Brady has not won any Super Bowls

Word out of Cleveland is that Brady Quinn wants a contract befitting a top 10 pick, although he wasn't chosen until the 22nd spot in the draft. Cleveland swapped a 2007 2nd rounder and a 2008 1st rounder with Dallas to get the native Ohioan, who expressed consistently throughout the draft process that he'd love to play for Cleveland-- a pretty stunning proclamation for an NFL rookie to make (you know, since he'll have to compete with Grady Sizemore for the hearts of Cleveland bachelorettes).

I'm not going to go into the details of the litany of rookies who hold out, miss training camp, and never really catch up, thus damaging their careers irreparably. (Here's an excellent analysis by Gregg Easterbrook. I instead want to break down this logic of Brady's. According to conventional GM wisdom, draft picks are devalued by one round per year. In other words, a 2007 2nd round pick is worth a 2008 1st round pick. Cleveland thus traded the equivalent of two 2007 2nd round picks (admittedly both likely high in the 2nd round) for Quinn. Two 2nd round picks does not equal a top 10 pick, Brady.

This is where Mel Kiper wields his influence. He and his impersonators talk for months about how Quinn is a top 5 pick, when such a value is completely artificial. He didn't drop to 22nd, he was drafted 22nd. He didn't have anywhere to drop from, but since the whole world heard for months that Quinn could go 3rd, he's got a contract demand in mind. That's called anchoring, for you negotiation nerds, and it doesn't make sense in this case.

posted by Jimmy Chitwood @ 22:28, ,

We Eye-Em Goode: Part Three

We wrapped up our sports wrap-up with talk on little balls (Canseco) and big ones (Costas).

Canseco makes A-Rod look popular
Crucifictorious: So Jose Canseco claims to have some "stuff" on A-Rod. Should we believe this guy?
MrJayTibbs: I honestly don't pay attention to any steroid stuff. It doesn't mean anything to me.

Jimmy Chitwood: No, he put his best "stuff" in his first book. Why would he save his dirt on A-Rod unless he got some scoop in the last 3 years?
Crucifictorious: Unfortunately, that's the only problem--Canseco's first book turned out to be largely true. So we can't totally dismiss him right now (even if we know that the stuff on A-Rod isn't that he's using steroids or greenies--it's that he's into blondies)

Jimmy Chitwood: Yes, it absolutely was true--but now he wants more attention for kickstarting a lot of the steroid scandal. I think he's feeling left out
Jimmy Chitwood: But really, is Canseco known for patience? Why would he wait?
Crucifictorious: That's fair--Jose would swing at anything.

Jimmy Chitwood: And how would he know about A-Rod? They never played together, right?
Crucifictorious: As opposed to McGwire, Palmeiro, etc...
MrJayTibbs: Exactly; it's one thing for Canseco to talk about players he may have dealt with personally, but they never had any association.

MrJayTibbs: Either way, I don't think it matters what he has to say about A-Rod. Even if you believed that A-Rod may have used something, would that necessarily diminish his accomplishments?
Jimmy Chitwood: Yes, in my mind it would diminish A-Rod's accomplishments, because steroids increase home run totals. If he didn't use steroids, he did it more on talent. If steroids --> less talent. I might not view him as the most talented player in the game if he used 'roids .

MrJayTibbs: Well, obviously steroids help
MrJayTibbs: but it seems that with A-Rod, it's a lot of hearsay at this point. And let's say Canseco next week says, also I have dirt on Pujols. He probably feels he can make claims like this because his first ones gave him some cred, but it's too early to jump to any conclusions.

Jimmy Chitwood: I don't believe Jose on this one
MrJayTibbs: Neither do I, at least not yet
Jimmy Chitwood: Plus, has A-Rod's body changed beyond the normal change from ages 20 to 30? Other than his lips getting bluer.
MrJayTibbs: Not that I've seen
Crucifictorious: No, but did Palmeiro's?
MrJayTibbs: But Palmeiro's numbers were vastly different from when he was a rookie
Crucifictorious: That's true. Although, so are A-Rod's...he's gone from doubles to HRs.
Jimmy Chitwood: Some of that is attributed to playing in Seattle (pitcher friendly) to Texas to New York (both hitter friendly)

MrJayTibbs: A-Rod has been touted as a superstar since he was 18, and he hit 36 HRs when he was 20.

He 'came by it naturally'
Crucifictorious: Finally, Bob Costas: Annoying or awesome, Jimmy?
Jimmy Chitwood: I've always liked him. To be honest, I haven’t watched any of his HBO show, so I haven't really seen him in years. But I loved him as a baseball play by play man, at least.
Crucifictorious: Yeah, and anyone who liked him then probably still likes him now just based on assocation.

