Category: Sports

One Thing

I hear Mike and Mike in the Morning (ESPN radio talk show hosts) want the Thanksgiving Day game pulled from Detroit. I had always liked Mike and Mike, but, if you’ll excuse me, they’re bastards. Their argument: The Lions are so bad, they should be penalized and be forced to relinquish the Thanksgiving Day game.

My response: That’s precisely the reason you keep it there. It’s the only thing Lions fans have. Pathetic, but true. Mike and Mike want to punish the franchise, but they’re really just punishing the fans. We didn’t ask for seven years of Millen. We didn’t ask for fifty years of championship-less football. We’ve been saddled with it by incompetent franchise management. And now people like Mike and Mike want the NFL to pile on the misery . . . at a time when Detroit and Michigan are taking the brunt of the economic downturn and have been for a few years. And why do Mike and Mike want to inflict this emotional jar on the people of Michigan: So Mike and Mike can see a better game.

Petty bastards, the type of people that would steal someone’s household pet so they can pawn it for $5.

Link to the story that got me going this morning. Excerpt:

Eric Hipple spent nine seasons as quarterback for mediocre Lions teams, and he considers the Thanksgiving games among his happiest memories — big crowds, national television audience, holiday atmosphere.

Hipple feels torn by the debate over keeping the game in Detroit after such a poor run. He sees in the city’s economic mood an “impending feeling of doom. People are upset. The future’s not sure — ‘What’s going to happen?’ ”

But the Lions idle on Thanksgiving?

“That,” Hipple said, “would be one of the worst things

Read the rest

Olympic Thursday

Far out: May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won their second consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball Thursday, playing through a steady and sometimes driving rain to beat China in straight sets and extend their winning streak to 108 matches in a row. I’m not a big women’s sports fan, but I’ve enjoyed watching the beach volleyball . . . and not because of the outfits (“Right, Scheske, and you get Playboy for the articles, too!”). But why do the women have to wear bikinis? The men’s beach volleyball team wear baggy shorts and t-shirts. I also question why hard-floor volleyball players have to wear those tight shorts that accentuate their posterior. They can’t just wear the baggy basketball shorts that men wear? In an age when everyone screams “sexism,” everyone seems content to let these double standards slide. There’s an obvious (sexual) explanation, of course, but it’s hard to imagine that’s the real reason.

Combox is open for anyone who can tell me why women volleyball players gotta bare it.

Is Michael Phelps a cad? My nephew talked with a girl who said Phelps was remarkably rude to her once. Or did my nephew talk to a girl who knows a girl Phelps was rude to once? Either way, these rumors of his, ah, um, prickly attitude toward the softer race have been running rampant around Michigan. Other than that second (third? fourth?) hand rumor I heard, I have no idea whether they’re true. Heck, I’m just glad he’s not Louganisian.

Speaking of Phelps, this is kinda interesting: Where is his father? It’s on everyone’s mind. Yahoo! snoops it out. (“For crying out loud, Scheske, TDE is turning into a flippin’ gossip column!”)… Read the rest

Olympian Eudemon

Random thoughts while watching the open ceremonies Friday night:

How many times will I have to see a Mao poster? (Maybe not many: “there were no references to Chairman Mao and the class struggle”).

As long as they celebrate Mao, I’ll know China can’t be trusted.

Fifteen thousand slaves performers put on the show.

NBC announcers couldn’t have hyperventilated much more than they did last night. If they keep this up for the entire seventeen days, they’ll need paperbags over their mouths.

But I like Bob Costas. He has always struck me as a genuinely decent guy.

Actual quote: “You’re looking at the footsteps of history, quite literally, coming from Beijing.” Sorry, but any time you use a physical thing (footstep) to articulate a non-physical thing (history), you’re in the arena of metaphor.

Rough quote: “The opening ceremony will show many aspects of China’s three philosophical traditions: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.” What about dialectical materialism?

China has fifty-six ethnic groups. I couldn’t tell ’em apart.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the Chinese national anthem.” Please? I’m sure lots of Chinese in the audience felt comfortable excusing themselves for the bathroom during the song.

Is there an opium-smoking event this year?

Ancient Chinese music sucks. I felt like I was in an LSD-influenced horror movie.

NBC was merciless with the advertising. Holy smokes. They were breaking every seven minutes or so.

The huge video “scrim” (I think that’s what they called it) all around the top of the stadium was cool.

The Chinese Liberace was funny (piano player in one-piece shiny white suit). With China’s one-child policy and resulting gender imbalance, I bet he’s Mr. Popular in the locker rooms.

Commonly heard in Chinese locker rooms these days:
“You like the Yin and the Yank?”
“Nice tao.”
“Let’s Mao.”… Read the rest

The Wednesday Eudemon

Finally. I’ve believed for years that NBA playoff games were rigged: The Jordan Rules, high percentage of series going to game seven, the testimony of a very sober and respectable sports announcer in Detroit who said back in the early 1980s, in effect, “I can’t prove it, but I know it’s happening.” Now the evidence is leaking. “Court documents filed by Donaghy’s lawyer detailed the “inner-workings” of a plot in which top league executives used referees to manipulate the games. Donaghy claims two referees were “company men” whose job was to extend a playoff series in 2002 to a seventh game.” I suspect the scandal isn’t limited just to 2002 and I suspect it’s been going on for decades.

Note: In case you think I’m the paranoid type, I don’t hold similar concerns about football, baseball, hockey, or cricket.

In other news, sales of fake twelve-inch penises have spiked: Security scanners that can see through passengers’ clothing and reveal details such as their sex organs, colostomy bags and breast size, are being installed in 10 US airports.Read the rest

Master’s Thursday

Three hundred and thirty yards of Magnolia Lane, Jack Nicklaus, staring down Martha Burk and her (snicker) 24 fellow protesters, Amen Corner, the Green Jacket, and Tiger Woods amazingly at even odds to beat the entire field, I’m not a big golf fan and long-time readers have probably seen me rail against our sports-obsessed culture, but I have nothing but respect for this fine tradition. You won’t find me glued to the set these next four days, but you’ll find me popping in frequently and tracking the field.


Speaking of sports: My Tigers finally chalked up a W, and the Red Wings open their Stanley hopes tonight. With the Master’s wrapping up in the early evening and the Tigers/Red Wings starting at 7:00, and UM playing ND in the Frozen Four, I may have to engage my two TVs, notwithstanding the ideal quiet time awaiting me (see next item).

My weekend is shaping up nicely. The kids are on Spring Break and off to Detroit to see my in-laws. They’re not coming back until Sunday. Most righteous. A bevy of babes books await me, as do some writing projects that never seem to get done with seven kids in the house. My landline phone is unplugged. It’s never for me, you know? Those who need me have my cell phone number.

Steve Dillard has brought back the Southern Appeal blog, which is good news for the rest of us. I didn’t realize it, but he used to clerk for Judge Dan Manion, who is the son-in-law of Professor Edward Murphy (RIP), my favorite professor during my seven years in academia and a professor who influenced me immensely. (“Hey, Scheske, don’t blame him!”)

Is that kinda like sentencing a drunk to sit in a … Read the rest

NFP and Sundry

BCS hangover this morning, so little blogging. Congratulations to LSU and the ghost of Walker Percy. I’ve always liked the SEC. Even though their fans have grown a bit tiresome lately, bayou country for a Saturday night football game has been on my list of “Places to Go Before I Die” for many years. A friend from the South tells me Tiger Stadium feels like it’s going to shake to the ground during a drunken Saturday night game, and that was back in the 1980s, before LSU became a national force.

I was browsing some NFP literature last night, and I ran across a stat I’ve seen, oh, 1,452 times: NFP is 98-99% effective when used properly.

I’m not sure I’m impressed.

Let’s assume that most couples can use NFP properly, thereby putting the 98-99% rate within reach. What does 98-99% mean? If it means, “Only 1-2% of NFP couples get pregnant unexpectedly,” I’m impressed. But I suspect it means, “The wife gets pregnant only once every 100 times a couple, um, ah, . . . conjugates a verb?” If so, that’s pretty good if one of the spouses (husband) suffers from erectile dysfunction. But for a normal newlywed couple or even an older couple that’s been married, say, 15 years? I’d think they conjugate that verb about twice a week on average, easily. The result, playing the percentages: The wife is getting pregnant every year.

This is a question that’s been gnawing at me for quite awhile. Any light you can shed in the combox is appreciated.

Everything you need to know about Pridnestrovie, Europe’s newest country.

Whatta fun idea! The Diary of Anne Frank is to be made into a Spanish musical.… Read the rest

Voicemail Etiquette and Brews You Can Use

I cracked open a Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat Thursday night as I prepared this morning’s Brews You Can Use. I don’t think I’ve had it before. Oh mahon! Good stuff. Highly recommended (though it might be out of season by now).

It’s been a brutal week at the office. As I type this, I’m on my first beer. I’ll see if there’s any of my six-pack left after I’m done.

Speaking of brutal times at the office, technology is a wonderful thing, if the people you deal with understand some basic tech etiquette. Here are a few voicemail pieces of etiquette:

1. When you leave a message on voicemail, leave a message on voicemail. Don’t just say, “Hey, this is Frank.” Go into a lot of detail, without being redundant. “This is Frank. 767-2321. I’m calling about your beer order. We couldn’t get the 128 cases, but we got 100 thirty-packs. Do you want them? Just let me know.” That’s beautiful. A detailed-yet-pithy message that dovetails into a “yes” and “no” question. I could respond by smoke signal.

2. Leave your freakin phone number, preferably twice, always slowly. Unless you know for a fact that I know your number by memory or that it’s tatooed on my forearm, leave your number.

3. When I leave you a voicemail, listen to it before calling me back. I know cellphone voicemails are a hassle (heck, it takes almost 40 seconds to access them, which is difficult to do while you’re driving and eating a Big Mac) and checking caller i.d. is so much easier. But if I called you and had something to say, I’ll leave it on your voicemail. Chances are, I don’t want to repeat the whole cottin-pickin’ thing, especially if I’ve now moved onto another project.

Well, enough of that … Read the rest

Wednesday Bullets

My daughter’s soccer coach asked the girls to watch Team USA play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. I guess he hopes they pick up some pointers.

It was better than I anticipated, but is the defining moment of women’s soccer still the ripping off of one’s shirt and revealing a sports bra?

Cardinal weighs in on the Britney performance: In a world that exalts physical perfection, the Church must proclaim its preferential option for the weak and marginalized, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

I’m moving to Mount Dora: “Under the revised [Mount Dora] ordinance, even if dogs bark for less than five minutes, their owners can be cited by the city if the dog barks for three periods in 24 hours.” Can they also do something about the constant use of power lawn tools? If I were king, I’d require everyone to use power tools that can be heard outside one’s own property lines during certain hours of the day (preferably 5:00 p.m. to 5:07 p.m. on Tuesdays only). That way, we’d all suffer through a few periods of cacophony every week, but the rest of the days would be reasonably quiet.

Change that, I’m moving to Russia, where I’ll really be appreciated: A Russian province is today holding a Conception Day in an effort to boost flagging birth rates. . . The event is timed precisely nine months ahead of Russia’s next year’s Constitution Day so that mothers “ideally should give birth on June 12.” . . . Prizes ranging from a television to a Russian-made all-terrain vehicle will be given out to people who give birth on June 12.

Science Confirms What We’ve Known for Hundreds of Years, Episode 1,432,009: Men look for beauty, while Read the rest