Friday, January 31, 2014

At Least They Didn't Fake Aubrey Huff's Thong

"And this is the helmet I wore in Super Bowl 3"
Finally, something worth talking about at Super Bowl week.

No, not Peyton Manning's "ducks." Everyone who watches football knows that Peyton Manning throws flutter balls. They are incredibly accurate, high velocity flutter balls, but they are flutter balls, and no amount of chest-beating and "ZOMG DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE SAID ABOUT SAINT PEYTON" po-faced disingenuousness is going to change that. It's a non-issue, and thus, a non-starter.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beast A La Mode

Not pictured: Matt Kemp, Marshawn Lynch
My fellow nerds, it is official. We have won.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baseball's Silly Sayings Season

Brad Boxberger: Somehow less exciting than a rampaging kaiju
In roughly two weeks, pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and something vaguely resembling actual baseball starts happening again. In the meantime, it's stupid quote season. 

I don't blame the sportswriters. There's nothing else to talk about, not unless they want to rehash for the 47th time how draft pick compensation is keeping a team from signing Ubaldo Jimenez. The big fish of the winter, Masahiro Tanaka, has landed. The biggest trade made recently involved Brad Boxberger as a key component, and if you know who Brad Boxberger is, you need spring training to start as much as I do.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bold Official Sportsthodoxy Super Bowl Prediction

Anticipated field conditions, Super Bowl XLVIII
After much analysis and at least five minutes spent watching game film, the editorial board of Sportsthodoxy has come to the following conclusion:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What Can The Browns Do To You?

The Cleveland Browns finally have a coach.

He is not Jon Gruden. He is not Josh McDaniels. He is not, in fact anyone you've ever heard of.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Because Everyone Else Is Talking About Richard Sherman

You know who Richard Sherman is today.

You probably don't know the names of any other NFL cornerbacks that aren't on your team.
That, in and of itself, is enough. Sherman played the game the NFL and its media set up, and he won, and now they're mad about it.

If You Gaze Too Deeply Into the Phillies...

A few years back, it was fashionable to suggest that the Phillies - flush with cash, riding a wave of success, sitting on top of a major market - were positioned to become the Yankees of the NL. Now, with the signing of star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (24-0 counts as a "star", yes), the Yankees have completed their metamorphosis into the Phillies of the NL.

Monday, January 20, 2014

UnBradyed


The Broncos' deconstruction of the Patriots yesterday hinged on precisely two factors. One was the complete inability of the Patriots pass rush to even ruffle Peyton Manning's thinning hair. (Seriously. Paint the guy green and he's the spitting image of The Leader from the old Hulk comics.) The other was Tom Brady.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

O Hey They Paid Clayton Kershaw A Lot Of Money

When Clayton Kershaw signed his new contact, the ESPN coverage was over the moon. Tons and tons of Jayson Stark-style factoids about how much Kershaw was getting per win and per pitch, straight out past the Oort Cloud. The subtext, of course, was "CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW MUCH MONEY THIS GUY IS GETTING TO PLAY A GAME?"

Except.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dumb Things Overheard On The Radio

"If Payton Manning loses this game, I will no longer consider him the best quarterback of all time. Right now, it's Manning 1, Namath 2, and Brady 3" - spoken by a local sports talk radio host in all seriousness

Seriously.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Riddle Me This, Batman

Alex Rodriguez with his PED of choice
GIVEN THAT:

We know that steroids are supposed to enhance performance by increasing muscle growth

AND

We know pretty well how long it takes muscle tissue to grow

AND THAT

Noted upright fellow Anthony Bosch is claiming that he gave Alex Rodriguez "gummy" steroids before a game that helped him play better

AND THAT

Bosch also claimed that his steroids were undetectable and would be flushed out of ARod's system after the game

WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT

The steroids Bosch gave Rodriguez  grew him bigger muscles during the game that then shrank back to pre-game levels by the time of the locker room interviews. Alternately, we can go back over game footage and watch ARod's biceps inflate and deflate like Popeye eating spinach puff hors d'oeuvres

Alternately, we can assume that Anthony Bosch is full of crap, Alex Rodriguez is a grade-A sucker, and the WADA types collapsing onto their fainting couches about the supposed sophistication of Bosch's regimen are in fact publicity hounds taking advantage of the news cycle to gain some visibility to drum up business.

None of this absolves Rodriguez if he did or thought he was taking PEDs. However, it does mean that you can pretty much take the 60 Minutes interview in its credulous, lazy, agenda-driven entirety and flush it. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ten Things We're Pretty Sure We Think We Think About This Weekend's Football Games


Starting with number 1. Because that's where you start.

  1. At no point will Peyton Manning and Tom Brady be on the field of play at the same time. They do not face each other. They face each others' defenses. Unless the NFL's new overtime rules include either an arm wrestling competition between quarterbacks after a quarter of OT or putting both offenses on the field at the same time, they will never play directly against one another. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our Last Post On Alex Rodriguez Until The Next Post On Alex Rodriguez

Bud Selig, Working His Way Through College
Perhaps the most important thing about the ongoing Alex Rodriguez saga is this: nobody is going to change their mind. If you think Rodriguez is the lyingest, cheating-est dirtbag that ever bagged dirt and he shoulda been fed to rabid weasels, then you're going to think that no matter what happens from here on in. If you're a tinfoil ballcap type who thinks that the whole thing was trumped up to give the Yankees payroll relief (so they could free up money for Tanaka, who would then be on the stage in the US's biggest media market - see? It plays!) you will always think that the whole thing was a setup and that this was done for the Steinbrennerbros' benefit. And if you believe that the entire hootenanny was Bud Selig's witch hunt against a player who made him look bad - imagine Bud as Thunderbolt Ross and Rodriguez as the Hulk and you're getting there - then you are never going to change your mind. Further debate at this point is a waste of perfectly good hot air that could be better spent debating if the Yankees are really chasing Logan Forsythe for a third base platoon, or if they're just drunk.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bar Clark

Any of you guys feel a breeze, or is that just me?
The big news in baseball today, of course, is the announcement of the Cubs' new mascot. The plucky little bear is named "Clark", and he'll be the first mascot in Cubs history.

