Thursday, November 8, 2007

I Dropped Shaun Alexander And So Can You!

That's not steam rising from his head, it's friggin dust.

Like many of you, I hedged my entire season on the aged legs of one Shaun Edward Alexander. I took him with the 4th pick in my draft (after LT, S. Jackson and Addai. Gore & LJ were keepers in our modified keeper league) ahead of the likes of Peyton Manning, Willie Parker, Brian Westbrook and Reggie Bush just to name a few (not that I would ever have taken Reggie Bush because he is one of the most overrated athletes since Dan & Dave). And much like me, your stomach turned as you watched as Shaun rush for 25, 35, 47 and 32 yards over his last 4 games and punch in two total touchdowns THE ENTIRE FUCKING YEAR. He's averaging 3.3 yards/carry on the year and a disgraceful 2.4 over the course of the last 4 games. And now he might not play again this year. Your season is likely ruined (it's a testament to my prolific Fanta C Football acumen that I still have a shot at the playoffs. I am really good). You may as well start scouting college games for next years draft. The problem is that there are 8 weeks of football left (and 6-7 fantasy weeks left) and you can't stand looking at your No. 1 overall pick for another frickin second. So the question becomes: What do you do with him?

Well first of all, you can't start him. Even if he comes back and plays he is FAR too awful to put back in your lineup, even against shitty teams! So he's just gonna sit there, staring you in the face and laughing at you while he makes millions and submarines your cleverly named Fanta C team. It's just not right. Well, I figured out a way to stop Shaun Alexander right in his tracks: You drop him. I know it may seem crazy to drop your first round pick when he has neither a season ending injury nor has he technically lost his starting job, but trust me on this one, it's gonna feel really good. I did it and feel like I have a new lease on life. I know it sounds scary and it may hurt a little but if you follow my instructions and consult my FAQ's, it'll go fine and you'll sleep through the night without peeing the bed (in fact, you may nocturnally emit after reading this. I did).

Here's how it's done:
1. Open the box
2. Put your dick in that box!

Just kidding. I love pop culture humor.

Here's how it's really done:
1. Access your team
2. Click on your league's add/drop feature
3. Click on Shaun Alexander
4. Drop him to the waiver wire
5. Take your pants off (by this point at the very least you will be meaty)
6. Celebrate

See! Doesn't that feel good (and I'm not just talking about step 6)? It's like going to confession after giving that homeless guy a cup of coffee laced with ipecac. It just feels good to get it out there and move on. Sadly, there are those of you out there who didn't get to step 4. I'm not judging. I'm sure you have many questions about the intelligence of such a move considering, amongst other things, that Alexander will likely play again and there's not a whole lot of RB help out there. Well, I've thought long and hard about those questions and I have some answers that I think may help you out:

Q: But Luol, Shaun Alexander isn't really that hurt. He's still gonna get the ball when healthy enough to suit up, right?

SB: First, don't call me that. I hate that name. I know it's my "pen name" but it's stupid and if I hadn't used it this long, I'd change it (I still may at some point). Just refer to me as Smittblog or SB. Second, I'm going to answer your question by posing a question to you: When you watched Saved By The Bell, you were a HUGE AC Slater, right? I bet you were. Your favorite episode was when he broke out his dance moves at The Max (episode seen below). Am I getting warm here? And when you watch this episode, your dick moves. Is this too close to home? Well, there's your answer.

Q: Um, ok. But Smittblog, the Seahawks remaining schedule is atrocious. If Alexander gets back in the lineup, he'll have great matchups. Isn't it worth holding onto him just in case?

SB: Dude, you are such a pussy. I mean, you're really acting like a gayer version of Lance Bass. Drop the fucker for fuck's sake.

Q: That seems a little unnecessary but ok... If we get rid of Alexander, who are we supposed to replace him with. At this point, most decent backups are already off the board. Especially with LJ being hurt. Who takes his spot, smart ass?

