Tuesday Teabag, July 30, 2013 – Alex Rodriguez

Side effects of PEDs include the body of a centaur.

Side effects of PEDs include the body of a centaur.

The Machine knew this day was coming…and we hate ourselves for it.  We’ve been an A-Rod apologist from the start.  There’s just something about an aloof, narcissistic, mega-millionaire that we like.  The Machine knew he was doomed as soon as he signed his (first) $250+ million dollar contract with the Yankees.  No matter what he did it wouldn’t be good enough.  Even if he won you a World Series (which he did), an MVP (which he did…twice) it would never match the obscene amount of expectations that were placed on his shoulders.  Biggie was right:  Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.

We even apologized for him during his first steroid controversy.  “He didn’t know what he was doing.  Look, his cousin just bought some Boli and he took it.  That totally sounds legit.  Plus, everyone was (is) juicing, so who cares?”

Well, we have now seen the errors of our way, and have converted.  The latest PED scandal with Biogenesis, where sources say there is “overwhelming evidence” of A-Rod’s involvement, is it.  That, plus the soap opera he’s created with the Yankees with his rehab assignment, unauthorized second medical opinion, etc.  Enough is enough, you cannot win our hearts back A-Rod…unless you hit 14 more homers and passes Willie Mays…that shit would be cool.

Anyway, when the dust finally settles and A-Rod writes a tell-all book years from now or goes on Oprah, we’re going to learn that his use of PEDs was systematic, controlled, and well-orchestrated (ala Lance Armstrong).  Which makes his first “admission” in 2009 all the more puzzling.  In 2009, he went in front of the cameras and acted ignorant/aloof about what he was doing.  It was just something he and his cousin did, and he wasn’t sure if he did it right or if it had any effect.  If (read: when) this turns out to be bullshit, and we see the detailed records from the Biogenesis clinic showing his doping regimen, A-Rod will be exposed as not only a true fraud, but his narcissism will grow to Anthony Weiner-like status.

Now comes the report that all of the Biogenesis players are ready to cut a deal with MLB and accept their fate…all that is, accept A-Rod.  This has obviously angered the MLB brass, who are looking at every possible way to suspend him, including a lifetime ban.  One thing A-Rod’s got going for him is if there’s anyone that could screw this up, it’s Bud Selig.  Remember Bud: in the eyes of the CBA, MLBPA, and the inevitable arbitrator that will be hearing A-Rod’s appeal of any suspension, A-Rod is a zero-time offender.  Tread carefully, Bud.

As this story develops daily, A-Rod is looking more and more like an image-obsessed diva that feels he is above the law.  He makes Barry Bonds seem reasonable and likeable.  With Barry, you knew what you were getting.  He didn’t mince words, knew what he wanted, what he needed to do to get there, and didn’t give two shits about what anyone thought.  With Alex, it’s like he hired a (very bad) political strategist to create this persona of a naïve ballplayer who innocently stumbled upon PEDs.  Are they both narcissistic?  Of course, but Barry never tried to hide who he is

Where will this end up?  Who knows.  If MLB gets its way, A-Rod will never suit up again.  If the Yankees get their way, they can void A-Rod’s contract.  If A-Rod gets his way, he gets to play again and continue his homerun quest (there’s a nice $6 million bonus if he passes Willie).

To boil it down:  it’s all about the money.  Forget the records, the hall of fame, the glory of the game.  The real fight is all about the benjamins (baby).  The Yankees owe A-Rod $114 million.  That money is guaranteed…unless MLB suspends him.  The Daily News writes that A-Rod’s plan is to play at least one game, and then retire based on the hip injury, thus guaranteeing the remaining $114 million.  He’s desperately doing everything he can to get ahead of the impending suspension, while the Yankees and MLB are doing everything in their power to thwart him. 

Who’s going to win?  Who should we root for?  It’s tough when everyone in the equation is the villain.  A-Rod doesn’t deserve the money, the Yankees don’t deserve to be let out of a dumb contract, and Bud Selig doesn’t deserve to look like the hero (he’s no RGI).

One thing that is clear:  they’re all worthy of teabags.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, July 23, 2013 – Johnny Manziel and Ryan Braun

We’re back with another week of teabags.  This week’s been so good, The Machine’s giving you a double dose of teabags:  Johnny Football, who is on track to be dating a porn star before the season starts, and Ryan Braun, the latest lying, meathead, juiced up baseball player.


