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Various Sports Mutterings from Sportsfly.com!

What the Hell is That? Volume 2

Steroids for Kids? Damn!

Steroids for Kids? Damn!

A father’s love knows no bounds.  Fathers dedicate themselves to providing their kids with the best opportunities to succeed, protect them from and prepare them for the awaiting world, and of course, give their kids steroids as motivation to become better athletes.  Meet Mr. Todd Gerleman, an Iowa resident who expressed his love for his 14 year old son by injecting the boy with steroids and supplying him with a cocktail of pills.  Do you smell “Father of the Year” yet?  Well, let the story unfold.  Gerleman’s dedication to his son’s competitive excellence only became apparent after his son assaulted his mother in what police described as a “steroid rage.”  Mom obviously wasn’t on the same page as the Gerleman boys.  By the way, Gerleman is pronounced “girlie man.”   Back to our story of father-son bonding.  Gerleman said he was giving his son steroids as a means to motivate him in sports.  Damn, that is some out of the box thinking.  “Here son, the road to success begins with me shooting some unnatural shit into your butt.”  Play like a champion today. 

First of all, look at this fool’s mugshot.  Is that the face of a motivational speaker?  Why are most cats busted for steroid dealing overweight?  I guess the NWA warning of  not “getting high on your own supply” resonates with the ‘roid dealers of the world.  Secondly, his son is a high school wrestler (already a suspiciously homoerotic subculture) and this guy is basically using his son as a guinea pig.  This defines perversion.  Ok, before we condemn the man let’s listen to the case…let’s give the Gerleman some props.  He’s definitely thinking outside of the box.  In a time when the sports world has rallied against steroids and performance enhancers, Gerleman stood strong in his convictions.  A rogue salmon swimming down stream while the rest of the pack swam upstream to spawn.   It takes true belief in one’s progeny’s capabilities to want to inject them with steroids thereby increasing the size of his frontal lobe while simulataneously shrinking his nuts to the size of sunflower seeds.  Acne on the back?  That’s comes with the glory of being Iowa State Wrestling champ.  Gerleman is the sports equivalent of those backwoods militia men who ride around on ATVs while spewing the “Freedom Or Death” rhetoric through their missing front teeth.  Gerleman is in a league of his own, and I don’t encourage you to join this league.

In my attempts to improve my son’s performance in his 6 and under soccer league I’ve too use methods that may be deemed unorthodox, unethical, unusual, maniacal, and laced with evil.  I can’t afford steroids, and my disdain of synthetic drugs prevent me from concocting any cocktails, but the FlyMaster has his methods.  Method one is called “pull my chariot with your teeth.”  This involves me sitting in a red wagon while he chomps down on a twine tether and pulls me up the driveway.  This is great for leg strength, determination, neck stability, and is an adjunct way of flossing.  Don’t mind the bloody gums.  They get used to that.  Method two is called “get a job muthaf**ker.”  You got to pay to play, and having mundane jobs teaches kids the value of getting to play games.  Plain and simple.  Each day after school I drop him off at the life insurance agency and he gets busy trying to slang policies.  He’s not bad for a six year old, but I’d never buy from him or tell him he’s doing well.  Got to keep their mental state slightly fragile.  Method three is called “play with the big boys son.”  This involves putting him on the field with his dad’s crew of roughneck soccer players.  Now the FlyMaster plays with a crew of Irish miscreants, salty Mexicans, angered Englishmen, two Argentinian jerks, and some old-school pipe smoking brothas.  We put the FlySon in goal and practice taking penalty shots at him.  Trick is, we blind fold him.  That develops the chi and sensory perception.  All of these methods have combined to completely screw up my son’s head and sense of self, but hey that’s what Gerleman was doing also, so I’m not alone. 

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

January 15, 2009 Posted by | Doping, Features & Opinions, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rickey Henderson – Hall of Fame Linguist

Part Cobb, Part Satre

Part Cobb, Part Satre

The 2009 MLB Hall of Fame class will be announced later today and one thing is for certain; Mr. Rickey Henderson’s name will be announced.  Thank the heavens.  The numbers don’t lie.  First in all-time runs.  First in all-time steals.  First in leadoff homers.  First in third person references.  Before Rickey, the word “I” was the most common word used by athletes.   Now the time has come to salute Rickey.

