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He Took The Money, He Took The Shot At A Ring. So Is Albert Pujols The New Lebron?

albert pujols

albert pujols

Both are arguably the best players in their respective leagues. Both made their name playing for the same team, their original team. And both ultimately left the teams that drafted them for a better chance at a ring. So here’s the question: what makes Albert Pujols less worthy of hatred than the most hated man in sports who has never sat in a court room?

The news literally just broke about Pujols new deal with The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels, unlike Pujols’ former St. Louis Cardinals, are looking to be very competitive in their division this year, and they are team that despite the odds at times, always manages to be competitive. They have a lineup that includes Torri Hunter, Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu, and a rotation that includes Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, and as of today, C.J. Wilson. Needless to say, this team is shooting for a ring and I wouldn’t bet against them.

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It’s also worth noting that this contract will give Pujols the #3 yearly salary for a baseball player. Not that he doesn’t deserve it. In fact, with the way he’s played for literally his entire career, logic and baseball trends would say that he would have been made #1. However, who could compete with the Yankees ridiculously over-inflated $32 Million contract with A-Rod, or should? This is a big contract, a huge contract. It doesn’t really matter where it ranks, because the point is that it’s a contract he wouldn’t have gotten from The Cardinals. Like most players in his situation, he went where the money was.

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So what am I missing here? Both went where the talent was, and both went where they had the best shot at competing. So why do I find myself still wanting to smack Lebron with a pool cue and only hating Albert Pujols because I happen to be a Yankee fan? The first thing it comes down to for me is attitude. The air traffic controller headphones at the olympics, the powder thing, the fact that him and his boys ditched the inner-city public high school to go play at the ritzy private one. Lebron has always been about him first. He never cared who was giving him the opportunity, who his fans were, the fact that Cleveland, Ohio saw him as a beacon of hope for a city that has had no good come in a very long time. It was obvious from the start with Lebron, but nobody wanted to believe it. Nobody wanted to accept that this dude truly did not give a fuck. Until of course, he proved it.

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Pujols on the other hand has been a class act from day one. When all the sluggers of the last two decades were going down in steroid enhanced waves, Pujols has consistently managed to keep his name out of conversation, and I for one believe that he was clean. Add to that the fact that the guy has been putting up 30-30 seasons every year with practically no showmanship, no self-congratulation, and basically not even a peep. And this all from the best player in the league. That’s Baseball for you.

The whole ring chase thing loses a lot of gravity as well when you consider the fact that Pujols already has 2, a number that nobody would question on hall-of-fame ballots. This isn’t a potentially last chance, desperation move to put a title on his resume. It’s just wanting to compete and there’s nothing wrong with that.

albert pujols

There also needs to be a distinction made between Baseball and Basketball on what added talent actually means to a club. The day Lebron James and Chris Bosh signed contracts for the same team as Dwayne Wade, their chances of being in the finals and competing for a title were practically written in marble. In Baseball however, things are a little more complicated. You need talent to win a World Series, absolutely, but you also need practically everyone to have career years, a few surprises from sub-par players, and in the end, a little bit of luck. Despite what it may look like in December, The Angels could very easily crash and burn, losing to a team with far less high-paid talent. Look at The Phillies of last year, The Red Sox of last year, The Yankees of the last 10 years (barring 2009). Pujols and C.J. Wilson could very easily mean nothing in the long haul, and that just isn’t the case with Basketball.

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Wow, this article turned out to be way longer than expected. Time for closing statements. Is it fucked up that players are just going to go to the team who’s willing to pay them the most money, or give them the best chance at glory, and it will never matter more how attached a city has become to them or the long history they’ve had together? Of course it is, but if you’re still surprised by this, professional sports may not be for you. Pujols did what any other red-blooded American (North, South, and Central) would do. The important thing is: he did it with pure talent, he did it with class, and he didn’t do it before giving his original squad and city two championships and years of being competitive. He did it the right way, and I still love him for it. As long as he’s not playing the Yankees.

