Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hey Giants here’s how you beat the Patriots on Offense.

Get the NE LBs out in space and then attack. These LBs are superb scrapers and stuffers within 4 yards of the LOS. Beyond that, they’re as lumbering and oafish a crew that exists in the league. Bruschi and Seau are simply decrepit out in space. Adalius Thomas is a fine rusher, but at 270 pounds and far more of a rusher, he’s not comfortable at all in open space downfield. Vrabel is a solid, steady veteran, but is no spring chicken, and lacks any kind of speed in open space. This means quick flares, power sweeps, quickie-tosses to the RB or sidecar, designed quick-screens, and short flips, quick slants.

Challenge the NE secondary early. The Patriots are a much better team with the lead (yes I know as are most in the league) but it’s imperative that The Giants attack these guys in the intermediate passing zones. Hobbs is a horrendous tackler, Sanders is slow, Harrison is slow and Samuel is aggressive. There are numerous advantages here if the Giant’s O-Line is able to hold off the pass rush. Eagles showed a tremendous amount of success on deep ins as well as delayed crosses that go across the field. Seamers, short flags must be utilized so that the Giants receivers can snare the ball on the move and than gain RAC yardage.

Run! And if there’s any chink in the nearly impregnable armor of the Patriots, it’s their run defense—they’re ranked 10th in the league against the rush, allowing nearly 100 yards per contest. But but they shut down Jacksonville and San Diego. True, but look at what those two teams both do best: The power running game. As stated above, this just right at the strength of the Patriot defense. Seymour, Warren and Wilfolk can clog up most linemen leaving the linebackers to just shoot gaps. That is why the Giants have to get Ahmad Bradshaw into the game and take advantage of his speed. Bradshaw has fresh legs, and he'll be fully healthy in the Super Bowl SO USE HIM GILBRIDE. Simplified hat on a hat blocking is what is needed here, combined with quick hitting plays to Bradshaw and even Jacobs rather than the host of slow, meandering plays that we’ve seen all too much of lately against the Pats. Philly and Balt showed that NE can be run on, but only if it’s quick, not cutesy. That means fuck the counters, stretches, power sweeps, etc. Add the blasts, pitches, tosses and watch those old bastards wilt.

One thing going for the Giants is that they have a very good offensive line that has been playing together all season. They’ve seen the Patriots once so more of the same can be expected. New England relies on leverage, being physical and blitzing to get most of their pressure specifically with their linebackers and Roidney Harrison. Giants can trap them at their own game and hit a couple of plays.

Throw conventional wisdom out the window. This is the last game of the season and who knows what happens this offseason or next. The point is to seize the game. For all intents and purposes, the Pats adjust better than any team in the league and will begin to change things up if they aren’t work. This means you have to get up on them early. Go for it on 4th down but treat every situation as if you will go for it on 4th down. That means on say 3rd and 6, you can run the ball and attempt another play on 4th. The notion here is based on this Two week layoff, most teams especially ones reliant upon timing and rhythm which the Pats are can be out of sorts early on. Thus, the Giants have to come out sharp, focus and crisp.

Eli’s Bar Mitzvah? It’s time to show the world why you traded to get this guy. Eli has been an effective game manager over the last half of the season and has made solid decisions, decisive and taken what’s there. Eli’s receivers can make plays as they did in the last game and Plaxico Burress has been a matchup problem for the Patriots since 2001. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Eli should hold onto the football for say 7 seconds waiting for Kevin Boss to come open on a crosser but what I am saying if nothing is open and the best play would be to heave a ball into the grand canyon than do so. Eli can not stand around as it leads to horrendous strips, fumbles and momentum for the Pats. He hasn’t shown that since the Viking game and by all accounts he can be the key cog in an upset of the century. He has the skills and now seems to have a firm grasp of the mental aspect. He has shown to be calm, poised and decisive. Come on Eli, the nation is counting on you.

White Boy's Pick:

I love the Giants, but I just can't see it.

The 2007 New York Giants have made a habit of proving everyone, including their most loyal and passionate of fans, such as myself, wrong. I have picked against them in each of the last two playoff games and figured the team would win no more than 6 games all season. Even when they started out 6-2 I assumed they would free fall after a seemingly crushing home loss to the division leading Cowboys. However, this team, despite losing its best running back of all time to retirement and losing its star tightened in week 15 to a season ending leg injury, has continued to make me and football pundits alike look foolish. They are 4-1 without Shockey and 13-6 for the season without Tiki. They have played phenomenal defense against two high powered offenses on the road in the divisional and conference championship rounds and look like a team that can meet any challenge.
Despite all of the hurdles this team has leaped over and the odds they have faced to get to the “big game”, (I don’t want to get sued for saying you know what) I just can’t see my beloved Gggggggggmen emerging victorious on Sunday. The Patriots are just too freaking good. They have no flaws except maybe a slow and old line backing corps. They have perfect coaching, a perfect quarterback and the best receiving trio ever assembled in the National Football League. Oh yea, their defense is real good too even if their star safety is a cheating, dirty scumbag. Do I think the Giants can make this a good game? Sure. Do I think there is anyway that the Giants actually turn Brady over and come up huge in the game’s deciding moments? I don’t.
The sad thing is, I would be confident if Big Blue faced any other team in the league tomorrow. If they were playing the Chargers I’d pick them to win. If they were playing the colts, I’d be very sure of a triumph for my favorite sports team. Unfortunately, the Giants picked the wrong year to represent the NFC in the big game. As much as people want to compare this Pats team to the 1972 Dolphins, that team wasn’t even favored in the big game! This team is rightfully favored by almost two touchdowns. Point being, outside of Super bowl III, where the Jets triumphed in the role of 18 point dog, this would be the biggest upset in big game history in spite of what the spread says. I’ll be rooting like heck for it to happen and even might wear that newly won Phil Simms helmet during the game to create some kind of positive mojo. However, I gots to keep it real. It just seems too daunting a task to beat this nearly flawless team. Still, New York will cover and give us a bowl worth watching. THE PICK: GIANTS FINAL SCORE 31-20 PATS.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Upper East Side knows what's up

Ever hear of Brady's on 78th & 2nd? Uh, it's getting renamed for a weekend.