Without Rickey’s groundbreaking reconstruction of the English language by means of shunning the first person where would the sports world be?  Bo Jackson would have just been a stuttering bull from the Deep South had Rickey not paved the way.  Manny Being Manny?  Rickey Being Rickey is the only “being” that matters.  Put all of the on-the-field excellence Rickey exuded aside and ponder how it really feels when someone you’re speaking to refers to themself in the third person.  It’s quite odd, and furthermore, it’s a little intimidating.  When a person answers a question in the third person it completely removes the question asker from the conversation.  Thus, it is no longer a conversation, but instead a monologue of the most disassociated sense.  Example: “How’ve you been?”  “FlyMaster’s been working on his type speed and FlyMaster’s font choices are improving.”  See, that just sounds cool, yet removed.

Rickey’s gifts to our cultural lexicon do not end with his mastery of the third.  No, he also made the non sequitor, the double entendre, malapropisms, and syllogistic arguments forms of art.  From standing in his New York condo and saying he could see the “Entire State Building,” to telling the A’s “if you want to pay me like Mike Gallego, I’ll play like Mike Gallego,” Rickey channeled the best of Ty Cobb and Jean-Paul Satre.  A philospher capable of creating poignancy from simplicity.  Who can’t appreciate a man who would stand in front of the mirror, nude and repeating “Rickey’s the best” for several minutes with the asceticism of St. Augustine before games.  That, my friends is a higher calling.  Rickey’s philosophical genius bears itself in his reaction to becoming Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strikeout victim.  After fanning Rickey said “Ryan just blew it by me, but it’s an honor….Rickey will have another paragraph in the baseball books….Rickey already is in there three or four times.”  Genius, plain and simple. 

Here’s to the greatest leadoff player in history, the first left fielder to be inducted since Yaz, the man who could not recognize John Olerud after playing with him on two teams, and the “symbol of great base stealing.”  All hail Rickey.  Rickey hail Rickey.  FlyMaster can’t wait for the Hall of Fame speech.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, Major League Baseball, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Screw the Student Athlete, It’s Time for A Playoff!

Screw the Student Athlete, It’s Time for A Playoff

   The college football season is over, so lets go ahead and re-cue the endless debate about whether the BCS system works or whether we should have a playoff. Let me start by saying everybody who doesn’t want a playoff is a complete moron. Sorry, that’s real. These are the people who still get their porn from magazines (youporn.com fellas) and who think Lil Wayne is an insightful rapper (A Milli, A Milli, A Milli). There is really no reasoning with them.
    Of all the ridiculous arguments in favor of the BCS, my favorite is the one about how it will “compromise the academic integrity of the student athlete”. First off the other NCAA subdivisions do it and they have players who will be helping you at Best Buy next year, not playing on Sundays. But more importantly it’s not like these prestigious academic institution give two sh***s about their players academic future. According to a recent USA survey, Oklahoma graduates a whopping 46% of its football players. (Other BCS schools with stellar graduation rates include Texas 50%, Ohio State 52%, USC 54% and Utah 57%). Keep in mind that includes all the back up long snappers and white wide-receivers teams keep on the roster just to boost the collective GPA.
   Really it’s surprising that people who run a University don’t understand the definition of hypocrisy. The schools puts all this emphasis on keeping athletes academically eligible while they are on the field, but as soon as that last game is up they can all go right back to smoking weed and skipping class for all anybody cares. A wise man once told me after I got to second base with a lady friend, “If you don’t finish, it doesn’t count.” Well the same thing applies for college. Good luck telling a potential employer, “Well I spent three and half years and Miami, but I just couldn’t make it through that last semester.” You’re better off breaking out a ITT Tech certificate.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making a public plea for the NCAA and schools to crack down on their athletes. In fact I’m doing just the opposite. Look, I paid about $120,000 (thanks Dad) for 5 joyful years of college. And one of the things I want from my school is a good football team. Not a new telescope, not a professor with a Nobel Prize, I want a national championship for my parents hard earned dollars. I’d much rather have a guy that runs a 4.2 forty than somebody who can be my lab partner.
    So I propose a new plan. Treat athletes like what they are, celebrities who are being paid to attend the school and bring in dollars to the Athletic Department. If the player wants to take advantage of their scholarship and go to class, great. If not, they can earn their keep in other ways. Required hours playing intermural sports with regular students. Mandatory attendance at all fraternity parties. (Bonus points for choreographed pool dives or drunken Facebook pictures). Maybe they can even teach a class or two, can you imagine attending “Making it Rain 101” with PacMan Jones.
    It’s time eliminate the outdated facade of the “student athlete” and move one step closer to a play-off.

…And that’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!

