Thursday, April 15, 2010

Seriously Chapter 78: In Defense of Cowboy Joe West

When it comes to the sports detective/news game, I lived, I've loved, I laughed and I've lost. I've sat with the good, the great and the not-so-great. I've run a successful business, written a few things and my professional reputation is gold-plated. But I've also lied my way across half the globe. If I had a dollar for every lie I told one of my ex-wives, while sitting in some crummy hotel lobby, I'd have either "Sir" or "Lord" in front of my name. I've fallen asleep in my own front yard, only to wake up with a restraining order stuffed in my trousers. I've let people down in my life so bad - when my son was born, the doctor slapped him and he didn't cry, he just looked at me and shook his head. If only these were jokes, people, this is real
. See how therapy can unburden you? I suggest you try it, especially if you drink like a parched Pelican, like I used to. I used to drink so much, my friends didn't say "Hey, let's go to Seriously's." They'd say "Hey, let's go to Jameson's." But you guys, you wonderful people, you know these things about me, I'm repeating myself. I apologize, it's just that I've come so far.
My point is this;

One thing I've learned in life is that you have to take a stand every now and then, even if it's unpopular. That's why I'm here to announce that I am personally stepping to the plate tonight on behalf of an American League umpire. That's right, an umpire and an American League one at that. Specifically, I'm referring to a large, odious, hog of a man named Joe West; who those of us in the biz call, "Country." Yes, umpires are almost always stereotypically displeasing people and I'm all for ragging them.
Aside from my good friend, C.B. Buckner. That brother's like a brother to me. Ragging umpires is an important part of the game of baseball, it's as American as Mt. Rushmore. But I'll be damned if Country Joe West wasn't simply doing his job in publicly calling out the pretentious Yankees and nauseating Red Sox for stretching their games out to almost 4 hours each. He rightfully called their multi-hour taffy pulls "an embarrassment." It's about time more people said it and the Red Sox players and Yankee players can all go straight to hell; particularly that dickless little pip squeak, Dustin Pedroia who called Country's comments in The Bergen County Record "way out of line." Yeah, Seriously despises the American League but really, watching Andy Petitte stare into home plate with his glove up against his face for 45 seconds to a minute on every frickin', goddamn pitch is enough to make me throw up into my own mouth. Hey, Andy, it's the second inning in the third game of the season.

The average major league game runs 2 hours and 55 minutes. The average running time for Red Sox-Yankee games in this first week of the season was 3 hours and 40 minutes. And don't give me malarky about commercials. How many Red Sox and Yankee Human Rain Delays does it take to screw in a light bulb? Maybe I'll give you the answer around the 50th time one of these players steps out of the batter's box on every single pitch. Forgive me, Red Sox and Yankees, if I don't forego giving my sick toddler his medicine so that I might spend four hours of my life getting steeped in your tradition. I'd rather lose than acquire your respective levels of self importance. Oh, how I can hear my New York/Boston axis right now. "Spoken like a true loser," they're saying, which flashes me back to my Ohio roots - as in my teams losing all the time, that is. While they may have a point, Ohio people do always lose, all Yankees-Red Sox game are not the World Series. We know that every single move in baseball has strategic implications but you guys are ridiculous and I'm glad Country went public with it, even if he's considered wrong in doing so. And why don't you quit worrying out-loud about the impartiality of Country Joe West, Manager Terry Francona; you ugly, whiny, knock-kneed bean pole. Country Joe will stay fair and unbiased, just as he has for decades. Me, not so much. I can't stand you American League people.

Just so Seriously doesn't leave on such a dour note, thank God for baseball and thank God for Joey Votto.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Seriously Chapter 77: Those Two Great Ladies