Props to my boy Drizz for the picture...

Oh, is there a football game this weekend? I haven't heard a thing!

So, we are finally here, the big weekend. Now, Ive done an amazing job of avoiding 99% of the hype surrounding this game, but I do live in New York, so I couldn't get away from all of it. So, to anyone who actually believes that Bradys ankle will be an issue, I have some lovely plots of land to sell you alongside the scenic Gowanus Canal. This is a classic non-story to keep the chattering classes occupied so they wont ask anymore questions about SpyGate(to which we still have not recieved any satisfactory answers). Anyway, my boss is glaring at me, so I will be brief with my pick.
This is a true mind/gut split for me. The Pats will probably win, but I really don't want them to. They have the edge pretty much everywhere, but there are some reasons for hope. Brandon Jacobs could get some big runs vs. this group of linebackers and NYs D-line has the ability to get to Brady at least a few times. Its possible that Plax could have a big day in the corner of the endzone. These are all big maybes, but one thing is certain: QB play will decide this game. If the Giants D can bring Brady down to Earth, and Eli can continue his pick-free streak, its a tossup. If Eli turns into the Rex Grossman look-a-like that non-Giant fans have come to love, its over in the 2nd quarter. And if Brady is on fire, well, we all know what that looks like. Ive preached before that every game is decided in the trenches, and that is still certainly true. For the Giants, it is absolutely critical that they win the trench battle on both sides of the ball, they must pressure Brady all day long and protect Eli so he can work his Manning magic. If they lose either battle, they lose the war. My prediction: they lose one of those battles. Now a normal thinking person would say, "That means they lose the game, right?". And they would be right, except that I refuse to accept that the Patriots will win this game. So, Im predicting something crazy happens, a return for TD, a tipped ball picked for 6, a bolt of lightning strikes Brady, and the Giants pull off the miracle. God willing. Giants win 31-30(last second FG? wouldnt that be poetic)

Hey Giants here’s how you beat the Patriots on Defense.

So pretend I’m Steve Spagnulo. That’s because I too am a white 40 year old guy with a beard and an extensive knowledge of football and the leading HC candidate to be the coach of an NFL team soon. Anyway, defeating the Patsies is quite the complex task. Through 18 weeks, they’ve shown a boatload of strengths and schemes and personnel required to line up literally in about 15 different offensive formations that most teams can’t even attempt to do. Luckily, for Spags and America’s team, they have two weeks to gloss over these seemingly massive mismatch and try to mitigate the damage.

The first thing that Spags must do is to take his losses. Get it in his head that his team will allow atleast 3 touchdowns (sorry plax) and move on from there. Teams get this idea that they can completely shutdown the Patsie offense are grossly mistaken. They will get the points. The sooner defenses realize this the better. Also hoping for the 2 week layoff jinx is another help. The notion here is based on this Two week layoff, most teams especially ones reliant upon timing and rhythm which the Pats are can be out of sorts early on. Thus, the Giants have to come out sharp, focus and crisp.

Unfortunately there isn’t a scheme around that can matchup with the Pats. San Diego shut them down with a 3-4, 1 gap scheme. Baltimore plays the hybrid. Colts with the cover 2. Eagles with their blitz heavy 4-3. All these teams have had stretches were they were able to shut down the Patriots. The Giants in G1 were able to do the same as well as put a little harassment on Tommie B. Anywho, let's look at some personel before.

The Pats O-Line is the best in the league. They armed with the BEST INTERIOR in all of football. What this means is that Brady 95%of the time is able to STEP UP in the pocket in delivering a pass. Teams have to get some inside pressure to be successful. Let me introduce you to the Pats’ interior. Logan Mankins is the best guard in the NFL. Mankins is just a nasty beast with bad intentions in his heart every single play. He could poke you in the eye, punch you in throat and kick you in the balls. Mankins is dominant at the second level. Mankins is perfect in pass pro. Allows next to nothing in sacks all season (outside of last week.) Koppen at center is also elite. He can handle elite NTs (Williams/Hampton) but had some trouble with Ratbird’s Haloti Ngata. Sadly no one on the Giants can bring what Ngata brought and Robbins/Cofield need to have a strong game. Robbins especially must come out like a house of fire. He could give Koppen the most trouble. The Giants must have the guards of the Patriots help out on Robbins/Cofield. This will allow the linebackers to flow the football or follow the running backs/tight ends. Stephen Neal at RG is an ex collegiate wrestler who understands the use of leverage and hand placement. Not to mention the man is strong and is good at the second level also! Neal is equally scary in pass pro as he allows next to nothing in terms of a pass rush. This allows the Pats tackles to simply ride opposing De’s and OLBs behind Brady and the pocket and let Tom pick your coverage to death by simply stepping up.

So with that in mind, how do you get to Brady? Well you can’t count on it all the time but what the Giants need to do is atleast get some sort of action around Brady. Whether it means getting some hands in his face, batting down passes, getting pressure to shorten Brady’s stride in delivery and making sure to HIT him just after he releases the pass. What further complicates this is that officials know this and will be extremely willing to dole out 15 yard penalties. Regardless, the Giants can get to Brady as Osi, Tuck etc. got to him in the last game. They need to have some interior pass rush and when they can’t get to Brady try to bat his shit down or atleast raise your arms and hope for the best. I’m also not condoning diving for the knees but anything to get Brady out of his comfort zone should be utilized within REASON.

The Pats are also the best team in the league in using the check downs. Teams can get carried away chasing the Patsie receivers all over the place but what makes them a bitch to defend is those annoying little checkdowns on 3rd and 4+ to Maroney, Faulk. What that means is you need to have a linebacker follow both of them and smack them before they get out on routes. Again easier said than done but the Giants have the linebackers to do it.

