Archive for Ro-Sham-Bo Award

Brain Damage In The NFL? Look No Further Than Your Monday Night Postgame Show On ESPN

Posted in Idiot Alert, NFL Football, Rants, Ro-Sham-Bo Award, Sports with tags , , , , on October 18, 2010 by thelasthonestman

Who needs touchdown passes or breakaway runs when you watch guys suffer brain injuries on cheap shots?

If the announcement by the NFL on Monday that the league would begin to hand down suspensions for head shots was intended to signal an attempt to limit the potential of life-altering — or even life-threatening — brain injuries in the league, then after watching the train wreck that was the post-game show following Monday Night Football, all I can say is that the NFL looks to be way too late.  Listening to Matt Millen and, to a lesser extent, Trent Dilfer, ramble on about the “damage” the NFL’s new stance would somehow do the integrity of the game made me feel about as queasy as I’m thinking DeSean Jackson or Todd Heap felt after they fell victim to two brutal cheap shots on Sunday.

The NFL clearly (to me, at least) is planning on targeting the flagrant, illegal hits that are too often seen in the game today.  We’re living in a world where too many players think the  “immortality” of having your personal highlights replayed over and over on Fox, CBS, NBC, and ESPN — or on YouTube — is more important than whether or not the team wins, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s a mentality among many of those players that’s it’s all important to deliver a bone-crushing hit that makes you the feature on all of the highlight shows at the end of the day.  On its surface, I don’t have a problem with that at all; hard-hitting action is a hallmark of the NFL, and it’s been a part of the game for as long as players have been putting on pads.  Clean hits that separate a player from the ball — and occasionally their senses — are something that shouldn’t be legislated away.  Hits like the one below, for example.

Now that’s a hard, clean hit.  Sheldon Brown of the Eagles didn’t lead with head, didn’t use his metal helmet as a weapon, and didn’t hit Bush in the head.

But concerning the players who do lead with their helmet — a deadly weapon — and purposely do so while aiming at another players head?  That should be completely unacceptable, and the NFL should crack down on players who take cheap shots and hit them where it hurts — with suspensions without pay.  You want to go helmet-to-helmet on another player purposely in an attempt to injure them — a fair analysis of what took place by both Dunta Robinson of the Falcons (on Jackson) and Brandon Meriweather (on Heap)?  Both players should be suspended for as long as their victims can’t play — or longer.  Clearly, 15 yard penalties and fines that amount to chump change aren’t doing the trick to keep the nonsense we saw this weekend off of the field — and if the NFL doesn’t crack down on what’s going on, then we’re going to be witness at some point to another Darryl Stingley incident — or worse, an unnecessary death on the field.

But don’t tell that to Matt Millen or Trent Dilfer.  Unlike Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy, who spoke eloquently on Sunday night at length about the problem, we instead get he circus at ESPN, where overreaction was the word of the night.  It was bad enough to hear guys like Stuart Scott completely missing the point of what the NFL is trying to do by insinuating that any hard hit, regardless of whether it’s legal or not, will somehow result in suspensions.  If you actually pay any attention to what the NFL is saying and if you possess even moderate intelligence (which would apparently make you one step ahead of what passes as journalists at the “worldwide leader in sports” these days), you’d also realize that the league is looking to do nothing resembling that overstep at all.  But listening to the garbage spewing out of Millen’s mouth and the idiocy out of Dilfer’s — and the ignorance out of both — on Monday night left me unable to mute the television fast enough.

Millen and Dilfer get their production notes before going on the air

Tweedledum and Tweedledee seemed completely oblivious to the illegality of the hits that the NFL does want to get rid of, while focusing on all manner of things that the NFL isn’t looking to regulate.  “It’s part of the game!” they kept repeating over and over.  Really?  Using your helmet as a weapon against another player’s head is part of the game that’s encouraged?  Since when?  And if so, then when did playing football morph into something closer to professional wrestling, because to my knowledge, going helmet-to-helmet has warranted an ejection in the league since all the way back in 2007? (Though, good luck finding any past instances when officials have actually enforced that).

No wonder he doesn't have a problem with taking a cheap shot at someone with his helmet as a weapon -- he's had practice doing it already

The lowlight highlight of Millen’s diatribe was his insinuation that there were people (Goodell, presumably) who had never played the game making decision about the game that were ill thought out.  Someone should remind Millen, who has all of his years of NFL playing experience to point to, that when he was in a capacity to make decisions regarding the NFL — in the capacity of Detroit GM — that he acquitted himself so poorly, that one might have thought he was dealing with brain damage already, so maybe he’s not the one to talk.  At least, maybe, without consulting with a neurologist first.  Then again, this a guy who once used his helmet as a weapon in taking a swing at a non-player — New England GM Pat Sullivan — so in turn, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised.