Zoinks Scoob, like that Heisman sure pays dividends!

Zoinks Scoob, like that Heisman sure pays dividends!

Johnny Manziel

Johnny, as you all know, took the college football world by storm last year, and became the first freshmen to ever win the Heisman Trophy.  He fits the new mold of an NFL QB…a young, hip gunslinger that can run and throw (think Colin Kaepernick but even more immature).  He’s a read/option dream (it’s still a fad, folks) and he’s almost certain to be a top (if not the top) pick in the 2014 Draft.  That is, if he stops his Gronk-like offseason.

Recently, Johnny was a camp counselor at the Manning Passing Academy and was sent home for missing meetings and generally being a complete douche.  Multiple reports (and twitter pics) show Johnny out partying, and the reasonable conclusion is that he was hung over (he claims he overslept because his phone was dead).  Reports also had him on Bourbon Street at 4:00 am (about an hour from where the Manning Passing Academy was being held), lying to his parents, and having his daddy explain that his tummy-wummy hurt.  Whether it was dehydration or a bender, it doesn’t look good.  And this just adds to his offseason of drama. 

Look, The Machine doesn’t care that he was getting after it at a bar or macking on some co-eds…if we were the most popular college student in America, you can bet your ass we’d be taking full advantage of that.  Johnny just needs to learn when to do it and (more importantly) when not to do it.  The Mannings are known for a lot of things (#winning, #18-1) but here’s what they’re not known for:  a good time.  The Machine’s pretty sure Eli’s never seen midnight.  You don’t go to the Manning Passing Academy to have a good time…unless your definition of a good time includes watching film, camp fire stories with Archie, and sing-a-longs with Peyton and Cooper.

This is just one of many questionable moves that Johnny has made this offseason, leaving many to affix the hot button term “character issues” next to his name.  This is Sophomore Slump written all over it.


My contract's still this big, suckers!

My contract’s still this big, suckers!

Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun was recently suspended for the rest of the season for taking PEDs and the first player officially suspended in the Biogenesis scandal.  He’s also the most popular athlete suspended thus far (A-Rod, you’re on deck). 

Now, that fact that he used PEDs isn’t that surprising.  If every juicer was worthy of a teabag, we’d have nothing else to write about.  Kind of like giving a teabag to every NFL player that gets arrested.  But Ryan deserves it for his actions during this whole scandal.

Back in 2011, Braun won the NL MVP Award, and also won himself a little contract extension, to the tune of $113 million (that’s a lot of brauts and beers, actually, it’s probably enough to buy Milwaukee).  Anyway, after his MVP setting 2011 season (and after signing his mega-contract) Braun tests positive for synthetic testosterone.  However, an arbitrator overturned his 50 game suspension based on procedural errors.  He (read: his lawyers) were able to successfully argue that the proper chain of custody protocols were not followed, as the Collector did not promptly submit his sample for testing.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with getting something bounced on procedural errors (The Machine takes great pride in getting a speeding ticket dismissed when the officer wrote the wrong license plate number down).  But it was Ryan’s actions and words that went over the line.

Instead of just breathing a huge sigh of relief and counting your lucky procedural stars, Ryan engaged in this bizarre PR campaign to proclaim his innocence.  Standing in front of a throng of reporters in February, 2012, Braun said “I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”  His brazenness didn’t end there, as he threw MLB and the Collector under the bus, claiming he was a victim of a flawed system.  “There are a lot of things we’ve heard about the collection process, the collector and some other people involved in the process that have certainly been concerning to us.”

He again went on the offensive during training camp, saying

“I have always taken tremendous pride in my image and my reputation in being a role model and handling myself the right way and doing things the right way.  And all of that has been called into question by this situation.  When you know you’re innocent of something, it’s extremely difficult to have to prove it when you’re in a process where you’re 100% guilty until proven innocent.”

He protested he was innocent so much that some people actually believed him.  Aaron Rodgers bet his salary on it.  However, anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence knew that Braun was guilty as sin, and got off on a technicality.  And while his Innocence Project may have worked on some, it didn’t work on MLB.  Who knows, it’s possible that Bud was so pissed of Braun flaunting the system and rubbing it in by constantly proclaiming his innocence, that he made it his mission to bring him down.  It certainly seemed like the league had a huge hard on for him.