SB: Fair question, Sally. Here's what I would suggest you do, take a long hot bath. Treat yourself. Really do it up. Bubbles, jacuzzi, candles, whatever gets you relaxed. And when you're done and really refreshed you can retuck your penis, slip on your blush, open your medicine cabinet and finish the rest of the bottle of estrogen you've been working on.

Q: Smittblog, you're being a complete dick. You're not even answering any of my questions...

SB: Ok, repeat that sentence for me except this time I'm going to pretend to cough throughout the sentence while insulting you. Go ahead.

Q: Umm, alriiight... I guess. Smittblog....
SB: aaaaahPussy!'re being....
SB: pllllpCocksmoker!
Q:...a complete dick. You're not even...
SB: ah ah ah ah...jizzguzzlingturdpirate!

Q: Ok, this is ridiculous. I've got one final question for you. I'd really appreciate an true answer. Mike Holmgren is a loyal Alexander guy. He's been hurt before and Holmgren still throws him in. He's even put him in around the goalline in games that were out of hand just to pad his stats. Why should we think that Alexander won't get similar treatment at the end of this year. I mean, he's bound to punch a couple in, right?

SB: Wrong. Here's why, I've begun a petition on behalf of all Shaun Alexander owners asking Mike Holmgren to sit Shaun Alexander for the rest of the year no matter how healthy he becomes or how competitive the team becomes so that we Fanta C Football team owners can move on with our lives. After reading the dozen or so signatures on this form, Holmgren is bound to comply with the petition.

So there you have it. If you're still not convinced, start from the top and read this again. If the below video makes your dick move, well, you're welcome.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Donte Greene Is Going To Make People Forget About Syracuse Basketball's NCAA Snub, As Well As Basketball As You Knew It

At 6'11"-ish, depending on who you ask, and featuring one of the sweetest outside strokes in D1 hoops, finding a way to slow down 'Cuse's Donte Greene is going to be a problem.

'Melo just plain knew how to score when he came to 'Cuse. He was 6'8" and 220 when he entered school. Thick as hell with a pull-up jumper and a touch around the rim that was pretty much unstoppable. He was too big and strong for D1 small forwards and WAAAAY too quick for college power forwards. His college career was a one year mismatch. Kevin Durant was a freak in college. Taller, leaner and with better range than 'Melo, Durant dominated the more finesse oriented Big 12 (if I receive a single email regarding the relative toughness in terms of physical play of the Big East compared to the Big 12, I will come down to where you live and punch you right in your ten gallon hat). Durant was the better scorer with a more dangerous game becuase of his length and better shooting touch but 'Melo was probably a little more of a complete player because of his strength (while Durant had more upside considering he had to fill out). Well imagine if a guy showed up who had the outside touch and length of Kevin Durant but the thickness and inside touch of Carmelo Anthony. That's be pretty sweet, right? Donte Greene has that, and possibly more.

In the first half of the first exhibition game that Donte Greene ever played in Division 1 basketball, Donte Greene did this: He scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He made three of the four 3-pointers he attempted and collected four rebounds.
In the following exhibition game, Donte Greene did this: He scored 26 points and was pulled with 12 minutes left in the game. 42 points in about 40 minutes (give or take because he didn't play every minute of the first half of either game). He's shooting well over 50% from 3 point range and he's 6'11", 235lbs. The kid is an absolute freak.

Now, granted, these are exhibition games against DII opponents, but if the exhibition losses of top 25 teams Ohio St. and Michigan St along with the regular season loss of Kentucky to Gardner-Webb are any indication of the competitiveness of these early season matches, the fact that a young 'Cuse team is scoring in bunches and is being led by a guy scoring more points than minutes played, it may turn out that this preseason was a sign of things to come.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Guy The Vikes Should Have Signed: Jeff George. Just Ask Him.

Jeff George and the pet caterpillar he keeps on his upper lip are ready to come back to the NFL and chuck it DEEP.

