Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wow, what a fantastic weekend of football it was. It was like I had a fairy godmother, going around and sprinkling every match-up I watched with some sort of magic dust to make it exciting. Only the last two games of the weekend - the Dallas/Philly and Baltimore/Pittsburgh pro games were blow-outs, and by then I was mostly concerned about my fantasy team (and I had a great weekend on that front, as well).

Saturday I woke up in time to catch the start of the Navy/Notre Dame contest. Notre Dame drove right down the field and scored, and Navy fumbled their first posession, and I thought that it could get carried away early. But Navy held, and soon they and UND were off to the races in one of the most exciting games I can remember. Both coaches were channeling Les Miles and going for it on 4th down early and often - I think I only saw two punts all game. By the time regulation ended, each team had put 28 points on the board, and we were headed to overtime.

Notre Dame won the toss, and so Navy started posession one on offense. They drove and scored a TD, and converted the PAT. UND followed suit, so onto posession two it went, with first Notre Dame and then Navy being stopped and forced to convert field goals, both of which did so successfully. On the third posession, Navy uncharastically threw the ball down the field for a 25 yard touchdown completion on the first play, and then passed again to convert the mandatory (in the 3rd OT and beyond) 2-point conversion attempt. UND scored a TD of their own, but then Navy stopped them twice on 2-point attempts (the first time they were hit with a very dubious pass interference call). Just like that, 43 years of frustration were released.

The LSU/Alabama game also was extremely entertaining, as was the Florida State/Boston College game.

After last weekend's completion, my power 10 stand thusly:

National Championship - 1 LSU vs. 2 Oregon - Sorry, Ohio State, but how am I supposed to take you seriously enough to put in this game?

Fiesta Bowl - 3 Oklahoma vs. 10 Hawaii - I would give my left kidney to see Oklahoma get beat in this game by a WAC opponent again.

Rose Bowl - 4 Ohio State vs. 9 Arizona State - A nice traditional match-up for the Big Ten/Pac 10 match-up, but unfortunately the only way I see a Big 10 school in this game is if Michigan beats OSU in the season finale.

Orange Bowl - 5 West Virginia vs. 8 Boston College - There should be at least 8 conferences screaming about how the BCS is unfair and we need a playoff: the 5 mid-major conferences, the ACC, the Big East, and the SEC. The season that these two schools are having, and the amount of play they are getting as potential national championship game participants, definately should lead their conferences to believe that a playoff is the only way they are going to be competing - unless their names are Florida State or Miami, of course.

Sugar Bowl - 6 Georgia against 7 Missouri - I see Kansas going to this game, unfortuantely, as Missouri will pick up their second loss in the Big 12 title game and Kansas will jump them even after losing to them in the season finale, but Missouri should go to this game.

The NFL was great, as well. The Redskins game was very dramatic - they came back and won after moping their way to a 17-3 defecit - and of course the Colts/Pats was another classic. I wanted the Colts to win, of course, but all that really matters now is that there is a challenger for New England. I didn't want this whole season to be the Patriots Show and now it isn't going to be - there is actually a team that wants to and has the players to compete with them.

The NFL Power Rankings:
1. Patriots (AFC East) - Last unbeaten standing, and without another contest left on their schedule except for the AFC Championship Game.
2. Colts (AFC South) - Never mind that they didn't have Harrison - injuries are part of football and the Pats won that game fair and square (well, presumably); the important thing is, the Colts will get a rematch with much higher stakes.
3. Cowboys (NFC East) - Does it even matter from this point on?
4. Packers (NFC North) - How does the rest of the NFL let a team with no running game get this high?
5. Steelers (AFC North) - Sure, they looked impressive last night. But they've also lost to Arizona and Denver.
6. Giants (NFC WC) - Not missing Tiki a bit.
7. Jaguars (AFC Wild Card 1) - This is assuming Garrard makes a complete recovery this season.
8. Titans (AFC Wild Card 2) - Vince Young isn't quite the man, yet, but the defense is doing a great job holding the fort until he is.
9. Redskins (NFC Wild Card 2) - Play the way they played after getting down 17-3 to the Jets on Sunday, and they'll shoot up this list. Consistency has been the Skins biggest problem, however.
10. Saints (NFC South) - Finally, the team we knew and loved last fall.
11. Seahawks (NFC West) - Wow, the two western divisions have really fallen off the map, huh?
12. Chargers (AFC West) - I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt - for now - over Kansas City because of the talent levels of the two squads - especially if Larry Johnson has to miss significant time - but Norv Turner is turning a predictably awful performance in San Diego, and the Chargers better figure out that he is not the answer, and that right soon.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's time for the Redskins to flex their villian muscles.