This transitions into my next point. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST BE PHYSICAL WITH EVERY RECEIVER ON THE PATS. Too many teams get scared of the Big play so they play soft and allow cushions. This is what the Pats want you to do. They want you to be scared and than they’ll dink and dunk you under the table. You must smack the living shit of of all receivers – WRs, TEs and Runningbacks. San Diego was able to matchup their corners with the receivers and limited the Patriots to 21 points. The Giants have similar skill among the corner position though without the playmaking ability. Philly and Baltimore both played the receivers tough and physical. You have to play man on man and you must watch the motion and those little dinky bubble screens to Welker that the Pats love to rock. Take the kid gloves off and let them get a chuck, punch, shove and push. Watson, too, must not be given a free release each and every pass play. Sure, being physical has its risks, but as Iron Maiden once sang, “if you’re gonna die, die with your boots on.” It’s better to be tough and rugged than passive and pussyfied. The Giants pass rush can also lead to problems that get knock the Pats out of rhythm and it WILL limit the time Mr. Gisele would like in going through his progressions.

In the AFCG, The Pats rode Maroney in the 2nd half and dominated the end of the game. The Giants have to be able to rotate their crew and get meaningful snaps from Tuck, Alford, Manny Wright, Chase Blackburn, etc. They can not get winded in the 4Q like the Chargers did before them. Giants actually could stop the rushing attack for the Pats as the Pats line is much better suited to pass blocking. The problem with Maroney and a similar Barber is their physical style. The Giants have to tackle low and not let them gain that momentum. Trying to tackle high especially with corners and safeties is a recipe for disaster. To further the point, the Giants need to stop Maroney with their front 7. They can not have either Wilson or Butler come up in run support as this is a sheer sign of doom. Wilson and Butler need to stay back and watch out for the big play always. Butler especially was victimized like a school girl in the last game. He must be the last line of defense.

The Giants can do it. They aren't a sad sack group of overachievers like the 2001 Patriots or something but are a skilled group of players with the best pass rush in the league. It's time to unleash that motherfucker on Tom Brady and the Patriot offense.

Super Bowl XLII Predictions: Devo Stylie

I’m a pessimist by nature. This way, when the worst doesn’t happen, I’m pleasantly surprised. This SB preview is going to have something of a depressing, defeatist, vibe. To make a short story shorter, I don’t see the Giants winning, and here are the two main reasons why:

(Angry White Man thinks that the Football with Sneakers Logo is retarted, but that's another article)

1. Bill Belichek

The man has two weeks to figure out what will and won’t work against the Giants. 4 years of living in Boston has taught me that he is as good as they come. The Patriots, and most notably Belichek and Brady have earned ’01 Yankee Status: I’ll think that they’re beatable in a Super Bowl when I see them lose one. Let’s hope that Luis Gonzalez is wearing a Giants jersey this year.

2. The Giants are happy to be there.

Every year one team shows that they’ve come to the Super Bowl on a mission, while another team shows that it came there to enjoy the party. (Paging Eugene Robinson…) The Patriots are doing everything by the book, saying very little, maintaining a very business-like attitude. The Giants? They seem to be enjoying themselves. Not that they don’t have a right to enjoy themselves, but Strahan hasn’t shut up since their plane landed and Plax might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “23-17.” If fans are an extension of their teams (and this is probably completely false) then the Giants are much happier to be there than the Patriots. Patriots fans want to see 19-0, Giants fans (or at least, White Boy) are the proud owners of NFC Champions apparel.

Final Score
New England 34
Giants 16

Thursday, January 31, 2008


In the words of Elaine Benes “I’m just fortunate to be surrounded by such incompetence.” Elaine was referring to her incompetent co-workers at the J. Peterman catalogue. I can’t help but think of this quote when summarizing my evening last night. Mahatma and I went to get dinner at a bar we frequent in New York’s midtown section. When we arrive we realize that 1050 ESPN Radio is doing a show from there. One of the hosts of this show was ex Giants running back Joe Morris (wow he has put on a few.)

Anyway, lucky for me they were doing a Giant’s trivia contest. The winner was to be awarded a Phil Simms autographed full sized Giant’s helmet. I am the first person to be quizzed. I should have been the only one. Though to be fair, Mahatma held his own when answering trivia about MY team. I answered 8 questions out of 10 correctly. Amongst the harder ones were being asked to recall the exact final score of the Giants Patriots game (38-35 Pats) and figuring out how many years the G-men have been in existence (83). The only question I got wrong which was not a true false was being asked to recall what team the Giants played in their first ever National Football League (Frankfurt Yellow Jackets or something?). Some of the questions were absurdly easy like being asked to recall the Giant’s three playoff opponents this year and to name at least 2 draft picks of this past draft. When I walked around the bar I was amazed at some of the questions people got wrong including the question about what teams the Giants played this year during the playoffs!! Any good football fan let alone Giants fan would get at least 7 out of 10 correct as Mahatma did.

The next 30 minutes were spent anxiously waiting, along with Mahatma, to see if anyone would top my 8 out of 10 score. Finally, when a man wearing a 1050 Espn Radio t-shirt approached me and asked me my name I knew this was a good sign. I WON I WON! I took my picture with the helmet and the 2 scantily clad New York Titans lacrosse team cheerleaders. It was awesome.

However, this leads me to contemplate an interesting dilemma. I was not sure how long, after engaging in my helmet winning performance, I would have to wait to claim my prize. I had made plans with the girl I am dating to see her at about 9:30. Should I break my plans with her in order to wait and cash in on my Simms helmet or should I leave and meet the girl for a possible session of romantic bonding? In the words of City High “What would you do”?

A. Forget the girl; this is a Phil Simms helmet. 22-25 Super bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms.

B. Are you freaking nuts, you gots to get yo game on player. That helmet isn’t going to make out with you tonight is it?

Luckily I got to do as the saying goes “a little from column A and a little from column B “

Angry White Man (Super Bowl Edition)

What's the deal with doing a radio show from Phoenix this week? Why am I supposed to care that you're there? Am I to believe that by being there, you're getting me closer to the action? That you're in the stadium? Will I hear yelling in the background that sounds suspiciously like Coughlin or Belichek addressing the team?

