Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The week in photo captions you didn't see

It's 1:41pm and you have already officially thrown in the towel on doing anything productive with the rest of your afternoon at work. So naturally, rather than finding some way to build up your motivation, you turn to the savior that is the world wide interwebs to pass the devastating time that remains until the day is through. The only problem is, even surfing the internet has become a daunting task for the uber-sluggish members of the modern work world. All of that clicking and typing only to come across something that actually excites you every 10 to 20 minutes? Please, don't remind me.
Well have no fear, because here at Errant Balls we understand the plight of the idle, fruitless employee (as evidenced by the fact that this is being posted while at work on a Wednesday morning). So we bring it all to you here in one place. All of the most exciting photos of the past week in sports with the real captions that will melt your time away. Just click, and enjoy...

"Here, you throw this. I hear my cellie blowin' up on the sideline and I'm pretty sure it's that call I've been expecting from the Bears GM."

"Needless to say, our 401k was only worth $37.50."

"It's okay to cry Brad. I don't think you're too old!"

"Yes, yes I am here. Now sportscasters everywhere shower me with clever Jesus Shuttlesworth references!"

"Ummm, I think I'm gonna need a little help getting Jimmy out of the infield."

"Yeah that's her! That's the sideline reporter that I'm not supposed to be 'within 50 yards' of!"

"I am NOT losing to the Rams. Okay make the offer, 10k to each ref if they don't call a single penalty on us."

"Look, I don't know what you people want to hear from me. I'm only halfway through the book here myself."

"What do I have to do? Go wrist deep for you to make the right call?!"

"Okay, okay man. Be cool. We all know you're better than me, you can have the damn armrest."

"I swear on my mother. I don't know what you saw on TV but we are the only ones here!"

"Being 0-8 just gives us more reasons to devote extra practice time to our audition routine for the next season of America's Best Dance Crew."

"Well, in my day we played the game like it was meant to be played and only the gays wore headbands!"

"Bunch of birds got into that open Taco Bell truck behind the stadium... I'd be careful, it's getting pretty ugly out there."


"You heard the guys from the center for disease control, no more high fives until we get this whole staph infection mess under control. Let's go to the mid-air ass bump!"

"You are a mediocre fan at best and all you care about is yourself! You know, we'd all be a lot better off if you'd just get the hell outta here and hit the showers!"

"Stupid friggin hat! I didn't even hear him hit the ball!"

"I don't care how many people are watching we shouldn't have to hide our love any longer!!!"

"What? You think you're better than me with all of that fancy hair and your precious eyebrows?"

"AHHH! Got me right in the God damn bursa sac!"

"Dude, our flight over here from San Diego was like 86 hours. I'm seriously stuck in this position."

"That's what I have to say to sticking around Cleveland any longer than I have to."

"I'm winning with the Dolphins! I am ALL that is MAN!!!... Even in teal and orange!"

"You're offensive line may hate you Ben, but I'll be your BFF."

"Ahh my foot! Someone get me a hot bath of Epsom salts and the DVD box set of Murder She Wrote stat!"

"I didn't truly believe I had what it takes to be the starter until Larry Johnson spat that drink in my face and told me he'd kill me... thanks for the kick in the pants I needed LJ, you're a good friend."

"Don't feel too bad Vince. At least coach didn't give you Mike Golic's number and a NutriSystem brochure."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Championship showdown

Errant Balls brings you the point by point breakdown of both teams in the upcoming World Series. So before you choose sides, check out our detailed analysis of what really matters heading into the fall classic.

Nickname -
What exactly is a Phillie? I can't imagine some intellectual braintrust toiled for weeks on end coming up with this gem. The Philadelphia Phillies is on par with the Houston Texans for the least creative nickname in all of sports. Do you think anyone would really fear the Red Sox if they were called the Boston Massachusites? Don't bother, the answer in no. That's strike one Phillies.

Mascot - Phillie Phanatic
It's hard to say what exactly the Phanatic is, he seems as though he may be the progeny of some horribly mixed up muppet orgy. In any case I don't know what the hell it's supposed to be... but I like it. The Phanatic not only touts the reputation of being one of the most well known mascots in all of sports, but he is also a bonified badass. Look into his eyes. You know what that look says?
"Don't cross me man... you don't know what I'm capable of..." Even the cops know you can't be too careful when it comes to this rebel full of wild-eyed Philly pride.

