Category Archives: Beyond Seattle

Beyond Seattle: UFC fighter breaks leg in disgustingly amazing fashion

UFC fighter Corey Hill is famous. But probably not for the reasons he wanted. Hill broke his leg in dramatic fashion earlier this week by snapping it against his opponent’s shin in a live, nationally broadcast UFC fight. The break occurred early in the second round and there was a five- to ten-second delay between the time Hill’s leg snapped in two and the time the fight was called off.

Here’s the video, and we warn you that it contains graphic footage and is probably not for the faint of heart. Also, if you want to fast-forward to the “good parts,” the live moment occurs around the 7:30 mark, while the slow-motion version can be seen around the 9:10 point.

The only thing I could think of that compared to the look of Hill’s lower leg when he broke it was the scene in the first X-Men movie when the senator who hates mutants is transformed into a fish-like being that liquifies before melting completely into water. Hill, who also resembles Dhalsim from Street Fighter, looked rather amphibious upon breaking his leg. Flat-out amazing.

Beyond Seattle: Can We Get a BCS Playoff? Pleeeeeeeease??

Everyone knows the BCS is garbage. College Bowls are outdated, anticlimactic, and trivial. It’s a dog and pony show, and in this day and age sports fans need a real champ–a clear, undisputed champ. Even though I agree that the teams in the National Championship game are the two best teams in the country, it’s still not a legitimate way to choose a the champion of 119 teams.

Like I said, we need a clear, undisputed winner. Right now it’s like Joe Louis and George Foreman fighting for the heavyweight crown while Muhammad Ali was suspended for draft dodging–THERE ARE CLEARLY OTHER TEAMS QUALIFIED ENOUGH TO HAVE A SHOT.

A playoff is needed, there’s no doubt about that. The guys at ESPN showed a hypothetical 8 team playoff bracket on College Football Live based on Barack Obama’s proposition. After seeing it, I wasn’t satisfied. 8 teams is nowhere near enough. 16 is the number we’re looking for. With a 16 team playoff, not only can we include the winner of every major conference (something Obama’s 8 team playoff doesn’t do), every undefeated team (12-0 Boise State was not in the 8 team playoff), and as many teams from each conference that are deserving (instead of the current BCS rule that doesn’t allow more than two teams from one conference to be in BCS bowls, causing a weak 10-2 Ohio State team, ranked 10th, to get a bowl birth over 11-1 Texas Tech, ranked 7th, who’s only loss came to #1 Oklahoma).

My proposed 16 team playoff doesn’t eliminate the bowls either. It’s simple: there are four brackets of four teams–the Rose Bracket, Fiesta Bracket, Orange Bracket, and Sugar Bracket. When those brackets get narrowed down to two teams, the two teams qualify to play in the respective bowl. The winner of each major conference automatically gets the top 6 seeds (ranking them based on BCS standing), then the rest of the 16 teams go according to BCS rank (except to make small changes to avoid same-conference teams matching up in the first round). The winner’s of the Pac 10 and Big 10 automatically go to the Rose Bracket, ACC to the Orange Bracket, Big 12 to the Fiesta, and SEC to the Sugar (regardless of rank; these are the current assignments). First round match ups go according to seeding (1 v. 16, 2 v. 15, 3 v. 14, etc.).

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. The at large games, first round games that do not have an automatic qualifier (one game in each bracket except Rose), are assigned based on an invitation system, much like teams are invited to bowls now.

It would only take 4 weeks, meaning if it started Saturday 12/13 it would end the week before the current national championship game on 1/3. That makes the “a playoff would make the season too long” argument void. Here is what the bracket would look like:

(For clearer image go to http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&preview&suggest&note_id=53253762848#/photo.php?pid=27582&op=1&view=all&subj=53253762848&aid=-1&oid=53253762848&id=1072633568)

Once the second round is finished (the bowl games have been played), the final four will compete in a BCS Tournament of Champions (cheesy name, but accurate). Whoever comes out of that will be the crowed champion. Based on my predictions, the final four would be USC, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Florida–in other words, the four best teams in the country.