Jimmy Chitwood: I think he's one of the more thoughtful people in sports, that much is clear
MrJayTibbs: I also dont really watch Costas, but I do like anyone who calls out Barry Bonds rather than dodging the obvious point that Bonds used steroids. Lots of media folks would probably have avoided such a direct accusation.

Crucifictorious: I think you've got to love a guy who not only has the balls to call out Bonds
Crucifictorious: but talked about his own in "BAsEketball"

Crucifictorious: Yet somehow, despite appearing in a Trey Parker/Matt Stone movie, I like that Costas remains fairly classy.

Jimmy Chitwood: Oh, also, Costas is 100x better than Joe Buck, who annoys during every World Series and every Randy Moss fake-mooning incident
MrJayTibbs: Joe Buck is terrible, I honestly cant even remember if he is play by play or color

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 17:33, ,

We Eye-Em Goode: Part Two

Our weekly conversation--where some of We Rite Goode's crack bloggers talk shop--continued.

Meet Mark Atliera
Crucifictorious: So moving onto baseball, news that Rangers 1B Mark Texiera is heading to Atlanta. MrJ, are the Braves relevant again?
MrJayTibbs: Considering that they are in the National League, and a very close NL East, yes. I think Teixeira is a bit overrated, and his home numbers at Texas were significantly better, but he's a massive upgrade at first for them.
MrJayTibbs: I can't figure out what Atlanta's strategy is, however
MrJayTibbs: They always seem like they are trying to cut salary, but then they make a move like this-I guess they figure that if they can make the playoffs, anything is possible
MrJayTibbs: But it's a good move and they may not be done
Crucifictorious: They could have a pretty dangerous heart of the order.

Jimmy Chitwood: But how long were the Braves not relevant for? one year?
Jimmy Chitwood: Texiera's a good player but he's been a little magnified since the trade deadline has been so inactive for the last few years; to have someone of his caliber traded is a bigger deal than it used to be.

MrJayTibbs: I agree that the Braves were not ever really irrelevant
MrJayTibbs: Except in Atlanta, where no one goes to their games.

Jimmy Chitwood: They still have Bobby Cox as manager, so I wouldn't worry about them storming to the world series

Crucifictorious: MrJay, you're an Orioles fan--does this spell doom for Texiera coming home to Baltimore, since he's already headed back to a city where he's been a star (at Georgia Tech)?

MrJayTibbs: Well he is not a free agent until after next year; also, I definitely think that Andruw Jones will not be back. So if Teixeira is productive for Atlanta, I see no reason why he would leave. It could be a perfect situation for him.
MrJayTibbs: I guess Atlanta has already given up on Scott Thorman though.

Jimmy Chitwood: Just saw Andruw is hitting .216, so looks like a wise move
Crucifictorious: Yeah, they could use another bat
MrJayTibbs: On paper they match up with any other NL team I think. Maybe not as good but certainly competitive

Not all Hall-of-Famers are created equal
Crucifictorious: Sticking with baseball, but heading North. They're both Hall-of-Famers--by an overwhelming majority--but who was better: Ripken or Gwynn?
Jimmy Chitwood: Gwynn, easily. Best pure hitter of the 80's; he won batting titles in almost half of his seasons. Ripken was way overglorified for the streak...he was below average for the last 5 years of his career.

MrJayTibbs: Gwynn. Ripken from a pure offensive standpoint was solid but not special at all. Gwynn was a phenomenal hitter, plus he was also a great fielder and baserunner. Not to mention, he recorded ridiculous strikeout totals--less than 20 in some years.

Crucifictorious: I have to disagree with both of you: Ripken's my guy. At his peak, he was a much more valuable player than Gwynn.
MrJayTibbs: Because of his position?
Crucifictorious: Exactly. In the mid-80s, I believe he had the top VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) total in the majors for four or five years, as he did again in 1991.
MrJayTibbs: But VORP is position relative, which is good and bad
Crucifictorious: Exactly right, again; it was that much harder to find a great offensive shortstop than to find a right fielder who gave you the same offense as Gwynn. Did you know Jay Buhner had a comparable--if slightly better--OPS than Gwynn?
Jimmy Chitwood: That must be why Frank Costanza loved him so.

MrJayTibbs: In that, yes, Ripken was way better than most shortshops...but he still wasn't all that great overall

Crucifictorious: Ok, but Ripken also was a phenomenal defensive shortstop.
Crucifictorious: Well...phenomenal might be too strong a word. But very very good. Gold glove worthy and he set some defensive records while he was at it.

MrJayTibbs: Still, who would you have rather had in your lineup, Gwynn or Ripken?

MrJayTibbs: I think that logically, if a team replacd Ripken with a run of the mill shortshop, they'd get lousy numbers instead of getting Ripken's .270 BA, 25 HRs, 95 RBI, but nowhere near the dropoff of a .370 average. You just can't replace a hitter of Gwynn's caliber as easily, regardless of position.

We're under no delusions that our banter is entertaining, informative, or even accurate. But hey, the C-team's on PTI this week, so who knows what your quiet desperation will drive you to do? Part three of our scintillating conversation to be posted later.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 15:30, ,

We Eye-Em Goode: Part One

In possibly a new regular feature, several of We Rite Goode's ace riters figured, what the hell, let's convocate and, like any good fans, chat about the week's sports news for a bit.

Jimmy Chitwood: I have to warn you, I haven't been on IM in about 3 years
Crucifictorious: yeah, me neither--mine was outdated
MrJayTibbs: and I’m a slow typer

Yes, we were clearly off to a strong start.

Garnett's move to Boston
Crucifictorious: We have to talk about this, given that it's breaking news. Kevin Garnett is reportedly headed to Boston for a number of younger players.
Crucifictorious: Let's put aside, for now, if this is a good move or which side makes out better, and just think about the lineup of Ray Allen-Paul Pierce-KG. JimmyC, in five years, how many Eastern Conference titles will the Celtics have?
Jimmy Chitwood: Realistically, I'll say 2
Jimmy Chitwood: Other than LeBron's Cavs, is there anyone else who will consistently be competitive?
Jimmy Chitwood: Chicago still is flawed
Jimmy Chitwood: Miami will be a poor man's Cavs as Shaq ages (a one man team)
Jimmy Chitwood: the West got Oden and Durant...the East is still looking weak for the foreseeable future
Jimmy Chitwood: but still, crap happens, so can't count on more than 2

Crucifictorious: MrJ, do you buy that? And how many NBA titles?
MrJayTibbs: I don't think that they have a realistic chance at any NBA titles
MrJayTibbs: but the Eastern Conference is definitely winnable
MrJayTibbs: I don't think that 5 years from now that lineup will even be intact
Jimmy Chitwood: Did Paul Pierce sell his soul to the devil? After years of playing with Antoine Walker and then no one, he gets Ray Allen and KG in the same offseason?
MrJayTibbs: In the short term, obviously thats a talented team, and the fact that the mediocre Cavs won the east with their team this year shows that the Celtics can win
MrJayTibbs: It's too bad that Allan Ray is gone
Jimmy Chitwood: Oh, he is?
Crucifictorious: He got a european deal
MrJayTibbs: As of a few days ago
Jimmy Chitwood: oh crap
MrJayTibbs: I was looking forward to Ray Allen playing with him
Jimmy Chitwood: Especially with Tommy Heinsohn broadcasting!

No depth to speak of
Crucifictorious: But back to the new big three. Who's going to surround them?
MrJayTibbs: Kendrick Perkins?
Jimmy Chitwood: Rondo at the point, probably
MrJayTibbs: The team traded all of their depth, except for Rondo
Crucifictorious: You can't consider Rondo depth, if he's starting
MrJayTibbs: Well I’m not saying he's good
Jimmy Chitwood: man, they need some guards
Crucifictorious: Well, that's true--they're hollowed out save Rondo, Perk, maybe a Gomes-like Glen Davis...and not so much else
MrJayTibbs: Gabe Pruitt?
Crucifictorious: Forget Paul Pierce--maybe Pruitt made a deal with the devil
MrJayTibbs: He was considered a good bargain pick for the 2nd, regardless of whether you buy into Hollinger
Jimmy Chitwood: Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if Pruitt's ok--Ainge has actually done pretty well with 2nd round picks
Jimmy Chitwood: and I think Big baby will contribute
MrJayTibbs: I do like those 2nd round picks

Crucifictorious: Ainge is a decent talent evaluator. Gerald Green is definitely the best nine-fingered player in the history of the NBA.

Shifting balance of power?
MrJayTibbs: Another question is that I think this makes the Eastern conference worse in the long run for obvious reasons, but does it also make it even worse now?
MrJayTibbs: Al Jefferson could be an All Star very soon
MrJayTibbs: Not to mention the rest of the talent going West
Jimmy Chitwood: Besides Jefferson, every player in that deal is pretty replaceable
Crucifictorious: For right now, no. Jefferson isn't an AS yet, but Garnett and Allen are. You have to watch the stars, and they're headed to the East.
MrJayTibbs: But what about Allen's health?

Superstars align
MrJayTibbs: I think that the lineup will work better than most lineups of multiple superstars though
MrJayTibbs: Specifically thinking about the Nuggets and how that did not work out
MrJayTibbs: I feel like a team can function better with a couple of shooters as opposed to guys like Iverson who need the ball for a possession to create something
MrJayTibbs: Garnett is content to defer, I wouldnt be surprised to see him playing a lot of point-forward
Crucifictorious: Yeah, I buy it. But for me, it's like when an aging Barkley, Olajuwon, and Drexler (later and esp. Pippen) played together in Houston--and they had a shooter or two (Matt Maloney, Kirk Bullard).
Crucifictorious: They were too old to really do anything--their bodies kept getting in the way. Garnett's been in the league 12 years--that's a lot of tread--and we all know Allen's health problems.

