Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Farewell old friend

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today to say goodbye to one of the finer blogs ever to be paved into this information superhighway we call the InterWeb, but which was taken from us too soon by neglectful parents.

Pink Hat Nation came into this world in the summer of 2007 with all the promise a young sports Web log could offer. Funny pictures? Check. Passionate fandom? Check. Name with a meaning even the author themselves couldn't quite recall? Check. And for the first few months of its life, it flourished. Even gaining the occasional reader who wasn’t related to the site’s three main authors.

But then some time around the spring of 2008, due to a perfect storm of the Padres sucking, football season not being on, and the world of pop culture’s gravitational pull, Pink Hat Nation suffered neglect. Its own founders accept full responsibility, and apologize to those two people who still checked in every few months or so.

And so, on this partly cloudy November day, we say adieu to Pink Hat Nation. May your cries of “Heath Bell for closer!” “Play Eric Weddle!” and “You only hate the Red Sox because they’re awesome!” echo on into infinity.

Pink Hat Nation is survived by a sister blog, Gingers is the Watchword. In lieu of flowers, please read her, or send cash donations.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Keep your shirt on

I get emails from Major League Baseball a lot, because I was stupid enough to buy a t-shirt or something from them after the Red Sox won in 2004. Now, for four years, I get at least five emails from them a week. I have tried to get off this mailing list. There's no getting off. Apparently buying a t-shirt from MLB is some kind of Faustian bargain. Tell your children.

This afternoon though, I got an email from MLB that made me think. (And no, I never thought I'd write a sentence like that). The email was trying to sell me Philalelphia Phillies championship gear. You know, shirts and hats with way too much writing on them that will look outdated and silly in about 3 years, but that you're obligated to buy if your team wins a championship? And it got me thinking: Does anyone who isn't an actual fan of the Phillies buy these?

Like, is there a guy somewhere, who owns championship t-shirts for the Red Sox, Cardinals, Marlins, Angels and everyone else who's won a World Series in the last 20 years, even though he's a fan of like, the Kansas City Royals? Does he also own a collection of those leather-bound, gilt-lettered Sports Illustrated books that come out after each championship? And does he stop at baseball? Does he also own shirts for the New York Giants, Boston Celtics and Detroit Red Wings? Does he have chili stains on his shirt? Because I picture him with chili stains on his shirt. I need to know these things!!!

In a similar vein, some of you may wonder what happens to the championship t-shirts that are printed for the losing team. Everyone knows they get made, because winning teams are presented with their shirts and hats immediately. Somewhere out there, there are Tampa Bay Rays World Series Champions t-shirts. Well, dear readers, this is one I can answer. Those shirts are sent to impoverished countries to clothe impoverished people. Aren't our sports leagues nice?

Congrats to the Phillies!

Hey, I was wrong! The Phillies managed to keep it together and score a victory for their championship-starved fans. After much debate, I ended up rooting for the Phils, so this makes me happy. Well done, lads.

And hey, buck up Rays fans. Your team had a darn near miraculous season, and they look to be good for the forseeable future. For the first time for your team, the phrase "There's always next year" actually means something.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Singletary goes old school on Niners

Yeseterday was a particularly pathetic NFL Sunday, starting with the Bolts getting 37 points hung on them by the Saints in a loss. And now a Bay area resident, I'm also subject to one of the worst forms of pro football Chinese water torture: watching San Francisco 49ers games.

However, one awesome thing did come out of their loss to the Seahawks. New head coach Mike Singletary, one of the greats on the mid 80's Bears defense, is apparently going old school on his players. I honestly wish more coaches were like this, and it's awesome to see a guy that's willing to tell his "star" players to hit the showers during the middle of the game:

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”

-Mike Singletary

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pour me a tall, cold Ray Hawk

Dang, so it's been eons since I've posted here. The polar caps have since melted, and the South American rainforests have been replaced by an Anheiser-Busch zillion acre tropical themed amusement park.

Anyhoo, hopefully we'll be back in the saddle here as I try and constantly wriggle free of the eternal pestilence known as "work."

So what do all our readers need right now? Nothing like a cold brew on tap and an awesome Ray Hawk to brighten your day:

Ray Hawks > Pink Hats

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rays vs Phillies: Decisions, decisions

Well, it took a little longer than I originally thought, but the inevitable has come to pass: It’s the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 World Series.

Because I know the biggest question on your mind right now is, “How does Liz feel about this?” I’ll tell you: I’m perplexed. See, generally, I root for whichever team beat mine (unless it’s the Yankees) because my feeling is, if you got beat by the best team, the loss is easier to take.

So this would lead me to supporting the Rays. Also, I tend to root for the American League team in the World Series (again, unless it’s the Yankees), so that too would lend itself to Rays support.

But, I have often said that if I were suddenly given the power of the Sports Gods, I would give championships to Cleveland, San Diego and Philadelphia, in that order. The Phillies are an old school team and Philadelphia hasn’t won a championship since the Phils raised the banner in ’80, so in some regards, I want to root for them.

What are you all’s thoughts? With whom should I side? I’ll do whatever you tell me, Pink Hat Nation. I always do.

[Side note: I appreciate the condolence messages I've received about my Red Sox, but I’m doing OK. Game 7 against the Rays was not a sucker-punch loss like the Boone, Buckner or Dent games. Plus, no losses feel epic anymore since we finally won a World Series in the post-WWI era. Red Sox Nation is a different place these days, and all things considered, we’re doing just fine].

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sorry, Phils

Enjoy it now, lads

Dear Philadelphia Phillies,

Congratulations! As I write this, you are on the cusp of beating the Dodgers to caputre your first National League pennant since 1993. I personally think you're going to do it. (Please don't beat to me to death in an abandoned warehouse if things don't work out).

Unfortunately, your probable victory over Hell-A is where the good news ends. Because you are going to meet the Tampa Bay Rays, and this is going to go badly for you.

The Rays are currently beating the Red Sox 11-2 in game 4 of the ALCS, on their way to taking a 3-1 series lead. Everyone keeps talking about how the Sox overcame a 3-1 deficit in last year's ALCS, but trust me - this series is over. The Sox pitchers couldn't find home plate with a GPS right now, and their batters looks like they're trying to swing telephone poles. The Rays on the other hand, look the frickin' 1927 Yankees. Nope, no comeback this year.

Honestly, around the time the Rays scored their tenth run, a sort of Zen came over me. (This was, admitedly, also around the time I ran out of swear words). But really, all I ever wanted out of the Red Sox my whole life was a World Series win, and they gave me two. And there's always last year. Let the Rays have their fun. I'll be right back there for my Sox the minute pitchers and catchers report next winter. I think other Sox fans will do the same. We're fat and happy right now.

But you, my dear Phillies, are in for a rough road.

Philadelphia fans are like Boston fans without the class.* Have you ever looked into their eyes? They're like wounded animals trying to bite their leg out of a trap. They're full of fear, anger and a hatred of all that's beautiful. This is mostly a result of watching the Eagles every year, but since most Eagles fans are also Phillies fans, the mentality carries over.

If the Phillies lose to the Rays in the World Series - the ten year old, just finished over .500 for the first time Rays - Philadelphia fans just might tear them apart right there on the field of Citizen's Bank Park. I can see it now: The Rays will be in the locker room spraying champagne. Fox reporters will be whooping it up with them, when the camera will cut to the Phillie's dugout for loser reaction. There, a grim faced sideline reporter, her hair caked with blood, will stammer, "They...They just kept coming. They wouldn't stop. Bare teeth...ripping jerseys...the Phanatic! Dear God, the poor, poor Phanatic!"

Since I started this post, the Rays have put up two more runs. They're not only for real, they're merciless. And they're coming for you, Phillies. Don't say you weren't warned.

Yours in pre-expansion preference,


*Before you Philistines fill our comment sections with derogatory braying against Sox fans, please note this is called "a joke."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's so easy to fall in hate

It’s strange, being hated for your success. But you learn to manage.

With the Red Sox entering the ALCS for the second year in a row, the Haterade is flowing like champagne in a winner’s locker room. People are grousing about how spoiled and entitled Boston fans have become, even throwing around comparisons to Yankees fans. **Shudder**

They’re not wrong. Boston fans, with the recent success of the Patriots, Celtics, and of course, Sox, have been spoiled rotten this decade. And from what I hear, the crowds back in the Big B are becoming entitled boors. From the perspective of those us who aren’t total bandwagoners, it feels warranted to an extent, since our teams sucked for so long, but I know no one else sees it this way (just look at the comments on this post).

This isn’t a whiny, “We won and now we’ve lost our identity” kind of post. Believe me, I would much rather be hated for winning than pitied and made fun of for losing (ask any Cubs fan). And I totally get why a lot of people are supporting the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS: If they were playing any other team I’d cheer for them too. I’m a huge supporter of getting new blood in the baseball playoffs. I won’t even make fun of their fans in their TB caps so new the bill isn’t even curved, because I know a team’s gotta win a bit before people will care.

I just think its fascinating, and a little bit amusing, how easy it is for a team to get hated these days. You used to have to win at least a dozen championships. Now, in this world so short on attention and perspective that we need a show to recap what happened the previous week, all it takes is two.

Someone should tell Raider fans how easy it is. They could save a lot of time and money by shirking those adorable costumes and donating money to a the front office so it can buy a defense.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Is This the One October Everyone's Been Talking About?

It's finally here...MLB playoff time. I've been telling anyone who will listen for awhile now, it will be Cubs vs. Rays in the World Series. The only team I can see spoiling my prediction are the godamned LA Angels of Anaheim. And Lord help me, if the Dodgers make the series, things will not be pretty...for anyone.

I don't care how you get there. Just get there. Just get there.

SDSU Grads, gotta love 'em

This one has been all over Deadspin and what not, but I think this is something worthy of sharing with our small (but dedicated) enclave of readers.

The following photo of rookie Patriots QB Kevin O'Connell was likely taken during some kind of hazing ritual, but actually published in the Boston Globe. The picture was later retracted for obvious reasons:

Thanks for sharing, Kevin.

Props to Aztec students and grads for keeping us continually entertained with their sophomoric idiocy (Marshall Faulk and Fred Dreyer excluded) !

Monday, September 29, 2008

When fantasy teams suck

I have the worst fantasy team in my league. I play with a group of people from my office, and I have yet to win a game. This past weekend, I played the only other person with an 0-3 record (The Battle of the Beatens). He destroyed me.

I'm so embarassed. I am a complete and total failure at this. My team should be good. On paper, we're always predicted to win. I have Peyton Manning, Jason Witten, Darren McFadden, Brandon Marshall. I was told these are good players. Well, guess what: Peyton Manning decided to get old this year, Darren McFadden is playing like a rookie, and the gods are punishing me for putting a woman beater like Marshall on my team.

So what do I do? Help me fantasy land. Tell me who to get and who to kick to the curb. I will not settle for a loser!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Weekly Weddle: A Sweet INT

That one was for the haters.

So after two weeks of getting burned on the last play of the game (last week by Eddie Royal on a play that never should have happened, by the way), Weddle gets his head in the game and intercepts that one guy who's playing quarterback for the New York Jets. He's never in the media so I forgot his name, it's like Geroge Brett or something, but the letter "V" is somehow involved. Either way, it was a night of solid coverage and and a few hard hits in the secondary. Although he WAS knocked backwards by the Jets kicker in an attempt to recover an onside kick, he must have just lost his balance or something (one of those Merriman/Jones-Drew deals)

Anyways, midway through the third quarter said QB mis-reads a route with his receiver and lets the ball sail high. Just before it hits the ground, Weddle swoops in to make a diving catch. That's what the man does, he makes plays. Just in case you missed it, here's the clip (why this highlight is set to Icky Thump, I have no idea) :

Moreover, another blog known as Vegan Fish Tacos has espoused their own "Weddle Corollary" as it relates to players in the NBA Draft:

"The Eric Weddle Corollary: Players who do not have the 'sexiness' as draft prospects (typically because of physical attributes) but just love to play the
game and produce regardless.

(note: Eric Weddle was a defensive back for the Utah football team who had no draft hype originally but has already become a starter in his second year in the NFL)."

As you can see, Eric Weddle's influence reaches far beyond NFL Football. Tune in next week to read about Weddle and how he influences dark matter on the quantum level (if he so chooses)...

Monday, September 22, 2008

On leaving early

The Patriots lost yesterday. Bad. I won’t dwell on it, because no one wants to hear about it: Pats fans don't because it was brutal, and no one else does because they’re sick of the Patriots and think they had a big loss coming.

But this isn’t about the loss. This is about the Gillette Stadium faithful’s reaction to the loss. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, and Ronnie Brown got to know the end zone better than Pacman Jones knows the strip clubs of greater Dallas, Patriots fans were streaming for the exits. The Razor was practically emptied by game’s end.

I hate this. I hate it when fans do this. Especially New England fans, who pride themselves on sticking with their teams through thick and thin (even they historically haven’t, as I’ve mentioned before). There’s an old Christian saying that you don’t ask God “Why me?” when good things happen to you, so you shouldn’t ask it when bad things happen. I think this applies to sports fans too. Besides, leaving early is for fans in Los Angeles and Florida, who New England fans are always making fun of.

Yes, the Patriots laid an egg and stunk up the joint like we haven’t seen since the Tony Eason era. But you’ve still got to stick it out and support your team. Especially a team like the Pats that’s been so great this decade. Of course there’s the rational that you should stay because you could miss the greatest comeback ever, but more realistically, you should stay to support your team, who, believe it or not, are arguably feeling crappier than you are.
And don't even get me started on the fans who booed the team after the first half...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Around the Web

I like these uniforms better than the navy & sand.

-Surprise, surprise, Monday Night Football actually had a good, exciting game on this past week. In case you missed it, DeSean Jackson pulled pretty much what will be the dumbest play of the year, throwing away a touchdown by celebrating too early. And it's not the first time for him, either, check the clip out. [You Been Blinded]

-Rather new to the blogosphere, SportsRoids brings you their Top 5 Sports Related Fights. If you haven't seen Jim Rome get beat down on live camera by Jim Everett, it's a must see. Lots of other good stuff here, especially for fantasy players and NFL fans in general. [SportsRoids]

-Tim Duncan has apparently been forwarding e-mails about the Large Hadron Collider to teammates. [Onion Sports]

-Should the Mountain West conference receive an automatic BCS bid? An 18-8 overall BCS Bowl record isn't a bad argument. [MWC Football]

-In case you missed it, U$C laid the smack-down on Ohio State last Saturday. Buckeyes' quarterback Todd Boeckman lays his feelings prostrate in a Dear Diary entry. Oh well, see you in Craig Krenzel-ville, Todd! [In The Bleachers],

-A San Francisco high school football coach has devised an offense known as the "A-11," in which seven potential receivers are on the field for any given play. Sounds pretty nuts, but apparently does it not only work, it decreased the risk of offensive players' injury. [NPR Sports]

-And finally, we have Padres rookies dressed up like Hooters girls. I agree with Jose Canseco in his book Juiced, that "the food there is quite good." [Gaslamp Ball]

Wanna watch a Ron Artest video with Mike Jones? You do? OK, well here you go. Have a great weekend everyone! :

Monday, September 15, 2008

On football and favorite sons: A nonsensical ramble

"I do this for love."

My house was full of San Diego boys watching the Chargers yesterday, and I was in the other room watching the Red Sox for the first few minutes. For some reason, this got me thinking about how a city is like a family and the sports teams are their children. Bear with me.

See, a lot of times in families, there’s one kid who is perceived as having tons of potential, and that kid is pushed really hard to realize that potential, while the other kid or kids get coddled. At least this is what I’ve been lead to believe by a lot of historical fiction. My own family was nothing like that, probably because none of us kids had any potential.

Now in this sports analogy, the Boston family – where I grew up – is highly abusive and unhealthy. All teams suck unless they make the playoffs, and even then, they’re merely tolerated unless they win a championship. This recent Red Sox obsession? Believe me, it was nothing like this when I was growing up. Back when they couldn't make the post season, people followed them, but nothing like this. Same with the Pats.

But San Diego, I’ve noticed, is a lot like the family described earlier: The Padres are the loveable loser kid who people will watch regardless of what happens, and the Chargers are the kid on whom the city’s placed all kinds of expectations. As a result, when the Padres suck this year, people kind of laugh it off. It’d be nice if they were better, but oh well. But the Chargers start the season 0-2, and the city’s asking Philip Rivers to cut it a switch.

Here is the realization: Usually, the kid who is pushed by his family thinks his family hates him. They end up very successful but full of resentment and daddy issues and self-loathing. Often times, they go into politics. But seeing the way San Diego reacts to the Chargers, I see that this is backwards. That kid who’s been pushed is actually loved the most. San Diego is a football town, after all.

It's amazing how sports can sometimes clarify completely unrelated principals. In other news, I shouldn’t be allowed to have children.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Gallon of Donkey Shit

I'll finish the sentence for you, Norv. "F*ck the NFL"

That's really all there is to say about the travesty that was the Broncos victory over the Chargers this Sunday. The shitty officiating decided the game, and it just made me think of how this league has gotten worse and worse every year. Holding fans hostage to awful officiating and shameful marketing is not a way to "grow your brand," Mr. Goddell.

Hey, but at least those pink Tony Romo jerseys are flying off the shelf :)

“On the last play, it was clearly a fumble. Ed came over to me and said he blew it. That’s not acceptable to me. This is a high-level performance game. That’s not acceptable to have a game decided on that play."

-Chargers head coach Norv Turner

Friday, September 12, 2008

Everybody meet Timz...

Timz > P.O.D.

Sunday's Chargers game is a big one, as it's the Bolts first re-match with the Denver Donkeys since the infamous "Rivers-Cutler Smack-Talking-Gate" incident last season. So here's just a little pre-Sunday hype for the SD fans here, with a twist of local music. The San Diego born rapper known as Timz is one of the few Iraqi-American (Chaldian, specifically) rap artists getting attention these days. In 2006, his "Super Chargers" was aired on local cable television, and since then he's dropped his first full-length entitled "Open For Business" and a 2007 Chargers Remix:

Here's another interesting clip of him on Hannity & Colmes (with Chuck Norris guest hosting, how random is that?) discussing the political nature of his album and the situation in Iraq:

Well that's it for now, everyone enjoy their NFL/NCAA football weekend. Don't drink and drive, practice safe sex, consume quaaludes in moderation blah blah blah.

"You can't have pleasure if you don't have pain, well we've had it now let's have matter who you got he is not LT, he's not twenty-one let me see his ID"


Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Weekly Weddle: Torched?

Dante's touchdown gave my stomach an inferno. Or was that the fish & chips?

So the Panthers upset the Chargers in week 1 at home on the last play of the game, as a Jake Delhomme touchtown pass soared over the outstretched fingers of Old No. 32 Eric Weddle. The resulting acrobatic catch by tight end Dante Rosario with time expiring stunned everyone at the Q. Not only that, but the Oregon product Rosario had a career day to the tune of seven catches for 96 yards, much of it against Weddle's coverage.

Subsequently I have received varioius texts/e-mails saying things like "Sorry dude, Weddle sux," "Weddle is terrible" and "We should sign John Lynch." Trying times to be a Weddle fan, indeed.

However, it's my opinion that this first performance should be taken with a grain of salt. Despite tons of playing time last season, this was his first NFL start at safety. The pourous run defense and a sub-par pass rush (looking at you, Merriman) made it easy for Carolina to pick apart the Chargers secondary. In addition, a lot of tight end coverage responsibilty lies not only with the safety, but middle linebackers being in the right spot. Donnie Edwards had this down to a science, but it's clear Matt Wilhelm has miles to go (if he ever gets there), and Derek Smith is on his last legs. In an interview with XTRA-1360's Dave & Jeff in the Morning (check the podcast section), Eric talks about how he was actually positioned at linebacker on the play, expecting safety help over the top. It's a pretty interesting breakdown; EW in the end blames himself for not getting there in time.

So one loss in the books, and some Charger fans angry at Weddle. But just remember one thing as the season progresses, that will help you stick with E-Dubs through thick and thin:


We all know how this play ends. A dead man would have done a better job. Eff you Marlon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NFL News: Jaguars recognize the futility of existence

While the Jaguars may have been a sexy underdog pick to win the Super Bowl this year, it's going to be tough now that they have realized that life itself is a pointless, empty endeavor. This is just so funny, I had to share:

Pre-Game Coin Toss Makes Jacksonville Jaguars Realize Randomness Of Life

Monday, September 8, 2008

Five stages of grief over #12

Not too far into the first quarter of Sunday's season opener, the Patriots' season died. Well, maybe not. Matt Cassell could turn into Tom Brady circa 2001, or the Pats could bring in Daunte Culpepper and get a vintage season out of him, but let's face it, lightning doesn't strike twice.

As a Pats fan, watching Brady go down (and possibly/probably take the team's season with him) followed the standard stages:

Denial: "Crap. Brady is grabbing his knee and not getting up. Wait! Wait! He's walking off the field. Almost on his own power. This can't be that bad."

Anger: "Hmm, he hasn't come back yet. The announcers are indicating this isn't good. Well what do they know, anyway? Bastards! Who's that guy who hit him? Pollard? What the f*ck was he doing? That was a cheap shot!!"

Bargaining: "Its because I just bought this new Patriots jersey, isn't it? It's cursed. I should have bought a Brady jersey rather than Vrabel. I'll burn it! I swear to God, I will burn this $80 jersey in my chiminea if you just say Brady's going to be ok!"

Depression: *Glug glug glug* "Why did this have to happen? On the first fracken' day of the season! Now they're not going to make the playoffs like every other Super Bowl loser. That's all we are. F*ck 16-0, we're just Super Bowl losers!"

Acceptance: "At the Red Sox are playing well."

I can't say what it was like for every other NFL fan (particularly those in the AFC), because there are no documented phases of euphoria. But ask yourselves, do you really want to win this way? Yeah, I know you do.

Baseball is Still on Too, You Know!

Yesterday, while the entire universe was watching football, I was watching the #2 pitcher on one of the worst teams in baseball almost throw a perfect game. The Padres' Chris Young had a no-no through the 7th inning. Everything was looking good. CY was pitching like a machine (throwing only, like, 7 pitches in the 6th inning), no one was talking or even looking at him in the dugout (apparently Jake Peavy went into the clubhouse and wouldn't come back out), excitement was building (in my apartment anyway).

Then, effing Tony Gwynn...freaking "Mr. Padre"...announces in the bottom of the 7th, "Hey! Chris Young is throwing a perfect game. There's never been a perfect game in Padres history. blah, blah, blah. I'm Tony Gwynn and I don't know when to shut up." Then, the idiot that is Steve Quis joined in, "I'm glad you said it Tony. People are very superstitious about baseball, but we need to report what's happening on the field because people are apparently morons and can't simply look at the box score to see what's happeneing." Then, and you're gonna be totally shocked when you hear this, Chris Young came out in the top of the 8th and gave up a Home Run to the second batter he faced.

CY still acompished something major. He showed he's still got some serious stuff and I was proud of the Padres for an afternoon, but Tony Gwynn is dead to me for at least a week.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thank (insert diety here) NFL Football is starting!!!

It's one of the few things that keep me (and 80% of other American working males) from turning into this guy:

Don't you just hate it when your Jamba Juice doesn't look like the one in the picture?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And it's not even pink!

I'm having hat issues.

As all 9 of our readers know, I grew up in the Boston area and am a huge Red Sox fan. But I've been living in San Diego for 3 years now, and since I'm here, I go to a lot of Padres games. The Padres play in the National League, and lately have been pretty terrible, so I didn't have much of quandry about cheering for them. The one time they played the Sox in interleague, I rooted for close games, ultimately won by the Sox.

But on Friday night, I took it to a new level. I bought a Padres hat. It looks like the one pictured above, except instead of a white front, it that "sand" color of the Pads away uniforms. It cost about $25 and fits my head like a glove.

I wore it the next morning on a coffee run, and instantly felt weird about it. Like I was cheating. Now its sitting on top of my dresser, taunting me. A harlot trying to temp me away from my myriad Red Sox caps.

Did I make a huge mistake? Am I just an over-analytical freak? Are you really still reading this? I can't decide if I've made commited a huge act of betrayal or not here. Help me Pink Hat Nation, you're my only hope.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fantasy Thoughts: High on Ricky

Fantasy owners hope Ricky Williams blazes more on the field than off.

So by now everyone has their teams, and probably their Week 1 starting lineup penciled in. Now is the time to search the waiver wire for that last minute sleeper, or maybe begin laying some groundwork for an early season swap of a guy you barely missed out on but expect a breakout season from.

A few thoughts to aid you in those, or any other fantasy endeavors:

Ricky Williams could be primed for a 1,000+ yard rushing season, and no, we are not smoking the same stuff

Yes, that's right. Word on the street is that R-Will is having the time of his life in Miami right now, finishing up his college degree and studying holistic medicine. Perpetually cantankerous GM Bill Parcells is even embracing him, and head coach Tony Sparano has all but named Ricky the starter. Not only that, but the team has extended his contract through 2009. Ronnie Brown is certainly a capable and explosive back, but health has been an issue since he came into the league. Expect the 'Phins to rely on Ricky to do all the heavy lifting on the offensive side, as Chad Pennington is still studying the "Jay Feidler's Guide to playing Mediocre Dophins QB" video tape series.

Swoop in on Chris Perry if someone else hasn't already

A familiar face to Michiganders. That's a funny word.

The Bengals' release of both Rudi Johnson and Kenny Irons makes Perry the de facto starter in Cincy. Not bad if you drafted the guy on a flyer in the late rounds or was able to acquire him as a free agent. At Michigan, Perry showed the ability to be a slashing-style runner with good receiving skills out of the backfield. While he may not be your prototypical workhorse back, he's worth being your 3rd or 4th running back, and could post a 1,100 all-purpose yard total with six or seven touchdowns.

Patriots Defense in Turmoil

Currently, the Patriots team defense is ranked number three on Yahoo!, following the Vikings and Chargers. However, there are signs pointing to a decline,and it would be wise to shore up at other positions before drafting/trading for New England, as they are sure to be overvalued by most owners. While the Pats remain solid up front, their linebacking corp is a mixture of aging veterans (Mike Vrabel, Teddi Bruschi) and inexperienced rookies (Jerod Mayo, Shawn Crable) that is cause for concern. However, the biggest hole appears to be in pass coverage, as both cornerback free agent signings Jason Webster and Fernando Bryant were both recently cut, and Pro-Bowler Asante Samuel signed with the Eagles. Starting Ellis Hobbes (who was exposed in the Super Bowl by Plaxico Burress) and Lewis Sanders at conerback will leave them exposed to the outside passing game, and Brandon Merriweather enters his first year starting at safety which could open up the middle. The quick signing and release of John Lynch might leave some to wonder if Belichick and Co. are grasping at straws in order to avoid a post-Super Bowl loss hangover. Don't avoid these guys altogether, just move them down your rankings sheet below the likes of Pittsburg, Jacksonville and the New York Giants.

"The way I left made it difficult. To come back and clear my name is important to me.”

-R-Will on his latest tour of duty in Miami

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sir Charles, telling it like it is

Charles Barkley talked politics at the Democratic National Convention and ... didn't suck. I especially like his answer about what he thinks of Hillary dead-enders who claim they'll vote for McCain. Is he Winston Churchill? No. But he ain't Ocho Cinco either. Look out 'bama, this could be your next Gov.

More evidence that being an SD fan sucks

Sadly, LT was forced to place his ESPYs on ebay to afford Padres tickets and an extra nacho cheese cup.

Forbes magazine just published a "study" discussing the worst sports cities to be fans in. Not only do they take into account how good the actual teams are, but the cost of attending a game relative to the average household income.

According to the study, only Miami is worse, probably due to the extremely high cost of living and attending an vent. But the fact that the Heat have recently won an NBA title you would think could offset that. In any event, here are the top 5, feel free to re-order the rankings or make a case for another city via comment. In parentheses are Forbes' rationale:

1) Miami (teams have combined to win just 40% of their games, tickets and concessions are the seventh-highest rate among 29 major sports metros.)

2) San Diego ($300 a game for a family of four; .425 combined winning percentage for the Chargers and Padres)

3) Indianapolis (a lower-income market with middle-of-the-road ticket prices)

4) New York (second-highest prices in the country for teams that lose just over half their games, the Super Bowl champion Giants not withstanding)

5) Cincinnati (The Reds are headed for their eighth straight losing season. The Bengals' 11-5 record in 2005 was their only winning mark since 1990. Yet costs for fans run higher than in Denver or Phoenix, whose teams have gone well over .500 this year).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Zai Jian, Beijing

Well, the ’08 Summer Olympics are over. Michael Phelps broke records, the Chinese broke the bank, and Morgan Freeman broke my tear ducts with those cloying-yet-you’d-have-to-be-made-of-Terracotta-not-to-cry-at-them Visa ads.

Here are a few observations/highlights to wrap up the Games as we put them in our rearview mirror and prepare for a life blissfully ignorant of water polo, archery and men’s field hockey.

1) Please, God, don’t ever let us go to war with China. I watched the awe-inspiring opening ceremonies at a bar with a few friends, and as we watched thousands of drummers pounding in determined unison, one of my friends leaned over to me and said, with an almost frightened quaver in her voice, “We could never do this.” She wasn’t wrong. The people of Beijing, and China in general, pulled off a jaw dropping display when it was only really a matter of national pride. Imagine what they could do if it was a matter of national security. ::Shudder::

2) You proved me wrong, US men’s basketball. Congratulations. Count me among the joyless sports purists who get really annoyed with the selfish showboating that the NBA has become famous for, and which was partially blamed for the US team’s (relatively) poor showing in Athens in 2004. This year’s team kept claiming it was different and that it wanted to prove itself in a sport it should own. In the final game, the US played with a lot of heart, and whooped it up like schoolboys when they pulled off the gold. It was something men’s Olympic basketball hasn’t been for a while – fun to watch.

