Tuesday Teabag, April 29, 2014 – Donald Sterling

I got 99 problems...nope, now you got 100.

I got 99 problems…nope, now you got 100.

Come on, guys.  This one’s a no brainer.  Nice try Michael Pineda for your Pine Tar Neck trick…but oh no, this Teabag’s all Donald’s.  For those of you who need a refresher, our friends at Deadspin have the audio queued up for your listening pleasure.  It’s worth a listen. On the one hand, The Machine’s not surprised when anyone over the age of 60 makes a racist comment.  Being old is no excuse, but when you hear “80-year-old white guy doesn’t like the blacks”; it’s abhorrent, but not necessarily surprising.  However, when said 80 year old white guy happens to be the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, well now you got a story.

Who would've thought this wouldn't last?

Who would’ve thought this wouldn’t last?

Donald was (can we stop using the word allegedly now?) recorded by his (now ex) girlfriend, essentially telling her to stop bringing black people to Clippers games and stop openly associated with them.  Huh?  How can someone who’s a multi-millionaire, a successful business owner, the owner of a professional sports team (whose players are predominantly minorities) and who received a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP, hold such bigoted views?  Why is he sharing said views with his (several) decades younger, mixed-race girlfriend?  How does one get a (several) decades younger mixed-race girlfriend?  Did he think that was going to end well? Answer to the above questions:  Money. Money can cure all evils (correction:  now that he’s banned for life from the NBA, money can cure most evils).

You see, here’s the thing about Donald Sterling:  his history of racism, sexual harassment, and general douch-bagedness is well documented.  Like here.  And here.  And here.  And here.  When he received the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, he paid a record $2.725 million to settle a housing discrimination lawsuit, where there were some pretty compelling allegations that he discriminated against minorities, particularly black families.  Why, and how, did he receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP?  We believe the answer is also set forth above.  (Note to NAACP:  perhaps you should change your nominating criteria…just sayin’). But society simply could not tolerate this latest go-around.  Because of the audio evidence, and not some settlement agreement where the parties deny any liability but then pay a shit-ton of money, the NBA was forced had to act.  They simply could not turn another blind eye.  And there’s something about comeuppance for an Octogenarian that bangs models that just sits right with us.

Another question:  Does Donald give a shit?  He’s still rich as hell, and, if when the NBA forces him to sell the Clippers, he’ll make even more money.  And, he’ll still be able to find a (several) decades younger, hot girl to bang.  So, on that level, probably not.  But, for losing corporate sponsors, coupled with total public humiliation and disgrace, probably so.  A man who’s use to buying his way out of trouble can no longer do so.  That’s what The Machine thinks will kill him the most. Anyway, the NBA brought down the hammer on the Donald.  A lifetime ban.  That’s a steep price for one’s views.  But really, how long is that?  Dude’s 80.  And, let’s not fool ourselves to thinking this is over.  Do you think that Sterling’s going to go away quietly?  Do you think he’s afraid of protracted litigation?  If he’s smart, he just goes away.  But, if the last few days have told you anything, doing the right thing doesn’t exactly come natural to him.

Do you think he thinks he’s not a racist because he bangs minorities?  Do you think Thomas Jefferson thought that too?  Yeah, we just went there.

Our final thoughts:  As with most controversies, The Machine hates both extremes, and it’s no different here.   To the freedom of speech, First Amendment idiots (who are presumably Tea Partiers): shut up.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment, and if you can’t understand why, well then you are hopeless.  And, for the record, even if it did involve the First Amendment, the First Amendment, and all the other freedoms enjoyed in the Bill of Rights, are not absolute.  Try yelling “bomb” in an airport and then assert your First Amendment Rights.

Also, for the people (mainly liberal media) crying that this should have been done sooner, shut up.  Where were you in 2009 when Sterling was honored by the NAACP?  Where was your outrage?  How come only now it’s obvious?  And give credit to Commissioner Silver for the action he took.  He didn’t have to impose this type of sanction.  He had a wide range of discretion.  He chose to impose the most extreme measure, a $2.5 million dollar fine (the highest allowed under NBA rules) and a lifetime ban.  This is quick, decisive, and just action for a man who’s been on the job for three months (well-played, David Stern). One thing we all can agree on:  the NBA, and aspiring models in Hollywood, are better off without Donald Sterling.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, March 25, 2014 – Freshmen Phenoms

How busted is your bracket?  Better or worse than your freshman year slumpbuster?  Sadly, The Machine did not win the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge (note: turns out that is not an acceptable retirement strategy). 

Anyway, if your bracket is totally toast, it’s likely due to the efforts of the following players, all of whom were highly recruited one-and-done “student” athletes.  Let’s see how these freshmen phenoms fared in the NCAA Tournament.

Who knew Jabari's number would coincide with Duke's exit from the NCAA Tournament?

Who knew Jabari’s number would coincide with Duke’s exit from the NCAA Tournament?

Jabari Parker – Duke

Perhaps the most highly sought after freshman, Jabari was supposed to lead perennial powerhouse Duke back to the promise land…or, at least to the second round.  The third seeded Blue Devils had a matchup with the fourteenth seeded Mercer Bears.  Quick:  what state is Mercer located in?  No peeking…answer:  Georgia.  Duke essentially had a home game, as the game was played in Raleigh, NC. 

Anyway, Jabari was a complete dud.  He ended the game with 14 pts., 7 rebounds, and 0 assists, all lower than his 19/9/1 regular season average.  He was also 0-3 from 3 point range, and just looked lost on the court. 

If he had played up to half of his potential, Duke would have cruised.  Instead, the Atlantic Sun Conference Champions took over the second half, and ended up winning by 7. 

