Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Modest Proposal: Catman 2.0

Nacho: If you're a fan of the Panthers, then you know all about our boy Greg Good, better known as Catman to his fans. Catman was at the Bobcats game, being his joyful, boisterous self, causing a ruckus and distracting free-throw shooting Hornets. He's great for the fans, and always gets himself on tv.

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, I'll put forth a modest proposal: Greg needs to stick to football, and let someone else be the Catman for the Bobcats. And that person, should be me.

For the night the Bobcats found their Permanent Fan of the Game, click on...

Nacho cont'd: Brethren had scored some sweet tickets for the Bobcats/Knicks game last week, and through a series of wacky, well-connected events, I ended up in the halftime show. This halftime show played to my strengths: rather than attempting a half court shot or scooting around on a tricycle, all I had to do was select one of five oversized presents and hope I didn't get the one with Rufus and his silly string in it.

I ended up getting two tickets situated directly beneath the basket. As Brethren had already headed back up to New Yawk City, Mammy joined me in a night of revelry. We were told we were given access to the Hardwood Club, an ultra-exclusive dining room with free food and free hooch. There was some confusion about whether or not this access was, in fact, granted, but they let us in anyway. At the end of our delicious, free meal, we made our way to our seats and were informed that we were, in fact, not granted said privilege, and would not be allowed back in at halftime. This suited us just fine.

Mammy & I got to our seats and I started giggling. A lot. I mean, you would to if you were this close to the game.

We ordered beers, and the game began. About halfway through the first quarter a Lady Cat turned around and asked, "Weren't you the one who won the tickets?" I gleefully responded affirmatively. I mean, even for a stud like me, it's not every day a professional cheerleader remembers you. She was even kind enough to take a picture with me as I stammered out some garbled mix of "Merry Holiday New Years Boobs." Yeah, I let her down gently.

The Lady Cats endorse me as Catman 2.0

The Hornets got out to an early lead and never looked back, so I decided to make the most of the seats. Every time there was a free-throw situation, I ceaselessly talked shit to Peja Stojakovic about his inability to grow a real man's beard (beard seen here.) Coming out of a time out, I started cheering, rather obnoxiously, and the badass camera guy seated in front of us turned his magnificent machine on me, and suddenly my howling, screaming, crazed countenance was splattered across the Jumbotron and pumping up the fans. It's quite mind-melting to be flapping one's arms and, out of the corner of your eye, see yourself flapping 30 feet tall. This set a precedent and the camera guy and I became comrades.

At one point, I caught the game ball as it errantly flew out of bounds. Wait, it gets more impressive: I snagged it with my right hand, and didn't spill a drop of the beer that was in my left. Game balls feel nice....I said game, right?

A few minutes later, Gerald Wallace shot down the floor on a fast break, and ended up getting fouled and careening our way. He stopped just short of slapping me in the face with his dong, but did make eye contact and give me a low five. I can now die happy. (Side note: despite how close you are to the floor, you really have no idea how tall pro ball players are until you're junk-high.)

The crowning moment came in middle of the fourth quarter: The Bobcats had cut the lead to single digits and the Rocky theme came on the PA system. Naturally, I started shadowboxing and the cameraman rewarded me. The entire arena feared my wikid quick jabs and I turned around and did the whole Sly Stallone arms-raised thing. It thoroughly pumped up the crowd and further cemented my legend.

The rest of the night, I stalked from bar to bar in downtown Charlotte and folks kept recognizing me. The most common refrain was "Hey! Fan of the Game, right? HEY GUYS, IT'S THE GUY! THE BEARD! DUDE YOU GOTTA TAKE THIS!"
< /proceeds to take shot>

All in all, I feel I ran a great campaign to become Catman 2.0. Alas, I live in Hollywood and rarely get to see our boys play live. When I am home, however, you can bet your sweet ass, I'm going to as many games as possible. Now, I'm off to go purchase the rest of my Bobcat outfit for the Clippers game.

Also, if you're reading this, Adam Morrison, I promise I'm not stalking you. Yes, the bearded fellow who talked to you at the Panther game was the same guy on the Jumbotron, but I have no ulterior motives, I'm just a fan.

A fan, with a free hat.

