Thursday, June 07, 2007
Federal officials execute search warrant on Michael Vick's former Smithsfield, VA home
I'm going to start updating this blog again for rather selfish reasons, (ok, purely selfish reasons) and this is the NFL news of the moment.
I've also realized that one of the reasons we stopped updating besides laziness is that we may have tried too hard to focus purely on humor pieces.
ESPN's Sportscenter and USA Today are reporting that Federal officials have become involved in the potential dog-fighting case against Michael Vick and have conducted a new search of the property.
From Surry County attorney Gerald Poindexter's statement that "they were going out there to dig," it would appear that Federal authorities may have executed a warrant similar to the one that Poindexter prevented Surry County officials from executing. The Surry County warrant would have permitted officials to dig for corpses of dogs that had purportedly been buried on the premises of Vick's property.
USA Today also reports that, in addition to dog corpses, Poindexter "believes Federal officials and the state police were searching for various parts of the wood floor and walls which could be covered with dog blood."
The execution of the warrant clearly flies in the face of Poindexter's deliberate (some say snail-like) pursuit of evidence of Michael Vick's involvement in the dog-fighting that took place on the property.
Just earlier today, Sheriff Harold Brown had been cited by ESPN in an update to the investigation. According to that report, Brown was hopeful that a task force which included US Department of Agriculture agents, could "meet by sometime next week to see how credible the evidence is and how best to proceed." Brown also seemed to echo Poindexter's deliberate proceeding when he stated "I know it's taking some time, but we're just being careful."
Several posts have been devoted to this subject over at Sports Law Blog, which I follow closely (I sent in the question regarding Vick and the NFL's personal conduct policy), and it will be interesting in the coming days to read their commentary on the involvement of the Federal authorities under the Department of Agriculture and the speedy execution of the latest warrant.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Yes, I entered this blog as my entry into the Ladies... Hot Blogger Bracket
We had some quality blogging going on here last football season though, and I was very proud of my anagram post, which is what I submitted. You can guarantee that come NFL pre-season, we'll be drafting again, drinking again, and blogging again (sadly, for alliterative purposes, I could not come up with a d-word for blogging).
Vote early, and vote often.
It may be a slightly different crowd, if it turns out the lower finishing entrants into the Official Deadspin Fantasy Football League are indeed subject to relegation, but we'll be here.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
A Memorandum of Understanding
To: Steelers Fans
From: Eirishis, on behalf of Browns fans
Re: What to do for the rest of this season
Though you surely need no reminder, it is helpful to briefly describe the current problem. The ("Your") Pittsburgh Steelers, defending Super Bowl Champions and perennial playoff participants, have lost six of their first eight games, practically eliminating them from any serious playoff consideration. While the team as a whole has played well enough to win many of its games, the team is weak in two particular areas. First, their defense can't stop anyone from scoring at least 20 points. Second, their quarterback appears to have taken a few too many hits to the ringer, and believes that any person on the field, regardless of uniform, is an eligible and favorable receiver.
As the result of the team's rare failure to compete for the postseason, many of you Steelers fans are unfamiliar with what to do for the remainder of the NFL season. In spite of the difficulties we've had in the past, I'd like to offer some sympathetic advice on behalf of Browns fans, who are familiar with the situation in which you now find yourselves. Below are the five keys to surviving the remainder of the season with the right attitude and your affection for your team in place.
1) Understanding the Problem
It is imperative that you understand your plight. You are done for the season. Completely. Seriously. Give up all hope now. Sure, it would be fun to make little scenario sheets showing how, by winning their last six games, the Steelers could eek out the #6 spot in the AFC, then make a run just like they did last year! And it would be completely futile. You will be better off if you accept the fact that your team, simply put, sucks this year.
2) Lower Your Expectations
Even if you understand that your team sucks, it will be miserable to watch them if you keep hoping that they will win every week. Instead, expect the Steelers to lose. Expect this to happen right up until the moment the final gun sounds. Don't care if they are winning by 30 - know in your heart that they will find a way to blow it. For an example of the effects that attitudes can have on the pysche of the fan, look no further than Week 8, which I enjoyed with a Steelers fan. While I blissfully assumed that the Browns would find a creative way to blow a late lead at home to the Jets, the Steelers fan worked out mental scenarios under which his team could come back to win "a game they should win" against lowly Oakland. When the Browns held on, I was amused and pleasantly impressed. When his Steelers fell short, he was mortally wounded. Lower expectations, lest your heart be broken every week.