Of course, the Garnett deal was just the tip of the iceberg; the remainder of the conversation will grace the site over the next day or so. Assuming our pedantic analysis doesn't drive you to wrip your fingernails off, feel free to come back--or tell us how wrong we are.

Update: So we read FanHouse religiously--in the lapsed Catholic, meat during Lent sense of the word--but of course, saw that they had beaten us to the punch with a Garnett roundtable of their own. And it's much better written, argued, and even has famous pseudonyms like Bethlehem Shoals. D'oh. In WRG's humble defense, we'd been planning tonight's conversation for days--and it's not like we're the only ones in America talking about Garnett right now. Still, if you want real analysts cracking wise and being smart, you might as well check FanHouse.

However, if you want multi-hued commenters weighing in on such crucial topics like A-Rod's lips and Bob Costas's gonads...stick with us!

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 21:43, ,

The logical conclusion

Who could forget Tony Scott's immortal drama Days of Thunder? That's right - no one. When Cole Trickle (no connection to true-life former NASCAR driver and owner of the greatest sports-name ever Dick Trickle), portrayed by everyone's favorite Scientologist Tom Cruise made his great comeback, I'm sure you went crazy in the theater along with everyone else.

Well, we no longer need to rent the DVD to achieve that same thrill of watching L. Ron Hubbard's chosen few race to victory.

That's right - the Church of Scientology is now sponsoring a NASCAR-style team. Kenton Gray, a successful driver on the regional NASCAR circuit, will be the driver of the No. 27 Ford leading "The Dianetics Racing Team." The car will have a large Dianetics logo, inviting all NASCAR fans to "Ignite [Their] Potential."

Won't the roar of the racetrack disturb the silent births?

posted by Pedro Cerrano @ 13:27, ,

Who's in more trouble?

On the left, we have Michael Vick. NFL running quarterback. Alleged conspirator in dog-fighting ring. Scourge of the US Congress.

On the right, we have Tim Donaghy (Jack's brother?). NBA referee. Alleged gambler and point-shaver. The "worst nightmare" of David Stern.

Clearly, neither man having a good week. And with jail time and the end of their lucrative careers potentially looming, not even going to try and quantify relative levels of suffering. It's like choosing between death by electrocution, hanging, or drowning. And what monster would do that?

But there's a safer topic. Specifically, which league is losing face faster than Michael Jackson? Well, even Donaghy would bet that NFL commish Roger Goodell isn't crying over the crooked NBA ref revelation.

Sure, no one (or animals [that we know of]) died over Donaghy's alleged point-shaving. But should the claims be true, the NBA's long-tenuous credibility could take a body blow; there's a reason why when you say "conspiracy theory" in the Valley of the Sun, fans aren't thinking Mel Gibson. Refs have so much control over basketball games...maybe moreso than in any of the major sports. Baseball umps can't award home runs--or they're not supposed to, at least--but basketball refs can hand out a passel of free throws without fans batting an eye. Once the ball is snapped, a football game will be fast and furious, regardless of the zebras; in a basketball game, the pace of play takes its cues from what the ref is willing to call.

Of course, it's not smooth sailing for the NFL either. Mike Wilbon's column earlier this week--pointing out that high-profile Vick is among the few NFL players who register with the public--gets to an important idea: The league, the Falcons, even the endorsers have invested a lot in this guy. And rest assured, this is one of those times when they'd absolutely settle for Michael Vick, the "mild bust," rather than Inmate # 42244-227, "hardened convict."

But truly, for all the negative publicity that the NFL might get in coming months, what sports fan will put Vick's trouble on the league? Players like Chris Henry and Fred Smoot have been doing stupid and illegal things for years, and the sport's more popular than ever. A team can replace a player--a league can even replace its face.

But once a sport loses credibility...well, you get Rollerball.


posted by Crucifictorious @ 15:36, ,

Who's ESPN Now?

An article in this week’s Newsweek poses the question, "Has ESPN become the worldwide cheerleader in sports?"

Yes, it has.

Oh, I’m supposed to write more? Ok. I’ll start by admitting that saying something isn’t as good as it used to be always makes me uneasy, because it leaves open the “You’re old and cranky” argument, which is tough to refute. The point of the article, that ESPN has moved from an impartial reporter of sports and sports news to a creator of the stories that it then covers, is certainly accurate. I think the problem started when ESPN started expanding so rapidly, and suddenly had numerous cable channels, web outlets, a magazine, radio, and who knows what other media for which it has to provide programming 24 hours a day. If there’s not enough relevant sports news, ESPN has to make some of its own.