The Jump

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Week 16: Cowboys Barely Beat Fourth Stringers

Nacho: Sorry for the hiatus, but the Brethren were too busy nursing holiday hangovers to post. We've got a slew of stories from our vacation, the first up being the night Beason hurt the Cowboys Super Bowl hopes.

The day was crisp, last Saturday. We'd seen Neon Deion at the Bobcats' game the night before, and the unmistakable air of Double J was in the air.

The Sports Parents had invited me down to the Club section, a place usually reserved for the well-to-do of Charlotte. We found our seats, the weather was delectable and excitement brewed. As the Rents found their seats Cap'n Pappy let us know that The Great Mustachio himself, Adam Morrison, was sitting just a few rows up. I immediately walked up, we talked for a bit, and I let him know he'd be seeing me again in LA when the Bobcats played the Clippers.

The game happened, some asshole stole my Jessica Simpson mask, Matt Moore looked ok, the offense continued to be uninspired, and Panthers seemed to never get any pressure on Romo. Good, now that that's out of the way, lets get down to the Awesome, after...

Turns out the milquetoast bankers in front of us started jawing to one another during halftime, leading to an altercation. Security was beckoned, tempers flared, but nothing came of it. This all happened while I was getting more hooch at the bar. Long about ten minutes later, Bland Man #1 turned to Bland Man #2 and started in again with several variations on the phrase "You're an asshole." Apparently creativity isn't necessary to file data for Wachovia.

Voices were raised, security was again beckoned but this time, he brought the Fuzz with him. Mammy was on pins and needles, just waiting for me to throw myself into the scuffle and get booted from the stadium. I decided, in my drunken stupor, to let the Large Vaginas in front of us take the heat this night, and we got front row seats to some well-executed beding-over and handcuffing. It was beyond badass. The rest of the game we had lounge-a-licious seats where we could prop our feet up with no one hasslin' us. In that respect, the game was an unabashed victory. I got to come home, see a Panther game, and see idiots get arrested. A+ in my book.

On last note, Jimmy Cross aka Friend Who Fears Nash, noted that Wade Phillips looks an awful lot like Marla Hooch's dad from "A League of Their Own."

Now I'll pass it along to Brethren to give you the perspective from the nosebleeds.

Brethren: Yes, the report from the nosebleed was not quite as awesome in that I didn't see any handcuffs brung out. But that didn't stop me from talking shit to any and all Cowgirl fans.

As most friends know, I suffer from somewhat of a Napoleonic Complex when I get the drunk. I mean, shit, I'm bigger than Napoleon, and he nearly conquered all of Europe. Surely, I can take down men much larger than me! I have wit!

So whether it's over a friendly beer pong game, some asshole at a bar, or certainly a redneck Cowgirls fan, I start talking lots of shit (only if I have large friends with me though). I choose us being down 10-0 to start it, and it doesn't end until we lose 17-10. And in the end, my Cowgirl brethren and I ended up wishing each other a merry Christmas and going on our way. It was cute.

So the Panthers move to 6-9, I get to feed my inner Napoleonic desires, and I was able to take some friends to the game who wouldn't have been able to go. It was a grand old time all around.

Onwards to Tampa!
The Jump

Friday, December 21, 2007

Steve Nash, A True Wild West Outlaw

Brethren: Back in November, we wrote a post about how we think Soccer Is Ruining Basketball and pointed to the dirty play that Steve Nash tried to pull on our Bobcat, Ray Ray.

Later that weekend, a buddy of mine sidled up to the bar next to me and told me quite possibly the greatest dirty play story he had ever heard second-hand. So while we sorta havefta stress it's rumor; after reading it, you tell me: How can it not be true??

Buddy who fears Steve Nash: The Ghost And The Darknes, a late 90s creature-feature about killer lions in Africa, ran the marketing tagline, “Only the most amazing parts of the story are true.” Although this ivory-tower assertion was incorrect with regards to the film—years later I was disappointed to learn that Michael Douglas is not, in fact, a rogue Sub-Saharan game hunter—I hope it applies to the hearsay detailed below. I’m sure it doesn’t, but I wish it would.

The narrative itself is simple. Out on the town, an attractive young woman spots a certain star Phoenix Suns point guard/mulleteer trying to make the most of his waning road trip. With the sort of go-getter determination we often associate with veteran car buyers and Yankees upper management, she decides that her night will not end until she negotiates a liaison with the hot-handed heartthrob.