Steve Young was the voice of reason on Monday — not surprising, considering his own history with post-concussion syndrome.  He deserves credit for speaking out in an atmosphere filled with machisimo that discourages players from speaking out against anything that might threaten the culture surrounding pro football (the same culture that has led so many players in the past to play with concussions when they should have been nowhere near the field).  Millen and Dilfer, on the other hand, get an dubious double dishonor this week:  An Idiot Alert AND a Ro-Sham-Bo Award.   My only solace is that, in the future, when these two buffoons flash onto my TV screen, it can be my signal to change the channel.

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How Do I Know That You’re Lying? Easy — Your Lips Are Moving

Posted in MLB Baseball, News/Current Events, Rants, Ro-Sham-Bo Award, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by thelasthonestman

That’s it?  The month is over already?  It will be, at least by the time we reach Monday.  February has always been my least favorite month, its brevity only being one of those reasons.  It’s cold, it’s dreary, and its devoid of most sporting activities: football season is over, baseball season hasn’t started yet, I don’t care much about hockey, and basketball doesn’t really start catching my interest until we get to March Madness and the NBA Playoffs.

However, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a lot of news about those out-of-season sports making the headlines anyway.  While I plan to address the NFL labor situation at some point next week, for now I’ll aim my daggers at a big story from the baseball world, where Mark McGwire is apparently unhappy with his estranged brother’s decision to publish a book that details his use of performing-enhancing drugs.

Pardon me if I don’t bring out the crying towel in a show of sympathy for the embattled former slugger.  Jay McGwire’s  book, “Mark and Me: Mark McGwire and the Truth Behind Baseball’s Worst-Kept Secret”, is scheduled for publication this Monday, and in it the younger brother of the one-time season HR king debunks McGwire’s claims that his steroid use was only to recover from injuries, and not to enhance his performance.  McGwire is apparently saddened by this, and he’s been quick to remind us that Jay McGwire’s claims aren’t the truth, and again, that he only used steroids to recover from injuries and not to enhance his performance in any way.

Mark McGwire explaining how his steroid use had no effect on his performance, and how it only was used to recover from injury

Well, we’ve heard this tripe before — in the form of  similar wishful fabrications from the other steroid cheats of the era who’ve been brought under the microscope, like Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, and others — and as usual, my only wish would be for someone to stick a towel in someone’s mouth, because I’m just tired of people like McGwire who find it incapable of simply telling the truth, for better or worse.

We all know that your performance was aided by the use of steroids. You do — I do — Tony LaRussa did — your brother did — Jose Canseco did — anyone who’s paid even the slightest bit of attention to the medical revelations over the years as to what steroids give to an athlete and how they help them to gain an advantage over fellow competitors knows.

McGwire wants us to feel sorry for him, he wants us to feel like he was some sort of a victim here, but he’s not at allthe game of baseball was the victim from self-serving, selfish people like McGwire who put their own goals and wishes above what was right and what was for the good of the game.  We’re supposed to believe that he had no choice, that the culture of the game demanded that he join in with the crowd on the steroid path because “everyone else was doing it”?  What a crock — we wouldn’t listen to that sort of lame of excuse if it were coming from our children while sitting in the principal’s office, but we’re supposed to go along with the idea that adults like McGwire and his contemporaries had no other option but to follow the crowd?

What makes that defense the most ludicrous is that there were those did show some backbone — and they were the ones — or as it’s looking more and more like, the few — who chose to stay away from the temptation of steroids.  Frank Thomas did.  Ken Griffey, Jr. was another one — despite the fact that, for the entire second half of his career, he battled numerous career-hindering injuries along the way.  You want me to feel sorry for someone — then how about those guys who did it the right way, who didn’t let the temptation of millions of dollars and the glory of the public lead them into adapting a “whatever it takes” mantra — but who are going to be forever soiled by the guilt of association they have to bear for the failings of others.

Is Jay McGwire a good guy here?  Of course, not — but in a sense he’s doing exactly what his brother did: he’s doing something not prohibited by the current law to make himself some extra green, get his face into the news, and better himself and his own situation — even if it’s not the right thing to do, morally or ethically, and even if it means he takes advantage of someone else along the way.  For Mark McGwire to find this behavior troubling shows that, even while he may not understand what the word “truth” means, he does show a nice grasp of hypocrisy.

In the meantime, until he’s ready to actually come completely clean and to admit that he knew exactly what he was doing when he was on the juice, and that he knew exactly how much his passing of Roger Maris in 1998 was due to that steroid use (just as one example), then my sincere hope is that McGwire just learns to say “no comment” again and shut the hell up.  He’s not doing himself any favors with his continuing efforts to try and play us all for buffoons with short-memories and a propensity to forgive.