So now that Braun’s been exposed as a fraud and a cheat, and suspended for the rest of the season (completely screwing my fantasy team, btw) the media is happy that he gets what he deserves.  Mike Lupica notes that it’s about time that Braun is going to do some time.  But what the media doesn’t answer, or refuses to address, is whether Braun’s really suffering at all.

Sure, his reputation his taken a big hit, and he’ll have to work extra hard to regain the public’s trust (however, we people are fickle, and love a comeback story).  Sure, he’s suspended for the rest of the season and will lose around $3.4 million in salary.  But let’s look at some other facts:

One, the Brewers are awful this year (41-58, 20 games out of first) and are going nowhere this season, with or without Braun.  Suspending him for the rest of the season when the season’s already over for his team isn’t really a punishment.  It’s a vacation.

Two, and perhaps more importantly, the Brewers still owe him $113 million.  The Machine’s no math-magician, but we know enough that 113 is more than 3.4.  Would you spend $3.4 million if you knew you were guaranteed $113 million?  It’s a no brainer. 

No wonder these guys are juicing.  You get big to get the big (guaranteed) contract, and then if you get caught, so what.  The money is still there.  The current punishment system for using PEDs is not enough of a deterrent.

An interesting twist is that players are now speaking out against tougher penalties.  Matt Kemp argues that Braun should be stripped of his MVP award.  Note: that’s somewhat self-serving, seeing as how Kemp finished 2nd in the MVP race.  Max Scherzer, however, steps it up to a whole other level and argues that Braun’s contract should be voided.  Max astutely points out that players still benefit financially by taking PEDs, and until you strip that incentive, you’ll never rid the game of PEDs.

Both Matt and Max are absolutely right:  any awards while juicing (except a teabag) should be automatically forfeited, and teams should have the right to void their contract.  That’s the only way to get the player’s attention.

As for Braun, it’s not over for him.  He’s still young (29) and has plenty of time to rehabilitate his image.  He’s a Jeremy Schapp interview away from getting back in our good graces.  But here’s some advice:  go into hibernation.  Wait until after the World Series is over before you embark on the Innocence Project, Part II and re-virginize yourself.  Take solace in the fact that if you lead the Brewers to the playoffs next year, most will be forgotten.  That, and the boat load of cash that’s still coming your way.

Enjoy your teabag.

How We Got Here/Where We’re Going: 2013 MLB Season

Only 80+ games to go!

Only 80+ games to go!

Well wasn’t that Midsummer Classic just dandy?!  Somebody actually won, so that is a plus.  Mariano Rivera got a well deserved standing ovation as he entered the game in the 8th inning (one inning too soon Leland) to Metallic’s numbing ‘Enter Sandman’.  Mo promptly put the hitters to sleep in order….however I was long asleep by the 3rd inning of what was otherwise a snoozefest.  Luckily somebody recorded their television with a grainy cell phone camera so I was able to re-live the moment on YouTube the next morning over a bowl of Cheerios.  It was powerful.  For a full recap of the game, the Iowa Caucasus and all things Rick Santorum, check out last week’s Tuesday Teabag.  

In this edition of How We Got Here/Where We’re Going (or for the Colin Kaepernick crowd: HWGH/WWG) we’ll examine the MLB standings at the seasons midway point and make short order of weeding out the pretenders.  As a bonus, we’ll give you our waaaay too premature World Series prediction for FREE.  That’s almost as good as finding out you’ve won $10,000….and only have to wire $1,200 to cover the taxes!!  Let’s get to it: 


 1.  Boston 58-39

Despite missing the first month of the season Big Papi leads the team in home runs (19) and runs batted in (65) while sporting a cool .317 average.  If Papi can stay healthy in the second half the Red Sox (and my fantasy team) will make the playoffs.  Look for the Sox to be extremely aggressive in the trade market; perhaps calling on their old buddy Theo for Matt Garza’s services.

 2.  Tampa Bay 55-41 (2.5)

Is there a professional sports team that is more under appreciated by their own fan base than the Rays?!  The Machine has been to the Trop, it’s a dump no doubt, but still this team finds great young talent and Joe Maddon squeezes every ounce of juice from them (pun intended!).  Matt Moore has delivered on his pedigree, posting 13 wins and +100 K’s in the first half of the season.  If they can get David Price right, this team can run down and pass the Sox.

