Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fun NFL test...

This is fun at Yard Barker, although more a typing test than a naming test...

After a couple of tries, I made it with :02 left to spare, but kept getting stuck on 49ers and Buccaneers. MLB is much harder.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

So Sue Me

Okay, so I took off for 10 months. Like you missed me. Did you write? Did you call? Did you send paramedics to my house? Nu-unh.

Well I'm back and maybe this time I'll stick around for a little longer. Maybe I won't. Whattaya' gonna do?

Right now, I'm so cheesed off at Bernard Madoff I'm thinking of crashing the NYC jail he's in and beating him to death with his roommate (who, I pray, is a drooling, 400-pound, psychotic ex-Arayn Nation lieutenant named Belly, who has filed down his incisors and shaved Himmler's likeness into his back hair.)

Why the anger, Steve? Well mostly because of all the lives he ruined, but especially because one of his victims is none other than the Wilpon family, owner of my beloved Mets, who had to pass on Manny Ramirez's $45 million contract and settle for newbie farm boy Daniel Murphy to play left field. Murphy shows promise but Manny would have been an almost guaranteed pennant.

They should have Bernie Madoff bobble-head day at Citifield, and give prizes to the fans who most creatively find ways to detach the head from the body. I suggest dragging him from the back of the vehicle that drives around the field making all those nice designs in the grass. The doll, I mean. Not Bernie, of course. No. Not Bernie.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hey, Hey, LBJ! (How many teammates did you carry today?)

Sports Nuts News is back after a break:

• A Little Help? Why is the blogosphere down on LeBron for his performance in the Celtics series? Game Seven was one of the best playoff games I've seen in years, and I still think LeBron outmanned Pierce. LBJ scores 45—with the next highest scorer at 15 and no one else on the team even at double digits—and it's LeBron's fault the Cavs are eliminated? There's no question LeBron James is among the elite's elite. Time for Cleveland to actually build a team around him.

• Just Plain Stankee: As much as I hate the Yankees (think Herman Goering at a seder) and as much as I reveled in watching the Mets spank them twice during the season's first Subway Series this weekend (picture a puppy rolling around on the floor with a giant steak bone in his mouth), against the Yankees' two best starters no less, I'm not going to make fun of Jason Giambi's golden thong. It's just too easy. Nor will I mention that the highest paid team in baseball is rock solid in last place. It's too early yet. Nope. Not gonna do it.


• Go to the Tape: I've resisted the idea of bringing the instant replay to baseball, primarily because adding more time to a game that has no clock is like forcing people in line at the DMV to listen to Michael Bolton while they wait. (Think, guys, think! How can we make an already interminable process even more excruciating? I know! Let's watch the same play another 62 times!) However, watching Carlos Delgado get robbed of a clear home run in the aforementioned Subway Series was tough to take. Although it didn't affect the outcome, had this been a playoff or World Series game, it would have been uncomfortable for all baseball fans to live with.

The latest Sports Nuts design...

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Other than the passionate man-love for Brett Farve that John Madden has expressed openly all these years, is there any conceivable reason EA Sports would put Farve on the cover of their Madden NFL '09, other than to break "the curse"?

If you're unfamiliar with the curse, you can read about it here. Essentially, the legend goes that virtually every athlete who has ever appeared on the video game's cover has been injured, wounded, dismembered, or otherwise mangled in the following season. In the rare case that they weren't incapacitated by injury, the player's subsequent season was marked by spectacular mediocrity. The curse has claimed greats and potential greats such as Eddie George, Dante Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander, and Vince Young.

So, to the relief of fans of the Colts, Chargers, Patriots, Giants, Eagles, Saints, and Cowboys—all which had legitimate stars who might have been considered for the cover—the newly released Madden '09 will be graced by Saint Brett, who conveniently will not even be playing next year. The announcement of the cover was made on the same day that the Packers announced that Farve had been officially placed on the reserve-retired list.

Careful Brett. Keep an eye out for low-flying planes. Stay off ladders. And don't let Madden roll over on you in bed.

