Thursday, September 25, 2014

Holy $%@&, He Missed It!

The only thing Philipp Hoffmann of 2. Bundesliga's Kaiserslautern made was the worst miss of all time. Standing just about two yards from the goal, the ball took an unlucky bounce, went off Hoffmann's foot and over the crossbar.

For the record, a soccer goal is 24 feet wide and eight feet tall.Over the course of six feet, the ball rose over eight and a half, even clearing the five-inch crossbar. And just from estimating, it looks like Hoffmann easily had seven feet of cushion to his right, meaning roughly 17 feet to "miss" to his left and the ball still would've rolled in.

He could have laid down and let the ball bounce off the side of his face and roll in. He could've trapped the ball between his legs and hopped like a kangaroo across the goal line. Literally anything other than what he did would've put the ball in the goal.

Fortunately, Kaiserslautern came out with a 1-0 victory, taking the sting out of this harrowing attempt.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Hot 100: Billboard's 100th Best Song of the Week

Is it me or did Usher completely disappear for a little bit, there?  In any case, this song has spent 19 weeks on the chart, and falling from 93 to 100 this week, it looks like this will be the last go around for the man who gave birth to Justin Bieber.

September, Week 4:
Artist: Usher
Song: Good Kisser
Peak: 65

My rating:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

After 1,095 Games, Guilder Rodriguez Gets His First Major League Hit

Nobody had ever played more games in the minor leagues with zero MLB experience than Guilder Rodriguez. Rodriguez has played professional baseball in the U.S. for 13 years. Originally from Venezuela, the now 31-year-old has spent time with 10 different teams in the minors playing every field position except catcher, and has made two pitching appearances.

Rodriguez made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers on Sept 9th, and in his sixth game (seventh at-bat), he knocked an opposite field single off Nick Tropeano. Seeing a guy get his first major league hit is always awesome, but when that guy has played nearly 1,100 games in the minor leagues, it makes the moment that much sweeter.

Then toss in his family being there and Guilder giving his dad a big hug after the game? Doesn't get better than that.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Legend of Shameless Jameis

Florida State was able to eek out a win Saturday, beating Clemson 23-17 in OT, without their Heisman winning quarterback, Jameis Winston. Redshirt sophomore Sean Maguire was at the helm as Winston served a one game suspension for what is best described as being a complete moron.

After standing up on a table in the FSU Student Union building and a vulgar, currently internet-famous phrase (NSFW!), Winston was suspended for the first half of their game against Clemson.  

Then this happened:

But Winston wouldn’t let the now full game suspension let him down!  He made sure the focus was still on him, running onto the field before the game in full pads to take warm-ups. Coach Jimbo Fisher was not pleased, sending Winston back to the locker room to change.  Fisher would later describe the incident as a mistake on the equipment workers’ part.  Yeah…sure.

This latest episode isn’t the only notable trouble Winston has gotten into during his time at Florida State. compiled a complete timeline of Winston’s incidents, including the alleged sexual assault in December of 2012.  Each incident concluded without any serious punishment being administered.   

It’s pretty clear that Jameis Winston thinks he’s above the rules and the law.  Still, it’s impossible to ignore the role his university and the justice system in general have played in providing him with this sense of entitlement.  If you were reminded time after time that your standing as the university’s star quarterback would guarantee leniency on the part of the administration and the law, wouldn’t you feel the same sense of entitlement?  Except Winston really can’t use this as an excuse, seeing as so many other college athletes in similar positions handle themselves much more responsibly.  

You would think that someone in such a prominent position on campus and in the college football landscape would realize no good could possibly come from screaming such a vulgar, sexual phrase from atop a table in the student union.  And yet, Winston continues to try his best to ruin an opportunity that other players across the nation would kill for.

It’s obvious he doesn’t think of the consequences of his actions because the consequences themselves are so few and insignificant.  He is living within a culture that values what he does on the football field far more than what he does away from it.  “Don’t worry about the damages, the crab legs or the sexual assault Jameis, just get out there, win games and continue to make us money!”

And then people wonder why so many NFL players feel as though they can drive drunk, beat their wives, kill people, etc. and still get paid millions of dollars to play a game.

Stephen Tulloch Does the 'Discount Double Check,' Injures Himself for Rest of Season

The Lions beat down the Packers 19-7 on Sunday to take the temporary lead in the NFC North. The only highlight really worth watching is one that could be devastating for Detroit.

Their starting middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch will finish the season with two sacks and 15 tackles as a knee injury has him sidelined for the remainder of the year. The injury was sustained after sacking Aaron Rodgers and performing the "Discount Double Check" move. Hope it was worth it.

Hurting yourself celebrating has to be the worst way to go down. The highest of high to the lowest of lows in a heartbeat. And this was just a sack in a game that Green Bay didn't look like they had a shot in anyway. There have been some classic mishaps in the past during celebrations, some resulting in pretty graphic injuries, but there may be no better fail than Kerwin Bell's from a 1999 CFL game.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The TSA is a Must-Follow on Instagram

If you have an Instagram and you’re not following the official TSA account (@tsa), you’re really missing out.

I assume the Travel Safety Administration created an Instagram account for a few reasons. The first reason is, clearly, to show how trendy/hip they are.  The other reasons are to make people laugh at the ridiculous things people attempt to board planes with, and to scare the shit out of you with pictures of all the weapons they've intercepted.

The range of prohibited items confiscated is so much wider than you would ever think possible.  A quick scan of the @tsa account reveals that people try to bring some real crazy shit on airplanes.

Let’s take a look at a few choice images.

The above collection of items was confiscated over the course of a month from Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Mississippi.  Who would have thought portable band saws aren’t allowed in checked baggage?

The following is quite possibly the most unnerving photo on the entire account.

According to the TSA, “This is a portion of the inert/replica ordinance that was discovered in a year’s time at the St. Louis International Airport in 2010.” Yes, you read that correctly, this is from ONE airport in ONE year.

This next one is my personal favorite.

Passengers flying out of Oakland International Airport apparently thought they would be able to slip through the security check unnoticed with 81 POUNDS of marijuana.

And then there are the poor travelers who left all these items behind at LAX.

To see pictures like these, in addition to hollowed out Bibles filled with bullets, a knife hidden in an enchilada and A LOT of ninja stars, give @tsa a follow. You won’t regret it.

Step One: Remove iPhone From Box, Drop Directly on Ground

This guy in Perth, Australia, the world's first loser to sit in line for days to get his mitts on the new iPhone 6, didn't actually get those mitts on the new hardware before the phone catapulted from its packaging to the cold, hard ground.

The assumed "Angry Birds" enthusiast casually bent down and collected his approximately $500 with a nervous smile, then took a ridiculous picture with the news anchor for no reason at all.

Hope those 15 seconds of fame were worth it. And its a good thing he was surrounded by other knuckleheads waiting in line for their turn to mishandle their version of the Holy Grail, because that collective cry of anguish from the crowd as if this character just missed a putt on the 18th green at Augusta is priceless.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Soccer Player Disappears During Goal Celebration

Cameroonian forward Joel scored two goals in a 3-1 win for Coritiba over Sao Paolo in Brazil's Serie A on Wednesday. For his second goal, he chose to celebrate by throwing himself down a giant hole in the ground.

The stadium features stairs that lead down to the dressing rooms below the field, which are placed just beyond the advertisements behind the goal line. Generally the best way to deal with something that a person could fall into is by covering it with a giant flag, right? Yeah, well that's what happened anyway.

As Joel went to leap over the wall, security personnel thought about saying something - one guy even raised his hands - but it was too late.

Somehow Joel isn't dead, and for his miraculous exit from the depths of the stadium, he received a yellow card for excessive celebration.

Why Was Joe West Only Suspended One Game?

The Vine above is everything you need to know about this incident wrapped up in seven seconds.

Let's start off with a quiz. Name as many Major League umpires as you can in 10 seconds. Go.

I managed to come up with Angel Hernandez, C.B. Bucknor, Dan Bellino, Jim Joyce, and Joe West. Why did those names come to mind so quick? Because they're all terrible.

Now, Joyce has been exonerated since he ruined Armando Galarraga's perfect game, but he is still a name that sticks out. When an umpire can get through a three-game series without most people knowing his name, not only has he done his job, but he has done it damn well. Umpires are responsible for facilitating the game, not dictating it.

As for those other guys... Hernandez nearly got a standing ovation during a game...after he had been hit by a line drive. Bucknor doesn't know how an out should be recorded and makes third strike calls on strike two. Bellino once threw out Adrian Beltre for joking around with his former teammate Felix Hernandez.

