Steroids—This Generation’s Problem???

What is it with old people that causes them to believe all the problems in the world are the current generation’s fault and that, back in their day, none of these problems existed?  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy:  the older you get, the more the current generation sucks.

Recently, The Machine was at a family function doing what The Machine does best (crushing beers and talking sports) and the subject turned to steroids and performance enhancing drugs.  Instantly, the old people started right in about how the integrity of sports has been ruined by these cheaters, that the records being broken (you know, the records that were set by their sports icons) should still be recognized as the real records, and that any awards should be taken away.

Case in point:  Melky Cabrera, the latest pill-popper and distinguished Tuesday Teabag recipient.  Melky recently won the MVP of the All-Star Game, and helped to secure home field advantage to the National League in the World Series [let’s put aside that fact that deciding home field advantage by the winning team in the All-Star Game is the Dumbest.  Thing.  Ever.]  Unanimously, the old timers agreed that Melky should be stripped of his MVP Award, that Barry Bonds should have an asterisk next to his home run total, and that Roger Clemens should not get in to the Hall of Fame.  Thank God The Machine was there to put these people in check.

The Machine:    “You know it was your generation that introduced steroids to sports, right?”

Old Person:        “Yeah, but not to the extent it’s being used now.”  Came the expected reply.

The Machine:    “So you want to make a big statement about cleaning up sports, right?”

Old Person:        “I don’t like where this is headed.”

The Machine:    “So let’s take away the Steelers four Super Bowls from the 70’s and Willie Mays’ two MVP awards.”

Old Person:        “What the fuck are you talking about young man!”

And therein lies the problem.  You can’t just set 2003 as the date by which you start taking away results.  And it’s just as stupid to go further back in time.  And you can’t just blame the last decade as defiling the integrity of sports.  What happened, happened.  Steroids weren’t illegal in the 1970’s (neither was HGH in baseball until 2005).  Perhaps they weren’t “illegal” but everyone knew it was wrong.  And please, can we stop with the notion that this is our fault?  The Machine’s willing to bet that more professional athletes used steroids in the 1970’s than today.  Steroids weren’t newsworthy then like they are now.  Nobody gave a shit…kind of like nobody gave a shit about wearing seatbelts or listening to good music (seriously, the Bee Gees?).

Look, The Machine gets that being old sucks but come on people, have some perspective.  Your sports idols and heroes were just as corrupt, meatheaded, and obsessed with getting an edge on the competition as ours are.  And, as long as we have professional sports in this country, there will always be people that will lie and cheat their way to the top.  However, The Machine’s convinced that the next generation will be worse than today’s.  Kids these days…

Tuesday Teabag, August 21

Melky Cabrera

The Machine was all ready to crown Chad Johnson our Tuesday Teabag award winner (seriously bro, who keeps the receipt from the grocery store, especially when said receipt lists a box of Magnums that clearly aren’t intended for your wife?).  But congrats Chad, there’s some good news coming your way.  Sure, you’ve been publicly humiliated, your football career is over, and your wife is divorcing you, but there’s always someone worse off than you.  It’s the Jerry Springer theory (just watch some Springer repeats and you’ll feel better in no time).

Who’s having a worse week than Ocho-crazy?  Melky Cabrera.  When word first hit that Melky tested positive for PEDs, this barely registered on The Machine’s radar.  A professional athlete on steroids?  Big deal.  The Machine actually gave Melky some credit when he stepped up and took full blame, instead of the usual “it was a prescription for ADHD or a sinus infection.”  However, when word hit that Melky was involved in a website and fictitious supplement, well now you have our attention.

As the story goes, Melky and his associates, apparently after watching an Oceans 13 marathon, came up with an elaborate ruse to fool the MLB.  They created a website selling a fake supplement, and that was somehow going to get the Melkman off the hook.  There’re about as many layers to this plan as the Davinci Code (seriously, The Machine, surrounded in a cloud of smoke on the third floor of his fraternity house with Bob Marley blaring, devised better hoaxes in college).  Of course you were going to get busted.  There’s not enough weed to go around to think that plan was going to work.

