Let's Get Down To Business

September 29, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

The Cubs have won the National League Central Division. Boo-ya!

When I got home from work today, the Cubs game was not on here in San Diego. Rather than sitting at my laptop and clicking "refresh" a billion times to see scoring updates, we headed out to Applebees to watch the Padres (hopefully) pound the Brewers.

They did. Division won. I am now wearing my brand new Cubs socks. They are awesome. Teams will bow to their greatness.

I know we all want to savor this moment, but there's still business to be taken care of. We've qualified for the second season. Now we just have to make sure we steamroll through the rest of the pretenders in the league and hoist that World Series trophy high.

The Mets? Chokers. Diamondbacks? Aren't even old enough to drink. Padres? Hell, their own coach beats them up!

We've got the pitching. Other than that series in Florida, our bats seem to be waking up at just the right time.

Let's celebrate tonight. Let's wake up and keep the party going through tomorrow. But as soon as Monday morning comes around, we all have to get back to work. And so do the Cubs.

Fuck 2003. And 2004-2006.

Cubs Clinch! Playoffs! Seriously...the F'n Playoffs! Tim McCarver, I Hate You But I Love the Thought of You!

September 28, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Cubs win! They've been drinking! You've been drinking! I've been drinking!

Good God, I love it. The resulting celebration on Comcast (which sadly, the majority of you fans outside of Chicago weren't privy to) was nothing short of GLORIOUS! You've got Ron Santo chugging Coronas, Mike Harkey making cameo appearances, Snoop Dogg blaring in the background and cheap champagne being sprayed with no regard for people wearing contacts.

The Cubs are in the playoffs! The Cubs are in the playoffs!

Matt Murton was interviewed with Jason Marquis and their tag team interview was nothing short of revolutionary. Thunder's shock of red hair screamed 'playoff hero'. Jason Marquis' ill advised beard screamed 'bullpen at best'. Lou Piniella may or may not have had a boner. That may be me, not Lou. Mark DeRosa was drunk yet resilient.

This is one of the greatest days of my life. I haven't been this happy since I beat 'Duck Hunt' by sitting 3 inches from the TV. What a day that was. What a day this is! I am not above dancing with my cat. I will dry hump Ron Santo's toupee!

I was going to go down to Wrigleyville tomorrow had the Brewers won, but I guess I'll settle for the next best thing. Getting drunk alone and texting all my friends.

Go Cubs Go. This is it kiddies. We're gonna win this thing. I will bet anyone a Turkey Tom from Jimmy John's. If you're not on board, screw you. Don't judge me. As God as my witness the Cubs will reign supreme. Thunder Matt will prevail. Good night and good luck!

*Ok, the celebration on TV is over now and I'm listening to Dave Letterman interview Paris Hilton about jail. Christ, this is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. Wow, so awkward. YouTube this thing. But that's neither here nor there. Cubs....PLAYOFFS!

You Make the Call: Cubs Clinch Edition

September 28, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

The Milwaukee Brewers.............or............The Milwaukee Brewers

Cubs clinch!

A Thunder Matt Movie Minute

September 28, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

The Kingdom

"Unlike that other Jamie Foxx war movie that came out last year with a Kanye West song in the trailer, this Jamie Foxx war movie with a Kanye West song in the trailer is actually really good."

As has been chronicled, Chaim Witz is a big fan of The Kingdom. In an earlier post I said of this potential blockbuster, "You know the feeling you get on a roller coaster, where your genitalia starts to tingle? That's what this movie is like."

Color me shocked that the aforementioned quote didn't find it's way into the advertising, especially given my legendary stature in the world of (adult) film.

Surely you've born witness to the myriad of trailers that are playing for this one, but if for some reason you've been too busy getting 'black out drunk' in order to put these painful Cubs losses behind you, let me bring you up to speed, via a hastily composed synopsis. Dateline: Saudi Arabia. American compound gets breached by terrorists. As you can imagine, things don't go well. An FBI counter terrorism unit (don't worry...it's explained why the FBI is allowed over there...I'm not sure the explanation is valid, but it is explained) consisting of Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman (who knew?) is sent to investigate the attack. The crime is solved within minutes and rest of the film consists of a montage of Kanye West videos and You Tube footage of Jamie Foxx dancing, all capped off with the last half-hour of an old A-Team episode.

But really folks...The Kingdom has everything going for it. It's tense, funny and filled with smart dialogue and pants-pooping action scenes. It's got political subtext, but unlike a film like Syriana, your head doesn't hurt afterwords from trying to wrap your mind around it. Leave your cliffnotes at home for this one. If this were a book it would be Middle East for Dummies, and being a bit of a dummy myself, I say that with the utmost admiration. That's not to say that its a bunch of 'rah rah patriotism' though. It's a smart, well crafted thriller that is intelligent without being pretentious or condescending. A thinking man's popcorn movie if you will.

The last half hour or so of the movie is intense enough that if you were to bring a newborn baby into the theatre, it would literally explode. Or, coming full circle with my roller coaster reference, pregnant women and people with heart problems should not be allowed to ride this ride. Hi-Yo!

*I saw this one at a very early screening, months ago. I should have probably written the review then when my thoughts were fresh in my mind. Now, reading some early reviews of the film, it seems to be a mixed bag, which is surprising. It momentarily had me questioning how much I really liked it since it's been a while since I saw it. But then I realized, dammit, I don't need some 50 year-old pretentious wanker to validate my opinion. I'm going to see this again this weekend (working it around the Cubs games) and you should to.

Thunder Matt Rating: 4.5 Jamie Foxx/Kanye West collaborations out of 5

Into the Wild*

"Another light hearted romp from America's favorite funnyman, Sean Penn"

For those of you who don't know the story of Christopher McCandless, the story is one you've probably heard a million times. Boy that comes from money graduates top of his class in college, becomes disenchanted with the world around him, donates his $25,000 savings to charity, hitchhikes across the country and takes up refuge in a bus somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness. Ah, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that old yarn!

In 1996 Chris' life story became a best selling book and now, ten years later, the always affable Sean Penn brings his story to the big screen. Having never read the book (I can't read see) or so much as heard the story (ignorance is indeed bliss) I went into this with no preconceived notions of what it would be. I had a hunch that things would end badly for our antagonist, but beyond that I had no idea.

What it did have going for it before I even sat down was it's wilderness setting. I love me a good wilderness movie. If you set your movie in a forest, jungle, tangle, wasteland, bush, grassy knoll or any other wooded area, the battle is already halfway won. Case in point, because of the wilderness (or maybe it was Gary Busey), I liked the movie Surviving the Game. I've probably just lost all credibility with this review based on that statement and I won't blame you if you stop reading now.