Must ... remember ... B.S. ... excuses ...

It’s been pretty obvious that McGwire’s sudden conversion to telling the “truth” at all was a result of his horrible Hall Of Fame voting totals he’s received since he’s been eligible on the ballot, as well as the cold shoulder that the game itself has given him since his embarrassing performance on Capitol Hill.  Not surprisingly, given everything else he’s done to this point, his recent admissions have been — like his steroid use during his playing days — self-serving, first and foremost.  His goal, I’m sure, is to try and work himself back into the good graces of those who vote for Cooperstown — but for now, he’ll have to settle for a well-deserved Ro-Sham-Bo Award instead (for which, thankfully, no drug testing is required).  Enjoy it, Mark — if there’s any justice, that’s all you’ll ever end up ever getting.

No Freeloaders Are Gonna Take My Hard-Earned Cash!

Posted in NFL Football, Rants, Ro-Sham-Bo Award, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2010 by thelasthonestman

— With the Super Bowl just a day away, we have Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti claiming this week — with a straight face — that several NFL teams are facing financial hardship, as if any of the fat cats that can afford to actually own an NFL team really knows what financial problems are all about anyway. Certainly Bisciotti — with his net worth of over $1.2 billion — doesn’t.

Well, we’ll all make sure to break out the hat to start taking up a collection for poor fools souls like yourself, Mr. Bisciotti.  This posturing by the Ravens owner shouldn’t come as any surprise — he was one of the owners who three years ago derided the CBA that the NFL and the Players Association signed then was a “bad deal”.  Yet despite that, Baltimore president Dick Cass admitted that the club is “doing well compared to other teams around the league. But just because we’re still doing well in revenues, that doesn’t mean we’re generating a lot of profit.”

But if you are generating profit of some amount, then where’s the problem?  Since when does owning an NFL team mean that you’re supposed to be guaranteed a “lot of profit” instead of profit period (or any profit at all)?  And let’s not even go into the reality that, in the cases of almost all of the groups that own NFL franchises (or sports franchises in general), that “losses” on the books — sometimes nothing more than manipulated numbers by a team’s accountants — are often creatively written off at the end of the year.  Or better yet, let’s not forget how much the value of professional sports teams increases by on a regular basis.  Bisciotti’s Ravens, for example, were purchased for $600 million in 2000 and have already increased in value to a staggering $960 million, according to Forbes — the team’s not exactly running you into the poor house, is it Mr. Bisciotti?

Bisciotti relaxing in his luxury suite during a Ravens game

I can’t think of too many people who’d have a problem with turning a tidy $360 million profit on their investment in less than 10 years the way Bisciotti has, but let’s face it — the reason someone gets into the business of professional sports has never been to make money.  It’s always been more about ego than anything else, and even if Bisciotti (and other owners of professional sports franchises) manage to only break even in the time they own a particular franchise, none of them are counting on revenue from their teams to live on — and all of them are still going to rake in a mammoth profit when the time comes that they decide to divest themselves of the venture.

None of that seems to matter to the out-of-touch people who populate the ownership ranks of professional sports, however.  These are the same men who have, over the last several decades, weaseled and extorted huge sums of money from the cities and states that their teams play in in the form of aid for the construction of cash-cow stadiums and other kickbacks like tax breaks — usually under the threat of moving their franchise away if their demands aren’t met.

Make no mistake in thinking that the nonsense being spewed by Bisciotti is anything more than propaganda that you’ll here a lot more of in the upcoming months, as the owners begin their campaign to paint themselves as the “good guys” in their upcoming war with the NFL Players Association, a conflict which — as imbecilic as one would imagine, considering the obscene amount of money that everyone in the NFL, players and owners alike, are raking in — is looking inevitable.  A lockout in 2011 is looming — and even though Commissioner Roger Goodell is claiming otherwise, the fact that the NFL will take in $5 billion of television money in that year even if no games are ever played should tell you that — just like we’ve seen from his Wall Street and banking brethren of late — if his lips are moving, he’s probably lying.

With so many average, hard-working Americans watching their livelihoods put at risk by a faltering economy, I’ve got no tolerance for the greedy league stooges and shills like Bisciotti crying financial hardship — and neither should you.  If he NFL ends up shutting down in 2011, I’ll have no sympathy for any of the main participants (owners and players alike).  While the Lombardi Trophy gets awarded tomorrow, I’ll present a Ro-Sham-Bo Award to the Ravens owner today — hopefully, he’s not under the impression that there’s a lot of profit ahead for him in owning it.