Zenyatta Vs. Rachel Alexandra, Please Oh Please

In his dogged pursuit of a stable, sober life, Seriously's had to give up the ponies. I simply can't go to the race track anymore, even though a chunk of my heart is gone because of it. I probably spent most of the 80's and 90's dozing off at Hollywood Park; on my days off and, yes, sometimes when I was on duty (full disclosure towards amends). And even though I no longer attend, due to all the accompanying bad habits and lowlifes associated with said activity, I always keep up and I still love to watch 'em run. On the split-screen feed from the track, I always stay high but then look down low at the end for the close up; I just love to see the look on the horses' faces. And did I mention I love the smell of horse manure?
While the horse game is a currently like the boxing game, in that there's not enough superstars around, Seriously is still in awe that we're fortunate enough, right now, to be bearing witness to the two greatest fillies the world has seen since Ruffian. That would be the 11-victory, first-girl-Preakness-winner-in-85-years, 2009 Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra; and her counterpart, the undefeated (at 15-0) first-female-consecutive-winner-of-the-Breeder's Cup in racing history, that Lady-Leviathan-of-the-Oval, the mighty Zenyatta. Like Ruffian, they said she was too fat.
Rachel, with her famous splotchy face and classic bay body and Zenyatta; long, strong and dark bay/brown. Two beautiful, powerful, lovely girls simply being the best at what they do. (??)
Since the end of 2008, the entire nation has clamored for Rachel and Zenyatta to face off and they're scheduled to do just that on April 9th with the 2010 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The impact of this race is one that will reverberate around the globe and grind this very nation to a halt, unlike any event we've seen since the last great Jack Johnson fight. However, check this out: Seriously just got off the phone with Rachel's owner, Jess Jackson, he of Kendall-Jackson fame. (You know, the shit wine that tastes like ground-up cork?) Jess, fresh off an interview with my friend Marcus Hersh over at ESPN, he proceeds to drop a big fat bomb. He says Rachel's tune-up race this weekend in New Orleans (she finished 2nd) has left her "too exhausted to compete" on April 9th in Hot Springs.
Seriously doesn't know Jess Jackson, so berating him for talking to Marcus Hersh @ ESPN before talking to me was not an option. I had to let it slide. The fact that the cat's a billionaire wouldn't have stopped me from saying something, either. You know how I am, I've lived with kings and paupers alike. I just never met the guy before.
This wildly insane turn of events, the race being off, is burning up the wires as I write this and I want to update you on what's going on behind the scenes; because I care about you like family and you deserve to know.
For the last year or so, Jess and Company (and particularly his stable guys) have openly taunted Zenyatta's owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, about the fact that they won't have their pony race outside of California "due to the potential stress of such travel," they say. Some race people understand this concern, but others have called it, "The Fear of Rachel." Suspicions were also raised on two other occasions when Rachel's people wanted their girl to compete in a couple of Cup races out in So Cal but they simply couldn't get Zenyatta's schedule pinned down. But, too-da-loo, too-da-loo, now it seems the suspicion shoe is on the other hoof. With Jerry and Ann having agreed to send Zenyatta out-of-state to Arkansas, now all of a sudden Rachel doesn't have enough time to recover for a race that she's already committed to? (Hello, is this thing on?) Give us an injury of some sort, don't sight fatigue as the reason. We've all been around the game, we know recovery times. Don't try and shit the shitters. This story's heating up big time and if the parties involved don't watch it, somebody's gonna get burned. Heck, the purse for this Apple Blossom Handicap in Arkansas stood at $500,000 until Rachel and Zenyatta signed on; then it jacked up to $5,000,000. Now it's back to half a mill and a lot of people have a lot of questions. Including certain people involved at a certain level of influence who really don't like it when a certain level of cash flow is expected and then, all of a sudden, it's not happening anymore; they get extremely angry - and that's just the Methodists in Hot Springs.
I'll keep you posted on how this thing's gonna turn out. For now, Zenyatta's in and Rachel's ixnay. Wait a second - oh, look at this. A little bird just happened to message me and the little bird says the match up "is not dead at all" and we're just at the tail end of a secret, tit-for-tat game of equine chess, he tells me. A "tit-for-tat game of equine chess?" Whatever, Professor Plum in the Library With the Wrench. My freakin' sources, sometimes, I swear. Just get me the story, jackass. Get me the info and quit trying to write your way into my stupid life. Sorry about that but in my world right now I have to deal with issues immediately.
There's only one thing we know for sure about the race; the entire country is chomping at the bit to witness this tremendous clash of the titans. Not just because it'll be a great race - it will go down in history as one of the great American cultural events of our time.

So let the girls run. For God's sake, let the girls run.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Seriously Chapter 76: Sights & Smells; Vin Scully Is Exempt

The sweet din of baseball has returned once again, like an old family friend, your most favorite pair of comfortable shoes; or any of that other horse shit writers always write when talking about an upcoming major league baseball season.

Welcome to My World, Friends

Where good people with good intentions do every scribe/journalist in the business a horrible disservice by WAY over-writing the majesty of spring baseball.

Window Into the Sports News Business - You're Behind the Scenes Right Now

Seriously is currently surrounded, via conference call, by three sports media jackasses who shall remain mostly nameless. One is my guy at ESPN, another is the executive producer of a very serious NBC Sports program (and sadly a gambler), and the third is a nearly-retarded individual who runs the sports desk at the L.A. Shrunken Times. Even though a couple of these guys probably make more money than I do, they know Seriously's doing the talking right now. Listen in as he discusses what most sports writers invariably do in the run-up to opening day.


... Let me live my own Field of Dreams, writer
man. I can paint the picture on my own, just
fine. The saccharine angle has been done to
death and in words for more beautiful and
brilliant than anything you could ever come
up with, so spare me the sepia tone and just
tell me about the game, what's on the field,
what's going on in the clubhouse. ...

Some grumble, mumble from a couple of the gathered idiots.


... Forgive me if I don't necessarily care about
your relationship with your dad, and how you
used to go to Brewers' games together, and
have hot dogs and now he's on a breathing tube.
Hell, my old man was on a breathing tube
when he was dying, but he also had his foot so
far up my ass that it was tapping on my chin.
I hated my dad's guts. He kicked my ass and
smacked the crap out of my sister. Does that
make sense to any of you sons of

None of the other three says a thing, just the sound of sips from their respective cocktails.


Yeah, you all drink and I don't, and I know
you want to taunt me and make fun of me.
But all kidding aside; I'm reaching through
the b.s. and calling you to the carpet right
now, boys, so let me get this out before you
guys go in. You, the work you do personally,
and all the baseball writers you boss around
(trust me, I've bossed a few writers around).
The message to your respective people has
simply got to be, "Quit trying to evoke the
`The Boys of Summer' and get the goddamn
stories out." We got rosters full of guys, most
of them have to go, and there's a whole flippin',
frickin' season to cover. Hey, you don't think
I'm emotional or feel moved about the
prospect of baseball? Baseball season starting
once again is like me having my meds just
right. I feel a beautiful, golden hum to depth
of my soul. Seriously's a beaten down hack of
a sports reporter (half my life spent as a
drunk and a lounge lizard) but with baseball
in season, I can survive anything. But that's
not my point. I'm Joe Q. Public, just get me
the information.

A few other choice insults get passed back and forth and it's agreed upon by all four that Seriously has a valid point regarding spring training coverage. Then a few bromides of agreement are tossed, "Less syrup, more steak," and what-not, followed by a few "I'll bring it up in my staff meetings'," etc.

End of Conference Call

There you have it. I get in conversations about crap like this all the time because I care and I know you care.

An Interview With The Cuban

There's a 30 million-dollar rookie pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds named Aroldis Chapman and he throws 100 MPH. I've just spoken with manager Dusty Baker and I hope to be announcing a sit down with this Cuban baseball Jesus (who is blowing the lid off the Cactus League) in the next couple days. I'll keep you posted and let you know if Seriously will be flying to Arizona. The kid's minder is Tony Fossas, my old Cubano hermano, so I know we're going to get this done.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seriously Chapter 75: Closing Ceremonies - All They are is Dust in the Wind

Let's get the beautiful out of the way before anybody digresses.

Beautiful: Miss Kim Yuna, Skating to the Gold for South Korea.

Thursday night's vision of perfection. If ever there were a girl put on this earth by God to be a figure skater, it's this lovely kid and I hope to have an interview with her soon, me dealing out my pigeon Korean. I actually, usually hire Korean translators for stories. I don't speak but a little. I can't tell you how much I love Kim Yuna's legs and hips and the way she spins without sounding creepy and inappropriate so let me be more like a sports ticker and move on.

Beautiful: The Sight of Bill Demong (US) Crossing the Finish Line and Winning Gold

An amazing, astonishing triumph of the spirit from Bill Demong, also on Thursday, as he won the nasty, grueling 10K Men's Nordic Combined. Talk about slobber! It was beautiful AND triumphant, a memory forever frozen in my brain, akin to the likes of what you'd see in books like The Family of Man and what-not. Just beautiful.

Beautiful: The Canadian Girls Celebrating With Stogies and Champagne on the Ice.

I thought it was beautiful, frankly. Didn't like that they beat my beloved Uncle Samettes for the Gold Medal but, what the hay? Girls, when get like that, they're great to be around. So what the hell is wrong with it? They left it all on the ice, why not party on the ice, yo? (Yeah, too old to talk like that) What in the eff is the I.O.C. looking into? Isn't NHL Comissioner Gary Bettman involved in it, even though it's women? Isn't he involved in everything right now? I think Gary Bettman's involved in my mortgage and that's beautiful.

Beautiful: Steve Holcomb Captains the US to First Four-Man Bobsled Gold in 62 Years

Nothing's more old-school than bobsledding and you know how Seriously loves his old-school events; so imagine my joy, Saturday, watching Old Glory take its first Gold Medal in the Four-Man Bobsled since St. Moritz in 1948. And then afterwards, the tears in the eyes of the coach as he tried to talk about the team's victory. That was some manly shit right there and it was beautiful.

Enough Beautiful - The Closing Ceremony, I Never Get It

Seriously's been dispatched to nine different Olympic games' in his career (Yeah, I was in Lake Placid and witnessed You-Know-What) and I've sat on my ass in a leather Barky Lounger watching every minute of those few Olympics that I didn't happen to cover. And yet - even with all those Olympic assignments, the thousands of hours of watchful analysis, the awkward wording and structure of this particular sentence - even with all that - I usually never ever watch the closing ceremonies. I get so busy putting our coverage to bed, even running the whole Olympic apparatus on my own this year, I usually miss out on the whole pomp and puffery of saying goodbye. Every now and then, a summer Olympic closing ceremony will put a grip on you because they'll have crippled people involved and that always breaks my heart, but it's usually just a mutual butt scratch. A self-congratulation festival. "Aren't we so great?! Look what we did!" At least that's what the ceremony's like behind the scenes when you're attending or covering it. Watching it on t.v., I see it as well. "Ooh, aren't we cool?"

Why Wait to the Very End to Bring Up Hockey?

Let's get it straight. I wanted Canada to lose the game because I love my country. Good for you, Canada, you happened to win this time. Take your Gold Medal, enjoy. And while we definitely want you to send our athletes back home, please make sure you don't send your health care system along with it. We don't want your Canadian-style, Socialist health care system here in America and I fear this victory by your hockey team will be seen (by some) as a vindication of your policy, what with the robustness of your athletes and all. 5 out of the 10 most livable cities in the world are in Canada, yes that's true, but I guarantee you it has nothing to do with Canada's health care system! Know this, America, because you won't read it in the "lamestream" media, trust me - I'm hearing countless stories from a variety of sources, countless stories of Canadians falling over dead in the street during these Olympics because of their national health care. Not only that, the same drugs the Socialists in Congress would have us import at cheaper rates, they're dealing out a daily dose of death to the tune of (I'm hearing) seven people per day, just in Vancouver alone! Imagine, thinking you're taking your Lipitor and you just fall over dead. It's happening all the time in Canada, you're just not hearing about it in the liberal media, and it'll happen down here if we import these deadly drugs made in the US by the likes of Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. We don't want your health care, you're longer life expectancy or your deadly drugs imported from here. We don't want it!!!!
My patient and wonderful readers; as you can tell, I'm still angry, heartbroken really, that we didn't win the hockey game. Consequently, I'm lashing out a little. For that, I apologize. I just wanted my guys to get that one last Gold.

Goodbye, Vancouver

I'm sure the closing ceremony was a moving experience, an enduring message of peace, and you obviously did a fine job of hosting the Winter Olympics on the whole. A lot of my friends in the industry are packing for home as we speak and they tell me they're impressed with the great show Vancouver put on. "Kudos to some nice people" is what they're saying. However - and my ma will scold me for saying this because she has a Canadian cousin - if I never hear O Canada ever again, it'll be way too damn soon. I'm normally more crude, far more crude than that; but my ma, I know, will be reading this.

Baseball and the NFL scouting combine are coming up so stay tuned and watch as I'll be handing out information and dealing with a big bunch of problems.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seriously Chapter 74: Yes, Drink the Water In Vancouver

I've been loving these Olympics from the first moment, even with the roller coaster that was the first couple days. Yeah, Gretzky got hung out to dry when the arm wouldn't come up, but look how he ran outside and lit that other torch. Then the Canadian kid won the moguls, which took the monkey off the back of the host country, they could relax. But the kid from Georgia died, and that made me cry, especially that look on his face while they were trying to save him. I've seen that look before.

