Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quick TV hits from this week –

· Props to the Bachelor for choosing the sweet, pretty kindergarten teacher over the unstable, she-devil with bigger cans. If he wanted a wife and life-partner, he made the right choice. If he wanted a Prozac-popping drama queen, he should have taken the spectacularly unstable Moana.

Seriously, Moana would have slit her wrists in the back of the limo if they had given her a knife. Better yet, she would’ve slit Travis’ throat, kicked his dying body, and then cried while his life ebbed out onto the stone floor, all the while saying “I loved you, dammit! All I asked was that you loved me back!”. Now that would be must-see TV.

· Good riddance to the end of the Olympics. No truth to the rumor that NBC still hasn’t shown some events and is holding them back for May sweeps. Hey, no problem, Dickhead Ebersol, none of us have the Internet anyway. So it’ll be a big surprise to see that Bode Miller finished behind some Swiss goatherder in the slalom.

· Speaking of dickheads, Bode Miller proved to be an epic assmunch. Oh, not because he skis while he’s drunk and not because he parties all night and not because he signed a huge endorsement deal just prior to shitting the bed. No, he’s an assmunch because he did it all on taxpayer money. We actually footed the bill for him to party-hop through Turin, and put up nothing but DNF in his races. It’s like he thought the Olympics were his version of “Bode gone wild”, rather than a taxpayer-financed athletic endeavor where he would be representing his country on the slopes, er, barstools.

· A big raspberry to the USA and Canada hockey teams for proving that selfish, whiny puckhogging doesn’t win in international play. And forget that crap about “they didn’t have time to play together”. The Swedes and the Finns seemed to know how to pass in the offensive zone. Time to go back to the college concept. Get Kurt Russell out there with a whistle and have the USA team run suicides… “Again!”

· How long until TO shows up on Dancing with the Stars?

· Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick. You were both lucky to get ANY airtime. You can go back to your lives where nobody gives a shit about either one of you clowns. Now put on your orange aprons and go load five bags of compost into my pickup.

· Why don’t the “male’ figure skaters just wear the rainbow tank tops and get it over with? I kept waiting for Letterman to drop some “Brokeback Ice Rink” references.

· Slalom skiing + tetherball poles = record viewership. Someone needs to make this happen.

· Kathleen Madigan (stand-up) had the best line about Olympic sports. “How can you lose in the biathlon? Ok, so you’re in last place… and you have a gun. What’s the problem?”

Monday, February 27, 2006

Pssst, ya wanna know a secret?! People cheat when they’re playing online poker.

Ya wanna know another one?! People cheat on their taxes.

They’re closer in principle than you might think. Think about it:

· It’s all about the Benjamins.
· If you move your money around quickly and don’t brag about it, you probably won’t get caught.
· If you do get caught, the penalty is usually financial. Rarely will it be jail, which is one big reason why it’s not scary to most
· Most of the cheaters claim that it’s a victimless crime because they never meet the victims
· Most of the cheaters rationalize that they’re just exposing loopholes in a system, rather than simply ignoring the rules
· Ultimately, the cheaters are fucking all of the law-abiding citizens, because they’re (a) they’re taking money that isn’t theirs (aka “robbing Pauly to pay Zee”), and (b) they’re gonna bring the feds down on everyone

Cheating is cheating, folks. You can spin it any way you want, but even though I doubt any of us really read the Terms of Service agreements (or the Tax Code), we all know the rules. Some of these asshats don’t find the penalties to be enough deterrent and will continue to flout the system. Here’s hoping that they get caught and imprisoned in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Not sure it matters to anyone in particular, but I won my second straight $10+1 HORSE SnG on FullTilt. And, I’m still not totally sure what order these damn games are played in. The different games seem to keep my interest piqued and I’m pretty sure that the other players are even more clueless than I am. This may become a regular SnG for me while the learning curve is still lagging behind me. Of course, once I dump a few straight entries, I’ll have to find some other game that hasn’t caught on… like Triple Draw.