January 10, 2009 Posted by | NFL, Stupid Athletes, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breathing Fire in 2009

As another year begins for the Dragon of Stats, some truths need to be thrown out on the table.  Better yet, spit on the table.  There are some facts that seem to get debated year, after year, after year, after year, and yet nothing changes.  Well, I’m here to create such a buzz that things shall change….oh yes, they shall.  That being said, I’m gonna spit hot fire man, and to those I hurt, I’m sorry…… I’m sorry you chose to be blind to the realities I will soon speak of. 

First……….

The Big Ten is more overrated than sex on the beach (the sand gets EVERYWHERE – no really, it does).  But seriously…. 1-6 in bowl games this year, what the hell is that? And although Ohio State managed to hang with Texas for a while, they realized with about 20 seconds to go in the 4th quarter that they were in fact from the Big Ten, and thus should not, could not, would not win the game.  Penn State on the other hand, who would have been playing for the national title had they not done their best impression of a monkey biblically loving a coconut against Iowa, got spanked so hard by Southern Cal you would have thought they hid their alcoholic father’s TV remote.  The fact that the Big Ten got two teams in the BCS disgusts me in a Rosie O’Donnell in a bikini sort of way. I could say more, but I must move on. 

Second……..

Running backs in the NFL deteriorate faster than a hard on in an ice bath.  Plain and simple.  Thus if you think LaDanian Tomlinson will ever be the 2006/2007 back you drafted #1 overall in your fantasy league….he won’t.  Sticking with the fantasy theme, if you draft Jamal Lewis next year before the 7th round in your typical 12 man league, you’re an idiot.  If you draft Fred Taylor before the 15th, you’re an idiot.  And if you draft Rudi Johnson at all, I will leave a Dragon sized dump on your lawn. 

Third………

Sports announcers are getting TOO OLD (I wrote that big so that they can see it).  The new generation of sports watchers needs a new wave of younger, not-so-geriatric, sports commentators to connect with.  I’m not saying do away with all senior menu folk, but lets mix it up a bit.  And for all you old timers reading this article arguing that these ancient individuals are good for the sport and should stay, is it good for the sport when John Madden refers to centimeters as “square-inches”, or when Oldy McOlderson (don’t know his real name but he looked like he’d opened the arc of the covenant), when asked why certain schools can’t win, answers “integration” (it was on ESPN)?  I even heard the announcer of the Aloha Bowl (Notre Dame vs. Hawaii), when a big hit was made and gold paint flew off of one players helmet onto another, announce that the second individual was receiving a “golden shower”.  When 80% of the viewers are silenced with shock because of your comment and you unknowingly move on saying “and now it’s 3rd and 2,” your time in the booth should be up. 
 
 

Lastly…………And although not sports related, something that must be said………

Who let Carson Daily on TV to announce the ball dropping on New Years Eve.  There is no one in the world I would rather tell me “happy new year” less than a DC shoe wearing poser who once referred to 50 cent as “my gangsta” on live television and actually told him they should “party in DA club together”.  I would have rather have woken up in a puddle of my own vomit with nothing but a reminder of the crab cakes I ate the night prior wishing me a happy new year than the TRL guy….. Oh wait, that happened too. 

And that’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!

January 9, 2009 Posted by | NFL, Stupid Athletes, Talkin Trash | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What The Hell Is That? Volume 1

 

Sports Analyst?

Sports Analyst?

I‘ve done my fair share of hallucinogens.  Straight up.  Had conversations with Leprechaun used-car salesmen disguised as chairs.  Check.  Made passionate love to an unsuspecting birch tree.  Check.  Believed I could melt a DC-10 with the sheer power of my thoughts.  Check and double check.   That was the past my friends, but this morning I woke up and saw something that blew my feeble mind into a thousand Hunter S. Thompson inspired pieces.  On ESPN’s First Take host Dana Jacobsen was moderating a debate between Skip Bayless and Lil’ Wayne.  That’s right, Skip Bayless and Lil’ Wayne.  Skip Bayless, and the endangered species he wears on his head, was locked into a serious debate about the BCS System with Lil’ Weezy.  What the hell is going on here?  In between debating whether or not Mack Brown did a good job coaching Texas in the Fiesta Bowl and talking about the state of the NBA, Dana Jacobsen found time to ask questions about Lil’ Wayne’s grill.  To his credit, Lil’ Wayne made a good show of himself despite sounding sedated on a handful of percodan washed down with a hurricane.  To their discredit, ESPN has lost the sliver of authenticity that they still maintained.

