Posted on: May 13, 2009 12:38 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2009 11:50 am

What's in a name?

I have always thought that sports provided us with some great and not-so-great names, with baseball carrying the cream of the crop. There have been some spectacular names that have come from America's Past Time like Mookie Wilson and Rollie Fingers. Our favorite game has had quite a few changes over the years, some for the greater good of the game and some which the all fans would like to forget. With that being said, the young superstars have taken the game to another level and we are all counting on them to put the whole steroid era behind us. With that being said, I know we are tired of hearing and talking about the negativity of the past, so I would like to focus on a fun part of the game. The new wave of players who entertain us because of the names their parents either gave them or they were forced to inherit. Here is a list of my ten best and ten worst names (to be released next week) in baseball.

Top Ten Great Names
10. Ryan Theriot (SS Chicago Cubs) - There is nothing spectacular about the name ryan, but with a last name of Theriot (prounounced terio), his Chicago Cubs teammates have taken it upon themselves to call him "The Riot." I don't know about you, but I'm not messing with anyone who is constantly referred to as "The Riot."
9. Grady Sizemore (CF Cleveland Indians) - A name like Grady is a pretty catchy baseball name but it's the last name that stands out. That's right ladies, SIZEMORE! OWWWWW! That's a pickup line in itself. "Hello there, the name is Sizemore, Grady Sizemore." Man would I have had a great time with that last name in college!
8. Denard Span (CF Minnesota Twins) - OK, besides his last name being one connecting arch short of the poor man's lunch meat, SPAM, I really don't have anything inquisitive to say about his first or last name. However, he has two names you don't normally hear and they just flow together in some strange way that screams, "I'm a bad ass baseball player!"
7. Corey C. Hart (RF Milwaukee Brewers) - "I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can keep track of visions in my eyes." That's right, you all know that song from the 80's. Well the guy who sings that song is Corey Hart and it is spelled exactly the same way. That automatically makes the Brewers right fielder one of my favorite athletes.
6. Terrmel Sledge (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) - OK so Terrmel is no longer in the league, but he used to play for the Padres and it still playing baseball in Japan so he qualifies. I'm not quite sure what kind of name Terrmel is but is sure is catchy and when you combine it with a name like Sledge, it creates a tough baseball name. He should have been a wrester. I wouldn't make fun of him!
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C Texas Rangers) - In addition to his last name which I really don't feel like typing again sounding really cool, I believe he has the longest last name in the history of baseball. Not to mention that everyone naturally calles him "Salty" which is just a sweeeeet baseball nickname. You get introduced to the new guy as "Salty" and you are instantly thought of as the cool guy.
4. Boof Bonser (RP Minnesota Twins) - I actually think Boof is his real name which makes this even cooler, but even if I was wrong about that, it really doesn't matter because his last name actually, Bonser is just as cool. With a name like Boof, I feel like you can do anything and get away with it. I can see a teacher reading a paper he wrote in highschool and thinking, "Man this is terrible, oh Boof wrote it. I love that kid. He gets an A plus."
3. Milton Bradley (OF Chicago Cubs) - I don't think I really need to explain why his name is so cool since he has the same name as the company that produced all the toys and games we grew up playing with. The ironic part about his name is that even as a major league baseball player, he still throws more temper tantrums than a five year old and acts like he just lost a match of Hungry Hungry Hippo.
2. Coco Crisp (OF Kansas City Royals) - Here is another name that I don't think needs much of an explanation for sitting in the two spot. We all love the cereal commercials almost as much as the cereal itself and if you have never eaten cocoa krispies then you were deprived as a child just as coco is being deprived of baseball stardom playing with the Royals. Oh wait, they are actually in first place of the AL Central...for now.
1. So Taguchi (LF Chicago Cubs) - Hey, check out my new sunglasses. Dude, you are soooooooo taguchi. I actually use that term to describe the act of trying to look cool and actually succeeding. Why is So, the best name in baseball? Because his name can be used as a sentence. Show me any other person in sports whose name can be used in such a manner. That's right you can't! Don't deny it, this list of baseball names is soooooo taguchi.

Tune in next week for my Top Ten list of the worst names in baseball. And as always, feel free to tell me what names I am missing on this list because I know there are some great names out there that I have passed on in my biased affinity for some of these players. Oh and in case you didn't notice, it appears as though the Cubs have three of the top ten players with the coolest names in the league.

