“With A Neck Like a Jockey’s Bollocks” Trash Talk

Yeah, about the title. No, I am not quite sure what it means. Maybe Marcy and other sundry mystery guests will be along to explain the damn thing.

What I can confirm is that it is unequivocally the single most awesome grouping of words I have seen in a very long time. So I am rolling with it baybee!

And, you know, leave it to the Irish, in this case Michael Higgins, who was not then, but is now, the President of Ireland. And, also, who is, by my marker, a man of and among men. I would quote Mr. Higgins more, but it would not do him justice. Watch the video.

Honestly, sincerely, really unequivocally, whatever the fuck, just listen to Michael Higgins eviscerate the American ethos. It is brutal and real.

Oh, before we go any further, I have a new chapeau. I will, and you can, thank the one and only, ever lovely, Phred for this wondrous occurrence.

Y’all have known I had an affinity for CHEESE since I was a child in elementary school. It was easy then, as there was no NFL team within hundreds of miles, and the one that was there was the Rams, and it was not all that compelling. No, the team of my youth and dreams was Lombardi’s Packers. Fuck Dallas, Green Bay was, and is, the people’s, and America’s, team. Always has been. As the only team actually of the people, it must so be. Don’t pitch that crap about teams that are corporately owned, or owned by narcissistic dicks like Jerry Jones.

Knowing my affinity for the once, always, and future real team of America – the ONLY publicly owned and locally controlled, NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, our friend Phred has blessedly provided me with an official CheeseHead. It arrived a couple of days ago, and is the most awesome thing I have been given in a LONG time.

So, I raise my Ronnie Raygun like head to the Great Cheese In The Sky.

Back to Michael Higgins, necks and bollocks. Watch the video. Higgins correctly identifies the wankers in life, I love it and ratify his identification. Precisely.

Now, on to the sporting side of life. Well, normally, Marcy or I post up Trash Talk whenever we are so inclined. Sometimes, however, itinerant Roving Reporters, like Mademoiselle Rosalind, get all uppity in our grill and force us to Trash.

Oh my. The ignominy of it all.

So, without further adieu, we shall lead off with sailing. Yes, I know, this is all a bit discomfiting for the normal Trash Talk aficionados. Whatta ya gonna do Mofo? We support our Read more

Kentucky Derby Trash Talk: A Run For The Roses & Missing Mary

If it is the first Saturday in May, it is Kentucky Derby day. And so it is again today. We dabble with the ponies occasionally here at the Emptywheel blog, from previous Derby Trash Talks, to our coverage of the historic battles of super filly Zenyatta against the biggest and baddest boys of the horse racing world. Heck, we even have our own fearless roving reporter, Rosalind, monitoring the pending debut of Zenyatta’s little sister, Eblouissante.

But, by far, it was our friend and colleague Mary who kept up our equine quotient here. Her tales from her farm, in the actual horse country of Kentucky, were a constant over the years. Whether it was the feeding and common chores to care for her horses, saving ones in trouble, to making sure they were ready for incoming storms, it was a slice of life we don’t often stop to ponder in the fast paced politi-legal world we generally do here. Mary loved racing horses more than the actual racing really. For the big race days she would always say something to the effect of “oh, I’ll probably just be working on the farm for that”. Yet, later would say “well, I found a few minutes to see Rachel Alexandra run, wow what a race!”

Mary’s voice, sadly, left us just before last Christmas and, frankly, we are still reeling a little from the loss. Communities need glue, and she was part of ours. The first thing I thought when the Derby chatter started up this year was “Damn, I miss Mary”. So, our Trash Talk and Derby coverage this week is dedicated to Mary. In honor, one of our longtime good friends of the blog has put together an amazing video, which is at the top of this post, and has a powerful ending. Give it a watch please. If you are new here and did not know Mary, here is the original memoriam we did.

So, there is a real live Derby today. It has not been one of the years with a big noisy media buildup. While we would probably know Andrew Cohen, the CBS News and The Atlantic legal analyst more for his work in the law, he is a completely devoted and involved soul in the world of Read more

Championship Sunday Trash Talk

Well, here we are at Championship Sunday weekend. It seemed like only yesterday that the NFL season was tearing through a hasty preseason after the lockout, and the Packers were beating the Saints in a season opening Thursday night shootout. And now we are down to the penultimate games. Gents are visiting the Niners, and Ray and Reed are taking a trip to Foxborough. Good stuff.

First game up is Ravens at Pats. We know the players and lowdown on this already: the unstoppable force of Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and the “Boston TE Party” of Gronk & Hernandez, versus the immovable object of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed. For the Ravens to have a chance, they have to get a great game out of Flacco; he is capable of it, but only sporadically. Even if the Ravens get Flacco and Ray Rice untracked, they have to outscore Brady. Tough job, I don’t see it. Now the better question here is asked by Robert Kraft via PFT: Is Bill Belichick the best coach in the history of pro football? Yes, Kraft really went there. I will throw that out for discussion, but I am going to weigh in with no. I got Lombardi easily in the first spot, followed by Paul Brown, Bill Walsh, George Halas, and a three way tie between Don Shula, Chuck Noll and Tom Landry. Bill Bel is getting there, but not yet.

The second game on tap is the better of the two, Elite Eli and the Giants going to San Francisco with an aching in their heart for another SuperBowl. Again, the book on both teams is pretty well known by now. The 49ers are way more solid on both sides of the ball than many thought, even though their D was pretty well understood to start with. And Alex Smith is a competent pro QB now. But the Giants just look like they are on a roll like they were in 2007 and Green Bay was last year. Good team, hot at the right time. Oh, and Jean Pierre-Paul is flat out a stud; if he stays healthy enough throughout his career, this kid is potentially Hall of Fame material. Dude can ball. And, the Gents might be a little pissed that Niners great Jerry Rice thinks that battering ram Brandon Jacobs is “soft”. Really Jerry? Come on man. Hard fought game, but the Gents bring it home.

Last, but certainly not least, we have a big announcement to make. Our long time friend Randiego, aka Surfer Dude, up and got hitched a couple of years ago. At 2:30 pm yesterday, he and the lovely Mrs. Randiego welcomed a new son, James, into this wild world we live in. Congratulations folks, from your family here at the Emptywheel Blog! My guess is that James’ first surfboard has already been acquired. Baby James will be coming home soon, and the Zep has an app for that.

Pretty exciting stuff we gots going on here. But a touch of sadness too. The great blues and soul singer Etta James has passed on. Etta was something else; man could she belt out a tune. My intro to her was the summer of 1978 when she opened for the Stones in Tucson. Much of the crowd was restless for Mick and the boys, but Etta James blew the place seriously up. Later Linda Ronstadt, who was in town visiting her parents, came on and joined Mick for a version of Tumbling Dice that may never be topped. But that is another story, this is about Etta, and she was something else. The above video is of “Pushover” which she first recorded in 1963. It is killer. RIP Etta.

That’s it folks, rip this joint!

Divisional Playoff Trash – One Way Out Version

I must sincerely, and profusely, apologize for my negligence, carelessness, recklessness and, in general, sins of all varieties that resulted in the physical, emotional, and galactic damages resulting from THIS HIDEOUS NIGHTMARE! There is only one way out of this weekend for teams whose quest is the SuperBowl (just win baby) and there is only one way out of the, admittedly fair, doghouse I am in. Say yes to the Allman Brothers, and NO to Brady Pron, the overly joyous musical video.

So that nobody has to traumatize themselves with said offending Tom Brady Porn Video again, ever, in the history of humanity (or at least until I piss Marcy off again), here is what the itinerant, but knowledgeable one had to say there:

Pats, Packers, Ravens, NOLA. That’s who I’m taking.

Read more

Trash Regurgitated

Okay, I am going out on a limb here and moving trash up in the queue until tonights game, and any afterbirth, is over. Then either Marcy or I will return it to the bottom of the barrel where it was rescued from! Mostly, I wanted to post up this wonderful Norman Rockwell image, because it represents the greatness that is America!
THE BCS sucks, but it has a literal monopoly on major college football. It operates with the blessing of the NCAA, yet serves as a giant restraint of trade upon NCAA member schools and to the virtual exclusion of those schools which are not fortunate enough to have already bought their way into the six “BCS Conferences”. The single premise justifying this infernal setup has been that the BCS formula results in a true national championship between the two truly top teams and the best lineup for the four “BCS Bowls”, the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange.

