Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Seriously Chapter 63: Cincinnati is About to Explode

"Don't You Do It, Coach Kelly"

I work in the stupid, sorry-ass, hack-filled world of sports journalism and believe me when I tell you that there's only one other field that contains more functioning, drunken idiots.

Sidebar Regarding Sports Reporters:

The sports game, as grim and grotesque as it is, should actually be a workplace model for the entire country because we've got more special needs retards competing on equal footing with everybody, more than anywhere else in society. Sorry to be so crass, Mom, but the coin of Seriously's realm happens to be the truth. The EEOC should be celebrating our industry.

But Back to My Point, What Brought Us Here

The only other profession that has more drunken idiots in it is the field of law enforcement (at least out here in Quake Town, that is, which is where Seriously and the Sports Seriously franchise has it's offices and is based.) When you're partying with an L.A. cop, the only thing you're not sure of is whether he'll be wearing women's or men's underwear around his neck when he's plastered and dancing on the pool table. These mother f-er's are completely flippin' crazy. But what they're not are liars, at least not to this sports gumshoe of record. Check it out. Word on the streets here in L.A. is that the city of Cincinnati, Ohio could possibly erupt into actual violence and civil unrest if beloved Coach Brian Kelly leaves the 3rd ranked Bearcats for the job at Notre Dame. And if Coach takes the job BEFORE this year's Sugar Bowl match versus Florida, there's a scenario where officials see the city as possibly being burnt to the ground. LAPD was been put on notice as of yesterday and one of my old SWAT buddies, Raphael, is going there as part of a special detachment of 45 that's being lent to city. I shite you not. This is real.

My Sisters Are Crying

With Cincinnati being my hometown, my two sisters, who can't stand my guts, they're weeping on the phone to me like I'm the Commissioner of College Football and I can stop the whole damn thing. "It's a free market, Lottie!! (my sister's name) You think Coach Kelly is returning my phone calls? I haven't been able to reach the guy since he was 7 and 0!!!" My other sister, Patrice, was bawling so pitifully it was like a Romanian fat lady about to lose her first born son to the dictator, Ceausescu. She developed an Eastern European accent right there on the phone as she talked to me, slobbering and weeping. "Patty, you're a lawyer, you don't care about anything!!! It's a football coach, for god sakes!!!" She screamed, "No, no, theese my ALMA MATER!! I geef dem money. I geef dem money even vhen they are 4 and 7 and losing to zee Akron Zips!! (Does the Romanian accent come across in this translation? I swear, it was freaking me out.)

At Least Let me Do This For You People in Southeastern Ohio

Notre Dame, as of today, lost Heisman candidate, Jimmy Clausen, and star receiver, Golden Tate, to the NFL. They're left with one freshman quarterback and a sack full of question marks all over the field coming off a 6-6 season. Cincinnati on the other hand, after winning the Big East and darn near the national championship this year, will field a top-ranked team of Sophomore stars on offense and defense and will led by a running, gunning Touchdown Jesus quarterback named Zach Collaros who was 4-0 this year stepping in for injured legend, Tony Pike, exhibiting toughness and poise worthy of one Marion Morrison aka John Wayne and it was the kid's freshman year. Assuming the University of Cincinnati matches Notre Dame's salary offer (THEIR OFFICES deserve to be fire bombed if they don't) then which, pray tell, is the better program? Hopefully none of that Catholic horse shit comes into play. God o'mighty, while I consider myself a (flawed) man of deep faith, I sure do hate me some organized damn religion.

And Speaking of Faith

I pray for the Queen City and all of it's citizens who may end up heartbroken and displaced should Coach Kelly decide to take leave of his senses and depart. And yet I'm reminded of what Jesus wrote. He said, "I even pray for thee who boweth at the altar of the Golden Dome." But ultimately, in the end, should that worst-case-scenario occur, I only hope cooler heads might somehow prevail and there won't be any destruction of property or loss of life.

Have you thought of these things, Coach Kelly?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seriously Chapter 62: "Now It's Going Too Far"

Tiger's People Respond

One advantage of living in Quake Town is that while you're choking to death personally, you do get a lot of stories first sometimes. New York blows, people. It's for dirty suckers and people who like to be shut in.
Just heard from Team Woods over in Century City. But before I drop that juice, side note for all you out-of-towners (you know you're my life blood and I love you):
Century City is where Los Angeles' lawyers gather from the ground up on two scrubbed boulevards, running parallel to each other, called Century Park East and Century Park West. Walking into Century City and saying "Is there a lawyer around?" is like walking into Mehmet's Warehouse of Rugs and asking, "You have a rug here you can sell me?" I'm talking six mother f-ing, 40-story, glass and steel monuments to private counsel. Esteemed American private counsel or what the great Al Sharpton refers to as "an intregal part of our system of justice and jewish prudence." Dewey, my guy over at team Team Woods (though he hasn't been acting much like my guy recently, what with the non-returning of my phone calls,) Dewey says re: the fourth broad that's just come out of the Woods-work, "This has officially become a premiere case of piling on. These girls can't shut their mouths about a damn thing and our guy can't even stub out a cigarette without everyone on earth knowing it's whereabouts. It's your classic rectal exam." "On who's part?" I asked. Dewey says to me, "What the f, Seriously? Are you making a crude joke on my dime and at this time? You got 23 years in this business. Should I end this conversation?" "Hey, Dewey, lighten the load when you're talking to me, Chief. Maybe talk to your #1 about how he treats the media. Tiger hasn't exactly tossed us bouquets of bonmots over the years or even many bromides, for that matter. Your guy's cold as a Seattle fish for the last decade, making our job a veritable Madam-Lena-the-Palmist guessing game, and now this pain in the ass wants to whimper about privacy when we're onto something even bigger than Tiger Woods, no thanks to him?" I don't even know what I'm saying right now and I'm writing this. Dewey says, "We're attacking, head on, all these false and pernicious lies about Tiger Woods just as soon as College Bowl season is over at the beginning of next year. Tiger's not an NFL guy." See, folks, when your client has that much money, he can even approach personal tragedies in a leisurely way.

Bottom Line and Where On Where it Stands as Far As Team Woods

So no big moves on Tiger's part until next year and they'll do everything possible to engender sympathy until then, no matter how many broads keep rearing their ugly heads. They want Elin out in public with Tiger and the kid, home girl's gotten the pre-nup amended to the tune of 80-mill-her-way with a downsized minimum of only three years, her having to stay. Did Tiger pay for a good lawyer for her, or what? So that's the tactic right now for Team Woods.

But on the Purely Human Side

I, myself, have been divorced three times and have had more cruel venom thrown my way than a snake handler. So I can comfortably put a human face on exactly how Eldrick "Tiger" Woods is feeling right now. When the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you're laying your head on that pillow at night going, "Ah, crap." This incredible Tiger Woods story jumps all over the place. It's just like real life.

Until then...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seriously Chapter 61: Tiger Update & Let's Get it All on the Table, Brian Kelly

Seriously Breaks Through

My questionable friend, Chris, over at the Los Angeles Times (he's on the Tiger Woods hustle for those bloated idiots downtown,) he says to me of gum-shoeing this story, "Tiger Woods has more Jews working for him than Bibi frickin' Netanyahu." And then Seriously retorts, "Check it out. The story's locked down tighter than Tom Thumb's asshole right now but this mamma jammah is only just getting started." And then the L.A. Times guy says, "Yeah, really. And Mister Woods, you might want to leave open the check book." Forgive the glee but, truth be told, Eldrick has a little bit of a history of being rude to journalists and is now considered by those of us in the infidelity business as a jackass to have left recorded messages or texts of any kind. Forget a schlub like me who's just out chasing stories, no skanky party chick would ever save a message or text from the most famous athlete in the history of the world. No way! That's not how you fool around on your wife. Take it from me, I've fooled around on three. I can be a drunken, disgusting louse when I'm not on the job, truly and it's liberating to be able to admit that in public and to all of you who have blessed me with your continued sports patronage.
But I did finally get my guy over at Team Woods on the phone today and he told me that Tiger's wife, Elin, was swinging a 3-iron during the incident last week. Apparently she wanted a 2 at first, but even the wife of Tiger Woods can't hit a 2-iron.

Cincinnati Bearcat's Coach, Brian Kelly, Has Told Notre Dame to Kiss His Wide, Rippling Ass

Never did he think he'd engage in such discourse with representatives of a religious institution, but that's apparently how it went when they offered him the coaching job, only two hours after firing Charlie Weis. But that will be a story, slash, set-of-fireworks, for another day. I don't want to cause Coach Kelly any publicity grief during the season. Hell, he's gonna be playing for a national championship in a few weeks.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Seriously Chapter 60: No Word From Tiger's Camp & A Phone Call From the Steelers

Memo to All: I Know As Much As You Do

From all the e-mails Seriously's been getting the last couple days (which are now becoming verbal broadsides.
Sorry, I needed time to think. Since my bi-yearly, intentional purging of staff, it's been just Seriously and Harmless Keith here at a large office and he's mostly occupied with keeping the computers, phones and machines running, me running the whole she-bang) It's obvious that a lot of you out there are overrating me as it relates certain vital sports scenarios. And while I'm honored by your confidence, let me be clear and up to date. I'm not anybody's go-to-ANYTHING on this whole, entire Tiger Woods story.
I know as much as anybody on CNN knows. Sorry, all. You know I love you, all 8,431 of you, but I'll be the first to tell you when I ain't got the rocks. Even on a normal day, Seriously wouldn't be able to get Eldrick "Tiger" Woods on the phone without at least a couple of phone calls. Right now, Seriously can't even reach his people, that's how thick all this crap is getting. But I can throw you some insight, for whatever it's worth, and tell you a little bit about the way it works for us here in the sports business, even for old-timers like myself. Like Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods is what you call a rare-air individual in that, as a journalist, you take whatever he's giving you and you shut your mouth, no matter how many years you've got in the business. In person, Tiger's extraordinarily courteous but he also likes it if you act like you're the one who's running out the door. And while I've had several actual sit downs with Phil (and what I'd like to think is a somewhat of a relationship,) Tiger's always been a chase for old Seriously. We've never had a sit-down and I'd never ask him. Homie is way too private. He's in the echelon of Magic, Michael, Larry and Wayne in that you just want to leave those guys the hell alone. They'll come to you if you stick around long enough.
Seriously will let you know what you need to know about Tiger as soon as I know. Right now, I'm sure, like any citizen, he's got his lawyers busy getting the accident scene in shape and we're likely receive more information when his lawyers brief law enforcement on how things will be proceeding from here on out. Stay tuned.

A Dash Of Sanity From The Pittsburgh Steelers In the Form of a Phone Call

When Seriously refers to "my guy" in any particular sports organization, it's usually assured that the contact is also a friend. But in the case of Cliff Rooney from the Pittsburgh Steelers, (who I've called Zipper since he was eight-years-old,) I'm not so sure. He just called to let me know, before it went public, that, yeah, the Steelers had changed their mind and are benching Ben Roethlisberger this week versus the Ravens, (six days after his forth concussion at age 28.) But instead of taking him to the verbal woodshed, like I should have, I could give a flying rip this punk's the owner's son, I didn't say anything. Even though I was completely, totally, publicly vindicated from my last conversation with him (which I reported on in Chapter 59,) where dude was rude and hung up on me, even though I was standing up for HIS player. Hut ever, irrational representative of a major sports franchise. Nepotism is alive and well, I see. But here I didn't say anything, not a word, not a damn thing. I just said, "Yeah, and?" And the little porker hung up on me, yet again. I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers, I really, really do, but at least Big Ben will be sit down for a week and maybe even two.
Still haven't heard a thing regarding the concussion policy from the Commissioner's office. I'll have to get on the blower.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seriously Chapter 59: Steeler Shame & The Game

For 23 years, I've been turning over tables and pissing in people's bowls of Wheaties, from the first day I ever got into this stupid, stinking sports news business. But not until today had I ever been the recipient of a threatening phone call. Now I'm a normal guy and I can get a little mean. And I've been threatened before and I've been threatening. But never have I been directly threatened (I know that makes sense because I know how you all know me.)
It like this, y'all - Seriously just got off the phone with the son of Steeler's owner, Dan Rooney. His name is Cliff Rooney but I call him Zipper because I've known the little smart-ass since he was a fat little kid. Well now, apparently, all he's got is a fat little mouth. Zipper's threatening death to my face (over the phone) because he heard I had the "galling temerity" to go public with my disgust over the fact that his stupid Steelers were starting Ben Roethlisberger this Sunday, six days after his 4th concussion at the age of 28. "For shame," Zipper snarled at me. "How dare you bite the blessed hand that's been feeding you!!? How dare you!!?" I said, "Fuck you, Zipper. On the sideline Sunday, your man was tweety-bird goofy like he'd been bopped by a passing truck." Now I rarely use four letter words but this chump was pissing me off. I said, "If that was your kid and he had gotten his 4th concussion, would you send him out there next week for a division game against the Baltimore Ravens?" Zipper said nothing and hung up on me. So I can only guess from that exchange I haven't made any new friends over at the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, guess what, America? It's not about me and it's not about the Steelers, they can burn and rot in hell. It's about Big Ben. I've gone from wanting him dead to being worried about the big lug. Anyway, I gotta go. Every time I think I have a conscience, it makes me want to run.

Roger Goodell, where are you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seriously Chapter 58: Kobe Says, "Lord What Fools These Mortals Be"

Though we do originate from Quake Town, we don't endorse the Los Angeles Lakers' brand here at Sports Seriously as this is a Clipper's building. But witness below, in case you missed it, Kobe Bryant's over-the-backboard shot last night against the Thunder. As my dear departed Bessie Mae would say, "Oh my, gidness."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seriously Chapter 57: Blake Griffin, Steady as She Goes

It Takes Time To Be a Super-Star

15 games into the NBA season and Seriously hears annoying levels of cackle throughout sports media, (particularly from the usual suspect idiots who supposedly run ESPN.com,) about the fact that number one draft pick, Blake Griffin isn't averaging over 20 points a game for this year's Los Angeles Clippers who, oops, sit only 2 games out of the Pacific Division lead. I'll take 16, 8 and 5 every day of the week, thank you very much. And clog-it-up defense all over the court and the decidedly-not-rookie-like play making ability. Not to mention that he's played the 4th most minutes in the entire league. As my dear mother would say "My God, Miss Agnes," what the hell else is the young man from Oklahoma supposed to do? Are you in the media to become a herd of jackals? As the Los Angeles Clippers are heard from in this year's playoffs, patsies no more and contenders for the O'Brian Trophy, the last thing anybody on earth will be worried about is Blake Griffin's points-per-game average which will likely top out around 23 come March. Don't worry about this kid. Just let him "do what he do" and witness.

Post Script

Seriously had a sit-down with Blake Griffin just yesterday but it ended up being personal in nature as opposed to fair-game, shop talk so I can't deliver as promised in terms of relating what was said between myself and the rookie. I'm just getting to know the kid, I met his wife, Kiki, who's a dish and a sweetheart, but he did promise we'd meet "another time, real soon." I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seriously Chapter 56: Marvin Being Marvin

My Sit-Down With Marvin Lewis

Cincinnati is Seriously's hometown, though he's taken to slinking in and out unnoticed these days, having created as many enemies there as he has friends (and that's just talking about his own family.) My love affair with the Queen City itself has never faded, I just have trouble negotiating around all the friendships/relationships I've drunkenly trashed in that town like a big fat idiot.

But here I was downtown, fresh off some scrumptious late morning Skyline, walking across the bridge to Paul Brown Stadium. Kirby, the Bengals' security ape, who I've known since he was a little kid, stomping on wax paper cups after Red's games, he gives me the usual third degree at the desk because he knows I'm wearing my Brooks Brother's trench coat year round when I'm working and they see it as a security risk, though I'm not sure if it has to do with concealed weapons or the fact I haven't had it laundered in years. Whatever, I love Kirby and the guys. So they get me to Marvin's lovely secretary, Becky, who finally walks me into his office, and there, fresh off the biggest regular season win in Cincinnati Bengal's franchise history, was the Grey Haired Teddy Bear himself, exhausted as hell but willing to talk. We get the family stuff out of the way, (Marvin even remembering the names of both of my ex-wives,) and we get right down to business. He tells me how proud he is of his men and how they fought and "how sweet it was to finally bring the gargantuan beat down on Ben Roethlisberger." Later adding, "especially with how many times they've put it up our ass, the last 5 years." I asked him if he was worried about Cedric Benson's hip injury and he said "no," just as ex-Kansas City Chief running back, Larry Johnson, walked by and poked his head in to say "I'll call you" to Marvin, having finished his work out and tour of the facility. Larry and I exchanged a pleasantry before he left, (I had met him in Honolulu in `06,) and I turned right to Coach Lewis point blank, asking him to comment "off the record-on the record" about signing the displaced/disgraced All-Pro as a back up running back due to long term concerns over the injury to Cedric's hip and the balky knee of super rookie, Bernard Scott, he of the fuck-you-right-away, 96 yard, opening play dagger-in-the-chest run back for touchdown against the hated Steelers. Marvin then proceeds to disappoint me, treating me like a pool reporter with the reluctant smile and the full froggy-voice run down - yada-yada, the team's needs versus what Larry could provide in a limited role, repeatedly referring to the All-Pro of 2007 as "the fourth option" at running back. I reminded Coach that I was slipping him cigarettes and treating him like the rolly-polly genius that he is back when he was a lowly, two-bit linebacker's coach at Idaho St. "Give me a break, Lewis." Then Coach closes the door and leans towards me, confessing how "nasty, dastardly" Larry Johnson had looked in workouts. "Who knew a rich guy could be so hungry, going after a job the way he did when we brought him in yesterday. The way he made his cuts, he was jumping out of the building, blowing up our practice squad guys. L.J. would have snapped his femur if we asked him to." "Seriously," he said, "give him about two weeks and he'll be catching balls out of the backfield and about four to have our system in his brain. We're not asking him to be Gayle Sayers, we're just asking him to be ready for anything." I asked about Larry's baggage, "him calling folks faggots and all." Marvin was quick to respond. "Hey, those comments have no place in the NFL and Larry's apologized profusely for that screw up. Everybody knows, or should know, that the NFL has a total open door policy with regards to homosexuality. How could we not, we're all men!?" I said, "Marvin, I agree. From my end, I've got nothing against the gays. I have gays who work for me and I love these goddamn kids. But let's get back to the team. Are the Cincinnati Bengals going to win the Super Bowl this year which, as you know, Coach Lewis, I have gone on record and predicted? There's myself and about 7,900 Sports Seriously followers who want you to address this." Sly dog that Marvin Lewis can be, he ignores my question and launches into a long winded explanation about the elaborate system he and the rest of team officials had devised to keep first round flop, Andre Smith, away from the dinner table. "It's a system of ropes, pullies, pad locks and an entire mobile kitchen that we hide. When we got `Dre into camp he was at 510 pounds plus a bag full of forks, whereupon he broke his foot on the first practice snap. We have him at 350 now and he's running stairs just fine. Andre Smith just needs to recover from that first contract and we feel very confident we'll have him on the field, easily, by the 2012 season." I could tell this interview was going nowhere so we dove in and talked some holy-shit,-your-defense for a few minutes and about how good Carson Palmer would be if he wasn't a one-handed quarterback. Then Marvin shows me a picture of his lovely daughter, Jenny, who is in college and I said to him as soon as I left there I'd be going to go have lunch with an ex-girlfriend, Shenae Foster, who is the daughter of Bengals legend and NFL Hall-of-Famer, Boobie Clark. Marvin knows Boobie, everybody knows Boobie. Then we laughed about a couple of personal things and he promised that he'd come see me at my office in Quaketown as "L.A.'s where the NFL's Competition Committee is meeting this spring." I said, "I don't know, Coach Lewis. I'm thinking I might be seeing you in February in Miami." He said, "Seriously, my man, from your lips to God's ears." Then we shook hands, said a couple good bye's and I was gone.


As I'm walking back across the pedestrian bridge towards my hotel near Fountain Square, I laughed to myself about the fact I was due to fly back in L.A. that night for my much ballyhooed interviews with Jamarcus Russell and Blake Griffin. But those sit-downs have to wait, I'm afraid, I had to cancel that flight. I was to go have lunch with a very pretty lady.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seriously Chapter 55: Attn.: An Announcement

Monday Sit Downs With Marvin Lewis, Jamarcus Russell and Blake Griffin

Tune In For This Remarkable Trifecta - 11/16/09

Seriously knows Marvin from back in the Idaho days, Jamarcus wants to reflect on his remarkable odyssey from "big fatty" to NFL star and Blake just keeps taking it to the hole as the Clippers continue their remarkable surge to the NBA's upper echelon. My separate sit downs with these three compelling and influential sports figures will take place as of Monday evening, November 16th here on Sports Seriously.

Make sure you catch it.
7,834 and counting. Thank you and God bless you all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seriously Chapter 54: How Deep in the Bench Can the Lakers Go?

That seems to be the question here in Quake Town as the Los Angeles Lakers toy with the entire league, so devastatingly good at 7-1 that they've taken to pummeling other teams even without injured front liners, Gasol and Bynum. D.J. Banga', from the far reaches of the bench via some damn place in Africa, even he is swatting balls into the seats and hitting bank shots from all over the place. It's so good at Staples right now, Sasha Vujachic is frickin' absolutely terrible to the point that it's not even worth spelling his name correctly, they're still playing him all the time and STILL winning by 24 points. NBA history is being made with this Laker team right now.
Seriously spoke with Phil Jackson today (on the phone, mind you. Phil only allows Seriously two visits a year as he doesn't like doing non-contractual media) and I tried to make fun of his good fortune and embarrassment of riches. In typical Phil fashion, all he did was smile and say, "We're just running Tex's system." And I said, "Okay, Professor Humble." Phil Jackson, goddamnit, is one of the smartest guys you'll ever meet with one the great laid back senses of humor of all time. He smiles a lot and is way too cool for Seriously (I'll admit it when I'm not in someone's league) but Phil and I happen to connect on the subject of music which is almost always a private subject for Seriously. So congratulations to Phil Jackson and the L.A. Lakers for their mind boggling start to this NBA season. While we embrace the Clipper colors here at Sports Seriously, sometimes you just have to tip your hat.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Seriously Chapter 53: Manly Stuff From the `Natti

This Is What Happens When Real Men Coach Football Teams

Going into Friday night's ESPN shootout against West Virginia, Coach Brian Kelly of the 5th ranked University of Cincinnati Bearcats has, once again, shown Founding Father-level, envious, John Wayne-ish character in choosing to start Senior quarterback Tony Pike, back from injury, over Sophomore Zach Callaros, a kid who's literally taking college football by storm. See the story linked below from my good friend Brian Bennett over at Espn.com.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Seriously Chapter 53: I Know What It's Like to Get Flack

Seriously never knew he engendered so much scorn. Maybe some of you out there can relate. I'm getting hammered from all angles by everybody in town after guaranteeing a Philadelphia romp in the World Series. And by "everybody in town" I'm not talking about the fans who have been nothing but sweet and supportive as hell, I'm referring to the jackasses who pass themselves off as sports news men or commentators in L.A., New York, Philly & Cincinnati.
But this is healthy for a boss. It's what happens in business when you operate without your normal staff buffer. You're outside the corporate cube and you get to see what people really think of you.
I'm out there covering the games myself, expending some shoe leather as I am want to do when operating with an intentionally short staff and people seem to want to take liberties with me, even when they know what the hell I'm doing. I've been doing the same damn thing every year or so (laying my people off) for the last twelve years.
I don't need to be out here, I'm out here because it's important that I do it. I owe it to all the people (7,103 and counting) who follow Sports Seriously and want to know what the heck's going on. What the real sports deal is, from the field to the locker room to the owner's box.
What makes the situation worst of all is that most of these degenerate, hack journalists are blaming me for their gambling losses. And they know full well that Seriously hates nothing on earth more than gambling on sports. To a true sportsman, gambling money on the games is an infamnia. It's like taking a dump in your own oatmeal. I do the ponies (holy schmoly how I do the ponies) but betting on team sports is one of the world's abominations, rivaling what's going on in Darfur. And yet Seriously could give you a list of 11 names from the world of sports right now, names you'd instantly recognize, who are crying, bitching and moaning to me about how I "promised!!!!" that the Phillies would win the Series in 6 games. It angers me to no end. Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times is like a 13 year old girl at this point. I've told them that the Series isn't over yet but they're scared and they know I haven't been wrong in picking the World Series winner since 2000, when I accidentally took the Mets. I understand the trepidation. When someone's right so many years in a row you're naturally thinking, "this might be the year!" But god I hate this gambling of money, I've seen it ruin so many lives.