“Hot-handed” takes on new meaning, however, as the young woman succeeds in her quest and lures the ball handler to her boudoir. After fine, rather unliterary hooking up, she falls into a deep slumber, only to be awakened by a dull but sure rectal pressure. Surprised and undeniably curious, she rolls over to find the point guard gazing at her with ambivalent professionalism.

In an adult reprise of connect-the-dots, she links the location of his hot hand to the source of the pressure. Oh my god. Really? Yes, really. And then she shrieks. Seeing that the game is officially up, he shrugs and says, “I’m Steve Nash.”

Buddy: NOW. Because this account has undergone a considerable trek through the grapevine, we should examine it less as historical record than as instructive moral fable, particularly regarding reader response to superficially shocking incidents. You likely read this story and are repulsed by the arrogance of the male protagonist, skilled passer but deficient gentleman, a baller so stuck on himself that he believes that he can justify deviant intrusions simply by stating his name.

To that I say, “Assume not!” Although we cannot rule out the perverse interpretation, can we at least admit the possibility of alternative readings? Maybe the pick-and-roller’s wayward fingers were simply the consequence of muscle memory stemming from a dream of cowboys and Indians. The pistol’s holster just happened to be a girl’s ass. And “I’m Steve Nash” was simply a slick way of signing off—the sheriff, in a sense, telling the town that the bandits have been dealt with. Or maybe our hero has a sense-of-humor only Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven can appreciate. Maybe we don’t find this funny for the same reason we don’t find Starship Troopers funny (i.e. we’re not smart enough).

But in the spirit of the holiday season, when we are all inclined to minor, piddling acts of forgiveness, I prefer a gentler fable: what if he just didn’t know what else to say? What if he was just shy? I mean, good lord. We are who we are. A deer in the headlights can aspire to nothing more than being a deer. An aging pitcher can do nothing more than take HGH in the butt. Falcons QBs cannot resist the urge to pit other species in battle, and, in times of crisis, elite point guards cannot resist the urge to state their names as acts of atonement. Who can shun the healing power of brutal honesty?

This Christmas, why don’t you try it on for size? Sticking your fingers in someone else’s pie may be gross, but no one cares as long as you admit that you are you.

I’m Steve Nash. You’re Steve Nash. Santa Claus is Steve Nash.

We’re all Steve Nash.

The Jump

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week 15: The Classic John Fox Game

Brethren: John Fox loves this situation. Underdog at home to a team that had won 5 in a row? Bring it. Taking on a team that brought a fierce pass rush against our very inconsistent offensive line? We got it. An embarrassingly bad QB situation? Not a problem.

John Fox loves being the underdog and having no one believe in him. His playoff teams all came out of nowhere. Even his 7-9 and 8-8 teams had December winning streaks. As mad as I sometimes get at him, he's a far better coach than people give him credit for, and we're in a better shape than most below-.500 teams.

Note: I'm far too lazy to actually verify those facts, just going on memory, but believe me, John Fox seems to get his teams to play better when people on the outside think we're going nowhere:

More Kool-Aid drankin' after:

Brethren (cont'd): My patented bulleted thoughts:

- Matt Moore, The Gunslinger, leading the Carolina Panther to victory: oddly enough, he reminds me of a less-animated Jake. If you remember the old gameplan with Jake, it was run the ball, control the clock, hang around, win it in the 4th quarter with defense and some big plays. That formula was on full display today. Welcome back, John Fox football.

- My buddy Steve mentioned how The Gunslinger plays like Jake, but Vinny looks like Jake in a uniform, so if we could combine the two, we'd have Jake. It has come to this.

- We also nicknamed The Gunslinger, "Doc Holliday." It was fun.

- Good to see the recent draft picks playing well. Thomas Davis with the forced fumble. DeAngelo Williams with the oddly-needed touchdown run. Maybe there is some hope for this Hurney/Fox thing.

God, I'm helpless. I love this team.

Nacho: On Saturday I left Burbank and headed back to my place in Hollywood to do some light laundry (read = if I try to wear these socks once more before washing them, I swear I'll end up like Dede) when my Oil and Check Engine lights came on. Long story short, my car had crapped out on the 101 freeway and there was oil splattered everywhere. Needless to say, I took this as a bad omen for the Panthers/Seahawks.