Team superstition -
Rubber Ducky
The Phillies have figured out the secret of how to stay relaxed amidst the crushing pressure of the World Series... rubber duckies in everyone's locker. Evidently this is a reference to the old saying "Get the rubber duck out of your butt." Now I'm not sure if it's just me here, but I have never heard anyone say that in my entire life. I've heard "get the stick out of your ass," but then again, I can see how putting sticks in each player's locker may not have translated either. All in all... kind of a lame attempt at team unity.
A room full of grown men that each have their own rubber ducky? This doesn't say easy going baseball team, but it screams N.A.M.B.L.A. meeting. No good.

Celebrity fan -
David Boreanaz?
I don't know that this even counts, but it's all I could find after scouring the interwebs to find out who was the most famous Phillies fan. So while he may not be as high profile as the Yanks' Billy Crystal or Boston's Stephen King, he is technically famous, and he'll have to do.
You may recognize him from Fox's "hit" show Bones, but that is based on the assumption that you have at some point been the victim of forced audio-visual torture sessions. It is more likely though, that you remember our friend David as the unkillable-but-loveable-heartthrob-of-a-bloodsucker Angel, from his days on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (take a moment to scoff dismissively as though you didn't watch it... now look around cautiously to see that no one is paying attention... and proceed to squeal for joy at the thought of catching up with the box set of DVD's as soon as you get home).
So it's true that he's not the most notable of celebrity fans. But hey, it could be a lot worse.

Karmic hindrance sure to haunt them -
Brett Myers
Does it seem strange to anyone else that while an entire city is cheering wildly for the scrappy at bats and big-game mound presence of a veteran pitcher, they are quietly brushing aside the whole domestic battery thing? For each unlikely hit he picks up are we allowed to just forget each smack he laid down? I know the Philly fan base doesn't exactly have the reputation for being the most warm-hearted, but even the media is giving this guy a free pass as they shower him with praise.
To be fair though the events of that night were alleged, and I am as hesitant as the rest of you to just blindly believe that this seemingly timid gentleman would engage in such deplorable behavior.

Nickname - Rays
With their brand new, non-Satan related nickname the organization has seemingly closed the book on one of the most unsuccessful runs in sports franchise history. So you already have to like how positively their nickname has affected them.
They adopted what I like to call the Incredible Hulk approach, copying the success Marvel Studios had when it slightly changed the name of an unwatchable turd of a movie they'd already made, did it all over, and pretended as though the first one never even happened.
Devil Rays? Why sir... I have no idea what you're talking about.

Mascot - Raymond
Like his counterpart the Phillie Phanatic, Raymond also falls into the great litany of mascots that are completely nonsensical and totally unexplainable beings. From what I can gather he seems to be what Falcor the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story would look like if he put on a baseball cap and then sneezed his brains out.
In any case though, I still like what he brings to the table. Forget having a mascot that actually represents your team name, that is so cliche . Just throw a jersey on the thing you pulled out of your clogged vacuum and let him dance on the dugouts all night long!

Team superstition -
The Rayhawk
What says team unity more than looking like unemployable, bring-down-the-man, fight for your right to party punks together? Nothing my friends, that's what. It's way more hip than the overdone playoff beard. And it's way more hardcore seeing a stadium full of these people, than it is bestowing your playoff hopes on some poor helpless animal.
The Rays have already established it, they're the too cool to care younger brother of the rest of the Major Leagues. And after they win the World Series... they're going to take the car without permission, smash the mailboxes of established veterans, toilet paper old man Selig's place, and swing by Jeanne Zelasko's house to show her what's what.

Celebrity fan-
Dick Vitale
Say what you want about Dicky V., but you can't ever call him a fair weather fan. The inimitable Mr. Vitale has held Rays season tickets since their inception, and now that they're actually winning... he's losing his friggin' mind BABYYY!! As evidenced by his gleeful dancing during game 7 of the ALCS, Dick is either ecstatic to see the Rays finally succeeding, or he is trying desperately to fend off an attacker just out of the frame. Either way, he's there, and he is making his presence felt.
And if you're the Rays, you've got to like the advantage of having the loudest mouth in broadcasting on your side. Just sit his ass directly behind the 3rd base dugout and watch as he systematically dismantles the collective psyche of the Phillies with an unstoppable barrage of inane catch phrases and carelessly frivolous alliteration!

Karmic hindrance sure to haunt them -
Steve Irwin
I'm sorry to bring it up, but it had to be said. For as loveable as the 2008 Rays are, we cannot forget just how deadly they can be. Not long ago one of television's most beloved and entertaining personalities was taken from us too young at the hands (barb) of a Ray. The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's tragic death was a sobering reminder that even what we believe in the most can suddenly turn on us in an instant.
When it comes to sports we all love to see a good Cinderella story, but the Rays and their fans must be wary. They have made it all the way to the World Series on an improbable and seemingly unbreakable wave of success, but pride can be a dangerous thing. And if they're not too careful, by this time next week all of the happiness and hope put on this team could be snatched away by the unexpected and devastating sting of a Phillies sweep.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An odd week to say the least

The past week in sports turned out quite a few unexpected occurrences, and we run through them one by one.

Rays beating up on the BoSox
Regardless of their miraculous regular season it was still difficult to see this one coming. These are the Devil Rays after all, even if by a slightly different name. Maybe Boston should consider going as the Crimson Pantyhose before this season is a distant memory. This youthful team's roster has impressed in all facets of the game and garnered so many "young stud" compliments from commentators you'd think Mike Piazza was working the booth.

So who knows where the magic lies? It could be in Joe Maddon's rayhawk, or it could be in the frenzied yells of Grant Balfour threatening to burn your home to the ground, but any way you slice it the Rays are looking like a legitimate World Series favorite (tell me you called that last year and I promise I will have Balfour slap the lying teeth right out of your mouth).

Phillies' heroes come in pint sized or chunky
The Dodgers looked like the hottest team in baseball coming into the NLCS, but that took a quick turn once the Phillies bats caught fire. Shane Victorino (whose nickname is the Flyin' Hawaiian in case you had the games on mute for all of the 5 bazillion times announcers feel the need to mention it) has shown us two significant things during these playoffs; first, that he enjoys foods so thoroughly nauseating that he's being pleaded with to no longer eat them, and second, that he is a 5'9"monster at the plate.

On the opposite side if the size spectrum, is pinch hit hero Matt Stairs. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is yes, Matt Stairs still plays baseball. And his go-ahead homer in the 8th inning of game 4 gave the Fightin's a 3 games to 1 lead. The jury is still out however, on the likelihood that stairs may just be this man in disguise, back for one more shot at Philly glory.

Are the New York Jets phasing out the Jets?
For the second time in three home games the Jets donned their "throwback" Titans of New York uniforms against the Bengals this week. Now to be fair they have won both contests, so this isn't to say they shouldn't have worn them, it's more to ask why.

Why are they wearing these hideous blue and cat-poop yellow, Tecmo bowl-reject-looking monstrosities rather than their actual team colors? Why are they allowed to wear Titans jerseys when there is already a team in the league called the Titans? And more than anything, why are these considered throwbacks? A throwback is supposed to be a retro version of your team's old duds. But they weren't the Jets back then, so this isn't much of a Jets throwback. Does this mean we can expect the Ravens throwbacks to be Cleveland Browns or Baltimore Colts jerseys?

I say if they want to sport jerseys for a team that only existed until 1963, then they should have to use the 1963 equipment along with it. So you can keep your trendy alternate jerseys, just be prepared to enjoy them with a side of devastating injuries!

Some other quick-hit notables
Madden's Favre-like streak of games called coming to an end; Exorbitant gas prices make it unrealistic to run a bus full of John Madden's food supply, and John Madden, cross country so often.

Lions reaching levels of ineptitude once thought impossible; No longer bothering to even teach players the rules.

NFL order of position hierarchy thrown into tailspin as kicker takes egregious liberties with celebration.

Rather than being annihilated by washed up old man (Ken Shamrock), Kimbo Slice lit up by last minute replacement, pink-haired, smoothie stand manager. Looks like it's back to fighting bums for you good sir!