Yes, down 3-2 in games heading back to Yankee Stadium, it's possible the Phillies could lose this thing. Seriously is a human being, after all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seriously Chapter 52: The World Serious

You Always Remember Your First

The first World Series I covered was an unforgettable one in 1990 as the Cincinnati Reds swept the heavily favored Oakland Athletics in 4 games. The day before Game 1 at Riverfront, I told A's starter, (and now dear friend,) Dave Stewart that the Red Legs would defeat the mighty A's a la David vs. Goliath. He laughed that Fu Manchu laugh of his, right in my face, and shot out his left palm which had the old Chinese proverb, "Are You Kidding Me?" tattooed onto it. How right I was and how wrong he was, (we chuckle about it to this day.) I remember drinking scotch with Eric Davis after he got out of the hospital. I remember the Bash Brothers and the impeccable preparation of Jose Canseco who'd actually have guys hit him fungos so he could practice bouncing fly balls off the top of his head. A young Barry Larkin, the great Carney Lansford, the Nasty Boys, Lou Pinella dancing on Charlie Sheen's pool table and Chris Sabo running around the locker room in only his jock strap, spraying champagne and giving fake blow jobs. It was a series to remember and the first of many.

And Here We Are on the Eve of This Year's Series

I can't tell you how much silence I've heard on the other end of the phones in the last few weeks in telling various colleagues and their outlets that this will be the first World Series in 19 years that Seriously won't be at attending on behalf of the Sports Seriously franchise. A drinking problem, an ex-wife wife walking around with a pillow case full of Oxycontin and concern for my youngest daughter, Chubby, have necessitated that I keep the home fires burning this year. But fear not, franchise followers, you'll be kept abreast of all the inside stories as I have people with both the Phillies and Yankees organizations.

From the Diamond:

As we head into game 1, you don't need a lot of mustard for this hot dog - the Philadelphia Phillies will win the 2009 World Series. There's too much pitching and a murderous line up. You might say, "Hey, Seriously, you just described the Yankees." But the truth is, nobody played better team ball this year than Country Charlie's Phillies and you combine that with their World Series savvy? It's not going to happen for the bloated Bronx Bombers. Seriously would be surprised if it went 6 games. Phillies in 5.

From the Grid Iron:

- Kudos to the powerful Cincinnati Bengals as they continue their unimpeded march to this year's Lombardi Trophy.

- A shout-out to the hated 5-2 Steelers who have Polamalu back as well as their mo-jo.

- Serious-level attaboy's to the Indianapolis Colts who seem invincible at 6-0.

- Drunken back slapping welcome backs to the Arizona Cardinals who seem to have regained their play of last year with a victory over the Gents. They're hosting the Panthers next week and lead their division at 4-2.

- Holy mother f-ing shit's to phenomenal New England who are now clicking on all cylinders at 5-2.

- Exaltations to the Bourbon Street Bullies, those `Nawlins Saints who are a perfect 6-0 and killing people.

Then There's

- Boo-boo's to the N.Y. Giants have lost two straight and fall to 5-2. What's a vet like Eli Manning doing making all those mistakes?

- Shame on the wretchedly excessive Washington Redskins at 2-5. These guys are lost and seem barely even able to complete the snap from center.

- Go to hell, Panthers, at 2-4. Y'all got a lot of good players but no poise and your quarterback is an abomination.

- Spare me the Chargers who are the weakest a 3-3 team in years. Losing Merriman has been devastating and they're a defensive sieve waiting to happen.

- Tears and sorrow to the Detroit Lions at 1-5. Please, your country needs you to win football games.

- Attention Rams, Tampa Bay, Titans, Raiders, Cleveland and Kansas City: Why, for the love of god, are you in this league? Chloroform, please.

Quick Hoops

The Los Angeles Clippers, despite losing the NBA's finest player, Blake Griffin, for the first 6 weeks, will still cruise quite easily to their 5th NBA title.

Stay tuned. I'll let you know about everything.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seriously Chapter 51: Philly is Silly

Not just because the Phillies bounced the Dodgers the way they did but how about those Eagles losing to the, uh, Raiders? What a week.

From the Diamond:

The Phillies Take the NLCS From the Dodgers, 4 to 1 in Games and Advance to the World Series - A Bitter Sweet Dodger Post Mortem

I was walking around an empty Dodger Stadium today, waiting for my old friend, Joe Torre, to finish the last of his final exit interviews. He and I would be having a sit down, as we are want to do at the end of every season, but I must have gotten to the stadium a little too early. Joe and I usually have this annual at Chi Chi's Room, which is a Cuban cigar place on Lincoln Boulevard, but instead he called me over to my old Chavez Ravine stomping grounds. Running into my Dodger friends who are still with the organization is always a thrill, and a few heads did pop out of some offices, but I must admit a touch of melancholia at how few people I even know anymore. There's nothing but kids with MBA's down there! And so many Asians. And no Tommy!! What the fuzz are the Los Angeles Dodgers without Tommy Lasorda? Though we don't endorse the Dodger brand at Sports Seriously, we feel like we're members of the Dodger family, with all the years of business we've done, and not seeing Tommy there was a heartbreak. But I digress. Though I'd had a twenty second conversation with Joe earlier in the day, him telling me to come down, he and I were about to be talking for the first time since the Wednesday Night Philadelphia Beat Down. Now I would never call it the Wednesday Night Philadelphia Beat Down to Joe's face but that's what it looked like to this reporter watching on a 64-inch with the ex-wife in his lap. Now the ex-wife part, that's a whole other story. Though Seriously has done some recent soul searching, as he always does when he cleans house of staff, he's not going to burden Seriously followers in search of the news with tales of bad broads. Suffice it to say that Seriously's personal life is volatile, every time I walk in my house it's like somebody rolled a grenade into the room, but that's not going to affect me to the point where I can't call a spade a spade as it relates to what I do as a professional. Yes, the The Los Angeles Dodgers got the holy, living shit kicked out of them but I'm not going to say that to Joe Torre's face, two days after it's happened. They don't make scotch old enough for me to do that to Joe.
I'm a habitually on-time person so here I was, planted in some modern leather contraption of a chair outside his office. I could hear Joe in there with Manny Mota whose beautiful cackle I would know from half a mile, Manny being a friend and one of the first interviews I ever did for the old L.A. Herald in 1981 when he broke the major league record for most pinch hits. "Cumpleanos" was the only Spanish word I knew at the time and he and I just took it from there. I was, later on, lucky enough to enter into a sexual relationship with his beautiful neice, Patrizia, who I'm friends with to this day, she's an attorney in Century City. So Manny comes out and we reunite. For some reason, he asks me for my card which was a little strange. While I'm not THAT well known outside the sports game, if you're in Quake Town and you can't reach Seriously than you ain't in Quake Town. But being the real and only Manny on the Dodgers, it was just Manny being Manny and he was of great humor and glowing countenance (and Manny Mota doesn't even know what that word means) That is, until I congratulated him on the great season he had. He just looked down and then off and I apologized for bringing it up. Then we shared a couple more jokes, he asked about my families, hugged Joe again and then he was gone. Joe and I looked at each other like - that's the one only Manny Mota of Los Angeles. A beautiful class act. So I go into Joe's office and we sit down. I've never been in his L.A. office, mind you, and this guy makes about ten mill a year, but this office was no more pretentious than the office I provide for my out of town stringers just passing through, looking for a place to finish some work. The only thing on the walls are two pictures, his late Momma Lena and Joe's sweetheart of a brother, Frank, a business man who heroically survived an extremely severe case of butt cancer. But that's Joe for you. While he likes the finer things, he doesn't need the big things, you know what I mean? That's why his office is the way it is. As soon as Joe's rear hit the foam doughnut in his chair, he let out a huff like he was spitting out a drink. It then became apparent that he hadn't slept for a couple days, especially when he told me so. In other words, the tenor of what came out of mouth in the form of speech was entirely congruous with the rings beneath his eyes which hung low, dark and tired like Brooks Robinson after a day/night double header. Yeah, I know that's bad writing but I wanted to mention Brooks and old school eye black, so kiss my ass.
While Joe was drinking his trademark Bigelow decaf tea and going to the can about every six minutes, Joe is a man of the grape and he and I have shared a few cab sav's in our time. Accordingly, it's hard for Joe to not laugh when he sees me, given our escapades of younger days. So sorrow aside, he still was able to maintain that low voiced jocularity as we spoke and he got business out of the way real quickly, telling me exactly what the Dodger plans were for the off season. "This team is close, Seriously. A number one starter and a couple of odds and ends and we're a World Series team." Then he mentioned Juan Pierre and got emotional for a moment and then I asked about Orlando Hudson whereupon he wept. The rest of the meeting was personal and I promised Joe I wouldn't spill the beans on the moves they'll be making in the off-season. Dodger fans just need to know that they'll be very pleased going into spring training next year as these deals are already done, folks. "I know this team can win it all next year." Joe walked me out of the office and we laughed as we shook hands again. We knew we were only gonna have time to run into each other about once or twice in the next year but as he said to me, "Hey that's enough."