So, the Patriots like running up the score, do they?

I think it's time someone responded in kind, and the Washington Redskins are just the team to do it.

Of course, I'm not talking about on the football field. We saw what happened when the Redskins took the Patriots on on the gridiron. I'm talking about attacking the Patriots from your point of strength.

It seems to me that it is completely impossible for the NFL to level the playing field for all 32 franchises. It seems to me like an uber-high revenue franchise like the Redskins - actually, not "like the Redskins", more like just "the Redskins" - has to be able to wield it's financial weight in some way.

Which is why the Redskins need to go after Scott Pioli.

Do you see what I mean by flexing their villian muscles?

Now, Scott Pioli has been offered jobs before, by teams like the Seahawks and Giants, but he has turned them down. The Patriots might not expect Pioli to entertain such an overture from us, and so permission may be more easily come by than I anticipate, but this probably won't be the case. So, the Redskins are going to have to do some underhanded shit (more underhanded than videotaping someone else's coaching signals? No.). They need to make the fact that they are seeking Pioli to be made known before the fact that they are going after a GM, so they can use the press conference announcing this fact - which will have come out once news breaks that the Skins are after Pioli - to pull some sly negotiations. Sports press corps are so easy to predict the responses to the questions could be perfectly scripted.

Snyder: The Washington Redskins are going to be taking a new direction with our front office soon. We will be looking for a General Manager to run the team soon. Questions?
Press: Is it true you sought permission from the Patriots to speak to Scott Pioli?
S: Yes. We were denied permission, however.
P: Did you really believe that, even if Pioli had been granted permission, he would have entertained an offer to leave New England?
S: We believe that we could have made Pioli an offer it would be in his best interest to sign.
P: What does that mean? (or something like that)
S: I can't get into specifics, of course, but let's just say that whoever gets the job will sign a contract unlike any other ever signed by an NFL GM (he'll probably get fined - a lot - for that; but it will be worth it).
P: Is there any timetable for a decision?
S: We will search until we have our guy, however long that takes, even if that is more than one offseason.

That should keep Pioli, or any other GM for that matter, from signing any long-term extensions.

Of course, there always is the possibility that the Pats would grant permission for Scott to talk, thinking there is no way we can lure away Pioli, with his iron-clad loalty.

Loyal like a dog.

Yeah, dogs are loyal.

To whoever gives them the biggest piece of sausage.

And the Redskins have the biggest sausages of all.

"Ok, Scott, here is the deal. We here at the Redskins believe that you are the man in that organzation who makes everything else go right. When we look at the amazing job you have done identifying and procuring talent for that organization, it is crystal clear to us that you are the most important piece of the puzzle. And think about it this way - if you come to Washington and do the same thing, it won't just be us that know it - it'll be the whole world. You'll go in the Hall of Fame, for sure, probably generally recognized as the best executive in League history.

But I'm not going to blow any more smoke up your ass. Let's get down to brass tacks. The New England Patriots are valued right at around one billion dollars. That's pretty good. Of course, when you've won 3/4 (depending on how many he has when we're talking to him) Super Bowl Championships in a decade, the team value is going to shoot up like that.

Now, the Washington Redskins, on the other hand, are worth one-point-four billion dollars. Consider this, in the last decade, the Redskins have won virtually nothing. 2 playoff appearances, with 2 post-season wins. That's it. And yet the team still outvalues the Patriots by 33%. Can you imagine the worth of the Redskins if you could build another Super Bowl team here? Two billion? Three for a dynasty?

And you beginning to see what kind of money you would be worth to me? I'm talking a five million dollar base salary. If the value of the team tops two billion while you are emplyed by me, that salary will double. It'll double again if it gets to three.