So according to the Pioneer Press, Jeff George thinks he can come back and light it up. Not that this is breaking news or anything, I mean this guy will be able to throw a wad of toilet paper through drywall from 50 yards on his 80th birthday. The league may never see a bigger arm than Jeff George. And while it may not be worthy of a post that Jeff George wants back in the league as this story seems to re-appear every year, it is the manner in which JG made his intentions known is certainly worthy of note. It's not as if George was sitting at home stroking his stache when the phone rang and he picked up and said he'd listen to deals. Oh no. What actually happened is that George was watching Vikes games on the ol' boob tube and after seeing a couple QBs get dinged up--and because he's been throwing to his buddies in his backyard 3 or 4 times a week so he's in tip top shape--he realized that this was the perfect opportunity to pounce. So he did what any reasonable ex-QB would do, he called up the Vikes play-by-play announcer George Allen and asked him to gauge the interest of Vikes coach Brad Childress in retaining JG's services (as if the announcer is going to be able to read the Childress' proclivity for taking fliers on 40+ rocket armed QBs with no conscience just by calling games). The interview that follows from this turn of event is pretty solid. In particular, I enjoyed this quote from George:
"With a running back like Adrian Peterson, I would be licking my chops," George said later. "With that running back, you need someone who can throw that deep ball, and I know I still can. I don't care about the talent at receiver."
I guarantee you that while giving that quote over the phone George was massaging his balls or staring at himself nude in the mirror wearing eye black or doing all of that at the same time. Maybe it's just me but this reminds me a little of a guy from last year you all may remember. Talented wide receivers be damned, all Minnesota needs is a guy who can throw it DEEP! And Jeff George thinks Jeff George is your man to get that ball deep. And he's probably right. Sadly, Jeff's salesmanship has slipped in his old age and the Vikes foolishly went with Koy Detmer instead. And now Jeff has to stew at home and wait for the next round of injuries to pop up. Personally, I could see him ripping it up in Baltimore and injecting some life in a team that still has a shot at the playoffs. Thanks to Jeff and the confidence oozing out of his nuts, at least we know he's ready.

Desperation, Thy Name Is Detmer

After last week's win over SD, Minnesota realized they are a QB away from wild card contention. After signing Koy Detmer, that remains the case.

The Vikings, for all their flaws, are not half bad. They are 3-5 but they've outscored their opponents this year, they have a kick ass run D and they've been playing without a QB all season. That's better than a lot of teams with QBs. And now that Brad Childress has finally awoken from his two month long slumber and is going to give the ball to Purple Jesus 30 times a game and because they take on the some awful teams the rest of the way, they have to at least be considered amongst the serious contenders for an NFC wild card position. All they really need is someone to take the ball and not throw it to the other team or directly into the ground. 40 touches of A-Pete and the Williams' clogging up the middle on the defensive side with maybe a toss or two downfield to keep you honest... it's not a Super Bowl team but it's better as a concept than about a dozen other NFC teams. If they could get a mistake averse game manager behind center in the vain of a 2000 Trent Dilfer, that team would scare the shit out of anybody dependent on running the ball and not adept at stopping the run. And they recognize this. So they survey the available QB landscape and they come up with... Koy Fucking Detmer. He of the 52 percent career completion percentage and the 10 career tds (Detmer has 14 career Ints). Is that really the state of the in-season free agent QB market? I mean, if you're gonna fill this spot with a Detmer, couldn't you have at least taken Ty?

ESPN's "Featured Comment" Again Really Misses The Mark

All that's missing is Stu Scott's, "you see what had happened is..."

ESPN's commenting feature and quasi-Myspace situation has had its ups and downs since it opened up a couple months ago. One of my favorite new features is ESPN's "Featured Comment" on its front page. Every 3 hours or so they will post an actual user's comment on the front page and tell you who wrote it and point you to the story about which it was written. The comments range from the fantatical: "RED SOX NATION CANNOT BE STOPPED" written by Sully4Life to the thought emotional: "Martina Hingis, you were one of the all-time greats" written by And then there was today's head scratcher. A gent who goes by the perplexing sobriquet "natural8blue" wrote the following about Norv Turner:
"Norv Turner is going to waste his superstars' prime years the way Mike Martz did in St. Louis."
Now say what you will about Norv Turner--in fact, you can say anything you want about him. He's fucking awful--but why the unmerited dig at Mike Martz? I know Martz left St. Louis kind of unceremoniously with a vague health issue but I'm not sure I'd call his tenure with the Rams in anyway indicative of underachievement.

