EppsNet Archive: Sports

Which Experts Predicted a UConn-Kentucky Title Game?

8 Apr 2014 /
UConn logo

PunditTracker tracked March Madness 2014 brackets for 26 “experts” from ESPN, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports, plus President Obama.

Number of pundits who picked UConn to win the tournament: Zero.

Number of pundits who picked either UConn or Kentucky to reach the final game: Zero.

Number of pundits who picked either UConn or Kentucky to reach the Final Four: Zero.

Number of pundits who picked either UConn or Kentucky to reach the Elite Eight: Zero.


See You in Hell: The Fritz Pollard Edition

1 Mar 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.

The N-word. Let’s see . . . the N-word is “National,” the F-word is “Football” and the L-word is “League.”

Wait — what?! I’m now being informed that the N-word in this case is “nigger.” That’s what the Fritz Pollard Alliance wants to penalize. OK, that’s a great idea, Fritz Pollard Alliance, and by “great” I mean “bullshit.”

Has anyone at the Fritz Pollard Alliance read the Harry Potter books? In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort is known as He Who Must Not Be Named. He’s so powerful and scary and evil that you’re not even allowed to say his name! The only person who’s not afraid to say Voldemort’s name is Harry Potter.

I wish someone would ban my name from being spoken. I hate to hear my name bandied about — “Satan this” and “Satan that.” It makes me seem unremarkable, like someone you might chat with at a dinner party or meet at Starbucks for a coffee.

If people were banned from speaking my name, every time someone did speak it, accidentally or on purpose, it would be like “AUUUUGH! SATAN HAS BEEN UNLEASHED FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL!” I’d be 10 times more fearsome than I am already.

You see where I’m going with this, Fritz Pollard Alliance? Banning the use of a word makes the word more scary and powerful, not less.

Who knows better than me that if you make a thing forbidden, people will want that thing more than ever? I call that Satan’s Paradox.

 

Except for the N-word, all racial, ethnic or religious zingers, epithets and provocations remain A-okay with Fritz and his boys. The Kailee Wong Alliance has proposed that calling a Chinese player a gook or a Vietnamese player a chink, instead of the other way around, be grounds for automatic ejection, but adoption of the proposal is considered unlikely.

See you in Hell . . .


The Hardest Available Challenge

22 Feb 2014 /

One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade.

Yuna Kim

Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement depends on how a kid scores on the math placement test.

My co-worker’s concern is if her kid gets a top score on the placement test and he’s eligible to take Algebra I in 7th grade, does she want him to do that, or to wait till 8th grade?

If he takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that would mean he’d be taking the hardest math classes all through high school. Would it be better from a college admission standpoint to take easier classes and get all A’s, or take the hardest classes and maybe get a B+?

Our kid has already been through the Irvine schools. He’s in college now so I can answer questions like this with the benefit of experience.

“I like to see kids push themselves to take the hardest challenge available,” I said. “Colleges are not impressed with kids who get A’s in easy classes.”

“But what if he takes hard classes and gets a B+?” she asked.

“My advice is, don’t get a B+.”

If your kid takes hard classes in high school and gets B’s in them, he or she may not be able to attend a top university, but it wasn’t their destiny to attend a top university. Your kid is not that kind of a kid.

 

That reminds me . . . Olympic figure skating is on TV this week. Are you watching it? Neither am I, but I’ve heard that some of the skaters actually fall down during their program.

They’re supposed to be the best skaters in the world. Even I could go out there and skate around for a few minutes without falling down. Granted, I couldn’t do any spins or jumps or skate backwards or anything like that.

The point is that to be recognized as the best at something, you can’t just do easy things well. You have to risk doing things that are hard to do. In the skating scenario, it’s not enough to say “I didn’t fall on my ass.” No, you didn’t, but you didn’t even try to do anything hard.

In any endeavor, you won’t impress people of discernment simply by avoiding anything that might give you some difficulty. Step up to the challenge.


The 12th Man

17 Feb 2014 /
CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks

The home crowd of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks is known as The 12th Man. Isn’t this awfully sexist? Doesn’t it marginalize female Seahawk fans? Wouldn’t The 12th Person be a more appropriate appellation?

I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage over this. It seems like the kind of thing that someone should be really bent out of shape about.


Jim Fregosi, 1942-2014

15 Feb 2014 /

Jim Fregosi

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24442867/report-former-all-star-longtime-manager-jim-fregosi-dies-at-71

I grew up in Orange County as an Angels fan. They were a team of losers at that time, but I went to a lot of games with my dad and had a good time watching them play.

Jim Fregosi was my favorite player, usually the only good player on a typical Angels roster.

RIP Jim Fregosi.


Japan, Day 0: Floyd Mayweather at Panda Express

20 Dec 2013 /
Panda Express Logo

We saw Floyd Mayweather at LAX . . .

Actually, my son saw him. When the boy pointed him out to me, all I could see was the back of a smallish man in a black hoodie surrounded by half a dozen of the largest human beings I’ve ever seen. You have to get past those guys to get your shot at Floyd.

