Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Enjoying The 2008 Mutts' Collapse: Day 3

I'm enjoying the fact that the Mets collapsed and missed the playoffs for the second straight year almost as much as I'm enjoying the fact that the Phils are the team that toppled them for the second straight year.

Almost. But, it's close.

The similarities are striking...

* 2007: Mets blow a 7 1/2 game lead with 17 games remaining.
* 2008: Mets end up turning a 3 1/2 game lead September 11th into a 3 game deficit as the season ends (6 1/2 game swing).

* 2007: Mets season ends on their home field in a Sunday afternoon loss to the Marlins.
* 2008: Mets season ends on their home field in a Sunday afternoon loss to the Marlins.

* 2007: Phillies clinch division with an afternoon home win against the Nationals.
* 2008: Phillies clinch division with an afternoon home win against the Nationals.

What makes the 2008 swoon even better is that after losing the division on Saturday, they turn around the next day and lose the wild-card to the Brewers.

My New York Post headline would have been, "Shea, it ain't so."

So many similarities off the field, too. Let's compare images from Metsville 2007 and 2008 on the day each season died.











Warms the heart, doesn't it?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Muck The Fets!

Yep, it feels just as good as it did last year. Even more so, actually. The cocky, dancing-in-the-dugout Mets not only blew the division, but blew the wildcard, too.

Now Jose Reyes will have plenty of time in October to hone those dancing skills in time for next year.

Who knows, maybe had the Mets won the wildcard, or even the division - with the Phillies taking the wildcard - maybe the Phils would have better success than they're about to have, or not have, with the Brewers as their first round opponent. We'll never know.

The point is, I'm glad Milwaukee made it. They've waited 26 years for a playoff berth. The Phils and Brew Crew can have at it for this first round series, with the winning team hopefully going all the way to the World Series.

Reyes and his teammates can sashy their way to the nearest golf course. I'll gladly call to make the tee time.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What A Sports Day!

Now, that was a day of sports! Pardon me for not delving into all of the details of one of the best sports days in recent time on Sunday. Two reasons: I've had a fair amount of beer today, and I'm typing in the dark because my two-year old daughter wants to watch our Spongebob Squarepants: Halloween DVD in the dark.

Let's just say that it was one of the most exhilarating days of watching sports I've had in quite some time.

Among the highlights...

Early in the afternoon, I was following the Brewers-Reds game online. Milwaukee entered the day on life support in the NL wildcard race, trailing my Phillies by 3 games with just 7 to play. Of course, they built a big lead and were never really close to losing. They ended up winning big. Ok, not a real highlight of the day, but it was one of about a dozen games I was paying attention to.

One of the others early in the day, the Mets taking on the Braves in Hot 'Lanta. All I felt the Braves needed to do was to hang close to the Mets, and then get the Mets' bullpen involved. Then, it was simply a matter of sitting back and watching the Amazin's do what they do best...choke away a big lead.

Atlanta turned a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 lead with a run in the 7th, and four big ones in the 8th.

They held on for a 7-6 win, which gave the Phillies at the time a 1-game lead in the NL East.

This more than made up for the Brewers win.

Also going on early in the day, the White Sox trying to keep their 2 1/2 game lead in the AL Central over Minnesota. While the Phillies are my team, the White Sox are a close second, and it's been equally exciting and gut-wrenching following the Sox quest for a return trip to the playoffs.

The Sox got a tremendous performance from John Danks in a 3-0 lead. The Twins won as well, keeping the lead for the Sox at 2 1/2. The two teams play a 3-game series in Minnesota starting Tuesday.

As Hawk Harrelson would say, "Sit back, relax, and strap it down."

In addition to all of this, I was also paying close attention to several NFL games: I was keeping an eye on the Giants, hoping they would lose a very winnable game at home against the Bengals (New York won it in overtime).

I also followed the Bears second straight meltown - this time blowing a 10-point lead with under 4:00 to go in the 4th as they lost at home to Tampa Bay. I had heavy interest in the Bills/Raiders matchup in Buffalo as well.

I needed the Bills to win to keep me alive in the Last Man Standing pool that I'm in. We, um, are playing for "pretzels". Alot of them. My odds are slim, of course, but after the Bills -- my pick this week -- rallied from down 9 points in the 4th quarter, winning the game on a last second field goal, I was pumping my fist like I'd just sunk a putt to win the Masters.

Or, the Ryder Cup.

Yep, just another fantastic event going on as well this weekend. There's no way to prove it, but I did tell my brother last week that the U.S. would win, even though the mighty El Tigre would not be participating due to his injury. Turns out, Woods is a sub .500 player at The Ryder Cup, and I figured without Woods, the U.S. team would feel more relaxed, and losse, and play better.

In a dramatic three days of golf, the U.S. indeed won the event, sometime around mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Hard to tell the exact time, because after 3:00 p.m. central time, my focus was shifting to the most important sporting events of the day for me, the Eagles/Steelers game in Philly, and the Phillies/Marlins game in Florida - both getting started at about the same time.

It was quite a scene, with the golf, Eagles game, and tail end of the Bears game all being bounced around on the television, with the Phillies game on the computer (thanks to newsman Jay's MLB.TV account), plus the online updates of the end of the Sox game, and the Eagles game whenever that wan't on the TV.

