Recent Comments by beaverboard

Bears Receiver Brandon Marshall Traded to Jets

Hope the Bears are getting some sort of value in return. There's a "not yet specified" vibe about many of the current Jets' players, even after you specify 'em.

posted by beaverboard at 03:18 PM on March 06

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The Pats are going to have to work whatever kind of magic they can to put the best possible secondary on the field at all times.

The Bills just acquired Matt Cassel.

posted by beaverboard at 03:40 PM on March 05

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Pats have released Vince Wilfork. I know it's a daggone bidness and all and I've tried to get to get used to these brisk, unsentimental moments over the years, but haven't quite mastered that skill yet.

Now going off to the closet to look for my trusty old Lawyer Milloy crying pillow.

If you ever find yourself taking part in a victory parade, for goodness sake remember and savor every linear foot of it.

posted by beaverboard at 11:04 AM on March 05

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Loved the ESPN video montage that ran while the Texas Assoc. AD was spouting his UT loyalty gospel. Mostly a whole lot of empty seats was what I saw. Some of 'em were real high quality seats too. That'll make everybody want to pay up without feeling foolish.

Poor old Texas official never knew what ESPN had done until he watched it on TV later that day and found out he had been made into the junior varsity version of Sarah Palin at the turkey farm.

Give the Horns a dolla and a haif and set way up high, then move down close once the game gets started. Don't go into the middle of a whole empty section by yourself. That'll bring too much attention. Try to sit near other people if you can.

posted by beaverboard at 01:35 PM on March 04

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The Eagles also just released CB Cary Williams and some mock drafts already had Philly taking a DB in Round 1, so not sure if they're going to try to come up with a replacement for McCoy further down the board.

posted by beaverboard at 08:07 PM on March 03

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Fitting perhaps that just as the legal woes resulting from his adventure burst into being before his eyes, Gilmour was sent from the Blues to the Flames.

posted by beaverboard at 03:59 PM on March 03

Curt Schilling Declares War on Twitter Trolls Abusing His Daughter

Pride goeth before a fool.

Seeing how much venomous backlash people got in the pre-internet era for their "My kid is an honor student at St. Presumption Academy", etc. bumper stickers, I don't know why anyone thinks it's a good idea to do something similar on twitter.

Especially if they're well known and controversial.

Why don't people like Schilling do what the Crawley family would do? Hire someone else to do your tweeting for you. From an address of their own, not yours.

"Big ups 2 Schillings - sending 'nother strong arm into battle at the next level..."

posted by beaverboard at 09:40 PM on March 02

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Saw Minoso play at Comiskey when I was a very young child.

Fox and Aparicio were on that team and they got most of the attention when I went, anchoring some quality infield moments.

Hard to see the action as a small kid in those days. All the men had hats on.

And they all stood up whenever Minoso got on base, expecting to see some thievery.

posted by beaverboard at 12:04 PM on March 01

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Bill O'Reilly nearly got run over trying to stop the car thief as he was driving out of the hotel parking lot.

posted by beaverboard at 02:03 PM on February 27

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

So glad these pieces are being done about McCoy, and that McPherson referenced Dan Barry. Barry's stadium article was linked prominently in the NYT yesterday and also worth reading (if the NYT paywall will cooperate).

posted by beaverboard at 10:09 AM on February 27

College Player Scores 30 Points in Final 4.5 Minutes

Fun footage to watch, with the best part being that Bill Raftery wasn't there to call the action.

If he had been courtside when Rathan-Mayes hit the banked three while getting fouled, Raftery would have generated an indoor weather event.

posted by beaverboard at 02:47 PM on February 26

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

"Mr. Bryant, please proceed to the Sporting Goods department. Mr. Bryant to Sporting Goods."

posted by beaverboard at 11:56 AM on February 26

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Tony lost a bet with Michael Phelps at a bong and cheeseburger party.

posted by beaverboard at 11:22 AM on February 26

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Hard to imagine how it could be 5 times worse that the Ray Rice hit without someone ending up in a full length file drawer at the morgue.

posted by beaverboard at 07:06 PM on February 25

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Think of how earth shattering even the first Cincy helmet was to Browns fans, with the understated "Bengals" logo. People in Cleveland must have thought Paul Brown had spent a week in Vegas with showgirls and substances to be able to come up with a departure that bold and imaginative.