Please don't leave.

Please don’t leave.

Tyler Ennis – Syracuse

Is there a team player more frustrating to watch than Syracuse Tyler Ennis?  At times, Ennis looked like a league veteran…cool, calm under pressure, and came up big in the clutch. 

Who could forget this one:

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But what a dismal end to the season:  Syracuse finished 2-4 down the stretch, got bounced in the ACC Tournament early, and limped into the NCAA Tourney.  Then, just as Cuse Nation was in the gutter, they absolutely roll Western Michigan in the first Round, winning by 24.  So spirits were lifted, and spirits were lifted even higher when 11th-seeded Dayton bounced Ohio St.  Now, SU fans saw a clear path back to the final four, and nothing was going to stop this once 25-0 juggernaut.

However, what was supposed to be a cruise control victory for Syracuse turned into a nightmare, and Ennis certainly didn’t help.  While he had a team high 19 pts., he chucked up 21 shots, and was 33% from the field.  Also, he was 0-5 from three.  And, perhaps most damning, he had a shot at the buzzer for the win…a shot that, one month ago, no one would question him taking.

In fairness to Ennis, Boeheim (as The Machine noted) deserves much of the blame for his teams’ collapse.  Clearly, getting ejected losing the game for them against Duke really fired up his squad.

As good as gone.

As good as gone.

Andrew Wiggins – Kansas

Last but not least, Kansas stud Andrew Wiggins.  The Number 2 seeded Jayhawks suffered an embarrassing loss to 10th-seed Stanford on Sunday, and Wiggins was much to blame, shooting a dismal 1-6.  Wiggins, who averaged over 17 points per game during the regular season, finished Sunday with 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 turnovers. 

The sad thing is, as awful as these three played…all will be forgotten come the NBA Draft, as all three will be Top 10 picks.  The Machine’s down with one and done athletes…provided they shine on the biggest stage (see Rose, Derrick; see also Anthony, Carmelo).  But when your freshman phenom bombs, they shouldn’t then be rewarded by a lucrative NBA contract.  We hope these three come back for another year, but the chances of that are slim.  Wiggins is gone for sure, probably Ennis too [update:  dammit].  The only one that may waiver is Parker. 

You would think that, after collectively choking in the tourney, that all three would want to come back and give it one more try.  You’d think they’d have that competitive edge and devotion to their alma mater, to want to win.  However, that’s the problem with the one-and-dones.  There is no allegiance or loyalty to the school…the school (and their fan base) are nothing more than an obligatory stop.  To them, you are their slumpbuster.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, February 25, 2014 – Jim Boeheim

Here comes the crazy!

Here comes the crazy!

A clear cut winner this week, as Syracuse Orange Coach Jim Boeheim takes top honors for his antics in coaching with passion costing his team the game Saturday night against Duke.  To set the scene:  Cuse with the ball, down 2, 15 seconds left, looking to go 2-0 against Duke on the year and seeking to avenge their first (and embarrassing) loss at home to Boston College.  Then see what happens:

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Now, was this a bad call?  Of course.  It should have been a block.  Basket should have counted and CJ should have gone to the line to give Cuse the lead.  Instead, Boeheim gets a double T, gets ejected, Duke shoots 4 free throws, and they win by 6. 

Make no mistake about it:  Jim Boeheim cost them the game.  Blame the refs all you want (SU fans), but the real fault lies with the Coach.  It was idiotic for many reasons, but worst of all:  Syracuse still had a chance to win the game.  Even with the bad call, Cuse was still only down 2 with 10.4 seconds left.  If you’ve watched any SU basketball at all this year, you know they have a knack of pulling out close games (those Cardiac Cuse t-shirts are selling like hotcakes at Wegmans).  Also, Duke was shaky from the line.  They missed 10 free throws, so it’s no gimme that they would make both free throws if they got the ball back…that’s assuming SU doesn’t force a turnover.  Point is:  with 10.4 seconds to go, the game was far from over.

Who's bad???

Who’s bad???

But Boeheim didn’t give his team a chance.  He gave up on them, and in so doing, showed his true character, which, if you haven’t figured it out by now, is a ornery, volatile, take my ball and go home old man.  On the plus side, it gave those creative internet photoshop kids a field day.

Surprisingly though, many Cuse fans The Machine spoke with gave Boeheim a pass.  “He showed his players he’s got their back.” they said. “He’s a passionate coach who wears his heart on his sleeve.” they said.  “He wouldn’t do that if it was an elimination game.”  Well, The Machine’s here to call you out for your blatant homerism.

Why should Boeheim get a pass???  If CJ Fair blew up and got ejected, do you think people would be running to his defense, saying he plays with passion?  No, he would’ve been vilified for acting like a selfish, me-first athlete who can’t control his emotions.  Why should we treat Boeheim any different?  If anything, it’s more excusable for a college player—you know, the teenager/early 20 something year old “student”—to flip out after a call like that.  But not the seasoned, championship-winning coach.  The coach is supposed to have perspective, to understand the bigger picture.  To rally his team when faced with adversity.  Well, Boeheim did the exact opposite:  he gave up, and giving him a pass because he’s the coach is—as he repeatedly reminded the ref at midcourt—bullshit.

Also, his antics overshadowed what is quickly becoming the next great college basketball rivalry.  This was Syracuse’s first trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium.  With Syracuse in the ACC, these two teams will play each other twice a year (and likely three times if you include their inevitable matchup in the ACC Championship Game [sidebar:  yes, it will be weird to see SU play in a conference tournament that’s not at MSG, but we digress].

