Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas Eve Steakapalooza Broncos-Chargers Monday Night Football Live Blog

11:02 - And now I've got Morgan Freeman from the upcoming "The Bucket List" narrating the year's Monday Night highlights. You know what I want to do before I kick the bucket? Watch some quality football.

Oh well. Maybe now I'll do some dishes, or ... drink. I've got Drunken Master on Netflix. Sounds like me. I mean, did you see that dinner? Holy shit, man. Holy shit.

Happy holidays.

11:00 - Final score: 23-3. Total score on the year between the teams: 64-6, SD. That's what you call an ass-whupping, my friends.

10:58 - Cutler throws a deep pick, and Kornheiser says that Cutler just walked off the field and sat right down on the bench. "Been one of those nights, one of those years for the Broncos," says Jaworski. Yup Jaws, you're right - my optimism on the eve of the season WAS short-sighted, misguided, retarded and dumbfounded. Thanks, Jaws.

10:54 - Marshall takes a short slant, plants, spins and goes the other way. There's really no other receiver in the league that makes that move better. And wow - John Lynch is in the baseball Hall of Fame for throwing out the first pitch in Marlins' history? Really? I'll take "Shit I Had Absolutely No Fucking Idea Of for $1,000, Alex."

10:42 - They show a clip of Philip Rivers talking shit after Cutler failed on fourth down. "Hey, get off our field, loser! Baby! My team wins in spite of me! I throw a football like I'm trying to shotput a frozen turkey to the cashier! The bus is over there - right where ours will be when we get back from getting rolled by the Colts in the second round of the playoffs! Gaaaaahhh!"

Am I ready to live in a world where Philip Rivers is a cocky douche? That's a good question. Even MJD would tell him to shut the fuck up.

10:39 - While talking about Norv Turner's stellar head coaching record, a graphic pops up saying that NORV! is 9-6 in his first season in San Diego. Really? Sweet! Broncos win! Broncos win!

10:31 - Cecil Sapp is stuffed on fourth-and-inches from the 1 3/4-yard line. As a fellow Colorado State alum, that play perfectly sums up three things: 1) the Broncos suck; 2) CSU sucks; and 3) I suck for following both of those football squadrons this year. Really, I should've spent all that time doing crunches, or helping the homeless, or cleaning my pee hole with melted pipe cleaners.

10:24 - Again they bring up the fact that Jay Cutler is from Santa Claus, Indiana. You know what I want for Christmas, Santa? A pass rush and a fucking running game. And a Wii.

And more scotch.

10:16 - Well, I was right. Sort of. 23-3, SD. And now a Cialis commercial. What's the difference between Cialis and Viagra? Color? Price? When all you want is an erection, are you really in the market to pick and choose between competitors?

10:11 - With Philip out of the game, superbackup Billy Volek hits the fullback's elbow with the ball before handing off, and the Broncos recover. Will they score? Maybe a field goal. Maybe.

10:07 - A pass goes right off Scheffler's hands and into a Chargers' safety's breadbasket. Kornheiser, again, talks about how Denver moves well between the 20s, but does horribly in the red zone. You know what, Tony? Maybe they're just not Communists. You ever think of that, you pinko bastard?

10:04 - The announcers are praising Brandon Marshall, just as Cutler underthrows him by about five yards while he's wide open. YAC only matters when you involve the "C" part, boys.

9:50 - Jesus. First Antonio Gates makes a one-handed grab, now Vincent Jackson tip-toes the sideline after Rivers scrambles and tries to throw it away. Basically, nothing is going right. Like all the dances I went to in high school.

9:43 - Hey, guess who's kicking off to start the second half? Yeah, this game's over.

9:30 - SD 16, Denver 0 at the half. I've seen things in my stool that look better than the Broncos' offense. Fuck. Well, there's highlights of players' legs moving fast and Berman's babbling about some shit - that means it's time for a cigarette.

9:28 - The Broncos give up another long pass play. Their secondary is like a Rube Goldberg sketch - it looks good on paper, but doesn't really work in the real world.

9:16 - I'm going to die. I can hear my heart cursing me.

9:08 - Ernster playgrounds another punt up the middle for about negative seven yards. It looks like he's trying to kick a NERF Turbo Football in winter at dusk. Christ.

9:03 - I've figured out the problem with Cutler. He wears his helmet low on his skull, but he also wears one of those big, plastic-cupped chin straps. The result is that his face gets scrunched; he looks like he's furrowing his brow AND pouting at the same time. Not a good look for an NFL QB.

8:50 - Luis Castillo makes a play on third down forcing the Broncos to punt. Shawne Merriman's also made a few plays in this game so far. Cut-blocking vs. steroid abuse - FEEL THE CHEATING!