The switch to the Bengal stripes motif must have driven Clevelanders to utter manic disorientation. There's a reason God put the city by the side of a lake instead of a river. Fewer bridges for people to jump off of.

The old Dawg Pound logo is far superior to the new one. By several orders of dawgnitude. They went from "Where is that Michael Vick motherfucker?" to "First they cut my balls off when I was asleep, now I need a root canal".

This much must be said: in the good old days, the Browns played in Municipal Stadium and wore all white at home. The weather was almost always terrible, and the grass field was almost always a mess. When you looked at Jim Brown or Leroy Kelly with their offensive linemen at the end of a game played in those conditions, you were looking at some truly bad ass old fashioned hard working football players. You could not read the numbers on their uniforms. What a vision of manly grit and endurance it was. I think the helmets were originally painted orange so Search and Rescue could locate players if a blizzard blew in off the lake.

posted by beaverboard at 03:07 PM on February 25

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Major helmet redesign in the works for the Cleveland Browns.

Orange is the new orange.

They are referring to the helmet as a "logo". Interesting. That means that Neil Patrick Harris' Oscar ceremony underwear is a logo.

Cue the footage of Crocodile Dundee brandishing a Bengals helmet and saying: "Oh, that's not a logo. THIS is a logo".

posted by beaverboard at 12:33 AM on February 25

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I own a piece of automotive equipment that supposedly once belonged to a junior member of the Cianci family.

I only found that out after the seller, who has a legitimate business enterprise, insisted that I pay cash and that there would be no invoice or receipt.

When I said that I would like to have some record of the transaction, he said to shaddup, that I was lucky he didn't charge more because of the family history on the item.

Not sure if that would be called Provenance or Providence.

I have no idea if that sales guy is now rolled up in a rug somewhere, or if my gear is one day going to be impounded for investigative reasons.

I know what you're thinking. It's not a backhoe. Or a DeVille.

posted by beaverboard at 10:06 AM on February 24

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

There was an entertainer named Betty Stark who was quite popular at the time.

I'm just remembering that the same thing happened to Elijah "ZaSu" Pitts when he played for the Packers.

posted by beaverboard at 09:36 PM on February 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

It was t̶w̶e̶n̶t̶y̶ thirty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play

posted by beaverboard at 02:04 PM on February 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Love the Upton name thing, which triggers my long held fascination with non-given-name nicknames and other related curiosities.

There seems to be an old tradition among various groups such as business executives and the military of people being called by a name that has no relation to their given first or middle names, such as Lloyd M. "Pete" Bucher or H.R. "Bob" Haldeman and on the women's side, Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas. Or, to mix and match a bit, Harold "Betty" Stark.

In my scoring system, you get full marks if your non-related nickname is a real name like Bob or Jack.

Honorable mention goes to folks like Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams or Gary Lester "Bubba" Watson because, heck, anybody could end up with a nickname like that no matter what your given names are. Butch and Buster and some others are in that group.

You get much more honorable mention if your nickname is cooler and more distinctive than Bud and Bubba but doesn't border on the absurd, like "The Great Asparagus". Anyone can have a really nutty nickname. No matter how cool your name is, you are likely never going to be king of this category because of Tug McGraw and Stonewall Jackson. They rule.

(In the smoke-filled late 70's, I did think that Bake McBride was a world class moniker).

You get major mention for having a legendary nickname that many people think is your real name, like Magic or Tiger and you totally own those names in perpetuity.

You want to be really cool, you go in the other direction and have a regular name with an initial that is only there to mess with the minds of curious nerds like me. Harry S. Truman's legal middle name is "S". Yer goddamn right. Fuckin' A.

posted by beaverboard at 01:48 PM on February 23

Chargers, Raiders Pursue Shared Stadium in Los Angeles

There may be a few woof woofs in there that the boat captain thought was superfluous.

It's a thinly veiled reference to Benedict Art Modell and the Dawg Pound.

posted by beaverboard at 04:21 PM on February 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The Suns have traded their disgruntled point guard Benedict Cumberbatch to the Miami Heat.

posted by beaverboard at 06:55 PM on February 21

Chargers, Raiders Pursue Shared Stadium in Los Angeles

Arlington happily took on the tax burden of JerryWorld

Arlington TX became infamous for deciding to fund stadiums for the Cowboys and Rangers instead of investing in municipal infrastructure, and until recently was the largest US city or town without any sort of public transportation system.

Area voters have repeatedly refused to allow earmarked tax revenues to be used to fund public transportation, thereby fully reversing the Jagger/Richards theory which states that you don't always get what you want, but you do get what you need.

posted by beaverboard at 11:59 PM on February 20

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

It would be very easy for the league to divert attention from the ongoing debacle by forcing Rosie O'Donnell to relocate to Salem, MA. Then we could get the house party started.

posted by beaverboard at 11:19 AM on February 19

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

To be sure, it's cloudy and murky. Now lets find out just how unique it is.

I'll say it again: the further this goes, the worse the league is going to look.

Goodell has a crack investigative team working on this, so he's obliged to announce a finding. He can't let it fade into oblivion, as he and others now might dearly wish they could do.

If Kraft were an irascible rancher, there would be a hellacious mountain oyster party, and Goodell's scrota would be the prime offering of the evening.

posted by beaverboard at 05:28 PM on February 18

Last Man (or Woman)

Is there a generous monetary award for the winner?

Attorneys for Aaron Hernandez would like to know.

posted by beaverboard at 01:51 AM on February 18

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I think that's their way of letting a little air out of the ball. Apparently it's perfectly legal.

posted by beaverboard at 06:20 PM on February 17

McCutchen: Baseball No Longer a Sport Where Poor Kids Get Discovered

From the other end of the spectrum, I know some ostensibly comfortable suburban families that have gotten themselves into financial peril chasing the flame of elite youth soccer, which starts as early as U10's with regional club teams.

They bought a house and cars that were a bit too upscale given their incomes, revolved debt to make it all happen, the kid made a travel team and now they're into airfare, hotels, etc.

One of the two parents loses their job in the recession, and after a few weeks they are literally in line at the weekly food pantry distribution (in a black Bavarian automobile which they are desperately trying to avoid ditching in lieu of a used Ford Focus).

The pressure to keep up appearances is a relentless driving force. Financial planning is nowhere to be seen on the radar screen.

One major parental delusion is that the trail of expenditure and debt is somehow going to result in a college scholarship which will justify the investment and level the equation. Not happening in 99.5 % of the cases.

Another factor is that some of the club teams are mercenary before they are developmental and will gladly roster whoever can pay for the consumer experience that includes coaches from the UK and fancy team gear -- regardless of the kid's talent and potential.

The parents double and triple roster the kids to enhance the chances of optimal and brisk development. The kid gets burned out at U16's, starts doing a no-cut HS sport like XC so they can actually enjoy athletics a bit on a semi-relaxed basis, and it's game over for the bright lights and big dreams -- of the parents.

posted by beaverboard at 03:49 PM on February 15

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

No need for Roger Goodell to celebrate his upcoming birthday.

He gets an outlandish gift every day of the year. He made 35 million last year operating that obscure little non-profit organization of his.

Marshawn Lynch's 100k fine for not talking to reporters paid for roughly one day of Goodell's overall compensation.

Lynch got fined and Goodell got paid for doing the exact same thing: avoiding the media.

It's going to take a hell of an effort to change the NFL's tax exempt status, but the fight is already well underway.

posted by beaverboard at 11:10 AM on February 14

NFL Pick 'Em Contest, Final Scoreboard

I've been trying to start a Dick Cheney - Harry Whittington style pick 'em that just covers the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. I won't consider it to be a success unless I get Santorum enrolled.

posted by beaverboard at 10:48 PM on February 13

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Memo to Darrell Waltrip:

There will soon not be any room in Hell for "pretty good guys" and "pretty good gals", sins or no sins.

The place is filling up fast with advance reservations, thanks to Pokemon and Harry Potter.

One of my favorite quotes in this area comes from The Blind Side (the Michael Oher story):

The NCAA needed it's proof of Michael's new and improved grade point average by August 1. On July 29 Michael took his final BYU test - another Character Course. Sean sent the test to Utah by Federal Express, and the BYU people promised to have the grade ready by two o'clock the following afternoon. "The Mormons may be going to hell," said Sean. "But they really are nice people."

posted by beaverboard at 03:26 PM on February 11

UNC's Legendary Coach Dean Smith Dies

It took me a good while to discover and savor the things about Dean Smith most worth knowing and admiring. I attended a rival ACC school in the 70's and Coach Smith and the Tar Heels were not well liked. But they were also acknowledged as being a great program.

It was the old "maybe we hate 'em 'cause they always win" thing.

That was until the UNC Four Corners offense reared its ugly head a few years later. Then all bets were off as the game became greatly cheapened and prior admiration for Dean Smith, however begrudging, dropped through the floor and entered the storm drain. The dismay was not only felt around the league, but on a national basis.

Thankfully, the Four Corners was only a temporary blight and fortunately, the ACC quickly saw fit to install a league-wide shot clock after suffering through a particularly appalling ACC championship stall ball game won by UNC.

More galling is the fact that some Tar Heel faithful somehow think that the Four Corners was (and still is) something to pay tribute to and take pride in. Last I knew, the Four Corners Grille was still going strong in Chapel Hill. The idea that anyone would actually want to commemorate such a thing in a communal, convivial way is, well, astonishing. Shame alone should have prevented it, but alas did not.

It's unfortunate that any of that is part of the narrative, because otherwise, what a great and remarkable human being. I'm glad I had a chance to decouple from rabid ACC partisanship later in life and enjoy and admire Coach Smith and his teams on a broader and less biased basis. I remember almost gagging in outrage and disbelief when he was ejected in the Final Four game against Kansas (under Roy Williams). "WTF? They can't do that to DEAN SMITH!!" It was like having one of the ushers throw the Archbishop out of Midnight Mass.

posted by beaverboard at 02:24 PM on February 09

DeflateGate Accusations Mean It's Time For Coach and Owner To Be Banned From NFL

I think Brady likes football because it gives him a chance to get away from his wife's armed security detail now and then.

She lets him keep playing because she knows he's in good hands with Belichick.

BB has a security detail too, but unlike Gisele's group, Belichick's operatives are unseen.

posted by beaverboard at 05:20 PM on February 07

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

You don't have to dream - you can travel back in time with me to 1981, when people started going to the Sunday afternoon church service in greater numbers, because it just seemed better to spend quality time with the Almighty than watch the Pats get hammered once again.

When you left church, you simply turned on your car radio to find out how bad the score was, and you drove home wincing and thinking maybe it would be better to turn around and go back to the church.

After a whole season of this, and then a cruel winter of struggling home at dusk from church, you figured you've done your penance and how bad could the coming spring be?

Then a few weeks hence, you turn on the radio leaving church and find out that the Patriots have selected Kenneth Sims with the first overall pick in the draft.

As an elder from my Southern youth might have said: "Boy, you just ain't close enough to God yet."

posted by beaverboard at 08:06 AM on February 06

DeflateGate Accusations Mean It's Time For Coach and Owner To Be Banned From NFL

I've cancelled plans to go on an eco tourist archeological dig this spring, and instead will be attending Hurley's OTA's, subscription rant retreats, and wilderness boot camp.

When we emerge from the boot camp, we should be ready to kick some ass.

posted by beaverboard at 07:53 AM on February 06

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Wonder if Seattle is paying any royalties to College Station, where Texas A&M began its 12th man tradition in the 1920's.

posted by beaverboard at 02:53 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I always love seeing that Don Cherry segment. I wonder if there are others by the same person. Either of him, or maybe Khrushchev or someone...

Speaking of world leaders and penalty killing, here's something noteworthy in a similar vein by the fabulous pianist Henry Hey:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RQPeoyqyP4

He does other prominent figures as well for your dining and dancing pleasure.

How'd you like to be the undertaker who has to dress Don Cherry for his viewing, when that day arrives? One tiny thing a millimeter out of place and he'd climb out of the casket and strangle you.

posted by beaverboard at 12:47 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

In this stadium rendering for the new white flight Atlanta Braves park, the Braves are losing 6-3 to the Washington Nationals.

Never know when you might need a little Fedrul funden.

posted by beaverboard at 12:34 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Amidst the devastation among Seahawks fans, a different sort of overwhelming moment.

