Breaking the Huddle


2011 Hall of Shame Game
October 19, 2010, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 Hello, friends. Time for another edition of “Billy’s Got Too Much Time on His Hands and Writes an Obscenely Long Note”.

            Gentlemen, if I tagged you in this note, and you no longer wish to have your Facebook reputation sullied by my strange and fanciful endeavors, so be it; feel free to untag yourself, or to send me a message telling me politely to quit tagging you, or to write on my wall IN ALL CAPS that you’re sick of me and my bullshit and that I need a life. (Please don’t do that last one. You might not be able to tell, given my tough exterior, but I’m actually quite fragile.)

            More disclaimers before we get going: All persons subject to arrest are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The NFL, NFLPA and its subsidiaries do not condone or approve of the website much of the following information was obtained from (http://nflcrimes.blogspot.com/) nor do they officially sanction the off-field activities of their millionaire employees. The official position of Roger Goodell is that the men you see playing the violent and borderline psychotic sport of football on Sundays are good, upstanding citizens and in no way a bunch of menaces to society unable to tell where the white lines of the field end, who carry their violent and destructive behavior into their own homes as well as society at large.

            Do I have all my bases covered?

            I think so.

            Here we go.

            Every August, the very first preseason game is played in Canton, Ohio. It is called the “Hall of Fame Game,” the culmination of a weekend full of honoring the current year’s inductees. What better way to honor the titans of yesteryear than by running a bunch of late-round rookies and undrafted free agents out there for three and a half quarters in front of an outdated stadium and a paltry television audience?

            Did you think that was a rhetorical question? Guess again! I have just the way to make it even better. I’d like to call it the “Hall of Shame Game.” I know it’s not an original title, but I learned in a sociology class once that shame is a very powerful tool in stopping behavior, which is exactly what this game would be. We could get together teams of the NFL’s convicts and arrestees and have them duke it out for our entertainment! (It would actually be a lot like most Sundays, except instead of having them spread out over several teams, we’d get a nice concentration of them right in front of us.)

            And what teams would play this game? Originally, the idea that made the most sense was to just have the Bengals play an intrasquad scrimmage. Their roster is full of all sorts of unseemly characters, their color scheme features very prison-garb-esque orange, and the stripes on the helmets could easily be altered into looking like bars on a jail cell. Plus, Canton’s in Ohio, and while I’m not totally sure how parole works, I’m pretty certain your travel is restricted to your home state. So, win-win. (Come to think of it, how the hell do the Bengals get those guys across state lines eight times a season? Brilliant!)

            Then the cold reality sank in – the Bengals suck balls. Who in their right mind would watch that team play a real game, much less a game versus themselves. That wouldn’t get the people at home to tune in, and if I want ol’ Fidel Goodell to approve this idea, he has to know the people will watch. The NFL will run with dumb ideas, even cold-hearted ones, so long as they make the NFL more money (why else would an 18 game season sound like a good idea?).

            The only way to do it: two All-Star teams, one full of all the NFL players arrested of DWI, and the other full of players arrested for domestic assault/battery. Everyone knows the ‘real’ NFL All-Star game is completely insufferable… doesn’t this sound way better? Who wouldn’t watch this? We don’t all follow the police blotter that closely, and it’s not like we can trust ESPN to report all the stuff the bad guys do (the way they talk about T.O. you’d think he cannibalizes small towns along the Mexican border in his free time, but in reality – spotless record. On the flip side, ESPN issued a gag order to all employees when Big Ben’s first sexual assault allegations came through). Watching the game would be a learning experience for the fans: “Oh, our backup Tight End hit his wife in the face after a brief struggle over the remote control. What a d-bag!”

            How would we get the players to agree to it? Simple: whichever team wins the game has their legal fees reimbursed by the advertising dollars generated by the game itself. If that isn’t enough, the NFL could promise to reduce the pending fines / suspensions for the members of the winning side. If they still won’t do it? I don’t know. Write it into the next Collective Bargaining Agreement if you have to. If the 18 game season thing is going to get in, you might as well go for it all.

