Trash Talk: The Regular Season, at Last!

We made it the vast wasteland of baseball hell back to football season! Congratulations one and all, especially you baseball nuts cursing my heresy right now.

Titans-Stillers: Things kick off tonight with scribe’s Stillers taking on masaccio’s Titans, the Super Bowl winners against last year’s winningest team. Gotta go with the Stillers, easy, in this, because I still haven’t washed my hand since I shook Franco Harris’ hand at Netroots Nation. Plus, Mike Tomlin did something really classy this off-season–he said, as a friend of Michael Vick’s, he might have ordinarily considered pursuing him, but given Big Ben’s drama in the off season, he didn’t want to do anything to get in Big Ben’s head. The Stillers are pretty much the team that won the Super Bowl, whereas the Titans have lost both Albert Haynesworth and Jim Schwartz. Plus, it’s in Pittsburgh.

Irish-Wolverines: Yes, this college game merits discussion in the first pro Trash Talk of the year. When’s the last time this game actually mattered? How long since it has it featured two undefeateds? There was an interesting stat on ESPN the other night–one of those insta-polls on which coach needed the win more, Charlie Weis or Rich Rod. The entire country, save two states, said Weis. One exception, of course, was MI. The other? WV, which appears to still be pouting. I gotta go with the Wolverines here, because if I gotta deal with game day traffic, then I sure as heck am owed a win. Go, um, Forcier!

USC-OSU: I might make the effort to muster some Big 10 jingoism over this game, to claim that OSU can stay with USC in the Horseshoe.  But … Navy?!?! So consider this the first opportunity of the year for bmaz to boast about how much better the Pac 10 is than the Big 10.

Merriman-Tequila: I frankly had never heard of Ms. Tequila when this whole nightmare for Shawne Merriman came up (yeah, you guys know my problems with pop culture, I get it). Read more

Trash Talk: My Traffic [email protected]$

JimWhite, who seems anxious to start the college season for some unknown reason, pointed out how remiss I was in not posting a trash talk for the first college games of the season. Oops. Sorry.

In college ball, I have three things to report:

First, for one whole quarter, Navy kept it close with OSU. Alas, one quarter does not make an upset.

Second, apparently those people driving to MI’s first game of the season are suffering from some first-game jitters. Specifically, all the suburbanites driving through my neighborhood to the game seem to never have driven through a traffic circle before. And with four straight home games (that’s what a 1AA schedule will get you in the Big House), I won’t be able to drive through said traffic circles on a Saturday for an entire month.

Third, for some reason Ann Arbor has broken the cardinal rule of city road construction: which is that you finish the major arteries before the first game. They’re starting road construction right out in front of my house on Monday. Now I’ve got wayward traffic circles and construction drivers to contend with.

As to MI football? I don’t have much to say about that.

In the pros, though, here’s an interesting development while we wait for the season to really start. Roger Goodell anticipates that next year (2010), there may be no salary cap (because they haven’t agreed to a new contract yet). So for those of you who want to talk about something else than JimWhite’s gloating, I invite you to consider who will make worse use of his opportunity to spend unlimited funds on big egos: Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder?

Here’s another puzzler. Does anyone doubt that the NFC North–the perennial laughingstock of the NFL–is going to be the most improved division this year? Frankly, with Dallas looking pretty crappy and the Gents looking dicey and the Iggles looking gimmicky, I wonder whether the NFC North might be the best NFC division this year? I understand that doesn’t mean the Kitties will win any games (though I think we’ve done far better off of stealing masaccio’s Titans’ Defensive Coordinator than we did off of stealing Christy’s Mountaineers’ Head Coach), but there are some seriously strong teams up here in the Midwest this year.

TT: Are You Ready For Some Football??

Yep, it is that time of year again; football season is upon us. Not to mention that we are about to enter the stretch drive in MLB and the long summer break is over in F1. It has been a long week, starting with the IG Report release and ending with services for the Lion, Ted Kennedy. So, take yer shoes off, have a cocktail and let’s have some fun.

