Saturday, October 6, 2007


You didn't think I was going let this go without a word, did you?

I don't have a ton to add because Manny said it best himself:

"You know, I got a lot of confidence in myself. He's one of the greatest closers in the game, and I'm one of the best hitters in the game," Ramirez said. "He missed his spot, and that's it.

"It feels great, man. It's been a long time I don't do something special like that. But I haven't been right all year long. But when you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's when you know you are a bad man."
A bad man indeed, Manuel.

Southwest Airlines Isn't Amused By Your Witty Fishing Tee

If shirts like these are not allowed on planes, the terrorists are winning.

When Southwest Airlines didn't let the short skirted lady on the plane, I was angry. It just didn't make sense even if you could clearly see her undergarments when she sat down. But when they won't let a witty t-shirt about fishing and masturbation on their planes, well that's where I draw the line.

Apparently the folks at Southwest Airlines didn't find the humor in Joe Winiecki's t-shirt and they asked him to either turn it inside out or get off the plane:
Joe Winiecki, of Largo, Florida, boarded a Southwest flight in Columbus, Ohio, wearing a fictional fishing shop T-shirt which featured the words, "Master Baiter."

Winiecki, who was traveling home, said he was in his seat when an employee told him he had to change his T-shirt, turn it inside out, or get off the plane.

Winiecki protested that the airline was infringing on his right to free speech, but changed his shirt fearing he would miss the flight and a day's work.
Way to take a stand, pussy.

Will A-Rod Stay? Not If The Post Keeps Misquoting Him

As if A-Rod needed more aggravation, the New York Post's George King misquoted A-Rod and then the headline of the article led with the misquote. And it wouldn't be that big a deal except that the substance of the misquote is regarding exactly what A-Rod has been criticized for his entire career: pressing in October.

The Post ran the headline: A-ROD ADMITS: 'I'M PRESSING'

In the article the Post ran this quote: "I am pressing. I have to start swinging at strikes..."

What A-Rod actually said was: "I'm not pressing, but I've got to swing at strikes," And if you're not sure who to believe, you can hear the full audio of the conversation here.

I'm not one to stick up for A-Rod or rip the Post (the latter has given me years of entertainment while the former makes me angry), but this is pretty irresponsible. You're just adding unfounded fuel to an already raging fire. A-Rod deserves a ton of shit for his day yesterday (though Fausto was out of control) but New Yorkers can't stand guys who admit weakness, and that's what this article intimates. The headline may as well have read: "A-Rod is scared of baseballs thrown in the last three months of the calendar year." At least that statement is true.

UPDATE: In the hardcopy of the paper today, the article reads: "A-ROD: 'I'm not pressing'". So even the Post is confused about what's going on.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Peter Vecsey's Column About Isiah Belongs In The Louvre

Between this pic and Vecsey's article, nothing more need be said.

It's been hard for me to properly summarize my feelings regarding Isiah Thomas and the clowns at MSG running the Knicks. First of all, I don't really give a shit about the Knicks. I really dislike them and am not a huge NBA fan so I don't really have a horse in the race. It's just that living in NYC, this Isiah situation has been forced down my throat (not that I really mind because the substance is so juicy) and I'm forced to listen to and read stuff about it almost constantly. I've attempted to weigh in here and there, but really I've never really been able to express my true feelings on the situation in a fashion I felt was worthy of how truly ridiculous the situation has become (that "situation" being the fact that Isiah Thomas is employed in any capacity in any setting doing anything. I don't think Isiah is qualified to be a homeless person, let alone run an organization of any kind.). But fortunately, the people who are paid to comment on such things came through, and in a big way.

In today's New York Post, Peter Vecsey wrote a column touting the incompetence and utter lack of accountability by Isiah Thomas from his days in the NBA through this week's verdict that was so comprehensive and insightful that I don't think anyone will ever have to write about Isiah ever again. He basically bullet points Isiah's failures and then explains how he's had excuses for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM:
Remember when word got out that Julius Erving had been supporting an illegitimate child for about 18 years? "If I had done something like that I'd be getting killed every day. The media would never let me live that down," Thomas bitterly complained to me.