8:40 - LaDainian Tomlinson says that he wouldn't want to keep playing just to break the all-time rushing record because he has so much respect for Emmitt Smith. Well guess what, LT? That's exactly what Emmitt did! He hung on with the Cardinals just to push Sweetness down! Further proof that Emmitt can lick Barry Sanders' balls.

8:34 - After reporting that Todd Sauerbrun was cut do to a problem with a cab fare (the cabbie sold him steroids?), old-hand Paul Ernster promptly unleashes a monster of a punt. If a monster was a small, shivering, blubbering vagina. Jesus.

8:27 - ESPN does a kickoff after the Chargers kick a field goal without any sound, to honor a fallen colleague who headed up the audio department. Pretty cool, in a weird way - because Tirico ends up talking afterwards, anyway.

8:22 - While talking about the intensity between the teams, Jaworski says "this is the NFC West, remember a 41-3 thrashing the Chargers put on the Broncos, they remember that." I'm sure they do, but I'm sure they don't remember following the Seahawks to the NFC West, Jaws.

8:15 - Jay Cutler steps up to avoid the rush and fumbles. Yes, Booth, we know he fumbles a lot. He's got small, demure hands, more adept at holding a joint than a football. This is not a bad thing.

(Umm....yes, it is.)

8:10 (note - now times will revert to the REAL version, instead of when I saw shit on TiVo - and, yes, I know this defeats the purpose of "live" blogging) - Mike Tirico says that since the Buccaneers finally got kickoff return for a TD, the Broncos are next at 120-something games, since 2000. Sweet. Another thing we suck at. Where are you, Glyn Milburn?

8:37 - I DEFY you to come up with something better than this.

8:16 - I have no idea what the hell's going on in the game, but the tip of my right index finger is burned and my kitchen smells fucking awesome.

7:55 - Shit. I assumed the game was starting at 8:30, like always. Nope - 8 o'clock. Fuck. This throws everything off. Do I cook while the game starts, or use TiVo, which I luckily own? Stay tuned ... (although I'm probably going to use TiVo and pause that shit until I'm ready to eat. Which means ... wait, this doesn't affect anyone. Who am I here to please? I'm pausing this shit.)

7:32 - Slice mushrooms and onions that will go on top of the steaks. There's a million kitchen gadgets out there - and believe me, I love them all - but is there something that will let me not cut onions and shit at that annoying angle? I mean, we can have a phone, a music player and the internet in one hand-held device but I can't get a plastic doo-dad that lets me cut perfect 1/8" slices of the vegetable or fruit of my choosing? Fuck that.

7:01 - Start peeling potatoes. I have an ivory-bladed, swivel-head vegetable peeler. It's got a contour grip, and an easy dial to switch from left-hand to right-hand. God, it's fucking sweet.

5:02-6:46 - Uploading photos to Flickr. One of those "in the future, I should definitely do this as I take them, not wait for five months" kind of things.

4:13 - I shower with a beer. Our shower has a small window way up in the corner, which is perfect for the beer shower. Why? Because there's no chance of random shampoo or soap sprays getting in there. Every man should shower while drinking a beer at least once a month. This should be federal law.

3:44 - I get home and marinate my steaks. I bought two at the store, because I went to a few different butchers and they were pretty much out. So I got a pretty nice rib cut, and a filet mignon. Because why the fuck not?

I simply salt and pepper the filet and put it in the fridge. The rib cut I salt and pepper on both sides and throw into a Ziploc bag with some scotch, some beer, some bbq sauce, a little honey mustard, and the juice from a lime. Will it taste good? C'mon - it's a big-ass steak. As long as you don't burn it blacker than Luol Deng, you can marinate it in piss and it'll still probably taste great.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Let's Talk About College Basketball, Shall We?

Here's the thing: I love basketball. I don't write about it all that much, because it's like describing sex. I feel like I can't do it justice. Watching a perfect pick-and-roll (I saw one last night when Chris Kaman dropped a midrange jumper by rolling off of a pick just TWO STEPS) or a well-executed break off of a long rebound, I just go warm all over and feel like I walk though cars or fight a school of fish and win. It's the damn truth.

There is, I'm afraid, a disconnect in the college game. I can't get excited about teams that take ten to fifteen seconds to set up a play that takes twenty to execute. It promotes the most boring kind of basketball-- sloppy picks, easy baskets on over-extended defenses and worst of all: coaches are allowed to overthink every play. I've picked on Sean Miller and Xavier before, and I will again today. There were plays where three people tried to pick for Drew Lavender (one of my favorite "won't make it in the pros, so he plays his fucking heart out every day 'cause this might be it" guards) and none of them rolled anywhere near the basket. Even if Lavender sprung free, who would be open near him? Everyone was standing around behind him, leaving him with an awkward bank shot that had a better chance of hitting me on my couch than rolling in. He made one out of three of those, and the commentators went nuts.

