Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Sounds From Way Out: Pirates and Pirate Hookers

Occasionally we'll weigh in on issues involving people and places we have no real connection to, other than we wanna talk about them.

Today's topic: Pirates and Pirate Hookers.

Brethren: No

I won't believe it.

Mental Floss, Maggie Koerth, CNN.com: You listen here and you listen good. I don't care none for your Chinese myths and your sullying of the good names that feared Pirate Dudes have had for all eternity.

There just ain't no way a woman was the most feared/most awesome/best Pirate on the seas. None.

You see, I know me some pirates.

I've dressed as them for Halloween.

Note: That may not actually be Brethren.

More ruminations and diatribes, after

Brethren, cont'd:

I've sailed the seas of the Caribbean with 12 other drunken pirate/sailors for a week under the good Pirate flag. That same flag now acts as the main decor in the living room of my Manhattan apartment.

Note: SB'07. Yarrrrr.

I've made a pilgrimage to the North American Mecca of Pirates: Gasparilla.

Note: Multicultural yarrr. GFR: Gaspa-Fuckin-Rilla.

I've seen The Lost Colony several times.

Ok, so that might be about Injuns and the White Man, but the last time I saw this show, I was 8, and I'm pretty sure Pirates and Injuns were one and the same kind of awesome back then.

So I'm pretty sure I've made myself clear: I know pirates. And yes, there could have been some Pirate Hookers back in the day who helped the Cause and were useful on a pirate ship. But I don't care how "ahead of her time" or "exemplary" her "business practices"* were: She couldn't be more badass than Henry Morgan, the guy who used Jesuits as human shields when attacking. She couldn't have been meaner than Blackbeard, the pirate so fearsome that Alex Spotswood (!) needed him dead.
(above): The Alex Spotswood I know.

And there's no way she could have gone against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

No. No. NO. I just won't have it. Pirate Hookers are useful. Chicks that dress up like Pirates can be hot. But the most successful pirate in HISTORY being a dudette??? Not happening. Not in the Sports Brethren book. Not anywhere.

(* Except for that rule about ugly chicks being thrown off the ship. I liked that one. Bravo, Cheng I Sao.)

Nacho: I sent Brethren that article cuz I knew it would light a fire under him like Zeus. As far as pirates go, I have the 1991-2 Pittsburgh Pirates team card framed mosaic; it's the one with Skinny Barry. Aside from that, a healthy portion of my hard-earned money goes to the rum industry, specifically the Mo, (when you know him as I do, the Cap'n is on a nickname basis.) Anyway, I'd just like to say that if pirates, pirate hookers, or just traveling across an ocean is your thang, check out this huge effing ship.

The Jump

A Quick Note On The US Open (Tennis)

Nacho: Brethren's a lot close to Flushing Meadows than I, but I always enjoy the September classic. Blame Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Pete Sampras. Nowadays you can blame Roger Federer and Scoville Jenkins.

Roger Federer impresses me. His domination of the sport of tennis over the past three years has been nothing short of amaing. But, he'd never met Scoville Jenkins. That is, until yesterday, when Dubai's swavvest resident and Jenkins met in the first round of the US Open...And Rog beat the hell outta Scoville Jenkins.

I'd just like to say that while Scoville Jenkins might've lost in consecutive sets, he definitely won a fan. At least of his name, Scoville Jenkins.

Other professions I would've imagine Scoville Jenkins would've had, after

1. Blues guitarist

2. Catchphrase on "Martin"

3. Crazy Ass Owner

If you can think up an even better profession for Scoville Jenkins, add it in the comments.

The Jump

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Slippery Slopes: A Modest Proposal

Occasionally, we'll read something and get into an iChat conversation where we take a subject and run. We gleefully ride the Slippery Slope.

Nacho: Today we tackle the "lesser of two evils" du jour: Michael Vick.

