Monthly Archives: April 2010

SC 2010 NFL Mock Draft

This shirt is available in Sports Casualties' imaginary online pro shop.

With the NFL Draft one week away, SC has decided to go with the latest “cool kids” trend and hold a mock NFL draft. Yes, if the “cool kids” jumped off a bridge, we would too. Head freaking first. However, to set ourselves apart, this will not be a regular “Bradford, Suh, McCoy” kind of mock draft. No, in the SC mock draft, teams will be drafting a company that best fits their needs. Neither Robbie (the illegitimate father of this brain child) nor Bryan (the person writing it) are business students in any way. Nobody quite knows how this will go. Oh well.

And with the first pick in the Sports Casualties 2010 Mock NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select…

1. Home Box Office (HBO) St. Louis Rams

Hard Knocks...All season long.

The Rams are hopeless.  They are a team so bad that it is difficult to find something that says “Hey, that could help.” From their Steven Jackson + a bunch of nameless people offense to their abysmal defense, the Rams are the most deserving recipient of a No. 1 overall draft pick this side of the 2008 Detroit Lions. There are bad teams that are fun to watch implode. These teams can make money. Then there are bad teams that no one cares about enough to even garner a laugh. These teams do not make money. The Rams fall into the latter category.

The solution?

Make people care. Draft HBO and turn the entire season into the greatest reality show ever. I can see it now, “Hard Knocks: The Life and Times of the NFL’s Worst Team.”  Because the only thing better than a train wreck is a televised train wreck. Just ask Hulk Hogan and family.

People will want to tune in and see the team go unrecognized at bars, pretend to be real pro football players and give it their not-quite-all in front of hundreds of crazed fans. If “24/7″ can really make somebody other than Max Kellerman care about boxing, then HBO could have a smash hit in introducing America to the now-lovable losers.

Mel Kiper’s Take: “I really think this is a strong pick-up for St. Louis. I’ve always thought that Danny Almendola kid was one television spot away from making it big.”

2. Trojan Detroit Lions

Here's to you, Matt Stafford.

Yes, this pick was made primarily so that I could make a middle school P.E. locker room kind of joke. Protection?!?! Get it!?!?

Regardless, this pick is very necessary in both a symbolic and literal manner. In 2009, the Detroit Lions offensive line was statistically one of the worst groups in the league. While their run-blocking had improved since 2008, pass protection was an issue as Detroit Lion quarterbacks spent more time on the ground than Southwest Airlines. A strong message of “protection” could be just what the Lions need to revamp for 2010.

Also, in a little more literal translation, I think it is safe to say that in the female-luring rankings of the Detroit sports teams, the Lions are probably in a tie with the Pistons for third. Now I’ve never been to the Motor City, so all the knowledge that I have of Detroit was gathered by watching the movie “8 Mile,” and I’m not afraid to admit that. So with that in mind, the Red Wings and Tigers probably aren’t bringing in too many quality cleat chasers as it is. No telling what is getting brought back home with the Pistons and Lions.

Mel Kiper’s Take: “My parents should have drafted Trojan in 1959. Not a glamorous pick, but definitely a necessary one.”

3. E-Trade Financial Corporation Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Shankapotamus

The first surprise pick of the draft comes from the Buccaneers, who give no real reason for picking E-Trade. It is only after hearing coach Raheem Morris refer to them as “my guys” 35 times that you realize that E-Trade was founded by William A. Porter, a proud alumnus of Kansas State University. As most Bucs fans know, Morris can’t resist bringing in players from the school that he coached at in 2006. First, it was Josh “Tito Jackson” Freeman, then it was Yamon Figurs and now it’s the company most famous for its baby commercials.

This will not improve the team or make anyone excited about attending Bucs games this season. However, word spread that E-Trade is an “inexpensive option” which made the EPL cash-strapped Glazers all the more enthusiastic about the move. Rumors that the Bucs will soon be changing their colors to purple and silver may or may not be true.

Mel Kiper’s Take: “Those commercials are adorable.”

4. ING Group Washington Redskins

ING Group Headquarters, A.K.A. coolest building ever.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder is worth an estimated $1.3 billion, a ticket to a game at FedEx Field costs approximately one arm and two legs (with a capacity of  91,704) and Snyder has been known to sling his fortunes around like Ben Roethlisberger at a sorority house. So how in the hell are the Redskins so bad? Sounds like we need some financial planning.

The fact that the 2010 NFL season is uncapped means that Snyder and his Redskins should be set for glory. Apparently unable to handle the financial aspect of running a football team himself, ING will assist Snyder in his every move making the Redskins the elite spending force that they have the finances to be. Donovan McNabb is a nice start, but how about bringing in a ridiculous amount of weapons to surround him?

Maybe ING could even teach Snyder something about customer relations as the only times that the ‘Skins made the news in 2009 were when fans were angry about something.

Mel Kiper’s Take: “Excellent pick. Some guy from Pakistan owns the Rams now, why not include the Dutch?”

5. Lockheed Martin Kansas City Chiefs

Defense wins championships...and looks awesome.