The best part: you can still play those other bowls and the smaller schools can get their cash out. They could even have those first round games be some of the bigger non-BCS bowls. There are a lot of options. Basically what I’m saying is that it would be an easy transition, contractual/sponshorship-wise, from the current bowl system.

Hopefully, someday, the powers at be will reward college football fans for their years of whining by actually putting together a playoff. I would settle for eight teams, but 16 would be way more exciting. Just look at some of those potential matchups; it could become as big of deal as March Madness–brackets, office pools, the whole works. There’s a lot of money that could be made.

If you guys have anything to add or change, or if you have a way to get in contact with President Elect Obama, please comment and let me know.

Beyond Seattle: I hate Tony Romo, too

The Compton Honkies are a jovial band of rapscallions that play fantasy football home games in a make-believe stadium in the real life city of Compton, California. The Honkies are led by running back Steve Slaton and wide receiver Terrell Owens, and all fourteen of the players on the roster get along just fine. Our mascot is 80’s pop icon Rick Astley and this week we take on the Tehran Ninja Kittens4Justice in the semifinal matchup of the Pearce Fantasy League. Needless to say, we desperately need strong performances from our star players, which is why right now, we’re hating Tony Romo pretty badly.

The national media would like you to believe that Terrell Owens is a divisive force and the individual solely responsible for the turmoil surrounding the Dallas Cowboys these days. Wrong. Terrell Owens is a saint. I know Terrell Owens kind of, and he’s a beautiful person. He’s been on my fantasy team more than once, and I saw him one time in person. No problems with him whatsover. Now I don’t know Tony Romo, but I’ll tell you what, anyone who hates on Terrell Owens is probably pro-war and anti-love. Tony Romo strikes me as a kitten/puppy hater too. My God, how can you hate on kittens and puppies?

If that’s not enough convincing for you, allow me to present more evidence on behalf of the wonderful Terrell Owens:

  • When was the last time you saw Tony Romo weep publicly and declare that Terrell Owens is “his receiver?” Never, that’s when. T.O. will cry for you Tony, but you’re not man enough to shed your tears for him? You bastard.
  • T.O. swallowed a bottle of pills in an attempt to show the world that he was willing to die for Tony Romo, his quarterback. How does Tony repay the unconditional love of T.O.? He throws the ball to Jason Witten. Jason Witten probably wouldn’t take two Tylenol for your ass.
  • Terrell Owens once called Jeff Garcia “gay.” Romo is much gayer than Garcia, and has anyone ever heard T.O. even hint that Romo may be gay? No. What a nice guy.
  • Tony Romo rooms with Jason Witten on road trips. Terrell Owens shouldn’t have to sleep with anyone to win their affection. Jason Witten, where are your morals?

If this were a Lifetime movie, Tony Romo would be the ungrateful cheating husband that betrays his loving, affectionate, ample-bosomed beautiful wife, played by Terrell Owens. Tony, I just want to know how you can wake up each morning, look yourself in the mirror, and say “I am a good person,” when the one person who loves you more than anyone else in the entire world is sleeping cold and alone in another room, and that harlot Jason Witten is laying there next to you trying to wreck what was a once a beautiful, loving, affectionate relationship. Damn you, Tony.

Beyond Seattle: UVA coach fires son

Christmas in the Groh household should be interesting this year. That’s because University of Virginia head football coach Al Groh (pictured left) was faced with the tough task of giving his offensive coordinator, who moonlights as Groh’s son, the ax earlier this week. Mike Groh, former O.C. for your fightin’ Virginia Cavaliers, is now out of work and likely willing to mow the lawn, wash the car, walk the dog, or take out the trash for a few extra bucks. If his dad is willing to let him do that.

Not that Groh Senior isn’t justified for canning his kid. The Cavaliers had a pretty crappy offense and Mike Groh had become the subject of fan and media scrutiny during his three-year tenure. But come on. Whatever happened to providing for your children, sacrificing for their every need? You would think father and son would go down fighting together, for the good of the family name, a noble act of kinship and love. But no. Not as far as Crazy Al “Davis” Groh is concerned.