But let's focus on West for a minute. Sunday afternoon, the Phillies were enjoying a three-run lead going into the ninth inning when they brought in closer Jonathan Papelbon. Pap isn't the most well-liked guy in Philadelphia, never mind throughout baseball, so when you give up four runs in front of the hometown crowd and go on to lose the game, the walk back to the dugout isn't going to be a stroll in the park. So because Papelbon is an idiot, he decided to forgo even a sarcastic hat tip and just go straight to the crotch grab. His explanation is gold, though.

"This is baseball. I had to make an adjustment and I did it, and by no means am I directing anything at any fans. When I'm out there and in the moment, the fans are irrelevant to me. I don't see them, I don't hear them. To me, this is pretty stupid to be totally honest with you."

Not sure if it helps that he called the fans irrelevant...

Papelbon was suspended seven games, which was a combination of the ridiculous gesture and getting a little too close to West during the ensuing argument. We've seen some players in the past make some questionable contact with umpires, but why is there such a gap between penalties for the player and the umpire?

West received just a one-game suspension after he grabbed Papelbon by the jersey and brushed him off to the side when he decided he didn't want to hear what the already-ejected hot head had to say. Papelbon deserves the seven games, there is no doubt about it, but why is it that West can grab a player and get off virtually scot-free?

Cowboy Joe has had a history of hogging the spotlight, over the years, and has repeatedly been voted one of the worst umpires by MLB players. His actions Sunday can just be tacked on to the ever-expanding list of reasons why umpires need to be held more accountable for their actions. If umpires can't be ejected, why are they allowed to get in the faces of players and even initiate the arguments?

The league is giving them free range to handle the situations as they see fit, and if grabbing a player's jersey means the umpire "handled himself appropriately," as MLB VP Joe Torre phrased it, then the problem is only going to get worse.  Baseball needs to start analyzing the incidents that lead to these heated exchanges, identify who could be considered at fault, and hand out equal punishments, regardless of position within the game.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Making of Bryan Cranston's One-Man MLB Postseason Show

If you like any combination of baseball, Bryan Cranston, Bugs Bunny, Pedro Martinez and the organ player from the Polo Grounds, then just sit back and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Hot 100: Billboard's 100th Best Song of the Week

Been a while since we've had a 100th best song on the blog, but the weekly mainstay is back.

Big & Rich have cracked the chart in their first week, squeaking in as Billboard's "Mr. Irrelevant." This marks the second country song in the post's short history, a trend which I'd like to see more of. In the past, we have had the severe misfortune of having to show you Justin Bieber and Chris Daughtry, but we're starting this new streak on the right foot.

I don't know why the video is just lyrics with weird black, white and blue accented pictures, just enjoy it.

September, Week 3:
Artist: Big & Rich
Song: Look At You
Peak: 100 (debut)

My rating:

Arkansas State Player Plays Dead, Wakes Up, Gets Flattened

What a move.

The Arkansas State football program has made three consecutive Bowl games - winning the last two - so they clearly know what they're doing, but I'm not exactly sure where this one fits into the playbook. They've had a tough couple of weeks after their season-opening win versus Montana State, losing back-to-back big time match-ups against Tennessee and Miami.

Already down a couple scores in the second, the Red Wolves decided to take the risk on 4th-and-5 and went with a fake punt pass. They were just over midfield and didn't exactly catch anyone by surprise by putting a man in motion. The surprise did come, however, when one of the Wolves receivers went rigor mortis on everyone and tipped over backwards.

To no one's surprise, the ball was picked off and during the return, the would-be Arkansas State receiver rose from the dead only to get buried again.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Elbert "Ickey" Woods Just Loves Celebrating Cold Cuts

Everyone knows GEICO commercials are pretty low on the totem pole.  Offhand, I'd say Progressive commercials are worse, but other than that, its tough to name any other ad campaigns that could be grouped in with these two.

GEICO peeked its head out of the basement with the "Hump Day" commercial, but then quickly shut the door on itself with those two goons playing the guitar and mandolin at the end.  With their latest commercial featuring Elbert "Ickey" Woods, they may have swung the door back open.