The FanHaus pointed out this essay by Lawrence O'Donnell wherein Mr. O'Donnell asks the entirely-too-logical question of "What's So Wrong About Killing Dogs?" It's an interesting notion that reminded me of the work by Johnathan Swift that has the greatest title ever, "A Modest Proposal."

You can't look at the Ookie situation the way O'Donnell does because to do so would be to do so without the empathy and morality that we cherish as Western humans. Jon Stewart does a pretty good job of pointing that out.

So with the Irish sensibility for hyperbole in our veins, lets slide down the slippery slope, after

(UPDATE: MJD's DeBrief takes a similar stance, and hey, we both make a 300 joke, so, y'know, woohoo!)

Other Possible Essays:

"What's So Wrong About Killing Dinosaurs" by T. K. Extinction-Event

"What's So Wrong About Killing Spartans?" by Xerxes

"What's So Wrong About Killing Henchmen" by Topper Harley

On a sidenote, I'd like to highlight the good story coming out of Georgia sports these days: For the second year in a row a team from the Peach state won the Little League World Series. Congratulations! Also, a father of one of the players was interviewed during the game. He quit his job to follow his son's journey throughout the Series, and Erin Andrews reported he had had some job offers for after the game. Hooray human interest stories!

Our 46th best state beat the Japanese.

The Jump

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Patron Saint of SportsBrethren

Nacho: We didn't know we were looking for someone whom we could connect with on a visceral, kinetic level. We weren't searching for our patron saint. We never intended to fall in love.

But we did.

Hollywood Ryan Kalil is just that special.

Through his funny, insightful "diary" Ryan's quickly become our favorite Panther. Brethren will guide you through the highlights of his blog, while I'll toss turpentine on the fires of your Mantasies, after

Brethren: See Mr. Hollywood there?

He's the one next to Will Ferrell.

Bada bing!

Rookie center Ryan Kalil seems to be quite the addition to our good team, the O-line, and the blogging world. He calls his blog for Panthers.com a "diary," but we all know what he's really doing. He's trying to become the Gilbert Arenas of Charlotte. We see you, Hollywood. And we like what we're seeing.

So as the Cats hit the road tonight in Philadelphia, attempting to get Sweet Win #17 out of the last 19 preseason games, here are some of the solid gold nuggets that Mr. Kalil is offering up on these here interwebs:

On how David Carr really has grown a thick skin after that stint in Houston:

As I was sitting on the sidelines late in the game with David Carr, this Giants fan was yelling some pretty vulgar stuff at David about his days in Houston. David just smiled and after a little while he turned around and said, ‘Oh come on, let’s be honest. I have way better hair than you do.’

One more reason Carr has been growing on me: I love a guy that has an unreal sense of cockiness about a very random part of themselves. The name Dan Walters and his blonde hair comes to mind. Odd.

On good, clean, self-indulgent bragging:

I decided to pull out a deck of cards and taught David how to play gin, a game I just learned how to play yet have become very dominant in. Being the smart guy that he is, he picked it up in about a minute and before I knew it he was whipping my butt. So that kind to stunk, because I had a nice run against Geoff Hangartner and Brett Basanez. I destroyed Basanez, by the way.

Take that, you 3rd string Northwestern QB!

On knowing the pecking order as a Rook:

The offensive line was a little disappointed. Because of my Hollywoodness, they were expecting something a little snazzier like what I had at first. To them I apologize. I did not mean to let them down by not living up to my Hollywood nickname. In the future I will never let that happen again.

Damn straight you won't, goat.

Nacho: As I write this, the Panthers pass defense, a sore subject, considering our lack of action, just gave up a long bomb to Donovan McNabb's bionic leg. This angers me greatly. What keeps me from flipping over my desk in a bloodthirsty rampage? Hollywood Ryan Kalil.

The man has proven himself quite adept when it comes to comedy, but scouring the ebays led me to some fun facts. Such as:

- He's a crooner who sings Frank Sinatra songs in the locker room and huddle. (HT: this guy)

- The chances of his mom being a cougar are pretty high considering she was Miss California in 1981.