Uber-Uncle Sam

Seriously gets hyper-nationalistic and is a flag waving S.O.B. when it comes to these Winter Olympics (forever loving Hannah Kearney, getting us our first Gold,) particularly in a year like this when I'm on my leather lounger, eating low calorie meals and not covering the games as a journalist. I'm just a fan and glory be to that. I got no time for other countries. USA, all the way, baby! Yeah, our hockey team beat China 12-1. So f-ing what? Take it to the uglies, get them medals, kick some snow ass! Is that unappealing enough? Can you guess that I'm mostly watching the Olympics by myself? Here's the bottom line on wanting to jam the U.S. flag pole up as many foreign rears as possible. My own psychology and horrific personal/emotional baggage aside, it's the fact that it's cold out, they're wearing lots of gear and you don't see as many faces (as you would in, say, the Summer O's, though I can be a bastard on those, too.) The anonymity factor allows reactionary-types like myself to defy that which is the very spirit of these games. But it's all grand and wonderful, this "human drama of athletic competition."

Bones of Contention

I zone out when I'm watching the Winter Olympics. Or I'll get distracted on the phone with family, agency business or the morons who are my friends, calling me when they're loaded, fully aware of my predicament. Or sometimes I'll even doze quite a bit when I'm watching and let me tell you why. It's because of all these new-fangled events they have now and the way they seem to want to cover them, all MTV-style. (I'm making that last part up.) I know they want to hook in the young crowd but I'm actually not young, dang it, and I'll have to let these Olympic officials know through my purchases and choices. All this snowboarding crap? And the kid who looks like Carrot Top. What am I, an asshole? The winner of Shawn White's event should receive my old Laker bong and that's about it. Yeah, I got a little hitch in my throat when Lindsey J. got DQ'd on her event but, please. If it's not an old school Winter Olympic event, I'm really not that interested.
I'm also extremely saddened by the US men's skaters, how they all seem to move like women on the ice. Be a man out there and 86 the feathers, for the love of Pete. The girls, however, are perfect. I'm thrilled with what they're doing.

Thank You For Putting It To Bed

Thank God Lindsey Vonn's shin went the way of Dwight Freeney's ankle and she won the Gold. I was sick of it. She's a great kid, though, and it's obvious the man upstairs wanted her to win, the weather knocking the schedule around and what-not. As soon as I get back to the office I'm gonna to get that young lady on the blower. I know her and I know her agent, but she's hotter than the Olsen Twins in lingerie, right now, so I can't guarantee an interview, but I promise to do what I can.
These games from Vancouver have been a grand celebration to witness and stand as a testament to the best we have to offer in the world of amateur sport. Granted, the two Koreans taking each other out and slamming into the wall, allowing Apollo to snatch that Silver Medal, that was my biggest thrill so far. But that's just mean old me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Seriously Chapter 73: NBA All-Star Game Report

East - 141 West - 139 - A High-Flying Nail-Biter to the End

Much like this year's NFL Pro Bowl in Miami, sobriety, life and sanity did not allow Seriously to make it, or get to shake it, at this year's NBA All-Star game in Dallas. Yearly one of the world's great weekends. Parties and parties and funnin' with the honey's. Seriamente!
Seriously had a great time himself, back here in Quake Town. With Harmless Keith holding down the fort at the agency, I was home-bound, watching the game while connected to family via Skype. How wonderful it is just being a fan watching Lebron, Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh, Kobe being Kobe. And I was particularly thrilled with the NBA coming-out party the Clipper's Chris Kaman threw for himself with a cool and deadly, 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.
The big story coming out of Dallas isn't the re-affirmation of Deron William's greatness, we all know D and his talent, but let's admit we go to sleep on him, him being in Utah and all. The big story coming out of the All-Star game is how uninspiring, bordering on boring, the Slam Dunk contest was. As a witnesseth (??) I can attest to the fact that this once grand competition is in dire need of fresh creativity. Nate Robinson from the Knicks only won it because he's a little guy, getting way up there, and it is awesome, that's why he'd won twice before, but there's a need for new blood. The games great high-flyers avoid the contest for fear of injury and detriment to their teams and guys who are willing to participate were bringing dunks sorely lacking in the electricity of imagination. There was no Superman jumping over a phone booth, no vaulting of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Nobody blew the roof off the joint, nezz pa? And that's what you need for an All-Star game. Shannon Brown and his no-help-helper, Kobe Bryant, looked like they didn't even want to be bothered with it. With the All-Star NBA Slam Dunk contest in bad need of a makeover and a recharge, I hit the phones today, even though it's an off day, and got word to my guy in Commissioner Stern's office. We're not going to let this great slam dunk contest be diminished. It's a critical component to the NBA's All-Star weekend and it's an important event for the American people.

Stay tuned for baseball.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Seriously Chapter 72: Yours, Mine and Ours

Super Bowl Aftermath & Falling on the Grenade

While the Super Bowl did not disappoint, the football season on the whole surely did which is entirely my fault, for those of you who get your news here. Please accept our serious, Toyota-level apology for the way we at Sports Seriously handled our NFL Playoff coverage as an agency. Me, Seriously, I was a slouch with the agency's NFL coverage, the NFL Playoffs being so closely tied to a couple of personal demons I'm currently at war with. Drinking and gambling. It hurt me as a journalist to have to step back and not be out there on the story, slapping the backs of all the guys, (though I heard it was cold as hell out there this year.) And I know every inch of Miami so the Super Bowl would have been great. And on the other facet of what I do, I love my work as a prognosticator, the business of telling everybody which way the games are going to go. I've emerged from this football season, F.Y.I., with a certified, career playoff-winning- percentage of 82.3% via the MGM Grand spreads.
It's all something I love, the NFL Playoffs, and it's put a lot of money in my pocket. And yet I had to step back from it professionally. I couldn't really cover the games and I couldn't help you guys pick them, either. It was for the sake of personal sanity, even beyond my sobriety. But let me report to you the following - Watching the games, just as a fan, for the first time in decades was a joyous and joyful experience. It was like a big, fat continuous exhale. And the big game? Oh, my God. Just being an asshole in a recliner with some O'Doul's and a bowl of hot wings. I felt refreshed and reborn. Just watching two great teams. Watching the guys play. It reminded me of why I fell in love with the pro game in the first place. And then "Undercover Boss" came on right after the game which really made cry. Just being able to be a normal person, not running around like Mt. Vesuvius working the phones, not yelling at people, not getting yelled at. Being able to enjoy my family, even though it had to be via Skype for legal reasons I cannot discuss.
Super Bowl Sunday was great and I'm having a heck of a good time putting one foot in front of the other.