Years later, it came to light he'd fathered a boy while engaged to Lynn, his wife for the past 20-some-odd years.
Good start. What else you got?
Bill Davidson and Thomas were the only ones at a meeting when the Pistons owner pledged to give his treasured guard a piece of the team and control of it. Somehow the story of the momentous guarantee got into the Detroit Free Press. Commitment canceled! Mr. D. was doubly furious when Thomas came to his home and swore on his father's grave he wasn't responsible for the leak. Beat writer Corky Meinecke, 42, died some six months later from cancer. His story never wavered. He told confidants Thomas indeed was the source and that he had confirmed it with someone else Thomas had entrusted - otherwise he probably wouldn't have written it.
Ok, pretty good and not something that is generally reported so we're getting some good dirt. Anything else?
The Raptors' majority owner supposedly had it in for him, stirring him to sell his slice of Toronto - though he had exclusivity for eight months to buy control and never made a bid.
Ok, I don't really know what that means but it doesn't sound positive. More?
David Stern forced him to surrender the CBA before he could become Pacers coach, at the loss of his $9M investment; oh, yeah, Thomas rejected that amount as payment from the NBA, mistakenly thinking he could squeeze it for more, thus bankrupting a minor league that had been in existence for more than 50 years.
Ooooooooh, that's a good one. I especially enjoy the "a minor league that had been in existence for more than 50 years" part because the excuse made by Isiah and Stephen A. on behalf of Isiah is that the CBA was in the shitter anyway and Isiah just came in at a tough time. I want more...
The Indianapolis police who stopped him for riding on the shoulder of the road around an accident and refusing to show license and registration in a timely manner were racists; Larry Bird's reason for firing him was due to his vocal support of Rodman's nonsensical assessment: "If he were black he'd be just another player."

He never screamed at his Knicks to break Bruce Bowen's leg, never ordered his players to take out the next Nugget who drove the lane; never owned up that any of his hires, signings or trades were nuclear wastes.
Checkmate. THAT was very well done. Vecsey hits the nail as square on the head as it could possibly be hit. When Isiah came out and said that this civil judgment against him (it is not a guilty verdict, btw. I wish people would stop saying that. Isiah isn't "guilty" of anything, yet. Though maybe he should be...) was not true and the jury got it wrong, it was EXACTLY what he's done in EVERY situation in which he's been called on the carpet. HE'S NEVER BEEN ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING. EVER. His record is remarkable. It's ALWAYS someone else's fault. And it always will be someone else's fault as long as idiots like James Dolan give him the opportunity to continue fucking things up. The only way to to stop Isiah from blaming someone else for his mistakes is to take away his ability to make them.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Why Did Lou Pull Zambrano? This Is Why

Yes, we're all shocked that Lou Piniella made such a controversial decision.

I'm not here to defend Lou and his public justification for pulling Zambrano. To me, the idea of saving your pitcher for a game that may never be played is stupid. If Zambrano was healthy and effective enough to go 12 innings and throw 150 pitches in a 1-1 game, you keep him in. And while Lou's explanation to the media was that he wanted to save Z for Sunday, I just don't but that that's the real reason. Because there is a much more logical explanation.

This year, Carlos Zambrano was outstanding. Here are a few of his stats:

Opposing batters hit .233 against him with a .326 on-base percentage, .372 slugging percentage for an OPS of .699. Those numbers rank him right up there amongst the best in either league.

Carlos Zambrano was taken out after 85 pitches. Here are Carlos Zambrano's numbers this year for pitches 91-105:

Opposing hitters hit .344 against him, got on base at a .418 clip and slugged .708 against him (that is absurdly high), for a 1.127 OPS.