Anyway, when SU and Duke played in Syracuse three weeks ago, it was an epic matchup.  A record-setting crowd in the Dome, 35,000+ screaming fans, and the game did not disappoint.  Rasheed Sulaimon for Duke hit a game-tying three at the buzzer, but Syracuse was able to hold on and pull out a two point victory in overtime.  Now, that game also had a late game controversial call.  With Duke down 1, 12 seconds left in regulation, Rodney Hood went up for a dunk and Rakeem Christmas fouled blocked the shot.  Many people thought a foul should’ve been called.  We’re guessing Coach K thought a foul should’ve been called.  But there’s the difference between Coach K and Coach Boeheim:  Coach K controlled his emotions, and gave his team a chance to win. 

For that reason alone, Coach K will always get the nod as the better coach…not to mention the more wins and national championships. 

But wait, says the passionate, blindly loyal SU fan, Coach Boeheim was bringing his team together, taking the pressure off them, and getting them ready for the NCAA tourney.  First, how metta of you.  Second, really?  How did SU perform in its next game against Maryland on Monday night?  SU barely won against a Maryland team with 13 losses that they should have easily beat.  Not really the rallying cry now, is it?  More telling, let’s here from CJ Fair, SU’s star player on his thoughts on his Coach: 

Leave it to your players to understand the big picture.

Leave it to your players to understand the big picture.

Exactly, give your team the chance to win.  Instead, Coach Boeheim proved to the world he’s nothing more than a poor man’s Bobby Knight.  At least learn how to take your jacket off or throw something.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, February 18, 2014 – The Sochi Olympics

Sochi Olympic RingsWe’re midway through the Sochi Olympics, and boy, are there a lot of teabags to dole out.  As many as are being delivered in the Olympic Village?  Probably not, but there’s enough…from the shoddy accommodations to the creepy mascot, to spring-like conditions.  Here are some other teabagable moments from the Games.

Ice Dancing

The Foxtrot is still lame, even on ice.

The Foxtrot is still lame, even on ice.

Seriously, what the fuck is this?  The Machine can get down with some pairs figure skating, and the individual programs, but ice dancing?  Why is this an Olympic sport?  Is it really necessary?  Side note:  it’s been an Olympic sport since 1976.  Really?  Why?  To help answer this, The Machine was able to get ahold of the transcript from the recent IOC Meeting discussing its inclusion in the Sochi Games.

[IOC Chair]:  Ok, gang listen up.  We got a serious problem.  It’s with the figure skating competition.  It’s too manly.  We need to gay it up.  Suggestions?

[IOC Member, likely from France]:  How about Ice Dancing?  Let’s really focus on that this year.

[Russian Delegate]:  Does it involve the gays?

[Everyone]:  (Snicker, snicker, cough, cough) No (wink).

[IOC Chair]:  Sounds promising, but is it gay enough?  Tell me more.

[French Delegate]:  There are no jumps, just artistic skating.

[IOC Chair]:  Yes…

[British Delegate]:  To show tunes.

[IOC Chair]:  Go on…

[Canadian Delegate]:  And instead of spins, we call them twizzles.

[IOC Chair]:  Perfect!

[USA Delegate]:  And we’ll have Johnny Weir anchor the NBC coverage.

Seriously, wtf is that?

Did Johnny Weir rob my Grandmother’s closet?

[IOC Chair]:  Fierce!

Unless you’re hoping for a nip slip, there’s no reason to watch Ice Dancing.  If they replaced the show tunes with some power ballads…maybe.  At least it’d be a step in the right direction. 

Who farted on Bob's pillow?

Who farted on Bob’s pillow?

Bob Costas

Bob’s no stranger to a teabag.  We hit him up in 2012 when he used halftime of the Sunday Night Game to pontificate about gun control.  Well, he’s back at it again.

Bob, commenting on the newest sport, Snowboarding Slopestyle, to hit the Olympic Games, had this to say:  “I think the president of the IOC should be Johnny Knoxville.  Basically this stuff is just Jackass stuff they invented and called Olympic sports.”

Dude...the Olympics are like, so dope!  Team USA!!!

Dude…the Olympics are like, so dope! Team USA!!!

Really, Bob?  Thanks for the “get your ball off my lawn” moment.  Why has Bob Costas changed from a lovable short guy to an ornery, pretentious, liberal prick?  So you don’t like the Nu Skool sports like snowboarding…they’re not traditional enough to be worthy of Olympic competition?  FYI, snowboarding’s been around since the 1960’s, and it’s been an Olympic sport since the 90’s.  Suck it.

You get the sense that Bobbo’s problem isn’t with snowboarding…but with snowboarders.  They don’t embody the [old white man’s] vision of an Olympic athlete.  Sure, they wear baggy pants, have dreads, listen to Sk8r rock, and probably smoke tons of weed, but you try and rock a Frontside Double McTwist 1260.  Then, try doing that high off your gourd…

If anything, it’s events like Slopestyle and the Halfpipe that are a breath of fresh air for the games.  They are fast and action-packed, unlike some of the other snoozefest events…how captivating can you make cross country skiing, or curling (unless, it’s done by these ladies).

Now this is how you legitimize your Olympic sport.

Love the technique here.

Now this is how you legitimize an Olympic sport.

Hey Bob, explain to us how snowboarding is less of a sport than Ice Dancing.  You can’t, but we’re willing to bet that you’re cool with Ice Dancing, because they “look like” Olympic athletes. 

How fitting was it that the United State’s first gold of the Games was in Slopestyle, and Bob was there to announce it and forced to recognize it. 

Jesus Christ man, give it up!