Stay tuned for Seriously's upcoming NBA Mid-Season Report, my interview with NBA Hall-of-Famer Darryl Dawkins and a link to probably the world's most unusual dunking contest.

Don't forget, also, next week means

Pitchers and Catchers

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seriously Chapter 71: I'm Supposed to Get Excited About Phil Mickelson?

The PGA's Northern Trust Open will be played out in Quaketown next weekend at beautiful, luxurious Riviera Country Club. It's a big fat party and I've been to the tournament several different times. Sadly, I've probably urinated in at least half the cups on the back nine. Seriously's shock is that he's received no personal invites to this year's tournament and I, for sure, have zero inclination to throw a tag around my neck. Seriously's buddy over at CNN Sports said he forgot about the Northern Trust and told me they'll probably sent a couple interns by with a camcorder and that's it. Along those very lines - my mother, God bless her, she's a compulsive gambler and she just called to tell me a joke. I was relieved it was a joke she wanted to run by me because I usually end up crying on the phone with her when she calls to tell me how much money she's dropped. And always under the pretense of "Son, let me tell you about all my winners!" She's 82 years-old and still doing 3 and 4 team parlays, the old bat, and it pisses me off to no end. But on this call, I was happy. She says to me, "What do call a hundred white guys chasing after a black man? Tiger Woods."
I knew the joke wouldn't play that funny in writing, you had to be there, but that's my ma so why don't you shut the fuzz up!
Ben Crane just won at Torrey Pines today so he'll have a head of steam going into Riviera and it'll be interesting to see if Phil Mickelson can repeat as champ, but I do think I hear professional golf singing, "Send Me An Angel."

P.S. On That Story

If any of you (we're at 9,271, officially, ) and I mean any of you ever find yourself at Riviera and you end up in the Turf Club, ask for Chi-Chi at the bar and tell him you're friends with Seriously. For obvious reasons, sobriety, stupid-ass self, I can't go there anymore but have Chi-Chi give you some of the "special port." Yes, that's encouraging drinking but I'm sure 105 out of a 100 of you can control yourselves, unlike your's truly. Enjoy.

A Straight-Up Mardy Pardy

As I write this post, I'm seated on a pretty joyous private jet, not mine, on it's way back from Mobile, Alabama. A business lady-friend of mine and I were guests of Mardy Gilyard, one of my Cincinnati homies, at this year's Senior Bowl played just last night. A grand time was had by all. It was just a lot of hot chocolate, love making and love taking. Not only did the North light it up, 31-13, but my guy, Mardy, (up from the streets and sleeping in his car with no scholarship,) officially crashed himself into the 1st round of the draft with a heart-stopping, MVP performance. 5 electrifying catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, 2 kick-off returns for 52 and a couple punts for 24. Minimal snaps, maximum effectiveness. Trust me. This big pretty bird has lots of people on it laughing right now.

P.S. On That Story

We know the Hall-of-Fame is littered with 8th-round draft picks but Tim Teabow as an NFL quarterback prospect? Oy, vey.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seriously Chapter 70: Comparing That Mexican to Joe Willie Namath?

Seriously received a call yesterday from Rick Seitz, an NFL guy at the news track desk of the Associated Press. I've known Rick for years and yet I was picking up on a distinct lack of familiarity in his voice. He asked me if I cared to comment on a Jets-related story he was busy writing, a story pertaining to That Mexican as "the second coming of Joe Namath at the New York quarterback position." "What do you see,?" he asks me. First of all, like I said, I was struck by his lack of familiarity. Not that Rick and I have been together in the trenches a million times but he knows what I do, I know what he does and we know each other from around. Not only that, my second ex-wife is his ex-wife's best friend. I told him, "I haven't seen him win a game yet, Seitzy, and why are you dishonoring and trampling the memory of Joe Namath with this article? And who put you up to talking to me, anyway? Who's pulling your string?" He hesitates, yammers for a few moments about reporting "the feeling on the street towards their rookie star" and then he all of a sudden confesses (nearly breaking down as a matter of fact,) that he'd been to compelled by his boss to pursue the angle and write the story, "no matter what." I was like, "What the hell is going on over at the Associated Press? I mean, I've heard of a puff piece before but this is down-right sacrilegious. Not to mention wrong on about 13 different levels" That Mexican in the same breath as Joe Willlie? Rick was gnawing at himself at this point and saying it was the fault of the new "Conglomerate Monstrosity Syndrome" where principles and journalistic integrity are often swallowed up and cast aside. "Do they actually think your readers are ignorant, with zero sense of history,?" I asked him. "It's all about generating new demographic eyeballs," he said, almost in tears. "They want the kids and what do kids not know? History. To them, Namath wasn't even that great in the game anyway because he didn't throw a touchdown pass." I went on to further chastise Rick Seitz's boss, an ass-whole who's name I won't mention. No doubt he had sent Rick to me for comment as a way of sending him to the wood shed for some reason or another. His boss knew damn well what my reaction would be. He wanted to see Rick squirm, the heartless son of a bitch. Ultimately though, all I could do was shake my head and thank almighty God, not just for you readers who are kind enough to follow Seriously and Sports Seriously, but for the fact I have my own independent news agency where we don't have to chase that corporate dragon. Maybe we don't have thousands of stock holders and bunches of millionaires walking around, but we at Sports Seriously do have our souls. That Mexican as the second coming of Joe Namath? Not yet and probably not ever. Sometimes, I swear, this business we're in makes me want to blow my stack. I'll talk to you guys tomorrow after the games so you understand why everything happened the way it did.

Stay tuned and thank you again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seriously Chapter 69: Last I Checked, I Wasn't Tiger Woods' Keeper

I Talk to the Same People I've Always Talked To, Where the Hell Have you Been?