The Angels Are Alive Against the Mighty Yankees, Down 3 - 2 in Games Going Into Tomorrow Night

While this ALCS should be viewed as a possible classic in the making, the entire series has been overshadowed by some noticeably terrible umpiring. Angel Dave is an alcoholic fan who's given great support to the Sports Seriously franchise over the years and I thought it appropriate to give you his unvarnished report on what seems to be an overriding problem in this series.

Umpires Officially Are Screwing the Angels in ALCS vs. Yankees!!
By Angel Dave

Last night's bullshit calls were an abomination to the game, the Angels and even...A-Rod. The Yankees are so good and playing so well, they would probably advance to the World Series regardless. Facing C.C. Sabathia and the Yanks' murderer’s row is tough enough as it is; the Angels shouldn’t also have to overcome shitty umpires who look like they've been bought and paid for. This is embarrassing.
Either the umpires here in the playoffs are incompetent or they’ve been instructed to give the Yankees as many calls as possible. Shitty, horrible calls for New York started in the division series with Phil Cuzzi calling Joe Mauer’s double down the left field line a foul ball when it wasn’t even a close. That was pretty darn egregious. Then it continued in, I believe, Game 2 of the ALCS when the second base umpire didn’t give Erick Aybar the phantom tag at second when he was trying to turn a double-play. Yes, I’ll admit that Aybar never tagged the bag but that’s never been an issue for umps — it’s always been accepted. Unfortunately that call was only small potatoes compared to the two horrendously blown calls by the umps in Game 4. In the top of the 4th, Scott Kazmir tried to pick off Nick Swisher at second with a spin move. The throw from Kazmir to Aybar was spot on and they easily had Swisher, no doubt about it. Swisher was called safe and he later advanced to third. Then the very next inning, the umpires were up to their same tricks and this might have been the absolute worst call of the series - In the top of the 5th, the Yankees had Jorge Posada on third and Robinson Cano on second with one out. Nick Swisher hit a grounder to Darren Oliver who threw home, getting Posada caught in a rundown. Mike Napoli chased Posada back to third and tagged both Posada and Cano out (Cano had headed towards third). For some unknown reason, the third base umpire called Posada out and Cano safe. Yankee fans will point to the fact that no runs were scored because of this mistake, so it doesn’t matter. Problem is, every extra out you give a lineup like the Yankees will kill you. What’s better to start an inning, Melky, Jeter and Damon or Jeter, Damon, and Teixeira? It’s a huge difference when you’re talking playoff baseball.... I'm just saying.

Thank you, Angel Dave, for your surprisingly lucid and appropriate commentary.

Stay tuned to Sports Seriously for NFL and NBA. It'll be everything you need to know about everything.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seriously Chapter 50: NFL's A Poppin' and Can't Talk About Lamar

From the Gridiron:

The Denver Broncos, wearing throw back uniforms that looked like a cross between a bumble bee and Designs by Charles Comiskey, continue to baffle every normal thinking person on earth as they moved to 5-0 on Sunday with another WTF victory. This time over a New England team that's still assuming, two days later, that they're going to win the game. Granted, it was played at Mile High Like I give enough of a crap about the Broncos to get the name of their new stadium right? but that was Denver's biggest home victory in years. Twill be fascinating to see the Broncos play at San Diego next Monday night as that game will be Norv Turner's almost-last-stand as coach of the Chargers. Look for the Bolts to win it out of complete and utter desperation.

In the AFC North, the Bengals continued their undefeated 5-0 "March to the Lombardi" with a shocking road triumph over the heavily favored Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh went ahead and brought a tear to my eye when they defeated our Detroit Lions to move to 3-2. I'm not even from there but can Detroit ever get a mother f-ing break? Not to digress from my AFC Report but I ask you this -Are we not Americans on this Lions dilemma? It's important for the well being of this country that the Detroit Lions start winning some football games. While I'm happy that Calvin Johnson's foot injury won't keep him out next week, I'm worried about Matthew and even more worried about Jim Schwartz and the team. I'll be having a conversation with William Clay Ford tomorrow and will report back. I'm sure you're as concerned as I am.
The Cleveland Browns actually won and went to 1-4 as they stumbloed to Buffalo a.k.a. Terrell Owens' Purgatory, and pulled out a victory in maybe one of the most boring, awful games in NFL history which ended up 6-3, like it was a Brewers game or something. With this game, Seriously cries yet again only this time for my beloved Ohio.

In the AFC South, Indianapolis did what great teams do in their casual dismantling of Tennessee to move to 5-0. This Colts team and the Giants are are only a game or so, and a few roster changes, away from approaching Cincinnati-level football.

In the AFC East, the Jets and That Mexican were dealt yet another tasty-for-us-Jet-haters defeat by the Miami Dolphins, a team that seems to have discovered it's pulse at 2-3 by playing good old sandlot football. Kudos to them for the week and perhaps this will provide a brief respite for my old prickly friend, William Parcells. It's just wonderful to see Mark Sanchez losing football games.

That confounding NFC West. After all the acclaim and hype, the San Francisco 49'ers hosted Atlanta and they proceeded to lay the biggest turd since Chris Penn ate oatmeal at Charlie's house.
San Francisco got beat something like 126-10. What ev's, `Niners, and way to go `Dre Bly, hot dogging it and getting the ball punched out of your stupid hands!!! Excuse Seriously's momentary outburst if you will. It's just that one of my good friends is a man named Barry Sanders who used to score touch downs and simply hand the ball to the refs. That's man-type shit where you don't do all that whoopin' and hollerin'. Where your actions speak loudest instead. But I'm not getting into that, not in the middle of my report. I owe you guys the news. Bottom line, up with Atlanta and back to the drawing board of respectability for Singletary's boys. Seattle has shown they can beat anybody when they have Matt Hasselbeck healthy. He looked brilliant sending them to a very-much-alive-in-the-division, 2-3 with a 41-0 pounding of a Jacksonville team that had won 2 straight.

The NFC Central had Minnesota staying 5-0 as they defeated that staggering war party known as the 0-5, St. Louis Rams. The Rams are so bad right now, them becoming the St. Louis Rush Limbaugh's would be an upgrade. Chicago is back from their bye at 3-1 and looks to continue their solid sans-Urlacher season with a tough test at 3-1 Atlanta. Look for the Bears to beat these tough, well-coached Falcons in a slight upset.

