Sunday, September 28, 2014

Game 162

Last day of the season.

The sure things are fighting for their lives. The under performers have caught fire and pulled ahead, then away. Two divisions might not be settled, even after today; a playoff for a playoff between a team that once seemed inevitable and a team that seemed to have no chance is a distinct possibility. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Please Shut Up Now (Derek Jeter Edition)


Derek Jeter, iconic shortstop, is retiring. He had an emotional and narratively perfect final game at Yankee Stadium where he drove in the winning run in the 9th inning, largely because the Yankee's Mariano-less pen couldn't hold a three run lead, but who cares about the details? It was a lovely moment, precisely the sort of heart-warming Field-of-Dreams-esque narrative moment that baseball excels at in a way that no other sport does. Hell, I'm a total Derek Jeter agnostic - I think he was a great player, but I can't stand the hagiography, I think he kind of screwed A-Rod with the New York media, and nothing will ever convince me he could go to his left - and I thought it was pretty damn cool.

And then the nonsense started, because in the land of social media, there is absolutely nothing so important as getting your opinion on something out there, right now.1 So, in the interest of preserving the tiny shreds of something nice that remain, I would request that if you want to talk about:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Your Weekly ACC Football Roundup: Week 4 - The Great Unraveling.

Sometimes the bill comes due a little sooner than expected.

The ACC cranked up its degree of difficulty a bit on non-conference opponents this weekend, and the results weren't pretty. Oh, there were still plenty of stops in the tasty baked goods aisle (Presbyterian, Maine, Army, FIU and Tulane, combined record 6-12 with those wins coming against schools like Wagner and Southeast Louisiana), but for one week only, a significant slice of the conference went for something a little meatier.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Clemson Is A Verb

"To Clemson" is a verb, derived from the Latin "clemsono", which means "to hand the ACC title to Florida State". They had the game won and they gave it away, like they always do. To watch Clemson in a big game is to watch a Sean Bean movie: you know he's going to get ganked sooner or later, but what keeps you glued to the screen is the details of how.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Roger. Over and Eventually Out.

Friday was the day Roger Goodell learned what every NFL player learns eventually: That he is fungible. He may be highly skilled, he may be highly paid, but the second he's not benefitting his employers, he's replaceable. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Your Weekly ACC Football Roundup, Week 3

So week three of the ACC football season was-


*ahem* As I was saying, week 3 offered some bad news for the conference that nearly was a lot worse. Leading things off, last week's hero, VT, who-

Sunday, September 14, 2014

To the Drowning Man, An Anchor

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves.

For example: yesterday embattled Washington football team owner Daniel Snyder, best known for A)suing the bejesus out of anyone he thinks makes fun of him B)cutting down trees in a park illegally and then screwing over the park ranger who called him on it C)Trying to buy support for the ridiculously racist nickname of the sports franchise he owns while defending his right to keep that nickname unto the death through outright lies and childish tantrums D)co-opting the local media in a way that would make Kruschev proud and E)doing a truly horrible job of owning a football team, has come out with a statement of support for embattled NFL commissioner and wannabe Cobra Kai member Roger Goodell.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nobody Knows Nothing, Baseball Edition

Let's rewind a few weeks to the MLB trade deadline. We didn't know a lot of things, but we knew these for dead sure:

  • By trading for Jon Lester to go with Jeff Samardzjia and Jason Hammel, Oakland had locked up the AL West
  • By trading for David Price, Detroit had created an unbeatable FrankenRotation that meant they, too, could make October reservations
  • The Brewers had salted away the NL Central, while the Pirates were, err, dead in the water.
  • The Braves were mounting their usual late-season charge and the Nationals were in trouble.
  • The Royals were, well, the Royals. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Guest Post at Off Tackle Empire

Today's read can be found over at SB Nation's B1G blog, Off Tackle Empire. It discusses what it takes to build a rivalry, insofar as the nice people at Rutgers are trying to convince the rest of the world that they have beef with Penn State and Penn State's all, like, "Who?"

Plus, there are sloth references.

Go read.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ACC Roundup, Week 2: Tasty Baked Goods

This week's breakdown gets divvied up into three sections. Why? There were basically 3 types of games the ACC played. One was a top-flight tilt against a national powerhouse, one was a conference game, and the rest...well, we'll start with those games.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A Pivotal Moment

Other people have said the things that need saying on the latest Ray Rice video evidence, and they've said it better than I could. That it shouldn't have taken the release of that video to spur people into action. That the NFL is looking awfully weaselly about what it knew when, as regards the material on that video. That a lot of smart people who should have known better said really dumb things about Ray Rice back in the day. And that, obviously, violence against women is wrong and should not be tolerated in the NFL.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Human Beans

Over at Just A Bit Outside, Ken Rosenthal wrote a great piece about how baseball brought gay former player Billy Bean (no relation) back into the fold as an outreach ambassador to the GLBT community. The piece talks about how Bean ultimately felt driven out of the game he loved by the need to hide his orientation, how baseball eventually reached out to him and offered a mea culpa, and how they set up this outreach role proactively. The piece goes further and talks about how old-school tough-as-nails guys like Joe Torre and Yogi Berra - the sorts of guys you'd think would view a player's coming out as a "distraction", if you weren't thinking too hard - were part of the process and on board with things from the get-go, and about how numerous gay and lesbian baseball employees wrote to Bean to talk about the positive impact his role was having on their lives.

Friday, September 05, 2014

These Eleven Bodies Are A Temple

Because I'm not putting a picture of an owl up here, damnit.
The most important thing to happen in college football thus far in the young season is this:

Temple beat Vanderbilt.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Huh?" You may be saying "What's the big deal?" You may even be saying, if you're a particular sort of snotty college football elitist who decries how the Yankees win the pennant every year but won't even considering paying attention to a team unless it plays in a practice facility that cost more than the GNP of Burkina Faso, "Temple has a football team?"

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Your ACC Football Breakdown: Week 1

Week 1 of college football season generally exists for two reasons. One, to find a small-school cream puff you can whup up on without fear of losing, buffing the record and providing what's really a glorified scrimmage to start the year. These games have the added advantage of allowing coaches to work all those pesky 1-game disciplinary suspensions of key players out before anyone with a pulse comes calling. Justice, such as it is, gets served, but only in the form of an Oscar Meyer Lunchable.

Number two, which is generally a bit rarer, is to provide a team with a chance to play a quality non-conference foe. This technique is used by teams with national championship aspirations who want to burnish their strength-of-schedule rating, or by an up-and-comer team without reasonable title hopes for whom a "good loss" is still useful.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Obvious, Rehashed

We restate the obvious as a public service announcement to those of you who still labor under the delusion that the National Football League is an aspirational meritocracy that exists solely to bring joy to the worthy. To wit: