Thursday, July 31, 2008
Look at him. Different number, comically large face, and he has no idea what he will one day become.
I'd like to start by saying that I called this from the beginning. When Brett Favre first retired, I had a discussion with one of my die-hard Packer fan friends, who we'll call Even Berard for anonymity's sake. I said that Favre would be back, the Packers wouldn't want him, and he would eventually be traded to Minnesota. That's right, I predicted this from the get-go. I'm a badass.
Well, Even Berard nearly passed out when he heard me say this. A long-winded, albeit eloquent, tirade soon followed. "Brett Favre is the best quarterback of all-time! How can you possibly say the Packers won't want him back? He would be welcomed with open arms! I ask you, Luke, who will be the Packers quarterback if Favre isn't there? Aaron Rodgers? (Here Even laughs condescendingly, which makes me want to punch him squarely in the face) If the Packers turn away Brett Favre, I will no longer follow the team."
This conversation occurred a week or two after Favre's retirement press conference, which can now officially go down as one of the biggest wastes of time in the past few years. More on that later. But first, back to Even. I can't blame him for being so loyal to his boyhood hero. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, folks. It's the reason we pine for the days of the NES, we remember our first girlfriends fondly even though they were likely two-bit hoochies, and little things that are meaningless to everyone else have profound truth to us(the smell of Watermelon Bubblicious instantly transports me back to sunny summer days playing Little League baseball).
Sadly, if you're an NFL General Manager, nostalgia cannot enter the picture, ever ever EVER. Ted Thompson knows this, and it seems he's wanted Favre out ever since #4 started toying with the franchise every offseason. "Am I coming back? Am I retiring? Play with this string while I decide!" The Packers are ready to move on. How ready are they? They plan on starting Aaron Rodgers over him. Yikes. And oh yeah, there's also this: They just offered Brett Favre 20 million dollars to stay retired.
That astounding figure isn't too shocking when you consider that Favre will make $12M simply by putting on a uniform this year, with possible salaries of $13M and $14M in 2009 and 2010. He wants to play, folks. You could see it during his fake retirement press conference that came with readymade fake tears. In that two hour debacle, I got one worthwhile piece of information from Favre when he said "I know I can still play." Right there, I knew he'd be back.
By the way, Brett: you're kind of a moron. Of course you're going to want to retire immediately after a long season! You just froze your ass off in a losing effort in a home playoff game! You're too old for this, right? Yeah! But then...weeks and months go by. Your aging body slowly recovers. You stop thinking about the weather in your last game and start going over and over that last pass you made in your head. Shit. You've made a huge mistake. It's okay, they'll take you back. They always do. You're like that kinky ex-girlfriend. Totally unpredictable and abusive, but an absolute freak.
But they won't take you back this time. They're finally moving on. So now what? Well, after whispers of New York and Tampa Bay, it appears that you have 3 current options. Take your 20 million and stay retired, play for the Vikings, or play for the Bears. Just as I predicted. Many people thought the Packers would never trade you to a rival. Turns out those are the only places you'll go. Why? Obviously, you could stick it to Green Bay twice a year.
A lot of people might say that John Elway handled retirement right, and Brett Favre handled it wrong. But this is comparing apples to oranges, success to failure. Elway went out a repeat Super Bowl champion. There's not much more you can do at that point. Favre went out by throwing one of the worst passes of his career. I think he wants to prove that he's still got something in the tank. And Chicago's a good place to prove it! Come on over, Brett! We're happy to have you! And when you do, I'll drive up to Wisconsin and walk around in my new Favre jersey, give Packer fans the gun show, and wave a sign that reads "ENJOY THE AARON RODGERS ERA!"
In your face, Even Berard. You can hop on board as well. It seems that you're looking for a new team to root for, anyway.
He got going on a point where the #4 should be retired. Not just in Green Bay, or the NFL, but in the world. John Madden Caliendo wants to retire the #4 from the world. From now on kids in school would learn; one, two, three, farve, five, six, seven.....
And that is when it hit me. Brett Farve has become a punchline. He's Michael Jordan or George Foreman. He's a guy who isn't capable of letting go. I don't personally know Mr. Favre, I don't know if he's doing this because he loves football or loves the spotlight, but I wouldn't be surprised by either if the question were ever answered.