Posted on: May 6, 2009 12:51 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2009 1:03 pm

Most Valuable Disappointment

As sports fans, we all marvel at the skills portrayed on the court, field or ice and tend to idolize certain players whether they are 20 years older than us or 30 years younger than us. Many of us live for a certain sport and bleed the colors of our favorite teams and will do so until the day we die. This leads to becoming huge fans of players on our favorite teams, especially when a certain players puts the entire team on their shoulders and carries the franchise to win after win, yet some of these star players are not particulary what we think they are or more accurately, what we would like them to be. What I'm getting at is the wondeful persona that is displayed during interviews and guest appearances does not always represent the way an athlete carries him or herself when the cameras are not on, and I got the chance to experience this first hand with a basketball superstar.

The purpose of this story is not to "out" this player or make him look bad, but simply to share more than one incident about this athlete that proves his idea of who he is and what he represents has become diluted from his time spent in the spotlight of the NBA. With that in mind, I had originally decided not to disclose his name, but have changed my mind and come to the realization that not naming him takes away from the whole point of my story and the message it carries.

About a year ago, I was spending the weekend at a friend's house on South Beach during the Summer. A bunch of my girlfriends (that is girls that are friends not that I collect girlfriends...I am not that smooth) were out to eat when two body guards approached them and said, "LeBron James would like to have dinner with you." Of course they obliged since what person wouldn't be impressed by that situation? The girls ended up eating with him and hanging out with him at the place he was staying. Obviously, there were things going down that you would imagine would happen at an NBA superstar's party, but that is not the point of this story. Anyway, they invited LeBron to come to dek23 the next night, which is a club that a friend of ours owned at the time. He didn't say he was going to come for sure, but said he would think about it.

Well he did end up "gracing the club with his presence" and I was told that it was a huge thing because having LeBron seen at the club would help the popularity of the new establishment. I thought that was one of the most obsurd things I have ever heard, but I'm open to foreign concepts so I decided to go with it. When he entered the club, I thought either the Pope or the President of the United States had entered the building. LeBron received his own room once he arrived where he was surrounded by women from the club that were hand selected by his body guards. The women would stand in line and wait for the opportunity to dance with him and talk to him for about 15 minutes each. At this point, I was getting used to seeing something ridiculous ever 15 mintues and all of this carried on throughout the night but none of these things are what bothered me...

After about four hours, Mr. James received a bill for everything he ordered and I was told that it was for $3,500 by the owner, which didn't really surprise me considering somewhere around $40 million a year. What did surprise me, is that LeBron not only refused to pay the bill, but was upset that they even expected him to pay the bill. It was almost as if the club had disrespected him for expecting him to pay for anything, and that they should be grateful that he even showed up. At that very moment, I lost all respect for LeBron James as a person!

Now I have heard of athletes receiving special treatment and bars or restaurants refusing to let the athletes pay for a drink or a dinner, but this was something totally different. Not only was he stiffing the owner of a new club $3500, but the girl waiting on him was not going to receive a tip either. Just writing about this still upsets me to this day as I couldn't understand why he wouldn't pay the bill. It was the equivalent of me walking into a bar, ordering a beer, and then refusing to pay for it. "Do you know who I am...I write a blog for CBSSports. I don't need to pay for this, I am better than you." Can you imagine that? Not only would I get laughed at, I would get arrested if I didn't get my teeth knocked out first.

Now the reason I even thought about this story is because I was talking to some people at a bar the other night and they told me they had encountered the same thing with this player twice as they were from Akron, Ohio. This let me know that what I had witnessed was not a one time thing, and I was once again infuriated. If I made millions of dollars a year and $3500 dollars was more like $3.50 to me, not only would I never refuse to pay for something, but I wouldn't accept free things either. How can you feel good about yourself knowing that a struggling owner of a bar or club who makes maybe .5 percent of what you make is not going to receive a payment from you because your ego is bigger than your wallet. It's a concept that just blows my mind that that I will never understand. I don't like judging other people, especially when they are in situations that I have never been in, but to conduct yourself in such a manner is just deplorable. With that being said....

Wake up LeBron James, you play a game for a living! Besides providing entertainment to people, you don't make anyone's life any better. You are not going to eliminate anyones debt, you are not going to cure any dying children, you won't help the struggling economy, you can't help someone pay the mortgage of a house they are about to lose and you obviously can't appreciate the hard work the average American puts into each and every day just to make your life easier. Get a grip and stop listening to all the people in your life telling you that you are the man, because as far as I am concerned, I have more respect for my two-year-old cousin whose dribbling skills are limited to the food falling down her bib. However, what she can already do is show gratitude toward those that work hard to please her.

I hope that you learn what you are doing is not a way to gain fans and that one day you will learn that you are no better than anyone else before it's too late and everyone forgets about you, your meaningless stats and your hollow praises.

Category: NBA
Posted on: April 28, 2009 9:01 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2009 4:13 pm

Sorry, We're Out of Draft

As much as I live for the NFL Draft, it's tough for me to say that I'm glad it's over. When the draft is actually going on, I can't get enough of it. Even as a little kid, I can remember recording every pick that was made on my own draft board and crossing off the names once they were selected. Of course, my day was always ruined once the Dolphins made their first pick, but I was always excited up until that point. I don't know what it is about being involved in a draft that intrigues me, but I have always been enamored with everything that goes along with it. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my love for fantasy football, college football and the NFL from a young age, and I guess that's why there are certain things that are starting to bother me. I'm sure that I'm not the only person starting to get fed up with everything surrounding the draft, but I have a few ideas to help fix these problems, because nobody likes a complainer unless he or she actually has something to offer better than what is currently in place...

Coverage before the draft : As most of you can tell, the coverage of the draft begins about two months before the actual draft starts and it is starting to become...well no, it has become a bit of an overkill. And since the NFL and everything that revolves around it is a cash cow, I'm afraid the coverage is not only going to continue but increase with every year. Now, I don't think it is the amount of coverage that is a problem, but it's the lack in variety of coverage that upsets me. For eight weeks all we do is hear about who the No. 1 pick is going to be, the players that are going to get drafted in the top ten and the remaining players that will go in the first round. Yes, that is something that I want to know, but not every day for eight weeks. In case nobody has noticed, there are seven rounds in the draft. I would like to know how many picks my favorite team has, what position and which players they should be drafting each round and what players are expected to go in which round. When the fourth round and later rounds come around, I have no idea who anyone is and I know that I am not alone with this problem. I could see taking a week to review each round, what kind of players should be going in each round and the caliber of players that have been chosen in that round in the past.  So not only would this prevent an overkill of information, but it would create more of an intrigue for fans when it comes to the later rounds and more of an understanding as to why each team chose the player that it did.

Draft experts : As far as I am concerned, unless you have been a scout, worked out all these players individually, actually been in the War Room of an NFL team and actually been involved in the entire process of a draft, you are not an expert. All these self proclaimed experts, including the ones on our site, are no more qualified to do what they do than any other fan. If you payed me to educate myself on the draft, I follow the college game enough to be able to do just as good of a job. What I would like to see is someone given the opportunity to become a draft expert that has been a head coach or general manager of an actual NFL team. Maybe someone like a Bill Cowher or Charlie Casserly. I would love to receive as much information as possible from someone with that knowledge, and man what I would give just to sit in the War Room with Bill Parcells!

Coverage of the draft : I actually don't think the coverage of the draft is all that bad as it's very tough to follow each and every pick and trade that goes down, but I would like to know more about my own team that is involved in the draft. I think every team should have its own draft channel which follows the draft and updates its fans on what the team is thinking, the players that they are hoping will fall and who they would be willing to trade up and select. Obviously this wouldn't be insider info because there is no way any general manager or coach would leak anything that they are planning on doing, but every team has insiders that know more than the masses about the team. Maybe I should start a show for the Miami Dolphins draft!

After the draft : And now we get to the much debated grades after the draft. I'm not going to lie, I look forward to the grades, and I read them all with interest, but I never take them seriously because not even the most qualified and knowledgable football minds could correctly grade a draft after it was completed. What bothers me is that every expert prefices their article about draft grades, saying that nobody can truly grade a draft until a player has gone through three years in the NFL. Which I agree with. Well, how come we never actually see any grades of teams after three years. I know that we aren't going to eliminate the report cards for the day after the draft, but why not come out with grades of the draft that occured three years ago to go along with the immediate grades. Not only is that something that I would be interested in reading, but it's definitely something that I would be interested in writing. Shoot that is a great idea! If I can actually motivate myself to write more than a blog, I will definitely do that.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Draft
Posted on: April 15, 2009 11:36 am

Fantasy Fluke

So here I am on a Wendesday and I find myself one day away from winning my first ever fantasy basketball championship with a 210 point cushion in the championship match-up. I really didn't even want to play as I am not the biggest NBA fan to begin with and while I am an absolute fantasy football and baseball geek, I just don't have the same interest in basketball. I don't know enough about the game, the players or the stratagey behind the draft; nevertheless, the production crew needed one more manager and it was only 10 dollars to enter, so I figured why not? Everyone can beat up on my team week in and week out and then all my colleagues will like me. However, it didn't work out that way and I will be taking everyone's money. Let's take a look at my unmatched strategy which got me to this point.


Draft Preparation - I didn't even know when the season began nor did I know when our draft was but I figured I should at least try and make an effort. So, I opened my laptop, found the fantasy basketball rankings, opened a beer, put my computer on the table and caught up on the episodes of 'Eastbound and Down" that I missed. When those were over, I believe I took a nap, but I can't remember. What I do remember is never once actually reading the fantasy basketball rankings.