The cover-up is always worse than the crime.  But you’ve gone one step further (and believe me, it’s a big step further).  You attempted to lie your way out by fabricating evidence.  This is a direct attack to the MLB drug testing system.  From now on, any athlete who asserts innocence will be doubted.  In order to erase all doubt, the testing policy must be revised to make public the substance that resulted in the positive test.  This would remove from the equation the Adderall excuse if we knew you tested positive for Stanozolol and horse urine.  Not surprisingly, the MLBPA is vehemently against any public disclosure (shocker).

Melky…don’t worry, it’s not all bad.  It could be worse (think Springer).  Consider yourself lucky for trying this dumbass move in the MLB.  Can you imagine what the NFL would do if you tried to pull that shit on Goodell?  RGI would waterboard the shit out of you and beat your associates senseless.  Be thankful that your Commissioner really doesn’t give a shit about the integrity of his sport.  Also, be thankful for the Tuesday Teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, August 14

Dwight Howard

Oh Dwight.  Just two short years ago, you were the posterchild for the do right in the NBA.  Malcontent (nope), diva (no way), only one out of wedlock kid (that’s NBA speak for virgin).  You had it all.  While the rest of the world was pissed at Lebron for The Decision, no one was pissed at you.  You were carefree, effervescent…everyone loved your Superman ritual.  You were, in a word, unstoppable.

Today, you are unforgiveable.  Sure, you ended up with the Lakers.  Good for you.  But here Dwight, the end does not justify the means.  In the last season alone, you not only erased all of your good will, but you’ve proved that you are not only the most selfish, me-first individual in professional sports, but you also the dumbest.  Let’s recap:

You pissed and moaned to the Magic brass and demanded Van Gundy and Otis Smith get fired at the end of the season, all the while denying it.  In exchange, you signed a one-year extension to stay with the Magic for next season.  Now, that alone is pretty douchey, but hey, we’ve all tried to get the boss fired before.  But then, incredibly, you take it one step further.  The Magic, in good faith reliance on The Deal (which yes, is the douche bag version of The Decision), fire Van Gundy and Smith (thanks for taking us to the postseason five years in a row Stan, now pack up your shit and walk your doughy ass out the door).  You should’ve shut up then, played out your year in Orlando (maybe ask for a trade behind the scenes), all the while knowing that the summer of 2013 you’d be an unrestricted free agent.  But no, you then demanded a trade, reneging on The Deal.  And not only did you demand a trade, but you limited it to one Team:  the Nets.  You think that maybe affects the power negotiations for the Magic?

Did you not realize that you had all the leverage BEFORE you signed your one year extension, and, after that, you had NO leverage at all?  If you wanted to go to Brooklyn, you could’ve been there.  You could’ve become the cornerstone of bringing the game back to Brooklyn.  Superman back in Metropolis.  You easily would’ve been the best center in NYC since Ewing.  You could’ve owned NYC (sounds awesome, right)?  But instead, now you’re following Shaq’s footsteps to LA.  Please note that the comparisons between you and The Diesel end there.  Your antics over the past two seasons will ensure that you will never attain Shaq-status.  Even if you star in Kazaam 2.

Sure, you’ll probably win a title in LA (you do have Kobe, Gasol, and Steve Nash), and sure, the media will likely forgive you (we are a forgiving bunch).  But not The Machine.  The Machine’s Douche-dar is as good (if not better) than its Gay-dar, and our meter is off the charts.  Beware LA, Superdouche is already on full display.  Case in point:  Dwight’s already announced that he has no intention of signing a long term deal (or any extension) until after the season.  Translation:  if things don’t go his way, if the spotlight’s not completely on him (and guess what, it won’t be when you’re lacing up alongside Black Mamba), if the offense doesn’t run through him, if the Lakers don’t win a championship, if he doesn’t have a better parking space than Metta World Peace (you get the picture), then you can bet your ass he’ll high tail it out of LA, and then the Lakers will be left with nothing for The Deal.  Even if he does sign an extension, it’s just a matter of time before the fun-loving gives way to the malcontent.