- Due to those smokin' hot momma genes, his sister Danielle is a Ford model, and also my future ex-wife.

- Ryan mentions in his blog how much he enjoys the little time he's been able to see his fiancee since he's been at camp. That's adorable, but you know what's more adorable? That he's marrying the girl that cheered for Texas when they scored the winning goal at the 2005 Rose Bowl. I was at that game, and it was a magical day, and thus I will not remark upon said Song Girl...

...except to say that she plays through pain:

Luckiest. Trainer. Evar.

It should also be noted that, according to the LA Times, Ryan proposed to his love "in an elaborate trick, staging a fake photo shoot at the LA Memorial Coliseum." This guy's a friggin' genius!

Ryan Kalil: we salute you and we, as SportsBrethren, will make it our goal to meet you, congratulate you on all your success, and buy you a drink. (Of course, the internets say you don't cotton to the hard stuff, so we'll make it a tall glass of sweet tea instead.)

The Jump

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Slippery Slopes: Panthers Sign Kenyatta Walker

Occasionally, we'll read something and get into an iChat conversation where we take a subject and run. We gleefully ride the Slippery Slope.

Today's episode: Panthers signing of Kenyatta Walker

Nacho: David J. Warner, the beat Cats writer at the FanHaus, points out something interesting today about the recent signing of Kenyatta Walker. He purports that the Cats signed Walker for the purpose of firing up Julius Peppers because Walker has a history of sketchy play.

This got the Sports Brethren thinking: how else could this plan of attack be applied to our favorite teams?

Some suggestions:

- Trade for Warren Sapp and switch him to the O-line, so that Kris Jenkins has a chance to clean his soul.

- Have Kerry Collins stand on the sidelines with a sixer of Natty Light (yea, he's keeping it Natural in the Carolinas), drunkenly yelling about how much better he could run the offense.

(Ed. note: Julius & Kenyatta should've been an early 90s R&B group.)

A few more suggestions on this slippery slope, after

- Someone find Rex Chapman to ride the bench next to Adam Morrison, quietly whispering, "Trust me, facial hair can only take you so far..."

Brethren: I too think this idear has legs. Let's see, we could:

- Re-sign practice squad WR Anthony Bright so he can tell Steve Smith how much faster Taye Biddle Diddle is than him. And inform Smith that he punches like a girl. That should go over well.

- Buy out Xerxes from his Persian squad to come play for the Varsity Spartan softball team, to properly motivate Leonidas. That game against the boy-loving Athenians is coming up soon and we can't have Leonidas swinging at first-pitch balls that high and away.

- Hire that linguistic broad from Airplane! to translate Jake's frustrated Cajun rants to Keary Colbert and Dwayne Jarrett. "Hollywood" Ryan Kalil can translate their bewildered Trojan looks for Jake.

- Steal SuperHugo from the Hornets. He belong in Charlotte, dammit.

We welcome your thoughts in the Comments. Care to ride the Slippery Slope? Or a Slip-N-Slide? Both? Me too. Me too.

(hat tip: FanHaus)
The Jump

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome Back Y'All

Nacho: Welcome back, boys. Christmas in August.

Brethren's firsthand report from the Carolina Panthers pre-season opener, desde

Brethren: Indeedly, I made the trek out to East Rutherford, NJ, to be a spectator of the glory that is the game of football. The fact that the Panthers were playing doubled my pleasure and doubled my fun.

After a few unfortunate traffic mishaps, Big Mike Owens and I arrived at the stadium and our end zone lower level seats. My thoughts:

- David Carr will easily be the most popular player in Charlotte this year. Even if Jake puts together a season like 2003 or even 2005 and plays good football on top of being the Defender of Biscuits, stupid football fans will clamour for the athletic and strong-armed Carr. Charlotteans, bless their hearts, always love a good backup QB (soooo many people used to write in to the Observer, begging for Chris Weinke (!!!!!) to play, it's not even funny). Now that we have a solid backup with a bit of a pedigree, they'll be licking at the chops the minute Jake fires off his first emotional interception.

