Bartender Banter: Who's the worst?

Make no mistake, the Pittsburgh Pirates Chicago Cubs are the worst team in the National League. The Pirates, a mere 2.5 games behind the Cubs at least have a winning record at home. Ugh, I don't even have the heart to rant about this. Bottom line is, when you have the 7th highest payroll in the majors, and you post the 4th worst record in the league, rank 30th (that's last for those that can't count) in RBI's, and 6th in most runs allowed, somebody should be getting fired.

"But Chip, they suffered some key injuries early on that they just couldn't recover." Give me a break. Granted Prior, Wood, and Lee are important pieces to the puzzle, but honestly, how many more wins would they have really bought this team? There seems to be even less accountability in the Cubs disaster season than there was in the Hurricane Katrina relief debacle. Not to compare their season to a horrible natural disaster, but shit, someone man up and take some blame for this nonsense.

Ahh, there's not enough coffee to keep going this morning. I'll just hang my head and tune in to today's 11:35 game to hear the Cubs squander yet another one. It's baseball in the AM! Mateo vs. Santos! Cubs! Pirates! Feel the excitement!

Football is here....finally
Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means that football season has officially arrived. I can now focus some attention towards a couple of teams that know how to win. The Bears and the Hawkeyes. So pardon me while I attempt to alienate a chunk of our established readership by blathering about both these teams for a bit.

One positive for the Bears this season, is they won't be relying on that guy (pictured left) to lead the offense. The negative, Chicago's offense is still in the hands of papier-mache doll Rex Grossman. But its ok, we got a solid backup plan this year. So on opening day, when AJ Hawk looks at Grossman the wrong way causing his leg to fall off, we'll have the scrappy Brian Griese to take over. I feel a little bit better knowing our backup is good enough to start elsewhere and has some solid experience under his belt. No offense to Orton, but this team is ready to win now, and this offense can't rely on the defense for all its scores again.

More negative, the Bears offense has looked atrocious this preseason. I know its only preseason but they haven't looked sharp at all. We'll see if things start to come together on thursday against Cleveland. Chicago has two solid running backs in veteran Thomas Jones and second-year stud Cedric Benson. Jones looked outstanding in the first half last season, but injuries took their toll later on. The Bears receivers will have a better QB throwing to them this year, so hopefully Muhsin Muhammad and company will find the end zone a little more. Also look out for WR Mark Bradley to emerge. He's getting some buzz.

Defensively the Bears should still be solid. It'll be hard to repeat last year's performance, but Brian Urlacher, Mike Brown and the rest of the gang are still the biggest strong point of this squad.

The Bears start the season at Lambeau Field, which will be a tough opening act. I look for the Green Bay crowd to be relentless and Favre to have one of his monster games in what could be his last opening day start, as the Pack humiliates us. Then all week the media will question whether the Bears are all they're cracked up to be followed up by them destroying the Lions in Week 2.

Now on to the Hawkeyes. I have a little higher hopes for the Hawks than I do for the Bears this year, and I'm not the only one. ESPN has been dry-humping the Hawks even more than they usually do and they're picked by several media outlets to vie for the Big Ten title.

First off you couldn't ask for a better schedule. 7 home games and 5 road games. Of the 5 road games the only one of real consequence is October 21 when they head to Ann Arbor. Other than that, they have to visit Syracuse, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota, none of which should be a terrible threat. They're biggest test will be September 30 when they face the Buckeyes at Kinnick.

But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves here. There's a game early on that means just as much to every Hawkeye fan than any Big Ten matchup. Of course I'm talking about Iowa State. This season will mean nothing to me if they fail to beat the Sucklones.

The Hawkeye offense will be led by senior QB Drew Tate, who's getting some preseason Heisman hype. Tate has been a solid signal caller for Iowa and is great at throwing on the run, making him a tough guy for defenses to get to. Running the ball will be Albert Young who ran for 1334 yards last season as a sophomore. The Hawkeye receivers are a little young but Tate will get help from a solid stable of tight ends led by senior Scott Chandler.

On defense the Hawks have two huge holes to fill at linebacker with the absence of Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway. But their defensive line looks to be a real threat to QB's most in part to defensive end Kenny Iwebema. The defensive backfield is led by senior Marcus Paschal.






This is Kenny. He eats pieces of shit like you for breakfast.









Anyway, its shaping up to be an exciting fall. Here's to the Bears in the Super Bowl, the Hawks in a BCS bowl, and the Cubs management getting fired!

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