Side note: I know a lot of you swear by poker books... SuperSystem, Sklansky, Harrington... One book I picked up in the store that seemed to be a more interesting read was Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. It seems to be less of a basic strategy than a tutorial on critical thinking. I would argue that SS, Sklansky, and maybe Hellmuth are defined strategy books, almost a poker philosophy telling you how to play. The LGB reads more like a Mensa book, intended to encourage thought and planning during the round and during a given hand. FWIW, it's closer to the way I approach things in general.

p.s. I didn't buy it, but I read several pages.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Curt Gowdy

Before I forget, a tip of the virtual hat to Curt Gowdy. For most of my childhood, he was the unmistakable voice of Major League Baseball’s Game of the Week and the American Football Conference/League.

For those under thirty, NBC used to have the rights to MLB for the WHOLE FREAKIN’ COUNTRY! This was pre-ESPN, pre-SuperStations, pre-FoxSportsNetBungholesville These peacockian programming geniuses decided that ONE game per week was all that the collective baseball fans across the continent needed to get their horsehide fix. So every Saturday around 10am, Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek would team up behind the microphone for the GOTW. The game was usually the Giants-Dodgers-Cardinals in the NL or the Tigers-Orioles-Red Sox-Yankees in the AL, and it was always followed by TWIB (This Week in Baseball, you young punks). And that was it. No regional telecasts, no 160-games in hi-def, no Baseball Tonight. That three-hour chunk was it for baseball fans. So we watched. And he told us about Brooks Robinson and Bob Gibson, Mickey Lolich and Ron Cey, and never wasted time talking about their dinner last night or the latest scandal.

Same with football. Curt Gowdy and Al DeRogatis (remember him?) handled the NBC game, typically the AFC/AFL game of highest significance. None of this Primetime shit, no pre-game show with six talking heads, no regional blackouts. NBC had the AFC game (singular), CBS had the NFC game (singular), ABC had Monday night. Three games total. If you watched MNF for the halftime highlights, you might be blessed by a play or two from your home team, but if they weren’t on NBC/CBS the day before, you were screwed. No highlight shows, no Chris Berman (bitch all you want, but before Primetime, there was NO way to get comprehensive highlights), no television for your team unless they were a playoff contender or from New York. So we were captivated by Lamonica and Namath, Unitas and Csonka.

And Curt Gowdy led us through the dark times. I can still hear him call Reggie’s All-Star game homer off of Dock L-S-D. I can still hear him call Kenny Stabler throwing the ball to Clarence Davis while falling down. Hell, I can still remember “The American Sportsman” where he would take athletes and celebrities on hunting and fishing trips.

Now, we’re inundated by screaming maniacs begging for attention or ex-jocks trying to pontificate. Even Al Michaels seems jaded. Oh, whatever happened to the simple play-by-play announcer who just reported what was happening on the field?

Monday, no, it's Tuesday

Man, I need a jumpstart this morning. Coming back to work from a three-day weekend is at least 148% worse than coming back on a Monday. I’m really dragging…

Took down an 18-seater last night for a nice little 575% ROI for one hours work. I had signed up for the HORSE tourney on FTP, but when I got down to the money in the two-table, I figured my time and focus were better spent on the sure thing. Besides, the HORSE tourney had 90+ people and I didn’t feel like three or four hours of grinding offered as much ROI.

I’m starting to figure out that I’m better at two-table SNGs than single table, and I think I’m finally getting a grasp of the reason. Most people playing penny-ante SNGs (<$25) view these games like “Survivor”. Their first goal is to “make it to the merge”, in this case, the final table. Last night, when it was down to 10-11 players on two tables, I started picking off blinds and pushing people around because I could tell that the aggressiveness factor dropped around me, like they were content to fold their way to the final table.