The following does not apply to most of the over-9,500 of you out there who know who you are:

Everybody's bugging me, Blackberry-style, yet again, as if I have some secret, sacred inside info source relating to the current plight of one Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. This, when we see a story just today over at entrenched, slobbering, behemoth,, about how Tiger Woods is now a patient at a sex addict clinic in Mississippi. This, when nearly two weeks ago, Seriously and Sports Seriously as an agency had reported to you all that Team Woods was, indeed, an in-patient at a certain well-known Mississippi sex addiction clinic. Side Bar: May God help and look after Tiger, I hope he gets the help that I know (believe me, I know) he needs. Tiger, of course, will end up being the victim in all this, and the most victimized. It's always that way for the adulterers because we're the ones who've been so wrong and anything you throw at us is entirely justified because we're genuinely bad, awful people and have let so many down. "Die, you filthy adulterer,!! and that's coming from your 7-year-old daughter as a for-instance. I'm not siding with Tiger, I'm just saying that bad choices come with horrific consequences such as having your own kid saying a coached line provided to them by their mother. But back to what I'm getting at and away from raging, alcoholic ex-wives who won't get treatment and lash out using children as pawns. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! WHERE WAS I?!!!!
I'm no fountain of inside information on the Tiger Woods story, I've just got a couple friends over at Team Woods and they don't return my calls, just like the next guy on the beat. They do, however, reach out and throw me strategic bits of info which, in any other case, would qualify as dribs and drabs. Here on this story, they're like rare, precious gems from the orient. I've got media-types, guys I hate and who hate me, calling my office to get updates. Talk about starved. Here's the bottom line, Bozo Buttons - as soon as I have Tiger Woods info, you'll be the first to know. And also, the new me doesn't fret over getting disrespected and not-acknowledged for reporting stories two-weeks ahead of time when the, supposed, major media is just now getting around to it. I'll keep you posted.

P.S. On That

I hear if you get a picture of Eldrick right now, it's worth a cool $500,000. If you get a picture of him with another woman, it's 3 mill.

Seriously Has Only Called One Game Wrong in this Year's NFL Playoffs

Since gambling is within my cycle of addiction, I haven't been revealing who will win this year's playoff games as it would only encourage others to wager money they know they shouldn't. Sorry, again, to all of you who have contacted me for tips and I apologize if I didn't get back to every one of you. Thankfully, requests are down to a trickle so word, apparently, is getting out. Accordingly, all I will do is comment on the one's I didn't get right.
I thought, for sure, the Chargers would beat the Jets but the weasely, bastard kicker, Kaeding, enabled probably the biggest choke job in San Diego Charger history, which is saying a lot. Saying, "the biggest choke job in San Diego Charger history" actually exceeds saying, the biggest choke job in the history of the NFL. Jets 17 - Chargers 14. Good grief.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Seriously Chapter 68: Halitosis Through the Telephone

Sorry I Wasn't Able to Pull Off the Madden Interview

Seriously knows that a lot of you were looking forward to my sit-down with NFL Hall-of-Fame Coach, John Madden, who was all set to reflect on this year's playoffs including the games this weekend. My sincere apologies for that and I hope the e-mail cancellation reached you in a timely manner. John is in L.A., with the bus, but he's also a retired guy and he does whatever the hell he wants. I know he shot a commercial today and his publicist was supposed to get me the final word on a time but, sadly, I have not heard and, I believe, 5:00pm was the cut off. Such is the life of trying to land a sit-down with someone on the A-plus list when you're an independent, versus someone from corporate sports whore-dom. A-plusers, your Michael Jordan's, your Phil Jackson's, you Phil Nike's, they literally write their own rules and you have to roll with everything.

On a Side Note, Though

One of the junior partners at John Madden's publicist's office, a lady I've run into many times, who I won't name, though I should because she just got done blowing me off by not calling me back, she has the most terrible, awful breath I've ever smelled in my entire 30 some-odd years in the sports business. Her breath is so bad, you can literally smell it when you're talking to her on the telephone. And, surprise, she's ugly as a tree stump. Is that cruel and cold? No, it's the truth. You think I don't look in the mirror and see sags where the sags are? I'm spilling everywhere. So don't sit there and judge this here fella as cruel. I'm towards truthful, always. It's a big city, folks. The point is - this stupid nasty, lonely, beaten-down chase called sports journalism doesn't just take it out on the men. The ladies get it, too. Her breath is really God awful.

An Answer From When I'm Running Around L.A.

People always ask Seriously, when he's out and about in Quake Town here, "is living the sporting news life as exciting as it seems?" I tell them, "Conceptually, yeah, but as a one-man army, it's mostly a big fat grind, this business of talking to people and reporting on it. Being the whole shebang here, the chief cook and bottle washer, I'm out all hours, chasing stories, drinking too much, eating all the wrong foods, constantly letting the family down." But I do feel I've cut back on a few things recently. I'd say, all thing considered - no staff and what not - I'm doing an pretty decent job of providing a full-service, sports news agency to several thousand fantastic people who have blessed me with their solemn trust. Is what I do, interesting? Yes. Is it exciting? No. Because, frankly, once you've seen it all in the sports game, you don't get excited about things, you can't, you just get moved by man's humanity to man every once in a while. Such as what we're witnessing down in Haiti right now as we speak. Text 90999 or give to Doctors Without Borders, please. I did am I'm a cheap bastard.

The Clippers Will Still Win the NBA Championship

But I don't want to get into it. Just know that I'm never wrong.

