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Monday, January 31, 2005

posted by CHRIS - 10:24 PM


Say what?



So, I found this shirt on E-BAY (my newest addiction). At first, I was a little excited that maybe one of the shirts from when the Utah Jazz made the NBA Finals in '97 and '98 had slipped through the cracks. But no...

The above shirt is from the 2000 season. It took a little time and a little research, but I remembered Utah didn't even make the Conference Finals that season.

So what was I to do? I had to bid on this priceless mistake. I won the auction for a eye-popping $1345.

Oh wait, I forgot the period. It was only $13.45. My bad.

I will post more when I get the shirt, but for now I am just wondering where this came from. When was it made? WHY was it made? For now, I'm just going to revel in the fact that my Jazz won the championship.

OK, they didn't really, but hey my shirt says they did. Which one are you going to trust the NBA or my shirt???

(Ed. note: That's if the shirt is something other than a figment of your imagination... kinda like the Jazz ever winning a NBA title, past, present or future. Ooooh, Burn! Score one for Wrigleyville, baby!)

Saturday, January 29, 2005

posted by James - 11:51 AM


Yes, just in case anyone out here in the Cubs blogosphere was wondering... that was me on CLTV all day today.

A CLTV reporter "ambushed" me at about 10:00 a.m. at the corner of Clark and Addison while I was on my way to work and asked me about Sammy Sosa.

They didn't really want to know about the trade and who we got and what I thought about the team next year.

They wanted to know what I thought about Sammy Sosa and the way he left. I got the distinct impression, they wanted me to call him a bum and say wishes had come true (camera crews from another tv station came to Casey's with the same goals in mind and found what they were looking for).

...but I didn't do that. I don't believe that. He's an icon of Chicago sports and forever will be. He's hit the most homeruns by a player in Wrigley Field history.

He's definitely in the decline phase of his career, but that doesn't erase 13 years and almost 600 homeruns.

He'll get into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the middle of the next decade. And when he does, he'll be wearing a Big Red C on his cap (ok, it will be a Big Bronze C, but you get the point).

Even battling injuries, boo birds and Cubs management, he still hit 35 homers. Most players would take that during the apex of their careers.

Yes, the Cubs will pay him his "true market value" to play for somebody else next year, but there is this matter of the $7 million left over, and the Cubs have to use that to make up for losing Sosa.

I'm waiting for them to complete this deal to analyze it. If they dont spend this windfall (is this getting familiar Mariners fans?), it's a bad move.

He's not a top-10 OF or anything, but he's still a useful player when used properly unlike last year. If the Cubs go into next season with an outfield of Corey Patterson, Jason Dubois, Todd Hollandsworth and, occasionally, Jerry Hairston, Jr., they'll have problems scoring runs, and I'll have seven million reasons why not to go to as many Cubs games as I did last year.

If the Cubs management see this as a necessary move based on Sosa being too much of a distraction going into Spring Training next month (I dare you to not smile while saying or thinking that), they share some of the blame for that.

That's mismanagement of resources... and an inability to have any control over their players.

There's plenty of blame to go around. Cubs management, Sosa, the fans for booing him, the media for blowing this way out of proportion and painting Sosa as the bad guy in this without questioning why the Cubs would want to bad mouth a player they're trying to trade...

These were the statements I tried to avoid with a microphone in my face. I'm not sure if I did since I don't get CLTV on DirecTV and therefore haven't seen my own statements or their presentation (though I'm told I get a cool voiceover of Sammy hitting a homerun or something).

I'm trying very hard not to have the last month of his last season influence what I think of him, but I can't help but thinking about Ken Griffey, Jr. in the Fall of 1999.

I guess I still harbor ill will toward Griffey for bolting the Mariners and the city of Seattle (where I lived at the time), but it's not the same since he forced the trade out of Seattle. But as far as I know, Griffey never skipped out the final game of the season either.

This should have not ended this way. It's a very sad situation. This whole exit strategy Sosa and the Cubs employed in this situation sucks for the fans most of all.

They've denied us the right we have to send off Sosa, an icon of Chicago, if there ever was one, like the Mariners did with Edgar Martinez this year.

I had readied myself for the sight of Sammy in another uniform since his 2006 option brought along an obscene $18 million payroll hit. But I never thought it would end so abruptly and ugly.

There will be no last run out to rightfield. No last hop out of the batter's box. No last curtain call.

A player of his legacy and stature deserved that. We all deserved that... and we're all to blame.

Now, the coolest part about being on TV today was the incessant ringing of my phone while I was at work. Oh wait, actually it wasn't my phone. It was my grandfather's... in Florida.