 3.  Baltimore 53-43 (4.5)

Chris Davis put up a first half worth of stats that 90% of big leaguers would be happy to have over the course of a full season: 70 Rs, 37 HRs, 93 RBIs, .315 Avg.  That’s PED-esque!  Except The Machine is pretty sure he is clean, making it that much more impressive.  Here’s hoping he keeps the power surge up, if for nothing else than the debate on what the real home run total should be.  61? 73? 

 4.  New York 51-44 (6.0)

If the season ended today you’d have to give Joe Girardi some serious love for AL manager of the year.  The Yankees have had more money tied up on their DL than most teams entire payrolls!  Not only have they held the ship together, they are 7 games above .500 with significant playing time from retreads like Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner, Jayson Nix, etc. 

Sadly, I don’t think they are going to get much of a boost from the geriatric bunch set to return from the DL (Jeter, ARod, Granderson).  I think this team treads water much of the summer before flaming out in September. 

 5.  Toronto 45-49 (11.5)

 Off Season Champs!  Sadly, in any other division this team could probably make a run.


 1.  Detroit 52-42

No shock here: the Tigers are second in the league (and MLB for that matter) in runs scored.  Max Scherzer has (finally!) been able to harness his control and is piling up strikeouts.  If Verlander can revert back to his career norms (velocity needs to pick up a few ticks) this team can go a long way in the postseason.  They still don’t have anyone that can properly close a game for them; this has to get addressed by the deadline.

Verlander should go back to hitting this!

Verlander should go back to hitting this!

 2.  Cleveland 51-44 (1.5)

Love the direction Terry Francona has this team heading.  They are going to be nipping at the Tigers heels all summer long.  I think they’ll get bold at the deadline and swing a few deals.  Oh they’ll make the postseason as a wild card, and get Cleveland’s fans hopes up just enough to open that old wound for some fresh salt.  It never gets old.

 3.  Kansas City 43-49 (8.0)

Death, taxes and the Royals sucking? 

 4.  Minnesota 39-53 (12)

Well, when Kevin Correia is the ace of your staff, being 12 back doesn’t seem all that bad! Perspective. 

 5.  Chicago 37-55 (14)

 Let the fire sale begin!


1.  Oakland 56-39

Billy fucking Beane y’all!

 2.  Texas 54-41 (2)

This division is a two-horse race that is going to be one of the better ones to watch. Adrain Beltre should start getting some MVP consideration if he continues to hit (and field) like he has.  Josh Hamilton who?  Hey guys, you can celebrate your playoff series wins like big boys now and pour Champaign….correction, Budweiser’s (it is Texas after all)…all over the place!

 3.  Los Angeles 44-49 (11)

So far this season, the Angels have paid Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton a combined $17 million dollars for a whooping 29 homers and .227 average.  Yikes.  If only somebody warned you that giving a meth-head $125 million (guaranteed) was a bad idea.  Don’t worry, maybe Mike Trout can have another once-in-a-century type of season and get this team back into contention.

 4.  Seattle 43-52 (13)

King Felix is going to play for a perennial loser his entire career.

 5.  Houston 33-61 (22.5)

Welcome to the American League!


 1.  Atlanta 54-41

It’s actually scary to think how good this team could be if they could get ANY kind of production from Jason Heyward (.227, 7 HRs, 21 RBIs, 49Ks) or BJ Upton (.177, 8 HRs, 20 RBIs, 102Ks).  Pathetic.  Julio Teheran is going to make a serious push for NL Rookie of the Year.

 2.  Washington 48-47 (6)

Baseball karma for sitting Strasburg last postseason?!  This team is exciting to watch, but I don’t think they’re going to be able to catch the Braves.

 3.  Philadelphia 48-48 (6.5)

This was the easiest division in baseball to predict at the beginning of the year.  These teams will finish in their current order in the standings.  With the expanded wild card in play, the Phillies are only 5.5 back.  It kind of feels like 15.5 with this team though.  They should consider themselves sellers early in the process and try to get younger.

 4.  New York 41-50 (11) 

You play in a wildly successful, UNCAPPED professional sport in the BIGGEST market in the world.  You should be punching your playoff ticket year in and year out.  This franchise is a travesty. 

 5.  Miami 35-58 (18)

Forget George Zimmerman, Jeffrey Loria is the Floridian that should be thrown in jail!


 1.  St. Louis 57-36

 Another organization that does it right.  From the ownership, to the management, to the scouts, to the players and the fans.  

  2.  Pittsburgh 56-37 (1)

Death, taxes and the Pittsburgh…waaaait a minute!  Not only are the Pirates going to end a 20 year winning-season drought, they are going to represent the NL in the World Series!