And that's the base. Look, I am comitted to winning championships, and it is performance that I am most willing to reward. If we win a divisional championship under your stewardship, I'll give you another 2 million at the end of the season. I'll give you another five if we win the NFC, and another 10 if we win the whole thing. So, a Super Bowl winning season after our franchise value hits two billion dollars would net you 27 million dollars.

That sound like a job you'd be interested in?"

Of course, once the Redskins did that, there would be no turning back from the black hats. The Redskins would be the team that everyone hated - especially if this worked (and I have no reason to believe that it wouldn't).

But at least being a Redskins fan would be fun again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Something has recently occured that made me reevaluate my list of the top QBs of all-time (http://kevinssportsblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/51507-two-quick-notes-before-i-get-to.html). As you probably have heard, Donovan McNabb sparked a controversy with his recent remarks about how African-American QBs are scruitinized in an interview on HBO.

In light of this, I decided to look into his career numbers. I found that I had completely overlooked one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the League when I made my list last May - even though he played right in my favorite team's division. Looking back, it should have been obvious. I knew McNabb was a great QB whose supporting cast never allowed him to look as good as he really was. I also knew that, in spite of his supporting cast, he managed to win the NFC East year after year. I even remember telling one of my friends one time, a few years back, that if any QB in the League was better than Manning, it was McNabb.

Well, McNabb isn't better than Manning, but he's pretty damn good.

McNabb's completion percentage is a very high, albeit just short of elite, 58.1. His YPC is lower than most of the tip-top QBs at 6.7, but that is still high enough to be among the best of the rest. But where McNabb really stands out is his TD:INT ratio - 2.10, higher than any other QB in NFL history save one - Steve Young, who topped my list. With a total score of 3.59, he falls right between Tom Brady and Dan Marino on my list, which now looks like this:

1. Steve Young
2. Peyton Manning
3. Joe Montana
4. Tom Brady
5. Donovan McNabb
6. Dan Marino
7. Otto Graham
8. Brett Favre
9. Jim Kelly
10. Roger Staubach
11. Sonny Jurgensen
12. Len Dawson
13. Warren Moon
14. Fran Tarkenton
15. Troy Aikman
16. John Elway
17. Bart Starr
18. Dan Fouts
19. Johnny Unitas
20. Bob Griese
21. Norm Van Brocklin
22. Y.A. Tittle
23. Terry Bradshaw
24. Joe Namath
25. Bobby Layne
26. Bob Waterfield
27. George Blanda

By the way, the fact that McNabb is not usually mentioned among the all-time elite QBs the way Manning and Brady are, in light of his stats, adds to the credibility of his arguement.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NFL Power Rankings, Post-week 2

Quite a few changes in the power rankings this week, starting with a change at the top and including a swapping out of half of the power 12 from last week. That said, it's early in the year, so this kind of thing should be expected. If I'm still going through 50% turnover later on in the season on a weekly basis, then you know something is terribly wrong. But for now, here is what I've got:

1. Patriots (AFC East, last week: 2) - Putting a stomping on the Jets is one thing. Doing the same to the San Diego Chargers, who figure to be in the Super Bowl picture this season, is something else. Week 3: vs. Bills.
2. Colts (AFC South, 1) - The Colts made the mistake of going into cruise control while Vince Young was playing on the other team. Fortunately for them, they held onto the win and all their blunder cost them was a spot in my power rankings. Week 3: @ Texans.
3. Steelers (AFC North, 5) - So, the competition hasn't exactly been stellar. Still, when you outscore your first two opponents 60-10, you must be doing something right. Week 3: vs. 49ers.
4. Chargers (AFC West, 3) - The Patriots have made a lot of really good teams look bad in Foxboro. But you have to be concerned with the level of Phillip Rivers' play so far. I know I am; he's killing my fantasy team. Week 3: @ Packers.
5. Ravens (AFC WC, 7) - When you can throw Kyle Boller out on the field and still get a realtively easy win, you have to feel good about yourself. Week 3: vs. Cardinals.
6. Redskins (NFC East, unranked) - It was either the Redskins or the Cowboys for this spot; tell me you honestly expected me to go the other way. Week 3: vs. Giants.
7. Cowboys (NFC WC, unranked) - That said, the Boys had to make an appearance on this list as well after two convincing wins. Week 3: @ Bears (SNF).
8. Packers (NFC North, unranked) - The more I see Rex Grossman play, the more I like someone new to win this division. Green Bay looks like the best candidate right now. Week 3: vs. Chargers.
9. Titans (AFC WC, unranked) - Ok, so they lost the same as the team they are replacing: the Bengals. The difference is, the Titans didn't give up 51 points to the freakin' Browns. Week 3: @ Saints (MNF).
10. 49ers (NFC West, unranked) - It hasn't been pretty, but the 9ers are finding ways to win early on. Week 3: @ Steelers.
11. Seahawks (NFC WC, 4) - Right after I go and tell you how good the Seahawks are, they go and lose to Arizona. Oh, well... Week 3: vs. Bengals.
12. Buccaneers (NFC South, unranked) - If the presence of the Buccs on this list doesn't tell you all you need to know about the sorry state of the NFC South right now, I don't know what I can do for you. Week 3: vs. Rams.