Once the tables “merged”, the aggressiveness picked back up while the two or three shortstacks went into desperation mode. Luckily, I picked up a couple of real hands here and took a couple out personally. But, down to six people (four cash), it went back to tight-passive play as people tried to dodge the bubble. Again, revving up the aggressiveness factor enabled me to chip up while tightening the noose on the progressively shorter stacks. When the fifth person finally went belly-up and the four remaining were guaranteed a profit, the lowest stack immediately went for broke (and made it… broke, that is). For whatever reason, this psychology seems to be consistent in the two table events.

So, within any two-table structure, there seems to be a definite time/chip/player continuum that will map out as follows:

18 players – 2 tables – Usually there will be one or two assclowns at each table who will go all-in during Level 1. If they lose their preflop all-in with Ace-rag, they will berate the other players, and then disappear to upchuck another buy-in immediately somewhere else. If they win, they’ll gloat and immediately lose half their chips to someone who slowplays a set or a flopped straight. Level 1 almost never ends without at least one bustout per table.

12-15 players – 2 tables – Blinds are still relatively low, allowing for more play. It’s good to pay close attention now, you’ll learn who makes continuation bets, who will overbet, who will slowplay, who will call down with bottom pair. Take your notes here because this is where you will figure out who your competition will be at the end.

10-11 players – 2 tables – Shitty players consider this the bubble. You’ll see more uncontested pots since weak players are trying to fold their way to the final table. Time to steal some antes, show some bluffs, and chip up. You’re building an audience for the endgame. You MUST show bluffs during this period. This will carry your table image to the end.

6-9 players – 1 table – Similar to the 12-15 player scenario since you’re learning 4-5 new players you might not know. See who’s got the big stacks and if they know how to push people around. It’s likely that the biggest stack from the other table will be pretty cocky and think he’s the Alpha male. After all, he’s got the big stack, he knows he’s the best. The problem is that you don’t yet know whether he’s been lucky or good. You’re better off avoiding confrontation with him until you figure out his style… unless you have a monster. Remember, Alpha-boy doesn’t know you either, so play it cagey and passive. By the time it gets to the end, he’ll have pegged you as passive. Then you can drill him.

5-6 players – the “bubble” – Top four pay, so it’s time to pick on the #3 and #4 chipstacks. By far the most vulnerable player is the #4 chipstack. He is terrified that he’ll become the shortstack and be targeted by the rest of the table, so he’ll fold most anything that isn’t a premium hand. Bully the poor SOB. Once he’s in fifth or sixth, he’s a eunuch anyway, start picking on the new #4. Done properly, you’ll have three guys who can’t cover their blinds. Typically, you end up with two guys with 20K chips between them leading the way, a third place guy with 5K, and three guys struggling to make their blinds. As long as you’re not one of those three guys, you’re fine.

No set patterns for the endgame. If you’ve been paying attention to the play up until now, you should have a good read on the last couple of opponents. You should know who’s gonna raise on the button on any two cards, who will fold to a continuation bet, who will push with a marginal Ace, who will slowplay big pockets, etc.

Single table SNGs don’t have as many dynamics to think about. I think the luck factor is ratcheted up a notch for those, so I might stick to the two-tables for now. There is some money on the table here because most people don’t adjust their play to account for the added complexity of the second level. It’s like only using a map that has the Interstates listed; you might get to the right city (final table), but you won’t make it to your final destination.

Friday, February 17, 2006

WTG, Lindsey!

There may never be another showboating fuck-up of this magnitude.

Lindsey Jacobellis. Olympic dumbass.

Oh sure, you’ll see the networks scrambling for footage of Leon Lett showboating in the Super Bowl or Willie Shoemaker standing up in the irons too early in the Kentucky Derby or Bugs Bunny losing the race to the turtle. But on an individual level, nothing else comes close.

After all, Lett’s Cowboys won the Super Bowl. Shoemaker won the Kentucky Derby many times, before and after. Bugs Bunny went on to star in movies, on television, and got his own line of chewable vitamins. Seriously, I defy you to come up with a more horrendous case of showboating one’s way out of immortality.