Jesus Christ man, give it up!

And thank you, NBC, for yanking Bob off the air with his horrible pink eye.  I get that announcing the Olympics is the height of your popularity, but come on man, that shit’s nasty.  To our delight, it set Twitter afire.  Here’s hoping that, in true Jackass style, some snowboarder farted in your pillow. 

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, January 28, 2014 – Don Shula

Leave the BluBlockers at home this weekend, Don.

Leave the BluBlockers at home this weekend, Don.

Usually, Shula’s good for a teabag around Week 8, when he and the rest of the (annoying) 1972 Dolphins pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate the last undefeated team to lose.  Note:  the ’72 Dolphins are the most overrated team of all-time.

Anyway, this week is all about the Super Bowl.  The greatest game for the greatest sport.  And this year, it’s in New York.  [note:  we know it’s actually in New Jersey but we respect New Jersey about as much as we respect Canadians and Cowboys fans.  Apparently, we’re not alone in our treatment of Jersey.]  Yes, an outdoor Super Bowl in the northeast in the winter.  Why?  Because RGI’s a boss, and isn’t afraid to mix things up.  But not everyone’s happy with this.

Cue Don Shula, the perpetually tanned, retired Floridian.  According to Shula, the Super Bowl should be played “in conditions where weather won’t be or might not be something that affects the outcome.”  Shockingly, Miami is top on his list on where it should be.  His other reason for a mandatory warm weather Super Bowl?  The fans.  “You’ve got to give the fans an opportunity to come in ahead of time, enjoy what the town has to offer, enjoy the game and then stay for a couple of days afterwards, and enjoy everything. So if it’s a brutal weather condition in New York, you’re not going to do that.”

The Machine can sum up his remarks as follows:  blah, blah, blah, get off my lawn.  Listen, it’s not my fault your bones have been sucked free of calcium and your standing body temperature is just above dying…but that doesn’t mean holding the Super Bowl in New York is a bad idea.  In fact, it’s a great idea.

Yeah, this game was totally ruined by the weather.

Yeah, this game was totally ruined by the weather.

First, who says that the Super Bowl has to be played in pristine weather?  Some of the best playoff games have been played in cold weather.  The Ice Bowl.  The Tuck Rule Game.  The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.  These have been some of the greatest playoff games ever (Super Bowls included)…so why is it ok to have these games played in cold weather but not the Super Bowl? 

Oh right, the fans, they benefit from a warm Super Bowl right?  Sorry old man, but the fans are actually the biggest benefactors to having the game in New York.  Why?  Because ticket prices have plummeted, meaning regular people can actually go.  So, the Super Bowl is in the greatest city in the world, at bargain basement prices (by Super Bowl standards) and somehow the fans are losing out?  It’s actually giving real fans an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl (I’ve yet to convince Mrs. Machine that it’s a legitimate business expense, but I still got a few days).

It's all about product placement.

It’s all about product placement.

Sure, the VP for Pepsi may not like because he can’t put up his (obnoxious) outdoor display of Pepsi swag (note:  who the fuck drinks Pepsi while tailgating?) and shamelessly self-promote with scantily clad women (ok that is kind of a drawback). (add pepsi pic).  

 

 

The Pepsi logo was the 7th thing I noticed here.

The Pepsi logo was the 7th thing I noticed here.

Who cares if some advertisers are put out and have to think creatively on how to sell their product (put a heater next to the scantily clad women).  The Super Bowl is for the fans, and you know the NFL knows how to treat its fans right.

So what does the NFL do?  They take over Times Square. The NFL created Super Bowl Boulevard, encompassing 13 blocks in Midtown.  By all accounts, this is going to be the greatest NFL fan experience ever…certainly better than hanging out in a parking lot in Tempe, Arizona. 

A Super Bowl toboggan in Midtown?  Sign us up!

A Super Bowl toboggan in Midtown? Sign us up!

Sorry Don, we know old people hate change, and we know you lost the coldest Super Bowl, so maybe that’s why you’re jaded.  Either way, you’re wrong.  The Super Bowl this year (a) is in the greatest City, (b) has the cheapest ticket prices, (c) has the best fan experience, and (d) totally treats New Jersey like the door mat it is.  What could be better? 

 

Enjoy your teabag (ask your grandson what that is).

Tuesday Teabag, January 14, 2014 – Home Field Advantage

Sure, no one shuts you up when they’re all your friends…

Wow, what a weekend of games.  Beastmode and the Seahawks backed up their #1 seed, Peyton proves he’s still the best player in the game, C Kap and the Niners relish the role of evil villain (and look damn impressive doing so), and the Patriots unleash six rushing tds in a beat down of Indy.

[Selfless self-promotion alert]  If you’ve been keeping score (and hopefully betting) with The Machine’s expert picks, you’ll see that this Ginger and Roid Rage nailed it last week, each going a perfect 3-0-1.  Obviously, Vegas Vinny finished last. 

Anyway, this sets up one hell of a Championship weekend.  Niners at Seattle:  the biggest rivalry in the NFL today, and New England at Denver:  Brady v. Manning.  Need we say more?  These games are going to be epic, and we can’t imagine how great it would be to experience them live…and that’s where the teabag comes in.

Immediately after the Niners/Seahawks game was set, the Seahawks announced that they would only be selling tickets to people that live in geographically friendly areas, which, as you can guess, does not include California.  Similarly, the Broncos front office is restricting sales as well. 

Think about that for a second…and then let the rage take over.  Are you kidding me?  This is a classless move by both teams.  It forces Niners and Patriots fans to buy tickets on the secondary market at ridiculously marked up prices.  It’s stupid and low brow, qualities The Machine normally appreciates, but not in this instance.

