Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Deck the halls with Errant Balls

The Christmas season is officially upon us. Snow is falling, children are laughing, and rabid parents are stomping one another at the local malls to get their hands on the latest Rainbow Bright or He-Man dolls, or whatever it is the kids are playing with these days.
Something us regular folk often forget though, is that famous sports figures are people too, and that yes, even they have Christmas wishes. Lucky for you readers, Errant Balls sent out a survey to find out exactly what those wishes were, and got some very interesting responses.

Dick Enberg - sportscaster/Celebrator of all things Favre
1. Brett Favre authentic game jersey
2. Brett Favre coin collection
3. Pair of Brett Favre game used underpants to wear on my head during candlelight tributes to my Brett Favre hair doll.

Bill Belichick - Patriots coach/Bastard
1. New digital camcorder
2. To find the son of a bitch who's been cutting the sleeves off all my hoodies
3. Your mother

Kevin Garnett -
Boston Celtics forward/Intense enough to make you pee your pants
1. A looser jersey apparently
2. The heads of all who oppose him for a trophy room
3. To win a 2nd championship and ride off on a unicorn (Anything is possibbbbbllle!!!!)

Eli Manning -
NY Giants QB/True believer
1. Another Super Bowl ring
2. To finally see my wife's boobies
3. The new Hess Truck (I hear it's back and it's better than ever!)

CC Sabathia -
NY Yankee pitcher/Scrooge McDuck rich
1. A ridiculous contract
2. Hahahahahahahaha
3. N/A

Terrell Owens -
Dallas Cowboys WR/Self proclaimed media villian
1. One year's supply of popcorn
2. Yoga mat for driveway crunches
3. An invite to Tony and Jason's secret club meetings

Plaxico Burress - NY Giants WR/Self mutilator
1. Hand gun permit
2. Self-suture kit
3. A very special car

Dick Vitale - Beloved sportscaster/Raging psychopath
1. Hair plugs
2. A UNC/Duke game EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR BABYYYYY!!! (Coughs, grabs chest, collapses)
3. Defibrillator

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The biggest reasons to love the NFL in '08

After a short hiatus to focus on finding an actual paying job (I know, what kind of blogger talk is that?), Errant Balls is back! And have no fear, the search will no longer interfere with my weekly posts... because I've given up. So while I still have a computer and have not yet been forced into legitimate bummery, enjoy the biggest reasons I have loved the NFL so far in 2008.

The Manning Paradigm Shift
A year and a half ago, if you argued that you would honestly prefer Eli Manning as your quarterback over his brother Peyton, John Madden would have hunted you down and crapped in your cereal. We have always known Peyton as the golden boy, and Eli as, well... this. But in 2008? Not so.

Thanks to Eli and the Giants miraculous Super Bowl win, and their continued dominance this season, the argument for the better Manning is no longer such a simple one to solve (not even the good people at Nabisco could nail it down). Peyton still dominates the endorsement racket with an iron fist and a laser, rocket arm, but his Colts have looked unusually beatable this year and he has hardly approached the flashy offensive statistics we're used to.

Bottom line, 2008 has brought us an argument we'd never thought we'd see. So feel free to fight for whichever side you believe in, they're both legit. And if you're expecting to have John Madden crap in your cereal, you'll have to earn it the same way the rest of us do... by publicly endorsing the genius of Frank TV.

Just Say No to Diuretics
You've got to love this scandal that has popped up about an illegal substance that players didn't know was in a suppliment, but the league knew, but decided not to tell them, and didn't put the suppliment on their banned list, and let the players take it, and now apparently is forced to stringently adhere to its banned substances rules. Wait.... what?

Since when is the NFL such a staunch opponent of "banned substances"? I don't see anyone up in arms questioning how a mid-thirties Ray Lewis is suddenly playing like a coked up bull again. And why, if they knew this product contained a banned substance, would they not inform players? Now we've got ongoing court cases outside of the league to determine whether or not players, some on possible playoff teams (sorry Vikings, but this is karma for all the raping and pillaging your people did), could justifiably be suspended for the remainder of the season.

If the NFL is so worried about mystery performance enhancers, they may want to take a closer look at those 5 Hour Energy shots. At 4 bucks a pop they taste like donkey urine and have rendered Braylon Edwards' unable to catch a football. Now that's a real concern.

Plaxico Bullets
What can I say that hasn't already been said about this gem of a story? The Giants all pro wideout has provided the sports world at large with one of the most hilarious and retarded injury stories in recent history, and all I can really say.... is thank you.

Now all that's left to be offered is advice for those athletes who could potentially make the same mistakes. It won't be nearly as priceless the second time around, so here are a few hot tips to avoid this kind of trouble...

- Just because Jay Z makes your sweatpants doesn't mean they meet gun-toting regulations: Sweatpants can hardly be trusted to safely secure your chap stick. So be sure to wear proper, holster equipped legwear at all times when carrying your loaded firearm into a club.
- "Bleeding good in the neighborhood" is probably not the best alibi: If you are a major sports figure in the biggest media town in the world, just suck it up and admit what happened. Going to a hospital and telling them your name is Harris Smith, and that you were shot at a local Applebee's only adds to the ridicule you will already fall victim to. Please, limit your critics material. And if you're absolutely intent on taking a chance with a lie, at least have some riblets in a to-go container to solidify your story.
- Learn from Cheddar Bob: Remember your reaction when that kid accidentally shot himself in 8 Mile? Now picture the entire world having that exact same reaction about you... yeah, just leave the gun at home.
Honorable Mentions
- The auto industry crisis isn't nearly the worst thing happening to Detroit: The Lions are so laughably horrible I actually wondered if Dan Orlovsky purposely ran out of his own endzone in hopes of at least salvaging a clip on Dick Clark's blooper special from this season. And talk about throwing a guy under the bus, how could they so heartlessly pin this on Matt Millen after allowing him only 7 years to completely decimate the franchise?

- Will Pennington shoot down the Jets?: The noodle armed, baby faced quarterback was shamelessly cast aside by the Jets to make room for the cannon armed, all-that-is-man Brett Favre this offseason. Now the supposedly hapless Dolphins are part of the 3-way tie for the lead atop the AFC East and Pennington is an MVP candidate. So if the Fins pull off a miracle and make it to the postseason, does Chad inherit Brett's soul like in the Highlander movies? We'll know that for sure if the '09 Pennington sheds tears at every post-game press conference and dons suddenly omnipresent beard stubble.

- Dallas: The Reunion Show: There is simply no denying the intrigue and drama that is stirring up once again in '08 for America's Team. They came into the season Super Bowl favorites, now going into week 15, the 'Boys are clinging to the last playoff spot in the NFC. Suddenly, putty-faced owner Jerry Jones takes issue with his running back not toughing it out through a pinky toe injury, but has no problem with his quarterback sitting out with a pinky finger injury. Has such a blatant case of pinky-bigotry ever been witnessed?
Plus, I heard T.O. is sleeping with Jessica and that DeMarcus Ware helped deliver their bastard love child backstage at the American Music Awards.