3) Embrase the College and Fantasy Games
Nothing helps out the fan of a pitiful NFL team more than thinking of who they can draft to solve the problems next year. To that end, I suggest limiting your NFL viewing on Sundays to the Steelers game only, and refocusing your weekly football viewing on the collegiate level. If you don't have a team already, I suggest sticking with your regional allegience and picking up the Pitt Panthers. Are they BCS competitors? Hell no, but they can wreck the party for others, and that's always fun to watch.
If college isn't your thing, throw yourself into your fantasy team even more than you have in the past. Watch the games in which your players are involved. If they play the Steelers, root for your players over your team. Remember - the Steelers are toast. Your fantasy team still has hope.
4) Drink heartily from the Haterade.
There will be plenty of time next year to cheer for your men in the gold and black. In the meantime, spew hatred at them like so much spittle on Cowher's mighty chin. Tell Roethlisberger that you wish he had been more serioulsy injured in his accident. Mock Charlie Batch for attending Directional Michigan. Threaten to cut Troy Polamalu's hair. Seriously, there is no end to the fun you can have when you let out all of the negative feelings you know you already harbor for the Steelers. Think of this as a cleansing purge, like a big ol' dose of Kaopectate for your football soul.
5) Above all else, actively cheer against the Ravens and Bengals.
Here is where Browns fans have the most to offer our Pittsburgh brethren. You stood beside us in 1995-96 when Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, and joined us in loathing the new franchise. Similarly, you seethed as the Bengals hired Marvin Lewis and began to rise from the ashes to become a "respectable" franchise once again. However, your overall level of hate for these franchises has been, for the most part, lacking. This is understandable - you needed to reserve energy so that you could cheer for your team. As Browns fans, we've never had such a concern - all of our energy could be devoted towards hating others. But now that the Steelers are out of it, you should shift the energy you used to spend on your team, and use it to fuel your hate for the remainder of the AFC North.
Besides ... what is there not to hate about the Ravens and Bengals? They wear stupid uniforms. Brian Billick and Chad Johnson are massive douchebags. Ray Lewis might try to kill you, and Chris Henry might try to sleep with your teenage sister. They serve cities rife with racial problems. Clearly, the conclusion here is that the teams, as an aggregate, are racist, criminal, poorly-dressed dickheads.
I hope these suggestions are helpful for you as you deal with the difficult times ahead for the next eight weeks. Above all, remember that whatever you need to do to survive this season, there is always hope for next year. After all, it's not like you are cheering for the Browns.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Put Me In Coach....Please
Ummm, Coach. Yeah. So….how’s it going? Can I talk to you for a second? Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good in case you were wondering. Im ready to, you know, get back out there whenever you say. Did you see me doing those sprints earlier in your front yard? Yeah, that was me. My ankle is as strong as ever. I’ve been running on it for days now, actually. I swear my foot feels great. What? You think I’m limping still? You heard my back is sore also? Who said that? Garrard? I don’t know. It feels pretty good. How about letting me take a few snaps with the first team?
What? Yeah, I guess that was a decent win yesterday. Thanks to our defense. It's not like we were playing the Colts, you know. I'm just sayin'. Lots of missed opportunities on offense also. We gotta do something about that before it's too late.
I know I told you I was ready to play last Sunday. But you were right- it was probably better for me to just sit that one out. I mean, you didn’t really bench me. I was hurt and you sat me for my own good. Saving me for the big games, right? But I’m ready now. Oh yeah, 100% ready. Coach?
What do I think of Garrard? Umm, well…. he’s ok, I guess. For a 4th Round pick. He’s kind of short, though, isn’t he? And he sure is quick to run with the ball. I mean, its gotta piss you off when you call a play and he just starts running. Does he think you're an asshole or something? Maybe he just doesn't respect the play-calling. I'd hate it if a player didn't listen to me, but I guess you are cool with it. He definitely has happy feet back there. He probably can't even see over the fucking line. Pussy.