And where’s the outrage from my Commerce Clause fans? 

It’s especially douchey for Seattle, who boasts the 12th Man…the loudest stadium in the NFL, where fans cause earthquakes.  If you truly have the best home field advantage, why do you have to pull this gimmick? 

Glad they kept the 12th Man an organic, fan-created idea, and didn’t go all corporate.

Sorry, but you’re the #1 seed in the NFC.  You don’t need to pull some second-rate promotional bullshit that’s befitting a Triple-A baseball team.  It’s almost as bad as Zubaz and a Monkey Night.  Same goes for you, Denver.  You have Peyton Manning and government grade weed.  You don’t need this. 

Zubaz and Monkey

This is actually genius.

Need more proof this is crazy?  Niners Coach Jim Harbaugh respects it.  Um, last we checked, Jim Harbaugh is a raving lunatic…and if he endorses it, you know it’s crazy. 

 Jim Harbaugh 2

The Machine hopes this doesn’t become a trend, but it’s a copycat league, so the chances that this is the only time it happens is remote.  If this does become the new wildcat, we hope RGI and the league will step in and prohibit this.  Nothing says fan friendly like some good old geographic discrimination. 

This just reeks of desperation and insecurity, which is strange coming from the NFL’s two best teams.  You guys are the #1 seeds.  You don’t need any more affirmation. 

What little respect we did have for the 12th Man [cue east coast bias] has now completely vanished.  It just means they’ll be more Seahawks fans there to watch them lose. 

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, January 7, 2014 – Moms Gone Wild!

Happy New Year Machine fans.  This year, we promise to bring you more of what you love.  More NFL Draft coverage, more gratuitous pictures of Kate Upton (you’re welcome), and yes, more teabags.  So let’s get right to our first teabag of 2014. Crazy Mom #1 Queary:  Is there a better group of sports fans than drunk moms?  Answer:  No.  They’re fun, totally irrational, DTF, and fiercely protective of their family.  And that was on full display last week at the Sugar Bowl, where Alabama played Oklahoma.  Let’s let the gif do the talking and then we’ll fill in the details: Alabama Mom As the story goes, as reported by our friends at Deadspin, Michelle Pritchett, sweet mother of three and an Alabama fan, was at the game with her family and was engaged in some harmless back and forth with some Oklahoma fans.  Then, things quickly got out of control.  As shown on the gif above (and youtube clip below) Michelle – mom jeans and all – launches herself several rows down and lands on top of the Oklahoma crew.  If you haven’t seen it (or even if you have seen it several dozen times, like us, it’s worth a view again): According to Michelle, she was just protecting her family (who was nowhere near danger, btw).  Said Michelle, “It escalated. When they said something to my son, I told them to shut their mouths.  They were telling my son to come down there and ‘do something about it.’ I said, ‘no, that’s not going to happen. This crap needs to stop.”  Michelle then goes full suburban mom, and both apologizes and takes no responsibility at the same time.  “I apologize to the whole Alabama team, to Nick Saban,” she said. “I apologize to the whole Alabama base.  That’s not the way I would normally handle things.  But when he told my son to come down there, that wasn’t going to happen.”  She then added, “Would I take that back? No.  He was out of control.” And, just so we’re all clear, Michelle was not, repeat, not, drunk.  “And I wasn’t intoxicated either.  I want people to know that. I’d had a couple of drinks, but I was not intoxicated.” Bweep, bweep, bweep…there’s The Machine’s Bullshitdar going off the charts.  Of course she was hammered.  That video has white girl wasted written all over it.  Perhaps it’s a cultural thing (The Machine is admittedly ignorant/scared of the South) but if by “a couple of drinks” she means a peanut butter jar of moonshine, then we’d agree she only had a couple of drinks. And we love her justification for jumping into a crowd of people at a sporting event in front of her family.  They [the big, mean Oklahoma fans] told her son to come on down, presumably to fight.  So mom, selfless, good hearted mom who just wants to protect her so (who, btw is nowhere in the video).  Ah, irrationality, a clear sign of drunk mom. Thankfully, more creative people love this story and have put together music montages for our viewing pleasure.  There are several, but we like this one (set to Sweet Home Alabama, heavy metal, and sound effects from Street Fighter) Sorry, one more, for you Miley Cyrus fans (looking at you, Roid Rage)

No one's good enough for my AJ, not even you Katherine Webb.

No one’s good enough for my AJ, not even you Katherine Webb.

Crazy Mom #2 Because one crazy mom isn’t enough…The Machine has another one for you.  We’re staying in the South and with Alabama, apparently a hot bed of milfs crazy middle-aged white women.  Dee Dee McCarron, mother to AJ McCarron, Alabama’s quarterback, is apparently still scorned that her little angel (pronounced “aiinjel”) lost the Heisman to FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston.  And when mom’s mad, she does what all rational people do…Tweet! Yes, after the historic National Championship Game Monday night between FSU and Auburn, truly a game for the ages, Heisman winning QB (and freshman) Jameis Winston was interviewed on the field.  Here’s what he had to say. What a moment for Jameis and FSU.  His remarks were genuine, heartfelt, and humble…three things that very few college freshman are.  However, Dee Dee (with a name like Dee Dee, do you get the sense a troubling day for her involves running out of fresh mint for her mint julep?) not happy seeing some other college quarterback share take the spotlight from her baby, instantly tweeted:

Bitter, much?

Bitter, much?