Gold medals = Cash endorsements, talk show gigs (Did anyone else see Hannah Teter on Letterman? What a refreshing kick!), lucrative speaking engagements

Silver medals = Back to Home Depot and the orange apron/bib


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dems Quads, beetches!

Yeah, it's small potatoes next to Absinthe, but I broke my cherry at the HORSE tables last night, beating the Donkeypuncher and six others, greatly aided by this hand... Not sure why FTP scrambled the cards, but I slowplayed rolled up deuces and hit my quads by fifth street and kept slowplaying until I almost broke the 2nd chipstack.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Brieft rant...

Some random things that piss me off –

Sudoku – WTF is all the hubbub? These fucking things have been showing up in crossword puzzle magazines for years, and suddenly they’re the next Pet Rock. I was in a Borders during my lunch hour today, and noticed a completely FULL shelf of nothing but Su-fucking-doku. On a completely separate note, the reason I noticed it was that it was right next to a completely FULL shelf of nothing but poker books.

Kakuro – These used to be called Cross Sums and were in every crossword puzzle magazine too. Now it’s threatening to be the latest spin-off craze for the sheep. I’m gonna wipe my ass now and call the paper “Shitoku” and some schmuck will copy it and publish it and a bunch of lemmings will buy it. Americans are basically stupid and other people (not me) are better at separating them from their money. I hate that.

Oprah’s anything – Women are stupid herd animals. That’s the only conclusion I can draw from Oprah’s Book Club, Oprah’s cookbook, Oprah’s magazine, Oprah’s hemorrhoid cream, whatever Oprah spews out, they buy. Why? Do they think that they will become multi-gazillionaires if they do whatever Oprah says? It’s a neverending cycle of Oprah… They worship Oprah because she’s rich, they buy her shit because they worship Oprah, she gets richer, so they worship her even more, buying even more and so on and so on until even Fibonacci couldn’t count her net worth.

Brokeback jokes – OK, we get it. They’re gay. Enough.

Bode Miller – Who else thinks his parents were trying to name him “Bodhi” and were too stupid to figure out the spelling? When is he going to join Anfernee Hardaway in the “Athletes with Illiterate parents” wing of the Hall of Shame? Also, please note how my suggestion of tetherball-posts-as-slalom-gates would’ve made Bode’s gate-straddling yesterday a definitive Must-see moment…

Some things that I actually think are cool…

That Chinese girl who dumped it in the pairs – This 80-lb waif showed more heart than the entire Indianapolis Colts team. Who else thought that she would pack it in after taking that header? Maybe it was because her coach would’ve put her into an overseas massage/prostitution ring if she had quit…

Lindsey Kildow – Same thing. Her fall in the downhill practice made every guy wince in pain, but she shook it off (probably doped up like Brett Favre in a pharmacy) and went out on the exact same course and tried. Cojones.

Dick Cheney and guns – Hmm, old guys with heart conditions and crappy eyesight plus guns minus hunting licenses equals fun aplenty. It might be worth it to watch SNL this weekend just to see the first skit, which you know will be Darrell Hammond shooting some poor schmuck.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Most of the blogs I’ve read today contain some sort of anti-Valentine’s Day rant. Y’know, “Hallmark Holiday” and all that… Frankly, I call today “Tuesday”. Yeah, I coughed up $50 to send my wife flowers in response to the multiple hints that have been dropping like American skiers for the past week. But, really, it’s no big deal. I’d spend more than that if it gets me peace and quiet for a week. All the ranting and raving from the men just makes the women more argumentative and bitchy. Better to spend a buy-in and get some leave-me-alone equity.

My biggest problem is that my wife’s birthday falls right between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, meaning I have to pop for gifts THREE times in seven weeks. Not only that, but she somehow expects me to grow a romantic inkling at some point, and choose something thoughtful and surprising.

BUZZZZZZ! Tell her what she didn’t win…

Typically, I take her out for a nice dinner (bonus points because I get to eat), and spring for something “thoughtful” like a massage or facial for either her birthday or Valentine’s, meaning I’m stuck for something “surprising” on the other. After 18 years together, I can’t do anymore surprising. Oh sure, I could surprise her with a Craftsman 18-drawer rolling tool chest (the red one), but that probably wouldn’t be a “good” surprise.