NFL: Well, here comes another season, and it looks to be a doozy. Seriously, so many teams have got people back, have added key parts, and gained exciting rookies through the draft; there is simply a lot of excitement all across the league. The following are some random highlights as I see them at this early and somewhat unclear vantage point. Let us start off with the team I predict will win the Super Bowl, and that would be the:

New England Patriots: This pains me a little because of the natural inter-blog rivalry. And hey, my local professional football team was actually in the Super Bowl more recently than the Pats. No matter. Listen, the Pats were 11-5 last year with no Tom Brady all season, no Roidney Harrison and a rushing attack led by Sammy Morris. Oh yeah, and they sported a quarterback that had not started a game since high school. Harrison is gone, but they now have the closest thing to Joe Montana as far as cool (and with a better arm) I have ever seen back in the saddle and raring to go, and they have added Fred Taylor, a back that can still run wild if you don’t run him down with overwork. And I still love the Law Firm. The defense looks healthier too. Oh yeah, and that Bill Belichick guy. and someone named Moss, Randy. The Pats are not the sexy darlings of the moment, but they don’t care. They are the best coached team in the league and they have Brady back. Look out.

Some quick hits on the rest of the AFC: I wonder how the Fish will make use of Pat White; I think the kid is a winner. The Bills have TO, but I just don’t see them going anywhere. The Jets are a tough call. They really could be pretty tough if they run (love rookie pick up Shonn Greene, getting him and Read more

Bacon, Boobs & A Blowjob: All Star Trash Talk

Bacon Bra

What the hell, somebody (h/t Kalium) had to write a post with this title, why not me? And fear not fearless readers, I intend to deliver on all elements promised. And let’s get that out of the way early.

For the bacon, I present a full fledged pig. John Kyl, who I am embarrassed to say, represents the fine state I reside in, Arizona. If it were not for bad Senators, I would have no Senators at all. Here is John Kyl, in transcript form, interacting ("questioning" is too nice for what he was doing) with Sotomayor. I have had to live with this asswipe representing me and not being able to pay enough attention to the jerk because I was worried about Uncle Fester McCain. It is the definition of conundrum. Kyl is like the Gooper Milli Vanilli, he will lip synch whatever cretinous right wing horse manure is available, and he never disappoints.

For the boobs, see the graphic attached hereto. Or check out the latest from MC Steele or Sarah Palin. Enough said.

Blowjob. There, I said it. And I am the second person on this blog to do so!! Now, I dunno if y’all have heard tell or not, but my friend, The Most Right Prim & Proper Ms. Marcy Wheeler, done gone and upset the delicate sensibilities of the Ms. Vanderbilt Ladies Couch Fainting Association, or at least Tam. Hall division thereof, into a bit of the vapors.

Goodness now, what shall we do? Well, it turns out, if you are in the media, you want to cluck cluck that a modern woman might use the term "blowjob" on cable TeeVee. Oh my, It does make one faint, eh? This is delicate tripe coming from a woman employed by a network making its bones on the Bill Clinton prurient diversion.

Now the Trash Talk. It is the Major League Baseball All Star Game tonight and President Barack Obama is throwing out the first pitch and appearing in the broadcast booth with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. The best moment in my All Star history is banned player Pete Rose sliding into home on Ray Fosse in the 1970 All Star Game.

Football isn’t here yet. Nor is basketball. It is the Mid-Summer Classic, the MLB All Star Game. And POTUS is there. Read more

Trash Talk – The Hitched and The (Potentially) Unhitched Edition

First off, we’re gonna be moving a little fast here, because it is a classic Circus weekend; the lads are in Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. I’ll return to that in a minute, but there is also the issue of the continued existence of F1. There is a potential divorce in the making. From CNN:

Eight of the sport’s major teams (Formula One Teams Association or FOTA) have potentially thrown the glamorous world of F1 into chaos by making good on their intention to set up a rival championship for 2010.

It follows months of talks and frustrations after they failed to resolve their dispute with motor sport’s governing body over financial constraints. Quite simply, the Formula One Teams’ Association announced they would not compromise on the quality of the series by signing up unconditionally for the 2010 F1 season following the release of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) radical new plans for cost-cutting.

