October 7, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
Detroit Tigers 2009 AL Central Champions gear sent to Detroit
With the AL Central division title in the balance Tuesday night at the Metrodome, MLB personnel began preparing division championship gear for both the Twins and Tigers as the game stretched into extra innings. The Twins won and got to celebrate, but the championship hats and apparel that were made for the Tigers will be put to good use. "We always give those away to people around the world who really need it," said an MLB spokesman. "Darfur, Iraq, Haiti. These shirts are going to Detroit." Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the team's loss is probably the best possible result. "Had we won, people back home would have wanted to buy the shirts with their own money," he said. "Money they don't have to spend. Now they have these shirts and all of the loser's gear that kind soccer leagues in the Sudan have sent to Detroit out of the goodness of their hearts."
There is only one day until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: Minnesota Twins.
October 6, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
Game starting to slow down for player suffering stroke
Moments after he told coaches and teammates that the game was finally starting to slow down for him, Texas State freshman quarterback Blake Bailey was rushed to the hospital due to suffering what doctors are calling a massive stroke. "Blake came off the field and tried to say something to me," said offensive coordinator Chip Myers. "Something about the gauge plowing town? I don't know. It was complete gibberish. He was slurring all of his words." Bailey is expected to miss the rest of the season and may never play football again. Head coach Mike Larson hopes that's not the case. "We're getting into the heart of our conference schedule right now," he said. "If you don't have a broken bone, you need to be out there. Strokes are like stingers. Sit out a play and get back on the field."
October 6, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
Jake Voskuhl unsure if he'll play for Team USA at 2010 world championships
Jake Voskuhl is the latest basketball player to waver on playing for Team USA at the 2010 world championships, joining Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and others. "I would love to be part of that experience and play for my country," said the nine-year NBA veteran who just signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Dallas Mavericks. "But I'm going to be 32 this year and I don't know if my body can handle the extra pounding. I'm already playing four minutes some nights during the season." Voskuhl said it is also very unlikely he would get an invite from Team USA barring some sort of deadly virus outbreak that wipes out much of the country, yet somehow spares him. "If that's what happens, then I'll make my decision then."
AVOID: Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars Sims-Walker didn't have any receptions in Jacksonville's Week 1 loss the Colts, but since then he has had 6 catches for 106 yards and a TD against the Cardinals, 6-81-0 versus the Texans and 7-91-2 against the Titans. Those numbers put him near the top of the list for fantasy points among wide receivers this season yet he is still available in most leagues. As he should be. Consider Mike Sims-Walker is single. He is good with his hands. He is evasive. He is in his mid-20s. He is fit. He is a loner. (Well, he plays at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, which is pretty lonely.) And he has three names. If the Jaguars thought Matt Jones snorting coke was bad, wait until they find out they have a serial killer on their team.
Scene: The Packers bench. Moments before kickoff. The offensive linemen sit together.
Six years into his career with the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Sorgi is starting to think he is in a dead-end job.
“I’ve worked for the Colts since 2004. I’ve put in my time, done everything they asked and I’m still in the same position I was when I got here,” said Sorgi, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2004. “If they don’t think I have a future here, I’m going to have to consider other options.”
The second-string quarterback says he is starting to get pressure from his wife about his lack of work success.
“People we knew in college, guys like Chris Chambers, are starting for NFL teams – good NFL teams,” said Sorgi. “Their wives keep talking about how big and successful their husbands are, all the Pro Bowls they’re making and stuff. And what does my wife have? Nothing. The Colts don’t even let me play so I can build up my resume and get some other organizations interested. I am an embarrassment to my wife.”
But Sorgi says he is determined to change that.
“I don’t want to be stuck here in Indiana forever as some no-name backup,” he said. “I’ve got a wife, a son, I’m going to be 29 years old later this season. I deserve better. I deserve it. And I’m going to go into coach [Jim] Caldwell’s office and tell him that and demand that I become the starter. He won’t want to risk losing me and he’ll give me the job. I just know it.”
Sorgi says he has his whole pitch in his head.
“I’m going to explain how I am almost never hurt and how I know all of our plays,” he said. “And then I’m going to remind him that Peyton Manning hasn’t won a Super Bowl in three years. He’s out shooting commercials and accepting awards while the true behind-the-scenes leaders like me are trying to keep this ship afloat. Nothing against Peyton personally. This is just business. And I think it's time the organization sees if it can do better with someone else in charge.”
Caldwell says he has been given the heads up that Sorgi is itching for a promotion, but is doubtful he can offer one.
“Promotion? No,” he said. “Maybe a slight pay increase. Maybe a seat on the bench with a better view. But like it or not, Jim is not the guy we see leading this team now or in the future. That’s just the way it is. And especially in this economy there are no promotions to be had. Jim should be thankful he has a job.”
Sorgi has made a reservation at one of Indianapolis' most expensive restaurants for dinner tonight to celebrate his promotion with his wife.