             Enough of the talk. Here are the proposed rosters for the game tentatively scheduled for August 7, 2011, 11 PM CST. (Why 11 PM? Well, the game will get done at 2 AM, which is bar close, so at least we’ll be sure that for this one night, 50 at-risk professional athletes will be in a safe place, far from the temptations that got them into the game in the first place).

ANNOUNCERS: Marv Albert and Jon Gruden. Albert was arrested for biting his girlfriend in 1997, and Gruden was arrested a year later for DWI. Truth be told, I was going to put Gruden as one of the announcers before I knew of the DWI. Not because he’s good, but because he’s awful, and hopefully being around this many dangerous people (and trust me, the game would be full of them) there’s a chance of him being murdered. And if he was murdered, I could start watching Monday Night games with the sound on again.

 

REFEREE: Santonio Holmes. Why? Because he’s been arrested for both, so he’d be unbiased.

THE ROSTERS:

 

The Sloshed Slobberknockers

This team is full of stupid people. And it’s not just because driving drunk is incredibly stupid; it’s because the league provides a free, no questions asked ride to any player, at any time of the day, 365 days a year. Think about that. The league’s average salary is $770,000. A really long cab ride in a major city can run you $100 to $200. Yet the NFL deems is necessary to give them rides for free… and they STILL get caught driving drunk!

QB Kerry Collins (Tennessee)

RB Cedric Benson (Cincinnati)

RB Ronnie Brown (Miami)

FB Owen Schmitt (Philadelphia)

WR Vincent Jackson (San Diego)

WR Braylon Edwards (NY Jets)

TE Jeramy Stevens (Tampa Bay)

OL Phil Loadholt (Minnesota)

OL Khalif Barnes (Jacksonville)

OL J.D. Quinn (Miami)

OL Marcus Johnson (Tampa Bay)

OL Kareem McKenzie (NY Giants)

DL Jared Allen (Minnesota)

DL Fili Maola (Indianapolis)

DL Jamal Williams (San Diego)

DL Leonard Little (St. Louis)

LB Rey Mualuga (Cincinnati)

LB Joey Porter (Arizona)

LB Lofa Tatupu (Seattle)

CB Cortland Finnegan (Tennessee)

CB Cedric Griffin (Minnesota)

FS Ricardo Colclough (Omaha of the UFL)

SS Brian Williams (Jacksonville)

K Paul Edinger (Currently Unemployed)

P Todd Sauerbrun (Also Unemployed)

ST Koren Robinson (Some Prison Team Someplace)

The Total Douchebags

I know, I know, it’s not a really original name. Believe me, I tried to come up with something, but even calling this team something like “The Angry Bitchslappers” would take make light of the fact that these guys were all arrested for hitting a woman (or a few of them, depending on the player). So what do you call a guy who does that? A total douchebag. Hence the name.

QB Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss)

RB Steven Jackson (St. Louis)

RB Larry Johnson (Currently unemployed)

FB Deon Anderson (Dallas)

WR Brandon Marshall (Miami)

WR Randy Moss (New England)

TE Randy McMichael (San Diego)

OL Cornell Green (Oakland)

OL Claude Terrell (St. Louis)

OL Quinn Ojinnaka (Atlanta)

OL Sean Locklear (Seattle)

OL Jeremy Bridges (Carolina)

DL Tony McDaniel (Miami)

DL Frostee Rucker (Cincinnati)

DL Philip Merling (Miami)

LB Shawne Merriman (San Diego)

LB Nick Barnett (Green Bay)

LB Michael Boley (NY Giants)

LB James Harrison (Pittsburgh)

CB Fabian Washington (Oakland)

CB Mike Harden (Denver)

FS Nick Harper (Indianapolis)

SS Jermaine Phillips (Tampa Bay)

K Rob Beard (University of Oregon)

P Jeff Gomulinski (Boston College)

ST Adrian Arrington (Arizona)

So who would win this matchup of the seedy underbelly of the NFL? Check that. It’s not really the underbelly, as underbellies are, by definition, the hidden dark side of a seemingly innocuous entity. So instead, I ask: Who’d win this seemingly normal football game, pitting one squad of felons versus another? Let’s check the matchups:

Position- TEAM WITH THE EDGE

QB- SLOBS– Kerry Collins has the edge over Masoli. I know, I know, I cheated a little bit here, dipping into the college ranks for a QB, but the only NFL QB I could find was former Steeler/ Packer Mike Tomczak, and I couldn’t bear to put him on the team. It’s not that he’s old as shit and was never really that good anyway, I just have this thing against unnecessary consonants. So no Mike Tomczak.

