Monday, April 30, 2007

Cornerman Slav--Viva Mexico

With the huge Mayweather-de la Hoya fight looming this weekend, the Mog consulted resident Alternative Sports Guru Slav as to who he thought might prevail in this contest of fisticuffs. Though he may seem a bit biased, he's a boxing fan and a former boxer himself, so I'd trust his opinion. Of course, there's a good possibility there'll be a Mayweather column later this week--IF SOMEONE GETS OFF HIS ASS AND WRITES IT, GRANT! But until then, here's your momentary boxing fix.

As many of you may know, this weekend of Cinco de Mayo will be host to the superfight between Oscar “The Golden Boy” de la Hoya and Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather. Unlike most other fights now a days, I have a vested interest in this fight because of the fact that Oscar, like myself, is Mexican and he is fighting the pound for pound champion of the world. As a simple show of the magnitude of this fight, Oscar de la Hoya stands to make $25 million dollars and the pretty boy should make around $10 million. This fight sold out ticket sales in the first three hours totaling sales of $19 million at the gate, and for the musicians out there this will also be the first time that rapper 50 Cent performs his new track “Straight to the Bank” off of his upcoming CD “Curtis.” Rumors have it as well, that 50 Cent has made a bet of $1 million dollars on Mayweather. Simply put, this may be the biggest selling fight in all of boxing history.

However, the main argument here is not how large the fight will be or how much it will gross, but who will emerge the victor from this spectacle. As Oscar has repeatedly resisted the urge to sink to Mayweather’s level of trash-talk, I will take a civil approach in showing why Oscar will emerge victorious in the biggest fight of his life:

  1. Experience – This is where Oscar shines leaps and bounds above the Pretty Boy. Mayweather has had 37 professional fights with 37 victories 24 coming by way of KO. He comes from a legendary boxing family and has grown up living and breathing the sport. Mayweather also has an impressive amateur career of 84 wins and 6 losses with several golden gloves championships at the feather and super-light weight classes. An impressive resume, no doubt, but let us take a look at Oscar. Oscar has had 42 fights with 38 wins and 30 coming by way of KO. Oscar also comes from a legendary boxing family dating back as far as his great grandfather. He grew up in East LA fighting every damn chance he got. What does this get you? An absolutely astonishing amateur career of 223 wins and 5 losses. 163 of these wins came by way of KO. Oscar de la Hoya has knocked more people out then Mayweather has fought in his entire career. These fights didn’t come at the featherweight or super-light weight classes either. These all came from the middleweight category. Oscar has experience fighting at this weight and this is where he has been most of his life. Mayweather is moving up in weight to fight at this level and has yet to truly show any skill at the middleweight level.
  1. Training – Much controversy regards this aspect of the upcoming fight as Floyd Mayweather Sr. will no longer be training de la Hoya and instead he will be over in Camp Mayweather as a consultant for the fight. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has opted out of using his father’s possible advantageous knowledge against Oscar by refusing to install him as coach. Instead, he chose to go with the hard-to-understand Roger Mayweather. Roger had taken over coaching Jr. after a 1997 fight after which Jr. fired his own father. Floyd Sr. was the man who taught Pretty Boy the shoulder roll defensive technique which has made him the boxer he currently is, while Roger has only trained Floyd after he achieved his fame. Also, Junior is Roger’s only client—Roger has never trained another boxer, let alone one of Floyd Jr.’s caliber. Floyd Sr. is also currently training two other reigning boxing champions and is considered a much more experienced trainer than Roger. A confusing setup over at the Mayweather complex indeed. Oscar de la Hoya refused to meet Floyd Sr.’s outrageous $2 million dollar demand for training and has decided to go with the famous Freddie Roach instead. Freddie Roach was voted boxing trainer of the year in 2003 and 2006. Mr. Roach has helped to train Manny Pacquiao, James Toney, Mike Tyson, and Peter Manfredo Jr. to championship careers. He is highly touted as one of the best in the business and seems to be at home training Oscar de la Hoya.
  1. Physical and Mental – This is the only area in which I believe Oscar concedes anything. I understand and have no delusions about how goddamn quick Mayweather is, and I believe Oscar understands this. That said, I believe Oscar is a stronger fighter, and his height will give him the advantage of being able to punch down at Floyd, giving him a little extra sting with his jabs and crosses. Oscar of all people understands Floyd’s defensive stance and should be able to set traps for Floyd to make him fight the fight he wants. Roach is an excellent coach in helping boxers understand their opponent’s weaknesses and utilize them to set traps that truly devastate. On the other hand, I doubt Roger Mayweather can spell “trap,” much less figure out how to set one. Roger Mayweather is about as smart of a coach as DJ Gelner is able to resist a bucket full of peanuts (Ed’s Note: It’s true. I love my in the shell peanuts—it’s like being at a ballgame everyday. I eat them like a starving elephant. They’re too fucking good.) Oscar may seem calm and collected but underneath lies the spirit of a true Aztec. Mayorga felt that power painfully. This coming Saturday Mayweather will too.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

NFL Draft Bloggin' 07

As promised, here's a running diary of the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft--all 6 hours of it. Though it was a grueling process, I hope it's at least somewhat entertaining for you football fans out there. Any feedback would be appreciated.


10:50 AM-We’re coming at you live from the G-Gel Unit compound in beautiful Clayton, Missouri. Right now, the crew that we have is myself, Grant, our buddies Davis and Slav, and Slav’s ladyfriend Kylie. A good crew…and sure to change a bit as the day goes on.

10:51 AM: Roger Goodell is talking. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard his voice before in my life. I was half expecting him to sound like the “speak” feature on a Mac, since I was 85% sure that he was a robot, but he sounds pretty normal. He’s a real person with feelings and everything…err…well…at least a real person.

10:54 AM: Grant just offered this gem, “I was willing to forgive the marijuana and the giving chicks the herp, but I just can’t forgive Michael Vick on the dogfights.” I agree 100%. Just terrible.

10:59 AM: I hate Chris Berman. Hate him.

11:02 AM: We just saw the incredibly cheesy draft promo that ended with the fake NFL guy in the fake war room giving us an impassioned, “Listen up…we’re on the clock!” Everyone agrees that that guy with the parachutes attached to him should be the first overall pick.

11:06 AM: They just showed Brady Quinn. Jesus, did you just get out of the shower, Brady? Go a little easier on the pomade, buddy.

11:10 AM: The Oakland Raiders are on the clock. There was just a graphic: Raiders key loss: Aaron Brooks. Everyone had a good laugh over that one.

11:11 AM: Grant just made the comment, “Why is Ed Werder in Oakland? I thought he was contractually obligated to stay within 10 miles of Dallas at all times.”

11:16 AM: ESPN is using a little graphic on the bottom of the screen during JaMarcus Russell highlights showing how far he threw the ball in the air. Nice touch. We’re just waiting for the Jay Cutler highlight when the meter runs to like “150 yards.” THAT would be something.

11:20 AM: With the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select…QB JaMarcus Russell from LSU. Solid pick. Goodell is even trying to pump up the crowd a little bit at the mike. Nice touch. Tagliabue was a robot up there, but Goodell looks like he might actually be enjoying himself. This guy might be good for the league, after all.

11:23 AM: Excuse me Miss, can you tell me where Steve Young is? By the way, that’s an absolutely lovely make up job. What? You ARE Steve Young? Oops…uh…sorry?

11:31 AM; Calvin Johnson to Detroit. Good pick. By the way, they just showed the Lions “fan party” at Ford Field in Detroit. Grant astutely asked if there’s one at the A.G. Edwards Dome downtown here today. I can imagine maybe 10 people watching the Jumbotron at the Ed when the Rams pick and being like, “Who’d they take?” It would be a great time.

11:40 AM: We’ve just had a five minute conversation trying to figure out who that albino chick that’s with Brady Quinn is. It’s not his sister—we’ve all seen her and she looks exactly like Brady does. Is that really his girlfriend? Is that the best you got, Notre Dame? I’m disappointed…

11:42 AM: The Browns just shook up the draft by taking OT Joe Thomas. I mean, at least it’s a better pick than Brady Quinn would’ve been. By the way, the look on Quinn’s face was priceless. What a smug little prick. Fuck him.

11:48 AM: I’m pretty sure that the guys on TV have just spent the last 5 minutes saying really, really gay things about Brady Quinn. At one point, Steve Young said, “I guarantee you that Brady Quinn, with his shirt off, doesn’t look anything like Mohammad Ali.” Uh, OK Steve. I guess you’re the expert on that one. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

11:54 AM: Gaines Adams to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay probably just spent the past 13 minutes saying to themselves, “Oh fuck, what the fuck are we going to do here?” If Detroit trades for Gaines Adams, they are the dumbest fuckers ever. Then again, Matt Millen is running the show over there, so I guess that’d be about par for the course.