The Chiefs have a young offense full of promising potential. So why did they go 4-12 in 2009? Defense, defense, defense. The Chiefs had none, and by none I mean that they were ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense. Not good.

So who better to being in than the ultimate bad asses in defensive operations. Lockheed Martin has been blowing things to smithereens from the air since 1995. After slipping to pick No. 5, a shocking revelation as most were expecting them to go top three, Martin will soon be applying the same pressure to the AFC West.

Mel Kiper’s Take: ” What a steal! I had these guys cemented at the top of my defensive board, and I cannot believe that they fell this far. Great pick for the Chiefs.”

6. The Boeing Company Seattle Seahawks

New team charter plane.

The Seahawks go with the fan-friendly option and keep the hometown boy in Seattle. Also in need of defense, the Seahawks get the benefit of bringing in a prospect that is efficient in both combat and recreation. Can you say awesome new team jet?

It’s almost common sense that the Seahawks try to build up a strong defensive presence in this draft. They have all the intangibles of a dominant defensive-minded team minus the talent. They have the loud stadium, bad weather and a surplus of angry grunge rockers left over from the early 1990s (read: Robbie Hilson). Plus with Julius Jones at running back and that guy that’s related to that guy that’s married to that kinda hot girl on “The View” at quarterback, a well-rounded defensive presence would serve them well. Boeing also has nearly 80 years of experience on Lockheed Martin which could be crucial in December playoff pushes.

Mel Kiper’s Take: “Solid pick-up by the Seahawks. I’m sure that they were hoping that Martin would drop back to them, but I also wanted Todd McShay to be my friend. Life is cruel.”

7. KFC Cleveland Browns

Eyes on the prize.

In a stunning move, the Browns, who were expected to trade up to acquire some offensive help, have instead made the most useless pick of the draft. KFC will do nothing to help the Browns, and will likely kill the entire team by the end of training camp.

“Lifetime supply of Double Downs? I’m sorry, but this prospect was just too good to pass up,” said Browns president Mike Holmgren. The NFL Draft: Where fat team executives happen.

Mel Kiper’s Take: “I’m not sure what just happened. I had KFC as my prediction for Mr. Irrelevant.”

8. McGraw-Hill Oakland Raiders

Read up, kids.

In a move of desperation, the Raiders came to an unsettling conclusion on who they would pick as their aloted time was about to expire. Al Davis went with McGraw-Hill, the company that is most famous for publishing school textbooks. Although Davis’ grumbling explanation was not completely audible, most are reporting that McGraw-Hill has a new book on “How to Learn the West Coast Offense” that he thought could be an asset to Jamarcus Russell.

When asked by Adam Schefter what he thought of the deal, Raiders coach Tom Cable yelled “Books suck!” and punched Schefter in the face.

Mel Kiper’s Take: ‘Strange pick here. I guess anything that associates Oakland with literacy can be a positive for American society.”

9. CBC Television Buffalo Bills

Good afternoon, Canada.

In a startling move, the Bills have altered the very fabric of NFL television by bringing in Canadian station CBC Television to further promote themselves in Canada. The Bills, a team that represents one of the NFL’s most quaint markets, are likely crossing lines of legality here as they have stated that all of their games will be shown solely on CBC (that’s CBLT Channel 20 for our friends in Toronto). This almost certainly adds truth the recently held rumor that the Bill will soon become the first Canadian NFL team by moving to Toronto.

When approached for comment, Bills QB Trent Edwards said “Alright, Toronto. They’ve got bars there, right?”

Marshawn Lynch is excited about extending his long string of illegitimate children to an international level.

Mel Kiper’s Take: ” Pass me a Molson!”

10. U-Haul Jacksonville Jaguars

Bye Jaguars.

It’s never good when an NFL team that only plays 10 home games per season has to tarp off large amounts of seats at its stadium. For nearly as long as the Jaguars have been a team, there have been talks about moving them out of Jacksonville. With this rather cold draft pick, it is now a certainty. Where they are going no one can be quite certain. Maybe Los Angeles, San Antonio or Las Vegas. Wherever they go, we now know that it will take place inside of a bright orange truck that may or may not break down halfway.

The Jaguars have always had attendance problems. Their market has failed to support them on a consistent basis. This peaked in 2009, when the Jaguars averaged just 73.9 percent attendance over eight regular season games.

Reasons for the struggles are plenty. I’ve never been to Jacksonville, so I cannot really judge, but I’ve heard many people say it’s a fun place. I’ve also heard others say it smells like urine. Tony Kornheiser hates Jacksonville, but he also hates Tampa because it has nothing but “Waffle Houses and strip clubs.” I see nothing wrong with that. Waffle House is a necessary late night food option that occasionally lets you make your own food which seems awesome when you’re intoxicated, and the only people that strippers have ever hurt are old rich guys that hate their families. I love Tampa, so Kornheiser’s theory is not included.

Mel Kiper’s Take: ” It’s a sad day in Jacksonville, I guess.”

Random Toothless Homeless Guy that Rides My Bus’ Take: “I don’t even care if they leave. I f***ing hate the Jaguars.”

-Bryan

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Pictures of The King

Takes longer to load than it does to read.

