From time to time, I've posted sports-themed posts on my other blogs, DiscConnected (music reviews and news) or Back In The USSR (political).

I decided to see if I could give ESPN 8 (The Ocho) a run for their money and started this blog.

I lifted the title from John DeBella's Philadelphia morning radio show back in the eighties.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


While the core of my posts usually convey a position I believe in, I often take an extreme position and infuse a lot of humor (all of it funny to me) in a manner which could be offensive.

Case in point: my last post. It really does demonstrate the arrogance of the human species when we use some of the language we use when our loved ones face horrible diseases.

I do not mean to imply that these people do not demonstate COURAGE and CHARACTER during their illness. It just is not a "fight" or a "battle."

My father passed away last night. He had been slowly deteriorating this year, and I think after eighty-five years was ready to call it quits. Then he fell, and was facing several weeks of rehabiliation therapy.

As sad as his passing makes me, I respect that he simply refused food and water rather than follow a medical rehabilitation plan that would have returned him to a condition of (his words) "something the cat dragged in."

I am also pissed as hell at him because my flight was not until this coming Friday and I didn't get the chance to say goodbye.

Another point-I poked a little fun at the players for sahving their heads in support of their coach, and I really feel this is a touching gesture.

But the main news story that prompted this post today was not my father, it was the sight of the Colts cheerleaders having their heads shaved in support of their coach.

Anyone who has spent a lot of time around beautiful young women (and I certainly have not spent as much as I would have liked) knows how much care they take of their hair. I have no doubt that the lovely Megan pictured here is proud of her locks.

That is why I think it was such a touching gesture for her to have them shorn and donated to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients!

Megan agreed to have her head shaved on television in front of a national audience if the team mascot, Blue, could raise $10,000 for cancer research by November 25.

More than $22,000 was raised.

Just when I give up on America, someone comes along and does something like this!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Nearly three dozen players on the Indianapolis Colts have shaved their heads in a show of support for coach Chuck Pagano, who is undergoing treatment for a form of leukemia.

When Pagano showed up in the Colts' locker room Sunday without his grayish hair or trademark goatee, player director of engagement David Thornton decided to bring in a barber following Tuesday's practice.

The idea was an immediate hit.

Andrew Luck became a new member of the no-hair club Wednesday morning - a team spokesman confirmed that Luck will indeed look quite different when he takes off his helmet before Thursday night's game.

Now here's my problem with all this.

People are so self-absorbed that they attribute far too much credit to people suffering from horrible diseases.

They "valiantly battle," or "fight the good fight" against cancer.

I am not insensitive to people who suffer from cancer, and in fact, I lost one of the people I cared about most on this rock to cancer, but all of that is simply bullshit.

Cancer is a disease that you contract. It is not a steel cage match against Hulk Hogan.

If you're lucky, our barbaric treatments will send it into remission for a period of time, maybe even long enough so that something else kills you first.

You don't fight it.

You don't battle it.

It eats away at you until you die.

If someone's cancer goes into remission, does that mean they were a better "fighter" than someone who dies?


Some people are lucky.

Life isn'f fair.

Some people die. Sometimes at too young an age.

That's the end of it.

Plus what about people who live with bald scalps every day?

Why aren't people shaving their heads in support of me?

I expect all of you readers to go out and shave your heads immediately!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling. Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union, the sport’s governing body, said Armstrong, “deserves to be forgotten.”

And it seems like everyone is piling on, from corporate sponsors terminating agreements to the Boston Marathon vacating his time in the 2008 race.

Sheryl Crow is even going to pull songs influenced by her relationship with Armstrong from their respective releases.

Okay, I'm kidding about that part-I needed an excuse to post a Sheryl Crow picture!

Armstrong claims the process is "rigged" against him and maintains his innocence, saying he never failed a drug test.  He has said that he, his teammates and those riders who competed against him would always know he won those seven Tours.

I am as conflicted on this one as I was on the steriods in baseball issue (well at least the Senate didn't get involved in this one).

Just as Barry Bonds in baseball, it seems implausible that Armstrong could be innocent.