Simply put, I liked Into the Wild. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to everyone. That said, I didn't love Into the Wild. As much as I wanted to love it and take it home with me and wrap it in swaddling clothes, I just couldn't. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty here to like. Emile Hirsch is great as Christopher. He infuses his character with confidence and likability, and his dramatic weight loss is the stuff Oscar nominations are made of. You've got nice little cameos by Vince Vaughn and my favorite bearded, pretentious comedian Zach Galifianakis, playing two ranch hands that hire Christopher and bestow upon him words of wisdom like "Don't go to Alaska" and "I'd bring a .22". The scenery is equally impressive and Penn does a great job of conveying not only the beauty of nature but it's power as well. Some of the shots are jaw dropping (feel free to substitute 'awe inspiring'), and there is a stark contrast when Chris leaves nature and goes back to the real world, which is cold and harsh in comparison.

Now you're probably thinking to yourself, "Sweet Ophelia, this sounds like a 6 star movie!" Well, not quite. As is the case with most movies that are 2 1/2 hours, this one could have some of the fat trimmed off. Penn can get a bit self indulgent at times and I imagine him in the editing room, arguing with one of the producers about the umpteenth 'tree shot'.

I also wish we could have gotten a little more in depth about Chris' motivations. The movie's setup lasts all of ten minutes and you don't really get a feel of why Chris would just up and leave. Sure, it's hinted that he's disenchanted with material goods and the prospect of becoming a corporate drone, but to just take off like that without telling anyone seems a bit extreme. Towards the end there is also some revelations that his home life wasn't exactly Leave It To Beaver, but I still would have liked a bit more expository information. I guess that is what the book is for though, right? Damn this whole illiteracy thing. (I am actually having a young Korean boy transcribe this review)

Overall this is still a solid film that is borderline worthy of a chest bump. A forearm shiver at least. It made me want to buy both the book it was based on as well as one of those 'Wilderness Survival Guides' that are usually found in other peoples bathrooms. Lord knows I've gone long enough in my life without knowing the proper way to skin a boar. I feel that, despite the fact that I live in Chicago, I may need that knowledge some day. Until then I guess I'll just have to use the knowledge I've gleaned from watching 'Survivor' and 'Lost'. Hmmm...I wouldn't last a day would I?

Thunder Matt Rating: 3 Sean Penn visits to Katrina out of 5

*For my longer, more comprehensive (see: rambling) review of Into the Wild check out what should be your second favorite blog, The Blog of Eternal Stench, found here. Even if you don't want to read my review, check out his blog anyway if for nothing else than to get his Stat Counter up.

Next Week: Chaim takes a ride on The Darjeeling Limited and proclaims it to be safer than Amtrak.

Spiraling Out of Control

September 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

I demand a Florida recount. The hanging chad strikes again.

That was a disgusting series. Like a Chinese Buffet used to fend off a hangover, this series sounded better on paper and in the end was tough to stomach. I am bitter but not broken. As easy as it is to blame Ms. Traschel*, the onus is on our offense to show that they are big-league ready.

Bitter as I am, can we talk briefly about that shitbox that the Marlins call a stadium? Holy shit. That has to rank up there with the old baseball stadiums of the 80's (Veterans Stadium, the Astrodome) as one of the biggest sinkholes ever. There isn't a single square inch of that place not covered in gaudy advertising. And everything has a blue hue to it. Even watching the games on TV, it was like someone put a sheet of blue saran wrap over the screen. "Get that fucking saran wrap off the screen Mom! Jesus!"

It is comforting to know that the Brewers apparently don't want the pennant either. Hot potato!

Has a team ever won a pennant without actually winning a game during the last week of the season? (Somebody get on the horn and call Wikipedia!**) We may be on the verge of making history. Ladies and gents, the most depressing celebration ever. No bukkake here. No champagne or cigars. I imagine the celebration to consist of warm Hamms and Newports.

At least we're not the Mets.

*I'd like to see a T-shirt in the Saloon store that just reads "Blame Steve".
**I'm not sure what that means.

Update: Okay, I just read what I wrote and and that's just too depressing. F it, we're still gonna win this thing. Where can I find a video of that 'Push for the Playoffs' montage they played last Sunday? Somebody with more internets skills than myself needs to post it. That's not so much optional as it is mandatory. I need to get jacked. I've got the doom and gloom out of my system and it's time to start fresh. Nothing says 'slumpbuster' like Great American Ballpark. Get ready you drunk whore. We're coming to get ya.

It's Back! TMS Radio Re-Launch

September 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Most of you are probably thinking, "Wait I don't remember when it was here in the first place." TMS Radio was a failed experiment that I have revived in recent months and given its own site. Behold the new TMS Radio.

Here's how it will work. I, and whoever else in the Saloon feels like it, will periodically post new playlists that readers can listen to on their own computer. Along with these various playlists will be the main radio station which currently features over 100 songs and will be constantly expanding as we add more songs and playlists. The music is played on an online stream, so I cannot guarantee how great it works on dial-up and slower internet connections.

In honor of the new relaunch I've put together a special Go Cubs Go playlist for fans to play following a Cubs victory.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing TMS Radio, please drop me a line at thundermatts@gmail.com. I'd like to know what you think.

The Governor's Thursday Press Conference

September 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Too lazy to write an entire column about something, I have decided to field questions. Nothing is off limits, and please pay no mind to the preachy tub of goo over my shoulder. Lets get started:

Who do you think will win the World Series?

The California Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim. It really pains me to say that though. Bandwagoning Angel fans in Orange County rank just above herpes, Stalin, and Austrian weight lifters in my book. The rally monkey and "lifelong" Angels fans since 2002 are going to drive me mad.

Who do you have representing the NL?

I don't know. I doubt it really matters. All four AL playoff teams are better than anyone the NL is going to put up. I'd say Arizona, but they may not even make the playoffs.

What do you think of the Cubs' chances?

Their chances are as good as anyone I suppose. Who would have thought they would be the closest to wrapping up a playoff spot this late in the season? I see two keys for them: 1) Zambrano has to keep it together. The playoffs are no time for one of his emotional meltdowns. 2) Don't give the ball to Ted Lilly with anything on the line. That guy is a pantywaste and will just curl up in the fetal position balling like a girl.

Are you catching any new TV shows this fall?

No. All the new shows look terrible. Isn't that Journeyman thing just a Quantum Leap ripoff? No one has ever ripped off Scott Bakula and lived to tell the tale.

Not even Cavemen?

If I'm going to watch a program length commercial, it had damn well better have Ron Popeil hocking shitty kitchen gadgets.

Why don't any radio stations play music in the morning?