Billy Jean: "You're wasting your time, Bill."

 

Tyra, lookin' fine.

 

The Smugglin' King

 

FCC on standby.

 

Chef: "You're SURE you can eat solids?"

 

Get it?

 

Waiting his turn.

 

Regard for terror, not foul balls.

 

My kinda king.

 

Bryan Holt's kinda king.

 

Fan of ill communicating, sabotage, skinny ties.

 

King sandwich.

 

First coffee, then sex on fire.

 

Solely for Alan Flaten and the 8-year-old version of myself.

 

Jerry Lawler at 27. Take note, aspiring wrestlers.

 

The forbidden lovechild of "Vendetta's" V and Flavor Flav.

 

"Hmm... If Macaulay isn't doing anything... and Bubbles isn't busy..."

 

King James, 150 pounds and a can of Afro Sheen ago.

 

Pre-CGI King.

 

King of longball, strikeout, questionable facial hair.

 

From Right to Left: Carole King, Inside Trader.

 

"A better grip? Anything to fix Iraq."

 

Felix: "Ken Griffey!? No sh*t! You were my favorite player in kindergarten."

 

- Robbie

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“Lost”: Season 6, Episode 12 Recap

 

Dammit, Kate! We said business casual.

Much like Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse six months ago, I have absolutely no idea where this show is going.

Thanks to you, the loyal Casualtist, we’re now six algorithm-busting “Lost” recaps into the season. As your unfettered enthusiasm inspires me to new literary heights, you can be reasonably assured that Sports Casualties will be the go-to destination for all your Jack and Kate Plus Eight news for the remainder of the season. Here’s what “Lost” Recap fans are saying:

“You’re ripping apart so much that I hold dear, Robbie. So. Much. Fact checking. Needed.” ~ Sarika

“Seriously, though, ‘Not Penny’s boat.’ Nothing? How do you not remember that?” ~ Amber

“Everything the above said.” ~ Tom

“That was the most stupid bunch of cr@p I ever read! Why do you bother?? You are clearly not a fan, and no one is interested in you making fun of a show you can’t possibly comprehend, you obviously are not intelligent enough to understand any of it!! ROFLMAO!!” ~ Dee

“If you dig the main chick from ‘V’ you should check out Firefly/Serenity. The show was cancelled after one season because Fox decided to air the episodes out of order. But she looks a lot better with long hair and she plays a prostitute. So, um, yeah.” ~ Kyle

As you can see, SC “Lost” coverage has been an unqualified success, no thanks to the 13-year-old perverts who frequent our site looking for soft-core pics of Kate (click here). Island time. Let’s do this.

___________

We know right off the bat that Hurley is a huge fan of the KFC Double Down. In fact, he’s something of a fried chicken visionary, or so we’ve been led to believe by the opening Colonel-inspired slide show. After being honored, Hugo’s hot latino mother, Madre Hugo, scores Big Hurley a date. I hope it’s with Karen O. That always been my dream – for my mom to score me a date with a hipster princess.

That was the side flash. Now we’re on the island where we find out that Karen, or whomever the date would have been, uh, is dead. But good news, Diversity! You’re lone black character is back to save the Islanders! That would of course be the star of “Matrix Revolutions,” Link. Or as he’s known to me and you, Harold Parrineau.

Apparently Harrold – or Michael Dawson as he’s known to Jack – is a figment of Hugo’s imagination, much like my arts position paper is still a figment of my imagination. Remember that total out-of-his-league blonde from the island? She’s back, and her name is Elizabeth. She’s jabbering on like Gilbert Gottfried at a Comedy Central Roast and, just like GotFried, is an inmate at the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital. That’s “Santa Rose” Mental Hospital for all you non-Miami natives.

"This post is a bigger disaster than 'Problem Child 3'"

After a huge explosion rocks the island while I was trying to figure out how to translate “Rosa,” Smoke Monster Locke, Sayid, Kate and Sawyer privvy us to a group powwow, after which Sayid leads SM Locke to the sixth member of Pearl Jam, Desmond Hume (in the foreground). Unfortunately, Sayid couldn’t find a better man, so he tied Des to a tree. You know what I always say, “It’s better to be tied to a tree than to smoke tree… before writing a ‘Lost’ Recap.”

Commercial break shoutouts: chin up, Ben and Alan. Our Methods paper isn’t nearly as disastrous as this post. 

Back on the island, I’ve found out that Ilana just blew up in the massive dynamite explosion. To celebrate, Hurley orders a bucket of Mr. Clucks chicken in the sideflash timeline… and washes it down with a conversation with Desmond.

I’m going to offer something groundbreaking right now: Des is totally the new Jacob. He’s fulfilling all of Jacob’s roles, except with a deep baritone and better looks… so I’m told, by the ladies. I personally have zero preference. Zero.

Seriously. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a preference.

In the island timeline, we find out that Chuck Widmore zapped Des “with experience.” I wish Bobby Cox could do this to Axl Rose lookalike Tommy Hanson. Of more importance, we find out that Smoke Monster Locke might actually be Locke Locke (as in the guy that did more for the Shaved Head than Michael Jordan and Bruce Willis combined, not the philosopher). Also, something else just blew up – and given that this is circa 2004, I’m guessing it was either Usher’s “Yeah” or the Yankees bullpen in the ALCS. One or the other.