The lineups for the games have never been necessarily that great though and, although much of the time the championship game seems to have the right two teams, it has certainly been nowhere near consistent in that regard. Friday and Saturday night blew it all to shit. First, Oklahoma State, the number 2 BCS ranked team got got beat by a very mediocre Iowa State. Then number 3 Oregon got licked by Tommy Trojan and Oklahoma got the RGIII treatment from Baylor. BOOM! The BCS rankings are in shambles, the nation is looking at another putrid rematch of that pitiful 9-6 LSU/Alabama game from earlier in the year and no telling how crappy the four named bowls will end up. There is even growing talk that the weak sister of the poor, Notre Dame, should be given a BCS bowl berth; which, although providing absolutely shitty football, always is a moneymaker.

Please, make it all stop. Now. This is the one place where I would be happy to have the idiots in the US Congress intervene. Go to it boys. End. This. Madness. Now!

Oh, hey, a shout out to Gulf Coast Pirate’s Houston Cougars, who ran up another big win against SMU to move to 11-0 for the year and will try to make it 12-0 with a season closing win over Tulsa. The Cougars deserve a nice BCS berth, they are exciting to watch. And, under protest, must also mention the confounded Wolvereenies, who actually looked competent on both sides of the ball in a big, really huge, win over Nebraska. This Brady Hoke may be the right guy in Ann Arbor, and residents/former residents there should thank the nice folks in San Diego!

On to more pleasant things where every team has the the option to play the games to win the games and take their chances in the playoffs. The NFL. Going to open the discussion with Cincinnati at Baltimore. The Bengals may not have won against the Stillers, but they sure held their own, as did rookie QB Andy Dalton. But they get another smash mouth perennial playoff division opponent today in the Ravens. Both teams are playing great defense and have competent, but far from flashy offenses. Like with the Stillers, look for the Ravens to win, but could really be a great game. Sheriff Ed Reed, meet Duelin Dalton. But in Duelin’s favor today, one cat he will not be meeting is Ray Ray Lewis, who, as Marcy commented, hasn’t missed a game in almost a Favre. But the Ravens still have Terrell Suggs and Reed, and that is a lot.

Bolts at Bears may well be the best game – potentially anyway – on the schedule this week. The Bears are clicking, the Bolts are hurting; but this is the time of year San Diego usually pours it on. Also interesting again is Carolina at Kitties. Can Cam shaft the Lions? Detroit has really fallen back to earth and one of the huge reasons has to be the nearly complete absence of a running game without Jahvid Best. Detroit should win this, but I dunno. The Iggies go visit the Gents in the “meh” game of the week, although I suppose Philly could open the door some for Dallas if they knock off Eli. Oh, and the ‘Boys are at the Skins where Sexy Rexy is baaaack. Grossman does give Washington the best chance to win (also best chance to implode), but hard to see that they have anything for Dallas at this point.

Oh, and the CheesePack tries to stay undefeated against the Buccos. Go Pack Go!! Don’t you just love the Little Jets Whiner?!

Well, there is a lot to discuss even though this is a football only Trash week, so get to jawing.

Jets, Pats & Other Pro Trash

I promised new Trash for the NFL Sunday slate, and dammit I’m gonna deliver. Plus a certain Ms. Wheel is just dying to predict the Jets, Jets, Jets are gonna whup up all over the Patsies. And who am I to deny the forum for that? So buckle up for takeoff Wheel pilots!

In all seriousness, the Pats in New Yawk, er New Joisey, is really the most interesting game of the week for several reasons. There is the conference rivalry, the fact it really may determine the conference champion, the whole Bill Belichick/Jets tension from long ago, and the fact that both teams are in a way weaker posture than they figured to be and are desperate for some street cred. Frankly, the latter may, shockingly, apply even more to Bieber and cohorts than the Jets at this point; even the invincible Pats offense is looking like it is missing a couple of cylinders lately. And, say what you will about them, the Jets have firmed up the backbone and Revis Island is gobbling up ground again. You all know the players by now (except Bill Bel sent Fat Albert Haynesworth packing to TB), so no need to go through that again. I have no idea how to call this one, but am excited to see what happens. It is the Sunday Night Football game, so we all get to watch together.