Her tweet was quickly deleted, but not before the damage was done.  Now granted, diction may not be Jameis’ strongest suit, but it’s clear what he’s saying, just as it’s clear Dee Dee’s tweet has a not so subtle racial overture.  To clear up any confusion, Dee Dee then tweeted:

As a general rule, if you have to send out a clarifying message that says “we are far from racist” it probably means you’re not as far as you think.  Is anyone surprised that Dee Dee’s twitter profile reads: “Proud Ma of 4 boys.  Feisty and will defend them to the end.”  Even if the end involves quasi-racist comments to the world.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, December 3, 2013 – Nick Saban

You know the old saying:  teabags come in three.  Well, that certainly holds true this week, as there are a triumvirate of teabagable head coaches. 

First up, Jason Kidd (how much longer can we call him coach?) for his drink spill timeout (see below).  I’ve seen better acting on the CW (don’t hate on The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural).  Kidd was fined $50,000 for his antics but his real penalty is continuing to be coach of the Nets

Jason Kidd

Next up, Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, on Thanksgiving Night, for his inexplicable entrance onto the field, which coincidentally (wink) just happened to be the exact moment Jacoby Jones was running down the sideline returning a kickoff for a touchdown.  Tomlin explained he was trying to get a better view of the jumbotron.  Really?  Were they doing the Kissing Cam?  Is there a better seat in the house than on the sidelines?  The NFL has yet to hand down a penalty, but we all know RGI doesn’t like when people mess with the integrity of the game.  Machine’s guess:  $100k fine (no loss of draft pick) and that’s taking into account Tomlin’s solid reputation.

 

But the real teabag winner this week is Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.  We’ve all seen the highlights; those of us who watched it live are still in awe.  Here it is again:

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This entire college football season (until Saturday) was summed up as: what team will lose to Alabama in the National Championship Game?  There was this feeling of inevitability.  Saban is the Bill Belechik of College Football (circa 2003), and Bama was just going through the motions on its way to a third straight national championship.  But who knew Saban was actually Bill Belechik circa 2007 (18-1, bitches!).  Make no mistake:  Nick Saban lost that game for Alabama, with a series of questionable coaching decisions.  Late in the fourth quarter, with the Tide up 7, Saban decides to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 13 yard line, instead of kicking a (short) 30 yard FG.  Sure, his kicker had already missed two, but being up 2 scores is worth it.  FYI, prior to Saturday, your kicker had never missed a FG shorter than 40 yards, so chances are good he hits from 30…or, how about you decide to switch kickers then, instead of bringing the new guy in to try a 57 yard FG when he’s only made one FG in his entire career, which was 20 yards, btw. 

Knowing that there was a good chance that the FG would be short, Saban should have put some players on the field that would be able to defend against a potential return.  He didn’t, and The Machine ventures to guess it’s because of his extreme arrogance and feeling of superiority.  That arrogance and superiority has helped Saban to build his program into what it is (they’re still the best team in the country).  But when that ego grows too large, you begin to think that no one can beat you, no matter what.  Therefore, any decision you make will be the right one.  Sorry Nick, enjoy your big fat piece of humble pie.

It's not my fault the players choked!

It’s not my fault the players choked!

What’s even worse was his comments after the game, where he basically threw his players (read: college kids) under the bus.  On Auburn’s touchdown tying drive with 32 seconds left:  “The corner is suppose to stay with the guy. The corner did not stay with the guy. You have to have tremendous discipline to play against this offense. We made a mental error in coverage that cost us a touchdown.”  Way to stand behind your players.  On Adam Griffith, the redshirt freshman who missed the 57 yard FG:  “Griff makes them from 60 yards in practice so there was a shot.”  Great, so now Griff’s a choker who can’t kick when it counts.  On Cade Foster, his kicker that missed 3 FG during the game:  “The fact of the matter is that we did not make plays when we needed to.  Whether it was a made field goal with a penalty or a missed field goal after that.”  Thanks, Coach, you know that kicker is receiving death threats, right?

The fact that Saban, instead of standing behind his players (how about highlighting the fact that Cade Foster had made 11 consecutive FG and had only missed one all season) and instead of putting the blame on his shoulders, blamed his 18-22 year old players for poor execution is pathetic, and shows that there is no end to his arrogance (he couldn’t possibly have contributed to the loss, right?).  Saban may be revered as God-like in Tuscaloosa, but he showed his true colors in the aftermath of Saturday’s game.  And make no mistake, crazy obsessed Alabama fans:  Saban will bolt as soon as he feels his status as God has been diminished, and will go somewhere that will put him back to God status.  Hello, Texas.

But for now, just live with the fact that he, and he alone, is responsible for ruining your season/life (and McCarron’s chance at the Heisman).  But at lease now you and Nick Saban have something in common:  you’ll both be watching the National Championship on TV this year.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, November 19, 2013 – Roc Nation Sports and Robinson Cano

 

Got 99 problems but Cano ain't one.

Got 99 problems but Cano ain’t one (yet).

We interrupt this NFL season to bring you some news from the diamond.  We’re just two weeks away from Baseball’s Winter Meetings, and things are starting to heat up.  Not familiar with the phenomenon that is the Winter Meetings?  It’s the one time a year where GMs and Execs from all 30 teams get together to discuss current issues in baseball (why no one under 50 watches), potential rule changes (expanded instant replay), and free agents.  There’s more excitement in the Winter Meetings than the first half of the baseball season.  There’s also more bullshit than a Congressional hearing on Obamacare, especially when it comes to free agents.

In the weeks leading up to the Winter Meetings, teams and shameless agents will try to pimp create buzz for their players, in the hopes of striking it rich at the Winter Meetings, or planting the seeds to strike it rich.  And there’s no better example than this than with Robinson Cano.