First few times I watched the commercial, all I knew is that this big dude in the football jersey was charged up for some deli meats. Upon further review, Ickey Woods is a retired fullback who played four seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals. He was an All-Pro in 1988 when the Bengals won the AFC Championship but lost to the San Francisco 49ers 20-16 in Super Bowl XXIII. Oh, and he was a giant of a man in football pads who could break it down.

His famous dance, The Ickey Shuffle, was used as a touchdown celebration (he had 27 opportunities for the Shuffle in his career), and took the sports world by storm for a brief second.. Okay, probably not even that long, but long enough for Darrell Waltrip to bust out the move after a Daytona 500 victory.

You have to give GEICO points for originality on this one if nothing else. But rest assured, Ickey didn't do this for the money. I'm sure he's doing just fine as the owner, CEO and coach of the Cincinnati Sizzle of the National Women's Football League.

The Montreal AAAnAdiens

Ryan Remiorz / Canadian Press

The Canadiens’ very public race for the captaincy has a new development.  Montreal announced they would enter the upcoming NHL season without a captain but with four alternates, Adrei MarkovPernell Karl SubbanTomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty. They also decided that the most appropriate way to make the announcement would be to do so at a charity golf event that the four players were participating in.

And so Les Canadiens de MontrĂ©al paraded their four alternate captain selections out in their updated jerseys; a style reminiscent of Miami’s big three announcement.

The four candidates will now square off in a televised pageant consisting of swimsuit, eveningwear, and talent competitions. Oh, that’s not where this is going?  You could have fooled me.

With their former captain, Brian Gionta, signing with the Buffalo Sabres during this offseason (why?), some players launched their campaign to be the next bearer of the “C”.  Both Subban and Pacioretty expressed to the media why they would make a good captain.

It’s important to note that the Canadiens are currently one of seven teams that have yet to assign a captain.  However, it is also important to note that none of these other teams have turned the situation into such a publicity stunt.

And so the finalists to lead the club, both on and off the ice, include a guy who refuses to talk to the media in Markov, the great actor Plekanec, Subban, who was repeatedly benched last year as a defensive liability and Pacioretty, who Montreal legend Guy Lafleur described as a player “you can’t keep on your team.”

Good luck and may the best man win!

What Happened to Ceremonial First Pitches?

Since the dawn of the game, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, or "first ball" as it was originally known, has been a mainstay in baseball. President William Howard Taft was the first American president to perform the ritual on Opening Day in 1910, and President Ronald Reagan was the first to throw from the field in 1988 (normally, the throw came in from the President's seat, hence the term "first ball").

Since 1910 our Commanders-in-Chief have been stretching out for the first toss to kick off the new baseball year, but it took until 1993 before President Bill Clinton hit the catcher's glove on the fly from the mound. Over the years there have seen some gems, like the video at the top of President George W. Bush firing a perfect strike after Sept. 11, 2001. That thumbs up move gives me chills every time.

In more recent memory, the chills are a direct result of painful excuses for first tosses by hack celebrities. If you don't know how to properly throw a baseball, then maybe your first attempt at it shouldn't be 60 feet, six inches away from home plate in front of a packed Major League stadium.

Kind of like this...

Bad first pitch ceremonies are plaguing baseball games. ESPN seems to think that 50 Cent's first pitch at a Mets game is the best thing going since sliced bread, and I'm surprised they haven't slapped their new "Instant Awesome" tag on it by now.

No one goes to the game to see someone throw a "funny" first pitch.  Its flat out obnoxious, and I can't figure out why celebrities (is Miss Texas a celebrity?) are lining up to embarrass themselves.  Its not even a good gimmick to get people to the games since the majority of fans either aren't in their seats yet or just don't care who is tossing it out.

Carly Rae Jepsen of "Call Me Maybe" fame threw an atrocious first pitch at Tropicana Field before a Rays game, but nobody batted an eye because Rays fans are idiots who have no idea what baseball is and they just thought that was ball one to the first batter.  Joakim Noah had to take a do-over at a White Sox game.  When will this nonsense end?

As much as I want to hate the video of the girl from "The Ring," throwing out the first pitch at a Japanese baseball game, its gold.  The umpire brings her out, she's pitching to a live batter, then after throwing a ball outside, she just dies real quick.  But you know what, she had solid form, good arc on her eephus, and threw it 50 feet further than everybody I've mentioned in this post except Bush. EVEN CHRISSY TIEGEN GAVE A STRONGER EFFORT, AND SHE WAS HAMMERED.