No. Far from it. The radio guys all get together in a convention center, where they all do their shows, fat guy side-by-side with fat guy, from all around the country. There's a handful of current and past nfl stars who basically walk around the booths, talk about the game and any other charitable causes that they have going on in their lives, which range from Harry Carson and Gale Sayers schilling for Gridiron Greats ( the charity that helps past NFL players receive proper pension benefits and health care) to other equally noble causes, like Shawn Merriman promoting the altruistic values of the Madden Challenge.

Are they doing anything in Phoenix that they can't do live from their regular studios? Would any of us know the difference? You're telling me that they can't get Merriman or Sayers on the phone? Unless they're live from the field and I can hear glimpses of what's going on at the practices, I really don't care that you're in Phoenix.

But who gets the cake for most pointless broadcast from the Super Bowl? Mike & Mike, an otherwise solid morning show. If they were in Miami or anywhere else East of the Mississippi, it wouldn't be quite as pointless, but they're live from Arizona doing a show that runs 6am to 10am eastern standard time. Their show, as broadcasted on ESPN2, shows them live from Phoenix from 3am to 7am. This means that as the show is ending, the sun is just starting to come up. Brilliant ESPN, simply brilliant.

"And he'll go to the grave as an angry young man."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Conflict of Interest?

As the Patriots continue their march to “perfection,” one seemingly strange occurrence has been seen frequently yet not commented on by the various media outlets. During the various games for the Patriots has anyone noticed who is seen sitting next to one Robert Kraft in his glorious press box in the sky. One would assume that this person is either one of the Kraft clan or one of his many underlings. Upon further inspection and a random comment from Jim Nantz during the Pats/Steeler game referenced that this man was Les Moonves.

Who is this guy and why is he seated next to the Patriots' Owner?

Here’s Les bio from Wikipedia:

Nantz referred to something called Patriot Place when discussing Les and Robert and why they seem to be such inseparable bedfellows.

All it took was some simple digging on what exactly this nightmare is:

The restaurant will sit at the mouth of the stadium as part of the adjacent Patriot Place retail complex under development in Foxborough. Kraft said he initially considered the sports dining venue ESPN Zone for the site, but decided he wanted a fresh concept for the massive new shopping and entertainment center and approached a friend, CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves. ESPN Zone offers a similar set-up, serving grill food with big-screen televisions and nonstop sports coverage.

"We want to be a unique destination. We have a great relationship with CBS, and their network is so much bigger than sports," Kraft said.

Now I understand the need for one to expand one’s ever growing empire but is anyone else bothered by this?

CBS pays a boatload of money to bring the AFC games to its viewers so I guess they are entitled to do anything they want but um aren't they opening up a gigantic can of worms with this?

Nobody finds anything wrong when the HEAD of a network is in your back pocket and a business partner to arguably their most notable team this year? Sure deals like this happen all the time in business and no one seems to complain than. It just makes this season all the more unbearable for everyone not in Patriot nation. Look if I wanted to listen to NESN, I’d move back to Boston. I don’t want A MAJOR TV NETWORK to suck off a team especially when there are loads more of other teams involved and should also have been covered.

This seemingly has been brewing this entire season with the initial reports of Spygate. Where was CBS in all this? Other networks showed you tapes and questioned the validity of past Patriot success while CBS tried their hardest to justify it.

Not partly because CBS does own rights to AFC games, why would they like to harp on something that takes credence, dollars and ratings from their football games. The point is they don’t and this combined with this new Patriot Place is their any reason for them to talk to the Patriots with any sort of negative light.

Furthermore, why would CBS go ahead and do ANYTHING to upset Kraft – especially with a fantabulous new restaurant that's dedicated to CBS programming so yes every masshole cretin can now watch CSI, Criminal Minds, etc.

As says everyone just wins. By everyone we simply mean CBS and the Patriots.

"There is no greater franchise right now in the NFL than the New England Patriots, and there is no better or higher rated broadcaster than CBS Sports, which has become network television's #1 supplier of big ticket events like the NFL," said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. "The CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar represents a terrific opportunity to bring these forces together to launch a first-of-its-kind dining and entertainment destination at what promises to be one of Northeast's most popular attractions. We're very pleased to be partnering with The Kraft Group in bringing this project to life, and creating a venue like nothing else out there."

I know the Pats are having an incredible season and that is genuinely a #1 story, but shouldn't CBS TRY to be objective in all this? All season long they have been hoping and rooting for the Patriots to go undefeated and make the Superbowl even despite the big spygate news. CBS merely swept that under the rug in a pathetic attempt to validate the team’s legitimacy.
Fortunately for the objective fan, the game is on FOX.

so the question is... does this bother you dear Straight Up Sports reader or am I barking up another wrong tree?

Ladies of the Super Bowl Party

The chicks that you’ll find at your super bowl party are much easier to divide up than the men. Without further ado, here we go:

The football fans

Now, common sense says that these are the best kind of women, right? Ordinarily, the answer would be yes; these are certainly the type of women that I try to seek out. Nothing like being able to talk football with a pair of tits. And yet, this isn’t always as good as it seems. The few times that I’ve dated a girl who was big into sports, I did my best to ensure that I wasn’t watching whatever was on the tv at the bar. But she didn’t do the same, and it got weird. When I’m talking to said girl, asking her about herself, her favorite Grey’s Anatomy episode, etc, I find that she’s not paying attention to me but to the exact game that I’m trying to be classy enough to avoid eye contact with. And on the surface, it’s fantastic that you can watch a game with this girl, it really is. But after a while you find yourself asking questions like “Wait, is she avoiding me, or does she really care about the Pro Bowl?” For what it’s worth, if you’re like 99% of men, and can conquer this insecurity, then there’s really nothing wrong with diehard female football fans.