On to college, where there isn't nearly so much disruption.

BCS Championship - Louisiana State (SEC, #1, previous: 1) vs. Southern Cal (Pac 10, #2, 2) - USC looked outstanding in putting away Nebraska in a non-competitive game in front of the Big Red faithful. This week: LSU vs. South Carolina, USC vs. Washington State.

Sugar - Florida (at-large, #3, 4) - vs. Texas (at-large, #6, 6) - When that Florida offense goes up against LSU's defense later on this season (10/6), it will truly be a clash of the titans. This week: UF @ Ole Miss, Texas vs. Rice.

Fiesta - Oklahoma (Big 12, #4, 3) vs. Hawaii (at-large, #10, 10) - Hawaii sent a message by handling UNLV a lot easier than Wisconsin did. This week: OU - bye, Hawaii vs. Charleston Southern.

Rose - California (at-large, #5, 5) vs. Ohio State (Big 10, #8, 8) - Excellent job by the Buckeyes defeating a decent Washington squad soundly on their home turf. This week: Cal vs. Arizona, tOSU vs. Northwestern.

Orange - West Virginia (Big East, #7, 7) vs. Boston College (ACC, #9, unranked) - I could have put Clemson in the ACC slot, as well, but I decided to go with the team that knocked Tech off. Unfortuantely, the match-up between the two isn't until the 17th of November. This week: WVU vs. East Carolina, BC vs. Army.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NFL Power 12, post-week 1

This year I'm gonna change up my NFL power rankings. I'm gonna rate 12 teams - the best team in each division, and two "wild cards" for each conference. In other words, it'll be how the playoff picture would look now, if the playoffs started now and were based on what my opinion of the team's pecking order was. Here we go...

1. Colts (AFC South) - They're not here because the offense lit up the Saints' leaky D - we knew that was going to happen. What we didn't know was that the Colts defense would hold that offense to just 3 points (the Saints' 1 TD was a fumble recovery return). Add on the fact that Manning is finally playing with the monkey off his back, and well, this is still clearly the team to beat.
2. Patriots (AFC East) - However, they do have one apparent challenger. The Pats made the Jersey Jets look ridiculous - although, the Jersey Jets made themselves look ridiculous quite a bit as well. How do you rush three people when you know that Randy Moss is running around in your secondary? If Moss gets any time, he will get open, end of story. He may need a little more time than he used to, but it will happen, if you let it.
3. Chargers (AFC West) - I understand that the Bears have a great defense, but Indianapolis was much more in charge when they played the Bears last February. And that was in the rain, not sunny San Diego on a warm late summer afternoon. The gap between the Patriots and the Chargers is significantly larger than the gap between the Patriots and the Colts.
4. Seahawks (NFC West) - Am I serious, you ask? As long as Shaun Alexander stays healthy, yes I am.
5. Steelers (AFC North) - Ben Roethlisberger is playing like a great young quarterback who didn't get his face smashed in by a windshield last offseason.
6. Bears (NFC North) - I understand they lost while the rest of their division won, but look me square in the eyes and tell me you think this season's Vikings, Lions, or Packers teams would have gone to the Super Bowl last season.
7. Ravens (AFC Wild Card #1) - 5 legitimate turnovers in one game? Steve McNair is either a turnover machine or he is hurt, in which case QB will be manned by another turnover machine - Kyle Boller. Or, as they lovingly refer to him in Baltimore, "Boooooooooooo!"
8. Bengals (AFC Wild Card #2) - The scoreboard says they won, but my bullshit call detector tells me that we were robbed of an overtime finish on Monday Night.
9. Panthers (NFC South) - St. Louis on the road is a really good benchmark game for telling whether you are a contender in the NFC. A benchmark the Panthers passed easily.
10. Saints (NFC Wild Card #1) - Opening night jitters? They had better show a lot this weekend to make up for that.
11. Vikings (NFC Wild Card #2) - Ok, so I might be putting them on this list because I'm hoping that the Falcons aren't really that bad, but I happen to think that Tavaris Jackson can, can... Oh God, the Falcons really are that bad...
12. Eagles (NFC East) - We all knew that Brett Favre would look old in this game. But I don't think we were quite ready to see Donovan McNabb looking that way, too. The Eagles are the best team in the NFC East right now, but that will not be the case at the end of the season.