Here’s the problem.  The world of cross promotion saturates us with these “mashups” that make absolutely no sense, all in the name of exposure.  Being a student and fan of hip-hop for 25 years and a sports fan longer than that makes me realize that combining my likes actually makes me dislike and disassociate myself from both music and sports individually.  Hearing Lil’ Wayne or Immortal Technique or Del the Funky Homosapien speak about sports is as appealing as watching paint wither off my Dodge Dart.  Similarly, I wouldn’t  listen to a collaboration album between Stuart Scott, Linda Cohen, and Jay-Z.  Keep my favorites separated.  Music over here; sports over there.  It’s like putting gravy on ice cream or putting a tattoo of an eagle gripping a salmon on a beautiful pair of supple breasts.  Keep that stuff separate.

If we are forced to digest these cross-cultural mashups then let’s take it to the next level.  Skip and Lil’ Wayne talking sports is cool, but that’s a gateway drug.  Here are a couple of mashups that would really get things popping.

  • Shaq, Richard Simmons, and Oprah Winfrey doing a live television special in which they all get colonoscopies while debating the benefits of eating more kale and endives.
  • Mike Vick and the Dog Whisperer debating on the best housebreaking strategies for Lhasa Apsos.
  • R. Kelly and Michael Jackson espousing the virtues of home-schooling their kids while Charles Manson counters with the argument that kids need to be properly socialized in a traditional school environment.
  • Plaxico Burress and Suge Knight discussing gun control with Slobodan Milosevic and Idi Amin.
  • Pacman Jones and Paris Hilton doing PSA’s and being chaperones for a safe prom season.
  • Jessica Simpson and Lou Holtz co-writing a book entitled “In the Pocket… Keys to the West Coast Offense.”
Endangered Species Headgear

Endangered Species Headgear

Meanwhile, First Take continues with Skip Bayless telling Lil’ Wayne he loves his second album.  Skip you are a retard of the highest caliber.  That kid on “Life Goes On” just called to say you’re a mental dwarf.  Actually, Dana Jacobsen just ate a dwarf and swilled its entrails in a vodka spritzer.  I digress, but ESPN makes that girl wear black clothing everyday because she’s expanding faster than the universe.   Seriously, you’re a sports anchor do some goddamn situps.  ESPN shame on you.  Lil’ Wayne, much respect for not stabbing every one of those patronizing “I know black people” anchors as they talked to you about hip-hop and grills with trepidation laced with condescension.  Skip, Donald Trump called and said your hairpiece is a disgrace to the skull murkin community.  I long for a nice dose of LSD because reality is a trip.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Letter From Donovan to T.O.

Let's Be Friends

Let's Be Friends

In my ever-growing passion for voyeurism, snooping, stalking, and overall invasion of others rights, I was able to uncover a letter that Donovan McNabb passed to Terrell Owens after the Eagles spanked the Cowboys with all the brotherly love they had.  I bring you this letter, although displaying it here may cause me significant bodily injury.

Hello Terrell,

Hey man, how’ve you been?  I saw you out on the field today and I wanted to say what’s up, but you seemed kind of busy and distracted.  Now I know we beat you today, but keep your head up and know that we’ll really make the most of playoff spot.  C’mon man, be honest.  Were you guys gonna really make a show with your QB always looking for Jason Witten?  I’ mean, Jason Witten!  You should’ve called a meeting or done some pushups in the driveway to show them how you’re the real deal.  They needed to be looking to number 81 all day, don’t you think?  I guess you’re a bigger man than me because I’d be yelling at everyone on the sidelines if that sh*t was happening to me.  It’s good to see you’ve grown.

Speaking of the past, man I’m sorry I didn’t understand how to communicate with you when you were up here.  I thought that when you berated me on the sidelines, divided the locker room, and threw me under the bus (multiple times) it was because you were a primadonna, bitch-ass, immature punk, but in reality you were nothing but class.  We should have been throwing to you all the time and we actually needed you to be head coach, GM, special teams coordinator, and owner.  My bad, my man.  My bad because I see how it worked out for the Cowboys when they catered to your every need.  Y’all went pretty far this year and exceeded a lot of expectations.  I’m just sorry we had to keep you out.  Andy Reid, you remember him right?  Well, Coach Reid sat me down this year and I thought a lot about how you would handle it.  I thought, “what would the humble TO do?”  So I sat back and did exactly the opposite, so I really thank you for being a role model.  In a sign of my appreciation and gratitude maybe me and you can get together in the off-season to run routes and devise new schemes for you to get the ball so that Witten and Marion Barber don’t steal all your thunder.  I won’t be available until after we win the Super Bowl, but wouldn’t that be loads of fun?  Me and you playing catch like the good old days.  Let me know if that’s cool with you. 

