All posts in note to self


why your team won’t win in 2011

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the eighth-annual “Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl” column. So head to Las Vegas and put money on it – this is why your favorite football franchise won’t get it done this year.

Arizona Cardinals – For his career, Kevin Kolb is 3-4 with 11 touchdowns and 21 turnovers (14 interceptions and seven fumbles). In Arizona, that translates into a five-year, $63 million contract.

Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons have won 33 of 48 regular season games over the last three years, while going winless in the playoffs. They’re one more postseason collapse away from moving to San Jose and naming Joe Thornton captain.

Baltimore Ravens – I’m convinced Ricky Williams signed with the Ravens after watching The Wire. Don’t be shocked when he tries to move to Hamsterdam.

Buffalo Bills – I’m pretty sure it’s not a good sign when your team’s best player is your punter.

Carolina Panthers – The Panthers have paid out more than $100 million in signing bonuses this offseason because, any time you have the chance to overpay the core of a 2-14 team, you’ve gotta do it.

Chicago Bears – It’s probably not a good sign that Jay Cutler’s most consistent target during his time in Chicago has been DeAngelo Hall.

Cincinnati Bengals – With Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco gone, the Bengals don’t have five players on the roster casual fans can name. Sadly, they might not even have five players worth learning the names of.

Cleveland Browns – The one head coach in Ohio worth a damn took his sweater vest and went home.

Dallas Cowboys – Little known fact: Tony Romo and Candace Crawford were originally supposed to get married at the end of last year, but she demanded the date be moved to July because, as you know, Romo never shows up in December.

Denver Broncos – Broncos fans are so stupid, they actually chanted for Tim Tebow to be the team’s quarterback even though he’s not any good.

Detroit Lions – The Lions head into an NFL season with legitimate expectations for the first time since Barry Sanders carried the load in the Motor City. What could go wrong?

Click here for the full article.


note: why your team won’t win 2010

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the seventh-annual “Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl” column. So head to Las Vegas and put money on it – this is why your favorite football franchise won’t get it done this year.

Arizona Cardinals – Okay, wait – your gameplan was to let Anquan Boldin walk away and then make Matt Leinart your starting quarterback? That’s your idea of putting your best foot forward?!? Come on, son. You’re not even trying.

Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons are coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. No pressure.

Baltimore RavensPurple camouflage.

Buffalo Bills – Ask the Maple Leafs the last time a team who willingly plays home games in Toronto won anything.

Carolina Panthers – The Panthers have one player worth a damn in their passing game – four-time Pro Bowler Steve Smith. How did he spend his offseason? Breaking his arm playing flag football.

Chicago Bears – Great idea putting Mike Martz and Jay Cutler together. I mean, these two have always been willing to set their egos aside when facing adversity, right? They’re definitely a match made in heaven.

Cincinnati Bengals – Stockpiling washed-up Dallas players who couldn’t win anything meaningful when they were Cowboys sounds like a great plan. What could go wrong?

Cleveland Browns – Because LeBron left.

Dallas Cowboys – Admit it, the thought of Jerry Jones watching two other teams play in the Super Bowl in his dream stadium is too awesome to cheer against. He’d cry after reading this, if his face was capable of showing emotions.

Denver Broncos – Everyone loves an athletic quarterback who can keep defenses guessing, right? Wrong. Mike Vick and Vince Young were better college players than Tim Tebow and how many Super Bowl have those two won?

Click here for the full article.


note: why your team won’t win 2009

photo by Brian Murphy

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the sixth-annual “Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl” column. So head to Las Vegas and put money on it – this is why your favorite football franchise won’t get it done this year.

Arizona Cardinals – I don’t care if he bagged groceries for Jesus Christ himself, Kurt Warner will not stay healthy for the entire 2009 season.

Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and friends snuck up on the league a year ago. You’ve got a better chance of spotting a pair of underwear on one of The Real Housewives of Atlanta than seeing the Falcons surprise the rest of the league a second time.

Baltimore Ravens – Other than The Wire, name something noteworthy to ever come out of Baltimore. And you’re not allowed to say herpes.