The casual observers who know as much as football makes its way into pop culture

My favorites! They know enough about football that you don’t have to explain who the guy behind the center is, but they don’t know enough to know little things, like the fact that Eli is throwing short to set up the deep bomb in the 2nd half. And you get to show off your football knowledge to an eager population of one. You not only look smart to her, but you are Parcells-like in your ability to teach the game of football to an attractive lady friend. By the end of the evening of teaching the game to her, you convince yourself that you should have been coaching a D I-AA team all this time.

The ones who know absolutely nothing about football

Also known during the Super Bowl as “women who play scrabble in the kitchen” or “women who go out and pick up the pizza for halftime.” They don’t know anything about football, and they’re quite alright with that. Be nice to them, because most likely they’ll inherit some money in April when they win a March Madness pool. The good women in this category know enough to catch a score, if only to tell what kind of mood their boyfriend/husband will be in. (My mom and dad have survived 35 years of marriage on this principle.) If these women ever cared to ask, you’d have to begin explaining football by telling them that the game is 11 on 11. All I ask out of women like this is to just let me watch my game and realize that we could just as easily go for a walk in the park on a Saturday as on a Sunday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WE GOT HIM! (almost)

According to ESPN, Mets fans, the Twins will be getting Carlos Gomez, and three pitchers: Philip Humber, Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey. The Mets will be getting a former CY YOUNG winner. His name happens to be Johan Santana!!

Now, let's not jump to conclusions. Remember when the Mets 'got' Vlad Guerrero? This whole thing is only happening if they can all work out a contract agreement together, in 48-72 hours. Go boys, make it happen!! Let's all just be tentatively hopeful for now. How does that sound?

What do you think? Is he worth all those prospects? Will this be another Alomar/Vaughn disaster
if it actually happens? Where does this trade rank the Mets in the National League East? That last question was for you, Billy Wagner, for saying they were 3rd behind the Phillies and the Braves.

MissMet is VERY happy right now.


Mets the front-runner? Sources say N.Y. has best Santana offer

Sirens of the Center Court, Part II

3. Daniela Hantuchova-Slovakia

Why is it that former Soviet satellite countries dominate the production of hot female tennis players? It may be their inherent superiority in the attractiveness gene(Even Cali girls cant compete with Eastern Europe), or it may be some insidious plan hatched in the 80's by Gorbachev to take back the initiative in the global image competition between the US and USSR after Rocky Balboa's stunning defeat of Ivan Drago. We don't really know, history will have to decide. I will have to say though, I saw some amazingly thin pics of this girl, kinda scary. Women need to understand that anorexia is not very attractive, its ok (preferable even) to have a little junk in the trunk. Speaking of that....

4. Serena Williams-USofA

This one is for the brothers. I'm not a big fan of either Williams sister. Honestly, they kind of scare me. But damned if I haven't met tons of black guys who LOVE this girl. In fact, I just asked my coworkers who was hotter, Venus or Serena. Unanimous decision for Serena, with the comment, "Venus looks like a crackhead". So there you go.

5. Nicole Vaidisova-Czech Republic

This is an up and comer right here. A couple months shy of her 19th birthday, Nicole impressed me at the Aussie Open with good court positioning and a pretty decent pair of legs. She was actually born in Germany, but is claiming Czech citizenship. I dont know what the story is, but I dont blame her, Id rather be from Czech too.

Well, thats all I have for now. But I must stress, this is an incomplete list at best. There are tons of attractive tennis players out there just waiting to be discovered.

Stick with Straight Up Sports for all your hot tennis player breaking news from The Brooklyn Hillbilly and MissMet

Sirens of the Tennis Court Part I

This is from Brooklyn Hillbilly, currently experiencing some technical difficulties:

Ive never been a big tennis fan, but as an avid ping pong afficianado, I understand and respect the game. Usually, Ill tune in for a little bit of the Grand Slam events in the early rounds and Ill watch some of the later womens matches. MissMet is right, it is a great way to see 17 year-old girls getting hot and sweaty without turning on your computer (or getting another restraining order against you). Now, ever since Anna Kournikova made her splash (what, a decade ago?) people have been looking for the mythical combination of extreme attractiveness and actual skill. No, no, kids, Im not here to tell you we've found her, but merely to give you a quick update on the status of the search. So heres a few quick hits on some of the lovely ladies of the tennis world.

1. Maria Sharpova-Russia

While claiming to be Russian, this leggy blonde has spent most of her 20ish years in Florida learning to play tennis. Whats the statute of limitations on that? I mean she speaks English as well as every other brainless Floridian Ive ever met. Take the plunge Maria, we will welcome you with open arms. Regardless of her origin, Sharapova is probably the closest thing we have to the perfect female tennis player. Solid skills and with a winning track record, she has a real competitive fire that will burn for at least another 5-7 years. Her statuesque form and photogenic smile give her points in the looks category, while grunting gives her street cred.

2. Ana Ivanovic-Serbia

My personal favorite on the tour right now. Saw a bit of her Aussie Open final match vs. Sharapova, very entertaining. In my "research" for this article, I found out she is actually married to some douche with a faux-hawk, so I dont even know if she actually belongs on this list, but the official Straight Up Sports posting rulebook is moot on the issue so Ill let her be.

Part II coming soon....


The dudes you'll see at your super bowl party

Everyone reading this blog (yeah, both of you) will be heading to a Super Bowl Party this Sunday. And more likely than not, these are some of the guys that you’ll encounter: (Girls you’ll encounter will be posted later this week.)

1. The guy who takes the game too seriously

This will be me this year. The diehards for the two teams playing don’t look at Super Sunday as a party. They look at it as 4 hours in which all their team’s skill, sacrifice, and having the refs on their side up to this point will put them in the history books. They will join the likes of Jeff Hostetler and Joe Namath (average quarterbacks who will forever have one thing that Dan Marino doesn’t) or the likes of Vince Ferragamo and Steve Grogan. After the game this guy is definitely drinking. Hard. Whether it’s to celebrate or drown his sorrows is anyone’s guess.