Saving him for Sunday my ass. Lou wasn't confident Z could get it done in a one run game because this year he hasn't been able to. He probably didn't want to say anything in the press conference because Z is a combustible dude and doesn't like getting called out. I still think Z needs to be in there because you need to win or lose with your best guy out there, but if he was going purely by the numbers, maybe Lou was right.

What Do Charlie Sheen And Sean Salisbury Have In Common?

"Wild Thing! ... I see your penis when my phone rings!"

Before we get to Chaz Sheen, let's take a trip in the way back machine and revisit the Sean Salisbury crank-in-the-phone situation. In January, it was reported by The Big Lead that Sean Salisbury had snapped a picture of his crank (thereafter referred to as "lil Sean") with his cell phone and then showed it off to various ESPN employees and was eventually suspended for his behavior. If this is the first time you're hearing this story, well, you're welcome (though the big thanks goes to the gents at the Big Lead and Pro Football Talk).

And while you could just leave this story at its facts and be perfectly content, there is a greater lesson to be learned. And that is, taking a picture of your crank and sending it to people is never a good idea. I've never done it myself (honestly), but I know of AT LEAST half a dozen stories of people inadvertently sending a picture to the wrong person or sending it to someone but then learning that that someone has shown half the inhabitants of God's green earth. It just never turns out well. And if you don't believe me, ask Charlie Sheen.

If you haven't read the New York Post today, you should go out and pick it up. The quotes coming from the Sheen - Richards divorce are really priceless. Here are a few snippets:
"GO cry to your bald mom, you [fucking] loser," Charlie Sheen wrote to Denise Richards in an e-mail....

"You are a pig. A sad, jobless pig who is sad and talentless and sad and jobless and evil and a bad mom, so go [fuck] yourself sad jobless pig," reads another.

"You are an evil piece of [shit]. I can't wait to tell the world what a piece of [shit] you are. You don't get a [fucking] dime till this is resolved," says a third e-mail.

Richards says in her court filing that she was particularly hurt by the one about her mother, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer.

Oh man, Charlie. You're making fun of a cancer patient? That is pretty low even for you.

Oh but Chaz wasn't done there. According to Denise, he went "Sean Salisbury" on her ass:
Pictures of Sheen's "erect penis" that Richards says he used for his profile on sex sites are also included, which Richards claims he e-mailed to "approximately 30 women."

"I'd love to give it to you any time," Sheen wrote to one woman under the screen name "mrjonze55."

You'll need to excuse me for a minute. I have to change a couple screen names as well as a few fantasy team neams... Ok, I'm good. I mean, "mrjonze55"! Holy shit that is an awesome name. Even if it's completely untrue, it's really one of the greatest things I've ever heard. So subtle yet so--excuse the innuendo--in your face.

There's a ton more in this story including allegations that Chaz visited gay porn sites (possibly some with underage boys) and charges that Charlie said Denise's rampant breast feeding was going to make their kid "retarded," but what I really want everyone to take away from this story is that you should NEVER take a picture of your crank and send it to people or show it to someone. While I'm sure it seems like a good idea at the time, the potential negatives WAAAAAAY outweigh whatever positives you believe there to be.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


If Theo wants to repeat this scene, he's gonna do what's best for his team. So why are people so surprised that the Sox took the longer series?

On ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike In The Morning show this morning, the "Mikes" spent a little time talking about how the Red Sox chose to play their 5 game series over an 8 day period as opposed to playing it over 7 days (if you are unaware, this year the team with the best record in both the NL and AL got to choo-choo-choose whether they wanted to play the series in 7 days or 8 days). The Mikes concluded that it was stupid of the Red Sox to choose the longer series because this won't allow the the Indians to pitch Sabathia and Carmona 4 times in the series against the Yankees. They couldn't believe the Sox would give the Yankees that advantage in the series. But before I even get into the idea that the short series is still an advantage for the Indians because if Sabathia and Carmona are such an advantage and they are going 2-0 in the first two games then the Indians only have to win 1 of the next 3 games and that last game would be Sabathia again at home or that the fact that Mussina has to pitch is a HUGE advantage for the Indians, the real reason the Red Sox chose the longer series IS BECAUSE IT BENEFITS THE RED SOX! THE RED SOX DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THEY YANKS-INDIANS SERIES.

