11:26 pm - I mean to go off on a rant here...
I have a lot of things to rant about, so let's get to it.
There was a story
the other day that bipolar disorder, though five times less likely than depression, costs employers almost as much in lost productivity. Maybe I'm just being oversensitive, but this seems like a slap in the face to me, especially coming on the heels of a comment I read that depression is, for all intents and purposes, a weakness of character. The author of that unfortunate comment, luckily anonymous, also betrayed his ignorance of anything to do with mental illness by insinuating that antidepressants are a crutch. Depression isn't the stigma it used to be, but it still has a way to go before it's completely accepted. Until then, I guess I'll just be depressed about depression.
Andre Agassi just wrapped up and amazing career with a heartfelt, obviously rehearsed speech to the adoring crowd. This came after the crowd would not stop begging Andre for a curtain call. The standing ovation lasted eight minutes. The whole scene, a goose bump festival of appreciation, was probably the most emotional scene involving a single athlete since Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2131st consecutive game. Benjamin Becker graciously ceded the spotlight to Agassi, and Andre basked in it. This was Andre's tournament, and he departed with a royal flourish. It was fitting that, in the longstanding tennis tradition, he had to carry his own bag off the court. But today, Agassi had 23,000 of his closest friends to help ease the weight.
Bill Simmons just got onto
the Agassi bandwagon, and he's brought his oversimplified Rocky IV good-versus-evil impression that always clouds his judgment of any sports with any kind of international presence. Simmons thinks that any physically gifted person who dares to go up against a plucky American is an evil agent of the Commies just planted there to dethrone the hero. Hey Bill, Marcos Baghdatis, the "no-name gunslinger", is the eighth-ranked player in the world, made it to the finals at the Australian Open and the semis at Wimbledon this year, and is from freaking Cyprus (not like country designations mean anything anymore, when so many players live in Monte Carlo and train in Florida). Next time, Bill, do some research and show some respect instead of retreating into the safe world of your favorite TV shows, or I'm going to smack you like a Marat Safin winner.
Speaking of making ill-advised conclusions, the guys over at Fire Joe Morgan
made a rare misstep in one of their recent entries. There is nothing good about the accusation made in this passage:
"The “Baseball Prospectus” may be different because of its hip, fresh approach to one of America’s favorite pastimes. But it’s also unique for another reason: Its co-author Chris Kahrl has been living openly as a transgendered woman for the past six months.
Something tells me Joe would not be cool with that."
I hate Joe Morgan as much as anybody, but this is a completely unsubstantiated and unfair accusation. Let's get Joe fired by pointing out his utter insipidness and awe-inspiring stupidity. That should be more than enough.
Of course, if he ever says anything to the above effect, let's skewer the hell out of him.
For some reason, everyone who writes about football for any major website has tried during the offseason to convince me that, alternately, college and pro ball are better. I really enjoy both, but I've always been a pro guy - it just inspires more within me, and the passion I've shared and shown rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles is more than I can ever summon for ASU or Penn State or against Notre Dame. Some people prefer college, which I have no problem with. It's just when Stewart Mandel makes a stupid list
of reasons why that I get really torqued.
1) Fight songs performed by actual, live bands and written prior to 2003.
Yeah, that include phrases like "hail, hail, the gang's all here" (ASU) and "our gang, it is the jolliest that you have ever seen" (Utah). You really want to hitch your wagon to that? Besides, when the first reason you give for liking college focuses on the fight songs, there's something wrong with the product on the field.
2) Tailgating at The Grove rather than some municipal parking lot.
Fine. Ole Miss has a beautiful place to tailgate. That must mean that every college team has a better place to tailgate! Oh wait, ASU has...a parking structure.3) Cheerleaders without silicone.
Who cares? And once again, why aren't you focused on the field?4) Stadiums without retractable roofs.
Um, only two NFL stadiums have retractable roofs (Cardinals Stadium and Reliant Stadium in Houston). Both of which are good enough to host college bowl games, including the BCS Championship Game.
5) Players who actually make mistakes sometimes.
6) Star players who actually care about practices.
7) Coaches who actually talk about things other than safety blitzes from time to time.
8) Coaches who go for it on fourth-and-2.
9) Rivals that only play each other once a year.