All of this follows FIA president Max Mosley’s insistence on introducing a voluntary $60 million budget cap for teams to curtail what has been called a “financial arms race” in the sport.

The teams in question are championship leader Brawn GP, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso. With the two remaining outfits, Force India and Williams, staying put as it were.

The sport will go where the manufacturers go, notably Ferrari. The list of breakaways is everybody that matters, even weaker teams like Toro Rosso. To my mind, that means they will sort this out with Ecclestone and Mosely and things will remain where they are. Bernie and Max really have no choice. But that is just my take. Please discuss Circus heads!

As I said earlier, the British GP is this weekend. Here is the track (I miss Brands Hatch). Here is a rundown of practice. Qualifying is at 8:00 am EST Saturday on SpeedTV. The race is at 9:00 am EST on FOX (tape delayed, the suckers). See if Jenson Button can win this one too. Hard to bet against the lad at this point.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. Oh no. No way hoser. Read more

NFL Entry Draft Trash Talk

Alright you mopes. There you were buggering up EW’s nice threads, demanding to talk football. Can’t blame ya there. The Motor City Kitties have a new QB, and a good one I think. And now the NY Jets Jets Jets do too, having traded up in order to go full Sanchez.

Trash it up and keep Marcy’s nice substantive threads clean will ya? Thank y’all.

Bad Brackets – Hoops Trash Talk Part Deaux

Sorry about the sparse posting but your happy hosts here are, you know, off being happy this weekend. Marcy has pounded her poor fingers into a pulp and me, well I am tired just from watching her. So here is a copy of my brackets for the NCAAs. I was 15-1 at the end of the first day Thursday. Looked simply golden I did. Then Friday came. Jeebus, what a nightmare, and Cleveland State taking out Wake Forest seriously buggered a whole side of my bracket. My bracket I filled out is here to the right; click on it for a full size and then comment on how much better you are doing.

So today is my wife’s birthday and we are up in Sedona at Junipine Resort on Oak Creek with our daughter too. It is absolutely beautiful here. Enjoy yourselves, trash the joint up, and consider this an open thread to chit chat, post and discuss anything you wish. Cheers.

March Madness Bracket Trash Talk

picture-1.thumbnail.pngBack by popular demand: It’s teh Wheelhouse March Madness Road to the Final Four Bracket Extravaganza! I gotta tell you, this is a great year to argue for your favorite team, because with the exception of a few small conference champion entrants, there is a lot of parity in the field, some key injuries here and there and some intriguing matchups. Bottom line, this is a very unpredictable field and it will be very hard to pick all the way through the championship.

Click on the graphic immediately to the left for a full size detailed set of brackets that include teams, dates, locations and times of the games. Here is a link to a fully printable set of brackets you can print off and fill out.

And this year, the first in the last eight that we have not had an imbecilic moron in the White House, we have a special treat for you: Baracketology. Yep, the Big O fills out a set of brackets!

Now, we have a bit of a conundrum here. Marcy is not, by nature, a hoops fan; she like those funny looking footballs instead of the perfect symmetry of Dr. Naismith’s round ball. And we may have a hook to reel her in with. Yep, a honest to god real live team from Michigan that is in the playoffs and that doesn’t involve octopi on ice. That’s right, the Michigan Wolverines are in the Big Dance thanks to that nice coach, John Beiline, they stole from Christy Hardin Smith and the fine folks of West Virginia. Big Blue plays Clemson at 7pm Eastern Thursday night in the Kansas City portion of the South bracket. Of course, her odds are better with Michigan State, which will play a puny 15 see, Robert Morris at 10pm Eastern Friday night.

Obviously, those games are not quite as exciting as the ASU Sun Devils’ first foray into the dance since 2003. ASU will be playing Temple at 2:45pm Eastern in the Miami portion of the south bracket. If you haven’t seen the Devils in the last couple of years, they have a fantastic sophomore guard, James Harden, who was the Pac-10 player of the year and a consensus first team All-American. He is really good. They also have a senior center, Jeff Pendergraph and a point guard, Derek Glasser that are pretty good. Temple has a couple of studs in Dionte Christmas and Lavoy Allen that can light it up. Quite frankly, I am worried Temple may upset the Devils. But, like EW, I Read more

Super Bowl 43 Trash Talk: The Red & The Black

This is it baby, the big finale. All the marbles come down to these two: One Red. One Black. One will leave with the Lombardi Trophy in hand, the other with the regret of the world’s biggest runner-up percolating in their gut for the entire off season, maybe for the rest of their lives.

