Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Came Early for Satan, Y'all

Even though Britney Spears already has two FederSpawn walking the Earth (or at least being dropped on it repeatedly) and a rumored third on the way (courtesy of another high-quality inseminator), the Prince of Darkness apparently wasn't confident enough that their existence, along with that of their parents, would guarantee the End of he's gone and hedged his bets by blessing Britney's 16-year-old sister Jamie Lynn (star of Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101", although probably not anymore) with a country bump all her own.

Who knows what wonderful contributions Jamie Lynn Spears' unborn child will one day bring to the world. Will it cure cancer? Become President? Win so many Nobel Prizes that the Nobel Committee will be compelled to change the award's name to the "Chester Cheetah McWheelie Spears-Aldridge Edible Chocolate Novelty Medal of Excellence" (or perhaps a variation therein)? We'll just have to wait and see.

Right now, the only thing we do know about the kid--if these pictures of 19-year-old father-to-be Casey Aldridge are an accurate depiction of its gene pool--is that it's probably not going to have a forehead.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Old Long Since

The decidedly unhip, nostalgia-fueled soft rocker Dan Fogelberg has depressed us one last time not only by dying on Sunday at the age of 56, three years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but also by doing so right around the time of year as the story in his most famous song--"Same Old Lang Syne"--takes place.

Completing the hat trick, now the world is left with only Kenny G to perform the tune.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Andy Pettitte Wants You To Love Him Again

Choosing a tactic opposite that of some Major League Baseball players who were outed as performance-enhancing-drug users in the Mitchell Report released Thursday, a mere two days later, New York Yankees pitcher (and author of a book that encourages kids not to do drugs) Andy Pettitte fessed up to using Human Growth Hormone.

That general admission of fact is where the Integrity & Purity end for Pettitte, however, as trailing it was a freight train of rationalizations: "it happened five years ago", "I only did it twice," "I did it because I was injured", "it wasn't against the rules", "HGH isn't steroids", "I didn't inhale", "Jesus is my co-pilot"...etc.

Maybe some people will buy Pettitte's sob story that "two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication", but I am not among them. The way I see it, Bruce Banner only exposed himself to about two minutes of perhaps gamma radiation...but that doesn't make him any less of the Hulk.

Corbin Bleu In: 'Door Trouble'

The rabid, prepubescent female fans of High School Musical star Corbin Bleu may be lacking in gaydar, but--if his latest music video is any indication--they certainly possess a highly refined sense of comedy.

"Run It Back Again" is the theme song to the upcoming Disney Channel movie Minutemen, which (according to IMDb) is about "three high school kids who invent a time machine to spare others just like them from the humiliation they've endured." The makers of the video have cleverly seen fit to depict Corbin Bleu enduring--and then undoing--his own humiliations, having taken what must have been at least 14 seconds to devise (and perhaps all of another 2 minutes to shoot) such diverse embarrassments as: Falling Out Of a Car Door, Encountering a Locked Door, and Hitting Yourself In the Face With a Door. (I wonder how often the video's director defensively explained to crew members: "You don't understand comedy! Door bits kill!")

Thankfully, the Corbin Bleu "story" only lasts for the first third of the video before giving way to segments of the film being promoted, which--given that there does appear to be a single door-related gag therein--I find myself somewhat anxious to see.

Well played, Disney Channel.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Boys and Girls, Your Baseball Heroes

The Mitchell Report--a.k.a. the Baseball Hall of Fame Bucket List--was announced on Thursday, tarnishing forever the reputation of many current and former Major League players, activating armies of lawyers and public relations personnel, and, most significantly, befouling the innocent souls of confused and weeping children throughout the world.

Confirming rumors that circulated beforehand, New York Yankees Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte are two of the biggest names revealed to be steroids users (the inclusion of Barry Bonds on the list is about as surprising as if he were not voted "World's Most Pleasant Sports Personality")--which is just about all I, as a devout Boston Red Sox fan, could have asked for this Christmas (although that's not to say it wouldn't have been nice to see A-Rod's name, too); another relative bombshell is Miguel Tejada.

Given that George Mitchell sits on the Red Sox' board of directors, many had been curious as to whether that fact would influence his investigate panel's findings. Though it had been rumored that the report would name undead burn victim Julian Tavarez and team captain Jason Varitek (my dismay at the latter possibility was worsened by the fear that I may have unknowingly predicted it [first photo caption]), the only recent Red Sox players on the list are pitchers Brendan Donnelly and Eric Gagne...neither inclusion representing any skin off Sox fans' backs because (1) Gagne is on the Brewers now, (2) he was terrible during his one partial season in Boston, and (3) nobody cares about Brendan Donnelly.

The Red Sox win again!

[To save you the trouble of slogging through the full, 409-page report, Deadspin has helpfully compiled the list of named names.]

World Pie-Eating Championship Might Want To Rethink Its Security Procedures

Hey 1995 World Pie-Eating Champion Dave Williams: Congratulations on being entrusted with guarding the pies for this year's contest.

Maybe next time, though, don't bring your dog. That might reduce the chances of it eating all the pies and causing the event to be canceled.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Bears a Similarity to 'Vagina'

One probably would have to have been following sports extremely closely to have even heard the news, but back in the first week of the NFL season, the New England Patriots were caught illegally videotaping the New York Jets' sideline during a game at the Meadowlands. Jets head coach Eric Mangini--a former protege of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick who pretty much owes his entire career to the man, whom he'd already stabbed in the back by taking the job with New York--reported it to the league; as a result, the Patriots were fined $250,000, Belichick was personally fined $500,000, and (now that they've made the playoffs) the team lost a first-round draft pick for next year.

While the Patriots have gone on to be undefeated thus far this season (handily beating the Jets 38-14 in the 'Spygate' game), the scandal has, for many predisposed to be jealous of New England's spectacularity™ and Tom Brady's handsomeness, given fuel to a belief that the franchise's legacy of three Super Bowl victories in six years is tainted, that--should the team go 16-0 (or 19-0, counting the postseason)--the accomplishment should carry an asterisk in the record books. Jets fans--whose team has been something slightly less than perfect since Week 1--have of course been as vocal in this opinion as anyone.

Perhaps they'll quiet down some, now that Newsday is reporting that the Jets were caught illegally videotaping the Patriots' sideline during a game at Gillette Stadium last year.


On Tuesday night, the Jets admitted that such an incident took place last season, and--even better (or worse, if you're a Jets fan)--a team source claims that it was during a playoff game. (Insanely, a Patriots' source is actually disagreeing with that assertion, claiming that it was a regular-season contest.) Perhaps even more telling is the fact that Patriots didn't say a peep about this matter during the investigation into their own misconduct this year...which sort of pokes some holes in the currently popular belief that they are an ethically questionable organization (or at least more of one than any other NFL team).

With the league watching the Patriots like a hawk since Week 1, there can be no question that no impropriety has taken place during New England's quest for a perfect season, currently at 13 weeks and counting. I doubt anyone's been watching the Jets, the question for Eric Mangini is: How can you cheat all the time and still suck that much?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Is a 'Myocardial Infarcation'?

Although I'm equally if not more surprised to have learned that Alex Trebek no longer wears a mustache, most people might currently be more interested in the news that the 67-year-old "Jeopardy!" host has suffered a minor heart attack. According to Access Hollywood, Trebek is "resting comfortably in a Los Angeles hospital" and will be "back in the studio for the next scheduled tapings in January".

Funny that the report doesn't mention any possible cause of the pulmonary event. Perhaps Trebek's people don't want to admit that the constant badgering by Sean Connery finally got to the syndicated-television mainstay.

Monday, December 10, 2007

They'll Make You a Serve You Can't Return

Either John McEnroe is crazy or organized crime isn't what it used to be. The former is suggesting that the mafia has infiltrated tennis, fixing matches by bribing players and threatening their families.