This situation irritates me because he is simply bending over the Packers. There is no good answer for their front office. Trade him and get ready to unleash hell. Keep him and place him at the #2, you will piss off fans who are too stupid to really understand football and how player development works. Favre maybe has a year left, Aaron Rodgers is ready now and isn't going to wait around anymore. He's got a NFL MBA from one of the best teachers possible in Favre, he is the future of your franchise, take your pick Packer fans; a year of nostalgia or a legitimate contender for the forseeable future.
If that isn't enough to be sure who you want starting, chew on this. In 1977 the LA Rams picked up a HOFer named Joe Namath. It was going to be his 12th season in the league and he made everyone sure that he was ready to lead a new team. Four weeks in and Namath is on the bench. A guy named Pat Haden comes in and has an unreal 10 games and is voted into the Pro Bowl. Namath retires next season, in a different uniform and a shell of his former self. A few years later he asks Suzy Kolber to make out. See what happens????
Would it be that bad for Brett Favre? Probably not. He's kept himself in shape and is a better QB than Namath ever was. But, it's not improbable and no one player is bigger than a franchise to allow a gamble like that. Especially a gamble with a possible franchise QB in Rodgers hanging in the mix. Brett Favre should know this.
Oh, and by the way...
If Brett Favre ends up in a Bears uniform, I hereby renege all previous critical comments made about Mr. Favre and his abilities.
On the Bears he could be good. Anything is better than a Rex Grossman / Kyle Orton "World's Tallest Midget" fight for the starting QB position.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The top of the 1st concludes peacefully as Lee retires the National League in order. To take up some time, here's a Dos Equis commercial I just saw. This is one of the funniest ad campaigns out there right now.
Bottom 1st: McCarver with a fascinating stat! The Yankees last won a World Series in 2000, and in that year Derek Jeter was both the All-Star Game and World Series MVP! It's a new McCarver!
Bottom 1st: Ok, never mind. McCarver just compared Chase Utley's compact swing to NL starting pitcher Ben Sheets's "compact curveball." I am definitely uncertain as to what that could possibly mean.
Top 2nd: Cliff Lee is apparently gunning for the 2008 Chuck Norris Award as well as the AL Cy Young. He does pull ups while hunting deer! WHAT???
Top 2nd: McCarver seems amazed by the fact that since the All-Star Game began in 1933, the AL has outscored the NL by one run. Yeah, Tim. It's pretty hard to believe! If he were a currency commentator, he'd tell us that in 75 penny flips, heads leads tails by the ever-so-close score of 38-37. Remarkable! What are the odds?
Bottom 2nd: Ben Sheets is now facing Manny Ramirez, "the best two-strike hitter in baseball." See, it's remarks like this that get McCarver in trouble. Manny is most likely a brilliant two-strike hitter. As a matter of fact, he is one of the best hitters ever and arguably the best pure hitter of his generation. All of these comments are safer than the one McCarver made. When you call someone THE BEST, you'd better have some evidence to back it up. But he never does. Elias Sports Bureau really needs to do take him under its wing.
Well, we've gotten the Miller High Life beer thief and Subway Jared in one half-inning's worth of commercials. I have a counter-intuitive theory that having a camera crew following you can make it much easier to pull off petty thefts. The presence of cameras enables misdeeds? Believe it, folks! Can I dress up as a Miller employee and gank some High Life from hoity toity establishments? I can picture it now..."50 dollars for a round of laser tag? How dare you! I'm just going to take this case of horrendous beer. While I do it, you'd better think about what you've done." What a sweet ad campaign High Life has. They certainly know their demographic: the broke-ass alcoholic redneck. In other words, Arkansas loves to live the High Life. Personally, I'd rather pound some Icehouse. Or diesel gas.
Top 3rd: Well, Tim and Joe Buck are interviewing Yogi Berra, and...did it happen? Yes! Tim McCarver has done the impossible! He has rendered Yogi Berra speechless! The question that did the job? "Yogi, have you ever not had any fun?" Sweet Moses.