Backfield- SLOBS– Tough call here, but I have to go with the SLOBS again. Cedric can pound it, and Ronnie can run the wildcat.

Receiving Corps- DBAGS– The Total Douchebags totally have this one. Moss lining up on one side, and Marshall on the other? What could be scarier than that? Other than, you know, their rap sheets? The receiving corps was really deep for both teams. What is it about wide receivers?

O-LINE- SLOBS– Why? Simple. I’ve heard of two of their lineman and none of the Douchebags.

D-LINE- SLOBS– No contest- and I’m not talking about how Jared Allen pleads when he goes to court. I mean, the SLOBS have 3 players who have been first team All-Pros, plus Fili Maola, a promising second year player with Indy.

LINEBACKERS- DBAGS–  Notice I have the Douchebags playing a 3-4, because their linebacker corps is stacked. With Merriman and Harrison on the outside, Barnett and Boley on the inside, these guys would be unstoppable… like Tila Tequila when she wants to leave a party. It’s best to just deal with it, rather than take it head on.

SECONDARY- SLOBS– Again, I’ve heard of the guys playing for the Sloshed Slobberknockers, so I had to pick them.

SPECIAL TEAMS- DBAGS – But only because they have the only current NFL player in the bunch. I had to dip into the unemployed and college ranks to find quality candidates for this. We need to see some NFL kickers getting into some trouble with the law! And not just peeing in a convenience store (Jeff Reed) or almost getting deported (Sebastian Janikowski), I mean, really, some good old fashioned felonies!

As for who would win this game? In reality, both teams are a bunch of losers (get it? They’re losers because they’ve broken the law. Boy, I’m on fire tonight). But really, you know who’d win? The Sloshed Slobberknockers. And do you know why? This man would be their coach.

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/sportsbeacon/2010/07/daily_dose_july_12_-_da_coach.html

That’s right. Mike Ditka. DWI class of 1985, the same year he coached Da Bearsss to Da Super Bowl… He’d be coaching against Tom Cable. While his rap sheet is impressive (apparently he’s beaten two ex-wives, and ex-grilfriend, AND punched out an assistant coach) Cable would be no match for Da Coach.

Listen, this might be a ridiculous exercise born from several hours of downtime at my new job, but dammit, I love this idea, and I would love to see it happen. And if we all write letters, I bet we could make it happen. So get out your pens and paper, everyone and send a heartfelt letter in support of this idea to:

Commissioner Roger Goodell

c/o The National Football League

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Thank you.

P.S.

Part of the grand plan for the Hall of Shame Game is to have an entire league of shameful teams. In addition to the teams above, we’d also have:

The Old and Washed Up But I Won’t Retire and It’s Really Annoying team,

The Travis Henry Child Support team (featuring 11 players born to 9 women),

The Antonio Cromartie Child Support team (8 by 6 women),

White People,

The All-Marijuana Team,

The Codeine Makes Me Jolly team,

And my personal favorite:

The I Pooped in a Random Woman’s Laundry Basket team (Najeh Davenport)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/news/2002/10/29/packers_davenport_ap/

 

 

Can you think of any others? Let me know!



2010 Random Baseball Statistics
September 28, 2010, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

(all of the following statistics are through Monday’s games)

Toronto’s hit more home runs on the road than 12 teams have hit TOTAL.

Roy Halladay has more complete games, by himself, than the entire pitching staffs of 24 other teams.

Tampa Bay has more stolen bases than San Francisco, Toronto and the Chicago Cubs combined.

The Chicago White Sox have been caught stealing nearly as many times (73) as the Boston Red Sox attempted to steal (77).