Cano is the prize jewel of this years’ free agency class.  He’s played his entire 9 year career with the Yankees, and is now looking to ca$h in on free agency.  Sure, he’s a great player that will add value to any lineup.  But is he a player you build your team around?  Is he a franchise player?  Well, if you believe his agents, he’s that and much, much more.

Yes, Cano’s sports agent, led by Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports, are playing crazy hardball trying to drive up the price.  First, they are pushing for a 10 year, $310 million dollar contract.  The Yankees have offered 7 years, $160 million.  $310 million would easily make Cano the highest paid player in baseball, but that’s not even the craziest thing.  No, the crazy part is Team Cano is comparing him to Michael Jordan.  Wait, what?  You don’t throw out an MJ comparison unless you can be damn sure to back it up.  As a general rule, we loathe when people make MJ comparisons…only Kobe comes close.  And in Cano’s case, it’s not even close.

Before we get to the MJ thing, let’s look at some other factors, like stats.  Here’s Cano’s numbers compared to A-Rod’s first 9 full years in the league. 

  Cano A-Rod
Home Runs 204 376
RBI 822 1075
Hits 1649 1663
Average .309 .307
Slugging % .504 .581

Cano’s numbers are good, really good, but they’re not A-Rod numbers, and Cano’s looking to crush A-Rod’s 10 year, $275 million contract.  Despite all the hype from Hova, there’s no way he should even come close to getting A-Rod money, and, unless something crazy happens, he won’t.  Here’s why.

Cano as MJ?  Not.  Even.  Close.

Cano as MJ? Not. Even. Close.

Star Power

This is what’s most infuriating with the MJ comparison.  Quick:  when you think of current Yankees, who comes to mind?  How long did it take you to get to Cano?  Be honest.  Jeter, A-Rod, Mo, then maybe Cano (arguably CC, Tex, and Grandy could go before Cano).  It’s not even close when you consider past Yankees.  Ok, now when you think of the Chicago Bulls, past, present or future, how long does it take you to get to Jordan?  Shit, when you think of the word Chicago or basketball, how long does it take you to get to Jordan?  Exactly.

Cano is not an iconic, face of the franchise/league player like MJ.  As the Daily News points out, Cano has the 5th highest selling jersey for NY players (Christ he’s behind two Mets) and doesn’t even have the highest selling jersey for second basemen, trailing Dustin Pedroia.  Jordan trails nobody, and since the NBA started tracking jersey sales in 1998, Jordan still reigns supreme

Age

Numbers don’t lie, and Cano’s on the wrong side of 30.  He’s 31, and seeking a 10 year contract.  Do you think the recent horrible long-term contracts given to star players in their 30’s…like A-Rod and Pujols, are fresh in the minds of baseball execs?  Indeed.  Cano’s got about 5 more consistently productive years left, and then it drops off.  The Machine thinks the best he’ll do is a 7 year deal with a player option for 8, and club option for 9.

No other suitors

Despite being the biggest talent, there’s no market for Cano, because everyone knows his demands are ridiculous.  It’s just the Yankees.  Perhaps the Mets step up as a bidder…they certainly have a strong track record of making horrible baseball decisions.  Quick trivia question:  who’s the highest paid outfielder on the Mets?  Answer:  Bobby Bonilla.  Yes, even though Bobby hasn’t played a game in over 12 years, the Mets pay him over $1 million a year until 2035.  Holy shit.  So, I guess you can’t count the Mets out, but so far it’s only the Yankees, who are wise to sit back and not move from their 7 year $160 million offer.

Jay Z as agent

Jay Z has stepped into the sports agency business, forming Roc Nation Sports.  He’s been acquiring a decent amount of talent, including Victor Cruz, Geno Smith, Kevin Durant, and now Robinson Cano.  Roc Nation Sports seems to not only want to maximize their clients’ sports earning potential, but also their marketing potential as well.  It’s not a novel concept—to maximize the total earning potential of a player—but it’s novel in the sense that marketing and sponsorship opportunities are at the forefront on contract negotiations.  The bad part of that is it narrows your market to only major market cities (it’s no surprise that 3 out of the 4 clients are in NYC).  Side note:  If Jay Z brings Durant to the Knicks, all will be forgiven.  Do you think Jay Z’s going to listen to offer from the Brewers or the Astros?  H to the Hell no.  Being a Jay Z client means you’re limited to NYC, LA, and maybe Chicago. 

Also, Jay Z is currently being investigated by MLB for giving an improper gift to Cano.  You got to think that the NFL, NBA, and MLB are weary about this new cross-over venture, which has the potential to take an athlete’s focus (gasp!) off of playing sports.  If the MLB comes down hard on Jay Z, that could

So, we get that there’s an element of puffery that always occurs with contract negotiations.  But come on, there still has to be an element of good faith and reasonableness, and comparing Cano to MJ defies logic.  It’s completely transparent, and a piss poor attempt to elevate a person to a level where they have no business being.  But Hova’s backed himself into a corner where he has to get close to what they’re asking.  If reality sets in and Cano ultimately accepts a reasonable deal (somewhere around 7-8 years, $160-200 million) Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports are going to look like fools, and this will set the tone with all clubs for future negotiations.  But that’s what you get when you pull the MJ card.  That, and a teabag.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, November 12, 2013 – Fantasy Football Busts

Happy Sequential Numbers Day!  Nerd alert:  this is the penultimate sequential number day of the century.  Don’t worry, The Machine’s already planning its 12/13/14 bender.  Until then, let’s talk a little fantasy football.