12:03 AM: Cardinals take Levi Brown. I think it’s a good pick, but it gets a mixed review in the room here. Brady Quinn seems shocked that he didn’t go to Arizona, even though they obviously already have Matt Leinart. Grant makes the astute observation that everyone in the Quinn family has a jaw that would make Bill Cowher jealous. He even goes so far as to say that with jaws like that, Brady Quinn’s whole family should go into boxing. “His sister could take on Laila Ali right now and kick her ass,” he says.

12:17 PM: After nearly running out the clock, the Redskins take LaRon Landry. Grant and I think that every wideout who has to play the Redskins this year just pissed themselves. Going over the middle against Landry and Sean Taylor would be one of the most frightening experiences ever.

12:46 PM: We took a little food break there. Here’s what we missed:

-Vikings take “All day” Adrian Peterson. “Man, I’d really just hate to live in Minnesota,” Grant says. “Yeah, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be black and going there,” I reply.

-The Falcons continue their policy of picking anyone named “Jamaal Anderson.” I think they got confused and thought it was 1997.

-It has to be Brady Quinn to the Finns, right? Grant and I agree that Quinn has the worst highlight reel that we’ve ever seen—filled with “happy feet” and woefully under thrown fade routes. I gleefully anticipate calling Jamie after the Finns make the pick and “congratulating” him.

-Wow. Teddy Ginn to the Dolphins. I have gained infinitely more respect for Cam Cameron after that pick. Of course, all of the commentators hate the pick. The look on Quinn’s face is absolutely priceless. Hope you packed your parachute, Brady! Get ready for some free-fall! Yes, let’s see some tears! They taste so sweet!

-Brady Quinn looks like his pet hamster just died. Just devastated. Too bad.

-Texans take Amobi Okoye. Fuck! I was hoping he’d fall to the Rams. Unfortunately, this sets up the potentially tragic scenario where the Rams might take Brady Quinn. If that happens, I think I’ll just become a Redskins fan. Why not? Their games are all on TV in Charlottesville, they have some badasses. Let’s not think about this right now…

1:18 PM: Niners take Patrick Willis. “Dude, this guy is just going to kill people out on the field,” Grant says. I have to agree. Fucking great pick for the Niners. He is going to be a monster. Unfortunately, it also brings us closer to the potentially looming, “With the 13th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select Brady Quinn, quarterback, Notre Dame.” Bleeeech. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. That said, the very possibility of that selection will make me happy with any pick the Rams would make other than Quinn. Adam Carriker never looked so good in the old Blue and Gold.

1:25 PM. Ugh. These ESPN guys are insufferable. Unfortunately, we don’t get the NFL Network here in St. Louis, so we’re stuck. The number of ESPN commentators I want to beat up has increased a lot today. Steve Young, Michael Smith, Boomer, Mort, Jaws, Suzy Kolber. All of them. Terrible.

1:27 PM: The Bills take Marshawn Lynch. Why do they always make these terrible decisions on skill players? We spent the past minute picking the exact moment in each play on his highlight film that he would have been tackled in the NFL. He will be a disaster. On an unrelated note, THE RAMS ARE ON THE CLOCK!

1:30 PM: Grant and I are terrified. I swear, we’re thinking about heading down to Rams Park to send Scott Linehan “a message” to not take Brady Quinn.

1:37 PM: Fucking shit, this is unbearable. I cannot even contemplate Brady Quinn going to the Rams. Especially after they passed on Cutler last year. That’s like tearing up a $1 billion lottery ticket, then winning $10 on a scratch-off card the next year and thinking that you’re awesome. I am a wreck right now.

1:40 PM: Adam Carriker’s the pick for the Rams. Well, at least it’s not Brady Quinn. He’s not really blowing my skirt up here. He’s like a bigger, slower, dumber Grant Wistrom, without the upside. Eh.

1:42 PM: Grant makes the most astute observation of the day: “Man, just millions of dollars down the drain for Brady Quinn.” Exactly. His to do list tomorrow probably looks something like, “1. Return Mazaratti. 2. Lower expectations for house. 3. Do NOT break up with girlfriend—she’s suddenly right about in your class.” Priceless.

1:54 PM: The Jets trade up to take Darrell Revis, the Pitt cornerback. That’s a decent pick at 14, but trade up to get him? I don’t know if that was necessary.

1:59 PM: The Steelers take Lawrence Timmons at 15. Goddamn this guy can hit some people on his highlight reel. Mel Kiper doesn’t like him, but Mel Kiper can go fuck right off. Rachel Nichols looks TERRIBLE in HD, by the way. I think the only way I would pay attention to her interview would be if you replaced her with Erin Andrews. Just awful.

2:05 PM: Chris Mortensen is a name dropping asshole. He keeps yelling out, “I know Brett Favre!” and claiming that that fact gives him some inside info on how the Packers are going to pick here. Uh, OK Mort.

2:13 PM: The Packers take Justin Harell. Grant correctly notes that he kind of looks like a black Turtle from Entourage. This guy has to be juicing. Only juicers tear their biceps, and only juicers can come back full strength from a torn biceps in a few months. Still, it works for the Chargers, right?

2:15 PM: Mort and Steve Young almost get into a fight because Steve Young literally has his panties in a bunch that the Packers didn’t take a wideout or tight end, as I’m sure that Steve Young is all about taking tight ends whenever he can. Whenever Mort talks, we all yell out, “I know Brett Favre!” You have to be here, I guess…

2:27 PM: The Broncos trade up to take Jarvis Moss. I think this is a brilliant pick. Man, Mike Shanahan is just the master of the draft these days. Really good stuff. I’d take any of those guys on that Florida defense after they embarrassed OSU. Right now, Jamie is reading this and shedding a single tear.

2:31 PM: They just showed that commercial with “Downtown” playing in the background where that regular-looking chick gets all fixed up. “She still doesn’t look that great. She probably could date Brady Quinn, though,” Grant notes.

2:35 PM: The Bengals take Leon Hall at 18. A great value pick. However, his highlight reel makes it look like he played a lot of zone at Michigan. You’re not gonna be able to get away with that in the pros, Leon.

2:48 PM: Michael Griffin to the Titans at 19. Shocking. We all thought that the pick would be Robert Meachem for sure—hometown guy, they needed a wideout, seemed like a slam dunk. I think that a lot of these teams are outthinking themselves this year. On an unrelated note, Grant just said, “They just can’t show Steve Young with all of that makeup on anymore. It’s fucking embarrassing.” Indeed, Grant. It looks like his producer dragged him off the pier at 9 am, made him take off his fishnets and his wig, and threw him in front of the camera.

2:58 PM: The Giants take Aaron Ross at 20. I like the pick. He’s just a good, solid college player who should do well in the pros.

3:04 PM: The Jags go with Reggie Nelson at 21. I mean, as I’ve previously noted, he just sounds like he was meant to be a Jaguar. I don’t know how they can draft a guy that I’m pretty sure has been on their team for the past 5 years, but whatever—their funeral. Good working of the board by Jacksonville—they trade back and still get their guy. Bravo.

3:18 PM: The Browns trade back up with the Cowboys to pick…Brady Quinn! I mean, bravo for them if he really was a consideration at 3 to be able to trade back up and get him at 22. That said, I’m still not too big on him. Godspeed, Browns. Godspeed.

3:20 PM: Brady Quinn update—apparently the Browns gave up their first round pick next year to the Cowboys to move up to get Quinn. Ladies and Gentlemen, now on the clock for the 2008 NFL Draft…The Dallas Cowboys!

3:32 PM: Dwayne Bowe to the Chiefs. They DESPERATELY needed a wideout, so I think it’s a good pick. Of course, like any wideout the Chiefs take, he’ll probably either have a devastating injury within the next year or be a huge bust. I’m just saying…

3:47 PM: The Pats take Brandon Merriwether. This led ESPN to show the footage of the Miami-FIU brawl again—and apparently he was stomping people all over the place. Literally—he was violently stomping on some poor FIU player’s head. My God, this guy is crazy. However, Belichick always slaps these type of high-risk guys into line, so this could be a good pick for them.

3:57 PM: The Panthers take John Beason at 25. I think this guy could be a pretty good linebacker. Lord knows the Panthers need a few since the Rams keep stealing them.

4:07 PM: The Cowboys traded back up to take Anthony Spencer, the 3-4 linebacker from Purdue. He HAD to go to a 3-4 team, and the Cowboys fit that description. He will probably be a good rush backer. Him and D’Marcus Ware will give opponents fits.

4:12 PM: We just saw the most frightening commercial ever. It’s that one where the phone is being splashed by paint and that fucked up music is playing in the background. For some reason, it reminded me of that scene in “The Fan” where DeNiro stabs Juan Primo to death. Just creepy as hell.

4:20 PM: The Saints, desperately needing to upgrade their defense, of course take wideout Robert Meachem from Tennessee. I guess the rich get richer on offense, while the defense…well…let’s not talk about the defense right now. Sean Payton now officially has more weapons than Mo Clarrett’s front seat.

4:35 PM: The Niners trade up to take Joe Staley, the Central Michigan tackle at 28. Every play on his highlight reel features him holding the guy he goes against. In the MAC. And his “pass blocking” consists of shoving the rushing end just past the QB. Again, this is the MAC. Still, how much different could the NFL be? Also, apparently they gave up their first round pick next year to get to this spot. Really? For this guy? Yikes…

4:44 PM: Baltimore takes Ben Grubbs, the guard from Auburn. I like this pick a lot. He looks really solid, and should help out Willis McGahee. Mel Kiper just said that this guy, “Is great at pulling out,” leading to a series of jokes between all of us about how he’s the anti-Shawn Kemp.

4:47 PM: Fucking ESPN with their goddamned commercials. We get one minute of coverage followed by five minutes of commercials. It might be ok if they didn’t keep showing the same fucking Hummer commercial over and over again. Ridiculous.

4:57 PM: San Diego takes…Craig Davis? WR from LSU? Who? Really? Not Dwayne Jarrett? Huh. Well, I hope they know what they’re doing, because this guy doesn’t really strike me as a future #1 wideout. Grant summed it up perfectly: “This guy has the feeling of one of those failed Atlanta or Philly wideouts…or San Diego, for that matter.”

5:09 PM: Wow, I didn’t think it could happen, but Coors has made a very, very poor imitation of the John Cougar Mellencamp Chevy commercials. And apparently now Original Coors is, “The Banquet Beer.” What the fuck does that mean? The best that I an come up with is that it’s cheap enough that you can buy a shitload of it, or that it fills you up like you just were at a banquet. Who the fuck works for these ad companies anymore?

5:12 PM: Ugh. Getting woozy. Just two more picks, then I’m done. The Bears take TE Greg “Skinny” Olsen. His highlight reel is exactly two plays long, and he looks like he weighs about 180 lbs. Good pick, though.

5:19 PM: Look at Roger Goodell hamming it up up there at the podium about how long the first round took. A breath of fresh air compared to Tagliabue. The Colts take Ohio State WR Anthony Gonzalez. Grant is right—this guy has a mug on him. I don’t think he will be any better than a third wideout, but that’s just me—what the fuck do I know?

And with that, I’m gonna go ahead and wrap this up. 6 hours? Wow, it’s been a marathon session. Thanks for reading this far if you’re still around, and if not, fuck you.

Until next time…

Questions? Comments? Tips? E-mail the Blogmogger team at

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Weekly Mog: Friday, April 27, 2007

How. Me Angry Injun'.

I will be filling in for the 1/2 Man, 1/2 Am-Asian while he helps Indiana Jones recover a precious stone that was stolen from a small Indian village. I am a bit of a writing mercenary, but my stuff can be found in a number of places, including an educational website for grade school children (the horror!).
With the formalities out of the way, this is your weekly Mog fix.

You goddamn addicts.

A-Rod Channels Field: "You Like Me. You Really Like Me!"

Report: Tom Brady the Leading Cause of Teen Pregnancy

Pac Man moves to Orlando. Forecast calls for Rain

Eckstein Grows Six Inches, Released by Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- David Eckstein always wanted to be big. He got his wish, and got released in the process.

Eckstein, a two-time all star and the 2006 World Series MVP, used to stand 5'6" tall. Used to, that is, because on Wednesday, April 25, Eckstein went to his local drug store to pick up a gallon of milk. While there, he noticed the novelty Magic Wish Machine. Eckstein slipped a dollar into the machine, and was prompted for his wish.

"My mind went blank," the shortstop told Blog Mogger,"and I remembered that movie with Tom Hanks, where he makes a wish to be grown up. I can't remember the name of that thing.... Anyways, I wished to be big, and the next morning, when I woke up, I was six feet tall."

Blog Mogger researchers have determined that the referenced movie is Big, released in 1988.

Eckstein showed up to the ballpark at the usual time on Thursday, April 26, expecting to play in that afternoon's game against the Cincinnati Reds. His arrival set off a flurry of activity in the Cardinals' front office, that resulted in his release.

"There was novelty in having a midget playing shortstop," team spokesman Clint Barry read in a prepared statement. "St. Louis baseball has a long history with midgets. Eddie Gaedel was a midget. Bo Hart was a midget. And until last Thursday, David Eckstein was a midget. Children love midgets. Parents love midgets. Midgets sell merchandise."

"Once you remove the novelty of his being a midget, David Eckstein is a boring, league average ballplayer. And that wasn't going to make us any money. This is a business, first. So we took the appropriate action."

That action was to grant Eckstein his unconditional release. The thirty-two year-old Eckstein, a veteran of seven Major League seasons, is free to sign with any team, if he so chooses. For now, though, Eckstein is going to enjoy his newfound stature.

"I've got a few things lined up: a couple of wrestling matches that were scheduled before I grew," Eckstein told Blog Mogger. "[The matches] were going to be midget on midget, but the WWE is adaptable, so now it's man versus midget. I've also got a standing engagement playing the foot piano at F.A.O. Schwartz's. And an interview with a toy manufacturer. I'll land on my feet."

"All six of them," he added with a laugh.

You Know about the Bloody Sock. But what about the Bloody Jock?

BOSTON -- In the 2004 playoffs, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made baseball history when he pitched with a stitched ankle that would occasionally bleed. At the time, he was hailed as a warrior. Television broadcasts made it a point to show Schilling's bloody sock, which ended up in the Hall of Fame. Schilling's actions inspired the Red Sox to overcome a three games to zero deficit in the American League Championship Series, against the New York Yankees, then steamroll the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series in eighty-six years. All told, Boston won eight consecutive games. This is the legend of the bloody sock.

But you may not know the hidden story of the bloody jock.

Bill Simmons is a minor celebrity nationwide. His "Sports Guy" column runs weekly on, and in ESPN The Magazine. During the October 2004 playoffs, Simmons, an unabashed Red Sox fan, was recovering from gender reassignment surgery.

"I was born a woman," Simmons told Blog Mogger recently, "and I think I was about twelve when I realized that I was a man trapped in a woman's body."

"After years of tears and hardship, I was finally able to have my gender reassignment surgery on September 24, 2004. I call it 'the day I became a man.'"

But as a result of the surgery, which grafted transplanted male genitalia onto his female genitalia, Simmons experienced a great deal of bleeding.

"I was a little fragile, you know, down there, so I was constantly wearing a cup for support and protection. I had been changing the cup every day, but when the Red Sox started winning, I figured the jock was lucky, so I kept wearing it. Long story short, the jock got pretty bloody."

As a result of his gross negligence, Simmons developed an infection, and was forced to undergo a second surgical procedure, where his genitalia was completely removed, as it is today. But, he says, the outcome was worth the ordeal.

"Yeah, I lost a big part of me, but the Sox won the World Series. All told, it was a pretty fair trade, if I do say so myself. I would certainly make it again. And I kept the jock for posterity."

Simmons lobbied, unsuccessfully, for the athletic supporter to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Instead, it sits on a pedestal in the living room of his Los Angeles home, a reminder of someone who made a great sacrifice for fandom.

"Hey, winning ain't easy," he said.

With Weather under control, Officials turn Attention to Basketball

BEIJING -- Chinese Olympic Officials recently teamed with a group of leading scientists to perfect "cloud seeding," a practice where chemicals are sprayed into clouds that precipitate rain in a specific, controllable spot. The officials plan on seeding the clouds outside of Beijing during the 2008 Olympics, to ensure that rain does not cancel any of the competitions.

Now that they can control the weather, the Chinese Olympic Comittee (COC) has turned its attention to the Olympic basketball tournament.

"A gold medal in basketball would bring great glory to China," COC spokesman James Han said in a conference call with reporters. "We already have Yao Ming, the best center in the N.B.A.. Now, we're aiming for the ultimate glory."

To ensure victory in the 2008 tournament, COC officials have been running training camps for potential Olympic referees.

"Our hope is that we can stress fundamentals to the referees," Han explained. "Things like traveling, zone defenses, dunking, diving and charging will be legislated out of this tournament. Our team will be shooting so many free throws, we will win every game by thirty points."

"All told," Han continued, "other countries would be better off sending unathletic people who play perfect fundamental basketball, with an emphasis on team play and shooting, because that's what is going to win this tournament. But since they won't be entering their women's teams in the tournament, it's just going to be a battle for second."

Officials from the International Olympic Committee, and the United States Olympic Committee refused to comment on this story.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

DJGel's NFL Draft Quick Thoughts, Pt. 2

Here's part 2 of the NFL Draft "Quick Thoughts" column. You can see picks 1-16 here. Again, these are only the thoughts of someone who is obsessed with the draft and not any kind of pro scout or personnel director:

Jamaal Anderson, DE Arkansas

This guy is the true wild card of the first round. He could go anywhere from 6-20. Right now, he's been dropping as of late, but he's a pretty damned good pass rusher, and he should be OK wherever he goes. I think he's a pretty solid pick.

Darelle Revis, CB Pitt

A bit of a workout warrior, Revis apparently had a great pro day, which is why I hadn't heard of him until about a month ago. Everyone swears that he'll adapt well to the pro game. I'd be a little more concerned with him.

Ted Ginn Jr., WR/KR THE Ohio State University

Fucking lightning in a bottle. Ginn is amazingly fast on the field and just shifty as all hell. If he slips this far, it will be because teams are concerned about his "route running" and "maturity," which I think in large part can be attributable to his celebration-induced injury in the Fiesta Bowl. All I know is that I'd love to have my QB throwing to him.

Aaron Ross, CB Texas

A big cornerback who still is good in coverage. Maybe not as fast as some other top-flight prospects, but damned if he didn't do his job against USC in the Rose Bowl two years ago. I think he has the ability to be a very solid CB in the NFL.

Jarvis Moss, DE/LB Florida

Ah, the first Florida prospect on the board. Because of that, I'll defer to obsessed Gator football fan JSugar for his analysis:

"He really gained fame in the late season title push. He was never really veiwed as a stud before then, but played at an All-American level in the last couple of games, inclduing the SEC title game and the BCS title game. He tore up Ohio St (check the stats - 3 sacks i think) and made the play that defined the Gators' dominant performance in that game - running down Troy Smith from behind after losing his helmet. Basically, he is a poor man's Jevon Kearse, and that is meant as a compliment, not an insult. Late first round is a good pick for a team that needs a good pass rusher, especially if they already have a good one on the other side. Kind of like Ogunleye or the Nigerian guys who get 10 sacks opposite Strahan."

Sounds good to me, folks.

Dwayne Bowe, WR LSU

This guy has all of the scouts drooling. Every draftnik I've read loves this guy and thinks that he's undervalued. I did a bit of digging, and I found that his size is certainly impressive (6-2 222), but these guys often say that Bowe has the "agility and ability" to develop into a great WR at the next level. Uh, yeah, OK, so bottom line, he's probably going to be a possession receiver, with an outside shot of developing into a Plaxico Burress-type. Good to know, good to know...

Justin Harrell, DT Tennessee

Who? Oh, apparently this guy tore his biceps as a senior. But what's that? He's still a first rounder? What, did he test positive at the combine for steroids? A torn biceps? Really? And there aren't any lingering health questions? All I'm saying is that I want what this guy's drinking.

Reggie Nelson, S Florida

I'm going to preface this by saying that this guy really should be drafted by Jacksonville. I mean, come on, doesn't his name just sound like he's already been playing safety for Jacksonville for a couple of years, and maybe has made a Pro Bowl or 2? It's just a perfect match. That said, here's Jamie's analysis:

"He has top-flight speed and tenacity. He is fast enough to be a solid corner. He is not really known for blowing people up as much as picking off passes. If you throw the ball more than 30 yards down field and it's not an absolute straight line gun - he's got it. Pretty much if the pass has any loft, it's going the other way. He also seems to throw up his body with reckless abandonment. Also, a popular UF phrase notes that, "Water covers 2/3 of the earth, Reggie Nelson covers the rest." If he falls to Denver, no one other than Peyton will ever complete a 25 yard pass again (Ed's note: If Denver doesn't take him, there's a chance that at some point Jay Cutler might throw a ball entirely through his chest, Looney Tunes-style, at the next level). Basically, if his team has good CBs, he will be great, if they don't, he'll probably get shifted over there eventually. I'm struggling to think of a S who picks off passes more than he lights people up: Maybe the interceptions of Ed Reed without the hits? Yeah, that sounds pretty good."

Strong praise, Jamie. Strong praise indeed.

Anthony Spencer, DE/OLB Purdue

A "tweener" DE/OLB, he really needs to go to a team that can line him up in a 3-4 and just tell him to go get the QB. Scouts rave about his speed and motor, but unless he's in a 3-4, he doesn't really have a position.

Brandon Meriweather, S The U (Miami)

Todd McShay describes Meriweather as "versatile." When I usually hear that about a safety, I take it to mean, "Needs to roid up to be a linebacker, otherwise will end up becoming Adam Archuleta." Also, whenever I hear his name, all I can think of is that old "In Living Color" skit, "Men on Film." So I think I'll give this guy "two snaps...AND A SALUTE!"

Paul Posluszny, LB Penn State

I'm a bit worn out after trying to figure out how to spell this guy's last name correctly. I do remember that he looked totally roided out during that bowl game against FSU two years ago. He reminded me of Steve Lattimer from "The Program," only not quite the cartoon that that guy was. I've seen him go anywhere from 13 to here, so maybe there are some rumors about this guy that we aren't privy to, if you know what I mean.

John Beason, LB The U (Miami)

Huh? Who? Haven't really heard of him, but apparently he's a solid inside LB. Of course, this could end up being one of those picks where five years out this guy becomes a perennial Pro Bowler and I wouldn't be surprised, but judging by the big dump that the U took here at UVA this season, I wouldn't be so sure.

Joe Staley, OT Central Michigan

Could be great, could be a bust. The only game in their incredibly soft MAC schedule against a ranked team was Michigan--and they got killed 41-17. It's not like this guy has gone up against top flight DE talent his entire career, so he might really shit the bed. Still, it could just be that he's an undiscovered gem. I'd lean toward the former.

Robert Meachem, WR Tennessee

Another WR that the scouts are absolutely in love with. I keep hearing about how deep this WR class is, so then why are there only 5-6 guys who might get taken in the first round? Last time I checked, there weren't THAT many elite WR's in the NFL. It's pretty bad when McShay says that he "may never be a number 1 WR in the NFL," but you know, whatever, fuck it, I'm not the one making the picks here.

Dwayne Jarrett, WR USC

Now here's a guy who I think got a bit of a raw deal. He really should be higher up in the first round, and a lot will be determined by if nutcase coaches start a run on WR's in the middle of the first round. Jarrett really does have the size and catching ability to be a difference-maker in the red zone. Do scouts realize that not every team's offense involves having a QB with a rocket arm who just throws over the top all day? Apparently the Vikings don't or else they wouldn't have taken Troy Williamson at #7 two years ago. I mean, unless you have Jay Cutler or Peyton Manning, or draft JaMarcus Russell, it isn't really an option to just say "bombs away!" three times and punt. Thus it's a bit perplexing that Jarrett, a proven guy who played in a pro-style offense at USC and has great hands, isn't going higher on most draft boards. He could be the next Plaxico Burress. Then again, I guess he could be the next Mike Williams. I just don't think he'll flop.

Michael Griffin, S Texas

Just seems like a very solid pick at the end of the first round. He might have been overshadowed by Michael Huff last year, but I do remember Griffin making a lot of noise in that Rose bowl against USC. Just a guy primed to take advantage of a good team drafting him late in the first.


Trent Edwards, QB Stanford

I just saw this guy on Jim Rome's tv show today, so I thought I'd give my quick take on him. He seems very mature and confident while maintaining some degree of humility--which is a good thing since his TD: INT ratio was 6:6 last season. I don't know the intricacies of his scouting report, but he seems infinitely more coachable than, say, J.P. Losman was coming into the league. I remember a special leading up to the draft where ESPN followed Losman around for a few days and I ended up thinking to myself, "My God, is this guy 10 years old?" At one point, he went up to Ben Roethlisberger and said something. Roethlisberger brushed him off, and he excitedly came back to the camera saying, "Yo, I went up to my boy Big Ben and he said to me,'Hey, what's up man?' and I told him, 'Yo, what up, girl!'" and he started laughing like he had just said the most hilarious thing ever recorded. Uh, yeah Buffalo, I could've told you that one wasn't going to work out back then. Well, this guy had more of a Roethlisberger-ish demeanor about him, so if he goes to the right team, he could be OK.

Drew Stanton, QB Michigan State

I guess he could be OK in the right system. Still, he just isn't blowing my skirt up.

Steve Smith, WR USC

Shit, I'd take him in the second round. He might even sneak into the first. Could be a good #2 wideout on a Super Bowl contender immediately, with some room for growth.

Anthony Gonzalez, WR THE Ohio State University

Eh. Maybe a #3 on a championship-caliber team. He certainly couldn't carry the load once Ginn went down against Florida. Was best as the #3 for OSU last year when Santonio Holmes was there. A mistake before the second round.

Ray McDonald, DE Florida

I am dreading the rendition of "Old McDonald had a farm" that Chris Berman inevitably has planned for when Ray gets drafted. Here's Jamie:

"Not as good as Moss but similar style. He is bigger but not as fast, so he may not be able to beat good NFL DEs. He is a good run stopper, though, for a DE and he seems to bat down a lot of passes. Not a bad mid-late 2nd round pick."

Brandon Siler, MLB Florida

Jamie again:

"I love this guy. He is the next Channing Crowder. He spent his freshman year with Crowder and plays a very similar game. At UF, he stockpiled tackles, usually 11-13 game, and is one of the "team guys" who seemed to be well-liked by everyone. He's a beast. To be fair, I thought the same of Crowder, who was my favorite defensive player while he was at UF, and was thrilled when the Fins picked him because I really believed he would be a great pro--and he has been. I think Siler is gonna be a great pick for whoever gets him after the first round. He totally outplayed that Larenitis guy from OSU in the BCS game."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey you two, get a room. Jesus, why don't you tell us how you really feel, Jamie? Sure you don't want to shop for a place on South Beach this summer and invite Siler out to "Show him around town" with a romantic dinner and salsa dancing? I'm just sayin'...

Chris Leak, QB Florida

And finally, Chris Leak. Again, I'll let Jamie handle this one:

"You've heard my opinion of him. He was a 4-year starter in the best conference in football. He won on the road at most of the major SEC schools and beat all of them. He will not be able to run in the pros, but he is very accurate when given time. However, he is only 6 feet tall. He'll be an ok backup because he has played against big competition and never really had a bad game where he cost the gators a W."

OK, thanks Jamie. I'll put him in the fifth round, with the possibility of a Ray Lucas/A.J. Feeley-type stretch at some point in his career that will always ensure that he has a job. Also, Jamie forgot to mention that he is a consummate student of the game, so he wouldn't be bad holding a clipboard for your team.

So that's pretty much it for now. If I forgot someone that you want to see, go ahead and post it in the comments and I'll try to do a work up on him. Also, we'll try to get our mock out at some point on Friday.

Questions? Comments? Tips? Amusing African bank fraud scams? E-mail the blogmogger team at

Monday, April 23, 2007

DJGel's NFL Draft Quick Thoughts, Pt. 1

To continue the Mog's coverage of the NFL Draft going into this weekend, I thought that I would go through the players in Todd McShay's 1st Round NFL Mock Draft as of today and offer my gut feelings on each of the players. These are not the thoughts of some NFL ex-personnel guy or anything like that--just the gut feelings of an obsessed lunatic who clears his whole schedule for the weekend of the draft. So without further adieu:

JaMarcus Russell, QB LSU

This guy has a major league arm. He also made Notre Dame his bitch in the Sugar Bowl this season. He may have a bit of a weight problem, but he just strikes me as a better Daunte Culpepper, back when Culpepper was good. Also just seems to have that "winners" mentality. If Oakland opts to go with Calvin Johnson over Russell, they better be damned sure that they have another option at QB later on--and that doesn't mean let Andrew Walter get sacked 100 times this season.

Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech

He's going to be really good. An enormous WR with great speed and good hands? Absolutely can't miss. I'd love to see the Falcons trade up to #2 to get him just so that Michael Vick finally has no more excuses.

Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame

I really don't like him. He was TERRIBLE in the Sugar Bowl. He's been whining about his lack of draft stock in the media like a "Super Sweet 16" girl who gets an Audi instead of a BMW. Also, he just seems like a douchebag. He'll be an OK QB for the right team, but I don't ever see him winning a Super Bowl as an NFL starter

Gaines Adams, DE Clemson

He is interesting because he's a beast by all accounts, but he's a bit of a late bloomer. I mean, he'll probably be a good DE, but I don't see him as a Julius Peppers-level pass rusher. Probably a bit overhyped.

Joe Thomas, OT Wisconsin

As I've noted before, be wary of Big Ten O-Tackles. He could be a solid LT for years to come, or he could be Robert Gallery part 2. He's the best OT on the board, but that's more testament to the shitty OT class than anything. Be careful...

Amobi Okoye, DT Louisville

I like this guy. He's a college grad, and only 19 years old. I would love to see the Rams move up and get him, though Linehan's probably too big of a puss to pull the trigger. He'll be a good DT.

Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma

Obviously he'll be a great NFL back, and the odds-on favorite for offensive rookie of the year if he goes to a non-Mike Martz offensive system. The only truly premier running back in the draft-he could experience a Steven Jackson like free-fall if he gets past Clevland at 3, though I don't see him getting past Houston at 10. He'll be a star.

LaRon Landry, S, LSU

This year's "safety who is a can't miss and sneaks his way into the top 10." There hasn't really been a top ten safety who's missed in the past few years, right? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Landry might be the safest pick in the top half of the first round. Atlanta loves him if they can't move up to get Calvin Johnson.

Levi Brown, OT Penn State

The Big Ten rule applies here, as well. I'm not thrilled about this guy, but I think he has a higher floor (and lower ceiling) than Thomas does.

Leon Hall, CB Michigan

I dunno. Michigan CB's tend to be pretty solid in the pros recently. He'll probably be solid, but not a big time guy. Think a better Tye Hill, or a worse Dre Bly.

Adam Carrkier, DE Nebraska

This guy's all over the place on draft boards. He's a big guy who has the ability to play DT or DE. Think Grant Wistrom here. He'll be a guy you're glad to have on your team, but he won't be making the trip to Hawaii every year.

Patrick Willis, LB Ole Miss

By all accounts, this guy is an absolute monster MLB. He is exactly what the Rams need--so of course he'll go off the board at 12./ I see him as a potential perrenial Pro Bowler. Just a good pick.

Alan Branch, DT Michigan

Yeesh. If the Rams end up with Branch, I won't be too happy. He seems like another Jimmy Kennedy to me, and the Rams already have one too many of those lying around, whining about how the coaches yell at him and refusing to lift weights.

Greg Olsen, TE The U (Miami)

Always be weary of TE's from the U. Shockey and Winslow had so much hype that now the U is seen as this tight end factory of some sort. This guy is just too undersized to be a mid-first-round pick.

Lawrence Timmons, LB FSU

I dunno. He'll probably be OK because FSU LB's are generally solid. Still, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't heard enough about him to be excited if my team took him at 15.

Marshawn Lynch, RB Cal

Jeff Tedford should get some of Aaron Rogers' and J.J. Arrington's NFL earnings because his system turned them into viable pro prospects, after which they totally flopped. All the scouts claim Lynch is the real deal, but until I see Tedford actually produce an impact offensive skill player, I'll remain skeptical. Just a huge drop off from Adrian Peterson in any case.

I'll be back later with 17-32

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Weekly Mog: Friday, April 20, 2007

Note: Due to upcoming conflicts I’ll likely be taking the next couple weeks off from The Weekly Mog. If a story breaks that simply needs to be covered by the incisive yet sumptuously mediocre satire that is The Weekly, I’ll be sure to cover it (Pacman Jones, I’m looking in your direction).


The Weekly Match-Up:
A-Rod vs. Dice-K: Who Will Choke This Weekend and be Crucified by Their Own Fans?

Relieved Clippers Squeak Out of Playoffs

Male Figure Skating Officially More Relevant Than NHL Thanks to Blades of Glory

MLB’s Debuts Ty Cobb Day
BOSTON, MA – Major League Baseball unveiled its inaugural Ty Cobb Day last Sunday at ballparks across the country.