Hey man, I have to go prepare for my victory press conference and all the stuff that goes with being a winner (you remember that feeling, right?).  Anyhow, have a good New Year and good luck in the offseason.  Oh…by the way, Jeff Garcia says what’s up.

Your Friend,

Donovan

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 30, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, NFL, Talkin Trash | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dead Fish Handshakes and New England Heartbreaks

Better luck in '09 Bill, Love Eric.

Better luck in '09 Bill, Love Eric.

After two years of bitter resentment and an epic rivalry of bad blood, Eric Mangini found a way to keep hated rivals, the New England Patriots, out of the playoffs. In doing so he lost to the Miami Dolphins…and consequently his own job. The former 1-15 Dolphins were able to extend their record to 11-5 and inch above New England to take the AFC East title.

This isn’t another one of StatDrgon’s conspiracy theories. I’m not proposing that the Jets “threw” the game to keep New England out of the playoffs, but I’d like to remark on the incredible coincidence that the future of the Patriots’ season fell to the hands of the New York Jets and Eric Mangini. Essentially, all that New England needed on Sunday was a victory from the Jets. Unfortunately (for New England) the Jets were not able to provide a win for their northeast rivals.

The name Eric Mangini makes Patriots fans shutter. To understand fully, one must be familiar with the history of ill will between the two organizations.

After 5 seasons of coaching with Belichick and the Patriots (2000-2005), Mangini left to take head-coaching position with the Jets. The terms and way that Mangini left sparked a rivalry between the two coaches. Over the next year New England filed tampering charges against Mangini for soliciting (then) current players and assistant coaches to abandon their commitment to the Pats organization and join him in New York. The feud came to a culmination in 2007 when, amidst of a perfect season, the Patriots were accused of videotaping other teams defensive signals. New England was reprimanded $750,000 in fines and the forfeiture of a 1st round draft selection for the following year. The incident, known infamously as ‘Spygate,’ sparked the criticism and condemnation of the Patriots organization and brought up questions of illegitimacy regarding three previous Championship seasons. Eric Mangini was the advocate and spokesman for accusations against Belichick in Spygate 2007. The actions taken by Eric Mangini, at this time, exacerbated the discord between himself and the New England Patriots.

When Tom Brady (QB- New England) went down for the season this year, Mangini must have felt like a kid on Christmas day as the window to the AFC East Title was opened. The Jets posted some significant victories throughout the first half of the season, beating the Patriots in overtime as well as handing the (pre)undefeated Titans a first loss. However, the season fell apart and all hopes of a playoff run were demolished as the Jets lost 4 out of the 5 final season games.

By Sunday the Jets were mathematically eliminated from the post season, however, the game against Miami was significant for Mangini in order to prove worth to the Jets organization. He was not able to do so as the Jets faltered 17-24.

This morning the New York Jets announced that they would be letting Coach Mangini go.

Had Mangini nothing to ‘play for’ yesterday, I would have been sold that losing was a tactic to keep the Pats out of the playoffs and prove dominance over hated rival Belichick.

As rivalry proves to be the driving force for creating exciting drama in sports, I can only hope that Eric Mangini finds a new job where he can effectively crawl under Belichick’s skin again, and vice versa. I would be beside myself with grief if I were not able to witness dead fish handshakes for years to come.

And that’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!

December 29, 2008 Posted by | Fantasy Football, News, NFL, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Bernie (Ecclestone)…

Dear Bernie,

Bernie Ecclestone - "F1 Supremo" & Andy Warhol Stunt Double

Bernie Ecclestone - "F1 Supremo" & Andy Warhol Stunt Double

You must be under a lot of stress nowadays, as the global economic meltdown is affecting your business – Formula 1. I’m sure despite your denials to the contrary, Honda’s exit from the sport was damaging. Sure, you can shrug your shoulders and brush it off but any time a team fails and leaves, that’s really a reflection on you, FOM (Formula One Management) and CVC Partners.