Budweiser puppy, go home.

ZuZu's Petals! ZuZu's Petals!

I didn't realize that an individual Seattle fan could be referred to as a "12".

posted by beaverboard at 08:49 AM on February 05

Hey, NFL, Let Anyone Commentate the Next Super Bowl

I've always wanted the ability to just turn the announcers off but still hear the crowd and on-field sound

Announcer comment from the TV broadcasts of the Pats victory parade currently in progress (the announcers on every channel are in full breathless Odie mode) :

"You know, every once in a while, it's nice for us to just let you listen to the sights and sounds of the crowd and the cheers as the parade goes by".

More than every once in a while would be great, bucko. Way more would be ideal.

posted by beaverboard at 12:22 PM on February 04

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The ball that was two pounds under was leftover from Week 12. Ndamukong stepped on the motherfucker.

posted by beaverboard at 04:04 PM on February 03

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The ball that was two pounds under and the ball that wasn't under at all are going to have a baby and name it Troy Goddamn Mark Booya! Brunell Aikman The Organ Grinder's Fucking Monkey.

posted by beaverboard at 03:55 PM on February 03

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

In 1994, the Chiefs went 9-7 with Montana.

In 1995, the Chiefs went 13-3 with Steve Bono.

(Y'all hadn't forgotten about ol' Steve, had ya?)

posted by beaverboard at 12:29 PM on February 03

Hey, NFL, Let Anyone Commentate the Next Super Bowl

McMillan compared Cris Collinsworth to Walter Cronkite rather than Mister Ed.

I must be shopping in a different aisle of the discount pharmacy than he is.

posted by beaverboard at 12:01 PM on February 03

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

In sizing up the current state of the Patriots' dark empire, cushy balls should be the least of any tin hatter's concerns. Those who have long felt that the team maintains an unseen hand that guides the inner workings of the NFL will not be surprised by the following item of interest.

Here are the Pats 2015 home opponents:

Bills
Dolphins
Jets
Jaguars
Titans
Washington
Eagles
Steelers

The pro equivalent of six Homecoming Weekend games plus two bowl eligible opponents.

Leaving nothing to chance, Belichick is already working on a plan to alter the magnetic field of the earth for the state of Pennsylvania.

posted by beaverboard at 09:21 PM on February 02

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

Joe Montana. Not even close. Never lost a Superbowl. 4-3 is admirable, 4-0 is excellence.

Jack Nicklaus won 18 majors. He finished second in 19 majors.

Montana is an all time great without question. But the ultimate measure is how many times you put yourself in a position to win a championship. That's what it's all about. That's what Belichick and Brady have done. (And I admire Bill Walsh above almost all others).

Montana's greater achievement may be that he won 4 titles with two different head coaches. With the most dominant win coming in Seifert's rookie season as a HC.

After Elway's Broncos got crushed for the third time in the SB against no wins (in that dominant win by SF), he said he'd still rather be a participant in the game than be home watching it on TV.

posted by beaverboard at 11:31 AM on February 02

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

we would be talking about 6-time winner Tom Brady, owner of the only 19-0 season in history.

If the Pats had been able to hold their significant halftime lead and slow down Manning's Colts in the second half of the 2006-07 AFC title game, the Pats would have gone on to play the Bears in the SB, and then we'd be talking about 7 time winner Tom Brady.

posted by beaverboard at 09:19 AM on February 02

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

We've got another foot of snow on the way starting in a couple of hours. I would say to the guys: stay in Arizona and party on. Fly back on Tuesday. Give us a chance to dig out again before we have the parade.

Businesses and schools closed tomorrow, bitterly cold outside, perfect conditions for a 24 hour post-game bacchanal.

posted by beaverboard at 11:46 PM on February 01

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

The scene near the end of the game with Belichick, Patricia, and McDaniels locked up in a circle hug and getting doused with Gatorade was strongly reminiscent of the Belichick, Crennel, Weis hug near the end of the SB win over the Eagles.

The encroachment penalty on Seattle after the interception was huge. The Pats had been penalized for celebration after the pick and were starting from almost on the goal line. They could have easily taken a safety trying to do a sneak or kneel down to run out the clock. The penalty gave the Pats some breathing room for a decent kneel down.

