Wednesday, February 22, 2006

posted by CHRIS - 5:47 PM

In David's defense... I cant post stupid links either!

Ok, now on to Skip To My Sports...

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time, but let's just say I wasn't in the best of moods as far as the sporting world is concerned. The Super Bowl was a letdown and the Jazz are just one episode of Boozergate after another. Heck, I can't count on the Mariners to help me through the summer. It's pretty sad I am already looking forward to football (six months away) to see some real winning, and that's not a sure thing with the uncertain labor situation and the Super Bowl losers have a less-than-stellar record the year after the big game.

The only real sport where I can see someone I root for winning is the Olympics, and the US (with 18 medals as of Wednesday afternoon) isn't doing nearly as well as expected. Plus with teammates fueding and everything Bode Miller says getting airtime around the world, we really look like losers.

So this leads me to start thinking...

Is it possible I am the reason for all of my beloved teams never winning the big one? I have never been able to say any of my teams are World Champs (except for the Colorado Avalanche, but I don't follow them as much as I should).

The Utah Jazz make it to the NBA Finals and run into one of the greatest players and teams in the history of the game... TWICE!!! (I still can't watch the shot Jordan hit over Bryon Russell without shedding a tear or two.)

The Seattle Mariners tie a MLB record by winning 116 games and don't even make it to the World Series. From that season on, let's just say the M's have been less than spectacular. 'Nuf said!!!

Then there was Super Bowl Get Jerome a Ring (Oh, I mean XL). I have to say the Steelers did just enough to win this game... nothing more. The Seahawks just couldn't seem to get over the hill the Refs built for them. We had more than a fair chance to win, but just didn't show the killer instict we did in the previous playoff games and the regular season. As I look forward to the season to come, there are some serious questions determining whether I will celebrate our first Super Bowl victory next Feburary.

First... is Shaun Alexander going to run the ball for the Hawks or down their throats for another team? I can only hope the Seahawks can put something together to make Shaun happy. I also hope Shaun can be considerate enough to know he isn't the only big piece of the Super Bowl puzzle we need to re-sign and give the only team and the only fans he's ever played for a break on the salary.

Second... what are the Seahawks going to do about signing Joe Jurevicious, Rocky Bernard and the rest of their NFC Champion free agents?

Third... Welcome to Seattle, Mikki Moore!!! What does that have to do with the Seahakws? Absolutely nothing, but I loved the guy with the Jazz and can't wait to see him when the Jazz come to Seattle in a couple weeks.

Well, the wife is home, and I should finish doing the laundry. Until next time, this is Skippy reporting from Just West of Seahawks Stadium. Back to James and David in the studio.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

posted by James - 11:50 PM

And I'd like to congratulate David on being the only blogger I know who can't post a link. HA HA! Keep up the good work, my friend.

This part of most years is the post-NFL sports doldrums, but the 2006 Winter Olympics of Torino, Italy are saving us a little bit. Of course, I always have wrestling (except when it's preempted by the Westminster Dog Show... thanks USA Network) and I can get into some NCAA Basketball sometimes (damnit Huskies! Stop losing to the effin' Cougars!) and Skippy always has the Utah Jazz (currently ninth in the Western Conference, 1.5 games behind Los Angeles for the final playoff spot), but I usually try to sleep through most of February.

This year we have some great action happening on the other side of the planet worthy of much TiVoing (yay... no commercials, figure skating or curling!) led by U.S. stars Bode Miller, Apolo Anton Ohno and Michelle Kwan... oh wait.

I'll take that in reverse order. Michelle Kwan didn't even deserve to be there. I don't fault anyone for wanting to represent their country, but she needed to not pursue a spot when she couldn't physically meet the demands... not only that, but she took a lot of advertiser's money to show up at the opening ceremony and take tv time from other athletes who actually deserved it, and then she doesn't even stay to support the rest of her team.

On the other hand, Emily Hughes has said all the right things and stayed ready to go just in case, missing out on her chance to walk into the Olympic Games under the banner of her country and enduring a massive snowstorm. Maybe she'll become the story of Torino, much like her sister, Sarah, was the talk of Salt Lake City for winning gold in the same event.

Now, let that be the last time I ever discuss figure skating here again.

