Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hank Baskett Is Not The Only Philly Sports Player With A Smokin' Hot Girl Expecting A Baby


I can't believe I missed this headline a couple weeks ago! Kendra is not the only one with a bun in the oven. Cole Hamels' wife, the wonderful Heidi is 6-months pregnant and will be having a baby boy! Via CSN Philly

Comcast SportsNet’s Leslie Gudel learned that Cole and Heidi Hamels are expecting their first child at the end of this summer. According to Gudel, Heidi is nearly six months pregnant and the couple will learn the sex of their first child on Monday.

The Hamels were planning on traveling to Ethiopia to adapt a child in December, but because of the pregnancy will push off those plans until next April.
The sex was revealed on that Monday to be a boy (I think, going on hearsay on I was told earlier today). Regardless, congrats to Cole and Heidi! Although, I'm sure that this will be one very embarrassed boy when he finds out that his mother did this on national TV (Warning: even though this is a clip from Survivor on CBS, it is still rather NSFW).



If only I could have been out in the Amazon with them at that time!!!!!!!!! Good times for Heidi Stroebel Hamels (although she was just Heidi Strobel at the time)......gooooooood times.

Is It Possible That Lincoln Financial Field Could Host Some World Cup Games In The Future?

I'm not sure how well known this is, but the U.S. has submitted a bit to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, both of which will be announced in December of 2010 (the 2014 World Cup is in Brazil). And naturally, when one submits a bid, a big list of possible stadiums is needed. Well, as it turns out Lincoln Financial Field is being looked at as a definite possibility for 2018 or 2022. There was originally a list of 70 stadiums and out of those, 45 were contacted by the U.S. Bid Committee. And The Linc was in that list of stadiums that were contacted. Here's the list in full from MSNBC.com

Ann Arbor, Mich. (University of Michigan); Arlington Texas (Cowboys Stadium); Atlanta (Georgia Dome); Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium); Birmingham, Ala. (Legion Field); Charlotte, N.C. (Bank of America Stadium); Chicago (Soldier Field); Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium); Cleveland (Cleveland Browns Stadium); Columbus, Ohio (Ohio Stadium);

Dallas (Cotton Bowl); Denver (Invesco Field); Detroit (Ford Field); East Rutherford, N.J. (new Meadowlands stadium); Fayetteville, Ark. (Reynolds Razorback Stadium); Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium); Glendale, Ariz. (University of Phoenix Stadium); Houston (Reliant Stadium);

Indianapolis, Ind. (Lucas Oil Stadium); Jacksonville, Fla. (Jacksonville Municipal Stadium);

Kansas City, Mo. (Arrowhead Stadium); Knoxville, Tenn. (Neyland Stadium); Landover, Md. (FedEx Field); Las Vegas (Sports City USA); Los Angeles (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum); Miami (Land Shark Stadium); Minneapolis (Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome); Minneapolis (TCF Bank Stadium); Nashville, Tenn. (LP Field); New Orleans (Superdome);

Oakland, Calif. (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum); Orlando, Fla. (Florida Citrus Bowl); Pasadena, Calif. (Rose Bowl); Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field); Pittsburgh (Heinz Field); St. Louis (Edward Jones Dome); Salt Lake City (Rice-Eccles Stadium); San Antonio, Texas (Alamodome); San Diego (Qualcomm Stadium); Stanford. Calif. (Stanford Stadium);

Seattle (Huskey Stadium); Seattle (Qwest Field); Tampa, Fla. (Raymond James Stadium); Tempe, Ariz. (Sun Devil Stadium); Washington (RFK Memorial Stadium)
I don't know, but I for one would be absolutely giddy if the U.S. got a future World Cup and if Philadelphia was one of the cities where games were played, especially seeing as Philadelphia was not included in the 1994 World Cup. And you have to wonder if the Linc, which will host 2 quarterfinal games in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, will be looked at in those games more in detail as a World Cup venue.

Last Call To Fill-In......

I sent some of you an email several weeks back asking if you wanted to become a contributor and fill-in for me when I go on vacation. So far 49er16 is the only person that I have heard from, and while I am more than happy to give him a position, I do not want to soley burden him with this blog for 10 days while I'm in Europe. If anyone wants to step up and take some of the load off of his back, that would be truly awesome. I am leaving July 11 and I return July 21, so if anyone is interested and is going to be around, I would greatly appreciate your help!

You can either respond in the comments or email me at FireAndyReidNow@gmail.com. Thanks again for your support!

Monday, June 29, 2009

ESPN Is Actually Going To South Africa For The 2010 World Cup

Many soccer fans both diehard and even casual fans have expressed their disappointment in ESPN's broadcast of soccer over the years, raning from the cast of characters that they have to the fact that they only had 2 announce teams live at the 06 World Cup, and none at UEFA Euro 08 and the 09 Confederations Cup. And while the 2010 World Cup is still nearly a whole year in advance, it looks like that ESPN is already starting thinks out on the right foot by announcing that they will be live in South Africa for the World Cup. In fact, they are going to have multiple studios set up there with 3 damn good studio hosts in the process. From ESPN PR via Awful Announcing

ESPN will present all of its 2010 FIFA World Cup television studio programming from site in South Africa, offering U.S. sports fans the most comprehensive news and information coverage throughout the month-long soccer showcase (June 11 – July 11, 2010). Coverage of the quadrennial global event will include SportsCenter segments, nightly World Cup Live, and pre-, halftime and post-match shows, with additional studio programming and World Cup-branded segments, totaling more than 65 hours of coverage, originating from two sets in and around Johannesburg.

A trio of top-tier ESPN hosts, Chris Fowler (college football, Grand Slam tennis), Bob Ley (SportsCenter, Outside the Lines), and Mike Tirico (Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Final Four, major golf championships), will serve as on-site FIFA World Cup studio hosts. ESPN’s “game around the game” approach to South Africa 2010 will include live and taped segments that will air on ESPN International’s 13 localized versions of SportsCenter in eight different languages across the world.

South Africa 2010 will mark the first time in ESPN’s 30-year history that the entirety of its FIFA World Cup studio programming will originate on location from the site of the host country. Highlights of planned programs and 2010 FIFA World Cup-branded segments:

- SportsCenter at the FIFA World Cup;
- World Cup Live – the daily, 30-minute news, highlights and analysis program (30 episodes) aired each night of the tournament on ESPN or ESPN2;
- Live 30-minute pre-match, halftime (15 min.) and post-match shows on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2;
- World Cup segments on ESPNEWS, First Take on ESPN2, and Outside the Lines.
Wow.....I must say that I am impressed. Not only is ESPN going to be more live for this World Cup than ever before, but look at the cast of characters they have at the helm: Fowler, Tirico, and Ley. Can you say, winner??? The only gripe I have is the lack of experience covering soccer for ESPN in recent years. But hopefully the professionalism and the hard work that all 3 men exhibit in a daily basis will shine through and we'll get some great broadcasts. As far as the booths go, hopefull that all of them (or at the very worst, most of them) are live. While Derek Rae has pretty much mastered the art of calling from a monitor in Bristol, JP Dellacamera struggled mightily with player identification and both him and Harkes appeared lost at times. In my opinion, they are so much when they are live.

What makes this all the more surprising and impressive is the state of the U.S. economy and the fact that South Africa is not exactly a short distance from Bristol. It's way longer than Germany was, that's for sure (although not as long as South Korea/Japan). I will definitley be watching and hopefully ESPN can deliver on all of the hype and promise this World Cup has broadcast wise.

Hank And Kendra Have Tied The Knot

Here comes the bride.......here comes the bride.......

From E! Online (with a big thanks and hat-tip to James Craven of The O Files)

Kendra Wilkinson and her Philadelphia Eagle honey, Hank Baskett, tied the knot Saturday night at the Playboy Mansion, E! News has confirmed.

Paparazzi swarmed outside the gates and security was tight as about 300 guests—including man of the house Hugh Hefner and Wilkinson's roommates turned bridesmaids, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt—witnessed the duo exchange vows on the mansion's front lawn, next to the famed wishing well.

"I could not be more delighted," Hefner told E! "This is one of the happiest days in one of the happiest places on earth."

But though there had once been talk of Hef doing the honors, Wilkinson's brother, Colin, was the one to give her away.

