Friday, March 30, 2007

The Weekly Mog: Friday, March 30, 2007

HEADLINES

Sergio Garcia Spits Into Cup, Sums Up Career

Pat Tillman Investigation Update: He’s Still Dead

CBS’ James Brown Proclaimed “The Godfather of Dull”

Lakers to Start Kobe Bryant, Four Pass-Back Devices



Roy Williams the New Roy Williams?
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Following North Carolina’s collapse in the Elite Eight against Georgetown, critics of the fourth-year coach Roy Williams have been positing that he may be following the career path of former Kansas coach and dismal tournament-performer Roy Williams.

“I think you hear this sort of criticism for a reason,” said Sports Illustrated columnist Dave Parker. “This game that [UNC’s] Williams just coached is literally the exact kind of letdown that typified [KU’s] Williams’ tournament meltdowns.”

“The unfortunate thing is that it seems that [UNC’s] Williams was carried to the [2005] national championship by his team, and not the other way around,” continued Parker. “Sadly Kansas never had that luxury when [KU’s] Williams was there.”

After Kansas’ equally devastating loss to UCLA on Saturday, current head coach Bill Self has been lauded for carrying on his predecessor’s legacy.

Cubs’ Prior to Work in Kinks in Minors, Hopeful for Quick Call-Up to DL
MESA, AZ – The Cubs sent Mark Prior to Triple-A Iowa this week in hope that he can regain some doubt in his game. Chicago hopes for a quick call-up to the DL .

“Mark’s a great kid and we know he can get his form back,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella told reporters after Wednesday’s decision to move to the minors. “We know Mark’s got some really exciting things to work with. He could re-aggravate his shoulder, elbow, or Achilles. We’re hoping it’ll be all three and we’ll the see the old Mark real soon.”

“I think it’s a tough thing for him to accept because he’s got such high expectations for himself,” continued Piniella. “He’s lost a lot off his fastball and, believe me, our eyes kind of lit up when we saw that for the first time this spring. And when he’s on, he can really paint the middle of that plate. We’re think he’ll be ready
for the DL soon.”

Prior’s career hit a low in 2003 when the Cubs almost qualified for the World Series and he was selected for the All-Star game following his 18-6 regular season record. However, he and fellow Cubs stalwart Kerry Wood have steadily loosened their shoulders and piled up walks over the past few seasons. Chicago needs both Prior and Wood to fill out key spots on the DL if they hope to seriously contend for fourth-place in a stacked NL Central that features DL-fixture Ken Griffey and the Cincinnati Reds.

“Zekeball”: Isiah’s Tenth-Place Knicks Inspire Forthcoming Book
NEW YORK, NY – Knicks general manager and coach Isiah Thomas will be the inspiration for a book outlining player evaluation and strategy to be published early this summer. It will be titled Zekeball: The Art of Outdoing Yourself.

Author Chris Polston has stated that his primary purpose for the book is to document how Thomas has propelled the historic franchise back into national consciousness with his unorthodox methods.


“What Isiah has done is truly remarkable,” Polston told reporters at a joint press conference with the Knicks organization and his publisher, McFarland Publishing. “Things like shooting-percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio are relics from a game that doesn’t really exist anymore. These are measures that were being used in the same breath as archaic and woefully inexact terms like ‘unselfish player.’ I think when you consider the situation in that light you see that the way scouts evaluate players was long in need of an update.”

Thomas has often contradicted NBA dogma by taking on players long forsaken by their former teams only to see them with a huge upswing in contracts. In fact, the Knicks have the highest dollars-to-wins ratio in all the NBA this season, a telling statistic according to Polston.

Polston outlines in his book the “outdated but widely accepted” practice of building through the draft, a method Thomas has shunned time and again. Thomas will often accomplish his goals of signing the biggest contracts and not taking on young players by trading draft picks for big contracts.

“At the end of the day, it’s not just about giving the biggest signing bonus or the most years on a contract,” Polston explains in an excerpt of Zekeball. “Many so-called pundits are too conservative for today’s brand of game. For example, Thomas was initially lambasted for acquiring three shoot-first point guards in Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, and Jamal Crawford. Yet when dissected it merely comes down to simple math: Bringing the ball across the half-court line and shooting a three-pointer is in actuality a much more sound strategy than a plodding half-court offense or ‘easy’ transition points. To wit, a three-point shot counts for more than shots within the arc and shooting with 18 seconds left on the shot-clock guarantees more possessions. This in turn allows for more long-range shooting. It’s a positive-feedback loop.”

Following Thomas’ lead, Knicks ownership recently awarded their general manager and head coach a contract extension that was virtually entirely decided upon by the Knicks organization because of “a good hunch.”


Email the BlogMogger team at blogmogger@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Slav's Soccer Solo--Fuck Arsenal

Many people have been complaining that the Mog hasn't been running enough articles for women. To wit, our buddy Slav wanted to write a soccer column, so I decided that it would help "balance out the site" if you will. Slav is one of the few dual citizens of Mexico and Russia in the world, and he's obsessed with soccer. Here's a brief intro and his first foray into the world of Blogmogger. Enjoy 

-DJGel


Biography
Slav

Favorite teams/athletes: Chelsea Football Club, Oscar De la Hoya, Dallas Cowboys, STL Cardinals, Miguel Cotto
Hated teams/athletes: Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Nikolai Valuev, Chicago Cubs, Boston/New England anything.
“There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: Those who are intolerant of other people’s culture and the Dutch.”
Fuck Arsenal!
Since the premiership is at somewhat of a standstill this week I thought it most appropriate to take this time to tell everyone else why Arsenal is about as good as a shit-flavored popsicle.
  1. Criticism of Didier Drogba (#15 Forward Striker) by the so-called analysts at ESPN is weaker than a fat kid's will in front of a hot fudge sundae. He is Chelsea’s number one striker…. but oh wait, that’s right he is also currently the number one ranked striker in the world. He is leading the Premiership with 18 goals and is currently one goal behind first place in the Champions League, the only English player to have scored 5 goals already. The criticism comes from the fact that he is a larger African fellow and many think that he uses his size and strength instead of grace and footwork. At 6’2” he’s not that tall, and because he would rather shoot than dick around with the ball for 10 minutes, he’s somehow less commendable? Bullshit. Didier Drogba is a bad motherfucker. Arsenal’s number one striker was supposed to be Thierry Henry, but he has only mustered up 10 premiership goals this season, and a truly pathetic 0 goals in the Champions League. A straight comparison should be enough to realize who the weaker man is.
  2. Arsenal is a team full of weak schoolgirls. The Premiership has recently fined Arsenal and Chelsea both £100,000 for a fight that took place during the final of the Carling Cup. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, Frank Lampard (#8 Midfield) kicked the shit out of the Arsenal team and Drogba finished things up by scoring two goals to win that game.
Arsenal: “Ouch! It hurts when you do it so fast Drogba!”
Drogba: “Sorry baby, the double D only goes one speed”
You may think, “Well they both fought in that game.” True, but unlike Arsenal, half of our team (Chelsea) isn’t on the injured list. Thierry Henry (#14 Pussy) has been out for most of the year because of injury and it doesn’t seem he feels the need to come back anytime soon. He suffered minor ankle injuries. Petr Cech (#1 GK Badass) got his skull cracked in a previous Premiership game, but he’s already back on the field playing for the mighty blue.
Long live the CFC!

Monday, March 26, 2007

DJGel's NL Season Preview

Though Friends of the Mog may have noticed that I started writing detailed season previews for all 30 MLB teams, I only got to the Cards and Yankees before we started getting a bunch of other good stuff that just couldn’t be put off. Therefore, I’m just going to go through and do predictions and team capsules league-by-league. Hopefully, G-Gel Unit will do the same at some point this week.

Before I begin, you might think, “Hey, who’s this asshole to think that he can make the right picks? What kind of arrogant prick thinks that he can do better than the experts?” Well, I suppose it’s the same arrogant prick that wrote this and this before the 2004 season, and inspired this hate mail. However, take a look at this article from later that season. Prettay, prettay, prettay close. If it weren't for that fucking Dave Roberts, I might have been right on the money.

