Cheating ain’t DOPE

Endorsement deals and sponsorships taken away.  Championships and trophies stripped.  Millions and millions of dollars vanished before his very eyes.  Integrity and honesty thrown out the door.  Sounds like Lance Armstrong had a rough week.

 

The man who epitomized the sport of cycling and the fight against cancer with his “Live Strong” campaign, has plunged himself into cheating disarray.  The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report detailing allegations of widespread doping use by Armstrong.  They found “overwhelming” evidence.  Even old teammates have come out of the woodwork and furthered the accusation, claiming that Armstrong himself would encourage them to engage in doping.  Sigh.

Nike, Anheuser-Bushand and other companies have all ended their endorsement deals with Armstrong.  Dealing with such humiliation and degradation, Armstrong was pretty much forced to step down as chairman of his “Live Strong” charity and cut ties with his cancer research campaign.  All 7 of his Tour de France titles were just taken away.  Lance Armstrong officially has nothing.  So does this guy sound dunzo or what?

 

 

 

 

Lance Armstrong was caught and is paying the consequences.  The sympathizers want to focus on the good he has done with cancer awareness and research.  Live Strong is one of the most popular fund-raising campaigns that has made millions and millions of dollars for cancer research.  However, the hardasses want to focus on the negative.  “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten,” said Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union.  Well duh, we already knew that was going to happen.  The bad news for Armstrong just continues to roll.  Perhaps it is a bit too early to tell what will happen to Armstrong but there are plenty of athletes out there who have cheated and have lived to tell the tale.

The fact that doping is steroids completely shifts this discussion into the topic of cheating.  Cheating.  A word that will forever be present in Sports, a profession where performance means EVERYTHING.  Cheating usually gets you the wins, the trophies, the accolades, the fame.  But it seems that these “cheaters” in sports don’t seem to grasp the effects it has on their reputation. If a someone were to give you a magical drug to make you stronger, make you more agile, make you more competitive to play with the big boys, then let’s say you would.  It’s just the repercussions you don’t think about, like getting caught.  Is it the pressure?  Is it insecurity?  Is it drive?  What is it that makes athletes want to cheat?

It seems that when popular athletes cheat, all the positives out weigh the negatives, because the positives can be just awesome…..winning them fame, fortune and what seems like a lifetime of security.  But when those positives are no longer there, the cheating is out…..dayum does the negative become an endless abyss of SHIT.  But that doesn’t seem to be the case with everyone.

In the sports world if you cheat and get away with it, then everything might end up ok.  You might have some bumps in the road but if you come clean, then some (not all) is forgiven.  Just look at Alex Rodriguez, he came clean with his steroids use and is still playing ball for one of the greatest franchises in the MLB.  Who knows if he is still using (yea, probably), granted he is coming off one of his best seasons being benched and humiliated, but he seems to still be respectable baseball player.  He still has all the fame, the girls (supposedly), the money, and that oil painting portrait of himself as a Fantasia Centaur hanging up in his bedroom.   What a life.

Marion Jones, Olympic Track and Field Gold Medalist, was caught doing steroids during the games, lied about it and eventually had her medals taken away after her legal admission of perjury .  She served some time in jail and now plays for the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA. She has a daughter and loving hubbie.  Could be a bit domestic for her but at least she is happy and doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the sporting world.  I am sure Jones feels a bit more guilt than A-rod over there in NYC because she WAS an Olympic gold Medalist, an athlete who represented our country and made all Americans feel proud for one summer. Being an Olympic athlete is such a significant responsibility because you are representing an entire COUNTRY, not a city or state.  You are competing with the WORLD.  Getting a gold medal taken away can’t be easy.  A-rod will be hanging back in New York this summer, counting his millions while his centaur painting collects dust.  Barf.

There is one name I have to mention if we are talking about cheating in sports: Tiger Woods.  Even though he didn’t exactly “cheat” in his sport, he is in fact a cheater in life.  He cheated on his hot mamacita wife with not 1 woman, but hundreds…..more or less prostitutes and porn stars.  Not to single out Tiger because I am no dumb ass, there are hundreds of male (and female) athletes who cheat on their significant others but come on…..hundreds?  Tiger just got caught and has been forever shamed.  But look…..he came out, admitted it, lost some sponsors…..but he is still playing on the PGA.  He is still playing the game he loves, making money, probably not seeing his family, but is still living the athlete dream.

I know this type of marital cheating is completely different from cheating with performance enhancing drugs but it is still lying, an act  that is detrimental to one’s character and personal dignity. (Remember, Lance left his wife and kids because he was “cheating” on her with pop superstar Sheryl Crow……hmmmmm fame and fortune getting to his head too fast…?   once a cheater always……a what….?)  And isn’t that what it really comes down to, character?  Yes, take away what someone earns because they didn’t earn it in an honest and ethical fashion, but you without pride and integrity, you are left with nothing.  Nothing to show for, nothing to live for.  Popular athletes can get past this and start to live again because of the  comfortable situations they are left in.  They have the money, the fame and the family, all the support they will need to get through the difficult times, get over their cheating scandals and start to live again.  Our society forgives those cheaters because in the end we just want to be entertained and amazed by their amazing athletic prowess.

Lance Armstrong will get through this and move on, just not on a bike.

A Big Fat Trojan Sigh

The USC Trojans this season has been anything but exciting.  This was a team ranked #1 at the end of August, defying all the odds, overcoming their  severe sanctions some still consider an unfair NCAA punishment, thanks to Mr. Reggie Bush.  With their 2 year sanction lifted they have (had?) a chance to compete for a national championship, which in turn has caught the attention of College Football, especially the all-mighty winning SEC.

Quarterback Matt Barkley made a huge announcement last December deciding to stay his senior year and play with no-longer-in-the-dog-house Trojans.  Huge billboards were erected throughout the LA area, even Bruin territory Westwood, displaying a picture of Barkley standing behind a microphone podium at that same December announcement press conference  with the confident declaration spelling out, “We Play to Finish.” Before the season even started, all of college football land was buzzing over Barkley winning the coveted Heisman Trophy.  He had a tremendous Junior year season, why not dream a little?

The Trojans started off the season so promising, full of hope and new beginnings.  Now that we are in the second half of the season, the Trojans aren’t looking to play for a national championship, aren’t looking to win a Heisman, aren’t even looking to dazzle fans nor intimidate other teams with their fully equipped and talented offense.  Lane Kiffin and his Trojans are just looking to win the next game.

USC has been playing like they are asleep to say the least.  As a die-hard Trojan fan who lives and breathes college football there is only one question: Who to blame?  I know, I know that is the easiest way to place the problem on someone else, to look to someone for answers but maybe, JUST maybe, there is no one to blame.  But hey, that wouldn’t be the style of this blog fools.

 

Case and point: the head coach. Is it just me or has Lane Kiffin been really screwy this season?  Aside from him bolting away from reporters and failing to comment on injured players, his coaching is questionable.  Relying far too much on the running game which only turned out ok in the Cal game, rushing for over 200 yards (the best of the season thus far), rather than using his killer offense: Matt Barkley’s arm, receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Lee. Wasn’t this visor wearing blondie a championship winning Offensive Coach?! What gives??

I am not trying to downplay the run game, I have nothing but love for Venice Gondo Curtis McNeal as well as Penn state transer Silas Redd who has proven himself to be a BEAST.   But Kiffin seems to have been persistently “protecting” Barkley, not calling any long pass plays and instead opting to call the same run plays, thus not giving the opposing D lineman a chance to sack SC’s beloved prize possession.  Wouldn’t that prize possession seem more like a prize with a Heisman Kiffin?  Wouldn’t be too shabby :/    Kiffin’s focus is now just on winning,  he doesn’t care by how much or with what strategy….just as long as we win.  Now that to me doesn’t sound like a championship worthy team.

You can totally get Kiffin’s “winning” drift after the Washington game.  “Yeah, we played conservative once we got a lead like that, but we said it all along, it’s not about anybody’s numbers, or Heisman, or anything like that,” said Kiffin.  ” It was about the best thing to win the game. Obviously, I want to pass the ball, but I’m happy with the win,” he said. “It was not a glamorous win, but our ground game was here, our defense was on fire, it was a team win.”  This is not a #1 ranked football team….oh wait #10.  Kiffin just sounds like he is sucking the fun and passion out of the game, not calling the hail mary passes or trick plays.  I miss Pete 😦

Don’t you miss Pete, marching up and down the field like he owns the place.  And then there is little white visor Kiffin, hiding behind his lamanated play card.  Hey the guy is clearly trying his best but his best isn’t working.  It’s not only the fans that are frustrated but the players as well.

There is definitely some miscommunication going on between the coaching staff and players.  The role of Barkley as a quarterback is disappearing.  Did any of you watch last week’s game against the Washington Huskies?  Kiffin sidelined his best offensive weapons for more than half the football game.  WTF dude.  “My take on it is, it was terrible for our offense, with all the weapons we have,” said receiver Robert Woods afterward, his voice trailing as his eyes dropped.  After Barkley was sacked in the second half….Kiffin decided DUNZO, FIN, NADA, Nope, nobody touching my QB or am I putting him in danger.  “There were a few really long situations on third down, and the last thing I wanted to do in this environment was sit there and drop back and let these guys rush us and let the quarterback get hit,” Kiffin said. “Going back to that Stanford game … there’s some times that I was getting Matt hit in those same situations and I made sure I didn’t do that today.”

What game is this again….?  Oh that’s right, FOOTBALL.  I think you are going to get hit a few times when playing the most violent sport in America.  Good GOD Kiffin.  Do you wear that white visor every game to protect you from those sunlight beams containing crazy?!  Yea, I didn’t think so.  Barkley obviously doesn’t feel the same.  “I’ve never heard that from him,” he said, the surprise showing clearly in his voice. “I can take any hit. That’s surprising.”  UGH.  Punch me in the face.  Barkley isn’t hurt Kiffin, CLEARLY.  Play the guy who stayed his senior season with the intention of blowing everybody else out of the water.  Why have such a great offense last year and not have one this year?  You have all you need no?

Kiffin just doesn’t make sense to me.  It is good that they are winning but they aren’t winning they way we all thought they would, the way they deserve.  It may sound a bit bitchy but just winning sometimes isn’t good enough.  It’s not good enough for a team that was once ranked #1.   They should be on the same level as Oregon, defeating teams by 30 points+.  But sadly no, there will be no joy in TrojanLand with Kiffin calling the shots 😦 There is still hope that the Trojans will finish strong and I know they will.  Maybe strong enough for Kiffin, but not strong enough for the rest of us.

 

Thank you Oregon

Who would have thought that the Oregon Ducks consistent revamping of their uniforms would make everybody else look bad?

It seems like the Ducks change their uniforms so often, they could wear a different one for every game.  Hey, they are the second best team in the country according to both the AP and USA Today Poll.  Maybe if a team starts sporting a new sleek look they will start winning a few games and climb to the top of the polls.  Which is why other teams are starting to catch on to this “trend.”  Who doesn’t want to sport a new look, even if it is just for one game?

However, every other college football team that has come forth and decided to do the same, in hopes to create a more intimidating yet commercial “endorsement” friendly uniform, have yet to succeed in styling a new good look. The culprits: South Carolina Gamecocks and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

These aesthetic changes are good in theory, but these two teams have just gone off the deep end.  For the big meet this Saturday against the ridiculously overrated LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, South Carolina had Under Armour design their new “Battle” uniforms, fully equipped with gray camo under shirts and pants.  Who would ever think to compare football to war, that is just crazy talk?!  Under Armour claims that these uniforms were inspired by a Battleship.  A Battleship…….?!  Which one?  The Game?  The Movie? They must have just seen that Rhianna movie too many times.

Why do the Gamecocks feel like they need to use their uniforms as a military tribute?  Especially a butt ugly military tribute.  America, Fuck YA! But hey, it could intimidate the hell out of Les Miles, making him and his team the Marty McFly “Chickens” of College Football, running scared and going back to the future.

Now onto the Irish.  The Notre Dame uniforms aren’t really the issue, it’s the helmet.  These smarty pants Irishmen decided to split their helmet basically into two, one side purely gold (resembling their famous golden DOME) and the other side dark blue with a white depiction of the fighting Irish leprechaun.  One question:  WHY!?!?!  Just do one or the other, not BOTH.  A college football team shouldn’t be this indecisive.  Aren’t you called the Fighting Irish?  ShooOOOooot why didn’t anybody fight over this dumb idea?  They used to look so classic and clean, purely golden, and now they are reduced to looking like something out of Peewee’s Playhouse.  The spilt is not even centered?!  What genius geometry whiz thought of that?  I bet you Brian Kelly thought it would be ingenious to put on two different patterns on the football helmets to confuse the other team..look one side our little fighting mascot, how cute….. but then SHABAMMMMMM, the other side blinds you with their shiny golden heads.  You become so disoriented that you can’t defend those fighting Irish as they run past you, scoring countless touchdowns. pssssh…..They wish.  Yea right, they are just butt ugly.  Opponents be straight up laughing at your dumb looking fat heads.  Just wait for the Stanford game.

No one can do it better than Oregon and they know it.  Oregon’s football reputation has far exceeding expectations, leading the Pac-12 conference a third year in a row with those badass Darth Vadar looking helmets, matching uniforms with”O” gloves and winged shoulders.  Damn, they look good.

Jesus would start Tebow…..