"Watching Colin walk Kendra down the aisle was really emotional and beautiful," the bride's mom, Patty Wilkinson, said. "She looked breathtaking."

Baskett popped the question in November after a fairly short courtship, and the betrothed duo happily confirmed to E! News earlier this month that they're expecting their first child together this winter.

"We don't officially know, but we keep saying he because we don't want to say it," Wilkinson told the Awful Truth this week. "The doctor kind of said he thinks it's a boy. But we don't know for sure yet."
KENDRA'S HAPPY!!!

Coach K To LA?

How is this for a surprise? The rumor is being floated out there that everybody's favorite coach, Mike Krzyzewski (spelled correctly without any aids, BOO-YAH!), might leave Duke University where he became world-wide famous for taking a bunch of goody two shoes kids from many affluent suburbs in the northeast and mid-Atlantic and made them even more stuck up by bringing them down to Duke University, home of the stuck-up. Yeah, that Coach K. Well, it appears that he may leave Durham, NC for Los Angeles, California. That job in LA though is not a college job. It's a professional job. As in, Coach K may actually be the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers! From Fox Sports.

To start, let's take a look at an intriguing rumor that has been persistently floating around in cyberspace:

That, within the next month, Mike Krzyzewski will take over as Lakers coach once Phil Jackson announces his retirement.

Giving some credence to this possibility is the fact that Kobe Bryant lobbied long and hard for Krzyzewski to take over when Jackson walked away from the Lakers bench back in 2004.
All kidding aside about Duke and Coach K, there is little doubt that Coach K is great at what he does as a basketball coach. That being said, though, I just don't think that I see him coaching in the NBA. He has literally become a staple of that program and while it certainly is a possibility and I have no idea what Coach K himself is actually thinking, I just don't see him leaving what made him what he was.

Besides, if Coach K leaves, who else would have the capability to tell Greg Paulus and all others like him to have no regrets when it comes to the Duke rite of passage of kissing a boy (and liking it)?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

HEARTBREAK CITY! DOWN 2-0 AT HALFTIME, BRAZIL WINS THE CONFEDERATIONS CUP!

Wow. All I can say is wow. After seeing the United States up 2-0 at halftime, I thought the game was over and that the Confederations Cup was going to the U.S. Turns out, I was wrong. Fabiano in the 46th and 74th minute and Lucio in the 84th changed the direction of the game and that would be it. Brazil 3, United States 2. And of course, what better broadcast is there to put up for the highlights of a Brazil-United States game than the Polish broadcast? Here are the highlights complete with screaming Univision Brazilian announcers! Enjoy!



And while it is heartbreaking for the United States, I'll do what Rece Davis, Alexi Lalas, JP Dellacamera, and John Harkes failed to do for the 30 minute following the end of the game and give Brazil their props. They are one of the best in the world for a reason. Despite having not trailed in over 5 hours of gametime and then being down 2-0 at halftime, they showed heart and hung in there. They never tucked their tail between their legs and they kept on fighting and going after it and it paid off big time in the 2nd half. And while it is only the Confederations Cup, as a U.S. fan, I so badly wanted to our team standing on that podium with the fireworks in the background and the subsequent dousing of our team in confetti. Oh well.

Congratulations, once again, to Brazil. And while unrelated to all of this, RIP Billy Mays.

FIFA Confederations Cup Championship Game Live Blog United States Vs. Brazil

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FIFA Confederations Cup 3rd Place Game Spain Vs. South Africa Live Blog

Song Of The Day: "Careless Whisper" By Seether

Enjoy this cover of the song by Wham! Personally, I love it, hen again, I'm a pretty big Seether fan and they are yet to do something that I have not liked.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So What NHL Player Is Worth Giving Up Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, This Year's 1st Round Pick, And Next Year's First Round Pick?

The answer, at least according to the Philadelphia Flyers is none other than Chris Pronger! Via NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks kicked off the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in memorable fashion, dealing veteran defenseman Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers moments before the New York Islanders selected John Tavares with the first pick.

The Flyers shipped prospect Luca Sbisa, forward Joffrey Lupul and two first-round picks: this season's No. 21 and next season's first-round pick.

Pronger, 34, was one of several players being actively shopped here this week. He became even more expendable when veteran defenseman Scott Niedermayer reportedly told the Ducks that he would return for another season, instead of retiring.

This past season Pronger played in all 82 games, scoring 11 goals and 48 points. He also had 88 penalty minutes and will give the Flyers a rugged presence on the blue line, something they were lacking after losing Derian Hatcher to an injury-induced retirement.
While the Flyers certainly need a defensemen, especially after Hatcher's retirement, what worries me is Pronger's age and the fact that the Flyers paid such a high price to get him. I can live with saying goodbye to Lupul and Spisa, a young prospect, but I think that 2 first round picks might be a lot, if not too much for him. One 1st round draft pick, whether it be this year's and next year's along with Spisa and Lupul and I would consider this deal an absolute win. It's that 2nd 1st rounder that has worried that the Flyers paid too many bucks for the bang of a 34-year old defensemen, even though it is Chris Pronger.

Regardless, I certainly hope that Pronger still has gas and the tank and despite the high price, I am excited and glad to see that Chris Pronger is now a Flyer!

Update: According to Puck Daddy, the Flyers have also received Ryan Dingle from the Anaheim Ducks in this deal. Trust me, you're not the only one asking, "Who on earth.....???" I'm pretty sure he's a young prospect....

Keith Olbermann's Cowardice Has Reached An All Time Low

Before you call me out for hypocrisy, in my RIP post, I was discussing how everyday people will remember Michael Jackson years down the road, not how a cable news network should go about with their tribute show. And last night, Keith Olbermann and Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth completely disgraced the legacy of the King of Pop.

Unfortunately and much to my chagrin, I can't find you any video, but here are some quotes from last night's clusterfuck of an interview courtesy of a transcript of provided by MSNBC.

Count the number of distortions and bashings of hte late-great Jackson as possibe in Orth's answer.

OLBERMANN: Did he? Did he ever find the life he wanted?

ORTH: I don‘t think so. Michael Jackson gave a lecture at Oxford in 2001, in which he said childhood was supposed to be the wondrous time in your life. I never had that childhood. He grew up on the stage. He was a superstar at a very young age. His family whipped him into being the money-maker for them. He resented it terribly.

He really did become very much addicted to fame. It became grotesque at a certain point. He was so extremely talented that nobody ever told him no. And he was surrounded by enablers. And the charges that I followed from 1994 until 2005, the allegations of pedophilia against him, I believe were very much probably more true than not.

And he had—he battled drugs. He had alcohol problems. He gave—it came out in the trial testimony that he called white wine Jesus Juice and red wine Jesus blood, and he gave it to teenagers. He really was a very, very sad person, who had been given great, great, extreme talent.

But in the end, the life he led was grotesque.
No objection ever came from Keith. And even if there was some veracity to those distortions, this is not the kind of things you say about a man 3 HOURS AFTER HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD!

We continue on and while I ended the blockquote with some commentary, we are resuming the interview right where I left off.

OLBERMANN: I‘ve often heard this used about athletes, about politicians, about anyone who has excelled in any field that requires a part of you to become permanently public. People say, if only they could have somehow separated out these bad parts of the personality, these compulsive or addictive or abusive parts of the personality that has eventually come up to end or dismantle part of the public career; is that possible? With your experience of people like Michael Jackson, not that there was crowds and crowds of them—but there are many people that who fall under this broad category of enormous talent and enormous mistakes, and enormous controversy, everything writ large. Is there any separating or are all these things so interweaved that you might not be able to say which is cause and which is affect, but it‘s all part of one bundle?

ORTH: What happens, I think, is at a certain point, you‘ve been told you‘re a genius so many time, and you are a genius musically, and you are not really allowed to grow up and mature in a normal way. Narcissism takes over. I remember one time in Neverland, there was a black velvet painting and Michael Jackson, I think he had commissioned it. And it was Michael Jackson, Mohamed Ali, Martin Luther King, and Jesus Christ. That‘s kind of how he viewed himself, in that pantheon.

So he was always surrounded by enablers, people who wanted to get close to him, close to his talent, close to his money. I don‘t think it is at all surprising that we‘re not hearing this statement come out. I‘m sure there is amazing behind the scenes craziness going on right now, because I think chaos followed Michael wherever he went. And I‘m sure that this is one of those chaotic moments.