The Eagles game did air in my market (Chicago), so I was able to watch both Brian Westbrook, and Donovan McNabb -- the two most indispensible Eagle players - go down with injuries in the first half. But the defense was playing very well, in Big Ben's face all day.

The Eagles would eventually hang on to a 15-6 win.

Meanwhile, the Phillies got out to a 2-0 lead on the Marlins. Philadelphia was looking for the series win, after an ultra-tense 3-2 win the night before (the game where Ryan Madson got out of a 2nd and 3rd, nobody out jam leading by one run).

The lead grew to 3-0, but the Marlins chipped away and made it 3-2 late. Then Pedro Feliz (Pete Happy, or Happy Peter as I like to call him) hit a 2-run bomb in the 8th, and the Phils hung on for the 5-2 win. Jamie Moyer continues to amaze me.

First place by 1 1/2 games over Los Mets, and maintaining a 3-game lead over the Brewers for the wildcard, with just 6 games to go.

It was 6 hours of pacing, drinking, nail-biting, drinking, talking to myself, drinking, fist-pumping, drinking, and in the end, several large exhales.

It's why I watch sports in the first place. Fortunately, most of today's events were good ones, for me at least.

Sure, the Phillies could go in a tailspin, and Westbrook could have a bad ankle injury that would severly hurt the Eagles' chances for a great season...but for one day at least, one outstanding day of watching sports, three different sports provided me with some fantastic moments.

Now I think I'll cool down with a ho-hum matchup between 2-0 Green Bay and 2-0 Dallas.

Yes, T.O., my popcorn is ready.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

D-Jax Allergic To Touchdowns?

Still recovering from watching the Eagles-Cowboys game. The back-and-forth game left me drained emotionally, and having to stay up until 11:00 p.m. (Central) to see it -- when I wake up each morning at 3:30 a.m. -- has left me drained physically as well.

The lasting image of the night is DeSean Jackson casually dropping the football after his long catch and run from Donovan McNabb, thinking he had already crossed the goal line.

Luckily, the Eagles were given possession at the 1-yard line, where Brian Westbrook would score from on the next play.

Credit to the ESPN crew for noting that Jackson had done something similarly stupid earlier in his career, doing a swan dive from the 5-yard line into the end zone, or so he thought.

He came up just a bit short, and also lost the ball.

The low-lights are below.

Andy Reid announced yesterday that every one of Jackson's future routes, no matter where the line of scrimmage is, will conclude with Jackson crossing the goal line first before the ball is thrown.

Quick side-note...hopefully D-Jax and D-Mac continue to make big plays for a long time. The fantastic nickname for the hookup of "five-and-dime" -- the jersey numbers for each player -- is just too good to not have with us for a long time.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's Gordon Ramsay's World...

...we just happen to live in it. In exciting news from Fox, Ramsay has signed on for a few more years of Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, and then some.

At least two more years of those shows will be produced -- in addition to the unaired season of Hell's Kitchen that's already in the can -- and several other projects from Ramsay will also make their way onto the Fox schedule that are mentioned in the article.

According to Variety, "Fox has also given Ramsay a blind commitment for a third series; in addition, the new pact calls for him to host a live cooking spesh in the upcoming season."

I love speshes!

Having to deal with the loss of The Wire, The Shield, Scrubs, and Battlestar Galactica within a calendar year, it's nice to know that Ramsay will be around for quite some time.

Now, piss off.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

NFL Returns

Technically the NFL season started Thursday night with the Giants 16-7 win over the Redskins, but the real season opener is Sunday.

This could be an interesting year for my beloved Iggles. If McNabb and Westbrook stay healthy, 10-6 sounds about right. If either of them goes down for any length of time, I'll be contacting Mel Kiper to see who the Eagles might be able to get with that top ten pick.

Given Philly's lack of depth -- and talent -- at wide receiver, the question marks during the preseason surrounding Shaun Andrews and his battles with depression, plus the talent in the NFC East, I wasn't that psyched about the upcoming season.

The only way to truly get revved up for the NFL, was to watch my alltime favorite NFL Films video.

So many great memories having watched -- and memorized -- this video numerous times as a kid. Thanks to the brilliance of Youtube, I'm able to share it with you below.

Can't even pinpoint my favorite soundbite...

"Get him out of there, because he has no hands."

"One time baby, one time. One time!"

"You marked it good, you did a helluva job."

"Let's run it. Let's run the Bumerooski."

"Come on defense, stop somebody."

"They're killing me, Whitey. Killing me!"


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Shield

The Shield is back for its final season. 13 episodes spiraling to what will certainly be an unforgettable ending.

Don't tell me you're not caught up. Click here for starters if you're behind on the show. Heck, it's been so long since an episode aired, I don't even remember what's been going on, and I've never missed an show.

The final season was filmed last summer for crying out loud. I shouldn't complain about the long wait, though. Soon enough, another brilliant show will soon be gone.

For those prepping for season 7, sit back, relax and strap it down. This is going to be a bumpy, and exhilarating ride.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Saturday 8/30: Brett Myers holds the Cubs' bats in check, and J.C. Romero strikes out the side in the 8th to preserve a 5-2 win over the Cubs.

Sunday 8/31: Jamie Moyer earns his 12th win of the year, thanks in part to two home runs by Jayson Werth, and the Phillies salvage a split with the Cubs after a 5-3 win.

Thank you, Mommy.

On to Washington to swat some Nats.