 3.  Cincinnati 53-42 (5)

There are a handful of guys I’d pay to see play.  Joey Votto is one of those guys.  However, I don’t trust this pitching staff enough to keep them in the hunt the rest of the way.

 4.  Chicago 42-51 (15)

 How many years does this make it now?  102?  402?

 5.  Milwaukee 38-56 (19.5)

The Brewers are 18 games under .500.  Ryan BioBraun has missed roughly half of the team’s games with various ailments.  Which begs the question, how terrible is this team going to be when he misses the entire 2014 season?


 1.  Arizona 50-45

 Unless you’re a diehard Diamondbacks fan, or a fantasy baseball dork, Paul Goldschmidt (.313, 21 HRs, 77 RBIs, 9 SBs) is probably the best player you’ve never heard of. 

This team has taken on the persona of their manager, Kurt Gibson, and is playing smart, fundamental baseball.  If you think their starting five (Corbin, Miley, Kennedy, Cahill, McCarthy) is a bit hard to trust, wait until you make your way to the bullpen (Putz, Bell, Hernandez).

2.  Los Angeles 47-47 (2.5)

The Dodgers and their Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig seem to be biggest media draw the first half of the season.  After stumbling out of the gate the Dodgers have come roaring back, winning 17 out of their last 22 games, cutting the D’backs lead to just two.  You can never count a team with Kershaw out (best pitcher in baseball), but something just isn’t right with Matt Kemp.  It will be interesting to see how far Puig can carry this team.

3.  Colorado 46-50 (4.5)

 Free CarGo!

4.  San Francisco 43-51 (6.5)

 World Series hangover in full effect.

5.  San Diego 42-54 (8.5)

Your weather forecast is 76 degrees, sunny with an ocean breeze….for the rest of the year.  Nobody feels bad for you SD.


World Series Pick: Texas over Pittsburgh

Tuesday Teabag, July 16, 2013 – MLB All-Star Game

If you build it, they will not watch.

If you build it, they will not watch.

This week, The Machine takes aim at Baseball, what some people still refer to as America’s pastime.  The Machine refers to those people as losers.  We all know who rules our hearts and minds.  #NFL #51daystokickoff.

Anyway, back to the All-Star Game.  All-Star games, in general, are designed to be entertaining and fun; a chance to see the best of the best play against each other; to suspend rivalries for a night and just have some fun.  The Home Run Derby and Dunk Contest are perfect examples.  But the games themself?  Who cares?.  Can you really tell me who won last year’s All-Star Game?  How about the Pro-Bowl?  Of course not. 

In fact, viewership for last year’s MLB All-Star Game was at an all-time low.  We’re willing to bet that the Pro Bowl isn’t far behind.  Why do people not watch?  The answer is simple:  It’s meaningless.  But is it more than that?

Thom Loverro of The Atlantic argues that it is, and that the decline of the All-Star Game can be traced to two events:  the 1993 and 2002 All-Star Games.  In 1993, AL Manager Cito Gaston refused to pitch hometown All-Star Mike Mussina, thus enraging the Baltimore crowd and leading to a chorus of boos (and death threats for Cito).  In 2002, the game ended in a tie, as Bud Selig, seemingly making up rules on the fly, ended the game in the 11th inning, and in so doing went against the time-honored American tradition of winning. 

The Machine’s not sure if these events caused the downfall of the All-Start Game (we frankly forgot about the ’93 drama), or simply added to what was already a declining product.  For sure, the 2002 All-Star Game exposed the complete ineptitude of Bud Selig, and Loverro’s right about the sad decline of the All-Star Game.  But the best was yet to come.

In an effort to increase the importance of the All-Star Game (read: get more people to watch so we can charge more for advertising) Bud Selig and the MLB Brass decided that the winning league of the All-Star Game will get home field advantage in the World Series.  Wait, what?  Yes, that’s right.  In a game where most people are giving 75% effort because they don’t want to get hurt (the days of Pete Rose sliding head first are long gone), the winning team decides who gets home field advantage in the World Series? 

For those of you that think home field advantage is not important, think again:  8 of the last 10 World Series have been won by the team with home field advantage.  It’s a big deal, which makes determining who gets it by a meaningless game in July all the more ridiculous.

What does the World Series have to do with the All-Star Game?  Sure, it’s the best way anyone from the Mets is going to influence the World Series, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.  Arbitrarily adding value where none exists is confusing and simply wrong.

