Friday, April 30, 2010

FEAR THE DEER. No, seriously. I'm scared.

First, let me say the following blog post is in jest. I've got mad respect for the Bucks, and I actually can't wait to watch the Hawks-Bucks game tomorrow. The Bradley should be rocking.

But ... I mean, have you seen this video?

Time to recap this masterpiece, mini-Bill Simmons/Ben Voelkel running diary-style:

0:06: Already, six seconds in, and your mouth is already dropping. Why are cartoony deer leaping out of nowhere (well, not nowhere. Bango was clearly standing on that rock beach in clear daylight, and for some reason this Hawks jersey-clad kid couldn't see what horrible collison he was about to incur) to tackle innocent bike-riders? And did Bango consider if there were young children around to witness this potentially life-scarring incident? I demand to speak with the Milwaukee Parks and Recreation Department this instant.

0:17: I think Bango's been watching a little too much of that Monday Night Raw stuff. A wonderful clothesline there. Nicely done on the whole backflip thing by whichever stuntman the Bucks paid 300 dollars to put on an Al Horford uni and get the crap kicked out of him by a goofy-looking team mascot.

0:22: Bango totally ripped that cake-in-the-face thing from clowns everywhere. Well, so did Rocky, the Nuggets mascot. Takes one to know one, I guess.

0:26: Love the other guy's thinking: "omigod, if I don't hastily rip this Hawks hat off my head and sit on it, I run the risk of having delicious dessert thrown in my face as well! I must act at once!"

0:29: Our first "did they just ACTUALLY do that?" moment. Where did Bango find a giant basketball like that? (Toys-R-Us?) And hey man, isn't this crossing the line? The guy's just trying to burn some cals. Maybe Bango was simply teaching him a lesson. Remember kids, never forget to attach the emergency clip to your shorts, or you might get giant toy balls hurled in your face by angry mascots who don't share your support of a particular NBA franchise. It's hazardous to your health.

0:32: And the flex afterward. Wow. Look at you, Bango. That ball probably weighs about three pounds. Muscle man, fo sho.

0:35: This part kills me. This frumpy Hawks fan approaches the Porta John with that "igottas---, igottas---, IGOTTAS--- RIGHT NOW!!!" walk. Then, for just a split second, she considers the notion of, "should I actually lower and defile myself by slapping my buttcheeks down on plastic that's touched God-knows-what and been God-knows-where?" before deciding that yes, yes it's worth it. It is nothing short of unbelievable that the Bucks hired the director from Superbad to oversee this production.

0:38: So the girl goes in there, and even before Bango comes into the screen, I think to myself: there's an 87 percent chance this Porta John is going to end up on its side in a matter of seconds. Let's see if I'm right.

0:43: Sure, Bango. I'll be vewwy, vewwy quiet. You're hunting Hawks fans.

0:46: More shenanigans from Bango: "Should I do it? Should I do it?" The operative answer, as always, Bango, is: duh.

0:51: DOWN IT GOES!! And there's the flex again. Clearly, Bango is a male.

0:53: OKAY, WAS THE S--T-COVERED JERSEY REALLY NECESSARY?!?!?!?! Are they ACTUALLY going to show this at the Bradley Center? Dear lord. I have a feeling this is going to end up on Pardon the Interruption on Monday.

0:55: Next scene: A good ol' beer softball league. Actually, it's just softball. I'm merely assuming there's beer in the dugout. It's Milwaukee. Guy gets a hit, and Bango immediately springs out of his catcher's stance into a full sprint toward center field. Pretty sure that's against the rules, Bango. I'll give him a free pass; it's not like they have a professional baseball team in Milwaukee.

1:02: Perfect takedown. E-8. This Hawks fan has got to be feeling the pain by now. Or if it's multiple Hawks fans...well, why the hell would there be multiple Hawks fans in Milwaukee.

(Is that two potshots in a row at the great city of Milwaukee? Yeah, I'm saying 'go fornicate yourself Brenner', too. Let's just move on.)

1:05: A seemingly harmless drink at the water cooler becomes disastrous for this backwards-cap-wearing chap. Bango makes sure to fly out of nowhere, tackling the guy and also taking out the water cooler in the process.

1:10: Man, I miss roller blading. I should buy a new pair of skates, just cruise around Davenport. But I digress.

1:12: Once again, Bango executes a perfect Ultimate Fighting move, rising into a flying kick to knock another fan out. What if the UFC or MMA leagues had bad-ass mascots like Bango? Would that enhance the experience, or just be really weird? I'm not sure.

1:18: Douchebag Hawks fan with a white hat three sizes too big with an arm slewn around his girl? Fine. The fact that a serial-abusing mascot like Bango is walking in his direction, with his right hand hiding behind his back? Slightly more alarming. This might be a good time to say, "uh, sweetie, maybe we should cross here." "But there's traffic coming." "JUST DO IT! CROSS NOW!"

1:22: Bango reveals a red Hulk-like fist on his right arm, punches the guy over the railing, where he lands in the river below. Because landing on the street would have been too violent for this video.