The Arizona Diamondbacks have more strikeouts at the plate (1,458) than hits (1,327) this season.

The San Francisco Giants have more strikeouts on the mound (1,269) than hits allowed (1,235).

In 348 plate appearances before being lost for the season, Justin Morneau reached first base 152 times.

In 489 plate appearances over the whole season, Rangers OFJeff Franceour has reached 148 times.

Carlos Marmol has 133 strikeouts in 74 innings pitched, and if he finishes strong, he’ll be the first pitcher to average 16 K’s/9 IP in major league history.

Pirates Woes, Historically Speaking: Despite completing their 18th consecutive losing season in 2010, the Pittsburgh Pirates, as a Franchise, are still over the .500 mark (.503 to be exact). However:

-At the end of the 1992 season, in which the Pirates lost in the NLCS for the third consecutive year. Their franchise record was 8587-8222, good enough for a .511 winning percentage. This was the seventh best all-time, behind only powerhouse franchises such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Giants and Cardinals. In addition to their stellar beginning to the 90s, the Pirates organization dominated the baseball landscape in the 70s (their worst mark for a season was 80-82; they made the postseason six times and won the World Series in ’71 and ’79). Pittsburgh had also taken home the hardware in 1960, giving them three titles in 20 seasons, a feat matched only by the Yankees (a few times), the Athletics in the 70s, the Orioles (64-83) and the Dodgers (63-82)since expansion era began in 1960. The point is, Pittsburgh has enough history to make the case that they are one of the most iconic franchises in baseball history.

The mismanagement and lack of direction over the past 18 years has been staggering. The real shot to the gut (as if the past 18 years hasn’t been enough) could come late in 2013. Should the Pirates average just 59 wins over the next three seasons (not an unreasonable approximation, as they’ve averaged just 62 over the past three) they will fall below .500 as a franchise. Not that this is anything particularly earth-shattering, but it is interesting (and mathematically preposterous) that this once noble organization could suffer 21 seasons of losing baseball to put them under the .500 mark for the franchise’s history, which extends all the way back to 1882.

 The average age of the Philadelphia batters this season was  31.9, which lead all of baseball. The average of the pitchers they used was  31.2, which also lead all of baseball.

Despite their insistence that this season is a “rebuilding year”, the Houston Astros have (on average) the fifth-oldest group of pitchers in baseball and the eighth oldest group of position players.

This is random, but I had to throw it out there… anyone really miss the steroids era? In 2001, the Texas Rangers led the league by hitting 246 home runs. More fascinating than that? They gave at least 15 starts to four different pitchers who finished the season with ERAs over 6.00.

Speaking of the steroid era, I think I’ll close with a fun game called “See if You Can Spot the Season this Marginal Player Hit the Tar Out of the Ball Despite Showing No Prior Ability to Do So at Such High a Level.” I know, I need to work on the title of the game, but here you go!

Enjoy!

Pick the year the guy was on steroids:

Brady Anderson:

YR     TEAM  G  AB  R    H 2B 3B HR RBI TB  BB  SO SB CS  OBP  SLG  AVG

1993   Bal 142 560  87 147 36  8 13  66 238 82  99 24 12 .363 .425 .263

1994   Bal 111 453  78 119 25  5 12  48 190 57  75 31  1 .356 .419 .263

1995   Bal 143 554 108 145 33 10 16  64 246 87 111 26  7 .371 .444 .262

1996   Bal 149 579 117 172 37  5 50 110 369 76 106 21  8 .396 .637 .297

1997   Bal 151 590  97 170 39  7 18  73 277 84 105 18 12 .393 .469 .288

1998   Bal 133 479  84 113 28  3 18  51 201 75  78 21  7 .356 .420 .236

Adrian Beltre:

YR     TEAM  G  AB  R    H 2B 3B HR RBI TB  BB  SO SB CS  OBP  SLG  AVG

2001   LA  126 475  59 126 22  4 13  60 195 28  82 13 4 .310 .411 .265

2002   LA  159 587  70 151 26  5 21  75 250 37  96  7 5 .303 .426 .257

2003   LA  158 559  50 134 30  2 23  80 237 37 103  2 2 .290 .424 .240

2004   LA  156 598 104 200 32  0 48 121 376 53  87  7 2 .388 .629 .334

2005   SEA 156 603  69 154 36  1 19  87 249 38 108  3 1 .303 .413 .255

Todd Hundley:

SEA    TEAM  G AB   R  H 2B 3B HR RBI  TB BB  SO SBCS OBP  SLG  AVG

1993   NYM 130 417 40  95 17 2 11  53 149 23  62 1 1 .269 .357 .228

1994   NYM  91 291 45  69 10 1 16  42 129 25  73 2 1 .303 .443 .237

1995   NYM  90 275 39  77 11 0 15  51 133 42  64 1 0 .382 .484 .280

1996   NYM 153 540 85 140 32 1 41 112 297 79 146 1 3 .356 .550 .259

1997   NYM 132 417 78 114 21 2 30  86 229 83 116 2 3 .394 .549 .273

1998   NYM  53 124  8  20  4 0  3  12  33 16  55 1 1 .261 .266 .161

Richard Hidalgo:

SEA    TEAM  G AB    R  H  2B3B HR RBI  TB BB  SO SBCS  OBP  SLG  AVG

1998   HOU  74 211  31  64 15 0  7  35 100 17  37  3 3 .355 .474 .303

1999   HOU 108 383  49  87 25 2 15  56 161 56  73  8 5 .328 .420 .227

2000   HOU 153 558 118 175 42 3 44 122 355 56 110 13 6 .391 .636 .314

2001   HOU 146 512  70 141 29 3 19  80 233 54 107  3 5 .356 .455 .275

2002   HOU 114 388  54  91 17 4 15  48 161 43  85  6 2 .319 .415 .235



The Ten People at Most Fantasy Drafts
September 23, 2010, 1:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I realize this is a couple of weeks late, but it’s a little something I wrote a couple of weeks ago that needs to get out there. I call it  “The Ten People at Most Fantasy Football Drafts”. This is based on my own experience, but I know that the categories are more or less limitless. Feel free to toss them out there at the end!