Here's why the longer series is good for the Sox:

1. More rest for the bullpen
The Sox bullpen was the best in the league until the last month when they started to break down. So they sat some guys for awhile and Okajima, Timlin and Delcarmen came back in the last couple outings and pitched great. And with the 8 day schedule, they'd only have to play two games back-to-back. They will likely have every pitcher available every day. If they started back-to-back days and then had another set of back-to-back, they might be forced to save a guy or two from pitching two back-to-backs in a row.

2. Ortiz gets rest
Papi's knee is a mess. Anytime he is on the basepath it's pretty clear he is agony. He's been on fire of late but he's gonna need the days off in order to be anywhere near 100%. The long series gives him a ton of rest.

3. The long series means they get their top 2 guys on close to normal rest
Beckett and Dice-K will likely pitch on 4 days rest if the series goes 5. Wakefield is hurt so they don't really have a 4th starter. That injury may have influenced the decision more than any other factor.

4. With Manny and Coco dinged up, a deeper bench is huge
They are in much better position bringing only 3 official starters and 7 relievers with a deep bench against a team like the Angels as opposed to leaving a guy like Hinske or Ellsbury at home in favor of Kyle Snyder, especially when both Coco and Manny are dinged up. If they played a shorter series and had to bring 4 starters, they'd probably start Lester and bring along Kyle Snyder or Tavarez as a long man (a position now served by Lester) and they'd be leaving one of the outfield bench guys at home. That's just too dangerous with the outfield injuries.

(There are a couple others including the fact that the Sox are not frightened of Lackey or anyone out of the bullpen other than Frankie so giving them more time to rest doesn't really concern them, but those 4 above are the big guys.)

That's why the Sox chose the long series. The Sox are unconcerned with what the Yankees do. They make decisions about how they are going to play another team based on themselves and the other team. Would it be great to simultaneously screw the most talented team in the playoffs while at the same time benefitting yourself? Sure. But they won't worry about how to get the upperhand on them until they actually have to face them. They buried the "We're always worried about the Yankees" bullshit back in 2004 when they went out and beat the Yankees.

The New York Yankees: Pride, Power, Pinstripes... And Pandering To An Old Guy Who Can Sort Of Still Pitch

"...Of all the dramatic things I've evah seen, Rahjah Clemens is somewhere in Tampa Bay or Houston or somewhere in Texas and it looks like he might pitch or has pitched or is still physically able to pitch but nobody is quite sure because he's keeping it secret. Goodness gracious!"

Guest poster Bernard King isn't exactly loving the "Clemens Rules":

I planned to save this post for after game three of the ALDS, when Roger Clements will maybe give four mediocre innings against a pedestrian Cleveland offense, but reading the New York Post yesterday during my morning commute, I couldn’t help myself:
Yankee Notes: …Since Joe Torre didn’t hear from Roger Clemens, the manager assumed Clemens would pitch a simulated game in Tampa today and test his left hamstring. “I am sure the S.O.S. would have gone out,” Torre said when asked if Clemens was a go for today…

WHAT?!?!?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?! This is a guy who is slated to pitch in the third game of the ALDS and there isn’t Yankee personnel in Tampa around him 24/7 reporting status to Joe Torre and Brian Cashman? If Roger has to take a dump, Yankees “pitching guru” Billy Connors should be the one wiping his ass and letting Cashman know that everything went as planned. The fact that Roger is (and has been) allowed to conduct himself the way he has this season is a god damn travesty.