At any rate, I’m going to start with the senior circuit and work my way back to the cartoonish play within the beer-league softball atmosphere that is the AL.

NL East

1. New York Mets

Really, along with the Cards, they’re the only team that scares me in the playoffs in the NL. Their lineup is incredibly deep, with SS Jose Reyes, 3B David Wright, and CF Carlos Beltran forming an excellent young nucleus of position players. Add in solid contributors like C Paul LoDuca and 1B Carlos Delgado and the Mets boast the most fearsome lineup in the National League. Their pitching, other than Tom Glavine, is somewhat scary, as is the shaky bullpen that lost them several games in last year’s NLCS. Still, they’re pretty damned good.

2. Atlanta Braves

The Braves had a bit of a hiccup last year when their pitching fell apart and the wheels basically came off of their entire operation. However, they have a much deeper rotation than anyone realizes, led by Ace John Smoltz, with several promising young pitchers in Chuck James and Kyle Davies gaining experience every start. If Tim Hudson can become half the pitcher he was but a few years ago, the Bravos could ride a young and improving lineup to second place in the NL East in a year where the NL Wild Card is wide open.

3. Florida Marlins

Sure, they’re a young team. Sure their superstar (3B Miguel Cabrera) acts like one of those spoiled girls that are on My Super Sweet 16 most of the time. Sure their manager got so frustrated with their meddlesome owner (former art dealer turned baseball enthusiast Jeffrey Loria) that he quit after only one year on the job. Still, this team has all of the talent to succeed. They just need experience. They’re probably another year away from making a run, but don’t be surprised if they take a giant step forward this year.

4. Philadelphia Phillies

Boy, the NL East is tough. A lot of people predict some big things for the Phils this year—namely the same Philly fans that will be chucking D-batteries at them later this season. However, if you look at their roster, it isn’t that impressive. SS Jimmy Rollins is NOT a prototypical (or even typical) leadoff hitter because he can’t get on base (.334 OBP). 1B Ryan Howard has big-league power, for sure, but he also has more K’s than a Polish phone book. On paper, 2B Chase Utley is the only well-rounded hitter in the entire lineup, and he and Howard can’t do this alone. Their much-hyped rotation contains one #3 on a championship team (Freddy Garcia), a convicted wife-beater (Brett Myers), a young “it” prospect (Cole Hamels), and two guys who are past their prime and probably can and should pump more gas than they throw at this point in their careers (Adam Eaton and Jamie Moyer). Combine these problems with a suspect bullpen behind closer Tom “Flash” Gordon, and it doesn’t look too good for the Lady Horses this season.

5. Washington Nationals

It is my goal to get to a Nats game at some point this spring. The tickets are cheap, and I’m sure we could head up there on a Friday to catch a matinee. That said, the team that they’re playing better be pretty fun to watch, because this team is pretty awful. Their only recognizable face is 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who is pretty amazing. Other than him, how the hell do they market this team? “Come and watch Ace* John Patterson and the Nats take on the Mets! It’s Washington Nationals baseball!” Their third starter is Tim Redding for crying out loud! Ugh, they are terrible.

*-“Ace” is used loosely in this context

NL CENTRAL

1. St. Louis Cardinals

If you’ve read any of my baseball stuff and you think I’m picking anyone but the Cards to take the Central this year, you’re nuts. I mean, sure there are questions about the rotation—but I think they’ll be fixed by an early season arm injury to Braden Looper. Other than that, all of the Cards’ starters have looked pretty solid this spring. Their hitters have been a little shaky thus far, but the game’s best player, Albert Pujols, has proven before that he can single-handedly carry this team, if necessary. The one shaky spot on the defending champs is the bullpen. I’ve never been a huge fan of Goober King Jason Isringhausen in the ninth, and the set-up role was weakened substantially with the loss of RHP Josh Kinney for the year to Tommy John Surgery. Still, they have enough young pitchers at Memphis (LHP Chris Narveson, LHP Randy Keisler, RHP Dennis Dove) that, much like last year, if manager Tony “:Just resting my eyes, officer” LaRussa is forced to put some young guys in key positions, they could be poised to make another deep playoff run.

2. Houston Astros

I’ll give this spot to the ‘Stros, but I have to admit, if it were in a fantasy preview magazine, one of those little “stock falling” graphics would accompany it. They lost 40% of their rotation from last year, and replaced it with 587-year old Woody Williams and Coors Field refugee Jason Jennings. It’ll be priceless the first time Jennings induces a little pop-up to left at Minute Maid to watch the, “Oh, good, thank God I’m away from Coors” look on his face be replaced by the, “What the fuck! How did THAT get out of here!?!” grimace. Also they added 400-lb. LF Carlos Lee, who has all the range of a redwood tree out in left. Their biggest addition might be rookies like Luke Scott or Hunter Pence, who can actually hit the ball—a stark change of pace for an Astros farms system that has produced the likes of Chris Burke, Adam Everett, and J.R. house in recent years. Still, I just think they needed to blow up the whole thing this off-season instead of re-loading for “One last shot.” This all could change if All-World Asshole Roger Clemens decides to pitch for another half-season.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are this year’s Cleveland Indians. They have a ton of good, young talent to go with several rising stars (1B Prince Fielder, 2B Rickie Weeks). They also have a solid rotation that was bolstered by the acquisition of playoff specialist Jeff Suppan. However, much like the Indians last year, I think that they’re getting a little too much hype a little too soon. I could see them here, as high as contending for the Wild Card, or as low as 5th in the division. However, I think that they’ll start to be a real pain-in-the-ass for the Cards starting next season. Give them time.

4. Cincinnati Reds

A team that always surprises me. I just think that they are starting to turn the corner a bit. 3B Edwin Encarnacion has the potential to be a beast. 2B Brandon Phillips finally got an extended chance at the big leagues and didn’t disappoint. Heck, if P’s Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo can duplicate their seasons from last year and the team can finally find a reliable closer, this team could easily finish ahead o the Cubs. Now that I’ve said that, watch them battle with the Bucs for the basement all summer.

5. Chicago Cubs

If you need a detailed explanation of why their off-season wasn’t terribly good, look at this article. I don’t know what else to say, other than:

a. Alfonso Soriano is going to be terrible in CF with the swirling winds at Wrigley

b. P's Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis are TERRIBLE

c. They really don’t have much offensive depth behind Soriano, 1B Derrek Lee, and 3B Aramis Ramirez. If any one of them goes down with an injury, the Cubs are done

d. Kerry Wood is already complaining of arm problems

e. Mark Prior has lost something on his fastball, and probably got hurt between when I wrote this and press time.

I mean, other than that, they have a great team!

6. Pittsburgh Pirates

I’m not going to waste too much time on the Bucs. They did well by acquiring 1B Adam LaRoche for former closer Mike Gonzalez. Other than that, it’s Jason Bay and a bunch of scrubs. Until they either start developing more pitching or actually use their revenue sharing money, they’re going to be pretty awful.

NL WEST

1. Uh…San Diego Padres

I mean, all these teams are pretty much the same, right? Shit, I could’ve put the Rockies here and made a decent case for them. I’ll go ahead and put the Pads in, only because new 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff is, by all accounts, a beast. They did lose C Mike Piazza and P Woody Williams to free agency, but they were both over the hill, and the “veteran presence” that they paid for in Williams was good for this line in NLDS Game 4:

5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Uh, yeah, way to go, Woody. If Ace Jake Peavy can come back, number 2 Chris Young maintains the progress that he made last year, and they can milk just enough mileage out of veteran SP’s Greg Maddux and David Wells to get to the league’s best bullpen, they have a chance to come out of the NL West…and then immediately get bounced by another playoff team

2. Arizona Diamondbacks

A lot of people will say, “They’re too young to be in contention this year.” Well, the Marlins almost snuck into the playoffs last year, and they didn’t have a reigning Cy Young Winner (Brandon Webb) and a former Cy Young winner (Randy Johnson) on their team. These guys are loaded with young talent. OF’s Carlos Quentin and Chris Young are mashers. SS Stephen Drew is apparently like brother J.D., but with a working heart. If these guys develop, there’s no reason why they can’t contend in yet another mediocre NL West.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

I was really, really tempted to put the Rockies here. The Dodgers are getting a lot of love from major publications like SI, who picked them to reach the Series this year. Of course, the addition of P Jason Schmidt, even if it is post-steroids era, will probably help an already deep rotation. However, they lost OF J.D. Drew and didn’t replace him with anyone. Their best hitter is (gulp) 1B Nomar Garciaparra, who, though an okay complementary piece at this point in his career, shouldn’t be a featured piece of an offensive attack. Other than Nomar, this team is a blend of guys who are a little too over-the-hill (2B Jeff Kent, OF Luis Gonzalez) and guys that probably are still a year away from making a huge impact (C Russell Martin, OF Andre Ethier). This is just a team that needs to figure out whether it’s going to go with the young guys or not—otherwise, guys like top 3B prospect Andy LaRoche will continue to get blocked at the big league level while this team could be maturing together.

