Here's what I did today:

I'm hoping this might be the first of the "Tiny Takes" series, but no promises just yet.
sigma7: Sims (Sims)
( May. 2nd, 2012 06:15 pm)
I own five, maybe six football jerseys. They're all of the same player: twelve-time Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer (Tiaina Baul) Junior Seau. I named the main character in my thesis after him. Have his action figures, have a collectible card of him dressed up like a stealth fighter. Calling him my favorite professional athlete is...yeah, pretty much right on the money.

And now he's dead at 43. Yes, this brings the '94 Chargers death toll up to eight, but none of them could be as much of a gutpunch as this (and nothing as shocking, reminding me too much of the sudden loss of Reggie Lewis 19 years ago). For now, probably the definitive word on the man comes from Eric Olsen, offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints (distilled from his Twitter feed):

Wow this is a tough one.. When I was a frosh in HS Junior Seau worked the Jay Fiedler Football camp and at the end of one of the days he challenged any1 to a 1 on 1. Being one of the 'big' kids, I was volunteered by my buddies and went up in front of the whole camp to face...This monster of a man. Shaking in my cleats, he gave me a wink before a coach gave the cadence. He let me pancake him. And he sold it too...I can't even tell you how good I felt at that moment; it changed me forever. The whole camp cheered for me, a chubby kid that didn't know...If he even liked football. From then on I was addicted. All thanks 2 this 10 time all-pro that felt like making some snot-nosed kid's day...Doesn't seem like much but it meant a lot to me. Sorry for the essay just had to share. RIP Junior I'll never forget what you did for me.

In 1997, Junior won the NFL's Man of the Year award. Ten years earlier, Dave Duerson won that award. Last year Duerson texted his family to say that he wanted to donate his brain for research into the links between professional football and degenerative brain damage, then killed himself with a gunshot to the chest.

Former teammate turned commentator Marcellus Wiley said "Today is the worst day." I hate to admit it, but he's right. A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave....

So, yeah. Picspam. Many of these are (as Junior was) always in motion, so be prepared. Also find what appears to be a storyboard of the first draft of the Avengers script before Joss tightened it up. 36 pics below.... )
So today is the Superb Owl XVLI, one of the few remaining occasions in American culture in which we still use Roman numerals. Some of you care only because of the commercials. Some of you only care because of Puppy Bowl VIII. Some of you go to great lengths not to care at all. Me, even though none of my favorite teams really came close to making it this year (New Orleans came within spittin' distance, but Drew Brees will have to settle for his team's victory in Madden Bowl -- seriously) and still I find myself intrigued. It's the pinnacle of my favorite sport, steeped in tradition and ritual and fanfare. Someone's going home tonight recognized as one of the best ever in their profession, and quite a few are going to stagger home with broken hearts. And that's all we know. The narrative will write itself out on the gridiron in white chalk and cleat marks. Something's going to happen that will make our jaws drop. I just hope it's not at halftime (Madonna? Seriously?).

55 pics below.... )
So I think Shit My Dad Says creator and San Diego Chargers fan Justin Halperin eloquently and concisely encapsulated my reaction to the news of BRING ME THE SKULL OF Norv Turner and AJ Smith being rehired:


Seriously, do that for about three hours as loud as you can in your head and that's where my internal monologue went. But it merely postpones the inevitable. I can haz skull.

64 pics below.... )
sigma7: (Butcher)
( Jan. 3rd, 2012 04:42 pm)
Coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will get another chance to try to lead the San Diego Chargers back to the playoffs, the team announced Tuesday....

...San Diego has won only one playoff game in the last four seasons. Its last postseason appearance was an embarrassing home loss to the New York Jets in January 2010. The Chargers responded to that defeat by giving Turner a contract extension...


Neither AJ Smith nor Dean Spanos particularly needs to remain intact.
As noted by [ profile] beagle1971 -- seven of the 53 members of the 1994 San Diego Chargers (who made it to, and got obliterated in, Super Bowl XXIX) have died before the age of 45. Linebacker David Griggs died in a self-inflicted DUI a month after receiving his AFC championship ring, running back Rodney Culver was killed in the ValuJet plane crash in the Everglades, and linebacker Doug Miller was struck by lightning -- twice. That's just cruel.

Speaking of inherent cruelty, I found 2011 playoff odds. If these numbers are to be believed, the Chefs are not mathematically eliminated. Granted, 0.6% is the smallest nonzero probability in the 32 teams, but that's better than Cleveland, Jacksonville, Indy, Washington, Minnesota, Carolina, Tampa Bay or St. Louis. The Bolts are hovering at 5.2%, which is delusionally optimistic, but that's math for you. The only team in the AFC to clinch so far is Houston, which has never been to the playoffs before. So, uhm, that's...atypical.

Interestingly, the Jaguars have placed 27 players on injured reserve this year. That's more than half a roster. At least they're still alive.
Todd "Bro" Haley fired. A bit unfair given the hole injuries put him in this season (Pioli put them in their no-redundancies scheme more than Haley did), but after losing yesterday, the way they did yesterday (seriously, 81 yards of penalties in one drive?),

To make matters worse, he's replaced by Romeo Crennel on an interim basis, because apparently Jim Zorn wasn't available (oh, wait, he was). Maybe y'all should've just let the team coach themselves by consensus.

And if Pioli brings in Josh McDaniels, I may add a new skull to my wishlist.
It is mathematically possible for both the Chefs and the Bolts to make the playoffs. This season.

Seriously, check the math.

It is exceptionally unlikely -- both teams would have to run the table and the Patriots would have to die in a plane crash or disappear into another dimension -- but it's not impossible. Though, even if we were to assume that the possibility of winning every game is a straight 50/50 (and San Diego, Kansas City and whoever plays New England are all going to be underdogs from here on out), those odds are 1-in-32768.

But I'm okay with the Bolts pancaking the rest of the season, because there's only one thing on my Christmas list this year. Yes, the skull of Norv Turner. And if you have to wait until January 2 to get it to me, I...reluctantly understand. I am magnanimous and gracious in my unrelenting thirst for a specific set of headbones.
The Chefs are saying that brand-new KC quarterback Kyle Orton will get a shot at playing next week after the slightly-less-than-stellar performance of the tremor-inducing Tyler Palko. Palko's quarterback rating this season is a glacial 47.5. Note that if Palko had thrown nothing but incompletions, his rating would be 39.6.

As for the Bolts, yesterday was the final nail in Norv Turner's coffin, though his skull still remains high atop my Christmas list. The only question is whether or not general manager idiot savant AJ Smith follows him, and honestly, aside from inertia, there's no damn reason why not. Still, this season is the bitter fever of delusion before the sickness is expunged. Just five more weeks of undeniably mediocre football to sit through. Nice to know Nick Novak isn't the only one pissing the season away. Literally. (Dude, there are cameras here.)

46 pics below.... )
Tonight, Community and Thursday Night Football, New York Jets at the Denver Tebow. I'm not sure if Community or the Broncos option offense will last longer, but I know at least one of them is going to get drilled into the ribs and planted into the ground, and it's probably the wrong one. I know I'd rather watch "Remedial Chaos Theory" repeatedly more than most NFL games, and that's saying something.

62 pics below.... )
I know this should be common knowledge, but after the last week, it bears reiterating, especially from someone who is, shall we say, a more-than-casual fan of American football.

No man -- player or coach or anything else -- is bigger than the game.

And the game (and any aspects thereof) is utterly irrelevant to the point of nonexistence against a person's life.

This should go without saying, And yet I feel oddly compelled to point it out. I enjoy a good throttling of an instate rival or a four-overtime knife fight as much as the next guy. But it's good to keep some perspective. It's just a damned game.

That said, if anyone wants to get me a Christmas present, bring me the skull of Norv Turner.
Not a fantastic weekend of athletic diversion. As of this writing, Philip Rivers has thrown for four touchdowns. Pity two of them were to the wrong team. Dammit, Phil, you're making life very difficult for even your most devout apologists. Sigh. Still, I blame Norv Turner. Have I mentioned that I need you to bring me the skull of Norv Turner? 'Cause I do. 46 pics below.... )
sigma7: Sims (NFL)
( Nov. 1st, 2011 12:14 pm)
All blame goes to [ profile] daethkow: Idiot Football Coach.

It's been said, many times, many ways, BRING ME THE SKULL OF NORV TURNER.
Of course, every picspam comes with the plea that someone, anyone should BRING ME THE SKULL OF NORV TURNER, just tonight more than most. It's Bolts-Chefs (aka the Divided Loyalty Bowl) on Monday Night Football, and given that this weekend was an absolute pigskin suckfest, I'm...worried. As long as nobody gets critically injured (and the Chargers stop putting concussed players back into the game to the point where they have seizures on the flight home for Christ's sake) then I'll, somewhat satisfied. That said, Phil, your team is the blue-and-yellow, not the red-and-white, okay? There WILL be a quiz, a 60-minute-long quiz. 65 pics below.... )
And you know I'm finding myself actually wishing I'd stayed up for all of last night's game? And do you know when the last time I've ever felt watching baseball was greater than missing sleep? Never. Buster Olney called it the greatest game ever; he may not be wrong. And Joe Buck's call made even his detractors (of which I'm not one) into believers. Pinnacle of the modern game, maybe, though Curt Schilling's sock may say otherwise.