The Draft - On draft day, well, to be honest, I forgot that it was draft day. I couldn't tell you if the draft was in the day, at night, how many rounds there were or what pick I had. What I can tell you is that I went four-for-four in my softball game and actually hit a ball off the fence which helped make up for the ball that I dropped in center field. I think I need new cleats, I am just not as fast in them as I used to be...or is that the six pack that I drank before the game? Well either way, it's not my fault. Always blame the equipment you use and never yourself. I have learned that is the key to success in softball. Oh ya, this is what my roster ended up looking like. Thank you Auto Pilot!

Guard : Raymond Felton

Guard : Andre Miller

Guard : Chris Paul (Balllllller)

Forward : John Salmons

Forward : Boris Diaw

Forward : Rasheed Wallace

Center : Pau Gasol

I thought my team looked good, but then again, who looks at their team after the draft and says to themselves, "Man, my team is terrible." Exactly, nobody.

Setting my lineup - My key to setting my lineup was pretty much the same strategy I had for the draft. I didn't sign in to my team before the season started and I figured the computer would do a better job setting a default roster for me than my brain trying to figure out who should start on my team, especially since I tend to over analyze things, especially when I have absolutely no clue what I am talking about.

The season - Since the NBA Playoffs are so long and have so many teams, I see that as the real season and still don't understand why it has to be so long. I feel like it lasts two months...oh wait it does. Anyway, I find the regular season of the NBA extremely boring so I am sure you can guess that I payed little attention to the games and no attention to me team. As a matter of fact, I totally forgot I even had a fantasy team. I can honestly say I never made a change in my lineup and never even looked to see how my team was doing. It was not until Week 16 when I walked into work and the guy sitting next to me said, "Man, this is close." I said, "What do you mean?" And he said, "The fantasy basketball standings." At first, I didn't even know what he was talking about and then I remembered that I was in the league. I looked at the standings and saw that I was in second place in my division. I was shocked, I couldn't understand how I have even won a game. I really didn't make one move the whole season and I was in second place. I didn't know what to do, so I figured if doing nothing had gotten me that far, I might as well continue doing nothing.


The playoffs - In the playoffs, I still didn't make any changes but followed my team, because with a chance at winning some money, I was suddenly intrigued. I cruised to a victory in my match-up and when I went to check the results, I soon realized why my team was so good all year long. CHRIS PAUL IS AN ABSOLUTE BALLER, STUD, SUPERSTAR, MAN AMONG BOYS....WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL HIM...THE GUY SINGLE HANDEDLY HELPED MY TEAM CRUSH EVERYONE!!!! I couldn't tell you who the number one fantasy basketball player was this year, but I would be shocked if Chris Paul was not in the top three. Oh and did I mention that my opponent has Dwyane Wade who scored 55 points the other night against the Knicks. Yes, I am still winning by 210 points. Anyway, I finally made a change when I noticed that John Salmons was injured, but it didn't even matter because...well, because Chris Paul is the man.

Overview - I guess I could sit here and try to discuss why I am going to win my first fantasy basketball championship by the end of the day today and talk about how great my draft was and that none of my players had any major issues with injuries throughout the year and that I received great match-ups through out the playoffs...but what it really boils down to is that I won because of dumb luck. You know it and I know it. Maybe I should try this strategy for my football and baseball teams. Oh and one more thing...Did I mention that...CHRIS PAUL IS THE MAN!



Posted on: April 8, 2009 12:59 pm

Posing as Parcells

Apparently the important people in charge of organizing this inaugural NFL Mock Draft suffered a massive trauma to the head on the day I applied to represent the Dolphins since I was actually accepted. Let's take a look at why they thought I was qualified...

I have been working for CBSSports for over three years now and I have been a Miami Dolphins fan since I was old enough to remember anything at all. I believe my first coherent phrase as a child was "Touchdown Dolphins!" Miami Dolphins Football was more of a religion in my household and missing a Dolphins game was grounds for excommunication, which is why I have never missed one. I can remember crying myself to sleep the year Pete Stoyanovich missed a game winning field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs along with my mother consistently lecturing me on how I can't allow a loss to affect my entire week. I have since become a little more capable of handling wins and losses with a steadier outlook on the season and franchise, but the passion still remains the same as my knowledge about the game continues to grow. 

The NFL Draft has become an unheralded event and rightfully so as teams have created NFL powerhouses from the perfect college talent like the Patriots, while others have created quite the opposite like the Lions. I graduated from the University of Florida where I became a die hard Florida Gator fan, but more importantly for the sake of this draft, highly knowledgeable of college talent. Over the years I have learned the type of skillset and disposition it takes for a student athlete to make a successful transition from college to the pros. Now we all know that this isn't an exact science, but there are obvious trends and strategies that lead to a successful draft.