"Actually, Hilson, we're not in 2004. But yeah, we totally choked."

More shoutouts: Taylor, if you’re still reading, you have a higher pain threshold than I do. Kudos.

Michael told Hurley to detonate the remainder of the dynamite so that the rest of the islanders couldn’t blow up the plane. Strong move. “Dead people are more reliable than live people,” Hurley says. Especially if the live person is John Edwards and the dead person is Lou Gehrig. Back in the mental hospital, the hot blonde tells Hugo that she dreamed of a plane crash, that they were in love, that she’s seen the future. If Tom Hanks would have had this same dream, he probably wouldn’t have gotten on that doomed FedEx flight… and you wouldn’t have had to sit through a 2 1/2-hour movie with Helen Hunt. 

Good for Hurley. He totally mans up and asks the crazy woman out on a date. I’ve done this several times. 

“There’s nothing special about me, brotha,” Des says to Locke. “This island has it in for all of us.” Then, out of nowhere, a ghost boy appears. Is that you, Jeffrey Maier?

Meanwhile, Hurley lays down an ultimatum for the Ageless Wonder “Not Diane Lane” Dick AlpertBlow stuff up or come with me. Jack’s got Hurley’s back – they’re going to find Locke. The 13-year-old version of me opts for blowing stuff up.

Old... And hot.

Says a green M&M during a commercial, “Boys, it’s all about the poles.” That sounds dirtier than a Longoriaism.  

Sun and Frank are also in the Hurley/Jack entourage, and Sun still can’t speak English after a vicious bump to the head. Jack tells Hurley that he can’t ever fix Juliet’s death. This is exactly how Leonardo DiCaprio felt just a handful of films after “Basketball Diaries.”

To obscure?

After a heartfelt talk between Michael and Hurley, we’re jettisoned to the sideflash timeline where Hurls and the blonde are having lunch on a sandy beach. SOUND FAMILIAR!?! Foreshadowing, Casualtists. Or backshadowing. Sideshadowing. Whatever.

Hugo: “Why do you want to be with me?”

Blonde: “Because I like you.”

I’m sorry. We were looking for “because you’re rich.” But in all seriousness, an intimate kiss brings back all kinds of alternate universe dreams. “If you die in your dreams, you die for real,” says a character in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” trailer. Does this apply to “Lost” as well? Much like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsy Pop, the world will never know.

Bad job by you, J.J. Abrams.

Now then, Locke escorts Des to a well – the same hand-dug well that causes compasses to spin in circles. “Why aren’t you afraid? You’re out here in the middle of the jungle with me, the only person who knows you’re here,” Locke tells Des before pushing him into the well. Geeze, most unceremonious canning since Josh Homme dumped wildman Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age. Brutal. 

Moving on… I just got chills. Hugo calls his friends out of the woods. Jack confronts Locke face-to-face for the first time in weeks. And Jack looks pissed – much less generous than when he offered to pose for the cover of the Arctic Monkey’s debut.

During the sideflash, Des mows down a crippled Locke in a brand new 330i. How’s that for product placement? BMW is not happy. Neither is Ben Linus, who just got blood on his new V-neck vest. See what I did there? “V”? 

Cheers, Kyle.

Please send questions, complaints, hate mail and Covering the Arts position papers to robbiehilson@yahoo.com. The latter would be much appreciated.

- Robbie

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Longoriaisms

Evan Longoria's smile has been known to make girls melt and pitchers defecate.

Like Tebowisms, except better.

  • Evan Longoria was born on October 7, 1985. In less important news, inferior third baseman George Brett won a World Series ring 20 days later.
  • Announcers have been told not to use the term “routine” when describing Longoria defensive plays as this quickly leads to redundancy.
  • On Opening Day 2010, Longoria hit a 473-foot home run off of Kevin Millwood. This feat was deemed even more impressive when Longoria later admitted that he was actually attempting a bunt.
  • Longoria is a native of Downey, California, which is also the hometown of MMA fighter Dan Henderson.  Longoria once fought Henderson. Henderson hasn’t returned to Downey since.
  • How do you watch football games? This is how Evan Longoria does it:

  • Rays television announcer Dewayne Staats has repeatedly compared Evan Longoria to Phillies great Mike Schmidt. This idea is preposterous. For comparing Longoria to any mere mortal, Staats was quickly disciplined for his blasphemous ways.
  • Evan Longoria played for the Chatham A’s in the Cape Cod Summer League in 2005. One can only assume that Jessica Biel was involved.
  • Longoria’s first two career playoff at-bats resulted in home runs. This is in contrast to Alex Rodriguez, whose first two playoff at-bats required two seperate pairs of pants.
  • Longoria’s New Era commercial is marked with a “dramatization” disclaimer. The reason: The only person to ever attempt to steal Evan Longoria’s cap did not intitiate a massive chase scene. He instead was immediately struck down by a mysterious shower of hard-hit line drives.
  • When asked “How do you keep Longo from going longo?” for an MLB 2K10 promotion, Josh Beckett responded: “You pray that we can buy him.”
  • Since entering the big leagues, Evan Longoria has used “Down and Out” by Tantric as his walk-up song. This song choice is ironic because the title illustrates a feeling that Longoria has never had.
  • Evan Longoria shares a bond with actress Eva Longoria because of their identical last names. After the Rays’ last Anaheim road trip, Evan now also has something in common with Tony Parker. Eskimo brothers.
  • Jonah Keri extra: Done eating planets, Longoria will now birth new universes with his mind. Because he’s that good.