Meanwhile college and pro football are deeply intriguing and watchable, early season NHL is meh, and the NBA's cancelled until November at the earliest, and we might be looking at a lost season. Wonder how they'd handle the draft...?

Anyway. Lizard.

41 pics below.... )
sigma7: Sims (NFL)
( Oct. 2nd, 2011 08:03 pm)
Oh, Tony Romo. You're playing so badly that you're pissing me off, and I don't like you or the Cowboys. Please keep it up; it's hysterical. Also, Calvin Johnson -- damn. You have earned the right to call yourself "Megatron" or whatever other Transformers-based nickname you want. Though "Calvinus Prime" still has a certain ring to it. Also tests positive for energon cubes.

Damn, break up da Chefs! No more #32 in the power rankings no more! I'm sure Ryan Succop is all, "Who's Mr. Irrelevant now, bitches?" Also, if I were a quarterback in this league, the first thing I would be afraid of is Tamba Hali. Force of nature, that man.

Redskins safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is a comic book geek. “The Red Hulk’s craaazy. Craaaaaaaaazy.” I can't tell you how happy this makes me.

Houston would've beaten Pittsburgh by about a billion points if they hadn't tried to systematically commit every penalty in the playbook. Made the game more watchable, at least.

I give Tony Sparano 18 more hours of employment at best. (Note quarterbacks playing against San Diego: account for Eric Weddle on every play in the last six minutes of the game.) Also my favorite description of Philip Rivers in a long time -- "who one of these days will forget to release the ball at the end of his motion and wind up throwing himself fifty yards." [Edit: okay, so apparently he's safe through the bye week. What. The. Hell. If you're going to make a coaching change mid-season (and given Miami's 0-4 record and disgusting public flirtation with the now-taken Jim Harbaugh, do you really see this relationship panning out?), do it during the bye week. Give your team some time to adapt. Unless, of course, you've written off the season already, and honestly, firing your coach is a pretty telltale sign that you have.]


In other news, my NCAA Football 12 Road to Glory running back is just starting his junior year, having won the Heisman his sophomore year. Oh, and leading his team to two perfect undefeated consecutive seasons (beating Utah in the Orange Bowl last year). Naturally, they're ranked 19th going into the next season. The polling AI is still appallingly lifelike in its capriciousness. Probably because our QB is dumber than a bag of hammers and thinks (along with our coach) that he's an option threat (hint: he's not -- ranked 76 overall, which confers the speed and agility of your average kitchen stove) and gives up on passing plays before anyone can run a route. If I could, I'd totally organize a soap party with the rest of the team. I just hope he's graduating soon.


Finally -- congrats, homecoming queen Mariah Slick.
Former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who has been diagnosed with ALS, was presented with a Super Bowl ring by coach Sean Payton at a surprise party Monday night.

The 34-year-old Gleason revealed Sunday that he is battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease; the Saints made him their honorary captain for the game against the Houston Texans. On Monday, besides receiving the ring, Gleason got a key to the city from Mayor Mitch Landrieu....

...Perhaps Gleason will be remembered most for his blocked punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina -- a play that stirred an already emotional crowd into a deafening, drink-spilling frenzy. Landrieu on Monday called that play the greatest in Saints franchise history.
ESPN The Magazine devotes entire issue to how good Boston is.

This is a real thing. I swear to you. DJ Gallo didn’t make this as a Photoshop just as some kind of sick joke. ESPN actually did this. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE FUCKS AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN GODDAMN HELL. ALL OF THEM. Chad Millman, who is the editor of ESPN The Shitheap, needs to be tied to a post and lashed with a dead stingray for this. This is fucking horrible. This is White Vick with a fucking House of Pain tattoo grafted on for good measure. Did you people NOT get the fucking memo? Were you not aware that the entire goddamn world hates you already for overcovering Boston sports? Did you not know that there are entire sites like this one that were founded specifically to act as a counterbalance to your ongoing and utterly baffling provincialism? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

I love the Bruins, I adore the Celts, but this seriously is a bridge too fah. The only thing worse than incessant tone-deaf homerism is commercializing it -- also see ESPN Boston, ESPN New York, ESPN Los Angeles, ESPN Chicago, ESPN Dallas....


sigma7: Sims (Default)


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