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Lazy JC: How I Really Hate Em

Anyone who’s know me for the past 32 years, would know, this week especially, that the title of this post would be directed at the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve hated them as far back as I can remember. Hated Danny White. Hated Randy White. Hated Ed “too tall” Jones, hated Tony Dorsett. Hated Tom Landry, even though I thought he was a class act, but he was a Cowboy. I even hated the Minnesota Vikings for several years, for making that awful Herschel Walker trade, which paved the way for the Cowboys to become good again. You know I hated Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith and Michael Irvin. Recently it’s been easy to hate the Cowboys, they employed very hate-able clowns like T.O. and Pacman Jones. I met Tony Romo at Tiger Woods’ event in Washington D.C. this past summer, and wanted to hate him, but he seemed like a nice guy. Then I saw that he could out drive me, and had a lower handicap, so can I hate him, again.

The problem with this week is, for the first time I can remember, I’m not sure if I want my Washington Redskins to blow the Cowboys off the field. In fact, there’s a part of me that wants the opposite to happen. I’m as confused as I’m sure you are reading this.

Photo via D.C. Sports Bog

Let me explain. I’ve been a Redskins fan my entire life and, as most fans this year, am absolutely sick about the state of the team. I’ve tried to find the silver lining in the moves the team made the past few years, hiring the owner’s racquetball partner as head of football operations, hiring an offensive coordinator before hiring a head coach, then, once they realized that no established coaches wants to come anywhere near this train wreck, hire said offensive coordinator to be the head coach, even though he’d never even been as much as a coordinator before. I’ve watched as they draft three receivers in the second round, while the offensive and defensive lines go neglected. Watched them throw huge signing bonuses at flash-in-the-pan players, while trading hard to come by commodities (like a shutdown cornerback), for easily obtained talent (productive running back). This year, I’ve watched the circus continue, as the racquetball partner proclaimed to everyone that the team had playoff talent, as they signed guys off the couch to bolster their terrible offensive line. Still, I tried to find the good in it all, the racquetball partner resigned. The son of one of the most recognizable and respected Redskin coaches was hired to run the team. They got a decent punter, for once. The kid they drafted in the first round has provided some badly needed pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, and the guy they threw $100 million at has helped him, during the 60% of defensive snaps that he plays. I thought that, perhaps, playing for a contract would bring out the best in the misused, damaged-goods quarterback who spent half of last season (and most of this season) pulling turf out of his helmet. At times, it has happened.

But, they started 2-6 against, arguably, the easiest schedule in football. The offensive coordinator-turned head coach was stripped of his play calling duties in favor of a guy who’d been volunteering at the bingo parlor. All a Redskins fan could do was endure the inevitable beatings that were sure to come, and wait longingly for that top pick in the draft next April.

Then the bastards knock Kyle Orton out of the game, make a few plays offensively, and beat the Denver Broncos, who’d started the season 6-0. They outplayed Dallas, Philly, and New Orleans for large stretches, before blowing all three games late. They go into Oakland and blow them out. Now, with a remade line paving the way for explosive runners Rock Cartwright, Quinton Ganther and Marcus Mason (huh?), the crappy, ’09 Redskins, at times, have looked like the ’83 Hogs. For a few games, at least. Still, last week’s performance against the Giants, at home, on Monday night, leaves D.C. anxiously, but cautiously, waiting for the showdown with the Cowboys this Sunday. While I’m sure the Giants game reminded most fans that this is still a bad team with many fundamental problems, and everyone realizes that Dallas is a better team, the small glimpses of hope the Redskins gave their fans the four weeks before Monday night has a few hoping that, maybe, they can pull this one off. After all, it’s Redskins-Cowboys. Throw the records out the window. Anything can happen, right?

Here’s were we get to my confusion. I know that my football team is a bad football team. I know that there’s going to have to be major changes made in the offseason for the organization to turn things around. I also have little faith in the people who are going to have to make those changes. Bruce Allen comes from a legendary football family, and actually has a nice football resume’, but he still has to work for Dan Snyder. I do know one thing, that losing to the Cowboys makes the owner of the Redskins very mad. I’m sure that, witnessing a big Cowboys win, in his own stadium, a week after another division rival embarrassed his team at home, will enrage him, to the point that may ensure that those changes get made. To the point where he actually allows the football man he’s hired to run the team, to run the team. I’ve never wanted the Redskins to lose a game, but can you see the bind I’m in? What to hope for? Instant gratification (I have a wing party at Hooters riding on this game!)? But, would a win give the clown calling the shots false hope for this team? Would he continue to think that they’re only a few pieces away from a real contender? Or do I hope for the greater good, a rousing defeat at that hands of the hated rivals, and decisive change that may renew this once great franchise?

I know that, as a sports fan, I’ve never felt this way about any team I’ve ever supported.

How I really hate ‘em.

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Posted by lazyjc22    Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Categories: Redskins

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LazyJC: An Idiot’s Retort

Recently some donk came on FatPickled and enlightened us about how much better the NBA is then NCAA basketball. Certainly, we’re all better for it, because, as we know, in this day and age, no one could be interested in good, old fashioned amateur sports. We must have the watered down, boring-beyond-belief professional version of what used to be a great game. I could go on a lengthy diatribe on how wrong the preceding post is, but to keep things relatively short, and relatively fair, I’ll just respond to each point made:

They play 3x as many games – I get sick of hearing people saying that college kids try harder. If your wife asks you to lay the wood once a day you’d go all out. Let her ask you to lay it 3x a day and see if you’re pulling out all the usual tricks each time.
-
Right, the college kids that are diving for every loose ball, battling for every rebound, taking charges left and right aren’t playing harder then the pros who walk up and down the court most of the game. True, the pro game is longer, and the season is, too (who’s fault is that? they get paid to play that many games), but the reasoning for the style of play is simple. The NBA fills seats by giving the thrill seeking audiences they’re trying to attract dunks and 3-pointers. No reason to waste energy on defense, when no one forking up hundreds of dollars for good seats wants to see it, anyway.

There are way too many white guys in college basketball…at times it almost seems unrealistic to me
-Not sure how to respond to this, does anyone think these white kids are taking roster spots from minority kids? Maybe they can play a bit, too. Regardless of their leaping ability.

College basketball never had LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, or Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady…should I keep going?
-Yes, college basketball also never had Martell Webster, Gerald Green, Shaun Livingston, Robert Swift, or Dorell Wright. Who are they? A few other first rounders out of high school. They’ve etched out a few years of getting paid, but none have developed into even a solid contributor. There’s a few more who have stuck around for a while, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler, come to mind. Again, no stars, just lost potential. You think a year or two of college may have helped their game (and career)? Now, perhaps they didn’t have the grades for college, but that’s why there’s the University of Texas, and Ohio State. Hell, Kobe’s recently spoken about how he regrets not playing in college.

High school players try pretty hard and want to win…does that mean I should compare them with NBA players?

-???

Sit courtside at a college game and then at a NBA game…the speed of the game is like comparing apples to oranges or better yet…women to men
-No, what you notice is the difference in strength, and the explosiveness that almost every player possesses. It’s like comparing men to, young men. It’s called maturation, and it steps up at each level. There’s no comparison in the athleticism and skill of the average NBA’er to the average college player. Still, when you walk the ball up the court every possession, how much added excitement does it generate? Half of the “highlight” plays that occur in the pro game is a result of an elite offensive player being guarded by an awful defensive player, and the rules of the game forbidding the defender from getting help. They’re trying to sell posters, too, you know.

It’s a possibility your girlfriend would bang Tyler Hansbrough…it’s a certainty your girlfriend would bang Dwayne Wade
- Most likely your girlfriend in college would have banged the Big Man on Campus, just for the notoriety. It’s a lock your girlfriend/wife would bang Dwayne Wade, he’s worth $100 million. So what? They’d bang Donald Trump, for the same reason.