Instead of reading "Teigen" her number 40 jersey read "Nuggz" because ordering 40 chicken nuggets was her go-to drunk food move.

Bottom line is baseball somehow needs to get the ceremonial first pitch back on the map. Stop parading in these jokers who couldn't hit the ocean if they fell out of a boat. You don't need to light up the radar gun or catch the batter snoozing with a backdoor slider, either, just get me someone who can go out there and play catch.

NHL 15 Review: C+

Back in 2008, I bought a used PlayStation 2 for about 60 bucks and a copy of "NHL '09" for 30. It was the first time I had played the series after the only other hockey videos games I had ever owned were "NHL Stanley Cup" for SNES, and "NHL Hitz 20-02" for GameCube.

If you're not a hockey/video game fan, play one game of Hitz and it'll change your life.

"NHL '09" delivered, and I've had ever iteration of the franchise since. I had high hopes for this season, considering Patrice Bergeron was gracing the cover. "NHL 15" was the first hockey game for the next generation consoles, but unfortunately its arrival has been met with much negativity.

First, the good news: "'15" looks absolutely amazing. Graphics and out of this world and the NBC Sports presentation is spot on. Gameplay is pretty realistic, although compared to older versions, this game takes a while to find your skating legs. Playing online has produced very few problems (except for the fact that I still have trouble finding the back of the net, and then that one time I was winning and Big Cat hit the router with a basketball and I lost connection), and overall the game runs really smooth.  

Relatively speaking, more players look like themselves, although with over 700 players in the NHL alone, there are only around 250 realistic character models; last year I'll bet the total was around 100. The realism is bumped up a notch when you hear the "NHL on NBC" jingle, see a live shot of the arena you're playing in and see the real Mike "Doc" Emrick and Eddie Olczyk in the booth. Unfortunately, Emrick doesn't use over 50 different words to say "pass," but its still cool hearing him freak out for a late-game equalizer. 

The bad news: Missing game modes and too big of a learning curve. Since EA had to build the engine from the ground up on a new console, things just feel different. While the controls are solid, they just don't feel like the NHL's of old.  

The list of omissions is pretty large for this game, and people have been all over EA for it. I, for one, typically just play online and dabble with a created player, but its nice to have a season with the Bruins to fight for the Cup or to play outside in a Winter Classic game once in a while.

Can't help but feel as though all of the eggs went into the presentation basket, with not a single one to stash anywhere else. EA Sports has owned up to a just a few issues and will be patching in content over the next couple of months, but overall "NHL 15" just feels like a rushed project that really wears the player's patience thin.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Divers Beware: NHL Releases Rule Changes for 2014-2015 Season

Today, the NHL released a series of rule changes that will go into effect this coming season (which starts in only 27 days!).  The most notable of these changes is the supplementary disciple that will be doled out to the Canadiens—I mean, players who are repeatedly penalized for diving and embellishment.

The new fine system is illustrated in the following chart from

However, these fines are useless if referees aren’t calling the penalties in the first place.

The integrity of the game of hockey relies upon the NHL cracking down on the embellishment and diving that some players and organizations are known to exhibit quite regularly.

Anyone who watched the FIFA World Cup this summer knows how much diving can sully an otherwise great game.  There are few things more frustrating than watching a player, after receiving a minor bump from an opponent, swan dive onto the field and roll around in agony, only to be instantly healed once a foul has been called.

The fate of flopping, in any sport, depends on how the referees handle it.  When a player dives and is then rewarded with a foul call or penalty, the message is quite clear:  You can play the game the right way and stay on your feet, or you can take a dive, get your team a power play and put them in a position to score a goal that could decide the game.

Diving is cheating, plain and simple.  The definition of cheating is “to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage.” Is pretending to get hit in the face with a stray stick to garner a high-sticking penalty not dishonest?  Is throwing yourself down after a slight hook not acting unfairly in order to gain an advantage?

The NHL cannot allow embellishment and diving to become strategic plays.  Players and teams should not be rewarded for pretending to fall or be hurt.  So here’s to an increase in embellishment calls and fines until they are no longer necessary.

To see the complete list of rule changes, click here.