This has led to about 10,000 shows that use slightly varying formats to have writers debating top sports stories of the day with each other. (Thanks a lot for making Skip Bayless a semi-household name.) It also led to “Who’s More Now,” the widely panned series where people vote in a bracket-style tournament to determine, yes, “Who’s Most Now.” This morning I witnessed Stuart Scott moderating the Tiger Woods-Dwyane Wade matchup with Mike Greenberg, Jessica Biel, and Kevin James. (For those following the bracket closely, this matchup took place in the Jordan Region.) I am not making that up, nor am I making up that Kevin James was wearing a stylish cap that said “Chuck and Larry.” I like Greenie a lot; he’s funny, smart, and acts like an adult. He and Golic got me through several years of commuting. To his credit, he did a good job pretending not to be mortified to be participating this morning. At least it wasn’t Michael Vick versus Pac Man Jones in the Rae Carruth Region. Nevertheless, when Jessica Biel’s on the screen and I still want to gouge out my eyes, something’s rotten on Planet ESPN.

posted by Jimmy Chitwood @ 12:21, ,

They Make Them Out Of Power Drills

The editors of We Rite Goode have quickly established their product as a veritable Mecca for athletic pilgrims. Pedro is here to divert all you seekers from your path through the desert, perhaps by leading you to the faux-paradise of Abu Dhabi instead.

Why? Because a mechanical revolution in sporting is currently taking place in the UAE - robot camel jockeys. Camel racing (think NASCAR, but with more spitting) is an age-old tradition in Arab lands. However, it is a dangerous sport, for as the mounts bound around the race-track, they sometimes hurl their unfortunate riders to the ground.

The early promoters of camel riding, taking a cue from the 19th-century Captains of Industry, began using seemingly-expendable children as their jockeys. These riders were sometimes kidnapped before being imprisoned and kept malnourished so as to lighten the camel's load. Human rights groups became noticeably disgruntled with this practice, so inventors have recently begun hyping a replacement to the child jockey - a power drill.

Well, not just any power drill. One with a whip attached where the bit used to be. Unenslaved drivers then speed around the track in SUVs (probably Hummers in Abu Dhabi) with remote controls to guide the power-drill-and-camel team to victory. It is a merging of animal and machine not seen since the days of camera-toting pigeons.

Of course, as New Scientist has noted, logical development of this technology could have fearsome consequences. What if the human element (remember, the RC racer guy in the gas-guzzler) is removed, and the robot jockeys are programmed to guide themselves!? Asimov could not have dreamed of a scarier scenario.

(Update: Pedro's powerful prose could stand alone, but "robot camel jockeys"...well, it just cries out for a video clip--Crucifictorious).

posted by Pedro Cerrano @ 07:35, ,

YouTube: The poor man's post

Having posted all through Independence Day, We Rite Goode rested yesterday. And we liked it so much...well, don't expect much in the way of posting until manana, at best.

However, just like at a rain-delayed baseball game, we've got our crack video team scouring our film for your viewing pleasure:

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 13:08, ,

Top 10 most patriotic moments in sports history

We stand on the eve of an important milestone. A day that provokes national reflection. The kind of moment that makes you proud to be an American.

Yes, Joey Chestnut is poised to topple Kobayashi in the hot-dog eating contest today.

Of course, even if Mr. Chestnut fails in his valiant effort (update: He didn't), the team at We Rite Goode wanted to spend today pondering other patriotic moments in our nation's sports history. We've already detailed our methodology and listed some moments that didn't quite make the cut, as well as the sporting events threatening to give Lady Liberty a black eye in recent years.

Thus after much deliberation, our top 10 list follows below. We expect a quibble here or there, so tell us what we got wrong or forgot using the comments at post's end. Have a swell Independence Day, all.

#10) San Diego Padres dress their players in camouflage
It's often ignored in the wake of more important stuff, but the U.S. has been effectively at war for the past five years. But one group hasn't forgotten our overseas troops: The San Diego Padres, who honor our soldiers the best way they know how--by stationing a National Guard unit at Petco.

Still, the camouflauge isn't enough to qualify for top 10 status; what makes the difference is that the Pads apparently don't limit themselves to guarding the San Diego Zoo. As the San Diego Union Tribune reports, with some choice editing:
"As often as he could this offseason, Peavy had a gun or a bow in his hand... According to Peavy..."the coolest thing for me [was wearing] 'United States of America' [gear]."

Look, I'm just going to connect the dots--weapons...gear...crossbow--and say that Peavy sounds like a dude who'd welcome the hills of Kabul in the offseason. And that's just one Pad--who knows what damage the Giles brothers could reek on Al Qaeda? Clothes make the man and camo makes an army unit. So thank you, Padres, for all you do. Peavy for the Cy and America salutes you.

