Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cliff Lee, Ted Ginn, Dumb Announcers, Etc.

(No picture today. Blame the Nazis at the Monfort Heights Library, an otherwise lovely place...)

Things are happening in the world of sports (aka the sports world) and my opinion needs to be heard. It do. Let me first apologize for being a little tardy with a few of these. Let me second admit that my apology in the previous sentence was half-hearted. Anyway, read...

1. World Series Game 1: Cliff Lee catches the ball as nonchalantly as possible on the mound (and actually, almost drops it) and Lee is universally stroked for being so cool under pressure. This made me sick. Although Lee was cool under pressure, it didn't change the fact that it was an incredibly stupid play. More importantly, what if he'd dropped it? The Around The Horn-types and Skip Bayless would have been all over Lee for the next thousand years. But he caught it. And he's an unassuming white guy. So we love him for it. Strange. Predictable.


2. Entering Sunday Ted Ginn had only returned eight kickoffs and two punts on the season. I've complained about this ad nauseam (most recently in the comments section of this late-September post) and now -- after Ginn's record-setting two-touchdown performance -- I'm finally able to say I told you so. Thing is, it's not a revelation that Ginn is an electric return man; everyone already knew this. He was drafted ninth overall for two reasons: Blazing speed and otherworldly return ability. He was a project as a WR, but the Dolphins felt he was worth the gamble.

And then --for God knows what reason -- Ginn was only used as a part-time returner. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

By the way, Ginn is still stuck on two punt returns this year. The brilliant minds in Miami think lead-footed Davone Bess is the answer there. Who knows? Maybe Miami's offense is so explosive that they don't have to worry about big plays in the return game. Oh wait...


3. Actual exchange from a wedding I attended a few weeks back...

Friend X: I think we're praying.

Friend Y: No shit. Bow your head.

(Note: Both parties are Catholic.)


4. I'm positive there isn't another George Grande on the planet, but that doesn't mean announcing isn't bad all over.

I was watching the Suns-Warriors contest over the weekend, and a five-minute stretch produced three of the dumbest things I've ever heard, and it wasn't the least bit surprising.

First from Suns play-by-play guy Tom Leander, speaking of a hot performance last season from (I think) Warriors guard Kalenna Azubuike: "He just literally shot the Suns out of the game almost."

Literally? Almost?

Please, analyze that sentence again.

Jesus. I'm losing my mind here. Is there anyone left in the world who cares about the English language? I mean, the play-by-play guy is supposed to be a master with words, and in this case the moron just slapped together one of the dumbest sentences you'll ever read. Jeff Brantley misuses "literally" all the time, and I kill him for it. But he's just a dopey ex-jock. With this Leander fellow, this is a million times worse.

As someone who couldn't make a big breakthrough in the broadcast journalism field, I can tell you it's more than a little frustrating to hear stuff like this.


And now we move along to Phoenix's color man, ex-sharpshooter Eddie Johnson, with two quotes that I've heard thousands of times before (in various forms, from various idiots)...

Speaking of Suns' PG Steve Nash: "Everyone wants to anoint Ray Allen as the best shooter in the NBA, but they never mention Nash. Steve Nash is by far the best shooter in the NBA."

Okay. Can you prove it? No, of course not. Even if Nash is the best shooter in the NBA (which, again, can't be proven), he's not "by far" the best shooter. Nobody is. Nobody has ever been by far the best shooter. Blatantly biased color commentators do this sort of thing all the time, and they're rarely called out on it. Until now...


One other doozy from Johnson-----this time filling our heads with crap about Warriors guard Stephen Curry (a person Johnson had brief contact with for one year when he and Stephen's father, Dell, played together in Charlotte): "When Dell and I played together we'd stay after practice and have shooting competitions...and Stephen would be in the gym. I knew very early what kind of shooter he would become."

Without even doing the math my Bullshit Meter was beeping intensely.

Then I checked (an Internet website) and discovered that Eddie Johnson and Dell Curry played together in the 93-94 season...when Stephen Curry was five-goddamn-years-old (note: Curry actually turned six in March of 94, so...).

But anyway, Stephen Curry was five. FIVE! For one, he probably wasn't at post-practice shootarounds too often -- after all, he was five, and five-year-olds play with Legos and dinosaur coloring books. Secondly, the greatest scout in the world could study the greatest five-year-old shooter in the world, and the shooter's parents could be Reggie Miller and Jackie Styles (in the event she's not a lesbian), and the scout's opinion wouldn't mean a damn thing.

I hate when announcers think I'm the dumbest person in the world. I really do. But it happens constantly (cough, sneeze, Mark May), and I wish more people called out these dirty liars and made examples of them.

5. Want to know why the Brian Vickers System is struggling so badly? Read this.

6. Nice job this Sunday by the Cincinnati Enquirer. In case I'm missing something, there wasn't a single mention of the Bengals over fourteen (or maybe fifteen) pages. Bye week, schmye week. They're 5-2, and helping us forget the last twenty years-----you mean to tell me they can't dig up something for us to read during the bye week? Lazy. Lazy. Lazy.

Keep the change, you filthy animals.

-Brad Spieser (


Doug said... know I am going to comment about my Dolphins. I was in attendance at this game and let me tell you that going into the half the excitement meter was at zero. I was happy my Dolphins were not being blown out, but both teams were playing like garbage and the score was 3-3. Enter Ted Ginn Jr. in the second half. The first kickoff return was great. All the Dolphin fans went nuts and the Jets fans had all but given up on the game. I love to see distressed and disappointed Jets fans. Then the Jets came down the field, scored, and took the lead from us. I was down at this point……but the Jets fans let into us to make sure we knew what just happened…….like I was staring at the sky thinking about pretty birds instead of watching the game. Dumbshits. On the ensuing kickoff Teddy did it again. It felt so sweet. The other fans were 4 times as disappointed as they were the first time. It was amazing. I am convinced that if Henne could throw a pass end over end……Ted Ginn Jr would be an all pro receiver. Maybe that is something he could work on.
Needless to say….we won the game to go 2-0 against the Jets this season. Did the Jets fans shut up??? Nope. Now, some of them said good game to us but most did not. We heard:
1) You guys suck!!! (Ok….we took two from you this season. What does that say about your team?)
2) You guys are still 3-4. (I had to reply to this that we are 2-0 against the Jets and 3-0 in the AFC East. Still better than their Jets)
3) Your Wildcat gimmick didn’t work. (No it did not….but how do you respond to that?? “Ah…, it didn’t?? It didn’t need to, we won. Remember?? It JUST happened”
4) You wanna fight you pussies? We can kick your ass! Yeah… keep walking. (I was there to watch football, not get into a stupid contest with their fans. I know I would lose that contest……so we ignored this one and kept walking.)

As sweet as Sunday was……..if they play like that next week, it will be a disaster against the Pats. We had 104 yards of total offense. I am scared for next week.


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