Way back in August, The Machine gave you 5 names to avoid this season, and, not to toot our own horn but damn we’re good.  Mike Wallace?  1 td.  Arian Foster?  Out for the year.  Hakeem Nicks?  0 tds.  Darren McFadden?  Out.  Joe Flacco?  11 ints in 9 games.  Chances are, if you got one of those guys on your team, you’re struggling.  But these are far from the only disappointing players this year.  In this Tuesday Teabag, we give you 5 additional players who have earned the right be called a bust.

It’s important to note that, when we say bust, we don’t mean players who get injured.  Injuries are part of the game, they’re unfortunate, and sure, they can kill your fantasy team.  But injuries have a sense of finality to them.  When Julio Jones goes down, don’t get mad, get your ass to the waiver wire and pick up Harry Douglas.  But with busts, it’s different.  These are people who had high expectations and are simply underperforming, and in the process are slowly and painfully killing your team week after week.  To make matters worse, (a) you probably spent a high draft pick on them, (b) because they now suck they have no trade value, and (c) you’re forced to continue to play them because, the moment you sit them they’ll have their breakout game.  Do I sound bitter?  It’s probably because 3 of the following 5 assholes are currently on my team. 

Suddenly, Indy's hoping Vick Ballard heals quickly.

Suddenly, Indy’s hoping Vick Ballard heals quickly.

Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis

By far, the biggest disappointment this season.  At the beginning of the year, Trent was a late first round pick.  He had a solid rookie year, running for over 1,300 yards, 13 tds, and 65 receptions for Cleveland.  When he got traded to Indy after Week 2, everyone thought this would elevate Trent to a Top 5 running back, including yours truly who quickly traded for him, sat back, and laughed at what I steal I got (and what a steal Indy got, giving up a first round pick for the #3 overall pick 17 months prior). 

Everything was in Trent’s favor:  he was going to a contender, and was going to play the Edgerrin James to Andrew Luck’s Peyton.  At only 22 years old, Trent was the perfect complement to Indy’s offense.  On paper, it was perfect.  In reality (and fantasy) a total bust.  In his 7 games as a Colt, Trent’s rushed for a total of 250 yards, a whopping 35 yards per game, and has barely factored into the passing game, averaging one catch a game. 

Move over sophomore year slumpbuster, trading for Trent is now my biggest regret.

Hey Ray, got any deer antler spray I could borrow?

Hey Ray, got any deer antler spray I could borrow?

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore

Ray has been a huge disappointment this year, both to fantasy owners and Ravens fans.  In nine games, he’s rushed for 289 yards.  His 2.5 YPC are nowhere near his career average (4.4), and he almost has as many fumbles (2) as tds (3).  Ray was a consensus first round pick and, at 26, is in the prime of his career.  Unfortunately, he’s a shell of his former self, and sucking the life out of your team.

Justin's problem isn't catching the rock...it's smoking it.

Justin’s problem isn’t catching the rock…it’s smoking it.

Justin Blackmon, WR Jacksonville

The wise fantasy football player picked up Blackmon with a late round pick during the draft and waited, knowing that a small 4 game suspension is worth it for a player who was a Top 5 WR the last half of the 2012 season.  Ginger King was so high (pun intended) on Justin that I drafted him in not one, but two, leagues.  And Justin delivered.  When he came off of suspension, Blackmon was an absolute monster, highlighted by a huge 14/190 performance against Denver.  He averaged over 7 catches and 100 yards in his first four games back.  His only problem:  those were his only games of the season.  Justin was suspended indefinitely for his third (yes, third) violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, impressive considering he’s been in the league less than two years.  It appears he smokes the rock as good (if not better) than he catches the rock.  We’re hoping Justin gets the help he needs…we’re also helping his (inevitable) trip to rehab goes like this:

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Why won't Aaron return my calls?

Why won’t Aaron return my calls?

Greg Jennings, WR Minnesota

Does the quarterback make the wide receiver or the wide receiver make the quarterback?  In Greg Jennings’ case, the answer is clear.  After switching from Green Bay to rival Minnesota, Jennings talked some serious trash about his former employer and quarterback.  He was supposed to provide the outside threat that would open up more running lanes for AP.  Instead, Vikings fans have been treated to Troy Williamson 2.0.  He’s averaging an abysmal 3.7/45.5 per game.  Granted, the triumvirate of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman is horrible, but a #1 WR should be able to put up solid numbers regardless who’s under center.  Christ, Justin Blackmon lit it up (pun intended) with Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert at the helm.  The only thing Jennings has proven is that he can talk like a #1 WR.

How much weed does $56 million get you?  A lot.

How much weed does $56 million get you? A lot.

Dwayne Bowe, WR Kansas City

After signing a 5 year, $56 million dollar contract in the offseason, much was expected of Bowe.  With only 2 tds and 33 receptions so far, Bowe is averaging a dismal 3.6/41 per game.  Now, we know Alex “Game Manager” Smith will never make a king out of a wide receiver, but Bowe is simply too good to be putting up such wretched numbers.  As if his problems on the field weren’t bad enough, he now has this to deal with.  Puff puff give!!!

Honorable mentions:  Eli Manning, RGIII, CJ Spiller, MJD

If any of these guys are on your team, we feel your pain.  Based on their output this season, the logical thing to do is to bench and/or trade these fools.  However, based on their body of work thus far, you’re never going to get good value for them on the trade market, and dropping them outright is too much of a kick in the balls.  Instead, because of their immense talent and your stubbornness to let go, you’re forced to continue to play them (except Blackmon), wistfully hoping that they will come out of their funk in time to turn your team around.  Good luck with that.

Enjoy your teabag.