Suggestions welcomed. The best (read: any) will be added.

-Bryan

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What We Learned from the Masters

 

The next great rivalry? Uh... No.

Much like a Tiger Woods round, this post could be all over the place.

To The Winner Goes the Spoils I’m done cracking Phil jokes. No more “Phillis” barbs, no more “Philsbury Dough Boy” jabs, no more goofs about his sagging C-cups, no more snide commentary about how his wife dresses him like a European catalogue model. Mick’s earned the right to look like a clown and “ahh-shucks” his way through his every adoring gallery. He dominated over the weekend with back-to-back 67s to hold off three of the world’s best players in Woods, Westwood and Kim. And he did it with style. I never thought I’d use “style” and Phil in the same sentence, but then again, I never thought I’d see Lefty dawn a third Green Jacket. His Saturday eagle-eagle-bird charge up the leaderboard on 12, 13 and 14 was nothing short of iconic – an ESPN Classic-worthy stretch the likes of which was only topped Sunday by that ballsy, “you stupid shiOHMYGAAAA!” long iron out of the woods on 15. He then throttled all challengers with workmanlike pars on 16 and 17, and polished it all off with a cake-icing three on 18. I say All-Time stuff, stuff that makes you change your mind about Phil if you weren’t already part of his massive legion of idolizing fans. He did everything that Tiger usually does over the weekend, only he did it with humility. That’s the highest compliment I can give.

A sight for sore eyes.

The Cat’s Still Got It Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee is an anti-Tiger propagandist that would make Joe McCarthy blush. On Sunday night, my post-Masters conversation with my father was monopolized by I-can’t-believe-he-said-that Chamblee one-liners including, among many more, “Tiger’s game has slipped considerably.” Think of Chamblee like you would Keith Olbermann, except his Democrat is Phil and his ‘Pub is Tiger…

Block out what the blowhards are telling you. Tiger Woods did absolutely everything you could have asked of him short of winning. And you probably shouldn’t have asked for that. The guy looked unstoppable on Thursday and then defiantly fought back the rust over the weekend with enough spectacular shots to play -5 golf with 10 bogeys. Ten. His game was erratic, no doubt about it. Those two duffed drives on the back nine Sunday looked like Robbie Hilson Specials circa eighth grade. But to rebound from that disastrous start on the final day with a hole out for eagle on 7 and subsequent birdies on 8 and 9… Nobody does that. Nobody. Just like with the ’02 PGA when Tiger told Stevie he needed to birdie the last four holes to catch Rich Beem – and did - this is a tournament that will add to his mighty legend even in defeat.

I’m telling my kids about this one. I’m telling them how Tiger wore red Nike on Sunday, how he carded two eagles when his swing was going to hell, how he shook off a month of feebleness by almost wrapping his putter around Peter Kostis’ neck in the post-round interview. And by the way, he’s healthy. We didn’t hear one peep about the once-ailing knee. In fact, the biggest revelation was that he was playing all of ’09 with a torn achilles. Absolutely incredible. Chalk up the double-crosses, the block-handed short game, and the traitorous putter to a winter of chaos. Because if you’ve ever played golf – or really, if you’ve ever used common sense – you know that a five-month hiatus in which you were embroiled in an apocalyptic sex scandal, spent 30-plus days in rehab, and, in general, saw your whole world come crashing down around you has a tendency to get in the way of practice time. Kostis asked Tiger walking off 18 how he felt he performed. “Well, I finished fourth.” Translation: “I did’t win. And I always play to win. Always.” Sounds to me like a man who knows he’s still got a full tank.

Forgiven.

America Still In Love with Greatness Not a heckle. Not one word. Not a whisper. Here’s the dirty little secret about the United States: we have a lot of dirty little secrets. So when somebody crashes and burns so monumentally – when they f*** up so colossally – we take the guy under our wing, we feel for him, we thank our lucky stars that it didn’t happen to us. The gallery at Augusta shot the collective bird to every holier-than-thou moralist brazen enough to get up on his squawk box in the last 130 or so days. They loyally cheered him Thursday on that most awkward of first tees, and they continued to cheer him 71 holes later. That’s Southern Hospitality for you – that’s a crowd that’s well aware that immaculate golf is the only reason they ever pulled for him in the first place. America loves flaws in its perfection, and it seems to this observer that we’ve found our new tragic hero… Sunday gave me the feeling that Phil wins because he’s got better things in his life to take the pressure off. Sunday, too, gave me the feeling that Tiger wins because the Burning Desire to Be Great is the only thing he’s ever had.