Hey! Spanish from Old School just reminded me that there's only one October! I'll take it. Anyone's better than Dane Cook, the world's first and only person to be out-acted by the Jessicas. No small feat.
Top 4th: News flash: Albert Pujols's legs will consistently get plowed by Ichiro's right arm. Just a heads up.
Bottom 4th: Big Z on the hill! I love the nutjob. I hear he racks up thousand-dollar tabs at restaurants with his buddies and never tips, but hey, who doesn't? The guy throws smoke. He just struck out A-Rod, the subject of Jayson Stark's fantastic article that scolded the Yankees slugger for passing up on the Derby. Alex Rodriguez currently leads my list of baseball players I want to be busted for steroids. He's just a conceited, above-it-all, family-destroying dirtbag.
Luke, I'll now be long-winded to make the following points about why you are playing the excellent role of an instigating journalist with your last post:
1. Any real fan has a bitter taste about 1998 and the era of size 8 3/4 baseball cap. Of course I meant he's a good bridge to the new age of juiceless sluggers.
2. This guy is as natural a hitter as they come. He batted .556 his senior year of high school. I don't care what the quality of pitching was he faced, that's really, really high. Even Joe Morgan, who believes nobody played baseball better than Joe Morgan, said that Hamilton is simply a natural hitter. He was when he was 18 and he is now.
2-1. A former drug addict, while may seem susceptible to steroids, is the last person who would be injecting themselves with a substance if truly trying to stay clean. The addiction to drugs does not stop with a certain type of drug. Hamilton has a friend who is literally with him 24/7 to make sure he doesn't fall off the wagon. Hamilton said he doesn't trust himself to stay clean - yet. Plus, this is a guy who fell into drugs by being around the wrong people - I bet shady trainers are nowhere to be found now. Moving on past that, MLB has ramped up its steroids testing, it is much better than before. Not great, but better.
Also, it isn't like he's doing this in games. He was getting served up by a high school coach. It's been noted again and again that while it may add some length to home runs, it won't make a bad hitter a good hitter. You yourself, Luke, have made this point in a similar conversation. Here's a quote from Hamilton last year:
"I love this game. It's the only thing I've been good at," says Hamilton.
"What's crazy is that I never even considered using steroids. I know it doesn't make sense. But I love this game so much that I would never cheat it."
4. Your worthless stab at trying to peg me as a cousin-loving racist was weak. I feel as if your skills are fading with age.
First, I only mentioned Josh Hamilton, not any of the other seven players or any instance of race, ethnicity, etc. So, thanks for trying to create an extremely vague notion and pass it off as my intention. Bad. Not good, bad.
Second, I can guarantee your new culture awareness was brought on by the EXACT SAME POINT Steve Phillips made in the ESPN pre-show. And, since you left it out, there were players of color who were invited to play in the derby, but decided not to participate because of swing issues or injury (Vlad, Ortiz, Tejada, ARod and more). The only argument was that of Morneau, but they went through the list of AL players who could be in it in the broadcast and nobody was able to come up with a slugger. You Suck. Love You.
Nice weak-assed try at getting me. But, next time stick to lines like: "Jeeze Dan, what size shirt is this? Tent?"
Monday, July 14, 2008
No, I cannot. But I should effing be able to do so.
You see, my favorite internet-based program on the Wii is its Virtual Console. The VC let's you jump into a time machine and re-play all of the classics from when you were young. 5 dollars for an NES game, 8 dollars for a SNES or Genesis game, and 10 bucks for an N64 game. Um...CHA-CHING. Nintendo is making bank on this idea. And you'd think that with all the extra money flowing in, some ingenuity might be spawned. Not the case.
I want to play Griffey Baseball. It is (in my opinion, which is always a flat-out fact) the greatest sports game created on the Super NES and one of the best games of all time. Fact. 575 foot blasts! Full seasons! Ridiculous diving catches, double plays, 103 mph heaters and 50 mph changeups! HEY NINTENDO! I WILL PAY 8 DOLLARS FOR THIS GAME! AND I WILL NOT BE ALONE!