Really, mafia? Tennis? Was the racket of grade-school piano recitals too impenetrable?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Steeler's "Guarantee" of Victory Over Patriots Contains More Caveats Than an NFL Contract

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Anthony Smith made headlines Wednesday night when it was reported that he guaranteed his team would beat the undefeated New England Patriots in their upcoming matchup Sunday. Upon closer inspection, though, it turns out that headlines are the only thing Smith actually made.

While it's true that Smith did say--as reported by"I can guarantee a win," he's got nothing on Broadway Joe (or, for that matter John Goodman, star of the only visual evidence to date that Babe Ruth ever "called his shot") in the ballsy-prognostication department, for he immediately went on to qualify his declaration with "as long as we come out and do what we got to do" and then all but retract it by saying "we've got a good chance to win."

Is this the paltry level to which smack-talk has descended in the world of professional sports? "I GUARANTEE that we will defeat our opponents...unless they score more points than we do"? It's heartbreaking.

One can take solace in the possibility that Smith was less interested in throwing down a genuine gauntlet than he was in garnering some publicity for himself. He certainly has a better chance to achieve the latter than the Steelers do to defeat the Patriots...something to keep in mind as we consider the words of New England safety Rodney Harrison, who--when told about the so-called "guarantee"--remarked, "Never heard of him."

UPDATE: Hey, whaddya know. Smith's prediction turned out to be somewhat less than accurate.

Monday, December 3, 2007

ESPN Might Want To Just Rerun That Last Game Every Monday Night for the Next Few Seasons

ESPN's "Monday Night Football" broadcasts (just as they did when they were shown on ABC) usually turn out to be one of two things: a blowout or a sleep aid...and unless you're a fan of one of the teams involved in a blowout, they're often both. The latest matchup, before it began, appeared to be an exemplary case for more of the same, pitting the seemingly unstoppable New England Patriots, deep into a quest to become the second team in NFL history to go undefeated in a season, against the Baltimore Ravens, well out of the playoff race and losers of their previous five contests.

Lo and behold, the lowly Ravens didn't just "hang in there" against the Pats, they played like the better team for the majority of the game, controlling it on both sides of the ball and putting themselves in an excellent position to pull off an inconceivable upset...until the final minutes, when a freaking cartoon broke loose. Multiple botched chances by the Ravens to win simply by converting late in the fourth quarter...the Patriots getting do-overs on would-be game-losing failed fourth-down attempts--one of which came courtesy of a Baltimore timeout...Tom Brady being his ridiculously calm-under-pressure and handsome self all the way to a review-inducing touchdown with 44 seconds left to play...bizarre penalties from the Ravens that they're going to be kicking themselves about for a while because--even with the yardage it cost them at the start of their final possession--they came three yards short of winning the game on the very last play with a Hail Mary pass (y' in Tecmo Bowl) was madness on a level one would not believe if it were scripted. End result? Patriots won, 27-24. And I didn't even mention the part where Ravens head coach Brian Billick blew angry kisses at Patriots safety Rodney Harrison.

As a Patriots fan (a real fan, for the record--one who still bears (pun accepted) the emotional scars of winning his third grade class' "Squish the Fish" (re: Dolphins, in the AFC championship) picture-drawing contest only to see his team be humiliated in their first-ever Super Bowl by these jackasses), I'm obviously happy with the outcome. But even if you're one of the rapidly-growing number who hate the still-perfect dominant force from Foxboro, I've got to believe that every football fan--every sports fan, even--is at least a little bit happy to have seen that, in these days of ever-compromised and disappointing professional sports, a game as dramatic and unpredictable as Monday night's can still take place.

(Ravens fans probably aren't feeling that way right now, though. They're probably going to be pissed for a while.)

UPDATE: I have no qualms whatsoever about saying I told you so, ESPN.