What is going to happen to the children? Everybody, all the creditors are going to be in line for the money. I‘m sure this story is going to go on with a lot of craziness.

OLBERMANN: Yes, if there is money, or if it hasn‘t already disappeared—

ORTH: There is still—I think he still owned about 25 percent of his catalog. Sony was taking it little by little, piece by piece. But there is potential problems in the future because of his extraordinary music for many years to come. There‘s plenty to fight over.
She called the man a narcissist. 3 hours after he died she calls him a narcissist. And once again, no objection from Keith Olbermann. He is perfectly fine with everything Maureen has said. And just as an aside, Maureen is a known critic and basher of Jackson. Why is she even on this show anyway? Shouldn't this discussion be saved for later?

And the only thing I can say about this next question is tell me this did nut just happen.....

OLBERMANN: [...] What was this comeback tour all about? What do you think it meant to him?

ORTH: Well, the comeback tour first has to be about money, because he was always having terrible, terrible problems with money and debt. And he would attach himself to various sheikhs and billionaires in different parts of the world, where he still had a measure of a claim. He was very big in Poland, for example, or in parts of the Middle East. So he would find very rich people in these more out of the way places, and sort of live off of them for a while, until they got tired of it, or until the concerts didn‘t materialize or whatever. And then he would be thrown out and they would go on and there would be more lawsuits.

This is a person who lived in constant chaos, and probably kept a whole retinue of lawyers all the time working. So the amount of money that came in, the amount of money that came out was extraordinary.

Having said that, of course Michael wanted to be revered. He wanted to be considered a god. At one point, he had some man going around the world trying to find places where he could get lifetime achievement awards. That was one of his favorite things, was to appear in different parts of the world with a lifetime achievement award.

So he needed—he had an ego that need to be fed. But he really didn‘t like entertaining anymore. And, of course, his family for years—his brothers begged him, please, please come out with us. Do another concert tour with us. And they would constantly announce that this was about to happen, which, of course, it never happened. He didn‘t really want anything to do with his family.

I remember that his parents were very loyally sitting in the front row of the trial in 2005 most days. And different various relatives would come in and come out. As soon as that not guilty verdict came down, boy, he disappeared. He went in one direction. They went in another. And I don‘t think they could get him on the phone.
Unbelieveable.

I think that occult777 summed this whole thing up best in a Daily Kos entry:

On the day the world mourns the shocking, sudden death of Michael Jackson, Keith Olbermann decided to reflect on his memory by bringing Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth into the studio to trash Michael's image with lies and innuendos most of which were without merit.

I have always held Mr. Olbermann in high regard as a journalist. Common decency dictates that on the day a person dies, we all owe the deceased and their family a certain amount of respect. As the saying goes, if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all. For crying out loud, Keith! You had Maureen Orth sit there and spew hateful rhetoric and unsubstantiated stories as facts, while you sat there and egged her on to give you more dirt. How dare you?

This is a shocking occurrence and most of us are saddened by the tragic nature of such an untimely passing. The man may not have been an angel but give us all a break and allow us to mourn in peace. I would stand up for you in your memory if on the day of your passing, some hater and twisted buffoon made statements, however controversial about the life you lived. I hope when you get the opportunity to review tonight's segment with Maureen Orth, who by the way, has and always will be a hater and an innuendo pedlar, that sensationalizes for the sake of magazine sales, you will make a decent commentary and address the inappropriate nature of what transpired on your show tonight.

You heard it in Mr. Oxman's voice as he spoke between tears of losing a friend. Today, a fellow human being died. He was a brother, a son, a cousin and an uncle. More than just a pop icon who's dirty laundry was aired in public for all to see. You Keith, ought to be above the fray.

You have really disappointed a whole lot of your fans tonight.

Update!! - This is NOT about Keith bashing. I am a true fan of Olbermann's. I Have been since his sportscaster days. The man isn't perfect all the time, but most of the time. He should be called out, when he makes a mistake.
Suffice to say, Keith Olbermann has disappointed me greatly. There is only one fallacy in that quote and I'll get to that later. There is one thing that Keith Olbermann cannot and will never be able to overcome: The man is a coward!!!!! He is utterly afraid to disagree with any guest he ever has and I think I can count on one finger the number of times he has had more than one guest on his program. There is no debate, no interesting discussions. The studio is and always has been an echo-chamber. And Keith makes it that way. For he never, NEVER disagrees with anything his guests say. Case and point, take the Jeanine Garofalo incident from a couple months ago. Listen as she calls EVERY PERSON who joined in in the tea party protests (or as Keith Olbermann and others called them, "teabaggers") a racist and listen closer as KEITH ACTUALLY EXPRESSES AGREEMENT WITH THAT RIDICULOUS, ABSURD, OFFENSIVE, AND DOWNRIGHT FALSE STATEMENT!!!!!!!!



I'll admit that when I first started watching Countdown, I was blind as a bat. I had never seen O'Reilly before and I thought Olbermann was the greatest thing ever. But I can see now. My only disagreement with the aforementioned is that the poster called Keith Olbermann a journalist. That, he is not. He is a liberal commentator. And whether he'll ever admit it or not, that's exactly what he is. Just like Sean Hannity is a neo-conservative commentator, just like Glenn Beck is a liberterian commentator, and just like Bill O'Reilly is an independent commentator. I've been watching The O'Reilly Factor and he is not a far-right Republican has Keith Olbermann portrays him as. He just does not have a hard-on for Obama as Keith Olbermann frequently seems to do, especially on domestic issues (Olbermann's a little better at criticizing him on foreign policy). For those that believe Olbermann and consider O'Reilly right-wing, I challenge you to watch him for a week, whether it be live at 8 PM ET or the replay at 11 PM ET. And for those into ratings, not only is O'Reilly's overall numbers tripled that of Keith's, but more often than not, the Factor re-air has more viewers than the live 8 PM edition of Countdown!

This is not a far-right opinion that I am presenting here. It is the facts of the situation. For those that don't know and/or forget, I am a liberal democrat (especially on social issues) and I campaigned hard and voted for Obama. But you have to be able to criticize even those that you agree with it and even if their opinions are the same as yours, that does not make them perfect angel who do no harm.

Let's go back to O'Reilly for a second here and Keith's cowardice. I've been watching the O'Reilly Factor more and more as I have stated and I don't always agree with him, but there is always one common denominator, and that is that O'Reilly always has guests who disagree with him on his show and there is always a lively, fun to listen to discussion, whereas Keith NEVER challenges his guests to an argument, and most of the time they just agree with each other. And while Hannity can be a bit too much on the right for me to tolerate on a daily basis, he too has guests who disagree with him and a lively discussion. Again, everything in that paragraph is a fact. Tell me a time when Keith had a verbal disagreement with a guest. Go ahead.....find one. I dare you. You can't do it, now can you?

Now let's go back to what I started this post with: the Maureen Orth interview. All this was not a rant about Olbermann for nothing. The point of this whole post is to demonstrate to you that Keith Olbermann is too much of a high-horse riding coward to have anyone disagree with him. We can't let a verbal squabble bruise the ol' ego, now can we? The more I watch, the more I become disgusted with it. And forget the fact that Olbermann mocked Michael Jackson beyond belief during Jackson's 2005 trial, I think everyone at somepoint or another took their shots at Jackson for that whole saga, but when you are anchoring coverage that is more or less supposed to be a tribute and you are either sincere or just portraying someone sympathetic, and someone completely trashes and skewers him like Orth did, SAY SOMETHING, YOU GUTLESS COWARD!!!!!!!! STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!!!!! STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!!!!! GROW A SACK AND DEFEND YOURSELF AND THE LEGACY OF MICHAEL JACKSON!!!! DEFEND YOURSELF AND YOUR SHOW WHEN SOMEONE CALLS TENS-OF-THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS RACISTS JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T AGREE WITH OBAMA'S TAX PLANS!!!!!!!!!