There was a time, not long ago, when players, fans, and media of other baseball teams could at least respect the way the Yankees handled themselves. When they were at their peak during their late-90’s run, it was truly hard to hate them. Of course, non-Yankee fans didn’t like how much they were winning, or that they outspent every other team in the league twofold, but at the very least, the Brian Cashman/Joe Torre Yankees ran a tight ship, conducted themselves in a businesslike manner on and off the field, and for the most part, had a an old-school like “code of conduct” that people respected. Despite the marketing folks’ attempt to put some tarnish on that shine (“Yankee Universe” in response to “Red Sox Nation,” Ultimate Road Trip, Camo Yankees Hats, etc.), this has largely held true for the entirety of Joe Torre’s run as the Yankees’ manager. On May 6, when Roger announced he was coming back to the Bronx, the Yankees took their “we do things the right way” credit and flushed right it down the shitter.

People in Yankee world have been so preoccupied with the “Joba Rules” that they’ve overlooked the “Roger Rules,” which are far more ridiculous and tremendously embarrassing to the franchise. At least the Joba Rules serve a purpose greater than the individual - conserving the arm of a key part of the Yankees future. To the contrary, the sole purpose of the Roger Rules is to keep an old, middling pitcher happy. Rule #1 - Roger doesn’t have to travel with the team for trips he’s not slated to pitch. Rule #2 - Roger will deal with his injuries in any manner he sees fit, including leaving the team and reporting on his injury status via text messages to Andy Pettitte.

So, what does $15 million and the Roger Rules get you? A 6-6 regular season and a playoff status that is currently up in the air (and apparently in the dark). Fantastic. I’m glad the Yankees abandoned their moral high-ground and allowed a 6-win pitcher to make his own rules and show their true colors in times of true desparation. I’m sure Ian Kennedy couldn’t have gotten 6 wins in as many starts for 1/15th of the money. Joe Torre has said it’s not just about wins and losses, its about what he brings to the locker room. If he’s not in the dugout, how does that work? Likewise, what kind of example is he setting by basically saying, “F you, I’ll pitch when I feel like it, not when organizational doctors and personnel say I’m fit to pitch.” Or, if he is that good in the locker room, and that’s what you’re really paying for, he’s the highest paid coach in the league. Watch your back, Joe. Moneywise, he got the Yankees $3 million a win this season? To put things in perspective, the disaster that was Carl Pavano, pitching in the same amount of games (17) in 2005, won 4 games and made $9 million. But, somehow, we love Roger and hated Pavano even then. The point is, for some reason, Roger can do no wrong and his bullshit seems to be lost on almost everyone. Make no mistake about it, with the Yankees still scrambling to figure out their plan for game 3, the Yankees mid-season desperation is still biting them in the ass.

-Bernard King

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Chad Pennington Experience Needs To End

$100 bucks says this pass couldn't have busted through a wall of soaked toilet paper. Single ply.

Imagine you've got a running back with all the smarts in the world and outstanding skills. Prototypical size, great speed and top end vision. A borderline great athlete. He's not most Barry Sanders but he's also not Ron Dayne. There's only one drawback: he can only run to the right. On the right hashmark, he runs to the sideline. 11 man run blitz coming up the right side, he runs right at it. He can't run left. Just can't do it. Now, would that strike you as problematic? Sure the other team would still have to guess when they're gonna pass and when they're gonna run, but they NEVER have to worry about a run to the left side of their defense. They can move their noseguard over the right guard the whole game and send run blitzes to that side whenever he's in the game on running downs. At the very least it's a decided disadvantage if not a fatal flaw, wouldn't you agree? This guy wouldn't get drafted or last a day in training camp no matter how strong a runner he was. He's too limited. So if that's true, I have to ask the question: how is Chad Pennington still the starting quarterback for the for the Jets?