Apparently it only took a couple hours for CLTV to get my interview on the air, someone who knew me and knew my grandfather to see it and inform him that they had just saw his grandson on TV talking about Sammy Sosa (something that anybody who knows me knows I'd love to do for a living, if any large, Chicago-based media conglomerate is listening).

I have been interviewed a few times. Living and working around Wrigleyville, there's no shortage of reporters in and around Wrigley Field with nothing better to do than hang out and ask random people random questions just sniffing for a story, Cub-related or not.

But I had no idea whether they had used my interview until I got a break from work to check my voice mail where my grandpa had called and accused "the Big TV star of big timing him and not answering his phone call."

It took me a second to get what he meant, and then he laid the news on me that he had talked to people who had saw me on TV. And the more people he talked to, the more people turned on their TVs to find me.

Apparently, CLTV doesn't have anything better to do that run clips of me talking about Sammy Sosa every 40 minutes or so.

So now there are recording devices at work, conference calls planned, satellites hooking up in outer space (except mine cause I don't get freakin' CLTV and neither does the bar)... and all of them centered around a grandfather who couldn't be prouder of me.

Even if he's just saying that, I never get tired of hearing it. And I'll never get tired of giving my grandfather reasons to be proud of me. There are simply much worse excuses out there to do something.

I'm working on getting a copy of it myself, and when I do, I'll try and post a transcript of it here.

Until then, it's just another chapter of Living in Wrigleyville.

Oh yeah... how are those Jazz and Seahawks doing Skippy? heh heh.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

posted by James - 11:07 PM


"Seahawks Disease"... who will catch it next?

Will it be the New England Patriots? (Beat Seattle in Week 6.)

You'd hope two championships in three years would be enough of a vaccination (if such a thing exists).

Will it be the Atlanta Falcons? (Lost to the 'Hawks in Week 17.)

Other than the Patriots putting a whuppin' on the hapless, headless Indianapolis Colts (Coach Tony Dungy lost a lot of points with me last weekend), no team impressed me more going into the Championship Round than the Falcons.

Both the Patriots and the Falcons have something in common... they both came in contact with six "potential carriers" of Seahawks Disease this season.

This could mean they're going to start showing symptoms OR it could mean they have built up a tolerance by now that neither the Philadelphia Eagles or Pittsburgh Steelers will have the immune system to fight off.

Either way, I don't see Atlanta being affected by the most caustic symptoms of this affliction: Stone-Handed receivers. Even if their wideouts don't catch a single pass, they're still dangerous as long as QB Michael Vick and RB Warrick Dunn can brave the harsh climates on the field and in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Patriots, however, do need their wide receivers to be productive to keep the Steelers' defense off of Tom Brady, open up alleys for Corey Dillon (GO HUSKY DAWGS!!!) to run and keep their defense off the field and out from under the tires of Jerome "the Bus" Bettis.

While I'm shocked Pittsburgh is the underdog in the AFC Championship at their home field after a 15-1 season, you get that respect when you're the defending Super Bowl Champions.

After the way Pittsburgh beat the Jets last week, is there anyway this game doesn't come down to a Field Goal with no time left on the clock?

And last time I checked, "Seahawks Disease" doesn't affect kickers.

Predictions: Patriots 34, Steelers 33. Falcons 37, Eagles 24.

Falcons vs Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIV in Jacksonville, Fla.

...but shouldn't Seahawks fans like Dave and Skippy hope not that there's a cure for "Seahawks Disease", but that they've grown immune (like that little monkey in the movie Outbreak that miraculously got better) and will therefore be virile and healthy while other teams find out what a wasted season looks like?

Because I haven't talked about the Cubs in a while, I'll finish with this.

The Cubs are taking the names off the backs of their home jerseys. I'm ok with this, but without the names and an up-to-the-minute scorecard, how the heck am I gonna know who's playing leftfield?

I mean... Kelton, Dubois, Hollandsworth... WHO ARE THESE PLAYERS?

OK... Seinfeld, I'm not. But tip your waitresses anyway.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

posted by David - 10:27 PM


I tried to warn them; They never listen.

Due to prolonged exposure to their divisional rivals, the Rams managed to contract a fatal illness. During their divisional-round game against the Falcons, they demonstrated an advanced form of "Seahawks Disease."

This condition has symptoms such as poor hands on the receivers and key-play turnover-itis. Even the announcers managed to witness and remark upon the Rams "pronounced case" during the unfolding events at the Georgia Dome this Saturday.