I've wondered this damn near all my life. The last thing I want to hear when I roll out of bed and head in for another dreary day at the office is some douchebag yammering about their sex life. Every god damned station has a morning show too. Just play music you assclowns!

What was your take on the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech at Columbia University?

I'd be lying if I said I paid much attention to it. Columbia is a kick-ass Oasis song though. Definitely Maybe CD. Go buy it. Now.

Are the Trojans going to reclaim the national title this year?

I don't follow hockey. Next question.

Seen any good movies lately?

Well yeah. I just watched Octopussy again. That was even better than I remembered. The sequence on top of the German train really got my heart racing.

You probably meant new movies though. Not really. The last one I saw was Deathproof. God, what a snooze fest that was. Quentin Tarantino at his worst. Its supposed to be a thriller, but its about 90 minutes of pretentious, overwrought dialogue followed by about 15 minutes of action. That scene with the girls talking in the diner was particularly painful.

Football question. The NFL seems topsy-turvy this year. Who do you think is the best team and the worst team in the league?

Best has to be New England. Tom Brady is putting up video game numbers at QB and with this taping nonsense, they're more motivated than ever.

Worst team would have to be Buffalo. They're actually in worse shape having lost JP Losman for a few weeks. Thats a good indicator you suck.

OK guys. Thats it for today. I have to go eat my usual lunch of a turkey sandwich with mustard and a bag of veggies. Rob here will have his usual side of bacon and a liter of buttermilk - no cigarettes though because that would be bad for you.

Yankees Clinch

September 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Congratulations to the Yankees on clinching yet another playoff berth. Everyone was celebrating after the game, but none more so than Mr. Alex Rodriguez (pictured right). A-Rod was bursting with excitement. When asked how it feels he said, "Amazing, like every part of my body is tingling with delight. It's, it's, orgasmic!"

Soak it in A-Rod. Soak it in. This is your moment. Your money shot, if you will.

What? No, that's champagne! What, did you think- DUDE! You make me sick!

OJ Simpson's Low Down Dirty Shame

September 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Special Thunder Matt's Saloon corespondent O.J. Simpson brings us his up-to-the-minute coverage, following the Brewers around and taking any chance he can to tip the scales in the Cubs' favor.

Whaaaaat's crackulatin'?

No one can say that The Juice doesn't come through in the clutch. Last night was a must-lose for the Brewers, especially because the Cubs done gone lost to that AAA team in Miami again. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I knew that having someone who just so happened to look a lot like me lay the beatdown on Ben Sheets just wasn't enough.

I knew I had to go after Prince Fielder.

But with the cops following my every move so closely, what was O.J. to do? Get someone else to do my dirty work for me? Exactamundo! Brad Thompson's my boy from way back in the day when we used to play dice together for crack money, and he owed me, so I told him to hit Prince in the head with a fastball. That crazy cracker only hit him in the arm, but it was enough to get the message across. After the game, Thompson played it cool by telling reporters that he didn't hit The Prince on purpose.

Where do you think he got that line from? That's the same thing I told the police when they thought I was beatin' on my wife!

Anyway, mad props to my man Derrick Turnbow, who proved tonight that he truly is a family man. I told him before the game that he'd better start suckin' it up immediately or I was going to take a tire iron to his momma's face. And what does he do? Hits Albert Pujols with a pitch to start up a mad-crazy rally for the Cards that gave them the lead. Legit!

Like I said, The Juice is doing his part. Now the Cubs better start winnin' some games here so I can get the hell out of here and finish up on my new book.

Awwwww shit, you know you want to pick it up in stores next month. On second thought, don't. I won't see any of that money anyway. And that's the low down dirty shame.

The Gist: What's Going On?

September 26, 2007 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

For some strange reason, our starting staff has decided that we should play catch-up from early on. After having Ted Lilly struggle and give up four runs in five innings of work last night, Jason Marquis one-upped him. In his own five innings of work, he allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks. Not exactly the clutch performance we needed.

Our offense broke out early, scoring four runs through the first four innings, with good 'ol Jacque knocking in three. Unfortunately, that was all we would get. The Fish's bullpen only allowed three hits in 5-1/3 scorless innings of relief. It's no consolation, but dumb luck saw us hit four balls either to the back of the track or off of the wall -- none of them generating runs.

Fortunately for us, the Cards pulled out a 7-2 victory over Milwaukee, thus saving me from severe action. We all need to do our best to conjure up a September 28th, 1998 moment from Steve Trachsel. Yes, we're pinning our hopes on Trachs to break this losing streak and get some momentum going into Cincy! Who's with me?!?!

Hello? Where did everyone go? These crickets are annoying.

You Make the Call

September 26, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Ray King...............or...............Ray King

The King is Dead

September 26, 2007 | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Bill Wirtz lost his battle with cancer early this morning at the age of 77. Let the resurrection of the Blackhawk franchise begin! He's been president of the team since 1966 and has single handedly driven the franchise into the ground again and again. Among the players he allowed to leave the team over the years are Bobby Hull, Dominik Hasek, Ed Belfour, Chris Chelios (to Detroit), Jeremy Roenick, and Phil Esposito. This may have something to do with the Blackhawks currently owning the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL and the longest in team history. On top of all that, he's prevented any home games from being shown on TV in the Chicagoland area. Well he's gone and after a quick moment of grieving, there we go, we can move on and enjoy the reconstruction from the comforts of our very homes! Now if we can just get all the Cubs games to be on TV...

The Gist: Calm Blue Ocean...

September 26, 2007 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Normally we shouldn't fear going into an opponent's stadium knowing that most of the 15,000 or so fans will be cheering for us. Normally we shouldn't fear playing against a 9-15 pitcher with an ERA around 5-1/2 when we're sending out a guy who's arguably been our best and most consistent hurler. Normally you don't fear playing a team in last place, one that's also vying for the dubious honor of Worst Record in the League. Normally.

All of that being said, former Cub farmhand, Dontrelle Willis had a one-hit shutout working into the eighth inning. The D-Train certainly didn't look like the guy whose pitched this season, he looked like someone else entirely, allowing only two hits in eight innings of work. Outside of a bad second inning, Lilly was fairly effective, giving up some cheap Texas-leaguer hits, but hits nontheless. Apparently the offense never got the memo to play, as The Cubs lost, 4-2.

Right on cue, the Cardinals roll over to The Brewers and our lead is down to two games with five left to play. I'm not panicking, I'm not panicking, I'm not panicking. It's Marquis Time for Wednesday's game, and hopefully he can break our horrible streak of eight consecutive losses to The Fish.

Here's a little F-U going out to WCIU: quit broadcasting games which force me to travel all around town to find someone who has the game on. I'm much more comfortable watching them with my own home field advantage. Jesus, now I'm all worked up again! Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean...

OJ Simpson's Low Down Dirty Shame

September 25, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Continuing his guest commentary on all things Brewers, Thunder Matt's Saloon brings you O.J. Simpson, reporting to us live from Miller Park.

Whaaaaat's crackulatin'?

After watching him hit two more homers tonight, I've done some research and it turns out that Prince Fielder is not 100% human. This dude is at least half gorilla. Look at the size of this dude! Hell, his middle name is Semien for chrissakes! That shit ain't normal!

With that said, it looks like the only way the Brewer bats are going to cool off is if I knock off The Prince. Say this kid has an "unfortunate accident" ("I swear officer...he ran into my knife 5 times on his own!")...since he's only 50% human, I couldn't be convicted of murder, could I? And even if I was, I'd only get 50% of the sentence, right?

I gotta admit, seeing Prince Fielder murder those two people...er...baseballs, reminded me of what it must have been like for people watching me on top of my game with the Bills. And just like those Bills teams, the Brewers are most likely going to choke here in the home stretch. And just to clarify, I mean "choke" as in "not play well" not as in "I hypothetically choked my ex wife and her boyfriend with a kitchen knife."

I've sort of slacked off the last two games here, and I know that it's up to me to be a bit more proactive in sabotaging the Brewers in their next few games. If there's a few Milwaukee players out of the lineup all the sudden tomorrow, you know they got O.J.'d. I've already started in on Ben Sheets. Don't expect to see him for the rest of the year. He still has some "discomfort" in his hamstring. Allegedly, someone who looks suspiciously like The Juice himself took a board with a nail in the end of it to his leg last night.

Awww shit..."allegedly" has got to be my favorite favorite word. Although "reasonable doubt" sure does roll off the tongue easily. And that's the low down dirty shame.

A Mile High Minute: Week 3

September 25, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

The crappy play finally caught up to Denver...23-14 Jacksonville.

The game was an absolute bore. Denver only held the ball for 21 minutes. As I sit here, I don't even know what to say about it. When the other team controls the ball for 2/3rds of the game, you're probably going to lose.

Shanahan showed his gnads again though, going for it on 4th down inside his own 20. It didn't work, but they didn't have much choice. Jacksonville would have just run the clock out anyway.

Next week at Indy...christ. 2-2 here we come.

Thoughts from Around the League

Oakland - Lane Kiffin you son of a bitch...you were paying attention last week. Kiffin iced Phil Dawson on what would have been the game winning kick. Dawson then promptly missed the re-kick.

Philadelphia - What could I say about those uniforms that hasn't already been said? Well, nothing, so I'll just quote the great Keith Olbermann and say "they dressed up like the 1972 Winnipeg Blue Bombers."

New Orleans - OK everyone, they're 0-3. We can all go back to not giving a damn about them now. Big Easy fans, the five of you who actually care can start cutting eyeholes in the brown bags now. You'll need to put them on your heads again soon.

Chicago - I don't like the Bears, but PLEASE for the love of god and the sake of football fans everywhere, bench Rex Grossman. We deserve better than this. I can't watch this hack anymore. This guy is beginning to make Danny Wuerffel look like the GOOD Florida QB. Yesterday's QB rating was 25 and he's only posting a 45 for the year. BENCH HIM NOW!

San Diego - Umm, is it too late to rescind my Chargers Super Bowl pick? These guys blow. Rivers sucks, no one but Gates can catch anything, Tomlinson can't run, and the defense can't stop anyone. The only team they've beat so far has been the Bears, resulting in this embarassing display from the Saloon's own Brant Brown. He lost a bet with our favorite saucy, yet insanely loyal Chargers fan bartender and had to wear this Gates jersey all day. At least it wasn't powder blue.

and now for something completely different...

The 1-2-3-4 iPod nano commercial is driving me insane.

Apparently this demon offspring of Pam Dawber and Karen Carpenter pre-anorexia Apple is pushing on us is known as "Feist". This woman is getting more exposure than Peyton Manning. Frankly, at this point, I'd rather see a commercial with him singing.

Today I hear that song is the #1 internet download right now. Are you f-ing kidding me America? Was your Manilow collection full? Norah Jones too hard? Calling this tripe elevator music would be generous.

Get this abomination off my TV.

Bears Approaching Critical Mass

September 25, 2007 | Comments (0) | by White Chili

I really don't know how to begin to describe my feelings about the Bears' loss Sunday night. I basically went from thinking our defense might be able to bail us out of another game to being downright angry and depressed with our offense. Does Lovie need to make some changes? Fuck. Yes. Before last Sunday would be good if he can pull it off.

The differences between he-who-shall-not-be-named and Romo were like night and day. Romo was able to avoid the pass rush from the inside and the outside and keep his eyes upfield to get the ball in the hands of his guys. When our quarterback wasn't tripping over shoelaces, he was completely telegraphing his passes that he launched off his back foot into triple coverage. All his interceptions have been keeping our already beleaguered defense on the field for most of the game and it's clearly taken its toll after just a few weeks. Luckily Tommie and Lance are going to be fine for this week but we're still waiting to hear some news on Vasher's MRI.

What's more, now it seems like more than just the crowd and the offense is asking for some changes to be made. When asked how the defense felt about the quarterback situation, Tommie Harris said that you've got to support your quarterback and if you don't really feel that way, just shut up about it. Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence.

The problem is that there aren't many solutions to the problem at the moment. Who could the Bears trade for? McNabb? He was born and raised in Chicago and would probably fit in perfectly but right now there's absolutely no reason for him to leave Philly. That means using Griese and Orton as stopgap solutions until we can draft another quarterback. How long will the defense last? You've got to figure there has to be a working solution in place in the next 1-3 years to have another chance at a Super Bowl. Personally I'd like to see Murton's hair or possibly Theriot's sexy-time mustache have a crack at playing quarterback. If you were to couple that with The Neck Beard you'd have a 1-2 punch so chalk full of testosterone that it would inseminate every man and woman in the stands and they'd all give birth to a forearm covered in hair 9 months from now.

Next year's class of quarterbacks is slim and the Bears would have to really have a terrible year to find themselves able to grab one of the elite. Here is my list of hopefuls:

1. Andre' Woodson - A senior at Kentucky who has already orchestrated victories over Louisville and Arkansas and is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. He's proven that he's a leader that can play efficiently. In this week's victory over Arkansas Woodson went 21-of-39 and has now thrown 296 passes without an interception, breaking Trent Dilfer's major college record of 271. Grossman has 6 picks in 3 games this year and 26 since the beginning of 2006. Wakka wakka!

2. Brian Brohm - Yes, he's in the Big East but it's widely speculated that the Louisville senior could go as high as the top pick in the draft next year. With Atlanta competing for that honor it's a very real possibility.

3. Colt Brennan - He sat out this week with a sprained ankle but the Senior from Hawaii holds the national record for touchdowns in a season (58) and maintained the highest passing efficiency in the country finishing 6th in the Heisman race behind winner Troy Smith, Darren McFadden, Brady Quinn, Steve Slaton, and Mike Hart. Plus, my feelings against Indy aside, Colt is a great name for a quarterback. It would be like naming your son Jeeves and having him grow up to clean and cook meals for some successful athlete named Colt.

I'd like to end on a good note so with no further ado, I give you Devin Hester's car. Note the Louis Vuitton interior/exterior:

UPDATE: Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reports that Brian Griese will start for the Bears in Week 4 at the Lions. Thank you Jebus!

OJ Simpson's Low Down Dirty Shame

September 25, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

With the playoff push hitting the stretch drive this week, we at Thunder Matt's Saloon have enlisted a little extra "help" for the final week of the season. So without further ado, we bring you none other than O.J. Simpson, our official correspondent who is traveling with the Milwaukee Brewers all week and keeping us updated on their every move. Although we only hired O.J. to report on all things Brewers, don't blame us if he gets his hands...er...gloves dirty with a few nasty tricks to help the Cubs out.

What's crackulatin' everyone? It's none other than O.J. Simpson, coming to you live from prison. Wait...I mean Milwaukee. It's hard to keep things straight sometimes. I mean, being surrounded by a bunch of overweight rednecks who cheer for the Brewers and Cardinals? All the buttsex? Yeah, you'd mistake the Milwaukee dugout for prison too.

But enough about that. Here's what I saw today: a murder. And this time, it had nothing to do with me! I mean, seeing so much red on the field, I got a little nervous, but I was assured that it was Prince Fielder's bat that did the killing tonight.

I tried to get the Cardinals motivated, but I think part of my...charm...rubbed off on them. After all, how else do you explain the two double plays they grounded into? I know a thing or two about twin killings! Hey-o! And poor ol' Taguchi got caught stealing in the fourth inning. That's another thing I know a thing or two about. At least Taguchi doesn't have to worry about any jail time after his failed theft.

Later in the game, Ned Yost got kicked out for the second game in a row. Son, even I know that you aren't going to win these kinds of arguments if you don't have the proper defense in your corner. Me? I had the best defense team money could buy! Yost's petty arguments could never stand up to the silky-smooth stylings of the late Johnny Cochrane. I bet Yost didn't even have a catchy rhyme for his argument. See now if I was out there arguing about balls and strikes and what not, I'd say something like this:

If you call the high strike, I'll stab your wife.


After Yost was run out of the game, that crazy cracker Damien Miller got himself kicked out too, and he did it on purpose! After the game, he said, "There was some premeditation." Shit, son...you don't have to tell O.J. about premeditation!

Hopefully things work out better tomorrow. Although the Cards got whooped today, there was a lone bright spot. Rick Ankiel went 1-4 and scored a run, probably because he's on the Juice, just like the hookers I'm gonna pick up on my way out of the stadium.

That's all I got for today, kids. I'm gonna leave you with a postgame quote from pansy-ass Ned Yost himself: "If the truth gets you in trouble, then the heck with it."

Awwwww shit...The Juice couldn't have said it better himself. And that's the low down dirty shame.


September 24, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Earlier in the evening, some of you may have had the misfortune of coming across our site when the banner read, "Not your mom's Cubs coverage."

We here at Thunder Matt's Saloon would like to apologize for this grievous error in judgement. We realize that the phrase was both cliche and not funny. Rest assured that you will not see such sentiments expressed in the future.

I only hope that it's not too late.

Yours in blue jeans,
Chaim Witz

R.I.P. 2007 Dodgers

September 24, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

As I write this, the Dodgers are not yet officially eliminated from the Wild Card race, but they've lost 7 straight and have clearly given up, so I will do the same. The 2007 season is over. How long until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training?

Where did it all go wrong?


Jason Schmidt missed most of the year and was only running on fumes when he did pitch. Things would have turned out very differently with a 1-2 punch of Penny and Schmidt at the top of the rotation. The surprisingly solid acquisition of Randy Wolf also fell apart along with his shoulder.

The loss of those two led to starts from the motley crew of Hendrickson, Tomko, Stults, Loaiza, and Wells. Ugh.

It turns out Rafael Furcal has been playing hurt all year too. Good thing they put him on the shelf to heal instead of letting him go out there and sandbag the offense. Oh wait...they didn't do that. They went ahead and let him play hurt and underperform.


GM Ned Colletti made some dumb moves.

Roberto Hernandez was signed and Nomar was re-signed. Brett Tomko was allowed to go 2-11 with an ERA closing in on 6 before being released. James Loney and Matt Kemp were left to rot in AAA for months.

I seem to be alone in LA in liking the Pierre signing and dumping Betemit for Proctor was a good move, but too little too late.

Grady Little

I really liked the way Little managed the club in 2006. I cannot say the same this year. He has had a collossal six month long tantric brainfart that has crippled the team. I don't like a revolving door mangerial policy, but Grady should probably go.

Nomar was the 1st baseman for half the year, producing only one home run before being replaced by James Loney.

Russell Martin never got any rest.

Furcal was allowed to play injured.

Luis Gonzalez, who I think all Dodger fans expected to be an insurance policy, has been allowed to start over Kemp and Ethier all year. He's the fourth best outfielder on the team, but has gotten the bulk of the starts.

Grady's lineups seem to have been randomly generated. Ethier, a career .298 hitter, usually bats 8th. Russell Martin, the best player on the team, rarely hit higher than 6th. Nomar continued to bat 3rd until the all-star break.

As the Dodgers tank the last couple weeks, it seems like Grady has lost control of the team. They go down a couple runs early and give up. Jeff Kent publicly calls out "the kids" for not understanding the rigors of a pennant race. When asked how he felt about being called out by one of the team leaders, James Loney responds with the classic, "who says he's a leader?" Great line, but if Grady had any control over these guys at all we wouldn't be hearing these things.

Hope for 2008

Schmidt will be back, Gonzo will be gone, and Loney, Kemp, Ethier, Billingsley, and Broxton will all have another year under their belt.

Hopefully LaRoche will step up and take the 3rd base job from Nomar and maybe, just maybe, young SS Chin-lung Hu will make Furcal expendable.

If Ned Colletti so much as picks up the phone to talk to a FA other than a pitcher, he should be fired on the spot. The core position players of the future are all in place, so there is no need to bring in anymore veterans on their last leg.