College Power 10, post-week 2

For College, I'll just do the 10 teams that would be going to the BCS Bowls - the best in each of the power conferences and 4 at large's.

BCS Championship - LSU (#1, SEC) vs. USC (#2, Pac 10) - Right now, the two best looking schools, with only Oklahoma really making a case to be there as well. LSU looked absolutely dominant against Virginia Tech on both defense, which the pundits widely forecasted, and on offense, which they did not. Easy for me to say now, of course, but I did not doubt for one second the ability of LSU to beat up on Va Tech. LSU has the fastest college team I have ever seen. Their speed is unbelievable. And, of course, USC looks plenty good themselves coming off their Rose Bowl domination of a Michigan team that, obviously, has yet to recover. Does anyone think it is a coincidence that Michigan and Notre Dame have both collapsed completely since being humiliated by these two schools last January? Me neither...

Fiesta Bowl - Oklahoma (#3, Big 12) vs. Hawaii (#10, At Large) - How much do you think Oklahoma would want to avoid another Fiesta Bowl against a WAC Mighty Mouse?

Sugar Bowl - Florida (#4, At Large) vs. Texas (#6, At Large) - The last two National Champions, but no Vince Young or Chris Leak in sight. Still, the two young QBs they have filling those shows look like a couple of blue-chippers.

Rose Bowl - California (#5, At Large) vs. Ohio State (#8, Big 10) - I've got Cal in this game because I think they have a real solid squad that is going to give USC a real run for their money this year. I've got Ohio State in this game because the Big 10 will look like a real big bunch of assholes if Michigan represents this conference in the Rose Bowl. Needless to say, I'm cheering for Michigan this year.

Orange Bowl - West Virginia (#7, Big East) vs. Georgia Tech (#9, ACC) - WVU has not one, but two candidates for the Heisman. The last team to feature that in their backfield played in the National Championship game, as some of you may recall. As for Georgia Tech - two games against easy opponents, two blow-out wins. You'd like to see them against tougher competition, but so far they've done what they were supposed to do. Unlike, say, everyone else in their confrence.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


This weekend is a huge weekend for me, football-wise, and I am jacked. To borrow a joke from Conan O'Brien, I haven't been this excited since I ate that Viagra burrito.

College ball season started last week, and as usual the first week was full of games that appeared to be mismatches, as the big powerhouses use the first week or so to warm up for their big games later. Of course, one of those warm-up schools didn't get the memo and Michigan was handed possibly the most embarassing loss in school history (although last year's Rose Bowl was no slouch in that department, either) to 1-AA Appalachian State. But that game was only on "the Big Ten Network", whatever that is, so nobody got to actually watch the game, not even the final minutes. The only game which looked entertaining heading into last week was California vs. Tennessee, although that game did deliver the goods.

Speaking of that game, a lot of people want to know why, if the SEC is so great, did Cal win that game?

Let me make one thing clear: the SEC is not such a great league because all of the schools in the conference are another level higher than all of the schools in any other conference. The reason the SEC is so great is because of how deep the pool of quality teams goes. Tennessee, due to some significant losses to graduation, is probably the 5th best team in the league, behind LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Auburn. Cal is definately number 2 in the Pac 10. How do you think Cal would do against LSU or Florida, hmmmm?