1:29: FEAR. THE. DEER.

(I do now.)

Have a good one.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mile High Musings: 11 Denver Points to Ponder

A banner day in the 303, if I do say so myself. Here are 11 notes from a truly Super Saturday:

1) Ubaldo for Cy. Ya heard it here first. I can't wait to buy his jersey in June (and name my firstborn son/daugher Ubaldo/a Champ Brenner in 2018). Throw in the fact that his No. 38 jersey makes it impossible for me to blow a bucket of money on the roulette tables, and my man-love for UUUUUUUUU is pretty much complete.

2) I've watched the 7th-inning replay about 20 times. And I'm still absolutely befuddled as to how in the world Dexter Fowler caught that baseball. Not quite DeWayne-esque, but pretty damn close.

3) A few friends from here in Davenport and from afar have commented on the somewhat-unfortunate timing of Ubaldo's no-hitter in regards to national coverage, since Saturday was the opening act for the NBA playoffs and featured that 20-inning offensive crapfest in St. Louis. Yeah, too bad he couldn't have the show all to himself. But since I dig on ESPN all the time, I must commend both the Worldwide Leader as well as for giving Ubaldo his fair due.

Special shoutout to for providing free live look-ins on big baseball happenings such as a no-hitter or walk-off situation. In Paris Hilton talk, "that's hot."

4) Yeah, Ubaldo walked six guys. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?

Look at it this way: let's say you often frequent the same steakhouse, and you're rarely disappointed. Then one time, you go in there and your waiter presents you with THE PERFECT PORTERHOUSE. This baby is the way steak is supposed to be made; it's the chef's finest moment. Now let's say the mashed potatoes are a little mushy; the asparagus was a touch undercooked; your water was a little too lemony and the waterboy spilled ice cubes all over the table because those damn pitchers don't know how to store ice cubes properly.

You gonna remember ANY of that secondary stuff? Of course not. You're remembering THE steak. That's why the six walks don't matter much to me. Nor does the fact that Ubaldo needed 128 pitches to get through nine. This was his shining moment.

5) One final note: anyone notice who was behind the plate for the no-no? That's right: Miguel Olivo. He's also caught the Rockies to a 4-2 record with a .348 average. Meanwhile, the Rox are 2-3 with Chris Iannetta behind the plate, who sports a .190 average. I nominate the new guy for full-time catcher. My patience with CI is wearing thin.

6) Welcome back to the Roller Coaster Otherwise Known As The Denver Nuggets.

Is this what it's like to date a schizophrenic girlfriend? Can't this team just decide whether it wants to be great or terrible and get on with it? Simmons writes the other day in his NBA playoff column that Utah has a better team, and in light of the San Antonio/Phoenix debacles, I completely agreed at that time. Now I think he couldn't be more wrong after the Game 1 victory. That Utah team cannot score with Denver.

7) Melo offered to Holly Rowe a parcel of the following postgame quote: "...we passed, we played defense..." I only heard those five words. Didn't need to hear any more.

This is an official request to the Nuggets' video coordinator to clip those five words, copy and paste together 100 times in one of those remix tapes, and show it to the Nuggets in their next team meeting until they get sick of hearing it. HAMMER THOSE WORDS INTO THEIR FREAKING HEADS. Pass. Play defense. Pass. Play defense. Pass. Play defense. They do those two things, they CAN and WILL beat any team on the planet. They don't, and they lose to the Knicks, the 76ers, and perhaps even the Butler Bulldogs. That's how these things work. After a nifty give-and-go with Afflalo and Chauncey that resulted in a Double-A 3-ball, Doris Burke (who did a wonderful color job on the game, by the way) pointed out perfectly on cue that in the Nuggets' wins, they average 23 assists; in their losses, 16.

This isn't rocket science, fellas. Pass. Play defense. Win.

8) The fourth quarter spurt is exactly why we're never trading JR Smith. We're stuck with him, or better or worse, through sickness and in health, until death do us part (a couple of 28 percent shooting seasons would do it too)

9) I have zero expectations for these playoffs. And it is pretty darn liberating. A lot less stressful. I wish I could feel more excited about the Nuggets' chances to put it together for six weeks and make a fantastic playoff run. But without George Karl at full pace, we're screwed. This spring of 2010 has completely, 180-degree reshaped my beliefs that NBA coaches don't matter.

10) So the 8th-seeded Avs were 32 seconds away from taking a 2-0 lead back to Pepsi Center. Expect nothing less from those playoff-underachieving Sharks. Either way, it's a great time to be a Denver fan. The proud Avalanche tradition is looking up.

11) Buh-bye, B-Marsh. We hardly knew ye. Don't let the door hit you on your egotistical ass on the way out. Anyone wanna start a "How Long Until Marshall Gets Suspended For Being Shenaniganalicious In South Beach" Pool? I'm in for Week 10 of the 2010 season.

Have a good one.