3) Jacques Rogge is kind of a d-bag. The president of the International Olympic Committee couldn’t be bothered to call out China for some its human rights abuses, but he could take the time to wag his finger at Usain Bolt for celebrating his 100m win before it was technically over. Admittedly, it would have been cool if Bolt kept his head down, only because he would have had an even lower world record, but at that point he had locked up the race and he was excited. He’s entitled to his fun. Why do you hate fun, Mr. Rogge? Why?

4) The Dutch really love orange. Yet there is no orange in their flag. Discuss.

5) Not all American Olympic athletes are rich and/or have token jobs at Home Depot. One of my favorite stories out of Beijing was Stephanie Brown Trafton’s unexpected discus gold medal – the first for an American woman since 1932. When she’s not throwing, Brown Trafton works as a computer-assisted designer for an environmental consulting firm. Hope for desk monkeys everywhere!

6) Last but not least, my favorite moment of the games. With barrels full of all due respect to Michael Phelps, Debbie Phelps, Jason Lezak, Usain Bolt, Nastia Liukin, the US women’s soccer team, Dara Torres, Bryan Clay, the female shooters from Georgia and Russia who symbolically hugged during their medal ceremony, the little Chinese boy who rescued his classmates in that earthquake and walked out with Yao Ming in the opening ceremonies, the openly gay diver from Australia who won gold, the German weight lifter’s tribute to his late wife, and that fox Ryan Lochte, my favorite Olympic moment came on the last day, when the US men’s volleyball team beat Brazil for the gold.

This wasn’t my favorite because the US won (though I’ll admit most of my fav moments came from US wins) or because I'm a huge volleyball fan (I'm not), but because their coach overcame so much to make it happen. On only the second day of the games, Coach Hugh McCutcheon’s father-in-law was killed and his mother-in-law seriously injured when they were stabbed while site seeing in Beijing. McCutcheon’s wife went home with her mother, but he stayed and coached the team to victory. His face after the win said it all. It was really something.

I don't "get" your sport, but well done men's volleyball. Well done.

OK, that about does it. Now, who’s ready for some football?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Around the Web

We were so GOOD together! (sob)

-FYI, Cal Football Fan Fest is this Saturday. Come out to support the Asian American Bone Marrow Donor Program and maybe even meet Marshawn the dog! [Bears With Fangs]

-With John Smoltz and Tom Glavine both sidelined for the year with injuries, new Dodger Greg Maddux appears to be the "Last Man Standing" from those great 90's Braves ptiching staffs. And don't even ask me what Steve Avery and Mark Wholers are doing right now [Bugs & Cranks]

-It's been on TV, but in case you missed it, Chargers receiver Chris Chambers lobbies to be on your fantasy team by amazingly catching three balls thrown at him from behind. Pretty sure this is real. I mean, the guy has had only like, 15 years of playing football to practice this trick! [Bolt Hype]

-Clippers' center Chris Kaman declares that he "is not a traitor" for being on the German team for the Olympics. [ClipperBlog]

-Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek gives rave reviews to the recently released Topps Allen & Ginter trading card set. He pulled a Vlad Guerrero game-used jersey card, and special inserts of Cleopatra and the Mako Shark. [On the Road with Pat Neshek]

-Kevin Martin might be the only person that wishes Ron Artest was still on the Kings. That's only part of a nice interview with the rising star. [Sace Bee Kings Blog]

-Four words: Olympic. Lego. Sports. Villiage. So rad. [And One]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Science of Crotch Shots

So what EXACTLY happens when you get hit in the nuts with a tennis ball at high speed? Well the people Fox Sports Network: Sports Science are more than happy to pelt a guy named Jason in the nether-regions in such a fashion, and the result is quite entertaining. And educational, too!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Throwbacks and Fitteds

Above is a sweet new design from The Padres minor league affiliate Rancho Cucomonga Quakes have always had a popular lid, but they've taken it to another level with the actual fault line across the bill. Pretty sweet for us hat dorks (FYI, the other cap is of Phillies' minor leauge affiliate Clearwater Threshers).

And for even more Padres-related stuff, this one will come as a trip. Throwback Padres jerseys have made waves ever since Jay-Z donned the '84 home Alan Wiggins jersey in the "Girls, Girls, Girls" video, but this one takes the cake. Who would ever have thought that the "Camo/Miltary Salute" jersey would ever be manufactured as a classic? Well, the fine folks at Mitchell and Ness have done it. Behold:

And in case you forgot, here's Mr. Roc-A-Fella himself representing SD:

Happy Tuesday, as we continue with the Olympic-sized Inspirational Quotes:

"Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition."

-Track and Field legend Jesse Owens

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Weekly Weddle: Hart Hearts EW

When trey-duece is on the scene, people go down.

For those readers out there that rely on PHN for the most in-depth, quality and comprehensive Eric Weddle coverage, fear not. The Weekly Weddle will resume it's semi-pseudo-weekly schedule with even more precision and accuracy than in the past.

First, let's take you around the Weddle-Web. The North County Times recently published a nice article about of incumbant strong safety Clinton Hart is meshing with E-Dub in the defensive backfield. It's pretty obvious that the departure of New England playoff goat Marlon McCree is helping both players become more effective in the defensive backfield.

And here's another good piece from the Daily Utah Chronicle about the advice he had for some current Univeristy of Utah players hoping to be playing in NFL regarding the combine and draft process.

Finally, we have a new feature here on the Weekly Weddle. This is the first of many Eric Weddle haiku poems to come:

Made great plays at Indy.
The league will come to fear him.
Pro Bowl in '08?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

LT Meets Kimbo, You gotta see this

This is an awesome new Nike commercial (via Awful Announcing). Now whether or not the last part was real, who knows. But I love this backyard training stuff. Tony Simpson-Romo should try it:

And here's an Olympic-sized Inspirational Quote for everyone:

"If I had a bad performance in a particular leotard, I threw it in the trash."

-Former gymnastics gold medalist Mary Lou Retton

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fantasy Football: The cure for Blog Hibernation

Same picture from last year's blog hibernation. Go ahead, look it up. I dare you.

Yes, it's been a while. Yes, we've sucked at keeping this blog updated with the intra-web shenanigans that all of our seven readers have come to expect. Overall things have been slow, and for Padres fans the dog days of summer baseball have been less than inspiring, to say the least.

However, there is a light at the end of the summer sports tunnel (for those of us who are non into the Olympics): football season. So in an attempt to get back in the swing of things, PHN presents a small 2008 preview. A few observations:

We're all sick of Brett Favre. Jericho Cotchery and Thomas Jones won't be.

All the talk has been about Brett Favre's legacy and the quarterback controversy with Aaron Rodgers. However, what most concerns fantasy owners is what kind of impact he'll have on the stat sheet. While Brett himself should be considered only a high-end fantasy backup, his mere presence does raise the value of several other Jets players. Receiver Jericho Cotchery (Philip Rivers' main target from college days) should be able to put up Greg Jennings-type numbers, if not better. He's a polished route runner with toughness and agility. Draft him as your #3 WR and watch him put up stats worthy of a #2.

Order your green "Walls of Jericho" shirt at

The passing game should also open things up for RB Thomas Jones, who was hampered by the inept quarterbacking of such luminaries as Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens in '07. The signing of Pro Bowl center Alan Faneca should help Jones to a 1,200+, 10 TD season. If he's there in round 3, pull the trigger.

Don't forget about the Bills

Yes, quarterback Trent Edwards is unproven and most likely a fringe NFL starter. And yes WR Lee Evans is on track to become the latest disappointing Wisconsin Badger (we're looking at YOU, Ron Dayne and Michael Bennett). But there's talent on this squad that's going to produce and help many fantasy owners that recognize this.

RB Marshawn Lynch got hyphy on the gridiron in 2007 to the tune of 1,115 yards on 280 carries with seven touchdowns in 13 games. Many expect those totals to increase, including Peter King who predicts Lynch will be second in the league in rushing yards this year, even ahead of fantasy darling Adrian Peterson. If you pass this guy in the first round for injury risks and/or aging backs like Clinton Portis, Jamal Lewis and Frank Gore, by week six you'll regret it.

How can you pass on a guy that claims to have a "Beast Mode" ?

Another uber-sleeper on this team is WR James Hardy, a rookie out of Inidana University. He should move up the depth chart quickly, eventually surpassing perennial disappointment Josh Reed. Hardy is quite a physical specimen, reminiscent of a young T.O. He should get a lot of red zone looks at the very least, and his presence will help take pressure of Evans, who's slight build and lack of physicality make it difficult for him to beat double teams consistently.

This year's Sleeper Beauty at QB could be Jason Campbell

It happens every season at every position, a guy slips under the radar during the draft and ends up putting numbers worthy of a guy you'd pick in the top 3 rounds (see: Derek Anderson from last year). Bottom line, this guy has talent, and also talent around him. The main thing that worked against him was Joe Gibbs' conservative offensive philosophy. New head coach Jim Zorn is a former quarterback himself, and is sure to bring a more versatile and effective offensive passing attack. JC threw for 2,700 yards, with 12 TDs and 11 INTs in 2007, numbers not really worthy of an every week fantasy starter. However, Washington returns with passing weapons such as Chris Cooley, Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El. And in addition, USC's pass-catching tight end phenom Fred Davis was taken on draft day, as well as lanky red zone target Malcolm Kelly out of Oklahoma. This team has all the talent to be a formidable passing team, so take Campbell as your backup and shove it in all of the other owners' faces when he starts leading your team to fantasy glory.

Doug Williams reincarnated? Maybe. Well, probably not. Draft him anyways, though.

So that's it, hopefully as things settle down in the Bay for yours truly, there'll be more mayhem and excitement in our little sports-nut enclave. That is all.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday PHN!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this here blog and we all forgot. Kinda like we forget about this little gem most days. We are bad parents.

Thanks to those of you still reading. I'd say we'll try and be better about posting, but lying is such an unbecoming character trait.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adiosito, Manolito

And so the Manny Ramirez Era in Boston comes to an end, in a fashion that seemingly mirrors the man himself: Confusing, dramatic, and with a total screw job for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

OK, so Manny's career has never had anything to do with the Pirates, but they did seem to get the raw end of this deal. About 40 minutes after the trade deadline Thursday, it was announced that Manny is headed to LA LA Land to play for the Dodgers, the Sox get Jason Bay, and the Pirates get Andy LaRoche and a mess of prospects.

Honestly, I'm OK with it. I was there when Manny hit his first homerun as Red Sox: It was the Fenway home opener in 2001, and he hit the first pitch he saw over the Green Monster for (if I remember right) a three run shot. It was against the Devil Rays, and it helped give the Sox a win on a spectacularly cold and rainy day. Ahh, Boston baseball.

But as awesome as Manny had been - his World Series MVP, his terrific ability to hit Mariano Rivera, his goofy hijinks like taking a leak inside the Monster in the middle of a game - it was time for him to go. For every fun "Manny being Manny" moment, there was also an increasing number of not-so-fun moment, like when he pushed down the team's traveling secretary, and possibly intentionally struck out in a key spot against the Yankees. He wasn't happy, and his disposition appeared to be leaking into the rest of the clubhouse.

Now he's gone, and while Jason Bay will never be as good as Manny, his numbers for the next few years could potentially be as good as what Manny will put up in the next few season, since Manny is getting older and Bay is entering his prime. I think its a rare example where 70 cents on the dollar might be the best move for a team.

As for you Padres fans who read the site (you're out there right? I've heard rumors) well, sorry.

In other trade news:

- The ChiSox got Ken Griffey, Jr.

- The Yankees got Pudge Rodriguez (don't ask why this is a Canadian source)

- And the Padres are bringing back The San Diego Chicken!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Secondhalf Soothsaying

Could this be "The Year"? Nah, probably not.

With the All Star break over, the real baseball season is upon us! Some of our original picks probably aren't happening (sorry, Pads fans) so we're taking a mulligan and picking all over again. Here's what our crystal balls are saying with 3 and a half months in the bag:


NL West: D-Backs
NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Phillies
NL Wild Card: Brewers

AL West: Angels
AL Central: White Sox
AL East: Red Sox
Wild Card: Rays

World Series Prediction: Cubs defeat Red Sox in seven games in "Battle of the Curses." Chicago's acquisition of Rich Harden plays a key role in putting them over the top.

AL MVP: Josh Hamilton
AL Cy Young: Joe Saunders (fantasy owners, you're welcome)

NL MVP: Lance Berkman
NL Cy Young: Edison Volquez


NL West: D-Backs
NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Mets
NL Wild Card: Brewers

AL West: Oakland
AL Central: White Sox
AL East: Red Sox
Wild Card: Rays

World Series Prediction: Rays defeat the Cubs in 7, pushing Cubs fans into a serious depression. The entire north side of Chicago is put on suicide watch.


NL West: Arizona
NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Mets
NL Wild Card: Marlins

AL West: Angels
AL Central: Minnesota
AL East: Rays
AL Wild Card: Red Sox

World Series Prediction: Minnesota over Marlins in the lowest rated telecast ever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm just going to come out and say it ...

Brett Farve needs to go away. Or at least make a friggin' decision already. Yes, at the risk of getting pelted to death with cheese curds, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "Sh&t or get off the pot," to America's Golden Boy.

Yeah, I know every man in this country wants to play catch and shop for Wranglers with Brett Favre. I know he brought the good people (and I mean that sincerely) of Green Bay two NFC championships and one Super Bowl. I know he had the most socially accepted drug addiction in the history of the world. And yes, we all laughed at There's Something about Mary.

But you know what else? I'm tired of seeing his face every time I turn on the TV or check my email. He's a moderately accurate gunslinger who's handcuffed his team from going out and getting some fresh blood for years, and now he's pulling a Clemens and retiring, then taking it back. Now, I read that he "doesn't feel welcome" by the Packers organization and that's why he wants to be released.

Doesn't feel welcome? Brett, you've been worshipped like a god for 16 years. Now you're old and can't play that well. They're offering a cushy retirement, allowing you to more or less go out on top, and you will pretty much walk on the waters of Lake Michigan for the rest of your life and beyond. I know, you wanna keep throwin' the pig skin 'round, but seriously, your retired jock life will be better than anything the rest of us can even conceive of. Nothing but celebrity golf tournaments and fancy steak dinners. Accept it. Move on. So the rest of us can too.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th from PHN and Joey Chestnut

The one legit Padres All-Star

Things have been slow around these parts, mostly due to me hitting up way too many Happy Hours here in the Bay Area. The world of sports has been a little slow lately, although as baseball approaches the All-Star break some interesting things have happened, with the trade of C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers being one of them. One amazing feet that took place over last weekend, however, was San Jose's own Joey Chestnut repeating as the Nathan's world hot dog eating champion, defeating Kobyashi for the second year in a row. This time JC bested the legend in a five-dog overtime, no less! Here it is, and please prepare to be completely nauseated:

That's it for now, and here's what you all come back for, today's Inspirational Sports Quote:

“If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out.”

-Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer George Brett

Monday, June 30, 2008

Just so we're clear

What? We was just playin'. Hey, I'm Manny!

If you want to physically abuse a high-ranking member of the front office staff, you need to have at least 500 homeruns or a World Series MVP award. Otherwise, that kind of thing will get you fired.

Good to know. Good to know.

I hate my life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

PHN lands in the Bay

I live somewhere in this picture now.

Sorry, but posts have been infrequent to due my relocation to the Bay Area, which has gone relatively smoothly. After getting settled in for a bit, I was able to attend yesterday's A's/Phillies game at McAfee. Rich Harden was lights out, Jack Hannahan hit a double and as usual Philly Fans left the game pissed off and miserable.

But hopefully PHN will get back into the groove shortly, and with a new and entertaining perspective.

“I like playing for Oakland, they have a very colorful uniform”

-All-time stolen base leader Ricky Henderson

Monday, June 23, 2008

Baseball vs. Football

RIP, George.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Return of Jake Peavy

Today, I attended the return of Jake Peavy to Petco Park. Jake pitched 6 scoreless innings and looked really good. And, get this, Brian Giles hit a 3 run home run! After Khalil Green hit a home run last night! Will wonders never cease?

In other news, the Padres neglected to make my day and show the totally awesome Heath Bell/300 mash-up on the Jumbotron (someone needs to put that sucker on youtube). I guess I'll have to be content with a 9-0 win.

Feel the momentum, baby. Go Padres! Overtake the Giants for third place!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Throwbacks and Fitteds

The Ivy League goes hip-hop. Watch out!

For those of you who have not discovered the world of Stall & Dean Sporting Goods Co., their website is well worth checking out. Founded in the late 1800's, S&D now specializes in caps and apparel of Ivy League schools and old school New York Rucker Park club basketball teams. They also have a celebrity photo section, with Jay-Z, Kanye and others sporting S&D. But one of the coolest thing on there is a Rucker League "Cougars" hat, which is pretty much the closest thing out there as far as official "Playmakers" gear goes. If you haven't checked the show out, I highly recommend you watch it on DVD:

If anyone has a DH jersey, please e-mail me.

Meanwhile, offers links to their ebay auctions for game used vintage jerseys, some of which date back to the 1920's. They have some great pictures on their site of classic uniforms such as the 1970's baby blue Sacramento Kings and Harlem Globetrotters warm-up jacket. It's a mostly hoops site, but there are items for every sport, hockey included.

Now I've seen it all.

That's it for today, and I'll keep everyone posted as the search for awesome stuff continues.

“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you”

-Martial arts master Bruce Lee