Stay tuned and hold your loved ones close.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Seriously Chapter 67: There's No Crying in Baseball

It's a great line from a great sports movie and it's true. That's why Mark McGwire needs to fire all the lawyers that talked him into that insulting, manipulative, 5-years-too-late, Steroid Mea Culpa interview yesterday. It was a total disaster, Seriously's phone exploded as soon as it ended and the phones here in the office were going crazy. Let me tell you guys (9,471 and counting, bless you all) what I just told my friend over at ESPN only five minutes ago. First of all, how much more controlled and corporately schmoozed-out can you get than the setting which was this way-too-perfectly lit, sterile, sit down with
the pasty, self-righteous one, Bob Costas, who gave a nauseating, I've-been-paid-off-and-I'm-not-a-journalist-anymore effort. McGwire might as well have been interviewed by his mother. Yeah, you've never heard of anyone saying a bad word about Bob Costas but those people aren't me, I'm a straight shooter. So you know, F.Y.I., Bob is what you call your basic, secret egotist, at least he was the last the time he and I crossed paths which was at a Miami debacle in 2005. A rather major sports writer's confab, featuring important mega-media owners, where Bob played skunk, sticking his 5 foot 1 ass off in the corner when us writers needed him to step up to the owners of these mega-media companies who were trying to engineer it so we worked for goddamn free. (And I'm an owner myself, saying that.) Costas was loud, grumpy, lazy, unprepared and his face always looked like he needed to take a dump. And I don't even want to get into my professional run-in with him, I won't even talk about it. (It's just another story about a news guy drawing the short straw.) I'll tell that one another day.

But Back to Mark McGwire, For God Sakes

Bottom line, no one wants to see a grown man cry, especially one as unattractive as Mark McGwire who's face looks like my penis if it were injured by explosive ordinance, only with red hair on it. Now that is a graphic and rudely inappropriate reference but, I guarantee you, it's not a lonely, hack reporter's Freudian psycho-drama playing out before your eyes. McGwire really is quite nauseating to look at and the sight of him trying to manipulate us with his "heart-felt remorse" had me blowing chunks and throwing a shoe, simultaneously. I hope he DOES get to do his job as the St. Louis Cardinal's batting coach and I hope the media fervor DOES subside in spring training and he DOESN'T prove a distraction to the team. But I mostly hope his genetic-misfire-lookin'-ass stays in the dugout and out of view.

Kurt Warner, Kurt Warner

If no one can put pressure on Kurt Warner, the Cardinals rightfully sit as the team to be ever-most feared. Being borderline cryptic is as much as I can reveal within the parameters of my day-to-day sobriety. Fresh out of rehab and all. I cannot help you pick football games though I do know who will win each one. So far, I'm perfect on all the games but it doesn't matter, does it? I can't help you. I love you all but please stop e-mailing me regarding picks. I'm hanging on for dear life and matters such as gambling combined with football are triggering mechanisms for Seriously.

Mark Sanchez deserves beheading.

Simmer Down, You Red Leg Fans

Seriously has been on the receiving end of an electronic deluge from the Mid-West. Yes, the Cincinnati Reds did sign the second coming of Randy Johnson in 22-year old Cuban phenom, Aroldis Chapman, but a World Series win in 2010, this does not guarantee. They still have to play the games. I love you people, though.

Back on Earth

The newsroom here at Sports Seriously is blasting right now but it's still just Yours Truly running things, so I can take time as I please and reach out folks like you who make this whole thing of ours possible. Still no staff hired back but I think I'm chugging along just fine. Harmless Keith is here but he doesn't really count. All he does is answer phones and make sure all the computers and machines are running smoothly. But don't worry.

I'll keep you posted on everything.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Seriously Chapter 66: I Just Got Off the Phone With a Blithering Idiot

My first pro-football beat was in 1970 for the old Cincinnati Post when I didn't even have a byline. I was just writing stuff and giving the guys at the Post information about the Bengals as they were an expansion team and I knew everybody. In fact, that was the year I got my first big bones in sports journalism as I was covering the Bengals during their famous, magical 7-game winning streak. It was a record breaking streak and a level of play unheard of for a first-year professional team and yours truly had a front row seat. Not only that, I also had the pleasure of being involved in a sexual relationship with the sister of their placekicker, Horst Muhlmann. Those were great times and formative years. I was just a young nobody with a ball-point pen and a dream. Why am I bringing this up?
I'm bringing it up because it was also around this time that my career took me into the sphere of NFL ownership, where I met, interviewed, drank and smoked-with many NFL owners including the hated-but-great, Art Modell. Now why am I bringing up Art Modell? He used to own a team called the Cleveland Browns until he hijacked them to Baltimore in `96 where they took the place of the Colts who had moved to Indianapolis in `83. Art Modell, the man, was pure unadulterated class, all the way around. Even though we hated him and his team, he'd still compliment you on a nice pair of cuff links and when you asked the man a question, he gave you a straight answer.

The Same, My Friends, Cannot Be Said For This New Breed of Cleveland Brown Front Office-Types.