As the first half ended in a scoreless tie, I felt an old familiar tingle. Like a tuning fork going off in my loins, I realized we could actually win this game. The more I thought about it, the more likely it seemed: This was our 4th starting QB this season, and going into yesterday's game Jake, Asshat, and Vinny had all won their first starts. On top of that, the Panthers were 3-0 against the NFC West. So, my drunk logic led me to loudly proclaim that the third-best team in the NFC South could beat any team in the NFC West, any time, any place. Luckily the fiercest looking Seahawk fan would rather sip lattes and wear flannel than tussle with a boy from the Carolinas. Preach!

We're, apparently, not out of the playoff picture entirely, but I'd almost rather get another great draft pick than get embarassed by Green Bay again. For now, my main goal is to spend the rest of the week brainstorming new and inappropriate ways to insult Cowboys fans. That's right, Nacho's headin' home!

One last note: let's all give it up for Big Bad Brezec.

The Jump

Friday, December 14, 2007

Goodbye My Loooooooove!

Brethren: Update that just broke on NBA All Access: Charlotte: The Bobcats have traded Walter Herrmann and Primoz Brecez to Detroit for center Nazr Mohammad.

The SportsBrethren are noted lovers of the Argentine, but neither of us really cared for The Big Duck, Primoz. And honestly, I think I like Nazr Mohammad as a big defender to take some pressure of Mek in the post.

But part of me is a little stunned we're losing Herrmann.

More gut reactions after:

Brethren (cont'd): Bill Walton got pretty excited about our starting five now with The Nazr at the 5, Mek at the 4, GForce and JRich on the wings, and Ray Ray running the show. I see how on paper that team looks better than with Primoz tipping off.

Off the bench, we've now got Jeff "Playground Brethren" McInnis, Jared Dudley, Matt Carroll, DAnderson, Ryan Hollins, Othella Harrington, and Jamareo Davidson.

So we lose Fabio, gain some good size, and that's where we stand. Sigh.

Herrmann, you were loved by these two. As a Detroit Piston, you will still be loved. In the words of the greatest comedy ever, "Goodbye, my looooove! "

And scene.

PS: Oh, and my Lord, Morrison looks fantastically white trash. I love him.

Nacho: And now, in honor of the best player on the Magic., here's some shitty poetry...

Whatever we were calling you,
Rest assured,
That name will be shouted out from the rooftops of Charlotte tonight.
As evening falls and you take the floor
resplendent in your orange and blue,
I'll host a party in your honor, and raise a glass to all we've been through.

Walter, sweet Walter
You had to spread your wings.
You've left us with a Nazi prophet
Which is just fine by me.
Bill Walton thinks the trade is fair,
And he might be right at that,
But I'd give up all the Primoz in the world,
Just to have you back.

I'd like to point out that Walter Herrmann had the best sports quote I've read in a while. From this video:

Lady, if you can't take a death threat, you shouldn't be in the NBA.

Godspeed, you magnificent bastard. Godspeed indeed.

The Jump

Things To Do In Charlotte When You're Dead: A Guide For ESPN's All Access

Nacho: I like to think of myself as a pretty decent ambassador for Charlotte, North Carolina. I represent my city and region well, bringing my gentlemanly etiquette to new denizens every day. Also, I kill hookers and pretend I have diplomatic immunity.

That's why today's a special day. ESPN has slipped the Queen City a roofie, and they've been granted All Access to all holes that is The Banking Capital Of The SouthEast.

I'm not exactly sure what all this All Access grants, and if you search for "All Access" on the WWL's website, the top response is the 2008 Florida Bass Calendar, so maybe this whole day will be less about Bobcats and Magic, and more about bass. Sounds about right.

Anyway, since we're such good guys, the SportsBrethren feel like we should give a few helpful hints to the ESPN crew on what attractions and distractions there are in our fine hometown. Follow us, after...

Nacho cont'd: First things first, you're gonna wanna get some food. The cuisine in Charlotte's top notch, thanks in no small part to the mecca that is Harris Teeter.

Luckily for Stephen A Smith, Harris Teeter carries Wise products. Why is this important? Because it's the holidays, and WHITE CHEDDAR CHEEZ DOODLES ARE BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!!