 

 

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Green Bay Packers Stock Offering Isn’t Nearly As Cool As It Looks

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As you might have heard, the currently undefeated NFL’s best and 2010 Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers are now allowing you to own a share of the team. The shares are being sold at $250 a pop (plus a $25 handling fee), and not only do you get the bragging rights that come with partially owning an NFL team, you also get a neat little certificate (logo included) making the official declaration. The Packers get to raise some much needed cash for their huge planned renovation, and you get to hang a certificate of ownership right above your stolen beer mug collection. Win Win.

Maybe not. As a huge Aaron Rodgers fan (mostly because he gets me 20-plus points a week in Fantasy), I decided to look into what would seem like a worthwhile investment with a very old team, very dedicated fans, coming off a Super Bowl victory, and probably on their way to a repeat. Turns out things aren’t as attractive as they might seem.

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First off, the “investment” in the team means about as much as your Bachelor’s of Communications. It’s a pretty piece of paper. The ownership stake will yield no dividends, no returns on investment, nothing except said piece of paper, with logo. The Packers’ stock will rise and fall and you will be completely unaffected, one way or the other. The only thing you get is voting rights, the knowledge that you helped support the team as they spent $143 Million to renovate Lambeau Field, and yes, at the end of the day you really do own a piece of the Green Bay Packers, which at least has a chance of getting you laid.

packers owner

So the investment is meaningless, and they’re even making you pay a $25 for the privilege. I guess it’s not crazy to think that a team who’s fans wear foam cheese hats wouldn’t understand the basics of investor benefits. But you haven’t even heard the worst of it yet. Apparently as share-holder of any NFL franchise, there are what could be accurately called a slew of rules and regulations you need to abide by. 12 pages of rules in fact (via PackersOwner.com). Most are reasonable of course, but others might be an issue.

The one that sticks out to me is that you may not engage in conduct that is detrimental to the NFL, including public criticism. In other words, if I write that I hope Tim Tebow gets crucified on my Facebook wall, the NFL could potentially fine me a maximum of $500,000. Will they? Probably not, but do I really want to give them the ability? Especially for a $250 piece of paper, that wouldn’t even be worth a dime if they built an oil derrick on the 50-yard line. Sorry Packers, we know you need the cash but if I’m going to buy something useless with a Packers logo on it, I’ll buy this.

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A Shot of Yager: Podcast Interview w/ Jacksonville Jaguars’ Pro Bowl Tight End – MARCEDES LEWIS

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Most people know that even though I am from CT and went to school in NY that I am a Jacksonville Jaguars fan. And to quote Biggie Smalls, “if you don’t know…now you know.”

 

Marcedes Lewis had the best year of his career last year, making the Pro Bowl and taking tons of fantasy owners to the playoffs. He joins me to discuss losing David Garrard at the start of the season and replacing him with rookie Blaine Gabbert, training in MMA in the off-season and much more…all before declaring me the official Jacksonville Jaguars Fan of the Northeast!

Check out MarcedesLewis.com for info on everything he’s got going on, including his fantastic charity and follow the big man on Twitter @MarcedesLewis89.

Click Here to Listen on a Mobile Phone

 

Follow Scott on Twitter @SHOTOFYAGER and to hear ALL of Scott’s interviews with other wrestlers, UFC stars, musicians and more head to www.ShotofYager.com

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Turkey and Football: Your NFL Thanksgiving Day Preview

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Oh man. It’s here. It’s finally here. Thanksgiving: the king of all holidays. There’s so much to love about the last Thursday of November: The gluttony. The family bonding. The glorified genocide of an entire race of people. America. And, most importantly, football. We have been blessed with three games on the most American of holidays, and what a trio of games they are this year.