4. Colorado Rockies

The Rockies could make some noise this season. OF’s Brad Hawpe and Matt Holiday, 3B Garrett Atkins, and 1B Todd Helton all can rake. SS Troy Tulowitzki and C Chris Iannetta are both big-time prospects. P Jeff Francis and closer Brian Fuentes are both solid. The problem for them is going to be rotation depth. However, for the first time in years, this team has the firepower to stay in games regardless of their pitching staff. Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, and Dante Bichette would be proud.

5. San Francisco Giants

Oh boy, this one could get ugly. They go out and sign a guy who’s probably now a Number 2 starter on a championship-caliber team (Barry Zito) to one of the richest deals in history for a pitcher (7 years $126 million!) They are another year older. Barry Bonds’ knees are held together with bubblegum, string, and HGH at this point. Rich Aurelia is playing first base for them now, making Giants fans yearn for the days of (yikes!) J.T. Snow. Their rotation behind Zito has one true promising young pitcher—Matt Cain—followed by (sound of window closing) Noah Lowry, Matt “Don’t call me Grizzly Adams” Morris, and Russ “I’m bad” Ortiz. Top it off with erratic closer Armando Benitez, and the only thing that Giants fans will have to cheer about this season will be Barry’s steroid-fueled quest for the all-time home run record, which is already considered tainted and meaningless to the rest of the country. Good luck!

NLDS:

Cards over Braves 3-1

Mets over Padres 3-1

NLCS:

Cards over Mets 4-3

That’s all for now. Coming Soon—Part II—the AL preview. E-mail the Blogmogger team at blogmogger@yahoo.com. Click the ads.

Hurricanes AREN'T for Drinking

Friends of the Mog may have noticed that one of the links down on the right side of the page is to a little site called “Hurricanes are for Drinking”, run by our buddy Sunil. They usually have a decent amount of good content which is similar in character to what you get here, except it’s a lot more sports and a lot less “Lost”.

At any rate, they recently had a piece featured on deadspin.com about the guy on espn.com who used to write “criticism” about moves made by the network. Well, now that this crusading yellow journalist has finally been canned, Sunil profited from his misfortune by writing a tongue in cheek piece chronicling his reign of terror. This has caused the guys over there to get a bit of a big head, so I thought that I’d outline all of the things that hurricanes are for--except for drinking

Hurricanes are for getting picked in the first round in the NFL Draft. Obviously, “the U” generally has a number of top flight prospects that get selected early on in the draft. Unfortunately, that leads to our next point…

Hurricanes are for going to jail. Over the past few years, that nice old man, Larry Coker, has presided over one of the greatest falls from grace in college history. It’s easy to imagine him trying to give an inspirational speech while players are screaming, “FUCK YOU, MOTHAFUCKA!”, “SUCK MY DICK, BITCH!” and “HOO-DEE-HOO!” These guys are carted off to jail more often than Enron execs. I mean, what a bunch of thugs—not to mention the unfortunately hilarious brawl with FIU this past season. Yikes.

Hurricanes are for Fucking over the Whale. Come on, Carolina! We all know that the kind people of Hartford, Connecticut deserved that Cup. Why did they move in the first place? Is it really better to play in front of 8,000 people in Carolina instead of playing in front of 8,000 people in a mall somewhere in Hartford? Ridiculous. Over-Under for number of years before this team jets to Vegas or KC: 5. Take the under.

Hurricanes are for Devastating Coastal Communities. Needs no explanation.

Hurricanes are for…well…ladies. I mean, honestly, we’ve all succumbed to the temptress that is the frozen drink aisle in the supermarket. You know, you have a bottle of rum at home, you need to get Coke anyway as a mixer, so you figure, “Hey, why not get that delicious-looking Hurricane mix?” and enjoy a hedonistic, yet forbidden, night of drinking those delectable creations. However, you know that you can never tell anyone else about it for fear of being labeled a “pussy”. Well, these guys wear it right on their sleeves. I admire their courage—I mean, it takes a big man to come out and say, “I won’t be silenced any more! I LOVE TO DRINK HURRICANES!!!” Still, though, Sunil, tone it down a bit, buddy. You’re making everyone else uncomfortable.

So there it is folks. I await your reply, Sunil. Click the Ads.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Weekly Mog: Friday, March 23, 2007

HEADLINES

Reds to Start Wax Sculpture of Ken Griffey in Right Field

Gators’ Joakim Noah Stock Rises for WNBA Draft

Dodgers Extend Grady Little’s Contract, Mediocrity by One Year

Tubby Smith Eager to Raise Minnesota Expectations to Familiar “Average” Level

Tony LaRussa Extends Championship Champagne Bath to Spring Training

Bill Simmons Comforts Kevin Durant With Relaxing Massage After Texas Loss
SPOKANE, WA – ESPN.com columnist and Boston-area sports enthusiast Bill Simmons helped console Texas standout freshman Kevin Durant with a Swedish-style massage following the Longhorns loss to USC on Sunday.

“Don’t worry about them Kev – can I call you Kev?” said Simmons while kneading Durant’s fatigued trapezius muscles. “That flippin’ [Texas coach] Rick Barnes doesn’t know how to manage talent like yours. Just relax and let Billy – ooh, you’re really tense – melt away all this stress.”

“Y’know, maybe you should be happy you lost,” added Simmons while applying lotion to Durant’s back and shoulders. “You could’ve pulled or twisted something and you, baby, have got bigger things to do than this college nonsense.”

After dressing and having a final players meeting, Durant escorted Simmons back to his hotel room where he declined Simmons’ offer to come up for coffee.

J.J. Redick to Mystified Club Bouncer: “Do You Know Who the Hell I Am?!?”
ORLANDO, FL – Late Saturday night, Orlando Magic rookie J.J. Redick became incensed with bouncer Tony Wells when he was denied immediate entry to the popular nightclub Rocket.

“Excuse me… sorry… mmgh… dammit!” said Redick as he made his way through the considerable line outside the club just moments before the heated exchange.

“Hey, my man, you think me and my lady friend could get in?” inquired Redick to Wells.

After only receiving a confused stare from Wells, Redick reportedly became frustrated and enraged.

“Don’t you know who the hell I am?” said Redick. “I’m only the all-time leading scorer for the ACC that’s who! Um, eleventh overall pick last year? Ringing any bells?”

“Look, it’s probably the light out here or something,” continued Redick while moving to the brighter light provided by a nearby lamppost and lifting the hair from his forehead. “This doing anything for you? I’m, like, that Duke player who shot threes! You must have at least seen me on SportsCenter when I read my poetry, right? C’mon!”

After getting little response from Wells, Redick allegedly became even more combative.

“Y’know, this time last year in Durham [NC] I could have pissed in a bottle and nursed your infant niece and you would have asked for more,” said Redick while storming off with girlfriend Tara Reid.

Wells was later seen asking coworker Ben Francis, “Who’s A.J. Fredrick?”

Joey Porter Breaks Loose From Tethers, Runs Amok Through Las Vegas Casino
LAS VEGAS, NV – Earlier this week Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter broke free from his restraints at the Palms hotel-casino, much to the horror of spectators who had come to observe the tempestuous oddity.

“Well, we’d come all the way from Fayetteville to check him out,” said Arkansas native and tourist Ted Nichols. “They brought him out all strapped up and the like and we were supposed to just watch as he did normal activities that he would do in his natural environment. So first they took him to the blackjack table.”

