PM EST: Kind of a slow start for the games but all of sudden Mark Sanchez completes his first pass anddd......THE JETS WON THE SUPERBOWL!!!! Jet's fans never cease to amaze me. They need a ring so bad, even worse than Eli Manning needs a receiver.

1:45 PM EST: Ummmmm. Carolina are you alive? I thought at first there was a mistake on my fantasy screen. I'm playing against the Eagles Defense and they have 27 points. IT'S NOT EVEN THE SECOND HALF!! I swear to god if this is how I lose week 1 in fantasy I'm going to lose my mind.

2:15 PM EST: Cowboys using all three running backs on the first couple series'. Love it. However, kind of a sluggish start for the Boys'. Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature, and that's an understatement. He might finish with 200.

2:30 PM EST: Halftime of the first half games. The Jets (gulp) are up 10-0 at half AT Houston. Cowboys lead, Vikings lead, Denver leads, and Philly is up 31-10. The stars may be aligning here.

2:45 PM EST: Just want to check in and let you know that the Eagles have now scored 33, I repeat 33 FANTASY POINTS!!! Jake Delhomme, just go home, don't ever return to the NFL. I'm down 88.36 - 24.45. I'm the two time defending champ. WOW.

3:15 PM EST: I may be conceding defeat in Week 1 of fantasy. Plus my cousin and Joe are dishing it to me because I'm getting shellacked. Great, I can feel the day starting to turn for the worse.

3:45 PM EST: I can't believe the Bengals are about to ruin my bet. Denver leading the whole game 6-0 and the Bengals are about to go in.


And they're in. It's at this moment in time that I decided to use a few choice words that are not appropriate for publication. But it rhymed with, gluck you Cincinatti, and gluck Ochocinco because he's a Glucking glassbowl, I can't believe I'm going to glucking lose on a pullship play.

..Something like that.

3:48 PM EST: We switch back to the Jets game because we see that Denver basically lost......then I turned to my computer and saw that Denver was up 12-7. I said nah, that's must be a mistake...

......and then we saw it.......

.....the MIRACLE PLAY OF WEEK 1.....

Kyle Orton drops back...throws a bomb to Brandon Marshal.l only to be tipped by a defender, and scooped out of the air like he was catching a bouquet, by Brandon Stokeley, for an 80 yard Touchdown. OH MY GOD....I can not believe that just happened. I retract my previous statement about the Bengals...I love them!

4:00 PM EST: Time to wrap up shop and head to my Grandparents for a birthday celebration. Eagles scored 43 Fantasy points against me. Sick. Cowboys win, jets win, Broncos win, Eagles win, Vikings win, Drew Brees throws 6 TDs. Now I just need Aaron Rodgers to throw 7 TDs tonight and Seattle to cover and I'll in fantasy and win my bet that I placed. Back later


8:30 PM EST: I return after a glorious day of football, all the stars are aligning for this game here. I'm down 50 in fantasy and need GB to cover 4 and I'll win. Not to mention I have Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings in fantasy. Let's go.

9:00 PM EST: Very Very boring first quarter. Please god get better quick or else I'm going to have to watch the VMAs instead of just flipping for when Beyonce comes out half naked.

9:30 PM EST: Everyone's Facebook status is about Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift. Does anyone know there's football on.

9:45 PM EST: OK now there is a legit reason to not watch 10 minutes of the game. Beyonce just came out in a half bathing suit, half - nothing ensemble. This isn't fair. It's like watching your best fantasy player getting down to the 1 yard line and not getting in EVERY TIME (Deangelo cough). That's how I feel about Beyonce. You feel like you can just get so close but you know you will NEVER EVER EVER in your life have her. I digress.

10:30 PM EST: Aaron Rodgers is going to ruin my day. Ruin fantasy and ruin the bet. What a B.T.J.F. Big Time Jerk Face

11:30 PM EST: Now Green bay loses the lead and the cover. Jesus Christ. The only hope I have now is that Green Bay some how comes up with a miracle play in which they go for the TD instead of settling for the game winning field goal.