I’m interested to know the sequence of events leading up to Mike Groh’s termination. I think I could legally represent Mike pretty well, because let’s face it, there has to be some sort of protocol for firing your kid. Let’s see, Mike, did your dad ever spank you as a child? Were you given the opportunity to sit in time out and think about your poor performance? Does mom know? These are questions we need answers to.

All of this got me thinking about another interesting scenario that could crop up here in the near future. Some of you may be aware that newly appointed Tennesee head coach Lane Kiffin has hired his father, Monte, to run the Volunteers’ defense next season. The elder Kiffin has long been an NFL defensive coordinator, and is generally considered one of the great defensive minds of our generation. But let’s say all that Monte Kiffin genius doesn’t translate to the SEC. And the fire starts burning underneath Lane Kiffin. And Lane is faced with the prospect of, God forbid, terminating his own father. Then what? Could this really happen? Could we really, truly see a man sell his own dad out for the better good of himself? “Pop, mom’s behind me on this and I just want you to know that it’s over, you’re fired. I’ll see you at dinner. Also, I need to borrow the station wagon.”

Welcome to the new era of college football, where flesh and blood means nothing and no one is safe.

Beyond Seattle: Individual Power Rankings

The IPR’s are back after a one-week hiatus. Here’s your list of this week’s five most powerful people in sports. Enjoy.

5. Jack Zduriencik. The new Mariners GM extended his reach by reassigning almost everyone in the organization, revamping the front office, signing off on manager Don Wakamatsu’s field hirings, inking power hitter Russ Branyan to a deal, promoting and demoting players on a near-daily basis, and talking to the Ken Griffey, Jr. A busy week for a man faced with low expectations and an organization willing to do whatever he says it will take to win.

On a side note, which of the following individuals is the real Jack Zduriencik?

4. Manny Pacquiao. He stands 5’6″. He’s a national hero in the Philippines. He’s one of the wealthiest fighters in the world. He’s fought professionally in seven different weight classes. He will beat Oscar de la Hoya. He ran away from home as a child because his dad ate his dog. No joke. Not only is Pacman a bad-ass, but he’s the kind of bad-ass PETA could love. Pacquiao is the man.

3. Mike Leach. How far is Mike Leach willing to go to get paid? The answer: At least 2818 miles. That’s the official round trip distance between Seattle and Lubbock, Texas, which Mike Leach made earlier this week in an interview with the University of Washington athletic department. Not only was Leach willing to fly to UW to discuss the football team’s head coaching vacancy, but he just as willingly accepted a coach ticket on a plane that had a layover in Vegas. My guess is if UW had sent Leach a pair of running shoes and a backpack, he would have found his way as quickly as possible to Montlake, just so Texas Tech would pony up some cash he rightfully deserves. Whether he actually had eyes on the Washington job may never be known, but one thing is certain: Mike Leach is about to get paid.
2. University of Buffalo football team. Congratulations, Bulls! You just saved the BCS from further embarrassment by knocking off previously unbeaten Ball State University for the Mid-American Conference championship. BSU was pining for a BCS bowl bid that they likely would not have received, with an end result that would have sent fan and media criticism flying at the already-loathed BCS. Instead, Buffalo stepped up to the challenge and came away with an unprecedented win on Friday night, sparing the Bowl Championship Series brass, and stunning Ball State in the process.

1. Alex Rodriguez. Alex Rodriguez is Dominican. No, wait, he’s American. Hold on a sec, he’s Dominican again. A-Rod doesn’t know what the hell he is. So he gets to choose. That’s great. If only we could all choose our ethnic backgrounds. A-Rod wants to play for the Dominican Republic in the next World Baseball Classic. Never mind that he was born in New York, grew up in Miami, and lived a mere four years in the D.R. as a young child. Or that he represented the United States in the last WBC. Or that with each passing day, Rodriguez’s Spanish accent actually seems to get thicker. Alex wants you to believe he’s Dominican, but Alex is about as Dominican as Michael Jordan is Nigerian.