They were all standing on line at Panda Express in one of the food courts. Normally, I don’t envision famous, wealthy people eating Panda Express, and if they do, I don’t picture them standing on line for it. I picture them sending someone to fetch it while they hang out in the first class passenger lounge.

Good advertisement for Panda Express. Better than those ridiculous goddamn talking pandas.

In other close encounters with boxing legends, I once saw Sugar Ray Leonard and his family at Juice It Up.


Which Experts Predicted a Florida St-Auburn Title Game?

12 Dec 2013 /

A few months back, we outlined the prediction ineptitude of baseball pundits, who went 0-for-63 on predicting either the Red Sox or Cardinals to make the World Series. In fact, not one pundit picked the Red Sox to win even their division.

Well, the MLB pundits now have some company, as none of the 30 college pundits we tracked (from ESPN, CBS, and NFL.com) picked either Florida State or Auburn to make the BCS Title game.


Indian Givers

29 Nov 2013 /

Via Best of the Web Today:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304747004579228190122617098


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

11 Nov 2013 /

How big was it?

English: at the 2009 NLCS.

Sports media goofball

The go-to question for lazy sports media goofballs everywhere. How big was that game? How big was that performance? How big was that play?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the word “big” doesn’t make sense in this context. How big was it? It was bigger than a breadbox. It was bigger than my dick.

“Let me ask you about the most important play of the game. How important was it?” That’s just stupid. But it’s acceptable if you phrase it like this: “How big was the interception by Kozlowski?” Use of the word “big” is the agreed-upon protocol for asking stupid questions repeatedly.

“Tell us something we already know about something we just saw” is okay if phrased as “How big was that performance tonight by Smithers?” Or “How big was this win?”

If all you can do is ask stupid questions, at least phrase them in a way that makes sense. “Tell me about the interception by Kozlowski.” Or “What’s your opinion of Kingman’s performance?”

Better yet, do your job and ask questions with insight and context, e.g., “It looked like you changed up the coverage on the Kozlowski interception. Can you talk about that?”


Which Experts Predicted a Red Sox-Cardinals World Series?

21 Oct 2013 /

With two storied franchises making the 2013 Fall Classic, let’s take a look at which of the 63 experts we tracked this year (from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS, Yahoo, and Fox) pegged the series correctly.

(… Calculating …)

(… Calculating …)

Well, how’s this for embarassing: 0 of the 63 so-called experts had both the Red Sox and Cardinals in the World Series.

Perhaps this is not a huge surprise, as Vegas gave each team less than a 10% probability of making the Series. So let’s lower the bar considerably and look at the pundits who picked either the Red Sox OR the Cardinals to make it.

(… Calculating …)

You guessed it — zero. Not one.


Doing What He Loved

14 Aug 2013 /

Witnesses told police no one was standing near a Rockdale County man when he fell 85 feet to his death at Turner Field, investigators said Tuesday.

Ronald Lee Homer, 30, of Conyers, landed in the players’ parking lot outside of the stadium when he fell from the fourth level around 8:30 Monday night, Atlanta police said.

He died doing what he loved — watching a Braves game. Well, technically he wasn’t watching the game, he was falling off the stadium, but we’ve got to make the “doing what he loved” bromide work.

And please, no jokes about Homer’s (85-foot) odyssey, you sick bastards.


James Gandolfini Will See You in Hell

21 Jun 2013 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

James Gandolfini is in Hell now. He says hi, and thanks for all the kind words.

I’ve been at this gig a long time now but it still amazes me the hyperbole that surrounds the death of actors. Every one of them who dies is one of the great thespians of all time, if you buy into the post-mortem hype.

Most lines of work have objective standards. When Joe Shlabotnik bites the dust, you can’t eulogize him as one of the great ballplayers of all time. But acting is something anyone can do well. You learn the script, say your lines and pick up your check.

“He died too soon,” people say. When was he supposed to die? Like we can’t find another fat Italian guy to learn a script, say his lines and pick up his check?

As George Burns used to say, “Good acting is when Walter Matthau says to me, ‘How are you?’ and I answer, ‘Fine.’ That’s good acting. If Walter Matthau asks me, ‘How are you?’ and I answer, ‘I think it fell on the floor,’ then that’s bad acting.”

George is in heaven now.

Gandolfini’s in Hell for a couple of reasons. He was married — not when he died, but a long time ago — to a woman named Marcy Wudarski. He divorced her in December 2002, after he got famous from being on the television. They had a young son together.

Listen up, big shots. And this goes for the ladies too. You wake up one day and realize that you’re famous and you’re married to a Polack from New Jersey. You took what you could get at the time but you could do a lot better now. (Gandolfini’s widow is an Asian ex-model.) Do you have kids? No? Fine! Do whatever you want!

But God likes for married couples with kids to stick together. He says that all the evidence points to kids with intact families doing a lot better in life. Yeah, I know you’re bored with your relationship but your kids aren’t bored with it so quit being selfish.