Want some free advice from The Machine:  fire everyone that currently represents you.  Agents, managers, lawyers.  Everyone.  You’re management team has proved about as productive as Tim Tebow in a whore house (this goes where?).  And sign your extension with LA.  You may not know it, but your stock has dropped.  A lot.  There’s no way you could command the kind of coin you’re expecting (or your management team is telling you to expect), when every team knows that as soon as things don’t go your way, you’ll bitch, complain, and force your way out the door.  You can’t be trusted to build a franchise around; hence, you’ll never get paid like one.

Enjoy your Tuesday Teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, August 7

Michael Jerome Irvin, all 6’-2”, 207 lbs. (or, as “The Playmaker” prefers, 94 kilos) come on down, you’re this weeks Teabag Award Winner!  Once you get past the incoherent drivel and nonsensical jawing, every time the ol’ playmaker opens his mouth a few doozies come rolling off the tongue.

Gem #1: Vince-who?!

Apparently the Boston Heralds Sport section was a little thin, so they gave Mike a call and kept the recorder rolling.  On the subject of the Super Bowl, Irvin opined, “Maaaan, if it was up to me, that trophy would be called the Lombardi-Belichick.  I don’t care what they think.  That’s how good he is to do what he’s doing in this day and age, what the league is now.”  Irvin is currently an analyst for the NFL Network (why?) so one would reason that he has access to all sorts of historical databases and statistical comparisons.  So he probably put that stellar University of Miami education to good use and did some research before making such a claim, right?!  Wrong!

Just for shits and giggles, The Machine took a closer look at the numbers. Vince Lombardi was 2-0 in Super Bowls and had a career 74% regular season win percentage; His Green Bay Packers also won 6 (pre-Super Bowl) NFL Championships.  He helped pioneer the NFL in the early days and is considered the benchmark for coaching excellence.    The Hoodie sports a 3-2 Super Bowl Record and a 64% regular season win percentage.  Oh, he was also caught cheating red-handed by the NFL in the Spygate Scandal and only escaped with relative ease because of a massive NFL cover-up (seriously, a formal complaint was made; evidence gathered; a ruling administered; evidence fully destroyed and a formal apology made in the span of 4 days!!).  It hardly seems fitting that these two be considered equals.  It’s the equivalent of renaming baseballs top pitching award to the Cy-Young- Mike Mussina Award.

The Machine certainly isn’t advocating a name change, but if we were going to add a second name to the hallow Lombardi Trophy we’d probably go with Chuck Knoll (4-0 Super Bowl record), or Bill Walsh (3-0), or Don Shula (2 Super Bowl wins, 1 NFL Championship, most NFL wins).  Hell, if part of Irvin’s criteria is coaching in the modern era (which in Irvin’s coke induced mind must be anytime after ’99) then why not Tom Coughlin (2-0, with both wins coming AGAINST Belichick)?!

Gem #2….88 as crazy as ever 

Michael Irvin, the former crazy #88 WR for the Dallas Cowboys recently spoke of his disappointment for the current crazy #88 WR for the Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant.  Dez’s rap sheet has been well documented here.  His latest stunt, a fore-arm shiver upside his mothers dome made Irvins “heart bleed”.  Are you sure that’s not just a residual from burning rocks, 88?  Anyways, Irvin told ESPN Dallas that, “this is uncharted waters. I like to speak out of my spirit on a lot of things, both the highs and the lows, the peaks and the valleys I’ve experienced,” Irvin said. “But this is out of the world for me. I’ve never laid my hands on any woman, let alone talk about the No. 1 woman in any man’s life, which should be his mother.”  See, technically Mike never did lay hands on a woman because he had Eric Williams pointing a gun to their head while he videotaped his deeds….allegedly.  Old Jerrah might want to get his dick out of his newly minted billion dollar glory hole and hire a team physiatrist; because Michael Irvin thinking you’ve gone too far is like the Uni-Bomber accusing someone of mail fraud.

Michael, we know that you’ve got 750 career receptions (which truthfully means that there were 750 blown offensive pass interference calls), but could you please just snort away the rest of your fortune in your own time?!