11:42 PM EST: AND IT HAPPENED!!! Rodgers to Jennings!!!!! and the 2PT conversion for the cover!!! Oh I LOVE THE NFL. Who cares about Fantasy when you win $350.00 opening weekend.

And on a final note.....OH THANK THE LORD FOR THE NFL!!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Sports Enthusiast's Ode to Summer 2009

Well, well, well. Look who's back. I know what you're all saying, well at least the 6 of you who consistently feel bad for me and read the blog: It's about time! I don't even know where to begin, seeing as that I missed the entire summer after I started my Top 5 Friday segment. The last real article I wrote was a running diary of UFC 100 on July 11th. July 11th!!! But this is what happens when you work every single day on an ice cream truck, end up finding a girlfriend, school starting up again, and having to be the commissioner of the sickest fantasy football league this side of the Toms River. Basically I have no time.

But now we here at Chit-Chat Sports (basically myself and a rare showtime appearance every 3 months to make himself believe that he's important) are back and better than ever. I'm going to try and keep it to a two column a week blog. The Friday segment, Top 5 Friday, is still going to be running and the other column will run on a Monday or a Tuesday.

So as our triumphant return continues I decided to give you all my recap of the summer since the last time I left. So this is my Ode to the Summer of 2009, or should I say, The Summer that Wasn't, at the Jersey Shore.

1.) What in the hell snapped with the Yankees. They go from 3 games under the Red Sox to now 7.5 games ahead of the Red Sox and have the best record in baseball. Wait, I can be excited about a Yankee post-season? It's been awhile.

2.) Really felt bad for Andy Roddick at Wimbledon. Roddick played the match of his life, had the win in the bad in the 2nd set and the 5th set, but just couldn't escape that gigantic shadow cast over him that is Roger Federer. 16-14 in the 5th set really? And now he just got bounced at the US Open. I hate to say it but I think that was Andy's chance and he missed the boat. As long as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can still hold a raqcuet, Andy is not going to win a major.

3.) I'm so happy. I repeat...SO HAPPY!. That I wasn't writing during this entire Brett Favre drama. Brett Favre is like herpes. You can't get rid of him, and his drama flares up from time to time. Someone get Minnesota some Valtrex.

4.) What in the world has happened to Tiger Woods? I mean seriously, he was the most invincible athlete of this generation. When Tiger got a lead in a major it was all over. Now he is missing putt after putt after putt to the point where he's going to give Skip Bayless a heart attack. Tiger will also remember the Summer of 09 as the Summer that Wasn't.

5.) Plaxico Burress pleads guilty and gets 2 years in jail. He had a 3 month jail sentence in the plea deal he declined months earlier. HAHAHAHA

6.) This NFL season has all the makings of the craziest season yet. Even crazier than last years' season. The fantasy football drafts this year are by far the hardest in the past 5 years because picks 2-10 are a crap shoot.

7.) I'm writing this on the 30th anniversary of Sportscenter and ESPN. The greatest inventions known to man-kind. They are probably the reasons why I follow sports so much. So easily available!

There's my summer in review for 09. I realize I have to get back in blogging shape here but bare with me. Expect a Michael Jordan article later in the week, seeing as the King himself and my favorite athlete of all time, will be inducted into the hall of fame. See you later on this week.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Top Five Friday: Top Five MJ Songs of All-Time

I know, I know. You guys all hate me. I'm sorry I haven't been doing my usual Monday-Tuesday article but I've been crazy-busy. However, I do promise that an article is coming this Monday or maybe even before that. But in the mean time I'm going to give you the first pop-culture Top 5 Friday in Chit-Chat Sports storied history. It's going to be a short one so bare with me until Monday.

In light of the greatest entertainer/most famous human being ever, Michael Jackson, passing away last month, I've decided to come on and give you the Top 5 greatest Michael Jackson songs (not videos because we all know what number 1 would be) of all time. After I list the 5 I'm going to give you the Honorable mention list, because when your talking about Mike there is just way too many great songs. So let's get started....