  1. The Condescending Prick Who Won the League Last Season – This man is the reincarnation of every a-hole who made high school ten times more difficult than it had to be. Of course, he’s really good at fantasy sports- hell, he’s really good at everything he does, and he knows it. He spends the majority of the draft emasculating his fellow draftees and openly mocking even the safest and mundane of picks… “Pierre Thomas, you’re drafting a guy named Pierre? Uh – ha – ha – haaaaaa.” PROJECTED FINISH: Title game. Damn him.
  2. Stoned/ Buzzed Guy Who Can’t Seem to Pay Attention – Despite the fact that he adds a solid forty five minutes to the overall time of the draft due to his inattention, he’s the perfect guy to have in the league, so long as you draft at a bar / restaurant. Institute a rule at some point saying that the next guy who tries to pick a player who’s already been taken has to buy a round. Then, sit back and lap up free pitchers of beer. PROJECTED FINISH: Dead last. When he picked Ricky ‘Sticky’ Williams and Percy ‘Mary Jane Cures My Migraine” Harvin, in the first two rounds, the writing was on the wall.
  3. The Fantasy Virgin – Absolutely terrified of #1. He’s terrified of everyone, for that matter. He just hopes to escape any sort of embarrassment or ridicule. He takes a long time making each decision, and by the end of the evening, his sweaty palms are black from all the ink he’s rubbed off his magazine. Make no sudden movements or loud noises near this one, as he spooks easily. PROJECTED FINISH: Near the bottom of the league. Better luck next year.
  4. The Diehard [Insert Team Here] Fan – He’ll tell anyone who will listen that his team’s QB is a first- round pick, the RB and first WR are second-rounders, the TE’s third round-material and the BACKUP TE is a worthy mid-to-late rounder, completely disregarding such things as evidence or reason.  He might not get all of his guys, but that’s not for lack of effort. PROJECTED FINISH: Difficult to tell, as it directly correlates to how well his favorite team does.
  5. The Fantasy Geek –This guy’s obsession with fantasy football has completely supplanted internet porn as the unhealthy and disgusting habit that will keep him single well into his thirties. Has a picture of Eric Karabell on his bedroom wall. He’s spent more than his monthly income on subscriptions to magazines, websites and newsletters, despite the fact that he’s only playing in a couple of $25 leagues.  Shows up with color coded spreadsheets, draft books the size of bibles and the trophy from the time he won a league ten years ago. A sad, sad specimen. PROJECTED FINISH:  An even .500, out of the playoffs. Just enough of a taste to keep this charade going next year, but not enough shame to get him to stop. Again, it’s tragic.
  6. The Maverick – About four rounds in, take a look at the big board (if you have one) and see if anyone has, say, four players who all play the same position. Chances are, that’s the Maverick.  You begin to wonder if he’s some sort of evil genius, the way he sits and endures the curious interrogation of your fellow drafters as to what-in-the-hell-he’s-doing with a quiet self-confidence. Inside he may be crumbling, but he’ll never show it. He takes players out of place, will likely take the first D, first kicker, and last starting QB. PROJECTED FINISH: This guy is usually the king of waiver-wire pick-ups (his first born sons shall be named Miles and Austin) so he’ll be just fine. 4th Place.
  7. The Chick – As you look around, you’ll see the small signs from some of your fellow drafters; the eye-rolls, the snickers muffled by backs of their hands, the small but noticeable headshakes. Some in the league will dismiss her picks as flighty and irrational and will whisper to the league commish, “Seriously, a chick?” more than once. A few months later, those same guys will stare blankly at their computer screens late on a Sunday afternoon, the cold reality slowly sinking in: they’re going to be beaten by the Chick. PROJECTED FINISH: Dead in the middle of the pack. Hopefully, above all the misogynistic turds…
  8. The Guy With the Same Draft Book as You: This guy shows up, plops down next to you, and opens his book up to the same exact page you’re on. Whatever, no big deal. In the polite, pre-draft conversation, you discover he’s done mock drafting at the same site as you and read the same Love/Hate columns that you have. Lo and behold, he picks right before you too, and goes on to take all the sleepers you liked. You slowly begin to channel the latent aggression you feel towards Guy #1 towards this guy. PROJECTED FINISH:  Consolation game, 3rd place finish overall. And it so totally would’ve been you if he hadn’t taken all those guys you liked…
  9. Wild Card – At first blush, this guy will be difficult to distinguish from the Maverick.  The difference lies in the moments after every pick; the Maverick will retroactively convince himself that he has a strategy in place. The Wild Card is… just… a wild card. Usually the comedian of the draft, he keeps things light and fun when Guy #1 is berating the rest of the group and will make a few inappropriate yet funny passes at #7. PROJECTED FINISH: Near the bottom, unfortunately. His interests lie elsewhere, so he doesn’t mind much.
  10. Guy Who Just Sort of Shows Up – His pre-draft preparation involves buying a months-old magazine (TO hasn’t signed yet? Antonio Bryant’s a top ten receiver? Nothing about Big Ben’s suspension? Huh?) at a rundown gas station on his way to the draft itself. He shows up and picks the next best available, according to the magazine, the entire night. Sure he takes into account bye weeks, but he doesn’t do much else. After the draft, you realize he wound up with a perfectly solid team… PROJECTED FINISH: League CHAMPION. Take that, The Condescending Prick Who Won the League Last Season! How do ya like him now? Deep down, it bugs you a little that someone who didn’t prepare beat you, but hey, anyone’s better than The Condescending Prick Who Won the League Last Season.


About Breaking the Huddle
September 23, 2010, 1:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

About Breaking the Huddle… what to say…

This is something I’ve daydreamt about for awhile. It’s a little website for off-the-wall articles about the crazy world of sports. I hope to make you laugh, and maybe (occasionally, but not too often) make you think.

I know I’m not the first to come up with a satirical or smart-ass sports website, but I hope to avoid bias or agenda and just make you laugh.

I’ll warn you that my language may get a tad coarse in the line of duty…

So without further ado:

Breaking the Huddle!



Hello world!
September 23, 2010, 12:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!