Monthly Archives: December 2006

Damn Gophers

The worst football year for the state of Minnesota ended tonight, when the Gophers blew leads of 21 and 31 points, in losing the Insight Bowl to Texas Tech in overtime. After the Gophers went into the locker room with a 28-7 lead, I turned the game off to watch a movie; when the movie ended it was a three-point game, soon won by the Red Raiders with a touchdown. Ugh.
Fire the coach. Fire the athletic director. These guys make Brad Childress look like Vince Lombardi.
UPDATE: Apparently, someone was listening to me: Coach Glen Mason has been fired.

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Another Overpaid Barry

Barry Zito has signed the most lucrative contract for a baseball pitcher in history, signing with the Giants for seven years and $126 million.
Zito’s a very good pitcher, no question. But there’s no way he’s worth that much money. He’s not one of the five best pitchers in baseball, or even the ten best. And, the signing doesn’t exactly fit in with the Giants’ strategy so far this year, which is to replace last year’s 35-year-old free agents, with this year’s, in the process putting together a lineup in which the youngest regular is 31.
I predict they’re trying to dump him within three years- see, “Rangers, A-Rod”- and he’ll be a Met after all.
This whole situation also concerns me because it’ll make it a lot harder for the Twins to keep Johan Santana, who is a significantly better pitcher than Zito is (despite losing to him in Game 1 of the ALDS.) If Zito is worth $126m, what’s Johan worth? $150m? The odds of him being on the mound when the new park opens in 2010 just got a lot longer.

Quote of the Day

Matt Taibbi, author of the Boston Phoenix’s excellent column that examines the week in sports crime, has celebrated the biggest year in his field yet by coming up with a new points system:

All arrests involving assaults against women score a minimum of 50 points. All assaults of men by women, provided deadly force is not used, score minus 50 points, although arrests involving women who throw cell phones at men are annoying, not funny, and score positive points. If you attack your wife or girlfriend by ramming her with a car think Victor Riley thats a minimum 75 points. If you actually hit her, thats 85. If your children are in the car, thats 90 points. If anyone elses children are in the car, thats also 90 points. Maximum scores of 100 are rare, the last one being Rae Carruth. O.J. was a 99; he lost one point only because a big chunk of his sizable fee went to Barry Scheck and therefore indirectly went to Schecks Innocence Project. You dont get points off for getting away with it.

By that rationale, the 2006 Bengals are the highest-scoring team in NFL history.

Taking a Break From Filling Him Up Right

Philadelphia right now is experiencing something even worse than a quarterback controversy: a quarterback’s mom controversy.
Donovan McNabb’s mother, Wilma, who is known for her appearances in her son’s Chunky Soup commercials, drew some fire this week for a blog post on McNabb’s website, when she shared her feelings on her son’s current predicament, which has him sitting injured while Jeff Garcia leads the team to the playoffs. Wilma writes:

Yes, now we have solidly beat the Cowboys with my son and without him. But I can hear you asking, mama McNabb what are you really thinking? Well here it is, the real deal. It’s kind of bitter sweet for me as my son, the quarterback sits out on injured reserved watching the game during his rehab. I polled my family too and they feel the same. We want our team to win and even go to the Superbowl and win it in Miami especially if they continue to play as they have. But oh oh, if they win the Superbowl without my son, what would be the real outcome with the fans? Will they crucify him? Maybe, then the trade talks would begin. Off season madness, worse than last year’s fiasco.

Yes, I know this sounds bad, and it plays into every stereotype the McNabb haters have about him being a mama’s boy. But the fact is, this reaction is the only natural one that you could expect anyone to have- of course he’s happy that the team’s winning, and of course he’d prefer to be playing himself.
Eagles fans should be happy that they’ve won four in a row with Garcia, and that they’re headed to the playoffs and possibly a division title. Of all the horrible things players have done off the field in the NFL this year, McNabb’s mom writing a blog post is pretty tame.
UPDATE: Garry Cobb, the Eagles player-turned-local talk show host, has some interesting thoughts on the matter:

McNabb has one of the highest winning percentages of any quarterback in NFL history, yet if you were to listen to much of local talk radio you would think he was a bust. McNabb has won more playoff games than any signal caller in team history and it’s not even close. This is the quandary of his predicament. I’ve come to the realization that it’s not really about football it’s about personality, this city doesn’t like Donovan McNabb and will never like Donovan McNabb even if he wins a Super Bowl. It was that way with Mike Schmidt and it’s that way with McNabb. Although Pete Rose was not truly a Philadelphian and he’s really a scumbag with no moral compass, Philly prefers Rose over Schmidt, any day of the week. That’s just the truth.

And that’s the problem: As long as Philly fans reject every star athlete who isn’t a “Philly guy,” the teams here are going to have a hard time ever winning.

Music Critic Quote of the Week

“At this point, 2Pac has been dead so long that he’s less a contemporary rapper than a historical figure like Jesus or Abraham Lincoln, neither of whom have released new albums in quite some time. Granted, Pac’s Life isn’t quite as inessential as previous Least Essential fixtures The Rose That Grew From Concrete Volume 2 (a second disc of music inspired by 2Pac’s poetry) and 2003’s remix collection Nu-Mixx Klazzics but a half-ass “2Pac Karaoke” vibe nevertheless reigns as guests like Papoose, Keyshia Cole, and Chamillionaire “collaborate” with an icon who’s been dead longer than they’ve been around.”

– The Onion AV Club, on their highly entertaining list of the Least-Essential Albums of 2006. Who’s #1? K-Fed, of course.