“He looked pretty docile for a moment,” added Nichols. “Sure, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you shouldn’t harass him. The casino folks even made sure that we didn’t do anything too stimulating.”

Palms officials have a rigid policy that prohibits any actions that may be interpreted as "disrespect" around Porter.

Apparently Porter was provoked when another Palms attraction, Bengals offensive lineman Levi Jones, was brought within earshot of Porter. Although Jones was also in harnesses led by Palms employees, this was enough to provoke Porter.

“It shouldn’t strike anyone as surprising,” Stanford University professor of zoology Thomas Darcy told The Weekly Mog. “NFL players can be terribly territorial. For short periods of time, offensive players can coexist in relative close proximity, but an offensive and defensive player? I trust the casino had trained professional but this sort of reaction is really only natural.”

Continued Darcy: “Players like Porter and Jones can never really be ‘tamed.’ And, frankly, it’s irresponsible to think otherwise.”

After both Porter and Jones had broken free of their restraints, they reportedly became hostile with one another in the valet area of the Palms. Both had to be brought down with darts containing a mixture of phencyclidine, of common tranquilizer for larger mammals, and Patron tequila.

Due to all the negative publicity of the incident, the Palms is rumored to have scrapped their much-anticipated plans to bring in former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski for a summer exhibition.


Email the BlogMogger team at blogmogger@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Mailbag (3-22-07)

Friends of the Mog, this is truly a glorious day. Obviously the buzz has almost been too much to handle the past few days here at blogmogger. I'm sorry if your head explodes like Mikhail Barulin's did in that recent episode of Lost (I know, I need professional help. And I'm obsessed with Lost). However, more importantly, we received our very first real fan letter. We've now received enough to put together the first REAL edition of the Mailbag.

Hi there I just found your site and thought you would like to know
that I left some posts on your older stuff. Particularly, I left a post
on the Cards run. Like most of the 200 ? years, this last season
I bailed out my Yanks friends allowing them onto my bandwagon
after I punished them ruthlessly. And I left a post on the
Romo/Theisman run. Nice job keeping the topics overloaded, too.
I wanted to also tell you that I have a tendency to be relatively
excessive on sarcasm as well. Just a note to keep you smiling l
ike you did me.

Stace-L
Hey, thanks Stace-L. We appreciate the comments, despite the healthy dosage of sarcasm. And now, you have the distinction of being the very first real e-mail to be printed in BlogMogger history. Congratulations! I know, we should have had a big parade and a ceremony and everything, but we can't, BECAUSE NO ONE IS CLICKING ON THE FUCKING ADS! DO YOU THINK WE WRITE THIS FROM THE FUCKING CAYMEN ISLANDS WHILE SIPPING DAIQUIRIS AND LOUNGING AROUND IN HAMMOCKS WITH A SUPERMODEL ON EACH ARM?!? RIDICULOUS! MAYBE IF YOU GUYS WOULD CLICK THE ADS, STACE-L COULD HAVE GOTTEN A PROPER AMOUNT OF RECOGNITION!!! NOW, STACE-L IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO TOIL IN OBSCURITY! I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY!!!

Sorry, folks, it's been a stressful week. Stace-L, keep reading!

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In other to claim your £1, 000, 000 00 prize winning,
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you will have to fill the form below and send it to the
Promotion manager of THE COCA\'COLA COMPANY
for verification and then you will be directed to the bank
where a cheque of £1, 000, 000 00 has already been
deposited in your favor.

NAME:...........................
AGE:........................................
SEX:........................................
ADDRESS:...............................
EMAIL:....................................
PHONE:...................................
OCCUPATION:.........................
MARITAL STATUS.................
COMPANY:..............................
COUNTRY:...............................

Please you are advice to complete the form and send it
immediately to our Promotion manager through email
or fax for prompt collection of your fund from the
designated courier company. Do note that you are to
contact the SCARLET COURIER DEPARTMENT
Immedietly for the dilivery of your winning fund.

(THE PERSON THAT IS IN CHARGE OF YOUR
DELIVERY FUNDS IS BELOW)

Name: William Gore
Phone:+44 701-114-8434
Fax :+44 707 502 4939
Email: xxxxxxxxx@yahoo.co.uk

You are to keep all lotto information away from
the general public especially your ticket number
and ballot number. (This is important as a
case of double claims will not be entertained).

*Staff of Coca-Cola and the British American
Tobacco Company is not to partake in this Lottery.

Accept my hearty congratulations once again!

Yours faithfully,
Mrs. Merriam Wilcox
(Online Coordinator)

Wow, you hear that guys? We're gonna be rich! A Coca-Cola/British American Tobacco Worldwide Promotion? Obviously, I mean, what goes together better than Coke and cigarettes? Unbelievable that out of 29,031 e-mail addresses (or is it 250,000? Hmm...) we were one of twenty selected.

Sadly, though, I have to reject this prize, as we're clearly going to be inundated with a flood of ad revenue in the coming days. It would personally embarrass me to have THAT much cash at our disposal. So, Mrs. Wilcox, thanks, but no thanks.

Very Confidential.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am Mr.Simon Rosenblum , a Liberian national and former associate to ex-President Charles Taylor of Liberia who is currently in detention with United Nations. As tension climaxed and as I foreseen what was about to happen to my former boss, I have to sneak out to my current country of residence before the clamp down as all former associates of ex president were penciled down for arrest by the new administration of Mrs. Ellen Johnson who is bent on getting hold of us, especially I and others whose offices were used to siphon funds, gold and diamond abroad. Check this site to understand what I am telling you.
http://www.un.org/news/Press/docs/2004/sc8027.doc.htm

All my loots above $120 Million United States Dollars including Gold and diamonds made rom deals while in government were deposited anonymously in disguise for security reason in different countries at different deposit institutions which I will disclose to you soon as you are ready to assist. The deposits documents are with me, but I cannot move out freely of my present residence due to the tension on the ground.

I want these funds with the Gold and diamonds to be transferred to you which shall be used to set up good viable investments that will be handled by you for now until I have the freedom to join you. The investment profits shall be on the 40-50 sharing ratio, while 10% is for the reimbursement of any expenses incured during the transaction. Note that I lost all my family members including my wife during the civil war in Liberia which makes hence you are my last hope to revive my life with this my fortunes. Once you agree to help, I will direct you to the particular deposit institution to contact them for the deposit to be released to you upon my instruction.

This communication and other of our communications must be kept secret due to my present predicament. You should not discuss it with anybody. Reply immediately if you are ready to take up the task to my confidential email: xxxxxxx@sify.com, with your full name, address, your occupation, age, your lnternational passport, your private telephone and fax numbers respectively.

Thanks and God Bless You.

Mr. Simon Rosenblum.

Well, Mr. Rosenblum, I do like money, especially in my preferred currency: gold and jewels. However, as much as I'd like to help a brutal dictator launder the money begotten from fucking over his entire country, I think I'm going to have to pass here. There have to be many friendly ex-Enron execs who are far more qualified in these arts and discreet than I am, so maybe you should call them on the phone or write them a letter. I believe they can be found at:

INMATE NAME & REGISTER NUMBER
FCI BEAUMONT LOW
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 26020
BEAUMONT, TX 77720

Good luck, Simon!

21st March,2007


Hi,

How are you doing today? My name is Rosemary Smith,
a citizen of Britain. I live in England and work in a
financial institution as the Audit Officer. THERE IS A
POTENTIAL TRANSACTION WHICH IS OF MUTUAL
BENEFIT AND INVOLVES HUGE FUNDS IN FIXED
DEPOSIT ACCOUNT WHICH CO-INCIDENTALLY IS
RELATED TO YOU AND I WOULD LIKE US TO HANDLE
IT TOGETHER.

Please Let me know if I can trust you with this and
more information will be sent to you as quickly as possible.

I await your prompt response.

