Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brett Favre is an asshole


His signing with Minnesota has nothing to do with his famed "childlike enthusiasm to play the game", It has more to do with his "childlike petulant attitude with someone who didn't put up with his spoilt vacillating ass anymore". Brett said he wanted to stick it to Ted Thompson when he un-retired the first time and it's a bit late to try and put that toothpaste back in the tube. The Packer gave him every chance to come back after he retired---he refused. Then, when they set a new course for the future, he wanted back in. Tough shit Brett.

If Favre wanted to just play, and even contend for a Superbowl title, he could have just as easily continued with a talented and Jets team that looked Superbowl-bound at one point last year. Till Brett started completing a greater number of his passes---to the other team.

By signing with Minnesota he is sticking it, deliberately, to the one fan base in all of big league sports that should NOT be fucked with. You see, the Packer fans actually own the franchise. The Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States. The Packer fans put their hearts and souls and money into the team and their football. They turn out in force to cheer their team whether it is led by 'Magic'kowski and Infante or by Favre and Holmgren. They bailed out Favre from the horrendous Falcons and gave him his goddamned career. They bought his '4' jersey and paid him his fat salary and made him a millionaire many times over. And they deified him. And all the fucker can do in return is slap those same fans in their faces and their wallets---all because the Packers GM actually showed some spine and tried to do the right thing for the franchise.

This will hopefully reveal to fans the hypocrisy of big league sports stars---they want you to be loyal fans all the time, but when it comes to them it is only a business. So realize that if you are the prototypical 'fairweather fan' you are actually now a smart consumer; if you are the prototypical rabid, hardcore fan, you are a fucking idiot.

Anyway, I do not root for anyone to fail as it is bad form to do so. But when the Vikings play the Packers next if it should happen that Barnett or Hawk come on a blitz and use Favre to recreate the LT/Theismann play, then my reaction would (instead of the usual "Damn, that's horrible") probably be to merely nod and think, "Karma sure is a bitch, isn't it Brett?"


Monday, August 17, 2009

Tiger’s Imperfection and General Grumbling about the PGA Championship.


So it finally happened yesterday---Tiger Woods could not close out a major championship when leading after 54 holes. His record in that area was, and still is, stunning. Entering yesterday, Tiger had held the lead 50 times in his career at the end of the third round. He had won on 47 of those occasions. Before this past weekend, Tiger had held the 54-hole lead 14 times in majors and had won on every single of those occasions.

But yesterday, a little-known 110th ranked player, Y.E.Yang stepped up and ended all that. It was virtually inevitable that Tiger’s streak would end one of these days, and the chances were always greater that it would end at the hands of a talented golfer who was playing with house money, so to speak. Still, the way it transpired was surprising in that Tiger did not play badly. I would have guessed that one of these Sundays he would have a bad day with his driver and irons and put himself into too much trouble while someone else went relatively low. I would have never guessed that Tiger would hit the ball relatively well, hit so many greens but then miss so many putts inside 15 feet to give up the lead---more on the field’s putting in general in a moment.

Congrats to Yang because he did what he needed to do. He played solidly all day and made two great shots when they mattered---the chip in at 14 and the phenomenal approach on 18. He did get a few breaks, like when he pushed his approach on 16 and his ball landed a foot from deep trouble (and two yards from total disaster) on 16. But often contenders get some breaks on Sundays and the champions take advantage of them.

All that having been said, that last round was painful to watch because of what I thought to be really bad course set-up. The PGA set up the pins really poorly. In every major there are always a couple of greens on which nobody can read the subtle breaks (and the commentator, on cue, goes, "nobody has been able to read this/get it to the hole/ keep it on the high side/get within 6 ft from there" etc). In this final round, it seemed like that was every freaking putt on every freaking green by every freaking player. I think they figured that the course became a dart board after the rains yesterday---and with more rain last night and in the forecast it was gonna be there for the taking---so they decided to put the pins not only in difficult locations (which is normal for Sundays, esp in majors) but also in micro-break locations within them. Ask your local greenskeeper and he'll tell you that he can put every pin in such a location that you will make a 10 ft putt only by chance---they can put it in places where, for instance, the last 2 inches have unreadable breaks or slopes---and at tournament speeds, that means lip-outs and burnt edges. Well, the PGA sure busted those locations out yesterday. I happened to see Els miss a putt just to the right on one hole, and then later on the same hole Lucas Glover (who was then in contention) hit the same put inside Els' line and it looked great---till the damn thing dived left at the end and ended up horseshoe-ing back to Glover…..I mean, what the hell was that? That was basically an un-makeable putt from inside 10 ft on the safe side of the green! The end result was that nobody could make a putt and nobody could make a run. Who the hell thought that was a good idea? Especially after Saturday, when the tournament came alive because a handful of guys made deep runs!