There are five convenient Boston Market locations in and around Charlotte, if you need to hug it out. The cell service in Charlotte is immaculate despite it's hilly terrain. This could come in handy, were Sean Salsbury to suddenly get the urge to show how similar his gentalia look, in regards to the Bank of America building, via picture mail:

[insert dick joke here]

Today's All Access should also give Bill Simmons a chance to catch those elusive Bobcats fans he so desperately wishes didn't exist. I say "desperately wishes" because Bill has one joke/insight about the Bobcats: They have no fans. Well, Bill, I hope you're not too busy being elbow deep in infant dookie, because the WWL will be proving you wrong all day. And if they don't, you can bet your ass you'll meet one on January 28th. I'll be the one in the Adam Morrison jersey with the sweet stache. That's a gaurantee, Shooter McGavin style (see I can make extremely dated references, too.):

Brethren: I can't resist but jump in here as well, even if it's to chide Nacho.

First, how can you talk about food in Charlotte and not mention BOJANGLES'!? We have the defenders of the Biscuit living right in Charlotte and while that might be more football related, I don't see how the WWL could resist goodness that Jake and Smitty so heartily endorse.

Second, don't go to the mall. If you must, watch out for the old ladies trying to back up.

Thirdly, Charlotte Bobcats Arena -- fuck yea, we don't have a corporate sponsor. Yet. -- has these badass murals of the history of North Carolina basketball on the walls. I can easily see Bill Walton eating some shrooms, seeing the magnificent basketball creatures elevating out of the walls and telling their beautiful and real stories to all those with the power to listen and the love in their hearts to sympathize.

And of course, CBA has a side gym that's visible to fans where Bobcat employee Dell Curry can challenge Tim Legler to a 3 Point Shooting Contest. You're going down, Legler!

(Note to the daily readers (ha!): some of you might have been wondering what happened to me round these parts, as I have been auspiciously MIA over the last week. I'm a-ok, just working hard and playing host to Mammy 'n the Cap'n Pappy as they visited my Island. Pappy was at a medical conference, exploring new surgeries that involve no incisions (they just use their minds!) on pigs. In his words, they "made a lot of bacon" that day. Gotta love docs. Oh, and I had the office holiday party. And in case you were wondering, yes, it was at an "upscale karoake bar" and yes, I sang "I'll Make Love to You" (Boyz II Men) with Phil Jackson (no, not the Zen one, ).
The Jump

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blattings: CBS Shits the Bed

Since the Brethren are bogged down with work this holiday season, we welcome Mitchell Blatt of Juiced Sports to the ever-growing list of contributors.

The San Diego Chargers were down 10-17 to the Tennessee Titans Sunday afternoon as they were driving with less than a minute left. They got inside the ten with 18 seconds left, and my eyes were glued to the TV.

Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear: Titans-Chargers was not actually the featured game for CBS' Midwestern region including Cleveland, where I was watching, and wherever else they divided up the Midwest into for this week. Packers-Raiders was the featured game. The Packers won 38-7. But, I don't blame the CBS for broadcasting that yawn-inducing bloodbath; the Packers were pretty bad last year, so it could have easily been a yawn-inducing joke.

the rest, after...

Luckily, FOX had a good matchup between the Lions and Cowboys that came down to the Boys' final possession. But CBS was showing bonus coverage of the Titans-Chargers game, and bonus coverage is sometimes the only good thing about NFL Sundays.

So, it was Chargers ball inside the 10, down by 7, with 18 seconds left and third down. Then a voice came on as play continued. The voice began speaking slowly, but I could tell what was going to happen, I just hoped the voice would last long enough.

"Due to NFL contractual obligations..." Philip Rivers calls the signals.

"We will not be able to bring you..." He takes the snap.

"The remainder of the game." He tosses a pass toward the end zone.

Will it be caught? Will the Chargers take it to overtime? Will they win?

I didn't see because they switched to the Browns-Jets game. Far be it for CBS to restrict the Browns fans' rights to see the coin toss or the opening kickoff. The first 18 seconds of a local game are definitely more important than the last 18 seconds of a one-possession game. Forget about overtime, it would have been enough just to see the Chargers tie it. (They ended up winning in overtime.)

It makes sense from the NFL's perspective, though. They don't let a large number of their fans watch big games on Thursdays. They scheduled Patriots-Colts for one o'clock earlier this year. The Patriots-Steelers game Sunday was at four o'clock, also not broadcast to many people.