Damn near as good, ought to be the old time Black & Blue Division match between the Lions and Bears. This one is at Soldier Field and, believe it or not, Cutler and Da Bears have been very solid of late. When Cutler can stay on his feet, and is not being an idiot, he is very good and so are the Bears. Detroit has the line to put the sometimes Jello Jay on his ass though, and they better if they want a chance to win. Make no mistake, the Lions need the win, because they have the Packers twice, Chargers, Raiders and Saints left on the schedule. Not a piece of cake from here on out. This will be a real good test of where Matt Stafford, MegaTron and the Boy Named Suh are.

Also in the first rate category is Giants at 49ers. Good Eli has been prevalent of late (of course he always beats the Pats), and the Gents have looked mean. But next to the mercurial Cheeseheads, the Niners have been far and away the most consistent NFC team this year. Again, another great test heading into the final stretch of the year. We will learn a lot about San Francisco; if they pull out another win, then they really are legit.

Saints at the Dirty Birds in Hot’Lanta also shapes up to be a very good game. New Orleans has not been very good on the road this year, and Atlanta can be a tough venue. Stillers at Bengals is yet another tell tale matchup. I was a little shocked Pittsburgh did not dispatch Baltimore last week, so how they bounce back on the road in Cinci will be a good measure. Also be interesting to see how the so far unflappable rookie Andy Dalton holds up against the Steel Curtain. Good times await!

Honorable mentions this week go out to the Bills at ‘Boys and Tebows at the Chefs. Also the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but it will be over by the time anybody sees this, unless you are up very early in the morning (if you are, tune in to Speed TV, Abu Dhabi is a nice circuit).

Prepare for takeoff! By the way, I saw the tour, and indeed maybe the exact concert if that is Pauley Pavilion, the video above was taken from in 1976. It was completely killer.

It’s A Great Football Weekend Charlie Brown

The St. Louis Cardinals are your 2011 World Series Champs, and man game 7 sure was a big letdown after the scintillating game 6. But now it is on to football and Formula One, where the heart of this blog truly lies. And Charlie Brown has more than the Great Pumpkin going for him this weekend, there is absolutely great football too.

Let’s start with the NCAA. Perhaps the most interesting game is tonight’s matchup of the Stanford Tree visiting USC’s Tommy Trojan. The Tree is 7-0 and 6th ranked, but the Trojans are an under the radar 6-1, and the only loss being to ASU in Tempe, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Andrew Luck is all world, and they are even letting him call some of his own plays tonight ala Peyton Manning. Matt Barkley is no slouch either though, in fact his stats are a near match with Luck’s. The difference really is, surprisingly, that Stanford has a far superior running game to the Trojans, who are usually known for that. USC is also weaker in the D-secondary. Those two factors should provide a win for the Tree, but it should be a good game and USC has the potential for a big upset here if Monte Kiffin can coach up the Troy defense beyond expectations.

Another late game, Clemson at the Ramblin Wreck of Georgia Tech also looks to be quite good. Clemson and star QB Tahj Boyd have been a real surprise this year. Tech (along with South Carolina later) is one of the few remaining obstacles between the Tigers and a legitimate shot at the BCS Championship game. I have a hard time believing it, but I think that just may happen and they start the push tonight by edging out Tech. The other game to keep an eye on is Baylor v. Oklahoma State. OSU is 3rd ranked and an offensive powerhouse, but Baylor and their mad good QB Robert Griffen III have some juice too. If this game were in Waco, I would smell upset; but it is in Stillwater, so OSU should prevail. Honorable mention games are Boomer Sooner at Bill Snyder’s Kansas State and the on a roll Spartans of MSU at the Cornfuskers.