 

It’s like a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving deliciousness. But which team makes up each element of this delicious spread? I’m here to help you understand how your Thanksgiving plate of games can be better understood through the actual plate of food you will be shoving into your face and then regretting when you can’t move an hour later.

 

Packers at Lions, 12:30

The Packers are clearly the turkey of this year’s games. They are 10-0 and actually look good enough to go undefeated. Well, they look good enough to go undefeated and everyone else in the NFL seems complacent enough to allow this cheesy monolith of a football team roll to 19-0. Aaron Rodgers is playing like Tom Brady from a few years back minus the unbearable douchebaggery. How is Rodgers this good yet still this likeable? Maybe it’s because unlike Brady he doesn’t seem like a smug asshole with a bunch of smug asshole bandwagon fans extolling his abilities and calling him Tawmmy like he’s there fucking brother or something. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t over-saturate himself in the market by appearing in dozens of horrible ads. Whatever it is, I find myself rooting for him and the Pack.

 

But, lo, a challenger appears! Just as turkey is great, it needs accompaniment: What gravy is to turkey, the Lions are to the Packers. Yes, turkey may be the main event, but what’s turkey without gravy? Still delicious, actually, but c’mon, who would choose to eat gravy-less turkey? Just as gravy can smother turkey (and everything else on your plate), the Lions have a chance to smother the Pack on Thursday. Ndamukong Suh was recently voted the dirtiest player in the NFL. We all know the House of Spears is going to be going H.A.M. after Rodgers, along with Cliff Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch and the entire Lions defense. Thursday represents the biggest obstacle Green Bay will face on the road to 19-0. Gravy and turkey are the center of any well-balanced Thanksgiving plate, and this game is clearly the one everyone will be watching. Unfortunately, the turkey’s a little dry this year, so load up on that gravy: The Lions pull off the upset.

 

Dolphins at Cowboys, 4:15

After that huge centerpiece of turkey and gravy, we all feel the need for something a little less delicious to pair with the stars of the day. The Cowboys are the cranberry sauce on your plate. Yes, it’s delicious, but certainly not a star like turkey, mashed potatoes or stuffing. What would a plate be without that tart, sweet cranberry sauce though? It’s important only as a complement to the all-stars on your plate. It’s always there, but if for some reason it disappeared, would your day really be ruined? I don’t think so. Just like Tony Romo. Actually, I would be thrilled if Tony Romo disappeared, so I guess that metaphor isn’t perfect.

 

Meanwhile the Dolphins represent the tryptophan that will inevitably lull you to sleep between the main course and dessert. Tryptophan is, of course the amino acid found in turkey that is believed to cause postprandial somnolence. It isn’t actually true that tryptophan puts you to sleep, though. It’s more likely that the drowsiness you experience post meal is simply because you just ate about 8,000 calories. Luckily, Matt Moore’s uninspired play will play the role of sedative this year as the Cowboys destroy his boring, sleep-inducing Dolphins.

 

49ers at Ravens, 8:20

And just when you wake up from that nap of shitty football, guess what? It’s time for dessert motherfucker! And, oh, what a dessert it is. We’ve been blessed again (well those of us with NFL Network have been, at least) with an amazing dessert: The Harbaugh bowl. I don’t know why we need that storyline fed to us by every single news outlet. I get it, ok? The coaches are brothers. Cool story, bro. Why don’t you focus more on what an absolutely phenomenal game this is?

 

On the one hand, we have the Ravens, the traditional powerhouse defense. Just like pumpkin pie, it’s there every Thanksgiving and for good reason. Pumpkin pie is fucking awesome. Cover that shit with some whipped cream and I could eat it all goddamn day with no remorse. It’s the fucking best. Always. But after you lay that fat slice of orangey-brown deliciousness on your dessert plate, you look to your left and who’s there but cheesecake. Cheesecake? Who makes that on Thanksgiving? But holy shit cheesecake is fucking baller. Just as no one expected the 49ers to be this good, there is always that unexpected dessert that is absolutely mind-blowing. You don’t know which family member brought it, but they are your new favorite aunt/uncle/cousin/weird new girlfriend. Unfortunately, everyone knows pumpkin pie, and that new girlfriend of your grandfather’s kinda smells funky, so maybe you wanna reconsider that cheesecake. Ravens win.