Monday Afternoon Hangover: Week 3

September 24, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

It's week 3 and Mel's not looking any better. On to the scores!

Baltimore 26
Well Chaim already mentioned this, but Kurt "the aloof Jesus" Warner came in for craptastic Matt Leinart and shined. But alas, they are the Cardinals, and winning just isn't in their repertoire.

Green Bay 31
San Diego
The Packers are 3-0, Brett Favre is looking better than over half the QB's in this league, and the Chargers are absolutely floundering. Are we in some bizarro NFL season? Congrats to Favre for tying Marino's record. Wow San Diego, it's a good thing you canned Marty huh? Perhaps next time a coach takes your team to a 14-2 record you shouldn't replace him with someone that is clearly an inferior NFL coach.

Tampa Bay
St. Louis
Jesus St. Louis! My sleeper pick this season looks awful. At least my top fantasy pick Steven Jackson put up some decent numbers. 3 weeks in and Tampa Bay looks like they could legitimately take their division.

Pittsburgh 37
San Francisco
The Steelers D stuff Frank Gore, while Fast Willie Parker puts up a Week 3 high 133 yards on the ground. Jerame Tuman and Najeh Davenport score Pittsburgh's only offensive touchdowns, causing fantasy owners to shout expletives at their laptop and nearly spill their 64 oz. Mountain Dew Big Gulp on it.

Philadelphia 56
Detroit 21
My hat's off to Philly for beating the living piss out of the goddamn Lions. Kitna threw for 446 yards but could only find the endzone twice. Donovan McNabb however made everyone happy to see a black quarterback succeed, throwing 4 TD's, 3 of which were to white wide receiver Kevin Curtis ("Ebony and Ivory" begins playing in the background). The throwback uniform trend has officially derailed, crashed, burned, and left no survivors, after Philadelphia wore those horrendous unis yesterday. They look like a bad high school uniform, or something from the XFL. Why the hell do we keep having throwbacks anyway? The only reasoning I see for this is to keep rappers' wardrobes new. I mean honestly, if you own a shit-brown Padres throwback and actually wear it in public, do society a favor and shoot yourself in the face.

New York Jets 31
Miami 28
Holding on to a 31-13 lead, the Jets tried their best to piss the game down their leg, but fell short and won by 3. Dolphin fans were in shock, not so much from the loss but because they couldn't remember what it was like seeing their team score so many points.

New England 38
So we learned a few things here.
  1. Buffalo is terrible with J.P. Losman at QB.
  2. Buffalo is even shittier with Trent Edwards at QB.
  3. New England is so dominate this season that I may have pooped my pants.
Kansas City 13
For whatever reason I was spared the punishment of seeing this game on TV (I had Packers-Chargers and Eagles-Lions instead). For those of you that picked Adrian Peterson as the rookie RB to bust out for a 1000 yard season, congratulations. For those that chose Marshawn Lynch, thanks for playing, we have a lovely consolation prize package for you.

Indianapolis 30
You have to wonder had Andre Johnson been healthy, could the Texans have upset the Colts. Peyton looked good, especially on that one play where he was running through the hallway looking to pass the ball, and his receiver was covered by sharks, and wait..........I think that may have been a commercial. What the hell product was that even for? Does it matter? I'm pretty sure that commercial makes me wanna boycott whatever garbage it's peddling.

Seattle 24
Did anyone see this game? I don't even recall there being any highlights. This Bengals team was more exciting when they were getting arrested on a weekly basis.

Oakland 26
In the "Who Cares?" Game of the Week, Oakland finally notches a win. Daunte Culpepper also made his first appearance of the year, going 8-14 for 118 yards. Bernie Kosar had 248 yards passing for Cleveland while Kevin Mack rushed for 56 yards.

Jacksonville 23
Denver 14
Wow can I change my Super Bowl pick from Denver to Pittsburgh or New England? A quick "Everyone Point and Laugh" to all the dumbasses who took Maurice Jones-Drew in the second round of their fantasy draft. Through 3 games, Jones-Drew has 33 carries 100 yards and no touchdowns.

New York Giants 24
Son of a bitch Washington! You had this game and blew it. There goes my hope for a 0-16 season from New York. Eli Manning still proving that mentally retarded people can excel in professional sports. Seriously, there should be a moratorium on how many close up camera shots of Eli's face there can be in one game. That dumb look on his face with his mouth agape. He looks like McMurphy after the Chief smothers him with a pillow.

Dallas 34
Hey, um Bears Offense? Look, your defense is phenomenal, but it's hard for them to stop the opposition all game when you guys don't do your part and, you know, score some fucking points and hold on to the ball for more than 3 plays at time. This offense is terrible. Grossman sucks, the receivers suck, the running game sucks, and most importantly Ron Turner sucks. As long as the Turner's have jobs in professional football, there will always be disappointed and disgusted fans.

Carolina 27
Wow, maybe it was the acquisition of Leftwich that sparked a fire, but Harrington had a pretty good day. 31/44 with 361 yards and 2 TD. Nonetheless, the Falcons drop to 0-3. Bobby Petrino is searching for Murray State and Middle Tennessee on the schedule.

The Golden Nutcup Team
Wear it with pride fellas!

QB - Donovan McNabb, PHI (381 yards, 4 TD, he's black)
RB - Brian Westbrook, PHI (221 total yards, 3 TD)
WR - Kevin Curtis, PHI (221 rec yards, 3 TD)
WR - Anquan Boldin, ARI (181 rec yards, 2 TD)
TE - Jason Witten, DAL (90 rec yards, 1 TD)
DE - Jared Allen, KC (8 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
CB - Anthony Henry, DAL (2 int, 1 TD)

The Flaming Bag Team
We'll let you decide what you want to do with them.

QB - Marc Bulger, STK (116 yards, 3 INT, slightly worse than Rex)
RB - Ahman Green, HOU (5 yards, 1 bum knee)
WR - Mike Williams, OAK (24 yards, 1 fumble, still better than Charles Rogers)
WR - Lee Evans, BUF (7 yards, early front-runner for Chris Chambers Award*)
TE - Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler (0 catches, 0 yards, I'm not sure Cutler even knows who they are)

Monday Night Pick
The Saints have to win at some point right? My pick: Saints (-4.5) over Titans

*Chris Chambers Award goes to the WR who has immense talent and upside but is languishing on a bad team with a crappy QB.

Hooray, our uniforms are fucking ugly! Let's play tummysticks!

