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.