First of all, the "greatest show on turf" was Matz's offense. And when he came on board, they had no superstars other than Marshall Faulk. Mike Martz made Kurt Warner a star and won him a Super Bowl. And he took Marshall Faulk and got him in the endzone twice as much as he ever had before he met Martz. Faulk's 3 most productive years were under Martz. I'm not sure you could have utilized Faulk better in his prime. That team won a Super Bowl and lost on a last second drive to the greatest postseason QB of all-time in the other. What more do you want out of a coach? And to top it all off as a head coach, when his meal ticket QB went down with an injury, he threw in some scrub from West Virginia and that offense didn't miss a beat. His ability to prepare Bulger for that situation saved the Rams from a rebuilding process 4 years earlier than necessary.

Now listen, I understand that any yahoo with enough intelligence to navigate the interweb can post whatever the hell stupid shit they want to (see The Smittblog), but what's more interesting to me is that some editor of the content at ESPN felt this comment so compelling and spot on that he flagged it for front page publication when in fact it doesn't make a lick of sense. Mike Martz took his team of overachievers to the playoffs in 5 of his 7 years as a head coach with 3 different QBs. To compare him to a guy who is single-handedly submarining a 14-2 team in a bad division out of the playoffs is absurd and to be honest, a little offensive (pun intended).

Monday, November 5, 2007

I Know It's Unlikely But Wouldn't It Be Great If A-Rod Ended Up Getting Less Dough?

I know he's the most productive player ever, but when you cancel the final three years of the most expensive contract of all-time, there is some risk involved. Isn't it time that risk was realized?

I apologize for not writing as much recently. I've been cutoff from editing the site at work, so I can't publish anything from the hours of 8am - 5:00pm. It really bites. Somehow this "upgrade" in web security coincided directly with me receiving a SECOND 19 inch flat screen computer monitor (your tax dollars at work). With that kind of screen coverage, I could've really ramped up my output. Instead, I'm forced to test the limits of Websense and search for proxy sites to get around the new security upgrades. Wish me luck...

Anyhoo, the point of this post is really summed up in the title, so I don't have a whole lot more to add. Well, maybe I can add a little. While I am not holding out a ton of hope that A-Rod gets his ass handed to him in this negotiation and ends up around 23 per year or something, I think 30 million over the course of the contract to be WAY out of whack with reality. If you look at the recent deals of the last couple offseasons, there were some fantastic players signed to big deals who didn't even come CLOSE to 20 million per year. That number is just no feasible any longer. Albert Pujols, a guy who will be on the shortlist for greatest right-handed hitters ever when all is said and done signed a 7 year deal for $100 million dollars... AND PUJOLS IS JUST HITTING HIS PRIME. A-Rod has AT BEST 4 more years of elite play before he will likely enter a period of significant decline. During those years (in the right stadium) he'll probably hit 45 home runs, knock in 130 and hit .300 while playing above-average defense on the left side of the infield before ultimately moving to first. During those years he will probably be considered the best player in baseball, and for that he should be paid as such. But what will that mean?

To be the highest paid player in baseball, all he needs to do is get back to the $25 million range (Giambi is currently the highest paid player at $23 million). If he made $28 million, he'd be making twice as much as Albert Pujols. Is he twice as valuable on the field or at the box office or as a revenue drawer in any market not named New York or Boston? Cuz I gotta tell you, I don't think A-Rod is making $30 million worth of difference to an L.A. team or the Tigers. He needs to be in a baseball town in order to have the kind of impact that Scott Boras talks about. On the field there is NO WAY he is worth $30 million no matter what he does. If A-Rod goes to the Dodgers, those seats will still be empty until the start of the third inning and will re-empty in the seventh to beat traffic. A-Rod isn't going to change an entire culture. Even during his next couple elite years, his old salary would have been too high in terms of comparative value to players across the league. And that's not even getting into the length of the deal. Is there any way a team can justify paying Alex Rodriguez $25+ million when he's 37-38 years-old? I'm sure the average salary will have increased by plenty in those 5 or so years, but even still he'd be getting paid at the top of the grade. It would make sense for him to get $25+ for the next three years and then gradually start decreasing the value to the teens as he takes the fateful turn from 36 on downwards. Sadly, sense is something baseball contract negotiations lack.

I'm not saying that A-Rod doesn't deserve to be the highest paid player in the game from now until 2010. I just think that he shouldn't be paid so much more than the next guy unless he's going to outperform the next guy by so much or unless he is going to add some off the field value to the team he ends up with. If logic were ruling the day, how could you possibly consider paying a corner infielder $20+ million per year into his late 30's when the best corner infielder in the game was signed for half of that at his prime. I am holding out hope that A-Rod will have to pay for giving up the biggest deal of all-time. It would certainly be some pretty sweet justice.

What Are We Supposed To Make Of The Detroit Lions? Well, Not Much As It Turns Out.

It's ok to look now. They ain't half bad.

When Jon Kitna said this offseason that Jesus came down from the high heavens (or something like that) and told him the Lions were going to win 10 games, I laughed. Not simply because Jon Kitna is crazy as a shithouse rat and I find his brand of backwoods lunatic humor hilarious, but because the idea of the Detroit Lions winning 10 games seemed so implausible that it literally caused me to do one of those laughs where your lips mimic flatulence and you do the ol' "get out of here" hand gesture. 10 wins for the Lions? "No fucking way," I exclaimed to no one in particular. And now at 6-2 and coming off an absolute SHITKICKING of the Denver Broncos and a matchup against the horrific Arizona Cardinals on the horizon, 10 wins for the Lions doesn't seem so funny anymore. In fact, other than Jon Kitna's halloween costume, the Lions are dead fucking serious and maybe should be taken as such. But then again, maybe they shouldn't.

You see the thing about the Lions is that they haven't beaten ANYONE. They've only played two teams who are going to the playoffs and are 1-1 in those games. They eeked out a win against the Bucs at home and they got murdered by the Skins 34-3 on the road. Going into last week, even at 5-2, they had been outscored by their opponents (they are now outscoring their opponents thanks to a 44-7 thrashing of the awful and getting worse Broncos). This past weekend was probably their most impressive win so far this year and it's possible that three weeks from now we'll learn that the team they beat is one of the 4 worst teams in the NFL. Their defense is atrocious. They give up almost 260 yards in the air per game, good for 3rd worst in the league. They can't run it. Even with Kevin Jones healthy, the Lions are in the bottom third of the league for rushing offense with less than 100 yards per game. And though they have a solid passing game, the Detroit QBs (mostly Kitna) have been sacked a league high 36 times. They are +5 in turnover ratio but they turn the ball over a TON and it's likely to catch up with them at some point. But the real kicker is their schedule the rest of the way. After AZ next weekend, they may not win another game.

The schedule genies were not kind to the flying Kitnas and it is the final 7 teams they play that will serve as the pee on their seemingly blessed parade. Their final 7 games are Giants, Green Bay, @ Minn, Dallas, @ San Diego, KC and @ Green Bay. To put it a little more clearly, the win-loss record of their first 9 opponents is 30-43, the win-loss record of the last 7 opponents is currently 38-18. Yikes. Other than the home game against KC and perhaps the game in Minnesota, they will not be favored the rest of the year and will likely be double digit dogs against Dallas and at SD. Now that doesn't mean they can't make the playoffs because 8-8 is often times good enough in the JV league, but if you took the under against Kitna's 10, you're pretty safe.