The concept of regional games doesn't make sense. No one from Cleveland is going to watch Detroit or Indianapolis just because they are regional. People watch games played by teams other than their favorite because they are exciting, not because "this team is close to my hometown so they are my second favorite". Seems like they could make more money by showing the best games and getting the best ratings.

And with the NFL so obsessed with profit, even they should feel rage about that.
The Jump

Week 14: A New Hope

Nacho: The Panthers played a football game and lost. Cut and paste, as necessary.

For the next three weeks, as we round out the season, I'm just gonna find a person or two on Facebook and talk massive amounts of shit to them about their team, then have the Panthers lose to them. That's what I did this week, with a Jags fan from Dubai, no less.

This week, it's Seahawks fans. Sure, the Panthers might have not done so well against them in recent times, but that in no way will detract me from pointing out Seattle is a cold, dreary place that can't keep it's rock stars alive. Suck it, coffee-drinkers.

This little experiment will really come to a head in two weeks, when there's a better than good chance I'm mauled to death by a rabid pack of Cowboy fans.

Anywho, the SportsBrethren are puttin' our noggins together to come up with some helpful hints the Cats might want to take to heart in the coming offseason, draft, and throughout the 2008-9 regular reason, after...

Nacho: Brethren's the brains of this operation, so he'll have much better insight into what the Panthers reallyneed, while I'm more whimsical, so lets see what we can come up with.

Defensive Line: This is a homer pick for me. Peppers, with his big contract extension, is rapidly becoming the Antoine Walker of football players. We've consistently allowed sub-par offensive lines to batter us like fried dumplings. In all, we've had one decent game from the D-line, nothing something you'd expect from a team coached by a former d-coordinator. Plus, a certain Cavalier keeps rising on Mel's Big Board.

Defensive Backfield: The loss of Mike Minter hurt us more than we cared to admit this year. I guess you really can't tell how important intangibles are until they're gone. We need more solid plays out of our safeties and smarter coverage from our cornerbacks. Hell, at this point I'd take a Scottish Southern Asian granny:

Offensive Play-calling: It speaks droves about the Panthers fandom that we were able to talk ourselves into a fervor about David Carr and the friggin' Browns! offensive coordinator. Remember all those prolific Browns offenses in the past years? Ugh. We need to get the Patriots play-callers. Those guys are inventive, and fun.

Brethren's thoughts will come to him eventually, after he's done rocking out his office Xmas party.

The Jump

Friday, December 7, 2007

Brethren On Ice: Nacho Takes In His First NHL Game

Nacho: Back in high school, I attended my fair share of Charlotte Checkers games. (If you're wondering, the official web address is ... that's adorable) I always admired how they wore their gameplan on their sleeve. You come into Charlotte, you're gonna get hit. I got on the jumbrotron once because I was shirtless.

Alas, until this past Thursday, I'd never attended a professional NHL game, despite how well the Hurricanes play (sigh, it's relevant...) I'd never seen them play. Probably because I was busy making awesome movies and being a badass in college. Pshhhh, hockey.

Through a series of events, I went to watch the Kings/Sabres game at the Staples Center. My report, after...

Nacho cont'd: Primo seats and pretzels found, we cheered for a Sabres victory...for about four minutes. By the end of the first period it was 4-0 Los Angeles, and the Buffalo fans around us were distressed. For reasons unknown, the Sabres didn't start Patriot Ryan Miller but instead put some guy name Thibault in goal. Poor kid never had a chance.

Zambonis rock.

The Kings scored three more goals in the second period, but Buffalo saved themselves from a shutout. The important part: they played Guitar Hero III!!! In case you didn't know, I host a Guitar Hero tourney/rock-aoke night in the heart of Hollywood. If you're ever in town on a tuesday, swing by.

Our screen is just as big. Srly.

By the end of the night, the Buffalo fans were drunk, the LA fans were kind of dick, but overall, not terrible, and, if I may, tghe mascot for the Kings takes entirely too much brain power to understand. You're asking a large populous to match the word King with the phrase "king of the jungle." It's just tough. Go with something easier:

get some.