Also, anyone who has ever seen Joe Pisarcik's attempt to close out a game knows that anything can happen.

The fact that Butler hung onto the ball when he jumped the route for the pick is more stunning than the jump itself. The play happened so fast in such a small field area and in such close quarters with significant contact that the soundness of his form and technique was remarkable.

The theme being intoned by various announcers that there would soon be deep, serious business at hand to tend to regarding the ball pressure issue once the excitement of the Super Bowl has worn off is a stupid overreach. Crack investigative team or not. The ball pressure issue could end up being the most mundane non-story of the NFL season when all the info has been gathered. If the league is smart, they will not perpetuate a witch hunt, and will simply make themselves look like the brilliant, decisive administrators they aren't by declaring that from now on, the NFL would be in complete charge of all footballs used in all games. "So that nothing like this will ever happen again". Without ever saying what it was that actually happened.

posted by beaverboard at 11:21 PM on February 01

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Bummed that Jonas Gray is inactive for today's game. I envisioned Blount being either ineffective or getting dinged up and Gray coming in to do what he does.

Critical factor in the game might be a key injury here or there.

posted by beaverboard at 11:18 AM on February 01

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Do they also have to leave the room if they hear Al Michaels say: "Do you believe in miracles?"

posted by beaverboard at 10:01 AM on January 31

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Air was intentionally removed from the Patriots balls in violation of a league rule.

Where is the evidence of this? That someone in the Pats organization physically removed air from the footballs after the refs checked them over pre-game.

There is plenty of sound reasoning to suggest that the balls simply lost pressure when they were brought outside from a warm environment.

Why were the Colts' footballs not deflated? Because perhaps they are not as detail oriented and hadn't thought of inflating the balls to the bare minimum indoors and then bringing them outdoors. I admire the heck out of Chuck Pagano, but he is not going to out-detail Bill Belichick.

Maybe Andrew Luck prefers a fully inflated football.

Maybe Luck prefers a freakin' OVERINFLATED football a la Aaron Rodgers and Indy's overpumped footballs lost pressure outdoors and fell back within the league specs when they were measured.

The NFL has no more idea of how fully inflated the Colts balls were before the game than they do of how pumped up the Pats balls were.

The Pats saw that the league was asleep at the switch on game ball management and decided to provide their QB with footballs to his liking without breaking league rules by letting the outdoor atmosphere take care of business for them.

I'll bet they didn't do any fancy scientific calculations like some people have done after the fact.

"Hey Tom, were those game balls spongy enough?"

"Not quite. Looks like it's only going to be around 50 degrees at game time. Maybe warm them up a bit more before you give them to the refs to check. That should just about do it."

"But Tom, what if the game balls aren't quite soft enough by game time or at halftime?"

"Well then, we'll just take whatever balls we got on hand no matter how hard or soft they are and go out and kick their ass in the second half".

The more anyone discusses this, us or anyone else, the more it will become clear that the whole basis of this is sheer ineptitude on the part of the NFL. They are now sitting behind closed doors wondering how they could have ever been stupid enough to not see the need to manage game balls the same way they manage the kicking balls.

The inverse principle to "If you're so smart, how come you ain't rich?" is:

"As stupid and clueless as you are, how can you be making so much goddamned money?"

Or, even worse: the league knew that game balls were being messed with and just let it go.

"Gentlemen, until video footage emerges showing that a team ballboy sucker punched a bunch of footballs in a hotel elevator, this is a non-issue".

I used to think this story was reminiscent of the 1983 America's Cup, where Australia found and exploited an opportunity in the rigid 12 meter yacht competition rules to create the famous winged keel.

But that battle was won in a design shop and a float tank by sheer brilliance and innovation. This is different. This is back pocket shit done without closely monitored parameters, and for all we know, this battle was fought in a fucking clothes dryer in the laundry room.

posted by beaverboard at 06:56 PM on January 30

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I still go back to the K ball situation. The NFL became aware that kicking teams were altering their own kicking balls, and decided to place all K balls under direct league supervision. End of problem.

They chose not to do anything about the game balls. They were aware that various teams do various things to their game balls and chose not to address it.