Adam "Pacman" Jones suspended again... whoops... wait that was for next week's column; "A predictable as the tides and in no way odd week to say the least."

Klitschko disposes of opponents, hangs on to soiled diapers; Champ uses "wee covered nappies" to ease his sore fists. Side note: If i ever see this ogre walking down the street with diapers strapped to his fists I'm sure I will promptly wee my nappies and hand them over.

China's focus shifts from underage gymnasts to the unruly public urination of drunken ping pong champions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2008 MLB What if's?

With the 2008 MLB regular season in the books, Errant Balls has got some questions we'd like answered...

What if Manny Ramirez didn't cornhole the Red Sox?

He may have a collection of pop-up books more comprehensive than most pre-schools, but he's no fool, and there is no denying that Manny Ramirez totally played the Red Sox. By completely dogging it in Boston he raised the question of just how good the Sox could have been. Sure they got solid production in return with Jason Bay and they're still in the playoffs, but if they kept Manny and he put up the insane numbers he has in LA there is little to no doubt the Sawks would have blown away the Rays in the AL East, and left their playoff opponents in a cloud of dreadlock dust on their way back to the Series.

What if the Yankees' bodies didn't fall apart?

It has been fairly well publicized that the Bombers took their league-high payroll and rode it to an early vacation in 2008, but there is also no denying injury played a huge role. The collective losses of Chien Ming-Wang, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Alex Rodriguez and not to mention the unexpected absence of Carl Pavano made it so even a supposedly washed up pitcher tossing 20 wins couldn't save their season. But frankly, this is how it had to be, and even as Yankee fans we understand.
What if the Yankees enjoyed great success in Hank Steinbrenner's first year running the show? How much more of a self-entitled super douche could this guy have become? It could have reached apocalyptic levels, and God just could not allow that to happen to the good people of planet Earth.

What if Willie Randolph really wasn't the problem?

Willie Randolph was unceremoniously dismissed from his position as the manager of the Mets because he didn't get results. Upon his dismissal, the Mets have gotten the same exact result they did with him around.
But what if the reason the Mets are yielding the same crappy results each year is because they are a team made up of young, inconsistent talent and old, over-paid injury connoisseurs that are all held together by no discernable leader in the clubhouse? And who better to receive a 4-year extension than the mastermind architect of this hapless squad?
Strap in Mets fans, it may be a long road ahead.

What if we have an LA Freeway World Series?

Here at Errant Balls we are all for good baseball, and an Angels-Dodgers World Series would be just that. But for God's sake, join hands with us and pray as legitimate fans of the game that this doesn't happen.
I am not prepared to endure the World Series coverage of Fox's pre-game interviews with Shia LeBeouf on who he thinks the X-factor in the series will be. Or Miley Cyrus reading off the Dodgers starting line up. I do not need to spend the first three innings of every game watching cameramen scan the crowd to let us know which celebrity hot couples are in attendance... Why? Because no real baseball fan gives a rat's hairy ass. And I swear on all that is holy, if I see Victoria Beckham in a Manny Du-Rag or the Jonas Brothers waving rally monkies I will burn the Fox Sports headquarters to the ground.

What if the Cubs' curse gets worse?

This really seems like it could be the year for the Cubbies doesn't it? And doesn't that make you wonder if this is the year the curse is completely legitimized?
This curse was placed by a bitter, Billy-Goat owning fan. It was perpetuated by a black cat that stared down the club manager. And it was extended by an ill-fated dweeb who had his life ruined for trying to catch a souvenir. That said, it's been weird. If it gets any weirder, are we going to have to admit that this thing might be truly legit? If a hot bird crap from the heavens lands in Kerry Woods' eye and he blows a game seven save in the NLCS... then yes, yes we do.

What if the Rays had kept the Devil in their nickname?

How else is the sudden competence of the Tampa Bay Rays explicable if not for the intervention of some higher power? They remove the Devil part of their team name and suddenly go from one of the most laughably beatable opponents in the league to the champions of baseball's toughest division. Hardly a coincidence.
God smiles upon those who shun his enemy, and God has smiled on the Tampa Bay Rays. Plain and simple. And if they fall short of a championship this year, I say keep the trend running. Ladies and gentleman... your 2009 Tampa Bay Jesus Rays!