It's people who are too scared to stand up for themselves and have a disagreement that are the worst persons in the world. And Keith Olbermann falls into that category. It's easy to criticize others who say something stupid in the heat of a moment, when all you do is read from a teleprompter and have guests who agree with you. It's easy to just agree with everything your guests say and go about life and make an undeserving $8 million per year for it. This way, Keith's ego is perfectly intact and he does not have to worry about taking a few shots on the air. People like Keith don't deserve that kind of money. Say what you will about O'Reilly, but at least he is man enough to get in disagreements and arguments. He'll take his shots and move on, unlike Keith "I Avoid Arguments AT All Costs Because My Ego Can't Take Such A Low Blow" Olbermann.

I end with a statement that until I can get over this, I'm pretty much done with Countdown. Keith has crossed the line too many times for my liking. I just hope that one day Keith Olbermann will leave the political news business for good and stick to becoming a sportscaster full-time. At least there is something he is good at.

The Deal Seems All But Done: The Philadelphia Flyers Are Going To Fenway

The news looks and sounds as if it is all but official now. The 3rd annual Winter Classic will be played in Fenway Park. And the opponent that the Boston Bruins will face is not the New York Rangers, not their rival Montreal Canadiens, not the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, and not the Washington Capitals, a team that the NHL really wanted in this game and was considered one of 2 finalists if you will, in the negotiations of who is going to Fenway on New Years to play the Bruins. Instead, NBC decided that the Capitals and Ovechkin citing their playoff series with the Rangers, were not a strong enough ratings pull and instead convinced the NHL that the other team that was being strongly conisdered would play in the Winter Classic. That team, as I'm sure you've figured out by reading the title, is the Philadelphia Flyers. From The Daily Times in Delaware County.

Multiple league sources confirmed to the Daily Times that the Flyers will be the opponent for the Boston Bruins in the next NHL Winter Classic, to be played at Boston’s Fenway Park Jan. 1.

Despite springtime reports that the Flyers were out of the running as Boston’s foe in the next outdoor game, they recently were brought back into the discussion by NBC, which will broadcast the contest.

The NHL lobbied to pit the Washington Capitals against the Bruins in an effort to showcase Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin and his exciting, young team.

However, sources say NBC trumped that decision, telling the NHL it wanted the Flyers instead of the Caps in order to draw a better television audience and increase advertising revenue.

NBC was disappointed with ratings between the Caps and New York Rangers in the opening round of the playoffs, which surely played a role in being tepid when it came to having Washington playing in its biggest hockey telecast.

After some bargaining sessions with NBC, the NHL relented and agreed to have the Flyers participate, with the Caps as a possible 2011 opponent against the Rangers in a game that could be played at Yankee Stadium.

When asked by the league, the Flyers indicated they would be a willing participant in the 2010 contest, but wanted the option of an outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins to remain high on the league’s to-do list. Sources say the league has agreed to that stipulation.
As a huge fan of the Winter Classic, I must say that I am extremely excited that the Flyers will have a Winter Classic game to their name. If you've never seen it, these games are always a blast to watch and the outdoor atmosphere of a hockey name is seemingly unparalleled. The only problem I had with the Flyers playing the Bruins this year would be the fact that all of a sudden the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia Winter Classic would seem like an inprobability, but as long as it is high on the NHL's to-do-list, I'm all for heading up to Fenway. Besides, if this is any indication of the pull that NBC has with the NHL and this event, they can only ignore the Battle of Pennsylvania for so long. While they certainly would not have the Flyers again next year, I would not be surprised if the Flyers battle the Penguins outdoors on New Years as soon as either 2012 or 2013.

Once the NHL officially confirms what multiple league sources have already said was a done-deal, I'll let you know. Or if everything I've been reading (the above link is not the only place I have seen this) is false, I'll let you know as well.

Song Of The Day: "Holiday" By Green Day

I think you know why.....

RIP Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

The music industry suffered a great loss yesterday as Michael Jackson, aged 50, passed away from what they believe now to be cardiac arrest resulting from a heart attack. And I must say, that I have never seen such a diverse spectrum of reactions to the death of someone so well known and who was such an icon as I have seen today.

There are those that appreciate the musical Michael Jackson and will remember him for it. There is no doubt about it, Michael Jackson is the King of Pop. Thriller is one of the biggest selling albums of all time and I am sure that sales of that album and many will posthumously skyrocket. Personally, I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson's music. But at the same time, I think everyone has to have a good deal of respect for him and what he did in this industry. When you think greatest singers/bands of all time, Micheal Jackson has to be one of the first that comes to mind, perhaps right along side of the Beatles.

And then there are others who remember the other side of Michael Jackson. The Michael Jackson that was accused of being a pedophile and molesting children. I have heard from numerous people that they do not feel bad for Michael Jackson's death today. And you can't blame them for feeling this way. We can't say for sure the exact veracity of those allegations, but if there is any amount of truth to them, then yeah, child molestation is a serious crime and perhaps they are right in believing that someone like him is not worthy of the amounts of sympathy that some people are giving him today. After all, the American public does not feel bad for Joe Schmo The Child Molestor when he dies in prison. And while Michael was never convicted like I alluded to the fact that Joe Schmo was, it still is a very serious allegation and one that everyone in the national media completely blew up and made it more of a game and late-night comedy material instead of focusing on the seriousness of those allegations.

I don't think neither side is wrong here. Some will remember him as one of the greatest singers of all time. Others will remember MJ as a sick, pedophile who beat our American justice system. As cruel and heartless as it may sound, both have a legitimate point and there is no convincing either side that they are wrong in their beliefs. Only history will say which side truly is the more dominant line of thinking. My inclination is that 10-years from now more people will remember Michael Jackson the singer instead of Michael Jackson the freak who got plastic surgery and molested children. I know that I will remember him as the great singer. But that does not mean that the person who remembers pedophile Michael is a bad, ill-willed person. It's something that the American public will forever have to agree to disagree on.

And in perhaps the cruelest senses of irony, at around a little past 3 PM ET, myself and some others were actually discussing Michael Jackson as the extended music video of Thriller played in the background on the computer. And I had asked the question of "where is Micheal Jackson now?", as it had been a long time since I had heard anything about him and where he was living and what he was doing in such. A few hours later when I got home and logged into my Facebook account, I got my answer.

RIP Michael Jackson.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Sixers Draft UCLA's Jrue Holiday

Thank goodness!!!!!! Thank goodness the Sixers did not draft Ty Lawson!!! That would have been my worst nightmare come true. This, however, is a good selection.

The Sixers desparately need a point guard (and judging by the way that I drafted, Minnesota will play nothing but point guards this year, but that's another story) and Holliday will fit their needs. He is a Top 10 talent that fell to 17; the last person in the green room. The draft, as Mel Kiper often puts for the NFL Draft, is about addressing your teams needs and getting the most bang for your buck out of your pick. And with Holliday, the Sixers have accomplished all of that and then some.

He may have gotten PWN3D by Villanova in the NCAA Tournament (Wildcats are going all the way next year!!!!!), but I like him as an NBA point guard and I think he will fit the Sixers just fine.

Then again, all of this blather may just be because I am doing handstands that the Sixers did not pick Ty Lawson....

2009 NBA Draft Live Blog......

......is at Awful Announcing.

I'll be in and out throughout the night as I have to eat dinner and watch the Brazil-South Africa game from earlier today sans spoilers. Who will be the newest Philadelphia 76er and most importantly, luck out by getting to wear the Sixers new-old uniforms that will debut next year?

2009 NBA Draft Live Blog (Awful Announcing)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

THE STREAK IS OVER!!!!!

While it certainly is not as big a win as some people will try to tell you it is, the United States 2-0 upset of Spain will definitley go down as this club's biggest win since the 2002 World Cup. Spain's world record 15-game win streak is over. Spain's world record tying 35-game unbeaten streak is over. The United States is in the finals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Jozy Altidore notched one in the 27th minute and Clint Dempsey's goal in the 74th minute all but clinched the game for the good ol' U.S. of A. Huge thanks to AA for compiling a nice highlight package of the game complete with both goals as the ones on YouTube thus far are either poor quality or something is missing from them.



Again, this is just the Confederations Cup, but anytime you can get a win over #1 ranked Spain and end 2 world record streaks in the process, it is a big day and is a cause for cheer and celebration. The U.S. will face the winner of tomorrow's game between Brazil and host nation South Africa (sorry, but I won't be around tomorrow for the live blog). The loser will battle Spain on Sunday in the 3rd place game and the winner will play the United States on Sunday in the FIFA Confederations Cup championship game. And yes, I should be around on Sunday to live blog both of those games.