On to Mr. Ohno... TiVo's been very good to me. Because of TiVo, I get to see all of my favorite events such as the luge, the snowboarding and skiing and speed skating. I can watch speed skating. Heck, it might be because of what Ohno did in 2002 in Salt Lake City and the City of Seattle treated him like the greatest hero to ever hail from the Emerald City... but he proved himself a bonehead in this year's Olympiad.

He cruised through his first heat into the semifinals, where he found himself securely in second place with about one lap left to go, guaranteeing him a spot in the finals. He then proceeded to try to pass the leader on the outside catching his hand on a skate, a barrier and a pretty woman in the first row (ok I made that last part up) completely losing out on a medal chance for the event. He then made a spectacle of himself by almost missing the consolation heat.

Finally, there's Bode Miller. There's a lot I appreciate about Miller. He's very American. Brash. Risk-taking. Ambitious. The media appreciates him a lot too. It's not his fault they put him on every major magazine cover before the games started. It's not his fault they made way too much out of him getting drunk before events. However, it is his fault he got drunk before events real people do every year. And let's not forget skiing isn't as safe as doing snow angels as far as winter sports go. Earlier this year, somebody died in the Cascade Mountains just for skiing too close to a tree and falling in its "well". I know people drink when they ski, and it's great Miller can do it while taking tight turns going 40 m.p.h, but it's not the safest thing someone can do and glorifying it makes it even worse.

Like I said before... not really his fault, though. Unfortunately, skiing in his first two events as good as he possibly can and having only a 5th-place finish and a DQ to show for it are his fault. If I were him, I wouldn't have anything to be ashamed about. He really did ski well in the downhill... four other skiers were just better... and he was on his way to gold in the combined when his skis straddled a gate. I don't even know what most of this means, but I do know he was nowhere to be found when his teammates were hoisting Ted Ligety on their shoulders after he won the combined event... and then he comes out and says, he's glad he got DQ'd so he wouldn't have to schlep off the mountain to Torino for the medal ceremony. Here's the link.

It's one thing to be calm and confident you'll get another shot, but what are you there for if even winning an event for your country would be an inconvenience? I'm hoping he was joking, but it wasn't funny. He should want to go to Torino, if only to support his teammate.

You can't extole the virtues of being an Olympian and representing your country, if you're only there for yourself.

Thankfully this Olympics has starred the Incrediblly Gold Duo of Chad Hedrick and Joey Cheek, the dominating U.S. Snowboarding Half Pipers and Down The Mountain Ligety Split instead of the Law Offices of Miller, Ohno and Kwan.

Ok... that's my last attempt at being funny.

I'm also very happy baseball gave me something to chew on today, as they released the rosters for Team USA's entry into the inaugural World Baseball Classic. I've looked forward to this for three years now, keeping track of what most of the North and Latin American teams would look like (I couldn't really predict they'd stretch it to include a team of Italian- and Greek-heritage players). I also didn't expect so many of the American players would bow out because of injuries. It doesn't really matter because they'll still field a strong team, but their pitching won't be as strong.

The big news for Cubs fans comes from Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett's inclusion on the U.S. team. Lee should see the majority of the time at first base (Rangers' up-and-comer Mark Teixiera will back him up and could start as the designated hitter) and bat fifth behind Yankees 3b Alex Rodriguez and Cincinnati cf Ken Griffey, Jr. and in front of the likes of Braves 3b Chipper Jones (who could see time in right field or at dh) and Teixiera.

Barrett will serve alongside Nationals c Brian Schneider backing up Boston c Jason Varitek. He'll probably see quite a bit of time, because USA Manager Buck Martinez has already said that very few players will play the full game, and Schneider is there more for his defense.

I would like it if Cubs players would focus the entirety of their spring efforts on winning a World Series. The spectre of losing Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez or even Michael Barrett to injury in this exhibition would haunt me the whole year.

But I'm a big fan of this event. It's good for baseball. It's good for the globalization of the sport, hopefully opening up further revenue and talent streams in Asia and Europe, necessary since the Olympics has rejected the sport for the next two games. Hopefully, the Cubs can benefit from the improved talent and recenue pool... and we fans get games that "matter" in March.

If I had to pick a winner right now, I'm going with Venezuela. Their pitching towers over Puerto Rico and probably even the Domincan Republic, and their offense isn't bad either. Cuba and Japan are major wild cards.