The All-Star Game is kind of like the Iowa Caucus.  There’s a reason we let Iowa vote first in Presidential primaries:  they’re meaningless.  Seriously, we care about Iowa for about 6 minutes, then look at the calendar to see when the real states hold their primaries.  How’d Rick Santorum, winner of the 2012 Republican Iowa Caucus, do in the general election?  How about Mike Huckabee, the 2008 winner?  Exactly.  So imagine how dumb it would be if, to add importance to Iowa, the winners of the caucus became the Presidential nominees. 

Trying to add meaning to an otherwise meaningless game is beyond dumb.  And, let’s be honest:  All-Star games are completely meaningless. 

The NFL gets it, and is considering drastic changes to the Pro Bowl, including changing it to a skills competition or eliminating it completely.  The NBA gets it too, and puts more of an emphasis on the Dunk Contest and Skills Competition than the actual game.  Christ, even the NHL gets it; they’ve abandoned conference v. conference format and instead have team captains draft players (pretty cool idea, actually).  What do all these leagues have in common?  They’ve all assigned zero meaning to the actual game, and understand its purpose:  a fun, lighthearted, fan-friendly event.

But not Bud.  Bud believes the game has to count for something, in sharp contrast to his tee-ball tie of 2002.  And, if his goal is to make it meaningful so people will watch, he’s completely failed, because even though the game now has meaning, nobody watches. 

Look, Bud.  You tried.  However misguided, you tried to spice it up, but it didn’t work.  Now it’s time to spice it up again, but this time do it in a way that makes sense.  Take a page from the NHL and have a draft.  Have the fans vote for teams.  Have more skills competitions besides the Home Run Derby (fastest man, throwing competitions, etc.).  But determining home field advantage for the World Series is not it.  It makes zero sense, much like a Santorum Presidency.

Enjoy your teabag.

Tuesday Teabag, July 9, 2013 – Colin Kaepernick

The face of your franchise Niner Nation, in teal and orange.

The face of your franchise Niner Nation, in teal and orange.

Colin Kaepernick wore a Dolphins hat.  This story is that simple.  While the rest of us were spending quality time with family and friends over the Fourth of July holiday, grilling, slamming beers, and wishing ‘Merica a Happy Birthday, Colin was violating the cardinal rule in pro sports:  Thou shalt not wear opposing team’s merchandise (pretty sure that’s one of the 10 Commandments).

Last season, The Machine had an exclusive view into the New School/Old School drama during the Kaepernick/Smith feud, and we learned all about Mr. Ball So Hard.  The young, hip, gunslinger who does what he wants, when he wants, and doesn’t give a fuck, because caring is for pussies like Alex Smith.  Ain’t no shame if you got game (C-Kap you should get that inked).  Colin backed up his actions on the field, captivated Niner Nation, led San Fran to the Super Bowl, and led Alex Smith right out the door.  The loyalty the fans have to Kaepernick now is cult-like.  He’s going to change the game.  The read option will no longer be a fad (note: it is a fad).  Yes, hopes and dreams are a post-Montana all-time high.  So what could go wrong?

So Colin was snapped wearing a Dolphins cap, and the picture (obviously) went viral.  So what?  No big deal.  All you do is simply say you were joking with some friends and put the hat on all in good fun, and maybe throw in some shit that you appreciate (sorry, got mad respect) for all NFL teams and players (sorry, playas or ballers).  Had you done that, everything would’ve died down quickly, and all would be forgotten.  But no.  Not Colin.  Not Mr. New Age Hipster.  Colin is part of the new generation of kids who were raised by parents who probably let him do whatever he wanted, never had to apologize for anything, and who refused to believe he could do anything wrong (“our little Collie would never do that.”). 

Proving that point, in response to the mobs of angry Niners fans who shell out thousands of dollars to see him play, Colin responded as follows: 

This the hat y’all mad at? I’m goin wear what I want regardless of what you think, all you need to worry about is the fact that I grind for my teammates and the 49ers! I plan on doin this until they won’t let me in the building! #ridiculous #y’allmustbebored”

First off, The Machine can’t tell if that’s how he really talks, or if he’s trying extra hard to be cool.  [Note: perhaps it’s a sign that The Machine is getting old, but we thought grind meant something totally different.]  We’re going to have to get up to speed with the lingo.