Ty Cobb Day was created to honor the Hall of Fame slugger and racist. Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Jewish players were given the option of carrying all team luggage – including for opposing teams – and serving as elevator operators in team hotels for the day.

“We tried to recreate a bygone era of baseball,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig told reporters after the conclusion of Ty Cobb Day. “We wanted to remind our fans that there was a time when baseball was simpler, when there was no spectre of steroids, no decadent luxury sky boxes, and certainly no colored fellows in those sky boxes.”

White players from the southern states of the U.S. were also encouraged not to “take any guff” from minority players and to ensure that they do not look them directly in the eyes.

The Madden Curse Continues: Vince Young Attacked by Locusts
NASHVILLE, TN – In an astonishing development since being given the coveted but allegedly cursed cover of EA’s Madden 2008, Vince Young was brutally attacked by a swarm of locusts early Thursday morning.

While the cover is said to give its recipient untold wealth, it is rumored to be a vessel of eternal damnation to any who dares endow his visage upon it.

“Woe be unto thee who forsakes the Lord’s warning of man’s pride,” said theologian and firebrand Baptist minister Tobias Small. “Those who fail to resist earthly temptations like this sordid cover-lust will be smote by God.”

“I think this is just a horrible coincidence,” said a severely injured Young while addressing reporters from the intensive care unit at Nashville Memorial Hospital. “There’s no such thing as curses and, although I’ll miss the first six to eight games fighting off the copious staph infection from all the locust bites, I look forward to a productive season as a player and endorser for the Madden franchise.”

Young then attempted to take a sip of water but recoiled in disgust when he realized the liquid in his cup had been transformed into human blood.

There are several alleged victims of the so-called “Madden Curse.” Among them are Marshall Faulk who, in 2002, suffered an injured ankle and severe aspiration pneumonia when he was inundated by flood-waters in downtown St. Louis and Michael Vick who fractured his right fibula when attacked by rabid dogs in 2003.

Titans representatives have repeatedly expressed its dismissal of any ill effects of Young’s placement on the cover of the popular video game although they refuse to comment on the newfound infertility of Young’s girlfriend Leslie Hawkins and the leprosy that virtually all members of Young’s extended family have contracted.

NBA to Crack Down on “Extremist” Referees
NEW YORK, NY – Following NBA referee Joey Crawford’s ejection of docile superstar Tim Duncan last Sunday, NBA commissioner David Stern has vowed to crack down on rogue referees in the league.

“This kind of malicious action will not go unpunished,” said a visibly resolute Stern. “These kind of people feed off of hate and anger. Joey Crawford and his fellow extremists will be brought to justice.”

For several years there has been underlying sentiment within the league that such militant referees make their way onto NBA courts because of the massive influx of illegal alien refs that are allowed to come so easily.

“Well, I’m no big-city suit or nothing,” said Springfield, Missouri resident and self-proclaimed NBA “super-fan” Brian “Butch” Baker. “But I do know too many daggone foreign refs are getting into NBA games nowadays and it ain’t right. Not only is it dangerous but they’re replacing American refs, too.”

Added Baker: “It’s just downright un-American.”

At this time Crawford is believed to have been born and raised in Philadelphia although The Weekly Mog is investigating the possibility of migration from overseas.

While Stern has been actively brandishing new NBA merchandise with his patented “The NBA: Mission Accomplished” slogan, he has also been trying to expedite the passing of new NBA legislation that would allow for increased league monitoring of all referees.

“This is how we can keep our players safe,” said Stern. “We need to expand our abilities to track down these referees that want nothing more than to disrupt American basketball.”

“I guess ‘Canadian basketball’ too, if you count the Toronto Raptors,” added Stern.

The new legislation will grant broader methods to NBA investigators for monitoring and interrogating referees, including somewhat controversial phone wiretaps. When questioning potential miscreants, investigators will now be able to make suspected militant referees undergo controversial and intimidating techniques such as waterboarding and nights out to strip clubs with Ricky Davis.

While Stern has already faced criticism about his aggressive tactics, he is urging all NBA affiliates and fans that they must “stay the course” in this fight against extremist refereeing. It is rumored that in order to “take the fight to the extremists,” Stern is planning a military invasion of the basketball leagues in Spain, known for their firebrand officiating ideals, for as early as this summer.

Got a tip? Want me to take down a picture? Email the BlogMogger team at

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dwaft Season! Wabbit Season!

I have to begin this post by saying that my brother, Grant (G-Gel Unit) and I are absolutely obsessed with the NFL Draft. I think recently we both came to the realization that we await it more eagerly than Christmas morning--and we were both dead serious. We enjoy the draft so much that I'm flying into St. Louis just to watch it with my brother and his buddies because otherwise I'm confident that we'd run up a $489,201,374,987 cell phone bill during both draft days. Yeah, that's right, we watch wire-to-wire. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?

We're going to kick off a long two weeks of draft coverage by just throwing out some random thoughts on how teams should draft generally and how to best enjoy the draft at home. Eventually, we'll hopefully go through and give gut reactions on all of the projected 1st round prospects, and even maybe come up with a mock draft. We'll top it all off with the column to end all columns--my running diary of the 2007 NFL Draft.

So here are a few random thoughts on watching the NFL Draft:

-In the first round, as soon as you hear the noise that signifies that the team on the clock is about to pick, immediately mute the tv for 2-4 seconds so that Chris Berman doesn't spoil the surprise for you. I cannot tell you how infuriating it is to have Boomer say, "Which direction will they go here? My gut tells me the cornerback from Michigan..." When really by "his gut" he means "his producer, who already knows the pick." If Boomer's "gut" was telling him anything it would be "find me one of those Krispy Kreme donut burgers with extra cheese on it you fat fuck!"

-Always find at least 2 friends to watch the draft with, or at least have a rotating cast of a friend or two. It's pretty rough to watch the draft alone.

-That said, better to watch the draft alone than with someone who knows nothing about football. My brother and I and our friends are big on doing "commentary" during DVD and TV show viewings. The Draft is perhaps the greatest commentary event possible if you know a minimal amount about college and pro football, as the opportunity for great jokes is simply unparalleled. There is nothing worse than somebody fucking up the rhythm you get into while watching the draft by asking, "what school did that guy go to," or "football in Green Bay, Wisconsin? Really?" I really don't have patience for this shit on THE GREATEST DAYS OF THE YEAR!

-It is fun to watch with a fan of a rival team, especially if that team makes a terrible pick. For example, a couple of years ago, when the Rams took Steven Jackson, Grant and I were very excited because Mike Martz hadn't royally fucked up another first round draft selection. However, Grant's roomate, Paul, was a big time Packers fan, and he had been busting up on uis all day, saying how the Rams were going to fuck up the draft again and how the Packers were a lot better at drafting. Almost on cue, Tagliabue announced, "With the 27th pick in the draft, the Green Bay Packers select...Ahmad Carroll, cornerback, Arkansas." The look on Paul's face was priceless. Grant and I had to try our best to keep a straight face while throwing out gems like, "Gee, that's an interesting pick," and, "Hmm...I thought the Rams already drafted." Just high comedy.

In terms of actually evaluating players, here are some tips to make sure that you don't look like an ass if you aren’t a football fan, yet somehow get forced into watching part or all of the first round:

-Good college players from the SEC generally become good pros. Sure there’s the occasional miss (Eli Manning), but you’re much better off picking a good player from the SEC than any other conference.

-Never, ever, EVER pick a Jeff Tedford-coached skill position player (goodbye Marshawn Lynch!). Period. For those of you who don’t know college football, this year that means whenever a quarterback, running back, or wideout from Cal is selected, just say something like, “Yeah, I’m sure that one will work out…” while rolling your eyes. Trust me, if I wrote out all of the reasons why this is, you’d be reading this well into tomorrow.

-Generally don’t trust highly-touted offensive linemen from Big Ten Schools. That means be wary of Wisconsin’s Joe Thomas this year. His scouting report is eerily similar to former Iowa first round bust Robert Gallery. “No holes in his overall game…never seen a tackle so quick before…tenacious pass blocker but really needs to develop run blocking skills…” It is remarkable. Of course, this is coming from a fan of a team who’s franchise left tackle (Orlando Pace) played at Ohio State, but still…

-Be wary of late risers. There’s a reason why they weren’t big time prospects before their workouts—they simply generally aren’t good football players.

-Tight Ends from the U (Miami, FL) tend to be overrated and underproduce in the pro game. That means have something ready for when Miami TE Greg Olsen goes off the board right around the middle of the first round.