5) The Way You Make Me Feel - Bad - Are you ready for the cheesiest line of the blog? -We all know how this song made us feel, If you know what I mean.- Talk about a classic song though. Great message, great execution. If this song doesn't jump start any relationship then god help you.

4) PYT (Pretty Young Thing) - Thriller - If there was ever a "best MJ song without a video" this would be it, hands down. I'll be completely honest with you all, I had no idea what this song was until the Jabowockeez performed it on ABDC. But since then I can't stop listening, warranting number 4 on this list. "Pretty Young Things, repeat after me!!!"

3) Black or White - Dangerous - You could always count on Mike to bring down the racial/sexual/prejudice boundary. And this song was the poster child for what Michael did in his career (no pun intended). Black or White sent the message out that it doesn't matter what our skin color is or what religion we believe in or whether we were male or female, but that we were all human. And aside from those reasons, you could play this song 45 times in a row before it even has a chance of getting old.

2) Man in the Mirror - Bad - The most well written song of Michael's long and storied career. At one point in everyone's life, they listened to this song and said, "Wow, this is what I have to do." We all need to start with the man in the mirror. This is by far the most well executed song from MJ. Along with the live performances, the number 1 song is lucky I didn't decide to throw Man in the Mirror at 1. But I couldn't put it over...

1) Billie Jean - Thriller - The Greatest MJ song of all-time. Don't try to argue with me. It's number 1, clear-cut. The video was classic, even though we had no idea what was going on in it. The beat hits so hard and every time you hear it you can't help but just bop your head like you were going to choreograph an MJ concert. How can you not have the original Moonwalk song number 1? Tell me how this Motown 25 performance isn't number 1 all time?

There you have it. I know it was quick but well worth it. Here's the honorable mention songs that had me pondering...

Remember the Time
Beat It
Don't Stop Til You Get Enough
Wanna Be Startin Somethin'

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 5 Friday: Top 5 Hitting Tandems, Currently in Baseball

I have no worthy articles to bless you with this week. Mainly because all of the sporting world is reporting about whether or not Brett Favre is going to play, and whether or not Michael Vick is going to play. Quite frankly, I'm completely sick of it. Who wants to hear about more Brett and Michael stuff when you get enough of it through ESPN because ESPN reports every single thing that Brett Favre is doing every day. Here's a sample transcript of the Brett Favre headlines from ESPN:

Sources: Brett Favre throws passes to a few high school receivers.

Sources: Brett Favre talks to a doctor about getting his 250 game-straight-arm checked out because he may want to be healthy for the rest of his career.

Sources: Minnesota Vikings players want Brett Favre.

Sources: Someone inside the Vikings organization says that Brett Favre would have already said no to playing if the major stars on the Vikings weren't clamouring for him to come to the Vikings.

What has reporting come too? We have to settle for Brett Favre's everyday occurrences instead of talking about real intriguing sports ideas like, how the Cowboys will fair without T.O. this year, who will rise out of the tough American League East, or maybe the Erin Andrews video.

So since it is indeed Top 5 Friday, and we had a blockbuster deal in baseball today, I'm on to give you guys my top 5 hitting tandems in baseball today. These hitters are most likely in the 3-4 spots maybe the 2-3 but we'll see how it goes. So let's get started...

5) Lance Berkman - Carlos Lee - Houston Astros - This was the toughest one to decide on because I was going to throw in Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria but Lance and Carlos take it by a nose. Lance has been solid for years now and Carlos Lee has the ability to put the ball over the fence at any moment during an at-bat. Pencil them in at number 5.

4) Raul Ibanez - Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies - The single biggest surprise in baseball this year is Raul Ibanez. We all knew that Howard would put up 45 homers, and he will continue to do so until hes 35. But Raul Ibanez this season puts this tandem at number 4. They have the most feared lineup in all of baseball with these two all-stars in the middle of it leading the charge.

3) Joe Mauer - Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer is the single best contact hitter in baseball and now he's added the Power element to his game. Justin Morneau is a former AL MVP (which Derek Jeter should have won) who puts up great numbers every year. Between the two of them they're going to have 70 home runs this year and probably bat .320. Definitely worthy of number 3.