- That said, David Carr looked good. Dude has a cannon. Happiest moment of the night: overhearing drunk generic meathead Giants fan dudes talking about how the Panthers always seem to make good personnel moves and using Carr as evidence A.

- Except for those white gloves he wears. A little, um, feminine. Adorable, as Nacho would say.

- We sat in $80 seats for free. Yay, friends with connections. The beers, however, were $7.25 a pop. Yay, beer.

- We got good long looks at the rookie linebackers. I, of course, only was really watching out for first rounder Jon Beason. I didn't really follow his career at the U, but I was quite impressed and excited to find out he wore the #2 in college. Linebackers with single digits seem way more badass than they probably are. That said, as a Panther and donning #52, he looked decent. He supposedly plays faster than he can run a 40, and he's a strong leader. That said, Big Mike, a Penn State grad, was pointing out every time MLB Tim Shaw, a 'backer from Linebacker U, made a play. Shaw used to bang one of Mike's friends, so he was even more excited to watch the man succeed in a Panthers preseason game. We are both hoping said friend will introduce us to Shaw, so we can start hanging out with Panthers players whilst in Charlotte and canoodle our way into the organization.

- Steve Smith is a badass. Mike and I were recalling how in a Budweiser Hot Seat interview (ugh, WWL), someone asked Smith what his greatest strength was, and he said, "my height." Apparently, even though DBs know he's one of the best athletes in the NFL, when the time comes and ball goes up for grabs, people revert to making basic assumptions about their opponent, and people assume they can outjump Smith. This is never the case. Smith's best route might be the fade; awesome because the dude is 5'9. Steve Smith is a badass.

- There are some hot chicks in section 101 at Giants Stadium. Well played, Giants Stadium.

- Taye Biddle and Ryne Robinson look like they could be fun. I am kinda hoping the Panthers become known as the team with small, speedy receivers. Biddle and Robinson remind me of young Steve Smiths; if one of them actually becomes even 73% of the actual Steve Smith, they'll be worthy investments.

- Even though the man himself did not play, there was a Dwayne Jarrett jersey sighting in my section. Made both Mike and I very happy, as we cannot wait until our friend, JLew (Jarrett Lewis) buys Dwayne's jersey, so he can have one of those personalized-yet-still-authentic Panthers jersey. We need a hard-hitting safety who wears the number #20 named Antoine Mickey to be make the roster. You hear that, Fox and Hurney. Find him; give him a jersey.

- We won. The Panthers are one of the finest exhibition teams out there. We have conquered 16 of our last 18 exhibition foes. Astonishing, considering the Super Bowl-winning Colts went 0-fer last year in the preseason. Go us! Winners of games that don't count!

- I don't necessarily know how to express this without sounding like a girl, but...we saw football! Being played! It's August! Yaaay! FOOTBALL!!!!!!

- Based on my viewing of a few preseason quarters, I can nearly gaurantee the Panthers will win the Super Bowl. The team is that good.
The Jump

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mike Minter: A True Panther

Nacho: Look at that smirk.

God smirks like that.

That there's a smirk that says, "What you just said was mildly humorous, now why don't you drop outta that green jumpsuit and show me dat phat ass?"

Any Panther fan worth their fur can tell you tales of Mike Minter. He played his entire career with the Cats; he holds records for most starts and most consecutive starts and in 2003, when the Panthers went to the Super Bowl, it was because Mike Minter deemed it so.

Mike best embodied all the things that make a Panther a mythological beast. (Honestly, any time one can link to a website entitled Medieval Bestiary, one should.) Mike is gentle, his only known predator being the dragon. Pliny the Elder told me so.

Mike Minter nurses lepers back to health with his pure soul.