I only hope despite two extended periods of contact with the Rams, who might be a carrier of the playoff-ending ailment, the Falcons will remain healthy. I would hate to see this malignant legacy of the Seahawks spread any further. (I also hope to discover a vaccine or some other innoculation to prevent a re-currence of the condition in the Pacific Northwest next year.)

This is David, and I'm Wasting Space.

Monday, January 10, 2005

posted by CHRIS - 6:16 PM


0-4

I have never been so wrong in my entire life. I can't believe that I got all of those picks wrong.

What happened to Green Bay??? I never expected Brett Favre to throw more picks than touchdowns. I have to say Randy Moss didn't disappoint me in proving he is a five year old in a grown man's body. His fake mooning of the Green Bay fans showed so much disrespect. I can't believe "the League" won't fine or punish him. I can't wait to see what the boys on PTI (Pardon the Interuption, 2:30 Pacific, ESPN) have to say about it.

My poor, poor Seahawks. What else is there to say about them??? I was about 100 feet away from Bobby Engram when he dropped the final pass. There is no more fitting end to this season than a dropped pass in the endzone. Our defense let St. Louis throw the ball deep down the field on multiple plays, mostly on third down. St. Louis had a 69% third-down conversion ratio. The League averages almost 38%. St. Louis also had multiple, third-and-long completions (third and 16, third and 12, etc.).

Did Denver even show up for the game??? I was right that Peyton Manning would throw for four touchdowns, though.

I think San Diego saw the rain and didn't know how to react. That was by far the best game of the weekend. A missed punt, overtime, a rookie kicker winning the game in overtime... What else could you ask for??

The only home team to win was Indy. Home field didn't mean anything this year.

I'm sorry for any of you that put money on any of my picks. I am normally so much better at picking than that this. Oh well there's always next week!!!

Tune in later for our interesting PPV commentary.

Friday, January 07, 2005

posted by CHRIS - 3:02 PM


For those who didn't toil around this blog last year when it was in its infancy... I suggest you check out the archives in January where I pretty much predicted correctly the outcome of every playoff game last year.

This year will be no different, so get yourselves to the nearest betting window, as I lay down my picks this year.

NFC Wild Card Games

NFC West Champion
Seattle (9-7)
vs.
#1 NFC Wild Card
St. Louis (8-8)

Headline: Redemption!?!?

Seattle has a chance to avenge the defeats that sent their season into a tail spin. The big question is: will they???
PREDICTION: St. Louis 21, Seattle 24
Seattle advances

NFC North Champion
Green Bay (10-6)
vs.
#2 NFC Wild Card
Minnesota (8-8)

Headline: Continued Domination!!!

Can Minnesota mount an attack to counter Brett Favre’s continual domination of Minnesota in the playoffs??? Hell no!!!

PREDICTION: Minnesota 17, Green Bay 34
Green Bay advances

AFC Wild Card Games

AFC West Champion
San Diego (12-4)
vs.
#1 AFC Wild Card
NY Jets (10-6)
Headline: Running Wild!!!

Which young quarterback will make the least mistakes. Can the J-E-T-S stop double-threat LaDanian Tomlinson from running all over them, or will it be the other way around? Will NFL rushing champ Curtis Martin run wild in the San Diego sunshine?

PREDICTION: San Diego 27, Jets 17 (3 Pennington INT’s)
San Diego advances

AFC South Champion
Indianapolis (12-4)
vs.
AFC #2 Wild Card
Denver (10-6)

Headline: Rematch Times Two!!!

These two teams played each other in the last week of the season and in the first round of the playoffs last year. Can Denver repeat with a second straight win? Will Indianapolis show Denver the difference between this offense run by Peyton Manning and this offense run by Jim Sorgi?

PREDICTION: Indy 31, Denver 34 (OT) (Peyton throws 4 TDs; they still lose.)
Denver advances

Thursday, January 06, 2005

posted by James - 1:46 PM


Here's something I've posted over at Tommy's

Any slack-jawed yokel who's watched WWE for the last two years could have scripted last night's Raw, especially the ridiculous Hassan vs JR and King segment.

All they had to say to open the show was birthday and Oklahoma Sooner, and I knew for a fact he was gonna get double the beat down a guy usually gets.

They do it every time.

Too bad this time JR couldn't have had a mic so he could scream... "I'm gettin' slobberchoked. SLOBBERCHOKED. SLOBBERCHOKED!" "He's whippin my hide like a guvmint mule" "OW... He just stomped a mudhole in me and walked it dry."

I've thought of one good payoff to this angle (other than people seriously hating Hassan)... maybe it will bring Steve Austin out of hibernating for a WMXX1 match?