Spain Vs. U.S.A. Live Blog

It's another FIFA Confederations Cup afternoon live blog! Do join us for all of the fun, laughs, updates, play-by-play, and analysis of the United States humiliating, blowout loss semifinal game against Spain.

Chris Wheeler Has Some Pretty Strange Thoughts In The Booth

We always have a good laugh whenever an announcer says something seemingly normal to a sport, but out of context can be something rather sexual (i.e. "he hits the hole hard"). But when an announcer says something rather sexual and it's not out of context, then the results are absolutely hilarious. Case and point, last night, during the Phillies 10-1 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Rays, Phillies analyst Chris Wheeler declared to Philadelphia that one of his favorite songs is, "Rock Around The Cock Tonight"! No jokes, no out of contexting, just pure hilarity!



Too funny! Either he likes that song way too much, or that is the name of perhaps an upcoming porn movie he is about to shoot, in which case, I think I speak for all of Philadelphia when I say that nobody wants to see that.

Chris Wheeler's Freudian Slip (Awful Announcing)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Rhythm Is Going To Get The Miami Dolphins

Sticking with the theme of music that was introduced in a rather humerous way down below, it should be worht pointing out that Emilio Estefan and his much more famous wife, Gloira Estefan, are now part-owners of the Miami Dolphins! I really wish I was making this up. Via the Associated Press

Singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan, are buying a "very small" ownership stake in the NFL team, a person familiar with the deal said Monday. The person requested anonymity because the deal won't be announced until Thursday by owner Stephen Ross.

Seven-time Grammy winner Gloria Estefan has had hits with Miami Sound Machine and as a solo artist. Ross began a partnership in May with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville enterprise, which includes Land Shark Lager.

Buffett has yet to accept Ross' invitation to become a minority owner, but the Dolphins' stadium has been renamed Land Shark Stadium for this season. Buffett wrote a song for the team and will be featured at tailgate parties, Ross has said.

It's unclear whether the Estefans will have a role in Dolphins entertainment. Miami Sound Machine brought a fusion of Latin and pop to the American masses with hits such as "Conga" and "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," and Emilio Estefan has also produced for such artists as Shakira and Ricky Martin.

The Estefans will be among the few Hispanics to hold an ownership stake in an NFL team. Gloria Estefan came to the United States at age 2 when her family fled Cuba shortly after Fidel Castro's revolution, and she has sold more than 90 million records.
As if it was not enough to make fun of Miami that their stadium is now named after Jimmy Buffet's beer, now Gloria Estefan is a part owner of a football team! Let me repeat that, Gloria Estefan has stake in an NFL franchise! Good grief, I think we have stumbled upon the apocalypse. Who's next, The Beach Boys? It's the next logical step, that's for sure. Logical, of course, being a relative term here.

How To Save A Marriage


America is mourning today. Not just for Ed McMachon, no disrespect intended to Ed McMahon, but to most Americans that news is secondary. Secondary toward the shocking development that occured last night. America's favorite Montgomery County, PA marriage has finally come to an end. Yep, Jon and Kate are getting a divorce. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

And while I am certainly more ashamed than giddy to be currently living in the county where these 2 bozos got married, it is a sad day for America. I think that the whole country at some point shed a tear or 2 of sympathy for them. It's just so damn sad!!!!!!!!

Okay, not really. Or at least for me. And while I am not downplaying the fact that the parents of 8 kids are not separated, I don't think that I am the only one that thinks this whole thing is downright absurd.

What on earth makes them so damn special that they get their own reality show? They are not the only family with 8 kids. Was it because of the way the kids were conceived? If that's what you're after, then we should have a show on OctoMom. Oh, wait.....never mind.

Regardless, I am more than proud to say that I never watched one minute of this piece of crap filth that the rest of America claim is sad, entertainment. It's a sad, pathetic, worthless piece of garbage exploitation of children all at the expense of the dolla-dolla bill. You can't say that these kids are unaffected. They may be fine now, but what about 10 years from now or so. Their lives will be different. They'll be recognized. Any shot they had at a normal life is now spoiled by the fact that they'll be followed around by celebrity newspapers for the rest of their life as I'm sure some paper will have a "Keeping Tabs With The Gosselin Children" that will be updated hourly for the next 10 years.

Regardless, sad, stories like this are worthy of a tear-jerking song. That is why I somehow managed to fight those tears and I penned this song in hopes that Jon & Kate will never be forgotten. It's painfully called, "How To Save a Marriage" (sang to the tune of "How To Save a Life" by The Fray)

Step One, you say, "We need to make money"
She walks, you say, "Let's get a reality show".
She smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of contract to your right.
As she then tells you she is infertile
Between the lines of fear and greed
You begin to wonder why you came.

Where did I go wrong?
I lost my dignity somewhere along in the greediness
And I would have stayed up with those 8 pests all night
Had I known how to save a marriage

Let her know that you know best.
Because after, all, the guy always does.
Try to slip past her defense
And ink that contract with TLC.
Lay down a list of all the "story lines".
Things you told her will make them famous
Pray to God that they work.
And pray to God you're millionaires

And where did I go wrong?
I screwed my kids somewhere along in the greediness
And I would have stayed up with those 8 pests all night
Had I known how to save a marriage

As she begins to raise her voice
You lower yours and apologize for the affair
Continue with the show anyway
For you can't disappoint your millions of viewers
She will do one of 2 things:
She will forgive everything
Or she'll say "we're getting a divorce"
And you'll begin to why you came.

Where did I go wrong?
I got embarassed on TV somewhere along in the greediness
And I would have stayed up with those 8 pests all night
Had I known how to save a marriage

Where did I go wrong?
I became a laughing stock somewhere along in the greediness
And I would have stayed up with those 8 pests all night
Had I known how to save a marriage
How to save a marriage
How to save a marriage.

Monday, June 22, 2009

And The Number One Pick In The NBA Draft Is.....Well, At Least It Should Be Aaron Shutway

And you'll find out why by watching the below video.



ONIONS! DOUBLE ORDER!

That was 8th grader Aaron Shutway with what has to be by a mile the best full court shot ever in the history of basketball. Forget LeBron's no-look one-hander he did for 60 Minutes or any other full court shot that has happened since Dr. Naismith invented the game, I doubt there has ever been anything better than that. Unbelieveable. And good for you, Aaron, all jokes aside about being the 1st pick in the NBA Draft, you're now an internet sensation! And that counts for something, right?

Oh, and a few random comments, first of all, that has to be the biggest middle school PE class I have ever seen (and the 1st one I've seen sans uniforms) and I am pretty sure that that middle school gym holds more people in it than Bloomsburg University's Nelson Field House does (/Division II'd.)

Surprising News! Colin Cowherd Is A Hypocritical Douche Bag Who Knows Nothing About Sports (And/Or Hates Philadelphia)!

Sorry for being so late in getting this up to you. My internet has been absolutely awful to me and this is the first time that I have been able to get online all day. Suffice to say, this post is 8 hours in the making

That being said, Colin Cowherd has once again proven himself to be a worthless tool who could not tell his head from his ass, let alone give a thoughtful, insightful opinion about sports. I have frequently perused AA's archives from before I was a regular, and the one thing that always stuck out more than anything was how much of a chicken shit Colin Cowherd is. Although this time, it's all of the fun of Colin "Schrutebag" Cowherd with added hypocrisy! From John Gonzalez's column in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

On Friday, [Colin Cowherd], the ESPN radio host - who has a syndicated national show that can be heard locally from 10 to 11 a.m. weekdays on 950 AM - was talking about why baseball isn't nearly as complex as football. To make his point, he took a shot at a guy who won the World Series last year: "Oh please. See ball, hit ball. You think Charlie Manuel is on the same intellectual level as Bill Belichick?"

It was a low blow, and it came out of nowhere - as usual. A little over a month ago, Cowherd levied a different ad hominem attack on Philly. He said NFL fans who question play-calling drive him "bonkers."

"Andy Reid watches 45 hours of tape," Cowherd said on his show in early May. "Andy Reid knows the Eagles' tendencies. He knows the opponents' tendencies. He knows injuries and probabilities. They actually use these things called computers. He knows his personnel. He's got 15 assistant coaches. He watches film all week. Monday through Wednesday, he sleeps at his office. And Bobby from the Shipyard calls [the radio] on Monday and tears him apart."