I've decided that this weekend is an important game for the Panthers. I've recently reconnected with an extremely old chum whose currently living in Dubai, which is insanely cool. He's, unfortunately, a Jags fan and while I've gotten to see Vinny's miraculous resurrection and I'm attending the Dallas game, I'm deciding that a win this weekend in Jacksonville would make the season a wash.

If I'm being realistic though, Eli's Comin'.

(Eli's a portent of something evil.)
The Jump

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Cerberus of Beauty

Nacho: Ladies and gentlemen, we are the precipice of something bigger than ourselves. Gone are the concerns over production like points, rebounds, assists and whatnot. This year, the Charlotte Bobcats have their sights set on one goal and one goal only: To put together the ugliest team, with the most beautiful hair in NBA history!

Learn the identity of the three-headed beast, after...

It all started when we used the third pick in a (not so) loaded draft to get this adorable punim:

Sitting on a Noxema gold mine!

Morrison's known league-round as the only player to look better as a videogame character.

Then, last year, we signed this bastion of beauty to a nice deal:

Please to be touching the balls for Walter?

And now, for the final piece of the puzzle. The Cavs have a week to match the offer, but they don't really need him, and the Bobcats sure could use him. Let's see whose behind door number three....

Hide your heart girls
The Dirty Varj is comin'

There you have it folks. Christmas comes early to the Herbal Essence folks, and they're no stranger to filming three dudes showering. (NSFW, but hilarious.)

Brethren: Ya know, it's kinda like that old YMCA "bark like a dog" play, where on an in-bounds pass, all four players get on hands and knees and start barking like dogs. Then, as the opposite team stands around befuddled, the closest "dogg" to the hoop stands up, receives the pass, and misses a lay-up.

In our professional case, the Bobcats are putting odd-looking dudes on the court, and surrounding them without talent that is unassumedly good (Gerald Wallace, JRich, Ray Ray, Mek) in hopes that other teams will be distracted by the Mustache, Fabio, and SideShow Bob.

Now, only if we can sign Rik Smits, convince him to grow a mullet, and bring in Kurt Rambis to coach -- wearing goggles -- we'd be truly dominant.
The Jump

Well, That Didn't Quite Go As Expected

Nacho: Well, despite the Blattings, that was just about as good a football game as one can hope for on a Monday night. From here on out, I'm rooting for an undefeated season. My highlights from the evening:

- Kornheiser prefacing his use of something along the lines of "tragic inevitability" by saying something along the lines of "Those whose study English know a term..."

- My favorite part of every week in football has become Bill Belichick's press conferences. He embodies smug and appears incapable of shaking a head cold that causes him to phlegmily cough into the mic during every question. I just love how robotic he is, because while the words he's saying are everything any commissioner would want to hear a coach say, his message is clear, "I couldn't give a fuck about any of you. I'm here to win."

- Genuine excitement in Jaws's voice when Clayton pulled in the final pass.

- Looks to me like Brian Billick needs to teach his team the ol' hook and ladder.

A highlight reel of the game, after...

The Jump

Monday, December 3, 2007

Blattings: Another Terrible MNF Matchup

Since the Brethren are bogged down with work this holiday season, we welcome Mitchell Blatt of Juiced Sports to the ever-growing list of contributors.

Last week, we had to suffer through the Dolphins vs the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Even Ricky Williams' return didn't ease the pain, as Ricky got injured after six carries.

As if the pathetic matchup weren't enough, ESPN's ads all week sealed the deal. You know, the ones about how you were watching the Dolphins-Pats game three years ago in your college dorm, and that one obnoxious Pats fan made that bet where if the Pats lost he would have to have the Dolphins logo tattooed onto his arm, and as the Fins began their comeback, you gave him the option of opting out, but he still had faith in the Pats, then when the Fins finally did when, he actually went throughout with it!

So funny I have to cry.

More, desde...

ESPN could have at least pretended the Dolphins were good like they usually do. I mean, sure, Trent Green — injured since week five — had more passing yards than the Fins starter Cleo Lemon going into game, and their running back was their second leading receiver, but still, they could have at least promoted it as Ricky's return.

Well, this next one with the Patriots playing the Ravens is just as bad. At least the Ravens looked like a good team going in, as opposed to the Fins who were coming off a 4-12 season. Doesn't change the fact that the Ravens are 4-7 and the Pats steamroll everyone.