In the NFC South, New Orleans is undefeated at 4-0 and about to host the New York Giants in a true Clash of the Titans match up. Seriously won't be making a call on this game at this point because I haven't spoken to New Orleans coach Sean Payton yet. When I do, I'll let you know which way this game will go. That should come before the end of the week. Please bear with me. On big games like this, I need to talk to both coaches before I can make the call.
Good on Jake Delhomme for showing some of Tom Barkley's Guts with his fearless, possible season changing, first down scramble against the Washington Daniel Snyders who fell to a weak 2-3. Jake inspired his entire team, even Julius Peppers, and they went on and won their first game. The Carolina Panthers, even at 1-3, might not be dead yet.

The New York Giants are playing so good right now at 5-0, they make even David Carr look like he can play this game. The Giants blew ahead of the Oakland Abortions so quickly that they were able to rest Eli and bring in the failed refugee, Carr. Just like that, Carr becomes Slingin' Sammy Baugh, all of a sudden. Go figure. Hats off to the New York Giants.

Baseball Note:

They're very funny over at the L.A. Times, especially when they know they've gotten it wrong. They become very dignified and, frankly, that's why they've successfully remained in business for nearly a 100 years. It seems my boys and girls over there are trying to get back into my good graces with their headline in today's printed sports section. It read, "Freeway Seriously?" I ripped them a new one on Sunday, and again Monday morning, after they predicted that their very own Dodgers would get swept by the St. Blewy Cardinals. Had nearly their entire staff on a conference call. (Believe me, I always know when the department has their meetings.) It was both professional and ugly at the same and all they could do was nod. So this subliminal shout-out to Seriously in the form of the "Freeway Seriously?" headline is them saying - "we're a lot bigger than you but we also know that your opinion is what's up." Good job, L.A. Times. You screwed up your pick, I got it right and I appreciate your pointing it out. We can still do business. This is L.A. The town's big enough for the both of us.


Based on my visits to various pre season camps around the league, the Los Angeles Clippers are the finest team in the NBA and Blake Griffin is the finest player. This is all you need to know until the regular season starts. We'll be covering the season extensively, like we always do. You'll know exactly what you need to know.

On a personal note, I had planned on filing a report on Laker Hall-of-Famer, Lamar Odom's wedding to the beautiful virgin, Khloe Kardashian. But after talking with Lamar and his bride we agreed to keep the affair private. Just know that they're a madly in love couple, just getting their marriage-feet on the ground, Khloe is learning lines for a play at Lincoln Center in December and Lamar is fully focused on this upcoming Laker season. That wedding was a gas and a half, however, highlighted by an episode featuring Phil Jackson and a punch bowl. But no more, I promised Lamar. Some day, doggonnit, I'm going to have to tell that story.

Until next time, fly straight.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Seriously Chapter 49: We're All Set and Carson's Calmer

Playoff baseball gives me a beautiful jolt every year because I always forget that there will be non-stop amazing moments in every game and impossible will simply be the norm. A set of routine miracles have allowed the Phillies to rightfully advance past the Rockies and on to play the Dodgers. Though the Dodgers look completely unbeatable right now, Seriously still holds that murderous Philadelphia will advance to the World Series. Those bastard Dodgers will win games, however, and if Philadelphia's left handed hitters can't solve that one-two, L.A. Southpaw El Kabong? We don't even want to think about that. And another thing. The Dodgers need to please stay out of Philadelphia's bullpen until the back end, if you don't mind. These two things are very important. While Seriously is never wrong about these predictions, he simply gets crazy when he's even minutely close to eating his words.

The Red Sox are vile and God has worked in a wonderful way in making sure they were eviscerated by those California Angels who move on and bring their own special brand of National League-style baseball to the finals of the junior circuit. So what if you never use the word "finals" when speaking of baseball?
Less vile but still odious and bloated are New York's Yankees who very much deserve to be defeated by Arte's Angels. How can you not root for a team lead by a guy named Erick Aybar? Who the hell is that guy? Yeah, exactly my point.
I don't even know what point I'm making specifically

So we're all set. Dodgers vs Phillies and Yankees vs Angels. It's going to be wonderful.

Thank you for the outpouring

Seriously's probably gotten over 300 hundred e-mails and faxes (who the hell faxes anymore?) congratulating me on the performance of the Cincinnati Bengals. All I can say is, Marvin and the guys deserve all the credit. All I said was that they were going to be hoisting the Lombardi trophy in early 2010. Yes it was a bold and audacious call but I'm not drawing up the X's and O's, picking up the blitzes and completing the impossible passes. Seriously's well aware that it's unfolding exactly as Seriously predicted but let's give credit where credit is do. It's those Cardiac Cats. They're the ones who are out there making NFL history.

There will be a full NFL round up and a Blake Griffin/Clippers Run For the Ring NBA Update tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seriously Chapter 48: As Mel Allen - "This Week in Los Angeles Baseball"

Seriously knows every single person at the the Los Angeles Times sports department and
they should be using today's issue as toilet paper
what with them predicting that their own team would get get swept by the Cardinals. I know what it's like when you have a responsibility and have to make a call on a series, when it has to mean something. But memo to the mighty L.A.Times from someone who also has to make the calls. Professional competition aside - quit being so goddamn wrong. The boys downtown will be hearing from Seriously in the morning.

Believe me, I'll be on the blower

May the sweet lord Jesus please bless the California "Appropriately Named" Angels and carry them all the way to the World Series. We celebrate you for going deep-drill Jack Stryker on the vile and deserving Red Sox, you've shut the mouths of their bastard fans for yet another year. For that alone, we're grateful. Though I've only met Angels owner Arte Moreno one time very briefly, I feel like going Girl Text on the Angels owner. You know what Girl Text is, don't you? It's when you go xxoooo at the end of the message.
Thank you for kicking some Red Sox ass, Arte. I love you. xxxx000!

p.s. Dodger, holmes!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Seriously Chapter 47: I'm Usually Not One to Hang a Shingle

When you run a news agency like Sports Seriously, you're not just managing stories, you're managing people's lives. This is why it seems like Seriously has more personal time, more Seriously time, these days even while being shorthanded here at the office - what with my always-risky, semi-annual staff purge last week. While I miss my guys Most of my reporters and out of town stringers are either drunks, drug addicts or both not having to deal with various employee peccadillo's has proven most liberating in terms of time management. It never ceases to amaze me how seamless this thing of ours can still run with no staff. Granted, it's riding on the back of the old horse that brung ya, but still. I'm getting all the stories and reporting all the news and I'm doing it with just myself and Harmless Keith, the guy who keeps my machines and computers running. And Harmless Keith doesn't even count in terms of the games and coverage! Consequently, while there's no people, there's a crackle of splendid desolation here at Sports Seriously, maybe we're all the better for it and let me tell you why. That's just bad writing right there
Time and timing has allowed me to go ahead and reopen my sport counseling business. For those of you new to Sports Seriously, (6780 fans and counting,) Seriously's other life or the "other thing I do" is I act a Sports Counselor to groups of fans and certain select individuals all around the United States. Practically speaking, people need a Sports Counselor when their teams are losing relentlessly and they find that the emotional toll is affecting their lives and their relationships. (Cubs fans, Bills fans, people from Ohio) People need a Sports Counselor when their teams have it all and they find themselves not being able to move on from such a glorious time in their lives. Or, as one of my East Coast clients put it, "that frickin' life crescendo when the Celtics finally did it. I wanted to live like forevah in that world. I wanted that shit like crack." As cliche as it sounds, I've literally had to tell people, "Put the foam finger away. They've swept up from the parade. Your children need you." I do this counseling over the phone or sometimes I'll fly to a location, particularly if I'm presented with a distraught group. (A group being more than ten people. Crystal Carlyle at Axis Management handles all my group bookings @ 310.298.4044.) I've talked more people than you can even imagine off of sports ledges and sports edges, almost as if I were a member of some sort of emotional Swat team. I had a Sacramento guy, a Kings fan, call me who was sitting in his car in his garage, holding a garden hose like it was a Mr. Microphone. Husker fans, Gopher freaks, Cleveland Cavaliers basket ball. People are hurting out there. Those on the West Coast have seen me do this locally with our own Dodger Tony, talking him off his apartment roof. Actually, he could use a call from me right now. He's probably sitting in his bath tub as we speak. No matter the sport, people really love their teams and they take it very, very seriously. Sometimes, believe it or not, people just want to talk. They just want to be heard. So that's what I do. I feel blessed that I have the time now where I can open my door to the public and not just deal with selected clients here and there. So as a Sports Counselor, Seriously is open for business in case something's on your mind. Maybe I can point you toward a brighter day.