Chad Pennington is one of the top decision-makers in the NFL. He's also consistently one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. The former Rhodes Scholar finalist has never had trouble managing an offense, leading teammates or convincing coaches that the fact he can't throw the ball farther than 40 yards will negatively impact the team that he's on. He seems like a hell of a nice guy. But let's get back to that last part (the part before the nice guy part). Chad Pennington can't throw the ball farther than most athletes in the NFL. I have friends who easily have stronger arms than Pennington. And while it's not critical that a QB be able to throw a football with the pace of a Manning, McNabb or Browning Nagle (did you notice I left out an obvious name? That was on purpose. It's not like that guy needs more press, even if it's just the 30 or so people reading this.), it's certainly not a plus that a team has to scrap every pass play over 30 yards or all out patterns over 8 because of your QB's penchant for throwing 10 yard slants with the trajectory of a bell curve. And that's what you have to do when Chad Pennington lines up behind your center.

You see with Chad running the show, there are plays you cannot call. No deep corners past a two-deep safety who bit on the play-action, no twelve yard outs and no zone busting slants between the corner, behind the linebacker and just before the safety comes down that has be thrown with a certain, let's say, zip. Instead you have to gain that yardage or score that touchdown through other means. You have to get creative. You're throwing wide receiver screens and RB wheels, and a ton of comebacks forcing the playmakers to make plays after they catch the ball. The defense is never stretched or scared or confused. The safeties are never looking over their shoulders and are always peeking in the backfield and the corners know that after their first 6 or 7 backpedals steps they need to plant and make a move (likely towards the middle of the field) because the pass is never going over their heads. And yet despite this distinct advantage, Pennington routinely completes 65% of his passes. No matter that most of those passes are less than 10 yards down the field (71% last year) or that his completion percentage of passes over 20 yards is below 40%, he still can be effective and the Jets still win games in which he starts. But in order to do that they have to craft a gameplan around his flaws while the defense takes advantage of them.

Normally, when you have a weakness, you usually try and hide it. But when that weakness touches the ball on EVERY FUCKING DOWN, that's a tough thing for a team to hide. Even for a genius 1-3 coach who just lost to one of the worst teams in the NFL. It's been done, sure (see the 2006 Bears and 2000 Ravens). But those teams were setup to win despite the quarterback. They had top 10 all-time defenses and ball control run offenses. They didn't have the weapons or the need to stretch the field nor did they have a QB outside of their starter who was talented enough to be on the field. But the Jets have a horrible defense and a backup QB who is likely holds in his hands the future of the entire organization. And now with the skill position guys they field, with the speedy Coles, the versatility of Leon Washington and Brad Smith and size and emerging skill set of Cotchery, they have the guys who can break a game open. This team has guys who can put a ton of pressure on the defense. Laveranues Coles was born to run deep posts and Cotchery can bully corners on deep outs while Brad Smith could turn into a latter day Hines Ward. That threesome could be lethal or at the very least could convince defensive coordinators that it was worth covering them after the first 20 yards. But alas, they are hemmed in by a weak-armed quarterback and a "death by a thousand 3 yard WR screens" offense. Those guys have to be pulling their hair out. And Jets fans don't have a hair left after half a dozen years of this. .

Now listen, I don't pretend know all the ins and outs of the quarterback position in the NFL or the development of Kellen Clemens and I'm certainly oversimplifying this situation with the Jets, but I do know Jets run one of the least exciting NFL offenses with some of the most exciting NFL talent. They are a loss away from full-on panic mode and while I don't necessarily believe that this team has been "figured out" or that they can't possibly win with Chad Pennington as their QB, their Quarterback limits what can be expected out of the Jets offense and makes them at least "more predictable" than a team with a stronger-armed quarterback. It made sense to keep Chad in when you had Vinny and Brock sitting behind him, but now you've got a guy who you know can throw and who looks like he can lead. It's time to open it up and force teams to defend you differently and stretch the legs of Coles, Smith and Cotchery. It's time for Chad to move on.

Philly Phanatic Ends Mr. Met's Misery

Pretty funny, though the Phanatic is looking a little Al Rokerish (t o' the h to Deadspin).