It is also a fine slate of games in the pros, headed up, of course, by the TEBOWL! That’s right, any game Tim plays in IS the TeBowl. Sunday’s version involves the Deetroit Kitties coming to meet Baby Jesus at Mile High. Kitties are smarting from two losses in a row and need some steam heading into next week’s game against the Bears. But Stafford has a bad ankle and the running game is hurting without Jahvid Best. The Lions should win this, but they better get down on one knee and Te-Bow in prayer they do. The real top game is, of course, the Patsies at the Stillers. Bieber v. Big Ben. One shaky defense versus another suddenly shaky defense. Both teams have superb passing games and solid enough running games to get the job done. So, it comes down to the D’s. This would normally be a gimme for Pittsburgh, and indeed their passing defense is still somehow top rated in spite of other cracks in the Steel Curtain. But Tom Brady owns the Stillers and Bill Bel has had a bye week to coach up his defense. Bieber wins another tough game. Honorable mention to ‘Boys at Iggles and Skins at Bills.

Oh, I want to mention one little piece of schadenfreude lost in last weekend’s bender, the debut of the new super duper coaching staff member for the woebegone Indianapolis Colts. Yep the ‘ole Cheatin Sweater Vest himself, Jim Tressel (Photo Credit to NBC sports via SportsByBrooks screencap). The Vest worked his usual magic in helping the Peytons to a hard fought 62-7 not-quite-victory.

Also on tap is the inaugural Grand Prix of India. Qualifying went off very early this morning, with Sebastian Vettel taking his 13th pole of the year. Dude is just too good and his equipment is superior to boot. Vettel is followed by WEbber, Alonso and Button on the starting grid. Hamilton was fast in qualifying, and would have been P2 but for a 3 spot penalty for his assholey driving in previous competition. I got my first look at the course during the qualifying. Looks like a fast and possibly interesting track, but fairly ugly surroundings. We shall see after the first real race. By the way, in some stunning F1 news this week, our old buddy Chris Christie has helped lead an effort that has resulted in F1 coming to the streets of New Jersey. This could really be a fun setup done right. Credit where due.

Alright, let’s rip this joint; trash er up!

Taking Back Wall Street Trash Talk

Well we are a little late getting started on the trash talk this weekend, I apologize about that. I have been fixated on the Anwar Awlaki scenario and, today, the Occupy Wall Street effort. In honor of the citizens trying to take back the Street in New York, this week’s music is by Jimmy Cliff; you can get it if you really want it. But, you must actually try.

That, folks, is what is meant by the term “a democracy, if you can keep it”. The people still have the power, the people still have the vote; but they must have the information, and they must have the desire to exercise their power. Our friends and colleagues at FDL, via Kevin Gosztola, are doing great work covering the protests. And, if you have seen what I have on Twitter, it really appears to be something significant starting to form in the Big Apple. I am told about 400 people have been arrested; let’s hope they are replaced by 4,000 others.

Quite frankly it is a rather lackluster day in college football, the only 2 games I really had my eye on are Nebraska at Wisconsin, and 13th ranked Clemson at 11th ranked Virginia Tech. The Clemson game is already over, with the Tigers laying an unheard of whipping on Frank Beamer and the Hokies in Blacksburg. Not so for the Badgers however, the Cornfuckers are in Camp Randall right now with the Huskers up by a point 14-13. The rest of the game should be something fun, and the quarterback for Wisconsin, Russell wilson is really a special kid.

On the pro end of things, it is really not a very enticing slate of games on tap. Seriously there are like three games worth watching. The first is the Stillers at the Texans. Normally, this would be an easy call; but Pittsburgh has not settled in yet this season, and Houston has a fine team and is at home. That is a pickem. The second decent tilt, and maybe my most anticipated game, is Deetroit at Dallas. The Kittehs are THE hot team this year, and Suh is gonna be Romo rib hunting. But the ‘Boys are a little tougher than people think, and are at the JerryDome. I am leery of this, but am still going to go with the Lions. The other game tomorrow of interest is the Pats at the Black Hole to visit those nice Raider chaps. Darren McFadden got a bit nicked up in his huge day against the Jets, Jets, Jets last week, but looks good to go tomorrow. Marcy smells a Rayduhs upset here. So do I. Honorable mention to the Jets versus Ravens on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It’s in Baltimore, gonna go with the home team there.