But back to what we do best.

From the Diamond:

The teams wait sentry-like for these playoffs to begin. Yes, poorly worded and yes, Philadelphia is playing Colorado as we speak, but you know what the heck I'm talking about.

Philadelphia stands poised to dispatch the impressive Colorado Rockies who, like the Twins in the A.L., are the teamiest team in the N.L. Philly is just too powerful.

The other National League division series is 8 times more compelling at this point. You have the juggernauty St. Louis Cardinals taking on the tattered, mentally freakin' flipped out Los Angeles Dodgers, owners of the best record in the league for god knows what reason. Comparing rosters, the Cardinals should wipe arse but it's only a 5 game series and the Cardinals are known to sometimes have bonafide problems with lefties. Seriously assumes Randy Wolf will throw a good opening game and if Game 2 starter, Clayton Kershaw, somehow pitches like he did last week, this series might be a classic.

Though it slightly broke this reporter's heart to see Detroit's Tigers go down, the Minnesota Twins showed us all the greatness of playing baseball as a team in their stirring, 12 inning play-in victory on Tuesday. Besides their catcher Joe Mauer, they're probably the biggest bunch of f-ing nobodies to ever appear in the playoffs and maybe that's what this great game is all about. That is, unless you're playing the New York Yankees who will now slice the Twins into Thanksgiving beets as if they were forgotten slave extras from the set of "Spartacus." The Twins went 0-7 against the Yankees this year and it will be a mauling.

In the other American League division series, the California Angels are yet another anonymous team but this one is loaded with spectacular all-around-type players. Will it be enough to unseat the loaded load of bloated baseball royalty that is the Boston Red Sox? God, I hope so. Please, Angels, please. I beg you. Sorry, a responsible reporter should never have an emotional outburst like that in written-public.

From the Gridiron:

In the AFC West, The Denver Broncos continue to win at 4-0 and they need to stop it. I understand that Kyle Orton is a future hall-of-famer but the rest does not add up. Even though the Cowboys have been NFL frauds since Tony Romo became quarterback, they're a quality team within their wretched excess and Denver's win against them was a for-real victory. I hate when there's even a possibility that I might have to eat my words. The San Diego Chargers are an awful team waiting to happen that has been emotionally demoralized by the demise of their once great running back, Ledanian Tomlinson. They seem finished, even at a mere 2-2. Kansas City is headed for another toilet season and the Raiders are too pitiful for words.

The AFC North features a marquee match up this weekend as the mighty Baltimore Ravens, at 3-1, host the team that will be hoisting the Lombardi trophy this year, the Cincinnati Bengals who come in at 4-0. Seriously and staff (which is nobody at this point besides Harmless Keith who doesn't count) fear that Baltimore's punishing pass rush will likely reveal the youth and inexperience of the Cincinnati offensive line which still sits minus that complete and utter slob, first round abomination, Andre Smith. Baltimore, gulp, might take this, especially being so p-ed off after losing that tough game to the Patriots on a dropped pass. Pittsburgh's Steelers are probably the strongest 2-2 team in recent league history as they seem to have rediscovered their running game with Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers, however, are like the Jets in that they should be destroyed as well. Cleveland, at 0-4, is just so very Cleveland right now. This hurts Seriously as it tarnishes the proud reputation of championship sports team play in the great state of Ohio.

In the AFC East, it was a thing of beauty seeing the New York Jets, 3-1, getting their rears handed to them by the all-world New Orleans Saints. Also a great delight was That Mexican finally playing like the rookie that he is. Interceptions, fumbles, stupid passes. That is how that rookie should play whenever that player hits that field. That is all there is to that. Their defense was still impressive, I must admit, which bodes well for the New York Idiots in the future. They held the Saints to 24 points which is like another team scoring 7. The New England Patriots are 3-1 and back firing on all cylinders after a fantastic, vintage-Patriot-like, 27-21 victory over the Ravens who looked virtually unbeatable going into the game. Damn Patriots. Unlike the Red Sox, this is a team you simply must admire. Miami and Buffalo, both 1-3, are teams only a mother could love.

The only team you need to know about in the AFC South is the Indianapolis Colts at 4-0. Payton Manning is Jesus.

The NFC West features this year's best story in the NFL with the San Francisco Mike Singletary's at 3-1 and they've just added WR Michael Crabtree. Yikees! Especially yikees if RB Son of Al Gore comes back healthy. Man do we love this Niner team over here at Sports Seriously. No real stars, the epitome of team football and defense, defense, defense. Arizona, after going to the Super Bowl last year, is a surprising disaster. Seattle and the powerful St. Louis Rams are dead in the water with 1 win between them.

Minnesota is a solid 4-0 with Brett Favre violating his old Packers like they were boy-whores from Thailand by throwing long, short, bombs, screens, underhanded...for god sakes, how many more ways can this man destroy other teams before we all accept that he's back to being old Brett and not New York Jet Brett. He makes everyone better though reigning NFL adonis, Adrian Peterson got held to 50-some yards on a million carries versus Green Bay and can now be officially be described as fumble-icious. Green Bay's Clay Matthews snatched that ball from his ass and returned it for a touchdown and no running back has more fumbles in the NFL since 2007. I'm not saying don't build a franchise around him, I'm just saying. Jared Allen is a monster anchor for Minnesota at defensive end and looks like the second coming of Howie Long. Chicago shook the blah label by burying their foot in the testicles of the Detroit Lions and going to 3-1. Hated seeing the Lions lose, denying them their rebirth, and am PRAYING Matthew Stafford's knee getting jacked will only have him out for a few weeks. Love that kid and know his family well. They're what you call good people.

In the NFC South, New Orleans, at 4-0 is a steamroller for you, baby. Just got off the phone with Coach Sean Payton and he couldn't believe they only dropped 24 on the Jets. The energy coming off that franchise is blinding, they're so talented. I used to think that that eff-ed up blotch on Drew Bree's face was a birth mark but it might just be a road map to the Super Bowl, instead. (Almost good writing there) The only thing keeping them from 5-0 is this weeks open date. Atlanta plays the most interesting game this week, I believe, against the upstart Niner's. The winner of that game will know for sure that they're for real. Carolina and Tampa Bay are turd teams right now. I look at Carolina as the bad team most likely to rebound but they simply must beat the terrible Redskins to be in any reasonable conversation.

The seemingly unbeatable 4-0 Giants had a surprisingly tough time with the abominable Chiefs and we've just found out that Eli Manning has plantar fasciitis and is day to day. While he's not Jesus like his brother, he's, at minimum, been an apostle (????) The Giants would crumble inward without Eli and if you know anything about plantar faciitis, it's only solved by extended rest and therapy. Though it's not playing big in the media (your present company excluded,) there is a dark cloud hanging over the New York Giant franchise. If Philadelphia can get McNabb back as expected, they'll be back in the saddle. Ribs are tricky, though, and word from the Philly locker room has him at only 70% right now. Donovan McNabb is one of the all-time tough guys, however, and if he can breathe, he will play. Look for the Eagles to soar again (cliche vomit.) Dallas and Washington, storied franchises that they are, need to go away.

That's the up-to-date on NFL football and yo, y'all,

Here Comes the NBA

Exhibition games start today and Seriously still has the Los Angeles Clippers winning this NBA title this season. We'll be keeping you very well posted on the Association. You're going to know everything and be able to tell everyone about it.