Let’s think about how many teams have left Formula 1 in the past few decades – Eurobrun, Tyrrell, Prost, Jaguar, Minardi, Fondmetal, Super Aguri, Leyton House, Stewart, Benetton, BAR, Honda, Brabham, Lotus, etc, etc, etc. Sure, some of these teams were bought out and renamed, but the fact remains – this level of turnover can’t be healthy for any professional sports organization, especially one that is concerned one of the most expensive in the world to run. If the same number of teams left, say, the NFL or NBA, there would be outrage from fans and participants alike, but no such thing happens in F1. Because… you own every thing. And became a VERY rich man for owning the commercial rights to F1.

You’ve made a mockery as of late abandoning the GP in multiple countries because the venue wasn’t up to snuff, safety issues and so on. Let’s count the ways – Indy, Montreal, Kyalami, Adelaide, Phoenix, Detroit, Las Vegas, Jerez, Paul Ricard, Hermanos Rodriguez (Mexico City), Autopolis, Suzuka and so many more. But let’s face it. The true reason for abandoning these cities wasn’t those reasons you cite. Rather, it’s because they wouldn’t submit to your demands for fees. And you’ve made a mockery of grand prix racing in general by going to countries and cities where the locals couldn’t give two shits about motorsports. So why, Bernie? Why?

And now that the FOTA (Formula One Team Association) is making a LEGITIMATE stink about how the revenue split should be reconsidered, you’re lashing out. For the 9 teams still in the game to get less than 50% of revenues, while your 80-something self and CVC Partners getting the remainder doesn’t seem right to me. Without the teams, both the factory and privateer squads, you would be nothing. And especially in these hard economic times ahead, it seems ever so prudent and appropriate that the share of revenues should lean toward the teams, not YOU.

Face it, Bernie. You aren’t going to live for much longer. And you aren’t going to take all that cash with you. You live the lifestyle of a multi-millionaire. That’s not too shabby for a guy who left school at age 16. So let’s loosen up that wallet a bit and give more to the teams. And count your blessings.

Yours Truly,
SportsflyJohn

December 28, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, Formula 1, Motorsports, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power Fakings

It’s Tuesday morning which means that every sports website, blog, and flyer left on your windshield at the grocery store posts their “Power Rankings.”  Across the board ESPN, FOX Sports, and SI all have the Celtics sitting atop the NBA list.  The C’s are followed by the Cavs and the Lakers.  That’s cool.  When you look at the NFL opinions vacillate between the Giants, Colts, Steelers, and Titans.  Cool, as well.  Here’s the beef, the static, the bone to pick.  After numbers 1-5, who really cares about Power Rankings?

Let’s be honest, if you’re the 26th ranked team in any league, do you have any power to speak of?  “The big mover this week are the Milwaukee Bucks, up 4 spots from 22 to 18.”  We’ve all heard or read that quote about any team you care to fill in the blank with.  That’s just flat out ridiculous.  That’s the same thing as giving kids participation ribbons in martial arts tournaments when they get their asses kicked.   Once again, in an effort to make everyone feel good and feel apart of things we’re giving kudos to mediocrity.  If you’re not in the top 5, then you’ve got no clout.  In the Olympics do we care anything about anyone outside of the top 3?  Nope.  Is there an award for ending the year number 15 out of 30?  Nope. 

Well, since it is Tuesday please allow the FlyMaster to drop his Power Rankings.  This is a global sports list and anyone plus everyone is eligible.  Let’s drop it.

10.  DUIs – No misdemeanor has more influence on Saturday and Sunday nights throughout all sports seasons.  DUIs lead to press conferences, MADD letters to the editor, and the proverbial “The details of this incident will come out in due time” quote from the team.

9.  Alyssa Milano – Sam Micelli has grown up to be the official slump buster or slump causer for many a pro athlete.  Brad Penny.  Check.  Derek Lowe.  Check.  I bet Sean Avery has something to say about that too.  She’s had more influence on the Dodgers bullpen than Orel Hershiser ever did.

8.  John Daly – If you think you have problems, then look at Daly and you’ll automatically feel better.  The man is a martyr for the common man.  John screws up so we don’t have to.  That’s a real friend.

7.  Shark Week – Education + death = social improvement.  Nuff said.

6.  Michael Phelps – Any swimmer that is making waves in the dead of winter has mad pull.  Last time the FlyMaster hopped in a pool after September his testicles swam back up into his stomach, thus improving his falsetto to the highest level of operatic beauty.  The Flylady, however, was sorely disappointed and remains completely unsatisfied.