Then, with a small lead, Xavier made the same mistake they made against Ohio State in the tourney last year. They slowed down the ball. Against a good offensive team in Tennessee. And they gave up pretty much the exact same run-- 8-0 in the final two minutes-- and lost. Overthought. A game lost.

Conversely, Memphis' John Calipari put together a ridiculous second half against Georgetown. Memphis kept running them out of the gym-- refusing to stop penetrating or scoring early in the shot clock to keep the pressure applied. Lo and behold, they won a fairly convincing matchup. Call Calipari what you want, but he knows how to win when he's ahead. He knows he has a group of 18-21-year-old kids that don't want to do anything but play and win. The best way to do that is to let them run and press and play the way they did to grab that lead. If you lose because you continued to exploit weakness and beat a team at the end of the game (when they are tired), so be it. Losing in a slowed down offensive set when you've had success taking the forst open shot is ludicrous.

I propose a 30-second shot clock. Any team can muster a play in that amount of time and the games will be more compact and tighter in flow. Meanwhile, coaches may have to reconsider their "milk the clock, wait until there is a "7" on the shot clock, and force up a horrendous three strategy." They will have to call plays toward the end of the game like NBA coaches do. Maybe they will call the wrong plays, or set eight picks with no rolls. Maybe they'll draw up new plays to attack tired, desperate players and exploit over-aggressiveness toward the end of the game. Maybe, just maybe.

Either way, I can't love the current format if it continues like this. It's just five seconds. It will make for better basketball for... uh, me, I guess.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Outside the Aviary: Your Cheatin' Heart

Every week, I enter (and lose) a gambling pool at my office on pro football. Every week, I highlight the Patriots to win on the NY Post Gambling lines, and they win. Every week, I see a little asterisk beside the Patriots name indicating a "caught cheating" at the bottom of the page. This snarky reminder is an absolutely typical New York City dick move.

Not that I am complaining about it-- I mean their paper, their choice. But let's be honest, guys. Let's call on the dogs for everything. Here's the proposal: each time you print something about the Yankee teams of 1996-2001, place a star beside that too.

I was watching a Yankee classic the other day: Andy Pettite* vs. Kevin Brown* and that's when the Mitchell Report results hit home. Those two teams were tainted because the pitching-- which John Sterling and Michael (fucking) Kaye said was the anchor of a Yankee team that hit like shit through that entire 1998 playoff run--is the reason the playoffs are so vibrant and alive. Every pitch was important, every breath was held on the delivery. It's like that every year.

Calling Clemens* or Pettite* or even F.P. Santangelo* a cheater or a liar is pointless. So, then, is calling this Patriots team the same thing-- and in such a ridiculous manner as the Post does. If we're gonna call great championship teams out for doing whatever they can to win, let's do that-- let's do exactly that-- and get it right this time. From 1996-2001, those Yankee teams* were among the best in history and the bane of my existence. Everyone on their roster, from Chuck Knoblauch* to the younger versions of Mike Lowell and Joe Borowski have to suffer for this in a way. As do we all.

*-caught cheating

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lost & Found: Time

All my time-keeping devices are set to the future. My watch - five minutes ahead. My alarm clock - ten minutes ahead. My pocket watch with the dimestore whore engraved on the inside - fifteen minutes ahead. (OK, I don't own that. But it'd be sweet if I did.)

I'd assume that a very large number of people do this. The problem is, in the back of your mind, you always know that it's ahead. You wake up, see "8:18 am" and you hit the snooze, thinking, "Eh, I've got ten more minutes."

Appropriately, this week's "Lost & Found with the Denver Broncos" is being filed late. I thought I had more time.

A clock. That's also a calendar!

This was found outside the home players' entrance at Invesco Field shortly before kickoff on Sunday.

The Broncos played their most complete game of the season against the Chiefs. True, they were playing a pretty shitty team (sorry, co-worker Scott), at home, with the opposition's star running back on the bench. But whatever. When you're two games back in the division - two and a half, with the Chargers' earlier win - and just as far back in the wild card entering the final quarter of the season, you take a W when and where you can get it.

Unfortunately, it's probably too little, too late (damn you, Titans). Hit the snooze, roll over, and look forward to next year.

(Although I hope Mike Shanahan has a recurring nightmare this off-season: Don't kick it to Hester, don't kick it to Hester ... Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Now they're eating it. Incredible! This video is going to take the intertubes by storm!

Hey, wait - I'm getting a message from something.