So, this year we’ll be going to the SAP Open tennis tournament, not because she asked to go, but because I got free tickets. We’re taking my son and having a lovely expensive dinner at the arena and watching Andy Roddick smash the beejeebus out of some poor qualifier.


Friday, February 10, 2006

The Commish's Guide to the Winter Olympics

The Commish’s Guide to the Winter Olympics

Now that the games have officially started (except in California where the opening ceremonies have been tape delayed just so they can squeeze a few more million out of Budweiser), and most of these so-called “sports” aren’t in the American consciousness during non-Olympic years, I feel compelled to offer my Guide to the Olympic Quasi-sports, including my level of “sport” with Rollerball (the James Caan version, not the Marky Mark version) getting a 10, and taking a dump (or rhythmic gymnastics or ice dancing) getting a 1.

Alpine Skiing – AKA “Go that way. If something gets in your way, turn.” Mostly, this consists of western Euros and Americans zooming down 60 degree slopes trying not to die. Couldn’t you win the downhill simply by rolling all the way down, like Bullwinkle? Or in some form of hamster ball, like you were in a giant game of Marble Madness? The slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super G all involve turns in increasing difficulty, though nobody knows what order and if the skier actually is on the proper side of the gate. My biggest complaint here is that the gates are made out of Giant Pixie Stix and actually bend when the skier pushes them with his hands. This is supposed to be a test of tight turning ability… ? Make those fucking gates out of tetherball poles and we’ll see who can turn the sharpest. Can you imagine the GONG sound of a guy hitting a gate then? Now that would be a sport. My way = 9, the real way = 3

Biathlon – Cross Country skiing and rifle shooting. Seriously, it sounds like a good test, if we’re thinking of invading Siberia. But a sport? If they add chugging a beer at every station, you’d basically have “getting dinner” in Canada. Either way = 4

Bobsled – I’m not big on driving being a sport, especially when gravity is the primary accelerant. Oh sure, they have that whole running start thing that always results in some major wipeout and a bobsled making it to the bottom sans occupants. But that’s part of the problem. See, this is a sport like Soapbox Derby or Pinewood Derby (remember Boy Scouts?) is a sport. If you made them go down the track six at a time and a good start got you the hole shot, maybe it’s more of a sport. Or had more tetherball poles as obstacles (notice a trend?). As is, it’s a 2 (and Nascar is a 3 or 4)

Cross-Country – Skiing on the flats. Wow. Next, walking up a hill will be an Olympic Sport. I’m telling you, if PreCor was a sport, my wife would be a contender. Anything you can buy on late night tv to exercise in your house and slide under your bed shouldn’t be an Olympic anything. Maybe stretching on a BowFlex should be a sport too. This is a cardio exercise, not a sport. 3 (you’ll notice that you get an extra point for shooting a rifle and calling it Biathlon)

Curling – Shuffleboard on steroids and on ice. I’ll be honest… it looks like it would be kinda fun to try. Those freakin’ stones weigh over 40 lbs, so it ain’t for complete wimps. But essentially, it’s just a cold horizontal dart board, and the sweeping is kinda spastic looking. I think it’d be fun to throw back a few beers and try it just to see what I could break, but that makes it outdoor lawn darts, and not a sport. 2.5

Figure Skating – Aside from watching flexible underage girls show their panties, this is just dancing on skates. And if I wanted to see flexible underage girls show their panties, I would just check Donkeypuncher's laptop. The closest this ever came to being a sport is when Tonya whacked Nancy. Here’s a quick tell… if it includes males in sequined unitards, it ain’t a sport. Now, if you combined this with the Biathlon, and had the X-country skiers shooting at the figure skaters, well, then you might have me. 1.5

Freestyle Skiing – Since when is this an Olympic sport? I guess the X-Games forced their hand… At best, this is a 2.5. The following SNL memory gets an 8.