The Gist: Sunday Mass Edition

September 24, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

I'm feeling all warm and tingly right now. It may have something to do with the fact that I just washed down some Cialis with a 32 ounce bottle of Steel Reserve, but I think it can be at least partially attributed to the fact that the Cubs put their collective arms around my underdeveloped shoulders and said, "Come follow us Chaim. To the promised land. No...not heaven. Chaim...is that Jewish? None-the-less, come follow us."

Fat Z. Dominating. Thunder Matt. Quoting the Gospel of Thunder: "Walk quietly and carry a big stick." Sam Fuld. Endearing himself to Cubs fans, cougars, and diabetes patients everywhere.*

On Sunday the Cubs played like a playoff team. And the Pirates? They played like...well...the Pirates. Ronny Cedeno (Ronny Cedeno?) got things started and then put a bookend on things with a two run donkey to close things out. Good to see that batting average finally reach the Mendoza line. What a stallion.

The final home game of the regular season had a real playoff feel to it, even when the Cubs broke it open. You can't watch a game lately without getting caught up in the moment. There is just a good aura about this team. Unlike with other teams over the years, I am actually buying into the sweet nothings that they are whispering into my ear. They are finally getting me to let down my guard (and my pants) and enjoy the ride, rather than just waiting for the other shoe to drop.**

After the game WGN ran a killer highlights package, 'Push for the Playoffs', which included all of the Cubs highlights from the year, set to one of my favorite songs, Silverchair's 'Straight Lines'. Big time props for the original song choice. Who knew? Usually highlight packages are set to something painfully obvious and cliche. Well done (Pete Toma?). Well done sir.

My life is experiencing a temporary peak amongst the inordinate number of valleys. Again, that may be the Cialis, but lets just enjoy the moment shall we?

*Can we get this guy a hit? 10 games, 1AB, no hits. He's like the overweight junior-high kid with thick glasses, sitting on the end of the bench during a blowout in his basketball team's final game of the season. He's nervous because he doesn't really want to play for fear of embarrassment, coupled with the fact that he forgot to wear deodorant. Coach finally calls his number during the last two minutes and he stands up, knees shaking. A little pee comes out. This is his time to shine. Shoot that ball fat boy. Hit that ball Sam Fuld.

**I have no idea what that phrase means but I will use it anyway. When in Rome...

The Return of King Kurt

September 24, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Exit 'The Kid' Matt Leinart: 2 Quarters, 9-20 passing, 53 Yds, 0 TD, 20-3 deficit. Looking as if someone ran over his dog on the sideline.

Enter 'The Mentor' Kurt Warner: 2 Quarters, 15-20 passing, 258 Yds, 2 TD...ties up the game at 23 with under 2 minutes. Kurt's brilliance was all caught on videotape.

But...of course the Cardinals being the Cardinals, they promptly allowed the Ravens to march down the field and kick a FG as time expired, negating Kurt's heroics. 26-23 Ravens.

"If nothing else, Warner has established himself as the NFL's modern-day version of Michael Corleone: Just when you thought he was done, he keeps getting brought back for more. The two-time league MVP worked some of his old magic, throwing for 258 yards and two touchdowns in place of a struggling Matt Leinart as the Cardinals rallied during a 26-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens." - Yahoo's James Black.
As the kiddies say, "Hells yes." Seriously, can we bring the old man to Chicago? Grossman, watch and learn from the master. The Bears could have signed him a couple of years ago, but Lovie didn't want to upset the emotionally stunted Grossman. 3 years later and if anything Grossman has regressed emotionally. Now, it appears we may have early QB controversies in both Arizona and Chicago.

Praise Jeeeesuuuus!*

*I would like to just dispel the myth of Kurt being the poster boy for the God Squad. That baton has been passed on to Jon Kitna my friends. In fact, during training camp I read an article (which I can't find now, naturally) where Kurt talked about how he has learned not to push his beliefs on people anymore. Later in the article they talked to Larry Fitzgerald who joked that Kurt isn't as pious as everybody thinks. He then goes on to relate that him and Kurt made a bet over who could get home first after practice and um...get to know their wife in the Biblical sense, if you know what I mean. Fitz shook his head. "Kurt won man. He got game." And before you make a Brenda Warner joke, know that she is now borderline hot. Is that the Arizona humidity making you sweat? No. It's Brenda Warner.

Overrated: New Cubs Ownership

September 23, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Brant Brown

You know what? I like my Cubs as they are. We've spent enough money. We're not whores.

Thank You Atlanta

September 23, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

What a great weekend! Atlanta comes back for the second straight day and beat the Brewers, meanwhile the Cubs cap off a great final homestand with a sweep of the Pirates, while the fans in Wrigley do the Tomahawk Chop.

I don't have a whole lot to say right now, I just can't let Tommy Lasorda dominate the top of our page any longer. Not with the Cubs playing like this.

Sam Fuld is my new favorite player after yesterday's brilliant catch. Also he has diabetes.

Crack open a beer, blast some Baba O'Riley, and celebrate. The magic number is at Don Zimmer my friends!

You gotta love how these guys are playing. Hell even Ronny freakin' Cedeno is jacking the ball!

Happy 80th Birthday Tommy Lasorda

September 22, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Handicapping The Weekend Series

September 21, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

As if we needed any more excitement going into the weekend series with the Pirates, I'm going to handicap the upcoming series, just scant hours before the first pitch. The Pirates have really embraced their role as spoilers over the last few weeks, and the Cubs seem to have a habit of playing down to the competition at times. Despite this, I like our chances. Let's take a look at today's game:

GAME 1 - Marquis (12-8) vs. Maholm (10-15)
As with any matchup, there's always good and bad. I'll start with the bad just to get it out of the way. The bad news is that the Cubs have yet to beat Maholm. He's 4-0 lifetime against the North Siders.

However, that seems to be the only bad news as far as today's game goes. Despite the fact that Maholm is 4-0 against the Cubs, it comes with a career ERA against them that's just a shade under 5. Plus, in his last start, the Astros made him their bitch to the tune of 10 runs in just under 3 innings of work. Meanwhile, Jason Marquis seems to be pitching as well as he has all season (knock on wood). In his last 10 starts, he's 5-2 with a respectable 3.96 ERA over that time (It's respectable because the first 4 of those starts were against the Reds, Phillies, the Rockies in Coors, and the Mets before they sucked as hard as they do right now).

I'm calling it a Cubs victory, but for some reason, it seems like it'll be a nail biter until the very end. My prediction: Cubs 5, Pirates 4.

Game 2 - Rich Hill (9-8) vs. Zach Duke (3-7)
Rich Hill was pretty craptastic in his last start against the Pirates, going 6 innings and giving up 6 runs. But I think Hill is going to use that as motivation to pitch well. He seems like the kind of dude that will step up to the pressure and perform phenomenally. Anything less than a perfect game will be a disappointment in my mind.