Several players---McIlroy, Glover, Westwood, to name a few---made mini-runs early in their rounds (mostly by hitting it very close to the pin on several holes) and got within a couple of shots of the lead but were derailed by their inability to make longer putts later for birdies or to save pars. Heck, just between Yang and Woods, I think they missed over a dozen putts from inside 15 feet---and these were good putts, well struck, that just missed. That doesn’t make for good competition or viewing. From what I saw of the coverage, there was an anomalously large number of well-struck putts that missed---- they burned the edges or lipped out or dived away at the end. When no one in the field can make putts with any consistency from the 10 ft range, the pin locations are absurd.

A stunning stat from yesterday was that nobody----not one player---broke 70. In every tournament, on Sunday, there are many players who tee off early with virtually no chance to win; of these, there are always a couple or a few that shoot 69s or 68s or better because they are playing stress-free and trying to make a top-10 and improve their paycheck. Most of them play with the mentality that a 60th place finish is really no different from a 40th place finish so they may as well try for the top-10 or 15 and earn more money and Ryder Cup points etc, so they go for it and play aggressively. Actually, I looked this up: (Go to the ‘SCORING’ tab on this link and click “Final results with money.pdf”, if interested. If I link directly to the list, it crashes the browser---dunno why) Anyway, in this tournament 6-over par got you 43rd place and a paycheck of just over $21K. Six shots worse (12 over par) got you 73rd place and a paycheck of just over $13K [So once you are on the low end of the scale you don’t have much to lose by doing worse---even for a struggling golfer on the PGA Tour, $8K is not serious money]. But 6 shots better (Even par) got you 10th place and a paycheck of over $150K (and Ryder cup points, FedEx cup points etc). So there is quite a bit of incentive for all the golfers under 30th place after the 3rd round to just go for it on Sunday---a few shots worse don’t make much of a difference, while a few shots better can pay off handsomely. And if 40 golfers take on a course aggressively, you’d think that at least 2 or 3 of them will come out with decent scores in the 60s.

The fact that no one scored below 70 is telling---yes, the course was windy but I don’t think that wasn’t the main reason, because the greens were soft and there were plenty of chances to get somewhat close to the pins for birdies and par-saves. But it just seemed like nobody could make a putt. I mean nobody. Heck, the signature shot of the tournament, and the one that really won it, was Yang’s chip in from off the green from like 50 feet---one that he was realistically trying to get to within 3 feet for a tap-in birdie but that happened to drop. A one-in-a-million shot. I’d love to know what the low round of putts was on Sunday, or what the field average was, but I can’t find that info.

The tournament would have been a lot more fun if the PGA had tried to give the players a few more makeable putts with the pin locations. We could have seen someone charge from further back, we could have seen Tiger and Yang exchange blows (they both hit great putts that narrowly missed on several occasions---can you imagine the excitement and tension if those putts had dropped?).

Anyways, it was historic, if dull and frustrating to watch.

I have thoughts on the famed Tiger-Sunday-mystique and the media’s spin on it but that will have to wait. This rant has gone on long enough already.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Must-Read Interview


This is why I will always root for Paul Goydos (He is a good, journeyman, pro golfer from Long Beach who lost the Players' Championship in heartbreaking fashion last year).

Read the interview.

Some excerpts, in case you need enticement....

......."The difference between Tiger Woods and me is not this huge chasm. It's that he's a little bit better at a million small things that you can't see, that eat away at you. It's like termites. I think he's the most underrated player on Tour."........

..........."I appreciate absurdity. I hit a little white ball around a big grass field into a gopher hole, like Robin Williams said, and make a ridiculous living. You talk about me having an everyman quality. Well, the everyman doesn't get to play golf for a living. An everyman would be the likes of my father, a 20- year Navy guy, was in World War II and Korea, worked his way to a college degree. That's an everyman."...........

"......How I became a better golfer at 44 than 24 wasn't through hitting balls. It's through learning. I approached golf the wrong way. I said, "Show me how to do this," when I should have said, "Teach me what you know."...........

And there are the parts about when he was a sub teacher in LA and about being a parent ....So good that I won't quote them.

Go read the interview


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pete Rose, MLB and the HOF


Comrade PhysioProf has a post up stating that Pete Rose should be allowed into the baseball Hall of Fame. This is the comment I left over at his site---I'm posting it here as it summarizes my views on the matter and on MLB as a whole.....

"Let Pete Rose in? And destroy the only excitement baseball can provide anymore? It is commonly known that on slow news days radio stations can get their phone lines jammed for hours just by opening up the topic of Rose and HOF. Why would MLB destroy all that passion that it can no longer generate via its games? Or its players and their sins, even! People just don’t give a shit about roids the way they still do about Rose, one way or another!

Besides, letting Rose in would destroy Rose too. The fucker lives for and thrives on a good fight. He gets his jollies by scrapping with MLB, selling his shit outside the HOF every year, playing the poor martyr. It would be funny if he went into the HOF—-it would eliminate his raison d’etre for the past couple of decades and both he and baseball would slink into complete irrelevance in a couple of years’ time.

On second thought therefore, I agree CPP. Let the asshole into the hall. Let all of the assholes into the hall."