Yes, the Eagles almost beat the Pats last week in a part fluke, part great performance, but that was more a referendum on Donovan McNabb's rising age and declining skill than on the Patriots ability to lose. Without McNabb injured (again), AJ Feeley did a good job filling in for him (again).

ESPN has taken the easy (and annoying) road again with their ads, this time talking about how that one time you were watching a game that featured the Packers and someone else (maybe the Ravens?) and your wife was giving birth, and you just let her give birth in front of the game instead of taking her to the hospital. Instead of, you know, talking about how good Ray Lewis is.

Even after tomorrow's Ravens-Patriots matchup, the Monday Night forecast doesn't look much better. New Orleans-Atlanta is after this one, then it gets a little bit better with Chicago-Minnesota and Denver-San Diego to finish the season.

This three-game stretch is just that, a three-game stretch. It is an example of how unexciting Monday Night Football has been this season. The average win margin of MNF games this season has been 12.1. The average win margin of all NFL games this season has been 5.7. And with the Patriots playing tomorrow, it is worth noting that their average win margin is 23.4. Tony Kornheiser only makes it worse.

So tomorrow will be one more night I go to bed early, one more night I forget about that time that I was watching Monday Night Football, and my wife had to give birth, and I didn't take her to the hospital.

And that, my friends, is good reason to feel rage.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Week 13: We won. Hooray.

Brethren: Well, looky there. We played a football game at our home stadium and won. Maybe not a reason to celebrate for most normal, good teams, but the Carolina Panthers are neither normal or good. So without checking any facts or any game film, only my imbibed memory, let's take a looksie: How did this happen?

I can think of a few reasons:

- David Carr was inactive. Do not let this fact go unnoticed.

- Trent Dilfer is not very good.

- Our defense took advantage of those two facts.

More golden gems/patented bulleted thoughts and Nacho's words, following:

Brethren (cont'd): So I really do think most of this season can be blamed on David Carr. I don't personally know the man, but I do watch our team perform when he's at the helm, and when he's not, and I have recognized a few things:

- This defense is good, but they wear down. How do you stop them from wearing down? You have them play less. How does that happen? By keeping the offense on the field. David Carr was inept at doing that.

- Vinny T might make mistakes, but at least he looks like a man -- not a girl -- when he does.

- Vinny T knows how to get Steve Smith the ball; David Carr does not. Our team performs better when Steve Smith gets the ball more often.

These are simple things. But they are important. David Carr, please go away. We can live -- and win apparently -- without you.

Other thoughts:

- I love Jake Delhomme. I love him. He was so fired up after that first TD when (don't know his first name) Rossario caught a Vinny T bullet. I loved it. I miss the guy.

- I love Steve Smith. I love him. He talked so much shit to Nate Clement today and it rocked. That scene at the end of the first half where he got in Clement's face and wouldn't back down made me happy he's on my team.

- I watch all the Panthers games with my buddy Steve, a fellow Charlottean and Panthers fan. It was quite telling that all day, whenever a play went the Panthers' way (which was actually quite often), neither he nor I would cheer. We'd merely nod at each other, as to say, "I'll take that." That's the kind of deflating attitude David Carr has put on us. We used to be cheery and rambunctious. Now, a slight head nod will suffice a Richard Marshall interception return for a TD.

Nacho: By now, our weekly simile of what negative thing David Carr is to our team should have a name, so I'm gonna name it:

The David Carr Negative Simile of the Week

This week's simile: Herpes.

Not since the not-so-rare Derekus Jeterius strain has one athlete infected so many talented people. David Carr ruined Dom Capers's head coaching career, a meat-sweaty intense fan base, and, for half a season and six million dollars, the Carolina Panthers. Luckily, there's VINtrex, it's just like Valtrex, and helps keep David Carr in remission. So there you have it, David Carr is the herpes of the Carolina Panthers.

I'd like to take a moment to highlight a career day for one special Panther. Although I'm dubious as to her abilities to headline a wide-realease film, I'd like to extend a hearty congrats to Rosario Dawson on her stellar performance yesterday.

One fumble recovery and a touchdown
for 5 yards. Not bad.

It's fun to hear the Panthers back in playoff talk, for about a week. We've got the other expansion team up next week. Y'know those guys who didn't even punt against the defending Super Bowl champs. Ugh.

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