2012 Top 10 Fantasy DEFs

Not sure about you, but this over saturation of synchronized diving, ballet dancing and gymnastics has the Machine just itching for some football.  We’d take Pro-Bowl effort football at this point.  (Side note: The Machine confused the frolicking, spinning, and overall concerted effort that the synchronized divers put into getting from the pool to the hot tub as ballet dancing.  Is this the Summer Olympics or a bad episode of ‘Blind Date’)?  Anyways, our final ‘Top 10’ fantasy ranking is Defense. You know, D-[insert picture of picket fence here].  We’ll be updating the lists as training camps, preseason and Bryant Family BBQ’s wrap up this summer.

Defenses certainly don’t win fantasy championships.  Last year, the difference between the #1 (Chicago) and #10 (Philly) defense was 31 points, just under 2 points a week.  However, the difference between Philly and #20 (Dallas) was another 24 points.  You definitely want to identify the top 6 or 7 fantasy defenses and get one of them as late in the draft as possible.  It’s also worth pointing out that a fantasy defense hasn’t repeated at the number one overall spot in a decade.  A number of factors contribute to this trend: first, significant fantasy scoring stats such as fumbles (recovered), interceptions and special team touchdowns are as reliable as the transmission in a ’91 Dodge Daytona.  Secondly, the current rules of the NFL have all but abolished the days of the ‘dominate’ defense.  The Machines approach to evaluating defenses is simple:  give us a defense that can consistently put pressure on the opposing teams quarterback.  This yields the most potential for sacks and mistakes (ie interceptions, fumbles, etc.).  With that in mind we present the Top 10 Fantasy Defenses for 2012:

  1. San Francisco – Feeding off of Patrick Willis’s intensity, this defense brings the lumber every game.  Aldon Smith is a pass-rushing phenom.  This defense finished 4th last year while only scoring 1 TD! If a few more balls bounce their way look out.
  1. New York Giants – The G-men boast the deepest, most talented defensive line in football, just ask Tom Brady.  JPP has the chance to win multiple defensive MVP awards if he stays healthy.
  1. Green Bay Packers – This defense will get plenty off opportunities to pin their ears back and rush the passer.  Their first six selections in the draft were defensive players; Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy should be able to contribute right away.  Their secondary has a few playmakers that are willing to gamble for the big payoff.  It looks like a great year to buy into the GB DEF.
  1. Philadelphia Eagles – They added some nice pieces via free agency, trades and the draft.  Their defensive line is dynamic, if not undersized, and built to attack the quarterback.  At this point the only thing this defense is missing is a legitimate coordinator.  While we have zero faith in Castillo, even he’d be hard pressed not to have success with this defense…(again)
  1. Chicago Bears – Da Bears!  Their defense always seems to translate well into the fantasy realm.  They seem to have the uncanny ability to turn turnovers into touchdowns.  Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have the best punter returner in history.
  1. Buffalo Bills – We’re drinking the Kool-Aid that this defensive line is going to wreak havoc.  It’s been quite a long time since the Bills were known for getting after the QB, so this could be a very fun group to watch.  They also have some young and talented secondary players in Bryd, A. Williams and rookie S. Gilmore (who will challenge Revis for the best corner in the conference within two years!)
  1. Houston Texans – Wade Phillips’ defenses are tried and true.  They generate sacks and interceptions.  Even with some big time free agency departures they have a talented front-seven.
  1. Detroit Lions – This defense will stomp on your face, literally.  While The Machine is nervous that the Lions might not be able to field an entire squad at their current arrest rate, what has us even more uneasy is the fact that they scored 7 DTDs last year.  We don’t like their chances of hitting that number again this year.
  1. Baltimore Ravens – Oh how the mighty have fallen.  It’s hard to back a team with so many aging veterans (R. Lewis, E. Reed) and that lost their best (player) pass-rusher in T. Sizzle Suggs.  We’d rather be a year too early jumping off this wagon than a year too late.
  1. Seattle Seahawks – Here is a defense that flies under the radar.  They finished 6th overall last year (8.3 fpt/gm).  Sure, it helps when you play six games against Sam Bradford/Kevin Kolb/Alex Smith, but this defense deserves some credit.  They did everything well and have an under rated secondary.  Earl Thomas is one of the best young safeties in the league.