Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Tuesday Vent 11/03/09

Three from the outside
Urban Values
The annual Florida-Georgia game (aka: The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Fruit Punch Party) ended on Saturday as it always does: with Georgia losing again and sportsmanship being the biggest loser on the weekend. Each year one side or the other does something that just intensifies the rivarly: team celebration after the first touchdown, calling timeouts with the game well in hand to allow fans to cheer louder and demoralize, or wearing black helmets and pants for the first time in school history
The real story this time is that Florida Senior LB Brandon Spikes was caught by the CBS cameras gouging the eyes of Georgia RB Washaun Ealey after a play when the score was 31-10 in Florida's favor. What this continues is a pattern of what can only be called unsportsmanlike conduct in this heated rivalry. Here's the vent - Florida coach Urban Meyer suspended Brandon Spikes... for a half... against Vanderbilt. It might be a stronger punishment to just not allow him ice cream for a month or to take his video games away for a week. At the end of the day, Urban Meyer is a joke on this, because anyone with any sense of reality and perspective on life that extends beyond winning the next game would know that anything less than a full game suspension is an empty gesture that begs for further actions not to be affected by this punishments.

Judge for yourself:

This is not NASCAR
NASCAR just doesn't seem satisfied ruining their schedule, Bristol, Labor Day, and alienating their base. They decided to ruin Talladega, and thus the AMP Energy 500. NASCAR decided that after restrictor-plate races (aka: the only NASCAR races that had not had their souls removed already) they needed to take some extra special measures in the vein of driver safety. To that end they told drivers in pre-race meetings that they would be strictly enforcing penalties for aggressive driving, most notably bump-drafting in the corners, that had up until that morning been just, well, racin'. The result? Well, with 50 laps remaining in the race there were very few cars out of the race, mostly start-and-park operations. So what happens when more cars are on the track at restrictor-plate races towards the end than usual? What happens is the big one happens with 50 laps to go, and the follow-up bigger wrecks occur right around the time the race would normally be settling into what would usually becomes the final stages. Instead a major red flag clean up happened during those final stages, and the race never really came to the dramatic finish it normally becomes and so richly deserves.

The most mindless banter of all
I like watching baseball, but I hate when managers are questioned on in-game management or pitching decisions that involve far more than simply numbers and statistics. This year's World Series is the perfect example. Here are the two managers who must suffer from the endless fish bowl that is baseball in two of the three big Northeast media markets:

Charlie Manuel is the manager for the Phillies, the reigning World Champions (trust me, I watched every game, pissed off after four of them). Manuel has been questioned primarily for his decisions regarding the starting pitchers, most notably Cliff Lee. The former Cy Young winner was lights-out in Game 1 giving the Phillies their lone victory in the first three games. The problem is with the entire sports world watching the Yankees have started their ace CC Sabathia for Game 1 and 4 with Game 7 a decision already made. Many thought Manuel should start Lee on the same schedule, but there's a problem with this decision. The problem is that Lee has no positive history of three days' rest, and in recent history that theory has a more than losing record.

Joe Girardi is the manager of the annoying new yorkers Yankees, the team with the highest payroll in the history of the game (trust me, it's just sickening). Girardi has shockingly been questioned for starting A.J. Burnett on three days' rest, but undoubtedly had Burnett won game 5 (and the series, incidentally) there would be no one questioning Girardi.

My point is this: Let's just watch the games and enjoy. There's a distinct possibility these two managers could both have rings by the end of the week, and could very easily meet again next year about this time. Bottom line? Shut up and play ball.

Personal vents
South Carolina Gamecocks (31-13 loss at 3-4 Tennessee): With all the talk about New Carolina and all the Lane Kiffin trash talked in the off-season this game should've been one with no need for motivation. Instead I saw the same listless end-of-the-season Carolina squad I've seen the last few years. The good news? Still three games left to prove me wrong, now do it.
Jacksonville Jaguars (30-13 loss at 0-6 Tennessee): Jeff Fischer is a fantastic coach and his team looks its best when he has time to fully prepare them. Vince Young is a fantastic athlete who is limited in the passing game and mental fortitude, but that athleticism when combined with confidence makes him a tough out regardless of any other limitation. All that said we should all acknowledge Jacksonville's passing defense may be the worst in the NFL, their run defense had its first off day of 2009 (first time this season they allowed a player to run for more than 83 yards as Chris Johnson gashed them for over 200), and the offense that seems so good and balanced at home has a hard time traveling. At the end of the day the problem is that the depth of multiple draft classes simply isn't there, and that is hopefully starting to change.

My Top Three Tweets of the Week
1. When Aikman says "that's one of greatest catches I've ever seen" my first thought is "if only he remembered the 90's"
2. Agreeing to a running clock has to be the worst right decision to make in high school football, but necessary when down 55-14 in the 3rd qtr
3. No need to worry Panthers fans, I started Arizona's Defense in my money league, just what they needed

Good night everybody

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