Mike Minter got me pregnant, and two things are interesting about this: 1) I'm a dude, and B) I wasn't all that upset about it. I mean, we made it work. Mike's a great father and I will continue to attest to that, right up until the alimony checks start bouncing.

A slightly less silly remembrance from Brethren after

Brethren: Minus the whole winning a Super Bowl thing or ever going to a Pro Bowl, this is how you have an NFL career. Mike Minter, FS, #30. Played for the same (badass) organization his whole career. Started more games, made more tackles, brought more stability than any other Panther in team history. He stuck it out thru the Capers Era, the Seifert Era, bought into the Fox Era. He played tough during the 1-15 year. He played hurt during the Super Bowl run. He truly was a player we could call our own.

That last point is more important really than other I could make. When we Charlotteans first got the franchise, the Richardsons told us how they were gonna build a team that had an identity, how we were gonna resign the core players, and give the city a team we could grow up with. And that's what's happened with Mike Minter. Nacho and I, we grew up with him.

Minter helped shape that Panther mentality. That, show up, outwork your opponent, be proud, be powerful, be a badass mother that don't take no shit from no one Panther mentality.

Right now, only Sam Mills, the field mouse warrior who lost his life to cancer, and Mike McCormack, the original GM, are the only two enshrined in the Panthers Hall of Honor.

We should be adding a third to that list pretty soon.
The Jump

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Outer Banks

Brethren: I have now been lucky enough to enjoy Heaven On Earth (aka the Outer Banks of the greatest state in the Union) since late Thursday evening. I'm currently situated at the new (rented) beach house of the Cloud family, handling a Silver Bullet, with Cory Morrow's "Nashville Blues" on the iPod player. Life might not get better. How does this all relate to the grand world we call "sports"? Well, in my short time here, I've learned a lot in my first beach visit since joining the Real World (not MTV, but the world where one must adjust your 1-10 ranking of the ladies by two points...ie a 4 to Garza back at UVa is now a 6 that he lusts after). So what have I learned? Follow me through...

In my youth of 21 (read: 18 months ago), I wrote a column for the Cavalier Daily back when I fancied myself a real live journalist about how sports and the beach are interrelated. I would link to the column, but the Internet dudes at the CavDaily never really liked me for some reason, and pretty much stopped posting my columns to the site's database. I never raised enough fuss about that; fortunately, I still have the column on this here computador, and so I can still make my point.

Let's look at what I wrote back then, and enjoy a hearty laugh at how naive and young I was.

I’ve never been able to spend a day on the beach without breaking out a football, Wiffle bat and ball, and yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, a soccer ball. It’s impossible not enjoy a sunny day on the beach without sports involved.
HA! Are you kidding, Mickey of 21? What?! I fooled you the past two days, my friend! I have realized I only have a few days here at the beach, so I made sure my priorities have been straight: 1) Drink as much as possible 2) Eat as much as possible 3) Read a book 4) Watch 300 and laugh at the "boy-loving Athenians."

At the wise old age of 22, with a real job, and a real Manhattan rent to pay, I just can't find time for the Mickey of 21. Sports?! On the beach?! No, thank you, sir. I'll take beer, naps, and books over that combo any day of the week.

So while I do love my Deadspin, my ESPN.com, and the allure of being young, I really couldn't care less about engaging in sports whilst on my one summer vacation to the heaven that is the Outer Banks. And if that means I'm now old and haggard and will never be the youthful, energetic stud I was once, that's fine by me.

At least I'll be drunk.

Nacho: I'll only throw two cents up in this bitch, because for the first time in my entire life, I'm not attending the family trip to the Outer Banks. Instead, I went to Costa Rica by myself for a week. That was my beach time.

Thusly, I'll be brief: I always enjoyed the healthy competition that abounded at our family trips to the beach. It taught us humility, determination and sportsmanship. It also taught us that grown-ups, given the chance, will lie, cheat and steal to win. All these were important life lessons. Anyway, I hope to be back next year, but for now, I've re-joined the working force and my dogs are barkin'.

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