(Update: Some WRG writers are taking strong issue with the Padres' camo making our top 10. If you can give us a better example in the 10 spot, we'll consider it.)

((Update on the Update: So commenter Anon suggests Whitney Houston singing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV--and we don't disagree. God bless America, indeed.))

#9) Americans rally to win 1999 Ryder Cup
Skip to 3:21 to see the greatness that was Justin Leonard's 45-foot birdie putt. Of course, the Euros got their bobbysocks in a twist when the US then celebrated on the green--ok, so maybe Jose Maria Olazabal had a putt of his own to attempt--but pish-posh. That attitude lost you the New World, Jeeves!

#8) Hulk Hogan enters the ring to his "Real American" theme song
The WWF=an American institution. And nothing says patriotic like Hulk Hogan in front of a blue screen!!

The real question is, with skills like these, why didn't the Hulkster compete in the recent U.S. Air Guitar championships? This is a time where the U.S. needs leadership...and Hogan knows best!

#7) '92 Dream Team: Barkley elbows an Angolan
Sure, the US won each game handily. And forget pictures after the game--our opponents basically begged posterized, if only to save on film costs. But no moment better personifies the American spirit than the Chuckster's elbow to an innocent Angolan player; the Dream Team may have been on its way to a 46-1 run, but it was missing something (thuggery!), which Charles amply provided. Somehow, Barkley's elbow didn't make the Top 10 list of plays, however...but we know how key it was.

#6) 1980 Winter Olympics: USA Hockey over the USSR
Although we didn't see any other "patriotic moments" lists, this Hockey semi-finals would seem to be contractually required for one. However, we mixed it up just a little and lifted a video from the movie "Miracle" instead.

#5) Rocky wins the Cold War! I mean, defeats Ivan Drago
For my money, the first Rocky was just as patriotic as #4--who can resist the old Horatio Alger story, starring a slurring low-level mob muscle man and Carl Weathers? But for sheer "America, **** yeah!" attitude, you can't top a Moscow crowd cheering for the flag-clad Italian Stallion. I think Sports Guy credits this movie for glasnost.

#4) Randall Simon takes out Guido, the Italian sausage

A shocking, violent, depraved act--until you realize that Simon, in his nationalistic fervor, was merely helping America's own "Frankie Furter" along to victory.

#3) Rick Monday saves the American flag
Another must-have moment for this list. A quick gesture with a lot of staying power. It probably helped that an All-American boy like Monday was the one to rescue Old Glory, and not his teammate in the outfield, Ivan Von Kruschevzky.

#2) Steve Francis refuses to play in Vancouver
In the news a lot this week because of Yi Jianlian, but came right to our minds before that. From the Sports Guy's old Draft Diary:

After the Grizzlies select Stevie Francis second, a disappointed Francis puts on a Grizzlies hat, shakes hands with Stern and tries to pretend he's happy. But when he and his grandmother head on stage for an interview with Sager, Francis becomes steadily more distraught by the realization that he's heading to Vancouver. When Sager asks him, "How does it feel?", Francis rolls his eyes, holds back tears, leans back in his seat, stares up at the roof in dismay and looks like he might start screaming. Sager quickly throws it back to Ernie.

On "PTI," guest host J.A. Adande said that by demanding a trade, Francis helped "destroy basketball in Vancouver." I'm not sure I'd go that far--although Francis get smajor America points regardless--but selfishness, greed, and hissy-fits? Why, good for Steve in taking those abroad...Canadians could stand to learn a few things! And who can blame Francis for begging out? The city's clean, healthy--an underrated center of the entertainment industry. We're talking affluence, and you certainly wouldn't want a multi-millionaire basketball player.

#1) Tiger bagging a Swedish bikini team model
Yes, Woods is the king of golf. And it's not unusual for athletes golfers to get lucky; Phil Mickelson has Amy, David Toms has Sonya.

But let's be honest. Mickelson and Toms...well, they seem like average guys. Try as he might to hide it, Tiger's nerdom is as part of him as his Stanford education.

And success doesn't always equate to a Swedish bikini team model. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world...and, erm, I'm sure his wife's personality makes for a happy marriage. Perhaps they have stimulating conversation. But anyway.

No, I will always remember when I found out Tiger was with Elin. Not because I'm a huge golf fan, a Tiger fan, or somehow follow the Swedish bikini models on a daily (as opposed to the more regular biweekly) basis. But because this is any red-blooded American's dream. U-S-A!

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 07:27, ,

Least patriotic moments in sports history

So we continue our mission to categorize the most patriotic moments in American sports history. And while we have a final list of our favorites (as well as quite a few also-rans), there are a few dark memories that are best ignored, lest we forget all those things that make America totally awesome.

But mocking them once a year can't hurt, right?

Dishonorable mention

  • Dan vs. Dave: The let-down. You'd think the Reebok executives would've waited until both qualified for the Olympics. You'd think.

  • Roddick vs. Federer. Love Andy's big serve, and even the humility, As noted by one journalist, his performance in the interview was better than the performance in the Australian Open semi-finals this year.

  • New Orleans Saints play a "home" game at the NY Giants after Hurricane Katrina. Not only did it rob the Saints, the NFL was cheating the public with this second prime-time season opener.

  • Tom Selleck stars in "Mr. Baseball." Apparently, this movie is "beloved" by one member of the WRG writing clan...although someone agrees with our majority, having since edited out some painful dialogue.

  • Charles Barkley disses Yao. I love the Chuckster, but proclaiming that the top pick in the draft would't score 19 points in a game all year...well, he got what he deserved.

  • Tank Johnson, Chris Henry, and PacMan Jones...exist. 'Nuff said.

  • Kellen Winslow loses a little perspective. Although, the army could really use another man right about now. Good to know Kellen's already trained up.

We're sure we're missing other embarassing moments for the old US of A (if not creating them ourselves). Feel free to let us know in the comments.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 06:15, ,

Most patriotic moments in sports history: Honorable mentions

So at We Rite Goode, the 4th means a lot to us. It means "The Wire" marathon on DVD. It means catching up on phone calls to relatives. It means Go America!, and we really do mean that.

And with a few DC residents on the writing roster, the 4th also means WRG wants to play its own small part to fight for freedom, punish evil, etc.: Chronicle the most patriotic moments in (American) sports history.

Now, the Internet's a big place--we know that someone, somewhere has probably done this already and, most likely, better than we could hope to achieve. But with cursory searches turning up zilch, and with the whole "ignorance is bliss" motto that's informed WRG from the beginning, we plowed ahead.

So here's the scoop. We used a highly scientific process--i.e., e-mailed each other and asked a few friends--to determine which moments were truly patriotic versus which events inspired applications for Taliban membership. Frankly, some suggestions were exceptional and truly stirring, and those went right to the top 10 list. There were also a handful of moments that warranted mentioning; they may not inspire an America tattoo, but they usually came with a YouTube clip that made them easy to post. Enjoy, check back later for our Top 10 (and dishonorable) lists.

Most patriotic moments in sports history: Honorable mention

  • Michael Jordan's "What is Love" commercial. So many great Jordan ads--there's nothing Americans do better than commercials. But this end-of-career retrospective made me realize: There's only one superman, and he's ours.

  • (Update: Our final list of the top-10 moments can be found here, while the less-proud memories are shunted off here. Please let us know what we've missed.)

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    posted by Crucifictorious @ 03:30, ,

    Around the Web...

    From the Washington Post: Feinstein agrees--July is lame for sports.

    From ComcastSportsNet (random, I know): From cyclist to author, Floyd Landis now on a different kind of tour.

    From Slate: The physiology of competitive eating, just in time for tomorrow's Hot Dog fest.

    Also, the latest NBA Live trailer posted below, courtesy of IGN. The game looks flashy and all that, but while the graphics are marginally improved, on close inspection the players still look like stiff automotons. (I don't mind seeing a blank-faced Tony Parker, but when the camera zooms on a zombie-like Jameer Nelson bringing up the ball...well, it mildly creeps me out, at least). Understandably, sports video games still haven't gotten over the uncanny valley effect, where the close-to-lifelike players just look weirder than the more cartoony video game athletes of the past. Plus, there are at least three players in the trailer now wearing the wrong uniforms, which seems odd considering how EA could fix it so easily; it's not like Ray Allen et al. need to actually come into their offices to re-tape the commercial.

    Beyond the griping, though, looks like a worthy buy..

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    posted by Crucifictorious @ 17:41, ,

    Dan Patrick leaving ESPN?

    So the blogs are claiming today, as he purportedly will shop a national Syndicated radio show. Explains, perhaps, why Patrick was absent from his usual gig at the NBA Draft.

    What's amazing--and possibly, just a giant concidence--is that last week marked the 10th anniversary of Keith Olbermann's departure from SportsCenter (tip of the cap to Awful Announcing). A loss that, quite frankly, I don't think the Big Show has ever recovered from. While Olbermann took some time finding his niche, he's carved out considerable success on MSNBC--and certainly has a better post-SC career than, say, Craig Kilborn.

    How can Dan Patrick not itch to similarly branch out?

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    posted by Crucifictorious @ 15:11, ,

    Around the Web...

    From SLAM: Yao's worked on his selfishness; Sun now works on his slang. I've never been so proud to be an American.

    From Bugs and Cranks: The first in a series of profiles of online baseball communities. Here's hoping Camden Chat will be considered.

    From BallHype: Voting goes on to determine the season's best dunks posterizations.

    From Rumors and Rants: Possible TV and movie roles for Gilbert Arenas. You know, if this basketball thing doesn't work out.