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Playboy’s Top 10 College Football Programs, Modeled By Jaime Edmondson (Gallery)

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In celebration of the 55th anniversary of Playboy’s Pigskin Preview, the legendary men’s mag has picked out the Top 10 All-Time College Football Programs, and in true Playboy fashion they got uber-Wood Jaime Edmondson to rock lingerie bearing each school’s colors. It’s truly a beautiful sight to behold. See which schools made the cut and ogle a beautiful girl after the jump.

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Non Sequitur: NFL Week 11 Preview

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Non sequitur: Does not follow. How does a quarterback go 9-20 and win? It does not follow. That is the best way I can describe Tim Tebow’s continued success. As I fist pumped and shrieked around my living room like a little girl who got Justin Bieber tickets for Christmas, it simply did not follow that I was celebrating a man I had cursed on draft day not even two years ago. He has made me a fan. Is Timmy the answer to Denver’s recent struggles? Maybe not (probably not), but he’s an answer, which is all I can ask for. Also, pay attention to Von Miller. It is the Mile High defense that won that game for Denver. The rest of the games:

Bengals at Ravens

The Bengals couldn’t beat the Steelers at home, but the Ravens have been playing like shit lately. They have done well against the teams they need to win against (not the Seahawks or Jags), though, and I do not see them losing this one at home.

Bills at Dolphins

After their struggles against New York and Dallas, the Bills get lucky with an easy W against Miami. Speaking of Miami, the ’72 assholes have started to come out of the woodwork to act like they’re better than the Packers. Mercury Morris needs to shut the fuck up. I hope the Packers go undefeated just so I never have to hear from these decrepit fucking pieces of shit again.

Jaguars at Browns

Woof. Just watch this video and multiply it to understand both teams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRBDMMVctu8. Browns win.

Cowboys at Redskins

The Cowboys will never go away. I have accepted that. They will continue to be good enough to receive national attention without sucking enough to allow us to ignore them. It’s a horrible purgatory that we have to live in where ESPN will continue to give them unwarranted coverage for a 10-6 team. They best the ‘Skins this week.

Raiders at Vikings

I hate to pick a Super Bowl rematch, even though the Steelers and Pacers are the best teams in their conferences. So if forced to pick another team in the AFC, I continually go with the Raiders. I don’t know why the Ravens or Pats can’t get their shit together, but until they do the Raiders are my Super Bowl pick in the AFC. They beat the Vikes.

Panthers at Lions

The Lions victory is next to guaranteed here. This game is still intriguing, though. After his struggles last week, how will Cam Newton perform against the intimidating Detroit D? Big week for the young QB, I don’t expect him to play like he did last week, but he isn’t going to play like he did earlier the season either.

Buccaneers at Packers

The Tampa Bay Disappointments travel to Green Bay with a nice little gift for the Pack: 10-0.

Cardinals at 49ers

Yeah, I get it: No one knows who John Skelton is. I don’t need you to remind me of that ESPN, I already didn’t know who he was. 49ers win easily.

Seahawks at Rams

Since no one gives a fuck about this “game,” I wanted to bring up the fact that numerous Packers players this week (Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson himself) agreed that part of Nelson’s success is his whiteness. Opponents underestimate Nelson due to his skin color. What they did not get at, and I wished they had but God knows none of them are going to bite the hand so blatantly, is that sports coverage has a such a strong tendency to bestow favorable coverage upon white players like Nelson, Wes Welker or, in other sports, guys like David Eckstein or Steve Nash. It’s sad but true, but it’s obvious that they are rooting to see these “underdogs” succeed, and the only reason they are underdogs is because the media outlets create the perception that they are. Anyways, Rams win.