2) Albert Pujols - Matt Holiday - St. Louis Cardinals - Some may question why these guys are number 2 until you remember that Albert Pujols has a chance to win the TRIPLE CROWN. Then newly acquired Matt Holiday adds national league experience to an already murderous lineup. You can expect 15-20 home runs from Holliday in the second half in that lineup and about 20-25 more from Pujols, warranting them number 2.

1) Mark Teixiera - Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees - Trust me this isn't the homer pick. I am indeed a Yankee fan but how can you not put these two as the top hitting tandem in baseball. Since A-Rod's May 8th return, the Yankees have the best record in all of baseball. Tex is having an MVP type season batting in front of A-Rod, and A-Rod is being himself hitting a homer every 16-17 at bats. Ask Roy Halladay who the best hitting tandem in baseball is, and you'll find these two names at the top of his list.

So that's it. You're top 5 1-2 punches in baseball. Next week I'm thinking about going to pop culture for a top 5. Keep checking to see my next article in the upcoming week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Top Five Friday: The Most Exciting Players to Watch in Sports

Today is the start of a brand new segment for Chit-Chat Sports that I believe is going to stick for a while. We're going to call it 'Top Five Friday.' Throughout the passed five or six years, my best friends and I have always had heated debates on certain events/players/plays and basically anything. Many of these debates ended up with us arguing for our 'Top Five' of that particular category.

So in light of our ridiculous arguments that we've had in the past, I'm going to write a short blog post every Friday with the headline, 'Top Five Friday.' The top 5's will range from anything in sports to pop culture, but most of them will be sports related.

So I figured the first one should be something pretty big and something everyone can relate to. So the very first edition of 'Top Five Friday's' is going to be the most exciting players to watch across all sports. Now keep in mind this isn't the best, or my favorite, or the most likable. This is strictly the most exciting players to watch. So let's get started with the first Top 5 Friday...

5) Rafael Nadal - Tennis - This pick may be a little biased because of my love for watching tennis, but I guarantee you if you put on a Rafael Nadal match in a major tournament you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Nadal goes against the grain of your traditional Tennis player. He wears the cut sleeves T-shirt, the bandanna, and the cargo shorts. However, he is exactly what Tennis needed. Nadal plays a style that we haven't seen since Andre Agassi. He races down every ball, never takes a point off, and meanwhile hits absolutely ridiculous winners with impossible angles to do so. I strongly suggest you watch Rafael Nadal next time you can; he is truly a special athlete.

4) Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers - As much as I don't want Kobe to be on this list, he is. If there was a list for the 'top 5 first half most exciting players' then he wouldn't be on them. But when it comes to the 4th quarter, there is no better closer in basketball then Kobe Bryant. If there is less then 4 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, you almost know for a fact that Kobe is going to hit a dagger, or a ridiculous shot to get his team the victory. Kobe is quite possibly the most clutch athlete in the NBA and that warrants him being on the Top 5 most exciting athletes list.

3) Tiger Woods - Golf - This is probably the wrong time to be putting Tiger on this list, seeing as he just missed the cut at a major for only the second time in his career today. But when Tiger is healthy there is nothing like watching him on Sunday. You might say, "Well how can any golfer be on this list?" Do me a favor. Next time there is a major on TV and it's the final round on Sunday (except for this one) force yourself to watch the entire round. Chances are you're going to see Tiger trying to make a crazy comeback, winning a sudden death playoff hole, or holding off a charging competitor. The final rounds of any golf major are beyond exciting, however if Tiger's in the chase, it's a whole different experience.

2) Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona Cardinals - I don't think there is another player in the NFL that is as exciting as Larry Fitzgerald is. All you have to do is go re-watch last year's Superbowl and that is all the footage you need. Larry is on his way to becoming one of the greatest receivers to ever do it, and he does it with out-of-this-world type plays. Larry Fitz makes catches that no one has ever seen before. His combination of size, speed, hands, and willingness to go up and get the ball wherever it is, makes him the most dynamic/exciting receiver in the game. It's those memorable catches that we see week in and week out that warrants putting him number 2 on this list.

1) Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers - Is there even a debate as to who should be number 1? It's almost automatic at this point. Lebron James is the single most exciting athlete in any sport. The best part is, he's only 24. Which means the best is yet to come from Lebron. The thing that makes Lebron so exciting is that we all expect him to do something spectacular. So when it actually happens it gets blown out of proportion and covered on ESPN for days later. A perfect example was his buzzer beater against the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It wound up being a top 12-13 buzzer beater all-time because of the hype surrounding Lebron. Everyone questions whether or not he can be that clutch type of player and I believe he is well on his way. As far as exciting goes, there's no one close. Lebron driving to the hoop with a big guy standing under the hoop is probably the most exciting thing to watch in sports; because you know that big guy is going to be on Lebron's next poster at all local Nike outlets.

So while we debate and argue over this top 5, I'm sure that no one can argue that these guys aren't in a league of their own.

Honorable Mention: Alex Ovechkin, Adrian Peterson, Ed Reed, Derek Jeter


Expect a top 5 post every Friday from now on. They're going to be fun.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Live From UFC 100 - My 1st UFC Experience

In case you haven't heard about this UFC 100 fight that is taking place tonight, then you've come to the right place if you were unable to see it.

Now let it be known that I am, in no way shape or form, a fan of the UFC. I have been pro-boxing for the past 5 years that the UFC has been blowing up. Boxing just appeals to me more than UFC does. It's probably been instilled in me by my dad, but I just find the history and the classic fights of boxing more appealing than the UFC. However, I felt so compelled today that I had to give you a running diary of my first full UFC experience.

So sit back, put your seat belts on, and place your seats back in an upright position and tray tables locked in.

10:00 PM EST - Kristen and I are on our way over to Vinnie's for the fights. Not sure how I feel about the UFC still...contemplating turning around.

10:03 PM EST - Arrive at my cousin's house. Looking at the ring, Ooops the Octagon, and there is blood all over the mat. So this is how UFC rolls, huh? I have to say, it's kind of awesome.

10:05 PM EST - I'm so out of my element right now. There's all sorts of Octagon's and all-black dressed referees. Where are the ropes? Where are the boxing gloves? I'm in a new world. I might like it.

10:10 PM EST - So apparently there's an undercard just like boxing. Hey! This might not be too bad. First fight is coming up.

10:15 PM EST - OUR TALE OF THE TAPE!! Wow what an upgrade of announcers from boxing. Ok Ok, first thing I'm impressed by. Wait, Joe Rogan is an announcer for the UFC? This is when you know it's going to be a good night. (I can't help but think about Dave Chappelle's FearFactor skit with Joe Rogan). This first fight is between the UFC version of Ricky Hatton, and the only Japanese UFC fighter I've ever seen.

10:17 PM EST - The Japanese fighter apparently is a singer as well. He has sung in front of 20,000 fans before. Why are the Japanese good at everything?

10:19 PM EST - Oh My God the Japanese guy just got straight up kicked to the balls. I don't care whatever you've ever heard...getting kicked in the crown jewels is BY FAR the worst pain a guy can endure. There's nothing that's even in the same ball park.

10:27 PM EST - First fight is rather boring. But Kristen likes the Japanese fighter in this contest because his shorts are cooler. I have to agree. He seems more aggressive and excited to be there. This is UFC 100! How can you not be excited for this!?

10:33 PM EST - We're going into the third round. Basically all of this is leading up to Lesnar-Mir. Which is the real reason I have this laptop on my lap.

10:36 PM EST - Ridiculous Superman punch off of the cage. Now that, was cool. Fight ended. Winner by Split decision, Yoshihiro Akiyamahsiakishiskiakhsikikahku (aka the Japanese guy)

10:41 PM EST - Have to say, I was impressed by all the pre-fight antics. The announcing. The bloody ring. The round girls. But the first fight, not so much. Hopefully this gets better quickly.

