In SportsPickle's "10 (or so) Questions With" series, DJ Gallo interviews people in the sports world doing interesting things.
Today's interview subject: Jeff Ecker, Associate Producer, EA Sports NCAA Football. (That means he's, like, the designer of the game. Or something.)
And, yes, these are real interviews.
Curt Schilling says he has interest in running for the vacant U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts.
Here are the former pitcher’s positions on the major issues of the day.
Health Care: “Government-run health care is bad for our country. I believe most any physical ailment can be fixed with a nice, thick, absorptive sock.”
Economy: “I believe in the free market and that the government should not interfere. It would be great if teachers and fire fighters and police officers got paid more. But that’s not how the system works. You don’t get compensated solely for what you contribute to society. For example, the free market allowed me to make a whole buttload of money for being a pitcher. Score!”
Defense: “The stuff I can do in World Of Warcraft is friggin’ sweet. We should do that. Suck on these fireballs, Bin Laden!”
Legalization Of Drugs: “I am against the use of illegal drugs. But this is not really the area of my expertise. As I told Congress, I have never seen anyone take illegal drugs, especially not during my playing career. (LOL!)”
Environment: “I’ll tell you what was a great environment: Yankee Stadium, Game 7, 2004 ALCS. That place was totally quiet. It was AWESOME! If we could recreate that environment everywhere, the world would be a better place. But not via cap-and-trade.”
Gay Marriage: “I am against it. I don’t think gay people exist, to be honest. I played major league baseball for 20 years with a lot of fit, good-looking guys. And not one of them said they were gay. Out of thousands of players! So if none of them are gay, no one else is either.”
Education: “More needs to be done. The younger generation is falling behind. I’ve seen it myself. Do you know that many rookie pitchers today don’t know you want to throw a slider outside of the zone if you go up 0-2 on a hitter? That’s f—king sad, man. They know that in Japan, I bet.”
Foreign Policy: “Don’t pay $50 million to have lunch with Daisuke Matsuzaka. He’s not worth it. Beyond that, I want to focus more on domestic issues. Although I would like to lift any existing tariffs on foreign hair gels.”
Technology/Infrastructure: “I support major investments into upgrading our existing technological infrastructure. I get so pissed when my Internet connection goes down or gets slow when I’m blogging or playing video games online. Just last week, I was about to cut this guy’s head off, and my internet connection went down. I won’t let that happen again as senator. That is my solemn vow to the people of Massachusetts.”
AVOID: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals Like a hot dog, Carson Palmer may seem appetizing, but he is tainted by toxic ingredients you should avoid if you are smart.
Consider the similarity between what fills a hot dog and what surrounds Carson Palmer.
Hot dog: leftover scrap meats /Bengals: Cedric Benson
Hot dog: saturated fats /Bengals: Andre Smith
Hot dog: filler /Bengals: Chad Ochocinco
Hot dog: floor scrapings / Bengals: Laveranues Coles
Hot dog: mechanically separated poultry / Bengals: Chris Henry
Hot dog: preservatives / Bengals: Marvin Lewis
Hot dog: unidentifiable /Bengals: Ben Utecht
And even if Carson Palmer wasgood and even if he wasn't injury prone and even if he played on a good team really. That picture. You can't draft him. You just can't. You must question his judgment. If there's one pass on the line with my fantasy season in the balance, I don't want the guy who thought it was a savvy marketing move to fellate a weiner making the decision on where to put the ball.
September 2, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
Bird uninjured after being struck by Jamie Moyer pitch
A small bluebird flew into the path of a pitch Philies reliever Jamie Moyer threw today during his bullpen session, instantly dropping the ball to the ground. "I've never seen anything like it," said catcher Paul Bako. "The bird came out of nowhere, then BOOM! its wing just knocked Jamie's pitch right out of the air. Then the bird fluttered there for a bit until it eventually flew away." Moyer said he wasn't at all surprised by the scene. "It's actually happened to me before," he said. "I worked on my accuracy as a kid by bouncing balls off butterflies."
Despite reports that he sustained a shoulder injury when Albert Haynesworth fell on him, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady insisted today that he has absolutely no pain in his throwing arm.
"Look at my arm. It looks perfect, doesn't it? Almost without flaw," said Brady, pointing to what looked awfully similar to a prosthetic arm connected to his right shoulder. "I have no pain at all. I don't even have nerves. I'm good to go for Week 1."
But Brady refused to say whether he had been outfitted with a prosthetic limb.
"Oh, come on. You know that's not how we work," said the quarterback, laughing. "All those kinds of questions have to go through coach. I'm sure he'll list something on the injury report."
Bill Belichick also denied his star player suffered such a severe injury that his arm had to be amputated.
"He got a little banged up. It's football," said Belichick. "These things happen. I don't know what everyone is freaking out about."
He then chafed at suggestions Brady would take the field with a prosthesis.
"Even if he did, are you saying that would make him somehow less than ideal? Less than perfect?" he said. "I'd like to hear you share that opinion with some of our wounded military men and women."
Even with the insistence that Brady is 100-percent, the Patriots have reportedly been looking to improve their backup options behind him, reaching out to Jeff George and working with MIT scientists to create a football-throwing robot.
And Brady's health is further complicated after he accidentally let his right arm sit on the grill at the team's dining facility today, melting the right hand off.
"What? I meant to do that," he said. "I like the smell of burning flesh when I eat. Burning human flesh. Even though mine sort of smells like plastic."
The 2009 college football season opens with a full slate of games this weekend and with it, all 127 of the Division I-A programs other than your favorite team embark on a pathetically easy cupcake schedule.
“Florida is ranked No. 1 to start the season, but look who they are opening with,” said Chad Gaynor, a fellow alum of your school. “It’s a joke. Charleston Southern? Please. The supposed best team in the country shouldn’t be allowed to feast on cupcakes like that. And then they have Troy followed by a whole bunch of teams from the SEC –- which is as overrated a conference as it gets.”
No. 2 Texas doesn’t have it any tougher, says Jeff Miller, who sits near you at games.
“Louisiana Monroe? Wyoming? Was the Texas Girls School for the Blind not available or what?” he said. If they want to win that way, fine – but we would never dare have a schedule that disgraceful. And I won’t even bother mentioning how lame the Big 12 has become. They play no defense in that conference anymore. It shouldn’t even be a BCS conference anymore. Texas won't even get much of a game from Texas Tech this year.”
And while No. 5 Alabama opens with No. 7 Virginia Tech,neither team gets to pretend its schedule is anything but easy.
“Alabama-Virginia Tech is nothing more than a case of them protesting too much,” said longtime tailgating neighbor Jon Gonzalez. “They both know how lame their schedules are so they ran out and scheduled each other to try to cover it up. To try to divert attention. I mean, when the toughest game on your schedule is Alabama or Virginia Tech, you’re not even trying. And, sure –- schedule it for September when you have plenty of time to overcome a loss by beating all the rest of the cupcakes on your schedule. It's pathetic.”
But at least one program has the guts to play a challenging schedule.
“We may not win the national championship this year,” you say. “But that’s because we challenge ourselves each and every week. We have pride. We have honor. We open with two I-AA teams – and I don’t have to tell you how dangerous that is in light of Appalachian State a couple years ago, am I right? Then it’s a week off before we host a team from the ever-dangerous MAC. Then a service academy –- on the road! Those kids play hard. And then our games in-conference –- and anyone with a brain knows our conference is way tougher than it gets credit for.”
There are only a few days left until the first Saturday of the college football season and SportsPickle is counting down the top stories of 2009. Today: No. 4, Lane Kiffin.
News Dear No-Hitter ...
Dear No-Hitter –
I have to say that I am a bit confused. I was flirting with you all night long. I thought we had something.
First inning, second inning, third inning, fourth, fifth, sixth. The tension was building. Something was happening between us. I felt it. And unless I misremember, I know you had to feel it, too. We weren’t just flirting anymore. We were about to do it.
At least I thought so.
I mean, look – I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. I’m not naïve. My bumbling wing man Jerry Hairston, Jr. assured that, am I right? But even after he butted in, I still thought we could have some fun, no-hitter. It was still there for us. I still wanted you. Probably even more than before.
I wanted you so bad. Pardon my French, but I wanted to f—k you, no-hitter.
But then you go all of a sudden and let Nick Markakis get to first base with you??? Like the whole night, all of our flirting, meant nothing?!?
What was that about?
I feel used, no-hitter. I do. I know it might sound stupid. But I felt like you used me. I feel like you used me to get yourself some attention because I am a New York Yankee. And then you just went and left with some Baltimore Oriole.
You’re a whore, no-hitter. There. I said it. YOU ARE A WHORE.
I’m never flirting with you again.
I Can't Love Anymore,
AVOID: Matt Schaub, QB, Texans Matt Schaub is surrounded by a ton of weapons in Houston. Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton, Kevin Walter, Owen Daniels. Here's the only problem: Matt Schaub is not very good. Picture Johnson, Slaton, Walter, and Daniels as actual weapons. Awesome weapons. In fact, consider them the Batman suit. Pretty cool, right? Unlimited potential. But all those weapons are useless if you don't have someone who can control them. Now imagine Stephen Hawking as being inside the Batman suit. Useless. Matt Schaub is Stephen Hawking. He'll be able to spin around. He'll probably get off a few shots. He might even get lucky to hit some people with them. But it won't be nearly as good as you'd hope.
September 1, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
First 10,000 fans in attendance to receive a piece of promotions director's mind
After several of his recent promotional events and giveaways failed to pull in a big crowd, Cincinnati Reds promotions director Dale Patton says that the first 10,000 fans who come through the gates for tonight's game are going to get a piece of his mind. "Dammit! How can these people not come out for a Joey Votto bobblehead night?" Patton ranted. "Joey Votto is a star! A star! And Ladies Night? I don't think I saw any more ladies here than are here any other night? What the fk, people?! And don't get me started on Hispanic Heritage Night. We had more Latinos on the field than in the stands." If Reds fans don't soon start showing more appreciation for his hard work, Patton says he is just going to quit and tell the team's management to use his salary to sign better players. "Let's see how they like watching a winning team without a free t-shirt. Then they'll be sorry."