Venezuelan right-hander and Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano is already in mid-season, spitting-fire form, lobbying to pitch the WBC opener against Pedro Martinez and the Domincan Republic ahead of his left-handed teammate and former Cy Young winner Johan Santana.

As long as Zambrano keeps it under control, this is the Zambrano I look forward to taking the hill and the pill for the Cubs. He is what makes the difference between fourth place and a playoff team.

How about that, guys? Looking forward to the Cubs playing. Something I can honestly say I haven't said all winter.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

posted by David - 9:03 PM

Well... My faith in pro-football is restored. There's just something about watching a bunch of grown adults playing a game like a bunch of little children that just brings back fond memories. Between all the gaffs, fumbles, picks, goofy-plays, laterals, mid-interception handoffs and other chicanery, I managed to laugh away a poorly refereed Superbowl.

It's for this reason I applaud the NFL for having their all-star competition at the close of their season. It allows one to brush back the trials of the regular season and watch some fan-favorites try to do silly things with a bunch of their teammates and rivals. It is a refreshing exercise I try and finish every season with.

No matter how bad the regular season, I often find enough to laugh about in the Hawaii special to make me smile again.

I feel like a posting machine. If I keep putting out garbage like this with consistency, I'll be arrested for littering... If I'm lucky.

Take it easy guys, and don't mind that this is a Waste of Space.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

posted by David - 1:59 AM

David here.

I'd like to congratulate Pittsburgh on their victory in Superbowl XL. I wish the 'Hawks could have put a bit more effort into their game. Note to Holmgren: Sometimes, even when times are dark and you feel injustice has been done, you have to look deep inside and find your sportsmanship. Suck it up and congratulate your oppenent... even if you don't mean it.

As far as the game itself goes, I'd just like to point out that I'm biased, being a Seattle fan. So, instead of posting my own commentary on the game... I would just like to link a couple of things for the readers at home.




I stumbled across these while trying to find a neutral fan's perspective on the game. They speak for themselves... at some points with questionable spelling and colorful language. Use due caution if you decide to peruse the forums.

*Comment about dubious eyesight censored by author.*

This has been a Waste of Space

Saturday, February 04, 2006

posted by James - 10:03 PM

Let's see... why haven't I talked much this postseason? Whose team is still playing? Whose team jobbed themselves out of a spot in the NFC Championship game with piss-poor personnel decision. My pain and outrage still has not met it's limit.

I tried not to jinx it by coming on this here blog and pumping up the Bears, but I decided to go the calm and quiet route. I could sit her and say that was a mistake, but I'm not going to take one ounce of credit for the Bears' poor showing. Besides, you could just take my prediction for the Panthers-Giants game and apply it to the Bears debacle and the Seahawks win... all you have to do is not let Steve Smith beat you. The Bears let him own them and the Seahawks made him bankrupt.

Of course, now I've had to endure the constant kudos from everybody telling me how happy I must be that the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl. I'm happy for the city of Seattle. I really am. The Seahawks finally gave Seattle their first Super Bowl or World Series team... they're the last city with an NFL and MLB franchise to get there.

But I am a Bears fan... I have always been a Bears fan. I've been a Bears fan since birth. I can't quite figure out how anybody who ever saw Walter Payton run isn't, no matter where they lived.

Like David, I'm happy this year's Super Bowl features two teams with a lot to play for and all the tools necessary to give us fans a tight, hard-fought game.

It's just too bad ESPN can't stop talking about Terrell Owens, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, the Hall of Fame, Jerome Bettis' homecoming story and those disrespected, forgotten Seahawks... which ticks me off since they're the one's doing the disrespecting and the forgetting. They have complete control over whether the rest of the world knows guys like RB Shaun Alexander, QB Matt Hasselbeck, OT Walter Jones, etc. Instead of telling us how disrespected they are... just start showing them some freakin' respect!

Right now, they're showing clips of Bettis rumbling for a touchdown... in high school. Where are the clips of Alexander demonstrating his overwhelming greatness. He's only the MVP and single-season record holder for rushing TDs.

How about show me the unending reel of Hasselbeck's pin-point accuracy? He's only the NFC Pro Bowl starter.

Nope... but please show me more of Ben Roethlisberger pimping Fat Heads. Done!

I'll admit I have no idea who's going to win the game tomorrow... but I'd be shocked if it were a blowout on either end or to see the Seattle offense score less than three TDs, as I've seen in a couple other predictions.