Hello. Would you like to play a game? Tic-Tac-Toe - Chess - Poker - Fighter Combat - Guerrilla Engagement - Desert Warfare - Global Thermonuclear War - Major College Football National Championship

We live in Washington state. What the hell do we know about Desert Warfare? Pick Major College Football National Championship.

[types it in]

General, we seem to have a problem. Some small, mid-major hackers appear to have infiltrated Working Hard Obliterating Playoffs & Protecting Exorbitant Revenues. They're playing Major College Football National Championship - and they're close to the end.

WHOP*PER? I thought you said that damn thing was as impenetrable as my wife's balloon knot!

It is, sir. I mean ... it was. They must've used some kind of trick code or something. The thing is, uh, sir, they're ...

[looks down, bites the tip of his thumb]

They're what, you thumb-sucking peckersnatch?

They're about to find out our secret. We're going to have to go ...


... to DopeCon 1.

1998 Kansas State Gambit ... 1998 Tulane Surprise ... 2000 Miami-Washington Hypothetical Counterstrike... 2001 Nebraska-Oregon Passover ... 2003 Oklahoma-LSU-USC Alliance ... 2004 Foolproof Auburn SEC Ploy ... 2004 Utah Thrust ... 2005 Notre Dame Piggyback ... 2006 Boise State Statue of Liberty Unblemished Attack ... 2007 Clusterfuck Upset Barrage

What's it doing?

I think it's ... learning.

Hypothetical BCS Conference Team A: wins all games, loses conference title game ...
Hypothetical BCS Conference Team B: loses first game, wins all remaining games ...
Hypothetical BCS Conference Team C: wins first three games, loses on the road to nationally-ranked power after starting quarterback hurts his ...

[frenzied permutations continue, increasingly faster]

Great gobs a goose shit. What in the sam hell is that thing doing?

Hypothetical Non-BCS Conference Team 632,608 DLQQOBEM: beats sixth-ranked BCS Conference team at home in late September ...
Hypothetical Non-BCS Conference Team 632,608 DLQQOBEM: loses to sixth-ranked BCS Conference team on the road in late September ...

It's finding out what we already know, sir.

[the permutations are coming so fast, it's a blur - until the screen goes bright white for five full seconds, whereupon the prompt screen comes back]

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

Ha-ha! Gee whiz, sure!

That's it gentlemen. We're now at DopeCon 1. Get SpitFire warmed up in the bullpen ready to fly.

I'm all thituated and rip-roarin' ready to get at them thunthabitzeth, thir! Thith ith my mongooth - it'z pretty thcary, duntcha think?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lost & Found: Hands

Do you know how much a large birthday cake costs? A gigantic, mouth-watering chocolate mousse cake? That can feed 40 people, or 240,000 Olsen twins?

A lot. But holy cake-eating Christ was it good (if not slightly misspelled).

It was my girlfriend's birthday recently. I got her a bracelet. Why? Because women like jewelry. (If you're a man, and you did not know this, walk over to a table, place your penis on it, and smash it with a hammer.)

Luckily, she liked it. And it ended up being her birthstone! Score, and score (she didn't know it, either). Sometimes, I do things right. These times are like lunar eclipses or a James Dolan coherent thought: they occur very rarely, and are extremely short-lived.

I mention this only because I nearly bought her something else: a pair of gloves. She has a semi-cheap cotton pair, the kind you get for three bucks off a guy's table on 18th St. and Fifth Avenue. So I walked around the Union Square holiday booths, and found one that was all gloves.

Leather gloves with laces. Leather gloves with zippers. Leather gloves with buttons. Leather gloves that go halfway up the forearm. Felt gloves. Silk gloves. Satin gloves. Gloves made from the meat curtains of nubile Russian strippers.

We're talking quality shit here.

But I decided against it, ultimately, because of why she needed them in the first place: she had lost them. Fuck that! I'm not spending money on something that's going to be left at a bar. I'd rather spend money on something that's going to break and fall off because of shoddy workmanship; that's an overriding philosophical principle, right there.

This quaint little foray into lessons of relationships brings us to: Lost & Found with the Denver Broncos!

This week:


These were found outside Oakland's McAfee Coliseum, new and unused.

Now these guys needed some fucking gloves. Or maybe some 70s-era Raider stickum on the ones they had. Something - christ. We've got normally sure-handed Brandon Stokely dropping passes, we've got Travis Henry fumbling the spliff all over the place, We've got Jay Cutler coughing up the pill ... what a mess.

This season was supposed to be for Darrent and Damien. Now it's for naught, and the Broncos are even teaching others the Denver Way To Honor Your Fallen Brethren.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go smash my penis with a hammer.

Saturday, December 01, 2007