There are 347 Division I teams consisting of about 4,200 college basketball players. Only sixty players are drafted into the NBA each year. That means only 1.4% of these kids are even good enough to ever step foot on an NBA floor
-Go through any NBA roster, and you’ll find an undrafted player. The NBA draft is as much of a crapshoot as any other professional league. Again, skill alone doesn’t guarantee quality of play.

I’m guessing you still want amateur players to represent USA in the Olympics?
-My personal favorite. When the world got sick of losing to our amateurs, they developed basketball programs that copied the likes of Russell, Chamberlain, Irving, Alcinder, Bird, Johnson and Jordan. In other words, players who were excellent basketball players, not just physical freaks who could dunk. Once our younger generation of players became more concerned with garnering shoe contracts, then perfecting their games, we had to send pros to win international competitions. And in case you didn’t notice in Athens, our second tier pros can’t win. That’s how bad the quality of basketball has fallen in the U.S. That’s why USA Basketball hired a college coach to win back the gold.

Name one NBA player that is so skinny he has to wear a t-shirt under his jersey
-Its called league uniform policy violation. Although, with all the obscene tats we see, they may want to re-think it.

Name one NBA player with pimples

-The ones who leave after one year of college (not Greg Odom, though. I’m convinced he’s really 35).

ATHLETICISM, ATHLETICISM, ATHLETICISM…like Shaq says, Lebron should be a cheat code
-Agreed. So why is the league so boring?

One question for basketball fans (and idiots) out there; you can attend one more sporting event in your life. You can choose between half-court floor seats at Game 7 of the NBA Finals, or seats behind either bench at Duke-UNC at Cameron Indoor. What would it be?
The Association has the better athletes, and players, of course. But does it have the atmosphere? Does it have the passion? There’s a reason Dick Vitale covers the college game, while Dr. Jack Ramsay speaks for the pros. It’s just a difference in attitude, and I’ll take the Madness over the organized dunk contest that the NBA has become. Decide for yourself. Just don’t listen to your bartender :)

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Posted by lazyjc22    Date: Friday, May 22, 2009

Categories: LazyJC, NBA, NCAA

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Lazy JC “Smithers, are they booing me?”

(Smithers’ response: “No sir, they’re saying Boo-urns, Boo-urns.”)

Keeping in theme with today’s movie-quote post, I can’t help but comment on the frequency of TV generated quotes that run through my head, in reaction to most everyday occurrences. One happened just Monday, as I sat at home, enjoying my spring break, watching the O’s host the Yankees on Opening Day.

Orioles fans, finally with some hopes of backing a respectable team (the starting pitching is not good, but they’re going to be a fun team to watch), made a conscious effort to taunt, jeer, and boo Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira at every opportunity. When he was announced during pre-game festivities, during his at-bats (not just at his announcement, but during the ENTIRE at-bat), and even whenever he handled the ball at first base. Now, for a lot of Yankees, this is nothing new. Derek Jeter gets heckled mercilessly at ballparks around the country. A-Roid will have to play with earplugs this year. It’s common, and, usually, expected. Now, why had the Baltimore fans singled out Teixeira, as I assume they’ll continue to do all season? Easy, the Orioles offered the Severna Park, Md. native $140 this past offseason to man first base near to his childhood home. Of course, shortly after, the Yankees swooped in and offered $180 million. Teixeira, like any of us, took the money and donned the pinstripes.
Should he be faulted for turning his back on the team he watched play as a kid?

No, he’s admitted many times that, while an O’s fan, his favorite player was Don Mattingly. How can you blame a guy for following in the footsteps of their hero? Fox Sports writer Ken Rosenthal and ESPN Radio blowhard Colin Cowherd have made thier opinions on this matter known, blasting the Baltimore fans for being classless, and clueless, like they ever really had a chance to land Tex in the first place.
Granted, it’s thier job to stir-up controversey and fan interest, they’ve got to attract readers and listeners somehow. Still, it’s times like these that make want to drive my car off a cliff when I listen, keeping in mind how much they’re being paid to blabber on about such stupid and meaningless things. Newsflash: Mark Teixeira will get booed in most American League parks simply because he’s a Yankee. While a lot of folks can’t remember the time there was a Baltimore-New York rivalry, is it even unexpected for a Yankee to be dealt with hostilely in Camden Yards? You think the reaction will be much different in Fenway? Are the O’s fans bitter? Sure they are. So what? My only regret is, that unlike the Simpsons’ episode it reminded me of, the fans didn’t pelt Teixeira with soft pretzels, the way the fans of the Sringfield Isotopes did to Mr. Burns. Tex has $180 million reasons to be completely unaffected by the boos, maybe he can lend a few to the national sports media to give it a rest.