Great moments in freestyle skiing history (from snltranscripts.jt.org)

Tom Tryman: Mmm-hmm! Well, I would have to say, it's a very fast time up to this point. Uh.. he's doing very well - and there's a very nice move - uh.. I would say, at this halfway point, he's gonig to take third, or maybe even a second-place.. [ a shot rings out, as Jean-Paul falls into the snow ] Uh-oh! Uh-oh! It looks to me like he's been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet! [ Jean-Paul regains balance on his skis ]
Jessica Antlerdance: Just grazed, I think, Tom.. [ second shot rings, as Jean-Paul falls back into the show ] Oh, no! That one got him, he's down! No, he's down this time.. no, no! No, he's getting up! [ Jean-Paul continues to ski downhill, albeit a little awkwardly ] Always the mark of a fine athlete is the ability to recover in difficult situations.
Tom Tryman: I can't believe he's going for the finish line.. and - [ third shot rings out, Jean-Paul is down for good ] Oh, no! Again.. again, he's been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet, and, this time, I think he's down to stay, Jessica.

Ice Hockey – Finally, a real sport! Still, with the lack of REAL checking from those weakling Euros, not as good as the Stanley Cup for drama. The skill level is there, just not the intensity of a Game Seven overtime game. A solid 7.

Luge – AKA gravity. Hell, might as well make shovel racing an Olympic sport. After that, snowball throwing and snowman building. Any self-respecting Minnesotan or Wisconsonian went on more dangerous courses than these wusses, albeit not in skin-tight leotards. Going down that big hill behind the farm on a shovel and trying to make the turn before the big tree… now that’s driving. Again, with gravity being the main propulsion system, no more a sport than sitting on a slide at the corner park. It’s a 2.

Nordic Combined – I think this has something to do with combining results from downhill skiing and ski-jumping. As it is, why do the Nords get a sport just for them? Might as well have an Olympic Sport called American Combined and have it combine the results from basketball and poker. I’m stunned that the DNC hasn’t jumped all over this and asked that they remove “Nordic” and call it the “Multi-Racial Combined” since Nordic implies that only white people can do it. Anyway, while ski-jumping is cool, combining shit just for the hell of it doesn’t deserve Olympic consideration. 3.

Short Track – Roller Derby on ice. Much cooler than regular speed skating because of the physicality and the “trading paint” aspects. Like I said yesterday, if they added throwing elbows and clotheslining and arm-whipping teammates, would immediately become the most popular Winter Olympic sport. 5 with potential to become a 7.

Skeleton – Headfirst luge. That’s it. Er, most people call this “sledding”. They really need to add a camera on a metal post right in the middle of the track. You’d get some awesome facial expressions as racers come up on that and get ready to hit it. Again, this is part of growing up for most of you in the Midwest. 2.2 (extra points for going headfirst)

Ski-Jumping – This would be closer if they didn’t have style points. In fact, Ski-flying is just ski-jumping without the style points (I think). This is one of the only Olympic “sports” that I don’t sit there and say “I can do that”. Hell, I could sit on a bobsled, skate in a circle, ski around some plastic tubes, but there ain’t no way in hell I’m going off one of those fucking jumps and flying over a football field. Eddie the Eagle be damned, this ain’t for the faint hearted. These guys get full props for putting their lives on the line for a medal that you could get on Ebay. Even though gravity contributes the speed, these guys have BALLS. Think of it this way, if you put the luge on the rollercoaster track at the top of the Stratosphere, then that would be a sport I’d watch. 2 for true athletic ability (most of these guys are anorexic Western Euros and Nords), 8 for balls, averages out to a 5.

Snowboarding - Quick prediction, the gold medal winner will use the word “Dude” during the post-ceremony interview. This, like Figure Skating, gives names to acrobatically unlikely moves that have no rhyme or reason. “Oooh, Shane (all of them are named ‘Shane’) just hit that 1080 Iggster and followed it up with a gnarly DrPauly on the lip! He is really stoked!” Again, only here because of the younger demographic and the X-Games. 3 mainly because there’s no ballet like in the freestyle skiing.