Hey coach, did you know Im 6ft 4? Yeah, it's true. I'm pretty tall, even for a quarterback. I was drafted real high, you know. Yep. Remember how my lineman carried me up the field back when I was at Marshall? Anything for the team.
Like I was saying to Wayne the other day. You know, Mr. Weaver? Great guy. Well I was over at Wayne's the other night talking about things. Boy, he sure spent a lot of money on me.
Do you like Herm Edwards? Yeah, me too. I heard he’s going to play Trent Green as soon as he comes back from that concussion. Makes sense to me. I mean, you know what they say, right? A player doesn’t lose his job to injury. Sure would be a dick move to do something like that to a guy.
What? You think I need another week off to rest my ankle? You want me to be super duper duper healthy when I come back? I’m not sure I agree with you there, coach. I mean, my foot feels fine. Really. I know you don’t want me to get hurt out there, but hey, I’m willing to risk it.
Is that Peyton Manning Still Has a Big Dumb Face
Manning/Brady Bowl ver 8.0 (or something) seemed to be designed purely to make all facets of football fans yell horrifying things at their television sets. Bad calls all around, horrific defense, terrible field goal attempts, and a new (to me) Peyton Manning commercial. I swear to go, the only thing keeping me from putting the universal remote through my girlfriend's TV screen was that "Alarm Clock Catastrophe" Dunkin' Donuts commercial. Oh, They Might Be Giants, I can't stay mad at you.
The Hype - the elite QB's: Manning Versus Brady, the explosive rookie running backs: Addai versus Maroney, the kicker duel: cash-dump Vinatieri versus shaky rookie Gostowski. The end result was not what I would call an exciting game. This looked like what happens when I get cocky and crank the difficulty up in Madden. Laser rocket arm and his best buddy connect in the most impossible of manners, and Brady looks like the recent zombie reincarnation of Ben Roethlisberger. And the refs looked like they were trying to make the game more exciting (read: frustrating) for everyone.
So what reprocussions result from this game? The easy way out is to say that it doesn't matter until Manning beats Brady in the postseason, but it does matter now. Pats showed a weakness in their clutch passing schemes. I hate to agree with Madden, but when you're on 4th down or in the red zone, you're kind of screwed without a #1 receiver. Manning and company not only executed passes extremely efficiently on offense, but also somehow discouraged a Pats running game that seemed quite effective for the first two quarters.
The only thought consoling me is that someone on here will likely post a hilarious Manning conversation about this. Pardon my lack of style this time around, I've had a hangover since Saturday morning (tequila + Rockstar energy drinks = me waking up on a washing machine at 7:30am when I had to be at work at 8).
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I know it would make use lose a precious weekend day, but honestly, I can't think of another Saturday that I just wanted to be Sunday. I hate it that this makes me sound like a bad Monday Night Football commercial, but it's true.
The World Series is over, so we don't have any more baseball to look forward to (unless they're televising the MLB All Star vs NPB All Star games). There is the convenient bonus of no more Tim McCarver or Scooter the talking baseball, although Joe Buck is becomingly frighteningly ubiquitous and Chevy is probably going to keep airing those "This is Our Country" ads until the next natural disaster, after which they will have a new catastrophe to exploit and splice together with images of the Civil Rights Movement. I don't get it either.
The NCAA Football schedule is incredibly weak today, with both the number one and two teams in the country, Ohio State and Michigan, respectively, facing teams that are winless in the Big Ten. Both teams, Minnesota and Northwestern, are notorious for porous run defenses that get the term "gaping hole" appended to them more than a gonzo anal porn flick.
I suppose it would make for a great upset story, but it just seems pretty unlikely to me.
There's only one matchup between two ranked teams, and, at least to me, the only moderately interesting games probably won't be televised. I'm interested to see how many yards the Air Force Falcons, which has averaged 279 yards on the ground per game (think the Atlanta Falcons of the NCAA) can put up on the ground against BYU, and I'm interested in how many inflatable penises make it to the Penn State vs. Perdue tilt.