Regards,

Mrs.Rosemary Smith
Rosemary,

I appreciate that you came to me with this opportunity. However, I cannot be trusted with this task, as I would probably try to steal the money from you before we accomplished the task. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Dear...i need your foreign asistance,

I am the head of Accounts and Audit Department of
Bank of Africa, Ouagadougou .I decided to contact you
after a careful thought that you may be capable of
handling this business transaction which i explained
below;

In my department we discovered an abandoned sum
of $10.5m US dollars (Ten million, five hundred
thousand US dollars). In an account that belongs
to one of our foreign customer who died along with his
entire family in 1998 in a plane crash. Since we got
information about his death, we have been expecting
his next of kin to come over and claim his money
because we cannot release it unless somebody applies
for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as
indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we
learnt that his supposed next of kin(his son and wife)
died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving
nobody behind for the claim .It is therefore upon this
discovery that I and other officials in my department
now decided to make this business proposal to you
and release the money to you as the next of kin (We
want to present you as his business associate )to the
deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement
since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this
money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that
if such money remained Unclaimed after seven years,
the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury
as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next
of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that
the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot
stand as next of kin to a foreigner .We agree that 30%
of this money will be for you as foreign partner, in
respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10 %
will be set aside for expenses incurred during the
business and 60% would be for me and my colleagues.
There after I and my colleagues will visit your country
for disbursement according to the percentages
indicated. Therefore to enable the immediate transfer
of this fund to your account as arranged, you must
apply first to the bank as next of kin of the deceased
customer. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to
you by fax or email the text of the application. I will
not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction
is hitch free and that you should not entertain any
atom of fear as all required arrangements have been
made for the transfer.

I would want you to respond to my email
immediately you read it for more details.

Hoping to hear from you immediately.
Yours faithfully,

Mr.Paul Soba.

Accounts & Audit Department,
Bank of Africa

Nb.also give me your telephone and fax numbers
for easy communication with you.
Hey Paul, what's up? I do agree that your banking rules are generally first rate--the Swiss have nothing on you, my friend. If a foreigner doesn't claim his cash, find another, random foreigner to transfer the funds. Absolutely brilliant.

Unfortunately, I have several problems with your proposal. First, 30% seems like far too low of a finder's fee for a man of my stature. I demand nothing less than 99% of the total. Hey, that 1% is $100 grand that you wouldn't have otherwise, right?

Secondly, you used the word "learnt" in your letter. While I realize that English is probably your second language (or perhaps third, or even fourth for a man of your education and numerous accomplishments), all I can think of when I hear "learnt" is some South St. Louis hoosier who beats up some other hoosier in a drunken barroom brawl and who, once finished, exclaims, "Boy, I sure learnt him good, right Skeeter!?!" I'm sorry, but this image simply detracts from my otherwise lofty opinion of you and your organization.

For these reasons, I will be unable to help you at present. As such, i am not providing my contact information. You never know when one of these "e-mail scammers" will try to intercept it and use it to steal your identity. Boy would I have egg on my face then! Best of luck in your future search, sir.


So that's all for now. If you want to be included in a future edition of the Mailbag, send your questions and comments to blogmogger@yahoo.com. Until then, In Mog we Trust

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lost Bloggin' 3-21-07

Well, it's that time of the...well...every two weeks, folks, where Mog gurus 1/2 Man 1/2 Am-Asian and myself break down the past two episodes of "Lost". This one is uniquely long since we got so much of the proverbial "good stuff" the past couple of weeks, so if you saw both episodes and want to shave some off a bit, skip my first two paragraphs. Go on, it's okay, I said you could do it. Dave summarizes things pretty well in his first post. Otherwise, if you didn;t see the episodes, or otherwise want to fight through my own verbose recap, be my guest. Enjoy.

DJGel: Wow, Dave, talk about a "course correction". These past two episodes were absolutely incredible. I mean, where do I even begin? Well, I guess starting from where we last left off would probably help our readers...

The first episode centered around Sayid, with him, Kate, Locke, and Rousseau heading north. They stumbled upon a house with the "eye patch guy" from the episode where Eko dies. He ended up being a Ukrainian guy who made up some phony-baloney story about being the last member of the Dharma initiative, and Sayid entertained it for a bit--all the while realizing that the Russian was an Other, trying to figure out how to subdue him and get the most information out of him. Dumb-ass John Locke found a chess game with video clips of the creepy Asian doctor from the orientation films. The best part of the episode was when Sayid tried to force the Russian guy's hand by saying that "at least we killed one of the hostiles (Others)", to which the Russian guy responded, "Why do we keep playing this game when we both know we have reached the next stage?", followed by the Russian gunning a pitcher of iced tea at Sayid. They managed to subdue the Russian for a while, and Sayid and Kate checked the house for other...well..."Others". That dumb goober Locke kept playing the chess game, and eventually got kidnapped by the Russian guy, who had broken his restraints. Kate and Sayid found the other Other--the black woman who we saw near the end of season 2, and brought her upstairs. What followed was a particularly intense shouting match in Russian between the Russian guy and the black woman, which culminated in the Russian guy shooting her. Locke won the chess game again, and , when prompted by the creepy Asian doctor, pressed "77" because he said that "hostiles" had taken over the house. Of course the whole thing was rigged with C4, and it blew up once all of the castaways had cleared the house. However, because of some shit in Sayid's past, he decided to keep the Russian guy as a prisoner, and took him in the direction of the Others' village.

My God, that's already a lot. Bear with me though. The next episode gave us an intriguing glimpse into more Other life. The Russian guy was more forthcoming than I thought, explaining that none of Kate, Sayid, or Locke were on the "list" of the Others' true leader (It's not Ben). This Russian guy acts like the Others are all superior and intelligent and everything (which might be corroborated by their very snobbish book club at the beginning of season 3), but I think Sayid is closer to the truth when he said, "The more I hear about your people, the more I think that you're less omniscient than you'd have us believe", or something to that effect. Most snobs are the same way. The group finally reached a barrier of some sort after walking a couple more days. The Russian guy claimed it was inactive, Locke decided to test it by throwing the guy through the barrier. What resulted was one of the most awesome scenes I've seen on (network) television--the Russian guy started foaming at the mouth, with blood squirting from his ears all over the place, and died. After this strange turn of events, Sayid found out that Locke is hiding something from him and Kate, since Locke had C4 in his backpack and he had previously claimed that he didn't know that the place was rigged with C4. They finally decided to climb over the barrier with the help of a tall tree, and made it to the Others' camp. In one of the all-time great endings to an episode of Lost, the ep ends with our band of adventurers eying Jack running toward them from Other camp. Kate wanted to yell out to him, but Sayid silenced her. It turned out that he was running a route, and playing football with, of all people, Tom the Other. It also seemed like he was really enjoying himself, much to the dismay of our merry band of survivors.

Oh yeah, also Claire is Jack's half-sister and Claire now knows that Desmond can see the future and Charlie's gonna die. But that subplot was BOR-ING.

Jesus, I hope we still have SOME of the obsessive fans still reading. Did I miss anything especially pertinent?

1/2 Man ½ Am-Asian: I think you covered it. Of course there was the stuff about Claire trying to send a message with a bird, which was pretty lame. I would say the only part about that storyline which intrigues me is that we have yet another example of someone perhaps willing someone else to die; in this case it was Claire who may have indirectly killed hermother. However, I suppose her mother may not even be dead but it doesn't really matter. All in all, the last two weeks have been prettay ... prettay ... prettay good.

I think a good place to start would be to put together all the important facts that we've learned since last time so we can put forth some porous theories. I'll get the ball rolling:

-The Others placed Eye-Patch Guy in an old Dharma outpost to masquerade as a former Dharma operative
-The computer allowed for communication with the outside world but probably hasn't worked since Desmond's key-turning incident
-Dharma knows/knew about the "hostiles" (can we assume this means the Others?) and wanted to protect their operation so bad that they implemented a self-destruct mechanism
-There was the other Other who said something that made Eye-Patch Guy shoot her (did I miss why this happened?)
-Eye-Patch Guy knew all about Sayid, Kate, and Locke
-As mentioned, there's a list made by some "magnificent" uber-Other which doesn't have Sayid, Kate, or Locke on it -- although it might include Jack
-Of course, there is a barrier around the Others' country club which has some sort of sonic weapon perimeter
-Eye-Patch Guy apparently wanted to be killed
-Locke stole some C4 for some reason and may or may not have consciously blown up the Dharma outpost
-Jack has begun integrating into the Others

Ok, probably missed some stuff. Any other big facts that I missed?