Tebowmania has yet to take place in NYC……and why is that???  One name: Dirty Sanchez.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t know who Dirty Sanchez is then stop reading this blog. Seriously, he dirty.

 Dirty Sanchez and company are the reason why Tebow has yet to start on the New York Jets.  Head coach Rex Ryan is sold on Dirty Sanchez and wants to continue starting him the rest of the season, blindly leading the Jets to another dismal season.   Despite struggling again in a 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans Monday night, many fans and media are beginning to get sick of “suggesting” to start Tebow.  “Yeah, no question,” the Jets coach said Tuesday without hesitation when asked if Sanchez remains the team’s starter. Wait wait wait Mr. Ryan, There is just one question! : Why was Tebow even traded in the first place?  What is he doing for the team?  Is he fetching holy water for the team, warming those cold benches or actually going to play a full rotation for once?  Tebow did throw the best pass in that game against the Texans, even though the god squadder supposedly “can’t throw.”  What gives?  

 

 

Dirty Sanchez has completed less than 50% of his passes in four straight games, ranking last in the NFL.  Hmmmmm that falls under the same ranks of one of the BIGGEST NFL BUSTS quarterback Jamarcus Russell (Jabba the Hutt Russell)  love that nickname dubbed by Steven A. Smith, that is def a keeper .  If people are starting to compare him to Jabba the Hutt Russell, than you got problems.  The freaking Jets have only scored 3 touchdowns in their last 4 games.  3 touchdowns!?!?!?!?  Granted the team has lost one of their best receivers, Santonio Holmes, as well as defensive players, Darelle Revis…..come on, that’s why you have backups and practice and build different players around those unfortunate absences.  Backups….hmmm..why does that sound soo appealing right now…? Sounds like it could (or should) be the beginning of the end for this Dirty Sanchez…..

I understand why Rex Ryan has no desire to bow down to public pressure, especially from the outspoken fans and media, because he doesn’t want his job put in jeopardy.  But it seems to me that it already is.  Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets,  told CNBC he wants Tebow on the Jets for the remainder of his contract – through 2014.  “Are we going to keep Tebow? Absolutely,” Johnson said. “He’ll be with us for three years. … I think he’s going to be a real valuable asset in terms of helping us win games.”  Unless he is teaching Bible Study to the players, Tebow has yet to be a valuable asset to the team.  

Johnson, the man who WANTED and CHOSE to pick up Tebow after Denver let him go, also has expressed support for the fizzling Sanchez, suggesting that he will never benched.  Say what?  “Never is a long time period,” Johnson said. “But I see the same things in Mark Sanchez (as) when I first met him … We think he’s that good. He really is that good. I wouldn’t look at the numbers too seriously. A quarterback’s job ultimately is to win games. Mark Sanchez has proven that he can do that.”  Yea…..when he was  Trojan :/

Your not going to look at the numbers too seriously…..?  Are you kidding me?  As a business savvy owner of a team in the most lucrative sports league in the world, I would hope that numbers do matter…a lot.  Dirty Sanchez wasn’t always this bad, but this is definitely marking one of the biggest slumps of his career.  If the Jets manage to lose to the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday, the outcry for Tebow will be deafening.  All of this and more is probably getting to Dirty Sanchez, massively psyching out the douche bag.  Should we feel sorry for him?  Hell no.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirty Sanchez has been given his turn in the spotlight, been given a million chances and hasn’t performed.  Give Tebow a chance, use the guy, shake things up for the Jets, you got him for a reason right?  What is the harm in starting Tebow and ending the game with Sanchez?  Clearly, they aren’t using Tebow to his full potential and it’s unfair.  It could be a bit early to tell, but Sanchez is dunzo, sit his ass down and start anew.  If the Ryan decides to roll the dice and start “the play maker” Tebow and they lose, that will shut everybody up.  Maybe the Jets just suck even with Tebow but how the hell are we supposed to know if their Butterball of a coach won’t start, let alone play, the guy?!  Sorry Rex, but it is inevitable that you are going to bow down to public pressure and play Tebow because your Dirty Sanchez just ain’t cutting it.

You gotta ask yourself this old question:  What would Jesus do?

Mr. Not so Fast, My Friend

If you tune into College Game Day every Saturday morning/afternoon, then you are very familiar with the man who sits in between Kirk “Herbie” Herbstreit , Chris Fowler and Desmond Howard,  the man who is more well-known for his  “comic hijinks,” or as I like to call it “outlandish antics,” and of course his catchphrase, “Not so fast, my friend.” Ladies and Gents, may I sadly introduce, Mr. Lee Corso.

Under those pounds of Clinique foundation that grace his aged face, Lee Corso was actually a respectable college football player and coach before ESPN brilliantly decided to hire him as a broadcaster for their College GameDay program.  Forgive me for the “oh so not nice” comments concerning Corso’s ongoing tenure on ESPN, but he seriously contributes NOTHING but idiocy to the sports program as well as the game.

I haven’t watched all of his broadcasts so who is to say he has always been this obnoxious, making an endless array of pointless commentary.  I live and breathe college football, so when this leather faced old blockhead graces my television screen every weekend and starts to gabble about absolutely NOTHING, making ridiculous predictions about team match-ups saying “They will win by two safeties!” or “By 3 interceptions I bet” or the all time insightful favorite, “Hawaii doesn’t win many games in the United States.”  In addition to his senseless blabber, this cake-faced jalopy of a broadcaster has decided to cement his utter stupidity on air by not only always picking the upset but by sporting the team’s mascot headgear.  Instead of merely telling viewers his prediction and discussing the objective reasons as to why a team will win a game, he has to pick the team with the most comical looking mascot headgear and place it on his fat head to get a roaring cheer or jeer from the on looking college crowd.  Not only just the headgear, but props and all, to really REALLY get his point across (ie. Trojans with a sword, Sooners riding a covered wagon, Alabama’s elephant etc.). 

You gotta hand it to his fellow broadcasters (Fowler, Herbstreit and Howard) for saving his ass on the air by, you know, DOING their job.  It is such a shame for the hardworking Fowler, Herbstreit and Howard team, who actually take their job seriously by making insightful comments and athletic analyses.  Seriously, who wants to be seen with this joke of a sports broadcaster?  I guess if you’re getting paid to do YOUR job and the ratings are good, who is to complain?

Perhaps Corso is “doing his job” by offering some comical relief and his antics are fully supported by ESPN merely for the ratings, but his immature antics and ridiculous behavior are getting to be too distracting and too demeaning for the sport, ANY sport for that matter.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the bickering and animated personalities of Chuck and Shaq on TNT’s Inside the NBA, but at least they have something to positively contribute by commenting on players’ athletic abilities and presenting statistical facts to support their arguments.  Geeze Corso, does that sound so hard?  I know there are some big words in there, but you went to Florida State, Ivy League of the South East right?  In case you haven’t noticed, while on air Corso is always clutching a number 2 pencil, as if he was writing down important facts and names to bring up during the broadcast. DUH

What gives with the pencil?!  Apparently the clay face old man is “Director of Business Development for the Dixon-Ticonderoga pencil company.”  You gotta be kidding me.  Some company in Florida that unconsciously promotes education allows a dumb-witted sports guy to run the development of their entire business?!  Thank god these pencils look great on TV despite being held by a fat head broadcaster.  That sounds like the beginning of a beautiful and lucrative relationship.  Good luck with your Florida pencils kids, be careful with those sharp edges, they can be pesky when your flaying your arms around and not actually dulling the point with….what is that..?  oh WRITING?!  Yea, who needs that when you have cool headgear to parade around.

Yes, College Football is supposed to be fun like all sports, but it holds so much more pageantry, lifelong traditions and even a little innocence among the players and fans that professional sports at times may overlook.  Unlike professional Sports, College sports have yet to become fully engrossed in making that much-needed cha-ching and try to consciously separate themselves from the massive conglomerate, emanating more passionate fans, more hometown rivalries, more cheers,more songs, more excitement.  Lee Corso’s antics may be just for fun and games, but it feels like he is doing more bad than good, undermining what really makes the sport so different and so special to some.  Granted, his live audience is usually made up of hung over or intoxicated college students, Corso’s input is just a waste of life.

I don’t wish ill upon an old man, but I do wish for Lee Corso to retire with his pencil company in Florida (I would say dignity but that has already gone far out the window).  Please, if you love even a speck of college football, you would retire from College GameDay and hope to instill some integrity back in the program.  While he is still on the air, Corso continues to give a bad name for ESPN and Sports Broadcasting.  Hopefully ESPN will pull their heads out of the clouds one day when ratings take a little dive and shake up the commentary with a professional broadcaster,who could rock some mascot headgear if he or she wants, but more importantly, positively contribute a few valid points into the mix and stop making a mockery of the game.

No worries, we will be able to find Corso hanging back in one of the local watering holes in some random college town on a Saturday probably in the company with those NFL replacement refs, all basking in the good old days, wishing he can one day actually look  as happy as his fake mascot head.