Until Pebble.

- Robbie

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Sunday at Augusta: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

 

Third time's a charm.

They say the Masters doesn’t start until the back 9 on Sunday. Thatta way to get viewers, CBS!

Since he’s really the only guy I have any interest in, we’re going to pick up with Tiger Woods on 9 and hope that last night’s combination of KJ Choi troublemaking and Washington Road didn’t sap his legs. Let’s do this.

The first I hear from my father this morning… 11:34 via text: “B Chamblee is an idiot.” I can tell he’s already in fine form. I can also tell that’s it going to be a challenge to type with a phone in hand all afternoon.

4:30 Tiger at -8 thru 8; Leaders Westwood and Mickelson at -12 thru 8

After an utterly disastrous first 6 holes played at 3 over par, Tiger rebounds with a fairway hole-out on 7, a birdie on 8 after a worm-burning 3-wood from the primary cut, and is sitting two on the par-4 ninth with a 15-footer to move to -9. For the first hour or so of coverage, this tourney looked like it could be more anticlimactic than a night with Larry King. No more. KJ Choi’s been on the leaders’ heels all day and Fast Freddie Couples, still sporting hipster shoewear at 50, is doggedly trying to one-up Phil for loudest gallery roar. 

4:35 Tiger at -9 thru 9; Leaders at -12 thru 8

Jim Nantz: “That’s an amazing turnaround.” He’s speaking of course of one Tiga Tiga Woods, Y’all who just moved to -9 and puckered the sphincter of everybody on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, Phil sprayed his drive on 9 into the left side trees, laid up to 30 feet short of the green, and flopped a 64 degree wedge up to about four feet. Ballsy. There’s a reason the man has two Green Jackets and his own short game video.

4:44 Tiger at -9 thru 9; Leader Mickelson at -12 thru 9

Englishman Lee Westwood, who’s got a career 76+ scoring average in the final round of the Masters, yips a 5-footer on the low side for par. First chink in the armor all day. Also Mick’s first outright lead of the week. Nance: “Now the tournament really begins.” I think I called that about an hour ago… On cue, Phil hits a power shank off the 10th tee that lands somewhere in Atlanta and Choi drains an 8-footer 300 yards up ahead to move to -12. Augusta Vice Chair Joe Ford reminds us that we’re getting 56 minutes of coverage every hour. Three thousand miles away, Robb Hilson is smiling.

4:57 Tiger at -9 thru 10; Leaders Mickelson and Choi at -12 thru 10

Mickelson, perhaps drawing strength from the all-black wardrobe that proves a tremendous upgrade from Friday’s Oreo outfit and yesterday’s Leprechaun garb, knocks a 35-yard pitch from in front of the 10th green to 6 inches. Disaster averted. Same for Westwood, who squeaks in a 4-footer to stay at -11. Up ahead, Tiger’s stuck in Sherwood Forest on 11 after a typically errant drive. A shot later, he’s still in the pine needles… And then sticks a wedge over the trees to six feet after Nick Faldo – winner of six majors – says he’s got no chance of getting up and down. Good call, Nick. No seriously, good call. Tiger slides to -8 after missing the putt.

Searching for the pot of gold.

5:09 Tiger at -8 thru 11; Leaders Mickelson and Choi at -12 thru 10 and 11, respectively

Text message from my father on Friday night: “I don’t understand what’s so hard about 12.” Couples puts a wedge into the water. Double. Tiger lines a nine iron – or as he likes to call it, “Smash” – into the back bunker, and then almost knocks the comebacker into the water. Pops is shaking his head. Or he will be – he’s on DVR in San Francisco. Unacceptable. I blame him 100 percent for Tiger’s lackluster performance. Just bad vibes. Bad, tape-delayed vibes… Tiger drains his par putt from the fringe to stay at -8. Choi holes a 4-foot tester to hold the co-lead.

5:18 Tiger at -8 thru 12; Leaders Mickelson and Choi at -12 thru 11 and 12, respectively

Young gun Anthony Kim is putting together a round more sneaky than a Tiger Woods, all of a sudden moving to within one of the lead after a birdie, birdie, eagle stretch on 13, 14 and 15. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods hits it CC Sabathia off the 13th tee (Read: fat). Really fat. Tiger’s driver has been astray all day… Wait, can I say that? Also of note, Lee Westwood’s blazing yellow UPS logo looks ten times more offensive stitched to a bright red shirt. Of greater import, Mick just buried a 20-footer on 12 to take the outright lead. He gives a Tiger-esque fist pump. Sadly, if he wins his fourth major, my father will have to cut back on Phillis man-boob jokes. You know, out of respect.

The fairway: yet to forgive Tiger.