Reason number two: God gets angry when people pretend to kill and be killed for entertainment purposes. Heads up: A lot of folks are going to Hell over this one. Death is the main source of entertainment in the U.S. at this time. Death and karaoke shows. And God doesn’t like karaoke shows either.

Gandolfini is famous for being on a TV show that entertained people with violence and death. Who’s laughing now, fat boy?

See you in Hell . . .


Shocking News About Soccer

29 May 2013 /

Robbie Rogers, on in the 77th minute, makes American sports history as the first openly gay male athlete in a major U.S. sport.

Deadspin

This came as shocking news to me . . . not the gay aspect, but the fact that someone considers soccer a major U.S. sport . . .

Robbie Rogers


An LSU Football Fan Reacts to the Cam Cameron Hiring

28 May 2013 /
Cam Cameron

Cam Cameron

The Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved newly hired LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s three-year contract but not without faculty members voicing concerns. According to the terms, Cameron will receive $600,000 for the 2013 season, followed by $1.3 million and $1.5 million in the last two years of his contract.

NOLA.com

LSU has faculty?!

Donald McKinney, director of wind ensembles and conducting and associate professor in the school of music, said he was “disheartened” in LSU’s handling of the future. He said the morale has been low and hopes LSU would change to retain faculty. McKinney, who’s a newer faculty member, said he’s heading to another university at the end of the semester. . . .

Nathan Crick, an associate professor in communication studies, echoed similar sentiments. Crick said he was sold false goods and now “it’s time to return them.” The professor said he’s leaving LSU for Texas A&M.

GOOD RIDDANCE, YOU PUSSIES! Your departure frees up more money for football!

Newly appointed LSU President King Alexander said he isn’t surprised of the issues in Louisiana because they are strikingly similar to California. Alexander is currently the president at California State University Long Beach but will take the lead at LSU beginning July 1.

King Alexander!? Well, President of LSU is quite a stepdown from King of Macedonia. He must be a big football fan.

Wait — what? Cal State Long Beach?! That place is a shithole. I guess it’s hard to find a guy who’d consider LSU an academic advancement.

God-DAMN I can’t wait for football season!


INSANE Backyard Trick Shots

25 Apr 2013 /

HW’s Movie Reviews: 42

12 Apr 2013 /
42

Look at this — before Jackie Robinson, they didn’t let black guys play major league baseball!

Right . . . that was 70 years ago, in the 1940s. Let’s move on already.

You know what else they did in the 1940s? They rounded up Japanese Americans, just took them right out of their homes and their jobs, and stuck them into “relocation camps.”

When’s the last time you heard a Japanese person talk about relocation camps? They don’t talk about relocation camps because they’re too busy being engineers and doctors and businessmen and raising their families and sending their kids to top universities.

You can focus your mind on what other people did a long time ago or you can focus your mind on what you’re doing right now.

Let’s move on already.

Rating: 1 star

Footnote: We’ve come full circle on blacks in baseball. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants don’t have a single black player on their current roster (although some of the Latin players are pretty dark). Black men can play baseball if they want to but they don’t want to.


Home Runs

11 Apr 2013 /
Willie Mays

My wife asks how my job is going . . .

“I’m hittin’ home runs like Willie Mays!” I reply. “You know Willie Mays?”

“No.”

“I’m hittin’ home runs like Mark McGwire!”

“I know Jackie Robinson.”

“Jackie Robinson didn’t hit a lot of home runs.”


Jerry Buss, 1933-2013

18 Feb 2013 /

I’m sad. As a lifelong Laker fan, I kind of feel like I knew the guy. He bought the Lakers in 1979, which means he was younger than I am today, and now he’s dead at the age of 80. I feel old.

Dr. Buss was a USC alum. Fight on.

R.I.P. Jerry Buss

jerry-buss


USC 75, UCLA 71 (OT)

31 Jan 2013 /
USC logo

Sorry to spoil Reggie Miller Jersey Retirement Night at the new Pauley Pavilion, but you should know better than to schedule these things against the Men of Troy.

FIGHT ON!


Why Kyrie Irving is a Better Basketball Player Than Anyone in My Family

16 Jan 2013 /
Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

My son (age 19) and I are driving to Staples Center to see the Lakers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, listening to the pre-game show on the radio. Because the Cavs are basically a one-man roster, and that one man is Kyrie Irving, there’s a lot of talk about Irving on the pre-game.

One of the analysts offers up his opinion that Irving is as good as he is at such a young age (he’s 20) because Irving’s dad was hard on him as a kid and pushed him and didn’t let him take breaks.

As always, when the topic of someone’s dad bullying him to greatness comes up, the boy gives me a melancholy look to say that my lack of abusiveness as a parent is the reason he’s not a professional athlete. “You let me take breaks,” he says.

“You know,” I say, “I think for every guy who says, ‘My dad wouldn’t let me back in the house until I made 100 layups with each hand and now I’m in the NBA,’ there’s 900 other guys whose dads tried the same shit and these guys got nowhere and now they’re extremely angry about it. You just never hear from those 900 guys because they’re nowhere, as I just said.”


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