2. The guy who pretends to be a fan of one of the teams, but isn’t really

This guy cares about the game, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t truly know what’s going on unless Joe and Troy spell it out for him. Lucky for him, his willingness to party overrides his worries about who will win. He’ll watch, and even contribute such intelligent remarks as “If we can just score more points, we’ll definitely win,” or “If eli can just complete his passes, he’ll definitely be much better.

3. The guy who isn’t a fan, doesn’t pretend to be, but really enjoys a party

The only difference between this guy and guy #2 is that he makes no pretense about caring who wins. He’ll root for whoever the party’s rooting for, but he will often make fun of guy #1 for being waayyyy into the football game. Guy #1, when he regains rational thought will agree with guy #3, but guy #3’s taunts are still likely to lead to a fight if his team loses. Of course, if his team wins, Guy #1 laughs it all off and calls Guy #3 one of his best friends and a funny motherfucker.

4. The guy who’s really hoping to get some

A close relative of Guy #3, and also the most rational guy at the party. It’s a party, he’s single, why shouldn’t he try to get some? Most of the guys are overly involved in the game and he’ll have a fair amount of the girls to himself. Never will the odds be more in his favor. Of course, the other guys at the party know this, and will rag on him for eternity if he spends the whole evening discussing his favorite Grey’s Anatomy moment with the ladies while failing against unbelievably easy odds. No pressure, guy #4.

5. The guy who roots against whatever team everyone’s rooting for

Yeah, this is me pretty much every year that the Giants aren’t involved. (Ask BH about this.) This person is two things: 1) a football fan; and 2) an asshole. If his team isn’t going to be involved, he’s not happy. And if he’s not happy, why should anyone else be happy? I look forward to returning to this role next year.

6. Degenerate gambling guy

Most Patriot fans will be happy if Gostkowski wins the game in the final seconds. But for this guy, the game was over when the Giants kept it close midway through the 4th quarter.

7. The guy who always shows up late

He always says he was busy shopping or something like that. I’m always amazed that stores are open past 5pm on Super Sunday. Who knew?

8. Commercial guy

He waits until the game is back from commercial before he goes to the bathroom. This guy is often guy #4. He can’t tell you who won in 2002, but he can tell you all about that year’s commercials. Barely a guy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The End of an Era. ::Yawn::

So Jason Kidd wants out of New Jersey. For what it's worth Jason Kidd helped me get back into basketball, if only for 3 or 4 seasons. And yet, I'm happy to see him on his way out. Ever since the Nets got rid of K-Mart, this team has rubbed me the wrong way. (Even if getting rid of K-Mart ended up being the right move.) I guess it all started when the Nets got rid of Byron Scott, the coach of the West-leading New Orleans Hornets. (How did that happen?) Kidd demanded that Lawrence "if Isaiah is ever fired, people will start noticing that I suck" Frank become the next head coach, and the team has toiled in slightly-better-than-mediocrity for the last few years. Oh, and who replaced the badass Kenyon Martin, who at his departure was basically Charles Oakley with a lot more talent? The gutless wonder, Vince Carter. A man who punished people who drove to the paint was replaced by someone who hadn't been in the paint since the Clinton administration. The team became very soft, and even worse, just another half court basketball team.

Rod Thorn has done everything possible to keep this team at the highest level for years, but the bottom line is that Kidd's trade demand happened one year too late. The Nets should have traded Kidd elsewhere, let Vince Carter walk, and rebuild the team with tons of cap space, hopefully lucking out and being able to snag Oden or (preferrably) Durant through the lottery.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go cleanse myself after talking NBA basketball for about 30 minutes too long.

MissMet thinks that Tennis Rocks

...and so do the men that play the game. The tennis season lasts practically all year, starting in mid-January and ending in, well December. There are a few breaks in there (unless your name is Jelena Jankovic, who played a TON in 2007), but tournaments go on throughout the year. I'm happy to catch a match or two during the Tennis Masters Series (played all over the world, to help determine who is #1 at the end of the season) and try to watch as much as I can during the Grand Slams. I love watching the game, but I know that it's not for everyone. Congrats to Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic (jok-o-vich) for winning the Aussie Open this past weekend. Djokovic can actually do a fantastic Sharapova impression, so that works out well.

With all this being said, I know that a lot of guys watch tennis for the hot, sweaty, fit girls. I like to watch tennis for the competition, but also for the hot, sweaty, fit guys. Talent is oh-so-important in this game, but not so much on the list I'm about to share. Here are MissMet's Top 10 Hottest Male Tennis Players of Her Time:

(Note: These are in no particular order)

Jan-Michael Gambill (USA). Yeah, you've probably never heard of him, but back in the late 90s, he wasn't half-bad. He was always very hot though. I actually saw him in person after he left a practice court at the US Open. He is that good looking...

Mark Philippoussis (Australian). Daaaamn. He was definitely a favorite of mine when I was in high school. He made 2 Grand Slam finals, but lost them both. Was recently on a television show called Age of Love on NBC, where he had to choose a girlfriend amongst groups of cougars and kittens. He chose a 25 year old dancer. No word on the status of their relationship.

Marat Safin (Russia). Hellllllloooo Marat. See him up there? This guy has won both the US and the Australian Opens. He's also been injured a lot and has the tendency to take his anger out on...himself.

James Blake (USA). Shaved head, beard, fantastic skin. He also has a really inspirational comeback story (fractured vertebrae, shingles and lost his father, all in 2004). Yes, I like.

Robby Ginepri (USA). Dated Minnie Driver. I got to see him play doubles at this year's US Open with....

Gustavo (Guga) Kuerten (Brazil). Not your conventional hot guy or tennis player. Tall and lanky, but has a sweet guy, mellow aura about him. He's about to retire, but he won 3 French Opens.

MaliVai Washington (USA). What a body. Plus, he was a Wimbledon finalist in 1996 when a streaker ran across the grass at the All-England Club. Pretty ballsy, wasn't she?