Titans at Falcons

MIKE SMITH MADE THE RIGHT DECISION AND WE WILL NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN. Unless they miss the playoffs by one game, in which case that single play may have cost them the season. The mistake was handing off to Turner so far in the backfield. He made his first cut before the line of scrimmage. Um, what? Over the top! They redeem themselves with an easy win this week.

Chargers at Bears

People do forget about the Bears. They’re overshadowed by the Pack and Lions, bu they’re playing incredibly well, and when it comes down to them and the Lions, they have a shit ton of experience on their side. They could easily be the second best team in the NFC and everyone’s forgetting about them because they are not lovable underdogs. They beat the Chargers (duh) this week but continue to be under-appreciated.

Eagles at Giants

I’ve always pulled for Vince Young. His been criticized for his attitude problems, but maybe he wouldn’t have said attitude problems if he didn’t continually get shafted by his coaches. I really hope he does a great job over the next couple games in Philly and gets a chance to start next year (obviously for another team). Giants win this one, though.

Chiefs at Patriots

Why is this the Monday night game? Oh yeah, Jamaal Charles. It’s so easy to forget that before this season, people (myself included) actually thought the Chiefs would be good this year. Now Tyler Palko is their starting QB. Um, Tawmmy and the Pats win.

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Bye Bye Bye: NFL Week 11 Preview

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Thursday night’s Oakland game was a nice little teaser for what is once again an incredibly arousing group of games. And in good news for fantasy owners, we can officially stop worrying about who has byes and get back to what’s important: Fuck Chris Johnson.

Cardinals at Eagles

I’m fairly confident that last week’s game is the official end of the “Dream Team.” That being said, I’m gonna go ahead and make an early prediction: The Eagles dominate next year. When a teams adds that many players, let alone starters, they simply will not be able to pick up and gel together and perform well. But after a full year (and a full off-season) together, the Eagles will be firing on all cylinders next year. They beat the Cardinals tomorrow.

Bills at Cowboys

I’m super fucking pissed because in Boston, this is one of the one o’clock games we get. Are you fucking serious? No one gives half a shit about Tony Homo and the Cowboys outside of bumblefuck podunk hellholes like Texas and Oklahoma, so can we please stop pretending they’re still a team of national interest? Teams like the Steelers (who I will not be watching at one), Saints and Colts all have bigger national fanbases but the idea that Dallas is “America’s Team” still lingers and I’m forced to watch this piece of shit game. Buffalo wins on fucking principle.

Steelers at Bengals

Oh man. The first of many games that make life worth living for at least one more week. Are the Bengals for real? Who will get inured this week for the Stillers? Can either team beat the Ravens? This game is fraught with playoff implications and, for the Bengals, answers about their legitimacy as a contender. The Steelers will win, but the Bengals are still for real and could be the second AFC Wild Card.

Broncos at Chiefs

This game is a big test for Timmy Tebow and the experimental option offense in Denver. A big rivalry win in a difficult stadium could be indicative of potential success. A loss reads as an immature team that can’t even beat a shitty team like KC that’s barely better than Denver. Luckily for the Broncos, they will pull this one out despite Tebow.

Jaguars at Colts

I’m trying really hard to find some angle that makes this game interesting, but it is simply impossible. This game is the Two And A Half Men of football games. Expect the Colts to get their first W, though.

Redskins at Dolphins

Just read the last game preview for this one. Not only do I not give a shit about this game, I don’t even give a single particle of shit about. I don’t even give on of those times where you think you’re gonna shit but end up just pushing for five minutes and nothing comes out about this game. Dolphins win.

Titans at Panthers

Cam Newton is on the injury report for the first time, but he’s probable and will play. It is a real treat to watch Cam play, so even a mediocre game like this is somewhat exciting when he’s under center. The Titans will win.