Mixed Nuts:

Open Letter to Sam Vincent: Word's out that you've been fired as head coach of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats after just one 32-50 season. Sorry, Sam, we really are. But if you're thinking about the Knicks, we feel we should let you know that New York is full. Seriously. No parking available. Lots of crime and smog and terrorism and stuff. The media will kill ya. Egg creams are overrated. So is Broadway. You want to pay $150 a pop for nosebleed seats to a show about the Wicked Witch of the West? And just TRY to get a cab in midtown on weekdays. Really. Ever price condos in the Village or the Upper West Side? Fuggedaboudit. And the roaches! Good GOD the roaches!! Seriously. Stay away. Thanks. Chicago! Now THAT'S a city!

Knicks fans concerned for your well-being

Never thought I'd be saying this but, it's time for the Giants to pull the trigger on the Shockey deal. I've always admired his enthusiasm and heart, but the Blue offense isn't geared to Shockey's desperate need to have the ball; he is injury prone; and he doesn't want to be in New York. Kevin Boss impressed in the post-season after Shockey broke his leg in December. Shockey's always been one of my favorite players, even with all the showboating; but a second round pick is fair and will probably benefit the Saints as much as the Giants. Let's just pull the Band-Aid off quickly.

Gotta go. It's getting drafty in here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are You Smarter than a Linebacker?

Back in February college's best football players met for Festivus... I mean The Combine, where the players performed feats of strength while freely salivating GMs, coaches, and scouts poked and probed their prospects like they were chunky Angus steers. With the NFL draft looming this weekend, the media is abuzz with numbers from those workouts, leading to orgies of digit-laden sentences like, "this 6-2, 230 pounder, who runs a 4.3 40 and a 6.74 three-cone, should go in the top 10 of Round 2."

What many people don't know is that, in addition to proving their physical prowess on the field, the NFL hopefuls also have to undergo intelligence testing. Known as the Wonderlic Test—50 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 12 minutes—the exam determines how adept the athletes are at complex problem solving. (Apparently the NFL considers getting accepted to, and graduating from, an accredited American university an insufficient gauge of brainpower. They are not alone.)

Although the scores can be useful in judging the ability of players to read complex offenses and defenses, for the most part only the quarterback's numbers are considered important, given the crucial need for someone who can think clearly while trying to evade a 900-pound tsunami of frenzied defensive linemen.

Some impressive scores in recent years: Eli Manning (39), Tony Romo (37) and Tom Brady (33). Some underwhelming scores: Dan Marino (15), Terry Bradshaw (15), and Donovan McNabb (14), which is just a notch above photosynthesis on the scale of cerebral dexterity.

Sports Nuts News recently obtained a sample of the test and was surprised to find some real mind-bogglers:

• True or False: Lasagna is a a kind of dog.

• Your Ferrari has 450 horsepower and gets 11 mpg; your Hummer H2 has 325 horsepower and gets 13 mpg; and your Mercedes-Benz SUV has 290 horsepower and gets 16 mpg. What is your ZIP code?

• Which of the following is NOT a day of the week?
() Monday
() Friday
() Saturday
() Popcorn

Okay, so an NFL huddle will never be confused with a Harvard symposium on particle physics. But at least we have an idea of which players will be running onto the field with their helmets on backwards.

Mixed Nuts:

•Holy crap. Jared Allen going to the Vikings makes that Nordic defense look frightening. Allen's 15.5 sacks in a suspension-shortened (two games) season might be worth what Minnesota had to give up to get him. Hope there's a DUI clause in that record contract. Can't wait to see what the Chiefs do with all those bingo cards Saturday.

• Open Memo to the Cincinnati Bengals: Please forward me your mailing address so I can send you three dozen long-stems for refusing to deal Chad Johnson to, not one, not two, but THREE NFC East teams. Big Blue loves you.

• Dead Last: ESPN commissioned a nationwide survey of fans to identify which NFL, NBA, NHL, and NBA teams are the most beloved by the sports nuts who fork over their hard-earned time and money to support them. Bringing up the basement, as usual: The New York Knicks.

A new Sports Nuts design...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Don't Like to Brag

Time once again to remind our readers how great Sports Nuts News is...