10:45 PM EST - This second fight is between the American Dan Henderson (USA! USA!) against this fruitcake Brit Michael Bisbing. Bisbing came out and was dissin' the US right off the bat. You know you can't come to the US and start lashing out against us and not expect an irrelevant blogger to tear you to shreds. So this should be fun...

10:46 PM EST - OUR TALE OF THE TAPE!!! Haha, that is my favorite part of UFC matches by far. What a great saying.

10:50 PM EST - Bisbing is about to get knocked out in the first round. Nothing would make me happier. Bisbing reminds me of a 6'1" Penis with an accent. What a clown.

10:59 PM EST - Wow. I think Bisbing just died. That may have been the biggest punch Ive ever seen. Holy Jesus. Right hand from Henderson just sent Bisbing all the way back to Manchester.

Now he's up asking what happened. That's what happens when you decide you wanna talk garbage on the American with the big right. Hey Bisbing, tell me how that mat taste.

11:02 PM EST - Already love Dan Henderson. Still talking garbage to the knocked out Bisbing. He may be making his case for The Sports Enthusiast's favorite UFC fighter. Actually I'm already nominating he and Chuck Lidell because Chuck beasts in the video game. The hometown kid Frank Edgar is the third nominee. Let's try and get 5 by the end of the blog and I'll pick my favorite at the end.

11:11 PM EST - Quick question. How do you get ito the Octagon. I haven't seen the door yet. I feel like they should be forced to climb in. That would be so entertaining.

Side Note: These past few dudes have been so hood. I thought the UFC was full of hard rock, head banging type of music fighters. But no, we got some real hood flavor in the UFC.

11:20 PM EST - Don't really know how I feel about his uniform, but Georges St. Pierre is definitely in the 5 I'm nominating for my favorite UFC fighter. Just has a swagger about him that can intimidate his opponent.

11:35 PM EST - Georges St Pierre is going to win this fight barring any miracle. Time to get prepped for the big fight. Lesnar/Mir.

11:48 PM EST - Georges St. Pierre still the champion. I loved his corner men the most.

"Calm down, Georges"
"Calm down, breathe"

Pretty comical if you ask me.

12:00 AM EST - It's getting close to my bed time, but we're still live from the $50.00 feed of UFC 100. Brock Lesnar might be the biggest freak of nature I have seen since Lebron James. He is an absolute tank. I'm not sure how I feel about Frank Mir. He just doesn't have enough pre-fight buzz for me to pick him. So I'm going with Brock Lesnar because A) He is huge B) My cousin's name is Brock C) He has the sickest tattoo I've ever seen.

12:01 AM EST - Frank Mir comes out to "So Amazing" by Kanye West, dancing and bopping his head. This was definitely the corniest moment of the night. Wow Frank. You have no chance.

12:08 AM EST - Checking in 7 minutes later to tell you that Brock Lesnar is still big as hell. Maybe the biggest human in that state right now.

12:10 AM EST - Referee tells the two fighters to make it official and touch gloves. So since they didn't touch gloves, is this not official?

12:16 AM EST - Lesnar beat the living crap out of Mir's face in the first round. Let's see how he fairs in the 2nd.

12:21 AM EST - Lesnar just beat the living crap out of Mir's face in the second round. Let's see how he fairs in the hospital.

12:23 AM EST - Totally classless by Lesnar. I was all about him before the glove touch, now he can go scratch. Lost a lot of potential new fans tonight. Including me.

Final thoughts on my first UFC experience. The sport has a chance to be a major sport in this country. However, the major sports pride themselves on class and three out of the 8 fighters showed absolutely no class tonight. And the biggest name on the card showed the least amount of class possible. I may be hooked on some of this sport, but I'll take boxing any day of the week. Sorry UFC fans. Overall it was a solid night.

Now for the winner of The Sport's Enthusiast's favorite UFC fighter..........It's a tie between Dan Henderson and Georges St. Pierre. I just couldn't choose. Goodnight All.