Saints at Falcons

This is the other one o’clock game I get to watch, which almost makes up for the debauchery that will be the Buffalo game. My Bree-rection (a word used to describe the erection one gets at the thought of watching Breesus’s masterful quarterbackery) is raging. Falcons get the win at home though.

Texans at Buccaneers

I can’t help but be disappointed by the Bucs. They may be in one of the best divisions in the league, but they are a better team than they’ve played so far. I want to see them step up against a solid inter-league team, but I fear they may end up struggling again and making the AFC South a two-man race. I’ll pick them to win anyways, but with great reservation.

Rams at Browns

Games this shitty are actually entertaining. It’s like watching two really dumb people fight. There is a winner, but the real winners are the people smart enough to realize that every single Coldplay album fucking sucks so stop debating whether Parachutes or A Rush of Blood to the Head is better. Browns win this one.

Ravens at Seahawks

Yawwww-fucking-awwwwwn. The Ravens will win this one with ease; the Seahawks will continue to play in a manner that is as ugly as their ugly fucking jerseys.

Lions at Bears

Every time these teams play, I find myself debating a more important question than who will win: Who would actually win in a fight between a Bear and a Lion? This is by far the best combo of mascots for this question to be debated. I vote bear, but it would certainly be a close one. Ironically, I expect the Lions to triumph Sunday.

Giants at 49ers

This is by far the most intriguing game of the week. The 49ers and Giants are definitely both for real, as hard as that is to believe with Elijah and Alex Smith still quarterbacking them. They’re both light-years behind the Packers, but the winner of this game is easily the second banana in the entire league. It’s gonna be tough one, but Eli comes in gets the W in the land that God forgot. The Giants will celebrate at the hottest straight club in San Fran, Hetero McVaginaLover’s Pussy Penetrating Playhouse.

Patriots at Jets

This game is the deciding point in the 2011 Jets season. A win and they have established themselves as real contenders. A loss and they can expect to be watching both the Wild Card spots go to AFC North teams. They pull this one out under pressure; Tom Brady continues to not give a shit.

Monday night: Vikings at Packers

Despite this inevitably being a ridiculous blowout, Aaron Rodgers is playing so well I’m going to watch anyways. Watching him play is like watching Jesus himself masturbate onto the faces of a million angels while the ghosts of Pac and Biggie trade verses in the background.

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Crazy Pictures From The Joe Paterno, Penn State Riot Scene. This Has Gotten Real

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joe pa

Late last night, the news everyone was expecting finally broke. Joe Paterno, Penn State’s beloved Football coach and pillar personality in State College, PA was fired from a post he’s held for 45 years. Paterno was found to have known about a rape incident involving Jerry Sandusky, back in 2002, and went to his superiors instead of the police, who hid the crime from authorities and are now being indicted. Joe Pa isn’t criminally liable but Penn State has made the decision to let him go, early in the walk year of his contract.

You have to talk to someone at Penn State to really understand how much Joe Pa means to those students. Or better yet, just turn on the news. State College is in full-out riot mode, with thousands of students pouring out into the streets to show support for their coach. If you want my opinion, read my Joe Pa article, but today’s focus is on just how insane things have gotten at Penn State. Below are a few pictures taken by one of our Campus Socialite Ambassadors on campus. Needless to say, Shit Has Gotten Real!

Check back later for more.

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BREAKING NEWS: Joe Paterno Fired As Penn State Head Coach

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After six decades of being the heart and soul of Penn State Football, Joe Paterno has officially been fired as head coach. A board of trustees meeting was held late Wednesday night in which the conclusion was made to remove JoePa from the program immediately in wake of a former assistant coach’s child sex scandal. Paterno made a public statement Wednesday which included, “I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief,” “This is a tragedy, it is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.” This is a sad day for college football with one of the greatest coaches and leaders forced out of his job due to someone else’s mistakes. Stay tuned this week as we highlight Paterno and his incredible career.

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