• predicted the Giants Super Bowl victory
• two weeks after SNN posted the headline "Who's the Manning?" Sports Illustrated answered with a cover headline, "Eli's the Manning" (Okay, maybe not the cleverest of headers but if the world's leading sports publication can use it, it's nice to think that they stole it from us.)
• predicted the Rangers to win in five in the NHL playoffs first round
• missed the predicted date of Bye-siah Thomas' firing by only 24 hours

Not bad for three months' work.

Mixed Nuts:

• Winner of this month's Golden Duh Award: ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, who said, "If you think the firing of Isiah Thomas will solve all the Knicks' problems, think again." Gee, you mean a new coach won't get us into the 2009 finals despite five years of bad contracts, bad management, bad coaching, bad karma, and bad blood? Thanks, Carnac.

• Nice to see Danica win her first—a true landmark for women in racing—but I've yet to see a news outlet fail to note that the reason for her victory was her pit crew's judicious fuel strategy. She may have had something to do with it, too, guys.

• Note to Maaaaaarrrrrtttttyyyy Brodeur: Good luck getting Steve Avery out of your head this summer. Might as well invite him over to dinner every night. He's going to be there anyway.

• NBA playoff predictions:
- West/Round 1: Lakers, Spurs, Hornets, Jazz
- East/Round 1: Celts, Cavs, Magic, Pistons

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mold School

Here is how "Leatherheads" could have been so much better:

You take George Clooney prior to the start of shooting and you have him watch the original "Longest Yard" and then "Semi-Tough." Just when he has a sense of what a decent sports dramedy can be, you strap him to the chair and force him to sit through "Cannonball Run II" and "Stroker Ace." When he's done screeching like a Girl Scout on a roller coaster you remind him that, much like Burt Reynolds' hairline, the stock character of the zany, hornswoggling playboy with the platinum-plated smile is where 40-something acting careers go to pine for the fjords.

"Leatherheads" is a benign mass of cinematic symptoms in search of a genre diagnosis. Unsure whether it wants to be a slapstick farce, a rom-com, or a sports movie, it attempts all of them and achieves none of them. And even though Clooney (who also directs) spritzes charisma all over the screen, he cannot concoct an appetizing mélange from this clumsily scripted trope factory of speakeasy fracases, Keystone Cop chases, and contrived nostalgia.

Synopsis (no spoiler warning needed): While thousands of cheering fans flock to see collegiate gridiron competitions each week, pro football in the mid-1920s remains a smash-mouth exposition of trick plays, unsportsmanlike conduct, and shattered collarbones. The games are played on cow pastures sided by rickety bleachers thinly populated with drunks, gamblers, and copulating teenagers. The teams—so cash poor they can afford only a single pigskin—are dropping like unprotected quarterbacks. Aging star Dodge Connelly (Clooney), captain of the Duluth Bulldogs, sets out to save his flagging franchise by recruiting WWI hero and college phenom Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski, in a performance every bit as dozy as his desk jockey Jim Halpert on TV's "The Office"). Enter the alarmingly alliterative Lexie Littleton, a cheeky, sass-slinging newspaper reporter played with consumate predictability by Renee Zellweger. Lexie sets out to expose Carter's dark secret, and the chicanery takes off like a fat kid on a Slip 'N Slide.

Studio marketing campaigns to the contrary, the one thing that Leatherheads IS NOT about is football. Shame. This film might have done for prehistoric pro football what "Slap Shot" did for minor league hockey, but the sports scenes in Leatherheads are just a backdrop for the wit-free comedic antics of its stars. Chess, thoroughbred racing, or badminton could have been substituted and it would have been equally as impotent. The movie spends more time noticing Lexie's choice of hats than the details of Jazz Age football, and along the way wastes the talents of some stellar character actors like Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Root.

Ultimately, "Leatherheads" pilfers all the best premises and characterizations of the sports classics from which it derives its theme, and then renders them as useless as a professional wrestling referee—lends authenticity but no one is really paying attention anyway.

Here's some serious old school from Sports Nuts...