Lastly, it is October baby. Reggie Jackson time! and playoff baseball is in full swing. Unless the game is at Yankee Stadium, in which case it is in full swim. Tampa Bay just clocked the Rangers behind 22 year old rookie sensation Matt Moore to open the series, but Texas is up 7-3 in the 7th inning tonight. Oops, Eva Longoria just hit a three run tater to bring it to 7-6. Rays are like butter. On a roll. Diamondbacks got freaking smoked by the BrewCrew today in game one of the NLDS. Arizona has the youngest team in baseball and has been on a great run this year, but still may be a year and another starting pitcher away from being serious contenders. Never count out Kirk Gibson though, and the DBacks are Gibby’s team through and through.

Emptywheel’s Famous Trash Talk: Es Caballos de los Muertos Edition

Hey there sports fans, I love ya! Y’all got your swerve on? Because we have week three of the NFL on tap, not to mention the end of the MLB season and, if you are talking the biggest event worldwide, the Singapore Grand Prix. so there is some meat on the table.

If the F1 Driver’s Championship was not already effectively in the capable hands of Sebastian Vettel, and the Constructor’s Championship again to Red Bull, I would surely open with the F1 Circus. But, both of those are true, so we shall begin with NFL fuutball. There are just a slew of great games this week but, really, how could you start anywhere other than with the greatest rivalry in the history of pro football?

That would, of course, be the Packers and Bears. The Cheeseheads return to Soldier Field where they won the NFC Championship last year. Expect the action to pick up where it left off. The Bears can’t protect Jay Cutler for shit, but when he has time, dude can throw the ball. Matt Forte is way underrated, he is an elite back in the league. And Brian Urlacher and the D always comes to play. The loss of Nick Collins, the Pack’s star safety, will really hurt an already porous secondary. It is tempting to take Da Bears for the upset. But I can’t do it.

Another legendary rivalry on tap is the Cowboys and Redskins. Skins are surprisingly solid with Sexy Rexy Grossman at QB and former Cardinal Tim Hightower slamming the run. But if Tony Romo and his ribs can stay on the field, the ‘Boys also have a running game with Felix Jones and that should be enough to win a close one on Monday night. Giants and Eagles is yet another rivalry game, and has many of the same considerations in that the outcome may depend on Mike Vick staying on the field. If he does, it is hard to see how the Gents win.

Okay, mom made me promise to do a couple of things and, really, it will be a pleasure. First the Read more

Trash Talk: The NFL Season Begins Packers & Saints

It’s Here!! It seemed like it may never happen the way things looked in the spring and early summer but, unlike those mopes in Washington DC, the NFL and the players figured out what needed to be done for the long term, and got it done. Not some freaking kick the can down the road for a couple of months, or pass the buck off to a “Super-Committee” of bribed up asshole politicians, but a comprehensive and fair agreement for the next ten years. The Congress and Executive Branch in DC could learn a few things from our mindless sports pastime.

There are a couple of other updates I would like to get out of the way before we get down to business. First, in the biggest news of the day – and this is going to break Marcy’s heart – Peyton Manning is in a world of hurt. Manning had a cervical fusion operation today, and will be out 2-3 months. I would not bet against Peyton returning this year, but I find it unlikely. Unless the Colts are looking good for the playoffs late in the season, why would you put him out there? The surgery sounds very serious, and anything involving the spinal column is that, but it is fairly common actually. I have seen several personal injury clients through the process in the upper cervical area, all with good results and very little effective reduction in motion range. He will be back; just maybe not this year.

Secondly, good old Henry Waxman is again reaching his unneeded long hairy arm into the world of professional sports:

Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman sent a letter to National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players’ Association urging them to put in place human growth hormone testing (HGH) procedures for the players without further delay. Despite agreements to test and impose penalties for HGH use, the NFL and the Players Association have failed to finalize HGH testing procedures in time to begin testing before tonight’s start of the 2011 season.

Here is the full letter. Waxman had no basis to be sticking his hand in the sports pie as head of House Oversight, and only slightly more as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. I guess the NFL is commerce but, really, that is a little thin; with all of the concerns in this country and Washington DC, this is not among the top of them. What really pisses me off is that Waxman is out there making a stink about this crap and, from what I am told, still pushing buttons behind the scene to maintain the prosecution of Roger Clemens.

What the Oh So Honorable Mr. Waxman, nor even any of his lesser staffers, manage to find time for is to discuss the issues behind the DOJ colluding with admitted felon obstructor of justice Scott Read more