Patrick Rafter (Australian). He always seemed so sweet when he was on the tour, saying "Sorry mate!" when his serve toss went wrong. Love it. Won 2 straight US Opens. Nice beard.

Goran Ivanisevic (Croatia). This is a shout-out to my sister. I like him too, and he had an amazing win at Wimbledon in 2001 after losing 3 times in the finals. He's pretty funny too.

Pete Sampras (USA). Confused? I don't know, but there was always something about this hairy American that got me. Just ask Kimberly Williams (from Father of the Bride) and Bridgette Wilson Sampras (from Billy Madison). They agree with me.

Honorable Mention to....

Bjorn Borg (Sweden). He's not from my era, but he was niiice. Like the name, love the beard.

Enjoy the SuperBowl sports fans! My heart is with the Jets, oh nevermind, the Giants, but my head says Patriots. Let's hope for a close game and great commercials!

MissMet's OK News of the Week: Mets are about to sign Livan Hernandez. I'm happy about the addition of the arm, I just wish he weren't so...experienced (32 years old, my ass).

MissMet's Interesting News of Last Week:
David Wright rightfully told the media that his good friend Paul LoDuca deserves 'harsh punishment' if the Mitchell Report is true. I gotta agree with you there Davey. Meanwhile, I saw a fantastic headline (from right after the Mitchell Report) about Roger Clemens. It's up there, hysterical right? Nice job, Trentonian.

MissMet's GREAT News of the Week:
Pitchers and catchers report in seventeen days!!!! Happy Valentine's day to baseball fans :)


NBA Musings from Whiteboy

1) Lebron Graduates from Rabbinical school- Lebron is way too good to say he just had his Bar Mitzvah last night. He also has already had a legendary performance to win a dramatic game 5 of the Eastern finals last year in Detroit. However, he has yet to show me that he could play great end of game individual defense against a fellow superstar. Well, get your Torah ready LBJ because you are now a Rabbi. Lebron's blanketing defense on Kobe yesterday was something I had never seen before from the phenom. His in your face defense propelled his Cavs to an impressive come from behind win in La La land against Kobe and Phil's Lake show. I guess the only thing left for Lebron now is to get a second good player on his team.

2) The Celtics are really good but in a totally different way than I thought- Yea the Celtics lost yesterday in Whorelando on a crazy fade away three from Hedo Turkoglu at the buzzer. But I was more impressed by the hated Celts than I was disappointed by them while watching the last 5 minutes of this game. They play incredible defense. For a team that has two perennial all world scorers that are hardly known for their defense, this team plays suffocating d. This was the case yesterday despite missing their best player in all world defender and rebounder Kevin Garnett. Secondly, what makes this team so good is not so much their big 3 as their big other 3. Rajon Rondo is a phenomenal young talent and Kendrick Perkins looks like Vin Baker before the alcohol and big macs. James Posey should continue to knock down 3's and play solid defense to help propel the Celtics to the conference finals at the very least.

3) HOW IN GOD'S NAME DOES LAWRENCE FRANK STILL HAVE A JOB!- True, Isaiah the GM has done a horrendous job. However, Isaiah the coach is not only not the worst coach in the NBA, he's not even the worst coach in the Tri-state area. How do you have a team with a hall of fame point guard, a star shooting guard and an excellent small forward and be this horrible. I know that nobody cares about the Nets but this is a joke. This is by far the biggest disappointment in the association this year. Frank's teams have underachieved every single season he's been the head coach and this trend won't change any time soon. I know you love him Rod but unless he has pictures of your wife dancing at a strip club; I advise you can him and get a real coach in there like ehem Larry Brown.

4) Deep Breath.............. New York Knicks section- I decided to sit down and watch the entire last 2 Knicks games. Screw you for judging me; I was sick and had nothing else to do! However to my delight I actually enjoyed what I was watching. Yes they lost last night but overall I was pleased with the way the team has played without "Starbury." Jamal Crawford is starting to look like he might finally become that consistent scorer Isaiah told us Knicks fans we were getting in that sign and trade all those years ago. David Lee and Renaldo Balkman have to play at least 25 minutes a game. Their energy is contagious and their ability to finish around the basket is needed on a team with overweight and/or chronically injured players who can barely dunk. I want to see more of Mardy Collins too. He plays solid defense and is selfless with the basketball. However, please don't ever take a jump shot thanks. Finally, either Randolph or Curry has to be traded. They are both too talented and explosive offensively to not start. However, Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon they are not. In other words, they can't play on the court at the same time. Trade one of them for a nice defensive guard in the mold of Eddie Jones or Eric Snow. Okay Straight up Sports resumes its regularly scheduled programming of over the top Superbowl coverage until next week. Thanks everybody YOU'VE BEEN GREAT!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

NFL Least Valuable Player

I notice that I always read articles or blogs about who is the most valuable player in football. Frankly, I’m tired of it. I want to read about who is the least valuable player in all of football. Well I said fuck it; I’ll make up my own list.

Shawn Merriman, LB, Chargers: No steroids mean lights out for this bum LVP. With his stupid lights out dance and overrated play, this man deserves a spot on this list. Oh yea, and he got JACKED UP by Maurice Jones Drew. A 5ft 6in 180lb midget going up against this Roid boy and he got dominated.

Roy Williams, SS, Cowboys: All I can say is the best play he’s ever made came off the field marrying one of the nappy headed ho’s from Destiny’s Child. Did you know that on 3rd downs he plays linebacker?!?! I mean 6 or so years in the league and he still can’t cover against the double move. Just flat out overrated and slow.

Matt Jones, WR/RB/K/P/QB, Jaguars: Remember all the hype about him on how versatile he was especially for his size (6ft 5, 4.39 40, plays all positions)? Remember when he actually contributed to helping the jaguars win? No, me neither because he hasn’t nor probably never will. I consider him the catalyst for these all-in-one type players in the league and he’s nothing more than another bad white boy receiver.