I mean, Tennessee with their slow wide-outs put up 35 points on Cal's defense. What would LSU be held to? 56? And do you think Cal or anybody else is hanging 57 or more on LSU's defense? No way.

But enough about last week. Tomorrow afternoon the slate has quite a few tasty tidbits, before the big game in Primetime. Some of the best looking match-ups include:

- Miami/Oklahoma, 12:00 - Oklahoma is up at 5 after a dominating win last week. Miami looked real good against Marshall in week 1, but this will be new Canes coach Shannon's first real test. I'll be really interested in the outcome of this one.

- Nebraska/Wake Forest, 12:00 - In the past, this match-up would have been a joke. Buit Nebraska hasn't been able to restore its former glory for quite a few years and Wake Forest took the ACC crown last season. But Wake lost some key parts this offseason, and that was on full display as BC handled Wake last week. So this game has more to tell us about the Huskers, who won a cupcake in a rout last week, than it will about the Deacons.

- Boise State/Washington, 3:30 - We all remember what Boise State did last year in the Fiesta Bowl, and they could be on their way back to a BCS Bowl this season. This week's game against Washington will be their stiffest challenge on the schedule until they visit Hawaii on November 23.

- South Carolina/Georgia, 5:45 - Whenever Georgia and Steve Spurrier get together, a lot of pride is on the line. So far the big three in the SEC East have held off the Ol' Ball Coach since his return to the conference, but every year brings with it the danger that this might be the season S.O.S. has the mix he needs to run up scores all over the SEC again. Will this be the year?

- Texas Christian/Texas, 7:00 - TCU is one of the top mid-major programs in the country, along with Boise State and (this year) Hawaii. Texas is, however, the big dog in the Lone Star State, so you have to assume they'll probably have the best athletes on the field. However, smart football, along with a chip on their shoulders, could carry the Horned Frogs to an upset - especially if the Longhorns play like they did against Arkansas State.

- Virginia Tech/LSU, 9:15 - This is, of course, the game of the week in college, as two top 10 teams are matched up - a rarity in the non-conference portion of the schedule. Virginia Tech is, of course, coming off the worst off-season in school history, with first the sniper and then the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal piling on top of that. This kind of thing can either rally a team, or distract them. They looked distracted against an ECU team they should have demolished last week. If they show up looking like that against LSU, they'll be flattened. Of course, with the kind of talent LSU showed last Thursday in burying Mississippi State, it might not matter how the Hokies show up in Baton Rogue.

And, of course, on Sunday the NFL season kicks off in earnest. Of most importance to me, of course, is the Redskins game against Miami at 1:00 at FedEx. This season, like most, looks completely unclear right now. I wouldn't be suprised at any season the team could put together this year, from Super Bowl to 3-13. We'll get the first idea after this game.

My fantasy team is battling Mike Pieroint's this week. The line-ups:

QB - Phillip Rivers
RB - Joseph Addai
RB - Clinton Portis
WR - Santana Moss
WR - Jerry Porter
WR - Braylon Edwards
W/R - Thomas Jones
TE - Chris Cooley
K - Josh Brown
D - Redskins

QB - Donovan McNabb
RB - Frank Gore
RB - Mercedes Jones-Drew
WR - Santonia Holmes
WR - Calvin Johnson
WR - Darrell Jackson
W/R - Deuce McAllister
TE - Alge Crumpler
K - Matt Stover
D - Patriots

Each of us had one player in the Colts/Saints game last Thursday. Addai netted me 20.3 points, wile Deuce got Mike 4.5, so I have a good looking lead early.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Note: I had originally planned to do a post in the political blog this morning, as I wrote I would yesterday. However, Barry Bonds' breaking the home run record is not something that could be ignored. Anything else I tried to write about, Bonds would be the white elephant in the room. So, I'll give you my thoughts on this issue today instead.

Ok, so Barry Bonds is the new Home Run King Of All-Time. Congratulations are in order. Thank you, Barry, for saving the sport of baseball from itself.