Speedskating – Another prediction. We’ll see tape of Dan Jansen falling twice and then winning. It’s like they think that’s the only way people will watch this. Face it, it’s like watching the 5000-meter run or the marathon, only two at a time, like some sort of Nordic-Ice-torture. The 500-meters I’ll watch, just like I’ll watch the sprints during the Summer Games, but the longer races are just round and round and round and round and round… zzzzzzzzz….. Short track racing is where it’s at. Long track gets a 4.

Hope this helps you understand the “sports”. Out.

Who is worse, Gretzky or Rose?

If you had asked me this three days ago, I would’ve stared blankly at you, like Tara Reid deciphering a slide rule. Gretzky was the most prolific scorer in hockey history, and widely considered to be one of the nicest guys around, cleaner than AC Green’s bedsheets. Rose was the most prolific hitter in baseball history, and widely considered to be one of the most arrogant pricks around, dirtier than Wilt Chamberlain’s bedsheets.

My, my, how times have changed.

So I ask you now, who is worse, a compulsive gambler or a bookie? Certainly, Pete Rose’s personality hurts him here. He’s not just a compulsive (and bad) gambler. He’s an ass and a greedy one at that, so he can hardly be painted as a wronged victim. He felt his gambling addiction (by the way, apparently still in full bloom) was above the rules of the game, certainly he felt that he was above Bowie Kuhn. The funny thing is that I think people would have gotten past the gambling-on-baseball issue long ago if Rose hadn’t been so pugnacious and obstinate about his “innocence”.

But a bookie is essentially a parasite, feeding off of the addictions of others. So who is the bad guy, the organized crime boss who controls the media and runs the numbers game, or the asshole scumbag who gambles away his money and his career? While Gretzky may not have actually booked the bets, he certainly seems to have known about the bookmaking activity and tacitly condoned it. And then lied about it. Multiple times. Hell, his wife was the biggest customer. Wouldn’t it be ironic if we found out that Pete Rose booked bets through Rick Tocchet? Whose side would you be on then?

And enough about Janet Jones being “hot”. That train left the station years ago. In fact, check out “A Chorus Line” again. (Yeah, I own it. Charlie “I can do that” McGowan lived around the corner from me when I was a kid. I’m not gay. Honest.) She had a nice body, but her face was heavily lined twenty-five years ago. And she was a terrible actress. Apparently, she’s just as good at gambling.

Gretzky’s fall will be much more precipitous because he HAD our trust. We believed him. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Tocchet to roll over on him and tag “The Great One” as the Puckfather, the great and powerful Gretz. Pay no attention to the 99 behind the curtain. All those Lady Byng trophies for sportsmanship and gentlemanly behavior (or behaviour)? On Ebay.

And Pete Rose still doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Just because some other guy proves to be a scumbag too doesn’t diminish the dirt on Pete.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


We now return you to your regular crapfest.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Time for my pre-Olympic rant…

· Now that the Super Bowl officials have been verbally tarred and feathered, can we all agree that SOMETHING must be done about the officiating? I’m not sure full-time officials would solve anything. After all, they’re still just officiating one game a week… it’s not like there’s an NFL-type league playing on Wednesdays too. They’d just be sitting around waiting for the game on Sunday (much like most men do anyway).

· The problem isn’t FULL-time officials, it’s old, stupid, indecisive officials. Aside from Ed Hochuli, there isn’t a single NFL official that the Donkeypuncher couldn’t whip. Now that’s just plain sad. Some of them are clearly overweight, most are older than the team owners, and they’re all jock-sniffers, glad to have a chance to participate in a game they were too weak or soft to play. Think about it. If a player is having an off-day, what happens? He gets PULLED by the coach. Have the officials held to the same standards. If an official blows a call or is wishy-washy (like the goal-line official on Big Ben’s fumble, er, touchdown), another official runs in from the sideline, taps him on the shoulder, and sends him off the field.