Snuggie in Effect

Snuggie in Effect

5.  The Snuggie – This full body blanket is sweeping the nation.  Commercials play every five minutes on ESPN.  Entire families are now outfitted like twenty-first century Druid dorks.  Images of ladies knitting, young girls texting, and of course Uncle Ralph doing some hand jive while voting for his favorite Fly Girls, are what the Snuggie is all about. 

4.  NHL and MLS – Just kidding.

3.  Tiger Woods – Tiger revealed that he was nursing the torn ACL/suspect knee since 2002.  Okay, so this guy dominated the PGA for 6 years while rolling on a bum wheel.  Was he just making it fun for himself?  Phil Mickelson needs to find a better sports bra and the rest of the PGA should start pairing up and playing best ball to keep up with Ger when he comes back with two legs. 

2.  Malaria – Malaria is always a threat to steal the game.  Trevor Hoffman, Goose Gossage, and Lee Smith combined don’t close the job like Malaria does.  Malaria is the Bernard Hopkins of vector based diseases.  It just keeps coming and coming.

1.  Sports Cliches – Where would sports be without the lame cliche?  Would coaches, announcers, and players even know how to speak if they weren’t speaking cliche?  “We just came out and played hard.”  “The intangibles will be the key.”  “We dug deep…deeper than we’ve ever dug before.”  “We’re gonna take this negative and turn it into a positive.”  “That’s why you play the game.”  “His basketball IQ is off the charts.”  ” You can feel the momentum swinging.”  “We just take it one game at a time.”  “I just want to thank my lord and savior.”  Once again the sports cliche runs the day.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, Talkin Trash | 2 Comments

2009 FIA Formula 1 Season – Looking Ahead

Winter testing for 2008 is now finished. As we look ahead to the 2009 season, it dawns on me that it isn’t that far off. We’re talking March, folks! By then, the new sporting regulations will be fully adopted and implemented. The race cars that we’ve been used to seeing will be gone forever. Regardless, I do look forward to the return of slick tires and tall, narrow rear wing elements… a return of sorts to the halcyon days of Senna vs. Prost.

So what do I predict will happen in 2009? Considering that the cars will be completely new and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) will kick in, it’s a crapshoot at this point. With that being said, you cannot ignore the performance of the past few years as we take a peek into the future…

Scuderia Ferrari F1 – Jean Todt departure ended the Schumacher era and it showed. Although Stefano Domenicali did an acceptable job, the Scuderia just seemed out of it. Pit stop mistakes and engine failures marred what was otherwise an excellent season for the Prancing Horse.

As for the drivers, you couldn’t help but feel an incredible amount of sympathy for Felipe Massa. HE was the best driver of 2008 and would have easily taken home the driver’s title if the car wouldn’t have let him down so often. Massa will come back with more confidence than he’s ever had before and any doubts about his ability and class no longer exist. He is my pick to take the whole thing next year.

And where was Kimi in 2008? The regining world champion seemed content with just driving a race, rather than winning it. And even though he repeatedly stated that he would fight for the championship, his actions spoke otherwise. Expect Kimi to be competitive, but I see him retirning after the 2009 season.

McLaren Mercedes F1 – Whether you like Ron Dennis or not, McLaren runs a tight ship. And save for the Peugeot- and Ford-powered days in the early 90s (and yes, that overweight driver named Michael Andretti), McLaren’s always competitive. And will be again for 2009.

Although I can’t say I like Lewis Hamilton very much, he is indeed FAST. And he didn’t repeat the stupid rookie mistakes he made in 2007. But really, would Hamilton still be champion if it wasn’t for Massa’s crappy luck? I think not. Hamilton will win races in 2009, but do not expect him to retain his championship.

As for Heikki… the poor Finn is so inconsistent and riddled with bad luck, I can’t see him doing any better in 2009. Ron Dennis may say there are no team orders at McLaren, but expect the diminutive Finn to continue playing a supporting role to Hamilton.

Renault F1 – Let’s face it. Flav and the Renault crew produced some pretty average cars over the last 2 years. But we did see some glimmer of hope with the return of Fernando Alonso. Fred should win some races next year, just as he pulled off a couple at Singapore and Japan, but whether he can challenge for the championship is a different story altogether. I pick Renault and Fred as the dark horse for next year.

As for Nelsinho, it was an up-and-down 2008. It’s highly doubtful that he’s going to do any better against Fred in 2009. Hell, Fred kicked the shit out of him last year and I am 100% sure that Junior is going to perform any better in the new season.