It bothers me that it's so many years later that action is taken.

But the big question for me:

Who will the titles go to-second place?

Because I am certain that if Armstrong was a doper, the guy who finished two seconds behind him was probably squeaky clean!

Monday, October 8, 2012


The argument of creation versus evolution has finally been proven out. The behavior in Kansas City yesterday proves that a divine hand had nothing to do with Americans, who obviously evolved from apes, and apparently are not very far from the tree.

Embattled Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel suffered a concussion when he got decked by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata in the fourth quarter.

It was a devastating hit as the 6-foot-4, 350-pounder had a full head of steam when he crashed into Cassel.

And I am sure it made the highlight reels with the ESPN staff yelling "JACLED UP!" or some other expression to celebrate the savagery of the hit.

Too bad about Cassel, huh?

Before kickoff, an airplane circled the stadium with a banner calling for Cassel to be benched and for general manager Scott Pioli to be fired.

But in what is one of the most disgraceful moments in Kansas City sports history, fans cheered when Cassel got hurt.

You heard that right. The hometown fans cheered that the hometown quarterback was knocked out of the game. This was before the extent of the injury was known. They cheered.

After the game, Cassel was visibly upset.

Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston went on a rant after the game where he criticized the fans for taking joy in Cassel's pain.

"We are athletes, we are not gladiators,” Winston told Kansas City reporters. “This isn’t the Roman Colisseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want. But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there.”

"Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people, hasn’t done anything to the media writers who kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him. If he’s not the best quarterback, he’s not the best quarterback, and that’s OK. But he’s a person. And he got knocked out in a game, and we got 70,000 people cheering If you’re one of those people who were out there cheering, or even smiled, when he got knocked out, I just want everyone to know it’s sickening and disgusting.”

Not Kansas City's finest moment.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


To my younger sister, who went to college in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-eighties, the members of the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears team ranked just slightly behind the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.

I remember hearing her talk about the "Super Bowl Shuffle" when she called in a rather inebriated state after that contest.

A few years later, rebellious quarterback Jim McMahon was an Eagle, and he challenged the stereotype of the quarterback's role by jumping over the top of the pile and taking punishing hits then getting back up for more.

During his career with the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and other teams, McMahon never started a full season. His tough and sometimes reckless style of play meant he suffered many, many injuries.

Now, 16 years after he retired, he is experiencing an injury that can't be fixed by a surgery or therapy.

At 53, McMahon is in the early stages of dementia. He is part of the group suing the NFL that says they hid the effects of concussions.

"Being injured, if you don't play, you don't get paid. If I was able to walk out on that field, I was gonna play," he said in an interview at his Arizona home.

McMahon is part of a group of more than 2,000 players whose concussions have filled their retirement with dementia, memory loss, and in some cases, a bitter end.

McMahon's teammate, Dave Duerson, committed suicide and asked for his brain to be studied. He was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the same disease found in other players who have died under tragic circumstances.

The NFL has made strides in improving how concussions and head injuries are treated. Though problems still exist, like Colt McCoy being sent back in the game last season when he was not healthy, the culture around head traumas is changing.

But the retired players who sacrificed their bodies to create the exciting game we all know and love today should not be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I was away over the weekend, but saw enough on the Sunday night NFL highlight shows that I thought I could have a post in the making.

I got home from the airport and turned on the TV to this play and all of a sudden the post was writing itself!

At the end of the Seattle Seahawk's 14-12 "win" over the Green Bay Packers, the refs ruled that Seattle WR Golden Tate scored a game-winning touchdown on a simultaneous catch with Green Bay DB M.D. Jennings.

The problem is that the play shouldn't have been ruled a simultaneous catch, it should have been ruled an interception and a touchback

On every angle played on the replay, Jennings clearly had posession, with Tate getting a hand on the ball later.

I'm not Packers fan, but this is clearly a case of the replacement officials' lack of experience deciding the outcome of a game.

See for yourself...

If you watch the replay, you see Jennings alone with posession and down by contact.

The league is obviously not going to expedite the dispute with the striking officials.

So what's a fan to do?

Sadly, Americans are apathetic, and do not realize how much influence they could have on their lives if they were to organize.


Now I know Americans are not strong-willed enough to all not watch football for a weekend, but if from Thursday night through Monday night no TV were tuned to the NFL, no one went to a sports bar and most important, no one showed up at a game, the NFL would take notice.

But I know American won't skip their trips to the bar, and also recognize that the ticket prices are so high that to simply not go is a pretty big budget hit. Plus by not going to the game, the players are punished for the sins of the owners and the league commissioner.

But here is something that would be pretty easy to pull off.


Again, I know Americans cannot not drink beer for a weekend (althoiugh wouldn't it be nice to see some discipline among our general population).

But what about this?

Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors spend a fortune ($134m and $88M last season, respectively) advertising on NFL games.

What if no one in America bought those beer brands from 5pm Eastern on Thursday through 8 am Eastern on Tuesday?

Buy something else to tailgate before the games, and get good and looped so you don't buy a drop in the stadium.

You'll still be drunk and obnoxious in the stands, you'll just have a liquor hangover instead of a beer hangover on Monday morning.

In sports bars and at home, enjoy a local microbrew for a change, or a nice Guinness, and no matter how many Bud Light girls wander through your sports bar in skimpy cheerleader outfits, hold fast.

Do not drink a drop.

I promise you, the beer companies will make sure the league takes notice.

You might learn some things in the process (micro brewed beers taste good, you can make a difference if you're willing to stand up for something, if you're over thirty those bar girls are only flirting with you to sell beer, if you're sober you can actually follow the game).

If you drink less, you might even find yourself able to remember the game without having to watch the highlight show.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


NFL Films President Steve Sabol has died after an 18-month battle with brain cancer at age 69.

NFL FIlms, based in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, has won more than 100 Emmy Awards, with Steve Sabol receiving 40 of those for writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. In 2003, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Sabol was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 2, 1942, and started his career in 1964 as a cameraman working for his father’s company.

Sabol spent the next 50 years working for the NFL and transformed the way NFL Films chronicled games, incorporating super-slow motion, wireless microphones on players, reverse-angle replays, so-called follies films of bizarre plays and custom-composed musical scores.

In 2007, the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored Sabol with the Dan Reeves Pioneer Award, which recognizes innovative ideas that have contributed to the game of professional football.

Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny; a son, Casey; his sister, Blair; and his parents.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I was wondering why my legion of followers were not commenting on these thought-provoking and cerebral posts.

Stephen T. McCarthy pointed out that the comment feature was not working.

Let's see if I fixed it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This post really doesn't fit on any of my blogs, so since I haven't posted here in a while, the sports blog gets the nod.

A while back, Stephen T. McCarthy and I spent a long time discussing the difference between "cute" and "beautiful."

Stephen himself did a post on the topic here.

While Stephen differentiates between beautiful and pretty, I have only three categories for women I find desirable.

Beautiful (or pretty)
Cute (often as a button)
Sexy (making thoughts quickly turn impure)

Not all categories are mutually exclusive, and one is not necessarily better than the other.

There are cute women who are incredibly beautiful and sexy, and there are women that I consider animal-magnetism sexy that by no stretch of the imagination would they be considered beautiful.

A certain commercial I have seen lately pretty much NAILS the definition of cute, so I thought I'd share that with you.

Here goes a lady who EXUDES cuteness!

Morgan Smith Goodwin

Is she cute or what?

Now here are a couple of ladies I would classify as beautiful:

Angie Harmon

Charkize Theron

Shall a pause and give you a chance to catch your breath?

Now for downright sexy, I usually turn to brunettes, and they're usually either Italian or Latina.

Sofia Vargas

Salma Hayek would also make that list.

So would Rene Russo.

Here's another one that makes my list.

I am not sure if the picture captures why, but if you have ever seen Jennfier Esposito act, her persona captures the East Coast attitude I absolutely LOVE in a woman, and she's pretty much a hottie, too.

Check her out on "Blue Bloods."

Jennifer Esposito

This is a fun debate, even though Stephen and I have not revived it in a while.

The field research can't be beat!