· Getting ready for my Olympic tape-delay strategy with wifey… Here’s a clip from two years ago when the Summer Olympic telecasts were similarly mishandled by the incompetents at NBC. Just substitute Figure Skating for the swimming or gymnastics, and you’ll have it.
- The 12-18 hour tape delay for the West Coast is kinda helpful in planning the evening. If my wife wants to watch a swimming race or gymnastics round, if I don’t want to watch it, I can just look up the results, and announce them to her so she won’t want to watch it either.
Wifey: Oooh, I want to watch the swimming tonight. Michael Phelps is in the relay.
Me (at the computer, typing quickly): Why do you want to watch that anyway? The US only gets the bronze.
Wifey: You’re a turd. And you better not tell me what medal the gymnastics team gets…
Me: No problem, it’s just the preliminaries tonight, and they come in second to Romania anyway.
Wifey: You’re a turd. I’m going into the other room to read a magazine.
Me: While you’re up, can you turn it to Celebrity Poker?

· I’m trying to think of a single compelling reason to watch a single Olympic sport this year, and I’m coming up snake eyes. Methinks my poker account will see a lot of activity next week.

· I do enjoy the short track speed skating which is essentially Roller Derby on ice. It would be nice if they’d let the skaters do some mic work before the race to generate some interest. Or just let them throw elbows and give teammates arm whips. Now that would be something I’d watch!

· All of the downhill sports are as interesting to watch as NASCAR (read: not very). Crashes are spectacular, but the actual racing is rather boring, simply watching the interval times click down until they hit the line. They need to have a downhill race comparable to the street luge where EVERYONE starts at the same time on a sled and let them fight it out all the way down.

· Figure skating is not a sport… If it is, then Dancing with the Stars should be. And Stacey Keibler would be the favorite for the Gold.

· Someone should organize a poker tournament for the exact time the Ice Dancing finals are on TV. I guarantee that every husband in America would enter. And yes, I’m a sexist pig.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Some quick post Super Bowl thoughts…

- Did anyone else get the feeling that the referees were rooting for Pittsburgh too? Just about every Seattle play over twenty yards was called back for penalty, and Ben Roethlisberger FUMBLED before the ball crossed the plane. His (non)fumble now joins Rob Lyttle’s in the 1977 Denver/Oakland AFC Championship game, Tom Brady’s in the New England/Oakland AFC Playoff game, and, yes, Jeramy Stevens’ in the same game as fumbles-that-weren’t-fumbles in key moments. Hell, Big Ben came as close as Vinnie Testaverde did a few years ago against (ironically) the Seahawks.

- The FedEx caveman ad was by far the best, most original commercial of the day, followed by the monkeys lighting cigars with $20 bills for CareerBuilder.

- Am I just old, or is Sean P Do wah Diddy Puff Daddy a talentless hack?

- Puppy Bowl II was better than most of the first half.

- I was impressed by Randle-El taking the kidney shot and returning to throw a perfect TD pass until I learned he had been shot up with painkillers before the game for a troublesome shoulder.

- My son complained about the sideline reporters, saying “Why don’t they shut up and just play the game!” I was so proud.

- Tucker Max’s book is a hoot. I read about half of it during the game. My wife wanted to see some of the stories, but I fended her off. No need to prove what a sexist turd I am…

- Oooh, curling starts in a week.

- Where was Joe Montana during the parade of Super Bowl MVPs? The San Francisco Chronicle (who holds grudges longer than a Corleone) reports that he refused to show over appearance fees. More likely, he didn’t feel like spending time in Detroit in February…

- “When a Stranger Calls” was the top box office flick over the weekend. Ummm, is it still a suspenseful movie if you already know the ending? Here’s a clue, HE’S IN THE FRICKING HOUSE!

- 40 Super Bowls. I’m 42 years old. Coincidence?