Seriously just got off the phone with an ass-hat of the highest order. His name is Keith Lerner and he's the nephew of current Cleveland Browns owner, Randy Lerner. Now I didn't call the Cleveland Browns to talk to him, Keith Lerner, who's position with the team is, I-don't-know-what. He called me. I had originally called their offices to talk to VP of Operations, Lew Merletti, who is a friend of mine, because I wanted to give my two cents on the Josh Cribbs situation which, as of press-time, seems to have gone way-far south, the Browns being on the verge of losing him to the 49er's. See, Josh Cribbs is their Hall-of-Fame-level flanker and kick-off returner who is currently under a contract, with 2-years left on it, which pays him $900,000 a season which, in real life, should be his meal money what with the level of performance he brings to the field. He is a deadly dangerous, All-World threat. Now maybe it's because they know we can't stand the Browns here at Sports Seriously, I don't know, but I never received a phone call back from Lew Merletti (which is a personal situation that I'll be handling privately.) But I did get a call back from an obnoxious prick who would have been bounced out of the organization in ten minutes in the old days, even if he were a member of the Modell family. This Keith Lerner creature invaded my cell phone uninvited and proceeded to talk about "how much I don't know you" and asking about my "journalistic credentials." I told him I was covering NFL games when he was sucking his thumb and holding his blanky against his right ear. I also told him to shut his fat mouth and give the new GM (and old friend of mine,) Mike Holmgren, a message. "Tell him he can sign Cribbs for less than market, right friggin' now if he's concerned about money (yeah, right. Every team in the NFL makes a king's ransom.) The kid is starving, his posse is crying. Pookie and Cool Breeze are still drinking 40's, two years into their boy's NFL thing and they ain't got shit for Hennessy. His moms ain't even in a condo. This is arguably the best football player in the entire National Football League and he's choking to death. So rip up the, fresh-out-the-MAC-Conference, contract and give the kid his money. You could get him for 5-million a year plus bonus money. Hell, Laverneus Coles' stats for the entire year were exceeded by Josh Cribbs in his last two games and Laverneus Coles makes 7-Million a year!"
I dictated the message, word for word, to this little prick and he responded with a smug, "I'll get it right to him," looking at me with a dismissive smile. It was the smile of an owner's son and this wispy jerk-off was only a nephew. The indignities one must endure in the acquisition and distribution of sports information. God of my God. But I did manage to have a little bit of off-hand, subtle fun with the Lerner lad. I said, "I hear I.M. Pei designed the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame there in Cleveland. Why don't you have him design a stick so you can shove it up your doppleganger ass." I owe that punk for nothing and I can't stand the Browns, anyway. All's I'm saying is that Art Modell is rolling over in his grave right now and he's not even dead.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Seriously Chapter 65: It Could Have Been Something

Alabama Beats Texas 37 - 21

While congratulations and all love and respect go out to my friend, Nick Saban, and his victorious National Champion, Crimson Tide, this old note pad would have loved the history that would have been made had Texas freshman, Garrett Gilbert, come off the bench and won the championship for the Longhorns. As it was, he played a valiant game, coming close in a losing effort, and you know how Seriously roots for them losers. You show me losers and I'll show you athletes with a ton of heart and eight pounds of soul. Because they ain't got enough talent! Don't get me started. I love some scrappy scramblers.

No Football Predictions This Year

Seriously's mother is a problem gambler who, sadly for all of us, just won a big, fat wad of cash tonight betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide. Good for you, mom. Put the stick down so I can come over after work. Seriously also has several friends who wager too much money on games they really shouldn't. I'm talking about guys with kids, gambling away the milk money. Accordingly, I cannot in good conscience put out anything in the way of picks for this weekend's NFL Playoff games. While I do run a sports news agency, my record in picking playoff games (including wild cards) sits at 117-34 against the MGM spread. I've been rated on Pick` as "Absolutely Sick" for 10 years when it comes to picking playoff football and, while I am a journalist, I've also lot made a lot of people a lot of money, including too many who didn't deserve it. But I've also seen guys BECOME sick as they bet on the wrong things, didn't listen to me and then tried and win it all back, whereupon they're out of control and they lose it all. All that in mind, fresh out of rehab and as a partner in addiction, I will not be telling you which teams will win the playoff games this weekend. I can no longer bear the thought that something I might say might cause so many, to wager so much, money that is so hard earned. It's the new me and that's a guy I can live with. I was put on this earth to report the news and tell a few stories along the way. So don't bet on the games, gambling is for suckers. Just enjoy the games and tell the people around you how much you love them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Seriously Chapter 64: For 2010 - Living, Loving & Learning

All blessings go out to the 600 or so of you who've been bombarding me with concerned e-mails and frantic-yet-thoughtful faxes. The events of the last four weeks have passed like a blur, like a wondrous blur of self-discovery. Now I know a man talking about "self discovery" is vomitous but truth is the coin of this realm and I'm giving it to you straight. I fell off the wagon, alright? Jameson's, Old Grand Dad and anything else I could suck down, I fell off hard. That's right - Seriously, the boss, the big cheese, the mover of men, the keeper of the flame, but in reality - the Emperor With No Clothes. Unbenownst to you, my dear and cherished fans, up until December 9th, 2009, I'd been in the sickening throes of a multi-month, Tsunami-level, one-man-wrecking-crew of a bender, the likes of which Los Angeles County hadn't seen in nearly a decade. Frankly speaking, even whores avoided me this time around and I say that with a head bowed in shame. I've reached dizzying heights in my time, had more success than any man ever deserved, made a ton of money, bedded more beautiful woman than Jan Michael-Vincent ever dreamed of, but never have I been able to conquer this cursed, infernal booze-bug of mine. I know most of you know my story, it's public. You know that by the time I was a fifteen year-old stringer for the old Cincinnati Post, they called me "Hitch" because I was the kid who could "drink the chrome off a trailer hitch." But I'm not gonna sit here and regale you with stories because then it'll seem like I'm fostering some element of glamorization. Booze kills and my lifestyle kills. Three ex-wives PALE IN COMPARISON to the wrath of the grape. I thank God I'm alive and I thank God for the folks at The Santa Clarita Center who took me in when I had nowhere else to turn. Yeah, at 10,000 bones a week but what do you care, cynics and haters? I'm trying to get soul-eating parasites like you OUT OF MY LIFE!
But I'm back now, fresh for the New Year, and I'm really looking forward to churning ahead so I can give you the sports news you have, thankfully, entrusted me to deliver. (Yeah, that's a poorly written sentence, I didn't say EVERYTHING has changed)
The departure of Warthog-From-Hell, Coach Brian Kelly, from the U.C. Bearcats to (snot and spit) Notre Dame, and the attending trauma that this caused for my family, that was the triggering event that led to what we in the booze-biz call, "rock bottom." And losing my quiet little friend from just outside Morgantown, Chris Henry, that didn't help Seriously's family, either. But that was the beginning of December and here we are now, friends. It is 2010 and I humbly ask, once more, for your sports confidence as I rise, I'd like to think, like a Phoenix, putting one mother f-ing foot in front of the other. There's football games to be played, the NBA's on fire and lookie right `round the corner, pitchers and catchers are coming. Yeah, WTF, I'm back. It's great to breathe again.

Stay tuned.