I know people are probably going to fixate GA v. FL and G. Tech vs. Miami (Fl) today, but I can't get excited about either game.
The Bulldogs have no clue who their quarterback is, it seems, while Florida is sitting pretty with Tebow and Leak. I would have to say that UGA is going to be a pretty big underdog in this one.
As for the Yellow Jackets against the Canes, something about letting 12 players involved in the big brawl against FIU back into a big game against a conference foe just rubs me the wrong way. You could say that it was just convenient, but it doesn't seem like punishment to me if a dozen players miss a cushy game against a horrible Duke team and get to run back on the field in a tough matchup that will help decide the conference champion. That said, Miami has a rough schedule ahead of it, while Ga Tech should be able to more or less coast into their season finale against the Bulldogs.
So there you have it. Saturday football? Meh.
Bring on Sunday.
My picks for the AFC North (home team in CAPS)
Atlanta at CINCINNATI (-3.5) - Mike Vick is coming off a career performance against the Steelers, but I would look for them to work their run game more today against a weak Cincinnati run defense. I think if Vick throws more than 25 times, he'll get burned. And I think Chad Johnson could live up to his boasts this week. Either that, or the Falcons will double him too much and let TJ Houshmandzadeh get some big plays in. I'll take the BENGALS.
Baltimore (+2) at NEW ORLEANS - The Ravens wouldn't have the quarterback troubles they are having if Jamal Lewis was rushing like his old self. As it is, Lewis hasn't broken the century mark this season, the Ravens haven't established the run game, and the quarterbacks have been forced to throw way too often. That said, I don't like the Saints run defense. The Ravens are coming off a bye week and Lewis should be rested (one hopes). I think he gains 100 yards for the first time this season, and the RAVENS take the upset in the Superdome.
New York Jets (+1.5) at CLEVELAND - How are the Browns favored in this game? They have no run offense, and consequently, they have no offense at all. I know the Jets defense has been horrible, but I think they can contain Reuben Droughns, who is averaging 3.2 yards a carry. The Browns pass rush is poor, and they aren't very opportunistic. If Chad Pennington can sit in the pocket and find his receivers, the Jets will be all over the Browns. Take the JETS.
Pittsburgh (-9) at OAKLAND - This doesn't look right to me. Pittsburgh is going into Oakland at 2-4, with Ben Roesthlisberger banged up, after they gave up 41 points to the Falcons. Does this look like an upset special to anyone else? I can't take the Raiders though. Their offense is still non-existant, even though Randy Moss popped his head up to say hi last week. Pittsburgh is going to run the ball all day, especially if Big Ben's head is still ringing. Willie Parker has a big game every other game. Since he only went for 47 yards against the Falcons, I think he'll have a big game today. Take the STEELERS.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The Marques Colston Travesty
To: "Big Ricks", Commissioner, Yahoo Deadspin AAA League
There is a problem in our league which demands your immediate attention. I had hoped that the issue would resolve itself and that this request would not be necessary. Unfortunately, the problem continues to fester and I fear there will be no resolution unless you act swiftly and decisively.
As you are undoubtedly aware, Marques Colston is presently designated as both a Wide Receiver and a Tight End in Yahoo fantasy football. This hybrid designation, frankly, is a farce and would be almost funny if it did not threaten the very integrity of our league.
Although I am not normally one to complain about the fairness or absurdity of a league's rules, I cannot turn a blind eye to this gross loophole any longer. Let me first state that I have no problem with Marques Colston as a human being. He is an excellent player and, as a rookie seventh round pick, has exceeded everyone's expectations. Nevertheless, even the casual follower of the NFL knows that Mr. Colston is a strictly, solely and inalterably, a wide receiver. Through no fault of his own, however, Mr. Colston has been given, essentially, an otherworldly power to play both Tight End and Wide Receiver in the same season.
That Mr. Colston has been labeleded a Tight End is baffling. This is not a close call. Mr. Colston is 6ft 4 and 231 pounds according to NFL.com. (Which lists his position as, naturally, wide receiver.) While perhaps taller than your average wideout, you can tell by his frame that Mr. Colston is not a Tight End. To give you some perspective, TE Jeremy Shockey is 6ft 4 and 251 pounds. I know Jeremy Shockey, I've seen Jeremy Shockey play. Marques Colston-- you are no Jeremy Shockey.