Quick Notes For Thursday — And The Ro-Sham-Bo Award Returns

Posted in NBA Basketball, News/Current Events, Politics, Ro-Sham-Bo Award, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by thelasthonestman

While I’ll be here tomorrow with your NFL Conference Title Game picks, a few quick notes for today:

— It’s been since early summer that I gave out a Ro-Sham-Bo Award, the last “winner” coming before my fall hiatus.  As a reminder for those just joining us, the Ro-Sham-Bo Award is inspired by South Park (and Ro-Sham-Bo legend, Eric Cartman) and is given out to the person or entity who most deserves, in my humble opinion, to be kicked in the nuts (symbolically, if need be) due to their sheer idiocy, incompetence, arrogance, etc.  Consider it my own little contribution to pointing out the sad fact that our planet is sometimes home to some really stupid people and things (a link to previous winners is here).

The lack of Ro-Sham-Bo goodness lately was a result of me just not getting around to restarting the “honor”, but if I was waiting for a great candidate to revive the award in 2010, I couldn’t have asked for a better one than the announcement of the formation of the All-American Basketball Alliance — which just so happens to be a basketball league intended for white players only.

Eric Cartman wearing the officially licensed apparel of Moose Lewis' AABA

Actually not just whites only, as the league membership requirement is that players are “natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race” only; sorry, Dirk Nowitski and Steve Nash — you’re not invited!  The league is being headed by Don “Moose” Lewis, who claims that “There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing … I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.”

I hate to break this to you, Don — but I’m pretty sure that nearly no one plays real fundamental basketball anymore, no matter what race, creed, or color they happen to be.   And the formation of any league with the requirements of this one sounds like something you might have read about in an 1810 newspaper, not a 2010 one.  Instead of handing out an MVP award for this nonsense, we can give out 2010’s initial Ro-Sham-Bo Award to Lewis instead — and hope this “league” doesn’t get any further along than it is already (a safe bet, since no town or city so far wants anything to do with it).

Thanks to my friend and regular reader Steven for pointing this story out to me.

— Speaking of basketball, it’s a sport that I don’t talk a lot about here — mainly because I just don’t follow it with the zeal that I do baseball and football.  It’s not that I’m not a big fan, but it’s more in a casual sense.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been putting a lot more effort into my basketball knowledge in the last two years, because I have — playing in a fantasy basketball league will make you do that — but I usually don’t want to talk at length about a subject I’ll only be showing my ignorance in (cue the obligatory “But why would that stop you now?” joke here).

Porn star or Magic basketball coach? Only his fluffer knows for sure.

That said, a web site I’ve discovered called Basketbawful has been incredibly entertaining reading for me (again, thanks to Steven for initially finding the blog and pointing it out to me).  The blog is an enjoyable look at the worst that can be found in the NBA on a regular basis (hey — I wonder if Moose Lewis is a fan?), and it takes humorous pokes at everything from the New Jersey Nyets to Ron Jeremy look-a-like, Stan Van Gundy.  For those of you like me who like your sports to sometimes be a little less serious, this is a great read that’s updated daily.  I recommend it highly, and not only will you be entertained —  like myself, you’ll find yourself learning more about the NBA and its players along the way.

— Another strong candidate for a Ro-Sham-Bo award this week was former North Carolina senator and presidential candidate John Edwards finally admitting what was one of the worst-kept secrets in political circles:  that he is the father of a two year-old girl with former campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter.

Edwards had at first steadfastly denied having an affair with Hunter, after the news of which broke in the pages of the tabloid, the National Enquirer.  Even after his presidential bid went up in smoke and he finally copped to the affair — which continued even as his wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with a reoccurrence of cancer that doctors have told her is incurable — Edwards was vehement in denying that Hunter’s child was his own.  Today, finally, he’s fessed up to the truth (though he had essentially done so already in private, having apparently provided child support for his daughter starting a year ago).

Pictured here: Rooms John Edwards will never be able to cheat on his wife in

Edwards is saying — or at least his personal advisor, Harrison Hickman, is (since Edwards isn’t talking himself) — that Edwards only want to be a “good father” and a “good person again”.  Well, good luck with that, I guess.  When you’ve got a person who lied to his wife, lied to his family, trashed his marriage vows, and essentially abandoned (on an emotional level, at least, a life partner at the moment they were/are facing their own mortality), then as far as a scale of behavior by human beings go, you’ve only can go up from there.  Forgive me if Edwards’ conversion to the truth rings somewhat hollow — and I’ll say a private thanks that someone with his decision-making process will never get within a thousand feet of the Oval Office unless he’s got an invitation (or takes a White House tour).