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    posted by Crucifictorious @ 18:21, ,

    The Rockets watch too many teen movies

    Someone call the screenwriter for "She's All That"--the Houston Rockets are stealing your material.

    Nearly a decade after breaking Rashard Lewis's heart by breaking their draft promise, the Rockets are trying to worm their way back into the hometown boy's good graces. The team announced plans to pursue Lewis, one of the NBA's top free agents, in a sign-and-trade and are hoping "Rashard would be motivated to come." Various BallHype readers were curious over why the Rockets went so public with their courting; I think, given how the Rockets messed up with Rashard on the first go-around, they're hoping that demonstrating their affection will win over Rashard's considerable local fan-base.

    Now, we've all seen this before. It's like breaking up with your girlfriend, but showing up with flowers and a mariachi band at her apartment a week later. How can she not take you back?

    But if we're talking karma, the Rockets must do more than go to a local TV station; just to get started, we're talking billboards, newspaper ads, and a Yao Ming-installed Garmin system in Rashard's Escalade. Because the team absolutely, historically, and totally publicly blew it with Rashard in 1998. With three first-round picks--and a promise to take the local high school star--the team took the immortal Michael Dickerson (#14), Bryce Drew (#16), and Mirsad Turkcan (#18). Granted, Dickerson was having a decent career until injuries derailed him. But Drew and Turkcan? Two big arguments for a Lemon Law in the draft.

    Meanwhile, Rashard sat and sat in the Green Room, crying in front of a national audience until the Sonics saved him in the second.

    But now--like Freddie Prinze Jr. dumping Rachel Leigh Cook before the prom, only to realize his big mistake (which required her just taking off her glasses, but I digress)--the Rockets are trying to make up for their ill deeds. We erred, GM Morey is saying. Be like every do-gooding, dumped sweetheart like in Say Anything. Come back to us.

    Of course, this only happens in teen movies. In real-life, any self-respecting funny-looking girl rejects the jerk, grows up and turns into Denise Richards, while the high school quarterback balds early and works at the car dealership. The Rockets don't deserve a mulligan on Rashard Lewis. And if Lewis is any kind of tough-minded, motivated NBA player, he won't give them one.

    (Tip of the hat to ShoutFan for first picking this up).

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    posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 20:11, ,

    Great Mormons in Sports

    I was just watching Baseball Tonight, and the incoherent ramblings of "commentator" Eric Young have inspired me to voice my own opinion on a potential All Star game starting pitcher. While Young's selection of C.C. Sabathia has some merit, although not nearly as much as several other arms, one pitcher flying under the radar has been right up there this year with C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, and most impressively, Dan Haren. This pitcher leads baseball with an absurd 0.89 whip, well beyond Haren's 0.98, has an ERA of 2.62, second in the AL to Haren. I could cite numerous more statistical accomplishments, but I think these two tidbits on Jeremy Guthrie prove enough. For those not convinced by the 28 year old rookie's accomplishments, simply look at his game log and his numbers as a starter.

    So why has Guthrie received considerably less attention than guys like Haren, Beckett, Johan Santana, and others? It's probably not because of his odd religious beliefs or the fact that he may lack, to paraphrase ESPN's Young, Sabathia's "carry-his-team-on-his-backness," but instead because he plays for the hapless Baltimore Orioles, where the lack of run support and competent relief pitching has resulted in only a 4-2 record after two months of starting. I would, however, be curious to see where Guthrie ranks in Young's bevy of made-up intangibles.

    Guthrie's fantastic season didn't result in his making of the All Star team, due to the lack of wins, which is not to say that a guy like Haren doesn't deserve to start the game; for all of this Guthrie hyping, this blogger still believes that Haren has been, from April to now, the most dominant pitcher in the AL. Here's the key point: If the All Star game decides home-field advantage, shouldn't the most effective pitchers of the season be in the game? If the reason for leaving a guy like Guthrie off of the team is due to a factor that he can't control, that of the anemic O's offense and leaky bullpen causing his low win total, in favor of the token Kansas City Royal, then Major League Baseball needs to re-examine its All-Star policy. Either take the most dominant hitters and pitchers of the first half of the season and count the game towards home-field advantage, or make it a fan-friendly event reminiscent of little league baseball, where batting lineups went twelve deep. For the record, I have no problem with 12-man batting lineups in little league; I made a brief career out of bunting from the 12-hole.

    Still, Guthrie can happily take his place amongst the most athletically gifted of Joseph Smith's followers, along with Danny Ainge, Roy Halladay, and Shawn Bradley Ty Detmer Scot Pollard. (Courtesy of, our favorite site chronicling Mormon achievement.)

    At least he has less competition for all-star teams in Heaven.

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    posted by Mr. Jay Tibbs @ 17:18, ,

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