I think Steven's neck would handle it just fine. It would just be a five-minute beatdown, with JR getting the pin and then a 10-minute, beer-drinking session to follow. Even if he is fat and ugly (and that's just the good side of his face), I have no problem with him getting some in-ring PPV time. He's pretty much deserved it for putting up with all the McMahon's crap all these years.

This was definitely a show for the young guys... which makes me wonder whether they have a New Year's Resolution in mind at New Year's Revolution.

Giving Jericho, Orton or Batista the belt at the next PPV would start that off right.

Not that I expect it to happen.

I'm writing this from Washington where my Just North of Wrigley Field boys will be getting together on Sunday to watch the PPV and on Monday for the ensuing Raw. It's gonna be a blast, though it looks like we're gonna get pounded by some snow.

Which will be cool since I have playoff tickets to see the Seahawks play the Rams on Saturday. I'm gonna love watching them St. Louis boys freeze their butts off and get them handed back to them.

Monday, January 03, 2005

posted by CHRIS - 2:34 PM


I have never been the type to say I told you so (OK, yeah I am), but Andy Reid... I TOLD YOU SO!!!

Your back up players couldn’t even compete against Cincinnati??? Thinking twice about resting your starters??? Thinking twice about who your starters are going to be in two weeks when my Seahawks come to town???

You should be!!!

The reigning NFL Champions kept all of their starters in for almost three quarters of a game that meant nothing to them. But Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid pulled his players for the last TWO GAMES of the season (both losses). No team has ever lost the last two games of the season and made it to the Super Bowl... EVER!!!

Start looking for a job now, Andy. Just don’t expect anyone will want a coach who has consistently wasted the amount of talent you’ve had. You seem to be fine that your starters (if you can call them that) will be rusty against Green Bay, a team I’m sure remembers the Eagles ended their run in the postseason last year (in overtime).

You snuck by last year (maybe the last three years). Do you think you are that lucky, or that good, to do it again?

You lost Terrell Owens to injury, and you coached your team scared for two weeks it might happen again. At least that’s what I thought. Now I understand why you were really afraid.

Your bench players scare you more than any other team in the league. I saw the way Cincy dominated you. The rest of the league also saw it. You aren’t as scary as you were two weeks ago when no one wanted to see you in the second round of the playoffs. You have given teams the confidence you aren’t a dominating force rolling towards the Super Bowl without a challenge.

Teams know you are beatable, and you better feel lucky if you get the chance to lose your fourth-straight NFC title game.

Again, BE AFRAID ANDY, BE VERY AFRAID!!!

posted by CHRIS - 1:52 PM


SHUT UP AND RUN, SHAUN!!!

Let me start off by clearing up that statement. That’s the title of this post (which you already have some background info on if you’ve already read my partner’s post), and it’s also my battle cry for the 2005 postseason.

It may seem as though Shaun Alexander is the Seahawks’ only weapon, but let’s not forget D-Jack (Darrell Jackson). There’s that one guy, uh, what’s his name... that’s right it’s JERRY FREAKIN’ RICE (although not the weapon he once was, I seem to recall more than a few amazing catches).

Alexander can feel mad as he wants because the last time I checked, it’s the Seattle SEAHAWKS, not the Seattle Shauns, that are NFC West Champs. Besides, had he not got tackled in the back field three times on Sunday, he might have made it without that one-yard TD run.

Let me also point out that one-yard run would have only tied for the lead. If the defense had stopped the Falcons from marching down the field and eating up the clock on the last drive, Shaun could have got his two yards. We could also look at the dropped interception by Ken Lucas that would have given the Seahawks the ball with plenty of time for a running play or two.

I’m not going to point to any of those things as the problem though. Yes, it sucks he didn’t make it to some personal achievement, but I only blame one person: Shaun Alexander.

So many times, I have sat in my seat and watched guys weighing 50 pounds less bring himi down while he tries to break off a big run rather than taking the four-to-five tough yards. I see him take the easy way to the turf rather than spinning off of the tackler or pushing the pile forward for a few yards.

Shaun, you need to look no farther than yourself to find out why you didn’t get the title. Look at the four fumbles you lost - two potential game winners. That’s more than enough for the title right there.

Also remember that Shaun is only in his fifth year in the NFL, do you honestly think he will never have another chance at the rushing title.

Just shut up and run the ball, Shaun. Prove your point by showing what you can do with the rock not by whining about what one yard would do for your free-agency value. You will still get a butt-ton of money to play football.

I hate to say it, but I really don’t care if he gets it from the Seahawks next season. As a Seahawks season-ticket holder, I would much rather have a player willing to play his part on a TEAM to win a Super Bowl.