Hey sports fans-the Cardinals lost their starting quarterback on the opening drive of their first preseason game! Do you think Brett Favre would be willing to come back?

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Football is a punishing game.

For most players, injury is a constant fact of life, with pain and disability as unfortunate byproducts.

Over the past few months it has become known that for some, delivering debilitating blows had become a brutal and lucrative goal in itself.

Gregg Williams, defensive coach for the New Orleans Saints, admitted that he promised cash bonuses, or "bounties," to players who “knocked out” opponents.

Mr. Williams is said to have relied on these incentives during the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl championship season.

It is interesting to note that during this season, the Saints were rarely fined by the league.

One exception was the NFC title game in 2009 against Minnesota where the Saints brutalized QB Brett Favre. The NFL fined four Saints players for hits in that game, three of them on Favre.

Regular readers of my blogs will know that I enjoyed watching Favre get hit.

While for many professional football players, the sums may have been modest, any financial inducement to cause injury to other players (even Brettie) crosses a line.

I have no disagreement with that.

The Wahington Post stated that Mr. Williams should be barred from coaching, and that other team officials wh o condoned or tolerated inducements to injure or maim should also face stiff penalties. The Post further declares that individual players who took part should also face consequences and that the NFL must send a resounding message that there is no place for such savagery.

The NFL suspended several members of the Saint's coaching staff, as well as several players.
While I do not disagree with the disciplinary action taken, I am conflicted on whether the "bounty" policy had any effect on the players' behavior.

Since the early 1980's, Sports Illustrated magazine has offered football videos as subscription inducements, with titles like "Crunch Course" and  "Crunchtime" that celebrate devastating collisions and crushes designed to make an opponent think twice on the next matchup.

In the 1970's , Jack Tatum earned a reputation as a fierce competitor, and was considered one of the hardest hitters ever to play the game. Nicknamed "Assasin," he may have been most widely known for a hit he made on New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley in 1978 that paralyzed Stingley from the chest down.

Tatum never made any effort to apologize or to see him after the incident. "It could have happened to anybody," said Tatum. "People are always saying, 'He didn't apologize.' I don't think I did anything wrong that I need to apologize for. It was a clean hit."

From 2003 through 2006, the ESPN Monday Night Countdown Jacked Up! segment showed a collection of hits from the previous day's games, narrated by Tom Jackson, culminating with he and the rest of the jock-turned-commentators on the set screaming "Jacked Up!"

As intellectually stimulating as this ESPN programming sounds, it was essentially celebrating cheap shots and injuries, making it the closest thing basic cable had to a snuff film.

All this makes me question whether the Saints players hit any harder or played any more aggressively because of the promise of a bounty that amounts to pocket change for them.

Am I the only one who thinks injury is a forseeable consequence of three-hundred pound men running at each other at top speed in a steriod-induced rage?

America CELEBRATES this violence.

These games are the bread and circuses of our empire, and the violence is what keeps our dull minds preoccupied while our politicians rape the future for our children.

If you want to stop it, there is really only one action that will have any effect.

Change the channel.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


A few years ago, while he was still with the Philadelphia Eagles (and had a deal worth in the neighborhood of $50 million), Terrell Owens was holding out and had the following to say:

"Currently, I am trying to get Philly to restructure my contract because I feel I've earned a bigger paycheck. It's a team matter, so that is all I will be saying."

Now keep in mind the deal was only in its second year, and while you may hear rough things about the City That Booed Santa Claus (we did!), their sports franchises do not normally use Corleone-ian techniques in contract negotiarions.

But T.O. could never leave anything at "all I will be saying," so he was also quoted as follows:

"If they don't wanna pay me, they can trade me. I'll go to camp, but I'll be unhappy. I gotta feed my family..."

I understand that $50 million doesn't go as far as it used to, but I think it would be a while before Mrs. Owens was serving Ramen noodles.

Last week, Terrell Owens signed with a team in the  Indoor Football League, and if we are to believe the article in the latest issue of GQ, a future Hall of Famer who played 15 seasons in the NFL and made at least $80 million, did it for the money. Sadly, Terrell Owens has very little left.