Zach Duke? Sucks.

My Prediction: Cubs 4, Pirates 0

Game 3 - Zambrano (16-13) vs. (Gorzelanny)
Let's face the facts here: Zammy has sucked total balls since he got his big, fat, sweet payday from the Cubs. I can't shake the feeling that he's going to get lit up again in this game. I see Fat Z giving up 6 runs in 5 innings.

However, not all is lost. Like OJ Simpson on a coke bender, I predict the Cubs will go all gangbusters on the Pirates today, breaking into their hotel room after a wedding and stealing their collective will to live. By this time, I fully expect the Brewers to have lost to Tim Hudson and John Smoltz back to back, giving the Cubs a decent sized 3.5 game lead in the division. This, combined with the fact that the Pirates will be confused by playing 3 day games in a row, will ignite the Cubs' bats and carry us through Zambrano's terrible start. Hell, Fat Z may actually hit a home run. Thunder Matt will hit 7 of them. Mark it down.

Plus, Tom Gorzelanny looks like Sloth from The Goonies.

My prediction: Cubs 14, Pirates 6

Seriously, I feel great about the Cubs' postseason chances. The Brewers don't have another day off for the rest of the year, we get to play the Marlins for our next series, the Braves have enough pride to play the Brewers hard over the next 3 games, and Milwaukee has to finish up against NL West power San Diego for 4 games to finish the season, with the Padres fighting for a division crown.

In the meantime, talk to Lou Piniella about the Cubs' chances for the postseason.

You Make the Call

September 21, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Ken Griffey Jr....................... or.................... Ken Griffey Jr.


Person of Interest: Andrei Kirilenko

September 20, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

On the news, you always hear the phrase "person of interest" when the cops want to talk to someone but aren't yet ready to indict them for a crime. I don't think a War Criminal is warranted yet, hence, Person of Interest: Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei, seen here about to pummel Rocky Balboa, recently posted his desire to leave the Utah Jazz on a Russian blog. Frankly, if Utah wants him back after last year, he should consider himself damn lucky.

As chronicled here, the Jazz went to the Western Conference Finals, thanks in large part not to Kirilenko, but to Deron "Mormon Chocolate" Williams. Kirilenko put up paltry numbers when he was actually healthy in 06-07, only contributing half the points per game he had the previous three seasons.

According to official Russian translators at Interpol, Andrei apparently "can't stomach" the idea of playing for Jerry Sloan anymore. Memo to Andrei: Sloan's system is why the team has ALWAYS been so successful. Deal with it or become an afterthought in some Eastern Conference gulag like Charlotte.

Given that he made this anouncement on a Russian blog and did it so close to camp opening, he's lucky I'm not handing down a full slate of indictments for war crimes. I can't totally forsake the guy given his contributions to the team over the years.

I just hope the Jazz can get value for him in return.

Blown Save? Remember to Duck and Cover

September 20, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

We live in dangerous times my friends, so we must always remain cautious and vigilant. Because terror can strike at any moment, when you least suspect it. And no matter how many security measures are taken, or how many unethical and possibly illegal wiretaps are made, there's no escaping this inevitable danger.

Of course I'm talking about Ryan Dempster's next blown save.

It's been about two weeks since we've seen one, so some of you have put your guard down a bit. Mistake. Huge mistake. That's when the blown saves are the worst. When they completely blindside you without warning. So to help you prepare, we here at TMS have created a handy map for you to use and share with your loved ones. It is important to know what the possible effects of 'Dempster Fallout' are so you know how to properly treat it. This map will help you determine whether you're in a potential high fallout area and what sort of symptoms you should watch out for if you think you've been infected.

And for those that would like a cleaner copy to send to friends or print, laminate, and stash next to their Y2K preparedness kit, I've made available a PDF version of the map to download here.

It's been a while, but you should make sure you have plenty of duct tape and plastic sheeting just in case.

Wrigleyville Bar Project: The Full Shilling

September 20, 2007 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We're here to profile some of the local watering holes around Wrigley, so that you aren't the poor sap who gets dragged into going to the Cubby Bear before the game, wherein you are soon left wondering how your life spiraled out of control so quickly. Tommy Buzanis has pledged to help out with this column, as he is no stranger to the bottle, but you can rest assured that those promises are as empty as his shot glass. So here it is, another sporadically timed, mildly entertaining column that you can only find here at the TMS. Actually you can probably find lots of info on Wrigley bars in a much more concise and helpful format, but that's neither here nor there.

Today's Bar: The Full Shilling, 3724 N. Clark St.

Douchebag Factor (1-10, with 10 being this guy): 2

Who You'll See Here: More of your 'everyman' will hang here. Groups of people looking to have fun in a place where you don't have to shout at one another to be heard. Of course, lots of Cub fans waiting to go to the game. Also the Guy In The Hotdog Suit is frequently spotted out front. The wait staff was predominantly female, mildly attractive in the girl-next-door kind of way.

What to order: Why, the Tabletapper, of course. Sure it's a novelty thing, but do you want to be the only table that doesn't have one? Didn't think so. Not sure if it's a good buy or not, but when in Rome...

If you were to see a celebrity here, it would be: Glendon Rusch, the guys from Gov't Mule, Kyle Farnsworth (because he'll drink everywhere).

Website: nah, brah. At least I couldn't find one.

Summary: Frankly this place was a breath of fresh air compared to the normal Wrigleyville bar scene. I didn't have to wait for a half an hour to get a table, and I didn't have to set off signal flares to get a waitress over, I didn't encounter a herd of frat boys sporting tribal armband tattoos (although the waitstaff's favorite hobby seemed to include getting large back tats that hang out of the shirts at all edges). The bar itself was Irish in decor, with a spattering of Cub memorabilia on both sides. Bricks are the dominant motif, but it's not too dark. The east side of the building features the typical windows that allow plenty of fresh air and people watching. TVs are not a problem, they feature a flat screen about every six feet, all viewable from high tables, booths, or from a bar stool.

The food was pretty good. It was greasy and hot, with the menu featuring typical bar food, the exception being an emphasis on tater tots. I wanna say it was $1.50 for a half a pound of them, which is a nice companion to the $14.00 table tappers.

If I had one complaint about the place, it would be that while all of the TVs were tuned into the Cub game, half of them appeared to be on a cable feed while the other half were on satellite, therefore throwing off the synch between the two. It's a tad bit annoying when the sound doesn't match the picture and/or half of the bar cheers or groans before you see what happens.

Thunder Matt Rating: 8 empty Old Style cans out of a 12 pack, possibly 9 if you have a window seat on a warm, sunny day.