Buffalo Bills – The career of Terrell Owens is amazingly easy to break down. All you need is a quality quarterback and T.O., and he’s good for two things – elevating your offense to new heights while simultaneously driving your QB crazy. Buffalo brings an intriguing variable – they don’t have an NFL-caliber quarterback. What happens now?

Carolina Panthers – The last time we saw Jake Delhomme, he completed 22 out of 34 passes he threw. Unfortunately for Carolina, five of those completions were to Arizona defenders. Unfortunately for 2009 Panther fans, Delhomme is still your starting QB.

Chicago Bears – Great idea acquiring Jay Cutler. If only someone in the front office thought to bring in a capable receiver or two to go with him.

Cincinnati Bengals – It can’t be good when Chad Ochocinco has been a better teammate over the last year as a back-up kicker than he ever was as a receiver.

Cleveland Browns – If the Brownies had acquired Mike Vick, folks would have at least tuned in to see what happened the first time he came anywhere near the Dawg Pound.

Dallas Cowboys – Only in Dallas can you build a billion-dollar stadium with an illegal video board.

Denver Broncos – At least Jay Cutler kept things interesting.

Detroit Lions – Detroit Lions, banana peel. Banana peel, Detroit Lions. I know you’ve worked together for years, but I don’t think you’re ever been formally introduced.

Green Bay Packers – Brett Favre.

Houston Texans – Because the good Houston team now plays in Tennessee.

Indianapolis Colts – What has the world come to when Marvin Harrison is waiving a gun around?

Jacksonville Jaguars – Maurice Jones-Drew is a great all-around back, but someone has to give him a breather from time to time. With Fred Taylor (and groin) now in New England, who fills the void?

Kansas City Chiefs – Dear Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe and Bobby Engram are not Randy Moss and Wes Welker. But what do you care? You got paid.

Miami Dolphins – Ronnie Brown is fragile. Ricky Williams is high.

Minnesota Vikings – Brett Favre.

New England Patriots – Honestly, what have the Patriots won since they got caught cheating and had to start playing by the same rules as the rest of the league?

New Orleans Saints – Pierre Thomas is New Orleans feature back, and the French aren’t winners.

New York Giants – Eli Manning makes more money than Peyton Manning. Karma alone will keep the Giants from winning it until this egregious foul has been corrected.

New York Jets – Brett Favre.

Oakland Raiders – Because they’re the Raiders.

Philadelphia Eagles – PETA.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Big Ben gets sacked so often, even whores can bring him down.

San Diego Chargers – Last time I checked, Norv Turner was still the head coach. And last time he checked, Turner simply doesn’t win playoff games.

San Francisco 49ers – Wide out Michael Crabtree is holding out because, even though he was picked 10th overall in the NFL draft and Darrius Hayward-Bey was picked seventh, he feels he should make more money than DHB because he was “ranked higher on mock drafts.” Seriously, you can’t make this up.

Seattle Seahawks – Like grunge, Matt Hasselbeck was relevant a decade or so ago.

St. Louis Rams – Chris Long has his father Howie’s ruggedly-handsome looks. So at least he’ll have that going for him when his team is losing by double digits each week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Luke McCown. Byron Leftwich. Josh Freeman. Josh Johnson. Four roster spots, and not a quarterback in the bunch.

Tennessee Titans – With Albert Haynesworth gone, who will be the man to step up … on a Dallas Cowboys’ face?

Washington Redskins – The downfall of the 2008 Washington Redskins was a substandard offensive line. So naturally, the team spent the offseason adding Albert Haynesworth, Brian Orakpo and DeAngelo Hall to a perennial top 10 defense and largely ignored the offensive line.

Note to self is a weekly sports column written for HoboTrashcan.


note: tiger is back

(photo by Brian Murphy)

Unless the Orlando Magic can return to the formula that has worked thus far, the Los Angeles Lakers will be capturing yet another NBA championship. And when they do, magically Kobe Bryant will be looked at as a wonderful teammate/person/competitor/etc. because he finally earned a ring without Shaquille O’Neal on the roster. Yawn.

The Detroit Red Wings are set to win their second straight Stanley Cup championship this Friday night, besting the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second-consecutive season. They’ve been the better team all season long and throughout this series, but the league needed the Finals to go seven games in hopes of capitalizing on a wonderfully exciting season. Whatever.

