Dec 8, 2008

Much like Rudolph, the Grinch, Charlie Brown's pathetic tree and drunken shouting matches over decorated dinner tables, holiday traditions are something to be cherished. It gives me great pleasure to once again present the updated version of the Christmas classic: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Toronto Maple Leafs edition.



Twas the night before Christmas in this Leaf fans house
Our defense is so shaky, we pray for Bob Rouse

Though not the most skilled, they bleed blue and white
Especially Mayers, though at least he can fight

The forwards scurry like mice, without the puck in their zone
And on offence you’d swear they had hands made of stone

With Ma in Leaf jersey and I in my cap
Lacking talent we just hope they can soon learn the trap

When out on the ice there arose screams through the arena
I sprang from my couch at another give-away by Kubina

Away from the TV I flew with a flash
Between money and Antropov I’d rather the cash

As the lights glistened down, on the newly cleaned ice
I thought making the playoffs, for a change would be nice

When what did my wandering eyes next behold
But a miniature Stajan who looks eight years old

With his tiny feet moving, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment this was no John Kordic

More rapid than Zezel, the new Leafs flew out
Their skating a bit choppy, like Sittler with gout

Now Blake! Now Poni! Now Hagman to the goall!
Vesa’s not Furh but there’s no Bester 5-hole!

To the top of the slot Grabovski, play strong as a moose
Just don’t hide from the action like Vinny Damphousse

Into the other teams end the Leafs flew
If Hollweg had a perm, he’d be Danny Daoust

And then with a crackling, I heard from the speaker
“It’s Costanza in a body suit, the ACC streaker”

When the game carried on, the Bud's started to falter
As Coach Wilson made a wish for a Podubny named Walter!

Their breakout in the third wasn’t fit for Wentworth Miller
Until miraculously they were joined by Dougy Gilmour, the Killer

He was dressed all in blue, from his head to his lace
And behind him Ricky Vaive, complete with neck brace!

Number 93, he had stitched on his sweater
His new linemates, Courtnall and Borchevsky had never looked better

His eyes, how they twinkled, his scars all healed up
With Korn and Salming on D we’ll surely raise the cup

His toothless little mouth, was drawn up in a sneer
Lanny’s mustache was on board, there was nothing to fear!

I see Iafrate, and Yaremchuk, quick go get the confetti
And the cherry on top, sweet jesus it’s Lou Franceschetti

Although Basil McRae, now had a round little belly
It was fine cause Pat Burns had paid Dan Marouelli

As the action began, Stumpy Thomas was flying
Wendel wristed one home without even trying

Into the slot Eddy O floated a wonderful pass
Here comes the one-timer from Gaston Gingras

The blue and white old and new, were getting it done
You could tell by their smiles, they were just having fun

As the seconds ticked down, the cup soon would be ours
Until I felt the result, of those 10 whiskey sours

My mind was still spinning, my eyes filled with dread
I was dreaming and worse, I had just pissed the bed

As Christmas Eve passed, the truth finally sunk
If the Buds win the cup you’re either asleep or your drunk

When banished to the couch, I put up nary a fight
As I screamed to the heavens, F the Leafs and GOOD NIGHT



Merry Christmas everyone, and stay tuned for my Ali-like return to the blogging ring in 2009.

Mar 17, 2008

TAMING THE TIGER

Question. Was there a single person watching Tiger drain the tournament winning, 25-foot birdie putt at the last hole of the Arnold Palmer Invitational who thought, "I didn't see that coming"? Despite the lame celebration (hat throw?), awkward high five and rapidly receding hairline, Tiger's brilliance once again left me looking like Randall P. McMurphy after a full frontal lobotomy.

Regardless of your opinion on golf, you have to be awestruck by the unbridled assault on history and routine dominance currently on display by one Eldrick Tiger Woods. In any profession, from painter to circus clown, whenever you say a person is “the greatest ever”, it warrants increased attention, but what Tiger is doing right now is other-worldly. While I’m not willing to follow in his father’s footsteps and say Tiger will be as important as Ghandi, there is no disputing that right now, Woods is a global icon and the most dominant athlete in world.

Let’s take a brief glimpse at some of his recent statistics.

-This past weekends thrilling victory was his sixth in a row
-He has won seven of his last eight, and seventeen of his last thirty-one events in the past two years
-With the latest win his career total is at sixty-four, tying Ben Hogan

I could go on and on with the accolades and rhetoric on greatness but I’d much rather focus on the exceptionally sparse analysis dedicated to stopping the club swinging juggernaut. We have seen course designers lengthen holes and narrow fairways in an effort to stifle El Tigre’s dominance, but each time these tweaks are mauled like a box of Twinkies at fat camp. Drastic times call for drastic measures, so despite the trepidation and apprehension these ideas are sure to invoke, I submit them as the only possible alternatives for “Tiger-proofing” your golf course.

Rabid Dog-Legs
Tiger’s masterful draws and fades can turn even the nastiest dog-legs into cowering puppies. Each swing of his club is like and artist’s stroke, culminating in an eighteen hole masterpiece for all to behold. So how do you flap the unflappable? I would start with rabid dog-legs. Each hole featuring a left or right dog-leg turn will also be accompanied by rabid dogs. Obviously you can’t just have rabid dogs running around the course biting people, so they would have to be well fastened to ground anchors but if Tiger’s ball mingles too closely to the fringe, he’ll have frothy-jawed Pitbulls and Rottweilers nipping at his Nike’s. Then we’ll see what kind of focus he really has.



Quicksand Traps
For Tiger, playing the ball off sand has all the stress and difficulty of a day at the beach. With his supreme touch and blazing club speed, it almost seems like he’s throwing the ball out of the trap. I have a strong hunch that would change however, if he also had to contend with the notion of being asphyxiated by mouthfuls of sand particles. The ball doesn’t have enough weight to sink in the quicksand, but at close to 190 pounds, Tiger would have only seconds before being swallowed up quicker than a John Daly Gin & Tonic.



We All Scream For Ice Greens
There is nothing more immaculate than watching Tiger crush a high-arching wedge or 9-iron that lands four feet past the flag and then moonwalks to within spitting distance of the hole. To neutralize this facet of his game, and increase the likelihood of the occasional five-putt, I suggest throwing in the odd “ice-green”. The refrigeration systems available these days are truly groundbreaking and it would not be overly difficult to cover the putting surface with a shimmering layer of ice. With next to no footing and the slickest surface since Sergio Garcia’s greasy hair, the indomitable Tiger would start looking less like a carnivorous predator, and more like a wobbly-kneed Bambi.



Vinny and His “Out of Bounds Two-by-Four”
No golfer wants to hit the ball out of bounds. An O.B. means you’re penalized a stroke and you run the risk of hitting some poor spectator in the brain. With Vinny standing beside you on the tee-block however, those aren’t the only repercussions faced when your adventurous ball strays from its intended flight plan. Vinny is in the garbage business, but when he’s not taking out the trash, he’s keeping a keen eye on Tiger’s ball. If any shots wind up out of bounds, Vinny plays pinata on Tiger’s kneecaps with his wooden rule enforcer. Not only does this severe penalty stroke hinder future swings, the mere thought of Vinny and his imposing two-by-four can put the yips into even the most perfect of swings.



As we’ve seen, the near immortal Tiger Woods can only be stopped by schemes that would make a James Bond villain giddy. The only certainty right now is if changes aren’t made soon, Tiger will not only own every record in golf, he may also own the moniker “greatest athlete ever”. Maybe Earl Woods was right all along.

So what changes would you make to a golf course to slow Tiger down???

Jan 29, 2008

Let Me Make This Brief

Kansas Football Coach Mark Mangino was in hospital recently for some routine tests and early indications were that the rotund play-caller was in fine health and would soon be returning to work. Doctors did say the one potential danger Mangino may face in the future would be from a lack of potential donors if he ever required a blood transfusion. Unfortunately for Mangino, not many other humans have the blood-type “Gravy”.



One of the worst kept secrets in the NBA was let out of the bag yesterday when it was finally revealed that Net’s triple-double magnet and serial groper Jason Kidd wants to be traded. Kidd is clearly still one of the most talented and productive playmakers in the game and should garner a hefty package of players for New Jersey.

Chances are Kidd will be traded shortly after the all-star break, unless he takes the advice of teammate Vince Carter who proposed he just “stop trying until they have to trade you”, or his wife who suggested he “go screw himself”.

The biggest stumbling block for any deal appears to be trying to fit Kidd’s son’s gargantuan head under the salary cap.



You know you missed me.

Dec 3, 2007


The 5th down is a collection of thoughts from the weekends NFL action.

In the great Brady versus Manning QB debate, I've always been pro Tom. He's worked his magic with a less than spectacular cast, he's been clutch in big games, and he impregnates super models (even if they border on man-ish). Manning always struck me as a whiny dork.
Today however marks a changing of the guard as I am now fully on board the Peyton train. It probably started when I saw Brady on the sidelines a few weeks ago, with his team up by at least 40 points, berating an official over a non-call. Say what you will about killer instinct blah de fuckin blah, dude, you've gotta lighten up a bit and enjoy yourself. That being said, the main determining factor in my conversion is the Peyton pep-talk commercials. Funny shit.

A rejuvenated Shawne Merriman recorded three sacks against the Chiefs Sunday. This means there is a good chance he pulled a Steve Lattimer and got back on the juice after getting stuck like a Christmas ham by super flyweight Maurice Jones Drew a few weeks back. Better living through chemistry indeed.

The suddenly streaking Ram's beat the Falcons despite a valiant effort from Chris Redman who replaced Joey Harrington after he played like Joey Harrington. Just a thought, but if Chris Redman played for the Chiefs, would it be the same as John Wayne playing for the Cowboys?

How do thy Dolphins suck, let me count the ways. On second thought, I don't think we'll have time. Enjoy the winless season and the best slogan for the 2008/09 season. "Miami Dolphin Football: It's not like we can be any fuckin' worse"!!

Purple Hey-Zeus and the Vikes neutered the free falling Lions. The highlight of the game was not the 100 + yard kick return for a touchdown, but the obscene move "the Jesus" put on a Detroit linebacker. I'm sure you'll see it a dozen times on highlights but I'll put it this way, despite the two men being almost face to face, Peterson made his move and would have scored even if they were playing touch football. My knee's buckled and I was sitting on the couch just watching it.

I had the pleasure of watching the Philly-Seattle game and by pleasure I mean it was like a barbed wire colonoscopy. AJ Feeley was horrific. Granted, the weather wasn't great but it would be a gross understatement to describe his passes as inaccurate. A far better description would be "projectile leather vomit". I'm not even exaggerating. On at least two of the picks he threw to the Samoan kid, Lofa Tatupu, it was if he was playing with one of those visionless helmets that Ben Kenobi trained Luke Skywalker with. It is fairly safe to assume the force does not run strong in AJ Feeley.

It did allow me to create my Samoan football Sunday name. "Tua-Longa Lofa Onasofa"

The only thing remotely as disturbing as watching Feeley impersonate Ray Charles was the play calling of Andy Reid. Let me get this straight Andy, you have the top running back in the league to hand the ball to, but on 3rd and one you're giving AJ Feeley the green light to throw? At this point, either of Andy's strung-out kids, hell even a coked-out Tara Reid, would probably manage the game better. The only thing I can possibly fathom is that Andy is doing everything in his power to get fired a la George Costanza with the Yankees (wiping his strawberry stained fingers all over a vintage Babe Ruth uniform).

Either that or his kid's hot-boxed the car before dropping Dad off at the stadium.



It's not like things weren't dismal enough for the Washington Redskins. First, their teammate, friend and defensive linchpin is senselessly gunned down in a botched robbery. Then, to rub salt, grain alcohol and Tabasco in the open wound, their dim-witted, elderly head coach gift wraps the game for Buffalo. Despite coaching for close to 89 years, it seems Gibbs wasn't a huge fan of the little things, like learning the rules.

Senile old Joe must have heard all the hip young coaches had taken to "icing" kickers prior to a big field goal so Gibbs decided he'd join the club. The problem is, he figured it was such a great idea he'd do it again. Unfortunately, the rules clearly indicate this is a penalty of the 15 yard variety, turning a nail biting field goal of 51 yards into a relative chip shot of 36. The kick was good, the Skins lost, and Joe Gibbs cried into his Metamucil while soiling his adult diapers.

Speaking of old, the ageless Vinny Testaverde got another win on Sunday beating the hapless 49er's. After the game, Testaverde didn't have time to speak to reporters as he was on a mission to go see Beowulf. I'm told the two used to play high school ball together.

After watching the Giants play and Eli react to sucking the hind teat, I have a hunch if he wasn't playing football, he'd have his hair dyed black and a shitload of facial piercings.

Jamarcus Russell finally got into a game and showed a strong arm and encouraging poise in the pocket. The Triple S playmaker of the week however, is none other than Bronco running back Travis Henry. Travis not only scored two rushing touchdowns, but he was also able to impregnate two cheerleaders and a pretzel vendor at half-time.

