Reading Between the Headlines

You may not have noticed, but the Summer of 2010 was pretty good to the Deuce.  Flush with blogger money and ready to reward myself for a summer of besmirching the legend of Tony Reali, I finally decided to ante up for the Red Zone Package, which at $6.99 month was a bit pricey (remember, we’re talking blogger dollars here, ok?) but hey, when Sports Illustrated links to your article about being old, I think it’s time to celebrate, right?  Well, that and I split it with a roommate.  So really, it’s like $4 a month (hey, this ain’t Deadspin). Read the rest of this entry

Reading Between the Headlines

The return of football season brings back to focus a lot of things, but most notably, the blustery sportscaster.  For some odd reason, FOOTBALL may only be announced in LOUD VOICES by GUYS who speak in run-on sentences while GRUNTING.  While I love football, I’m not sure I can take another season of Chris Berman gesticulating his way through a stream of highlights or Jon Gruden speaking in coach talk for an entire season.  There’s got to be someone better.  Nevermind.

And one other thing: Berman, I don’t normally like you, but for one reason or another, the moustache looks oddly right.  Bonus points for helping kill an emerging hipster trend.  On to this very special football-only edition of headlines:

Rex Ryan Loves His Snacks

Hard Knocks on HBO this season has been amazing from the start and this clip from the show is no different. It might even be one of the best endings to a pep talk ever in the history of endings to pep talks. Why? Well because of snacks of course. Who the fuck doesn’t want to eat a snack after getting pepped up? I know I do. Stick around til the end, its just randomness.

Reading Between the Headlines

You know you’ve reached the waning days of summer when the Sports Illustrated College Football Preview lands in your mailbox.  As a kid, you hate to see that issue because it means summer is almost over and you have to go back to school.  For some, as you get older, for four (or five) falls, that means you get to head back to college and live in a place that is pants-optional.  After that, it just means fall is near, so don’t forget to treat the lawn for cooler temperatures!  Lame.

In any case, the SI College Football issue gives hope to people that love college football and are fanatical about their alma mater or adopted alma mater.  However, this only works if your team is actually good.  SI used to rank all 100+ D1 teams with a predicted won-loss record.  That was heartbreaking for many of us as we would page through the Top 25, Top 50, Top 75, and then finally settle into the Top 104, which is where we’d find our school, nestled between football powerhouses Kent State and Buffalo.  In college football, hope doesn’t always spring eternal, but tailgates do, so it’s not all bad.  On to some headlines:

  • Rex Ryan and Tony Dungy had a “man to man” discussion about Ryan’s cursing on “Hard Knocks.”

I lived in New York for a time and became engrossed in their culture of fandom.  It was fascinating to hear about the division between Jets v. Giants fans, Yankees v. Mets fans, and the Knicks v. a team of mole people.  Nonetheless, without fail, Jets fans fulfilled almost every Jets fan stereotype you’ve ever heard.  They were insufferable.  As much as I despised the Giants, I tended to watch more of their games because every time I saw Woody Johnson or Eric Mangini on television, it made me want to quit watching football.  Rex Ryan has changed all of that.  Ever since that first string of F-bombs and handful of pretzel M&Ms, I’ve become smitten.  I hope they win the Super Bowl.  Who cares if that means a nationwide shortage of Skoal?  I want to see Rex unleash a stream of curses while eating a Chipotle burrito so large it makes Joe Buck look like a child.

Clemens is either a massive liar or this is the worst case of “guilty by association” in history.  This is really just the nail in the coffin of an already-tarnished legacy: Clemens was always viewed as a jerk who didn’t really play with much class or humility.  Between his exit in Boston, forcing a trade out of Toronto, then lying to the Yankees about retirement, he has never really been anything more than a “me-first” player.  Sure, this just about crushes any chance of a Hall-of-Fame election for him, but to be honest, even if he was elected, it’s not like any of his teams would look to him as an ambassador of the game.  Maybe he should just tell the judge he was hypnotized.

Wayne Gretzky is one of my favorite hockey players ever.  Nonetheless, one of my favorite moments in “Swingers” occurs when Vince Vaughn’s character makes “Little Wayne’s” head bleed during a game of NHL ’94.  In terms of players who I’d most like to see this happen to, Eli Manning is up there.  So is his brother.  As well as Jay Cutler.  And Tony Romo.  I don’t have any particular disdain for these guys, nor do I wish them any bodily harm, but I just think if it’s going to happen to anyone, I want it to happen to them.  If it happened to Rex Ryan, I think the world might explode in badass.  He’d probably wipe his forehead with hot dog roll and get back to coaching.