These things called "computers"? Whoa. Slow down there, guy. Maybe use smaller words in the future so you don't overload our inferior circuitry.

Attempts to reach Cowherd were unsuccessful. Probably gets bad cell reception up on his high horse.
I kept that last paragraph in there just because it the main goal of this post is to take as many shots at The Useless One as possible.

Even Gonzo, as much as I love his Inquirer columns, fails to see Cowherd's hypocrisy in all of this. Last month, he was saying at how coaches have a bunch of assistants and are constantly studying film and analyzing the tendencies of the other team and such. Well isn't that done in baseball as well?????? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that sort of required in all team sports? Yeah, um, that's what I thought. Now I'm not saying that Charlie Manuel's IQ is or is not higher than Bill Belichick's, but I am saying that he is defending coaches and what they have to do to prepare for games, and yet that does not apply for Charlie Manuel. Baseball is not just "see ball. hit ball". It's about placing the ball. It's about knowing the tendencies of a hitter as to where to throw the pitch. It's about knowing the tendencies and the abilites of the defense so that you can place the ball in the right spot so as to get as many bases and/or RBIs possible.

Although, wait, maybe I'm wrong in calling Colin a hyprocrite. He's not saying baseball coaches, he's just talking about Charlie Manuel. And he was specifically talking about Andy Reid and Philly fans earlier. Colin Cowherd just hates Philadelphia, doesn't he? Now it's one thing to be a local announcer and hate a city, but it's another thing to have a nationally syndicated radio show and constantly single out a city as it appears that Schrutebag does just for kicks.

And hold on, did I read further down in the column that this doofus is getting his own TV show on ESPN? Before you say anything, this may actually be a blessing in disguise. For maybe now that he will be exposed to more people (surely, even though his show is nationally syndicated, he can't have more 20 regular listeners, can he?), people will start to see what a useless, idiotic, incompetent, asshole he surely is and enough complaints will come in that tWWL would have no choice. Either that, or when those 20 regular listeners become his 20 regular viewers, ESPN will have no choice then. Then again, maybe I am stupid to get my hopes up fot this. After all, Skip Bayless still has a job there.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

THIS IS WHY I LOVE GROUP PLAY!!! AGAINST ALL ODDS, THE U.S. HAS DONE IT!

An absolutely incredible series of events occured today in South Africa. Brazil beat Italy 3-0 with a late 1st half explosion. The United States beat Egypt 3-0. That meant that the U.S.'s goal differential was 1 better than Egypt and the U.S. was tied with Italy for goal differential. Afterwards, the next tie-breaker is total goals scored in the tournament. The U.S. scored 4 goals in the Confederations Cup. Italy only got 3. That's right! The United States has advanced to the semifinals and they will play Spain on Wednesday! No typo exists in that statement! And for your viewing pleasure, here is all that transpired in the past 2 hours.

First, it was Davies giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead.



What followed a few minutes later was nothing short of "capital punishment" in the capital city of Pretoria, as Adrian Healey called it. Get ready for an end-of-1st-half Brazilian style blitzkreig.







Gotta love the hilarity of some own goals! But that not withstanding, at halftime of both games, the score was 3-0 Brazil and 1-0 U.S. If the U.S. got 2 more (and assuming Italy and Egypt did not score), the U.S. would surpass Egypt and tie Italy in goal differential. The tie breaker would be goals scored, and if the U.S. got the 2, they (and Italy did not score again and Egypt did not score as to mess up the goal differential), would have one more goal scored than Italy and that would be enough to advance. Here's what happened.

MICHAEL BRADLEY!



And then....the unthinkable.....

CLINT DEMPSEY!



And that would be all of the goals scored today! The United States has pulled off one of the most miraculous end of group stage performances I have ever seen in my life. The United States of America is in the semifinals! Let me say that again, THE UNITES STATES OF AMERICA IS IN THE SEMIFINALS!

Truly, truly remarkable.

And if only that BBC guy who did the U.S.-Egypt game on BBC was doing the game for ESPN.....he was giving me goosebumps as I was watching the videos on YouTube.

U.S. Vs. Egypt And Italy Vs. Brazil Live Blog

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This Is Why I Love Group Play

I mentioned it in a few of the live blogs, but I love group play like this. It always gets so wild and zany and unpredictable that it's so fun to watch unfold. And tomorrow will be the perfect case and point as no one has clinched a semifinal berth in Group B and no one has been eliminated in Group B. However, some teams do have one hell of a hill to climb and an extradorinary amount of luck to get through (*cough*cough*United States*cough*cough). Seeing as it's a Saturday night and you probably have not done much today, I decided that I would fry all of your brains. That's right, listed below are the scenarios that each team needs to advance tomorrow. From CBC.com

TIEBREAKERS:In the event that two teams in one group end up with the same amount of points at the end of the round robin, the first tiebreaker is goal difference, followed by total goals scored.

If more than two teams end up with the same amount of points, the first tie breaker is the greatest number of points obtained in the games between the teams involved, followed by goal difference and goal difference (again, taking into account only the games between the teams involved).

[....]

Brazil leads the group with six points, followed by Italy and Egypt (three points each) and the United States (no points).

BRAZIL: The South American champions can clinch first place in the group and a spot in the semifinals with a win or a draw against Italy on Sunday.

ITALY: The world champions can clinch a semifinal spot if it earns more points on Sunday from its game against Brazil than Egypt gains from its contest against the United States. If both Italy and Egypt earn a draw on Sunday, Italy goes through. Italy sports a +1 goal difference ahead of Sunday's game.

EGYPT: The African champions can clinch a semifinal spot if it earns more points on Sunday from its game against the United States than Italy gains from its contest against Brazil. If both Egypt and Italy earn a draw on Sunday, Italy goes through. Egypt has a 0 goal difference going into Sunday.

UNITED STATES: The CONCACAF Gold Cup champions must beat Egypt on Sunday to have any chance of claiming a semifinal berth. A loss or a draw against the Egyptians would eliminate the U.S. from contention, as would a draw or win by Italy. The U.S. sports a goal difference of -5 going into Sunday's game.

THREE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

A loss to Italy by two goals on Sunday and an Egypt win by three goals against the United States will eliminate Brazil

If Italy loses to Brazil by a goal, they could still advance, as long as the United States beats Egypt, creating a three-way way tie at three points.

However, there is also a scenario where the Italians could win and be eliminated. If they beat Brazil by one goal and Egypt beats the United States by three goals, there would be a three-way tie at six points. Goal difference in that scenario: Brazil +3, Egypt +3, Italy +2.
Is anyone still sane? Good grief, that's chaotic! And yet, when this starts to play out and some of these scenarios start developing, it becomes so crazy and so intense to watch that if something exciting happens, you'll never forget it. The U.S. can still qualify. Brazil can still be eliminated. What a day tomorrow should be.

And I am hopeful that I will have a live blog up tomorrow for the games (they're both on at 2:30 PM ET on the ESPN and ESPN2, respectively). That being said, my internet has been giving me the virtual middle finger throughout the day. Somehow, I got it to work now, but if the problem persists, I am in no way confident that I can get it again. I'll send y'all the CiL email tomorrow if I am good (that would mean that I am online). But it's all in the hands of my computer and internet. I'll be around. I am hoping that my computer and internet will be as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

RIP Gary Papa, 1954-2009

I know that most of you probably don't know who he is, but Gary Papa was a sports anchor for WVPI-TV (6ABC) and was perhaps one of the most recognizable and beloved faces in local Philadelphia sports coverage. You'd be hardpressed someone in the Philly media market who did not know who Gary Papa was.

While I do not watch as much local news as I once did, I remember as a kid when my grandparents would babysit me when both of my parents were working, they would always have 6ABC on and Gary Papa would always be there to do the sports during the 6:00 PM broadcast.

What makes this more troubling than usual is the fact for the past few years, we were forced to watch him tear away before our very eyes. In 2004, he announced over the air that he was going under chemotherapy for prostate cancer. Gary would fight through it though and continue to work while receiving the therapy. In 2007, it was announced that once again he would once again be receiving chemo for the exact same reasons. After years of battling the cancer, it is what tragically took his life away today.

Here is Jim Gardner, the 6 PM and 11 PM news anchor of 6ABC, breaking the news and giving a very moving tribute.



RIP Gary Papa. You will be missed.

Taking A Look At The Ball Parks Thus Far This Year

This always fascinates me, quite frankly. The answer to the age old question of which ball parks are bandboxes and which ones are no homerun zones. Well, I have the answer below, thanks to the wonderful HitTracker. Listed below is the name of the ballpark, the team that calls that park home, and the number of homers per game. Which is a bigger bandbox? Citizens Bank Park or New Yankee Stadium? Which is deader? CitiField or PETCO Park? What parks are right in the middle? The answer is below as we start with the homerun launching pads and end with the homerun graveyards.

1. New York Yankees - New Yankee Stadium - 3.53
2. Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Bank Park - 3.03
3. Texas Rangers - Ameriquest Field - 2.74
4. Baltimore Orioles - Oriole Park at Camden Yards - 2.54
5. Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park - 2.42
6. Arizona Diamondbacks - Chase Field - 2.38
7. Tampa Bay Rays - Tropicana Field - 2.33
8. Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre - 2.32
9. Cincinnati Reds - Great American Ball Park - 2.27
10. Minnesota Twins - Metrodome - 2.26
11. Chicago White Sox - U.S. Cellular Field - 2.15
12. Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park - 2.12
13. Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium - 2.10
14. Florida Marlins - Land Shark Stadium - 2.09
15. Colorado Rockies - Coors Field - 2.07
16. Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park - 2.03
17. Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field - 2.00
18. Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field - 1.94
19. Detroit Tigers - Comerica Park - 1.82
20. Washington Nationals - Nationals Park - 1.81
21. St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium - 1.78
22. Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field - 1.67
23. New York Mets - Citi Field - 1.66
24. San Diego Padres - PETCO Park - 1.63
25. Oakland Athletics - McAfee Coliseum 1.61
26. Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium - 1.44
27. Kansas City Royals - Kauffman Stadium - 1.40
28. Pittsburgh Pirates - PNC Park - 1.28
29. San Francisco Giants - AT&T Park - 1.27
30. Atlanta Braves - Turner Field - 1.13

What strikes me the most is the huge gap between New Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Park, and then the gap between Citizens Bank Park and all other 28 stadiums. Maybe it was me being a biased Philly fan, but I would have bet a lot of money on Shitty Field being in the bottom 5 of this list, but once again, what the heck do I know? And I would like to personally thank the New York Yankees for building their new stadium as they have officially replaced Citizens Bank Park as the laughing stock and of MLB.

Ballpark Detail - 2009 Season (HitTracker)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Egypt Upsets Italy In The Confederations Cup As Italy Becomes The Butt Of All Jokes

The United States may have crapped the bed in their game, but the world is thankful that Gennaro Gattuso did not crap his pants. What a day of soccer it was. First of all, the U.S,. got ass-raped, and then the shocker of the tournament, Egypt upset World Champion Italy! No typo exists in that statement, Egypt beat Italy 1-0! First off is the video of the Mohamed Homos goal (which by the way has one of the most, overtop goal calls I've ever heard in my life) followed by the video of Gattuso's wardrobe malfunction.



Praise Allah! Or at least that's what I think that guy was saying. Regardless, that's funny! And if I had to listen to that voice for 90 minutes, I'm pretty sure I would have to jump off a pyramid. And now, the moment you've all been waiting for! More Gattuso!



Just to finish the Tommy Smyth quote: "He does not snarl as much as he used to. He's not quite the snarling dog. Like his mom said, always make sure your underwear is clean!"

So random the way he jumped from snarling to Gattuso's mom, but regardless, nonstop hilarity! And I think the world (myself included) is thankful that Gattuso was not naked underneath and/or wearing a thong. For if he was, I think we would have quite the international incident on our hands.

Regardless, though, congrats to Egypt on their big upset win and the U.S. is still alive and can make it to the semifinals. That is, if they beat Egypt by 3 or more and Brazil beats Italy by 4 or more. Or there can be some odd scenario where Italy loses by 3, depending on how much everyone else scores.

Egypt Vs. Italy Live Blog

U.S.A. Vs. Brazil Live Blog

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breaking Down The Music City Miracle

It's somewhat late at night and I'm bored, so I figured why not prove the point that I made in my GMIS post below this. Even if it means reviving a 8.5 year old controversy. Like I in the below post, that is unequivically, without a doubt a lateral. And by the end of this post, you will feel the exact same way, regardless of your view beforehand. The position of the players creates an illusion of a forward pass but if you focus on the ball and/or Frank Wycheck's arm (screenshots of both later) you will see why I am so certain about this. First off, though, in case you did not see the video below or you just want to see it again without scrolling down, here is the original broadcast of that play and the subsequent official review with Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul Maguire on the call.



Now let's start breaking it down.

From the most straightaway, clear cut angle there is, here is Frank Wycheck at the time of the pass with the ball circled only to make it stand out clearer with the somewhat blurry image.

Okay. Now know I say focus on the ball, but that's when watching it live. Now let's look at Wycheck. His right foot i along the side closest to his own endzone and it is literally all but touching that line. His right arm is partly stretched out. Wycheck is 6'3" tall so he is an above average guy. And while his arm is not fully stretched out, there can be little doubt that that ball is more than a foot across that 25-yard line. But you are just being judgmental, there, though, JFein, you can't say that for sure. Yes, yes, I know. I'm just trying to provide narration for the images which will soon speak for themselves. Now let's take a look at Dyson when he catches the ball.

Also realize that this is before Dyson catches the ball so it still has a bit of movement to do. But look at where the ball is. It is almost right along the 25 yard line or not quite. But if you look at it, compare the distance that that ball is now to Wycheck. Is it humanly possible for Wycheck to have that ball outstretched only by what has to be 1 feet? Compare the images again. I'm not saying it was a lateral by much, but it definitley was a lateral and you can damn sure say that it was not a forward pass. A lateral does not have to be backwards necessarily. If the ball travels in an absolute straight line from Point A to Point B, that is a lateral, and in turn, a legal play in the NFL. So the question is not necessarily did the ball travel backwards, but did the ball travel forwards? And I think you can say by looking at those images alone that that ball did not go forward. Joe Theismann said it best, it's where the ball is to where the ball goes that determines whether or not it's a forward pass or a lateral. That's the key rule. How on earth can anyone say by looking at those images that that ball moved forward (forward being on the left hand side). It just is not there.

And as if that was not enough, I'll give this whole argument one more dagger: Frank Wycheck's right arm. You have where it started above, but look at where it ends up.

His right arm is across his body! How can that be if he threw that ball forwards?? It is a physical impossibility! The only explanation to how the arm he threw that pass with, his right arm, ends up across his body in that quick a time from when he let go of the ball to that picture, is if it was already going in that direction. And how would it already be going in that direction? That could only be if he threw the ball in a straight line or backwards! There is no other explanation needed. Look at the video again and look at Wycheck's arm. His arm is moving across his body the whole time!!!! And the direction of across his body is in the direction of a lateral!!! To those still not convinced that it was a lateral, answer this question in the comments section: How can Wycheck throw the ball one way if his arm is moving in the complete opposite direction??? Because by suggesting that it is a forward pass, that is exactly what you are suggesting. Looking at Dyson will only throw you off. It's the ball's trajectory and a close look at Wycheck's arm that gives you the answer of what really happened. And the answer is without a shadow of a doubt a legal play.

Great Moments In Sports, #6 (Controversial NFL Moments)

An NFL Films highlight package that takes a look at the game that started a dynasty.



The original broadcast from the Immaculate Reception which was replayed during halftime the 1997 AFC Championship. How something this old and seemingly this obscure (we're not exactly talking Zapruder Film here, although I'm pretty sure the video and replays of this play have been analyzed as much as the Zapruder Film) was uploaded on to YouTube in January of this year is beyond me. And I'm obviously calling a 1997 halftime show, obscure, not the play itself.



I did not originally intend for the Raiders to be in every video here, but that seems to Raiders, I guess. Here's Holy Roller!



See Raiders fans, you do occasionally get the lucky breaks! ;-)

Transitioning from the Raiders, though, it's my perhaps my favorite controversial play in all of sports. This is the one play that I have watched over and over again for hours on end. It has been debated so much that it is utterly forgotten that Rob Johnson was the starting quarterback in this game. And to top it off, we've got Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul Maguire on the call! I've said enough. Cue The Music City Miracle!