-If a Notre Dame quarterback is over hyped for two years and bombs worse than the Enola Gay in the bowl games he plays in, looks like a preppy asshole, bitches about not getting respect, is adored by media everywhere, and has a sister who dates Green Bay MLB A.J. Hawk, steer clear. I’m not entirely sure if there’s anyone in this year’s draft class who fits that profile, but just in case…

-Mel Kiper is usually fairly accurate in his predictions as to both where guys will go and their relative talent levels. The Sporting News? Not so much.

More draft coverage to follow…


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lost Bloggin' 6 (April 17, 2007)

You all might be thinking by now, "Hey, D.J., how can a couple of guys like you and Weekly Mog master 1/2 Man 1/2 Am-Asian continue to come up with obsessive-yet-entertaining Lost-theories and conjecture every 2 weeks and still remain so witty and desirable?" The answer? Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. And in Dave's case, plenty of illegal street races in San Fran with Souped-up, neon-trimmed compact cars. On to the fan favorite that is LOST BLOGGIN':

DJGel: Is it time for another edition of "Lost Bloggin" already? Wow, that was fast. Let's hit some of the main points that everyone should take away from the past two excellent episodes (and boy, are there a lot of them):

-Locke apparently joined the Others and said goodbye to Kate. The Others then left the Country Club and gassed everyone they left behind--including (seemingly) Juliet.

-Kate and Juliet awoke handcuffed to each other in the Jungle. They got in a fight and Kate dislocated Juliet's shoulder. Juliet said that her shoulder had been dislocated three times before. Hmm...

-Juliet told Kate that Jack was leaving because he saw Kate and Sawyer knocking boots. Kate was upset by this.

-Kate and Juliet survived two encounters with the smoke monster. The first one involved the smoke monster flashing a bright light at Juliet a couple of times and leaving. The second resulted in Juliet using the sonic fence to block the monster. Juliet claims that the Others don't know what the smoke monster is.

-Kate also apparently used to hang out with Sawyer's former partner-in-cons/lover.

-Kate, Jack, Sayid, and Juliet headed back to camp, despite Sayid's protests that they should leave Juliet behind.

-Sayid tried to pump information out of Juliet, which the audience eventually received in the way of flashbacks, but Juliet kept her mouth shut to the castaways

-There was an emotional "beach reunion" for Jack and the rest of the survivors left on the beach. It quickly turned sour when Sawyer saw that Juliet was back, and immediately became suspicious.

-This led to an unlikely alliance--Sawyer and Sayid--questioning Juliet's every move, and ultimately confronting her.

-We learned that Juliet was brought to the island because all of Ben's women that get pregnant on the island end up dying--and pretty gruesomely, might I add. Not even an awesome gruesome like the Russian guy getting pushed through the sonic fence, just really nasty stuff.

-Juliet tried to leave the island several times, but each time was manipulated into staying because Ben told her that her sister had cancer again, and only "Jacob" had the cure.

-Juliet ended up knocking boots with Goodwin, who was the "Ethan" of the tail section in season 2.

-When Ben got cancer, Juliet thought that he had been playing her--how could he get cancer if he had a cure? Two days later, right after the crash, Ben responded by taking Juliet to the Russian's communication station. He showed her a video of her sister and her sister's son playing on a playground, filmed by "Richard", the super-slick guy who recruited Juliet in the first place.

-I cannot stress enough how awesome it was to see Russian Guy back on the show, even for a brief moment. His cockiness and general attitude is great.

-Locke looks like an even bigger idiot. The Russian Guy's station had a bunch of TV's, internet, all kinds of good stuff to contact the outside world. And I don’t give a fuck about Locke thinking that everyone is "cheating" somehow by communicating with the outside world. If I was on that island and Locke blew up the only working TV sets and possible way to communicate with the outside world, I would be extremely pissed at him. What a fucking moron.

-Claire was sick for a while, but Juliet was able to "cure" her by injecting her with some of that crazy serum that Desmond kept injecting himself with. Sayid and Sawyer almost sniffed her out, but she was able to (again) deflect their curiosity with details of their own lives.

-The episode closed with Ben outlining to Juliet the entire plan for the past two episodes. She was to fake the "left behind" episode with Kate, and then cure Claire of the illness--which was a product of an implant that the Others apparently put in her--with some serum that the Others planted at Ethan's old drop point. This was meant to gain the survivors' trust--why? Well, we don’t know yet. Ben closes by saying, "See you in a week," and handing Juliet a gas mask, proving once again that Sayid is always right.

My God, that was a long recap, but I think it was pretty necessary given the "nutmeat" that these past two eps have given us. Did I miss anything, Dave?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I think you covered it. I'd add a couple things:

-Sawyer has started to assume the role of leader for the Losties. This was of course a result of Hurley's coaxing -- which was pretty lame, by the way -- but a good old-fashioned showdown between Sawyer and Jack should be good.

-Sawyer knocked up that chick who he conned out of her life savings. Not terribly important (at least yet) but probably worth remembering.

-I think we saw some foreshadowing that Kate will get back with Sawyer after her mom said something like "you can't help who you love." This'll probably come up again since Jack's gonna be marginalized, having brought back Juliet. My prediction: Sawyer becomes the new leader of the Losties, Jack maybe goes Rousseau-style.

Where I wanted to start our discussion is with the smoke-monster. My buddy Peir brought up a good point: Why couldn't Smokey go over the sonic barrier like Kate & Co. did? Since I'm not nearly as imaginative/insane as my other buddy Drew, I'll give you his possible explanation:

"The sonic barrier stops ABOVE the barrier, hence why the Losties could go over it. However, perhaps the sonic barrier extends BELOW ground level. There is some correlation between the smoke monster and the ground beneath it...

“1) The ground exploding when it moves.

2) During season 1 finale, when Locke is attacked, the monster attempts to drag him UNDERGROUND.

3) To stop the monster during the attack, Kate (or was it Jack?) throws dynamite into the hole, which stops the monster.

4) The Losties often escape from the monster by hiding inside a group of trees (or the airplane in episode 1). If the monster is made of smoke why does it not just go in and get them?

5) Season 1 Rousseau says the monster won't enter the "dark territory," perhaps because of the rock formations underground. Maybe there's a lot of iron ore that messes with the monster. NOTE: Rousseau knows more about the monster. In season 1 Rousseau says that the smoke monster is a "security system." She could be right about this and it seems logical that she would know more. After all, what kind of science expedition was she on when she came to the island? What really happened to her crew (the disease theory has for the most part been debunked)? In season 1 she explicitly states there are no "monsters" on the island, implying that Smokey was in fact a machine.

“So what is underground? I think the machine that creates the smoke monster is underground and runs through a network of tunnels. When it doesn't have a tunnel it creates one, creating the upshots of dirt. The machine is some kind of big metal thing, which causes the metal sounds whenever the monster is around. The machine runs off the magnetic anomaly that fueled the Swan (This relationship would also solve what happened to the Swan and how everyone got out alive: The people were pulled out by the smoke monster and then the monster sucked the Swan down when Desmond turned the key it activated the "failsafe," i.e. the smoke monster to step into action. The fact that they were underground made the smoke monster more powerful.). Anyway, Smokey has a problem with the tree roots (I know this is really weak considering it shoots huge amounts of dirt up in the air) either because it can't go through them or they somehow mess with its sensors (this would be supported by Smokey not going into the plane in episode one, and only killing the pilot when he came out, and could be "seen." Furthermore, in season 2 Charlie was up in a tree and Smokey didn't see him when Smokey checked out Mr. Eko for the first time.

“As for the images and Smokey turning into things to mess with people, possibly another purpose of Smokey. Perhaps, Smokey was initially DHARMA's main creation on the island, its security duties were just a side job. Smoky was created to "purge" mankind of bad people. Problem was that it turned on DHARMA during the "Purge" and got rid of all of them."

That's a pretty detailed explanation but there are some merits to it. What do you think Smokey is up to?

DJGel: Boy, your buddy Drew is really on top of his shit. I pretty much do nothing all day every day and I can’t even come close to this stuff he comes up with. I don’t know how he does it, but Godspeed, sir. Godspeed.

As for the smoke monster, I would like to stick to my theory about him being somehow mystical and being some kind of “natural” creature who has some larger role on the island—I really would. However, every week it seems like they’re leaning more and more to it being some kind of artificial creation of somebody’s. Is it Dharma? Ben’s Ancestors? Famed computer engineer Chris Burke’s? Who knows? I mean, the points that Drew makes are tough to argue with.