5:38 Tiger at -8 thru 12; Leader Mickelson at -13 thru 12; Anthony Kim at -12 thru 16

A year after Anthony Kim put together 11 birdies in one round, the kid makes a bomb at 16 to move to -5 in his last four holes. I’ve done this twice, both times in the same dream. Meanwhile, Tiger, who “has no tempo and no rhythm right now” claws back to -9 after almost holing his third from the fairway on the par-5 13… I should probably mention Lee Westwood right now, if only because if he wins, I’d look pretty stupid for neglecting him. And then there’s Phil, who just hit the shot of the tournament and, according to Peter Kostis, “the shot of his life.” Remember Sergio at Medinah? Pretty much the same thing, except this one means something. Phil splits two pines on 13, rolling his miracle to three feet for eagle. In typical Phil fashion, he whiffs on the putt, settling for bird.

5:50 Leader Mickelson at -14 thru 13; Westwood at -12 thru 13; Kim at -12 thru 17

Tiger takes the wind out of my sails by three-jacking from six feet on 14. My allegiance has shifted to Anybody Not Phil, except for Westwood – I can’t root for a guy who wears white shoes on Sunday. That’s an affront to manhood… Kim’s drive into the right fairway bunkers on 18 and subsequent beach play on the next shot means that this tourney is Mick’s to lose. 2006 Winged Foot, anyone? Phil shudders as he envisions his drive on 18 finding a garbage can.

Englishmen: struggling on American soil since 1770s.

6:07 Leader Mickelson at -14 thru 14; Kim clubhouse leader at -12; Westwood at -12 thru 14

Tiger drains his Tiger-record fourth eagle of the tournament on 15, which bodes well for his bank account, but not for his putter… which I imagine he chucks into a pond as soon he signs his scorecard. Say what you want about Woods, but the guy has no quit in him. While Phil measures his second shot on the par-5 15, Kim buries a long par putt to stay at -12. Probably a moot point – Mickelson knocks an ice-cold long iron to about 20 feet for eagle, cozies up the putt, and moves to -15. Westwood checks up short on a pitch from behind the green – and in typical Brit fashion – chokes mightily on a 5-footer. David Feherty says something about “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” I’d make a joke here, but Phil looks like a rock. I mean, not physically… You know what I mean.

6:20 Leader Mickelson at -15 thru 15; Westwood at -12 thru 15

Phil makes a workmanlike three on the par-3 16th. I’m rather devastated, but perk up a bit with this text message from Bryan: “New bloggy post idea for the week. Fake text message transcripts from the sure to be upcoming Phil Mickelson sex scandal.” Gotta admit, the kid’s creative.

6:32 Leader Mickelson at -15 thru 16; Westwood at -12 thru 16

Jim Nantz: “It proved to be the right decision to come to Augusta.” Agreed, Jimmy. Tiger walks up the 18th fairway to – I never thought I’d say this – an underdog’s applause, and curls in a 10-footer for birdie to a standing ovation. He finishes one off the clubhouse lead, but I say this is a victory any way you play it. No other man on Earth could do what Tiger did this weekend. Nobody. And you know he feels good about the next two majors – U.S. at Pebble, British at St. Andrews.

Making a Phil fan out of me one ballsy victory at a time.

6:40 Leader Mickelson at -15 thru 17; Westwood at -13 thru 17

Mickelson holes a clutch 5-foot tester on 17 to stay two clear of Westwood. He then pulls an Anti-Phil, going with three wood off the tee and sticking his second from the right fairway rough in tight. Meanwhile, Tiger in his post-round interview after being questioned about his typically fiery on-course demeanor: “I think people are making way too big a deal about this thing.” Translation: F*** you, Peter Kostis… Amy Mickelson, looking typically fine, escorts the kids greenside. Phil cruises to a third Green Jacket, cooly burying a birdie on 18 to finish at -16.

“That’s a win for the family,” says Nantz, in a transparent bid to stir about 100 different conflicting emotions. Ouch. Mickelson sleeps like a baby tonight. You wonder if Tiger sleeps at all.

- Robbie

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Opening Day and Bootyism: An Unfocused Look at the Past Week in the World

Behind the gate.

Because we can’t cover everything, and we don’t work weekends, each Friday, Sports Casualties’ two co-authors will write two separate reviews of the past week. These startling pieces of immediate nostalgia will cover whatever topics the writers care to include. Consider this a wallet-sized picture that you can carry with you the entire weekend to hold yourself over until Monday when we will be back and better than ever. To read Robbie Hilson’s far more thoughtful take on the week, click here. I’m sure it will delight all of your Jason Heyward man-crushes.

I have zero business writing a week-in-review right now. I know most people don’t enjoy reading others bitch and moan about school, but Robbie did it, so that means that I can, too.

First off, major shout out to Scott Plakon, Florida State Representative for District 37, and a man whose life has completely consumed one of my favorite sporting weeks of the year. This is because of a final project for my Fact Finding class in which I must tell Mr. Plakon’s life story through public records searching.

So Mr. Plakon, tell your son Timothy to stop crashing his 2006 Kia in DeLand, and renew the registration on your son David’s 2005 Chrysler already, dammit! I’m sorry that you couldn’t get that ban on novelty lighters passed last session, but good luck getting Lake City Community College renamed as Florida Gateway College. It sounds like a noble cause.

Also, I’m pretty sure you are the only life member in NRA history without any traces of hunting or fishing licenses. You’re quite the outdoorsman. Now skidaddle along and enjoy your $6,057,096.63 of net worth. I’ve got more enjoyable work to do.