He's broke!

He really does have to worry how to feed his family!

A combination of bad investments, large child support payments, and trusting the wrong people have left Terrell Owens with very little to show for his time as a star player.

"I hate myself for letting this happen," Owens said. "I believed that they had my back when they said, 'You take care of the football, and we'll do the rest.' And in the end, they just basically stole from me."

Terrell Owens is ready to play football again. He says he's completely recovered from the knee injury that required surgery last summer, works out three hours a day to keep that physique he's famous for and even has a stack of shoe boxes filled with new cleats waiting by the door of his Los Angeles condo.

"I'm ready," Owens said. "They may not be ready for me, but me: I'm ready."

Owens, 38, has the second-most receiving yards in NFL history, and might have been the best ever at his position. I could make the argument. Sadly, Owens talent was overshadowed by his behavior off the field, but within the boundaries of the sport. Seen as showboating egomaniac who was a great player but known to be a terrible teammate, becoming a force of disruption and distraction on three teams (San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas). While he seemed to have grown up in Buffalo and Cincinnati, his reputation has followed him and no team seems to want him playing for them.

"They, you, need a bad guy," Owens said, referring to the media. "I think people change, but the media, they never allowed me to change. They never allowed me to be a better person."

Owens insists he has a few more playing years left in him. "I will be here next year," he said. "I'll be fit and healthy and ready to play."

Monday, January 2, 2012


Michael Strahan broke the NFL single season sack record with 22.5 sacks in 2001, by sacking Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers in the final regular season game.

Favre was the target of controversy after the incident, as it was Strahan's lone sack of the game and some analysts expressed the opinion that Favre allowed himself to be sacked in order to allow Strahan to set the record.

Some remember Favre laying down in the waning seconds of that game to give Strahan an easy sack.

Said Michael Freeman in the New York Times:

Yes, Mr. Favre, Strahan deserves the record, but please, handing it to him the way you did, as if you were throwing change into a Salvation Army bucket, is the kind of mistake Favre may never live down.

I was a little surprised last year when this was brought up on ESPN's Mike & Mike In The Morning, and both Mikes and their guest (I forgot who) spoke about the event as if there was no question that Favre gave up the record.

Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings had 22 sacks in the recently wrapped 2011 season.

And not one quarterback laid down for him.

In fact, they tried NOT to be sacked.

Unfortunately for Allen, he fell just short of the record that was in his crosshairs throughout the entire season.

Since Strahan's record-breaking season, only one other player besides Allen has broken the 20-sack mark (DeMarcus Ware in 2008 with 20).

"It's like being runner-up at the prom," Allen said of falling short of Strahan's record. "The crown (for second place) doesn't weight as much, I guess."

There was an interesting article that mentions a possible uncredited sack that would have given Allen the record anyway (see the site HERE)

In his "Snap Judgements" column,'s Don Banks said what many were thinking when it comes to that particular mark.

I don't know about you, but I am going to recognize Vikings defensive end Jared Allen as the NFL's all-time single-season sack king, with the 22 he racked up this year, capped by Sunday's big 3.5-sack showing in a loss to Chicago.

Allen may have come up a half-sack shy of Michael Strahan's 2001 record of 22.5 sacks in the eyes of the league, but we all remember how Strahan got the record-breaker that season.

I wonder if Brett Favre had a flashback Sunday and fell down without a fight somewhere?

I feel bad that Michael Strahan still has to answer questions about the validity of his record, but considering that Brett ended his career by basically acting like a little girl, I love that not only has this not been forgotten, it is not just remembered by non-Favre-fans like me and Stephen T. McCarthy!

Because if you google Jared Allen sacks for 2011, there are an awful lot of mentions about Brett lying down!

Said an analyst on one of the major television networks Sunday night (speaking of Allen's attempt at the record)?

"Where's Brett Favre when you need him?"

Check it out-even the official NFL site seems to question the legitimacy of Strahan's Favre sack!

This is where Favre could've come into play because, much like he took a dive to give Strahan the record, Allen could've used a similar assist from Bears quarterback McCown.