Second, really?  You’re going to pick this moment to send a big f-you to your fan base.  How about you wait until they’re riding your ass for having a bad game.  Then you can hit them with the old “I give you 100%” I mean “I grind for my teammates.”  You feeling me, brah? 


Just kiddin’ y’all, I mofo love da’ Niners [wardrobe stolen from Joe Montana’s closet].

On Monday, after Colin [read: Niners PR Dept.] had time to think about his actions some more, he posted a picture of himself on his Instagram account wearing Nines gear, but he couldn’t help sending out a dig to the Niners faithful, tweeting:  “It’s just swag. It ain’t never hurt nobody.”  The Machine will look past the double negative, but that’s about all. 

For starters, doesn’t having an Instagram account negate your street cred?  “Yo playas, check out dis fresh Niners cap…and pictures of cats!”

What’s even more incredulous, is that there are folks in the media defending Karpernick’s actions.  Les Carpenter at Yahoo! Sports argues that Colin has the right to wear a Dolphins hat, and that team loyalty is a farce, especially considering as soon as he can no longer play QB at a high level, the Niners will dumb his ass.  Kevin Lynch goes one step further, saying that Colin “was right” for his go f yourself tweets to Niners fans.  Kevin also notes that Alex Smith used to wear a Padres hat (his favorite baseball team) until the San Francisco fans and media got on his case.  Then, he wore a Giants hat.  Ah, such simpler times.

Les is right that team loyalty is a farce.  NFL players are, in the eyes of NFL owners, replaceable widgets with a (short) shelf life.  They’re an investment, and as soon as that investment stops yeilding returns, it’s dumped.  However, both Les and Kevin are missing the point.  It’s not about team loyalty…it’s about fan loyalty.

As an NFL player, one thing you know is this:  NFL fans are bat-shit crazy.  Like Anna Benson crazy.  Like getting tattoos of team mascots, converting school buses into mobile man-caves, and getting married in the stadium parking lot at halftime so you can catch the third quarter crazy.  To see their star player wearing an opposing team’s hat is an act of defiance, treason, and blasphemy.  It’s just something you don’t do.

This rule applies more so if you’re the quarterback, the leader of the team.  Obviously, the NFL old guard (Brady, Brees, any Manning) understands this rule, and even some of the new guys (Luck, RGIII, Russell Wilson) get it.  But Colin clearly does not.  His Allen Iverson “we talkin’ ‘bout practice” approach to quarterbacking won’t cut it.  As the quarterback, it’s not just how you perform on Sunday (sorry, how you ball).  You are the face of the franchise, the person the team builds around.  You are held to a higher standard.

And the media coddling him and explaining away his douchness isn’t going to help him change.  They should be riding his ass, not apologizing for him like a suburban helicopter parent (“it’s the teacher’s fault he’s not paying attention”). 

Colin:  man up, brah.  Your brashness on the field cannot transfer over to the fans off it.  You can still play your way AND show some humility…they’re not mutually exclusive.  Granted, as soon as you torch Green Bay at home in Week 1, all will be forgotten.  The problem is if you don’t get the Niners back to the Super Bowl (and win).  Then no one will forget.

Enjoy your teabag, beyotch, and get rid of your Instagram account. #lame #youlovecats

Tuesday Teabag, July 2, 2013 – Aaron Hernandez

Hernandez-ing is way cooler than Tebowing

Hernandez-ing is way cooler than Tebowing

You knew this was coming.  Like driving by a car accident, it’s horrible yet you can’t help but look.  We knew this was tea-baggable weeks ago, before any of the facts were revealed.  So many questions are racing through your mind.  How?  Why?  Didn’t he just sign a $40 Million Dollar contract?  But if you’re like The Machine, the one question that keeps coming back to you is:

There are gangs in Bristol, Connecticut?


The Machine’s been to Connecticut plenty of times.  It’s one big affluent suburb, complete with spoiled kids who think they’re cool (and from NYC).  They’re hip, right now they are probably listening to dubstep or rap (but only the popular songs).  “Can I get a….”  The tint on the windows of their Saab 9-5 is not legal.  They all go to a snobby, private liberal arts college (Middlebury), the men have at least two pairs of capri pants, and the women judge you based on which boarding school you went to.  And everyone pretends Hartford doesn’t exist. 

But Thuglife?  In Connecticut?  Have the Crips taken over Greenwich Village?  And Bristol of all places.  Home of ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports.  The Machine thought the worst thing that happens in Bristol is the Rick Reilly poetry slam at Starbucks.