Parting is such sweet sorrow; nevertheless, with this game will come the end of another season of football trash talk here at Emptywheel. Yes, we occasionally whip out a trash talk without football (March Madness and the start of the F1 Circus are certainly possibilities), but it isn’t the same without the pigskin in the air.

What a season it has been, from the tantalizingly close to perfect season by the Pats that came just a few points short to Good Eli and the Gents in Super Bowl 42, the entire complexion of the 2009 season inexorably changed with the loss of Tom Brady in the first few minutes of this year. For eleven games Brett was Favre and all was magical; then it wasn’t. The San Diego team looked like the Clippers for the first twelve games, then they caught lightning and were Chargers on into the playoffs where they again went Norval. When it was all said and done, it was the Stillers and the Cardinals, yes the Arizona freaking Cardinals, left standing. And, thus, here we are.

Who are the Arizona Cardinals’ fans? I’m not quite sure, but I appear to live in the town that houses almost all of what few there are of them. Oh, and even here I have not noticed the whole town being painted red and buildings redecorated in team colors and insignias like it was purple for Barkley and the Suns in 1993 and the Diamondbacks in 2001. Da birdz de rojo get no respect I tell ya. And if all that were not bad enough, now That One is climbing on the dogpile,

Q. The Steelers or Cardinals, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I have to say, you know, I wish the Cardinals the best. Kurt Warner is a great story and he’s closer to my age than anybody else on the field, but I am a long-time Steelers fan. Mr. Rooney, the owner, was just an extraordinary supporter during the course of the campaign. Franco Harris was campaigning for me in Pittsburgh. So Read more

Trash Talk: Phred's Hubcap for a Steal!!

hubcap-flames.thumbnail.jpgPhred skipped town and forgot to take the hubcap she won last week, so you all have a chance to win it off of her while she’s not looking. (She did, however, leave her picks behind–going with the home teams–so you still all have her picks, if not her trash, to contend with.)

Before we get to the Conference Championship games, though, I have to send my apologies to masaccio for stealing his Defensive Coordinator. My apologies, too, to Jim Schwartz. As Mitch Albom put it, this is where "coaches come to die."

Schwartz, 42, with an economics degree from Georgetown and 10 years in the Titans organization, is, by all accounts, a very smart guy. He inherits the worst team of all time. So you might ask how smart can he be? He said recently he never shrinks from a challenge. But he might want to tiptoe back a few steps and put Detroit in perspective.

Because here is what he walked into: This team is very thin in talent. It has no discernible leaders. It has a leftover defeatist attitude that found a home in many a locker. There are players here who will be going on their third or fourth Detroit coach with no success.

That doesn’t inspire confidence.

More importantly, Schwartz has agreed to work for an owner who has shown no gift for football wisdom, and for a two-headed front office that has been here through season after season of failure.

Mmmmm. Self-flagellating trash talk!!

So. Now onto the teams that won some games this year.

Atrios’ Eagles at bmaz’ Cardinals: Hahahaha! Did you see that? bmaz‘ Cardinals?? What better way to drive bmaz nuts, then to make him root for the home team. Before I do any analysis, let me just ruin the ending. The Cards have to lose this weekend. bmaz is–finally–beginning to believe in Cardinals magic, so you just know he’s going to get the failure to execute he’s been predicting for the last several weeks.

Now, mr. ew just announced to me that our next dog will be named Fitzgerald (McCaffrey the MilleniaLab is named after the Broncos’ Eddie McCaffrey). That was some unbelievable play from Larry Fitzgerald last week. And, as I said last week (even while picking them to lose), the Cardinals all of a sudden found a defense and their Edge. Read more