"I can't wait to tell her the good news," he said excitedly as he headed into Caldwell's office.
There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: St. Louis Cardinals.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was flagged for emotionally roughing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady yesterday after a hit left the star quarterback feeling upset and unloved.
"I didn't care for that! I didn't care for that one bit!" snapped Brady, stomping his foot as he pulled himself up off the ground. Moments later, official Tom Winter threw a flag, penalizing Suggs and the Ravens for an infraction never before called in organized football.
"The new rules in place make our job very clear as officials," said Winter, explaining his call. "We are to protect the quarterback, especially star quarterbacks, and especially this star quarterback. Brady's injury last year is what prompted all of these rule changes."
Brady says Winter made the right call.
"I don't think people understand how hard it is to be me. I'm coming back from a knee injury, my team is struggling, I have one child out of wedlock, another child on the way, very high-maintenance dogs to take care of, I'm expected to look stylish all the time and I have the stress of physically satisfying a woman millions of men around the world would love a shot at. And then when someone tackles me, well " he said, tearing up. "It can be very, very hard, okay? It can be very hard on my psyche."
Suggs said he had no intention of emotionally harming Brady, only sacking him and maybe creating a turnover.
"I wasn't trying to emotionally rough the guy," said Suggs. "Physically harming him would have been awesome, but all that touchy-feely emotional crap is what's killing football. I just wanted to maim the guy."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he will examine the emotionally roughing the quarterback call and evaluate how it should be called in the future.
"I know this is a tough judgment call for our officials," said Goodell. "And I don't want to make their job any tougher than it is already. So I think what we'll probably do is have Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning all have the power to call this penalty themselves when they feel they have been emotionally harmed. That's the only way to accomplish the true goal and spirit of the new rules we put in place."
1. Bill Belichick Not only did his team beat a quality Ravens squad, but Belichick was the only head coach in the league who didn't appear to wear something pink a hat, a ribbon, shoes, etc. to mark the NFL's Breast Cancer Awareness initiative. I always suspected Belichick is pro-cancer, but now this proves it. Sure, it's an abhorrent stance for a person to take. But I admire Belichick's courage in taking it. And, who knows, maybe I don't know the whole story. Perhaps he is very active in fighting cancer. I wouldn't be surprised to hear he regularly gives breast exams to suburban MILFs.
2. Rashard Mendenhall A week ago he was benched for not knowing his playbook. This week he was forced into action due to an injury to Willie Parker and rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns. I can't say if he knows the plays now or just ran well through the wrong holes.
3. Detroit Lions Wasn't last week such an amazing rush of excitement and celebration? Way to keep it special. Winning more will only cheapen the experience. But if you keep playing like you did this week, you may get to cherish that memory for the rest of the year. Oh, by the way: you play the Steelers this Sunday. You won't beat them. So don't even try. Instead, maybe cancel practice this week and do some scrapbooking. Record those memories before you forget the details.
4. Evolution After reviewing a catch made by Mike Sims-Walker of the Jaguars in the end zone yesterday, the referee ruled it was a touchdown because Sims-Walker "got three feet down." Impressive. It wasn't long ago that receivers like Santonio Holmes were just sprouting third legs, and now they're big enough they can use them to run. What's next? Penis hands?
5. Eli Manning Manning left yesterday's game with a heel injury. But it's not serious. And you know what injuries mean, don't you? Band-Aids! SpongeBob Band-Aids! And a trip to the ice cream shop with mom and dad for a clown sundae to make the boo-boo tears go bye-byes. Yay!
1. People with cancer other than breast If you would like the NFL's support in your fight, you should really consider letting the cancer spread to your breasts. Think about it.
2. Logic The Baltimore Ravens were not happy with the officiating in New England. Said safety Ed Reed on a 4th-and-1 try in which Ravens RB Willis McGahee was stopped short: "When Willis had his fourth-down try, it probably wouldn't have been a first [down], but it probably should have been a little closer." Why must you rob the Ravens of quarter-yards of no consequence, officials? Do you have no shame? What if Willis McGahee finishes the season with 999.75 yards? That will be on you, refs.
3. Rich Gannon As the Cincinnati Bengals were driving for the winning score in overtime, CBS game "analyst" Rich Gannon warned them not to score too quickly lest they leave time on the clock for the Browns to score. Ha! What an idiot. Did you see how Gannon messed up there? He suggested the Browns could score! What a moron. (Also, NFL overtime is sudden death.)
4. Mark Sanchez He looked in over his head yesterday against the Saints with four turnovers, two of which were returned or recovered for touchdowns. It was also a bad day for Jets fans, whose erections fell incomplete and were returned to their pants.
5. Tom Brady Your former fellow team captain, Rodney Harrison, told you on national television to "take off the skirt." This is why someone as famous as you must be careful who you trust. You never should have told Harrison that Gisele makes you play dress up.