Anyway, back to Hernandez.  We know he’s innocent until proven guilty (just kidding, he did that shit).  But doing the crime doesn’t automatically result in doing the time (right, Juice?).  Eventually though, you’ll probably end up in jail (right, Juice?).  FYI, the prosecution better come up with a better motive than “he talked to the wrong people three days ago” or else Aaron stands a chance of walking a free man. 

Regardless of the outcome of the trial, Hernandez deserves everything coming to him, including his release by the Pats and the (re)digging into his past.  The guy’s a scumbag, plain and simple.  There were character issues coming out of college, that’s why he slipped from the first round to the fourth.  You thought he turned a corner with his recent comments about becoming a father and signing his new contract for a boatload of cash.  But Biggie was right:  Mo’ money, mo’ problems. 

Aaron clearly has never watched a Law and Order SVU marathon, for if he did, he’d know that destroying your security tapes and cellphone doesn’t really destroy it, and that dumping a body a mile from your house doesn’t really throw the scent off.  Anyone else find it ironic that his own security cameras are being used against him?

Proving again that you can't trust people with neck tats (close enough).

Proving again that you can’t trust people with neck tats (close enough).

And while Aaron is absolutely worthy of a teabag, the media’s circus is also worthy.  Jason Whitlock argues the Patriots should have known Aaron was capable of murder.  Saying the Patriots should have known he was going to kill someone because of his character issues in college is completely asinine.  Prior to last week, he’d never been arrested, and his character issues included smoking week and getting kicked out of bars (if that’s the case 99% of all college students are going to kill someone).  No, you cannot extrapolate what happened two weeks ago from his past. 

And let’s get another thing straight too:  The NFL does not have a gun problem.  Gangs have a gun problem, but not the NFL.  Because one player was (allegedly) in a gang and (allegedly, albeit probably) killed someone, doesn’t and shouldn’t cast a cloud on the entire league.  If that’s the case, all teachers sleep with their students, all financial investors run Ponzi schemes, and all strippers have daddy issues (ok so 2 out of 3 ain’t bad).

Point is:  there are assholes in every profession.  There are crooked cops, dirty politicians, and drug dealing stay at home moms.  Why should professional athletes be any different? 

What people need to accept is that being a professional athlete is just like any other profession.  Just because they are well paid doesn’t put them above a DWI or fighting a bouncer at a strip club, or the occasional lapse in child support payments.  It makes them incredibly stupid (and tea-baggable), as the risks they take in engaging in that behavior is magnified given their public persona. 

But Machine, you say, 27 players have been arrested since the Super Bowl.  Doesn’t that mean the NFL is out of control?  No, what that means is things are improving.  As our good friends at Deadspin point out, the rate of criminal activity in the NFL has sharply decreased.  In 2006, 68 players were arrested.  Since then, crime has dropped nearly 40%, and only 2.8% of NFL players commit crimes (compared with 10.8% of all males age 22-34).

Not by coincidence, but 2006 is the year Roger Goodell took over as league Commissioner.  Player conduct has been one of his main goals, and thus far he has succeeded.  People complain that he’s too heavy-handed and dictatorial in meriting out punishment, but it’s working.  Sure, there are always going to be people who don’t get it (see Aaron Hernandez, Josh Brent, Titus Young, and Pacman Jones) and never will.  But the average NFL player is a good dude, despite what the media will have you believe.

When Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning start throwing up gang signs, then the NFL has a gun problem.  Until then, some DUIs, bar fights, and a selfie of a wannabe college thug holding a gun and being charged with murder isn’t enough to discredit the entire league, and certainly isn’t enough to discredit the work that RGI has done in cleaning up the league. 

What’s mind-blowing to most people is that there is any crime by professional athletes.  It’s true, these guys are rich, young, and successful; are glorified by the cities they play in (except Mark Sanchez), their alma maters, and their hometowns.  They have the world by the balls.  What could possibly lead them to commit a crime?  But that’s a question for Outside the Lines (you feeling us Bob Lee, get us on your show).

But let’s bring it back to the man of the hour.  We’re not sure Aaron gets out of this one (the circumstantial evidence is strong).  If not murder, he’ll get convicted of a lesser charge.  Either way:  he’s doing time, and he destroyed what was a promising career. 

We hope in your one hour of free time a day you’re able to log on to The Machine. 

Enjoy your teabag.