It doesn’t help that Alex Rodriguez is already the most superficial celebrity on the face of the planet. Or that he’s dating a crazy lady twice his age, with an artificial accent of her own and skin like ivory beef jerky. Or that his first wife was just as nuts as his current girlfriend. Or that he cheated on that first wife of his. Or that he plays for the Yankees. Or that he has betrayed every organization he’s ever been a part of. Or that he has more money than most of us will ever see. We don’t want him anyways. The Dominican can have him.

Beyond Seattle: Plax-gate continues


After seeing images of Giants wideout Plaxico Burress being led to a New York courthouse in handcuffs yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that this was one of the best-dressed soon-to-be-convicts I’d ever seen. Considering this was a guy who had shot himself in the leg just days earlier, I was impressed by the sense he had to piece together a nice wardrobe as he marched to what will ultimately be remembered as the beginning of his funeral.

In the past 48 hours, Burress has been verbally assaulted left and right not for accidentally pulling the trigger on himself, but simply for owning and carrying a gun. Lots of people own guns. Lots of people carry them around in public. Some of them even fire their guns illegally. America isn’t mad at Plaxico because he owns a gun and happened to shoot it. America is mad at Plaxico because Plaxico is Plaxico, and Plaxico is a bonehead.

We are a hypocritical people. We’re especially hypocritical when celebrities are involved. Take for instance the curious case of Marvin Harrison. Harrison, for those of you who don’t know, is a future-Hall of Fame receiver for the Indianapolis Colts. Over this past offseason, Harrison allegedly brandished and fired a pistol at a bar he owns in Philadelphia. A bullet from the gun matching the one owned by Harrison struck a man in the hand. Casings matching the very same gun were found at the scene. This story was barely a blip on our radar and has yet to be solved, yet Harrison is all but innocent in the public spectrum.

Through society’s tunnel vision, Burress and Harrison are two very different people. Burress is cocky. Harrison is humble. Burress is lazy. Harrison is tireless. Burress is an idiot. Harrison is intelligent.

In reality, there are just as many similarities between the two. Both own guns. Both have had past transgressions with the law. Both have allegedly fired their guns in public.

Now to be fair, Marvin Harrison does possess a concealed weapons license, while Plaxico Burress, as we just found out, does not. So there’s always the possibility that we are discriminating against Plax because he illegally owns his weapon, while Harrison is legally entitled to tote his gun around. Of course, license or no license, publicly displaying and firing a gun is considered illegal no matter the circumstances and since both individuals have been accused of committing such an act, they are essentially on an even playing field.

Let’s face facts. Marvin Harrison is as close to a model citizen as the NFL gets. He’s quiet, modest, and plays the game hard. By contrast, Burress is everything we hate about American professional athletes. He’s brash, flamboyant, and occasionally slacks off when playing. The fact of the matter is we hardly heard anything about Marvin Harrison when he for certain got in a fight with a patron at his bar (he has already admitted to a physical altercation), and then allegedly shot that individual with a gun that he very certainly owns. Yet when Plaxico Burress allegedly shoots himself in the leg with a gun that he likely owns, the American public wants to send him to prison for at least a few years to send a message that this is not ok.

I’m not defending either one of these individuals for their actions. But here we are turning a blind eye to Harrison’s behavior, while we labor over how severely we can punish Burress. How can we justify sending a guy who committed an act of stupidity to prison for a number of years, when someone like Harrison is free to live his life without question for allegedly committing an act of outward violence? The only reason public figures like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg want to prosecute Plaxico Burress to the “fullest extent of the law” is because Plax has had a down year, is the poster boy for “lazy overpaid athlete,” and committed an act of sheer idiocy by shooting his own damn self.

Americans should be paying more attention to teenagers involved in gang shooting deaths, like the one that happened last week at Tukwila’s Southcenter Mall, than some fool who keeps a loaded gun in his pants (literally, not figuratively). Besides being a joke, what Plaxico did is foolish and nothing more and there’s no reason he should go to prison for what he did when society will punish him for years to come for being dumb. Instead of worrying about what our celebrities are doing, let’s worry about where kids are getting their weapons, why we can’t clean up our neighborhoods, why gangs are making a resurgence, and why teenagers are being murdered. If we want to send a message, let’s forget about Plaxico Burress and start worrying about things that actually matter.

