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.