BMW Sauber F1 – Dr. Theissen and team have really come to the forefront over the last two years and it has shown. They accomplished their goal of a race win in 2008, with Robert Kubica taking home the trophy at Canada (naysayers will say it’s due to Hamilton’s stupidity in the pit lane). Speaking of the Pole, he’s been overly outspoken about differences in direction between the team and himself. Granted, we need to see more drivers with personality than robots like Bob, but he seems to lack some of the tact that we expect from professional athletes. Cheer up, Bob. You have a nice contract with a team in the upper echelons of Formula 1. Plenty of people would kill to be in your spot.

With that being said, “Quick” Nick Heidfeld did an okay job in the 2008 season. Is it just me or is he another Fisichella who needs a kick in the ass now and then to go faster?

I predict BMW Sauber F1 will win 2 races in 2009.

Red Bull Renault F1 – Let’s face it. Red Bull’s entry into F1 is a bit of a joke. It’s a PR / marketing stunt. There just doesn’t seem to be enough drive / fire under the butt to make things progress at a faster rate. With old man Coulthard leaving the paddock for a spot on BBC’s F1 coverage, things will hopefully change. Sebastian Vettel should bring some much needed youth and energy into this team. Mark Webber‘s always a consumate gentleman and I really do wish him best for the new season.

Scuderia Toro Rosso – With Gerhard Berger selling his 50% stake in the team back to Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of the Red Bull Renault F1 team and the Red Bull empire, things seem to be up in the air. The driver line up is still in question, with alum Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastian Buemi and Takuma Sato vying for a seat. If the former Honda Racing F1 squad does not find a buyer, it is quite feasible that Jenson Button could join the fray.

STR’s 2008 car really came alive in the 2nd half of the season, bringing together the maiden win for the squad and for Sebastian Vettel, who is now at the senior Red Bull team. Whether the team can maintain that form in 2009 is a big question mark. But with Ferrari power still slated for the junior Red Bull squad and Adrian Newey’s skills at play, don’t count out STR for top-8 performances in 2009.

Panasonic Toyota F1 – With both Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli returning for 2009, consistency will be the name of the game in 2009. There were a few bright spots for the Japanese squad in 2008, as well as some dark moments. The trouble with the Cologne-based team is their lack of consistency – one race they qualify well, next race they don’t. With the global automotive market taking quite a hit as of late, and Toyota’s Japanese compatriot Honda pulling out of F1 altogether, I feel 2009 will be a make it or break it year for Toyota. Glock or Trulli must pull of at least a victory or two for Toyota’s big wigs to even consider staying in the game beyond next year.

Williams Toyota F1 – Frank Williams has been in the game a long time and has a few trophies to justify his long standing position in the pit lane. In the past couple of decades, names like Mansell, Villeneuve and Hill have brought him the driver’s championship. But with BMW’s withdrawl a few years ago and a lack of consistency, especially with the Cosworth powerplant, Williams seems to be in decline. Sure, he has Nico Rosberg, a talented driver in his own right, and Kazuki Nakajima, the Japanese driver who probably had quite a bit to do with securing the Toyota engine deal, but being a privateer in F1 is tough nowadays. Unless you are a billionaire, that is.

I continually feel like Rosberg is a bit like Button – if there was a better car underneath them, they could be so much better.

Force India F1 – With a McLaren-Mercedes technical package secured, Vijay Mallya is playing musical drivers’ seats with Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella. And rumors abound that Pedro de la Rosa, long time McLaren test driver, is going to get a seat at the Indian squad. But I don’t get the intellect behind that move unless it’s a pure ass-kissing gesture on the part of Mallya – replace an aging Italian who has at least lots of race time and a few wins with an aging Spaniard with little race time and no wins? You tell me how this translates into a smart move?

Honda Racing F1 (post-mortem) – There are rumors flying everywhere about who could potentially take over the Brackley-based squad. David Richards, of Prodrive fame (and former frontman for the BAR F1 squad, which was Honda Racing F1’s predecessor), is talking to some Arab financial concerns about buying the team. You gotta give it to the crude-rich Arabs for saving F1 in more ways than one.

And Carlos Slim, owner of the Mexican Telmex empire (and #2 on the list of the world’s richest people), has supposedly visited the Brackley facility. It wouldn’t be too far fetched for Senor Slim  to get involved, considering his long time involvement in the Rolex Daytona series in the States. Maybe he’ll convince Bernie to bring F1 back to the Hermanos Rodriguez track in Mexico. Well, probably not.

So there are my predictions for the 2009 F1 season. I can’t wait for March.

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, Formula 1, General, Motorsports, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment