Stop me if I'm rambling...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Idiot Joins the Dark Side

Well, they say that everyone has a price and George Steinbrenner found one for former Sox center fielder Johnny Damon: $52M over four years. The self-professed "idiot" will be taking his solid bat, massive ego, and embarrassingly weak throwing arm to the Big Apple next year. Hey Johnny, you better talk to former Yank Don Mattingly about where to find a good barber down in NYC. As Don knows all too well, George doesn't take kindly to "hippie" ballplayers. More on Johnny to come.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Pats are Back

Did you hear the nationwide "thump" this past weekend as pro football fans across the country jumped off the previously overcrowded Indianapolis Colts bandwagon after their home loss to the Chargers? Granted, Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Edgerrin James, Tony Dungy, etc. lead an undeniably talented team and they're probably still a favorite to win it all. However, the Colts are also the most overhyped team in sports today. And now for a personal commentary: While I like his Visa ad (the one in which he asks a supermarket stock boy to sign his loaf of bread) and he seems like a solid citizen off the football field, frankly I'm growing a little sick of Manning's body language on the field. He constantly looks at teammates as if to say: "Hey, I did my job. It's not my fault. We didn't complete that play because you suck." In other words, he's no Tom Brady, who always places the collective performance of the team above his own contribution. Because of his gaudy stats, Manning is a darling of fantasy football team owners and is always in the discussion of league MVPs because of his numbers. Brady? Well, he just wins. It's become a cliche but it's true; Brady really is Joe Montana to Manning's Dan Marino. And despite all of the GQ covers and references in the Herald's "Inside Track" gossip column, amazingly Brady remains an underrated QB. And Belichick isn't even a candidate for coach of the year? That's a travesty when one considers how well this team has done in spite of its litany of injuries. Well, this fan is back on the bandwagon and I'm ready for an exciting playoff ride. Once again, I like our chances.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What Bostonians are Talking About

In my November 23rd blog, I posted a picture of "The World's Ugliest Dog" who recently passed away at age 14. I was amazed that the article about the unsightly pooch remained atop's hourly "most-emailed stories" list for almost two weeks and is, by far, the most e-mailed article in the last month, with a whopping 3964 users recommending the story to friends. The next highest? "Man Pleads Guilty in Horse-Sex Case." Yes, that's right, the one about the man from the state of Washington who indulged in "intimate relations" with an equine companion and then promptly died after suffering internal injuries. Ouch. Do you think alcohol might've been involved??? Another man, who videotaped the encounter, pleaded guilty to trespassing charges. And the third most e-mailed article? Well, that's "Two Drunken Moose Enter Home for the Elderly." The two moose, a cow and her calf, had become drunk over the weekend by eating fermented apples they found outside the nursing home in Sweden. Police managed to scare them off once, but the moose returned to get more of the tempting fruits. This second time, the moose appeared drunk and aggressive, forcing police to send for a hunter with a dog to make them leave. Good story. what does this ranking of most e-mailed articles say about us as news readers??? Well, we obviously like stories about animals. Uncommonly ugly animals. People having sex with animals. Drunk Swedish animals who enter nursing homes. I suppose this makes sense. Animals are central to our lives. When beloved pets die, the grief is often more heart-wrenching than when human relatives pass away. We all love our animals. Just not in the same way as that barnyard Romeo out in Washington ...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy 40th "Charlie Brown Christmas"

Of all the Christmas specials on TV each December, none captures the true spirit of the season quite like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" does. While other childhood favorites now seem a little stale, this 1965 classic is as fresh and timely as ever. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" returns tonight at 8PM EST on CBS.

Friday, December 02, 2005

And if you believe that story...

Unfortunately, work has been extremely crazy lately so my blog has really suffered. I have a brief moment now to catch my breath, so I thought I'd post a message. So, what's happened in the last week? Well, over the weekend I learned that Nick and Jessica officially announced their split; I'll need years of therapy to get over my grief... :) In other news, in an act of desperation, on Wednesday night the floundering 8-13-5 Bruins shipped captain Joe Thornton to San Jose for three guys whose names are familiar only to NHL diehards (do those exist anymore?). What else? Oh, another case of a prominent sports celebrity acting badly (or maybe it was his friend...or his brother). Here's the story: About a week ago, former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver and Pro Football Hall of Fame semi-finalist Michael Irvin was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after Plano, TX police officers searched his vehicle during a traffic stop. The incident started when Irvin, now 39, was stopped for speeding while heading with his wife to a furniture store. The cop pulled him over and found what the media is labeling a "drug pipe"--in interviews, it has been called a "crack pipe" and Irvin didn't correct them--and a baggy with marijuana residue.

What's interesting about the story is not that Irvin has been found with drugs but rather the convoluted story that he's using to deny the charges. He's saying the drugs weren't his. He told ESPN's Dan Patrick that he took the pipe off a friend who he's been trying to help kick a drug addiction, a friend Irvin says skipped out of a Houston rehab center earlier in the week and came to his house for Thanksgiving dinner. But, according to the police report, Irvin told the officer who stopped him that the pipe was left in the car by his brother. Then he told the AP on Monday that he called his friend a "brother" because the two are so close, but they aren't related. Irvin said he was going to toss it in the garbage, but instead put it in his car intending to drop it in a dumpster at a nearby grocery store later. Police found the pipe under the seat of the car, where Irvin admits he placed it. Now, whether the police officer had probable cause to search the car is something the lawyers will have to sort out. By all accounts, it was not in plain view and Irvin apparently did not give the police permission to conduct a search.

So where does this leave Michael Irvin? Since the arrest, Irvin has been suspended by ESPN for one week for not disclosing the arrest. However, the sports world is an extremely forgiving place, especially if someone is honest with the public. Part of Irvin's appeal as an ESPN analyst is that he's outspoken, opinionated, and frankly a bit of a rogue. Remember, this isn't his first arrest for drugs. In 1996, he pleaded no contest to felony cocaine possession in exchange for four years of deferred probation, a $10,000 fine and dismissal of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges. He also was arrested on drug possession charges in 2000, but they were later dropped. But still he found work, first as an analyst on Fox Sport's "The Best Damn Sports Show" and now ESPN. This time, however, his evasive explanation isn't helping his case. Not surprisingly, this mystery friend/brother has not surfaced. Nor has Irvin submitted to a urinalysis test, which seems like it would be a logical way to vindicate himself. Hey, Michael, if you're clean, take a drug test to prove your detractors wrong. If not, let's hear the truth; trust me, it will be much easier for you.