Stay tuned. And finally, I hate to get soft like this, maybe it's all this Jeffersonian thinking time I've been having these days, but Seriously loves you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seriously Chapter 46: "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and A Few Things

When you're in the presence of greatness, you really should bow. But I was already laying on the floor of my screening room so I couldn't bow as I watched Rod Serling's heartbreaking, "Requiem for a Heavyweight," for the first time just today. Jaw on the ground. If Mickey Rooney isn't the greatest actor that ever lived then I don't know who is. And that was opposite Jackie Gleason and Anthony Quinn! The movie was killing me and I couldn't understand half the shit Anthony Quinn was saying. I got tired of being asked about that film and as a Rod Serling devotee, Seriously felt derelict that he'd never seen it so he had Maggio, the guy who runs my screening room, set it up for me. I cried and I never cry. The opening scene through the camera camera's p.o.v. starring a young Cassius Clay as the upstart fighter who dispatches Tony Quinn? Gleason and Rooney? Jack Dempsey at Jack Dempsey's when it really WAS Jack Dempsey's? Julie Harris and Willy Pep? I'd never seen this movie and I lecture at and participate in symposiums on sports films all over the country.
Imagine that. Imagine also that I know or knew every single one of these people in this film (except Dempsey.) Sadly, Seriously's only experience with Mickey Rooney was at Dan Tana's one night in 1994. I was having dinner with Tommy Lasorda and his wife, Jo, and Mickey was sitting off at a corner table by himself with a big belly, a stained tie and way too many jack and sodas. Though we have friends in common, I'd never met him and I must say that I walked away from our brief conversation thinking, "Hey, this guy will talk to absolutely anybody."
Is it my fault I know everyone in Quake Town?

My point in all this being, you should know and admire all the great sports-themed movies and report on your favorites in case even I haven't seen them. And I've seen them all.
One of the blessings of having no staff around, besides Harmless Keith, is that I can feature all these up-close-and-personal things, like Seriously talking about sports films. Hey, shoot me. I'm not trying to go all Ken Burns on you guys
I just like to go off the beaten path, yo.

But back to the business of information.

From the Diamond:

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to stumble around while running away with the division at the same time. And as they're kicking ass, they've got tons of injuries, also. Go figure with this squad. It seems like Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Blake and Furcal are so damn good that nothing else matters. Seriously was sure the Dodgers would win the NL West and be dispatched early in the playoffs but now I must confess to pangs of doubt.
The Rockies seem like they're going to hold off the impressive Braves but Colorado has continued to lose it's luster. They don't seem like the divine steamrollers anymore.

Regarding the NL East, I just got off the phone with my old friend, Phillies manager, Charlie Manual. Sweet Country Charlie assured me that Brad Lidge will remain his closer in the post season despite his 11 blown saves and fans screaming for blood. Charlie said, "Baseball is exactly like war. Sometimes a commander has to make tough, unpopular decisions in the battlefield." Charlie says he's watched Brad and feels the vet will "lose the hiccups and rekindle that post-season fire of his." I asked what he'd do if Brad Lidge went out and blew the save in Game 1. Would he be the closer in Game 2? Charlie just smiled and wouldn't answer. Then he tried to jam some of that damn chew in my mouth. He's been trying to get me on that crap forever thinking I'm desperate to be one of the guys, but I'm not. I said to him, "That's disgusting, Charlie, I'm a journalist." And he said, "C'mon, Seriously, it's in it's own little pouch." I love Charlie Manuel, pockmarks and all, and I was lucky enough to have sex with his lovely daughter, Evie, a couple years back. I respect him as a baseball man and a person and I believe his Philadelphia Phillies are going to win the World Series.

The only issue in the junior circuit is the AL Central race between Detroit and Minnesota and tonight's bubble was totally burst as the Tigers and Twins were all set to play the opening game of their huge decide-it-all series but the rain done put the kibosh on that, y'all. How's that for a sentence? Detroit's up by 2 games with 5 or so left to play but Minnesota's won 8 out out their last 10 and is on Detroit like Charlie Sheen on a whore. This division is guaranteed to go down to the wire.

From the Gridiron

In the AFC West, Denver continues to evoke nausea at 3-0, somehow beating the mighty Oakland Raiders and their future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Jamarcus Russell. San Diego is a limp-wristed 2-1 after their whatever victory over the I-Can't-Believe-We're-A-Bill-Parcells-Team-And-We-Suck Miami Dolphins.

The Baltimore Ravens continue to be the dominating force in the AFC North. Yes, the Cincinnati Bengals made history by beating the Steelers, and the Bengals WILL win the Super Bowl this season, but the Ravens are a big time load of a team with no discernible weaknesses at 3-0. Regarding the team in Northern Ohio: If I can borrow from "The Godfather," the Cleveland Browns are "an abortion, Michael! An abortion!!"

The odious New York Jets, led by That Mexican, moved to 3-0 in the AFC East with their victory over the hapless Tennessee Titans. It pains me how strong their defense is and how almost fun they are to root for. On a side note, That Mexican took a dangerous risk diving head-down into the end zone the way he did on that sneak this Sunday. Right into a bunch of 300 lb. bellies and tree trunks. I would hate to see That Mexican get injured. I want him to get a beat-down but not like that. I'm looking for interceptions and losses. Okay, maybe a cracked rib. And then I want to see the look on those saliva spewing Jet fans. There's something exquisitely beautiful about the Jets and Mets getting their ass kicked. Seriously isn't that way about the Yankees and Giants and I can't explain it. It simply feels right.

The Indianapolis Colts, at 3-0, continue to make mockery of the AFC South. They went against last year's Super Bowl team, Arizona, this week and made them look like they were playing flag football.

The 49'ers are still on top of the NFC West at 2-1 after their dramatic loss to Brett Favre and the Vikings. It was a God-Damn-That-Hall-of-Famer-type loss that can happen to any good team as long as Favre has a football in his hands. The only possible long term danger for the `Niners is if Frank Gore, Son of Al, has a serious injury to that ankle. This is a tight young team that has zero spare weapons on offense. If Son of Al can't play, they're in trouble.

The NFC Central has the Minnesota Vikings at 3-0 and Brett Favre wasn't just throwing dunkers and screens like they were accusing him of in previous games. He was throwing lasers all over the field including that last game winner with 2 seconds left. Combine that with All-World, Adrian Petersen, and that defense? I don't knooooooow! Green Bay and Chicago are still iffy, even at 2-1, with neither seeming particularly confident and both having lots of holes. Detroit was a stand-up-and-cheer inspiration in winning their first game, literally in flippin' years, and Seriously has nothing but love for the Lions and the entire city of Detroit, Michigan. I loves me an underdog and all of you can kiss my narrow, white ass.

The NFC South's New Orleans Saints continue to Brees at 3-0 but Atlanta, at 2-1, has the look of a team that could contend if they can solve their problems on defense. Don't count the Falcons out in that division. Matt Ryan to Tony Gonzalez is almost unstoppable.

The N.Y. Giants are playing great football, though they bend too much on defense, and sit on top the NFC East at their own version of 3-0. They seem like a team that will creak and sway but still end up putting a foot in your rear. Philadelphia is a weak 2 -1 and will be in trouble if McNabb doesn't get back soon. His back up, Kevin Kolb, has thrown for a lot of yards but looks like an unravel waiting to happen and HIS back up, Michael Vick, is a guy who can run real fast, not a professional quarterback.

And finally, let me just get this off my chest. Seriously cannot stand the Dallas Cowboys. They're an unattractive, bloated mess and are the National Football League's monument to wretched excess. When Al Queda said they wanted to blow us up, it was because of the Dallas Cowboys, their stadium and those of their ilk. The awful Facebook poll that's in the news shouldn't be - should our president be killed? It ought to be - should Jerry Jones be killed? I know that's extreme and I hope it don't get me FBI Red Flagged but that's how this reporter feels and that's how he'll report it.

Cincinnati and Seattle are still on track to meet in the Super Bowl with Marvin Lewis and the Bengals hoisting the Lombardi in early 2010.

Stay tuned.