Monday, April 5, 2010

2010 MLB Preview, Part II (AJ's picks)

You Play to Win The Game! Divisional and Playoff picks

AL East: Yankees.......................................................NL East: Phillies
AL Central: Twins.....................................................NL Central: Cardinals
AL West: Athletics.....................................................NL West: Rockies
AL Wild Card: Red Sox..............................................NL Wild Card: Braves

AL Penthouse (best record): Yankees....................NL Penthouse: Phillies
AL Outhouse (worst record): Jays.........................NL Outhouse: Nationals

ALCS: Twins def. Yankees
NLCS: Cardinals def. Rockies

World Series: Cardinals def. Twins

Hardware heroes

AL MVP (ranked 1 through 5):
1) Mark Teixeira, Yankees. Impressive first year in the Bronx, and might only get better.
2) Carl Crawford, Rays
3) Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
4) Joe Mauer, Twins
5) Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners

1) Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Until he shows us otherwise.
2) Ryan Braun, Brewers
3) Ryan Howard, Phillies
4) Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
5) Matt Holliday, Cardinals

AL Cy Young:
1) Justin Verlander, Tigers. The guy’s so good, he’s gotta win one sometime.
2) Jon Lester, Red Sox
3) CC Sabathia, Yankees

NL Cy Young:
1) Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies. You heard me. Call me a homer. I’ll be the one laughing in October.
2) Roy Halladay, Phillies
3) Ricky Nolasco, Marlins

AL Rookie of the Year: Neftali Feliz, Rangers
NL Rookie of the Year: Alcides Escobar, Brewers

Best shot to win a Triple Crown, AL: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Best shot to win a Triple Crown, NL: Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Duh.

Other random crap we’ll try to predict

Most underrated team: White Sox. Nice overall hitting and pitching balance.
Most overrated team: Brewers. I dig that lineup. What Milwaukee calls a rotation or bullpen? Not so much.

Bring out the boobirds (top-10 salary team to stumble): Angels
Livin’ on a budget (bottom-10 salary team to thrive): Athletics

2010 Fantasy Baseball MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Until he shows us otherwise.
2010 Fantasy Baseball LVP: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees. Another year removed from, well, the ‘roids, and a lot of guys get fat and happy after winning the big prize for the first time. Is it out of the question to see a big step back for A-Rod?

Household name by September (currently unknown player ready for breakout year): Alexei Ramirez, White Sox (and, of course, CarGo)
60-day Disabled List by July (currently high-expectations player likely to miss 100 games): Josh Beckett, Red Sox. Dude has logged a ton of innings.

Biggest name to surface in 2010 season involving steroids (active players only): Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Biggest name to retire during or at end of 2010 season: Ken Griffey, Jr., Mariners. Could also see Pudge, Damon and Hoffman here too.
Is this the year the National League wins the All-Star Game? Yes. They’re due.
Is this the year Aaron clears the runner-up hump and wins his first fantasy hardball league? I friggin hope so. I killed the Roided Up! Auction.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

2010 MLB Preview, Part I (B-dubs picks)

You Play to Win The Game! Divisional and Playoff picks

AL East: Yankees...................................................NL East: Phillies
AL Central: White Sox...........................................NL Central: Cardinals
AL West: Rangers...................................................NL West: Dodgers
AL Wild Card: Red Sox...........................................NL Wild Card: Braves

AL Penthouse (best record): Yankees..................NL Penthouse: Phillies
AL Outhouse (worst record): Athletics............NL Outhouse: Nationals

ALCS champ: Yankees
NLCS champ: Phillies

World Series: Yankees over Phillies

Hardware heroes

AL MVP (ranked 1 through 5):
2) Mark Teixeira
3) Joe Mauer
4) Grady Sizemore
5) Who cares

1) Albert Pujols
2) Chase Utley
3) Ryan Braun
4) Matt Holliday
5) Ryan Howard

AL Cy Young:
1) CC Sabathia
2) Felix Hernandez
3) Zack Greinke

NL Cy Young:
1) Roy Halladay
2) Tim Lincecum
3) Adam Wainwright

NL Rookie of the Year: Stephen Strasburg

Best shot to win a Triple Crown, AL: Texeira
Best shot to win a Triple Crown, NL: Pujols

Other random crap we’ll try to predict

Most underrated team: Braves
Most overrated team: Mariners

Bring out the boobirds (top-10 salary team to stumble): Tigers
Livin’ on a budget (bottom-10 salary team to thrive): Rangers

2010 Fantasy Baseball MVP: Tex

2010 Fantasy Baseball LVP: Milton Bradley

Household name by September (currently unknown player ready for breakout year): Neftali Feliz

60-day Disabled List by July (currently high-expectations player likely to miss 100 games): Josh Hamilton

Biggest name to surface in 2010 season involving steroids (active players only): Andruw Jones

Biggest name to retire during or at end of 2010 season: Tim Wakefield

Is this the year the National League wins the All-Star Game? No

Is this the year Aaron clears the runner-up hump and wins his first fantasy hardball league? No