Smittblog Ranked In Top 100 Blogs, Kind Of

Hats off to the fellas at Juiced Sports for their list of the top 100 blogs on the Interwebs. And a bigger Tip O' The H for including "The Smittblog" at number 75. Though considering KSK was inadvertently left off the list, I'm guessing I'd slip to at least 76 if it were redone today. But then again, maybe I'd move up for doing some blog-on-blog ballwashing. Regardless, it must've been a lot of work and kudos to them for putting it together, whoever they are...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Elliott Yamin Can't Believe The Mets Lost

Awwww, it's ok Elliott. At least your horrendous blend of R&B, pop and snaggle-toothed crooning is earning you some pretty solid scratch.

I'm assuming this guy is not Elliott Yamin, but it does look an awful lot like him. And if it is him, it would just serve as further proof that the Mets and their fans are second rate even when it comes to the ranks of their celebrity fans. The Yanks have fans like Denzel Washington (corrected), Billy Crystal and recently Brad Pitt while the Mets feature Matt Dillon, Tim Robbins and now Elliott Yamin. I don't know, but that seems just about right.

(He really does look like Yamin)

Westhill High Football Rules!

This mismatch is nothing compared to Westhill v. LaFayette.

In recent years there has been a ton of talk about not running up the score on teams in high school sports because you don't want to hurt the kids' feelings. I remember some game in some sport in Connecticut that was a blowout and led to the introduction of legislation mandating "Mercy Rules" in high school sports or some such bullshit (this post is obviously really well researched). And I remember thinking that it was absolute bullshit. Getting your ass handed to you is humbling and builds character. What does it matter if it's 40-0 or 140-0. If you know the team could have beat you more severely but backed down, isn't that worse for a kid's psyche? And then I saw the score of the Westhill v. LaFayette football game in Central NY this weekend and I literally cringed.

Westhill High Football beat LaFayette High 90-0. 90 points. It was 63-0 at halftime. Coming out of halftime, Westhill still had their first team offense in, including All-State running back Dale Ross. But it could have been much worse. In the final 6 minutes, rather than scoring touchdowns, Westhill attempted 3 field goals and missed them all. But while you can fault Westhill all you want, this game really never should have been played. Before this year, LaFayette had been a Class D football school but because they were combined with another school district for football purposes, their combined enrollment forced them into Class B Football (the other school district hadn't fielded a football team in 50 years). Lafayette only had 30 players and only 5 of those had played varsity football before. I'm not saying anyone is necessarily "at fault" for this nor am I absolving anyone from fault, but this result was more a combination of factors than it was simply Westhill coaches acting like dicks. And not only that but I think setting the bar this low for the LaFayette Football program is a good thing and I would NEVER advocate any such shit limiting the amount of points a team could score.

In 6th grade my basketball team got beat by Potsdam by a score of something like 100-12 (it probably wasn't quite that bad but over the years the spread has grown). The next time we played them, they only beat us by 40 (mostly because we played a modified 4 corners offense and limited Potsdam's possessions) and we were elated. We won a dozen or so games that year but to a man (or at least squeaky voiced boy), we held that 40 point loss as our greatest achievement. We built off that loss and cut the deficit down year-by-year and by my sophomore year in high school we beat that team. Now I'm not saying that the 90 point deficit motivated us any more than say a 50 point deficit would have. We still would have wanted to win the next game as badly, but because the first deficit was so great we were able to cut the next deficit in half and come away with a sense of satisfaction for doing so that we wouldn't have been able to do had the first game been only a 50 point deficit. Had their been some sort of limit to how much the other team could score, we would have been limited in finding out just how much we had improved the next time.

Lafayette Football will someday play Westhill again (though probably not next year because they are likely moving to Class C), and they will not lose by 90 points. Even if they lose by 60, that's a marked improvement. They will play them someday after that, and they will beat them. And on that day they will look back on this shitkicking and realize just how far they've come. Sometimes you have to get your ass beat really badly to set the low watermark in order to take those baby steps to make your way back. If you set that watermark artificially higher than it should be you limit the team's ability to grow. No matter how insignificant it may seem to the outside world.