My repeated attempts to get an explanation for Mr. Colton's unique status have, so far, gone unanswered by the powers that be at Yahoo.com. My efforts frustrated, I now appeal to you, Big Ricks, as commissioner of our league, to put an end to this insanity and remove the Tight End label from Mr. Coltson's profile.
As commissioner of our league, you have the power, nay, the duty to settle the dispute and return Mr. Colston to his singular, proper position. I realize that when you signed up to be commissioner you probably did envision having to settle cutting-edge issues such as this one. With great power, however, comes great responsibility.
I had hoped it would not come to this formal complaint and I want you to know that I do not hold you primarily responsible for the bastardization of Mr. Colston. That dishonor, of course, goes to the GM of the team that is presently using Mr. Colston in his unearned fashion- the aptly named Summers Eve and the D-bags.
The D-bags have flagrantly taken full advantage of the glitch and played Mr. Colston at Tight End ever since he picked him up off the waiver wire. The effect of this is obvious. Tight End, as all fantasy players know, is a difficulticult position to fill. For example, I have been forced to use Bo Scafie and Marcus Pollard at this position with abysmal results while Summers Eve exploits the system with Marques Colston and his 414 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns. Yes, Mr. D-Bags, you may outscore your opponents, but at what cost? Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you no sense of decency?
The honorable and proper solution would be for you to forfeit all of the games in which you have played Mr. Colston as your Tight End. Since you lack honor, I know that is unlikely. Another solution that I would accept would be for you to simply waive Mr. Colston. Clearly, sir, you have lost the privilege of using this fine rookie for the remainder of the season. Or perhaps the rest of us could just be allowed to play our kickers at Tight End. Should you, or anyone else in the league, have other suggestions, please feel free to submit them.
I await your response.
Aka Mary Beth's Box
CC: Roger Goodell; Gene Upshaw; Marques Colston
Sunday, October 22, 2006
An Open Letter To Chris McKendry
Most of you know me as "Hammerin" Hank Goldberg, the man who gives out sage gambling advice every Sunday morning on ESPN. If you catch me on Sundays, then you also know my on-air partner, the beautiful and funny Chris McKendry. I have a confession to make: Chris, I love you.
Now those of you who watch already know this. You would have to be blind not to see that I am smitten for the lovely Chris. Sunday morning, when I was picking New England to cover the 6 against a Bills team which was 3-8 against the number in October against AFC East opponents, all I could think about was her in my arms. Seeing her beautiful smile was like me middling the Panthers early this week at +3.5 and then getting the Bengals at kick off at -2.5. Like that game, Chris, with you I just can't lose! My feelings for you are a “lock”-- sort of like Pittsburgh at home giving 3 points or less after a road win by 10 or more. They are 9-1 ATS in that situation, by the way.
If we were together, I know we would be happy. Just like the time I hit the superfecta at Aqueduct last year. What is it about you that intrigues me so? In many ways you remind me of Genuine Risk, the 1980 Derby Winner. That filly came out of nowhere to win the derby and steal America’s heart- sort of like how you have stolen mine. Genuine Risk, by the way, went off at 13-1 that day and was only the second filly to ever win the Derby; the first, of course, being the chestnut mare Regret in 1915. What an underrated little horse that was!
Don’t you get it , Chris? The over/under on my love for you is infinity, and I’ll be taking the over. If you have some vacation time, please get out of freezing Bristol and down to Miami ASAP and let‘s see where this thing goes. I thought we could take in some Jai Lai and then head over to Calder to catch the Graded Stakes they are running next week. If you can't make it until November, don't worry- Calder will be simulcasting the Breeders Cup.
So what do you say, Chris? I know in life there are risks. Like when I laid the points and took the Seahawks over Minnesota yesterday. But how was I supposed to know Matt Hasselbeck was going to get injured and screw up my pick? The point is that even though I lost, it was a solid bet. Like you, Chris.
And don't forget, they don't call me "Hammerin" Hank for nothing!
Oh yeah, one last thing. Take the Cowboys and the chalk Monday.