I'm not going to get out of this post without giving a prediction. As much as I want to say it will come to the play of the respective QBs, I just don't see Alexander vs Bettis and Willie Parker as an even matchup. The Seahawks defense I've watched play over the last half of the season will be able to contain Parker and keep the pressure on Roethlisberger. Alexander's ability to make adjustments even against a tough defense will make the difference.

James' Super Bowl XL Prediction: Seahawks 34, Steelers 30

Enjoy the game, everybody!

Friday, February 03, 2006

posted by David - 12:25 PM

David here with a special rant!

Just North, you are one of the slackingest slackers since they invented slacking. After all of your grandiose talk; You STILL haven't done any follow up posts for the playoffs. Well I have something to talk about. Yes it *IS* related to the fact that Superbowl XL is in a couple of days.

I have rooted for the Seahawks ever since I knew what football was. I watched when they won their division back when Dave Krieg would throw the ball to Steve Largent, who would then trip over a stegosaur. It was all good fun. I personally loved it when they would release the Wooly Mammoths during halftime. I've been a fan of the Hawks since most people viewed them as Jobber Team number 5 in the AFC West.

The only problem is... people still do. They finish with the best record in the NFC. They have the NFL MVP, all-time season rushing TD leader and a Pro Bowl starter at QB. They have one of the most versatile offenses in the NFL, and their defense lead the league in sacks. And they're going into the Super Bowl as underdogs to the No. 6 seed from the AFC that barely made the playoffs.

This doesn't bother me.

The Stillah's have a long-standing reputation as a contender. They are going to be playing with home-field advantage for the first time since the playoffs started. They have a terrific defensive squad, and a solid core group to move it down the field. They have a burger on a bus... Who could ask for more?

When I saw the matchup for the Superbowl, I was excited. Two solid, well-matched teams playing in a Super Bowl. Even the commercials haven't carried the Super Bowl in recent years, with the games lacking in interest, hype, etc. "This year will be a great matchup," I thought. "And we might get to see one of the best championship games in the history of the NFL."

Then the media coverage started.

Mostly, I blame the psychic friends network... most people call them ESPN (Extra Sensory Perception Network). They have pretty much declared there is no way some wussy team of coffee-drinking, computer poofters has any chance against the STEEEEEEEL curtain. (That was for you wrestling fans out there... Football might not have ladders and chairs...but they have CURTAINS! Gotta love the NFL.)

Anyway, for the last two weeks, I've been listening to a media network controlled by the east coast, in some places referred to the "First" coast, bash on the Hawks and push the yellow and black. I know black is a much beloved color and all, but I don't enjoy having my team spat upon by 70% of the nation's sports news coverage.

Heck, the only time during the season that the Seahawks get any mention it goes something like this.

Announcer 1: Wow, can you believe that?!? Three fumbles in one game. And speaking of fumbles, there's a clip from the Seattle game we'd like to show you. Check this out.

Announcer 2: Yeah, not only can't they seem to navigate a minivan, but Alexander has problems navigating a sea of arms here. * Show's clip of the NFL leading rusher fumbling against the Redskins *

Announcer 1: Wow, did you see that ball fly out? Maybe he forgot his glasses by his computer before drinking that quadruple latte this morning.

Announcer 2: I prefer Mocha's myself.... er.... Dang. I was supposed to insult the Pacific Northwest again... can we shoot that over? LIVE? NOOOOO! My career is over.

Well, in order to close this up, I'd just like to say this. My dreams have changed. No longer do I want my Hawks to just go to the Super Bowl and have a good game against a quality, but slightly-inferior opponent. If they do, they will likely be referred to as lucky, and there will be complaints about some call made by the officials. (The line judge that left his helper monkey in the locker room perhaps.) My only remaining hope is that the 'Hawks don't just bring a good game. I hope they can play with divine fury the likes of which hasn't been seen since the dinosaurs blew up their nuclear facilities and had to become birds and take up ninjitsu to survive. It seems that in order to gain ANY modicum of respect from the east-coast biased media, they will have to wash the steel curtain and hang them out to dry. (I know a machine they can do that with... they use it for cleaning anchor chains for aircraft carriers.... yes. They use a BIG coin-op laundry facility. No... you can't use it for your convertable... sicko.)

This has been a Waste of Space