Ray Lewis, LB, Ravens: The man is past his prime and has lost a couple steps. Apparently he added them to his dumb pregame dance. I think that spastic display of homo eroticism is the bird call for all fags in the stands. I just hope one day he gets hurt doing it. He’s always injured and as of now is just a waste of cap space.

Byron Leftwhich, QB, Falcons: I think for 5 minutes in the NFL he was actually considered a top 5 QB. And then Sean Salisbury stopped talking. Granted the guy has cannon for an arm, but just doesn’t make smart decisions and still plays with the head of a rookie. He’s similar to Bledsoe who just sits in the pocket and holds on to the ball toooooo long.

DeAngelo Hall, CB, Falcons: I’m sorry but when you lose a game for your team by a pass interference call and then a penalty for running your mouth off because he said something about your baby’s mama, then you really deserve a smack in the face and to be on one of the worst teams in the NFL. There is just no reason for you to try and explain yourself, you are a dooooche bag!

Javon Kearse, DE, Eagles: For the highest paid DE in football I think you should be a starter no? Chunky soup called, McNabb wants his endorsement back

Rex Grossman, QB, Bears: I think it’s about time they make Devin Hester the QB. He’s the only offensive production they’ve had in the past few weeks (all season possibly). Maybe he can manifest something because Grossman certainly can’t. Paging Jim Miller, Mr. Miller?

Mike Williams, RT, ???: Who?

Mike Williams, WR, ???: You see a trend here? Imagine if you were smart enough to stay in college one more year (or even attend USC you wonder) what your career would be like instead. CFL is in your future my friend.

Lamont Jordan, RB, Raiders: Talk about a 180 for this guy. Up until week 4 this man was leading the NFL in rushing and a solid fantasy contributor. Now all he rushes is to get his teammates water because this fool doesn’t even suit up. Is he injured? No, not on the report, he’s just simply lost it. Curtis Martin called; he needs your knees because he could at least still hack it.

If You Cheer for the Pats You're Going to Hell

Now, we’re all familiar with some of the sins the bible says will cause us to go to hell. However, I have noticed quite a few of these things prevalent with a certain football team: the New England Patriots.

Child born of unwed parents
While this may apply to oh, 90% of fathers in the NFL, none have done a more blatant violation than Tom Brady. Not only did the golden boy commit this sin, but upon the child’s birth dumped the woman that carried his demon seed for nine months. Yes, he outright kicked her and his kid to the curb to be with another. I’m no expert on the bible but I’m pretty sure there is some sin that can be applied to that. Not to mention it’s a totally dick move.

Coveting thy neighbors wife
One of the more well known sins is committing adultery, and who did that? Why good old rags-to-riches but still wearing rags Bill Belichick. This man cheated on his wife, and even after word got out continued to do it until the divorce papers were finally signed. He completely ignored the sanctimony of marriage and of his family to bang a woman he saw whenever he was in town. (And why would a woman want to be with such a huge dick? … Well, I guess I just answered my own question there). Yes, Billy boy loves to cheat in every way possible, I mean, why would he settle for just making a mockery of things on the field?

Douchebaggery is the next great sin
In recent years one of the greatest sins has become the act of douchebaggery, and unfortunately it continues to grow ever more common. Such acts of douchebaggery are: the cactus cut, pointing at the camera, stomping on players after a play, popped collars, carrying a purse, showing off abs, handing a game ball to another teams child fan but taking it away at the last second, celebrating a good play like a complete douchebag. The list goes on and on, and sadly, the Patriots players, in particular the likes of Mike Vrabel, Wes Welker and Tom Brady, constantly display such acts of douchebaggery.

Cheap shotting
What the Patriots do to cheap shots on the field is the equivalent of what Judas did to Jesus. He just said “fuck it” and did what he could to hurt the other guy. This is the case with quite a few of the Patriots such as Vrabel, Harrison and Wilfork just to name a few. They play more to hurt than to actually play, and when they get caught say that its just a rough sport and is ok. If it happened to them, you can sure as hell bet them and their “fans” would be whining non stop like the hypocrites they are.

They Cheat
On the field, off the field, they are just plain cheaters. How often was it repeated to us as kids how bad cheating was? Well, these guys do it all the time despite not even needing to. Up by a few touchdowns with ten seconds left? Hell, still read the other teams signals and win by three touchdowns. It’s just such an utter lack of respect they show to the game, the people who play and the fans.

Now, here’s the thing. These are all blatant acts of sinning, and everyone knows it. So if you cheer for the people that do this, you are essentially condoning sin, something good old Satan (and I don’t mean Miroslav) has been preaching for quite some time. You are supporting people who have a golden ticket to the gates of hell, so concurrently you are going to follow the bandwagon there with them.

That and you’re a complete douchebag. And you don’t want to be a douchebag, do you?

And we have happened to come across a picture of some of the Patriots hanging out together at a bar. This is a Straight Up Sports exclusive picture that is very telling.

Daily Pats Haterade

So I wonder why the media or Bill "fucko" Simmons isn't all talking about the "SWEEP THE LEG" by Patsie douchebag Mike Vrabel?

It would be fitting for King Masshole to forget about that but my god where are the references that we all heard in 05 when the Steelers knocked out Carson "Cornholer" Palmer?

Where are the comments for Sweeping the leg?! Oh right, it's shocking for the media to once again conveniently forget about such a HUGE play in the AFCG. For those that didn't see it here:

This is the fucking shit that bothers me most about this league. I wouldn't care about it if the league and the media didn't turn a blind eye to everything they do but THEY DONT. They eat it up and than have the nerve to tell the moronic masses about such great play by the great Patriots.

In fact, they sort of encourage it without penalty. Look at Phil Simms not even acknowledging this LEG TRIP. WHAT A SPIN MOVE? REALLY PHIL? YOU DON'T NOTICE HIM TRIPPING DOUCHEBAG RIVERS? It should have been an Ass Charger first down and a 10 yard penalty but no it ended up being a Patriot touchdown.

Look this team is good enough that they don't need these breaks BUT THEY GET THEM EVERY WEEK.

You are my only hope obi wan coughlin.