DJGel: What, you didn't think the stuff with Claire and the bird was incredibly insightful/fulfilling? Seriously, though, I like where you're going with the "willing others to die" thing--if you think back, the first instance we saw of this might be with Jack and his awesome father. So I think you might be on to something there.

Other than what you listed, it's obvious that somehow the Others have encyclopedic knowledge about the survivors. It's a shame that that Russian guy had to die--I thought they'd keep him around for a while as a doppelganger for Sayid (a la Ben in season 2 for Locke). Also, one of my buddies up here speaks fluent Russian, and apparently, what the black woman was saying to the Russian guy was "You know what you have to do! Do it already!" So that makes sense for that situation.

I do think Locke has some ulterior motive, but judging by his behavior in past seasons, I think it is far less sinister than imagined, and probably him just being a big idiot. Grant has a theory that Ben got to Locke while he was still locked up, and that now Locke is just doing what Ben told him to do. Regardless, I think a lot will get answered in the next couple of weeks.

With regard to Jack--sometimes I think he's on the "List", and sometimes not. I think that they were kind of "pledging" him, if you will, by locking him up and whatnot over the past three weeks. It's easy to imagine Tom making him hold cinder-blocks for hours at a time while yelling at him, "Don't even bother, Sheppard!. We all know you're fucking pathetic. You hear me, you sack of shit? PATHETIC!" We can only hope that they go back and fill in this time for Jack at some point--like they did for the Tailpeople last season.

What's potentially more exciting (for me, at least) is the possibility of my "Jack becomes the leader of the Others" theory playing out. I expect some
royalties on this one, abc. Any thoughts about any of this stuff?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: Well, I'll offer that Jack is indeed on the "List" and that he is in fact the magnificent leader of the Others. Assuming we're still going with this whole time-loop thing and that the Others know everything about the survivors (perhaps because of the time-loop), I think the Others have been waiting for Jack to come to island to become their leader. I can't really think of why, unfortunately, seeing as his only skills are surgery and crying but I suppose they could do worse. But I think you're right: We should see Jack be accepted into the Others.

As for the other characters, it looks like the writers haven't completely forgotten about the O.G.'s of the island. Although his storyline isn't particularly integral to the bigger mysteries of the island, Sayid continues to push the plot along. I'm sure some will disagree with me but I also find Claire and her episodes to be above average even though they're sort of cheesy. I mean, any storyline that brings back Jack's father can't be all bad, right? And the real advantage of an episode like Claire's last one is that it was a good balance between advancing the narrative and the necessary sentimental filler. At this point, I'm resigned to the fact that this show will push corny backstories. However, it's possible to at least add some intrigue -- and by "intrigue" I don't mean randomly throwing in Cheech Marin -- by making Claire and Jack related. I think the next logical step is an episode with Jack's father boning Bai Ling.

Considering the resurgence of old characters, I suppose we're due for a Locke, Kate, or Charlie episode. Speaking of Locke, boy has he fallen off. He's like the Shawn Kemp of the island. I suppose that would go along with the pregnancy subplot...

What do you expect from the episodes to follow?

DJGel: Interesting. More on that point about Jack—do you think it’s possible that the Others somehow engineered the whole, “Make Desmond leave the hatch so that the plane would crash” solely in the hope of getting Jack in there as their leader? The reason I ask this is because Ben was so big on making Jack “want” to do the surgery, and Jack had that impassioned, screaming speech at the airport about how he had to get home to bury his father—he WANTED to be on that plane. I’m wondering if these people could somehow even engineer THAT—I mean, obviously they don’t give half a fuck about killing people—especially their own.

I do agree that they do need some level of that stupid sentimentality on the island, if only to keep some viewers watching. And, you’re right, if it has to be done, they might as well do it right, with a healthy dose of Desmond and an appearance by Jack’s Alcoholic Father. So long as Sawyer or Desmond are involved in the “campfire” stories from now on, we should be able to take a spoonful of that crap with the “nectar of the gods” that is the show’s main plot.

By the way, was it just me, or did the whole Desmond-Charlie thing have a little too much of a “Brokeback” feel to it? I mean, from Desmond coming up and telling him that they had to go on a “hunting trip” together (suspiciously like a “fishing trip”) to that scene where Claire is watching them have a conversation on the beach, I half expected Desmond to yell out, “I wish I could quit you!”, or at least when Claire tells Charlie at the end that Desmond told her “everything”, I expected Charlie to start the “listen, we were drunk and lonely, and, you know, one thing led to another, and…” now THAT would’ve been a funny/worthwhile campfire story.

One other thing that we might see is Sawyer’s continued evolution from “badass conman” to “lovable scamp”. It’s unfortunate, but Sawyer has been way too nice in these past few eps. I half expect him to start baking Hurley cookies or giving the Brazilian Guy acting lessons. By the end of the season, we’ll probably see that, in addition to him setting up various charitable organizations and attempting to single-handedly find a cure for cancer, he will be giving talks on the ancient classics, starting with “The Iliad” and moving on through Virgil, to demonstrate his “sensitive side”.

Any thoughts about these things or (more importantly) the main plot?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I think you're essentially on target: The producers are really coming close to jumping the shark. Don't get me wrong, the last two episodes have been good but quite a few of the former stalwarts among the survivors have been either marginalized either by lack of exposure or questionable direction of their character. Someone like Sayid would be an example of the former whereas Sawyer or Locke might be an example of the latter. I suppose "peeling back the onion" for the characters is something that Lost has done since day-one and maybe, say, Locke would be a pretty thin character if he wasn't such a hit-or-miss kind of guy (I think he's pretty much been missing since he got high in that tent), but the audience has seen way too many of those "all the answers you've been waiting for!" promos.

Anyway, can't complain too much after the last two eps. Let's see here, I think Jack will become the leader of the Others. I haven't quite figured out how the time-loop works but somehow that probably allows the Others to know everything about the survivors and that's how Jack has already made the List. After that I guess I'm not really sure.

Any final thoughts on the direction for the rest of the season?

DJGel: I do think that sooner or later, they’re going to have to give us some real clues as to what the deal with the time loop is. I think that this week’s episode is going to give us some answers, but I could definitely see Kate, Sayid, and Locke doing a lot of “recon” work, with the climax being Locke confronting Ben, and the cliffhanger being Kate confronting Jack. I also think that, if he’s not on the list, Jack is maybe going to make the Others re-think their “If you’re not one of us, fuck you” strategy.

Other than that, I think (hope) that things will materialize maybe a little more quickly than we thought. I remember a few weeks ago, we speculated that it would take Sayid, Kate, and Locke most of the rest of the season to reach the Country Club. They made it in a few weeks. Maybe the producers are finally starting to realize that they have some real ground to cover here towards the end of the season. Now that I’ve thrown that out there, watch as we’re treated to Brazilian Guy, Rose/Bernard, and Charlie episodes after this next one. Anything else?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I hope you're right about the Kate, Sayid, and Locke doing something in the Country Club. They pretty much have to after last week, right?

Unfortunately the ebb and flow of this season might dictate that we're in for another two filler episodes. We'll see.

DJGel: Excellent work, as always. Thanks Dave.

Monday, March 19, 2007

NCAA Tourney: Sweet 16 - Talking the Talk

The Tourney has weeded out the weaker teams and overrated squads and only 16 are left. This year's first weekend featured more "chalk" than usual (favored teams winning) and while that has led to a lack of Cinderellas, it sets up some monster games in the Tourney's second weekend as the field is thinned to the Final Four. While the hard-core fans can advocate for the 1-3-1 zone or high-low offense, I figured I'd give the Mog's casual sports fan readers with busted brackets some tips to help enjoy the next slate of games, and aid you in mixing it up with the Hoopsheads you may encounter at bars or parties starting Thursday by giving you the Cliff's Notes on each game and some playful barbs to use on a fan of each remaining team

The WEST Region
Thursday/Saturday

1) Kansas v 4) Southern Illinois
The Jayhawks are young and fast and weren't really challenged in either of their first two games. They've been winning non-stop for the past month and are looking good doing it. As for SoIll, they have played strong defense and ground out wins against Holy Cross and Virginia Tech.