Place the blame where you like, but the fact of the matter is you have more important things to worry about. A.K.A. The St. Louis Rams.

So Shaun, get the tears out of your eyes and stop being a distraction before one of the most important games in franchise history.

Will a Super Bowl Ring make up for it? Well, get your ass out there and win one. We have the weapons, and we have the talent. We just need to prove it to ourselves, our critics and our fans.

posted by James - 8:18 AM


When I asked a couple weeks back about wide receivers potentially available in the 2005 draft, I thought the Bears would need options since they'd be picking 10th or 12th, maybe seventh at best.

Well, looks like I wasted my time looking at Braylon Edwards (like the Bears want to go get another Michigan receiver) because the Bears, by virtue of their loss to Green Bay yesterday, have landed the #4 pick.

That means one thing...

Mike Williams WR USC COME ON DOWN!!!

Get thine ass in a Bears uniform ASAP, bee-yotch!

Carlos Beltran OF HOU COME ON DOWN!!!

" Cubs uniform ", bee-yotch!!!

(Update: Here's a story on the Trib about the Bears 2005 draft outlook. David Haugh thinks they'll go after an offensive lineman with the No. 4 pick, but I'm hoping he just wanted to type the name D'Brickashaw... and apparently type it often in the coming years. Williams, you sports-writer bee-yotch!. Williams, you'll type it much more often. Trust me.)

In all likelihood, this will be my last post before I depart tomorrow morning for Seattle.

It seems like the Seahawks finally showed some fortitude in those itty-bitty things they like to call balls and secured a home-field playoff spot. Therefore, it’s quite possible Skippy (who has season tickets and has endured watching the Seahawks all year long), David and I will be in attendance.

The Seahawks reward for their successful, goal-line stand to stop a game-tying, two-point conversion is a rematch against the St. Louis Rams, who they’ve already crapped their pants against twice.

Remember back with the Seahawks were the darlings of the NFL and a sure NFC title contender? They started the season with three-straight wins, including two on the road. Then the Rams came to visit Seahawks Stadium the first time, and the Seahawks did everything they could to blow that game, including losing it in overtime after having a 24-10 lead going into the fourth quarter.

A subsequent loss to the Arizona Cardinals (yeah, the Seahawks by their lonesome almost made the Cardinals playoff contenders, barely beating them in Week 16) evened their record at 3-3.

Just when impressive wins against defending NFC champion Carolina and at San Francisco, blow-out style, may have left the doubt behind, they dropped another one to the Rams, scoring only 12 points, in a stretch of losing three out of four (Remember Monday Night in Dallas, boys?).

I give the Seahawks a lot of credit for coming back after that and even making it to the playoffs. Yes, their final three wins were against inferior competition (Minnesota, Arizona and Atlanta – who had nothing to play for), but considering two of those teams are playoff teams, that’s what the entire NFC is.

So, if the Seahawks can find some momentum in fighting hard to end the season on a strong note and get at least one home playoff game, they have a shot in the NFC.

For instance, they beat their St. Louis Rams jinx on Saturday and setup a matchup against Terrell Owens-less Philadelphia (heck, who wants to see them lose a fourth-straight NFC title game) or Atlanta, who they just proved they can beat.

Of course, beating the Rams is no sure thing, but here’s something I’d like Chris to talk about.

There’s news coming out of Seattle concerning Shaun Alexander, the Seahawks’ star running back. Apparently, he fell one yard short of leading the NFL in rushing, and he isn’t happy about it.

If you read the above column, it goes a little deeper than just a yard. Alexander, Coach Mike “Mount” Holmgren, sports writers... all are throwing around allegations about the Seahawks’ final play, where they scored a touchdown from the one-yard line on a QB sneak.

Of course, Alexander is the sole reason they ever get to the one-yard line in the first place, and this was no different. But instead of giving the ball to Alexander, they called Hasselbeck's number on second and goal, therefore denying Alexander a share of the rushing title.

Now even I know a division title is more important than a personal achievement, and the QB sneak worked, but this better not be personal between a player and his coach. That would be seriously messed up. Besides, why would Holmgren want to alienate his best (only) offensive weapon the week before a crucial game in his tenure?

Does he really want Alexander pissed off at him when he’s a free agent after the season? Maybe that’s his plan.

Speaking of plans... the plan as of right now is to get Chris, David and me together on Sunday for the first joint Just Another Pay Per View venture for WWE’s New Year’s Revolution. We’re working on a couple things, but the plan is to update this blog as the PPV goes on. We’ll update time and other info as we get closer.

This should be pretty fun since Chris and David will have nothing better to do than get boozy as I moderate it all! Fun! Fun! Fun!