I’d mention baseball, but honestly it’s the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox again. Been there. Done that. Unless the Washington Nationals can set the record for most losses in a single season, there’s not much worth watching this year.

But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost in the world of professional sports. No, not by a long shot. In just over a week all the major names will return to the scene of one of the most exciting events of 2008. That’s right, Tiger Woods and friends are set to return to the U.S. Open and you’d be a fool to miss out on the action.

For those who need a refresher, last year’s U.S. Open was straight out of a movie. For starters, Woods was grouped with Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott meaning the top three golfers in the world were all basically facing off head-to-head. And although the biggest names in the sport were the focus coming into the Open, it was Rocco Mediate who came from nowhere to challenge Tiger. While Mickelson and Scott faded, Mediate continued to turn up the heat on Woods, who was clearly not 100 percent.

Trailing by one stroke on the final hole, Woods drained a 12-foot putt for birdie to force an 18-hole playoff with Rocco. A one-legged Tiger went on to win the U.S. Open, his 14th major championship of his career, but that would be his final act of 2008. Two days later he had surgery on his left knee and that was that for Woods.

Eight long months later Tiger returned to action and since that time we’ve seen a new side of Woods. It used to be that Woods was simply better than everyone else and when he’s on there’s no use for anyone else to show up. But if Tiger wasn’t playing his best golf … well … that’s when the rest of the field had a chance to take home a trophy. Well, since his return, Tiger has two wins – the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament. In both instances Woods headed into the final day of the tournament trailing and yet battled back to claim victory.

At the Arnold Palmer (which is also a delicious beverage, by the way), Woods trailed Sean O’Hair by five strokes heading into the final day. Tiger shot a final round 67 and made a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole to defeat O’Hair by one stroke.

At the Memorial, Woods found himself in a similar situation, trailing by four shots after three rounds. This time he shot a 65 in the final round, including two consecutive birdies to end the tournament as he continues to rewrite the story on Tiger Woods.

Click here for the full article.

Note to self is a weekly sports column written for HoboTrashcan.


note: that’s how you do it

(courtesy photo)

While there is much to like about the summer (long days, better weather and the prospect of exotic vacations) there is one obvious drawback to this time of year – there’s never anything worth watching on TV.

Because the networks conspire to force folks outside to be productive or some such nonsense (those bastards), we’re stuck with reruns and reality crap that I wouldn’t force my enemies to suffer through.

The reason I bring this up in a sports column is because this is where things currently stand for the NHL playoffs. After a wonderfully exciting season and an even better Stanley Cup playoffs, we’re now left with the one finals matchup no one wants – the Detroit Red Rings versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Nothing against these two obviously talented teams, but this wasn’t exactly the greatest series in the history of hockey when these same two teams faced off a year ago. Let’s be honest here – no one outside of those two cities is jazzed at the prospect of a repeat, and yet, that’s where we are. The only story line even remotely different from last year to now is Red Wings forward Marian Hossa, who left Pittsburgh during this past offseason to get paid in Detroit.

But really, is that enough to get casual sports fans to tune in? Uh … no. And really, it’s probably not enough to even get hockey fans (outside of Detroit and Pittsburgh) to watch more than the highlights, which is too bad. Like I said, this season has been a renaissance campaign for the NHL. It’s too bad this is how things played out.

Conversely, the NBA is firing on all cylinders these days. After a so-so season in which everyone assumed it was a forgone conclusion that the L.A. Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers were a lock for the finals, things haven’t gone exactly according to plan.

When they’re not battling the WWE, the Denver Nuggets are actually fairing better than to be expected against Kobe Bryant and friends. Ever since Chauncey Billups came to town, the Nuggets have turned into a bona fide team. No longer are Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson seeing who can jack up 30 shots a game first. Instead, everyone now has a defined role and (for the most part), they’re able to remember that working together is much easier than five individuals all looking out for themselves.

Click here for the full article.

Note to self is a weekly sports column written for HoboTrashcan.


note: not good times

(courtesy photo)

In technical terms, yesterday sucked balls.