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Posted by lazyjc22    Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Categories: LazyJC, Orioles

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LazyJC: Fun for Everyone (Even the Wife!)

Fatpickle’s note: Please help me in welcoming LazyJC to Fatpickled. True to his nickname, he has finally produced his first post… 3 months after being hired. JC studied journalism at JMU, his mom is an English teacher, and he’s also a teacher himself. All of that makes him overqualified for this blog. I’ve enjoyed his dry humor and knowledge of sports for many years, hope you guys do too. Welcome aboard JC.

While I’m watching my tournament brackets get completely busted (I’ve never put faith in Jim Boeheim and his crappy zone defense before, why did I do it now?) it’s still hard for the smile to go away. Quite simply, this is the best time for a sports fan to be alive. And I say that with a solid history of being a fanatic supporter of the NFL and college football, yet there’s no pigskin in sight.


At the beginning of March Madness, my wife usually gets mad, knowing that I’ll be plastered in front of the TV throughout Rivalry Week, Conference Championship Week, and then every Thursday through Sunday during the actual NCAA Tournament (not to mention the NIT games during the rest of the week). She whines and cries that there’s always a game on, and I’ll put college basketball before her in my priorities (and says it like it’s a bad thing). For a time, she’ll banish herself to the bedroom, while I watch in the living room, sprawled on the couch. I’ve always asked her to watch with me, and she’ll retort that I don’t really want her to (honestly, as long as she’s quiet, I don’t mind). However, even she isn’t immune from the pull of the bracket. There she was, yelling at the TV, as her father’s alumnus, Villanova, struggled in their opening round game against American University.Knowing I’d picked them to make it to the Elite Eight, she watched with me as they dispatched UCLA, and, while she didn’t stay up to see the Wildcats whip-up on Duke, she did ask if I was going to DVR it.

In the back of her mind, she knows that this late March – early April orgy of sports entertainment doesn’t stop with college basketball. If the tournament isn’t on, there’s a spring training game on. Or a playoff-chase NHL game, or an NFL draft anaylysis, or a pre-Master’s tune-up PGA Tour event. The best thing about this time of year, is that my wife is right, there’s always something on! While there’s a lot less drama on frozen pond this season, as my beloved Washington Capitals are securely in control of their division, she remembers last season’s mad dash to the playoffs, and we watched every second of their push for the postseason, jumping around like the crazy Russian kids that play for the Caps, going nuts after every goal (I’ve asked Ted Leonsis if he’d change the team’s motto from “Rock the Red”, to “Rock the Red Army”, as half the squad is comprised of Ruskies, fun to watch Ruskies, I’ll add).

Just when the Madness subsides, Opening Day is here, as is the tradition like no other. The first week of April brings us the shouts of “Play Ball!”, and the hushed tones of Jim Nance calling the action at Augusta National. Again, though not a sports fan, my wife will gladly skip work with me to watch every Opening Day game that’s televised, and she’d never miss watching Tiger, or anyone for that matter, play Amen Corner. How could things be better? Perhaps we should begin petitioning Churchill Downs to move the Kentucky Derby up a few weekends, just to get it into the mix.

Anyway, though March has just flown by, and April will come an go just as quickly, remember that it’s okay to take it all in. This is what we sports fans live for (at least until training camp opens), stop and smell the azaelas. Just pick a few for the wife, so you don’t get into too much trouble.

LazyJC

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Posted by lazyjc22    Date: Saturday, March 28, 2009

Categories: LazyJC, NCAA

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