I think an important theme when approaching the smoke monster question is the recurring notion of seemingly “mystical” things on the island ending up being somehow explainable. For example, when Locke sees the light in the hatch in season 1, at the time, you think, “What the fuck is going on here?” However, we now know it was just a suicidal Desmond fucking around with him. Also, the “psychic” who tells Claire to go to the US—Eko finds out that he’s a fraud. I think that there has to be some level of “unmasking” that the survivors still have to go through in terms of the smoke monster.

What I find somewhat more troubling is that this might all be an elaborate set up, as it seems like Locke at least has some completely unexplainable “higher” purpose on the island. I don’t know which way to lean on this one because it could be that the explanation for Locke’s powers is completely mystical and I’d totally buy it. However, I could also see a similar “unmasking” of Locke—perhaps as a plant by the Others from the start. Recall, if you will, the pilot, when Locke and Walt are playing backgammon, and Locke starts up with an explanation of the “one black piece one white piece” stuff. He then tells Walt something like, “Can you keep a secret?” and then they cut away. Well, everyone just assumes that the secret is that Locke was in a wheelchair and now he can walk. However, wouldn’t it be a big twist if we get to the end of the series and Locke was the mastermind all along? I’m not entirely sure how they’d pull it off, but I could definitely see that scene in a montage of “clue shots” when they reveal the big secret.

Or maybe I’m just a total fucknut. Thoughts?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I certainly think there is more unmasking to be done which actually brings me to what I'd like to cover next. While I was overall pretty happy with Juliet's episode, there were two things that I just didn't buy:

1) Sawyer and (especially) Sayid backing down to Juliet. Yeah, she threw some of their history back at 'em but I just don't think they'd just let her walk.

2) The quadruple switcheroo that they're playing with Juliet. So first she was good, then she flipped and helped bring in Jack & co., then she flipped again and tried to have Ben killed, and now she's back to conspiring with Ben? I just think it's lazy writing to have so many plot twists that are just Juliet switching sides. Maybe I'm nit-picking.

So when we should have had plenty of unmasking last week, we got the predictable cop-out from the writers. I'm all for sustaining the suspense but there's only so "All The Answers You've Been Waiting For!" promos I can take. Actually, I guess I can take plenty of them; I'm pretty sure I wrote that exact sentence about three issues ago. I just hope when the unmasking does finally happen it's not just Juliet saying that she's in fact on Jack's side and that she's forsaken Ben. Bitch.

However, all this raises a good question: What will happen over the next week (i.e. the rest of the season)? I think we can assume that Juliet has won over the majority of the Losties with her fabricated heroics. I think we can also assume that at least Sayid, being the only one who isn't a wiener anymore, does not buy it. Hopefully we'll be treated to one more Sayid episode where he brings a day of reckoning to Juliet and we get some answers.

So the question within the question is what do Juliet/Ben/the Others want? I'll start simply: Juliet needs to gain access to Sun, Claire, and/or Kate, all for their respective pregnancies. The producers also elected to have Juliet sort of stare at Desmond during one scene so the Others may also want him for obvious reasons (that's right, he's been impregnated by Charlie).

What do you think is going on?

DJGel: I do agree that the constant switches by Juliet are a bit annoying. I’m not even sure what to believe at this point—all I know is that it really does reek of somewhat lazy writing. On an unrelated note, is it just me or did it really seem like when they were taking her to the island initially it was the most elaborate date-rape scheme in history? That guy Richard is creepy as hell—he almost gives Ben Linus a run for his money—and when he drugged her drink right in front of her face, it almost seemed like a roofie-crazed frat guy at the height of arrogance, like he didn’t even try to hide it and assumed everything would work out. Ridiculous.

I’m not sure what the Others want right now. I do imagine it has something to do with the pregnant chicks on the island. They might actually kidnap Sun—which would either allow Sawyer to get off the hook, or just bring some good-old-fashioned conflict back to the forefront. In that same vein, I could see Jin going Rousseau-style if he ever found out that Sawyer was the one that kidnapped Sun and that she was cheating on him with that bald guy. He would be crushed and shamed—and we know he can survive on his own.

Another thing that I realized while watching the Juliet ep is there’s a damned good reason why Ben doesn’t want Alex hooking up with that “Chachball,” as you might call him. He just doesn’t want her to die a horrible, painful death if she gets pregnant. So that “big mystery” has been solved (thank God).

I have another issue—did the Others just go out and get Juliet solely because she’s a great doctor? Or was she somehow otherwise on their list of seemingly superhuman recruits? How do they recruit these people? Also, there are some doppelgangers of sorts between what we’ve seen of the Losties and what we’ve seen of the Others. The Russian Guy was a communications officer with the Red Army, much like Sayid with the Republican Guard. The Ethan/Jack parallels are there. There’s that one bald Other that kind of reminds me of Locke. Maybe there’s something more to the time loop theory—like every time the loop happens, the same “characters,” if you will, come to the island, but with slight variations. I dunno, thought it was worth throwing it out there.

What do you think, Dave?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I like the idea of doppelgangers. I think I'm still too confused about the time loop to say too much about how it all fits in but clearly something's up since Ben said that the day after he was diagnosed with cancer Jack landed on the island. So, at the least, it seems like anytime there's a void left by someone -- like losing Ethan-- the island is quick to fill it with a replacement. You might even say the island has a way of "course correcting," if you will (count it).

So with Eye-Patch Guy dead maybe Sayid will be the Others' next recruit. Of course, any of the chicks in the ranks of the Losties is fair game seeing as the Others need uteri (is that a word?). Ooowee, I've got another theory, straight off the top of my dome: The real Sawyer, a.k.a. the Man From Tallahassee, was an original recruit of the Others filling the incredibly necessary role of resident con man. He did something that they didn't like -- like perhaps conning someone out of a delicious cheese danish -- and so they've basically imprisoned him and need a replacement. Therefore they need Sawyer or Locke to replace him, depending on whatever Real Sawyer was doing for the Others in the first place (Sawyer for his conning prowess or Locke for his ability to fuck up royally when the stakes are highest).

Anyway, it would make decent sense that maybe the Others have been having trouble with pregnancy for some time (on the order of decades) and, instead of having new children, they keep having castaways marooned on their island. Remember that the island's littered with remnants of other expeditions gone awry. On top of that, they also get replacements for the respective roles that were lost.

Whew, that was an unexpected bout of conjecture. What happened? I blacked out. So what about just the next episode or two? Who's being spotlighted and what do you think we can expect?

DJGel: Well, this might be considered cheating a bit, but on, they claim that the next ep is going to be about Desmond (Thank God), followed by an ep about Jin and Sun (eh…). The Desmond shows have been excellent up to this point, but I’m personally not a huge fan of the Korean couple episodes, since it seems like Jin (normally a stand up guy) just gets fucked with most of the time by his wife, who is a dirty, dirty whore.

Just quickly, I went back over some game tape, and Locke may have been taken in by the Others as a replacement for Pickett. Recall that Russian guy said that Locke was “too angry” to be on “the list.” Well, in terms of anger issues, I’d put Pickett somewhere between Lou Pinella and Dr. Bruce Banner, so maybe Locke is now filling the role of “resident hothead.”

After reading the latest interview with the producers, it sounds like they have cut out an astonishing amount of filler that they originally had planned for this season. For example, the whole Nikki/Paolo thing was supposed to be split over several episodes, but they pulled it all together into one ep to try and counter sagging ratings. And you know what? It was probably the best call they could have made. I’m not entirely sure how they really could have gotten more than one really tight episode out of that stuff, so I’m glad to see that a lot of this crap is getting condensed together.

Other than that, we’re suspiciously overdue for a jerk-off Charlie episode, but again, given the producers’ newfound sense of urgency, we might be spared that tragedy. You must not be happy with that last promo because it looked like one of those “Here’s what’s going to happen the next 6 episodes or so” spots. I must say, though, it looks like Sawyer gets pretty upset about someone getting kidnapped (Kate? Or is he trying to redeem himself for the previous Sun kidnapping?) and at least one more couple knocks boots. It sounds like the last 6 eps here are going to be pretty good stuff, but we’ll see.

Any final thoughts, Dave?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I think I'm good. I'll conclude by saying that I'm excited for another Desmond episode and that I predict that the Jin/Sun ep could end with Jin killing Charlie. Unfortunately Charlie's death (if it ever happens) is probably too big to not be in the season finale or maybe the episode before so there is only a slight chance of this.

However, I still think it's possible that Jin will find out about Charlie's little ruse on Sun and smite him for it.

Other than that I'm pretty happy with the way things are going. Let's hope we can finish the season strong.

DJGel: Indeed, sir. Good stuff, as always, Dave. Thanks.