I have never considered the Dolphins to be a franchise that excels when it comes to the draft. Don Shula is arguably one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NFL, but I never thought he produced any exceptional drafts. Jimmie Johnson was considered a draft expert and he proved to be so finding the likes of Jason Taylor and Zack Thomas, but I feel he was pressured to add offensive weapons for Dan Marino, which also led him to make some terrible picks like Jon Avery when Randy Moss was still on the board. Dave Wanstedt was below average when it came to the draft and I am being nice about that and I am not even going to bring up the one year Cam Cameron was here. Unfortunately, I felt Nick Saban did a great job in his first draft by selecting Ronnie Brown, Channing Crowder and Matt Roth, but we don't speak of this man, so lets pretend I didn't write this sentence.

Obviously, Bill Parcells knows what he is doing and I don't really see myself questioning any decisions he makes, especially after the miracle he produced last year, but I welcome the challenge of representing the Miami Dolphins and all the die hard fans that would give anything to be in that War Room with an input come draft day. On the day of the draft and before the luxury of the internet, I can remember sitting in front of the television for the whole weekend and recording every single draft pick for every round of the draft. Interestingly enough, last year's selection of Jake Long with the first pick is the only pick I can remember agreeing with the front office of the Miami Dolphins about (with the exception of the unspoken coaches picks). I am honored to have an oppourtinity like this and I will undoubtedly take it seriously...and who knows, maybe Parcells will take notice of the pick that comes from the knowledgeable minds of Miami Dolphins Nation.

Also, after studying the draft history of the Miami Dolphins, I decided to point out three of the franchises best drafts with the picks that stand out.

1983 (Head Coach Don Shula) - Mark Clayton and Dan Marino in the same draft...That changes the franchise right there!

Round 1 Dan Marino
Round 2 Mike Charles
Round 6 Reggie Roby
Round 8 Mark Clayton

1990 (Head Coach Don Shula) - I didn't realize that Richmond Webb and Keith Sims were drafted the same year.

Round 1 Richmond Webb
Round 2 Keith Sims
Round 4 Scott Mitchell

2005 (Head Coach Nick Saban) - Despite Mr. Saban being a lier, he did leave us with some talent after this draft.

Round 1 Ronnie Brown
Round 2 Matt Roth
Round 3 Channing Crowder
Round 4 Travis Daniels

Other outstanding selections : Randy McMichael (Fourth Round 2002), Chris Chambers (Second Round 2001), Patrick Surtain (Second Round 1998), Sam Madison (Second Round 1997), Jason Taylor (Third Round 1997), Zach Thomas (Fifth Round 1996), Tim Bowens (First Round 1994), John Offerdahl (Second Round 1986), Mark Duper (Second Round 1982), David Woodley (Eighth Round 1980), Nat Moore (Third Round 1974) Kim Bokamper (First Round 1976), Don Strock (Fifth Round 1976), Joe Theisman (Fourth Round 1974 I HAD NO IDEA!!!! ), Larry Csonka (First Round 1968), Bob Griese (First Round 1976)





Posted on: April 1, 2009 12:53 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2009 2:50 pm

The Tools of April Fools

The day has come. The day every prankster and joker lives for and dreams about all year long. April Fools' Day is upon us. This day is like Halloween for all the women that can't wait to dress like a ....well, you get the idea. However, this day is not for everyone. While most people forget about this wonderful day or even cower in the wake of its greatness, it takes a special person to really understand the importance of April Fools' Day and truly succeed in making it a day that contributes to a better world.

Before I delve into some great pranks, the strategy behind them and how well they play out, I must first discuss the type of person it takes to be a successful and long-tenured prankster and certain guidelines that must be followed. A prankster must first understand that once he or she plays a joke on any friend, they are opening up a can of worms that will never ever be closed again. If you plan on involving yourself in the wonderful world of pranks, the person you are playing the prank on must have an excellent sense of humor and more important than that, you must have an even more accepting sense of humor. Why is that? Because you will receive whatever you pull off twice as bad. People don't forget, and they are going to get you back. This leads me to my final rule. The best prankster knows when to draw the line and keep things funny, yet not downright wrong. Don't mess around with people dying, curing diseases, family members disappearing, the mother of a man's children and pets. Other than that, all is fair in pranks and April Fools' Day. Now, onto the fun part...


The random note on the car : My neighbor pulled this joke on me in college and she did it to perfection. I was walking to class when I noticed a note on my car. I picked it up, having totally forgotten that it was April Fools' Day and it said something along the lines of, "You are a huge jerk, and I want to thank you for ruining my life. I wish I never met you, and I hope you have enough money to pay for this child for the rest of your life, because if not, I am going to make your life a living hell." Yes, at that very moment in time, when I finished reading the last word of that note...I crapped my pants! As a young college kid that couldn't remember what he did the previous night, let alone last week, I thought of every girl I had ever looked at and who the hell this could be. I walked back into the house and my roommates freaked out as well. After I called about five people, my roommates alerted me that it was April Fools' Day and somebody was probably messing with me. Any normal person would have just brushed it off and said, "Oh man, that was a good one." But I was in a state of panic and couldn't understand logical reasoning. I was freaked out for about a week until my neighbor knocked on the door and asked to borrow the vacuum cleaner. When she returned it, she asked, "Did you like the note on your car?" I was so relieved that is was a joke that I couldn't even be mad at her. It was well played and I was greatly impressed as she earned my respect as one of the great pranksters I have ever met. There is no way I could have gone an entrie week without telling someone that I was the one that left that note on the car.

Plastic rap on the toilet : This sounds very elementary, but let me reassure you that some of the most exhilarating things in life are elementary. There is nothing funnier than listening to your roommate curse himself at 11 a.m. because it takes him a good 30 seconds to figure out why he can't land his stream in the toilet. If you pull this off to perfection and have the plastic rap tight enough, your roommate will be watering the walls with his morning fluids, and I don't know about you, but there really isn't anything much funnier than that. The key to this prank is to make sure you don't pull this off in your own apartment or house because you are going to be cleaning the walls and the floors for a good 15 minutes, that is unless you don't mind having your mentally "different" dog clean it up for you...what? He ate everything! My ex-girlfriend actually pulled this off on her roommate and let me warn you, if you are going to try this joke on a girl, you better know her very, very, very well because as you can imagine, nobody wants their own urine on them early in the morning...or ever for that matter. Guys, if you pull this on your girlfriend, she better be the most understanding girl alive or you will be sleeping on the couch for the next month.

Pie in the face : I had a rival kickball team get me really good last year with this one. Now I know what you are thinking. Pie in the face? Not so original right. Well, trust me, there is a hidden agenda when it comes to the pie in the face. The pie that I got hit with was not really a pie, but just a bunch of whip cream in a pan. And when that stuff gets on you, it doesn't come off. I had it everywhere, from in my ears, to in my hair, to on my contacts to the point where I couldn't see because they were actually blury. So now you are thinking, "Whatever, whip cream tastes good; who cares if I have it all over me." Well, you are right, whip cream does taste good, but let me assure you that when you head to the bar after a game...whip cream most certainly doesn't smell good after it has been smeared on you for a few hours. As I walked around the bar, every single person either asked me why I smelled like puke or curdled milk. I didn't even realize it at first, but once it was pointed did I ever smell like the worst thing I have ever smelled in my entire life. I had to throw away everything I was wearing that night. To this day, I think half the people in the bar think that I puked all over myself. So if you ever get a pie to the face loaded with whip cream...TAKE A SHOWER IMMEDIATELY AND WASH YOUR CLOTHES!

I know there are plenty more pranks, but those are the best three that I have either pulled off or had done to me. I would love to get some input and know of any other pranks that I an unaware of so that I can add them to my arsenal.

Happy April Fools' Day!






Category: General
Posted on: March 25, 2009 1:08 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2009 1:27 pm

WBC: Vacation Like Feel

My roommate and I received tickets for the World Baseball Classic at Dolphins Stadium (I still call it Joe Robbie Stadium) for the games in the second round of the bracket. We are both huge fans of baseball and figured we should take advantage of the fact that we live so close to the stadium. I was surprised at how easy it was to get tickets as people were practically giving them away...and I was more than happy to take them. However, after the U.S. team lost its first game when I was out of town, I was disappointed when I found they wouldn't be playing on Monday, March 16th which is when I was able to go. Instead, I had to settle for watching Venezuela play Puerto Rico. Even though I could care less which team won, I figured I would go anyway since I had tickets.

Honestly, I was not that excited about sitting through a game where I didn't care about the outcome, but once I got to the stadium, everything changed. This game was like no other sporting event I have ever been to. Obviously it didn't compare to a Florida Gator College Football National Championship game, but it was...well different. I have never really been out of the country let alone seen a soccer game live in Europe or South America, but this is what I imagined it might resemble. I left the stadium feeling more cultured and I will tell you why...

The crowd : Now, I am used to standing for entire games and going crazy after just about every play at Gators games, but never at a baseball game, particularly at Dolphins stadium. I think I have gone an entire Marlins game without standing up, but that wasn't going to happen on this night. The fans from both Venezuela and Puerto Rico go crazy after anything that happens in favor of their team. I mean nasty pitches, strikeouts, routine singles, routine ground balls, deep fly balls hit to the warning track. And I am not just talking about standing up and clapping. These fans chant the name of their country and then move into some kind of song while the pitcher is already delivering to the next batter. And yes, you can only imagine what happens when a double play is turned, a diving catch is made or a run scores. It's kind of like a soccer game, but with much more to cheer about because...well, baseball is better!