Scotty on the left.

Let’s do this.

Depending on what religion (err…team) you follow, you either celebrated Major League Baseball’s 2010 Opening Day on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Opening Day[s] is one of my favorite times of the year. When else can the Pirates play to a full house on Monday, and a lone spectator doing his best Dr. Robert Neville impression on Tuesday? When else will you see Steven Tyler sing “God Bless America” alongside dime-piece daughter, Chelsea, who looked as if she was preparing to carry her father off stage after a drunken karaoke rendition?

Sticking with baseball, veteran umpire Joe West had critical remarks for the Yankees and Red Sox after their season-opening series. West said that the teams were “a disgrace to baseball” for the extremely slow manner in which they play the game. the games during the opening Yankees-Sox series played at an average time 40 minutes longer than the league average.

In the spectrum of well, this doesn’t really have anything to do with you but please talk anyways, Yanks closer Mariano Rivera had the following comments:

“If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?”

That’s right Joe West, unless you have urgent plans, there is no reason why you should not be thrilled about spending hours upon hours with baseball’s two most hated teams. In other news, apparently the Yankees have given Rivera a spot in the batting lineup.

Slugger

In the un-shocking move of the week, Tim Tebow was announced as the cover athlete for EA Sports’ NCAA Football 11.  Rumors of “walk across water” and “turn water into wine” play modes are still looming.

In Monday’s Great White Man [and Nolan Smith] battle, known to some as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Title Game, Duke was victorious over Butler in a thrilling contest that was nearly won by the Bulldogs on a last second half-court shot. Although the loss was hard to take for Butler, there are plenty of positives to take from it. They were able to give their school national exposure at a level that they have never received before, they likely increased 2010 application numbers by a huge amount and coach Brad Stevens hit puberty with roughly 12 minutes left in the first half. What a night.

In baby-making news, Brett Favre became a grandpa when his 21-year-old daughter Brittany recently gave birth to a son named Parker Brett. It looks like Aaron Rodgers finally got the best of old No. 4.  It will be interesting to see how Parker Brett gets along with Percy Harvin’s grandchildren should Brett return to the Vikings next season.

Let’s talk about cardiac arrest.

On April 12, KfC will be debuting their plan to kill the world.  It is called a “Double Down,” and it is a breakfast sandwich. A breakfast sandwich with a unique choice of bread. And by that, I mean that in the place of bread is two pieces of fried chicken. Now if you’re like me, you’re thinking “Wow…that sounds delectable.” This is obviously the brain child of an Eric Cartman wet dream.  Will I be trying one? Absolutely, especially if they serve them all day. But eat at your own risk, Casualtists. We only have so many readers and we’d hate to lose any of you in a KFC-related tragedy.

Yes, it's real.

Finally, Thursday was the beginning of four of the best days  in sports, The Masters.

Now apparently, this year’s tournament is a big deal. After 144 days of carrying a civil rights policy similar to that of Jim Crow Era Georgia, the PGA finally let Tiger Woods return to playing golf, integrating golf for the first time since November 15, 2009 (or something like that). It’s been a  long time coming. You’re not fooling me, old white guys.

What’s that?

Okay, I’ve just been informed that the reason why Tiger Woods has not played golf in 144 days is because he’s quite the ladies man. Who knew!

Woods took the course at August National yesterday and looked as if he’s as good as ever. He was a few putts away from having an all-time great day in a round that was already his best every Thursday score at The Masters. I know this because Scott Van Pelt informed me of it over and over again on the west coast Sportscenter.

One can likely attribute Tiger’s great round to his 1:42 P.M. start time which gave him plenty of time to sleep off Wednesday night’s festivities. Tiger received a beyond pleasant reception from the crowd (err…gallery) at Augusta National. However, the reception was not so kind in the sky where an airplane with toys (as I called them as a toddler) flew overhead carrying a message that read:

Haha! I get it it’s like Buddhism except it’s Bootyism! Because of all the cocktail waitresses! Good one!

Revenge, thy name is Jesper Parnevik.

AND NOW…(drum roll)

WHY I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK: The Never-Ending Saga

In no specific order, and with no real explanation, this is my weekly look at some of the things that kept me distracted while I was trying to write.

Michelle Beadle, duh.

I know, I’m late on this. Oh well.

Tweet of the Week

Because too much television makes you fat and undesirable, but too much Twitter just makes you unproductive and socially awkward. Follow SC on Twitter, the awesomeness of your life depends on it.

This week’s Tweet of the Week comes to us courtesy of the one and only Texas Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Yes, we follow Stone Cold on Twitter, and you guessed it, it was my idea. In one of the more shocking revelations of my short time using Twitter, Stone Cold tweets, and he tweets a lot. Some are about his new-found acting career, some are commenting about wrestling and some are just drunken rants that are occasionally incoherent but typically entertaining. I believe this one falls in the last of these three categories.

steveaustinBSR wow this shark skin jacket is making me do strange things…i just bit the mail mans leg off…

And that’s the bottom line…

Happy Masters.

-Bryan

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