They're only addressing it now because their hand was forced, and they realize that the more that becomes known about the whole business of how game balls have been dealt with up to now, the more the public will see that the league has been negligent and irresponsible. So I don't blame them for not being more visible and vigorous about pursuing this. The harder they push, the worse they will look in the end.

If the Pats are guilty of taking advantage of the league's dereliction to suit their own competitive purposes, then the league is guilty of being lax and indifferent about game balls to begin with when they knew better from prior experience.

posted by beaverboard at 02:12 PM on January 30

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Have we worn it out yet? If not, here's more postulating from whiteboard wizards. Who seem to have their ducks in better alignment.

Including a guy who looks startlingly like Cumberbatch.

(Enigma? Belichick? How did we get here?)

posted by beaverboard at 01:31 AM on January 30

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Putin should seize this golden opportunity to annex Kazakhstan while the entire US is totally preoccupied with the Pats' ball scandal and otherwise sensible people are clinging like shipwrecked survivors to the scientific flotsam of these charlatans.

posted by beaverboard at 10:56 AM on January 29

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

RIP Bill Monbouquette, a Boston legend.

From the NYT obit, a snippet of Monbo's retelling of how he struck out Luis Aparicio to wrap up his no-hitter. I just about croaked when I got to the historical reference.

"It was Aug 1, 1962," Monbouquette recalled to The Boston Globe in 2008. "I had Aparicio 0 and 2 and threw him a slider off the plate. He tried to hold up, and I thought he went all the way. The umpire, Bill McKinley, called it a ball, and as I was getting the ball back from the catcher, someone shouted from the stands, They shot the wrong McKinley.' I had to back off the mound because I had a little chuckle to myself."

posted by beaverboard at 07:11 PM on January 28

College Football Playoff Pressured to Change Dates

Although there's something horribly wrong yet wonderfully perverse about the idea of Nick Saban getting bumped from a time slot by the likes of Kathy Griffin, in general, the fargin' countdown shows can go lower their loins into a Slurpee.

posted by beaverboard at 06:53 PM on January 28

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I found my mailbox about an hour ago.

I found the post late last night.

I want to stop digging because I'm afraid I'll unearth a well preserved hominid and then I'll be obliged to do an on-camera interview with Geraldo.

posted by beaverboard at 06:45 PM on January 28

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

my kitchen has been taken over while the young'uns bake cookies, and the TV is stuck on chick flicks

I had the same problem. Only one child left still living at home; she's a senior in high school. And in full charge of the TV.

Gilmore Girls isn't over. They're just not making any new episodes.

If I call "The Blind Side" a chick flick just because Sandra, the matron saint of chick flicks is in it, nobody will get to watch it.

If my neighbor, who was snowblowing at the same time I was, had come over to ask me why I seemed to be attacking the snow with such vigor and relish, I would have told him that after watching just 20 minutes of Fashion Police, I felt like I was fully capable of indiscriminate aggravated assault.

posted by beaverboard at 08:43 AM on January 28

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

grum, I feel your pain, because who has ever had to replace a shear bolt in conditions other than the frozen hell you perfectly described.

my plow hit SOMETHING under the snow

Local wags are fond of saying that their snowblowers can handle a daily newspaper without too much trouble, but aren't quite up to the challenge of swallowing the Sunday paper.

Whenever I find myself outdoors on my hands and knees in the snow, bare fingered, and cursing cold metal while trying to revive a piece of equipment, I remind myself of the Nova episode entitled "B29 Frozen in Time". The discovery, salvage, and restoration of an abandoned and long forgotten bomber on a frozen lake bed in Greenland. The only way to get the plane out of there was to make it airworthy and fly it out after having sat there for 50 or so years. Only way to reach the lake bed was via a vintage Caribou supply/transport aircraft.

I recommend this episode to all who haven't seen it. Viewable online at YouTube and elsewhere. Provides a healthy, hearty dose of perspective whenever you fancy yourself as doing something heroically resourceful or think you have problems that no one else could comprehend or endure. (Those who have seen it, please don't reveal the ending to those who haven't seen it.)

I'll bet that all the race teams that participate in the 24 Hours of LeMons have probably seen that show.

posted by beaverboard at 04:28 PM on January 27