Instead, on June 18th, Nintendo finally gave us Ninja Combat! Oh man! Finally! It feels like I've waited 4 eternities! I can finally guide Musashi to glorious victory! Here's the review of the game from ign.com. It's not a positive one.
Look, it's not difficult. I want to be able to have a say in what games are released. This is America. I want a vote. This is not 1965 in Moscow. Joe Stalin does not tell me what to do. If I could somehow wipe my ass with Ninja Combat, I would. That's the only way it might be worth 9 dollars to me. The fact that it was released long before Griffey is ludicrous.
But upon visiting its website, it's obvious that Nintendo will be selfishly releasing games we have no intention of playing before fan favorites are given to us. Yes, folks, it's true we have Mario. But sports games have been getting the shaft, and I'm sick of it. I am literally sick! I just vomited! It's not a tall order, Nintendo. Drop your kinky sex toys and give me Griffey Baseball. And Tecmo Super Bowl. Thanks.
Great concept for a system, except, Nintendo and the LSD-soaked Japanese programmers are taking care of the games.
What could make it better:
1. New graphics drive - pretty is required these days. Damn kids.
2. Stop it with the cracked-out games. Seriously, I get scared watching Mario fly around using a lasso to find stars and his seventeen game cousins. Waluigi? What the hell kind of name is that?
4. MORE VIOLENCE
5. Develop a 3D headset. Build a game like World of Warcraft where players can now actually interact in the battles with the Wiimote(stupid). The game can also be deepened significantly using the data tracking in Wii Fit, for example. Players could play mini-games to "steal" information from other teams, i.e., knowing when they would strike or where troops are assembled. That would be worth losing a job, gaining 50 lbs, and developing diabetes.
6. Sell the game-production rights to EA/Capcom/Rockstar.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I'm keeping this short and sweet. This may be the dumbest debate ever created by man. Nintendo Wii has been out for almost two years now and I believe I’ve played two games on it. The first was Zelda, which I played the week it came out, making me swear off the system for life. However, my Wii-less streak was broken about a month ago when I tried out Wii Fit. And that was only because the bitchy fitness instructor was just so flippin hot. I mean seriously, when the most respected games on the console are the ones that are built into the system (Wii Sports), something is very wrong. The only way I would buy this system is if I was the parent of a 200 pound six year old in need of shredding a few pounds. I don't want to break a sweat when I play my video games.
This is the worst video game system ever created. It’s worse than Game Cube, Dreamcast, and Atari combined. Wii sucks.
Here it is, a beautiful weekend summer afternoon and what am I doing? I'll tell you, I'm playing the greatest video game my hand-eye skills have ever come across - Metal Gear Solid 4 for Playstation 3. I'm only half way through, but today this game became my all-time favorite.
MGS4 (an acronym, get it?) is the finale in this fabled series. The graphics (above) are near photorealistic. The story is smart, fun and requires actual thought; not just guns-blazing button smashing. The cut scenes are movie worthy and gameplay is as player friendly as anyone would want. This is all thanks to Hideo Kojima.
For those of you reading who've actually seen a set of boobs in person before, Hideo Kojima is the creater, writer, developer extraordinaire of this series. He deserves thanks today because he brought me back to 1999. He brought me back to a time where I didn't have to worry about work or finances or if the sandwich I'm eating is going to require a 1/2 hour run as penance.
This morning was the most surprised I've ever been playing a game. At the midway point of the storyline the main character, Snake, (above) is back to a location that was used in MGS2, in 1999. An Alaskan island codenamed, "Shadow Moses" (sweet).
As the game is loading up, the screen goes black and I'm getting nervous. Has my system just melted?? This can't happen....I'm moments from going Chubby Hulk on my PS3.
But, then, the screen changes and the image literally leaves me jaw-dropped and giggling like the little schoolgirl that I am. These are three screens of what I saw.
As a nod to the players and as a throwback for the development team- the graphics and game play were changed to the original Playstation's Metal Gear Solid!!!!! This is a level that was in the original game!!! The sounds, look, controls are all like they were. If you're a girl, go back to the first time you saw Sex and the City, and you'll get what this means. This change is only for one section of the level. You need to sneak across a helipad, up some stairs and crawl into the island's base through a duct. As you begin to crawl, the game fades into its current form and Snake wakes up from this "recurring dream" (I laughed out loud) as the helicopter begins to descend on the island. I'm now playing a Playstation 3 version of the Shadow Moses base. It's as it was right down to where rations and ammo are hidden. The music is the same and there are echoed coversations of the past that Snake hears as he creeps around this places he knows. I'm in gamer paradise.