Any D.C. sports fan knows exactly where I’m coming from, but for the benefit of the rest of the class, here’s a recap of the series of nut shots that’s given us more than enough reason to put a bag of frozen vegetables on our collective beanbag as we attempt to recover from a painful Wednesday.

For starters, the one team that consistently wins in this town, the Washington Capitals, was not able to get the job done with their season on the line. And while losing is almost inevitable in team sports, doing so to your most hated rival on a national stage makes it a whole lot tougher to deal with.

“They were more composed with the puck, and the other thing they did and the reason they won the game is because they outworked us,” said forward Brooks Laich after the Caps’ 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. “It’s not easy to stand in front of you guys and say that we’ve been outworked in our building in a game seven. I’m sure that’s something we’re going to have to think about for a long time.”

Sadly, there is no truth to the rumor that due to a scheduling conflict involving a Yanni concert, the Capitals’ offense was thrown off a day and is actually arriving in town tonight for a pivotal game seven. I guess we’ll have to wait five months to see how the Capitals respond to this bit of adversity.

And right around the same time that the Caps were imploding, the one reason to care about the Nationals was suffering a similar fate. You see, the Nats were kind enough to start the season 1-10, letting the rest of the country know “there’s nothing to see here” and to move along for another season or two until the Nationals get some pitching and additional depth.

Well, the one reason folks outside of the beltway actually acknowledge this current team is Ryan Zimmerman, the third baseman who saw his 30-game hitting streak come to an end last night just as folks were beginning to take notice.

Sure, the Nats at 11-21 are still the worst team in baseball. But Zimmerman matched George Brett’s 30-game streak in 1980 for the longest by a third baseman since Pete Rose’s 44-game streak in 1978.

“He put us on the map a little bit with what he did,” said Nationals manager Manny Acta, who has apparently mastered the art of the understatement.

And the icing on the cake comes courtesy of the Redskins, who, thankfully, did not have a game yesterday and therefore did not find a way to fall apart in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers or an equally inferior opponent.

Click here for the full article.

Note to self is a weekly sports column written for HoboTrashcan.


note: damn the plan, warren

(AP photo)

This past weekend, Washington Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes was fined $500 and benched for being late to a game against the Florida Marlins.

Nats acting general manager Mike Rizzo and (acting) manager Manny Acta opted to fine and bench Dukes because the controversial outfielder was late and his excuse was not a team-sponsored event. They even went as far as to warn Dukes that if he was tardy again, he could be demoted to the minor leagues. Sounds great, right? The team should be applauded for trying to instill discipline and accountability to a young and immature lineup, right? In the words of the immortal poet Lee Corso, “Not so fast, sweetheart.”

Dukes was running behind because he was speaking with the Great Falls Little League in Northern Virginia. After addressing the kids, he stuck around to sign autographs and watch a parade of little leaguers, so he got to the ballpark a few minutes later than he intended. He didn’t miss the start of the game, he simply arrived late for warm ups, stretching, etc.

“We are going to change the culture here, regardless of how well a guy is playing,” said Acta. And why wouldn’t he? I mean, what kind of message does it send when a player goes out and gives back to the local community? The Nationals have gone out of their way to alienate the local fanbase since the moment they arrived in town and here’s this jerkwad trying to do his own thing. This kind of insubordination simply cannot and will not be tolerated. Clearly this is grounds for waterboarding.

When the idea of a professional baseball team relocating to our nation’s capital was first broached, I was all for it. In my lifetime your choices were to either cheer for the Baltimore Orioles, who were a great option until Peter “Satan” Angelos came into the picture, or don’t watch baseball. Sure, bandwagon fans could jump on the Yankees, Red Sox or Cubs because that’s what trendy people do, but that wasn’t really my thing. So I stuck with the Washington Redskins, Capitals and Bullets.

But then Major League Baseball, even in spite of Angelos’ protests, brought baseball into the fold. Before the start of the 2005 season, the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington D.C. and became the Nationals. A new generation was ready to whole-heartedly embrace the national pastime. Or at least that was the plan.

Click here for the full article.

Note to self is a weekly sports column written for HoboTrashcan.

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