An absolutely bizarre list of reasons that either point to the dilution of talent level or could just as easily, and just as wrongly, be attributed to the NFL.
Yeah, because having a home game against each division opponent is so unfair. If the Eagles and Cowboys only played each other once a year, the rivalry would be much more intense, but as it stands, Eagles fans and Cowboy fans practically suck each other's cocks.
10) Teams that still run the option.
Ladies and gentlemen, the most scintillating play in football - the option! Feel the excitement! Whoo!
11) Mobile quarterbacks who are actually allowed to run.
Because the defenses aren't as good. You think Donovan McNabb wouldn't run more if he wasn't going to get slaughtered?12) Walk-ons.
13) Students who dress up to go to the games.
NFL fans all show up naked. That's just disgusting.
14) Students who can roll out of bed and walk to the stadium.
He has a point there. But by that logic, the Cardinals were as good as any college team, since I could roll out of bed and see one of their games when I lived on campus (and in fact, I did). Wait - didn't he just say something about tailgating? How are you going to tailgate without a car? So isn't having to drive there a good thing? I'm confused.
15) Games with national-title implications in September.
16) Games with national-title implications in October.
All orchestrated by a completely random and arbitrary ranking system that determines which teams will get a shot to get a title, instead of having a playoff system that allows things to be determined on the field, like a non-brain-dead organization would allow. And don't even get me started on how the whole student-athlete thing is a sham; it's absolutely disheartening to see people still clinging to the whole "college football is pure" argument.17) Bear Bryant barking from a JumboTron seconds before Alabama takes the field.
18) A Seminole on a horse riding to midfield and throwing a flaming spear.
19) The Vol Walk, The Tiger Walk, the Dawg Walk, et al.
20) Every other tradition at every other school I haven't already mentioned.
Like bread? Like circuses? Like deluded, watered-down football that takes four hours to complete? College is for you! What does the NFL have to offer anyway? It doesn't have any redeeming qualities, does it, Stewie? You know, besides better football and an actual way to determine a champion.
This is the first year that I haven't gotten season tickets to ASU football games, but I watched a good portion of it on TV (it would have been more if Agassi-Baghdatis wasn't on at the same time). ASU looked dreadful against NAU. Once again, the Devils defense will be irreparably leaky, and I don't know if the receiving corps outside of Miller is up to the challenge of a shootout every week. Plus, Koetter still has no semblance of a running game, or even a trace of a plan for one. Suddenly, next week's game against Nevada (who acquitted themselves very well in a loss to Fresno State on Friday) looks eminently losable. The only saving grace to the nonconference schedule is that Colorado, the "marquee" game, just lost against a 1-AA team, Montana St., at home.
I have a few other rolling thoughts from a very full weekend of college football.
-Apparently, center-field logos are so passe. Arkansas and Georgia Tech both opted to leave the middle of their fields green, choosing instead more understated logos at about each 35-yard line, one to the near side and one to the far. I'm all for variety, but I've always been partial to the big, confident logo at the 50 yard line.
-Speaking of field markings, you can tell the Cardinals have moved out of Sun Devil Stadium, because ASU has put its markings all over that field. Sparky is at midfield, the end zones are bright and overstated, and even the on-filed arrows have morphed into pitchforks. Those are all keepers. But the "Go Devils" insignia at each 20 is just overdoing it, and worse, just smacks of being a watered-down version of "Bear Down" that our neighbors to the south stupidly have plastered onto their turf. We have to lose "Go Devils" pronto.
-U of A beat Brigham Young on a last second field goal. Mormons aren't good for anything.
-Oregon has taken a lot of flak, and deservedly so, for their uniforms
, but U of A's are almost as bad. They were wearing their "Oh my God, please don't touch me!" red jerseys
on Saturday, which is always a stupid look. Even more laughable is that ridiculous wide blue stripe
that runs across the back of their jerseys. It looked like everybody was wearing back braces. It was all strangely fitting.
-Every year, I don't look forward to the Florida State-Miami matchup. I'll probably end up watching it anyway.
I had a dream the other night that I left the front door unlocked and we were robbed. I was tied to my chair while the thief ransacked the house. He made a comment to me about how absolutely disgusting the house was, and I apologized for the mess.
Today I cleaned the house.
Current Music: "Forever", Limp Bizkit; shuffle like you wanna