So, thanks for that Hideo, I'm going to go finish taking down Liquid....
"What's really frightening about, um, Lance, is the way he reacts to being called 'Phil' or 'Lefty,'", Pence went on. "I made the mistake of calling him Phil during a game in the first month of the season, and he immediately began to sob. And he was on deck! He just stormed off the field and into the clubhouse, and he pouted there for the rest of the game! Coach Cooper told me to apologize as quickly as I could, and I was happy to oblige. The guy is hitting just about .350 this year. I'd probably give him an HJ if I needed to."
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I know more about movies than you do.
So, being the amazing humanitarian that I am, I feel it is my job to help the world by giving my expert opinion on movies. You’re welcome.
My first official review is going to come sometime after July 18 (The Dark Knight), but I am pleased to provide my thirteen favorite movies in their respective genres, as a start to the blog. And keep in mind that these are all subject to change due to the fact that picking your favorite movie is like picking your favorite child. I’ve changed this list about 30 times already. Enjoy!
Action: The Matrix
Adventure: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Animation: The Incredibles
Comedy: The Big Lebowski
Crime/Gangster: The Godfather
Drama: A Few Good Men
Horror: The Silence of the Lambs
Musical: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (that counts)
Romance: Pride and Prejudice
Science Fiction: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
War: Saving Private Ryan
Western: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
I watch movies. It’s what I’m good at. So just keep telling yourself that Kyle's opinion is always right, and your movie watching days will be more enjoyable.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Let me start this fan letter off by saying that I never write these things (I know, I know, you don't believe me! :P ). After watching 100 episodes of Cash Cab over the past 5 days (Thank you, DVR!), I can honestly say that your on-camera demeanor transcends comedy, humanity, and skills behind the wheel. Your calming persona instantly puts your fares at ease and tells them, hey, this guy is legit. Despite his tricked out minivan cab and seemingly endless pile of Ben Franklins, he might not actually be a serial killer. You see, Ben, Cash Cab would never work in the hands of a lesser host. Were it not for your brilliant quarterbacking of the cab rides, things would take a tragic turn. Take this hypothetical situation, for example:
Passenger: Madison Square Garden, please. I'm going to a New York Liberty game. I love women's basketball. I think speed, finesse, dunking, and entertainment are all overrated. I also crave butch lesbians.
Bad News Host(cues the light show inside the cab): Hello! I am not who you think I am! This is a cash cab! You like cash?
Stupid Host(light show is still going crazy): Game show! Do you enjoy game shows? Yes? Yes? Yes? Yes?
Passenger, unable to look away from the light show: Yes.
Worse-Than-Ben Host: Yes! I will give you this money, but first you must do things that I tell you to do!
Passenger, pulling out pepper spray: Do you feel a sneeze coming on?
And it would just escalate from there. If we ignore the brilliant pepper one-liner from the passenger, that would not be a watchable show. It's you, Ben. You make it watchable. And not only are you perfect and oh-so-easy on the eyes, you also teach me things that I didn't know! What Italian film was nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film? Why, Life is Beautiful, of course!
Telekinesis! France! Coyotes! So much education! I'm going to throw up!
I have a question for you, Ben. I figure you do so much to teach the city of New York, you might like to answer something for once. What 6'6" actor/comedian/game show host/cabbie is number one in my heart?
That's right, Ben. It's you.
I was reading an article today about a 18 y/o kid in Fort Worth, TX who is being held for delivering baked goods laced with drugs. Prelim testing showed traces of LSD. He delivered cookies to about dozen (no pun intended) police stations in the Fort Worth-area. First off, that's a lot of LSD. Second, that's a lot of cookies. How pissed off was this kid?
The kid denies any wrongdoing - and said his friends may have been smoking pot while he was baking. Well, that explains it....