The Patriot's pulled one out of their ass in Baltimore. On a night when Brady looked terribly ordinary and the New England D was exposed as permeable, a terrible timeout called which erased a 4th down stop for the Ravens was the turning point in the game. Highlight of the game however is without a doubt my favourite penalty of all time. "Personal foul, 15 yards for throwing the referee's flag into the stands". At least he didn't hit anyone in the eye with it.
The Raven's almost tied it with a bomb as the seconds ticked off the clock, but came a yard or two short. Put the champagne away you pathetic old losers, the Beantowners are still perfect.

Meanwhile, In the Real World:

Fans of the hit Jennifer Love Hewitt show "Ghost Whisperer" were disappointed to hear the program has not been picked up for next season. The news isn't all bad however as the network plans to replace it with a new Love Hewitt program tentatively titled "The Twinkie Whisperer".

Nov 28, 2007

Football vs Futbol: Host Edition

Memo to Fox Sports and ESPN:

If you want your viewership to spike quicker than the trousers of a 12-year old boy scanning a Victoria's Secret catalogue, take a page from soccer. Sex up your hosts.

You can't tell me getting Jimmy Johnson, Terry Bradshaw or Emmitt Smith TV ready was any easier than training a moderately intelligent chimpanzee. So there is absolutely no reason why you can't take someone from the pages of the SI Swimsuit edition and bone them up (so to speak) on pro football. This one simple tweak to your pregame show would bring in Superbowl ratings each and every week, before the games had even begun! Not to mention the jump in half-time viewership, which is generally when the masses eat, defecate or fornicate while highlights and talking heads blather on about nothing of any consequence.

Men are a simple breed, and we cast no dispersions otherwise. Give us violence and sex and like one of Pavlov's k-9's we shall answer the bell. With very little prodding we can be transfixed on the TV as though our very lives depended on it. Granted, Fox makes a half-assed effort by sprinkling us with a minuscule dose of Jillian Barberie but there needs to be a big time player on the front line.

While football stomps on the balls of soccer in most every possible category, when it comes to TV show hosts, our European, cheese-loving compatriots make us look like snot-eating mongoloids. Take the two samples below; One, an Argentinian actress who apparently can be seen on the some Spanish show known as "Noche de Juegos", which roughly translated means "Jesus look at your breasts".



I'm told the other young lady hosts an Italian soccer show not surprisingly titled "Football Italia". The fact of the matter is, you could name either show "watch this program and you'll develop testicular cancer in 8 minutes", and it would still attract male eye's like lesbians to honey covered candle-sticks.



To coin a phrase from Walter Sobchuk, the beauty of this plan lies in its simplicity. Find a well sculpted, quasi-intelligent young female, train her on the finer points of the game, and then get her to read off the teleprompter. It's no different than any of the other clowns they have chirping away now, except an attractive young lady wouldn't make you want to throw a brick at the TV.

Still too much effort? Just tell her to sit in the chair, smile and laugh when everyone else does. The female equivalent of Tiki Barber. So there you have it network executives. You can thank me with a meagre 5% of your bonus cheque once "your" idea has tripled last years ratings. Until then, we're all forced to ride the tidal wave of mediocrity that is the NFL pre-game show.

Nov 27, 2007

Yes, This Really Happened


I don't know when this poster was created, or who designed it, but if I had to guess I'd say right now they are locked in a basement, sniffing glue and styling their hair with week old fecal matter.

REALITY CHECK


Yes, Sean Taylor was a promising young talent who is leaving behind a wife and young child. Yes, to characterize the situation as anything but an utter tragedy would be disgusting. That being said, this is still a man who was fined for spitting on a player, allegedly spat on another player and walked out of the mandatory rookie orientation program. He was also arrested on a DUI, and later charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.

I'm not saying he was a bad person, I'm not preaching about "reaping what you sow", but the library of eulogies put up in the past 24 hours is, if nothing else, overkill.


Contrast one murdered professional football player with the 3,878 American soldiers that have been killed in the Iraq War, and you begin to see how ridiculously out of whack the MSM's priorities appear to be. So far, 34 U.S. Troops have been killed in battle THIS MONTH. So while the gridiron is often times referred to as "the battle-field", let's not forget who the real heroes are, losing their lives almost every day while living worlds away from the people and lives they once knew. That my friends, is a real tragedy.

suggestions, comments, links and death threats can be sent to mikesamways@hotmail.com