Piece of advice for Pirates management: keep this kid out of the Arizona Fall League.

Looking pretty and feminine is expensive!  Plus, he’s got to take care of his wife and family’s expenses as well.  Haha!  Oh Becks, we kid because you’re a washed-up soccer player that really hasn’t done too much in the last ten years to warrant any kind of attention, but you married a plastic Spice Girl that loves Los Angeles so now we’re stuck with you.  And yet, you make millions.  This has been your “Why It Rules to be a Professional Athlete” update.

That’s all for this week.  Thank you very much indeed for your support of the Deuce.  We know the postings haven’t been as regular as we’d like, but the next few weeks promise to bring some new (and hopefully funny) things that have absolutely nothing to do with Stat Boy.  Until then, if you need me, I’ll be pre-gaming.

Reading Between the Headlines

There’s a play-at-home version of “Reading Between the Headlines” that takes place everytime a player or coach uses curse words to make a point.  Twice this week, we’ve been confronted with potty-mouthed professionals who used colorful language to express their feelings: Brandon Phillips and Rex Ryan.  When reporting these incidents on ESPN, newspapers, or local media, producers and writers went out of their way to make sure they give you as much information as possible about the curse word without actually telling you what it is.  So, when Phillips called the Cardinals “little bitches,” ESPN had no problem invoking the “female dog” explanation instead of using the word itself.  This happens all of the time and it puzzles me: who are you protecting when you do this?  This has got to be the ultimate, “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” in television, right?  Granted, there are probably enough stupid people and young kids out there who have no idea what that means, but I’m guessing they know how to use Google.  To this, I say: Whatever mainstream media, you just a bunch of scared little bitches.

As for my take: Phillips was a little inappropriate, but I love the onions it takes to say that stuff.  It is a page right out of WWE Marketing 101 and it led to one hell of a brawl.  And Rex Ryan?  All I can say is that I wish he coached my team.  Rex may not be the best coach in football, but he’s got a kick-ass attitude and he’s entertaining as hell.  UPDATE: Good for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  On to some headlines:

Yeah, I’m sure there are a list of NBA teams looking for an injury-prone malcontent who has had multiple run-ins with the law.  Nevermind, I just described the Denver Nuggets.  Marshall will fit in just fine.
  • New USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said disgraced Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush “apologized and expressed regret” over accepting improper benefits while playing at USC.
And then Reggie Bush rolled over and went to sleep on a big pile of money next to a younger, less annoying Kim Kardashian look-alike.  And in the morning, he put on his Super Bowl ring and walked out of his mansion, past the Heisman Trophy (that he still gets to keep) on his way to play professional football for the world champions in one of the coolest cities in America.  I’m not crying for Reggie Bush nor should you.  I just find it funny that the school that made millions of dollars off of him now wants to erase his existence because he broke the rules of being a ”student athlete.”  Meanwhile, the university made millions of dollars off said student athlete.  Interesting.  Party on, Reg.
  • New Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter won eight of his first ten games as O’s manager.

I’m happy for the Orioles and their fans for no other reason than it may draw attention away from the Ravens.  On a side note, I came across the next tired Internet Meme, “[Insert surprisingly successful athlete here] Facts.”  A few years ago, we had “Chuck Norris Facts.”  Someone played off that and created “Matt Wieters Facts.”  Ok, both were pretty funny because they were original, but do we really need “Adrian Beltre Facts” or “Buck Showalter Facts?”  Next thing you know there will be “Yuniesky Betancourt Facts.”  I will get us started:

Yuniesky Betancourt hates Bill James so much, he refuses to draw walks.

Imagine you are inflicted with a terrible disease that just crushes your body and soul for many years.  Finally, after much work, and proper care, you’re able to get rid of this disease and begin building your body and mind back to where it was before you were sick.  But then, in some sort of weird Stockholm Syndrome situation, you decide that because you lived so long with this debilitating disease, you just can’t imagine living life without it, so you decide to inject yourself with the sickness again.  That’s this story.  David Stern, as parental guardian, thankfully saved the Knicks from themselves.  Now, Dan Snyder, don’t you go getting any fancy ideas about bringing ole’ Vinny back!

Ever weirder: the last U.S. male to win a Grand Slam tournament was Andy Roddick in 2003.  While Roddick is still somewhat competitive, there doesn’t appear to be any big name talent after him.  Many people blame the decline of men’s tennis on socioeconomic as well as cultural factors.  I blame Agassi’s wig and the fact that he dumped Brooke Shields.  What kind of example are you setting?!?!?!?!   Then again, meth is a hell of a drug.

Everyone have a great weekend. If you need me, I’ll be grinding my feet into somebody’s couch.