Comment that could get to a KU fan: "You guys have looked great but we both know Self has never been able to get over the hump - he's a Sweet 16 machine but he's just not a Final Four coach."


To a SoIll fan: "How long have you been a Saluki fan? Remember when they upset Texas Tech in the tourney a few years ago? No? Oh that's cool, sometimes I just pick a random team to cheer for too, it's more fun that way"

2) UCLA v 3) Pitt
UCLA lost in the championship game last year and Pac-10 Player of the Year Arron Afflalo is clutch, but the Bruins almost blew the Indiana game at the end - giving up a 12 point lead in the last 4 minutes. Pitt are chronic underachievers and never seem to get Ws over teams that are better than them.


To a UCLA fan: "You guys look good but not as good as last year. I like your perimeter players but who is gonna stop Aaron Grey in the middle? And if you win, you can't like the matchups with Kansas, so Im assuming you are cheering for SoIll"


To Pitt fan: "That looked like an exciting game against VCU. I was watching that game then I turned it off when you guys were up 19 in the 2nd half because I assumed it was over.. but the end and OT looked exciting from the highlights."


The SOUTH Region
Thursday/Saturday
1) Ohio St. v 5) Tennessee
Ohio St should have lost to Xavier but got bailed out by missed free throws at the end and a great 3 by Minke Conley. But often teams that barely escape regroup and go on a run, so don't let that near-loss sour you on them. Tennessee housed Long Beach St. in the 1st round then beat UVA in a thriller. Ohio St. should be solid favorites in this one.

To an OSU fan: "Hey you guys are #1 going into the Sweet 16 so that's gotta make you feel confident. It's just like the football team." (NOTE: this may get a drink thrown in your face as Ohio State's football team were blown out in the National Championship by UF 41-14.)


To Tenn fan: "Is your coach gonna wear a jacket and tie or just paint for this one?"


2) Memphis v 3) Texas A&M
A&M eked out a close one against Louisville in a great game and Memphis looked pretty solid in taking down Nevada. For A&M this is old hat - they've been winning close ones all year. Memphis hasn't lost since December and completely dominated a depleted Conference USA.


To Memphis fan: "You guys have been killing it out there but I hadn't seen you guys before the Tourney. What good teams did you play?"


To A&M fan: "I love watching your team play. All your games are so close - do you really think Acie Law IV can keep nailing every game-deciding shot?"


The EAST Region
Friday/Sunday
1) UNC v 5) USC
UNC is loaded with talent but they are very young. USC plays hard-nosed defense and looked extremely impressive in taking down Kevin Durant and Texas. Plus they are blindly supported by DJGel bc they won him some cash in Vegas in January.


To UNC fans: "Hansborough is all-heart, a real gamer. You must feel good about having a white center as your best player - the key to becoming an NCAA championship team"


To USC fans: "That Texas win was nice but you know that you guys are playing over your heads. However, playing a team like UNC will definitely be good experience for next year's run when OJ Mayo comes in"




3) Georgetown v 6) Vanderbilt
G'town closed out BC at the end and Vandy won a 2OT thriller over Wash St. to advance. The Hoyas are one of the favorites to win it all and are probably penciled in for the Final Four in more brackets than top-seed UNC. Vandy can shoot the lights out and will need to if they are going to compensate for Roy Hibbert and G'town's strong inside game.

To a Georgetown fan: Keep quiet, they are looking good.

To a Vandy fan: "you guys killed GW and had an incredible win over WSU, so Georgetown then UNC shouldn't be a problem right? Seriously though, what are you gonna do about Hibbert - he's a beast!"

MIDWEST Region
3) Oregon v 7) UNLV
The Ducks has come on strong in the Pac-1o tourney but they barely beat Miami(OH). UNLV beat Ga. Tech and is the lowest seed left after upsetting Wisconsin (as predicted in the NCAA 11th hour post).

To a Duck (Oregon): "Your players have really banded together despite your differences to form a cohesive "team" that is more than the sum of its' parts. Do I smell D4: The Final Four? Extra points for: "Do you guys run the "Flying V?", "When did Gordon Bombay step down as coach?" and "Where's Charlie Conway? Is he hurt or something?"

To a UNLV fan: College in Vegas - that's like building a pool in the ocean. Also any gambling/point shaving reference is cliche but works such as "Oh, UNLV fan huh" You got the points or the money line?"

Overall #1) Florida v 5) Butler
As stated before, I am a die-hard Gator fan and therefore will abstain from giving my biased analysis of this matchup for the sake of retaining my reputation of objectivity. That said, The Horfords, Brewers, Noahs, TGreens, and Humphreys can start packing for the Final Four in Atlanta.

To a UF fan: "You are so cool, can I just be near you?" or for attractive women "The fact that you cheer for the best team in this basketball tourney is a major turn-on, do you wanna hook up?"

To a Butler fan: "What position does Mr. Belvedere play?" and "Are you gonna use Jeffrey from Fresh Prince to double Horford in the post?

That's it folks. Now go off and impress/annoy the hell out of your friends! GO GATORS!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Travel Mog: Cancun, Mexico

Update 3-19: Two more quick things:

1. I've been chided for not explaining how awesome the showers in the hotel were. They had one of those huge, sunflower-type showerheads directly over your head, in addition to several side jets. Jimmy said it best when he said "Boy, I legitimately enjoy taking a shower here." it really was amazing--almost a life-altering experience. Once I'm out esquiring, hopefully I'll be able to accrue enough cash to have one of these put in my place.

2. Also, here's one of the pictures I took with Jimmy's camera of Fergie. It's not exactly the best resolution in the world, but doesn't she look:

a. Pregnant

b. Like some kind of weird frog-human hybrid? And no, that's not Mog the Frog, the new (work-in-progress) mascot of the site that we put on the facebook group. Enjoy.


To those friends of the Mog who have been wondering where Jamie and I have been recently—CLICK THE ADS! I FINALLY PUT THEM BACK ON TOP, SO THERE’S NO EXCUSE! Seriously, though, we recently had a period where Jamie and I were in Cancun with a couple of our buddies for a week, and Dave is now out of town, but I do think ½ Man ½ Am-Asian and G-Gel Unit did a great job of holding things together while we were gone. Kudos, gentlemen. (Donnie Brasco Spoiler alert) Cue that scene at the end of Donnie Brasco where all Donnie gets for his years of suffering is a medal and certificate. Job well done, chaps. Now, back to the mines!

At any rate, since we were in Cancun over Spring Break, I think the trip deserves its own little Travel Mog Segment.

-The cast this time was myself, Jamie, our friend Jimmy (Of “Best/Worst Night of the Year” fame) and our buddy Chad. We put this trip together about a week before heading down there, and only after we found a deal at the “ME Cancun”, which has the following description (and I swear to God I’m not making this up—check it out, completely un-edited):

“Hotel overview: Designed to raise eyebrows, blur boundaries, tempt, tease and seduce. An experience beyond mere accommodation, The essence of ME Awakens you, be it in the Rande Gerber lounge, Cancun’s most arousing night scene, Maxim pool bar, one of Mexico's largest infinity-edged pool or on “The Level,” an entire adult-oriented floor with the private lounge the living room. In-room amenities range from free pre-tuned iPods to private Jacuzzis to original works by artist Yuri Zatarian, while indulgent Mediterranean and Asian cuisine wets the appetite on the most perfect stretch of beach in the western hemisphere. At the heart of it, in the heat of it, is ME by MeliĆ”.”

I mean, when I first found this place, I was worried it was some kind of really hedonistic, flamboyant, middle-aged European hotel where we’d have to endure 60-year old fat guys in Speedos while their hot, young trophy wives get railed by the pool boy. I ended up being right about everything except the hedonistic part.

-Early flight to Dallas. Then a delay due to “capacity problems” in Cancun. I decided to hit the duty free. I asked the lady how much booze I can bring into Mexico. She told me 3 liters. Of course, I buy the maximum allotment.

