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.