Presumably, this is part of the Cubs' rebranding effort, the one that includes ditching Old Style at Wrigley, upgrading the ballpark, and looking for trade partners for Jeff Samardzija. I don't necessarily agree with any or all of these moves, but let's face it, whatever the cubs have been trying since 1908 hasn't been working, so they might as well go in another direction. It's just unfortunate that one of the symbols of that new direction looks like it escaped from the reformatory behind the nearest Chuck E. Cheese, and will no doubt get compared to PedoBear by internet smartasses everywhere. (Note to Deadspin editors: encouraging your readers to post dick pics of something intended for children may be why some of the more reasonable BBWAA members thought handing you a Hall of Fame vote might have been a bad idea.)

The nice thing about a character like Clark, of course, is that there's no tradition behind him. So if he's a flop - or if his mama bear comes looking for him, as mama bears are wont to do - he can quickly and quietly be shuffled offstage. And in a few years, another attempt will be made.

One that, hopefully, will be wearing pants.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Off Brand Name Recognition

"I AM COACH GROOT!"
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that, having whiffed on Jon Gruden as their next head coach, the Washington NFL franchise instead hired Guardian of the Galaxy Groot, on the grounds that it sounded kind of like Gruden, and his limited vocabulary (which consists entirely of "I AM GROOT") would make for fewer controversial statements at press conferences.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Petrino Tells Louisville "Take Me Back, Baby, I've Changed"

Not actually Bobby Petrino - note the lack of motorcycle
Bobby Petrino.

That's all you have to say. Any time anyone starts talking about the mission of college football or how coaches mold young men or the stern character lessons instilled in weight rooms and spring practices, just say "Bobby Petrino".

Why? Because Louisville, having lost their head coach to Texas (and my, weren't some of the Horns faithful charming about that - remember, Red McCombs made Ziggy Wilf look good) signed on for a second go-round with Petrino. Why? Because he wins football games, and that means nothing else he did matters.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

9 FACTS ABOUT THE 2014 HALL OF FAME VOTING THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT BELIEVE

BBWAA!!!!

1-The Fact that Greg Maddux Did Not Get Elected Unanimously Does Not Matter

Greg Maddux is, by any definition of the word that does not include the phrase "anyone but Greg Maddux", a Hall of Famer. That he was going to be elected to the HoF in this, his first year of eligibility, was a foregone conclusion. That shifted the conversation to "WILL MADDUX GET IN UNANIMOUSLY?", which was ridiculous, because we all knew he wouldn't. Going in, we all knew that there would be some self-described martyr nailing himself up on the Calvary of Cooperstown who would submit a blank ballot. It happens every goddamn year, and it happens in multiples now that PEDs are in the mix. So all the shock and disbelief and geshrying over the fact that Maddux - like literally every player before him - didn't get a unanimous call is just drama llama-ing.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

5 Thoughts On The Last BCS Title Game

The BCS, shown actual size

And none of them are about Jameis Winston, because until the inevitable independent investigation and the civil litigation happen, what's the point:

1-THE BCS IS NOT ACTUALLY GONE

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

14 Predictions for the MLB Hall of Fame Announcement

Wednesday, a group of privileged individuals who taken as a whole have the collective reasoning of a half box of dominoes, will render judgement on the current class of MLB Hall of Fame Nominees. Not many surprises are expected, but you can always count on us at Sportsthodoxy to provide you with valuable, advance insight on the goings on for tomorrow's Hall of Fame announcements.

With that said, here are 14 predictions for the MLB Hall of Fame Announcement:

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Cooper's Droop

Not Hanging With Mr. Cooper
It started with Riley Cooper, and it ended with Riley Cooper.

The season started, after all, with Cooper in the news for getting drunk and saying a bunch of stupid racist crap at a concert. It ended with a play Cooper didn't make, which is somehow fitting. And the Eagles player who was most upset with Cooper, cornerback Cary Williams, was off the field for one key play when New Orleans converted a third-and-long against his replacement. It's the ironies that make the narratives, after all, the little links that weave the web of what in hindsight looks like inevitability.

Reminder: Dan Snyder is a jerkface

Via Deadspin, here's a link to how Washington football team owner/miserable human being got a dedicated public servant persecuted over a course of several years. The guy's crime? Whistleblowing on some illegal bullpuckey Snyder had pulled in order to get some trees on public land chopped down because they obstructed one of Snyder's views.

Upshot: The guy's career was ruined, the trees are dead, nobody involved was penalized except for him, and Snyder's added a few hundred thousand in value to his property.

Remember that the next time you feel like saying "but the owners take all the risks". Because they don't. It's the guys who stand up to them who do.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

No Sale

This is what happens when your marketing team does its job a little too well.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Wouldn't It Be Great If...

Skip Bayless: The Early Years
Sometimes Christmas comes a little late.

In this case, shortly after the holiday, ESPN announced they were hiring noted ex-fullback Tim Tebow as a football analyst. Tebow was available largely because A)ESPN, through the efforts of braying Mad Hatter lookalike Skip Bayless, turned him into a Name and B)he can't actually play quarterback in the NFL. Seriously, in a year when the Browns are mourning the loss of Brian Hoyer, the Bills start a guy from Duke, and John Kitna is on a roster for week 17, if your phone doesn't ring, it's probably never going to. 
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