Instruments : Not only do you receive the entertainment of a baseball game with the purchase of a ticket, you also receive musical entertainment throughout the game. I would say about 20 percent of each team's fans had some sort of musical instrument while the rest had those hard-stick-balloons that make a crap load of noise when you bang them together (what Japanese baseball has made popular). You can hear tambourines, maracas, drums and this thing that looks like a humongous thimble that is louder than all the instruments when you rub a wooden stick against it. And they don't just make a bunch of noise, the fans sound like they actually all get to together and practice. You would think a bunch of mariachi bands were hired to stand all around the stadium. The music also never stops from two hours before the game to...well they were still going when I went home. The fans of both teams parade around the stadium and their sections before the game, playing songs and proudly chanting the name of the country they represent, all the while looking more like a conga-line gang more than anything. It's quite an intimidating feeling when you are walking toward such an ensemble. And when Venezuela won the game that night, I am dead serious when I say it looked like a parade after a team wins the World Series without all the confetti.

Political Agendas
: Yes, I know you see signs at every baseball game, but not like this. The amount of information on these signs should allow them to be considered as novellas. These fans have a lot to say and apparently they are going to use every space on the front and back of that poster board to voice their opinion. Even though I have taken five years of Spanish classes, I still really didn't have any clue what the signs meant or what they were trying to say, but a lot of them seemed to have a political agenda. The Venezuelan fans heavily and voraciously booed Magglio Ordonez. At first I thought I was just hearing things or they were just emphasizing the 'O' at the end of his name, like fans most often do at baseball games. But, I noticed they were doing it again the next time he came to the plate, so we asked a woman sitting next to us why the fans were booing one of the best players on the team. And what we were told is that Magglio recently sided with the very unpopular Venezuelan president on a talk show and the fans were not too pleased with him. What was really great was listening to the Venezuelan fans boo the ever loving crap out of Magglio and then shower him with cheers guessed it, a routine single. You gotta love sports fans. Isn't that right A-Rod?

The People : From what I could tell, the fans from Venezuela and Puerto Rico were not at the stadium to watch just a baseball game; everyone was their to experience an event. People are constantly walking around and talking to each other in different sections; it almost reminded me of the fraternization that takes place in between classes in high school. Now this can be kind of annoying for a fan that is trying to catch a glimpse of every pitch, but you have to just realize that it's not going to happen and that is what we did. So we decided to embrace the situation and fit in with the crowd. With that in mind, we asked the woman sitting next to us who we should root for. She responded by saying she was Puerto Rican, but her husband was with Venezuela and that we should root for Venezuela. My roommate and I were a bit confused by her answer as she was sitting down with six kids next to her and no husband in sight. So, my roommate asked her where her husband was and her response was..."Oh he is on deck." We turned back around to the field and Melvin Mora was standing in the on-deck circle. Low and behold, we were sitting next to Melvin Mora's wife. She was probably the most approachable person I have ever sat next to at any sporting event and she may have been the most knowledgeable woman I have ever sat next to at a baseball game. Not only was I impressed with Gisele Mora's disposition and knowledge of the game, but she had six kids sitting next to her (they were all hers), and five of which were quintuplets...yes, that's five kids in one birth people! And to top it all off, they were the most well behaved kids I have ever seen in my entire life. Now, I am sure the fact that they all had their own hand-held video games helped, but keeping six kids under control for an entire baseball game is more of a monumental feat than anything that can be done on the baseball field. Gisel even had the dignity to text my roommate and wish him a happy birthday last weekend. I am going to have to say that Melvin Mora is my new favorite baseball player.

Country Pride : A lot of the fans were wearing the jerseys of the teams which their favorite players play for from the leagues in their country. Many of the fans also had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan flags draped over them like a cloak and quite a few even had their face painted. The pride floating around the stadium was palpable and there were a few times I even got chills even though the United States was not playing. I really got a feel of how important baseball was to the fans of both of these countries and it reminded me of why baseball was my first love. I was interested in the World Baseball Classic before I attended this game, but now I actually truly cared. I really wanted the United States to win the whole tournament. I couldn't wait to attend the next game and chant...U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! I really wish more Americans found this event more interesting and more of our top-notch players would represent our country in the tournament, because it really was like nothing I have ever experienced and it could become so much better. I only hope that one day the United States will win the World Baseball Classic and that I will be there to see it all happen while I am wearing my American flag.

In case, you couldn't quite catch the tone of my message, I am huge fan of the World Baseball Classic and I would recommend going to as many games as possible to anyone that is a baseball fan or anyone that would just like to experience something different. When I was at the stadium, I honestly felt as though I was in another country on vacation, and experiencing a once in a life-time opportunity. Now, yes, the $7 dollar beers may have contributed to that feeling, but you really can't understand how special the WBC is until you experience it for yourself.



Category: MLB
Posted on: March 18, 2009 11:56 am
Edited on: March 20, 2009 2:55 pm

James Madison lends a helping hand

Every year I try and come up with a method to the madness of selecting a winning NCAA bracket and every year I fail miserably. I even failed to select my beloved Florida Gators the first year they won the whole thing. Man I am terrible. So instead of using my brain and actually making intelligent selections, I thought I would try something different this season...I have received help from a dead man. No, I am not saying I can talk to spirits or anything, but I am talking about James Madison who was the fourth President of the United States and just happens to be on a one dollar coin. That's right, I flipped a coin to make my selections with a few stipulations to go along with the process.

Why would I do such a thing? Well here are some interesting fact to take into consideration. The odds of picking a perfect bracket are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1. Ummm, ya, that is nine quintillion to one! Before today, I didn't even realize that was a real number. As a matter of fact, if every man, woman, and child on the planet randomly filled out 10 million brackets each, the odds would be less than one percent that even one would have a perfect bracket. With astronomical numbers like that, the only way to really win my pool is to use a lot of randomness and to find a way to gain a massive amount of pure, dumb luck. I have already got the dumb part down pat, now I just need to find the luck part. Here are the guidelines I used in making my selections and you will see them compared to my other bracket which I used my inferior basketball knowledge to choose.

1. All of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds were automaticlly advanced. A No. 1 seed has NEVER lost and a No. 2 seed has only lost four times in the first round so if you know anything about odds, this was a pretty easy choice. I know absoutely nothing about odds, but thankfully I can read and this is what smart people are saying about the tournament.

2. The following matchups were selected by flipping a one dollar coin: No. 8 vs. No. 9, No. 7 vs. No. 10, No. 6 vs. No. 11 and No. 5 vs. No. 12. This was done because No. 9 seeds actually have a winning record against No. 8 seeds and No. 12 seeds have won 11 of the last 24 matchups in the last six years which is basically a coin flip. Nobody ever succeeds in picking the correct upsets with this group of seeds, so I figured I would try randomness.

3. The following matchups were selected by a best-out-of-three coing flip with the favorite starting with a 1-0 lead: No. 4 vs. No. 13 and No. 3. vs. No. 14. These upsets are rare but they do happen so I gave them a small chance to happen. I'm sure the odds of this don't actually work out in my favor, but that is exactly what I am looking for...Something that makes absolutely no sense.

4. For all games in the second round, I simply flipped a coing for every single matchup. If it landed on heads, the favorite would move on and if it landed on tails the underdog would move on. Ya, I know. I have a very complicated mind.

James Madison's Bracket

Remaining 32
Louisville, Ohio State, Arizona, Wake Forest, Dayton, Kansas, Boston College, Michigan State
Connecticut , Texas A&M , Northern Iowa , Mississippi State , Utah State , Missouri, California , Memphis
Pittsburgh, Tennessee , Florida State, Xavier, VCU , Villanova , Texas , Duke
North Carolina , Butler , Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Syracuse, Michigan , Oklahoma

Sweet 16
Louisville, Wake Forest, Kansas, Boston College
Connecticut, Mississippi State , Utah State , Memphis
Pittsburgh, Florida State, VCU , Texas
North Carolina, Western Kentucky, Syracuse, Oklahoma

Elite 8
Wake Forest, Kansas, Connecticut, Utah St.
Pittsburgh, VCU , North Carolina, Oklahoma

Final Four
Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Oklahoma

Oklahoma defeats Connecticut

My Bracket

Remaining 32
Louisville, Siena, Utah, Wake Forest, Dayton, Kansas, Boston College, Michigan State
Connecticut, BYU , Purdue , Washington , Marquette, Missouri, Maryland , Memphis
Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Xavier, VCU , Villanova , Texas , Duke
North Carolina , LSU , Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Syracuse, Clemson , Oklahoma

Sweet 16
Louisville, Wake Forest, Kansas, Michigan State
Connecticut, Purdue, Marquette, Memphis
Pittsburgh, Florida State, VCU , Duke
North Carolina, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Oklahoma

Elite 8

Wake Forest, Michigan State, Connecticut, Memphis,
Pittsburgh, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse

Final Four
Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, North Carolina


Pittsburgh defeats North Carolina


I will be updating the results of my selections as the tournament progresses and we will be able to see which method preforms better...intellectual reasonong or random dumb luck. I'm really excited to see how this turns out; however, I'm not quite sure how I should feel if my actual bracket performs embarrassingly worse than one of a dead man's.





Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or