-The first thing I said to myself upon landing in Cancun, “Fucking clouds.” It was dark at 4 pm that first night. Also, that airport was busier than a hot dog stand in Kevin James’ neighborhood. Planes were lined up to get gates three and four deep, and there was a place on the tarmac that had like 20 planes that had to let people off using steps. You’d think by now that they’d add on to the airport there. I mean, it’s not like Mexico has any more pressing problems, right?

-We all were coming from different places on different flights, but Jamie and I came in close enough together so that we could try and get over to the hotel together. Once I got through the never-ending line that was customs, there were constantly guys with the various taxi and shuttle companies trying to get you to sign on with them. It would have been $40 for a taxi, or $9 each for a shuttle. We chose the shuttle. Of course, it took an hour to pick us up. After a couple of $5 beers to pass the time, Jamie finally chatted up an attractive girl and her friend to try and get us a taxi. Of course, right as we bargained with the shuttle guy to get switched over to the taxi from the shuttle, two spots opened up on the shuttle. Jamie and I looked at each other, I nodded, Jamie pulled the old “Is there room for those two ladies on another shuttle?” The guy said yes. So of course, we hop on. Sorry Ladies…

-There was a couple on our bus on their honeymoon from Utah. The guy was 28 and the chick was 21. And they started dating 6 years ago. You do the math, folks. Yikes…

-Favorite line of night one—after we get to the hotel, Jamie tells me that when the guy said he was from Utah and was just married, he had to bite his tongue to stop the inevitable “Oh, really, is this your second wife? Third?” High comedy.

-We got to the hotel—a very nice Euro-esque place—and there weren’t too many people in the lobby. Jamie decided to leave a message at the front desk for Jimmy and Chad to the effect of, “Congratulations. Enjoy your honeymoon—don’t let other people keep you down!” We got our room and headed upstairs to start boozing.

-We got bored and headed downstairs to see if the concierge could get us a good deal at the clubs. He gave us some cards that ended up being useless. However, on the way back up, we were in an elevator with 2 smoking hot chicks who were chatting up some guys who were “MTV producers”. Uh, yeah, sure buddy—haven’t heard that one before. Still, it seemed to be working on these chicks. They were especially dumb. One of them said that she had never seen a cockroach before coming to Mexico, “You know, like, except in the ZOO!” And she was dead serious…

-Jimmy and Chad arrived at the hotel. They also brought some duty free booze. We started drinking with reckless abandonment before heading out to the clubs.

-While we were drinking, Chad was playing his “Flogging Molly” cd to get everyone pumped up. Unfortunately, it caused us to get 2 noise complaints—the second one by phone because we didn’t hear security knock the first time. Jimmy handled the situation with the usual aplomb, saying things to the guy at the front desk like, “Oh, my, that’s unfortunate.” And “Oh Goodness!” without a hint of sarcasm. Well played, sir. Well played…

-The first night, we went to a place called CocoBongo, which was really weird. $25 and “all-you-can-drink”, even if it was just glasses of fruit juice. They also had a full, Vegas-style show going on where Spiderman was hanging around on cables, fighting the Green Goblin set to house music. While all of this was going on, we chatted up some girls who, amazingly, happened to be UVA undergrads. They were cute, Jamie worked game on them, but alas, it was not meant to be…

-The second day I woke up feeling like shit. Jimmy and Chad had this great idea to call us at 9 am because they’re both old men and were wide awake. We told them to fuck off until one, when I dragged my ass out to the beach, since, you know, this is supposed to be Cancun and everything. Unfortunately, we weren’t told that Cancun is generally 80 degrees and mostly cloudy this time of year. At least the waves were pretty big—not that we were surfing, just jumping them and shit…

-The second day was also Jimmy’s first foray into the world of massage. He spent an insane amount of money on massages this trip, but he claims that they were worth every penny. And this despite the fact that he steadfastly denies that there were any “happy endings” involved. Hmm…

-The second day, we also found a ridiculously upscale/trendy mall to visit close to our hotel. They had all kinds of designer stores and clothes—in other words, stuff that we couldn’t give half a shit about. The one bright spot in this place was a little hole-in-the-wall taqueria we found—good shit. Coronas and tacos for like 6 bucks. We thought that food would be a lot more expensive down here, so we were pretty pumped. Of course, this was all while Jimmy was breaking the bank getting massages, but I digress…

-The second night, we went to a place called “Daddy-O’s”. Same deal—all you could drink once you were in. The problem is, there weren’t nearly as many ladies at this place as at CocoBongo—not to mention the lack of a trippy, comic-book/action-movie inspired show. This was the first night that I realized that chicks in Cancun are a bunch of spoiled bitches, who make the ladies in the St. Louis bar scene look like Mother Theresa—and not just in the face. Chad got some bites here. He and Jamie both had pretty damned good club game. Respek.

-The third day was the best weather day by far. We sat out on the beach for hours. The hotel had beds on the beach available for use. We put any visions of what had transpired on those beds in the past out of mind, and decided to use them.

-There actually were a bunch of hot-ass trophy wives out on the beach with their older, obviously wealthier husbands. They were definitely flaunting their shit. They weren’t even cougars—they were just young, hot chicks. Meanwhile, their husbands were talking about the shipping business with each other (side note: why does it seem like all rich European guys made their fortunes in shipping? I mean, is there any way to break into it now? Do I have to buy a really big boat? I want to get into shipping!)

-We also heard about a “Maxim Beach Party” happening at the hotel the next day. $30 for lunch and all you can drink. We got really excited for this—A MAXIM beach party! There would have to be hot chicks there, right?

-The third night was very interesting. We got hammered at like 9 pm and went downstairs. There was this hot-as-hell chick down there named “Natalia” who was apparently a “social hostess” (I swear to God she wasn’t a hook—at least for us…) Her entire job consists of squiring dumb young idiots like us around to the “happening parties” in the clubs. Actually, come to think about it, fuck the shipping business, I want to be a social host, but surely, with ladies instead of guys...

-Natalia took us to the club where—drumroll please---the one and only Fergie was performing! Allright, allright, simmer down, cut the applause. Natalia got us to the front of the line by flirting with the bouncers—this chick was a pro (Again, not in THAT way…I think)

-We had 3 Canadian guys with us in the group. I shot the shit with them about hockey for a while, since there are roughly 124 NHL fans left in the U.S. Good kids, good kids.

-Chad was laying game down with Natalia. He could have definitely sealed the deal, but he said he was getting tired of “waiting for her to come back from the bathroom”. That’s our Chad

-Fergie came on stage for about 30 minutes. I guess she was good. She certainly looked pregnant in the dress she was wearing—hopefully I’ll post the pictures from Jimmy at some point.

-The rest of the night is kind of a blur. We danced with some chicks and stuff, but nothing major happened. I think I ran the 2 miles back to the hotel, but I’m not sure.

-Day 4. I wake up and open the blinds in eager anticipation of the Maxim party. Cloudy and drizzly. Great. Chad and I started drinking.

-I mean, not too much happened Day 4. We drank all day in the room, but it was really crappy outside. The hotel did get the NYC feed of abc, so we were able to catch “Lost” (which was badass by the way. I know, I know, I need help. I slurp the show more than Bill Simmons slurps Kevin Durant).

-One big thing—apparently the fellas heard somehow that Fergie was staying at our hotel. Hannigan went down to get his daily massage at like 8 pm, and apparently, Fergie had been in the spa mere moments before he got in. For some reason, he was beaming the rest of the night.

-We heard about a…ahem…”Wet t-shirt contest” that night at a pretty crappy club. Still, it was a wet t-shirt constest…

-Wet t-shirt contest—pretty good stuff. That’s all I’m gonna say about it.

-We got up the next day and went down to the lobby to check out. Everyone kept asking if we’re with Fergie or MTV, obviously trying to sniff out big tips. That’s one thing I don’t like about Cancun. Everybody’s looking for tips CONSTANTLY. I mean, come on, folks, I know you’re just trying to do your jobs, but seriously, enough already.

-We got to the airport and flew home, having lived “the good life” for a few days.

That’s about it. Questions? Comments? Sick of the “TravelMog” column already? Let us know—blogmogger@yahoo.com. Click the ads.