Think of this as the Ultimate Sacrifice Bunt. We're sacrificing the two most cherised records in baseball - the single-season home run record and the career home run record - to keep the players from all bulking up until they were practically bursting and all start dying at 37 from brain tumors.

In short, to keep it from becoming wrestling.

You want the next generation's Cal Ripken to suddenly snap one day, kill his whole family, and then hang himself?

I didn't think so.

So, once again, thank you Barry Bonds.

Barry was the only one who could have killed the whole steroids era the way he did. Because Barry Bonds is perhaps the biggest (or at least the most overt) asshole in all of baseball. And this is in a sport where one guy beat up a cameraman for taking his picture!

But Barry reigns supreme. The fans hate him so much, that they are finally going to call baseball out on the steroids issue. As if we didn't know before.

As if all of a sudden, we just "figured out" that everyone was juicing at precisely the same moment when the one guy in the whole world we would least want taking all of baseball's most important records was in the process of doing just that. How convenient that when it was "nice guys" like Mark McGwire or Smilin' Sammy Sosa were out chasing the records, we failed to notice all of the signs that the players were practically sweating testosterone. The signs were there, we just chose to ignore them because we were aught up in all of the fun.

And if it weren't for Bonds, we'd still be ignoring them. We would all be celebrating every home run milestone with the kind of reception such a feat would normally deserve. Rafael Palmeiro would be a hero, on his way to the 3,000 hit/600 home run club. Think he'd be sweating the Hall of Fame, then?

And then, about a decade from now, the players would start dropping like flies. Do you know anybody who was seriously suprised - outside of wrestling fans - when they heard what Chris Benoit had done? Nobody. Because wrestlers have been dying suspicious early deaths at a rate of about 1 a year. This would be baseball in the 21st century, had Barry Bonds not broken the home run record.

Instead, Bud Selig has to clean up the game now; or, at least, he has to look like he's trying. Of course you can't clean up baseball, everyone knows this. As long as there is no test for HGH, it's time to go to town on that. But at least, now the effort is being made. Maybe some of the players will choose not to risk it now that baseball (and Congress) are snooping around.

But how do I feel about the records falling? Well, obviously it is something that is hard to swallow. Hank Aaron has been the home run king for my entire life. 755 has been the number. Now we won't even know what the number is until Bonds retires. It's the end of an era - the Hank Aaron Era.

But, you know what? We attach too much emotional baggage to numbers, as baseball fans. We hold up these records on a pedastal as if they mean anything. Baseball fans, ask yourselves this: Are you upset because Hank Aaron is the greatest power hitter of all-time, and now, because he has the record, Barry Bonds will be?

No, right? I mean, Hank Aaron has never really been considered the best power hitter of all-time; that honor usually goes to either Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, or Josh Gibson. The Babe didn't have as many home runs as Aaron because he spent the first chunk of his career pitching. God knows how many home runs he would have hit if he was in the line-up every night. Ted Williams, well, he definately would have broken Ruth's record and, in all probability, by more than Aaron did, were it not for the fact that he fought in two wars during the prime of his career. And Josh Gibson, well, he doesn't have a single stastic from any game he ever played, because he never played in Major League Baseball.

So, then, isn't Aaron's record tainted? You see what I mean? Every record is set in its own era, amidst its own circumstances. We're all going to know, when it's all said and done, and we're looking at whatever number Bonds ends up with, that he wasn't that kind of home run hitter until his body mysteriously doubled in size, and so then he probably can't be considered the greatest home run hitter of all-time. Just as, for the most part, we all used to accept that Aaron held the home run record, even though we didn't really think he was the best.

And perhaps most importantly of all, this whole episode gives Bud Selig another black eye, and as much as that motherfucker as done to ruin what used to be my favorite league to watch (baseball is still my favorite sport to watch, but I find I enjoy minor-league and college ball much more), that alone is worth it to me. I hope the whole time Selig was going through this, he was thinking to himself, "this is all my fault, I'm such a stupid asshole." I know he's not, because he's probably so stupid he thinks he's always right (Selig for President?), but at least now maybe everyone else will realize what an asshole he is and how he has to go. He can't appoint himself commisioner for life and barricade himself in his office if everyone else connected to the sport wants him to go, can he?

I hope you enjoy this mess you made, asshole. Ain't karma a bitch?