Beyond Seattle: NBA contracts have hurt players, not teams

Stephon Marbury (pictured left) seems to hate life these days. The part-time New York Knick has yet to play a single minute of basketball this season, yet still remains on the bench each game in street clothes. He’s not injured, and has more pure talent than most of his teammates. Starbury has even been offered the chance to play, which he politely refused.

Steph isn’t playing because Steph doesn’t want to play. He feels slighted by the organization and wants to move on to another team. The only problem is no other team wants Marbury’s services. Burdened with a bad attitude and a hefty contract, the one-time point guard is the equivalent of a tumor in anyone’s locker room. Partly to blame for the team’s recent misfortunes, Marbury is the only Knick to have been with the club throughout the entirety of their five-year demise.

Marbury is the perfect example of the fiscal irresponsibility of NBA teams over the past decade. During an era in which spending across America has increased every year prior to this one, NBA owners were reaching deep into their pockets to obtain any and every asset they possibly could to help win ballgames. The New York Knicks are perhaps the biggest culprits of all.

In addition to the Marbury flub, Knicks owner James Dolan also opted to shell out a four-year, $25-million deal to black hole Jerome James (pictured right); a four-year, $33-million deal to ill-advised shooter Quentin Richardson; a five-year, $43-million deal to me-first point guard Jamal Crawford; and a five-year, $52-million deal to the obese Eddy Curry. The Knicks also took on the contracts of such players as forwards Zach Randolph (five years, $73-million) and Malik Rose (seven years, $42-million), and guard Steve Francis (three years, $53-million). In absorbing such foolishly lucrative pacts, the Knicks are perhaps the only team to be severely crippled by bad decision-making. By contrast, most teams have been able to withstand one or two contractual miscues, while the players, instead, have been most likely to experience negative repercussions.

So how, exactly, have NBA teams been able to escape major setbacks when doling out such ridiculous contracts? Because of the league-imposed salary cap (which, by comparison, is not nearly as confining as the very stringent NFL salary cap), the term “expiring contract” has become the phrase du jour of the NBA, seemingly popping up in every single trade. Teams wishing to build towards the future no longer acquire draft picks or up-and-comers. Instead, they look to obtain veteran players with contracts set to expire in a short amount of time. In collecting such players, teams can free up an abundance of salary cap space all at once and use the extra money to pursue more attractive free agents in the offseason. Currently, a major push to clear cap space is being made for the summer of 2010, when a loaded free agent class will hit the market and draw interest from every club.

Because of the “expiring contract” phenomenon, the players themselves are now more than ever being viewed as financial assets. Rather than commit to younger players who can make an impact on the floor now, ownership and management are more apt to take on the short-term vet who will help increase the bottom line a year from now and thus set up the organization for future successes. Talented veteran players who haven’t lived up to their big contracts are only counted on to bring financial relief to a team rather than a championship. That’s why guys like Marbury, for all his inherent ability, will find it difficult to land another job in the NBA after so miserably failing to perform over the past three years.

To elaborate on this idea we can examine some of the other irrationally contracted NBA players. Knicks center Jerome James, whose contract won’t expire until 2011 when he turns 36 years of age, will be hard-pressed to land a new deal after appearing in just two games last season and carving out his own personal seat on the bench since signing in 2006. Eddy Curry, laden with heart and weight problems during his tenure, will witness his contract run out in the summer of 2010. At age 28, he, like James, will have a tough time finding work at that point. The big-contract era has priced out many players before this as well. Just ask the likes of Latrell Sprewell (pictured left) and Jim McIlvaine, among others.

Essentially, the Stephon Marburys, Jerome Jameses, and Eddy Currys of the world are victims of their own greed. They’ve priced themselves out of their own line of work by failing to live up to the monetary incentives presented to them. General managers and owners are partly to blame for paying athletes much more than they’re truly worth, but the desire and motivation to improve and give 100% at all times is likely lost on some of the players who are already guaranteed a contract regardless of performance. The current state of the NBA continues to favor teams, no matter how much they dish out to undeserving players. Owners will undoubtedly continue writing checks their players can’t cash, and players, in turn, will keep on handicapping themselves with an inability to live up to the incentives.