I have seen the video and replay of this play so many times and from every angle that is out there that I have come to the unequivocal conclusion that that was 100% a lateral and for those that say it was not, that is something I am willing to debate with anyone at anytime. Look at the replay at 3 minute mark and don't watch Wychek and Dyson, just follow the ball. Follow the trajectory of the ball. It is on a backwards trajectory! Bills fans will never tell you so. They will never admit it. And frankly, seeing as they have not been in a playoff game since, their eyes have been trained to see a forward pass on that play. They can't see the lateral. But it is there. On an unrelated note, I think that JC is glad that I have a video that features The Greatness That Is Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, And Paul Maguire In A Booth Together.

And unrelated to football and sports, but seeing as I posted an MXC video in my first GMIS post and as howI'm live blogging I Survived A Japanese Game Show over at The O Files tonight at 9 PM ET, I figured why not put up a video of the final challenge from last season.



Hai majide!

Song Of The Day: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" By Nirvana

Make fun of me for this all you want, but there are only a real select group of artists and songs pre-1995 that I really like a lot probably because my parents used to love to play older music when I was younger and I just got so sick of hearing it. That being said, this song is probably by a mile, my favorite pre-1995 song, and wouldn't you know it, it's not a song that my aforementioned parents forced down my throat when I was younger like they did so many others.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Pittsburgh Penguins Win The Stanley Cup In A Finish Eerily Opposite To Last Year's (UPDATED FINALLY WITH HUGHSON'S CBC CALL)

OMG.......I love AA. I guess the YouTube problem is either the search engine or my internet for some bizarre reason (see below posts for explanation as I doubt not too many people are reading FARN! at 1 and 2 in the morning). Regardless, Friday afternoon I posted a Great Moments in Sports which highlighted moments from this year's playoffs I put up a clip of the final cup clinching seconds for the Red Wings. Watch that again. And now, watch the video below of the Pens winning it this year. Reverse deja vu....HELLO!



Just incredible and for the 2nd year in a row, my heart leapt out of my throat as I watched the final seconds of the Stanley Cup finals. Good grief, what if that last shot went in??? And I spoke of the lucky burrito from Qdoba in Pittsburgh that Dan Bylsma was 22-1 before when he ate a burrito from there before the game. Somehow, he found a way to eat the burrito yesterday before traveling to Detroit for the game. THE LUCKY BURRITO HAS WON THE STANLEY CUP FOR THE PENGUINS! Regardless, the Pens are the 2009 Stanley Cup champions and I'm in hell because of it. At least the Mets gave me some salvation for the night (see below post).

Once the YouTube search engine is working again, I'll search for Hughson's call on CBC and add it as an update to this post.

Update: FINALLY!!! I've literally spent hours searching for this and I have finally found it. Take it away, Jim Hughson! (don't be intimidated by the length, the end of the game is the first part of the video; the rest is the afterward celebration).



And for those so inclined, here is what the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup sounded like in French on the French-Canadian channel, RDS (complete with screaming Penguins fans in the background!)



Encore, felicitations aux Pingouins de Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanie. Mais je toujours deteste Sidney Crosby! ;-)

Championship Parades Never Fail To Amuse Me

Why on earth a football and a beach ball were getting tossed around during a parade for a hockey team I have no idea, but it certainly produced hilarious results. Watch as some dude's camera needlessly follows a beach ball and then an unsuspecting cop gets hit with a football from the sky.



HELLO! And it's good to see that he appeared to have a smile on his after getting decked. Good times, Pittsburgh, goooood times.

Pens/Wings Game 7 Was The Most Watched NHL Game In 36 YEARS!!!

Wow!!! I knew that the numbers for Friday night's hockey game was going to be high, perhaps the highest in quite some time, but I never imagined that we would be going back 36 years for this. Holy cow! From NHL.com

Friday night’s deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports was the most-watched NHL game in 36 years (5/10/73, Stanley Cup Final Game 6 on NBC, Montreal-Chicago, 9.4 million) drawing an average of 8 million viewers. Overall, the series averaged 5.6 million viewers for the five games on NBC, the best since 2002 on ABC (three telecasts, Detroit-Carolina, 5.8 million average viewers).

Friday’s Game 7 earned a 4.3 rating and an 8 share, the best for a series-ending game in six years (6/9/03, Game 7, Anaheim-New Jersey, 4.6/8).

NBC Sports’ Game 7 finished No. 1 for the night in every category including viewership and household ratings.
Just incredible. And so much for the low ratings of having a Game 7 on a Friday and no one watching. Yeah, we were wrong. People watched this game. And just for comparison's sake, according to TVbythenumbers.com, Game 5 of the NBA Finals averaged 9.6 million viewers. And while that is higher, talk about a close gap between 2 sports where such a close gap should not exist. And to think that this game accomplished this feat on a Friday night without the constant promotion from ESPN. Good for hockey and good for the NHL. And it is nice to see that after the nightmare that was the Lockout a few years ago, hockey has rebounded and is now bigger, better, and stronger than ever. Given the same series, I don't think this could have happened in the late 90s and early 2000s before and the year or 2 following the lockout.

And wait, weren't people saying a few weeks ago that no one was going to watch this series because it was a re-match of last year's Stanley Cup??

Monday, June 15, 2009

Artie Lange Takes Great Pleasure In Humiliating Joe Buck And Ruining His "Great Show" (UPDATED WITH BETTER, LONGER VIDEO AND OT SEGMENT)

Yes, I did see thw whole first episode of Joe Buck Live, and I must say, I was not overly impressed. Nothing big came out of the Favre interview, Joe Buck somehow got out of having a hugh argument with Chad Johnson Ochocinco, and I felt that some of his humor fell flat. And keep in mind, I generally enjoy Joe Buck's dry sense of humor. But the highlight of the night was by a mile Artie Lange completely owning Joe Buck, Tony Romo, and Jessica Simpson all in less than 2 minutes of epic hilarity, with the best part being after Joe "The Bachelor Is Better Than Baseball" Buck saying that TMZ is his favorite website, Lange suggests that his 2nd favorite website must therefore be "suckingcock.com". (as you have probably figured out, this video is quite NSFW as you can pretty much say whatever the fuck you want on HBO. And Artie Lange knows that.)





And while I don't know about elsewhere, but everyone in Philadelphia (or at least in my family) caught on to the whole Tony Homo joke years ago. Nevertheless, that was hilarious. And kudos to Buck as well for handling all of that with tremendous aplomb. Especially in the Overtime segment where Lange got carried on and on. And more kudos to Buck for fighting back. I think this might be the first time that I ever felt sorry for the guy.

And one last thing not necessarily related to Lange but to Joe Buck Live in general, if I had a nickel for everytime Buck said how "great" a show it was going to be in the first 8 or so minutes, I think I would be a millionaire. Oh, and the ironic part was how at the end of the show, he went on about how announcers should not use the word "amazing" to describe every play in sports. And Joe, what's not amazing about Kobayashi eating 100 hot dogs?

Your first episode of "Joe Buck Live" in ten minutes or less (Awful Announcing)
Joe Buck Live Overtime gets even more uncomfortable (Awful Announcing)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Highlight Of The Night....

....is not a video. That game was a massacre and while my congratulations go out to the Lakers and The Pride And Joy Of Lower Merion High School, Kobe Bryant (even though the ensuing ESPN circle jerk will last for the next year), no video or highlight is worthy enough to be put on here. I put this up on the live blog, but for those who missed it or just want to see it again, let's play Find The ESPN Typo!



It must be Jeff Van Gundy's fault. He does not want you to believe that it was his brother's Magic that was losing by 12...

NBA Playoffs Day 43 Live Blog (Finals Game 5)

Tonight's game.....

Game 5: Los Angeles @ Orlando 8:00 (ABC - Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy, SR: Doris Burke)

Will the Lakers win the championship tonight or will the Magic stay alive and force a trip back to the Staples Center? Enjoy the game and leave comments in the blog, unless you're Nathan and his 454,543 aliases, in which case if you do show up, I'll expose the video of you from Thursday night. And a little FYI, I may be in and out tonight (get your minds out of the gutter, not like that) and I may miss a good part of the 1st quarter.